THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume II
No. 2 (8) - July-August 1945

[Cover photo: Katherine Tingley, Leader of the Theosophical Society, 1896-1929.]

"Seek the upward and ennobling path, and you are no longer alone: your own Divinity is on your side with you, and what you can encompass of what Universal nature affords is with you to support you towards final victory." - The Gods Await, p. 165. [2]

*

THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity
Published every two months under the auspices of Lodge No. 60, American-Canadian Section, Theosophical Society
(International Headquarters, Covina, California)
Devoted to the Dissemination of the Ancient Wisdom
CoEditors: Irene Ponsonby, Boris de Zirkoff
Business Manager: Norine G. Chadil
Subscription $1.00 a year (six issues); single copy 20 cents.
Send subscriptions and renewals to: Room 240, Western Bldg., 553 So. Western Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California Lodge No. 60, Theosophical Society 256 So. Western Ave., Los Angeles 4, Calif. Phone: FItzroy 5521 or FEderal 5914.

Officers for 1945:
Sven Eek ..................... President
Nancy Browning ......... 1st Vice-President
Albert Charles Lee ..... 2nd Vice-President
Bertha Blanchard ....... Treasurer
Eloise Reiniger ........... Secretary
Julie Gagne ................ Assistant Secretary
Alice Eek .................... Librarian
Alice Copeland .......... Assistant Librarian

Lodge Meetings and Public Lectures
Owing to circumstances beyond our control, and which have to do with the temporary difficulty in finding a suitable location for our Public Meetings, these have been discontinued for a while. As soon as new arrangements have been completed, all the members and friends will be notified to this effect.

Other Study Classes
Mens' Class, Textbook: Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, Second and fourth Monday of every month, at 8:00 P.M. Meets at the home of Hon. Frank G. Finlayson, 500 So. Gramercy Place. FItsroy 3020.
Class for more advanced studies; textbook: The Esoteric Tradition. For information call EXposition 5520 or FItzroy 5521.

Other Lodges in the Los Angeles Area
Lodge No. 5, 1595 Crossroads of the World, Hollywood, Culbreth Sudler, President. Public Lectures every Sunday at 3:00 P.M. Reading Room open daily from 12:00 to 4:00. Phone MO11652.
Lodge No. 30, 1240 North Wilson Avenue, Pasadena. Mary L. Connor, President. Phone SYcamore 46440.
Lodge No. 58, 831 North Mariposa Avenue, Los Angeles. Mrs. R.H. Austin, Secretary, Phone OL3063.
Lodge No. 63, 1595 Crossroads of the World, Hollywood. Dr. John Croiset Van Uchelen, President. Phone HI0019.
Los Angeles Public Relations Committee, Arthur W. Beach, Chairman, 1043 North Sierra Bonita Avenue, Hollywood 46. [3]

*

DEVACHAN
H.P. Blavatsky

(A student found it difficult to understand the statement that "the spiritual monad leads for very long periods an existence of unalloyed satisfaction and conscious enjoyment, however without activity, without exciting contrasts between pain and pleasure, without pursuit and achievement." To his query as to "how can a conscious existence without activity or pursuit be one of satisfaction or enjoyment," H.P.B. gave the following explanation, originally published in The Theosophist, vol. iv, May, 1883. - Ed. )

... To realize the conditions of spiritual existence of any sort it is necessary to get above the plane of merely physical perceptions. One cannot see the things of the spirit with the eyes of the flesh, and one cannot successfully appreciate subjective phenomena by help only of those intellectual reflections which appertain to the physical senses. "How can a conscious existence with-out activity or pursuit be one of satisfaction or enjoyment?" It would only emphasize the mistaken idea which this question embodies if one were to ask instead, "how can a conscious existence without athletic sports and hunting be one of enjoyment?" The cravings of man's animal or even bodily human nature are not permanent in their character. The demands of the mind are different from those of the body. In physical life an ever-recurring desire for change impresses our imagination with the idea that there can he no continuity of contentment, without variety of occupation and amusement. To realize completely the way in which a single vein of spiritual consciousness may continue for considerable periods of time to engage the attention - not only of the contented, but the delighted attention - of a spiritual entity - is probably possible only for persons who already in life have developed certain inner faculties, dormant in mankind at large. But meanwhile our present correspondent may perhaps derive some satisfaction from the fact, - as explained in recent essays on the subject, - that one sort of variety is developed in Devachan in a very high degree; viz., the variety which naturally grows out of the simple themes set in vibration during life. Immense growths, for example, of knowledge itself are possible in Devachan, for the spiritual entity which has begun the "pursuit" of such knowledge during life. Nothing can happen to a spirit in Devachan, the key-note of which has not been struck during life; the conditions of a subjective existence are such that the importation of quite external impulses and alien thoughts is impossible. But the seed of thought once sown, the current of thoughts once set going (the metaphor may freely be varied to suit any taste), and then its developments in Devachan may be infinite, for the sixth sense there and the sixth principle are our instructors; and in such society there can be no isolation, as physical humanity understands the term. The spiritual ego in fact, under the tuition of its own sixth principle, need be in no fear of being dull, and would be as likely to sigh for a doll's house or a box of ninepins as for the harp and palm-leaves of the mediaeval Heaven.

