Theosophy

On Getting Rich

B.P. Wadia

Theosophy 121 b On getting rich

Photo: © Richard Dvořák  

Ambition to amass wealth is universal. The base on which our civilization rests is finance. The citizen's power, even in a democratic state, lies in his moneybags. All great sages, on the other hand, have referred to poverty as a virtue necessary for the higher life. A new slant on the practice of poverty emerges from a contemplation of the ideal of the Rajarshis. The example of Janaka and others indicates that the Trusteeship idea stressed by the ideal Brahmana of the twentieth century, Gandhiji, is not a new one. His favorite Ishopanishad verse, as explained by him, brings out the fact that a yogi and a Rishi may dexterously allow the coins of gold and silver to roll for the good of the whole and all.

Read more: On Getting Rich

The hidden meaning of Christmas

Catalina Isaza Cantor Agnihotri – Colombia and Adyar

Theosophy CAT 420 b

The author

Introduction

Special greetings to all, dear friends. We are on the verge of a new year, after a 2020 full of challenges and learning. Before closing this year and, on the occasion of the upcoming Christmas festivities, we want to share with you something about the hidden, esoteric meaning of Christmas. Although this celebration has become primarily a reason for consumption and advertising, it is good to remember that its origin has to do with the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Christ. From the esoteric point of view, it goes much further than that: it constitutes a symbol of the spiritual awakening of which all of us will take part at some point in our journey towards the divine.

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Christmas, within the Christian vision, is composed of three moments. The first one, Advent (arrival), marks the previous four-week stage of preparation to receive the birth of the child. In the biblical account, this corresponds to the departure of Israel in difficult conditions. The Nativity (birth) is the moment when Jesus comes to life in a manger in Bethlehem. Finally, the Epiphany (appearance) refers to the arrival of the three Wise Men to the manger and the presents that they offer to the child who has just been born.

Read more: The hidden meaning of Christmas

The Yoga of Theosophy

Pablo Sender – USA

Theosophy 420 a PS 2

Pablo speaks .... 

The word “Theosophy” derives from the Greek theosophia, which is a combination of the terms theos (gods, or God) and sophia (wisdom). This term can be translated as “wisdom of the gods” (or God), “wisdom in things divine”, or “divine wisdom”, the latter being the preferred translation in the modern theosophical movement. A true theosophist, therefore, is a person endowed with wisdom. This wisdom, however, is not “human”, that is, it is not the result of experience, study, and memory. It is an inherent faculty of the divine aspect of human nature, which at this point in evolution is latent in most people.

Read more: The Yoga of Theosophy

The Moral Order of the Universe

B.P. Wadia

Theosophy 420 BPW 2

It is an ancient teaching that mental laziness provides a fertile soil for the germination and growth of many vices, among them vanity, jealousy, avarice. It is not only that Satan proverbially finds mischief for idle hands to do. To produce idle hands, that constant enemy of man on earth must instill indolence into the mind of man. If the mind moves aright, it creates virtues and establishes itself on moral principles. This the minds of men are not doing.

There is prodigious mental activity in the civilization of today. That activity in action spells restlessness and discontent; it deludes men and women into fancying that they are busy. People are busy whirling like mad dervishes, hoping for ecstasy! Ratiocination is mistaken for meditation and restlessness for activity. The myriad motions of passions, prejudices, and prides obscure mental laziness. When inordinate likes and dislikes move men, the men mistakenly assume that they are mentally active, whereas their minds are more or less inert.

Read more: The Moral Order of the Universe

Transforming the World

Barbara Hebert – USA

Theosophy 420 BH b

Barbara Hebert, National President of the Theosophical Society in America

We, as a group, want to transform the world. We want it to be a place of peace, acceptance, and compassion. We want to live in a world where there is no judgment based upon skin color, religious or spiritual tradition, belief system, way of self-identifying, and so on. In other words, we want to live in a world where everyone realizes the essential unity of all life and has a reverence and respect for that life.

Read more: Transforming the World

Lawfulness

Ali Ritsema – the Netherlands

Theosophy 420 Lawfulness AR 2

Ali Ritsema in 2014, smiling during a talk she gave on Karma in Adyar

photo: © Richard Dvořák   

Why this title for an article on 'The Three Objects of the TS and their Enduring Relevance? My thesis is that everything universal or eternal is of enduring relevance. Are the three Objects universal or eternal? If they are founded on universal law or laws, they will be universal and eternal and therefore of enduring relevance.

