R C ARTICLES NOT IN FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER
IS THEOSOPHY A PROGRESSIVE SYSTEM OF RELIGION? Theosophy vol. VII p.257
THE ONE REALITY
Theosophy vol. XI, p.85
THE DIVINE BIRTH Theosophy vol. XI, p.86
Planetary Influences: Theosophy vol. IX, p.69
DEUS EST DEMON INVERSUS
Dweller on the Threshold, The Theosophy vol. IX, p.113
In Memory of H. P. B., Theosophy vol. X. p.193
Judge, In Memory of W Q Judge Theosophy vol. X. p.129
STUDIES THE ASTRAL BODY Theosophy vol. X, p.40
THE COMING RACE* Theosophy vol. X, p.358
Growth of the Soul Theosophy vol. X, p.164
Magic, Black and White Theosophy vol. X, p.411
SOMETHING NEW Theosophy vol. X, p.167
THE ONE REALITY*
Theosophy vol. XI, p.85
* "'From. notes of a talk by Robert Crosbie. Here published for the first time. EDITORS.
IF Consciousness is the only Reality, the Knower, Sustainer and Experiencer, then every condition or state is more or less a temporary appearance. All classifications refer only to actions of Consciousness--the universe being "embodied consciousness," a creation of form through forms, a building up of the great from combinations of the small, so to speak. You will remember that H. P. B. says "It stands to reason that life and death, good and evil, past and future, are all empty words, or, at best figures of speech they are changes of state, in fact, and no more. Real life is in the spiritual consciousness of that life, in a conscious existence in Spirit--not matter." She also said that she had in vain endeavored to impart this idea to Theosophists at large, and that with this basic idea all the rest becomes easy; yet thousands of Theosophists reading the statement and like statements, time and again, get no meaning from them.
Consciousness is the cause and basis of all states, whether the fact is realized or not. It alone is whether there are universes or none. If we take the idea that Sight which sees all things cannot see itself, and apply it to Consciousness, it would seem we must concede that Consciousness cannot know itself, although knowing all things. Is not Consciousness Knowledge itself as an abstraction? It is wisdom itself, the object of wisdom, and that which is to be obtained by wisdom; in the hearts of all it ever presideth. It is ever-present, ever perceiving the changing panorama of existence. "I establish this whole universe with a single portion of myself and remain separate."
Our form of consciousness is made up of various and differing contacts with other forms of consciousness. We base our modes of action upon these partial expressions, and get the reaction from them in constant repetitions. As the Self is all and in all things, and all things are in the Self, the Self is the Witness of all. The seeming separate view in us is not a separate Self, but the One and Same as appears separate in all creatures.
Self-knowledge comprises both Self and Knowledge; without Self there could be no knowledge; without being, there could be no knowledge of Self. "The Highest see through the eyes of the lowest." All are partial expressions of the One, seen by the One, known by the One. Individualization of being does not tend to separateness, but to universality of ideation and consequent action. What does it? Thought does it. All experience is by and in Consciousness; Ideation becomes more and more universal.
"And when unreality ceases to exist in the individual self, it is clear that it returns towards the universal; hence there is to be a rejection of the self assertion and other characteristics of the individual self."
THEOSOPHY vol. IX, p. 69
the stenographic report of a talk by Robert Crosbie. Here published for the
first time –EDITORS
THE philosophy of Theosophy covers all things in manifestation and points out the relations of each thing to every other. Our personal purview extends over our own interests, over our religion, or our system of thought, or our ideas, and moving along those lines within narrow limits, we finally reach the place where we are living entirely for ourselves, making use of all the efforts, thoughts, and ideas of others solely that we ourselves may benefit by them. We need to raise our eyes and our minds to the greater view of what the great universe itself is.
This Earth is a planet, as we all know. But there are also other planets quite as likely to be inhabited as is this planet. So, too, this solar system of ours is but one of innumerable solar systems in the universe. All are parts of the vast whole; all are consequently related. There was a time when the knowledge of these relationships existed--when they were taught in the ancient temples as part of the Great Initiation. That was the true Astrology, but not the Astrology of the present day, which has lost the ancient knowledge just as the true meaning of religion has become lost in the course of time. And just as there are some sorry remnants of religious knowledge in the world to-day, so the remnants of astrological knowledge are almost entirely applied to the personality in physical life, considering with chart and table effects of planetary influence merely upon the physical affairs of men. The physical is but one line of effect, and the only line, if we believe planets to be mere physical embodiments. But there are other sides to the nature of planets, and these we must understand, if we are to get any true idea of planetary influence.
All beings and all forms of every kind are constituted of many different "principles". For instance, connected with man himself there is his body; there is the mind that he uses; there are powers which he exercises; and there is himself--the perceiver, the knower, the experiencer, who through his mind, his powers, his body learns. It is apparent, then, that there are other departments of our body than the physical to be affected by any influence; and, if there is a physical effect of planetary influence, as there must of necessity be, we shall have to inquire also into its effect upon all these departments of our nature.
Not only is man constituted of seven distinct principles, but also all planets are septenary in their natures. There is a spiritual "something," a psychic "something," an intellectual "something," an astral "something," and a physical "something," in every planet. Planets are not merely physical things, any more than we as human beings are merely bodies. There are beings of various classes which
constitute the planet and its inhabitants, just as this planet is constituted of the various beings belonging to the four kingdoms, from which it derives its own peculiar influence. Let us, then, consider something of the nature of these planets with which we are most intimately connected, if we would gain any idea' as to the real meaning of planetary influence.
The Sun is the life-giver of our particular solar system. The Sun shines on all the planets, but the effects received differ for each planet according to the conditions presented. The Sun is the central store of our system and the focus for physical life, but it has also other constituents which apply to our intellectual or psychic, astral and spiritual constituents. At one and the same time, we might say that it is the giver of life physical and life spiritual, if we understand that we are not speaking of the mere physical Sun, which is, correspondentially, just what our bodies are, only that principle of it which we perceive objectively. Yet all the other principles are there, their influence flowing out upon us; from them we get whatever we are able to take. So we see there is not only a direct influence of the Sun on the Earth itself, but also upon us as peoples of it.
The Moon, the nearest planet to us, influences us physically, astral1y and psychically, for of like nature are the forces in the Moon. Even the phases of the Moon have their particular influence upon us, as noted in the case of "lunatics," who are rendered more insane at certain phases. The Moon's influence is observable also in the lower kingdoms--the mineral, the vegetable, and the animal, as well as on ourselves--self-conscious beings.
Other planets still nearer to the Sun, as Mercury, for example, have still greater influence. Mercury receives seven times as much light from the Sun as the Earth, and has seven times as much other things. Venus, standing next in order of nearness to the Sun, receives twice the light that Earth receives and also shines by her own light. It is not a wise conclusion of our scientists that because any given planet is nearer the Sun than we are its climate and conditions would make the sustaining of life thereon impossible. Life always adjusts itself to whatever conditions exist. Hence, bodies and ideas connected with the state of matter due to the nearness of the Sun would exactly fit those existing conditions. Thus we may look upon the various planets as brothers of our own--members of one great humanity scattered in different portions of the great universe--belonging to the same family, and only working under different conditions. All have their direct effects upon us, the influence of one planet predominating over another in accord with the angle of position, Some planets are beneficial in their influence--; others are called malevolent in their effects upon man, But WE stand as individuals in the midst of a great mass of beings in every direction in our solar system and beyond--all moving in the same direction, all springing from the same Source--however much the
path of each humanity and of each individual differs--the Source and Goal the same for all.
We are influenced by other planets just as we are influenced by other people in our daily walks in life. What is it that causes others to influence us against our own good will, our own right perceptions? Nothing but our, mistaken ideas as to what we are, and our suppositions that we can be thus affected--our attitude towards ideas, towards people, towards things, towards life in general. We think that conditions and circumstances bring us to whatever state we are in. That is not true. It is not the conditions nor the circumstances, but the attitude we hold toward them, which matters; the true attitude held with regard to our own natures gives us the power to withstand any influence whatever. According to our attitude, and according to our understanding that all things material and physical evolve from and are ruled by the spiritual, will we--the real Thinkers--receive the effect of any planet. Neither good nor evil can come to us unless there is good or evil within ourselves. If we are good, no evil can touch us. If we are evil, then for the time no good can touch us. All states are within ourselves, as we ought to understand by seeing that one gets good effects and another bad effects from precisely the same set of circumstances. So, we are not the victims of circumstances save as we make ourselves the victims.
A true understanding of planetary influence would involve an absolute realization of man's nature in all his constituents, in every principle and every element, which are those of the solar system to which he belongs. Each one of us is a copy of the great universe. Each one of us is connected with every class of beings. We have within us every form of consciousness and every state of substance, and if we understand ourselves, we can move in accord with all the rest, every influence coming our way, or even perceptible to us, only an aid by which we may do good to others. Then we shall be neither oppressed nor elevated by any influence; we can be repressed or oppressed only by our own erroneous thought, will, feelings and actions. We have established a daily tabernacle which has its peculiarities, but it is our own establishing--built by our own thoughts and doings and by no one else's. It was not imposed upon us by any "Being," nor, in fact, was it necessary, except as we were ignorant, and effects flowed through our ignorance. Now, we can either learn, or maintain the condition through continued ignorance.
Being at any given time or place subject to certain beneficial or malevolent influences, being born as persons at a certain time and place, under certain conjunctions of the planets are only fulfillments of Karmic law. We could not have come through any "holes in the sky" except those we had made for ourselves; we could--not have made a place of entrance at certain conjunctions of the planets, except the conditions for us were there at that time and at no other time. Planetary influences express our tendencies,
yes; but there is no "God" above to compel us, and there is no possibility of our being, pushed into the following of certain wrong tendencies unless we want to be pushed. If we have made up our minds not to be so influenced, then we cannot be. We simply do not follow those tendencies in ourselves which we have discovered to be wrong, and so, we make another kind of birth possible.
So-called astrological prognostications of the present day relate chiefly to the body and its environment, and on that basis people seek only for good, try to dodge sickness and evil. On the basis of our own true natures we should not seek for good, nor even to be good. We should seek to do good, and then, we can see we are good. We are not trying for any reward, but trying only to make ourselves efficient ministers of good to others. So, we do not have to avoid evil because we are not creating evil. Wherever and whenever we give forth evil we receive the effects of evil; whenever and wherever we give forth good we receive the effects of good. Each one is absolutely and unconditionally responsible for the condition in which he finds himself. To blame planetary influences for this or that condition is as foolish as to blame the water for drowning a man whose own carelessness, and not the water, was responsible for the drowning. But the same laws govern other planets as ours, and we do make of ourselves magnets which draw to ourselves like things in operation at any given time anywhere. If we are subject to despondency in ourselves, for instance, we shall certainly receive all the effects that despondent conditions anywhere put upon us. This is the nature of our interdependence and inter-relation with every other being in our solar system.
It remains for man to see and realize that he has within him all the elements of the great ocean of Life. It remains for him, in that realization, to act as one who understands all the rest, and who sends out benefit in every direction for those knowing still less than he does.
THE DIVINE BIRTH
Theosophy vol. XI p.86
WE ARE ALL familiar with the words birth, life, death; yet what man of all those who speak of birth can say why and whence he came? Birth is a familiar fact for us all, but although a familiar fact, it is a unique experience to each one of us. And so too, as an experience, death is unique to each individual; as is, moreover, that which lies between, our life.
When we read of great characters in human life who from time to time have shed an illumination which the smoke of centuries could not extinguish, such ones as Krishna, as Buddha, Jesus, Pythagoras, Plato or countless others, do we realize that something else took birth besides bodies when those beings were born? Do we realize that behind these beings there were heredities other than physical? What man is foolish enough to think that the first known ancestor of any physical line sprang out of nothingness into being? We trace our physical ancestry back for two, three, five or, mayhap, for ten generations and there the receding dimness of the past envelops the line; but we know perfectly well that the continuity goes back still farther. Why should we not realize that man has a moral heredity, a mental heredity, an intellectual, a psychical heredity, and, more potent far than all these, every man has a spiritual heredity.
There have been men at all times come into the world who speak to us in human terms of divine life. In the limited phraseology of the mortal being, they speak to us of a fleshless existence, of things and beings, states and conditions immortal. And we try to interpret things uninterpretable--uninterpretable, because we try to imagine God as a grotesque and gigantic shadow, because we try to compass the mystery of life eternal in the terms of mortal existence in this perishable body; we try to figure out what a divine birth is from the standpoint of an immaculate physical conception. We have materialized the holiest things that can be brought before the mind of man.
Birth spiritual is birth into that knowledge which knows for itself that it has always been; the fact that it is undying; that it only passes from form to form; that it only changes bodies, changes energies, changes ideas. Every one is ready to throwaway a poorer idea and adopt a better, if he can only see which is the better. The spiritual man sees causes, sees that we take a mortal view of life. He awakens to the fact that life is immortal. He sees that the law of life is internal to the being, and that what we call law is merely, everywhere and all the time, the reaction of the mass to the action set up by the individual. .-
Divine birth is not birth into a body, into a system of faith, into any form of action, into any intellectual sphere, however brilliant or profound; it is birth into the principles of things. Birth into spiritual Knowledge is the spiritual birth--birth into the perception of our own limitless divinity, birth into the perception of our own limitless powers. A man may be the worst man that ever has been. But what power he must have used to bring himself to that pitch! A man may have lost all power; but the power to suffer. Think of the gigantic prodigaility of mental moral and spiritual force which that man hurled broadcast throughout space for countless ages before he could reach that pitch! But the ocean of life is just as exhaustless as it ever was, and that man, when decomposition has taken place to the last degree, is what? Just Spirit--what he was at the beginning .
