November 2007

2007-11 Quote

By Magazine

Now let the Silence speak! O Scarred and Dewed With this world's tangled conflicts, fare you well On that high path nor speech nor song can tell Whose nobleness, nor there may thought intrude! Only, transcending thought our hearts' deep mood, Crystallized with death's pure presence here, may spell Some word, what healing benedictions dwell There 'neath the Aeolian wings of Quietude;

And we may guess you, all your proud heart dreamed -- Your warrior heart -- of lofty, stainless, true; And that peace found, you wandered here to seek, When on your anguish sudden radiance gleamed, And the starred Vast leaned down and beckoned you, And you arose and heard the Silence speak ...

-- Kenneth Morris, "Now Let the Silence Speak," from THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, May 1926, page 500.


Point Loma Theosophical Library Collection Burns

By Ken Small

Dear Friends:

I have very unfortunate news. The recent fire consumed virtually all of PLP's back inventory and eighty percent of the library and collection. (Some books and all the archive of photos and art work are safe, and some archive originals at another location.) Fortunately, a complete copy of the archive was made about six years ago, although much original material was lost.

The fire storm came through at over 1000 degrees so everything burned from the inside out with near 100 mph winds according to the fire department Sunday night (October 21). This fire burned around 80,000 acres during last week in San Diego County. A second fire burned almost 200,000 acres in the north part of the county.

The nature of things is impermanence. The wisdom lives on. Even so, safeguarding the literature of the Theosophical Movement for future generations is paramount in keeping some of that wisdom accessible. To that end we are initiating, with the cooperation of Theosophical friends and groups in the United States and Europe, a project to digitally scan the entire Point Loma literary heritage. We also hope for financial support in this critical endeavor.

For more information, to offer support, or to make a contribution, find more information on the PLP website (, which should appear next week, or write The best contact address is Point Loma Publications, 4060 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116, United States.

As the project develops, we will also be rebuilding the library and establishing long term centers in different locations for Theosophical study, research, and practice.

The following poem by the Irish mystic-theosophist, George Russell (AE), gives vision to the inner dimension of fire, transformation and immortality:


We must pass like smoke or live within the spirit s fire; For we can no more than smoke unto the flame return If our thought has changed to dream, our will unto desire, As smoke we vanish though the fire may burn.

Lights of infinite pity star the grey dusk of our days: Surely here is soul: with it we have eternal breath: In the fire of love we live, or pass by many ways, By unnumbered ways of dream to death.


Plotinus: His Life and Teachings

By B.V. Narayana Reddy

[From THE ARYAN PATH, May 1965, pages 204-08.]

Plotinus was a philosopher with many facets. He was a profound thinker, who systematized the teaching of his great master Plato and brought out its mystical and religious significance. He was a man of the world to whom men submitted their differences and disputes for a just solution. He was father to the orphan and the widow, whose worldly possessions he safeguarded by his prudence and care. He was a mystic who sought inspiration by daily communion with the Eternal. He lived a life of such purity that men who came in contact with him reverenced him like a god. It was not without justification that the oracle of Apollo raised this undying song to his memory:

I raise an undying song, to the memory of a gentle friend, a hymn of praise woven to the honey-sweet tones of my lyre under the touch of the golden plectrum. Celestial! Man at first, but now nearing the diviner ranks! The bonds of human necessity are loosened for you and, strong of heart, you beat your eager way from out the roaring tumult of the fleshly life to the shores of that wave-washed coast free from the thronging of the guilty, thence to take the grateful path of the sinless soul. Oft-times, when your mind thrust out awry and was like to be rapt down in unsanctioned paths, the Immortals themselves prevented, guiding you on the straight going-way to the celestial spheres, pouring down before you a dense shaft of light that your eyes might see from amid the mournful gloom. Sleep never closed those eyes. High above the heavy murk of the mist you held them. Tossed in the welter, you still had vision. Still you saw sights many and fair not granted to all that labor in wisdom's quest.

Plotinus himself tells us nothing about his life in his own writings. He would never say anything about his parents or birthplace; and he often said that he was ashamed of being in the body. He showed, too, an unconquerable reluctance to sit to a painter or sculptor, and when Amelius persisted in urging him to allow a portrait to be made, he asked him, "Is it not enough to carry about this image in which nature has enclosed us? Do you really think I must also consent to leave, as a desirable spectacle to posterity, an image of the image?" Porphyry, his friend and biographer, however, tells us that a good portrait of his was painted in his lifetime without his knowledge; but there is no evidence that a copy of it exists.

Nothing definite is known of his place of birth, but it has been generally assumed that he came from Egypt. According to the best available evidence, his date of birth seems to have been A.D. 205. He began the study of philosophy rather late in life, and the teacher who influenced him most was Ammonius Saccas. He spent over a decade with this teacher and, at the age of thirty-nine, he developed a desire to study Persian and Indian philosophy and joined the Emperor Gordian's expedition to the East in the hope that he might meet competent teachers during the course of his stay in Persia and India. There is, however, no evidence that he was able to visit these countries, as the expedition was a failure, and the Emperor himself was murdered in Mesopotamia early in A.D. 244.

About the age of forty, Plotinus settled in Rome and began to teach philosophy. During the next decade or so, his fame as a great thinker was firmly established, and he was honored by the friendship of the Emperor Gallienus and his wife and of many other famous men and scholars from all over the Roman Empire. He did not, however, take any active part in public life, though men and women of the highest rank sought his advice in their personal problems and found in him a sagacious friend and guide.

He was easily accessible to rich and poor alike, and his house was full of young people of whose education and properties he was in charge. He was meticulous in his care of their property and spent long hours in scrutinizing the accounts that were submitted to him on behalf of his wards. During his long stay of over a quarter of a century in Rome, he acted as arbitrator in various disputes between private and official parties, but never once was his judgment or fairness impugned by anybody.

Plotinus never enjoyed robust health. His eyesight was bad and his austere habits and long sleepless hours spent in contemplation were a terrible strain on his physical resources. In A.D. 269 the illness from which he suffered became so much worse that he left Rome for the country estate of his friend Zethus in Campania, and he died there in A.D. 270. The illness of which he died has been identified as a form of leprosy.

He bore his sufferings with great equanimity, and when death came, he faced it like the wise, great man he was. Of these last moments, his friend Eustochius has given a touching account. He was staying at Puteoli and was late in arriving. When, at last, he came, Plotinus said, "I have been a long time waiting for you. I am striving to give back the Divine in me to the Divine in the All." As he spoke, a snake crept under the bed on which he lay and slipped away into a hole in the wall. At the same moment, Plotinus died.

It was the wise Socrates who told his mourning friends that the true philosopher has reason to be of good cheer when he is about to die, and that the votary of philosophy is always pursuing death and dying. The truth of this statement is exemplified in the manner of Plotinus' death. Great men, who have lived nobly, develop a profound insight into the truth of things as they reach the end of their earthly pilgrimage, and of the pregnant sayings attributed to them during their last moments, the words of the dying Plotinus to his friend are among the most profound -- "I am striving to give back the Divine in me, to the Divine in the All." These words epitomize in a small compass the fundamental teaching of Plotinus.

His basic position is that reality is fundamentally One, not in the arithmetical sense, which is the opposite of "many," but as the transcendent and immanent reality from which all things emanate and into which all things merge. It is the matrix of all things, spiritual, mental, and material, and all other conceivable and inconceivable states of being. The One has no parts and cannot be taken apart or destroyed. It is beyond time and space. It involves no conflicts because it is beyond all opposites. It is nameless because to name it implies finitude and limitation. It cannot be the object of thought, because thought involves the duality of subject and object. It would be inaccurate even to say that the One exists, because existence implies limitation. Nevertheless language has to be used to express the inexpressible, and when we speak and write of the One, we must always bear in mind the limitations of language and its inadequacy to convey ultimate truths.

The close resemblance of the thought of Plotinus to the Vedantic conception of Brahman or the Buddhist idea of Tathata (sometimes translated "Suchness") should be obvious. The Buddha referred to this reality in these solemn words:

There is a not-born, a not-become, a not-created, a not-formed. If there is not this not-born, this not-become, this not-created, this not-formed, then here an escape from the born, the become, the created, the formed could not be known.

The One is the primal reality in which there is no imperfection, no duality, and no limitation; and yet there is imperfection in the world in which we live. How is this explained? According to Plotinus, all things must exist forever in ordered dependence upon one another. Those other than the One have come into being because it is a law of necessary production that each principle must produce the level of being immediately below it as a necessary consequence of its own existence. Perfection would cease to have any meaning unless there were imperfect things in the world. Imperfection is thus created by a process of emanation and is derived from the One by a process of logical necessity.

Finite existence is therefore a progressive falling away from the original perfection. The process may be compared to the shining of a bright light which illumines the darkness without itself losing any of its brightness or to a cup overflowing because its contents are infinite and cannot be confined within it. The brightness of the light decreases in intensity until it loses itself in the surrounding darkness, and the overflow from the perennial spring becomes a mere trickle the further it travels from the central source.

Accordingly the primeval One manifests itself as the Nous in its first stage of descent from the original state of perfection. The word "Nous" has been variously translated as the Intellectual Principle by Stephen MacKenna, as Spirit by Dean Inge, and as the Rational Mind by others. Perhaps the best equivalent is the word "Spirit" used by Dean Inge. Nous or the Logos is the first image of the One, it is His image as the First Thinker. Inseparable from the Thinker are his first thoughts, which subsist in the spiritual world. The thoughts of God, which Plato called "Ideas," are the eternal realities of all that is manifested or manifestable. For example, the "Idea" of treeness is the producing cause of an infinite number of trees and thus too with all other things. "Here" they are in part, particularized, and separated, but "there" they are perfect, universal, and united. Nous is, accordingly, the kingdom of all absolute verities, permanent values, and ultimate attributes. It is the realm of ideas, ideals, and archetypes. It is both essence and existence.

