Solomon, son of David and king of Israel in the 10th century
B.C., is noted for his wisdom and magnificence, and especially
for the temple he is said to have built-"a splendid temple
to the Lord, composed of successive courtyards, each one more
holy than the next, with the innermost containing the Ark."
Yet, little is known about who Solomon really was, and even the
very existence of such a personage is being debated by scholars.
In Time magazine (April 16) we are told:
Outside of the Bible, there is only the scantest evidence
of either King's existence [David and Solomon]. A mere two commemorative
inscriptions have been found referring to a "House of David,"
both from a later period. Solomon's trail is even colder
experts believe that the father-and-son team's Unified Kingdom
could have stretched, as kings claims, "from the [Euphrates]
to the border of Egypt." A vocal minority of
historians known as biblical minimalists claim that most of Kings
was myth concocted hundreds of years later to legitimize a later
regime. The minimalists argue that there is no good reason beyond
piety to think that Jerusalem in 1000 B.C. was a major city that
David and Solomon were anything more than tribal leaders.
And the Temple?
Very few scholars doubt its existence,
in part because the testimony to its destruction is son eloquent.
By 715 B.C., Jerusalem had indisputably turned into a prosperous
capital of a major Judahite kingdom, documentable through both
archaeology and written accounts. By 586 B.C., it was rubble
Whatever of the first Temple may eventually be dug up, its
most glorious remnant will not be physical. Scholars quibble
over whether what they call ethical monotheism had fully developed
before the city's fall or was realized by the Jews only on their
return from exile in Babylon. But it was in the Temple, or with
the memory of its grandeur tempered by the harsh wisdom of the
stateless, that the Jews refined their embrace of a God who was
the only God, who involved himself in human history and who wanted
his people to do right.
According to a Jewish tradition, says H.P.B., "the stones
which were used to build Solomon's temple (an allegorical symbol
taken literally and made into an actual edifice) were not chiseled
or polished by human hands." In her article "Is Theosophy
a Religion?" H.P.B. refers to
the temple of Solomon's wisdom, in building which "there
was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the
house while it was building" (I Kings, vi); for this "temple"
is made by no human hand, nor built in any locality on earth-but,
verily, is raised only in the inner sanctuary of man's heart
wherein reigns alone the awakened soul
[Solomon's] 700 wives and 300 concubines, by the bye, are
merely the personations of man's attributes, feelings, passions
and his various occult powers: the Kabalistic numbers 7 and 3
showing it plainly. Solomon himself, moreover, being, simply,
the emblem of SOL-the "Solar Initiate" or the Christ-Sun,
is a variant of the Indian "Vikarttana" (the Sun) shorn
of his beams by Viswakarma, his Hierophant-Initiator, who thus
shears the Chrestos-candidate for initiation of his golden radiance
and crowns him with a dark, blackened aureole-the "crown
of thorns." (See The Secret Doctrine for full explanation.)
Solomon was never a living man. As described in Kings, his life
and works are an allegory on the trials and glory of Initiation.
In Isis Unveiled (II, 391-92) we are further told:
The building of the Temple of Solomon is the symbolical representation
of the gradual acquirement of the secret wisdom, or magic; the
erection and development of the spiritual from the earthly; the
manifestation of the power and splendour of the spirit in the
physical world, through the wisdom and genius of the builder.
The latter, when he has become an adept, is a mightier king than
Solomon himself, the emblem of the sun or Light himself-the light
of the real subjective world, shining in the darkness of the
In the East, this science is called, in some places, the "seven-storied,"
in others, the "nine-storied" Temple; every story answers
allegorically to a degree of knowledge acquired. Throughout the
countries of the Orient, wherever magic and the wisdom-religion
are studied, its practitioners and students are known among their
craft as Builders-for they build the temple of knowledge, of
How many people have ever lived on Earth? Demographers are
debating the question; but with erroneous data to start with,
their calculations are bound to be wide of the mark. To begin
with, do they have any idea of when the human race began and
what the birthrate and the total population were in bygone ages?
This is how the current thinking runs:
Before the invention of agriculture [do they know when that
was?] the global population was probably no more than 5 million
to 10 million, kept low by the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. By
A.D. 1 the population had risen to about 300 million, judging
from fragmentary censuses in Rome, China, and the Mediterranean.