HPB indicates in the three fundamental propositions:

  • that there is 'an Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless and Immutable Principle...one absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned being';
  • the absolute universality of the law of periodicity which physical science has observed;
  • 'the fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul...and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul...through the Cycle of Incarnation...in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic Law'.

Read more: Lawfulness

The Path of Goodness

Erica Georgiades – Greece

Theosophy 420 EG b The Path

 A few days ago I arrived from Greece (…in India), where there was much tension. We lived through many days of savage vandalism in Athens, where hundreds of shops, cars, and properties were burned and destroyed. India, which is mourning the victims of the terrorist attack in Mumbai, is filled with tension from trying to find ways to prevent future terrorist attacks. These situations show the chaos that grows all over the world, and remind me of the prophecy in the Vishnu Purana about the Kalki Avatar that among other things says:

There will be rulers reigning over the Earth who will think of themselves as modern and superior; they shall rule through leaders of nations, and these leaders shall be men of vulgar, corrupt disposition, having a violent temper, and ever addicted to falsehood and evil. They will inflict death on women, children, and animals ... The people of various countries, influenced by propaganda of their leaders, will follow the example of their leaders, and the Barbarians of materialism. In all nations, wealth and spirituality will decrease day by day until the entire world will be corrupt, crooked, and depraved.

Read more: The Path of Goodness

The Relevance of Krishnaji´s Teachings

Clemice Petter – India, Brazil

Theosophy CP 2

Clemice Petter, the author, lives and assists at the International Headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Adyar

To talk about the relevance of J. Krishnamurti´s teachings is almost an impossible task because he gave us a precious jewel which it may not be accurate to simply call teachings. I would say that Krishnaji gave to humanity the key to solve all problems created by a selfish mind; it is the answer to the tears of a world that has suffered for countless centuries waiting for the fresh waters of wisdom to descent once more upon the world of ignorance and darkness.

When the Theosophical Society (TS) was formed in the 19th Century, Madame Blavatsky made it clear that the purpose of such a society was to bring back, especially to the Western world, the possibility for the spiritual life, which also meant the possibility for wisdom to be available to humanity. The task before the then new attempt is to help humanity, which means each one of us, to go beyond the materialistic approach of life and fulfill our destiny as pure human beings.

Read more: The Relevance of Krishnaji´s Teachings

A sublime Foreword

Introduction – Jan Nicolaas Kind

It is heartening to see that recently some of the works of one of the three main founders of the Theosophical Society, William Quan Judge, have been translated into Portuguese. Marcos de Resende who heads the Brazilian Theosophical Publishing House, and Fernando Antônio Mansur Barbosa, a TS-Adyar member who publishes Theosophical books translated into Portuguese privately, assisted by dedicated Brazilian translators have made this possible. For now, The Ocean of Theosophy is already available and Letters That Have Helped Me will be released early next year. for the benefit of Brazilian and other Portuguese speaking students. It is hoped that in the future more titles will follow. Your editor obtained his very first Judge book, entitled Vernal Blooms, from the Adyar book-shop in India, during an International Convention in the late nineties. Judge’s complete and formidable oeuvre is widely available in many libraries of the TS-Adyar in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Wheaton and Krotona in the USA and Sydney, Australia, just to mention a few.

Theosophy JC 420 b

Jonathan Colbert speaks during the International Convention in Adyar-India, January 2018

Jonathan Colbert from California, the USA, a lifelong student of Theosophy, was more than willing to write the Foreword for Letters That Have Helped Me. This piece turned out simply “sublime”, so it was decided to publish it here in full, in English.  As soon as the Portuguese version is completed it will also be published on Theosophy Forward.

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Read more: A sublime Foreword

The Teacher (the Golden Stairs)

Ananya Sri Ram Rajan – USA

 

Theosophy ASR 420 b Commentaries to the Golden Stairs com mold

 

I listened hard but could not see
Life tempo change out and inside me
. . .”

--From the Preacher, the Teacher, by Yes


Among the many thought-provoking lines in the Golden Stairs, is “a loyal sense of duty to the teacher.” So easily we, in our repetition of this recitation, may pass over this phrase as well as the others, not aware of the essence of each one. For anyone who has used the Golden Stairs as a guideline for one’s spiritual journey, the multilayered meaning of each principle can provide a student with a lifetime of meditation.

Viewing “a loyal sense of duty to the teacher” from a very superficial perspective, we may think of those in a position of authority as our teachers and through our loyalty feel a sense of duty to them. But when viewed from at deeper level, this line can give us a solid understanding as to how we can completely change our lives. One may ask the question who is the teacher? And what duty it is one should have to that teacher?

