THEOSOPHIA
A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume II
No. 4 (10) - November- December 1945

[Cover photo: G 80, Star Clouds in Sagittarius, exposure 3 3/4 hours, July 21, 1922, Tessar Lens. (Courtesy Mount Wilson Observatory.)]

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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
Beginning with the first Wednesday in November, the Lodge will hold regular meetings, EVERY WEDNESDAY EVENING, at 8:00 P.M., at the home of Mrs. Norine G. Chadil and Mrs. Florence B. Makee, 709 South Norton Ave., Los Angeles 5 (EXposition 5520). These meetings are open to all inquirers who desire to acquaint themselves with the teachings of Theosophy. Members are urged to bring their friends along.

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]

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WHAT OF BEREAVEMENT?
Boris de Zirkoff

Today, as never before, the specter of death haunts the anguished minds of millions.

Men and women alike, irrespective of their outlook on life, stand aghast before the panorama of organized slaughter which robs them overnight of their parents, children, sweet-hearts.

Even many a student of the Ancient Wisdom finds it difficult to co-ordinate his intellectual, mainly theoretical understanding of Theosophy, with the sudden shock of bereavement, leaving but a disconsolate loneliness where there seemed to be security and promise before.

They ask: What can it all mean? How to fill the emptiness of heart and mind? How to mend the torn skein of life, and find a new and stronger incentive to rebuild the shattered structure?

One thing is absolutely sure. The Ancient Wisdom does not offer any kind of sentimental "consolation," nor does it try to send the inquiring soul to sleep by pointing to the sweet will of "God" as the only solution of the problem. "God" trying his children! This alleged panacea is absent from Theosophy. Nor does the present writer - a student among many others - claim to offer the one and only explanation which can and must satisfy on account of its completeness and finality, without any further effort on the part of the reader, who may be himself the sufferer and the victim of the prevailing order of things.

In order to arrive at some solution, and derive from it additional strength to meet the issues confronting us, it is imperative that we think, think deeply and repeatedly and intelligently. It is necessary that we arm ourselves with reasoned judgment, with enlightened logic, and illumine these with whatever flashes of intuition we may evoke from within our deeper Selves.

Let its ask ourselves a few simple questions, in order to clarify the issue at hand. We will take it for granted that certain elementary principles of Theosophy are familiar to us.

Is death on the battlefield an especially terrible occurrence? There is no reason to suppose that it is. It is just one form of physical dissolution which the Ego undergoes in its cyclic process of repeated rebirths. Physical suffering is largely a matter of self-conscious mental awareness. It is a well known fact that our experiencing of pain is conditioned by the state of our mind. The mental and emotional state of many a soldier must of necessity (granting exceptions) be of a nature which alters greatly his realization of physical pain. It is quite easy to imagine that many a miserable wretch in everyday life, dying of fairly natural causes, may be experiencing a greater pain owing to a tortured mind and sordid emotions, than the man who is convinced he is doing his utmost duty to state or race.

Has Nature no compensation to offer in the case of violent death in war? It exhibits such compensation in every direction and in all other fields of life. The general shock to the organism, its stunned condition, may well compensate for much that seems to be connected with physical torture. We cannot disregard this possibility, even if we are unable to prove it mathematically.

As everything in Nature is orderly and sequential, and is governed by strict causation, it stands to reason that violent physical death (which, strictly streaking, is not and should not be called `death', as it is merely a premature losing of the physical [4] garment) must bear a direct relation to the total karmic record of the embodied Ego, and must be, in the case of thousands of individuals, and perhaps millions, an unavoidable (in this incarnation ) effect of causes set in motion by the Ego in other lives, an effect over which the personal man has no control whatsoever, as it is a mere running down of a complex karmic spring wound up through and by long-passed actions.

If this is so, and we believe that it is, there must result to the experiencing Ego a great freedom through the sudden exhaustion, complete or only partial, of accumulated physical karman, brought about by physical dissolution in the manner we are considering here. Some slate or other of the individual's karmic record is thereby cleared. Is it something that we are too selfish and too personal to wish for another? We do not wish him violent death on the battlefield or in a bombed-out city; but we wish him and all else ultimate freedom from a heavy load of karmic indebtedness incurred in many past lives. We ourselves are part of that record; therefore we are experiencing pain and sorrow, even if not physical suffering, with him.

Have we asked ourselves whether the reincarnating Ego of the so-called victim may not have asked precisely for this kind of life, and this kind of ending to it this time? In the vision of the re-embodying Ego, whose consciousness bridges the gap of so-called "death," the events overtaking the personality acquire a vastly different meaning and are not to be appraised in the poor light of our brain's fitful understanding.

