You will observe, Ladies and Gentlemen, from what precedes, that It has often been my observation that devout Theosophists are not really that different from devout Christians in behavior. Both groups are intellectually inclined to harsh judgments and intolerance. It has become clear to me in discussions with such people, no matter their particular creed, that they relish perceiving themselves as the Knowers and Defenders of Truth. Hence all evidence that supports their Beliefs is evidence of Truth and all evidence that represents the antithesis of their Beliefs is slander and lies used as food to sustain their Beliefs. This usually takes the form of expressing pride and happiness in being "attacked" and "challenged" because being opposed in one's beliefs is further evidence that one's Beliefs are the Truth.
-- Bill Meredith
By B.P. Wadia
[From LIVING THE LIFE, pages 134-39.]
It has been said that every man is a philosopher. Each lives by his philosophy. He does so most often unconsciously to himself. His inner attitude to life remains undefined to himself, until he progresses to the point of inquiring about the purpose of the life that surrounds him. But for any observant and thoughtful inquirer the philosophy of any man is not very difficult to determine. The outer behavior bespeaks the man's philosophy.
The outer behavior of a person has myriad sides. It is a congeries of the expressions of thoughts and feelings in words and deeds. But there is one factor common to a man's many acts. His loyalties speak loudly, revealing his defects and merits. He may have many or only a few loyalties; he may have conflicting loyalties. Again, his loyalties may change, bettering or lowering his status as a person in one or another phase of life.
His loyalty to his city was emphasized by the late Pherozeshah Mehta, a man of great civic qualities; so it was by Joseph Chamberlain of Birmingham; and by his superb loyalty to the City State of Athens, Pericles has come down to us as a great figure in history.
There is patriotism-loyalty to one's own country.
Breathes there the man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land!
A very long list of names could easily be made of those coming in this category.
A more restricted sphere is the family, but as a field for the practice of loyalty, it plays a very significant part.
The peasant's loyalty to his farm, the scholar's to his knowledge, the artist's to his art, are all telltale expressions of the man's philosophy.
A man's loyalty is often very restricted and in that measure defective. A man who praises his own city, exclaiming, "Of no mean city am I," and condemns the worth of other cities shows a paucity of knowledge and a narrow-mindedness. At the present hour, here in India, the champions of the Adi Dravida Movement, who claim for Tamiland special place and position, show a lack of true and noble patriotism. A chauvinist who proclaims, "My country, right or wrong," and who is therefore unjust to other nations is less than man is; he acts like a beast of prey, unmindful of the destruction that he causes. Partial loyalties, like half-truths, bespeak moral blindness and mental limitations.
Personal loyalties that hamper the growth of the liberal mind, which harden the heart of love, which inhibit growth in the power to sacrifice, do not further the progress of the human soul.
Great movements in human history have resulted from the expansion of personal loyalties. Great men become such by letting their loyalties in a restricted sphere grow and embrace vaster loyalties. The Indian village panchayat of old was not a constrictive institution; it laid the foundation for the future district board, provincial state, united India.
The village state evolved into the city-state in world history, as the feudal orders and dukedoms evolved into nations. A simple-minded girl from Domremy, Jeanne d'Arc, changed history, not so much by compelling the English to raise the siege of Orleans as by raising the cry, "France for the French." This was in the Europe of the early 15th century. In our own times, Wendell Willkie's cry of "One World" has already evinced its great potency in fashioning One World.
There is the famous statement of the Prince of statesmen and diplomats, Sri Krishna, in the UDYOGA PARVA of THE MAHABHARATA:
For the sake of a family, an individual may be sacrificed. For the sake of a village, a family may be sacrificed. For the sake of a province, a village may be sacrificed. Lastly, for the sake of the Self, the whole earth may be sacrificed.
For enabling man's Great Self to perform its dharma to the Supreme Spirit, the petty personal self should be subdued. That is why Krishna called upon the blind Dhritarashtra to bind his wicked son Duryodhana and to avert the tragedy of war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. For every student of Theosophy, there is more than one practical lesson in the thesis presented by Krishna at the court of the Kaurava King where he acted as the Ambassador of the Pandavas in the cause of peace and acted to prevent the fratricidal war.
Our worldly loyalties should be used in the service of the spiritual soul; we should not allow them to exploit the cause of truth, of virtue, of beauty. He who loves his son (Duryodhana) more than his friend Krishna is an unworthy King, is an unworthy man.
The Esoteric Philosophy teaches that we should so love our parents and children that the loyalty to our personal family may grow into the superb loyalty to the spiritual family of all human souls. Our patriotic feeling for our motherland should expand into loyalty to the One World when it comes into being.
Every small loyalty should become an avenue to a greater loyalty. For the love of the Supreme Spirit, one should not call his father "householder" -- that is reversing the process: making the Supreme loyalty utter falsehood, become evil and express ugliness. Similarly, religious loyalty should expand from loyalty to a single sectarian creed to loyalty to the Truth that manifests itself in living Nature as the Most High. Personal loyalty to the Pope should grow into loyalty to Christ and to God. One cannot be faithful to the Pope and to Christ, to Mammon and to God.
Traditional and historical loyalties, spatial and geographical loyalties, when rightly considered and evaluated, give birth to universal and eternal loyalties. He who is loyal to the dead past, or he who is loyal to the passing present, or he who is loyal to hopes of a future heaven, is bound to become a narrow, dogmatic, and fanatical person. But he whose loyalty grows to embrace the ever-lengthening history of soul culture, to perceive the superb beauty of the Eternal Now, who learns to see the expanding universe in a tiny grain of sand -- his evolution brings to him the Vision of Truth, of Light, of Joy.
What are the great thoughts of Theosophy that will enable the student whose sphere of loyalties is limited to unfold them into eternal loyalties? In THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, HPB speaks of the real nature of Theosophy as the Religion of Life. "Its creed is Loyalty to Truth, and its ritual 'To honor every truth by use.'" The seekers of Wisdom-Truth "in every age have more or less clearly apprehended the Theosophical doctrines and wrought them into the fabric of their lives."
Applying this to the present generation of earnest students, which truths of the Esoteric Philosophy should first be wrought into the fabric of our lives?
(1) The Immanence of Deity clearly points to the positive practice of Universal Brotherhood. Castes and classes, discriminations based upon the color of the skin and creedalism, and other factors that are upheld by modern civilization do violence to the sacred idea of the omnipresence of Spirit. Such a phenomenon as untouchability in India clearly points to a denial of the wisdom taught by Krishna in THE BHAGAVAD-GITA, that He, as the Light of all lights, presides in the heart of everyone -- not in the Brahmana only but in the Mlechcha also. In all men and women dwells Hari, the Divine, and St. Paul proclaimed that in God we "live and move and have our being."
The student of Theosophy refuses to call others heathens or heretics, kafirs or infidels. Recognizing the One Self in the many forms of life, he is able to understand the diversity in Nature because he knows the doctrine of Emanations, and in human nature because of the fact of Reincarnation.
(2) The differences between the learned and the illiterate, the wise and the foolish, the healthy and the diseased, the saint and the sinner, are easily understood in the light of reincarnation and metempsychosis. The eye of wisdom is the eye of love, and he who loves, understands. But what piece of knowledge gives birth to love and understanding?
(3) The universe is governed by Law. Every event, every form, organic or inorganic, so-called, is an effect from a cause. Justice works incessantly, but being divine and infallible, it ever and always adjusts, and its punishments are opportunities for growth in harmony. Each man is the maker of his own destiny.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Also, each man is, albeit unwittingly, an agent of Karma for many, for the whole of Nature. By the Law of Unity, the many are linked by and in the One.
By correctly applying the three truths, we shall be able to expand and elevate our small loyalties and transform them into greater loyalties. Creedal beliefs learnt at home or school and to which we are loyal today, will become transmuted into the Religion of Knowledge that will enable us to endeavor successfully to make Theosophy a living power in our lives. Karma spells self-improvement; there is no purifier like spiritual knowledge. If we try to attain to spiritual wisdom, we shall draw to ourselves the help of the Wise Ones.
Expansion of loyalties implies acquiring a more enlightened faith. Loyalty to Truth means loyalty to many truths in the One Body of Knowledge, and the Faith in our Heart manifests itself in expressions of Loyalty in the world of deeds.
By G. de Purucker
[From WIND OF THE SPIRIT, pages 75-77.]
Many people talk about the heroism of self-conquest -- something with which we all agree; but do you know, I sometimes wonder if our ideas of heroic battling with ourselves are not just a wee bit hysterical and even foolish! I do not mean the heroism part of it, but this lower self of us, poor little thing! It plays havoc with us all the time, simply because we identify ourselves with it and always try to fight it and make it as big as we are. Is it heroic to fight a ghost of our own making?
How about wise old Lao-Tse? If you want to conquer your lower self, make it ashamed of itself; make it look ridiculous. Laugh at it; laugh at yourself. So long as you pay attention to something, you dignify it and put it on your own level; and then when you attempt to fight it, you are actually fighting another part of yourself that really could be enormously useful.
I have heard it said, Kill out the lower self. Well, suppose we could do that. We should then be most unfortunate beings; in fact, we should not be here. This lower self, when kept in order, is a good little beastie. It helps us. Our duty IS simply to keep it in order. Now when a man has a fractious dog, horse, cat, or some other pet -- whatever it may be -- he does not kick it, beat it, and hit it on the head in order to make it good. He would be apt to make it rebellious, cowardly, and vicious; he would be degrading it. Thus, the lower self should be neither degraded nor clothed with the false dignity of an adversary erroneously raised to the position of the spiritual Self. It should be kept in its place and treated with kindness, consideration, and courtesy, but always governed with a firm hand.
