THE ETERNAL VERITIES
THE THEOSOPHY COMPANY
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
The experience of over twenty years in Theosophy School suggested the
separation of the revised edition of The Eternal Verities into two
volumes, one, as published in 1940, for the direct use of children and young
people; the other, as Manual and Guide for Teachers.
The Eternal Verities was originally intended for teachers’ use alone, but, after a few years, it happened that some extremely well-qualified teachers used the text, directly, with such intelligence that the children came to feel it to be their book. At the same time, was realized the danger of this method for the average teacher, who might not always be sufficiently astute to prevent the “parroting” of ready-made answers to questions. So, the need was seen for providing the Lessons, without the questions and answers and suggestions and references formerly included, thus simplifying the book for children, and encouraging, more surely, their independent thinking.
For teachers, this present Manual and Guide affords even more of help and suggestion than did the prior volume, while the historical background, it is hoped, will serve to make more clear the basis and modulus and inspiration of Theosophy School. Parents who teach their own children isolated from other Theosophical association will, doubtless, gain also by seeing the more complete picture of what a Theosophical
education carries with it. Both parents and teachers should read The Eternal Verities through, and then likewise the Teacher’s Manual and Guide, before attempting to teach any part of it.
However good any system of education, however wise the plan, experience has proved that both depend for their success, not alone upon the initiator of the plan or system, but quite as much on those who put the plan into operation. Hence, the educators of today despair because of the lack of properly educated and naturally inclined teachers. From the first, in Theosophy School, the effort has been made, and is still consistently maintained, to educate the teachers. One great advantage has always been present in this work—that no one is ever on the teaching force at a price, but simply from the desire to serve Theosophy, and to help children in the acquirement of right ideas. The teachers love to teach, and the children partake of their respect for Theosophy, as they also respect the teacher who knows more than they do. These teachers are consecrated to the work—are always eager for advice and instruction, constantly carrying the class and its problems in mind, and always conscious of the responsibility assumed by those who teach. To this devotion may be ascribed the children’s radiant faces on Sunday mornings, and the oft- repeated exclamation at the close of the session, “Oh, do we have to stop?”
The coming generations who must maintain, expand, and develop Theosophy School will do well to be mindful that the
pioneering of any enterprise contains the soul of it. Succedent efforts on that very foundation may thrive and become greater in mere numbers, and yet something of the original, primeval spirit escape. That this spirit may be sustained and reenergized as Theosophy School grows through the years, the Teacher’s Manual and Guide has been prepared, as, also, in recognition that the philosophical and ethical education of children is a most important aspect of the present Theosophical movement.
June 25, 1941.
PREFACE .................................................................... iii
HISTORY OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL ...................1
CURRICULUM OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL ........16
SUGGESTIONS FOR TEACHERS.............................45
LESSON SUGGESTIONS AND AIDS..................... 74
STORIES FOR YOUTH-COMPANIONS
(Which first appeared in
Theosophy Magazine, Volumes 15 to 18, inclusive, as contributed by
It is the Master’s work to preserve the true Philosophy, but the help of the companions is needed to rediscover and promulgate it.”
“What Is God?” .............................................161
Fire and Fires................................................. 163
Little Choices................................................. 167
Why Be Honest? ...........................................170
Why Obedience?.......................................... 173
The Duty of Another ....................................175
“Inclinations of the Senses”.......................... 181
The Campers’ Menace.................................. 185
The Elemental Skim...................................... 188
The Thought-World ......................................191
Learning French ............................................198
New Year’s Resolutions................................. 202
New Values ....................................................206
TEACHER’S MEMORANDA .....................211
HISTORY OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
“The Friendly Philosopher’ ‘—Robert Crosbie—remarks (page 370, of the book with that title) : “We have undertaken a high mission and a heavy task [in the work of U. L. T.]—not because we think ourselves so eminently fit, but because we see the need and there is no one else to do it.” This applies as cogently to the inception of Theosophy School. The idea or vision of it was practically co-existent with the foundation of The United Lodge of Theosophists, February 18, 1909, but it took time to discover that the vision must be brought into practical operation by the “visioner,” meager though might be that one’s ability or Theosophic education. Zeal and enthusiasm for a cause often supplement ability, however, and, in this case, “The Friendly Philosopher” was all the while carrying on and exemplifying a true Theosophic education in the daily teaching of wise companionship, which gave whatever of virtue there was to be in this enterprise. Mr. Crosbie was well-informed as to the importance attached by Mr. Judge to the Theosophical education of children; Mr. Judge knew its importance from H. P. Blavatsky, and though no direct effort had been made in her time, H. P. B. had given clear lines of educational direction, as seen especially in The Key to Theosophy. Mr. Judge’s “Path” Magazine (published between 1886 and 1896 in New York City) gave evidence of the work done in his time, but nothing enduring was accomplished by those who later undertook it, largely because the methods in vogue were those of “entertainment.”
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MR. JUDGE’S PROGRAM
The following letter written to a member of the Theosophical Society in Australia outlines the methods then in common use. (U. L. T. programs will be described later on.) The letter did not come into the possession of U. L. T. until ten years after the work for children had been in progress.
New York, July 24, 1893.
Dear Sir and Brother,
Mr. W. Q. Judge has requested me to reply to that part of your letter of 15th ult., which refers to the instruction of the young in Theosophical truths.
In New York and Brooklyn three “Lotus Circles” are held on Sunday afternoons, nominally for the young, but no one is excluded; the teaching is unsectarian, and includes the ethical doctrines at the root of all religions. The order of exercises is as follows:
1. Two songs from the “Lotus Song book” (copy of which is mailed to you), accompanied with piano, or piano and violin.
2. Recitation of verses, or short extracts from “Voice of the Silence,” etc., by the children, who deliver them from the platform in turn.
3. Another song.
4. The classes are formed, the children and others being grouped somewhat according to age, or with respect to the knowledge they possess of Theosophy—care must be taken that as far as possible the classes are maintained intact from week to week.
A stated subject is given out on the previous Sunday,
HISTORY OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
which is to be taken up by all the classes. The following are among those which have been considered—”Reincarnation Karma, Universal Brotherhood, the seven Principles, the Masters, Buddha, Christ, Zoroaster, H. P. B., and the teachings of all the various founders of religions.”
Each teacher deals with the subject according to the capacity of the pupils, from allegories to an exposition of the philosophy.
5. Another song.
6. An address (5 to 10 minutes) upon the subject of the
day by the Superintendent or other person.
7. Another song.
The exercises last about one hour.
Children having unprejudiced minds accept the Theosophical ideas very readily, but the Lotus Circles do a good work among the older people, especially among new members, who find these gatherings a means of obtaining the preliminary ideas.
Song books are five cents each.
I shall be happy to render any further information.
Wishing you every success,
(Signed) Burcham Harding
(one of Mr. Judge’s secretaries)
IN -THE BEGINNING
The education of children in the United Lodge of Theosophists was intended
to provide fundamental philosophy and ethical discipline in a more definite
system than had been pos-
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sible in preceding Theosophical efforts. It was realized that only a Theosophic basis of ethics and philosophy could save the ideals of the coming generations. Consequently, a new literature had to be provided. In 1916 was published the book, “Because”—For the Children Who Ask Why, which is now in its second and somewhat enlarged edition. This book is steadily in use in Theosophy School, and is especially a boon to Theosophical parents who are not in touch with any group of Theosophists. It has also served as an approach to Theosophy for many adults who need a simple presentation of its basic ideas.
Before the publication of “Because,” however, a definite work had been inaugurated (in 1915) to form the nucleus of what was to be, in after years, the organized School. Two neighborhood groups—between the ages of six and twelve— the children of U. L. T. members, and of interested friends, were formed in a suburb of Los Angeles, meeting on Sunday mornings at eleven o’clock. Lessons were provided these groups on the plan of the Three Fundamental Propositions of The Secret Doctrine, called, for the easier comprehension of the children, “The Three Truths.” The writer of the lessons visited the groups, in order to test the practicality and usefulness of the lessons, as also to discover the needs of teachers. The book—The Eternal Verities—grew along with the groups of the then named “Children’s School of Theosophy.”
5—————PART I HISTORY OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
GROUPS IN VARIOUS LODGES
Two new groups were formed in Los Angeles in 1916, and in 1917 a group of older boys and girls began to study The Ocean of Theosophy, at the Lodge Rooms, in the Metropolitan Building, on Sunday mornings. Other groups were now being held in near-by towns — in Sierra Madre and Corona, but it was not until 1918 that any attempt was made to consolidate the various groups into a School at the Lodge Rooms. Meantime, Teachers’ meetings were being held weekly, to draw the teachers into a bond of union; to take up teaching problems; to encourage deeper study of the philosophy and of the psychology of Theosophy. Such meetings are still held for the benefit of both parents and teachers, because found to be of paramount importance in holding the School to its high level.
San Francisco Lodge also began its work for children in 1916; New York Lodge started in 1922, Philadelphia in 1933, Tahiti in 1938. Attempts made in Washington, D. C., did not continue, as, too, in San Diego, where, however, the work has now been started again. In Phoenix — one of
U. L. T.s' smallest Lodges — the work has never flagged. Berkeley Lodge was necessitated by the demand for Theosophy School, which is still the largest activity of that Lodge. The Bombay, India, work for children is carried on with enthusiasm, and is growing rapidly.
MANUAL AND GUIDE
PATHFINDERS’ AUXILIARY ACTIVITY
In 1920 the idea of a correlate activity to Theosophy School was evolved, and named “Theosophical Pathfinders” in anticipation, awaiting the demand to come into organized life. This demand was recognized in 1922, through one of the School boys saying that he liked the idea of Boy Scouts, but he did not feel right about taking a pledge which involved a personal God. It was the signal for the organization to be undertaken, with the idea of making Theosophy a matter of practical application in a more extended field than that offered by the Sunday morning classes — as in the companionship afforded by out-of-door activities, and in the direct understanding of Nature through the principles of Theosophy. Membership in this organization was then and still is dependent on the child’s standing in Theosophy School.
At first, the boys were alone in the movement, in its formative stages, and as a matter of “ways and means.” Exclusiveness has no part in Theosophy School activities. The boys chose the name of “Theosophical Pathfinders of America,” and devised a somewhat primitive Indian ritual for their Council, which has since given way to a more truly Theosophical symbolism. Also, the “of America” has been dropped from their designation. The girls of Theosophy School entered the organization in its second year, under the same Rules and with the same Objects, meets of boys and girls together being held twice a year. A strong Pathfinder organization was established in New York City in 1929. In both Los Angeles and New York, every Saturday of the season from
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October to June is now devoted to Pathfinder activities. A kindred activity is carried on in Philadelphia.
In addition, Associate Pathfinders of more mature age have been meeting twice a month during the season, with a view to establishing a true social ideal on the basis of Theosophy. This activity is necessarily of more student-like nature, including the study of ancient civilizations—their art, their social structure—to supplement the study of The Great Teachers’ series carried on in Theosophy School. Associates are concerned with the production of such Plays as are presented by Theosophy School. Pathfinder work has grown to such proportions that it really requires separate and full treatment. Here, we are merely pointing out its origin in and relationship to Theosophy School.
THEOSOPHY SCHOOL DECLARATION
One factor which bas made for unity and better understanding in Theosophy School is its Declaration card. This was formulated and read for the first time in October, 1925. Teachers recognize in its three clauses the Three Objects of the Parent Theosophical Society founded by H. P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, Col. H. S. Olcott and others, November 17, 1875. The name — Theosophy School — then became recognized as the fitting designation of this activity, which was soon to include classes for adults in The Eternal Verities, in the Ocean, in the Gita, and in The Key to Theosophy. The card is read at every session—as follows:
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The purpose of Theosophy School is:
First: Devotion to the cause of Masters by studying and applying the Three Truths of Theosophy. This means understanding the laws of Brotherhood; it means to realize the SELF by acting for and as the SELF of all creatures.
Second: To understand the work of all the Great Teachers of Theosophy down the ages. This means understanding in especial the life and work of H. P. Blavatsky and Wm. Q. Judge, and the meaning of the present Theosophical Movement.
Third: To fit its members to become true citizens of a Re.. public of Brotherhood in this land, and brothers to all men and nations throughout the world. This means becoming true Theosophists.
Theosophist is who Theosophy does
Some children have asked why Theosophy School does not have something about contributions in its Declaration, as in the U. L. T. Declaration. But, as parents are usually members of U. L. T., they seem to be the ones to call the children’s attention to what they may give, in gratitude for the help received, although nothing is ever asked or expected. It was because of repeated requests that finally a box was provided in the lobby where the child could, unnoticed, slip in what he might wish to give. The emphasis in Theosophy School is naturally on giving attention to what is said there; to consideration of others; to making oneself a useful and helpful member of the School. (It is to be noted that a member of Theosophy School is not necessarily a member of the Lodge—not until he signs the U. L. T. Declaration card.)
9—————PART I HISTORY OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
On the reverse side of the card, members of all Theosophy Schools mark their own attendance, handing in their cards at the close of the year for registration at the Parent School. Volunteer cards are also provided, which give members the opportunity to read the Declaration, speak, or read from the devotional books, from the platform. For, while Theosophy School is necessarily an organization, it is purely for convenience’ sake, in handling many teachers and classes. The U. L. T. principle of voluntary contribution of time, money and work holds here just as truly as in other Lodge activities. Likewise, the organization is the very freest possible. It is principles which bind, and not “red tape.”
A real power in Theosophy School has been developed by the Plays given in connection with it—the first, on Christmas Night in 1925. Here again, necessity demanded such an effort. It had become apparent that Theosophy School boys and girls, although taught the significance and lesson of the season, were as involved in “things,” and in the ordinary conception of Christmas, as were those who had no idea of its true meaning. It was then determined to institute a “New Era Christmas” in Theosophy School.
A program was planned, which called for the help of all members of the Lodge, as well as of the children. Money which otherwise would have been spent in personal gifts was contributed to preparing for this entertainment. Men members helped to build a stage. Mothers and grandmothers and
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aunts worked on costumes for the original Play — “The Christmas Light,” which
was written to advance true ideas of Christmas and correct false ones. It was
suggested to the boys and girls that there might be a symbol Christmas
Tree for all, if they were willing to give up their own at home. A beautiful
Tree, simply decorated, was the result, and oranges were distributed as symbol
gifts of the Sun Festival of the Real Christmas. Cards designed and made by the
children were the gifts of subsequent Christmases.
The impression of this first New Era Christmas remained potent for months after, and never since has its influence been lost. The same holds true with New York Theosophy School —the only other of sufficient size to permit such a program. San Francisco gives a modified program with the same ideas; the Berkeley Theosophy School has presented the Play revised to suit the limitations of that group. One very far- reaching and beautiful custom was established by Theosophy School boys and girls in neighborhood groups singing as a Christmas carol, “The Christmas Song” (The Eternal Verities, p. 232), before lighted and live Christmas trees. Especially written music goes with all the Plays.
Another kind of necessity evolved “The Easter Mystery Play.” So elaborate had become displays in the Los Angeles churches at Easter, and so popular had become Sunrise services in the open air on Easter morning that on one occasion only 150 people were present at the evening meeting of the Lodge on Easter Sunday. That a true idea of the meaning of Easter be presented to the public by means of a dramatic representation seemed to offer a solution in attendance, as well
11—————PART I HISTORY OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
as in giving explanation of traditions and counteracting many erroneous religious ideas.
Another Play was written, which was to involve the young people of Theosophy School, and especially Associate Path- finders. They were encouraged by the attitude and example of the Oberammergau players, so that their helpfulness and sense of responsibility in the production and performance of the Play made it in the truest sense a Mystery Play. Many a “miracle” has come about through the agency of these Plays—sacrifices, right choices, and will-effort which have been determining factors in the lives of these young people. Hence it is that no history of Theosophy School would be complete without devoting considerable space to them.
It should also be understood that these Plays are produced under the greatest limitations of space on the stage, and of talent. Never has it been intended to over-emphasize this phase of the work, but by meeting difficulties, initiative has been developed among all the workers and participants, as also a sense of proportion—a sense of “the fitness of things.” Artists and visitors even from other parts of the world have been deeply moved, and amazed by the beauty and depth of these dramatic presentations, because the feeling of the cast for their work has ever imparted a sincerity which gives something more than any except a very great professional artist indeed could impart. Opportunity is also always taken advantage of in Introductory Remarks before the Plays to emphasize the Theosophical ideas to be presented, and to set the scene of the Play. This method has been found to be more effective than are printed programs.
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When “The Christmas Light” had been given for seven years, a new Play was
written carrying a deeper note, called “The Magic Night.” This Play combines the
story of the Gita and “The Tale of the Tower,” a story written by Mr.
Judge, entitled “A Curious Tale,” condensed and renamed in “The Verities”
(p. 90). Naturally, the young Associates largely compose the cast, although
newcomers to Theosophy School are also included. The Play is given only when
Christmas Eve or Christmas Night falls on a Sunday. One value of the Plays has
been to bring home to all the real meaning and power of cycles. When
Christmas Eve or Night comes on Wednesday or Friday, “The Christmas Light”
continues to be presented by the children. This little Play has in some years
been given for the children of Theosophy School on Sunday morning, when “The
Magic Night” is on the evening program, but has been found more practical for
giving on Saturday afternoon in conjunction with Pathfinder activities. The
Easter Play is not given following “The Magic Night,” which requires a very
great deal of preparation.
The Plays mean much work for many, always, but they consistently justify the time and work expended; they help boys and girls in diction and poise for future speaking on the platform; they enforce Theosophic ideas and ideals, and also, it is hoped, are gradually laying a basis for a purified art on what is now a corrupt and degraded stage. They are in no sense “shows,” but are as serious presentations of Theosophic truth in dramatic form as are recorded in the Egyptian Mysteries, and in the dramas of the Initiate—schylus—which he himself directed.
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THEOSOPHY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
December 25, 1925
1—Christmas Song (Audience rising)
2—Greeting—Superintendent of Theosophy School
3—A Legend of the Christmas Tree (Recitation)
4—PLAY: “THE CHRISTMAS LIGHT”
(Synopsis of Play. First scene: A little boy goes to sleep in his mother’s arms while she is reading how the Giants of Greed and Ungratefulness have covered up the Christmas Light. Second scene. Prologue. The Land of Dreams: Here the little boy learns from the Youth, Father Christmas, what Christmas once was, and now ought to be. Then, in pantomime, he sees happy Christmas Thoughts overpowered by selfish, greedy Thoughts, until the Spirits of Service rescue and resuscitate them, driving away the Giants “This” and “That,” along with their evil brood. The boy is so impressed by this enactment that he promises Father Christmas he will help bring back the Real Christmas by giving up his “I Wants” and “Too Muches.” Epilogue. Third scene: The little boy is awake again, with memory of the Dream, which makes him and Mother want to find the Real Christmas Light.)
Characters: MOTHER, LITTLE BOY, and SLEEP, who gives Prologue and Epilogue to Dream
Characters in Dream (In order of their appearance)
LITTLE BOY, FATHER CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS THOUGHTS, CHRISTMAS TOYS, FEARS, DOUBTS,
DISAPPOINTMENTS, I WANT’S, TOO MUCHES, ENVY, SELFISHNESS, GREED, GIANTS “THIS” AND “THAT,” SERVICE SPIRITS
5—The Giving of Symbol Gifts (Reading from Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XVII, on Gift-giving, precedes distribution of symbol gifts)
6—The True Sun (The Gayatri) Recitation
7—Chant (Audience rising)
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MAGAZINE WORK OF YOUTH-COMPANIONS
In November, 1925, a Theosophy School department was commenced in the Magazine Theosophy. A year of simple platform lessons in this Volume, 14, was followed by several years of dialogue narrative each month, presenting application of the principles of Theosophy for children. (Many of these stories are to be found in the Supplement (PART V). In 1930, Volume 19, this mode gave way to “Youth-Companions’ Forum,” which is presently the name of this department of the Magazine. One has only to consult past volumes of Theosophy Magazine to see for oneself the evolution of this aspect of Theosophy School activity. “Youth-Companions,” however, Proteus-like, assumes another form in Volume 30.
From the Forum idea has also sprung the seed of Forum Luncheon meetings in Los Angeles in the down-town district, many Theosophy School members participating therein. These meetings were inaugurated early in 1937, for the purpose of spreading the teachings of Theosophy more widely, in applicational form, among those either unable or unlikely to come to regular meetings of the Lodge.
Early members of Theosophy School have graduated into the teaching of classes, into speaking from the platform, into becoming leaders in the Pathfinder organization, into assisting in the office-work of the Lodge. So, the children of Theosophists have become Theosophists, as H. P. Blavatsky predicted, through the teaching and influence of Theosophy School. This gives hope for the future. But whether or no
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children become teachers in their turn and work in other Lodge activities, they all gain a foundation which makes it impossible for them to subscribe to partial philosophies and to the systems of pseudo-occultists. They can not be drawn into disorganizing social activities and customs of the times, but realize their responsibility for living a clean life, a useful and altruistic life. Above all, they think for themselves.
CURRICULUM OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
Whoever visits Theosophy School, anywhere, will see groups of happy, eager
children—listening, speaking, smiling, yet attentive. This is because it is the
purpose of the School to enable children to think for themselves. They
like to think, when they have begun early to think, and are encouraged not to
take memorized information for “knowledge.” Classes are divided as nearly as
possible by ages, since thus a common fund of experience exists to draw upon for
illustration and application. It is also intended to have both girls and boys in
a class, thus early doing away with distinctions of sex and emphasizing the
importance of mind companionship. Rarely is it wise to have more than seven in a
class, nor less than three. Classes have each a number and location, “Under
Reading Age” beginning at four, and including groups of children up to eight
years of age. Adult classes are known by the subject studied, as “Key to
Theosophy” class; “Ocean” class; “Gita” (alternating with “Great Teachers’ “)
class; “Friendly Philosopher” class.
The study of The Eternal Verities is the work of the majority of classes. “The Verities” may easily be “stepped down” for very young children, or “stepped up” for young people and even adults, although The Friendly Philosopher and its section named “The Eternal Verities” have of recent years filled the latter requirements perfectly. Where not all can afford to buy this volume, willing hands type the articles
II—CURRICULUM OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
to be used for class work. The book A B C Ethics is available for very young children, which is a “stepping down” from the Verities for kindergarten age—that is, about four.
After three years of work with The Eternal Verities— and here it is to be noted, in passing, that a change of teachers brings new values to a class, as well as does the supplementary work suggested—children take up the Preparatory Bhagavad Gita, learning how to pronounce the Sanskrit terms and especially to see in this book the ever-present Verities. For philosophy, also, the high lights are dwelt upon, by means of “Memory verses,” or mantramic passages from the Gita itself. Young people use the direct text of Gita and Notes on the Gita. Thus, those who grow up in Theosophy School study the Gita twice at different age levels.
The next course is in “The Great Teachers’ Series,” which shows the presence of Theosophy down the ages in ancient Persia, China, India, Egypt, Greece, America, in the Far North, through the Middle Ages to the time of the present Theosophical movement. A study of the Christian Bible, in the light of Theosophy, forms a part of this series. This “Great Teachers’ “ course is beneficial not only in making it clear that Theosophy is not a new discovery, and that it is not sectarian, but also this series serves to give more meaning to what is learned in the schools—whether public or private, whether High School or University—of ancient civilizations. The course breeds a great respect for Theosophy, and awakens the perception that workers for Theosophy go hand in hand with the Movement. Older pupils take a two years’ course. This is a course taken a second time, like the Gita.
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Next, comes the study of The Ocean of Theosophy. If a class is too young, when it reaches this course, a Preparatory Ocean is used, which takes up from each chapter the great ideas, more or less in the language with which the children are familiar in their previous studies. Young people of fifteen or older, of course, study the Ocean directly, and so thoroughly that two years are devoted to going through it.
The final course is in the “History of The Theosophical Movement”—an epitome of the large book of that name. Only those who have been through all the other courses are eligible to the class, and regular attendance must be promised in order to join this last—”the graduating class.” “Graduating” in Theosophy School means only that some at least have a background and foundation in Theosophy which enables them to make a new beginning as workers. If the way is not open for teaching, then The Key to Theosophy is studied, adult classes being open to those who have completed the regular course in Theosophy School. Often, “graduates” form the nucleus of a young people’s class in “The Eternal Verities,” as found in The Friendly Philosopher.
PROGRAM OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
All teachers are to be found in their places on Sunday mornings at 10 :40 A. M. ready for any members of the class who may come, with interesting matters to inspect, study and discuss. This pre-class activity is endlessly varied. It calls
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on the initiative of the teachers, but is equally valuable in that it helps discipline and makes for a more unified class, after the Opening Exercises. Pre-class work is vital and has become established as a necessity. (See illustrations at the end of PART II, pp. 36-44.)
At five minutes of eleven, a gong sounds to give warning for classes to
assemble in a body, since several classes are regularly stationed behind
screens. (Screens which divide classes in an auditorium or large room are
helpful to concentration. Made of a “sound-proof” board, the noise of the other
classes is no problem. Also, more intimacy among class members is established.)
At eleven, the Superintendent and the Director of Singing take the platform, and the whole School joins in the song, which all should know by heart. Following, the Declaration of the School is read, questions on it from the Superintendent sometimes being taken by the reader. Then comes a reading from one of the devotional books—Voice of the Silence, Bhagavad-Gita, Letters That Have Helped Me, Upanishads, Light on the Path. The Five Messages, portions from H. P. B.’s great articles, from Mr. Judge’s writings, and from The Friendly Philosopher are also used. For the most part, the same readings, which are very carefully chosen excerpts, fitting various ages, are given from year to year, in the idea that repetition of these great forms of expression may make
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deeper and more lasting impression on the minds of the children.
The Declaration and readings are carefully rehearsed and training given in pronunciation, enunciation, expression, and deportment. A few questions are put by the Superintendent either to the one who reads, or to the children generally, as suggested by the reading. The Opening Exercises use about ten minutes—never over fifteen—before the classes take up their individual work, which often begins with discussion of the reading given, or with learning the song just sung. Teachers should encourage children to volunteer for reading. It is an opportunity and a privilege. This work for Theosophy is often the factor needed to arouse a sense of responsibility.
The singing is regarded as extremely important, not so much as music, perhaps—though that too has been given careful study—but as a bond of common participation for young and old. Moreover, all the songs have been especially written for the needs of the School, and embody the philosophy to such an extent that the result is, if one knows the songs, he can never forget the philosophy. It may be seen, therefore, that this kind of singing is manasic, not ritualistic. ‘While there is much talk of advertising Theosophy by radio, it is held that these songs are the true “broadcasting” of Theosophical ideas; they are in the fullest sense what ‘Wm. Q. Judge regards and defines as mantrams:
“A mantram is a collection of words which, when sounded in speech, induce certain vibrations not only in the air, but also in the finer ether, thereby producing certain effects. Mantrams are a touch with nature.”
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“You should study simple forms of mantramic quality, for the purpose of
thus reaching the hidden mind of all the people who need spiritual help. You
will find now and then some expression that has resounded in the brain, at last
producing such a result that he who heard it turns his mind to spiritual
“Simple natural mantrams are such words as when spoken bring up in the mind all that is implied by the word. When these are used, a peculiar and lasting vibration is set up in the mind of the person affected, leading to a realization in action of the idea involved, or to a total change of life due to the appositeness of the subjects brought up and to the peculiar mental antithesis induced in the hearer.”
“Again, bodies of men are acted on by expressions having the mantramic quality. A dominant idea is aroused that touches upon a want of the people or on an abuse that oppresses them, and the change and interchange in their brains between the idea and the form of words go on until the result is accomplished. To the occultists of powerful sight this is seen to be a ‘ringing’ of the words coupled with the whole chain of feelings, interests, aspirations, and so forth, that grows faster and deeper as the time for the relief or change draws near. And the greater number of persons affected by the idea involved, the larger, deeper, and wider the result.” *
The session closes with the re-assembly of the School and the singing of the Chant.
Adults do not re-assemble, but merely listen during the Chant, since their classes are not held in the main Auditorium. It may be added here that adults are provided classes of their own in the same subjects offered the children, as it was found
* Theosophy, Vol. 2, p. 41.
22————— TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
wholly impracticable to permit adults in the classes with their children. In the
beginning, this was permitted, but it was soon found that Mother was anxious to
prompt Johnny to give “the right answer,” and Father wanted to be sure that Mary
was being taught what was proper. Hence, developed the necessity for one of the
few “rules” in Theosophy School.
In the beginning, Theosophy School was but an aggregation of classes, each with its own duties. Soon, however, the need was seen of a general participation, which was accomplished first with informal remarks by the Superintendent, with stories, illustrations, and analogies of some phase of the teaching, carried on in dialogue form with the boys and girls. Later, when a piano had been procured, one of the songs of Theosophy School was sung at the beginning of the session by all, with the Chant at the close, thus making for participation by all who attended. Here is a bond of union and action for Theosophy. Not all Theosophy Schools have the music, and it is therefore well to point out its purpose and desirability.
The program is varied on special occasions, one of which is the “Get-Together Meeting” held on the closing day of the season. The Opening Session is also a variant, in order to get the classes settled. Then perhaps, in addition to the Declaration, will be given three readings, one from H. P. B., one from Mr. Judge, and one from Robert Crosbie, with a brief talk by
23—————PART II—CURRICULUM OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
the Superintendent. In addition, the Days of the Teachers— the Founders of the
Theosophical Movement of the 19th century—are observed in individual
In small Schools, the Assembly naturally can be more intimate. “Get-together” meetings have sometimes been held once a month, when talks are given by pupils on certain subjects; questions are answered by others; readings are given. In the Parent Lodge, and due to the size of the School, this program became first limited to “Special” Days—Christmas, Easter, near to “White Lotus Day,” to March 2 1st, and the closing session of the season, which it happens, always falls close to June 25th, when Robert Crosbie left the scene. Still later, the “Get-Together” meeting was limited to the closing session. Special Days are now observed in General Assembly by readings appropriate to the occasion, and remarks by the Superintendent, for it is held that the great of the Theosophical past are both a heritage and an inspiration that help build character, gratitude, and reverence for tradition. Thus, also, as boys and girls come to see these great ones as ever-present influences, a dawning of the perception of true immortality arises.
Some programs used for “Get-Together” Meetings are here appended, each one presenting a theme to be carried out.
