We hold that a good book which gives people food for thought, which strengthens and clears their minds, and enables them to grasp truths which they have dimly felt but could not formulate -- we hold that such a book does a real, substantial good. As to what you call practical deeds of charity, to benefit the bodies of our fellow-men, we do what little we can.
-- H.P. Blavtsky, THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, page 249
By G. de Purucker
[From WIND OF THE SPIRIT, pages 42-45.]
Thought is the motive power of men. It governs even emotion and can control it, and although sometimes thought is evoked by feeling, I think that on the higher planes they are one. The world we live in is a world of men, a world of thinkers and feelers; and if the world is bad, it is because men's thoughts and feelings have made it so. If human conditions are inharmonious, even diabolic at times, when brute force takes the place of reason and justice, it is because men's thoughts have made it so.
Ideas control actions. There you have the cause of the unrest in the world we live in, and its cure. If a man wants to reform himself, he does so by first of all changing his thought; he begins by feeling differently. There is no other way. It is the only lasting way, for it means a change of character. If you want to prevent a quarrel, you have to begin your work before the quarrel threatens. If you try to interfere in a quarrel between two men, you are apt to hurt yourself, and you will have a quarrel of three. It is no way to stop a quarrel by going to the quarrelers and preaching. By so doing, you have not touched these men where they are susceptible, you have not changed them, you have not appealed to their thought or their feelings. You have been trying mere palliatives.
Make them see that they are acting a bit worse than the beasts are when the beasts fight, because the beasts have not our reason and common sense. Make your appeal with ideas. Awaken thoughts in their minds. Put into their minds a new sequence of thought and feeling. Then they will begin to realize that you cannot settle a quarrel by brute force, for that simply means that the chap who has got the worst of it is going to bide his time to see if he can best the other fellow by brute force. They will begin to see that you cannot stop wars by making wars to stop wars. It has never worked and never will, because it is a wrong psychology, as well as foolish.
Do you know that all civilization is built upon thought? And that if you want to change a civilization, you must change accepted thought, give a new thought. What is an invention? A thought. What is literature? Thought. What are philosophy, religion, and science? Thought. What is the social structure under which we live? Thought. Every movement in the world today is built upon thought: social, political, philosophic, religious, scientific, what not. Nine out of ten of these movements began in the mind of one man and spread. You see in the pages of history the tremendous cataclysmic effects of thought. What was the Great War? Not only the result of thought, but thought itself. Men fight because of ideas, thoughts. To avoid another war, we must begin before the next one happens -- begin by starting a new current of thought in the world.
These truths are so simple they pass over our heads and we do not take them in and digest them. It is ideas that shake the world. It is ideas that make the world. It is ideas that unmake men and the world of men. Consult the annals of history. Look at the amazing results that spring from movements that begin perhaps with a handful of earnest people. For years they may work and preach and labor apparently without result. Suddenly, for some remarkable reason, the idea catches and spreads like wild-fire. Sometimes ideas take hold of men in the most amazing way.
What were the Crusades, when men left home and hearth and fireside and everything they held dear to go and fight the paynim, in a distant foreign and unknown land? These tens of thousands of men collected from all over Europe for an idea.
Still more remarkable: what was this amazing and thought-arresting idea that even caught the thoughts and imaginations of little children? Have you ever heard of the Children's Crusade? Out of Germany and what is now Belgium and Holland and France and Switzerland, down into the south of France and into Italy, suddenly children began to arise, boys and girls from toddling ones up to those of thirteen or fourteen years -- they took to the roads and went by the scores of thousands till the highways were black with their marching feet. Hundreds of miles they went, dying by thousands on the way, and horribly treated by human monsters that battened on them.
Nobody knows how this thought arose. Suddenly the children in the various countries took it into their heads: "We will go fight, we will go save the Holy Sepulcher." Fancy children talking like that! They got it from their parents, of course; but look at the psychology -- a psychology that swept every home, took one or more children from every fireside. The mothers and fathers could not stop them. They would steal out by night. They would go by byways and devious pathways to the great highways, those bands of helpless children going south, going south! All for an idea, a thought!
What was the idea of the wonderful tarantella that is best described by the historians of Spain and Italy -- Italy, perhaps particularly? Suddenly for no understandable reason, grown men and women got the idea that they must dance; and they began to dance, and danced on and on until they fell down unconscious, exhausted. They could not stop themselves from singing and dancing, singly and together -- whole country-sides, whole districts of them. A psychology, a thought, an idea.
It is just such kind of insane psychology that rules the world of human thought today. Men and women have got the idea that it is impossible to prevent a second Great War. They really believe it. And that is one of the reasons why it will happen unless sanity resumes its sway over our minds. What makes and carries on any war? Thought. What stops any war? Thought: changing the thoughts of men, for by changing their thoughts you change their hearts, you change their lives and therefore their civilizations.
If a war comes, it is because men and women have brought it about by their thinking. Their thinking arouses their feeling. Their feeling arouses their jealousy and fear. Evil thought will be followed by similar thought. You cannot extinguish fire by fire. You cannot stop war by war. This is as simple as A-B-C. These are thoughts that fly unnoticed over our heads because we are so accustomed to them, and yet they are the secret of all good and all evil. A man's life is changed sublimely by his thoughts; so too can he go to 'hell' or the gallows by his thinking. It is thought that makes the gentleman and the boor. It is thought that makes the courageous man or the coward. It is thought that produces forgiveness or carries on hate.
It was because these facts are such that the Theosophical Society was begun: to try to change the thoughts of men towards better and higher things; to arouse inspiring and benevolent ideas in the minds of individual men and women. Why don't we Theosophists go into the arena of politics? For the reason I have already pointed out. You cannot stop a fight between two by making it a fight of three. But you can stop men from acting worse than beasts by showing them that if they act in THIS way, they will be acting like men, and if they act in THAT way, they will be acting worse than beasts. If they act in THIS way, they will be acting wisely and constructively; and if they act in THAT way, they will be destroying each other.
Why don't we Theosophists all go out and take lunch-baskets around to the starving, and go to the bedsides of the people who are smitten with disease and dying? Many of us do it and have done it. But our main work in life is to try to DO AWAY with poverty, rather than tinkering with the needs of the poor; and this will gradually be accomplished by changing men's minds so that our civilization will be an enlightened one. That, among other noble objectives, is what we aspire towards.
There is no other work that is farther-reaching than that. It goes to the root of things, instead of only putting plaster and ointments on the surface of the festering wounds. And in a still higher field, our work is to teach men and women what they as individuals have locked up within them: powers, capacities, faculties, which the average man or woman today does not suspect. Yet they are there; the titan intellects, the greatest men who have ever lived, have proved what the human mind is capable of, and every normal man has the same potencies within himself.
It is a part of the work of the Theosophical Society to re-arouse belief in these things, so that men will yearn to cultivate themselves from within outwards, to awaken what is within, and to become greater and grander. What a world we shall live in then! It is thought that will do it, and the feeling that follows upon thought. Then indeed will the Christ, crucified in us every day we live, ascend from the Crucifix, our own being, the body of each man, and enter into the brain of the man, and enlighten his life, and reform his conduct towards his fellows.
Just that one thought alone, if you could get men to believe it and inwardly to know it, would bring about a universal 'conversion,' as the Christians say, a converting, a changing, a turning around of our minds and hearts to the living Christ within, the living Buddha! It is as simple as that.
By Lay Chela
[From FIVE YEARS OF THEOSOPHY, pages 473-81.]
Few experiences lying about the threshold of occult studies are more perplexing and tormenting than those which have to do with the policy of the Brothers as to what shall, and what shall not, be revealed to the outer world. In fact, it is only by students at the same time tenacious and patient -- continuously anxious to get at the truths of occult philosophy, but cool enough to bide their time when obstacles come in the way -- that what looks, at first sight, like a grudging and miserly policy in this matter on the part of our illustrious teachers can be endured.
Most men persist in judging all situations by the light of their own knowledge and conceptions, and certainly by reference to standards of right and wrong with which modern civilization is familiar a pungent indictment may be framed against the holders of philosophical truth. They are regarded by their critics as keeping guard over their intellectual possessions, declaring, "We have won this knowledge with strenuous effort and at the cost of sacrifice and suffering; we will not make a present of it to luxurious idlers who have done nothing to deserve it."
Most critics of the Theosophical Society and its publications have fastened on this obvious idea, and have denounced the policy of the Brothers as "selfish" and "unreasonable." It has been argued that, as regards occult powers, the necessity for keeping back all secrets which would enable unconscientiously people to do mischief, might be granted, but that no corresponding motives could dictate the reservation of occult philosophical truth.
I have lately come to perceive certain considerations on this subject which have generally been overlooked; and it seems desirable to put them forward at once; especially as a very considerable body of occult philosophical teaching is now before the world, and as those who appreciate its value best, will sometimes be inclined to protest all the more emphatically against the tardiness with which it has been served out, and the curious precautions with which its further development is even now surrounded.
In a nutshell, the explanation of the timid policy displayed is that the Brothers are fully assured that the disclosure of that actual truth (which constitutes the secret doctrine) about the origin of the World and of Humanity -- of the laws which govern their existence, and the destinies to which they are moving on -- is calculated to have a very momentous effect on the welfare of mankind.
Great results ensue from small beginnings, and the seeds of knowledge now being sown in the world may ultimately bear prodigious harvest. We, who are present merely at the sowing, may not realize the magnitude and importance of the impulse we are concerned in giving, but that impulse will roll on, and a few generations hence will be productive of tremendous consequences one way or the other.
