Theosophy

The Path of Committed Service

Lorraine Christensen – Canada

[The following article is based on a talk by Lorraine Christensen, given during the 2007 summer meeting of the Theosophical Society in America at Wheaton, Illinois.]

The ideal of a path of committed service derives from what Theosophy teaches about the spiritual path and the place of service on that path. That teaching is set forth clearly in three well-known Theosophical classics: At the Feet of the Master, Light on the Path, and The Voice of the Silence. Each of these books describes progressively the journey of the aspirant along the far-reaching spiritual path, offering guideposts along the way.

Each of those books talks about three key aspects of the topic: the path, commitment, and service. For a Theosophist these aspects are inseparable, as we cannot have any one of them without the other two. In the lives of each of us, all three are mixed in varying degrees. So let us explore each of these aspects and consider how they fit together.

Path. In the Theosophical tradition, "the path" implies a conscious journey, returning to our ultimate spiritual source. This journey contrasts with traveling through life like a leaf in the wind, pulled and charmed every which way by a variety of outside forces and impelled from within by often unruly and conflicting impulses, desires, and instincts. The path denotes not only a journey, but also a state of being. The Voice of the Silence says: "Thou canst not travel on the path before thou hast become that path itself."

What are some of the characteristics of this spiritual path? They include the following. The path implies active movement, as opposed to remaining static. The path is often rugged, so those who walk it need sometimes to take refuge and find shelter along the way. We do not travel alone on the path. We receive from, and extend to others, helping hands. The path has purpose, which gives meaning to our lives. The path is empowering, as one's confidence grows with each step forward. The path involves being in the divine flow, which we can experience profoundly as losing ourselves in the moving energy of something greater than ourselves.

Read more: The Path of Committed Service

SELF KNOWLEDGE

The first necessity for obtaining self-knowledge is to become profoundly conscious of ignorance; to feel with every fibre of the heart that one is ceaselessly self-deceived.

The second requisite is the still deeper conviction that such knowledge—such intuitive and certain knowledge—can be obtained by effort.

The third and most important is an indomitable determination to obtain and face that knowledge.

Self-knowledge of this kind is unattainable by what men usually call "self-analysis." It is not reached by reasoning or any brain process; for it is the awakening to consciousness of the Divine nature of man.

To obtain this knowledge is a greater achievement than to command the elements or to know the future.

Collected Writings 8:108 [Lucifer, 1.2 (October, 1887): 89] [Authorship somewhat uncertain, but presumably by HPB.]


Universal Brotherhood and Spiritual Transformation

Roger Price—Belgium

 

My previous article, "The Mystic Foundation of Universal Brotherhood," showed that attaining the universal brotherhood of humanity here on Earth requires us to realize our mystic spiritual unity at the level of our higher Ego, the Manasaputra. This is one of the goals of spiritual evolution. Although physical evolution will continue according to the evolutionary blueprint, our evolution now is a spiritual transformation of consciousness. At the level of the personality this evolution requires a reorientation and transformation of psychological, social, religious, and political values and systems, based on a growing awareness of the unity of all life. Such transformation is towards universal brotherhood, without which we cannot progress in our spiritual evolution.

Read more: Universal Brotherhood and Spiritual Transformation

The Divine Plan and the T.S.

I. K. Taimni – India

[T]he Theosophical Society is not quite like the other societies scattered throughout the world, in which a group of people combine and work together to attain a definite object. Like other societies it has also a definite work to do in the world, namely the study and dissemination of truths concerning the deeper problems of life. But it has another and a far more important function, and that is to serve as a direct agency in the work of the Elder Brethren for the reclamation and regeneration of the world.

This function of the Theosophical Society is very important and should be thoroughly grasped by every member who wants to take an active part in its work. There may be some in our Society who prefer to think of it as a mere association for the study and dissemination of certain ideas, who do not subscribe to this view of its connection with the Elder Brethren, who may not even believe in the existence of such beings. Such people are entitled to have their particular views and may be very useful members of the Society. But the large majority of its members have a definite conviction based on well-authenticated facts that the Theosophical Society is not a mere academic body but a direct instrument of the Elder Brethren through which they expect to bring about definite changes in the world, with the knowledge and cooperation of its members.

Read more: The Divine Plan and the T.S.

A New Continent of Thought

Grace Knoche – USA

Everyone counts. Intuitively we know this, but do we grasp sufficiently the profound implications of this powerful truth? It is self-evident that thought and feeling move us to action, yet few of us are convinced that our private feelings and thoughts really do count in the totality of mankind. In this we err. It is no trifling matter that our merest emotion or thought affects to some degree not only our brothers of every kingdom, but also the universe. Truly, the magnetic interchange of responsibility and destiny among all living beings within the sun's domain is awesome: there is not a moment of our waking hours or during sleep (albeit in a different manner) when we do not exert some type of influence upon the auric atmosphere surrounding our globe in which the whole of humankind partakes.

Read more: A New Continent of Thought

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