Unto thee who findeth no fault, I will now make known this most mysterious knowledge, coupled with a realization of it, which having known thou shall be delivered from evil. This is the royal knowledge, the royal mystery, the most excellent purifier, clearly comprehensible, not opposed to sacred law, easy to perform, and inexhaustible. These who are unbelievers in this truth, O harasser of thy foes, find me not, but revolving in rebirth return to this world, the mansion of death.
THE BHAGAVAD-GITA, Chapter IX, page 64.
By B.P. Wadia
[From LIVING THE LIFE, pages 99-101.]
After recording the four preliminary and basic propositions with which real spiritual life should begin, LIGHT ON THE PATH mentions the enemies of the neophyte, the first of which is ambition. "Ambition," we are told, "is the first curse: the great tempter of the man who is rising above his fellows." The whole Note on this first Rule -- "Kill out ambition" -- is important for every aspirant who stands at the threshold of the closed door of the Temple of Occultism. This great book advises the aspiring neophyte not to be deceived by his own heart. It adds:
For now, at the threshold, a mistake can be corrected. But carry it on with you and it will grow and come to fruition, or else you must suffer bitterly in its destruction.
The intuition of the poet enabled John Keats to perceive this truth; in speaking of the growth of the faculty of imagination -- The power and faculty of the Occultist -- he wrote in his Preface to ENDYMION:
The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a space of life between, in which the soul is in ferment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted: thence proceeds mawkishness.
Between the age of puberty and the age of discretion, imagination should be healthy, unless corrupted by wrong education. But often, nowadays, imagination wears itself out in fanciful ambitions about sex-love, wealth, fame, and power. How many men and women reach real discretion at the age of 21? At what age of the body is mental and moral maturity attained? Keats described correctly the psychology of the human personality during the period between youth and maturity; but in our day and generation, that period has become extended. The mature mind and heart are often not visible even at the age of 35. Thick-sighted ambition plays havoc, impoverishing the intelligence and making it dull and gross, and sapping the integrity of moral principles. Are not the lives of hundreds sheer mawkishness, devoid of discretion, dispassion, and stability? Their ambitions are frustrated, and even when they are fulfilled, there is frustration of another kind.
The astute politician Kautilya, in his ARTHASHASTRA, tells us of those whom he calls ambitious:
He who is impoverished; he who has lost much wealth; he who is niggardly; he who is addicted to evil propensities; and he who is engaged in dangerous transactions -- all these constitute the group of ambitious persons.
In all these classes, ambition is thick-sighted; moral cataract and mental myopia are the joint cause.
The Theosophical student-aspirant is bound to develop ambition in proportion to his own earnestness. Therefore, the five classes of those who are ambitious, mentioned by Kautilya, are to be found in Theosophical ranks. The more a neophyte resolves and attempts, the more subtle is the way in which the force of ambition invades him. "Well is it known that ambition can creep as well as soar," wrote Edmund Burke in the first of his glowing LETTERS ON A REGICIDE PEACE.
This double action of ambition (practiced visibly to all as it soars and practiced underground and invisibly like the creeping white ant) often succeeds in the world of commerce and politics as well as in society; though very often frustration mars the result because there is dissatisfaction and discontent. But in the world of Soul and Spirit, ambition always ends in failure. The neophyte may turn his back on the Path because of his hurt pride, and he may wallow in the muck of worldly success. Having lost the guidance of Theosophic Genius, he will play with the genii that rule the earth. This is a mistaken course. What, then, is the right course?
From the stronghold of your Soul chase all your foes away -- ambition, anger, hatred, e'en to the shadow of desire -- when even you have failed.
This year's Annual Theosophical Conference will be on the weekend of Friday August 11 at the Whispering Winds Conference Center (in eastern San Diego County near Julian, California). All are welcome: theosophists, students, inquirers, and friends! The site is beautiful and has many outdoor activities for the entire family. For camp pictures, full conference details, and important links, see www.theosophysandiego.org; most presentations will be live on the Internet and then made available on that website.
Check in at 3:00 PM Friday and dine at the nice cafeteria from 4:45 to 6:00. Then go to the conference room 6:30 to 8:30 for an open discussion on "Why Theosophy is Needed in Today's World," co-chaired by Myrra Lee, Sally Colbert, and James Colbert.
On Saturday, Gene Jennings MD will present "Meditation and the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali" from 9:00 to 11:45, followed by lunch in the cafeteria from Noon to 1:30. Back at the conference room, children and teachers from Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego lodges (of the United Lodge of Theosophists) will show videos of their activities until 2:30. Then David Roef PhD will present "Intelligent Design" 2:45 until 4:00. After dinner in the cafeteria (4:45 to 6:30 PM), everyone is invited to the home of James and Sally Colbert until 10:00 PM to renew old friendships and start new ones. After all, we have known each other for many lifetimes.
On Sunday, choose between two group activities. For those wanting to stay at the center, Garrett Riegg will help us discuss how ISIS UNVEILED both previewed and answered many of the issues raised by the DaVinci Code Controversies. Others will hike the Cuyamaca Mountains overlooking the Anza Borrego Desert. All will gather at the cafeteria for lunch at 11:45. Check out time is at 1:00 PM.
By K. Paul Johnson
[Based upon a March 17, 2006 posting to a theosophical mailing list.]
Justifying aggression by alleging a need to defend something occurs constantly. Every Sunni murderer of Shiites in Iraq (and vice versa) would see himself as justified by the need to "defend" his version of Islam and its adherents. Fortunately, theosophical aggressors act destructively on the mental and emotional planes rather than on the physical. Yet the bottom line is the same, the belief that they are defending something. Most recently, this tendency has manifested in justifying aggression supposedly in defense of H.P. Blavatsky's "reputation." It does not seem to occur to some of her admirers that they might damage HPB's reputation when they behave like fanatical fundamentalists, although this danger did occur to her.
While some past non-Theosophists like Richard Hodgson might be attacked for having harmed HPB's reputation or questioned her good faith, the preferred target of any fundamentalist is always "the enemy within." Fundamentalist Christians hate liberal Christians above all, and so on down the line. A student might ask "Why won't the world see HPB as we do, accepting her as the final authority on Theosophy?" He or she may find an internal enemy to blame, perhaps Olcott, or Adyar leaders, or myself. The basic fear behind the anger is about loss of message control. Fundamentalist Theosophists think that Blavatsky belongs to them exclusively rather than to humanity, and thus the relentless lashing out at anyone who messes with their "personal property."
Gregory Tillett wrote an interesting post the other day on the theos-talk mailing list about the failure of Theosophists to produce original biographical or historical work on Blavatsky in the last decade. This probably feeds the fear and anger, the sense that "the world" is unfriendly to her. My guess is that there is some sense of defeat tied in with that fear, probably related to dashed hopes for what the Cranston biography would accomplish.
In the mid-1990's, the center of gravity of serious theosophical historic research shifted from inside the Theosophical Movement to outside it. (Simultaneously and not coincidentally, so did I.) Now "these infidel scholars" have appropriated what fundamentalist Theosophists consider their personal property. If Blavatsky's reputation really needs defending, the best thing to do would be to produce new work that does so by giving exculpatory explanations of apparently damaging evidence. Instead, ignoring the evidence and shooting the messenger is the preferred path.
I think that SUNY Press has done more to elevate HPB's reputation in the last dozen years that anything published within the Theosophical Movement. Even so, books that some see as improving her public image others hate and fear. I would urge them to remember the Original Programme Manuscript, in which HPB wrote that she and Olcott were warned by the Masters that: They had to oppose in the strongest manner anything approaching dogmatic faith and fanaticism -- belief in the infallibility of the Masters, or even in the very existence of our invisible Teachers, having to be checked from the first ... The greatest spirit of free research untrammeled by anyone or anything, had to be encouraged.
By G. de Purucker
[From WIND OF THE SPIRIT, pages 108-10.]
I don't see any difficulty in interesting young folk in Theosophy. In my experience, younger people take to Theosophy quicker than do we older folks. Our sophisticated minds are often full of claptrap, miseducation, and wrong thought; that inner mental darkness keeps the light out. We are heavy with the fogs of centuries, lifetimes, of wrong feeling and wrong thinking, and this sophistication comes upon us as the body grows to maturity. We have built up an actual inner cloud of consciousness, a psychology, to which we unfortunately fall heir.
I have found, in the work for younger people in the Theosophical Society, that as frequently as not they recognize more quickly our divine truths than do the older folk. If people do not have success in interesting youth in Theosophy, it is because the approach is wrong -- the same principle exactly which brings about lack of success in approaching adults. You have to talk to people in a language that they understand if you wish comprehension on their part. You have to touch their hearts and minds, and you have to awaken something there. If a man, for instance, is tremendously interested in astronomy and you talk to him about folklore, he does not see the connection. He will after a time. But talk to him in his own tongue, and before you part, you have made a friend and a brother in thought. It is the same with children. Their minds are unsophisticated, ready, clear, and limpid. In fact, they usually have more intuition of the great things in life than we grownups have, with our blindness and sophistication.
Really the great man in life is the man who can fight and refuse to be drawn into that mental miasma of thought which for each generation is its Zeitgeist, the "spirit of the age," the heavy astral-physical and quasi-spiritual atmosphere made up of the wrong, distorted, and inaccurate thoughts passing current for truth. No wonder children rebel, and younger folk rebel. I remember how I had rebelled with all my soul, not at the elders, not at the universe and its wonderful mysteries; but I felt keenly when I was sent to school and was almost forced to learn things that my soul hated, and that later on as a young man I found put into the discard. If there is any trouble or fault in teaching Theosophy to the younger people, it is because our approach is wrong. We talk to them sophisticatedly.
