The Theosophical Forum – September 1936

THEOSOPHIGAL NOTEBOOK

WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO THEOSOPHY?

(From the Sydney, Australia, Theosophical Study Class)

Looking back many years, I find it hard to say exactly what attracted me to Theosophy, but I can very easily tell what has kept me attracted. The teaching of Reincarnation was one of the first things. I remember as a child of eight or thereabouts, thinking what a lovely thing it would be if we could come back and start from where we left off. I had probably been naughty and felt it was a hopeless task to be as good as I wanted to be, and it flashed across my mind that we could, if given more chances, learn to be good!

In my early childhood I was a regular attendant at the Methodist Sunday School. In the country we had mostly uneducated Sunday School Superintendents, and the heaven and hell of angels and eternal fires respectively were dinned into our young minds. Even so young I realized how hard it was to do all the good things and not to do the naughty things, and the idea of Reincarnation to my childish mind was reasonable! How much more does it seem so now, with the knowledge of the teaching of Karman. How different every apparent trouble appears when we consider it as an adjustment: within it an opportunity and a lesson, if we will see it! We are our own karman.

It is the sweet reasonableness of the teachings of Theosophy that has kept me wanting to follow them still further. These teachings alter the whole aspect of our lives. It is as if we looked at things from a brighter viewpoint; we see them as a whole, connected and illuminated with a brighter light. We understand more, and so much is clearer that we have faith that those things which we do not see so well will also become clear as we climb a little higher. — Ada Bardsley

What attracts me about Theosophy? Simply the fact that it is a straightforward ancient Religion or Philosophy that has been known throughout the ages in many countries. It is no new-fangled teaching or belief that sprang up in a night, that attracts for a time and soon leaves one floundering again. No! It is changeless, and gives one a clear and fuller insight into life and its problems, giving satisfactory answers to many questions.

Through Theosophy one learns the simple truths of life; it helps one to understand himself and the "other man." It is free from dogmas. It is not a matter of "burning fire" when one passes on, but "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap"; and we must all do our own reaping. This is what I find so attractive about Theosophy — its fairness: each man has to account to himself for his own actions, and to no other person, whether seen or unseen. — Ethne Hinchey

If we were to write one word embracing all that drew us to Theosophy, that word would be Justice. There is a wonderfully clarifying element in absolute Justice that commands attention. It holds the truth; it deals impersonally, compassionately, with every man. We find it in all the teachings of Theosophy: Reincarnation, Karman, the Doctrine of Cycles, the Brotherhood of Man — all these drew us to Theosophy. Likewise the object drew us: To make Theosophy a living power in our lives; to spread it, and that is to live it; to go about our daily work in such a manner as will prove the inner working of a spiritual power; and to know that we can become channels through which love and peace can flow out to help and heal the sore and sad hearts who have not yet found their way to the source of true living.

The life of a Theosophist is a very busy one: no idle moments; no time to "kill"; hardly enough time for doing all there is to be done. From the standpoint of Theosophy, life itself becomes attractive,
and those duties which at times have been dull and uninteresting take on a new and lovely aspect when laid upon the Altar of the Supreme, without thought of result or return. — Kate Nixon

This is rather a difficult question to answer as there is so much to be considered, but I would name the teachings of Reincarnation and Karman, because believing in them has meant so much to me.

Theosophy teaches that nothing happens by chance; that all is part of a well-ordered whole; and that each and every one of us has played his part, is playing it now, and will go on playing it in future incarnations. We are our own masters, and we make or mar our own lives. If we fail now and then, there is always another chance. This, I think, is a very comforting truth. To those who truly believe and practise the teachings of Theosophy there can be no injustice, bringing in its train that terrible destroyer, self-pity. If we believe that perfect justice rules the world, we gain strength to fight the troubles which we know we have made ourselves, and to rise above them. — Enid I. Hinchey

When I was young I often wondered "Why?" Why was the world made? Why was I here? What was the purpose of it all? But I could never find an answer. No one seemed to know. And yet I thought there must be a reason for it all, and an explanation, if one could but find it. Then, in my early twenties, a friend put one of the first Theosophical books, written in the "eighties," into my hands, and as a lightning flash, the realization came: "Here is the truth." From that time on I have never wavered from the firm conviction that in Theosophy alone can one find the explanation of life, and solve the many problems that beset us.

Since those years, now far agone, much wider and deeper explanations have been given. Year after year the veil has been lifted a little more, for those who earnestly wish to know the Truth. All our Teachers have shown us different aspects of the truth. As we know, we must learn the alphabet before we can spell, and so on, step by step, ever rising in the scale of knowledge. Katherine Tingley gave us a great key: to think of Theosophy as a life to be lived rather than a body of teachings. Teachings about Nature, the formation of worlds, the why and wherefore of the glorious sun and beautiful stars — we are apt to look upon these as something apart from ourselves and our daily lives. This is quite a mistake. We need to live a Theosophic life to understand Theosophy, and the more one studies Theosophy the more this truth becomes a reality. — Emily I. Willans


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