[Cover photo: Peak K2 or Chorgori, Karakorum Range, Himalayas, at sunrise. (Photo by Vittorio Sella, Biella, Italy.)]
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"... The attempt, therefore, which is now being made is not to carry on the vain and profitless task of finding a short cut to Brahma Vidya, since this is an impossibility, but to revive once more its knowledge, and Thus to stimulate a true aspirant to adapt his life and thoughts to that standard which will better him and lead him gradually to such ways as run their courses to the Divine Wisdom. It will thus be seen that the Theosophical Society promises no Teachers, no Gurus, to take every member, upon joining, under their special charge ... No doubt there are individual members who have been fortunate enough to be accepted as Chelas, but their acceptance was due not to the fact of their being Fellows, but because they had been living the life and have voluntarily passed through the training and tests, enjoined upon aspirants for occult knowledge of every age and nationality. In their case the Theosophical Society was only the means of giving them the conviction of their intuitive beliefs, and thus urging them to follow the promptings of their inner consciousness ... what the Society expects from all its Branches and individual members, is co-operation and help in its grand task of uniting the East and the West, the North and the South, in a Scientific Brotherhood armed against dissension and consequent failure by the principle of mutual Toleration and mutual Intellectual Sympathy. It is an unthinkable proposition that any man with average intelligence cannot contribute his quota towards the realization of this noble scheme. If each man were but to do his duty to search, to investigate, to study, to digest, and join with his fellowmen, actuated by the same noble aspirations, in giving to mankind the benefits of their labour, the day would not be very far off when the Masters of Occultism might find the necessary conditions to enable them to once more live in tile world as openly and freely as did their predecessors of times long, long gone by, and give to such a prepared people the benefits of THEIR knowledge. Until that blessed day comes, a duty is before us: we have to hasten its approach. ..." - Damodar K. Mavalankar, The Theosophist, Vol. V, Suppl., January, 1884. 
Nineteen hundred and fifty - the turning point of our century - has now been reached.
Fifty of the most bewildering years which have witnessed the most confusing and contradictory events: two World Wars fought for purposes and objectives which would be difficult to define, and with weapons and means which no other civilization, except the "Christian," has ever employed; unbelievable advance in the scientific knowledge of the structure of nature and the operation of natural law, misused by cliques of political adventurers to purposes of wholesale slaughter and destruction; final and irrefutable scientific proofs regarding the unity of all life, the solidarity of mankind, and the inter-relatedness of all that is, from the electron to the stars; and yet a period in which there has been, and still is, the most blatant denial of brotherhood, of fraternity, of unification, and the most revolting disregard for justice, fair-play, decency and humanhood; the greatest accumulation of scientific data ever known to mankind, and the greatest degradation of all sense of ethics and morality; a world in which riches, resources and treasures of nature have been shown to exist, which would be sufficient to bring about the grandest type of civilization and well-being for all; yet a world in which two-thirds of mankind subsist on a starvation diet, where half of the world's population is in perpetual bloody conflict, and in which most human beings remain in a slate of frustration, insecurity and ignorance "from the cradle to tile grave."
This monstrous anachronism - the product of centuries during which cruelty, violence, cunning and selfishness prevailed over the nobler side of human nature - is nevertheless a logical karmic necessity, however unpalatable a picture it may offer. It is not different from what might have been expected by any serious student of life, especially one who has dipped somewhat into the workings of karmic law and the subject of cycles.
The turn of this momentous century finds the modern Theosophical Movement as divided as it has been for many years past - perhaps a little more so than before - with all parties announcing to the world at large their own unchangeable platforms, their loyal adherence to the first principles of tile Movement, their uniqueness of purpose, their universality of objectives, and their immovable conviction of being the one and only stronghold of genuine Theosophy.
In a few rare instances of sudden mental aberration, as if unaware of this little indiscretion, certain individuals and possibly small groups of students play a few risky rounds in the game of fraternization, taking precaution to explain this strange behavior in terms least prejudicial to their future reputation in the Society to which they belong. Brotherhood is a rather strong potion, and should not be too often partaken of even in the Theosophical Movement let it be discovered to be habit-forming.
In this paradoxical age, the present state of the Theosophical Movement remains as paradoxical as it has been for some time, considering that its main plank is one of Universal Brotherhood, and its most outstanding feature one of internal divisions, personal jealousies, political pressures. and occasional open splits, in which all the venom of pent-up emotions is discharged either by means of printed word or secret machinations.
In these days of prophetic statements we hear again about the remarkable figure - teacher, leader, messenger, what not - who is supposed to appear on the stage of history and give to the world, as well as to the Theosophical Movement as such, another great impetus towards occult knowledge in the  last quarter of our vitriolic century. It would be interesting to learn just exactly what do these prophets mean by what they say.