The next stage in the manifestation of the One is the Soul -- the Oversoul or World Soul. The Soul is essentially a unity, unlike Matter, which is essentially a Plurality. The unity of the Universal Soul does not, however, exclude the plurality of souls. Individual souls are comprehended in the Universal Soul. The entire Universe, including the stars and galaxies, is held in place by the unifying nature of the Universal Soul in the same manner as the activities of the human body are held in harmony by the individual soul. In other words, the Soul is a Plural-Unity which enters into relation with all beings and things. The Soul pervades the universe as it also pervades the human body, but it is difficult to explain the precise character of the Soul's relations with its vehicles. When the soul enters into relations with the body, it becomes individual though universal. It is as if someone who was expert in a whole science confined himself to a single proposition. It is as if the fire which is endowed with the power of burning everything touched some small object and burnt it up.

The last and final stage in the descent of the One is the material world. The world of matter is a relative, conditioned, and limited reflex of the spiritual world. It is subject to change, growth, decay, and death. Therefore it is spatial and temporal. Matter, as such, never is. It is always becoming, without ever persisting in its condition or being able to come out of it. But it can never pass into nothingness. It is indestructible. It either reverts to its primal condition or it fulfills its true purpose as the recipient of order by being gradually redeemed in the regenerating process set up by the Soul when consciously converted into Spirit.

How does this process of liberation or ascent from matter to Soul, from Soul to Nous, and from Nous to the One take place? The Plotinian path to liberation is three-fold, viz., through the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. In the True, the intelligible unity of all things is revealed. In the Good, the harmony and order of life is manifested. But in the Beautiful is the final perfection and consummation of all. Hence the soul rejoices when it beholds the Truth and is happy when it is in harmony with the Good, but its highest experiences are those wherein it beholds the Supreme Beauty.

How do we come to the vision of the inaccessible Beauty, dwelling as if in consecrated precincts and remote from the common ways, where all might see, even the profane? He that has strength, let him arise and withdraw into himself, foregoing all that is known by the eyes, turning away forever from the material beauty that once made his joy. When he perceives those shapes of grace that show in body, let him not pursue. He must know them for copies, vestiges, shadows, and hasten away towards what they tell of ... And this inner vision, what is its operation? Newly awakened, it is all too feeble to learn the ultimate splendor. Therefore the Soul must be trained to the habit of remarking, first all noble pursuits, and then the works of beauty produced not by the labor of the arts but by the virtue of men known for their goodness, and lastly you must search the souls of those that have shaped these beautiful forms.

But how are you to see into the virtuous soul and know its loveliness? Withdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful: he cuts away here, he smoothes there, he makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his work. So do you also. Cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labor to make all one glow of beauty, and never cease chiseling your statue until there shall shine out on you from it the God-like splendor of virtue, and you shall see the perfect goodness surely established in the stainless shrine.


Technical Theosophy

By G. de Purucker

[From MESSAGES TO CONVENTIONS, pages 207-11.]

I want to point out the extreme need of disseminating technical Theosophical teachings in the outside world of men and women; and by 'outside world,' I mean those who are not privileged to study together as we do. That is the only sense in which I use the word 'outside.' There are millions whose place, spiritually and intellectually, is here amongst us. But we have not succeeded in giving them the chance yet; we have not yet been able, with our teachings, to reach their imaginations, their hunger for more light, for more truth. Their lives are already founded in ethics and they are ethically inclined. They have the ethics of the magnificent religions and philosophies in the world, and they have the instincts of decency in the human heart. What they need is the technical Theosophy to show them the HOW and WHY and WHAT -- something that can be achieved only by giving them and making them to love the STUDY of our technical Theosophical doctrines.

Why do the Avatars come amongst us? To help us who to them are spirits in chains of matter, to raise ourselves out of the condition in which are those whom Pythagoras called the "Living Dead," into at least genuinely good men and women whose lives are good because they are ENSOULED, in other words, who have a conception of spirituality and who love it, and in loving it, follow it.

Faint indeed must be the whisperings of the spirit within you if a picture like this does not arouse something within you as it did in me when first as a child or boy I was taught it again in this life, in this embodiment. Then it was that I first dedicated my life to Theosophy.

What is the burden of all the teachings of all our great god-like men? Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, and clothe the naked, comfort the heavy-laden. Do you think this means merely material benefits? It means aid and feed the naked and suffering and hungry SOULS of men -- as well as their bodies. If we can arouse by our Theosophical work, working under the mandate that we have received, sufficient enthusiasm along these lines, sufficient to change the thoughts and hearts of men, all the material wants of all mankind will be taken care of because men will no longer allow their fellow human beings to suffer the material wants.

All these latter things are needed, but they sink into utter insignificance compared with the majestic drama of the human soul swinging between spirit and matter, between Divinity and Avichi. And often, too much of the good things of life, too much concentration of thought and mind, too much devotion unto the material things, are dangerous because they concentrate the attention on and attachment to material things alone, and there is danger in this.

Notice that the Buddha, Jesus the Avatar, or Krishna went around establishing things like soup-kitchens, charitable organizations, or hospitals, great and beautiful though such often are. They were feeding and raising the hungry souls of men. They were ministering to the intellectual wants of their fellowmen. They were clothing their spiritual nakedness with the sheaths of consciousness, the garments of truth, knowing that when they did these things, a multitude thus ensouled would attend to the material wants of our fellow human beings.

Not that I decry soup-kitchens and things like that! Sometimes they are very needed; but when I hear people ask me: "Well, you Theosophists talk about loving your fellowmen and you believe in Universal Brotherhood. Why don't you establish soup-kitchens, do philanthropic work among the poor, and visit hospitals?" Our answer is obvious: We have done it, and we are doing it as much as we can as individuals, and will do much more of it when we get the millions upon millions of the wealth of the churches, or the philanthropic organizations. But what we are doing is cutting at the root which brings these physical material wants, needs, and lacks into being. In other words, we work mainly to change men's minds and hearts.

What produces the poverty amongst us, and the illnesses, the untended material wants, the exactions on the poor and the weak who are the least able to respond to exactions? It is human cruelty, human selfishness, human weaknesses, human thoughtlessness, the lack of an active warm beating heart feeling the woes of the world. Correct these and you cut at the roots of all the material evils of mankind. That is what the Great Ones of the earth have always done. They cut at the root of the evil, knowing that when they get the multitudes together in a common ideal, if the multitudes are faithful, these other things will be attended to.

Now, don't go to extremes. The next time you hear the cry for food, physical food, or the cry for a cup of water, don't say: "No, I am doing Master's work on a higher plane. Go elsewhere to him or her, and he or she will attend to your wants." Take what comes in your daily work and set the example of universal pity and helpfulness, but remember that these noble philanthropic material things will automatically come about if we first take care of the greater things.

It is really a terrible situation. The materialization of our age has become frenzied, so frenzied that there are millions of men and women in the world of today who have no patience with things of the spirit. They are utter materialists; they think there is no good in anything except what will benefit the human body. That is wrong and distorted, and as evil-working a state of mind as is the mind of those frenetic spiritualists in the other sense of the word, who want to be up in the clouds all the time, and will not even give a cup of cold water to a man whose body is thirsting. There are such.

When you remember that the majority of our fellow human beings are destined for two things, unconsciousness, with no progress, and no further light, and no further help for eons and eons and eons unless they get spiritual enlightenment and intellectual help; or on the other hand, destined to the annihilation of the Planet of Death or of Avichi -- what is your reaction? I put it to you. I think these things ought to be talked from the housetops, preached all the time, brought to notice on every occasion possible. It does not matter two pins if people mock. The average man and woman today likes, like the Athenians of old, to hear something new; and even if a smile of incomprehension comes to the face -- mark you the first time you attended a Theosophical gathering, and consider what your reaction possibly was. For all you know, you may be sowing seeds of thought every time you utter a technical Theosophical teaching.

So wonderfully appealing and persuasive are they that no matter how much a man may grin, hesitate, argue, and even mock perhaps at first, it may be for months, the seed sown will germinate some day. You may have saved that human soul and you know what I mean by 'saving.' For pity's sake, when you talk about philanthropy, raise this grand old Greek word to the plane where we understand it, and don't think that the giving of glasses of water, or mush and sausages, or soup and stale bread is going to save souls. I have seen these things done so mechanically and soullessly that it was almost an insult to the receiver, and a disgrace to the giver. I have seen it, and have blushed.

Of course I don't say all the philanthropy of human beings is like that. Undoubtedly there are thousands and thousands of noble men and women in the world who have never heard a word of genuine Theosophical teaching, whose hearts ache for the sufferings of their fellows, and who do what they can. But I am talking of mechanical charity, and the charity which humiliates when it is given.

What we want is to do away with the need of charity, and you will never succeed in this until you change men's hearts and their minds. The multi-millionaire who endows a College or a University or some scientific institution with several millions which he could spare perhaps as easily as the wealthiest among us could spare a few dollars, and immediately sees his name in the newspapers, may be doing far less good for his fellowman than the poor woman at the cottage door who will give of the little she has to the wayfarer who may come and knock. The latter act is true human sympathy. The other may or may not be commendable.