So that the worst man in the world, the weakest man in the world, the stupidest man in the world, can take sure hope and sure faith. He has but to begin to act, not upon the basis that he is a sinner, but upon the basis that he has the power to do either good or evil. If he choose to do good, none can restrain him; if he choose to do evil, none can restrain him, but it is by ignorance and evil doing that he has reached his present state.
Take, then, such a being as Christ, who to us for the most part stands as the unique example of a divine birth. Up through all the stages that we have passed, He passed; as we now are, He once was; whatever knowledge He had, He had to gain from the universal ocean of knowledge; whatever power He had, He gained from the exhaustless reservoir of infinite force; whatever philanthrophy, whatever altruism, whatever beneficence, whatever kindliness and sectlessness in His heart, He drew from that exhaustless ocean of Compassion which is Spirit itself. W e have the same power. The moment we recognize that fact, we will begin to act as spiritual beings. Whenever we no longer believe we are mortal, but see that we must be immortal, we will begin to act that way. When we see that we are not separate from our fellow-beings above or below, that we are bound together by a thousand chords, physical and metaphysical, we will begin to act as we see members of the body act toward each other; coherently, concordantly, fraternally, toward all men, regardless of how they act.
We each one of us speak of the past. The past is with us right now all our past, in a postmortem state. We speak of our future; our future for a billion eternities is here with us right now in an ante-natal state. But when a man has achieved the spiritual birth, there is no past, there is no present, there is no future. What is there? There is the timeless, actionless presence of the one Spirit; in that he lives and moves and has his being.
Great beings come among us in our guise; but they are divine beings who have taken a divine birth into human form. What is, then, from that point of view, a divine birth? They come knowing why They come. They choose Their time, Their place, Their circumstances, Their epoch and Their work. And They come for the sake of the younger brothers, yourself and myself; not to emancipate us--no man can emancipate another from the bonds of ignorance--but to point to us the road of emancipation. That road is so simple that the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err. It begins in simple altruism, in the simple practice in thought and speech and act of the Golden Rule. It is the life of doing service, spoken of in the Gita; but the moment a man endeavors to live a life of service to his fellow men, then, and not until then, does he discover his spiritual ignorance. The hardest thing in this world is to do good, but when a man starts out to practise the Golden Rule, he gets his reward by finding out how ignorant he is in the attempt to do good. He makes as his modulus through life to think good, do good, say good ; then he begins to ask questions of those who have shown down the ages that They know how to do good, and behold, he finds that practically the only good They could do for humanity was by precept and by example.
When a man begins to ask questions, then he sees that the greatest service a man can render a fellow-man, is to point the path of freedom from bondage. There be many who can aid a man sick in body to recover his health; there are multitudes who can help a man whose mind is empty to fill
it; but who can help to fill the empty heart? Who can help the desolate soul? Who can help to bring peace and calm and courage to the lost spirit so lost that it no longer believes in the reality of its own existence, the nature of its own identity?
That is the real help which comes from first doing service and next from asking questions. After that, the way grows clearer and clearer until, in no long time, the man is able to hear the voice of spirit as apart from the voice of matter; the man is able to contact the life that is endless in the midst of the life that is mortal. To reach that point, where comes the first faint auroral glimpse--the herald of the dawning moment when he finds the real God in himself--is the divine birth for that man. It waits for us all; it presses unceasingly upon us all, demanding that we do service, that we ask questions not in regard to the road to physical birth or physical death, but to the road of knowledge of our essential being and immortal powers.
MAGIC, BLACK AND WHITE*
THEOSOPHY vol. X, p 411
*From the stenographic report of a talk by Robert Crosbie. Here published for the first time. -EDITORS.
THE WORD Magic is much misunderstood, because there are various kinds of so-called Magic which are but forms of deception and trickery. But there is a Magic which might be called the unseen and hidden power to bring to pass certain desired results, without revealing its methods. It is a knowledge far beyond any kind of trickery, and is based on the spiritual nature of man. Those who practised it in ancient times were the initiates, the wise, called Magi; hence, the word Magic.
We need to discover the difference between the two systems of Magic, known as the Black, and the White. And, first of all, let us understand that whatever power has ever been used by any man can also be used by us. All powers exist in every human being. If we do not exhibit the same powers that others do, it is because we do not understand our own natures, and the forces which we do not use, and the nature of the universe. We need to lay aside all the prejudices and preconceptions we may have held in regard to man's nature and destiny, and go back to the rudiments of existence to the common basis of all life. Such a basis cannot exist in a creative Being, who could not be either infinite or omnipresent, existing of itself outside of other beings. That which is infinite and omnipresent must be within ourselves, as within all other beings; that Supreme must be the common basis--call it Spirit, if you will.
From that Source of Spirit all powers are drawn. In that basis of Spirit are inherent all powers possible--to the very infiniteness of expansion. Every being who uses those powers draws them from that Source, because he is a ray from and one with It in his inner-most essence. Now, those powers are neither good nor bad, black nor white. They are powers only, the blackness or the whiteness or the goodness or the badness being imparted by the one who uses them. The quality which is given to those actions depends upon the motive with which the being acts. So, along with ridding ourselves of the idea of God as a creative Being, let us rid ourselves of the idea of good and evil being things in themselves. There is nothing "good" and nothing "evil": the same power that is exerted for good is just the same power that is exerted for evil, the motive qualifying it.
All powers of every kind are spiritual in their essence; each one draws from the Highest in everything that he thinks; he draws from the Highest in every power that he uses.
We must understand that Spirit includes the power to perceive, to know, to gain experience; but that power is entirely different from the things perceived and the experiences garnered. And so, the differences in the combinations of experiences and methods of thinking or understanding make individuals appear to be separate beings from all the rest. There is no difference in our essential natures.
The basis of every being in the universe is the One Spirit, the One Life, the One Consciousness, and inherent in every being is the law, moving from the Spirit outward, which impels to their unfoldment the law of evolution. We need not think that Man came in any different way from any other being in the universe. ALL is Spirit and Soul ever evolving to greater and greater perfection, whether in the lower kingdoms where there are minor degrees of consciousness, or in the human kingdom where there are many degrees of development. In a universe of law, evolution must be carried to its highest point and present to our minds the just and true course of growth. So, there are beings above us who have been men like ourselves, who once turned their faces in the true direction and pursued the course that brought them to their present high condition. .
Such beings are our Elder Brothers. They are not separate from us. They understand what we have to contend with--what we are going through. They have all the power that we see expressed in many ways but cannot understand--the power of White Magic the power by merit won along the line of a universal endeavor to help all beings--the power latent in Them, as now in us, until They gained and understood for Themselves the fundamental ideas of evolution and proceeded on the path that those ideas prescribed. For, law also rules here. One cannot reach a high stage of development by merely wishing for it. A desire is not a condition. The condition has to be complied with. Law operates on Those beings above Man, as it operates on Man: They act and get Their re-actions. But, there is this difference: They act in accordance with Their knowledge--the knowledge of Magic White; we act much of the time with Black Magic, for our motives are not pure, we must admit.
Selfishness is at the root and base of all Black Magic. The fact that we are always trying and striving to obtain something for our personal selves shows what kind of Magicians we are, and why we have so little power. Those who work for the personal man and his surroundings make a hard concrete sphere about themselves through which great powers cannot come. Through that sphere can be drawn only those minor powers that can be used only in a personal way. That is why we express ourselves so weakly. A vast reservoir of force lies within us; but we cannot use it because we would be selfish, afraid, would gain powers without giving anything.
There are beings who can proceed along the line of selfish powers to a greater extent than, perhaps, we can imagine. Their object, being far from the benefit of all, is to keep mankind where it is, and they use every agency that will continue to produce greater confusion among men. It is true that many sciences and the votaries of many religions, while not consciously acting as Black Magicians, yet certainly are acting as agents for those beings who would keep mankind where it is. Such beings depend on that very condition for maintaining their own existence. In this fact, we can see the basis for "the devil."
Now, in reality, there is no "devil" and no "black 'magician"
outside that could touch us at all if our motives were pure, if our motives were unselfish, if we acted from the basis of the highest ideas and the intention to live to benefit Humanity. Then, no Dark power could touch us at all. The expression of the highest powers In Nature is dependent on the fact that we are rays from and one with the Absolute; hence, all our evolution must be along those lines which work for the benefit of all the others, forgetful of our personal selves but using those personal selves to the best and highest advantage of all. Magic Black is selfishness personified and expressed in its highest degree. On that course may be obtained a great deal of power, intellectually and psychically--power that to us might appear miraculous and God—like--but the intent with which that power is used points to the nature of the beings using it.
What, then, are the White Magicians? Their whole natures, from the inside, out, are of one kind. They are all in accord. They never seek anything for themselves. They use all the powers and all possessions that come their way for the benefit of the rest of the world: In their thought, will, and feeling all the time is the ideal progression of Humanity. By these motives, they naturally draw from the Highest, and everything they do has its effect for good, not only upon their fellow men, but upon the kingdoms below them. Can we understand that, then we have some idea as to what true White Magic is.
There are duly attested records by most reputable persons as to the wonderful phenomena performed by Madame Blavatsky. We have all read of the so-called miracles of Jesus. These "miracles" have been repeated time and time again by people who made no claim to any special "divinity," but who did possess spiritual knowledge, who had knowledge of the occult laws governing the aggregation of what we call substance. How, for instance, they could change coarse material into a fine substance, cause its disappearance from visible view and its re-integration in some other place, is explained by the fact that anything is held together by some internal coherent quality, which can be dissipated for the time-being, by one who has the use of the higher powers of the psychic nature. When the power that dissipates is withdrawn by the action of the spiritual will, then the object immediately comes to its former position. Thus objects can be passed through a wall to any distance whatever without any motion, save the action of the spiritual will.
The most wonderful phenomena that ever have been performed can be duplicated by any human being. The most wonderful powers that ever have been used by anybody, "divine" or otherwise, can be obtained by any human being. But they cannot be obtained for selfish purposes; they can be obtained only by understanding the Teaching and living the life.
And "living the life" includes our brotherly relations, not only to Man, but to the kingdoms below Man. Man is the plane where Spirit and matter touch. (By "matter," we mean form.) He has evolved for himself a body, powers, and consciousness with every
stage of the condensation of this planet, and has contacted all lower evolved forms that the chain of evolution might be made complete. His is the task of gaining further experience in the new evolution of this planet, itself the outcome of a previous evolution in which all the beings of this one were engaged, as well as the brotherly necessity of helping raise to his estate the lower lives now occupied in their slow evolutionary journey. Our task is to use all the matter below us--to impress it and help it on its way. This we do through our bodies, which are composed of the matter of the earth, mineral, vegetable and animal; we keep those bodies going by the power of transmutation of the lower elements into human form.
We are still working at this task, far from completion, because coming down the stairway of evolution we have become so involved in the processes of establishing our bodies that we have forgotten many things in regard to our higher nature. The Soul has lost the knowledge that its essential nature is bliss itself, and so it is in a state of unrest all the time, moving in this, that, or the other direction in order to gain happiness of an impermanent nature. All that we can gain are the fragments of that bliss, which knowingly or unknowingly, draws us on, until we at length regain the permanent happiness of the nature of Soul itself. For that, the Beings above us are constantly trying to impress us and deliver the message of the Soul.
White Magic, then, clears away all those mysteries which surround us. It clears away the very cause of suffering. It shows us what we are, in reality, and it helps us to understand not only our own natures, but the natures of all others. It places within our hands that great power which can move souls to a comprehension of their own nature, and to spread abroad a beneficence that affects every creature everywhere in the world. Such is the acme of White Magic, but it is brought about only through an unselfish pursuance of a life of service to all others; through a realization of what in reality we are; through the performance in thought and act in line with that realization. We have to come to that point where it is not a question of mere assenting, but of an actual realization. Realization comes from dwelling on the thing to be realized--by thinking and acting in accordance with it, until every cell and fibre in Our bodies responds to the eternal and internal Spirit of Man.
DEUS EST DEMON INVERSUS
THEOSOPHY vol. IX, p. 111
Everything in nature has two aspects. Two opposing forces are necessary to manifestation. "These two, Light and Darkness, are the world's eternal ways:' Why, then, we should have come to regard them as good and evil, seems strange indeed. In every plant lurk the opposite ingredients, which if extracted and separately applied in precise quantities, would kill or cure every patient to whom they were administered. Out of the same food the maleficent and the beneficent animal transmute the elements that go to make up the bodies befitting the nature of each. So also from the same experiences, one gains happiness and virtue while the other gains misery and vice. Thus we are forced to conclude that nothing is evil or good in itself, but the application of it produces the one or the other effect.
Theology is mainly responsible for personifying these antipodal forces in the universe and creating out of the one, God, out of the other, the Devil--the latter, in fact, being the main support of the churches, without whose existence neither pulpit nor priest would be needed. According to the teaching of the church the two antagonistic powers, Deus and Demon, have their abodes respectively in heaven and in hell. Hence it has come about that we believe good and evil to be as far apart as the zenith and the nadir. But this is a mathematical conception only and fails to obtain the moment we front the two forces in our own nature. The student of the science of living soon comes to learn that good and evil are separated by only a hair line--in fact, both exist in every point of space, so that at no moment or in no experience is he farther away from his God or his Devil than at any other, and all that makes him
near or far is his own thinking. The power that applied produces evil is the same power, inversely applied, that produces good--one power, two applications, just as there is one dynamo in a trolley car, although the electric current may be turned on so as to move the car forward or back. "He, O Arjuna, who by the similitude found in himself seeth but one essence in all things, whether they be evil or good, is considered to be the most excellent devotee.