24————— TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
THEOSOPHY SCHOOL PROGRAM
.4nnual “Get-Together” Meeting
JUNE: LAST SESSION
THEME: THE THREE TRUTHS
2. Introductory Remarks............................ Superintendent (the Chairman)
3. Reading of the Declaration of Theosophy School
4. Talk—On First Clause of the Declaration ...............................(Questions)
5. Talk—On Second Clause of the Declaration (Questions)
6. Talk—On Third Clause of the Declaration (Questions)
7. Talk—On “The First Truth”
8. Reading—From the Upanishads (“The Knower is not born nor dies”)
9. Talk—On “The Second Truth”
10. Song—”These Two, Light and Darkness”............................. Audience
11. Reading—From The Light of Asia (From Book Eight)
12. Talk—On “The Third Truth”
13. Song—”Evolution”.................................................................. Audience
14. Reading—On Duty (From “Western Occultism,” by Robert Crosbie)
15. Closing Remarks
25—————PART II—————GET-TOGETHER MEETINGS
THEOSOPHY SCHOOL PROGRAM
Annual “Get-Together” Meeting
JUNE: LAST SESSION
Theosophy Song........................................................ Audience
2. Introductory Talk Superintendent of Theosophy School
3. Talk—On the Declaration of Theosophy School (Questions)
4. Talk—On Karma, the Universal Law
5. Reading—From The Voice of the Silence (“The Wheel of the Good Law”)
6. Talk—On Individual Karma
7. Song—”Evil Swells the Debt to Pay” ....................Audience
8. Reading—From The Bhagavad-Gita (Chapter III, “Perform
thou that which thou hast to do”)
9. Talk—On National Karma (Questions to Speaker)
10. Reading—From The Light of Asia (Book Eight)
11. Song—Reincarnation Audience
12. Talk—On the Karma of the Theosophical Movement
13. Reading—”The Unknown Soldier” (Theosophy Magazine, Vol. 18, p. 337)
14. Closing Remarks
15. Chant.................................................................. Audience
26————— TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
THEOSOPHY SCHOOL PROGRAM
Annual “Get-Together” Meeting
JUNE: LAST SESSION
2. Introductory Talk.............................................................. Superintendent
3. Reading—from the Messages of H. P. B. (Questions to reader)
4. The First Truth (with applications)
5. Reading—from Letters That Have I42ped Me (Mr. Judge)
6. Second Truth—(with applications)
7. Song—The Eternal Ways ..........................................................Audience
8. The Third Truth—(with applications)
9. Reading—from The Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter VI (Questions to reader)
10. Talk—On the Great Teachers
11. Song—The Third Truth ..........................................................Audience
12. Talk—On Pathfinder Work (as application of Theosophical teachings)
13. Reading—Theosophy in Daily Life (from The Friendly Philosopher)
14. Talk—On the Declaration of Theosophy School
15. Chant ........................................................................................Audience
27—————PART II—————GET-TOGETHER MEETINGS
THEOSOPHY SCHOOL PROGRAM
Annual “Get-Together” Meeting
JUNE: LAST SESSION
THEME: TEACHERS AND TEACHINGS OF THEOSOPHY
2. Introductory Remarks ............................................Superintendent
3. Talk—Declaration of Theosophy School
4. Reading—H. P. B., the Teacher
5. Talk—The First Truth (Questions to speaker)
6. Song—The Eternal Ways ................................................Audience
7. Talk—The Second Truth
8. Reading—The Three Truths in the Gita (Questions to speaker)
9. Talk—The Third Truth
10. Talk—Great Teachers of the Past
11. Reading—W. Q. J.’s Place in the Theosophical Movement
12. Song—Reincarnation .....................................................Audience
13. Reading—On Robert Crosbie (Introduction to The Friendly
14. Chant .............................................................................Audience
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THEOSOPHY SCHOOL PROGRAM
Annual “Get-Together” Meeting
JUNE: LAST SESSION
THEME: THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
Song—The Third Truth ...........................................Audience
3. Introductory Remarks ..................................Superintendent
4. Talk—The Theosophical Movement (as old as Man)
5. Talk—Great Teachers
6. Talk—The First Truth (Questions to the children)
7. Talk—The Second Truth (Questions to the children)
8. Song—Reincarnation ..............................................Audience
9. The Third Truth (Questions to speaker)
10. Talk—The Theosophical Movement of 1875
11. Reading—Links in a Chain (from Robert Crosbie)
12. Talk—Mr. Crosbie’s Part in the Theosophical Movement
13. Talk—Pathfinders in the Present Theosophical Movement
14. Chant...................................................................... Audience
29—————PART II—————GET-TOGETHER MEETINGS
THEOSOPHY SCHOOL PROGRAM
Annual “Get-Together” Meeting
JUNE: LAST SESSION
2. Declaration of Theosophy School (from young class)
3. Introductory Remarks........................................... Superintendent
4. Talk—Astronomical cycles
5. Talk—Cyclic Festivals
6. Talk—Cycles in the Theosophical Movement
7. Song—The Third Truth ....................................................Audience
8. Reading—A Creed (from Masefield)
9. Talk—The Cycle of Reincarnation
10. Telling—A True Story (Karma)
11. Reading—from The Light of 4sia
12. Talk—Cycles of Destiny (National and Individual)
13. Reading—from “The Coming Race” (a talk by Robert Crosbie)
14. Announcements .....................................................Superintendent
15. Chant ................................................................................Audience
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THEOSOPHY SCHOOL PROGRAM
Annual “Get-Together” Meeting
JUNE: LAST SESSION
Song—The Third Truth............................................................
2. Introductory Remarks..................................................... Superintendent
3. Reading—H. P. B. on Education
4. Reading—Declaration of Theosophy School
5. Talk—The Fundamental Truths of Theosophy (Questions to speaker)
6. Reading—Karma (from The Light of Asia)
7. Song—The Eternal Ways .........................................................Audience
8. Talk—Reincarnation in the Gita (Questions to children)
9. Talk—What is the Mind? (Ocean)
10. Talk—Plato (Great Teachers)
11. Talk—Pre-class Discussion in Theosophy School
12. Reading—from The Friendly Philosopher
13. Closing Remarks ...........................................................Superintendent
14. Chant....................................................................................... Audience
31—————PART II—————GET-TOGETHER MEETINGS
LAST SESSION IN JUNE — GROUPS I,
II, III (Under Reading Age).
These groups meet separately in their own rooms with their own Programs.
The various numbers are all “talks” or “tellings.”
Chant—Sung by all the children
2. Declaration.......................................................................................................... Betty
3. “Theosophist is who Theosophy Does”....................................................... Josephine
4. White Lotus—H. P. Blavatsky............................................................................ Billie
Life — Law — Being
6. Builder Song ..................................................................................All stand and sing
7. One Life............................................................................................................ Bobbie
8. Seven Names for the First Truth ........................................................................Rhea
9. “Act for and as the Self”........................................................................................ Lee
10. Meaning of—”Act for and as the Self”....................................................... Georgie
11. The Path (The Story of the Four-Leaf Clover)............................................. Nancy
12. Reincarnation Chant
13. “This is a Universe of Law”........................................................................... Thelma
14. Cycles.................................................................................................................. Keith
15. William Q. Judge............................................................................................. Teddy
16. Karma is Action and Reaction........................................................................... Elsie
17. Explain Quick and Slow Karma ...................................................................Harold
18. “My own shall come back to me”............................................................... Mildred
19. “Many a house of Life hath held me”......................................................... Florence
20. Reincarnation Cycle explained........................................................................ James
21. Song of the Third Truth
22. The word “Evolution”........................................................................................Elena
23. Evolution Unfolds .............................................................................................Frank
24. “Center,” the same “Perceiver,” the “Changeless”.......................................... Olga
25. Ladder of Being (Name the four kingdoms)................................................... Albert
26. Brotherhood—”All are Brothers”...................................................................... Irwin
27. Theosophy School—Robert Crosbie.............................................................. Charles
32————— TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
So far, only the visible organization of Theosophy School has been
considered, but this rests on an invisible organization —that of its
teachers—and their activity, the Teachers’ Meetings. In starting the School, the
Teachers’ meetings were held weekly. Only after thirteen years of work, was it
deemed sufficient to hold monthly meetings. But, even so, a supplementary work
is carried on—that of Conferences, not only the co-teachers’ weekly conference,
but also, at certain intervals, theirs with the Superintendent of the School.
It should be understood that the teachers assume a common responsibility in the work; they all answer a Questionnaire (appended) satisfactorily, in order to be considered eligible as teachers, whether they are active teachers, or co-teachers.
One means of keeping teachers fresh in their enthusiasm is by providing a “sabbatical year,” as colleges do. This enables new teachers to have their opportunity, while older ones take up further study in adult classes to prepare themselves for teaching other courses. This rotation of teachers pleasantly prevents any kind of stagnation.
Neither teachers nor classes are kept together for over two years, this to prevent too great “attachment” to classes on the part of teachers, and to forestall the “clique” tendency on the part of the children.
Women teachers are used in all classes, but men teachers only in classes of the reading age. Young teachers are most successful with children of “under reading age.”
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To Prospective Teachers of Theosophy School
(The following questions are submitted in the interest of maintaining the high
standard of character and efficiency required of teachers in Theosophy School)
1. What meetings of the Lodge do you attend?
2. Do you attend similar meetings elsewhere?
3. What ones of the following books do you own and study:
Ocean of Theosophy, Key to Theosophy, The Friendly
Philosopher, Gita and Gita Notes, Letters That Have
Helped Me, The Secret Doctrine, Isis Unveiled.
Do you possess the Great Teachers’ Series, “Because”— For the Children Who Ask Why, The Eternal Verities?
4. Do you read Theosophy magazine regularly?
5. What type of articles are you most interested in?
6. What other magazines, theosophical or popular, do you regularly read?
7. What is your theory and practice in the matter of moving pictures?
8. Do you use intoxicating liquors in any form?
9. Will you attend the Teachers’ Meetings regularly?
10. Will you be punctual with your reports?
11. Will you and your co-worker meet regularly each week to discuss the work of the class?
12. Are you enthusiastic about teaching?
(Special attention is called to Nos. 9, 10, 11.)
(In answering questions you need repeat only the number)
Please return this as soon as possible.
34————— TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
It has been found desirable that two teachers be on each class, the older teacher, perhaps, inducting the other into the class modulus. One may begin with reporting, later taking a certain part of the class, and finally coming to share equally in its conduct with the older teacher. The two teachers being prepared, the class is not thrown into disarray by the unavoidable absence of one or the other teacher.
All teachers are really co-teachers, and are also responsible for one hour conferences, regularly, during the week between sessions of Theosophy School. Thus, teachers work in harmony, and with better understanding of their classes’ needs. The object of these conferences is that teachers plan out their lessons, in a general way, and discuss points either missed or inaccurately dealt with at the preceding session. They also try to find ways and means for getting closer to the shy child, or to the obstreperous one. (Very few of these, however, as children are usually too interested in ideas to cause trouble.) They try to see if their own understanding is clear, and where it can be bettered. Illustrations and examples are discussed. Teachers, through conference, get together and keep the current of their class always warm and vital. They also decide on the matter of their pre-class work. Mention of their pre-class work appears in the weekly Reports handed in for the Superintendent. (Adult classes do not have pre-class work, though reports and conferences are expected.)
33—————PART II————— CURRICULUM OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
The Superintendent acts as Chairman of the Teachers’ Meetings. The
Assistant-Superintendent and Registrar reports any matters for attention in
general discipline and procedure, and also on attendance, with suggestions for
bettering it. (It has become the custom for teachers to write to children who
have been absent for over two weeks, to show interest and encourage the child’s
return.) A report is made by one of the Path-leaders, thus encouraging
co-operation between teachers and Path-leaders. Often, a teacher will contribute
the report on some address given by an eminent educator, or give a summary of an
especially significant article on the subject in a current magazine, some
discussion on the part of other teachers following.
Naturally, the greater part of the Teachers’ Meeting is given over to the discussion of problems, or points in the philosophy needing clarification, on the part of either the child or the teacher, as indicated by the weekly reports, whether violating or in happy accord with Suggestions for Teachers, as found in PART III of this Manual and Guide. At these meetings, no names are used, and all discuss the various problems, impersonally. For several months, for instance, the main discussion may be on Evolution, when one teacher will discuss one phase, and provoke general questions and answers; the next month, another teacher will deal with another phase, and so on. The need of keeping pace with new scientific theories in this regard calls also for frequent re-examination of the full Theosophical teachings thereon.
Above all, the function of Teachers’ Meetings is to keep the body of teachers a live coherent whole, each with the one
36————— TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
aim and purpose of the highest service to the classes. Esprit de corps grows with growing perception of the trust and responsibility entailed in teaching. Thus, also, the teachers come themselves to a new perception of Theosophy.
The Pre-class work offers a wide open field for the teacher’s ingenuity and the children’s interest. For young children, the beautifully illustrated books are useful, not merely for the “pictures,” but for the ideas which make clear connection with the “Truths.” Nothing is more appealing to the children, for instance, than the life of the bees. Often, the magazine sections of the Sunday newspapers carry very remarkable photographs of the findings of the highly magnifying microscope, revealing a world usually unthought of. Snow crystals have been wonderfully photographed, showing that though no two are just alike, they are all six-pointed stars. Lovely seashells may be brought, and their fundamental pattern discovered. Simple experimentation with crystalline forms can be made, as with a saturate solution of salt, and the gathering of the crystals around the string put in it. The same, with rock candy crystals. One teacher carried the class through from week to week with the development of the silk-worm—from larva to worm, to cocoon, to trembling moth. A rare flower; a “freak” piece of wood, because of some kind of “photograph” upon it; various ores, showing the different kinds of crystallized forms; a deserted humming-bird’s nest; a branch of “pussy-
37—————PART II————— CURRICULUM OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
willows” in the spring; all these and many, many more things may be made of
Then, there may be discussions, without any things. Many “Youth-Companions’ Forum” answers have been the result of these discussions. Scientific discoveries have their needed place here. Often a teacher will find an interesting news item during the week, which is suggestive for use in this way. When these items are not too long, they may be pasted in Teacher’s Memoranda pages provided at the end of this volume. Such items should be dated, and name of the publication given. One class kept its own scrap-book for the season, each taking his turn to paste in the items of value brought by the class members. This was especially valuable in “The Great Teachers’ Series,” since new archeological discoveries are made almost every day, and do not, all, find their way into books.
The tenor of a few pre-class discussions may prove helpful. In the first example, the teacher had found an incident recounted in the newspaper, which she told thus:
Last Thursday morning, down in the lower corner of the newspaper this item appeared. [She showed the item, but did not read it. It is best to hold the eyes of the group.] Out in the Middle West was a farmer who had toiled for twenty years to pay off the mortgage on his farm, and to get some return from his investment in time and money and work. He wanted at last some comfort and ease. But, one winter day, when he had had to shovel snow until his back ached, he said to his wife, “I am just sick of all this. I am tired of working all the time, and I’m going to pass it all up. Ezra offered me $7,000 for the farm the other day,
38————— TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
and if I can bring him up to $10,000 I am going to sell it and find my fortune
somewhere else.” His wife said, “But the farm is just beginning to pay! If Ezra
wants it, he must see something good about it.” But the farmer only
replied that he was sick and tired of the drudgery, and he was going to get rid
of the farm, if he could.
Ezra finally paid the $10,000 for the farm, and the farmer with his wife started happily off for Oklahoma. When his wife had asked, “Why Oklahoma?” he said, “We will get rich there. That is where there is plenty of oil.” So, when they arrived in Oklahoma, they invested their all in an oil company. It happened to be a swindling concern, so that the poor man lost all his money, and had to write back to Ezra for money so that he could return to his native town. When they returned, it was to discover that, six months before, Ezra had sold the farm for $100,000 because oil had been discovered on it!
Teacher: Now, shall we say that was “bad Karma” for the man who went to Oklahoma? How about it?
Child: No, he learned a lesson from it.
Second Child: He could have learned to stay and work with the things he had.
Teacher: You mean it would have been good Karma if he had learned the lesson of staying by and making the best of what he had?
Second Child: Yes; it isn’t what happens to you, but what you learn from it that makes good Karma.
<![endif]> Teacher: But, if you do not learn, what kind of Karma is it?
39—————PART II————— CURRICULUM OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
Teacher: What are the two faces of Karma?
Third Child: Sowing and reaping; cause and effect; action and re-action.
Teacher: Then, shan’t we have to look at both faces of Karma, before we determine if his Karma were good or bad? For instance, was it “bad” that the farmer went to Oklahoma? Was his going there bad in itself?
Child: Of course not.
Teacher: What was it that made it “bad” for him?
Another Child: It was WHY he left the farm and started off!
Teacher: Well, why was that?
Child: He was dissatisfied and greedy.
Teacher: Suppose we all left the tasks we do not like to do? Suppose we left all the things we were tired of doing?
Another Child: That would be running away from our duty and responsibility.
Teacher: Yes, that seems to be the way he started off. Was that a good cause? [Children all shake heads.]
Teacher: Now, supposing he had said that day, when the temptation came to him: “I’m just awfully tired of this farming business. I am not getting along as fast as I ought to, but I suppose there is nothing else to do except peg along at it. After all, the farm is beginning to pay.” And then, a few days later, he had a letter from his brother in Oklahoma offering him a share in his business—to make him a partner in his business, because it was growing so fast he could not manage it alone any longer. How about that? Would that have made the situation somewhat different?
40————— TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
Child: His motive would be the same, wouldn’t it? He still has his duties.
Teacher: Think now. Wouldn’t there be something else entering into his motive?
Second Child: Yes, because he would be going to help his brother.
Teacher: Wouldn’t that make a very different motive then? Yet, to help his brother would be in the line of his desire! Surely, Karma is not always hard and cruel, is it? And we do not always desire what is contrary to law. Now, suppose he went to help his brother, and invested some of his money in oil. Do you think the investment would have turned out the same way?
Another Child: Well, it might not turn out well, but he couldn’t lose all he had.
Teacher: Perhaps we can look a little farther than that. If his brother had built up a prosperous business there, wouldn’t he have known the conditions and helped keep the stranger from making shady investments?
Third Child: Of course, he wouldn’t really be a stranger, if his brother and his business were there.
Teacher: He’d have his own center there, wouldn’t he? And so he would attract—what?
Child: Does the paper say he wasn’t honest? If he was honest, he’d attract what was like himself.
Teacher: But, when he went with the magnet of greed, he attracted those who were greedy! It happens that the same paper also tells of a family so disgusted with the electrical storms in Minnesota that they moved to Los Angeles. Electrical storms are not frequent there, and yet the other
41—————PART II————— CURRICULUM OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
day their house was struck by lightning! What was it drew the lightning?
Second Child: Their fear. Wasn’t that a magnet for the lightning?
Teacher: Did we find that the magnet would draw up little slivers of wood?
Third Child: No, but it will draw up iron filings and needles and pins.
Teacher: Well, then, don’t we see that Mother Nature knows what kind of magnets we are, and that only comes back to us which belongs to us according to our nature? We can’t hoodwink Mother Nature, can we? [All shake their heads.] But, just what do we mean by “Nature”?
Child: It’s all Life.
Teacher: What kind of life is it?
Second Child: It’s just life. It’s magnetic life.
Teacher: Then, we in ourselves are all—what?
Third Child: We are magnets for the rest of life, and whatever of magnet we are, we will get back from Nature.
Teacher: Oh, but we learned, didn’t we, that like poles of the magnet repel, and opposite poles attract. How can we explain that?
Child: Aren’t our minds higher than the magnet? So, wouldn’t the law of mind act the opposite from the laws of things on earth?
Teacher: Yes, that is just it. The old sages said, “Like attracts like; in earthly magnets unlike poles attract.”
42————— TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
A MORAL PROBLEM
This incident happened at a well-known private Academy for Boys. One night as the janitor was cleaning up a classroom after all had gone, the breeze from an open window blew a paper from the desk on to the floor, right at his feet. Looking at it, he saw it was the examination paper set for the sophomores next day, in history. He put it back on the desk, but after he had finished cleaning, he sat down and copied the questions. That evening, he went to the dormitory where the sophomores were housed, and called out into the hall, in turn, each one of the fifteen boys, offering to show them the questions for ten minutes (time to copy them) for the price of three dollars. Among the fifteen, only three told the janitor (each one independently of the others), “No, I’m not interested.” As the janitor had told the other boys that he had not been able to sell these three, the other boys offered them the questions at half price. (Why?) The three, then, knew what was going on, but, they had studied faithfully the assignments as they had been given, and had no fear of receiving bad grades in the examination. (Did they have something else in mind, also?) The boys with the stolen questions “crammed” for hours, and next day felt themselves very ready for the examination. A few days later, the teacher told the class that they had passed the examination much better than usual, and he was very pleased with their progress. So, as the boys exulted together—except for the three—it happened that another teacher was passing by and overheard. This was a serious matter, and the principal of the school undertook an
43—————PART II————— CURRICULUM OF THEOSOPHY SCHOOL
He looked at all the papers, and picked out the best ones, which belonged to the
three guiltless boys, as those of the ring-leaders! They were called to his
office, and questioned one by one, but all three refused to speak, because that
would expose the guilt of all the other boys. The result was that all three were
Were they right not to speak? Were they right to take punishment for others who were guilty? What else could they have done? were they bitter? Would this incident affect their whole lives? Which of the boys would you rather be— those who were wronged, or those who did the wrong? All three had to go home in disgrace. One never went back to school, but went to work at the very bottom of a business. (Do you suppose he made a success?) The second boy had a private tutor at home, and the following year, entered a university in a distant state. The third boy went to the High School in the town where he lived, frankly told the principal why he was expelled, but that he was not guilty. The principal had a better understanding of human nature than the private school principal had, and received him without prejudice. This boy graduated at the head of his class, as he also did four years later, from the university.
And how about the janitor?
FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN
Teacher: Did we all have a good breakfast this morning before we came to Theosophy School? (Heads nod.) And do you know who got breakfast for us? (Mother did, or
44————— TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
But, didn’t Father help get it, too? (Yes, he provided the money to buy the
food.) Perhaps we all had cereal? (Yes.) Suppose the grocer’s boy forgot to
bring the package to the house yesterday? Then, he helped get breakfast!
How did the grocer happen to have it in his store? (He bought it.) And from him,
it came to our house. Did he help get our breakfast, then? Yes, and where
did he buy the cereal? Where did it come from? What is it made of? (Mostly wheat
cereals.) Can you see the farmer planting the seed? harvesting the grain,
carrying it to the mill? (Did the farmer help get our breakfast? and the horses
that drew the grain to the mill?) Then, somebody bought the grain, and took it
to where they would prepare it in the way we like to eat it. (Did those who
provided the train and those who ran it, and those who owned the place where
they prepared the cereal, and those who put it up in packages—did all of them
help get our breakfast?) And if each one named some other thing he or she had
for breakfast, we might find that nearly all the world helped to get our
breakfast! But, not all the people in the world have had a good breakfast. If
there were millions of Theosophists in the world, do you think there might be a
good breakfast for everyone? WHY?
[Each of these illustrations, of course, lends itself to much greater expansion and variation. The last one can be carried through fire, air, water, earth till the whole universe is involved in the “breakfast”.]
SUGGESTIONS FOR TEACHERS
The Eternal Verities, and the methods of Theosophy School from its beginning have been the direct application of suggestions and lines laid down by H. P. Blavatsky on Education in The Key to Theosophy (pp. 263 to 271), and as discovered in H. P. B.’s own methods in The Secret Doctrine. Only after her method was fully established in Theosophy School was the study of other educators recommended to teachers, and then, in order that it might be seen how true methods live and work, directly and indirectly. Just as H.P. B. repeated the methods of Plato, so do all others worthy of the name of educators. Thus with Froebel, whose system was based on the spiritual nature of man and Nature’s laws; so with Horace Mann, who, inspired by Pestalozzi, believed that education from the cradle could alone revolutionize society; Arthur F. Morgan’s work at Antioch College demonstrates these principles; so with Edmond Holmes whose work bears the strongest and clearest Theosophic marks in What Is and What Might Be. Dr. E. C. Moore returns to Plato in What Is Education? The title of Neumann’s book, Education for Moral Growth, declares the same trend; Sisson’s Educating for Freedom applies the same fundamentals; likewise, Robert M. Hutchins’ The Higher Learning in America; Stanwood Cobb’s New Horizons for
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follows the same pattern. John
Dewey in The School and Society restores to education the primary
principle of “Live the life to know the doctrine.” He calls it “learning by
doing.” He also relates all departments of education.
All the above named books will be found to promote understanding of the background of education in Theosophy School, as also in the allied Pathfinder organization. Every teacher should not only be acquainted with these books, but give them thoughtful study, although always from the viewpoint of Theosophical principles. Teachers of very young children should know Angelo Patri’s School and Home.
It should be realized that the Magazine Theosophy is educative in the highest sense. Not all teachers can own the volumes, perhaps, but they do have access to Lodge volumes. So far as direct help with The Eternal Verities is concerned, constant help is extended, and especially beginning with Vol. 19, when “Youth-Companions’ Forum” starts as a department of the Magazine. Many of these will be cited as references in the Lessons, and, no doubt, many of the desired numbers may be procured singly, from The Theosophy Company.
* * * *
The object of all true education, says Madame Blavatsky, is to cultivate and develop the mind in the right direction; to teach people to carry with fortitude the burden of life allotted them by Karma; to strengthen their will; to inculcate in them the love of one’s neighbor and the feeling of mutual interdependence and brotherhood; to train and form the character for practical life.
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A proper and sane system of education should produce the most vigorous and
liberal mind, strictly trained in logical and accurate thought,
and not in blind faith. How can you expect good results, while you pervert the
reasoning faculty of your children by bidding them believe in the miracles of
the Bible on Sunday, while for six other days of the week you teach them such
things are scientifically impossible?
Children should above all be taught self-reliance, love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves. We would reduce the purely mechanical work of the memory to an absolute minimum, and devote the time to the development and training of the inner senses, faculties and latent capacities. We would endeavor to deal with each child as a unit, and to educate it so as to produce the most harmonious and equal unfoldment of its powers, in order that its special aptitudes should find their full natural development. We should aim at creating free men and women, and above all things, unselfish. And we believe that much if not all this could be obtained by proper and truly theosophical education.
* * * *
With these purposes in vie, then, the following general Suggestions for Teachers may best be understood as offering clear and certain psychological principles. (Specific suggestions on the sequential Lessons will follow in due order.) Some of these suggestions will be better understood, however, when it is appreciated that teachers need, especially, a background of Nature study; they need to be lovers and observers of Nature
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in her manifold forms. Theosophy enables us to read the book of Nature, and so Nature-books afford the clearest and best demonstrations of the philosophy. No one can escape this conclusion who reads, for instance, The Flowering Earth, by Donald Culross Peattie. It admits one into “communion with Nature,” in the same way that Fielding Hall’s The Soul of a People admits one into the influence of a living religion—the “religion” of Karma and Reincarnation. Fortunately, Nature- books are the purest and best output of the literary world, at the present time, and many will be offered in this hand-book as supplementary help and guidance to teachers.
I SOCRATIC METHOD
It may already be surmised that the Socratic, or Platonic method of the West, and the method of all the great Aryan sages, is the true modulus of instruction in Theosophy School. The stories of Socrates provided in our text admirably illustrate it. It is distinctly not the method of catechism. That the original “Verities” offered questions and answers was the result of the discovery that few teachers know how to ask questions so as to draw out and give emphasis on fundamental ideas. Many need to be provided some points of departure, and even have indicated to them the line and scope of the answer. The revised edition of The Eternal Verities provides questions without answers in the hope that these may be worked out between teacher and children. The teacher should try to stimulate the children’s thinking—not do it for them.
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The stories and illustrations given
are made as direct as possible, since it has been found that teachers are
inclined to wander away from the point and becloud the value of their
illustration. The best of those illustrations offered by several teachers have
found their way into the book, and should help to set a standard for other
stories to be added in the work of classes. It is best to use sparingly stories
in which plants and animals talk like humans. sop’s Fables are classics, but
there is a plethora of mediocre stories to avoid. It is well for each teacher to
have a file of usable material which has been gradually assembled by herself.
Thus she keeps her interest alert and the class alive. Every Theosophy School
naturally has a Teachers’ Library for help with illustration, in books and
articles, and photographs, and other objects of interest, as well as with
worth-while educational books.
Illustration is an art, and very necessary in teaching both children and adults, since thus the practical application of the philosophy is demonstrated. Illustration is also a preventive of going “over the heads” of the class. Teachers should find ample illustrations in looking back to their own childhood. ‘Where a real lesson was learned, the event stands out in clearest light, and the psychology of “the child that was” may not be adjudged “out of style.” Care should be taken, however, to use such illustrations in the third person.
The impersonal idea so sedulously presented by all the work of the United Lodge of Theosophists is just as necessary and valuable here as elsewhere—in fact, it may be even
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more necessary for the children. By using the impersonal “we” also,
instead of “you,” of “our” instead of “your,” one avoids the habit of
“talking down” to a class. Children respond remarkably to the impersonal idea.
Once, when requested by many that names of children reading from the platform be
announced, this course was followed for a season. But the children asked that it
should not be done next season. They said, “Seems as if you’re doing it for
yourself, instead of for Theosophy.”
Too much illustration should be avoided. The mind should rest on the idea to be illustrated, rather than on following events in rapid succession. It is also important to avoid too material an illustration. One teacher, happy to have interested small children into animated talk and questions by the ideas of the Third Truth at one session, thought to illustrate, on the following Sunday, growth through the kingdoms, realistically. She brought a pail of dirt for the purpose. But, with the dirt at hand, all wanted to make mud pies!
“Black side” illustrations such as afforded by the daily newspaper, are very poor psychology, for the reason especially, perhaps, that they are not in the child’s experience. Why, for instance, describe what happens in a criminal court to children of nine years? Illustrations in their own terms of life stay by them. The pernicious habit of frequent “Movie” attendance inflicts great damage on the child through precocious or premature knowledge. If children bring up their own “dark” problems, that is another story. But for the teacher, it is better to show the true and normal as a basis of comparison, rather than the bizarre and the false. Stanwood Cobb
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cites Dr. Arnold Hall, formerly president of the University of Oregon, as
presenting to his class so clear a procedure of how graft works in state and
city government that two of his students tried it out in fraternity stewardship
to the tune of several hundred dollars!