I tell you this: it is my own pet dogma. I don't believe you will get any genuine spiritual brotherhood, no matter what the form of the power behind the movement, which is not based on spirituality and Theosophy. You will get mechanics and political theories and emotional outbreaks of charitable people. And these are often more dangerous than they are workers of good, because their whole concentration is on the things of the body. It is needful to have the body cared for, undoubtedly.

Nobody questions it for a moment. But look here. You can feed a man's body and starve his soul to death. You can give him work and kill his spirit. You can give him a job and clothe him well and guarantee him against the cold of winter and the heat of summer, and you can starve that man to death. You may have made a lost soul out of him. Why? It is because the concentration here is solely on the things of matter. When Jesus spoke of "feeding my little ones," do you think he meant babies? Children? "Little ones" is an old occult term for disciples, learners, as children are; loving as children are; receiving as children do, and therefore "little ones." And such -- and I say this with deepest reverence for human hearts and minds -- and such, I repeat, are all those millions who wait hungrily to be fed the bread of life and the water of inspiration that Theosophy, technical Theosophy, only can satisfy.


Thoughts on Theosophy

By Boris de Zirkoff

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, May 1926, pages 432-36.]

In Lebensfluthen, im Thatensturm Wall' ich auf und ab, Webe hin und her! Geburt und Grab, Ein ewiges Meer, Ein wechselnd Weben, Ein gluhend Leben, So schaff' ich am sausenden Websthul der Zeit, Und wicke der Gottheit lebendiges Kleid.

-- Goethe, FAUST, "Song of the Earth-Spirit"

One of the signs of the time is the keen interest in the name of Theosophy and the meaning of this term, awakened nowadays all over the world, in every nation and in every land. People begin to feel, unconsciously to themselves, the mysterious 'something' which lies behind the mere name. They ask. They inquire. They try to make clear to their minds and brain-intellects the significance of that much-repeated and widely-spread word "Theosophy" in order to satisfy their ever-burning desire for new and unexplored domains of science and thought.

The period of absolute derision, of bold and foolish ridicule, of the teachings of Theosophy is gone by. The enemies of human progress and evolution have seen, have felt, have heard, and understood that the mere ridicule of Truth does not kill her and does not even hurt her validity in the slightest. Rejecting the worn-out policy of ridiculing everything and everywhere, they, or rather those who have inherited in the present generation the tendency to criticize without previous knowledge of the subject discussed, have resolved to question once for all in a more or less tolerant and peaceful manner those who even in their opinion happen to be acquainted with the tenets expounded under the name of Theosophy.

And now, behold! Many of the enemies who thought their time was best occupied by slandering the new revival of a world-wide and ancient spiritual movement have even grasped something of the true meaning of that doctrine, and from bitter enemies of the Theosophical Movement have turned to be loyal friends of that great Cause.

But we will not speak of the enemies alone, or of the friends and sympathizers. We merely state that Theosophy, AS A NAME, has of late penetrated into the minds and even hearts of men, whatever their religious or philosophical views, whatever their opinions and beliefs on the plane of intellectuality and thinking.

But the name is new (to the majority without learning or scholarship) and THE EXPLANATIONS ARE MANY, and let us say it at once, they are mostly contradictory and sometimes absurd to the utmost. In the last six years, we have had the opportunity of traveling in many countries. We have seen the states of minds and the intellectual conditions prevailing among the masses of many a nation in Europe and Asia, and we have especially directed our attention and interest to the inner crave of the people we met on our way.

Studying the need of the present civilization as represented by different classes and levels of society down to the very bottom of 'civilized' life, trying to define in a more or less practical and true manner the necessities of the human intellect and the food the human heart and soul were striving for, we realized more and more that it was and that IT IS the teachings of the ancient Wisdom-Religion brought to the western world by that great, that extraordinary woman, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, in the seventies of the past century.

We have also seen, and with the greatest sorrow and pain, the misrepresentations and gross falsehoods which were and are sown about by irresponsible and foolish persons concerning the pure, the lofty, the sublime teachings of Theosophy, as presented by its three Leaders in their works and IN THEIR LIVES AND DOINGS.

Summing up the numerous conditions, good and bad, that we have been able to witness in the last few years, we must say that the teachings of Theosophy are not understood in the right and true way they OUGHT TO BE, if humanity is to outgrow its degeneration and its fall into the mire of illusion and materiality.

Theosophy, the ancient Wisdom-Religion, is taken too often as a mere philosophical doctrine, as a group of tenets referring to the intellectual world, or the plane of pure speculation, and metaphysical Babel-towers. It is useless to speak here of the hundreds and thousands of misrepresentations and real 'hallucinations' about Theosophy which flourish once in a while on the soil of human minds, but are, we hope, on the way to self-destruction and annihilation in the ocean of their own stupidity.

But we feel it proper to point to the terribly brain-mind methods of popular inquiry into the teachings of Theosophy; we should like to show as much as we can the real, vital meaning of the tenets expounded by our three great Teachers -- H.P. Blavatsky, W.Q. Judge, and Katherine Tingley.

The world is drowned in intellectualism and philosophical conceptions, the one deep and splendid in its essence, the other not worth even thinking about. This same world is still craving for the same food, though the brightest minds of the present civilization are already (and it is really not too early) feeling the danger of the mere intellectual study and the nonsense of the innumerable theories on the origin and evolution of the human soul. If we take the teachings of Theosophy in the same time-honored manner of a bulk of doctrines without any practical application to the life we see around us and feel in ourselves, well -- we had better drop it altogether and return to the grand theory of hell and brimstone, lately deceased.

To the well-known definition of Theosophia as being (as a word) composed of two Greek terms -- "theos" (God) and "Sophia" (wisdom) -- somebody is said to have replied that in order to understand this 'wisdom,' one has to be a sage oneself. "Oh!" responded the learned friend, "do you consider yourself a fool?" "Se non e vero, e molto ben trovato."

This is the greatest stumbling-block of many a person today. Man thinks he is a fool and cannot understand a teaching which is A LITTLE above the everyday banal and useless life of pleasure and selfishness. BUT MAN IS NOT A FOOL; HE IS AS WISE AS THE SAGES OF OLD TIMES, only this wisdom is hidden in the depths of his soul and is so deep and so far from the consciousness of the individual himself that he is ready to deny it at every moment and laugh at those who would show him the way.

THEOSOPHY IS NOT A NEW RELIGION. It is not A religion at all. Theosophy is not A science. It is not A philosophy, as the term is understood all over the modern world in the sense of logical deductions and analytical or synthetic definitions of pure abstractions. It is not a cloak to hide some far-fetched ideas and conceptions. But Theosophy is RELIGION itself, understood in its original meaning of 'binding together' -- Man and his Divine Essence. THEOSOPHY IS THE LAW OF LIFE, THE RULE OF RIGHT LIVING -- and that is its practical significance for the world of today.

Fully to define Theosophy, we must consider it under all its innumerable and multifarious aspects, from all its sides and issues. But the real, full definition, or rather the knowledge of the teachings, of Theosophy is not, as it is so often claimed, dependent upon a brilliant intellect or upon a scholarship beyond the common level of men's mind. Theosophy, although it reaches the mind and illumines it with the great Light of Truth, that Light which shines in darkness and bears witness to the majesty and grandeur of Eternal Life -- Theosophy in its true, in its most sacred and divine aspect, speaks to the soul of man; it tells the old wisdom of the ages to his weary heart, and enters therein like a perfume of another world, beyond the reach of the banalities of life.

Theosophy shows to man the road of duty and love. It fashions the impulses of his heart and being into one great whole, imposing and strong. It means the regeneration of Humanity through selflessness and devotion. It leads Man to the victory of his Divinity amidst the struggle and battle of life.

Taken from this standpoint, Theosophy is a rock to which sooner or later the whole of mankind will cling as to its unique and last hope, on the ocean of brutal selfishness and ambition.

The great search of the present generation is not for new dogmas and new theories; it is not for hypotheses on the metaphysical meanings of such or such a term. It is not for the complicated definitions of life. No! The search is for the Science of right living. The wine of Brotherly Love is craved. Man looks all over the world to find the solution of the great riddle of existence and suffering and sorrow. Theosophy, the ancient Wisdom of the earlier races, the mine of treasures and that beacon-light of truth, gives that solution and opens the way of knowledge and happiness.

The wave of spiritual rebirth is fast moving over the surface of our world. It is like a tide which threatens to engulf the shore; but it is a tide of new hope and new yearnings. It is a wave of eternal youth. It is a flow which springs from the source of being and brings with it the elixir of spiritual love.

With the light of Theosophy, a new era has opened for the nations. A message of Truth and Hope had been sounded in the silence of gloom and agony. It is the message of the gods proclaiming the dawn of a brighter future. It is the trumpet-blast of an age to come. And the world is gradually awakening. It shudders in the depths of its hidden life. It vibrates under the breath of the Spirit, which rushes on the wings of Light, and coming from the depths of the unknown, a song divine resounds over the old and weary globe. It is as if it were the song of the Earth-Spirit acclaiming the approach of the Great Day:

In the tides of life, In action's storm, A fluctuant wave, Without form, Birth and grave, An eternal sea, A weaving, flowing Life, all-glowing.