It is rather difficult to picture such an exalted personage appearing within the ranks of the organized Theosophical Societies. If he did, he would be promptly run out of the ranks, as being different from the accepted norm, too progressive in thought, and therefore completely unwelcome. If he were to appear outside the ranks of the Theosophical Organizations, he would be of course considered in the light of an opponent, and his work would be regarded as an interference with the rightful privileges of those in the saddle at that particular time. And if he were to turn up in some organization or movement different from the Theosophical one, he would forthwith be declared as a fake and an adherent of a pseudo-occult society, usurping the rights of the only channel for truth in our age. No matter which way you look upon this situation, it holds in itself the seeds of a mighty conflict which, after all, may be in perfect keeping with the century as a whole!
We believe that in every one of the existing Theosophical Organizations there are many students who have strictly adhered to the original principles of the Movement, as promulgated by the Adepts and H.P. Blavatsky. We believe that these students, who have not been swayed by any personal currents, and have remained free of the psychic delusions which have become so prevalent in certain portions of the Movement, can and will serve as a nucleus of light, and a center of truth, if and when the time comes for another spiritual impulse to take place towards the close of our century. It would be a wonderful thing indeed if these students were known to each other the world over, were in touch with each other even now, and could build a strong, dynamic, vital network of spiritual brotherhood and solidarity, with a view to the future. Whoever may turn up as an agent of the Occult Brotherhood in the course of time, would find in this nucleus a sounding board, a channel for work, and a shield against the poisoned arrows which are bound to fly from various quarters at the slightest provocation.
The characteristics of such a nucleus, and of every individual composing it, should he primarily these: a thorough knowledge of the basic teachings and principles of the Trans-Himalayan Esoteric Wisdom, as presented to our modern age by H.P.B. and her own Teachers; and a practical application of these teachings, in their all-important ethical aspect, to their daily life, whether in occult work or their avocations. No mere intellectual acquaintance with the teachings can be of much avail, because it deprives the student of a vital touch with the suffering heart of his fellow human beings. No mere sentimental agreement with noble ethical teachings will suffice either, as ethics must be based upon a correct understanding of the forces and agencies at work in the Universe, and this implies study of the technical teachings of the Ancient Wisdom. Only the two aspects, combined into one pattern, can provide those foundations of spiritual security upon which to erect a nobler edifice in the future than what we have seen and lived through in the present century.
We are reminded again of the following words by Dr. G. de Purucker which deserve today even greater attention than when they were uttered:
"... 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 ... will live on into the future, and will do the work which our Masters founded the Theosophical Society to do.
"On the other hand, those who wander from what we call the ancient, the archaic, the sublime, tradition of the old Teachers - what may I say of them? Are there Sadducees and Pharisees in the modern  Theosophical Movement, i.e., those who are so persuaded of their own impeccable virtue and of their sole right to teach Theosophy that they think that all others who do not agree with them are unworthy exponents of the Ancient Wisdom-Teaching? If there are such in the Theosophical Movement, then indeed I fear that they are possessed of the same spirit of sectarianism that characterized the Sadducees and Pharisees of Judea.
"The Theosophical Movement above everything else should be plastic, flexible, and its exponents should always be open to the reception of new truth, and ... 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.
"The Theosophical Movement ... is the vehicle for the conveying unto the world, unto men, of the teaching of this ancient God-Wisdom concerning the Universe; concerning its laws, its structure, its principles, its elements, and the multitudinous armies of beings which inhabit the Universe on all its various planes, visible and invisible ... the work of the Theosophical Society ... is to give to men a great and new spiritual hope, to reawaken and to fortify their spiritual intuitions, to feed and sustain their intellectual faculties, and to show them the safe way out of the modern morass of hopelessness and despair; and, finally, so to change their intellectual and psychical fiber, i.e., the character of them, that by giving them a new vision ... which means a new way of living, they may be saved from a racial catastrophe; and our civilization thereby may pass that extremely dangerous turning-point towards which we are now rushing with an ever-increasing acceleration of speed." (Wind of the Spirit, pp. 331-33.)
The turning point of the twentieth century is here. With our back to the horrors of the past, with trust in our hearts, and hope undying, we turn to the future and face the rising Sun.
ADVANCE ORDERS FOR H.P. BLAVATSKY'S COLLECTED
[Excerpts from one of the earliest articles written by H.P. Blavatsky at the beginning of her literary career. It was published in the Spiritual Scientist, Boston, Vol. III, September 23, 1875, pp. 25-27, under the above title which must have been selected by the Editor of the journal. This Editor was Ethridge Gerry Brown, a promising young man who, according to Col. H.S. Olcott, "has been taken under the favour of the powers behind H.P.B." Instructions were sent by Master Serapis Bey that Brown was to be helped both financially and by articles for his journal. The latter functioned for a while as the organ of H.P.B.'s attempt to reform American Spiritualism, by awakening it to the need of a more profound occult philosophy. Brown did not live up to expectations and the whole effort collapsed in 1878. - Editor.]