Dwelling on the dark side may repel a child. For instance, in one class, a child asked, “Aren’t any people happy?” The teacher replied, “Perhaps one out of a hundred.” Then another child remarked, “Well, if there is only one out of a hundred, the happy ones would amount to a good many, when you consider how many people there are !“ And it is to be remembered that unhappiness isn’t necessarily chronic, even with those whose lot seems very hard to those more fortunate. There is always the swinging of the pendulum between happiness and misery.
Those who know true gold easily detect the counterfeit. Nature analogies and illustrations are both interesting and informative. Nor should a teacher make light of children’s falsehoods and “scrapes,” but consider gravely the principles involved—their moral significance. The child is father of the man.
It is particularly urged that children’s gossip and tale- bearing be discouraged. They should be led away from telling what father, mother, sister say and do, as also from commenting on other children in Theosophy School. (See “Because,”
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pp. 107-8.) If a reading calls for comment, it is not the child who made it, but the reading itself and its ideas which should be considered. Teachers themselves do well not to discuss the children of their class with other teachers. Bright sayings or misconstrued ideas go naturally into reports and may be dealt with impersonally at Teachers’ Meetings.
IV FUNCTION OF SONGS
All the songs used in the School were written as embodiments of the
Teaching, and most of them were set to music by Mr. Crosbie. The first song
gives the purpose of Theosophy School: “We have come in search of Truth.” “These
two, Light and Darkness, are the world’s eternal ways” belongs to the Second
Truth, along with Masefield’s poem on Reincarnation, and a beautiful “Chant” on
the same theme. The Third Truth song takes the theme of Evolution, “in forms
from stone to man, as up a ladder beings climb.” The “Never was I not” song
takes the theme of immortality. Whoever knows these songs has the philosophy in
a nut-shell and the memory of them may well remain throughout the life-term.
Special songs for Christmas and Easter enlighten these festivals.
Not only children, but adults have found inspiration in the songs. Some members of Theosophy School have had the very words on their lips, at death. It follows, then, that all these songs—sung with a sense of their meaning—and with enthusiasm, must carry out into the world to receptive minds an impress of the great ideas which they express. Well
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may it be regarded as a means of “bringing Theosophy home to every man and woman in the country.” Therefore, teachers should give careful attention to discussion of the songs, in order to make clear their meaning, and function. Here also is to be noted the rightful and useful function of memory.
The revised “Verities” is made for direct reading by the children,
and is intended to encourage intelligent and enjoyable reading in the whole
field of good literature. In class, reading should be done aloud. Silent reading
can not be trusted. Some children know how to read at six, others not till nine,
and others still can not read accurately, even after leaving college. This is a
distinct cultural barrier, and one which should not be allowed to exist in
Theosophy School. Teachers, then, should be watchful to correct their own errors
of pronunciation, as well as those of the children, and know by frequent
consultation of the dictionary what is correct. Children, also, may be helped in
using the dictionary.
One should be able to make words living by showing their derivation, as is demonstrated in the Lessons, and one should be careful to see that the child knows the meaning of the words of the text. The teacher should not be afraid of the “long” words nor of the unusual words, which are used advisedly in our text. Children are more often than not intrigued by them. To foster an interest in words is to educate good readers—those to whom the door of all good literature opens
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in invitation. There is no greater moral safeguard than the taste for and interest in good books. Often pre-class work may be concerned with an interesting well-written book, and with applying Theosophy to the problems it presents. In the list of Nature-books are several which are simple reading for very young children, and should be called to their attention. Their interest may be easily aroused by giving some illustration or incident from a particular book.
VI MEMORY VERSES
The Memory Verses are axiomatic statements of the whole philosophy and should be accurately memorized as well as understood. The importance of younger children keeping the memory verses in proper form and order should be always held in mind, and books or cards supplied for the purpose inspected by the teacher at certain intervals. The verses and songs should be thoroughly memorized before receiving the slips. The Dennison labels are satisfactory for use in this work. This latter suggestion, of course, applies to classes of children too young to read, who may not intelligently use all the memory verses given in “The Verities.” Children treasure these books. One little boy named his, his “business book.”
The work of the teacher is to present Principles clearly and forcefully and thoroughly; but “brilliant” teaching is not
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expected. The more the teacher keeps herself in the background with the idea of
bringing out the children, the better the teaching will be. Draw out of the
children their own applications as much as possible. Don’t let a lesson
go by without every child in the class having an opportunity to express himself.
Let each one take his time to think; don’t pass over the slow one; don’t help
him too much; don’t let the others press their own answers instead of his—not
until they are asked. Children should be led to see that the facile answering of
questions is not necessarily a sign of knowledge.
On one occasion, a teacher who observed that one boy could never be induced to answer a question, asked him why. He replied, “I’m afraid of making mistakes.” “But,” she asked, “can’t we learn even by mistakes?” The boy said, “Yes, but fellows who get bad marks in school for mistakes are afraid to be wrong again.” So, to make of learning a joyous adventure is one of the aims of Theosophy School.
Don’t answer questions for the children till they have offered something themselves. Then they are ready for amplification. Don’t ask “trick” questions. Irrelevant questions may be saved for next Sunday’s pre-class. In re-telling a story, let each child have a share, relay fashion.
VIII HEART DOCTRINE
Try to keep the devotional side of the teaching always fresh in the children’s minds. Impress the importance of using the first Chant every morning on arising, every evening on
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retiring. With that idea on retiring, they come back to waking consciousness with the idea of service strengthened for the day. Keep reverting to the idea of the Path. Don’t force a point into a lesson. Thus it will fail to carry. Theosophy is natural: teachers should be natural.
Don’t be afraid of repetition and repetition, also of reviewing. Only, the children must be helped to get the ideas for themselves. They will rightly become rebellious to secondhand ideas and solutions to their problems. Fresh study on the part of the teacher in the writings of H. P. Blavatsky, W. Q. Judge and Robert Crosbie is what gives the teacher a better grasp of the subject, and so the children take fresh hold. Repetition need never be “stale.”
X PUPIL TEACHING
It is seldom wise to turn a class completely over to the children for teaching. Right participation does not demand it, nor are children equal to it. But a desired end is served, when a newcomer or visitor enters the class, by eliciting their help in going over the preceding lessons for that one’s benefit. They have a taste of what it means to learn that they may help others. Such an event is always stimulating to a class, and, more often than not, is encouraging to the teachers, while
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the same time they learn where the weak spots are in the children’s
XI PARENTS’ CO-OPERATION
Whenever possible, keep in touch with the parents of the children, finding out, after suitable time, if any difference is noted in their general attitude and behavior in “daily life.” Encourage parents to present to you any problems they may have in regard to the children, so that applications may be made generally in the lessons, from which the child may get a cue.
There should be no trouble from disorderly conduct in Theosophy School, where the very basis is mental discipline. Yet, some children may, because of authoritarian training elsewhere, mistake the freedom of the School for something else, so that they need to be educated for freedom. If there is difficulty, the teacher should ask herself where the trouble lies. Is she interesting the children as she should? Is she finding them where they live? Is she pre-judging a particular child? Is she seeking the co-operation of the class, without “preaching” or “nagging”? Care should be exercised in proper seating of the class, so that two inclined to mischief are not put together.
Some difficult cases in the past have been successfully handled by the teacher’s sending a child to sit far away by himself,
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until he is ready to come back and be a real member of the class. The “Student
Government” idea can be adapted to the needs of individual classes. If the
children make their own rules, they are more apt to keep them, and expect it of
Some teachers find that a little routine duty—like calling the roll of the class, or being made responsible for keeping a list of mis-pronounced words in the lesson, will induce an interest, in some inclined-to-be-refractory child. Sometimes a younger child may be put in a much older class, where the child is awed into good behavior; sometimes an older child is put with those much younger, which results in mutual helpfulness. But such changes are not to be regarded as either promotion or demotion. Theosophy School is not based on “promotions,” rewards and punishments. (See Theosophy, Vol. 21, p. 363.) A certain discipline is necessary, such as makes for proper attention, and includes respect for the teacher. Attentiveness is a part of the application of what is learned.
Teachers alternate in providing the report, but the one reporting is a part of the class and does not exhibit a notebook, being always ready to enter into discussion. Each lesson of each class is reported, that the Superintendent may keep always in close touch with teachers and classes. A general idea of the reports is furnished by the skeleton form
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here appended. These reports should be turned in each week (a box being provided for the purpose), not later than Friday, but teachers are advised to prepare them as early as possible, while the class activities are fresh in the mind. Promptness is a help to the Superintendent and a necessary discipline to the School, which serves to keep it well-ordered and efficient. When this duty can not be adequately complied with, another teacher is sought.
TEACHERS’ REPORT FORM
Teacher (Give the name of the one teaching, only, not the names of both teachers)
Subject of the lesson
What questions were asked by the children?
What questions were asked by the teacher?
What illustrations were used?
What applications were made?
Was the attention of the children good or otherwise?
(Please use typewriter-size paper, and make two copies, one to be placed in Theosophy School box and the other for the teacher of the class. The report should be in by Friday of the week following the Sunday on which the lesson was given.)
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XIV BOOKS OF USE
The following books are recommended for correlative material and teaching aid:
The Flowering Earth, Donald Culross Peattie. To be read especially for a feeling perception of Nature, and the One-ness of all Life.
Germ of Mind in Plants, R. H. France. Delightful, sensitive, philosophic, with broad cultural background. Should be read before—
Human Side of Plants, by Royal Dixon, which uses much
of the same material in more popular and more accessible form for illustration, as Chapter titles indicate:
“Plants That Walk”; “Plants That Mimic”; “Plants That Keep Servants”; “Piants That Produce Lights,” etc.
Green Magic, Julie Closson Kenly. Foreword a practical teaching help for Theosophists, as also, the questions at the end of the book, and the Index.
The material is very attractively handled—something of a model for arousing children’s interest.
The Green Leaf, D. T. Macdougall. Simple and clear for the teacher. Practically no pictorial illustrations.
Our Plant Friends and Foes, Wm. Atherton Dupuy. Title self-explanatory. A book for anybody.
Plant Autographs and Their Revelations, Sir Chundra Bose. Especial attention should be given the Appendix.
Our Amazing Earth, Carroll Lane Fenton. Good background in Geology for teachers—simple, not “dry”
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reading. Splendid on important crystals, on volcanoes, earthquakes, “drowned rivers.” Many maps and photographs useful for pre-class work.
Getting Acquainted With Minerals, G. L. English. Somewhat technical, but good illustrations.
Here and There in Popular Science, Jean Henri Fabre. Especially, make use of Part I on “Wonders of Astronomy.”
Water Wonders Every Child Should Know, Jean M. Thompson. On the mysteries of dew, frost, snow, ice, rain.
Nature Secrets, Mary D. Chambers. Simple, scientific experiments and their significance. The candle-flame, for instance, explains much Theosophical symbolism.
A Song of Life, Margaret Morley. Dealing with Flowers, Fishes, Frogs, Birds, Cells—very simply.
The Flower and the Bee, John H. Lovell. Showing interdependence of the kingdoms.
The Golden Throng, E. W. Teale. Beautifully illustrated. Good for pre-class.
The Bee People, Margaret W. Morley. Very simple.
The Wonder World of Ants, Wilfrid S. Bronson. A book for children, charmingly told and illustrated.
Our Insect Friends and Foes, Wm. Atherton Dupuy. The title is suggestive of the book’s value in analogy. Broadly informative, and “available” to teachers’ use. Carries helpful questions at end of each chapter. Milkweed Butterfly, Silkworm, Bee, and Gypsy Moth treated in practical compass. Note Introduction.
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Grass Root Jungles, E. W. Teale. Extremely beautiful illustrations on much the same subjects as the above book.
How Animals Talk, William J. Long. This book far more fascinating in its truth than those sentimental books in which animals talk like humans.
Bird Flight, Gordon C. Aymar. Wonderful action photography. Much interesting on bird ancestry.
Wild Wings, Gordon C. Aymar. First and last chapters particularly useful, though every chapter interesting and instructive.
The Private Life of Birds, Henry Smith Williams. Beautiful colored plates.
“Because”—For the Children Who Ask Why. Companion book to The Eternal Verities.
The Right Thing, William Oliver Stevens. Presents moral problems for adolescents, but each one must get his own solutions. A suggestive modulus for younger children also.
The Soul of a People, Fielding Hall. A most sympathetic treatment of a people living the life according to the idea of reincarnation.
Kim, Rudyard Kipling. Carries much lovely symbolism of the teachings.
Scientists Are Human, David Lindsay Watson. The first five chapters and the last should be read by every teacher to find the best corroboration of the Theosophic viewpoint in a real scientist. Boys and girls reach a stage where science becomes a “God.” This book is a valuable antidote.
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My Book House, edited by Olive Beaupré Miller. This is a twelve-volume collection very carefully and intelligently compiled from the best sources, covering every phase of classic literature for children. One must appreciate its time-saving value, since it brings so much into so small a compass.
XV REQUISITE THEOSOPHICAL BOOKS
It should ever be borne in mind, however, that the aim of Theosophy School
is not to amuse children, but to gain the attention of the Soul; not to
evoke interest in externalities of any kind, except as they serve to make real
the world of ideas. Theosophy School seeks to follow H. P. B.’s modulus
in getting minds to work for the right explanation and solution of problems; in
getting them to see the need of assuming responsibility, and performing
duty, not only because it is there to be done, but because it is owed to
the whole of humanity.
Teachers lacking teaching experience with The Eternal Verities have proved to be handicapped in the work of Theosophy School. And all teachers need background in knowledge of our common life. The books suggested offer a way to fill the gaps in their education, and to expand it. While it is Theosophy we are teaching, Theosophy includes all things. Demands may come from many quarters for answer and application of the principles. There is no crime in not knowing the answer to a question, but only in giving wrong information. If the teacher does not know, he or she can
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always say, “Let us think about that for our next lesson.” Or, “Who will find that out for us, for next time?” “Next time,” the information or reply should be ready.
Let us remember that it is Theosophy on which we must rely for insight on all problems, and that the greatest adventure one can engage in is the approach of growing minds with its principles. No one should attempt to teach without having an intelligent grasp of the philosophy, and without making of The Friendly Philosopher a daily companion.
A working knowledge of Theosophy would mean some assimilation of The Ocean of Theosophy, The Key to Theosophy, The Gita and Gita Notes, Letters That Have Helped Me, and The Secret Doctrine (Proem, Introductory, Summing Up, Cyclic Evolution and Karma, at least), The Friendly Philosopher, The Theosophical Movement, and the Magazine Theosophy.
Teachers will understand the basis of the questions 6, 7, 8, in their Questionnaire by referring to Theosophy Magazine, Youth-Companions’ Forum, Vol. 21, February and March; also the same department, Vol. 28, January, 1940. In the same volume is an article, “An Old Problem,” and in Vol. 20, the article, “Theosophy and Prohibitions.” (Hereafter, Youth-Companions’ Forum will be referred to as
In Volumes 19 to 23, will be found many educational angles discussed, as in Vol. 14, “Theosophy School” series; “Tell-Tale Mirrors,” article, Vol. 15; Vol. 20, article, page 320, “Why Virtue?”; article, “Education, Theosophically Speaking,” same volume; Vol. 21, June “Y.C.F.,” last ques-
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tion; same volume, August “Y.C.F.”; Vol. 23, article, “Theosophical Pedagogy”;
Vol. 25, September and October “Y.C.F.”; Vol. 28, November “Y.C.F.,” and
April and May, same volume.
Volumes 19 to 23, Youth-Companions’ Forum, for the most part will be found of greatest help with “The Verities.” Those who began to write for the Forum at the age of sixteen or seventeen naturally grew more mature, as more full and facile in expression, with years of writing, so that the department, in volumes 23 to 28, is chiefly concerned with questions on the Gita, on “The Great Teachers” series, on the Ocean, on The Theosophical Movement, and on the problems of the day, which should be noted as the problems some time to concern the children now being taught The Eternal Verities.
A WORD TO PARENTS
Parents will notice in Suggestion X that the teachers of Theosophy School
are advised to keep in touch with the children’s parents with the idea that they
may both work in definite and sympathetic co-operation. Teachers are parents for
the time, in class, and likewise parents do well to regard themselves as
teachers during the whole term of their responsibility for the child. It is not
necessary for teachers to be parents in this incarnation. One who is imbued with
a love for and interest in children has doubtless known successful parenthood in
other lives. Many, however, have to learn how to be wiser parents in this
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therefore hoped that the suggestions made for teachers will be availed of by the
parents, and that they may find their way simpler and clearer with the help of
Theosophy School. The parents of Pathfinders have their special duties and
responsibilities in that connection. But, it is the fact and the hope of
Theosophical education that the relationship established between parents and
child may be an ever-expanding one of mutual interests and ideals and devotion
to Theosophy, through the years of their common life.
In the education of children, and especially in the relation of parenthood, responsibility assumes its most natural guise. Who does not willingly assume it for those helpless in their ignorance and in their tender years? Who would not be an altruist where there is a babe concerned? Yet, as the tender years give way to those in which the child must for himself learn the meaning of responsibility and duty, patience and understanding for the Egos at this stage, as a rule, grow less, on the part of parents. Come the frictions of stronger with weaker natures, when should be recognized the need for mutual respect and helpfulness.
This is the time when many parents are inclined to let the schools supply the place of parent. The child, well-behaved at school, can not be “managed” at home. Parents want their own pleasures, their own convenience met, and are all too ready to turn the child over to a servant, or to a friend, even to an acquaintance whose way of life is little known to them, when comes the prospect of some jaunt without the child. The Theosophical parent can well understand the possible damage done at such a period, when the
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child most needs parental help, because Theosophy is the doctrine of
responsibility, and parents have no wish to evade theirs. Parenthood means
settling down to the task with unremitting faith and faithfulness.
Theosophy School does not aspire to be a “reform school,” although it has witnessed many miraculous changes in the natures of boys and girls. It does ask co-operation from the parents, for the sake of both parent and child, as well as for the reason that it is not equipped to deal with the abnormal. Theosophical children are usually above the average, albeit endowed with the ordinary “human” tendencies. Theosophy does not make them “saints,” but beings who think from a basis of principles.
First and foremost, then, it is for parents to realize that they deal with timeless souls, and that the timeless doctrines of Theosophy provide the greatest possible bond of union and understanding between them and their children. For when were not children “misunderstood,” especially by exacting and coercing parents, who break the fine filaments of love by not recognizing the Ego’s status, by breaking of the will?
It would be folly for any parent to think his knowledge of Theosophy is complete and sure. Parents may find the child their own greatest teacher in the mysteries of human consciousness. Those have been wise parents indeed who before their child was born sensed the sacredness of the event, and the task before them in the welcoming of a soul back to earth life. But it is when great Nature claims responsibility for thought and act from the embodied Ego at seven years
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that the parents’ real task begins. Then, the parents test themselves, as never before. Children taught the law of Karma, of duty and responsibility and of service in younger years are far more easily reached by reason, by appeal to their real selves, in the difficult adolescent time, than are those whose thoughts and feelings have been unguided, undisciplined by philosophy.
Wise parents give recognition to the law of soul and duty when they provide their children with simple household and garden tasks for regular performance. Distaste and neglect of those duties, however, means that the child has not been led to see the place and part of that duty in the fundamental Whole. He has not been led to see his place and part in the family life. A mistake is made by paying for such duties performed. To encourage earning is fitting, but not from those who are continuously affording the child service. For them, he should be helped to plan pleasures, sweet surprises, just little thoughtfulnesses. If there are several children in the family, their sharing of tasks breeds fraternity; they should find it a privilege to help their elders in the more responsible tasks. No task should be considered “menial” or “beneath” them. It is better for parents to work out each one’s “share” or “allowance,” however small, than for the child to be paid for family services. The allowance should be forfeited, if there is neglect of duty which shows non-co-operation.
Whether boy or girl, each one should be educated to be able to take care of himself, as to what and how he shall eat, as to how he shall be clothed and mended. That is, even
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eating should not be haphazard, but neither too much, nor too little. Each should be taught to take care of his clothes; to have them in order, to recognize that they are provided by someone’s service and money; to be able to make minor repairs, like sewing on buttons, darning socks. Each one should be able to make his own bed, to sweep, to dust, to make the bathroom facilities tidy after him.
Too many parents feel it is “easier” to “do it myself” than to have the child do it. What of it? It is not a case of making it easier for me, but of educating the child. Help the child to find and enjoy the simple pleasures that all can share without money and without price—the beauty of the spring morning, the glory of the sunset, the sweet odors after rain, the sharp tang of winter cold, the color on the mountains, the power of the breaking waves. Help him to observe the artistry of simple gardens, the noble design of big bridges and parkways. Let him see the “pictures” and designs in hills, woods, rocks and streams, so that he may find for himself the beauty of great pictures made by men. Encourage gratitude for these universal gifts.
“Punishments” are sometimes necessary. But, let them be recognized as just. If a punishment of some kind has been promised, in case this or that thing is not done, carry through under the conditions. Thus, the child meets the consequences of his own acts, and the parent is consistent. Nothing puzzles children more than inconsistency. If one is allowed today what yesterday he was refused, and no reason exists for either the refusal or the permission, that child will himself easily drift into being unreliable. After a child has reached
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the age of four, and knows something of the law of cause and effect, he should
not be corporeally punished. He has enough of reason to go upon to make this
unnecessary. The parent should, however, be watchful that his own zeal for
truthfulness makes allowance for “imaginations.” These should be watched,
and guided, else they may lead to dire results, but, be sure that the untruth is
not mere imagination. If deliberate, too much importance can not be given the
untruth. (See “Because,” p. 95.)
It may be seen from the above that punishment in the Theosophical sense means rather corrective measures and adjustment. Parents should watch their own attitude and realize that whatever course they take, when they themselves are angry or even impatient, will not bring the right results. They should always consider the effect on the child: are they arousing a sense of injustice? Will this tend to make the child fear, or resent, and later on make deceit the easier way? More often than not, the mere sending of the child to his room to “think it over” will result in right adjustment. One does not need to forego signs of disapproval. Sometimes the severe expression on the face of the parent is the awakener of the child’s conscience, after which “talking over things” is simple. Nor is it good psychology to follow such an occasion with extra attentions and “rewards.” Karma is an exact adjuster, and calls no more for pampering than punishment. Understanding is the true aim, and with it come, on both sides, respect and appreciation.
Above all, gain the child’s confidence by discussing problems with him, and helping him to resolve them in the light
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of the Theosophy both know, but do not know so well how to apply. This can be very simply brought about in connection with Theosophy School. Parents may ask what the lesson was in Theosophy School, each Sunday. They can tell what their own class was studying, and no doubt will be surprised to find how close their mind is to that of the child. They go to school together; they have a common basis of thought and action. The parents’ example of faithful attendance on their classes makes an indelible imprint; the parents’ gratitude for what they learn helps arouse that noblest of human sentiments in the child. Parents “living the life” afford the best possible preventive of scepticism, which is all too common among young people and even children.
Just as there should be co-operation between child and teacher, between teachers and parents, so also should parents themselves stand by each other. They should constantly take up their problems with each other, talk them over, agree on a course of action. No parent should allow a child to wheedle him into a course or permission denied by the other parent. Whatever differences of opinion there may be between them, let them be resolved in private, and not in the child’s presence.
Parents, perhaps more than the children, need to gain the ever-present realization that the home life, the family life, is the life of Theosophy. The family is the foundation of civilization, and the Theosophist does a duty by humanity in making family life a science, striving to set an example which others may follow. The principles are set forth for each one, but each one must apply them as his heart and mind and
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will dictate. Whatever, then, the results, he may know he has done his best, and the rest is for the adjustment of Karma.
Some parents wait to bring their children to Theosophy School till they have “problem children” on their hands. To understand children brought up without devoted parental guidance, nothing better could be recommended for perusal than Youth in Conflict, by Miriam Van Waters. While the book deals with her work as referee in the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, she has gone into the nature of the child with sympathy and intelligence which brings her close to the psychology of Theosophy. She but lacks—and it is, of course, a real lack—a knowledge of reincarnation. Thus she looks to science to bring the cure for all errors in child-training. Much has been done by such workers to restore children to their rightful place in the community, when they have violated their duty to it, but it will be Theosophy only in the end which can make that restoration complete. Parents and teachers, both, should be acquainted with this book. Much can be learned from it, and one’s sympathy and appreciation should be generous for such a devoted philanthropist as, clearly, is its Author. In Theosophy, Vol. 21, the article, “Youth and Crime,” gives some idea of the work to be accomplished.
The children who grow up in Theosophy School need only “reminders” for them to make adjustment themselves, when they reach the adolescent age. They will have their problems and their tests. Their development has been natural, not forced, nor constrained; but, it is natural that they meet in their own lives the problems of the race. Now is
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the time when the very knowledge of the common ground they hold with their parents is a strength to them. They know they have a foundation they can trust. They may make mistakes of judgment, no doubt, as all do, but they will not go far wrong.
LESSON SUGGESTIONS AND AIDS
The division of The Eternal Verities into Lessons should not be
considered arbitrary. Some classes according to age or capacity may need more,
some less, than any particular lesson offers. But whether less or more, it is
imperative to keep strictly to the subject matter of a lesson: for instance, in
the Lesson on the First Truth, there should be no discussion of Reincarnation,
nor of Devachan. Countless illustrations might be used on a lesson other than
those given in the text, but they should all have a very direct bearing and
application, and follow the line of the book. Thus, when all the Lessons
have been studied, there will be no confusion between the First, Second, and
Each Lesson naturally divides into two parts—the philosophy and the “Think Abouts”; then, the story, which may well be used as a means of reviewing and consolidating what was taken up in the preceding Lesson. But the division is elastic. As the reading of the text proceeds, questions naturally arise on the part of the children, as it is also natural for the teachers to ask questions, in order to see if the points of the Lesson have significance to the children. In the last five minutes, it is a good practice to have the children sum up the significant points touched upon during the session. It might work well, indeed, with older children, to save the “Think Abouts” for two or three lessons, then taking them as a basis for review of the Lessons covered.
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It is well to start with reading the Preface to The Eternal Verities—a good habit for children to acquire, since prefaces always provide a key to the books themselves. It is also well to spend a little time on how to regard a book like “The Verities,” which is the first of what may one day be their Theosophical library. It is not for reading through once, and then forgotten. It is a book we won’t outgrow, as we do clothes. It will always be a helper—a real companion. How, then, are we to treat such a book? (When the book is new, it should be opened properly: first, a little from one end, then the other, until we come to the middle. Then it will open nicely, without strain, and afterward.) If we can not keep the book where it is clean, we can provide a paper cover for it; we can ourselves use it with clean hands, and not try to use it while eating. We can know where the book is, by always keeping it in the same place.
Three important ideas are suggested in the Preface: (1) Theosophy is not to be believed, but proved out, each one for himself. (2) The only knowledge worth having is what one lives, and so knows for himself. (3) The attitude toward learning—not finding fault, having the willingness to listen, to observe and check up. (Illustrations should either be elicited from the children or advanced by the teacher.)
For the opening session of Theosophy School, this discussion should be sufficient, coupled with a reading and discussion of the Declaration of Theosophy School, as given on the card.
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The First Clause might especially suggest that the Masters are the Knowers of Theosophy; that They are called the Elder Brothers because They help all others to find the Knowledge which They have. What is devotion? (See Theosophy, Vol. 22, March “Y. C. F.”)
The Second Clause indicates that there has been this great knowledge brought by many Teachers down the ages, and we know it now in the writings of H. P. Blavatsky and Wm. Q. Judge. “The present Theosophical Movement” refers to the work of The United Lodge of Theosophists, founded by Robert Crosbie, which maintains and spreads the teachings of these two Teachers. (The Dedication of The Eternal Verities should be read in this connection.)
The Third Clause indicates that Theosophists should be the best citizens possible, of the land they live in, and since they live in a republic, they can help make it a Republic of Brotherhood. They can have no hate for any man or nation in the world, because they understand the laws of Brotherhood. (See “Because,” pp. 113-14.)
“Theosophist Is, Who Theosophy Does” occurs in The Key to Theosophy, page 20.
The teacher will do well to have the setting afforded by the June and July numbers of “Y. C. F.,” Theosophy, Vol. 20, also Vol. 21, June.
Suggest thinking about the symbol on the cover of The Eternal Verities. (“Y. C. F.,” Theosophy, Vol. 19, November, deals with this.)
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This lesson is still “introductory,” as it is intended to find the children where they are. Children from nine to twelve have the basis for the lesson at school, but, as a rule, they have no sense whatever as to the real meaning of the tales and legends and myths cited in this text. Here is an opportunity to make them real to each child, for the experience of the race embodied in myth and legend is the experience of each one. It would be unwise to go very much into details, which so often distract. Some children may see the same story in Maeterlinck’s Blue Bird, in The Vision of Sir Launfal, The Bhagavad-Gita, and The Light of Asia. (On myths, see Theosophy, Vol. 24, April “Y. C. F.,” and Vol. 28, June “Y. C. F.,” first question.)
The questions set within the text should be considered together tentatively. They are questions each one will be able to really answer after he has long thought about them in the light of Theosophy. We shall ask all these questions again at the end of the year, and see if we have better and clearer ideas.
Remembering that the right attitude toward the thing to be known is the first requisite for the gaining of knowledge, the teacher should bring it home to the children, not only so far as Theosophy is concerned, but also in regard to all who teach them, at home or at school. (See Letters That Have Helped Me, I, 65; also “Because,” pp. 101-104.) No one would be trying to teach, if he had not some more knowledge than those he teaches. In Theosophy, all are learning
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together what each one knows, inside. “Unto thee who findeth no fault” is wholesome direction for the children of this day and age, especially.
The modern—though ancient Gaelic name for Erin— Eire, should be called to notice.
The meaning of the word, Theosophy, should be made clear and unforgettable. Also, the names of the Teachers— H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge, who, though no longer alive in bodies, are still the Teachers of this time. Teacher should seek to find if the children know anything about Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, but not attempt to discuss them at length, at this stage.
Teacher should see if pupils understand the meaning of the sciences named on page 7, and what others they can name —as aeronautics, agriculture, geology, etc.