Occult philosophy is no shadowy system of speculation like any of the hundred philosophies with which the minds of men have been overwhelmed; it is the positive Truth, and by the time enough of it is let out, it will be seen to be so by thousands of the greatest men who may then be living in the world. What will be the consequence? The first effect on the minds of all who come to understand it, is terribly iconoclastic. It drives out before it everything else in the shape of religious belief. It leaves no room for any conceptions belonging even to the groundwork or foundation of ordinary religious faith.
What becomes then of all rules of right and wrong, of all sanctions for morality? Most assuredly there are rules of right and wrong thrilling through every fiber of occult philosophy really higher than any which commonplace theologies can teach; far more cogent sanctions for morality than can be derived at second-hand from the distorted doctrines of exoteric religions; but a complete transfer of the sanction will be a process involving the greatest possible danger for mankind at the time.
Bigots of all denominations will laugh at the idea of such a transfer being seriously considered. The orthodox Christian -- confident in the thousand of churches overshadowing all western lands, of the enormous force engaged in the maintenance and propagation of the faith, with the Pope and the Protestant hierarchy in alliance for this broad purpose, with the countless clergy of all sects, and the fiery Salvation Army bringing up the rear -- will think that the earth itself is more likely to crumble into ruin than the irresistible authority of Religion to be driven back.
They are all counting, however, without the progress of enlightenment. The most absurd religions die hard; but when the intellectual classes definitively reject them, they die, with throes of terrible agony, may be, and, perhaps, like Samson in the Temple, but they cannot permanently outlive a conviction that they are false in the leading minds of the age.
Just what has been said of Christianity may be said of Islam and Brahmanism. Little or no risk is run while occult literature aims merely at putting a reasonable construction on perverted tenets -- in showing people that truth may lurk behind even the strangest theological fictions. And the lover of orthodoxy, in either of the cases instanced, may welcome the explanation with complacency. For him also, as for the Christian, the faith which he professes -- sanctioned by what looks like a considerable antiquity to the very limited vision of uninitiated historians, and supported by the attachment of millions grown old in its service and careful to educate their children in the convictions that have served their turn -- is founded on a rock which has its base in the foundations of the world.
Fragmentary teachings of occult philosophy seem at first to be no more than annotations on the canonical doctrine. They may even embellish it with graceful interpretations of its symbolism, parts of which may have seemed to require apology, when ignorantly taken at the foot of the letter. But this is merely the beginning of the attack.
If occult philosophy gets before the world with anything resembling completeness, it will so command the assent of earnest students that for them nothing else of that nature will remain standing. And the earnest students in such eases must multiply. They are multiplying now even, merely on the strength of the little that has been revealed. True, as yet -- for some time to come -- the study will be, as it were, the whim of a few; but "those who know," know among other things that, give it fair play, and it must become the subject of enthusiasm with all advanced thinkers.
What is to happen when the world is divided into two camps -- the whole forces of intellectuality and culture on the one side, those of ignorance and superstitious fanaticism on the other? With such a war as that impending, the adepts, who will be conscious that they prepared the lists and armed the combatants, will require some better justification for their policy before their own consciences than the reflection that, in the beginning, people accused them of selfishness, and of keeping a miserly guard over their knowledge, and so goaded them with this taunt that they were induced to set the ball rolling.
There is no question, be it understood, as to the relative merits of the moral sanctions that are afforded by occult philosophy and those which are distilled from the worn-out materials of existing creeds. If the world could conceivably be shunted at one coup from the one code of morals to the other, the world would be greatly the better for the change. But the change cannot be made all at once, and the transition is most dangerous.
On the other hand, it is no less dangerous to take no steps in the direction of that transition. For though existing religions may be a great power -- the Pope ruling still over millions of consciences if not over towns and States, the name of the Prophet being still a word to conjure with in war, the forces of Brahmanical custom holding countless millions in willing subjection -- in spite of all this, the old religions are sapped and past their prime. They are in process of decay, for they are losing their hold on the educated minority; it is still the case that in all countries the camps of orthodoxy include large numbers of men distinguished by intellect and culture, but one by one their numbers are diminishing.
Five-and-twenty years only, in Europe, have made a prodigious change. Books are written now that pass almost as matters of course which would have been impossible no further back than that. No further back, books thrilled society with surprise and excitement, which the intellectual world would now ignore as embodying the feeblest commonplaces. The old creeds, in fact, are slowly losing their hold upon mankind -- more slowly in the more deliberately moving East than Europe, but even here by degrees also -- and a time will come, whether occult philosophy is given out to take their place or not, when they will no longer afford even such faulty sanctions for moral conduct and right as they have supplied in times gone by. Therefore it is plain that something must be given out to take their place, and hence the determination of which this movement in which we are engaged is one of the undulations -- these very words some of the foremost froth upon the advancing wave.
But surely, when something which must be done is yet very dangerous in the doing, the persons who control the operations in progress may be excused for exercising the utmost caution. Readers of Theosophical literature will be aware how bitterly our adept Brothers have been criticized for choosing to take their own time and methods in the task of partially communicating their knowledge to the world.
Here in India these criticisms have been indignantly resented by the passionate loyalty to the Mahatmas that is so widely spread among Hindus -- resented more by instinct than reason in some cases perhaps, though in others, no doubt, as a consequence of a full appreciation of all that is being now explained, and of other considerations beside. But in Europe such criticisms will have seemed hard to answer.
The answer is really embodied, however imperfectly, in the views of the situation now set forth. We ordinary mortals in the world work as men traveling by the light of a lantern in an unknown country. We see but a little way to the right and left, only a little way behind even. But the adepts work as men traveling by daylight, with the further advantage of being able at will to get up in a balloon and survey vast expanses of lake and plain and forest.
The choice of time and methods for communicating occult knowledge to the world necessarily includes the choice of intermediary agent. Hence the double set of misconceptions in India and Europe, each adapted to the land of its origin. In India, where knowledge of the Brothers' existence and reverence for their attributes is widely diffused, it is natural that persons who may be chosen for their serviceability rather than for their merits, as the recipients of their direct teaching, should be regarded with a feeling resembling jealousy.
In Europe, the difficulty of getting into any sort of relations with the fountain-head of Eastern philosophy is regarded as due to an exasperating exclusiveness on the part of the adepts in that philosophy, which renders it practically worth no man's while to devote himself to the task of soliciting their instruction.
Neither feeling is reasonable when considered in the light of the explanations now put forward. The Brothers can consider none but public interests, in the largest sense of the words, in throwing out the first experimental flashes of occult revelation into the world. They can only employ agents on whom they can rely for doing the work as they may wish it done -- or, at all events, in no manner which may be widely otherwise. Or they can only protect the task on which they are concerned in another way.
They may consent sometimes to a very much more direct mode of instruction than that provided through intermediary agents for the world at large, in the cases of organized societies solemnly pledged to secrecy, for the time being at all events, in regard to the teaching to be conveyed to them. In reference to such societies, the Brothers need not be on the watch to see that the teaching is not worked up for the service of the world in a way they would consider, for any reasons of their own, likely to be injurious to final results or dangerous.
Different men will assimilate the philosophy to be unfolded in different ways: for some it will be too iconoclastic altogether, and its further pursuit, after a certain point is reached, unwelcome. Such persons, entering too hastily on the path of exploration, will be able to drop off from the undertaking whenever they like, if thoroughly pledged to secrecy in the first instance, without being a source of embarrassment afterwards, as regards the steady prosecution of the work in hand by other more resolute, or less sensitive, laborers.
It may be that in some such societies, if any should be formed in which occult philosophy may be secretly studied, some of the members will be as well fitted as, or better than, any other persons employed elsewhere to put the teachings in shape for publication, but in that case it is to be presumed that special qualifications will eventually make themselves apparent. The meaning and good sense of the restrictions, provisionally imposed meanwhile, will be plain enough to any impartial person on reflection, even though their novelty and strangeness may be a little resented at the first glance.
By V.V. Bhatt
[From THE ARYAN PATH, November 1959, pages 502-7.]
In all times past, the question of the purpose of human existence, of the summum bonum of life, has persistently presented itself to many an inquiring and thinking mind. Such minds felt a sense of impenetrable mystery surrounding this universe of ours, of something that lies beyond our sense perceptions and so can be felt and experienced by quite other faculties. And they embarked fearlessly on the high quest of this something that was now revealed in a vision and now eluded them. Neither the turbae of the inner seas nor the terrible guardians of the unseen dismayed them. And so they came to the sublime glimpse of the erstwhile unseen other shore. The mists rolled away before their penetrating searching glance, and mighty Prakriti gave up her secret to the eye of spirit.
When they returned to tell their experience to their fellow sailors who had not ventured so boldly from the hither shore, they brought a message of cheer and hope, tidings of the fruitfulness of their mighty voyage. But even words of power coming from the depths of their being failed to convey, to those who had not had the experience, the ecstasy of sighting the other shore; no words could express it. Yet they did give their fellow sailors, who were cruising about the hither coast, a course to set and their bearings by a large constant star. The fellow sailors implicitly believed in the inspired words of the men of vision and tried to penetrate the mists with their own imperfect lights. And they had their bearings and hope of making a glorious landfall.
This unique experience of these adventurous spirits was the quintessence of all religions and the vast mass of humanity got their pole star. But with the passing of time, the spiritual quest behind these religions was forgotten and more and more emphasis was laid on the outward forms and ceremonials. The spirit of free inquiry and spiritual adventure that animated these religions was suppressed and with its suppression all progress ceased. Religion took the form of dogma, which was to be adhered to without any questioning. The human spirit yearning for freedom could not tolerate this bondage; reaction grew against these religions, and they came to be considered as nothing more than a bundle of superstitious beliefs and dogmas.