"... Unless one is prepared to devote to it his whole life, the superficial knowledge of Occult Sciences will lead him surely to become the target for millions of ignorant scoffers to aim their blunderbusses, loaded with ridicule and chaff, against. Besides this, it is in more than one way dangerous to select this science as a mere pastime. One must bear forever in mind the impressive fable of Oedipus, and beware of the same consequences. Oedipus unriddled but one-half of the enigma offered him by the Sphinx, and caused its death; the outer half of the mystery avenged the death of the symbolic monster, and forced the King of Thebes to prefer blindness and exile in his despair, rather than face what he did not feel himself pure enough to encounter. He unriddled the man, the form, and had forgotten God - the idea.
If a man would follow in the steps of Hermetic philosophers, he must prepare himself beforehand for martyrdom. He must give up personal pride and all selfish purposes, and be ready for everlasting encounters with friends and foes. He must part, once for all, with every remembrance of his earlier ideas, on all and on everything. Existing religions, knowledge, science must re-become a blank book for him, as in the days of his babyhood, for if he wants to succeed he must learn a new alphabet on the lap of Mother Nature, every letter of which will afford a new insight to him, every syllable and word an unexpected revelation. The two hitherto irreconcilable foes, science and theology - the Montecchi and Capuletti of the nineteenth century - will ally themselves with the ignorant masses, against the modern Occultist. If we have outgrown the age of stakes, we are in the heyday, per contra, of slander, the venom of the press; and all these mephitic venticelli of calumny, so vividly expressed by the immortal Don Basilio. To science, it will be the duty, and sterile as a matter of course - of the Cabalist to prove that from the beginning of time there was but one positive science - Occultism; that it was the mysterious lever of all intellectual forces, the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil of the Allegorical Paradise, from whose gigantic trunk sprang in every direction boughs, branches and twigs, the former shooting forth straight enough at first, the latter, deviating with every inch of growth, assuming more and more fantastical appearances, till at last one after the other lost its vital juice, got deformed. and, drying up, finally broke off, scattering tile ground afar with heaps of rubbish. To theology, the Occultist of the future will have to demonstrate, that the Gods of the mythologies, the Elohim of Israel as well as the religious, and theological mysteries of Christianity to begin with the Trinity, sprang from the sanctuaries of Memphis and Thebes; that their mother Eve is but the spiritualized Psyche of old, both of them paying a like penalty for their curiosity, descending to Hades or Hell, the latter to bring back to earth the famous Pandora's box - the former, to search out and crush the head of the serpent - symbol of time and evil; the crime of both  expiated by the Pagan Prometheus and the Christian Lucifer; the first, delivered by Hercules - the second conquered by the Saviour.
Furthermore, the Occultist will have to prove to the Christian theology, publicly, what many of its priesthood are well aware of in secret - namely, that their God on earth was a Cabalist, the meek representative of a tremendous
Power, which if misapplied, might shake the world to its foundations; and that, of all their evangelical symbols, there is not one but can be traced up to its parent fount. For instance, their incarnated Verbum or Logos was worshiped at his birth by the three Magi, led on by the star, and received from them the gold, the frankincense and myrrh, tile whole of which is simply an excerpt from the Cabala our modern theologians despise, and the representation of another and still more mysterious "Ternary"* (* The Ternarius or Ternary, the symbol of perfection in antiquity, and the Star, the Cabalistic sign of the Microcosm.) embodying allegorically in its emblems, the highest secrets of the Cabala.
A clergy, whose main object ever has been to make of their Divine Cross the gallows of Truth, and Freedom, could not do otherwise than try and bury in oblivion the origin of that same cross, which, in the most primitive symbols of the Egyptians' magic, represents the key to Heaven. Their anathemas are powerless in our days, the multitude is wiser; but the greatest danger awaits us just in the latter direction, if we do not succeed in making the masses remain at least neutral - till they come to know better - in this forthcoming conflict between Truth, Superstition and Presumption; or, to express it in other terms, Occult Spiritualism, Theology and Science. We have to fear neither the miniature thunderbolts of the clergy, nor the unwarranted negations of Science. But Public Opinion, this invisible, intangible, omnipresent, despotic tyrant; this thousand-headed Hydra - the more dangerous for being composed of individual mediocrities - is not an enemy to be scorned by any would-be Occultist, courageous as he may be. Many of the far more innocent Spiritualists have left their sheepskins in the clutches of this ever-hungry, roaring lion - for he is the most dangerous of our three classes of enemies. What will be the fate in such a case, of an unfortunate Occultist, if he once succeeds in demonstrating the close relationship existing between the two? The masses of people, though they do not generally appreciate the science of truth, or have real knowledge, on the other hand are unerringly directed by mere instinct; they have intuitionally - if I may be allowed to express myself - the sense of what is formidable in its genuine strength. People will never conspire except against real Power. In their blind ignorance, the Mysteries and the Unknown have been, and ever will be, objects of terror for them. Civilization may progress, human nature will remain the same throughout all ages. Occultists, beware!
