Whenever we assemble together in our Lodge-room, let us remember that we are gathering around the ancient hearthstone of Theosophy: that hearth on which we may rekindle in ourselves the fire of the ancient Wisdom of the Gods that nowadays we call Theosophy. Wherever we are privileged to meet together in united study is for us a Temple, dedicated to that search for the age-old Truth that made so divine a thing of life in the world.
-- A. Trevor Barker, THE HILL OF DISCERNMENT, page 363.
By B.P. Wadia
[From LIVING THE LIFE, pages 117-122.]
As my earthly part is a portion given to me from certain earth, and that which is watery from another element, and that which is hot and fiery from some peculiar source (for nothing comes out of that which is nothing, as nothing also returns to non-existence), so also the intellectual part comes from some source.
-- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
Two lines of evolving forces meet in man and on his attitude to them and his action on them depends his own evolution. The Third Fundamental Proposition describes them as: (1) Natural Impulse, i.e., the propelling force from within outwards, of Nature, Matter, or Prakriti, and (2) Self-Induction, i.e., the propelling of Spirit, Purusha, Man, who guides the course of evolution, of his own material or animal nature, and of the entire assemblage called Nature.
This propelling force is Will -- "that which governs the manifested universe in eternity. Will is the one and sole principle of abstract eternal MOTION, or its ensouling essence." (THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY) Therefore this Power or Force of Will has a dual aspect: that which functions as the impelling motion in matter, and that which functions in the human kingdom as the mind of man. Thus, Will becomes free under the influence of the thinking-feeling principle in man.
Fohat, the Light of the Logos, is intimately related to Will; it is the Divine Power that moves matter to build forms, using the three attributes or Gunas, preserves those forms, and destroys them to recreate. All that action is designated as Natural Impulse or Fohatic Will.
But Fohat acts also as the Light of Wisdom. In the human kingdom, in man's reflective self-consciousness, it is the power by which he is able to determine for himself his own course of action, and in doing, so he uses that aspect of Will which is designated as Free Will. The root of Life and the root of Light are the material and spiritual aspects of Fohat. These two are the lower and higher natures (apara- and para-prakriti) of Krishna, the Logos.
In our lower nature, the impulse of material life functions. Having arrived at the stage of manhood, we find that the balance principle of the manifested cosmos operates in our being. Now weighed down in the scale of evolution, we gravitate matter-wards and then by self-effort ascend spirit-wards. Our lower nature is made up of the Genii that rule our earth; and they do not like to be controlled by the Genius that is the center of our higher nature.
There are Genii and Genii; and there are Geniuses and Geniuses. The terms are now loosely used and the one class of intelligences and their functions are mixed up with the other class and their functions. For the purposes of this article, we are using the term "Genii" for the powers of life that operate in man's lower or divisible nature. We use the term "Genius" for the Powers of Light that shine as his higher nature, the Indivisible that informs and leads the thinker, the Man, the Manushya, to perceive and realize his absolute Unity with Perfected Men -- Mahatmas, Perfected Seers -- Rishis, Perfected Sages -- Dhyanis or Buddhas.
Man, by the right use of his Will, which implies the right knowledge acquired by his mind, can become the master of the Genii of the earth and water, the air and fire, and can know the secrets of material life. This is possible only when man has sought and secured the company of the Holy Ones of the earth -- "the conquering of the desires of the outer senses will give you the right to do this," says LIGHT ON THE PATH.
Standing as we do in the balance position, the seesaw play between our two natures must be slowed down. The material life is not to be destroyed; it has to be made the vehicle of the Spiritual Light. The Genius and His Peers and Elders must use the Genii to serve Nature. Nature, Prakriti, Matter, Life, must not be feared or hated, must not be dirtied or degraded, but must be served, cleansed, and elevated to receive the Light of Soul and Spirit. The Wisdom to use the Light emanates from the Divine Fohat, which holds the Secret in the inmost abode of the Most High. Fohat, the Light of Wisdom, is the Robe of Glory that veils the Logos. As we serve the Powers of Life by the Powers of Light, the latter illumine our mind and we acquire self-consciously the knowledge of the Supreme Secret -- man attains to the state of the Superior Man (Uttama Purusha of the Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita).
We have used the term Genii to draw the student's attention to the highly important words of Hermes Trismegistus quoted in THE SECRET DOCTRINE (I, pages 294-5) on which HPB throws light which is of great practical value to every earnest Esotericist. Pertinent as they are to our subject, these words of Hermes are more than a mere hint:
All these Genii PRESIDE OVER MUNDANE AFFAIRS, they shake and overthrow the constitution of States and of individuals; they IMPRINT THEIR LIKENESS ON OUR SOULS, they are present in our nerves, our marrow, our veins, our arteries, and OUR VERY BRAIN SUBSTANCE ... at the moment when each of us receives life and being, he is taken in charge by the genii (Elementals) who preside over births.
HPB contributes an explanatory footnote of great practical value:
The meaning of this is that as man is composed of all the Great Elements: Fire, Air, Water, Earth, and Ether -- the ELEMENTALS which belong respectively to these Elements feel attracted to man by reason of their co-essence. That element which predominates in a certain constitution will be the ruling element throughout life. For instance, if man has a preponderance of the Earthly, gnomic element, the gnomes will lead him towards assimilating metals -- money and wealth, and so on. "Animal man is the son of the animal elements out of which his Soul (life) was born, and animals are the mirrors of man," says Paracelsus.
They [the Genii] permeate by the body two parts of the Soul, that it may receive from each the impress of his own energy. But the reasonable part of the Soul is not subject to the genii; it is designed for the reception of (the) God, who enlightens it with a sunny ray. Those who are thus illumined are few in number, and from them the genii abstain; for neither genii nor Gods have any power in the presence of a single ray of God. But all other men, both soul and body, are directed by genii, to whom they cleave, and whose operations they affect.
To this, HPB's priceless explanation must be added:
[The "God" referred to above is] the God in man and often the incarnation of a God, a highly Spiritual Dhyani-Chohan in him, besides the presence of his own seventh Principle.
Now, what "god" is meant here? Not God "the Father," the anthropomorphic fiction; for that god is the Elohim collectively, and has no being apart from the Host. Besides, such a god is finite and imperfect. It is the high Initiates and Adepts who are meant here by those men "few in number." And it is precisely those men who believe in "gods" and know no "God" but one Universal unrelated and unconditioned Deity.
These extracts from THE SECRET DOCTRINE are not mere metaphysical teachings to be speculated upon; they touch the constitution of our brain and blood, our bones and marrow. These Genii are the agents of the Fohatic Will functioning in the Life of Nature or Matter. We contact them in our body and "they permeate by the body two parts of the Soul," and only the higher aspect of the incarnated soul is not subject to the Genii, for that higher aspect is "DESIGNED [italics ours] for the reception of" the influence of the Light of Genius and Geniuses as explained above.
Now HPB has said that the mystery of the two minds is profound, intricate, and almost insoluble for us at our present stage. She has given us, however, enough for practical application at our own stage of psychic development.
The lower mind is the seat of human free will, of our volition. This will functions in freedom whenever the lower mind disconnects itself from Kama. (See "Psychic and Noetic Action" by HPB.) Manas, when extricated from Kama, becomes Antahkarana. When Manas extricates itself from Kama, it means that man has freed himself from the enslavement of the Genii. It implies some knowledge of the subject of elementals, but primarily man's recognition of his "God," the Being of Light, Rex Lucis, who is the Genius keeping company with his peers and superiors. Antahkarana is "designed for the reception of the God" in man, "a highly spiritual Dhyani-Chohan in him."
The kama-manas in Vedantic classification is Manomaya Kosha, and it is in close kinship with its Elder Brother, Vijnanamaya Kosha, a Being of Pure Knowledge. The Parents of both are Atma and Buddhi, the Father and the Mother of the Human Soul.
The duty or dharma of every man is to begin to transmute the kamic nature of the Genii by his own inherent Will, and look for and appeal to the Genius, Embodied Knowledge, to help him to master the Genii -- the progeny of Gnomes, Undines, Sylphs, and Salamanders. The Religion or Dharma of the Genius being the spirit of sacrifice and service, He will come to the aid of his little brother suffering the torments of worldly passional existence.
There is not only the Genius within us but also the Geniuses, Those us who have perfected Themselves -- the Holy Ones who hold the secrets of Light for us.
The goal is not only worth the effort. It is the Great Necessity. And the Goal?
Behold, the mellow light that floods the Eastern sky, In signs of praise both heaven and earth unite. And from the fourfold manifested Powers a chant of love ariseth, both from the flaming Fire and flowing Water, and from sweet-smelling Earth and rushing Wind.
Hark! ... from the deep unfathomable vortex of that golden light in which the Victor bathes, ALL NATURE'S wordless voice in thousand tones ariseth to proclaim:
JOY UNTO YE, O MEN OF MYALBA.
A PILGRIM HATH RETURNED BACK "FROM THE OTHER SHORE."
A NEW ARHAN IS BORN.
PEACE TO ALL BEINGS.
By G. de Purucker
[From WIND OF THE SPIRIT, pages 190-92.]
How may we find truth, or distinguish as among different teachings calling themselves truth, as to which is the proper or the best? What is truth? Do you remember Pontius Pilate, when he was examining Jesus, putting the question: What is truth? I ask you the same: What is truth? Do you think -- any one of you or any son of man -- that you have all truth within the small compass of your mind? Don't you see what a preposterous question this is? All we can know of truth is partial cognizance of the laws of the Universe, an ever-growing cognizance, an ever-increasing range of consciousness and feeling, a growth in wisdom and inner power. But if any man could encompass the whole truth within the small compass of his mind, of his brain, what a sad outlook for all the future there would lie before him. He has ended. He has finished. He has it all! He has infinite truth -- all of which is fortunately impossible.
