Letters and Talks on Theosophy and the Theosophical Life


Los Angeles and New York City







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Renunciation of Action  

The Recognition of  Law  

The Occult Side of Nature

True Clairvoyance

Our God and Other Gods

The Language of the Soul

Culture of Concentration 

The Kingly Mystery

The Power of  Suggestion

The Law of Correspondences

The Foundation of Religion 

Theosophy in Daily Life

 Man, Visible and Invisible  

The Origin of Evil  

The Storehouse of Thought

 The Creative Will

What Reincarnates? 

Instinct and Intuition

 True Morality 

Real  Memory

New Year’s Resolutions

Three Kinds of  Faith

The Cause of  Sorrow

Sleep and Dreams

Occult Knowledge 

What Survives after Death?

A League of  Humanity

Mental Healing and Hypnosis

Can the Dead Communicate?  


                                                 “A man is said to be confirmed in spiritual knowledge when he forsaketh every desire which entereth into his heart, and of himself is happy and content in the Self through the Self. His mind is undisturbed in adversity; he is happy and contented in prosperity, and he is a stranger to anxiety, fear, and anger. Such a man is called a Muni. When in every condition he receives each event, whether favorable or unfavorable, with an equal mind which neither likes nor dislikes, his wisdom is established, and, having met good or evil, neither rejoiceth at the one nor is cast down by the other.”








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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

June 25, 1934.


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

—Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter XIII.



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



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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

To give this spirit expression requires a declaration, and a name by which those making the declaration may be known. To call it The Theosophical Society would be to take the name now in use by at least two opposing organizations. To even call it a Society has the color of an “organization”—one of many, and would act as a barrier. The phrase used by one of the Messengers is significant, and avoids all conflict with organizations, being capable of including all without detriment to any. That phrase is:

                                                                    THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS.

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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







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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Letter One          

YOU, yourself, have taken a step by your own internal determination to know the truth for the sake of the truth. Your real self is by your trend of thought finding a channel for expression, and this will grow. Right thought must precede right speech and right action, as you know. This has been stated in many ways, the most familiar of which is, perhaps, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven (which is within you) and all other things will be added unto you.”

Do not let conditions which surround you, contrasted with what you can see, weigh upon you. Of course you know that whatever conditions exist were produced by you—so far as they affect you—and whatever conditions are to be will be in accordance with your own determination. All that is necessary is for each one to do his duty by every duty. None is small or unimportant.

You know, of course, that attachment to things or results comes by thinking about them. You can have no attachment for a thing you do not think about; neither can you have any dislike for a thing you do not think about. While doing the best you know in every act and present duty, do not attach yourself to any particular form of result. Leave results to the law—they will surely come in accordance with it. Having done your duty as you see it, resign all personal interest in the results. Whatever the results, take them as that which your true self really desired.

Surely, for the individual, it is the motive alone that marks the line between black and white. But what is needed in the world is knowledge Good motive may save the moral character, but it does not ensure those thoughts and deeds which make for the


highest good of humanity. Good motive without knowledge makes sorry work sometimes. All down the ages there is a record of good motive, but power and zeal misused, for want of knowledge. Theosophy is the path of knowledge. It was given out in order, among other things, that good motive and wisdom might go hand in hand.

If it is remembered that the purpose of life is to learn and that it is all made up of learning, the ordinary duties of everyday existence are seen to be the means by which we learn many things. “Do thy duty by every duty leaving results to the law.” Theosophy was once happily stated to be “sanctified common-sense,” and I am glad that you perceive it.

The Theosophical Movement is greater than any society or organization. The latter are but temporal, changing with the nature and understanding of those who constitute them and influence their policies and ideals; they correspond to our physical bodies, whereas the Movement corresponds to the Soul. There are many kinds of bodies, and work has to be done in each, in accordance with the possibilities afforded by its nature. Those who pin their faith to any body are choosing a transitory guide, a frail support; most of them are looking for “authority.” The human weakness that makes priestly domination possible leads to spiritual darkness in course of time.

The Theosophical Society was founded by Masters as an organization for the promulgation of the Wisdom Religion. That organization has split into fragments. Of course, in all the Theosophical societies the message brought by H. P. B. to the Western world is the basis of their existence. The average person makes much of organization, form, method, authority—what not, and crystallization of idea defeats understanding. Thus the attacks, splits, controversies and other follies that have been perpetrated during the history of the Movement in this generation. You must have noticed that all the difficulties that have arisen in the T. S. raged around personalities, rather than over doctrinal differences. This is significant.


The T. S. represents the world. In it, in embryo, are fought the battles of the world. Ignorance, superstition, selfishness, ambition—all are there. There are other dangers menacing such a body as the T. S. besides the “personal-following” one. Sometimes self-appointed conservators of the body arise, with hard and fast conclusions as to men, things and methods. These seek to impose their ideas as the only true ones—in reality, endeavoring to make a personal following under the name of a policy—forgetting that no method is the true method; that the true method must be a combination of all methods. All these things are lessons—initiations in occultism—if we read them aright. The T. S. presents such lessons as can be had nowhere else in the world of men.

Into each fragment of the original T. S., there have entered many attracted by the philosophy. The right or wrong of the splits does not affect them. In each fragment there must be those who are good and true disciples of Masters. As far as my knowledge goes, I would say that Masters are working in many ways, and through many organizations as well as with individuals. There are no barriers to Their assistance, except such as personalities impose upon themselves. Their work is universal; let our view be as much in that direction as possible. So shall we best serve and know.

H. P. Blavatsky was the Messenger from the Great Lodge to the western world. William Q. Judge was a co-founder and co-worker with H. P. B. from the beginning. It is well to remember that H. P. B. and W. Q. J. were not accorded the positions They held through any authority, but through recognition of Their knowledge and power. They were sui generis; all others are but students. Those who belittle Judge will be found belittling H. P. B. An ancient saying has it, “Accursed by karmic action will find himself he, who spits back in the face of his Teacher.” Not an elegant saying, perhaps, to our ideas, but it conveys a fact of most grave import in occultism. “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

To those who know H. P. B. and W. Q. J., attacks are worthy of consideration from only one point of view—that they turn the attention of many who would otherwise learn the great truths


of Man and Nature. Theosophists cannot but take the position expressed in the words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
 As ever, R. C.



Letter Two

You were right in saying that our relations are as they are by reason of that which has been, undoubtedly, but I would not have you look on me in the light of a spiritual Guru. Think of me as kindly as you will, but do not place me on any pedestal; let me be a pilot who will be most glad to help with any charts and guidance. In reality the Masters are Those to whom we should turn our thoughts in meditation. They are the “bridge,” as W. Q. J. says in one of the “Letters.”

I do not mean by all this that I think you were placing me in a position where none but the blessed Masters should be placed, but I am saying these things so that you may see that it is not the best thing to rely upon any living person, I mean to the extent of idealizing him; for if such an one should be swept into seeming darkness for a time, its effect would not be good and might dishearten.

I am glad to know that you are so full of the idea of work for humanity; those who are really “touched” by the inner fire are usually so, and it is a good sign. The desire to be and to do comes out strongly and clears the way for the true and permanent growth with its expansion and retardation—which means growth and solidification—necessary processes as we see two kinds of trees, one of which denudes itself entirely and remains expressionless for a large part of its cycle, and another which slowly and continually renews itself in every part, never ceasing to give expression, and often holding in evidence the old leaf, the new leaf, the blossom and the fruit. Both of these are nature’s processes.


Speaking of those who have fallen by the wayside, it is quite true that “the greater the height the greater the effort to preserve equilibrium”; but this applies particularly when the height is an intellectual rather than a spiritual one, and where the motive is tinged with a desire for self-advancement regardless of the paramount duty to selves. Very often the ostensible motive is not the real one, and in this we frequently deceive ourselves. Ambition also comes in; the desire for the approbation of our fellows may cloud our vision in our effort to maintain it. There are many temptations, some of which may come disguised as angels of light. Our best safe-guard is an unselfish desire to benefit others, with no anxiety about our own progress, while striving all the time to make ourselves the better able to help and teach others.

There are two doctrines spoken of in the Wisdom Religion, viz., the doctrine of the Eye (or Head) and the doctrine of the Heart; the doctrine of the Eye is the intellectual one, the doctrine of the Heart is spiritual, where knowledge springs up spontaneously within. It is this latter which you crave, and which I can assure you Theosophy will lead you to. There is no need to grope, nor stagger, nor stray, for the chart that has led many to the goal is in your hands in the philosophy of Theosophy. And let me say here to you: do not be too anxious; abide the time when your own inner demands shall open the doors, for those Great Ones who I know exist see every pure-hearted earnest disciple, and are ready to give a turn to the key of knowledge when the time in the disciple’s progress is ripe.

No one who strives to tread the path is left unhelped; the Great Ones see his “light,” and he is given what is needed for his better development. That light is not mere poetical imagery, but is actual, and its character denotes one’s spiritual condition; there are no veils on that plane of seeing. The help must be of that nature which leaves perfect freedom of thought and action; otherwise, the lessons would not be learned. Mistakes will occur, perhaps many of them, but, as is said, “twenty failures are not irremediable if followed by as many undaunted struggles up-


ward.” The help will come for the most part in ordinary ways and from one or another of the companions with whom you were possibly connected in other lives, and whom your soul will recognize.

The Great White Lodge exists for the service of humanity; They need and welcome workers in the world. Is it strange, then, that the light of souls attracted toward the path of unselfishness should receive Their cognition, and when deserved—when needed such succor as Karma permits? They, Themselves, have written, “Ingratitude is not one of our vices”; and while we may not claim gratitude from Them, yet we may be sure that compassion absolute is there, and with it the understanding of the nature and needs of each aspirant. There may, and there often does come a time when one feels, as you say, like “standing on nothing, in nothing and about to topple over.” The center of consciousness has been changed; old landmarks are slipping away, and sometimes black doubt ensues. Doubt and fear belong only to the— personal consciousness; the real Perceiver, the Higher Ego has neither. The Gita says, “cast aside all doubt and fight on.” You may remember what Judge says in one of the “Letters,” likening such condition to the case of one on a strange path and suddenly surrounded by a fog; the way is obscured, danger may lie in any direction; the thing to do is to stand still and wait, for it is only a fog—and fogs always lift. And never for one moment think that you are not going on with your “journey.” It is well for us if we can always have deep down in our heart of hearts the consciousness of the nearness of Masters; by Their very nature They must be near to every true aspirant.

May I add one word to you, as a friend and brother: make clean and clear, first, the mental conceptions and perceptions; the rest will follow naturally; there will be no destruction—the Undesirable will die a natural death.
“Grow as the flowers grow,” from within outwards.

As ever, R. C.                                                                





Letter Three    

There is plenty of material, as well as help, in the devotional books to the realization of the heart doctrine, for they are designed to awaken the Buddhic faculty—that of Intuition, the only means by which light can come to you or anyone. Printed words and the information that they indicate, are only “ladders” by which the learner can climb to Wisdom. Each one has to make his own connection with higher planes and Those who live in higher realms. It has often been said that “when the materials are ready, the Architect will appear.” So our work must be to get the material ready, and that means we have to get rid of the purely personal bias by making Theosophy a living power in our lives. So long as we are working for some reward, are inclined to be despondent or impatient, we shall be placing obstacles in our own way.

Read The Voice of the Silence and see the keys of the different “portals.” Dana, the key of Charity; consideration for others, no matter what their state. Shila, the key of harmony in word and act; that means among other things, sincerity—not to let acts belie one’s words, or words, one’s acts. Kshanti, patience sweet that naught can ruffle. These three, if practised, will create a fairer and clearer atmosphere. Shila counterbalances the cause and the effect and leaves no further room for karmic action. The same idea is set forth in the Gita where it says that “Freedom comes from a renunciation of self-interest in the results of our actions.”

The question always is, “How shall we stand the pressure?” Patience and fortitude are necessary under every condition. The ripening of one’s Karma presents the opportunity to gain these qualities, and it is well that we should learn the lesson. The principal effect of Karma is mental and psychical. Family Karma is not our own, and will come about sooner or later. The same with


difficult financial conditions, or any other hard circumstances: they will come to all. So we should strive for calmness, patience, and fortitude, and also have full confidence that the tide is bound to turn, even at the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour. “If the candidate has faith, patience and confidence, verily he will not have to wait too long.” There is one thing that should be remembered in the midst of all difficulties; it is this— the lesson is learned the necessity ceases.”

We should know that Karma does not castigate; it simply affords the opportunity for adjustment. No one can precipitate our Karma upon us, nor would anyone wish to do so; so, what ever happens, it is well to remember that it was caused by ourselves, precipitated by ourselves, can be met by ourselves. We must, then, assure ourselves that nothing can possibly overwhelm us. It is better to assume a cheerful attitude to cultivate in one’s self a feeling of confidence, and endeavor to impart it to our nearest. Our anxiety and inner fears, as well as our outward expression of them, may go a great way in depressing those who love us and whom we love.

We all get in that temporary state of loneliness, but it should be a matter of encouragement to us that we are not alone in reality, for we have company, although we may not be aware of it in our momentary sense of personal isolation. There is a point in our progress which involves the passing from one state of thought and action into another, and knowing this, we should not be dismayed nor disturbed by anything that may come to pass. It may seem to you that you are now useless, and your future circumstances dark and foreboding. These are only shadows of the past cast on the screen of the present; like shadows they will pass, if you but recognize them for what they are.

Are you thinking too much of yourself, your present conditions and your prospects? This is not a firm reliance on the Law of your own being which brings to you the very opportunities that your soul progress needs. What if the future presents no clear view; what if your desires are not fulfilled; what if your progress is not at all apparent—why worry about it? You


cannot change it. All you can do is the best you can under existing circumstances, and that is the very thing you should do, dismissing from your mind all thought of those things which are not as you would have them.

Your studies and your efforts are futile if you are disturbed inwardly. The first thing then is to get calmness, and that can be reached by taking the firm position that nothing can really injure you, and that you are brave enough and strong enough to endure anything; also that all is a necessary part of your training. Mr. Judge once said, “It may be a child’s school, but it takes a man to go through it.” Then why not make up your mind to go through it, no matter what the circumstance or condition? Others have; you can. Are you of weaker caliber than they?

The whole position of the sincere student is summed up in the words: “Hold on grimly; have confidence and faith; for faith in the Master will surely bring victory.” We must “have patience, as one who doth forevermore endure”—and forget ourselves in working for others.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Four    

The coming together of the few will bring on a closer tie and bring out a stronger devotion. No doubt there will be some reactions, but even so, they will pass, and all be bettered if all hold firm. Changes will go on. Do not be surprised if the soul gets into a place or condition where it appears to be motionless—inert; it will get used to the new conditions and go on from there. Let our motto be: we are going on with the work.

And look out for criticisms and suspicions of one another; there will be ample occasion for their exercise, or seem to be. Then we have to recognize that each sincere student is trying, and that each has his own way by which he comes. Our way is essentially our way, and his is his, and equally right and important. We need only Loyalty—loyalty to the work, loyalty to our con-


victions, loyalty to each other in full faith and confidence that each is a part of the other and of all. So shall we be united in one thought, one will, one feeling.

This does not mean indiscriminate acceptance of everything and everyone. The attitude of “namby-pambyism” is but a pseudo-tolerance. Carried to its legitimate conclusion, this false idea of brotherhood” would signify that sin, sorrow, suffering, error, all religions and all philosophies are all right; that every body is doing the best he can, and the best he knows how to do, and cannot do any different, and that all are steps of learning.

Humanity sins, sorrows, suffers and dies a thousand deaths; because of what? Just IGNORANCE. Theosophy is TRUTH and as such can have no alliance with any form of error and remain Truth. If partial philosophies could save the world there would be no need for the sacrifices of the Masters.

For those who never knew Theosophy, or whose minds are so crooked in action that they cannot receive it, there should be pity and compassion. But pity and consideration for their false positions cannot call for a surrender of our discrimination—for a surrender of what we know, and of what it is our purpose to live and to know.

I am no believer in diluted Theosophy. The Masters did not dilute it. We either carry on Their work or we do not; there is no need for hypocrisy nor self-deception. Others in the world, not able to perceive the Oneness of Theosophy, nor its bearing at the present time, may and do use portions of it—some of them, it is to be feared, to their own condemnation and the further bewilderment of mankind. Are they right, or to be praised or “tolerated”? Is it not the bounden duty of those who know, to hold aloft the White Standard of Truth? It must be so, else how could an enquiring one perceive it? Theosophy has to be held aloft in such a way as to confront errors of every kind, with their handmaidens of cant and hypocrisy.

As ever, R. C.




Letter Five     

Of the path of true Occultism it is said, “ The first step is sacrifice.” This means sacrifice from the worldly point of view— the point from which we start. That we cheerfully unburden ourselves of undesirable things shows the workings of the true self. Have no fear of the ocean of Life; it will sustain you. I often think of the passage, “All things work together for good for him who loves the Lord.” You will have a larger appreciation of this saying than is common.

You speak of a surer sense of truth than any manner of reasoning. This: is the action of Buddhi—direct cognition—the goal to which all right philosophy and life leads. In our sincere efforts we at times may have flashes from that seat of consciousness. The great result would be to have the continuous co-operation of Manas and Buddhi—higher mind and spiritual knowledge; to work as the god-man, perfect in all his parts, instead of the present sectional operation which obtains.

You may remember that in The Voice of the Silence there are two doctrines mentioned. The Doctrine of the Eye is that of the brain consciousness, composed largely of external impressions. The Doctrine of the Heart is of the spiritual consciousness of the Ego— not perceived by the brain consciousness until right thought, and right action which sooner or later follows it, attune certain centers in the brain in accord with the spiritual vibration. It might be well to read The Voice over and meditate on its sayings. You have had much of the intellectual side; there should be as much of the devotional; for what is desirable is the awakening of the spiritual consciousness, the intuition—Buddhi—and this cannot be done unless the thoughts are turned that way with power and purpose. You may, if you will, set apart a certain half-hour, just before retiring and after arising—as soon as possible after—and before eating. Concentrate the mind upon the Masters as ideals and


facts—living, active, beneficent Beings working in and on the plane of causes. Meditate upon this exclusively, and try to reach up to Them in thought. If you find the mind has strayed, bring it back again to the subject of meditation. The mind will stray more or less, at first, and perhaps for a long time to come, but do not be discouraged at the apparent results if unsatisfactory to your mind. The real results may not at once be apparent, but the work is not lost, even though not seen. It is more than likely that the work in this direction will be perceived by others rather than yourselves. Never mind the past, for you are at the entrance of a new world to you as persons. You have set your feet on the path that leads to real knowledge.

Do not try to open up conscious communication with beings on other planes. It is not the time and danger lies that way, because of the power of creating one’s own images, and because of the power and disposition of the dark forces to simulate beings of Light, and render futile your efforts to reach the goal. When the materials are ready the Architect will appear, but seek him not; seek only to be ready. Do the best you can from day to day, fearing nothing, doubting nothing, putting your whole trust in the Great Law, and all will be well. With the right attitude knowledge will come.

I am sorry that so much disagreeableness assails at the beginning. I can very well understand it all: heat, dust, grind, in contrast with what you have left. It requires courage and endurance, and these are desirable qualities, just such as a Kshatriya should have, which, however, does not lessen the sense of distinction— not all at once. But as we all desire such a fight as will best prepare us, we can afford to smile inwardly while we contemplate the efforts of nature to subdue our resolves. We all have our battles, and if we are in the army, we may be sure the Self supplies just such trials as the peculiar nature needs. I think that things will look somewhat better after a while—they always do. It is the personality that does not like discomfort, and the same chap gets used to things after a while. So whatever may be the outcome in the future, it is wise to fight it out on the same lines


as if you had made it your life work. The battle won, the necessity will cease, because from the Self no Waste of effort can be. It is easy to advise and more difficult to perform, but performance is what is called for. All these things must necessarily be tests, training—at least, I think that such is the way to look at it.

The analogy of the Secret Doctrine shows that every change is preceded by a rapid rehearsal of previous processes in evolution It seems to me that we might use this in our own mental processes and possibly might be able to figure out our position in the cycle. We might be able to let the mind only sweep over the preliminaries, and step in when the proper point is reached, using the upward rush as motive power. We should be rushing upward from new levels all the time. “Is it not so that mountains are climbed?” Once in a while we catch glimpses of the place we started from, as we are going up elevations; though descending again, the average rise is apparent. So, expecting these things, we take advantage of every opportunity to increase the ascent and avoid precipices—for it is said that mountainous regions abound in such things.

Also remember that there are many unexpended remnants of past Karma—“mental deposits,” Patanjali calls them—that you have called for, in order to balance up your account. They have come and will come. Be careful not to incur new indebtedness, and thus delay the final settlement. You know the difficulties and should fortify yourself to pass over them. No one can do this for you, as you well know.

It is well to feel, also, that in your apparent isolation, you are not alone. This “feeling” should help you and I think it does. Keep it up.

As ever, R. C.




Letter Six    

The spirit shown in your letters makes me glad for all of us. Well, you have made a beginning, and in the right way, as it appears to me. While your audience was small, that part you are not responsible for. Such things are judged by the effort made and not by the apparent results; the latter belong to the Law and will be felt in time, as surely as effects follow causes. We should remember that it is harder to make a beginning in a large city than in a small one; it takes harder and longer “shouting” to reach those scattered in a big population, but the results should be much greater in time. Also—no matter who come—it is certain that each one will talk to others who never come, and will get what ever impression is made on the attendant. It is said that each person who hears will in time repeat something to one thousand others. This statement may be arbitrary, but the number is doubtless large that can be touched in this way; so, the radius is not to be reckoned entirely by numbers present, even on this plane of action. This by way of encouragement—not that you need it— but that it is well to bear in mind the wider range of action of all such work, and that we are not alone. An iconoclast of any well-recognized system can obtain crowded houses; but a “builder” gets the few—a commentary on the human mind as at present constituted. It also reminds me of Mr. Judge’s saying, “Theosophy is for those who want it and for none others.”

One phrase in your pamphlet, “The Search For the Ultimate,” should give a key-note and encouragement. I quote from memory: “There are those who may not have outwardly renounced, but they have inwardly relinquished, and would gladly welcome the time when the non-essentials are swept away that the essentials may obtain.” The fact that they have that attitude which would welcome the sweeping away of the non-essentials shows the inner relinquishment.


Sometimes it happens that a student passes through a “portal” without knowing that he is doing so, or has done so, until he finds himself “on the other side.” He knows then that other and greater portals await him, and he passes them in like manner, growing—growing—growing—with no thought of anything but service to the best and highest he knows.

I am glad the “bad week” has gone into the limbo of such things, for it makes another opening, and a rising cycle is a good time to make further effort. Such experiences come to all “humans”; they also go, as we know, and in this we are more fortunate than the world at large. It is the knowledge of the transitory nature of all experiences, while experiencing, that enables us to remain separate from them. “I establish this whole universe with a single portion of myself and remain separate.” The macrocosmic truth must also be the true position to be attained by the microcosm in his realm of creation.

Sometimes, as you say, one gets into the way of doing things perfunctorily; this has been found to result from the mind being on other things—things other than the work in hand. The remedy, of course, lies in the re-directing of the mind and concentrating on that which is done. Our daily lives give us the best opportunities for the practice of concentration, and for increase of knowledge by making Theosophy a living power in our lives.

You speak of control. Control is the power of direction, and when exercised in one way, leads to its exercise in other ways until it covers the whole field of operation. A way to control speech is to think of the probable effect of what one is about to say. This insures deliberation, and the speech carries with it the force of the intention. The deliberation takes no appreciable time in practice—a thought towards it, a glance at effects; it is really an attitude of purposive speech wherein all the processes are practically simultaneous. If in any one thing control is difficult, begin with the purpose of control in mind, and stop at the first indication that control is being lost. Everything should be made subservient to the idea of control, if that is the purpose.


“The great renunciation is made up of little self-denials.” Who, indeed can deny the master admission to his house; and who can enter the house of the strong man and spoil his goods unless the strong man be first bound hand and foot; and again, who can bind him but his lawful vassals who dwell in his house; and who can restrain these but the master of the house?

To be master, we must have control, in all things pertaining to our kingdom or house; if we are swayed by impatience, by irritation at the words and acts of others, by impulse, habit of mind or body, “we” are not in control. We frequently are thus swayed, while knowing better, which indicates that we have not gone to work in earnest to obtain control, or perhaps in the wrong way. Applying analogy, it would seem that the latter consists in the modern method of proceeding from particulars to universals, and that the process should be reversed. We would then begin with the idea, attitude, and purpose of control in all things that concern the vassals of our house. The advance would then be all along the line, and the habit of control established, the balance preserved. It sums itself up in my mind as the establishment of control itself, irrespective of the things controlled. The “attack in detail” is the other way, but seems to me to have the disadvantage of being open to disturbance from the rest of the “details” while assaulting any one point. General Control might lose his title, and even his name in the mêlée. Each “warrior,” however, having in view the forces and disposition of the enemy, must make his own fight in the way that seems to him best.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Seven

We have to stand all tests alike—praise as well as blame. Oft-times praise is the hardest to stand, because it is so easily applied to the “personal idea,” while blame is easier cast aside. And the difficulty is not abated by the fact that what is said is true, in case of praise. We should not be elated by praise or success, nor cast down by blame or failure, because either of these is an


application of the “personal idea”—an identification of oneself with the event.

Success in doing thus is not to be had at once; it comes, first, by recognition of the right attitude, and then by repeated applications of the “right attitude” towards every event. As your letter shows that you know the attitude and that you make the applications, the rest must be simply a matter of time, and no cause for anything but “going on.”

You say things are not done with “supreme faith.” Perhaps not; yet “faith” is there and ever tends “supreme-wards.” Our ideal is always higher than our attainment; otherwise, there would be no progress. To have attained one’s ideal is to have ceased progress, however high that ideal may be. This must be true for all beings in a universe of infinite possibilities. It is an expansion of the ideal all the time. Your own ideal has changed, although you may not have perceived it. Being in the same direction, the change is not noticed. Relying on the Supreme no effort is wasted, because all “creative thought” is in the right direction. One does not desire to preserve the “undesirable,” but the “desirable.” The maintenance of the desirable thought, and the cessation of the undesirable are to be aimed at.

Then again, it is well to remember that our real is registered in the “inner man”; that every effort to subordinate the lower to the higher, is, to that extent, an endeavor “to live the life,” thus creating and fastening the “silver strings” that take the place of the “catgut.”

All this is going on. Why? Because of out attainments, our goodness, our impeccability? Surely not. It must be “the Service of Man” with all that the term implies in Theosophy. In this age especially, it spells sacrifice from the first step, which is, as H. P. B. has said, the best means to lead our neighbor on the right path, and cause as many of our fellows as we possibly can to benefit by it. This constitutes the true Theosophist. “The first test of true apprenticeship is devotion to the interests of another.” Theosophy was given for “the healing of nations” and must be put out in such form as to make it of practical use in daily life.


"About W. Q. J.": William Q. Judge, as you know, was a great being; but many, while they admired him as a man, never had his greatness revealed to them. The few who had this good fortune have many times felt like Arjuna in the eleventh chapter of The Bhagavad-Gita—the writer among them—who, while he tries to express him, never forgets that he is but a pupil of a beloved, revered and great Teacher. Following in his steps as best he can, he endeavors to lead others along the path he knows, that they in turn may realize and profit by the inestimable privilege, and become teachers in their turn to others, all links in the great chain of “saviours of men.” So, the “oneness” exists as far as it may be expressed, all along the line, each for all, and all for each—non-separateness.

W. Q. J. knew the path that all would have to tread, and balm, advice, warning and encouragement will be found in his writings at every turn and for every circumstance of life. The closer one gets into the current that flows from Him—”the greatest of the exiles”—the more readily will those things which harass and distress fall away and become as nothing. That you have done so—that is, got into the current—is the best Karma for you. The work has been for you your “rod and staff,” and a blessing to many who would never otherwise have had that help. The more of that and similar work for others unknown who are waiting for it, the less room there will be for thought or feeling of any thing that does not aid that work in some way. This is a desirable form of “one-pointedness.”

We consider the writings of W. Q. J. to be particularly designed for the needs of the Western people. We know their value. We also know that neither the world in general nor theosophists in general, are aware of their existence, and it is our desire and purpose that they shall know, as far as our power and opportunity permit. So, we just stick to our purpose, not because it is ours, but because to us it is the highest good and the very best thing we can do. They also may come to see what we see.
As ever, R. C.




Letter Eight

I am sure that much that you will meet at will be in the nature of jolts. That is why you went there, in reality. These things are not “happenstances”; they are real steps by which the necessary trials may come, and “you, yourself desired it.” There is joy in that thought, because whatever you do now is part of your schooling, and the knowledge of that as a vital necessity and as desired, keeps the real man serene under it all; he is happy because things are now moving—there’s something doing, as the phrase goes; so if you watch carefully, you will note the insidious manner in which the personality is led to this, that and the other lunch-counter.”

Get the point of view of the One who is doing the leading and hold to it. You will remember a phrase of the Lord’s prayer—truly an occult one—“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the power and the glory”; only read it, “permit us not to fall, in temptation.” Even Jesus Christ was tempted, and he fell not, through the power of the “Father” within. This is the real “try-out,” and if in being tried, you can pass on a word in season, it is better for those who listen and better for you; only, do not cast your pearls before those who having ears to hear, neither hear nor understand. Let your words and acts bespeak the power and knowledge that is really yours. Then will you be a radiating center of light, unconsciously doing good wherever you go and whatever you do.

In the way of meditation, DON’T GET PASSIVE; danger lies that way. Be active in all things. The giddiness will pass away in time; the change with all its disturbances, mental, and other wise, has doubtless acted upon the nerve-currents and circulatory system. The way to overcome disturbance, of course, is by mental and physical calmness; this should be maintained. Medical assistance should be used for the body at times, because the"men-


tal attitude” brings about changes in the body—for the most part gradually—but which sometimes needs material aid in be coming co-ordinated; so do not despise medical aid should any need arise. Mr. Judge sought such aid when necessary, leaving to the physician the care of maladjustment.

What you say about cycles is all right, I think. Reincarnation is most certainly one of the workings of cyclic law, and beings are in opposition or in conjunction as the cycle determines tendency, or rather, fosters and permits relations of one or another kind.

Cycles govern all the time and everywhere. Hence the Theosophical Movement of this time and those things which follow it; the coming in touch of this, that, or the other individuals— singly or in pairs—with it. Some hear and pass on; some remain. There is always freedom of choice, the choice in such case being not merely one determination, but made up of many moments of choice in past lives—a conjunction which some are wise enough to perceive and, forsaking all others, “cleave unto,” while swinging around the cycle of existences. Yet even this wisdom was acquired—comes from experience; there should be confidence in us in view of that fact.

We have chosen before, but did not “cleave”; yet the Great Law brings back again to us that which we once have chosen. That Great Law is the law of cycles, the process of karmic action.

“We meet our karma in our daily duties,” is a good saying to bear in mind, and in the performance of those duties come our tests. We should therefore do what we have to do, simply as duties, regardless of whether that performance brings us praise or blame. All the energy would, then, be expended in the performance of duties, and there would be nothing left for the personal idea to subsist upon.

I fully appreciate your generous and good-intentioned purpose, which is to make one who has learned something better able to help and teach others; and if among others you are in-


cluded, that is your karma, as it is also my good karma to receive help at your hands.

Well, here is good luck to you in your try for “business.” Do not distrust yourself; have confidence in the powers which you embody; seek only to do your duty; holding to that end, all necessary power will be available.

Be steadfast, calm and fearless, as becomes one who doth forevermore endure.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Nine       

It is a matter of much gladness that the “bottle imp” of things has been discovered in your mind, or rather, mental machinery. I know how it sticks and hides and continually throws up clouds of material ideas blinding the one sight. No one can clear an other’s sight. Words, oceans of them, in themselves containing the right ideas will not convey these ideas without a gradual leading on and a determined effort to comprehend. On the one hand, it is so simple that it is passed over in favor of a difficulty; on the other, our mode of thinking is based on separateness. The very power of the cultivated intellect, by its ability to discriminate between the shades of differences, is led into a maze of diversity, forgetting that “The One sees All”; that the explanation of innumerable effects is not the Cause itself, which both produces, sees and reproduces. “Oh, where is the sea, the fishes cried, as they swam the brimming tide.”

We try to free ourselves from something. Is not this the attitude of separateness? W. Q. J. speaks of “The great illusion produced by nature in causing ‘us’ to see objects as different from Spirit.” And in the Gita—”As a single sun illuminateth the whole world, even so doth the one Spirit illumine every body.” If this means anything, it means that in everybody there is the One. Spirit, the Perceiver, the Knower, the Experiencer; it spells unity throughout.


Nor is it easy to get a true conception, because we are eternally using terms of separateness and resting in such conceptions as arise from them; yet, these are steps by means of which we rise to greater heights of perception. “Realization comes from dwelling upon the thing to be realized.” Degrees of realization are degrees of attainment; are we not then slowly but surely getting out of the fogs into the clear air?

“Abandoning Hope” reads to me the same as ceasing to look for results for self and “shunning pain not yet come.” If we could just take conditions as they come and make the best other “bests” would follow, and all worry, fear, doubt and anxiety would depart. The Law works just and true. “What has been, is and shall be.” We have power over nothing but the is”.  It is by working with present conditions that the nature of the future is changed, and in no other way. This is reliance upon the Law and a working under it. The various conditions that confront us are opportunities and means afforded us to increase our discrimination, strength and knowledge. Having created these conditions, and seeing what is undesirable in them, we go to work to change our direction of creative thought and our relation to the undesirable. The old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” points to the process of growth; we do not “invent” until we see the necessity. In the great economy of Law and Nature, each being just exactly where he needs to be to eradicate defects; all necessary conditions are present for his growth. The only question lies with him: will he take them as “pain” or as opportunities? If the latter, all is well; he is bound to conquer whether the way be long or short The purpose of life is to learn, and it is all made up of learning.” Even those who repeat errors life after life are in process of learning, for evolution makes for righteousness, being an unfoldment from within.

It is “we” ourselves who are creating the phantasmagoria before our eyes and struggling over the solution of its disturbing effects, instead of creating for ourselves a world of effects more in keeping with our real nature—a world in which we can live,


undisturbed by the effects that disturb others, except as we are solicitous for their welfare.

“We” are the Self. But, as we stand ordinarily in physical consciousness, “we” are converted more or less into physical consciousness; in other words, “we” are what we think or perceive, continually identifying ourselves with perceptions and sense. “Sense” is always nothing else than a channel for desire to flow through to torment ourselves and others. “There is nothing but the Self.”

As every law is spiritual, so all forms and things, forces, and aspects must also be spiritual. All error springs from an effort to turn to small purposes the diversified streams of spiritual force. If as individuals we could take the position of Kamaduk, the cow of plenty, and with universal beneficence use our powers without thought of self, life would be another story.

“To establish a new religion,” says the enclosed clipping. Humanity has always done that with the clear light of Truth. Always have they created idols and bowed down and worshipped them. What kind of verity is that which substitutes one kind of idol for another? Theosophy is not a religion, and no religion what ever can be Theosophy, although all forms of religion exist because of Theosophy and contain expressions of it.

It is only too true that “religionists of one sort easily become religionists of another sort.” The fact shows that Americans do not think; they just “cerebrate.” All this was portrayed again and again by W. Q. J. as the result of the advent of the Swamis and others to this country—and warned against. Yet we have self-elected teachers saying that Christianity is Theosophy, and Buddhism is Theosophy, in a sort of namby-pamby catholicism. They are to blame for much of the confusion. If so-called Theosophists  remained true to the Message and the lines laid down and followed by Them, there would not have been room for two opinions in the matter.

We base our devotion and our efforts upon the nature of Those who gave the Message, and accept as safe, good, true and what is necessary, the lines that are to be found laid down in


their writings. Those who think that way, will work that way. There  is a solid basis for united effort in this position; any other position can but lead to differences, to assumptions, to authorities. It  is Unity that the Movement needs, among all who are attracted by the Message; that which will best bring it about is the true way, no matter what anyone says. Neither Jesus nor H. P. B. lived and died that a book or books should be swallowed wholesale, nor even that men should become disciples but that all men should become brothers. We have to hold to that which eliminates Differences, not pander to any form of religion near or far.

H. P. B. once used this phrase, as I recall it, “ a Theosophist who understands Theosophy in his own bigoted sectarian way.” I was wondering if our organizational friends might not call us that kind, in view of the fact that we question their methods and practice? We do not question any methods whatever used for the promulgation of Theosophy, but only those that tend to obscure it. We also point out the untheosophical nature of exclusive claims for persons or organizations. This charge will doubtless be made sometime against us by someone. We have a sound and effective reply. We are in sympathy with every movement made to promulgate the message of Theosophy, as such, and with every endeavor to apply that philosophy. While it is true that the principles of Theosophy are just as good and effective under any other name, yet the name is an indication of the source and true embodiment of those principles, and cannot be obscured or changed without some person or system of thought in the way of the seeker after truth. What can be the motives for this? Many, perhaps. Usually some person desires to be the exponent par excellence, knowing well that he will find those who will accede to his claims.

Some organizations claim to be the spiritual organ of Theosophy. These embody separateness, cannot make for unity, and are foreign to the spirit and genius of Theosophy. Theosophy is a Message, which should be made accessible to all without intermediaries or would-be interpreters; which should be presented as


delivered, and its existence as an all-inclusive philosophy continually he1d forth. Societies which do not do this should assume a name which would be indicative of their particular effort, in the interest of justice to Theosophy and to those who seek to know it. What do we object to? Titles which present interpretations as the Thing itself, and which by the fact are misleading. No one objects to the use of Theosophical principles as admixtures in any system of thought whatever; it will not hurt them; it may break them; but such use, while it might be courtesy to call it Theosophical, is not teaching what Theosophy is.

Evidently, “The world is not ready for Theosophy, per se”; at least, one would judge so from what is being done, since those who claim to be its exponents are offering something else suited to the “trade.” But do these exponents give the world a chance? They are hiding the light under a bushel; they are giving stone for bread; and the blind world does not know the difference. We do, however, and will keep the link unbroken.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Ten

The coming together of Theosophists of differing degrees and qualities—yes, of training—is bound to stir up latent personalities, preconceptions and prejudices. The mental and psychic atmosphere engendered by their co-operation must work inwards as well as outwards, and still further must arouse evil forces, for it is a known occult law that every advance made along the path that leads to selflessness arouses the forces that are opposed to that consummation, and this is true individually and collectively. In this immense work which we have undertaken, trials of various kinds have to be encountered, and the ones by whom we are tried are those of our own household. There are lessons in every event, even the smallest. We have to do the best we can and leave the results to the Great Law.

About the meetings: your idea in regard to them is all right. Go right ahead in whatever way seems to afford the best oppor-


tunity; use your best judgment and do not be disappointed at anything in the way of results that may turn up; just keep on looking for ways and means. Act as seems best under any circumstances that may arise. Something will come of it. If that something” is different from what you would have liked or ,planned for, never mind keep on going. Better make no plan other than to get to work along the line of least resistance. One step will bring another
 "C'est le premier pas qui coute.”

As to Mrs. Besant’s opinion of Leadbeater: It is of value only to those who see value in it, and in any event it is only an opinion. It has been said that he who speaks of seeing and meeting the Master thereby loses touch. My judgment would be that if, as is said, Leadbeater had stood face to face with the Great Initiator,’” it would never have been spoken of by him, and no other would know the fact. Leadbeater sought to be recognized as a great teacher and in order to break into other realms of nature used most abhorrent means—black magic, in fact. One may be sure that anyone claiming Adeptship is not an Adept, and this in the very nature of things. Apply this to Leadbeater and Mrs. Besant, who are continually making public claims in this direction. The question arises: how much is real, how much for effect, how much self-delusion? The imagination is the image- making power and may create a glorified image of oneself. I am sorry it all occurred, for in the public mind Theosophy is connected with it, and many strange things are assumed to be Theosophy.

Perhaps I should submit to you my opinion that in the interests of those who are new to the subject of Theosophy, and because of the general tendency to follow personalities (particularly living ones), it is not wise to put such in mental touch with writers, who, however good any particular writing of theirs may be, have failed to show a true appreciation of Theosophic principles. I say this at the risk of being misunderstood; it is for you to accept or reject my opinion, as it meets your viewpoint.

The most painful experiences I have had in my Theosophical life have been the witnessing of the negation of Theosophic prin-


ciples by those professing them and were it not my duty to put you in possession of the facts as I know them—facts representing dangers which lie about us in our quest—I would not have spoken. You asked for the facts; I have to give them as I know them. It should be said that while we condemn the act, we never condemn the actor. The Theosophist must recognize that failures are not irremediable if followed by undaunted struggles upwards, and for professing Theosophists, who to our eyes appear to have strayed from the Path, we know that the time will come when the failure will be recognized, and the struggle back will be hard. Such must necessarily have our pity and sympathy, if we are true to the spirit of the Teachings.

Here and there failures; will be noted, but there is much to encourage. There is a distinct change for the better in public sentiment; religions, sciences and governments are changing little by little. The Great Ones do not repine; neither do they cease working. Let us follow Their example. You may remember that K. H. wrote, “He who does all he knows and the best he can does enough for us”; and again, “Ingratitude is; not one of our vices.”

Now possibly it may be seen what our Lodge stands for: the three objects as laid down by H. P. B. and Masters, and along the lines laid down by Them; no dogmatism, no personal followings, no “spiritual authority.” Thus each may follow his line of development with such assistance as may be afforded by those who have traveled further on the Path than himself, when such help is requested. In this way, true discrimination is gained and the bane of all spiritual movements, authority, dogmatism, and their corollary—personal followings—avoided.

Perhaps you may have seen how solicitous I have been to get you started right—free from mental encumbrances, using your judgment always to check your intuitions, until in the course of time you come to a direct perception of truth; and why I am so fearful of any abridgment of individual judgment, or cessation of effort to develop individual intuition. I see that you can


be of much help, and to fit you for that, as far as my assistance may avail, will be my duty and pleasure. But always remember that behind the immediate helper, there is the Great Lodge whose aid is given to all who serve—serve Them.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Eleven

You have asked me for comment on the questions sent in by our English brother; particularly, as to “Karma being as merciless as the Bible-God.” But does he consider that Mercy is not opposed to Justice, and that the fullest justice is the same as the fullest mercy? Some take the meaning of Mercy to be a permitted escape from the results of wrong-doing; but this would not be Justice, nor would it be merciful to those injured by the wrong-doing. He should remember the definition of Karma: an undeviating and unerring tendency in the Universe to restore equilibrium, which operates incessantly. Karma is inherent law and its operation must therefore be impersonal. Some might take this to be “merciless,” but that would only be because they desire escape from consequences that are unpleasant.

There are just two ways of looking at the question: either the Universe is governed by Law and under Law, or all is Chaos. Our experience in every department of Nature points to the fact that Law reigns everywhere; nothing is done of any kind or anywhere, except under Law. Our control of the elements, our use of the materials in Nature is possible only because the same thing can always be done when the same conditions are present. Having discovered some of the laws of electricity, for instance, we may direct that fluid or force, and use it for many different purposes.

Now as Law reigns in the material world, it can be seen to rule in the mental and moral world as well. Karma simply means “action” and its consequent “re-action.” There is no Karma unless there is a being to make it or feel its effects; unpleasant effects predicate causes that send forth unpleasantness in the world,


affecting others, and finding the restoration of equilibrium at the point of disturbance. There can be, then, but one consideration, and that is, Justice. Why should we desire anything but Justice to be done?

The Bible says, “Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap,” and “Resist not evil and it will flee from you.” What is “evil” but the reaping of effects of wrong done? If we try to avoid the restoration of equilibrium, the evil will not flee from us, but come again. But if we accept all as just and right, then the “evil” flees. We should apply Karma not merely to what we call good and evil in physical life. The earth rolls on in its orbit, carried further and further by the Sun in his greater orbit; it grows old through the cycles; it changes its appearance, and comes under states of matter undreamed of by us. Such is the Karma of the earth. Soon or late, even while revolving in its orbit, our planet will slowly move its poles and carry the cold band of ice to where are now summer scenes—the Karma of the earth and its inhabitants. How, then, shall Karma be restricted in consideration to the details of one life, or judgment passed upon it from that basis? I should say that Karma is Mercy itself, for do I not know that nothing can prevent me nor any other from obtaining what is his by law, exact and unerring?

“It knows not wrath nor pardon; utter true

Its measures mete, its faultless balance weighs;

Times are as naught, tomorrow it will judge,

Or after many days.

“Such is the Law that moves to righteousness,

Which none at last can turn aside or stay;

The heart of it is Love, the end of it

Is Peace and Consummation sweet. Obey!”

He asks if we have changed our “Faith.” Theosophy is not a “Faith,” for “Faiths” may be changed; but, being knowledge which each can make his own, there is no question of change, or fear, or doubt. We know of all the claims of every description that are made by societies and individuals. How is any one to


determine as to their respective values—if any? Just this way: if you are asked to accept anything on the statement of another and the means are not at the same time afforded you to see and know for yourself before acceptation, you will be safe to refuse, for you would in that case have surrendered your own judgment and taken that of another in blind faith.

Now the statement made to him by the Rev. S., being outside of all known law, spiritual, intellectual, and physical, indicates to me a self-delusion. I would not impute to this Reverend any intention to deceive. Nor is he alone in self-delusion on the same or similar lines. If he has heard, as I have, statements made by different claimants in regard to H. P. B., each one contradictory to the other, he would know that self-delusion reigned in some cases and deliberate fraud and pretense in others. To say that H. P. B. now believes in a personal God, or ever could, is the greatest absurdity that was ever uttered: this very statement is the most conclusive proof of delusion. Now, in default of direct knowledge, what evidence has any man as to H. P. B.? Certainly no more than the evidence contained in her voluminous writings, which directly refute such an assumption, and at the same time point out the laws that govern life, being, and consciousness on all planes, so that all men may be free from the “lo here!” and “lo there!” claims of would-be prophets.

For any to declare that they have private directions to do as they are doing, regardless of what were the lines laid down by the Teachers, would be no better nor more elucidating than is the declaration of the Besant people that the Lodge did not know enough to foresee, and had changed Its plan and purpose. Both these declarations vitiate all that has been said and done, as well as making it appear that the Lodge does not work according to Law and Cycles in public effort. For interim efforts of Their followers and disciples, all ways are open, and in these, conditions must be availed of as they arise; the eternal verities can be used in whole or in part according to the minds reached. All this is to be expected from the variety of mental conditions in the world;


yet this variety is not from strength and understanding, so much as from weakness and inability.

Those who are able to perceive, to understand, and to use what They gave have no reason to deviate or dilute anything to suit contemporary forms: or ideas, nor to bolster up a decadence that pollutes the mental atmosphere of men. The sooner Christianity is discredited as a religion, the better for Universal Brotherhood. As it is, orthodox Christianity stands in the way, as do all other forms constructed around a basis of Truth. It is well enough and all that can be done, for the majority of minds, to rebuild and change step by step; there are thousands who will work that way to one who will be able to understand what is needed, and the very goal toward which all the rest tend; but that one has all the more need to keep that goal ever in sight and mind, never allowing any fogs or clouds to obscure it. If this is not done, all direction is lost. It has not been done by those who should have done it; hence, the very loss of direction seen in the world today, and the various cults and systems to which the majority of people are attracted. They asked for bread and have been given a stone. Shall any true Theosophist deem it his duty, then, to persuade these hungry ones that there is valuable nutriment in the stone? Yet, it seems to me, this is just what such would-be Theosophical efforts are doing. Our duty is clear. We will “feed the hungry” with nourishing food, and in so doing follow Law, precept and precedent—thus reverencing our great and illustrious Predecessors and continuing the work They so well began and left in our care.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twelve

The statement made to you by an “Old Theosophist” that “The Theosophical Society (meaning Mrs. Besant’s society, in the opinion of this “old Theosophist”) and Masonry are the two channels in which the Masters are working in this century— hence ‘Co-Masonry,’ ” calls for some comments.


The natural question is, “Who says so, and why does he say it?” This brings the one making the statement, and anyone who may consider it, right back to a consideration of what it is upon which he is relying.

Is there anything in the records left by the Messengers of the Masters that would give a clear indication that the fact is as stated by “old Theosophist”? If not, then reliance is placed upon the say-so of some person—in this case, Mrs. Besant—and is based upon belief only, not knowledge, and can only be classed as an opinion. There are many opinions and they differ from each other widely. Mrs. Besant’s declarations of “knowledge” and opinions are often self-contradictory, as shown by her published writings. In any case they either do or do not agree with the principles of Theosophy, and the recorded statements of the Messengers. If there were no well-defined principles and applications left by the Messengers to guide those who would follow the Path They showed, then we are all certainly in the dark without a landmark visible, and have to flounder about in the sea of opinions, clutching at whatever promises support.

But if it is true that H. P. B. was the Direct Agent of the Lodge—and this is explicitly stated to be the fact by the Master K. H., however Col. Olcott, Mrs. Besant or others, may twist and interpret H. P. B. and Her teachings—then we must go to the records left by Her and Her Colleague, W. Q. Judge, for direction in all matters pertaining to the Theosophical Movement, regardless of the “opinions” of “old Theosophist” or any other student. For to do otherwise would be equivalent to saying that those Great Beings, the real Founders of the Movement, had left no guidance for the generations to come, and that humanity was left the prey to any and all claimants that might arise.

But it is not true that humanity has been left a prey to mistaken or designing persons; the records left by the Messengers are a sure, consistent guide, and if they are well studied and applied, will show a straight, even and self-evident Path. It is lack of study that leaves so many in ignorance, and ready to pursue every will—o’-the-wisp they see. You will also find that those who


rely upon such statements and opinions are the most dogmatic and certain in their assurance. Those who point to facts and records, with basic principles to rely on, are not troubled by all these “opinions,” by whomsoever expressed.

There is another thing that sincere students of H. P. B. have to bear in mind, even if they do not speak much about it. It has been stated by both H. P. B. and W. Q. J., and also by the Master K. H. in his letters to Mr. Sinnett, that every effort by the White Lodge opens a door to the Black Magicians—those whose very existence depends upon keeping humanity where it is, in a state of ignorance, bewilderment, and running after false gods and those who cry lo here, and lo there. In this statement we ought to see why the White Lodge dare not give out more than humanity can put to use.

Every effort has been and is being made by the Dark side to impair and deflect the efforts of the White Lodge. And where else can the Dark Forces work so effectively as on and through the personal weaknesses of Theosophists, especially on all those who become in any way prominent—individuals who in their turn affect many. All the many crises in the old Theosophical Society, all the attacks on H. P. B. and W. Q. J., showed a virulence that could not have arisen from mere personal opinion or interest.

Time and again have warnings been given, but few have heeded them; or, if heeded at all, the facts stated have been used against any opposed, without making sure that those who so used them were themselves right.

The defection of Mrs. Besant from loyalty to the Path shown, and to H. P. B. and W. Q. J., was due to such Dark side efforts. In her last message to students, H. P. B. said, “Never is the danger greater than when ambition, and a desire to lead, dresses itself up in the peacock feathers of altruism.” She knew; and in that last Message are many prophecies, some of which have already been fulfilled. She said that the Brahmins are the Jesuits of India. Mrs. Besant fell under the influence of Brahmins and the Brahmanical lines, and their influence can be clearly seen in her evolution and in all the developments in her society. The Dark Ones could not


destroy or pervert all the efforts of the White Lodge, but they could, did, and do minimize and corrupt them. In a consideration of all this may be found the explanation of many things that might otherwise be a puzzle. All those who do not follow the lines laid down by the Messengers are certain to be misled. Yet the way is clear; the pity of it is that otherwise sincere and devoted persons will not heed the warnings given; will not study, think, and apply what was recorded for them and their guidance.

There has never been anything said that I know of by either of the two Messengers about Co-masonry.
W. Q. J. is the only one who has spoken specifically in regard to Masonry as “a great and important part of the Theosophical Movement.” And the context of his article, “The Theosophical Movement,” as well as the circumstances of its publication, will give a true idea as to the part Masonry has played in the past in the work of the Theosophical Movement.

The Theosophical Movement includes all efforts that lead to human freedom and enlightenment. Masonry has played and is still playing an important part in the world. For first, its main idea is the Brotherhood of Man, even though in a limited and restricted sense; second, Masonry debars from its lodges all considerations of politics or religions, recognizing those to be the greatest provocatives of dissensions; third, it is the implacable enemy of religious intolerance, and is at the present day engaged in a death struggle with the Catholic church of Mexico and South America. It was through Masonry and Masons that the United States of America was made possible.

So Masonry was and is a great and important part of the Theosophical Movement. Yet there are more important things than Masonry. If it had been sufficient for the needs of humanity, there would have been no need for Theosophy.

But what has either Masonry or Theosophy to do with “Co” masonry? Each must answer that question for himself.

As ever, R. C.




Letter Thirteen    

I think your idea of making collations from the Teachers’ writings and preparing for work later is all right—the proper thing to do. You will find in yourself the incentive as to time and place, “having eyes and arms and feet in all directions.” An open mind, an eager intellect, without doubt or fear, is the unveiled spiritual perception. You did a good work with the pamphlets already written; they are in use continually. The idea is to present what is beneficial for humanity in the most presentable form—a simple passing on of what was known before. I gave S— some of the pamphlets to send to an enquirer for reading and return. They should do good. The energy put in that work has already found many channels of usefulness of the best kind, and they are good for much more—no effort in right direction is lost. Further, it is a labor of love, and the feeling with which you endow your work goes with it. Properly performed, the result is sure. Your latest, “The Real Significance,” is certainly a “beauty”—W. Q. J. would say, “a dandy”—and its manner bears out its title magnificently. It is the best yet—so full of the most vital truths—things so easily comprehended by the way-farer, and yet so full of the highest wisdom. It does me good.

The introduction is in keeping with the statement below it. In fact, we may take as part of our statement of policy, “The policy of this Lodge is independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy, without professing attachment to any Theosophical organization; it is loyal to the great Founders of the Theosophical Movement, but does not concern itself with dissensions or differences of individual opinion. The work it has on hand, and the end it keeps in view, are too absorbing and too lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in side issues.”

This is where we stand, and where all true Theosophists should also. If our position is made clear to Theosophists generally, there


will be not a few who will see the righteousness of the position. Much of our work in the future will be the presentation of our “platform.” We have perceived and given it form; we should let as many as possible know that it exists for them. We may have something further to say later on. Good work; keep it up.

Yes, you, too, must find yourselves. Changed conditions will give occasion. These conditions will be bent to the great purpose, “an’ the heart stay steadfast”—and this I do not at all doubt. Make your purpose the Great Purpose, and desire for personal growth will have little breathing space. Back of it all is the Great Lodge, ever watchful, ever working; never doubt that.

Theosophists often speak of “getting rid of the personality,” and, so far as observed, do not appear to have any clear idea of what they mean. Without personalities, there would be no field, no evolution. It is not the personality that is in the way, but the personal idea in regard to it. This is particularly fostered by the present civilization based on Samvritti (relative truth), “origin of all the world’s delusions.”

One of the sentences in the last pamphlet applies directly:

“Instead of crushing out the animal nature, we must learn to fully understand the animal, and subordinate it to the spiritual.” So long as you know the wiles and lures of the elementary nature, you are not in danger of fooling yourselves, however much you may fall under their momentary sway. They or it, may be likened to a steed that is perfectly safe when the reins are well in hand and the seat firm, but which is ready to take advantage of any unguarded moment to unhorse you. Such an animal you would naturally watch carefully until it became a part of yourself. If we could always remember that the body, senses and mind (brain) are the steed, and the Self, the rider, the animal would have fewer opportunities to get the bit in its teeth. But we are learning to ride, and success does not come at once.

From “The Real Significance”: “You, too, are messengers, so that it is not well that you should regard much your own infirmities. Nature and Time regard not personalities, but swallow up all alike. Yet do Nature and Time and Destiny teach ever the same


great lesson, and he who would learn of these, must both forego and forget personalities, his own as well as others . . . personalities are but the fleeting waves on the river of time caused by the friction of the waves of fortune; they are thy weakness and not thy strength. Thy strength is in thy soul and thy soul’s strength is in the calm and not in storm revealed.”

To “forego and forget personalities” means to regard truth, only, by whomsoever presented. So it seems wise that we should not think ill of personalities, and this includes our own. If they are our weakness, by doing our duty, which is in our case the promulgation of truth, pure and undefiled, our weakness will finally become our strength. The Masters do not look at our defects, but at our motives and efforts.

In your letter, you have asked my opinion in regard to a specific matter of action. On general principles one might answer such a question, but in particular cases, where all the elements that enter in can only be considered fully by the person involved, that person alone is competent to reply, or determine.

In considering a question bearing on the ethics of any case, we have first to be sure that we have no prejudices or preconceptions that can interfere with correct conclusions; in other words, “to be free from hard and fast conclusions as to men, things and methods.” If we are thus free, we will not be liable to be swayed by the general classifications of good and evil, so common in the world, and the great error of the churches. The way is then open for the real point at issue, which to me is not what is done, but why was it done—the motive. Now who can answer this but the one who acts? If the act appears to him as a duty, and a proper one, he alone has paramount power, and there should be none to question a right to perform duty as it is seen and understood. It might very well be that another’s acts would be improper for us, because of our different attitude; it might also be that our acts, seemingly proper to us, would to that other seem improper. From these considerations it would seem fair to deduce that the only correct sanction, and the one we should seek, would come from within.


Of course, different attitudes of mind produce different actions in any given case. Those who have knowledge will not act from the same motive as those who have less knowledge or none. Those who have no knowledge act under the impulse of the common attitude or way of doing things. Those who are wise naturally take all possible results into consideration from their wider point of view, before acting. With them it is largely a question of duty, unswayed by what the views of others may be, except in so far as those views might interfere with larger duties and influence at other times. In fact, so many things have to be taken into consideration possible to be seen and applied by the person alone who is involved, that no direct answer can be given in any particular case. General principles may be stated, and each individual left to apply them as he sees fit. In no other way can progress be made. We have finally, in any case, to determine whether we are swayed by inclination rather than plain duty, in order that we may not deceive ourselves. Whatever, then, is decided in all honesty with ourselves, is our duty, and no man is our judge.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Fourteen

I am really sorry that conditions are as you mention. I can sympathize with you in this, because I have had similar fortune. But while it has been bad from one point of view, it has had advantages which go to the strengthening of character, and in it all I find good experience.

When we come to consider that the purpose of life is to learn and that it is all made up of learning, the circumstances by means of which we learn become of minor importance. As Mr. Judge once wrote me under similar circumstances: “The ocean of life washes to our feet and away again, things that are both hard to lose and unpleasant to welcome, yet they all belong to life; all come from the Great Self that is never moved. So lean back on the Self—be like the great bed of the ocean that is never moved


though storms may ruffle its surface.” I know that you understand that attitude. It does not mean that we should cease to do the best we can at all times, but we know that whatever comes all is well. Everything is taken as merely a lesson from which growth and knowledge may be obtained, and while we may appear to struggle for many things, our minds may not be set upon the things themselves, but upon the performance of our duty as our expanding knowledge gives us perception. Thus would we be like the ocean, the surface in action, the greatest part of us calm—unmoved.

I am glad to have your confidence so that you may speak frankly at all times—not that any personal knowledge of each others’ past experience is necessary, but that you feel that way is what counts. We both know that what a man has been through, or has appeared to have been, matters not at all; what does really matter is what he is now and what he is trying to do. I think that the attitude at all times should be—fear nothing, doubt nothing, regret nothing, but GO ON. It seems sometimes a waste of words to be writing these things to you, because I am sure you know them. Still, on the other hand, I know that one needs reminding some times, when in the swirl of engrossing events. Once when I was talking with Judge and showing much concern over a probable action, he said, “You can’t prevent people from doing what they can do.” Atruism—something I knew very well—but his words at that time have served me many a time since. What he said came from “the heart,” as my words and thoughts go to you. Perhaps that will explain why you find something other than the words and ideas in what I write. If it is true, and I think it is, that everything in Nature is septenate, then words and ideas are septenate—but this opens a large subject. I am writing this in the office ‘mid noise, confusion and interruption, and just these few words with whatever they may carry to you.

There is a passage which you may have seen in one of the books: “And that power which the disciple shall covet, is that which shall make him appear as nothing in the eyes of men.” This refers to getting rid of the personal idea, of the wish to have one’s attainments noted. The power of the personality is great and in-


sidious. It retains its hold very often when the aspirations and efforts are noble in character. It is the most difficult thing to be overcome in our race, where the training is all in accentuation of it. Especially is this so when one is taking a public leading part. Adulation fosters ambition, if the least thought of self remains; the person accepts leadership as something due to him or her, and the faults remain even though changed in direction. “Personality” is the last foe to be conquered. Do you wonder then that — and — have fallen short, when it is evident that they do not even perceive how personal they are? They have taken upon them selves (their personal selves) prerogative of spiritual direction. A sort of popery is the result—a sense of infallibility, which doubtless they would intellectually deny, while giving evidence of its possession. Ambition to shine, to be looked up to—that is the curse that blighted both. Less prominent members have not been subjected to the same pressure, and may have learned from the mistakes of these two. There must be compensation for them some where, somehow, as the great wheel of the Law rounds the cycles. They are to be pitied for whatever of failure we may be able to perceive.

We shall be wise if we do not fall into the same error when Karma tries us. I think that the sense of personal supremacy was so strong in both of them that they were unable to take advice on that line. Efforts were made to open their eyes. A mental bias cannot be changed even by one so wise and powerful as a Master. If the one in error cannot see his fault, nothing can be done. Another life in a humbler station, the lesson may be learned.

How can Masters use such vehicles and use Judge? William Q. Judge was of another class of being than either of those you mention. He was an adept, using a body of the race. The others had merited the opportunity by services in other lives. The possibility of failure was there and known, no doubt; so also was the possibility of success. No one can predicate the result in such cases. In any event, the fact that the opportunity was offered them is evidence that under Karma they had the right to try. Neither H. P. B. nor W. Q. J. needed to make the effort for themselves. The work to be done is for the race and must be done by men and women


of the race; there is no other way. So, remembering that — and — are of our imperfect race, their lack of success is not to be wondered at, in the circumstances. We have the karmic opportunity of profiting by the lesson their failure teaches. Perhaps we may take the lesson and be ready to help them, when we all re- turn to life again to continue the work begun.

As I understand it, Masters cannot interfere with Karma. They work at the proper season, and with such instruments as are provided by Karma. That better instruments were not ready is undoubtedly due to our racial development, the accentuation of personality being its predominant note. Just here occurs to my mind the shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept,” and its connotation, “How I would have gathered ye under my wings, but ye would not.” Human history is full of such failures, but through it all there have been those who have attained a measurable degree of success, and who are seldom the ones in the public eye.

We must also remember, all the time, that there are intelligent evil forces at work continually to defeat the emancipation of humanity from selfishness—beings, in fact, whose very existence depends upon selfish desire and its many ways of expression. The plane of existence of these beings is the earth and its psychic atmosphere. Our work is to people our current in space with such thoughts as tend to dissipate these influences, and to assist right thoughts in others by awakening them to the realities which have been placed within reach of our understanding.

And behind all are the Masters who have not deserted us and never will, so long as there remains a spark of true devotion.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Fifteen

I was thinking of you and your meeting; hope you had a good and encouraging one. Are things going hard with you? If so, it is time to push harder along the way you know. That will inevitably destroy all obstacles, and if persisted in during stress


generates and maintains greater powers of resistance. Everybody on the Path goes through similar obstacles; by having them and overcoming them, you become teachers with knowledge of how to help. If you had no obstacles, you would not know how. Thank Karma for “obstacles.”

“Even this will pass away” is a good motto to keep in mind, when things come up that are hard to stand. The “easy” and happy times are the periods of rest; the “hard” times are the periods of training—opportunities for gaining strength and knowledge. If we can look at both in this light, we shall not be overcome by either.

Kicking against the pricks hurts only the one who kicks; more over, the pricks seem to enjoy it, for, being kicked, they keep coming back. “Resist not evil and it will flee from you” is a true saying; we give the evil thing power by thinking about it, a power that it would not otherwise have. In fact, many of these things of evil are creations of our own mental state, and have no real existence; yet they are even more distracting than realities would be, because composed of fear and doubt. The thing to do is to take higher ground, mentally; read and think about high themes; regard only the good, the meaning and purpose of Life as a whole. If in earnest in this way, the evil is dissipated like the mists before the morning sun.

What is the Dweller? It is the combined evil influence that is the result of the wicked thoughts and acts of the age in which anyone may live. & When the student has at last gotten hold of a real aspiration . . . and has also aroused the determination to do and to be, the whole bent of his nature day and night, is to reach out beyond the limitations that have hitherto fettered his soul. No sooner does he begin to step a little forward, than he reaches the zone just beyond mere bodily and mental sensations. At first the minor dwellers of the threshold are aroused, and they in temptation, in doubt and confusion assail him. He only feels the effects, for they do not reveal themselves as shapes. But persistence in the work takes the inner man further along, and with that progress comes a realization to the outer mind of the experi-


ences met, until at last he has waked up the whole force of the evil power that naturally is arrayed against the good end he has set before him. Then the Dweller takes what form it may,” which is specialized for each student by the tendencies and natural physical and psychical combinations that belong to his family and nation.

“No earnest one who feels called to work persistently for the good of humanity, and not for his own, need fear aught that heaven or hell holds.” The minor dwellers have to be met and conquered; as long as we stay on their plane and daily with them, they will be with us. We must rise above them in thought and effort to our proper plane where they have no power over us. Each student has his own particular kind of minor dwellers, and no one kind is any better than any other kind; hence we ourselves need to be charitable to the weaknesses of others. We do not look upon our own weaknesses in the same light as we regard those of others. Compassion understands, and seeking nothing, but desiring to help—does so.

The Voice of the Silence says: “Compassion is no attribute. It is the Law of LAWS—eternal Harmony, Alaya’s SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of Love eternal. The more thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy Soul unites with that which Is, the more thou wilt become "COMPASSION ABSOLUTE.”

“Goodness” that results from the compulsion of physical force, threats, or bribes, physical or “spiritual,” is useless. It must be a self-impulse from within—a real preference for something higher—not an abstention because of any fear of consequences in this or any future existence. If we have that preference for something higher, we must admit that others who are with us on the “path” have it also; we can then sympathize with them in their struggles, knowing it is through continued struggle that both they and “we” become free. This is the beginning of Compassion.