Let it be understood, then, that I address myself but to the truly courageous and persevering. Besides the danger expressed above, the difficulties to becoming a practical Occultist in this country, are next to insurmountable. Barrier upon barrier, obstacles in every form and shape will present themselves to the student; for the Keys of the Golden Gate leading to the Infinite Truth, lie buried deep, and the gate itself is enclosed in a mist which clears up only before the ardent rays of implicit Faith. Faith alone, one grain of which as large as a mustard-seed, according to the words of Christ, can lift a mountain, is able to find out how simple becomes the Cabala to the initiate, once he has succeeded in conquering the first abstruse difficulties. The dogma of it is logical, easy and absolute. The necessary union of ideas and signs; the trinity of words, letters, numbers and theorems; the religion of it can be compressed into a few words: "It is the Infinite condensed in the hand of an infant," says Eliphas Levi. Ten ciphers,  22 alphabetical letters, one triangle, a square and a circle. Such are the elements of the Cabala, from whose mysterious bosom sprang all the religions of the past and present; which endowed all the Free Masonic associations with their symbols and secrets, which alone can reconcile human reason with God and Faith, Power with Freedom, Science with Mystery, and which has alone the keys of the present, past and future.
The first difficulty for the aspirant lies in the utter impossibility of his comprehending, as I said before, the meaning of the best books written by Hermetic Philosophers. The latter, who mainly lived in the mediaeval ages, prompted on the one hand by their duty towards their brethren, and by their desire to impart to them and their successors only, the glorious truths, and on the other very naturally desirous to avoid the clutches of the blood-thirsty Christian Inquisition, enveloped themselves more than ever in mystery. They invented new signs and hieroglyphs, renovated the ancient symbolical language of tile high priests of antiquity, who had used it as a sacred barrier between their holy rites and the ignorance of the profane, and created a veritable Cabalistic slang. This latter, which continually blinded the false neophyte, attracted towards the science only by his greediness for wealth and power which he would have surely misused were he to succeed, is a living, eloquent, clear language; but it is and can become such, only to the true disciple of Hermes.
But were it even otherwise, and could books on Occultism, written in a plain and precise language, be obtained, in order to get initiated in the Cabala, it would not be sufficient to understand and meditate on certain authors. Galatinus and Pico de la Mirandola, Paracelsus and Robertus de Fluctibus do not furnish one with the key to the practical mysteries. They simply state what can be done and why it is done; but they do not tell one how to do it. More than one philosopher who has by heart the whole of the Hermetic literature, and who has devoted to the study of it upwards of thirty or forty years of his life, fails when he believes he is about reaching the final great result. ...
To fervent and persevering candidates for the above science, I have to offer but one word of advice, "Try and become." One single journey to the Orient, made in the proper spirit, and the possible emergencies arising from the meeting of what may seem no more than the chance acquaintances and adventures of any traveler, may quite as likely as not throw wide open to the zealous student the heretofore closed doors of the final mysteries. I will go farther and say that such a journey, performed with the omnipresent idea of the one object, and with the help of a fervent will is sure to produce more rapid, better, and far more practical results, than the most diligent study of Occultism in books - even though one were to devote to it dozens of years. In tile name of Truth,
"Every situation ought to be used as a means. This is better than philosophy, for it enables us to know philosophy. You do not progress by studying other people's philosophies, for then you do but get their crude ideas. Do not crowd yourself, nor ache to puzzle your brains with another's notions. You have the key to self and that is all; take it and drag out the lurker inside. You are great in generosity and love, strong in faith, and straight in perception. Generosity and love are the abandonment of self. That is your staff. Increase your confidence, not in your abilities. but in the great All being thyself." - W. Q. Judge in Letters That Have Helped Me, I, 63-64. 
"Between Jupiter and Mars there should be a planet," wrote Johannes Kepler, in his Mysterium Cosmographicum, published in 1596. The famed astronomer-astrologer, working out a system of assigning numerical relations between the planets and the regular solids of geometry, found that the distance between these two bodies was much too great to be accounted for in any other manner. But since the telescopes of Kepler's time were not powerful enough to discover such a new world, he made a note of his thought, and proceeded to other problems.
The matter seems to have been forgotten until almost two hundred years later, when what is now known as the Titus-Bode Law of Planetary Distances was announced. While this system of mathematical progression satisfactorily agreed with the position of all the then known planets, the distance of 2.8 astronomical units from the Sun - midway between Mars and Jupiter - was blank.
When the discovery of Uranus in 1781 was found to fit perfectly into a further extension of the Titus-Bode table, a group of twenty-four astronomers met in 1800 and made plans for a thorough telescopic search of the zodiac in an effort to find the missing planet. But the first discovery was made independently before the planetary detectives had hardly begun their search.
On the night of January 1, 1801, a monk named Giuseppe Piazzi, of Palermo, was checking a misprint in a recently published star catalogue. While engaged in this work, he observed what appeared to be a small comet without a tail, which slowly changed position among the fixed stars. He made observations of this object for several nights, and then forwarded his notes to Karl Friedrich Gauss, who was to become known as the "Prince of Mathematicians."
