The year 1875 will, in time, come to be remembered as the date of the Declaration of Interdependence, which was proclaimed when H. P. Blavatsky was sent by her Teachers to bring Theosophy to the West and to form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity.
This Declaration of Interdependence was not based upon economic needs as is the wonderful network of world-wide material interchange that now exists. Material interests can bind human beings for the purpose of securing comfort and wealth, and leave human beings themselves much the same. In fact, material success and brilliant invention have brought increased power to those who have got ahead, to act to the great disadvantage of 'the hindmost.' It is knowledge of the unity of all that lives, of the interdependence on inner as well as outer planes of life of all beings, and the loyal practice of the higher code of human conduct incumbent upon those awakened to that knowledge, that will bring to bear on human institutions the still latent qualities and values in human nature which the poet visioned when he wrote of "the rapture of the forward view."
The urgent truth, presaged by H. P. B.'s Declaration of Interdependence, is that man as an entity is an indissoluble part of a Greater Entity and that his life is conditioned by the lives of every other part and of the Whole. To ignore this longer is to exist in a pitiful isolation. Man's invisible nature — and what is man without that part of him which is unseen? — partakes of the Intelligence and Divinity which is the inmost of the Whole whose world-body we see. As the kernel, the promise of continued life and fruitfulness, is to the shell, so is the realization of the inner unity of all that lives and of the Divinity, however latent, at the heart of each and all, to the outward forms of union for any purpose. Both inner and outer are required for the complete life.
Theosophy has a direct bearing on the complete life. It was restored to Humanity at this time in order that man might learn to avail himself of the possibilities and powers that belong to the new level of understanding of the universe and man's relation to it.
Humanity, according to Theosophy, has run a little more than half its course in the present period of manifestation. What remains of the course is along the "ascending arc," where the higher intelligence and the spiritual nature of man are destined to express themselves in Earth-life. The tendency will be away from the ego-centric attitude toward a deeper interest in the human family as a whole. Altruism, not acquisitiveness, is the keynote of the new era. Belief in the innate divinity of our fellows will be recognised as an essential-in the education that will lead forth the latent divine qualities and powers. This belief even now has the result of engendering an atmosphere of creative trust between man and man.
The teaching of Rebirth widens man's horizon. It removes the feeling of frustration, which is depressing to the energetic (and intuitive) human beings who long to "have the wages of going on" and bringing to fulfilment here in their own habitat their highest ideals. Karman assures man that he makes himself and his destiny and that he himself, in this or a future life on earth, must atone for wrong done. Imagine the simplified process of securing social justice when every man faces the results of acts committed. Imagine the spiritual valor that will be liberated when individual responsibility is generally accepted. Valor will then be diverted from enforced and organized killing to individual conquest of all that leads to strife and bloodshed.
When the repetitive habits of Nature are known, the tragedy of the crash and fall of what has been builded by man can be faced intelligently. The form perishes that the new may be born. Man's creative faculties do not die with one civilization. Moreover, the suffering of those karmically involved in the catastrophe can knock at man's heart and evoke a wider compassion and a more resolute effort to build on a basis of Brotherhood. Sorrow sharpens the faculties for the discernment of deeper and deeper truths. It works in that way.
The life of conscious oneness affords many new delights. Why not visualize them? Imagine the manifold increase of the sweetness and richness of companionship when human beings feel to one another as brothers. How the inner world of emotion — now so often a dark and troublous sea — will be calmed and sunlightened, and fear, robbed of its sinister power to divide, will shrink and vanish with the shadows. Cosmic love is not a cold thing. The sun and the stars are friendly. Why not Man? The poets long ago caught a gleam of this cosmic friendliness.
The first object of the Theosophical Society is to form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity. Well do the Wise know that the leaven of new ideals is slow to permeate the mass-consciousness, that noble desires for the welfare of the race may take a thousand years to become fully enacted in human institutions. But the thought is the inner self of acts to be; the universal process is from within outwards.
More and more the influence of ideas is being recognised as a potent force in bringing about changes in outer affairs. Professor A. N. Whitehead, one of the most profound philosophers of today, writes:
The best service that ideas can render is gradually to lift into the mental poles the ideal of another type of perfection which becomes a program for reform.
The Spanish philosopher, Jose Ortega y Gasset, says:
It is in the realms of pure thought, therefore, that the earliest signs of the coming age can be traced. . . . Thought is man's most fluid possession; and accordingly it yields freely to the slightest variations in his vital sensibility.
More and more, too, is the dynamic force of the good life, of love and trust, emphasized by thinkers today. With the proclaiming of Interdependence, of Brotherhood, of man's Divinity, with the quickening of divinely inherited sensibilities and responsibility, the energies belonging to the new era are being liberated. They are of a non-violent, but deeply potent nature and appertain to those higher faculties of intelligence and compassion to be gradually unfolded. Anyone, anywhere, at any time, can become a constructive worker in the building of higher forms of human association. Have you ever exhausted your intellectual or spiritual resources, your heart-activity, in attempting to establish harmony right where you are now?
Katherine Tingley once gave this instruction to her pupils:
Our strength lies in keeping positive; in holding a steady joy in our hearts; in a momentary meditation on all floating great ideas till we have seized them and made them ours; in a meditation with the imagination on the life of humanity in the future, and its grandeur; in dwelling on the conception of Brotherhood. . . .
"With the imagination." This reminds us that the sublime cosmological conceptions presented by Theosophy absolutely renovate vital beliefs and give the imagination new wings to soar with. With them we can venture on the life of inner oneness, can experience its glories and its impossibilities, and as we mount the ascending arc of human progress we can know more and more fully "the rapture of the forward view."
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