The original of the Chant is to be found in the 46th Chapter of The Book of the Dead,* and is usually translated as follows:
Saith Osiris Ani:
(Osiris Ani personifies the spiritual Sun)
“Hail children of Shu,
Hail, children of Shu,
Children of the Dawn who
As children of the light have
Gained possession of his crown,
May I rise and fare
Forth like Osiris.”
* See Great Teachers’ Series, Egypt.
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The high light of this lesson is the Chant. In connection with page 7, discuss Where, When, Whom, and How to “render service.” How could one all alone on a desert island serve? (By keeping cheerful; by hoping one wouldn’t always have to stay; by being glad others were not in the same case.)
Take note of the typographical error at the top of page 4, “The Verities,” Ithica should be Ithaca. Have the children correct their copies.
The story, “One Who Found the Gem,” should be used as a means of reviewing the previous Lesson.
For Children Under Reading Age
Necessarily, children with very little background in school and general experience can not be taught all this Lesson I carries and suggests. It is best to select only two points from it. Take the idea of the Path for the first one. Even tiny tots can be shown, or will know, what a path is, in the garden, from the front of the house to the back, in the park, etc. Most children know what a trail is. They can be told how a trail is “blazed”; how men leave rags on trees to show the way they have gone; how others leave stones piled in a certain way. How sure-footed donkeys are on mountain trails, etc.
They can make a path with string in the room where they are, seeing how difficult it is to walk on it! They can each one draw a path on a piece of paper, which the teacher prepares by showing, say, a house in one corner, and a tree at the other end—the children to mark the path they would take
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between the two. Each path will be different, yet all will lead to the same place—IF !—To illustrate:
An informal story, “dressed up” in the teacher’s own way, might be told of some children starting off one spring morning to go to the home of their grandparents, which they could easily reach by sunset. They walk sturdily along for about an hour, when two of them spy below them a little valley where great patches of blue and yellow flowers grow near a running stream. They want to “go see” what the flowers are, and pluck some to carry with them. The older children say, “We’ll keep on walking slowly, so you come right back.” The children ran swiftly into the valley, and there kept seeing new flowers beyond; the stream tempted them to wade in it, and first thing they know, a shadow from the hill falls on them; they are hungry and cold; and they know they must get back to the road. But, they have wandered far, and by the time they reach it, dark has come! Shall they go on, or turn back toward home? What will their brother and sister think? Will their grandparents be worried? Will they always remember this day ‘
The story of the four-leafed clover should be expanded and detailed. For instance: Once there was a boy who lived in a little white cottage at the end of the town, alone with his mother. They had only enough to keep them alive, and were often hungry and cold. The grass grew all around the cottage, fine and green, and the boy had heard that if ever one should find a four-leafed clover, it would make him very fortunate. So, he began to look everywhere through the grass, and down by the brook, but never could he find a four-
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leafed clover! One day he made up his mind he would go hunting until he found
one. He even forgot to say goodbye to his mother, he was so anxious to start
out. On his way to the other side of town, he saw a wonderful plot of grass and
clover, but it belonged to a rich man, who had a sign up, “No Trespassing,” and
he could not hunt there. He went on, hunting where he could, and one day saw a
little cottage which looked like his mother’s. There, he felt sure, must be
four-leafed clovers. But, when a kind-faced woman opened the door, and he asked
if he might search, she said, yes, only he would not find them there. Nor did
he, but he afterward remembered that she said, “Some things one finds without
looking.” Still he went on—(naming places and adventures ad lib.). At
last, he returns to the little white cottage. His mother long ago had died; but,
in the door- yard, he fell upon his face, burying it in a patch of four- leafed
The second point is the meaning of the Chant. What does it mean that we are “Children of Light”? Can we see when we shut our eyes? We can see inside. We say we “see” when we understand. Because we are Knowers and Under-standers, we are children of Light. (And this is the Light of the True Sun.) What is “service”? Does anyone serve us? Whom should we serve, and how? (Parents, brothers, sisters, teachers, friends, whatever objects and materials we use.) We get off the Path by selfishness, unkindness, untruths, etc. Have all repeat the Chant together, recommending it be said by each one night and morning.
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It is one thing to ask children of four and five years of age how they help at home, as this is a practical means of directing their attention to the need of helping others. But, after that age, when the Ego is responsible, it is quite another matter to do this. Now is the time when it is best to ask children to notice how others help. Encourage each child to remember to notice, and tell in class, next week, what help they have seen others giving. (The last thing we would wish to encourage in Theosophy School is self-righteousness.)
Nor should the teacher be discouraged if this method does not “work” at first, as when it was applied in a class then studying Karma. One little girl said that she had been looking to see Karma carefully all week, but just nothing ever happened! This reply made for the liveliest kind of discussion.
THE STORY OF THE INDIAN LADS
Down in the land of the Hopis, where people live on high mesas, overlooking
the desert, there dwelt an Indian tribe whose custom it was to test the
endurance of the youths as they aspired to manhood. The trial consisted of a
long run over the plain to the far distant mountain, then to ascend the slope as
far as their strength permitted—to the summit, if that were possible.
Once upon a time four lads approached their Chief and signified their eager desire to undertake the test. To each one the old man replied:
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“Go then, and do your best, but when your strength fails, and you turn home
again, pluck the leaf of some growing thing to show how far your strength
Off they ran, eager to prove their courage and endurance, but, before many hours, one of the lads was back again carrying in his hand a piece of Cactus. “How is this,” said the Chief, “you did not even leave the Plain?”
The second boy returned some time later and he was holding some leaves of the Cottonwood tree. “This is better,” said his Chief, “you reached the Springs.”
The third boy struggled in, hours later, and he carried a sprig of the Fir tree. “Well done, my lad,” said the old man, “you reached the snow line; next year you will attain the summit.”
A long, long time after this, when the people were weary of watching, and the high cliffs of the mesa were casting long shadows over the desert floor, the fourth lad came home. He climbed the tall ladder to the cliff dwellings of his people and stood before the Chief, but his hands were empty.
“My boy,” said the old man, “you scaled the mountain. You saw the distant valleys and the whole wide horizon; your hands are empty but the glory of achievement is in your eyes.”
(Adapted from Ernest Thompson Seton)
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Here, the meaning of the Memory Verse (Song of Theosophy) should be gone into. Why should we seek the Truth? (See Theosophy, Vol. 28, February “Y. C. F.,” last question. What is a mystery. (Mystos means veiled, hidden; it is what is seen with closed eyes—that is, by inside seeing.) What is the Great Mystery? How does the Memory Verse name it? What are “laws”? (Rules of action.) Do we have laws in Theosophy School? (Not written laws, but if we didn’t all follow certain laws of behavior, what confusion there would be!) Would the laws of Theosophy School lead us to “the garment hem of cause”? How? (If we act for others, we act for the Self, as the Declaration of Theosophy School says.)
Relative to page 15: Are stones “alive”? (See Theosophy, Vol. 23, September “Y. C. F.”)
Relative to page 17: A man could send his dog upstream with a handkerchief around his neck as a sign to his companion to come home. Suppose he sent a boy instead, what difference would there be?
The teacher will do well to consult Plant Autographs and Their Revelations, by Sir Chundra Bose, to demonstrate the nerves of plants.
Before taking up the Gorgo story, which will be probably the second lesson in Lesson II, find out if the children know anything of Greece and Athens—their geographical location, and why they are so noted in history. What and where were the Long Walls? Who was Socrates? (All this briefly.)
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“Men call it virtue.” Virtue, derived from the word vir, which means strength. It also means, man. So, virtue does not come from just being “good,” but from being strong, in knowing and doing what is right, and doing it steadfastly.
Under (6) To Think About: “All things proceed from me.” How? (Whatever I do, or think, or feel, or say, could not be done without Me. There is no thinking for me, unless “I” think. Feeling isn’t of itself. “I” have to be in order to know the feeling. “I” speak by means of tongue and lips and other organs of speech, but they could not make sounds of language without Me.) The Real Self is the most important part of this Lesson. Dwell on it. The illustration is telling of the Chinaman, noticed on the train by a kind-hearted man whom he told he was going to a place in the country to be a cook. The Chinaman got out at the railroad station, but a few hours later was seen roaming the streets near the railroad station. His friend said, “Why, are you lost?” And he replied, “Me no lost. Station’s lost. Me here all-ee time.”
See also “Because,” Chapter II.
For Children Under Reading Age
Memory Verse: All is Life.
Begin the Lesson with something like this: Just think of all the things we see. Land, water, sky, animals, human beings, trees, flowers—where do we suppose they all came from? Let us think about all these things. (Let the chil-
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dren tell what they see, and how they all move or grow and change.) Something of
the same “something” must be in them all, then. That “something” men call Life.
If all these things come from Life, and we, too, move and grow and change
(how?), must it not be we came from that same Life?
This can be illustrated by showing a bottle labelled “pure water,” from which it is poured into a glass, a cup, a vase, an inkwell. Is the water different? Then go on with the same matter of the text, beginning at the bottom of page 14, through “All beasts and birds and reptiles and plants and stones are our brothers, because they too, are alive.” If this is true, how are we going to treat worms and caterpillars, animals, plants, stones? (Bring out the need to take care of plants, to feed animals. The “destructive ardor of childhood” is to be reckoned with in this connection. So, with clothes, with furniture, not only our own. How shall we treat the chairs we use here? the books, the floor? Let us educate children to respect what is provided for them anywhere.)
Go to page 15, and take the idea of inside motion, in the heart, the lungs, the stomach. Go on to inside seeing, page 17 and on, and make the point that we are the “inside” Seers—the Real Self. We see by inside Light, and so we are Children of Light.
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It is well always to read the Memory Verse at the begin- fling of the Lesson, since it is a “text” for what follows. ‘When then they learn to repeat it, after the full text is read, they will know its meaning.
Lesson III makes abstract Life real by consideration of the “lives,” and their motions, in relation to what the children see about them, and as to what goes on in their own bodies. Respect for the wonderful processes of life in bodies should result. The moral phase suggested in the full paragraph on page 26, then follows naturally. (See Theosophy, Vol. 20, October “Y. C. F.,” second question.)
Attention should be called in that same paragraph for notice of the odd intrusion of “blame,” in connection with “praise.” Many might take praise belonging to another, but why would one take blame that belonged to another? Has such a thing ever happened? Why? Was the result good? Teacher should have an illustration ready. Even though it might be done for the protection of another, was it wise? (See article, “Praise and Blame,” Theosophy, Vol. 20.)
Perhaps the fable may seem very “young” for some, but just because it is a Fable, even grown-ups learn something from it. Some may remember a certain one of Æsop’s Fables—that of the Frog—which reminds them of our Bat (p. 30).
Please note that by the printer’s mistake, the end of the Fable is not indicated, with the words, “all in one, and one
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in all.” The children might insert a line, or stars, in their books to indicate where the story ends.
* * * *
The story of “The Lives,” together with consideration of the “Think
Abouts,” and learning of the Memory Verse will be sufficient for the second
installment of this Lesson.
Children may ask how the sage was able to see what had happened with the broom, or besom, and they can understand when told by “inside seeing.” When one can control his outside seeing, or thoughts, and can be in sympathy, experiencing with what he is regarding in his mind, he sees truly inside. This subject will recur in Lesson VIII. Control of the mind is named Concentration. This means that one can center his mind at one point, when he can see clearly. Concentration is “one-pointedness.” Mr. Judge once said, “Put your mind on whatever you do. If it’s only tying a shoe-lace, it’s worth tying well.”
Take note of all new and unusual words in the story.
Find out what the children know about India. Speak of the U. L. T. and Theosophy School in Bombay. All this briefly, just for making background.
In “Think Abouts,” strong attention should be given to (4). Life goes to other forms, to other spaces, but can not go out from Life. Memory Verse at end of Lesson II should be recalled.
In (7) What Is the Power? (The power to act, which all beings have.) Again, pay attention to unusual words, as
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“quarries,” “suffer life,” “blamelessness,” or harmlessness. Those who harm not
are not harmed. In Kim, Chapter III, the Yogi passes the hissing cobra,
For Children Under Reading Age
Memory Verse: Theosophy is a mirror for inside seeing.
Begin with page 25, “What would become of our body,” and include the Fable, “Life.”
After the story has been read, or told, the children should be helped to reconstruct it. This will show how they understand it, and help them take it into their minds and hearts. Even when telling it first, questions may be interspersed to see if they are getting it.
The story “The Lives” may also be used for this age children.
This Lesson is very full and carries many colorful suggestions. With the story, “,Vhat is Right?” and “Think Abouts,” the material easily divides into two sections, or lessons.
On page 39: the idea of conscious awareness can be illustrated by the method used in Kipling’s Kim, in Chapter IX. To be observant is to be “conscious of” what passes before the eye. Masters gained their knowledge by observation and by experience, as well as by study. When it is considered
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that often four witnesses to the same occurrence will tell each a different
tale, the importance of accurate observation is recognized. Great scientists
observe, think constantly about what they observe and finally discover the
meaning, the explanation of it. The explanation is called a great “discovery.”
The story, here appended, “The King’s Robes,” is a good illustration:
THE KING’S ROBES
Kings, in the olden days of the Pharaohs of Egypt, and of Solomon, ruler of
Israel, and of Hiram, King of Tyre, loved bright colors. While their humble
subjects went about their daily work in sheepskin coats or dull-colored clothes
of cotton or wool, kings loved to show their rank by wearing fine and costly
robes dyed in bright colors.
But even kings could not get, in those days, colors that would stay bright. Their garments of red and scarlet and bright blue faded in the sunlight. They faded very fast, too, for the sunlight in Egypt and Palestine is very bright, and the rays of the sun have no more regard for the colors of the robes of kings than for any other gay colors. A beautifully woven robe, richly embroidered with gold thread, which it had taken skillful workers weeks to make, was likely to be so streaked and faded in a few weeks that no king or queen would be willing to wear it.
Colors could be made that would stay bright. King Hiram of Tyre knew that, for one of his ship captains had
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brought back to him from the far lands on the edge of the world a piece of bright blue cloth that had kept its color until the threads had worn away and fallen apart. The king had sent samples of it to his dye makers, for them to see if they could copy it. They had done their best. They had boiled and strained the juices which they got from the herbs of the field and the bark of trees, and dipped their cloths in the hot liquids. But if they boiled the cloth too long, the colors got too dark. If they did not boil them, the colors faded. They could not know, any more than did King Hiram, that the weavers of India got their dye from the indigo plant, which did not grow in the region of Tyre.
King Hiram was angry when his dye makers could not find out the secret of the color, for he did not like to admit that there was anything that other peoples of the world could do which might not be done as well or better in his kingdom and by his workers. So those were sorry days for the weavers, for no robes that were sent to the palace suited the fancy of the young king.
One day, when the king had gone to the shore to watch a fleet of boats set forth for Africa, he saw, as he drove home in his chariot, a fisherman trudging along with his basket. There was nothing to notice about that, for fish abounded in the waters of the Mediterranean. But the color of the man’s coat, where it was spotted from his work, caught the king’s attention. It was bright purple, brighter than the blue from the East which the king had liked so much. The king stopped his chariot and sent a messenger to bring the man to him.
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The poor fisherman was frightened to be stopped on the street and brought before the king.
“What have you in your basket?” demanded King Hiram of him. “And what have you been doing to get those spots on your coat?”
“My lord king, I am but a poor fisherman,” he said, “and have been raking up shellfish in the bay. And the coat is my own, that my good woman spun and wove for me; but it is spotted now with the color from the fish. But, indeed, my lord, I am no thief. The coat is my own, and I knew not that there was any harm in digging shellfish.”
“Color from the fish,” said the king. “Show them to me.”
He bought the basket of fish from the man and took his old coat from him, giving him money with which to buy a new one. The fisherman thought the king must be out of his mind to take an old, spotted working coat and make him a present with which he could buy a fine new one. But you never could tell what queer fancy might strike kings and rich folks.
As soon as King Hiram reached the palace, he sent for the royal weavers and gave them the coat and the basket of fish, telling them that this was the color he had long wanted them to make. He had sent all over the world for it, and here it was, right before their eyes on a fisherman’s coat.
The dye makers lost no time in working with the fish. They found, back of the head, in the little snail-like shell, a tiny bag with a few drops of a strong-smelling liquid. When the liquid ran out of the bag on a piece of cloth, and the cloth was put in the sunlight, the places that had been wet
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turned green and then blue and then the purple of the spots on the fisherman’s coat. At first that color faded in the sun, as their other dyes had done, but with the coat before them to encourage them, they kept on trying, until they found out that if they washed the cloth, as the fisherman’s wife must have washed his coat many times, the color was somehow “set” and did not fade.
So King Hiram got his purple robe, which was fast in color. And the best of it to him was that he did not have to send all over the world for his purple dye, but found it right on his own shores.
(From Man’s Long Climb, by Marion Lansing.)
One thing has to be watched for—that children do not get the idea, because knowledge is within, that no effort, no study, no work is required to make it usable here. No few have come to the meetings of the Lodge, unwilling to study the books of the Teachers, because “I get it inside.” These are psychics, with no philosophy, and so, dangerous “guides.” Teachers should verify the nature of the Theosophical teaching by referring to The Secret Doctrine. (See Vol. I, pp. 272-3, beginning last paragraph, 272. Also, the last paragraph, pp. 86-7, The Key to Theosophy.)
That we learn by contrast (pp. 40-41, “Verities”) has been illustrated very simply by the use of crayons on a sheet of white paper. First, use a black crayon. The children see the marks made. Then, use a white crayon. No marks are seen. There is no contrast with white on white. Expand idea of opposites, by having the children name many. (See article, “The Light and the Shadow,” Theosophy, Vol. 22.)
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To “Act for and as the Self” should be made clear. In each one is the Self. Acting for the Real Self of each one is acting for all. Thus, service is seen as actual, and the Self, no mere abstraction. To widen the idea of service beyond mere family and friends checks with the Declaration of Theosophy School, first and last clauses.
In connection with the story, “What is Right?” the teacher may induce a discussion: Is “right” what other people think is right? Shall we be courageous to do what we know is right, without paying attention to “People will say this, or think that.” But also, are we not to consult with those who have more experience—our parents—to make sure we do know? (“Because,” pp. 101-110.)
For Children Under Reading Age
All the material in this lesson can be used, except perhaps, “What is Right?” In place of this, the teacher might tell the tale of “The Magic Paper.” (Verities, p. 123.) The children might be asked to choose a name to call themselves when they go off on the dark side of the path. Of course, the names should be ugly ones, and no attention paid as to whether they are girl or boy names. (Like “Buggum,” “Gumpo,” “Greenog,” “Redbug,” etc.)
Who calls others “names”? ‘Who says, “I can’t”; “I won’t”; “I want”? Who grabs? Who pushes? Who is untidy? Who is always late? etc.
It is the Real—(Amy, Johnny, Bob)—who has to watch the dark one with the ugly name.
IV————— LESSON IV
In many cases, this simple expedient has served to produce an active conscience. Children can not go contrary to it, comfortably.
In connection with “light and darkness,” it is well to remember that many a child is “afraid of the dark”—not naturally so, but because someone has made it un-natural to like the dark. So, to bring out how we see in the dark; how cats and owls see in the dark; ask how many are able to go from a lighted room, into a room where no light is, and find what mother sends us to get for her, without turning on the light? Can’t we “see” by remembering where it is; by touching things we remember; by feeling the thing when we find it? And doesn’t it seem nice and quiet in the dark? Don’t we sleep better in a dark than in a lighted room? If plants had sun for twenty-four hours every day, they soon would die. They need the rest and refreshment of darkness, so that they can breathe in another way than they do in the daytime. Don’t we know how cross we are apt to be, when we haven’t had our time of darkness (sleep), as long as we should have?
“God can not be less than Space.” In Lesson IV, Space was considered, geographically and astronomically, we might say, but this Lesson brings home its metaphysical aspect. The one who can conceive the idea of abstract Space is indeed a God!
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The ancient Indians, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks are commonly called
“heathens,” because of their views, as given on page 47. The Christian God is
that of Jehovah, God of the Jews, thought to be the one and only true God, who
can punish and reward, can be prayed to, can be bribed by sacrifice. It is
this God which is a menace to the soul of man. The ancient Hebrews
taught THAT (Ain-Soph) could not be comprehended, nor located, nor named.
H. P. B. even goes so far as to say that mankind will be finally self-redeemed
only when it is freed from such false gods as Jehovah. (S. D. II, 420.)
Hence, the philosophical importance of making realizable to the child its own
identity with THAT— the Source of all.
The teacher will do well for her own enlightenment and reinforcement to refer to The Key to Theosophy, Section V, “On God and Prayer” (pp. 60-74) ; “Is It Necessary to Pray?” (See also, Theosophy, Vol. 21, January “Y. C. F.”; and Vol. 26, April.)
In Chapter VI, “Because,” these ideas will be found set forth in a way more adapted for discussion with children. Also, see in the Supplement, Youth-Companions’ story, “What Is God?” (PART V.)
The teacher should be mindful of the fact that many Christians have now begun to substitute for prayer a “quiet time for meditation,” and many declare they have obtained from it very “wonderful results.” Some “talk with God” by this means, and obtain thereby all material comforts, as in Buchmanism. How far this new trend goes in recognition of the God within, and how much harmful passivity will
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result is difficult to say. It seems to have been induced by a number of
journalistic books of recent years on Yogi philosophy imported by Westerners to
Just as children encounter everywhere the term “God,” likewise they meet the idea of “prayer,” so that it is necessary for them to be informed, and furnished a little historical evidence of their meaning, even though these terms carry with them so much of anthropomorphism that Theosophists who know the philosophy avoid them as much as possible. The Chant of Theosophy School is the right “substitute” for prayer, because it is like the “Lord’s Prayer,” since it is an affirmation of the Real indwelling nature of each one, and also a command to the lower nature to act for the Self of All.
For Children Under Reading Age
The above suggestions hold for the younger ones, of course, although the teacher will dwell especially on the Chant, and on the Self, Life, Consciousness, being everywhere, as given page 47. The story “How To Be Happy” is a good illustrative story. Also the idea of courage, fearlessness. These qualities are the natural outcome of living the Chant. See in Supplement, “Youth-Companions’ “ story, “Fearlessness.” (PART V.) This story will be found better for these younger children, than the one on page 52.
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Education in the schools is markedly objective. That is to say, there is no endeavor to attract the child’s attention to the enduring Thinker, the See-er, but only to that which is seen in multiform ways. The child is always engaged with projects, with doing things, but very little with thinking things. The creative instinct fostered is expressed in mechanical directions, and makes little lasting impression. Can it be thought strange that modern education is fast producing a race of “extroverts”? From this viewpoint, the teacher should realize the all-importance of the First Truth, as stressed in the five preceding Lessons, emphasizing the Eternal Subject: THAT can not be described; IT can not be counted; SPACE can not be seen. But “I” am the Describer; “I” am the Count-er; “I” am the Real, and “I” am identical with THAT. When there is nothing to describe, nor to count, nor to see, still “I” am the Changeless Perceiving power, able to perceive.
All this is very subtle and abstract to our minds, yet it is the foundation of the philosophy and of all philosophy worthy of the name. We are too apt to think that THAT belongs to SPACE only—to the unmanifested LIFE; yet, THAT is not absent from anything seen or counted or described in the visible and manifested universe. (Manifest means made visible.) It is important to realize that the unmanifest and invisible is not separate from the manifest and visible, but always is the CAUSE of the visible and manifest.
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With the Second Truth, then, we come to deal with the manifested Universe, in
which we can count, and describe, and see, and relate, and compare. See in
“Because” the treatment of Number (pp. 117-121). While all numbers come from
number one, number one (manifested) comes from No-number (unmanifested). This
analogy will be a help philosophically to children, as well as serving to “make
sense of” arithmetic to them.
Theosophy is largely expressed and understood in terms of symbolism. One of the oldest symbols is that of the egg, given on page 56. Full treatment of it is given in The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, pages 359-68. See also, pages 4 and 5, Proem. A little discussion of symbols is stimulating to the children, here. Use those with which they are familiar, but do not know as such. Words are but symbols of ideas. Mother, father, sister, brother, are all symbols. Symbols of The Three Truths would remain in men’s minds, even if there were no books. The United States flag is a symbol of what?
* * * *
The life in the egg works invisibly. It is the nature of Life to
work. The seed has an invisible life in the dark earth, and another manifest
life in the sun and air. The seeds of Theosophy we are planting in our minds and
hearts have their invisible growth in us. Some day, perhaps, we shall see a
visible growth in Theosophy School. We will, if we work for it.
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Men and animals and trees have a sense of balance inside —their own scales.
Acrobats and dancers have trained that sense, which a babe has in only small
degree. Have we ever watched one just learning to walk?
For Children Under Reading Age
The week before this Lesson is to be presented, it is useful to provide several children—all, if possible—with a glass, filled with damp, or wet absorbent cotton. Then, let each child sprinkle over the cotton some flax-seed, asking each one to bring it again next Sunday. It will be of interest to see how well grown is one dish of seeds, and how feeble another. This offers an opportunity to find out what care was given in each case, and what the results are before their eyes. Call attention to what is made from flax—linen, ropes, cords. A very ancient plant. (Consult encyclopaedia.)
A small magnet may also be brought in, together with some pins and needles, as also some wooden tooth-picks, which the magnet will not pick up. So, the magnet chooses. (Later on, the story of “The Test,” p. 70, will be more vivid because of this illustration.)
Some simple scales may also be used. It is impressive to see that even a feather will tip small scales. A ruler balanced on a pencil will serve the same purpose. Ask, “How do we breathe?” “Walk?” “Jump?” “Drink?” “Swim?” (Always the same way, showing how ridiculous an opposite way would be.)
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The teacher can in this Lesson VI begin to talk about the world—the sun,
the, stars, the sea; how they can always be depended on to be seen in a certain
place and at a certain time, according to Law. Can we all be depended on
like that? Are we always in school, and in Theosophy School just on time? How
many absences does it take for us to have no class?
The story, “Susie, The Chooser,” may be made the basis of a whole lesson, by discussion of it after reading, in the light of the Memory Verse, on page 56. It is important to stress the kind of dream and its cause. Does the fish swim on dry land? Does the canary bird swim in the ocean? How many of these things can men do?
In this Lesson, we continue with the theme of subjective and objective: we can not see Law, objectively, but we can “see” or understand Law. There are people who won’t believe anything, they say, unless they see it objectively. They might be asked, “Then, you don’t believe there is such a city as New York, because you have never been there 1” So, all the emotions and sensations one has are not “visible,” although we may see what symbolizes them, as a smile, a frown, a gesture, a tender word, or a harsh one.
According as we choose, the Law works. (The teacher will note how the ideas of one Lesson are made to recur in those which follow, to make relation and fresh application.)
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We can neglect to act for the good of all. If we do, then we act for the harm of all. Sometimes people speak of “violating” the Law, but this is only a term of “convenience.” (See “Y. C. F.,” Theosophy, Vol. 21, August.) In whatever way we think or feel or choose, the Law moves on accordingly. This principle is symbolized by the seed very thoroughly. And even if a seed does not germinate, but rots, there, we see, is the law of destruction, as well as that of building, growing. What kind of seeds do we get at Theosophy School? Into what will they grow? Where did they come from?
Nature offers countless examples of those “balancings in the scales of life,” spoken of, page 66. A fire burns down the noble trees of the forest, but long before their seeds can grow and send up new trees from deep within the soil, perhaps even the very next spring, the bare and blackened ground will be covered with blueberry and raspberry and blackberry bushes, and many kinds of wild flowers. Farmers will kill all the birds that eat the fruit of their trees, but later, they will find that the worms or insects, which the birds also ate, have destroyed the trees! (See for examples, Insect Friends and Foes. Also, in “Lookout,” Theosophy, Vol. 27, pages 425-7, are given very striking examples of how men interfere with Nature to their own detriment—the Dust Bowl being a very recent illustration.) The laws of Nature need to be understood by men, and worked with, not against, if the best for all is desired.
Page 69, “wherever the voice is heard” : this suggests the discussion of right use of the power of speech—the saying what is true, what is useful, what is necessary. Just as one
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proves a genuine silver coin by its ringing, so we may be known by our speech.
A shepherd and his son were sitting under a beautiful oak tree. Three men passed by, and all admired the tree— one for its bark; the second for the wood it contained; the third for the acorns which were so abundant. After they had gone, the shepherd said to his son, “One of those men is a tanner. Another is a charcoal-burner, and the other, a butcher.” “But, father, how do you know?” asked the boy. The shepherd replied: “You can always tell what a man is by his speech. One of these men wanted the bark for tanning leather. Another wanted the wood for making charcoal. The third man wanted the acorns to fatten his pigs.”
If words are symbols for ideas, then, is slang a good means of expressing the ideas of Theosophy? Is it good to say, “I hate this or that” thing, or duty? this or that person? “I wish something bad would happen to” one disliked? (See January “Y. C. F.,” Theosophy, Vol. 23; also, March, same volume, last question.)
What is gossip? Chiefly, the repeating from one to another of second-hand information, whether good or bad, regarding people. Illustrate what thus happens, by having each one repeat to the one sitting next him, what the teacher said very hurriedly to the one next her. Then, have the last child in the circle tell what he heard. The teacher tells what she said. What she said was distorted beyond belief in its journey around the class.
An old tale is told of the woman who went to a sage, saying that she had told something untrue of another person
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to several people. How—could he tell her ?—might she be able to right this wrong, how un-say it?
The sage told her to take a bag of feathers, and distribute them wherever her lie had travelled, and come back to him. This she did, and the sage told her, now, to collect the feathers again which the wind had scattered. Then, she saw how impossible was the task, and that she must right the wrong in some other way. (How might that be?)
So, let us not repeat second-hand information, unless the one concerned asks us to do so.
The following incident brings home the effect of idle, senseless words. A teacher was using the analogy of an army training camp, with the idea that Theosophy School is a “training camp.” As the subject developed, she asked, “What is ammunition?” One of the usually steady boys replied, “Popgun.” It happened that the co-teacher was new, and was recording the answers made by the children. So, another child asked the teacher why it was that such a foolish answer was put in the report. The teacher replied: “Well, it was recorded in the Astral Light, so, the one for whom these reports are written might as well read it, too.” Control of speech is difficult, but very necessary.
