The Stages of Spiritual Development

Barbara Hebert – USA

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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: [ ]

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


[The magazine Vidya , 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.]

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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

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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?

Current Superstitions

Dara Eklund – USA

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A flower grown at the Huntington Garden in San Marino, CA. Dara frequented this and other gardens

In this scientific age we moderns assume we are free from superstition. Yet we hold an abiding trust in technology which amounts to blind faith in hedonistic experimentation. Is not this a current day Superstition? While genetic engineers are trying to develop unicorns from goats, have we not witnessed a deepening cleft in basic wisdom and perception? Our kids “mouse” around computer screens for pre-packaged information with not a clue in how to synthesize it. We have faith that more children will learn to read, blind to any of the supposed founts of values they unconsciously tap into!

One of the most pervading superstitions today is that man is all-powerful over nature. Until recently DDT and pesticides were designed to produce great harvests, with little thought as to the atmosphere or the table health of the consumer. Now scientists have genetically altered tomatoes and other produce for long-lasting and “attractive” market value. Aside from the obvious results of Alar poisoning and contamination of feed, we see the imbalance wrought from generations of such experimentation in the nemesis of devastating storms, droughts and newly detected viruses. Great forests have been denuded and scientists began warning a decade ago about earth's depleted ozone layer. Now we find skin cancer risk at all-time highs in certain geographical zones.

Read more: Current Superstitions

Theosophical Visionists & Revisionists

Dara Eklund – USA

Theosophy DE 6 b

Dara had a green thumb for her own garden but also frequented gardens such as the Huntington Garden in San Marino, CA. The wonderful flower on the photo was grown there

Theosophical Visionists are those who perceive the pure and timeless stream of Theosophy as the impetus to an ever – ascending spiral of spiritual development.

Theosophical Revisionists seem to be those students giving ear to the outer trends of world development, who would like to reconstruct the channel for the stream of Truth; perhaps even building ducts and tributaries to suit some temporary fancy of the passing age. Perchance they feel a need to draw some of its precious water off to an experimental scientific garden or two. Forgetting that Truth is ever One, they would divert its nurturing tributaries to suit their own particular scholastic specialties or theories.

Such revisionism seems present in a statement by Stephan Hoeller in The American Theosophist of September/October 1988, in which it was proclaimed that one should regard reincarnation and karma as metaphors. Our occult teachers have stated that these two doctrines are facts in Nature. Mr. Hoeller writes:

The final question is: Are we able, and. more importantly, willing to interpret what we hitherto considered to be fact and metaphysical truth as a set of psychological keys to transformation? Can we stand up and proclaim that The Secret Doctrine is myth; that its cosmology is a psychological model of reality; that reincarnation and karma are metaphors; that Atlantis may be a symbol of our consciousness submerged in the ocean of unconscious forgetfulness?” (p. 191)

Read more: Theosophical Visionists & Revisionists

What is pure Theosophy?

Dara Eklund – USA

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The author, Dara Eklund, loved gardening and flowers. She frequented gardens such as the Huntington Garden in San Marino, CA. This flower was cultivated and grown there

Even with a common slate of Theosophical teachings students of Theosophy express doubt concerning their ability to recognize a true teacher should he suddenly appear. Have we established, then, as "Pure" Theosophy a certain set of books, or perhaps doctrines, without examining them for the future guidance of our Movement? Surely the Masters who fashioned a craft designed to negotiate the cyclical tides of centuries ahead, would provide enough ballast to carry it over the rough shoals it has met with from the very beginning. We have not only been given direct warnings, but devotional texts to fortify the heart-life and subdue the darker currents of our human personality. We have emphasis on motive and equanimity in the Bhagavad-Gita, a text so universal as to be adopted by the Western man as one of the World's great literary pieces. We have allegories too, which warn of the degradation of the Esoteric schools into centers of black magic. They often show how the purity of One disciple can help keep a link unbroken.