The calculations of Gauss soon showed that the object was not a comet, but a new planet, located at 2.77 astronomical units from the Sun, or at almost exactly the distance where the Titus-Bode Law indicated that there should be a planet. Piazzi named the new body Ceres, and it was found to have a diameter of about 480 miles, and to circle the Sun in approximately four and one-half years.
The nature of Ceres had scarcely been determined when a second discovery of this type was announced by Heinrich Olbers, a Bremen physician. This second asteroid, or planetoid, as these bodies should more properly be called, was found on March 28, 1802, at an almost identical distance from the Sun as Ceres. It was named Pallas, and its diameter was determined at 300 miles.
This created a difficulty, for only one body was supposed to be located at that distance. As Percival Lowell says, however, "the inventive genius of Olbers came to the rescue," and the German astronomer hypothesized that these two bodies were parts of a single planet which had exploded, and that other portions might be found by watching the two points where the orbits of Ceres and Pallas came nearest to intersecting, in the constellations of Virgo and Cetus.
Others believed that the destructive planetary explosion had occurred in one of these signs, and that the various parts must all in time return to the place of the cataclysm, unless perturbed by the other planets. When Harding discovered Juno in 1804, and Olbers found Vesta in 1807 at almost the exact spot which he had predicted, the hypothesis seemed to be correct.
It was not until 1845 that the fifth planetoid was located by Hencke, a Driesen amateur, after fifteen years of searching. This one. which he named Astraea, was so small as to have  escaped notice except by the most detailed searching. Then, following the new find, other tiny bodies began to be located in this area. Fifty years after the discovery of Ceres, fourteen of them were known. The number had risen to 300 in 1890.
With the use of photographic time exposures, the number of planetoids located was increased immensely, until at present about 1500 are known. Since the identification of these minute specks - some of which are only about a mile in diameter - is based almost entirely on their distance, velocity and orbital eccentricity, planetoids are constantly being "lost" and "found" again, sometimes as much as forty-nine years elapsing before a once discovered planetoid is seen for a second time.
When the planetoids began turning up in ever increasing numbers, some astronomers reversed their idea of the formation of these bodies. The fragments were not portions of a vanished planet, they decided. Instead, these eccentric chunks of rock were the material from which a planet should have formed, but had been prevented from doing so by the tremendous gravitational pull of the planet Jupiter.
There are arguments on both sides of this question, but the more recent astronomical works would seem to favor the hypothesis of the exploded planet. In Between the Planets by Fletcher G. Watson an opinion is given as of 1941:
"... any body solidifying in space under its own gravitational attraction will assume a spherical shape ... We must conclude then that these little bodies are the whirling fragments of some celestial catastrophe.'" (Pages 40-41.)
That a number of planetoids are irregular in shape seems to be well established. Some, such as Eunomia, vary in brightness over periods of only a few hours. Regarding this phenomenon, Percival Lowell writes:
"... it was ... perceived that Eros fluctuated in the light he sent us, being at times much brighter than at others. ... More than one explanation has been put forward, but the best so far ... is that the body is not a sphere but a jagged mass, a mountain alone in space, and that as it turns upon its axis first one corner and then another is presented to our view. ... Sirona, Hertha, and Tercidina have also shown periodic variability, and it is suspected in others ..." (The Evolution of Worlds, pp. 101-102.)
The extreme eccentricity of the planetoidal orbits is another point in favor of the explosion theory. While most of the little planets are confined to a belt extending on both sides of the ideal distance of 2.8 astronomical units from the Sun, some of them violate the rule to an extraordinary degree.
Hidalgo, for instance, has an orbit which extends out almost as far as the planet Saturn. An entire group of planetoids are fixed in the orbit of Jupiter, traveling a certain distance before and behind that planet. And a number of these bodies cut across the path of the Earth to within a very short distance of the Sun. One of these, Hermes, can approach to within 220,000 miles of the Earth - inside the orbit of the Moon.
The swarms of meteorites which move about the Sun are also fragments from the exploded planet, according to new researches by Dr. Carl A. Bauer of Harvard University and Dr. Harrison Brown of the University of Chicago. Dr. Bauer has set forth the opinion that the planet was smaller than the Earth but of similar construction, with a stony shell and a nickel-iron core.
After making a study of over one hundred meteorites, Dr. Brown announced that, in his opinion, "all the fragments came from an exploded planet which had a molten core of nickel-iron at about 3,000 degrees centigrade." Writing in Science for March 11, 1949, he says:
"We found that on the basis of  existing data, from the chemical point of view the planetary origin hypothesis is consistent. ... It is difficult to believe that, on the basis of existing data, the hypothesis can be refuted." ("The Composition of Meteoric Matter and the Origin of Meteorites.")
It was once believed possible to locate the point where the original planet-shattering explosion occurred by backtracking all of the planetoids to a common point in their orbits. As Willy Ley points out:
"... their orbits should show a certain relationship; one should be able to tell whether they had all originated from the same orbit. But since each of the orbits had been changed and perturbed in a number of ways since 'the event,' such an investigation involved a staggering amount of work." (The Conquest of Space, pp. 143-144.)
