Though the Masters will be found wherever their duties call them: in the crowded marts of men, in the desert places, at sea, on land, indeed anywhere, yet it is a fact that for much the same reason that astronomers go to higher parts of mountains in order to obtain a pure atmosphere and an air freer than usual from the heat-waves of the earth's surface, or as religious communities from the earliest times and in all countries choose quiet places in the mountains for their centers: so, are we told, do these our Elder Brothers select for their mystic seats certain parts of the Globe which are most untouched by the miasmic influences emanating from great cities, as a rule choosing them far from the thickly inhabited lands where are the soul-stupefying astral and physical influences which work against training in spiritual development.
-- G. de Purucker, THE ESOTERIC TRADITION, II, page 1026.
By Eldon B. Tucker
What constitutes practicing Theosophy? This is a whole area of discussion in itself. I would say that it is two things. (1) It is something that results in a genuine change in oneself, making one a different, better person, more expressive of one's inner light. (2) It is something that also leads one to express more fully that inner light in the world in both acts of sacrifice and compassion and acts of creativity. Both are means of making the world a better place.
Mere discussion is useless if it is idle speculation, if one's heart and inner nature are not engaged, and one is merely playing word games. But a class, book, or conversation with a friend can go way deeper than that and be a high form of discovering great truths about life.
Likewise, extroverted action, involving external people and things, can be useless if it is mindless, rote, and unmindful activity, if one's heart and inner nature are not engaged, and one is merely acting habitually. But a simple act of sharing something with a stranger can go way deeper than that and also be a high form of discovering great truths about life.
It really doesn't matter which direction we go -- inward or outward -- as long as we are finding our magic in life and bringing it out to the benefit of ourselves and others. (Note that beneficial actions are not, I think, measured in terms of how totally we sacrifice and do something to our own detriment, but rather in terms of the greatest good to everyone, ourselves included, without showing favoritism to others or us.)
People at a particular phase of their lives, their greatest voyage of discovery may be in the world of ideas, and having books, magazines, study classes, and like-minded people to talk to is the greatest blessing. For others, it may be the worst possible waste of time, and they need to put thinking aside, garden, and simply hike and enjoy nature. Each of us has a particular need now, and our needs are not always the same. What seems lifeless and a total waste of time to you or I may seem the greatest treasure to someone else with different growth needs.
Coming back to the idea of practicing Theosophy, I would say that some people would consider the theosophical discussions that we having as useless dialogue, but others would consider it the entryway into an important area of life that they greatly need. I consider it important to keep that door open for those whose inner drive takes them in that direction.
By B.P. Wadia
[From LIVING THE LIFE, pages 33-38.]
Soul builds body. The nature of the one is occult, as that of the other is phenomenal. Of unchanging reality is life, while form is but the evanescent Maya that is non-existent in fact. From 1851 to 1871, Wisdom was energizing in the inner planes of being propelling towards the outer world. Then HPB emerged from the Great Lodge for the service of our world, and ever since, especially after 1877 when her ISIS UNVEILED was published, certain hitherto, unfamiliar words came into prominence. Among these were esoteric and esotericism, exoteric and exotericism.
She was the first since the days of the Alexandrian Neo-Platonists who unhesitatingly and emphatically declared that a secret body of Teaching and Teachers existed. From the very start, she claimed a somewhat intimate acquaintance with both. She labored in the Cause for which those Teachings and Teachers stood, for 20 years -- from 1871 to 1891.
Among the important missions entrusted to her was the drawing of the attention of the world to the existence of the Teaching and the Teachers; only a part of the former, under instructions from the latter, was put forward in discreet installments. This process was affected by the growth or the hindrance, especially among the aspirants to Chelaship, in recognizing the truth of the esoteric nature of both the knowledge imparted and its Wise Custodians. It is apparent to the insight of the student of HPB's teachings that she tried to prepare a body of students wise enough to value silence and learn the art of assimilation of the philosophy and through it of its Master-Proficients.
HPB's mission was not only dissemination of knowledge to the world at large and the service of the century that opened with 1875. She also had to prepare a band of student-servers of the Sacred and Secret Wisdom, who were capable of transmitting the same Charge to succeeding generations, and thus purify by life and labor the mind of the race until her successors in 1975 arrived before the public to complete that which she began.
Men's minds had to be prepared for the reception of the Teaching. Grades of students is what she aimed at; those knowing less, learning from the group who knew a little more, until there would be two or three who in direct contact with the perfected Adepts remained also in touch with the world through their coworkers and helpers. A veritable Antahkarana-Bridge was planned to be erected between the World of Masters and the world of mortals. For this purpose and towards this aim, she advised that the esoteric nature of matter and man be truly recognized by her students and especially by her intimate pupils.
The public that perused her writings was callous to her hints and suggestions in proportion as her intimate associates and students were heedless of her direct and unequivocal injunctions. Indiscretions about the esoteric nature of the Lodge of Masters and Its Wisdom among other things led to the collapse of the almost complete Bridge. A very small end of it that extended from the side of the Masters' World remained and will ever remain intact. As modern students purify themselves by the energy of study and ensoul themselves by the power of service, more of the Bridge will be restored. Devotion and intelligence that create are the necessary requisites and the few builders look, watch, and exclaim, "Who is on our side? Who will help us?"
It is essential that students should intelligently recognize that Esotericism is a fact in Theosophy. Pythagoras termed it the gnosis of things that are and spoke of it in secrecy to his inner circle while Confucius refused to explain publicly his "Great Extreme." The Rishis of India, the Magians of Persia and Babylon, the Hierophants of Egypt and Arabia, and the Prophets of Israel taught as Jesus did in these strange words to his elect:
Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Ammonius Saccas obligated his disciples by oath not to divulge his higher doctrines, except to those who had been "exercised." Our own HPB, following in the footsteps of her Predecessors, warned: "Woe be to him who divulges unlawfully the words whispered into the ear of Manushi by the First Initiator." She affirmed, through hints, obscure yet broad, the intimate nature of Esoteric Wisdom to be practiced, while she loudly proclaimed that Primeval Knowledge and the Heirs to the Ancient of Days lived and labored for mankind. She gathered in her writings the radiant jewels of the many mines -- the diamond of India, the sapphire of Buddhaland, the ruby of Persia, the opal of Chaldea, the emerald of Egypt, the amethyst of Greece, and the moonstone of Judea and set them all in the exquisite platinum of our own era that she secured from her Masters. She made this necklace for the daughter of time named the 19th-20th century.
HPB pointed out that the secret teachings of the Sanctuaries have not remained without witness. They have burst upon the world in hundreds of volumes full of the quaint phraseology of the Alchemists; they have flown like irrepressible cataracts of Occult-mystic lore from the pens of poets and bards. Whence did Ariosto, in his ORLANDO FURIOSO, obtain his conception of that valley in the moon, where after death we can find the ideas and images of all that exists on earth? How came Dante to imagine the many descriptions given in his INFERNO of his visit and communion with the souls of the seven spheres?
The dark secrets of the Wisdom were allowed to see the light of day as people learnt to use them with genuine discrimination, with selfless dispassion. Personal selfishness develops and urges man on to abuse his knowledge and power. Thus during the last few centuries, as human selfishness grew, the Light of Wisdom diminished and those few Elect whose inner natures had remained unaffected by the march of the world became the sole guardians of the Esoteric Knowledge, passing it only to those fit to receive it, and keeping it inaccessible to others.
HPB burst upon the world with her direct message. It was not poetical imagery, symbolic tales, nor dramatized versions of Esoteric Truths. She wrote in the language of precision, simple and clear-cut, as one having authority. She appealed to those around her to preserve inviolable secrecy about certain information and teaching and await her cue from time to time to declare exoteric that hitherto given to the few to learn and assimilate. Her wise injunctions were disregarded; followed desecration of the sacred; that which was holy was given unto the dogs of the press, and the pearls were cast before the swine of an egotistic, selfish public; press and public trampled them under 'their feet, turned on HPB, and rent her.
With the return of the Cycle, the responsibility of her true students and followers assumes a grave proportion.
In this world of Maya, Spirit and Matter are looked upon as two different things and so are Esoteric Wisdom and Exoteric Knowledge. Nature is one and so is Theosophy. The secret of Nature is in particles of dust and in constellations of stars and both are visible and yet -- invisible. The writings of HPB are at once exoteric and esoteric. Their occultism is perceived only by those whose inner natures have unfolded.
One of the qualifications unfolding that inner faculty that reveals the hidden side of the known phenomenal world is the power to keep inviolate the secrets entrusted to us by Nature or otherwise. Often in the enthusiasm to help and serve our fellows, we scatter on the highway the seeds gathered from our study of Theosophy and our meditations on the facts of the philosophy. This is due to egotism, often of a very subtle type. To train them in the art of keeping secrets, many a wise teacher has devised ways and means whereby innocuous facts and fictions were given to students for the practice of keeping them private and learning how to avoid revealing them directly and indirectly in answering questions and in conversations.
It is a wise practice to impose on oneself the obligation of secrecy in reference to certain metaphysical and psychical teachings or spiritual and mystical practices. In doing so, care must be taken that the student does not fall prey to the assuming of a mysterious attitude, which is still another form of egotism. "What thou hast to do, do it in quietude though a multitude surroundeth thee; what thy right hand receiveth or what thy left hand giveth let only thy Hidden Heart know" -- such is the aphorism of old, and the rules of the spiritual Path are the same today as of yore.
