Tag Archives: adepts

Karma and Reincarnation Alone Can Save Humanity

lotus-girl

Symbol of Rebirth

LOOKING beyond our relatively short physical lives on Earth, Theosophy teaches that the soul and spirit alone are eternal.

Further, the perennial wisdom tradition declares we don’t just ‘have’ a soul, we are Souls. (The Ocean of Theosophy, Chapter One)

Yet, there are many human beings who live physically to a ripe old age, and according to Wikipedia, the United Nations estimated in 2012 there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide.

Methuselah is mentioned in the Bible as living 969 years. “But I have never heard of mortal man, layman, or Adept,”  H. P. Blavatsky wrote  in The Key to Theosophy, “who could live even half the years allotted to Methuselah.”

“Some Adepts do exceed, by a good deal, what you would call the ordinary age,” she said, “yet there is nothing miraculous in it, and very few of them care to live very long.” Mme. Blavatsky refers here only to the outward earthly physical body.

But the Spiritual and Astral Bodies that wise adepts have learned to occupy and control — achieving what is termed self-conscious immortality — have no expiration date.

Such Masters as Buddha remain fully alive while occupying their spiritual form (or Bodhisattvic Body). They are called Nirmanakayas, and remain invisible to the uninitiated. Such enlightened masters live a “secret life” of service to humanity.

One who selects the Path of Renunciation is described as a Bodhisattva, a “Buddha of Compassion.” The term literally means “one whose essence is wisdom” or “one of enlightened essence.”

A Buddha of Compassion

The Buddhist sage Aryasangha refers to Gautama Buddha as “the Supreme Nirmanakaya.” H. P. Blavatsky echoes his assertion, writing in a footnote: “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 for mankind, there is none known.”

(The Voice of the Silence, fn 34)

Gautama, the Buddha, after reaching the goal of enlightenment, refused its rewards and remained on earth as a Teacher-Reformer, it is explained, and esoteric tradition teaches that

“he remains in the world, invisibly watching over and protecting mankind.” 

And the Buddha is not alone. What is called a living, spiritual Wall of Protection still exists established to protect humanity, built by the “accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints, and Adepts …

The Watcher

“… those  Buddhas of Compassion who have woven for themselves glorious bodies in which they remain invisibly in the world, contributing towards man’s salvation.”

The “Guardian Wall” may also be called the “Wall of Protection.” 

Those Masters are likened to ‘stones’ which go to form this spiritual Wall: “Built by the hands of many Masters of Compassion, raised by their tortures, by their blood cemented, it shields mankind, since man is man, protecting it from further and far greater misery and sorrow.”

The “Guardian Wall”

The “accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints, and Adepts, especially of the Nirmanakayas, have created, so to say, a wall of protection around mankind, which wall shields mankind invisibly from still worse evils.” (Voice, fn 28)

These advanced beings assist suffering humans “by influencing them to follow the Good Law and to tread the Path of Righteousness.” Silently they impress the invisible atmosphere of our earth with their Ideation, thus keeping the balance on the side of right.

 (The Voice of the Silence, fn 34)

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Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities

telepathBACK in the day, faraway and long, long ago, when occult science was the mainstream science, the scientific method ruled. It meant checking, testing and verifying every new finding.

But modern science today looks more like a dogmatic religion than honest science, a science which should go wherever the evidence leads, no matter what. Concerned about tenure, she usually doesn’t.

And comparing the two sciences, the occult and modern materialistic, we also must acknowledge that the instruments used in their research are very different.

The teachings of The Secret Doctrine H. P. Blavatsky calls “the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages.” Such teachings are sui generis, yet they were gathered in keeping with strict scientific methodology. 

Illustrating this, she notes in SD Volume 1:272, that accumulating such data “occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain.” Adding: “The flashing gaze of those seers penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there.”

light_tunnel

Beyond the Mundane

But, “modern science believes not in the soul of things,” Blavatsky wrote, thus modern researchers will not add the subject of the soul to their research because they do not even accept the possibility there is one.

Ancient occult scientists on the other hand, determined to know. And their elaborate system is “no fancy of one or several isolated individuals,” says Blavatsky: “It is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity.”

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Death Makes Life Possible

TRUTH and fiction are like oil and water: they will never mix.

We must probe for truth often by plunging beneath the slippery surface of illusion to the life-saving waters below.

