The Theosophical Forum – September 1946

A PROPHECY AND A CHALLENGE

From the writings of G. de PURUCKER

No thing in this world can prevail against the T. S. and its work as long as we stand united, determined to continue to stand united no matter what may be at times our own personal feelings or convictions regarding others. United we stand; divided we shall fall. There is no doubt of that whatsoever. Remember it. To me it is inexcusable . . . to me it is not only non-understandable but inexcusable, for anyone to hinder our work, even from personal convictions; because such an individual in the Section, or a body of them, a group of them, or scattered individuals among them . . . may imagine that the Society or its officials should act otherwise than has been the case in the past or than is the case at present.

. . . United we shall stand, we shall progress, we shall become prosperous, and we shall do our work. Disunited, fighting amongst ourselves, we shall fall. Of that there is no doubt. . . . At the head stands the Leader, who will not tolerate untheosophical work, untheosophical attitudes towards the hard workers, who will not tolerate the unbrotherly criticism of those who are carrying the burden, filled with charity as my heart always is and loving all the time our dear members, not one of whom has ever wilfully worked against the T. S.; but looking at the history of the past we have seen how, once, the T. S. of H. P. B. was rent in twain because individual thought their opinions were more important than those Theosophic — nay inherent, spiritual principles of unity and of the practice of brotherhood and of forgiveness, which make any organization strong and victorious, ultimately, and the lack of which invariably will bring disaster, shipwreck possibly — complete disaster, that is. — Messages to Conventions(1), pp. 146-7

If we do not keep the Theosophical Society or the Theosophical Movement, for to us in our inmost hearts they are one, always fluid, always uncrystallized, always ready to grow, always ready to lead and not to follow — if we are not prepared for this and have not the vision sublime of our destiny as well as of our duty, then we are slack, then we are failing in our devoir and are not true pupils or chelas of those to whom some of us atleast owe perfect allegiance and all of us owe reverence.

I mean, in other words, that the Theosophical Society is a living body; it is an ensouled organism; it is an organic entity. It is not a mass of crystals changing never except when broken under the hammer of fate. The Theosophical Society is an ensouled body, and therefore not only can it learn, but it can grow, it can become greater. . . . We live and we lead, and therefore we must grow greater with the times as the times themselves wax greater.

For this reason: because the Theosophical Society is ensouled by us, living spirits, is it a growing entity, is it an ensouled organic entity, learning its lessons too, making its mistakes if you will, but learning out of them. But because it learns from its mistakes it advances, changes with the changing times, ready for new eras when the new eras come upon us, ready to seize any new light from the gods and glad of the opportunity to win the new light. We are torchbearers and we must keep our torches alight and lifted, not extinguished and held down in the foolish conviction that what the gods once delivered unto men is unalterable, cannot be changed or improved, and that no further truth can come from the heart of Father Sun. — Ibid., pp. 74-5

Let us, therefore, never forget that the main purpose and object of the Theosophical Movement, and therefore of our own beloved Theosophical Society, is the establishment of a spiritual Brotherhood on earth, devoid of vapid sentimentality and reposing on Nature's own heart as a foundation. For this we Work; for this we strive; for this we live; and the Theosophical Movement is destined to be a wretched and inglorious failure unless we can bring this to pass at least in part — and by the gods immortal it shall be done!

. . . If The Theosophical Society is to fulfil its destiny and become something different from similar organizations of past time which failed to achieve what they were founded to achieve, then our hearts must soften towards our fellow human beings, and our brains must be enlightened by wisdom which we find in the magnificent doctrines of Theosophy; and above everything else the realization of our duty to our fellows must take sole and single possession of our consciousness. Then shall we succeed, and then will The Theosophical Society live on and expand into the glorious destiny which it will not only have by right, but will inevitably attain.

. . . I tell you frankly, my beloved Comrades on the Path, that my heart aches when I survey the past history of the Theosophical Movement, and recall the feeble and halting responses of so many to the sublime ideal that my three great Predecessors strived for and fought for and lived for. Nevertheless the record in achievement of those three great Theosophists is a marvelous one: it is stainless and grand. But let it not now once again happen, as it then almost happened, that the Theosophical Movement come near to becoming a wreck on the sand-banks of the River of Life. — Sixth General Letter, April 20, 1930. To the Members of the Theosophical Society throughout the World and to Members of the E. S.

Brotherhood is no sentimental doctrine taught by lip-altruists in an attempt to gain a following for themselves among men, but is founded upon universal Nature's most fundamental fact. Living in accordance therewith, we become collaborators in the Cosmic Work, and all good things in time accrue to us: powers, faculties, and wisdom, become ours naturally, like the manifestation of all the spiritual beauty and fragrance of some lovely flower, and such growth takes place in the silences, and is marked by an increase in our understanding, in our sense of unity with all that is, and in the appearance in our hearts of the magical power of almighty love. — Ibid.