Take for instance the opening chapter of The Idyll of the White Lotus, where the boy Sensa enters the temple for the first time, conscious that the gate is locked behind him. For some reason he does not mind being a prisoner in that awesome place, for he is made aware of a curious seclusion which does not seem like imprisonment to him. A subtle separateness from the city beyond does not impair his innocent nature from perceiving a duality at work within the temple itself. He is immediately drawn into a conflict of the priestly forces which would use his native seership for development of their own ominous ends, against his own intuitive reverence for the pure lady of the Lotus, Truth herself. This he must preserve within, with the aid of the gardener of the temple grounds: INTUITION. How will Sensa keep to the Pure is his test!

Read more: What is pure Theosophy?

Begin with the Children

Barbara Herbert – USA

Theosophy Begin 2 Barbara Herbert
The author

The mere thought of children being victimized in any way is repugnant and abhorrent to all of us. If news stories bring these situations to our attention, we may wipe the thoughts quickly from our minds, replacing them with thoughts of peace and unity for all beings. As Theosophists, we know that thoughts are things, and we may choose not to dwell on the horrors that abound in this physical existence, especially in relation to children. We don’t want to give that thought any energy; we don’t want it to grow. For many of us, we can quickly wipe the thought from our mind and feel very comfortable that we are living theosophically.

On the other hand, is this truly Theosophical living? Don’t we have an obligation to humanity to see the world as it truly is? If we don’t see it, how can we change it? If we don’t recognize that children are mistreated the world over, nothing will end the mistreatment. Humanity will remain “stuck” in this mode of averting our eyes and allowing mistreatment to continue. As Jung pointed out “We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” Therefore, how do we find balance between seeing the truth, accepting the truth of the victimization of children but not dwelling on those thoughts and thus sending thought-forms of pity and sadness which only potentially complicate the plight of these little ones?

Read more: Begin with the Children

Last call for Tomorrow!

Boris de Zirkoff – USA

Theosophy BdZ 2
Although not of a good quality, a historical photo of significance: Dara Eklund (second from left) and Boris de Zirkoff, Dara's Aunt Kay (to Boris' left) and a few other Theosophists. This was taken in front of Dara's Studio City house in 1977. (i.e. a suburb of Los Angeles)

Periodic inventories are essential to good business.

When did you last take stock of your mental assets, and Surveyed your list of emotional liabilities? In the ancient era of the pre-Hiroshima mankind?

If so, you had better start right now balancing your books, lest you find yourself bankrupt and out of business.

For you see, my friend, You and I stand today on the threshold of an open door. Beyond it is Tomorrow ... and a playful breeze is blowing from Tomorrow, right through the open door ....

Read more: Last call for Tomorrow!

Human Regeneration – part fourteen

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 Burnier
Radha Burnier

When we talk about a fundamental change, do we imply an immediate, total change, or is it a process?

RB: None of us can give an authoritative answer on this or any such subject. Let us explore. Are there many different changes culminating in a fundamental change? Is there a process in the sense that whenever the self expresses itself, one is aware of it? To use the imagery of The Voice of the Silence, whenever dust falls on the mirror, it is wiped away. When there is no dust at all, it may be a totally different kind of change. Perhaps there are dimensional changes, like the leap from animal consciousness to the self-consciousness of man. There may be a similar fundamental change, which takes the human being, into quite a different sphere. There may not be a contradiction, for the dimensional change as well as the process consisting of many little changes might be part of the scheme.

CB: As I see it, what happens in a process and in a greater change is the same thing. We see something, we eliminate it and free the way for something that comes from within. That may happen in small things continuously, or it may happen in a much more spectacular or bigger way. What happens in the process, is that we suddenly become aware of what we are doing, how we are; that is itself a change which comes from within, because something is eliminated. If it is a small thing coming now and then, we call it a process; if it comes very suddenly and to a very great extent, we may call it a big change.

Read more: Human Regeneration – part fourteen

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