Corpses exist, but a living body has always a soul. Corpses of knowledge exist, but the Science of Life has the Master-Soul behind. The mystery of the living body and the mysteries of the Science of Life are esoteric; these mysteries show themselves mystically in the visible body, in the recorded Teachings of the Master-Souls. The esotericism of the Gita is within the eighteen discourses, and there is no need to look for a nineteenth discourse. In the recorded message of HPB, all her Esoteric Wisdom lies buried. Her students and pupils will discover in her teachings that which is esoteric; silence and secrecy preserved will lead to further and nobler knowledge of the Inner Temple. To gain entrance, every student has to become the Path that is Life Eternal. He has not only to find the Path but also to make the Path. Between the student and the Golden Wisdom of the Masters that he is seeking, there exists a gulf -- the abyss of separation. He has to find that Antahkarana-Bridge on which silently, secretly, faithfully, some may be building, building, building -- who knows?
By Annie Besant
[From THE PATH, September 1892, pages 175-80.]
The rush, turmoil, and hurry of modern life are in everybody's mouth as matter of complaint. "I have no time" is the commonest of excuses. Reviews serve for books; leading articles for political treatises; lectures for investigation. More and more the attention of men and women is fastened on the superficial things of life; small prizes of business success, petty crowns of social supremacy, momentary notoriety in the world of politics or of letters, -- for these things men and women toil, intrigue, and strive. Their work must show immediate results, else it is regarded as failure; the winning post must always be in sight, to be passed by a swift brief effort with the roar of the applauding crowd hailing the winner.
There are the solid reputation built up by years of strenuous work, the patient toil for a lifetime in a field wherein the harvest can only ripen long after the sower has passed out of sight, and the deliberate choice of a lofty ideal, too high to attract the average man, too great to be compassed in a lifetime. All these things are passed by with a shrug of good-natured contempt or a scowl of suspicion. The spirit of the age is summed up by the words of the caustic Chinese sage of yore, "He looks at an egg, and expects to hear it crow." Nature is too slow for us, and we forget that what we gain in speed we lose in depth.
But there are some in whose eyes this whirling dance of gnats in the sunlight is not the be-all and end-all of human life. Some in whose hearts a whisper sometimes sounds softly, saying that all the seeming clash and rush is but as the struggle of shadows thrown upon a screen; that social success, business triumph, and public admiration are but trivial things at best, bubbles floating down a tossing streamlet, and unworthy the rivalries, jealousies, and bitterness their chase engenders. Has life no secret that does not lie on the surface? Is there no problem not solved in the stating or treasury not scattered on the highway?
An answer may be found without straying beyond the experience of every man and woman, and that answer hides within it a suggestion of the deeper truth that underlies it. Consider a week or a month of hurried town-life, of small excitements, of striving for the little triumphs of social life, of the eagerness of petty hopes, the pain of petty disappointments, of the friction arising from the jarring of our selfish selves with other selves equally selfish. After this, go far away from this hum and buzz of life into silent mountain solitudes where are sounding only the natural harmonies that seem to blend with rather than to break the silence. There is the rush of the waterfall swollen by last night's rain, the rustle of the leaves under the timid feet of the hare, and the whisper of the stream to the water hen as she slips out of the reeds. There is the murmur of the eddy where it laps against the pebbles on the bank, the hum of the insects as they brush through the tangled grass, and the suck of the fish as they hang in the pool beneath the shade. There, where the mind sinks into calm, soothed by the touch of Nature far from man, what aspect have the follies, the exasperations, of the social whirl of work and play, seen through that atmosphere surcharged with peace?
What does it matter if we failed or succeeded in some small strife? What does it matter that one slights and another praises us? We regain perspective by our distance from the whirlpool, by our isolation from its tossing waters, and we see how small a part these outer things should play in the true life of man.
Distance in time and space gives balanced judgment on the good and ill of life. We look back, after ten years have slipped away, at the trials, joys, hopes, and disappointments of the time that then was, and we marvel why we spent so much of our life-energy on things of so little worth. Even life's sharpest pains seem strangely unreal thus contemplated by a personality that has greatly changed. Our whole life was bound up in the life of another, and all of worth that it held for us seemed to dwell in the one beloved. We thought that our life was laid waste, our heart broken, when that one trust was betrayed. But as time went on the wound healed and new flowers sprang up along our pathway, until today, we can look back without a quiver on an agony that then well-nigh shattered life. Or we broke with a friend for a bitter word; how foolish seem our anger and our excitement, looking back over the ten years' gulf. Or we were madly delighted with a hardly-won success: how trivial it looks, and how exaggerated our triumph, when we see it now in due proportion in the picture of our life; then it filled our sky, now it is but a point.
But our philosophic calm, as we contemplate the victories and defeats of our past across the interval of space or time, suffers an ignominious breach when we return to our daily life and find it not. All the old trivialities, in new dresses, engross us: old joys and sorrows, with new faces, seize us. "The tumultuous senses and organs hurry away by force the heart." And so once more we begin to wear out our lives by petty cares, disputes, longings, and disappointments.
Must this be always so? Since we must live in the world and play our part in its drama of life, must we be at the mercy of all these passing objects? Or, though we must dwell among them in place and be surrounded with them in time, can we find the Place of Peace, as though we were far away? We can. This is the truth that underlies the superficial answer we have already found.
Man is an Immortal Being, clad in a garb of flesh vivified and moved by desires and passions, which he links to by a thread of his immortal nature. This thread is the mind, and this mind, unsubdued and inconstant, wanders out among the things of earth, is moved by the passions and desires, hopes and fears, longs to taste all cups of sense-delights, is dazzled and deafened by the radiance and the tumult of its surroundings. Thus as Arjuna complained, the "mind is full of agitation, turbulent, strong, and obstinate."
Above this whirling mind, serene and passionless witness, dwells the True Self, the Spiritual Ego of man. Below there may be storm, but above there is calm, and there is the Place of Peace. That Self is eternal, and what to it are the things of time, save as they bring experience, the knowledge of good and evil? So often, dwelling in its house of clay, it has known birth and death, gains and losses, joys and grief, pleasures and pains, that it sees them all pass by as a moving phantasmagoria, and no ripple ruffles its passionless serenity. Does agony affect its outer case, it is but a notice that harmony has been broken, and the pain is welcome as pointing to the failure and as bearing lesson of avoidance of that whence it sprang. For the True Self has to conquer the material plane, to purify and sublimate it, and only by suffering can it learn how to perform its work.
Now the secret of reaching that Place of Peace lies in our learning to identify our consciousness with the True instead of with the apparent Self. We identify ourselves with our minds, our brain minds, active in our bodies. We identify ourselves with our passions and desires, and say WE hope or WE fear. We identify ourselves with our bodies, the mere machinery wherewith we affect the material world. And so, when all these parts of our nature are moved by contacts with external things and feel the whirl of the material life around them, WE also in consciousness are affected, and "the uncontrolled heart, following the dictates of the moving passions, snatcheth away" our "spiritual knowledge, as the storm the bark upon the raging ocean." Then excitement, loss of balance, irritability, injured feelings, resentments, follies, pain -- all that is most separated from peace, calm, and strength.
The way to begin to tread the Path that leads to the Place of Peace is to endeavor to identify our consciousness with the True Self, to see as it sees, to judge as it judges. We cannot do it -- that is understood -- but we can begin to try. And the means are: disengagement from the objects of the senses, carelessness as to results, and meditation, ever renewed, on the True Self. Let us consider each of these means.
The first of these can be gained only by a constant and wise self-discipline. We can cultivate indifference to small discomforts, to pleasures of the table, to physical enjoyments, bearing with good-humored tolerance outward things as they come, neither shunning nor courting small pleasures nor pains. Gradually, without growing morbid or self-conscious, we shall become frankly indifferent, so that small troubles that upset people continually in daily life will pass unnoticed. This will leave us free to help our neighbors whom they do disturb, by shielding them unobtrusively and so smoothing life's pathway for feet more tender than our own. In learning this, moderation is the keynote.
This divine discipline, Arjuna, is not to be attained by the man who eateth more than enough or too little, nor by him who hath a habit of sleeping much, nor by him who is given to over watching. The meditation that destroyeth pain is produced in him who is moderate in eating and in recreation, of moderate exertion in his actions, and regulated in sleeping and waking.
The body is not to be shattered. It is to be trained.
The second of these methods is "carelessness as to results." This does not mean that we are not to notice the results of our actions in order to learn from them how to guide our steps. We gain experience by such study of results, and so learn Wisdom. But it does mean that when an action has been done with our best judgment and strength and with pure intent, then we should let it go, metaphorically, and feel no anxiety about its results. The action done is beyond recall, and we gain nothing by worry and by anxiety. When its results appear, we note them for instruction, but we neither rejoice nor mourn over them. Remorse or jubilation takes away our attention from, and weakens us in, the performance of our present duty, and there is no time for either. Suppose the results are evil, the wise man says,
I made a mistake, and must avoid a similar blunder in future; but remorse will only weaken my present usefulness and will not lessen the results of my mistaken action. So instead of wasting time in remorse, I will set to work to do better.
The value of thus separating oneself from results lies in the calmness of mind thus obtained and the concentration brought to bear on each action.
Whoever in acting dedicates his actions to the Supreme Spirit [the One Self] and puts aside all selfish interest in their result, is untouched by sin, even as the leaf of the lotus is unaffected by the waters. The truly devoted, for the purification of the heart, perform actions with their bodies, their minds, their understanding, and their senses, putting away all self-interest. The man who is devoted and not attached to the fruit of his actions obtains tranquility; whilst he who through desire has attachment for the fruit of action is bound down thereby.
The third method, meditation, is the most efficacious and the most difficult. It consists of a constant endeavor to realize one's identity with one's True Self, and to become self-conscious here as it. "To whatsoever object the inconstant mind goeth out he should subdue it, bring it back, and place it upon the Spirit." It is a work of one's lifetime, but it will bring us to the Place of Peace.