Trying to understand the life of Buddha, or any advanced Adept, we confront a mystery — since they do walk the Earth with the rest of us.

We must dig beneath this mystery of  immortality, which is not unlike the puzzle of our own existence in many ways.

Like every human being, Gautama was an incarnation of pure spirit, H. P. Blavatsky wrote, yet he had to experience and learn in a human body, “and to be initiated into the world’s secrets like any other mortal.”

After his enlightenment, she says, “He emerged from His secret recess in the Himâlayas, and preached for the first time in the grove of Benares. The same with Jesus: from the age of twelve to thirty years, when He is found preaching the sermon on the Mount — yet nothing is positively said or known of Him.”

Later, an active aspect of his subtle body with all his hard-won wisdom intact and fully awakened, was attached to the soul of Samkarâchârya, says Blavatsky, “the greatest Vedântic teacher of India.”

But what of ourselves, the great masses of uninitiated humanity? Do we also survive as spirits and gain rebirth in a new human form again, however unenlightened our life might be?

Such is the teaching confirmed by ancient adepts. Knowledge of and a life lived by the tenets of Karma and Reincarnation are critical to our survival, and the future of the planet, Theosophy maintains.

“We are outwardly creatures of but a day — within we are eternal,” Blavatsky wrote:  “Learn then well the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation, and teach, practice, promulgate that system of life and thought which alone can save the coming races.”

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Crossing Over

LOOKING past our relatively short physical lives on Earth, Theosophy views the soul as eternal. Further, we don’t just ‘have’ a soul, we are souls, the wisdom tradition says.

There are many human beings who live to a ripe old age, and according to Wikipedia, the United Nations estimated in 2009 there were 455,000 living centenarians worldwide.

Methuselah is mentioned in the Bible as living 969 years. “But I have never heard of mortal man, layman, or Adept,”  H. P. Blavatsky says in The Key to Theosophy, “who could live even half the years allotted to Methuselah.”

“Some Adepts do exceed, by a good deal, what you would call the ordinary age — yet there is nothing miraculous in it, and very few of them care to live very long.”

She refers here to the Earthly body, not the Spiritual Body that high adepts have learned to occupy and control, thereby achieving self-conscious immortality — albeit invisible to uninitiated mankind.

Gautama, the Buddha, after reaching the goal of enlightenment, refused its fruition and remained on earth as a Teacher-Reformer, it is explained, and esoteric tradition teaches that he still remains in the world, invisibly watching over and protecting mankind.

Not only Gautama, but a “Wall of Protection” is built by the “accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints and Adepts,those Buddhas of Compassion

who have woven for themselves glorious bodies in which they remain invisibly in the world, contributing towards man’s salvation.”

They do this “by influencing him to follow the Good Law and to tread the Path of Righteousness. Silently they impress the invisible atmosphere of our earth with their Ideation, thus keeping the balance on the side of right.”

Continue reading

New Spiritual Patterns 1

Kids in the first Dutch cropcircle of 2010

ACTIONS that call upon our nobler mind and innate spirituality, will surely spark the growth of true self-knowledge within us.

Old intellect-driven habits of thinking and acting do not work, and naturally fade away of their own accord.

Spiritual motifs become more deeply ingrained in us as we serve others, Theosophy says, and practice genuine compassion for  humanity, and the planet.

“Help Nature and work on with her,” is one important way, says the Voice of the Silence, “and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance — she will open wide before thee the portals of her secret chambers, and

... lay bare before thy gaze the treasures hidden in the very depths of her pure virgin bosom.”

“Unsullied by the hand of matter she shows her treasures only to the eye of Spirit,” says the Voice — “the eye which never closes, the eye for which there is no veil in all her kingdoms.”

Fosbury nr Vernham Dean, Wiltshire, UK, July 17, 2010

“Self-knowledge of this kind is unattainable by what men usually call ‘self-analysis,’ Helena Blavatsky affirms, “it is not reached by reasoning or any brain process:

…it is the awakening to consciousness of the Divine nature of man.”

And “to obtain this knowledge is a greater achievement than to command the elements or to know the future,” she adds … Continue reading

A New Order of Ages 2

THE gods are not without employment, wrote the Greek bishop Synesius of Cyrene (c. 373 – c. 414) – but their “descent to this earth” is not continuous.