Truth is relative, because what men call truth is just so much as each individual man can understand, take in, receive, and digest of the laws of the Universe around us; and by that, I mean the spiritual Universe even more than the gross physical one that gives us our bodies. Truth is relative, I repeat, which means in the simplest way of speaking, that what is truth to Jack may be false to John. Charles may see where Jack fails and where John fails, and have a vision of a still higher truth; and some other man with a vision and a penetrating power of intellect larger than that of Charles, may see more and feel more.
Deduction: Be therefore generous in your feelings towards others. Learn to respect true convictions, if they are indeed convictions; and learn to understand mere opinions for the paltry value that most of them have, opinions that are as changeable and uncertain as the moonlight.
Truth is infinite wisdom, and what man has it? Even the gods themselves in their azure seats have only portions, but portions vastly greater than we have. So you see how futile such a question is after all, and how distressing it is that questions like this have given rise to so much human ill feeling as among men, not only in religion but also in every aspect of human life. Instead of having kindliness and sympathy towards others, and an endeavor to understand your brother's viewpoint, there is a constant clash of opinions and warring of words, leading to human unhappiness at the least, and to desperate misery at the worst -- all very foolish and, indeed, childish, because unnecessary. The old simple rule of brotherhood and kindliness solves all these problems. Remember that your own growth in wisdom is steady; your own growth in understanding is constant. Learn then to be charitable to others.
Of course, on the other hand, some systems of thought have much more of truth than others have. This is obvious, because some men are more evolved than other men are, are wiser, have a more penetrating mind, and see farther. Learn therefore to be charitable, but to be always ready to receive a new truth and to follow a Teacher whom you believe to have that truth, thus recognizing that it is possible for some other man to know a little more than you do. It takes a big man to follow some other man; and I do not mean blind slavery or servile obedience. I abhor them. I mean an honest conviction in your heart that someone else in the world knows more than you do; and such a conviction dignifies a man, clothes him with manly dignity.
Truth dwells within, in you and in me. There is a secret fountain of truth and consequent wisdom within every son of man, at which he may drink. This secret fountain is his own inmost being, his link with the divinity that is the heart of our Universe, for that same heart is his heart, for we are of its substance, of its life we are children, of its thought we are offspring. The very physical atoms that compose my body are mere guests therein, and I am their host. They come to me from the farthest ranges of the Galaxy, dwell a while in my body, and give it form, and pass on. And I, alas, perhaps dirty their faces when they come to me in trust, or mayhap, peradventure, I cleanse their faces. But whatever happens, those same atoms will return to me some day in the infinite whirling of the Wheel of Life, continuous throughout eternity.
The big wheels move by the grace of God; The little wheels move also!
You know the old Negro 'spiritual' -- a wonderful truth in that fact!
So then, truth is merely as much as the spiritual man within you can take in from your study, from your intuitions, from your living with your fellowmen, and above all from your inner inspiration. Does truth dwell in Science? Does truth dwell in the churches? The answer is obvious, isn't it! Does truth dwell in the philosophical lecture-halls of our Universities? The same answer! You will find in church, lecture-hall, and scientific laboratory only as much as individual men bring there; and these individual men know only as much as they have evolved from within themselves.
You see how futile this question is as among the different sects and societies. Where may truth be found, and how may we know when we find it? You see the answer. Here is the touchstone: it is WITHIN because there is truth within the heart, within the core of your being, the divine center that is identical with the divine center of the Universe, for we are children of it, of its essence. Just in proportion as a man comes to know and to become this divine spark burning within his own being does his grasp of truth grow greater. The more he can vibrate in unison with the vibrations of that spiritual sun within himself, that spark which is the light from the divinity of the Galaxy; just in proportion does he know truth.
But in a practical way, be kindly to those who differ from you, recognizing that your own understanding is limited also. Do not resort to sarcasms, a sure mark of small minds. Use irony if you like, but not unkind sarcasms. When a man resorts to sarcasm, it simply means that he cannot think of anything cleverer to say. Be kindly towards others; respect others' convictions; and seek continually that fountain of Wisdom within yourself where in its inmost we may indeed say that Truth abides in fullness. There lies the pathway of which Theosophy teaches.
By Music Lover
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, August 1914, pages 137-41.]
The object of this article is to show what light may be thrown from a Theosophical point of view upon the nature of music, its function, and the cultivation of the art. Theosophy illuminates all subjects upon which it sheds its light, and supplies the missing links so often needed to fill the gaps in the chain of our thoughts.
The nature, function, and influence of music have always been mysterious and hard to define. Both in its ultimate source and in the quality of its appeal, it pertains to a sphere of conscious existence that is not directly related to the reasoning brain. The creation of music is inspired by a faculty beyond the ordinary course, and its influence appeals to an equally recondite power of appreciation.
All attempts to limit music by trying to make it descriptive of definable ideas have merely proved by their failure the truth of the general proposition. Its effect, and presumably its natural function, is to convey ideas that are not definable in the ordinary way; and we feel that by striving to describe the impressions we have received from music we merely belittle the indefinable by our attempt to define it.
People of a comfortably superficial habit of mind, content to accept facts without inquiring too closely into their cause or significance, may be satisfied to say that music (along with other arts) pleases the emotions, and to let the matter rest there. But perhaps in their case, the appreciation was not very intimate, the appeal very deep.
Music can excite the more superficial emotions, from the grave to the gay, the refined to the gross, as has been said so well and so often. But it also appeals to emotions of a far deeper and more sublime kind and rouses in us feelings for which we have no words, ideas that we can relate to nothing else, aspirations which fill us with a zeal that we cannot portray. In short, music has a meaning, and all who are susceptible to its subtler influence must often have asked themselves what those ideas and aspirations mean.
It must not be overlooked that other influences besides that of music have also the power, in varying degrees and kinds, to arouse what might be called soul-memories or to connect us temporarily with some higher and richer quality of existence. Perhaps it is scenery, pictures, ancient ruins, some one or more of the numerous kinds of beauty that thus appeals to our particular susceptibility. But music is peculiarly isolated and unmixed in its character. Poetry conveys ideas through language to the mind, and the delineative arts present familiar forms to the eye. But music speaks in no words, is formless.
Music combines two great potencies -- sound and harmony -- if we may for the moment regard rhythm as included under harmony. Harmony of any kind appeals irresistibly, for it is but another name for perfection -- our inevitable quest and goal. But, as associated with sound, its appeal is special and paramount. There are beautiful scientific experiments illustrating this idea, such as the sand-figures produced on a taut membrane when a musical note is sounded near. Sound in itself is one of the most potent and mysterious powers in nature.
Physical science has studied the properties of those vibrations in physical matter that produce the sensation of sound; but it does not pretend to tell us anything about the nature of the psychological effect -- the sensation we feel. As we are not at present concerned with a consideration of the value of music in a world in which there would be no ears to hear, we must concentrate our attention on the psychological aspect of the question. For present purposes, sound must be defined as something produced in our mind, and music as the quality that we apprehend rather than as the mechanical excitants thereof.
Sound is one of the most potent and fundamental forces of nature, having much to do with creation and the orderly arranging of atoms in a building process. In cosmological symbology, the Word is always made the creative power. Vibration and sound represent mysteries whose disclosure would lead to great power over nature, but such secrets would cause destruction except in the hands of responsible people.
The culture of music may surely be reckoned among the chief of those influences that in our time have tended to counteract materialism and sordid ideals. Through its agency, souls have been able to speak to the souls of humanity in a universal language and to influence mankind for its good by means other than verbal appeal.
This gives the clue to the real object with which music should be cultivated. The art must be regarded as a powerful means of promoting the soul-life of humanity, as opposed to the sensory. We have to consider both the effect on the artist and the effect on his audience.
By studying music and learning some instrument, a man finds a new channel for the expression of that which is in him. Perhaps it may be nothing more at first than a new channel for his vital energies to run in; and in this case, the study becomes a most powerful aid to the development and refinement of coarse, stunted, or warped natures. Energies that otherwise would run into wrong channels now find a healthy object. The effort of mastering the new art wakens up the whole nature of the student and arouses his faculties of apprehension and understanding in general so that his usefulness and fullness of life is increased all round.
To a more refined nature also, the culture of music may be a stepping-stone to a fuller realization of the meaning of life and to a richer development of faculty. But this theme is familiar enough and calls for no special comment here. A word should be added on concerted music.
When people learn to do anything in concert, even if it is only physical drill, they make a great advance. They learn to subordinate the personal motive to the collective purpose. Try to drill an undrilled body of grownups, if you want experience of the difficulty of taking out personal kinks. When told to put out their foot, instead of doing it, they will raise an objection. It hurts them to have to obey rules that seem to them arbitrary. In this case, the personal nature has grown solidified and often has to be broken and then reset. But the man who, realizing what it means, takes the process with a good will, rejoices in the new world he is opening up for himself by learning to do things that are in the line of duty but opposed to personal inclination.
Drill of any kind is a needed introduction to the practical philosophy of life. And when the drill takes the form of concerted music, it has many added glories. People who sing in a choir have to subordinate personal notes in order to blend with the general harmony. Here again, grownup choirs are apt to find the work go a little against the grain at first.
This article set out to speak of music from a Theosophical standpoint; and the way in which Theosophy elucidates the subject is by closely connecting the culture of the musical art with the culture of the art of right living. Indeed the practical Theosophist thus associates everything he does with the art of right living; Theosophy enters into everything he does; all minor purposes are contributory to the great purpose.