The idea of the eternal co-existence of the two forces in nature and in ourselves has been expressed in many forms. In the allegory of "The Serpent's Blood," the foul reptile was found in the very sanctuary of the glittering diamond. The familiar myths about the golden apples of the Hesperides and the golden fleece, both of which were guarded by terrible dragons, point to the same idea. "Evil lives fruitfully in the heart of the devoted disciple as well as in the heart of the man of desire," says Light on the Path. Therefore, we must not be surprised to discover that in the disciple's virtues and in his greatest strength lie the gravest possibilities of defects. The Dark Powers know this well and set traps for the unwary student who is not looking for defeat in this quarter.
While we need to recognize our closeness to evil and guard against it, the need for a recognition of our proximity to good is equally necessary and involves only an inverted application, which perhaps we are less likely to make in times of discouragement and confusion. Mr. Judge once wrote to a pupil: "Which of the hells do you think you are in; the corresponding heaven is very near." This great Teacher who had the marvelous ability of turning evil into good, gives an unexpected and striking turn of thought in this bit of advice. It is very easy for all of us to fined hell on earth, but few have the courage or will required to find heaven in the midst of our hells. Yet the "corresponding heaven" is very near--if we think so. Our way of thinking brings us close to it, or removes it to an immense distance. Invert the evil thought and the good must appear. Deus est Demon inversus H. P. B. wrote and said time and again.
If the corresponding heaven is near, or may be, the Masters must be near too. Students have supposed that They are far off. Some have thought they must go to remote India to find Them. Or, having divested themselves of this false notion, they have imagined Them at the end of a long mental excursion. Possibly They might be found at the close of an extended period of study or the end of a protracted period of meditation. Probably few have had such expectations fulfilled. Arjuna didn't find Krishna in the midst of seclusion, but in the thick of the fight, in the midst of his despondencies and his despicable weakness. This situation should lead us to think that if we would find the Master near we must go into the very midst of our defects. As we front the evil dragons in ourselves, with a determination to kill them out, we surely will find the Master in the same place, encouraging and helping us in the battle. Deus est Demon inversus.
"THE DWELLER ON THE THRESHOLD" *
IX, p. 113
stenographic report of a talk by Robert Crosbie. Here published for the first
WHAT may seem a very fanciful phrase to many -- "the Dweller on the Threshold"--was used by Bulwer Lytton in his story of "Zanoni" to illustrate something which comes about in the life of every student who passes beyond the merely physical. The incident pictures an old Sage-not quite such an one as our Theosophical studies might lead us to imagine-who is Glyndon's, the hero's, teacher. Being about to start on a journey, he points to two vases which are left in the room and warns Glyndon not to open them, else certain consequences will be sure to follow. Glyndon, however, on finding himself alone gives way to his curiosity and opens the two vases. At first, he was filled with an intoxicating perfume that seemed to exhilarate and give him the feeling of greatest joyousness. After a, while, this passed, and he began to see various forms, now vaguely and indistinctly, then more and more clearly, until each form seemed to take on a very threatening appearance, and all finally coalesced into one form which threatened him with injury and filled him with horror. This form was called the Dweller on the Threshold.
Now, let us understand each human being to be in the center of a circle, that circle containing a record of every experience through which we have passed and all knowledge heretofore gained, --a circle which defines our beginning and our progress. If we couple with this the idea that each life adds to the store of knowledge, and that each kind of knowledge, selfish or unselfish, is kept or keeps--by itself, we can see that within the circle there are, so to speak, zones, each one of these zones containing a particular kind of consciousness and composed of a particular kind of substance. These zones are at least seven in number. If, then, we are in the middle of all these zones, each one that surrounds us keeps us from the highest, the most perfect, the most spiritual zone of our nature; and, if we are to pass forward, even one step beyond the mere physical, we must go through that zone which is just beyond the physical, and in which the more evil, selfish elements of our nature and experience exist. 'vVe have to break into and pass through that zone in order to get to the higher zones of our being; but the only way we can break through it is by arousing it to action, by meeting it and transforming it. No being whatever, however good his ordinary expression of nature may be, but must pass through that zone. A good man, going on a journey, has to take the path in the direction of his goal, no matter what the condition of that path. It may be muddy, but he must go through it.
So, with the student, as soon as he forms a great desire to go forward, and to understand himself--his powerful motive being to obtain all power, all possessions, that he may be the better able to
help his fellow-men. At first, as he pushes on, he is very joyful in having found a solution to all the problems of life. Everything seems fair and pleasant, now; difficulties are not in his way; physical disabilities are patiently borne; he sees that all is not so bad as he would have thought. Then, he pushes a little farther forward, and he finds other things; he finds certain forces surrounding him, generated by himself, and beginning to awaken. For there are with everyone of us dormant senses and dormant experiences which the present conditions of life and prevailing ideas of the time do not give the chance to operate. The moment our thoughts and mind are turned in a higher direction, however, the prevailing ideas begin to lose their force, and, with all our attention centered in another direction, the dormant senses and powers, as well as experiences, begin to make themselves felt. These influences, so strange to us, are sometimes discouraging; we do not know to what to refer them; but as we push on and on, they begin to take shape. For every experience has a form, else it could not remain as such, and we arouse its forces into action and give them life by directing our attention to them. The shape, into which the various forms seen by the earnest student finally coalesce, varies with the student, as it follows the line of his family and of his likes--particularly, that of his dislikes. It may take the same shape each time with one student, or with another it may change each time. The form symbolizes whatever there is in our past Karma which is unbalanced. It has to be met; and, not only that, but as our own past Karma has to do with the collective Karma of the races through which we have come--more particularly of the race in which we now are--we not only arouse the individual, segregated Dwellers of our own zone, but everything analogous to them in our race or people. W e have to meet our own ghosts as well as the ghosts of our people, and in conquering the denizens of our own outward zones, we help to raise up the whole Karma of the race to which we belong.
Theosophy teaches that man is a spiritual being, not physical at all; that the body itself is but a physical instrument drawn from the earth by the power of the indwelling man; that the mind is merely ideas held in regard to life, but the Spirit of man, the Knower, the Experiencer, is alone the true individual. That individual became an individual before this earth, or this solar system was, and he has, with the changing in matter, worked through the various condensations of substance down to the present plane. On each plane of substance he has acquired a consciousness and a set of senses and a body of that substance, all these acquired bodies, and all these planes of consciousness being continually with him, reacting upon him in the body as he acts upon them. Each physical life comprises but a very small portion of all the vast reservoir of experiences of the past, which as we push forward we help to reopen very hurriedly.
There is an aphorism which says that Karma may be retarded by certain actions, and that it may also be hastened; that it is hastened by the power of a vow. So, when the individual pledges himself to go forward, to reach further and further into his true spiritual nature, he brings Karma to pass which would not come, perhaps, for many lives in the ordinary course; he awakens all the denizens about him--elemental forces, tendencies, germs which are awaiting their fruition. By bringing them into operation, by bringing new powers into action, he meets his Karma more hastily; he sets loose a very real force. So, the "Dweller on the Threshold" is a very real thing, and something which we all must meet, whether we begin now or wait for a thousand incarnations. We cannot do other than pass that way--over the threshold of the accumulated evil of the past. For it is absolutely impossible for any man to escape his Karma. Each within his own sphere he dwells. Around him are all those effects produced by himself in past ages, as well as in the present, and until he breaks through that evil with which he has surrounded himself, he can never have that power which belongs to sages and to saviors; the strength and power of his motives must be tested thoroughly before he can emerge into the higher zones of his being.
Now, there came into the world in this very generation the great philosophy of Theosophy, brought and given by those who knew it. As soon as those to whom it was given began to study, to try to force themselves along the path trodden by all sages, the Dweller on the threshold of the time was awakened. Many, many have been the failures in the name of Theosophy. The great science has been mutilated in thousands of ways, so that the general public does not know that there is an exact record left by Those who brought it. That knowledge exists; the way to obtain the activity of the inner nature is right before us; the doors are never closed to anyone; but, no one other than ourselves, however powerful, can ever arouse the necessary action from within to take the step. Each one must see the necessity for the step; each step must be seen to be the step by the one who takes it. The divine spark within the human breast desires space in which to burn. It can not be cramped, or constrained. But we do constrain it by thinking we are our physical bodies; by thinking we can be saved by the efforts of others, by laying our sins on others, by believing knowledge can be conferred upon us by others. These ideas are our dwellers, for they stand in the way of our getting a true perception. Enmeshed in action and reaction, we are unable to turn our minds in the true direction. The mission of Theosophy was to arouse the real man from this sleep of ages,--a sleep in which he dreams, acting with the powers of his own nature and creating shape after shape; some dreams--nightmares, and none leading to the real goal. Not until the divine spark within us has struck fire from the light of other lights who have passed beyond our stages
will we take the true step out of what is for so many the vale of misery and death.
Our Dweller is about us all the time. Everything which conflicts with good is an operation of that dweller. Everything which prevents us from taking those steps which we can see would be the better ones for us to take is a dweller. We have about us on every hand influences from our fellow men which make it most difficult for us to take and keep that step which in our better moments seems the very best. Their thoughts and acts tend to re-inforce our Dweller. The greatest Dweller we have is doubt, suspicion, fear; lack of faith. These are outward exhibitions of the Dweller, and the first influences which we feel. These dwellers have to be conquered. We must have absolute faith; absolute faith in our power to learn, and an unbounded confidence in that which is being taught us. For, if we are told that there is a science of life, a knowledge of all the laws of life, is there any pursuit more worth while than finding out whether the statement is a truth or lie? Surely, there is none. In a few years this small physical life will be gone. What will ,we have learned from it; how shall we have profited by it? Shall we overcome enough of the Dweller now to enable us to take the step with greater force in the future, or shall we drift and accumulate those forces which forever stand in our way until we take the step? The whole of humanity will be driven to it some day, if only after aeons and aeons of suffering from wrong courses taken.
A wide and wonderful field is open to every human being. All that he would like to know he may know. All that exist before him as mysteries can be cleared up. All powers that reside in nature, in everyone of its departments, can be his; but, ONLY, when he sees that he is a part of the great Whole; when he feels that never could he use a power of any kind for any personal selfish purpose, but would lay all his possessions at the feet of his fellow men, for their benefit; ONLY then, can the best and highest in him operate. Nothing selfish, nothing related to the mere body, or its preservation, or one's comfort, or the pursuits of one's own desires can ever open the doors; nothing but the determination to go forward, to become one of Nature's saviors, to work for the progress of all beings in the universe will open the doors. No creed will save us. No belief will save us; no mere being good from our own personal point of view; no reforming from this, that, or the other thing in order to be "saved." Nothing but a knowledge of our own natures and the determining to put that knowledge into active practical use for the benefit of others, not ourselves; ONLY that will kindle the flame that now burns so dimly while we are in the body.
The "Dweller on the Threshold" is with us. Shall we break away, break through that plane where he dwells? Can we be determined enough to go through all those trials that must be ours by our thought and action of the past, and all those which our fellow men have placed about us? Are we strong enough to take the step?
IN MEMORY OF H. P. BLAVATSKY*
AUGUST 11th, 1831--MAY 8th, 1891
THEOSOPHY vol. X. p. 193
* A "White Lotus Day" address by Robert Crosbie.
Fellow-Students of Theosophy:
Those who have made a study of the Theosophical philosophy, and are at all acquainted with the Secret Doctrine regarding Nature and Man, will understand why the Being who brought Theosophy to the Western World is so often spoken of among us. There is something more than respect for a person, something more than reverence for a Personage, behind this commemoration. No Entity having her knowledge could appear among us except under Law, nor unless that entity had previously acquired that knowledge in the orderly course of spiritual, mental, and moral evolution.
We have read and studied and spoken of Evolution time and again. We know that evolution rules in every department of Life, in every class of being; that all Beings above man must at some period have passed through our stage; that all beings below man will some day arrive at the human stage. This law of all evolution being applied in the light of Spiritual Identity and Brotherhood, must lead us to recognize that there are Beings above us, Beings who once were men, who return at cyclic intervals when Their aid is needed in the world, when everything is in a transition state, to give further light and guidance to mankind, so that we may more conscientiously and responsibly pursue our own task of progression and in turn help on the evolution of all Nature below the estate of man.
That such Beings do appear in the world is testified to by tradition, by all religions, by historical records, by great Teachings and by great examples of the noblest Altruism. All the story of the Past shows that at different periods of the world's history there has come among men in human guise some Being who was hailed by some of his own time and accredited by succeeding generations with being
a Divine Incarnation. Such great Beings have been the Founders of all the world's great religions. In our Christian religion we have such an example. It is written of Jesus that he "became in all things like unto us"--in order, we may well believe, to make possible the transmission to those to whom he came of that portion of the "ancient, secret, constant and eternal Doctrine" most necessary for their well being. And in all ages, before and since the time of Jesus, such Beings have come among men, sometimes in lowly guise, sometimes in high estate, but all and always to inculcate once more the doctrine that man is Divine in essence, and that to realize his divinity he must think and act as a divine being; for it is by our thinking and acting that we produce the causes that bring to pass the effects, divine or infernal, that we experience.
