[Lecture delivered at the Theosophical Society in Greece - Lodge Hypatia.]
Memories written on pages of the past bring us images able to touch us so deep that many times our eyes are filled with tears. This is what happened to me when I read an issue of The Theosophist, containing articles describing the passing away of H.P.B., and the honor paid to her by some theosophists. H.P.B. is undoubtedly the mother of the Theosophical movement and was a remarkable woman.
After H.P.B. passed away a great interrogation point was left. Where are the Mahatmas, who really were them? Why they did not contacted any theosophist after she passed away. Was the 1900’s letter original or not? Such questions remain without answers until today and probably will remain for centuries to come. The option left to many theosophists was so to embrace through faith, through study, through fidelity to H.P.B., the existence of the Mahatmas. And so was done. But there is something more important than to prove the existence of the Mahatmas and know who they really were or are, more important than any phenomena that impressed early theosophists, and this is the Theosophical cause for which H.P.B. and many other theosophists lived and died for. It is on this cause we must focus.
Looking back at the 19th century we see early theosophical writings, presenting a large base for study and reflection. Syncretism, ecumenism, and a great effort to comprehend the occult the unexplained is extensively found in the theosophical writings. We also see the great neo-platonic spirit revived with the foundation of the Theosophical Society. In the very writings of H.P.B., we see how gradually she changes her approach and style, from the publication of Isis Unveiled to the publication of the Secret Doctrine we see a great turn into theosophical teachings, which with the latter is presented in the form of a system.
We also see comparative studies as a basic theosophical approach. To try to gather the pearls of wisdom from different philosophical, religious traditions and to present it to the public, showing them there is no reason for religious fanaticism. Showing that Truth is but one though dressed with different garments, throughout different ancient world cultures religious and philosophical traditions. Not minimizing the importance and relevance of every religion, but pointing out the importance of their preservation and deeper understanding by their followers. The T.S. raised its voice against religion oppression and fanaticism, against blind superstition and fears resulted from the misinterpretation of scriptures and promoted by the clergy of different religions.
The T.S. entered the arena in the 19th century; offering equal rights, for men and women. Accepting members of any religious and philosophical background any culture, any country. Showing to the Western world the greatness of the Eastern religious and philosophical teachings. Early theosophists were on the vanguard of their society and in fact many centuries ahead the 19th century.
Now in the 21st century are we theosophists ahead? Are we theosophists managing to go on with their great work started in the 19th century? My reply to that is no. One of the reasons for that is the theosophical conservatism, which appeared sometime after one of the last greatest leaders of the T.S. passed away, Annie Besant.
In the booklet written by Michael Gomes The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement, we see there was nothing as conservatism between the pioneers of the Theosophical Movement. They would do things; that still today one most probably would feel reluctant of even thinking to do. We are in the 21st century, the bravery the courage, the challenges the pioneers of the Theosophical Movement presented for the society of the 19th century, remains so long as memories for us.
It seems we did not learn the great lessons the pioneers of the Theosophical Movement left for us. We are comfortable closed on our lodges and Sections, having discussions within our own group of people who presents no challenges.
Many others are just embracing the so called “New Age” practices and adding it in their activities, from the “Awakening of the Inner Child”, to courses on “Hatha Yoga”. Today in some Sections of the T.S. one can find everything provided by any third category new age center. And in these Sections somehow our great objects seem to be resting for while at Hypnos Cave.
The world more than ever needs the healing influence of the Theosophical Spirit. The promotion of our three objects is a must in the 21st century. Since the dawn of the new millennium we see materialism growing as weed on wild fields. Violence and poverty increases every day followed by religious fanaticism. Even mediumism which H.P.B. fought so much against is a much stronger phenomenon nowadays than it was in the 19th century.
Can’t you hear the silent cry of humanity springing out of this chaos? If you stop for while, in silence and center your attention in your heart, I am sure you will be able to perceive that. You will see we theosophists have a great work to do, and time has no mercy upon us. Let not arrive a day when future generations will look behind and seeing what we have done, will say: why, why they did not try harder. Let’s try to offer the best we can now. Let’s not fear the judgment of the weak, and the criticism of the full. Let not conventionalities be a barrier for the work and care not of what people has to say about you or what you do.
We all carry potentially within us the power the dreams the hopes of our theosophist’s ancestors. We may not be linked to them by blood line, but we are connected to them by a much stronger link the theosophical link.
Once talking about the theosophical link which between other things is also the link of responsibility, duty and strength we are passing on from our theosophical ancestors it’s suitable to remind a register made by Isabel C. Oakley describing what Blavatsky cried out few days before passing away: “… keep the link unbroken; don’t let my last incarnation become a failure”. Here we may ask why would Blavatsky utter these words? Her work wasn’t a failure. Her books, especially the Secret Doctrine will remain for many as a source of inspiration and study for centuries to come. So what were the link and the failure H.P.B. was talking about? What is the nature of this link my friends? When we comprehend deeply the nature of the Theosophical Spirit we will be able to comprehend what is the nature of this Link and we will be able to see where lays the danger of failure.
It is clear the Theosophical Society and the work of H.P.B. was not directed to few. Both her work and the Theosophical Society are dedicated to the spiritual awakening of Humanity. In order to comprehend what is this Great Theosophical Spirit it’s not possible to ignore the literal meaning of the word THEOSOPHY. Divine Wisdom or Brahma Vidya is the literal definition of the Hellenic word Theosophy. Here we may ask my friends, can Divine Wisdom be taught? Theoretically we can teach that there is such a thing as Theosophy (Divine Wisdom) but the realization and learning of real Theosophy comes essentially from within. Only those who are able to penetrate the depths of their soul, to perambulate in the labyrinths of the self, are those who will be able to learn THEOSOPHY.
