Boris de Zirkoff – USA
[THEOSOPHIA-A Living Philosophy for Humanity -Volume XXVIII No. 4 (130) - Spring 1972]
The spread of Theosophy in the world and the strength of the Theosophy Movement depend primarily upon unremitting and intelligent work.
Wherever, among students there burns the holy flame of spiritual enthusiasm for the dissemination of the ancient wisdom, there the work flourishes and Theosophy becomes known.
Wherever self-interest is disregarded, and an honest and sustained effort is being made to sow the seeds of Theosophy broadcast, there every motion of hand and mind bears fruit all hundredfold.
Wherever worldly self-seeking interests have been imported into Theosophical affiliations, and the primary objective of the student is either self-advancement or intellectual gratification, or an easy pastime observing someone else doing the work - there the Movement comes sooner or later to a standstill, and pleasant but deadly moulds of mind take the place of a living and workable philosophy of life.
The organized Theosophical Movement has its workers. It has its self-forgetful toilers, whose whole life and thought are dedicated to the Cause of Mankind. They are the pillars of the Movement, the "saints" of the universal Theosophical community. It is mainly through their life-blood that the Movement is sustained; it is their spiritual and psychomental fluid that flows through its arteries. If it were not for their self-sacrificing task in all parts of the world, the modern manifestation of the Movement would have given up its ghost long ago, scattering but a few bleached bones upon the sands of time. But does their sacrifice, nay, often martyrdom, in the face of grievous odds, persecution, ridicule, and sometimes social ostracism, justify the complacent attitude of the many whose ethical callousness is a deadweight on the Movement?
The living power of every truly spiritual Movement throughout the ages has always been gauged by the ability and the perseverance of its adherents to work on its behalf. It is impossible to work for the Cause without at least to some degree living its teachings. Working for it is already living its precepts. It would appear therefore that it is by the same measuring rod of work accomplished or sacrifices made on its behalf, that the Theosophical Movement ran appraise its own worldwide membership at any time.
As has been so clearly pointed out by William Quan Judge (Department of Branch Work. Paper No. 8, New York, Nov., 1890.):
"Many persons, however, think that they can belong to the Society, and while negatively selfish, that is, ready and willing to sit down and hear others expound theosophical doctrine and never work for the body themselves, they may receive benefit in the way of comprehension of the doctrines of man and nature which are promulgated among us. But they forget a law in these matters of great importance, one, indeed, that they may not be willing to admit, and which is much opposed to our modern ideas of the powers and functions of the human mind. It is that such an attitude by reason of its selfishness builds up a hard wall between their minds and the very truths they wish to know. I speak of an actual dynamic effort which is as plain to the eye of the trained seer as is any object to the healthy eye."
Truth, like the passion for life, craves expansion. It is of the very essence of Truth to universalize itself. It is a leaven which insists upon leavening the whole. It acknowledges no barriers, it respects no boundaries. It is upon this simple fact of being that has been based throughout the ages the missionary urge on the part of all movements, good and bad. And let it be remembered that there has hardly ever been a Movement of any kind that did not originate in some seed of Truth, however small and soon obscured.
A Movement, therefore, which does not exhibit any marked degree of that urge to universalize itself, is dying spiritually, and its decay and disappearance is only a matter of time. The Theosophical Movement, as a Movement, still exhibits many a healthy sign of that inner urge and this is, of course, its primary claim to growth and expansion in the future.
What is needed today more than anything else in our Movement is faith in this aggressive universalism of Truth; it is our only escape from smallness, parochialism, querulousness and stagnation.
The spiritual passion for Truth demands for its Apostles men and women who feel its urge, who can interpret its message and lay bare its imperatives. Among free men, always new leaders arise to meet the challenge of great emergencies. These are the men who deny the don'ts and can'ts of conservative years, who go out and dare the impossible.
Our clamant need, as a Movement, is for leaders of thought. Every member - a leader! Workers are wanted, not mere well-wishers. Active centers of spiritual light, not mere names on the rostrum. Men and women who are possessed by the aggressive universalism of Truth and are prepared to "damn the consequences." The choice between self-complacent intellectual gratification and an intelligent, purposeful, dynamic, but kindly and self- sacrificing work for the Cause of Theosophy, is the difference between a sad wreck cast out on the sandbanks of thought in years to come, and a Movement whose every fiber responds with a quickened fire to the keynote of the Incoming Age. It is up to us!
"... the theosophist's duty is like that of the husbandman; to turn his furrows and sow his grains as best he can: the issue is with nature, and she, the slave of Law." - The Mahatma Letters, pp. 339-40. (3rd ed., p. 334.).