We have been accused of following a person because we speak so much of H. P. Blavatsky as we knew her. That is not, with us, the following of a person; it is the recognition of a great Fact in Nature, and that fact has to have a name. The fact is valuable, because it points to the Source of the Message. Many others have sprung up since she passed from among us, who have taken to themselves the credit of her message, who have used and misused what she brought to them, and have sought to elevate themselves by virtue of its delivery. So it is essential that the one who brought the message of Theosophy should be recognized, should be known, by all Theosophists, should be presented to all those who would study Theosophy, for in no other way can the truth of that Message be obtained, undiverted and uncorrupted.
We are to consider and present the idea of a Being far, far above anything we can truly imagine, one with knowledge and power we cannot conceive of--a perfected Being--leaving those fields that were earned, in order to come among us, to come "among" us in a body like ours, in a body of this race, that the ancient Wisdom might once more be presented to us in terms of our own understanding even in a language which is not the language of metaphysics, but a language which has grown up among a fighting and a trading, people from which the terms are absent fitly and fully to present the many grades and degrees of consciousness, feeling and perception we need to understand.
We all know that H. P. Blavatsky was born in Russia in August, 1831; that she came of a noble family; that she married at an early age General Blavatsky; that it was never a marriage in fact and that she left home and friends and place and disappeared for some ten years. During those ten years she was in many lands but for the greater portion of that time she was in that quarter of the globe where she was in touch with those Masters of whom she spoke. During those ten years she served in many ways--that body served, for it was not the Entity--served as a soldier in Garibaldi's Army of Liberation. After Mentana that body was picked up for dead, but came back to life and was nursed to strength again. Then she returned home with a fearful wound in her side, which never fully healed. From
the time of her return it was noted and commented on by relatives and friends that the character and nature of Helena Blavatsky had been completely changed.
There is a reason for that--an Occult reason, the knowledge of which is absent from our race. Most of us are subject to birth from necessity--Karma; that is, our thought and action in the past have been such as to bring us into a certain family, into a certain race, at a certain time and in a certain way under certain conditions and circumstances. Such births as ours are under Law; we are thus reaping what we have sown. But in the case of those Beings of whom we have been speaking, They do not always come to earth and enter into a body by our road of birth. Truly They come under Law, as do we all, but They know the Law and all its modes and processes, and They come by choice through that mode which best serves the occasion of Their coming. They may take a body which the Ego, or natural tenant, is leaving, and by agreement made on higher planes than those we know; such an abandoned body is used by that higher Entity for the purpose of His work in the world.
There have been two such occasions with'n our time. H. P. Blavatsky was one. The tenant occupying that body really left it when it was wounded unto death on the field of battle, and another Entity by agreement took it. That incoming Entity was one of "Those who know," one of Those who had reached perfection, and who used that body for the purposes of the work of the great Lodge of Masters in the world. William Q. Judge was another. In that case the body was that of a child of seven or eight who was dying, who was pronounced dead by the physician in attendance. After a time the body showed signs of returning life, and recovered, but the nature of the child was different from what it had been before. To the parents it was still the same child. They saw the same body and thought it was the same Identity or Entity, but they soon saw the great change in the character, in the nature, in the tendencies.
Now these two cases point to something worth our utmost attention to try to understand: the occult laws governing Nature visible and invisible. They are all outlined in the last chapter of the second volume of Isis Unveiled, where this very mode of superhuman "birth" is broadly hinted at and illustrated: the Fact that a Being of higher knowledge and attainment can, by choice or by agreement enter a body, borrow a body, when the former tenant is leaving it.
These two Beings did not come into human life through the door of birth as we all have; they entered in with knowledge, and immediately on entering began to train those borrowed bodies to respond to their own attainments and requirements.
Many have heard of the great powers H. P. B. possessed, and many during her life-time were witness to phenomenal exercise of those powers. William Q. Judge had the same powers. H. P. B.'s powers were heralded abroad by those who saw their exhibitions and believed them, as well as by those who heard of them and disbelieved. Those possessed by William Q. Judge were not so heralded;
in fact, so far as was in his power he sedulously concealed the spreading abroad of the knowledge that he had them.
may be excused if I speak a few words personally of him in particular, the
misunderstood .and misrepresented Colleague of H. P. B.
I met William Q. Judge in 1886 and at that first meeting I found something I had never felt before--the confidence, the realization of the power and knowledge of that Being--and never was I mistaken in it. Never was he false, never did he lack or fail in a single instance in the expression or the use of that power and knowledge. Always he sought to rouse in those with whom he talked the idea of the inner immortal nature of every man; always he sought to implant in their minds the desire and aspiration to realize their own Divinity. And to those whom he trusted he showed again and again great control over the powers of nature. Always, in such cases, he showed those powers, not to gratify curiosity, not to display his knowledge, but always in illustration of the workings of some great law in nature. In Theosophy there is no such thing as miracle. All those occurrences that seem to us incredible or miraculous are brought about by a knowledge of the higher and finer laws of nature.
You will remember that H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge were only the names attached to those bodies--Their students have more often called them "H. P. B." and "W. Q. J.," for by those initials they recognize or indicate the Entities that used those bodies, not the bodies themselves.
Those who were close to them--close in loyalty and trust and devotion to the Cause They served--were able, at least to some extent, to perceive the wonderful Natures masked in those personalities; the divine compassion that dwelt in them; the gentleness, the self-sacrificing nature that desires nothing for itself, but desires only to help mankind on its rough and thorny path to perfection. Those who could see could perceive that higher, finer, better Nature in these two Beings, could feel a response in their own inner natures. For there was something in the very contact and connection with those Beings that, as it were, burned into the very soul and aroused the highest and noblest of which the man might be capable. Yet withal, there was a simplicity there, a modesty there, that would disarm most people, that turned aside the self-seekers and the contentious.
So, if we look upon H. P. B. and W. Q. J. as something more than ordinary men, as Beings of power and knowledge, who had to step down to communicate with us in our paucity of ideas, in order to enable us to grasp at least a small part of the great message of Theosophy, then it is that it will be understood why we speak of Them in terms of the greatest love and the highest reverence. No one who ever sought Them as a Friend but found--and will find--Their help--no matter how many weaknesses, no matter how small the ideas of the inquirer. Always that assistance and guidance was given and will be found that enables the earnest seeker to grasp something of the great Truths about the Soul of Man that was and is the Message that They brought.
IN MEMORY OF WILLIAM Q.
APRIL 13TH, 1851~MARCH 21ST, 1896
THEOSOPHY, vol. X. p. 129
* An address delivered by Robert Crosbie. March 21, 1915.
As a student and worker with William Q. Judge in the early days of the Theosophical Society, I find it very difficult to speak of that personage in proper terms. It is not easy to give a comprehension of what that being really was, nor to bring to the minds of others all that may be present in my own mind from my own acquaintance with him.
It is well for us to consider that every great movement which has ever been has been instituted by some person or persons in the world; that these persons have terms or periods wherein they work; that there is a period in the life of every Teacher when the great mission of his life can be fulfilled. Buddha was born, lived through his youth, and came to manhood before the hour of his mission struck. With Jesus it was the same. So with H. P. B1avatsky, If we understand her to have been one of the Masters--for, even if we think she was less than that, we must admit that she was very much higher in knowledge than the rest of the world--if she were, and I suggest what is not beyond the possibilities, one of the Masters masquerading in a mortal body becoming in all things like unto us, then her mission must have occurred at some period of that body. The same is true with regard to Mr. Judge. There was the fulfilling of the early duties in life, and then the hour striking for that particular mission which was his.
The occupancy of the Judge body was not by birth, strange as it may seem. There is such a thing as an Ego leaving a body
intact and habitable; and there is such a thing as another Ego, by agreement on higher planes, using that body which is still usable. If we know anything about the occult laws governing the entrance and the exit of Egos from bodies, we can understand that the Ego thus entering into a borrowed body would, of necessity, be a very highly developed being. In the case of William Q. Judge, there was the death, apparently, at the age of seven years of the child born to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Judge in Dublin; then was a sudden resuscitation, and a change in the nature of the child; the character, the mind, the operation of idea were all there, and from that time, a study and pursuit to fit the brain and body for the work that was to be done in later years.
H. P. B. and William Q. Judge were co-founders of the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875. In a letter where Mr. Judge stated the time of his first visit with her, he said it was not as a stranger that he came before her; it was not as the seeker after philosophies; but as if they had parted only the evening before; that he just desired to know what the work was to be; she indicated it, turned aside to her own work and left him to go on with his. That ought to tell us the story of what kind of a being--he was. Mr. Judge was called by H. P. B. her "only friend"--her only friend. He worked with her from the beginning--the only one, of all those who followed her, who understood her; the only one who was absolutely true in his devotion towards her, and towards the Great Cause which she represented.
It has been said that there were two Masters who were the real founders of the Theosophical Movement and Society in that cycle marked by the ending of the first five thousand years of Kali Yug, which denoted a renaissance of spiritual inquiry and uplift to the minds of men, and" when a sound basis must be given for the people of then and of the oncoming generation. We also know that H. P. B. and Mr. Judge worked together from the first to last, actually supporting each other in every way. These things go together. They were the two who represented those Masters in the world and put into operation what is greater than any Society the Theosophical Movement, for every society exists because of Theosophy, and not for any other reason whatever. If it is true that we have to discern what we do not know by correspondence with what we do know, it would not be a far stretch to admit, that, perchance, two Masters were in the world working through ordinary human bodies.
As to Mr. Judge's place in the Great Movement, we may make our own deductions from a few considerations. America presents the greatest possibilities for the most advanced civilization. We are capable here of absorbing everything that is good in all the nations of the older world; we have the advantages that a new country presents in a freedom from old existing institutions. We have reached the extreme confines of the western march of civil-
ization, from which must be a rolling back of the wave that has come through all the centuries from the far East up to this point. There must be here, at the present time, those who are able to assimilate the knowledge that was presented; who have the courage and endurance to carry on the work; who recognize the nature of those whose will keeps it in being all the time. For, although those bodies have passed away as all bodies do, there yet remains the force, the knowledge, the very Presence of those beings who once occupied them.
In the recognition of those beings we should find a key to the whole Movement,--a key to the philosophy which they delivered. It would open many doors to us which now are closed. Taking it merely as a theory, thinking from that basis, reading with that idea in mind, applying with that thought, we would find knowledge springing up spontaneously within us; the real nature--our inner nature would be aroused to a finer and higher perception; and we would soon know just what we are and our place in the great work. The nature of those Beings would then be open to us; the similar nature in ourselves, which we all possess, would then be in accord with those higher natures. Their very presence in the world was an opening to a great force--an opportunity for everyone; the force that flows from true spiritual perception and knowledge is there for everyone able to open his spiritual eyes even just a little, and follow the lines indicated.
Speaking of Mr. Judge as anybody might have known him--as a human being like ourselves--he was humble, unassuming, modest, strong, patient, meek, courageous, an organizer beyond comparison, with powers similar to those possessed by H. P. B., and never using them in any way but to smooth the path for those who desired to follow the road to knowledge. He was kind and patient, as we do not often find with tremendous forcefulness; he had extraordinary powers of organization, with a perception that could look into the very motives and minds of others, could see traitors around him, could read the hearts of those desirous of injuring him, and yet in all his intercourse with them, paving the way for them, remaining ever kind. For the one who most injured him, he had only this to say when friends about him spoke their denunciations: "Never mind what others do. Put no one out of your heart. Go on with the work you see. Work will tell in time, and all these follies of others--follies of ignorance--will fall to nothing. Then, when the time comes, we will all have gained strength; when those who have fallen away for a while come back, there we will be with open arms, as strong brothers, to help them find the path and smooth out the effects of errors that they have created through ignorance."
Left alone and unknown in America for eight years after the departure of H. P. B. for India, he waited until the time for his mission appeared. That time arrived in 1886, signaled by the publication of the Path Magazine, which ran until the time of his
death, some ten years after. Article after article in that magazine from his pen points the way by which Theosophy may be made practical in daily life. He spoke continually in regard to the dangers of intellectualism--studying the philosophy intellectually only, without understanding it: showing how that will lead us into ambition, pride, and far, far away from any true advancement. He showed that the battle we all have to fight is within ourselves, and the enemy we have to face the defects in our character; that the purpose of life is to learn, and it is all made up of learning; that everything which comes to us is capable of being a stepping-stone to greater heights, and if there are difficulties, then, the greater the opportunity. No matter what difficulty confronts us, if it confronts us, we have the strength to overcome it; the very law of our being brings these two positions together. The one who confronts the difficulty, and the difficulty itself, are according to law, and no difficulty is insurmountable. He showed that what was really needed was a wider compassion for our fellowmen; a recognition of the great Beings--the Masters--and working in accord with Them, putting all criticism, all judgment of others aside.
His was a wonderful knowledge, and his was a wonderful power; but we know--perhaps some of us do, at all events--that what was really the cornerstone was rejected of the builders. That Being was soon neglected, and his works neglected by those who should have seen and known. The whole misunderstanding, which finally led to the disruption of the Theosophical Society, lies' at that very point. H. P. B. and W. Q. Judge cannot be separated. They came together, they worked together, and they are together. Understanding this--that there was no link missing in the chain of those who worked in the Cause--constitutes the door that opens avenues of knowledge to those who seek. To imagine that knowledge can come in any other way than through the regularly developed channels is to make the greatest mistake. In that chain of being reaching from the very highest down to us no link can be missed; we cannot pass over the link immediately above us; that link must be understood before we can pass to a still higher one. So, while the philosophy recorded has been given out, its ideas spread throughout the world by different societies, each member needs to answer for himself the question--does he really know the truth of the philosophy--is he able to see from the heart out--does he know the straight line of communication, or is he merely following statements and claims made? The door for the Westerners is through William Q. Judge, just as the door for the world was through H. P. B. Those who fail in that recognition must fail in obtaining the benefits that flow from the great communication.
