First edition copyright © 1979 by Theosophical University Press (print version also available). Electronic version ISBN 978-1-55700-037-8. All rights reserved. This edition may be downloaded free of charge for personal use. Except for brief excerpts, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial or other use in any form without the prior permission of Theosophical University Press. For ease of searching, words are not accented in this version.
1. Winter Solstice
2. Spring Equinox
3. Summer Solstice
4. Autumnal Equinox
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"Born of the moon, children of the sun, offspring of the stars, and inheritors of the cosmic spaces . . . we and the Boundless are in essence not twain but one." Truly, we humans are wondrously fashioned of the elements of the universe, but we have lost touch with our ancestral heritage and know not where to turn.
Fifty years ago Gottfried de Purucker succeeded Katherine Tingley as international leader of the Theosophical Society, and shortly thereafter instituted regular esoteric studies in order to strengthen the understanding of the members as to the basic goals of the Society, and to awaken them to the deeper dimensions of the spiritual life. These studies were pursued not only by the resident staff, but also by the membership throughout the world.
Two years later, while on his 1931 lecture tour in Europe, Dr. de Purucker announced that henceforth, commencing with the forthcoming Winter Solstice, special quarterly gatherings would be held at headquarters in recognition of the "great spiritual and psychical events" that take place, if the karma is propitious, at the four sacred seasons of the year, namely, the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, and Autumnal Equinox. The seasonal meetings were subsequently also held in various national centers until World War II. In 1945 they were again held, both at headquarters and abroad, until they were discontinued after the Autumn Equinox of 1950.
For these occasions, Dr. de Purucker gave teachings relevant to the respective season, so that the sublime experiences that the prepared candidate for initiation would one day undergo might, even now, become a living ideal. Key lines of teaching, already treated of in the published literature, on Buddhas and Avataras and their close relationship to mankind, the circulatory routes of the solar system followed automatically in sleep and death and with full awareness in initiation — these and other salient doctrines are here brought together into an illumined synthesis.
As we read and reflect on the panorama of thought that is opened before our consciousness, we are profoundly moved: we intuitively respond to the stream of altruism flowing in unbroken continuity from the Silent Watcher of our Earth, through the Bodhisattvas and the Christs, on down to us ordinary human beings. And we are assured that if there is the merest stirring in the soul to bend one's energies of heart and head toward lifting the weight of human sorrow, then one already, however unknowingly, places himself in alignment with the beneficent currents of nature. Ultimately, if the aspiration is pure and the will sustained, he may become a conscious helper of the Great Ones in their self-sacrificing labors for mankind.
These seasonal readings, now made public for the first time, are reproduced in toto from the original manuscripts with minimal editing. They are shared after a near half-century in response to the increasing demand for a lucid and informed presentation of what initiation really is.
GRACE F. KNOCHE
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