I love young folk because the human heart is perennially young. It never ages. It is our minds that age, growing crystallized and hard so that we lack sympathy and do not understand the appeal in the eyes of the child and the youth. We try to interpret it with eyes blinded with wrong thinking and vibrations that absolutely put up a wall. When I speak to younger folk, I treat them as my peers. I don't embarrass a youth or a girl by speaking to him or her from on high as a learned elder. And why? Because my heart is akin to youth, and so is yours. Every normal man's or woman's heart is just the same. And we approach most closely to truth when we can abandon the wrong sophistication with which our minds are filled, and approach simplicity, the child-heart.
"Suffer little children to come unto me," said the Avatara Jesus, for they can learn. That does not mean years. The man, the woman, whose heart is that of a little child, simple, open, ready to receive and to pass on, who has conquered, thrown out, sophistication -- those are the ones you can talk to and who will understand. Therefore, treat younger people with the courtesy with which you treat your own compeers in age. How quickly they respond! Dignify your intercourse with younger folk by speaking to them of the things that you love. You will always find response.
And more, no one need ever tell me -- I am not speaking of infants, but the average young man or woman -- no one need ever tell me that such a youth has no interest in the Universe, in science, in the wondrous discoveries that are taking place continuously. They are the keenest in research, the readiest to understand. It is the older ones who have to unlearn what they had been taught about these things, who find it more difficult than the younger, because of preconceptions, to accept and understand.
My idea of an approach to young folk is to treat them with courteous decorum, and with the understanding that you give to those of your own age. I have not found it to fail. Naturally, they lack a sophistication that the older ones have, but in some ways, that is a blessing. Yes, in some ways it is verily a blessing. Many of our sophistications we learn, and later unlearn after we have suffered from them. On the other hand, our sophistications in the better sense enable us to support ourselves, to make a high and honorable mark in the world, at least to a certain extent, and to achieve and to dare to achieve better things. But this is only when the sophistication is enlightened from above by the simple, clear Light from the spiritual Sun within. The sophistication itself is not wrong, but rather the wrongness is allowing our minds to become slaves to the sophistication, for this last is verily our own creation and that of the world of men around us.
Interest young people by giving them Theosophy on scientific lines, and note how quickly they grasp it, and how readily they hold it. You can present this thought to a young man (I mean the ordinary young man who is not just frivolous and pre-sophisticated before the proper age) and you will have made a brother, friend, and potential Theosophist. Tell him that he himself is the pathway to the Divine, that his highest life is the life of the Divine, always unattainable in fullness because infinite, yet ever expanding and ever more and more approaching with a constant increase in understanding, in growth, in expansion, to something glorious within him.
Name it not; that is sophisticating his mind. Get the intuition of it, the thought: something, some part of him, is a droplet, a little spark of the Divine. Therefore, he is it. Just as science tells us that the chemical elements which compose our bodies are the same which compose these flowers, and the wood of this floor, the air which we breathe, the stones we crush under our feet as we tread our homeward way; the same that compose the stars burning in the violet dome of night.
How many times have I seen the flash of understanding come into the eyes of some younger person with whom I have conversed. How many times have I not received from younger people with whom I have spoken, strange thoughts that have come to my mind from the mind of some youth, unspoiled intuitions before the mind has become crystallized, hard, with wrong thinking. Verily, we can at times learn something from the little ones if we have the wit to receive, the open-heartedness to receive, and we can rise above our sophisticated intellects.
By Talbot Mundy
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, November 1923, page 451.]
I set my foot on the forest floor Where all is cool and all is still, And I will turn back nevermore To the haunts I knew. I had my fill -- Lived, handled, tasted all they prize, Took, coveted, considered, weighed, And I know all the honored lies I, too, had honored had I stayed. I learned the song of the God for hire, Of boughten islands for the blest, In gloom 'neath dome and gilded spire Hymned to the roof. My way is best.
For the skies are mine, and the wind is mine, And down between the breathing trees Immeasureable beacons shine A-twinkle in the silences. All night is full of the friendly speech Of leaf and earth and flowing stream; Day's wide with league and span and reach Of leisured distances a-dream -- Of trails as new as years are long, Flung across plain and sky-line crest -- Unlonely solitude and song Unsung as yet. My way is best.
I know where the future's freedom's bred, Where all things wait on him who loves, And underfoot, and overhead, And all around, the homing droves Of ripples from the storied past Uplift until the pilgrims scan New realms of thought and, thinking, cast New efforts forth for visioned Man. I feel the sweetness and the thrill -- The summons forth on Royal Quest, Harped chords of harmony that fill A Universe. My way is best.
By Ken Small
After he reached power, he lost his head, became ambitious, vain, but being an exceedingly shrewd and clever man by nature, this combined with his astral light obsessions, produced the power that he certainly at times shows. He has no strong moral scruples. His mind is just one-pointed, and like all half insane men, this gives him tremendous driving and fascinating power, although of course the end is always disastrous.
-- G. de Purucker on Adolf Hitler
A theosophical student asked G. de Purucker about the book THE VOICE OF DESTRUCTION by Herman Rauschning (1887-1982) and its perspective on Adolf Hitler. (Rauschning also wrote several other books on German fascism and Hitler including THE REVOLUTION OF NIHILISM in 1937. He was active in the Nazi movement until 1935 when he left.)
Purucker's response is best understood in its historic context. As usual, he dictated the letter to Elsie Savage (Benjamin), his private secretary from 1929 to 1942. She transcribed the shorthand, typed the letter, and gave it to him to read and sign.
On July 31, 1937, the Gestapo closed the Theosophical Society in Dresden, taking away the theosophical literature and imprisoning Emmi Haerter and Mary Linne for the duration of the war. The two met again at the Winter Solstice in 1945, "half starved but very happy, because after an interval of ten years we could make a new start in studying and promulgating the 'Wisdom of the Gods'." (THEOSOPHICAL REVIEW, February 1951, pages 14-16.)
Holland surrendered to the Nazis on May 15 and Belgium on May 28, and the Nazis had bombed Paris on June 3, less than two weeks before Purucker wrote the letter. (Note that during the German occupation of Holland, Henk Oosterink, a prominent Point Loma Theosophist, wrote SPIRIT IN CRISIS, sharing his spiritual reflections on the experience of overwhelming war and destruction. Theosophical University Press published it in 1946.)
[Ken Small, the author, is President of Point Loma Publications. Its website has excerpts from SPIRIT IN CRISIS and a copy of Purucker's essay on war, PEACE OR WAR: AND "THE SECRET DOCTRINE," which first appeared in THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, November 1923. See http://www.wisdomtraditions.com.]
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
General Offices The Leader's Office
Point Loma, California 14th June, 1940
I must not be quoted, but I have had the opinion for a year or two that Hitler is a reincarnation of the French revolutionary Robespierre, and it is curious that this man Rauschning makes mention of the same thought in his book, only he does not say a reincarnation, he says only that Hitler reminds one of Robespierre. [May 6, 1758 -- July 28, 1794] People of strongly materialistic type can reincarnate very soon. The more spiritual they are, the longer the devachanic interlude; and just as Robespierre in my judgment was a kind of medium of peculiar type, subject to obsessions from the astral light, so it has long been my judgment that Hitler has developed into this; although in the beginning he did a great many things for the German people which were helpful to them.
His character has changed. After he reached power, he lost his head, became ambitious, vain, but being an exceedingly shrewd and clever man by nature, this, combined with his astral light obsessions, produced the power that he certainly at times shows. He has no strong moral scruples. His mind is just one-pointed, and like all half insane men, this gives him tremendous driving and fascinating power, although of course the end is always disastrous.
He is no magician, on the contrary, he is too weak for that. But he is USED BY astral forces. But just the same, he is what is called in history a Man of Destiny, which does not mean that he is a good man or a highly evolved man. It means that he has a certain cast of mind, a certain temperament, and certain semi-mediumistic capacity to become a driving power. Of course, there are other Men of Destiny who stand at the other pole, who are as it were agents of not the astral light but of spiritually constructive forces. The phrase 'man of destiny' thus has several meanings.
Hitler in my judgment is only partially responsible for what he does half the time in these days. He is carrying out karmic reconstructions, because these are the strongest driving forces in the world, but dong so under the LOWER astral impulses, rather than in the higher ones; and the probability is that his end will be catastrophic in some way, perhaps even tragic.
Please do not confuse the German people with this man, any more than it is right to confuse the officials and perhaps the ten thousand stockholders of some great corporation, with a corrupt president of the corporation. I do not want to say anything more.
To understand Purucker's concept of 'Men of Destiny', see "Narada" by Purucker, in THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM April 1946 and THE ECLECTIC THEOSOPHIST .[It can be found online at many sites including the July 1996 THEOSOPHY WORLD, at http:www.theos-world.com/archives/text.html.]
Maximilien Robespierre (May 6, 1758 -- July 28, 1794) was a French revolutionary who was the mouthpiece and articulator of the 'Reign of Terror.' He is famous for the quote "Terror is only justice that is prompt, severe, and inflexible." Some historians say he was executed, though Carlisle in his history of the French revolution states that he commit suicide.