They descend according to orderly periods of time, he said, “for the purpose of imparting a beneficent impulse in the republics of mankind.”

“For this providence is divine and most ample,” quotes W. Q. Judge in Cycles —”which frequently one man pays attention to, and affects countless multitudes of men.”

Describing the Gods, Synesius writes: “For there is indeed in the terrestrial abode the sacred tribe of heroes who pay attention to mankind, and who are able to give them assistance even in the smallest concerns:-

“This heroic tribe is, as it were, a colony from the gods established here, in order that this terrene abode may not be left destitute of a better nature.”

The Mahatmas

mahatma gandhi - Sharang and Prash 2007

These “gods” are also known in India as Mahatmas. No better description of these sages can be pointed to than  W. Q. Judge explaining the Sanskrit terms in his article The Mahatmas as Ideals and Facts:

“The whole sweep, meaning, and possibility of evolution are contained in the word Mahatma,” Judge writes. “Maha is ‘great,’ Atma is ‘soul’ — and both compounded into one, mean those great souls who have triumphed before us:

“Not because they are made of different stuff and are of some strange family, but just because they are of the human race.”

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A New Order of Ages

ACCORDING to a “prophecy of the Secret Books,” America is even more important to the spiritual advancement of future humanity, than its legacy of individual freedoms.

The ancient continent on which the United States was born, is the sacred ground of a bold “new order of ages” — an ideal depicted on the reverse of The Great Seal of the United States.

Charles Thomson, who coined the motto on the Great Seal, “Novus Ordo Seclorum,” was a former Latin teacher.

Inspired by a line in Virgil’s Eclogue IV, he placed the motto beneath his vision of an unfinished pyramid.

Thomson explained its significance as “the beginning of the new American Æra,” which commences from the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

But an esoteric, spiritual prophecy speaks of a still higher purpose, that of forming a union of free future souls — an amalgamation of human beings of many races — who will be self-elevated morally, physically and spiritually.

“Occult philosophy teaches that even now, under our very eyes,” Blavatsky writes in The Secret Doctrine:

“… the new Race and Races are preparing to be formed, and that it is in America that the transformation will take place, and has already silently commenced.”

The Founding Fathers, many of whom were Freemasons, were strongly influenced by a Lodge of advanced Adepts —worked behind the scenes during the formation of the new nation from the beginning.

Such perfected Adepts, once human like ourselves, were described by Synesius of Cyrene in the Fourth century as the “sacred tribe of heroes.”

One of those adepts wrote: “and we will go on in that periodical work of ours…until that day when the foundations of a new continent of thought are so firmly built, that no amount of opposition and ignorant malice … will be found to prevail.” Continue reading

Eye of Kapila

VARIOUS kinds ‘eyes’ or gazes are featured in Theosophical teachings, from healing eyes of soul, the spiritual or “third eye,” to the “evil eye” of sorcerers.

The power of the evil eye is described in detail by H. P. Blavatsky in her articles on occultism. The evil eye has “a great plastic power of thought,” she says, that impregnates a current of energy “with every kind of misfortune and accident.”

The Shiva eye, in the Mahabharata, is depicted as “the standard of invincibility, might, and terror”, as well as a figure of honor, delight, and brilliance.

Shiva is an auspicious god.  As the third person of the Hindu Trinity (the Trimûrti), Blavatsky explains, “He is a god of the first order-

and in his character of Destroyer higher than Vishnu, the Preserver, as he destroys only to regenerate on a higher plane.”

Siva, she writes, “is born as Rudra, the Kumâra, and is the patron of all the Yogis, being called, as such, Mahâdeva the great ascetic.”

There is also an example of a living Yogi, the selfless healer “Braco” (see The Look that Heals) — his simple gaze can affect an entire audience for good. Many people in Braco’s audience report seeing and feeling a powerful white light from his gaze, and they feel a “special kind of warmth and deep love.” Continue reading

The Red Book

Reprinted from The Red Book by C. G. Jung (c) Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung.

THOSE attracted to Theosophy and to Occultism are becoming every day more numerous. With every inquiry lies the potency and promise of genuine spiritual development.

The Masters of Wisdom in every age set up no barriers against any one’s approach. Their works and lives are not limited to adepts, saints, and the “purest of heart.”

