Category Archives: compassion

The Spiritual Awakening of Humanity

The Lotus

THEOSOPHY teaches the progressive development of everything, “worlds as well as atoms,” according to The Secret Doctrine.

This “stupendous development,” say the ancient sages, “has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.”

To them, our ‘Universe’ is “only one of an infinite number of Universes, all links in the great Cosmic chain of Universes.”

In this view, each individual cosmos, or single human life, is the effect of its predecessor. Under karmic law, “a cause as regards its successor.” 

(The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, p. 43)

If lifetimes and universes are analogous to schools, then the classrooms are stages of consciousness, pushing us to ever greater self-awareness and self-development — only if we are wise enough to pursue the path offered.

Thus our lives are complex creations, a series of  ‘progressive awakenings,’ advanced or retarded drop by drop, by our individual, family, racial, national and global karma.

Everyone, in this way, settles into his or her own unique rhythm in which a lifetime meditation empowers a mixture of past karma, and present choices.

We all must be then at slightly differing points on an ascending evolutionary arc, paying off old debts, making new ones — pushing forward or slipping back, and the mind thus ever awakens to newer realities.

Altruism

The choices that shape our character each lifetime, are self-chosen—compounded of physical, sensory, emotional, mental, psychic and spiritual energies.

The ancient Egyptian after death judgement, weighed symbolically a person’s heart against the ‘feather of truth.’

The challenges of life, the occult doctrine notes, are the result of our being grounded in a personal level of consciousness, a limited world view. The Secret Doctrine 1:39-40 teaches that “whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are, for the time being, our only realities.”

Progressive Awakenings

Nothing is permanent except the one hidden absolute existence which contains in itself the noumena of all realities.

Weighing the Heart against the Feather of Truth

“Only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from delusions.”

“As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities.

and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached ‘reality’—

(The Secret Doctrine 1:40)

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Life on Spaceship Earth and the Overview Effect

NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell

DURING the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, the Theosophical Society participated in the first World’s Parliament of Religions.

Pioneer theosophist and co-founder of the Theosophical Society William Q. Judge served as permanent chairman of the Theosophical Congress, whose presentation of its ideals and principles drew increasingly larger audiences.

“I have been requested to speak on the subject of universal brotherhood,” he explained, “not as a theory, not as a Utopian dream which can never be realized; not as a fact in society, not as a fact in government — but as a fact in nature:

that universal brotherhood is an actual thing, whether it is recognized or whether it is not.

“Every nation, every civilization has brought forward this doctrine, and the facts of history show us that, more than at any other time … have seen this doctrine violated in society, in government, and in nations. So that at last men have come to say, ‘Universal brotherhood is very beautiful; it is something that we all desire, but it is impossible to realize.’ With one word they declare the noble doctrine, and with the other they deny the possibility of its ever being realized.”

 – W. Q. Judge, Universal Brotherhood a Fact in Nature

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Evidence of an Immortal Mind in Man and Nature

In the Matrix

MAINSTREAM science looking for the source of consciousness insists its origin has to be generated in the physical brain.

Most neuroscientists agree that all cognition arises from the activity of neurons attached to specific structures, which have fixed brain locations.

Yet many credible scientific researchers today are unconvinced and dispute these biased mainstream materialistic assumptions.

Open-minded investigators are willing to pursue truth wherever it leads, even exploring evidence that mind and its corresponding consciousness is a living entity independent of the physical structures through which it manifests.

But because research findings on this question upset established assumptions, it is frequently ignored by mainstream science. H. P. Blavatsky found the same evidence in her own era declaring:

We live in an age of prejudice, dissimulation and paradox, wherein, like dry leaves caught in a whirlpool, we are tossed helpless, hither and thither, ever struggling between our honest convictions and fear of that cruelest of tyrants—PUBLIC OPINION.

-H. P. Blavatsky, A Paradoxical World

Caught in a whirlpool of dry leaves. (Flickr)

Yet, poised fearlessly at the cutting edge of psi research are scientific organizations such as the respected Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in Petaluma, California, and the Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek. These researchers, and others, like NES energy medicine, are willing to take a leap in pursuit of the fast-moving “soul of things.”

Many frontier investigators risk being minimized and shunned by their peers—their careers stalled as funding dries up.

Such investigations were formerly the exclusive precinct of canny ancient intuitives and seers. Today there are many qualified, sincere scientific investigators on the hunt for answers to the puzzling questions of consciousness that stymie mainstream science.

Buddha meditating under the Bo Tree

“The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system,” Mme. Blavatsky wrote.

“The facts which have actually occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain, in the bewildering series of evolutionary progress, are all recorded on a few pages of geometrical signs and glyphs.”

The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there.

“The genuine texts of the Upanishads treat of and expound the secret and mystic meaning of the Vedic texts. They speak of the origin of the Universe, the nature of Deity, and of Spirit and Soul, as also of the metaphysical connection of mind and matter. In a few words: They contain the beginning and the end of all human knowledgebut they have now ceased to reveal it, since the day of Buddha. . . . One thing in them — and this in all the Upanishads — invariably and constantly points to their ancient origin.”

“But modern science believes not in the ‘soul of things,’ and hence will reject the whole system of ancient cosmogony.” 

The Secret Doctrine 1:272 

Now all this may be changing . . .

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Just Being Yourself: Proof of Reincarnation

Julia Butterfly Hill up a Redwood

REDWOOD trees live in families. “They have very shallow roots, but redwood trees are connected to each other through their root system,” says pioneer nature defender Julia Butterfly Hill.

When you see a group of redwood trees, often they are all part of the same roots, and they feed one another that way.

Similarly, we are all connected not only to many others but also to our higher self in a spiritual sense.

It’s a kind of multimedia group of former lives and personalities to which we intimately belong.  We, ordinary humans, are paradoxical often reveal our hidden genius founded on the collective experience of many lifetimes.