Thomas Paine escaped imprisonment and execution in England, saved by William Blake's vision of his impending arrest, while they were having tea in Blake's garden. (See BLAKE AND TRADITION by Kathleen Raine.) Paine was then arrested and imprisoned in France for opposing the killing of Louis XVI and revenge killing in general. Theosophical students might note that Robespierre condemned him to death. It is important in the history of Theosophical views from century to century to compare for example Robespierre's 'Cult of the Supreme Being' with the 'Deism' and 'natural religion' of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, Jefferson, Franklin etc. This same contrast between delusion and reality in Germany leading up to WWII can be found today in the dynamics of current global rise of various 'fundamentalisms'.
While imprisoned, Paine wrote THE AGE OF REASON. He escaped by a fluke. As he was ill, a doctor had been summoned to his cell, so the door was temporarily open. A prison guard, marking doors of those to be executed, mistakenly put an X on the inside of the open door. This saved him since it hid when the door shut. A few days later, the political situation changed dramatically, and Paine was freed.
A book by James Michael Eagan, MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE: NATIONALIST DICTATOR, presents Robespierre as the origin and prototype of the modern fascist dictator.
Consider Blavatsky's comments against violent revolution and assassination:
Again neither the editor nor any member of the Society acquainted even superficially with the rules of the Adepts ...would believe for one moment that any of the cruel, blood-thirsty heroes -- the regicides and others of English and French history -- cold ever have been inspired by an Adept -- let alone a Hindu or Buddhist Mahatma ... Surely it is not the living Mahatmas ... who moved Guiteau to shoot President Garfield -- that inspired Danton and Robespierre, Marat and the Russian Nihilists to open eras of Terror and turn Churches into slaughterhouses.
-- BLAVATSKY COLLECTED WRITINGS, VI, pages 18-19
And Blavatsky's vision for social change:
The Theosophical "missionaries" aim also at a social revolution. But it is a wholly ethical revolution. It will come about when the disinherited masses understand that happiness is in their own hands, that wealth brings nothing but worries, that he is happy who works for others, for those others work for him, and when the rich realize that their felicity depends upon that of their brothers--whatever their race or religion -- then only will the world see the dawn of happiness.
-- BLAVATSKY COLLECTED WRITINGS, VIII, pages 86-87
By Shri P. Chenchiah
[From THE ARYAN PATH, pages 303-07.]
While in the West the opposition to religion comes from the acceptance of the technique of science, in the Upanishadic and post-Upanishadic periods, the divergences, often radical, arose from the different interpretations put on Yogic experience among those who used the Yogic technique. Yoga was the only commonly accepted mode of spiritual enquiry and the researches of the forest-dwellers are at one on the necessity for its use. The acme of Yoga was Samadhi. The Sadhaka at some stage of the practice found himself withdrawn from the world of the Jagratha (waking) condition, with its outward motions, polarities, and tensions into a psychic world where consciousness subsided, the mind ceased to toss in waves, and the self entered into a self-forgetting blissful sense of oneness and the peace that passeth all understanding.
The Yogis are all agreed on the character of experience in Samadhi. The differences arose in the interpretation of Samadhi in its bearing on the nature of Reality. The absolute Monist maintained that the meaning of this experience was that the Jivatma (individual self) ceased to be, that Paramatman became One without a second, and that Paramatman was impersonal. This interpretation did not satisfy the Buddhist, who maintained that all that happened in Samadhi was that mind and personality were oblated without their disclosing any substratum of existence. We are not concerned with this criticism. Some felt that the Advaitic interpretation of the experience was not satisfactory either in its identification of Jiva (the individual self) with Paramatman in such a way as to falsify Jiva or in its assertion that the "One" was impersonal. These two criticisms are the root causes for the theistic reaction.
Other elements in the reaction, though not so pronounced, made their appearance in course of time. The Samadhi experience, it was felt, did not oblate or render invalid, much less non-existing, the normal modes of Jagratha life. The significance to be attached to the return from Samadhi to the Jagratha condition, and to the inability to remain in the Samadhi condition permanently, was dimly perceived but did not play a serious part in the philosophy of theism until the three modern schools of thought referred to above drew out the implications of these facts and made them cornerstones of their structures. These reactions did not take place simultaneously nor were they perceived with equal clarity but there can be no doubt that they unconsciously shaped Indian theism before it became fixed in the Agama Period.
The critique of theism of the three schools of Aurobindo, C.V.V., and the Christo Samaj in gathering these reactions and working out their implications to the full, marks a new stage of development. It is unfortunate that the energies of theism were diverted into two different channels that arrested its main development -- one, the temple worship of agamas and the other, the polemics between the dualist and the monist. The latest turn in the statement of the theistic position rescues it from these dissipations and makes a new forward step possible. How it does so can best be explained by drawing attention to the outstanding features of these schools, vis-a-vis the Advaitic and the traditional theistic doctrines. Naturally, the new critique is a searching examination of the Samadhi condition and its implications, and starts with a critique of traditional Yoga.
To take up first the Beyond and the Above as Tat: In the Yogic experience of Samadhi, the mind is withdrawn from its outward motions in narrow currents and flows into a wide expanse, feeling a sense of release. The feeling is akin to what rivers must feel, if they did feel and could express themselves, when they flow into the sea, or as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa puts it, to the feeling of a fish confined in a pot when released into the sea. It is essentially a feeling of boundless horizon and limitless sweep. There is also a sense of identity with all, for the many have flowed into the One.
But could it be said that the experience justifies the assertion that the Jivatma has become one with Paramatman, not only on the surface of the latter but also in its depths? The criticism does not raise the issue, so prominent in Semitic and Barthian theology, that there is an infinite qualitative difference between God and man and that therefore no identity or even similarity between them could be postulated. The criticism is rather that while identity is secured, as it were, on the surface in breadth, it is not secured in depth. The Jivatma is not only restricted on the sides separating it from other Jivatmas, but is also cut off beneath from the depths. When the rivers flow into the sea and the sea withdraws from the creeks and subsides into a halcyon calm, the separate waters draw together into a vast expanse and sink beneath the depth of the waves. Yet to identify the rivers with the sea in its depths would hardly be correct. In Yoga it may be you reach the Universal Self, i.e., an unlimited mental expanse, yet the self retains the character of Jivatma and does not hold the full content of Paramatman.
The Indian theist does not maintain, like the Barthian, that God stands over against man, but rather feels that he stands under or over, without standing against. Samadhi corrects the view, as does modern psychology, that man comes into existence as a pot with water in it, as a brain to which is attached a separate mind, with the suggestion that body and mind stuffs first come into being before the allocation of mind and body. The mind, like the rain, and the matter, like the earth, are at first vast and undifferentiated; afterwards, when the matter is developed into body, mind fills it and becomes bound by it. The sun and the earth first -- the creeks, the lakes, and the rainwater-basin next. The Yogic experience is the return to the original condition and not transcendence of Jiva or of mind and matter.
This criticism was born when the primary impression of Samadhi was critically examined. There is the Avyaktha (unmanifested) not only in the Vyaktha (manifested) but also beyond it. This Beyond has to be recognized and this recognition is the ground of theism. It is a denial that in Samadhi we reach the All or the Whole, an affirmation that in it we reach only the boundaries of the Vyaktha and that what remains below the plumb line is the "Other" or the "Second." Only if you can imagine the sea as being all on the surface can Samadhi be complete union with the All -- Brahman -- using these expressions only to convey the meaning. So far, there is no question of the nature of the Beyond but only the assertion that Samadhi leaves a "Beyond" untouched.
As this idea forms the foundation of the "critique," we may look at it a little more closely. The intervention of death, or curiously enough, the non-intervention of death, according to the standpoint adopted, points to the same conclusion. We cannot speak with certainty of the Rishis of the past. Their experiences are not within the reach of our verification, though they are within the range of our faith. Yogis like Sri Ramakrishna have survived Samadhi and have later undergone a bodily dissolution that we onlookers, at any rate, cannot distinguish from death. Their death indicates that Jiva comes only with limited potentialities and is cut off from the reservoir of infinite potentialities of Brahman -- and, having exhausted those limited potentialities, passes away. If their passing away is the proof that they reached the Beyond and became one with it, how is it that they remained at least for some time as Jivanmuktas? What happens after Samadhi, whatever it be -- life for some time or immediate death -- suggests that Avyaktha -- was not reached.
In KAKA BHUJANDAR NADI, the Rishi says that he knocked at the gates of Avyaktha but the doors did not open. We have in the levels theory of the Jivatma an embodiment of his idea. We owe it to the theosophists that our attention is prominently drawn to it. These seven levels are said (THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, 267) to be "the Spiritual or divine; the psychic or semi-divine; the intellectual, the passional, the instinctual, or COGNITIONAL; the semi-corporeal and the purely material or physical natures." The supramental levels are the "Beyond" outside the reach of man and Yoga, Sri Aurobindo holds. According to the Kumbakonam school of Sri C.V.V., the Kundalini of man is not the cosmic Kundalini but rather the Kundalini that sums up the past creation. But there are other Kundalini that have to enter the human frame in its march towards supra-mental levels. The Christo Samaj school also propounds the Pauline idea that man is body and soul but that the Spirit lies outside the creative process, waiting to enter.