This was a quite natural reaction of the intelligence. But the result was that we were left without any guiding principles of life. Skeptic as we had grown, we had lost all belief and faith in anything that lay beyond our sense perceptions. An atmosphere of doubt and questioning prevailed. A sense of frustration led to wishful thinking, and a sinister devaluation of values took place. The purpose and end of our life became the acquisition and possession of material things, and the only joy we knew was sensual pleasure that we derived from trying to satisfy the insatiable desires of our senses.
We were not satisfied even with this. We tried not only to acquire and possess more and more material objects but also to overreach, outshine, and outrun our fellow beings. To enable us to enjoy the amenities of what we called the modern scientific civilization, we tried always to keep a great part of humanity in subjection to our bidding. And thus began the exploitation of man by man, of class by class, and nation by nation. To snatch away things from others and to keep a large mass of people in a state of perpetual slavery, we required force, and so monstrous weapons of destruction and death were invented, culminating in nuclear weapons.
By their advent, the whole human race, for the first time in its history, has been presented with a choice between life and death. If we fail to meet this challenge with courage and determination, if we fail to strengthen our will to live and to survive, by making radical changes in our lives, our purposes and our institutions, and if we fail to make these changes in time -- time, now, is of the essence for survival -- we are sure to commit suicide in an attempt at mutual extermination with nuclear weapons.
As these wars, conflicts, and the ultimate disaster stare us in the face, we stand aghast in wonder and alarm and know not the cause of all these. We were happy, we think, and we see no reason why that happiness should be disturbed. But we forget that our happiness was based on the exploitation and the consequent sufferings and sorrows of millions of people. The superstructure of such happiness was reared on sandy foundations.
We are, as it were, steering our rudderless ship in a vast ocean and at the helm are men who know not whither to proceed. When the sea is serene and calm, our voyage is smooth, but when the tempest comes, we can hardly keep the ship afloat. And we find fault with the storm, not knowing that even when the voyage is smooth in a calm sea, we know not our way and that there lies the cause of it all.
This pathetic condition of human life has moved many a sensitive soul and they found the root of the trouble in the purposelessness of this universe. Man, they said, is not at fault; he is the poor victim of what Hardy called "crass casualty." They were filled with deep anguish and pain at the sight of boundless human suffering and from their troubled minds and tortured hearts the cry came:
Life thou art a galling load, through rough and weary ways. To wretches such as I.
But some others, equally sensitive and sympathetic souls, in their moments of merciless and detached self-introspection, have said:
And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man.
In the realization of this truth lies the hope for humanity. We have been following false religions and false gods. The motive that actuates us in all too many of our actions is that of attaining our own seeming good by depriving others of their good. And we make sacrifice at the altar of our Almighty God Money of those very sweet human relationships that would have given some meaning and joy to our life.
Now, if we continue to pursue this suicidal way of life, nothing can prevent the ultimate catastrophe. Our whole way of life, the purpose that should animate our actions, must now be radically changed. But, then, what can be the purpose of human life? Everything in this world seems to be changing, everything is in a constant state of flux, and nothing is permanent or abiding. Nay, more than that, people writing "under the urgency of scientific training" have now told us that everything is unreal and unsubstantial.
It is perhaps true that everything in this universe is transient, temporary, and fleeting. Hardy's "The temporary the All" seems to be the terrible reality. "We are such stuff as dreams are made on" may be true, after all, of our existence here. Our conquest over physical nature is really stupendous; our achievements are vast and amazing. Many more things we might attain. Yet in spite of our present achievements and still greater achievements awaiting us in the future, we do not feel a sense of fulfillment, that harmonization of our impulses that might bring real joy and happiness to us. We feel a terrible sense of something that is lacking in us. And now we are told that all things of this world are unreal, unsubstantial, and of such stuff as dreams are made on.
Yet there is no room for despair; it would be foolish to rush to the conclusion that our life is a monstrous joke played upon us by some far-off, distant "sleep worker." For, men, writing under the urgency of the same scientific training, have discovered that behind all these ever-changing phenomena of this universe, there is that fundamental energy, that elan vital, that Life Force, as we might call it, which is constant, unchanging, immutable, and real.
Do we not feel and experience the presence of this mysterious Unknown?
We gaze at the serene simplicity that is the sea, throbbing with life as it were, with the eternal music of its "innumerable laughter" as Homer heard it, permeated with solemn grandeur and splendid gloom when the sunlight fades away and the approaching darkness extends its tentacles over the sea, while the hovering dark, heavy clouds dreadfully cast their shadows.
Shaking off our absorption in our own narrow surroundings, we look up at the distant mountain, with its top vanishing in the clouds while the sun slowly disappears behind it and its rays penetrate through the rift of the clouds.
We feel the panic silence and stillness in a dreadful dense forest, every moment being conscious and fearful of something that is hidden, we are sure, behind this oppressing solitude and silence and which might take visible shape at any time.
We look up at the sky at night, "the whole high heaving firmamental frame" throbbing with life, as it were, with the twinkling of its stars, while the soothing rays of the moon cast their spell upon us.
We hear the eternal song of sacrifice of the river, "when the morning sea of silence breaks with the ripples of bird songs" and the whole atmosphere presents the appearance of freshness suffused with the red glow of the slowly appearing sun.
We turn our eyes towards the vast and mighty sea of humanity, with its ever advancing tidal waves of hopes and aspirations, with its receding ebbs of depression and despair, with the eternal song of its waves of sorrows and suffering, hopes and fears, successes and defeats, with its whole surface constantly throbbing with the ripples of life while below the surface it is serene and calm.
In our moments of searching self-introspection, we try to fathom the depths of our own being.
In all of these times, do we not feel the presence of something that eludes our grasp yet the touch of which is real, for it can be felt and experienced though our senses fail to grasp it? Do we not feel a sense of magnificent harmony that makes us self-forgetful while we lose our consciousness and the sense of separate existence as a drop of water does when it loses its identity in the vast ocean?
To attune our life to this magnificent harmony is the purpose of human existence. That is our Forgotten Pole Star. We should be willfully blind not to look at it.
Our life is a means to realize this end. To identify ourselves with this vast ocean of creation is the purpose of our life. This ever-growing consciousness of the oneness of all creation must fill us with boundless love towards all objects of creation, till at last love becomes the spontaneous expression of ourselves. Even unconsciously, it is this love that sustains our life. Life persists in the midst of destruction and death, and that shows that love is the law of our species. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is not merely the injunction of the Bible; Love as the Law of our species is not merely the vision of a Gandhi; love is the very principle of all the integration, biological, psychological, social, which men of science have observed.
Great scholars and writers who want to reconstruct human life on the principle of love have asserted that nothing is sacred but human life; but this for them is a dogma, for which they are able to give no explanation. Writes H.G. Wells, "After all the present writer has no compelling argument to convince the reader that he should not be cruel or mean or cowardly." Lewis Rumford writes: "Nothing is sacred but human life. I have affirmed this dogma as if it were indisputable." But our seers of old realized that the oneness of all creation was the basis of this law of love.
This ever-growing consciousness of unity in the midst of diversity and a boundless love towards the objects of creation must inevitably shape and mould all aspects of our life; they must be translated into our thoughts, words, and actions and become a part of our being. That is, to realize that Absolute Truth of the identity of all creation, we must practice relative truth, truth as it appears to us, with our minds and hearts trying to attain that consciousness of the Absolute Truth, while to the innermost depths of our being, we are filled with love.
This law of love and truth is the fundamental basis of all ethics and morality; all other moral laws are based on this fundamental law and are influenced by circumstances, environment, and time. These moral laws might change with changing times, but the law of love and truth remains the same in all ages and in all times. We must follow, then, this law of our species and, however obstinate the trammels, we must ceaselessly try to break them. We must be fighters all our life, for otherwise life has no meaning.
Upanishadic seers come to us and whisper in our ears: "This Atman is not to be obtained by those devoid of strength." The Ultimate Reality cannot be realized by one who has no strength to resist untruth in whatever form. Let us embark on this mighty adventure, which alone gives meaning to life, with a firm and determined will. However stormy and difficult the voyage, let not our souls quail or our minds waver or our zest flag. With a steadfast gaze, unruffled by temporary defeats and setbacks, never giving in to despair or despondency, and with the life-giving hope and certainty of seeing the unseen shore, let us bear on till it is reached.
Those adventurous spirits who have already reached the other shore beckon to us and show us the way and bless our voyage. Let us be worthy of ourselves and our rich heritage. Let not temporary catastrophes and disasters and storms make us forgetful of the great and mighty future that awaits us all.
By Katherine Tingley
[From THE GODS AWAIT, pages 168-86.]
There were many periods, anciently, when the Soul was better understood than it is now, and when men fashioned their lives simply and beautifully in accordance with the magnificent aspirations of Nature; when they listened for and heard, as we do but very rarely, the melody of life, which is the voice of the Inner Divinity; when they talked with the stars, and had no fear written on their faces; when they knew no dogmas at all, nor fear of death, nor spiritual nor moral terror.
All that was best in the history of those early races is here now in the very atmosphere in which we live. It is not lost; it is in Nature; it has made itself a part of the harmony of universal life.
In such periods, wise Teachers instituted the festival of Easter in honor of the Mighty Mother. They knew that the depths and powers hidden in Nature and in Man are infinite; and paying tribute to the beauty and glory of the universe, invoked at the same time the infinite Divine Beauty in themselves and in the general human heart.