From Mozart’s soaring music to the fearless passion of a Julia Butterfly Hill, we are each drawn to a karmic destiny created by ourselves over many lifetimes. That’s our personal family, and we still know each other, though most may not remember the connection consciously.

Most of us lack a Seer’s knowing, are forced to dive for clues of our history into the far horizons of reincarnation, and sift the karmic sands of countless past lives to uncover the source of our collective powerful talents, dreams, failures, and successes.

juliabutterflyhill

Julia, very high up!

Teilhard de Chardin’s idea that we are “spiritual beings immersed in a human experience,” barely begins to explain the genius of a Mozart who composed musical score at the age of five.

Or why Julia Butterfly Hill, a determined twenty-four-year-old, would choose to spend a very dangerous two years alone 200 feet atop a thousand-year-old redwood tree. Alone to save the tree, and others like it, from destruction by a logging company supporting an army of determined clear-cutters.

She climbed up and lived 200 feet atop the giant tree, on a 6-by-6-foot plywood platform, for over two years!  Just to save a stand of ancient redwood trees in California from being cut down by Pacific Lumber Company. (For more info Click Here)

Protecting Luna

Just as Amadeus and Julia, every one of us is born with a destiny and an individual soul identity, and engaging intelligence and experience from former lives to this one.

“To a greater or lesser degree, we remember and act out the memory of them. By standing together in unity and solidarity and love, writes Julia:

we will heal the wounds in the earth and in each other. We can make a positive difference through our actions

Read more of Julia’s compelling story here.

Memory can develop slowly or quickly, but as is often the case, has little opportunity to emerge. All depends upon our karmic circumstances, merit and demerit. Yet within the outer circumstances remains an unshakable awareness of an ‘I am I’ consciousness. We are ourselves and none other, whether we remember all the details or not. 

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Our Soul Destiny and the Bearers of Truth

The Watchers

NEW YORK CITY is the birthplace of modern Theosophy, launched on November 17, 1875, by H. P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, and Colonel Henry S. Olcott.

Theosophy Hall NYC is the home of  The United Lodge of Theosophists an association of students independently devoted to original Theosophy, unattached to any Theosophical organization.

Although unaffiliated formally ULT adheres to the motto: 

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

ULT Meetings are free and open to all without distinction of race, creed, gender ID or organization. Free classes in H. P. Blavatsky’s monumental work The Secret Doctrine are offered every week, as are all original teachings of Theosophy recorded in the writings of H.P. Blavatsky and William Quan Judge. 

Also offered at Theosophy Hall are recurring studies in The Bhagavad-Gita, Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms, The Dhammapada, The Light of Asia, and other original works of perennial Theosophy.

Theosophy Hall NYC’s free weekly meeting schedules can be found online by clicking here: Meetup.com

The following excerpt is from William Q. Judge’s The Ocean of Theosophy:

“The most intelligent being in the universe, man, has never been without a friend but has a line of elder brothers who continually watch over the progress of the less progressed. The term Mahatma has come into wide use as Mme. H. P. Blavatsky constantly referred to them as her Masters who gave her all the knowledge she possessed.

Mahatma M.

“They were at first known only as the Brothers, but afterward, when many Hindus flocked to the Theosophical movement, the name Mahatma was brought into use, inasmuch as it has behind it an immense body of Indian tradition and literature. The ancients taught that the course of evolution is the drama of the soul and that nature exists for no other purpose than the soul’s experience.

There must be beings in the universe whose intelligence is as much beyond ours as ours exceeds that of the black beetle, and who take an active part in the government of the natural order of things.

“They preserve the knowledge gained through aeons of trial and experience and continually seek for opportunities of drawing the developing intelligence of the human race on this or other globes to consider the great truths concerning the destiny of the soul.

Compassion, the Law of Laws

For this age, as one of them has already said, ‘is an age of transition.’

“Every system of thought, science, religion, government, and society is changing, and man’s mind is only preparing for an alteration into that state which will permit the human race to advance to the point suitable for these elder brothers to introduce their actual presence to our sight.

Ancient Greece, the Torch of Truth.

“They may be truly called the bearers of the torch of truth across the ages. They investigate all things and beings.

They know what man is in his innermost nature and what his powers and destiny, his state before birth and the states into which he goes after the death of his body.

“They have stood by the cradle of nations and seen the vast achievements of the ancients, watched sadly the decay of those who had no power to resist the cyclic law of rise and fall. While cataclysms seemed to show a universal destruction of art, architecture, religion, and philosophy, they have preserved the records of it all in places secure from the ravages of either men or time.

Hypatia at the Alexandrian Library

“But, asks the busy man of the nineteenth century who reads the newspapers and believes in “modern progress,”  if these elder brothers are all you claim them to be, why have they left no mark on history nor gathered men around them? Their own reply, was published some time ago (First Letter):

“We never pretended to be able to draw nations in the mass to this or that crisis in spite of the general drift of the world’s cosmic relations. The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other as day does night.

“The major and minor yugas [cycles] must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we, borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents.”

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Opening the Spiritual Eye: Piercing the Illusion of Reality

Fortune Teller

STUDENTS of Theosophy are sometimes called to task by some for being overly metaphysical or ‘intellectual.’

It may be true that some students of Theosophy prefer to use the force of their intellect to hammer out meanings, and have a purely intellectual discussion.

That means not  consulting their feelings or emotions which are deemed lesser powers from the human ‘lower nature’ and therefore unreliable.

But W. Q. Judge was not of that opinion. He wrote in the Ocean of Theosophy that “intellect alone is cold, heartless and selfish.” The truth of this is shown today by studies of neurological correlates in the physical brain. Similarly, Mr. Judge, back in the day, insisted that if we can live “according to the dictates of the soul

the brain may at least be made porous to the soul’s recollections — if the contrary sort of a life is led, then more and more will clouds obscure that reminiscence.”

Materialistic  and intellectual data are stored in the lower mind and desire body, and such grosser data does not stimulate higher areas as the pineal gland in the brain. The mysterious ‘third eye’ whose vehicle is the pineal gland, is known by occultists to transmit spiritual powers including intuition and compassion.