Can personality be ascribed to Tat (That)? As to the personality of the Absolute Brahman, the controversy turns on the identification of personality with consciousness. On one side it is argued that, since in Samadhi we transcend Jagratha avesta (waking state) and leave consciousness behind, the deeper reality is impersonal. On the other, the fact that in all conditions of Samadhi some sort of consciousness, though not of the pronounced type of Jagratha, survives, is taken to prove the personality of the Ultimate. In this connection, there is reasonable ground for holding that the Sabija (with seeds of consciousness) and Nirbija (without seeds of consciousness), Savikalpa (differentiated or conditioned) and Nirvikalpa (undifferentiated or unconditioned), Sampragnata (with knowledge) and Asampragnata (without knowledge) Samadhis, now graded in textbooks as ultimate and penultimate stages, originally represented two terminals of experience -- one giving rise to the view that the Ultimate is personal and the other that it is impersonal.
Modern psychology in its study of hypnotic trance conditions confirms the idea that personality develops consciousness in its cognition of external objects and employs other modes in its direct and inward apprehension of objects and minds. In such an apprehension objects do not stand out sharply as against the subject; all distinctions are, not obliterated, but maintained and mediated in a different manner. The view that argues from consciousness to personality or from want of consciousness to want of personality is no longer tenable in the light of modern psychology. Consciousness and unconsciousness are not two realities but rather two modes in which one reality acts.
Outside the region of this controversy, indications are not wanting that Yoga favored personality of or in the Ultimate. The description of the Ultimate as Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence, Intelligence, Bliss) that is characteristic of the Upanishads and of Yoga, records the verdict against the impersonal, though still distinction between divine and human personalities is possible. It is significant that chit and ananda, predicated of Sat, are attributes of personality. It is a well-attested fact that in the Samadhi condition Yogis have acquired trikala gnana (knowledge of past, present, and future) and revelatory knowledge not to be gained by ordinary means. This again reinforces the belief that in Samadhi there is no eclipse of personality though there may be of the consciousness of the Jagratha condition.
Indeed, the realm of experience that supports the impersonal view of the Ultimate is not derived only from trance and Samadhi experiences, but also from the phenomenon of sleep in its three grades of Swapna (dream-sleep), Shushupti (deep sleep), and Turiya (absolute sleep). Whether Turiya is an actual experience or a hypothetical stage postulated under the theoretical demands of Advaita is not easy to determine. That the arguments for Maya (the illusion of empirical reality) and the impersonal Ultimate are more logical than psychological may be inferred from the fact that Samkarite Advaitism developed a latter-day technique outside the range of the Yoga of the Upanishads -- a technique of logic that resembles more or less the method of psychoanalysis.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa spoke in terms of Yoga experience whereas, in the land of Sankara, Southern India, Ramanamaharishi recommends a purely psychoanalytic technique of enquiry.
The new theistic schools mentioned above find no difficulty in attributing to Brahma a nature suggested by the highest development in creation, i.e., personality, while recognizing that the divine personality is in many respects not like the human.
By Gertrude W. van Pelt
[From THE DOCTRINE OF KARMA: CHANCE OR JUSTICE, pages 14-22.]
Sow an act, and you will reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you will reap a destiny, because habits build character. This is the sequence: an act, a habit, a character, and a destiny. You are the creator of yourself. What you make yourself to be now, you will be in the future. What you are now, is precisely what you have made yourself to be in the past. What you sow, you shall reap.
-- G. de Purucker, GOLDEN PRECEPTS
It is a fundamental teaching of the Wisdom-Religion that every atom, being an inseparable part of the Universe, has locked up within itself all the potentialities of that Universe, as the seed contains the future tree locked up within itself. Hence in the far distant cycles of evolution every atom will become a man -- then a god, then reach still higher grades of divine life. It follows that in the case of man these possibilities have been unfolded as far as the human stage, at which point is incurred the responsibility of creating personal karma. From this time forward, equipped with mind and free will, he will carve his own destiny.
Theosophy teaches that in those early days the Great Teachers that launched these pilgrims on their long journey to godhood instructed humanity as to the purpose of life. Many, many times since then have they lived -- in various climes under various racial conditions, and in different bygone civilizations. Man has never been left without sufficient light to find the Way: there has been the Voice of Conscience; there have been the results of wrong and right action as lessons for the future; there have been mind to interpret these and free will to choose. Therefore, it is fair to say that man has created himself and is his own karma.
This latter expression implies the fact that every act and thought alters character. From moment to moment, we change. Nothing remains for an instant IN STATU QUO, so that constantly and progressively, man is the resultant, the fruitage, of all his thoughts, emotions, actions; of the use or non-use of his will. He stands at every moment as his own autobiography -- or he is the great artist, having the tools of destiny in hand and compelled under the laws of being to carve and carve until the outer becomes a worthy Temple for the god within. Life is indeed the highest art.
Every moment, then, may be taken as a new starting-point, as expressed in a beautiful Salutation to the Dawn:
Look to this Day, for it is Life, the very Life of Life. In its brief course lie all the possibilities and realities of your existence.
Plainly, one can unfold or grow only from the point at which one has arrived. Whatever power or vision has been gained, none can take away, and whatever of burdensome rubbish, pernicious habits, or degrading qualities one has acquired, can evidently be removed only by the evoking of the will of the one who acquired them. They have become a part of the nature, and no extraneous Savior can extract by any process of magic them from the character of another. But the Saviors do seek, and all down the ages have sought, to awaken the Warrior in the heart of every Pilgrim who has lost his Way. When such awakening happens, the sway of karma is altered. The whole purpose of life takes a new direction and gradually constructive forces are generated that modify the old destructive ones. We MUST meet the energies already generated, but we can then meet them with courage and understanding and with a new armor that they cannot pierce -- possibly even with an opposite equal force that will neutralize them.
Weak characters furnish a weak focus for karma. They take things easily, as they come, drift along the river of life, enjoy and suffer without asking why, and leave their bodies much as they entered them.
But Nature will not have it thus always: finally there comes the karmic impulse, the karmic stimulus, then you suffer a little; but in doing so you awaken and begin to grow. Bless the karmic stimulus; be not afraid of it. Look to the essential divinity within. Remember that everything that happens is transient, and that you can learn from everything, and in learning you will grow -- grow great, and from greatness pass to a larger sphere of greatness.
-- G. de Purucker, QUESTIONS WE ALL ASK, Series I, No. XXXIV
But when the real man is aroused and consciously grips himself and co-operates with Nature, which is seeking to evolve him, his unfolding proceeds rapidly. The past will decide the future events. They may bring quickly a sense of glorious freedom with deeper sympathies, new friends and opportunities; or perhaps more often misfortunes, suffering, or enemies may be called out of the mysterious past; for none of us has avoided clashes with the Law. All this, however, is but clearing the way. Eventually such self-directed evolution will lead out into the open spaces of freedom; into glorious possibilities; into friendship with those Great Ones who have overcome.
We are constantly upon the fringe of great opportunities and at some crucial point, and then, instead of grasping these opportunities and moving on to a larger view and a broader spiritual life, we shrink, we hold back through timidity -- and so we lose them all. The present is an unusual cycle, and never in this life shall we meet present opportunities again.
Fear nothing, for every renewed effort raises all former failures into lessons, all sins into experiences. Understand me when I say that in the light of renewed effort the Karma of all your past alters; it no longer threatens; it passes from the plane of penalty before the soul's eye, up to that of tuition. It stands as a monument, a reminder of past weaknesses, and a warning against future failure.
So fear nothing for yourself; you are behind the shield of your reborn endeavor, though you have failed a hundred times. Try slowly to make it your motive for fidelity that others may be faithful. Fear only to fail in your duty to others, and even then let your fear be for them; not yourself.
-- Katherine Tingley, THEOSOPHY: THE PATH OF THE MYSTIC
Physical disease is one of the unpleasant expressions of past karma. It even shows itself in infants, who may come into life with such marks. The compilers of the New Testament give evidence of having recognized this fact in the question recorded in THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT JOHN, ix, 2: "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Dr. de Purucker, in speaking of disease, has said:
I will tell you a little esoteric secret in this connection: Every time when a man flies into a passion, whether of desire or of anger, whether of fear or of hate, he has lost control of himself and at the time exemplifies the characteristic and power of some elemental being under whose influence he has fallen. This natural fact, so simple, so easily understood, is the basis of the old superstition about the action upon human beings of 'devils.'
These elementals are not 'devils;' they are simply elemental beings, and they have a natural and strong affinity for man. They look upon man much as we humans look to the gods; but when the man becomes degenerate and drops to their lower sphere, then is their chance. Automatically and instinctively, they act; and they act as impersonally and as much without conscience as does the electric current. And I may say here that the electric current is but a stream or flow of these elemental beings ?
I will go a little farther: Diseases are the result of loss of self-control at some time, either in this or in some past life. You can say that an Elemental has entered into the man's vital aura ? and if the man does not oust it with his will and by aspiration to better things, in other words by resuming his normal spiritual manhood, that seed will grow, and disease or horrible consequences will be the result for him.
-- G. de Purucker, QUESTIONS WE ALL ASK, Series II, No. XXI
This ousting it with one's will is quite different from apparent cures through psychic methods.
A man also can indeed apparently cure certain diseases of the body, if he can use certain psychological faculties that he has ? But the results ? are not good. All disease is a purging, a purgation, a cleansing. Natures law is that the poison should come out. If it remains within, it poisons the body, the constitution, still worse than before; and the physicians of the future will know perfectly well how to lead disease out of the body so that the body shall not be injured at all. But be very careful about damming it back, throwing it back into the stream of consciousness; for one of these days the trouble will come out despite your best efforts and it will have gained strength and power and be like ten devils worse than the first.