For there is that undertone in life: it is in all of us, and we are bound together by it inescapably, each his brother's keeper: though it is audible only to him who is great enough to hear it because he has found his true Self.
Knowing this, and that the Divine Essence is everywhere, those Wise Ones of old time knew that through our own efforts we may lift the veil and understand the mysteries of being and the whole meaning of the conflict within ourselves, and so work out our own salvation; that he who will crucify his earthly passions will find strength to roll back the stone from the doorway of his own inner being wherein the Divinity lies entombed, raising as it were the Christos from the dead; and that this is the resurrection and the life: and they instituted and ordained Easter in commemoration of it.
How joyful, how sublime, our existence in this world becomes when viewed from this standpoint, and with the key to all its mysteries -- which is knowledge of the essential divinity of man -- in one's possession! In the sunshine of that wisdom, all the thoughts that we cling to and love because of their fineness will blossom; and the small aims and prejudices of our minds, and the conventional opinions we accept without thought as to whether they bear any relation to truth or not -- how infinitely trivial they will seem!
We have limited Deity according to the measure of our own minds, and conceived of the Limitless as personal because we have been oblivious of all but the personal within ourselves.
Yet that self-knowledge for lack of which we suffer can be attained; and it is a consciousness of the regal powers of the Soul.
No man can make his own divine potentialities actual, until he has recognised the universality of the Divine, and asserted Its presence within himself: aware that by will and conviction he can make manifest in his human life every quality and aspect of Godhead.
One has not to run away from present duty in order to find this knowledge; but in the inmost spaces of the heart is the throbbing life of the Divine wherein all wisdom is discoverable, because it is there that all wisdom inheres.
Let a man work with Nature, understanding the fundamental laws of her and living by them: knowing what she demands of him and building his life on the knowledge; unsatisfied with the personal god idea, let him know that God is the Divine Life unfolding itself through the power of its own essence: the one Universal Law inspiring, flowing through, directing, the infinite interweaving of laws that express themselves through life and govern its manifestations.
And in the performance of every smallest duty: in the bearing of every sorrow; in the conduct of his severest and most discouraging struggles: that Divine Force, that Knowledge, seeking its expression in the transformations, will be at his hand.
For it is a power whose secret is in the heart and mind and soul working together; and is to be evoked only out of the hidden realms within ourselves where all the splendor at the Heart of Life is to be found.
He who finds it within himself, and knows it wonderfully to be himself and the sole reality in himself, lives absolutely for humanity; because to touch human nature at any point is to touch the whole of humanity, and to evoke the God-self within ourselves is to employ the power underlying all things. onsciousness within that this apologetic bit of myself is the temple of the Soul -- the shrine of a God ever pressing towards grander expressions of life.
The Soul can rest on nothing this side of infinity: it loses its vitality if it seeks to do so. All eternity awaits it; how should it be satisfied with the half-life we live and the many imperfections that mar us? The nature of the Soul is to be winging its flight forever towards the boundless; to be working, hoping, and conquering; to be going forward forever and ever.
It is therefore no question of our likes and dislikes. Advance we must, seeking within ourselves the secret of our God-selves that sing to us eternally through the silence.
If the meaning and the music of the song be lost before it reaches our hearing, it is because our thoughts are too full of the things of death; and because we are weighed down by needless burdens, and grow old in our youth with wrong thinking: filling our minds with desires that emanate from selfishness, and allowing them to accumulate until they, and not we, become the living force behind our actions.
So that it is not only the mind but the whole being that must be prepared, for the search for truth; and for this there are no rules that can be given, -- no precise directions nor yardstick receipts. But conceive, if but for a day, that you are greater than ever you dreamed you were: that in the essence of your nature you are divine and cannot suffer perdition.
And remember that you never could have walked if you had not tried; that you never could have spoken if you had not made the effort to speak; that you never could have sung if you had not felt within you the urge of the living God there.
Theosophy is as old as the hills, and all the World-religions are based on its teachings; although only a minority, now, are familiar with them. It is not superstition nor speculation; not dogmatism nor blind faith; nor the product of the brain-mind of any man; nor yet miraculous.
It comes to humanity like an old traveler who has trodden all the highways of experience; and having achieved after long journeying a full understanding of life, returns to the place from which he started, that he may bring to those who dwell there the saving knowledge he has acquired: and it is knowledge of the God within Man, and of Man's power to advance and to overcome; which is what evolution means.
Superficial examination of its teachings will avail nothing. As none could become a musician by mere study of the theory of music, so none can come to an understanding of Theosophy by reading of it in books. In both cases, practice is needed: one must live the life if one would know the Law. An artist never attained excellence in his art or a musician in his music who did not begin with the basic principles.
Where there is satisfaction with self, there look for danger; because there no growth can take place. A certain conflict within, of thought and feeling, must be going forward; until we arrive at some knowledge of our own, -- at some perception of life's meaning and purposes, of our origin and destiny, our duties, obligations, and responsibilities.
No man can really grow until he has trust in himself. The successful inventor is the one who realizes that there is something more to know: that new knowledge is always accessible and waiting for him; that tomorrow will add to what he has today. He was once a boy, playing with his tools clumsily and with no knowledge of mechanics; but after a time some inner whispering told him that he was to achieve something; and he kept on, because that which bade him keep on was above and beyond his mind, until he came to be aware that his mentality was but an aid to him in the working out of his problems; and that there is an Inside Something that uses it, discovering truth and acquiring knowledge; and that this is the Real Man, who may be inspired by illuminating ideas out of the Universal Mind, or may have brought them with him as memories out of ancient lives.
So he looks always for truth beyond his opinions, and goes out seeking into the broad spheres of thought. He frees his mind and advances, hoping and trusting; he visualizes his aims, and believes there are whole regions in his nature that he has not yet discovered; and, relying on that undeveloped side of himself, claims from it by trust the knowledge he seeks, -- and does not claim in vain.
So too the real artist, the lover of truth and beauty, is lifted in his moments of creation above all brain-mind limitations and carried on to a plane that transcends our normal thought-life; and feels there, throbbing and thrilling through his being, the poetry and inspiration of the Great Silence -- that divine light that is within and a part of us all and forever awaiting our recognition.
Such a one, artist or inventor, when he is in quest of that which should do good to the world, sounding the deep resources of his nature, touches the fringe of worlds more wonderful, and strangely mysterious powers; whereas another man, with equal latent ability, approaching the same problems with doubt and hesitation, or again with presumptuous self-sufficiency, would be very sure not to succeed.
In proportion as a man worships the outer, he misses the inner truth.
Many who have abandoned belief in a personal god and the other vanities and subtleties of sectarian metaphysics, and are thinking seriously, in the depression the unrest of the age is causing in them, of life and its many problems, have found in the teaching of Reincarnation that which makes clear the meaning of it all.
For here is explanation of the differences of human fortune, so that they cease to seem unjust and intolerable; and here Man is revealed in the splendor of his native godhood, a traveler through eternity, moving from life to life, gaining by experience after experience that knowledge that will make of him at last the Ideal, the Perfect Man.
We are of the family of the Eternal; we are the highest expressions, that we know of, of Universal Deity: are we to think that the experience to which we have a right can be gained in the few score fleeting years of a single lifetime, before these bodies of ours cease to be useful, and drop away, following the laws of physical life, and return to the storehouse of Nature? The material things have their place; but the essential and everlasting things are in the eternal self: they are the attributes and faculties of the Soul; and these are what we are here to develop, working in harmony with the mighty and compassionate heart of Nature.
Could a soul filled with the melody and splendid influx of musk fulfill itself even in the longest period that could elapse between its body's birth and death? A man who has no musical heredity or inclination that he knows of, may find himself sometime startled into listening, and stirred; and listening longer, and stirred more deeply; and still pausing and listening, overwhelmed by it at last, so that silent and wonderful currents of vibration and feeling are started within him; and perhaps he is a mechanic in a shop, or caught in the grind of commercial life with neither time nor energy to spare for music; -- it does not matter: that divine thing has touched him; and it may be that lying within his nature are the potentialities of a great musician: must they not come out in time, and be expressed?
A promise of eternal progress is stamped upon all human hearts; everything in Nature proclaims it. Why should we not have the same trust in our essential divinity that the flowers have in the beneficence of the sun?
To what purpose are the ideals we cherish unspoken; the secret, noble, and unfulfilled aspirations; the questions we put to life, and to which life -- our present life -- makes no answer? To what end are the agonies and despairs; the unrest and intense longing to be so much more than we can ever attain to being, now, before death takes us? Were they born in a day, these thoughts of ours that stir us sometimes almost to the point of revelation? Were they fashioned of the experience we have gathered in the few years since our bodies were born?
Their word to us is always that we are greater than we seem; that there are no limits to the power of the Soul; that though our understanding of this beautiful universe will go on increasing forever and ever, we shall never attain a dead finality of understanding: that we have all eternity in which to work out the magnificence of the Law, and that there is no break in the everlasting continuity; that one may falter today and fail, but tomorrow brings another chance; that we live many lives, again and again the same in essence though different in aspect: we Immortal Beings, natives of Eternity made subject here to mortality and time.
Few, whether religious or not, go out satisfied into the Great Unknown and into that sleep that is not sleep in the sense of inertia, BUT A SLEEP IN ACTIVITY and a divine activity in sleep.