Does physical death really sever our contact with the one we love? Have we asked ourselves this question, and pondered over it? Have we ever seen the one we love? No, we have only been aware of his physical form and of some traits of his emotional and mental make-up. These are not worth much, seeing that a slight alteration of physical conditions, such as heat, electric current, intense cold, etc., destroys them completely. These are not the things we love in our dear ones.

In spite of a heavy entanglement of physical matter, we succeeded during life in communicating with the real tenant of the form through such imperfect symbols as words, signs, facial expressions, and the intangible current from mind to mind and from heart to heart. Are we so sure that these latter methods of heart and mind and spirit may not be intensified after physical death, so that we may come to know those we love even better, and to hold spiritual communion with them in the silences of our being? Spiritualism? Oh no! Only the recognition of the unbreakable Oneness of all life, in which Oneness there can be no solution of continuity anywhere, if Nature is to hold together; and the know it does.

Shall we meet them again? By this of course is usually meant one definite thing: are we going to see them again in the same form and with the personal peculiarities which distinguished them from others. Heaven forbid! Are we that selfish? Do we really wish them to re-appear in embodied life without much, if any, change or improvement, just to please us - we who will, let us hope, he considerably changed ourselves?

After all physically pleasing traits have been set aside in our analysis, are not the things we love in them mainly mental, psychological and spiritual? Are not these the greatest attraction binding soul to soul? Will not these be again the strongest links and signs by which we will without a doubt recognize those we love in a future embodied existence? In the meantime, are we selfish enough to [5] desire their restoration to physical form and limitations, just to satisfy our hunger to see them physically alive? Shall we disturb the harmony of Nature which has mercifully plunged them into a much needed rest, and attempt to drag them out of this condition either through our mental anguish or, worse yet, through accepted methods of necromancy, called by various high-sounding names and devised to delude and fascinate weaklings among men? Let us think!

We do not want these loved ones of ours to die a seemingly horrid death on foreign battlefields. We do not want them to he slaughtered amidst the rubble of destroyed cities. We do not want them to he enslaved and tortured at the hands of men whose ideologies they do not accept. Very well then. Are we willing to DO something to prevent such conditions from ever arising? How much would we sacrifice of our own comfort, ease, wealth, security, and living standards in order to become indefatigable and uncompromising workers in the Cause of human freedom, justice, decency, solidarity and peace?

No cause has ever been furthered, and no lasting accomplishment ever achieved without personal and collective sacrifice. And what we are willing and anxious to sacrifice in the Cause of Mankind and its welfare indicates with considerable precision just exactly how much that Cause and Mankind mean to us. Most of us might be surprised at our findings were we to experiment upon ourselves (not the other chap!)

The conditions in our world will not change - cannot change - until and unless we discard old, crystallized, selfish grooves of thought and feeling, followed by equally selfish acts. It is these ways of thinking and acting that have brought us to the present impasse. Shall we uphold and perpetuate them knowingly? National and international opportunism, constricting and blinding nationalism, racial animosity, religious sectarianism, theological dogmatism, insane fanaticism in all the main issues of our common life; lust for power, money, possessions; accumulation of physical riches and, paradoxically enough, of spiritual paucity; a passion to impose our own lack of vision upon other minds, the craving to subject weaker ones to the superior strength of our own blind will, exploitation of the weaker and more ignorant by the physically stronger and the more cunning - most of these parading under high-sounding names designed to delude, to fascinate and enslave. And some there are amongst us who, from high places of Church and State, have the arrogance to speak of this den of iniquities as being a "Christian" civilization arrayed in just and sacred conflict against the powers of darkness, a revival of the "heathenism" of old! What unspeakable folly? What blasphemy against the Sermon on the Mount!

No mere palliatives will ever help us, neither individually nor collectively as nations. Nothing short of a return to the simple natural laws of ethical conduct can eliminate the glaring injustices in so-called "civilized" countries, and prevent the periodic outbreaks of emotional frenzies, called wars, which have characterized for centuries past our abortive attempts at building a true civilization. Then only will arise in our relatively self-controlled and illumined minds the true understanding of nature's laws, including a greater view of so-called death which, robbed of all its fears and specters, remains for ever, like unto initiation itself, the mystic Portal into the Silent Land of Nature's Inmost Heart.[6]

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OUR CYCLE AND THE NEXT
H.P. Blavatsky
(Excerpts from an article by that name, originally published in Lucifer, Vol. iv, May 1889.)