Take a dog. A dog can be made vicious and cowardly by brutal treatment just as the lower self can, for the dog begins to think it is its master's equal when the master pays too much attention to it. Just so with the human lower self. But when the human lower self, like the dog or any other pet, forgets its place and begins to presume, then put it in its proper position, but neither by brutality nor by dignifying it nor by fighting it. Ridicule your lower self. You will temporarily cause it to assume its proper position, shamed, having a loss of face as the Chinese say.
Just so with the dog. Have you ever seen a dog stick its tail between its legs when you laugh at it? Dogs know when they are laughed at and it is one of the finest ways of handling a beast.
I do believe Lao-Tse of China was wise in his statement that runs to the effect that one of the best ways of conquering a foe is to make him look ridiculous.
Now that does not work as between man and man, because it is often very harsh and cruel, the two being on the same level. You can hurt a human being horribly and unjustly by placing him in a false position through ridicule. No; but try it on yourself. The next time the lower self begins to hold its head up and wants to tell you what to do, laugh at it; don't dignify it; don't give it position and power and strength by fighting it; nor on the other hand, do not abuse it nor make it weak, vicious, and cowardly. Put it in its proper place by ridicule, and indeed at times a gentle contempt. Learn the greater heroism. Laugh at the thing that bothers you!
The role a sense of humor plays in human life, which means in human thought and feeling and consequent conduct, and the role that humor plays in spiritual things is all too often overlooked. We may define a sense of humor as seeing the relations, the harmonious relations, between apparently incongruous things, the congruities as among incongruities, arousing a sense of the funny in us.
The ability to see humor in what happens to us is a spiritual attribute. For after all, humor is at the very root of the universe; and I think that one of the greatest tragedies of individual existence has been the lack of the ability to see the funny side of things when troubles come. When disasters befall you, just try to see the funny side, and you save yourself trouble and get a great kick out of it.
I remember the great kick I got out of a discussion between my dear old father and myself when I was a boy. My father had read an article in some theological magazine by some eminent Christian clergyman who pleaded for the existence of a sense of humor "in Almighty God." I said this was simply grand; because although our sense of humor is human, small because we are small, yet, is it possible for a part, a human being, to have something that the almighty whole, which the Divine, lacks? Of course, if Divinity has a sense of humor, I said, it is a sense of divine humor, but it is humor all the same.
I think that there is a great deal of sound science and philosophy in the old Hindu idea that Brahman brought forth the Universe in play, in fun. The words are different from those of the Christian clergyman, but the idea is the same. In other words, the bringing forth of all things was not a tragedy; there was beauty in it, there was harmony in it; there was humor in it; and those who are in this Universe can see the humor in it if they will.
Look at the religious wars and squabbles that never would have occurred if people had had a sense of humor. If people nowadays would see the funny side of things, then they would begin to live together, to love together, to laugh together, and to take counsel together instead of distrusting each other.
By Leon Maurer
Not to disagree with anyone, but I would like to set the record straight and prevent misunderstandings with respect to claims by some students that Theosophy as presented by H.P. Blavatsky does not relate to modern times, people, places, and circumstances. Here are some additional views to consider.
The only thing outdated in the timeless teachings of Theosophy presented in ISIS UNVEILED, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY, and other writings of Blavatsky and W.Q. Judge are their references to classical science. Since then, scientists including Einstein have made significant advances. (Also, consider the mistakes in earlier theosophical writings later corrected and explained by HPB.)
Modern science was not only predicted by HPB clearly and accurately, but also was thoroughly presaged and explained in the esoteric teachings (symbolic language) in her books, articles, and transcripts of her direct discussions with students.
For further information, see:
Symbolic language was necessary to express metaphysical teachings prior to the modern scientific breakthroughs of the past and present century. In HPB's time, there were no terms in western language to explain transcendental science. To understand Theosophy, one must learn to interpret this symbolic language.
Ancient mystic philosophers and religious teachers also utilized anthropomorphisms and euphemisms, which if not properly interpreted, could generate skeptical denials and materialistically biased counter arguments against theosophical truths.
Accordingly, it is wise to learn how to study THE SECRET DOCTRINE properly to uncover its occult esoteric meanings. There are seven keys to understanding it as well as inadvertent and sometimes necessary blinds. A dead letter interpretation may only lead to confusion. We see this happen with some later theosophical writers, sometimes unintentionally and sometimes intentionally to suit their personal agendas.
For further insight on this, refer to:
Today, science includes Superstring, M-brane, quantum field, and holographic paradigm concepts theorized by many scientists such as Greene, Kaku, Bohm, Pribram. My theory of ABC provides a synthesis of their ideas. It eliminates the paradoxes and incompatibilities of both relativity and quantum physics. It explains the holographic nature of the universe along with its genesis in scientific terms and explains consciousness and its relationships with mind, brain, and physical matter. The ABC theory completely vindicates the metaphysics of pure theosophy first given out by the Masters and by HPB in THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
The theory is a new, synthetic, and fundamentally electrodynamic "Unified Field Theory of Everything." The established scientific community has not yet fully accepted it. Suitable experiments and observations are now partially underway, and soon to be correlated. When demonstrated to be true in the not too distant future, as Blavatsky has predicted, it is destined to become the final scientific proof of Theosophy, although it may happen under a different name.
As an added observation, since these theories first appeared in the last quarter of the twentieth century, they may constitute the new message of Theosophy and their authors collectively the new messenger. Blavatsky predicted something to occur around this time as possibly the last cycle of the Theosophical Movement.
The metaphysical teachings presented in THE SECRET DOCTRINE and confirmed by its correspondence with the most ancient occult scriptures are consistent with the most advanced emerging multidimensional hyperspace scientific theories. It should be apparent that these teachings could not have changed since time began, regardless of outward change in our world and universe.
Among these teachings is the necessity to form a "nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity" and the direct means to achieve it through individual, self devised and self determined efforts related to the last two objects of the Theosophical Movement. Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Master Occults from ancient to modern times have given out similar teachings to their disciples.
For further information, see:
However, this is the first time in recorded history that such esoteric teachings were given out to the world at large.
Presumably, this was because of a possible human evolutionary setback due to general ignorance of the eternal verities and to the almost total acceptance of materialism and its concomitants of selfishness, greed, competition, endless wars, and runaway technologies that can only lead to economic and ecological collapse of the Earth's life support systems. HPB warned that this could set back our evolution by a million years.
Unfortunately, we find the formation of new cults or religions centered on self-promoted gurus, messiahs, saviors, and channelers of so-called ascended masters. This is NOT the answer. Even so, it is wise to study the writings of later theosophical teachers and modern occultists, comparing them with the original, the timeless teachings given out by the theosophical Masters K.H. and Morya through their direct agents HPB and WQJ.
How is one to find out the true and act on it for the good of all? Certainly one can do so without outside pressure, coercion, or intimidation based on a blind and passive, nonsensical belief in a personal God that listens to our prayers and punishes us for our sins or without a hierarchical messianic religion based government that dictates our every thoughts and actions.
It would be a mistake to confuse the teachings and occult metaphysics of Theosophy with its practical application to the conditions of the modern world. HPB offered sufficient warnings and suggestions to help modern theosophists devise their own methods of dealing with coming changes. Most important is, she advised, to understand the nature of modern communications and utilize its "language of this age" to spread broadcast the teachings of Theosophy. We would help people come together and voluntarily practice its precepts of unity, liberty, independence, and brotherhood, ultimately leading to a peaceful and more stable world.
By G. de Purucker
[From GOLDEN PRECEPTS, pages 71-84.]
Man PER SE is an invisible entity. What we see of him in and through the body is merely the manifestation of the inner man, because man essentially is a spiritual energy -- a spiritual, intellectual, and psycho-material energy, the adjective depending upon the plane on which you choose to discern his actions, for indeed he exists on all planes, inner and outer.
Though Man is an invisible entity, he needs a physical body in which to live and with which to work upon this physical plane. He is a pilgrim of eternity. He came forth from the invisible part of Cosmic Being in eons so far in the past that humanity, except the great Sages and Seers, has lost all count thereof. He came out of the womb of Cosmic Being as an un-self-conscious god spark, and after wandering eon after eon after eon after eon through all the various inner worlds, passing at different stages through our own material sphere, and out again into the inner worlds, he finally became Man, a self-conscious entity; and here we are. Future eons of time will bring forth even on this our earth into a far more perfect manifestation than at present the locked-up faculties and powers existent in every human being. In those days of the far distant future, man will walk the earth a god, and he will walk this earth communing with his fellow-gods, for he will then have brought forth the godlike powers now unevolved but nevertheless within his essence.
The heart of the heart of a human being is a god, a Cosmic Spirit, a spark of the Central Cosmic Fire. All evolution -- which means unfolding what is within, unwrapping what is within the evolving entity, bringing forth what is locked up within -- all evolution is merely bringing forth ever more into a more perfect manifestation, the infolded, inlocked, wrapped up, energies, faculties, powers, organs, of the evolving entity. And with equal step, as these faculties and energies become more able to manifest themselves, more perfectly evolved forth, does the organism through which they work -- the body, show the effects of this inner evolving fire, of this energy within, and thus also the body itself so evolves, because automatically reflecting in itself each inner step taken forwards.
Human beings essentially are kin to the gods, kin to the Cosmic Spirits. The Universe is our Home. We cannot ever leave it. We are its children, its offspring, and therefore all that there is of boundless Space is we ourselves in our inmost. We are native there, boundless Space is our home, and our instinct tells us "all is well."
Out of the invisible into the visible, like the growth of a plant, comes Man, the Man-Plant of eternity. Beginning in one life of earth as a human seed, it grows to maturity, and produces or evolves forth what is locked up within. Then with the natural decay of power, sinking to earth, the body dies; and after a long period of rest and assimilation of experience in the invisible worlds, the inner spiritual flame comes again to earth for a new reincarnation here.
Such in brief is the history of Man, the Man-Plant of the ages. He is born and flowers a while and then dies down and rests, and with the returning life-season he springs anew into existence and again flowers and again dies down; but always the golden thread of self -- the Sutratman -- passes through both time and space.