No matter how noble a man's life may have been, is it possible to think of it as having reached that sublimity of perfection in one single lifetime, that would find its true expression in an eternity of bliss? How much more reasonable to believe that we live again and again, traveling the path of the ages with opportunity after opportunity recurring always: than to imagine ourselves the poor creatures of a single life, created at our birth out of nothing, and at death to be relegated to an eternal heaven or an unending hell, in neither of which progress is possible, nor opportunities are to be found, nor any goal lies ahead, nor hope exists for inspiration and incentive!
Could a soul that was really noble accept peace for itself, and find happiness in heaven, whilst here on earth humanity is still aching and in chains and sorrow? The Soul holds within itself the attributes of Deity: it is all made up of compassion, justice, abnegation; what delight then, what self-expression, could it find in such selfish bliss? Were a man come into the fullness of his Soul -- to be, wholly, that Divine Thing -- he could not endure the thought; his will would be set on returning to earth, to share in human suffering and point the way for the unfortunate to that self-knowledge that brings peace. He would work forever and ever for the glory of the Divine: for the glory of the God innate in Man: aware that because of the divinity within us, we have the power to shape all human destiny towards perfection. I tell you, the god within us awaits!
To the blind beggar by the roadside, what a song in his heart knowledge of Reincarnation would be! Then first he would understand that a bright future and high achievements might be awaiting him; his fate would no longer appear something mysterious and terrible for which he could never be compensated, -- no longer some punishment afflicted upon him by an omnipotent and vindictive power, -- but a ministration of the Law that fashions from suffering godlike destinies for men, apportioned to him that he might build up his character for a more royal birth.
He would understand that there was hope for him; that all his darkness would be made clear; that a day would come when his inner longings would be much more than mere unattainable aspirations; that he might then and there be preparing noble fortunes for himself. The Gods await!
Life is not cruel; there is no injustice in it. In the light of Reincarnation, the sufferings we considered unjust lose the sting of their supposed injustice and become easy to endure. We come to look on them as blessings, because means of liberation and our chief incentives to growth. Experience and pain are our teachers. We are reminded constantly by the difficulties we have to overcome of the majestic mercy of the Law.
Life exists only for service: we live in order that we may serve. Hold to that idea in your hour of trouble, and you will accept your difficulties graciously, as a gift graciously given: you will not think of them as pangs and burdens to be endured, but as beautiful fires to purify and set free.
Not that one should be humble in the ordinary sense. We should hold our heads high; there is altogether too much of the other thing. We are quite too submissive to our own weaknesses. If you have strived with your whole soul and with a trust impossible to break; and still the thought is forced upon you that your position has not changed nor your stumbling-block been removed: if you find yourself compelled to say, Though I have lifted myself up toward my ideals, and approached the Divine within me daily, I am not set free; -- take courage yet again; it is the time to do so. The thing you have struggled against in vain may become a blessing; it may be the very saving power in your life, -- holding you back in the place where alone you could learn the lesson you most need to learn.
Thus, though our minds have been under serious shadows, adversity should but leave us with the solution of our problems: teaching us the secret of readjusting our lives; -- because it is the aspirations of our own souls that kindle the fires in which we are tried; and we may find a glory in suffering, disappointment, and heartache, and understand the sublime comfort of the change called death.
If the errors of the past did not produce their results, that we might learn from them the lessons they are to teach: if life were without struggle, work, and effort: we should be things on the face of the earth, and not Souls as we are. Only by means of these can we draw near to truth and gain a sense of the largeness of life, of eternity, of the augustness of the laws that hold us in their keeping. Only so can we find the way to live the real life, which is altogether cheerful, optimistic, radiant with generous affection: the life that sees no terminus in the grave, nor any limit to its vistas in birth or death.
Thus Reincarnation gives us room and time to grow, as Nature provides soil and season for the flowers: to grow and to learn what life and the world can teach us, and to acquire use of the godlike qualities of our inner selves and the light hidden within the Soul of Man that alone can illumine the path we must tread and enable us to solve the stern and awful problems, the pathetic problems, life so unceasingly sets before us; and to know its unspeakable beauties as well.
We advance from age to age and from heights to greater heights forever. Understanding this, the old become young again in spirit, and the young look out on the world with a new joy.
The days are long and the path is wide: Go forward, then, with far-seeing hope and trust, towards the Great Ultimate! "The Gods await!"
By E.A. Gyllenberg
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, September 1923, pages 290-97, taken from THE SAN DIEGO UNION, July 17, 1923, a translation of the original article in SKANSKA AFTONBLADET, June 9, 1923, Sweden.]
Some Impressions of the Theosophical Headquarters at Point Loma
If you should take the auto drive from the heart of the city of San Diego and go some eight miles around the bay called the Silver Gate harbor (which by the way is one of the largest in all the world, being some twenty-two square miles in extent), and continue on the way through the winding canyon-roads up towards the Theosophical Headquarters, and further on out to the point itself, to the old lighthouse, then you will have traveled the most picturesque drive in the whole of Southern California.
It was in the year 1900 that Madame Tingley moved the headquarters of the original Theosophical Society out here to Point Loma; and since that time, this place has been transformed under her direction from a barren desert to a veritable Garden of Eden. The view from almost any point on the grounds, situated as they are some 400 feet above sea level, is unequalled. The unlimited horizon of the Pacific Ocean, the ever-changing shadows and lights on the hillsides, mountain-slopes, and canyons, with San Diego Bay and the city, offer a wonderful variety of color and beauty.
The now famous Point Loma Boulevard runs south past the Theosophical University through the government reservation out to the very end of the peninsula. Immediately after one has passed the Federal Government wireless-station, the peninsula narrows. From here one has a view of Coronado, a peninsula many miles in length, which forms the southern boundary of the harbor of San Diego towards the ocean, and on it is situated the famous Hotel del Coronado, to which come thousands of tourists from the States and from other parts of the world, on account of the wonderful and healthy climatic conditions, especially during the months from December to March, when the winter storms ravage the Northern and Eastern States.
On the very end of Point Loma, there stands the old lighthouse, which is no longer in use. The new lighthouse stands down by the ocean, and on the harbor-side is the strongly fortified Fort Rosecrans with its hidden guns defending the entrance to the bay.
Two magnificent portals form the entrance from the Point Loma Boulevard to the International Theosophical Headquarters, one in Roman architecture and the other in Egyptian. The main entrance is through the Roman Gate. The avenue of magnificent palm-trees on either side of the roadway leading up to the crest of the hill is suggestive of dignity and majesty and repose -- the silent guardians of the inner life of our Theosophical Center -- as the Leader calls them. From the moment one passes through the gate, one is conscious of being in a well-directed, efficiently organized institution where everyone, beginning with the watchman who opens the gate for you, and ending with the Leader herself, is courteous, intelligent, and high-minded.
The symmetrical lines of the Roman gateway are somewhat softened by the Boston Ivy, Ampelopsis tricuspidata, which covers it. When I arrived in October, the leaves had fallen and there was just the tracery of the vein on the gate; on leaving in the middle of April, the gate was overgrown with a profusion of shimmering green leaves. I afterwards learned that this vine, which covers a large portion not only of the gateways, but of the Temple of Peace and numerous other structures in Lomaland, was grown from a cutting brought all the way from H.P. Blavatsky's old headquarters at 19 Avenue Road, London.
I have often thought what a fine impression this approach to the grounds must make on the many visitors who daily pass through the gate to enjoy the scenery and to learn more of the activities of Lomaland and the philosophy of Theosophy that lies behind them. Even if I were not a member myself, I could not fail to marvel at what has been done in twenty-three years in turning the large acreage of the International Theosophical Headquarters from a barren wilderness into a magnificent, semi-tropical garden! Then when I realized that this had been done, for the most part, by volunteer workers whose devotion and unselfish love had entered into the planting and growing of every single tree and shrub, the outward beauty was enhanced by an inner spirit of holiness.
One barely enters the gates before one is reminded of the international spirit that pervades our great Center; for on either side of the road -- under the palm-trees and beyond them, stretches a beautiful garden of smaller shrubs and flowers, known as 'the International Garden.' Here are blossoming flowers grown from seed sent by members from all over the world. For years this international garden was under the efficient care of Mrs. Amy Lester Reineman -- known to most of our members for her many years of devoted labor as directress of the Leader's educational work in Cuba, and later as superintendant of the Juvenile Home for little girls at the International Center.
At the top of the hill, one comes instantly upon a glorious view of the Pacific, which can be seen for miles and miles in a huge arc extending from the northwest to the southwest. Distant San Clemente and Santa Catalina islands can often be seen in the clear California sunlight.
Facing about one sees the beautiful Temple of Peace -- designed and erected by Madame Tingley in 1900 as a memorial to her two predecessors, H.P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge. It is entered by two heavy oak doors carved by Mr. Reginald Machell, the English artist, formerly a Theosophical pupil of H.P. Blavatsky's in London, and for many years an active and devoted member of the International Headquarters Staff. Mr. Machell is also responsible for the exquisite interior decorations of the Temple of Peace -- which are in Egyptian design. With the soft light from the great purple-glass dome, the interior is suggestive of joy and beauty and light -- a strong contrast to the gloomy interiors of so many places of worship.
The Temple of Peace is used for private meetings, when the Leader conveys the inner teachings of Theosophy to members only. It is also used as a temple of art and music where the students of the Isis Conservatory receive their instructions. Programs of classical music, for which the Raja-Yoga students have become famous, are also given there on occasions of unusual dignity and solemnity. Thus in every sense is it devoted to the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.