Read more: The Teacher (the Golden Stairs)

Theosophical Dont's

William Q. Judge – USA  (written in 1894)

Theosophy WQJ 420 2 william quan judge theosophy

The following suggestions arise from experience and are due to facts in the Theosophical world.

Don't speak or write as if morality and ethics were unknown before HPB wrote The Voice of the Silence. Some of our devoted band have been heard to speak in such a way that hearers thought the speaker meant to convey the idea that only in The Voice or other similar books of ours could be found the high and correct ethics by which one ought to guide his life. Buddhism, Christianity, and all the other religions teach the same morals, and literature is full of it.

Read more: Theosophical Dont's

In the Light of Theosophy - Forgiveness

Theosophy ILOT b

Forgiveness

[This article appeared in the October 2020 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link: http://www.ultindia.org/previous_issues.html]

It appears that forgiveness helps us to be free. Forgiveness therapy can help a person to gain perspective and move on, instead of being stuck, writes Nathaniel Wade, a professor of psychology at Iowa State University, who is interested in the psychology of forgiveness and religion, more in the context of counselling and therapy. Being in relationships often means being offended, hurt or betrayed, and one of the ways that we have developed to deal with such pain is through forgiveness. But what is forgiveness and how does it work? Firstly, we must distinguish between forgiveness and condoning, i.e., excusing or overlooking an offence. Forgiveness does not necessarily include reconciliation which involves re-establishing a trusting relationship with the person who has hurt. It is an internal process which helps to overcome feelings of bitterness and hurt, and instead engender the feeling of empathy and love for the offender.

Read more: In the Light of Theosophy - Forgiveness

The Paradox of Self-Transformation

Tim Boyd – India, USA

TB

The author

In Tibetan Buddhist practice there are numerous ceremonies held specifically for a long life. From our personal perspective living a long life has many good features. From the spiritual point of view the emphasis on long life goes beyond mere personal preference. Because the scope of Wisdom is infinite and our moment of incarnation is so brief, in order for us to actually cultivate the experience of wisdom, we ask to be blessed with long life, presence of mind, and health.

Read more: The Paradox of Self-Transformation

Katherine Tingley as I knew her

Boris de Zirkoff – USA

Theosophy BdZ b KT

Katherine Tingley

July 11, 1979, marked the fiftieth anniversary of Katherine Tingley's "passing into Light ..." after a long life dedicated to the service of humanity. On this occasion BdZ wrote the following:

As is often the case with unusual people, her stature grows as her image recedes into the distant past, Misunderstood by some, violently opposed by others, misjudged by those whose materialism and ignorant conceit were challenged by her spiritual outlook on life, Katherine Tingley is slowly being recognized as an inspired leader of thought, and a witness to the undreamt of possibilities of the hidden powers in man.

Read more: Katherine Tingley as I knew her

In the Light of Theosophy

Theosophy LOT 2

[This article appeared in the August 2020 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link: http://www.ultindia.org/previous_issues.html]

The Dead Sea Scrolls consist of about 1,000 ancient manuscripts. Which include various versions of books of the Hebrew Bible and various other religious, legal and philosophical documents. Most of these scrolls were found between 1947 and the 1960s, which were mainly found in eleven caves near Qumran, located in Judean desert. Molecular biologist Oded Rechavi of Tel Aviv University and his colleagues observe that since the scrolls made of sheepskin and cow skin retain DNA from those animals, analysis of that DNA could help to figure out which of the more than 25,000 scrolls came from the same animals, and therefore from the same documents. Thus, for instance, the researchers assumed that scroll fragments from closely related sheep were more likely to come from the same document than those from distantly related sheep or from cows.

Read more: In the Light of Theosophy

The Bhagavadgitâ and Theosophy

K. Dinakaran -- India

Theosophy GITA B

Dr. Annie Besant said: “Among the priceless teachings that may be found in the great Hindu poem of the Mahabharata, there is none so rare and precious as this ‘Lord’s Song’.” Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) also said: “The most beautiful, perhaps the only true philosophical song existing in any known tongue.” H. P. Blavatsky (HPB) mentions in the Preface to The Voice of the Silence about Jñânesvari, the Marathi version of the Bhagavadgitâ by Sant Jñânesvar.

Read more: The Bhagavadgitâ and Theosophy

All you need is love….

Barbara Hebert – USA

Theosophy BH 320 b

The Beatles in the studio recording 'All you Need is Love'' on June 25, 1967, during the very first world-wide television broadcast OUR WORLD.

