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THE

FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER

ROBERT CROSBIE

(1849—1919)

Letters and Talks on Theosophy and the Theosophical Life

THE THEOSOPHY COMPANY

Los Angeles and New York City

 CONTENTS

 TO ALL OPENED MINDED THEOSOPHISTS

THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS

                                                                               DECLARATION

PREFACE

THE SPIRIT IN THE BODY

Letters
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12 
          
13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25 

26  27 28   29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38 


HOMELY HINTS

 

LIVING THE LIFE
Letters

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20

21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31

 

TALKS ON THE ETERNAL VERITIES

 

IN THE BEGINNING

 

 

 

 

PREFACE  

ROBERT CROSBIE left no name to conjure with before the  populace, but he lived a life that all might emulate. He was one of the unknown soldiers in the army of those who live to benefit mankind, who strive for the redemption of every creature from the bonds of conditioned existence.

There are biographies and autobiographies without number, of men and women whose lives were spent in the pitiless glare of publicity, whether for their own or their party’s sake, or for the good of humanity—more often a mixture of all three. Rare indeed is there to be found, in history or in tradition, similar record of those whose works were done and whose lives were lived without thought of self. Every hail of learning overflows with all manner of detail concerning the world’s great men—rulers, statesmen, re formers, poets, priests, politicians, soldiers of fortune good or evil. But who knows aught of the personal life of Lao-tse, Buddha, Jesus, Pythagoras, Plato, or any of the great of Soul? If this be true of all the great Captains in the Army of the Voice, how slight the human trophies erected to commemorate the battles and the victories of the common soldier in the ranks? Yet without these soldiers, the greatest Captain would have spent his life in vain: a general in the field is no army.

This book, then, is no biography or autobiography written and uttered for the greater glory of a mortal man, but rather is an introduction to the only life worth living, whether reflected in the small or in the great—the life of the Soul. Its speech is in the language of the Soul; its utterance is that of the Doctrine of the Heart; its purpose is the furtherance of that Cause in which was hid the mortal existence of Robert Crosbie no less than the earthly careers of those great Captains whom he revered and under whom he served: H. P. Blavatsky and Wm. Q. Judge.

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“That power which the Disciple shall covet is that which shall make him appear as nothing in the eyes of men.” This was the power which Robert Crosbie gained, this the power that enabled him to keep in touch with the great Teachers after They had cast off the mortal coil; that guided his steps in following the Path They showed, the MASTERS who are behind; that sustained him during the long years when all that could be done was “to work, watch—and wait,” until the propitious hour should come when, under Karma, recruits might be gathered from among the generation following the great Mission and the great Message of his Teachers.

The world is at the bottom of a cycle, and evidently in a transition state. The old Order changeth and a new one is about to begin—nay, has already begun. The era of disenchantment is running its course; the materials for rebuilding, a foundation on which to rebuild the structure of a better and more enduring civilization—both these are being sought by many minds in many lands. More and more such minds must be influenced by the great ideas and ideals of Theosophy as it was originally recorded. More and more of such minds must be drawn into the active area of the pure theosophical life.

During the fifteen years since the death of Robert Crosbie, the life lived, the example set, the truths voiced by him have become the increasing inspiration of thousands who never knew him personally. The simple mind, the hungry heart, will find in this volume a Presence speaking to them in tones they will recognize, for it is in accord with their own aspirations; speaking to them in words they will understand, for it is the language of their own experience. It is the voice of a soldier fresh from the field of battle addressing those who would enlist in MASTERS’ cause—the ser vice of mankind, Universal Brotherhood without distinction of race, creed, caste, color or condition.

The words used are common terms; the ideas conveyed are those of the Eternal Verities. There is here no display of learning, but light from the lamp of knowledge illumines every statement made. There is here no intrusion of the personal, but the all-inclu-

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sive radiance of one who loved his fellow men: the Spirit in the Body, the friendly philosopher who speaks from Living the Life, those Homely Hints which turn the reader’s meditation inward as well as outward, to the Eternal Verities, so that the will of the indwelling Divine Ego may be done now on earth, as it was In the Beginning.

Robert Crosbie’s life was an embodiment of the gospel of Hope and Responsibility which is Theosophy, the Wisdom-Religion of all time. In this book are some of the seeds he sowed. May they find fertile soil in which to germinate and grow ever more abundantly.

June 25, 1934.

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“For Spirit, when invested with matter or prakriti, experienceth the qualities which proceed from prakriti; its connection with these qualities is the cause of its rebirth in good and evil wombs. The Spirit in the body is called Maheswara, the Great Lord, the spectator, the admonisher, the sustainer, the enjoyer and also the Paramatma, the highest soul.”

—Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter XIII.

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“The senses, moving toward their appropriate objects, are producers of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, which come and go and are brief and change able; these do thou endure, 0 son of Bharata! For the wise man, whom these disturb not and to whom pain and pleasure are the same, is fitted for immortality. There is no existence for that which does not exist, nor is there any non-existence for what exists. By those who see the truth and look into the principles of things, the ultimate characteristic of these both is seen.”