Temptations of any one kind have a tendency to repeat themselves, and students find that what would have at one time


swept them away is rendered abortive by apparently irrelevant occurrences; yet, we know that such things are the operation of Law which has its basis in Unity, and we benefit in that law to the extent that we feel that Unity. If Masters are the ideal and goal for which we strive, we should endeavor to imitate Them, insofar as we are able to conceive of Their attitude toward probationers, Their disciples, and struggling humanity.

I did “sit up and take notice” of the last pamphlet. It is to the point. You know when a thing is to the point Theosophically, and “knowing which you shall never again fall into error”—unless you are off your guard, or perchance close your eyes. But what a glorious thing it is to know where the right road lies! Whatever else may be doubtful, that is sure. And to feel that you are able by your surety to point out the way to others! Help of that kind is greater than all other kinds put together.

I am so glad that business looks good in prospect. What you have done in so short a time after establishment is most encouraging, and I hope it will all turn out better than your highest hopes could express. Everything must turn out for the best if we do the best we can with what we have all the time—that is, do our duty by every duty. With this, your help is just as essential as mine, as things are—and both are mutual. So may it ever be, through the centuries.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Sixteen

You speak of peace and tranquillity; note that it as well as its opposite comes in cycles. There is no stationary condition in this world of constant change, through the innumerable causes constantly set in motion by the different agencies in evolutionary operation. Yes, there is undoubtedly “something doing.” The above statement, if true, would suggest it, even if you did not know it yourself. Of course, changes do not invariably mean


trouble. Knowledge bridges over many things that would other wise mean nothing but trouble.  About your little dream of me: I think of you a great deal, and that of itself would bring the real selves together where there is such an evident tie as in this case. One might make such an excursion and not be conscious of it, or rather, he might not have a brain recollection of it, as the brain was not there. It might be none the less real, as you can readily understand. Such things must naturally occur, for we are greater than our bodies can at this time express—and I mean by “we,” every soul. ‘We all have powers and knowledge that the brain does not function in. Our work is to co-ordinate, so that the higher knowledge may be made manifest in the flesh. I am glad that you had the experience, especially as the results were good.

In regard to R. et al.: it is safe to say that if a man is satisfied with what he is getting out of life, and if there is nothing that he wants, then there is nothing else desirable. To him anything outside of that which gratifies is adscititious, not worthy of consideration. In such case, there is nothing that can be done. Having dropped some seed, the character of the soil may be determined. The duty of the sower is to sow; the seed will test the soil.

So, “There was war in heaven for the space of two hours.” I can understand it. Fortunately it is not a case for argumentation. The remark by in regard to Mr. Judge was utterly beyond his knowledge and probably a parrot-like repeating of what he had heard, as is the case of those who take their Theosophy from Mrs. Besant, or from other than the true teachers. Sometime you may say to for me, that I was very, very frequently with Mr. Judge for ten years, entertained him and was entertained by him, and that I know the statement to be an ignorant and malicious libel, for which, however, I do not blame him. Only, a Theosophist ought to know better than to make statements on hearsay. Ask him if he ever heard of never listening to an evil thing said of another without protest, and abstaining from condemning others. He might say tu quoque,” which you would naturally acknowledge; then, questions on the part of both would be con-


sidered on their merits, as becomes Theosophists. Mr. Judge was wise enough to know that when people place their attention in the direction of food, form, or ceremonies, they are almost certain to end in ritualism and the loss of the real issue, as has happened in too many cases.

The argumentative attitude is of little value in Theosophy. It amounts to each endeavoring to uphold his own position. With this attitude, any kind of a statement calculated to undermine the opponent’s position is generally considered proper, and is used regardless of the truth involved.

A good thing in regard to control of speech is from the Laws of Manu. In Occultism, speech is regarded as an act, and the most difficult of all acts to control. To control speech, regular and persistent efforts are required. The rule for speech is given as:

                                                           Let him say what is true.

                                                           Let him say what is useful.

                                                           Let him say what is pleasant.

                                                           Let him utter no disagreeable truth.

                                                           Let him utter no agreeable falsehood.

In the same line is Judge’s admonition: “Let us use with care those living messengers called words.” These are good things to bear in mind at all times, without making so much of them as to neglect other things quite as important.

If aspiration is for all, and not for self alone, it reaches up to the Universal finally ; if for self, some degree of illumination results, but only in degree. The stream of effort cannot rise above its source.

As to the “we,” there is but one “we,” or perceiver, who perceives on any plane through the sheaths evolved by him on each plane; his perceptions on any plane will depend on the quality of the sheath or vehicle. Atma (spirit) or consciousness alone, is what remains after the subtraction of the sheaths. It is the ONLY witness—a synthesizing unity. On this plane—and this means during waking consciousness or its dream effects—the perceiver knows only what it knows on this plane (generally speaking),


and through the ignorance of the Real, involves itself in the cause and effect of physical nature, identifying itself with body and sensations, and looking at other human beings in the same light. This is a wrong attitude of mind. The “we,” at this end, is the identification of the perceiver with this plane’s perceptions—a misconception of the perceiver, a dream—a play—in which the perceiver is so involved as to have lost sight and memory of his real life.

The mind is both “carrier” and “translator” of both lower and higher self; the attitude determines the quality and kind of action, for one will act according to the attitude of mind firmly held. The great and incalculable value of acting for and as the Supreme is that there is nothing higher in the way of attitude, and this endeavor must by its very nature bring about the best results.

What moves the “mind” this way or that is usually desire for the attractions of matter, and self-interest in them; these then move and control the mind through the brain. “We,” the Perceiver, does not perceive anything but the “ideas” which the senses and organs present. He is not wholly awake on this plane; some times he gets partly wakened, but drops off to sleep again, lulled by the sounds and memories of his dream; sometimes “bad dreams” awake him; sometimes he is awakened by the voices of those who are awake.

The “Real” and the “unreal,” the “fleeting” and the “ever lasting” are terms which will be more fully understood if looked at from the point of view of the Perceiver. This is the attitude of mind we should hold.

The appearances you speak of will wear off in time and you will get beyond that place where these things appear, if attention is not paid to them. “He who would hear the voice of Nada, the ‘Soundless Sound’ and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of ‘Dharana,’ ”—perfect concentration upon one interior object, by “having become indifferent to other objects of perception.” These appearances are objects of perception.

As ever, R. C.




Letter Seventeen

There is only one Perceiver; the sights are modified by the channels through which the Perceiver looks. It is the same Soul in any and all modifications. The power of seeing is the Soul; the power of the Soul goes into the seeing, hence what It “sees” is to It real because seen; as sights each is a reality; but the nature of Soul is different from any and all “sights.”

The nature of Soul as unmodiflable must be grasped; then, each sight is perceived as a relativity and there is no more identification than we assume when we see the many thousands of things that are about us every day, unaffected, unless we concentrate upon them. We concentrate upon some things, automatically, through habitude; this automatic habit has to be gradually changed, and control substituted. It is to be effected by trying to do it, by keeping at it. The Mind as at present constituted is a or repelled by externalities, and the power of the Soul flows in the direction of concentration, be that long or short. Through the Mind, the Soul determines bad, good, better, best, on this or any plane. Mind has to be adjusted by knowledge of essential nature, of causes, and by analogies and correspondence. The views held in regard to existence constitute the Mind and direct the Soul’s energy in that relation.

There is just “Consciousness” and its “states,” which are conditioned consciousness. We speculate on conditions; we cannot on Consciousness itself, for we are that. We cannot find Ourselves in any kind or number of conditions, which are but pictures in the mind. “It is of this stairway that thou art the mirror and faithful climber” might mean climbing beyond conditions; is not that the “awakening of the Self” which the Upanishads speak of? A man in a dark room is conditioned by the darkness; in the open he is conditioned in other ways; but he is the same man. We must have knowledge in order to use power rightly, but we must know that


we are neither knowledge nor power; they are ours; to imagine that we are any given knowledge or power is illusion. It might be said that there are to kinds of knowledge—knowledge of any and all conditions, and knowledge of the Self. Knowledge of the Self is beyond relativity; relativity cannot be known by relativity, but only by that which is beyond all relativity. “To blend thy Mind and Soul” is to make the Mind subservient to the purposes of Soul, an instrument for use, not a cage of relativities in which to imprison ourselves.

“No action from a true basis could proceed far in an erroneous direction” is right. Right basis is the compass; should wind or tide deflect the course, the compass is there to tell the story. We have many correct ideas in particulars, but forget the universal application of them. The fact that the Perceiver is One and Impartite, and that the “seeing” is looking directly on Ideas, is the basis of consideration. No idea is real, for on “looking” at it, motion is caused which spells “change.” The change is not so much in the object of vision, as in the mode of seeing. We are so liable to imagine that the change is external, and endeavor to adjust externalities to internal change—an eternal and ineffectual struggle. We seek one of the pair of opposites, instead of finding the basis of their unity, because of our desires.

Kama-loka means the plane or place of Desire. Doubt and Desire seem to go together; for wanting a thing implies the doubt of getting it, and intensity of doubt is expressed in fear. So Desire, Doubt, and Fear are the characteristics of the Kama-lokic state. I think we may have these about anything in life, and in accordance with our intensity attract similar energies from the Kama-lokic state, whether emanating from living or dead personalities. Lengthy periods of doubt and fear are more intensive than shorter ones in their drawing power and subsequent effects. We enter that current and receive from that plane so long as we hold on to it. But there is the other side—we can desire nothing for ourselves and determine to accept what comes. Events and conditions come and go, and no amount of desiring will prevent their coming or hinder their going. Taking this attitude, we live in the Eternal and


watch the wheel of Progress called change with neither desire, fear nor doubt to assail us. When we desire anything, the thing itself is not what we want, but the feeling that the thing gives us; if the thing gave us no “feeling,” we would not desire it. To do service is also “feeling,” but how different in its effects —  instead of harmful reactions.

What will we do when we hear and see what is in Kama-loka? I think that when we arrive at that stage, we shall know we are looking at a condition, and will not be identified with it, unless we should choose to plunge into it in order to “feel” the state. Those in it know nothing but the desires and passions which animate them, think of nothing else; to them there is no other state.

I have read the articles you sent. They are all right in them selves, but they lack “point” in the direction we are concerned about. The writer brings out the fact that the existence of Masters was not first made known in the nineteenth century. Of course not; the Ocean and H. P. B. speak of Them and adduce evidence of such a belief in many ways. But the evidence of past beliefs would have but little effect upon the present, unless it were not only pointed out, but shown, that They are living Men. The main thing that was shown and needs constant pointing to is the fact that these past beliefs referred to past efforts of the Lodge, and that the close of the nineteenth century marked Their latest effort through Their chosen Messenger. To say that the accumulated knowledge of the ages is not new, is to say nothing; from this point of view the articles would mislead the ordinary reader, and we are not in that business.

“To abstain from condemning others” is a course to be continually striven for; it is vital. No two really act from the same basis of perception; how then can anyone judge? It should be granted that each one is trying to do his best—the best that he knows. His knowledge may be small, but if he strives to do the best he knows, his knowledge increases. For myself, I have an end in view in what I do; not my end, but something which includes


many others—all if possible. Whether a temple is intended or a building for a saloon, similar work has to be performed; so actions are no safe basis to judge from. As students get to understand this in regard to each other, each in his degree, better results may be confidently expected. We credit each other with the best of motives and let it go at that; any other way leads to confusion and misunderstanding, hence to separative thought and action.

“What do people get ‘mad’ about?” I think, generally, at some thing another has done, or failed to do; or at some fancied slight. We feel annoyed at the circumstances, really, not the person; although we foolishly confuse the two. Now a thing done, is done; no amount of irritation can change it. What is needed is a consideration of what led up to the doing; this should be taken up as calmly as any other proposition. If someone annoys you or irritates you by manner or action, it is to be assumed that he is not doing it on purpose to annoy. Try to understand his viewpoint; examine the man’s machinery, just as you would a machine. Some people have been known to get mad at a machine, and feel destruction in regard to it; but where is the fault? The machine cannot learn anything; the man can, and needs to. The main trouble, I think, is that most people consider it perfectly proper to make their likes and dislikes a basis for action, everything being judged from that basis. This, of course, is altogether wrong, although very common. We are not called upon for judgment, but for right action; to act rightly ourselves, and by precept and example induce it in others. If we essay this task, it will at once appear that we cannot act rightly unless calmly. We have to cultivate Calmness under all circumstances. Calmness is like a rock; waves of irritation may dash at it, but cannot affect it; it can be attained by seeing the necessity for it, and by endeavor which is constant. It comes from “resting in the Real,” which is never moved, but moves all things, sees all, without being involved.

So if we take all these things as just our “tryouts,” we shall be able to get the right view of them, and the right attitude. These things in themselves do not matter; it does matter that we are unshaken.


Of course, I am saying these things to myself, for you know them right well; only sometimes we forget and revert to habitude. But there is always that place which is never moved, to rest on and in. So with confidence in Them we go forward, and may Peace be ever ours.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Eighteen

“In order to be the knower of All-Self (tattwa-jynanain—a knowledge of all the tattwas or forces) thou hast first of Self to be the knower.” This is exactly what we are driving at; what W. Q. J. set forth in “Act for and as the Self” as “the first lesson to learn”—and the hardest, as our minds are constituted.

The mind or “thinking principle” is a general term, meaning the power of thinking; but this power exercised partially, or restricted in direction, makes what is called “mind” among men— “bundles of perceptions,”—my mind, and your mind. So Patanjali says, “A firm position assumed, with the end in view” is necessary, this position being that of the Spirit in Man “untouched by troubles, works, fruits of works or desires.”

It is well to keep in mind what W. Q. J. said: “Realization comes from dwelling upon the thing to be realized.” The “dwelling” has to be done by the one who desires to “realize.” Consciousness, Spirit, Life, are really synonymous terms expressing co existence; neither idea can be conceived of as apart from the other two. Consciousness sees all, experiences all, makes all changes, is all. It is the One Reality, and although the most important factor (to use a word) in the world of differentiation, it appears the least Real because indefinable. It is like the power of Sight which sees all things but cannot see Itself, being universal, unchangeable and inexhaustible. Divide the Kosmos into the permanent and invisible, and the visible and invisible impermanent; thus we may hope to guide first the lower and terrestrial, and then the higher and cosmic. The whole story is contained in, “That which is


neither Light nor Darkness, Spirit nor Matter, but which is verily the Root and Container of these—That Thou Art.”

If one were to attempt to write pages, they would be but reiterations. Does not the whole of life’s purpose point to a realization of Unity in Diversity; seeing all things at once and as One, instead of separately and in detail? There are always the “pairs of opposites” in separative considerations, and these are effects. The One Reality sees both as reflections, as light and dark; if not seen, they do not exist.

“The nice old gentleman” claiming Theosophy to be “largely a matter of belief” is like so many others who think themselves passing wise in lightly dismissing things beyond them as mere matters of belief. “Tomorrow” is a matter of belief from that point of view; but no one doubts the “morrow,” because of “today” and “the days gone by,” which are matters of knowledge. Theosophy can be tested out by present knowledge and proves it self with every test.

The common-sense of Theosophy must appeal to any man of the world; the great thing is to have it.
W. Q. J. had it par excellence; his lead is a safe and a good one to follow. If one has it, he will show himself in possession of knowledge which to others seems desirable. Some will try for it, while others will be “too busy” about their petty affairs. Who knows what seeds are sown in common-place conversations?

An acquaintance with the hopes, aims, and general life of those we desire to help is desirable, and to be found only in contact and converse. Such touch with others also emphasizes the Contrast and shows the value of our philosophy in brighter Colors: the pairs of opposites—attitudes of mind—with and without a philosophy of life.

I have read H.’s letter. The gist of it apparently is that he and his chums, as named by him, know what H. P. B. desires Now. This is a large claim and assumption of authority. H. P. B. well knew, and we can say, “knows,” that just such claims would be made. We know that they are made in several quarters. How is


any one desirous of following in Their footsteps to know what They desire? Undoubtedly, the only guide is to be found in Their own records left for that very purpose. Different minds and dispositions will interpret these records in various ways peculiar to themselves, as is being done. The only guide is oneself—as H. very truly says—but there must be an open mind, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, to have true direction. This peculiar sentence in H.’s letter sounds like “cocksureness”: “If you are certain that we are wrong and you are right, that ends it.” It is their position from the first; they practically say, “We know what H. P. B. desires to be done from day to day; we have found our Guru and are obeying Him. H. P. B.’s and W. Q. J.’s message was that They had found Their souls, and that the message was so that others could do likewise.” To my mind, this is not pointing to the “message” itself, nor does it take into consideration the nature of the Two who masqueraded in mortal garments; it only says, “WE KNOW.” If this is not a demand for acquiescence, I do not know what is. He talks about our taking Their writings as “authoritative”; well, they are, in the sense that They told us the way and laid down the lines that would be best to follow.

As for myself, I bow to Their wisdom; I doubt it not. I and every other was thought of in the message and the directions They gave. It was and is not to be trimmed by interpretations, nor special mediums. It stands as Their message as it was left by Them, and no one has the right to change it. WE WILL NOT. Let others do as they please—assume authority if they think well of it; but we reject every authority except that of our expanding spiritual perceptions, and we recognize and give our devotion to the cause of Theosophy, and are loyal unto death to the great Founders of the Movement. “They who undervalue Her gift and Her creation, have not imbibed the Teaching and cannot assimilate its benefits.”

Is it not strange that H. denounces “authority” as applied to Their writings, yet puts it forward for himself and his confreres? This certainly is the way of confusion and of delusion, and the one followed by every claimant we know of. Strange that they cannot see the incongruity of their position.


It is a crooked world all tangled up with false actions born of false ideas of life. The present generation has a right to a presentation of truth; a few will benefit greatly—and all, to some extent; but the time w come when the truth shall prevail, and all the more convincingly because of having stood through seas of error and rocks of determined opposition. Knowing this, we can confidently go on, patiently, yes, even cheerfully, since even those who flout the truth now will sometime come to know it; for these, too, we serve and wait.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Nineteen

“What is the Perceiver?” is asked. I do not see how any definition can be made. What is sight? Sight cannot see itself, yet it sees all things. It cannot be defined or described, yet with out it nothing can be seen; it is not changed though it receive millions of impressions, nor can a limit be assigned to its action. Apply this to Consciousness, or the Perceiver, and there is apparent the changeless, inexhaustible, unprovable Spirit. Reality Is, and cannot be proved by changing unrealities. Space is not proved by the number of things in it, insofar as its infinitude is concerned; yet a realization of the impossibility of a beginning or ending to space can exist.

I think you have the idea right when you say that the trouble exists in the “thinking principles” on each plane not being in accord. We eternally endeavor to see the Perceiver as something different, something separate from ourselves, whereas, “Thou art That.” Our methods of analysis are illustrated in the old query, “Which was first, the hen or the egg?”—with no solution. Is it not looking for something separate, different from what we conceive to be ourselves? “Immortality is on both sides of death,” or change. He is wise indeed who sees the Self in all things and all things in the Self. The time must come for a being when “He”


may know all things, but he would also know that he is not all nor any of these things. So far as I can grasp words to convey an idea, he would know himself to be “All-Self,” limitless, and there fore beyond anything that we would call “knowing.” All manifestation is the result of the action of Consciousness: would not the first film of substance be the homogeneous product of a previous manifestation? The time must come for a being when he knows the nature and possibilities of this homogeneous substance, but “He,” as a conscious power, stands above and beyond all perceptions and conceptions—infinite, all-pervading, creator, preserver, destroyer. The power of seeing is not visible; it is the cause of visibility. But what is the use of troubling about all this? There are many steps in the stairway of wisdom to be climbed, and one step leads to another; we cannot climb the stairs by looking up at the top. I think your expression of “finding the Unity in a pair of opposites to be in itself one of a higher pair,” is a good one; this might represent the “rungs in Jacob’s ladder.”

It is all right and well to state your difficulties to me. If “mind” has power, and the will to give all possible help is there, action must follow. Your faith in this must act as an open door. “Have confidence and faith in Master,” applies to everything in life and all living; our doubts are the deterrents. We have to beware that we ask not amiss—from wrong motive. I have no doubt that adjustments are brought about where there is honest striving, and even apparent mistakes are made to serve a good purpose in such case. The Masters are not “absentee landlords.” They are present in the world and we should hold to this fact always in our personal and collective efforts. We have to do as They do, i.e., take conditions as they exist and work in them and through them. If all do their best, Masters can adjust and bring all the lines together for the best and highest good. In the effort of each, all cannot be in the same place, nor doing the same thing in the same way, but if the aim is one for all, all benefit, and the world as well.

I am going to keep your notes in regard to the inability of the student to relate admonitions to himself. I think despair and despondency come from not following what we know, and did not


apply. If we make effort to apply what we know, with an end in view, failure to achieve does not disconcert us, because we still have the active knowledge and the end is still in view; it just means a continuation of effort. “It is only in the present that we can gain wisdom.”

There is so much pettiness in the attitude toward small things, an attitude which accentuates the personality instead of subjugating it. The fight must begin there, for all these small irritations are based upon self-assertion. I have seen these small matters neglected as unimportant, and then the time came when this very habit of self-assertion showed itself as an assertion against the Teachers Themselves: “They were nothing but persons, liable to err,” etc.; ingratitude and disloyalty follow, as a matter of course, and even loss of all benefit from the teachings. It is as you say— the Arjunas postpone the engagement, awaiting some big thing to overcome; but they have not the stamina, should they be so confronted. They fall or flee, blaming everyone but themselves—self- assertion to the last, and another failure is recorded where success might have been.

As to “The brother and sister of the Order of Regeneration”: all down the ages men have been endeavoring to correct existing conditions, by simply re-arranging them. A re-arrangement of errors does not make for knowledge; the errors arise because of ignorance; knowledge must be sought as to the causes that produce existing conditions. This, Theosophy teaches by showing what man is, his origin, nature, history, and development so far, as well as his grand destiny. Without this knowledge, all attempts to obtain true and better conditions but plunge mankind deeper in the mire of ignorance and error. Works without knowledge can but lead to more and more ignorant works, piling up all the time a worse and worse future, as history has shown and is showing. Restraint from any kind of food, habit or practice, leads nowhere. The wise man does not try to regenerate the world by any one course, but having obtained knowledge, lives according to it as best he can under any conditions, using his energy and knowledge in the world and for the world, by presenting what he sees to be truth.


It is well to have these things come out and to formulate right ideas and applications in our minds, for they do not remain inert if we “feel” them; we endow them with our life and energy, and they are our messengers carrying seeds of thought for other minds. There is an occult meaning to everything, and all things work together for good to those who love the Lord (Law). That we should have been brought into direct communication with error, while naming it truth, has its meaning; it must be a step in the great cause. We should be glad to be able—and be able—to correct erroneous views and applications. In that is our strength; our personal weaknesses and troubles are but bubbles on the stream of time, which our “strength” will safely carry us through and over. This thought, which comes from inner knowledge, should make us stronger, better able, surer of victory.

It may appear to some that these are criticisms of the methods of others; they are not so intended. They are intended to show there is a definite philosophy of Theosophy; that it is scientifically based; that the mission of distinctively Theosophical societies, viz., to study, apply and promulgate Theosophy, is not filled by the holding of such misconceptions; and finally to prove that such misconceptions are not based upon the philosophy of Theosophy, whatever else may be their foundation.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty

Do not all the senses resolve themselves into what may be called “feeling”—the residuum of all perceptions, the resolution into the one sense-perception? If I do not feel any perception there is none for me; also there are grades of feeling, deep or superficial, more or less transient in effect. We often say “I see” when we really do not mean what we call sight, but comprehension, which to my way of thinking means a feeling in regard to the matter. We may rightly call this “one sense” seeing, if that implies the grasp of all the characteristics of the subject.


It seems to me that the true body of man could be well considered as a set of trained "mirrors" these as conscious lives have their own “seeing” and “memory,” but man’s seeing and memory would not be theirs nor his feeling, either. “The eyes of the Highest see through the eyes of the lowest,” but the “lowest” does not see what the “Highest” does. In each case the seeing is related to the area of vision. The Perceiver may be universally perceptive without relation, or may be particularly related by focalization— which would mean a shutting out of all perceptions but those upon which feeling was concentrated. In such latter case, the various “mirrors” thus cut off from contemplation would have their own seeing, which might or might not be stored and regained by the Perceiver in accordance with the training given them by the individualized being. “Kutastha he who standeth on high, unaffected. But there is another spirit designated as the Supreme Spirit—Paramatma—which permeates and sustains the three worlds.” The former could be taken as the Perceiver, the latter as Consciousness per Se.

JiveAtma is the One Life; from and in this arises being and Divinity; i.e., full self-consciousness. Light, Life, Being, and Divinity—growth and individualization within the One, ever tending toward greater universality: this seems to tell the story, but words do not always carry the meaning of the speaker or writer; yet sometimes a new meaning is given by the juxtaposition of ideas as expressed in words. The usual tendency is to consider differentiation in general and in particular, forgetting that That which sees differentiation is not any of the things seen, and to attribute to the “sights” the qualities which can be seen and known only by That which sees.

Yes, the problems are to be faced now, in this life, because they present themselves. And we have the ways and means to “over come” in our philosophy of life. Does not the command to “stand aside” mean to look on, to watch the play of forces? We cannot do that if we make ourselves the lighter. “Be not thou the warrior, let him battle for thee,” bespeaks renunciation of self-interest in the result of one’s actions.


Do you not think that much of our feeling of “strenuosity” comes from wanting what we want and not wanting what we don’t want? Like and dislike. To be neither elated by success nor downcast by failure is the even way; we know that and we keep trying for it. The very effort and desire to attain will bring it about through all the circumstances which are our teachers.

I think that the way is to begin with the small things. Do not permit yourself to be annoyed by them: we demand services as our right in so many ways, and are annoyed when we do not get them as we think they should come. At least, that is the way I have found it. And adopting that attitude in the small, the same is maintained in the great, and much more easily. Also, to help us, perhaps, there is a multitude of small annoyances to each great trouble.

If sensitiveness goes no deeper than the personality, it will be constantly offending the basis of that false entity, and be a source of irritation to the person, as to others by reaction. With strong natures this is difficult to control, but a simple rule might be adopted which would help much if carried out: “Never speak nor write if the slightest trace of irritation remains”; wait; or, if speaking or writing is necessary, take some subject which permits of accord. It is remarkable how quickly one state may be stilled and quite another one induced by a recognition of the fact and a use of knowledge. Another help is to take everything that comes as a matter of course—as it really is law. No use, expending energy on what might have been, nor throwing the onus of conditions on any one else. When the condition is taken care of calmly and dispassionately, the causes that led up to it may be judicially considered and stored away for future use. In this way power grows, is “stored.” The other way fritters away energy and causes its dispersion in others.

If we are looking for light, it is because we find darkness where at one time we thought there was light: this is also experience and of the truer sort. One’s personal experience is one facet through which experience may be gained; to be of real value it has to be related to and made a part of all experiences. It is as you say, “de-


pendence on principles and faith in those principles” leads us out of the obscurity cast by the bundles of perceptions that are dignified by the name of “mind.” This means a stoppage of the ordinary basis of action, the (lower) mind in use, and a creation from the source within, in a true relation, a creation which proceeds from the basis of the eternal verities. “By those who see the truth and look into the principles of things, the ultimate characteristic of these both is seen.”

Undeniably, it is startling to many to think that perhaps we had some of the Masters working directly among us, with us, and for us, and that we judged them as though they were actuated by our small and selfish motives. This might not be true for us, but it is true for many who are now very much in the public eye as Theosophical exponents, and who appear to be still oblivious of the fact. That this lack of discrimination should lead to all sorts of mistakes and wrong steps is easily perceived, as also that many who came later were blinded by those who claimed to know. It must be clear to everyone who has done much Theosophical reading and study of H. P. B. and W. Q. J., that the failure of the T. S. lay principally in that non-recognition, for it implies a lack of comprehension and power to apply the philosophy given. “They may learn, but what of that?” It would be well for us and for the world if all had held true to the Teachers and Teachings; we know that they have not. Belief in any one or any thing is not called for, but devotion to the lines laid down is, and this is sure to bring about right understanding and right relation.

These words occur in H. P. B.’s message: “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 . . . 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 inasmuch as it alone can furnish the beacon light needed to guide humanity on its true path. This should never be forgotten.”


To us, here is clearly and unequivocally stated the duty of those who desire to carry on the work done by Her, and there is no question at all as to Who and what She spoke for. It is that we are by every means in our power endeavoring to do. We have devoted our lives to it, and there is no energy to spare for any other issue.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-One

I am more than glad that surroundings are pleasant and prospects fair. While you may be mentally living with us, as you say, we are in like manner living with you. It is like getting a multiplied experience—a study of the hearts of men. I think we shall get some good things out of it all, and at long range, too.

Yes, there is really a Thinker, who thinks; who has perceptions on the phenomenal side of every plane. While in waking consciousness, those who identify the Thinker with the phenomenal perceptions of physical existence are fully as wise as one would be who identifies himself with the scenes in a moving picture show. Such an one would not be creative in active thought, deliberatively peopling his current in space with thought-forms that spring from a knowledge of the true; he would be a mere reflector of impressions—a sort of battledore and shuttle-cock; of such is not the kingdom of heaven.

These thinkers have gotten themselves into the realm of “passing shadows” which shut out the light. They may be likened to the prodigal son who left his father’s house and fed on husks with the swine. Some day, they may like him remember and say, “I will arise and go to my father.” When they do so and endeavor to find the way back, they will be helped by the deliberate thoughts of those who have lighted the fires for their guidance; we all can help in that way, as well as in others. There should be an encouragement in that thought. Have you seen Mr. Judge’s article in the Path, “Each Member a Center”? “As above, so below—” analogy everywhere and correspon-


dence. But correspondence does not imply sameness of process. The thinker is a creator, and endows his thoughts with self-reproductive power for such time as accords with their nature, and the kind of matter they relate to. Kinds of matter and states of consciousness are intimately related; in fact, the teaching indicates that Manasic consciousness has its habitat in the fifth state of matter as does Buddhic in the sixth state. The permanency of thought creations would naturally be greater in subtile than in gross matter; these last would die out in short order were it not that the lower aspect of Manas receives the first impact, and, by attention given, recharges their batteries to a greater or less degree. That attention is of the nature of identification with the impact. Here we have the meaning of self-interest. The destruction of these obstacles lies in renunciation of self-interest in the result of actions and reliance upon the power of Truth—the Self—the Supreme.

You say, “It is strange how little faith there is in the power of truth.” I translate this, “in the power of truth perceived.” There is power in this perception, when reliance is placed on it. Rely on the power of truth perceived; if this is done, there is not much left for any other assumption of power. So with speaking; it is an acquisition—a talent gained by yourself, and for use—not of the transient physical man, but of the Divine Man. To talk Theosophy in the spirit of Theosophy cannot be wrong; so what we have to learn is to guard and “use with care those living messengers called words.” Let us make all our faculties serve the one end.

That action and reaction take place more rapidly with you is not a bad sign. It shows a fluidic state wherein the sediment may be precipitated, and it will be—if reliance is placed upon the power of truth. For the nature of the inner man is of Truth, and the perception of truth is of the same nature. Action and reaction must be mutual and complementary.

The “theosophical” meeting that you write of is much as I should imagine—they have missed the key as have so many others; they have become involved in the processes of life. I wonder if these unfortunates ever think what it was that H. P. B. founded?


Was it any branch or the people who belong to branches? “Let it be understood that with the exoteric society H. P. B. has nothing to do.” That which was founded by H. P. B. was not the diversified aggregation now existing, but something else which bore that name. They might also consider the saying well known to them, “If ye love me ye will keep my commandments.” It would be good if — should voluntarily desire to come with us, but I do not think it wise to press any one or try to convince; make bold statements if you wish, to provoke questions and stimulate enquiry, but let it go at that. Do not try to explain everything so fully as to leave no room for germinative thought on the part of enquirers.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Two

Why is it necessary to sleep? Primarily, because the nature of the body is such that it can stand the impact of the life-current needed to allow the exhibition of waking-consciousness, for a portion of the time, only; the resistance of waking-consciousness must cease, so that the “current” flows through the body unobstructed, thus renewing the ability to withstand the impact. This impact during loss of sleep tends to break down the cells of the body and organs faster than new ones can be formed. The body will die from lack of sleep more quickly than from lack of food.

It is the body that sleeps—the Ego does not. When the impact of Life grows too strong for the body, the power to function through it ceases; the Ego, therefore, functions in other sheaths until the body becomes equilibrized.

The Ego lives its own separate life whenever it becomes free from the trammels of matter—that is, during the physical sleep. Its thoughts are not subjective pictures in the brain, such as our thoughts when the body is in use, but living acts—realities—for they instantly realize themselves in action by the power of Kriya sakti, that power which transforms ideas instantaneously into


visible forms. Sometimes these thought-actions are reflected in the brain and the person says, “I dreamed thus and so.” He feels as though he had lived through something as a person (which means his brain-consciousness), whereas as such he had not; but what he perceived through the brain were partial impressions, usually distorted, as other ideas mingle by the power of the association of ideas. It can be seen, then, why Right thought and Right action must prevail in order to be able to use the higher knowledge on this plane. Right thought prepares the “thinking principle,” and Right action so prepares the physical brain that no distortion arises from it. The “real man” knows; the evanescent personality does not know, in the race generally,—but may. This is the great work which our present efforts, if persisted in, lead to.

From the fact that we “wake” during the day, and “sleep” at night, might be deduced the conclusion that the direct and in direct rays of the Sun (Sun and Moon) have much to do with the states. As a rule men do not rise and retire with the Sun, especially in races where intellectual growth is marked; on the other hand, lower races—simpler minds—do. This might be taken to indicate that Manas, being of a higher plane, and partially active on the physical, has the power to draw from either the direct or indirect rays of the Sun in maintenance of the body. In either case, how-ever, the body will remain in condition for waking consciousness for only a certain period. Being of the earth earthy, it is subject to the general laws of forces pertaining to the earth, of which it is a part.

The general laws of forces pertaining to the earth, again, are the subsidiary results of the higher laws under which advanced beings are evolving; so, it may be summed up that the body sleeps because it needs rest (the Ego does not need it all the time), and because body, Egos, all beings and Manvantaras are possible only under the law of periodicity—activity followed by rest. Rest represents “the unmanifested,” and activity the manifested, the “Unmanifested” being a limited but general state, such as “sleep,” in and from which, as we have heard, other higher states are acces-


sible. So there you are, link upon link, chain upon chain—all connected and all under one great law. I have your last pamphlet from Path IV. It is nourishment in tabloid form, and will give basis for many talks. Thank you on behalf of myself and others who will be benefited. No doubt, your heart-felt desire for that benefit will be felt by those open. Yes, indeed; all our gratitude should be to H. P. B., and to her “alter ego” W. Q. J., particularly, for those building-up efforts which have for so long been passed over by selfishly ambitious Theosophists (save the mark!). That we are so fortunate as to be brought in touch and understanding of his endeavor is the best of Karma; and that we should feel impelled to bring this benefit to the notice of others is indicative of discrimination and a test of true discipleship. “Inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these, ye have done it unto me.”

It matters little if few come to the meetings; these few may be the means of bringing many; and besides, the effort and sacrifice are what bring the ultimate result. “A few drops of rain do not constitute a monsoon but they presage it.”

In our age it is well to consider what the Great Ones have done and do. Age after age, year after year, They conserve the knowledge and wait, doing what They can, and how They can in accordance with cyclic law. Knowing this and doing thus, there can be no room for doubt or discouragement. “Theosophy is for those who want it, and for none others.” We are holding, waiting and working for those few earnest souls who will grasp the plan and further the work, “for the harvest is ready and the laborers are few.” Those who were entitled to the first invitation to the feast have had it, and now with many of these—sad to say—their ears are so dulled and their attention so diverted that no number of repetitions will reach them. Yet it must be held out continually for all. That is our work—our self-assumed work. We have the example in W. Q. J., in means, methods and spirit, and we, so doing, serve that Great Lodge of which he was and is a great and devoted part.

As ever, R. C.




Letter Twenty-Three

Reactions must come; a period of high thought and endeavor is not yet the consummation, and must of necessity— being above the normal level—bring about a condition below it. Knowing this to be the law of action and reaction, the buoyancy resulting from this knowledge should bring us quickly from below to a higher level than before, to a better understanding.

Ships, sailors and men of all kinds get into “doldrums” at times. The sailors know that there is no getting anywhere without the ship, and the ship goes not without wind, so they—just wait for the wind. Some, I have heard, go to whistling in order to raise a breeze, but I do not imagine that the wind is hurried at all by their efforts, and the whistlers only keep themselves in a state of irritation by their deferred hopes. The wiser take the opportunity to repair their kits, and do a general overhauling, so that when the wind does come, all is ready for it. The general position with them, no doubt, is that a sailor’s life is “work all the time,” the kind of work being determined only by the circumstances.

A true student of Theosophy is, I think, a good deal like the sailor in many ways—particularly in the realization that whatever comes, it means work, in one way or another. A realization of the thing to be done gives the right direction to effort. And we, who know that the universe exists for the purposes of Soul, can be but momentarily disturbed by anything that may come to pass. You have attitude, and the adjustment of the effects of events to it must become more and more easy and rapid as time goes on, and enough “monads” have been examined to get the general classification. Call it a study class doing examples in obstacles. To my mind, you are dead right in saying we blunder if we think that we get anything outside. That is the tendency of the age—analysis instead of synthesis. We have not only to fight this in ourselves, but likewise to meet the effects of it on every hand. It


is a tough fight, but it makes strong souls; and we accept both these propositions. We did not start out expecting a “train deluxe” to heaven. We knew it was to be a fight every step of the way; and not only do we have to fight, but to meet and surmount all the obstacles that the enemy—this civilization—places in our way. But in view of the great prize—the uplift of humanity—these obstacles offer opportunity to get into fighting trim, and as such should be welcomed rather than decried or denied. We know all these things, yet we have to say them over and over again to ourselves and to each other for mutual encouragement. And it is right that it should be so. The comrades who are well support those who may be suffering from illness and disability from whatever cause, and they are right glad to do so, for our army is an army by reason of mutual support. Think what OUR ARMY is, and despair—if you can.

I am reading all your statements with interest; they all show a consideration from the right standpoint—from Universals to particulars. I think with you that what is called “old-fashioned hard thinking” is worse than useless, and that “if one keeps pondering on the philosophy or some application of it, ideas arise in the mind.” Pondering on the Self as in all things, and all things in the Self must be productive, even as the Self is the producer.

It is not so much what we can formulate as what we consciously live; the formulation may give direction and continuity, and so is useful to ourselves and to others; but the application of right thought comes from pondering on the Self. Your letters indicate that attitude. The thing to be guarded against is the materializing of the ideas, and I see no sign of that in you. The Egoic consciousness, being not limited like that of the physical, and in a state of matter inconceivable to us, our terms cannot comprehend it, although its universal application can be brought to bear upon our present plane, and a junction made—which is no junction in the ordinary sense, but a higher view-point. All these attempts are efforts, and everywhere in Nature we see that effort brings results.


Judge said “All, all is the Self.” He said this for no other possible reason than that the idea might be seized upon and held. The Gita says: “Enveloped by my magic illusion I am not visible to the world” (that is, to segregated forms of perception), “for this my divine illusive power acting through the natural qualities is difficult to surmount, and those only can surmount it who have recourse to Me alone.” “I am the Cause unseen, and the visible effect.” “But for those who thinking of me as identical with all, constantly worship me, I BEAR THE BURDEN OF THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THEIR HAPPINESS.”

All these quotations you know very well, yet they cannot be too often repeated. I think you stated the gist of the matter when you said that any differentiation whatever is Maya—because impermanent. There is nothing but Consciousness per se; all the rest are perceptions in and of different states of matter, and in infinite aggregations.

You have had a hard week of it; look for the compensation not for yourself, but under Law.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Four

The despondency of the age is a general tendency, partly personal and partly belonging to the age. It comes in cycles, as you will have observed. When it comes, the cycle has reached its lowest point. Knowing this, we begin to lift up that cycle by rising quickly from it, and so help to reduce its influence, not only for ourselves but for the age. When we are at the low point, we should try to remember our fellows who are unconsciously suffering from that of which we not only know the cause, but the remedy.

“The student oftentimes by reason of the changes going on within, feels himself less fitted to cope with existing conditions, but He Must Work. It is his only salvation. What is needed is an utter and entire consecration of the worker to the Cause.”


Never were truer words said, and all that follows is in direct line. Keep that spirit, and all will be well. You have asked for a synopsis of what was said at the last meeting, but I find this most difficult, as I do not remember the words I used. The pamphlet was used as a basis for talk—the subject, “The Unknown God.” One questioner asked, “How could there be a philosophy of the Infinite?” Reply was, there could not be a philosophy of the Infinite, but there could be a philosophy of all Existence. Whether there be existence or none, the Infinite Is, and must be outside of all speculation; the philosophy is in regard to the origin, nature, history, development and destiny of Man, and his worlds—for worlds and men develop together. I then gave the idea of Space as representing the Infinite; of Consciousness, per Se, the Power to perceive—without anything to perceive; the desire to know itself could only be fulfilled by seeing itself reflected. The possibilities of all grades of density of matter being in the primordial matter, and the Power of Creation, Preservation and Destruction residing in Consciousness, the first differentiation took place in accordance with the desire. Functioning in that denser state, and thereby obtaining form, a further differentiation was produced, more dense, and so on, down to the present state. Pointed out that it was the desire to live that kept us alive; the desire for sentient life that brought us back into incarnation. As we rise to higher planes of being, desire becomes less individual and more general—for the welfare of humanity and all creatures. From this we may be able to get some perception that Desire, from being general in the beginning of manifestation, became more and more individual as denser matter was evolved, until with us it reached the point of separated personal desire. The way back must lie through continual approach to that Unity from which all have come. The philosophy exists in order that Man may rebecome a God—as he was and in reality Is.

Your last pamphlet is to my mind a great one; it points out so many things so clearly. For instance, when it speaks of “analysis” as being the “thought-form” of the age, it indicates to me that our general consciousness is one of analysis—classifications—


no synthesis anywhere. In pointing this out to others, there is much opportunity to show how narrow a range of thinking our much lauded civilization has. Then how clearly stands out the statement, “There can be but one philosophy, which is a synthesis of the whole, and which by its consistency and logic proves itself.”

On the other hand, what have we? Warring dogmatic religions; science which clings to a materialistic basis; and a psychology which is worse off than either, because it attempts to deal with meta-physics from a material basis of consciousness; and at last, so-called New Thought which devotes its energies to one physical life. What a contrast! How can men fail to realize that they are ignorant indeed, and that none of these things bring knowledge. Then they would arouse themselves to seek for light. The student of Theosophy knows that the reason they are so blind to patent facts is that they are surrounded by the clouds of past lives and cannot pierce through them; that all that can be done is to let the light so shine that all who will may see it, thus sowing seed for future harvests. It would be a hopeless task were it not for Reincarnation.

I am glad that you are able to perceive and hold the right attitude in regard to events. In both of your letters there is evidence, perhaps indefinable, yet plainly perceptible, of an inner action; moreover, there is more of unanimity—accord—however the outer at times may seem to deny it. While we work, we grow; we grow most when our thought is so occupied with the work that we have no thought for ourselves, nor for events, in their color and their relation to us. Knowing that there must be light and shade, heat and cold, pain and pleasure in life, we can take them as we take any climate in which we live, and just accept what comes—as the meta-physical climate of the time, place and condition in which we are—and go on with the appointed work.

What we have learned gives us a larger view of Karma than the mere personal. We begin to perceive that beyond the personal there comes to the worker in the field of Theosophy—the student disciple—those other phases of Karma which arise from family and race. By the very nature of the effort made, and the position


from which it is made, those other phases must be felt more and more as the student progresses. It may seem to him that it is all personal; and it is, in the sense that he is a focus for it; but, if we have assimilated what the steps must be that lead to adeptship, we must know that the battle we are fighting is not our own, but that of the world, and that the sins of the world will in increasing measure be laid on us until we have finally conquered. If, on the contrary we take these things as personal only, we may conquer them as such, but of us then it would be said, “Inasmuch as ye did it not unto the least of these, ye did it not unto me.”

Your Sunday meeting was certainly a small one, and apparently of little use; but who can tell? We know that it is the effort that counts, and having made it, Karma does the rest. There are many of these poor unfortunates who are caught in the mazes of the psychic realm; as long as they look there for their “guru,” he will not be found. Good thoughts and ideas may go quite easily with self-delusion; indeed, if they did not, there would be less delusion. All these things are good practice for you; each “crank” presents a new phase of delusion, and has to be studied at the time and handled as well as may be, as well as studied further subsequently. It is fortunate also that they come to you in such small detachments, and not in crowds or with crowds. The greater the obstacle the greater the effort, so we will see to it that the good work goes on, with charity toward all and with malice toward none, and with all our power as the cycle permits. Well, “sleep sweet” and may you bring from the other side of life all necessary power and help.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Five

“Doubt nothing, fear nothing, chafe at nothing”—we often have to say to ourselves, when conditions seem to hedge us in and prevent the carrying out of some good work. These conditions are not only our Karma but that of those we have in mind to help. Yet we must strive for them, the best we can, to lift their Karma


and ours. Sometimes it may seem as if everything conspired to laugh at us and deride our best efforts; but we know all that is but the dead weight of the world’s conditions which the Masters, and those who have volunteered, are working continuously to lift; and we feel the assurance which comes from understanding that none of this struggle is in vain. Masters do all that is possible for Them to do; we strive to follow Their example in doing Their work in this world of conditioned existence, each in his place; the knowledge that it is Their work, and what should be done, sustains us. What matters it, then, what kind of conditions confront us? Nothing has yet stopped us, although at times it has seemed that we could go no further; and we are constrained to see that nothing can stop us—not life nor death nor any other thing. So we cheer-fully go on to the end of ends, with our lives and all that they contain—that All may Live, following the footsteps of those Great Ones who have trodden the Path before us.

One may constitute himself a disciple by his own inward desire, but that does not involve the Masters until he reaches that degree of development where he is actually accepted as a chela. Masters cannot be drawn in unwillingly; neither will They ever refuse help when deserved. Masters in bodies do take upon themselves the Karma of that which They teach, and where an actual relation mutually assumed exists, They must feel bodily the errors of omission and commission of each pupil. Undoubtedly, Those who have been here would have remained until this time, or longer, had the professed disciples been true to their pledges.

It is said They hold back the awful Karma of the world in order to provide further opportunities. But They do not feel the Karma, while knowing it, and mitigating the evil forces generated by Man. The power to feel all, implies the power of not to feel. They must be able to do the right thing, in the right measure, at the right time, and in the right place, and thus can isolate themselves from prying curiosity, or desire toward Them from wrong motive. Otherwise Their work would be impeded. A desire to know is not a condition, and the proper condition


is the necessary requisite for a demand upon Them; the demand is contained in the condition. In Their Message to the Western World, They have shown how They may be reached, even publicly, in every possible way. Those who admit that Masters exist, and deny or ignore Their message, can hardly be in the way of receiving Their direct help. Yet help is accorded to all in a general way, each raising the self by the Self until the requisite condition of notice or demand exists. None can be shut out; the welfare of all is desired.

Yet there must be indirect ways, and the direct way. If any aspirant cannot be made to perceive the direct way, then he must take the way he sees. His inability to see bespeaks his Karma, his condition; so also, the fact of not having had the Message brought forcibly to him bespeaks former opportunities deliberately turned aside or neglected—a Karma numerously incurred during the past thirty-odd years. Much as it may seem like dogma, there is but one philosophy; there are Masters; there is Their Message. It is not dogma because it is a statement of fact, which each is invited to prove for himself—and shown how to do it. True knowledge has been lost to the world; the Masters restore it. They help those directly whom They can; those so helped help others directly and indirectly. The cycle has an upward, less material, tendency; it needs right direction, which the direct and indirect influence of the Message provides. Blessed are those who are able to perceive and take the direct way.

You are quite right, I think, in your deductions regarding “repetitions.” They are, in the case of my talks, re-petitions; only, most do not see what is in them. “There is nothing new under the sun”; there is only a handing on of what has been known before. As the synthesis of the philosophy can be given in a very few words comparatively, those who make only one application of the words—see only one color of the prism, hear only one sound of the scale—naturally get the monotony of it. I think the main obstacle in the way of some is an attitude of criticism, such as, for instance, is taken in saying, “His interpretation does not agree


with mine;” or anything, in fact, that considers the person, rather than the meaning.

Our last meeting was a good one. One questioner asked, ‘Why is it that Theosophists are so passive to political and social conditions?” My reply was: No true Theosophist is passive to any-thing; his knowledge, however, shows him where his energy can be best used for the benefit of humanity. He does not waste his energy poulticing the boils on the body corporate, but devotes it to the pointing out of the seat of the disease and the remedy. It is apparent to anybody that the cause of all human troubles is selfishness and ignorance. The ignorance, which is the cause of the selfishness, lies in men’s way of thinking—their ideas in regard to life. The prevailing idea is that there is but one life, and that each must struggle for himself as against all others. The very idea contains in it “fight,” “opposition,”—his hand against every man and every man’s hand against him. As long as these ideas prevail in men’s minds, they will act selfishly and in opposition, where self-interest is concerned. The Theosophist knows what the true way is; that man lives many lives, and that in each life he reaps what he sowed in other lives, as well as in this one; that if every man were to have this knowledge, he would see that true happiness for all can be obtained only when each human being uses all his powers for the good of others. Under such a way of thinking, no man would be allowed to suffer for one moment, because there would be many willing hands to help on every side. The greatest need, then, is to have a right and true philosophy of life, for the following of it will not only bring relief from the many forms of suffering, but a knowledge that will lead humanity to greater heights. The Theosophist works to relieve the cause in the only way possible. Doubtless, if Theosophists were more numerous, they would be found relieving every possible distress to the best of their ability; but, unfortunately for the world, they are few, and are thus compelled to put all their energy into calling attention to the true nature of man, and to a philosophy of life, so that more and more minds may be turned that way, and the day of relief brought nearer.


This was not by any means an ideal answer, but it seemed to be what the questioner was ready to consider.

With regard to Metaphysics and Physics; metaphysics is beyond physics and must have preceded the latter. It seems to me that Metaphysics becomes physics by ideation on the plane of physical density. To the perceiver on any plane, perceptions are objective to him; on a higher plane than this, would they not be his “physics,” although metaphysical to us? From our plane, that which is metaphysical becomes physical when embodied. Perhaps I do not get what you want; if there is nothing here, come again.

As ever, R. C.


Letter Twenty-Six

“Try; try; ever keep trying.” “Realization comes from dwelling on the things to be realized.” Following such injunctions of Those Who Know, a constant gain will appear. Ups and downs there will be, in accordance with the swing of the pendulum, or, more properly, the turn of the spiral. Knowing the law of action, we can keep on, whether we are at the highest or lowest point of the cycle. As time goes on and the right attitude is maintained, we shall grow less and less subject to the high or the low.

To realize, at the beginning, the continuous effort required, would be discouraging; but as the greatness of the task we have set before ourselves becomes more and more real, we grow into the condition represented in the six glorious virtues as that of being constitutionally incapable of deviating from the right path.

We have in the past generated, or created by thought, and re-inforced by action, numerous elemental beings of the nature of Prakriti. As long as our thought is in keeping with their natures, no great friction is observed; but when our thoughts fail to provide them with sustenance, the struggle for life begins, and must continue until these creatures of ours die, or are so changed as to cause no hindrance. It is a new Manvantara in our little solar system, “the guiding spirit” ruling, controlling, or sweeping away


all entities connected with the old evolution, in accordance with the key-note of the new. So, in the concrete state of the old, and the nebulous state of the new, we have to go through the preparatory Rounds. Great Nature repeats her action in accordance with Law, in the small as well as the great.

As to “the hardest job of reconciliation” set you in this matter of H—: you will remember that I said in a recent letter that I wanted you to keep in touch with the various events, so that you might be able to observe developments—see how things work out under certain methods founded on principles, for all these things are object lessons.

In the first place, there is no room for misjudgment; judge not at all as to persons should be the rule. As to their ideas, their capacity to grasp one set implies capacity to grasp other kinds. If they have wrong conceptions and are amenable to reason, their wrong conceptions can be reasonably considered on their merits— in themselves, first, and then in their relation to other conceptions. In all this, there has to be first sought points of agreement—all of them; in fact, show a disposition to agree. At no time should any oppositional attitude be felt or assumed—no expressed or implied superiority of knowledge. If opposition exists even in thought, a counter opposition is set up, and the aim to enlighten is not effected. Of course, none of this prevents one from seeing things as they are, and leaving the door wide open for others to see what we do.

Our work lies among those whose ideas are in strong opposition to what we know as truth. We have to meet ideas as we find them, and extend them in the direction we know. This is a different case from a talk on Theosophy, where we are giving an exposition in order that others may know what it is.

One of the results of wisdom is the ability—in degree, at least—to do the right thing, at the right time, and in the right place. The object of all right doing is to help others who are seen and known not to be right. Our seeing and knowing their present condition gives us the clue to the kind and manner of helping. If we judge them incapable of help, we shall afford them none. So


we judge not, but like the Sun and Nature, treat all alike—shine for all, work for all, irrespective of presently held ideas, or presumable qualifications in any. Such has been the course of all great Teachers. They come to call “not saints, but sinners to repentance.” All have had their Judases, but even Judases have to have their chance with the rest; even they are inherently perfect, and having free will may rise to the opportunity. The Gospel hymn which says, “While the lamp holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may return,” voices a truth; so what is there in all this that calls for mortal judgment? None, I think you will say, when you consider the matter in its wider bearing, and in the light of Karma which brings opportunity both to give and to receive.

There is no pretense of personal virtue or knowledge in handing on for the benefit of others what one perceives to be good for them. A claim, even a thought of personal virtue, is detrimental— because it is personal. The Egoic perceptions on this plane are limited by this very thing.

“Thy body is not self, thy Self is in itself without a body, and either praise or blame affects it not.”

“Deliverance of mind from thralldom by the cessation of sin and faults is not for ‘Deva-Egos’ (reincarnating egos). Thus says the ‘Doctrine of the Heart.’

“The Dharma of the ‘Heart’ is the embodiment of Bodhi (True, Divine Wisdom), the Permanent and Everlasting.”

“To live to benefit Mankind is the first step. To practise the six glorious virtues is the second.”

The six glorious virtues are:

ONE—“Sama.” It consists in obtaining perfect mastery over the mind (the seat of emotions and desires), and in forcing it to act in subordination to the intellect which had been strengthened by attaining—

(1.) “Right knowledge of the real and the unreal” (Right Philosophy).

(2.) “Perfect indifference to the fruits of one’s actions, both here and hereafter.” (Renunciation of the fruits of actions.)

TWO—“Dama.” Complete mastery over bodily acts.


THREE— "Uparati."Renunciation of all formal religion, and the acquirement of contemplation of objects without being in the least disturbed in the performance of the great task one has set before oneself.

FOUR—“Titiksha.” Cessation of desire and a constant readiness to part with everything in the world.

FIVE—“Samadana.” That which renders the student constitutionally incapable of deviating from the right path.

six—“Shradda.” Implicit confidence on the part of the pupil in his Master’s power to teach, and his own power to learn.

SEVEN—One other, and the last accomplishment required, is an intense desire for liberation from conditioned existence, and for transformation into the One Life.

While some of these may be beyond us, we can “practise” in these directions; in fact, we have been so doing, and we know that practice makes perfect. Well, I must stop now and send you the best I have, with love.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Seven

It is said that there is but one sense; the different organs are but modes of reception. From the same point of view it might be said that there is but one “Eye”; the rest are modes of seeing. These, of course, have to be brought into line for unobstructed vision. The various soul sheaths, as I understand it, are formed from the first ethereal substance of which the permanent body is composed. Man is the microcosm of the macrocosm; so, imagine one individual in his permanent body at the beginning of a solar system: that body will contain within it all possible changes of density; those changes will be the necessary steps, under the general law of the solar system, to reach the most concrete expression.

The concrete expression must be reached in order that the descending intelligences may be able to help or impel to a higher standard the forms of consciousness not yet self-conscious; all


forms meet and mingle in man. Each change in density of sheath involves a loss of spiritual perception, and knowledge of the more dense matter obtainable in no other way.

As the universe exists solely for purposes of soul, and as resistance is met in degree in all states of matter below the first state, the power of Creation, Preservation and Destruction must be in operation on every plane and all the time. Creation works in the change in density, and toward the ideal form for fullest expression on this plane. This involves continual adjustment, implying the preservation of that which fulfills the purpose, and the destruction of that which does not, as well as further creation to take the place of that which was destroyed. The Creator, Preserver and Destroyer within his own sphere, then, must be the permanent Ego. The same law applies everywhere. For instance, in your business, a new department is added; the other departments keep on and the new one is either shaped into line with the general purpose—or cut off.

The Secret Doctrine says that we are at the middle point of the seven Rounds; this means that the collectivity of beings called ‘Nature” has passed through the changes in density three times, each time reascending to the original state, each descent marking a further density of each change. We now ascend perfecting and assimilating for three and a half Rounds more, each succeeding plane becoming less dense until the completion of the seventh Round, back to what might be called real matter. Relating this to soul, it would appear that the sheaths are not yet what they will be, though the Perceiver is one through all the changes. The Self is the key, the plan, the purpose and the fulfillment—to lose that sight, is to lose all.

The quality of your Theosophical expositions seems to dissatisfy you, but the attitude you hold in regard to it is infinitely better than as if you were proud of it, and the probability of the improvement is thereby made certain. As I understand the matter, your exposition is not criticised, but the manner of it; if there is fault there, necessary correction should not be very difficult. All progress is made by a recognition of disabilities at first, after which


follow steps for their removal; but these are minor things. The great effort is to promulgate the fundamental principles of Theosophy; it requires strenuous and persevering exertion, but personal progress is forgotten in the effort. ‘With the right attitude we would not realize our own advance, while it would be perfectly patent to others; this, because we are aware of defects, which probably look more important than they really are. Defects—not being valuable—are not important; their absence is; therefore our thought should be in regard to those qualifications which displace them. If we were refurnishing a house, we would not be thinking of the old furniture, but of the new, which was to take its place.

Being of the Kshatriyas, and in training for the greatest battle that can be fought, we welcome every event, great or small, that makes us fit for the strife.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Eight

Your letter received. True, it is hard for those who think in other ways to have to exist in a world and at a time when the generally worshipped god is so hard, unfeeling and merciless in his requirements. Yet such is our Karma, and the Karma of the race we desire to help. We cannot help without sharing the Karma, and in sharing we have to do it in all ways. These things are part of our trials. We can but recognize that even heavenly death is provided for, and if so, why not life—even as we know it?

We would know that Law reigns for all, and for each and every circumstance, were it not for our doubts and fears. It is natural that fears should arise, for all terrestrial things tend to create them, yet we know from “Those who know” that “the man who knoweth the Supreme Spirit, who is not deluded, and who is fixed on him, doth not rejoice at obtaining what is pleasant, nor grieve when meeting what is unpleasant.” “Be free from the ‘pairs of opposites’ and constant in the quality of Sattwa, free from worldly anxiety and desire to preserve present possessions.”


All this is like sending coals to Newcastle, yet sometimes a reiteration helps one free himself; and too, your letter shows that you see clearly what is right, so absolutely clear and sound that I fear some difficulty more than ordinary must present itself to you. Yet for every difficulty there is a way, even if it is not the way we see as the preferable one. And we have to overcome all sorts of difficulties.

I can understand right well the many things you have in mind to be provided for. In all things there is but one thing to be done, and that is, the best we can. Then await the event; meet one thing at a time, and as it comes. Thus we avoid attachment to results, and interject no interference with the law which works for good to those who love it.

We so desire personal assurance that all will be well with the personal self that we distrust ourselves and all others, if we do not get it; and all the time we know that we should rely upon the law that works for righteousness. What, then, is needed is a greater faith and confidence, a stronger courage.

I had a little stone once, upon which was engraved, “Even this will pass away.” It served many a time to remind me of the transitory nature of all trials and troubles. The motto is a good one and may serve many others, if used when need arises.

In all the above, it is not meant that proper care should be neglected, but that fear and doubt should be dismissed. “Fear is the same thing as frigidity on the earth, and always proceeds by the process of freezing.” Who can say in how many ways that “freezing” prevents what would otherwise be.

To one confronted by “hard facts,” philosophy seems inadequate, especially when one has to meet the fact, and when the philosophy is quoted by another. Yet it is this very application that has to be made in every circumstance. No great effort is necessary to apply philosophy when the stress is slight; but when the stress is great, greater effort is needed. The main thing is to apply the philosophy, and in fact rely on it. All sorts of unforeseen obstacles will arise to test that reliance, in order that we may be


confirmed, and ourselves rendered “constitutionally incapable of diverging from the true path.”

We do not encompass the six glorious virtues all at once, nor one at a time, but make progress in all of them. Obstacles will arise in the circumstances of every-day life and in our relations to each other.

I have found it helpful to go back to the time when full confidence abounded, if obstacles pressed hard and insistently. It often appears to us that obstacles that meet us need not be; that they have no relation to the great task we have set before ourselves; yet due consideration of what we have learned must show that nothing can possibly occur which is out of that relation. We often say to ourselves, “If this thing were only different, or proceeded or occurred in this other way, it would be better,” failing to perceive that if it were different, it would be different. The key to conduct, then, seems to be—taking things as they come, and dealing with them singly day to day. We find this hard, yet the “hardness” will continue in degree as we become “confirmed,” until all is easy. The harder the effort, the greater the strength acquired.

I used to look calmly and dispassionately at the very worst picture I could conjure up as happening to myself, and found it helpful in getting rid of “fear of consequences.” I mentally took account of the very worst, saw myself in it with all that it entailed, went through it in all its parts leaving myself alone, dishonored, stripped of everything. Those very things have happened to me, but I knew them, had outlived them, and went on undismayed. Had I not done it, I would not be where I am to-day. But you know all this and it may seem like cold comfort. I would that I could give you more.

Look back at the chain of circumstances since first we met, and realize more fully that there is “a Destiny that shapes our ends, rough hew them as we may.” Can we question Master’s hand in everything done in His name? The circumstances may not smile at us, but it is not their favor that is sought. We ought to know by this time that seeming evil is very often—we might say, always—


turned to good. For it is “that Great Initiate of All, Who keeps this whole Movement in being.” May you have all power, health, and courage externally, internally and eternally. Good night to you.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Nine

I have your letter of first today. Also those “fat pages,” which certainly merit all you say of them. Judge once said, “It is not money that is needed but Hearts.” And it would not take so many, as numbers go, to save a city or a nation. “Providing there be found three righteous men, I will not destroy the city,” says an ancient scripture. There could be no greater work than that in which we are engaged. When our lives are ended, what will count? Our defects? Not at all. It will be the efforts we have made to destroy the causes of all defects among our fellow men.

At a late meeting the question of being charitable to the weaknesses of others came up for discussion, and brought out quite a lengthy talk on why that attitude is absolutely necessary, from the standpoint of the spiritual Ego, for right development in the mind of spiritual perception and knowledge. It was pointed out that all the errors of any life result in reality from a diseased—if not insane, at least, un-sane mentality. An imperfection is an imperfection—the difference in kind not being anything that anyone should pride himself upon. Our duty is not to rid our neighbors of their imperfections, but ourselves of our own. The pride that results from fancied virtue was spoken of; judgment in anger—that the anger passes but the judgment remains as a bias in the mind, and a hindrance to the one judged; the danger of thus standing in the way of another, to say nothing of the reactionary effect on ourselves. The talk came up because of the tendency of minds in general to pride themselves upon not having the defects that others have, while at the same time they may exhibit defects, which, while not so obvious—as generally classed by the


world—are yet worse, because of being deeper seated and harder to eradicate, as well as being more widely injurious. In regard to your question of confidence: your words sound as if you had more real courage than you ever had. This confidence should not merely be the power to endure trials and suffering, but to stand firmly and courageously through anything and everything. To fall short of that would be a useless sacrifice for all, for slipping to the bottom means to do it all over again. Now is the time to hold fast. “Live while you can and die only when you must.” For it is during life, and then alone, that the most and best can be done for your fellows in that life. No circumstances can arise that will deprive you of the power of assistance, if that is your inmost desire. For are you not greater than any circumstance? And are not all circumstances your field of battle? There-fore, arise, 0 Arjuna, and resolve to fight.

If one cannot do what he would like to do, he can always do what he can. No one can do more than this. And doing this, he does all. You see that clearly. So let us meet each moment and circumstance as it comes, putting all our energy into doing what should be done according to our best judgment at the moment, and living every moment free from doubt, fear, anxiety—joyful that we are alive, and that there is so much of life in us. Every possible circumstance has its Sattwic, Rajasic, and Tamasic quality, and as all experience affects only in accord with its meta—physical aspect, let us take the Sattwic of each and every one. Thus shall we live and get true learning out of living.

Don’t worry about me, the meetings, B— or anything; we should know that all that is provided for. You remember what Jesus said: “Take no thought for the morrow what ye shall eat, nor wherewithal shall ye be clothed.” This to his disciples, because reliance on the Law places no hindrance in the way of its free action.

Now, once more, good nights and days to you, and all help.

As ever, R. C.




Letter Thirty

Your letter, as well as the books mailed, have just arrived. Many thanks for all of it, and for the good thoughts and wishes you send me; they are sincere. May they all bear fruit.

There is a “feeling” of closing in. It comes from that steadfastness which trial alone can bring, and I dare swear that you have that steadfastness, even though you may know it not. In the work we have undertaken together, matters not whether it fails or succeeds as far as we are concerned. Our effort has been and will be for success; the rest is in “other hands,” and stronger ones. We have thrown, each one of us, the best he had into the breach. That “best” may not seem great to us, but certainly the motive was there, even if at times nature and events conspired to minimize it. They did not defeat us—that is sure. To hold our ground is victory, in some cases. It is more, if we manage to move forward, and we have done the latter—which is worth all that it cost and much more.

“Having found a secluded spot remain firm and steadfast in it.” When a student enters upon the new life, he does so because he sees the true. At the same time he is buffeted about by the effects which have arisen, and arise, from whatever of untruth he had held. He oscillates between the real and the seeming real—or, as he might term it, “the ideal and the facts.” His effort should be to remain steadfast in the true, having found that secluded spot.

A right, true, and correct philosophy of life is absolutely necessary if constant, steady growth is to be attained. This philosophy must have in it—as a center—immutability; otherwise any building up of an “inner body” on a center which is mutable necessitates the destruction of that building and the beginning of another one on another center, with loss of time, effort, and progress. If the second center prove mutable, again destruction is necessary. This is why there can be no progress from the standpoint of any but the Supreme Self. This is LAW and not sentiment.


We should endeavor to remain steadfast, relying upon the Supreme and dedicating all our thoughts and actions to THAT. As we endeavor, the oscillations will become less manifest. ALL of the events of life give us opportunity to exercise the “power of steadfastness.” So we should welcome everything—pleasant or otherwise—as a means of growth, for, as has been said many times, the purpose of life is to learn; it is all made up of learning.

The essence of growth is change. Any center short of the Self (which is all) implies a finality; hence, concretion and cessation of growth, from which necessarily follows decay. With the “true center” all growth remains, for it is of the nature of that center, and indestructible—“The Changeless Self,” with fluidic instruments—always fluidic.

You say, “I am doing nothing.” Perhaps, but the Self has been afforded an opportunity—yes, opportunities, and these will be continued. The little “I” may take some pride in it, but the real “I” says “you” did not do it and never could, because you are only a reflection and an instrument. You served the purpose well, and will continue to improve. Gradually the lower Manas will become so attuned with the Higher that there will be no distinction between them; then, instead of “puffing up” in one department, the energy will express itself as incentive and power for more and greater work. The “pride” is natural, but when properly diffused, it will not be called by that name. It is energy, of course.

You seem to be getting interesting questions at your meetings. It is splendid training—all of it; just what is needed. It may help if you take the position that “I do not answer; the philosophy does;” and “I do not answer the person; I answer the question.”

If the right attitude is kept up, all necessary qualities will appear. “No concern but to keep in fighting trim” is most excellent. “Desire ceases to attract us when we cease to identify ourselves with it.” Similarly, “badness” ceases to affect us, when we cease to identify ourselves with it. “Badness” is but one of the three qualities.

“We are apt constantly to forget the existence of the great force and value of our super-sensuous consciousness. That con-


sciousness is the great register, where we record the real results of our various earthly experiences; in it we store up the spiritual energy, and once stored there it becomes our own eternal possession.” We forget, in looking for appearances of advancement, which is common to all students at first; but by retaining the fact in their minds, they by degrees cease to observe or care for signs of such progress, and none of their energy is wasted. They know that the “storing” goes on, and they keep busy at it, which means the performance of duty, doing the best they know and can— under all circumstances. They “lay up treasures in heaven,” not on earth. This we are doing and will continue to do. It serves to destroy the personal idea”—the enemy of progress.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-One    

“OLD WARRIOR” is true as regards the Self, and also as regards the real inner evolved man. He is a fighter in lawful war fare, and is only hindered by ineffectual accoutrement, and lack of co-operation; so it applies to you and to all of us who are fighting in lawful warfare. This warfare is against the causes of sin, sorrow and suffering.

“The Self acts only through the creatures.” It needs bodies or vehicles. The units give adhesion, which then becomes cohesion— unity on all planes.

The U.L.T. will go along all right as long as there is some one individual who knows the right lines and will keep them. If the Lodge centers spread by being taken up by people not trained at all in the right line of thought and study, they could very easily go wide of the intention and lead others wrong. There-fore, while there is no Constraint, there will be a point from which right direction can be obtained, and advice given as to methods and kind of study. This has to be provided for, even if it is not the ideal condition. The latter, of course, could only exist with ideal minds, and we are not dealing with such. “To perish doomed


is he, who out of fear of Mara refrains from helping man, lest he should act for self,” says the Voice; so we need not fear doing whatever has to be done to meet the circumstances of the case and time. H. P. B. found it necessary to lay down the lines along which the psychical currents might flow from the Lodge. In like manner, we in a smaller way have to provide lines of thought and influence along which may flow the spirit and genius of that which we have undertaken. Our Associate cards provide the means of individual adhesion to the principles. They are a form of pledge, and on individual honor. The sum of individual adhesions makes the cohesive body.

The a holding power” is the power to hold things together with a definite end in view; statements of that end are contained in our Declaration. The power grows as does the conviction of the reality of our endeavor and the soundness of the principles we promulgate: centripetal foci.

The motto of U. L. T. is There is no religion higher than Truth.” Truth alone can be authority; it demands nothing from anyone, but invites close examination. Falsehood disagrees with falsehood as well as with Truth; Truth disagrees with falsehood, but agrees with itself. As in an authoritative claim that a certain metal is gold, the test does not lie in the authority, but in the test of the metal. One who has gold and has proved it to be so, has a right to say so, but he does not exact belief in his authority; he presents his gold for testing. This is the kind of authority you will find in Theosophy.

Well, must stop now and call this today’s letter. Good luck to you and all the other good things.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Two    

I think that what we have to do is to carry on the work of disseminating the philosophy of Theosophy in the best way known to us, avoiding the errors of omission and commission that have


been observed by us. Thus working in and through the “minor currents,” we begin to learn the greater lesson. The Lodge has to have its agents in the world of men. “Those who can to any extent assimilate the Master, to that extent they are the representatives of the Master, and have the help of the Lodge in its work.” In a letter of K. H. to Sinnett, He says that the work of the society has to be carried on by “carefully devised plans by the best minds among you,” or words to that effect. Having the fundamental principles, we have to put them into practice by applying them in every way—in our lives and in the work. All this is part of our schooling. There is no set way given us nor any particular form and method; we have to work it out—and yet all that we do has Their help. We shall do rightly and well in any event, if we are single-hearted in what we do. It is true that we have landmarks here and there to guide us, but to be able to recognize these is also a part of right knowledge. The power of the “initiatory” in right direction has to be developed, and that must be done by exercise. If what we have undertaken leads to adeptship we have to begin the development of the powers here and now, while clearing up our natures. One process is complementary to the other, if both are carried on. All this by way of adding to what you say.

“We cannot prevent people from doing the things they can do,” and would not use force even if we could, because the mind has to be free to choose; otherwise there would be no real progress. We might apply an analogy right here: let Oxygen represent the Truth, and Nitrogen purely terrestrial conceptions; the more nitrogenous the conception, the less room for “oxygenation” in any given vehicle. There can be no breath whatever without some oxygen, and a little is better than none at all. Perhaps the Tingley, Besant and other stripes of Theosophy have their place in the great economy of consciousness; they must have, or minds would not seize and hold that kind. If the “kind” does not bring the expected result or knowledge, a further search is indicated. “It is better to have no side, for it is all for the Master, and He will look out for all, if each does just right, even if, to our view, another seems not to do so. By not looking at their errors too closely the Master will


be able to clear it all off and make it work well. Hence, go on, and keep the spirit that you have only to proceed, and leave the rest to time and the Lodge.” I think that this is a good attitude for us all in the matter of Theosophical claims and exponents. Every person really waked up by them will touch us sooner or later if we hold to the straight line.

Meditation as used by us, is what is called in Sanscrit Dhyana, i.e., want of motion, and one-pointedness. The main point is to free the mind from the power of the senses, and to raise a current of thought to the exclusion of all others. Realization comes from dwelling on the thing to be realized.” W. Q. J. says, “To meditate on the Higher Self is difficult; seek then, the Bridge, the Masters. The patient dwelling of the mind on a single thought results in the gaining of wisdom, and it is thus that the true Occultist is developed. Aspiration toward the Higher Self should form part of the daily meditation; the rising toward the higher planes of our being, which cannot be found unless they are sought. Earnest and reverent desire for Master’s guidance and enlightenment will begin the attunement of the nature to the harmony to which it must one day respond. Concentration on a single point in the Teaching is a road to the philosophy; self-examination, a road to knowledge of oneself. To put oneself in the place of another, to realize his difficulties, and thus be able to help him, is that faculty—which when extended makes it possible for the Adept to understand the nature of the stone or other form of consciousness.” Meditation is a good beneficent practice leading to a great end. It is also a great destroyer of the personal idea.

Generally speaking, a “ray” comes from a “light”; the ray is not the light itself, but a projection of it, and yet is the light, because without the light there would be no ray. The color of the light is clear and uniform; the ray is changed in color by the substances through which it passes. When the “ray” is “indrawn,” it is of the same color as the light and is the light; in fact, was the light all the time, for the appearance of the different colors in it was not from the light, but from that through which it passes.


Unity; one in essence. There is nothing but the Self. Was this what you had in mind?

I will mail the Incidents. It will require considerable keenness to pick out valuable information from this book, because it is composed of incidents which are often unrelated to each other as to time. You will, however, get something from it as to general idea, dismissing, of course, any personal conclusions of the author. You will note that the tenant of the body is considered as the same all the time by him. There is also a terrible wound spoken of, in regard to which there is no information; also a desperate sickness. A change in occupancy might be looked for about that time. I do not know the cause of the wound, and it does not matter, nor is it necessary to know. We can understand something of the personal nature, habits and manners running concurrently with “something else,” by comparison with the case of W. Q. J.

The Incidents are what others saw, and, of course, do not relate to what the relators did not see or understand. From our point of view, we may be able to discern matters unperceived by them, from what they relate. They observed the personality and the effects produced through it, but had not the slightest idea of the nature of the Consciousness and Power behind these, masked as they were by commonplaces. “Great is the mystery of the human ego.” I think you will find the book very interesting.

We are preparing for the future as best we can and feeling our way, taking advantage of the seasons and opportunities. Onward and Upward is our watchword, and we might as well add to it what the Old Lion of the Punjab did, the word “Forevermore.”

Well, good nights to you—even if days are not what we would like.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Three   

From the intellectual point of view, the truth explains; from a higher point of view, each one contains within himself, and actually is the Truth. The intellectual is microscopic; the other,


vision itself. “The great difficulty to be overcome is the registration of the knowledge of the Higher Self on the physical plane.” It cannot be done by the intellect, although the intellect may put the house in order. Patanjali tells what the “hindrances” are; Manas has to get rid of these so that “the way of the Lord” who comes with Truth and Knowledge may be made clear. He is waiting, watching, working. “Behold I stand at the door and knock.” Nothing withholds knowledge from us but the mode of operation of our lower mind. We can have no complaints, if we do not make it conform; but Theosophy, applied, leads us to Truth, which is ourself. Service is a great clarifier.

You speak of the balancing of forces. In what relation? Perhaps you mean that “continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations,” which is the basis of rebirth, both of which have to be subjugated before freedom is obtained. If so, this is kundalini—the power or force that moves in a spiral path; it is the Universal life-principle manifesting everywhere in nature. This force includes the two great forces of attraction and repulsion; electricity and magnetism are but manifestations of it. Hermes says: “the genii have, then, the control of mundane things, and our bodies serve them as instruments . . . but the reasonable part of the soul is not subject to the genii; it is designed for the reception of the God who enlightens it with a sunny ray, for neither genii nor gods have any power in the presence of a single ray of God. But all other men, both Soul and body, are directed by genii, to whom they cleave and whose operations they affect.” If forces are balanced, there must be something upon which the balance may be obtained; anything that can be moved by the forces would not so serve. There is but One Immovable—the Self.

Transitory balancings may be obtained but not maintained. The “ups” and “downs” every one is subject to; sometimes psychic, sometimes mental and sometimes physiological; occasionally, all three at once. These must necessarily be the various adjustments, or “balancing of forces,” which are in constant process of variation. There are, of course, “devachans” in between. The same old process.


It does not surprise me that you find “something” at the Theosophical rooms—and stronger at times than at others. Help comes often, when least expected, and it is liable to come at that place where the work is done which merits help. As the rooms are set apart particularly for Theosophy, there would be less obstacle there than elsewhere to such help.

You have it right: one has to grow into that state where he seeks nothing for himself, but takes whatever comes to pass as the thing he most desired. There is no room for personal desire in this.

With reference to the mind’s poor grasp of things: what we want cannot be obtained by anxiety, doubt, fear, impatience, expectancy that it is time that something should come to us, and so forth. This latter is looking for reward. Make up your mind to continue as you are for one hundred lives, if necessary, and continue. The hindrances must be stopped, if that which is hindered is to come. All the other study is good, necessary, and preparatory. Unity—Study—Work—are the trinity of this plane. Universality, Wisdom, and Service are the higher trinity. You are the One who is preparing the way for the latter, by means of the former.

We learn by experience. Confidence gives courage—is courage. After a while we learn that the Law will act, regardless of any sentiment we may hold. And in this work things occur in peculiar ways—not to be accounted for by the usual process. At least, such has been my experience.

The attention that is paid to what you have to say in the meeting lies primarily in the native force of truth, but much comes from the conviction that one has in presentation, as well as the form used. This triad you have. The main thing to be minimized is whatever you have of diffuseness. It is only a question of keeping on the line of making more and more perfect. The feeling that “I am doing something” is natural. But it is better far to “let the warrior in you do the fighting.” Think of the Master as a living man within you; let Him speak through the mouth and from the heart. The strength shown is not that of the personality, for like an organization, the personality is only a machine for conserving energy and putting it to use. Why give it credit for anything else?


The general habit is to think of ourselves first, and others afterwards. Reverse the habit—consider ourselves last and least in anything we have to do or say. At the meetings, take the view that we are there to give what help we can to those who come, instead of looking at those present as there to listen to us. Judge would sometimes say, “You must not think that I know all these things; I am only telling you of knowledge that exists, and which I am convinced is true.” Each one must arrive at conviction through a study and application of the knowledge. There is no other way.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Four    

Thought, being self-reproducing, would suggest crystallized centers, but they are more than “crystallized,” if we would take into consideration that everything is conscious. Each thought stirs to action some form of life; according to the nature of the thought is the nature of the life stirred and guided, the permanence of the thought-action depending upon the energy put into it. I think that the subsidence of the direct energy leaves a latent tendency in the conscious lives to respond to analogous or similar energy. Some of these impressions may be so deep as to have left respondent foci in the physical brain; hence, remembrance is more easily recalled into action; other impressions, not so deep, are obliterated by subsequent ones as far as brain foci are concerned, but remain in some one or other of the sheaths of the brain, and are recollected by the proper stimulus, which may come from similar thought, or from the impressions of the organs or cells of the body.

Nature tends to repeat any action; thought is the plane of action—the creator, preserver and destroyer of Nature’s modes of action. The Manasic plane is the noumenal plane; the plane of the essence of the phenomenal; the active-aspect of Atma-Buddhi.

As to your question on Spirit and Matter. You will remember what Judge said: “The whole universe is made up of spirit and


matter, both constituting together the Absolute. What is not matter is spirit, and what is not spirit is matter; but there is no particle of matter without spirit, and no particle of spirit without matter. If this attempted definition is correct, you will see that it is impossible to define the things of the spirit, and that has always been said by great Teachers of the past.” Spirit-matter contains both consciouness, per se, and all possible states of matter from the finest to the coarsest. These states are evolved individually for individual experience, and also collectively for collective experience, each individual proceeding on his own line, and in accordance with the general progress of the mass of beings. Changes of matter take place in regular sequence by the force or energy of the mass, of which energy each individual supplies his portion. This energy might be called consciousness in action, or the force of ideation, the lesser entities being guided in their energy by the greater, and more progressed.

Also, hold in mind that Spirit and Substance are co-existent and co-eternal. We are higher beings clothed in bodies made up of small lives on this plane. We call these lives “matter,” but they are matter only relatively, because we can mold them. To them-selves they are conscious in their way, receiving impress from us, but not recognizing the source of the impress nor its import. We are their incognizable universe in which they live, move, and have their being; our light adds to theirs, as ours is added to by the impress from still higher beings. So there is a chain of life and consciousness which gradually tends to fuller and fuller individualization of being in non-separateness—the more complete the individualization, the more full the sense of non-separateness.

This quotation from H. P. B. may be helpful. “At the ‘Day be with us’ every Ego has to remember all the cycles of his past reincarnations for Manvantaras . . . . It sees the stream of its past incarnations by a certain divine light. It sees all humanity at once, but still there is ever, as it were, a stream which is always the ‘I’.”

The place where the line of involution and evolution meet is in the incarnation of the descending gods—ourselves—in the highest evolved form. The analogy is seen in any reincarnation.


The consciousness leaves the body, which goes to pieces on its own plane. When the real man returns, he has to wait until the lower lives have built up a form for him into which he may enter, this form being built under the impress given by the real man in other lives. A Manvantara is an enlarged and expanded similar process. We came from the Moon, where we had evolved form to a degree. At pralaya all things stopped evolution of form; on re-manifestation, the lower lives or “builders” began to build up as before, and as their impress and previous building admitted. When the form of man had reached the highest previous point reached, the Kumaras, or real men, overshadowed and entered to carry the evolution further. “They, and no other, are we.” Well, good nights and days to you all the time. The days help make the nights and the nights help to make the days; they both belong to life.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Five    

I have your letter of Sunday. Sorry that the trip was hard and immediately fruitless, but we know that there is no blame for results, if the best we know is done. So we can rest on that, and go on to the next duty free from any anxiety.

I have read the extracts you send: they are all good, and we cannot have too many of them. Even if we do not use them all in the prospective pamphlet, they will be at our hand in compact form for reference and use for others. All this research must have its effect on your perceptions as to what the intention of the Messenger was and is. You have found for yourself and cannot be accused of taking any other’s statement. It places you in a position which is unassailable, and that is good for you, for the benefit of others who have accepted other ideas and follow other courses.

“The Self of Matter and the SELF of Spirit can never meet.” The trouble is as you say—materialization of concepts. When we see that the trouble lies in that, we are on our guard against it,


and all the time endeavor to correct that personal tendency; as results always follow effort, the difficulty is finally overcome. If we have confidence in our power to learn, and reliance on the law of our being, we can never feel discouraged even though we seem to be falling back, or making no progress. The result of the effort is not in that with which we identify ourselves when we are impatient or discouraged, but of, and in, the inner nature which impelled the effort, and which in reality was then in action. We are not our body, brain, circumstances, duties nor any changeable thing; they constitute our instrument and opportunities only; they change and pass away. In them all, “Duty is the royal talisman.” I think it would be better to take the position that you never fail nor fall nor slip back, but that you have not been constant and careful in guidance of your responsive, but irresponsible instrument; hence, you feel the effects through it of your lack of care. Get hold of it, take care of it, guide it, use it, but be the Self—”The man that is, that was, that ever shall be,” to whom all these things are but fleeting shadows.

The fight against the personal idea is a long one. The personality has to be watched that it does not insidiously take to itself what it has no claim to. Theosophy was given to us; we but pass it on. People are naturally grateful to receive it, and this is right, but the one who passes it along knows where gratitude belongs. He can say, “Thank Theosophy, as I do. It enables me to help others; it will also enable you.” In that way he helps himself as he helps others.

Now as to your extracts on which you want me to say something: “I establish this whole universe with a single portion of myself and remain separate.”

The finite mind cannot understand many things, and being finite and conditioned myself, I cannot explain that which is beyond the power of sages, but if I were endeavoring to form an idea for myself in regard to the above, I would take that of Abstract Space as the basis of that “I” which establishes the universe as a portion of “itself.” That portion could not be formed by any other cause or inherency than the Absolute (Space) ; yet


Space is illimitable, notwithstanding innumerable universes; Space being not only around such universes, but in and throughout every particle of manifested matter. Our bodies are in space, and space is in our bodies, so that while bodies are formed from and in space, yet space remains space and hence separate. These are words only, yet may serve to convey an idea—grasped but not materialized.

“I am the origin of all,” would have its explanation in the above; the Self as All and in All.

“The eight-fold division of my nature is inferior,” even though it includes Manas, Buddhi, and Ahankara; these divisions are inferior because they are divisions, conditioned aspects, progressively changeable, hence non-eternal. The superior nature is different because eternal and unchangeable—the origin, nature and basis of all beings. While all these conditioned aspects exist, that which perceives in them all is the Self; there is nothing but the Self. Take ourselves: what perceives in waking; what in dream; what in sushupti; what in Manas; what in Buddhi; is it not the same consciousness per se under varying conditions? This consciousness is no one of the aspects or conditions, nor all of them put together, but is the cause of all evolution of matter and form, and the perceiver and knower in all. It is said that the universe is embodied consciousness. Consciousness must be the Knower of all embodiments and superior to any embodiment or conditioned aspect of perception. Our bodies are made up of in numerable and varying small lives, through which we obtain contact with this plane. Our conditioned aspect of consciousness is so by reason of this contact and attraction of lives; their aspect is expanded; and both are consciousness differently conditioned. We might consider it this way: All is Consciousness, either
Unconditioned or conditioned in innumerable degrees, and yet that consciousness is One—the power to perceive. The more any aspect expands, the more the sense of Oneness in it—“the Self in all things and all things in the Self.” It cannot be explained, but it may be felt. The conditioned has its origin, basis and being in the Unconditioned, but the conditioned is not the Unconditioned.


“Know that Purusha and Prakriti are eternal.” This is the same as saying “Spirit and Matter are co-existent and co-eternal.” Spirit and Matter are not to be regarded as independent realities, but as two facets or aspects of the Absolute, which constitutes the basis of conditioned Being, whether subjective or objective. If nothing in these suggestions, call again.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Six      

I dropped you a line yesterday which doubtless you have received. If you caught the line and held it, it will be good for you. For, after all, it is not what we get but our eagerness to grow that counts; that, when held, never loses an opportunity. Now, whatever comes of the present occasion, you will have taken the right position, and the results must be in the direction of growth. If you could but have taken this position from the start, it would, of course, have been better; but now that you see it, you have a basis to work from in future.

I know very well what you forego must be a severe deprivation, but its very severity makes the lesson greater and stronger. So, work now as if you were alone, and always going to be alone. Taking such an attitude will bring out your strength—your reliance being on the Law, the Lodge, and your inner Self. Have no fear whatever; forget results and let the Warrior fight in you. So will you grow into a closer union, a better realization. “Good Karma is that which is pleasing to Ishwara.” It is “good” because of the attitude taken, and because it came from beyond the personality—was not striven for as such.

I do not suppose that it offers much consolation to think that we will have to avoid making “good Karma” as well as “bad”; for, generally considered, both are personal and physical, relating to the lower self. We use Karma in performing duty, but our work is evidently not that of manufacturing any special brand for our own use and pleasure; we take it as it comes, and are happy


as may be under the circumstances, learning to be happy under any. So, in any case, we will resignedly say, “It is a good opportunity to learn something.” Yet, we would have been equally glad had it been otherwise.

Doubt is a horror; it grows and spreads quickly in the soil of the personal idea. The remedy is to go back to the time when you had the strongest sense of sureness, and then rehearse your grounds of surety; by this, doubt will be dispersed like the mists before the morning sun. You apparently know how, for having given definite expression to a form of doubt, you let the sun shine on it and it went.

“The shifting serpent of Self” is a great “murkier” of the waters of life, as you remark. Fortunately, WE are not the waters, and we can learn to swim, with the “head” high; then, it makes little difference how much the serpent “murks”; that’s his business—not ours.

“Prakriti is said to be that which operates in producing cause and effect in action.”

“He who gives up the results of action, is the true renouncer.”

“The true renouncer is averse neither to the works that fail nor those which succeed.”

“Let us be true renouncers.”

That is the right idea, to fight it out on the line of battle, no matter what comes. The worst that can come is to die fighting in a righteous cause. It is also the very best that can come. So there is nothing to fear. “Death never touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems.”

About the meeting: I think that the explanation about the “astral” was all right. When a man sleeps, he neither knows nor cares what is going on in the world about him; yet he has his self-consciousness and is otherwise occupied than with the doings of physical bodies. At the same time, he may converse with people who may be actively engaged in bodily actions at the time, and who will know nothing of the converse. The “community” is within the sleeper, as the result of waking experiences; the heavenly state is, also, the result of the best of the waking ex-


periences; both are individual and assimilative rather than communal, in the ordinary man. The astral plane is a reflection of earth and an inferno. The wise man tarries there neither during life nor after death. When a man dies, he does so to get rid of the earthly body and its connections; having had a meal of earthly conditions, he stops eating, in order to assimilate the food. If he had to “eat” more on the astral plane (which communal life would necessitate), the cessation of bodily activity would confer no advantage, nor opportunity for the assimilation of desirable elements acquired during physical life. Other analogies may occur to you.

The elemental kingdoms have never been fully explained, for which there must be a reason. There are seven great classes of Devas, with their seven sub-divisions, among the former being the Kumaras with whom man has most to do—or vice versa. The nature-spirits seem to be the off-shoots of the first elemental kingdoms, some passing the concrete Mineral (not becoming crystallized) ; others not becoming herbalized; others escape forms of watery life; still others escape forms of air life. It may be that there is a greater supply of the spirit of the lower kingdoms than opportunity for entrance, and that these become the spirits of the elements connected by nature with the four elements of earth, water, air and fire; some would have etheric forms, and some astral, their field of operation being in their respective elements. They appear to be outside the line of evolution that leads to human consciousness—in this -manvantara—but must be necessary elements in the great scheme. H. P. B. says, “There are no entities in the four lower kingdoms possessing intelligence that can communicate with men, but the elementals have instincts like animals. It is, however, possible for the Sylphs (the wickedest things in the world) to communicate, but they require to be propitiated.” Just why the Sylphs are wicked, I do not know, but think that this is a class that can alter shape at will and produce glamour where human defects permit their impersonations; they seem to court and delight in human worship. No doubt, there are several classes of them. “The heathen in his blindness bows down


to wood and stone,” but he, if the above be true, is better off than many who call him heathen. He is wise who sees the Self in all things and all things in the Self.

There is no memory without thought. The moment we cease to think of a desire, it is non-existent for us. Memory is the thinking of a past experience. We sometimes recall these experiences into action, purposely; sometimes, they arise by association with other things thought of or experienced; but we do not need to identify ourselves with them or entertain them. The best way is to entertain and keep busy with other kinds of thought; then, there will be no room for undesirable tenants. Well, I will let this go—best of luck and health.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Seven   

You should have got a lot of strength and courage from the present short separation and its circumstances. It may not be fully apparent just now, but the results will flow from it, if your attitude has been toward the performance of duty as it came, regardless of self-interest. This is not easy to learn, but every circumstance, taken rightly, leads to this priceless acquisition. We sometimes forget that we ourselves desired to be tried and tested, and that these trials and tests come in the ordinary events of everyday life. If we cannot take these as they should be taken, we do not gain the strength that will carry us through, nor do we lessen the bonds that hold us to rebirth.

I have your letter about the meeting of Thursday night. Of course one feels one’s inability to meet all inquiries, but it is the very learning of what is needed that induces the study lacking. We accept and know many things interiorly, but if we are to give others the proper words and ideas that will convey them, we have to be able to formulate them; so we practice formulation of answers, constructing them ourselves, or adopting those used by others that do so effectively.


In your last paragraph you say, “When the Self ideates, the Manvantara is going, and the ideations of the Self are ‘the Rays from and one with the Absolute’ ”—meaning all beings from man up—all the rest of the Cosmos being the results of the ideation of these Rays. Could there be any ideations other than those of the Self, whatever their focalizations? Ideation implies consciousness, and as everything in the universe from the atom to Brahma is conscious, each in its degree, can the Self be absent from any? Is it not apparent that the personal man holds himself as separate from all the rest, and that the lower forms have less and less of such sense as they descend?

How does this sound: The Self ideates and the Universe is formed in primeval focalizations. In these upadhis Its ideation produces less ethereal and more limited focalizations; so, on to the more concrete, all are forms and aspects of the Self, indissoluble as to essence, ever changing as to aspect and form, each aspect and form acting and being acted upon by every other in both ascending and descending cycles, or Rounds. All rebecome the Self at the close of a Manvantara, each to re-emerge in its integrity at the beginning of a new one, to continue its eternally recurring active progression.

To get back to the Real would be like standing back from the whole manifestation and seeing how it looks—to use a phrase. Standing back thus, the Real is gained, but as rest is followed by activity, still further and greater manifestation must follow. The Real is the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer in order to further create, but is not subject to change, although the Cause and Experiencer of all change.

“The Self ACTS only through the creatures.” It can only know itself in action through its differentiations, which by the inherent power of Self-hood and the action and re-action of all in giving direction, are raised from perception to self-consciousness; this Self-consciousness, once achieved, must continue to expand or be lost. This, of course, is one way of putting it.

Your letter of today is an excellent statement. I would add to it: the Om is the omnipresent spirit which is also in the body.


Its powers are Preservation, Creation and Destruction—the basis and the means of progress. Re-creation, on an advanced basis, follows destruction until such perfection as is possible in any given age is reached, which, in turn, forms the basis for further creation. Progression is eternal, yet the Self is one and changes not. One might say, as a conception, that It realizes Itself through its creations. The higher the creation, the higher the realization. The realization may be individual, but that which realizes is the Self. It cannot be fully understood, yet the mind gets glimpses now and then which no word or idea can convey.

As to Masters: the power of Preservation is Theirs as well as other powers. Any height may be retained as long as serviceable, or if not retained in particular can be quickly reached when needed. The present time may be a period when Preservation is in force; who knows? Some have bodies of the highest transmutation of matter; others are Nirmanakayas, we are told. The sheaths used are in accordance with the work to be done. Nirmanakayas can and do act in the way you describe; if They did not retain the Nirmanakaya kosha, They would be beyond the possibility of helping humanity. By this it would seem that certain “Preservations” are necessary for long periods, possibly a Manvantara. So, there must be a “retaining” in order to “remain” and help. This is the “sacrifice,” and it must be so all along the line. They help on higher planes always; Their lower koshas enable them to help on lower planes as well. At least, that is what I understand from what is given.

The copies of the pamphlets you send are priceless in value for students whose eyes are open. The unfortunate thing is, that until each one has clarified his perceptions, he would not know gold of Ophir from base metal. So much that is here and ready is too high for most; if given, it avails them not. You know how that is in your own progress; words and sentences do not always have the same meaning—the point of view alters them. The danger lies, as you say, in finalities. A high concept serves as a stepping-stone to higher ones; as stepping-stones they are


good, but as resting places they are distinctly inhibitive of progress. Progress precludes finality. Well, good nights and days to you.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Eight    

I read with pleasure of your meeting. I remember the name of Dr. G—. He is one of the “old-timers”; he should be able to pick up the string once more. Some of them think that the effort has failed for this cycle, because of the dissensions, but they ought to remember that Masters never cease working, and that it is always possible for the clear-eyed and the humanity - loving to aid Their endeavor. The way to know is to get right back to what They gave—as to philosophy and as to right work; if that is done, it will be found that there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning in the U. L. T. from the lines laid down. And I would call again to mind what H. P. B. wrote: “Night before last I was shown a bird’s-eye-view of the Theosophical Societies. I saw a few earnest reliable Theosophists in a death- struggle with the world in general, and with other nominal but ambitious Theosophists. The former are greater in number than you may think, and they prevailed, as you in America will prevail, if you only remain staunch to Master’s program and true to yourselves.”

Also this: “For it is only when the nucleus is formed that the accumulations can begin that will end in future years, how ever far, in the formation of that body we have in view.”

To think that the effort has failed and that it is no use to try further, would show lack of faith in Masters and the Law, and a misunderstanding of the great occult laws that govern such a Movement as this. “The wheel of the Good Law moves swiftly on. It grinds by night and day. The worthless husks it drives from out the golden grain, the refuse from the flour.” This applies to the Movement as well as anything else—being universal in its scope. Apply—apply—apply the Teachings. This, as well


as the booklet, would be good for Dr. G— and for others as well. There is no time-limit to effort.

The “Authority” you speak of is not what men term authority, which comes from outside and which demands obedience of mind and body, but an internal recognition of the value of that which flows through any given point, focus, or individual. That is the authority of one’s Self-discrimination; intuition; the highest intellection: that kind we all hold to, and if we follow what we recognize in that way and still find it good, we naturally keep our faces in that direction, in the source found to be pure and right. But this means no slavish following of a person—a distinction which some are unable to appreciate.

You will remember that H. P. B. said: “Do not follow me nor my path; follow the Path I show, the Masters who are behind.” The wisdom of which is seen in the course of those who judged of the teaching by what they were able to understand of the Teacher. They judged Her by their standards and fell down on everything. In their views, a Teacher of high philosophy should not smoke, should be conventional; she made mistakes, in their wise opinions; ergo, her philosophy must be wrong. All the time she said, I am nothing; I came but to do the bidding of Him that sent me. W. Q. J. had similar judgment passed on him; primarily, because he upheld H. P. B. first, last, and all the time— which was the underlying reason for the attacks. Fearful of “authority,” they minimized the only possible source upon which reliance could be placed, and then endeavored to convey the impression that they were so much greater than H. P. B., that they could explain Her away; in this, they made a greater claim for authority than she ever made. Where was W. Q. J. all this time? Right beside Her, holding up Her hands, pointing to Her as the one to whom all should look. Those who followed his advice or yet follow it, will find where She pointed. It comes to this, that those who pretend to follow H. P. B. do not do so, unless they also recognize W. Q. J. They had to vilify H. P. B. in order to do likewise with W. Q. J. These Two stand or fall together. About W. Q. J. being


at work now. It can be said that he never ceased working, and that work has gone on directly and indirectly. He is working for unity—what he has always worked for. His aid will be given to every effort to spread Theosophy pure and simple, and to such individuals as could understand him, and this in exact measure.

Here are some significant statements from H. P. B.’s messages to the American Convention:

“The ethics of Theosophy are more important than any divulgement of psychic laws or facts.”

“Do not work merely for the Theosophical Society, but through it for Humanity.”

“Theosophy is Universal Brotherhood, the very foundation as well as the key-note of all movements towards the amelioration of our condition.”

“There is a power behind our society which will give us the strength we need; which will enable us to move the world, if we will but unite and work as one mind, one heart.”

“Once united in real solidarity, in the true spirit of Universal Brotherhood, no power can overthrow you, no obstacle bar your progress, no barrier check the advance of Theosophy in the coming century.” “Each can, and should co-operate with all, and all with each, in a large-hearted spirit of comradeship to forward the work of bringing Theosophy home to every man a woman in the country.”

“But in order that we may be able to effect this working on behalf of our common cause, we have to sink all private differences. Many are the energetic members of the Theosophical Society who wish to work and work hard. But the price of their assistance is that all the work must be done in their way and not in any one else’s way. And if this is not carried out, they sink back into apathy or leave the Society entirely, loudly declaring that they are the only true Theosophists. Or, if they remain, they endeavor to exalt their own methods of working at the expense of all other earnest workers. This is fact, but it is not Theosophy.”

As ever, R. C.




To make ourselves “better able to help and teach others” is the task. The personality naturally either rebels or is depressed—or both. But we may expect that and can be prepared for the reaction if we are wise and have confidence in Masters’ teaching. We want to know, to be, and to go forward, and we know that every little assertion of “personal ideas” is a hindrance, and that these ideas and their particular “feelings” are very easily disturbed and hurt. Their very “tenderness” shows their fragile nature, and that they are not worth preserving, in the face of what we have learned and what we have to do to forward the great results. “Thou grievest for those that may not be lamented” is a true saying, which we should take to heart.

“The personality, driven from one defense, takes refuge in any other available one;” we have to watch all along the line. The right attitude will make the battle easy; so, having taken this, “send the arrow straight to the mark.”


We have to learn that we are dealing with minds which need leading, by presenting wider ideas. We can say a great many things if the right manner is adopted and the right, kindly feeling held. It does no good to arouse opposition, and this is most forcibly done if ridicule is used. In any effort to point out fallacies every factor counts: a harsh uncompromising voice, an abrupt manner, together with words whose significance is unfriendliness—these can easily provoke a charge of intolerance. To point out where a system of thought is inadequate, however, is not “tearing it down.” The motto of Theosophists is: “There is no religion higher than Truth,” and all philosophies must be able to stand the most rigid and critical examination in its light, or they are valueless. Everything must stand upon its own merits. If this is pointed out and the talk is in the line of examination


of merits, and the pointing out of demerits in the endeavor to reach the true, no one can find fault. Candid, unprejudiced examination appeals to all.


Dogmatism is a failing of many. I think it is engendered by a feeling of insecurity, in reality, while endeavoring to assure oneself and others of the certainty of one’s correct knowledge. Of course there are other kinds, such as the maintenance of one’s own opinion simply because it is one’s opinion—an egotistical assertion. Dogma is said to be that which appears good and right to one; Dogmatism, arrogance usually, is assertion. It always calls up to my mind the idea of the assertion of a statement the proof of which is unattainable. One may speak convincingly of that which to him is true, without incurring the charge of dogmatism. When we are convinced of the truth of a matter, there is no reason why we should not voice that conviction as strongly as the case demands, but there is no reason why, in such case, we should demand acceptance of it. In our case, we do not demand acceptance of Theosophy; we point out its principles and their applications. Theosophy makes certain statements as being matters of knowledge by perfected men, but not as statements to be believed. It is shown that such knowledge, being acquired by Them from observation and experience in many bodies, can be reached by all men, and the ways to do so are pointed out. The reasonableness of the claim of knowledge takes the statement out of the realm of dogma.

“Consciousness is ubiquitous, and can neither be localized nor centered on, nor in, any particular subject, nor can it be limited. Its effects alone pertain to the region of matter, for thought is an energy that affects matter in various ways, but consciousness per se does not belong to the plane of materiality.”


Faith is really our confidence in the fact that Masters exist, and that Their teachings are what we are following. If our study, so far, of Their philosophy has not begotten that confidence, there is little hope for us—that is, if we have already


studied long. But if we have that confidence, and have realized benefit from Their teachings, we can surely go on in full confidence; for it is only by following the lines laid down by Them that we will ever know. It is not so much a question as to what “we” promise to abstain from—that is, our intention to do so— as a knowledge of the right course to pursue. No one compels us, and no one will punish us, but “we” succeed or fail in accordance with our use of the advice and suggestions freely given. Do we doubt our ability? As long as we really do so, we shall never make much success. We learn to know our ability by using it to the limit. Mistakes need not worry us, if they represent conscientious and unwearied efforts—we can learn through the mistakes we make. It is pure selfishness to desire to know that any advised course will benefit us; advice can be given, but knowledge is acquired. Personal results should not be looked for. We should do things because they are the right things to do, and not because they will be of benefit to us. All our vacillations, fears and despondencies arise from a personal attitude. This we must change, each one for himself. No one can change it for us. The first step towards making the change is the seeing of the necessity for it.


Many of the statements made by the Teachers are axioms to be applied, while at the same time they are woven in with such reasoning as may suit the ordinary way of thinking. Most people imagine and accept as fact, that there is but one way of thinking—reasoning from premises to conclusions, and tabulating things in order to find the cause. By the infinitude of tabulations they come to imagine finally that Matter is every-thing and does all, because nothing is found that can be “nailed down.” Science, Psychology and all other efforts that proceed from particulars and are based upon them, fail. They fail for no other reason than that they will not admit the existence of a true and full knowledge, or that it could have existed in times preceding theirs. Has not the science of every period held that theirs was the highest and most glorious that ever has been, their civilization the grandest? If Western Science and Psychology would go on


with their painstaking effort in the light of the knowledge of the ages, the spiritual and intellectual darkness would soon be overcome, and a civilization come into being which would express the spiritual and intellectual in a true physical life. What hinders? Intellectual pride hinders, together with the cramping effect of false conceptions of religion which give a material bent to thought, which makes a material life, heaven, hell, god—“idols made of mud.” It is a wonder that life is as bearable as it is; or, it would be a wonder, if we did not know that man is more than his experiences, his conceptions, or philosophy, and that he does not follow out to its logical conclusions what he adopts as his “religion.”


After an explosion of personality, and the ensuing reaction, a Disciple sometimes resolves that in future he will not oscillate so much. This is not the true position—it shows he expects to oscillate some. Of course if he expects to oscillate, he will oscillate. It would be better to expect to hit the mark, instead of expecting to miss it. There is a great difference in the psychological position, as well as in the quality of the energy aroused. We should cease doubting our power to accomplish. If we doubt, it will be like trying to shoot an arrow with a loose bow-string—no force, and no certainty of direction. When the bow-string is pulled taut, and let go, there is no hesitation in the arrow. It goes where pointed and with the strength in the pull.

The sincere desire to help others acts as a great inlet from our supersensuous consciousness. More reliance on our inner nature, and the Power that is conjoined with it, will bring forth fruit. Always the inner is the more perfect, and this makes the apparent imperfections and inabilities of the outer more obvious; but this very perception arouses the necessary effort to bring the inner and outer into accord. We could not think, we were perfect or imperfect, were we not actually above and beyond both. H. P. B. says, “The progress of the Ego is a series of progressive


awakenings.” Not being sticks nor stones, but human beings, we must “feel” success or failure. The wisdom is shown in not being “swelled-up” by the one or cast down by the other; we should make a steady, unvarying pursuit of that which is seen to be right.


Every working student of Theosophy must sooner or later meet some Theosophical “bumps.” These are all good as they come, for if we “bump” anything, it must be because we are off the straight road, and “bumps” are of consequence only as indications to us to look to our bearings. We would not feel them if we had not a “compass” inside. The purpose of life is to learn and it is all made up of learning; so these things, while they may not smile at the time, will be matters to smile at later on. Among the Greeks it was said that when the Earth was started rolling in space, the Gods burst into a fit of laughter, just to see the thing go. So we, being those very Gods, can afford to smile at the follies we meet, and go on with the work of promulgating correct ideas for those who are able to receive them. We have to cultivate the attitude of mind spoken of in The Bhagavad-Gita, of being undisturbed by anything that may come to pass. And these disturbing things are the very means by which we arrive at that attitude.

We sometimes, perhaps often, feel our weakness, as we think. The weakness is not that of our real Selves, the inner Man, but of that which we have leaned upon, the false ego. If we remember that we are working with a portion of our powers now—that portion which needs exercise and proper direction—in order to assimilate it with what we really know and are, we shall feel more content to await the full blossoming. The point of view from which we regard things determines the kind and quality of action. The keeping in mind that the Masters are not only Ideals, but Facts, and that all that H. P. B. and W. Q. J. have written about Them was for our help and encouragement in the


struggles that must be ours, brings us closer to Them, and makes us strong with the power that flows from such reliance.


The best method to follow in trying to help our friends is to aid them to see their obstacles. One way to do this is the in direct way—telling a story, for instance, of somebody we know who thought or did thus and so; and telling it in such a way as to arouse no suspicion in the mind of the one we are trying to help. It requires finesse, but it can be done—and well. Of course, an obtuse mind, engrossed in its own affairs, is sometimes best dealt with by the direct method. The main point is, not to work for an opportunity, but to take it when it comes.


Some students have never gotten down to a sound basis. There are many who call themselves Theosophists who take this view of things: “The principles are as good under any name.” This is quite true; but one soldier in the field is not an army, and one principle is not an all-embracing philosophy. Theosophy points to a fact—one of the utmost importance—namely, that there are Masters—our Elder brothers, who have under the name of Theosophy given to the world a record of the Laws that govern all the constituents of Man and of Nature. To take some of the minor portions of this, and withhold from mankind the knowledge of the whole, is an ignoring of the great fact itself—a fact sadly needed in the world—as well as a prevention of the knowledge itself. Whether done consciously or ignorantly, such action entails detrimental karmic results. It is no small thing to stand between the Masters and Their work in an obstructive way. The fact cannot be too often repeated that Theosophy is a record of knowledge, and cannot be assimilated or understood if trimmed and modified in order to suit the preconceptions and prejudices of the time or people; it is sui generis, and must be so taken if benefit is to accrue from it.


People sometimes say they find a kind of “coldness” at a Theosophical meeting, where principles of philosophy and their


application to the affairs of daily life are discussed; they find more “devotion” at the meetings of the various sects or cults, or even at other types of meetings called “theosophical.” It would be interesting to know what such people understand by “devotion.” They often doubtless refer to those types of meetings where there is “meditation,” a sort of prayer-meeting where psycho-religio emotions are aroused. The Teachers of Theosophy say, “The first test of true discipleship is devotion to the interests of another.” So there are different kinds of “devotion,” some of them to the personality. The real meditation is not that.


Some Theosophists do not study; this makes them weak. They are often sincere, but they do not work, nor feel the intense desire to do all that they can. On this account they lose in every way. The work will not come without the feeling; even working for personal results without the feeling would be futile. There is but one way to progress—to cultivate the feeling that produces the work. This both strengthens and improves the whole nature, and even the circumstances of life. Again, other students have the devotional feeling, but center a considerable amount of it in themselves. They need to forget themselves in working for others, and to give all their thought, strength and effort to the Cause they see to be true. This will include the personality as a means, not as an end.


Is it not true that when the personal self is suppressed, the higher finds expression? There is a leaning back, as it were, on the great Ocean of Life—the SELF—and identification with personal ideas and feelings becomes non-existent. When such times come we must beware of self-gratulation; the lower feeds and waxes strong on this, and very often without our being sensible of it—yes, even when we are trying to guard against it, or think we are. Nor is it well to talk to others about these inner struggles, even to our best friends, for there is a self-satisfaction engendered by it—so subtle is the nature of the personal. We must


learn to recognize things for what they are, in fact, and cease to value them in the light of the opinions or feelings of others. Nor should we feel depressed. In other words, we should not be affected by the depression of the lower nature, for that is what is felt, and show no signs outwardly of the struggle going on within.


The life of the Disciple must be one of constant watchfulness, not merely of others, but most of all of himself. Our tendency often is to separate our Theosophical life from our personal life. But we cannot restrict our efforts upon ourselves to include only those relations directly connected with our active Theosophical work. In our home life and in our ordinary communications there is more probability of our slacking down than in our public, student relations. The personality has had home life and connections as its paramount stamping-ground, and is more apt to give full play to its disposition there than elsewhere. And this play can be carried on, apart from what we might call inordinate self-assertion, in small and seemingly harmless methods of keeping itself in evidence—such as telling others in the home what one is going to do in regard to matters that are not necessary to communicate. When one comes to think of it—and thinking of these things is necessary—such actions are just the efforts of the personal nature to keep itself in evidence, trying to attract attention to oneself in any way—by speech, by action, by calls for sympathy, by assumed direction to others, by patronizing speech, and the thousand and one ways that the personality keeps on tap, by means of which he keeps alive; for when suppressed in one direction, he slyly emerges in some other way. “He” will do this as long as we leave any loop-hole for “him.”

The foregoing may seem very restrictive and difficult, but it really is not. The very feeling of “restriction” comes from the personality, not from the Ego. Some Disciples who were trying, and trying very hard, have been known to draw attention to the fact that they had overcome this and suppressed that—this is the same old personality with another suit of clothes on. So it is


best always not to speak about one’s self, “either as to what he shall eat, drink, or wherewithal he shall be clothed.” Here are some good maxims, to apply: “Never ask another to do for you what you can do for yourself;” “Know where your things are and get them for yourself when you need them;” “Do for others all you can in a nice way, but don’t expect others to do for you;” “You are valuable only when you are helpful, not when you require help.” These will be found good, if we try them out.


The animal is able to relate cause and effect in some directions, but perceives little, if any, relation between different states. A cat out in the cold will cry to come in, for instance; once in and warm, it will go out again with no hesitancy, nor recollection of the state it had shortly before suffered in. Some humans come perilously near to a similar state of existence, and all fall into it in some degree. Most people identify the power to perceive with the act of perception and thus lose right comprehension and application. “What shall arouse them from the living body of this death?” Trouble, pain, sorrow, loss. In the meantime, they are joined to their idols, and have to be let alone. “Theosophy is for those who want it and for none others.”


If Consciousness is the only Reality, the Knower, Sustainer and Experiencer, then every condition or state is more or less a temporary appearance. All classifications refer only to actions of Consciousness—the universe being “embodied consciousness,” a creation of forms, a building up of the great from combinations of the small, so to speak. You will remember that H. P. B. says, “It stands to reason that life and death, good and evil, past and future, are all empty words, or, at best figures of speech. They are changes of state, in fact, and no more. Real life is in the spiritual consciousness of that life, in a conscious existence in Spirit—not matter.” She also said that she had in vain endeavored to impart this idea to Theosophists at large, and that with this basic idea all the rest becomes easy; yet thousands of Theosophists read-


ing the statement and like statements, time and again, get no meaning from them.
Consciousness is the cause and basis of all states, whether the fact is realized or not. It alone is whether there are universes or none. If we take the idea that Sight which sees all things cannot see itself, and apply it to Consciousness, we must concede that Consciousness cannot know itself, although knowing all things. Is not Consciousness Knowledge itself as an abstraction? “It is wisdom itself, the object of wisdom, and that which is to be obtained by wisdom; in the hearts of all it ever presideth.” It is ever-present, ever perceiving the changing panorama of existence. “I establish this whole universe with a single portion of myself and remain separate.”

Our form of consciousness is made up of various and differing contacts with other forms of consciousness. We base our modes of action upon these partial expressions, and get the reaction from them in constant repetitions. As the Self is all and in all things, and all things are in the Self, the Self is the Witness of all. The seeming separate view in us is not a separate Self, but the One and Same as appears separate in all creatures.

Self-knowledge comprises both Self and Knowledge; without Self there could be no knowledge; without being there could be no knowledge of Self. “The Highest see through the eyes of the lowest.” All are partial expressions of the One, seen by the One, known by the One. Individualization of being does not tend to separateness, but to universality of ideation and consequent action. What does it? Thought does it. All experience is by and in Consciousness; Ideation becomes more and more universal.

“And when unreality ceases to exist in the individual self, it is clear that it returns towards the universal; hence there is to be a rejection of the self-assertion and other characteristics of the individual self.”


As to our fellow students: we are apt to be mistaken in regard to their real attitude towards us. It is so often our attitude towards them that presents to us a false conception of theirs. That


we all have defects is quite certain, and a defect of one kind is no better than a defect of another kind. We notice defects in others, or what appear as such, in much the same way as they may notice defects in us, and then on both sides there is judgment of one another on the basis of the defects perceived. This is the opposite of that respect for our fellow students which we ought to have, because they are such, and all are working for a common purpose. We will readily admit the common ground, but say at the same time that on no other basis would we be at all congenial; so it must be true that there rests misunderstanding of one another. What this may be has to be searched out by each one. There is something that causes it. Is it fear, doubt, ambition, jealousy—or what? These things we have to determine and act upon for ourselves, regardless of what any other may do, or what we may have thought of that other. All this will keep us so busy in watching ourselves that we will have no time nor inclination to take offense at others. And all the time we will be raising ourselves to a higher and better degree of discrimination and power to help in the best and most effectual way the very ones whom we may have placed in a pigeon-hole that we have specially constructed for them.

It is written that students are not selected because of their natural affinity for one another, but for quite other reasons. Each student or disciple carries with him some particular expression of racial defects, which on the surface appear as points of dislike to others, and yet which have similar roots in each student, so much alike that one could not tell them apart. So each has to dig out the root, and when he has done this, the true nature shines forth and is reflected in the others.


The desire to know the “whence, where and whither” of humanity springs from the general “religious instinct,” the real basis of religion being in man’s own spiritual nature. Religion does not arise outside of man, as the word itself shows—from religere, to bind back. Religion is the binding back of all men and all beings to the One Source of all. Real knowledge arose within man him-


self as he perceived his real nature. Knowledge of man’s nature has always been and has been restated from time to time by perfected men from other periods of evolution. All forms of religion are pale and distorted copies of the original statements upon which they are based, the Three Fundamental Propositions of Theosophy.


The greatest thing most students have to guard against is self-deception. The versatility of lower Manas in this direction is beyond characterization. So we have to watch to see whether our ostensible motives are not cloaks for other underlying ones. While doing this, we should be serious but cheerful—not taking “our selves” too seriously, but the task itself as seriously as we can. By this course we will gain insight and strength, if we never despair, never doubt—and keep quiet, thoughtful and persistent, as well as cheerful, through it all. Nothing is as bad as we think it is, nor ever will be.


People sometimes charge others with intolerance. Perhaps this accusation arises, not on account of the statements actually made, but because of the tone and feeling within and behind them. One can usually state his belief and understanding, giving his reasons therefore, without arousing antagonism. This is a good thing to strive for. Tolerance is good, if understood rightly; but there are many strange ideas in regard to it. Some think it to be intolerance to point out to others holding different views any errors of statement or fact. But Truth never yet agreed with error, nor does error agree with error; Truth agrees only with Truth. So if we firmly believe, and are convinced by fact and reason, that we are in possession of Truth, it would be a false tolerance which would withhold it in the face of error. Truth exists in the world for the purpose of destroying error. Error is dogmatic and does not court close investigation. Truth courts all and every possible investigation, and, calm in its certitude, examines everything upon its merits, tests it by the standard of Truth. The average mind of the day is still under the sway of superstition, of dogma and


authority, and must remain so for some time to come. Meeting frequently those who have broken loose from old forms to engulf themselves and, what is worse, others in newer forms of the same old errors, we can but keep on the straight path we know, making a trail that these very ones may follow in the future. We need not be distressed that they cannot now see. Their time will come; for all these things are provided for in the vastness of time. We have but to go on with the Work.


At certain stages of his student life, the Disciple often feels that getting away alone somewhere with regularity helps him keep his psychic balance. Surely it is not a good thing for progress to depend upon externals for balance. Thinking so only perpetuates the dependence, and cannot bring that inner strength and perception which is so necessary. That dependence occasions dissatisfaction at the majority of externals, and demands periodical changes, none of which brings anything lasting. From all this a nervous tension is produced which is corrosive and destructive, occupies the mind with one’s fancied needs, and reacts injuriously on the body.

True strength lies within and can only be aroused and used by ceasing to think that anything in particular of an external nature is necessary for us, in the ordinary acceptation of the word. We have our place and our duty to fulfill and perform; externals are our temporary opportunities, and we shall be wise to use these rightly. Furthermore, we will do well if we take the attitude that “we” are not necessary to others; that if we were gone they would miss us only for a comparatively short time, and that other persons and things would finally fully occupy their attention. Only when we have arrived at that state—the sooner the better—where we stand self-centered in the true sense, and “upon nothing depend,” can we realize our inner nature, and be of the greatest service in the world of men. All of which means that our tendency is to exaggerate our importance; and that is distinctly separative and obstructive to real knowledge and effectiveness.


Effective Theosophical work cannot be done unless there are found persons in the world who can see the necessity for it and will fit themselves more and more to supply the need. That certain persons find such an opportunity is their karma, but what they do with the opportunity depends upon their realization of its importance. Once we see something of what the Theosophical Movement means to the world, we are necessary to it—not as persons—but because we see and do. The Movement is accelerated by us to the extent we work for it, and hindered to the extent that we, as it were, let it pull us along. Of course, if we were dead and gone, or not able to grasp the great fact of such existence as the Lodge of Masters and Their work in the world, the great Movement would be going on in such measure as others— perhaps not so wise nor capable in many ways—might afford. So, every student who will strive to make himself a fitting instrument is necessary to the work, to his full capacity, Soul, Mind and Body. It is a fact of tremendous significance to our personalities! If we are impressed with the significance of it, and accept ‘ fight that only fortune’s favored soldiers can obtain,” we will hesitate not at all, but seeing that the present basis of action in the world is wrong will work with it as far as we must, while ourselves thinking and acting from a very different basis. Our thoughts are our thoughts; our lives are our lives, and both are devoted to our work. Having put our hands to the plough, and seeing the field that needs cultivation, we may push on in confidence and faith. More power is needed? It will come, if we will just open those big hearts of ours and let “them” work.


The right kind of Theosophical talking comes only from practice. It is not merely the use of a facile vocabulary, but the possession of well-digested ideas that is necessary. These come only from constant study and application. Frequent reading of articles by W. Q. J. develops the tendency to present the right ideas in the simplest form, and these ideas become a mental storehouse which can be drawn upon at will. It is not necessary that we understand the deeply metaphysical concepts of Theosophy, as


it is to comprehend the fundamentals and be able to make an application of them to every problem of life. W. Q. J.’s articles will be found to contain “alphabet, grammar, and composition,” or, in other words, a basis for right ideas, right thinking and right application. A daily reading from his writings is advisable. One who does this cannot help but imbibe—absorb—the spirit of them, and become an exponent who is at once deep, simple and convincing.


The question of personality is so large that it might seem as though its successful solution should resemble the working out of a complicated mathematical problem. But the greatest truths are the simplest. And if we reflect a moment on what impersonality is not, perhaps that will help us to see what it is. Some orate forcibly against personality. That does not prove they are free from it. Some say little, but the effect of what is said is to imply that they are impersonal. They seem so modest, but are only politic. Some are afraid to talk about personality, thinking that it must be shunned as an ogre.

Yet others preach a doctrine of impersonality which takes everything human out of life and makes of it a cold negation. This doctrine has no patience with evolution—all faults must disappear at a single stroke.

Impersonality isn’t talking; it isn’t silence; it isn’t insinuation; it isn’t repulsion; it isn’t negation. Above all, it isn’t a diplomacy which masks ambition.

Impersonality means freedom from personality, but none of us are going to attain that, right away; we are doing well enough if we are persistently, albeit slowly, overcoming.

For practical purposes: if we are developing the child-heart; if we are learning to love things beautiful; if we are becoming more honest and plain and simple; if we are beginning to sense the sweet side of life; if we are getting to like our friends better and extending the circle; if we feel ourselves expanding in sympathy; if we love to work for Theosophy and do not ask position


as a reward; if we are not bothering too much about whether we are personal or impersonal—this is traveling on the path of impersonality. So much for the individual. For the T. S. A. impersonality means not to worship itself as an organization; to endeavor to get broader and freer; to merge itself, more and more, into the living spirit of the movement— its higher self; to neither despise itself because it is a form nor exalt itself because it has a soul; to become less doctrinal and more human.

July 12, 1897.



“Seek this wisdom by doing service, by strong search, by questions, and by humility; the wise who see the truth will communicate it unto thee, and knowing which thou shalt never again fall into error, o son of Bharata. By this knowledge thou shalt see all things and creatures whatsoever in thyself and then in me. Even if thou wert the greatest of all sinners, thou shalt be able to cross over all sins in the bark of spiritual knowledge. As the natural fire, O Arjuna, reduceth fuel to ashes, so does the fire of knowledge reduce all actions to ashes. There is no purifier in this world to be compared to spiritual knowledge; and he who is perfected in devotion find eth spiritual knowledge springing up spontaneously in himself in the progress of time.”

                                                                     Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter IV.



        Letter One

YOUR letter of ‘Wednesday is here; a good brave letter, and true all through, covering the ground. Yes, if we were quite certain that They were on hand always to pull us out of holes we walk into carelessly, or have made possible by past neglect, we would never become as They are. All the same we are helped, and in the right way, the way our nature needs, not necessarily according to the way we assume would be the proper one. If helped at all, it must be so. “Ingratitude is not one of our vices,” is Their written statement, and it is lived up to; the very best that can be done for us is done, and being done all the time. At times we may doubt, but this arises from the personal uncertainty, fear of some or another kind of consequence. We should take it that whatever arises is a necessary position for us to be in, in order for us to do further and greater work for Them. This must be, if we are true to Them; so, while doing all we can to make the way sure and clear according to our light, we step forward with strength and boldness because the Path is ours and Theirs. We lay our strength and our weaknesses on the altar of sacrifice. Does not the Gita say “Place all thy works, failures and successes alike, on me”? The fact that some are recognized as bad means their relinquishment, sooner or later. The reason for this seems plain; if we waited till we were saints, would we ever begin? We would not. So, recognizing this interiorly—if not in words—we go on and keep going. This is the gist of your letter, and it warms me up to have you write it.

This is a school and everything that comes for us to do contains a lesson for us. ‘We should not forget that, ever. What comes


at any time contains in it the thing we need; so whether it seems hard, troublesome, or pleasant, there is something in it for us. Also it is well to bear in mind that W. Q. J. says in the “Spiritual Will,” that the essence of eradicating the personal element lies in doing the things we dislike to do. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to hunt them up. They come to us right along. If we had to hunt them, we might let a lot of them go by, as not the right kind, or for some other reason. Being Arjunas, we have the battles ready to our hand.

There comes a time in our development when work seems useless and irksome, but W. Q. J. says, “the disciple must work,” notwithstanding. I think that in the irksome work is the clearing up of Karma, and clarification of the sheaths. We are doing it all, bearing it all, for the Self. It is by the giving up of self that the White Adept becomes. That which galls, that which hurts, is the personal desire unattained, or feared to be unattainable. We know it very well, but find the pressure hard many times. We also know that “realization comes from dwelling on the thing to be realized;” so we have to keep on, and “dwell” as much as we possibly can. Every effort brings the time of realization nearer.

I was amused at the remark of the lady, “If we could see on the astral plane, we could find there that H. P. B. made mistakes.” I would say, “Perhaps if we could understand English, our mother tongue, and could understand the simplest information in regard to a thing we had never heard before, and knew the very first laws of Occultism, we would keep silence, try to learn, and refrain from showing our ignorance.” This “parrot-talk” has a tendency to make me “tired.” I have heard it before, and I am not gentle with it as I am with other things. It is so unspeakably silly; I often quietly say things that tend to startle such people out of their goose-like assurance. (You have seen geese and heard them!)

These people should be told to stop taking as a fact what other people tell them, and if they want to know anything, go study the history of the Movement from every point of view. We have done it, and are giving out the result, which they can


verify if they choose. What we are giving cannot be refuted in any way but by that history, assimilated and understood. We stand on the whole record, without omissions or interpolations. Of course, the study needs a modicum of power to understand the meaning of words and their application; if they have it not, then they would better follow some “leader” or another until they have acquired it. This is not their class.

When the lady asked if never lectures on “what Theosophy is,” it would have been a great opportunity to have her tell what it is. I imagine she would have exposed her ignorance. Such people—many of them—think that talk about Lemuria and Atlantis, Parabrahm, the Logoi, Pitris and what not, is Theosophy; none of them understand even what they talk about. No very explicit information was given out by H. P. B., and there is none other to be had. The races are simply sketched so as to give a general comprehension of the history and nature of the preceding races; if we knew every detail about them, it would not help us any. True knowledge does not lie in the direction of book-study, as we know, and as doubtless you have told them.

The — were asking last night in respect to the “Declaration.” I had said at one time that the very words were Mr. Judge’s; they evidently got the idea that he had “communicated” the Declaration to me. I told them that I had been looking for the right thing to put Out as a Declaration of Principles and that while on that hunt, you had sent me the very thing I wanted, further explaining that the Messengers had left all that was necessary for us, and that it was for us to apply the right things at the right time and places. — thought that was rather discouraging, evidently thinking that we should have direction in ways and means. I tried to show we could not do any good, if directed in everything; we would not grow in discrimination, power and judgment; we would be but automata, and would never fill the necessary place. No doubt we would be helped by readjustment rather than direction, so we should not look for the latter, but using our best Theosophical judgment, move forward, feeling sure that if our understanding of the nature of the task is good,


and our motive pure, the right way will appear to us. Such would be guidance of the right sort, one that leads to growth. Should it be necessary to have “direction” at any time, we may be sure that it, also, will come. In the meantime we live and learn; and we should not forget that They and we are working for the future, and for the same end.



Letter Two

Glad that you had such a good and large meeting, and that your courage increases as time goes on. You would not have believed a year ago that such progress in the work and in understanding could be made in the time elapsed. Think of the numbers of souls awakened and set upon the right path by going the way yourself and pointing it out to others. This is something that falls to the very few. “Just to thy wish the door of heaven is found open before thee, through this glorious unsought fight which only fortune’s favored soldiers may obtain.” The kind of fighting was not our choosing, but was and is that of fortune’s favored soldiers; the end of the battle is not seen until the enemy has surrendered. He may be defeated in one place to stand and give battle in another; so the fight keeps on because a soldier of the Kshatriya tribe has no duty superior to lawful war. War is his business, and he should find joy in the battling with difficulties presented to him to try his courage, to test his strength and endurance. “Make pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, the same to thee, and then prepare for battle, for thus and thus alone shalt thou in action still be free from sin.”

I can readily imagine the troubles found in getting people to really study; as a rule, the necessity is not perceived, and this, I think, on account of the present methods of education wherein the soul and mind are considered as mere recorders. Is it not strange that plain statements are not grasped, that the superficial meanings of words are taken to be the applications of them? All


of which is chargeable to our modern educational methods. Most men think that when they have heard a statement made, they know it.

Some one or two may wake up, among a number of those interested, and therein lies the hope; also we know that those who merely listen or read with attention get something in the way of a trend that sometime will develop into greater things. It is not labor lost, although results at times do not appear to be commensurate with the effort put forth. We make the effort, and the effort brings results: this is enough. We may not look for any specific kind of results, but keep on doing the best we know and can; this includes all proper ways and means open to us.

What you say about Consciousness is right, as I see it. There is consciousness and its perceptions, the latter becoming more and more objective creations on different planes of matter on account of the Creative, Preservative and Destructive powers inherent in Consciousness, or, more properly, the Self. ‘Whatever state of consciousness the Perceiver may be in, the things of that plane are for the time being his only realities.” It is all relativity and here is where the knowledge of the Real and the Unreal frees from bondage. The whole universe exists only for purposes of Soul. Soul is individualization of Being; we, as self-conscious beings, have to remain in the bondage of matter long enough to give lower segregated entities the necessary impetus toward self- consciousness. The majority do this work unconsciously, partly right and partly wrong. It is possible to do it consciously and free from attachment, as well as rightly.

A good comprehension of the processes is wise and necessary, for the sake of others who need to see that the way of devotion is not that of merely being good. The books of devotion contain the rules of war, the duties—individual and collective—of the warrior, the right conduct in the field. Moreover, they give the maps of battle-grounds where the foe is to be met, and tell how the battle should be fought—to win. All the works of the Teachers have their places, and all of Them had a particular work


to do. Those who think that the Teachers can be pigeon-holed— as some do—have failed to grasp the meaning of the Movement. We can see how the work of one Teacher so clearly and so beautifully complemented that of the other. You remember what H. P. B. wrote to W. Q. J.: “As you in America will prevail, if you only remain staunch to Master’s program.” There is no way under heaven by which we shall know that program except through the record left by those Two. The more we proceed on the line we are going, the more clear does it show itself to be according to the “program.




Letter Three

I am rejoiced that you find lessons in all these things that come to pass: this is the realizing of the meaning of life. Most people take it to mean eating, drinking, waking, sleeping, enjoying, doing business for gain in order to do these things—and learning nothing, frittering away opportunities, multiplying difficulties, avoiding by every possible means those things from which they might learn.

Our attitude should be that if there is work and we can do it, we must, regardless of results; we know that the Law takes care of them, without thought or effort on our part, and with exactitude undisturbed by our sentiments. We see that and admit it, yet fear to trust, even when we know that there is nothing else that can be done by us.

One finds spiritual knowledge springing up spontaneously within him, not because of his mental exertions, but because of his “attitude of mind.” “Place thy heart on me as I have declared myself to be, serve me, offer unto me alone, and thou shalt come to me; I swear it, for thou art dear unto me.” Krishna calls these “my supreme and most mysterious words”; he adds, “He who expoundeth this supreme mystery to my worshippers shall come to me if he performs the highest worship of me, and there shall


not be among men any one who shall serve me better than he, and he shall be dearest unto me of all on earth.” What determines it? Thought determines it. Motive determines it.

I am glad that you wrote R— and put it up squarely. I think that was the right thing to do; if it hurt personal pride for you to do it, the hurt showed the need. A sore place like that is not right; some massaging will not do it any harm. The fact that you felt better after writing shows you knew that it was the right thing all the time, but hesitated, like the boy with the tooth and the string. The personality is what you say—a “peach.” It can play all parts, from lord of all creation to Uriah Heep, as its occasion requires, and the man is involved in its pretensions. But he learns, and some time Mr. Personality will be “out of a job”; “there won’t be no such thing”; instead, there will be a whole man.

I can understand the trepidation that arises in such a transaction as you mention; one does not want to make a mistake because of the large loss that would be incurred, and yet one must decide to do or not to do. The nature of your business contemplates a certain amount of risk based on the probable action of others. It is a sort of gamble; probabilities are better in some cases than in others, but in any, there is no certainty to be obtained. To be able to determine accurately one would have to know all the converging factors, to see them all in their several courses, and this is not possible to us; so we have to guess on probabilities to a great extent. It is this uncertainty which un nerves us. We do not want to make a loss, and we do not want to lose a business opportunity. The only course left, is seems to me, is to determine whether it would be considered a fair risk; if so, we would be justified in taking it, because there is no way by which results can be absolutely assured. Our judgment would then be centered on the quality of the risk, leaving results to general average—that being all that we can do.

The Conditioned is surely unlimited in its capacity for wrong action, but we might remember that the Unconditioned does not and cannot act. “The Self acts only through its creatures;” the


conditioning is collective. The conditioned has also to exercise its capacity for right action; its ascertained errors lead in this direction, and the possibilities are also unlimited. All being is conditioned, but in it there is an infinite variation. If we rise out of one set of conditions we are in another. The secret would seem to be non-identification with conditions of any kind, while working in and with those which on any plane surround us, improving our judgment and discrimination in regard to them all the time, as well as the instrument in use on that plane, giving the conscious lives of which that instrument is composed the right direction.

Had we transcended physical conditions, we should not be trammelled by them, would not be in them, except by choice. Even then we could not do other than put ourselves under their operations and limitations, in order to gain a full comprehension of them in all their bearings upon those in that condition by necessity. We have to abide by the rules of whatever game we are playing; at the same time we may know better games.

It is good to have that “touch of heart” which transcends time, space and conditions. I fully appreciate it, and you know that it exists on my part. Love to you and the highest success in your endeavors.



Letter Four

While situations are not always agreeable, or what we would choose, yet they are the very apparatus by means of which we learn discrimination; you know that. Seeming misfortunes turn into blessings if taken right; this must be true if the purpose of life is to learn. Everything that comes is a part of life, and when it comes to us, it is a part of our life; so all must be right for us if our object is to learn. If people could only look at it in that way, they would learn more, get through with less friction, be happier, and, in reality, have fewer difficulties to surmount; the necessity for learning ceasing, no means are drawn to us for that


purpose. It is Karma, all of it, and as students we should realize and benefit by the knowledge. But it takes time for most to do so, and opportunities are lost and energy uselessly expended in the meantime. Our work is with ourselves, however, and we can do only what we can for others, giving them such opportunities as are beyond us to take; then they must choose. W. Q. J. said there are two things needed—to hold on firmly, and to have perfect confidence. I think therein lies the door to a safe refuge. (He used the words “hold on grimly”—which is more expressive of determination.)

It is true that when we are relying on other things, we are not relying on the law. Yes, it looks a good deal darker than it really is. We have to grow accustomed to another kind of light, and we shall then see as plainly, or more so, than before. The very sacrifices made to relieve the trials of others are also tests for ourselves, and means of growth, growth coming from the sacrifice of the lower to the higher in every way, as well as on every plane of being. It is spiritual fire that burns out all the dross. At no time is the way easier, but it is sure, and the refining goes on. If we must go down, it will be with our flags flying, fighting to the very last. That is the worst that could happen, and even that is not very bad for us, though others might suffer because of our removal to another field. We may now regret the possibility, but then we would not, because no more could be done.

Also, your thought that we are not deserted must be right. Too often we think all depends upon our effort and continuance; yet we must know that all these things are provided for, and there are always those who are near us, who see and know, and will never fail us, even though we have to go through the gates of death to get a wider vision and understanding. All the trial and training tend to pull us out of one place in order that we may lay hold of another and better one, when we determine to “suffer or enjoy whatever the Higher Self has in store for one by way of discipline and experience.” It is the Higher Self that pulls us into places and conditions that the personality would run in affright


from, if it alone were acting. It shrinks from the unknown like the steed, but the rider by spur, bridle, and encouragement makes it carry him where he desires to go, for he knows where food, shelter, and rest await both.

In this work natures are intensified; good and bad come to the surface, but the cleansing process is gradual. Each must do his own work of elimination where such is seen to be needed; it is a process of purpose and discrimination, and events bring us opportunities. Wise are those who take advantage of opportunities and examine motives in the handling of events.

The Law works in strange ways at times; it is never idle and it makes no mistakes. Let us rely on IT, for there is nothing else on which we may. If I were utterly worthless, your love and faith and courage would bring results to you just the same, and your sacrifice to an ideal bring out in you all that the ideal holds. And when it is Truth itself we seek and serve, nothing can dismay us or turn us aside. It is much to have gained this understanding—worth its cost ten thousand times.



Letter Five

You have it right about passing from plane to plane daily but relating everything to the brain circle of necessity and thus losing the meanings. I think both a dwelling on the fundamentals and a giving it to others is what produces the best results. W. Q. J. says, ‘ it (the Will) is freed from the domination of desire and at last subdues the mind itself. But before the perfection of the practice is arrived at, the will acts according to desire, only that desire is for higher things and away from those of material life.” The ordinary events and duties of the day do become fatiguing and harassing to the earnest student by the very nature of the change of attitude and plane of action, and of the changes going on in the body itself; but this has to be overcome. The disciple must work, must do every duty, not in order to get it


done, but as though his whole interest were in it and it were the only thing to be done. This, you will see, is because desire is working in the new field.

As to memory: you see that memory is a faculty of perceiving registration. Registration is there, but oftentimes remote from the plane of perception, the impression being pressed upward, as it were, from below. Physical memory can be trained to greater effectiveness, a close observation and notation of every thing and every circumstance being the principal agent. We have many careless habits of letting things impress us without definite notation. For instance, people often look at their watch and put it back in the pocket; then, being asked, “What time is it?” have to look again, being unable to tell. In such cases, the object was to see what time it wasn’t, and observation went no further in the way of notation. To carefully note things and not allow the notation to affect our proper course of conduct—that is, to note impersonally—is studying the hearts of men who make up the world in which we live; is studying man as a whole, in fact, for the whole is made up of the parts. Such an attitude neither judges nor condemns, but votes, in order to help understandingly. This careful notation works both ways, inwardly as well as outwardly, and tends to effectiveness of the physical registry. Motive counts in this as well as elsewhere; otherwise, it might descend to “peering about.” One sees without giving any indication of having done so, and without the slightest intention of making any personal use of perception so gained. When we can read the thoughts of others, such knowledge is never used to the detriment of others but ever for their benefit and with wisdom; like the saying of the Masons, it is “locked in the safe and sacred repository of the heart.”

I think you have the understanding of “Look not behind or thou art lost.” The context says, “Kill in thyself all memory of past experiences.” If we do not do this, we live in them and rejuvenate them. Having in the past made a deep impression, while we have now increased our power of thought, they are re-lived with increased power and expression. Reliance on the Self— “That Thou Art”—is the way out. “As we admit the reality of the


Higher Self, we should embrace the idea, dwell on it day in and day out until the will and desire naturally incline to it and have it as the subtone or aim of thought. This process will make the line of influence brighter and better with every thought. When the influence grows strong it pervades the entire nature and strengthens as well as improves. It will give knowledge and also energy. This is the real and only road to the Masters, the Adepts, the Mahatmas.”

What you say is true, that any other position than that of the Self is all the more disastrous because temporarily strong. Whatever a man relies upon, to that he goes; he, only, who relies upon the Self is not subject to rebirth. It does require an immortal courage to have an immortal point of view, and to hold to it while watching and guiding the lower forces in unity, for the Self of All. The Spiritual Will cannot act so long as there is any selfishness in the action or the desire for its results. The only way out is renunciation of self-interest in the fruits of actions, and while the perfection of renunciation may not now be ours, growth in that direction is always possible, and each modicum of growth makes for better attainment.

It is well to have recognized that for a long time the hidden activity of the spiritual aspiration manifests most in the increased activity of the lower nature, and this may also mean in the circumstances of life. It is the hastening of Karma, which may be good quite as well as what we might be disposed to call ‘ Karma. Good Karma is that which is pleasing to Iswara; bad Karma is that which is displeasing to Iswara—the best definition of the two kinds.

We need not mind what we have not done nor yet what we have done. Have care only for what we are doing; so shall we best work and serve. Like St. Paul, we find the spirit willing but the flesh weak, yet the latter gets stronger all the time. It looks weaker than it is because of the higher standard of judgment we apply to it. Always the inner is the more perfect, and it is that which does the work of perfecting. He who seeth that all his actions are performed by nature only and that the Self within


is not the actor sees indeed.” Our Declaration says, “A truer realization of the Self, a profounder conviction of universal brother-hood.” We are beginning to realize what those words mean, and we realize it by teaching it and endeavoring to live it.

The Perceiver having to be understood as changeless troubles a good many. This is because we identify that which perceives with its perceptions. Each person has what he calls his mind, but many think that the present attitude of mind is the Perceiver, although he had other attitudes at one time, and will have still others because He changes his mind as He perceives need for such change. The mind is therefore only his instrument for comprehending things and natures on the plane upon which it is used. That instrument can be strengthened and improved; it is and must be something permanent which uses, strengthens, and improves the instrument. The mind might be likened to a telescope in use by the Man, the Perceiver, in order to be able to perceive the nature of the things about him. He can act only in accordance with what He perceives through the telescope. If the telescope is not properly adjusted or out of focus, the perception will be out of true, and wrong action will follow. The Perceiver must there-fore learn, by experience and through the experience of others like himself with similar instruments, the proper adjustment and focussing of the instrument upon which right perception and action depend. If he became any particular perception or perceptions gained through his instrument, he would immediately lose all relation with other possible attitudes to be obtained, together with those that have been obtained.



Letter Six

You ask about the Ego leaving the astral body. I think that the best comprehension of the subject can be had by analogy. ‘When one is said to be asleep, the Manas or mind is no longer receiving nor transmitting impressions through the body; he


passes into the dreamless state, where he functions as a spiritually self-conscious being until the cycle of return comes to function through the body again. Now if we regard death as a more complete sleep, a final one for that body, the Ego would simply cease forever to function through that body; the linga sarira or “form” astral would immediately begin to disintegrate, remaining with the body until its last particle, except the skeleton, is dissipated. The Ego, however, is no more tied to the one than to the other; the Kama Rupa, or desire form, aggregates itself from the skandhas or tendencies of the lower nature clothed in astral matter (not the linga sarira), and the Ego ascends to Devachan clothed in his highest essence. The Kama Rupa quickly or slowly fades out, according to the grossness of the nature of the man in life, but its “seeds” remain, awaiting the return of the Ego from Devachan. As the Ego while inhabiting a body, and during the sleep of the body, may ascend to Devachanic regions without hindrance by the fact of the existence of that body or the desires pertaining to it, so, after the death of the body, the Ego is not held by the disintegrating process of his lower principles, but may quickly pass through the kama-lokic (dreaming) to the Devachanic state. The kama-rupa is but the mass of desires and passions, abandoned by the real person who has fled to “heaven.” Yet, as some dream more than others and in different ways, there is a period of greater or less extent before the segregation of the kama-rupa is complete, before the Triad is entirely free. You will note that Mr. Judge writes, “When the separation is complete (between the body that has died, the astral body and the passions and desires) . . . the Higher Triad . . . immediately goes into another state.”

If it is remembered that the real Man is the Perceiver of all states, the different states will simply mean his perceptions on different planes. When he finally leaves his lower principles or instruments, he has no further perceptions of those sorts, but has others of a higher sort. He never ceases to perceive, while in manifestation, on any plane; he simply changes the direction of perception. While occupying a body and during waking hours, he is affected by the stimuli received through the body; after the body


sleeps, he is affected by the repetition of the stimuli more or less during the dream; these die out and he is free as Ego on a still higher plane. At death these have a wider range, each of the lower principles beginning to disintegrate immediately upon the death of the body, for it was the field of their operation.

Body of itself has no consciousness, no power of perception; it is the gross, concrete, earthly part with which we contact earthly things. One of the Teachers wrote, “Chelaship does not Consist in any kind of eating or drinking, in any practices, observances, forms, or rituals; it is an attitude of mind.” Another Teacher said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all the rest shall be added unto you.” The reason for this is that it is the mind which is involved. If we resort to practices, then the mind is bent upon them, becomes more and more implicated in them, and as they are concrete things, the mind becomes of that complexion. Jesus said, “Be ye not as the Pharisees who make clean the outside of the platter.” The inner nature has a diet out of our thoughts and motives. If those are low or gross or selfish, it is equivalent to feeding that nature upon gross food. True Theosophic diet is therefore of unselfish thoughts and deeds, untiring devotion to the welfare of Humanity, absolute negation of self, unutterable aspiration to the Supreme Soul. This only is what “we can grow upon, and vain are the hopes of those who pin their faith on any other doctrines.”

As to bodily food. It is that which best agrees with you, taken in moderation, neither too much nor too little. If your Constitution and temperament will permit vegetarianism, then that will give less heat to the blood. “If from illness or long habit a man cannot go without meat, why, by all means let him eat it. It is no crime; it will only retard his progress a little; for after all is said and done, the purely bodily functions are of far less importance than what a man thinks and feels, what desires he encourages in his mind and allows to take root and grow there.” (H. P. B.)

I am saying so much on this subject because experience has shown that it is so easy for students to slip into bodily observances and stay there; this is the wrong end to begin on. It is best


not to make any particular selection as to diet; take what best agrees with you and sustains your body best. There is nothing in vegetarian diet to create spirituality. The Hindus who have been vegetarians for centuries are, for the most part, degraded, and the better portion have as much difficulty as the western man in the acquirement of spiritual knowledge. Also, cows and sheep would be spiritual if such food had that kind of effect. It is the motive that counts, too, in anything. If a person stops eating meat in order that he may, by complying with that condition, attain to a development he has set before him, he misses the mark and has acquired a selfish motive for the line thus adopted. Also, of course, you should know that it has proved to be a real danger for western peoples, whose digestive organs have become habituated to a meat diet, to change to a vegetarian one. The trouble does not arise from weakness following lack of meat, but from imperfect digestion causing disease—due to the retention in the stomach of vegetable matter for so long a time that yeasts and other growths, including alcoholic fermentations, are thrown into the circulation, sufficiently to bring on nervous diseases, tuberculosis, and manifold other derangements. It is well known that a man who has melancholia due to systemia cannot expect to reach a high development in occultism.

The first thing, then, is to have the right kind of thoughts; the other, and by far the least important, is diet, in which the main thing to be observed is, eat whatever will keep the body in the best working condition, so that it may be as effective an instrument for work in the world as possible. It is quite true that the foods of the present time are not ideal. In the future better products will be had, but they will come from right thinking; our present work is to think from a right basis and become established in that basis, and assist others to do likewise. From this will flow what is in accord with it, from within, outward—a natural growth.

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Letter Seven

No one who sees his mistakes can be a hopeless case. The moment we see that we are deluded, that moment we are no longer deluded, although we may be surrounded by the consequences of delusion and have to work through them. Any trouble and hindrance come from self-identification With delusion and mistakes; this is the delusion of delusions.

The way you are furnishing the motive power for the business is great. One feels less and less desire for the things of this world, but he must work. It is Karma, and Karma is Dharma—duty; duty, not ‘inclinations,” is what is required of us. The motive is duty, not love of the game as it is played; we would not play for love of it. But if we aspire to become as Masters are, we work as those do who work for themselves and for ignoble aims. We work just as they do, but our work is not theirs.

It is well to keep the mind off the future as much as possible, as far as results are concerned, and to concentrate on the immediate work in hand; do that and the rest will follow and find you ready to go on with it—whatever it may be. Above all, avoid being carried away by the excitement of effort; be calm and confident; cultivate calmness and confidence; by them one preserves his best judgment and highest powers. Each day contains no more than a day’s work; each day contains so many hours for the appointed work; let each day and hour be attended to as it arrives. Avoid useless sacrifice of thought and effort; conserve energies; work without strain.

If help is to come into the Movement we have at heart, the ways by which it will come are provided, and the opportunities will be presented. All we have to do is to take advantage of the opportunities, step by step, as they arrive, doing the best we know, but fearing no failure, courting no success. Keep the attitude “I am doing nothing” before you; it will serve to lessen the strain


that makes you tired. Take the position that everything is going to be for the best, and that your part is to perform whatever comes before you to do. It then becomes the performance of duty, and should arouse no more strain than routine work. And build no castles in the air: they cause only fear of their destruction, and in themselves are useless. Take what Karma brings you and make good use of it. Karma will bring to us what belongs, so there can be no cause for worrying over any future. There is need only that we hold all our powers in readiness to make good use of what is brought to us, and this is best done by a quiet, calm, confident performance of what we are able to do, day by day, from day to day.

I am glad that M— is getting on right lines. Hope that he will get on a straight line of thought and action. So many mystical minds from their love of mystic meanings turn over the dust heaps of times when hidden meanings were absolutely necessary, and overlook the clear unequivocal truth which is before their very eyes. This is lack of discrimination. If they studied the work of the Lodge down the ages, they would know better than to spend much time on past efforts, the only record of which is found in the impress made on minds of the time, and they would at once take up the lines laid down in the present effort.

Yes, it is war; but not against persons. War for the Truth— the eternal ideas, the eternal thought in the Eternal Mind; war against error, cant and hypocrisy. When the Eternal Verities are presented to the world, they are always presented through persons. Some worship or lean on the persons; others curse, defame or be little them; none of these look at what is brought forward and handed on. So, too, when error is pointed out, it has to be designated and names used to specify; again, the thoughtless see an attack upon persons. In an age of “personality,” the ordinary mind cannot see beyond it, unless care is taken on each occasion to explain it. The war is to help “personalities” to become “living souls.” It is the Mahabbarata—the Holy War. Ideas are ideas by whomever written or expressed; so, they can flow through anyone who is in the right condition. We find


Theosophical ideas in every direction, in all classes of thought, speech, and writing; pieces here and there are as good as any that Theosophy gives, but there is no synthesis. Theosophy is synthetic and spells unity in diversity, the diversity being only apparent, not real. “Meanwhile the world of real Occultists smiles silently, and goes on with its laborious process of sifting out the living germs from the masses of men. For occultists must be found and fostered and prepared for coming ages when power will be needed and pretensions go for naught.”

When we consider—as we must—that our individual lives stretch back for untold ages, and have an illimitable future, and that the present bodily existence is but one small aspect of that great continuous Being, we rise above the temporary, while acting in it, and, seeing more of the right proportions and relativities, are less involved or troubled by “what may come to pass.” This of itself is much to have gained; it gives the steadiness of the warrior in the fight. “Forget not this lesson, the spiritual man is in this world to get rid of defects. His external life is for this only, hence we are all seen at a disadvantage.” Looking at life from this point of view, everything that comes is an opportunity to be taken advantage of by that “spiritual man,” and in everything we find that “glorious unsought fight that only fortune’s favored soldiers may obtain.”

You will remember what W. Q. J. wrote: “None of us, and especially those who have heard of the Path, or of Occultism, or of the Masters, can say with confidence that he is not already one who has passed through some initiations, with knowledge of them. We may already be initiated into some higher degree than our present attainment would suggest, and are undergoing a new trial unknown to ourselves. It is better to consider that we are, being sure to eliminate all pride of that unknown advance we have made.” We may all take comfort and encouragement from what is there said, for it may be especially true of those who are fired with zeal for Master’s work. Well, I will close now; grieve not, fear not, but cut all doubts with the sword of knowledge.




Letter Eight

What you say about “incarnations like H. P. B. and W. Q. J. being evidently governed by conditions widely different from ordinary humanity” is correct. If we would look at the bodily H. P. B. as a mirror which reflected from above and from below as well, giving back to each who confronted it his own reflection according to his nature and power to perceive, we might get a better understanding of her nature. To the discriminative, it was a well of inspiration; in it the commonplace, the Judas, the critic, and every other saw himself reflected. Mighty few caught a glimpse of the real individuality. Each got the evidence that he sought. We have the Master’s words that the body of H. P. B. was the best that they had been able to obtain for many centuries. Those who looked at the body and its human characteristics got what that view was capable of giving them; those who looked at the mind behind got what came from it, in the degree of their comprehension; those who were able to look into the causes of things saw what their depths of sight gave them—more or less of Truth. “By their fruits, shall ye know them.”

The Jews are still looking for a coming Messiah. It is very, very few who discover the “Presence,” and among them, even, the tendency is to relate it to the present times and surroundings only, and so miss the greater scope. Many years after such Visits, one here and there begins to see landmarks that indicate that “some one of importance” has been among the people; but they too relate everything to their “present time.” And so it goes, each “discoverer” putting his construction on the facts, while there results an exoteric degradation of Truth—a regard of events and persons, rather than an understanding of truths imparted; finally, someone else has to come, facing similar treatment. All the time, however, and each time, an impress is made upon the thought of the age and humanity gains a little: there is no other way.


It is interesting to turn to the “Esoteric Character of the Gospels,” by H. P. B. “Theosophists—at any rate some of them— who understand the hidden meaning of the universally expected Avatars, Messiahs, and Sosioshes and Christs—know that it is no end of the world, but the consummation of the age—that is, the close of the cycle—that is fast approaching.” [ was written November and December, 1887, and January, 1888.] She said, “There are several remarkable cycles that come to a close at the end of this century
[ nineteenth ] . First, the 5,000 years of the Kali-Yuga cycle; again, the Messianic cycle of the Samaritan (also Kabalistic) Jews, of the Man connected with Pisces. It is a cycle historic and not very long, but very occult, lasting about 2155 years, but having a true significance only when computed by lunar months. It occurred 2410 and 255 B. C. or when the equinox entered into the sign of the Ram, and again into that of Pisces. When it enters, in a few years, the sign of Aquarius, psychologists will have some extra work to do, and the psychic idiosyncrasies of man will enter on a great change.” This “great change” I think can be stated in three words:

Susceptibility to suggestion, good, bad or indifferent. Look about you and see if this is not so. Are the “Messiahs” of today using suggestion? And was there ever a time when men should use their reason more than at the present time, based upon the widest possible consideration of facts collected for humanity? Jesus said, “Take heed lest no man lead you astray, for many shall come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and shall lead many astray.

If any man shall say unto you, ‘Behold, he is in the wilderness,’ go not forth; ‘behold he is in the inner chambers,’ believe them not. For as the lightning (light) cometh from the East, and is seen even in the West, so shall be the presence of the Son of Man.” The esoteric savior is no man, but the divine principle in every human being. What is needed is a knowledge of the Path that leads to Him or It. The foolish look for a “Man”; the wise look for a “Message.” Few know the Messenger when He comes, but it is possible for many to know a true Message by putting it to every conceivable test. The “Messiah” has come and gone; but


He has left the “Comforter”—His Message. He will return, but not for several generations of men. It is possible for men to get at the truth of these things if they will take the trouble to make the search in all sincerity.

H. P. B. said, “Do not follow me nor my path; follow the Path I show, the Masters who are behind.” This she knew to be the safe course for all, for each one will judge of the words and deeds of a personality from his own standpoint and understanding, some under-rating, some exaggerating, and some with indifference. At the same time, for those who are able to see behind the veil of physical maya, there is recognition of those who are travelling the same path, and in that recognition, there is comfort and help which extends from the smallest to the greatest—a great band of brothers which includes the Masters as the Guides and the Consummation. “Whosoever does it unto the least of these, does it unto me.”

A Siddha-Purusha (perfect man) is like an archeologist who removes the dust and lays open an old well which has been covered up by ages of disuse. The Avatara, on the other hand, is like an engineer who sinks a new well in a place where there was no water before. Great Men give salvation to those only who have the waters of piety hidden in themselves, but the Avatara saves him too whose heart is devoid of love and dry as a desert.



Letter Nine

I think you have taken the right position in your letter and I like it very much. There are just two positions. One stands fairly and squarely upon the Messengers, Their Message, and the admission of Their knowledge as to the needs of the interim between Their appearances, that period being clearly stated by Them so that there could be no vain imaginings that we were left alone in the world and to our own devices. The other position holds that They could not see ahead, that They did what They could,


and left what They did to the tender mercies of the world and the imperfect knowledge of Their followers; that, in fact, there was no guidance in what They left of record, as to study, philosophy, and propaganda.

We stand in and on the first position; there we are sure. The closer we stick to it and to what They left us, the nearer we will be to the lines They laid down. You will remember what is covered in that article of
W. Q. J.’s on “The Future and the Theosophical Society”:

“There must be adherence to the program of Masters. That can only be ascertained by consulting her and the letters given out by her as from Those to whom she refers. There is not much doubt about that program.” . . . ‘ This is the moment to guide the recurrent impulse which must soon come and which will push the age toward extreme atheism or drag it back to extreme sacerdotalism, if it is not led to the primitive, soul-satisfying philosophy of the Aryans.’ . . . “We must follow this program and supply the world with a system of philosophy which gives a sure and logical basis for ethics, and that can only be gotten from those to which I have adverted.” . . . “By our unity the smallest effort made by us will have ten-fold the power of any obstacle before us or any opposition offered by the world.” . . . “Our destiny is to continue the wide work of the past in affecting literature and thought throughout the world, while our ranks see many changing quantities but always holding those who remain true to the program, and refuse to become dogmatic or give up common sense in Theosophy. Thus we will wait for the new messenger, striving to keep the organization alive that he may use it.”

Our friends may claim that they are affecting literature and thought in the way they pursue, but is it true that they could do so with any purpose or direction, were it not for those who stand by the program and uphold the standard of true philosophy and the scientific basis for ethics? Besides, it is recorded in scripture well known to our friends, “No man putteth new wine in old bottles, lest the bottles break and the wine be lost.” The inevitable result will be as just stated. Literature is not affected that way, nor


religion. Christianity is a “revealed religion”; its basis lies in the Bible revelation, and nowhere else; to change it, the true basis must be given without pandering to error; otherwise, there is only a change of error. We may well remember that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump, and dispense the leaven, leaving the leavening process in both literature and religion to take its own course, as it undoubtedly will if we are true to our trust.

Theosophy is for those who want it and for none others. Our standard is clear and unequivocal, and we may be able to help even old and sincere students by our inquiries. Either there is true knowledge or there is not; if there is, and we are assured in our-selves of it, let us assert it, maintain it, and let error correct itself. It looks hypocritical to me to get in with a lot of church people and pretend that we think just as they do, to say that Christianity is just what we believe, is, in fact, Theosophy, when what is understood by the word “Christianity” is antagonistic to the Eternal Verities, and we know it. Is Theosophy to be administered surreptitiously? If so, will the unfortunate “patients” ever know where they are? If they get a distaste for Christianity as it is taught, what will they have a taste for? We know where we stand and why.

Perhaps the lack of any real success in all these years is a lack of real faith in Masters, as well as the attitude of being “poor miserable sinners” and unworthy; hence, the lack of strength of Conviction. If there is to be learning, the student must have confidence in his Teacher, and follow the lines he sets forth, or no good result can come. When he knows more, or thinks he does, than his Teacher, let him seek another more advanced. If one desires to teach another, there must be a “tone of settled conviction” to carry any weight. It will appear if the Teacher has any real knowledge. But this does not carry with it any more “authority” than the student accords, and in Theosophy could never rightly be imposed, as the appeal is to the reason, intelligence, and inner perception. What does it matter if the writer believes he speaks from a higher plane of knowledge than that with which the reader is


acquainted, if he seeks to impose nothing? is not the whole effort of students to acquire knowledge in order to pass it on? How can they pass on what they have not? Are there different degrees of knowledge, and are they to be recognized and sought after? To sum up in a nutshell: There are older students; without them there would be no younger ones, and no work done; this line runs from the very youngest to the Masters. “We are all alike and some different.”



Letter Ten

I suppose it is inevitable that you should find yourself head over heels in work on your return home. It is a “muddy civilization,” and we have to wade through the “mud” of it; but there is comfort in the thought that we are not any of the mud and can go through it and look toward the end in view—the goal to be reached—for the sake of those who are hopelessly floundering. So, perhaps we take upon ourselves the muddiest kind of mud in performing the task we have undertaken. If we look at all the pressures and strains in this way, we shall not be discouraged by anything that may come to pass. In our course we have to take advantage of conditions as we may, and always of such as tend to the end in view. Is it not so that mountains are climbed? Also, we can reach the valley only by careful descent. Do we not thus climb and descend, figuratively, all the time?

About men and women “as such,” and the ideas which prevail with each in regard to the other: these must change, being based on physical differentiations and on accentuation of separateness mentally and physically. We have to look at souls and minds, regardless of the kind of body which envelops them, and get away from the hard and fast conclusions so common in the world. These differentiations are not at once to be gotten rid of, but a better recognition must have its beginning, and who should have this, most clearly, but those who see the Triad in every human being?


The present movement of women is such an assertion; it is neither a fad nor a fancy, but an urge of the rising cycle. Necessarily it must follow, at first, the ordinary lines of thought and action pursued by the men in general; but it is bound to work into lines which affect the home, the family, and general human interests, rather than possessions. Errors of judgment and mistakes will doubtless be made, but from them better judgment will come. No one can help the restrictions of time, place and circumstance; they should be recognized, and what is to be done, done as best may be under them.

Most men are burdened with positivity, right or wrong; most women with negativity, right or wrong; both men and women having these qualities in balance, or approaching it, are nearer to the “double spinal cord,” which must come about in the race as a whole. I share your opinion as to women speakers in general, but I am not blind that there are exceptions, and I look for them, and am glad when I see signs of such in the work; for they can best help that side, and they can and do express a quality of devotion which mighty few men possess.

As you say, not only much but all that was ever written was by way of “pointers.” Each soul is held by some conception, some interest, which he takes to be the "summum bonum”; the consideration of these is necessary in order to lead the mind from the unreal to the Real. There is no other way. Even those who know real things get caught up in the “turba,” the phantasmagoria that we create for ourselves, and have difficulty in reverting to the Real and Eternal—such is the strength of objective consciousness which begets the idea of separateness. We have to see and know all these classifications in pointing to the unity of which they are impermanent expressions. True it is that there are but few books necessary.

“Let me say one thing I know; only the feeling of true brotherhood, of true love toward humanity aroused in the soul of some one strong enough to stem the tide, can carry us through. For love and trust are the only weapons that can overcome the Real enemies against which the true Theosophist must fight.” “Let us all draw together in mind and heart, soul and act, and try thus


to make that true brotherhood through which alone our universal and particular progress can come.”

“The number of true Theosophists is not legion. The ranks are not crowded. They are not to be known or judged by standards of the world, but by the strength of their convictions. They are one and all dead in earnest. They are those who though they may not have outwardly renounced, have inwardly relinquished, and who will be glad when the incidentals are swept away, and only the essentials remain. They are those who move from age to age invincible and eternal.”

One asked me a question the other day: why, in view of our undoubted relations in past lives, are we placed in positions that are so difficult and so dark, when the obviously fortunate one was so near and so clearly defined. The answer that came to me was:

Long ago you took a vow, one of the meanings of which was to step out of sunlight into shade to make more room for others.” We should remember that this was voluntarily done by the inner man, and that now, the very principles of our nature compel us to act, as it were, against our inclination. We should also remember the harder the battle, the greater the victory, and nothing but victory will suffice us. Yes, the present is the test; the past we will meet in the future—that present which has not yet ripened. Yet it is said that the process of development consists in the recovery of the memory of the past. This, however, cannot mean the sordid details of physical existence, nor would there be much concern whether one wielded a battle-axe, or what “part” one played in the various dramas of existence, but a something larger, finer, greater—the memory of the divine Ego, and those functions of our real life which go on during sleep.

It is all lived out in the mind. Most minds instead of living and acting out their ideals in the present, and fulfilling their present known duties to others, waste most of their opportunities in memory and anticipation. To live and act fully and rightly in the present is the whole of life; the dynamic force of the brain would then act fully and rightly, and there would be no exhaustion.




Letter Eleven

As the work goes on and new elements are added to it, there must occur the process of assimilation. Each new nature is a new element and has its peculiar effect, but there is nothing in this to cause any surprise or dismay. All the time there must be the getting closer together of the “living germs”; this goes on while we work, each in his own way. Few of us have pleasure in the works themselves that are our Dharma, but we know we are there to do, and they are there to be done.

One of the great troubles we make ourselves, I think, is the construction of a mechanical universe. And it will not work out to our satisfaction. This way is swimming against the stream. The Universe is guided from within outwards and all possible knowledge of “outwards” will give no real understanding. In trying to gain a knowledge of “outwards,” there is an exercise of what we are pleased to call the mind; but from what foundation and to what end? The problems that the “mind” has are before it here and now, and concern not what has been or what is to be. What if we do know all the laws and forces, all the processes; will that fit us any better to do whatever comes before us? The law works in us and through us; we are ministers of the law, and while recognizing this, while doing our best with what we have and see, further power and perception come. The Upanishads say that this “real knowledge is not to be gained by the mind, but by the subtle sight of the subtle—sighted”—---the Perceiver.

What is your confusion about Mind? The Self only eternally Is. Now what are all the rest? Perceptions, I think; some permanent, being related to the Self, or of the Self; others, perceptions of perceptions and impermanent in that they are in constant change. The two classes or bundles of perceptions in individuals would be Higher and Lower Mind. Perhaps Higher and Lower Self would be better, but no set terms can give anything but approximations


of differences of perceptions. We may call what is perceived “matter,” or “prakriti,” that basis by which action may take place. It would seem that this basis is the general result of the interpenetration, interblending, and interaction of the perceptions of multitudinous classes of beings.

The “mind” with which we work is just a bundle of perceptions of this physical plane wherein every idea held has a physical basis. Can such a “bundle” include or solve that which is the cause, or sustaining power itself? Each plane has its own mode or “mind,” and the only way by which we in lower manas can approximate the inner is by rising to that plane where the perception and the mode is different. Can it be wondered at that all at tempts to solve by brain-mind must be temporary hypotheses, one after the other discarded as we see its futility? Yet the very exasperation induced sometimes opens a door to us.

There is a state of Soul as Spectator without a spectacle, also many states of “spectacles” more or less circumscribed. Spirit, I think, would not be the whole of any given class, although such a condition might be called “spirituality,” if the ideas were the eternal verities. Naught adheres to Spirit.

There must be that Mind or Power to Perceive which takes in primal causes as well as subsequent effects; also that other circumscribed action which deals with minor causes and effects. Mind is the power to perceive, residing in the Perceiver, its manifold perceptions and possibilities presenting kinds of mind and separate ideas and actions. All spiritual beings are the same in kind, differing only in degree. Terms are confusing, but ideas may be had out of the confusion, if we adhere to the One Reality—which is both Being and Non-Being. Each has his own way of seeing and translating what he sees.

The question as to whether one could, or could not, get benefit from hearing of Theosophy before death, depends on one’s ability to realize its truth; the mere listening to the words without realization or acceptance could have no place in the thoughts of the thinker. The karma, however, that brought the dying one in contact with those desirous of so helping, will bring him again in con-


tact with that knowledge and probably under better auspices. No effort is lost. Our love for others is truly shown in our desire to serve, and love is the great bond. The highest love that we can have for those nearest and dearest to us should be the standard which we should strive to hold toward our other selves—an intense love of humanity, one which seeks their highest good, which seeks nothing for self, but has all that fortuitously comes. “Friends for the future.”

A mental change or glimpse of truth may make a man suddenly change to the truth even at death, thus creating good skandhas for his next life. But the karmic effects of the past life must follow. H. P. B. said that the Ego was drawn before birth to the scenes of his former life, saw the meaning and trend of it all and the karmic results that must ensue, and knows the justice of it. There is also the “summing up” after death—cause and sequence, and “Being’s ceaseless tide.”




Letter Twelve

It is well to hold the position you do—to maintain the true attitude of the “higher carelessness.” It makes no difference what ever what we do; how we do anything is what counts. And as there is always something doing, we have always opportunity to practice right doing.

It is no good being anxious; all we have to do is to do our best with each moment and live it as it comes. “If the candidate has firm reliance on the Law, he will not have to wait too long.” In this way whatever comes will be right for him. We must take the position that whatever is right will come about, and while making use and taking advantage of every opportunity, feel that if what seemed good did not come our way, it was best that way for the main object that we worked for. In this case we preserve our best energies, and are neither elated nor cast down by whatever comes to pass.


We are apt to overlook the good we afford to others by our effort. Every one we affect, even in a slight degree, affects others, and no one can say what may be done for the future through indirect methods. There is much encouragement in this, and encouragement means a continuation of courage. We have but to keep on in the courage with which we began, for in all great effort there is sure to be reaction; and knowing this to be the Law, we are prepared, and never downcast, but like the song, “We wait for the turn of the tide,” and ride higher on it.

I was looking over the magazine article you mentioned. It is interesting, instructive in places, intelligent and bountifully interspersed with diagrams. It gives the impression of great learning on the subject. But it speaks here and there of the Logos and His care of His children. Too much of the personal God under another name, thus leaving “His” poor, ignorant, sinful children none the wiser as to their godlike nature! The article made me think of the way the Jesuits side-tracked Masonry. They entered it, obtained its secrets, invented “higher degrees” to draw attention from what lay hidden in the original ones, and gradually made it innocuous, and incapable of leading to the knowledge that they feared. Much that is going on and has gone on in the . . . society has the appearance of leading into innocuous desuetude. This is the mode of working of Brahmano-Jesuitical forces, and the ordinary thinker is unable either to perceive, or credit it if warned. It is not believed that there are Dark Forces and their agents in the world, and that they war within that which they would destroy; that they dress themselves up in “sheep’s clothing” so as to be unsuspected. But it is too true. Every failure to establish the Wisdom-Religion is to be traced to the work of the Dark ones among the unsuspecting stupid “sheep,” who are appealed to through their weakness and led astray. There is no panacea for stupidity and ignorance but self-knowledge, discrimination; anything that leads away from them leads to desolation. Would that there might be some way by which eyes could be opened to a wise and proper consideration of all things. Yet, if one should publicly point out these things, “untheosophical” would be the least charge laid at his


door. All that we can do is to accentuate the difference between the Eye Doctrine and the Doctrine of the Heart with full exemplification. The . . . talk glibly of these, but in the words of Kipling, “what do they understand?” Those in that society who have the “heart-desire” may find that doctrine, but the mass have it not, and are kept from its consideration by every means.

Without any conceit, you know it would be admitted by those who listen to you that it would be an easy matter for you to draw diagrams, and lecture on the differentiation of species, on the various Logo, Dhyanis, and classes of beings, Rounds and Races and so forth; but you know, and anyone can see, that if one had all these qualities at his tongue’s end, he would not be one whit better in character, nor would he possess any real knowledge—the knowledge that leads to the wisdom and power of the Adept. Intellectual acquaintance is well enough for those who are entertained by that sort of thing, but those who seek self-knowledge, who will not be satisfied with anything else, go not by that road. Self-knowledge is the first desideratum; the other is incidental, and useless without the first. The first requires whole-heartedness, self-discipline, constant service, unflagging determination. It is undertaken only by determined souls and continued by increased heroism—of such are the immortal heroes of the ages. The second can be followed by any schoolboy, and is necessary to some extent, as an equipment for the sake of others, but unless subservient to the first, it is useless as a means of growth. The general tendency is toward “intellectualism,” and it is easy to follow that line of acquisition. The effort should therefore be to present and practice the study that leads to growth, using the “process” only to assist the understanding. The opposite is too generally the practice. There are Theosophists in name and Theosophists by nature; they are different.                                                           




Letter Thirteen

Your statement of monthly expenses is not encouraging, but we have seen worse conditions, and with less in view to face them. It looks like “alone and possessing nothing” for us; but we can face all this without the slightest fear. ‘We must trust absolutely to the Law, doing our conservative best as we go along. We have but to keep that work, which we see to be the Real work, going through thick and through thin; then, whatever comes will be right, and we shall finally see the right results for All, for it is “All” that we are working for.

Business has been defined as “a lot of useless activities which we have created and now bow down to and worship.” But there are some we know who are heretics in that direction, and I like these best. Well, the world we live in is governed by these very follies, and we are here to hold fast and get going a crop of better, finer ideas. The fact that burdens are growing heavier cannot be accounted a bad sign; there must be in those to whom burdens come From an unused strength that needs exercise. We will have to take the Bible saying as true that “the burden is to the strong.” Too, it is well to know one’s strength, which cannot be known without using it. By and by you will know what you can do, and the necessity for these trials will cease.

In answer to H— I am glad that you made it plain—and it cannot be made too plain—that there is absolutely no one in U. L. T. who “instructs and informs other members of what he or she gets as coming from Masters.” This is the safest way for all: point to the records and advise an open mind and an eager intellect as well as an unveiled spiritual perception. We have faith that “the Master’s hand is over all” and go the limit on that. I think that your letter covers the ground pretty well. The “writer” of the “extracts” in question does not care what is done with any


words he has written, so long as the sense and meaning is main tamed, the intent preserved; nor would he in the least object to the presentation of the ideas in any other way; in any event, no name is attached, nor recognition sought.

In regard to the question asked. In the Voice it speaks of Kundalini as Buddhi, considered an active power—the power of that sheath in full operation. Ordinarily, Buddhi acts indirectly through Mamas in its lower aspect of action, thought and feeling, as they relate to the objective consciousness. In this sense, there-fore, Buddhi may be called passive; the power is there but transmuted into lower and divergent energies.

The unitary idea in the septenary nature is to be had from the conception of Consciousness, or the Perceiver, using different vehicles for expression and reception on different planes. It is not waking nor sleeping nor Deep sleep, nor Sushupti, nor Turya, but just Consciousness acting in these various ways and conditions. We are That which perceives in these various ways. Consciousness is One—the ways are various. The Seer is unitary, but has many ways and directions of seeing. “Man” is not any of his principles, but they are “his” instruments. These principles or sheaths are made up of the “lives” of various kinds of different planes. The unitary idea is consciousness with power to perceive in every direction through appropriate evolved instruments. Like the God of the Bible, “Man” cannot be found out, for darkness surrounds his pavilion. “He” is ever behind every manifestation and expression, and is also Paramatma, the Highest Soul.

Unity cannot be stepped down. IT ever is; IT is to be realized. Of course, it is a consideration of processes that is confusing with our present perceptions; but it is not so difficult to have a working generalization sufficient for our present purpose. The thing to be realized is Unity—the One, not separate in its manifold appearances. “That Thou Art, 0 Svetaketu.”

I think that the word “Perceiver” connotes both individuality and that power of perception which is infinite. As individual, or as Ego, it connotes all the experience of the immense past. It is also Ishwara and Paramatma, for that which perceives has no limita-


tions to its possible field. The Perceiver rests in the Infinite and is always behind and above any and all expansions of perceptions. ‘Man” is greater than any mind he may have, for he is constantly changing it—and remains. The Soul looks directly on ideas; nothing comes to it but ideas, obtained through its various evolved sheaths. We can have no experience whatever, whether from the bodily organs, or by suggestion, unless an idea is presented. Ideas may come from objects, from words written or spoken, but our only real perception of them is in “idea.” We classify ideas because of an assumption of separateness, but that is not the true way, and the effort should be made to realize that the Soul is vision itself, and that it looks directly upon ideas.

There are minds many, and many kinds of mind, but there is the Eternal Thought in the Eternal Mind—the world of Eternal Idea which is the world of True Being. We must bring back to the light of day the present sense of our divinity which illumines us in dreamlessness—where the “Spirit thinks not, yet thinking not, he thinks, for the energy that dwelt in thinking cannot cease because it is everlasting.”

Study, work and service are the means, with the motive of being better able to help and teach others. Doing all we can, we do all that can be done. There is no use in distressing ourselves about what we do not know; we find knowledge springing up spontaneously within us as we do our best with what we see and know. It matters not whether that which we consider as “we” gains or loses, so long as what should be done is done as best we are able. It is desire—results-—---that trouble us; they always will. The right done everywhere is ours. No learning is learning unless it leads to readjustment.



Letter Fourteen

What you wrote about Karma is a splendid conception, to my mind. Karma is Law. Those who best know the Law are Karma, and others the directors of Karma in varying degrees. Knowledge


of it begins by performing that which comes to us as duty, simply because it is duty, and not in order to produce anything for our-selves. This practice begets and inculcates a recognition of Karma and use of and subservience to it. In time we do only those things that work for the general welfare. Masters are the highest expression of this.

In order to make minds think, I sometimes point out that we know what has been and will be by what is now. We observe the law and sequence of years, seasons, and elements; this is knowledge, and lies outside of memory or prevision. In the same way we know reincarnation to be a fact without having any memory in the brain of this body. Some, however, do remember, that memory coming by the study and application of a true philosophy of life. The reasonableness precedes the realization. We know the infinitude of numbers but cannot demonstrate that knowledge.

Changes go on, and for good, with our efforts to apply the philosophy. Any failures made in such case are stepping-stones to success because followed by undaunted struggles upward. The efforts count and are registered in the supersensuous consciousness. Sometime they will be of quality and force enough to counter balance all opposition.

Your letter conveyed to me the impression that G— held in his mind too much of a condemnatory attitude as to the deficiences and failings of others; perhaps not altogether condemnatory, but contemptuous, and that it was general in its application. My remarks were addressed to this, not to him as a person, and not to you.

I think that much of the failure of “old-timers” in study and knowledge of the meaning of Theosophy and the Movement lies in not realizing how necessary it is to apply to ourselves the criticisms and judgments we so freely apply to others. And in saying this I do not say that I am free from these faults. I only recognize that they exist and need correction. So, from that point of view, it is not desirable to let the mind become of the shape and mirror of undesirable things. Then it is not easy to avoid a contemptuous, if not a condemnatory attitude toward others,


which engenders a sort of pride by comparison with our own attitude or what we imagine we would have done under similar circumstances. This is all detrimental to the performance of our own duty, and to our progress on the Path of Compassion. Errors have to be recognized and avoided, and pointed out to others when necessary; but there is a wide difference between that and mere gossip.

I have found that the knowledge of many “old-timers” consists of just such things. They give them forth to new adherents as evidence of their knowledge of the Movement, the Society, and by implication, of Theosophy. This is not wisdom nor is it good for anyone, and it certainly does not help Theosophy. Of course, here and there all the crimes in the category have been committed by members, though the majority were good, according to their “lights,” and well-meaning, but ignorantly misled by their misconceptions, desires and passions, sometimes. For all honestly striving with their enormous difficulties, we should have pity, sympathy, charity; we cannot do this if we mentally reproduce the opposites, weighing the act and actors in the balance of the mind.

You will run across more of this as “old-timers” drift in with their mental accumulations, so I wanted you to assist them to dump their encumbering load and to take a fresh cargo of good material. I would gently discourage them from making that kind of mental picture by paying little attention to it, and by presenting present time and opportunity.



Letter Fifteen

Pressure is pressure, no matter what the immediate means. Things going so hard in so many directions looks like a settling down into place—getting firmly fixed. Of course our attention to outside things and the pressure of them must affect all others interested to some extent. It cannot do much so long as we are internally firm and calm. Taking this position as you have and do,


matters will find their own adjustment naturally. We see a thing to be done, and we try it out in the way most ready to hand; it does not go that way; then we try another and another until the way is found.

No duty, of course, should be neglected; we have such by natural law and by agreement, and we should faithfully fulfill them until they leave us; we must not desert them. By doing our duty by every duty, we work out our Karma fulfilling the Law, and are thus made fit for higher duties. W. Q. J. said, “Duty is the royal talisman; duty, alone, will lead you to the goal.” We must place an absolutely firm reliance upon the Law, doing that which is nearest to us first, and then what is farther away. It is not what is done, but the motive in doing it, that counts; so we have to watch well our motives; if the motive is right, anything we do is right, and every duty is equally great. If the right course is followed, there will be time and occasion for all duties and none will be neglected.

Also we are warned against considering our own progress; first, because that kind of thought is personal and actually prevents progress; and second, because our real progress being in the inner nature is only discoverable by results, and these results may even appear to us to be the opposite of progress. Thus all thought of our own progress should be dismissed from consideration. The line of duty is the right line, to which must be added a Theosophical education, because that assists us to distinguish between what is duty and what is habit or mere inclination. UNITY, STUDY, and WORK should be the watchword. We should be united in aim, purpose and teaching; to do this we have to accept all others on the same basis, who, under the Law of Karma, are drawn together with us. Each should endeavor to learn as much as possible so as to be the better able to help and teach others, and in so doing gradually eliminate such defects as present themselves in the course of study and effort. Hence, we have to hold the greatest charity for the faults and weaknesses of others while striving to accentuate the good in ourselves, and in those who seem weaker than ourselves in some respects. Unity brings an irresistible energy;


study and its application in work gives us the knowledge of how best to apply the energy aroused; but the motive of our study and work must be that we may be the better able to help others to attain—not that we may climb.

Yes, true knowledge is synthetic, and when we are truly at tuned, perception through any one channel would give us the sum of the attributes so perceived. This synthetic ability has to grow little by little toward a perception of the “one sense” through any of its divisions or channels. The holding of this idea tends toward that growth, for it is consciousness, or the Perceiver, that is the Knower.

Everything is reducible to states of consciousness; every feeling has to be traced to some one experiencing it. Consciousness connotes all. There is universal feeling and relative feelings. Feeling might be taken to be the effect produced or perceived on any plane and depending on the relative or universal nature of thought, as the case may be. We could not have a thought without feeling, but feeling has many grades, depending upon the fineness or grossness of the sheath upon which the Will acts; for, it seems to me, Thought and Ideation are one and may be applied to any plane, while Will is the dynamic energy of thought or idea.

You are right about “the swing back of consciousness from higher states” reacting with force upon the lower states and arousing them; knowing this, we gradually subdue the lower because such is our desire and intention. No doubt we all fall down from where we see we ought to reach, and that is not to be wondered at, since the inner is always more perfect than the outer. But the great thing in it all is that such seeing makes us increase our efforts. We need not worry about our failures or successes, for if we worry about failure we are thinking of success, and if we worry about success we are thinking about failure, in a squirrel wheel-round of action. We can take the advice to “be up and doing” and forget the rest, only remembering at the moment of action all that is necessary for the act. All of us have to persevere in perfecting the instrument by removing the barriers erected by


the personality. The Path lies up-hill all the way, brightened by the consciousness of doing right. Now more power to you; all these trials and obstacles are but strengtheners for us—beneficial exercises. We play the game knowing what it all means.                                                                                



Letter Sixteen

Your letters are ‘ meditation” and “good medicine.” Just hold to what you have expressed. It is not easy but every effort counts; the failures do not, and all the time there is progress. If we could only see our true destiny, as W. Q. J. puts it, we would not consider the events of life as anything but opportunities. Not one thing can come amiss to those who so see. If we find that suffering, stress and strain are our lot, we may also see that they afford opportunities for strengthening; and who should be better able to bear them than ourselves, in view of what we see and know to be true? As we carry these burdens we help the whole. Our work is constructive with the right attitude toward all things. With the right attitude toward all things, all that we do is constructive. We may not be enamored of our own proficiency—we may see many deficiencies—but we can help. The fact that we find ourselves of admitted help to others tells the story, and as we help we are better able, all the time.

Of course, the instruments we are working with are not strong; they are what the race into which we came provided us with, and they are what they are and the best we have. We all can see their limitations but we can push them to the limit, “and then some,” and still know that the end is not to be found. So while we are working to the best advantage possible as we find things, we are always moving toward a better efficiency and bound to get there. You remember what W. Q. J. said in that convention address: “The society was founded by those who were determined to succeed.” Well, that is our determination, no matter how long


it takes, nor what we have to undergo; we look for nothing less than success. And we have the inner knowledge that “the Master’s hand is over all,” and can reverently seek His guidance and enlightenment in full confidence that “in the hour of our need the Lord will provide.” Having confidence in the knowledge, we do not set any particular ways and means, but await the movement of events to point out both. “With patience and full reliance upon the Law, the candidate will not have to wait too long.” We rest on that.

A Kshattrya is none the less a warrior when wounded, as long as he resolves to fight. Such a “jolt” as you describe was meant in kindness, and for your betterment according to the minds of those who gave it. Something must have impressed itself as an impairment of an ideal instrument upon their minds. It does not matter if the things were small or great in themselves; it only matters that they aroused certain effects and detriments in the minds of others. In the enthusiasm of our effort and the greatness of the subject smaller lapses escape our notice; when such are called to our attention we should eradicate them. They may be tricks of speech and beneath notice in relation to the real meaning intended to be conveyed; we may even see that the attitude which objects to them is hypercritical; yet we are bound to remove to the best of our ability anything and everything that puts a bar—detracts attention from the main thing. Then again “any old” jolt is good; that which feels jolts is the personality, as you know; we get a reminder that there is still work to be done upon it. We have to avoid all kinds of offense, real or imaginary. I do not think one would need to spend much time on such reformations; it would not need more than the admission that they are needed. So long as we do not admit that they are needed, we shall be resenting the reformations and making no headway. So when things come, the way to do is to conform, not necessarily reform, remembering St. Paul’s saying, “All things are lawful but not all things are expedient.” It depends on what you are trying to do. You have got it right, and I take your letter just as a setting down of things in order to get rid of the pressure. There is a law of our being


underlying this; the Chela’s Daily Life Ledger and the Catholic confessional are based upon it. We have to meet conditions as they arise, and need not worry about those that do not confront us. We have, of course, to act prudently on the line of what we have in view, but anxiety should be absent from any act done to the best of our ability. I know all you would do if you could; you have done and are doing all you can; what more can be done? I know that it has been very hard for you; it is harder now than it has been, but in a different way. By-and-by you will be so firm and hard that nothing will “feaze” you for a minute, and that time will find the full play of your energies on whatever is to be done.

Now good night to you. Be happy as those who live for happiness alone, and accept all blessings possible.



Letter Seventeen

I should like to meet your Mr. C. The statement that Theosophy ‘ in anything needs straightening out. There are a lot of self-satisfied Theosophists who never use the words Theosophy, Reincarnation and Karma, yet who would doubtless call themselves Theosophists. The excuse generally given is that Theosophy has been “discredited,”—as if such a thing could ever happen. It is no doubt true that many people calling themselves Theosophists have by their folly given false impressions of what Theosophy stands for and means, but that should induce in all Theosophists more strenuous effort to correct the falsities and put the philosophy in its true light. If there were more Theosophists of the latter kind there would not be so much of false impression; so the moral is to swell the number, instead of helping the enemy by withdrawal, or retreat, which is the course of the ill-informed, the coward and the traitor. What he should have said is that some Theosophists, or members of the Theosophical societies, believe in a big being—the “Logos,” in the sense that he implied. But he may


have the wrong conception of what they believe, and may be imputing to others his own belief and misunderstanding. There is a wide difference between “big being,” in the sense of a “personal god,” and the Logos as set forth in the Secret Doctrine as a “being”; between the conception of “Jehovah” of the Bible and the churches, and the Logos as a collection of beings of many grades in posse—considered as a “being” only because assembled together in one stream of evolution, and necessary to each other for further experience.

No doubt there is a school of “Occult Arts” in the Catholic Church, as he says, but there is certainly not a school of Occultism in the sense of the Lodge of Masters. It is not only not probable but impossible for a school, whose motive is selfish in basis, to aquire spiritual powers of the higher order. “The least taint of selfishness and the spiritual is turned into the psychic and dire are the results.” One might remain in the Catholic or any other church and be a Theosophist, but it would mean that he was only ostensibly a Catholic. One might be there with knowledge and for some purpose other than perpetuating that malign system. To be really and truly a Catholic and a Theosophist at the same time would be like going in two directions at the same time.

His saying that H. P. B. made mistakes is a pitiful attempt to drag her down to the level of his own ignorance. It might very well be that she (He) purposely laid herself open to a charge of errancy in unimportant things, in order to prevent dependence upon her “as a person,” but I for one do not believe that she made one single “mistake”; but that everything that she did was intentional, and with a beneficent end in view. It does not make any difference what A— or Mr. C— said about H. P. B.; the value of both are identical—guesswork. “Those who do not understand her had best not try to explain her; if they find the task she laid down too heavy for them, they had better leave it alone.” These are Master’s words, and their repetition at times would help to eradicate wrong impressions. It is quite true that we may be too insistent in speaking our beliefs in regard to H. P. B. and W. Q. J., for that course followed


incontinently would serve to arouse opposition in some and a supposition in others that belief in Them was a sine qua non—either of which would defeat the end in view. One’s own conviction may be given when found advisable, and the reasons for it presented; just as in the Ocean, the Masters are presented in the very first chapter. For without Them as the Custodians of Ancient Wisdom, to what could we assign the existence and appearance of Theosophy? It is the Message that the world needs, and in consideration of that, the question as to who brought the Message naturally follows. Understanding of the Message brings a comprehension of the nature of the Messengers. Otherwise, H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge might be considered as “just people like ourselves,” and as liable to error.

The kind of Theosophical education that is needed is one that will not feel bewildered by any turnings aside of individuals, no matter how high or advanced they may appear to have been. All prate about the “original lines”; what are they? ‘Well, W. Q. J. wrote after H. P. B. had gone, that we must go to Her and the Master’s letters for the “program.” It is not laid down in schedule form, but it is there and can be found by anyone who is anxious to follow the program. The course of the Theosophical Society and Theosophists all along gives evidence that it is possible to drift onto some sandbank of thought, some finality, and stay there even when exceptional opportunities have been had.

Well, it does not do to be “cock-sure,” but to be ready ever to revert to the Source, the Message, the plan as far as outlined; with that readiness, every new development, event or change— whether in persons or things—is taken into consideration in relation to what has been recorded. If “intuitions” do not accord with that, then it is wise to stick to what the Messengers laid down. The mysteries of lower Manas are great and many.




Letter Eighteen

Glad that business keeps up so remarkably well. It is a good sign, as is your success under all the circumstances that stood in the way of it. We need not expect disaster because we are endeavoring to do right, though if disaster comes, we know it is not from our endeavor, and we keep up the endeavor in full confidence. Help comes on all planes of being, and must, if unity means anything. Also, working with the Law and from within outwards, improvement and strength must follow in every direction. There is good reason to take more courage.

As we aspire and work for Theosophy, the nature changes, and what would not affect the man of the ordinary way of thinking is found to react upon us in a marked way. When this occurs, we should endeavor to find that particular cause in our thought and conduct so as to be able to prevent repetitions if possible. The thought and effort in this direction will finally bring us to a point where we are able to resist the impulse arising from desire and anger. We may plan, while living in a house, a much better one; from perceived defects we will build better when the time for building comes. As thought is the plane of action, the proper thought will bring about concordant action in its own good time, even if we have to await a new body for it. But there is no saying what changes may come about in the present body; we have to live on and think and do.

People have to be encouraged to take hold, in the hope that for their own and humanity’s sake they will “stick.” It would not be helpful to discourage them by presenting the difficulties that we know will confront them; when such difficulties do arise we have still to encourage them by pointing out what the great Ideal means. Some fall away for a time, coming back when they get new strength and determination; others ignominiously retreat and lose their chance for this incarnation. But there are always others,


and for them and for the faithful—“the living germs among the masses of men”—we work on without discouragement. “To have started one soul in the right direction is an opportunity not given to many.” We have had and improved that opportunity to the best of our ability. In all we are building for the future—we work in the present for the future.

You know how I feel about going to churches and other meetings where duty does not call and where you are not in sympathy with the prevailing ideas. It does no good, and only opens the door to possible hindrances which affect all those in the same line of relation with you; so, even if indifferent to personal results, there is the other more important view to be considered. Where it is a question of duty it is a different matter, there then being nothing of the personal in it. As to the other meeting, am not surprised that you felt a pressure in the room where that aggregation of class-minds was. You did well not to stay and would have done better still to have kept away altogether. Nothing is gained by going to such places and no good can be done to minds whose sole idea of existence is physical betterment for themselves as against others who appear to have that betterment. It is easy to learn the lines of thought of such people from the papers and other literature. Besides, there is danger of certain kinds of infection, as you know. One of the strange things noted during the past twenty years is the fact that students—so many of them—have thought that the warnings were not meant for them, but for others; have disregarded them, and then wondered at occurrences of an unpleasant nature, and at their lack of progress. It did not show an appreciation of the fact that such warnings are statements of Law, and of value, or they would not have been said.

The question as to whether we “should change the vibration from pain to pleasure,” arouses the counter question, “Why should we desire to?” The object of life is neither pain nor pleasure, and making that object merely the avoiding of pain is to be as nothing but a rationalized animal. Pain is what we feel of the cry of the “lives” that are afflicted, and need attention to have the cause removed intelligently so that the course of all may run smoothly.


To desire to drown this cry would not be wise, but foolish. Conscientious medical men use opiates only when absolutely necessary and then only for a temporary relief while effecting a cure of the trouble. A mental ‘dope” is equally objectionable, supposing it could be done. But this is found to be the case: those who seek pleasure feel pain more keenly than those who accept what comes as guides on the way. And it may be safely assumed that those who seek pleasure and fail to see the lesson of pain have not the power indicated in the question, however much they may desire it; for desire is not a condition, nor is it knowledge.

Well, it is Mahabharata, the Great War. We have waged it before to some purpose, and will continue to wage it to greater and greater purpose, with added power and knowledge as lives go on. It makes all the difference in the world to have this outlook and purpose.



Letter Nineteen

The only storms that really affect us are those “inside.” Of course, being human and having bodies that act and react to the “within” and the “without,” we feel these effects; but we know them to proceed from the “qualities in nature” and are able to take the wise advice of Krishna that they “come and go and are brief and changeable; these do thou endure, 0 son of Bharata!” It seems to me that B— is in a state of complaint and, being so, the intuitive perceptions are not so keen as they otherwise would be. But this all will pass away. It is in fact nothing else than an exhibition of the despondency of Arjuna, although it probably will not seem so to B—. In such cases everything appears to be wrong and all things futile; but knowing it all to proceed—not from the outside affairs which merely give the occasion, but temporarily from within—I place no especial importance on it, save as an expression of the then feeling. All things may not come out just to our liking, but we should know better than to expect that, or


find cause for complaint in it. All this brings unnecessary strain not only to B— but on others intimately concerned.

What you said to C— was right, and he ought to know that there was and is a definite purpose in U. L. T. It is not a “one man-business” but a One-Truth-business. There will be plenty of writing for the “man in the street.” There has been much, there is much, there will be much; but where does it leave the “man”? Just where it found him—“in the Street”! Those who are inclined that way will do that sort of thing; but where in all the societies, and by all the writers, is there to be found clear direction or a sound foundation to build upon? Well, we know our work, and what we have set out to do. To us the way is clear and we ask no persons to accept our way if they see what to them is a better way. Let C— do what he will do that is consonant with our work. But what is most necessary at the present is the putting into the hands of the public the writings of H. P. B. and W. Q. J. which have been obscured. We are following the lines of W. Q. J. in particular because they do not diverge from H. P. B.’s, but strengthen and confirm them. As well they make simple for “the man in the Street.”

C— thinks that we have lost sight of the “Second and Third Objects” because we do not mention them particularly. We have not. The second and third objects are pursued by some, and never were obligatory on any member’s acceptance. The U. L. T. is an exoteric body and sticks to the first object—a “Nucleus of Universal Brotherhood.” The second object is sufficiently covered in the readings from the Upanishads, Voice, Gita, etc. The third object is “to investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the psychical powers latent in man”; but “investigate” does not mean experiment. There are warnings galore about the latter.

It is good to hear that the Thursday meetings, while small, have a stronger, better feeling and tone. With the devotion that we know is there this must of necessity be, and strength and tone coming from within—from the heart—must reach outward in all directions and make the instrument a better and better expression of that harmony. M— as an exponent will change as time goes on.


His natural manner is inoffensive, perhaps apologetic at times. As he obtains what might be called a “deadly certainty” it may be he will approach the “calm, quiet movement of the glacier” which with the genial warmth of the sun will prove effective. All natures have their purpose and uses. It is the fire of conviction that gives each its highest efficacy.

I think as students become more earnest and closely allied to one another and the work, ideas flow from them to the one speaking. The speaker sees it in another’s mind, unconsciously, perhaps—but truly so. The intercommunication between minds is much more common than supposed, both for good and bad. The best strength comes from the Masters when the mind is centered on doing Their work; this opens the channel between Them and us. “Thought is the plane of action”; all else are results.

What is this about “looking for orders”? They should know better. Students should look about to see what they can find to do—find ways, methods, and means. It is certain that if one looks for “orders,” he is depending upon authority and direction. The right way is to go ahead and if it is not right, the wrong will be pointed out. It would be well if such would take a more active part in the meetings, get more and more able to carry them on. No doubt they will do this, having begun.

There is a getting closer together among “the faithful,” and this of itself has its effect upon those about us, as well as upon others not so near. Union and harmony is the secret of strength. So the nearer and closer we get in thought, will and feeling, the more power will flow from us as a body, “till we saturate time and eras, that the men and women of races, ages to come, may prove brethren and lovers as we are.”



Letter Twenty

In your last, you question about memory. Memory is a large field. That which we call “memory” must belong to “being” and relate to experience—in fact, it might be said that “memory” and


“being” are synonymous, considering in this view of it that ‘ is the result of experience not necessarily remembered or recollected. It is also said that memory of past lives is recoverable, so that there must be a plane of memory not accessible to us in our present plane of action. Yet these memories are of other lives such as this one. Remember that every sound in the visible world awakens its correspondence in every one of the so-far developed elements; so, by inference, every thought on this plane awakens its correspondence on inner planes. The real register, then, must be in the more ethereal and more permanent substance. The physical brain does not retain all the multifarious impressions received by it, for it is in constant motion and change. While some impressions which are constantly repeated appear to reside in the brain itself and to be of ready access, others, not repeated, fall below the line of perception and have to be recalled through association with some other present idea. H. P. B. said, “there is a constant telegraphic communication going on incessantly—day and night—between the physical brain and the inner man.” The brain is such a complex thing, both physically and metaphysically, that it is like a tree whose bark you can uncover layer by layer, each layer being different from all the others, each having its own special work, function and properties.

Each plane has its own tablet of memory and produces the appropriate effects on any other plane—being accessible, in fact, but not perceived on account of other predominating perceptions. Memory per se must be on all planes of being, each plane producing “kinds” of memory, or such as relate to that plane only, in which case it is “being” on that plane. On all planes “memory” must be the power of reproducing past experiences; it is manasic because creative; on the highest manasic plane there is said to be neither past nor future but all in Present Creation. The Soul is vision itself. Would not the highest memory be superlative vision? The Seer is in no case the things he sees.

I am astounded at the infernal practices you speak of that the “New Psychology” follows. One might as well give tests on the action of hasheesh, opium, whiskey or any other thing that causes


abnormal accentuation of the organs and seats of sensation as those “emotional tests.” No wonder the girl fainted! If the students themselves or their families cannot be made to see the wrong and folly of it all, they cannot be helped, for these “professors” are in the ascendant and no layman’s voice would be listened to. The papers lately gave an account of experiments in observation of the “human aura.” The medical men were greatly interested in the wonderful discovery and, marvelous to relate, saw in it “a new mode of the diagnosis of disease.” Was it not said by H. P. B. that “the psychic idiosyncrasies of humanity” would undergo a great change?

You say that our attitude toward these things seems to many like “condemning” others. It is the duty of esoteric students to unmask error and hypocrisy; to face lie with truth; not as personal criticisms but as facts against misstatements. It is assumed in charity that one who wrongs the Truth does so in ignorance; but the custodians of Truth voice it in the face of lie, ignorance and error, and take every opportunity possible to correct erroneous impressions. Theosophy is in the world for that purpose. We are not to be self-assertive nor flabby; knowing the truth, we speak it and care only for it and that it be as widely known as possible. All of which is entirely compatible with charity to the weaknesses of others and abstention from condemnation of others.

Does “death-bed repentance” do any good? Well, it depends on what is meant by repentance. If it is recognition of wrong and a change in the mind and nature that would look with abhorrence upon a repetition of the deed, coupled with the desire to make every amend in one’s power, it must be good. But if it is only a recognition and a consideration of the deed from the point of view of the evil that fell upon the perpetrator because of it, it is no good at all, being selfish and occasioning no change in disposition, or only such change as regarded self-interest. The first kind, in the mind of one who knew Theosophy, would be deeper and have a wider scope of action than in the mind of one who regarded every thing from the standpoint of one life. The Karma is the same; the one who created Karma is affected by the results, but the extent


and kind of results depend on the extent of change and the direction of the change that may have taken place in the mind of such “repentant.” The phrase, “right thinking brings everything,” should have been, “thinking has brought everything that exists—right or wrong.” A man’s thoughts may be a gulf apart from what he is constrained to do, and he is what he aspires and desires to do—not his inabilities to perform. He might go through a whole life with out much apparent change, but if he has inwardly relinquished, that which is left after he drops the body is his mind, and his next embodiment will call forth the performance.



Letter Twenty-One

The work you have planned out for the others seems good, for they should be helped as much as possible. If others are not trained to take hold, the necessary help and education will be minus, should anything happen to us; it is also the study and preparation on the part of beginners that will make them more efficient as propagandists. But let their initiative work as much as possible; suggest and adjust when necessary. Why not begin by taking the three fundamental propositions of the Secret Doctrine? For upon these the whole system hinges. Get them all grounded in these. The first thing to make clear is the impossibility of the ordinary conception of a personal or separative God; then the importance of realizing the Self as all in all; then the law of periodicity with all its applications—“the world’s eternal ways”; and reincarnation by analogy. After the Fundamentals, they might take up the Ocean, chapter by chapter, getting grounded in question and answer. Explain that the object is to formulate for themselves, and thus make their understanding good. If they are helped, they should get themselves in a position where they can best help others. This is the way to learn and know.


It is difficult to help individuals as such, especially where all the strength is needed for a general effort. It is quite easy to be drawn into this helping of individuals by our sympathies, and sometimes we do things that are not helps at all, although perhaps a pleasure to both giver and receiver. Wisdom is required in any case; sometimes “jolts instead of johnnie-cake” are needed. I have met much of all kinds of people and have learned some discretion in the treatment of them. You in your position will also meet them and will have to deal with them—for their good, so far as the general good permits and wisdom dictates.

That is an interesting phenomenon you speak of where a brain injury made the man forget his name, and able to do some-thing he was unable to do before. It was the same man, of course; his lapse of memory did not alter that fact at all. Neither did the other fact, that he was under the new condition able to play billiards, change the man; the brain instrument by the injury had one door opened and another shut. If he was able to play billiards actually and never played before in his life, I should say that such an one had done so in some previous life, which the injury gave access to. The previous life, also, must have been comparatively recent because that game in its present form is not very old. We have to remember that every man has a vast store of capacities, behind the nature we see, gained in past lives. Anybody’s capacity is governed by the particular Karma of that life, permitting the expression of only a portion of his acquired knowledge and capacity. There are many lives where the tastes, desires, and capacities change entirely without any brain injury, showing that one set of Karmic causes is expended and another set ensues. In any and all cases, what is in expression is from the store of experience of the past, for no one can do anything that is not related to past experience, whether in this life or some other one. Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun, meaning, I think, that whatever is done, flows from what has been done. There is no other knowledge than that which comes from experience, “experience” being considered in its widest sense.


The Saptarishis are not very well explained anywhere, though there are certain things said about them that might give an idea, such as: “they are intimately connected with the present age— the Dark Kali Yuga;” “they mark the time and duration of our septenary life-cycle;” “they mark the time and the periods of Kali-Yuga, the age of sin and sorrow;” “they are as mysterious as their supposed seven wives, the Pleiades, of whom only one— the hidden one—has proved virtuous.” Speaking of the constellation of the Great Bear, H. P. B. makes the remark that these Rishis are the informing souls of the stars mentioned, and that they lie across the loins of the constellation (her underlining) and that they are the Seven elemental powers—the Rupa Devas. There is a hint, too, that they are connected with generation.

From it all I judge that there is a class of beings that have not been and will not be men in this Manvantara; they are of seven different degrees, not connected with man as a septenary being, although they are with the cycle of Kali Yuga. These cycles must be in a general way determined by man as to their nature, which is what the Star Rishis respond to in particular. It would seem that all the sex vagaries that come up in various directions, and the many visions and “communications” of “Masters” spoken of by persons so thinking are of that nature. You know it is said that very little information was given out about the elementals for the reason that the mind, by directing the consciousness, can segregate the various planes and arouse the elementals to action in relation to the Thinker. Sex ideas strongly held and attempted to be “spiritualized" as the saying is—might easily, I can conceive, attract beings of that nature which would assume the coloring of one thinking in that relation, adding to the main point of attraction—generation—anything that would serve to keep the close contact. Being elemental they respond to their own peculiar stimuli, without any sense of responsibility— not knowing man’s nature. The safe road is the one pointed out by the Messengers: you remember H. P. B. said, “Beware of the path of the Star Rishis.”


Well, Companions, keep on with well-doing; our work is needed badly, and while there are few to listen, we serve the many through the few. Love to you and best of success every where.



Letter Twenty-Two

There is compensation everywhere and for everything; only, as we look for results, we do not, at once perceive the compensation at times and at the moment. Business, being a contest of interests, is full of perplexities all the time to us if we are fearful or anxious or impatient. But bad as it is and must be in itself, if we engage in just a present performance of duty as it comes and to the best of our ability, all strain disappears and we have that calmness which is necessary in the fight. No doubt time is required to be able to hold that position, but it is the condition to be tried for and obtained.

In the article mentioned, I should take exception to the phrase used: “When the first state of consciousness arises there is the Unmanifested viewed as a whole.” It would sound better to me to say that the Unmanifested precludes any “state,” but represents “Be-ness” or Consciousness per Se; differentiation brings states of being or perception. If we take the simple and well known analogy of sleeping and waking, and call waking the “manifested” and sleeping the “unmanifested,” we see that what transpires in consciousness during sleep is the “unmanifested” to the waking state, while what to us in this state appears as un manifested is but a higher kind of manifestation. May not this be equally true in regard even to that which we call Universal Pralaya? We speak of “consciousness” and mean thereby our present relative and restricted modes of perception, but we get no idea of what the consciousness of our own Higher Ego is. We have the feeling which arises from our present incomplete state; but what do we know of the feeling that comes from a higher state?


You ask about the sentence in Patanjali: “The mind is a factor without which concentration cannot be obtained.” The question is “Why?” It is not easy to say what the “mind” is: it must be basic as well as selective; it can be withdrawn from one object and placed upon another; without “mind” nothing is done. We regard all actions as being mind operation. Thought is the plane of action; so to get at the basis we have to assume a Perceiver, who from his perceptions is the cause and effect in action. Prakriti is said to be that which produces cause and effect in actions, being the basis in which any action inheres. The Perceiver acts upon many planes; his perceptions as adopted by him on any plane might be called his “mind” on that plane. Concentration of perception on any desirable point is necessary to full knowledge.

I think you have the idea all right, as I understand it: “Universal Mind is the sum total of ideas of all beings concerned in the system” (which as a totality and in the last analysis must be in accord with all other systems) ; and any given mind must be a collocation of ideas within the Universal Mind. “There is nothing but the Self and its environments.”

The main trouble is we are constantly working with and upon effects, and endeavoring to adjust effects to effects without any relation to the plane of causes, mistaking cause for effect and effect for cause continually. The second chapter of the Gita gives a splendid statement. Speaking of the “three qualities” (prakritic), it says, “Be thou free from these three qualities,” that is, from the ordinary influence of the natural opposites. We are not to perform actions to obtain favor from Masters, nor from a morbid fear of Karma, not even from a desire to obtain good Karma; but “perform thy duty; abandon all thought of the consequences, and make the event equal to thee whether it terminate in good or evil. Such equanimity is called Yoga.”

You remember the saying of H. P. B., “Embodied consciousness gains knowledge through observation and experience; disembodied consciousness is the Cause.” So the whole is comprehended in Consciousness, conditioned and unconditioned. There


is the internal cause of ideation—Thought; and the external cause and effect in action on the planes of prakriti. Only through spirit can we know spirit in any of its modifications. But to explain high metaphysical ideas in any western or modern language is like doing fine carving with an axe; our perceptions have to expand by application and exercise, so that words in their common application and ordinary relations to each other appear as correspondences rather than definite expressions.

The mind and Consciousness acting together have the power to separate or segregate the different planes, and this too in the case of the merest beginner. I do not think you can get any better idea in regard to the image-making faculty than is contained in the article by W. Q. J. in Vol. VII of the Path magazine, p. 289*. The power of concentration is the first consideration: “One should have the imagination under such control as to be able to make a picture of anything at any time. If a picture were made of the ineffectual thoughts of the generality of people, it would show little lines of force flying from their brains, and instead of reaching their destination, falling to the earth just a few feet away from the person who is thus throwing them out.”

Not much help here I am afraid, but you may get something out of it. Now to you may there be all blessings and growth.



Letter Twenty-Three

So the question was asked as to “the body of H. P. B.,” and you wish further light upon it. The body of H. P. B. was born in the usual way with its peculiar physical heredity—a “house” of the kind in use by the people of the age, and subject to its own physical karma. It could not be made perfect any more than its shape, features, sex, or color could be made different than they were. It was selected for its adaptability to the work in hand.

* “Imagination and Occult Phenomena,” reprinted in Theosophy, October, 1913.


All great Initiates appear among men in a body of the kind in use by the race to whom they come. The Bible says of the prophet of Nazareth that “he became in all things like unto us.” Should such beings come in their own form and glory, they would be worshipped as gods by some, and hunted as devils by others, and the object of inducing right effort on the part of the people would be entirely missed. So although it entails suffering, it is done for humanity’s sake, from the compassion felt for those younger brothers who continue to bring woe upon them-selves through ignorance. The Masters do not need the experience for Themselves. They sacrifice for others, and as other Masters did in more ancient times for them.

It is a question whether They suffer any pains from death as the ordinary human does who hangs on to life physical. The force in use by Them racks any ordinary body and disintegrates it. In the case of H. P. B., extraordinary means had to be used to keep the body together as long as it was kept. A couple of weeks before leaving the body She wrote to one in Boston, “Even will and yoga cannot keep this old rag of a body together much longer.” This does not abrogate her power, but it does show that the bodies of the present race are not able to stand such a strain as the occupancy of such a being entails. The nervous force in our own bodies if intensified will destroy the body’s capacity; imagine a force a hundred times higher than that, and it is not difficult to understand why bodies so occupied go to pieces.

Bodies are formed under the law of cause and effect, and are maintained under it. There is physical karma, mental karma, and psychical karma; these interact upon each other, yet have their own particular lines of operation. The production of the bodies of any race is through causes set in motion upon the physical plane, and continued in reproduction on that plane; they are of a certain nature and subject to the actions and reactions of the collective karma of the race of which they are a part. An Adept assuming such a body would be subject, so far as the body is concerned, to the racial qualities inherent in the body assumed,


just as a man moving into a town and taking a house in the town, would dwell therein; if the houses were deficient in any way, he could do no better and would have to take what he could get, even if  far from his standard. So he would be subject to the “karma” of the dwellings of the time and place. Bodies are the physical dwellings constructed by the race.



Letter Twenty-Four

I have read your note and the enclosed letters. It is passing strange that Mr. B. could have gotten such a conception of us—that we are a self-satisfied, patronizing bunch”; that we are not straight in sending out unsigned letters, or hiding in any way. I would like very much to clear up their minds on these and other lines for they are fine people and need only to get rid of some prejudices to place them in that relation which will benefit them. The letters indicate much self-assertion and belligerent personality on the part of one, while the other says somewhat naïvely that he was so interested in the subject itself he never thought to inquire about the history of the U. L. T. and the persons connected with it—which was exactly the effect most desirable to be brought about!

Strange, they do not see, if some human beings know the existence of the most important message to the world in untold centuries, and bring the fact and the message to their attention, leaving it to be accepted or rejected without drawing any attention to themselves, that an act of self-effacement has been performed in order that the Message may be judged on its own merits. They are evidently not aware that it was the prominence of persons and their claims of personal knowledge that drew the attention of enquirers from the Message itself. Nor does it seem to be understood by them that the "anonymity" adopted was for the very benefit of such as they and all others who desire to obtain that message at first hand with no intermediate distractions.


As persons concerned with the Message and its propagation, we certainly are not “hiding,” for we exist and can be found; but as “persons” of intelligence, character and self-sacrifice, we desire most of all to place the Message of Masters in the hands of those who wish to learn and know, without attracting attention to ourselves or seeking any distracting notoriety. For many years this has been done at a tremendous cost of time, money, and effort; for with us it has been a constant and consistent giving and we have asked for nothing in return. Nor can it be said that we are seeking recognition or fame of any kind, since no names are presented to which fame may be attached.

How does anyone suppose the Teachings of Theosophy pure and simple as given by the Teachers of Theosophy have been carried forward intact? Blind alleys have been spread in every direction by persons who have been and are accepted by the unwary as true Theosophical exponents; the original teachings have been obscured and a flood of speculations arc put forth as Theosophy, to the detriment of Theosophy and those who would learn and understand. How else could such a condition be remedied save by some who knew the truth, knew the Teachers, knew the right lines, and had sufficient experience in the Movement to avoid the rocks that split the original society into a number of fragments?

The policy and methods of U. L. T. were instituted to avoid personalities altogether and make the effort dependent upon a body of students who desire no recognition for nor of themselves, thus putting the Teaching directly in the hands of those who would know, to be studied and applied; hence the “anonymity.”

Another critic once said that U. L. T. was “hiding behind Theosophy.” The reply was, “That is much better than standing in front of it and hiding Theosophy.” The U. L. T. does not “hide” behind anything; it is simply holding Theosophy up so that all can see without let or hindrance. Whether it is persons or a number of “two-by-fours” that hold Theosophy up in plain view does not matter; in either case, it could be said with


some show of justice that Theosophy was hiding them from view. But there is no complaint from that quarter nor thought of any—as you well know. Mr. B. does not appear to distinguish between anonymous communications from enemies or would-be friends, which, as he justly remarks, are cowardly, and an impersonal presentation of Theosophy without placing persons in the lime-light—all of it for the undiluted benefit of those who seek to know Theosophy. The point is that we stand in our own persons for Theosophy, and, while presenting its principles, defend it against any kind of attack.

Well, in all kindness of heart we will do the best we can with anyone who desires to learn. For those who expect principles and methods to conform to their personal prejudices we can do nothing, however much we might desire to. Yet there is always hope that a little Theosophy may work as a leaven which will wear away or displace existing prejudices, and for this, time must be allowed. Theosophy is for those who want it; it cannot be given to any others.



Letter Twenty-Five

Yes, many people will come to your meetings; of these, a few will remain. Those who really get the spirit of the Movement will not be found running here and there for any purpose of their own. They may go occasionally for general information or to do good to others. Whenever personal friction comes up, as it may—do you stick to principles; enunciate them, illustrate them, but keep away from direct reference to any trouble. So each is left to understand and apply as seems best to him. Study is the great thing. Unity, study, and work are the Trinity that will keep all together and yet leave play for individual idiosyncrasies along harmless lines while subduing them. What you say of some who come, remain away for a time, and come back, may indicate that such have taken a sample away with them, and


compared “the goods” with those offered elsewhere. No doubt that goes on here and there with those who work from reason alone.

There are many whom we cannot help. Their time has not yet come, perhaps, in that they have not arrived at that condition which permits such help as we can give. We can help those that are ready; they may not be many in number, but they exist, and will come, as the way clears for them to do so. A steady out pouring of the eternal ideas will attract and hold those who need them; others will come and go as their mood determines. I do not think you are to blame for the kind of people that come to you; they are samples of the city—mixed; some good—bless them—some indifferent, some bad and some very bad. You try to serve all and give them of your best; no one can do more. Every spiritual effort is a good action.

It is true that the “door to the Masters” lies through Their work, and in no other way. You remember that W. Q. J. wrote, “Generosity and love are the abandonment of self.” The Masters love humanity and all creation; Their generosity and love are not stinted, nor tainted with selfishness. We can get rid of our hindrances only by following the Path They indicate. That Path little by little rids us of our besetting “sins.” And They have said that every thought, every desire, every effort in that direction counts. What we need to do is to forget our estimation of ourselves, be that good or bad, and just work on. We shall find more strength and larger opportunities as we move along that road. The idea that we are poor miserable sinners is so ingrained in the race mind that we find ourselves holding separateness either as to goodness or as to badness all the time. This has to be overcome. It is not a question of our goodness nor our badness, but our desire and effort to follow the highest path possible for us.

If a path is one we know, we have the confidence of knowledge; but where the path is a strange one, various kinds of doubts and misgivings arise. There is only one thing to be feared, really, and that is anything that takes us off the Path we are treading.


I think, too, there is sometimes a stronger reason for disquietude than mere personal fear or doubt. We do not want to stray from the Path, and so we examine our steps to see if they are in the right direction, especially if the steps bring us any joy. Ordinary doubt or fear would stop us, but right solicitude only makes us cautious, and that is not a bad thing at all, so long as we keep moving.

As to the friend you speak of: I hope he has found something to do, and that whatever it is he will determinedly settle down to do it as if it were the only thing to be done. I have found that doing what comes, with all my heart, mind and strength, in time brought me to another place and opportunity and always to a better advantage. I have seen in many the attitude, “I don’t like this,” or, “I must have something better,” lead to perpetual change, dissatisfaction and poor results, invariably. On the other hand, I have seen those whom neither sickness nor any other cause could deter, nor diminish their courage and efforts, gain success, the reason being that no opportunity was overlooked and no effort too great for them. It was really an unconscious fulfilling of Karma on their part. I think students too often regard their personal existence and predilections as one thing, and their student life as another. It is not so. Both are interwoven and interbended at every point. The student should see clearly that his present existence is his opportunity to live and learn, as well as learn to live to the best advantage; it contains and presents the opportunities which, if rejected, will come before us in one form or another until we realize that a step forward can be taken in no other way than by overcoming obstacles, and thus, defects. How wonderfully and perfectly this works, when seen and faithfully applied, the generality of people do not credit or know; but we, as students, should be able to apply the lessons of life on the basis of the knowledge which has been imparted to us and which we recognize.

That we are living in a period of transition when everything is changing may easily be seen. We are necessarily involved in this transition which in the general case makes for betterment, and,


with the student, opens the door to that success which is greater than all governmental and worldly advance or betterment—true knowledge and perception, control, strength and wisdom to apply, fitting us to become leaders of men in the times to come. We should therefore go through our appointed task, not only courageously but gladly, knowing what it leads to, and what the great end in view. The lives we have lived with their joys and sorrows, pleasures and pains, are forgotten; the one we are now living will pass into the same limbo of the past; but we shall be what we have made ourselves, strong or weak, as the case may be, and face once again what we have brought about. We have only the present in which to do what may be done, so we ought to be bold and courageous and go forth and show our strength in the face of any and all difficulties, for they are veritably our saviours.



Letter Twenty-Six

As to the statement that we have to “assimilate the bliss of Devachan and the woes of Avitchi”: all have to learn these states. Those who of their own free will enter bodies to help humanity pass through them like any human being, but are not involved in them. They feel like any human being, and go through much more than most, so that there may be fresh in their bodily experience all feelings that afflict or ease humanity. Their grief—if it may be called so—is over the inability of humans to understand because of the purely personal elements which prevail in mankind.

“Masters feel pain but are not disturbed by it.” That feeling is sympathy—a feeling with the condition. They know what any one feels under the circumstances, but They also know that the so-called sufferings of others are not due to the circumstances, but to a false attitude toward them. How could They identify Their glorious knowledge and power with a mistaken


conception? The pain we feel most is mental pain, not physical, and this mental pain is due to fighting against Karmic conditions—in fact, Karmic opportunities. Our inner nature compels us to go in directions that contravene our personal desires; then there is pain in the personal mentality with and because of the identifying our Self with it. The personal nature is extremely sensitive because its constitution is such that it is easily deranged, being made up of separate ideas. Usually with students the changes in ideas are simply the exchange of one separative idea for another; so, the changes leave them still tied up in personal ideas. True growth comes from regarding all things that come and go—some of them pleasant and some unpleasant— as the tides in the ocean of life of which one is the observer. Pleasure is necessary, as also is pain, for these are guide-marks and indicate the “effect” upon us by the varying tides. We are not these effects which are simply means of measuring the value of experiences and of learning how to put them to the best use. What is needed is freedom, and freedom comes from a resigning of all self-interest in results.

A question was asked, “Is it not very hard to rise?” It is not hard, for our Real nature is at the place we wish to rise to. In the East they catch monkeys by putting nuts in the bottom of a narrow-necked jar; the monkeys see the nuts at the bottom and at once put their arms and hands in to grab a fistful of the nuts; they do not know enough to let go the nuts and be free and so are caught. ‘We are much like the monkeys in that we want to rise and be free, but we will not let go the “nut-ideas” that we hold. If we only would, we should rise by our own nature. We ought to be wiser than the monkeys; to be our self and let things go.

Your friend’s statement on tobacco is quite interesting to me, perhaps because I may at one time have held similar ideas and for that reason recognize the prejudice and preconception that his statement presents. Our personal habits one way or another are matters purely personal and do not affect the facts in the case, but our preconceptions may and too often do just


that. Having erroneous ideas, or partially so, as to the facts in any given case, these, together with any existing prejudices, lead us to wrong conclusions. As to his remark in regard to Masters smoking, it would be well to enquire just what his understanding of the nature of Masters is, for upon a right or wrong understanding of that nature our basis of judgment depends. It has been stated by Themselves that They are human beings, but not such as we are. They have bodies, of physical matter indeed, but of such a refined and spiritual kind as to be beyond our ordinary conception and experience. They are perfected septenary beings and present the goal to which humanity may tend. Necessarily, then, control absolute over all Their vehicles or instruments must have been gained before They could reach the stage of septenary perfection. It would also follow that what They do would be with knowledge and for a beneficial purpose. So, even if They used tobacco, it would have to be conceded that They knew what They were doing and why, while we ignorant physical beings would be judging by hearsay and appearances, and considering ourselves competent to do so, which would be a grave mistake.

There is one thing certain, They have never promulgated anything about tobacco nor mentioned the weed; we should therefore be guided solely by Their message to the world of men, and leave all other matters alone, if we would understand or reach Them. It is said that H. P. B. smoked cigarettes; if she did, it did not impair her wisdom nor ability. No one with any insight whatever would care what any person did as a matter of personal habit, if that person could and did present such a wonderful and complete cosmogenesis and anthropogenesis as the Secret Doctrine. It is never so much a question of what a person does as ‘Why does he do it?” If for self-benefit, it is just as reprehensible as any other selfish procedure. It is motive and motive alone that makes an action good or bad, black or white. After all is said and done, “the purely bodily functions are of far less importance than what a man thinks and feels.


what desires he encourages in his mind, and allows to take root, and grow there.” “True chelaship is not a matter of diet, postures or practices of any kind; it is an attitude of mind.”



Letter Twenty-Seven

The letter you send is very interesting. The writer asks only one question: “Why do all religions look upon the cheerless side of life, only, as if the other side did not exist?” We presume that the only answer to this question would be that the religionists and theologians are ignorant—and ignorance, as we know, is the parent of fear. The Founders of the world religions, however, did not present merely “the cheerless side.” They one and all enunciated the doctrines of hope, for almost without exception their teachings cannot be understood except on the basis of reincarnation—in fact, many of them directly taught it—and reincarnation is the “doctrine of hope.”

We think the questioner must have been weary and world- worn when he wrote that letter, for truly Theosophy does not over-emphasize “the cheerless side” of life at all. It supplies a logical common-sense explanation of existing things; and once a man understands what life is for and what it truly means, together with its great possibilities, he can no longer dwell on the “cheerless side” but feels the greatest confidence, hope and cheerfulness—and has a true basis for the feeling.

The fact that Law rules in everything and every circumstance (Karma) is evidence that exact justice is the rule of life. As soon as one sees that there is no “God” to condemn or punish him and that he can only get that which belongs to him, and will surely get everything that does belong to him in a Universe of Law, then he has no reason for being “cheerless,” but feels satisfled, responsible, and confident. And no matter how much we may have transgressed or how little we may have known in the past, as soon as we sense the truth of Reincarnation—the process


by which Law rules realize that we can set up better causes and make the future what we wish.
The longer anyone studies along Theosophical lines, and the more he makes the Philosophy a basis for thought and action, the more fully, I believe, he will see the beauty and possibilities of life, and the tremendous opportunities it affords those who are willing to serve.

Yes, as the questioner says, the vast mass of people do suffer; but the law, inherent in themselves, brings them the suffering because they earned it. All of them experience some joy as well as suffering; the law brings them that also because they earned it. Many of those who now suffer most are paying the penalty for their transgression against the rest, but in time the compensation will come. Furthermore, we always have the power of choice—if only in the attitude we take toward the circumstances of life.

He speaks of the tremendous task Theosophy has. That is true, but we as students need not worry about that. We can only do what we can do—and remember that the Master’s hand is over all. They know when the times are ripe for beginning a work; They know what to expect; otherwise They would not be “Masters of Wisdom.” It is pioneer work for those now in the world, and by doing what we can now, we make ourselves a place in the future into which we will come under law. Perhaps he has not thought of that.



Letter Twenty-Eight

Your note and questions were handed to me last evening and I am glad to reply. From your statement I should say that you brought forward from a previous life that extension of sight and hearing which you possess. It is not a “gift”; it was acquired by you while in a body before.


The strong tie between yourself and your mother does not come, in my opinion, from the fact of your physical relation in this life, but is a soul bond in other lives, and not necessarily in the same relation as in this life, although that could very well be. The fact remains that there is a strong bond between your soul and hers—a bond of unselfish love, the strongest power in the world.

As all human beings are primarily spiritual beings, the earth is not their permanent abiding place; they are born into bodies, live, form their relations as physical, psychic, and spiritual beings, and again return to their own more real and abiding states.

As you may be aware, the universe exists for the purposes of soul, and our entrance into earthly existence is but one phase of our continuous conscious existence. When we sleep, whether our consciousness be in the dream state or in inner and deeper ones, our real (subjective) relations with other human beings continue. So also, at death, when we leave the body, we pass into a state like to the dream state for awhile, and then enter into the fullest enjoyment of a self-conscious existence which creates for itself its own surroundings with all those loved during the life last lived. The state is called Devachan—or the state of the ‘ When one whom we have loved has left the body, he carries with him whatever he has felt, loved, or despised. Since he, as well as those he has left in bodies, has the interior states and forms, that which is felt by him is felt inwardly by those in bodies; the impress of the feeling of the departed is carried so as to be recognized as such. The feeling of nearness, the sense of receiving words, admonitions, or encouragement is due to the inner relation and love of the departed, who are not physically near, nor are they aware of our daily earthly experiences, but their love ever operates as a protection and as a help, for they are connected with us in our inner and higher nature. In our inner states we see, feel, understand, and translate that connection into terms of everyday life.

You can understand that there could be no happiness for our departed loved ones if they were aware of our trials and


troubles in earthly existence. The Soul’s need for the undisturbed assimilation of the highest and best of its life’s experience requires that only the inner contact shall be held, and that is above the exigencies of the physical embodiment.

The “dim vapor” which you saw in the death hour was the withdrawal of the “astral form” from the physical one; the senses, faculties, and feelings of the departed were in that astral “body.” It represented the physical form, for it was that into which the purely physical elements had been drawn and which was now discarding them.

You did exactly the right thing to have allowed the body to rest and to have remained quiet until the process of separation from the body had been completed. This must have come from inner understanding, as you do not seem to be acquainted with the rationale of the process. You had an inner and truer perception than those who thought you had “lost your mind.” The fact was that they had not found theirs, being bound up in their physical perceptions and senses.

What you feel and understand to be of “her busy life over there and of friends she has met,” are representative of her thoughts and feelings and are not actual actions on her part, for she is in a subjective state and is not in contact with other beings, except in a subjective way—that is, she is thinking of them in various ways and relations, and you perceive the subjects of her thoughts and actions.

I do not know whether you have read the Ocean of Theosophy. It gives a great deal about post-mortem states, as also does the Key to Theosophy. A reading and re-reading of them would be a help to you in understanding that the real contact we have with others is in Thought, Will, and Feeling, which is not dependent upon bodily relations or contact.

If the writer can further help you in understanding, he will be glad.




Letter Twenty-Nine

You have the right attitude, I believe, and as time goes on, more and more light will come and other steps appear. It is just to keep moving, with face turned in the right direction. Masters do not elect their disciples; the disciples elect to serve, and thus constitute themselves disciples to the extent of the completeness of their self-abnegation and service.

“I produce myself among creatures” has reference to voluntary and conscious incarnations of high spiritual beings—avatars, saviours of the people—including not only the incarnation itself but the influence of a spiritual kind that attends the being. What brings such? The Gita says that They come “whenever there is an insurrection of vice and injustice in the world.” There is an analogy between this and what was hinted about earthquakes by William Q. Judge, who wrote at the time of an earthquake that some soul of use had been born. It is possible that such events conjoin. No doubt that the energy thrown out by masses of men could produce disturbances, affecting the earth itself and bringing into birth patriotic souls whose powers and knowledge will come into play in the mental and physical conditions produced. Local disturbances affect the place disturbed and the people whose karma placed them at that point; there is also a general effect which is shared in different degrees by individuals at other places in the country, by the country as a whole and by the world in general. It is probable that while a destructive earthquake may have a defined field, it may be the production of a general condition, finding expression at the “corroded” point.

You ask as to the nature and mission of the one called “Jesus.” There is reason to think that the mission of Jesus was a minor one, being in a falling cycle, and that it was not so much to disclose as to cover up the avenues to occult knowledge, so that the following times of the decadence of spirituality should


not have dangerous weapons left for selfish, unprincipled and ignorant people to use; hence He accentuated ethics. This does not say that the being known as Jesus was inferior to the one known as Buddha. They might have been the same being, in reality. The statement is that the “missions” or efforts were of a different nature because of the different cycles and peoples. It is and must be necessary for “those who know” to hide away dangerous knowledge at times, as well as to give it out when the time is ripe. “It is under cyclic law, during a dark period in the history of mind that the true philosophy disappears for a time, but the same law causes it to reappear as surely as the sun rises and the human mind is present to see it.” We cannot judge of the nature of any of these great incarnations to the extent of saying that one is superior to the other. We can see something of the nature of the cycle and people of any period, and hence obtain an idea of the difference in the missions.

With regard to cycles, there are of course wheels within wheels and no doubt there are smaller “waves” which in degree correspond to the larger ones, but we have not much on that line in the way of direct information except that there are cycles of differing lengths within the greater cycle of the precession of the equinox. Several remarkable cycles came to a close at the end of the nineteenth century; among them, the Messianic. It would appear that the Messianic cycle, lasting 2,155 solar years, closed in 1897.

Allied to our period, if we consider that the quality of the cycle varies in importance, and, consequently, in the degree of the being needed at any time, we find the conjunction of the cycles above spoken of points to a most important period, and consequently, to important “beings”—which may give us a clue to what the Messengers H. P. B. and W. Q. J. really were. Other periods of less importance bring incarnations of probationary chelas who are on their trial.

There may be something in the above that will enable you to bring to expression what is as yet undefined; but, if not, it may open the door to other ideas and questions.




Letter Thirty

It is not worth the effort expended to try to interest special people; the very effort made prevents, by arousing erroneous notions in the minds of those so sought. Let everyone know about Theosophy, but seek no one in particular—is the wisest course. It is not well, of course, to let the impression grow in anyone’s mind that he is important to Theosophy, for Theosophy is for those who want it and for none others. Rather, convey the impression that to learn the philosophy in such a way as to understand and apply it comes to the very few; not because it is with held, but because mental and physical karma are not of such nature as to leave the mind open, or present the ways and means. In many, many cases, in an age when so much of the ancient wisdom is given out, this effect comes from failure to take ad vantage of opportunities in other lives. The opportunity is due to a larger number than might be suspected. All get their chance—some, more favorably than others. It is the height of unwisdom to neglect the opportunity again, most especially in cases where it is brought home to people without their effort.

The Karma of most is such as to leave no mental, nor physical doors open; yet even they, through the effort of others, may take hold and find the way. “Many are called but few are chosen.” You have found it to be true that the harder the pressure, the more there is of spiritual power if we hold fast. So you think that your typewriter spelled the word right the first time— scared—in the “sacred band of heroes”? “Scared” applied to that which you so fondly thought was yourself at one time—and at times. This scare is natural, because common sense tells us that if we stay on earth we must eat. We cannot fight without the munitions of war on this plane, and as we are against the whole trend of the times, we have not the aid they give. But we are working for them just the same, unnoticed and unthanked, and


the work we do is not ours, but of Those who sent us, and neither desires notice nor reward. We live while we can, and die when we must—when we must, not before, and we’ll never say die while there’s a shot in the locker.

The struggle is fierce—as we face it—not knowing the out come, but it is evidently part of the game, and the struggle is for us or we would not have it. We are expected to do the best that we can and all we can under all circumstances; having done so, we take whatever the Law has in store for us. If it is suffering, then we should be glad it is not death; if it is death, then we may rejoice that there is no more of life. We must not be bound by results while doing the best we know and can.

You said truly, “We will take what comes, and will give our all to the common cause. More we cannot do, and less we may not do under the Law of Brotherhood.” Would that I could do something to make the way clear. You know that I will do what I can, and I know that you will; so all must come right, even if it turns out to be some unexpected way. Our very thought and effort will produce results. Thus we continue the thought and effort and let the results come as they will. Whatever comes must be right for us, for our work, for everything. Doubt, anxiety, fear, only hinder and delay the outcome. So doing what may be done from day to day, with right motive and trustfully, we meet all requirements, fulfill every duty. I feel the hardship of your trials and struggles, and yet I know you would not change anything except as it should be changed by law, all the time using your best judgment, making your best endeavors under existing circumstances. We must be able to fight against what seem to be overwhelming odds, and as long as we fight we are not overcome. We need not fear for ourselves, nor be unduly anxious for others—just simply, surely, steadily keep doing our duty as it comes before us.

If I loved you less or knew you less, I would be sorry for you. As it is, I am glad that you have the strength, the courage that you show, and which you would neither have nor show, were not the difficulties just what they are. Without you and


your courage those who have had help and are having it from us would suffer that loss. In all this you have borne the heat and burden of the day, never faltering although the load is staggering in weight and shows no sign of getting lighter. It is for Them you do it—for Their work, as far as it is understood. I do not think any of us will starve or even suffer from want, yet if such should be our lot, we shall do it gracefully by reason of the knowledge we possess.

To give of one’s bounty is easy, and yet how few having possessions really give. Those who think they would, if they were rich, would not do anything worth while, and many who could do more are afraid to deprive themselves of anything. Such are humans in this twentieth century. A few—very few—suffer that others may not perish but have everlasting life, and in their turn bear the burden of still others. Of such are the immortal sages and heroes.

Well, eat well, sleep well, think well, and cut all doubts by the sword of spiritual knowledge. Love again and again and




Letter Thirty-One

Things past are always easier than things present or things yet to come. The past can be judged by relative importance; it is the hollow of the wave of our progress, whereas the present and the future represent the crest and the resistance felt or feared. Yet if we remember—the past, when it was both present and future, held such disturbances, which we now see were a waste of energy. We should learn from this to “resist without resistance;” that too great an expenditure of thought, of energy is not wise. When we fight we are drawn into the swirl of events and passions; so it is best to lean back on the Self, which is never moved, and look on at the flotsam and jetsam through which “we” move. We can look at the very worst that may happen, in


the same way as we now look back on what has been. Knowing this, when disturbed, we can say, “Even this will pass away,” and wait till the clouds roll by, seeing ourselves in the sunshine and looking at the East of Time. I think that practically all that troubles us is unnecessary, as trouble, but necessary for experience.

The experience of the Ego in its progress on this plane is a series of progressive awakenings, and awakening means “awareness.” It knows the landmarks on its way back to Divinity. I do not think the Great Ones withdrew as we approach—although that is a description of a perception of their natures by degrees—but that we are surrounded by an “invisible escort” as long as our faces are set toward the goal and we remain staunch to Their program. They neither push, pull, nor hinder voluntary action. To do so would prevent true self-reliance. For this reason some may think they are deserted by Masters, or are not seen or heard by Them. This is the worst conception that could be; it belittles Them and implies ignorance and ingratitude on Their part. They gave us the Message and have spoken clearly of Their nearness to those who try and ever keep trying. We cannot take part and harbor doubts as to the rest.

I did not know that my recent letters had in them discouragement, and in the writing of the Teachers I have found but encouragement. I think you must mean that the deep sense of the gulf between our ideals and attainment dismays the personal conception. This is quite true, but “we” are not the personal conception nor its deductions. If we involve ourselves in the Karma of the personal conception, we shall feel despondent, like Arjuna. We are not these relations, but the warriors who will conquer them in order to make friends.

Of course, we are all links in the chain; what affects one affects all, in degree. Every-one who endeavors to help others in any real way puts himself in the place where he must take reactions. You are in that place, also, with regard to those who are waked up more particularly, and in a minor degree as to


others whom you teach. In this Karma acts, of course, because we made the Karma of that kind. The Karma of the T. S. is also the Karma of H. P. B. and W. Q. J., known beforehand in general. The first effort is to spread Theosophy, and much has been done in this respect, but its application has not been as general as might have been. The reactions from the spreading of the philosophy and its wrong or non-application will be taken care of when They come again. It might be likened to a plant, which has to be trimmed to proper growth; but before this can be done, the errant tendencies have to get their growth. You will remember what W. Q. J. said, “Our old Lion of the Punjab is not so far off, but all the same is not in the place some think, nor in the condition, either.” We are linked with the Lodge by aspiration, by service, by following of the Master’s program as nearly as we know; we have no other desire. And we know that “in the lives of all who aspire to higher things there is a more or less rapid precipitation of old Karma, and it is this which is affecting you. It will go off shortly, and you will have gained in having gotten rid of a troublesome piece of business.”

Yes, the feeling of responsibility grows as more and more come for light and help, but, being “transmitters,” we have but to transmit that which is the doctrine of Him who sent us, and this you can do for a million as well as a few, for it is not a case of individual treatment. Of course, we improve all the time, and the wider the responsibility the greater the improvement; everybody who starts small “grows up with the business.” As to the appeal of selfishness, does not nearly everyone begin selfishly? They get a broader vision as they learn more, and it is better to begin even selfishly, than not at all. Some have to come that way, but, of course, that way is not accentuated, even if mentioned as a matter of self-benefit; it is the door for some.

Your letters of late have been showing much more of an in sight into principles and things, an understanding clear and impersonal. We are all pawns on the board of the Great Game, willing ones, conscious ones, and also have our values which


become cumulative as we serve; we also study and learn the methods. Ease of mind and confidence are better than all, in this work of dealing with other men, that is, with the human heart. The more wise one is, the better he can help his fellows; the more cosmopolitan he is, the better too. More power to you.


                                          “When thy heart shall have worked through the
                                           snares of delusion, then thou wilt attain to high
                                          indifference as to those doctrines which are already
                                                taught or which are yet to be taught.”

                                           ‘It is even the same exhaustless, secret, eternal,
                                            doctrine I have this day communicated unto thee
                                               because thou art my devotee and my friend.”





T0 most people the word "religion" signifies something separate from human existence, and presents the idea of preparation for some unknown future existence. Some religions are based upon the knowledge of an individual who laid the foundation for them; others are believed to be the revelations of a Supreme Being at the time of the creation of the world. Each people has a God of its own; so many peoples, so many Supreme Beings corresponding to the mental ideas of the people. And so with individuals—as the ideas of men differ widely—so many individuals, so many Gods. All these Gods or Supreme Beings are the creations of men, and not facts in themselves. But back of all those ideas does lie a Reality. The very power that resides in man to create images and endow them with virtues which he does not possess points to something greater than the things created. The creatures cannot be greater than the creators. That which in man creates ideas is greater than any idea he may at any time have held or now holds. We have, then, to get back of all ideas to find the true ‘ true religion.

True religion must give us a basis for thinking, and consequently, a basis for acting; it must give us an understanding of nature, of ourselves and of other beings. Religion is a bond uniting men together—not a particular set of dogmas or beliefs— binding not only all Men, but also all Beings and all things in the entire Universe, into one grand whole. Just that basis and that bond are presented in the three fundamental propositions of the Secret Doctrine.

Behind everything that exists is the Sustainer of all that exists, of all that ever was, is, or shall be. Nothing exists without It. It is omnipresent, and It is infinite. But, if we take that idea


and endeavor to confine it to the form of any Being whatever, we shall find we have attempted the impossible. We cannot hold the idea of being with that which is omnipresent and infinite. No being can exist outside of Space which itself is, whether there is void or fulness, whether there are planets, gods or men, or none; which itself is not altered in any way by objects occupying it; which is illimitable—without beginning and without end. A Being must exist in Space, and so must be less than Space. We can then call the Highest Power any name we choose—the Supreme, the Self—so long as we do not limit It, or give It attributes. We may not say It is pleased, nor angry, nor rewards, nor punishes; doing so, we limit It. If Space itself cannot be measured or limited, how can we limit the Supreme? The Highest Power cannot be less than Space. Even to name It is to limit It; yet It must be the One Reality, the One Sustainer, the One Cause of all existences, the One Knower, the One Experiencer, in all directions and in every thing. This proposition drives us back to the very basis of all thought—the power to think, itself—the power which is in each and every being.

We cannot understand nature, other beings and ourselves, by going outside to any conceivable being. The growth of knowledge must be within the perceiver, the thinker himself. All his observation and experience bring him knowledge which he relates to himself in connection with others. Each stands in the vast assemblage of beings, seeing them all, understanding what he may of them all, but himself the only one who sees; all the rest are seen. All others are the same as he is in their essential nature; all are endowed with the same qualities, the same perfections and imperfections; all are copies of every other, differing only in the predominance of one or another quality. But the thinker is the Self—the only Self, so far as he is concerned—the One Life, the One Consciousness, the One Power. As action proceeds from that basis, the greater the powers which flow from that spiritual quality, the greater the increase of knowledge.

Knowledge is religion—not a supposed “revelation” from some superior being who created us as inferior beings, but an


actual knowledge gained through myriads of years and many existences by Those who have expressed them all. Those beings above us on the ladder of evolution, who are greater than any “Gods” we can conceive of, passed through the same trials and the same sufferings which we are undergoing, until they learned to know their innermost nature and to act in accordance with it. They came to know that true religion is a knowledge of one’s own self, and action in accordance. Drawing nearer in themselves to the very Source of their being, they found the source of every other being to be the same—only the knowledge acquired and the use of that knowledge making the differences between all beings. Their knowledge is an absolutely accurate knowledge of the essence of everything in nature, which alone is the foundation of all true religion.

What is it that prevents us from understanding true religion? It is our minds, which we have filled with narrow ideas of life, with small ideas of the nature of humanity and of ourselves. It is our beliefs which constrain us. A belief is always a statement of ignorance. If we believe, we do not know; if we know, there is no occasion for belief. Unless beliefs are tested out in the fires of experience and show themselves true, they are absolutely useless and worse than useless, because they tempt us to use the very powers of our spiritual being in wrong directions which bring suffering and disaster upon ourselves. It is our very spiritual nature which makes our present unhappy condition possible, for from it flows the One power, either exercising itself through small ideas—its obstacles—or acting fully and without constraint. Each man is his own creator, and each one has to be his own savior through learning right use of the One Power. Those who have learned can only point out to us the Way they learned it; no one can learn for us. We ourselves have to clear away the obstacles that prevent us from knowing our inner selves. We ourselves have to throw aside the hindrances in thinking, in forms of religion, in mental as well as physical idols.

There is one realization which immediately sets our minds in order: it is of That in us which is unchangeable and un-


changing. We are that Spirit in very essence; all that has been in our past lives and in our present life, all that will in future be, proceeds from the power of that Spirit itself, and is sustained by the power of that Spirit itself. There is nothing apart from us. Nature does not exist separate and apart from us. The laws of nature are but the interrelations and interdependence of all the beings concerned in this stream of evolution. The forces of nature do not exist of themselves. There never was a force of any kind that was not the result of intelligent action. We as spiritual beings are eternally creating forces; for every man’s brain and every thought has a dynamic power. Are they lost? No: all the thoughts, all the feelings of all the beings in the universe, provide a store of dynamic energy which constitutes the forces, as we know them, of nature. We draw upon that general reservoir of force in accordance with the ideas held and in accord with our present inward nature. All the time we are adding to the powers of nature for good or for evil. So, too, we are taking from the powers of nature the additions which other beings have put in—the forces which other beings have aroused in nature.

All the powers in the universe are latent in us if we only open the doors to their use. Everyone of us is a little copy of the whole universe. There is not one single element existing any where which each one of us does not contain within his own sphere; there is not a power anywhere that can not be drawn upon. Always the director of that power is the Self within each one. If that Self sees darkly, it is because the mirror into which the Self looks is covered with the dust of false ideas; he sees distorted images. He moves in the directions suggested by the mirror, but it is the Self which supplies the power to move. We would open the door to all powers by a daily and hourly living in accordance with the nature of the Self—seeing that every other being is but an aspect of Self, and acting so that every other being will be helped on its way. For we can not go on our way alone. We have our duty to fulfill by every other being, whether in the kingdoms below us, without which we could not


exist, or in the human kingdom. Every other stands as a vicarious atonement for us—an object lesson—and if we have reached a point higher than that which is ordinarily reached by men, then all the more are we constrained to duty by them.

We come to physical existence incarnation after incarnation under the law inherent in our natures, to work with mortal ideas and passions and thoughts; but we who created them, we who sustain them, are immortal. If we were not immortal in our very natures, never by any chance could we become immortal. If we were less than Divinity, then we never could by any possibility understand divinity. Those beings who have been men and who have gone beyond our degrees of illusion—like Jesus of Nazareth, Buddha, and many others—have attained to Their Divinity. They accept the woes of birth to which Their younger brothers are subject, to remind us of our own natures—the only natures over which we have permanent control—that we may become as One of Them, bound to Them as to all nature. To live for others is the foundation and basis of religion—of true spiritual knowledge.




As a people we speak of “our God,” imagining that we all have the same idea, that we all mean the same thing by the term. Peoples of the past had their meaning of “our God,” and peoples of the present time also say “our God and other Gods,” imagining that their conception is the only true one—all others, untrue, false. The Great War was fought among so-called Christian peoples, who, so far as a consideration of Christianity is concerned, ought to have been worshipping the same God, and guiding thought and action by the precepts ascribed to that God. But is it not true that our theologians and the theologians of those people at war with us addressed petitions to the same “Our God,” in order to bring success to their efforts as against other peoples worshipping the same God? There would then appear to


be a multiplicity of Gods, or else something wrong in the conceptions of all of us. If we ask ourselves individually, “What do I mean by the term God?” perhaps we would all say: “The highest there is.” But do we mean the highest there is? Do we mean that great power which sustains all beings, all forms, that which by its very nature and by our contemplation of it must appear as infinite, as eternal, as changeless? If we do mean that, then we shall have to amend a great many other ideas which generally connote with the term God. For instance, we shall have to leave the idea of a being entirely outside of our calculations. We have thought that the source and sustainer of all things, all beings, from all time and in all time, is a being; that the something in us which reaches up beyond everything physical, beyond every thing thinkable, is outside ourselves. How could that possibly be? How could we possibly prove that this God is a being existing in some far-off heaven unknown to us and separate from us? How can we imagine a being as omnipresent, and at the same time separate from us or from anything? If Deity is infinite and omnipresent, there is not a grain of sand nor a point of vacant space anywhere where Deity is not. And how again can we give to the idea of Deity, attributes—such as being angry or pleased, rewarding or punishing, since every attribute that we give is a limitation and precludes the idea of omnipresence? No being could be the origin, the sustainer, the source of all that was, is or ever shall be. Any being, however great, is contained and limited in space; no being can be omnipresent.

There is that which is beyond speech, beyond description, and beyond conception—the highest there is in the universe. But are we to look outside in the heavens, in the sea, in the secret places of the earth, in any place whatever; or are we to find it in a much nearer place, that is, within ourselves? For all that anyone can know of God, or the Highest, is what he knows in himself, through himself and by himself. There is no other place of knowledge for us. Yet at the same time we have to perceive that God, or Deity, is not absent from anything, is immanent


in the whole, is omnipresent, is at the root and is the seed of every being of every kind anywhere; that there is no thing, not even a grain of sand nor a speck of dust, no point in space, absent from that Source which sustains the whole manifested universe. We can imagine, then, that God, as the ancients put it, “seated in the hearts of all beings;” for there is something in the heart of man whence proceeds all feeling, all true life, all true conception. The heart is not the same as the head—a man’s heart may be right and sound and his head wrong. The feeling of the true in the heart is not deceived by this thought or that thought or the other thought; it can only be experienced by each one for himself within himself. God is not an outside God, but is to be sought in the very innermost recesses of our own nature— in the silent chamber, the temple, within us—and nowhere else.

We think that our present civilization far transcends any past civilizations that ever have been; yet there are many records and relics of arts, sciences, of knowledge, of religion, of philosophy such as we have not yet mastered. We are but a young people, as a matter of fact. It is not so many centuries ago since the Founder of the Christian Religion lived upon the earth, and there were many thousands of centuries before that. The people who lived down the course of those centuries knew far more than we. They knew, as we may know, that there is no such thing as creation. No being ever created the earth, or its conditions. This planet, or any other planet, was never created by any being. This solar system and other solar systems were not created by any being. Something produced them. Yes, and it is possible to understand how that production was brought about! By evolution—always an unfolding from within outward—from the very root of every being, from the Deity, the Soul of all, the Spirit of all. Spirit is the root, the sustainer, the energy producing force for all the evolution that has gone on. Every being in the universe is a product of evolution—all from the same identical root of being, all drawing their powers of expression from the one Source. All are rays from and one with that


Absolute Principle, which is our very Self—the Self of all creatures. What of all those beings who were the Self in process of evolution, who reached a realization of this truth ages and ages before the present civilization? What became of them? Have all their hopes and fears been lost? What is the meaning of those races, those civilizations—was it death for them when their civilization passed out as ours must, since just so surely as it had a beginning so it will have an ending? Just so surely as there are those rises and falls in civilizations, so is there a cycle of time through which the conscious man goes, and a cycle of form which the conscious man animates, uses, and leaves—to take another—from civilization to civilization. When, then, we look about us for the results of the civilizations that have been, and try to understand the conditions of the present civilization, we have to see that the people of the world to-day are the very ones who passed through those ancient civilizations, left them, and carried forward whatever of knowledge or of ignorance, of truth or of error, they had gained during those vast periods of time. For LAW rules in every thing and every circumstance, every where. There is a law of birth—of successive lives on earth, each life the successor and result of the life or lives which preceded. That which sustains man, garners all experience, retains it, carries it forward, and propels evolution, is the One changeless, eternal, immortal Self—the real perceiver, the real knower, the real experiencer in every body, in every form.

The Self is its own law. Each one is the Self, and each—as Self—has produced the conditions under which he finds him self. When the Self acts, it receives the re-action. If it acts not at all, then there is no re-action. Every action brings its re-action from those who are affected by it for good or for evil. For good and evil do not exist of themselves nor in ourselves; they are but effects we feel and classify as good or bad according to our attitude toward them; that which seems ‘good to one is “evil” to another. When we have rid ourselves of the idea that there is a God who produced and sustains good, and a devil who pro-


duced and sustains evil, we have come to the fact of true perception from within outwards.

Every civilization that has been, and the one in which we now are living, is due to a true or false perception of what our real nature is. If we would ever know and understand our natures, we must first understand that there is in us That which never changes at all, whatever changes are brought about by it. We never are the things we see, or feel, or hear, or know, or experience. No matter how many the experiences may be, we are still unchanged with the possibility of infinite other experiences. That the Self in us is changeless may seem difficult for the Western mind to grasp, thinking that without change there is no progress; but it may be perceived by the fact of our identity remaining ever the same in a child’s body and through all the changes of body that have occurred since childhood. If the identity ever changed, it could never observe change. Only that which is permanent and stable can see change, can know it, can make it. And—what theology, modern philosophy, modern science have never taught us—there is this fact: as we are immortal spirit at the very root of our being, we have made for ourselves many mansions all down through the process of nature’s changes. The gradual condensation which goes on with every planet and in every solar system goes on with every body; every form has its initial existence as form in the finest state of matter, from which it is condensed and hardened to the present physical state of matter. But the illimitable experiences of higher planes, back through all those changes, are now resident within ourselves— present with us wherever we are or may be—except as we have shut the doors on them. Why? Because this brain of ours, the most responsive organ in the body, since it is used in our modifications of thought, is concerned with things of the earth, in relation to the body. A brain trained and sustained by this kind of thinking can not register from the higher nature—from the finer sheaths of the soul. But once we begin to think and act from the basis of these verities, the brain—which is the most rapidly changing organ in the body—becomes porous to the im-


pressions of our inner life. Dimly at first, and more strongly as time goes on, we begin to realize the fact of this inner experience, and—what is more to us than all else—the continuity of our consciousness; the fact that consciousness never ceases, no matter on what plane we may be acting. Therefore, we may have in our own bodies and during our lifetime—not a promise—but a sense, a realization, a knowledge of immortality here and now!

We have been taught to believe. But, belief is not knowledge. We have been taught to believe in a formula, but a formula is not knowledge. So we have gone astray in every direction and made of this life a terror to ourselves. We are afraid of death, of disaster; we are always buttressing ourselves with some sort of guard in this or that direction. We are afraid to trust the very God we say we believe in. We will not trust Christ. We will use all the means we can think of to look out for ourselves. Each one of us is Spirit and each one of us is using spiritual powers to induce what we call good and what we call evil; but the misapplication of the spiritual powers, in default of real knowledge, must lead us to misery. So we have to know what we are, and to think and live in the light of our own real natures. Then we shall know the truth within ourselves. We shall understand ourselves and we shall understand our fellow-men, and we shall never again say, “Our God and other Gods,” but the SELF of all creatures. We shall see the Self as all and in all; we will act for and as the Self, because the Self acts only through the creatures; and we shall see every being—man, below man, or above man—as an aspect of ourselves; as individualized beings we will try more and more to exercise the spiritual knowledge that is our own heritage. Like the prodigal son who ate the husks with the swine and then suddenly remembered his Father’s house, we will say: “I will arise and go to my Father.” For there is no one so wicked, so ignorant, so poorly endowed that he may not make good progress in the right direction; on whom the light may not dawn and a feeling of power and strength and purpose arise that will do away with fear and make him a strong helpful being in the world of men. Far from taking us away


from our families, our duties, our business, or our citizenship, this knowledge will make us better citizens, better husbands, better fathers, better patriots, if you will, than ever we were before—patriots of not just one country, but of all.





The “kingly mystery” is Life itself. We all have Life. We all are Life. Every being everywhere is Life—expresses Life. To know what is Life itself is to know the mystery. But there is a condition precedent to this mysterious knowledge, stated by Krishna, in the opening of the Ninth Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita: “Unto thee who findeth no fault I will now make known this most mysterious knowledge, coupled with a realization of it, which having known thou shalt be delivered from evil.” When the one who desires to learn is not in a critical attitude, when he has sensed in one way or another that truth lies in a certain direction and gives all his attention to it without quarreling with terms or the ideas put forward, his is the attitude of the true student. The one who desires to know must set aside for the time being all preconceptions, pride, and prejudices which he may have held, and then he is ready to begin his studies— to take the first step in the right direction.

The world is full of false ideas, false religions, false philosophies which must be thrown away. We of the Western peoples have been taught that we were poor miserable sinners who could do nothing of ourselves. We have assumed that we are poor miserable sinners and have acted as such. Our whole civilization is colored and steeped through with this falsity. Our theologies, our sciences, our commercial, social and political conditions are all based on this false idea, which in its turn rests upon another equally false—that man is here on earth for once only. Hence, that his entrance on this physical scene was through the act of others, and we believe that whatever of merit or demerit is his was handed on to him by his forebears. As a consequence, man constantly shifts his responsibility, and acts as an irresponsible


being. The whole falsity of our existence is centered there, for we are responsible for every ill that exists among us; every kind of suffering on every hand has been brought about through a false idea, and the false action which followed. What are sin, disease, sorrow and suffering but the result of our own thoughts and actions?

Again, we say “we cannot know;” or, “this life is all there is.” Therefore, the whole force of our consciousness is directed in the line of that one false idea and inhibited in the expression of any other; whereas all directions lie absolutely open to us, if only we understand our own natures. Man circumscribes his own conditions by the false ideas he holds in regard to life. No one holds him back. He holds himself back. Yet, even with his narrowing, limiting ideas and conceptions, he is able to accomplish wonderful things. Whatever he sets out to do on the purely physical, material plane of life, he accomplishes in a shorter or greater length of time. If his ideas of religion are all concerned with the physical aspect of life, however, how can he know more? All the conquests that he can make will be physical conquests. What could it avail him in the direction of real knowledge, if he continued similar conquests from civilization to civilization, age to age, planet to planet, solar system to solar system? He could gain nothing but a small sum of possible combinations and correlations, and in all that search and effort would not have gained the first fundamental of true knowledge, of true thought and action.

The kingly mystery of Life can not mean physical existence, which is merely one aspect of the Great Life. We have to go deeper into our own natures, and into the natures of all beings, in order to grasp what that great mystery is. Then the lives of all beings become clear Unto us; we understand what all phases of existence mean; we see the causes for all the difficulties that surround us; we know how to bring about better results, and we perceive from the very first that the power lies in us, and in us alone, to bring about all future changes for ourselves. Looking at all existence from a universal point of view, we become able


to exercise the power which lies in the essential spiritual basis of every being, high or low. The One Self appears only to be divided among the creatures; in reality, It is not divided at all. Each being is That in his essential nature. In It is the foundation of all power; in It lies the power of unfolding, of evolution, which makes possible for each being—representing one ray of that One Life—the attainment of a full knowledge of Life in his own true nature.

Each one of us stands in the midst of a great and silent evolution. Each one of us sees many expressions of different beings— those of the same grade as ourselves and beings of grades below us. We find relations with other elements, the power of which we do not see, the source of which we do not grasp, yet the effects of which we feel. On every hand we are getting effects from different beings of different grades, each one receiving those effects differently. The beings below us in forms of the mineral, vegetable, and animal world are all working, just as we are working, toward a greater and greater realization of the whole. Sparks of the One Spirit, of the One Consciousness, they have begun their little lives in forms, or bodies, by which they may contact others. As they have need for better and better instruments, need for further and further contact, they evolve, from within, a better instrument. Such is the whole course of evolution, always from within outwards, and always with the tendency to an increasing individuality. From the one ocean of Life there finally tends to arise—Divinity.

Divinity is always acquired. It is not an endowment. It does not exist of itself. If we could be made good, if we could be made to turn around and take a righteous course, life might seem very much easier to us. But there is no escaping the law; no one can get us “off” from the effects of our wrong-doing; no one can confer knowledge on another. Each one has to see and know for himself. Each one has to gain Divinity of himself, and in his own way. We think of this as a common world. But it is not so. There are no two people who look at life from the same view point, who have the same likes and dislikes, whom the same


things affect in exactly the same way. No two people are alike either in life or after the death of the body. Each makes his own state; each makes his own limitations; each acquires his own Divinity. Divinity lies latent in each one of us; all powers lie latent in every one, and no being anywhere can be greater than we may become.

What is Divinity but all-inclusive knowledge? True spirituality is not a hazy condition. It is not something that denies any portion of the universe, nor any kind of being. A hazy abstract condition would mean no men, no principles, no opposites; but Divine spirituality is the power to know and see whatever is wished known or seen; it is an intimate knowledge of the ultimate essence of everything in nature. Such knowledge would not mean seeing all things at once, nor being everywhere at the same time, but it is the power to see and know in any direction—the power to grasp whatever it wishes, the power to shut out whatever it wishes. Otherwise it would be no power at all; there would be no use in having power and wisdom, and such beings as the Masters could be afflicted with all the grief and misery in the world, unable to help where help is needed and possible.

All-inclusive knowledge lies before every living being, if lie will but take the necessary steps. What prevents him are the false ideas he holds; for thought is the basis of all action, and wrong ideas in regard to life inevitably bring about wrong actions. We have thought we are all different, because we have different ideas, but, in essence, we are One. The One Life is in each of us. Each one of us stands in the same position, looking out; all the rest are seen. Starting from this point, we begin to find ourselves, to see ourselves, to feel ourselves, and, in feeling ourselves, feel all others. All that a man can know of God is what he knows in himself, through himself, and by himself. Never by any outside presentation can that realization be gained. All the great saviors of all times have never asked man to rely on some outside God, to fear some devil, to go by this or that revelation, to believe in any book, church, ‘ology,” or ism” of any kind. They have asked him to take the step that the height


of his calling demands—to know himself, to know his own true nature, and the nature of every other being. They have shown that the Real Man must assert himself, and must act in accordance with his own nature, and the responsibility which the oneness of all nature demands.

Man occupies the most important place in the whole scheme of evolution. He stands where Spirit and matter meet. He is the link between the higher beings and those below. He has so to act, so to think and act, in and upon and with this physical matter that he raises it all up, and gives it another tendency, another trend. By the very constitution of his nature, by reason of his being connected as he is in a physical body with all nature, the Secret Doctrine states that man can become greater than any one of the Dhyan Chohans and equal to all of them put together. That is the goal which lies before him—the goal of the ‘Kingly Mystery”—the seeing and knowing and feeling and acting universally. For there is a power in man which enables him to judge aright; he has the all-seeing eye—the all-encompassing sight which permits him to see the justice of all things. And always there is present the power of choice in one direction or another. The questions before each human being are: Whom will ye serve? Will you serve the higher spiritual nature, or the body of flesh? WHOM CHOOSE YE THIS DAY?




We have to assume either that this is a universe of law or a universe of chaos, chance, accident. In fact, we know perfectly well that it is not a universe of chance, because everything we use and understand we see to be under law; and where something befalls us, the cause of which we cannot discern, we none the less assume a cause and try to find it. We cannot even imagine an effect without a cause.

The first thing that the student has to learn to perceive in everything and in every circumstance is the reign of law. We recognize law in part, but not in full, as it should be recognized.


Mistaking our own nature, by the very power of that nature, we set in motion causes that produce the results we now feel, and then call those results by such terms as “destiny,” “fate,” “chance,” or the “will of God.” The operation of law to most minds means a fate which befalls us wherein we are benefited or afflicted, but over which we have no control, and in producing which we had no hand. Yet the operation of law can be easily understood. It has been enunciated by all the great Teachers of the past as meaning action and its consequent reaction. Let us remember that these are not two separate and unrelated things— Cause and Effect, Action and Reaction, are the two aspects of one and the same thing. In Sanskrit, both these aspects are included in the one word, Karma.

Karma has been recognized in the Christian scriptures, with which we are most familiar, in the expression, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” By consequence, we should easily see that whatever a man is reaping, that he must have sown. Once we get the conception that actions do not produce themselves, that law does not operate of itself, we can see that we cause actions and experience their reactions; that it is we who set up causes and feel their effects. Cause and effect, action and reaction—the operation of law—are seen to be in ourselves, not outside. There is no action unless there is a being to make it and to feel its effects. Everything that happens to any being has its antecedent cause, and that cause lies in some past action of the being himself. In other words, law rules on every plane of being, and every being of every grade is under that law.

We are all reaping what we have sown, individually and collectively; for we must know that we never act alone. We always act on and in connection with others, affecting them for good or evil, and we get the necessary reaction from the causes set in motion by ourselves. This presents to us the idea of absolute Justice, for under such a conception of Law each being receives exactly what he gives.

This points to another conception: there could not be action and its consequent reaction, unless there were a community of


being amongst us. There must be that in our natures which is peculiar to none, but common to all. In other words, we have all sprung from the same Source; we are all traveling toward the same Goal. The path differs only with the pilgrims. The causes that each one sets in motion determine the path that one must follow. This might be called “destiny,” if we understand that it is a destiny of our own creation. Being created by us, it can be sustained by us or changed by us. If we do not like the “destiny” that befalls us, the effects that surround us, the conditions that encompass us, all we have to do is to set in motion such causes as will produce other and more desirable effects. But we have to do it; no one else can do it for us. No one holds us back. No one propels us forward.

There is no difference in our powers. Each one of us has the same power to perceive, to experience, to learn. ‘What we learn differs, our experiences differ, our perceptions differ, but that does not show a difference in our powers—it shows a difference only in the application of those powers. Each one of us contains within himself the same possibilities as exist anywhere and everywhere in the universe. The lines that we have hitherto taken have brought us to whatever pass, conditions or surroundings that may obtain at the present time. But we might have gone another way and produced an altogether different environment. We ought to see that even now, however hampered we may be as the result of mistaken actions in the past, we have not lost and can never lose our power to set other and better causes in motion. The path toward all knowledge lies before us: “All nature lies before you—take what you can.”

This means that all beings below man, and all beings above man, as well as man himself, have gained whatever individual positions they may now be in by their own exertions. It means that no being is standing still; all are acting, all progressing in one direction or another, according to the lines they have followed and are following. It also means that all the beings below man will some time reach our stage, and that every being above man has passed through stages similar to our own—which is evolution carried to


its highest point, spiritual and mental, as well as physical. We have applied the great Truths of nature only in a partial, a limited, a personal sense. These are universal truths and should be applied in a universal sense, if we desire to arrive at the fullest recognition of them.

The life in each of us is the Universal Life. Many imagine that Life means existence in a physical body, and that only; that out side of physical existence there is no life. But Life includes all things and forms from the highest spiritual down to life in its grossest form; it is the same Life all through, common to all. It is the One Life, the One Spirit in each and all, so that in each being of every grade there lies the potentiality of All-Being. There is that in each which is beginningless and endless, which is changeless; and that, though illimitable, invisible, inconceivable, can be realized by every human being.

Some illustrations will bring this fact forcibly to our minds. We speak of ourselves, of our identity. We say, “I was a child; when I was a young man or woman; when I was middle-aged; as I am today; as I will be in the future.” Now, what is That, itself unchanged, which is going through all those changes? The same “I,” the same identity. That does not change. The body changes, the ideas—the mind—change, the surroundings change. But the Man himself, the identity, remains unchanged through all these changes of body, scene and circumstance.

Again, take the power of seeing: we all have that power, and no matter how much we exercise it, it still remains the power to perceive. It is not changed by what we see. And we may consider this: change cannot see change. Only that which is permanent can see change. So there is that in us which is permanent, which is Real, which is of the highest, which is a ray from and one with the Supreme, the universal Principle or Power, the creator, the sustainer, the regenerator of all that was, is, or ever shall be. We have to realize That—each one for himself—first by recognizing that IT IS, omnipresent, eternal, boundless and immutable; second, by divesting ourselves of those things we thought It to be: that It is this body, this mind, these circumstances. All these are changing


things, things seen; but that which is the Real, the Supreme, our very Self and the Self of all things, is not subject to change; It is changeless; It cannot be seen, for It is the Perceiver.

The ideas we entertain of the Supreme, of Law, of Nature, and of our own Being govern the actions we perform. When we were children we had certain ideas, and we acted according to them, and so on, all through the years. Some of our ideas we have from time to time discarded, and others that we have collected have taken their place. We are now acting according to the ideas we now hold. Are they the best and highest possible to us?

If we change our ideas, we change our actions. If we see that Law rules, that this Law is inherent in our highest nature and not outside of us, we shall see that it is the Spirit in us—our very Self—that is the cause and sustainer of all our actions; and this Spirit by its very power as the Highest, through false ideas creates for itself false positions and false destinies. We have often adopted and we often change our ideas without any real consideration as to their truth, as to their relation to Life, as to their bearing upon existence. We must adopt and hold fast to three great ideas: that each human being has what are called the ‘ attributes of the God power of creation, the power of preservation as long as that creation seems satisfactory, and the power to destroy that creation and regenerate better ones. All we have to do is to realize our own real nature, see what our defects are, strengthen our virtues, and move on. Just so surely as we do this, we shall find that our Virtues and strength increase, and our defects gradually fall away.





Christian theology states that evil came into the world through the sin of the first man’s eating of the tree of forbidden fruit. All men sinned in Adam; because of Adam’s sin, every other being is and has been a sinner. Strangely enough this first man was made by a Superior Being in His own image, or, in other words, perfect;


yet, he was not able to restrain himself from doing those things which he had been forbidden to do. In the very first being created in the image of the “Supreme,” there was a tendency to do wrong!

We have, then, in this creation, out of nothing, a very limited Creator, as it is perfectly patent that any being must be. A being could be neither infinite, supreme, nor omnipresent; for there is That in which all beings, however high, or planets, or solar-systems, have their existence—Space, which exists whether there is anything in it or not; which has no beginning nor ending; which always is; which is outside as well as inside of every being. Any being must be less than Space; could the Absolute be less than Space? Illimitability and infinitude are not in relation to any being whatever; hence creation from the point of view of a Creator has to be abandoned.

But the existence of all beings—not only of mankind, but of beings of every grade and everywhere—has to be accounted for: what is the basis of all existence? We have to go back of all form, back of every kind of being, to see that all beings and all forms spring from One Source, which is not different in any. It is in deed the Supreme which lies within and behind every being; every being of every kind in the universe is in its innermost essence a ray from and one with It. It is Life. It is Spirit. It is Consciousness. Each is God in his innermost Essence. Taking this basis for our thinking, let us ask the question: under what process do things become? What brings about the operation of all the different forms that we see? Whether consciously or unconsciously, we all recognize the fact that Law rules in this universe, but what we have to understand is that Law is merely the inter-relation and inter-action and inter-dependence of all the acts of all beings concerned in the universe. The one inclusive law is the law of action and reaction—a law not outside of, but inherent in the nature of every being. From the very Source there is the power to act, but there is no action unless there is a being to act and feel the effects of the action. If I act, I get re-action. If the highest archangel acts, he gets the re-action of his action.


There are two kinds of re-actions produced from acts: those that are good or beneficent; those that are evil or maleficent. The whole responsibility of every action rests upon each and every being. So, if any being finds himself in any given state, good or bad, it is because of his thoughts, words and deeds—his own, and those of nobody else. We get some good and we get some evil, all of our own reaping; but all the time, every single moment of our existence, we have the power of choice in the direction of good or evil.

Good has no existence by itself; evil has no existence by itself. The two terms relate to matters of conduct and of impressions we receive. They merely characterize the effects produced upon us: a thing is “good” to us if it benefits us in any way, and “evil” if it does not benefit us. Who is it that judges between good and evil effects? In every case, it is the man himself. One man will say such and such things are good for me, and such and such things are evil; while another man, with a different point of view and different relations to things, will perhaps say the exact contrary about the very same matters. So it always resolves itself into the individual point of view: in the last analysis each man is himself the sole director and final authority as to what is good and what is evil, so far as he is concerned.

We need to ask ourselves if we have always followed that which seemed to us to be the best course to follow; and, then again, if we have, did we consider that course from the point of view of personal self-benefit, or from the point of view of benefit to all others. For if we moved along the line of that which at the time seemed best for us personally, we must have acted in a way that afflicted others; we must have done evil to others, whether consciously or unconsciously, by obstructing their path. There we sowed evilly, and we either have reaped or will reap evilly. The very first act that was selfishly done was the origin of evil so far as that being was concerned. Likewise, wherever there was an unselfish act, there was the origin of good for him. Let us remember, too, that the Tree of Knowledge mentioned in the Bible was the knowledge of both good and evil. Good and evil are not to be


considered separately, but together. You cannot tell good except by its opposite, evil. Goodness would speedily cease to be such, were it not for the operation of its contrary.

There are many things in life regarded by us as evils----like sorrow and death—which are not, in fact, evils. They are merely stages and conditions through which we pass in our progress up the ladder of development. We need not be afraid of death, for death will never touch us at all. We pass on out of life, and on. One of the Great Teachers said that death ever comes to the Ego as a friend. There is no need to fear anything, for there is nothing in the universe, high or low, that can ever destroy us—our consciousness, or our acquired individuality. Mistakes occur, for many of our actions are performed through ignorance, and evil results follow. Even so, it is through those very wrong actions that we learn. It is through the operation of vice that virtue is seen as a resistance to vice.

The origin of evil is to be found in ignorance of our own true natures. There are no afflictions put upon us by any being other than ourselves. We are afflicted just to the extent that we make ourselves open to affliction. Things affect some people terribly. The same things affect other people very little or not at all. Why? Because of their point of view. Attitude towards things makes the suffering or the not suffering, the pleasure or the pain—not the things in themselves. If we knew ourselves to be divine beings merely going through a school of life—our whole purpose to learn—what would there be to fear, or even to be anxious about? If it were not for the obstacles in life—if life were one happy, placid dream—we never would make the motion or the effort that would arouse the highest characteristics of thought and action. It is by reason of the obstacles we have to overcome that we become stronger and obtain nobler traits. There is no such thing as a divinely created being, for everything that exists becomes.

Is it not true that now we can look back upon and smile at anything ‘ that ever happened to us in the past? It looked awful at the time, but it has passed, and we can see that from those very things came something of gain, of strength and wis-


dom. Under the law no one can meet with an obstacle which he is not able to overcome; the obstacle is but an opportunity for him to get rid of some defect which he now possesses. Often the very things which seem the most difficult for us prove to be the most beneficent.

Those who stand the greatest chance of loss in the future are those who have the easy times. When one has ‘ Karma—that is, when everything is coming his way—he is prone to take the ease of it and flow with the current of the river, missing many an opportunity to do good. Through these errors of omission, which are as bad as any errors of commission, he fails to under stand that he has diminished his own stock of good Karma and must of necessity share in the evil which flows from his lack of appreciation of the situation and his opportunity. We need never fear our opportunities, but should always act up to them, relying on the law of our own spiritual being to carry us through any thing and everything. The Path is within ourselves, not outside; each of us is the stair to his own development.

We have so long been ruled by political and religious man made laws that we have come to believe in them. Yet, goodness does not need laws. Our laws are based on the ignorance and selfishness and wickedness in men’s natures; they are made to restrain the evil which we think is ineradicable and incurable because ‘we all sinned in Adam and cannot help it.” Then, too, because we think we know what is good and what is evil, we are very anxious that everybody else should be made to think in the same way. We want to prohibit those things which we do not desire ourselves; we want other people to eat what we think they ought to eat, and to clothe themselves as we think they should be clothed. We talk much of the “rights” of men. But we have just one right, and that is the right to do right. No man was ever made “good” by law; no man was ever made moral by law. Each man must be a law for himself, both moral and spiritual.

Are we proud of this civilization, made by the collective thought and action of every individual in it? Have our telephones, automobiles, airplanes, and radiographs made us any more


divine? Do they measure our true progress? No; because ignorance and selfishness still lie in every human heart; because men, according to the vicarious atonement idea, blame their parents for their wrong attributes and tendencies, and accept only the good as their own. They are unjust, for both good and bad are their own earnings. If we have good, let us be happy that at some time we earned it; if we are in bad case, let us be glad, claim it, understand it and correct it. If we want a civilization better than the one we have now, we are the ones to start right now to make it. No one else will make it for us. We have to set the lines in motion towards a true civilization from a true basis; but if we think we are not able to do much and are not now doing what we can, it is certain we never can do more. As we do what we can, greater opportunities arise to do. Until we do what is before us, never will any greater opportunities arise.

When we get the right attitude of mind—and that is what discipleship is—there is not a quality in us, not a force, not an at tribute, but can be put to the best and highest use. We do not get off this plane. We do not cut off any part of our being. We do not destroy the usefulness of any part of us, but put all to the proper use and for the proper end. Herein is seen the difference between one who knows and one who does not know. One who knows does not get off to the Christian’s heaven, nor to any other heaven. He works right here where he finds himself and does the best work he can with the instrument he now has, fearing nothing, trusting the Law of his own being. If any being will trust the Law of his own nature, if he will work on with nature by helping all others in every direction possible, then all nature will turn and help him. It never was otherwise. It cannot be otherwise.





What reincarnates is a mystery to many minds because they find a difficulty in understanding such a permanency as must stand behind repeated incarnations. They know that the body is born and dies and is dissolved, but their minds are so identified with the body in its relations and surroundings that they are un-


able to dissociate themselves from it. They think of themselves as persons, as bodies of a physical nature, and hence can not see where in them may reside that power of incarnating from life to life.

Theosophy presents a larger view in showing that man is not his body, because the body is continually changing; that man is not his mind, because he is constantly changing his mind; that there is in man a permanency which is the identity throughout all kinds of embodiments. There has been no change in our identity from childhood up to the present day. The body has changed; the surroundings have changed; but the identity remains the same and will not change from now on through all changes of body or mind or circumstance. That in us which is itself unchanging is the only real. Nothing is real that changes. It is only the real that perceives change. Change can not see change. Only that which is constant perceives change; only the permanent can perceive impermanence. However dimly we may perceive it, there is that in us which is eternal and changeless.

This unchanging, constant, and immortal something in us is not absent from any particle or any being whatever. There is only one Life in the world to which we, as well as all other beings, pertain. We all proceeded from the same one Source—not many— and we are proceeding on the same path to the same great goal. The ancients said that the Divine Self is in all beings, but in all it does not shine forth. The real is within, and may be realized by any human being in himself. Everyone needs that realization that he may shine forth and express the God within, which all beings but partially express.

If then the Source is the same—the One Spirit—in all beings, why so many forms, so many, personalities, so many individualizations? All, again Theosophy shows, are developments. In that great Ocean of Life, which is at the same time Consciousness and Spirit, we move and live and have our being. That ocean is separable into its constituent drops and the separation is effected through the great course of evolution. Even in the kingdoms below us, which are from the same Source, the tendency to separate into drops of individualized consciousness goes on in ever-increas-


ing degree. In the animal kingdom, those species that are nearest to us make an approach to self-consciousness; but we as human beings have arrived at that stage where each is a constituent drop of the great ocean of Consciousness. As with an ocean of water, each drop of it contains all the elements of the great body, so each constituent drop of humanity—a human being—contains within its range every element of the great universe.

The same power exists in all of us, yet where we stand on the ladder of being we see many below us and others greater than we above us. Humanity now is building the bridge of thought, the bridge of ideas that connects the lower with the higher. The whole purpose of incarnation, or our descent into matter, was not only to gain further knowledge of matter, but to impel the lower kingdoms to come up to where we are. We stand as gods to the lower kingdoms. It is our impulsion that brings them weal or woe. It is our misconception of the aim of life that makes Nature so hard; that causes all the distress and disasters which afflict us in cyclones, tornadoes, diseases, pestilences of every kind. All are our own doing; and why? Because there is a sublimation of mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms in our bodies, which are lives in themselves. Every cell in our bodies has its birth, youth, manhood, decay and death, and its reincarnation. We are impelling each one of those lives according to whatever thought, will, or feeling we may have, whether for help or injury to others. These lives go out from us for good or evil, back into their kingdoms with good or evil. So by our lack of understanding of our own true natures, without a comprehension of universal brotherhood, we are imperfectly performing our duties on this plane and are imperfectly helping the evolution of the lower kingdoms. We shall realize our responsibility to them only as we see that every being is on his way upward; that all above man have been men at one time; that all below man will some time reach man’s estate, when we have gone on further; that all forms, all beings, all individualizations are but aspects of the One Spirit. Granted, then, that this one unchanging Spirit is in all—the cause of all evolutionary development, the cause of all incarna-


tions —where, we may ask, do we carry the power to see and know from life to life? How is continuity of knowledge, gained by observation and experience, preserved? How is the individual maintained as such?

We should remember that we were self-conscious beings when this planet began; some even were self-conscious when this solar system began; for there is a difference in degree of development among human beings. If the planet or solar system began in a state of primordial substance, or nebulous matter, as Science calls it, then we must have had bodies of that state of substance. In that finest substance are all the possibilities of every grade of matter, and hence it is that within the true body of primordial matter all the changes of coarser and coarser substance have been brought about; and within that body is all experience. Our birth is within that body. Everything that occurs to us is within that body—a body of a nature which does not change throughout the whole Manvantara. Each one has such a body of finest substance, of the inner nature, which is the real container for the individual. In it he lives and moves and has his being, and yet even the great glory and fineness of that body is not the man; it is merely the highest vesture of the Soul. The Real Man we are is the Man that was, that is, and that ever shall be, for whom the hour will never strike— Man, the thinker; Man, the perceiver—always thinking, continually acting.

Life is one. Spirit is one. Consciousness is one. These three are one—a trinity—and we are that trinity. All the changes of substance and form are brought about by Spirit and Consciousness and expressed in various forms of life. We are that One Spirit, each standing in a vast assemblage of beings in this great universe, seeing and knowing what he can through the instruments he has. We are the Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; or, in theosophical parlance, we are Alma, Buddhi, and Manas. Atma is the One Spirit, not belonging to any one, but to all. Buddhi is the sublimated experience of all the past. Manas is the thinking power, the thinker, the man, the immortal man. There is no man without the Spirit, and no man without that experience of the past; but


the mind is the realm of creation, of ideas; and the Spirit itself, with all its power, acts according to the ideas that are in the mind.

The Voice of The Silence says, “Mind is like a mirror. It gathers dust while it reflects.” It needs soul-wisdom to brush away the dust. This mind of ours, or that which we call the mind, is merely the reflector, which presents as we train it, different pictures. The Spirit acts in accord with the ideas seen, for good or for evil. Is there evil in the world? It is the power of Spirit that caused it. Is there good in the world? It is the power of Spirit that caused it. For there is only one power. The misdirection of that power brings evil; its right direction brings good.

We must give up the idea that we are poor, weak, miserable creatures who can never do anything for ourselves; for as long as we hold that idea, so long will we never do anything. We must get the other idea—that we are Spirit, that we are immortal—and when we come to realize what that means, the power of it will flow directly in and through us, unrestricted in any direction, save by the instruments which we ourselves caused to be imperfect. So let us get away from the idea that we are this poor, miserable, defective physical body over which we have so little control. We can not stop a heart beat; we can not stop the breath without destroying the body; we can not stop the constant dissociation of matter that goes on in it, nor prevent its final dissolution. Some people talk of “demonstrating” against death, but we might as well try to demonstrate against the trees shedding their leaves when the winter blasts come. Death will always be, and there is a great advantage in it. If we could not change our bodies, how would there be any chance for advancement? Are we so well pleased with the bodies now ours that we would desire no change? Certainly not. There is only one thing in this life that can be retained permanently, and that is the spiritual nature, and the great divine compassion which we may translate by the word “love.”

We are the reincarnating Egos who will continue to incarnate until the great task which we undertook is completed. That task is the raising up of the whole of humanity to the highest possible


stage of perfection on an earth of this kind. We incarnate from age to age for the preservation of the just, the destruction of wickedness, and the establishment of righteousness. That is what we are here for, whether we know it or not, and we must come to a recognition of the immortality of our own natures before we shall ever relieve ourselves from the distresses that afflict humanity everywhere. We have to bring ourselves in touch and tune with the whole great purpose of Nature which is the evolution of Soul, and for which alone all the universe exists




The general idea with regard to memory is that it depends entirely on the orderly functioning of the physical brain, and that where derangement of that function occurs, there is loss of memory. It is quite true that certain forms of memory depend upon the brain, as in those two particular functions known as remembrance and recollection. In remembrance, we can get the idea, but not all the particulars that have brought about some feeling, event, or circumstance of the past; in recollection, we can collect back from one point all the other points connected with it. But there is a third function of the memory, known as reminiscence, which is not at all dependent upon the brain. It is brought into function oftentimes, not by any present object or occurrence arousing attention in that direction, but as it were, springs direct from the soul itself. It is a direct perception of what was. It comes from something behind the brain—the brain serving merely as a sort of filter, or interceptor, or translator of impressions.

We can understand why remote memories are difficult to recall to our brain perception, when we consider the fact that the brain cells are constantly changing. It is not conceivable that the millions of impressions received during a lifetime could be retained and given out again by those changing cells. All the time during our lives there is a continuity of perception, but we do not re member one-thousandth part of the impressions that we have received in those days or years. Very few events are impressed upon


us, or are immediately translatable through the brain, by way of remembrance. Even if we so desired, we could never make any complete history of all those impressions through the faculty of recollection. Yet there is the innate faculty of recalling and recollecting in such a way as to have a consecutive or synthetic grasp of all those impressions through reminiscence, that faculty of memory which applies to the soul—is a peculiarly innate quality of the soul.

To reach into and exercise soul memory, we must first under stand the real nature of man. We must first see that all beings of every grade—not only man, but the beings above man and the beings below man—are of the same essence, the same Spirit, the same Life, and of the same potential powers. The higher beings have brought these potential powers into activity, and differ from the lower orders by reason of a greater degree of development, a greater range of perception and a finer evolution of form. But highest as well as lowest are rays from and one with the Divine Absolute Principle. Each one is the Seer, the Perceiver, who stands in the center of his own universe, through which alone we may know all that may be known of the Highest.

We must recognize the fact that this is a universe of law, with no chance or accident anywhere in it, and that we have arrived at our present position under law—the law of our own being, set in operation by ourselves; that the same law rules in every direction in space and in nature. The races of men that now exist are the result of races of men which preceded them; the planet on which we now live is the result of a planet that preceded it; the solar system of which our planet is a part is the result of a solar system that preceded it. Everything is an exact consequence of that which preceded it—everything is a repetition of that which was. This return of the same action or preceding impression occurs under the true aspect of memory; it is the memory of what we have been through that brings about the repetition.

On the physical plane, the action of true memory is seen in all those stages through which the human form goes from conception to birth—representations, in fact, of the evolution of


earlier races. In every act of our existence we are exhibiting true memory, whether we realize it or not. The memory of walking is with us now; the memory of talking is with us now. We may not remember how nor when we learned to talk or to walk, but we have present with us the knowing how to walk and to talk. True memory is just that—the possession of the knowledge of the past. It is memory which connects us physically with the body, through all changes of body, scene and circumstance; without it, we should be living merely from impression to impression; there would be no connection whatever with the past and there would be no sense of self-identity.

Memory exists also in other inner departments of our nature. Living on the physical plane, our ideas connected almost entirely with the “three-dimensional” state of matter, we are no more conscious of those inner planes of being than, when in sleep, we are conscious of the physical plane, being absolutely shut off from the outside world, from the happenings to our friends, to the nation, and to the world at large, which are then of no consequence whatever to us. Yet there is an active life in those inner departments of our nature, and there is a memory of it. The Thinker who uses the brain in the waking state is simply acting on another plane of matter and using another plane of memory. Every plane of consciousness has a memory of its own.

That consciousness never ceases, but is continuously active, is evidenced by the fact that no one has ever experienced sleep. Nor does death come to us any more than sleep. We may be aware that sleep or death is coming for the body, but we know those states only as we see them in others. When we say “I was asleep,” we mean that the body was in the sleeping state, while we passed away altogether from this plane for the time being. Then we passed back again from the inner planes to this, picking up the memory of the waking state where we laid it down, and leaving behind the memory of what passed on the other side. There is no record made in this physical instrument of the inner planes, for the brain has not been trained in that direction, and hence it can


not translate those planes of consciousness, except in some partial recollections such as occur in dreams. Dreams attest that we are alive and active on inner planes; for in them, we think, speak, smell, taste, hear and move, as individuals, and never have any question as to our identity, even though the personality presented should be that of some past incarnation. The dreaming state is very close to the point of waking—the intermediate state between waking and sleep—so that we are able to impress the brain-cells with what has occurred before waking, and remember. But beyond the dreaming stage, which is a very short stage of sleep, there is a Vast extent of human thought and action. We go in and in until we are close to the source of our own being, where the Thinker is at work, where he knows all that he has been before—all his past incarnations—where he sees and knows himself as he is. The memory of all the experiences through which he has been as an individualized being is there in one consecutive whole. That, indeed, was the Paradise of man, when he walked with Deity, when he knew himself as he really was. True memory is the Paradise which all human beings should strive to regain. To recover that whole memory, to make that great knowledge of the past usable, here and now in the brain and in the body, is the true work of ‘salvation. Only when we understand what we really are, shall we be able to take a conscious, active, purposeful part in the evolution of our race. Only when we gain the perception that we are the Eternal Spirit, that Death never touches us at all, that we may have a conscious life in spirit, not in matter—only when we begin to think and act from that basis, can true memory come through to the brain; only then can we know for ourselves, have nothing to ask of anyone, but have everything to give to every other one. That true memory is possible for every living being.

The barrier for every man is not in the memory, but in the false ideas of life according to which he acts. However much the soul remembers, if we are using the brain contrary to the nature of the soul, the brain can not translate its impressions. The Thinker must transfer the memory of the soul to the brain, and


he can do so only by thinking and acting along right lines during active waking consciousness, until the brain responds to the ideas and learns to transmit what occurs while the body is inoperative. Then the true memory of the past that is in the soul is our knowledge in the brain.

The Masters are those who have the true memory of every step through which They have gone—the knowledge of all past civilizations, the understanding of all that every human being has to experience, the recognition of all the laws ruling evolution. As custodians of that knowledge, and as our Elder Brothers, They stand ready to help mankind in the only way open to Them—by recording as much of that knowledge as we can assimilate, by directing us to its proper use for the benefit of all other human beings, that all humanity may advance in an orderly way to the true goal. Greater and greater individualization, wider and wider range of perception, are the objects of evolution; but there are two paths by which we may reach the goal. One path leads to an individualization that is selfish, and self-righteous—a state of separateness from all human beings; on the other, there is no cessation of work for humanity. The Elder Brother goes as high as he can, but he stops before he enters the final door that separates him from the rest; he returns and takes up again a body of the race, as Jesus did, that he may help those who know less than He does. So we are never alone. Never will there come a time when those Great Beings will cease from that labor, which is a labor of love. But we are the ones who must determine for ourselves, sooner or later, whether to go on through aeons of suffering and millions of lives of ignorance, or to follow the path They show, which leads straight to the goal—which involves the power of direct cognition of truth without any mistake whatever, and which includes real memory.




We are never free from pain, sorrow, and suffering in the world. Pleasures come and go very lightly, but always the sorrow and suffering of life itself abides with us. If we could see and


understand the cause of the sorrow existing in the world in every direction—not only the sorrows of the ordinary life but those brought about by collective action, as wars are—we should cease to make that cause. We have assumed that all these sorrows are due to external causes—to some higher being or beings, or to some outside laws of the universe; never to ourselves. And because we have never brought it home to ourselves that we are in any way connected with the causes of sorrow which come our way, we go on looking for something external to relieve us of those sorrows. Not all the religions that ever have existed on the face of the earth, not all that the sciences have so far achieved or may achieve will ever give us that knowledge, because the cause of sorrow does not lie outside; it lies within each one. Each one contains within himself the power to cause sorrow; he also has the power to cause its cessation.

The wisdom of the ages explains the cause of sorrow. It teaches that each being is spirit; that the power of spirit is illimitable, although we limit it because we assume that it is limited; that the changeless spirit in the heart of every being is behind every form, the cause and sustainer of all forms; that spirit is the force be hind evolution, and also the force that rules and relates all things of whatever grade; that every being is the result of an unfoldment from within outwards—of a desire for greater and greater expression. But we who have reached this stage of self-consciousness, unlike the lower kingdoms, now have the power of choice and can draw upon that illimitable source of our being and realize it while we live in a mortal and ever-changing body.

Desire, in a limited way, with regard to the personality, is the cause of all sin, sorrow, and suffering. Such desire is based on selfish thought; it is not what others desire; it heeds not any other urge than its own. The unfulfilled desires, it is, that hurt us; yet do the fulfilled desires give us happiness? Never, for so soon as they are achieved, there begins a further desire for something more, something greater. With many conflicting desires, then, we live upon each other, we prey upon each other, we devour each other, we injure each other—in every way. There is no necessity


for all this. It never was the original plan—the original nature of the development of man. There is never any need to desire. All our woes are self-inflicted; the very inherent power of spirit has plunged us into them and maintains us in them.

Yet misery, sorrow and suffering have a mission. It is usually only the misery we bring upon ourselves that makes us stop doing wrong, to look around and ask and see what is right. It is by our mistakes we learn to see the difference between right and wrong, and in seeing that difference is the whole story of progress. We have to be able to tell the difference. It is only through ‘ opposites”—the perception of them and the employment of them—that any being can grow at all. There has always to be duality in nature. All human beings are One in spirit, dual in expression. Always there is the actor and something to act upon. Always there are the two—Purusha, the spirit, and Prakriti, matter—not two separate things, but two aspects of one and the same thing. No perception is possible unless we have that duality. We have to experience darkness first in order to see light, and so with the opposites of pleasure and pain. Without pain we could not understand pleasure; without pleasure we could not understand pain. What lies behind all advance in intelligence, from the lowest to the highest, is perception gained by that which acts, from that which is acted upon.

Law rules everywhere in nature in accord with the basis of duality. We call it the law of periodicity, but it is simply a statement of Karma, or action and reaction. What we call the laws of the elements are in reality but perceptions of the actions and reactions of various grades of intelligences. ‘What we call our seasons, and all the cycles of time or of individuals, are covered by that law—reaction from action previously sent forth. The people who form a nation are people who were together in other times; their collective actions have brought them the same collective reactions. Every thought we have has its return of impression; every feeling we have has its return. All react upon us, coming back either impoverished or enriched. Thus, with the power to produce any kind of effect resident in us, we can understand the power of false, mis-


taken ideas. We can sustain these ideas interminably by the law of return of impression, and continually suffer reactions from them. The whole power of spirit used in a wrong direction, in ignorance of our own nature and the nature of beings in general, creates sorrow of every kind.

No one can stop us in our mistaken course so long as we foolishly entertain false ideas. Our evolution has been brought about by us under the laws of our own operation—action and reaction within ourselves—and in no other way. It is a mistake to think that good comes to us from outside quarters. It never does. Whatever good or whatever evil comes is the reaping of what we have sown, in every way and in every circumstance. There are no exceptions. We look for “justice.” We are getting it, according to our own thought and action. For let us remember that the plane of action is thought itself, that is to say—ideas. Action is merely the sequence of the concretion of thought. So there is every necessity for us to clear out the rubbish which we hold as ideas. Our “minds,” as a rule, are found to be made of a bundle of ideas that somebody has handed on to us. We accept the ideas of the race, of the people about us, of this “ism” or that “ology,” and call it our mind, when, in reality, we have no mind of our own at all. The mind is the power to receive and to reject. What we receive and what we reject depends upon ourselves—on our ignorance or on our wisdom. There is nothing outside we have to learn, but every thing inside. The task we have at hand is to understand our own natures.

If any great number of beings in this world should reach the understanding of their own natures, and so exercise their inherent spiritual powers for the benefit of their fellow-men, in no long time we should find the misery of the world most wonderfully abated. As was said of old, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. And one of our Teachers said, “Give me five hundred good, earnest, sincere, devoted men and women and I will move the world.” Our success does not depend upon any form of physical evolution, nor upon any form of scientific advancement. These are but means and not ends in themselves, though did we but know


our own real powers, they could be carried to a pitch not yet dreamed of. We must and eventually will carry the civilization of the world to a higher stage than has ever before existed, but that will never be until men realize their own natures and act from that basis. We can go on indefinitely repeating the present thinking and acting, but so long as we do, just so long will there be sin and sorrow and suffering. Never will they cease, nor wars, diseases, pestilences, tornadoes, cyclones, nor earthquakes—for all these come from man’s errors.

We shall never find a vicarious atonement. We must take the results of what we sow. Recognizing that we are responsible for our own conditions, we must do our best to adjust them. Readjustment can come only through assuming our own spiritual birth right, instead of assuming that we are these unfortunate bodies that are born, live for a while and die; through the fulfillment of our duties in every direction as the opportunities are offered us. For we cannot work out our salvation alone. We cannot live alone. We cannot progress alone. We cannot raise ourselves beyond the rest, but must help all the rest to whatever stage we occupy, going further and further ourselves that we may be the better able to help and teach the others. Jesus was what he was because he became so. Buddha was what he was because he became so. There was a time when they were sinning and erring mortals like ourselves. But they saw the true path and turned and followed it, as in all time to come must every being.

Just so long as we think that we are physical beings and follow after this or that desire, just so long do we put off the day of readjustment and suffer from the causes we have set in motion. But when in place of false ideas we commence to base our thought and action on correct ideas, the brain begins to be clarified and to be permeable to the immense knowledge of the inner man—a knowledge which is not now recorded because of the wrong way in which we have trained it. The brain has to be made a good conductor for spiritual knowledge. If true knowledge were ours, would we have desires? Would we seek after this or that thing in physical life and expend our


best energies upon them? No. Further, we would know that no matter what there is in the universe anywhere, nothing can stop the progress laid down for ourselves in a spiritual direction. We would also know that nothing can harm us; nothing can be wilder us. We would trust the law of our own spiritual nature, seeking only to do what good we can; seeking nothing for our selves, but to do service in every possible way for every other being. Then we should be in accord with the nature of the whole, and the natures and forces of all beings would carry us along on the stream that brooks no obstacle whatever. Would we be sorrowful? Never; because we would be fulfilling the real purpose of spirit and soul in helping all other souls on the path, so far as the opportunity lay before us. In this course there is no need to strain and struggle; we have only to take those opportunities which our reactions bring us. The evil that comes to us—well, it is something for us to adjust, to balance. The good that comes to us—that too is the result of our own actions. So we may take the good and enjoy it, and meet the evil without fear or trembling or resistance of any kind in an attempt to avoid it.

    The only sorrow of the great Teachers, or Masters of Wisdom, is to see men perpetually engulfing themselves in sin and sorrow and suffering which They cannot prevent. One of Them was asked at one time, “Why is it with your great knowledge and power that you do not make men think as they should?” He said, “The human soul is not so constituted. It has to see and act for itself.” For the action is from within outward, and the power goes with the action. No one can save us but ourselves.                                                                         




Day after day we are constantly confronted by the fact that we are all subject to death. No matter how we may live, whether our lives bring to us failure or the greatest possible success in the eyes of the world, death is there at the end. So sure as there is birth for us, so there is death. Each one knows that sooner or later death must be his portion; but what does he know of after-death?


‘What, if anything, survives? Religions such as we have professed do not give us any information whatever on this most serious question; materialistic science presents us no solution; from neither religion nor science have we gained anything to rest upon when the great conqueror of all human bodies appears before us. Is there any hope in life that what we are doing may be of any value after death? Whether we can answer that question, or not, before death confronts us—the confronting of death will be there. The time will come.

If any solution to the problems presented by death exists, it must be perceptible during life to have any value for us as living human beings. It must be a reasonable solution, sufficiently evident to us as we now live, to convince us of the correctness of the solution. There must be clear evidence as to an understanding of the facts of life, before we may accept any explanation as to what must be after death. When we know the meaning of birth; when we know what we are working here in bodies for; when we know what all manifested life exists for—then, we may have an answer as to why we pass so few years in any one physical existence; we may know where are our friends, our parents, our grandparents, who lived as we are living but now are gone; we may know if life has ceased for them; and, then, if life can ever cease for us.

There is one fact of human existence which should guide us in our thinking—the fact of law, ruling in everything that we do. Is it not our knowledge, our perception of law that enables us to control the elements in nature? We control the various substances and elements by understanding the law of their operation. We know that the law of action and re-action prevails in nature; we recognize in nature the law of cause and effect. But do we not know that law rules in our very selves? We know there is a law under which the body grows from conception to birth, from birth to maturity, followed by gradual declination. Just as there is for man a cycle of birth, youth, manhood, decay and death, so there is a succession of events in nature, which we perceive to be a universal law. Morning, noon, and night are followed by morning again; spring, summer, autumn, and winter are followed by spring


again. We ought then to be able to perceive that, as in nature our birth this time is but in orderly succession after previous death, so must we come again and again for a life-time on earth, as we come again and again to our day-times after the night. We must have passed through a great sweep of existence to have reached this present birth, but that must also have been the operation of law. The choice lies between law and chaos. There can not be law here and chaos there. All is under law; or, all is chaos. Our whole experience shows that law rules, and the conclusion becomes necessary that law rules in every thing and in every circumstance. Law, therefore, must rule on both sides of death.

But is this law enforced upon us by some powerful Being? If so, there is no hope whatever for us. And who are WE operating under this all-inclusive law? If we are mere bodies, we are small and restricted beings. If all the life there is, is what we feel and experience in our bodies, life amounts to nothing. Very little thought, however, will convince us that we are not our bodies. We know that our bodies are under constant change from birth to the present time; constant change will go on until the cessation of these bodies; but we do not change. The same “I” was child, youth, young man, and older man. The identity has not changed at all through all the changes of body it has experienced. Nor are we our minds, as so many believe. Our minds are merely certain bundles of ideas in regard to life, and we must be greater than those minds because we can change them. Nor is there any imaginable limit to that changing. No matter how much knowledge we may acquire, we can go on learning; no matter what kind of a mind we may have, we possess the illimitable power to go on increasing it. If one doubts the existence of anything greater than mind, he has but to see that the very fact of doubting—the expression of doubt—shows an act and purpose beyond the idea. We could utterly refuse to think, and still exist. We must look deeper for ourselves than the mind and the body. Both are but instruments which WE use. Then, what can we be? There is that in us which lives, which thinks, which is life itself, which garners all experience, which it


self changes not at all. It is smaller than the small, as the ancients said; it is greater than the great. It can not be weighed nor measured. We can not say where it is and where it is not; and yet it is the one thing in us—our very selves—---which enables us to have any experience, any idea or combination of ideas. Call it Spirit, if you will. Call it Life. Call it Consciousness; for we well know that we can not have any experience unless we are conscious of it. The ancients said: “The Soul is the Perceiver, is Vision itself, pure and simple, and looks directly on ideas.” Spirit sees the idea; actions flow from the ideas adopted. Our differences are in respect to mentality, in accordance with the kind and range of ideas; but we have all sprung from the same Source; we all have a common basis, a common essential nature, which is Spirit and Life itself.

Our days and nights afford an illustration of the fact that we can let the body go, that we can depart from the body, and still exist. While we are awake in the day-time, we act outwardly through the organs of the body which serve to transmit and receive impressions. At night, these activities are stilled, and it is said that we sleep. But how may we know we are conscious during those hours of the night? Because when we awake, we can say, “I dreamed,” and there is no question as to our identity in the dream. We were conscious, too, of having all the senses; we had, apparently, the powers of motion. Notwithstanding the dormant condition of the body in that state we call deep sleep, we were still acting, living, conscious beings. It may not be difficult to conceive that, during the greater portion of the night’s rest passed in what is known as “dreamless slumber” of the body, we are conscious; that our action is of a higher and finer kind than in waking-life; that it is possible for us to keep a conscious hold on that action— to bring back into this brain of ours, which we are using during the day-time, the memory of every act on every inner plane of being. The soul—the Real Man—with all his past experiences is fully awake when the body is asleep. The night-time of the soul is the day-time of the body. It is only in exceptional cases, however, that a human being knows that he is conscious all the time; that Consciousness can never by any possibility cease. Yet each


one can see for himself that if Consciousness ever ceased, there would be no possibility of its ever beginning again. We can see continuing consciousness in the fact that we are able to take up, each day in our life, the work of the day and days before.

Theosophy is presented for the purpose of showing that this full consciousness in the day-time, in operation through the body, is possible to every man. If we had that consciousness, what would death mean to us? It would mean no more than sleep. Death would mean merely a letting go of the body which had become useless to us. We should know that death could never touch us any more than sleep reaches us; that as our consciousness is continuous, whether the body is asleep or awake, so when the body dies, there is no cessation for us.

What, then, survives after death? The man himself, with all his tendencies, with all his experience. The Thinker, the Soul, is what survives, is what can never be extinguished, can never itself suffer, can never be involved, is always of its own nature, no matter what conditions a man may become involved in for the time being. Conditions, whether of joy or suffering, must have an ending; but the One who enjoys, the One who suffers, the One who feels, changes not at all. That which survives is our very selves—all that we call ourselves—the self who wakes, who dreams, who enjoys, who goes into different states, through all the worlds. Let us say that this life is a dream in which we have our sufferings and our joys. When we awake, we shall have other experiences, but it is that something permanent in us which takes to itself of each and every experience; coming into any field of operation, it gathers experience according to the tendencies which itself has engendered on that plane of being. Thus man has no other experience on earth save that which is his very own, save that which he has made part of his action on this earth. The law of action and reaction, of cause and effect, sowing and reaping is, then, his own law.

What is it that survives? WE survive, as conscious beings, with all the powers of perception, with all that we have ever gained, and thus shall it ever be. There is no cessation for us. Bodies wear out in one life, as we know, when they are no longer capable and


useful. Would we in wisdom wish to continue in such bodies? No: the soul demands a better instrument. We tear down the old house to build a better one—or it may be a worse one, we might remember. If we are selfish, if we work for this body alone, if we are against our fellow beings, then, in a body we shall have the reaction from our selfish action. This is law, and not sentiment. It is not the doings of our fellow men that we are suffering from, but the evil we have sown, coming back and pressing with its full weight against us. Not until man assumes his birthright and realizes that the whole course of evolution is the working out of the laws of justice, will he take the first step forward in true progress, which leads to conscious immortality.                                                                          




Since the forties of last century Spiritualists have affirmed the answer to this question, claiming sufficient evidence for the survival of intelligence after the state known as death. But Spiritualism is not a new thing. Five hundred years or more ago, and, way back through every age of man, people have practised what is called Bhut worship—that is, worship of the “spirits” of the dead. Present day Spiritualism is but a repetition of a former error, even though its resurrection has been among those whom we would call of higher intelligence, “deep thinkers,” and men of science. The “communications” of today, just like those others all down the ages, bear nothing whatever in them of a truly spiritual nature; they are physical to the last degree, as the communications to Sir Oliver Lodge from his son, Raymond (through a medium, remember), bear witness. According to the latter’s statement, his life after death is very much like the one he has left behind: people there still drink, smoke cigars and, in fact (?) have cigars made for them in spirit-factories out of cigar stuff belonging to that state of matter. If this is a “spiritual” communication, anybody is welcome to take it as such, but it only goes to show that when we are out of physical life we are not necessarily in a spiritual state— as is the common supposition.


The question is, what do we learn from such “communications”? Is there anything or has there ever come anything from the plane of spiritualistic communication which has been of any benefit to mankind? Has anything from that source shown us the great purpose for which we are here? Does it tell us the meaning of life; why there appears to be so much injustice in the world? Does it tell us of wars that are to be, and how to prevent various great catastrophies from falling upon us? Does it inform us as to the connection or common cause of all the different beings in the world? Does it show us the nature of the becoming of beings who are greater than we are, as well as of beings lower than we are? Does it show why and how this solar system came into existence, and the laws which rule it? No. These are all matters on which we need knowledge; yet from so-called “spirits” we get all sorts of differing communications as a basis for reasoning about them. Those very differences should show us there is no source of knowledge in that quarter. ‘What we need is not what any “spirit” or anybody else says about anything, but rather, a reasonable, logical, just statement of laws which each and every person can test out for himself.

Let us consider the presentment of Theosophy as to how man has become what he now is—the real story of evolution, as gained by observation and experience in the vast ages that have passed. The basis underlying that evolution is the same in every human being, in every human heart, in every animal life, in every speck of matter—the same Spirit in all, the same One Life, the One Intelligence. All are rays from that One Life, that One Intelligence, and each expresses the possibilities existing in the Infinite Source. Differences in beings, in mankind, in various races, all mean degrees of intelligence; for each has the same power as the highest being and the same power as all beings; the use or employment of the power brings about an instrument to represent it more or less fully. Evolution is Spirit expressing itself, whether in this solar system, or in those which preceded it. Intelligence was behind the beginning of this planet in its nebulous condition, or fire mist; intelligence was behind the cooling and hardening processes


through many, many ages. In all those states and in all those substances connected with this planet we also have existed as spiritual beings, nor are they absent from us now. At the end of every life, we go back through all those stages again to the highest one, and then descend again to the earthly stage, to reap the effects of causes set in motion by us before in other bodies. For there is no transforming power in death; as a tree falls, so must it lie. It is during the life-time that we must recognize and awaken our true natures. Death opens no door to knowledge.

We have proof of these states of consciousness right within our nightly experience. When we sleep—though we never sleep; only the body sleeps—the consciousness of this physical plane is gone from us. We have no idea of what is going on among our friends or relatives; we have not one slightest sensation of what is occurring anywhere on the earth while we are not using the body. Here is “death”—a smaller, temporary death—for the body. Then we pass into another state altogether, which we know as the dreaming state. The human soul goes on in dream, knowing oneself as the one there, seeing, smelling, hearing, talking, moving and doing all the other things which he does while in the body, awake. They used to say that if you took hold of a sleeper’s great toe he would talk to you. You would get a communication from a “spirit,” but what kind of a communication would it be! The man would tell you just what his own mind had worked with; he would not know in the dreaming state any more than his own personal thoughts, his own personal ideas and activities.

Applying this analogy to the time of death, we can see that in reality the time of death never comes. We finally give up this body and it goes back to the earth from which it was taken; but WE are not dead. We are still alive. We are still conscious on other planes and in other degrees, though we are not using the body nor the brain. But what kind of a consciousness, what kind of an intelligence, are we using? Just the same kind that we had when we were in the body. Our thoughts and feelings and desires go on acting for a time just as they did when we were using the body, because of the energy we had put into them. As there is no renewal


of it, that energy wears itself out, and the man—as a real spiritual being—enters into quite another state, where no one on earth can disturb the action of his intelligence and the enjoyment of his bliss. How could that be a state of bliss if for one single instant it could be disturbed by the sorrows left behind on earth? Could there be a worse hell to some people than seeing from their “heaven” the appeasing of a husband’s sorrow and the place of mother taken by another? We should understand that when a human being passes out of life, he passes through something like the dream state—a mixed state—and then reaches the best state he is capable of expressing. A spiritual human being, it would be folly to imagine otherwise, could not be disturbed by earthly doings, for his mission on earth was fulfilled when he left it. But he would come back again in another body to take up another day’s work. Then, can we not see that all this idea of communication with so-called “spirits” who have left the body is nonsense?

Let us not imagine that there are no other beings besides men outside the body. Let us not imagine that dead men, or living dead men, are the only ones existent on the other side of this physical world. There are myriads of kinds of beings who do not live in bodies like ours but inhabit planes into which men pass from this earth. Contiguous to our plane all sorts of beings—sub-men, as well as human elementals, dwell. Can we imagine these are desirable communicants? And how can we be sure that any external communication is not connected with some devilish spirit who likes to pose, to take the cast-off clothing of man because of its at traction to his nature and desires, and exploit it to us? A great deal of knowledge is required to understand the real nature of man, nor is it arrived at by any kind of “communication” what ever, but by entering into our own natures. The Father in secret is within, not without, and everything we know or ever will know has to be known in ourselves and by ourselves. Never from other people, never from any other kind of spirit, will it be known. The Spirit of God within everyone—the Knower in everyone—is the last resort, the highest tribunal, the last eminence that we shall reach.


We are now traveling together through earth matter; when we leave the earth, we leave it, alone. So, when we travel through astral matter, we are not confabulating with the denizens of the astral plane but are moving along our own lines. The states after death are merely the effects of the life last lived. We step through from the place of our endeavor to reap what we have sown—first casting off the evil, and then experiencing the highest and best of all our aspirations. In all of these states each being realizes himself to be the same person; never for an instant does it enter one’s perception, or consciousness, that he is any other than the one who was on earth; nor does he know that any such thing as death has occurred at all, in his highest state he has with him all those whom he loved, and in just that condition which he would desire to have for them. He has his bliss, because the balance between cause and effect, even for his sufferings on earth, is struck straight and true for the spirit. All those states are within us, not outside; in those states, we meet first, last, and all the time Ourselves—first as we think we arc, and finally as we really are.

There is no possibility of any communication from a “dead” person to a living one, except perhaps in the very short period before the real individual has shaken off the ideas held during life. Sometimes then a very, very strong desire to impart something will effect some sort of communication, but after the great change known as “the second death” all connection with earth is broken off. A pure-minded living person by his aspiration and love may himself ascend to a heavenly place, and there seem to speak and feel and be with those he loved, but that speaking and feeling do not disturb the one there. The very essence of the spiritual state would exclude all disturbance, though we can obtain the kinds of feeling which exist in that condition. All that a medium obtains are simply reflections and repetitions of what has occurred, recorded in the nature of the sitter. A medium will describe the after death state of a person very much alive, which should show how subject to mistakes and errors a medium is. In the passive mediumistic state there is no control over anything; there is merely a channel provided through which certain things can come, or “leak.”


The majority of the “spiritual” communicants of the mediums are suicides and the victims of “accidental” death. For not always is there death when the body dies. Unless the death coincides with the end of the life-term, which is fixed at birth, a man is still tied to earth until the end of his term.

But there are cases of communications with beings in the world—almost within the realm of this world—beings not in physical bodies, who live and move on another plane of substance, far away from connection with some easy going medium. These beings are known as Nirmanakayas. They are men who have become perfected—who could if they chose reach up to and hold the very highest state of bliss, but who refuse that bliss because it would mean forever to forsake all chance of helping their fellow-men. They can, when the nature of the person is true and aspiring strongly, communicate, if it is necessary to help him. But there is no mistake about these communications. They are personal, meant for that one as direct help. It is the within which induces any outside help that we receive. It is a recognition of the spiritual nature of ourselves and all beings which makes the true condition. It is from the spiritual that all true strength comes. And it is for the perfection of humanity that all the Divine Incarnations have labored.





There is something in each of us which enters the state called dreams, the state called sleep, and the state called death. No understanding whatever can be had of the states into which we pass and from which we emerge save under the idea that there is an Ego, a thinker, a perceiver, a knower, an experiencer, who enters the states and re-emerges there from, and that this Ego, the real man, retains his integrity throughout them all.

We are more than any of the states we enter into, no matter how highly we may have considered any of those states. Even if we imagine that we have reached, or can reach, the highest state of intelligence and action—that which we call the divine—it is we who enter it. So an understanding of the states into which we go


cannot be had until we recognize that there is That in us which goes through them all; then we must try to understand what that something is, and in this endeavor begin right where we now are; we cannot start from any other place or position than where we are at any time.

What do we find, then? That we are a continuing identity. We have passed through many changes from birth up to now, but our identity has not changed, no matter through what changes it may have passed, or may pass. When we get this fact firmly fixed in our minds we will have reached the point of understanding that there is an immortal nature in each of us; that it is divine in its essence, not subject to change; for It is changeless.

The dreaming state we enter just as we let go of the body, before we pass into the state of dreamless sleep; and on awakening is, again, the transitional state into which we return before resuming waking state in the body. We know that we have all the senses in dreams, although the body is quiescent, and the sense organs are not in use. We can see and feel, we hear, talk, and act, just as we do in waking state, without using the physical organs associated with those sensations and actions. This shows that we are conscious, alive, existent, although the body knows nothing. We know further that our identity is not disturbed by entering dream-state; it is we ourselves, and none other, experiencing that state.

Dreaming state is known to be a very short state as contrasted with the waking state. It is known that we can dream and experience through what seems to represent a very long period of time in the dream, though the state last but a few seconds by the clock. There is a portion, by far the greater portion, of the “night’s rest” which is only known to us (in waking state) as “dreamless sleep.” This is merely the slumber of the body. The body is then almost as if one had left it entirely. Yet the entity must be in contact somewhere, for he is existent all the time, and is conscious—the same identity. Were this not true, we would not wake, or on awakening there would be a new being altogether.

Further than these ideas as to dream and sleep Western psychologists have not gone. They do not know what was known ages


ago, and what is known to some today, that the Ego, the man, the thinker, is more fully occupied, more his real self, during the dreamless slumber of the body than at any other time. So it was said that the day-time of the body is the night-time of the soul, and the night-time of the body is the day-time of the soul. When the body sleeps, the real man is most active, with the greatest degree of intelligence, but thinking and acting on another plane altogether, in a different state altogether, from any known to us in ordinary waking human existence.

We know nothing about sleep, although we say that we experience it. What we know is that we are getting sleepy—that is, that the body is growing exhausted—but sleep never comes to us. We are awake in the day-time; we are conscious; we think. But our power to see and know when awake is applied almost exclusively to external things of a material kind, so that what we call knowledge—waking knowledge—is, practically, an application of all our powers to physical existence, and to that alone. When we sleep, what takes place?

During that interval we know that the body is absolutely irresponsive in regard to anything external. We do not know nor feel anything that happens to our friends. The most frightful calamities might occur around about us, and we would know nothing about them until we resumed control of the body. Yet we must have been alive, conscious, with an unchanged identity. This brings our minds to the question as to why or how it is that we know nothing when awake of that activity on higher and altogether different planes during the deep sleep of the body.

We have within us in abeyance, but not forgotten, not inaccessible, all that knowledge. It is recorded, impacted, in our imperishable nature as truly as any record can possibly be made—every thing that we have been through, every degree of experience, of knowledge, that we have ever acquired. When we sleep—that is, when the body sleeps—we go back to that fountain of knowledge which is within ourselves; and “wake up” in the morning none the wiser. How can it be that, possessing such knowledge, possessing the powers that belong to immortal Spirit, to divine Intelligence,


we nevertheless cannot use them, are not even aware of their existence in us?

There is a law known as Karma, the law of action and reaction, which has been stated: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” We have so thought and acted while in the body as to produce finally an instrument that is not in accord with our own real nature. We have put the power of our intelligence upon a consideration and use of material things—things that appertain to a lower state of being than our own—and so have become involved in them. The brain that we use is responsive almost entirely to these lower ideas; so that when we return into it, upon awakening, there is nothing in that brain which will take the slightest impression or record of those states of consciousness through which we have passed.

If we are beings who have passed through higher states during sleep, how are we ever going to regain a knowledge of these possessions? If we are told that we are divine in nature, not earthly; that we have an immense past; that we have planes of consciousness higher than this and powers of action on those planes—what does that do for us? What does that impart to us? What does that arouse in us? Does it not make us look at life from a different standpoint than the one we have hitherto been accustomed to take?

Everything that we do in life, every result that we experience, is governed by some attitude of mind which we hold in regard to life. If one is an atheist, let us say, or a materialist, who thinks that life began with this body and will end with it, then all his thoughts and acts will be on that basis. But if he changes that idea, as he may, for the idea that he is immortal in essential nature, then that of itself begins to work a transformation.

It is not what we go through that counts; but what we learn from it. Knowledge is what we should desire; not comforts nor station. We desire to know, for in knowing we perceive the right things to do, the right thoughts to hold. As we are thinking all the time, we are thinking either good or evil or indifferent


thoughts; our actions are good, evil or indifferent according to our thoughts. If we begin to think aright, we give direction to that Spiritual Force which is the very essence of our nature. Let a man think aright, let him think and act unselfishly, and just so surely as he does that he opens up the channels of his brain to a greater and greater perception and realization of his own nature. When he reaches a certain point he is able to perceive that whether the body is awake or asleep or dreaming, or whether the body has passed through the state called death—there is no cessation for him.

Supposing we were able to pass from waking to dreaming, from dreaming to sleeping, from sleeping to death, from death to re-birth in another body—and able to go through all these states and changes without a single break of memory, so that we could not only carry the memory intact from lower to higher states, but bring it through with us from higher to lower states, through every plane, bringing back the knowledge into this or an other body—what would we be? Then we would know just what we are. We would know the relation of this plane to every other. We could read the hearts of men. We could help them to take a greater and higher stand. We should no longer be deluded by the ideas which impel the majority of men. We would no longer struggle for place or position. We would struggle only for knowledge, for possessions of every kind in order that we might be the better able to help and teach others. We would sojourn with Deity all the time, whether in a body or out of it.

It is to arouse man to an understanding of his own nature and to the right use of his powers that Theosophy has been brought to him again, as it has been brought in period after period by Those who are greater than we are—Those who have passed through the same stages we are now passing through—our Elder Brothers, the Christs of all times, the Divine Incarnations. It is They who come to remind us of our own natures; to remind us and to arouse us to action, so that what we really are may be known to us and expressed by us here on this lowest physical plane, on which we are working out our destiny—a destiny made


by ourselves, a destiny which can only be changed by ourselves, by the very power of that Spirit which we are..

No one can know anything for another. Each one has to know for himself. Each one has to do his own learning. The object of Theosophy is to teach man what he is, to show man what he is, and to present to him the necessity of his knowing for himself. No vicarious atonement, no vicarious transmission of knowledge, is possible. But the direction in which knowledge lies may be pointed out; the steps which will lead us in that direction may be shown, as can be done only by those who have passed that way before. It is exactly what is being done. It is the course of all Saviors of humanity. It is the doctrine of Krishna, of Buddha, of Jesus, no less than the doctrine of H. P. Blavatsky. The two teachings that the West is most urgently in need of are those of Karma and Reincarnation, the doctrines of hope and responsibility— Karma, the doctrine of responsibility means that whatever a man sows he shall also reap—Reincarnation, the doctrine of hope, means that—whatever he is reaping—there never will be a time when he may not sow better seed. The very fact of suffering is a blessing. Karma and Reincarnation show us that suffering is brought about by wrong thought and action; through our suffering we may be brought to a realization that a wrong course has been pursued. We learn through our suffering. Life is one grand school of Being, and we have come to that stage where it is time for us to learn to understand the purpose of existence; to grasp our whole nature firmly; to use every means in our power in every direction—waking, dreaming, sleeping, or in any other state—to bring the whole of our nature into accord, so that our lower instrument may be in line” and thus more and more fully reflect our divine inner nature.





Instinct is a direct perception of what is right, within its own realm. Intuition is a direct cognition of the truth in all things. Reason is, as it were, the balance between instinct and intuition. Animals have right instinct in regard to what to eat, and in regard


to what is dangerous to them, for their instinct is acquired experience; but they do not reason in their instincts—they feel them. We reason about both our instincts (for we have some) and our intuitions, and usually reason ourselves into a false position from a false basis of thinking. Reason is an instrument we are working with, but if we start with wrong premises we are bound to come to false conclusions, however faultless the reasoning. Working logically, we can come to right conclusions only with an eternal premise; in no other way shall we ever determine the right in our modes of looking at things.

In trying to understand instinct and intuition, therefore, we shall have to ascertain their true foundation. Certainly, there must be a deep meaning in, and a deep cause for, their existence. Looking upon the animal kingdom and seeing therein actions proceeding for the welfare of the different animal beings, we call those actions on their part instinct, without at all realizing that some thing produced that instinct. It could not arise of itself. It must have been a production, as all things in this or any universe are productions. The statement of the ancient Wisdom-Religion is that at the root of every being of every grade, of every form and of every kind, there is one reality—Spirit, and Spirit alone. From Spirit have come all productions; from Spirit all evolutions have been brought about. The Spirit is the same in all; the acquisition differs in accordance with the degree of progress of the individual or being; for evolutions proceed on individual lines. All beings are of the same nature, but because the thought, the ideal and the action differ, we find in a great universe like ours many kinds of intelligence evolved from the great Root of all evolution—the Spirit in each being.

All beings below man are evolutions each in its own degree. Even in the mineral kingdom there is form, whether that form be of a crystal or an atom; it is a spiritual something with a psychic nature, expressing itself according to its own acquired nature. Crystals have their own particular sympathies and antipathies, their own attractions and repulsions. Are these mechanical? Not in the least. They are inherent instinct—an unerring faculty which


is but that spark of the divine lurking in every particle of in organic matter. If the mineral kingdom did not have a psychic intelligence, man could never use it. The same is true with the vegetable and animal kingdoms, which, each, adds something to the mere psychical intelligence of the mineral kingdom in a limited way. Then, coming to man, we find that he has the power of transcending his conditions, of standing apart from them and looking upon them as a self-conscious being, separate from them, and of an entirely different nature. That which is but a spark of divinity in the lower kingdoms grows to be a flame in the higher beings.

There are seven distinct stages through which all forms come, from nebular matter down to our present concrete formations. Conditioned existence is produced by various kinds of lives in every state of matter—by different acquired intelligences. But Man had a large part in the determination of the processes, of the degrees of descent to be undertaken, and it was according to his knowledge and processes instituted by him, that the state or conditions of the kingdoms below him were made. For Man was a self-conscious being when this earth began. Man stands midway between spirit and what we call matter; he is the turning point of evolution, and on him depends the future of this evolution. Man has both instinct and intuition. Every cell in our bodies is instinctively impelled by us. Whether we are conscious of it or not, that instinct causes them to evolve. The lives in our bodies have been trained life after life, until their action is automatic and reflex. The cells of the different organs have their own special impulsations. The cells subtract from food whatever is necessary for the composition of the blood, the bones, the various tissues, and the brain—which, too, is made of the food we eat and is changing all the time, like any other part of the body, being in constant dissociation. But the Real Man is not his body, nor his brain, and it is to the Real Man that intuition pertains.

Both instinct and intuition have been gained in no other way than through observation and experience. All the instinct


of animals is a gain in that particular species along the lines of their own growth in intelligence and expression in bodies. So, man’s intuition carries with it all the knowledge existing in his real nature. Man has lived lives anterior to this one, not few but many—even on a planet which we inhabited before this earth began, or, rather, before we began with this earth. The many, many experiences gained through many, many lives are still with us. We have never lost them. They are still resident and potentially active in our innermost being—in that real nature of ours which each one of us reaches every twenty-four hours, when the body is asleep, when the dreaming state is passed. There lies intuition— the sum total of all our past experiences. Something comes through occasionally, giving us an inkling of what is the true nature. The voice of the conscience is the outlook of that true nature upon the action which is contemplated. Some people hearing that “voice of the silence” think God is speaking to them, or that some other outside being impresses them. But, in reality, it came from their own inner nature—was born from and drawn from the accumulation of all past wisdom; it was “the voice” of their own spiritual nature.

The channel through which the intuition may flow may be made clear by any and every one of us. In what way? By desiring to perpetuate the personality? Never, in this nor any other world. There must be a recognition of what, in reality, our personality is. It is not the body; it is the ideas held. Ideas make a body a fit vehicle for them; ideas control the action of the body. Our personalities are composed of our ideas, our likes and dislikes, our attractions and repulsions, of the little things that we demand for ourselves, that buttress up in us the notion that all this is for me. This is not the Real Man. The personality can not be retained; whatever the ideas held today, they are not the same as those we held in the past; yet in the past we acted, as now, according to the ideas then entertained. In the future we shall have still other ideas, and will act in accordance with them. It is our thinking which limits our action. It is, then, for us to see that we are real spiritual beings internally, and that it is only the


outer—the personality—which needs clarifying. The clearing can come about only by acting for and as the One Self. Then we shall express our real natures clearly in this world of material things; then we shall know what some men only suspect—for intuition is a direct cognition of the truth.

The Message of Theosophy was given us that we may reach into that part of our nature which knows, which notes and knows. This is not an impossible task; for we are not poor miserable sinners, and others have accomplished it. They went this way and tested out for themselves, as is the only true way for every one. They found it to be absolute fact that all this inner knowledge, or intuition, is recoverable. They know that our ideas, our thoughts, our modes of thinking, our limited understandings of our natures make our hindrances; they know that neither the body, nor any environment whatever is detrimental, but that every environment is an opportunity—the greater the obstacles, the more hindrances of circumstance, the greater the opportunity. If we could but be wise enough, if we could open our eyes wide enough to see, we could learn something from the various instincts perceived in the kingdoms below us. All those beings are proceeding by instinct on that long, long journey which leads to that place where we now are. If we are wise, by intuition we also will proceed on that small old Path which leads far away—the Path that all the Predecessors of all time have trodden. All the Beings who have appeared in the world as our Elder Brothers—Divine Incarnations—in past civilizations have reached that stage toward which we are now consciously or unconsciously proceeding. Our intuition is not so asleep as we think. It is shining in us all the time. If we will only remove the false conceptions which prevent us now from seeing, those of us who are operating on this side of the dark veil can draw that veil aside and let the light shine through.





There is no possible way of understanding or explaining the nature of any being whatever except through Evolution, which is always an unfolding from within outwards, the expression of spirit or consciousness through the intelligence acquired. The will of spirit in action has produced everything that exists.

If we understand that intelligent will lies behind everything that exists, is the cause of everything that is, is the Creator in the universe, we may perhaps gain some idea of what it is necessary for us to know in order properly to use our powers.

All stand as creators in the midst of our creations. There are creators below us in the scale of intelligence. We stand in another place, with a wider range of vision, a greater fund of experience; so we can see that below us, infinitely below us, are beings so small that many of them could be gathered on the point of a needle. Yet the scientists who have examined them under many conditions cannot deny to these infinitesimal organisms a certain intelligence, an ability to seek what they like and to avoid what they dislike. From the smallest conceivable point of perception and action there is a constantly widening range of expression, of evolution, a development more and more in the direction of a greater range of being. This evolution of intelligence, or soul, proceeds very slowly in the lower kingdoms, more rapidly in the animal kingdom, and in man has reached that stage where the being himself knows that he is, that he is conscious, that he can understand to some extent his own nature and the natures of the beings below him, and see their relation to each other.

Man has now reached a point where he begins to inquire what more there is for him to know. He has ceased to think exclusively of the material; he is sensing his own nature, and he asks, What am I, whence came I, whither do I go?

If we have these ideas, we can perceive that there must have been in the past some amongst men who asked these very questions that we are now asking, and who took the steps that car-


ried them to a higher point of experience and knowledge than we now occupy. It is these very beings, now above us, who form a stratum of consciousness, of knowledge and power, that we have not—men who have passed through the stages we are now in. They are the very ones who come to this earth as Saviors from time to time.

As Christians, we look back to the advent of One such, and think of Him as unique. Yet He came in His time to but one small nation; He said Himself that He came but to the Jews. Do we not know that every civilization and every tribe that ever has existed has held a similar record—that of some great Personage who came amongst them?

Back of all the religions that ever have been, there is the record, the tradition, of some great Personage. And we find an astonishing fact in studying the scriptures and teachings of other days—each of these great Teachers taught the same doctrines. There is no difference between the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of Buddha, although those teachings are recorded in different languages and an interval of six hundred years separated the two great Teachers. What is true of these two is like wise true of all the other many Saviors of different times and peoples—they all taught the same fundamental ideas.

This fact suggests that there is a body of Men, of perfected men, product of past civilizations and evolution, our Elder Brothers, in fact, who have acquired and are the Custodians of the knowledge and experience gained through aeons of time. Their knowledge is actually the very Science of Life, for it enters into every department of existence, of nature. They know the natures and processes of the beings below man, and above man, as we know the processes of ordinary every-day experience. This knowledge they have preserved and recorded, and they have the memory of it, just as we have the memory of yesterday’s experiences and events.

They have not extended their power to know. We have each of us the same power to know that is theirs. But they have extended the facilities of the instruments which they possess. They


have improved what they have. They have better brains. They have better bodies. How did they acquire them? By fulfilling every duty which faced them, regardless of what came to themselves. They thought nothing of acquiring power and knowledge for themselves; they thought only of gaining power that they might expend it for the benefit of every living creature. In so doing they opened the doors to the full play of the power of the Spirit within.

We do the very opposite. We contract the divine power of the Spirit within us to the pin-holes of personal desires and selfishness. Do we not see that? Do we not see that we ourselves stand in the way of the use of the power within us because our ideas are selfish, small, mean?

The great work of evolution proceeds from within outwards. The Soul is the Perceiver; it looks directly on ideas. The action of the will is through ideas. The ideas give the directions. Small ideas, small force; large ideas, large force; the Force itself is illimitable, for it is the force of Spirit, infinite and exhaustless. What we lack are universal ideas. We need to arouse in ourselves that power of perception which will lay the whole field of being open to us. A stream cannot rise higher than its source.

The nature of man can never be understood in the least degree by the ideas and methods which modern psychologists and scientists and popular religions are following. They all proceed from the basis of physical life, many of them from the basis of one life only. They tabulate experiences of many kinds, with out any firm basis upon which to fix their thought, their reason, and so never arrive at any definite conclusion or real knowledge of what man is, or of the powers that he may exhibit. This is their use of the creative power, but it is a limited use, a misuse. Those who follow that way usually have some selfish purpose at the base of their desire, something they wish to achieve for themselves, some benefit they desire for themselves. This is not the way. Theosophy says that if the desire or aspiration is unselfish, noble, universal, then the force which flows through the indi-


vidual is grand, noble, universal in its character. Further, that every human being has in him the same elements, the same possibilities, as any other, even the noblest and highest beings in this or any solar system. This puts man in quite a different position from where our religions, our science, or our philosophy of the West place him. They all treat of man as if he were his body or his mind, as if he were the creature and not the creator.

The body changes; we change our minds; but there is a Something in us which does not change, which does not depend on change, whether of body, mind or circumstances, but which is the creator, the ruler, the experiencer of all changes of every kind. It is this portion of our nature—the real Man within us— that we need to know the nature of. If we can reach such a point of perception that we can grasp the fact of the Spirit within us, we shall have reached a point where a knowledge of ourselves is possible; and if a knowledge of ourselves, then a knowledge through that of all other beings whatsoever.

The great Teachers point to the fact that the real basis of man’s nature is Divinity, Spirit, God. Deity is not some other being, however great. It is not something outside. It is the very highest in ourselves and in all others. That is the God, and all that any man may know of this Spirit is what he knows in himself, of himself, through himself. This is the idea that all the ancients put forward in saying there is but one Self, and that we are to see the Self in all things and all things in the Self. That is what we all do to some extent; we see the Self, more or less. Nothing is seen outside ourselves; everything that we see or know is within ourselves. But we think of the Self in us as mortal, perishable, having no existence apart from this body and this mind, and as separate from the Self in all other forms.

If we had within us and behind us all the power that there is in the universe, and we had no channel through which that power could flow—or only a narrow, twisted, distorted channel— that great Power would be of no use to us, would be non-existent to us. To open up the channel it is necessary for us to understand the real basis: the God within, immortal and eternal, the


Source of all being, our very selves; second, that all action proceeds from that Source and Center of our being and of all being. Then who is the constructor of all? How was all this evolution brought about? All the beings involved in it make up both the world and its inhabitants; all that exists is Self-produced, Self-evolved—the creation of Spiritual beings acting in, on, and through each other. The whole force of evolution, and the whole power behind it, is the human will, so far as humanity is concerned. We do not realize that every form occupied by any being is composed of Lives, each undergoing evolution on its own account, aided, impelled or hindered by the force of the higher form of consciousness that evolved it. For this universe is embodied Consciousness, or Spirit. And just as a single drop of water contains within it every element and characteristic of the whole ocean, so each being, however low in the degree of its intelligence, contains within itself the potentiality and possibilities of the highest. The will of the Spirit in action has produced all.

The great Message of Theosophy has provided for every interested enquirer the means by which he may know the truth about himself and nature. Just as the Elder Brothers have provided in the past, so They have again in our day. Everything that Humanity needs has been given to us. But can you give to any one what he does not Want? Can you cause to enter into the mind of another what that mind will not receive?

There has to be an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, before there is any hope for us. As long as we are self-centered, as long as we are satisfied with what we know and what we have, this great Message is not for us. It is for the hungry, for the weary, for those who are desirous of knowledge, for those who see the absolute paucity of what has been put before us as knowledge by those who style themselves our teachers, for those who find no explanation any where of the mysteries that surround us, who do not know themselves, who do not understand themselves. For them there is a way; for them there is food in abundance; for them this whole Movement is kept in being by one single will, the Will of the


Elder Brothers who have carried these great eternal truths through good and evil in order that mankind may be benefited; not desiring any reward, not desiring any recognition, desiring only that Their fellow men, Their younger brothers, may know, may realize what They know.                             





“There are two kinds of beings in the world, the one divisible, and the other indivisible: the divisible is all things and the creatures, the indivisible is called Kutastha, or he who standeth on high unaffected. But there is another spirit designated as the Supreme Spirit—Paramatma—which permeates and sustains the three worlds.”—Bhagavad-Gita.

In considering these statements, our immediate tendency is to make a separateness—a division—in our minds; but to understand nature at all, to understand ourselves at all, we may not make any such division. Both the divisible and the indivisible, and the Supreme Spirit, exist within each and every being. The “three worlds” exist in the nature of man as a being. Man, “visible and invisible,” is Man, “divisible and indivisible.” There are different classes of visible beings, as well as different classes of invisible beings, but whatever we may know of those different classes must come from a perception within ourselves. For that perception, however high, there is no stoppage any where; it may reach to the utmost confines of space. The power in each one is the Supreme Spirit.

When w look at a human being with our physical eyes, we are able to see only the form; when we listen to the speech of a human being, we are able to understand only the sounds that we hear, or the ideas that the words convey. We can not tell just what a human being is, just what his possibilities are, or what knowledge is his, either by looking at him or by hearing him speak. We may know this or that presentment, or the various circumstances under which we came in contact; we may gain ideas from those contacts; but to know one through and through, root and branch, is not given to any mere physical thinker. So


there is in the human being that which is invisible—that power of perception and expression of which we sense only a part. That invisible part of man has never been fathomed, though it exists in all of us, and from it all that is visible has sprung.

Spirit is invisible, yet can we think of a place where Spirit is not? Spirit is everywhere, in everything, the cause, the sustainer, of all that was, is, or ever shall be. Spirit is not outside of us; the same Spirit is in all; whatever differences we may be able to perceive in any other are not differences of Spirit, but differences in range of perception. All our powers rest upon that One Spiritual Nature. The limitations placed upon the power to express are not made by any external force whatever, but made by ourselves, by the ideas that we hold. Our range of perception is governed by the ideas we hold in regard to ourselves, our nature, and the life about us. These ideas that control our physical lives and our minds are, in fact, the limitations in ourselves; yet, however varied, however high, however low they may be, their very permanency rests on the Spirit itself and every one of them springs from perceptions of Spirit. Truth and error both spring from perceptions of Spirit, and by the very power of Spirit are sustained. Ideas rule actions, and, as ideas have, like actions, their cycle of return, so we create a vicious cycle in which we become involved, from the one single fact that we constantly identify ourselves with this, that, or the other condition. But this very power of self-identification is from Spirit.

Visible man—his body, his physical instrument—alone is a growth from below upwards. The physical body is merely the shell of the man, made of matter of the earth, from the three lower kingdoms—mineral, vegetable, and animal—and is being constantly renewed from day to day, constantly worn out from day to day. Man, himself, is that invisible power and entity which inhabits the body, which is the cause of its present construction and development from lower forms of consciousness. Man, himself, is above all physicality. From the physical point of view, man, himself, is absolutely invisible. He is that which acts. No form may restrain him. No form can in any real sense


contain him. Any form may be the focus from which he may and can act. The Real Teaching is that the man himself, as spiritual being, descends from the plane of spirituality, or spiritual self-consciousness, step by step, through all the stages of condensation of matter; that he meets the uprising tide of form from the lower kingdoms, and when the most perfect form of all has been brought to its highest stage of development, he enters it. Not until the invisible man enters the physical instrument, could there be humanity at all. So we, as human beings, are the product of the higher Divine Spirit, of all the knowledge of a past immensity of time, and also, of all that lies in the lower kingdoms, which constitutes our lower nature. Man’s higher nature is not divisible. It is constant, eternal and true. The lower nature is impermanent and changing, but the invisible man within is the one who makes the changes, who forces on the changes, and who gathers experience and knowledge through them. There is no static condition for any instrument whatever in all the kingdoms, in all the worlds and in all systems. Never-ceasing motion, the power to move on and on, in greater and greater ranges of perception, is the birth-right of every human being. We are like the one who went out from his father’s house and dwelt among the swine and fed upon husks. The time must come for us to say, like the prodigal son, ‘ will arise and return to my Father”—I will arise and resume my own real place in Nature; using all the instruments that I have, I will work to the end that all beings may share in all knowledge, that they may progress in a consecutive range of steps, ever on and upward, without the breaks and obstacles that a false conception of our nature brings about. Such is the whole object of the ancient Wisdom Religion—that man may resume his own birthright. No being or beings of any grade can confer upon man the knowledge that he alone can get. That knowledge is all in reserve in the invisible part of his nature, the result of every experience of all his immense past; it is right with him, although he has made his physical instrument of such


a nature that it will not register what he, as the real being—the invisible man—knows. Man, the invisible being, eternally is; for him there is never for an instant cessation of consciousness. The curtain rings down on one scene to immediately rise on another. When the body is at rest, the man is still acting and thinking, in another way, in a finer form, on planes not so restricted as is the physical plane. There he has freedom. There he sees and feels and hears and speaks and acts (as he does on the physical plane) but he can be here, there or elsewhere, wherever his thought brings him, wherever his desire is; he can move freely and unhampered by gross physical material. The power of perception of all kinds of substance, and of all kinds of beings is the power of everyone of us, but that power to see lies behind the physical eye; it belongs to the eye within—the eye of the soul.

How shall we recognize that power? By acting from the basis of our eternal, divine nature; by assuming our own identity; by ceasing to place dependence on any philosophy, on any science, or religion, or any statement whatever; by depending on the reality of the inner, true, spiritual man; by clarifying our mental conceptions; by thinking right thoughts and by acting in accordance with them. In that way, every channel in the body becomes open to what goes on when, as spiritual beings, we leave the physical instrument at night, and are active on the inner, spiritual planes of being. Each and every human being must open up those channels on his higher nature for himself. He must know for himself, and the only place where he may know is within himself. Each one, in reality, stands at the center of the universe, and all the rest are pictures and sounds and experiences, in which he may see the play of spirit.

How may we obtain a resumption of divinity? It can not be obtained by much speaking, nor by argument. It can be obtained only by taking the position. Always we act in accordance with the position assumed. So let us take the highest position, the position that is shown by everything in nature. The highest of the high is ours. We must assume that high position. We must affirm


it. How else can we gain a knowledge of immortality than by taking the position of immortality? We assume and act in accord with the position of wickedness very easily. If we take the high position, we not only act in accordance with the greatness of the position taken, but we come to a realization of it within ourselves, where is all perception of it, all fulfillment of it.

What knowledge could we have of immortality from the point of view of mortality? What idea of perfection could we get from the basis of imperfection? None but a faulty one. The highest idea on that basis would merely be less imperfection. Real perfection does not mean a relative perfection; it means an intimate knowledge of the essential basis of everything that exists in nature. True spirituality is not a hazy condition; not a mere existence without action; but the power to know and to do, to have what the ancients called ‘all-knowingness.” When we reach "all-knowingness" then are we truly divine—-divine in knowledge, divine in power, acting through every conceivable state of matter, and through every conceivable instrument. And that is our great destiny. Just let us seize it. Life is ours. Spirit is ours. Consciousness is ours. Eternal existence is ours. Just let us take it.

The greatest of all knowledge does exist. All the experience of the past, all the civilizations that ever have been, have produced beings who now are the custodians of all the knowledge that has been gained. That knowledge is waiting for us as soon as we shall take the necessary steps to fit ourselves to become the possessors of it. That knowledge includes all intellectual knowledge, all spiritual knowledge, and all knowledge of every force in nature. Great and powerful as are some forces that we know of now, there are forces to be known that far transcend them all. The power to destroy a world is reachable by the one who takes the right step; but the one who takes the right step will never destroy. He will only build. He will use all the power that he has to construct a path on which humanity may travel the way that he has gone. If, then, we all think of ourselves as eternal invisible beings, acting through visible impermanent instruments, we shall get a


better and truer conception of life; and if we will try to reach inward to the innermost part of our heart of hearts, we shall find a greater vision ours—a power to perceive in wider ranges, to greater depth, with more effect than can ever be gained by our physical organs of sight. As one of our Great Teachers said, “All nature is before you; take what you can.” It is for each one to listen, to learn, to apply.




It would be a grave mistake to think that by not acting one frees himself from the consequences of action. Such would be a totally false view of the “renunciation of action.” The whole universe is action. First, last, and all the time ceaseless motion lies behind everything that is. Among all creatures the impulse to move on—to progress—is action, and it comes from the very nature of Spirit itself; it cannot be denied. Nor can one, even if he should think so, ever cease from action, in not doing that which ought to be done; for there is action in the very thought—thought being the real plane of action and that which induces any kind of action. Without action there is no manifested life. While we live, we are constantly acting. There is not a moment when action ceases, whether the action is through a mind in a body, or after the terrestrial mind and body are laid aside for the time being and functioning goes on in inner instruments and sheaths of the soul.

Motion is the basis of man’s physical existence. There is not one atom, not one molecule in the body, which is not in constant motion, and it is through that constant motion that the body is enabled to register the various differing effects presented by physical matter itself. But within the body is that which gives direction—the mind—or that bundle of ideas which each one has. In the last analysis, it comes home to each individual that he himself is his own judge, jury and executioner; for, if his ideas are small and concerned only with physical existence, then the


motion given is in a wrong direction, personal and physical. If, however, we realize that such ideas as we have accepted and made a basis for our action may not be true, we can change and enlarge them, or reject them altogether. Who, then, are WE, having the power behind both body and mind to arouse change?

We are the real mover behind the ideas and behind the will—the Experiencer—Spirit itself—that which looks out through our eyes and that which senses through our organs. It is the same Self in each and every instrument. Spirit has the faculty of identifying itself with the business upon which the mind is concentrated, so that it becomes involved in its instruments and confused by its involution. Although we are Spirit—divine, eternal, beginningless, endless—we have created right or wrong ideas as to our own natures, as to anything and everything which we experience in any direction, upon any plane of being. We are the One Reality behind all experiences, behind all planes of being—which are but temporary in their nature, while Man himself, divested of every means of communication with them, becomes creator of his own means. Within the spiritual nature lie every possible power, force and means for the creation of a more and more perfect instrument, yet, by our own actions, by our own creation of false ideals as their basis, we have made the conditions in which we find ourselves.

We could get beyond the troubles by which we are affected, if we would cease to deal in every case with effects. We are constantly in a sea of effects, and we try to relate one effect to another without for one moment going back to the basis of causation—to the Self, the Spirit within. In the Spirit, no one of us differs—no human being, nor any kind of being—whether above man, man, or below man. The One Spirit in all is the perceiving power. It is the executing power. It is the creative, the preservative and the regenerative power in every being. Out side of us lies nothing but perception, but within us lies the power of realization of Spirit itself and of the powers which lie within that Spirit. Our differences lie in our spiritual advancement and in our discriminative knowledge, according to our self-evolved


nature of mind and body—an evolution which always takes place under law, under the same law ruling from the minutest life to the highest spiritual being—that inherent law which is the power to act. Action is merely the execution of that spiritual law.

We are learning all the time because we are acting all the time. In every fresh combination, the understanding and proper use of it points us onward and enables us to go still further into higher worlds and wider combinations. Each one of us is a sensitive instrument—the embodiment of everything there is in the whole of nature; for we have evolved from instruments of homogeneous substance more concrete instruments and we move in them, as spiritual beings from an immense past, to make all possible differentiations and combinations to be obtained in our evolutionary stream. And let us not forget that we were concerned not only with the beings above us and those of our own high estate when we began this evolution, but with all the beings below us in the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. All are interdependent. It can only be when we realize our own natures and act in accordance with them that we shall fulfill the purpose of our life here, which, in fact, includes every being of every kind anywhere. We act upon them all to some degree in every thought and action of our own, and just as we affect them so the effect flows back upon us through beings like us, and beings above us and below us. So, the whole course of understanding—the proper ideas from which to act—lies within our selves and not outside.

To imagine that we are here by chance, that there is no law, that there are accidents, that we are not responsible for our selves being impinged upon while others are gratified of their desires—is an error. We have brought ourselves into the present condition by doing similar things before. We have in other lives pursued a course that shut us out from a knowledge of our own nature. We have so acted through the inherent power within ourselves as to bring about a closure between our high perception and our lives in the body; we have affected others in a


similar way, and they in their turn come back to affect us and keep us on that plane of thought and action. For it can be seen that our thoughts are action more than the acts themselves. It is the way we think that produces action, and others are permeable to these thoughts of ours, be they good or bad.

There is the faculty in man of identifying himself with whatever condition he finds himself in—the faculty, called in The Bhagavad-Gita Ahankara, or egotism. As soon as we are involved in any set of circumstances—be it happiness or misery—we immediately identify ourselves with the prevailing condition, forgetting that there were other conditions before and that there will be other conditions in the future with which we may again identify ourselves, if we have not learned to do otherwise. So we go on thinking that we are this body, that we are this nation, these events, and this period of time. All these ideas are subversive of an understanding of our true natures, but they are eradicable, because we ourselves created and maintain them.

A true understanding may be had by no matter whom or where through what is known in one of the ancient writings— the Mundaka-Upanishad”—as the shaving process. It is the elimination of all that is not the Self. For nothing that we can see is Self; nothing that we can hear, or smell, or taste, or know is Self. The Self senses all, through its instruments, but is not any of these things. Nor are we any of the experiences we have ‘had, are now having, or will have. We are that which experiences, and are not any of the changes. We are none of the processes through which we go every day, from sleeping to waking, or from life to death, according to universal law. ‘WE never sleep; WE never die. Sleep is just the reaction of the body, and when the body sleeps WE are still thinking and perceiving and experiencing, in the dreaming state, and in deep sleep states beyond, where we have full spiritual self-consciousness.

Why do we bring back so little memory of the action of consciousness during deep sleep? Because our registering apparatus is of a small calibre. The physical brain which is the register of our thinking—our manipulating instrument here—like every-


thing else in our bodies is formed from food, and so is constantly changing as our impressions change. It becomes receptive only to the constant influence of our earthly thinking. But, if while awake, we take a spiritual basis for our thinking—that which compels us in right action, with the recognition of all men coming from the same source and proceeding toward the same goal, though the path varies with the pilgrim—thinking and acting on that basis during our daily lives, then the brain will become responsive to those other forms of consciousness during the sleep of the body; then, all that we know on the high planes of being can be carried through and to a great degree expressed in the body.

In all processes something of change is going on. So, action from the highest basis of thought institutes an action in the body itself and changes the very nature of the lives in our bodies, making them porous to the inner side of nature so that they finally become translucent, and permeable to all higher and finer influences. There is the higher and inner side of any and every form that exists—mineral, vegetable, animal, human or beyond the human—and as we become more universal in our modes of thinking and of action, we contact more fully that higher, inner side. We raise ourselves higher, and we see the world as quite different from the one perceived when we were treading the path of mere terrestrial existence. ‘We see what all false modes of thought and action have brought about- animosities, wars, divisions between individuals, pestilences, disease, cyclones and earthquakes, noxious insects and animals.

The great errors of mental conception which darken man’s mind keep him as an ever-acting being creating the conditions which bring him his sorrows and disabilities. If there were no human being in the world who would ever harm another, there would be no harm. All harmful things would disappear. But even though there be harmful beings, and their nature can not be changed, we can so change our own attitude that no harm can come to us from them. If harm comes to us, there must be harm in us. The Yogi of the East can go into the midst of all


kinds of harmful creatures unharmed, because of his own harmlessness. When our thought is fixed on false ideas, it is apparent to the harmful creatures, and their instinct of so-called self-preservation moves them to attack us, because they recognize a danger in us. The natures of those beings below us will be changed only by man, for they can not change themselves. It is the lives which we are using in our own bodies—themselves motion, action—which become the embodiment of beings in the various kingdoms, because we have endowed them with our thought and action and given them direction, as each moment passes, back on to their own plane. We are their creators and their providence, or we delay their progress by misunderstanding our own natures and, consequently, theirs.

What will be in the future depends upon those who have the power to act in any state of matter. The civilization that now is has been created by ourselves, but behind all true progress there must be a universal conception of Spirit, mind, and action. Let us dismiss any idea of renunciation of action. Act always. We have to act. Every principle of our nature compels us to act. If we fear or fail to act in any given place where the situation calls for action, then we have acted in a wrong way, for we have missed an opportunity. And an error of omission is worse than an error of commission. Act, then, but act for and as the Self of all creatures. Renounce not action, but selfish interest in every thought and act.





“ Law of Correspondences” is a greater subject than people are liable to suspect; yet we all know something of correspondences in the simple facts of nature—the seven colors of the spectrum, the seven notes of the scale. Each color of each octave corresponds to the same color of another octave. We see only a certain number of rates of vibration, but above the number perceptible to us are those too fine for us to perceive with our physical senses, and, also below, are vibrations too coarse for our


perception. ‘We stand in the middle, as it were, of a great range of perceptions, aware of only a portion of the universe in which we live. The same is true with regard to sounds——from the note do up to Si; do corresponds to every other do in the seven octaves which we are able to perceive physically; but these seven octaves are merely a portion of all the great octaves of nature above us and below us. There is correspondence between the high and the low throughout all nature, because the great Center of Life, of Consciousness, of Perception is the same in every being of what ever grade; and because from within that Center proceeds all action. The use of the power to act which is inherent in that Center is the cause of all manifestation.

All things which are visible come from the invisible. In the evolution of a planet there is a beginning in homogeneous, radiant matter—such as composes the Milky Way—the basis of all subsequent forms that are brought about, or produced, by the beings existent in that homogeneous state. Each being is a Center and each Center is the same as the One Great Center. Proceeding from the same Source, necessarily, all beings proceed under the same laws. The same Law rules all beings. The power to act and the subsequent reaction—the law of laws which we know as Karma—is brought into operation by all beings to produce the manifested universe and all the differentiations in forms and substance. Thus there is a connection between each being and every other being. There is a correspondence between each being and every other being. There is a correspondence between the constituents of each being and the constituents of every other being.

The law which rules the atoms of our world as well as the highest spiritual beings in it—that law inherent in the Center of each being—proceeds in a definite, orderly mode. This progress is known to be divided into seven degrees, or the septenary nature, from the states of fine matter down to the matter that we now know in the body. All beings go through forms in the various states, and not only do they go through them but they possess them at the present time. Man possesses every body which


ever has existed for him in any stage of matter. But our planet is one of many planets. It exists in a solar system which is one of many solar systems. There are inhabitants of other planets— some of them below us in point of development and others so much higher than we that if we knew the state of their progress we would esteem them divine beings. All beings of each and every planet are of the same Center and proceed under the same universal law of manifestation. Thus, there is a correspondence between each and every planet: we are related to Mars, to Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon by certain correspondences in fact, there are organs in our bodies which correspond to the various planets.

At the root of all these correspondences with planets, beings and states of matter, and behind all these points of attachment with every thing—the most minute as well as the coarsest—lies a tremendous, almost immeasurable SCIENCE related to all portions of the universe, to every state of matter and every plane of consciousness—a science which by our self-induced and self- devised efforts it is possible for us to attain it ourselves. For knowledge does not exist outside of us, nor does knowledge exist without the knowers of it. Always the knowers of the greater knowledge have achieved it through observation and experience. Those Beings who are greater than we are and who have handed down to us Theosophy—the science of life and the art of living—in the far distant past had to go through similar experiences to those we are now encountering. So again we see there is a correspondence in ourselves with those higher Beings, and, as well, with lower beings. We have to manifest as various classes of beings, some on higher planes and some on lower planes. The forms of the kingdoms below us are embodiments of minor grades of consciousness on their way up to our estate, which they will reach when we have progressed to still higher states, under the law of evolution. For evolution of form is always brought about by the extension of the Consciousness of the being in habiting the form, and our own purpose, as spiritual beings connected with all states of matter, is to evolve a better and better


instrument on this plane of being to correspond to, or be accessible to, those inner states of being and higher planes of consciousness which we all in reality possess. It may seem strange to us that we possess what we know nothing of, and that there are powers latent in us which in our present case we are unable to manifest. But we ought to see that we have the power to learn. We have the power to learn sciences of various kinds, or languages entirely different from those we now know. The power to learn is within us. We could not learn these things if they were new—that is, due to some formation of nature separate from ourselves. There is a power that we may gain over all nature, and ‘use, for in fact nothing is of use by way of knowledge that can not be practical for the true evolution of man, for the forwarding of humanity. There is a certain knowledge in the possession of some which relates to the occult sciences, to powers which we do not presently possess but which are latent in us—the reason for either latency or possession lying in the fact that this life is the reaping of what has gone on be fore. As day succeeds day and life succeeds life, as planet succeeds planet and solar system succeeds solar system, so we have come down through the immeasurable past to the present conditions—to conditions, let it be remembered, where spirit and matter conjoin, where man may become higher than any being in our solar system because he is conjoined with the lower kingdoms; because he may so increase his knowledge in connection with those lower kingdoms that lie may raise them up and use the powers that exist there and are produced by beings of every grade. Let us remember, too, that even on this physical plane there are beings other than those we ordinarily see in mineral, vegetable, animal and human embodiments; there are invisible beings existing in what we call our air, in the ether, in electricity, in fire—for it is life everywhere in this universe; there is not a hand’s breadth of vacant ‘ space anywhere. However minute, visible or invisible, the forms of life may be, they are Centers of Consciousness, beginnings of perception, the beginnings of individuality—ever increasing from form to


form until the human form is reached, and then, on and on. For we as human beings are not the product of this earth. Our bodies are; but as spiritual beings we were present before this earth was formed. Once more we have come down through the stairway of the seven worlds from that primal state which is the very Center of being, plus all that we had gained before in other worlds. ‘We bring with us all that we have gained in similar states and planes of substance before, and go on with the world in each stage, just as we go on from day to day with our various occupations. Thus we may see that there is a continuity throughout the entire course of evolution; what we have to learn is that knowledge of it along the line of true correspondences will never be acquired by mere study, nor by information given us by any being or beings whatever.

True knowledge has to be gained through an increasing perception of the universality of all law and the universal line of progress for every being of whatever grade. We have to think and practise altruism before the higher and more recondite powers of the universe can be placed in our possession for our use. The thought and the motive must be that which makes for the good of all beings. What has been given to us in the philosophy of Theosophy is for the purpose of arousing the attention of that Center within us which can see, which can know and which can do, when it resumes its own nature and status. For there is a deep knowledge of all these things in the soul of every human being and the soul knows what it needs; it can understand when the brain can not understand; it can feel when the senses are not capable of transmitting feeling. This knowledge is open to every human being; but only when the mind that we now possess is in exact accord with the nature of the indwelling Spirit, shall we begin to see, from within outwards, all the lines of correspondence and relation that exist between us and all other beings. Only when we realize that we are a part of the Great Chain of being, that no one of us is unnecessary and no one can drop out, that the development is one for all, that we are all from the same Source and going towards the same goal; only when we shall


think and act from that basis, will we move onward with the great force proceeding from the Center in that true direction which leads to enlightenment and power. The law of correspondences constitutes a science which is perhaps beyond the idea of any one of us. Can we realize that — all beings are forces and all forces proceed from beings? Can we realize that there are forces or beings in nature which can be moved without the lifting of a finger—just by the thought, just by the will of one who knows the law of correspondences? Fortunate, indeed, it is that men as they are now constituted, with the wrong ideas that rule their actions, do not possess these powers which they could use against their fellow men! For is it not true that if we had them we would use them to blot out of existence many human beings who are running counter to our own ideas? And those beings are, just like ourselves, controlled by ideas foreign to the true progress of the whole and must meet the exact results of their wrong course of thought. Even without knowing it, perhaps, we may fight the battle of humanity merely by taking one idea of Theosophy—one universal idea— towards the freedom of the soul, and holding to that help. But we have to go much farther than that, which is but one step on the way. We have to realize within ourselves the kind of bodies, inner and outer, which we possess and the powers that belong to those bodies. We must bring those higher powers into operation through this physical body. We must build a higher and greater civilization than ever yet has existed. Whether it is accomplished in this or in ten million lives, whether we go straight to the goal or through suffering after suffering, it must ultimately be brought about.

We are here for a great purpose. A great mission lies before every one of us, as well as a great knowledge. We are here as knowing, self-conscious beings, buried in, and identified with this body, with this matter. Involved in the very work we had to do on this plane of being, we have forgotten our own true natures. It behooves us to understand what our true nature is and to think and act in accordance with it. Let us remember, too,


that “the true nature” is not far away; it is right within us— within our hearts. In the silence of our own hearts there pulsates that One Life, which beats in correspondence in the action of the lungs, the action of the tides, the flux and reflux which is going on all the time and everywhere in nature. Can we not see that the laws of correspondences are the same now that they were millions of years ago? Nor has humanity changed. We have changed the conditions surrounding us, but we ourselves are experiencing the same desires, the same feelings, the same stupidities which were ours millions of years ago. We have not advanced spiritually beyond the civilizations that are dead and gone, but in what we call “advancement” we have made merely another closer bond to physical existence. So there is much for us to do.

We move from death to death until we realize our true natures and take the course pointed out by the Wise Men of all ages—the course by which They gained Their wisdom. Theosophy was brought into the world to wake up the souls who are in the least degree susceptible to an awakening, to join that body of pilgrims moving on their way with their faces turned in the direction of the Masters of Wisdom, regardless of their present conditions, quickly or slowly clearing away their defects that they may be the pioneers and helpers and guides of the humanities that are to follow. Moving on with courage and confidence in the Great Beings, they gradually learn and come to a resumption of those powers which we all possess but do not express. Nor can one express in words the power, the happiness, the freedom from fear of any kind, the realization, while in a body, of immortality which spiritual knowledge brings. This knowledge and these powers are within the reach of all of us. As the ancients said, “The Great Self shines in all beings, but in all it does not shine forth.” We may reach that One Self, the One Spirit, whence come all law, all possibilities—which has the power to produce all changes, but of itself changes not at all— ever the experiencer, the enjoyer or the sufferer of the changes. Power comes from this knowledge, which springs up spontane-


ously within us because it resides in the innermost parts of our natures.





Concentration, or the use of the attention in the direction of anything that we wish to do, consistently and persistently, has long been recognized as the most effective means of arriving at the full expression of our powers and energies. The ancients called the power to focus the attention upon a subject or object for as long a time as is required, to the exclusion of every other thought and feeling, ‘one-pointedness.” Concentration is difficult to obtain among us as a people, because the key-note of our civilization is, in fact, distraction rather than concentration. Constantly and in every direction we are having presented to our minds objects and subjects—one thing after another to take our attention and then to pull it off from what we are putting it on. So, our minds have acquired the tendency to jump from one thing to another; to fly to a pleasant idea or to an unpleasant idea, to remain passive. Remaining passive is normally sleep; abnormally, its tendency is towards insanity. That we have be come habituated to these distractions and are not able to place our minds on any given thing for any length of time may be easily proved by anyone. If he will sit down and try to think of one single thing, one single object or subject, for only five minutes, he will find even in a very few seconds, perhaps, that he has wandered miles away mentally from the thing he intended to place his mind upon.

We have first to understand what man is, his real nature, what the cause of his present condition, before we can arrive at any pure and true concentration, before we can use the higher mind and the powers that flow from it. For the powers that we use in the body are transmitted powers, drawn, indeed, from our inner spiritual nature, but so disturbed and limited that they are not powerful. We need to know about our minds, and we need to control our minds—that is, the lower mind, occupied


with personal and physical things, known in Theosophical phraseology, as Lower Manas. It is this
“organ,” the thinking principle, which the ancients said is the great producer of illusion—the great distracter of concentration. For there is no possibility of obtaining real concentration until the possessor of the mind can place it where he will, when he will, and for as long a time as he pleases.

It is written in The Voice of the Silence: ‘ Mind is the great slayer of the Real. Let the disciple slay the Slayer.” The disciple, who is the Real Man—the spiritual man—has to act as such. He has to stop the switchings and fittings of his thinking principle and become calm in that knowledge to which the consideration of his own true nature brings him. The object of all advancement is the realization of the true nature of each one and an employment of the powers which belong to it. What hinders is the thinking principle. WE are the thinkers, but we are not what we think. If we think wrongly, then all the results of our thoughts and actions must lead to a wrong conclusion, or to a partial one, at best; but if we realize that we are the thinker, and the creator—the evolver of all the conditions through which we have been, in which we now are, and in which we shall find ourselves in the future—then we have reached the point of view of the Real man, and it is only to the Real man that the power of concentration belongs.

Again, in order to obtain concentration, we need an understanding of the classification of the principles of man. We all have the same principles, the same kinds of substances within us, the same spirit within us. We all contain every element that exists anywhere or in any being. So, too, each one has all the powers that exist anywhere, in himself, though latent. We are all of the same Source, all parts of one great Whole, all sparks and rays from the Infinite Spirit, or the Absolute Principle. The second principle is Buddhi, or the acquired wisdom of past lives, as well as this one. It is the cream of all our past experiences. The next principle is Manas, the Higher mind, the real power to think, the creator—not concerned with this physical


phase of existence, but with the spirit and the acquired wisdom. These three principles together make the Real Man—Atma Buddhi-Manas—and these three each one of us is in his inner nature.

Our Lower Manas is the transitory aspect of the Higher mind; that is, the portion of our attention, our thoughts and feelings addressed to life in a body. But if our thinking faculty is concerned only with the personal self—only with the body— the powers which reside in the Triad, the Real man, and the acquired wisdom of the past, can not force themselves through that cloud of illusion. Lower Manas is the principle of balance. It is the place from which the man in a body either goes up towards his higher nature or down towards his earthly nature, made up of the desires pertaining to sensuous existence. Life about us is throwing its impressions and energies upon us all the time. We are constantly subject to them and connected with them by our ideas, our feelings and emotions, so that there is a constant turmoil going on within that inner mind which makes a barrier to absolute calmness and concentration.

Then we have the astral body, itself an aspect of the real inner body which has lasted through the vast period of the past and must continue through the far distant future. This astral body is the prototype, or design, around which the physical body is built, and which, considered from the point of view of the powers, is the real physical body. Without it the physical body would be nothing but a mass of matter—an aggregation of smaller lives. It is the astral body which contains the organs, or centers from which the organs have been evolved in accord with the needs of the thinker within. The real senses of man are not in the physical but in the astral body. The astral body lasts a little over one lifetime. It does not die when the physical body dies, but is used as a body in the immediate after-death states.

Now as soon as we begin to make the effort to control the mind, and desire to know and to assume the position of the inner man, the effort and the assumption bring an accession of power and of steadiness. We have started something going in the astral


body. What were before merely centers of force around which organs were builded now tend to become separate astral organs. A gradual building of those organs goes on within us, until in the completion of our effort we have an astral body, with all the organs of the physical completely synthesized, and we are beyond the vicissitudes of physical existence; we have the power of the action of the astral body. The astral body is even more complete and effective on its own plane that our bodily instrument here on the physical plane, for it has a wider range of action in its seven super-senses, where physically we have use of only five senses.

Many hindrances arise, however, as soon as the effort is begun. Old habits of thought and feeling press us on every hand, be cause we have not yet been able to check our responsiveness to them, and so we find ourselves subject to certain feelings and emotions which tend to destroy that astral body which is being built. First, and most potent, is anger. Anger has an explosive effect, and no matter how much we may have progressed in our growth, the uncontrollable inner shock coming from anger will tear that inner body to pieces so that the work has to be done all over again. Next to contend with is vanity—vanity of some kind or another, of some accomplishment, of ourselves, our family, our nation, or what not. Vanity tends to grow and grow, until finally we will not listen to anybody and are too vain to learn anything. So, vanity tends to disintegrate this inner body, although it is less disruptive than anger. Envy is another hindrance. Fear is another, but fear is the least of them all because it can be destroyed by knowledge. Fear is always the child of ignorance. We fear those things we do not know, but when we know, we do not fear.

We are all a prey to those fears that tend to disrupt the very instrument by means of which true concentration may be attained; but it may be attained. The peculiar power and nature of concentration is that, when complete, the attention can be placed on any subject or object to the exclusion of every other for any given length of time; and this thinking principle—this


mind of ours which has been flitting about—can be used to shape itself to the object gazed upon, to the nature of the subject thought about. While the mind takes the shape of the object, we get from that shape the form, the characteristics of every kind that flow from it; and when our inquiry is complete, we are able to know everything that can be known of the subject or object. Such a height of concentration we can easily see is not to be attained by intermittent efforts, but by efforts made from “a firm position assumed” with the end in view. All efforts made from that basis are bound to be of avail; every effort made from the point of view of the spiritual man counts, because it makes the body subservient to the thinking principle.

Other things come about from that true power of concentration. We begin to open up the channels that reach from our brains to the astral body, and from the astral body to the inner man. Then, that which is temporary tends to become a part of that which is eternal. All the planes become synthesized from above down, and all the vestures of the soul which we have evolved from the past become in accord with each other. It is just like the tumblers in a lock: when they work together, the lock works accurately. So we have to bring all the sheaths of the soul into exact accord, and that we can do only by taking the position of the spiritual being and acting as such.

The height of concentration is possible to us, but not on a selfish basis. The concentration of the brain mind stands beside true concentration as a rush light beside the sun. True concentration is, first of all, a position assumed out of regard for the end in view of union with the Higher Self. That is the highest Yoga. Concentration upon the Self is true concentration. And concentration must be attained before we can ever reach that stage where eternal knowledge of every kind is ours to the last degree; before we shall once more resume and wield those powers which are the heritage of all.





Mental healing, metaphysical healing, mind cure, spiritual healing and Christian Science all come under the same head; there is no difference between them in the range of their action or the basis upon which they are founded. All are forms of self- hypnotism. But hypnosis is something of itself, and in itself, which calls for extensive consideration, its basis being a sort of artificial catalepsy. Whoever is hypnotized is thrown out of his normal modes of perception; his own external perceptions are closed to him and he sees only from the basis which the operator presents to him. Mental healers and Christian Scientists make use of certain ideas and abstractions in formula which take the mind off the body, though it is generally believed that thought” is the means by which the healing is effected. Now thought differs entirely in its nature and relation according to the knowledge of the thinker, and to use a prescribed formula, as do the adherents of these healing cults, is by no means to employ thought. What passes for ‘thought” is the idea that diseases are caused by thinking of them, and that the only way to over come them is by thinking of that which is not disease. Of course, this is only a formula.

Are there cures brought about by such practices? Certainly; by each and every system, no matter how much they suffer from one another in their claims. Just so, there are cures made by every remedy” ever proposed under the sun. Testimonials are found for every kind of remedy and to every kind of formula that was ever presented mankind. Medical practitioners bring about their cures also, and even the ‘quack” remedies advertised in the newspapers bring floods of testimonials from people who have been cured of disease after having been given up by physicians. Since, then, healing is brought about in many ways, it is clear that neither the fact of healing, nor any number of testimonials, have any value as evidence that any one of these systems of healing is a true system.


We need to inquire into these systems from the point of view of Theosophy, for let it be understood that the Theosophist does not attack any form of belief nor any form of philosophy what ever; he merely compares them with Theosophy. If that comparison shows a lack in their theories of explanation and a failure to give human beings a true basis to think from, by which they shall gain a realization of their own nature and the laws ruling everything in every place, it can not be said that Theosophy is at fault, but that the partial philosophy under consideration has failed to withstand the test.

People are attracted to these partial systems of thought by the healing of disease promised. What they need to look for is not the cure, but the cause of disease. The fact that no one specific method is a cure-all ought to show that there are different kinds of disease; some, the result of bad habits, lack of exercise, wrong diet, and the failure to observe the ordinary laws of hygiene; others, nervous diseases, the effect of wrong ways of thinking, of worriments of various kinds. There are also diseases which are mechanical and organic, where certain organs have become affected to such an extent that they can not respond to normal action in accord with the other organs. The organs are materially formed of the matter of the three lower kingdoms—mineral, vegetable and animal—taken from the food eaten and transmuted into the organs. Consequently, where some kind of element is discovered to be lacking, something of a material nature may be added which, in most cases, in itself will restore the organ to its natural condition. Diseases caused by wrong habits are, of course, cured by correcting the habits. Where an irritation and nervous condition has been caused by too much thinking about some ailment that may exist in the body, mental” operators have their great field of ‘success"; for when the mind is with drawn from the ailment, the body has within itself the power to restore itself to a normal condition in many, many cases. Where the mind is self-centered and concentrated, it does not permit the body to resume normal operation, but rather increases the


disease, since the power of the consciousness of the being is placed upon that. The body has its own immunizing power, if left alone. The body is a mechanical instrument which has been brought into being and is kept in action by the thinker who inhabits it. But those who put forward ideas in regard to mental healing have never concerned themselves for a single moment with determining the cause of humanity’s having such bodies, being born into such bodies at this time on the earth. They do not inquire where they themselves have come from, whither they are going, and what the purpose of life is. All these panaceas for ills fail absolutely to recognize the operation of law—the operation of cause and effect. They call for no understanding, nor do they present a basis for right thinking, right conduct, and right progress. Therefore, people who take up these lines get nowhere. If perchance, by taking their minds off the disease, the body gets better of itself, they have gained no knowledge by the experience; they are only made better able to continue along their ignorant lines; they die when the time comes no wiser than when they were born, believing this to be the only physical existence they will ever have.

To minds engaged with universal ideas, such as the Self of all creatures, the Divine Law of Justice, the evolution of all grades of beings, the great cycles of men and planets and universes—ideas of healing these temporary bodies appear very, very small. For what does healing mean? Getting rid of the effects which we ourselves have produced, consciously or unconsciously. What does a diseased body mean but that we have ignored our own natures and acted as though we were bodies, and broken every law of hygiene that we know of? If we lived according to the laws of hygiene as we know them, these diseases would not be upon us. The savage does not know anything about Christian Science; the Red Indians of the past knew nothing about mental healing of any kind, but they had remarkably healthy bodies. Was it their thought? No, for the Red Indians did much murder. It was not their thinking that made them healthy. It


was their mode of life—because they lived naturally. It is our modes of life that make us unhealthy. It is our modes of thought that make us take up these modes of life. We have not discerned what we are, and consequently we have acted in ignorance.

All these healing systems are presented for one purpose—to enable us to relieve ourselves of the responsibility of our own acts. In Occultism that is a crime. We may use natural bodily methods, but we may not try to drag the Spirit itself down to relieve us of the diseases that we have brought upon ourselves. That we can think for a moment that Spirit, the root of all being, can be dragged down to relieve us of those troubles brought upon ourselves is a blasphemy to anyone who thinks deeply, and a denial of the Real Self. The body is a machine, which represents the effects of causes set in motion, whether ignorantly or consciously. We should recognize that being a machine—an instrument formed from the matter of the earth—it can be kept in balance by restoring those elements it lacks. We should not think too much of the body, nor think of it at all, save as an instrument—our present physical automobile, so to say—which we ought to keep in running order and use as we would any machine. We have to run it according to the laws of its operation to make the body a perfect instrument; but we should keep our consciousness on the plane to which it belongs— not chained to the body.

In these mental healing processes there is a great danger. The powers of Spirit are far greater than any known power we possess—greater than dynamite, or the applications of electricity. Moving along these lines blindly as many do is liable to bring disaster, has brought insanity time and time again. We hear the “demonstration” of cures, but we do not get the demonstration of failures. They are many. Mental healing may throw the disease back into the place from which it came, back into the mind, but just so surely will it come out in some other form and also with more force than before. The spiritual nature itself will not permit us to avoid the results of causation which we ourselves have set in motion. Those abstractions which take the


mind off the body, such as “God is all Good,” “There is no imperfection,” set certain currents in motion in what is known as the Pranic or Astral body. These currents act and re-act and interact between the inner and outer body, and in the end are bound to produce injury, no matter what the present benefit may appear to be. At the best, we have only delayed the day of settlement.

The only way in which the affairs of life may be brought into their proper relation and harmony is by an understanding of our own nature, and fulfilling it. That course would make a heaven of this civilization, compared with what it is now. It would obviate nine-tenths, yes, one hundred percent, of those diseases which now afflict us, whether individual or general, sporadic or epidemic. For all diseases are caused by men, individually and collectively; even the catastrophes in nature are the result of man’s misunderstanding of his own nature, and the thinking and acting based upon it. The spiritual power that lies in man’s thinking goes much farther than the formulation of it. Whatever of error he produces finds its return from all parts of nature—from fire and air and earth and water—for all the elements are but the embodiments of so many degrees of intelligence, and we affect them against the nature of the whole, which is a synchronous evolution. We hinder the lives and they resent it. Even the forces of our bodies are composed of lives or different kinds; the very organs in our bodies are composed of different kinds of elemental lives, all having their relations to different parts of nature.

All these healing schemes, ‘isms, and religions are attempts to dodge our responsibility. Our complaints about our environments are attempts to dodge our responsibility. Our belief in this God or the other God, or this system of belief, this salvation, are attempts to dodge our responsibility. We have to accept that responsibility, and stay with it, first, last and all the time. For we are all bound up in one great tie; we can not separate ourselves from each other, nor from any other being. The high beings above us who have passed through the stages which we


are now passing through are just as closely related to us—and more so—than we are to each other; for They desire to help us in every way, if we would only allow Them. Savior after Savior has come to the earth for our benefit, but no one can give us any more benefit than to point to the truths that have been given all down the ages. We must take advantage of that knowledge and advance out of the state in which we have placed ourselves. No Savior can save us. No God can protect us. No devil can torment us. For both the God and the devil are within. The devil is the misunderstanding of our nature. The God is that place in ourselves that we come to know and realize and see reflected in the eyes of every living being. It is the God in us which demands self-advancement, self-induced and self-devised exertions, and the full acceptance of responsibility.





The word Nature used in its widest sense, as when we speak of Great Nature, or Mother Nature, means the whole of the outside—all that is external to us—the trees, the open places, and the world of men. We do not, in fact, know what that nature is, because it presents to us something external to our perceptions. We speak of “the laws of nature,” seeing that nature always acts in an orderly way, without in fact knowing at all what those laws spring from nor what they rest in. Yet nature cannot exist of itself, by itself, and come from nothing. It must come from a sufficient cause. There must of necessity be an occult side to nature. The “sufficient cause” in reality lies upon those planes which are invisible to us, but constitute a part of nature. The invisible side is the producing side—the causal side— of what we see; all the laws noted on the visible side are really existent in and proceed from the invisible side of nature.

First, then, let us try to understand what composes the basis of nature—what lies behind it all. Certainly not a Creator, by whose whim or command all beings and things in nature exist and move about in their established places. THAT in which lie all powers, all possibilities, all infinitude, is greater than any


Being, however high. IT is an impersonal Deity. Call the divine in all of us Spirit, if you will, the Self, or God—if you do not personify or limit or define it. This One Spirit is not divided, though it seems to be divided in all creatures, just as the Sun’s rays are merely the Sun extended—they do not dissipate when the Sun disappears from our view but indraw to the Source from which they came. That which lives and thinks and perceives in each of us, and that which suffers and enjoys in each of us, is Spirit. All anyone can know of the Highest—of God—is what he knows in himself, through himself, and by himself. No out side information can bring us that perception, but only the indrawing into the very essence of our being—the center, the same center as the Great Center whence it sprang.

The laws which rule in us are not imposed by any Being or beings whatsoever. In the center of every being, whatever its form, the power of action is present. Action always brings its re-action, and it is this Law—or Karma—which operates from within alike upon every individual, incessantly and unerringly. So, too, we have collective actions and reactions of all the beings of every grade that make up the world and its inhabitants. These collective actions make what we regard as the laws of the various elements and kingdoms, but they are contained in and subservient to that one universal Law of Karma, which is ethically stated as sowing and reaping.

Law rules all the time from the very first beginning in the finest radiant matter. That matter was builded by beings of all grades of every kind—beings of a world which preceded this where they had their course of evolution and from which they were indrawn again to the Center of the Self. Then came the dawning of another Great Day of manifestation, and all those beings were there with all the potencies, the ideas, and all their past experience—once more to go forth and carry on the work which they had started. It is the action and reaction by different classes of beings which causes a change and concretion in primordial substance, and this goes on from stage to stage down through seven steps of the stairway of matter. On each plane the beings


clothed themselves in the substance of that plane, and we are the beings who have come down through all those stages. There is, then, hidden within us a nature, and natures, which we have not suspected. There is something within us which is not clear to us with our present modes of perception. Yet these invisible natures are ours; they are not apart from us; we have not left them anywhere on the stairway of the seven worlds. This outside nature which we all perceive through the body and with the physical senses is only the external envelope of states and stages of consciousness hidden to the generality of man kind.

There is an occult side not only to our own nature but to the nature of all beings, as should always have been apparent to us, if we had been observant; had we thought for ourselves; had we not taken for granted what others have handed down to us as religion or revelation. For there are stages in our very daily lives which are hidden from us. While we are awake, we operate through the body; then we sleep—we do not operate through the body—and that side of our nature is hidden to most people. They may know they dream, but they think the dreaming has no relation to the lines under which they operate when awake; they do not understand that dreaming is a transitional stage which precedes the reaching into our own spiritual nature and also precedes the return into operation of the body again. Usually, the dreaming state is a repetition of the scenes or experiences of daily life, but sometimes things come to us in dream that are far, far away and apart from any experience in this body. Oftentimes, the dreams which occur upon waking bring an influx from our inmost self; they bring down with us some of the experiences of a vast past. We have premonitions. We have presentiments. We have sometimes what are called minor initiations” occurring in dreams. Never for a moment do we cease to be conscious, whether in the dreaming state, or in the full consciousness of the finer sheaths of the soul beyond dreaming, or in the stage of “dreaming” after “death”; how, then, could we ever know death?


In every direction in the air about us are lives which are invisible to us. There is no vacant space—not one vacant point of space. All is life. All is being of some kind or another. We take in with every breath small lives invisible to us. All these lives are classes of beings which have their own laws—laws which pertain to their own actions and reactions in kind. But to understand our own natures, we must understand the laws which operate upon those planes of being of which we are a part and on which none of us is separate from the others. This immense knowledge is back of us and within us and to be regained. There is always a high and a low expression. There is a full and an incomplete expression. The fullness of our expression is upon the highest plane; the incompleteness of our expression is on this lowest plane. We have touched the bottom of the stairway, plus all the experience gained; but if we are to reach that state from which we have descended, without any misstep, we have to understand the real occult laws which rule all the different stages of our being.

There are pretenders to a knowledge of these occult laws— for unfortunately no great amount of good can be given at any time without opening the doors to an equal amount of evil. Consider, for instance, the power of dynamite: it is good for man when properly used, but in the hands of an evil-minded one it can work great evil to humanity. Thus, a knowledge of occult laws makes it possible for a man to do good in any direction he chooses without raising a finger—or, also, to do evil. The means by which either the evil or the good is done is always a control of invisible beings—messengers for the man who knows how to use them and who understands them. All he has to do is to loose that power within himself which propels those beings to execute his mission, whatever it may be. Those powers, let it be known, lie sleeping in the sheaths of every man, and in the human body— for this body which we now possess is formed under the same laws as those of the solar system, and there is not an organ in it which does not correspond with some one or other of the celestial mansions, with some sheath or plane of consciousness, and with all the powers belonging to them. We have to ask ourselves if


we are ready to accept the responsibility which a knowledge of these laws implies. Could we trust ourselves to have these laws imparted to us—laws which are set into operation merely by our thinking and feeling?

To use these powers rightly, a universal attitude must be held, and all actions based upon that universal nature. The philosophy of Theosophy presents that universal attitude and basis, showing that each one is the SELF; each one looks upon all others and gathers from all others what he may of understanding and of knowledge; each one must act for that SELF and as that SELF, which includes all other selves. So acting, all ideas of selfishness, of personality, of desire for reward, of fear of punishment, leave us; defects are corrected, and the whole force of what we may call nature in its fullest sense comes into play; all the great powers of nature flow into the one moving in that direction and from that basis. We shall come to understand all laws; for, as we progress, those laws exhibit themselves spontaneously within us. We find in our possession the power to accomplish by thought, the power to do this or that at a distance, the power to speak at a distance, to be heard at a distance, to be seen at a distance, to know anything at a distance. There is nothing hidden for the one who works on and with nature; with the interests of all, he has the force of all.

The powers that were used by Jesus, as recorded in the New Testament, and those of some of the older Prophets as recorded in the Old Testament, were not “God-given” powers. They came from a knowledge of the occult laws, the hidden laws of so-called “nature.” The miracles of Jesus—transforming water into wine, raising the dead, operating where his body was not—were all part of his occult knowledge. Everyone who moves along that universal line learns the operation of these laws. H. P. B. and W. Q. J. did as wonderful things, and even more wonderful things than were ever recorded of Jesus. They knew the occult laws of nature. They knew the workings of occult law in themselves and therefore in all other natures. These powers are latent in every human being—not peculiar to some great ones. H. P. B.


and W. Q. J. knew the story of “Give up thy life, if thou wouldst live.” If we would live the life of a spiritual being, then all these sheaths of ours—this body and all—would be at our service. Possessing everything, we would want nothing. We should be able to do anything, but we would use no powers for ourselves. Just as we have to live Theosophy if we are to know the doctrine, so we have to “live the life” if we are to know its laws.

The minor laws by which phenomena are produced on this plane are a small part of occult study in its universal aspect. For in it lie every science, all the laws and all the powers of all, all the planes of existence and all the states of consciousness that ever have been. We are never alone. Always in some of our sheaths, bodily or bodiless, we are connected with other beings, other stages and states of substance and other planes of consciousness. Never can we be lost in that sense. But we may suffer, and suffer immensely, through making a mistake in regard to our own natures and acting with the power of our spiritual nature along false lines, creating, as the ancients said, “the black doves of death and sorrow.” It is for us to arouse ourselves to take the path pointed out, to test it for ourselves. Then, only, will each one know the truth about himself and about all other beings; then, only, will he gain what we all seek—the power to be a beneficent force in nature.





Now that the most frightful and destructive war known to the annals of history is over, the questions that arise in every thinker’s mind are: What has been learned from the war? Has there been any lesson learned? Do we think for a single moment that the end of the war has brought an end to our troubles? Do we not see the clouds gathering in the skies of humanity?

Revelations of every kind are spread before us as panaceas. On the part of some there is evidence of a desire to bring people to “a moral sense”—a sense which they think resides in the


Christian religion. So, they are trying to effect an amalgamation of the churches, imagining that to be the remedy for preventing wars and causing men to act more humanely towards each other. But the moral sense existed in times before the Christian religion was ever thought of, in other religions; in fact, the basis of all religions is morality. How comes it, if Christianity is to be the remedy, that after its being the basis of thought and action for nearly two thousand years, such a struggle has gone on among Christian nations? Does Christianity give any promise whatever of what ought to be? Would there be any benefit whatever in returning to Christianity, the whole history of which has been one of intolerance and persecution? If the Christian church had the power today, would it be any less dogmatic or intolerant than it was in the days of the Spanish Inquisition?

There is no hope in the direction of the church, because, in the first place, the people will have none of it. It has not satisfied their minds; it has not answered their questions. Instead of the knowledge they asked for, it has: given them only hope or fear. The church has lost its hold upon the people—for the great majority are not adherents of any Christian church—be cause of its poverty of idea, because of its dogmas and creeds. People have tried out the ideas and found them wanting. Nothing else will do but that which appeals to their sense of judgment and to their spiritual perception.

Others have placed their faith in a league of nations. Yet, they begin to see that though the ideal is beautiful, it does not prove out in practice. The members of the league have each desired to take all they could, and give as little as they could. The same spirit exists between nations now, after the settlement of peace, as existed during the conflict; the same nations are just as grasping and just as selfish as they were before the war. In this country, too, our public men still voice the particular interests of this particular nation as against all others. A league of nations could only fulfill its purpose by a common aim and by a like ideal. Such do not obtain. The nations are not alike. None of them have high ideals—not even our own nation, which


should have the greatest ideal of humanity and of nature. In stead, our ideal is one common idea—of trading, of gaining dollars or possessions, of getting advantage and prestige over other nations. Such an ideal will never give us peace, will never bring happiness, content, nor right progress, and there will always be struggle until we change that ideal. A league of nations among similar selfish nations can only bring what self-interest always brings—disasters of some kind. The seeds of war are in it.

Where shall we find the true foundation for a changed civilization that all men and women can see and stand on? It is not philosophies nor religions nor political panaceas that are needed; but Knowledge, and a wider scope of vision than the vicissitudes of one short physical life. The knowledge that is greater than all the forms of religion ever invented is the knowledge of the very nature of man himself, for himself and in him self. For we are not here as things apart; we are here because of one great sustaining Cause—infinite and omnipresent, not separate from us, nor from any other being. It is the same in all beings above the human and in all beings below the human—the very root of our natures, the very man himself. It is the Source of all powers and of all actions, whether good or evil. Then, everything that is done by beings affects all beings, and all that is has been caused by beings, each one affected according to its share in the cause. What the past has been, we are experiencing now—our lives now being but repetitions of lives that preceded them. What the future will be, we are making now—the lives to come depending entirely on the choice and direction of our thoughts and actions now.

The war of this or any time is the result of the warring spirit, of the selfishness of mankind. It is the result of the failure to understand the great purpose of life, the nature of our minds, the full power of attainment within each being, the one Law of absolute justice inherent in all beings, the One Deity behind and in all, the one Goal for every Pilgrim, however the path varies. As soon as men are brought to the perception that every one reaps exactly what he sows, no one will do harm to any other being;


there will then be no war. There will be no such misery as now exists; for to realize our own responsibility to all others and to act in accordance, is to have become unselfish, and to have done away with the prime cause of sin, sorrow and suffering.

Back of the failure to understand our own true natures lie false ideas, false conceptions of life, false ideals—the heritage of our Christian civilization. We have believed that we were born in this condition or environment by the “will” of some God. We have imagined a personal God, a personal devil, and a personal Savior. We have imagined an impossible heaven and an equally impossible hell. We have imagined a “creation,” instead of evolution. We have believed that we are poor, weak, miserable sinners, and have acted out the part. We have laid all our troubles and evils and pain upon some other imaginary Being. Thus, we have remained irresponsible creatures, mere rationalized animals; not immortal souls. We have dodged our responsibility. But we must guide ourselves according to the realities of our own nature. We must take care of each other, not of ourselves according to the personal basis on which this and every other nation in the world is proceeding today.

We are going to have a league of humanity only when the ancient truths of the Wisdom Religion are once more perceived—when there is one purpose and one teaching. Its truths are self- evident, not to be accepted because written in some book, nor because they are the dicta of some particular church. They are the only truths worth considering because in the use of them they prove themselves true. And truth, as we ought to know, always explains. When we have the explanation, we have the truth. Each has to make his own verification of the truth, but the fact remains that there is truth, and it has always existed. It has come to us from Beings higher than we, because once They turned Their faces in the right direction and pursued the course pointed out to Them as leading to spiritual, divine perfection. They know all that has been known. They know us, although we may not know Them. They know our needs, although we may be densely ignorant of them. They come again and again to present


the truths of life to man, hoping that some echo may be aroused in his soul so that he, too, shall arrive at a realization of Self, of Spirit—which is Knowledge.

Those who can see the course of humanity see nothing but much trouble yet for the world in general. Nothing but severe, dire disaster will make men stop and think. The war has not ceased! The war is going on between us all the time. Consider our selfish pursuits, our condemnations, our judgments, our criticisms, our foolish laws, which seek to make men “good” by legislation with no attempt to arouse the real nature of man, but only to repress what is considered “bad.” Prohibitions of all kinds serve only to exasperate the evil nature in men. We need not to prohibit. We need to educate, and first of all, we need to educate ourselves. Let us take the beam out of our own eyes before we try to remove the mote from the eyes of others. Let us retreat into the shrine of our own being. Let us be that Self, and act for and as that Self. Let us follow the lines of the law of our own being—compassion, love, helpfulness for all—and then we shall be able to understand ourselves and the natures of all others. Then we shall be able to help men in a way they are sometimes not aware of; we shall be able to help leaven the whole lump.

It is because there are those in the world desirous of helping humanity to proceed further, that we are not worse off. Often the ideas given out by men in high places are not the result of their own cogitations, although thought to be such. Many an idea is received by those who have the ear of the public, who speak and will be heard, from Those with a far deeper knowledge of the issues at stake, yet whose voices would not be heard at all. So, though there may seem to be little action on the part of Theosophical disciples, there is much action on inner planes of being, and that action never but for the benefit of humanity. If only once any considerable number of persons could take the true position and act from the true nature, right ideas would soon spread all over the earth. Once the ideas are implanted in our minds, we can help the world by speaking of them, and by


exemplifying them. We can do that much, however selfishly the world moves on.

A true league of humanity could be formed—without social distinctions, class distinctions, national distinctions. In their stead would come a common perception and a common realization of the universe and a common course for humanity. We must know that we are all of other peoples. We came through all the civilizations that have been. We have passed through the Eastern, the near East, and the European peoples and now we are here, at the farthest confines of the West, under the law of Karma. Civilization must roll back over the course it came, and as it goes back in spirit, speech, act, and example towards the East from which it came, the misconceptions that have arisen around religious and other ideas will be cleared away by the power of our knowledge and example.

We are here as the best representatives of the people of the world—the most intelligent, the freest in mind and opinion, the freest in action. All that means something under Law, and it means that every being coming in contact with the Ancient Wisdom has an opportunity devolved upon him. We have not met for the first time, nor have we met for the last. Once more we are together, and listening to what we do absolutely know inside. There is that in us which sees and knows when the word is spoken which gives first indication of the life within a life, of a life greater than this we have conceived life to be. Then we begin to tread that small old path that stretches far away—the Path that our great Predecessors, the Masters, have trod before us.




All have doubtless made New Year’s resolutions, and all, no doubt, have failed to keep them. There must be a reason for our failures, as well as for the fact that there comes a certain season in the year when we have the inclination to make resolutions. These reasons lie hidden in the depths of our own being. Unconsciously to ourselves,, it may be, we have a natural per-


ception of occult law in our observance of this particular period of the year. The ancients celebrated and understood what was called by them “the birth of the Sun,” or the return of the Sun on its northern course, beginning the 21st of December. They knew that all the occult forces in nature have an upward and increasing tendency at the return of the Sun. When the Sun’s rays become warmer and stronger, all the other forces behind the Sun itself, and behind ourselves, become stronger within us. In the rising wave of spiritual and psychic renewal, all that we desire to do has a greater impulsion than at some other time of the year.

The reason for our failures is that we do not understand our own natures. Consequently, we are not able to use the force and influence that lie within us, so far as we are physically concerned, and we have difficulty in endeavoring to carry out resolutions of any kind. Our first mistake is to make negative resolutions. We say, I will not drink; I will not lie; I will not do this; I will not do that. Whereas the proper resolve to make is that—I will do this, the opposite of what we are now doing. In this case, we make a direct affirmation of will, while the other form of resolution puts us in a purely negative position. Perhaps we have thought with regard to others or ourselves, that because we do not do a number of questionable things, therefore we are “good.” On the contrary, we are merely not bad—again a negative position. True goodness is a positive position.

To effect our resolutions we have to call on the will of man, for that will is not restrained by any form of obstacle what ever. By will, however, is not meant what is ordinarily called will. We are prone to think that a person who is very determined on gaining his ends has “a strong will,” and is very positive in his character; but such a person exhibits only a kind of will. He has very, very strong desires, rather than Will itself, and will follow them out.

There are many exhibitions of the will itself, some phases being quite unrecognized. The very will to live is a recondite aspect of Will. If the will to live were not present, we would


not live. It is not the body which holds us here but the desire to live. Always behind Will stands Desire. Again, everyone of man’s bodily organs and processes was at one time evolved by conscious effort. Even the process of digestion, of assimilation, the heart beat, the various qualities and functions of all the organs were consciously evolved. Now we have bodies which will proceed automatically, while we use our consciousness, perceptions and attention in other directions. Our will, then, operates in reality in every part of our physical life though we may not be able to perceive it and understand it. There is also a mental phase of the will which can be cultivated by practice: the fixed attention, or concentration in certain directions capable of effecting desired results.

But the real and true Will is known as the Spiritual Will, which flies like light and cuts all obstacles like a sharp sword. It is that Will proceeding from the highest spiritual part of our natures which causes man to be an evolution from within out wards, through all the forms of substance that have been, and to continue evolving instruments in this state of matter. All the powers that exist or can exist are latent, however ill expressed, in the spiritual nature. We draw from it in degree, but in small degree because most of us, having our ideas so fixed on physical existence, have come to the conclusion that life means nothing more than physical existence.

We were once conscious of our spiritual nature, but as we came down through the planes of matter to this plane, we made a growth in intellectuality at the expense of spiritual perception. With our intellect we always reason from premises to conclusions, whereas the spiritual nature has the power of direct cognition of the nature of anything regarded. So our intellectual gain was at the loss of spiritual insight, and it is useless for theology, science, and psychology to proceed from the personal and physical perceptions in order to get an understanding of what man really is: their psychological causes are but reflections of the physical ideas. If we are going to realize our own natures, we must begin at the highest point of our nature—by assuming that.


It is, and by holding to the power of that assumption. We begin to see light by the very affirmation of the spiritual nature.

As we stand, we are always using our will along the line of our desires and of our likes and dislikes, imagining these to be a proper basis for thought and action. What is most necessary for us is a proper basis for thinking. We need to eject the false idea of our being weak, sinful creatures, with all the faults of our parents and their parents before them, because we were born that way. We need to eject the mental idol of an outside creator. We need to understand the purpose of life, to see that we are the product of many of our own prior lives, and to recognize an evolution under law—a law both true and merciful—which operates everywhere. It is because that law operates in a round of impression that we have the tendency each year to make New Year’s resolutions. We could by an understanding and using of this law of recurrence bring into effect those resolutions.

Often, however, resolutions are made because it is ‘proper” to make them—with no real expectation of keeping them. We remember them for a few days—they choke us off for a little while—and then gradually the old desires assert themselves and we find ourselves traveling along the old way. Resolutions will never do us any good if we do not sustain them. A desire is not a condition. The mere desire will never get us anywhere. We have to maintain the desire; we have to stick to the resolution; we have to exert our will, and cleave to the object of that will throughout. We can’t get rid of the evil in us by thinking of it, nor can we get rid of any unpleasant thing by thinking about it; for it is truly said that we are attached to anything by thinking about it. The harder we don’t think about the evil things in us, the better; think about their opposites, and the evil will not have the chance to return. Attachment is by thought, first of all. Desire exists in thought, first of all. Then follows the action. We have to have a firm basis for our thinking if we are ever going to express ourselves as we should, as spiritual beings. Why do we all have our pet theories of life, our pet religions or philosophies? Because they conform to our own desires; not


because they conform to truth or that they provide an explanation of all the mysteries we see about us. This is why after so many thousands of years of what we call civilization, we have become none the wiser, still moving in the same old tread-mill of life and death and sorrow and suffering and pain. Yet we are not bound to it, save as we bind ourselves by our own thoughts and action. We are not under the necessity of following along on those planes of error as we are now doing.

There is a chance for us if we understand our own natures. Then, let us resolve one great thing: resolve to know; resolve to think right, and do right; resolve to acquire some of the knowledge that always has existed—the knowledge of man as a spiritual being through all his fluctuations in the realm of matter. As we rely more and more upon the Self within, we begin to express and use the power which we already have—and that is far more than we imagine. We have to help ourselves by taking the suggestions already given in the teachings of Theosophy—which are Masters’ suggestions. And then, as the sustaining power of the will is held along the line in which we desire to do, more direct help comes from those Elder Brothers, who at every hour of each day “are willing and anxious to meet those clear-eyed enough to see their true destiny and noble-hearted enough to work for ‘the great orphan, Humanity’.”




Occult Knowledge means knowledge which is “hidden,” but it also means knowledge which is known. If it is knowledge that is known, there must be Those who know it; there could be no knowledge without the knowers of it. True occult knowledge can be obtained only by those who follow the path to it. That path was set down by Those Who Know; all who will may and can arrive at that knowledge. This is not a path open only to certain persons; it is open to every living human being, and limited only by the limitations we ourselves place around it through choice or through ignorance.


Much is heard in the world today of what passes for “occult knowledge.” Much experiment goes on under that name in various directions: we have societies for psychical and psychological research, and there is much talk of psychic and astral “experiences” and “communications” with the dead. All these various methods of research are from below, upwards, and will never find the goal. Scientific methods, psychological methods, the methods of the Spiritualists, alike proceed from particulars to universals. Particulars are infinite, and those who follow that path will inevitably get lost in its infinite ramifications, with no real knowledge gained. The goal is to be found from above, below—from universals to particulars, and not the reverse.

The Path of real occult knowledge begins where all begin. It is the Path of all beings, and we need to see the reason why it is an open path for all. We find ourselves in the midst of a vast evolution, with beings of many grades still below us—lower in point of consciousness and intelligence than ourselves—as also we ought to see there must be beings above us far greater than we are. All these beings have sprung from a common Source; all differ seemingly, yet there exists, supreme in all, the same power to perceive, to know, to learn.

We have to understand the reason for the differences in beings and for our own limitations. Let us, then, seek out the beginnings of things—for everything that exists had a beginning, and, of course, everything that had a beginning will have an ending. If our beginning was with this life only, the end of this life would be our complete extinction; then we would have no concern with anything else. But there is knowledge that extends prior to this birth and beyond this life, and in that hidden knowledge we may get the clue to an understanding of not only our own natures, but the nature of all beings everywhere.

Our first firm basis is in the perception that all knowledge must lie in and be sustained by the common Source of which we are a part and an expression. That common Basis could not be any supreme Being, for “Being” means finiteness and limitation, and outside of it must still be that which is not contained.


We have to go far back of all beings and creations and creatures to that Cause which lies behind all life, all consciousness, all spirit, all being. That is not different in any being. IT is the same in all, so must be the essential Divinity in all beings of every grade. There is one Absolute Principle which is the origin, the sustainer, the container, of all that ever was, is, or shall be. We call it a PRINCIPLE, because to name IT is to define IT, to limit IT, to belittle IT. To endeavor to give IT attributes of any kind is a limitation, and we must go back of all limitations if we are to understand the Omnipresent and Immortal in us and in all things.

Our search for knowledge is almost universally a looking for something outside. We are looking for information, for instruction, in the thoughts of other men, in the ideas of other peoples, which, in this school of Occult Knowledge, is not knowledge at all. The only knowledge we can have is that which we gain for ourselves, and within ourselves, as actual experience. External facts and information can never give us any understanding whatever of the higher, more divine parts of our nature.

There is no understanding, no explanation, of the mysteries of our own existence, on the basis of a single life. We have to go beyond that, back of that, to realize what evolution means. Evolution means an unfolding from within outwards. That is the way all beings grow—physically, intellectually, spiritually. The beings below us are unfolding; they are embryonic souls not yet arrived at the human stage of self-consciousness and self-realization, but they are on their way to where we already are. The same thing is true of all the beings above us. They have already passed through stages similar to ours. The inner part— the Enduring in every being—is illimitable, infinite, in its power of unfolding and expression, because it is the Immortal.

But, one may say, there was a beginning to this life. So, too, there was a beginning to this day, to this experience, to this collection of experiences, to this body. Yes; but in each and every case this beginning and those beginnings were the repetitions of other beginnings and endings—of what? Of experiences, of instruments, of perceptions; not of the Perceiver, the real being.


This brings us to the perception of Law; the Law of Periodicity, of Cycles, which is illustrated in every department of nature. Our being here under evolution ought to show any intelligent person that no one has reached his present stage save through previous stages. That which pushes “us” on, that which is the basis of all the powers we show or express, is the Spirit in us, our real Self. The Spirit of man has all the powers that any Spirit has. That Spirit is universal, not limited to any one being or class of beings. In man it is individualized and is the true Ego in each of us. As such Ego we have the direction of that inflow of universal force which we call the Spirit, and we direct that power in various ways, some of which we call good, and others we recognize as evil; for it must be understood that neither good nor evil exist of themselves, but only as the results of action.

We have imagined that good and evil have come to us from others, but as directors of the forces of Spirit, as Egos, we can see there is nothing brought to us nor upon us except as we cause that operation ourselves. ‘We have often heard it said, “Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap,” and we have perhaps believed it. But have we ever applied it in another way, that whatever we are reaping we must have sown?

The Law of Periodicity, of Cycles, being universal, must apply in every particular to every particular being. That is justice. If Law is not universal then this is not a universe of law, but of chance. If it is a universe of law, then our very conditions, our possessions, our intelligence, our beliefs, everything that comes to us, comes as the result of our thought and action. As we are reaping at any time, so we must have sown at some time. As we are sowing at any time, so we must reap at some time. Our birth, our circumstances, are reapings. Our attitude towards them, our use of them, are sowings. We are born into any body, any conditions, as the result of our past sowing—our past lives. This is justice, and it alone explains the differences between people.

We are responsible beings, and the feeling of responsibility is the first step towards selflessness. The thought that Law is im-


posed upon us by any being or beings, is destroyed by the recognition that Law is inherent in ourselves: as each one acts—that is, affects others—so is the re-action upon himself.

The differences between people, and the contradictions in ourselves, are in the fundamental ideas held; for as a man thinks, so he acts. If he thinks this is the first time he has been on earth, that it is the only time; if he believes that some being brought him here, governs him while here, is going to take care of him when he dies—if he has those ideas, he will act in accordance with them, and will receive the inevitable reaction.

But if we see that the Spirit is behind everything, that all Law is the action of Spirit, that we are Spirit, we shall have a true perception of our own natures. We will begin to think in ages, instead of the days of one short life; the basis of our actions will be those Eternal verities that have been proven again and again by Supermen—those Beings above us who once passed through our stage, and who are now the Knowers of the Eternal. They hold this knowledge, and that which has been given out by Them as Theosophy is a statement of a portion of Their knowledge. It is as much as we can assimilate, or understand, or use.

So, being Spirit, and acting under the Law of our own Being, we grow to realize what the whole Universe means: that the Universe exists for no other purpose than the evolution of Soul—the embryonic souls below us, the partially developed souls here among us, and the perfectly developed souls above us—all climbing the great stair of development, of Self-evolution. No one can force us up the stair. We may go on and on, remaining on the same level for myriads of lives; we may go lower; but if we are ever to make the ascent from Man to Superman, from Soul to Great Soul, we ourselves must fulfill the conditions that will enable us to do so.

Along these lines lies Occult Knowledge. There is such a knowledge, and it is far beyond what we call reason; for reason is merely working from premises to conclusions, whereas real knowledge is direct cognition. We do not reason about the things


we know. We do not have to reason about all the knowledge we have attained in the past; when we are on the plane of Knowledge, we know without any reasoning whatever. This goes far deeper than most people imagine. It is possible for the human being to reach that stage where by looking at anything he can tell the whole nature of it—from its origin, all the processes through which it has passed, all the incidental relations it may have had. This is direct cognition—Occult Knowledge. It is to be gained by the recognition and conscious use of the powers of the Inner Self. It cannot be gained by reasoning, nor by the inferences reached from looking at things from outside and judging from what we are able to perceive; it is gained by what we call the Intuition—the acquired knowledge of all the past. Occult Knowledge enables one absolutely to determine what is the nature and essence of anything regarded.

True and full Intuition can come to us as a steady light only through our doing away with the false ideas that we now hold and employ. What is required is a correction of our basis of thinking. Theosophy gives us the true basis for right thinking, and so for right action. The consistent and persistent effort to think and act from the right basis draws out a certain power in ourselves, and that power manifests, first of all, as the power of concentration—the ability to hold our mind upon a single subject or object to the exclusion absolute of every other thing.

How many of us have that power? I venture to say, not one. We have no stability of mind, and we must get that. But the power of concentration cannot be used if we imagine ourselves to be changeable, perishable beings. We think that in order to “develop,” we must change. It is not true. We need to change our fundamental ideas, our minds, our modes of thought, our instruments. That is where the development comes. If we are ever going to learn to concentrate, we must concentrate from the basis of the steady point in us, the Perceiver, the Spirit, our real unchanging Immortal Self. We cannot come to or connect with that Power in ourselves unless we realize that all life is One, that all beings like ourselves are moving on the same path. In that


way we realize Universal Brotherhood in a spiritual sense: Altruism should actuate us in every thought, word and deed.

If we consider these things we shall see how far away we may be from making a beginning in the direction of Occult Knowledge. A beginning has to be made, and the sooner we start the better. It calls for the arousal of the Spiritual Will. Will is not a thing in itself, a power in itself. The will is consciousness in action, as distinguished from consciousness inactive. As soon as we think or desire in any direction the ‘will” works. That will is weak or strong according to our idea of ourselves, our thoughts, our desires, our aspirations, our considerations of our weaknesses, our limitations. If we realize that we are Spiritual beings and think and act in the right direction, at once the Spiritual Will begins to work, the power of Concentration is strengthened, the feeling of responsibility grows, the whole nature begins to change, to be transformed—the Great Transition is going on.

These are the Eternal Verities that we ought to grasp. We ought to grasp them first and apply them in ourselves and to ourselves, and then we will find that these ideas are true, because their truth is realized—has become as evident to us as the sun in heaven.





The power of suggestion means many different things to many minds. It is coupled with the idea of hypnosis, where the operator is able to make the subject think, say, do, or imagine anything he chooses. That is possible through the abnormal condition of the subject. The means and methods of inducing this abnormal condition are not generally known, although some practitioners have hit upon various ways of bringing on hypnosis in some subjects.

But what is to be discussed is the fact of suggestion itself, generally considered, and as it affects all men. People are not aware that they act almost entirely under suggestion. From our birth we are surrounded by those who suggest certain ideas to


us as true, and we follow these suggested ideas. There is very little original thought anywhere, and particularly is this true in those lines to which the public pays the most attention—that is, politics, religion, science. Whatever system of thought is presented to us, that we adopt. We follow the suggestion given, with no attempt to reach to the basis of that which is suggested. The foundation upon which the suggestion rests is taken for granted, even in the most important things in life.

Our religion, for example, is stated to be a ‘revelation.” We accepted it in childhood, accepted it as a fact, without looking into it to see what it is and on what it is founded. Our powers of thought and action being based upon a false suggestion does not inhibit their exercise, but as a result all our possibilities of thought and action, all our mental creations, the whole super structure of our existence, are false, because, thinking from false premises, our thinking will inevitably lead to false conclusions.

This is just as truly the fact as in the case of the hypnotized subject. He is thrown into an abnormal condition; he has nothing before his mind; the operator presents a given idea and with it the suggestion of a certain mode of action. Immediately the subject adopts the suggestion, goes to work on it, and will continue working along the suggested line cumulatively until the suggestion is changed.

Those who are born into any particular sect ought to know this. With our first sense of understanding, ideas are presented to us, instilled into our minds as absolute facts. We proceed from that basis, and however long it is followed, no true understanding or conclusion can be reached. What do we know of the truth or falsity of these ideas when presented to us in childhood? Nothing whatever. What do our parents and teachers know of them? Nothing whatever. They have merely passed on to us the suggestions which they received in childhood and which have operated in them cumulatively ever since.

We must learn not to accept statements, no matter by whom made, simply because they are made to us. We must get at the basis of whatever is presented, know what its principles are—


whether those principles are self-evident. If they are not self- evident, how can they be basic?

The idea is common to everybody in the Western world that there is a Creator of this universe. What do we know about it? If it is true that a being created the universe and all the beings in it, then we are not responsible. In continuance of that idea other ideas follow it: that man is here but once, that this is his only birth, and that from here he knows not where he goes. We have followed the suggestion that a man lives but one life, that he is fundamentally irresponsible for his being here, and we have built up our thoughts and actions on that basis. Does it make us wiser, happier, while we live? Does it produce peace and happiness for others? Does it bring us to the end of life any wiser, any better off? For we know that when we come to the end of life we leave every earthly thing we have gained while here.

But this earth is only one of many earths. What of the other planets, the other solar systems with which space is filled? Have we any vital knowledge in regard to them or the reason for their existence under the suggestions that have been handed to us?

When our religious impressions are changed, when other suggestions are given us, are they not handed to us in the same way? Whatever they are— Science,” “New Thought,” “Christian Science,” and so on—we adopt them, move along the lines suggested by those who give them to us, and what do we really learn? Nothing. We come to the end of life just as encased in ignorance, despite all the “revelations” ever given us. What do we know of their bases? Are they true or only partially so? We are never asked to look into their fundamentals, to see for ourselves if they are true, self-evident. No; we are asked to accept what is given us and go to work on that. That is suggestion.

Our municipal life, our national life, our political life, are all under suggestion, and few are they who try to go to the root of things and understand what the nature of being is, so that they can know for themselves and thus act with power and knowledge. As we look the field over, we find that we are all prey to the power of suggestion in every direction.


What is the criterion which we should apply to every suggestion presented to us? Just this: If we have the truth, it will explain what was before a mystery. And as we are surrounded by mysteries, the Truth must explain them all.

This power of suggestion must still be used, whatever line may be pointed out to us. If Truth exists and is possible to us—the Truth in religion, science and philosophy—it must first come to us by suggestion from Those who know. If it were not possible for this to be done, were not possible for us to avail ourselves of it, then there would be no use talking of these things. But when the true is suggested to us, there is always a means presented by which we may see and verify it. That means is not in anyone’s authority or endorsement, but in the fact that we can perceive it and test it for ourselves. The final authority is the man himself.

An outside God is an idol. We have to reach into the very recesses of our own being and understand that it is ourself that chooses and determines for itself what it shall accept and what reject. The very power of Divinity—the power of choice—is in each one of us. When we begin to understand that, we get the first clue to our own immortality. So we may see that That which lives and thinks in man is the Eternal Pilgrim. If you prefer to use the term God, you may say, “So many men on earth, so many Gods in heaven.”

There are many beings below man; perhaps some will admit that there may be, that there are, beings greater than man. None of these beings can be omnipresent, none of them can be the Supreme. What is that which is omnipresent and supreme in each and every being—in man, in the beings below man, in the beings above man? is it not this Power to perceive, to think, to choose, to act upon the thinking and the choosing—upon the Intelligence which the being has? That Power transcends all beings, all conceptions. It is that Power which lies at the root of all evolution, and is the very Essence of every being. No one is separate from That. No one is without That. All are rays from


and one with That. There is no possibility of any existence apart from That.

Man stands in the midst of a vast and silent evolution—the evolution of Intelligence, of Soul. All the beings below man must be coming up the ladder of being to our stage, and whatever beings may exist beyond man, they must have passed through our stage and gone still farther up the ladder. They are our Elder Brothers and have passed through civilizations before ours—many, many ages before ours—and have reached a point of development far higher than ours. It is They who have carried forward all the knowledge gained in that vast evolution which has preceded ours.

These Elder Brothers of the human family are not spirits in the ordinary sense of the word, nor are they hazy beings, ‘ or ‘ They are men, Mahatmas (Great Souls), who are perfected beings physically, mentally, morally, psychically, spiritually—who stand now where we shall one day stand, when we have perfected ourselves in the same way that They have done, through self-induced and self-devised exertions.

These Masters stand to us in Their knowledge and power, in Their ability and efforts to help and guide us, as the greatest and most powerful suggestion that could be made to any human being. They are willing and ready to help whenever and where ever we are willing and ready to receive. They never ask for anything; They are always ready to give to those who may be willing to follow the lines indicated, so that we in our turn may become as They are—may know for ourselves.

If we take Their philosophy as given to us in Theosophy, if we take it as a theory to be examined on its merits, we shall find that it explains. It explains why there are so many different kinds of people; it explains different natures; it explains why some suffer more and others suffer less. It explains why each one is born in a particular place, in that family, in that nation, at that time. It explains every inequality in life, every injustice, every mystery. It will enable a man to realize his own immortality, to live a conscious existence in Spirit, even while incarnated


in a body here on this earth. At present we live in matter; we think that we exist in matter and are dependent on matter for our existence. We think in matter. Our religion is materialistic; our science is materialistic; our philosophy is materialistic. All this is due to the misuse of the power of suggestion and to our acceptance of ideas without investigation, without comparison, upon authority. We believe; we do not know.

There is no Divinity, save it has evolved as such from the One Spirit. Every Divine being is an evolution. Where ever divinity is spoken of it means an evolution of a being. All intelligence is based in the Power to perceive, and that exists in every grade of being. Intelligence is the extension of the power to know. This idea sets aside a great many suggestions that we have perhaps depended upon. It would be well for us if we did not depend upon anything save our own inherent power to learn, to extricate ourselves from our difficulties. All our powers are born with us; all our past experiences are with us, but they are crowded out by the suggestions given to us when we were children, and by the false ideas which we still entertain. Nothing but the Truth can ever set us free, and that Truth each one can find and follow, and thus come to know for himself.





Since the Theosophical Movement took outward expression in 1875, the term clairvoyance (clear seeing) has become familiar to many people. In the latter part of last century and in the early part of this century, many kinds of clairvoyance have been observed and experienced. Clairvoyance itself had its own peculiar development and facility, the different kinds of clairvoyance relating to varying degrees of perception of matter where there was no physical thing to be seen, and to events transpiring at a great distance from where the seer was located. Unfortunately, all of these kinds of clairvoyance were limited in their scope; they were but partial clairvoyance.

Societies of psychology and of psychical research have under taken the task of finding out what the power of clairvoyance


may or may not be, from the basis of brain, or mere physical existence. They seek the necessary causes in effects which themselves have been set in motion by causes which are hidden. Consequently, their researches are limited. Yet, clairvoyance itself, however followed, points to the fact that there is latent in man the power to see, hear, feel, contact, at any distance whatever; and the power is not limited to any special person, or persons, but is common to all humanity.

There is a true clairvoyance. There is a true school of occultism. There are many false clairvoyants. There are many false schools of occultism. All the false schools go in some particular direction that is attractive to the ordinary human mind—the mind that desires to obtain something for itself, as it believes itself to be. So with the different kinds of clairvoyance—if the desire on the part of one endeavoring to find the power in himself is to obtain something for himself, the clairvoyance obtained will never lead him in any true direction. Nothing can give a true understanding of clairvoyance, nor bring to our minds what true clairvoyance may be, but a study of the nature of man, of the nature of the world in which he lives, and the nature of the solar system in which that world exists.

The clue to true clairvoyance lies in the septenary nature of man. There are seven distinct planes of consciousness; there are seven distinct states of matter, of which the physical is one. These seven distinct planes of action are the different departments of man’s nature, but it is the same One who acts in all the different departments. Clairvoyance, then, in any true sense, we should understand to be clear seeing in each and every one of these seven departments of the nature of man. All other partial clairvoyance can bring us no great results, and, certainly, no great knowledge.

Many are those who have ‘sat for development,” have endeavored to obtain the state that is termed “the astral plane,” in order to be able to see and hear at a distance. But the greatest danger imaginable lies in that direction. The mere seeing or hearing things does not give any understanding of their nature,


and many things to which we may be attracted on the astral plane are dangerous and poisonous in their nature. The efforts made to reach that plane are always by means of passivity, and, when we allow ourselves to become passive, any influence what ever outside of the normal physical perceptions may reach us. We are just as much the prey of evil effects as we are open to good effects, but we are not choosers in either direction. What ever may be in our nature attracts the good, or evil, or mixed, accordingly; but the mere seeing or hearing would of itself give us no knowledge, nor carry us one step on the way of progress. For illustration, say we were transported to the planet Mars, saw the operation of the beings there and heard the sounds made in their speech. If they were a different kind of beings from ourselves we would have no understanding at all of what they were doing. True knowledge and true understanding are gained by a comprehension of laws and principles, and in no other way. Just as there is a law which from the very beginning of our being prompted us to advance step by step in development, so there is a law which admits us step by step up the stairs of knowledge. Not one of those steps may be omitted. To attempt to get to the top by springing from the bottom is not possible, for each step depends upon every other—the highest resting upon all the rest, the lowest preceding the highest.

The septenary nature of man is best explained by reference to the three great principles which underlie all life, as well as every religion and every philosophy that ever has been, or ever can be. They may be indicated by the brief terms God, Law, and Being. As to God, the ancients have recorded that there is One Absolute Principle—Unspeakable, Untranslatable, Undefinable, Infinite, Omnipresent—the Cause, the Sustainer of all that was, is, or ever shall be. Deity, the Omnipresent, can be absent from no point of space, and we are inseparable from It. Each one is of That—a ray from and one with that Absolute Principle. The power in us to perceive, to know, to experience—apart from any thing that is seen, known, or experienced—is the One Self, the One Life, and the One Consciousness, shared by all alike—the


Source of every being, the Life of every being, the Power of every being. Behind all perceiving and knowing and experiencing is the One undivided Self. Herein lies the true basis of Brotherhood—the unifying bond for all above man and for all below man—and the real growth into divine life is the increasing realization of the fullness of that Life in each. Acting for and as that Self in every direction, realizing that the Self acts in all and through all, and endeavoring to realize more and more that each one is that Self, the fullness of one’s own nature and of other natures comes to be seen, appreciated, understood, and helped.

The second great principle—Law—shows that the universe is a boundless plane, in which occur periodical manifestations. This earth had a beginning; this solar system had a beginning. So, too, they will have an ending, since everything that begins in time ends in time. All earths, solar systems, and beings of every grade, have reached their present stage through evolution—that evolution under exact law, inherent in the nature of the beings concerned. All evolution proceeds from beings. It is the force of the beings in action which causes individual and collective results. The law of laws is Karma—the law of action and re-action, of cause and effect, which are the aspects of action, and which can not be separated. All progress goes on under this law in the natural sequence of periods of activity and periods of rest. As after night comes morning again; as after spring, summer, autumn, winter comes spring again; so after birth, youth, manhood, death comes birth again. The process of reincarnation, or coming into a body again, is just as natural as coming into another day which is not yet. This life is; last life was; next life will be. So, as planets or solar systems have their ending, will they and the beings who composed them, have their re-incarnation—a new beginning.

The third fundamental principle points to the fact that all beings in the universe have evolved from lower points of perception into greater and greater individualization; that the beings above man have gone through our stage; that there never can never be a stoppage of evolution in an infinite universe of infinite possibilities; that whatever stage of perfection may be reached in


any race, on any planet, or in any solar system there are always greater opportunities beyond.

When this solar system began, then, it was merely a continuation of that which had been. In another aggregation, on another planet, beings of every grade, corresponding to our mineral, animal, man, and superman, were working together. That great day of operation ceased; that world stopped so far as any further action was concerned, just as we stop when we cease waking consciousness and go into sleep. Then the dawn of the next day comes. There is an arousal and operation again. All the beings that had hitherto expressed themselves, that had been indrawn into the primordial state of matter, go forth again on a new basis to further development.

We were self-conscious beings when this world began, clothed in that primordial state of matter from which all subsequent states have proceeded, and in which the possibilities of change are infinite. Just as our planet, beginning in a nebulous state, tends to a concretion, gradually cooling, hardening, and condensing, so every living human being has made himself concretions of substance, until he has reached this most dense plane, and final concretion in the present physical body. Those stairs down which he has descended are seven in number. That this solar system, this earth and man are septenary in nature is the teaching. Observe the seven notes of the scale, and the seven colors of the spectrum. These colors do not ‘happen,” by chance; they are evolutions, differentiations of the one substance. Both sound and color are different rates of vibration caught by the instruments of the ear, the eye, or both. Some think that while we have now only five senses, we are gradually acquiring another sense. What we really have are five organs that give five distinct characteristics of matter. What we shall next arrive at is an understanding of the sixth characteristic of matter, and beyond that is the seventh synthetic sense, which covers all and belongs to the higher planes of being.

If we are that being who is the perceiver, the knower, the spirit, Life, Consciousness itself—what would be true clairvoy-


ance? Could that by any possibility be called true clairvoyance which would be embraced in the mere looking through fleshly eyes upon a state of matter only a little removed from this of the earth? There are true clairvoyants who not only know what is apparent to everybody, but who see everything that is in a human being, or in any being. In their sight, one can not make a motion of any kind—such a simple motion as moving from one chair to another—without setting every one of his seven senses into action and exhibiting along the line of those seven senses every single qualification and motive he may ever have held. It is within the power of some to know the very hearts of men, to know the very motives that actuate them. In true clairvoyance, the real being is absolutely and unconditionally awake. He is using every one of the instruments with precision and in exact line with one another. He has clear seeing. He reaches down into the motives of man, because he sees everything. How can he see? Every center in man—that is, every organ—has been evolved under the operation of the laws that govern the solar system. These laws may be known. Every center has its own distinctive color and its own distinctive sound; it also presents a distinctive symbol and form. If, then, one knew the laws of sounds, colors, symbols and form, he could tell, just as exactly as we tell the simplest thing, what caused the nature of any motion and the motive that underlay it. From him, deception could not be hid; evil could not be hid; motives could not be hid. Such an acquisition, without any possibility of failure, would be divine—the true clairvoyance.

True clairvoyance is not gained by “sitting for development.” One might sit for development ten million years, and in the end be only capable of sitting. The true power is gained by trying to realize our own divine nature, and to act as divinity acts; by trying to get all the possessions possible, that we may place them at the service of our fellow-men. The power is gained by self sacrificing service, and in no other way. The divine in us has its fullest expression in self-sacrifice. As man moves along, realizing more and more his own nature, working more and more for the


natures of every other, he finds spiritual knowledge springing up spontaneously within him. He seeks nothing for himself. He seeks all power and all knowledge only that he may help others less endowed. Jesus said: “Let him who would be the greatest among you serve the least.” And so it has always been in this great work, that those who were the greatest among us served the least, were the humble ones, who sought no preference, no recognition.

Altruism, self-sacrifice, devotion to the highest interests of humanity—these constitute the one password to true clairvoyance. If it could be had in any other way, would not a great many things that have happened, a great many disasters that have befallen different peoples, been avoided? If such knowledge could be bought, would not institutions be despoiled, people robbed, the stock-market exploited, and all sorts of self-advantages gained? But true knowledge is never used for self-advantage; not even for defence. When Jesus was on the cross, they said: “Let Him save Himself; let Him come down from the cross. He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” ‘Was He powerless to come down? Not at all. They had wreaked their natures upon Him, and He suffered it. He could have destroyed them all, if He chose, but He said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Nor would those who were able to read the inner most thoughts of a person be “peering about,” be endeavoring to discover what others desired to hide. Never would they look where the demand had not been made upon them. They would take each person at his own valuation. If such an one deceived—whatever the deception—they would meet him on his own ground, striving all the time to give him a higher point of view.

There are beings who come into the world from time to time, with no marks of distinction that we, as human beings, can recognize, yet the possessors of a knowledge which we ardently desire to possess. They are never recognized, save by the very few while they are among us; but when they go, that which they have given tells us what they were. By the very character of the teachings of Jesus we recognize the nature of the being who brought them. So the teachings of Theosophy—a knowledge which is absolutely


scientific, covering every department of nature, explaining all that now are mysteries—declare the nature of those beings who brought Theosophy, our Elder Brothers. And They, who have raised themselves out of our ranks, do not leave us in trouble, in darkness, in ignorance. Their desire is that we shall see, under stand, know ourselves; that, quickly setting right the ideas which we hold of life, and letting right actions flow from right ideas, we may act as divine beings. However blind, however ignorant, we are not left alone, but are helped just so far as we desire and merit help, and just so far as we, with what we learn, help others who know still less than we. Unselfishness, and that alone, brings us all the gifts there are. As Jesus said: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all the rest will be added unto you.”




True morality is not a thing of words or phrases or modes of action of any kind, nor is its basis to be found in the many kinds of ideas of morality in the world, which vary as to time and place. What is “moral” at one time is “immoral” at another. There is no basis whatever in this changing attitude towards actions, changing classifications of good and evil, in a changing “division of the universe.” Intolerance is their sure resultant; for those who pride themselves upon their own special brands of “morality” are always intolerant of others who do not accept that brand. True morality rests in an understanding and in a realization of man’s own spiritual nature, and must of necessity flow from it, irrespective of all kinds of conventions. We need to know our own inner natures in order to know what is, in truth, morality.

The conventions of external life are established merely by a consensus of opinion of the beings living at any one time and in any one place. They are not necessarily based on truth, and certainly not on a perception of the whole of truth. As we may see, the best interests of all are not served by the ideas that are generally held. The world is in a tremendously evil and selfish


state. With all our prevailing ideas of progress, of morality and of religion, it is not anywhere nearly so happy a place as it was perhaps a century or two ago; it is not nearly so good a place for human beings to live in as it was in the more innocent and less complex civilizations of the older nations. There is evidently some thing wrong with the ideas that we hold, if we find it impossible to deny the fact that instead of the world getting better and in stead of life becoming more simple, the world is growing worse and life is becoming more and more complex. We should not find ourselves in the present condition if our ideas, religious and moral, flowed from the underlying basic ideas of all religions, philosophies, and systems of thought.

The basis of understanding of life accepted by the majority of Western peoples has been a revealed religion, and a personal God who revealed that religion. From this basis have sprung all our wrong conceptions. Hence the great stress laid on physical existence. In fact, one might say that the generality of human thinking is centered entirely on physical existence. The question has not even been asked, “How is it that I am born at this time, under such conditions, in this people, and not at some previous or future time, when the world might be better?” The question has not been asked, “Why are we here at all?” Nor have we asked, “What is the pre-existing cause that brought us into this relation? Was it at the whim or caprice of a special Being, or was it under the operation of an indwelling, inherent law within ourselves?” If we are here with our present qualities, surrounded with difficulties, not because of anything we ourselves have done, but because of the whim or caprice of some Being, then we must regard ourselves as absolutely irresponsible for anything what ever. If we were so created, there is nothing that can undo that creation and we must suffer the consequences, the causes for which we did not set in motion!

The true ideas of the ancient philosophy relieve us of two misconceptions: one, the idea that there is a revengeful God who punishes us for those things that we are unable to prevent ourselves from doing; and second, the idea of a Devil to whom


we are consigned if we do not follow the lines that some people have laid down for us. A knowledge of Theosophy enables us to understand that there never was any “creation,” in the sense of making something out of nothing; but that everything—every being of every kind—has evolved, and is still evolving. The beings below us are evolving to our estate, where the beings, now evolved so far beyond us, some time in the distant past went through a similar stage. All beings are what they are through evolution from within outwards, that evolution proceeding under Law.

Law is operative everywhere and upon every being, because the Law is not something separate from him; it is not separate from the inner spiritual man. Law is the law of man’s own action. So, as we act along those lines that affect others for good or for evil, we necessarily receive the return from those good or evil effects which we cause others to experience. Each individual is the operator of the Law; according to his actions he gets the re-actions; according to his sowing, does he reap. In place, then, of the idea of a revengeful God, we have the ideas of absolute Justice and individual responsibility.

If, from the point of view of Law, we ask ourselves what pre-existing causes brought us into these relations, we can see that what now is must have been brought about by ourselves, and what now is is similar to what was. At once the idea is presented to our minds that this is not the first time, by many times, we have been in a body; that re-incarnation is the process by which human beings reach greater and greater heights; that there is no other way or means to learn all the lessons to be gained in physical life among our fellow-men, except through repeated incarnations.

We come, then, to another phase of our being—for we see there is in us something that is continuous in its operation, something which was never born and never dies. If it continues from one life to another, through many lives, and for many lives, there must be a permanency in us which no change of condition or body or circumstance can alter for a single instant. As we thus think in terms of ages rather than in the days of one short life,


we begin to get a glimpse of that Reality which lies within us; we open the door so that those internal, real, more permanent perceptions can find operation in our daily waking thoughts—for every single human being has sprung from the One Great Source, is animated by That, is, in fact, That at the very root of his being; in That is his power of perception and of action, which is spiritual and permanent. The power of perception and of action exists in everyone; the direction of that perception and action rests in each one. Each has the power to take the course which to him seems best; but, in taking the course, he sows, and must also reap as was the nature of his sowing. Every being in this universe of Law is experiencing as he is because of his own thoughts, words, and deeds; every circumstance, every misshapen day, every evil that comes to us as well as every good, is due to thought, word of deed of ours in the past. In each incarnation we find friends as well as enemies. So our minds may be set at rest with regard to either God or Devil. Each one of us represents both the Spirit—the highest divine nature—and also, the very lowest—the infernal nature. Man is spiritual, in fact, but, thinking himself material and separate, and acting in accordance with his thinking, he brings about the battle between the two natures in him.

The great mistake of religionists in our age has been the classification of good and evil. There is nothing good in itself. There is nothing evil in itself. It is the use to which anything is put that makes it good or makes it evil. How can we draw a fine line between good and bad in every case? Good and evil are judged by the effects that flow from the action done, but what might seem bad in one case might be in fact the highest good, and what might seem good in another case might, in fact, lead to the greatest evil. Just a hair’s line divides the Divine from the Satanic. And that hair’s line consists, not in this nor in that mode of conduct, but in the clearly presented motive or intention of the one who acts. A good motive can never produce altogether evil results, and yet a good motive is not enough. We may have the best motive in the world, but if we have not also knowledge and wisdom, we may unintentionally do a wrong thing when


we intended to do good; and sometimes we may do a good thing when we intended to do evil. Thus true morality may be seen to lie not in the act itself, but in the motive; it depends on the knowledge and intelligence of the being acting.

The lines of true morality may go anywhere, but by this is not meant that we do evil that good may come! How could we do evil if our perception is good, if our knowledge is clear, if our motive is unquestioned and without self-interest? No imaginable evil could flow under such conditions, which are of the nature of the Spirit. The widest range of intelligence and wisdom are required to make it possible for no evil effects to flow even if good is intended. Wisdom is always required, because the very nature and essence of our being is wisdom itself, the object of wisdom, and that which is to be obtained by wisdom. There is nothing higher than that essence of our being, and we may consciously gain it by first setting aside all those ideas that conflict with it, and then, acting from the basis of our spiritual nature, from the basis of absolute, unerring Law. Once these ideas are held in mind to the exclusion of all other separative ideas, unity of Spirit, unity of thought and unity of action take place.

This great philosophy of Theosophy, then, presents a basis from which the truest kind of morality can be perceived. True morality does not depend upon words, phrases, or conventions, but upon a universal perception of all things, whereby everything is done for good, every thought and feeling expended for the benefit of others rather than for one’s self. A clear perception of one’s own spiritual nature, and the motive to benefit mankind in every direction and in every case, without self-interest, are the two essentials for true morality. True morality is, in fact, a universal existence, and the beginning of it is in the desire to live to benefit mankind without self-interest or hope of any reward whatever; then, to practice and to help those who know still less than we do.

This is quite the reverse of prevailing religious ideas of personal salvation, yet this universal existence is our salvation. At


once, when these universal ideas are seen and to some extent realized, one loses all fears. Neither change nor death, nor things present or to come, can have any effect upon that one. He meets conditions as they come, does what he can, and lets other conditions succeed them. He moves through life, far from an un happy being, quite capable of taking all the joy and pleasure that exist in the world—all that upon which his fellow-men only subsist or hope to subsist. He moves among his fellow-men, understanding everything that they are going through, enjoying with their joy and sorrowing when they sorrow, yet himself free from either joy or sorrow. When we arrive at that condition, our sense of morality will be based on the nature of man. We shall then look on each and every being as of the same kind as ourselves, differing only in degree of understanding. There can not be in us anything but tolerance and mercy, for we shall know we can not judge others in their struggles; we can not say that there is good in this case, bad in that; we shall understand that goodness and badness are entirely relative in men, while they perceive the Reality not at all; we shall see that the best thing we can do for anyone is to assist him to understand himself, so that he may reach that point of perception and knowledge and power which is, in reality, his own and which he has but to realize.

Man’s false conceptions of life are what prevent him from knowing the truth, and it is evident that the first step towards true perception lies in throwing aside the prejudices and predilections he has lived by. And there is always help. Never have we been, left alone. Always there are beings greater in evolution than we, who return to this field of physical existence to help us, to wake us up to a perception of our natures. Such has been the mission of all Divine Incarnations down the ages. Those beings have come and lived among us, have become “in all things like unto us,” as was said of Jesus, in order that the human words They spoke should be words we would understand. They meet us on the basis of our ideas and try to clarify them and set them in a true course. They can do nothing to stop what


we have done and what we want to do; They can not interfere; but They can help us to see the right direction, if we are so willed; They can give help when we turn to that direction which They indicate—that Path which They themselves followed so many ages ago. Always They try to help us, even when we are proceeding along wrong lines and bringing upon ourselves the suffering such wrong lines entail—even then They try to direct the results into a better channel. They hold back the awful Karma that would shake the world, and let the effects come so gradually that we can stand and bear them. That is part of the protective power of the spiritual nature, and it operates in every direction.

It is for us, then, to say which way we shall go. We are not creatures of circumstance. We are not the creatures of environment. We are their creators. It is for us to see that we think right, that we build right, that we build upon the strong foundation of the eternal verities, and that we keep our eyes upon that Path which the great Masters of Wisdom have sought to open before us. So in our turn we shall point out the Way among the hosts who are moving in delusion and ignorance, and as we help each one, we help ourselves. As we help ourselves by helping others, we raise all.





When we consider the idea of thought we must remember that there cannot be thought without a thinker. There are no thoughts that arise of themselves; they are all produced by intelligent beings, no matter what kind of thoughts they are.

We are all thinkers, and we all assume that we have minds, but of what does the mind consist? What we call our mind is not, in reality, mind at all. The mind itself is the power to think. The bundles of ideas that we call our minds are the products of the thinking faculty; they are the effects of intelligent ideation, and we have to get further and further back from the effects perceived to the causes of those effects.


Mind itself is not limited; we all have the unlimited power to think in any and all directions. But we all are born into or come in contact with different sets of ideas which we consciously or unconsciously adopt and cling to. Yet we ought to recognize and realize from the very outset that we are not those ideas, because we have the power to “change our minds”; if we were in fact our ideas, we could not change them, could never get a new idea nor expel an old one.

We think that our ideas are our own; but, when we come to self-analysis, we find that as a matter of fact not one in a million is an independent Thinker who creates his thoughts from a realization of the universality of nature and the common source from which we all derive or draw what seem to be our separate powers. It is strange that we do not see that there is a common source for us all, and for all our powers; that only the use of life and the life-powers differ in each, according to the ideas each one holds. We all have the power to think, and we all think differently, and that makes us seem to be different.

We live in a world of effects, overwhelmed mentally by them, unable to extricate ourselves from them. So what is most needed in the world is a realization of what our own real nature is. If we find what our own real nature is, then we shall know what the real nature of every other being is, whether that other being is below us in point of intelligence, or as far above us as has yet been attained by any being.

If we are ever going to know anything of the common Source of all our being and of all our powers, we have to gain that knowledge within ourselves. For no one is separate from It; each one springs from the same Supreme, is one with It in his inner most nature. The idea is beyond any conception of the Deity as people hold God today, or that has been popularly held in the past.

The Supreme is beyond form. It is beyond expression. Where is the man who can say what That is within himself which sees, which knows, which feels, which experiences, which garners the results of all experience? Each one is of that Infinite Source,


because all have the same infinite root; each one is an expression of It.

If a man does not understand what his real Source is, what his real nature is, and assumes himself to be that which he is not, then all his exercise of the power to think, all his creative thoughts, all his subsequent actions, will follow the lines of his wrong basis of thought and action. If he thinks he is a poor miserable sinner who cannot do anything of himself and for him self, then a poor, miserable sinner he will remain. But if he realizes that all the effects which surround him are due to thinking, that he can create better effects, that all things are within his reach, he will gain a new insight and a greater strength. He gets beyond effects to the field of causes, and begins to realize that all things are alike in essential nature. He finds from that consideration that the universe is under Law. The very highest being is under law, just the same as the very lowest. That Law does not exist outside of us, and is not put in motion by some being or beings outside us, but is inherent in each. As we act, we experience the reaction; as we think, so are we. In accordance with the intelligence of our action, so will be the expression returning to us. ‘ ye sow, so shall ye also reap;” as we are reaping, so we must have sown.

We have there the first and final expression of Justice: that we reap what we have sown. In whatever conditions we may find ourselves, we have to admit that they are our own productions. How were they originally produced? By the thoughts of the thinker based on a false conclusion. The power of the Supreme is in every one. No matter what the man thinks, there is power in it; and if he holds to that thinking he is bound to produce the effects that flow from the lines of his special endeavor. If he is creating things that perish, if he is creating things that do not relate to his own true nature—if his power to think is wrapped up in the things that have to do only with his body or the bodily surroundings, or his physical advancement—is it any wonder that soon or late we find ourselves in a complex situation and with such usually disastrous consequences to ourselves? We


are bewildered by the very effects that we have produced by our thinking based upon wrong ideas.

We have then to beware that we do not set the power of our spiritual nature in a personal direction, for personal, selfish ends; such will only bring reaction upon us, of necessity. Each one has pursued his own individual path, as if he were separate from all the rest, and so has created the conditions under which he exists, the experiences that bring him suffering or enjoyment.

We have considered that good and evil are things in themselves. They are not. There is nothing good in itself; there is nothing evil in itself. Good and evil are the effects felt by us. What is good to one may be evil to another. It depends on the recipient, on his attitude of mind. If we see that Law rules and recognize that these effects were produced by ourselves, that we receive the exact return of causes set in motion by ourselves, then we see that whatever we do or have done affects others either for good or evil, and that we must in the nature of things in time pay that debt incurred or receive back the benefit conferred. The good that comes is what we have earned through service to others. The evil that befalls us is also what we have earned, by lack of service or by injury to others—every effect is the continuation of the cause set in motion by ourselves.

There is the true idea to be established in us—that of our individual responsibility to all others for the use of our powers. In it is implied the Spiritual Identity of all beings, the divinity of every being that exists—not only of mankind—the good and bad natures there—but every being below us, as well as every being above us. This presents the fact that all powers—of perception, of experience, of knowledge, of wisdom—lie for each being within himself, in his inmost nature. And it brings instantly to our minds the idea of development, of unfoldment, of evolution, for every being high or low. There are embryonic souls below us in their various stages of progress; there are the souls of men with their varying degrees of development; and there are Great Souls—Men who have gone through the stages we are now passing through. The whole universe is made up of


beings. The form is the home, the instrument, of some minor or greater intelligence. No intelligence, no form; no intelligence, no action of any kind, no responsibilities of any kind. Wherever you find actions and conditions, there you get intelligence, and where ever there is intelligence there is responsibility, whether recognized or not. So that the universe exists for one purpose, and for one purpose only—for the Soul’s experience and emancipation.

Soul means the acquired experience of the Spiritual Being. In the vast universe, with such an innumerable and immeasurable range of intelligent beings, differing infinitely in their respective degrees of acquired intelligence, or Soul, where or what would be the Storehouse of Thought?

In this vast assemblage of beings there are many, many kinds of thought. There are the thoughts or ideas of all the men now on earth and of those who have been; the thoughts or expressions of the beings below man; the ideas and still wider expressions of the beings above man. All these make a vast storehouse; but no one of us can draw from that storehouse any more, nor any different than he puts himself in a position to receive. He must make room for it. All that we perceive directly is ideas. Behind all action is thought of some kind. It is the kind of ideas we hold that makes us do everything—good or evil.

Now we can see how important it is that we should know what we really are—become acquainted with our own nature— and have that as a basis of our thought and action. Upon the quality of thought depends the quality or kind of action. It is all a sequence, and so what is needed is an orderly succession of thoughts based on our true natures, and action in accordance with them. Then everything flows along the line of divine unfoldment, of divine evolution; then we are working in accord with nature, in accord with all others.





The Soul is pictured in the ancient teachings as the real Self man. There are many different conceptions of what man is


and what the soul. From Christian teachings we are led to believe that man has a soul, and may save it or lose it—the idea generally held in the West. But the conception of the ancients, and that of Theosophy, which is a re-presentation of this eternal idea, is different. The teaching is that Man is a Soul; that Soul is in fact the one who perceives; that it is vision itself, pure and simple, unmodified—not subject to change—and that it looks directly on ideas.

This idea presents the fact that the real Man in whatever condition he may be existing, whether asleep or awake, whether in a physical body during his lifetime, or whether in another form of body after death or before birth, or before the existence of this planet or this solar system—that this real Man was the same Perceiver, then as now, the same Soul all the time; the Creator of all the conditions that have arisen; the intelligent Creator of this universe, in connection with all the beings below him and all the beings above him. Man thus forms part of one great Brotherhood, and this bond of brotherhood extends throughout, from the lowest being to the very highest.

They are all Souls; even the very lowest forms of matter are none the less Souls, for in the lowest form of matter is the power to perceive, the power to act, the power to gain experience. The potentiality is the same in all, and that potentiality becomes a potency ever expanding as the Soul increases its range of experience. All the forms, the bodies, that compose the universe are the results of the experience and action of the souls inhabiting them. They are all the instruments of the soul, and we always act with others in any grade or class of beings. There is that unity of action which produces a similarity of instrument. In these similarities of instrument we play upon and are played upon by beings of the same class in the fullest degree, and by lower and higher classes in a greater or less degree.

So, taking this conception that the Self is the same in each being, no matter how great that being may be, nor how low, we get another idea in regard to soul—that soul also represents the acquired experience gained through evolution by each and every


class of being. Each individual being is not only Self, but, in addition, the acquired experience gained through contact with all other beings. Realizing that there are individual souls, we can see that the only differences between souls are in their degrees of acquired experience. Taking the soul from this point of view, then, as the acquired experience of individuals, when we speak of God, or the Over-Soul, the Universal Over-Soul, we simply mean the acquired experiences, or wisdom, of every soul and all souls. That would be the meaning of the sentence in the Bhagavad Gita that the Self is “Wisdom itself, the object of Wisdom and that which is to be attained by Wisdom”—full consciousness of the union of all-souls, or Spiritual Identity.

If we are to try to relate these conceptions to language we would, perhaps, have to clear up many ideas which we now hold. Supposing there is a real language of the soul, what would it be capable of expressing? Undoubtedly every experience through which it had ever been.

Theosophy teaches the doctrine of reincarnation—of successive lives, both on this earth and in other states of substance and consciousness. Continuity of Consciousness, or Spirit, is preserved through all these states and environments, and the record of all that occurred in all these lives is present at all times in any one- life in manifestation, because the Self, the Spirit, is present. The language of the Soul would be capable of expressing all that we ever experienced.

In those past lives we have undoubtedly spoken different languages from those we now speak; in those personal existences we used languages now altogether deserted and forgotten by us as persons. But the memory of those languages must be there, if we are a continuing Self and preserve the continuity of experience gained, as well as the continuity of consciousness. Those old languages which we once used, in themselves amount to nothing, because any language and all languages are only the expression of the feeling and thought of the individual soul; his emotions, hopes, fears, ideas and aspirations. So there must be at all times behind any language whatever, the basis for it—the Soul and its ex-


perience. Where is that recorded? It is impacted in the imperishable part of man’s nature. It cannot be any spoken tongue what ever. What, then, is its nature?

To understand these propositions we have again to consider the philosophy of Theosophy. Theosophy points out that matter is in seven states or degrees of substances, and each of these with seven sub-states, the whole ranging from the very finest, most plastic and enduring state down to the very coarsest—what we may call the material plane, or matter as it is known and suspected by us, with its many differing gradations and combinations. Man, as the highest and most evolved being concerned in the evolution of this solar system, is clothed in all these seven states of substance derived from the original primordial substance—the homogeneous matter from which every form is evolved. These degrees of substance are indicated in the seven colors of the spectrum; they are also pointed to in the seven notes of the scale of music.

The notes and colors are not exactly what we think they are: they represent the seven great distinct states of matter; sound itself, or light itself, represents the homogeneous state from which the seven notes and the seven prismatic colors are derived. Our colors and our musical notes are only replicas of these—their reflections or correspondences in this one state of matter and sound with which we are acquainted. We know there are seven colors; we know that there are other octaves of color beyond those, which our eyes are unable to transmit to us—some so high, some so low that our eyes will not register their vibrations. The same is true with sound. We are able to detect several, but there are degrees of sound beyond the highest we are able to detect, and also sounds too low for us to hear.

Let us call the Soul the Ego; perhaps that, for us, is the most compact expression for what is meant by Soul, since it includes both the one who perceives and his perceptions, both the one who knows and his experiences. Well, then, the Ego has a language of his own, and that language is one of color, sound and symbol. It is a language that may be seen; that may be heard; that may


be felt. It is by means of this language of the soul that the experiences of others may become directly known to us, comprehensible to us, no matter what vocal tongues we may use. This is why it was said in old times, as mentioned in the Bible, that the Wise understood every man speaking in his own tongue, although many different languages were used, then as now. It was because these Wise men could read back of the spoken language, that they knew the very thoughts, feelings and natures of the speakers. That is why in any person’s motion—even so simple an action as in moving from one chair to another— quality of the thought, the very nature of the person, is clearly shown by the assemblage of colors and shades of colors produced by the action. The same with any uttered sounds or speech, no matter what—the centers in the body are set in motion, each having its own particular tell tale colors and rates of vibration.

Strange as it may seem to us, colors may be heard, sounds may be seen, and forms may be experienced, because all are merely different rates of vibration—the motion of Intelligent Consciousness, or Spirit. They are all correlated, and one does not exist with out the others. They are merely aspects of that which is the real propulsion of the soul itself, or the conscious being. So, in our thoughts we have a great combination of colors and sounds, constantly changing their form, or appearance. Our brain is the finest material instrument we use. It, like everything else we use, is an evolution. It is the organ of thought on this plane of substance where we are now acting. If we think high and noble thoughts, then our brains become very susceptible to that kind of use. Every kind of thought has its own particular rate and range of vibration, its own particular colors. If we were acquainted with ourselves, in reality, we could read thought as we now read a book. We could read thoughts as we now hear sounds. If our brains are trained to high thoughts while we are awake; if we try to understand what we really are while occupying this physical instrument; what this body of ours represents; what it is capable of— then gradually the brain will begin to respond to something of our higher knowledge. It will carry forward and transmit more


and more of the Language of the Soul, of all the garnered experience of the past.

The ideas that we have, even in regard to Spirit and Soul, to Life hitherto, here and hereafter, are those we have been taught. They are nearly all personal and keep us entirely on the personal plane—the plane of merely physical existence. They give us no true ideas whatever of the real inner self. We have not yet begun to think—in any true sense, in any true direction; and it is only true ideas that will give us knowledge of the inner nature of man. Our habits are merely memory impacted in our nature, whether they be habits of body or habits of thought. We do not store knowledge anywhere but within ourselves; but sometimes we forget where we have hidden it, or we cover it up with a lot of the useless rubbish of mere mental activity. Most of our mental activity is applied solely to the things of this life, to things of the body; so, mankind is continually moving along a false path. No being, however high, can prevent this, because each man is Soul, is Spirit, is Consciousness—is of the Highest, however he use and apply his powers.

Theosophy endeavors to present to man what his real nature is; that he is first, last, and all the time SPIRIT. Spirit means Life and Consciousness—the power to see, to know, to experience. We all have that. That is common to all of us. It is not separate in self—it is the One Life in all beings of every grade. But we, as individuals, have evolved into individuals from the great Ocean of Life. We are Individualized Spirit, and so we each have a separate individual existence, which is continuous. In that sense we are an evolution, but an evolution of Spirit, not Matter—an evolution of Knowledge, not of form only. This has been obtained through observation and experience; whatever differences exist are because of more or less experience, or a better adaptation and application of it; there is no difference in the Source or Potentialities of any being. All this we shall find out, if we move along the Path shown. For it is not an uncharted path. Remember, others have been along that path before us. They are our Elder Brothers—Jesus, for


example; Buddha for another; and all those who came at different times as Saviours to the many different peoples. They had all acquired the Language of the Soul. They all had a common body of knowledge. They come amongst men from time to time, as the intelligence of humanity progresses, and give out as much of that knowledge as the then existing state of humanity permits. They came again in our own time; and greater than Those who so came there has not been. Why should anyone say that? Because other Saviours came to separate and distinct peoples, but the Message of Theosophy is not to any one nation, not to any one class of beings, but to the whole world.

That knowledge is obtainable by any self-conscious being for himself, for it is not a question of our ideas, of our present perceptions of morality or success, nor of external power, but of Spiritual perception—of the Language of the Soul. We may make all the mistakes in the world, according to the world, in the body and through the body, and yet have a power of Spiritual perception that would do away with all “mistakes. We would not have to’ have any vicarious atonement, but would be able to act in a proper relation with every being. Our thoughts and actions would be in accord. (but we would have to go through the crucifixion of the false ideas in ourselves, and arise as the Saviour did, to the right hand of the Father—the Ego free from all these delusions which have caused him to maintain himself in sin, sorrow and suffering.

All men desire Spiritual knowledge, yet the great bulk will not abate one jot or tittle of their mental and physical absorption in present and worldly things to obtain the spiritual knowledge they say they ardently long for. They will have to move on through suffering and pain till they really desire to know the truth about themselves. If any man thinks he can get that knowledge by merely desiring to possess it, or by desiring to possess it for himself alone, he is not in the position that would permit of his knowing it. The Language of the Soul can be acquired only when the being realizes that his duty is not to himself, but to the highest interests of his fellowmen; not to “save his own soul”


but to lead as many of his neighbors as he possibly can in the direction of the Truth, desiring nothing for himself. This very attitude opens the flood-gates of spiritual knowledge within himself. Then he becomes the true enjoyer, using every power he has, all the knowledge he has, to benefit others. The man who has come to that knowledge and is on the road to its realization finds “spiritual knowledge springing up spontaneously in him self in the progress of time.” He requires no books to tell him; he cares not what religions have been, that now are, that ever will be. He knows the truth about himself and consequently the truth about all others.

Why do not all men take the path to this realization? Is it because they have no organs of perception, are incapable of seeing? No, it is because they will not listen; they will not take what is given and try it out. They will rather follow anything that promises some success in this life. Yet they know just as well as anyone that they cannot take a single one of the “successes” away with them from the earth. When they go, they leave on earth every earthly thing they have accumulated. And they have to go, because they do not belong here; they are of Spirit, not earth; they are only working in this matter for awhile. They all know that, and yet dream of “possessions.”

No one damned any of us to this condition in which we find so many. No conditions compel us to stay in a state of mental unrest, inactivity or ignorance. All these things are imposed on us by our own hard and fast conclusions as to men, things and methods. These keep us fast bound in our present conditions and will continue to hold us, as long as we maintain that attitude of mind, and cling to false ideas of God, of Nature, and of Man. We keep the doors closed of our own will. In ignorance? Yes; but who remains ignorant? Those only who will not hear, those only who doubt the Language of the Soul.





Many people think that religion means a preparation for death or the states of the future. Religion really means a prepa-


ration for and a knowledge of life—a living of our life as it should be lived. That which prepares for death is life, and ever living. Formal religions do not even answer the question, why is death—nor any of the other burning questions in daily life. Why do we have suffering and sorrow? Why are we here? What was the origin of man? Why so many different conditions among mankind; why are some born to sorrow, and others to joy; why some in lowly places, some in high; why some with great faculties and others with very few and poor ones? Justice demands an answer which is not furnished by religion, with its ‘ —for if man is the creature of a creator he can not help himself and is absolutely irresponsible. Any being, if “perfect,” would maintain justice; yet there are injustices among men. The caprice or whim of a creator does not explain the difficulty. Any being, however great or high, must of necessity be limited, finite, and imperfect—something outside us, something which does not contain the universe but is contained by it.

We have to go behind any idea of a Being, to the source of all being—to a basis common to the highest and to the lowest being. That basis and source is not to be found by looking outward at all, but is the very power to perceive, wherever there is life. Spirit, Life, Consciousness are the same in every being—undivided, however many and varied the perceptions. Evolution is not a compelling force from without, but the impelling force of Spirit from within, urging on to better and better expression. All advancement is from within. All the knowledge that we gain, all the experience that we obtain, is obtained and held within. Each one, then, is the Seer; all the rest are seen. So, the knowledge that we have to obtain is not information from without, not the thoughts of other men, but an under standing of our own essential nature, which represents every element in the great universe, from the basis of all life to every outward expression, and every possibility of further expression— just as each drop of water contains in itself everything existing in the great ocean from which it came. Nor does Law exist outside of us. Law is always inherent in Spirit; it is the action


which brings re-action in every individual case, and to the collective mass of humanity. We are here under law and under justice. There is no such thing as injustice in the universe.

Knowing something as to our essential nature, knowing some thing of the purpose of life, and that life is all made up of learning, knowing that the universe is all alive, and that there is in reality no injustice save that which we inflict upon our selves by re-action, we would take an entirely different view of life and put these ideas into daily practice. We would take the position which most of all we need to take—that of our own responsibility, which religions have taught us to shift on to some God or devil. Recognizing that each one of us is from the same Source and going towards the same goal, though the path will vary with the pilgrim, we will act toward each one as if he were a part of ourselves. Like us, each one is moving onward— perhaps below us, possibly above. From the one above, we can obtain help. To the one below, we can give help. Such is the interdependence which should exist between all conscious beings; and under such a conception our civilization would not be as it is now. We should not find every man’s hand raised against every other man. We should not see those in poor case finding fault with the wrong conditions, but finding fault rather with their own wrong relations to others at some time when they abused the power they had. We should see each one trying to discipline himself, trying to bring himself into proper relation with all the rest—not so much outwardly, perhaps, as inwardly; for we may be sure that if we make clean the inside of the bowl, the outside will take care of itself. We have no greater duty to perform than to make clear and clean our natures—to make them true, to make them in accord with the great object of all life, the evolution of soul.

We can not wait to make our start in this direction until the nation wakes up to Theosophy; for the nation will itself awake only when each individual wakes up to that which is in himself and by his thought and action instills a similar thought and action in other human beings. Supposing each one determined


to do all he could for every other one wherever he could, do you think that anybody would suffer? Not one! There would be more to help than those to suffer. But we are afraid that if we so act, the other man will not. So we do not move at all along that line. The majority of people are thinking about quite other things. They are busy at the shrine of their gods of comfort, seeking to get the best of everything in life at the expense of someone else. Or they are seeking to acquire “the power of will,” so that they can get something for nothing from someone else. That is the kind of “will” which is generally desired, its object being the getting of exactly what one pleases. Is not this psychic banditry? Anything gotten that way is taken from another, and we shall have to pay it back to the uttermost farthing—if not in this life, then in some other, for the scales of justice are unerring.

Do we not see that we can trust a universe that moves along unerringly under the law of perfect justice? ‘We certainly can. We can go forward with an absolute reliance on the law of our own spiritual being, knowing whatever conditions come are necessary for us, knowing that those very things we feel so hardly are object lessons for us because they indicate a wrong tendency or defect in us which this present distress affords us an opportunity to overcome, to strengthen our true character. That is all we have at the end of life, whatever of character—good, bad, or indifferent—we have acquired. Men spend their lives trying to avoid what they do not like, and trying to get what they like—what they can and while they can. Yet if they got all the wealth of the world, every possession and every possible desire, what good would it do them? At death everything would be left where they got it, because nothing adheres to Spirit. The idea of getting for themselves is one of the false notions which prevent men from understanding themselves as spiritual beings and using the power which belongs to them—for all powers of every kind—electrical, dynamic or explosive—come from the One Universal Spirit, and each man has latent in him all the powers in the universe.


Physical life is not necessarily a vale of sorrow. The time must come when we shall have made man’s life on earth what it ought to be, when we shall have no fear of anything, when we shall not be afraid of our fellowmen. It was said of Daniel, when he entered the lions’ den, the beasts of prey did not touch him at all. Why? Because his heart was pure. He had no harm in it for anyone. He trusted to the spiritual law of his own being, and all nature makes obeisance to that. We could go out calmly, courageously, happily, relying on the laws of our own natures. If we did so, we would bring our daily lives in line with that nature; for there is nothing of our action which does not come from the mind, and back of the mind is the ‘motive we have in acting. Motive is what makes our actions really “good” or “bad.” If we are righteous in ourselves and desirous of doing right, then all that we do will flow rightly from us and every function will be a righteous function. All action springs from and is colored by the motive held in performing it.

Theosophy is the only philosophy that can be used in every direction in daily life. It can be used in all directions, high or low, because that use comes from an understanding of the Spirit itself, from acting for that Self and as that Self—for the Self acts only through the creatures. Acting for and as that Self in every direction, all else flows into line. All the destruction that is around us, all the misery that we see, has been brought about through our denial of the Holy Ghost—our denial of the Spirit within us. We deny it when we act as if we are our bodies, or our minds. THAT will not be denied. So man, meeting all the results of that denial and seeing them to be evil, learns that this is not the way. Then he seeks for Truth, and finding the truth, obtains all that he can desire—hope, happiness and a better understanding of his and all existence. It was to give to men all they could take in regard to the nature of the soul—that they might come out from this vale of sorrow—that those Beings known as Divine Incarnations have descended here of Their own will. They have carried forward from age to age this knowledge of nature and of man and of the purpose of life, learned through


many civilizations of mankind. It is this knowledge which makes Them as gods to us in Their glory and power.





Every human being has faith—faith in something, some ideal, some conception, some religion, some formula—but while the faiths of different people have one or another object, the faith itself proceeds from the Highest, and is inherent in the heart of every being. Faith is the very basis of our nature. Whatever way we follow is because of the faith we have—the conviction that it is the best way. That the world is full of false faiths is because of the differing ideas, beliefs and philosophies which limit faith itself to the means thought necessary for obtaining a particular object of faith.

In the seventeenth chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita faith is said to be of three kinds: faith of the quality called sattwa, the good and the true; faith of the quality called rajas, of action, and of passion; and faith of the quality called tames, of indifference and ignorance. These three qualities given to faith are, in fact, the three limitations placed on faith by every human being; for the power of faith in itself is limitless. We continually limit that power to its operation within the range of some minor object or ideal based on externalities. “The embodied soul being gifted with faith, each man is of the same nature as that ideal on which his faith is fixed.” Man has that quality of faith in accordance with his disposition; and he also continually becomes of the nature of the ideal on which his faith is fixed. It is evident, then, that we ought to be sure of the nature of the faith upon which our ideal is placed.

If one places his faith on any externality, whatever it may be—gods or men, religions or systems of thought—he has placed it upon a broken reed; he has limited the very power of his own spirit to expand itself beyond the limitations of his ideal. When, for instance, we accept the idea that nothing is real but that which we can see or hear or taste or smell or touch, we have


placed our faith on a very low basis. There is some reason for our falsity of thought and action, when we have assumed the present moment to be the only moment, the outward terrestrial world and this one existence to be the only life, from which we go, we know not where, nor to what purpose it all has been. To look on all beings according to one’s own limitation of mind and range of perception, and to see only their externalities of speech or action in accordance, is not seeing them as they really are. An outside God, or an outside devil, an outside Law, an outside atonement for sins, the idea of sin being other than a denial of our own spiritual nature (the unpardonable sin), are All external faiths of the nature of tamas, or ignorance. Ignorance always leads to superstition. Superstition leads to false belief, and false belief to false faith.

We are all in constant conflict with each other because of false bases of faith, for the very reason that faith fixed on any thing will bring results, and men are blinded to real and true faith by the results of even false faith. Yet so long as we have a false faith shall we continue to create for ourselves lives of misery. The results flowing from a false faith in a selfish ideal must bring us bad effects in wrong conditions. They are the very limitations we have imposed upon ourselves by external faiths in other lives, and we must come again and again into bodies until we have rid ourselves of the defects in our nature which those external faiths have engendered. We have to get a bette