For the "making"of that track and Our World, click on the photo  

Released in the Summer of 1967, the Beatles song “All You Need is Love” …was Britain's contribution to Our World, the first live global television link.... The program was broadcast via satellite and seen by an audience of over 400 million in 25 countries. Lennon's lyrics were deliberately simplistic, to allow for the show's international audience, and captured the utopian ideals associated with the Summer of Love. The single topped sales charts in Britain, the United States and many other countries, and became an anthem for the counterculture's embrace of flower power philosophy.” (Wikipedia) 

Theosophy BH 320 c

John Lennon

Read more: All you need is love….

The writings of H. P. Blavatsky

Boris de Zirkoff – USA

Theosophy BdZ 320 2

[Note from the editor: this article written by de Zirkoff in 1949, is significant because of its historical content, while the author also makes mention of the collaboration between various Theosophical organizations and their leaders]

The writings of H.P. Blavatsky and of her Adept-Teachers are the cornerstone upon which the modern Theosophical Movement rests.

Upon this cornerstone has been erected a superstructure which, although imperfect in many respects, has nonetheless withstood the attacks of entrenched materialism, and of the forces of obscurantism which have attempted from time to time to obliterate or disrupt the Movement as a whole.

Read more: The writings of H. P. Blavatsky

The Supreme Duty (AB speaks)

Annie Besant

Theosophy AB 3 b

Annie Besant, wonderful photo taken in the early 1890ties

I speak tonight on the supreme duty. I proclaim tonight the universal law of life; for only by service is fullness of life made possible, to the service of man the whole of the universe today is yoked. For under the name of man, man past, present, and future, man evolving up to the divine man, eternal, immortal, indestructible, that is the service to which every individual should be pledged, that the object of life, that the fashion of evolution. I shall try to put for you tonight in few words something of the elements of this service, something of its meaning in daily life, as well as something of the heights whereto the daily practice may at length conduct the human soul. Poor indeed is that religion that cannot teach the men and the women of the world the duty of daily life, and yield to them inspiration that shall aid them in their upward climbing to the light.

Read more: The Supreme Duty (AB speaks)

An Esoteric View of Pandemics

Pablo Sender – USA

Theosophy PS 2 An

The author

IN this article, we will explore the subject of epidemics from the point of view of esoteric philosophy. The first fundamental idea to bear in mind is that the Earth and humanity are intimately connected, so that planetary and human activity are constantly reacting on each other, be it epidemics, pandemics, or natural disasters. Franz Hartmann expressed this principle as follows:

Man is not a being whose existence is separated from Nature, but an integral part thereof. . . . The elemental forces of Nature act upon his soul; and the influence of the universal spirit radiates to his centre. Likewise, man reacts upon the whole. . . . His emotions produce currents in the soul of the world, giving rise to new causes in the invisible realm, which again react upon the physical plane. (Magic, White and Black)

Theosophy PS 3 Franz Hartmann

Franz Hartmann

Read more: An Esoteric View of Pandemics

The Myth of Man's Origin and Development – part two

Joy Mills – USA

Theosophy JM b

[Chapter Five in LIVING IN WISDOM: LECTURES ON "THE SECRET DOCTRINE, copyright 1989, Theosofische Vereniging in Nederland / Amsterdam. The booklet was transcribed from a class given at the August 1988 Summer School of the Dutch Section of the Theosophical Society.]

Now we must note a very important aspect of the esoteric doctrine here; HPB points out that there are three schemes of evolution which she says in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. We cannot go into this in depth, but it is there in The Secret Doctrine. The point that I wish to make is that these three are named: the MONADIC, which is concerned with the growth and development into still higher phases of activity of the monads; in conjunction with the second stream, which is the INTELLECTUAL -- or we can call it, if you like, because it encompasses it, the "psychological," or if you like another term: the "soul" -- and the third, which is the PHYSICAL, around which, as HPB has said, nature has concreted the physical body. And it is this body which serves as the vehicle for all the transformations that take place in the other two.

Read more: The Myth of Man's Origin and Development – part two

The Teacher

Tim Boyd – India, USA

Theosophy TB 2

Tim Boyd, International President, TS-Adyar

I would like to give some consideration to a central idea which is, for many, also a central experience in the theosophical life. In the process of our spiritual unfoldment the Teacher plays an unparalleled role. He/she is that person we encounter during the course of our spiritual growth, who seems to have the ability to spur our understanding and hasten our development.

Everyone has had a relationship with someone who has served in the role of a Teacher. It is a common experience in the university, at school, in our home, or in our spiritual life, to encounter someone in whose presence we find difficult things becoming clear, and who, when they speak we find ourselves elevated. In those moments when we are in their presence we feel as though we understand.

Read more: The Teacher

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