The Theosophical Forum – May 1940

THE THOUGHTS OF MEN — Martyn Witter

The thinking self of every individual is linked inseparably — with the accumulated thoughts of the past. This unwritten library is awaiting whoever wishes to draw from it. Like attracts like and as a man is so will he draw unto himself.

There may be some who regard a few of their thoughts as being original. From this point it is an easy step to the feeling of personal ownership and dogmatic protection of some of the fruits of the mind. However, such conceptions of originality exist only through the lack of knowledge of the past that leads to the present. One does not need to investigate far into the past to find cycles of ideas, having systematic patterns, recurring time and time again in human history. But there is not just endless repetition, but instead spiral progression. This progression comes from within the moral-intuitive side of man, the ideas being but effects. It is needless to say that though ideas may be effects they are living entities and react upon man their creator. In fact they are the material used by man in the continual process of bringing forth his swabhava. But there is a fallacy in the intimation that all that man is now or ever will be is contained in the process of projecting the past upon the future. This is determinism. While it is true that when the first thrill vibrated throughout the Universe at the beginning of this particular manvantara a certain potential was formed containing in germ all the patterns of thought possible to be realized during this particular manvantara, this is not determinism. Man and the kingdoms above are not passive instruments bound down to an inescapable chain of causation. Instead man is an active focus of interblended forces. His goal is to realize that which he is at the present unable to grasp.

Beyond the field of manifested thought, which is the common property of at least those who are active and not passive beings, lies the field of, as yet, unrealized thought — Universal Ideation. It is the most advanced of humanity — adepts — who are the pioneers in contacting this field of Universal Ideation. It is they who feed humanity, allowing certain esoteric thoughts at cyclic times to pass into the thinking realm of men. It is these adepts who have the claim to originality if this fallacious term were to be used. When the veil of Isis is lifted, a manifestation of ideas occurs upon the sphere which influences those who are fit receptacles thereof. This is perhaps precisely the reason why esoteric truths are no longer esoteric upon being given out. That which becomes manifest becomes active, and there are some secrets of nature, we are told, which would wreak havoc upon humanity if made active before the moral natures of men were ready. It is needless to say that all realization is accomplished by penetrating within one's self, for therein lies the heart of the Universe.

In this connexion, let me quote from The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett. This quotation illustrates the degree to which humanity depends upon the Guardians for the transformation of Esoteric (Ideational) to universal realization (exoterical):

for it is we who were the divers and the pioneers and the men of science have but to reap where we have sown. It is our mission to plunge and bring the pearls of Truth to the surface; theirs — to clean them and set them into scientific jewels. — p. 51

But even thoughts manifesting upon the mental world are not captured for a song. On page 279 of the Letters we have the following:

On close observation you will find that it was never the intention of the Occultists really to conceal what they had been writing from earnest determined students, but rather to lock up their information for safety-sake, in a secure safe-box, the key to which is — intuition.


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