The spirit of man works through the human soul, and this human soul works through the vital-astral or ethereal vehicle, body, or carrier: the transmitter of the energies or powers of the soul, which psycho-magnetically connects with the organs of the physical body. This vital-astral principle thus works through the physical body and is carried into all parts of our physical frame, very much as the electric current is carried not only in but also over and around the wire. The spirit enfolds, guards, and produces the human soul from within its own womb of selfhood; the human soul similarly permeates and produces the vital-astral vehicle; and this in its turn permeates and produces the physical body.
A human seed comes from the ethereal worlds, and is the laya-center, through which streams from and builds up from the interior worlds the body to be, cell by cell. This seed grows into the physical body, and, as it grows, incarnation of the human energies takes place concordantly, coordinately, and progressively, until maturity is reached. At that point, you see the full-grown man and more or less fully incarnated human soul.
Man is a complex and compound entity. His constitution ranges from body to spirit with all intermediate degrees of ethereal substances and energies and powers: seven in number. When these seven different degrees or grades are cooperating in vital activity then you have a complete man, a fully living man.
The human soul is neither immortal nor mortal PER SE; it is the seat of will, consciousness, intelligence, and feeling in the average human being. It is not immortal because it is not pure enough to be truly impersonal; if it were, it would not be human but superhuman. It is not wholly mortal, because its instincts, its movements, the operations of itself, are in a sense above purely mortal things of matter.
Man has holy loves, aspirations, hope, and vision. These belong to the spirit, which is immortal and deathless. They are transmitted through this intermediate nature or human soul, which human beings ordinarily call "I" much as the sunlight streams through the pane of glass in the window. The pane of glass is the vehicle, carrier, bearer, or transmitter of this wondrous quality or force streaming from the spirit above. The human soul is like this pane of glass: reflecting as much of the spirit, of the golden sunlight of the spirit, as its evolutionary development enables it to do.
The human soul is conditionally immortal, if man allies himself by will and vision with the deathless spirit within and above. It is mortal if he allows himself to be dragged down into what is called Matter and material instincts and impulses. These are wholly mortal and die when death comes and frees the immortal spirit within so that when man goes to his sublime Home for the inter-life period of rest and peace, only bliss and high vision and memory of all that is great and grand in our past life remain. The soul is itself an ethereal vehicle or carrier of the deathless and immortal energies of the productive spirit or Monad.
The spirit is the immortal part of the human constitution. It is the Monad, the Monadic Essence: that which tastes never of death, which lasts from the beginning of the Manvantara to the end of that majestic period of cosmic manifestation: that that passes over the Cosmic Pralaya to begin its spiritual and other activities again when the new Cosmic Manvantara begins.
And so on in cyclical periods constantly recurring forever, the spirit or Monad is constantly growing: it is evolving, on its way to become the super-spiritual, finally to become the Divine, then the Super-divine. Is that the end of its evolutionary possibilities? No, it advances ever, constantly and endlessly evolving, growing. Words fail here to describe this sublime conception. We cannot describe it in faltering human language. Our imagination falls, helplessly trembling, from any such attempt, and we can merely point to the evolutionary path vanishing in both directions into infinity and into eternity, as beginningless as it is unending.
That is the Spirit or the Monadic Essence. It is the god within. This Bright Intelligence stirs and moves the inmost articulations of the higher parts of the constitution, which movements in their turn reflect in the brain-mind, the human mentality. It is the source of everything great and noble and high, pure, good, aspiring and clean in the human being. It is the source of immortal love, the source of self-sacrifice, the source of all harmony and beauty, in the human being -- the feeling of I AM. That is the Spirit, the immortal Monad, the undying, the stainless, the eternal inner god.
The human soul is a ray of it; this ray is what you recognize as the human being, the feeling that I AM I. The soul, even as is the spirit, is a growing, advancing, progressing, evolving thing, growing ever greater. In the far distant eons of the future, the soul in its turn will have so evolved forth its own innate and latent capacities, powers, and faculties -- the splendor within itself -- that from soul it shall have become spirit: BECAUSE THE ROOT OR SEED OF THE SOUL IS A SPIRITUAL RAY. When this shall be in its culmination, then man shall have evolved from manhood into human godhood, from a human being into an incarnate god. Then the god within you will manifest itself with its transcendent faculties and powers, and you will have become a living Buddha.
A human spirit is a deathless entity; it is a part of the very fabric of the Life Universal in its inmost parts; and this spirit of man, this inner being, this spiritual soul, is pursuing an eternal pilgrimage in space, infinite in space and eternal in time. It passes from mansion to mansion of life, sojourning now here, now there, learning everywhere. The earth is one such mansion, in fact. Every sphere, every orb, in the celestial spaces, is another mansion of life.
The greatest lessons are learned in the invisible worlds for this physical world we see, despite its physical splendor, its illusory and magical interest is but the shell, the garment, the body, the exterior. From the interior of man flow forth all his thoughts, all his inspiration, all his genius, all his powers and energies into the physical, and express themselves in the works that man does. In like manner are all the manifestations we see in the physical universe are but the expressions of the indwelling energies, faculties, powers, and forces within that universe.
This eternal pilgrimage of the spiritual soul of man is not only in this cross-section of the physical universe that our imperfect eyes can see, but also most especially in the invisible realms: in what men call the spiritual worlds for there are grades upon grades upon grades of them, higher and higher and higher and higher and higher.
This god within, an eternal pilgrim, learns eternally, going higher and higher and higher. Like human races on earth that, after reaching their culmination of splendor in civilizations, fall to rise again, so does the Monad, the god, the spiritual soul, pass from the spiritual worlds down into ethereal matter, learning in each, and rising again out of each in order to reach a still higher peak of destiny. Then down it goes into the ethereal material realms again. Then there is another rise to something still more lofty and sublime -- and so on forever.
Oh, the peace and happiness that comes from allying yourself with this inner splendor! This alliance of life and consciousness with this inner divinity brings everything of worth into your life. In so allying yourself, you become one with the energies and forces that control the universe, of which this inner god of you is a spark of the Central Fire. When this inner union is achieved in fullness, you are on the pathway to human divinity. Buddhahood lies ahead of you.
This knowing of your inner self, of your inner god, is an expansion of your own consciousness; it is growth; it is evolution; it is coming to an understanding of all that exists. When you have even some vague foreshadowing of this vision -- some inkling of it, some hint of it -- then such a thing as fear vanishes. Death loses all its terrors; for you know that you are one with the All, inseparable; that you are in fact that All Itself; and therefore you are in your utmost reaches frontierless, because in very truth there are no utmost reaches. You never can reach the frontiers of yourself, your divine self, never; for the innermost parts of you are the very spiritual Universe in which you live, move, and have your being.
It is the outer senses that distract our attention from the splendor within, away from the spirit within the human constitution that manifests through the human body. These outer senses are expressions of five different energies of the intermediate nature of man; and are the avenues -- or functions as such -- by which man may become self-consciously aware of the outer world. In a way, these senses are a help; and in another manner, they are a detriment to progress. They are a help, because they show somewhat of the nature that is around man, and it is through the senses that much of his ordinary consciousness now functions, thus learning much about the world and fellow human beings. This learning ultimately teaches lessons of self-control, and helps to awaken the faculties of pity, of love, of compassion, and of the will to do better, which are within man.
By Alun Llewellyn
[From THE ARYAN PATH, September 1968, pages 393-97.]
The "Ancient Books" are, however, exactly based on a classical science as understood -- and most necessary to be understood -- for the practical purposes of daily life. Modern astronomers divide the heavens in the five circles, Arctic, Cancer, Equator, Capricorn, and the outer edge of observation; exactly as the Great Circle Map for aerial navigation divides Earth, reduced to a planisphere, into the same series with the same names. This ancient device for equating Time and Space was, for the minds that first conceived it, an expression of the identity of the god-inhabited heavens with the lives of men, both inspired by the eternal Intelligence that motivated all Creation. For the writers of the Ancient Books, this was a fundamental concept, and the mathematical order into which the work of the heavens fell was a constant manifestation and observable proof of that presiding intellect.
The central structure of the system was the line of the Sun's meridian, the highest point of its daily position and the mid-point of its course between East and West. This line of Noon moves from the Summer Solstice during the year to its Winter Solstice extreme, from which it is gradually drawn back again. But it remains invariably "reined" to the Northern Star; the first essential of an accurate sundial is that its gnomon should be aligned directly on the Pole Star. Since the Sun operates only by day and the Pole Star can be seen only at night, it is obvious that the sundial was itself the product of a series of closely observed and accurately annotated calculations. But the mathematical analysis into which Time and Space were therefore seen to fall was accepted by the Ancient Books not as an attribute of man's ingenuity but rather of the tremendous principle that launched Creation before man was made, of what Heraclitus called the Logos, from which both Gnome and Nous prepared the structure of the World and planned its destiny.
This manifest Meridian line inspired the symbolism by which early societies attempted to explain Creation to themselves. The Pole Star handled the Sun as though it were a Horse; indeed Heraclitus himself used the term Hippoi in the precise sense of the Powers belonging to God, suggesting that the Greek word for a Horse (Hippo) meant in fact and primarily a Thing of Power. Much of the mythology built in later years from the literature of the Ancient Books derives from the misapplication of many such metaphors from a context not only misunderstood but also proscribed. In this, however, their experience is by no means unique. But the basis of belief that the "Celtic" Church accepted is reflected in their constant study of the phenomena of the Fixed Point of the North and the Fixed Line of the Meridian round that the whole order of Planets revolved. This was the focal design upon which the aggregation of the several Spheres of Creation was concentrated -- the Graal, as it was written. The idea has a very close parallel in the Rod of the Myth of Er that Plato, using it as an image of an ordered Universe, "rescued from oblivion" and made the final chapter of his REPUBLIC.