To the east of the Temple is the Raja-Yoga Academy. Here on the main floor are the classrooms for the boys and girls as well as the great rotunda under the pale-green dome, where miscellaneous public assemblies and musicales are held. The girls and young ladies of the Raja-Yoga Academy have their dormitories on the second and third floors.
The refreshing appearance of the young students at Point Loma, the general work they do along many lines of intellectual and other activities, and the very high moral standard that prevails among them, bespeak a brighter future for the race. The educational work at Point Loma alone is a challenge to all -- especially to the indifferent, to the careless, and to those who should be active in the promulgation of the teachings of the Wisdom-Religion in order to lift the sorrows of the world.
As to the success of the Raja-Yoga System and the high principles underlying the same, so much has already been written and said that I need only add that what I have observed with my own eyes has satisfied me that Katherine Tingley's detractors should be ashamed of themselves for trying to destroy the most beneficent effort in behalf of right education that I know of in the world today. We need more of Katherine Tingley and her Raja-Yoga System in Sweden. There is an abundant literature on the subject for the asking, obtainable by writing to the International Theosophical Headquarters. No man with an honest purpose should presume to criticize this work until he has made a thorough investigation of the same. That I have done and I am more than satisfied; I am enthusiastic.
The educational institution is divided into the Raja-Yoga School proper, the Raja-Yoga College, and the University. Some thirty professors and specialists in various subjects are in charge of the instruction. No one of the officials or the members or the teachers accepts any kind of salary or monetary remuneration; they are all volunteer workers.
Walking south along the main road towards the Greek Theater, one passes through the most beautiful gardens -- gardens everywhere. Certainly the students and residents of Lomaland are blessed with a wonderful environment. The humblest among them lives amidst gardens that the richest people in the world might envy. And yet at Point Loma all live very simply. There is no servant problem, because nearly everyone does his own work in the homes -- the younger people assisting the older, and the work is so divided that the greatest economy of time, money, and energy is secured. The departments are so organized that there need be no strain on any one.
The preparation of all the food in the central kitchen, presided over by Mrs. Iverson L. Harris Sr., reduces the individual domestic duties to a minimum. The large vegetable garden under the supervision of Mr. M.G. Gowsell, an expert of the U.S. Forest Service, greatly reduces the expense of living -- which economy is furthered by the products of the fine fruit-orchard, under the supervision of two California fruit-growers of many years' experience and much scientific knowledge of their subject --- Mr. Abbott Clark and his brother, Mr. Orange Clark -- both old members of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society, and of many years' faithful service.
The first building to the left after leaving the Temple of Peace is called the "Executive Building." Here is situated the Purchasing and Supply Department, presided over by our Swedish comrade, Mr. Axel Fick; also the office of the General Manager of the Point Loma Homestead, which carries on the business activities connected with the International Theosophical Headquarters. The immediate work of this office is conducted by Mr. J. Frank Knoche, under the Leader's personal supervision. In this building are also located the offices of the Accounting Department and of the New Century Corporation, whose business activities are under the direction of Mr. Samuel Shepard of Macon, Georgia.
In this building there is also a fully equipped up-to-date telephone exchange, connecting all departments of the Headquarters activities with several main lines to the central office in San Diego. Beyond the Executive Building is the office of Dr. N.B. Acheson, a skillful dentist, who looks after the dental work of all the residents and students.
On the other side of the road is the office and residence of Dr. L.F. Wood, the dean of the Medical Department at the International Center. Dr. Wood's more than forty years of practice and the remarkable record he has had in caring for the health of all the resident members, especially of the students of the Raja-Yoga School and College, make his department one of unusual efficiency.
Not a single case of influenza proved fatal among all the resident students at Point Loma; while in San Diego, seven miles away, the fatalities assumed alarming proportions. Of course while much credit is due to the Medical Department for the remarkable health of the students at Point Loma, credit is also due to the climate, the environment, the temperate habits of the residents, and the splendid cooperation of the refectory in supplying just the right kind of fresh food, properly prepared under the most sanitary conditions.
To the north there is a large well-equipped playground where the students can spend many hours almost every day in the year, with their tennis, baseball, football, basketball, and gymnasium equipment. This too is conducive to good health.
Between the Temple of Peace and the playground, there is the attractive villa occupied by Mrs. A.G. Spalding, the President of the Woman's International Theosophical League, and for many years Superintendent of the Children's Lotus Groups throughout the world; also the residence of Mme. de Lange, widow of Professor Daniel de Lange, whom many will remember through the Peace Congress at Visingso in 1913. He was founder and director of the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music in Holland, as well as one of the foremost musical critics of Europe, until he resigned his position in 1914 and took up his residence at Lomaland, where he gave his services as Director of the Isis Conservatory up to the time of his death in 1918. Beyond are the 'Guest House' and other smaller bungalows occupied by devoted, loyal members. The whole western side of the hill is also covered with little residential bungalows.
On the eastern side of the main road, and opposite the refectory and dining-rooms, is the Lomaland Department Store -- another feature that adds greatly to the economic conduct of the Theosophical activities at Point Loma.
Beyond the Lomaland Department Store are the boys' bungalows, where the different groups of boys are segregated according to age, conduct, and mutual fitness. Each group is under the supervision of a teacher or older student, and all are under the general direction of Mr. Walter Forbes -- a splendid disciplinarian who is most enthusiastic over his work and always eager to carry out the Leader's suggestions. It is Katherine Tingley herself who decides in what group a student shall be placed, and her knowledge of human nature and her experience in the proper education and upbringing of the young folk are great factors in the making of her Raja-Yoga School a "school of prevention," that enables its students to avoid many of the pitfalls that young people so often fall into.
Each group of students looks after its own home, the duties being assigned by the one in charge. Habits of personal cleanliness and a sense of individual responsibility are inculcated from babyhood. There are no helpless, pampered children at Point Loma.
North of the boys' bungalows is the Juvenile Home for little girls -- an endowed home for orphan children -- who certainly live in an environment and receive a loving care that are an inspiration and solace to the heart. They are not labeled with 'charity,' but have every opportunity to become well-educated, accomplished, and helpful girls.
To the south of the boys' bungalows is the villa occupied by Mr. and Mrs. E.A. Neresheimer, whose names are known and loved by members of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society the world over. It was Mr. Neresheimer who came to Mr. Judge's assistance in New York with generous financial support, at a time when there was no money in the treasury and Mr. Judge faced the danger of not even being able to publish his monthly magazine, THE PATH. Mr. Neresheimer has ever since that time remained a loyal and devoted member; he is Chairman of the Leader's cabinet, and director of the Point Loma Orchestra. Mrs. Neresheimer -- formerly Mrs. Emily Lemke of London -- came to Point Loma to give her daughter the advantages of a Raja-Yoga education.
And this brings us naturally to the Leader's Headquarters, which lies between the Neresheimer villa and the Greek Theater. But just before reaching the Headquarters building, we come to 'Pioneer Cottage,' the first residence built at the International Theosophical Headquarters; just now occupied by the three pioneer members of the Aryan Theosophical Society of New York, and members of the Leader's cabinet -- Mr. Clark Thurston, Mr. H.T. Patterson, Mr. F.M. Pierce, and also by Mr. Reginald Machell, the artist.
It was in the Headquarters annex that Dr. Bogren and I had a beautiful sunny room, overlooking a fine rose-garden. This room had been occupied by Mr. Anders de Wahl during his visit to Lomaland last summer.
Near the Headquarters is the office of the sub-editor of THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, Professor G. de Purucker, whom many in Sweden will remember through his visit with the Leader to our country in the fall of 1912.
The Leader's Headquarters itself is a beehive of activity. From early morning until evening, there is an uninterrupted stream of business going on, with her as the center of it all. The seven telephones are in continuous use and the heads of various departments are in constant consultation with her. This is interspersed with numerous personal interviews. Several secretaries are kept busy all the time carrying out her instructions. And in the evening whenever there is no meeting or concert, there is generally a gathering of the senior members of her cabinet in her office. At many of these meetings, I was privileged to be present, and I always rejoiced at the spirit of harmony and devotion and enthusiasm manifest.
The main floor of the Leader's headquarters is a veritable art-gallery and museum. There are beautiful paintings, some brought from her former home in New York and some the mystical works of Reginald Machell, the colorful landscapes of Maurice Braun and Leonard Lester, and the flower-paintings of Edith White -- all members of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society and famous in their special lines of art. There are hand-colored, illuminated albums -- the gifts of friends and admirers from all over the world, besides rare collections from Japan, China, India, and Egypt. Fine specimens of the handiwork of the Lomaland Arts and Crafts Department and of individual students are also in evidence.
There is always an atmosphere of refinement in the Leader's home, and it is indeed a privilege to sit at table with her on some of the numerous occasions when she entertains distinguished company. As many observers have noted, the Leader's conversational powers are unusual, and she is never more at ease than when hostess at the table or entertaining a drawing-room full of sympathetic listeners.
As a European visitor I was also interested in examining the De Westcotte coat-of-arms, which shows Madame Tingley's paternal ancestors to have been among the leading pioneers of religious freedom in America, as well as scions of distinguished families in England and France.
Continuing our walk, we now come to the Greek Theater that is built in the upper part of a canyon with the great ocean as background. It is the first open-air Greek Theater in America and was designed and built by Madame Tingley. When one sits on any one of the lower rows, one can see through the open columns out over the ocean, listen to the distant rolling of the waves, and now and then get a glimpse of the white-capped breakers.
One does not need to make too great an effort of the imagination to feel himself transported back to ancient Greece away from the terrific rush and noise of modern America and back to the days of old by the blue Aegean Sea. Tourists from all over the world, who have been at every place worth seeing on the face of the earth, declare emphatically that there is nothing in the world to compare with this open-air theater in classical beauty and perfection; it is unique, perfect.