... Happy the optimist in whose heart the nightingale of hope can still sing, with all the iniquity and cold selfishness of the present age before his eyes! Our century is a boastful age, as proud as it is hypocritical; as cruel as it is dissembling ... Instead of truth and sincerity, we have propriety and cold, cultured politeness ... Falsification on every plane ... Life - a long race-course, a feverish chase, whose goal is a tower of selfish ambition, of pride, and vanity, of greed for money or honours, and in which human passions are the horsemen, and our weaker brethren the steeds. At this terrible steeplechase the prize-cup is purchased with the hearts blood and sufferings ... Pride and conceit are the two hideous cancers devouring the heart of civilized nations, and selfishness is the sword handled by evanescent personality to sever the golden thread that links it to immortal INDIVIDUALITY ... I am the one, and God's elect," says the proud nation. I am the invincible and the foremost; tremble all ye around me!" Behold, there comes a day when we see it crouching in the dust, bleeding and mangled.

... Such is the terrible picture presented by our present cycle, now nearing its close, to those from whose eyes the scales of prejudice, preconception and partiality have fallen, and who see the truth that lies behind the deceptive appearance of our Western "civilization". But what has the new cycle in store for humanity? Will it be merely a continuation of the present, only in darker and more terrible colours? Or shall a new day dawn for mankind, a day of pure sunlight, of truth, of charity, of true happiness, for all? The answer depends mainly on the few Theosophists who, true to their colours through good repute and ill, still fight the battle of Truth against the powers of Darkness ...

If Theosophy prevailing in the struggle, its all-embracing philosophy strikes deep root into the minds and heart of men, if its doctrines of Reincarnation and karma, in other words, of Hope and Responsibility, find a home in the lives of the new generations, then, indeed, will dawn the day of joy and gladness for all who now suffer and are outcast. For real Theosophy IS ALTRUISM, and we cannot repeat it too often. It is brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth. If one men do but realize that in these alone can true happiness be found, and never in wealth, possessions, or any selfish gratification, the dark clouds will roll away, and a new humanity will be born upon earth. Then, the GOLDEN AGE will be there, indeed.

But, if not, then the storm will burst, and our boasted western civilization and enlightenment will sink in such a sea of horror that its parallel History has never yet recorded.

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Reminder to our Subscribers - A number of our subscribers have not yet renewed their subscriptions. As we are optimists, we feel that this is mainly due to an oversight. Every renewal and every new subscription helps us to pay our bills and plan for future issues. We trust we can count on your continued support. Let us hear from you! - Editors, "Theosophia". [7]

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ACTION AND RE-ACTION
Emily R. Plummer

Order is a Universal Law. Therefore from the highest spiritual plane to the lowest physical all the manifestations, formations, and operations have an unbroken "Cosmic vitality plus intelligence." As we are parts of the Cosmic Whole (this universal Being), and therefore are governed by this same law of order, we should constantly realize this in our every thought and deed, and also know when Nature's laws are broken by us in any way whatever we bring but trouble, pain and sorrow to ourselves, until we have learned to adjust our thoughts and actions harmoniously with this universal law of order. We then progress on that path which alone leads us ever forward and onward toward our destiny of Godhood. If law and order were not operating from the highest to the lowest realms of life, then would there not be eventually complete destruction of all things?

Think of our Mother Earth and all her sister planets in the Solar System, each one on its own orbit, and each one rotating on its axis for millions of years guided by Father Sun, thus giving to all their inhabitants, winters and summers, springs and falls, and day and night, times for action and rest during their evolutionary climb.

Is it possible that there could be planets and suns without laws governing and controlling their motions? Can we think that in all of Nature's realms, below the mineral and on up to man, and into the spiritual kingdoms, there is neither law nor order? If no laws governed life in the universe, what would prevent the stars and planets from colliding and demolishing one another and all their inhabitants? Also the sun might explode or glide away from its own appointed path instead of giving

needed light, heat, and life energies to the Solar System. Then again, such monstrosities as carrots growing on rose bushes, and roses on apple trees, and animals becoming plants or stones animal! Can we possibly believe that a Deity, supreme Source and Head of all things, would not be working out and Bringing forth and guiding all things through law and order?

Expressing it more concisely, the universe is operated in a perfectly mathematical order through different rates of vibrations and in cosmic actions from the highest to the lowest realms of Nature. However, the lower classes of life, including the human kingdom, are but dimly aware of these laws of life: especially humanity because of selfishness and misguided will-power. Hundreds of different diseases rage among us because of chemical changes produced in our bodies, often resulting in insanity through temper, deceit, cruelty, unbrotherly habits from childhood through adulthood. Also our liking of food and drink goes far beyond what is necessary for our sustenance and health. Animals in their natural state, living so simply in food and in all other ways, and constantly breathing fresh air, are almost free from diseases of any kind. Thus disaster in many forms comes upon us until those laws of nature are learned and practiced through understanding and reverence.