While much of this body of thought is influenced by the long tradition maintained from the earliest civilizations, one significant point relates the Ancient Books to a particular stage in the history of Western philosophy. The Neo-Platonist Plotinus, contriving a synthesis that would give new life to Classical ethics (A.D. 250), equated the Logos no longer with the material elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air but rather with the perception of Light. The Ancient Books retain the Classical canon in so far as Air (Guynt), it discussed as the basis through which the Quintessence (Cuynt) related itself to Fire (Guyn), Water (Guy), and the principle of life in Earth and Man (Gui); but the Neo-Platonic relation of Logic with Light is the most striking feature of its vocabulary.
The term "loc" expresses the word in the Beginning; LOG, the Thought that it expressed; and LLOG, the order of Light established in the sequence of hours into which that Thought resulted. The analytic system the literature developed applied these terms to each of the Five successive spheres in succession through a series of vowel changes. The close relation these (e.g., LOC, LUC, LAC, LEC, LIC) show to Classical words for Speech, Thought, Light, and Law (Loq-, Log-, Luc-, Lak-, Leg-, Lic-) suggests that Plotinus himself may have built directly upon a concept much more ancient.
What most inescapably emerges is the Pythagorean forms upon which the philosophy was founded. Numbers, and numbers in their logical relation to the degrees of Space and Time, dominate the essays contained in the Ancient Books. Being, for which Plato's term ON is used, which enclosed the Cosmos in its own Whole (Holos) dominates the Unity of the Firmament (UN), the Anima or Soul of the World of Planets (AN), the Entity or Body of Earth (EN), and the life of men on the Land contained by Ocean (IN). A series of didactic lines (TALIESIN, 79) distinguishes these unities in their separate Spheres (5); divides them into the Quarters (4) of the Seasons of the Year and the Cardinal Points; marks out the Sectors of Time, Dawn to Noon, Noon to Sunset, Sunset to Dawn (3), to each of which the Summer Solstice allots eight hours; and adds the Equinoctial balance in which the equal divisions (2) of twelve hours each for Day and Night are defined by the exact semi-circle of 180 degrees containing each (BLACK BOOK, 47b). The six points of Noon and Midnight, plus the Solstice Hours of 4 AM and 8 PM, 8 AM and 4 PM; the seven planets then recognized; the eight formed by the four Cardinal Points of Earth plus the four Points of the Heavens, North Pole, South Pole, the Zenith of Sun in the Northern and in the Southern Hemisphere; the nine circles of the ENNEAD as known to Aristotle -- these complete the series. Ten is recognized as a basic measure for calculating the degrees of Space and Time and twelve is noted as the principle of division for the Hours, the Months, and the Centuries.
But there is nothing mystical in the appeal to this mathematical system in the Ancient Books; it is a system that remains fundamental to all modern computation and that they acknowledge as the expression of the great Mind of the Creator, of the Knowledge of God (CNAUT) that in man became Flesh (GNAUD). Neither is there the remotest suggestion of the "astrology" that Gildas so fiercely denounces. The Planets are named and ascribed to their proper arithmetical relation to the rest of Creation. Venus (GUENER) is accorded due recognition as the star that, appearing after sunset, heralds the approach of the constellations that will continue the function of the Sun in marking the cycle of Time and that, as Morning Star later in the year, gives assurance of the rebirth of light. In one passage (BLACK BOOK, 5) it is brilliantly celebrated in a poem somewhat superior to the invocation made by Lucretius at the opening of his DE RERUM NATURA. The Harmony of the Planets, their assonance of measure, which Pythagoras assigned to the seven intervals of the musical octave, is treated in the same manner (TALIESIN, 72).
But Gildas's objections, so far as the Ancient Books disclose any ground for them, may have been limited to the use of certain metaphors.
The first is that of the Serpent -- SARPH for the orbit of the Sun, SARFF for the Planets at night. Many ancient philosophies based themselves on the idea of the Earth as the last product of a course of Creation that uncoiled the animate World of Planets from the cold sphere of the Firmament. The Ancient Books see the process as a separating movement from the sphere of Saturn winding from Jupiter to the nearest of the planets, Mercury, and so finally forming Sea and Land and inspiring Man's wakened soul with knowledge. Some assumptions of his own as to the meaning of the great parable in Genesis and the proper relation of men to the divine Knowledge may have led Gildas to take the unfavorable view he did.
For the Divine Principle, the Ancient Books have no direct word. What was inscrutable could not be defined by name or image. It had shown itself in the past by the act of Creation, for which Yu is the term, and continued to show itself in the present courses of created things (UY) that were evolving to a prescribed end. The reversal of the lettering is far from accidental but is typical of the vocabulary; Being was manifest in Past Time and in the Future towards which Creation was reversing its issue. But, like the Ionian philosopher who pointed out that there was nothing static in existence ("You cannot step into the same stream twice"), the Ancient Books are acutely aware of the drift of Time evident in the relentless movement of the stars that marked its hourly passage. YUUY is their phrase to explain the hidden mind of eternity and where God Himself rather than any particular manifestation of that power is intended, that phrase and that phrase only is used.
A most interesting feature is the application made of Aristotle's concept that the several spheres of Creation were "crystalline" in form. Even Renascence scholars assumed this to mean actual material globes of some glass-like substance. Since Land and Ocean were each understood to be contained in a distinct sphere, it is more than unlikely that Aristotle should have meant anything other than a form of precipitation, or thin integument of extreme cold (kryos -- frost) contracting within its contrary impulse the forces of fire that possessed the stars and kindled life on Earth.
This sense of a concentration of a principle of force is implicit when the Ancient Books speak of the living society of men; the word CRYST, the general term for the concentration of Creation, becomes CRIST when applied to mortal beings. It is significant to notice that, in a series of poems in the BLACK BOOK (18, 19, 20), the language belonging to the expression of this philosophy is at one point deliberately changed to Latin. For a few lines, following the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the Brittanic words, there is introduced a Latin text wherein the CRIST is specifically identified with Christ. It would be difficult to find any moral or philosophical ground for objecting to this convergence of the idea of a purposeful Creation with that of Man.
It is important to recognize that the Ancient Books are strongly characterized by concepts belonging to seamen. Much of their instructional matter is devoted to navigational purposes, though the devotional aspect is rarely overlooked. Constantine the Great's conquest of the Roman Empire in the fourth century was launched from Britain, for which enterprise the support of its naval stations was essential.
The sign under which he fought, for an ultimately Christian purpose, was the Labarum. Its form is that of the ancient design, known as far back as 300 B.C., upon the trading-seals of the Panjab civilization, of the "Andrew" cross marking the Solstice points on the sundial divided by the North-South line of the Meridian. Derivation of this design, which takes the form of a P raised upon an X, from the Greek letters Chi and Rho is a theory not unchallenged. A Roman form for the monogram is equally arguable and can be as readily assumed to mean Crux Pia or even Crista Pia. Its parallel with the symbols of the tropic variation of the Sun by day and the movement of the Septem Triones, the Polar Constellation of the Bear, by night, the inseparable principles by which seamen steered and the divine Intelligence made itself manifest, is too close to be overlooked.
Seamen then as now were closely concerned with the working heavens that they saw not in mythopoeic forms but rather as the exact instruments of a perfect Law. If in fact, as Homer suggests, the Labyrinth was the design of Time that men had traced through observation of the interaction of Sun and Star, the Labarum may well have been a parallel phrase and of equal antiquity to describe the slow and regular movement (Labor) of the stars activated by the creative Mind.
Both in their retention of the terminology of sciences already anciently established and originating in the first civilizations of the East and in the spiritual explanation they gave to them, the Ancient Books deserve wide study. The genuine form of the "Arthurian" theme is one that uniquely preserves knowledge and a practice basic to the understanding of Classical and pre-Classic thought. In some part, it suffers from contact with the fatalism affecting Stoic belief. But in its broader outlook, it re-states the early wonder of men at the fashion of the Universe and accepts with simple loyalty the design of a Creator whose Word became Flesh and to whose Word all that lives must submit itself in the service of what is naturally Just.
By Gertrude W. van Pelt
[From THE DOCTRINE OF KARMA: CHANCE OR JUSTICE, pages 28-32.]
This Law -- whether Conscious or Unconscious -- predestines nothing and no one. It exists from and in Eternity, truly, for it is ETERNITY itself; and as such, since no act can be co-equal with eternity, it cannot be said to act, for it is ACTION itself. It is not the Wave that drowns a man, but the PERSONAL action of the wretch, who goes deliberately and places himself under the IMPERSONAL action of the laws that govern the Ocean's motion.
-- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, II, 305
Probably there is no truth that cannot be perverted so as to appear something it is not. As has been said, Karma is essentially, intrinsically, a doctrine of free will. Yet this, which implies choice of action, is often, by a strange mental twist, interpreted as fatalism. What imp of darkness is it that has ever suggested to man -- the embryo god, the carver of his own destiny -- that he lives under a doom foreordained? But in any case, whatever may be the surface expression of a mood, every man, deep in his nature, knows that he is free to act and to think. As evidence, he constantly makes efforts in this direction or that from which he expects results. If he attributes to himself those that are favorable, by what logic is the 'will of God' to account for the others -- unless, indeed, it be the will of the god within himself? Or, as so excellently expressed by a fellow-Theosophist:
In practical daily life there is no uncertainty about man's having free will. A man's freedom, within certain natural limits, is obvious. In his relations to his fellowmen his freedom of choice and therefore his responsibility are fundamental. Our whole social structure and our laws are founded upon it. The whole idea of moral responsibility presupposes free will. A man who refused to act, or to accept responsibility for his acts, on the ground that he did not have free will, would be considered a man of addled brain or one obstructing duty and right action by senseless caviling. A man whose acts escape the control of his will is defective, a hysteric, or insane. The civil Courts would send him to an asylum, not to jail. They do not execute a man whose free will is inhibited.