Some ten minutes' walk further south, a number of buildings for various purposes of the Society are situated, such as the office for the distribution of literature and magazines, the printing press, the bookbinding department, the Photo and Engraving Department, the large Construction Department, including offices for designing, and carpenter shops, stables as well as buildings for agriculture, forestry, and horticulture. The whole property of the institution comprises some 500 Swedish acres.
There are many other things of interest in Lomaland, but we will have to save them for some other occasion. As a fitting conclusion, I am going to quote from a recently published pamphlet called A NOSEGAY OF YORICK'S' EDITORIALS, compiled by a student at the Theosophical University in memory of Edwin H. Clough, "America's great journalist and critic."
In the beginning of a review that this "the sanest critic in America" wrote on the Leader's book THEOSOPHY: THE PATH OF THE MYSTIC, he says the following:
A PHILOSOPHY OF TRUTH IN BEAUTY
When Madame Katherine Tingley waves her wand in Lomaland, things of beauty bloom in those groves and gardens, things worthwhile stand forth to greet the spectator in an environment where life wears a lovelier aspect than we will find along the broad highway of the outer world's sordid traffic. Perhaps some of you, in ignorance, I hope, will accuse me of exaggeration, or even adulation, in this personal estimate of what Katherine Tingley has accomplished over there on that sky line of our Ultima Thule. I assure you that I speak in honest verity, rather underestimating the truth than emphasizing it with fulsome hyperbole. Lomaland is a creation; the incarnation of a vision that once was only that in the consciousness of a woman whose love of the beautiful and knowledge of its essential elements was tempered by a practical purpose competent to carry an altruistic motive to successful achievement. The poet Keats defined beauty as truth, truth beauty, and declared 'that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.' It is because I find beauty in the lives, the work, the aspirations, and the faces of those who dwell in Lomaland, that I know it is all good; that it is truth. I love sincerity; and I find it here; I love the generous spirit that believes in the ultimate regeneration of man out of the intrinsic worth of the best that abides in human nature; and that is the ruling spirit of Lomaland.
Massed action is seldom unselfish, nor is it a wise or beneficent action until it is organized under a wise and beneficent leadership. There is little of humanity in humanity; but there is a vast resource of humanity in every individual. It is the individual that will leaven the lump -- when there are enough of him. I believe that Madame Tingley and the devoted teachers and pupils of Lomaland are doing their full part in the work of making men and women realize how by their individualism they can make the world better. I am sure that it would be a lovelier world if there were more men and women like those who live in Lomaland.
By H.A. Fussell
[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, November 1927, pages 426-33]
He who would be a true Theosophist must bring himself to live as one.
-- H.P. Blavatsky
Think of Theosophy not so much as a body of philosophic or other teaching, but as the highest law of conduct, which is the enacted expression of divine love or compassion.
-- Katherine Tingley
Of course, Theosophy is a philosophy, a philosophy of life, and so it must not only be thought out, but lived. The mere collection and systematizing of knowledge has value, but only as means to an end, which is life, for life is more than thought and feeling. Unless knowledge leads to action, it is barren.
Even ignorance is better than Head-learning with no Soul-wisdom to illuminate and guide it.
-- THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE
The supreme test of doctrine is life. Many men's lives are better than the doctrines they profess; and the lives of all of us fall far below our ideals. In the first case, the doctrines, if followed to their logical conclusion, will not bear the test of life, and that is their disproof. The man is better than his belief; his Higher Self is active, and will ultimately lead him to more correct views of life. In fact, mere affirmations of belief are of little value; what we really believe is shown by our conduct; religion is life, not dogma.
The second case is a clear illustration of the duality of human nature and of the lack of harmony between knowledge and will. The truth has been apprehended intellectually, perhaps sufficiently vividly to stir the emotions, but it has not yet become Heart-doctrine. The man is still too much under the influence of that portion of his mind that is dependent on sense-impressions, called in Theosophy lower Manas, and only if he endeavor to "do His will," that is the will of the Divinity within, will his Head-learning become Soul-wisdom.
Were man fully developed, there would be harmony between Knowledge and Will; it would be impossible for him to know what is right and good and not to will and do it. As it is, we are very imperfect beings -- still in the making, -- and a large part of our imperfection is due to one-sided development, and to the antinomies that exist owing to the unequal functioning of our various faculties, which is also the cause of more than one half of the evils in society and in the world today.
Our material and intellectual development has outrun our spiritual development, with the result that we have more knowledge and power than we know how to use rightly. So much is this the case that thoughtful people, the world over, are asking themselves what is to become of civilization if science continues to put new and ever more deadly means of destruction in the hands of men dominated by personal ambition and national aggrandizement. There is enormous intellectual activity, great technical knowledge and skill adding much to the comfort and conveniences of life, and withal a feeling of pride and self-satisfaction, but no corresponding increase of spirituality.
What mankind is in need of is spiritual awakening that will make men realize that they are responsible for their acts and their creations, and will enable them to face courageously and hopefully the real issues of life, and see clearly what our much-vaunted progress really amounts to and whether we are not paying too dearly for it.
In the divine ordering of the world, the needs of humanity are always provided for. So in 1875, in the last quarter of the last century, when the wave of materialism and intellectualism was at its height and the power of dogmatic religion declining, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky brought to light the long-forgotten truths of Theosophy, the ancient Wisdom-Religion, which give new hope to mankind. The task she set herself was to establish on a firm basis the teaching and practice of Universal Brotherhood, and remove the obstacles to a fuller and more complete manifestation of man's Higher Nature, which is Divine and has power to create all things anew, more in conformity with the Divine purposes.
In spite of the present chaotic condition of the world and the conflict of material interests, which was never more acute, men's minds are more open to the great truths of the essential Divinity of Man and of Universal Brotherhood than at any time previously. In almost every country, sincere efforts are being made to make of the fact of human solidarity, which has of late forced itself on the general consciousness, a moral principle.
Discussing the problem of Disarmament in the British QUARTERLY REVIEW for July 1927, Luigi Villari spoke of the need for disarmament of spirit." More than one eminent diplomat, who must perforce consider the material interests of the country he represents as paramount, has voiced the sentiment, very prevalent at the present time, that what is most needed to promote real peace between the nations of the world is "a change of heart."
In truth, disarmament will come about of itself and wars will cease, when nations learn to esteem and trust one another. But in order to be able to do so, they must first acknowledge a common ideal -- the ideal of Universal Brotherhood based on the Divinity of Man, and that is to be found in Theosophy alone.
All economic, social, and international problems are essentially moral problems, and they will never be solved satisfactorily until they are viewed from a spiritual standpoint. And so the original Theosophical Society, though it abstains on principle from having anything to do with politics, has never ceased, since its inception in 1875, under the guidance of its three successive Leaders, H.P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, and Katherine Tingley, to present Universal Brotherhood as a perfectly practical ideal at the present time, and to endeavor to bring about such a change of the heart and mind of the race as shall make its realization possible.
It is individual effort that counts. History shows us that every advance made by humanity as a whole has been due to the heroic, unselfish efforts of a numerically insignificant group of individuals, penetrated with the sense of the perfectibility of human nature, and who were true to the grander vision it had been given them to see. Every endeavor to realize a general moral advance of human society, though it may fail for the time being, makes ultimate success more certain. Our wills are strengthened thereby, and something is accomplished that will render ultimate success possible. "Averse neither to those works that fail nor to those that succeed," we renew the emprise. The result is not in our power; the Higher Law will attend to that; we have simply to do our present duty, and bear in mind what Katherine Tingley says, namely that --
We cannot bring great ideals into concrete expression until we are the living expression of those ideals. We cannot set right the affairs of the world in a way that shall build spiritually for the future, until our lives are based absolutely right. The nations are wandering today, and their statesmen admit as much, but no one can help them in a lasting way whose own little nation -- the individual life -- is not spiritually what it should be.
-- Katherine Tingley, THEOSOPHY: THE PATH OF THE MYSTIC, page 68
From Theosophy comes the greatest inspiration a man can have to live nobly, courageously, and unselfishly. Every time we try to realize the Divinity within, every service we render to humanity, every duty we perform disinterestedly and whole-heartedly, we permit the ONE LIFE that pulsates through all things, to mold us nearer to perfection. The best kind of influence we can exert is to endeavor to be what we desire others to become. No life is isolated; indissoluble ties unite us to our fellows, for they and we are integral parts of the One Universal Life, which is in all without distinction and makes of all one harmonious whole.
Theosophy teaches us that the good of one is the good of all, and contrariwise, that we cannot fail in any duty without implicating others. It also teaches us that we cannot attain to perfection unless we help others to do so too; that the greatest joy known in life is to give life; that all the moral and spiritual progress made by humanity is due to the fact that more advanced souls -- even those who have obtained final liberation and do not need to incarnate anymore, for they have learnt all that terrestrial life can teach, -- sacrifice themselves for their weaker brethren. Plato makes it the duty of his philosophers to be kings, that is leaders and molders of men.
The Buddha refused to enter Nirvana so long as there were still souls to save. And H.P. Blavatsky, in her notes to THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, tells us that the "Pratyeka-Buddhas, caring nothing for the woes of mankind, but only for their own bliss, enter Nirvana and -- disappear from the sight and hearts of men." No wonder that in Mahayana Buddhism they are regarded as supreme types of spiritual selfishness. But the Buddhas of Compassion, remaining unselfish to the end, refuse to cross to the other shore so that they may continue -- though invisible to ordinary mortals -- the task to which they have dedicated themselves: the salvation of suffering humanity.