-- G. de Purucker, QUESTIONS WE ALL ASK, Series II, No. XL
It might be added that the physicians referred to in the above quotation are those of the far distant, not immediate future. Every inharmony, through the beneficent process of Nature, tends to work to the surface. Sometimes we observe in ourselves or in others a succession of mishaps or disasters that are commonly attributed to 'bad luck.' Then suddenly Dame Fortune changes her tactics, and everything undertaken turns out well. This suggests that the so-called bad karma has expended its force. But it is truly bad only if the lessons have not been learned; only if one continues to roam through life in an idle, inconsequent attitude, willing to be buffeted alternately by 'good and bad luck.'
If men could only realize that they are the results of what they have thought and felt and done in this and other lives; that through these thoughts and acts they have altered the very fabric of their character -- a character often that invites misfortune -- would they not learn self-control, kindness, helpful cooperation, and thus become beneficent forces in Nature? Human nature is complex, and the results of inharmony will naturally express themselves through the channels where the disturbance occurred.
This whole subject is complicated in its workings though simple in its broad outlines, and it would be idle for us in our present stage of evolution to attempt to follow the details. We sometimes see a deformed body, fine mind, and sunny disposition in the same individual; or again, a robust body housing a distorted mind and selfish disposition. In the former case, seeds of disease are working off, while in the latter, they are being planted, even though the physical energies may be strong enough to resist them through that incarnation. Often we see a beautiful nature, refined, sympathetic, in one who is working strenuously to benefit mankind, but who is careless regarding the body. It would seem in such a case that karma would begin and end on the physical plane, though there must always be a reaction from one plane to another. Or one may concentrate his energies on the laws of health and forget the sufferings of his fellow-men. Such may gain a strong body temporarily, but at what cost! Law reigns throughout. We attain what we ardently strive for. The infinite potentialities of the Universe are before us, but only he whose note chimes with that of the over-mastering Law -- the Law of Compassion -- can hold his victories.
When at last this great achievement becomes a fact, it is said that man rises above Karma. This, however, is only a figure of speech. Karma acts forever, everywhere, but when the great currents of the Universe are no more thwarted, no friction is felt. One moves forward easily and rapidly.
Yes; "our destiny IS written in the stars!" Only, the closer the union between the mortal reflection MAN and his celestial PROTOTYPE, the less dangerous the external conditions and subsequent reincarnations -- that neither Buddhas nor Christs can escape. This is not superstition, least of all is it FATALISM. The latter implies a blind course of some still blinder power, and man is a free agent during his stay on earth. He cannot escape his RULING Destiny, but he has the choice of two paths that lead him in that direction, and he can reach the goal of misery -- if such is decreed to him, either in the snowy white robes of the Martyr, or in the soiled garments of a volunteer in the iniquitous course; for, there are EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL CONDITIONS that affect the determination of our will upon our actions, and it is in our power to follow either of the two. Those who believe in KARMA have to believe in DESTINY, which, from birth to death, every man is weaving thread by thread around himself, as a spider does his cobweb; and this destiny is guided either by the heavenly voice of the invisible PROTOTYPE outside of us, or by our more intimate ASTRAL, or inner man, who is but too often the evil genius of the embodied entity called man. Both these lead on the outward man, but one of them must prevail, and from the very beginning of the invisible affray the stern and implacable LAW OF COMPENSATION steps in and takes its course, faithfully following the fluctuations. When the last strand is woven, and man is seemingly wrapped in the network of his own doing, then he finds himself completely under the empire of this SELF-MADE destiny. It then either fixes him like the inert shell against the immovable rock, or carries him away like a feather in a whirlwind raised by his own actions, and this is -- KARMA.
-- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, 639
By Galina K. Tucker
PRETTY VACANT The emptiness is loveliness incarnate. White is not a color, but an invitation, to splash and smudge, to touch. Imagination celebrates a canvas blank a hundred times above a painted picture. Inspiration bubbles up and draws the pen on empty lines of paper.
SLIP OF FLESH It was too late. ( and she knew it ) It was a gentle sort of revelation: soft, and sweet. Almost like the brush of waves: tender. ( that was the first thing she missed, with the fuzzing of sensation ) She sank; slowly. Lead limbs akimbo: pink plastic bags still sucking water, empty quest for air. And it was so easy. The light dripped: further than she expected. Illuminating; ( in patches. ) Here, a pink stained rock. There, a darting fish. Braving a nibble of the red silk dress: ( floating, billowing away from the thin, paling, slip of flesh. )
LIKE A CHAMELEON Heart-shuddering anticipation; Sticky-sweat hands clenched in fists. ( the announcer snatches the microphone from its stand ) A face-splitting grin and a seat-clearing bounce. Tiptoeing her way to the stage, afraid to break the moment: afraid to wake up. Fingers wrapped around the trophy, smudging the bright metal. Each applause, each clap a flutter of excitement in her chest. Another one to take home to stick on a shelf inside the closet. Admire a second -- then: Shut and lock the door ( she never felt like she deserved them just for being herself ) She really didn't mind getting them But took some getting used to, at first 'What, for me for what?' But now she accepted them with a vaguely bemused look sketched across her face. She liked the cheers, the warmth Even the cold sneers of the losers Made her feel real The worst was between films. Sometimes she tried to cling to the latest person she had been; they would laugh, appreciating the humor: 'Oh, you!' And she would grab that familiar bemused look, and join the laughter. It was almost like she was a part of the group. Just like if she cried hard enough, It was almost like her parents had really died. her boyfriend had really killed himself. her husband was really abusive. her daughter really had cancer. Just like if she tried hard enough, It was almost like the boyfriend's smile was really for her. the husband's kiss was genuine. the parent's worry was sincere. the daughter's giggles were at her joke. A myriad of possibilities: of lives of loves of dreams of fears. Each script, a revelation: her part her name her life her self. So the tears she wept were real ( to the 'oohs' and 'aahs' of critics - 'such a vivid imagination!' ) But unfortunately unable to forge a self of her own. Melting parts of everyone she's been, stuffing herself on plastic smiles and painted tears.
NOT ALL ROSES ARE RED Not all roses are red, And most violets are far from blue. It's never the sunlight, Playing through the blinds that kisses open eyelids. It's mostly the crows - I don't believe in sweet-singing sparrows. Or sometimes it's an alarm clock Ringing, bringing daybreak. Breaking daydreams. Dream nights. Nightmares. It's easier to see at night Dozing, closing eyelids. Snatching moments. Feeling guilty. Wilting. For all I know (sunshine springtime) It's all for show. It's pretty from the windows A sticky cotton-ball cloud. Loud painted flowers. Souring tastes and Plastic fruit.
By Talbot Mundy
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, November 1923, pages 457-463.]
Truth is King, and is never in the least concerned about the passions of the moment. With all eternity ahead and to look back upon, serenely autocratic in an everlasting Now, Truth rules impartially all the universe including this temporary world of ours.
The world is quite full of a number of things, not least of them, proverbs. Proverbs are the oldest crystallizations of human thought, and some of them are diamond-hard, reflecting the fires of Truth in whatever light, from whichever angle they are studied. Such proverbs persist. Some fall by the way because men grow weary of them, seeing deeds so short of the ideal. Some lapse into disrespect because other proverbs, with meanings apparently exactly opposite, come into general use. But all proverbs were originally efforts to express a glimpse of Truth and, however contradictory their meanings seem, all proverbs still are windows, as it were, through which some aspect of infinite Truth may be seen by discerning eyes.
From the dawn of recorded history, men have always sought to coin short phrases that should be imperishable guides of conduct -- brief, indisputable interpretations of the Higher Law, by use built into the familiar speech. And one of those proverbs was that familiarity breeds contempt. Popularization of a proverb brings it into eventual disrepute, exactly as the dogmatization of religion foretells its disintegration and collapse. For it is the habit of the human mind to seek to standardize and to obstruct spiritual progress by legalizing the dead letter of the proverb or the creed.
But nothing stands still; not even Truth. The more determined the effort of man's lower nature to produce inertia by literal enforcement of the dry husk of a truth, the swifter is the proof that evolution must prevail and that inertia is delusion.
The proper study of mankind is man. In the last analysis, there is nothing else that man can study. He must be conscious of himself; and as consciousness grows, its horizons widen until the task of self-knowledge becomes all absorbing and all useful. Not the least interesting discovery to which that study leads is the constant effort of man's lower nature to smother those rare glimpses of the Higher Law from which it cannot escape, and to corrupt their meaning by substituting the letter for the spirit and by decreeing "Thus far shalt thou go and no farther."
This method of the lower nature is that so anciently and frequently denounced, of setting up false gods, whose "image and superscription" differ hardly, if at all, from a superficial glimpse of Truth. The lower nature is nothing if not hypocritical. It will denounce most fervently those crimes it most loves to commit. All the worst atrocities are perpetrated in the name of righteousness and progress, the secret of which is simple. Evil being the reverse of Truth as darkness is the opposite of light, it is impossible for evil to exist or to find expression without consciousness of Truth with which to contrast itself.