Pituitary and Pineal Glands

Our Dual Nature

We are spiritual beings at our core, but our behaviors on this physical plane — just like the actions of rider and horse — are determined solely by how we have entrained our psychic and physical instruments.

“No physiologist, not even the cleverest,” Blavatsky wrote, “will ever be able to solve the mystery of the human mind, in its highest spiritual manifestation, or in its dual aspect of the psychic and the noëtic or the manasic, or even to comprehend the intricacies of the former on the purely material plane – unless he knows something of, and is prepared to admit the presence of this dual element.” 

– H. P. Blavatsky, Psychic and Noëtic Action

Horse and Rider

“There are persons,” H. P. Blavatsky writes, “who never think with the higher faculties of their minds at all.” (Studies in Occultism)

“This is why it is so very difficult for a materialist — the metaphysical portion of whose brain is almost atrophied — to raise himself,”

“Or for one who is naturally spiritually-minded to descend to the level of the matter-of-fact vulgar thought,” she says. “Optimism and pessimism depend on it also in a great measure.”

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A Mother’s Love, The Law of Life

Mother and Child

WHENEVER there is separateness and selfishness, Theosophy teaches, there will always be suffering.

This is why we need to continually try to practice Divine Compassion, “the law of laws,” as urged in The Voice of the Silence, and all that implies about our daily actions.

“Compassion is no attribute, it is the LAW of LAWS — eternal Harmony —

“… a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things — the law of love eternal.”

(The Voice of the Silence)

A feeling of true, universal compassion and caring for others can never dissolve into either separateness or selfish pride. Says the Voice of the Silence of The Buddha: “The esoteric school teaches that Gautama Buddha with several of his Arhats is such a Nirmânakâya, higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind there is none known.”

Dalai Lama xlv

According to the H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, “compassion is something really worthwhile.”

It is not just a religious or spiritual subject, not a matter of ideology. It is not a luxury. It is a necessity.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

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The Overview Effect: Universal Brotherhood a Fact in Nature

Jodie Foster, the movie “Contact”

DURING the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, the Theosophical Society participated in the first World’s Parliament of Religions.

William Q. Judge served as permanent chairman of the Theosophical Congress, whose presentation of its ideals and principles drew increasingly larger audiences.

“I have been requested to speak on the subject of universal brotherhood . . . not as a theory, not as a Utopian dream which can never be realized; not as a fact in society, not as a fact in government — but as a fact in nature:

that universal brotherhood is an actual thing, whether it is recognized or whether it is not.

“Every nation, every civilization has brought forward this doctrine, and the facts of history show us that, more than at any other time … have seen this doctrine violated in society, in government, and in nations. So that at last men have come to say, ‘Universal brotherhood is very beautiful; it is something that we all desire, but it is impossible to realize.’ With one word they declare the noble doctrine, and with the other they deny the possibility of its ever being realized.”

(W. Q. Judge “Universal Brotherhood a Fact in Nature”)

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Animal Souls, the Heart of Good

cow-and-girl

Cow and Girl Bonding

BETWEEN humanity and Nature, in a perfect world, mutual peace and harmony ought to always reign.

Mutual respect and universal compassion would be an accepted norm between humans and all beings in nature.

To those most mistreated of all, our helpless farm animals, this principle most urgently applies.

To this point, the keynote of Mme. H. P. Blavatsky’s worldview was the just and moral treatment of all beings in nature.

This principle was and is the First Object of the Theosophical  Movement, Universal Brotherhood.

Agreeably with Emerson, the foundational teaching of Theosophy as expressed in The Secret Doctrine, is “the fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul.”  An acclaimed essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson “The Oversoul” was first published in 1841. With the human soul as its overriding subject, several general themes are treated:

“(1) the existence and nature of the human soul; (2) the relationship between the soul and the personal ego; (3) the relationship of one human soul to another; and (4) the relationship of the human soul to God.

Emerson

“Influence of Eastern religions, including Vedantism, is plainly evident, but the essay also develops ideas long present in the Western tradition, e.g., in the works of Plato, Plutarch, and Neoplatonists like Plotinus and Proclus – all of whose writings Emerson read extensively throughout his career.” (Wikipedia)

Plus, in The Secret Doctrine (Summing Up #5), the teaching that “everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious,” and endowed

with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”

Mme. Blavatsky was adamant in opposing animal cruelty. She spoke out forcefully against sport hunting of foxes, birds and big game, and most strongly against vivisection, animals tortured in biological experiments. 

Animal-Testing

Cruel Animal Testing

Mme. Blavatsky’s words were penned over 70 years before the widespread animal testing in universities and commercial laboratories. Yet now, animal testing has been cited in impartial studies as being scientifically unnecessary.

“By 1996, ‘cruelty-free’ shopping had become popular, but it was also confusing, sometimes misleading, and ultimately frustrating,” according to the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) — eight national animal protection groups banded together.

“If these humble lines could [also] make a few readers seriously turn their thoughts to all the horrors of vivisection,” Blavatsky pleaded, “the writer would be content.”

vivisection

Animal Experiments

“Other permanent tortures, daily inflicted on the poor brutes, will” — Mme. Blavatsky predicted in her article Have Animals Souls? — “after calling forth an outburst from society generally, force all Governments to put an end to those barbarous and shameful practices.“

“Man is endowed with reason, the infant with instinct, and the young animal shows more of both than the child.”

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Healing Miracles of Mind, Intention and Belief

In the Matrix

MAINSTREAM science looking for the source of consciousness, insist its origin must be located in the physical brain.

They are certain that all cognition arises from the activity of neurons attached to specific structures, which have fixed locations.

Yet many credible scientific researchers today are unconvinced, and dispute these assumptions.

Such open minded investigators are willing to pursue truth wherever it leads, even to evidence that consciousness is a independent entity from the physical structures through which it manifests.