In drilling a choir or an orchestra, we are drilling people to act in concert, which is the one thing needful for humanity to do -- if it is to progress and be happy. Now in a Theosophical center, as at the Theosophical Headquarters at Point Loma, music is cultivated with this principle always to the fore in full view. As there is no purpose to turn out a supply of "stars" or merely to provide people with a lucrative profession (though they of course obtain this incidentally), the main purpose can be attended to -- which is to train people in the art of right living. All those who deplore the admixture of undesirable motives and influences with musical culture will be glad to hear of the possibility of music being pursued in freedom from these drawbacks. Many artists must have often wished they could cherish their art without having as their spur vanity, gain, or necessity.
It will scarcely be denied that the arts stand in need of revival, they having, as many think, succumbed largely to a universal worship of things evanescent and external. But how can we revive them except by reviving that "inward and spiritual grace" that is essential to the production of all beautiful forms? Technique will enable people to express themselves beautifully -- if they have anything to express. In short, inspiration is needed. The mere breaking away from old sources of inspiration or old forms of expression, without finding any new ones, leads to the weird and bizarre in art, musical or otherwise, with which we are nearly satiated for the present.
Art is the expression of life, and beautiful art is the expression of the life beautiful and the soul beautiful, as Ruskin has so patiently labored to tell us. He had to use the English language to express himself, so we may find opportunity to cavil at some of his expressions, if we think we need to; but there is no doubt he expressed a true principle as well as anybody could express it under the circumstances.
What tremendous power music could be for educating people in a higher sense, if properly used! And used in conjunction with the drama, all the artists being people devoted solely to realizing by their art those ideals of purity and right living that they have set up in their hearts, the souls of humanity could be moved. Thus, from a source of harmony, waves of harmony might be born on waves of music throughout the world, lighting fires everywhere and spreading a new inspiration.
Now what is the reason why we fail to grasp the meaning of the sublime message which music sings to us? Is it not because we try to bring Beauty down to the plane on which we live, instead of rising to the plane whereon she lives? Music beckons us to a higher life and we cannot follow; we fall back. But a high ideal is worth striving for, and what is worth having cannot be had for the mere asking. To achieve peace, we must either relinquish our aspirations or else observe the conditions requisite to their realization. To realize the meaning of music, we must make our lives musical. And this is an affair of daily life. The difficulties all lie in the humble circumstances and duties, for herein the enemy holds his fortress. It is from this vantage ground that we have to oust him if we would allow the spirit of harmony to obtain possession. There is music within, whereof the outer music is but a feeble expression; and it is attainable by the man who makes his life harmonious.
We cannot divorce art from duty; and if our conception of art is such as to render the association unpalatable to our minds, we had better reform our conception of art. The narrow constricted ideas of righteousness are not in place at all; these go hand in hand with materialistic narrowness and prejudice in general. Our minds may be confused by the old partnership of joy with sinfulness, and gloom with holiness; but this is surely a snare of the great deceiver.
In the most sublime music, we find that joy and sorrow seem to combine or lose themselves in something that is greater and grander than both are; and we seem to see how all the experiences our soul may undergo are essential parts of its grand harmony. We see that our feeble notions of pain and pleasure are very inadequate, and we feel that the life of the Higher Soul stands in calm deep majesty beyond the flitting scenes. Music has thus initiated us into a foretaste of the greater Self-realization to come; it has admitted us to the forecourt of the temple. And while we are thinking thus, perhaps somebody sitting behind us begins chattering. Then we are angry, the personality shows his ugly head, and we are back in the cold dreary world once more.
If we are wise, this gives us a second initiation. We must master temper -- especially when it calls itself by a fine name. But the means of self-adjustment are within our power. We can find out ways of establishing the harmony within. Our circumstances are our opportunities. It will always be helpful to remember this, because we can always apply it to some extent if we are anxious to do so. "If we can't be easy, let's be as easy as we can."
By Sri J.M. Ganguli
[From THE ARYAN PATH, September 1963, pages 411-14.]
Sir James Jeans, the great physicist, has said, "The universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine." Some Vedantins have said that the world was a projection of Maya, a sort of illusion.
Thought presupposes the existence of a Thinker and something about which to think. The Maya hypothesis also poses the question: "Whose Maya?" And, also, whoever the Being may be whose Maya produces the Creation or the illusion of the Creation, the further question arises as to how the Maya was caused in the Brahman, which is presumed to be Nirvikara (without attributes and unmodifiable), and besides and apart from which nothing had been and nothing had existed.
The inevitable implication of both these ideas is that behind the whole show there has been a conscious Being, and that Being, whether the "Nirvikara" theorists like it or not, was susceptible to Vikara. But Vikara cannot be self-generated; it is caused by something external to the conscious being susceptible to it. On the other hand, the physical subjectivity of the world, as relativity physics points out, could exist even without the minds and the senses of conscious beings.
Such conceptions are always stimulating and provocative, and should urge one irresistibly to keener probing into the fundamental mystery of the world, of what it is or what it appears to be. But unfortunately, they have led to a mental inertia that has made many people accept them as good and quotable definitions and descriptions of the Ultimate Reality. When questioned about the nature of the Creation and of its Creator, they say with satisfaction and with a sense of completeness that it is a Thought, or that it is just Maya, an illusion. They omit to bear in mind that none of those who have exclaimed that the Universe was a Thought or the projection of a Maya was himself satisfied with what he had remarked, and that with a burning dissatisfaction in them, they had all pursued further their enquiry into the problem that had excited their curiosity. Jeans did not leave it at his phrase but wanted to discover and know the Thinker, whom he described partly as a Perfect Mathematician. The Vedantin also had followed up his meditation, in spite of occasional outbursts of "Neti, neti."
There was and there always is the greatest and the most absorbing interest in the quest of the Unknown, and in thinking and thinking on about Him; but the theologians have damped that spirit and have disliked anybody's straying out of the fold within which they have sought to bring and keep their followers. The fold spread only as far as their faith, which stood on the foundation of a few holy books. Even when careful observation, added experience, and fresh perception have challenged the age-bound beliefs and current notions, the religious dogmatists have turned their faces away and have condemned any tendency to inquire as sinful.
To believe that life emerged from disorder in an otherwise orderly universe is untenable if we are to regard man as an important factor of its design. We may be entirely wrong in according him so much importance, but we have little choice if human ideals are to be maintained.
This has been said. But are some supposed human values so worth adhering to that we must shut our eyes to light for their sake? Man may represent a progressive evolution in an expanding universe, and the solar system may have been formed in harmony with the rest of the universe; but it is essential for more knowledge that we keep our minds open.
Do your duty, always; but without attachment ...
In every age I come back to deliver the holy, to destroy the sin of the sinner.
All the worlds, and even the heavenly realm of Brahma, are subject to the laws of rebirth. But for the man who comes to Me there is no returning.
Through Me alone you can reach Him.
Do such sayings and admonitions help in any way in the understanding of the questions that often strike us as strange? The invitation to devoted faith and blind submission is only a means to send the man, who comes out to question and know, back home. He is instructed to sit there quietly and read and learn the texts in the scriptures, which are burdened with wishful assumptions, faith-saving dogmatic statements, and a string of prescriptions of do's and don'ts, all shrouded in a cover of something supernatural. People devoted to these do not like any breakthrough, any brushing aside of the supernatural by such scientists and thinkers as are not satisfied with the knowledge they have and want to go deeper and know more. There is no point in warning them that by dispensing with the supernatural they dispense with the Creator. They understand that in Nature there is no place for the supernatural and that continued enquiry has turned the supernatural of yesterday into the natural of today, and also that the Creator cannot be known through the misty cloud of the supernatural but only by the open-eyed observation and study of His creation. One has very aptly said, in speaking of miracles,
What can rank with the great cosmic miracle of life itself -- the fashioning, through evolution, of mind and personality out of neutral impersonal stuff -- the drifting dust clouds of galactic space?
Those who shut their eyes to this cosmic evolution and devote themselves to the framing of duties to be done and of odd things to be shunned, stray far from the path that tends, though dimly and remotely, to the Castle of the Creator. Moreover, they surprise, more than they convince, an inquirer when they speak about duty, sin, and virtue without attempting to relate them to the cosmic evolution of life. Karma, duty, and all the rest that a devotee is reminded of, if they meant anything, can only have followed the evolution of life through a cosmic process of its own.
It must be a potent and provoking question how such karma and duty had come to be attached to a man and how he could have been made responsible for them. Duty implies mutuality; one owes duty to another; and hence in talking about duty and in prescribing it, it must be explained how the mutual relation between two or more individuals arises and how one individual becomes related to another in the process of the evolution. To say that such a relation is an incidence of birth or of association and environment is a poor and most unsatisfying explanation, because in such an explanation the cause behind birth and behind two persons becoming neighbors or becoming related otherwise is left out of account.
Reason and logic often fail us, no doubt, at some point in our probe into the marvels of the world, but that cannot mean that the universe is a freakish creation, a stupendous assemblage of random happenings and meaningless, incoherent accidents and incidents. Causality must be, and must have been, embedded under every layer of its formation. So long we are unable to get down to it, we cannot be happy or satisfied. Therefore, the theologians, the dogmatists, and their faithful and unquestioning followers are losing touch with those real questioners who do not seek to be comforted in their physical distress and in their occasional mental depression by some soothing words that do not impress them.
