THEOSOPHY, Vol. 21, No. 2, December, 1932
(Pages 80-83; Size: 12K)
(Number 2 of a 36-part series)
STUDIES IN THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY
THEOSOPHY, offered to the world as a "Body of Knowledge," appeals through its inherent reasonableness, yet must rest its authenticity upon the existence of a Body of Knowers; for without knowers there could be no knowledge. Master-Knowers are the efflorescence of Soul evolution, harvest of its ever-rolling cycles, those "mighty waves," whose object is the "production of perfect man." Each turn of the wheel witnesses "the increase of the number of Elder Brothers." The Elder Brothers of present Humanity are men perfected in ancient Yesterdays; Humanity of today is destined, if it so chooses, to be the "perfect man" of distant Tomorrows. But perfection is attainable only through aid from those familiar with the intricate way. Man needs the Master; Master needs Man to help Him reach and quicken the sleeping lives of greater Nature. Alone by the direction of those Great Beings, "in cooperation with the whole human family," can the successive periods of manifestation fulfill their appointed purposes. It is for this reason that the Mahatmas and Their "Universal Lodge" are adverted to before unfolding the evolutionary scheme.
The fact of natural Divine Humanity is difficult to present to this materialistic civilization, "based almost wholly on money, fame, glory, and personality." The Westerner is a doubting Thomas who must needs see the Master, touch Him, walk and talk with Him, before deigning to be convinced -- of course never distrusting his own twentieth-century worthiness and ability to judge! Sometimes, indeed, these Great Ones do thus commingle with ordinary men, "well known to the people," "when the virtue, and the development of the nations permit it." But to so appear at this time among Western nations would but confound the populace and defeat the very ends of such appearance. The law of economy forbids such waste.
The propagation of true doctrine is always adapted to times and conditions. In lieu of sense testimony, all other possible evidence of Masters' existence has been painstakingly supplied to this age. Truly enough, this precious data is provided by ancient lands: India, Egypt, China, and the hoary Orient in general; but if this stand as reason for repudiation, let us ask ourselves why. How can the modern world, destitute of philosophy, exceeding in mendicancy and crime, presume to belittle the Ancients! What basis has the "lusty and egotistical, the fighting and the trading West" for spurning the testimony of the "quiet unmovable East?" The idea of Perfected Beings would meet with no incredulity or wonderment there. Though materially impoverished, Oriental peoples yet cherish belief in Man's inner nature and spiritual powers. Consequently they have among them "living examples of such powers and capacities" -- a boon necessarily denied the Occident. It is denial of Soul life that prevents the latter believing in anyone save, perhaps, a mythical Jehovah possessing mystic powers. Which, then, is paupered: East or West?
Messengers of the Wisdom come unheralded and unthanked. Usually They are reviled and persecuted while present in any land; and centuries roll away before Their true character and mission are recognized. America's history is still too brief to afford much credence to her Benefactors, acclaimed by the very few. Yet, like all countries on the earth, she has been thus favored. Each "complete national history" records these "men of power and compassion," from whose eyes Nature veils no secrets, and who all come relating "the great epic of the human soul." Designations for these Friends of Mankind vary, but the Sanscrit term, "Mahatma" -- Great Soul -- is the best; for it identifies the Perfected Being with his younger brothers, showing his distinction to lie in greatness only. Thus the Christian, reverencing Jesus, can not deny the same greatness of Buddha and Confucius, the other two Units of a "mighty Triad acting on and through ethics." Neither can the tradition of Abraham, Moses, and Solomon -- whomsoever the latter may represent -- "be brushed aside as folly and devoid of basis."