The question of free will is much beclouded by an exaggerated idea of what freedom is. The assumption, perhaps unconscious, is that if there are any limitations there is no freedom.
Freedom can only be exercised on condition that it is not abused. A man has personal freedom within the laws of the society to which he belongs. If he violates these laws his freedom is thereafter limited to the inside walls of a prison. Does anyone ever doubt or question that a man at liberty has freedom when compared to a man in prison?
In a society governed by law and order all men have freedom within the limits of law and while they conform to the social order. A law-abiding citizen is not a slave because he conforms to the necessary restraints of the social order.
-- LUCIFER, Vol. VI, No. 9, March 1935
Law-breakers must suffer penalties, more manifestly when the HIGHER Law is broken -- that Law of Unity, Co-operation, and Compassion that holds the Universe together, which is the very nature, the essence of things. Every current set in motion strikes its objective and returns, rebounding with force in direct proportion as it is aimed consciously against the Higher Law. But it is always possible to start a counter current to weaken or neutralize the force of the first. Suppose, for instance, that one is involved in a family feud like those that poisoned the life of Venice during the Middle Ages, with feelings running higher and fed with new life by every generation. Then such a one resolved -- as happened sometimes in those days -- to break the spell, to make offers of friendship and settle the old quarrel. That would mean starting a new karma to counteract the old and would bring peace where there had been discord.
There is another twist that the selfish lower mind sometimes brings to bear upon this teaching. All, at times, while traveling their own path, run into others suffering from accidents or misfortunes with which they are apparently disconnected, and occasionally one with a pharisaical respect for the law, hesitates to interfere with the other's karma. Or, he may be frankly brutal and say: "The sufferer brought it on himself; let him take the consequences." In such cases, there is always this to be considered: we MAY run into the misfortunes of another because in the past we helped to bring them about and this is to be remembered: "Inaction in a deed of mercy becomes an action in a deadly sin" (THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE). In this intricate web of life, binding us all together, how often in our blindness do we make a tangle of the threads!
But let us beware of indifference. The man fallen by the wayside that we for the moment travel, has a claim upon us. If it is his karma to be sore beset, it is equally his karma that someone able to help him should come along. That needs no argument, surely. But more fundamental than the Law of Consequences that brought us there, is the "Law of Laws, Compassion." It is our patent DUTY to help and succor him. We can trust the laws of Divine Justice to see to it that a man gets what he deserves, without ourselves giving an extra pinch.
We are our brother's keeper. Woe to us if we callously "pass by on the other side." Better the mill-stone around our neck and the depths of the sea to receive us.
Certain things indeed ARE inevitable. We are all in the Universe and we MUST live. We are here on this Earth and we must continue to come back to it repeatedly until we learn its lessons -- we are tied to it until that day. But we ourselves guide our bark through its streams either wisely or unwisely. When we have mastered its problems and ourselves in relation to them, we are then free to move forward -- we then, in fact, DECREE to move forward. The basic fact overlooked in this theory of fatalism, is that man at the core of his being is at one with the core of the Universe, than which there is no higher authority.
We cut these numerous windings in our destinies daily with our hands, while we imagine that we are pursuing a track on the royal high road of respectability and duty, and then complain of those ways being so intricate and dark. We stand bewildered before the mystery of our own making, and the riddles of life that WE WILL NOT solve, and then accuse the great Sphinx of devouring us. But verily there is not an accident in our lives, not a misshapen day, or a misfortune, that could not be traced back to our own doings in this or another life. If one breaks the laws of Harmony ? one must be prepared to fall into the chaos one has oneself produced ?
Therefore, if any one is helpless before these immutable laws, it is not ourselves, the artificers of our destinies, but rather those angels, the guardians of harmony. Karma-Nemesis is no more than the (spiritual) dynamical effect of causes produced and forces awakened into activity by our own actions ?
This state will last till man's spiritual intuitions are fully opened, ? Until then the only palliative to the evils of life is union and harmony -- a Brotherhood IN ACTU, and ALTRUISM not simply in name. The suppression of one single bad CAUSE will suppress not one, but a variety of bad effects.
-- H.P. Blavatsky, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, I, 643-4
By G. de Purucker
[From IN THE TEMPLE, pages 23-31.]
Companions, tonight I would like to say a few things to you that may explain a little at least of what takes place in certain parts of the world at the Winter Solstice. You know that there are four turning points of the year, so to speak: respectively the Solstices of Winter and Summer, and the two Equinoxes of the Spring and of the Autumn. The cycle of the year among the ancient peoples was always considered a symbol of the life of man, or, indeed, of the life of the Universe.
Birth at the Winter Solstice, Adolescence at the Spring Equinox, Adulthood, full-blown strength and power, at the Summer Solstice, and then at the Autumnal Equinox the time of the Great Passing. Birth comes at the beginning of the year, Adolescence -- trials and their conquest -- at the Spring Equinox, and then the Summer Solstice, which represents the period of initiation when the Great Renunciation is made. The cycle closes with the time of the Autumnal Equinox, the period of the Great Passing. This cycle of the year likewise symbolizes the training in Chelaship.
At the time of the Winter Solstice -- that which even now is taking place -- two are the main Degrees that neophytes or Initiants must pass through. These are the Fourth Degree and the Seventh or last: the Fourth for less great men although they are great men none the less; and the last or Seventh Initiation, coming but at rare intervals as the ages cycle by, being the birth of the Buddhas, of the "Christs" as they are called in your Occidental lands.
During the initiation of the less great men, men of less grandiose spiritual and intellectual capacity than is the human material out of which the Buddhas are born, during this Fourth Initiation the postulant is taught to free himself from all the trammels of mind and from the lower four principles of his constitution. Being thus set free, he passes along the magnetic Channels or Circulations of the Universe, even to the portals of the Sun, but there and then he stops and returns. Three days usually are the time required for this, and then the man arises a full Initiate indeed, but with a realization that ahead of him are still loftier peaks to scale on that lonely Path, that still Path, that small Path, leading to divinity.
As regards the Seventh Initiation, this occurs in a cycle lasting some 2160 human years, i.e., the zodiacal time that it takes for a zodiacal Sign to pass through a constellation backwards into the next constellation: in other words, what is called among mystics in the Occident the Messianic Cycle. When indeed the planets Mercury and Venus, and the Sun and the Moon and the Earth, are situated in syzygy, then the freed Monad of the lofty neophyte can pass along the magnetic pathway through these bodies and continue direct to the heart of the Sun.
For fourteen days, the man left on earth is as in a trance, or walks about in a daze, in a quasi-stupor; for the inner part of him, the real part of him, is peregrinating through the spheres. Two weeks later during the light half of the lunar cycle or month when the moon stands full, his peregrinating Monad returns rapidly as flashing thought along the same pathway by which he ascended to Father-Sun. He retakes to himself the habiliments that he dropped on each planet as he passed through it: the habiliments of Mercury, the habiliments of Venus, the habiliments of the Moon -- of the lunar body: of the lunar orb -- and from the Moon the Monad returns to the entranced body left behind.
Then for a while, shorter or longer according to circumstances, his whole being is irradiated with the solar spiritual splendor, and he is a Buddha just "born." All his body is in flaming glory as it were; and from his head, and from back of his head in especial, as an aureole, there spring forth rays, rays of glory like a crown. It is because of this that crowns in the Occident and diadems in the Hither East were formerly worn by those who had passed through this Degree, for verily they are Sons of the Sun, crowned with the solar splendor.
In these initiations the man dies. Initiation is death, death of the lower part of the man; and in fact, the body dies but is nevertheless held alive not by the spirit-soul that has flown from it, as a butterfly frees itself from its chrysalis, but kept alive by those who are watching and waiting and guarding. It is due to this holding of the bodily triad alive that the peregrinating spirit-soul is enabled finally to return as a bird to its nest, where it recognizes its former bodily home, and is "reborn," but in this case reborn into the same body.
During the period of time when the peregrinating Monad is absent, whether it is for three days or for fourteen, the excarnate Monad has followed the pathways of death literally, but has done so quickly and within the fortnight. In fact, the process is virtually identical with that followed in the case of excarnation and reincarnation, for it returns to the entranced body along the pathways of rebirth, of reembodiment, and is, as it were, reborn into the old body instead of into a new one. Thus was it said of such a man in India that he is a Dwija, as the Brahmans of Aryavarta put it -- a "twice-born" Initiate.
This phrase also has one meaning more: One who is reborn from the ashes of the old life, which life is now burnt out and dead. But it has also the deeper significance of which I have spoken. The Seventh-Degree Initiations that occur once during the so-called Messianic Cycle just spoken of, and that produce the spiritual fruit of a minor Buddha, called a Bodhisattva, must not be confused with one of the greatest of initiations known to the human race, i.e., those belonging solely to the racial Buddhas. There are in any Root-Race but two racial Buddhas. But the Bodhisattvas of differing degrees of evolutionary grandeur are very numerous. The cyclical Bodhisattvas as above hinted come one each in every Messianic Cycle of 2160 years and are usually of an Avataric character.
There are cases, my Brothers, where neophytes fail, but, as you heard last night, those who fail have another chance in other lives; but the penalty for failure in this life is either death or madness, and the penalty is very just. Solemn indeed are the warnings given to those who would fly like the birds into the ethers of the inner worlds and follow the tracks of those who have preceded them along the Circulations of the Universe.
I would try to make one more thing clear. When you look up at the violet dome of night, or, during the day-time raise your eyes and look at the splendor of Father-Sun shining in the blue vault of midday, how empty the spatial expanse seems to you to be -- how seeming vacuous, how seeming void! Your western, your Occidental, astronomers will tell you that the earth is a sphere poised in the void, in the ether, free except for the gravitational attraction of the Sun, and that the Earth is following its pathway, its orbit, around the Sun not otherwise than gravitationally attached thereto: in short, that Space is emptiness.