Applying a high birthrate to that population, we can estimate
a total 106 billion humans have been born. The 6.1 billion living
at present therefore represent 5.7 percent of all who have lived.
Rapid growth in developing countries has caused the global population
to soar from just 1.6 billion in 1900, so the percentage currently
alive compared with those ever born is actually rising. (Discover,
Is the total number of people who have ever lived on Earth
really increasing as statisticians assume? Theosophists would
word the question a little differently: Is there a varying number
of souls or egos belonging to our globe, or is it a fixed quantity?
In other words, is a new soul created for every new-born infant?
H.P.B. answers this in The Secret Doctrine (II, 302-3). Mr. Judge
explains in The Ocean of Theosophy (p.83):
It is true that so far as concerns this globe the number of
Egos belonging to it is definite; but no one knows what that
quantity is nor what is the total capacity of the earth for sustaining
them. The statisticians of the day are chiefly in the West, and
their tables embrace but a small section of the history of man.
They cannot say how many persons were incarnated on the earth
at any prior date when the globe was full in all parts, hence
the quantity of egos willing or waiting to be reborn is unknown
to the men of today. The Masters of theosophical knowledge say
that the total number of such egos is vast, and for that reason
the supply of those for the occupation of bodies to be born over
and above the number that die is sufficient. Then, too, it must
be borne in mind that each ego for itself varies the length of
stay in the post-mortem states. They do not reincarnate at the
same interval, but come out of the state after death at different
rates, and whenever there occurs a great number of deaths by
war, pestilence, or famine, there is at once a rush of souls
to incarnation, either in the same place or in some other place
At present, most people are engrossed within narrow boundaries,
and what they lack most is perception of perspectives. What is
needed is right education, which would enable the individual
to grow into his or her highest possibilities, not merely physical
and mental, but also ethical and spiritual. "Education for
character development" is of prime importance today, writes
Kireet Joshi in his article under that title in The Advent (April
In the first place we need to clarify ourselves as to what
we mean by education for character development. In simplest terms,
character implies well-trained will to be straightforward, fearless
and honest, coupled with sincerity to act and even to fight nobly
and courageously in order to embody in one's own life and in
the life of the society all that is true and all that can foster
solidarity and unity.
Character may be considered to have four dimensions, dimension
of wisdom, dimension of heroic will, dimension of compassion
and universal love, and dimension of competence, chiseled skill
and untiring labour.
A well-developed character is an integrated character; it
is able to sharpen inborn capacities and potentialities towards
their own highest values. A developed character is a developed
personality that harmonises the demands of physical education,
vital education, emotional education, rational education, aesthetic
education, ethical education, and spiritual education.
In our present system of education, all that we have conceived
here to be relevant to the development of character is sadly
missing. We do not emphasize the development of imagination as
much as we emphasize the learning of facts. We do not give importance
to the pursuit of truth; we propose only the pursuit of piecemeal
assemblage of topics and subjects which are prescribed in our
.Even our thinking on the subject of values which
are central to character development is beset with confusion
and doubts. Our first necessity is to explore the basic ideas
in regard to values, to determine what they mean and what place
they can be given and in what way they can be implemented in
our system of education
There is a common understanding in regard to truth, goodness
and beauty which can be conceived as the supreme values of life.
These three great ideals can guide us in developing all that
we have spoken of as character and all that can be considered
to be of highest value to integral personality
Values that we seek in moral and spiritual domain are those
of sincerity, faithfulness, obedience to whatever one conceives
to be the highest, gratitude, selflessness, freedom from egoism,
equality in joy and suffering, in honour and dishonour, in success
and failure, pursuit of the deepest and the highest, and of the
absolute and the ultimate, and progressive expression of this
pursuit in thought, feeling and action.
While in modern India Sanskrit is considered a dead language,
in the West there is a growing number of people who look upon
it as "fascinating," "a language in which the
genius of the human civilization was perfected to its fullest,"
writes Ajit Kumar Jha in The Express Magazine for June 10. Strange
as it might seem, even more than half a century after independence
it is actually the Occident that is busy discovering the genius
of the Orient.
