[Cover photo: Nikolay Konstantinovich de Roerich (October
9, 1874 - December 13, 1947)
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by an International Group of Theosophists.
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We have entered on the dim beginning of a new era already. It is the era of Western Occultism and of special and definite treatment and exposition of theories hitherto generally considered. We have to do as Buddha told his disciples: preach, promulgate, expound, illustrate, and make clear in detail all the great things we have learned. That is our work, and not the bringing out of surprising things about clairvoyance and other astral matters, nor the blinding of the eye of science by discoveries impossible for them but easy for the occultist. The Master's plan has not altered. He gave it out long ago. It is to make the world at large better, to prepare the right soil for the growing out of the powers of the soul, which are dangerous if they spring up in our present selfish soil. It is not the Black Lodge that tries to keep back psychic development; it is the White Lodge. The Black would fain have all the psychic powers full flower now, because in our wicked, mean, hypocritical, and money-getting people they would soon wreck the race. This idea may seem strange, but for those who will believe my unsupported word I say it is the Master's saying. - William Quan Judge, Irish Theosophist, Vol. 111, January, 1895. 
The unity of the Theosophical Movement is not determined by any organizational structure in which any single authoritative body holds hegemony over other groups and dictates to them their policies. The unity of the Movement is a totally spiritual factor which inheres in a similarity of aims, objectives and long-range plans, and derives its power from the basic precepts of the Ancient Wisdom and the common endeavor to implement at least some of them in one's daily life.
To realize that the Universe we live in is a manifestation of the One Life, nameless and undefinable; that all living things, both great and small, both visible and invisible, are bound together by unbreakable ties and evolve together towards a nobler and grander condition; that the outward world is but an imperfect image of inner realities which can be known by aspiration and training; that everyone of us is the result of what we have thought, felt and done in many previous lives; that we are the creators of our own future and the arbiters of our own fate; that evolution in its cyclic progress is universal and without beginning or end; and that the only truly scientific way to live and act is in accordance with universal laws, - these and other convictions and ideals are the foundation upon which rests the spiritual unity of the men and women who are - organizationally or otherwise - an integral part of the Theosophical Movement. Their temporary adherence to any particular society or group, or their special devotion to any particular individual for whom they may have a special reverence, while excellent in themselves, do not constitute the enduring oneness of aspiration or the strength of conviction in the spiritual nature of the Universe which are the basis of their beliefs and their lives.
In all ages and eras of which we have historical records, any spiritual movement revitalizing among men age-old ideals and often forgotten knowledge, became eventually surrounded, and, at least to some degree, affected by a multiplicity of offshoots, reflecting but feebly the central knowledge, and largely mixed up with various types of wishful thinking, psychic visions, worldly ambitions and other distortions. For us to imagine that the situation has radically changed today, is to give way to phantasies utterly unrelated to the sober facts of life. The twentieth century and our Movement now are not much different from the era of the early Gnostic Schools and the confused outward world in which, they originated, grew and spread.
What is of paramount importance is to preserve - unaltered and undiluted - in the midst of this variegated stage setting, face to face with the many curious variations upon the main theme, the original teachings as brought forward mainly by H. P, Blavatsky, so that they may serve at all times as a touchstone to appraise the value and worth of other ideas and concepts appearing from time to time upon the stage of world thought. 
Think of your mind.
A friend to whom I quoted this said: "That's enough to drive you out of your mind." Well, he was right in more ways than one. I suppose one could become unbalanced if he carried this idea a few steps further, for after all, the above is only the beginning.
But in a profounder sense, it does take one out of his mind - his ordinary limited mind, and out into the realm of infinite thought. And, it seems to me, such is the essence of meditation.
We must recall the Theosophical teachings about the several Monads in man, to wit: first the Divine Monad, the universal SELF in each one which is common to all beings in the universe. From itself, in the case of man, it emanated the Spiritual Monad which, though seemingly remote, is the very source of all that we are. It is a spiritual being in its own right, with its own evolutionary pathway that it follows. In turn, it emanated the Human Monad, identifiable because its consciousness is the feeling of 'I am I'. And it is the evolved mind which distinguishes the human being from other entities in which mind is still latent, and which are referred to as the animals.