“The Test,” page 70, provides many fertile points of discussion. Here comes the application to the human being that it is the nature of Life to work; that everybody is happier for working, and for working with the idea of helping others. It never is “work” to work for what and whom we love; but, if we work at any task, honestly, we come to really love that task.
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It is not intended that the above ideas should be forced into the lesson,
but, they are mentioned since they are apt to be brought up by the children, and
so a line is given on handling them.
For Children Under Reading Age
All the ideas of this Lesson can be used for the younger children. They easily understand “quick” and “slow” Karma. Also, they will appreciate the Memory Verse on page 70, “My own shall come back to me.” This can be made the “theme” of the Lesson. “The Treasure Hunt” story appended, is a good “Test” story.
THE TREASURE HUNT
Spring comes benignly to the canyon of Arroyo Seco. The winter rains have
washed the copious growth of brush on the steeply rising mountains, revealing
depths of color undreamed of in the dusty autumn time; they have increased the
volume and the song of the streams that rush with all the bliss of the
free-flowing unknown; all is prepared for the goddess, and then she comes
hanging her signal flags— tufts of young green—on the sycamore branches. Lizards
sun themselves, squirrels chatter, and the untaught symphony of the birds sounds
forth. All is festival.
It was in such a scene that the little group of girls talked over their recent treasure hunt. They were squatted around
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a brush fire that tempered the snap of the air. It was impossible to be “little” and personal in such an atmosphere, with the large impersonality of the out-of-doors, with blue sky and billowing clouds showing immeasurably far above the mountain sides, and the harmonizing incense from the burning brush drawing all together in thought. Speech came naturally, as it will when the time is ripe.
One said, “Why do we have treasure hunts? What do we learn from them?”
“It seems as if we might learn everything from one like that,” she was answered.
The treasure was a message in a little container of small intrinsic value, and it contained a world of meaning to one who could read it. It had been buried near a group of willows in a dry stream bed which had been appropriated by the main stream only in the height of the rainy season, after the fashion of California rivers. Camouflaged with dry leaves the spot looked innocent of disturbance, while not far from it was a place from which sand had evidently recently been taken. Each girl started from the same given point, with the compass pointing due North, resting on a flat stone, and armed with four directions by the compass: the first—W. by S.W. taking to a large rock; second—S. by S.E., to a bit of obscured dried orange peel (left by an untidy person, evidently not of the group!) ; third—W. by S.W.. to a tree; the last—S.E. to the treasure. The number of feet each way was given, also a yard stick. Surely every girl would make the goal, and how to distribute the treasure among so many was the problem in the minds of the providers of the
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treasure, who had checked and rechecked the directions. All was set. Who would
One, impulsive, always desirous of leadership without being sure of the necessary qualifications, stridently shouted, “I know all about how to do it. I want to be first!”
Off she started gaily, approximating the distance with uneven footsteps, instead of measuring, and well within the allotted ten minutes had come to finish, marking her spot with a little stake, unbelievably far from the goal.
The second used up so much time in the beginning, getting her start, that she hurried toward the end and did not wait for her compass to set for her third direction. So she did not get her direction accurately, and time was called before she had finished.
And so on throughout the test. One failed to find the orange peel almost under her toes, felt all was lost, grew careless and ended off the track. Many wobbled from the straight line in making measurements, and yet by a seeming miracle were drawn back again. One ended a little way from where the earth was disturbed but saw it just in time to slip her stake over to it; she drove it in, confident that her wits, if not her measurements, had saved the day for her. The one who came nearest was just one foot off because she had heard talk of a tree and was influenced away from her just estimate by choosing the wrong tree. Most failed to check up on their direction to be assured the line chosen was true—only the one who came nearest did that.
As they summed it up around the fire, it seemed that they had demonstrated most of the faulty race tendencies in that
TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
activity. Externally it was merely an exercise in the use of the compass; looking below the surface, there were countless applications which were enumerated somewhat in this way.
“It shows the need of checking back to the source.”
“Strict honesty with one’s self.”
“Not being influenced away from the line by gossip.”
“Keep in line with the Movement and the Movement will keep you in line.”
“Not to be wobbly.”
“Not to waste time on unnecessary things.”
“Take the time you need to start right.”
“Not to doubt that which you have proved to yourself because of what someone else did.”
The little “leader” saw that the first could be last and the last first. And so on. And then the girls had a good game of tag to make sure that their feet were still on earth, before hiking homeward down the winding canyon road.
Oh, the message found in the buried treasure? “Wisdom lies, not in the direction given, but in the course pursued.”
The illustration of the stone dropped in a quiet pond, page 77, is borrowed from The Key to Theosophy, page 206.
H. P. B. uses it also in several other passages, and it is a frequent illustration to be found even in modern authors. There is nothing quite like it in effectiveness. Yet, many children
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have said they never saw this action, though they looked for it. Perhaps the
water they tried the experiment with was not sufficiently quiet. But, anyone can
make the simple experiment on the dining-room table. Have a dish with water in
it, placed under the light. (The light must be good and bright.) Then, drop a
penny into the water. The action and reaction will be clearly demonstrated.
Again, the Memory Verse emphasizes the “pairs of opposites.” “Evil” is a word almost as little used in this century as “sin.” Intelligence and ignorance are more to the mind of the time for these opposites, although they do not carry with them the same moral implication. An evil man may be very intelligent, and an ignorant man may be very good. But true intelligence is “good,” and real ignorance is “evil.” One can be so “good” that his goodness is evil, since excess of virtue is a vice. Is any “vice” worse than self-righteousness? And while it would be dangerous to say that excess of evil is virtue, it may be seen that sometimes a man goes to the depths of evil before the soul revolts, and from there on takes the path of virtue. The Real One, then, is he who must “hold sway” over all the opposites in himself.
And why hold sway over all the opposites? Over generosity, and fearlessness, and helpfulness? (See last question, October “Y. C. F.,” Vol. 21.)
“Socrates Teaches a Child” (p. 82) illustrates how insensible to reason and to truth is one who is moved by personal emotion and passion.
Honesty is a point in this Lesson which will and should continually recur with children. The “little lie,” the taking of
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“little things” which do not belong to them, are too often overlooked by those who have the guidance of children. Is one honest who tells the truth the greater part of the time, and lies when it is more convenient to do so? Is a three per cent liar, or a three per cent thief honest? One who is truly honest is one hundred per cent honest—which means all the time. (See “Because,” pp. 95-6.) Would you say that an honest boot-black is nobler than a dishonest king?
The problem arises of cheating at school. Is it right, for instance, for one to pay another to write a composition for him, and then turn it in as his own?
How about playing slot-machines, and placing small bets on horse-races and other sports? What is the principle which applies here? (Trying to get what one has not earned by effort. Sometime, the Law must work to balance!)
On Promises, see “Because,” pages 12 1-2, and Theosophy, Vol. 27, September “Y. C. F.”
For Children Under Reading Age
The two last lines of the Memory Verse might be learned, if the four are too much.
On speech, to review, might be taken another verse, “A soft answer turneth away wrath.”
“Don’t try to be good, but do good. Don’t seek to be loved, but give love.” These are condensations of the “opposites” which can be understood.
On “echoes,” pages 77-8 of the Verities, a scientific ex-
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planation is given in the last chapter of Nature Secrets, by Mary D. Chambers.
The Lesson as provided in the book seems to offer no real difficulty.
This Lesson introduces a new word—Dharma—which may give a philosophical significance to the word Duty. (To encourage a right pronunciation of this word is worth-while— not “dooty,” but dewty.) The teacher will find many angles of Duty discussed in November “Y. C. F.,” Vol. 23. In connection wit1 this Lesson, also, “The Knights of the Silver Shield” makes an unforgettable impression on most children.
Three other to-be-remembered verses, beside the Memory Verse text, are presented. The text itself comes from The Voice of the Silence, at about the middle of “The Second Fragment.” How old is this book, and who wrote it, are to be found in the introduction of “The Voice.”
“It knows not wrath nor pardon,” etc., has significance from the previous Lesson VII. It comes from The Light of Asia, Book Eight.
On page 89, “Verities,” the quotation, “Follow the wheel of life,” etc., is from “The Voice,” about a page beyond where the Memory Verse text is found. (Pages differing in different editions of both “The Voice” and “Light of Asia,” exact paging is not given.) Also, see January “Y. C. F.,” Vol. 21, last question.
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“The duty of another,” etc., is found in the Gita, Chapter III, page
On page 88, with regard to work: Is any work menial, or to be considered “beneath” one? “The Making of the Sword,” page 128, The Eternal Verities, illustrates.
On page 89, “to friend and foe.” See “Because,” pages 10 1-4.
THE KNIGHTS OF THE SILVER SHIELD
There was once a splendid castle in a forest, with great stone walls and a
high gateway, and turrets that rose away above the tallest trees. The forest was
dark and dangerous, and many cruel giants lived in it; but in the castle was a
company of knights, who were kept there by the king of the country, to help
travelers and to fight against the giants.
Each of these knights wore a beautiful suit of armor, the most wonderful thing about which was their shields. These had been made by a great magician years before. They were of silver, and sometimes shone with dazzling brightness, but at other times the surface of the shields would be clouded as though by a mist.
Now, when each young knight received his spurs and his armor, a new shield was also given him from among those that the magician had made; and when the shield was new its surface was always cloudy and dull. But as the knight began to do service against the giants, or helped poor travelers, his shield grew brighter and brighter, so that he could see his face
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clearly reflected in it. But if he proved to be lazy or cowardly, or did no service to others, then the shield grew more and more cloudy, until the knight became ashamed to carry it. But this was not all. When any one had fought a particularly hard battle, and won the victory, or when he went on some hard errand for the lord of the castle, and was successful, not only did his silver shield grow brighter, but a golden star appeared shining in its very heart. This was the greatest honor a knight could achieve, and the other knights always spoke of such an one as having “won his star.”
There came a time when the worst of the giants in the forest gathered themselves together to have a battle against the knights. Now there was a young knight, named Sir Roland, who was among those most eager to fight them. And although he was still quite young, his shield had begun to shine enough to show plainly that he had done bravely in some of his errands through the forest. The coming battle, he thought, would be the great opportunity of his life. And on the morning of the day when they were to go forth, Sir Roland hoped he would be put in the most dangerous place of all, so that he could show what knightly stuff he was made of.
But when the lord of the castle came to him, as he went about in full armor giving the commands, he said: “One brave knight must stay behind and guard the gateway of the castle, and it is you, Sir Roland, being one of the youngest, whom I have chosen for this.”
At these words Sir Roland was so disappointed that he bit his lip, and closed his helmet over his face so that the other knights might not see it. For a moment he was very angry,
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but he struggled against this feeling, and went quietly to look after his duties at the gate. The gateway was high and narrow, and was reached from outside by a high, narrow bridge that crossed the moat, which surrounded the castle on every side. When an enemy approached, the knight on guard rang a great bell just inside the gate, and the bridge was drawn up against the castle wall, so that no one could come across the moat. So the giants had long ago given up trying to attack the castle itself.
Today the battle was to be in the dark hollow in the forest, and it was not likely that there would be anything to do at the castle gate except to watch it like a common doorkeeper. It was not strange that Sir Roland thought someone else might have done this.
Presently all the other knights marched out in their flashing armor, their red plumes waving, while the lord of the castle stopped only to tell Sir Roland to keep guard over the gate until they returned, and to let no one enter. Sir Roland stood looking after them, thinking how happy he would be if he were on the way to battle with them. But after a little he put this out of his mind, and tried to think of pleasanter things.
At last Sir Roland saw one of the knights come limping down the path to the castle, and he went out on the bridge to meet him. Now this knight was not a brave one, and he had been frightened away as soon as he was wounded.
“I have been hurt,” he said, “so that I can not fight any more. But I could watch the gate for you, if you would like to go back to my place.”
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At first Sir Roland’s heart leaped with joy, but then he remembered what the commander had told him, and he said:
“I should like to go, but a knight belongs where his commander has put him. My place is here at the gate, and I can not open it even for you. Your place is at the battle.”
The knight was ashamed when he heard this, and turned about and went into the forest again.
After another hour, there came an old beggar woman down the path to the castle, and asked Sir Roland if she might come in and have some food. He told her that no one could enter the castle, but that he would send a servant out to her with food, and that she might sit and rest as long as she would.
“I have been past the hollow in the forest where the battle is going on,” said the old woman.
“And how do you think it is going?” asked Sir Roland.
“Badly for the knights,” said the old woman. “The giants are fighting as never before. I should think you had better go and help your friends.”
“I should like to indeed,” said Sir Roland, “but I am set to guard the gateway and cannot leave.”
“One fresh knight would make a great difference, when they are all weary with fighting. I should think that, while there are no enemies about, you would be much more useful there.”
“You may well think so,” said Sir Roland, “and so may I; but it is neither you nor I that is commander here.”
“I suppose,”. said the old woman then, “that you are one of the kind of knights who like to keep out of the fighting.
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You are lucky to have
so good an excuse for staying at home.” And she laughed a thin and taunting
Then Sir Roland was very angry, and thought that if it were only a man instead of a woman he would show him whether he liked fighting or no. Just then the servant came along with food, and he gave it to the old woman and shut the gate that she might not talk to him any more.
It was not very long before he heard someone calling outside. Sir Roland opened the gate, and saw standing at the other end of the drawbridge a little old man in a long black cloak.
“Are you Sir Roland?” asked the little old man.
“Yes,” said Sir Roland.
“Then you ought not to be staying here when the knights are having so hard a struggle, and when you have the chance to make of yourself the greatest knight in this kingdom. Listen to me! I have brought you a magic sword. This is the sword of all swords, and it is for you, if you will leave your idling here by the castle gate, and carry it into battle. Nothing can stand before it. ‘When you lift it the giants will fall back, your master will be awed, and you will be crowned the victorious knight—the one who will take his commander’s place as lord of the castle.”
Now Sir Roland believed that it was a magician who was speaking to him, for it certainly appeared to be a magic sword. It seemed so wonderful that the sword should be brought to him, that he reached out his hand to take it, and the little old man came forward, as though he would cross the drawbridge into the castle. But as he did so, it came to Sir Roland’s mind
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again that the bridge and the gateway had been entrusted to him, and he called out “No!” to the old man, so that he stopped where he was standing. But the old man waved the shining sword in the air again and said, “It is for you! Take it, and win the victory!”
Sir Roland was afraid that if he looked any longer at the sword he would not be able to hold himself within the castle. So he struck the great bell which was the signal for the servants inside to pull in the chains of the drawbridge.
Then, as he looked across the moat, Sir Roland saw a wonderful thing. The little old man threw away his black coat, and began to grow bigger and bigger, until in a minute more he was a giant as tall as any in the forest. Sir Roland shuddered to think what might have happened if he had taken the sword and left the gate unguarded.
Sir Roland now resolved not to open the gate again, and to pay no attention to any other visitor. But it was not long before he heard a sound that made him spring forward with joy. The knights with their commander were returning with shouts of victory—such a great victory that there had never been a happier home-coming.
Sir Roland greeted them all as they passed in over the bridge, and followed them into the great hail of the castle. The lord of the castle took his seat, with the other knights around him, and Sir Roland came forward with the key of the gate, to give his account of what had happened during the day. But just as he was about to speak, one of the knights cried out:
“The shield! The shield! Sir Roland’s shield!”
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Sir Roland himself did not know what they could mean. But what they saw was the golden star of knighthood, shining brightly from the center of his shield. When Sir Roland finished telling what had happened during the day, the knights all looked at one another, but no one spoke. Then they looked again at Sir Roland’s shield, to make sure their eyes had not deceived them, and there the golden star was still shining.
After a little silence the lord of the castle spoke.
“Men make mistakes,” he said, “but our silver shields are never mistaken. Sir Roland has fought and won the hardest battle of all today.”
Then the others all rose and saluted Sir Roland, who was the youngest knight that ever carried the golden star.
(Adapted from Baldwin.)
For Children Under Reading Age
Their Memory Verse may be, simply, “Rigid Justice rules the world.” (Rigid means unbending, inescapable.) That kind of Justice does not have “favorites,” who can be excused for this or that.
Illustrations, according to the children’s age and nature, will be more immediately effective than the story given in the text.
(See “Because,” pp. 17-18.)
“The Knights of the Silver Shield,” however, is a story that even the youngest loves, and gets the lesson of—that one’s own duty is the one to which he must be faithful.
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Is there anything strange about this Lesson as we look at it on the page? This is a little test in their power of observation. If they see that this is the first Lesson which is not headed by a “Memory Verse,” then suggest that perhaps we can understand why by reading the Lesson.
Have we learned anything about Motion before? (Lesson II, p. 15; Lesson VI, pp. 54-5; Lesson VIII, p. 77.)
The teacher herself should read the Christmas Lesson and the Easter Lesson in connection with this Lesson.
Now that the Memory Verse is found, possibly they will see that much of the Lesson up to this point is in review of what they have already considered, and they are now ready for a new “face,” or aspect of the LAW, the Second Truth.
It is not intended that the children memorize the names of the signs of the Zodiac, nor the length of the days on the other planets, but the list is given simply to familiarize them with the names and facts, when they meet them.
It should be impressive that this story about airplanes was written in 1890, but the ‘Wright brothers’ first successful flight was in December, 1903. (Air vehicles were used in the days of Atlantis. (See S. D., Vol. II, pp. 426-7.)
Strangely enough, experience shows that most children have come in contact with some phase of astrology. If so, pains should be taken to give the right slant on it. There is a true astrology, but the moderns do not have it. (See Secret Doctrine references in the Index.) Since we are connected in our Karma with every atom in manifested space, it stands to
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reason that the planets must have an influence on us, as do the sun and moon. But, we do not need to succumb to the influence. Nor do we need to spend any time speculating on what that influence may be. We have the rules for right conduct in Theosophy, and if we follow these, we shall grow strong in will, and no such “influence” will have any sway over us. People make themselves slaves of planetary influences.
Mr. Crosbie related this story in illustration: “I once knew a man who was a very nice man, — very nice, and as honest as any of us. He ‘followed the stars.’ He had everything figured out for every day of the week and every month of the year. He got sight of some conjunction that intimated to him that he was going to break his leg next day. Well, he just thought he would get ahead of that! So he stayed at home. His wife asked him to put up a curtain; he went up on a step-ladder—and you know the rest. There was an ‘influence’ that was very, very bad, you see; but, what made it? ‘What precipitated it? His own special attitude, of course. He had no reason to break his leg, for you can have no attraction for a thing you don’t think about, whether you like it or don’t like it. Either way of thinking about a thing affords an attraction for that thing. His thinking about it was what precipitated the mishap.”
Because Mr. Crosbie’s Talk on “Planetary Influences” was regretfully omitted from The Friendly Philosopher, and it occurs only in Vol. 9 of the Magazine Theosophy, a volume practically out of print, it is reprinted here for the benefit of the teachers.
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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—our religion, our system of thought, 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. We need to raise our eyes
and our minds to the wider 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—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. For just as there are some sorry remnants of religious knowledge in the world today, so the remnants of astrological knowledge are almost entirely applied to the personality in physical life, considering with chart and table the effects of planetary influence merely upon the physical affairs of men. The physical is but one line of effect—the only line, if we believe planets to be mere physical embodiments: But there are other sides to
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the nature of planets, which 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. Beings of various classes constitute every planet and its inhabitants, just as our 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.
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The Sun is the central store-house 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, the Sun is the giver of life physical and life spiritual, if we understand
that we are not referring to the mere physical Sun, which is, correspondingly,
just what our bodies are—only that principle which we perceive objectively. Yet
all the other principles are present, 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 Earth.
The Moon, the nearest planet to us, influences us physically, astrally 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
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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, but working under different conditions. All have their direct effects upon us, the influence of one planet predominating over another in accordance with the angle of position. Some planets are beneficial in their influence; others are called malevolent in their effects upon man. 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 differ, the Source and Goal are 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 toward ideas, toward people, toward things, toward 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
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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. ‘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 influences; 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 of our own establishing—built by our own thoughts and doings, and by those of no one else. 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,
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can either learn, or maintain the condition through continued ignorance.
The fact that at any given time or place we are subject to certain beneficial or malevolent influences, that we were born as persons at a certain time and place, under certain conjunctions of the planets means 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 following 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. 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, trying 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 are good. We are not trying for any reward, but only to make ourselves efficient ministers of good to others. Because we are not creating evil, we do not have to avoid 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
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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 than 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.
* * * *
Palmistry attracts many children. See what they discover in this: A man was
told that if a certain line in his hand were more clearly marked, it would show
him to be altruistic. Thereafter, he was always pinching his hand to make the
For Children Under Reading Age
The time idea of cycles will come naturally through the idea of birthdays. All know when their birthday is. Ask if
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next year it will come in another month? if last year it came another date than this year? No, it always comes the same date, every year; not twice a year, not once in two years.
Even for little ones, it is thrilling to think that the planets they see in the sky have their years different from the year our earth has. Find out if they have ever seen the bright evening star, Venus. Tell them where to look for it. (The Wonders of Astronomy in Fabre’s book, recommended in the list, PART III, will help the teacher to bring life to the Lesson.) But, astronomers think that the face of Venus is always toward the sun. If this is so, would boys and girls there have a day and night? or would it always be day?
How often would one have a birthday on Venus? on Mars? How long is a year on our earth?
The astronomers say that Mars—how many have ever seen that bright red “star” ?—revolves the way our earth does. Will Mars have day and night like ours?
In the “Think Abouts,” younger children would scarcely know about trade-winds, nor monsoons; but they can observe how a breeze springs up in the morning or afternoon, in the summer, and how tides are very high at certain times of year.
These children can be shown illustrations of “tree-rings,” and connected with the birthday idea for trees. The story of bird migration should be told here, and children encouraged to watch for the return of certain birds at the same time every year. There are many stories on this subject, as also on the hibernation of animals, like bears, and ground hogs.
The story here is not for very young children, but, the “Think About” (4) can be expanded by any teacher into a
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story. Whenever a story seems not to suit the type and age of children, it can
always be adapted in the teacher’s own words, or, the teacher can ask which
story they would like to hear again. Unless the stories are repeated and
referred to, the lesson in them will be forgotten.
The principle behind habits is made clear in this Lesson. The force of habit is illustrated by the fish, which, taken from the ocean and put in a tank, finally learned not to bump into the glass sides of the tank as it swam about. But when it was put in a tank four times as large, it would swim only so far as it had the habit of, and never learned any better!
Connected with the last Lesson on the time-aspect of Karma, in cycles, it is useful to see what punctuality means. Suppose the sun rose an hour later than its time? (This was the essence of the dream of “Susie, the Chooser.”) What is missed by being “late”? The teacher probably can recall much on this subject of moment in his or her own life, which might be told effectively. (In the third person, of course.)
The time “set” for anything is the beginning of a certain cycle, and has been chosen as the time best suited for certain purposes. These meetings, for instance, and what is missed by not being here on time every Sunday morning; by being late for rehearsals on Sunday mornings, or for Plays given here. Tardiness at day school is punished in some way; but, here, the “punishment” is administered only by the law of Karma.
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Many a life has been saved, because someone put his whole strength and heart in arriving on time. Many a life has been lost because help arrived too late. Many an opportunity has been lost by getting to an appointment too late.
One who makes a habit of punctuality, realizing what it means, comes to find out that there is a right time—an opportune time—for everything. Somehow he comes to be the kind of person who is always “around” when help is needed; also when help of the right kind is needed by him, someone “happens” to be there to help him. It is not the mere habit of punctuality that brings this about, since someone very punctual in certain ways might be very dilatory in doing some disagreeable duty. One should be punctual (punct means point; therefore, “on the dot”) since not only will he miss what Karma provides, if he is late, but also he puts out of order the way of action of others. A considerate person will always be punctual with engagements, with the family hours set for meals, or going somewhere, with getting up in the morning, with the expected time of arriving home.
Certainly, an Adept or Master can not be imagined as arriving anywhere save at the proper time. They know just the right and opportune moment because they know the law of cycles, and of all Karma, and they fulfill the Law. And they trust the Law, as Socrates tries to show in the story for this Lesson. “Reliance on the Law” does not mean to sit down and wait, doing nothing, but that when one does his full duty by every duty, the Law will bring what is right and best.
For more on “fairies,” see “Because,” Chapter X, and Theosophy, Vol. 15, April “Youth-Companions.”
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“The Turn of the Wheel” in the section, KARMIC PATHS, is not only a story of cycles, but introduces the next “finger on the hand of Law,” Reincarnation. All the stories in this section make the basis of reviewing the chapters on Law and Karma and Cycles.
For Children Under Reading Age
The ideas in this Lesson are put simply enough for the little ones, but the one story of “Thought Fairies” will be enough for one lesson. (“How the Hornet Got His Sting” will also be loved by the children. Take notice that while the hornet talks, this is in a dream. How “lives” incarnate is shown by this story, appended herewith.) The idea of punctuality can be introduced with good effect, and reverted to, as occasion calls for it.
The Stories which follow in the section, KARMIC PATHS, may be a little old for some children, but the teacher can easily adapt them to their needs by telling in her own words. They all love the ideas in the stories. On page 127, top line, please notice that the word “he” has been omitted. Have the children make the correction in their books.
HOW THE HORNET GOT ITS STING
Once there was a discontented and unhappy little individual. You wouldn’t have thought it when she was dressed up and things went just to suit, but when there was work to do
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or things went wrong—Oh my! Such a face and such a fuss! Now it really did hurt inside—there is no doubt about that— for the whiny voice, and the scowly face and the slappety-bang ways didn’t come from nothing, did they? Of course not, they came from something, that is sure.
One summer day this little individual was sitting out in a chair tilted back against a half-sunny, half-shady wall, under a lovely peach tree. She—her name was Agatha—was feeling very contented and happy and sweet and kind inside just then, (maybe she had had a peach or two) and so it was but natural that first one eye should go shut and then the other, until each grew tired of trying to wake the other up—and—WHAT should come banging by but a big black hornet with a white bald head and a dreadful eye! He missed Agatha for she dodged so suddenly that he couldn’t do anything else, but instead of going on, he came banging right back the same way, —the only method of introduction he knew.
“Oh my! but you pretend to be scared of me, don’t you ?“ said the hornet to Agatha. “Just because I’m having a little recreation on my own account. But it’s precious little time I get for fun when you are awake, and I just love my own time and pleasure—doing things I like.”
“Why, you horrible old thing!” said Agatha. “Go away. Go away. I haven’t anything to do with you. I should say not! Why, you are a hornet and sting!”
“Huh!” said he, for he was very ill-mannered. “Huh!
Of course, I’m a hornet—that’s just it—but do you think I came from nothing or nowhere? I should say not! I know that much and I know more than that, too,” and he gave a
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most frightful wrinkle to his bald head. “One would think I had more sense than you have, for I know that I came out of something! I know you are big and all that,” he went on, “and can do any one of four hundred and forty-nine things— any of ‘em, all of ‘em, or none of ‘em—just as you choose, while I, I, I, — have to behave always just like a hornet—I can’t behave any other way,” he said, and he settled down on a peach leaf and rubbed his nose pensively. “Here I am always banging this poor old nose (that’s why it has grown so hard) against things that won’t move, no matter how hard I hurt myself and have to sting them. And I blow my horn, at that! Anyone could hear it. But of course,” he said with some pride, “he would have to hurry.”
By this time Agatha was fairly sick. “Now what in the world do you talk to me about it for? All I ask is to keep out of your way. Don’t I always run when I see you coming? Do go away!”
“Well,” said he, eyeing her curiously, “now that you have waked up, I suppose I shall have to go back to my fate—my fate—” he repeated.
“What have Ito do with your fate? said Agatha with surprise. “Don’t you do as you please ?“
“I should say not,” said the hornet. “That would be joy! Building big grey houses for my fellows and me to live in, under a charming tree in the deep woodsy-woods, with thick berry bushes all about, plenty to eat and all kinds of companions who ‘tend to their own affairs and don’t bother me or get in my way”—and he gave Agatha a very forbidding look. “Oh, there are lots and lots and lots of wonderful things that
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you never so much as heard of that I know about and know how to do, too,” he added. “Birds, tree-toads, and all my ordinary neighbors and friends are just lovely—if I just didn’t have to take care of this dreadful poison you are always putting in the air.”
“Well, you—are—too—many—for—me !“ said Agatha.
“And I keep thinking you are so intelligent! You don’t seem to know even what you do know! I have to, because I have to do what I know! Didn’t I say before that I—this here”—and he waggled himself meaningly, “didn’t come from nothing?”
“Why, certainly not !“ said Agatha.
“There. I knew you knew it—only you didn’t know that you knew!”
“My, but you are queer!” said Agatha, and looking at his big, baldy face and beady head, laughed right out.
“That brings me right to the point,” said the hornet, not even getting the least bit excited. “Why am I as I am? I just am and how can I be anything else so long as you go on the way you are doing?”
“I should like to know what you mean by that, you sting-y thing! Please explain.”
“Well, I suppose I have a nature, haven’t I?” said he, keeping his temper.
“I should say so !“ said Agatha.
“Well—and it’s inside me—invisible, isn’t it? You can’t see how I feel?”
“I can, too !“ said Agatha. She was getting so excited she could not think.
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“Well, I’ll be stung!” said the hornet to himself, musingly. “I thought I was holding converse with one of those highly intelligent creatures called a human being, and if she isn’t just as sting-y and stupid as I am! Even she—”
“Well, that’s because you stir up that part of my nature,” said Agatha, overhearing this aside.
“Ah-ha! So you have that nature, too. Then how can you blame me for being what I am? But,” he added quickly, “I don’t see it.”
“Of course you don’t. But I feel it—I’ll say I do,” said Agatha.
“Well, then, it’s invisible—just the same as mine ?“
“Of course,” said Agatha, “what has that to do with it?”
“But it’s there, isn’t it,” continued the hornet, holding on to his point, “just the same as mine, too?”
“For Heavenses sake !“ cried Agatha, not pronouncing her words correctly, “I haven’t any hornets inside me, have I?”
“Well,” said he, looking at her thoughtfully, and taking his time about it, for he had earned some consideration in Agatha’s eyes, “That’s a question, and a very serious one. Of course, I don’t know all about YOU and just how much you are or what you are. You seem very complicated.”