Coming down to our daily living, if we constantly realized that from atom to cosmos and beyond everything is regulated by law and order, or in other words, Universal Harmony, and that when the smallest law is broken by us it brings in course of time its just retribution, we would not then be living in such a chaotic world. Therefore let us study [8] the duality of man: our highest, un-selfish, uplifting Self, and the lower selfish, downward-tending self. We all certainly know that actions bring forth reactions, some which are harmful in results and others beneficial. That is what brings about so-called good and evil in our daily living, not only upon ourselves, but upon others, for actions either help or harm the actor, as well as others affected by him. They either advance or retard the evolution of the one responsible, and their influence is extended to form karmic links that bind us to others, and which will have to be worked out in future births. A habit is a course of action or conduct; in other words, the repetitive act brings about in course of time a condition in which the act becomes spontaneous. Therefore habits lead us upwards or downwards. Good ones, impersonal habits of thought, formed by unselfish, lofty ideals lived up to, not only for ourselves, but for all mankind, lead us on in evolution towards spiritual destiny. Evil ones, unless broken and conquered completely, gain strength also in course of time, and not only weaken the victim but become a spontaneous series of actions throughout life and persist in future lives until overcome.

"Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny."

Our web of destiny is woven by ourselves; first by thought, then by action. This truth is beautifully expressed by our late leader, G. de Purucker, in "Golden Precepts of Esotericism."

"The higher you go along the evolutionary pathway, the more careful you must be; therefore you should be most careful of what you think and feel and of the acts that you do. You have learned at least in some degree, how to use your Will, and what will be the result of it, and Nature will hold you responsible. As the law of the universe stands, you either rise or fall by every thought that you have and by every act that you do. At every instant of human existence you stand at the parting of the ways - the right hand or the left."

We must ever hold in mind that PERSONAL Self-conquest is a path of growth, and since two pathways lie ever before us from birth to death, life after life, if we adjust all thoughts and actions harmoniously with this law of order, we progress until we become Masters of our fate, marching towards ultimate Divinity.

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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 FOR NOVEMBER: THEOSOPHICAL OBJECTIVES
Chairman: Constance Hostler.
- Nov. 4th - "Triangle of Truth" - Dorothy Friend.
- Nov. 11th - "Who, Where, What is God?" - Emmett Small (Covina).
- Nov. 18th - "Inherent Possibilities" - Rose Schneider & Kathleen Pray.
- Nov. 25th -"An Active Brotherhood" - Arthur W. Beach (Los Angeles)
GENERAL TOPIC FOR DECEMBER: THE FLAME IN THE HEART
Chairman: Earle Hostler.
- Dec. 2nd - "The Need for Leaders" - Constance Hostler.
- Dec. 9th - "Thought and Prayer" - Judith Tyberg (Covina).
- Dec. 16th - "'The Meanings of God" - Mora Forbes.
- Dec. 23rd - "Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh" - George Simpson.
- Dec. 30th - "Mind Versus Matter" - Arthur Corey, Director Public Relations, California Teachers' Association, & Virginia Kellogg, F.T.S.

For information on all Theosophical activities in San Diego and vicinity, consult Harold W. Dempster, Regional Vice-President, 3131 McCall Street, San Diego 6, California, Bayview 6839 (or Franklin 3131 daytime); or T. Marriott, Chairman Public Relations Committee, 3926 Normal Avenue, San Diego 3, California, Jackson 8997 (or Franklin 7663 daytime). [9]

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"THEOSOPHY SPEAKS"
National Karma
Transcribed Radio Broadcast of February 6, 1944 over Station KMPC, Beverly Hills, Calif.

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

Last Sunday, "Theosophy Speaks" discussed the Universal Law of CAUSE AND EFFECT (known to Theosophists ss KARMAN) from the personal viewpoint. It was said that we meet the consequences of all our thoughts, feelings and actions where we have sown them, which is IN OURSELVES, and on EARTH. This cannot he accomplished in one short lifetime - therefore man lives, or REINCARNATES, many times. It was also said that all the fortunate and unfortunate conditions and events in our lives BELONG to us. because we've inherited them - from OURSELVES. And, in Universal Justice, there is no such thing as a PRIVILEGED being. It was brought out that man has the tools of destiny in his own hands end carves his future by his own actions. Therefore, Life is the Highest Art.

Today, in a transcribed dialogue, live friends meet to discuss the law of CAUSE AND EFFECT from a NATIONAL or WORLD viewpoint. Here they are ....