Children of the Universe, sons of the Boundless, we are fundamentally one in essence; springing from the same ultra-divine Source we have passed, each one of us, through many and devious pathways to our present sphere of life, and to our present stage of evolutionary development; and it is our living and sojourning in the material spheres which have brought about the evolution from within the material parts of our own inner constitution of the enshrouding veils of the lower selfhood which enwrap us straitly, and which to some extent blind us therefore to the great luminous Reality at the core or in the divine essence of each of us. We must rend these veils of the lower selfhood so that the divine sun within may shine down into our minds and illumine them, and so that our hearts may expand with the universal love which even now is working within us, did we only recognise it. We must, in short, make our consciousness, as we evolve further along the Path, progressively more inclusive, so that in time it may become relatively coextensive with the Universe, which is our Home: and when I say Universe, you will understand me, as Theosophists, not to mean solely the physical spheres, but the vast reaches of the Boundless, extending from the super-divine even to our own material world and to the spheres of being below this latter. — Messages to Conventions, p. 14

Do you not know that the Path to the Heart of the Universe is different for every living entity, and yet that all those paths merge into One? Each man must tread his own evolutionary path, which in the world's foolish view means that in his ordinary brain-mind way each man must hold fast to his own opinions. But verily this is a mistaken view. Opinions! It is opinions that separate men in politics, in religion, in all the ordinary affairs and avocations of human life. It is so, alas, even in our own Theosophical Movement; it is so in religious and philosophical societies everywhere. Men worship opinions instead of realities. — Ibid., p. 28

The thing is to hold like grim death to principle and to loyalty, and never allow anything to swerve you from the path. This brings happiness, it brings peace, it brings contentment, and self-respect. — Theosophical Forum, Vol. II, No. 1, p. 8

Men in the average do not realize what old karman is still bearing heavily upon us children of Earth; and unless we of our Holy Order, of the Order of Buddhic Splendor and Compassion, can stem the tide of disintegration now beginning to flow, we shall have lived in vain, and our Society will become a byword in the councils of the gods.

The duty of every F. T. S. is not only to the T. S. as a whole, but to every other Fellow of the T. S., and, indeed, to everything that lives. Every F. T. S. should realize that the karmic law will hold him individually responsible for the part that he plays, or that he fails to play, in the grand drama of human destiny in which we are all involved — in which we are all participants and actors. . . . As long as the T. S. remains true to its purposes, and true to the ideals which presided at its birth, it will succeed in stemming the tide of karmic disintegration which otherwise will sweep over us. Remember these words. They are wholly true.

. . . "Keeping the link unbroken" refers solely, as H. P. B. then uttered it, to her heart-prayer for her F. T. S. to remain faithful to him who was to follow her, and to her who was to follow him, and to the line of Teachers thereafter in orderly sequence. — Sixth General Letter

Here I repeat once more the absolute need in our Theosophic work of a genuine guide and teacher; and if we have confidence and trust that the Masters have not neglected us, and that such a Theosophic guide and teacher exists as a Messenger in the world, great will be the benefit that we shall derive, both individually and collectively. — Ninth General Letter, Nov. 27, 1930 Theosophical Forum, Vol. II, No. 4, p.6

I repeat, as I have said before, that the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion and Peace live and work for humanity as always they have lived and worked; that their influence on mankind is as strong today as ever it has been; that the stream of inspiration and of illumination and of wisdom and of help flows as strongly from them as ever it did. . . .

Without in any wise wishing to utter one word of unkindness, I feel it my bounden duty to say that the idea that mankind could be left even for a year's time deprived of this stream of inspiration and light from our Teachers, is wholly wrong, unjustified and unjustifiable. — Ibid., p. 5

I tell you that the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion founded the modern Theosophical Movement for one sole purpose, which has two aspects to it: in order, first, to found a spiritual brotherhood among men, world-wide, without qualifications, without frontiers or barriers, to which honest heart might belong; and the other aspect of it is a diffusion into the intelligence of the Occidental world of the principles of the age-old Wisdom-Religion of mankind, bringing men hope, bringing men peace bringing men consolation; and, above all else, destroying the fear of death. We Theosophists must do our destined work. We cannot pause. — Ibid., p. 9

But when you ask a member of the Theosophical Society who knows its history — for instance, should you ask me, were you to ask me — my private opinion about it all, then I can only tell you that our chief happiness is in having continued from the first in unbroken succession and without change — which does not prevent a more elaborate and developed presentation — the teachings of the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion, whose Messenger to the modern Occidental world, H. P. B., brought the principles of those teachings to us. — Ibid., p. 13

There is most emphatically in the Theosophical Movement existing throughout the ages a succession of Teachers, trained to know and therefore having the right to teach, who succeed each other from predecessor to successor in regular serial line. This at various times has been called by different names — the passing on of the Word, or the transmission of Light, the "Golden Chain," or the "Hermetic Chain." . . .

The Occult Succession or transmission of authority from Teacher to Teacher merely exemplifies the same natural laws that are existent in the ordinary affairs of men plus the fact that in the Esoteric Schools the succession is a real and vital one based upon actual initiation and training
of the Teachers and not upon formal or conventional customs or habits.