The more the latter suffer, the more they are impelled to seek confrontation with the Real Cause of their suffering -- Divine, All-Powerful, or whatever other adjective may be prefixed to that Cause. To seek out that Cause, instead of closing their eyes to the multi-sided and multi-colored manifestations of that Fundamental Cause, they go out to observe, analyze, study, and meditate over all that they see and perceive, keeping their mind ever alert to receive and respond to fresh knowledge and changing experiences. In that way, they think more earnestly and more profoundly about God, the Creator, than those who read and repeat mechanically some sacred books and devotional utterances and perform, as a daily routine, some sacramental duties and obligations.
The unknown architect of a building is known when we study his plan and construction and begin to understand his skill, object, and purpose. And so, only the Creation can give a glimpse of its Creator. The Creation, both its subjectivity and objectivity, has, therefore, to be observed and studied by all the means that we may have, by analytical reasoning, mathematical theories and calculations, and by experimental measurements and verifications. This is only a materialistic outlook, those who love to indulge in make-believe will say; but whether the Creation is a thought or a Maya-illusion; its nature can be understood only after an intensive study of the material aspects of that thought or illusion.
It is easy to sneer at the scientist and call him unspiritual, but, in fact, he is more in earnest to come in touch with the Great Spirit behind the Creation, and devotes himself more steadfastly to feeling His hand behind His manifestations, than the unthinking faith-adherents. The true scientist is a Yogi, who always observes and wonders at the marvelous skill and the mysterious purpose of God and remains ever absorbed in meditation on Him.
By G. de Purucker
[From GOLDEN PRECEPTS, pages 57-63.]
Learn to control the mind. Man is a child of the gods, and his mind should be godlike, his thoughts aspiring, his heart constantly opening in love ever more; and therefore his attitude should be godlike.
Into the quiet places of the soul and into the deep silences of the heart enter the Great Ones when they want to acquire greater light and knowledge. By so doing, they enter into the very structure and fabric of the universe, and therefore know Truth at first hand, because they become in their own minds and intelligences -- in the interpreting organ we call the mentality -- one with that universe, vibrating synchronously, sympathetically, with the vibrations on all planes of the Eternal Mother. There they become one with All and therefore know truth intuitively.
Therefore, go into the silent places of your heart; enter into the chambers so quiet and still, of your inner being. Soon you will learn to knock at the doors of your own heart. Practice makes perfect. Intuitions will then come to you. You will have knowledge immediately; you will know truth instantly. That is the Way. That is the Teaching.
Every Sage and Seer has taught the same thing. Cleanse the Temple of the Holy Spirit, drive out the demons of the lower nature. What are these demons? They are one's own thoughts.
Inharmonious thoughts not only poison the air, but they also poison your very bloodstream, poison your body; and disease is the resultant. What are inharmonious thoughts? They are selfish thoughts, evil thoughts, mean thoughts, thoughts out of tune; and they arise in the heart that lacks love. Perfect love in the human heart tends to build up a strong body, physiologically clean, because the inside of you is psychologically and morally clean, harmonious in its workings, for in this case, the mind, the soul, the spirit -- the true man -- are harmonious in their workings. The body merely reflects what you yourself are.
You are making yourself now very largely what you will be ten years from now. You may have conquered a disease that you are now suffering from. You may have had a disease then that now you have not. In either case, you are responsible. The greatest preventive of disease is a selfless soul working through a selfless mind -- a self-forgetful heart. Nothing brings disease upon a human being so quickly as selfishness with it concomitant temptations. Be utterly unselfish, and the world's wealth is yours: wealth of health, wealth of vision, of physical riches, wealth of power, wealth of love, wealth of faculty, wealth of everything.
When the thoughts chase through the mind as unruly steeds, do not struggle, wasting your force. Picture to yourself the things opposite to those you hate. Picture the things that you inwardly love, really love in your heart and which you know are helpful. The secret is inner visualization. See things of a high and noble character and visualize them forcefully. Visualize to yourself a success in fine things. Visualize things of beauty, of inward splendor.
The mind can be raised with high and noble thoughts. Even the worker, while his hands are busy, can trace his ancestry in thought to the gods in space, and feel the inspiration of a divine ancestry flowing through the veins of his soul, so to speak. He can thereby be truly a man.
Be a thinker, not so much of thoughts, as of thought. In other words, leave the restless activity of your brain-mind and go into the inner chambers of your heart, into the recesses of your consciousness, the holy place within, and see the Light. Receive the Light. Silence your thoughts, and enter into consciousness.
There is a test where you can ascertain whether something springs into the mind from the Higher Self or merely from some desire. Here is your test, and an easy one. The Higher Self is impersonal. It is self-forgetful, kind, loving, pitiful, compassionate, and has sublime inspirations. The lower nature is selfish, ingathering, acquisitive for self, hateful often, unforgiving, violent.
The Higher Self is a spiritual entity, and, so to say, soars above the mud of the lower self much as the sun shines upon the earth. The Higher Self has tremendous influence on the lower self, but the lower self has no influence on the Higher Self whatever. The lower self has tremendous influence on the human self however, the intermediate nature.
If what comes wandering into your mind or is brought thither by your own will-power and aspiration, is such as urges you to do good to your fellowmen, gives you inner peace and comfort, makes you kindlier and more thoughtful of others, it is from the higher part. This higher impulse may be a desire; but it is not a desire for the personality; it is a desire of the spirit, a desire to grow greater, to be more, to help others, to love, to forget injury, to forgive.
A kindly thought sent out towards some other human being is a protection to that other, and it is a beautiful thing to do. It is a human thing, a truly human thing, and one that every normal human being loves to do. There are few things as satisfying to both heart and mind as the feeling that, today at least, we have not been unkind in our feelings or thoughts toward others, but have been helpful, kindly, considerate, impersonal.
The sowing of the seeds of thought is not an act devoid of responsibility. Anyone who sows seeds of thought in the minds of his fellowmen is held by natural law to a strict accountability. Nature is not anarchic; it is governed by cause and effect throughout -- by Karma.
While this places a serious responsibility upon anyone who teaches others, and who thus puts seeds of thought and feeling into their minds, nevertheless, on the other hand, what is the guerdon of a noble work well done? The reward, the recompense, is magnificent.
By Kenneth Morris
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, August 1911, pages 115-21.]
One has been reading a fairytale of our own day, which has made a great stir in literary and dramatic circles, and it has given rise to certain ideas as to canons of criticism. Its name and its author's do not matter; there will be more freedom if they remain unmentioned.
What a charm is here! Millions of colors that never were in the rainbow nor the seashell, a subtle, exquisite loveliness -- which yet, in the after-taste -- somehow repels. Always mystery; what we call inanimate things waking to life (as they should do, indeed, in any right-minded fairytale); a sense of mutable, inconsequent horizons, over which no sun has ever risen or set. And, as there should be in fairytales, a kind of esotericism glimmering through, a meaning concealed yet obvious. Yet there is fairy gold and fairy gold. The best kind has the aspect of a petal or a pebble; but with the dawn, lo, some diamond or magical tiara. We are a little doubtful that this moon-wan opalescence will not turn out to be only a good worthy piece of Birmingham-ware. Withal, there are fine notes at the end that touch deep centers in us, for these one can but be duly and truly thankful.
There are certainly two methods of imagination; and we find them shown forth excellently in fairy literature. By that, we mean all mythology, every tale wherein non-human or magical agents play their part. It will include a good part of our poetry; Shakespeare, Keats, Shelley, Coleridge, Poe, and Tennyson all dipped into it at times, or moved habitually among its haunted valleys.
There are two roads running out from our actual world, and they run through two separate Fairylands. You shall go out by your front door when the sun is shining, and come upon the one of them. It leads through a wood of daffodils -- Wordsworth's and Shakespeare's daffodils -- in whose company you will find yourself strangely exultant: these are they that "take the winds with beauty," hence their jocundity and infectious mirth. Alive? Why, certainly, and wise, only perhaps you shall not be allowed to pry too curiously into their counsel. All the flowers are alive in this fairyland; and they all have their own secrets, which are sunbright and beneficent. Sunbright, or sundark like the hyacinth -- but still beneficent: poppy and mandragora are not allowed to grow here.
As you ride on, you shall still feel the shining of the sun and the vigor of the wind; or perhaps there will be sweet intimate grayness of clouds, or perhaps the sweetness of rain. Rain or wind, you will feel the touch of either on your face, and smell the earth-scent. There is one valley there, where the sky is always clouded and windy; the sedge is withered on the lake there, and no birds sing. But for that, you might mistake it at first for a place in the other fairyland, because of the haggard and woe-begone knight-at-arms you are to meet with, "alone and palely loitering." Keats came to this valley, and heard his whole story from him; this knight-at-arms met LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI.
Like everything else in this fairyland, it is true; in this case, the beauty of its truth is awful. For you are not to suppose there are no tragedies enacted here: there are as many as there are in the world. There are a thousand wanderers in the valleys and on the mountains, who would lure you away from the sunlight and the rain. Here, often and often, it is written: "Look not behind, or thou art lost." Yet no ruin can come upon you that is not definitely evitable. One holds one's fate in one's own hands, and need fear nothing but himself.
In another hundred of fairyland, your road runs by over windy wolds of rye and barley, and down past the island in the river where dwells the Lady of Shalott. While she weaves her web, finding her whole delight in the pictures, note that the sun or the moon is still shining; afterwards, when she has turned and the curse has come upon her, the low skies are raining ever so heavily. By the presence of the sun and moon and wind and rain, by the earth-smell and the water-song, you shall know that you are in the fairyland of the Right Hand, and that everything about you is true. The story of the Lady of Shalott true? Why, yes; a million and a million times. A tragedy again; fairyland is full of tragedies. Yet she need not have left the web, need not have seen the bloom on the water-lilies, need not ever have looked down to Camelot.