*

... those portions of the universal Theosophical Movement which live not only for teaching the mere letter of the Theosophical doctrines, but which live likewise for spreading its true spirit above everything else ... will live on into the future, and will do the work which our Masters founded the Theosophical Society to do ...

The Theosophical Movement above everything else should be plastic, flexible, and its exponents should always be open to the reception of new truth, and above everything else should avoid self-righteousness, ignorance and sectarian conceit, and the empty formalisms arising in religious or philosophical self-satisfaction ... The spirit of truth among us Theosophists shows itself above everything else by a fervid sympathy for the souls of men, wherefrom arises generosity towards others. - G. de Purucker, Wind of the Spirit, pp. 331-32. [4]

*

WE CAN BE YOUNG WITH THEM
Boris de Zirkoff

The Youth of every age are the builders of the future.

Buoyant with the well-springs of life, every new generation rises in rebellion against the former one and challenges its crystallized molds of thought, its outdated ideas.

The surging passion of life rising as a tide in the Youth of every generation, carries the world beyond the point reached by earlier men and women while their impetus was at full flow.

It is but the natural succession of cyclic events. Without it all history would soon be at an end, and the world but a pool of stagnation arid decay.

As students of that ageless Wisdom known today as Theosophy, it is well for us to apply this fact of being to the destinies of the Movement for which we work. Unless the Theosophical Movement of today exhibits the healthy signs of the Spirit of Youth, it will not survive the present generation. Unless its modes of thought, its methods of work, its channels of presentation, are overhauled from time to time, and adjusted to the living needs of a changing world, its career will come to an untimely end and other channels, freer to conduct the living flow of Cyclic Forces, will carry the spiritual potential into succeeding generations, through the Youth of the present age.

Let us therefore ask ourselves a few simple questions: Are we capable of arresting the attention of the Youth of today? Are we successful in mobilizing its resources for the growth of the Theosophical Movement? Does Youth find in Theosophy an answer to its most imperative needs?

The state of affairs in the Theosophical Society is in itself a sufficient answer to these questions. The percentage of voting people in its membership is very small. The divergences of views as between the young and the old are very marked. The patent unwillingness on the part of the older generation to adopt, or at least to try out, the methods of the younger one, often puts the entire machinery in reverse, jeopardizing some of our best opportunities of expansion. The ponderous, highly intellectual nature of much of our literature, presents no appeal to young minds arid hearts whose intense de-sire to see a better world finds itself impeded by abstract dissertations written in perfect good faith but with no living touch with the problems of Youth.

And yet some of us are still wondering why do we not have more young people in our midst.

We have heard it said that the Youth of today is interested primarily in politics and economics; and as our society is traditionally non-political it finds it almost impossible to gain the attention of the young people. This is a very cheap assertion, found-ed mainly on a lack of observation, and serving as a successful camouflage for individual inertia in the Cause of Theosophy.

Young people are keenly conscious of the vital need to build a better world for all men: a world of human solidarity, of good-will and peaceful inter-relations. This Cause, which is but an aspect of the Theosophical Ideal of Universal Brotherhood, has essentially nothing to do whatsoever with party politics or the contentions of rival economic factions, although, let it be said right now, the latter two forces have secured a strangle hold [5] on the real spiritual, intellectual and ethical issues involved in the problem of global human solidarity. This does not make these issues per se political or economic. It simply emphasizes the dire need to purify them from the barnacles which adhere to them. What else but the soul-satisfying ethical teachings of Theosophy can ever do it? What can ever accomplish it less than the dry intellectualities of a Theosophical "theology" devoid of a living touch with the realities of a world in conflict?

Youth is intent - with grave and unswerving intention, let us remember - to put an end to the insane out-bursts of emotional frenzies called wars. These wars are invariably caused by a few, and then fought by the many. They are the result of the selfish, opportunistic and corrupt thinking of all older generation; yet they are fought by the younger one, which is forced to sacrifice its life and ideals to uphold the established order rooted in glaring injustice, racial animosity, social maladjustment, and the lust for power. What else but the grand Ethics of the Wisdom of the Ages can ever hope to put an end to this state of affairs? Who else but the Youth of the day - in collaboration with those older people who are youthful in spirit and outlook - -can ever bring about that change?

Youth is eager to find a solution, practical and simple - not an all-cure working over-night - to its personal harassing problems: emotional un-balance, sex drive, abysmal rift between itself and former generations, - the opportunity to be heard in the councils of the people, the validity of Religion, if any; it wants to discover whether it is worth trying to become and to grow and to achieve, in a world where the latest scientific inventions, prostituted to base and infernal ends by entrenched monopolies, are apt to mow them down any time, leaving their tasks and their aspirations un-done.

Let these questions be asked here and now of any and every student of Theosophy: Does our average public meeting answer these problems? Does our average study-group offer a solution? Does the main bulk of our standard literature present a guiding thread out of the maze of confusion the average young person, boy or girl, finds himself in? Let any student answer this with candor, honesty, sincerity, without "vested interests" or "thought monopolies" of a quasi-theosophical kind - and with evidence in hand convincing enough for the young people to grasp and understand.

