Dorothy Bell – Australia
In the context of the teachings of the Wisdom Tradition, we can make Theosophy a living force in our world by walking the talk, living the truth as we see it, in other words, by being who we already are. The challenge is there, waiting for us to move through all the blockages that the mind has created to prevent the acknowledgment and outward expression of our divine nature, which is our spiritual birthright. In a world increasingly engulfed in negativity and darkness, where true compassion and respect for fellow travelers is rarely seen, the need is urgent.
So what does this mean? My mind wandered to the trail-blazing H. P. Blavatsky, who, in a world so different from our own, brought the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom out of the East and into the West and onto the turf controlled by the churches. I recall words from a popular English ballad by Alfred Noyes: "And the highwayman came riding– / Riding–riding– / The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door."
Those words repeated themselves until an image slowly formed in my mind, which they triggered. The night was dark; the road paved with cobblestones glistened in the moonlight. Out of the night came the sound of hoof beats, closer and closer, until the outline of the horse and rider came into clear view—a dashing and powerful figure in a thick velvet cloak and hood. The rider was HPB, a young and strong HPB. She called far into the night, "Wake up! Wake up! The time is nigh." Her voice penetrated the darkness. "Wake up! Wake up! Sluggards all, lulled in sleep on a cushion of comfort. Clear the decks! Be ready. Your service to humanity is nigh." Like Paul Revere, warning Americans that the British were coming, she rode on into the night, calling to unseen and unknown listeners, but with a parting shot, "Those with ears ready to hear will hear." The image faded. Why the subconscious brought this image to the surface did not really matter. It gave focuses for thought: the symbol of the highwayman, waking up, the impediment, preparation for service, and urgency.
Why did HPB appear as a highwayman? Perhaps this symbol represents the "pirating" of some of the flock from the control of the Western patriarchal churches. The highwayman also represents nonconformity with the prevailing law and order of things; and HPB, in being true to herself, was certainly nonconforming. By "unveiling Isis," she brought the power and balance of the divine feminine—missing so long from the collective mindset—back onto the turf of religion.
What was the call to "Wake Up" from sleep? Our journey with Theosophy brings a realization that a radical shift is required in our consciousness of our identity and our reality. The Theosophical worldview is opposite to the social programming that manipulates the everyday thoughts and actions of the materialist's mindset. And that difference of worldview is perhaps the essence of the message in the wake-up call. It brings to mind HPB's words about historical and social conditioning:
"…You must remember that all our members have been bred and born in some creed or religion, that all are more or less of their generation, both physically and mentally, and consequently their judgment is but too likely to be warped and unconsciously biased by some or all of these influences. If, then, they cannot be freed from such inherent bias, or at least taught to recognize it instantly and so avoid being led away by it, the result can only be that the Society will drift off on to some sandbank of thought or another, and there remain a stranded carcass to moulder and die" (Key to Theosophy, p. 305).
The wake-up call is to realize that, since our birth, the brain-mind like a computer has programmed us away from who we truly are, and unfortunately there is no "delete" button. It has manufactured a personality that blocks the true Self, the spiritual entity within ourselves, from expressing itself outwardly. False beliefs and illusions created in the mind, based on the great heresy of separateness, operate in a false paradigm of reality and identity. As HPB wrote in The Voice of the Silence (verse 4): "The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real."
It is difficult to realize that we have been controlled into believing that we are not who we are. The personality that we are portraying has been programmed into us, into separation, judgment, fear, and negativity; and the challenge is to "know thyself" and not to be a victim of that personality in our daily actions and emotional reactions. To "wake up" is to see anew, to train ourselves to see with the eyes of Wisdom and of spirit, and to respond to the world with that new sight. In knowing and feeling oneness with all that exists, we are the truth of who we are; we are wisdom, love-compassion, and peace, which already exist in our inner divine nature at the core of our being.
Why did HPB urge us to "clear the decks" and "be ready"? She urged us to respond to the opportunity for serving humanity in whatever battles lie ahead, to free ourselves from the mind of illusions, antagonism, and negativity that block the flow of being who we are. HPB described Theosophy as altruism, which is of the spirit. With our minds centered in the divine field of operation, we can be instruments of such great service.
What is the "cushion of comfort" on which we sleep? Although intellectual contemplation of the human journey is comforting and comfortable, we can get lost in accumulating intellectual knowledge. The effort and discomfort involved in breaking through the mold of illusion is far less appealing and comfortable to the controlling mind. Perhaps the intellectual comfort of Theosophical teachings, such as substituting reincarnation for heaven, gives the personality relief from the all-encompassing fear of death and annihilation.
Our state of consciousness, whatever it may be, results from karmic law. We are all on a huge learning curve. And in whatever lifetime, with whatever catalyst or trigger, when we finally clear the decks and break through illusions of our identity and reality, the freedom of Self-expression awaits: awareness of the god-energy, the Krishna-Christ consciousness, that we already are. As children of the collective Elohim or spiritual parent, we will be outward expressions of the true Self's living power and force of universal, unconditional love, with its wisdom-compassion and peace. Its power is beyond comprehension, being the power that created the universe. It is of itself; it fulfils itself; it loves through us; it never judges; it casts out all fear; it is the only power existing in the world. This is wondrous and awesome.