And how nearly a tragedy is this scene too: of Titania, poor lady, falling in love with the Ass! For, if you go far enough, you shall come upon Oberon and his court; you shall find sweet Bully Bottom also, strangely wandered from his own world, and with that queer, inevitable headpiece clapped upon him. What else should he wear, in fairyland? As was said, everything is so desperately true here; and sage and simple are alike to come by their own. Should you stray here, no silk hat has potent enough magic of the modern to protect your respectability: a wandering wind will whisk it away, and you will appear in crown or ass-head, according to your merits; or perchance in a dinted, war-worn helmet, or wearing a garland of oak or laurel or bay. No one may wear any colors but his own in fairyland.
There are innumerable provinces here, reigned over by innumerable potentates; but you are to look for sun and moon and wind and rain in all of them. Perseus and Theseus and Herakles; Roland and the good knight Charlemain; Cuchullain and the Red Branch; the men of the Emperor Arthur, and Oisin and Oscar and Finn -- they are all here; here are fought Moytura, Fontarabbia, Camlan. Ulysses flies the Island of Calypso anew; and Odin comes anew into the Hall of the Dwarfs.
There is always a feast at Gwalas in Penfro; and the door that looks out towards Aberhenfelen and Cornwall is flung wide by Heilyn again and again -- tragedy of tragedies; no one had opened that door until then, from the time the sea and the sky and that old palace were made. But hark! It is the scream of a real seagull that is blown down the hall. Innumerable are the beauties, wonders, and sorrows of this region; and they are all true, true, true. You can hear the natural winds and waves always, and taste the salt of natural wind-driven spray.
Yet in a sorrowless Italy here, Saturn still is reigning: and here
The wind in the reeds and the rushes, The bees in the bells of thyme, The birds in the myrtle bushes, The cicale above in the lime, And the lizards below in the grass Are as silent as ever old Tmolus was, listening to the sweet pipings of Pan
-- for the Golden Age has not faded and you may come on Brugh-na-Boinne and the Hills of Arcady and the Island of the Appletrees. You may come on all the haunts of Plenydd, Alawn, Angus, Baldur, and Apollo.
So much, then, for the Fairyland of the Right-hand, as we may call it; there is also a Left-hand fairyland, however; and its character and denizens are altogether different.
You come to it by a road that never goes out of doors. I suspect that you lock and bar your study door, and draw the curtains, and make fearfully sure of your solitude. Then you sally forth by uncanny gateways, and come where never hay was mown. There is light there, especially at first; but the end is a dreadful darkness. The light is of a kind, indeed, that never was on land or sea; but we may be thankful for that. Our lands and seas are more wholesome for the lack of it.
At first, it is not all so different, as to let us see at once that we are in no hallowed region. There is beauty, and color; the beauty is from neither the sun nor moon, and the color from no dawn nor sunset, no sky nor sea. Shifting mists may give place to a dazzling Moorish palace, or to a peasant's cottage inhabited by the dead. Mirth or sadness may lurk in such dwellings; but beware of any intimacy with them: you cannot tell what fair seeming masks the ghoul.
There is no order or established nature of things; you can depend on nothing. The fig grows on the thistle; but any hunger is better than to eat it; vines and fig trees are prolific of innumerable thorns. Gorgeous blooms prophesy only of doom and impending horror. That is, when you have journeyed some little while. At first, perhaps, they will tell no tale but of sweetness and fragrance for the senses. Luxurious poppies are on every roadside, haunted with night and dreams: but beware of the whitest lily, the deepest rose; besides these the poppies are but flower children innocent of guile.
Very early on the way to this fairyland, you shall come to Xanadu, where Kublai Khan decreed his stately pleasure-dome. A beautiful place? Yes, but mark; here Alph, the sacred river runs "through caverns measureless to man, down to a sunless sea." There is much wonder in that, but also darkness, and -- incipient terror. Your true and right-hand fairyland, "bards in fealty to Apollo hold." It is all "in the Face of the Sun and the Eye of Light."
For a lone reminder of better things, the forests of Xanadu do enclose sunny spots of greenery, but the heart of the place! It is "as holy and enchanted as e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted by woman wailing for her demon lover." Heavens! Is that your mark of holiness? They do not so reckon it in the right fairyland, where the tragedies are effects flowing from causes. And the beauty of the place?" The shadow of the dome of pleasure floated midway on the waves," a scintillate mirage, a sensuous unreal efflorescence of phantasmagoria; and midst it all, "ancestral voices prophesying war."
Christabel, Genevieve, and The Ancient Mariner all belong to this fairyland; the first two near the hither frontier and the last much farther in. For one has to note how beauty wanes as the sun-known horizons recede, and how its place is taken by a new kind of harmony, a chiaroscuro of keen terror and gloom. This also holds one, as beauty does; indeed, plays on the emotion with a more compelling, because wilder and louder, touch. So we call the pictures and poems of the left-hand fairyland beautiful, also works of Art. Some day I think we shall be wiser; our critics will use a deeper discrimination. Beauty is not that which most stirs the emotion, but that which most stirs it in a certain way. There is the evolutionary urge upward to consider; what works against that has no real right to the name of beauty.
You are to note here, that the further one travels in this dark fairyland, the more Wonder transforms itself into horror. Wonder went with us all through the bright realm, and grew from the mere wizardry of flowers and mountains, into the atmosphere of majesty that surrounds the soul and the judgments of Spiritual Law. The wizard-glow in the woodlands waxes, and resolves itself into one of the elder gods. But in the other case, the Daughter of Glamour that leads us is like the Gwrach y Rhibyn in the Celtic tales; subtly luring and exquisite at first, she turns into a fearful terrifying hag, and he who accompanies her does well if he escapes with his reason.
Glamour fills both regions; the one, a clean natural magic; the other, not so decadent in the beginning, as to be wanting in some few waning rays of the sun. In either case, it is partly the sense of a certain depth in the things seen or heard; you know that the words of the poem or story stand for something more than is actually spoken. Fairy dwellings again; the grass-grown hillock that melts and reveals itself a palace of the Immortals. In the poetry of the Right-hand Fairyland, this is precisely what we find; beautiful is the seen, but infinitely more beautiful and grander that which it symbolizes or indicates.
In that magical country, there is nothing not quickening with ancient truth, and all the dramas enacted are leaves out of the diary of the human soul. Hence the many tragedies, the many fallings of fate, dooms that flow out of deeds done or undone. But in the other, we find none of this. There, the esotericism is poorer than the outward form. Fate is fate there, no longer Karma. At the best, there may be some moral taught; yet even then, it is doubtful if the lesson will be of supreme value. It will not equal in weight the great superstructure of art raised over it; as if one should sack the caves of the whole sea, to find some not too-precious stone. It will be an after-thought, a gem added, and an excuse, not the seed and reason of the whole work. More often, it will be some mere allegory of the passions, void of truth in the deeper sense; or the deliberate esotericizing of a Sandford-and-Mertonism. Yet these will be the very best the left-hand fairyland has to offer; go a little further in, and you have simply riot on the planes of delirium.
Coleridge's GENEVIEVE and Keat's BELLE DAME will point the difference. There is something of the same color and mystery, even a parallelism in the subject matter of the two poems: but the first is mere sound and beauty, signifying nothing, and the second is a picture of the fate of one who has been lured away by passion from the true paths of the Soul. They are surely wrong, who ascribe to Coleridge the originality, and say that Keats followed him. The truth is that the two are not comparable; Keat's voyaging was to the right hand, Coleridge's, here, to the left.
And the last places in the witch-land? The House of Ussher rears itself gauntly beside its tarn there, and incontinently and dreadfully falls. It is an "ultimate dim Thule," reached by a road haunted only of evil angels. It is the home of decay, horror, and death; there is godless phosphorescence about it.
But, you say, did not Dante wander there, and Milton? No. Whither they went they went armed in the uprightness of spiritual strength. They made their hells somber, terrible, august; not glamorous or attractive. In Malebolge and Pandemonium alike, there is a certain stability also, a procession of cause and effect; there are horrors, but they are not inconsequential; they take their place in a definite scheme of things. And here is a literary touchstone; both Milton and Dante wielded that supreme quality of style which is called the GRAND MANNER, so that the mere boom and march of their verses arouses the feeling of heroism, of titan strength: a thing it was never given the decadents and drug-fed to do.
Dante had his safe guide and teacher with him; as he walked through the wonders and terrors of hell, he himself was the thing most aloof and wonderful. Unscathed he might pass to his meeting with Beatrice, and walk with her in heaven as majestically as he had walked with Virgil through hell.
Milton, too, with all his limitations, remains a thing majestic for our vision; poet or politician; he is still the armed and terrible warrior of God. In his characteristic and later mood, he seeks never beauty, but always righteousness; indeed, his chief fault is that he lost sight of any unity in the two. COMUS and LYCIDAS will show us from what fairyland he had graduated, to take part in the stern earthly labors of his prime.
But here is the mark of the later Coleridge, and of all true wanderers in the fairyland of the left. When they see him, "All should cry Beware, beware! His flashing eyes, his floating hair." Yes -- in one of his moods. But what when the inspiration had passed; when the turbulent dark glory that held them had waned from before his eyes; when the Dead Sea Fruit of his fairyland had withered, and left him to be nourished with filth and cinders? Then, too, wholesome men cry Beware! But of a victim of opium, a morphiomaniac, or one sodden with cocaine, a poor wreck of a man, at sight of whom if you close your eyes, it will not be in "holy dread," but in mere sorrow and pity.