But because research findings on this question upset established assumptions, it is ignored by mainstream science.

We live in an age of prejudice, dissimulation and paradox, wherein, like dry leaves caught in a whirlpool, we are tossed helpless, hither and thither, ever struggling between our honest convictions and fear of that cruelest of tyrants—PUBLIC OPINION.

-H. P. Blavatsky, A Paradoxical World

Leaves in the wind.

Frontier investigators risk being minimized and shunned by their peers—and their careers stalled as funding sources dry up.

Ω

Yet, poised fearlessly at the cutting edge of psi research are scientific organizations such as the respected Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in Petaluma, California, and the Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek. These researchers, and others, like NES energy medicine, are willing to take a leap in pursuit of the fast-moving “soul of things.”

Such investigations were formerly the exclusive precinct of canny ancient intuitives and seers. Today there are numerous qualified, sincere scientific investigators on the hunt for answers to the puzzling questions of consciousness that stymie mainstream science.

Buddha under the Bo Tree

“The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there.”  

“The genuine texts of the Upanishads treat of and expound the secret and mystic meaning of the Vedic texts. They speak of the origin of the Universe, the nature of Deity, and of Spirit and Soul, as also of the metaphysical connection of mind and matter. In a few words: They contain the beginning and the end of all human knowledgebut they have now ceased to reveal it, since the day of Buddha. . . . One thing in them — and this in all the Upanishads — invariably and constantly points to their ancient origin.”

Materialistic science still “believes not in the ‘soul of things,'” Mme. Blavatsky declared forcefully in The Secret Doctrine 1:272 

Now all this may be changing . . .

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Esoteric Theosophy and the Masters of Wisdom

THE most intelligent being in the universe, man, has never been without a friend, but has a line of elder brothers who continually watch over the progress of the less progressed.

The term Mahatma has come into wide use as Mme. H. P. Blavatsky constantly referred to them as her Masters who gave her all the knowledge she possessed.

They were at first known only as the Brothers, but afterwards, when many Hindus flocked to the Theosophical movement, the name Mahatma was brought into use, inasmuch as it has behind it an immense body of Indian tradition and literature.

The ancients taught that the course of evolution is the drama of the soul and that nature exists for no other purpose than the soul’s experience.

There must be beings in the universe whose intelligence is as much beyond ours as ours exceeds that of the black beetle, and who take an active part in the government of the natural order of things.

They preserve the knowledge gained through aeons of trial and experience, and continually seek for opportunities of drawing the developing intelligence of the human race on this or other globes to consider the great truths concerning the destiny of the soul.

Divine Compassion

They keep the knowledge they have gained of the laws of nature in all departments, and are ready when cyclic law permits to use it for the benefit of mankind. They have always existed as a body, all knowing each other, no matter in what part of the world they may be, and all working for humanity in many different ways.

It would be subversive of the ends they have in view were they to make themselves public in the present civilization, which is based almost wholly on money, fame, glory, and personality.

For this age, as one of them has already said,
“is an age of transition.”

Every system of thought, science, religion, government, and society is changing, and man’s mind is only preparing for an alteration into that state which will permit the human race to advance to the point suitable for these elder brothers to introduce their actual presence to our sight.

Ancient Greece

They may be truly called the bearers of the torch of truth across the ages. They investigate all things and beings.

They know what man is in his innermost nature and what his powers and destiny, his state before birth and the states into which he goes after the death of his body.

They have stood by the cradle of nations and seen the vast achievements of the ancients, watched sadly the decay of those who had no power to resist the cyclic law of rise and fall. While cataclysms seemed to show a universal destruction of art, architecture, religion, and philosophy, they have preserved the records of it all in places secure from the ravages of either men or time.

Hypatia in the Alexandrian Library

But, asks the busy man of the nineteenth century who reads the newspapers and believes in “modern progress,”  if these elder brothers are all you claim them to be, why have they left no mark on history nor gathered men around them? Their own reply, was published some time ago (First Letter):

“The major and minor yugas [cycles] must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we, borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents.”

“We never pretended to be able to draw nations in the mass to this or that crisis in spite of the general drift of the world’s cosmic relations. The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other as day does night.

 

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July 4th: Theosophy, the Gospel of Goodwill

H. P. Blavatsky 1877

H. P. Blavatsky 1877

H. P. BLAVATSKY understood America because she loved America.

Confirming this in a letter delivered to the Second American Convention she wrote:

“Your great country which I love for its noble freedom . . . and of which country I myself am proud of being a citizen.”

This loving understanding of the American culture and temperament in the light of the marvelous knowledge which was hers, has graciously provided for the students of Theosophy everywhere in the world.

But more especially in America, hints, warnings, suggestions and, above all, inspiration for their labor on behalf of the Sacred Cause.

To the students of Theosophy in America, these Letters are of special value and significance at the present time.

In conducting their own lives and tasks as well as in helping their fellow men in all fields of activity, they will receive from these thoughtful and stirring words real help themselves, and that of an unique character. 

A Prayer Labyrinth

In these days of constant struggles of many and diverse kinds, when a myriad remedies are suggested and advocated for our ills physical and psychical, moral and mental . . . puzzled by the strange working of Mother Nature . . .

These wonderful Messages of one whose wisdom and compassion stirred her to point the finger of warning and at the same time to stretch out the hand of fellowship and sure guidance, ought to be read, studied; nay, meditated upon.

(Above excerpted from Theosophy Company, Los Angeles, CA)

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Finding Nirvana with a Stroke of Insight

Jill BolteTaylor

Jill BolteTaylor

LORD Krishna the famed deity of Hinduism, pegged the complex duality of our human minds more than five thousand years ago.

In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna instructs his disciple Arjuna on the paradoxical nature of the mind and senses — all while the pair were in the middle of a battlefield with arrows flying.

The “Self is the friend of self, and in like manner, self is its own enemy” Krishna cautions the reluctant warrior Arjuna in the Gita, Chapter Six.