But in man, the Human Monad emanates its own animal self, the Animal Monad which vitalizes the astral-physical Monad recognizable as the human body.
So, if we think first of our mind, we are considering the Human Monad, with all of its faculties and powers, and we may also think of what it is destined to become in the distant future as the process of inner growth is achieved. Then when we think of the Mind that thought of the mind, we are meditating upon the Spiritual Monad which "thought" of the Human Monad - this "thinking" being an actual expression of the process of emanation. In fact when we meditate upon the Spiritual Monad, we delve deeply into the mysteries of consciousness.
And now, when we meditate upon the MIND that thought of the Mind that thought of our mind, we are reaching out to the Divine Monad. Its nature is universal, and as it "thought" of the Spiritual Monad which in turn "thought" of the Human Monad, so in its own turn, it was "thought" out, or emanated from, the very Heart of the Universe. And to reach out towards that, is to approach the Unthinkable, for it transcends all thought.
If we think of meditation in this light, we realize that it consists of far more than merely emptying the mind of all thoughts. This latter indeed has its value, but it should not be considered an end in itself. Rather, it is only the first step. And in this connection, here is an illustration from Science from which we might draw a valuable lesson.
Without going into a technical explanation of the laser, we may say briefly that in one of its forms we  have a gas filled tube. The molecules of this gas are stimulated to a certain frequency of vibration, and this frequency is greatly amplified until it reaches such a high energy state that it bursts out of the tube in an intensely powerful beam of light of exactly one frequency. This is known as coherent light, and as such it has become a powerful tool in the hands of the technician and has a wide variety of uses. The point that I want to make here concerns only those large instruments that give out enormously powerful bursts of laser energy.
The molecules of gas have a random motion at ordinary room temperature; nevertheless there are certain frequencies to which they are resonant. Therefore, in order to produce the laser beam, much of this random motion must be stilled. The gas is cooled, so that the random motion is subdued. Then only can the molecules be "pumped," to use the technical term, with just that frequency to which they are resonant. The desired frequency is impressed upon these molecules by a variety of methods, but the method is not important here. The point that is being made is that only when these molecules have been stilled can they respond to the desired frequency and amplify it, thus producing the laser beam.
Need we labor the thought that the mind is naturally resonant to the higher frequencies which are the very nature of the Higher Self, or the Buddhic Consciousness of the Spiritual Monad? But when our minds are filled with random thoughts, we are not receptive to the hidden energies which are the very mainspring of our lives. This is why in meditation we still our minds. We quiet our thoughts, and when this has been accomplished we may become resonant to the higher impulses flowing constantly through us from the Higher Self. And the fruit of such meditation comes in the form of increased awareness of our real selves, and added to this a yearning to KNOW. Hence the great value of the teachings that we have been given regarding the nature of Man and his part in the life of the Universe about him.
Now, it seems to me that forcing the mind to rid itself of all thought is not the best technique for meditation. Meditation should not be forced. It should come naturally. Many find it useful to set aside a certain portion of each day in meditation; but whether or not this particular practice is followed, all of us may find that, in the last analysis, meditation is a way of life. And it can become such very easily; in fact this should be self-evident to anyone.
The way to learn to meditate is to begin by putting the best into everything that we do. Never leave a job half-done. Keep the feeling alive that there is great satisfaction in the knowledge of a job well done. This is the beginning, and if the practice is carried out consistently, it leads into the next step. That step is an awareness that within each one is a Higher and a Lower Self. The difference between the two is obvious. All impulses of generosity, creativeness, unselfish love spring from the Higher Self. Ignorance, indifference, selfishness, cruelty and so on ad infinitum, are the very nature of the Lower Self, and it is just these qualities in ourselves that  have brought on the untold sufferings under which the human race is crushed in these critical times.
So, conscientious work is the first step that leads towards an awareness of the nature of the Higher Self. This is soon expanded into these higher human qualities: Caring, which counteracts Indifference; Compassion, which counteracts Cruelty; Understanding, which counteracts Ignorance; Love which counteracts Hatred. Without this work of primary importance, meditation has little or no value.