The effort needs to be continually renewed, patiently persisted in. It may be aided by fixing on definite hours, at which, for a few moments, we may withdraw ourselves like the turtle into its shell, and remember that we are not transitory but eternal, and that passing incidents can affect us not at all. With the gradual growth of this power of remaining "in the Self" comes not only Peace but also Wisdom, for absence of personal desires, and recognition of our immortal nature, leave us free to judge all things without bias and without prejudice.
This tranquil state attained, therefrom shall soon result a separation from all troubles; and his mind being thus at ease, fixed upon one object, it embraceth wisdom from all sides. The man whose heart and mind are not at rest is without wisdom.
[Thus] being possessed of patience, he by degrees finds rest, [and] supreme bliss surely cometh to the sage whose mind is thus at peace: whose passions and desires are thus subdued; who is thus in the True Self and free from sin.
This is the three-fold Path that leads to the Place of Peace, to dwell wherein ever is to have conquered Time and Death. The "path winds steeply uphill all the way," but the pinions of the Dove of Peace fan the wearied brow of the pilgrim, and at last, at last, he finds calm that naught can ruffle.
By L. Gordon Plummer
[From THE WAY TO THE MYSTERIES, pages 49-58.]
In G. de Purucker's book, FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY, Chapters 41 and 42, he presents a very important series of teachings under the general heading of "The Doctrine of the Spheres." Briefly, these teachings cover four basic concepts: (1) Globe Chains and Rounds and Races, (2) The Seven Sacred Planets, (3) The Universal Solar System, (4) The Circulations of the Cosmos.
The first two of these have been as well covered as we shall find necessary for our present purposes, and we shall now take up the study of the Universal Solar System since it relates directly to the Doctrine of the Hierarchical structure of Nature.
Our first approach to the Universal Solar System might well be made in stating simply that for every visible planet in our Solar System, there are literally thousands of invisible Globes or Spheres of Life. If we may picture all of these existing upon many planes of consciousness as they do, occupying nevertheless the same general area of what we call space, then, could we see them all at once, the sight would be marvelous beyond words to describe. The whole might remind us of the pictures of some of the great globular clusters that may be seen far out beyond the rim of our Galaxy. Whereas all of the stars in such a cluster are on the physical plane, and therefore discernible through a large telescope, in the case of the Universal Solar System, they are functioning on many planes of consciousness. Could we see them, we would discover perhaps what would be taken to be many suns, and far more numerous than these suns would be the many Planetary Chains with all their Globes. Who is to say that there may not be moons, comets, or anything at all that we find in our own small Solar System?
Before becoming any more explicit in our description, we must emphasize that the word Universal is used in this connection in a technical sense. It does not imply the Galaxy as a whole, though the Universal Solar System, as an important strand in the Cosmic web of life, is indeed a minor part of the Milky Way. Nor is it far away as the great star clusters are. It surrounds us here and now, right where we are. In fact, it encloses us.
We are now going to sketch the outline of the teachings, the details to fit in naturally, as our understanding grows. So, advancing from what we know toward what we want to know, let us remind ourselves of these things.
The concept that a system of heavenly objects can exist upon several planes of consciousness at the same time may be more readily grasped as we reflect that each one of us comprises a host of energies existing as Monads on many planes of consciousness. Can anyone doubt that the mind is non-material in the physical sense of the word? Obviously, the laws of our physical environment have only a pictorial meaning when applied to the mind. Two people may be involved in a heated discussion, yet the mind itself is neither hot nor cold. Similarly, we might consider many weighty subjects, but who can weigh the mind? There are of course many instances of such verbal usage, and they serve here only to point up their inadequacies. We should always bear in mind that our attempts to describe invisible worlds except in the most general terms as being the homes of their own kinds of beings, would be incomplete at best.
This is the right time to clarify a phrase used in Theosophical literature for many years. We learn that the Globes of a Planetary Chain are in coadunation, but not in consubstantiality. Relating this first to our Monads and principles: all of these have a common source in the Divine Monad, and each Monad in descending order, having been emanated from all those above it, is an inseparable strand in the karmic web of destiny that will endure as long as the universe itself may last. In a word, they are in coadunation. Obviously, the various levels of energy-matter, or Spirit-Matter, if you like, differ from one another; so, these Monads are said not to be "in consubstantiality." It is just so with the Globes of a Planetary Chain. Karmically their destinies are as closely interwoven as are the Monads in Man, and that is why we say that they are in coadunation. As has already been made abundantly clear, they cannot exist on one plane of consciousness alone, so we say that they are not in consubstantiality.
Let us now proceed to the Solar System, particularly with respect to the Seven Sacred Planets.
Returning to the Human Being, his radiant core is his Divine Monad, and as this manifests itself through the ages, it becomes finally the Divine Monad of something far greater than Man -- the Divine Monad of a Planetary Chain, for only in such a manner could it manifest its burgeoning powers of self-expression. Of course, the growth from humanhood to planethood is one consisting of many stages, and these are taken through the eons, but eventually the course is run. All of the Monads and Principles that once composed a Human Entity have now grown and comprise the inner and outer makeup of a Planetary Chain. That shining splendor that was once the Divine Monad of a Man is now the shining splendor of a Planetary Chain, and we call it now a Planetary Spirit or Rector -- truly one of the Gods, although not yet the highest. As the eons roll on, that which is the Planetary Spirit will one day become the Divine Monad of an entire Solar System. Then its locus or center of energy will be within the Sun, and those Monads that now we recognize to be the Globes will in time become Planetary Chains in their own right. The family of Sacred Planets is such because their karmic ties forged so long ago can never be broken.
Just as the Globes of a Planetary Chain take their places eventually as full-grown members of a Solar System, so the Solar System as a whole has its own increasingly brighter future. It will grow to become a Universal Solar System, similar to the one in which we live and move and have our being. Of what does this Universal Solar System consist? It consists of seven individual and complete Solar Systems, all members of one great family, all of them karmically linked in coadunation, each one with its own solar body on its own plane, having its own family of Sacred Planets circling in their well ordered pathways around their Father Sun.
In order to keep track of the things we learn, we refer to the Monads in Man by name, as for instance, the Divine, the Spiritual, the Chain, the Reincarnating, and the Vital-Astral-Physical Monad. Since we keep track of things in the Planetary Chain by lettering the Globes from A to G, in the Solar System, we use the names of the Planets. Thus, we are entitled to seek a means of keeping track of the Universal Solar System by giving the several families of Sacred Planets the numbers from one to seven. Since we have no information on these matters with regard to the spiritual or material standing of the several minor solar systems within the Universal Solar System, anyone might number them as he likes, without knowing where our own family or Sacred Planets might stand. The sole purpose of attaching numbers to them is to clarify the picture in our minds, and since no one wishes to claim knowledge that he does not possess, I carry the idea no further than present necessity dictates.
Before leaving this chapter, a final, and indeed the most important element of the study must be brought forward. Since we have been talking of Monads and of Divine Monads in particular, we must remember that at the heart of every Monad, wherever and whatever it might be, is a Divinity that to that hierarchy is its own Silent Watcher. We must apply this concept to the study that we are completing at this moment. Many of the words to be used are already familiar to us.
At the heart of the Universal Solar System is Divinity. In this instance, it is best to refer to it as Mahat, or Cosmic Mind. Among the several transactions possible, we might speak of it as pure Spirit, or pure Solar Divinity. Words are of little avail, for it is at once a being in the sense that it is the supreme Silent Watcher of the Universal Solar System, and yet all recognizable attributes as a being as such do not apply. However, we do learn that it has its seven Rays or emanations, and these are the seven Solar Logoi, each one the Silent Watcher over its own family of Sacred Planets within its part of the Universal Solar System. Take only the Solar Logos for our own Solar System. Its locus is within our Sun, and it has its seven Rays, each of which is Adi-Buddhi, at once a Being, and not a Being. We can say this only because its true nature beggars our understanding. These are the seven Silent Watchers of the Sacred Planets.
Consider the one only that watches over the Earth Chain. His seven Rays are the Dhyani-Buddhas that watch over the Rounds of our Earth Chain. Take only that one which watches over the Fourth Round. This one has seven Rays that are the Silent Watchers for the seven Globes during this particular Round. They are the Dhyani-Bodhisattvas, each of them with its own seven Rays. Take just the Celestial Bodhisattva that watches over Globe D during this Fourth Round. Its Rays become the seven Manushya Buddhas that guide the spiritual destinies of the human race during the Root Races. Taking then the Manushya Buddha for our Fifth Root Race, we have the appearance of Gautama. As the Nirmanakaya still working with us, he emanates Rays from himself from time to time which appear as Avataras. The work filters down as it were through the Mahatmas, their Chelas, with their own Disciples, from which the Ancient Wisdom flows out to the human race at large.
Finally, think of the Silent Watcher who stands supreme over the Universal Solar System as holding within his hand a tremendous cable-tow consisting of uncounted millions of golden strands. This great cable-tow divides into seven, each of which divides again into seven, and so on and on, passing through the hands of the many Silent Watchers in descending order until finally, there is a golden thread extending from the mighty hand of the Supreme Silent Watcher down to every living being throughout the entire Universal Solar System. To think that at the heart of every one of us is that spark of Divinity that, like Ariadne's thread may be followed until the pilgrim finally reaches home, the Heart of the Universe! This thread is indeed the inner Way to the Mysteries.
By G. de Purucker
[From WIND OF THE SPIRIT, pages 11-15.]