Hal: I was just saying as we were driving over here, how wonderful it is to get together quietly for these discussions. It has a decidedly elevating effect. Makes you feel that you want to pass on to others what has impressed you as being hopeful, and -

Irene: Well, here's Ruth!

Bruce: Hello, there.

Tom: Had car trouble?

Ruth: No - I had to tuck the kiddies into bed. Precious things, aren't they? But what a responsibility!

Irene: I should say they are!

Ruth: Many times as I look into those little faces I wonder just what pathway in life they will take. If all children could only be taught some of the fundamental laws of nature, as future citizens they would KNOW how to build a better world.

Irene: The rules are simple enough too. Honesty, justice, unselfishness, kindness, tolerance and responsibility.

Hal: How right you are! People everywhere, young AND old, need to have a clearer understanding of moral responsibility. And they also need to know more about Cause and Effect, or Action and Reaction.

Tom: Isn't that what you Theosophists call Karma - or Karman?

Hal: Yes - Karman is the technical word for it.

Bruce: Now I am in a fog, and stretching my imagination to the breaking point - because I thought Karman was an Opera! Somebody set me right!

(Laughter from all)

Irene: If you have a desire to break into song, just control it until later!

(Laughter comes over)

Hal: Well, Karman, spelled K-A-R-M-A-N, is a Sanskrit word used to designate one of the most important laws of Nature. It means Action and reaction. You see, when an entity ACTS, it acts from within. This action impacts upon surrounding Nature, and Nature reacts against the impact. And the combination of these two - of energy acting upon Nature, and Nature reacting against the impact - is what is called KARMAN, or Action and Reaction.

Bruce: That certainly is a powerful thought, Hal.

Hal: Well, Karman is essentially a chain of Causation - stretching back into the infinity of the past and into the infinity of the future. Action and Reaction are inescapable because [10] they are in Universal Nature, which is infinite, and therefore everywhere and timeless. And, since this Law is Universal, it naturally affects every department in Nature.

Tom: What do you mean?

Hal: Atoms, elements, plants, animals, planets, races, nations, and men - all according to their various states of development and consciousness.

Tom: Well, that's new to me! I didn't know there was National or World Karma!

Hal: Yes, there is. The universe is builded on law and order, harmony and justice. And when in any way this harmony is disturbed, Nature reacts and demands that harmony be restored by the individual, or the nation that is responsible.

Bruce: That's a tremendous idea - and interests me very much Hal. Just what is it that causes national or world Karman?

Hal: National Karman is effected when the same individuals who lived in the same nation perhaps thousands of years ago are reborn together, and through certain characteristics in common, form the so-called national or racial traits. The people of a nation are associated together because as A GROUP they have something to work out, to learn. And if the essential character of the group is of a high quality, the nation will have rood Karman. And the reverse, of course, is also true.

Tom: How does National Karman show itself?

Hal: Well, if it is heavy - usually through revolutions, famines, upheavals, sterility of women, and wars. However, reforms in social structure and national well-being are also the results of a nation's former activities.

Bruce: But why are we born into any particular nation?

Hal: A man is born into a family, a race, or a nation - not by CHANCE - but by design. Because these provide the circumstances and environments best suited to the working out of his Karman. Also, he is born into a certain family, race, or nation, because he is magnetically attracted there as a result of past associations, relations, and action. And whatever affects the nation, affects the individuals that comprise the nation. And the reverse is also true - whatever the individual does, affects the nation. So you can see that not only the thoughts and acts of each person, but the collective thoughts and actions of a nation, result in peace or war, wealth or poverty, constructive advancement or degradation.

Irene: And I suppose in just the same way, the collective thoughts and actions of ALL NATIONS will form or deform, shape or misshape, the destiny of the WORLD?

Hal: That's it exactly.

Ruth: But I don't understand. Can't a nation fulfill its karma without wars, famines, epidemics and other suffering?

Hal: Of course it can. These tragic things can be neutralized or even eliminated through right living and thinking. Any nation that directs its aims toward things of the Spirit, intellectual aspirations, peace, beauty, the welfare of all - and brotherhood, would have a karman written in golden capital letters! But no amount of legislation is going to bring about this upliftment. It will have to come from the hearts and souls of the PEOPLE composing the nation. In the final analysis, as Irene said, it is up to us - THE PEOPLE - to shape or misshape the character of our nation - and its future.

Ruth: It isn't nice to think that we, as individuals, are responsible for the injustice and heartache in the world, is it?

Hal: No, it isn't - but after all, we can DO something about it, can't we? [11]

Tom: But how - and where?