The humblest searcher would not be made to feel discouraged by the sense of his own shortcomings, or by the perception of the difficulties at every step on his journey of self-realization.

This week we feature the work and life of one of the humblest and fearless of searchers, the renowned writer-artist-occultist-psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. The exhibit of his Red Book at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City ends January 25, 2010. Continue reading

Visceral Knowing

THE epiphany for astronaut Edgar Mitchell occurred when he looked out the window of his spacecraft at the Earth, Moon and Sun, and at the infinitely vast star systems.

Suddenly it came to him that the molecules and cells of our bodies must have had their origin in those faraway stars.

It was at that moment an overwhelming realization of the interconnectedness of all life dawned on him. It was a life-altering flash of intuition resulting not in “intellectual knowledge,” he says, but in a “visceral knowing.”

“It was accompanied by a very blissful feeling that I had never experienced before.”

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How Do You Doodle?

HPB Doodlebook

HPB Doodlebook

Okay, you’re at a boring meeting and your pen starts playing in the margins of your paper. A distraction? No. Doodling can actually help you remember important information.

“When the brain lacks sufficient stimulation,” psychology professor Jackie Andrade said recently on NPR, “it essentially goes on the prowl and scavenges for something to think about. Typically what happens in this situation is that the brain ends up manufacturing its own material.”

The material the brain makes up is doodles.

Jackie Andrade

Jackie Andrade

In Andrade’s study, recently published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, she found that when subjects were given a doodling task while listening to a dull phone message, they had a 29% improved recall compared to their non-doodling counterparts.

Forty volunteers were asked to listen to a two-and-a-half-minute tape giving several names of people and places, and were told to write down only the names of people going to a party. Twenty of the participants were asked to shade in shapes on a piece of paper at the same time, but paying no attention to neatness.

After the tape had finished, all participants in the study were asked to recall the eight names of the party-goers which they were asked to write down, as well as eight additional place names which were included as incidental information. The doodlers recalled on average 7.5 names of people and places compared to only 5.8 by the non-doodlers.

“This study suggests that in everyday life doodling may be something we do because it helps to keep us on track with a boring task,” Andrade says, “rather than being an unnecessary distraction that we should try to resist doing.”

The Comte de St. Germain

Count St. Germain

I don’t know if 18th century mystic and alchemist the Comte de St. Germain doodled, but he certainly had mastery of mind and spirit…and the pen. “He was ambidextrous, and could write a poem with one hand while he framed a diplomatic paper with the other,” Theosophy records.

The article also says that he could “merely glance at a paper, and days afterward repeat its contents without missing a word” and that he “frequently read sealed letters without touching them and was known to answer questions before they had been put into words.” (Theosophy, Vol. 27, No. 1, November, 1938, pp. 3-9.) He knew how to use his faculties, spiritual and other, optimally to push the envelope of his creative expression.

Doodler Defense

W. Q. Judge

W. Q. Judge

William Judge defends the doodler—a good 116 years before Andrade’s study—because the doodler uses imagination. “The faculty of imagination has been reduced to a very low level by modern western theorisers upon mental philosophy,” he says in his article Imagination and Occult Phenomenon:

“It is ‘only the making of pictures, daydreaming, fancy and the like’: thus they have said about one of the noblest faculties in man. In Occultism it is well known to be of the highest importance that one should have the imagination under such control as to be able to make a picture of anything at any time, and if this power has not been so trained the possession of other sorts of knowledge will not enable one to perform certain classes of occult phenomena….

“The Adepts who consciously send messages from a distance or who impress thoughts or sentences on the mind of another at a distance are able to do so because their imagination has been fully trained….”

Imagination and Precipitation

mahatmaletter3

Mahatma Letters

Judge continues: “Take the case of precipitation. In the first place, all the minerals, metals, and colored substances any one could wish for use are in the air about us held in suspension. This has long been proved so as to need no argument now. If there be any chemical process known that will act on these substances, they can be taken from the air and thrown down before us into visibility. this visibility only results from the closer packing together of the atoms of matter composing the mass.

“….Occultism has a knowledge of the secret chemistry of nature whereby those carbons and other substances in the air may be drawn out at will either separately or mixed. The next step is to find for these substances so to be packed together a mold or matrix through which they may be poured, as it were, and, being thus closely packed, become visible. Is there such mold or matrix?