The great sages and seers, the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion, belong to no race, and especially to no creed. They are the children of the spirit, awakened men, whose familiar thought is truth itself; and hence their sympathies are universal. They need no frontiers of race, caste, creed, or color. They are truth-seekers, truth-teachers. They founded their instrument, the Theosophical Society, to promulgate the truth, the cosmic wisdom, the cosmic philosophy that existed before the foundations of the mighty mountains were laid, aye, even before the Sons of Morning began to sing, to chant their hymns celestial. For Truth has no age. It never was born, and never has not been. It is timeless because universal.
Its appeal is to the hearts and minds of all men. It matters nothing from what part of the world a beautiful truth may be drawn. In consequence, whenever any human has so attuned the seven-stringed lyre of Apollo -- that is his heart or his seven principles -- to whisper and ring like an Aeolian harp when the winds of heaven blow upon it, he is one of the sages and seers. This lasts for the time being and as long as he can hold this plane of consciousness, whether his fellowmen recognize him or not. This means you or I, anyone who may have attained thus much.
And mark you the promise in this statement: that precisely because we are children of infinitude, not merely sons of the gods but the very offspring of the celestial spaces, there is that within us that is attuned with them, which is timeless, infinite, and therefore eternal.
How true that old statement in the Christian New Testament is that you so often hear me quote, because so lost sight of by Christians in these days! I link two such statements together: "Know ye not that ye are gods and that the spirit of the eternal liveth within you?"
Where are the sages and seers? They are where they have always been. The question at first blush may strike a Theosophist as being foolish, but I suppose it arises in the desire to explain to people why the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion do not take the human race in hand, and oblige it, force it, to be decent. A Theosophist simply looks up in wonder and says, Why, what good would that do? How may you convince men by compulsion that this, that, or some other thing is true? Isn't it obvious that men only believe what their own hearts teach them? No matter what they hear or are taught, if there is not an answering response in the human heart, and an instant answer in the human intellect, there is no acceptance, but a worse than steel wall raised?
Truth is eternal. Truth is always with us, and the devotees of truth are always with us and always have been and always will be; and it is we in our folly, ignorance, and blindness that refuse to accept them. Open your hearts and your minds and the light will come pouring in. That is the promise of all the sages and Masters to which the human race has ever given birth. The Teachers are always ready when the pupil is ready. If we see no evidence of the Masters in the world today, it is partly because we are too stupid, partly because we have forgotten the god-wisdom in the world, and partly because we will not hearken.
Yes, the titan intellects of the human race have laid down the truth. If men do not accept it, whose fault is it? It is not the fault of the Teachers. If I prefer strife, wretchedness, crime, and horror, why shall I say to the deaf heavens, "Where art thou, O God?" Of all the agonies of stupidity, we see here just more evidence of man's attempt at self-justification of his own folly and ignorance. You might as well ask where the laws of nature are. What has become of them? Why don't they take the human race in hand? A nice spirit! Even ordinary human parents know better than that. Ordinarily a father or mother would not attempt to interfere with the growth of a child by force. Such an approach has not ever worked and never will. You cannot cause a leopard to change its spots until that leopard has evolved, and no amount of starving or chastisement or so-called vengeful punishment will ever make a leopard anything but a leopard.
Do you want truth? You can have it whenever you want it. The world is full of it. The great teachings of the ages are full of it. What prevents our seeing it? Is there any man as blind as one that will not look? Is there any man so stupidly deaf as he who refuses to hear? These are some of the truths known to every child; yet we prefer hypocrisy, cant, and self-justification to righting the wrongs we ourselves wreak on others, and then raise a clamor to the immortal gods for help when we ourselves begin to suffer from our folly. Yes, we choose hypocrisy; and how many of us sitting in this auditorium can say before the tribunal divine within our own hearts, "I am not a hypocrite. I am pure." Just ask yourselves! Pharisees and hypocrites! "Oh, how I thank God that I am not as other men are!" Now honestly, brothers and friends, hasn't that ever occurred to your hearts and minds? Don't you see that that is the first shackle you yourself have placed on your limbs as a pilgrim: self-justification and self-righteousness? Don't you see that by so doing you blind your own eyes?
How true it is that truth is not popular, that truth is not welcome, that people do not like it. It is because it means change. It means an evolution of feeling and thinking. It means a revolution of the moral instincts to become alive and vigorous again. I tell you again that to become acquainted with, to have first-hand individual knowledge of, the great Teachers, the first step is to become as far as we may and can, alike unto them. There is no other way. The heart must be consecrated to truth at any cost. Are you strong enough? If you are, you are ready for Chelaship, as we say, for discipleship; and you will be a disciple before this life for you is ended, aye, perhaps before tomorrow's evening sees the setting of our day-star.
The Masters, the great Sages and Seers, are ready for you always. There is no barrier to them whatsoever except for yourself, absolutely none; and if you do not attain Chelaship in this life, in the next, or in the following one, blame none but yourself. You see the reason why. It is so simple a child may understand. How can you become a disciple or a Chela before you are ready for it, before you have become it? How can you see the light before you have eyes with which to see it? How can you appreciate beauty or get a touch of beauty anywhere, until beauty already is taking birth within your soul, so that the beauty within you can sense beauty without? How can you recognize a great man until some grandeur at least is born within yourself to enable you to recognize grandeur? If you are paltry and small and mean, how can you recognize the opposites of these?
It is like the men who go through the world incognizant -- blind and deaf to the divine beauty in their own fellow human beings. One of the easiest ways to find beauty, to find truth, and more quickly to come into instant magnetic sympathy with your fellow human beings is by becoming yourself sympathetic and seeing. Don't you see? If a man has no sympathy in his soul, how can he sense the sympathy in the souls of others? If he has no beauty in his heart, how can he see beauty anywhere, or as the English playwright Shakespeare phrases it:
The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.
-- The Merchant of Venice
Don't you see you will never see the Master-self until you have become master-like within yourself? This is because you will not recognize him. It would be impossible. You have not developed the vision inside, the faculties inside; but those faculties are there.
These sages and seers exist today; they take pupils, to use the ordinary phrase. Indeed more, they pass through the world hunting, searching, and seeking. This is not so much like Diogenes for an honest man, but rather like Masters of Wisdom as they are, searching everywhere for good material, sensitive human souls. They are looking wherever they may see, however dim it may be, a touch of the Buddhic splendor in a human being's heart. When they see that, instantly their attention is attracted. They feel the impact instantly in their own hearts. They approach; they aid; they inspire; they do everything they can to foster the trembling flame of vision and of feeling. They foster it and feed it until the flame finally burns strong and the man is reborn, no longer born of the flesh, but reborn of the spirit, of the inspiration from within and from the Teacher without.
Above, beyond, and back of these sages and seers there is their own great Chief. What a marvelous figure of celestial wisdom and beauty, utterly dedicated to the spirit and to the world and all that is in it -- irrespective of race, nation, creed, caste, color, or sex -- is this being, truly a God. We Theosophists speak of it in reverence and awe as the Silent Watcher. He is the chief Master of the Masters. He is one of us; he is our own brilliant guide, teacher, friend, brother, and the source insofar as men are concerned of all enlightenment, wisdom, beauty, and love. So that in the deeper reaches of our blessed Theosophical teachings we may say with great reverence, yet with all truth, that back of all our labor however imperfectly we human beings may be doing, back of it as its origin and inspiration is this grand Divinity.
What a hope! What a wonder to look forward to for all us men -- Theosophists or non-Theosophists. For indeed if the truth were told, I think that there are millions and tens of millions and hundreds of millions of men and women in this world today who are Theosophists in everything except that they have not as yet received the teachings of our blessed God-Wisdom. In everything else -- in readiness, in yearning, in reverence, in universal love, and in desire to advance upwards and onwards forever -- these fellow human beings are as good of Theosophists as we are.
Oh, that we might collect them all together into one band of impersonal workers! What a power in the world we would then be! No longer would problems vex man's intelligence, problems born of his selfishness. No longer then would the human race be afflicted with poverty, misery, and with most of the sin that now exists, and the dreadful, appalling wretchedness. I sometimes think that the most heart touching, the most heart-rending story in the world amongst our brother fellow human beings is that story that is not heard, one carried in the dumb agony of silence. Oh, how human beings suffer so needlessly! I know of no loftier title than that which I love to give to our great Teachers: Friends of mankind and of all that lives!
By Morris A. Shop
[From THE ARYAN PATH, April 1947, pages 165-68.]
July 1946 marked the 170th Commemoration of the signing of the American Declaration of Independence. In July 1776, the representatives of the thirteen Colonies brought to fruition a great dream for humane living, which became the United States of America. In that notable document, we read:
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.
Without doubt, one of the implications is the human right to be different. America had its origin in differences. Different peoples came to these shores from different countries for different reasons, bringing their different habits and beliefs. Some came for adventure, some for the right to worship in their own way; some came for economic reasons. They wanted a fuller, a more abundant life.
The dream of America was of a United Country of many differing peoples willing to allow their fellowmen the rights of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." There was always trouble when any group of American citizens tried to deny even economic rights or to enslave others. Despite spasmodic racial animosities or religious discrimination, there has been a constant effort to eradicate bigotry and hatred from heart and mind. The human "right to be different" was written also into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Differences and varieties abound in Nature itself, with its many differing elements. Chemicals differ; trees, grasses, flowers, fruits, and animals differ. Differences in Man cut across the "color line." Men are not only red-, black-, white-, and yellow-skinned, but there are human beings of every shade from deep black through brown, yellow, and red. Languages, despite efforts to create a single language for all peoples, are multifarious.