There is very little doubt in the mind of some progressive and forward-looking students that the method of our Theosophical work should he streamlined to the needs of a rapidly changing world. The teachings of Theosophy remain the same throughout the ages, but their presentation must of necessity change from generation to generation, short of becoming out-dated and useless. Unless adapted to the mentalities of the younger people, who are the builders of the immediate future, these presentations become part of an outgoing era and are swept away with the era itself.

It is of great interest and of the deepest value to discuss at length in a circle of profound thinkers the intricacies of Rounds, Root-Races, Cycles and Hierarchies. It provides a keen intellectual and spiritual gratification to enter into the mysteries of the doctrine of Maya, of Swabhava, of the Void or the Fullness, or the succession of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. And it is not only possible, but factual, that certain rare young people may be deeply captivated by such studies. It is, however, a matter of fact that teachings of this kind belong to the profundities of the [6] Esoteric Philosophy and are no more fit for the consumption of most young minds, intent on finding a living, vital solution to the present-day problems, than are the intricacies of quadratic equations and the theory of vectors useful material for the grammar school. And yet it is precisely what many students of Theosophy attempt to do when discussing the Wisdom-Religion with young people. Their minds are fascinated of course: what mind would not be! Their innate courtesy may dictate to them to listen to the end without interruption. But the net result of this misapplied and wrongly-timed effort at instruction is a feeling of frustration on the part of the young mind who has been made to feel how insignificantly small he is as compared with the alleged great knowledge of the instructor, and how little has really been said about that harassing moral or psychological problem with which he or she came to the meeting, seeking help and guidance from a Theosophist!

And yet we are wondering every day just exactly why do we have so few young people in our midst, and why do they not run around wildly shouting about Theosophy from the housetops!

But we can attract their attention. We can mobilize their deep and lasting interest. We can enlist their co-operation and fire their enthusiasm and guide their unfolding thought. All we need to do in order to achieve this is to meet them half-way, to break our own theosophical molds of mind, to contact them on their own ground and to talk to them in their own language, trying to remember that we can be young with them, and that youth, after all, is not solely a matter of physical body, but a state of mind and an attitude of heart as well.

The simplest way to approach the Youth of today is by means of modern science with its discoveries verging on and sometimes even entering the domain of the Occult, as well as voicing in scientific language certain definite truths of Occultism. Another approach is by means of simple, universal, ethical ideas, applicable to the building of a better world for all men. These two approaches meet the young mind half-way.

It is of imperative need that we realise that the present-day Youth is not the depraved, a-moral, delinquent sort of a crowd, that has lost all mooring and is rushing to its ultimate doom, which we "oldsters" have foretold them anyway, don't you see! This is a bugaboo created by our stubborn unwillingness to see anything but our own crystallized view-point, the result of our mental arteriosclerosis which makes us opposed to all change.

We fail to see the obvious fact that the only permanent thing in the Universe is Change. Youth does not fail to see it. It not only sees it, but it attempts to do something about it. Hence the clash of ideas arid viewpoints. Hence the misunderstandings.

It has been the invariable experience of the present writer that young people of today are far more keenly aware of the fundamental principles of right and justice, as absolutely necessary factor of a nobler civilization to be, than are the people who, after almost a life-time spent in Theosophical studies, are even today constitutionally unable to overthrow their own religious, political and economic predilections, and to become free workers for the Cause of human Freedom and Peace.

The present writer has found, after long and careful observation, that the alleged "depravity" of modern youth is mainly a revolt against old-fashioned traditions, fostered by moss-backs whose entire internal economy, psychological and mental, is rooted [7] in the Middle-Ages and is steeped even today in the soul-stupefying, theological nightmares of a dead era. The Karman for this state of affairs inheres with those who have been the originators and the upholders of these psychological perversions, and not in those who are desperately trying to rise above them into the sunlight of Truth.

The "a-moral" characteristic of some young people are simply the result of the fact that they have found out the emptiness of out-dated traditions, from which the spirit has long fled. Unable to find as yet a new code of ethics strong enough to sustain them through the stormy years of life, refusing to be guided by ideas upheld by their elders who have brought them and others to the un-godly mess they find themselves in, and lacking adequate Leadership, they take temporary refuge in a state of mind which seems to be devoid of ethical ideas. This is not so. Modern Youth may be undisciplined. It may lack restrained discrimination and often even integrity. But closer observation reveals that many young people have a far keener appreciation of right and wrong, and far nobler plans for the future of all men, than have been shown by generations of people whose principle weapons of alleged culture have been for the most part armed invasion, rape, pillage, traffic in narcotics, economic exploitation of underprivileged, and a systematic distortion of facts through cunning propaganda.

Youth does not want any of this. Can you blame it? What decent man or woman would not agree with them?

A simple presentation of the basic teachings of the ageless Wisdom: Unity and Causation, human Solidarity, Karman and Reincarnation, Duality of the Mind, Essential Divinity of every Man, the inner-relation of all that lives: illustrated by appropriate scientific discoveries of today, invariably appeals to the young people. Analogies drawn from daily life, from surrounding events, from their own problems, tend to clinch the point in their minds, and produce on them the impression that Theosophy is a living force applicable to the world of today, not a dry-as-dust intellectual theory drama out of the casket of a dreary past and vicariously re-vitalized.