Other remarkable characters have appeared in more recent periods. The furious opposition aroused against them but bears testimony of their elevation above the common level. Prejudice and superstition among the masses form ready tools when inflamed by those whose interests are vested in the established order of things. Wherever a reformer of past or present is branded "imposter," look for some agent of the Masters, conferring benefits and performing self-sacrifice to the uttermost in order to do "the work of the Great Lodge at the proper time." When libraries, such as the Alexandrian, are burned, rest assured that their records held "historical and ethnological treasures" dreaded by the church because disruptive of the shackles it would place upon the race mind. Destroy what is feared, condemn that not understood, has been too long the policy of religion and the world. Traducers bespeak the merit of their victims; and wanton destruction proclaims the validity of that destroyed. The thoughtful and just hold both as favorable evidence.
Even as literature, tradition, and testimony contribute to this sacred theme, so also do many events of history in lands both old and new -- events so strange that the common people, sensing some mysterious guidance, have accounted for them as "special providences," "the interposition of gods," or the "influence of the stars." Serious crises often find someone arising unaccountably able to meet them. These and many other matters are quoted from a letter from one of the Masters, in which he meets some of the criticisms of the "practical" modern man, who feels that if the Brotherhood of Masters exists it should accomplish more. This reply shows that mighty hands are behind all that works for righteousness. Always the influence of the Elder Brothers is moving men for the general welfare. Ever They are "moulding events" and "making history," helping in every possible way -- but They will not interfere with Karma.
From innumerable sources may be gathered "an irresistible mass of human evidence to prove the proposition laid down": "A Mahatma endowed with power over space, time, mind, and matter, is a possibility just because he is a perfected man. Every human being has the germ of all the powers attributed to these great Initiates, the difference lying solely in the fact that we have in general not developed what we possess the germ of, while the Mahatma has gone through the training and experience which have caused all the unseen human powers to develop in him, and conferred gifts that look god-like to his struggling brother below."
All things are subject to flux and reflux; thus "Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other as day does night." Not that "mental and moral light" need utterly fade; but following their increase comes waning when, if Humanity be unfaithful, the true philosophy will disappear for awhile. Yet "the same law causes it to reappear as surely as the sun rises and the human mind is present to see it." This present era marks the dawn of a new cycle. In 1875, came two more accredited Messengers of the Wisdom-Teaching: H.P.B. and W.Q.J., to uncover evidence long buried, recall facts long forgotten, and to give out the doctrine in such measure as has never before been granted -- an outpouring in volume that breaks the "silence of ages"!
Masters preserve the immemorial teaching and Their Messengers present it; but the "help of the companions is needed" to spread it broadcast. This time the troth shall not be broken with those "bearers of the torch of truth across the ages." Once more "the companions all over the world are engaged," spreading the glad tidings of Man's glorious possibilities, true destiny and present responsibility. No opposition of prelate, potentate or politician, nor influence of a "venal press" can "produce one backward ripple." The hour has struck for the noble undertaking to be carried forward to victory. The race must now begin to learn its part in the drama of evolution enacted upon the seven-fold page of Nature. But in this solemn charge, no one ever lacks the loving, understanding assistance of the Elder Brothers, The Masters of Compassion.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
THE HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE
There is no purely mythical element in any of the ancient religious texts; but the mode of thought in which they were originally written has to be found out and closely adhered to during the process of interpretation. For, it is either symbolical (archaic mode of thought), emblematical (a later though very ancient mode of thought), parabolical (allegory), hieroglyphical, or again logo-grammical --the most difficult method of all, as every letter, as in the Chinese language, represents a whole word. Thus, almost every proper name, whether in the Vedas, the "Book of the Dead," or the Bible (to a degree), is composed of such logograms. No one who is not initiated into the mystery of the occult religious logography can presume to know what a name in any ancient fragment means, before he has mastered the meaning of every letter that composes it. How is it to be expected that the merely profane thinker, however great his erudition in orthodox symbolism, so to say -- i.e., in that symbolism which can never get out of the old grooves of Solar-myth and sexual-worship -- shall penetrate into the arcana behind the veil. One who deals with the husk or shell of the dead letter, and devotes himself to the kaleidoscopic transformation of barren word-symbols, can never expect to get beyond the vagaries of modern mythologists. --S.D. II, p. 335.
STUDIES IN "THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY"
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