Theosophy

The First Object of the Theosophical Society

Tim Boyd – USA

Theosophy The First Obj
Tim Boyd

© Richard Dvořák

The Theosophical Society has three declared Objects of which the first is the most important: “To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or color.” The second and third are also important, but they both relate to the first. The emphasis seems to be placed on various ways of understanding Oneness. When the first Object was first expressed in 1875, the times were very different from now. If we think of the context of the time in which these ideas appeared, Universal Brotherhood was a revolutionary concept.

In 1875 when the Society was founded in New York City it was just ten years after the abolition of slavery in the United States. Ten years earlier the laws of the land allowed someone to buy another person of African descent, and treat them like any other piece of property – no different from a horse, a cow, or a pig. It was a challenging time to introduce an idea that said: “Regardless of race or religion, there is a human Universal Brotherhood.” Part of the role of the reintroduction of Theosophy and the beginning of the Theosophical Society was to prepare the ground for a future moment.

Read more: The First Object of the Theosophical Society

Geoffrey Farthing – A Tribute

We remember Geoffrey Farthing (1909 – 2004)

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

In previous issues of Theosophy Forward we’ve honored Theosophists such as Dr. Richard Brooks, Ianthe Hoskins, Einar Adalsteinsson, Shirley Nicholson, Paul Zwollo, Dora van Gelder-Kunz, John H. Drais and Dara Eklund. In this issue we will remember Geoffrey Farthing.

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Geoffrey Farthing

In February 2000, in a widely-distributed letter, among other things, Geoffrey Farthing wrote to his many friends all over the world:

After fifty years of fairly intense study I have come to the conclusion that the original outpouring of occult knowledge from the Masters, to the extent that they then gave it out, was a unique world event. It has not been properly appreciated as such.

In the statement above the reader gets a pretty good insight on where Geoffrey stood when it came to the core-teachings as he understood them, and it is no secret that over the years he had developed a strong opinion regarding what he would describe as Theosophy’s “second version” as presented by Annie Besant, C.W. Leadbeater and others. His stance was clear: there was, according to him no doubt, and more than once he pointed out that under no circumstance was he able to merge the teachings as they were passed on to us by H. P. Blavatsky, and those which came in later years through the publications of Besant and Leadbeater. We now know that Geoffrey didn’t come to this conclusion easily, it took him time and deep study, but eventually it all came together for him.

Because of this, for some in the Adyar environment he therefore had become somewhat controversial in particular because he would not make a secret of his convictions. He openly conveyed his ideas and interpretations though many articles and outstanding books. He also wrote letters to his contacts around the globe and undertook lengthy and sometimes intense email correspondence with the leadership of the TS-Adyar in India.

Read more: Geoffrey Farthing – A Tribute

As One Grows Older

Geoffrey Farthing – England

[In this thought-probing article in The Theosophist (Adyar), December 1983, the author’s openings paragraphs challenge the reader with questions that should be of interest to every student of Theosophy. Space permits quoting only these, and then the final paragraphs of the article.]

We sometimes read in the Section magazines how our members found the Theosophical Society andwhat it means to them. But how often do we read of how their view of it, and its meaning for them, changes as they grow older and can look back over many years of study and contemplation?

We are told that our Theosophy must change with the times we live in or its message will not appeal to the people of our age or of future ones. How can we reconcile this with H.P.B.’s view of Theosophy – that it is an expression of “the eternal verities”? Does it not look as if, although presentations of Theosophy may – even must – change, and certainly that our views of it may alter, “the eternal verities” are themselves immutable? But what are these eternal verities? Many of us spend our lives finding out – that is, if we are interested enough.

Read more: As One Grows Older

The Uniqueness of Theosophy

Geoffrey Farthing – England

In these latter days Theosophy as such, i.e. as given us by the Masters directly or through H. P. Blavatsky, is seldom seriously studied. These original teachings have become ousted by or confused with later teachings, mostly personalized views but some claiming direct inspiration from a Master or Masters. Those who subscribe to these later teachings are content that they have authentic material. That there are radical differences between their views and Theosophy proper could for them be somewhat disquieting but for the most part they are ignorant of the differences.