Let us unite in this supreme reawakening of the Age. Let us look straight ahead into the Face of the Future, with a clean conscience and a pure motive, and strong in our endeavor to reach the goal of Brotherhood and Love, inspired with the sublime Ideal of Perfection; firm in our WILL as the rock that resists the tempest, let us strive for the benefit of others and lay our whole life and being on the One Altar of Truth.


The Path of Chelaship

By G. de Purucker

[From GOLDEN PRECEPTS, pages 123-39.]

Beautiful indeed is the bond between Teacher and Disciple: the sense on the part of the disciple of utmost confidence and love, so that nothing, he feels, could be hid from his Teacher's knowledge; and on the part of the Teacher, the understanding, the compassion, the love, yea sometimes and often indeed, the commendation. If the disciple has gratitude towards his Teacher, the Teacher in a sense has gratitude towards his disciple, for he sees in him the growing life of a new Master of Compassion to flower forth in the eons to come.

On the difficult path of discipleship the aspirant is sustained by the love of his guide, but he must walk every step along the pathway to victory alone. He is not carried there. Every step he himself must take. In ordinary human existence we make our own way in the world: we feed ourselves, we inform ourselves, we train ourselves. If that is a necessity here, it is tenfold the same necessity in the esoteric life. There must we ourselves win everything; because we are simply bringing out what is within us; our own will, our own consciousness, must become awakened, fully awakened, and by our own efforts.

Spiritual light comes from within; the disciple does not receive light -- the light of the spirit -- from outside. All that the Teacher can do is to help the disciple to brush away the enshrouding veils of selfhood. All spiritual illumination comes to him now, and ever will come to him, from the Master within himself. There is no other possible pathway to the Light. All growth is from within; all illumination is from within; all inspiration is from within; all initiation is from within.

Aspiration is real prayer; it is us constantly raising ourselves from day to day, trying each day to go a little higher towards the god within. This means harmony, inner harmony, peace. Having harmony and peace within, in the mind, in the heart, that state of mind and heart will reflect itself in the physical body and the body will function harmoniously, which means that it will function in health.

Moreover, an atmosphere of lofty conceptions and of kindly thoughts clarifies and refines the auric atmosphere around every human being, and it is the bounden duty of every disciple on the Path to aspire towards high and noble things, for this refines the atoms of the entire constitution.

The disciple should have always in mind the consciousness, the brooding thought, of these teachings. This SUPER-CONSCIOUS mind is the divine essence of the disciple, on and in which this brooding consciousness dwells. Such is meditation: taking a subject for thought and dwelling upon it in thought in an impersonal way, meanwhile searching within for the answer, for more light upon it; and if this method of meditation be faithfully followed, finally light will come. Exercise makes it so easy; habit endows it with such attractiveness, that finally the time will come when one will be meditating all day long, even though the hands may be busy with the daily tasks.

One does not need to go into his private chamber and to sit or stand or lie and, with an effort of the will, try to whip the brain to think of certain things. Concentration means centering the mind on a point of thought or object of thought and holding to it. It is easy to accomplish and the way to do it is to be interested in a thing. Then the mind automatically will concentrate itself on that thing.

But the best form of meditation is the constant thought, yearning, aspiration, to be one's best, to live one's noblest, and to keep this thought with one day and night. If this yearning is derivative from the spirit of compassion, welling up in the heart like a holy river of energy, it will lead one quickly to the Gates of Gold.

The next step on the Path is taken when the disciple is ready: it all depends upon the disciple; the Teacher can do nothing except to awake him; the disciple is the one to decide. For when the disciple is ready, the Teacher is waiting.

There comes a time in human evolution when a man or a woman arrives at a point where he wants to concentrate all his energies -- spiritual, intellectual, psychical, astral, vital, physical, everything -- on one object, namely, to make himself a fit servant and servitor of his fellow human beings without any other distractions or calls of duty. This is called CHELASHIP: the state of discipleship. But this path of discipleship is for the few.

Those who follow this pathway of spiritual progress and illumination -- disciples of the esoteric life, living the Chela-life -- have pledged themselves to give up self for the world, to have no personal property, and to give up life and all that there is to the holiest Cause they know. For these disciples of the Life Beautiful non-resistance is right; they have sworn never to strike back; never to lift a hand in self-defense if the attack be on the Chela alone; never to protect one's personal self against libel or slander, that is, if it be only for the protection of the individual's personality; to turn the other cheek when smitten; and give one's shirt also when the cloak is asked. But even these Chelas are pledged to check wrong, to stay the pathway of evil-doing, to stop it if possible, when the evil-doing is directed against another; because an esotericist will do for another person what he may never do for himself.

Chelaship, or the training for Masterhood, is a strenuous and heart-stirring work. Every step of it is joy, although at times psychological reactions come which must be guarded against. The Chela-life may be likened to the man who is engaged upon some important, fascinating, most interesting, but very strenuous physical work. He labors, he tires, the breath comes quick and fast, the sweat bedews his brow, and bedews his body, but yet he feels growing under his hand, as it were, a work of marvelous beauty. He is inspired to give to it every ounce of strength that is in him. The Chela knows that over the distant hills, perhaps for him, if his karma is favorable, not so far distant, there lies the Temple of Wisdom, and that its doors will open for him if he can reach it, and reach it clean and strong. If he reaches it with soiled feet, which feet that he has not washed with the tears of his eyes and the blood of his heart, he must retrace his steps, or wait until the time come when no longer will the heart bleed, and no longer will the eyes be blinded with the tears of selfish personal devotion to merely personal ends. Then the eyes will be lightened with the undying inner flame, and the heart will, as it were, beat only for others, because it will be utterly self-forgetful. Then beauty, then inexpressible joy, then unimaginable strength and peace will enter into his life.

Chelaship in itself is not difficult. In itself it is easy, almost inexpressibly easy. It means giving up pain, giving up sorrow, giving up anger, giving up lust, giving up selfishness, giving up all the things that injure us and blind us and cripple us and retard us. It means us being clean, sweet, fresh, pure, and beautiful. It means beginning to live the life of an incarnate god. It means becoming at one with one's inner god, ever more and more; a little at first, a little more at the next effort, and so forth; for at each effort the Chela gains more and more of the inner light, of the inner life, of the inner inspiration -- of the inner Buddhic Splendor. In other words, it means becoming ever more and more at one with the inner Master. In every human being there is now, even now, an exalted entity, a Mahatma.

Be self-forgetful; be impersonal and therefore unattached to matter; be detached and therefore impersonal. Be great of heart and great of soul, and then you can attain. Bear injustice with equanimity, thereby you become magnanimous -- great of heart. Never strike back; never retaliate; be silent; be patient. Protect others; protect yourself not at all. Do not be swept away ever by anger or passion. Not only do they not pay, but thereby you make bad karma that one day you will have to meet and overcome.

Forgive injuries. With a heart filled with love for all that is, and complete and perfect forgiveness of all injuries, past, present and to come, you surround yourself with a mighty protective power, for these spiritual energies purify the heart; they stimulate the intellect; they elevate the soul. Thus will your soul shine through your body like a lamp shining through glass, and you will illuminate those with whom you are; by your peace, by your quiet, you will lighten and will light the pathway for them.

Be bold in your learning, but not overbold. Be courageous as you press forward on this old, old Path of the ages leading to the Heart of the Universe; but be not rash. Guard well your speech, lest something pass out unseen with the words; for you can never recall it. Dare, Will, Know, and Be Silent!

Let yourself grow naturally as the flower opens its petals; as the bud opens its heart. Is there any reason or need why the eyes should be continuously blinded with tears, and why the feet should be continuously washed with the blood of the heart?

Do not be discouraged if you fail, if you do not live up to your noblest. Do not even waste time in regretting; it is weakening. Simply make up your mind: I will not do it again! And then if you fail, repeat: I will not do it again, for by so doing I alone am the loser. The day will come when, by the constant repetition of the mantra, the continuous aspiration of both the heart and the mind, and by the continuous striving to be the best, the most beautiful that is in you, you will suddenly be it, suddenly you will become it.

In living the Chela-life you simply exchange things that you detest inwardly, that you hate, for things that are beautiful, helpful: exchanging weakness for strength, ugliness for beauty, blindness for vision, darkness for light.

Do not struggle; do not strive; do not fret; do not worry yourself. Be natural; be patient; be calm; be peaceful; be not impatient, be very patient. Take things as they come and strive continuously; strive after what you love best and feel to be truest and let all the rest go. Do your duty by all, no matter at what cost to yourself, and you will find that there is an unspeakable joy in it all. Then, sooner or later, there will come the opening of the inner eye, the Vision, the opening of the inner senses, the becoming cognizant of the most wonderful and strange things around you.

The spiritual faculties are within you, and can be cultivated to an infinite extent. When the inner eye is opened you shall have spiritual clairvoyance -- vision of universal sweep, limited only so far as you as an individual can interpret, can receive, can contain -- and the spiritual ability to see and to see right, and in seeing, to know that your seeing is truth.

When you have allied yourself with the god within you, the spiritual power will show you how to see things at whatever distance. You immediately see things at enormous distances through the inner spiritual eye. Your consciousness is there, whither you have cast it. You can sit in your armchair and see, with eyes closed, all that you care to see at great distances. This can be done not only in this exterior world but you can penetrate into the interior and invisible worlds with this spiritual vision, and thus know what is going on in the worlds spiritual and ethereal; and remember also that these inner and invisible worlds are the basis or root of this mere cross-section that we humans call the physical universe.