Mankind differs also in faith. The scores of religions differ because men have differing views about God and the Cosmos; about life's purpose; about modes of worship; about customs and ceremonies. There is Judaism with its worship of One God and its belief in the Hebrew Torah teachings; there is Christianity with its emphasis on the life and work of "that perfect human being Jesus who was the Christ or Messiah." Mohammedans worship God (Allah) and his Prophet Mohammed; Buddhists believe in Buddha; and Confucians follow the teachings of that noted ethical teacher, Confucius.
The blackest pages of human history are those that record the efforts to force others to change their religion. Men have suffered torture and death to preserve their right to differ in their religious beliefs. Thus, the fathers of the North American Republic made sure to stipulate that in America there should be complete religious freedom. Therein lays the fundamental ideal of American Democracy.
In addition to varieties in color and religion, there is the great struggle to preserve differences in Government. Men have suffered and died to preserve their right to govern themselves. Some are happiest under a Monarchy; others, under Socialism; America has become a world-renowned Democracy; the Russian people love their Communism. We have just witnessed the tragic conflict forced upon the world because one nation, the Nazis, sought to deny to human beings the "right to be different." They almost succeeded in exterminating an entire people for the crime of having been born in a different faith. They insisted that all other races were inferior to the so-called "Aryan Race," producing pseudo-scientists who denied the teaching of every recognized anthropologist that there is no "superior" race, no "pure" race, and that all human blood is the same. Scientists have shown that there are many peoples, having many racial characteristics, but that the only genuine race is "the human race of many peoples."
The basic ideal of all great religions and the fundamental concept of Democracy has ever been "the Brotherhood of Man," implying recognition of the sacredness of the individual and respect for human life, no matter what a man's birth, color, or creed. In this very idea of "brotherhood," we have the principle of the "human right to be different." The Psalmist observed, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity." The Psalmist realized that brothers of the same heredity and environment differ radically in looks, interests, tastes, and world outlook and can yet love one another. All peoples differ, just as brothers do. And many of these human differences are no fault of individuals. People are born different and these differences affect their entire lives. Why do peoples differ?
Geography and heredity make people different, an accident of birthplace. People born in hot countries, for example, are usually dark-skinned. This pigmentation is hereditary, like many other characteristics. Children born of Catholic parents tend to remain Catholics, as Jewish children tend to remain loyal to their Jewish heritage. Children born of certain parents who differ from the rest carry these differences through heredity down the ages. Is a Chinese child to go through life cursing his parents because he was born with almond eyes? Is a Negro child to go through life suffering hatred and discrimination just because his skin is black? No! People are born with "the human right to be different." These differences are fascinating in their infinite variety. We must destroy "dislike of the unlike" and the notion of some people that all human beings must be of one type. We must make America and the new One World being ushered in by the Atomic Age safe for differences, which are a fact of human life.
People differ also in their philosophy of life. As men and women grow older, read certain books, and hear certain teachers, preachers, and speakers have certain experiences; they develop a philosophy of living. Some become pious believers in certain texts in great religious books; some become atheists or agnostics, mystics, or hermits. Their philosophy of life influences their lives and actions. They change their ideas; they develop different opinions and resolve to live according to their convictions. Some travel and change their religions and influence the heredity of their offspring by inter-marrying with people of another racial stock. These changes produce further differences. Whenever this "human right to be different" has been prevented by force, there has been trouble. The Nazis tried to get rid of human differences by racism, teaching, "Either you are an Aryan or you will be destroyed." Religious groups have tried to do it by saying "Believe in what we believe in or you are doomed." Governments have tried it, insisting that people "Have our type of government, or you will be ruined."
The most dangerous dictatorship comes from those who insist, "My way is the only correct way." If leaders of government are sincere in their desire to create a peaceful world, they must guarantee the right of all peoples to "self-determination" and the perpetuation of their differences and way of life. If church and synagogue believe in "One World" and a Brotherhood of Man on Earth, they must recognize that their way is not the only way for either Life or Salvation. They must recognize "the human right to be different" with its implications of religious freedom and individual rights.
The world we live in is a wonderful orchestra of peoples. Not all are playing or want to play the same instrument. What makes the orchestra great is the harmonious playing by each musician of a different instrument. The most beautiful Persian tapestries and rugs are not made of thread of a single color. A Persian tapestry or carpet is so valuable and beautiful because of the brilliant weave of its varying threads of different colors and lengths. What will make One World interesting and brotherly is the recognition of the "human right to be different."
By G. de Purucker
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, March 15, 1933, pages 193-99, based upon an address at the Headquarters of the English Section of the Theosophical Society given October 16, 1932.]
Friends, comrades, and brothers, you have just heard the reading from our beloved HPB, and the thoughts that we have heard from her were the very thoughts that, curiously enough, were running in my own mind as I came up to town from Oakley House. My imagination constructed pictures of what civilization on our earth would be if all men, not merely Theosophists, were to follow the lines of thought and the indications to spiritual progress that our beloved HPB laid down in the extracts that our Chairman has read to you tonight. To my mind, they contain -- I will not say the very essence of Theosophy, but at least a part of it -- the principles of conduct that should guide every genuine Theosophical Society professing to be faithful to the tenets of the ancient Wisdom-Religion given to us by the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion and Peace.
In what HPB here wrote to the American Theosophists, we find all the signposts, so to say, on the pathway of Theosophical progress and peace, and the lines of direction masterfully presented. This enables us to construct a universal fraternity not only among ourselves, but also among the presently separated fragments of the Theosophical Movement. The principles of conduct in thought and action that will lead not only to a reunification of the separated fragments of the Theosophical Movement as it at present exists but also to a unification of men's minds and hearts into a spiritual brotherhood, without dogmas and without popery, but with genuine and capable Teachers.
I will tell you frankly that I am a Theosophist; I try to be a pukka Theosophist. I am sorry to say that I have little patience with those who profess Theosophy and fail to practice it, that is, with those who say they believe in it and then fail to live it. We Theosophists have a sacred charge given unto us, it matters not to what Society we may belong, nor to what affiliation we may claim adherence. We are by natural law, and therefore we should be brothers in thought, conduct, act, and work.
All the teachings of the Masters and of their Messenger HPB lead directly to that one objective, a practical Universal Brotherhood. We are but hypocrites, every one of us, if we refuse to live up to the teaching that we say we believe in, and that we present so glibly to the public, but that too often, alas, we fail to practice.
There is the challenge. I am not unbrotherly in speaking as I do, because if I have a brain that knows the right, I have likewise a heart of compassion that speaks. I never accuse others; nor do I ever blame unkindly, because I point out dangerous tendencies that have arisen in the Theosophical Movement. Who am I, or who are you, that we should blame unkindly our Brother Theosophists even for their failings? Let us remember that they are at least learning. But when it comes to questions of truth and of Theosophical doctrine, there indeed it may be that we shall have to part company, because truth is truth, and right is right, and there is in very fact such a thing as genuine Theosophy and false or imperfect Theosophy. But even if we have to part company on points of teaching, we can at least be brotherly, we can at least work hand in hand along a part of the road that we are all following. All of us are advancing, albeit slowly, to that goal of relative perfection to which the call has come to us to reach.
We all speak of the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky. What are they? Are they ideas for our intellectual enjoyment? Do we take unto ourselves as selfish individuals and thereafter try, alas, to hold as our personal property within the small restrictions and compass of our own puny brains and hearts, and say: "This is what the Masters taught; this is what their Messengers have brought to us;" and that all that a brother thinks that may be different from what we conceive is dogmatism, popery, or shows that the brother is taking the downward path? What kind of uncharity is this? Does it exemplify the spirit of brotherhood and forgiveness? Is it the Theosophical spirit of mercy and charity? Is it the spirit of peace? Is it the spirit that is the heart of our wonderful Theosophical teachings?
The platform of the Theosophical Society is wide enough to accommodate all kinds, shades, and varieties of human opinion. There is but one prerequisite to Fellowship: the acceptance of the fact of Universal Brotherhood. I challenge anyone, if he wishes to do right as a Theosophist, to restrict this platform to any compass smaller than that. If Theosophy is anything at all, it is something that we must live by, not merely say that we believe in it. If we do no more than the latter, we are but mere sectarians, no matter what our professions may be. It is living the life that is the test.
If some brother of some other Theosophical Society is foolish enough to try to set up a popery or to change or to distort our sublime Theosophical doctrines, does this impose the duty on me of ranting against him in a spirit of uncharity or am I obliged to follow him in his errors? Of course not! I am not obliged to do either. It is quite likely that I might feel a moral duty lain upon me to point out his errors, but to do so in a fraternal spirit of brotherly love and of forgiveness. Don't I know, have not I worldly wisdom enough to know, that popery in a Theosophical Movement cannot stand, and in time will fall of itself? Why should I condemn and damn a brother because his opinions and feelings in Theosophical matters differ from mine? But -- and this is a reservation of extreme importance -- if he comes to me and asks me to accept opinions or a Theosophical administration that I believe to be erroneous and dangerous because they don't square with the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky and the teachings of our Masters, shall I accept them? Is there an obligation laid upon me to accept them? Of course not! Shall I be thought to be unbrotherly because I refuse to accept what I inwardly know to be wrong? Of course not.
Let us then exercise our wonderful faculty of common sense. To me, the teachings of HPB are the teachings of the Masters. The teachings are truth embodied in words. I think that I can use no stronger phrasing than this. Does this mean that all the innumerable truths of boundless time and space have been given to us within the narrow compass of the two volumes of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, or of THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, or of THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, or of HPB's other magnificent teachings? What folly! What insane egoism to imagine, for anyone to imagine, whether he call himself a Theosophist or otherwise, that his opinions and interpretations and deductions, and as he thinks his extractions of truth from the covers of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, for instance, encompass the entire range of universal reality! I repeat, what insane egoism!