Indeed, SPACE, mystically speaking, is Sunyata, emptiness in the sense of our own esoteric significance, but by no means "emptiness" as understood by your Occidental astronomers. Verily, the space that you look at, which your physical eyes think they see -- or don't see -- is substance so dense, so concrete, that no human conception can give any clear idea thereof to the brain-mind otherwise than by mathematics.
One of your Occidental physicist-astronomers, J.J. Thompson, some years ago calculated that the ether of space was two thousand million times denser than lead. This revoices an old doctrine. Remember this, Brothers, the proper manner of expressing this fact all depends upon the way in which we look at it. We have eyes evolved to sense or pierce the matter of our sphere. We see what seems to us to be vacuity, emptiness, but actually, that seeming vacuity or emptiness is full. In fact, it is a plenum, a pleroma, full of worlds and spheres and planes, full of hierarchies, of evolving entities on these worlds and spheres and planes.
Please try clearly to grasp this idea. Our entire Surya-system, our entire Solar System in other words, called the Egg of Brahma, may be looked at from one very true standpoint as an enormous ovoid aggregate body poised in space. Were some astronomer on some distant in the stellar deeps to see our Egg of Brahma, and were he to see it from the proper superior plane or world, our entire Solar System would appear to him as an ovoid body of light -- as an egg-shaped irresolvable nebula. This would include all the emptiness that we see, or think we see, the emptiness so called, and therefore would include all our solar world of the Egg of Brahma, from the very heart of Father-Sun to beyond the confines of what your astronomers call the farthermost planets.
Hearken well to this: The Egg of Brahma is composed of concentric spheres centered in the Sun, and each one of these spheres is a cosmic world. Its heart -- the heart of each one of them -- is the Sun. The world or sphere of our Earth is one such, and surrounds the Sun as a sphere of dense substance; and the nucleus in this sphere or Egg, for such it is, is what you men call our Earth. Yes, and of Uranus too; but remember that Uranus belongs not to our own system of Sacred Worlds, although it belongs to our Egg of Brahma.
In this connection, any such concentric sphere such as our Earth, or that of Jupiter, or that of Mercury, is, de facto, such an Egg or Sphere of Brahma. Yet note well that the nucleus of each such sphere, or what men call a planet, if seen in motion from another plane, would appear to be a wave or ripple advancing steadily in and around a solid or semi-solid zone or belt. This zone or belt actually being what we call on our plane the locus of the orbit of such planetary body as of Earth, or of Jupiter, or of Mercury. The meaning of this again is that a planetary orbit such as that of Earth and seen from another plane is an actual belt or zone surrounding the Sun. It is the pathway, so to speak, of the nucleus that in this zone can be considered in movement as a ripple or wave moving steadily around this belt or zone, or ring.
From what has just been said, it becomes immediately obvious that what we call a planet can be properly viewed from three different planes of vision, as three different things. First, it is seen as a globe such as we men on this plane see it. From another plane, it is seen as a wave or ripple, circularly advancing in and following the course of an annular zone or belt surrounding the Sun. Third, it is seen as a concentric sphere, or rather spheroid, or egg, with its center at the heart of the Sun.
These concentric worlds or spheres are in constant circular movement of revolution around the heart of the Sun. The spheres are within each other, somewhat like the skins of an onion, and yet each one is formed of different matters, in a sense, i.e., of matters in a different state from the matters of the other spheres. Hence, they pass through each other as easily as if the others did not exist. It is that our eye can see some of the stellar bodies lying beyond the orbits of Mars and of Jupiter and of Saturn.
All we see of the stellar host outside of our Egg of Brahma happens to be those particular stars or suns that because of their having attained the same degree of material evolution whereon we ourselves now stand and where our physical sun is. Therefore, they are visible to our organs of sight. Were we living on another plane, our vision could not penetrate the respective matters, otherwise the orbits or spheres, of Mars or Jupiter or of Saturn.
These three planets alone hide billions and billions and billions of suns that we during our present Manvantara cannot ever see. Some day in the far distant future, as evolution works on the matter of our world-sphere, we shall see some of the Raja-Suns now hid by these three planets -- by the spheres of these three planets, for the planets and their respective spheres are really the same. It is precisely because the Egg of Brahma is substantial throughout, and that interplanetary space is therefore substantial throughout, that light belonging to this fourth cosmic plane can pass from stars to us.
In speaking of these concentric spheres, please remember also that a proper conception of the structure and characteristics of the Egg of Brahma must include a realization of the grandiose fact that there are many more planetary concentric spheres than those of the eight, or nine, or ten planets known to Occidental astronomy. There are scores of planets in the Solar System that are invisible by means of any Occidental astronomical instrument or apparatus.
Furthermore, and still more important, there are numbers of these concentric spheres that belong to entirely other planes of the cosmos, and each one of these invisible concentric spheres, which are in some cases superior, and in some cases inferior, to our plane, is as fully inhabited with its multifarious hosts of beings as our own plane is. Each plane has its own hierarchies of inhabitants, its own inhabited worlds with their dwellers, with their countries, with their mountains, and seas, and lakes, and dwellings, and what not, even as our Earth has.
These concentric world-spheres considered as a whole were the crystalline spheres of the ancients, which your Occidental astronomers have so grossly misunderstood, and therefore have so much derided.
What indeed did these words mean: crystalline spheres? The meaning was, spheres of which the center was the Sun and that were transparent to our eyesight. Just as glass is very dense and yet is transparent to our eyesight, so are the ethers of our fourth cosmic plane very dense and yet transparent to our eyesight. To the inhabitants of Earth viewing the phenomena of the Solar System from the Earth, the entire system of concentric spheres, due to the Earth's rotation, seems to revolve around the Earth, and hence arises the geocentric way of looking at the apparent movements of the planets and the Sun and the Moon and the stars. All things in Universal Nature are repetitive in structure and in action. The small mirrors the Great, and the Great reproduces itself in the small, for verily the twain is one.
Furthermore, because of the magnetic structure and action of the 12 globes of our Planetary Chain, our Earth has magnetic bipolar action of twelve different kinds; one such polar pair is known to your scientists, the others unknown. Our Egg of Brahma, our Solar System, as a whole, likewise has twelve magnetic bipolar courses, what in short are called magnetic poles. Each one of these twelve poles has its locus in one of the twelve constellations of the Zodiac -- or rather, the twelve constellations of the Zodiac are the loci of the twelve poles of the zodiacal period. The Wheel of Life with its twelve spokes runs on forever.
Thus, it is that a man, a human being, can be a Son of the Sun. Thus, it is that a human being can ascend along the magnetic pathways from Earth to Moon, from Moon to Venus, from Venus to Mercury, from Mercury to the heart of Father-Sun -- and return. On the journey outward, certain sheaths or integuments of the peregrinating Monad are dropped at each planetary station. Dust to dust on Earth. The lunar body cast off and abandoned in the valleys of the Moon. In Venus, habiliments of Venusian character are cast aside also; and so is it likewise in Mercury. Then the solar portion of us is ingathered into its own heart.
The peregrinating Monad on its return journey leaves the Sun after re-assuming its own solar sheath. It enters the sphere of Mercury, gathers up there the garments that it previously had cast aside, assumes these, and then passes to Venus. There it reclothes itself with what it had there previously laid down, then enters the unholy sphere of the Moon, and in its dark valleys picks up its former lunar body, and thence is borne to Earth on the lunar rays when the Moon is full. Dust to dust, Moon to Moon, Venus to Venus, Mercury to Mercury, Sun to Sun!
As you have often been told, Initiation is the becoming, by self-conscious experience, temporarily at one with other worlds and planes, and the various degrees of Initiation mark the various stages of advancement or of ability to do this. As the Initiations progress in grandeur, so does the spirit-soul of the Initiant penetrate deeper and deeper into the invisible worlds and spheres. One must become fully cognizant of all the secrets of the solar egg before one can become a divinity in that solar egg, taking a part, self-conscious and deliberate, in the cosmic labor.
Brothers, prepare yourselves continually, for every day is a new chance, is a new doorway, a new opportunity. Lose not the days of your lives, for the time will come, fatally come, when it will be your turn to undertake this most sublime of Adventures. Glorious beyond words to express will be the reward if you succeed. Therefore practice, practice continuously your will. Open your heart more and more. Remember the divinity at your inmost, the inmost divinity of you, the heart of you, and the core of you. Love others, for these others are you. Forgive them, for in so doing you forgive yourself. Help them, for in so doing, you strengthen yourself. Hate them, and in so doing you prepare your own feet to travel to the Pit, for in so doing you hate yourself. Turn your backs on the Pit, and turn your faces to the Sun!
By Reata V.H. Pedersen
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, March 1931, pages 244-49.]
The search of parents for a proper school to which to entrust the education of their children can be a most disheartening experience. It can develop many humorous situations; but the thoughtful person, the real child-lover, will be saddened and his laughter may come through lips just a little awry.
There are few schools in which complete trust can be placed. This is because it seems there is little connection between the theory of what is to be done for the good of the child and that which is actually accomplished.
In our search for a school, we, two average persons with two average children (impersonally judging them), found the claim most common to all of them to be that always there was some responsible adult in charge of a child or group of children; but we had the misfortune to prove the statement untrue on three occasions.
It seemed to us that a school must provide a home and the safety of a home as a first requirement. Our second was that the other pupils be of the same moral standing as our own children. The third, that proper food be provided, and the fourth, that the system of education offer preparation for living and the making of life something more than a sordid struggle for existence.
We met comprehension of our requirements as to home-atmosphere and diet-needs, but when we came to consideration of the other two requirements, we met "the psychologist who is connected with our school."
Now as one having had a nurse's training, I know that it is sometimes necessary to consult such a specialist so that a child may be helped to health and happiness. I also know of cases where the child has suffered actual harm from a visit to one, because he was presented to himself as different from other children and became terror-stricken through belief in his 'unbalanced growing.'