Ever since 1786 [writes Jha], when Sir William Jones, in a
paper presented to the Royal Asiatic Society, in Calcutta, said,
"the wonderful structure of the Sanskrit language is more
perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more
exquisitely refined than either," the West has been busy
learning for Sanskrit.
According to Professor Richard Gombrich [the present occupant
of the Boden Chair in Sanskrit at Oxford], "the reasons
for studying Sanskrit today are the same as they ever were: that
the vast array of Sanskrit texts preserves for us a valuable
part of the cultural heritage of mankind, including much beautiful
literature and many interesting, even fascinating, ideas."
The Sanskrit craze has caught up in the U.S. Unlike Britain,
and unlike its own past, it is totally demand driven
The last conference of the International Association of Sanskrit
studies held at Turin, in Italy, was an eye-opener. There were
a number of Sanskrit scholars from the Eastern European countries,
including Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Russia. Unlike
the U.S., most of these countries hardly have much of an NRI
population. They hardly have any temples. No community funding,
no involvement of local populations. Yet, the zeal for Sanskrit
In The Path for May 1886, Mr. Judge prophesied that "the
Sanskrit language will one day be again the language used by
man upon this earth, first in science and in metaphysics, and
later on in common life." It is, he said, a language "which
is scientific in all that makes a language, and has been enriched
by ages of study of metaphysics and true science." And H.P.B.
called it "the most perfect as the most grand of all human
In the article, "Was Writing Known Before Panini?"
which appeared originally in The Theosophist for October 1883
(reprinted in THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, May 1965), it was stated:
Everyone sees-cannot fail to see and to know-that for a language
so old and so perfect as the Sanskrit to have survived alone,
among all languages, it must have had its cycles of perfection
and its cycles of degeneration. And, if one had any intuition,
he might have seen that what they call a "dead language"
being an anomaly, a useless thing in nature, it would not have
survived, even as a "dead" tongue, had it not its special
purpose in the Reign of immutable Cyclic Laws; and that Sanskrit
which came to be nearly lost to the world is now slowly spreading
in Europe, and will one day have the extension it had thousands
upon thousands of years back-that of a universal language.
In numerous ways the lesson is being driven home to us that
the world is one. What happens in one region has repercussions
in distant regions.
Often used when talking about trade, the term "global
village" takes on a different connotation in the context
of the global ecological system, where imbalances in one part
of the globe impact on another region. For example, global warming
and climate change are believed to be responsible for the increasing
severity of storms in Northern Europe. But now cloud physicist
Daniel Rosenfeld from Jerusalem's Hebrew University, and meteorologist
Hans- Friedrich Graf of Germany's Max Planck Institute have said
that the burning of vast tracts of tropical forest in distant
corners of the globe-South America, Africa, Thailand and Indonesia-might
play a role as well. Fires in these regions are typically set
to clear forests for plantations. These fires, sometimes extending
over hundreds of square kilometers, unleash huge smoke clouds
that produce complex atmospheric effects, including a shift in
storm tracks. The presence of a higher concentration of smoke
particles in clouds causes water vapour to condense into many
minute particles, never becoming large enough to overcome their
natural buoyancy and fall to earth as rain. The researchers theorize
that such fire-triggered suppression of rainfall initiates a
complex chain of atmospheric events, including a shift in storm
tracks over the north Atlantic. According to Rosenfeld, a reduction
of rainfall in one place will mean an increase in rainfall in
another. Along with global warming, this might be another reason
for the increase in the severity of storms hitting northern Europe
in recent decades. (Sanctuary Asia, February 2001)
New scientific studies have identified the link between changes
of mood and the way our immune system responds. Physical, mental
and emotional enjoyment and satisfaction, even in small doses,
can enhance immune function for hours afterwards, according to
new research from ARISE (Associates for Research Into the Science
of Enjoyment). Consequently, many of life's small pleasures may
have a cumulative effect in boosting the immune system over a
longer period. (The Sunday Review, June 3)
One study examined how the immune system responds to happy and
guilty memories. Happy thoughts showed a marked improvement in
mood and clearly increased immune response, while guilty ones
were shown to undermine it. Another study showed that even unpleasant
odours modify the amount of secretory immunoglobin-A that is
produced, potentially weakening our resistance to any disease.
Study after study has confirmed the direct link between our moods
and our state of health.