The ancient wisdom-teaching of dueling human selves was much more than a symbolic morality play. And the unavoidable reality is preserved in our own living flesh, dynamically channeling through the dual hemispheres of our physical brain.

Beyond the physical body and brain, remaining yet a means of reaching that place lies Nirvana, a spiritually lucid zone of release and liberation from worldly concerns. All self-realized Masters of Wisdom, according to Theosophy, have achieved and live in that spiritual state fully conscious.

smilingbuddhas

Such Adepts such as Buddha, followed the injunction of the Book of the Golden Precepts,” according to William Q. Judge in his Echoes from the Orient (p. 33), to”Step out from sunlight into shade, to make more room for others.”

“They are owners of Nirvana who refuse to accept it in order that they may help the suffering orphan, Humanity.”

It can be compared to the sacrifice of workers for humanitarian causes who give up modern comforts and rest to help others. Such are the examples of Father Damien (lauded by H. P. Blavatsky in her Key to Theosophy), who devoted his life to the leper colonies of Hawaii.

Father Damien

Father Damien

“He was a true Theosophist,” she wrote, “and his memory will live for ever in our annals.” And similarly we recall the selfless work of Helene and Albert Schweitzer who volunteered as medical missionaries in Africa.

There are many hundreds of examples of volunteers who today are working tirelessly in many areas of the world including areas of the environment, conservation, poverty, animal welfare and child abuse, starvation, etc., etc.

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Being Who You Are: Proof of Reincarnation

Julia Butterfly Hill

Julia Butterfly Hill

REDWOOD trees live in families. “They have very shallow roots, but redwood trees are connected to each other through their root system” says pioneer nature defender Julia Butterfly Hill.

“When you see a group of redwood trees, often they are all part of the same roots, and they feed one another that way.”

Similarly we are each connected not only to many others, but also to ourselves, a kind of multimedia group of former lives and personalities.  We ordinary humans are paradoxical and often revealing our hidden genius.

Like the soaring music of Mozart to the fearless passion of a Julia Butterfly Hill we each live out a destiny created by ourselves over many lifetimes. That’s our personal family group, and we all know each other, though most may not remember many selves on a conscious level.

Most of us lack a Seer’s knowing, and are forced to trudge for clues into the far horizons of reincarnation, and sift the karmic sands of countless past lives to uncover the source of our collective manifest talents, failures and successes.

juliabutterflyhill

Julia, up a tree.

Teilhard de Chardin’s idea that we are “spiritual beings immersed in a human experience,” only begins to explain the genius of a Mozart who composed musical score at the age of three. Or why Julia Butterfly Hill, at twenty-four, would choose to spend a dangerous two years alone, 200 feet atop a thousand year-old redwood tree, to save it from destruction by a company of determined, clear-cutting loggers.

Read more of Julia’s compelling story here.

Just like Amadeus and Julia, every one of us is born with a destiny and an individual soul identity, bringing intelligence and experience from former lives. To a greater or lesser degree we remember and act out the memory of them. Memory can develop slowly or quickly, or often, has little opportunity to emerge. All depends upon our karmic circumstances, merit and demerit. Yet beneath it all remains the unshakeable awareness of an “I am I” consciousness. We are ourselves and none other, whether we remember all the details or not.

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The Birthday of Modern Theosophy

BIRTH on this physical plane, of the modern Theosophical Movement, occurred in New York City 141 years ago on November 17th in the year 1875.

Its reemergence had been carefully and wisely planned, behind the scenes, by those called the Elder Brothers of Humanity.

Pointing to Them, Theosophical pioneer William Quan Judge declared in his article Elder Brothers and Mahatmas, “the most intelligent being in the universe, man, has never been without a friend, but has a line of elder brothers who continually watch over the progress of the less progressed.”

The term Mahatma has come into wide use because Mme. H. P. Blavatsky constantly referred to them as her Masters who gave her all the knowledge she possessed, he said.

They were at first known only as the Brothers, but afterwards, after many Hindus flocked to the Theosophical movement, the name Mahatma was brought into use, inasmuch as it has behind it an immense body of Indian tradition and literature.

Krishna-Arjuna

Krishna-Arjuna

“The ancients taught that the course of evolution is the drama of the soul and that nature exists for no other purpose than the soul’s experience.” And Judge assured his readers “there must be beings in the universe

… whose intelligence is as much beyond ours as ours exceeds that of the black beetle, and who take an active part in the government of the natural order of things.”

“They preserve the knowledge gained through aeons of trial and experience, and continually seek for opportunities of drawing the developing intelligence of the human race on this or other globes to consider the great truths concerning the destiny of the soul.”

“They keep the knowledge they have gained of the laws of nature in all departments, and are ready when cyclic law permits to use it for the benefit of mankind. They have always existed as a body, all knowing each other, no matter in what part of the world they may be, and all working for humanity in many different ways.

“It would be subversive of the ends they have in view were they to make themselves public in the present civilization, which is based almost wholly on money, fame, glory, and personality.

“For this age, as one of them has already said, ‘is an age of transition.’

“Every system of thought, science, religion, government, and society is changing, and man’s mind is only preparing for an alteration into that state which will permit the human race to advance to the point suitable for these elder brothers to introduce their actual presence to our sight.”

“They may be truly called the bearers of the torch of truth across the ages. They investigate all things and beings.

“They know what man is in his innermost nature and what his powers and destiny, his state before birth and the states into which he goes after the death of his body.”

“They have stood by the cradle of nations and seen the vast achievements of the ancients, watched sadly the decay of those who had no power to resist the cyclic law of rise and fall. While cataclysms seemed to show a universal destruction of art, architecture, religion, and philosophy, they have preserved the records of it all in places secure from the ravages of either men or time.”

Hypatia and her Library at Alexandria

“But, asks the busy man of the nineteenth century who reads the newspapers and believes in ‘modern progress,’ if these elder brothers are all you claim them to be, why have they left no mark on history nor gathered men around them? Their own reply, was published some time ago (First Mahatma Letter):

“We never pretended to be able to draw nations in the mass to this or that crisis in spite of the general drift of the world’s cosmic relations. The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other as day does night.