We must invariably remember H.P. Blavatsky's unequivocal statement in The Key to Theosophy:

"Enq. But surely the T.S. does not stand altogether aloof front the social questions which are now so fast coming to the front?

"Theos. The very principles of the T.S. are proof that it does not - or, rather, that most of its members do not - so stand aloof. If humanity can only be developed mentally and spiritually by the enforcement, first of all, of the soundest and most scientific physiological laws, it is the bounden duty of all who strive for this development to do their almost to see that those laws shall be generally carried out. All Theosophists are only too sadly aware that, in Occidental countries especially, the social condition of large masses of the people renders it impossible for either their bodies or their spirits to be properly trained, so that the development of both is thereby arrested. As this training and development is one of the express objects of Theosophy, the T.S., is in thorough sympathy and harmony with all true efforts in this direction." (pp. 232-33.)

If the Theosophical Movement is to live into the future, it must do so through the youth of today in collaboration with older people. To be able to do so, it has to streamline its methods, simplify the presentation of its teachings, and carry them to young minds and hearts with an enthusiasm born of profound conviction and sincerity. It is either that or a Theosophical Church, wherein the priesthood "true and faithful to established tradition" will have supplanted the living Fire of an ever-unfolding Truth. [8]

*

FIRST THINGS FIRST
Newton Weber

I am trying to be a Theosophist. The first thing I have learned is the truth of the doctrine of the brotherhood of man. The most basic reality is that all men are one, that Divine Mind creates, permeates, and directs everything in the universe, visible or invisible. God is in all, through all, is all, and other than Him there has never been anything, nor will there ever be.

I know now that when I harm another by thought, word, or deed, I harm myself and all men for I am inseparably part of the whole. My indifference to the welfare, social or spiritual, of my fellow-man can result in nothing but social or spiritual poverty for me. I must be concerned for the happiness of all men, for therein can be my only real joy. These things 1 know because the great Teachers have taught them and lived them, and Life itself supports the truth of them.

I believe that the Supreme Intelligence has work for me to do and which no other living individual can do for me. That work, whatever it may be, is a part of the overall plan for the perfect universe which exists in the Mind of the Great Engineer. My first duty in this life is to strive to discover my part in the whole picture, and to subordinate at any cost selfish, personal desires which run counter to the will of God, and which may hamper my efficiency in carrying out the Divine Work.

I know that my body is not the real Self, but I realize that it is a necessary instrument through which the Self expresses itself on this physical plane. I am indeed grateful for this body and for the energy with which the Creator supplies it. I can-not afford to indulge in practices which impair in any way the effective functioning of this instrument, for thereby I am defeating to a degree the fulfillment of the Divine purposes. Since I believe in the brotherhood of man, I know that each individual has his task to perform, even as I. So I take care, then, not to en-courage him in any indulgence which will interfere with the harmonious functioning of his faculties, but seek constantly to inspire him to new heights of achievement.

Always I turn in prayer and meditation to the Father of Lights, to ask, not for the fulfillment of selfish desires nor material possessions, but for wealth in terms of love, wisdom, humility, courage. understanding, patience, and compassion. These riches are the keys to the kingdom of Heaven and without one must remain forever outside the gates.

These are the A.B.C.'S of Theosophy. Until I understand them and put them into action, the deeper and more complicated teachings would be of as little importance to me as I would be to the world without practicing what I have already understood.

"Let us then be up and doing;
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."

*

"He who does not practice altruism: he who is not prepared to share his last morsel with a weaker or poorer than himself: he who neglects to help brother man, of what-ever 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 defense as he would undertake his own - is no Theosophist." - Quoted by H.P. Blavatsky in Lucifer, vol. i. Nov., 1887, p. 169. [9]

*

"THEOSOPHY SPEAKS"
Personal Karma
Transcribed Radio Broadcast of January 30, 1944 over Station KMPC, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Announcer: "Theosophy Speaks!" ... "Light for the Mind - Love for the Heart - Understanding for the Intellect."

In our talk last Sunday on CHARACTER, HEREDITY and ENVIRONMENT, "Theosophy Speaks" brought out that the character of a man is molded and conditioned by his thoughts, feelings and actions - and likewise, that he acts in direct accordance with his character. In other words, a man's character is the true expression of the development of his soul. We also said that while we discard the physical part of our nature at death our CHARACTER is deathless, and accompanies us throughout each life, and survives each death.

Today, our scene is a private home. Five friends are visiting. One of them has told the group about an accident to a mutual friend ... and a Theosophist present has been explaining that everything that happens to us is a link in the endless chain of CAUSE and EFFECT - that thread by thread we weave our own destiny. Let's join them in their discussion ...

Tom: Do you mean that we are responsible for everything that happens to us - even accidents?

Bruce: Yes. I do.

Hal: That interests me! Just how do you mean?

Bruce: Well, the specific word covering it is KARMAN - or as some prefer, KARMA. It's a Sanskrit word meaning: Action and Reaction - or Cause and Effect. This natural law is known to all physicists, inventors and chemists, as it is the common denominator of all phenomena. As we've mentioned before, Universal Laws affect every division, or king-dom, in Nature, including the human. And because we have failed to connect this Universal Law of Cause and Effect to the life of man, we lack moral responsibility. Our sense of values is distorted, and so we be-come inclined to blame others for our mistakes and shortcomings - and accidents, too.