And finally, in order to quiet the mind, it is well to take some noble idea on which to dwell. For the expression of grand and noble ideas is born out of the Higher Self towards which we are striving. Take such a thought and concentrate upon it to the exclusion of all other thoughts. Think it through from all sides, and add your own ideas to it. Expand upon it in your own way. Then you will discover that your quiet and relaxed mind will be stimulated by the very energies that you are reaching towards. Your mind is naturally resonant to these energies, and it will become filled with light. In time you will develop the ABILITY to "TAKE KNOWLEDGE," as W. Q. Judge once expressed it. For each one of us is already a fountain of knowledge and we can draw upon this vast store of knowledge at will, once we have learned how to do it.
Eventually we learn to BE our Higher Self. It is not so much that we have it, as that we are it. So it is fitting that this article should close with the words of William Quan Judge:
"Be what you love. Strive after what are striving. Take such a thought and you find beautiful and high, and let concentrate upon it to the exclusion the rest go. Harmony, sacrifice, devotion. Take these as keynotes, and express them everywhere and in the highest possible way."
As we have seen in the previous installment of this account, H.P.B. had taken active part in the manifestations which occurred in Eddys' Farmhouse in Vermont. When she pasted in her Scrapbook a clipping of her first article dealing with Dr. Beard, she inserted the following note in the margin: "They may be the portraits of the dead people then reproduced ... (they certainly are not Spirits or Souls) yet a real ... noumenon produced by the Elementaries. H.P.B." The dots represent portions of her note which have become obliterated and not decipherable any longer.
One of the real reasons why H.P.B. went to Chittenden - a reason which has not been sufficiently emphasized by later students, and even misunderstood by a number of Theosophists - is stated rather clearly in H.P.B.'s own words: "Even the materialized form of my uncle at the Eddys' was the picture; it was I who sent it out from my own mind, as I had come out to make experiments without telling it to anyone. It was like an empty outer envelope of my uncle that I seemed to throw onto the medium's astral body. I saw and followed the process. I knew Will Eddy was a genuine medium, and  the phenomenon as real as it could be, and, therefore, when days of trouble came for him, I defended him in the papers ..." (A. P. Sinnett, Incidents, etc., p. 132.)
On November 4, 1874, .H.P.B. received her first letter from Elbridge Gerry Brown, editor of the Boston Spiritual Scientist, in connection with her article about Dr. Beard. This was the beginning of a fruitful collaboration between them which lasted for quite a while, but eventually broke down because Brown could not accept a larger view of psychic phenomena and their occult background.
When Col. Olcott returned to New York in November of that year from his assignment at Chittenden, he called on H.P.B. at 16 Irving Place, where she must have been staying for a short time, before going on a visit to friends in the country. No information is available about this visit. When she returned to New York, she seems to have been domiciled at 23 Irving Place, a few doors from the Lotus Club, in a house which was occupied by her friends, Dr. and Mrs. I. G. Atwood (cf. L. C. Holloway, The Word, XXII, p. 136.).
In the second half of November, 1874, H.P.B. moved to Philadelphia where her addresses were successively Girard St., and 825 North 10th Street. The purpose of this visit seems to have been to investigate the genuineness of two mediums by the name of Holmes. Col. Olcott visited there also. He was preparing at the time his forth-coming book, People from the Other World, which was to be based on his investigations at Chittenden; sometime in the middle of December, both H.P.B. and the Colonel went to Hartford, Conn., in connection with the publication of this book which, however, did not come out until 1875.
It is approximately at this time that the first contact was made with William Quan Judge, who wrote to Col. Olcott after reading his articles in the Daily Graphic. Col. Olcott asked him to call on H.P.B. Judge says he met her at Irving Place, but does not give the number of the house. This first meeting may have taken place at the very end of 1874, or the beginning of 1875. It is a pity that no detailed documentation is available in regard to any of these early moves, and we are forced to rely on very fragmentary data and on conjectures. It is quite possible that Col. Olcott's Diaries during this period could have thrown some further light on the events of the day, but they have mysteriously disappeared, as Col. Olcott says himself. The first Volume of his invaluable Old Diary Leaves were written mostly from memory, and many events described in them are not easily dated.