Let down like a dragnet into the world, the Theosophical Society first caught many different human beings--a small lot of humanity who were tried out in their various separate ways and directions with results that we have seen. Among them were some of vast
ability and some who had vanity and the desire to lead; through them the great Movement came to be almost a by-word among the most intellectual of people, and instead of attracting the brightest minds, it attracted those who were credulous, who were unable to perceive a right basis or follow it. The old faults of their education were present, and there were none strong enough or wise enough to point out the true path for them. They followed the line of popes and priests and prelates and successors of kings, not seeing that knowledge cannot be passed on from one to another; that the way to knowledge may be pointed out and that those who follow the pointing should be very humble, instead of vain.
These phases still persist, but the hour struck for a truer formation. And do not imagine for a moment that that which is now was not foreseen. It was. Every single dissension that arose among those following the Theosophical Movement was known in advance; everything that exists Theosophically to-day was known in advance; the very step taken by this voluntary association of students was known in advance; long before the hour struck for that work to be done, the true path had been laid out. That the line is straight is possible for any student whatever to see for himself, for there is always the recorded history of the Movement in black on white, by those who worked in it, to check by.
There is, and there must be, a true path and a right direction. Can we imagine that the great Masters of Wisdom with all Their knowledge made a mistake in selecting those who were to represent Their ideas in the world? To imagine that is to doubt Their wisdom. Can we think that any better instruments were available? If we understand the power of the Masters, we would know that any instrument chosen by Them would carry out to the ultimate whatever mission to the world it was entrusted with, and in that carrying out, there would be no false notes, no mistakes possible. The test of William Q. Judge is in the examination of his mission; the proof is in our own use of what he gave us.
Would it be strange to think that he is still working with us? Would it be strange to think that H. P. B., as we knew her, is still working? That same great power is working; but for what? To create a great association? A following for some person? No; to draw a true line for those who are able to see at all; to keep the standard of Theosophy, pure and simple, undiluted, uncontaminated; to carry it through to the coming of the Great Messenger in 1975. For, whoever says to the contrary, the statement of H. P. B. and William Q. Judge was that no Masters will come to the West, nor send anyone, until that year. And, do we not know, that if it is our wish, we will come again into that work when the hour strikes for that Messenger? It is the power of our thoughts and the effects of our efforts which bring us into incarnation at any time. If we are ignorant, careless, ungrateful, selfish, we are swept into that condition which befits our power and action; but, if our power lies
in a right perception and a right application of what we perceive right action, we can come back when They come back. We can take ourselves to Them through our thought and effort; by perceiving what the work was; what the nature of those Beings, and follow faithfully the lines that They laid down. But take no one’s word for it; take only the records They have left.
The welfare of humanity is at stake. This great country, as it is, will not long remain calm. We have seen in Europe effects of long centuries of wrong thought and action, but in own new country is the same selfishness; the same ideas prevail, even if not the same conditions, and the same ideas will bring all the same results. We have not the elements of solidarity here, a true philosophy that will aid us in rectifying the conditions must result from a false basis. Yet there are an increasing number of good and sincere, true men and women, who desire to do best for their fellowmen, who desire to know all that may be known ; by them the horrors of the future may be mitigated. It was of Sodom and Gomorrah, if there were only a few true men women the city might be saved; and so, if there are only comparatively a few strong earnest men and women who see the line for this civilization, who see the true purpose of the Masters much that must come will be easier for our people. The salvation of this country is in the hands of those who listen, and do. On those who listen and do not do, or fail to do that which they see ought to be done, lies the gravest responsibility.
In William Q. Judge we had a true man--the kindest-hearted being that ever lived, patient, forgiving, strong, courageous, with the wisdom of the serpent, the harmlessness of the dove. From my own point of view, I have never, never met such an one before. It is because of the memory of his sojourn among us in a mortal body that this meeting has been held; and that, by some who know just what he was, it is desired others may know, and others may take up the work which he laid down, adding their force to the great end of benefit to their fellowmen. He lived for that. He works for that. Let us all do likewise. And, if we do, in a happier time and a higher civilization we shall know what our first step led to rejoicing in that which it made possible. Such a civilization could have been here before, if men had opened their hearts to the Masters Work for that. All true Theosophists work for that. They care nothing for their own progress, nor for any reward for themselves. To see their fellowmen in better case, with better understanding better results, a higher civilization, more rapid progress--gives them all the reward they seek.
If the passing of William Q. Judge shall help us to emulate example, much will be done for ourselves, and the world.
IS THEOSOPHY A PROGRESSIVE SYSTEM OF RELIGION?
Theosophy Vol. VII p. 257
THIS question is raised in a communication made to the Editors of THEOSOPHY, signed "A Student". We care nothing for the identity of our correspondent, but we have respect for an honest expression of opinion, and are glad to make answer. Not that we desire to change" A Student's" opinion, but that she (or he) and others of like conceptions, may gain something of an insight into the causes and reasons for the methods pursued by this magazine.
We quote from the communication the following:
"Providing we remember that Theosophy is not a dogmatical presentment of the Wisdom-Religion--a system delivered for once to the Saints--but a progressive system of Religion".
There is some confusion in this statement, for if there is such a knowledge as the Wisdom-Religion, it is the result of the observation and experience of the Masters of Wisdom,' and as such stands for itself; it can neither be enlarged nor improved upon by its students. Furthermore, what was named "Theosophy" by Mme. Blavatsky is that same Wisdom-Religion so far as the latter has been promulgated by the Teacher. In regard to the latter statement H. P. B. herself has written:
"The Secret Doctrine (or Wisdom-Religion) is not a series of vague theories or treatises, but is all that can be given out in this century. It will be centuries before much more is given."
A similar statement by William Q. Judge is as follows:
"It (Theosophy) is not a belief or dogma formulated or invented by man, but is a knowledge of the laws which govern the evolution of the physical, astral, psychical and intellectual constituents of nature and of man."
In the face of such statements and similar ones made by Those who brought Theosophy to us, the assumption that it is a system of progressive religion can only proceed from ignorance of the facts and a false conception which can only lead to confusion on the part of any "student". Theosophy is not a religion, but Religion itself in the truest sense; even the use of the term "religion" without any qualification is misleading, for Theosophy is not "a belief" as religions are generally, but rather Religious Science; Scientific-Religion, and an all-inclusive Philosophy.
As to "a dogmatical presentment", Theosophy has never been put forth as a dogma, but as a relation of facts which have been gathered through observation and experience, which anyone can accept or reject without condemnation or praise. One might as well call the only exact science we use, viz., Mathematics, dogmatic or a dogma because it is presented as an assemblage of facts which the student can study, apply and prove for himself. Theosophy stands in exactly the same position: a presentation of Knowledge gained through eons of time; it is not to be confounded with the speculations of any of its students, who at best are subject to their personal prejudices, predilections and weaknesses. It should also be clearly understood that every theosophical writer or leader--except Those who brought Theosophy to the world--are students of more or less proficiency in the Science, and are therefore liable to misconceptions and erroneous applications, and that the only possibility of discerning such errors lies in a comparison with the Science as originally Presented.
In the same communication we are taken to task in the following words, "you are doing no good by 'barking against the bad' as Emerson would say, about what is going on in the Theosophical world. I believe you over-emphasize the evil that is being done, while minimizing the good".
It is admitted that evil is being done. Can it be wrong to point out where and how such evil comes about? How else can any sincere student who desires only to warn against pitfalls, help his fellow-men?
As to the "good" in any presentation, it stands for itself, and is the only reason why error or evil has any possibility of acceptance; it is the mixture of Truth and Error that confuses and misleads the ignorant and the unwary; remove the error and its sequence evil, and the Truth stands out all the more clearly; there is no "minimizing the good" in such a course.
It is an unfortunate fact that there are more misconceptions and misapplications of Theosophy among its would-be students,
than there is of real understanding. Most of this is due to the self-acclaimed leaders of societies who are very prominent in the public eye, and who proclaim and issue their own ideas, interpretations, and speculations as Theosophy pure and simple; one would expect from such exponents the false and misleading idea that "Theosophy is a progressive system of religion", for such a statement beclouds the facts, and serves to draw attention to their own lucubrations as "progressed" Theosophy, and to themselves as having progressed farther and as knowing more than the original Teachers.
No one would have a word to say if these exponents chose some other name under which to promulgate their ideas, but to present the latter as Theosophy,--the Message delivered to the world by Masters--is to our mind the greatest imaginable crime against humanity. Every presentation of Truth given to the world in the past has been vitiated in a similar way, being filtered through the minds of the original disciples to the disciples of the latter, and so on for generations, until but little was left of the spirit of the Message, and that little obscured by systems of materialistic concepts under the name of religion. Under the conditions of past periods, this could not be helped, because there existed no way by which the "written word" could be so duplicated as to place it within the reach of every human being who desired it. The present period, however, made it possible for every enquirer to obtain or study Masters' Message as it was written by one qualified to do so. This was done in order that there should be no need of intermediaries between those who would know and the knowledge itself. But, sad to say, many who drew their inspiration and ideas from the delivered Message, and had the great Karmic opportunity of presenting and promulgating that Message pure and undefiled to the world-at-large, turned the eyes of men to their own personalities as ('successors" and "teachers" and have not only misled thousands of adherents, but have made the name of Theosophy stand for everything that is undesirable in the minds of humanity at large. H. P. B. and W. Q. J. knew well the probability and the danger of such a sequence, but They could only warn. H. P. B.'s last message to Theosophists in Convention assembled contained the following words: "Never is there greater danger than when vanity, ambition and a desire to lead, dresses itself up in the peacock feathers of altruism".
What is at the root of the schisms that have disrupted the Theosophical Society that H. P. B. left? Personalities every time.
the opposite and the corrective of Personality? Nothing less than Impersonality
which seeks nothing for itself and everything for the Cause of Theosophy pure
and simple. There is no worldly fame, glory or profit in such a course, yet it,
and it alone, removes every obstacle that might intervene between the Message of
Theosophy and those who desire to study and apply it on its own merits. For that
reason, and that reason alone, is the magazine "THEOSOPHY"
and "The United Lodge of Theosophists" conducted
anonymously; The mind of the race is still obsessed by the idea that it is important and essential to know who the active agents are, whereas the important thing is the merit of the thing done. The injunction by the Man of Nazareth, "Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand doeth" is as binding as any other injunction of His, but do Christian peoples follow it, or regard it as of any importance? Do theosophical exponents exhibit a regard for the above injunction, or for the more explicit one that they well know, "And the power that the disciple shall seek is that he shall appear as nothing in the eyes of men"? Let them answer. If they excuse themselves it will be on the ground that men will not listen unless the personality of the speaker is under intimate' inspection; but have they tried it? Truth is not dependent upon the one who utters it, but upon its own self-evident nature, and whether spoken by the wicked man or one who is esteemed as righteous, it is neither debased by the one nor enhanced by the other.
If Theosophists or Christians recognize that the world has gone mad on personalities, can it be made sane by glossing over that madness or pleading expediency? They know it cannot; but they are the creatures of their generation and have not the courage to do that which puts personality out of court in their own cases, and sets the example of a truer, less selfish line of effort. Yet if the change is to be brought about, someone must make the beginning; it is the first step that begins the count, and if the goal is a right and true one, the results can be left to time and Karma. We rest on that.
STUDIES THE ASTRAL BODY
THEOSOPHY, vol. X, p. 40
No MAN however gross and material he may be, can avoid leading a double existence; one in the visible universe, the other in the invisible.
The life-principle which animates his physical frame is chiefly in the astral body; and while the more animal portions of him rest, the more spiritual ones know neither limits nor obstacles.
visible physical man is :-brain, nerves, blood, bones, lymph, muscles, organs of
sensation and action, and skin. The unseen physical man
is :--astral body, passions and desires, and life-principle, called prana, or jiva.
There are many names for the astral body, and with the Hindus it is Bhuta, or devil, when it is by death released from the body and the mind: they are not far wrong if we abolish the old notion that a devil is an angel fallen from heaven, for this bodily devil is something which rises from the earth.
The model for the growing child in the womb is the astral body already perfect in shape before the child is born. It is on this the molecules arrange themselves until the child is complete, and the presence of the ethereal design-body will explain how the form grows into shape, how the eyes push themselves out from within to the surface of the face, and many other mysterious matters in embryology which are passed over by medical men with a description, but with no explanation.
The matter of which it is composed is electrical and magnetic in its essence, and is just what the whole world was composed of in the dim past when the processes of evolution had not yet arrived at the point of producing the material body for man. It is the guiding model for the physical one, and all the other kingdoms have the same astral model. Vegetables, minerals, and animals have the ethereal double, and this theory is the only one which will answer the question how it is that the seed produces its own kind, and all sentient beings bring forth their like. Biologists can only say that the facts are as we know them, but can give no reason why the acorn will never grow anything but an oak except that no man ever knew it to be otherwise. But in the old schools the true doctrine was known, and it has been once again brought out in the west through the efforts of H. P. Blavatsky and those who have found inspiration in her words.
That which survives as an individuality after the death of the body is the astral soul, which Plato, in the Timaeus and Gorgias calls the mortal soul, for, according to the Hermetic Doctrine, it throws off its more material particles at every progressive change into a higher sphere.
Socrates narrates to Callicles that this mortal soul retains all the characteristics of the body after the death of the latter; so much
so, indeed, that a man marked with a whip will have his astral body "full of the prints and scars." The astral soul is the faithful duplicate of the body, both in a physical .and spiritual sense.