So what does Theosophy have that the others have not? First, we must understand it as a great outpouring at the end of the nineteenth century of some knowledge of true Occultism or aspects of the Wisdom Religion of which some parts had never before been made public in the history of the world. The release of information was against the tenets and beliefs of established religious teachings, philosophies, even scientific writings, at that time. The religious systems then existing included the great scriptures of India. There had been traditional teaching by gurus in the Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, Zoroastrian and Jain modes for centuries if not millennia. In one way or another these scriptures and those of some other religions included ideas of a transcendental Deity, reincarnation, and Karma particularly as it related to individual men. The great world Teachers were true mystics, and in their schools and ashrams they brought many hundreds of aspirants up through various degrees of enlightenment up to even the highest.

It could be argued that these teachings are sufficient in themselves and that they are all we need to know of Theosophy, but are they? Against this historical background let us see what happened at the end of the nineteenth century. We know that at that time there was a considerable and widespread interest in spiritualism, of which there were various branches. Some were concerned only with phenomena, others attempted to establish a kind of philosophical religious system which demonstrated survival after death. These ideas were merged with those of the then traditional ideas of an anthropomorphic Deity, which was particularly prominent in the current ideas on heaven. There were also some ‘occult’ or secret societies, all operating independently of one another and each with its characteristic literature, teachings and practices.

Read more: The Uniqueness of Theosophy

To Promote Further The Unity Of The Movement

Geoffrey Farthing

[The following proposal has been received from a former General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in England (Adyar), and author and lecturer. It was addressed to the Presidents of the United Lodge of Theosophists, Theosophical Society in America (Pasadena), and Theosophical Society (Adyar), and also, though not a President of any Theosophical Society, to me, probably as President of Point Loma Publications, Inc., and editor of The Eclectic Theosophist. We feel Eclectic readers will be interested in Mr. Farthing’s broad proposals, and it is hoped that the Presidents of the various Theosophical bodies will respond by sharing their constructive ideas on this subject affecting importantly the whole Movement.]

There are now a number of attempts to draw the elements of the Theosophical Movement together by way of networking, common conferences, interchange of correspondence, etc. I am making a suggestion which I hope you will put to your Governing Body that, in order to promote further the unity of the movement, any person who subscribes to any one of the larger, recognized organizations should automatically become a member of all the others if he so wishes.

Read more: To Promote Further The Unity Of The Movement

An Outline Of The Ancient Wisdom – The Ancient Wisdom Tradition

Geoffrey Farthing – England

The Ancient Wisdom has always been in the world. It is knowledge of the nature of things and of human nature. It is the Wisdom of understanding and compassion, of which all of us feel in need in the depths of our being. If what follows seems somewhat impersonal and technical, it is because much information is being given in a relatively short space, but a careful reading will show its relevance and significance to each of us personally. To be wise we have to learn to apply the principles of the Ancient Wisdom to the detailed circumstances of our lives. In this Wisdom we sense our own strength, our own self-sufficiency. It gives us hope and the courage and determination to face life, however hard. Let us never belittle our inherent powers

"I said, Ye are gods." (John x, 34)

The Wisdom

The Ancient Wisdom is knowledge, in depth, of the nature and processes of the Cosmos as a living whole. This knowledge in the present time is represented in part by that of modern science, of religion and of philosophy, but science and religion are at times mutually antagonistic. The Ancient Wisdom claims to be interested in truth as represented by what is, as opposed to any dogmatic statement of truth, on whatever authority. And there is only one Truth. Truth cannot be contradictory.

Read more: An Outline Of The Ancient Wisdom – The Ancient Wisdom Tradition

The Stages of Spiritual Development

Barbara Herbert – USA

Theosophy BH 2

In order to help us understand ourselves as human beings, a number of theories regarding growth and development have been formulated. Many of these are called stage theories because they discuss the development of individuals as they pass through various stages. Some of the better-known stage theories include Jean Piaget’s stages of cognitive development; Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development; and Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. These theorists imply that the stages are linear—passed through once and left behind forever—but this is not necessarily accurate. Individuals may vacillate between stages, given different circumstances in life. Some may skip a stage altogether.

In 1981, James Fowler published Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning. Fowler’s work, often considered to be groundbreaking, describes six stages of faith. Basing his model on the theories of Piaget and Kohlberg, Fowler describes the stages through which individuals pass as their faith matures.