The major and minor yugas [cycles] must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we, borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents.”

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The Magical Sword of Spiritual Knowledge

fortune-teller-with-crystalWHAT is real magic is not widely understood, and what usually goes by that description is nearly always rife with deception and trickery.

Show business or stage magic, though entertaining for many, is performed using slight of hand, and relies solely on fooling the audience.

But there is a kind of practical divine magic which not based on slight of hand, or hypnotic illusions, but is the result of an ability, natural or learned, to bring to about certain desired results, seemingly magical.

“I know that MAGIC does exist,” H. P. Blavatsky declared in her article The Science of Magic, “and 10,000 editors of Spiritual papers cannot change my belief in what I know.”

“There is a white and a black magic — and no one who has ever traveled in the East, can doubt it…”

“My faith being firm I am, therefore, ever ready to support and protect any honest medium — aye, and even occasionally one who appears dishonest — for I know but too well what helpless tools and victims such mediums are in the hands of unprogressed, invisible beings.”

indian-rope-trick

The successful use of real magic, it appears, requires a knowledge far beyond any kind of trickery, spells or mediumship, and is based on an innate psycho-spiritual force hidden in nature, and in man himself.

Those who practiced it in ancient times were the initiates, the wise, called “Magi” — source of the word magic.

It is relatively easy to learn tricks and spells, Mme. Blavatsky says in Practical Occultism, “and the methods of using the subtler, but still material, forces of physical nature.”

But this kind of force, often rooted in selfish human desire, awakens darker powers, she warns. Unless the motive is pure, destructive passions are often aroused, and even unconsciously will do harm to others.

dionne-psychic-game

In her article Practical Occultism, H. P. Blavatsky warns us about this kind of activity: “it is the motive alone which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic, and unless the intention is entirely unalloyed

the spiritual will transform itself into the psychic, act on the astral plane, and dire results may be produced by it.”

“It is impossible to employ spiritual forces, she maintained, “if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness [or separateness] remaining in the operator.”

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A Life Does Not Have to be Human to be Great

saving_lunaSAVING LUNA is an award-winning documentary produced by Mountainside Films, and directed by Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm.

It tells the true story of a lone baby orca named Luna, who was separated from his family and tried to befriend people on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

SAVING LUNA is narrated as a personal story by co-director Michael Parfit. You could call it the director’s cut. Another version of the film, narrated by film star Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal, Green Lantern, and others), was released in selected theaters in the United States in late 2011.

SAVING LUNA has been shown on television around the world, but has not yet been shown on TV in the United States. The film will be made available to public television stations soon. If you think it should be on US television, click here and look on the list for a station near you to write and request that it be shown.

What does Theosophy say about
intelligence in Nature?

In her re-presentation of Theosophy, H. P. Blavatsky was not at all abstract when it came to standing up for the planet. In writing “help Nature and work on with her,” she was especially concerned with what she witnessed as widespread animal abuse and cruelty in her time.

Though not a strict vegan, Mme. Blavatsky was in sync with today’s new age ideas and unreservedly supported the healthful practices and spiritual values of a non-meat diet.  In her lengthy article “Have Animals Souls?”, Madame Blavatsky went further into some aspects of the matter than she did in her book “The Key to Theosophy.”

SavingLuna

Blavatsky’s radicalism reveals itself in her six-point “mission statement” in The Secret Doctrine (1:274), especially point number five in which she declared that “everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms is conscious:

… endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”

Individual conscious awareness develops gradually throughout the kingdoms of nature, peaking in the human stage. Self-aware consciousness in some higher animals, Blavatsky writes in The Secret Doctrine (1:178), “comes almost to the point.”

dog and man

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July 4th: A Theosophy of Freedom and Independence

H. P. Blavatsky 1877

H. P. Blavatsky 1877

H. P. BLAVATSKY understood America because she loved America. In one Letter she writes: “Your great country which I love for its noble freedom . . . and of which country I myself am proud of being a citizen.”

This loving understanding of the American culture and temperament in the light of the marvelous knowledge which was hers, has graciously provided for the students of Theosophy everywhere in the world.

But more especially in America, hints, warnings, suggestions and, above all, inspiration for their labor on behalf of the Sacred Cause.

To the students of Theosophy in America, these Letters are of special value and significance at the present time. In conducting their own lives and tasks as well as in helping their fellow men in all fields of activity, they will receive from these thoughtful and stirring words real help themselves, and that of an unique character. 

In these days of constant struggles of many and diverse kinds, when a myriad remedies are suggested and advocated for our ills physical and psychical, moral and mental . . . puzzled by the strange working of Mother Nature . . .

These wonderful Messages of one whose wisdom and compassion stirred her to point the finger of warning and at the same time to stretch out the hand of fellowship and sure guidance, ought to be read, studied; nay, meditated upon.

(Above excerpt from a Forward by Theosophy Co., Los Angeles)

Madam-Blavatsky2

The First Message from H. P. BLAVATSKY to the American Theosophists in Convention Assembled 1888:

 THE FIRST MESSAGE

(Excerpts)

1888

To WILLIAM Q. JUDGE,

General Secretary of the American Section of
the Theosophical Society.

MY DEAREST BROTHER AND CO-FOUNDER
OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY:

    In addressing to you this letter, which I request you to read to the Convention summoned for April 22nd, I must first present my hearty congratulations and most cordial good wishes to the assembled Delegates and good Fellows of our Society, and to yourself—the heart and soul of that Body in America. We were several, to call it to life in 1875.

    Since then you have remained alone to preserve that life through good and evil report. It is to you chiefly, if not entirely, that the Theosophical Society owes its existence in 1888. Let me then thank you for it, for the first and perhaps the last, time publicly, and from the bottom of my heart, which beats only for the cause you represent so well and serve so faithfully.