We have now reached the end of the year 1874, during which many seeds were planted for future harvests in the history of the modern Theosophical Movement. We must never lose sight of the interesting and indeed important fact that the Spiritualistic circles of the day were just about the only circles wherein there was the slightest possibility for H.P.B. to find individuals open-minded enough to understand the ancient teachings of occultism. Hence her sustained effort among Spiritualists, until the quest proved to be highly unsatisfactory, and the formation of a definite Society became the next logical step. 
We wish to place on record and commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the birth of our old and valued friend, Nikolay Konstantinovich de Roerich, world-renowned Russian painter, philosopher, explorer, educator, inspired writer, and profound mystic, whose personal friendship has been to us a source of great inspiration. Though typically Slavonic in his world-outlook, his sympathies and ideals, Roerich belonged to the world, and his work, artistic, humanitarian and literary, aimed at the Brotherhood of all the people in a world made One. Founder of the international "Roerich Pact and Banner of Peace Committee" intended to protect the cultural treasures of mankind against the ruthless destruction of war, acclaimed in this and other activities by kings and rulers all over the globe, Roerich never lost touch with the humble people, the long-suffering masses striving towards the light. In his books, as in his canvases, there shines that rare combination of true humility with the irresistible strength of the Spirit, soaring over the sordid side of human life, reaching for the ever-receding vistas of man's ultimate greatness, in a world of peace and good-will.
Roerich's heart, in its untiring devotion, was wholly dedicated to the cause of Peace. Through Culture and Beauty that Peace was to be attained. Through inner growth and spiritual illumination, it was to be made secure. Roerich was a profound student of the Ancient Wisdom, in whose life the teachings and the individuality of H. P. Blavatsky played a very important part. In this he was strongly upheld by his wife, Helena Ivanovna de Roerich, whose magnificent translation of The Secret Doctrine into Russian stands as a monument to both of them.
In the last years of his life, Roerich lived in India, in the Kulu Valley, high in Punjab, face to face with the Himalayas. The mystic North, with its auroral display, and the noble heights of lofty ranges - both belonged to Roerich in a very definite way. All through his life he strove towards the summits of the Spirit, pointing the path to those who would follow, over crags and boulders, skirting precipices, up the slopes of achievement, range upon range, onward forever, towards the towering heights where the sky blends with the earth, amidst the whispering silences of snow-covered peaks.
We publish below a translation of an original Russian letter received from Roerich some years ago. - Editor, Theosophia.* (* On the subject of the life and work of Roerich, we recommend the recently published posthumous work by Garabed Paelian, entitled Nicholas Roerich and issued, with introductory notes of Frances Paelian and Torkom Saraydarian, by The Aquarian Educational Group, Agoura, California. The work contains an extensive Bibliography.) 
Naggar, Kulu, Punjab, Br. India,
Dear Boris Mihailovich:
Thank you for your letter of May the 20th, which only now reached our far off mountains. I am glad to be able to write you in Russian; glad also that you are a close relative of H.P.B., for whom we have such a profound reverence. There will come a time when her name will resound all over Russia, with dignity and respect. And it is valuable for us to realize that you feel in this as we do.
We are reading with great delight the literature which you sent us, and we rejoice that there is being done such a highly useful work. Even as far back as 1918, I had met several very lovely and worthwhile members of your Organization in Stockholm. My meeting with the Kronberg couple, with the Wicanders, and with Osvald Siren, as well as several others, has left with me for all times a highly valued memory. Kronberg had written regarding my own work along lines of art in your Swedish magazine, which you probably have in your library.
Osvald Siren recommended to me with emphasis to go to Point Loma, telling me that there I would meet with understanding and true fellowship. We ourselves wished very much to go there, but life sometimes has a way of ordering people about irrespective of their wishes, and so it happened with us. Now, it appears, there are being forged through you new ties deeply valued by us.
