Theosophy

Bridge of Understanding

James Long – USA

In the presentation of the age-old doctrines of cosmology and the laws of man, we should remember that none of the world teachers had in mind the founding of a great and powerful organization. The teachings they gave were fresh from the source, and everything that springs from this source encourages unselfish development. They did not offer a prescribed set of dogmas, but a living philosophy for the simple man, workable in the daily affairs of the round of life. It was only in the course of hundreds of years that many of the fundamental keys were hidden, if not lost. In spite of this, we can recognize if we are unbiased that the keys to these universal doctrines are there—in the Christian scriptures as well as in all sacred writings. Whereas most of the dogmas taught in the temples and churches are accepted literally by their devotees, we find many individuals seeking beneath the outer forms, seeking for the kernel of the original truth.

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Desire Made Pure

H. P. Blavatsky

When desire is for the purely abstract—when it has lost all trace or tinge of “self”—then it has become pure.

The first step towards this purity is to kill out the desire for the things of matter, since these can only be enjoyed by the separated personality.

The second is to cease from desiring for oneself even such abstractions as power, knowledge, love, happiness, or fame; for they are but selfishness after all.

Life itself teaches these lessons; for all such objects of desire are found Dead Sea fruit in the moment of attainment. This much we learn from experience. Intuitive perception seizes on the positive truth that satisfaction is attainable only in the infinite; the will makes that conviction an actual fact of consciousness, till-at last all desire is centred on the Eternal.

[Lucifer, Vol. I, No. 2, October, 1887, p. 133]


The Mystic Foundation Of Universal Brotherhood

Roger Price—Belgium

In my first article on universal brotherhood for Theosophy Forward, "Do We Truly Aspire to Universal Brotherhood," we saw that, according to the Mahatmas, universal brotherhood "is the only secure foundation for universal morality . . . and it is the aspiration of the true adept." And thus it provides the safe moral basis for the study of universal ideas which lead to a knowledge of the Laws of Life. This article will briefly examine how an understanding of the mystic aspects of universal brotherhood will help put our understanding of universal morality on a "secure foundation," that is, in line with the laws of life.

One way of considering the nature and constitution of the universe is to consider it as a ladder of hierarchies of beings from the highest to the lowest in the evolutionary progression of life. Within that scheme, humanity has not only a special role but also has a special unified nature. To understand why humanity has a special unified nature we need to look at what the Ancient Wisdom says about our sevenfold constitution.

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What Is Pure Theosophy?

Dara Eklund – USA

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 West 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 Sensa will keep to the pure is his test!

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Religion and Reform from a Theosophical View Point

William Q. Judge – USA

Two great shadowy shapes remain fixed in the attention of the mind of the day, threatening to become in the twentieth century more formidable and engrossing than ever. They are religion and reform, and in their sweep they include every question of pressing human need; for this first arises through the introspective experience of the race out of its aspirations toward the unknown and the ever-present desire to solve the questions whence and why, while the second has its birth in the conditions surrounding the bodies of the questioners of fate who struggle helplessly in the ocean of material existence.

Many men wielding small or weighty pens have wrestled with these questions, attacking them in ways as various as the minds of those who have taken them up for consideration, but it still remains for the Theosophist to bring forward his views and obtain a hearing. This he should always do as a matter of duty, and not from the pride of fame or the self-assertion which would see itself proclaimed before men. For he knows that, even if he should not speak or could not get a hearing, the march of that evolution in which he thoroughly believes will force these views upon humanity, even if that has to be accomplished by suffering endured by every human unit.

The Theosophist can see no possibility of reform in existing abuses, in politics or social relations, unless the plan of reform is one which grows out of a true religion, and he does not think that any of the prevailing religions of the Occident are true or adequate. They do not go to the root of the evil which causes the pain and sorrow that call for reform or alleviation. And in his opinion Theosophy—the essence or concentrated virtue of every religion—alone has power to offer and effect the cure.

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