The astral body, which in this life is covered with a gross physical envelope, becomes,--when relieved of that covering by the process of corporeal death,--in its turn the shell of another and more ethereal body.
This begins developing from the moment of death, and becomes perfected when the astral body of the earthly form finally separates from it. This process, they say, is repeated at every new transition from sphere to sphere.
From the remotest antiquity mankind as a whole has always been convinced of the existence of a personal spiritual entity within the personal physical man. This inner entity was more or less divine according to its proximity to the crown-Chrestos. The closer the union the more serene man's destiny, the less dangerous the external conditions. This belief is neither bigotry nor superstition, --only an ever-present instinctive feeling of another spiritual and invisible world, which, though it be subjective to the senses of the outward man, is perfectly objective to the inner ego.
The Divine, the highest and immortal spirit can be neither punished nor rewarded. To maintain such a doctrine would be at the same time absurd and blasphemous, for it is not merely a flame lit at the central and inexhaustible fountain of light, but actually a portion of it, and of identical essence. It assures immortality to the individual astral being in proportion to the willingness of the latter to receive it.
So long as the double man, i. e., the man of flesh and spirit, keeps within the law of spiritual continuity, so long as the divine spark lingers in him, however faintly, he is on the road to an immortality in the future state. The secret doctrine teaches that man, if he wins immortality, will remain forever the trinity that he is in life, and will continue so throughout the spheres.
But those who resign themselves to a materialistic existence, shutting out the divine radiance shed by their spirit at the beginning of the earthly pilgrimage, which serves as a focus for the light in the soul,--such beings as these, having left behind conscience and spirit, and crossed the boundaries of matter, will of necessity have to follow its laws. Matter is as indestructible and eternal as the immortal spirit itself, but only in its particles, and not as organized forms.
The body of so grossly materialistic a person as above described, having been deserted by its spirit before physical death, when that event occurs the plastic material--astral soul--following the laws of blind matter, shapes itself thoroughly into the mould which vice has been gradually preparing for it through the earth life of the individual. Then, as Plato says, it assumes the form of that "animal to which it resembled in its evil ways" during life.
"It is an ancient saying," he tells us, "that the souls departing hence exist in Hades and return hither again and are produced from the dead. But those who are found to have lived an eminently holy life these are they who arrive at the pure abode ABOVE and dwell on the upper parts OF THE EARTH."
We have shown that the "secret doctrine" does not concede immortality to all men alike. "The eye would never see the sun if it were not of the nature of the sun," said Plotinus. "Only through the highest purity and chastity we shall approach nearer to God, and receive in the contemplation of Him the true knowledge and insight," writes Porphyry. If the human soul has neglected during its life-time to receive its illumination from its Divine Spirit, our personal God, then it becomes difficult for the gross and sensual man to survive for a great length of time his physical death.
If during life the ultimate and desperate effort of the inner self to reunite itself with the faintly glimmering ray of its divine parent is neglected: if this ray is allowed to be more and more shut out by the thickening crust of matter, the soul, once freed from the body, follows its earthly attractions and is magnetically drawn into and held within the dense fogs of the material atmosphere. Then it begins to sink lower and lower, until it finds itself, when returned to consciousness, in what the ancients termed Hades. The annihilation of such a soul is never instantaneous; it may last centuries, perhaps, for nature never proceeds by jumps and starts, and the astral soul being formed of the elements, the law of evolution must bide its time. Then begins the fearful law of compensation.
No more than the misshapen monster can live long after its physical birth can the soul, once that it has become too material, exist after its birth. into the spiritual world. The viability of the astral form is so feeble that the particles cannot cohere firmly when once it has slipped out of the unyielding capsule of the external body. Its particles, gradually obeying the disorganizing attraction of universal space, finally fly asunder beyond the possibility of reaggregation. Upon the occurrence of such a catastrophe the individual ceases to exist; his glorious Augoeides has left him.
During the intermediary period between his bodily death and the disintegration of the astral form, the latter, bound by magnetic attraction to its ghastly corpse, prowls about, and sucks vitality from susceptible victims. The man, having shut out of himself every ray of the Divine light, is lost in darkness, and therefore clings to earth and the earthly.
No astral soul, even that of a good and virtuous man, is immortal in the strictest sense; "from the elements it was formed to elements it must return." Only,--while the soul of the wicked vanishes and is absorbed without redemption, that of every other person, even moderately pure, simply changes its ethereal particles for still more ethereal ones; and while there remains in it a spark of the Divine the individual man, or rather his personal ego, cannot
die. "After death," says Proclus, "the soul (the spirit) continueth to linger in the aerial body (astral form) till it is entirely purified from all angry and voluptuous passions then doth put off by a second dying the aerial body as it did the earthly one.
Whereupon the ancients say that there is a celestial body always joined with the soul and which is immortal, luminous, and star-like."
Socrates entertained opinions identical with those of Pythagoras; and both, as the penalty of their divine philosophy, were put to a violent death. The rabble has been the same in all ages. Materialism has been, and will ever be blind to spiritual truths.
These philosophers held, with the Hindus, that God had infused into matter a portion of his own Divine Spirit, which animates and moves every particle. They taught that men have two souls, of separate and quite different natures; the one perishable--the astral soul, or the inner fluidic body--the other incorruptible and immortal --the Augoeides, or portion of the Divine Spirit; that the mortal or astral soul perishes at each gradual change at the threshold of every new sphere, becoming with every transmigration more purified. The astral man, intangible and invisible as he might be to our mortal, earthly senses, is still constituted of matter, though sublimated.
In the anterior states the senses existed in germ, as it were, or in idea, until the astral plane, which is next to this one, was arrived at, and then they were concentrated so as to be the actual senses we now use through the agency of the different outer organs. These outer organs of sight, touch, hearing, and tasting, are often mistaken by the unlearned or the thoughtless for the real organs and senses; but he who stops to think must see that their outer organs are but mediators between the visible universe and the real perceiver within.
Thus is it shown that the astral body has in it the real organs of the outer sense organs. It has a complete system of nerves and arteries of its own for the conveyance of the astral fluid which is to that body as our blood is to the physical. It is the real personal man. There are located the subconscious perception and the latent memory, which the hypnotizers of the day are dealing with and being baffled by.
It is on the indestructible tablets of the astral light that is stamped the impression of every thought that we think, and every act that we perform; and that future events--effects of long--forgotton causes--are already delineated as a vivid picture for the eye of the seer and prophet to follow. Memory,--the--despair of the materialist, the enigma of the psychologist, the sphinx of science,--is to the student of old philosophies merely a name to express that power which man unconsciously exerts, and shares with many of the inferior animals--to look with inner sight into the astral light and there behold the images of past sensations and incidents. Instead of searching the cerebral ganglia for "micrographs of the living and the dead, of scenes that we have visited. of incidents in which
we have borne a part," they went to the vast repository where the records of every man's life as well as every pulsation of the visible cosmos are stored up for all eternity.
That flash of memory which is traditionally supposed to show a drowning man every long--forgotten scene of his mortal life--as the landscape is revealed to the traveller by intermittent flashes of lightning--is simply the sudden glimpse which the struggling soul gets into the silent galleries where his history is depicted in imperishable colors.
In the stillness of the night hours when our bodily senses are fast locked in the fetters of sleep and our elementary body rests, the astral form oozes out of its earthly prison, and as Paracelsus has it "confabulates with the outward world" and travels round the visible as well as the invisible worlds. "In sleep," he says, "the astral body (soul) is in freer motion; then it soars to its parents, and holds converse with the stars."
Dreams, forebodings, prescience, prognostications, and presentiments are impressions left by our astral spirit on our brain, which receives them more or less distinctly according to the proportion of blood with which it is supplied during the hours of sleep. The more the body is exhausted the freer is the spiritual man, and the more vivid the impressions of our soul's memory.
In heavy and robust sleep, dreamless and uninterrupted, upon awakening to outward consciousness men may sometimes remember nothing. But the impressions of scenes and landscapes which the astral body saw in its peregrinations are still there, though lying latent under the pressure of matter. They may be awakened at any moment, and then during such flashes of man's inner memory there is an instantaneous interchange of energies between the visible and the invisible universe. Between the "micrographs" of the cerebral ganglia and the photo-scenographic galleries of the astral light a current is established. And a man who knows that he has never visited in body, nor seen the landscape and person that he recognizes, may well assert that still he has seen and knows them, for the acquaintance was formed while travelling in "spirit."
To this the physiologists can have but one objection. They will answer that in natural sleep,--perfect and deep,--"half of our nature which is volitional is in the condition of inertia"; hence unable to travel; the more so as the existence of any such individual astral body or soul is considered by them as little else than a poetic myth.
Theologians as well as laymen labor under the erroneous impression that soul and spirit are one and the same thing. But if we study Plato and other philosophers of old we may readily perceive that while the "irrational soul," by which Plato means our astral body, or the more ethereal representation of ourselves, can have at best only a more or less prolonged continuity of existence beyond
the grave, the Divine Spirit--wrongly termed soul by the church--, is immortal by its very essence.
Some of the noble Vedantic precepts on the soul and man's mystic powers have been contributed by a Hindu scholar. "The Sankhya," he writes, "inculcates that the soul (astral body) has the following powers: shrinking into a minute bulk to which everything is pervious; enlarging to a gigantic body; assuming levity, (rising along a sunbeam to the solar orb) ; possessing an unlimited reach of organs, as touching the moon with the tip of the finger; irresistible will, (for instance sinking into the earth as easily as in water); dominion over all things, animate or inanimate; faculty of changing the course of nature; ability to accomplish every desire." Further he gives their various appellations: "The powers are called: 1. Anima; 2. Mahima; 3. Laghima; 4. Garima; 5. Prapti; 6. Prakamya; 7. Vashita, 8. Ishita, or divine power. The fifth, predicting future events, understanding unknown languages, curing diseases, divining unexpressed thoughts, understanding the language of the heart. The sixth is the power of converting old age into youth. The seventh is the power of mesmerizing human beings and beasts, and making them obedient; it is the power of restraining passions and emotions. The eighth power is the spiritual state, and presupposes the absence of the above seven powers, as in this state the Yogi is full of God."
The phantom hand is the extrusion of the man's inner or astral member. This is that real self whose limbs the surgeon cannot amputate; they remain behind after the outer casing is cut off, and have all the sensations the physical parts formerly experienced. This is that spiritual (astral) body "which is "raised in incorruption." The same principle in the unconscious extrusion of a phantom limb by the cataleptic medium applies to the projection of his entire "double" or astral body. This may be withdrawn by the will of the medium's own inner self without his retaining in his physical brain any recollection of such an intent--that is one phase of man's dual capacity.
Mediums are usually diseased, but the adepts of Eastern magic are uniformly of perfect mental and bodily health, and in fact the voluntary and independent production of phenomena is impossible to any others. Many have been known by Madame Blavatsky and others, and never a sick man among them. The adept retains perfect consciousness; shows no sign of bodily temperature; or any signs of morbidity; requires no "conditions," but will do his feats anywhere and everywhere; and instead of being passive and in subjection to a foreign influence, rules the forces with an iron will. The body, soul, and spirit of the adept are all conscious and working in harmony, and the body of the medium is an inert clod. and even his soul may be away in a dream while its habitation is occupied by another.
The medium need not exercise any will-power. The medium's
"spiritual" entity, when not obsessed by other spirits, will act outside the will or consciousness of the physical being as surely as it acts when within the body during a fit of somnambulism. Its perceptions, external and internal, will be acuter and far more developed, precisely as they are in the sleep-walker. And this is why the materialized form sometimes knows more than the medium, for the intellectual perception of the astral entity is proportionately as much higher than the corporeal intelligence of the medium in its normal state as the spirit entity is finer than itself.
Generally the medium will be found cold, the pulse will have visibly changed, and a state of nervous prostration succeeds the phenomena, bunglingly and without discrimination attributed to disembodied spirits; whereas but one-third of them may be produced by the latter, another third by elementals, and the rest by the astral double of the medium himself.
An adept can not only project and make visible a hand, a foot, or any other portion of his body, but the whole of it. In Isis Unveiled :Madame Blavatsky relates having seen one do this in full day while his hands and feet were being held by a sceptical friend whom he wished to surprise.
Little by little the whole astral form oozed out like a vapory cloud, until before them stood two forms, of which the second was an exact duplicate of the first, only slightly more shadowy.
To project this ethereal body, at no matter what distance; to render it more objective and tangible by condensing over its fluidic form the waves of the parent essence, is the great secret of the adept-magician.
NOTE-The foregoing is compiled from Isis Unveiled, by Madame H. p, B1avatsky, viz.: Vol. I, pages 12,178,179,180,281,319,327,328,329 and 432; Vol. II, pages 180, 503, 592, 595, 596 and 506; and from The Ocean of Theosophy, by Wm. Q. Judge, pages 21, 33, 39, 40 and 42.
THEOSOPHY, vol. X, p.46
We have not come up from the lower kingdoms. As self-conscious beings, with knowledge and with memory, we have voluntarily assumed the task of moving downward through the various stages of substance to meet the uprising kingdoms of the lower intelligences. The only way we can arrive at any conception of these processes is to begin at the top and not at the bottom, and follow the stages down. With each step down the stairs of being there has been a greater concretion and a greater feeling of separateness, and yet the source of all is the same and the powers that exist in everyone potentially are the same.- .