    I ask you also to remember that, on this important occasion, my voice is but the feeble echo of other more sacred voices, and the transmitter of the approval of Those whose presence is alive in more than one true Theosophical heart, and lives, as I know, pre-eminently in yours. May the assembled Society feel the warm greeting as earnestly as it is given, and may every Fellow present, who realizes that he has deserved it, profit by the Blessings sent.

W. Q. Judge, by Charles Johnston

W. Q. Judge, by Charles Johnston

  Theosophy has lately taken a new start in America which marks the commencement of a new Cycle in the affairs of the Society in the West. And the policy you are now following is admirably adapted to give scope for the widest expansion of the movement, and to establish on a firm basis an organization which, while promoting feelings of fraternal sympathy, social unity, and solidarity, will leave ample room for individual freedom and exertion in the common cause— that of helping mankind. . . .

But let no man set up a popery instead of Theosophy, as this would be suicidal and has ever ended most fatally.

We are all fellow-students, more or less advanced;. . . but no one belonging to the Theosophical Society ought to count himself as more than, at best, a pupil-teacher—one who has no right to dogmatize.

HPB Bust by Alexey Leonov

HPB Bust by Alexey Leonov

    Since the Society was founded, a distinct change has come over the spirit of the age. Those who gave us commission to found the Society foresaw this, now rapidly growing, wave of transcendental influence following that other wave of mere phenomenalism. Even the journals of Spiritualism are gradually eliminating the phenomena and wonders, to replace them with philosophy.

The Theosophical Society led the van of this movement; but, although Theosophical ideas have entered into every development or form which awakening spirituality has assumed, yet

Theosophy pure and simple has still a severe battle to fight for recognition.

The days of old are gone to return no more, and many are the Theosophists who, taught by bitter experience, have pledged themselves to make of the Society a “miracle club” no longer.

The launch of Scottish Biodiversity fortnight sowing seed at the wildflower meadow.

    The faint-hearted have asked in all ages for signs and wonders, and when these failed to be granted, they refused to believe. Such are not those who will ever comprehend Theosophy pure and simple. But there are others among us who realize intuitionally that

the recognition of pure Theosophy—the philosophy of the rational explanation of things and not the tenets—is of the most vital importance in the Society, inasmuch as it alone can furnish the beacon-light needed to guide humanity on its true path.

one religion

    This should never be forgotten, nor should the following fact be overlooked. On the day when Theosophy will have accomplished its most holy and most important mission—namely to unite firmly a body of men of all nations in brotherly love and bent on a pure altruistic work, not on a labor with selfish motives.

On that day only will Theosophy become higher than any nominal brotherhood of man. This will be a wonder and a miracle truly, for the realization of which Humanity is vainly waiting for the last eighteen centuries, and which every association has hitherto failed to accomplish.

Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing
neither possible nor desirable.

It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits that keeps the Theosophical Society a living and a healthy body, its many other ugly features notwithstanding.

Were it not, also, for the existence of a large amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy divergencies would be impossible, and the Society would degenerate into a sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped creed would take the place of the living and breathing spirit of Truth and an ever growing Knowledge.

womanonpath

    It must be remembered that the Society was not founded as a nursery for forcing a supply of Occultists—as a factory for the manufactory of Adepts. It was intended to stem the current of materialism, and also that of spiritualistic phenomenalism and the worship of the Dead.

It had to guide the spiritual awakening that has now begun, and not to pander to psychic cravings which are but another form of materialism.

    For by “materialism” is meant not only an anti-philosophical negation of pure spirit, and, even more, materialism in conduct and action—brutality, hypocrisy. and, above all, selfishness,—but also the fruits of a disbelief in all but material things, a disbelief which has increased enormously during the last century, and which has led many, after a denial of all existence other than that in matter, into a blind belief in the materialization of Spirit.

cropped-white-lotus-71421.jpg

Lotus Lily

    Theosophy seeks to develop the human nature in man in addition to the animal, and at the sacrifice of the superfluous animality which modern life and materialistic teachings have developed to a degree which is abnormal for the human being at this stage of his progress.

Men cannot all be Occultists, but they can all be Theosophists. Many who have never heard of the Society are Theosophists without knowing it them selves; for the essence of Theosophy is the perfect harmonizing of the divine with the human in man, the adjustment of his god-like qualities and aspirations. and their sway over the terrestrial or animal passions in him. Kindness, absence of every ill feeling or selfishness, charity, good-will to all beings, and perfect justice to others as to one’s self, are its chief features.

He who teaches Theosophy preaches the gospel of good-will; and the converse of this is true also—he who preaches the gospel of good-will, teaches Theosophy.

    This aspect of Theosophy has never failed to receive due and full recognition in the pages of the “PATH,” a journal of which the American Section has good reason to be proud. It is a teacher and a power; and the fact that such a periodical should be produced and supported in the United States speaks in eloquent praise both of its Editor and its readers.

William Q. Judge 1887 The first volume of the publication that brought theosophy to the attention of the American public.

William Q. Judge 1887 The first volume of the publication that brought theosophy to the attention of the American public.

    America is also to be congratulated on the increase in the number of the Branches or Lodges which is now taking place. It is a sign that in things spiritual as well as things temporal the great American Republic is well fitted for independence and self-organization.

    Here in England Theosophy is waking into new life. The slanders and absurd inventions of the Society for Psychical Research have almost paralyzed it, though only for a very short time, and the example of America has stirred the English Theosophists into renewed activity.  . . . and the first fruit has been the founding of the “Theosophical Publication Society.” This Society is of great importance. It has undertaken the very necessary work of breaking down the barrier of prejudice and ignorance which has formed so great an impediment to the spread of Theosophy.

Theosophists are of necessity the friends of all movements in the world, whether intellectual or simply practical, for the amelioration of the condition of mankind.