Poor Coleridge! It was laudanum, and not honeydew or the milk of Paradise that inspired him. And perhaps we might trace all that part of the literature of wonder that comes from the dark, left-hand fairyland, to drugs, which would remove from the category of genius many a name that figures there now.
By Gertrude W. van Pelt
[From THE DOCTRINE OF KARMA: CHANCE OR JUSTICE, pages 1-7.]
The word "karma" refers to one of the basic teachings of Theosophy by which it is able to explain the meaning of human life and to resolve its enigmas and seeming injustices. It is a Sanskrit term expressing tersely the principle of action and reaction, or the law of consequences. This word and the idea that it embodies are now in current use but often not clearly understood. Karma is a law of unerring, never-failing justice, the workings of which stretch from the atom to the uttermost and innermost cosmic spaces; from the birth of a thought to that of a Universe.
In the New Testament, the action of Karma is formulated in the well-known words of Paul in his EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS, vi, 7, "For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Yet while the great Christian Apostle and Initiate has thus forcibly expressed it, the Christian nations, crippled by the lack of any real philosophy of life, have failed to understand the profound meaning in this formulation of the law of ethical justice. Overlooking its far-reaching action, they have accepted it superficially only and not as a working hypothesis on mental and spiritual planes. But this has been the case only in the field of moral and social life, for the law of action and reaction is so evident in the physical world that our lives are unconsciously guided by our sense of its infallibility.
Day follows night unfailingly, as birth succeeds by death. Certain common principles of mechanics expressing this law are understood and acted upon instinctively, even by children. Law and order are the rule everywhere and are constantly readjusting the disorder that ignorance and carelessness produce. The presence of this law of logical results following upon action is revealed plainly over the whole range of external Nature, yet the Western world, at least, has failed to realize its universal reign and to follow the indelible record written beneath the surface.
This failure to connect the life of man with the universal working of the habit of action and reaction amounted, in the last century, to a veritable mental aberration. In the pursuit of Science, causes and effects on the physical plane were recorded with the greatest accuracy; their relation was studied with such skill that results could be foreseen and absolutely relied upon. Out of the close observations of the transformations of Nature, in which every atom of energy had to be accounted for, grew the formulation of the law of the Conservation of Energy, which, although only partly true, still disclosed the reign of trustworthy law in the physical world. Yet beyond the borderline that our present physical senses cannot cross, there was said to be chaos -- mere chance reigning, and we heard such meaningless expressions as "a fortuitous concourse of atoms;" until finally the strange conclusion was drawn that the very minds that had so carefully observed and comprehended the reactions of matter, were themselves nothing but the secretion of that which they had studied and controlled!
This special nightmare is passing, for we note that leading scientists have asserted that 'mind-stuff' or consciousness, rather than matter, is the fundamental thing in the Universe. Nevertheless, this old error of the scientists is here cited to show how adrift humanity has been without a knowledge of the true philosophy of life. Lacking this, they have studied effects only, and through these have undertaken the difficult, indeed impossible, task of finding causes. Theosophy, the Ancient Wisdom, on the contrary, shows the causes that explain the effects we everywhere observe.
To understand Karma it must first be clearly perceived that the Cosmos, the Universe, is a unit -- one single Organism composed of an infinite number of lesser organisms in an immense variety of grades of consciousness and development, all united into a single Whole by the One Consciousness that includes and is common to them all. This sublime idea is well illustrated by man himself, who is a universe, a cosmos, in miniature. Is he not composed of an almost infinite number of centers of life or consciousness -- atoms, molecules, cells, organs, ganglia, etc. -- under the unifying overlordship of the man's individual consciousness, which pervades and unifies, and directs them all? And just as a felon on the finger is felt by the whole body, so we are taught that a thought of hatred or a throb of mental anguish has its due effect throughout the greater Cosmic Organism.
The law of action and reaction, of cause and effect, so evident in the limited sphere of mere physical life, is simply evidence on the surface of what takes place in the inner spiritual and causal realms. The physicist perceives only that action and reaction are equal in the world of matter, but the eye of the spiritual Seer discovers the same law acting behind the scenes, and acting with far greater dynamic energy. In THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, H.P. Blavatsky defines Karma as
The ULTIMATE LAW of the Universe, the source, origin and fount of all other laws that exist throughout Nature. Karma is the unerring law that adjusts effect to cause, on the physical, mental and spiritual planes of being. As no cause remains without its due effect from greatest to least, from a cosmic disturbance down to the movement of your hand, and as like produces like, KARMA is that unseen and unknown law THAT ADJUSTS WISELY, INTELLIGENTLY AND EQUITABLY each effect to its cause, tracing the latter back to its producer.
From the foregoing, it is plainly seen that Karma is the ultimate law of the Universe because every entity contained within the Cosmos is a vital part of it. Every thought and action affects, to the degree of energy involved, every other entity, which inevitably reacts in corresponding degree upon the thinker of the thought or the performer of the action.
It not infrequently happens that an evil intent is thwarted on the physical plane. A man, for instance, may be filled with hatred for another; he may even go so far as to plan to kill him. But the object of his evil passion, we will imagine, suddenly dies. Thoughts and desires, however, are energies, the more real and powerful the nearer their momentum approaches to expression. In this case, the death of the intended victim turns that dark torrent back upon its creator, within whose nature this strong evil energy has been brought into being. Shall this force, though physically unexpressed, produce no effect? Remembering the law of action and reaction, we see that can never be. It is at least plain that the hater has poisoned his own nature. He has altered his character for the worse, and the process of repairing the damage is certain to be a painful one.
It is here that the twin-doctrine to Karma comes in to make possible the complete process of man's evolution -- the doctrine of Reincarnation. This means the rebirth of the spiritual part of man repeatedly on this earth. At each rebirth or reincarnation, he has a new body that is the karmic result of the thoughts and actions of his past lives. And as with his body so with his environment: it is the unerring consequence of what he has desired, worked for, or failed in, during past lives on this Earth. Thus by living repeatedly here on Earth and experiencing the exact effects of what he has made himself in the past, he gradually learns how to control and develop his own energies and faculties, and so begins to re-create his destiny. But this wonderful process of self-directed evolution would not be possible unless all are reborn to reap in character and environment what they have sown in thoughts, desires, and action in previous lives. Men do not "gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles;" neither do they sow a crop in one place and reap it in another.
So in some future life on Earth the two enemies we have pictured above must meet again, drawn together by those very unexpended forces that connected them before; for hate is as magnetic and dynamic as love. Then, who can tell? -- will the rebound return as hate to the one who sent it forth? Or will the victim of this evil energy be great enough to work the magic transmutation, by the divine alchemy of compassion -- great enough to transform hate into love? However, this may eventuate, the energy brought into being must produce its effect, it may be through many lives, until equilibrium or harmony is restored. We little realize with what dynamics we so idly play in this magnetic ocean of life in which we live. Action and reaction, cause and effect, energy and its consequences, balance each other not only in the outer world of physical effects but also through the inner, spiritual and causal worlds where moral and ethical forces act with mathematical precision. This is the message that Theosophy brings regarding the majestic law of Karma, this merciful law that is our teacher, friend, and savior.
By G. de Purucker
[From THE FOUR SACRED SEASONS, pages 73-87.]
Of all the four sacred initiatory seasons of the year, none, perhaps, is so difficult to describe in the inadequate forms of the written or spoken word as the events, trials, and success that belong to the initiation of the Autumnal Equinox, technically called the "Great Passing." The Winter Solstice is connected with the event called the "Great Birth." The Spring Equinox connected with the event technically called the "Great Temptation." The Summer Solstice connected with the sublime event called the "Great Renunciation." Finally, the Autumnal Equinox is connected with the event technically called the "Great Passing," the recondite and in some cases dread mysteries of death.
As it has been pointed out in other parts of the teaching, the Pratyeka-Buddhas, great and holy men as they are, exemplify one aspect of the events belonging to the Initiation of the Autumnal Equinox. There comes a moment in the lifecycle or esoteric history of a Pratyeka-Buddha when he makes the final decision as to which of the two Paths that he will take. One Path is to return among men as a Buddha of Compassion. The other is to advance steadily along the path of individual achievement for himself, with the light of eternity indeed shining upon his brow, but with his heart closed to the cry of misery and often of despair welling up from the multitudes of the struggling pilgrims on the Path behind him.
The Pratyeka-Buddha definitely chooses the Great Passing, dies absolutely, and for the term of a Cosmic Manvantara, it may be, out of the world of men and sentient beings traveling behind him -- and returns no more. He has become at one with his divine and spiritual parts, but in an enclosed and self-sufficient manner, so that although his being shines like the Sun and he is sunken in the ineffable mystery and bliss of Nirvana, his range of consciousness is limited to his own Auric Egg, however widely spread or diffuse this may be. There he remains plunged in the deeps of cosmic consciousness, but, alas, oblivious of all except himself. Strange paradox is it not that though a part of the cosmic consciousness of the Solar System, he realizes this and senses it only insofar as it pertains to his own perceiving essence.
Yet even the Pratyeka-Buddha, by the very fact of his being and existing, exercises a steady although silent influence throughout the cosmic sphere of which he has become an integral albeit inactive part. But this influence is negative, not active, steady, but diffuse, whereas the influence of the energies flowing forth from the heart of the being of a Buddha of Compassion is active, constructive, building, stimulating, and directly encouraging, by its vital fire.