When we refused the services of the psychologist, we were thought to be hiding something much worse than an inferiority complex in our youngsters. It seems there are things worse, although considering the emphasis put upon it and the surprising methods used to do away with it, one would hardly think so. We, poor innocents, thought it was not present in either of our children.
At this particular school, I think we must be remembered still as the great refusers, because we did not wish the test for this, and the inoculation for that, given; nor yet the adenoids, tonsils, and teeth of our children removed. You see, we liked 'em the way they were.
Because of the advantages of the European schools regarding the acquirement of languages, we sought the ideal school in England, France, and Germany. First, the children had three months at a nursery school in a New England state.
The pupils at this school were taught to call the charming woman and splendid man at its head, Aunt Mary and Uncle Dave. Aunt Mary and Uncle Dave had three children of their own and the other forty pupils suffered considerably at the hands of these three who in the minds of their parents could do no wrong.
The diet was very well planned and would have been satisfactory had it been followed. The excuse that good cooks were difficult to find and that fresh vegetables and choice of meat almost out of the question in 'the delightful country-town in which the school is situated' did not make it easier for me to correct the evils following upon an almost steady diet of pork. And the fact that my small daughter loudly proclaimed her appreciation of the pork made it no easier to feed her spinach instead.
The charge made at this school was one hundred dollars a month for each child, with doctor, dentist, chaperone, transportation to and from the office of the dentist or doctor, and orange-juice, buttermilk, laundry, and mending, all a matter of extra charge.
In England, we placed our children in a preparatory school that had a record of never having had a fatal illness among the pupils in forty years. It was a boys' school, but as the head master had three small girls, our daughter lived at his home and attended the school.
The cost was five hundred pounds the year for the two, but many extras, such as fires and chapel, library and baths, were charged, and the expense of the 'tuck shop' would have been large, I feel sure, as oranges and other fruits were to be had only there. However, the boy became so ill through being caned and hazed by being thrown into a tub of icy water that the record of the school as to a fatal illness almost was lost.
In Germany, the windows of the dormitory were kept so tightly closed that the little girl in search of fresh air found a nice but purely ornamental balcony held in place by plaster and there slept for hours, sans covering, while a frantic head mistress and an ashen-faced mother searched for her.
We tried one more school abroad but it closed for lack of patronage, and this ended two years of search.
Returning to America, the children entered a school in the West whose principal was young and enthusiastic and whose consulting physician was a relative of ours whom the children adored. Here they were left for five months while their parents made a necessary journey to Asia.
The investigation of this school had brought out the fact that the children were allowed to develop naturally, were taught to think that being ill was just a little bit of a disgrace (with the object of preventing our old friend the inferiority-complex from sunning itself in the dramatic orb shining upon an invalid).
With our faith based on the sanity of our relative, the consulting physician, and the children themselves satisfied that the natural-development clause meant that they would just naturally be allowed to do whatever they wished, we sailed away.
Nothing much of moment can be inserted in the record here other than mention that the boy was allowed to suffer several hours with a broken ankle while he was examined (figuratively) as to his inferiority. In other words, he was thought to be shamming. The child put an end to the matter by telephoning for the doctor.
The 'natural' development resulted in mob-rule in the dining room, and all in all I should not call it a successful school.
In summing up these experiences, the writer must in fairness admit that most of these incidents were exceptions, adding that she feels sure they would not have had much chance for repetition, for even schools with psychologists attached thereto can profit by experience. Yet when parents are forced to absent themselves from their children, they like to feel that the possibility of neglect in illness, illness through wrong diet, danger because of lack of watchful care, and severe punishment, cannot occur at all. They feel that hazing will not be tolerated in the school and that manners will be taught, especially the table-manners which it is said is the one claim America can make to distinction in that direction.
In 1930, our search ended when the children were entered as resident-pupils at the Lomaland School. This is the school founded by Katherine Tingley more than thirty years ago.
The system of education is based upon the thought of the child's unity with himself and with the Universe of which he is a part. It is not a new thought, for in the groves where Plato taught, it was held a basic principle of learning.
With the knowledge that the nature of each child was the result of an individual choosing and refusing of certain desires in ages past, the Foundress decided upon individual training.
That this training, this directing of the child's thought to the fact that he is one with the Universe, the teaching of self-control of body and mind through recognition of the spirituality of the Real Being, result in a balanced growth of mental, physical, and spiritual faculties, the writer can attest.
It has been my privilege to live in the grounds of the Lomaland School and to come in daily contact and to work with the teachers, and these teachers are with few exceptions men and women who were themselves trained in this school from childhood or early youth, or have been many years in training under the Foundress, Katherine Tingley.
They are devoted men and women whose interests are here, whose life-work is here, and whose purpose in life is to pass on that which they were so generously given by Katherine Tingley and her teaching-staff.
It is possible to bring forward the testimony as to the almost immediate result of this training upon children because of the evident improvement in health, in perception, in reaction to superior social contacts, in desire to learn -- and in character -- of my own boy and girl.
They are happy children, my two, even during my absence. They associate with other children who are happy, who feel as do my own that they have in their home a school and in their school a home.
It is the intention of their father and me to leave the education of our children in the hands of the directors of this school.
In Lomaland, there are no servants, and in consequence, the pupils have the privilege of learning that those of gentle breeding who are their example in manners are also an example of the dignity of self-service.
Neither fear nor familiarity is observable as between pupil and teacher. Discipline is indeed constructive, but the elder brother and big sister attitude of the teacher to the child is the outstanding feature of their contact.
The curriculum is well suited to the child and to the needs of modern living. The classes held out-of-doors when weather permits, which in California is most of the time, give opportunity, first for exchange of thought between pupil and teacher.
The language-classes are in charge of teachers who thoroughly understand the idiom of the foreign tongue. (It is not unusual to hear a student translate letters from German, French, and Spanish, one after the other, so that others may enjoy the correspondence carried on with friends in other lands.)
There is something of the air of a cosmopolite in a graduate of Lomaland School and yet there is a flavor of the classic schooling too.
Music holds high place in the education-system as does the study of the drama; and plays are studied and acted in the beautiful open-air theater -- the first Greek Theater built in America.
A current-events class, which even the young child attends, is a biweekly delight. Newspapers are not found in the reading-rooms but carefully chosen magazines are there; so that the student at home for the weekend is not as one from another world, but one most surprisingly able to take his part in the conversation of his family.
The arts-and-crafts work finds much favor with the young child. He is happy in his activities too, and the games in the playroom and in the playing fields are carefully supervised.
The attention of physicians to ordinary routine of health is not made an extra charge and each child is given the diet he most needs for right growth. The only extra charge is for dentistry and personal laundry.
The school is an all-year-round one, with vacations at frequent intervals and special ones by arrangement with parents.
Our old friend, the inferiority complex, isn't much heard of in Lomaland. But I remember an amusing thing told me by the father of two boys who brought them here with long and detailed reports from a most expensive psychologist.
The directress to whom he offered them said, "I'll take them and keep them in our files if you insist, but I'd really rather not read them. It seems like taking advantage of the boys and I'd like to wait for knowledge of them to be given to me by themselves."
The father smiled as he told me this, saying that he had kept the record in his own files to remind him how foolishly he had spent several hundred dollars.
As for the boys -- well, they are just the average, little bad and little good, thoughtful and thoughtless boys -- but with a firm faith in that Directress and much love for their home school.
As I have been writing this, I have tried to name the reasons for the success this school has been proven to have in the training of the child. I have asked myself why in this day of revaluations, made necessary by change of forms in social control, in this age when education is in such a state of confusion, why this school is able, so serenely, to endure.
It teaches now as it taught thirty years ago. Other hands than those of Katherine Tingley control its destiny -- hands that are friendly, tender, and firm -- but its destiny is so evidently that which was planned thirty years ago.
I find myself looking deeper into the thought upon which it was built, and I find that thought to be the religion of the school -- indeed, the religion that is Theosophy. In it, there are no dogmas to teach to children, or to their elders for that matter.
Unity with oneself and with all that is -- it is beautiful as thought or as a religion. It seems to me that it is that thought, that religion, which has made of the Lomaland School and its system of education -- a realization of an ideal.
By Cranstone Woodhead
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, October 1915, pages 257-62.]
In bringing our minds to dwell upon this important subject, we shall soon perceive that we are at a point where our intuitive faculties reach beyond the ordinary creeds and dogmatism of modern times.
If the bibles of all races and religions are to have any effect in lifting the human race to a higher standpoint of realized truth, they must surely be studied by the light of the higher qualities of the human consciousness, wherein truth is cognized at first-hand. The literal interpretation of a creed, formulated obscurity, or the desire for power or authority of any special class of human beings is one of our greatest delusions.
Truth is for all. It is universal. It cannot be measured by brain capacity. It has a quality of eternal life that all thinking beings can intuitively perceive in the measure of their development towards the common goal.
When we look abroad into the field of Nature, we cannot fail to recognize that the worlds that make up the universe are moved by some mysterious force. We may call the force by what name we please, but it is the life force of the eternal in some form or other. The sun is the center of a system of worlds that move around it in rhythmic measure so accurate that we can calculate their position years ahead to the fraction of a minute. Upon the world that we inhabit, we see a marvelous display of infinite varieties of life, which together form a complete whole of various grades of intelligence, yet all acting under never-changing laws. A mighty yet silent force urges onwards through the birth, growth, decay, and rebirth of minerals, plants, animals, and men. Seas and continents have interchanged their position many times, whilst successive races have risen to empire and have passed away.
Let us then look around us with discerning eyes and consider the signs of this great driving life force that rules the world.
We shall soon perceive that the outward appearance that we call matter and that is to be observed by our mortal eyes is but a mask and an illusion. There is that within it that rules and guides according to law. We cannot observe this inner life by the aid of either telescope or microscope, but we are able to perceive and judge of it by the aforesaid unseen qualities that we have within ourselves. They become evident through our own conscious mind, which is the divine heritage of humanity. For the microcosm, which is man, is but a copy of the macrocosm of Nature. He is god incarnate, and if he will, he can arouse within himself the knowledge of this noble Truth by turning his attention in the right direction, i.e., within himself.