 

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[ following preliminary memorandum was drawn up by Robert Crosbie anticipatory to the formation of The United Lodge of Theosophists.” It was sent to many individual theosophists on November 17, 1908.]

 

TO ALL OPEN-MINDED THEOSOPHISTS    

When the Messengers departed from this scene, all that was left here was the Message (exoteric and esoteric), and its students of more or less proficiency in the assimilation of that Message.

With the altruistic example of the Messengers and the inspiration of the Message, the Theosophical Society should have been able to stand alone and united.

Unfortunately, history tells another story; disintegration began at once, and still goes on, and a grand opportunity to impress the world with the spirit and life of the Message has been lost, through neglect of the essentials and pursuit of non-essentials.

The First Object—the most important of all—the others being subsidiary—has been lost sight of in its direct bearing upon all the changes and differences that have occurred. “To form a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood without any distinctions what ever” was, and is, the key to the situation. Let me quote a few sentences from H. P. B.’s last message to the American Theosophists in April, 1891:

“The critical nature of the stage on which we have entered is as well known to the forces that fight against us, as to those that fight on our side. No opportunity will be lost of sowing dissension, of taking advantage of mistaken and false moves, of instilling doubt, of augmenting difficulties, of breathing suspicions, so that by any and every means the unity of the Society may be broken and the ranks of our Fellows thinned and thrown into disarray. Never has it been more necessary for the members of the T. S. to lay to heart the old parable of the bundle of

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sticks than it is at the present time; divided, they will inevitably be broken, one by one; united, there is no force on earth able to destroy our Brotherhood. * * * After all, every wish and thought I can utter are summed up in this one sentence, the never- dormant wish of my heart:
                                     "BE THEOSOPHISTS, WORK FOR THEOSOPHY.”

These ‘were prophetic words—but the warning was not taken.

It now remains for those who are able to take the words that express the never-dormant wish of her heart as the key-note of the present and future: “Be Theosophists, work for Theosophy,” and get together on that kind of a basis; for these are the essentials.

The unassailable basis for union among Theosophists, wherever and however situated, is SIMILARITY OF AIM, PURPOSE, AND TEACHING. The acceptance of this principle by all Theosophists would at once remove all barriers. A beginning must be made by those whose minds have become plastic by the buffetings of experience. An agreement between such is necessary; an assembling together in this spirit.

To give this spirit expression requires a declaration, and a name by which those making the declaration may be known.

To call it The Theosophical Society would be to take the name now in use by at least two opposing organizations. To even call it a Society has the color of an “organization”—one of many, and would act as a barrier. The phrase used by one of the Messengers is significant, and avoids all conflict with organizations, being capable of including all without detriment to any. That phrase is: THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS.

Members of any organization or unattached, old and new students, could belong to it without disturbing their affiliations, for the sole condition necessary would be the acceptance of the principle of similarity of aim, purpose, and teaching. The binding spiritual force of this principle of brotherhood needs no such adventitious aids as Constitution or By-Laws—-or Officers to ad minister them. With it as basis for union, no possible cause for

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differences could arise; no room is found here for leader or authority, for dogma or superstition, and yet—as there are stores of knowledge left for all—the right spirit must bring forth from “Those who never fail” all necessary assistance. The door seems open for those who would, but cannot see a way. Any considerable number, living, thinking, acting, upon this basis, must form a spiritual focus, from which all things are possible.

Local Lodges could be formed using the name and promulgating the basis of union, recognizing Theosophists as such, regardless of organization; open meetings; public work, keeping Theosophy and Brotherhood prominent; intercommunication between Lodges, free and frequent; comparing methods of work of local Lodges; mutual assistance; furtherance of the Great Movement in all directions possible; the motto: “Be Theosophists; work for Theosophy.”

          THE WAY TO UNITE IS TO UNITE—NOTHING PREVENTS IF THAT IS THE DESIRE.

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[ following explanatory statement drawn up by Robert Crosbie for the information of all theosophists, was made public concurrently with the foundation of The United Lodge of Theosophists” and the adoption of its DECLARATION by himself and the seven original Associates, on February 18, 1909.]

The United Lodge of Theosophists is an integral part of the Theosophical Movement begun in New York in 1875. It is—as the name implies—an Association of Theosophists irrespective of organization, who are bound together by the tie of common aim, purpose and teaching, in the cause of Theosophy.

Theosophy, being the origin, basis and genius of every Theosophical organization, forms in itself a common ground of interest and effort, above and beyond all differences of opinion as to persons or methods; and being the philosophy of Unity, it calls for the essential union of those who profess and promulgate it.

This Union does not mean a sameness of organization or method, but a friendly recognition, mutual assistance and encouragement among all engaged in the furtherance of Theosophy.