“The matrix is made by means of the trained imagination. It must have been trained either now or in some other life before this, or no picture can be precipitated nor message impressed on the brain to which it is directed.”

Precipitating Messages

“But, of course, in the case of sending and precipitating on to paper a message from a distance, a good many other matters have to be well known to the operator. For instance, the inner as well as the outer resistance of all substances have to be known, for if not calculated they will throw the aim out, just as the billiard ball may be deflected if the resistance of the cushion is variable and not known to be so by the player.

“And again, if a living human being has to be used as the other battery at this end of the line, all the resistances and also all the play of that person’s thought have to be known or a complete failure may result.

“This will show those who inquire about phenomena, or who at a jump wish to be adepts or to do as the adepts can do, what a task it is they would undertake. But there is still another consideration, and that is that inasmuch as all these phenomena have to do with the very subtle and powerful planes of matter it must follow that each time a phenomenon is done the forces of those planes are roused to action, and reaction will be equal to action in these things just as on the ordinary plane.”


HPB’s Precipitation Experiment

HPB Doodle

HPB Doodle

“An illustration will go to make clear what has been said of the imagination. One day H.P. Blavatsky said she would show me precipitation in the very act. She looked fixedly at a certain smooth piece of wood and slowly on it come out letters which at last made a long sentence. It formed before my eyes and I could see the matter condense and pack itself on the surface. All the letters were like such as she would make with her hand, just because she was making the image in her brain and of course followed her own peculiarities. But in the middle, one of the letters were blurred and, as it were, all split into a mass of mere color as to part of the letter.

“‘Now here,’ she said, ‘I purposely wandered in the image, so that you could see the effect. As I let my attention go, the falling substance had no matrix and naturally fell on the wood any way and without shape.'”

Snake Charmer

snakecharmer21

Judge then recounts his interview with a snake charmer; that is, someone who makes a crowd of people believe there is a snake with him, where no such snake exists at all:

“The man replied that he was able to see through it, so that for him it looked like the shadow of a snake, but that if he had not done it so often he might be frightened by it himself. The process he would not give, as he claimed it was a secret in his family. But anyone who has made the trial knows that it is possible to train the imagination so as to at will bring up before the mind the outlines of any object whatsoever, and that after a time the mind seems to construct the image as if it were a tangible thing.

“But there is a wide difference between this and the kind of imagination which is solely connected with some desire or fancy. In the latter case the desire and the image and the mind with all its powers are mixed together, and the result, instead of being a training of the image-making power, is to bring on a decay of that power and only a continual flying to the image of the thing desired. This is the sort of use of the power of the imagination which has lowered it in the eyes of the modern scholar, but even that result would not have come about if the scholars had a knowledge of the real inner nature of man.” (Path, December 1892.)

© Kara LeBeau 2009 All rights reserved

Nicholas Roerich -"Rocks of Lahul"

Nicholas Roerich -"Rocks of Lahul"

Other related resources: Check out the gallery of presidential doodles and other doodle news at NPR.

Sacred Tribe of Heroes

YOU must not think that the gods are without employment, explained Synesius, the Greek bishop of Ptolemais.

The idea is developed by theosophist W. Q. Judge in his article “Cycles,” about the duty of the ancient gods to watch over humanity:

“For they descend according to orderly periods of time,” Synesius wrote,

“… for the purpose of imparting a beneficent impulse in the republics of mankind.”

“For this providence is divine and most ample, which frequently through one man pays attention to and affects countless multitudes of men.”

Please note: This post has been updated and republished. Click the link below:

Descent of the Gods

ξ

Our Green Horizon

Ferry Farm, Artist's rendering by L. H. Barker © 2008

Ferry Farm, Artist's rendering by L. H. Barker © 2008

WE would like to introduce a series on the practical necessity and spiritual implications of going “green.” Whether or not you voted for President-elect Obama, there is great anticipation that as our new president, he will change policies and laws to support the environment and sustainable agriculture. Let’s hope so.

But he won’t be the first president to go green. Our first president, George Washington, truly had a vision for agriculture as part of America’s future. In fact, he was really into compost as a basis for a successful farm.

We know from William Quan Judge’s writings, that the Adepts inspired key individuals behind the American Revolution. George Washington was a mason, as were a number of revolutionary luminaries with him. HPB noted that Masonry was the “Theosophy” of its era, “the Theosophists of Ammonias Saccas and the later Neo-Platonists, were all virtually Masons.”