THE COMING RACE*
THEOSOPHY, vol. X, p.358
stenographic report of a talk by Robert Crosbie, here published for the first
THE great quest of scientists at all times has been to discover the beginning of things. They rightly think that if they can discover the beginning of things, they can get at the meaning of existence. For we know that there must have been a time when this world was not; when this solar-system was not; nor stars nor any heavenly bodies. From that state of invisibility there came visibility. Standing as perceivers in that condition of invisibility, we can imagine an eternal motion always tending to a vortex; then vortices becoming more and more dense through vast ages of time and finally condensing into such bodies as our planet or sun. The beginning is on the invisible side of nature, and in that invisibility was the intelligence which could bring about the differing visible results.
Invisibility does not imply lack of intelligence nor lack of form, but rather implies the basis of all intelligence and experience, as well as the basis of all form. If we would consider that every planet and every solar-system is the successor of a planet or solar-system which preceded it, and that this great succession of planets and solar systems and beings had no beginning and will have no ending, we can see that when this planet began in radiant matter, all the intelligences concerned in the planet existing before this one were present, each in his own degree and kind, the result of all its past individual experience. These intelligences included not only the being, man, but all the beings above him and every being below him. For the kingdoms below man are just beginning to get a conception of separateness of being, which increases by degrees through experience, in form and expression; there are many differings degrees, too, among mankind; above man, many planets and solar-systems before this have brought into existence through evolution--"the ever-becoming"--beings so much higher than man that our highest conception of a deity would not give us an understanding of their nature. .
The great evolutionary stream does not exist of itself. It is composed of every unit of intelligence concerned in it. This planet like every other planet is made up of the beings concerned in it. The mineral kingdom is necessary for the vegetable, both these kingdoms necessary for the animal, and all three for the human kingdom; then, are the beings above, but all beings rest on the one common basis of Spirit. Differing in their degrees of expression, all acting and re-acting upon each other, all by that action and reaction gain a further impetus to a greater range of knowledge and expression. Evolution is not a thing outside our-selves, but an unfolding from within outward. The whole force behind evolution is the One Spirit--the power within us that enables us to perceive, to learn, to know, to feel, in every direction.
Going back to that form of invisibility in which every planet begins, we will understand that it must go under certain directions, under certain laws which are inherent in the whole and rise from the inter-relation of the different beings that compose the evolutionary stream. The order in which this stream divides is known. That order is on the basis of the seven, and it is defined by seven distinct great classes of beings. The number seven is to be found everywhere in nature, most notably in the colors and sounds. There are several octaves of color just as there are several octaves of music, and these octaves of sound and color have a different relation to the different classes of beings. The septenary division moving throughout the world in every direction is expressed in man in seven "principles."
Every man is septenary in form and every man is connected with every other being and every other element in the universe. All the different classes of beings everywhere meet in the "principles" of man, all being a part of the Great Whole. Each one is Spirit; each one has all the acquired intelligence of the past; each one has the active thinking power of mind; each one has that mind applied to physical life; each one has the life in the body--an aspect of the One Life--each one has a real inner form which is the substratum of the physicial form into which this gross matter is builded. Thus no man is, in reality, separate from any other, all are in constant touch with each other.
Our planet, like man, has its seven "principles" and its seven states. Evolution has proceeded three and one half times through the seven states. Now, we have passed the middle point of the fourth round of this earth, but we have to go three and one-half rounds more before the highest possible perfection of humanity can be brought about, in intelligence and substance. Every round brings a new advancement in intelligence and a new refinement of the matter used, for a change of substance goes on all the time through the refining power present in all the kingdoms, from highest to lowest.
Corresponding to the rounds are seven great races, which are again divided into seven sub-races, and the sub-races into family races. We are now in the fifth sub-race of the fifth great Root Race, although there are still existing on the earth to-day remnants of the fourth, and even of the third sub-race. Nature does not proceed by leaps and bounds. While one race is ending another is beginning, and so we also have right among us now the pioneers of the sixth sub-race.
The development of the senses is concordant with the evolution of the races. Whereas now we have but five senses, in another race we shall have an added sense, which will transcend our highest sense of sight and be a synthetic sight or sense which takes in all the rest. Scientists anticipate this sense in their "fourth dimension", but what they really need to see is a sixth characteristic of matter-permeability, which will enable us to see, unobstructed by any object or substance. The power of seeing through absolutely opaque substance, as now does the X-Ray, exists latent in everyone of us; it is this
power manifesting in what we call clairaudience, clairvoyance, and telepathy.
Now it is very foolish and a waste of time to speculate, as many Theosophists do, and talk much about the coming race; what will be its nature; what will be the degrees of intelligence, and the kinds of passions that the beings will have at that time. All that we have now are the conditions that now confront us. We cannot start from any place other than the one where we now are, and we must use the powers and knowledge that we have in order to reach any further advancement. Let it be well understood at the outset that whatever the coming race may be will be due to the thought and action of mankind Now. There is no power outside of man that will make the race any different, that will make conditions any different. The power to make the conditions, to make the race, lies latent in the spirit and soul of man. As he thinks and acts will results be. The coming race will be just what we make it. We cannot tell what it will be, but we can know what we ought to do now. We can take the stand that will bring us into the highest and best relations and conditions possible to us now.
No Being is guiding this evolution. It is all beings. No Being is sending it in this, that, or the other direction, nor turning aside the results of our own individual wrong doings. All is caused within our-selves, and the reaction depends upon ourselves. It is true that all effects come to us through other beings, but those effects are from causes that we set in motion. So, if we have enemies, they are our own enemies. If we have friends, they are our own friends. Beings of a high degree are not doing for us what we alone can do for ourselves. The law does not exist outside of man. He is his own law. He acts from within. We exist among many, many different kinds of beings, but it is our attitude toward them that determines the reactions from them. The making of the coming race, then, is within our own hands, and nowhere else.
It is the beings on earth that make the conditions, and not the conditions that make the being. Many have the idea that our environment makes us, that if only we could get out of our present environment, we would be all that we should be. It is not true. No matter how pleasant the surroundings might be in a fabulous heaven, if we went there fault-finders as we are now, we would find things to find fault with right there and right off. We are not changed by environment and could not be, because, in fact, we are our own environment. We stand behind every change, unchangeable, ready to make a further change, whether in body--that ever--changing mass of lower substance which we use--or in our mind, which, no more than body, is ourselves, because we can change it. That in us which never had a beginning and will never have an ending is continually making changes in its individual instruments of expression. Such is the meaning of evolution, and the whole universe exists for no other purpose than the evolution of soul.
Consideration along these lines brings us to a sense of our re-
sponsibility as to the coming race. Whatever is to be in the future depends on us. It will not change unless we change it. We have to set the lines right so that others may follow, on the right basis. We have to forget personality, selfishness, separateness, and realize that each one of us must work for the good of all, must see all beings as one great whole, all beings of every kind working together from the same nature in the same direction, but differing in their degrees. Would man-made laws help us in that? Not at all. All must be done by the man himself. We put the machinery of law in motion making enactments with the idea that they will change the moral nature of man, but they never will, for the moral nature of man is responsible. We have our various loves, wise or unwise; even the love of country can do great harm, if it is of such a nature that it will make men do "what my country does", whether that country is right or wrong. We forget that other peoples are like ourselves, and other races just as much our brothers and sisters. There is needed the realization of one great family, however much the members of it differ, and that all are mutually interdependent and mutually related.
So long as racial doubt and hatred exist, there will be wars among the nations. Peace lies in the realization of what evolution means, of what is the purpose of life. When that realization becomes general in the world, all the circumstances which now hinder us--whether they be earthquakes, cyclones, diseases, or wars--will disappear, because if no man will hurt another, then there is nothing for evil to work upon. As soon as we realize our responsibility for our words, thoughts, and actions to all others, the whole basis of all wrong-doing is removed. This is one of the lessons which Theosophy teaches: It aims to make a universal brotherhood of Humanity, not of one race or people.
The coming race will, no doubt, affect America. Here are representatives of almost every race, and the mingling of the physical strains of the egos now in incarnation is bringing about the beginnings of a new race. Peoples are gathering from all corners of the earth in this western-most land. Moving along on the lines of their own nature, they are drawn together by the very magnet of what is going on here to form a new people, and little by little they are actually improving the physical body, improving the conditions, improving the intelligence, and gaining a wider range of thought. The pioneers of the coming race, we may understand, are already here, beginning the work that will be continued by other egos who will follow.
The great Teachers of all time are waiting and preparing for Their actual appearance among us, but "the coming savior" of whom we have heard will not be in our generation, nor are we ready for him. Such a being could do us no good now--and not until we have taken the Message that those Beings have already left us and used it, could Their actual coming be of benefit to us. Their Message is Their forerunner--the voice crying in the wilderness to make
the Path of the Lord straight--a preparatory Message that will take these souls, awake and awakening, into right thought and action.
Great, then, is the responsibility which is laid upon us. All that we may need by way of help is there for us. All the information necessary may be had for the asking. That Message has been given time and time again in other and ancient times. But it was taken advantage of by a very few and misused by the great majority. It will be the same this time, undoubtedly. Yet the Truth exists. The power is there. The help is there. Both, if we but know enough to seize them.
THE QUIET SPOT
THEOSOPHY, vol. X, p.362
THERE seems to be no end to the reiteration by the Wise of the fact that the quiet spot must be found and at last held under all circumstances. One must attain an equilibrium that cannot be shaken by personal emotion; one must be ready to say under whatever circumstances, whether expected or unexpected, "This is just in fact what I desired;" one must accept Law in full and not in partial or divided application.
In the very nature of growth, a long time is required, even after the earnest student is familiar with the written text, for the veils to lift on its true meanings. The still lingering virus of the vicarious atonement idea deludes him into thinking that in some mysterious way the knowing mentally of the text will save him. He does not grasp that it is only in hourly application to daily living, the true meaning will become revealed.
He has studied the devotional books from cover to cover, knows them in fact "by heart"--yet to him they are hidden in their essential meaning; their secret intention escapes him. Only by the gradual strengthening of the will through repeated and persistent attempts at partial application, does he come at last to realize that the application must be in full. Else, he but the more solidly buttresses that part of his nature which he does not subject to the Great Law.
The one thing to be striven for is calm or steadiness if ever we are to be factors for good-agents for righteousness. We know that. And we begin the seemingly endless and hopeless quest for that quiet spot where unity is. Through thousands of failures we continue the search. That unshakable place of peace--does it exist for every Pilgrim? We become so blinded by our failures that, unconsciously, we come to believe it to be but for the few, or if for ourselves, only in the far vistas of the future. Not now is it for us. Greater shocks come to awaken us from the sleep of this error. We are forced to find that imperishable place or be cast away to another, a lesser opportunity.
Yet we are aware that there are Those who have attained; Those who can stand through any shock, and have so stood though nations fell; Those who have not left us when their attainment was complete. Bearing the Message of their Journey They come, presenting it not as their own but as the work of the Great Ones to whom They eternally point. The while They stand as examples of what They bring, the mongering world accepts the Message and rejects the Messenger. The student still expects by some miracle not to comply with all the conditions. He wishes to select his own.
It is only when driven to the confines of despair, that he finds he must turn, for he cannot escape Life. He has to face Life itself. If then, it must be faced, it were better to face it squarely. So resolved, half the burden falls from him, and he has found the strength to face his lower self. Confronting it now, it does not terrorize him, for he knows it to be his own. He faces it under the aspect of Law--the Sweet Law of Alaya's Self-returning Harmony. In the midst of the clangor and the din, he knows that immediately beyond lies the sweet peace of life and a purified understanding. If the struggle seems almost unendurable, he may know that the same Good Law that brought the struggle will equally bring the compensation for effort made.
In the stead of constant poniard thrusts of resentment into the deep heart of his new life; in the stead of tidal rebellions that sweep and waste and pillage the garnered high moments of the soul, he holds the resolution to suffer or enjoy whatever is the Will of the One Life--in reality his own and only true will. Making this will his will, he has the force of every Master of Beneficence abiding unseparate and unapart in him. He no longer struggles against any conditions; he works with them. With this resolution reaffirmed from moment to moment until it becomes continuous, he comes to feel gratitude--in which there is no gratulation--that after resignation is contentment, satisfaction knowledge; that back of all lies the Ocean of Self; that behind all the emotions and sensations of what we call life, there is that still deep current of Real Life or Love, of which they are but obscurations.
THEOSOPHY, vol. X, p.363
Theosophy has revealed to "the great orphan" the true story of his Divine lineage, concerning which it is said in the Secret Doctrine, "Man cannot know higher Beings than his own Progenitors. Nor shall he worship them, but he ought to learn how he came into the world." Surely a knowledge of his inherent Divinity, which has precedence over mere earthly parentage, would help a child as he grows to manhood to make himself worthy of it.
FRAGMENTS* ATTRIBUTED TO EPICTETUS
THEOSOPHY, vol. X, p.364
WHEN someone asked, "How may a man eat acceptably to the gods," he answered: "If he can eat justly and contentedly, and with equanimity and temperately, and orderly; will it not be also acceptable to the gods? But when you have asked for warm water and the slave has not heard; or, if he did hear, has brought only tepid water; or, he is not even found to be in the house; then, not to be vexed or to burst with passion, is not this acceptable to the gods?" .
"How then shall a man endure such persons as this slave?"
"Slave yourself, will you not bear with your own brother, who has Zeus for his progenitor, and is like a son from the same seeds and of the same descent from above? But if you have been put in any such higher place, will you immediately make yourself a tyrant? Will you not remember who you are, and whom you rule? That they are kinsmen; that they are brethren by nature; that they are the offspring of Zeus?"
"But I have purchased them and they have not purchased me." "Do you see in what direction you are looking--that it is towards the earth, towards the pit; that it is towards those wretched laws of dead men? But towards the laws of the gods you are not looking."