In Tibet this power is call the "hpho-wa," the power to project your consciousness (that means also your will) to any distance that you may please: on earth, to the moon, to any other planet, to the sun. This is possible because the cosmic spaces are your home. You are they and they are you. The very powers that work in them are also in you. The very substances out of which they are born and built, you also are built on. You are native there; and therefore manifesting such a power is a natural thing to do.

Another spiritual power is true and genuine clairaudience: the ability to hear with the spiritual auditory power or faculty -- the inner spiritual ear -- even what the gods are saying and doing. Having this power you can hear the music of the spheres: for every celestial orb, as it swings along its pathway, sings its own majestic paean, and everything on earth or elsewhere, animate or so-called inanimate, being a collection of atoms, is therefore a symphonic melody, a symphony, the aggregated volume of sound being composed of the notes of each and every singing entity; our physical bodies themselves are embodied song.

Every little atom is attuned to a musical note. It is in constant vibration at speeds that are incomprehensible to the ordinary brain-mind of man, and each such speed has its own numerical quantity, in other words its own numerical note, and therefore sings that note; so that had you this spiritual clairaudience, the life surrounding you would be one grand sweet song; and you yourself would sing a song; your very body would be as it were a symphonic orchestra, singing some magnificent incomprehensible, musical symphonic composition.

With the awakened power of the inner spiritual ear you would hear as a song the opening of the rosebud, and its growth would be like a changing melody running along from day to day. You would hear the green grass-blade grow. You could hear every hair on your head as it lengthens in growth; for growth is movement. The growth of a little child you would hear as a prolonged chorus of singing atomic entities.


The Necessity for Reincarnation

By William Q. Judge

[An unsigned tract attributed to Judge appearing in ECHOES OF THE ORIENT, III, pages 71-75.]

To most persons not already Theosophists, no doctrine appears more singular than that of Reincarnation, i.e., that each man is repeatedly born into earth-life; for the usual belief is that we are here but once, and once for all determine our future. And yet it is abundantly clear that one life, even if prolonged, is no more adequate to gain knowledge, acquire experience, solidify principle, and form character than would one day in infancy be adequate to fit for the duties of mature manhood.

Any man can make this even clearer by estimating, on the one hand, the probable future which Nature contemplates for humanity, and on the other, his present preparation for it. That future includes evidently two things -- an elevation of the individual to god-like excellence, and his gradual apprehension of the Universe of Truth.

His present preparation therefore consists of a very imperfect knowledge of a very small department of one form of existence, and that mainly gained through the partial use of misleading senses; of a suspicion, rather than a belief, that the sphere of super-sensuous truth may exceed the sensuous as the great universe does this earth; of a partially-developed set of moral and spiritual faculties, none acute and none unhampered, but all dwarfed by non-use, poisoned by prejudice, and perverted by ignorance; the whole nature, moreover, being limited in its interests and affected in its endeavor by the ever-present needs of a physical body, which much more than the soul is felt to be the real "I." Is such a being -- narrow, biased, carnal, and sickly -- fitted to enter at death on a limitless career of spiritual acquisition?

Now, there is only three ways in which this obvious unfitness may be overcome -- a transforming power in death, a post-mortem and wholly spiritual discipline, a series of reincarnations. There is evidently nothing in the mere separation of soul from body to confer wisdom, ennoble character, or cancel dispositions acquired through fleshiness. If any such power resided in death, all souls, upon being disembodied, would be precisely alike -- a palpable absurdity. Nor could a postmortem discipline meet the requirement, and this for nine reasons: (a) the soul's knowledge of human life would always remain insignificant; (b) of the various faculties only to be developed during incarnation, some would still be dormant at death and therefore never evolve; (c) the unsatisfactory nature of material life would not have been fully demonstrated; (d) there would have been no deliberate conquest of the flesh by the spirit; (e) the meaning of Universal Brotherhood would have been very imperfectly seen; (f) desire for a career on earth under different conditions would persistently check the disciplinary process; (g) exact justice could hardly be secured; (h) the discipline itself would be insufficiently varied and copious; (i) there would be no advance in the successive races on earth.

There remains, then, the last alternative, a series of reincarnations -- in other words, that the enduring principle of the man, endowed during each interval between two earth-lives with the results achieved in the former of them, shall return for further experience and effort. If the nine needs unmet by a merely spiritual discipline after death are met by reincarnation, there is surely a strong presumption of its actuality.

Now, (a) It is only through reincarnations can knowledge of human life be made exhaustive. A perfected man must have experienced every type of earthly relation and duty, every phase of desire, affection, and passion, every form of temptation, and every variety of conflict. No one life can possibly furnish the material for more than a minute section of such experience.

(b) Reincarnations give occasion for the development of all those faculties which can only be developed during incarnation. Apart from any questions raised by Occult doctrine, we can readily see that some of the richest soul-acquirements come only through contact with human relations and through suffering from human ills. Of these, sympathy, toleration, patience, energy, fortitude, foresight, gratitude, pity, beneficence, and altruism are examples.

(c) Only through reincarnation is the unsatisfying nature of material life fully demonstrated. One incarnation proves merely the futility of its own conditions to secure happiness. To force home the truth that all are equally so, all must be tried. In time the soul sees that a spiritual being cannot be nourished on inferior food and that any joy short of union with the Divine must be illusionary.

(d) The subordination of the Lower to the Higher Nature is made possible by many earth-lives. Not a few are needed to convince that the body is but a case, and not a constituent, of the real Ego; others, that it and its passions must be controlled by that Ego. Until the spirit has full sway over the flesh, the man is unfit for a purely spiritual existence. We have known no one to achieve such a victory during this life, and are therefore sure that other lives need to supplement it.

(e) The meaning of Universal Brotherhood becomes apparent only as the veil of self and selfish interest thins, and this it does only through that slow emancipation from conventional beliefs, personal errors, and contracted views which a series of reincarnations effects. A deep sense of human solidarity presupposes a fusion of the one in the whole -- a process extending over many lives.

(J) Desire for other forms of earthly experience can only be extinguished by undergoing them. It is obvious that any one of us, if now translated to the unseen world, would feel regret that he had not tasted existence in some other situation or surroundings. He would wish to have known what it was to possess rank or wealth or beauty, or to live in a different race or climate, or to see more of the world and society. No spiritual ascent could progress while earthly longings were dragging back the soul, and so it frees itself from them by successively securing and dropping them. When the round of such knowledge has been traversed, regret for ignorance has died out.

(g) Reincarnations give scope for exact justice to every man. True awards must be given largely on the plane whereon they have been incurred, else their nature is changed, their effects are impaired, and their collateral bearings lost. Physical outrage has to be checked by the infliction of physical pain, and not merely by the arousing of internal regret. Honest lives find appropriate consequence in visible honor. But one career is too short for the precise balancing of accounts, and many are needed that every good or evil done in each may be requited on the earth where it took place.

(h) Reincarnations secure variety and copiousness to the discipline we all require. Very much of this discipline comes through the senses, through the conditions of physical life, and through psycho-physiological processes -- all of which would be absent from a postmortem state. Considered as training or as penal infliction for wrong done, a repeated return to earth is needful for fullness of discipline.

(i) Reincarnations ensure a continuous advance in the successive races of men. If each new-born child was a new soul-creation, there would be, except through heredity, no general human advance. But if such child is the flower of many incarnations, he expresses an achieved past as well as a possible future. The tide of life thus rises to greater heights, each wave mounting higher upon the shore. The grand evolution of richer types exacts profusion of earth-existences for its success.

These points illustrate the universal maxim that "Nature does nothing by leaps." She does not, in this case, introduce into a region of spirit and spiritual life a being who has known little else than matter and material life, with small comprehension even of that. To do so would be analogous to transferring suddenly a ploughboy into a company of metaphysicians. The pursuit of any topic implies some preliminary acquaintance with its nature, aims, and mental requirements; and the more elevated the topic, the more copious the preparation for it.

It is inevitable that a being who has before him an eternity of progress through zones of knowledge and spiritual experience ever nearing the central Sun should be fitted for it through long acquisition of the faculties which alone can deal with it. Their delicacy, their vigor, their penetrativeness, and their unlikeness to those called for on the material plane show the contrast of the earth-life to the spirit-life. And they show, too, the inconceivability of a sudden transition from one to the other, of a policy unknown in any other department of Nature's workings, of a break in the law of uplifting through Evolution. A man, before he can become a "god", must first become a perfect man; and he can become a perfect man neither in seventy years of life on earth, nor in any number of years of life in which human conditions are absent.

The production of a pure, rich, ethereal nature through a long course of spiritualizing influence during material surroundings is illustrated in agriculture by the cotton plant. When the time arrives that it can bear, the various vitalities of sun and air and ground and stalk culminate in a bud which bursts apart and liberates the ball within. That white, fleecy, delicate mass is the outcome of years of adhesion to the soil. But the sunlight and the rain from heaven have transformed heavy particles into the light fabric of the boll. And so man, long rooted in the clay, is bathed with influences from above, which as they gradually pervade and elevate him, transmute every grosser element to its spiritual equivalent, purge and purify and ennoble him, and when the evolutionary process is complete, remove the last envelope from the perfected soul and leave it free to pass forever from its union with the material.

It is abundantly true that "except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Rebirth and re-life must go on until their purposes are accomplished. If, indeed, we were mere victims of an evolutionary law, helpless atoms on which the machinery of Nature pitilessly played, the prospect of a succession of incarnations, no one of which gave satisfaction, might drive to mad despair.