Evil has no originality, it imitates; and all false gods are counterfeits of true ones. The invention of a lie is contingent on the existence of Truth to be lied about. It is possible to invent a lie about any of the infinite and glorious aspects of Truth; it is possible to believe that lie and to legalize the belief in it. But the belief is a delusion of the lower nature, subject to the lower law that governs both. It moves as Truth moves, though the action is reversed. As Truth evolves in realms beyond the comprehension of "such stuff as dreams are made of," ever ascending to higher and rarer being, the lie about Truth disperses and descends to irrecoverable chaos; until a new glimpse of Truth makes new lies possible and the habit of self-delusion rebegins a downward path.
TREASON TO THE KING
A King of England proclaimed a truth, to his own undoing, seeking to use Truth for his own ends instead of letting Truth use him. Whoever is used by Truth is in the everlasting arms of absolute infallibility. Truth being King, there is no error in the formula "the King can do no wrong." But he who sets out to reduce the King to human blood and bones and to confine Truth within the limits of a proclamation, levying blackmail in the name of pure Truth, is a traitor whose head is forfeit.
Charles the First, proclaiming that the King rules by divine right and that the King can do no wrong, quite likely believed his own words, but by applying them to his own person, he nevertheless betrayed Omnipotence. Belief is quite another thing from knowledge, as the writers of the New Testament strove so diligently to make clear by the discriminating use of words that their translators subsequently bungled. Accident may cause belief to stumble on the right Path, but nothing less than Knowledge holds us there; it is belief -- blind faith -- that seizes on the letter of the law; the spirit of the law is only grasped by understanding, leading onto Knowledge.
Even in ermine robes and panoply of state, Charles the First was not so unlike the rest of us that he was King-less. Had he understood the truth he uttered and had he allowed that royal Higher Nature that is ever ready to govern every one of us to take control of him, it is likely he would have been less worried about his personal importance and less inclined to make use of phrases that might be too easily misunderstood. Instead, he would have found his true royalty appealing to the Higher Nature that exists in every man. His body and his stupid senses then might not have been a target for his outraged countrymen. They charged him with treason to the State; but the treason he committed was to his own King by permitting his lower nature to usurp the title of the Higher.
The old Priest-Kings, of whom dim records remain, made no such error. They strode like Gods among men, and it may be that the crowd mistook their persons for the Truth they served, but the Priest-Kings had no ear for flattery. It was not until the lower nature swamped the Higher and usurped precedence -- not until the letter of the Law was reckoned higher than its spirit -- not until flesh and bones and the convenience of a moment grew to be considered more important than true Vision, and the pomp and circumstance of earthly power blinded them to the promptings of passionless Truth, that the Priest-Kings disappeared.
THE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, IS TRUE
Kings are not different from other men, and other men not different from kings, except that the law of Karma, adjusting balances, has cast us each into our proper temporary orbit. All are prone to make the same mistakes. The King's head fell, but the King's mistake remained. Men said he needed no successor, seeing they all were kings by a right as divine as that one he had claimed. They spoke the truth, believing and not knowing, many of them doubtless tossing the mockery of the truth from lip to lip in jest. Belief, so vague it hardly yet amounted to belief, crystallized into a lie more swiftly than running water changes into ice; and on to the ice, the snow of dogma fell. The stream still flowed beneath the ice, as beneath every creed flows everlasting Truth; but the surface, like the letter of the law, proved barren, comfortless, unprofitable, and cold, needing the sun of true Vision to penetrate and melt it.
In very truth, we all are Kings if we remember who and what we really are; but in our lower nature, we are nothing multiplied by all the ills that flesh is heir to. Times beyond number in human history the doctrine of the divine right of kings has changed into the formula "the voice of the people" -- and back again by way of grim dictatorships -- glimpses, both of them, of royal Truth immediately clouded over by the noxious fumes of ignorance. The clamor of bribed majorities, in place of one man's personal opinion, is labeled the accepted voice of God. Under such manipulated tyranny of ignorance, men have even voted that the earth is flat -- have insisted on the lie so vehemently that their priesthood dared not contradict them -- even as today they vilify and loathe whoever dares to tell the truth in spite of massed opinion, and smother the voice of Truth with noise. Yet the world was never flat; twice two were never five; the truth, and nothing but the truth, is true. We ARE Kings -- by divine right -- and our Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom. But the pity of it is that we allow our lower nature to usurp the throne.
THE DIVINE RIGHT OF THE REAL MAN
The King can do no wrong. That is a positive statement of absolute fact that has been known since the beginning of the world. But it is equally true that whoever is governed by his lower nature can do no right. The lower nature has no vision, no far-sightedness, knows nothing of causes or of the ultimate; it seeks only to escape the consequences of its own wrongdoing and to perpetuate and justify itself. The lower nature is a vortex of ignorance into which we are plunged for our experience, and if we leave it as we find it, we are not Kings, for we have not ruled, we have not conquered. If we increase the ignorance and add to the chaos of passions, as we surely will do if we serve the lower nature and let that make itself the King, we only pile up difficulties for ourselves to meet. The law of Karma, faithfully adjusting balances, is inescapable; "for whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath."
The divine right of the real Man is to leave the world a little better than he found it, careless of his own advantage since he is the heir of all the ages; and therein lies the secret of the law laid down by Teachers of the Mysteries in the very dawn of time. As they revealed to chosen individuals the "might, majesty, dominion, and power" of all who recognize their own divinity, they stipulated that never in any conceivable circumstances should the consciousness of power be used for personal advantage, whether for fame, reward, money, or mere contentment. Those are the means by which the lower nature seeks to usurp the throne, the means by which it blinds itself to the truth of being.
Human opinion and the senses are the source and origin of, the primary cause of, and the channel through which evil operates. To yield to or pander to either of them is to apply the old dishonored policy of setting thieves to catch thieves, seeking to destroy one evil with a greater, doing ill that good may come of it -- a policy, as distinguished from a principle. So-called good policy, too often a convenient fraud in disguise and at best an expedient, bears no relation to true Principle, which, being Truth in one of its infinite aspects, can do no wrong, can lead to no wrong, and must infallibly produce results that impartially benefit everyone and in consequence, if only in minute degree, the Universe.
TRUTH APPLIED KNOWS NOTHING OF LIMITATIONS
We are blinded by the temporary nature of this sense-delusion into which we are plunged. The "three-score years and ten" that have been sung and standardized as the limit of a man's life have no real bearing on the problem that confronts us. Truth applied knows nothing of any limitations, least of all limits of time. In no circumstances does Truth afford benefit to one, to the exclusion of any others. The King who can do no wrong, the immortal, real, spiritual, royal man is too far-sighted to suppose that temporary personal convenience can condition Truth. Knowing that the sense-delusion is as sure to be destroyed eventually as the fog is to be dispersed by wind and sun, he thinks on higher planes and acts without fear.
All of the world's kings, rulers, statesmen, all of these whose names are held in honor long after they are dead, were men who abode by Principle; the good they did lived after them. There was a Roman once, named Regulus, who was taken prisoner by his country's enemies. After long years of barbarous ill-treatment, he was sent by his captors to Rome to mediate for a convenient peace, and knowing he was an honorable man, they accepted his word that if he should fail to negotiate peace he would return to Carthage to be put to death. There was nothing new in that condition; the lower nature, recognizing the royal power of the Higher, forever seeks to take advantage of it for its own perpetuation.
Regulus went to Rome and told the truth. He urged the Romans to make no peace with men, whose only object in negotiating temporary peace was to gain time for Rome's eventual destruction. Having persuaded his countrymen to take the course he knew was best, but that could only mean hideous death for himself, he kept his word and returned to Carthage, where the Carthaginians also kept their word and tortured him until he died.
If Regulus had let his personal convenience or advantage govern him, there were no doubt scores of specious arguments he might have used and scores of men high in the public esteem who would have condoned those arguments. He could have died, perhaps, in comfort, not dishonored by the countrymen whom he chose, instead, to serve by upholding his own highest standard of true honor. Unquestionably, at the moment, by the mob, he was regarded as an altruistic fool, and it is not likely that the Carthaginians thought any better of him until they reaped the consequences of their own attempt to misuse a true man's honesty.
Regulus had served the whole world by ignoring his own personal safety. It may have made no difference in the end whether Rome or Carthage won the war for control of the world's trade. What mattered was that Regulus had raised a standard of good faith, true patriotism, and adherence to the highest glimpse of Principle. Of Carthage, there is nothing left but legend, not too savory; and it is fashionable, too, to speak and to write of Rome as the Wolf of the Tiber, decadent and drenched in blood. None praises Rome for her debauchery.
Rome survives in law, incorporated into all the statute books of all the nations. Rome's new standard, resolutely upheld by Regulus, became a measure by which men judged their deeds -- so much so, that when Rome fell short of that high ideal, those who had seen her at her best were scandalized. Rome's legionaries laid all the known world under tribute, and wrought evil that reacted on them in the end and ruined Rome; but who forgets the manliness of Regulus? What nation has not benefited by the force of his example and by the spirit of loyalty to a high ideal with which he imbued his countrymen, a spirit that marched with the conquering legionaries, surviving them and all their sins? More than two thousand years after Regulus made his supreme self-sacrifice, school-children, on continents of whose existence Regulus was unaware, speaking languages whose synonyms -- Honor, Fidelity, Devotion, Constancy -- are rooted in the speech of Regulus, are thrilled, as no story of ill-faith nor any history of conquest can thrill them, by the record of how Regulus stood up alone and played the man.