“Complicated — complicated — complicated” — repeated Agatha to herself, now beginning to distrust her intelligence, “am I complicated?”
But supposing she understood, he went right on, “Now, sometimes you are one thing— I’ve noticed—and all the time you can be anything you choose, because you are always choosing to be something, and what you are is what you have
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chosen; in fact, I say you
are the Chooser,” said he, with such violence that Agatha spoke right back
so quick she didn’t have time to think.
“Of course I’m are—the Chooser !“
Well, then,” he said, looking sternly at her, “when you are hornet-y, it’s because you choose it, and all the time you can be something else by just choosing.” And he added magnanimously, “Of course, you are lots of other things, when it pleases you. Oh,” he said, seeming to forget all about Agatha, “how I’d like to be like that! Choosing to be anything I pleased! I’ll wager I’d never be a hornet!” As if absorbed in his own thoughts he went on pensively and not at all like a real hornet, — “Now, sometimes there is all around her the most heavenly feeling and the sweetest flower-like things —starry—and all that, with such music—not my kind! — And the atmosphere is so sweet, like honey-dew.” He grew fairly sentimental. “It lulls my nature so, I just want to die away into some beautiful thing, and, who knows, maybe I would—if”—and recalling himself, he glared around—”if you didn’t keep up this supply of hornet-y food for me to make myself out of! Oh, why do you choose to keep me a HORNET ?“
He ejaculated this with such astonishing force that if Agatha hadn’t been well balanced she would have fallen right off her chair with a crash. As it was, she gave such a gasp she could easily have swallowed Mr. Hornet. But she didn’t, so we won’t think about that. What she did do was to come down, chair and all, with a ker-plunk that was just like the jolt she felt inside, and found herself saying to a big fat comfortable
IV————— LESSON XII
looking peach right before her very nose, “I don’t know why —you poor old bee! But I’ll tell you what, I’m going to think about it. See if I don’t. I know what you mean, now.”
And then seeing the beautiful peach before her blinking eyes, as if enquiring of her what in the world it was all about, she said, “Now what Something did you come from—some of those beautiful starry flower-like things he said? I’d like to know!”
We have now come to Reincarnation as the “third finger on the hand of Law.”
The Memory Verse is to be found at the end of Book the Sixth, The Light of Asia. The “Think About” verse occurs in the first section of the Buddha’s sermon, Book Eight, same volume. “The boughs put forth their tender buds” is a quotation from the English poet-laureate, Alfred Noyes. “The Wheel of the Good Law” occurs very early in “The Second Fragment” of The Voice of the Silence. By means of these quotations, and by natural stages, the children acquire some familiarity with the great devotional books of Theosophy. It appeals to many children to see the book, and read the quotation directly from it, now and then.
It is desirable to emphasize the why we do not remember past lives, and that when such memories occur, they concern only the one who remembers. There are so many “psychics” who claim a knowledge of preceding births that reincarnation
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has been discredited as a
philosophical idea by many who might otherwise receive it. It is necessary,
then, to present the sane view, and the reasonableness of the teaching, as well
as its explanatory nature, which is more pointedly dealt with in Lesson XIII.
(See “Because,” pages 115-16.)
At the top of page 145, it is said that not one of us remembers the day we were born. This is universally true, but some very rare persons do remember even the scene of their birth. This does not trouble the general argument, however, since there is a blank as to all the rest of their life in infancy.
In one class, the teacher asked that each one write down and hand in next Sunday his very earliest memory. One of these was at the age of six months, when a burning house next door was evidently imprinted on the infant’s brain. The Ego must have come on the scene because of the feeling of danger and shock in those around. (Teachers will grasp the principle behind present-day “shock treatments” for the insane, however little they may approve the method.)
The “Do We Remember?” section, pages 167 to 177, shows the right kind of “remembering.”
With reference to the last paragraph, page 147, Lesson XII, see “Because,” Chapter XII.
For Children Under Reading Age
For very young children, it will be helpful to use Chapter IV in “Because,” and also Chapter XIV, first three pages.
Some teachers have found it good for the children to re-
IV————— LESSON XIII
peat together, “I am in a body, now; I was in a body, before; I shall be in a body again.” This seems to impress the idea that “I” am not my body.
This is the last Lesson on Reincarnation, and carries two Memory Verses from the Gita, the first in Chapter X, page 73, and the second in Chapter II, page 13.
“Because” will furnish supplementary ideas in Chapter XI, on “inner bodies,” though there they are not named, but listed from above, down, in the order of the cosmic process. In the text, the principles are named, but from below, up. Instead of the term Atma, “Ego” is used for it in the universal sense—One universal Ego. (See Key, p. 110.) “Soul” is also used in the sense Patan5ali gives it, Book II, Aphorism 20, “The soul is the Perceiver—is vision itself, and looks directly upon ideas.” (See “Because,” pp. 13 and 35.) An understanding of the “principles,” or inner bodies, is essential to understanding dreams and death.
Illustrations: The sun in its pure condition would burn up the earth and all that lives on it. Yet the sunshine that reaches us only after passing through many different “atmospheres” gives life to all that exists.
Electricity also shows this: the voltage generated at a power station is much too high for ordinary use, but, by passing the current through “transformers.” it is reduced to
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a low pressure at a voltage that can be safely used to light up a town or city.
So, the divine Ego is “veiled in flesh.” If the human body is kept pure, in it the power of the Spirit will be “transformed” and shed light on mankind. The “principles” are the finer “veils” of the Ego, and are man’s connection with the whole of Nature.
“Because,” Chapter XIII, pages 76-80, deals with Devachan.
On page 158, it will be well to illustrate more definitely how man’s Karma is connected with the kingdoms—how man, for instance, mines the ores and uses the precious stones for good or ill.
Everything reincarnates. The law of the indestructibility of matter of which scientists talk so much demonstrates reincarnation physically, and as the text illustrations show (p. 159). “The law of the conservation of energy” is but another aspect of the law of reincarnation.
Almost all boys and girls raise questions about animals, and while adults realize that if we understood all about man, we should know all about animals—animals being “man’s cast-off garments”—(See Secret Doctrine references to Animal(s) in Index) the following references will be found to cover most of the children’s perplexities. Theosophy, Vol. 20, two articles, “Suffering of Animals” (p. 222), and “Were We Animals?”; Vol. 22, August “Y. C. F.”; Vol. 26, May “Y. C. F.” and article,” Animal Suffering”; Vol. 28, May “Y. C. F.” “The Elemental Skim,” Supplement, PART V, is an excellent help here.
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Two sessions will be needed for this Lesson, undoubtedly, if “A Greek Lesson” is used. The characters of this story should be identified historically, but briefly. The teacher should note the importance of speech as best evidence of the reincarnation of a mind-being—a continuing identity. (See Secret Doctrine on speech, Vol. II, pp. 198-200.) So, also, the significance of the “Do We Remember?” section depends on this type of evidence. There is no other possible explanation for genius than reincarnation, and no other has met general acceptance. The question as to Why’ more musical and mathematical geniuses raises questions often. (See January “Y. C. F.,” Vol. 22, third question.)
The Reincarnation Song, by John Masefield, another English poet-laureate, will bear some analysis, especially since he calls our “Path” a road, and recognizes reincarnation as the way of learning on it.
It seems that Masefield denied believing in reincarnation! So, also, Charles Kelsey Gaines, who wrote Gorgo, from which the Socrates stories are excerpted, denied his belief in it. But he had read The Ocean of Theosophy, and was in New York City at the time it was written. An interesting discussion might come from asking Why could these writers so beautifully express the doctrine and yet say they did not believe it?
For Children Under Reading Age
It may seem surprising that at this point the little ones may take all given in the Lesson except the story of “A Greek
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Lesson.” Instead of that, take up the Song, page 184. The points of Lesson XIII should be covered more painstakingly, perhaps, than for older children, and the treatment of “inner bodies” in “Because” substituted for the Verities text. The names of the principles are too technical, but they can grasp the ideas. As said before, don’t try to give everything in the Lesson to these children.
It is hoped that all teachers of whatever-the-age-children will take up the Lessons on The Third Truth before the end of Theosophy School season. Rather than feeling that children are not ready for these Lessons, because they have not been taught “thoroughly,” it is better to realize that in the Third Truth are all the previous Lessons summarized and given deeper significance, so that The Third Truth is virtually review work. Also, we need to remember that Theosophy can not be “taught,” but that it is possible only to inform, generally speaking, as to what the principles and tenets are. Each one—even each child—must be his own teacher, as he observes and applies the test of Theosophy to himself and to all things else. So, it is a mistake to end the season dangling around somewhere in The Second Truth, and the children would get the same reaction as would adults, say, who in The Ocean of Theosophy Class found themselves at the end of the season no farther than Chapter XIII. These suggestions should be borne in mind for gauging the time spent on the various Lessons.
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The Self—Life—Consciousness............The First Truth
Karma—Cycles—Reincarnation.....The Second Truth
The Ladder of Being............................The Third Truth
The Real of all beings is identical—is the key of The Third Truth, and of the First. Recall From the Upanishads, pages 37-8. It is this divine fact which is the destroyer of the great illusion of the Personal God idea, of the “sense of separateness,” and of outside law. It is the builder of soul-integrity, hope, confidence, Will. The Memory Verse explains the great problem which many philosophers have set themselves, that of unity in diversity. It is from and in The One Life that various beings proceed, their action and inter-action moving to the purpose of Evolution (ek—out of; volvo—to roll). Notice the definition of the word given on page 180, first paragraph. On page 182, second paragraph, revert to pages 96-7.
.....See correlative passage to the matter on pages 182-3 in “Because,” pages 36-7; 67-9; 119-20. That there is purpose in every unit of life, illustrate in “Because,” pages 133-5.
.....On page 183, take especial note that higher lives are “the shining Lives of Spirit.” Some teachers have made the mistake of saying it is the Masters who wake up the lives of Matter. At this stage of evolution these Intelligences should not be thought of in terms of form.
In the “Think Abouts,” question (4) calls for the children to see that the lowest man is higher than the highest animal, because he is self-conscious. Question (5) reviews
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“the pairs of opposites.” Question (7) brings home the idea of interdependence.
It is easy to see that we need higher beings to teach and help, but there would
be no vegetable kingdom without the mineral to feed upon; neither could there be
the animal and human kingdoms without the mineral and vegetable to stand upon.
For Children Under Reading Age
Use the first Memory Verse as far as “kind.” Also give, “The purpose of life is to learn.”
The illustration of mercury or “quick-silver” is always fascinating to children. They see a solid substance in the vial, and when it is shaken and poured out, it separates into round drops, which quickly run together again. It is the same quicksilver, whether in or out of the vial, whether separated into drops or in one mass, or ball.
A cup of water may be used in which to place a small sponge, it being shown that the water is drawn into the sponge. But, is it still water, no matter where or in what form it is?
Here also, the sun symbol may be usefully reviewed. As in the Christmas Lesson, a globe can be used, the different countries on it pointed out, then the globe revolved under the flash-light, so that it is seen the sun shines on all countries. Like Life, the light of the sun goes everywhere, yet it is just the one light.
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LESSONS XV and XVI
The Memory Verse is from the Upanishads—a verse very, very frequently used by Robert Crosbie.
The use of the word—Monad—is the real key to an understanding of evolution, and so it is treated by H. P. B. in The Secret Doctrine. (See S. D. Index under Monad and Monads.)
On page 188, the fact brought out as to there being only one form of man should be an overwhelming argument that Man did not proceed from the lower kingdoms, however many the “lives” of lower kingdoms are occupied in his form. Let the children name the different kinds of animals, as worm, snake, bird, fox, lion, elephant—to illustrate.
On page 191, we take up “inner bodies” again, in terms of fire.
On pages 191-2, it is important to observe that it is real needs which bring about great changes. Did one notice how it was needs that brought about changes and development in Theosophy School? (See under DRAMATIC REPRESENTATIONS, PART I.)
No story goes with this Lesson, which will be followed immediately by the Analogies Lesson, each Analogy being something of a “story” in itself.
For Children Under Reading Age
At this point, the teacher has reached the place where she should know what to do on the basis she has already laid
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—as to whether she can handle the word “Monad” with the children or not. If not, she can use the word “Soul,” with which they are familiar. Also the word “Point,” or “Center,” can be used as shown on page 187, with “lives” in place of monads. (Revert to Lesson III.)
The matter on pages 190-2 will not be difficult for the children, and they will be quite able to get the last two analogies of the Building and of the Tree. “Because,” pages 5 and 9-10, will be useful, as well as Chapter II.
Even little ones who build with blocks can follow the analogy on Building. They have some idea in building as they do, and while no one may live in their building, the one who builds can topple the building down, and build again. Even very little children have the power to build and to destroy! (Are these words some “opposites” such as we learned of in Lesson IV, p. 41?) When they are older, they will be able to build more beautiful houses, which will have a use.
To illustrate the Memory verse, one teacher showed the children a piece of coal and a small diamond in a pin, telling them that both were made of the same material, carbon. Then she almost hid the diamond with her hand, and the children saw that the diamond shone brighter in the darkness. But the coal did not shine at all.
THE CHRISTMAS LESSON
If this Lesson comes before Lesson X has been reached in study of the book for the first time by the class, it will be well to take it just as given here, with the help of the diagram, which will give the Lesson somewhat more of an astronomical nature, perhaps, than philosophical. But, when the children reach the lessons on Cycles, they will have remembered something. Two Sundays should be given to this Lesson, which is very full.
The simplest explanation of the Diagram (facing p. 148) will be found in the following:
The Axis of the Earth is tilted 23 degrees, causing the length of days and nights to vary as the Earth moves around the Sun. The inclination of the Axis also causes the changes of the Seasons. On March 21, when Spring begins, the warm, vertical rays of the Sun begin to strike above the Equator, moving higher and higher until June 21, when they reach the Tropic of Cancer, bringing Summer to the Northern Hemisphere. After June 21, the vertical rays move South, falling along the Equator on September 21.
When the Autumn Season begins, the Northern Hemisphere starts “leaning” away from the Sun and then the countries below the Equator begin to receive the vertical rays. The vertical rays reach South to the Tropic of Capricorn on December 21. At this time the Southern Hemisphere has its Summer, while in the North it is Winter because only oblique rays, giving less heat, fall above the Equator. December 21
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is the Real Christmas because then the vertical rays of the Sun start again on their northward journey.
The teacher will probably find useful the following facts which may be called for by the children’s questions: The Ecliptic is the great circle—the apparent path described by the sun around the celestial sphere, as the earth revolves annually. The plane of the ecliptic is that plane in or near which the center of gravity of earth and moon revolves around the sun. The terrestrial Equator is the circle around the earth, equidistant from the two poles, dividing the northern from the southern hemisphere. It lies in a plane perpendicular to earth. The celestial Equator is the circle in which the plane of the terrestrial Equator intersects the celestial sphere, and is equidistant from the celestial poles. The magnetic Equator nearly coincides with the terrestrial Equator.
The planets, including earth, move from west to east. The Equinoxes move from east to west. The equinox is the point of intersection of the Equator and Ecliptic. The earth’s axis is an imaginary line on which the earth rotates. It is the rotation of the earth on its axis which causes the phenomenon of day and night. The earth’s orbit is its path around the sun.
The earth’s axis is not vertical to its orbit, but tipped, 232 degrees. On June 21st, the rays of the sun go 232 degrees beyond the North Pole, and fall 23 2 degrees short of the South Pole. They fall vertically 23 /2 degrees north of the Equator, at the Tropic of Cancer.
On December 2 1st, the North Pole is turned away from the sun, and its vertical rays strike 232 degrees south of
the Equator, at the Tropic of Capricorn. Its rays go 232 degrees beyond the South Pole, and fall 232 degrees short of reaching the North Pole. -
Day and night are equal only at the Equator, and half of the Equator is in darkness all the time.
Whenever possible, the use of a globe in connection with the diagram is very helpful in class.
For Children Under Reading Age
The teacher can illustrate the path of the earth around the sun very nicely, herself standing with a flashlight, and having one child go round her, turning his whole body around as he goes. The flashlight will show how the sun’s rays fall on the earth. (The room should be darkened.) They can be shown a globe, and how other lands are directly opposite to the one they live in. Suppose anyone could dig a straight hole through the earth, where would he come out? What is the horizon? (They stand on earth, and see the line of trees and buildings against the sky. That is the horizon; but they look beyond that to the great sky.)
With some small groups, it might be possible to light a small Christmas Tree with some ceremony, such as was used in the early years of the New Era Christmas programs of the Parent Theosophy School. A little girl appeared on the platform, near the unlighted Tree, reciting the following verse:
o Tree of ever-living Fire
Green with never-dying Life—
TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
From olden times thine honor comes
And legends now are rife.
So hear, friends all,
How did befall
We light the Tree
On Christmas Eve.
Then she went on with the tale, “The Origin of the Christmas Tree,” page 243, The Eternal Verities, starting on page 244 with the words, “Near the cave.” When she came to the words, on 245, “in most dazzling brightness,” the lights (which were tiny orange ones resembling resin drops) were turned on the Tree, and she continued with the closing paragraph.
Children are always interested to know how Santa Claus came to be, and where the name came from:
The original Santa Claus was the Bishop Nicholas, who lived in the ancient city of Myra, in Asia Minor. No one knows much about him, save that he was persecuted for his religion, and that after his death he was called Saint Nicholas. The Greeks and Romans set the 6th day of December apart for his day, and later all Christian peoples honored him.
One of the stories about him explains why the Santa Claus of today gives presents on Christmas. One time, when Nicholas was a living man, he heard that unless a certain poor man in his city had a large sum of money with which to pay a debt on a certain date, his three daughters would be sold as slaves. Now, Nicholas was always doing good wherever he could and not letting people know about it, either. So, just before the day set for selling the daughters to pay the debt,
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went in disguise to the poor man’s home, and gave him the money. Many years
after, when the people began to think more about Saint Nicholas, it became the
custom to give presents in secret on the eve of Saint Nicholas’ day; later on,
the custom was transferred to Christmas Eve.
But, how “Santa Claus”? When the early Dutch colonists came to America, they brought the custom of secretly giving presents on Christmas Eve. And they called Saint Nicholas, San Nicolaas. When the children of the English colonists heard the Dutch children talking about “San Nicolaas,” they began to talk about him too; but, they could not pronounce the words as the Dutch children did, and the nearest they could get to it was—Santa Claus!
December “Y. C. F.,” Theosophy, Vol. 20, will be found helpful on the Christmas Lesson.
THE EASTER LESSON
Here comes a repetition of the Christmas Lesson on cycles of the seasons in relation to the sun, the globe once again being a useful adjunct in reviewing, which is needed year after year. Probably, this Lesson can be covered in one session, since much of the symbolism is already familiar.
TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
For Children Under Reading Age
The Memory Verse will be given meaning, in distinguishing the sun we see in the heavens from the Sun within ourselves, the True Sun, of which we are “children of Light.”
The same illustration of the earth’s journey around the sun should be used again, as it was for the Christmas Lesson. For some classes, the Nature symbolism is enough. The story, “Do We Live On the Sun?” is not suitable for younger children. The simpler parts of the story of Jesus can be told, connecting it with the story of other great Teachers.
The Lesson offers an interesting review on Light and Life and Law, with their symbolism.
LESSON FOR MARCH 21ST, 1896
The second clause of the Declaration of Theosophy School is now to be considered, “in especial.” This Lesson may well take two sessions, since the excerpts given should be well considered. Show a picture of Mr. Judge. March “Y. C. F.,” Vol. 20, is good for teacher’s reading. Mr. Judge was H. P. B.’s Co-Worker.
For Children Under Reading Age
The teacher need not try to make a lesson for the very little children from this, other than to tell them that Mr. Judge was a great Teacher; that he dearly, loved children;
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that he started the first “Theosophy School.” Wherever Mr. Judge went, children
soon found a friend in him; they loved to have him draw pictures for them. Mr.
Judge painted many pictures, several of which are now at Theosophy Hall in Los
Angeles. The story of his fearlessness as a little boy can be told, as given on
page 267, Verities.
The children could be given a Memory Verse from one of the excerpts in the Lesson, as on page 273: “Try for patience in the very smallest things every day.”
WHITE LOTUS DAY LESSON
The symbolism of the Lotus flower should be explained. (See Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, pp. 58, 366 fn., 379-8 1.)
The picture of H. P. B. should be shown to all, and all, one by one, asked what they see and feel in it, before reading the story,
“H. P. B.”
Why should she say “Follow not me”? (If one follows a person, that person may stop, or turn back, or take a side road; but if one follows the road itself to his destination, he will reach it.)
For Children Under Reading Age
H. P. B.’s picture should be shown the children as the one who brought the teachings of Theosophy to the world in the last century. The story of the early part of her life, as given in the Lesson, will interest them up to the time of
TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
her meeting Mr. Judge. The teacher can tell the kind of work she did, and where she lived, and give the names of her books, The Secret Doctrine, The Voice of the Silence, The Key to Theosophy. Show them The Secret Doctrine, and tell them from it the meaning of the Lotus, as simply as possible. Recall the Memory Verses from The Voice of the Silence.
A LAST WORD
The Lessons of The Eternal Verities have been arranged with a view
to the Theosophy School term, the twenty-one Lessons to be covered in the
thirty-six, or, sometimes thirty- eight, Sundays. It is hoped that teachers will
use the Lessons as indicated in General Suggestions, and Lesson by Lesson, since
thus the line of the teaching and its intention will be
The first year, with a class new to Theosophy, one could simply follow through the book without any added material, it being understood that one does not learn Theosophy as one does an arithmetic lesson. It takes time for the great ideas to become part of a child’s mind and heart. The following year, the added suggestions, or stories, might be used, in place of those already given. The third year is time enough for using other new material such as has been gradually found by the teacher’s own effort and search. By then, he or she will be able to make wise and discriminating selection of what to present. The pre-class work will already have afforded training in this regard.
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Above all, teachers need to realize that “The Three Truths” must become a
matter of daily application to the child, else all the most attractive teaching
is in vain. Even adults miss real knowledge through their failure to apply the
principles of the philosophy, which, in truth, throw light on every problem of
life, as said by H. P. B., in the Proem to The Secret Doctrine. Morever,
teachers can not regard their Theosophy School classes as the matter of a
once-a-week task. They well may live for their classes, making every
event and occasion add enrichment to their own store of experience, which will
be found to help others, in Theosophy School classes, and elsewhere.
While it is true that educational methods in the public schools are, in general, greatly improved over those of some years ago, nevertheless, it should be realized that the teaching of Theosophy is sui generis, and that the best kind of teaching from the ordinary basis can not accomplish in character- building what is possible from the basis of Theosophy. Hence, it is recommended to use as little as possible the public school methods, especially that of “home work,” and of written work, now so popular. Just as all speakers from the U. L. T. platform express themselves spontaneously, so it is well to encourage the spontaneous expression of the children. Better than asking for “compositions” as a matter of review, for instance, the teacher might, herself hand out typewritten questions, one to each child, who is to think about it during the week, and to come next Sunday with the oral answer. The very fact that such a method is “different” and new to children makes it attractive to them. Imitation
TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
is the death of genuine creative work. The ideal of Theosophy School is to combine the best in all methods through following, first, the straight line of the Fundamentals. Each teacher, then, gradually evolves his or her own methods.
In the second year of teaching “The Verities,” more attention can be given to the use of the book itself. If a question comes up, on which the children are not “ready,” it may be asked if one remembers any Lesson where something similar was spoken of. Let each one search for it. Gradually, they learn to know where things are, and how to find them. A general review can be accomplished by asking all the children to close their books; then, one at time, open the book with eyes shut, and ask a question of the others on what occurs on the page found.
In the third year, the children might be asked to provide new Memory Verses for the various Lessons. Discuss why they are better than those given, or not so good as those in the book. When better ones are found, the teacher might provide neatly typed slips for the children to paste in their own copies. In this year, the teacher might bring to class The Secret Doctrine, or The Key to Theosophy, when she can find an appropriate passage simply stated on the subject with which the children are then engaged, and read it to them. It will be encouraging to them to see that they really can understand something out of those great books. So, too, with the magazine Theosophy. To realize that adults are concerned with the same ideas which they are studying must give an added value to their lesson hours. In this year, sev-
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eral of the problems posed in The Right Thing should be satisfactorily
When one is engaged in teaching other books than The Eternal Verities, it is hoped that this Manual and Guide will not be laid aside. The principles remain the same for all other courses. Unless the same plan is held of dwelling on the Fundamentals, then the Gita and “Great Teachers’ Series” will be no more than college courses, and this is not the aim of Theosophy School. However fascinating might be the history of these ancient lands as presented by modern historians, it is the philosophy which is our predominant concern. Associate Pathfinders make rightful place for these cultural studies in their activities.
Perhaps the reading list for teachers may have seemed formidable to some, but it is most certainly not intended that the books be read all in one season. Theosophy itself is far more important than any of these books, nor will they be properly read without some teaching experience, and the help provided by the Teachers’ Meetings. The reading of these books should rightly and leisurely extend over several years, although Edmond Holmes’ “What Is and What Might Be” is of help and inspiration from the very beginning. Next, in practical teaching value is Neumann’s Education For Moral Growth. Sisson’s Educating For Freedom completes the foundational trilogy, among those named in the beginning of Part III.
As to Nature-books, The Flowering Earth, by Peattie, should be read as a key to all the others, since it gives the indication in general of what is to be found in particular in
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the others. Eventually, all the books should be read, but, even before that can be accomplished, they can be “dipped into,” used illustratively, and by chapter.
For Theosophy to be important to the children, it must be all-important to the teacher. Teachers teach what they think, what they read, what their daily conduct. Teachers teach what they are. This is what they really know.
STORIES FOR YOUTH-COMPANIONS
(Which first appeared in
Theosophy Magazine, Volumes
15 to 18, inclusive, as contributed by Youth-Companions)
It is the Master’s work to preserve the true Philosophy, but the
help of the companions is needed to rediscover and promulgate it.”
“What Is God?” .............................................161
Fire and Fires................................................. 163
Little Choices................................................. 167
Why Be Honest? ...........................................170
Why Obedience?.......................................... 173
The Duty of Another ....................................175
“Inclinations of the Senses”.......................... 181
The Campers’ Menace.................................. 185
The Elemental Skim...................................... 188
The Thought-World ......................................191
Learning French ............................................198
New Year’s Resolutions................................. 202
New Values ....................................................206
“WHAT IS GOD?”
“What do you mean by God, Anne?” The girls were walking arm in arm along
the country road and Anne’s remark had been, “How good God is to give us this
nice holiday away from the noisy, dirty city !“ The challenge took her aback and
she looked at her questioner in surprise.
“What ever makes you ask such a question? Of course I mean God that made us and takes care of us.”
“But what is God?” persisted Ethel.
“Why, I guess you’d call Him the best and greatest person in the world. Of course you can’t see Him until you go to Heaven, but He is everywhere.”
“But if He’s everywhere how can He be a person? Aren’t all the people you know in just one place at time?”
“Of course. Maybe I’m mistaken about His being a person, but I certainly have gotten that idea of Him in Sunday- School. Anyway, whether you call Him a person or not, He can do anything.”
The words were hardly out of her mouth, when a little cripple came out on the porch of a farmhouse they were passing, rude crutches supplementing his little shrunken legs, which were obviously unable, in spite of braces, to bear his weight.
“If God can do anything, why doesn’t He make that poor little fellow strong and well like other boys?” Ethel demanded.
“Honestly,” confessed Anne, “I’ve often wondered about that. But if you ask them in Sunday-School why God lets so
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many people be sick and miserable, they just tell you it’s a mystery and we mustn’t inquire into it. Why do you suppose He takes such good care of us and lets there be so many poor children? It really doesn’t seem fair, though I suppose I ought not to say it.”
“It wouldn’t be fair, and if there was any person wicked and cruel enough to make a little boy all twisted up like that one, I shouldn’t want anything to do with him!” declared Ethel.
“Why, Ethel!” breathed Anne, aghast at her boldness. “Don’t you think God made him like that?” And, at her friend’s vigorous shake of the head, added, “If you don’t believe in God, why do you think that little boy is so crippled and we are well and happy—at least, I did feel happy until you got me all stirred up about God.”
“I can’t say why that particular little boy has that particular kind of a crippled body, but I do think the only just explanation of things is that everybody gets what he has earned by the way he’s acted.”
“But how about a baby?” There was a note of triumph in Anne’s query. “There’s a little blind baby on our street. How did it deserve never being able to see at all ?“
“Of course I don’t know just what he must have done to earn that,” replied Ethel, thoughtfully, “but he certainly must have done something to cause it when he lived here before.”
“Before he was a baby?” questioned Anne impatiently.
“Why, yes. Reincarnation is all that can explain that. Unless you want to believe in a God who would be so cruel
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a little new baby as to make him with eyes he couldn’t use, the only way out is
to accept as something to work on the idea that we have all lived before and
done things we are getting the effects of now. Just as what we are doing now
will make us happy or miserable in our next life. I wish you could ask your
questions in Theosophy School! They don’t tell you everything is a mystery and
you mustn’t ask. But they don’t give you the answer either. They make you work
it out for yourself and show you how to do it by asking questions that make your
“Well”, said Anne slowly. “It sounds interesting. I don’t know anything about reincarnation, but I’d like to learn. I’d love to be able to see that things are just. I can’t be really happy to think God is taking care of me while He’s neglecting or hurting lots of other people. I guess I must have said He was good to give us this holiday because I’d heard people talk like that and I did feel happy and wanted to express it. There’s a good stile where we can sit and talk until it’s time to walk back for supper. I’ll race you to it !“
FIRE AND FIRES
The boys were all but ready to roll into their blankets for the night, after a day of swimming and sailing and working on the beach cabin. But the night had brought crisp searching air and the need of toasting by the fire of sea-drift logs, while the talk drifted or eddied or whirled with the changing lights and shadows.
TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
“Queer, that never a log—but a gas-log—will burn alone, fellows,” began Ted Ames.
“Yes, but why do logs burn at all?” John Ellis added to the half spoken query. “Where does the fire come from? And where does it go, when the flame has passed out of sight?”
“The Zoroastrians of olden days knew, and the Fire Philosophers knew. If they knew, the answer must be in Theosophy now,” said Richard Mann.