Helena Ivanovna is sending you with her compliments her own translation of The Secret Doctrine. During her work on it, she did not have the Point Loma edition. It stands to reason, however, that the essence of the teachings remains the same, and it is after the essence of things that we should strive. It is sheer delight to realize that in Point Loma the name of H.P.B., our great compatriot, is so highly respected, and revered as the name of one who has laid the very foundations of the present Message of Truth. Only too often have Russians themselves forgotten about their own leaders of thought; it is time for us to learn how to value real treasures ...
In the present days of an Armageddon type, it is especially needed that all philosophical, spiritual and cultural Societies should keep in close touch with each other. Now, when the whole world is shaking, as a result of the hatred of man, all those who consider themselves as belonging to the side of true Culture should be truly united. No opinions or personal consideration can possibly justify any destructive tendencies at separatism. In all world-wide upheavals the first thing to suffer is Culture, and yet its very leaders and guides are only too often divided among themselves, owing to preconceived ideas and prejudiced views.
Even as I write you these lines, there rise before my eyes, out there in the distance, the snow-capped peaks and the lofty pass leading to Tibet. They stand as silent witnesses to those enduring Truths in which is hidden spiritual  rejuvenation, and the ultimate perfectibility of the human race. The Great Ones are always ready to help, but men so often turn away from that help.
We will welcome with heartfelt joy further news from you, and will be happy to feel once again that there can be a truly comradely, sympathetic, co-operation in the name of Truth. It is true that correspondence at such distances takes a great deal of time; but this only adds to the pleasure in receiving news about a fruitful, useful, work being done, work accomplished self-forgetfully in the name of the welfare for ALL. With pleasure we have been reading the writings of your revered Leader and Guide [Dr. G. de Purucker].
In very truth indeed, as is said in the Bhagavad-Gita, "In whatever way men approach me, in that way do I manifest to them." We meet along the road of a common endeavor, and a mutual service. We send you our heartfelt wishes, and we hope that what we are sending you will reach you safely.
With warm greetings,
"Our souls are as it were a music of which our bodies are the instruments. The music exists without the instruments, but it cannot make itself heard without a material intermediary." - Eliphas Levi.
The title of H.P.B.'s Book of Devotion, The Voice of the Silence, might repay deeper meditation. Thinking one's way deeply into the five words of the title, one is brought up short by the paradox of the terms "Voice" and "Silence" - two opposites, brought together to reveal a spiritual identity.
If accepted understandingly, do they not take on, each a significance not immediately evident? Is not that significance a reminder of the duality of this manifested universe, wherein the noise of an audible (when not deafening) material development easily drowns out a rarely-heard undertone of spiritual unfoldment?
If this be true, is not the disciple required to ask himself again and again: "To which of these 'voices' am I required to give heed?" He who is confirmed in spiritual knowledge will reply unhesitatingly: "To the second." If, in some doubt and confusion, he is tempted to reply: "To the first," the Voice of the Silence is, for the moment, at least, lost to him. And is not this the case with most of us, most of the time? I ask myself, how many times in my life has its Silence found a recognizable Voice? How many times have I experienced a sense of actually vibrating in consonance with the (physically) unheard vibration of my universe? My most nearly honest reply will have to be, "once or twice, possibly."
I question whether the gift of "hearing voices," psychically, can be positively regarded as a spiritual achievement, inasmuch as any "voice," heard by the physical ear, would have to be of physical origin. But the Voice of the  Silence, as H.P.B. uses those words, is not a physical voice. She herself reminds us: "When the disciple has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE - the inner sound which kills the outer"; and, further on: "Before the soul can comprehend and may remember, she must unto the Silent Speaker be united." Both of these statements remind us that this entire universe, the instrument of THE ONE, is releasing the physically inaudible music of unearthly spiritual vibrations. Hearing this music is a matter of tuning in the companion instrument - the Soul - to that heavenly frequency. Man does not listen to the Voice of the Silence physically; he tunes in to it, on the plane of purely spiritual vibration. That spiritual frequency, achieved in his own spiritual self, enhances a music perennially singing, that may be pertinently related to what is sometimes referred to as "the Music of the Spheres."