Samuel Butler treats this subject at length in the Appendix to his book Solar Biology. He says, in part:
"It is the opinion of many that the material comprising the planetoids ... is the fragments of a planet which from some internal or other cause has been destroyed ... Isaiah makes reference to Lucifer as having fallen from his shining position in the heavens. ... This would be literally true if the planet had been destroyed. . . .
"We are led to the conclusion that there may once have existed a planet that we shall designate as Lucifer, which occupied the position of the planetoids. ... The 'morning star' has vanished, and where once was unity, light and power, we now have but a confused mass of planetoids moving in eccentric orbits. ..."
Still regarding this matter from the metaphysical viewpoint, we find Anna Pharos writing:
"... we find traces of an appalling cataclysm ... in the fact of there being between Jupiter and Mars the ruins, fragments and debris of what was once a great world, a planet of our solar system.
"Now it must be that in the ancient days, when this wreckage was a great world, it must have had a zodiacal house the same as its companion planets of our solar system; and ... when this planet in fury was dashed into atoms ... of course its place in the heavens became a waste, and its constellation became lost. ..." (The Eleusinian Mysteries, in The Sphinx for December, 1907.)
Some observations have been made which tend to show that not all of the planetoids are airless, lifeless masses of rock. On December 13, 1923, J. Comas Sola of Barcelona photographed Oceana with a nebulous halo surrounding it. A photograph taken on December 7 does not show any such phenomenon, and it has been speculated that it may be in some way related to the polar aurora of the Earth. Elsa and Jocasta have also been photographed with such halos.
Since the aurora is connected with terrestrial magnetism, as well as with the emanations of the Sun, only a body which revolves regularly on its axis would show auroral emanations. In this respect, H.P. Blavatsky writes:
"... the Aurora Borealis and Australis, both ... take place at the very centers of terrestrial and magnetic forces. The two poles are said to be the store-houses, the receptacles and liberators, at the same time, of Cosmic and terrestrial Vitality (Electricity); from the surplus of which the Earth, had it not been for these two natural 'safety-valves,' would have been rent to pieces long ago." (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 205.)
Thus it would seem that not every fragment of Lucifer is completely dead. And by investigation into ancient records, legends and mythologies, it would seem possible to determine the location of what might be called the "astral body" of Lucifer - the planetary  component which exists on the higher planes of Nature - which still turns in its original orbit about the Sun in a period of approximately six years.
For it is from this disembodied aura of Lucifer, rather than from its scattered physical structure, that its influence radiates. The point of vitality which once animated this important planet - and which is still active - must be included in our researches if we are to have a full and complete knowledge of the solar system in which we live.
The writings of H.P. Blavatsky contained in the forthcoming volume soon to be published by the Philosophical Research Society, of Los Angeles, Calif., belong to a particularly busy year of her literary career.
The year 1883 was an important one in the history of the "Theosophical Society. This year saw the culmination of what might be looked upon as the relatively peaceful period in the expansion of the Society, to be followed very soon by serious troubles and obstacles.
A bird's-eye view of this interesting and very successful year may be of advantage in connection with the reading and study of H.P.B.'s writings produced during the course of 1883.
In January of that year, H.P.B.'s serial stories From the Caves and Jungles of Hindusthan began to be republished in the Moskovskiya Vyedomosti. This was due to a growing demand for her stories on the part of the Russian public.
At the very beginning of the year, H.P.B. and Col. H.S. Olcott settled in the newly-acquired property at Adyar, near Madras, having moved from Bombay. The Theosophist began to be published from the new Headquarters, starting with the February, 1883 issue.
Between February 17 and May 25, Col. Olcott traveled extensively through Bengal, founding Branches and establishing new contacts wherever he went. On March 11, the first religious Sunday School was opened by him at Calcutta, with Mohini Mohun Chatterji as chief instructor. A series of Catechisms and Reading-Books were to be compiled, and used in such schools to teach the fundamental principles of Hindu moral and religious systems, and as a spur to the study of Sanskrit.
In Calcutta, Col. Olcott was given the sacred Brahmanical thread by Pandit Taranath Tarka Vachaspati, the compiler of the famous Sanskrit Dictionary.
In early March, the Sinnetts arrived at Adyar for a visit, on their way to England.
During the early part of the year, H.P.B. stayed at Adyar, writing all sorts of articles for The Theosophist, and attending to a voluminous correspondence.
On June 27, Col. Olcott sailed for Colombo, Ceylon, to help the Buddhists in their grievances against the Roman Catholics, and to do general Theosophical work. This trip was immediately followed by a tour of Southern India, undertaken on instructions from his Teacher. Wherever he went, the Colonel healed hundreds of sick people through his mesmeric and healing power, and delivered remarkable lectures to the population.