. . . The body or association of the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion contains the same esoteric succession of Teacher after Teacher, the predecessor going on into greater Light and in his turn being succeeded by the chosen pupil best prepared to pass on the Torch of Light which the Teacher resigns into his hands. — Ibid., pp. 18-19

How can anyone be completely understood . . . who is obliged, as every real Leader is, to keep a great deal of his heart's hope behind the veil of privacy? — Ibid., Vol. I, No. 11, p. 9

The real roots of the authority, mystical and official, which the Leader of the Theosophical Society has, and the reach of his influence into the minds and hearts of the members of the T. S., are dependent not at all upon any constitutional document, nor upon any legal sanction or safe-guards, but repose solely upon and in the devotion and love and trust of the membership throughout the world, and their confidence in their Leader's and Teacher's capacity to lead and to teach. His authority and influence, therefore, are based upon spiritual and intellectual and ethical grounds, rather than upon the legal authority imbodied in a formal document. — Third General Letter, Oct. 21, 1929

Remember that it is Nature's law that all things begin small: begin with a seed, and the subsequent growth of any such seed or beginning is wholly dependent upon the character and vigor of the life-forces which will pour through it, manifest through it, bringing first into existence the blade, then the stalk, and then in time, the majestic, wide-spreading tree.
. . . I repeat: It all depends upon you! As the Christian would say: "Where two or three are gathered together in the proper frame of mind, there is the Christos-spirit among them," and he would say truth: precisely similarly do I say unto you, my beloved Comrades on the Path: Where two or three are gathered together in the proper Theosophic spirit of devotion and unquenchable energy, there is the Buddhic Splendor working with you, and you can, if you will, become channels for receiving it in full flood. — Ibid.

I greatly desire to arouse the inherent faculties of creative activity of the members everywhere, so that they shall be responsible for their own conduct, and I think that this can best be achieved by their becoming autonomous in so far as their local or national affairs are concerned. . . . — Second General Letter, Sept. 1, 1929

There is not a member in the Society, young or old, man or woman, who has a right to consider himself or herself exempt from the bounden duty of falling into line at present, and from doing his or her very best in every respect to push the revolving wheel of our Theosophical Society forwards along the Path. — Third General Letter

Let us keep our minds fluid, our hearts unlocked, our brains expanding. Let us be ever ready at all times and in all places to be receptive of a greater truth than that which now we have, or in the future shall have. — Messages to Conventions, p. 48

I feel impelled, indeed compelled, to point out to you, my Brothers, that the Gupta-Vidya of the archaic ages, the Rahasya-doctrine, the Secret Wisdom, the Esoteric Teaching, is as strong today, and as active today, as ever it was; and that those, our Theosophical brothers, greatly err and wander wide from the facts who say that the processes of the Universe and the undertakings and activities of the Lodge of our Masters receive setbacks and closures, and that the flow of truth into human hearts is bounded by certain time-periods, and that in between these time-periods there is naught but barren spiritual and intellectual sterility or sterile barrenness, and that human hearts which cry in agony for light and truth cannot receive them except at certain intervals, unless indeed through the medium of the merely written word. Beautiful as that written word may be, it is not the same as the conviction which a man should have, that he can attain truth whenever he wills to take it. Truth is not on tap, as it were, to be shut off and turned on. The currents are flowing for aye, and good men and true and good women and true who live the life, and who do the deeds, who do the Theosophy that they preach, can have it whenever they will to take it.

This is no denial that there are certain cyclical periods when more particularly and more specifically open action for public propaganda is taken by our Masters, for this last is of course true; but there is at no time, nor is there anywhere, a hindrance to any loyal Theosophist, whether a fellow of the T. S. or not, from coming into touch with the great Guardians of the Ancient Wisdom and receiving from them as much of the Wisdom-Religion of the gods as he is able to assimilate. It will depend upon himself only, upon himself alone. — Ibid., p. 69

Only thus can any Movement succeed: through the gathering of strength, of understanding, of wisdom, and through the expansion of the inner nature by the magical force of almighty love. New powers, unfolding faculties, come in the times of stress and trial. These are the times when men grow and become great, and when the spiritual powers begin to manifest in a feeling of sheer delight and expanding happiness that comes to anyone who feels the inner nature developing and expanding, and that inner nature, the inner constitution of the human being, becoming constantly and ever more and more at one with the Cosmic Life. That realization is not reached by methods of slothful pleasure, or of pleasurable sloth, but by high hearted striving for betterment. Once you get the psychology of this thing and realize its inner beauty, its splendor, and how it brings out the warmest feelings of the heart, then you will look upon the days of tribulation and labor, if we may speak of them as such — on these days of growth in building — as the days of splendid promise. — Ibid., p. 3

FOOTNOTE:

1. Messages to Conventions and Other Writings on the Policies, Work and Purposes of the T. S. One of G. de P.'s most important and interesting books, worthy of lifelong study by all lovers of the Theosophical Movement. (return to text)


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