In his 1987 book The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, M. Scott Peck discusses four stages of spiritual development. He bases his stages on the work of Fowler. As travelers on the spiritual path, we may find it helpful to use the stages described by both Fowler and Peck to reflect on ourselves and our relationship to the Ancient Wisdom as represented by the Theosophical Society.

Read more: The Stages of Spiritual Development

The Challenge of Theosophy

Boris de Zirkoff

Theosophy Boris 2 Living-in-the-Atmosphere-of-Theosophy

[From: THEOSOPHIA A Living Philosophy For Humanity - Volume III, No. 2 (14) - July-August 1946.]

The primary objectives of a great Cause must be restated from time to time.

It is needful to remind ourselves of the fundamental principles of thought and the basic rules of conduct which underlie all genuine theosophical work. It is useful to reinforce, as it were, the basic colors with which is painted before our mind's eye the noble picture of our Spiritual Movement, and to revitalize our enthusiasm for the ideals which we vision upon the distant horizons of our aspirations and hopes.

Read more: The Challenge of Theosophy

In the Light of Theosophy

[This article appeared in the March 2017 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link: [http://www.ultindia.org/previous_issues.html ]

Theosophy Death 2 In the Light of Theosophy

Death of a near one is the ultimate irreversible problem, which all of us go through at one time or the other. Often such experience leads to creation of many types of negative emotions. While many of us allow these emotions to get the better of us, there are those who are able to convert these negative emotions into productive efforts, writes Dr. Shrirang Bakhle. The author gives an example of a middle-aged couple who lost their only son in an accident. They did not allow their destiny to overpower their spirits, but instead decided to put their energies and resources to work by helping a number of unfortunate children in desperate need of help.

However, many of us continue to suffer for a long time in various ways, after a loss. In some cases, the survivors suffer from a guilt feeling of not having done enough, which might have avoided death, and then sadness turns into anger and frustration. Anger is often directed at other people for their perceived neglect, and thus creating bitterness among family members. Another major source of pain is the feeling of regret, “I wish I had spent more time with the departed person, when she/he was alive.” Some people get transformed by such feelings and become more appreciative of being alive and being with persons they love. It, then, seems wasteful to have petty fights with the loved ones.

Read more: In the Light of Theosophy

Human Regeneration – part fifteen

Radha Burnier – India

[Recognizing regeneration as the kernel of all Theosophical work, the International Theosophical Centre at Naarden, the Netherlands, jointly with the Federation of Theosophical Societies in Europe, organized two seminars in July 1990, with a number of office bearers, workers and members of the Society from different countries as participants. Proceedings of the seminar were published as a book under the title Human Regeneration: Lectures and Discussion (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij der Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland, 1990). This chapter (discussions) is here slightly revised.]

Theosophy HR 2 Radha walking with HHDL - July 1981
Radha Burnier (far right) walking with HH the Dalai Lama at Olcott-Wheaton in July 1981

Regeneration and the Objects of the T.S.

Where does brotherhood begin, and where does it end, if ever?

AV: It has always been there and always will be there.

RE: Brotherhood is said to be a fact of Nature. In that sense, it has always existed and always will remain. But if we are talking about the realization of brotherhood by human beings, it is a different question.

JA: Can brotherhood ever end? How do we react to people who do not have the same opinions as we do? Should brotherhood end in respect of prisoners, or on the battlefield? Do we really practice it in our everyday lives?

CB: Looking at this from a practical point of view, for most people brotherhood starts in the family. In a good family, everybody has value, all members are equal, all have the right to develop their own qualities, and that is accepted as something natural. For some people, this kind of brotherhood ends with the family. For others it extends outward a little, to other relatives for instance. Still others are able to extend the feeling to very wide circles.

RB: Perhaps both selfishness and brotherhood originated when the One expressed itself as two, the positive and the negative. Selfishness and self-preservation are of the very nature of biological life. At the human stage, they get transferred to the psychological level. The instinct of self-preservation is the darkness side. But darkness cannot exist without light. Even in simple creatures there is brotherhood. If a crow is attacked, other crows come to drive away the enemy, to divert his attention, and save the one who is attacked. Elephants are known to come to each other’s help. Whales have a great sense of brotherhood; they become victims of human cruelty, because if one whale is injured, others rush to the spot to help, and all are killed. So it seems as if this instinct is also primordial. Both streams co-exist. Ultimately there has to be a transcending of the darkness.