The good, that Shakespeare says is "oft interred with our bones," survives in spite of death and all the "ills that flesh is heir to." All good is rooted in unselfishness, and self-consideration is a thief that stalks by night to undo what can never be undone -- the Truth of Being.
Truth is King. The Way is to be loyal to the King. The time is now. The question is not what does the world think, or what is convenient, or what will the consequences be to me personally, but rather what do I know, what is my own individual highest understanding of the Truth, and what do I, now, free heir of all the ages, mean to think and do? The King can do no wrong, and he who is obedient to the King can do no other than the highest right, injuring none, not even himself, although unselfishness may cause a husk of imitation-life to fall away.
By Reata V.H. Pedersen
[From a Student's Notebook, from THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, July 1935, pages 65-69.]
To make Theosophy a living power in one's life, to use it daily, hourly, and momentarily, is to find oneself growing more and more impersonal. To be able to deal with problems which meet us on every hand in an impersonal way, is to conquer them. Hence, happiness, progress, and well-being are found in impersonality.
Let us consider a hypothetical problem and apply ourselves to its solution. Let us do this for the reason that many construe impersonality as indifference. Therefore, it behooves us to show that we do not mean a withdrawing of our sympathies when the problem concerns another, or advocate a 'do nothing' attitude if it concerns ourselves.
We take then a problem the depression has brought to many of us -- that of opening our homes to relatives whose care, if not support, shall be our duty henceforth. First let us view this duty for what it most certainly is -- a karmic one -- and let us realize our carrying out of it for what it most certainly is, an opportunity to 'make good karma,' as the saying has it.
We find those whom our family circle has expanded to be our companions now for the reason that we have invited them TO SHARE THIS INCARNATION with us. Our past lives have tended to bring about this very close association. We have attracted to ourselves these egos; we have chosen to 'work out' with them certain defects, or mayhap certain virtues, in our character. The depression has been a contributing factor toward the realization of the desire so plainly outlined in other lives.
How often the Teacher tells the student, "You are what you have made yourself to be." We can therefore easily understand how in the making we have affected, and been affected by, certain others whose lives have touched our own. Such contacts will continue to hold us until there is no further experience or greater lesson to be had through them. It is not, of course, that there is one who will decide if we have passed beyond the need of the lessons these contacts afford, but only that we, in making of ourselves something greater, prove ourselves to be beyond the need of them. We can have done with them because, having become through them worthy of finer contacts, we now have the finer contacts.
If there be a defect of character to be replaced with a virtue, or a shining virtue to be made more radiant still, there yet is no way to work out the problem truly, no way really to have done with it, except the way of spiritual growth. No problem of life is ever conquered on purely materialistic lines, however much it appears to be.
Why, if we were so irked by the presence of a person in our home that we preferred to sacrifice the greater part of our income that a home might be found that person elsewhere, it would not serve us. We should meet the problem presented by this close contact in another life, if not again in this one.
Again, if out of love, we sacrificed our income to the use of that person, thinking thus to provide a better home, even then, we should meet the problem again. FOR WE ARE SERVED BY THAT CONTACT. Some needed lesson is to be had through it. The lesson may teach us that even through love we must not concern ourselves with the 'fruit of action.'
Here then is what is meant by impersonality, and here disclosed the goal sought in the 'spiritual exercises' we have undertaken. For Realization that to grow in grace we have but to concern ourselves with right action, and concern ourselves not at all with its fruit, is proof we have reached a great height of knowledge. From the heights, mighty streams seem but a thin trickle of water. It is that from the heights of impersonality, currents of emotion seem but ripples moved by a surface wind.
We lovingly serve with our spirit the person who is sharing our home and appreciate the service of the spirit of that person to us. Doing so, we find the way back to our divine source through this WANTED experience, this DESIRED contact, seeing to it that the god within us confabulates with the god within that other. Thus, we solve our problem.
We learn after a time that the problem has all along been our own. The other person in our home offers no problem; we offer the problem to ourselves. We have only to remember that we can never reform another and that daily we reshape ourselves. WE ARE WHAT WE MAKE OURSELVES TO BE. This is the whole secret of character, karma, control of self, health building, happiness, and power. Each thought of ours aids in that making and in every action.
A helpful thought, which is also a 'spiritual exercise,' is that which gives consideration to the fact that physical man has learned to exist and build himself on the material provided by his environment. Spiritual man is built and fed if he assimilates that which is offered in his environment, for it must afford him experiences which he can transmute into that which he needs, just as the physical man must exist on food and oxygen, which he transmutes, through assimilation, into bone and blood.
We have said that the problem we have discussed has proven to be our own. As a matter of truth, no problem is other. Thus, we see that we dare not advocate a 'do nothing' attitude towards a problem once we have knowledge of it. Now let us see what it is that we CAN do about a problem, whether it is the near one of a family of our village in dire distress, or the seemingly far one of a people enslaved by a stronger race. Naturally, one cannot go rushing off to the ends of the earth to take active part in the freeing of a people, and sometimes it is impossible to take action on the physical plane to relieve the distress of the village-family. There never is a time when we can do NOTHING about these things without retarding our spiritual growth. We cannot permit any of whom we have knowledge, to suffer death, unaided, without ourselves dying to some extent. Such is the penalty of inaction.
Through solving the small problem met within the walls of our home, we come to understand what we may do. There, while it has been within our power to right a wrong almost immediately, to bring creature comforts at once to the ill, we yet have learned that the greatest aid is given through our spiritual nature -- through the conscious use of the powers of that spiritual Self, which is most truly our Real Self.
We now understand that in the one case where we could actually serve with our hands, and with time, and money, our serving was not a whole giving until we served with our spirit. Applying this same idea to the need to give help to the enslaved people, we find our only way of serving to be of the spirit. We must give the god within us a clear way in which to reach those in need of strength and solace. We must take right action, which is action in harmony with the Divine Will -- wholly in harmony with the Will that works for universal good. (See The Bhagavad-Gita, iii, 19, "without attachment, constantly perform action which is duty.")
The fruit of right action that we perform may be in the hands of another for dispensation. Right action and the fruit of right action complete the whole of the giving. In each of these parts of the whole, it may appear, though it may be never are we to know through the usual channels of communication on the physical plane, that the starving has eaten the fruit of our action. Even knowledge that our good action has brought result may be considered fruit of action. Knowledge of this would surely fall under the head of performance with attachment.
Right action, said Krishna, "is acting in harmony with ME." Now what greater way can there be than this, what way more efficacious through which to solve any problem, however distant, however close to us its conflict? Let your thoughts dwell on the harmony that would exist in our homes, even in the whole physical realm, if we were never 'out of step' with the other workers of the Universe, if we claimed our birthright and were consciously one with the divine Will.
Then why not BE? Why not raise the level of our thoughts, why not aspire to impersonality even in the little things? With daily preparation, we can make Theosophy a living power in our lives, with determination, we can become impersonal, and with knowledge, we can remain tranquil in any situation life may bring.
The teachings of Theosophy are deep; but they are also most simple. Some of us may not comprehend the deeper teachings, but within each of us is the ability to 'live the life,' the ability to do our best each day, and the Masters ask no more of us.
The object of any 'system' of exercise is to strengthen. We should miscall it if we were to think of that which has been outlined in these articles as a 'system' as the word has come to be understood. Yet use of this word to express an orderly plan of thought is quite proper. The readers of these notes of a fellow-student must understand that the thoughts brought out are but suggested ways of approach to the goal. The goal is knowledge and the impersonal use of it. One's thought centered upon any of the teachings will serve. There is no need of mantra, no need of a 'special room in which to think,' such as a friend once told me she was building. You can dwell in thought in any place in the Universe, for such is the power of true meditation. You can ascend to the HIGH PLANES OF BEING WITHIN YOURSELF, however lowly your tasks.
Determining to live aright, understanding what right action is and the vastness of time and space which such action affects, aspiring to be a pure and radiant channel for the god dwelling within, we are using Theosophy daily. With determination, understanding, and aspiration, we are that wisdom, philosophy, and religion of BEING! We ARE Theosophists!
By G. de Purucker
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, November 1923, pages 419-29.]
THE EVIL AND ITS NATURE
War and its causes arise, fundamentally, out of a moral and psychological complex; hence, the solution, the remedy, is to be sought for and found in moral and psychological principles. The world is in trouble. No true lover of his fellowmen can remain with lightness of heart or with tranquil mind in the present state of affairs. At no time, perhaps, in the annals of the history that is known, have international relations been in so precarious a condition. Never have they been so menaced with impending dissolution; while the hearts of thoughtful men and women ache with sorrow and pity and are filled to overflowing with forebodings of things to come still more calamitous than the things that humankind has undergone during the past decade.
NON-THEOSOPHICAL PEACE ACTIVITIES
Worthy Peace-Societies and Peace-Movements have done admirable work for many years past, and these various activities have borne some good fruit; but one may ask with perfect justice whether any such activity has had the power to go to the real root of the affliction. It must be stated, with not the slightest wish to disparage the efforts of these many Peace-workers, that while much (in some cases very much) of their work is of real and permanent value, nevertheless practically all of it is palliative rather than reconstructive. A permanent peace can never be achieved by considerations based on merely selfish or materialistic grounds. Leagues of Nations will be of small benefit to humankind if they rest fundamentally on selfish aims or on material interests alone. All this is merely palliative.