Hal: Well, we've said before that man is the maker of his own destiny. Just as sorely as there is night and day, man brings light and darkness into his own life. He weaves the pattern of his life, his character, and his destiny, with the threads of his own thoughts and actions. And so it is with nations. This process has gone on through the ages - and has woven all men so closely into one great family, that we cannot disclaim responsibility as our brother's keeper.

Bruce: That's true - and the advent of the airplane, radio and other means of communication have brought us so close together as a World Family that we cannot side-step it - and we must learn to live together amicably. World conditions, too, are forcing us to realize that co-operation and brotherhood are absolutely essential.

Hal: There is another way of putting it. We all have a common Spiritual Parentage, a kinship with all other men. As a matter of fact, we must consider the Universe as a WHOLE, or as one great Organism, in which smaller organisms function as a PART of the whole. Like the fingers of one hand, like the hand to the body - so is each human being a part of the great organism called the Universe. And because we are so closely related, whatever affects a PART of the organism, affects the ENTIRE organism, to some extent.

Irene: I think I understand what you mean. When any one individual - whether that individual is a man or a nation - when any ONE does a selfish, cruel or unkind act, it is like a knife-thrust into the very fabric of the World Family.

Hal: That's it. Every man and every nation in this World Family is, right this moment, the exact result of such past thoughts arid actions.

Ruth: Oh, I see. Then that accounts for some people and nations being backward, greedy or cruel, or progressive and cultured.

Hal: Yes, Upon the individuals composing a nation rests the karman of the nation. If they are intellectually and spiritually ALIVE, the whole national trend is for the good of all. And that nation is a force, a power for good, in the world.

Tom: And the reverse must also be true - if a nation is indifferent to certain moral laws, if its political and social standards are low, that nation is a threat to the well-being of the whole world!

Bruce: Then you say that a nation, or the world for that matter, can set its house in order by the way it thinks and acts. But how can this be done through thoughts, for instance?

Hal: Do you realize the power that is venerated by collective thinking? It is IDEAS that make and unmake nations and civilizations. If we want peace and human betterment, we must first THINK peace and betterment, and then follow up thought or idea with ACTIONS that will make the thought LIVE! You see, ideas have the power to shape the minds of men.

Irene: Thoughts are ENERGIES then - and we all know that energy cannot be dissipated. It must produce an effect. So that gives us some idea how potent thoughts really are.

Hal: I'm going to tell you something that may sound a bit startling, but it's true. Everything in the world - from atoms to the Universe itself, was ONCE A THOUGHT! - For instance, we are thoughts - concreted.

Ruth: You almost frighten me - I had no idea that my thoughts were that important!

Tom: But why haven't we paid more attention to the power of thoughts? After all, philosophers and Teachers have taught the importance of them for ages. Iíve read a lot about it, as many people have, but it just [12] never penetrated. You know the Bible says: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

Hal: It's probably because our tendencies have been centered more on the material than on the spiritual values. But the tide is beginning to turn.

Ruth: Well, I think so too. There is so much good in people and yet we don't seem to be able to get along together - especially nations.

Bruce: That's probably due to the selfish kind of nationalism people are taught. What we need in the world, it seems to be, is more of the international attitude. You called it brotherhood, Hal. These serious differences among nations are a direct result of the "superior" feeling that intense and selfish nationalists brings about.

Hal: Well, you know, when you come right down to facts, there is but one Superior Race - and that is HUMANITY.

Tom: Yes, and there's only one Chosen People - the people of the Earth.

Irene: That certainly is true. And speaking of differences, or points of disagreement - we even have them in families! After all, we are individuals and are bound to think differently. But in a family, for instance, in spite of differences of opinion or viewpoint, it is KINSHIP, the basic love of one for another, that holds the family together. And if only nations could realize the essential UNITY and BROTHERHOOD that binds us in a common humanity, it seems to me that a greater sense of justice, responsibility and consideration would knit them together so closely that peace would be the logical result.

Hal: Very well said, Irene.

Tom: But to get back to nations again, Hal, you said that everything in the Universe is based on law, order, harmony, love and kindness. But will you tell me how it is possible to feel kindly toward a nation that deliberately upsets the harmony of the world? A person feels more like hating it.

Hal: Let me tell you something about hate, Tom. Anyone who hates, generates a poison within himself. Literally and actually, POISON. If the send out thoughts of hatred into the thought atmosphere of tire world, WE will be the karmic sufferers from that poison. Hatred is corrosive and destroys the spiritual, mental and even physical, tissues of the hater. We accomplish nothing with hatred. Hate breeds hate. If nations, or people, need to be taught lessons - discipline and example will accomplish it - and Karmic Law.