* * *
It is difficulties which show what men are. Therefore, when a difficulty falls upon you, remember that God, like a trainer of wrestlers, has matched you with a rough young man. "For what purpose?" you may ask. Why, that you may become an Olympic conqueror; but it is not accomplished without sweat.
* * *
"Why are you ignorant of your own noble descent? Why do you not know whence you came? Will you not remember when you are eating who you are who eat, and whom you feed? When you are in social intercourse; when you are exercising yourself; when you are engaged in discussion, know you not that you are nourishing a god; that you are exercising a god? Wretch, you are carrying about a god with you, and you know it not. Do you think that I mean some god of silver or of gold, and external ? You carry him within yourself, and you perceive not that you are polluting him by impure thoughts and dirty deeds.
"And if an image of God were present, you would not dare to do any of the things which you are doing; but when God himself is present within and sees all and hears all, you are not ashamed of thinking such things and doing such things, ignorant as you are of your own nature."
*From the, George Long Translation.
THE GROWTH OF SOUL*
THEOSOPHY vol. X, p. 164
* From the stenographic report of a talk by Robert Crosbie, here published for the first time.--Editors.
FOR many, many centuries man has gone on in this Western World with no understanding of his own nature and no idea of his real responsibility, because he has been taught in a greater or less degree that he is a created being, and whatever soul he might have was donated him by the Creator. He has been given fear on the one side, and on the other the promise of reward for what might be called good conduct. The ancients, however, held quite a different idea of soul, and regarded man not as a creature but as himself a creator, with the power to make his instruments better fitted, and with control and guidance over the events of his life. They held that all beings spring from the same boundless, omnipresent Source, which is the root and essence and cause--the One Spirit, the One Consciousness, the One Power to grow, without which at its root there is no form, however high or low.
So Theosophy teaches that behind man and behind all beings is the immortal part, known to us as Spirit. That immortal part is the moving power; that immortal part is that which requires experience. That immortal part provides all the powers, and in it lies hidden or inherent the law of expanding. The power to perceive, to act, to grow is latent in every form. Whatever may be the nature of that form, and however low to our perceptions, we should know that it could have no existence except for the One Source, the One Power, the One Life within it, which causes its growth through the perception of external things and external contacts. The true meaning of evolution is the unfolding from within, outward. It is through the acquisition of knowledge gained by experience that a greater desire for a better instrument appears to the perception, and then the soul--of whatever quality-moves on.
Even in the mineral kingdom are forms of many kinds with different qualities. The Spirit is within each form--each expression indicating a certain degree of intelligence, and the intelligence of one kind differing from the intelligence of another. That intelligence has been gained, but let us remember that the root of all gaining on every plane of being is the power to perceive, the power to act, and the power to feel the reactions. In the next, the vegetable kingdom, this power approaches a greater expression. It shows very clearly a different texture, and in the higher grades even the rudiments of a nervous system. The many different kinds of expression in that kingdom represent a different kind of intelligence. Every flower, every plant every tree is soul in embryo. Coming to the animal kingdom, we find forms there expressing certain qualities gained through observation and experience, through right or wrong impulsion, because in that kingdom are forms inimical to mankind as well as those that are beneficial.
Looking now to the human kingdom, we find something of the same qualities belonging to the three lower kingdoms. There are those beings with the static, immovable perception of the mineral, with a small round of perception and just as small a round of action. Others are of a vegetative character in their attitude of mind. Then there are those of a higher intelligence, a more open mind, a more unveiled spiritual perception. All these are growths of soul. If, as we now stand, having contacted many different kinds of thought and religion in our search for an explanation of the nature of man, his present condition and his destiny, we are prepared to consider any question whatever upon its own merits, apart from any prejudices or predilections we may have, our souls are in the process of further growth. True understanding requires an open mind; it requires that belief and preconception should be thrown entirely out of the mind and replaced by an accurate and intimate knowledge of self-evident truth, before the soul can grow from its present limitations into a wider and deeper atmosphere, a wider range of thought, and a deeper understanding. True knowledge is soul power, pure and simple. Even false knowledge pertains to soul, but it is not of the spiritual nature.
Now we can see the necessity of making a distinction between soul and spirit. Saint Paul makes that distinction in the New Testament, but it is lost to orthodox religions because any idea of an external God destroys the whole idea of Spirit. It is the Spirit that makes the form of the mineral, of the vegetable kingdom, of the animal and human physical existence; it is the same perceiving Power, grown higher with a soul that ranges far above material things, that has been through all our present experiences and passed on to higher planes of being, carrying the knowledge forward without a break. The Spirit In man is the Real part of him. All the rest is due to externalities and to impermanencies. All that can ever be kept is the knowledge which he acquires, and that alone is knowledge which proceeds from and is related to his own spiritual perception. The Perceiver is the Real in man. That is not the soul. That is the Spirit. Then there are those acquisitions of knowledge, of perception, of understanding, of wisdom which the Spirit assimilates to itself; everything that we perceive, every experience which we go through, all the knowledge that we may gain, is not Spirit. It is the Spirit which is the Knower; the things known are the soul. Spirit is that which is the Seer, not that which is seen. Spirit is at the root, but observation and experience give us a greater and greater realization of the Spirit which we are. Soul is the ever-increasing perception of the Reality of Spirit.
Any kind of experience is soul, even though it is embryonic before the stage of self-consciousness is reached; that is, it does not know itself and cannot distinguish between itself and its acquired round of perception. The lower kingdoms have not the conscious-
ness of the soul, and this it is which man has and which makes him different from the lower kingdoms, where it is only latent. . We, as men, can stand apart from ourselves and criticize our own actions, our actions in connection with others, our words, our principles, our natures, or anything else. It is evident that if we can do that, these things are not ourselves. We can criticize that which belongs to us. Nothing which belongs to us is, in reality, ourselves. It is our acquisition. So, looking at the soul as a means, a basis and a degree of knowledge acquired by observation and experience, we can see why we find ourselves in our present position. We have gained knowledge through forms, but all forms decay. This form we now possess had a beginning and must have an ending, will in time pass back to the kingdoms from which it was taken. We are not this form. Nor are we the ideas we have held, are now holding or will hold. W e are the holders of the ideas. All mental conceptions as ourselves may be discarded. We are not the mind which we can change. We are that which continually takes another position and makes another evolution .. Thus, by realizing all that is not Spirit, we can conceive and understand the Spirit.
There is no beginning nor ending to us, in reality. There is no beginning to the power to perceive, the power to grow. It always was and is and ever shall be. Soul-growth is not a material thing; it is a growth in perception, in knowledge, in the realization of the spiritual part of man. The struggles which we go through are all self-inflicted because of the ignorance of our own nature due to the false teachings imparted to us, accepted and maintained by us. We have supposed that we were just our bodies; that some being gave us a soul; that when the body dies the soul goes back to the God who gave it; that life is a donation; that we are not responsible for our coming into life, for our capacities or incapacities or environments. We like to shut our mental eyes. We try to forget the great facts of existence. We try to live in the present and in our desires and pleasures, while we seek to avoid the evils we have so richly deserved. If life were only this, the only possible clue would be suicide and selfishness. But we cannot, as a matter of fact, think of a time when we will not always "be there" under whatever conditions. And as we always work With others, affecting them for good and evil, we must as spiritual beings make restitution in every direction. No one can do that for us-not even those great Beings, our Elder Brothers, who know us, who have regarded our ignorance and our thoughtlessness, and from time to time come to awaken us. No savior of any kind can save the world. Mankind must save itself.
Among mankind there are many, many classes. We are not born "free and equa1." We are not of the same kind. We are the same in nature, but we differ very much in degree. We may be the laggards of those classes, who have existed in many lives
with Those who are far, far above us and to whom we were not listening. Having ears to hear, we did not hear; and having understanding, we would not understand. Had we listened and had we understood, we would have already reached the stage of those Beings. They are souls grown to a universal scope. They know that the powers They have realized, in man, are only latent, but the only one to bring about the great perfection--to finish the task set forth--is the man himself. All that They can do is to arouse man to a sense of his own nature so that he himself will take action; he alone can do what is necessary to be done. Realizing the integrity of each soul, the laws that operate through all, They know They cannot change the course for man; They cannot interfere. Their souls having grown to the heights of understanding and wisdom, They can help others to see; They can tell men that such a way lies open to them; They can show the same path that Great Ones have always trod.
vol. X, p.167
PROBABLY the most common request students of Theosophy hear from certain quarters is for Something New. Some inquirers and beginners, and even some students, appear to think that as there is so much anxiety in the world nowadays to learn the latest styles in clothes; the latest in amusements; the latest in slang; the latest best sellers; and the latest news of the latest crime hero or heroine, there should be something "latest" in Theosophy.
The craving for something "new" does not surprise the student of Theosophy as he knows something of the cyclic law; the melting pot and the necessary froth; and he also knows that manas operating through the brain, has several peculiarities: to fly off from any point, object or subject; to fly to some pleasant or unpleasant idea, and the like.
This desire to get Something New in Theosophy necessarily implies a gross ignorance of the Nature of the Masters, the extent of Their 'Wisdom and powers, and the three fundamental propositions of The Secret Doctrine.
The Highest Adept referred to in Theosophical literature--"to whose insight the future lies like an open page,"--as a Mahatma wrote of Him, outlined the purposes of Theosophical work in the letter which ought to be well known to all earnest students, as published in THEOSOPHY, January, 1922. It is basic in forming a true conception of the Theosophical Movement "The Secret Doctrine" was stated by Themselves to be the production of Masters.* Is it, then, illogical to assume that Their Message to Humanity for every hour, for every day and every year up to at least 1975, is con-
*See "The Theosophical Movement." in THEOSOPHY for February, 1922.
tained in these and in all the other Theosophical writings by H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge? No!
If the future lay indeed "like an open page," the years from 1875 and up to 1975, including our present 1922, were certainly known and provided for.
The spirit of prophecy is not very highly regarded in this age, and properly so because of the extremely uncertain evidence upon which most of the recorded prophecies have been based; a fact which various assumed astrologers ("who are more at sea than any other mystics," as W. Q. J. wrote), "aquarian adepts," and other dabblers in the "occult" are continually demonstrating. But if it is recognized that under the universal law of evolution the Beings above mankind have passed through a stage of development similar to ours and have reached a full knowledge of the laws that govern the progress of beings, it can readily be conceded that prophecies given to the world by Them would not be based upon anything else but an accurate balancing of cause and effect. One such prophecy deals particularly with our present period. W. Q. Judge writes:
"---The Secret Doctrine (was written) so that the future seventy-five and more years should have some material to work on, and that in the coming years that book and its theories would be widely studied. The material given has then to be worked over, to be assimilated for the welfare of all. --We have -- entered on the dim beginning of a new era already. It is the era of Western Occultism and of special and definite treatment and --exposition of theories hitherto generally considered. We have to do as Buddha told his disciples: preach, promulgate, expound, illustrate, and make clear in detail all the great things we have learned. That is our work, and not the bringing out of surprising things about clairvoyance and other astral matters, nor the blinding of the eye of science by discoveries impossible for them but easy for the occultist. The Master's plan has not altered. He gave it out long ago. It is to make the world at large better, to prepare a right soil for the growing out of the powers of the soul, which are dangerous if they spring up in our present selfish soil. It is not the Black Lodge that tries to keep back psychic development, it is the White Lodge. The Black would fain have all the psychic powers in full flower now, because in our wicked, mean, hyocritical, and money-getting people, they would soon wreck the race."
It was often explained by H. P. B.--and the simple illustration of the farmer sowing seeds in the spring time and doing other necessary work at other times in the cycle, points to the governing law--that the Great Lodge ceased its direct and--public form and influence with the closing of the last quarter of the last century. She wrote that were They to continue the public effort any longer than that, a reaction would set in very similar to indigestion. Time must be given for assimilation, or the "dark shadow which follows all innovation" would crush the soul of man. Herein we see, also, a forecast of the great flood, since 1896, of allegedly clairvoyant, astrological, and similar teachings--the attempt at "bringing out of surprising things about clairvoyance and other astral matters"--in the many places where the old Theosophical societies used to be so active
and in the public eye. We can easily recognize all the pretended new teachings and fresh revelations to be nothing less than the "dark shadow which follows all innovations." Mr. Judge adds that in this cycle there will be spread out wide behind all true workers the mighty hand of "that great Initiate, whose single will upholds the entire movement."
Yet the Lodge of Masters never ceases work with individuals; it always exists; the Master's voice is always in the world. Is it not logical that the only way to finding that Lodge is to avail ourselves of the public literature They left and preserved for us at so great a cost, and for us to go to work for Them in the ways plainly indicated in those teachings?
If we are honest with ourselves, will we not see that a desire for new Theosophical dishes is simply selfishness: we want "something new." If we know the accessible teachings so well, there are others who do not. "why are we not doing our utmost in time, money and work to spread the Theosophical literature as it was given out by Those who brought it? Why do we not, in the words of W. Q. J.'s statement for this period, "preach, promulgate, expound, illustrate and make clear all the great things we have learned," or think we have learned.
The work and the privilege of the true student of Theosophy is in assisting to hold the Lines Laid Down by the Masters. We have all necessary material in black and white; the Great Influence is there as ever for those who with one aim, one purpose, and one teaching, do what they can to preach, to promulgate and practice pure Theosophy without personal motives. In truth, the more we honestly endeavor to do that, the more we will see in the teachings we may fancy we know so well. Not Something New is what is needed, but a New Way of looking at what is before us.