A LEAGUE OF HUMANITY OR LEAGUES OF A FEW
Worse still, perhaps, would be Leagues of a Few, formed only in order to protect themselves and their spoils of war against the rest of the world. Such leagues, of two, three, or four nations will doubtless lead to anti-leagues of four, six, or eight or more other nations allied against the former for purposes of self-protection or other reasons. It is a vicious circle, nothing but a continuance of the old state of things in a new and misleading form. But a League of Humanity, comprising all the peoples of the world, wherein the smallest nation had as much power and influence in council as the greatest, would be a very different arrangement. If based on morals, it would be enduring. All other remedies seem to be futile, merely selfish expedients. What will prevent the former leaguers from falling out among themselves if radical disagreements arise? In such merely palliative measures, palliative only because not universal, the radical cause of the evil is untouched; it has not been eradicated nor can it be dislodged from its seat by superficial operations.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF WAR?
What, after all, is the cause of war? Katherine Tingley, who is the present Leader and Official Head of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society and its various activities, in all countries, framed a brief and striking answer to that question in the editorial article published by her in THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH for March of this year. It is human SELFISHNESS and human FEAR. There is the whole thing in two words. To one or the other of these two moral and intellectual vices -- and probably in most cases to both -- may be ascribed the arming of man against his fellow and the inevitable temptation that ensues to employ this armament for the settlement, so-called, of difficult problems of international relations by the bloody and desolating method of warfare.
Say there were, indeed, no other possible or known method of composing international rivalries, jealousies, hatreds, and ambitions than the horrible one of slaying the young men of the opposing side or faction, of seizing the foe's lands or part of them, of demanding indemnities so large that the obvious aim is that of reducing to vassalage the beaten foe, of imposing one's will on him and even of bringing him within the orbit of the home-dominion or empire. Doing so, we risk at the same time the falling upon our own selves of all these things if the enemy by destiny's decree achieves the victory over us. Then, indeed, the gloomy pictures of the pessimist and the calamity-howler would have background and foundation of reality. But by the Eternal Laws of Truth and Right, such is not the case!
A BETTER PLEA FOR PEACE
What knowledge is more common than that disputes, all disputes, international as well as individual, and of every kind whatsoever, can be, may be, and frequently have been, composed and ironed out by civilized methods, such as arbitration, adjudication by referees in the manner outlined by the Theosophical Leader Katherine Tingley in her editorial aforesaid, and in yet other methods that sane and earnest men, desirous of peace and justice and willing to abandon greedy desires and unreasoning fear, easily do find out and apply in the spirit of human fellowship and in the predominating desire to do righteousness and to follow justice? These methods have been applied in very many cases with perfect success, leaving the atmosphere cleared and sweet with the odor of honest and manly deeds nobly done.
So perfectly well are these methods of civilization recognized as superior to those of savagery and barbarism that modern governments as voiced by their representatives in all the nations of the earth strive with might and main to declare to a doubting world their purity of motives and their horror at having to turn to the last and final recourse, the bloody power to decide of war. What does this mean? It means that the ways of peace are universally acknowledged as the right and proper ones; no nation today dare openly confess that it will turn to warfare for selfish and greedy ends.
The conscience of the world is a very real thing. No body of men dare flout it with impunity. Even when the air is full of the clamor of conflict, loud above all ring the voices of those who proclaim the 'wicked waste of war.' They bring an explicit condemnation of those who brought such woe on the world, always the fellows on the other side!
Perhaps most heartrending of all is the launching of propaganda of hate, derision, and falsehood and the appeal to some of the noblest sentiments of the human heart, such as love of country and the holy ideals of the homeland and our fathers. This is done in a tragically successful endeavor to turn the psychological currents of a people's mind towards the will to victory. They tell us that under such circumstances this must be done in order to avoid defeat. Alas! From THAT STANDPOINT, it is perhaps true; at least, let us admit it for the sake of argument: could then a more telling arraignment be made of the method itself? Reflect a little upon it!
A citizen, good and true, will obey the laws of his country as scrupulously in time of war as in time of peace; lawlessness and treason are things that no upright heart will tolerate for a moment. But -- and here is the very point -- such things as warfare and organized violence need never be; such methods need never be employed; there are OTHER WAYS, OTHER METHODS, OTHER MANNERS, OTHER PRINCIPLES OF ACTION.
THE REMEDY AND THE CURE, WHAT HAS THE THEOSOPHIST TO OFFER?
What has the Theosophist to offer in solving the problem of Peace or War? He claims that he has a solution, radical not superficial; permanent not transitory; real and practicable for all men, all peoples; which is a bringer of justice, of concord, of harmony: a solution that is natural because based on human nature not on theories; and that is not merely palliative but fundamentally regenerative. What, then, is it? It is the regeneration, through intensive education and broadcast propaganda, of the human heart and mind by a comprehensive and satisfying philosophy of life.
This philosophy, which is both scientific and religious as well as practical and fully satisfying to our reason, lies in certain few fundamental Theosophical teachings based on natural law that includes human nature. These teachings are found in our age in a certain wonderful book, the monumental work written by H.P. Blavatsky, the first Theosophical Leader, and called by her THE SECRET DOCTRINE. In the noble words written by Katherine Tingley, the present Theosophical Leader, and found in her Foreword to the first Point Loma edition of that remarkable work, she speaks thus:
Amid the jangling of creeds and the blind groping of scientific theories, Theosophy alone stands unmoved, the Wisdom-Religion of the ages; not as a theory, not as a supposition or a mere working-hypothesis, but as a body of teaching that has been handed down throughout the whole life-history of man, and whose statements have been verified by the Sages of all times. Like a great beacon, it sheds its light over heartsick humanity that cries out in the darkness of its despair, asking ever Why? Why all this awful suffering, why the perplexities, the injustices of life? -- asking questions regarding man, his origin, his destiny, and the purpose of life: the Riddle of the Universe.
Now, then, how does the Theosophist show that his Peace-work is different in radical effect from the Peace-activities of all other Peace-bodies?
THE THEOSOPHICAL REMEDY
Our Theosophical Peace-work is but a part of our many activities. The other Peace-bodies are associated for nothing else, as a rule. Yet while Peace-work is but a part of our manifold activities, it is a necessary part. It is extremely effective, because it goes to the very root of the evil: the human heart and mind.
In proportion to the light that thus enters into the soul is the heart regenerated, strengthened, purified of the thick dross of selfishness and greed cast up in the caldron of those seething human passions to which all human beings in the present state of evolutionary development are subject. Still more, these very passions that now so agitate us and bring into the world all its woe, are by that same magical solvent transmuted into fiery aspirations for good and truth and righteousness and justice.
The mind, above all, is so transformed by the sweeping away of the darkening clouds that cover so thickly its face that it becomes as pellucid as crystal. The irradiance from the essential divinity in man finally pours through it and manifesting in the grander outlook upon life and in the recognition of the fundamental spiritual (and even physical) unity of all men. Here, then, is the keynote of the teaching that will unify men as will none other. One day men of whatsoever race or creed will realize with both mind and heart that they are essentially One, springing from identically the same spiritual source, and journeying through endless time towards identically the same supremely universal goal, and that he who injures another in any manner whatsoever INJURES HIMSELF EQUALLY AND IN THE FIRST PLACE. Then half, nay, three fourths of the sin and consequent suffering and sorrow in the world will automatically vanish away.
THE SOURCE OF THE REMEDY
This wonderful doctrine of the fundamental spiritual unity of all beings is one of the basic tenets of THE SECRET DOCTRINE; but let H.P. Blavatsky speak in her own words here, in a passage wherein she outlines two other basic tenets of the Secret Doctrine of the ages, and that support and prove each the other two. In volume the first, page 14, she says:
The Secret Doctrine establishes three fundamental propositions:
(a) An Omnipotent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of though ...
(b) The Eternity of the Universe IN TOTO as a boundless plane; periodically 'the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing,' ... This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature. All alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe ...
(c) The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Oversoul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul -- a spark of the former -- through the Cycle of Incarnation (or 'Necessity') in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during the whole term.
Again, on pages 272 and 273 of the same first volume of this monumental and epoch-making work, H. P. Blavatsky writes further as follows:
(1) The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, ... which countless generations of initiated seers and prophets have marshaled, set down, and explained ... The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there, where an ordinary profane, however learned, would have perceived but the external work of form ...
(2) The fundamental Law in that system, the central point from which all emerged, around and toward which all gravitates, and upon which is hung the philosophy of the rest, is the One homogeneous divine SUBSTANCE-PRINCIPLE, the one radical cause.Some few, whose lamps shone brighter, have been led, From cause to cause to nature's secret head, And found that one first Principle must be ...
(3) The Universe is the periodical manifestation of this unknown Absolute Essence ... IT cannot be identified with a BEING of any kind, that can be conceived by human intellect. It is best described as neither Spirit nor matter, but both.
On page 274, H.P. Blavatsky continues:
(5) Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is CONSCIOUS, i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception ... There is no such thing as either 'dead ' or 'blind' matter, as there is no 'Blind' or 'Unconscious' Law.
(6) The Universe is worked and GUIDED from WITHIN OUTWARDS ... The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who ... are 'messengers' in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Kosmic Laws.
Here, then, in these grand sentences lie the principles of all thinkable philosophy and religion, and therefore also the basis of the Theosophical conception of life, of national as well as of individual responsibility, spiritual, intellectual, and moral. As a deduction of necessity flowing therefrom, the Theosophist finds his course of conduct outlined and his path lay bare before his eyes.