Tom: But isn't that because most of us are ignorant of this law of Cause and Effect? Indifferent to it, perhaps?

Bruce: It probably is. However, the Universe is builded upon and depends on law, order and harmony. And when through ignorance, carelessness or viciousness we bring about DISORDER. The Laws of the Universe sooner or later ADJUST the unbalance. And this adjusting is what brings about suffering, struggle, disappointment and pain.

Ruth: But doesn't karma also mean retribution - reaping what we sow?

Bruce: Yes it does, Ruth. You see, since Nature is essentially harmony and balance, any disturbance must be adjusted, as I've just said. If we harm another person, repentance cannot UNDO the wrong. Nature's law of harmony has been violated, and the man responsible must restore that harmony in this, or another life. In this way, we not only reap WHAT we sow, but WHERE we sow.

Hal: What do you mean?

Bruce: Well, for instance - a farmer doesn't sow a crop of corn in say, South County, and reap a harvest of potatoes in North County! No, indeed. We meet the consequences

of our thoughts, words and acts where we have sown them. Which is in OURSELVES - and on EARTH, too.

Ruth: Well, there certainly is nothing escapist about that, is there?

Irene: I should say not. Seems to me it takes a great deal of moral courage to believe that.

Bruce: You bet it does. You see, the human race is one great unit of beings, who are dependent upon each other for everything - and yet, most of our troubles, mistakes and [10] suffering stem from the idea that a man can live unto and for himself alone.

Tom: Selfishness and greed have always been at the root of most wrongs.

Irene: Why, we can be selfish even when we are helping someone, if our motive isn't right.

Ruth: That's true. And some people use will power to make others do wrong.

Bruce: Yes - motive is of prime importance - and Karma always takes it into consideration. Nothing we think or do, nothing we feel or say, is LOST - but forms the foundation upon which we build our future lives.

Irene: But don't you think that resentment over life's inequalities and injustices is natural? There are so many cases where a good person seems to be punished, and a bad per-son rewarded. And it makes people bitter.

Bruce: No doubt about it. We resent being unjustly treated. And men are not going to do right unless they see a REASON for it. There must be a basis for ethics.

Tom: Is that why Theosophy is helping to spread the truths about Karman and Reincarnation?

Bruce: Yes, it is. When people realize that each individual is personally responsible - spiritually, morally, intellectually, emotionally, and even physically, for everything in his life - and that in Universal Law and Justice, there is no such thing as a PRIVILEGED being who gets something for nothing - and also that fortune and misfortune of all kinds are SELF-INDUCED, their resentment would give way to understanding. Thread by thread we weave our own destiny.

Hal: I believe that. I've read somewhere, too, that we forge the chains that bind us.

Bruce: That's another way of putting it, Hal. You see, at each re-birth, our bodies, environments and characters are the unerring consequences of what we have desired, worked for, and either failed or succeeded in, during past lives.

Ruth: What you are saying then, Bruce, is that our troubles, problems. tragedies, illnesses, bad luck and so forth, are past MISTAKES in our lives rising to the surface so we can work them out. Isn't that it?

Bruce: Exactly. We make our future by the way we live today. How-ever, our experiences and position in life are really of secondary importance, because they're valuable ONLY for what we can LEARN from them. The thing to look for and concentrate on is: how is this changing my CHARACTER - and is it for the BETTER?

Tom: It seems then that everything we do and think is really important. I've never realized that be-fore. Most of us are of the opinion that we can get away with things that nobody else knows about.

Ruth: And what a mistake that is! Isn't it true that thoughts lead to actions - actions to habits - habits to characters - and characters lead to destiny?

Bruce: Indeed it is, and that's well put, Ruth ... Actually, we decide our own destiny by our choice of alternatives which life presents. From moment to moment we choose the right or the wrong action.

Hal: I'm inclined to agree with you, Bruce, but on the other hand there ARE times when some BIG event comes along and changes my whole life, and I don't seem to be in charge any longer - it's something bigger than I am.

Bruce: But you are in charge nevertheless. When a ship is in a storm at sea, the captain is in charge. If he doesn't retain control, the ship is lost. And when we are in a stormy period of our lives. WE stand at the helm and shape our future by the way we act and react, then and there.

Irene: In other words, we are our own handiwork. [11]

Bruce: Not only our own handiwork, but our own autobiography, so to speak. We have the tools of destiny in our hands and we carve until we become a worthy temple for the Divinity within us.

Hal: Well, if that's so - Life is really an art.

Bruce: Life is the highest art, Hal.

Ruth: That's a wonderful way to look at it. And so many of us FEAR life instead. It's really foolish, isn't it?

Bruce: Sure it is, because we've all lived and died countless times, with more to follow, and we've all made many mistakes. Actually, every effort the make raises our failures into lessons - and also transmutes every mistake into experience.

Tom: And everybody knows that experience is the purpose of life.

Irene: Knowing that, it seems to me that we should meet whatever comes to us with courage and under-standing, instead of so much com-plaint.

Bruce: Of course - because even sorrows and tragedies carry their lessons, and their benefits.

Tom: In fact, they are blessings in disguise in the final analysis, aren't they?