And Judge himself, an April 5, 1896 New York Times article tells us, embodied as one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

As the Adepts continue to inspire and guide us, what is Their ideal for a Green Horizon?

Let’s start with George Washington.

aa_wash_soldier_3_m1

“Our lands…were originally very good; but use, and abuse, have made them quite otherwise.”

-George Washington (1732-1799)

President George Washington was one of the most innovative farmers of his era. Instead of wearing out soil and then moving elsewhere to farm, he believed in restoring soil through adding compost, using “green manure,” and rotating crops on his 8,000-acre plantation at Mount Vernon.

Washington kept up with the latest agriculture practices in England and experimented with more than 60 different crops along with various fertilizers, techniques, and tools to increase yields.

Washington prized those who could make good compost; when looking for a new farm manager from England, he wrote to a friend for help stipulating that above all else, the manager had to be

“Midas-like, or who can convert every thing he touches into manure, as the first transmutation towards Gold.”

Washington built an unusual 31- by 12-foot building, probably the first of its kind in America, to compost manure and other materials into fertilizer, and instructed workers to “rake, and scrape up all the trash, of every sort and kind about the houses, and in the holes and corners,” to add to the compost.

Buckwheat Field

Buckwheat Field

He also experimented adding creek mud, fish heads, marine fossil clay, ashes, and plaster of Paris to nourish soil. Instead of letting fields idle to try to restore the soil–as was the practice of the time, Washington planted depleted fields with clover, peas, buckwheat, and grasses. When he plowed them under, green plants fed essential nutrients to revitalize the soil; thus the name, “green manure.”

Washington also devised portable fences to manage cattle grazing and manuring fields directly.

Before the mid-1760s, Washington grew tobacco as his main cash crop, but it had so depleted the soil, he stopped and grew wheat and other crops instead. He experimented growing peas and potatoes between rows of corn, and varied the distance between rows to see what worked best.

To keep his soil fertile, Washington rotated his crops. He carefully mapped out, for example, what would successively grow in each of his seven fields from 1793 to 1799. He assigned one field for corn and potatoes, one field for buckwheat, two fields for wheat, and three fields for clover or grass.

The next year, the crops would be planted in different fields. Washington wrote to his farm manager:

“My object is to recover the fields from the exhausted state into which they have fallen,” but two ways will enable me to accomplish this. This first is to cover them with as much manure as possible (winter and summer). The 2d a judicious succession of crops.”

While he emphasized self-reliance, Washington reveled in the latest farm tools to increase productivity and yields. In 1791, Washington and Thomas Jefferson traveled to a farm near Philadelphia to see a new threshing machine in action. Jefferson later built his own version of the machine.

threshing

Washington told Jefferson in a letter:

“If you can bring a movable threshing Machine, constructed upon simple principles to perfection, it will be among the most valuable institutions in this Country.”

Washington believed agriculture was the foundation of America’s economy and future:

“I hope some day or another, we shall become a storehouse and granary for the world.”

In his first State of the Union Address in 1790, he said:

“The advancement of agriculture, commerce and manufactures, by all proper means, will not, I trust, need recommendation. But I cannot forbear intimating to you the expediency of giving effectual encouragement as well to the introduction of new and useful inventions from abroad, as to the exertions of skill and genius in producing them at home…”

George Washington delivered the State of the Union message aloud.

George Washington delivered the State of the Union message aloud.

Washington’s own farming repertoire included a threshing machine, an array of plows, drills to plant seeds, and other tools—some sent by his friend, British agriculturist Arthur Young, who thought Washington was as good a farmer as he was a general.

Just a few days before he died, Washington was absorbed in planning future operations for his farms. His zeal as a farmer was not only to succeed, but also to be the example for other farmers. He wrote:

“Nothing in my opinion would contribute more to the welfare of these States, than the proper management of our lands,” and nothing, in this State particularly, seems to be less understood. The present mode of cropping practiced among us, is destructive to landed property; and must, if persisted in much longer ultimately ruin the holders of it.”

(Excerpt from Kara LeBeau’s Writing Seminars master’s thesis, Natural Farming: A Dire Improvement Mandate and Planetary Solution Conscientious in Integrated Principles, at Johns Hopkins University.)

© Kara LeBeau 2003, 2008. All rights reserved.