The difference, as it is thus easily seen, between the Pratyeka-Buddha and the Buddha of Compassion, is simply immense. The Buddhas of Compassion, like the Silent Watcher of our Planetary Chain of which they are the copies, renounce the unspeakable glories that the Great Passing confers. They become vibrant spiritual energies, so to speak, in the world's life and all that the world's life contains -- energies vibrating with spiritual potencies, most of them too subtle to be described in words.
The Great Passing is the fourth and concluding initiation that every Master of Wisdom must go through, AND THE GLORIES OF WHICH HE MUST RENOUNCE. As in the preceding three Initiations, the Initiant must pass through the Underworld in this particular phase of the initiatory cycle leading to complete Mahatma-hood. In this the Fourth, the passage is but fleeting and is, as it were, like a traveler in a train rushing through scenes which have become familiar from other stops there; and instead of lingering in the Underworld, the energies are bent upon achieving cognizance of and intimate, individual acquaintanceship with and indeed mastery of the Upper Worlds.
Here then, in this Initiation, are learned all the intricate and very mysterious secrets connected with death, some of them sublimely beautiful and some of them dreadful beyond any ordinary human imagination. The entire framework of the constitution of the Initiant must be ruptured and torn apart for the time being. This is so that the Divine Monad may be utterly free and without shackles or trammels of any kind impeding its movements, to the end that it may ascend to and move among the starry spaces comprised within the encircling zone of our own stellar Galaxy, our Home-Universe. Among the Stars and among the planets in orbital movement around those stars, the freed Divine Monad of the Initiant must roam, free as a thought of a freed god to become at one with -- in stellar sphere after stellar sphere -- all the different and differing phases and conditions not merely of stellar substance, but also of the cosmic consciousness.
In other words, and to put the matter in other language, the Divine Monad returns to its own Stellar Parent, and, indeed, passes from star to star, ranging and wandering among them, familiarly and fully at home. What takes places in the case even of the ordinary human being when he dies, and which to such ordinary individual is blank unconsciousness because he has not evolved far enough to understand what he is undergoing, must to the freed Divine Monad of the Master-Initiant be made fully conscious and clear. Every phase of the process of death that takes place in ordinary human beings is undergone by the Initiant at this time. Sheath after sheath of the soul is dropped and abandoned, cast aside and for the time being forgotten until the naked divinity stands alone, a living fire of energy in self-consciousness and self-cognizing memory.
Once that the shackles of the lower personal man, the enshrouding and crippling sheaths of the lower consciousnesses, have been cast off, then, step by step, stair after stair, up the Ladder of Life, the Monadic Energy wings its lofty way. It must pass through every one of the twelve Houses of the Zodiac, one after the other. It undergoes and experiences the particular and peculiar influences flowing forth from each one of the twelve Houses of the Zodiac until when the Round has been made, and familiarity has been self-consciously achieved with what is therein, the descent begins.
Downwards step by step, stair after stair, the hitherto freed Monad clothes itself again with the sheaths of consciousness and with the various spiritual, ethereal, and astral bodies that it had previously thrown off and forgotten. Reaching our Earth again -- the body lying entranced -- it re-enters this world, raises its body anew and reappears among men, shining with a supernal light even more ethereal, marvelous, and dread than that which clothes the successful Initiant at the time of the rising from the trials of the Winter Solstice.
The Initiant has died; he has been dead literally, and in every sense of the word. Owing to the marvelous, magical processes and the protecting care and help of the great Seers and Sages who watch and guard over their younger Brother, he is enabled to return from beyond the portals of death. He is literally "raised from the dead," becoming a man again, but a man now glorified, sanctified, and purified in every part and portion of his composite constitution. He has passed beyond the portals of death, and has returned. He is fully reborn.
This is no case of renunciation as it is at the time of the Summer Solstice. The Initiant is enabled to pass through these terrible trials precisely because the Great Renunciation had previously been made at the time of Initiation of the Summer Solstice. He has gained the strength to die completely, fully, and yet to return to human physical existence.
Just here, spiritually and ethically speaking, we discern the difference. The Pratyeka-Buddha dies with a will, and dies gladly and joyfully for his own spiritual bliss. The One who has made the Great Renunciation like the Buddhas of Compassion and their followers, dies for the experience that it gives, for the great increase in knowledge that it brings, but also returns to life in order to offer up himself as a sacrifice in service to the world.
It is not easy to die completely. Men die daily, but imperfectly, at night, when they lay themselves on their bed and fall asleep. But deliberate dying is a very difficult thing, for it is contrary to Nature's customary law and processes.
I have hitherto been speaking of the Fourth of the four Grand Initiations as it applies to the cases of the Great Ones who undergo it and who return among men. There are the many other cases of those who take this Initiation deliberately after the manner of the Pratyeka-Buddhas, die out from the world, and return no more until eons have passed, having dropped one by one into the ocean of bygone time. These latter are on the way to becoming Pratyeka-Buddhas, perhaps unknown to themselves, paradoxical as it may sound. I doubt not that you would be astonished were you to realize how numerous are the human souls who crave the unspeakable peace and bliss of the Nirvanic rest, clinging to life, longing for its continuance. They yet -- strange paradox! -- choose the pathway of death.
The Great Ones undertake this Fourth Initiation in order to have first-hand experience, in every respect, not only of the Underworld but also especially of the Upper Worlds and of what every Monad leaving incarnation must undergo in the ordinary course of dying.
In the Initiation on the Winter Solstice, the planets visited usually are the Moon, Venus, Mercury, and the Sun, and then there is a return. In the Fourth Initiation, these same planets are passed through during the process of what we may perhaps justly call dissolution of the constitution; but the superior planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, are likewise visited, and thence the freed Monad wings its way outward into the Kosmic spaces.
The return Journey is made along the same pathway. The sheaths of consciousness, or veils of consciousness, that the Monadic pilgrim dropped during these peregrinations in each one of the Planets and in each one of the planes, are again picked up and reassumed, and thus the Monadic Ego clothes itself with its lower selves again and returns along the pathway by which it had ascended. The order of the Planets as just above given must not be understood to be the order of the Planets regularly followed. This point of the teaching is too esoteric to develop even in this our own holy gathering, and I call your attention to it merely by way of warning.
It becomes obvious from the preceding teaching that man has in himself not only the physical or Earth-body, but a Lunar body, and a Venusian body, and a Hermetic or Mercurial body, and a Solar body, and a Martian body, and a Jovian body, and a Saturnian body, as well as being clothed with the essences of Kosmic Space. Not only has man in his constitution these various planetary sheaths, but also his consciousness itself contains color-shades, as it were, or energies, or qualities, derivative from the various celestial bodies with which he is constitutionally in such strait and intimate union.
This is the reason the various bodies or elements of man's constitution are shed by the Initiant as he traverses any one of these spheres and is why he must return to each one of the spheres in order to pick up such veil or sheath or clothing formerly shed in order to become on Earth once more a complete man. Man, therefore, as you see, is a child of the Universe, composite of all its elements, and therefore is in very truth a Microcosm, or Little World. His very thought touches with ethereal fingers the most distant star, and the tiniest vibration of the most distant star has its reaction upon him.
Death, we may then see, in the majestic ceremonies of the Fourth Initiation of the period of the Autumnal Equinox, is but ascension, a resurrection out of certain grosser elements into elements much more ethereal. The center of consciousness, the fiery spark of being, the Monadic Essence, is a god, and remains untouched and unstained through the eons, no matter what its children -- which are its vehicles and sheaths of consciousness and inferior Monads through which it works -- do or undergo or suffer and enjoy.
Mark then, these two distinct but not conflicting elements of the teaching regarding the Initiation of the Autumnal Equinox. (1) All the greater Initiants must pass through this Initiation, but they return. They taste in it of death and vanquish it; and in the words of the Christian Scripture, they may say, "Oh Death, where is thy sting! Oh Grave, where is thy victory!" because the Initiant rising successfully as an Initiate has truly conquered death, and its mysteries in all their various phases are to him mysteries no longer. (2) The second element of the teaching above referred to is the fact that armies, multitudes, crowds, of human beings, at some time in their evolutionary pilgrimage, choose this Initiation with deliberation for the sole purpose of passing out of the world and ken of men, to return no more. Such are the Pratyeka-Buddhas and those who, like them, prefer the bliss of individual Nirvana to the self-sacrificing but grandiose life and destiny of a Buddha of Compassion.
Remember this teaching in its elements, my Brothers. Try to carry the thoughts of it in your mind. They are helpful, and when properly understood, the consciousness of these truths will wrap itself around you like a protecting buckler and shield, and to change the figure of speech, these teachings will become a Light unto your feet and will guide you along the Path that humanity's greatest and noblest Flowers of Perfection have chosen to tread.
Death is not immediate nor sudden in any case, not even in the case of the average man who dies. For long months preceding physical dissolution, there is an adjustment for it that is an interior arrangement of the Auric Egg preparing the Monadic parts for the post-mortem peregrination. At the end, for a short time preceding death, the consciousness hovers, as it were, between Earth and Star. It hovers between the physical body and the Sun, flashing Sun-wards and then back again a number of times until the Golden Cord of life is finally ruptured and unconsciousness -- instant, immediate, and unspeakably sweet and soft -- descends upon the dying, who thereafter is what men call dead.
May the peace and blessings of our Masters be with you always!
By E.A. Neresheimer
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, December 1921, pages 522-27.]
The last twenty years have brought an ever-increasing number of inquirers to the International Theosophical Headquarters at Point Loma, seeking for information and a deeper insight into the principles of Theosophy, the Wisdom-Religion, -- in short, for an explanation of the growing perplexities of social life. The reverent attitude in which the majority of these inquirers approach their quest is an evidence of the great unrest that exists, and of how little their heart-hunger is being satisfied. Unusual problems have arisen out of the strenuous times in which we live and individual difficulties have assumed entirely new moral aspects that cannot be solved according to the old standards. Races and nations -- yea, the whole of civilization -- are involved in seemingly inextricable confusion for want of a true anchorage -- a sound, practical philosophy of life.