“Tel1, it looks to me as if all we need to do is to call the One Life the One Fire, and we could answer very nearly all the questions we could put ourselves,” put in Tom Hornsby.
“On that basis, then,” Ted took up the ides, “the air is only a kind of fire; the water is only a sort of liquid fire, and the earth a solid fire. Why, don’t you know they say the reason rocks don’t burn is that there is so much fire in them! The logs must be dying fires that need outside help in order to gain existence in other states of fire. What we see as log certainly becomes gas, smoke, and ashes before our very eyes.”
“Maybe it’s a foolish fancy,” Richard spoke half shyly, “but somehow I always think that the light of the flame is the joy of the lives released from their prison in the dead wood. And that is why people speak of dancing flames.”
“Huh! I suppose, Dick, you don’t remember that brushfire we fought up the canyon last summer? Those flames were no dancing joy. They were dancing devils !“
“Why not? They were fire—out of control.”
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“But what I want to know is how can there be any fire in cold ashes ?“
asked Vincent Howard, in an “I’ve-stumpedyou-now” tone.
“Of course, we say there isn’t,” replied Tom. “But, if Life is everywhere, Fire is everywhere, and it’s only a matter of degree of activity that makes the differences we notice. The fire in the particles of the ash must be a very much asleep fire, that’s all, just as the lives in the log were very much asleep until the lighted kindling touched it. Those lives were too dead asleep to get themselves into another state of fire.”
“Say, but I read in the Ocean,” broke in John, rather excitedly, “that at the beginning and ending of great cycles on this globe the whole atmosphere is turned into a mass of fire. And what do you suppose Mr. Judge says is the real reason for such a change ?“
“Well, I know that these particular logs would never have set themselves on fire,” answered Ted. “Human beings who knew how to do it had to set the fire going in those logs. So, I should think human beings must have something to do with a cataclysm like that, the same as we’ve been shown they do with earthquakes, and tidal waves and tornadoes and big freezes.”
“Right you are, boy. It’s not so strange, either, in this case of fire, when you think that people’s minds are nothing but forms of fire. Don’t the sparks fly, when we get angry? It’s a kind of electrical fire, too. A thought strikes us like a lightning-flash. Thoughts—ideas—must affect every atom in our bodies, as well as our minds and feelings: some
TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
thoughts must kill as lightning does, and some give new energy, the way the fire of the sea does when we swim in it. Our body atoms are nothing but a part of a great sea of body atoms, and our minds only a part of a great sea of thought and feeling atoms. So, Mr. Judge makes you think of all this, when he says that the very elements change at the same time with the changes of mankind.”
“Well, when you come to think of it,” pursued Vincent, meditatively, “it takes fire, or heat, to make about all the changes in the elements, just as we see them. If you apply heat to ice, you get water; apply heat to water, you get steam; apply more heat, you get vapor. And the same way, when the earth came into existence, it came from cold heat, or radiance, by the heat of friction to warm radiance, or fire. By the fire of more friction it came to liquid; with the heat of greater friction still, it came to solid earth.”
“And there’s the other side of it, too,” added Ted. “If one log won’t burn alone, it’s only a reminder that the fire of brotherhood can’t be kept burning in the world by one man alone.”
“Say,” blurted out Tom. “That’s what I like about Theosophy. There’s nothing mushy about it. It explains things as they are—and you can see why a fellow ought to be decent on his own account—not because somebody tells him, ‘You must,’ and ‘You mustn’t’.”
The “to bed” signal broke the pause that followed. And soon the fires of body, mind, and emotions were asleep as in the ash, and the “just boys” here, now Fire Lords, were enkindling a superior fire in their “own place.”
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Jane Ellen was plainly sulking. She sat huddled in a corner of the big
divan, and didn’t offer brother Donald even the slightest trace of a smile when
he came in. Instead, she looked at him gloomily. He was big and tall—almost a
man. “You are mighty lucky, Donald,” she finally said.
“How so?” questioned Donald. Then noting the very unhappy expression on Jane Ellen’s face, he added, “Why all the woe, young Sis?”
“Mother won’t let me go to Laura’s New Year Party.”
“That’s a shame. What is the reason?”
“She says that I’m too young. Now if you wanted to go, she’d say that you were old enough to choose for yourself and to use your own judgment. But, she didn’t even give me a chance to use my own judgment; she simply said, ‘No, dear, you are too young to keep such late hours.’ I wish I were twenty-one and could do as I pleased !“
“Not so fast,” cautioned Donald. “Tell me, Jane Ellen, what do you consider the joys of being twenty-one: doing as you please ?“
“Yes, and folks won’t say a word.”
Donald laughed, but he was serious. “Perhaps they won’t definitely tell you not to do a certain thing, but they expect you not to. How about responsibilities, Jane Ellen? You have more as you get older. Mother trusts you more, now that you are nine, than she did when you were five. She expects you not to do certain things. Then look at Dad. We don’t tell him to keep up his business so that we can live
TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
comfortably, but we rather expect good clothes and food.
“Mother knew that if she allowed you to have your own sweet way you would have chosen the New Year party without a thought. How about it?”
“Of course I would.”
“Well, then, you would have been responsible for the results of that choice. Mother, being more experienced, had to choose for you to save you the difficulties resulting from a foolish choice.”
“What difficulties ?“
“You have to start back to school tomorrow, don’t you?”
“Remember what happened after the Thanksgiving party? You were sick and out of school a week. I suspect Mother had that in mind when she vetoed this party.”
Jane Ellen smiled a little, but she was beginning to feel ashamed. Donald continued, “Just because you missed out on that choice is no sign that you never get a chance to choose for yourself, is it?”
“Of course not,” answered Jane Ellen promptly. “I am always the chooser—that is, ‘most always’.”
“You always are. You have to choose the way you will act even after someone makes a choice for you. You have to choose the way you will accept your duty.”
Jane Ellen thought a moment. “Donald, do you mean little things, as when Mother asks me to go to the store, or make my bed, or straighten up the play room? I suppose that there is a choice there, because I can choose to say ‘yes’ and do
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pleasantly, or grumble and do it unwillingly. That would be a choice, wouldn’t
“It certainly would! Little choices are gathered up to make bigger ones. If every day you make choices of rendering gentle service to all that lives, won’t your whole week be different? The week’s choice would be of the same nature as each little choice, only altogether it seems more important. Weeks make years, and years make lifetimes, so see where your choices lead you.”
“Donald!” Jane Ellen’s eyes glowed. “New Year is one of the important times of choice, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is a great opportunity, because all of Nature helps you. How does the song go?
The circling path of time
Through starry spaces wide
Hath turned Earth toward the sun once more
—What does that mean?”
“It means a time of new life for everything,” said Jane Ellen. “For the trees, and the flowers and for us.”
“For our thoughts as well,” said Donald.
“And our choices !“ added Jane Ellen. “It would be a good time to make good choices. I guess I’ll begin now. I’ve been mean this morning, because I couldn’t go to the party, but I think that I’ll choose to stop feeling sorry for myself and go help Mother.”
“Jane Ellen,” said Donald seriously, though Jane Ellen saw a twinkle in his eyes, “those words are music to my ears. Tell me, do you feel any different since making that choice ?“
“I feel a lot happier.”
TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
Donald laughed. “Then I can really say, ‘Happy New Year’ !“
Jane smiled and skipped off to help Mother.
WHY BE HONEST?
“Hello, there, have you done your arithmetic lesson ?“
Ernest turned around in pleased surprise, for he was a new boy and the first couple of days at the strange school had been a bit lonely.
<![endif]> “Sure,” he answered with a friendly grin. “Not so bad, was it?”
“Don’t know. Haven’t done it. Let’s have a look at your paper.”
Ernest turned very red and gulped uncomfortably. “Oh, I say! I can’t do that, but I’ll help you work the problems out if you want me to.”
And then he felt very much as if he had had a slap in the face, for the other boy turned away exclaiming, “Oh! All right, Goody-Goody!” with a sneer that hurt far more than the words.
And yet Ernest was sure he would be feeling worse if he had shown his paper. At least he didn’t have that “all-gone” feeling a fellow has after he’s gone ahead and done something with that “Don’t!” yelling at him inside, that they call the “voice of conscience” at Theosophy School.
Douglas did not hold his resentment long, for Ernest proved to be a fine, all-round chap, good at the bat and just
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the first baseman the boys’ team had needed. But he had not forgotten the
incident. One Saturday, when the two boys were on the way home after a strenuous
game, he asked Ernest why he thought it wrong to help another fellow.
The question took Ernest by surprise and he answered slowly, anxious to put his point of view so it would “get across.” “That’s not it, Doug. I’d have been glad to help you —to show you how to do it yourself, you know. But if I gave you my paper, knowing the answers wouldn’t do you any good. I’d be helping you to cheat, and you couldn’t get away with it.”
“A lot I couldn’t! Miss Batts never would know the difference.”
“It isn’t just Miss Batts, old man! It’s the Law you couldn’t fool.”
“Huh! What do you mean, the Law? I guess the police would have their hands full if they tried to catch all the boys that crib in school!”
“No, I don’t mean the police any more than Miss Batts. It’s just that this is an honest world and you have to play fair or suffer for it. If you start anything you are sure to get the come-back, and if you do anything that isn’t straight you can look for a come-back you won’t like.”
“Say, what is this ‘Be good and you’ll be happy’ talk?” jeered Douglas. “Do you mean I might never draw a harp to play on if I copied an arithmetic paper?”
“No, I don’t,” declared Ernest stoutly. “But you never saw anything that didn’t have a reason why it was. You can’t think of anything without a cause back of it. And you can’t
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do anything that isn’t setting up a cause for something else. Just for instance, you might grow up and never know how to work those problems and you might need some time to show you did know how—to get a job or something.”
“Well, what harm would that do you, if I didn’t?” demanded Douglas, impressed in spite of himself but unwilling to give in.
“Not a bit, if you copied the answers out of a book or off somebody else’s paper; but, if I let you copy them from me, I’d have been helping you to do wrong and I’d be just as sure to suffer for it. But the worst come-back of all, it seems to me, is that if you once let yourself do what you know isn’t right, it makes it easier to do it the next time, until finally you forget that you ever knew it was wrong and do it almost without thinking.”
“Say, I believe you’re right on that. I do remember feeling awfully bad the first time I copied somebody’s answers. I was just a little kid, too. Of course my mother and the Sunday-School teacher go on about being honest, but I never could see why, if you could get by the teacher with it, cheating did any harm. It puts it straight up to a fellow, doesn’t it, that even if you fool the teacher you haven’t heard the last of it? Honestly, though, it sounds as if there might be something to it.”
“Surest thing you know!” responded Ernest heartily. “Well, here’s my corner. So long, old man
And Ernest went whistling up the street, kicking a pebble before him and rejoicing to think that his standing on prin-
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ciple, which had seemed so hard at the time, had borne such good fruit in the opportunity to tell another boy some of the truths of Theosophy that help a fellow to see things straight.
“If we’re all souls, then children are just as much souls as their fathers
and mothers. Why should they have to mind ?“ demanded Frank Scocca.
The “gang” of five boon companions had accompanied Eric Olsen to Theosophy School that morning and were now tramping along the bank of the creek towards the swimming- hole that, though it was early autumn, was still their frequent objective on hot afternoons.
“They shouldn’t,” declared William Bruce. “I wouldn’t stand for minding as much as you have to, Frank. Why in the world won’t they let you climb trees, for instance ?“
“Afraid I’ll fall or tear my clothes, of course,” replied Frank. “But I’d be careful. Why shouldn’t I decide whether to do it or not?”
“For one thing, old man,” contributed Ned Douglas, “they’re the ones that would have to mend your clothes or buy you a new suit, or maybe pay the doctor for patching you up. It seems to me it’s all right for our fathers and mothers to tell us not to do things they think are dangerous. But when it comes to things that don’t matter, like when to mow the lawn or study our lessons, I think they ought to let a fellow decide for himself.”
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“I guess the lessons would get tired of waiting, then,” laughed George Estes. “We’d never stop playing in the evening in time to get them.”
“Speak for yourself,” retorted Ned.
“But suppose they told you to do something that was wrong?” persisted Frank.
George chuckled. “Can’t you see Mr. Scocca urging Frank to tell a lie ?“
Frank joined in spite of himself in the burst of merriment that greeted the suggestion. “But you know there might be some time they wanted you to do something you honestly thought wouldn’t be as good to do as something else. What ought a fellow to do then?”
“I used to hate like sixty to have to mind,” said Eric slowly, “but I came across something in a book my mother has that straightened it all out.”
“What was that?” asked Frank.
“Why, it was a question about a soldier and whether it is wrong for him to fight, even if war is wrong. The answer was that he doesn’t do wrong if he does it just because his commanding officer orders it and because it is his duty.”
“I get you!” cried Ned. “You mean your father and mother are your commanding officers while they are taking care of you.”
“Wouldn’t they be surprised if I saluted and marched off to polish my shoes the first time my mother mentioned it !“ exclaimed George.
“Well, as I see it, if you don’t carry out orders you aren’t being a good soldier,” declared Eric. “And if you are sure
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you are doing a thing, such as
minding because it is your duty until you grow up, to mind your parents, that’s
a lot more important than what you are doing. If you had the right reason
for doing a thing, I don’t believe you could do anything very wrong.”
“Well,” said Frank, “that sounds pretty good. I guess I’ll leave you fellows here. My mother told me not to go swimming today because she thought I had a little cold; and the only reason I know for going is that I want to. I suppose you wouldn’t call that a ‘right reason,’ eh, Eric?”
“Bully for you, Frank !“ Ned gave him a hearty slap on the shoulder. “So long! The rest of you fellows hurry up now! My father wants me back in time to mow the lawn before supper.”
THE DUTY OF ANOTHER
The hubbub that greeted Ruth Stevens as she neared the classroom surely
meant that Miss Jamieson had not come back from lunch. And when Ruth walked in,
the reason for the unwonted hilarity was apparent. A hideous caricature labeled
“Teacher” disfigured the front blackboard, crudely drawn but unmistakably
resembling the angular spinster who presided over the room, even to the funny
knot on the top of her head and the way she folded her arms when she looked
fixedly at offenders.
“Look at John Kelly’s picture !“ called one girl. “Won’t she be mad?”
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It took courage for Ruth to walk up to John in the center of an admiring group and urge him to rub it off; and still more courage to stand her ground in the face of the general lack of sympathy with her attitude.
“Aw, what’s the harm? I like to see her get mad,” defended John.
His backers eagerly took up the plea, “Sure, what harm can it do, Ruth? Forget it.”
“It isn’t right to make fun of the teacher,” declared Ruth, pink-cheeked but determined.
“Of course it isn’t!” loyally supported her chum, Dorothy Lane.
“My father says Miss Jamieson doesn’t know anything, anyhow !“ Thus Dennis O’Toole.
“She knows more than we do or she wouldn’t be here, and it hurts us worse than it does the teacher when we don’t respect her, whether we think she’s the best teacher or not. Come on, John, she’ll be here any minute. Please rub it off !“
“Rub it off yourself if you want to,” said John sulkily.
But even as Ruth raised the eraser towards the offending picture, Miss Jamieson walked in. She folded her arms and watched Ruth erase the drawing, while the class found their places as quietly as they could and sat in tense silence.
Then Miss Jamieson said stiffly, “You may go to your seat, Ruth. I will see you after school.”
Ruth obeyed with a little gasp, and stayed when the others filed out at the end of the day. She had no idea of reporting the culprit, and the cowardly John’s warning shake of his fist as he passed her was quite superfluous.
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Miss Jamieson took it for granted that Ruth was the artist, and gave her a
severe reprimand, finally dismissing her at four o’clock with an extra amount of
home-work for the next day.
Faithful Dorothy was waiting for her at the street door, full of sympathy and indignation at the injustice, and of admiration for Ruth’s brave endurance of it. They were in the same class at Theosophy School, and their conversation naturally turned on the afternoon’s events in the light of the Teachings.
“It was fine for you to stand out like that for respecting the teacher,
Ruth. You know what Mr. Judge said in Letters that Have Helped Me about
the chain of influence that stretches up from our ordinary teachers to the
“I was thinking about that,” said Ruth. “I memorized once the part that says, ‘ . . . the child who holds his teacher in reverence and diligently applies himself accordingly with faith, does no violence to this intangible but mighty chain, and is benefited accordingly, whether he knows it or not.’
“He said that even if the teacher doesn’t teach you right it doesn’t matter as far as your own attitude goes,” added Dorothy.
“I’ve been thinking it over, though,” said Ruth, “and I think I made a mistake. I forgot about the duty of another being full of danger, and I got caught up on it.”
“Don’t you think it was your duty to speak to John? I think it was fine, and I wish I had done it before you came in.”
TEACHER’S MANUAL AND GUIDE
“Why, yes. I think I ought to have spoken to him, because I knew why it was wrong, and most likely he didn’t. And it seems to me it was all right to ask him to undo what he had done, but it was none of my business to erase it myself, and it was trying to do somebody else’s duty that got me into trouble. Well, here’s my house. I can’t stay out now, I have so much home-work to do to rub that lesson in. Thanks for waiting for me, Dot! See you tomorrow !“
“I say, George, that was a brave thing to do 1”
“Aw, cut it !“ rejoined the hero uncomfortably. The boys had been out for a walk and had discovered a barricade of great iron pipes, too heavy for them to move, laid across the track down which the express was due any minute. It was out of sight from the long trestle over which the train would come, and the engineer could not possibly see the barricade in time to stop his train. There was no time to climb down one bank, cross the valley and climb up the other, for the distant whistle of the train already reached them. Without a second’s hesitation George had run out upon the single track of the trestle, waving frantically, and the startled engineer had thrown on the brakes just in time to avoid striking the boy. As the train crew and passengers crowded out to investigate the reason for the sudden and jarring stop, he shouted the information about the barricade and ran to rejoin Jock, whose admiring comment was made as they walked home, rather
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slowly, for George was surprised at how weak his knees felt after it was all
“Let’s sit down a minute,” he suggested as they passed a hospitable log.
Jock’s admiration was unaffected, but tinged with discomfort at his own passive role in the late episode. “I’ve got grit enough to fight anybody near my size,” he said, “but I’d have been scared to death to run out on that trestle just before train time. Gee, that was brave !“ he reminisced.
“But you might have been killed! What made you do it, George?”
“Theosophy,” answered George, simply.
“Well, if Theosophy can make a fellow as brave as that, I’d like to know something about it,” rejoined Jock, heartily. “But how do you mean? You didn’t have time to think.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, old man! I thought of no end of things. You see, Theosophy teaches that any real duty that comes to you, you have to do or it’s just as wrong as if you did something wicked. I found those pipes, so that duty was labeled ‘George Norton’ pretty plainly.”
“Another thing, you see, Jock, this is the 21st of March, the day that we especially remember William Q. Judge, one of the bravest men you ever heard of. He died on that day back in 1896. I’d been thinking a lot about Mr. Judge today and how he wasn’t afraid of anything that was his duty. He just went ahead and worked for Theosophy and let people say and do the worst things against him, and kept perfectly still and didn’t defend himself, because he would have had to say things he knew it was better to keep still about. That was real bravery.”
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“I’ll say it was,” agreed Jock, “but so was this. What if you had been killed?”
“Well,” said George calmly, “think of all the people who might have been killed if the train hadn’t been stopped. Anyway, if I had been killed, it would have been just my body, and I’d get another one when I came back again.”
“What on earth do you mean?” demanded Jock.
“Why, I mean when I reincarnated. You don’t suppose this is the first and only time you’ve lived in this old world, do you, Jock, or that it will be the last?”
“Well, I surely never thought of anything else I” exclaimed the astonished Jock.
“Well, I have, and I can’t see it any other way. Think it over and see if it doesn’t explain lots of things. I guess we’d better go on now. My mother will be wondering what’s become of me.”
“Wait till she hears what a hero she has in the family!” exulted Jock.
George stopped short in the road. “Jock MacTavish!” he exclaimed, “don’t you dare tell a soul about this afternoon! Maybe I’ll tell my father and mother, but they won’t talk about it, and I don’t want anybody else to know it.”
“Well, if that doesn’t beat me! I should think you’d be so proud you’d want the world to know it. Is that Theosophy, too ?“ Jock inquired, thoroughly puzzled.
“Just think of it reasonably, Jock. Wouldn’t it make you feel sort of smart and conceited if people you met said how brave you were, and you thought they were talking about it behind your back?”
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suppose so,” conceded Jock, “but what of it?”
“Why, that would hurt me, if I let it. I’ve got enough to fight against without getting a swelled head. I say, why make things harder for yourself than you have to? Promise not to tell a soul about it, Jock!”
“Oh, I’ll promise if you want me to,” grumbled Jock, “but I hate to do it. I’d like to see you get the credit that’s coming to you. I say, I’m glad I was along, though, so I know about it. I’m coming around for another Theosophy lesson next Saturday afternoon. I want to find out how you get that way.”
“INCLINATIONS OF THE SENSES”
Betty laboriously spelled out her verse for the day in The Bhagavad
Gita: “He who attendeth to the inclinations of the senses, in them hath a
concern; from this concern is created passion, from passion anger, from anger is
produced delusion, from delusion a loss of the memory, from the loss of memory
loss of discrimination, and from loss of discrimination loss of all.” She liked
the sound of it, in spite of the long words, and read it aloud again after she
had mastered them.
“It sounds a little like that verse we had to learn in the third grade,” mused Betty. “‘For lack of the nail the shoe was lost; for lack of the shoe the horse was lost; for lack of the horse the rider was lost; for lack of the rider the battle was lost; for the lack of the battle the kingdom was lost, and all for lack of a horse-shoe nail.’ It seems to all start off from
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a little thing, the same way, and get worse and worse, but I wonder what are ‘inclinations of. the senses’ that we daren’t attend to, or all those dreadful things will happen to us.”
She meant to ask Mother what it meant, but anticipation of the morning’s treat crowded the verse out of her mind. For it was during the spring vacation and the circus was in town. The parade was to pass that morning only six blocks away and Mother had said Betty might go. The parade was all of the circus Betty would see, for the little family had no money to spare for amusements. The children’s father had died over a year ago, and their mother had to work hard to get the necessities for herself and Betty and little Lawrence. On school days a woman was hired to come in to look after Larry, but Betty was such a responsible child her mother felt safe in leaving her in charge during the holidays and the money so saved was badly needed.
Betty knew, of course, that Larry had a cold, but what was her dismay when Mother, hurrying through the work before she left, said, “I’m sorry for your disappointment, dear, but it looks like rain and Larry’s cold is worse this morning, so I don’t dare have you take him out. You won’t mind giving up the parade this time to look after your little brother.”
Betty’s face showed that she did mind, dreadfully, but she tried not to show it and gulped down the big lump in her throat until they waved good-bye to Mother as she turned the corner. But how she cried then, and the frightened small boy joined in and wailed hoarsely. How she wanted to see the elephants and the camels and horses and the smiling, pink cheeked ladies in fancy dresses! All she remembered of past
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parades rose in her mind to whet her desire to see this one. She began to feel
resentment at the little brother who prevented her going, and gave him a little
shake and told him, none too gently, to stop crying.
Even Mother was included in her growing anger at not being allowed to go, and presently Betty had convinced herself that she was a badly-abused child, that Mother was “mean” and trying to spoil her pleasure. Quite forgotten were her real affection for Mother and Larry and her usual appreciation of Mother’s tireless devotion to them both. Forgotten, too, the lesson learned in Theosophy School about duty and service. Betty seemed all one big desire, and seeing the parade looked, at that moment, like the most important thing in the world.
“I don’t believe Larry’s cold is very bad, and it doesn’t look much like rain,” muttered Betty defiantly, as she started down the walk with Larry trudging miserably beside her.
When they reached the street where the parade was to pass, she perched Larry on a low wall and stood beside him, trying not to notice his coughing and making a desperate effort to enjoy herself. They had quite a long wait in the cold before the parade appeared, and, when it came, nothing looked as wonderful as Betty had anticipated. The elephants and camels were the same as last year, but she felt, oh! so different. And the smiling ladies weren’t pretty. Even a little girl could see they were painted.
It began to rain in big drops before all the parade had passed, but Betty was quite willing to forego the rest and started home with Larry, who had begun to cry. It rained
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smartly before they reached home, and it was a bedraggled pair who toiled up the front steps.
And who should be there to open the front door for them but Mother! She had been so uneasy about her sick baby that she had been excused for the day and come home to find the house empty. All she said was, “Why, Betty!” but Betty long remembered the look on her face, so anxious and so disappointed in her little daughter.
Betty found some relief in working as hard as she could to help Mother, who was trying to repair the mischief done, with hot blankets and simple remedies. It was several of the longest hours Betty had ever spent, before Larry stopped wheezing and fell asleep.
Then, satisfied that he was really better, Mother sat down by the open fire with Betty on her lap and they talked it all over.
“You see, dear, the steeds of desire, which will carry us forward if we hold the reins tightly and guide them, are quick to run away with us if we let them.”
“Why, Mother,” exclaimed Betty, “I do believe it just proves my verse this morning,” and she got her Bhagavad-Gita and read the verse to her mother. “My senses wanted to see the parade; that must be ‘inclinations of the senses.’ And I thought I wanted to; that was ‘concern,’ wasn’t it? I got all excited. Would that be ‘passion,’ Mother? Then I was angry at Larry and at you, Mother dear,” and Betty’s eyes filled again, but she went on bravely. “I thought it was mean of you not to let me go. Is it ‘delusion’ when you think something that isn’t so?”
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Mother nodded, and Betty continued, “Then I lost my memory. I forgot all
you were doing for us and how often I’ve found out you knew better than I did. I
didn’t think it looked like rain or that Larry was very sick.”
“That was loss of discrimination, surely, dear !“
“I guess it was ‘loss of all’ to lose control of myself entirely and go, when I knew, ‘way inside, it was wrong.” Betty’s lip trembled. “Oh, Mother, can you ever trust me again?”
For answer Mother held her closer and they sat silent watching the fire until Betty murmured, “That’s one verse I never will forget.”
THE CAMPERS’ MENACE
There was commotion in camp that bright spring afternoon when one of the
Pathfinders all but stepped on a full- sized rattlesnake sunning itself on a
flat rock well within the boundaries of the grounds leased in the Forest
Reserve, and not far from the spot where the stone foundations of Path- finders’
Lodge itself, product of the boys’ own industry, stand suggestively unfinished,
inviting the labor that must sometime be done.
The squad leader was quickly on the scene, together with nearly a dozen excited lads, old and young. Mr. Snake was gently stirred out of his semi-lethargy with a stick, proceeding to “rattle” with satisfying sonority, and to strike with venomous energy. For many of the boys this was their “first rattler,” hence he was made to provide a warning exhibit for
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the common fund of experience. Then his attempts to escape were rendered futile, the stick fell purposively, and another menace to mountain trampers was gathered to the “land of his fathers.”
“But why kill him?” queried one youngster warmly. ‘Tf we can’t give life, have we any right to take it?”
“Why not?’ was the answer. “Surely it was not done wantonly. You don’t think that, do you ?“
In a moment the discussion was on, some boys taking one side of the question and some another. Order being restored, each lad was given an opportunity to express himself—which little matter each one attended to with more vehemence than thoroughness, perhaps.
“Isn’t the Theosophical application of every action always best determined by trying to discover the why of it?” suggested somebody. “What was the motive of the leader in cutting off said snake?”
“Protection of others,” said one boy quickly. “This canyon is fairly crowded each week-end with campers and trampers—lots of them women and children, too.”
“Then it was a right action,” chorused the popular verdict.
“But,” objected the leader, “ought they not to take care of themselves, and take the responsibility of their own killings, just as we have taken care of our-selves and taken the responsibility of ours?”
Divided opinions arose. One boy said “Sure!” as if that settled the matter. Another suggested that women and children were afraid of snakes, and thus unable to deal with such
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situation competently. The “Why kill him?” youngster, who had registered
continued obstinacy since his first objection to the execution, renewed his
contention that nobody had any right to kill anything. Here were the makings of
a fine noisy argument.
“That snake was a brother soul,” he affirmed stoutly.
“Yes, but he wouldn’t acknowledge it,” was the answer. “His action would have been ‘all snake’ if a little sweet child came too near him.”
“I’ll bet Robert Crosbie would never have killed him,” the boy finally declared with a fine effect of so-there triumph.
“But I myself saw Mr. Crosbie kill six young rattlers in just about six seconds,” replied the leader. Whereupon one “conscientious objector” subsided, his own hero-worshipping tendency not a little quenched.
“Gets to be a matter of protecting others from a common menace, doesn’t it?” suggested the leader gently. “Even killing may be right, if right motive and right knowledge combine to justify the action.”
“That very combination applies to the action of Mr. Crosbie, as anybody who ever knew him may well conclude. A kinder, wiser and broader-minded man than he would be difficult to find; and we may reasonably suspect that the psychic nature of bird and beast and reptile, as well as that of two legged creatures, was fairly well known to him.
“But this killing wasn’t right because he once killed some rattlers,” he added quickly. “Nor would any other killing be right because this one or that one was right. There are general principles of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ which have to be applied
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in each particular case which comes before us, if we are to be right or wrong—that’s the science of it!”
“It’s the Why, isn’t it?” affirmed a once-shocked but now beaming conscientious objector. “Yes, and knowing what you’re about,” he added soberly.
“Every time,” declared the leader. “And now how about getting in some stone for that foundation. . .
THE ELEMENTAL SKIM
“Tom, there’s Skim. I believe he wants to go to school with us,” and Esther
waved an encouraging hand, whereupon the delighted Skim came bounding boldly
“Back, Skim, back,” called Tom, pointing a grim finger. “Go home, you rascal !“ And poor Skim, his tail at half-mast, dejectedly obeyed.
“That pup is learning to mind at last,” said Tom triumphantly.
“It’s funny,” commented Esther, “but Miss Prim says that animals have no mind; they just have instincts.”
“Instincts—and what are instincts but mind? We have instincts, too, just the same as animals do. Animals are exactly like us—as far as their machinery goes,” added Tom.
“Yes, but they can’t think,” objected Esther.
“But they can learn the same as we do. Why, don’t you see I’m teaching Skim to mind? That’s learning to think—a little. You just wait and see.”