Theosophy thrusts on us no such cheerless exposition. It shows that reincarnations are the law for man because they are the condition of his progress, which is also a law, but tells him that he may mould them and better them and lessen them. He cannot rid himself of the machinery, but neither should he wish to.

Endowed with the power to guide it for the best, prompted with the motive to use that power, he may harmonize both his aspirations and his efforts with the system that expresses the infinite wisdom of the Supreme, and through the journey from the temporal to the eternal tread the way with steady feet, braced with the consciousness that he is one of an innumerable multitude, and with the certainty that he and they alike, if they so will it, may attain finally to that sphere where birth and death are but memories of the past.


Out in the Open

By F.M. Pierce

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, May 1926, pages 498-502, captioned "Inspired by the big Dakota plains," International Theosophical Headquarters, Point Loma, California.]

Give me the Open Country -- the sweep Of the big, wide plains! Give me the sky for a tenting, to let In the winds and the rains!

Blankets I'll make of a mooseskin, Clothing from skins of the deer: They will give me for breakfast and supper Streamed water the nectar to cheer!

The wild fowl and fish will befriend me, Nor suffer from capture for greeds; Wild flowers shall say grace at my table -- All giving to life's simple needs.

Berries and roots that are luscious, To make sinews that never know pain; And a will and a heart that shall serve, And never give way under strain.

I will ambush the bees with their honey, Lure herbs to yield me their juice; Nature to give me her bounty -- She glad to my selfless use.

She will open to me her secrets, Her mysteries in store; Bringing a pure heart, She will teach to me her lore

I will nestle their cubs for the mothers, And teach them new tricks in their games With the lion lie down for my rest; For love the savagest tames.

The quail shall make me their mating, And whistle me come to their camps; And the song-birds shall wake me at dawn, And be chums on my wide-running tramps.

Away from the bruise of my fellows, I will send brave thoughts to my kind; That they venture on peace -- and there dare! In their thoughts all strife undermined.

I will sing to the breezes' harping, And be vocal, leading the storms! I will let the zephyrs to lull me And yield to night's sylphin charms.

With the loves of my heart I'll go dreaming Beyond the borders of thought! We will gather the roses of heaven By love's pure crafting wrought.

The morning the noon and the evening, The light and the darkness make mine. Shall life escape me wherever A soul, out free -- and divine?

These! -- out in the Open with Freedom, My way on the sun-kissed sod! I will grow a stature for man, Nor stop when I rise up, a god,

The sun the vesture about me, My purpose all life to redeem: What then shall stay or debar me To be of the Will Supreme!

Ruler of Boundless Freedom, Helper up its incline: The travail of all ascending, Easing -- as Love did mine.


Wind of the Spirit

By G. de Purucker

[From WIND OF THE SPIRIT, pages 1-5.]

There is one thing I learned when I was a boy, and I learned it well, and it has been one of my best friends ever since. It is that I can learn from everything, and that if I allow a single day to pass without increasing my store of wisdom, without enlarging and enriching my inner life by however small an increment, that day is a lost day in my life. Too many of us are asleep; we sleep and dream. We dream dreams, and all too often, these dreams are evil dreams, for they are the up surging of the lower, personal, easily self-satisfied ego of ours. But others of us dream visions of incomparable beauty -- and I mean not merely physical beauty, but beauty of any kind: spiritual beauty, intellectual beauty, aye, even beauty of wondrous nature around us. And every such new envisioning of a marvel awakens us by just so much.

Oh, how we sleep, and are forgetful of what we are and of the richness around us which is ours for the taking, ours if we WILL take it! Naught except oneself stands in the way of taking. There are none as blind as they who refuse to see; none as deaf as they who refuse to hear; and on the other hand, none so wise as they who meet every new experience in life's wondrous adventure with the feeling that there is an angel behind this for me. I must discover him, uncover him, and learn what that angelic messenger is trying to tell me. Every experience is such.

I think one of the grandest things that our beloved Theosophy does for us is to unveil our eyes, unstop our ears, so that seeing, verily we see somewhat more, and that hearing, we hear somewhat more, until finally we begin to hear what the silence tells us -- the Voice of the Silence, which is the greatest and the richest and the most wisdom-pregnant voice to us. Theosophy would be but a farce, it would be but tinsel, if it did not awaken us out of ourselves and make us more than we were. That is its one purpose, and that is the whole purpose of our study of Theosophy: to become ever more enlightened, a little bigger, a little more receptive.

And just here, we see the difference between the beast and the man. The beast sees and knows not, recognizes not; the man sees and understands somewhat; and the Master sees and hears, and the message enters in its fullness; and the god, the producer of that which we see and hear -- all the gods on their azure seats have to receive their light from still more sublime worlds, planes, spheres of universal life.

So now facing what is taking place in the world today, we must recognize it as no chance event, no haphazard or fortuitous occurrence, not the blind blows of fate, but the working out of the events which are coming. We must recognize that behind these events there is power, spiritual power, spiritual force. It will all work out to an already predestined and sublime ending. For to me, despite the agony and the sadness that we humans in our blindness feel, there is the wind of the spirit sweeping over the earth, rearranging, remaking, reshaping. And the agonies and sorrows that come, come from ourselves, blind humans that we are who will not enter into Nature's majestic processes, helping her, but instead oppose her, and in opposing her suffer.

One may say: "Alas, we know not how to act in consonance with Nature's laws!" But the statement is not true. It is a lie, for men have been taught since immemorial time that right is right, just is just, and wrong is wrong. How then may we choose between the right and the wrong? And just here enters in a difficulty; not that it exists in itself, but we create it. It is not right to employ violence and force. There is the first law. "Thou shalt not kill." Violate this law, and you set yourself in opposition to Nature's processes.

Even in ordinary affairs, man's genius recognizes this, and it is embodied in our systems of jurisprudence today, an advance truly, for no longer is it considered logical for the avenger, the one wronged, to seek out his enemy and engage in mortal combat. We are advancing, for the time was when even to refuse to recognize what was then called one's honor, would have subjected a man to shameful ostracism. Our ideas have enlarged. Is there a man or woman in the world today who would dare to tell me that the only way to settle disputes is by violence, when, mayhap, victory will perch upon the banners of the one who is less right than the other?

The way to settle disputes is by reason, by refusing to accept anything less grand than that. For he who takes up the sword, as the Avatar Jesus put it, by the sword will he perish. Perhaps not immediately, but in the long run. Disputes are righteously and in justice composed on the basis of reason and right, not on the basis of the heavy hand of violence.

We ask why we suffer. We ask why these things have fallen upon us. In our ignorance of our own Higher Selves, and in our lack of a perfect confidence in the eternal laws of cosmic life, we assume, we take to ourselves, the duties of the avenger. What man knows enough to judge any other man unto the scaffold? So well are these principles recognized that there is not a civilized society today that recommends them. They all want justice; they all want to use reason. Why don't they use it? And using it, why don't they abide by it? Face facts if you want to know the reason of the suffering and agony, the terror and appalling privations that are upon us. It is no extra-cosmic god or intra-cosmic god who has put these horrible things upon us, his blind children. IT IS WE OURSELVES.

I am not preaching a doctrine of illogical pacifism, in the sense of submitting to anything without struggle; for society must protect itself. But let it protect itself by means which laws, national and international, have already established, and to which the greatest and supposedly most civilized nations on earth have years ago pledged their honor and their allegiance. But when the test comes: "Oh, no; this is a matter of national honor. We will attend to this problem ourselves!" Then when the heavy blows fall, when happiness and honor have fled, when want and misery stalk through our streets, we cry unto high heaven and say: "What have I done that these things should fall upon me?"

Were there no means of securing, of establishing right, it would be a different matter. But there are the means, recognized and accepted means, to which the so-called statesmen of our world have pledged their allegiance in solemn compact. And then we complain, and then we say we suffer and wonder why. And the wind of the spirit that is blowing over the world, tumultuous, cold, and biting as it seems to our sensitive lives, is nevertheless the WIND OF THE SPIRIT, and it will blow away the fogs and illusions, and men once more at last can see peace, heavenly peace, prosperity, and self-respect.

It is well to remember that while our hearts may ache -- and the man is, inhuman whose heart today does not ache over what our brothers in humanity are everywhere enduring -- remember, I say, that behind the suffering, there is learning, that behind and beyond the present events, there is a dawn. Let us as individuals, not merely as Theosophists, do our part in helping to bring the new day when violence will be seen for the folly that it is, and the reign of justice and reason and fellow-feeling will be with us and around us. If not, we shall have a recurrence, and worse, of what now we are passing through, and after that, another recurrence still worse than the former, and so on to the remains of our civilization, until our civilized society will vanish in flame and blood.

Those of you who may be alive to see the handwriting on the wall had better awaken.

MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN! Weighed, Weighed, Wanting -- the Persians!

The tragedy of Occidental society is that it has lost its trust in an abiding spiritual power in this world of ours, and Reason has lost its seat. This entire universe of ours is but an appearance, an outer shell, a physical body as it were, manifesting the tremendous forces at work on the other side of the veil of Nature, and no man, demigod, or god can offend or oppose these powers with impunity. Law rules this world, and sooner or later the gods will descend from their azure seats. Let us see that they come to us as envoys of happiness and peace rather than with the flaming swords avenging overthrown innocence.

You will tell me: "You are preaching after the event." But this is not true, for worse will come unless we heed. And these things have been told to mankind from immemorial time. The man who said, "God and I are a majority against the whole world" was no flamboyant egoist. If we understand his meaning, we realize what he meant.