From a practical point of view: does not brotherhood begin with simple things? Just being ordinarily kind, beginning to think in terms of another person, instead of only of ourselves. We like to enjoy ourselves, but somebody else has to work. Are we prepared to sacrifice a little of our enjoyment to help the person who is working? Brotherhood begins like that. But when we are brotherly and kind in the ordinary sense of the word, still the feeling of difference from others does not go – one remains in a world of duality. So we must continue practicing brotherhood, until the tendency of the mind to see in terms of duality disappears. Even the word “brotherhood” suggests that there is a brother and “myself.” C.W. Leadbeater says that in the buddhic consciousness there is experience of being one with everything else. But there is a stage beyond that, where there is no “I” to be one with the others. Everything is known as the one. When there is such oneness, perhaps we may say brotherhood ends.

Read more: Human Regeneration – part fifteen

The Dark Side of Light

John Algeo – USA

Theosophy JA 2 The Dark side of Light

An old Kabbalistic motto holds that DEMON EST DEUS INVERSUS, “The devil is God upside down,” or “The devil is God’s complement.”

The Irish poet William Butler Yeats took, as his mystical name in the Kabbalistic Order of the Golden Dawn, the initials of that Latin motto, D.E.D.I. Those letters, however, also spell the Latin verb DEDI, which means "I have given" and thus punningly suggests that the diabolic is a divine gift.

Yeats probably learned the motto from Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who had been his teacher and had used it as the subject of one section in her great book, The Secret Doctrine. So what is the

secret doctrine about this motto and the dark angel of whom it speaks? Blavatsky says of it:

This symbolical sentence, in its many-sided forms, is certainly most dangerous and iconoclastic in the face of all the dualistic later religions or rather theologies – and especially so in the light of Christianity.” (The Secret Doctrine, 1, page 411)

Read more: The Dark Side of Light

Theosophy, the Remedy for a Sick World

Jacques Mahnich – France

Theosophy Jacques Mahnich 2
The author while giving this talk last year in New Zealand

Our world, the world of humans, appears more and more as a sick world. Fever is rapidly increasing in many places, and strange manifestations are appearing, such as: climate changes, widespread physical and mental diseases, wars. Our world is in need of efficient remedies before it requires life-support. But how did we arrive at this situation?

Past history shows that, in addition to natural disasters, we added human-made disasters leading to species extinctions and environmental disasters. Above all, there is a constant and recurring behaviour in human history, whatever the place or the epoch: it is called war.For probably the last ten thousand years, men have always been at war. This is probably the deadliest disease we have embedded in our genes. It has sometimes destroyed complete civilisations, sometimes giving birth to new human societies, but the addiction seems eternal.

Read more: Theosophy, the Remedy for a Sick World

The Seven Jewels of Wisdom – Progressive evolution, the fifth Jewel

By the editors of Lucifer – the Netherlands

[This is a reprint from Lucifer – the Messenger of Light, an original publication of I.S.I.S. Foundation, i.e. International Study-centre for Independent Search for truth. The editor is grateful for the permission given to make this important paper available for all readers of Theosophy Forward.]

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Progressive evolution, the fifth Jewel

What is the meaning of life? How many people walk around wondering about this essential question, while they grasp in the dark, not knowing where to find the answer? The fifth Jewel of Wisdom, progressive evolution, shows us the meaning of life. It describes the grand process of developing our dormant powers; we do this from within and step by step. We carry boundless wisdom and knowledge within us, since we are children of the Boundless. In the core of the core of the heart of our heart we are indeed boundless.

What did the previous four articles in this issue teach us? We are reembodying beings and therefore immortal in our essence, as the first Jewel of Wisdom indicated. By experiencing the consequences of our actions, we gain valuable knowledge and experience (second Jewel) and while applying this we will always have the inspiring examples of beings that are ahead of us (third Jewel). This is not a matter of ‘letting ourselves drift with the processes of nature’, because we are the creators of our own fate: we choose ourselves whether we will leave things the way they are or if we will take a step forward (fourth Jewel). Subsequently the fifth Jewel then outlines the purpose of life: the evolution of our consciousness, the increase of our knowledge and wisdom, and of course the expression of our developed wisdom in our daily thoughts and actions. If we take this inner Path, we will progressively learn to distinguish all illusions of the manifested world and improve our ability to help all beings that are still struggling with these illusions. This then brings us to the sixth Jewel of Wisdom, which the following article is about.