Sure enough, as the days went on, and after several disheartening experiences—disheartening for Tom as well as for
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Skim—the puppy at last learned that he might go as far as the road with the
children, but beyond that was forbidden ground. So when Tom would say “Good-bye,
Skim,” the puppy would wag his tail understandingly, turn and go home —without a
Came a day, though, when on returning from school, Tom saw Skim in the yard and called to him. The puppy came with a rush over the low hedge and across the road, seeing nothing, hearing nothing but his young friend and master. Alas, an automobile came whirling ‘round the corner—an3 that was the end of poor Skim.
After the funeral—for Tom insisted that Skim was entitled to burial with military honors—a funeral at which Tom delivered an address, and Esther was a sober listener, the children kept themselves busy and silent for several lonely days, till Esther broke the spell one afternoon by saying, “Well, Tom, we’ll never see Skim again, so we might as well forget him.”
“I’ll never forget old Skim. And I saw him last night, too, just as natural as life.”
“Yes, but Tom, that was only a dream. It wasn’t really Skim. Of course it seemed so to you while the dream lasted.”
“I’d like to know why not,” said Tom stoutly. “It was just as real as it ever was when we had the earth-body Skim here. That was only real while it lasted, too.”
“Yes, but, Tom, when we had the earth-body Skim, you could call him and he would come, or you could go and find him.”
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“Well, what’s the difference? Skim isn’t an earth-form now—he’s a dream-puppy. But he’s just the same—to me.”
“Yes, but then what is Skim to himself, Tom, not just to you ?“
“Why, Skim never was anything to himself when he was here in an earth-body, any more than he is now! Skim wasn’t a Self—he was just an elemental in a body. Now he’s the same elemental, only he’s in my mind when I think of him, or when I’m in my dream-body—instead of in an earth-body.”
“Yes, but where is Skim when you are not thinking of him, or dreaming of him?”
“Perhaps, he’s in his own dream-body. Dogs can dream, you know. Skim’s dream-mind will go to pieces pretty soon, I suppose, just the same as an earth-body goes to pieces if you die or don’t feed it. It can’t last very long because there is nothing much to hold it together—any more than there is to hold a dream together. You know how quickly our dreams go to pieces.”
“What will become of Skim then?”
“There won’t be any Skim any more. It will be something else—maybe a crow or a horse. You know how fond Skim was of my pony and how your pet crow used to ride on Skim’s back.”
“Yes, but what is the ‘It’? If the earth-body goes to pieces and the dream-body goes to pieces, and that’s the end of Skim, what is It that comes again as a dog, or a bird, or a pony?”
“I guess it’s the same elemental-soul taking a new dream body and a new earth-body—just the way vapor in the air becomes a cloud with a shape, and then maybe rain, or hail, or
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snow, and then water again. You see, elemental-souls have no forms of their
own—they are just part of a kingdom. We have earth-bodies, and dream-bodies,
too, made out of elementals; but we have thought-bodies because we are Thinkers,
and we make those for ourselves. So when we die we don’t go to pieces, because
we go right on thinking and feeding our thought-bodies, and when we come back we
always come into the human kingdom, because that is the Thinker-kingdom, here.”
“But why don’t we remember, Tom?”
“Maybe it’s because our thought-bodies are not yet perfect, so we have to find ourselves again after we get a new dream-body and a new earth-body—as we have to feel our way around when we’re in the dark.”
“That must be it, Tom. But Masters remember, because they have perfect mind-bodies. My! It makes one think, doesn’t it?”
“That’s what we’re here for, I guess,” said Tom.
“Katherine,” said Roy, “what are you going to do when you grow up, and can
do whatever you like ?“
The children had walked up the trail from camp that eve- fling to the shoulder of “Council Crest,” thousands of feet above the great wide Valley with its armies of lights, millions of miles below the night fires of the hosts of stars.
Katherine did not reply, so Roy turned his eyes to where she sat, a silhouette against the still darker background of
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the shadowed pines. Her arms were clasped about her knees, her fingers interlaced, her head tilted forward, so that in the faint light from in front, above and below, her finger-tips and the profile of her face and head seemed luminous.
“Sis,” said he again, “I’ve heard of the ‘man in the moon’ ever since I was a baby, but this is the very first time I ever saw the Lady of the moon-light. A penny for your thoughts. They seem to be glowing.”
“I wasn’t thinking. I was just—I was just looking at my thoughts, I guess. Maybe they are not my thoughts. I don’t believe they are, come to think about it. One moment I was down in the Valley, moving from town to town, from house to house—I mean from light to light. And the next, I was up among the stars, looking down here, and imagining—no, just feeling—how the earth isn’t the earth at all to them, but another star. It was all so different. It made me light-headed, I suppose.”
Roy smiled to himself. “Well, that sheds a little light on my own thoughts. I got to thinking about the Indians—how they used long ago to come up here to hold pow-wows for peace or war. And, do you know, I smelled kinnikinnick. You know that’s what the Indians called their tobacco. When I noticed the smell, I started to wonder about how that could be, and then I thought how the Indians are all gone, and how things have changed, and how everything changes. And I wondered where I’d be next year, and after that, and what I’d do if I were all alone in the world. I guess I was sort of holding council-fires of my own. And then I asked you what you were going to do when you grow up. But you didn’t hear me.”
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“Oh, yes, I heard you. But I was ‘way up among the stars, remember, and
your voice sounded a long, long way off. And it takes time to come back. I was
just coming when you spoke again.”
“Why, Katherine, we must have been out of our bodies— and never knew it. Do you suppose that could be?”
“Why not? I was talking about that last week with David Orcutt. You know he is reading The Ocean of Theosophy now, and has a thousand questions, especially about the Astral Body. He asked me if I really believe we can go out of our bodies.”
“What did you tell him?”
“Not much. How could I? But I said it seems to me we are out of our bodies most of the time, even when we are awake. I told him something Mr. Judge wrote in the Gita Notes: ‘Man, made of thought, is occupant only of many bodies from time to time.’ I said if that is so, then we are all of us living really in the world of thought, and so are wherever our thoughts are.”
“Do you mean that we are wherever we think we are?”
“No, I don’t. I mean we are where our thoughts are. We aren’t in any place, ever, really. But if our thoughts are in one place, on one thing, why, there is where we seem to ourselves to be.”
“Yes, but you aren’t really there, because you can’t see.”
“I don’t know about that. Didn’t you just tell me you smelled that Indian tobacco? And yet there hasn’t been an Indian here—a live one, I mean—for a hundred years at least. Well, is seeing really any different from smelling, or
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hearing? Maybe we think mostly with our eyes shut. If we think about what we see here, how could we see what we think about there? Our senses would be on one thing and our mind on another. But, anyway, it seems to me what Mr. Judge means is, that we are in our bodies only when we are thinking about them. We are on the earth only when we are thinking about earthly things. We just always are, but whatever we perceive, there we seem to be; and what we think about, that we seem to be. We don’t see when we are thinking; we see what we are thinking—when we are not thinking what we see
“Oh, I think I see. It’s just the same as when I spoke to you. You heard, but you couldn’t answer till you got your mind back here. And that reminds me. You didn’t answer my question. What are you going to do when you grow up?”
“Well”—and Katherine smiled to herself in her turn— “well, I suppose when I’m there, I’ll see. But anyway, I’ll be myself, whatever I may do.”
“Where you going, Fred?”
“Down to the movie. Come on with me. I was looking for you.”
“Don’t believe I can, Sam, but thanks, anyway.”
“Oh, come on. Why can’t you?”
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“Well, I promised to meet Harry at the Rooms this afternoon. We’re going to
read up about caterpillars and butterflies together and then go way up in the
Park and see if we can find some cocoons. If not, we’re going to watch tadpoles.
Better come along with us. It’s lots of fun.”
“No siree. I hate that old Park. I’ve been there a hundred times and I’m tired of the same old things. When I get out of school I want to play, or see something with a ‘kick’ to it.”
“Why, so do I, Fred, and so does Harry, too. But he says he’d rather do something that has a kick forward and not backwards.”
“Huh; I don’t see any kick in a caterpillar, even if he has got lots of feet.”
“Neither did I till I got to talking with Harry one day. Since he’s been in Theosophy School he says all the animals and insects and plants and things seem to him just like people, living and doing things and playing and working all the time.”
“Yes, but they’ve got no sense. Who’d ever want to be a caterpillar or a butterfly or a tadpole ?“
“Nobody, of course. But, just the same, lots of people are. Movies are just make-believe butterflies, and Harry says he guesses lots of boys and girls who are crazy about them are just really human caterpillars hoping to turn into the same kind of butterflies themselves as soon as they can. And, anyway, there’s a good deal more ‘sense’ in the way the animals and plants and insects live than the way we do. And right here on the street are hundreds of ‘tadpoles’ just swimming around,
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with no more idea of what they’re doing or where they are going than real tadpoles.”
“That Harry is a queer guy. He makes me tired. He doesn’t like the movies, and he doesn’t like the radio, and he’d rather walk than ride, and he’d rather ride horseback than go in an auto, and he’d rather moon around in the Park in his old clothes than go down town or to the movies. I tell you, Sam, it just isn’t natural, Why, I believe he’d rather study than play. He never has any real fun. He’s always working at something or other.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Fred. I believe he has more fun than we do, for everything he does seems to be play to him. You know he can out swim and outrun us both and beat us dead easy at tennis. And you know how it is at school—he helps us all out. Harry’s no ‘sissy’ or ‘Sunday-School kid.’ You know that as well as I do.”
“Yes, but why doesn’t he like the radio, and why doesn’t he ever go to the movies—or hardly ever?”
“Why, I was telling you. Harry says everything is a movie, if you look at it right. Only you don’t just sit still and look at it. Everybody is a movie actor, too, all the time himself. Everybody is ‘making-up’ and playing ‘make-believe’ all the time—and doesn’t dream it. That’s where half the fun comes in. And everybody is writing ‘scenarios’ all the time, and trying to get his ‘plays’ accepted—just as we’re doing right now! And ‘radio’! Says Harry, ‘You just watch wherever you are, and you’ll get real live radio right off the air— everybody trying to talk at the same time . . . more ‘senders’ than ‘listeners-in.’ Harry’s right about it, too, isn’t he?”
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“That’s so—if you look at it that way. But where does Harry get all this
“Well, he never got it at the movies nor on the radio, did he? I guess he must have got it from his mother. She used to live in the country before they had all these stunts, and I guess she wanted Harry to learn about life, even if they do live in the city. She thinks people don’t really live any more— that a city is just a big insane-asylum.”
“I don’t know Harry’s folks, but his mother teaches in Theosophy School, doesn’t she ?“
“Yes, she does, but Harry says she just gets the boys and girls in her class to talking and telling about things, and then, when they ask her, she talks about the same things. Only, it doesn’t seem the same as teaching. It wakes you up. It isn’t just like something out of a book. You’d think you were right there, doing it yourself, only seeing it through her eyes. Harry’s like that, too. When I go with him, I can see twice as much—just as if there were two of me.”
“If you get such a kick as that out of being with him, he must be a kind of movie actor himself.”
“Well, maybe that’s so, but it’s the right kind of acting, for I never get tired, nor sore, nor lazy, nor wish I could do something else, nor want what I haven’t got, after I’ve been with Harry. And it always makes me feel like trying to get the same kick out of things that he does.”
“Wish I could, too, Sam. But, how does he manage it?”
“Why, he says the kick we get out of some things makes us look backwards so we just remember what we haven’t got and what somebody else has. The real kick is in our imagina-
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tion and we need to use it more, that’s all. Because the real fun of life is to imagine ourselves in the other fellow’s place— and then see if we can’t do what we want done ourselves.”
Twins as they were, Betty and Tom were nicknamed “the pair of opposites.”
Not opposites in the sense that they did not get along well together—no indeed,
but because in everything they saw, in everything they did, each found something
of especial interest which did not conflict. So they were always good company to
Betty and Tom were—where do you think? On the deck of a French steamer, two days out and headed for the Mediterranean and Marseilles.
The children had really been travelers as far back as they could remember, though never farther than from town to country, and from country back to town again. But for all that, they saw strange lands, strange people, strange worlds everywhere they went. Not only did they love seeing and doing, but just as naturally as Tom loved music, Betty loved pictures and books. And what they had read they put in the objects they saw; and what they saw made alive what they read. Whatever they were doing, they were voyaging in that most wonderful of all countries—the land of imagination.
The first day on board, Betty and Tom had been as busy as Argonauts exploring the mysteries of a great ocean liner. All their experience of ships and navigation had been confined
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ferry-boats, canoes, and an occasional sail-boat. But between what they knew,
and what they had read, and what they saw, they got on famously. And of course
the sailor folks, sensing their eager thrills, treated them as comrades.
“Why, Betty,” said Tom, “this is a new incarnation. I feel as if I’ve been a sailor all my life.”
“Yes,” Betty nodded, “and think what real ‘Yogis’ we must be, Tom, for we can remember our past incarnations too.”
“Yes, and we can see our next incarnation ahead. Tomorrow let’s pretend we’re French—little French children, just beginning to talk and saying ‘Maman’ and ‘oui, oui,’ and ‘l’ocean,’ and ‘qu’est-ce-que-ce, s’il vous plait?’ when we want to find out something, just as if we had to find out for ourselves, and knew nothing but French.”
“That’s really the way we had to do when we were babies,” agreed Betty, “and it will be lots more fun than just saying over and over, ‘Je suis, tu es, ii, elle, est,’ in school”— and Betty, sad to say, made a face at the recollection.
“I always hated French,” said Tom. “What’s the sense of learning another language when you already know one? But now”—and he grinned as he twisted an imaginary moustache—”but now that I can see my next incarnation ahead, I can see the sense in lots of things I’ve had to do and didn’t want to do because I couldn’t see any sense in them then.”
Betty laughed—and then yawned, right in Tom’s face— for it had been a busy day indeed, and both were ready to leave the earth and sail through the astral world of dreams into the land of At Home, which foolish people call Deep
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Sleep just because they don’t know that Memory and Imagination are as wonderful twins as Betty and Tom.
Next day, sure enough, they played they were French children, and it “worked” beautifully. You see, they didn’t try to recite; they just asked questions as a really French child does—with. their eyes, with their expressions, with their hands, and with just maybe a word or two. And how the sailor-men responded!
Why, before the week was out Betty and Tom were “Frenchy” from the top of their heads to their toes. And, strange to say, dozens of words, so hard to remember, so easy to forget, just naturally came back to translate these words to themselves in their own minds in English, so as to know what they mean. Why?
Well, Betty and Tom can tell you.
“Tom,” said Betty that sixth night out, after a school of porpoises had reminded them of a camping trip in the Adirondacks—”have you noticed how we know what the French words mean when we hear them? I wonder how that is?”
“Why,” replied Tom, who always knew all about everything Betty didn’t know, “it’s because we’ve been translated into French, I guess. Anyway, it’s lots of fun, isn’t it?”
“Yes; but still, there must be some reason for it. This is a new incarnation, but we are just the same as we were at home and at school, and then we didn’t like French. We couldn’t talk. We couldn’t understand without undressing the words in French and dressing them up again in English. Now it seems--it just seems as natural as English. Only, of course, ”
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she added, “we haven’t quite as many French clothes as we have American.”
“That’s funny,” said Tom. “I was just thinking the same thing—only in another way.”
“What’s that ?“
“Well, you see, it’s this way. Dad’s boss might just as well have sent him instead of Mr. Allan to England, and sent Mr. Allan to Marseilles. Did you know, Betty, that is what Father says they really spoke of doing? But they asked him and Mr. Allan which they would rather do, and Mr. Allan said right off he’d rather go to England, because his wife had always wanted to see Wales.”
“And what did Father say?”
“Father said he didn’t care—he’d rather not go to either place, but of course he was willing to go if it was necessary. So that’s how it happened.”
“Yes, but why didn’t Father want to go, and why were Mother and you and I so eager to go to France?”
“Well, isn’t it, maybe, this way? Maybe Mrs. Allan used to live in Wales in her last incarnation and loved it so much she just couldn’t help but want to go there? And maybe Father didn’t care because he’d lived in America for so many lives.”
“But America was only discovered a little over four hundred years ago. How could that be?”
“Maybe Dad was an Indian. Who knows? Anyway, I heard Mr. Allan call him a ‘good Indian’.”
And then both giggled, for Betty thought this was a good joke, and Tom thought he was a good joker!
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“Besides,” Tom went on, after a moment, “maybe that’s the very reason why we’ve had such a good time on ship and why it all seems so natural. I’ll bet you, when we get to Marseilles, if we just watch, we’ll find something that will seem familiar, just as if we’d always remembered it.”
And, sure enough, they did!
For, on landing, and after they were all settled, Tom went with his father to see the American Consul. And then—what do you think?
While Tom’s Father was with the Consul, Tom wandered from the room into the hall, and across the corridor was another door. Tom glanced at it. Something happened inside Tom’s mind, or imagination, or memory. And he said to the messenger of the Consulate, “What has become of the little picture that used to hang there on the door?”
“Oh,” replied the white-haired old man, “they moved that door, picture and all, to the back-entrance hall years and years ago. It’s still there. The picture was a sketch of a little boy, the old Consul’s son. Would you like to see it?”
And the picture looked for all the world like Betty!
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Alfred’s class was out ahead of John’s, so he waited at the school entrance. The two boys liked to be with each other because they had so much in common. Their greatest bond was that they were both studying Theosophy, and they liked to talk over the many problems and questions which arose
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every week. Today when they had met and were walking home Alfred seemed very
much upset over something. To John’s enquiries as to what had happened, there
were only monosyllabic replies.
At last Alfred burst out with, “Did you people talk about making New Year resolutions in your class today?”
“Did we? We had a long talk first thing this morning, and were told just how, and why, we should do it all.”
“Well, that’s more than I can say for my class. We talked about resolutions all right, but if there were any reasons given why we should do it, I didn’t hear them.”
“Why did they ask you to do it, then, if they didn’t give you a reason for it?” asked John.
“Oh I don’t mean they didn’t give reasons, but they were not reasons to me. Do you know what was said? ‘We should make resolutions because every New Year everyone always does it’—that’s a good one! I suppose all you have to do is write out whatever number of ‘dont’s’ you decide upon, and then dismiss them from your mind forever—but whatever happens, write them, because ‘everyone always does it.’
“Maybe I don’t see what you’re trying to get at, Al, but it seems to me to be a logical thing to make resolutions.” John was making every effort to see Alfred’s viewpoint, but just could not.
“Logical?” burst forth Alfred. “It’s not my idea of logic.”
“Well, then, why shouldn’t we make resolutions?”
“That’s a fair question, and I’ll tell you what I think about it. In the first place, resolutions on New Year’s sounds
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to me like being good on Sunday. Why should the New Year be the only time we should think about doing our best? Besides that, they all make resolutions that are selfish—only for themselves. Do you know what one fellow said today? He said he was going to resolve to be head of the class all year. I wondered where the rest of us would be, but that never occurred to him !“
“You’ve got some good ideas all right, Al, but it seems to me you’re missing the main point. What’s this all got to do with making resolutions in the right way? Just because some people do it wrong is not a proof that there is not a right way. You know very well you have to keep at yourself all the time to see whether you are getting lazy, or careless, or a hundred other things.”
“Don’t you see that’s what I was saying to you?” interrupted Alfred. “And you have to do it all the time and not on New Year’s Day.”
“Yes, but how many do it? We should do it all the time, and instead of that most people remember it only once a year. But even at that, from my point of view it’s better once a year than never. Besides, why shouldn’t it be the New Year when we do it? Then is the time we can start all over again, when the year is fresh, and nature begins a new cycle.”
“What do you mean by a new cycle?” asked Alfred.
“Well you know everything happens according to the law of cycles—even to the smallest details of our lives.”
“Yes, I know that; also that nature is made up of cycles, too. But I don’t see why a man-made date of January first should he considered as one of nature’s cycles.”
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“There’s where you jump at conclusions, Al. If everyone observes that
particular date, don’t you imagine there is some truth underlying it? Haven’t
you ever heard about every country and religion celebrating December 25th as the
date of their spiritual teacher coming into the world? That time of the year is
the birth-time of all spiritual things, and our own spiritual natures come under
that heading too. The new year begins then for nature and for ourselves, and
every effort made is going to take root deeper and better, and that’s why our
thoughts and acts ought to be in terms of the very highest in us.”
“I will admit there’s a lot of truth in what you say, John, but it makes me mad when people talk to you about ‘being good.’ If I do a thing that’s wrong, I’ll stop it when I see it’s wrong, not just because somebody says ‘don’t do it.’
“That’s well enough for you, but is everyone like that? No, they aren’t, so I think it’s a good thing we have such a custom as good resolutions once a year.”
“Yes, but what do you call ‘good resolutions’? These silly things most people resolve to do are a waste of time.”
“I know that, but where will they ever get a better idea of good resolves if some of us who think we have better ideas don’t put them into action, and show them what right resolves are?”
“That never occurred to me. If I thought I could help others by making resolutions myself that were really useful, I’d do it in a minute. The idea grows on me.”
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“What say, then?” urged John, as they reached Alfred’s house. “Let’s test out the truth of this law of Cycles. Only— perhaps it’s going to be a stiffer test of our will!”
It was in anticipation a rather awesome experience for two young Houghtons
to have their sister Alice home from college on her first vacation. The mere
fact of her having entered new halls of learning had made her seem to them a
thing apart, but when she was actually at home, she was, after all, just the
same old sister Alice—save that she did have many things to tell of new sights,
new friends, new studies, and new books.
“But, the thing I like best about college,” she was saying one evening as they sat around the friendly fire, “is that study and work seem so natural there. Everybody wants to study and work, and you don’t feel the same never-caught-up hurry that you do at High School. I have so much more time to think, and look, and listen, and even to read outside my assignments, besides allowing some hours for other kinds of ‘good times’.”
“Funny,” said Edward, “I found I liked High School better than Grammar, too, because studying seems to be more natural than in the grades. I believe the teachers themselves care more about studying. But, I’m not so sure I want to go to college myself. There are certainly any number of great men who weren’t college graduates.”
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“Ho, ho !“ Alice rallied him. “But suppose you aren’t destined to
be great? If you are great enough in yourself to be able to educate
yourself—and especially, if Karma doesn’t allow you to go to college, I suppose
you wouldn’t miss a college education. But I have even heard that one of the
Masters of whom H. P. B. wrote went to a German University in order to be better
able to understand the thought and scientific language of the day.”
“And,” Ellen, the High School Junior, added seriously, “I’ve heard people say that Jesus went to India to be taught. So, He must have had a special training, even if He didn’t have a college diploma.”
“Yes,” Alice went on. “And He had His disciples in special training, too. All the great thinkers of ancient times —like Pythagoras and Plato—had their schools, in which their learning and ideals were passed on. Why, I wonder if our colleges aren’t descended from those very schools! And because that intimate relation of teacher and pupil has existed so long ago is what makes study and work so natural at college now
“Oh, you mean maybe college students once studied in those schools of Greece in other lives?” asked Edward, warming up.
“Well, I wouldn’t necessarily mean that for all, but I would think that many of those teaching and learning must have been the students of other times, and their feeling about study would be communicated to others.”
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“Have you found any of your classmates interested in reincarnation, Sis?” (For Edward, the subject is never out of mind.)
“Do you know, it seems the strangest thing to me—they all believe in it, but none of them are interested in it! They will wonder who they or other people were last life, but they never think of it as a law that applies to everything, today— to themselves, and to all other things, too—to nations, worlds, and the very chemical elements. It isn’t a living, vital fact to them.”
“Now, why do you suppose that is, Alice ?“ asked Ellen, puzzled.
“Well, it seems to me, it is because reincarnation is a very ancient belief, and they are accepting only what is new.”
“Their thought and enthusiasm are all for what they call ‘new values’! Our mystical Helen of Troy, and the Knights of King Arthur are interesting to them only as they have ‘new values’.”
“Oh Sis, tell us what they mean by ‘new values’.”
“For instance: you know how we have always regarded George Washington—the Father of our Country—worthy of our deepest reverence and admiration for his high services. And we have even thought he had help from the Adepts in his times of trial. That’s a very old-fashioned view. Two new books on Washington have been published lately that the students are ‘wild’ over. These accounts make Washington out as a very ordinary man—show up every defect in his personal appearance—emphasize every commonplace act of his as indicating the ‘real’ Washington. They declare he
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was no genius, but simply had the steadfastness to stay by the task he
had undertaken, and so he accomplished his purpose, which wasn’t his own idea so
much as the need of the time. The cherry-tree is, of course, absolutely
“I never supposed it was anything but a symbol, did you, Alice?” Ellen spoke with a little agitation.
“That’s just it, you see, Ellen. They all want facts so hard that the truth escapes them. They can’t be bothered with symbols, and not much with ideals. They are delighted to see the cherry-tree demolished, and to think instead that Washington told many ‘white lies’; but to think that the story symbolizes that veracity which only sages have never occurs to them.”
“When you come to think of it,” spoke Edward now with eyes aglow, “it takes a pretty strong man—a great man—to stay by the task he undertakes. I guess if we were going to examine the men who are so small that they never contribute anything to the common good, we’d find they are men who are always moving on, dissatisfied, restless, with no ideas but to get the soft side of life without paying the price. ‘Washington stayed by when everything was going against him. No matter how ‘ordinary’ he might have been in other ways, that quality wasn’t ordinary. They would think Mr. Crosbie very ‘ordinary,’ I suppose.”
“Yes, and in calling him ‘ordinary’ would think him worthy of no further consideration. Such ‘new values’ seem very superficial to a Theosophist, don’t they?”
“Do you remember what Grandfather used to say, Alice?” Ellen spoke with a soft reminiscence of Grand-
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father’s whimsicality. “What’s true is not new. ‘What’s new is not true.’
“Yes, we know that the great ancients had better, truer values. I suppose it’s a part of our task—a need of our times—to stay by them, as Washington did by his purpose and plan.”
[The margins of this book have been made generous for the purpose of reference and cross-reference work. The following pages have been provided for the purpose of incorporating special passages from the teachings, for valuable newspaper clippings, for notice of books significant to teaching work, and for such helpful suggestions and references as may be made at the monthly Teachers’ Meetings. The “Darwinian Fallacies,” as the first “memorandum,” puts in small compass the leading points of argument of materialistic science on evolution, and counter statements from other scientists, such as support the Theosophic teaching and will always be useful.]
(As discerned by men of Science at the inception of the Darwinian Theory, and which later discoveries have in no way served to alter. Compiled from references given in The Secret Doctrine.)
I. All discovered remains of man show superior brain capacity and intelligence.
Early remains of man show a brain capacity equal to that of present races, and reveal rare artistic abilities. If he has gradually evolved from the ape, his remains in each geologic stratum should give evidence of a progressive march upward from bestiality. They do not. (S.D. ii 193 fn., 523, 681-2 fn., 716, 720-2.)
NOTE.—While there have been several major anthropological discoveries since publication of The Secret Doctrine, including the so-called “Java Ape-man” (Pithecanthropus pus Erectus), unearthed by Dubois in 1891, the Piltdown Man (named Eoanthropus by Dr.
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Henry Fairfield Osborn) in 1912, and more recently the Peking Man
(Sinanthropus), none of these remains can be regarded as representative of
the ancestors of present mankind. Although it appears from anatomical
reconstruction that these species were more primitive than the Neanderthal type
discussed in The Secret Doctrine, most scientists maintain that they were
far above the ape. Actually, conclusions based on this work are often
contradictory. Before he died, Dr. Eugene Dubois recorded his final opinion that
the remains he discovered in Java are not those of any human species, while
Marcellin Boule, eminent French paleontologist, has expressed the view that “the
jaw of the Eoanthropus pus is perhaps only the jaw of a Chimpanzee.” Thus
little weight can be given to theories based upon such evidence. Nor is there a
scientifically established line of descent from these species to living races.
The remains of all true men still show the same superior brain capacity and
other marks of human intelligence in no way approached by members of the animal
kingdom. (For a more complete discussion of these questions, see the following
references in Theosophy Magazine: Vol. 17, p. 63; Vol. 25, pp.
328-9; Vol. 26, pp. 324-7, 373-9, 426-7, 559-62, 574; Vol. 27, pp. 67,
28, pp. 281-4.)
II. Only the intermediate classes of fauna show progressive change.
Why is it that the highest form of life, Man, and the lowest animal forms, the protozoon Foraminifera, exhibit no changes in structure since the earliest ages, the intermediate forms only presenting those developments which might be regarded as evidence for Natural
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Selection? (S.D. ii 720, 257, 697, 734 fn., 729, 667-8,
III. Intelligent man existed too early to allow time for his development from lower orders of being.
Since traces of intelligent human beings have been discovered in Miocene strata (mid-Tertiary), and we see no major change in man’s form since Palaeolithic times (early Quaternary), the time required for him to develop from the ape or a common ancestor would throw the hypothetical “missing link” back into ages when modern Geology claims that mammalian types did not exist. (S.D. ii 687 fn., 677-8, 729, 219.)
IV. Biological evidence points to the ape as having evolved from man.
Anatomical differences between man and ape point to many of man’s characteristics in the ape, but disclose none of the ape’s characteristics in man. Furthermore, man and ape show an inverse development during life, the only logical deduction (on the basis of observed laws of Biology) being that the ape could have descended from man, but that man could not have descended from the ape. (S.D. ii 315 fn., 666-7, 682, 646, 261.)
V. The development of language shows no trace of animal origin.
If man descended from animals, language, as the outward expression of his mental capacity, should be the development of animal grunts and sounds, and we should find speaking animals among the highest repre-
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sentatives of that kingdom now. Instead of this, the earliest recorded languages
consist of root-words placed in relation to convey meanings. The roots
have no discernible connection with any form of animal communication, nor is
any animal capable of thoughtful rudimentary speech. (S.D. ii
198-200, 662, 721-2.)
VI. All facts indicate that man is a distinct type evolved by a higher form of consciousness.
The incongruity of attributing both the complex form of man and the superior consciousness which moves him to “blind evolution,” guided only by natural selection and the pressure of circumstances, has impressed many scientists. Some have thus been led to consider consciousness the primary factor, and this conception, as a more complete explanation of the observed facts, has caused the advance guard of scientific enquirers to abandon the Darwinian theory as faulty and incomplete. (S.D. ii 648-9, 681, 348.)