All manner of reforms have marshaled their respective panaceas before an eager public during these many hundred years, without success. Science, in spite of its glowing promises, has failed to satisfy the spiritual aspirations of the human heart, while the creeds and isms, instead of uniting mankind have been but added causes of separation. Many secret societies, which have labored assiduously to promote the idea of Brotherhood, have also failed to make any permanent impression on the world, because the brotherhood that they fostered was limited to those in their own immediate ranks.
All these efforts have failed for lack of knowledge, for lack of understanding that there is a scientific and hence satisfactory basis of ethics -- and that this knowledge and understanding are alone to be found in the archaic teachings of the Wisdom-Religion and its symbology. Neither perfection in ritual nor any form of faith are sufficient without knowledge of fundamental principles, especially in an age such as this in which a general awakening of the intellect is taking place.
The grand truths of the Mysteries, preserved in the ancient symbology, are found to underlie much of the ritual and ceremony of certain secret societies. The latter have, like the churches, and like science, philosophy, and politics, become so infected with the destructive materialistic tendencies of the leaders of thought of the past century, that these underlying sublime truths have become all but lost in meaningless formalism. The great secrets of nature, and especially those relating to man, cannot be divulged promiscuously or for the mere asking, or to the worshipers of form -- they can be had only as the result of diligent search, humility, faith in one's own Divinity, and by doing service in the great Cause of Human Advancement. The last named, especially, is the basis on which depends individual progress. True progress of the individual both follows upon, and manifests itself infallibly in, increased capacity for service on the part of the one who thus works in harmony with the Universal Plan of Evolution.
There are in man certain natural powers, almost infinite in potency, by which he is capable of apprehending the most sublime truths of existence, and these powers can be developed to the highest degree. The Wisdom-Religion -- most ancient of sciences, now called the Secret Doctrine -- was the basis of and is identical with the philosophy professed and practiced by the initiates and exalted beings of every age and country. In ancient times, the initiates alone were aware of its existence and importance.
This Secret Wisdom was the basis of the Mysteries, as well as of every ancient and modern religion. Its philosophy and moral code are so profound and ennobling, so practical and applicable to daily life that, once known, they are seen to be truly indispensable to human progress. The keenest minds of all times have reflected upon its sanctity and have ever surrounded the imparting of its profound teachings with the most exacting forms and restrictions. None but pledged neophytes who had been through a long preliminary training, and had shown themselves worthy, were permitted to receive instruction in them, because in the possession of the unpurified and profane, the knowledge of these teachings might easily lead to the perilous danger of misuse.
There have always been many degrees of disciples and students, and finally an outer court for the public. The latter were permitted to witness performances of such rites, ceremonies, and dramatic presentations in which those teachings were imparted in pure but exoteric and popular forms, applicable to their understanding and needs, but without divulging any of the secret knowledge leading to transcendental powers. The Hierophants, Adepts, and Teachers were the purest and best of men, learned in the arts and sciences, in music, chemistry, physics, medicine and every branch of science, and above all in the science and art of right living.
The teaching of the manifold constitution of man was one of the esoteric, as well as practical, doctrines taught. Likewise also that other great teaching, now more freely and openly discussed in the writings of H.P. Blavatsky concerning the constitution of the Cosmos, man, creatures, and atoms, the nature of all being essentially one and the same, i.e., cosmos conceived of as the macrocosm, and man, the replica, as the microcosm. An unerring analogy runs through all the intermediate stages. Both cosmos and man are of divine origin, and an analogous progressive development is the destiny of both.
A few references will show what ideas some of the great sages known to history held in respect to the Mysteries.
Clemens Alexandrinus, who had himself been initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries, has declared that the doctrines taught therein contained the end of all human knowledge.
Being initiated into the Mysteries, we are freed from the molestations of evils that otherwise await us in a future period of time (in other lives on earth). We become spectators of entire, simple, immovable, and blessed visions, resident in pure light.
In all the initiations and Mysteries, the Gods exhibit many forms of themselves, and appear in a variety of shapes, and sometimes indeed a formless light of themselves is held forth to the view, -- sometimes the light is according to the human form, and sometimes it proceeds into a different shape.
History and tradition record that in the earliest times, when men gathered for mutual improvement, there was not a tribe, people, or nation but believed in Universal Deity, and in the immortality of the Spirit. They formed secret circles, for the purpose of study and giving instruction, of interchanging ideas on the veiled mysteries of their respective scriptures, and of endeavoring to interpret, in their own way, the traditions and ancient symbolism that had been handed down to them through the ages. Thus also in our time numerous fraternities and secret societies, which have been ostensibly formed for the same purposes, reflect the immutable laws governing human evolutionary progress.
Looking back over long vistas of our historical period, we must own that an overpowering wave of materialism has gradually spread its deadly shadows over the globe. Under its sway, dogmatism has supplanted religion. The power of truth and of innate devotion has been weakened. Politics has become mostly an organized system of exploitation of the respective constituents and peoples. Meanwhile, science, the youngest aspirant for self-appointed leadership, has outstripped the other unsafe pilots of poor humanity, by arrogantly denying man's divine birthright, and ultimate perfectibility.
In consequence, the knowledge of man's place in the Great Plan, and of his ultimate relationship with the Cosmos, has been dimmed and overlaid with uncertainty. Individuals, nations, peoples, regard themselves as entirely separate, one from another. Ideals, though loudly proclaimed, have no longer any force; the sacredness of human life is esteemed but lightly, and personal interests are paramount. When men do not weep, they shout boastfully: "Life is short, let us eat, drink, and be merry -- we shall dominate whomsoever we can, no matter who suffers!"
Every man and woman is a valuable asset in the great economy, but they do not know it, consequently they can easily be imposed upon; however, not for such mockery was humanity endowed with divine qualities. It is decreed differently in the great universal plan. Man's higher nature will eventually be his redeemer. Liberation is his destiny, but it must be attained by self-devised efforts, crowned by wisdom that is inseparable from ethics. The reform of the race must come through that of the individual first. The truth of Universal Coherence cannot be known or perceived in its all-embracing correlation, nor will man know his worth or place in nature, until the obtrusive personality is disciplined.
Where do we stand now? Whither are we going? These are the supremely burning questions that must be solved by complete understanding of man's constitution, origin, development, and destiny.
Where shall we find the Way, the Path, and the Teacher?
H.P. Blavatsky and her successor W.Q. Judge have amply shown us the inestimable treasures that are contained in the Secret Wisdom-Religion, the epitome of the learning of the ages, -- known as the Secret Doctrine. These truths, so essential to the further evolution of mankind, are the same as those that underlie the teachings of Theosophy, and in reality are also those of the sacred ancient Mysteries that for long periods have been so strenuously withheld.
The time has now come for the Outer Court to be opened in obedience to the pressure of the throng of inquirers who daily come entreating the Leader of the Theosophical Movement, Katherine Tingley, at the Headquarters of the International Center, at Point Loma, California, to unbolt the portals of the sanctuary.
That there is a spiritual solvent both for the ills of the world and of human nature is universally recognized. This solvent is still concealed in the Sacred Mysteries that have never yet been revealed in the 'Outer Court' of public cognition. Certain it is that those who would enter the sanctuary must have a balance of the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual faculties in themselves before they can pass through the gates of self-mastery, leading to self-knowledge.
More than a generation ago, Katherine Tingley insisted that, in order to achieve the ultimate regeneration of the human race, attention must be given first to our children and our youth in an entirely new way. In early infancy, children must be started aright, and care must be taken to keep wrong impressions from their plastic minds. The basis of their education should be the essential divinity of man, and the necessity for transmuting everything in his nature that is not divine. Character building should be the principal aim. To do this the individual will must be developed, as on its initiative depends the perfect balancing of the faculties.
Courageously proceeding along these lines, that fearless, 'well-qualified' Teacher, Katherine Tingley, founded the Raja-Yoga schools, where under her guidance a staff of assistant-teachers has been trained. After considerable sifting of unqualified aspirants, there has emerged a band of worthy, unsalaried co-workers and devotees, working unselfishly for humanity.
The magnificent results that have been obtained during these last twenty years, in bringing out unsuspected beautiful qualities in some of the children who entered the school while suffering from sadly overlaid hereditary disadvantages, is almost unbelievable. This shows conclusively that the results -- though almost magical -- are practical achievements, inasmuch as it proves that faculties can be brought out that would have been doomed to remain latent if not encouraged and developed in exactly such circumstances and environment as the Raja-Yoga System provides: -- and by which many a parent's heart has been made to rejoice beyond measure. At the Theosophical Center, under the guidance of the revered Leader and Teacher, Katherine Tingley, many new features for the young and old have grown out of the student-life, which are connected with the once closely veiled secrets of the spiritual powers latent in man, and thus are of vital importance as examples for the coming generations.
Hence, the Spiritual Solvent does exist, and to the extent of these achievements, unequivocally demonstrated, the Ancient Sacred Mysteries stand revealed. The unfoldment of whatever else that remains hidden will depend upon the momentum of the response that the public gives to this Great Effort. Wisdom is only occult to those who do not know it; but it is man's privilege, -- every man's privilege -- to find the path for himself, progressing from degree to degree, up to the very "Gates of Gold." His passport is Knowledge, indissolubly coupled with Morality.