Read more: The Seven Jewels of Wisdom – Progressive evolution, the fifth Jewel

Theosophy and Christian Thought

Luke Michael Ironside – The Philippines

Theosophy Theosophy and Christian Thought 2

This brief examination of Theosophy and Christian Thought, rather than being a comparative analysis of two distinct systems of thought, will instead seek to uncover the underlying truths which form the bedrock of the inner doctrines of the Christian religion, but which are ever so often disregarded my modern adherents of the faith. I feel it is important to emphasize, from the outset, the distinction between the exoteric and esoteric aspects of religion. The purpose of the exoteric, or outer doctrine, is to provide an easily digestible body of practices and truths suited to the temperament of the non-initiated, but which practices and truths rest firmly upon the foundation of Universal Truth – the root, so to speak, from which the tree of diversity arises; the branches of which may be considered as constituting the myriad religious traditions of past and present times. The danger lies in the loss of that underlying foundation, without which only the empty shells of religious doctrine and dogmatism remain. Without the sure foundation of Divine Wisdom, the exoteric forms of religious practice become meaningless and at times even harmful.

Read more: Theosophy and Christian Thought

Imagination, Inspiration & Intuition

Tim Wyatt – England

Theosophy TIM W2

The world is in turmoil environmentally, politically, economically, socially and above all spiritually. The old certainties of materialism are being rapidly torn apart as science and spirituality approach a new convergence. Human consciousness is also undergoing a major shift – away from exclusively materialistic and mechanistic concerns towards enhanced spirituality. Individuals are moving beyond raw emotion and pure intellectualism towards a wider perception of the universe – developing new faculties of imagination, inspiration and intuition.

Advances in human consciousness during this the fifth Epoch or Root Race of human development are almost immeasurable. Theosophy both in its present and previous incarnations has played a crucial role in influencing and guiding this evolution. Harnessing the Ageless Wisdom and making it a practical tool for spiritual and global evolution isn’t just desirable but crucial.

Read more: Imagination, Inspiration & Intuition

Altruism

[The magazine Vidya http://www.theosophysb.org/site/publications.html , edited by associates of the United Lodge of Theosophists in Santa Barbara, USA, published the following article in its Winter 2017 issue; here is a slightly revised version.]

Theosophy Vidya 2

Matthieu Ricard is a creator of bridges, uniting diverse cultures and spiritual and philosophical traditions in his ceaseless effort to bring enlightenment to all beings. He was born in France and earned a Ph.D. in cellular genetics while becoming a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Ricard has translated for the Dalai Lama and traveled around the world in the service of promoting universal welfare. One of the valuable lessons he learned from the Dalai Lama is to bridge the contemplative and active life: it is possible to effectively sere others in the world, but only through transforming oneself. Since everyone wants happiness as much as we do, the Dalai Lama emphasizes that we should be attentive to the enduring happiness of all sentient beings; Ricard says this is the basis of compassion. The Dalai Lama moves the hearts of those around him, and is an authentic exemplar of true compassion and altruistic action.

Read more: Altruism

The Science of Wonder

Tim Boyd – USA

Theosophy Tim Boyd 2
The author

Like many other spiritual groups in the world today, the Theosophical Society expends a great deal of effort in trying to harmonize the teachings and experiences of the spiritual life with contemporary science. In our times the last thing anyone wants is to be regarded as “unscientific.” This pressure to kneel at the altar of science has been both a blessing and a curse in popularizing the truths about consciousness and the inner life.

The great blessing of science, and of the scientific method which underlies it, has been the structure of knowledge that has been built over time. This structure provides a time-tested description of the workings and laws of the natural world that serves as the springboard for future additions to humanity’s knowledge base. Practically all of the known processes of nature have been examined and described – from fire to atomic energy, from photosynthesis to cell regeneration.

Read more: The Science of Wonder

Dara Eklund – A Tribute

We remember Dara Eklund, 16 April, 1933 – 4 August, 2016

Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil

In previous issues of Theosophy Forward we’ve honored Theosophists such as Dr. Richard Brooks, Ianthe Hoskins, Einar Adalsteinsson, Shirley Nicholson, Paul Zwollo, Dora van Gelder and John H. Drais. In this issue we will remember Dara Eklund.