I have felt impelled to speak of the wind of the spirit blowing over the earth. It will extinguish all false lights. The true and the holy will but burn the brighter and will remain. Yet judge not. Things do not happen in a day. Perhaps it may be fifty years before we know at least something of the inner meaning of what is now coming upon us: of good, of ill; of high, of low; of pathos or of bathos. But this that I have called the wind of the spirit is clairvoyant in the heavenly sense. It is the spirit of the Earth, if you wish, and its works are utter true. All that is grand and unselfish, I repeat, will live. What is false and selfish, this wind will not merely pass by, but mayhap overthrow. Put your whole trust in the divine power behind Nature and live in accordance therewith, and Nature will look upon you as working with her and therefore as her master and will make obeisance. Those of you that have ears to hear, hear!


A Talk on Theosophy: What Is It?

By Caritas

[From THE THEOSOPHICAL PATH, May 1926, pages 465-68.]

This is the question which I put to a friend of mine as we rode together in the train to a neighboring city on our way to business. He was a bank-man and studious, who rarely missed the opportunity given by the half-hour's daily ride to and fro to read what I found later were books on Theosophy. He looked at me in a mild way, a little surprised perhaps at my curiosity, but quite ready to shut his book and chat on a theme which was so much in his thoughts.

"Well," said he, "that is a big question which I cannot answer fully, for I have only been studying it myself during the past year or two, but I can give you my idea of it, and will do so gladly."

I thanked him and remarked that I had heard it spoken of many times, and each time I had felt unaccountably drawn to learn something of it, though in a double sense it was 'Greek' to me.

In those days, some thirty years ago, comparatively little was known about the subject. Now and again, one reads in the daily press a reference to that remarkable Russian woman, H.P. Blavatsky, and comments were made on the phenomena she was supposed to have produced. This did not interest me, for I was not drawn to anything that savored of the uncanny or was allied with what was called Spiritualism and the doings of mediums. It was too remote from the ordinary affairs of a businessman's life.

My friend, however, evinced a remarkable enthusiasm as he went on to describe what little he knew about it. "You've heard of Buddhism, I suppose," said he, "and the teachings of Buddha?"

"No," I replied. "Beyond the names, I know nothing about them except what the missionaries have reported occasionally; and that I've always felt was more or less overdone in order to impress children and their own subscribers with the enormities of idol-worship and the crass ignorance of the so-called heathen. It's not Buddhism, is it?"

"No," he said, "not in its modern form, at any rate, but there are many ideas in it which correspond with the teachings of Gautama the Buddha, as one may see by reading Arnold's LIGHT OF ASIA. Yet I remember my first interest was aroused by hearing a lecture on "The Secret of Buddhism" in which the modern teachings of the Buddhist priests were in no way referred to, but instead what seemed to me a new way of accounting for the origin of this earth and its humanity."

"I suppose that there are only two ways to account for the origin of man and things," I remarked. "That contained in the Jewish Bible and that vouched for by science on the Darwinian Theory. They seem mutually contradictory rather, though for my part I have considered the contradiction was more seeming than real, since the process of creation set forth in Genesis does not eliminate the idea of evolution by which the elemental condition of things precedes the more organized and complex. The dry land and water are before the herbs and fishes and creeping things, and man appears rightly to crown and complete the great process of creation as being the finished product of all nature."

"Yes," he said. "But have you ever thought of it that even in the Bible there are two distinct processes of creation indicated?"

"No," I replied, "I had not seen it in that way, but rather as the description by two different records of the same stupendous work."

"Well," my friend added, "if they relate to the same work it is strange that the one should begin where the other appears to leave off. In other words, man seems to be the crown of creation in the first chapter of Genesis, while in the second, he is described as the forerunner of all lesser nature."

"Ah! I had not thought of that." I said. "It is, as you say, very remarkable. Yet how is it to be accounted for?"

"Theosophy," said my friend "seems to give a very consistent explanation of this seeming contradiction. For the process of creation or evolution, according to its presentation, is a very much more protracted and gradual affair than one would imagine from the brief symbolic summary of it shown in Genesis as the work of the Creator in a space of six days with its seventh of consummation and rest. Indeed, you will find that the long slow measured process of evolution is quite logically and systematically sketched in the Theosophical teachings. Nowhere does there seem to be any record of that sudden coming into being at the fiat of the Almighty, such as our theologians are too apt to credit.

"And then the rise and fall of nations and races," he continued, "the wonderful civilizations of an ancient past succeeded from time to time by a reversion to the simplicity and barbarity, if one may so call it, of the nomad of the desert and the backwoods, which have been revealed by our geologists and anthropologists, and which are a constant menace to any theory of the savage condition of primitive man and his subsequent growth and development into the cultured being we know today. These problems seem to me much more seriously grappled with by writers on Theosophy than by any other school of modern thought, whether religious or scientific."

"Tell me," I said, "what you mean by this; are we not evolved then from the condition of the primitive man? As one looks down the pages of history, one feels at any rate that in our own country there was a time when the people appeared to be very little removed from the state of savages. Gradually law and order have been evolved, and the interdependence of man with his fellow-man has only dawned upon the human mind by degrees as man acquired the art of communal life."

"That is where we too often delude ourselves," he replied. "We think our present condition so superior to that of our forefathers! But is it really so? Do we understand more of life or its meaning and purpose? Is there greater happiness in our cities and towns than there was in the rude hamlets and villages of olden times? Do we understand and support and comfort one another more than was done then?"

"Well," I said, "it is not easy to answer those questions, because the standards of comfort have varied so much in the different ages. However," I added, "I am anxious to understand how Theosophy makes clear what must be puzzling to the ordinary observer of our modern conditions of life."

"Theosophy," replied my friend, "certainly does throw a new light upon the problems of life. It postulates a great law of Harmony in the universe. Every part of it is dependent on every other part, and nothing can happen to the smallest particle of it that does not in some degree affect and modify the whole. The purpose of the whole universe, and therefore of the life of man, is the acquirement of experience which shall result in freedom -- the freedom of the soul of man in the dignity and power of 'conscious godhood,' as one writer has so well put it.

"The conditions of being, below that of man, are not those of self-conscious entities. There is a blind acquiescence in the universal Law of Harmony, and hence we do not regard animals or plants or any lesser creature as having any moral responsibility. In a sense, they are sinless. But man is a being qualified in his evolution to become free; he is capable of exercising a choice in his actions, and so according to his knowledge, he is competent to conform to the Law of Harmony or to disregard it and suffer the inevitable penalties of infringement. For no law in the universe exists that does not exact a penalty if broken.

"In other words, this great Law of Harmony may for a time be disregarded by the acts of a free self-conscious being, but the process of readjustment is inevitable. It is this process of action and reaction which in Theosophy is called Karma, and which brings about the sorrow and suffering, the reincarnation and rebirth, of this self-conscious entity, man, who having sown the seeds of disharmony in his ignorance or willfulness, must reap the consequences in his present or a future life. Thus it may be seen that the present life is the outcome of past similar conditions and is giving birth day by day to a future life which will be full of joy or sorrow as the seeds of that future are being sown today.

"But," he added with a smile, "You see we have only just touched on the fringe of this vast subject, and I must now get away to my office."

With that we parted, but not before I had begged for another chat with my friend on what I now realized was indeed a very profound topic.


The Allegory of the Cup

By Katherine Hillard

[From THE PATH, September 1891, pages 169-74.]

When Rabelais' hero, Pantagruel, has completed the long and toilsome voyage of discovery that he makes for the benefit of his friend Panurge, the two arrive at last at the shrine of the Divine Bottle, to which they are guided by the illustrious Lantern, emblem of the light of Truth. The whole description of their progress through the underground region wherein the temple they seek is built is full of the symbolism of initiation, through whose manifold tests the travelers are obliged to pass.

The mystical seven planets, with their appropriate jewels and metals, are represented here, and the twelve signs of the zodiac, with other astronomical figures, are painted upon the dome over the fountain, which is itself shaped like a heptagon within a perfect circle. From this temple the neophyte, specially arrayed for the ceremony, is conducted to the inner shrine, a round chapel built of transparent stone of richest workmanship. Within it is another seven-angled fountain, in the midst of which stands the Divine Bottle, a pure, oval crystal. The hymn of invocation having been sung, the oracle pronounces the one word "drink!"

The priestess dismisses the seekers with these words: "Here below, in these circumcentral regions, we establish as the sovereign good, not to take and receive, but to impart and give, and we reckon ourselves happy, not in taking much of others' goods, but in imparting and giving of our own to our fellows. Go, friends, in the protection of that intellectual sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere, that we call God. All philosophers and ancient sages, the more surely and pleasantly to accomplish the road of divine knowledge and the pursuit of wisdom, have esteemed two things necessary -- the guidance of God and the love of mankind. Now go, in the name of God, and may He be your guide!"

It is easy to see the identity of this Divine Bottle with the sacred cup or consecrated drink of all nations. The Greek and Roman gods drank from the cup of Hebe or Ganymede (two personifications of the same idea), and the priestesses of their oracles also drank deep draughts of the sacred beverage before they prophesied, as in India the Soma juice still inspires the Brahmin at the altar.

In the second Book of Esdras, ch. XIV, Esdras is commanded by a vision to rewrite the burnt books of the law, and to prepare him for the task, he is told by the Voice, "Open thy mouth, and drink that I give thee to drink."

"Then opened I my mouth," says Esdras, "and behold, he reached me a full cup, which was full as it were with water, but the color of it was like fire. And I took it and drank. And when I had drunk of it, my heart uttered understanding, and wisdom grew in my breast, for my spirit strengthened my memory."

In the second volume of ISIS UNVEILED, page 560, we are told that in the sacred rites of Bacchus (from which the ceremony of the Eucharist was derived), the hierophant-initiator presented symbolically before the final REVELATION wine and bread to the candidate, who partook of both in token that the spirit was to quicken matter, that is, that the divine WISDOM was to be revealed to him. And in a note to page 228 of Volume I of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, we read that "Soma is with the Hindus the father, albeit illegitimate, of Buddha Wisdom," that is, that occult knowledge comes from a thorough understanding of lunar mysteries, or taking Soma as the sacred beverage, that wisdom, "albeit illegitimate," follows the drinking of it.

With the ceremony of the Eucharist and its sacred vessels is closely connected the symbolism of the Holy Grail, the principal motif in the legends of King Arthur.

The stories of the Holy Grail are all to be traced back to the legend of St. Joseph of Arimathea, who was said to have brought to Britain from the Holy Land the sacred vessel of the Last Supper. In the French prose romance of the Saint Grail, it is said that St. Joseph, having obtained leave from Pilate to take down the body of Jesus from the cross, first went to that upper room where the Last Supper was held, and found there the shallow bowl from which Christ was said to have eaten the paschal lamb with his disciples. And into this cup, as the body was lowered from the cross, fell many drops of blood from the still open wounds. "According to Catholic theology, where the body or the blood of Christ is," (points out Mr. Thomas Arnold), "there, by virtue of the hypostatic union, are His soul and His divinity."

The Grail therefore becomes a divine marvel and mystery, a worker of miracles and wonders. By the Grail, St. Joseph's life was sustained in prison for forty-two years without food, and from it he imbibed also the food of spiritual wisdom.

Wherever we find the symbol of the bowl, the bottle, or the cup, the idea is expressed or implied of divine wisdom as its contents. So in Hermes Trismegistus, as translated into French by Menaro, we read: "God did not create all men with Intuition, because he wished to establish it in the midst of the souls of men as a prize to strive for. He filled a great bowl with it, and sent it by a messenger, ordering him to cry to the hearts of men: 'Baptize ye, ye who can, in this bowl; ye who believe that you will return to Him who has sent it, ye who know wherefore you are born!'

Those who answered the call, and were baptized in this Intuition, these possess the Gnosis, and have become the initiated of the Spirit, the perfect men. Those who did not understand the call possess reason but not Intuition, and know not wherefore and by whom they were formed. Composed alone of passions and desires, they do not admire that which is worthy to be contemplated, but give themselves up to the pleasures and appetites of the body, and believe that this is the end of man. But those who have received the gift of God, judging by their works, 0 Tat, are immortal, and no longer mortal. They embrace, by intuition, all that is in the earth and in the heavens, and all that there may be above the heavens. Disdaining all things corporeal and incorporeal, they aspire towards the One and the Only. This is the wisdom of the Spirit, to contemplate Divine things, and to know God. This is the blessing of the Divine Bowl."

Sometimes the symbol of the cup is transmuted into that of the WELL or the FOUTAIN. In a note to page 551 of ISIS UNVEILED, I, HPB says: "The 'well,' in the kabalistic sense, is the mysterious emblem of the Secret Doctrine." "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink," says Jesus (John vii, 38), and therefore Moses, the adept, is represented sitting by a WELL, to which the SEVEN daughters of the Priest of Midian come for water. And in the story of the woman of Samaria, Jesus sat by a well, and used it as the symbol of spiritual wisdom. "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again," said Jesus, "but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:13-14.)

As the fountain of Moses had seven priestesses, the fountain of Rabelais seven angles, so the mystic fountain of Boccaccio (in the AMETO) is surrounded by seven nymphs, for "Wisdom has rested her house upon SEVEN pillars." (Prov. 9:1)

When we come down from the symbolism of the Middle Ages to that of modern times, we find the story of the Holy Grail most beautifully retold by Tennyson. If he has omitted the incident of the drops of blood that fell from the figure upon the cross into the Cup, he has restored another point in the old legends of King Arthur quite as significant, the story of the "Siege perilous" of Merlin, that magic chair that always stood vacant. For Merlin had declared that therein:

"No man could sit but he should lose himself."

But Sir Galahad, the maiden knight, burning with desire to find the Holy Grail, caught the true meaning of the oracle, and sat down in Merlin's chair crying "If I lose myself, I save myself."

And all at once, as there we sat, we heard A cracking and a riving of the roofs, And rending, and a blast, and overhead Thunder, and in the thunder was a cry. And in the blast there smote along the hall A beam of light seven times more clear than day: And down the long beam stole the Holy Grail All over covered with a luminous cloud, And none might see who bare it, and it past. But every knight beheld his fellow's face As in a glory ...

-- and then it was that all the knights present swore a vow to ride for a year and a day in search of the Holy Grail, because they had seen not itself, but only the cloud that covered it. But Sir Galahad, having "lost himself, to save himself", had seen the Holy Grail descend upon the shrine, and move before him like a blood-red star to guide his steps. Sir Percival comes up with him as he is nearing the end of his quest, and Sir Galahad bids his friend come with him to watch his departure to the spiritual city. And Sir Percival went, and saw stretching out across a great morass, an ancient way.

Where, link'd with many a bridge, A thousand piers ran into the great Sea. And Galahad fled along them bridge by bridge. And every bridge as quickly as he crost Sprang into fire and vanish'd, tho' I yearned To follow; and thrice above him all the heavens Opened and blazed with thunder such as seemed Shoutings of all the sons of God: and first At once I saw him far on the great Sea, In silver-shining armor starry-clear; And o'er his head the holy vessel hung Clothed in white samite or a luminous aloud. And with exceeding swiftness ran the boat, If boat it were -- I saw not whence it came. And then the heavens opened and blazed again Roaring, I saw him like a silver star -- And had he set the sail, or had the boat Become a living creature clad with wings? And o'er his head the Holy Vessel hung Redder than any rose, a joy to me, For now I knew the veil had been withdrawn. Then in a moment when they blazed again Opening, I saw the least of little stars Down on the waste, and straight beyond the star I saw the spiritual city and all her spires And gateways, in a glory like one pearl -- No larger, tho' the goal of all the saints -- Strike from the sea: and from the star there shot A rose-red sparkle to the city, and there Dwelt, and I knew it was the Holy Grail, Which never eyes on earth again shall see.

In LUCIFER, for October, 1888, Mr. Ashton Ellis had a fine article on the Parsifal of Wagner, whose hero is identical with Tennyson's Sir Percival. Speaking of the Holy Grail, Mr. Ellis says: "Is not this the Divine Wisdom of the ages, the Theosophia which has been ever jealously guarded by bands of brothers, and to which, in the words of the drama, there leads no path, nor can anyone find it unless it guide his footsteps ?" (as Sir Galahad was guided.) ... "Sought by no earthly paths, found by no course of learned study, set in a spot whence Time and Space have fled away, this is the eternal well of changeless truth." And as Mr. Ellis points out, "when the spirit of Love and divine Compassion has conquered the world, then the command shall be 'Unveil the Grail, open the shrine!'"

And so we come back to the teachings of that great, but grossly-misinterpreted soul, Rabelais, to find that his priestess also declares that the two things necessary to the pursuit of Divine Wisdom are the guidance of God and the love of man. The oracle of the Divine Bottle has but one word to say to the listening soul -- "drink!" -- but is not this one word equivalent to the saying of Jesus, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink?" Both oracles imply the same thing, an effort on the part of the applicant. The water of Wisdom is to be had for the asking; but that "asking" is not a mere formula; it is labor as well as prayer. "To reach Nirvana one must reach self knowledge," says THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, "and self-knowledge is the child of loving deeds." Before a man can become a vessel of honor fit for the Master's use, he must have purified himself from all sin, and then the Divine Wisdom will fill his soul.

In studying the words of the seers upon the subject of Intuition or Spiritual Wisdom, we must remember that the spirit has to do with things of the spirit, not with the concerns of everyday life. When Rabelais' hero first set out in search of the oracle, the question upon his lips related only to the advisability of marriage, but to such queries the oracle gave no response. When Laurence Oliphant felt that "intuition" bade him follow another man as a god, he mistook the nature of intuition, which is not active upon this plane and could take no cognizance of individuals. That is the property of INSTINCT, and is but an extension of that faculty of the animal soul that we see developed to such an extent in the likes and dislikes of dogs, for instance. Give to Caesar the things which are Caesar's. Do not expect the Divine Spirit to do your fortunetelling or to direct your daily comings and goings.

There is another source of confusion, sometimes, in the fact that wisdom, or intuition, is spoken of in both an active and a passive sense, as a process and as the result of that process. So we may think of intuition as the clear light that shines in upon the soul and enables us to see truth, or we may think of it as the sense of vision by which we apprehend that truth. In the teachings of theosophy, we speak of Buddhi as a passive principle, the vehicle of Atma, or as an active principle whose vehicle is Manas. All depends upon the point of view, upon whether we begin at the top or at the bottom of the scale. But though, in thinking of the prism, we may think of the yellow as following the green or preceding the orange, we cannot place it between the violet and the red. Instinct may guide the reason, but intuition enlightens the soul. For intuition is one with Wisdom "privy to the mysteries of the Knowledge of God." And "in all ages entering into holy souls, she maketh them friends of God and prophets."


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