We are the friends of all those who fight against drunkenness, against cruelty to animals, against injustice to women, against corruption in society or in government, although we do not meddle in politics. We are the friends of those who exercise practical charity, who seek to lift a little of the tremendous weight of misery that is crushing down the poor . . .

helping-the-poor

The function of Theosophists is to open men’s hearts and understandings to charity, justice, and generosity, attributes which belong specifically to the human kingdom and are natural to man when he has developed the qualities of a human being. Theosophy teaches the animal-man to be a human-man; and when people have learned to think and feel as truly human beings should feel and think,

they will act humanely, and works of charity, justice, and generosity will be done spontaneously by all.  . . .

But whether I be in England or in India a large part of my heart and much of my hope for Theosophy lie with you in the United States, where the Theosophical Society was founded, and of which country I myself am proud of being a citizen. But you must remember that, although there must be local Branches of the Theosophical Society, there can be no local Theosophists; and just as you all belong to the Society, so do I belong to you all. . . .

    Meanwhile, my far-away and dear Brother, accept the warmest and sincerest wishes for the welfare of your Societies and of yourself personally, and, while conveying to all your colleagues the expression of my fraternal regards, assure them that, at the moment when you will be reading to them the present lines, I shall—if alive—be in Spirit, Soul, and Thought amidst you all.

    Yours ever, in the truth of the GREAT CAUSE we are all working for

H. P. BLAVATSKY.  . . .
London, April 3rd, 1888.

Karma: The Law of Empathy and Ethical Causation

Harold Copping, “The Widows Mite”

EVER mounting research reveals that you cannot separate your health from your emotions, explains Dr. Joseph Mercola, a prominent alternative medicine advocate.

“Numerous studies support the idea that having an upbeat and positive perspective,” he says, “can translate into living a longer healthier life.” This view aligns exactly with that of Theosophy.

Manifesting positive emotions and happiness “is perhaps one of the greatest gifts you have been given as a human being,” Mercola writes, “but to some extent, being happy is a choice you need to make.”

“Much like choosing to exercise or eat right. Happiness comes from within — it’s not meted out by circumstance alone.”

The Sanskrit word Karma has many meanings, and has a special aspect for almost every one of its manifestations according to Theosophy. As a synonym of sin, an action for the attainment of personal selfish desire, “it cannot fail to be hurtful” to almost everyone. 

altruism

Yet karma is also “the law of ethical causation,” Theosophical Pioneer William Q. Judge wrote. The effect of an act produced egotistically, against the great law of harmony, as opposed to that initiated by altruism instead of selfishness, cannot fail to be destructive.

In reality the condition is not inevitable. “No one has a right to say that he can do nothing for others, on any pretext whatever,” Theosophical pioneer H. P. Blavatsky explains in her Key to Theosophy. The poor widow in the Synoptic Gospels gives everything she had, she points out, while others give only a small portion of their own wealth: “A cup of cold water given in time to a thirsty wayfarer

“is a nobler duty and more worth than a dozen dinners given away, out of season, to men who can afford to pay for them.”

drinkofwater

Cold Water

Following Mme. Blavatsky’s death in 1891, an editorial published in the New York Daily Tribune (founded by Horace Greeley) said of her life and work: “Madame Blavatsky held that the regeneration of mankind must be based upon the development of altruism.”

“In this she was at one with the greatest thinkers, not alone of the present day, but of all time,” the Editorial acknowledged.

“And, it is becoming more and more apparent, at one with the strongest spiritual tendencies of the age. This alone would entitle her teachings to the candid and serious consideration of all who respect the influences that make for righteousness.”

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Bearers of Truth Across the Ages: Theosophy and The Masters

THE most intelligent being in the universe, man, has never been without a friend, (wrote W. Q. Judge), “but has a line of elder brothers who continually watch over the progress of the less progressed.”

The term Mahatma has come into wide use as Mme. H. P. Blavatsky constantly referred to them as her Masters who gave her all the knowledge she possessed.

They were at first known only as the Brothers, but afterwards, when many Hindus flocked to the Theosophical movement, the name Mahatma was brought into use, inasmuch as it has behind it an immense body of Indian tradition and literature.

The ancients taught that the course of evolution is the drama of the soul and that nature exists for no other purpose than the soul’s experience.

There must be beings in the universe whose intelligence is as much beyond ours as ours exceeds that of the black beetle, and who take an active part in the government of the natural order of things.

They preserve the knowledge gained through aeons of trial and experience, and continually seek for opportunities of drawing the developing intelligence of the human race on this or other globes to consider the great truths concerning the destiny of the soul.

They keep the knowledge they have gained of the laws of nature in all departments, and are ready when cyclic law permits to use it for the benefit of mankind. They have always existed as a body, all knowing each other, no matter in what part of the world they may be, and all working for humanity in many different ways.

It would be subversive of the ends they have in view were they to make themselves public in the present civilization, which is based almost wholly on money, fame, glory, and personality.

For this age, as one of them has already said, “is an age of transition.”

Every system of thought, science, religion, government, and society is changing, and man’s mind is only preparing for an alteration into that state which will permit the human race to advance to the point suitable for these elder brothers to introduce their actual presence to our sight.

They may be truly called the bearers of the torch of truth across the ages. They investigate all things and beings.

They know what man is in his innermost nature and what his powers and destiny, his state before birth and the states into which he goes after the death of his body.

They have stood by the cradle of nations and seen the vast achievements of the ancients, watched sadly the decay of those who had no power to resist the cyclic law of rise and fall. While cataclysms seemed to show a universal destruction of art, architecture, religion, and philosophy, they have preserved the records of it all in places secure from the ravages of either men or time.

But, asks the busy man of the nineteenth century who reads the newspapers and believes in “modern progress,”  if these elder brothers are all you claim them to be, why have they left no mark on history nor gathered men around them? Their own reply, was published some time ago (First Letter):

“We never pretended to be able to draw nations in the mass to this or that crisis in spite of the general drift of the world’s cosmic relations. The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other as day does night.

The major and minor yugas [cycles] must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we, borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents.”

Continue reading