Theosophy DE 1 B Tribute
Dara Eklund

I met Dara only a few times, but our encounters made a deep impression on me. The first time our paths crossed was in 1999 in Krotona, where my wife and I followed a course on The Mahatma Letters to A.P.Sinnett, conducted by Joy Mills. Dara was sitting in a corner of Krotona’s well-known class room and during an interval I approached her to compliment her on an article she had written for The Theosophist. Our conversation was brief, she thanked me and mentioned that she had received word from Adyar that the editorial office there would like to receive more of her writings. It was not really what she said, it was the immediate connection there was between us. Although we had never met before, there was this instant bond and full recognition, striking warmth, and kindness.

Read more: Dara Eklund – A Tribute

William Quan Judge and the Theosophical Society – part one

Dara Eklund – USA

[Based on a talk given by Dara Eklund at Krotona Institute of Theosophy in April 2010.]

Annie Besant wrote the following in the October, 1922 [p. 351], issue of the Theosophist: “William Quan Judge [was] a much-loved friend and pupil of H.P.B.’s, and the channel of life to the American Branch of the T.S. A highly evolved man, with a profound realization of the deeper truths of life, he built up the Society in America from small and discouraging beginnings. No difficulties daunted him, and no apparent failures quenched his fiery devotion. . . . He was beside H.P.B. through those early days, saw the exercise of her wonderful powers, and shared in the founding of the Theosophical Society. And throughout the remainder of her life on earth, the friendship remained unbroken, and during the later years she regarded him as her one hope in America, declaring that, if the American members rejected him, she would break off all relations with them, and know them no more. . . . Spiritual and intuitional, he was also extraordinarily capable as an organizer and a leader. Then came the revelation of what was hidden under the reserved demeanor... an unquenchable energy, a profound devotion, an indomitable will. And these were held together by a single aim – the spreading of the truths of Theosophy, the building of an organization which should scatter the seeds over the land.

His real work, the spread of Theosophy in America, was splendidly performed, and his memory remains a lasting inspiration. . . . William Quan Judge must ever have his place among Theosophical Worthies.”

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William Quan Judge

William Quan Judge, son of Frederick H. Judge and Alice Mary Quan, was born in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1851. His mother died in giving birth to a seventh child. At the age of thirteen, Judge emigrated with his bereaved father and family to New York City, arriving via the City of Limerick steamship on July 14, 1864. Very little is known of William’s early years prior to coming to America. At age seven he survived a major illness, ordinarily fatal, which changed him entirely. Boris de Zirkoff’s biography states that the doctor pronounced him dead. Under her pen name Jasper Niemand, Julia Keightley wrote: “During convalescence the boy evinced aptitude and knowledge which he had never before displayed, exciting wonder as to when and how he had learned these things, these rudiments of art and of literature . . . and from his recovery in his eighth year we find him interested in religion, magic, Rosicrucianism, and deeply absorbed in the Book of Revelations of the Christian Bible, trying to settle its meaning. He also devoured the contents of all the books he could lay hold of relating to mesmerism, character-reading, phrenology and so on, while no one knew when he had so much as acquired the art of reading at all. The emigration to America . . . broadened his thought and experience as the era of definite work and training came on” (Irish Theosophist 4.5 [February 15, 1896]: 91). Julia Keightley also relates an incident of the boy’s will power, in spite of his frail health, when some playmates jeered at Judge because he could not swim across a stream to an island. He determined to walk across the river’s bed; when out of his depth, periodically rising for breath, he was finally drawn out half-conscious by his astonished playfellows.

Read more: William Quan Judge and the Theosophical Society – part one

William Quan Judge and The Theosophical Society – part two

Dara Eklund – USA

[Based on a talk given by Dara Eklund at Krotona Institute of Theosophy in April 2010.]

Julia Keightley (Irish Theosophist, IV: 115) wrote of that early period: “It was a position in which the young lawyer seemed quite overweighted, but he did all that he could . . . [as] a neophyte, one of a band who have taken the vow of interior poverty, and whose unseen and unrecorded work is regarded as being of far more importance than exterior, visible work.