In the words of Eliphas Levi, "our souls are as it were a music" - because the soul, alone, is capable of "tuning in" to the never silent "Music of the Spheres." Only under conditions of physical silence is spiritual "tuning in" made possible, by means of which man's "inner ear" may possibly achieve awareness of the undertone of his universe. It is a matter of a spiritual instrument attuning itself to a Spiritual Source - a condition deserving, and usually requiring, a lifetime of dedication.
It is important that we clear our minds of any notion that we, as incarnated personalities, are endued with immortal melodies. It is man's heavenly prerogative so to purge his physical mortality of its grossness that it may be made susceptible to a divine vibration-frequency that is the heartbeat of his universe. To the extent that he does this, he, as an instrument, becomes fit to amplify this unheard Music of the Spheres to a degree that "his singing is but living aloud, his life a singing with his hands." This is more than a praiseworthy ideal; it is a responsibility of any spiritually conscious entity: Sing thy Song, O Minstrel! The world is in dire need of its benediction!
Though Eliphas Levi reminds us that "the music exists without the instruments," nevertheless, you and I, with full awareness of its eternal and changeless nature, must offer ourselves as transmitters of that music to the hard of hearing. As to its changeless constancy, the very existence of a universe governed by immutable laws is our assurance. Mankind has most effectively developed a world of strife and ugliness, in spite of its divine origin, wherefore an increased awareness of underlying law and order must rescue it from ultimate chaos. And the first step in that rescue is in the hands of a few, here and there, whose calm awareness of underlying harmony makes of their silence a centre of spiritual vibration attuned to the unheard Music of the Spheres. Not claims, not slogans, not creeds, can achieve the needed healing calm, but the quiet iteration of that Song of the Soul that is universal harmony echoing in a life of selfless service. Insofar as we eschew meaningless personal chatter and yield our very being up to the harmony of THE ONE, we become Minstrels of the New Age - Voices of human redemption.
A supreme attribute in one's quest  of the unheard Music of the Spheres is Susceptibility. Daily and hourly, one must surrender himself to that celestial symphony which, though so largely unheard, "sings" this universe into symmetry and harmony unceasingly. Susceptibility to harmony, to beauty, to compassion, to oneness with all that lives - these are the keys to self-transmutation. Beneath the deceptive glaze of life's glossy materialism flow those living streams of that many-hued, many-titled Reality that is THE ONE in manifestation.
Worship - everlasting worship of that Divine Reality is what is demanded of each of us. A spontaneous worship born of a spontaneous love of life's hidden splendor, begets a child-like exultation in beauty, harmony and symmetry: "The pupil must regain the child state he has lost, ere the first sound can fall upon his ear." He must become susceptible to song, unresponsive to discord. "Living" is, in so many instances, "letting go" of life's deafening noise-makers - the noise-makers of greed, of jealously, of ambition, of destruction. Against all these the doors of the heart must be closed while within the temple a youthful, untainted Spirit touches the lyre of THE ONE, awakening sublimely ancient music from strings tuned to Truth's eternal anthem. The world is filled with hungry harpists in search of lost themes; each one listens humbly for that music that has never died. Deep in the heart of you and me are tuneful strings waiting our wakening touch, whose music shall recall to this earth the mantra of a holier day.
Sing thy Song, O Minstrel!
Amid the complexities of today's computerized life style which impatiently demands "instant everything," we are fascinated and bewildered by our sophisticated technology that produces a maze of material marvels, most of which deteriorate into "instant obsolescence," often even before completion, as they are pre-empted in an unending flow of "new" and "improved" versions of the same. We are preoccupied with material growth and values while our very pattern of existence trembles with psychotic apprehension in the screeching din of strife and competition that dominates this frantic pace, where selfishness and brutishness motivate our drive "to be the first," "to be the best," "to have the most" - at every level of our society, and where the standard judges us not by what we are but only by what we have ...