In the meantime, H.P.B. had left Adyar for Ootacamund, in the Nilghiri Hills, on a visit to General and Mrs. H.R. Morgan. While there, she wrote under dictation the famous "Replies" to the queries propounded by Frederick W.H. Myers, of London. This series of essays on profound occult subjects marks a high-point in the history of the modern Theosophical Movement, viewed from the standpoint of the gradual unfoldment of the teachings.
It is probable that H.P.B. made some trips into the back-country for  the purpose of studying the native Todas and Mulu-Kurumbas. She wrote at the time her fascinating essays known as The Enigmatical Tribes on the Blue Hills, the Preface to which is dated July 9, 1883. They did not begin to appear in print, however, until another year had elapsed. Col. Olcott joined H.P.B. at Ootacamund at the end of August.
In June, two Branches were formed in France, and later in the summer a Branch was started at Odessa, Russia, with H.P.B.'s aunt, the Hon. Nadyezhda Andreyevna de Fadeyev, as President.
In September, the Council of the Government of Madras guaranteed full protection for the Theosophical Society, ending a period of annoyances. At the end of September, H.P.B. and Col. Olcott left Ootacamund, and after a brief trip to Pondicherry, returned to Adyar. The Colonel started immediately on another tour, this time in Northern India, to be gone until December 15th. Damodar K. Mavalankar accompanied him on part of this tour. A number of remarkable occurrences took place during this period. It is on this trip that Col. Olcott met Master K.H. for the first time in flesh, and received from him an important communication. It is also during this tour that positive proof was had concerning the rapidly developing spiritual powers of Damodar.
On November 17, H.P.B. had a fall at Headquarters, bruising her knee and had to remain on crutches for quite some time.
On December 4, William Quan Judge and others started a new Branch at New York, to be known as "The Aryan Theosophists of New York."
On December 16, Dr. Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland, of the London Lodge, released an Open Letter severely criticizing the teachings contained in A.P. Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism which had been published in June, 1883. This was followed by a considerable polemic between them, Subba Row, C.C. Massey, A.P. Sinnett and others, and presaged trouble in the London Lodge.
In the last days of December, a most successful Convention was held at Adyar, at which it was decided to establish the "Subba Row Medal," to be awarded by the Theosophical Society to writers of works of outstanding merit on Eastern and Western philosophy.
While the most spectacular events of the year on the outward plane may have been the lecturing activities of Col. Olcott, including his healings, the literary work of H.P.B., sitting as she did for hours at her desk, were, no doubt, of even greater moment in the overall picture of the Movement. She wrote in English, in French and in Russian, and the pages of The Theosophist for 1843 are full of articles and footnotes embodying invaluable teachings which she outlined with profundity, skill, and wit.
The forthcoming volume of her Collected Writings will contain for the benefit of the serious student a rather complete and fully documented Chronological Table of events and occurrences daring the year 1883, from which the present brief outline has been compiled.
"The Central Point, or the great central sun of the Kosmos, as the Kabalists call it, is the Deity. It is the point of intersection between the two great conflicting powers - the centripetal and centrifugal forces, which drive the planets into their elliptical orbits, that make them trace a cross in their paths through the Zodiac. These two terrible, though as yet hypothetical and imaginary powers, preserve harmony and keep the Universe in steady, unceasing motion; and the four bent points of the Swastica typify the revolution of the Earth upon its axis." - H.P. Blavatsky in The Theosophist, Vol. I, November, 1879. p. 35. 
Reading The Universe and Dr. Einstein (a best-seller now, in its fifth printing) by the young and talented author, Lincoln Barnett, discloses to what extent certain teachings of Theosophy have become an integral part of the scientific discoveries and conclusions of present-day physics.
Physicists, in probing the world about us, have been forced to abandon their pattern based on sense perceptions, for this pattern or mental picture has been found to be utterly inadequate to describe nature. Philosophers and scientists alike have come to the conclusion that every object is the sum of its qualities and since qualities exist only in the mind, the whole objective universe is merely an edifice shaped by the senses of man. Einstein goes even further and says that even space and time are forms of intuition which cannot be divorced from consciousness. For space is merely an order of arrangement and time has no existence apart from the order of events by which it is measured. From the foregoing it is clear that man has alarming sense limitations. Man knows through scientific experimentation of the existence of much more than the eye can see, the hand can touch, or the ear can hear. And yet there is a beautiful functional harmony within Nature which leads us to believe that most of us do use our sense perceptions in very much the same way as the next man does.
Nature operates on mathematical Principles and the very existence of this harmonious pattern has enabled men like Dr. Einstein to predict and discover natural laws simply by the solution of equations. But every solution seems to widen the gulf and brings with it deeper and more recondite problems. Einstein, a very religious man, does not believe in a universe of chance, but in a Universe of order and harmony, and looks outward, past the stars, for the knowledge of ultimate reality. It is vital for the scientist to have confidence in the harmony of nature. He must believe that physical laws are also universal laws. This is the foundation stone upon which the structure of his experiments must be built. In the words of Barnett:
"Yet the fundamental mystery remains. The whole march of science towards the unification of concepts - the reduction of all matter to elements and then to a few types of particles, the reduction of 'forces' to the single concept 'energy', and then the reduction of matter and energy to a single basic quality - leads still to the unknown." (pp. 59-60)
The Unknown, Indescribable, Infinite One which can never be apprehended by man, yet remains forever the goal of his spiritual search!