Irene: Does the process of Cause and Effect, Action and Reaction, go on forever? Won't there ever be a time when we will be free of hate, greed, envy, revenge and suffering?

Hal: Well, right now we stand bewildered before the mysteries of our own making - and the riddles of life that we refuse to solve. But once we remove the blinders from our eyes and fearlessly admit that WE are the captain of our soul, the master of our fate - individually, nationally and cosmically, we will be awakened. And when this awakening happens, the sway of Karman is altered. The whole purpose of life takes a new direction, and gradually constructive causes are generated which MODIFY the destructive effects. It is true that we must meet the consequences of our past lives, whether good or bad, but we can then meet them with courage and understanding, and with a new Spiritual armor. We shouldn't fear karmic action - we should BLESS it - because it awakens us and we begin to grow spiritually. We can learn from everything. And when we are actually LEARNING life's lessons, we are on the road to SELF-salvation. [13]

*

INTERWOVEN PATTERN OF LIFE
Virginia Jean Smith

"There is an inmost centre in us all
Where truth abides in fullness and - to know
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendor may escape."
- Robert Browning

Try to picture in your mind an interwoven pattern of threads in multi-colors. The threads in this pattern are symbolic of each one of us, our living consciousness. Each pattern must have a designer and so it is with this pattern of living consciousness. There is a Designer, a Supreme Being.

The many colors of our pattern represent science, philosophy, religion, and ethics. It is significant to note that each of these is striving for one basic thing, to find the truth within itself. It is very important that these colors blend. We, as examples of living consciousness, cannot get along without any of these colors.

When we study these four main hues we find that science is seeking truth through systematized and classified knowledge, philosophy through ideas and thoughts of individuals, religion through the practice of its doctrines, and ethics through the science of human duties.

Let us take science individually and we will find within nature that human beings are brought much closer together in the realization of its beauty. We find strength and harmony. Scientifically our human forms follow a definite pattern as do the leaves of trees, the birds, and plant life. We are one with each other and with our Supreme Creator.

Philosophy, with its love of wisdom, seeks harmony and peace and a unitary view of the whole. We are all a part of the pattern and any good or evil we do to our brothers has its effect on all, consequently affects us in return. This is a very good reason why we should try to develop an altruistic attitude. Reincarnation has a fine point here, for as we well know, the good and the evil we have done to others does not always affect us in this one life-span, and there has to be some period when the cause produces its effect.

Religion, seeking truth in the practice of its doctrines, shows that, whether we consider Buddhism, Mohammedanism, or Christianity as practiced by the majority of the people of the earth, their main belief lies in the idea that there is one Supreme Being, and that basically mankind is spiritual. This thought becomes vastly powerful in our lives and brings us closer together.

Ethics, being the science of human duties, presents a picture-pattern that should not be overlooked. Through-out this earth most people are striving to live peacefully and harmoniously. Governments are trying to help us by enacting laws that protect and bring us justice. International expositions have greatly contributed towards bringing all men together in a universal brotherhood. The Olympic Games have also accomplished a great deal in this field. These projects are teaching us to understand our responsibilities to our fellow men.

At times this whole pattern seems confused. The threads weaken and break and must be mended and replaced. Their colors fade or become brighter at different periods, but the colors are vital to the threads, and these changes will continue to take place until the pattern and its colors become interwoven with the Supreme Being and all living consciousness becomes one.[14]

*

THOUGHTS BY THE WAYSIDE

The Wayfarer had been sojourning in the busy Marts of Men and had been associating with many of the so -called Leaders of Men, who relied on brass-banded publicity, flamboyant statements and promises for selfish aggrandizement to attract and hold their many adherents.

Now the trek to the mountains had begun, in a search for Peace - Harmony - Understanding, something which can always be found in the rarified spiritualized air of the high-up places. Come to thick of it, the use of that word trek was not a happy thought, and can be alibied on to the contaminating influence of the lowlands, plus the aforesaid Leaders of Men, who so often use unhappy similes. Such was the Nostalgia produced by Urban Residence that the Wayfarer, in his urge for "AIR" had descended so low in the Wayfarer's standards that he was being whizzed along in an automobile at a speed far beyond the range of the humble ox-cart that gave our South African brothers that word trek.

Ruminating, as we whizzed along, over the salient qualities that made the ordinary Leaders of Men successful, the decision was forced that it was all a matter of noise. It seemed that the one who could shout the loudest always had the greatest following. The one who could make the most extravagant claims also seemed to have an edge on his rivals in the field. This brought to mind the remembrance of having met, in different cities, no less than nine self-professed representatives of the White Brotherhood. Each one claimed to be the ONLY representative in the United States of this Brotherhood. None of the self-acclaimed nine individuals exemplified in face, demeanor or actions, anything to substantiate their claims.