And yet, against the dissonance of this psychedelic frenzy, we hear a contrapuntal melody, strong and sweet and clear, that resonates the beauty that is also there, in this great, collective heart of mankind; a beauty reaching out in brotherhood and common understanding of our oneness - the understanding that we are, each  one of us, but a single throbbing cell within this vast entity that is itself the total of humanity, and that we add our individual essence, as a strong or faltering force, to help it or demean it, according to "our little choices every day."
When we realize that the outflow of energies streaming from "our little choices every day" consists of vibrant, living, magnetic currents intertwined together in each others' heartbeats somewhere within the vital center of the total human will, then we see how each one of us continually weaves the fabric of it's pliant substance in endless waves of action and reaction, coursing through it as we feed it and, in turn, are fed by it; a constant agitation of ceaseless motion, ceaseless sound translating our puny human pulse into the universal all.
Then we trace the imprint of "our little choices every day" upon the fiber and color and texture of the total human soul and see our noble actions swell its compassionate magnitude with every one of our sublime aspirations and deeds; or watch, perhaps in chilling horror, as we weave with our own, well meaning hands, that "soiled garment that we shrink from touching," every time we commit even the smallest act that violates humanity.
A graphic picture this! A shocking realization to shatter our mental mirage of sanctity and disturb the decorum of our sterile ivory tower where, with empty devotion, we often mouth pious platitudes, "practicing" our spiritual salvation, all the while oblivious of our human bondage, each to all.
But sooner or later, our human maturity brings us to face our self with a deep, probing analysis into our character, and a clear definition of the pathway leading upward, in terms of our responsibility to each other: that the upliftment of humanity is a sacred trust placed into each others' keeping; that the great challenge before us lies in mastering self-control; that our spiritual salvation is as good, bad or indifferent as the motivation of "our little choices every day," and that everything that happens to us is the unerring "feedback" from them - the sweet or bitter fruit in peaceful or misshapen days - our just deserts returning to us now from that vast "cosmic computer," the Karmic "grab bag" that we have packaged somewhere in the long or near-forgotten past.
A complete acceptance of the fact that nothing can possibly happen to us that is not of our own making, is an honest and positive appraisal of the circumstances and events of our life in the balance of impartial justice; it helps us to bear each crucible of pain that we have forged within our lesser self; to face the "playback" with courage, understanding and forbearance, leaving no room for excuses, or blaming anything or anyone else; only a recognition of the consequences of "our little choices every day."
When we study the actions of this lesser self within us, that fights with all its animal cunning to keep us shackled to selfishness, separateness and self-indulgence, playing upon our emotional compulsions and ingrained habit-reflexes that respond automatically to its demands for "me and mine," we clearly see that our aspirations are hopelessly impeded until we discipline "our little choices every day," and train our bestial nature to obey the dictates of our higher intentions, by  practicing self-control; implementing the Noble Teachings in our daily habits to become, in time, part and parcel of our character, while the negative qualities are left to atrophy and die of starvation, as we deliberately and increasingly turn off the energies that feed them.
Reaching outward to help others is the compassionate essence in our consciousness that senses the universal reverence for all that lives, for in the exact proportion that our interest in others increases, to that degree do we decentralize our self-interest; in the exact proportion that we co-operate with others for the common good of all, to that degree do we defuse our animal instinct for self-preservation; in the exact proportion that we render selfless service to others for their betterment and spiritual growth, to that degree do we synchronize our heartbeat with the harmony in nature; in the exact proportion that we live up to the highest within us, to that degree do we uplift the total human soul. The personal identity of who we are or where we may be placed in the "material-cultural" scale of standards is lost in the magical elixir of our oneness, where only the motive is recorded, oblivious of any cultural distinction or material status symbol; for though our dedication may be phrased in classical articulation that speaks in holy words, "thou art thy brothers' keeper" - or said in the simplicity of untutored grammar that cannot frame the words in elegant expression, but only understands their meaning in the heart - it matters not. What does matter is that we try to live our words of brotherhood in all "our little choices every day"!
What a long way there is to run in "outdistancing" the Personal Man. That which we call our "self" is either expanding or contracting, as we act out the moments of duration in diurnal consciousness. Nevertheless, our very preoccupation with identity, the urge to achieve it, whether looking through some microscopic thought, desire or concept, or stretching out into the cosmic reaches of our imagination, cannot shake the reflective cognition that "I am I."