The Teacher, H. P. Blavatsky, declared that “Want of Union is the first condition of failure,” and in her last message to the American Convention in 1891, said: “Never has it been more necessary for the members of the Theosophical Society to lay to heart the parable of the bundle of sticks, than it is at the present time; divided, they will inevitably be broken, one by one; united, there is no force on earth able to destroy our Brotherhood. .I have marked with pain . . . a tendency among you to allow your very devotion to the cause of Theosophy to lead you into disunion. . . . No opportunity will be lost of sowing dissension, of taking advantage of mistaken and false moves, of instilling doubt, of augmenting difficulties, of breathing suspicions, so that by any and every means the unity of the Society may be broken and the ranks of our Fellows thinned and thrown into disarray.”

There are a number of Theosophical organizations in existence today, all of them drawing their inspiration from Theosophy,

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existing only because of Theosophy, yet remaining disunited. The nature of each organization is such, that unity cannot be had on the basis of any one of them; hence a common basis should be taken if the success originally purposed is to be attained.

The need of such a basis with a broader view of the Movement, is the cause for the present Association—the United Lodge of Theosophists—composed of Theosophists of different organizations, as well as those belonging to none. This Lodge, having no constitution, by-laws, officers or leader, affords in its Declaration a common basis of Unity for all who see the great need of it, and seeks their co-operation.

Holding to its motto: ‘There is no Religion higher than Truth,” it seeks for the truth in all things, and beginning with the history of the Theosophical Movement, sets forth herein some facts with their inevitable deductions, for general information and consideration.

There is no question anywhere as to who brought the message of Theosophy to the Western World, nor is there any reason to believe that the Messenger, H. P. Blavatsky, failed to deliver all that was to be given out until the year x time stated by her for the advent of the next Messenger.

‘While she lived there was one Society. After her departure, dissensions arose, resulting in several separate organizations. The basic cause of these divisions is to be found in differences of opinion as to “successorship,” even where other causes were in evidence. No such question should ever have arisen, for it is abundantly clear that H. P. Blavatsky could no more pass on to another her knowledge and attainments, than could Shakespeare, Milton or Beethoven pass on theirs.

Those who were attracted by the philosophy she presented, or who were taught by her, were followers or students, of more or less proficiency in the understanding and assimilation of Theosophy.

Once the idea of “successorship” is removed from consideration, a better perspective is obtainable of the Movement, the

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philosophy, and the principal persons—past and present—engaged in its promulgation.

‘We have the declarations of her Masters that she was the sole instrument possible for the work to be done, that They sent her to do it, and that They approved in general all that she did. That work not only includes the philosophy she gave, but her work with the relation to others in the Movement; and where a relation is particularly defined—as in the case of William Q. Judge—wisdom dictates that full consideration be given to what she says.

H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge were co-Founders of the Theosophical Society in 1875 They were colleagues from the first and ever remained such. When H. P. Blavatsky left America—never to return—she left behind her William Q. Judge to establish and carry on the work of the Theosophical Movement in America. How well that work was done is a matter of history.

H. P. Blavatsky departed from the body in 1891; William Q. Judge some five years later. He never claimed to be her successor; on the contrary, when asked the question, he said: She is sui generis—she can have no successor;” the fact being that both he and she were contemporaneous in the work, he retaining his body for some five years longer in order to complete the work he had to do.

The work of these two cannot be separated if the Movement is to be understood. The evidence of the greatness and fitness of William Q. Judge, as a Teacher, is to be found in his writings—a large and valuable part of which has become obscured through the organizational dissensions before spoken of. These writings should be sought for, and studied, in connection with those of H. P. Blavatsky. That study will lead to the conviction that both were great Teachers—each with a particular mission—that each was sui generis, that their work was complementary, and that neither of them had, nor could have, any successor.                                          Top

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THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS

DECLARATION:     

The policy of this Lodge is independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy, without professing attachment to any Theosophical organization. It is loyal to the great Founders of the Theosophical Movement, but does not concern itself with dissensions or differences of individual opinion.

The work it has on hand and the end it keeps in view are too absorbing and too lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in side issues. That work and that end is the dissemination of the Fundamental Principles of the philosophy of Theosophy, and the exemplification in practice of those principles, through a truer realization of the SELF; a profounder conviction of Universal Brotherhood.

It holds that the unassailable basis for union among Theosophists, wherever and however situated, is similarity of aim, purpose and teaching,” and therefore has neither Constitution, By-Laws nor Officers, the sole bond between its Associates being that basis. And it aims to disseminate this idea among Theosophists in the furtherance of Unity.

It regards as Theosophists all who are engaged in the true service of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, condition or organization, and;

It welcomes to its association all those who are in accord with its declared purposes and who desire to fit themselves, by study and otherwise, to be the better able to help and teach others.

                          The true Theosophist belongs to no cult or sect, yet belongs to each and all.”

Being in sympathy with the Purposes of this Lodge, as set forth in its Declaration,” I hereby record my desire to be enrolled as an Associate; it being understood that such association calls for no obligation on my part, other than that which I, myself, determine.

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