Such thoughts naturally gave birth to the question what is it then that distinguishes a natural Leader from the spurious variety? The answer seemed to be it is the ACTIONS and LIFE of the individual that counts. It is the CHARACTER of the individual concerned that is the matter of importance, and not the words uttered, with their accompaniment of NOISE.

Arriving at our mountain destination, far above the timber line, a night's refreshing sleep bought a symbolic cleansing of mental debris, heightened by a stiff ramble and climb to an intriguing peak. Sitting on a rock, Monarch of all one could survey, consciousness was turned inward and illumination was searched for. As always it came, stimulated by the puzzled thinking as to what possible good all these high mountain peaks could be, other than to furnish cheerful roosting points for city poisoned Wayfarers.

That utter silence, only to be found on high mountain peaks, which seems to comprise an utter negation of SOUND in any form was present. As well as this absence of sound, all animal and vegetable life was non-existent. Only the mammoth rocks and disintegrated fragments from them represented Nature; only Mineral Atoms were evolving in this particular ambient.

It all seemed so futile, so unnecessary and so glaringly lacking in serving any useful or stimulating purpose, other than to the Mineral Monads involved. This thought furnished the key to the problem, as knowledge reminded the Wayfarer that the Mineral-formed mountain had been pushed up from great depths, where the mineral kingdom is Supreme. Moisture and frost scaled the surfaces and disintegrated mineral matter was washed down by the melting snows. This mineral matter eventually reached the lowlands, [15] where it fertilized brother Monads evolving in the vegetable kingdom, which in turn transmuted the mineral atoms, purely inorganic, into the higher organic form of vegetable substance. The thought about Snow was a reminder that without high and lofty mountains to catch the snow and hold it in their icy embrace until long after snow has disappeared in the lowlands, then slowly to release their grasp and allow water to run down the mountainsides to give life to vegetation below, the latter would dry up and waste away.

Already two great duties had been found for the bare and desolate mountain top the Wayfarer was sitting on. Many more were found, but the exciting part was that Inner Consciousness was literally shouting that here was the answer to the Leader problem. This very mountain was one of Nature's Leaders for the vegetable kingdom, and through that for the animal and human kingdoms as well. In utter silence and distant isolation, by merely BEING THERE, it was making possible what would otherwise not be possible; namely life, as we know it, on this planet. Even the howling and Whirling Dervishes, comprising the self-acclaimed Leaders of the world, would not be alive and functioning without the aid of mountains such as the one chosen by the Wayfarer in an attempt to get as far away as possible front the Marts of Men.

Then pouring through the clarified mind marched an endless procession of Leaders of History; Leaders in the spiritual, mental and material realms of earth-life. All of them with

one thing in common; a great part of their Leadership was comprised in just BEING THERE. They, like the mountains, towered above the ordinary. They worked mostly in silence, often in extreme isolation from their fellow-men, again like the mountain. They acted as channels through which the wisdom and knowledge of the Ages could flow to a wisdom-thirsty world; the wisdom and knowledge being the counterpart of the snows and rains that fell on the mountain. Again, like the mountain, these Leaders withheld what came to them from above, and only released it to the world when the latter was in need of its ministrations.

These Leaders need no Blatant Blitherings; their actions and deeds, with the results obtained, are their only claims to Leadership. The concept is not new. Mahomet went to the Mountains and so did that great Leader, the man of Galilee, of humble birth and position, yet still the Leader of millions, merely by the INFLUENCE left behind. So it is that essence of Human Leadership, in any field, is always the INFLUENCE of the Leader, much more than any human words. Lincoln was an ugly, ungainly bulk of a man, with but limited mentality. In time of need he proved to be one of the great Leaders of the United States of America. He, himself, stated he was only a channel.

MORAL: In appraising the merits of a LEADER, keep in mind the functions of a mountain.

And that's Geological and Biological Theosophy!

- The Wayfarer. [Hubert S. Turner]

*

Mere brain-mind acquaintance with Theosophic text-books does not prove the genuine Theosophist. The genuine Theosophist is he who has love for mankind in his heart, combined with a deep knowledge of the Theosophical teachings, and who carries these teachings into actual practice in his daily affairs. - G. de Purucker, Messages to Conventions, p. 196. [16]

*

THEOSOPHICAL LITERATURE
These and other books can be obtained from the Editorial Office of THEOSOPHIA, 240 Western Bldg., 553 So. Western Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California, or by ordering direct from Theosophical University Press, Covina, California.

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