Which "I" is the question. The Hindu may reply the "Higher Self," the highest we can know. He may reach Union with the Godhead by eliminating all that it is not. The Buddhist, in accord with the Hindu, would state: THAT THOU ART, but give "that" no length or breadth, realizing it through an ever larger encircling or inclusion of all life, at whatever scale it fuses into his magnificent love for the manifested WHOLE.
The shortest cut to outdistancing the personal man, it seems to me, is not to run away from "him."
"Saith the Great Law: - 'In order to become the KNOWER of ALL SELF, thou hast first of SELF to be the knower'." - The Voice of the Silence, p. 5. 
To aggrandize our concept of self, yet avoid preoccupation with self is like taking on the Marathon run. We must first seek out a method (as the Buddhists teach: the Wisdom and the Method, or a way. Let that be the "middle way," for instance. It gives our outdistancer a track to run on. His aim being simply THAT: That as met in all his tasks, hurdling all his "needs" or, for that matter, attractions and repulsions, and most emphatically all obstacles along his course. That which "thou art," is constantly emanating through the Universe. It is nothing he creates, while pushing aside the dust within his foot-fall; although he may well be leaving "footprints in the sands of Time."
Taking in hand a recent study of die Kabbalah* (* Kabbalah. An introduction and illumination for the world today, by Charles Ponce. Straight Arrow Books, 1973.) by Charles Ponce, we find that Ain-Soph is aptly compared to its emanations, the Sephiroth, as clay is to a bowl. "Emanation," says the writer (p. 130), "is an act of flowing ... which implies not only the existence of a source, but that the activity of flowing is dependent on the source if it is to remain an activity."
Our object is to stress more than anything else that selflessness, or the "outdistancing" of the personal self, is an activity that Life itself engages in. If we properly attune ourselves to Life's tasks, strewn all about us in what H.P.B. called the highest call of "Abstract Duty," there will be no time wasted in overcoming the small, limited, anxious concerns of that personality. "Abstract Duty" must encompass all those concerns which through each one are being karmically manifested, event by event. If the grass outside one's doorstep is dry - well, of course water it. If the typewriter needs fixing ... or the drain is stopped ... well, you know the rest!
Thoughts need tending too. The brain becomes barren if fed by nothing but material circumstances. When the restless mind is aware at the close of day that it has forsaken no essential task, let it retire from its worldly playground. Let some moments of reflection resolve the nonessentials of the day. The runner bathes the mud off his feet so-to-say. The heart gladdens in putting a worn-out frame to rest. As the day passed is looked back upon, it is probably found that little time was left to indulge in selfhood. Some distance has been achieved in clearing away useless wasted energies. The heart is readied for the next day's trek and slumbers are untrammeled with regrets.
"If we do not keep the Theosophical Society or the Theosophical Movement, for to us in our inmost hearts they are one, always fluid, always uncrystallized, always ready to grow, always ready to lead and not to follow - if we are not prepared for this and have not the vision sublime of our destiny as well as of our duty, then we are slack, then we are failing in our devoir and not true pupils or chelas of those to whom some of us at least owe perfect allegiance and all of us owe reverence ... The Theosophical Society is an ensouled body, and therefore not only can it learn, but it can grow, it can be-come greater ..." - G. de Purucker, Messages to Conventions, pp. 74-75. 
At long last a volume that explains
the spiritual-psychological mystery that is H. P. Blavatsky and that
has been an unsolved riddle for most people. Such chapters as: "The Threshold of the Mystery," "Over
the Threshold," "Approaching the Light," "Clothed
with the Sun," contain the key which lies in understanding the development
of her inner nature and the subordination of her personality to an Invisible
Source higher than, yet still a part of her very self.
242 pages; frontispiece of H. P. Blavatsky; paper, $4.95.
Obtainable from the same Publisher:
G. de Purucker:
Henry T. Edge:
Lydia Ross, M.D. & Charles
Iverson L. Harris:
Geoffrey A. Barborka: