THEOSOPHY, Vol. 23, No. 6, April, 1935
(Pages 275-278; Size: 12K)
(Number 30 of a 36-part series)
STUDIES IN THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY
THERE is sight from which matter does not veil the play of elemental forces, energized and impelled by the thoughts of men. The Master is enabled to observe the portent of events, past and present, to calculate the lapse of time between established causes and their effects and, thus knowing the needs of humanity, can set forces in motion for its betterment. Albeit individual evolution proceeds by means of self-induced and self-devised efforts, at no stage may the help of those further advanced be dispensed with. Therefore, "along this road are the points when the small and large cycles of the Avatars bring out for man's benefit the great characters who mould the race from time to time."
The Avatars' wisdom is so profound as to include "knowledge of the very foundations of nature," "the ultimate divisions of time," and "what are the meaning and the times of the cycles." For these Timeless Ones, the great Sidereal year is the measure of duration in regard to earth, all lesser cycles being considered in relation to it, as well as the stupendous movements represented in the Zodiac, the mysterious sun and moon cycles mentioned in this chapter, and all our planetary cycles.
Earth's inhabitants are chiefly concerned with Earth's affairs, which evidently must all be included in the scheme of things. A universe would be incomplete with one atom lacking. Analogously, the knowledge of the Avatars could exclude nothing. Their Teaching leaves out no department of life; and this explains why arts, literature, sciences, artisanship, crafts, and industries reach great heights of perfection when the Wisdom-Religion is studied and applied by the people, declining when Truth is obscured.
Little is it realized what the repudiation of Theosophy involves of loss, even in physiological well-being. The Elder Brothers are the Great Physicians, as well as Teachers and Philosophers, placing in Man's hands the means for true self-ministration, physically as well as morally and mentally. Many of Their representatives in the past knew and taught of the subtle essences of trees and herbs and their relationship to the human body and its cyclic processes, as well as the connection of both with the motion of the planets. The persecutions and even murder of such Friends of the race besmirch the pages of history and cast darkening shadows upon the present in the diseases running rampant. In the Messengers of the Great Lodge of Masters Altruism is incarnate; in Their Message lies a sick world's hope. Holding back "dark clouds of Karma," turning "seeming evils into powers for good," yet is the Master absolutely a Servant of Karma -- a superlatively intelligent Servant, constantly aware of what to do, when, and how. And having gained all this knowledge by struggling as other men now do, in His compassion He points the Way He has trod.
Upon this spiral Path, the "course of evolution is divided into four Yugas for every race in its own time and way." These Yugas pertain to our Earth, its substance in the Golden Age being the finest and most plastic; in the Silver and Bronze successively more dense; while the Iron Age brings the densest matter and most concrete forms. Since material density increases until after the middle of the fourth Round, our last Golden Age must have been the least "golden," and the present Iron Age the hardest and blackest of all. But why must spirituality be thus cyclically sacrificed to intellect? For what else than the experience of regaining ascendancy and acquiring more focussed Will and more responsive instrumentation? The next Krita Yuga will be a Golden Age of Wisdom, the purity of innocence transmuted into knowledge of purity.
The seven Races, although distinct, are not always separated, but commingle, especially at certain periods, each receiving from the common experience according to its degree of intelligence, each contributing something to the common fund. At present almost the entire known world is involved in Kali Yuga. This would seem to indicate a balance point for the planet, a "Time matured," when the whole population is meeting its unexpended Karma.
The length of Kali Yuga is one-fourth that of Krita Yuga; but its motion, four times as rapid, represents the same expenditure of energy; hence the terrible speed and destruction. Yet quick reaction and rapid culmination render the Age as glorious in opportunity for good as it is sinister in its perils. To maintain spiritual orientation amidst today's confusion is to become beneficiary indeed. The nature of the period spells transition; "everything in philosophy, religion and society is changing." At the end of this cycle, each wayfarer will be either better or worse; no one can remain static. When precipitation is complete to the dregs and the lowest level reached, there is no other way to go than up -- out, to await another Day of Evolution.
Because of its tests and preparations, Kali Yuga is also known as the Foundation Age. Over five thousand years of its special opportunity have passed, and while seed-thoughts held in latency from many prior eras are being forced to fructify, Theosophy is at hand to help us thread our tortuous way through the maze, its doctrine of Cycles, especially, offering the clue to many a problem, even though it may not be fully "given out to a generation which elevates money above all thoughts and scoffs at the spiritual view of man and nature." Cycles pertain to method. So remembering that the government and evolution of this globe "proceed under Manu or Man," the applicational value is evident. Man creates and maintains his own worlds. As Thinker he can not escape doing so; for it is thought that produces all things. The only choice lies in quality and character of the creation. The invisible mental causes set up are returned by the Law of Cycles as visible effects. Hence, the worst possible slavery is that of a mind trammelled by false conceptions and thus forced to create falsely and suffer adverse effects.
The founding of this nation -- obviously a part of the Theosophical Movement -- was an attempt to prepare a place where thought might be free from "dogmatic religious prejudice and bigotry." The United States of America has therefore an important role in the Drama of Evolution, a sacred trust to keep. With freedom to think and choose as conscience dictates, the Race will move forward towards conscious participation in the natural governance of things; men will learn to be self-governed. Of such material the Cradle of the New Race must be fabricated. Those Friends of humanity who chose America for this purpose make no mistakes. They recognized the place and the time and well understood the method to be used. Our original constitutional documents were wisely framed and have direct bearing on the formation of a Nucleus of Universal Brotherhood.
Yet sadly enough the adverse influences of the Age threaten the Great Plan. The fires of patriotism burn low. All too often there seems willingness to risk our highest national ideals for the empty pleasures of the moment, to exchange true Liberty for its counterfeit of spurious freedom which resents and resists the normal restraints of law and order. Meanwhile, the chiefs of sacerdotalism wait, ready when the inevitable reactions set in, to gather the penitent sheep back into the fold of mental slavery. The highest privilege of a citizen of this country is to uphold at any personal cost its constitutional integrity. If the principles of government laid down in the beginning are loyally supported, sound and deep foundations will be laid for the future and the upward sweep of the Cycle will carry the people to rich reward.
Yet the New Order of the Ages shall be established, in any event. The forces even of the very few imbued with its Principles and fired by the "Spirit of '76" are "sufficient," while of the opposition it can be stated that, though vast as the sands on the seashore, their numbers are "not sufficient."
The ideal of Human Perfection inheres in every man. Progress towards it is for all; always Cyclic Law avails to help starting anew in right direction. Cyclic law is the philosophy of new beginnings, literally. Its immediate value lies in the nearby and familiar. Minutes, hours, days, years, and groups of years cycle by, rich in lore for the searching eye and listening ear. The pondering of these leads, through correspondence, to consideration of wider circlings and deeper significances. The short, dark days before the winter solstice may remind one of death and of Pralaya; waxing light of lengthening days of birth and dawn of Manvantara; high-tide of summer should suggest accomplishment; the vernal and autumnal equinoxes tell of promise and fulfilment. Sun-spot cycles also have correspondences in human affairs. Ever night and day carry us back and forth between the two worlds of sleeping and waking, the mysteries of which we must sometime fathom and use. Observation of our national anniversaries has special value too. These or any of innumerable other cycles could help us to begin learning "what are the meaning and the times of the cycles."
Cyclic Law assists in the effort; by means of the cyclic return of impression habits are formed -- good or bad, and also the breaking of habits. So it is that the habit of thoughtlessness can be overcome and replaced by the position of a Manasic being, governing his little universe consciously. What the individual can do, may be done by all men. Self-government, individually, nationally, racially, will lead to conscious God-hood, and the exercise of god-like powers in the government of that order innate in the vastest whole -- the natural order observable under the microscope, through the telescope, by the naked eye or by means of any sense, on any plane of being, or by thought or by feeling. Its three aspects are Creation, Preservation, Destruction-Regeneration, the active expressions of Eternal, Ceaseless Motion -- the throbbing pulse of Beinghood.
STUDIES IN "THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY"
(Part 31 of a 36-part series)
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