Theosophy DE 2 WQJ and the TS  2 b Julia Keightley
Julia Keightley

The main current of such lives runs underground. Already H. P. Blavatsky had written and said that he had been a part of herself and of the Great Lodge ‘for æons past,’ . . . and that he was one of those tried Egos who have reincarnated several times immediately after death; assisted to do so, and without devachanic rest, in order to continue his Lodge work. It is a matter of record that, when the seven years’ probation of this life were over, the Master best known in connection with the T.S. sent to Mr. Judge, through H.P.B., His photograph, inscribed upon the back ‘to my colleague,’ with a cryptogram and signature; and, a little later, a letter of thanks and advice, delivered to Mr. Judge in Paris by H.P.B. A message sent to him through H.P.B. in writing from the Lodge at about this time ends by saying: ‘Those who do all that they can and the best they know how do enough for us’.” Judge wished to do more, despairing in his first letter to Julia of the heavy karma man has accumulated. He wrote: “That deep sigh pierces through my heart. How can the load be lifted? Am I to stand for myself, while the few strong hands of Blessed Masters and Their friends hold back the awful cloud? Such a vow I registered ages ago to help them, and I must. Would to great Karma I could do more!”

Letters That Have Helped Me , letter 1: ULT ed., 1946, p. 2; click here for pdf , p. 7).

Read more: William Quan Judge and The Theosophical Society – part two

Is there ever a personal problem?

Anne Lloyd (Dara Eklund) – USA

Theosophy DE 3 b
Dara Eklund frequented gardens such as the Huntington Garden in San Marino, CA, On the photo the rose garden there

In the first place, we might ask, why do we think that a problem is personal, and what is that magic process which brings us to a point where it no longer seems personal? Ask a man if he has solved his problem of yesterday and he will often innocently inquire, “What problem? ... Oh! that!” - and both you and he together will see how foolish, or trifling, it seems in the light of today. In this case we might say that Time erased the cares of yesterday, and we, engrossed in today's happiness, are no longer concerned with past puzzles. Perhaps this is also Great Nature’s way of helping us to go ahead with the task of each moment.

Yet there is a Universal problem involved, even in this tendency of flitting with life’s moods, which in reality is common to all men, for it deals with that transitory illusive area of mental focus which is our present field of conflicts. In spite of man’s need to meet each moment without regrets of the past, he needs time for reflection with the guidance of Universal Conscience, if he is to go ahead without bolting, like a young colt, from one pitfall into another. True, as the colt bounds forward again, the sun is shining on the meadows - as it always was. But man, with that mysterious power called faith, can know that the sun is shining even when the darkness of the pit seems overwhelming. If faith is cultivated in the light of principles, he will begin to know where the pitfalls are - not only in his own “personal” problems, but in those of his family, of his friends, and of nations. He will begin to view human life with a true sympathy, as he appreciates the struggles of men, and he will be ready to laugh with them as they begin to admit that this or another problem isn't just “mine.”

Read more: Is there ever a personal problem?

Am I forgiven?

Dara Rittenhouse (Dara Eklund) – USA

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Dara loved gardening and frequented gardens such as the Huntington Garden in San Marino, CA. On the photo a flower grown there

The idea of Karma initiates into our lives a sense of conscious responsibility. While we do not always see in every action its ultimate conclusion, while we fail to use every moment or event as a new inroad to truth, the idea has taken hold enough to change, in a great way, our acceptance of all that comes our way. It is the beginning of a larger faith in Law - affirmation of a time when the intricacies of life and action will be understood.

I have often wondered why we look to some outside person (perhaps deeply respected), Teacher or even abstract Law, with the question: “Am I forgiven?” Granted we have denied an anthropomorphic God who rewards and punishes, or "vicarious atonement" through priest or self-constituted authority. But why this feeling of a need to be forgiven? Are our fellow-men so callous, so imperviously critical of our weaknesses and shortcomings? Are we ourselves so sensitive yet in outside condemnation that we cannot rely on Law, as the great Adjuster? Or, perhaps, the unforeseen effects, once recognized, seem too overwhelming to undergo.

Nevertheless, we find they must be undergone, no matter how favorable or unfavorable our action appears to those around us. We have to say: “l set this cause in motion - I alone can accept that responsibility for sure. I alone can forgive my action.”

Read more: Am I forgiven?

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