Irene: Well, the Chinese say so. I think it way Mencius, the great expounder of Confucianism, who said: "When Heaven is about to confer a GREAT OFFICE on any man, it first disciplines his mind with suffering, and his bones and sinews with toil. It ex-poses him to want, and subjects him to poverty. It confounds his under-takings. By all these methods, it stimulates his mind, hardens him, and supplies his incompetencies."

Tom: That's very enlightening, Irene. I'm going to write that down and memorize it. I know I complain about obstacles whenever one con-fronts me - but it'll help a lot to know that all hardships and obstacles are necessary to achievement and growth - because they make us TRY harder.

Hal: You know, it's a strange quirk in our viewpoint that so many of us wonder why "God" visits us with obstacles, troubles or tragedies - and yet we accept the good things and conditions of life as our just due!

Ruth: That's right - we never question our good-fortune or happiness!

Bruce: You know, some people think that Karma, or Cause and Effect, is an evil influence that stands waiting to strike a man at the first favorable moment - forgetting that Karma also brings the good results -and compensations - the rewards - of life. Karma is our benefactor, for it never fails to mete out all compensation - and it demands that the smallest GOOD act or thought should bring reward.

Irene: I've wondered why explanations about KARMAN were always about the lugubrious aspects of life - the sad, the tragic things. I'm glad you're mentioning the brighter side too.

Bruce: Well, just as Hal said, we accept the good things as our just due, and don't wonder about them. It's the bad and troublous things that mystify us. How many times have you heard people ask: "Why should this happen to ME - what have I ever done to deserve this?" We can be very sure that there is a reason - even though we can't check back into the past for it. "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you again." as the Bible says.

Hal: Then, even though we don't know WHY things happen or don't happen, we should look for the lesson that's in them?

Bruce: That's the idea. I think you'll all be interested to know, too, that Karma operates in three fields. First, in the body and in the circumstances of life. Second, in the mental [12] part of our nature, when trials of the mind are experienced. And THIRD in the psychical or emotional nature.

Hal: How about an example or two, Bruce?

Bruce: Well, a psychical instance might bee this ... A man may be filled with hate for and a desire to kill another. But before he can do so, the other dies. Thoughts and desires, though, are ENERGIES and they become more powerful as they approach expression. In this case, being deprived of its evil outlet, the dark torrent of hate turns back upon its creator. The energy just cannot vanish into thin air, it MUST produce an effect, even though it is physically impossible. And in turning back on its creator, this hate has at least poisoned the man's nature. He has altered his character for the worse. And at SOME TIME he must painfully repair that damage. You see, hate is just as magnetic as love.

Tom: We don't realize the dynamic forces we so idly and carelessly play with in life, do we?

Irene: We also hear people say, "Well, that's how I am - nothing can be done about it." According to what you've said, something CAN be done about it - MUST Be done about it.

Bruce: When we obey the commands of our lower nature, we are being mastered by a fault or a weakness. We're being a slave to something small and mean within us.

Ruth: And that isn't even intelligent. After all, we do have an inner, better self who could take command.

Hal: How about another example, Bruce?

Bruce: Well, say that in a previous life you were very rich - and you spent time in riotous living, with never a thought for the unfortunates. In fact, you despised them, booted them if they got in your way, and so forth. It is evident that you need the lesson of kindness and compassion. Since you refused to learn this lesson with all of the so-called advantages, perhaps you'll learn it without them. So in another life you are born into an environment of poverty. You KNOW now what it is to be poor, downtrodden and ill-considered.

Ruth: And that process goes on, I suppose, until the lesson of compassion has been learned?

Bruce: Yes, sou see, we are given many chances in our many lives to grow and improve.

Hal: Karma is also self-discipline, isn't it?

Irene: It is. Sometimes when a person is plunged from one kind of life to another, say from luxury to privation, it is because the person's SOUL craves such a change. It senses the need of an adjustment from one extreme to another to - well, to strengthen character ... even though the person outwardly resents this so-called tragedy. So you see, the law of Cause and EFFECT doesn't always mean the payment of a karmic debt. Karma is really a merciful law, which is our teacher, friend, and savior. We grow through Karma because we LEARN.

Hal: I've often wondered why so many of us are frustrated in the things we want most in life.

Bruce: Well, as I said before, there's a lesson to be learned even in frustration. We can be sure that all the fortunate and unfortunate conditions and happenings in our life BELONG to us - because we've inherited them from ourselves! And we have them because THROUGH them we have the opportunity to grow. So, instead of wasting time and energy in resentment, self-pity or whining, we should accept them fearlessly as our very own, analyze them for the hidden lessons in them, and then work hard to learn. Finally we'll be rid of them - because nothing lasts forever. [13]

Tom: It seems to me that some other things lye have to get rid of are uncharitable criticism and condemnation of others, irresponsibility and indifference.

Bruce: Well, when all is said and done, life is a school - a long course of education - with a large list of subjects to be learned; chiefly: un-selfishness, self-mastery, self-control, self-knowledge. and self-salvation. We'll be free of struggle, pain, poverty and frustration as soon as we learn our lessons from them, and live in conformity with Universal Laws.

Irene: What are the Universal Laws, Bruce?