The scientists who look out into the heavens tell us that the solid globe on which we live was once a nebulous fire mist, more tenuous than any form of matter of which we can now conceive. In the course of untold ages, it has slowly condensed into the solid body of the earth that is visible to our eyes, holding many inherent qualities that are invisible but may be perceived by man's awakened inner senses.
In this, they agree with the teaching of the ancient sages, who in their turn received their knowledge from the divine beings -- the gods who dwelt on earth with men during the golden age. Yet even these declared that not only the whole of the earth and of Nature but also they themselves were but manifestations of the unseen power, the great eternal essence of being, the unknown dark god, the primeval breath, the origin, the harmonious cause, which is the center of the light and life of the universe. Thus the wise ancients knew well that there is a boundless source of life and power upon which all things depend and from which all life flows, and that this is represented in space and time by the visible sun, the heart of the life of the earth; whilst in the spaceless soul of the universe, it is the one eternal being that makes all things from a portion of itself.
Upon such knowledge was founded the ancient Wisdom-Religion of humanity, the original source of all other religions of whatever age.
If in thought we look back upon the far distant ages when the earth began to take form and to bring forth the various kingdoms of Nature, we shall see a wondrous drama of cycle after cycle, in which mineral, plant, and animal were successively produced in the progress toward the formation of a concrete world. The final effort at this period was the body of man, devoid of a FULLY conscious mind, but otherwise perfected.
Then, the sages tell us that about eighteen million years ago, the human race was lifted above the animals by the lighting up of the godlike flame of divine mind within the animal body of primitive man.
From that time, the tide was turned. The now divinely inspired man became potentially lord of the earth and king of nature. From thence, the long journey was begun back to the source from which all things originally emanated. Thus by the power of self-conscious mind, man is enabled, if he so will, not only to recognize the power of divinity within his own being and his essential unity with the eternal, but also to rule the kingdoms of nature that are below him and of which he is also a part.
What then does he see when he looks abroad on his surroundings?
Any child can perceive the progress of all life in matter through the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms to the body that man occupies as a temple wherein to dwell for a time that he may gain experience of divinity and of nature.
As he grows older, he sees that the solid body of the earth is crystallized and mineralized light and life. Within it are born many wonders such as radiant matter, and gold, which grows and purifies itself in its matrix of quartz. From the earth, we extract the sunlight that impacted itself into coal millions of years ago, and we employ it to give us light and power.
Then there is the vegetable kingdom. On the broad bosom of Mother Earth, the forests grow in luxuriant beauty. The life-sap ebbs and flows through the plants in autumn and spring. But "grapes do not grow on thorns or figs on thistles," so countless species produce themselves after their kind, through the mysteries of Nature's workshop. What marvelous powers of discriminative growth are shown in these wonders! We see them every day with unseeing eyes. We do not discern the power that produces these marvels, nor the beauty of harmonious law that guides every flower that blooms. There is ever the silent and mysterious motive force that directs the course of every individual in the different situations of climate, moisture, soil, and exposure.
As we pass on to the animal kingdom, we find the power of choice and motion, and find a discernment that we call instinct. Animal forms reach a remarkable perfection of strength, grace, and beauty. They are our brothers truly on a lower grade of evolution through which our bodies have once passed. They are our friends if we will have it so, for we are to them as gods. The songs of the birds, the affection of the household animals for their masters, appeal to us in a strange way. It would be well nigh impossible for the human mind to conceive of an animal body more perfect than that of a majestic lion or a golden eagle. Yet often the qualities that may be admirable enough in them are precisely those that we must master, and turn to higher use if we would preserve an ideal manhood.
We have said nothing of the numerous species on the dividing lines between these kingdoms of life, yet truly, there are no marked dividing lines. All growth is by infinite gradations.
It may be asked, how does this driving power in Nature affect humanity and how is it manifest in our daily life?
If it be remembered that man is essentially a soul -- a spiritual being incarnate in an animal body so that he may gain experience thereby and work out his own divinity, the answer is not far to seek.
By observing what is the driving power in our own lives and in the lives of those around us, we shall understand in part at least what that power is in nature as a whole, for man is the key to the universe.
We have not far to look to find out what is the impelling power in human nature generally. It takes various forms: ambition, greed, appetite, or passion. Some form of personal desire usually urges man on his course, some desire to attain some object or to attain some goal near or far away. An ancient saying is "Behind the will stands desire." Desire sets the will in operation.
Using this as a key to our understanding of nature as a whole, we find all creatures acting according to the law of their own natures in the orderly course of their lives. In the animal kingdom, we find desire and appetite analogous to the same desire and appetite in man. We find the plants sending out their roots in search of water and lifting their heads to the air and sunlight. In the mineral kingdom, elements combine with other elements in proportions according to fixed laws. Everywhere in Nature, there is attraction and repulsion.
Whatever we find in the lower kingdoms we find reproduced in man with the difference that there is something added in man, WHICH MAKES HIM MAN. He has the power to choose whether he will follow this something that is the distinguishing mark of his humanity, or work against it. He is no longer subject, as it were, against his will, to the driving power of Nature. He must either cooperate with it, control, and use it or sink below the level of the beast. Recognizing his own divine nature, he may live, if he so choose, in harmony with it. Failing to do this, he becomes a slave of the passions and appetites. Thus the passional desire-nature is, as it were, a great source of energy and motive power, which he must transmute and direct if he would fulfill the higher law of his being and take his place as one of the sons of God. He should exchange the personal for the spiritual will.
The highest aims and true end of man can only be attained by the exercise of his spiritual will, and the first evidence that this is in operation is the effort for mastery of the animal or lower self and the conquest of every form of personal selfishness. By doing this, he conforms to the divine desire of the Supreme to bring forth a universe inhabited by successive gradations of created beings. In recognizing this and accepting his divine estate, man will lay aside his lower passional nature and self-will and be ready to exclaim at any moment, "Not my will but thine be done."
Then he is no longer subject to the driving power in nature, but on the contrary IDENTIFIES HIMSELF WITH THAT POWER. He becomes a coworker with Nature and in his own life the driver himself, the arbiter of his own destiny, working with the higher law of his being understandingly. Then he will have realized his divinity, and will have returned to his primeval godhood. For there is that in man that which will, if he so choose, make him independent of the genii that rule the material world. In THE SECRET DOCTRINE of Mme. H.P. Blavatsky, we are told that one of the fundamental propositions of the ancient Wisdom-Religion was as follows:
The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Oversoul, the latter being itself an aspect of the unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage of every Soul through the cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity") in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law during the whole term. In other words no purely ... divine Soul can have an independent existence before the spark which issued from ... the Oversoul has (a) passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal world ... and (b) acquired individuality, FIRST BY NATURAL IMPULSE, and THEN BY SELF-INDUCED AND SELF-DEVISED EFFORTS (checked by its Karma) thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence from the lowest to the highest ... from mineral to plant up to the holiest Archangel.
In thinking over this, we see at once that the development of man by natural impulse began to give place to a higher development by the divine self-conscious mind incarnate within him.
From that time, he began to make those "self-induced and self-devised efforts" to which reference is made. From that time, the purely animal instincts in man have been at war with the divinity within him manifested in his own intuitive conscience.
A modern writer has put it in this way:
Greatness in man is popularly supposed to be a thing inborn. The belief must be a result of want of thought, of blindness to facts in nature. Greatness can only be attained by growth; that is continually demonstrated to us. Even the mountains, even the firm globe itself, these are great by dint of the mode of growth peculiar to that state of materiality -- accumulation of atoms. As the consciousness inherent in all existing forms passes into more advanced forms of life, it becomes more active, and in proportion, it acquires the power to growth by ASSIMILATION instead of ACCUMULATION. Looking at existence from this special point of view, we immediately perceive it to be reasonable to suppose, that as we advance beyond our present standpoint, the power of growth by assimilation will become greater and probably changed into a method yet more rapid, easy, and unconscious. The universe is in fact full of magnificent promise for us if we will but lift our eyes and see.
In man taken individually or as a whole, there clearly exists a double constitution. Two great tides of emotion sweep through his nature; two great forces guide his life. The one makes him an animal, and the other makes him a god.
It is upon the union -- the right relation of these two forces in himself -- which man stands as a strong king. That is the whole secret. That is what makes man strong, powerful, and able to grasp heaven and earth in his hands. Do not fancy it is easily done. This power can only be attained by giving the god the sovereignty. Secreted and hidden in the heart of the world and in the heart of man is the light that can illumine all life. Shall we not search for it?
In this extremely brief sketch, it is impossible to point out how the precepts of all the great teachers of humanity embody the ideas herein contained. The virtues of self-denial and universal compassion for all creatures are the forsaking of the desires of the personal man that are natural to the body in which he dwells -- the ceasing to exercise the will that makes them live -- the destruction of the personal desire to accumulate for oneself anything whatever; and the reaching out toward an assimilation with the god within in order that he may rule.
The power to be sought for is not exterior. There within the silence of man's own heart lies the fountain of sweet waters -- the peace that passeth all understanding. Katherine Tingley has said:
Oh that every atom of my being were a thousand-pointed star to help men to see the divine everywhere, to know their limitless power, to feel while in the body, the exhaustless joy of Real Life, to wake and live instead of dreaming the heavy dreams of this living death, and to know themselves as at once part of and directors of Universal Law. This is your birthright of Wisdom and the hour of attainment is now if you will. Tarry no longer in the delusion of the Hall of Learning. Feel, Know, and Do. Face to face with the defeats of the past, you hold in your hands a new weapon forged in all past struggles. -- Wherefore, arise, claim your own, move on to the Sublime Peace that shall follow the final Victory.