H.P.B. request to “keep the Link Unbroken” was not directed to the Theosophical Society itself. It was a request to every individual who truly aspires to become a theosophos. This is an ancient link which unities beings of all eras. Individuals able to sacrifice themselves for the well being of others; individuals who have realized THEOSOPHY from within. While we have theosophists between us who are able to do so, the link will be always kept unbroken. This Link my friends can be cultivated only from within can be kept alive only from within; its nature is essentially esoteric. One may adore H.P.B., may study only her writings, may promote only her teachings. He still won’t be a theosophos, and will not be keeping the link unbroken. Instead will be disseminating dogmatism and won’t be any different from a fanatical religious follower. H.P.B. herself expressed a great syncretism and ecumenical spirit in all her writings. In fact this spirit was the very first great lesson she left to her students. This does not mean one should not study her writings. In fact I think a greater effort into studying the Secret Doctrine should be made. For in this work several keys are given for the eternal aspirants for the truth.
In an article entitled What Can We Do For Our Fellow-men H.P.B. stated the following:
“HE WHO DOES NOT PRACTISE ALTRUISM; HE WHO IS NOT PREPARED TO SHARE HIS LAST MORSEL WITH A WEAKER OR POORER THAN HIMSELF; HE WHO NEGLECTS TO HELP HIS BROTHER MAN, OF WHATEVER RACE, NATION, OR CREED, WHENEVER AND WHEREVER HE MEETS SUFFERING, AND WHO TURNS A DEAF EAR TO THE CRY OF HUMAN MISERY; HE WHO HEARS AN INNOCENT PERSON SLANDERED, WHETHER A BROTHER THEOSOPHIST OR NOT, AND DOES NOT UNDERTAKE HIS DEFENCE AS HE WOULD UNDERTAKE HIS OWN - IS NO THEOSOPHIST.”
Altruism is the second great lesson H.P.B. taught and in the Golden Stairs we find many relevant points that lead us into the Theosophical Spirit:
“A clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for all, a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defense of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the Sacred Science depicts these are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom.”
The Temple of “Divine Wisdom” is the “Temple of Theosophy”. It is there, where we meet the Great Theosophical Spirit. It’s only those who are truly treading the “Golden Stairs” which leads to the “Temple of Theosophy” who are real Theosophos. It’s on their hands the responsibility to carry on the work which H.P.B. gave continuity (for others came before her) and so many others after her. It’s only them who are able to “Keep the Link Unbroken”. Because their lives are deeply and truly dedicated to the goodness of all. They are in fact future Bodhisattvas.
Every person known or unknown, who deeply and truly made an inner commitment to thread this path, becomes the thread in the needle of the “Teacher” and is keeping the link unbroken. Have no doubts my friends, the link has been kept unbroken by known and unknown theosophists. And will be kept for centuries to come.
Still many theosophists who do not belong to Adyar (some do belong) say our Theosophical Society is a failure. They say the link was broken using the famous letter written by H.P.B. Why I do not return to Adyar to support their arguments. Many say the Theosophical Society is for long dead. If it was so why she would request a link that no long existed at the time to be kept unbroken? It was my friends because in fact this link was never broken. Thousand times I have heard from beloved friends such argument. Thousand times I’ve heard they say “why don’t you do something else, why you waste your time and energy with the Theosophical Society Adyar? They failed. During the very time H.P.B. was still alive they proved to be a failure.” For this thousand times I reply and will reply to them, the Theosophical Society Adyar did not fail. The Theosophical Society is keeping on its work and will keep on its work for centuries to come. The Theosophical Society Adyar is THE major gateway for many to learn there is such a thing as THEOSOPHY.
Some also say that the Theosophical message is out there. People no longer need to be a member of the Theosophical Society to access it. This is of course an obvious fact. The Theosophical message was always out there. It was never property of any organization and never will be. The Theosophical message was out there throughout ages and much before the incarnation of the person we know as H.P.B. took place. The Theosophical message in fact is not a body of teachings, is not a specific system, cannot be classified, filed, dissected, and taught. The Theosophical message is within the heart of every REAL truth seeker. The Theosophical Society was not founded with the pretension to be the only place where one can find THEOSOPHY. On the contrary the Theosophical Society was founded to point out there is something like THEOSOPHY and to promote the Great Theosophical Spirit.
The Theosophical Spirit between other things brings on its wings an understanding that we are family, and as so we must see each member of our Society truly as a brothers and sisters. All of us are subject to commit mistakes, errors. Understanding this we must be able to forgive. We must comprehend that our Society will face up and downs, periods of conflicts, disharmony and harmony. From difficult moments, we learn the greatest lessons. We must not hold for any brother and sister negative feelings, we must not isolate any member of our family because his/her actions are not in accordance with what we think to be right or wrong. We must not allow our dedication to the Theosophical cause to be shaken. Life is made of good and bad moments. We must keep focused on strengthening the work of our lodges, groups, sections etc. And most important of all we must cultivate our inner life. Without a truly active inner life, there is no esotericism, there is no interiorization, there will be only empty intellect decorated by beautiful words and fancy talking. Only those who have an active inner life and slowly come to know the truth of meditation are able to become the thread in the needle of the “Teacher”. It’s this thread that keeps the Link Unbroken.
We know each person practices what feels inclined to. But when someone wants deeply something and applies a great will towards the aspired aim, there is nothing in this world that can stop one achieving it. Especially when this will is driven by an altruistic urge to help humanity. In our case we are united to try to serve humanity through our Society.
Let’s not ever forget the major aim of our work, to help humanity the Great Orphan, and let’s not forget also the great truth which follows it: when doing so in fact we are helping our own selves.
Last update: januar