The non-mathematician thinks of the universe as a three-dimensional thing and realizes that time, as the fourth dimension, is part of that universe. Looking outward to the stars and galaxies hovering in seeming space, it is difficult to conceive of their great distances from this planet; nor can we think of distances without also thinking of time. To the present-day astronomer and physicist, the universe is rather a space-time continuum. A continuum is merely something which is continuous. In this Science and Theosophy are in agreement - a continuous, unending universe entirely beyond the comprehension of mere man, a universe which, when broken down into its component parts exhibits the characteristics of perfect oneness.
There is no past, present or future, for all are aspects of the universal Now. The astronomer peering through his telescope at the stars is staring backward into "time" thousands of years "ago". As Barnett truly remarks:
"Where they are 'now', or whether they even exist 'now', no one can  say. If we break our picture of the universe into three subjective dimensions of space and one of local time, then these galaxies have no objective existence save as faint smudges of ancient enfeebled light on a photographic plate. They attain physical reality only in their proper frame of reference, which is the four-dimensional space-time continuum." (p. 66.)
And what of gravitation? For a while it was believed that it was a pull of bodies towards one another, because of magnetic attraction. Einstein's conception of gravitation describes the behaviour of objects in a gravitational field in terms of the paths they follow. His concept rests on the assumption that the Universe is not rigid but plastic and ever-changing. It is an amorphous continuum which can be disturbed wherever there is matter and motion. Thus matter creates a condition in space around itself which is called a magnetic field, and the latter acts upon matter and makes it behave in a certain fashion. Everything has a magnetic field, from the atom to the cosmos. Einstein also postulates that time intervals vary with gravitational fields. It follows from this that for the more advanced and complex bodies time is slower, or "longer" in duration, according to our standards, than it is for an atom.
One of the major problems of the scientists of today is to decide whether or not the universe in its entirely is gradually coming to an end, an ultimate "heat-death." If this is ever reached, all will be timeless and in perpetual state of stagnation. This seems to be a very pessimistic theory, and one which many scientists maintain can never become reality. If scientists believe that physical laws must be universal laws - a very ancient and profound thought based on fact - then there must be new creation constantly in the making, whether it be a mere star or a whole galaxy. There is on all sides of us perpetual new creation in Nature, and constant change and motion. There is also seeming death, an aspect of change, and these facts in Nature are constantly at work building the new and destroying the old. If this is so, and who could deny it, the same law must prevail in the larger units as well. There can be no end to anything. The end of anything is a mere illusion of our senses. That which seems to die merely undergoes a change - a change in appearance, structure and position, as well as state or condition. The life-cycle of the Universe will continue for all eternity. How could it be otherwise? Just as there can be no end, there can be no beginning. For try as one may to solve the question of initial origin, every theory from time long past to the present has to come face to face with the fact that something was already in existence, no matter how far in "time"' we may go. Scientists are usually silent on the question of ultimate origins, and well they may be. They have left the problem to the philosophers and dreamers of dreams. But Einstein declares:
"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God." (p. 106.)
As is evidenced by scores of examples in various domains of modern science, the religion of the greatest exponents of scientific thought is extremely simple, and paradoxically enough is almost diametrically opposite to the amazing complexity of their scientific speculations.
Lincoln Barnett, in concluding his book, states so beautifully the dilemma of man in this mysterious and vast Universe that it seems best to bring these brief considerations to a close with his own words:
"For man is enchained by the very condition of his being, his finiteness and involvement in nature. 
The farther he extends his horizons, the more vividly he recognizes the fact ... Man is thus his own greatest mystery. He does not understand the vast veiled universe into which he has been cast for the reason that he does not understand himself ... Least of all does he understand his noblest and most mysterious faculty: the ability to transcend himself and perceive himself in the act of perception ... Standing midway between macrocosm and microcosm he finds barriers on every side and can perhaps but marvel, as St. Paul did nineteen hundred years ago, that 'the world was created by the word of God so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear'." (pp. 113-14.)
Owing to circumstances beyond our control, this issue is late in reaching our subscribers and friends. We have experienced certain difficulties which have not yet been fully overcome, and we trust that our friends will not mind it too much to receive the current issue later than usual.
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY: Intern'l Hdqrts., Adyar, Madras, India. C. Jinarajadasa,
President. Off. Organ of the Pres.: The Theosophist.
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY: Intern'l Hdqrts., Covina, Calif., U.S.A. Arthur
L. Conger, Leader. Off. Organ: The Theosophical Forum.
THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS: selected list of centers -