Some Theosophists read and study HPB's works and because of their earnest study of many years conclude that they have comprehended pretty nearly all of her teaching. They soothe their conscience perhaps in doing so with the mental opiate of the familiar statement, "Of course there is a great deal more that could be drawn from THE SECRET DOCTRINE if you take the time to look for it." This is obviously true, but let this obvious truth work much more strongly to prevent the declarations of personal superiority that such long years of earnest study, alas, sometimes produce.
Unquestionably, HPB's magnificent SECRET DOCTRINE contains keys to deep mysteries of the Universe and of man's own being, which no Theosophical student, at least none known to the speaker, has ever yet uncovered. But it is a pity that recognition of this fact does not make some of our old-time Theosophists more charitable in their judgments of others who may have found in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, or discovered therein, verities that these critics themselves have not yet dug out. Such Theosophical egoists need chastening; they need the softening, refining, and purifying influence of the Buddhic principle within us -- a principle that gives us not only Buddha-like pity and compassion, but also is the source of a powerful intellect and an understanding heart.
Mind you, I am intolerant of intolerance; I am a hater of hate; I am a lover of love. I venture to say that within the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky as they were given to us -- and I will take her book THE SECRET DOCTRINE only because that wonderful work contains the main principles of the most recent delivery to us of the Wisdom-teaching of the gods -- I venture to say that her book, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, contains the elements of boundless kosmic truth. Even so, to anyone who says that nothing further can reach the hungering hearts of men from the same Masters unless they understand from their own initiative, from their own inner faculties and powers, the hints of boundless verities that THE SECRET DOCTRINE contains -- to anyone who speaks like that, I say, "Brother, you greatly err. Who are you that you presume to criticize the actions and the policy -- age-old, archaic, and existing from immemorial time -- of the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion and beautiful Peace?" Indeed, they send forth their Envoys and Messengers whenever they please, and who shall say to them, "Nay!"
Because HPB stated in a certain well-known passage of one of her writings that at the end of every century a new effort is made by a special Messenger, is this undoubted fact exclusive of all possible intermediate imparting of truth? What an ambitious and theosophically foolish deduction! Is the delivery of truth so mechanically arranged that it will pour forth in certain eras, or parts of eras only, and in such eras, or parts of eras, flow relatively unrestricted; and in other eras the mechanism lie silent and inactive? What curious illogic, and how arbitrary and unnatural is this idea!
I tell you that truth may be had at any time, by any son of man who will raise himself inwardly to take it, for the taking of truth is a taking by strength -- strength of intellect, strength of spiritual faculty, by intuition, by inner spiritual and intellectual power. Nothing can shut me out from the Universe that is not only my Home, but in essence is I Myself and You Yourselves.
It is childish and shows an utter misunderstanding of the Theosophical doctrines dogmatically to asseverate that Theosophy has already been given and cannot be given anew now, and that the message of one era is exclusive of another message from the same divine source coming before the next special era of outpouring. It is childish to say that the message given in any one era contains all that the one era can comprehend; this is a lie. The way by which to introduce dogmatism, sectarian hatred, and all the other evil things that follow in the train of these twain into our beloved Theosophical Movement and its various Theosophical Societies is to set up barriers, frontiers of any kind, and to say: Within these certain things happen, or don't, as the case may be.
Who are the wiseacres who think that he or she knows so much as willfully to misinterpret HPB's teaching and to violate every instinct and intuition of the human heart? Who has the right to dictate what is done in any era? Let us keep our minds fluid, our hearts unlocked, and our brains expanding. Let us be ever ready at all times and in all places to be receptive of a greater truth than that which now we have, or in the future shall have.
I hate sectarianism with all the energies of my soul, and I am its sworn foe. How do we stop popery intruding its evil influence into our ranks -- and I now speak only of the Theosophical Movement -- is to keep our minds open, to know that we can have truth at any time when we become worthy of it, to think for ourselves, and to stand, each one of us, on his own spiritual and intellectual basis of thought and of appeal to the divinity within, ever-living, deathless, stainless, and always ready to communicate its divine flame of wisdom and love to hearts and minds that are opened to receive in the proper spirit.
On the other hand, don't I know that evil things have crept into the Theosophical Movement? Oh Brothers, I know it very well; but they have crept in just because Theosophists in so many cases have been unfaithful to their trust. As a Movement, we have not universally followed the teachings of our Masters, not even as they have been given to us through HPB. Too many Theosophists have become exclusive, have become restrictive, and to a certain degree have become sectarian in spirit; and emphatically I do not mean particularly our own beloved Society of Point Loma, whatever its other faults may be, because in these respects, it is the least blameworthy. I am speaking of the Theosophical Movement as a whole, including every variety and brand of Theosophists, excluding not one, yea, not even us.
It is high time that we Theosophists had the courage to tell the truth to each other. I am ready to receive any truth. Tell me something that will improve me, and I will receive it gladly and bless the giver for the communicating of a new light. The Theosophist is not only a truth-seeker, but also he is a truth-speaker, and no man who allows his mind to be befouled with falsehood and untruths can or will be a giver of truth.
Do you know what the essential meaning of all HPB's teaching is -- that teaching that tells us of the nature, structure, origin, destiny, operations, and laws of the spaces of Space, of the frontierless fields of boundless infinitude? It is that the Universe and we, as individuals, are one. At any time, in any place -- and we can make our own conditions -- we can enter into the Great Peace, into the great Silences, into the great realms of spiritual Light, and take what we will. Our taking will be strictly governed -- limited or expanded -- by our own inner powers of observation, of grasp, comprehension, and reception. This is the spirit or essence of the teaching of HPB, as indeed it is of all the great Sages and Seers of the world.
Having said this much, let me turn to the other side of the matter. Does what I have said mean that the Theosophical Movement is a headless, anomalous body wandering without guidance in the Wilderness? Could there be guiding Intelligences back of it? Further, is there no bridle or rein that we can rightly put upon the vagaries and fantasies of ambitious protagonists of theories and policies and put upon mere seekers for place and power? To be sure there is. It is what I have already told you. Your own conscience, your own intuition, will tell you if such or such other wanders from the truth.
This view does not include any uncharitable condemnation of others. It means only that those who strive to be genuine Theosophists will refuse to accept and to follow what the vision of our conscience and of our intellect shows us to be erroneous or evil. If you uncharitably condemn, you are falling into error. Condemnation of evil is a duty, but we must condemn the thing, yet forgive the doer.
In addition to all this, keep ever in mind that there are Teachers, those who have actually gone behind the veils of the outward seeming. They have taken wisdom and knowledge at first hand, as I have just said, from the great Heart of Mother-Nature, as each one of us should try to do if we are true followers of our Masters and of HPB. These Guides of mankind are truly spiritual Leaders and Teachers, and they are beings whom we should strive to copy, emulate, be students of, and to do as they do. They exist today; and who dares say, who will tell me to my face, that there is no one in the world today who can teach me a spiritual or intellectual truth until 1975? What madness! What a stifler of hope this is, and what a bar to progress, Theosophical or otherwise! What lack of understanding of the doctrines of our Masters!
Pause a moment in thought. Reflect. The gods live and are with us all the time. Each one of you is an incarnate god, and each one of you at any minute, night or day, can, if you know how, reach upward and inward and become at one with the divine Source of wisdom, love, knowledge, and peace that is forever the essence of your being. Knowing this, none ever thereafter can say to you, "Nay!" Verily there are others beyond us, far greater than we are. They are at work among men all the time, in every part of the world. No minute, hour, day, month, or year finds them inactive, for they are perpetually laboring amongst us. If you have not come into communion with them, then by this statement, you place yourself where you belong. If you proclaim it publicly, genuine Theosophists know just where you belong.
It is the rule I am speaking of rather than the instances, and I have never feared the erratic and misguided claimants of special 'communications' from the Masters. Such men always advertise themselves by their mere statements as being foolishly ambitious or ambitiously foolish. The genuine esoteric student who is in touch with the Great Ones never makes public announcement of this fact unless ordered to do so for impersonal purposes, and in the latter case, we judge them by their lives and by the message that they bring.
It is brotherhood we want, the brotherhood that is courageous enough to tell a brother a truth and courageously to receive the telling of a truth, and to take it and to profit by it. This is the spirit of genuine brotherhood, the real thing. It is not prating pretty phrases all day long about Theosophical brotherhood and what the Masters do and don't, and what they have said and have not said, and what HPB said and didn't say, which proclaims the lover of brotherhood and his fellowmen, in other words the genuine Theosophist. The genuine Theosophist is he who does Theosophy: who is charitable, kindly, courageous in declaration of truth, impersonal in statement and in act, and willing to understand a brother's viewpoint. The true Theosophist cultivates modesty, kindliness, firmness, truth speaking, and welcomes sorrow and pain with manly fortitude when it comes, because he knows that it will give him a chastened heart.
Theosophy is very real. It is the doctrine of the realities in the Universe. We are hypocrites if we talk about it and do not live it. As HPB said, "Theosophist is who Theosophy does," not one who talks about it only.
So what is your check against the unlimited and ungoverned introduction into our beloved Theosophical Movement of corrupting or disintegrating influences, of hunters for position and place, power, and kudos? It is the fact that Teachers exist and can be reached by those who prove themselves worthy, and that each one of you can gain all that such a Teacher has or will ever have by going within and above yourself, looking within and following the teaching. Then your hearts will be at peace with your fellowman. You will then have courage to tell him the truth if needs be, because your own mind will see, and your brain will clear of the mists and fogs of deceptive thought.
I do not fear the influence of mere 'gurus' in the Theosophical Society. What does it matter to me if a man comes into the Society and tries to be a guru, be a teacher, and gain a following? What should I fear? Are not the Masters with us? Is not my own heart pure? At least do I not strive to make it and keep it pure? With pure heart, open mind, eager intellect, and at least to some degree of unveiled spiritual perception, why need I fear any advancing shadows of evil? I can face them and disperse them; and I have found that they feebly resist and finally vanish like wisps of mist on a hillside before the morning sun.
There is only one thing we Theosophists need really fear, my Brothers, that which springs up in our own lower nature -- uncharitableness, unkindliness, impurity of thought and mind, unbrotherliness, and lack of harmony and peace. I tell you with deep earnestness of feeling, impelled by something within me that recently has told me to declare the truth to the Theosophical world, as I see it, and to fear no consequences that may follow -- I tell you, I say, that 'new' teachings are now in the giving, and that they can be had by anyone who is interested, who is a genuine Theosophist, who loves his fellowmen, who is willing to forgive and to forget, and who is willing to follow the Path.
Human minds are the stiffest, hardest, toughest, most intractable things I have ever had to deal with; and human hearts, hard as they can be, are soft by comparison.
The Theosophical Movement has reached such a pass today that many Theosophists are afraid even of the thought of receiving a new truth. They quiver and shake in their seats and move with anxiety and trembling fear at the terrible idea! I tell you again that the pure in heart see truth, and those whose hearts are pure fear not. There is for them no counsel of fear.
If you like not the new truth, then exercise your free will and reject it! You may err; you may make a grave mistake; but nevertheless, in so rejecting and in following your conscience, you exercise your prerogatives of free will and choice. Even if you make a mistake and reject a truth, the exercise of your will, if sincere and high-minded, has been good for you, and you learn thereby. You will discover some day that what you then cast aside was possibly actually one of the stones going to the building of the Temple. You will learn by your lesson, and you will profit by it. Then you will become a helper, at least in some degree, instead of an opponent.
I have tried tonight to talk to you very simply, to state in simple and direct language as best I could a few thoughts that occurred to me concerning our beloved HPB's teachings when our Chairman, Brother Barker, read the extracts from one of her writings that you have heard.
By Boris de Zirkoff
[This talk comes from the first part of the tape recording entitled "Winter Solstice 2/2" made of a private class on FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY held on January 4, 1956.]
Consider teachings of the Ancient Wisdom about today, two weeks removed from the Winter Solstice. From ancient times under different names, this date has been sacred among students of mysticism and occult lore.
Initiatory rites take place around the time of the Winter Solstice. The aspirant consciously peregrinates the inner worlds, becoming a full-fledged adept through the trials undergone. The neophyte leaves his entranced body in the care of his teachers. At the time of certain planetary conjunctions, he consciously penetrates the inner worlds of the solar system. He passes through inner spheres on his way to the Sun, including the Moon. He does so in his fullness as a man, the whole of the man that he really is.
On January 4, two weeks after the 21st, he returns from that journey. Christian symbolism preserves this date under the name of Epiphany, although it celebrates it on January 6, since rulers have changed the calendar many times without understanding the esoteric keys.
"Epiphany" comes from the Greek Mystery Schools. It derives from Greek "epi" (upon) and "phino" (to shine forth), meaning the shining forth or manifestation of a divine being. That was exactly what happened to the neophyte when he returned from his journey in the inner worlds and takes possession of his entranced body to awaken in it as a full-fledged Adept. His Inner God shines forth because of his successful initiation. His inner divinity suffuses his human part with spiritual light. He has undergone trials, triumphed, and come back in full union with his inner divine self.
His physical body shines, giving rise in ancient days to the image of the aureole of light surrounding the head. Even the present-day church represents holy men that way. It symbolizes the inner spiritual light achieved by the neophyte, brought back upon his return. His journey is interplanetary, not only in the physical sense but also in the sense of penetrating inner worlds that are the most important part of our solar system.
For these initiatory rites to take place, certain astronomical conjunctions are required. The greater rites take place at a Winter Solstice when there is a New Moon, which is rare. Still greater initiations take place when there is also a conjunction of Venus and Mercury, or between Venus or Mercury and the Sun, which is quite rare. Obviously, as the Moon is new at the Winter Solstice, it will be full on January 4. It is not full today, so it was not new two weeks ago. It does not happen every year.
When these conjunctions do not take place, initiations go on just the same, but lesser men are initiated, less in spiritual grandeur. Initiations nevertheless happen at the four sacred seasons of the year. The more important initiations wait for the planetary conjunctions, which are like doors opening into the inner worlds. These doors have a magnetic pull that enable the neophyte, with far greater knowledge than we have acquired yet, to leave the earthly globe on which we live, ascend along magnetic lines through the planets to the threshold of the Sun, and then return.
Some come back in three days and others in two weeks. The two-week period ends on January 4. That is why, of the two dates -- the Winter Solstice and January 4, which is two weeks later -- the latter is more sacred to occult students. Two weeks after the Winter Solstice, the neophyte has actually become a full-fledged initiate, appearing among men in the fullness of his spiritual glory and knowledge.
Early Christians still understood some of this. Later generations forgot all about it, except as festivals, names, and dates remained. For a while, they celebrated the physical birth of Jesus Christ on January 4. Then they divided it into two festivals. Then they changed the date. Confusion was confounded, leaving but a distant echo of the esoteric knowledge that early generations of Christians had received in their communities from the Mystery Schools of Greece and Palestine, the Essene community, possibly from Egypt, and even possibly from India itself. We still have a distant echo of it, but the churches have unfortunately lost the key to it all.
When you hear H.P. Blavatsky speak of January 4 as an occult date and the real New Year for Esotericists, she does not mean it because it we call it January 4. We could call it February, March, June, or anything else. The point is that it is two weeks past the Winter Solstice; that is the important key to the subject.
Say the Moon is opposite the Sun on January 4, which means it is a Full Moon. The neophyte has achieved inner illumination; by will, he has self-consciously penetrated the inner worlds, learning firsthand what he learned as mere words for many lives prior to that date. He returns, taking possession of his body and becoming as newly born. This is why people in ancient India call initiates twice born (Dwija). Even today, we know initiates by that name.
Mystically, Dwija means a new birth in consciousness; man is twice born in the sense of having had his consciousness widened. In the occult sense, it means more, indicating he has been born of the spirit and identified his human consciousness with his Divine Self or Inner God. From the occult standpoint, it means he has entered his physical body a second time, having left it while going on an inner journey. The first time he was born into that body was as a little child. The second time was after he had consciously died. He took a second birth into his body consciously, with which naturally he never lost contact.
Initiation is conscious death. Only one of high spiritual unfoldment can go through the stages of death at will. Only such a one can go through the after-death condition in full consciousness at will without losing contact with his entranced body, which is obviously not disintegrating. Only a man of great knowledge but not yet a Master of Life can undergo trials in the inner worlds, triumph, and return the way he left, going through the stages of incarnation consciously with complete knowledge of what it is all about. That man is a Dwija, a twice born. Possessing his body again, he is more than man; he is an Adept, a Seer, and One Who Knows.
These initiations also take place at the other sacred seasons: the Spring Equinox, the Summer Solstice, and the Autumnal Equinox. The difference between them is considerable. We do not know much about them. My understanding is subject to correction. No one should interpret it as final in any way. I am only a student among others.
The first true and grand initiation of an advanced neophyte takes place at the Winter Solstice. He is newly born. He has become a Master of Life, an Initiate, a Mahatma, and in the occult sense of the word, a Seer. The mystical Christian would speak of him as having been Christ-ed. He has become a living Christos, which would be correct. The Buddhist would speak of him as illumined by his Buddhic splendor. The ancient Greek would speak of him as an Apollo. The Egyptian would speak of him as having become one with Osiris, the Egyptian term for the Inner God of man.
The next greater initiation is at the Spring Equinox. It is not merely three months later, the time from December to March. There may be several incarnations in between. The initiation will happen in a lifetime when the required planetary conditions are right. The neophyte was a newly born child at the Winter Solstice. At the Spring Equinox, he enters his adolescence, mystically speaking. He will take his rightful place in the Hierarchy of Light. He assumes greater duties.
Perhaps many lives later, the neophyte will partake of the initiatory rites of the Summer Solstice, when he becomes a full-fledged adult. Now semi-divine, he will take his rightful place among the gods, the divinities of the solar system.
Someday in the future, the same individual will undergo the initiatory rites of the Autumnal or Fall Equinox. As tradition has it, he will completely leave behind these spheres at that initiation. We will hear of him no more. He will have completely graduated from our globe or possibly even planetary chain.
Many students, ancient and modern, consider the Summer Solstice as the greatest, because an initiate makes the choice then to remain or go on. If remaining, he becomes a Bodhisattva, one who has renounced the greatest bliss to stay with us and serve humanity. He has become a brick in the Guardian Wall that protects humanity from all sorts of danger. If he decides to go on, he becomes greater, but his relation to humanity ceases as he enters into a greater Hierarchy of Light.
In the natural feeling of people all over the world, greatest are those who have chosen to stay. The human heart recognizes their sacrifice. They remain to help us instead of going on to their reward and greater opportunities of growth and illumination.
Finally, there is the greatest known initiation, the birth of a Buddha. It happens at the Winter Solstice at extremely rare intervals. The Buddhas appear but twice within the length of a Root Race, which means within eight to nine million years. Their initiatory rites require the conjunction of the Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Sun. Astronomy cannot yet determine the frequency of that conjunction because of the incompleteness of its mathematics. It also requires occult mathematics of which we know practically nothing. Theoretically speaking, any student of astronomy recognizes that this conjunction takes place at extremely infrequent times.
People attain spiritual illumination and appear among men as sages or seers. People become Masters of Life. Such initiations are not merely something that used to take place in the distant past. We make a mistake when we commemorate them as nothing but interesting sidelights of the distant past. The initiations are not something historical in the sense of having taken place a few times and now only to cherish in memory. Initiations take place today. Initiates are born from time to time destined to become Masters of Life. Esoteric life flows today. It has flowed and will flow. There is no interruption in its current. What took place in the distant past takes place today, and will take place as long as humanity is on this planet.
Not a year passes when some neophytes, one here and two there, do not undergo these trials and emerge triumphant. In every year, new ones replenish the ranks of the Occult Brotherhood. The ranks need replenishment because the Brotherhood of Adepts loses members. Some depart for higher spheres that are unknown to us. Their ranks deplete over time because of the constant forward motion of all that lives. The guardians of the human race and the custodians of the Ancient Wisdom have to replenish their ranks. From where do they draw? They draw from below, by the gradual accession into their ranks of neophytes who have qualified to undertake the supreme trials that will make them full-fledged Masters of Life, illumined beings, at one with their own inner divinity.
From this, we know we are not deserted. We could not be. There are always new men and women -- one's sex does not matter -- joining the Brotherhood of Light. These new ones take their rightful place in the hierarchy. Henceforth, they consecrate their work to helping humanity.
We deduce something else from this. These teachings are not just theories. They are esoteric facts of nature. We study them today in this class; others ponder them in groups in different parts of the world. Say a student dwells on these facts as we do today. Our deduction is that the student thereby contacts the mystical events of which we have spoken.
We utter words, express teachings, mold our thought processes in this fashion, and think towards these things. Doing so, we establish a connecting magnetic link between our inner consciousness and the event that is taking place. We connect to the phenomena, thoughts, and everything else that takes place around the chambers of initiation. These chambers are in remote places of the earth, away from bustling, noisy civilization. Our link may even include our outer brain-mind.
A further deduction is that if we but decide so in our inner consciousness, we can take steps toward change, gaining inner illumination at the time when greater human beings go through initiation. Obviously, we can grow always. We can progress in consciousness any time of the year. Even so, there are points in the yearly cycle when doors sometimes open wide, sometimes open partway, and sometimes almost entirely close.
Think of the internal functioning of our consciousness in terms of a yearly cycle. Consider us at one with the nature in which we live and of which we are but life-atoms. Then realize that we have Solstices and Equinoxes inside our consciousness, and that we can attune ourselves to them mentally, emotionally, and psycho-magnetically as the years go by.
There is springtime in us. There is the depth of winter sleep, the height of summer, and the fall. We have all the seasons in the internal functioning of our consciousness. Apply it practically in the present. Each of us can make a new beginning inside of ourselves at this time of the year. We can do more now, between the Solstice and springtime, than at any other time. We do so if we tune into the spiritual events taking place each year in some part of the globe. We can touch the trials, tribulations, and triumph of disciples far advanced ahead of us.
No matter how far they may be from us, we link to them because we have already understood some of the teachings. We sail in the wake of their passage, much as would a small rowboat in the wake of a great steamer that has passed by. At times, glory suffuses us; it is the inner strength of these higher men. If we can attune our consciousness in the silence of our being to the reality of some of these facts of nature, we will sense the inspiration contained in them. Then we derive from those mystic forces of knowledge, from that immense storehouse of wisdom, new courage to forge ahead. We derive new fearlessness to move forward and conquer, mainly to conquer ourselves. We also acquire an ever-enlarging vision of the undreamt of possibilities hidden in every human heart.
We make resolutions at the New Year to live better lives. There is not an abrupt jump between that and the initiations; there are stages in between. Never make the mistake of thinking there are such jumping off places. Everything in nature is gradual. Everything passes slowly from one stage to the next. Everything overlaps with everything else.
In one lifetime, an individual may begin to sense the presence of these theosophic truths. He may have great conflict with other parts of his nature, but achieve some degree of understanding. Fortunate due to personal karma, he ends his life as a good intellectual student. He has tried to live some of the truths with little headway.
In his next life, due to what he has done with his own internal material, he receives a more fortunate birth, which he had earned karmically. His understanding unfolds, both intellectually and mystically, as he begins the slow, arduous task of self-control. It may take many lives to achieve that stage.
The day will come for further training, perhaps in some future life. His inner self may lead him to a community of students or to one who will act as his teacher. He may join a spiritual group, one of the scores of movements through the ages activated from within by the Brotherhood of Light.
This individual has made much progress. He finally realizes that he has been training himself, and that others only help him to train himself. Now he may recognize and accept a teacher, becoming a probationary Chela. Such a disciple is on trial, as if to say, "Well, here is your opportunity. Let us see what you are going to do with it."
Another life may come wherein he becomes an accepted Chela of an advanced occultist who will act as his initiator. He may still be far from initiation, but a life will come in which all of his past efforts will bear a rich harvest. Then he will be born a self-conscious occultist. He will undertake specific training in occult development, probably under an adept.
HPB intimated that from that time on, he might become a Master of Life in seven incarnations. Most of us are probably dozens of incarnations removed from that condition. No one knows how fast any one of us may grow. We do not know it ourselves, and no master can ever tell you, because nobody can know what individual effort may suddenly be unfolded from the Inner God within. The Inner God of you and me is higher than any Adept is. It is a divinity, and it is free.
Chances are that after a number of incarnations as a student, and according to HPB and Judge at least seven incarnations as an accepted neophyte, our individual will then come to the point when he is ready to undergo his first initiation at the Winter Solstice. He will probably fail, lose the opportunity of a lifetime, pick himself up, and start climbing again.
Advanced souls use almost any channel to help humanity. Some use music. Behind the theology and terrible things associated with Christianity was a tremendous upwards spiritual pull. No sensitive person can travel Europe taking a good look at the Gothic cathedrals without realizing that pull, shown in the architecture that built the spires. Perhaps a sensitive along musical lines and a genuine psychic might hear these spires musically. Someone else might say the same about painting.
Unless some men and women have a demand along spiritual lines, the Great Ones will wait. Some think the Great Ones will thrust themselves upon our attention; but unfortunately, it is not so. They do not look for disciples. The saying goes, "When the disciple is ready, the master will appear." Collectively, this means that when a mystical portion of the human race has developed a yearning for a greater installment of knowledge, it makes a call. It knocks at the door of a temple, and there is an answer. The Great Ones are waiting for that collective knock by the consciousness of humanity. Then they send out a Messenger. They always have agents in every country. In response to the collective call of the better part of humanity, they send someone especially qualified to answer it.
This better part of us is not necessarily the most civilized or educated, but rather is those of greater spirituality. Sometimes all our intellectual knowledge and civilization stands in the way of spirituality. If the Great Ones merely responded to our intellectual knowledge, considering the achievements of modern science, the place would be full of adepts. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.
Practice tuning into the forces that are strong today, January 4. We are not proficient in the knowledge of consciousness. We are unable to employ subtler means, manipulating forces by means of our consciousness, even though we recognize their existence. There are, though, methods that we can employ to tune into the greater realities, but only in a general way.
There is a sense of universality within our mind, emotional reactions, and workings of consciousness. It is a sense of all-embracing universality. Our first method is to rise above our prejudices, superstitions, emotional and mental molds, predilections of all kinds, and little likes and dislikes. We rise above the narrow forms that every one of us has, soaring into the wide spaces of that universal nature. In our consciousness, we embrace love and sympathy for all that lives, irrespective of form, name, color, or other human limitations.
A second way to tune into these greater realities is to become as impersonal as we can, to take all into our hearts. Every living thing strives for the same light. Picture the advanced neophyte about to undergo his initiatory rites and go to the sun. There is no difference between him and the humble sunflower, not yet human, turning to the sun or the humble lizard, crawling out on the rock to warm in the sun. The mystic arrows of their lives point in the same direction, sunward, away from the shadows; they reach sunward physically, psychically, mentally, and emotionally. To the extent that we also point our consciousness sunward, we attune to the greater realities as well.
Lastly is to attempt to become quiet inwardly, stop fretting, pause, and consider the realms of peace and silence. We reflect on the reality that is within us, and strive to become serene. I have known people who have been physically busy every minute of the day, but were inwardly serene. You could meet them hard at work peeling potatoes, but after a brief exchange of words, you went away refreshed. They were serene inwardly, no matter how busy their hands were.
This approach is not a matter of physical activity or inactivity. This inner state of consciousness is contemplative because enraptured. Having fallen in love with the All, it strives to regain its grasp upon its divine birthright, which is that All. One's body may do all sorts of things in his daily routine and vocation, but the dial of his inner consciousness tunes sunward, and the only way he can tune it is by becoming quiet.
This approach applies even in our ordinary affairs of life, sometimes distressing, quite apart from a study of the mystical teachings. If you have to deal with somebody who suddenly flares up, you have to face him or her. He may direct his anger against you or it may be about something else and you happen to be nearby when he explodes. Try an inner attitude of calm. Say nothing.
If you know how, the immense depth of your calm will neutralize the emotional outbursts of the other. None of us is skillful at this, but you should try anyway. Let it go and say nothing. Picture how much trouble we avoid in life by countering emotional outbursts with an attitude of internal peace! Carry on with your work, but also maintain an inner attitude that can absorb the shock of anything and transmute it. Redirect the energy of your silence like a healing power into the heart of the other. Try it. It works.