Bruce: Love, harmony, compassion, discipline, justice, growth, un-selfishness, and brotherhood. These lead to the Perfect Man.

Ruth: But is it really possible to become perfect, Bruce?

Bruce: Life is full of dignity and beauty, Ruth, and a man can work toward this Perfection because he is MASTER of his own destiny, and can make of himself whatsoever he wills. No heights are UNreachable. Unerring Justice balances all things as the cycles unroll, so we can safely leave the results of our efforts to Divine Law.

*

LAST THOUGHTS BEFORE SLEEP
L.B.

Many students have asked: How is it that our last thoughts before sleeping are carried on more or less positively during the sleep state?

It is the permanent re-incarnating entity who does the thinking( !) and not the personal man functioning through the brain mind. The positive action of thought which enlarges its contacts is of quite a different order from that of the automatic and negative repetitive correlation of impressions received while awake, though these latter are what is generally sensed in the semi-conscious dreaming state.

There is another indication of this in the apparent result of purposeful thought: if the personal entity polarized the mind in the form of a definite question of the right kind, the reincarnating entity would react to it, and transmit an answer in the form of an impression which the brain could receive and translate.

The complexities of the constitution are so enormous that it is impossible to trace them, but it is possible to get a general understanding of the processes when we realize the various interpenetrating radiations of the Principles in their seven-fold divisions and degrees of evolution on and through the central and underlying point of SELF. One call see then that the plane to which our human self-consciousness reaches will react on the waking mind as tile result of its previous polarization and direction.

*

The truest happiness is to be found in the deep interior study of the great mysteries of nature and life, seeking thus to find the best manner in which the soul may express itself, and in a constant fulfillment of this manner when found. If they can be taught to see and feel this and the true meaning of it, the work is done. Labor, therefore, faithfully to accomplish this in yourself, for we can teach others only what we ourselves know, and this knowledge is one with experience. The divine light burns for all: take your part of it and illuminating first your own heart, the flower will then he yours to illuminate others. Remember, words are not needed. In the silence these things are done. - Attributed to William Q. Judge.[14]

*

DEEP THOUGHT - DETERMINED ACTION
Dick Cutting
(These excerpts from a letter we published here on account of their intrinsic ethical value - Ed.)

... As long as we try in what we earnestly and intelligently believe to be the right direction, all is not lost.

To have given up .. to say: "I don't care" ... "What's the use" ... "What does it matter" ... is the worst of man's shortcomings.

We simply cannot withhold our support and constructive effort in the presentation of the Work of the Masters simply because our hearts are temporarily discouraged at some transitory difficulty in the dissemination of Theosophy. Each member of the T.S. is in a given state of development as is every member of the human race at large. Errors in judgment, results short of their objectives, are sure to occur as the handling of Theosophical matters proceeds throughout the coming years.

One thing is certain: there are no mistakes where there is no effort, nor is there the slightest modicum of progress either. Thought first, and action to follow ... action and more action, in correspondence to prior thoughtfulness. This could well be the key-note of activity for all of us. So much of our evolution depends upon an expressive combination of these two factors. Thought and action ... out of all action and thinking some mite of knowledge is sure to follow, and it is this resultant knowledge and wisdom accumulated through experience that makes it possible for us to go ever onward, along the path of inner and outer development.

There is nothing new about this. But it is necessary we think along these lines now and then to revitalize our perspectives. It is better to make mistakes than to sit back on a cushion in a comfortable room and do nothing. All progress involves errors and corrections ... thought and action, and new reflection and new trials. Each of us can learn from his own mistakes in judgment and thinking. Only the coward is afraid to pay for them.

Be glad to pay the Karma for a momentary deficiency in Wisdom in the carrying out of a certain action, the result of which may not have been as satisfying as it might have been. Pay for it gladly ... learn from it ... and be paid also. The Karma of the future is like the problems you are facing today. You created the difficulties and pleasures of the moment's occurrences. Any difficulty you face of your own or react to in others, is of your own doing. The very fact that you may be conscious of discrepancies in the world of action about you is a sure sign that you are witnessing a scene in which you were once before either a spectator or an actor.

So, what's to be done? Simply this. Plunge right into the thick of life where the swirl of action is fast, unquiet, troublous and agitated. Do your very best to put into action the teachings of Theosophy. Try ... anyway. No progress was ever made without the valor of some soul who had the courage to try to make things better, and take on the karmic consequences thereof. Such are often branded by the world of today as "radicals." The Avatara Jesus was a "radical." Be a radical Theosophist, then, be a doing Theosophist ... be a thinking Theosophist. Try ... and take the load on your shoulders and carry it, and never let it fall through inertia.

As Dr. G. de Purucker so aptly said: "Begin, and more than half the battle is won. Continue, and not only is the battle won, but new victories are assured." [15]

*

THOUGHTS BY THE WAYSIDE

The Wayfarer had been sojourning for some time in a great city, consumed by a profound Nostalgia, generated by the Individualism - Passions - Conflicts found on every hand. Rugged Individualists, blocking the front of the busses, prevented others from passing to vacant spaces in the rear. Passions running riot - as shown by crime stories in the daily newspapers. Conflicts of thought and deed, shown on every hand by statements and actions of specific groups of individuals reiterating their DEMANDS, as if they were the only ones worthy of any consideration in life.

