Real Theosophists do not stop to think about differences of organization in the face of an inquiring public; their inter-theosophical disagreements melt away and they are united in the glorious opportunity of presenting the Wisdom of the Ages to their fellow-men. Each individual student, each Lodge or Club, recognises in a Theosophical existence this purpose: to be a worthy instrument of response to the hunger in every human heart for REAL TRUTH. Isn't this our most cherished aspiration?
We have learned that we can give our convictions to no one; that the first step on the path is to realize that all comes from within. This deepens our responsibility, but at the same time widens the vista of opportunity before us. It brings us face to face with the great truth that as individuals we can help most of all with our thoughts; that the more profoundly these noble truths have been woven into the fabric of our natures, the more we have succeeded in becoming them in every hour of our lives, the more may we hope to bring about a time when Theosophy shall be sought by all men and women who can no longer endure superficial living.
Those we reach personally are few indeed compared to the number who may read a published article or a book; but who can limit the number of hearts that we can touch with our thoughts as we go about our work trying to express in the smallest detail of life a little of the hope and joy that Theosophy has brought to us, carrying in the background of our minds some great fundamental teaching?
The inquirers who come to Theosophical Lodges are seldom what we might term "the worldly-minded"; they are weary pilgrims, troubled souls, who have suffered deeply in their search for spiritual food; men and women who appeal to our sympathy and compassion.
"My peace I give unto you" are the words of a great teacher, suggesting the joy of passing on truth. But even in our small way of serving, we must find that peace within ourselves before we may hope to do very much to help humanity. We must become better acquainted with our higher selves, and in this way do our part to preserve a perfect harmony in our Lodges; for if we fail in adherence to this basic rule of the Universe, we have little opportunity to impress an inquirer. We have realized that it is two-thirds what we are and one-third what we say, when we attempt to give out the teachings that have been given to us.
A Theosophical Lodge is a fabric woven of the most impersonal growth of each of its members, patterned alone with the jewels of wisdom. This tapestry, if all the threads are strong and each in its place, serves as a mighty reflector into the reservoir of thought to which every human being has access; but the strength of this instrument of all that is most dear to us, is weakened by a single absence from a Lodge meeting, by each ill-feeling or critical thought towards another member, by personal ambition or any failure in loyal adherence to the hierarchical structure of ourselves, the Lodge, the Theosophical Society, and the Universe.
It is a remarkable thing that a perfect stranger to Theosophy, visiting a Lodge or Theosophical Club, is intuitively aware of this sensitive structure and will invariably detect inharmony if it exists even in the thoughts of the members. This is equally true whether it be a small or a large group, and is too often the reason that Lodges never grow large and strong in the precious opportunity that is theirs.
We have reason to rejoice upon the occasion of this international, inter-theosophical Fraternization Jubilee Convention, in a new epoch, when we see in perfect perspective, in spite of the darkly unhappy aspect of human affairs in the world, that the veils are thinning, that the human family is moving forward out of a dark cycle into a time that promises to be a potent season of spiritual growth. Every vestige of a sense of separateness should fall away from each Theosophist in the realization of the grandeur of his responsibility, in the sacredness of all that depends upon loyalty to the Master's heroic efforts to make ready for such a time. What is a more wonderful challenge to us than the work of the Theosophical pioneers? Isn't it the grandest thing that we, as human beings, can hope for, to serve with all our hearts at such a critical time?
Let us glance for a moment at the progress of the world in its approach to the way of liberation. We see the personal God discarded to a very great extent; and while the First Fundamental Proposition of The Secret Doctrine is not generally accepted in its place, the trend of modern scientific thought has led men to some suggestion of THE ONE REALITY — to recognition of consciousness as the fundamental concept of the Universe and the conception that consciousness cannot be separated from anything in the Universe; also, that there is a divine spark flickering within man. The law of periodicity is very generally known; we hear the most materially-minded men talk glibly about the cyclic movement of many things; the advocates of the expanding and contracting universe have touched intuitively the teaching of the rhythmic ebb and flux of Universal Life, but their brain-minds have not so interpreted it. The wide study of astronomy has compelled those who are intuitive to grasp a better sense of proportion in their thought about their personal lives and their relation to the Universe, which very often has made the teaching of rebirth acceptable. Evolution — if not self-directed evolution — now has a place with the general understanding of cause and effect, although not in any sense a full understanding of Karman, in modern co-ordinated knowledge.
But Theosophy is not yet understood to be the doorway to the Mystery-School, nor is it popular, because a real intellectual conception of the majestic teachings comes only from accepting them as ethical standards.
Yet what can be more wonderful work than keeping open the doorways of our Theosophical Lodges, Clubs and Lotus-Circles, with a royal welcome to each pilgrim that comes home!
1. Reprinted from The Canadian Theosophist, October, 1935. (return to text)
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