How to Study Theosophy – 4  

Kenneth Small – USA

Insights from the Teachings of G. de Purucker – View and Keynotes of Practice

Theosophy KS 2 purucker gottfried 420x420

Forgiveness: An Esoteric View, Cultivating the ‘Master’ Within; Universal Service

The conventional view of forgiveness is simply stated as: the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven. In our quest for inner awakening, however, there is a deeper ‘selfless’ view of ‘forgiveness’, that is needed to cut through to the essence of life. This ‘selflessness’ is rooted in the universal and impermanent nature of things.

De Purucker speaking to students in the Lomaland esoteric school states that the whole basis of inner development is “…forgetfulness of self in service to others.”[i]

He goes on to make clear that it is ones ‘consciousness’ that advances through the continuous changes of life experience through myriads of ‘forms’:

The very nature of life is change, and advancement, and progress; and no one remains a plumber, or a carpenter, or a washerwoman, or a philosophy, or a king, or a sage, or an atom, through-out endless duration. It is the consciousness that advances…

De Purucker continues, describing how shifting our motivation to ‘selflessly serve others’ becomes the fulcrum for accelerating ones spiritual development:

Those that choose the path of self-forgetfulness and love for others find life full of interest and variety and learn rapidly and advance rapidly and grow as the flowers grow, shedding the perfume of their noble lives on all that is.[ii]

How this is accomplished, is by cultivating ‘impersonal love’ and shifting our motivation to selfless view draws us closer to the central universal harmony, ‘loving for the pure delight of loving’:

Impersonal love is self-forgetfulness, literally and absolutely; personal love is self-remembrance, literally and absolutely. When your love forgets yourself and paradoxically, forgets the loved one and loves for pure delight of loving self-forgetfulness, then it is like the cosmic harmony, which manifests in the music of the spheres as the stars and the plants sing…[iii] 

Cultivating the ‘Master’ within through Selfless Service

Central to the path of inner awakening in De Purucker’s view is to merge ever closer to the ‘core of your being’, ‘pure consciousness’ which he equates with the ‘god within’ or ‘inner Master’:

Chelaship [discipleship] therefore means trying to bring out the Master living in your own being…

The core of your being is pure consciousness; and in proportion as you ally yourself with the god within, with pure Monadic[iv] consciousness, shall knowledge come to you naturally.

The key to understanding, knowledge and wisdom is self-identification with the god within. This is the path of inner evolution. It is the pathway of almighty love, pity and compassion.[v]

Elsewhere he adds that it is in direct relationship to the acceptance of our own ‘inner divinity’ that we then may gradually become ‘accepted’ under the guidance of an outer Teacher:

It is a curious paradox that the outer Teacher works with entire harmony and in rigid accord with the intimations… arising in the chela’s own consciousness of the presence of the inner Teacher --- the greatest one of all as far as he himself is concerned.[vi]

Nation, Duty, Universal Service

“Be careful that the national idea do not obscure the idea of universal service to mankind.”

Here, De Purucker [speaking in the 1930’s] clarifies that the ‘selfless service’ cultivated for genuine inner spiritual development is always for greater humanity and not the particular ‘national idea’ that may predominate at a given time period. He elaborates: 

Perform faithfully the first duty that comes to hand, no matter how humble, no matter how simple; it is your path. … Very simple is therefore the path.

Every earnest student, besides being a link between the Lodge and humanity as a whole, has a special role to play in respect to the nation which is his in this incarnation. … But while this is quite true ... , never forget that we, which means each one of you, are not the servant of your own people but of the human race. Be careful that the national idea do not obscure the idea of universal service to mankind.[vii] … Spiritual laws come first; then the laws of the intermediate nature, and last come the ties of the individual. Duty begins at home; but our home is the Universe.[viii]  

Bringing us down to earth to the clear steps in front of us, he then advises never to forget that:

... in one sense the great Teacher is Life itself, and the learner is the aspirant who lives his life from day to day with its various and manifold experiences, temptations, attractions, and ups and downs of mental activity and of emotional feeling. The victor in the daily life is always the higher part of the neophyte…[ix]

As a matter of fact, the entire training for chelaship, is founded on psychological factors, illuminated by spiritual and intellectual aspirations … 

De Purucker then adds the admonition that each aspirant must become the ideals being studied and that:

Chelaship is a matter of being, not of talking about being.[x]


[i] Esoteric Teachings - The Esoteric Path: Its Nature and Its Tests vol. 1 p. 112

[ii]          “          p. 115

[iii]          “         p 100     

[iv] ‘Monadic’ in this context means Universal.

[v]           “        pp 101-2

[vi]            “       pp 57-58  KRS Ed bold added.

[vii] Bold added KRS Ed.

[viii]           “        p 112

[ix]           “        p 58 

[x]            “        p 59 KRS Ed. bold added

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