With the complete unconcern of a Wayfarer along the Highways of Life, all these events could be looked on impartially and with curiosity.

It was noted in this particular Concentration Camp, which is really what our large cities are, that on lips and in print, two words were constantly being used. They were WAR and PEACE. The use of the former word seemed to be waning, while the use of the latter one was waxing. Listening to the aimless prattling of the people, one gathered that the World War was coming to its close, and that on this account PEACE, by some unknown Alchemical or Magical means, would automatically take its place, without any effort on the part of the peoples of the World to so bring it about. The city's multitudes, racing about their personal affairs, seemed convinced that this concept was a fact. Phrases like "Business as Usual," "Reduced Taxes," "Unlimited Gasoline," and many others, were heard on all sides.

Filled with a desire to come up for air, for awhile, The Wayfarer wandered to the center of the city's largest park, where an illusion of separation from urban surroundings was to be had, inasmuch as nothing could be seen but trees and a reasonable facsimile of a countryside. The immediate elect of this was PEACE (felt in the Heart), when formerly the effect was that of WAR (felt in the Mind). This fact alone would seem to indicate that War is a matter of congestions of Humanity, while Peace is a matter of the Tranquility of Nature. This of coarse simply compelled the consideration of the fact that PEACE - HEART - NATURE and WAR - MIND - CITY, constituted two natural Trinities, that contained within themselves the solution of the problem of Peace versus War.

The matter was now getting interesting, and as there were no noisy and hurrying human beings around, to agitate mentally and physically the thought waves, it could be followed through. Inasmuch as, whenever we establish one of the natural Triads of life, we can keep on transposing them to other terms, and in this way alone often solve apparently unsolvable problems, the next step was to reduce or transpose the last two Triads or Trinities given. Doing this we obtained PEACE - SIMPLICITY - NATURALNESS and WAR - COMPLEXITY - ARTIFICIALITY. At once the only method by which Peace can come to a stricken world, and War be prevented in the future, is unrolled before us. A simple, natural life, such as found in the country, promotes Peace. A complex, artificial life, such as found in cities, promotes War. This brings us to the point that any Peace Conference should be held in the open, in the country, and the participants should be those with a love of nature and not those addicted to city life. Farmers never made a war. City Dwellers made them all.

MORAL: - Tranquility of the Human Heart must supplant the Restlessness of the Human Mind, in order that Peace may supplant War.

And that's just Wayside Theosophy.

- The Wayfarer. [Hubert S. Turner] [16]

*

AN INTERESTING SUGGESTION

In connection with the subject of increasing the circulation of "Theosophia" and making it more valuable as a means for the dissemination of the Ancient Wisdom, the suggestion was recently made to devote entire issues of the magazine, at least from time to time, to one specific subject.

Such important and basic teachings of Theosophy - as, for instance, Cycles, Karma, After-Death States, Universal Brotherhood, Ancient Civilizations, Psychic Powers, etc., might be represented by a few simple but informative articles, and by suitable reprints of especially valuable passages bearing on such subjects from the pen of H.P. Blavatsky, W.Q. Judge, G. de Purucker, or other not-easily accessible sources.

The Editors would like to hear in this connection the opinions and wishes of our subscribers and friends. Is it worth trying? Do our friends feel that such a policy will add to the value of "Theosophia"? Will they want to secure a few additional copies of such issues, to interest other people in specific Theosophical teachings? The Editors would welcome the suggestions of all those who may give attention to this notice. - Editors, "Theosophia"

*

SAN DIEGO THEOSOPHICAL ACTIVITIES
Theosophical Center, Fourth Ave. and Olive St., San Diego 3. Calif, Jackson 1740.
Public Meetings - Sunday Afternoons - 3:00 o'clock.
GENERAL TOPIC: GOD AND THE EXPANDING UNIVERSE.
Chairman: Earle Hostler.
- July 1st - Panel Discussion - Mrs. Margaret Daun, Miss Edith Braittain, George Simpson.
- July 8th - "Conceptions of Deity" - Clarence Wesner (Covina).
- July 15th - "Spiritual Trends in Modern Science" - Boris de Zirkoff.
- July 22nd - "Our Universe and God" - Donald Prey and Daniel Peterson.
- July 29th - "Is Man a Part of the Universe?" - Guest Speaker: Prof. Harry C. Steinmetz, State College, and Mrs. Constance Hostler, F.T.S.
GENERAL TOPIC: REVIEWS OF PROGRESSIVE BOOKS.
Chairman: Mrs. Mora Forbes
- August 5th - Mrs. Dorothy Friend
- August 12th - Mr. F.C. Clemeshaw (Covina)
- August 19th - Mr. Inez H. Comparet
- August 26th - Dr. Howard B. Bard
Books are to be announced later. Watch the daily papers.
Lotus Circle for Children (Theosophical Sunday School), directed by Miss Edith Brittain, assisted by Miss Rose Schneider, every Sunday, at 10:30 A.M.
For information on all Theosophical activities in San Diego, consult Harold W. Dempster, Regional Vice-President, 3131 McCall St., San Diego 6, Calif., Bayview 6839 (or Franklin 3131 daytime).