The Theosophical Forum – February 1936

WHY STUDY THEOSOPHY? — T. W. Willans

Because by such a study we will find the truth about life, showing us how to live, to understand life and value its wonderful possibilities and opportunities. To do this we shall find it necessary to acquire its basic propositions, and then work them out in our own lives with the rules and axioms given in Theosophy for that purpose, so that a study of Theosophy is not merely reading the books and trying to understand the teaching, but is a practical application of its basic propositions. This unfolds for us as we become skilled in the performance of action, the true meaning of the propositions. The reason for this is that with our present brain-mind consciousness we are mostly filled with erroneous ideas of life, so that we have to remove these false conceptions and replace them with true ones. This is done by demonstrating the Theosophical propositions and so convincing us of their truth, by making our actions harmonize with our words, and thus clarifying our consciousness.

For instance, the principal object of the Theosophical Society was originally to form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood, and scientifically this is perhaps the most fundamental principle of Theosophy, for I know of no other principle so far-reaching, with such marvelous ramifications in both universal and individual life, and conducive to such superb results for the good of all. Yet this intensely practical object was in the early days overlooked and put aside as a sentimental ideal, impossible of realization in our modern world, a mere ethical dream, by those who busied themselves with what they considered more useful or ornamental objects in the Theosophical program. Yet there were some members of the Theosophical Society, knowing something of the Mahatmans and their Divine Wisdom and knowledge of human life, who followed this principal object of the Theosophical Society, and under no consideration would permit it to be dropped, under pain of their complete severance from the Society. While H. P. Blavatsky was alive she stood, with a few others, resolutely against every attempt made to subordinate that object to other interests, so this noble object was kept alive, not as a soulless thing of mere words only, or a kamic body of sentimental gush, but a living entity of true brotherhood, made by individuals united together in this common purpose: to be themselves a universal brother, bound in heart and mind together as one entity, though living physically in different nations and pre-eminently in our International Center, day by day and year by year growing more skilled in the particular part they had volunteered to play in the nucleus of Universal Brotherhood.

That this was actually done is a matter of historical record, and the influence of this determined action connected each one with all the progressive nations of the world through the individuals who formed this nucleus and were a living part of their particular nation; and some, being more international through strong past connections, were more deeply the nucleus than others, all together forming the fulcrum to move the world into better conditions with this 'lever of Archimedes.' We now see how this has had a most marked effect on the consciousness of modern life. On every hand we now hear most prominently advocated the vital necessity of brotherly action: in religion, in political life, amongst all classes of people, of all colors, and in all grades of social life. There cannot be an effect without a cause, and if a small number of men and women, intimately connected with the progressive nations throughout the world, made this stand for Brotherhood, and in themselves were strongly connected with infinitely more powerful brotherly interests, it is easy to understand the change of consciousness in public life. For we are all brothers, and bound together in one Universal Life, whether we know it or not.

If such a result has come about by the determination of a few to enjoy the life of impersonal Brotherhood, no matter what opposition might be placed before them, how much more will be done by further voluntary recruits! In the sacred cause of Universal Brotherhood there is room and work for all, for many generations to come, before we reach the flower of full fruition. Do you know that from the same source by which we were inspired to join in this nucleus of Universal Brotherhood — in a word, from Those who speak only the truth — we hear that two-thirds of the world's evil will disappear into thin air when this preliminary work is accomplished? And mark this well: in our own natures, when we are sufficiently devoted and become a living expression of this nucleus, long before the general fruition is accomplished, two-thirds of our evil will disappear into thin air.

To be a true brother we forget self in working for others. Where? In our home, with the people we meet, and pre-eminently in any Lodge of the Theosophical Society; because it is in that Society that the nucleus has been growing to my knowledge for over forty years. Consequently we can get better results for our energies by joining with a living body, or with others, than by trying to do it all by ourselves.


The Theosophical Forum

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