True religion has nothing individualistic about it. It does not lead a man to flee from life, to indulge in mystical reverie, or be in any way wrapped up in himself. On the contrary, it takes a man out of himself into the wider life of service for others, into the realms of reality and worthwhile adventure. Salvation is no one's private property, to be won and enjoyed for oneself alone. We cannot monopolize truth and goodness, which must be shared to be possessed. Shakespeare, who was a true seer, tells us that --
Heaven doth with us as we with torches do: Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike As if we had them not.
Theosophy shows the interaction that exists between the outward and the inward. Unused faculties atrophy. But whether we are listless or strenuous, we cannot avoid influencing others. Our attitude towards life, the use or misuse we make of life, either depress or raise all with whom we come in contact. Our duty, then, is to be true to the highest and best in us; to turn to good account the talents we possess, be they few or many: to cultivate character, strength of will, and tranquility of mind. For in so doing, we cooperate with the Divine Purpose in evolution, which is the progressive spiritualizing of all things.
In life nothing is lost. We have forgotten the greater number of the good or evil acts we have done in this life, and we know nothing of those we have done in former lives. But every act -- every thought and desire even -- have left their impress upon our character, have contributed to make us what we are. That we forget our past lives is, therefore, no valid argument against Reincarnation. "Well for me," exclaims Lessing, in his EDUCATION OF THE HUMAN RACE, "that I do forget! The recollection of my former condition would permit me to make only a bad use of the present."
If we hold fast to the belief that we can, here and now, make our lives ideal, we need not fear the future. The ideal world in which we desire to live is this world transformed and perfected, and it is we on who devolves the task to do it. You say that is not easily done. True; life is not easy; if it were, it would not be a school of heroism and achievement. But who really desires an easy life? "To attain! Man is born into this world to attain," says Katherine Tingley, "but to do so he must surmount conditions, break through all limitations, and persevere in effort until he reaches that spiritual perfection that is the Theosophical ideal." And H.P. Blavatsky reminds us that "perfection is rooted in imperfection."
Theosophy offers no nostrums, no palliatives, no ready-made heaven where, after death, all will be right that is wrong here. Karma reigns supreme; we reap our past and sow our future. To many the application of Theosophy to life has meant the refashioning of practically their whole nature, the abandonment of much that they had learned to cherish as a part of themselves. For most men, as they go through life, not only form wrong conceptions, but develop useless and even objectionable qualities and habits, which hinder true progress and are harmful to themselves and others.
It has been said that "true and complete self-knowledge is the privilege of the strongest alone." It requires much courage to be absolutely honest with oneself. Self-analysis, if it be thorough, reveals so many unpleasant and even terrifying things that we are apt to turn away from the picture in disgust. We would fain not have to acknowledge that we have been guilty of such silly self-indulgence, been so faint-hearted, mean-spirited, and cowardly. It is true that we have had our good moments, done unselfish actions, and sincerely sought the good of those we love. But the fact remains that we are divided against ourselves, and that it behooves us to put an end to this duality.
Penetrating deeper into the recesses of our inmost nature, we find that the core of our being is still intact. Divinity is there, and we gain power to make the endeavor, for we realize that the principles of morality are in harmony with our essential nature as divine-human beings, and that the source whence we draw all our life is Unfailing, Compassionate, and Just. We recognize, too, that so long as our wills are in opposition to the Divine Will, we must continue to suffer from the deep inner discord that is gnawing at our heart.
True happiness, inward peace, and joy consist in the free determination to carry out the designs of the Universal Will, and the only way to know these designs is through self-knowledge, for, as has just been said, our inmost nature and the principles that govern the universe are identical. Our task, then, is to realize this pre-established harmony, and we can only do so by following the counsel of the medieval alchemists to transmute the baser elements of our dual nature into the pure gold of the higher.
In so doing, we shall have to give up much and to discard much; but Theosophy teaches us that self-renunciation is the way of self-realization. The higher nature is ever seeking to manifest in and through the lower, but the latter must first be made actively responsive to its promptings. The seinsollender Mensch -- to use the expressive German term, "the man that is to be," must be our own creation. What a great responsibility, but also what a glorious prospect!
Effort and expectation and desire And something ever more about to be.
Dare to be yourself -- your greater Self! Dare to leap forward, and be something you never before knew it was in you to be!
-- Katherine Tingley
Others have attained; and so may we. There are advanced Souls, men and women who have reached a far greater degree of perfection than we have; and they have attained this perfection by the exercise of the same powers of thought and will and devotion, which are not yet fully developed in us. Their essence is Compassion, and William Q. Judge tells us that they aid our development in ways unknown to us. Their desire is to raise us up to the same standard of perfection as themselves, in order that together they and we may attempt fresh conquests of reality and so fulfill our destiny as Spirit-Souls, which is to grow ever more like the Divine Source whence we originated. The "endlessly manifesting universes," of which H.P. Blavatsky speaks in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, will afford us infinite possibilities of self-realization.
But what about Death? Is not death the negation of life? By no means. The Theosophist considers death as an essential element of life, for it provides the conditions necessary to a complete realization of life's possibilities. What is imperfect must be transcended, must die, in order to make room for what is more perfect. As H.P. Blavatsky says: "The three powers, the creating, the preserving, and the destroying, are only so many aspects of the divine spark in man."
Everything in the manifested universe is in the process of becoming. Physically speaking, some infinitesimal part of us dies every moment, and psychologically speaking, we are always discarding inadequate and erroneous conceptions. What men call death is only a more rapid and acute form of what is going on in us all the time. It is Nature's way of granting us more life and fuller life.
Besides, one earth-life is such a small portion of the soul's existence that, considered by itself, it has no meaning. It can only be understood as one of the innumerable episodes necessary to the full development of soul-life. For the soul needs the varied experience it acquires in its different earth-lives; and it is only on this earth, "the land of works," that the negative goodness it possesses can become positive goodness. Goodness, according to H.P. Blavatsky, must be consciously chosen and willed, and that is only possible in the face of its opposite, evil. "Light and Darkness are the world's eternal ways."
Moreover, Reincarnation gives us the opportunity to renew our youth and to live in Eternity's sunrise. In each new earth-life, we take up unfinished tasks with renewed vigor, with the inspiration and enthusiasm that is the special province of youth; we apply ourselves to remedy old defects and to acquire new virtues and powers. Moreover, we need the rest that the merciful Law provides for us during the Devachanic period between successive reincarnations, before facing life's problems again, which else might prove too heavy a burden to be borne.
It is to no impoverished and joyless life that Theosophy invites us, but a rich, full life, in which not only our deepest religious instincts, but also our artistic, scientific, and philosophic faculties are satisfied. The Neo-Platonists conceived of goodness, wisdom, and beauty as attributes of reality and that they are comprehended in the ONE. It is inconceivable that we, who by virtue of our essential divinity have access to the inexhaustible Fountain of all Being, should not share -- in varying degree -- in the divine attributes.
In this connection, I should like to quote from a Chinese philosopher, who was also a man of affairs and a statesman -- Wang Yang-Ming, 1472-1529 A.D. He is profoundly Theosophical, and his teaching has been not inaptly described as the philosophy of insight into one's own nature. He says:
Joy and delight are natural to the mind ... Even in the midst of sorrow, affliction, confusion, and self-abandonment, this joy is harbored in the heart ... As soon as our thoughts have been cleared, so that we are sincere, this joy is at once apparent. Sincerity makes the intuitive faculty bright as a clear mirror ... The development of the mind is naturally harmonious, and there is nothing with reference to it that does not manifest joy and delight. The Buddhists say, the passions have no place of abode, but are begotten in the mind. The important thing is watchfulness over one's self alone.
It sounds like an echo of the SAMAVEDA, kanda 22: "Without joy there is no creation; only he who feels joy can create." And no wonder, for the Chinese are an ancient race and have preserved much of the primeval Wisdom-Religion, which was once universal.
The light and heat of the sun may breed malaria-germs in a pestilential marsh, just as they produce, under the right conditions, all the splendor and beauty we see around us. So life is, in a very profound sense, what we ourselves make it. It is from us that it receives color and quality and value.
We have touched but the fringe of a great subject. We trust, however, that enough has been said to show that to see, even a little way, into the truth of things, to apprehend Reality, even in a small degree, is both admonitory and stimulating. It prevents us from becoming one-sided, morbid, and listless. It makes us gird up our loins and resolve to quit ourselves like men, endowed with power to recreate ourselves and the world. We know now that to live for self is to limit our horizon and to lose all opportunity of growth, and that true happiness is only to be found in the love and service of others. Selfishness, whatever form it may take, is failure to accomplish the Universal Will that gives meaning to evolution. As Krishna says:
He who seeth the Supreme Being existing alike imperishable in all perishable things, sees indeed. Perceiving the same Lord present in everything and everywhere, he does not by the lower self destroy his own soul, but goeth to the supreme end.
-- THE BHAGAVAD-GITA, xiii, 27-28
Devotion to the good of all creatures opens up within us a fountain of perennial life. But we must continue to share the life that wells there from, if we would have joy of it. For life is joy. Pessimism, either in regard to us or the universe, is the denial of our birthright as sons of Divinity. And the only way to preserve an optimistic attitude amid the perplexities and trials of terrestrial existence is to practice Theosophy in Life, with sincerity; for the principles of Theosophy are of universal application, and he who practices them knows how to act in any and every circumstance in which he will find himself.