A few days ago I came across a book entitled Peace of Mind. The author is a Jewish Rabbi, a very great man, a scholar, and highly thought of everywhere. His book (selling by the tens of thousands), breathes love and gentleness, for its object is to bring Peace of Mind, so far as possible, to a world that is gripped by fear. But outside of the Christian Bible, all that he tells the reader to go to for help, is psychiatry and modern psychology!
Well, if you have seen some of the books on the last two subjects that are now required reading in our colleges, you would wonder, as I did, why this great man did not lead us instead to the deeper teachings of his own religion — for in large part they are pure Theosophy. Perhaps he thought we could not understand — I do not know.
But as I read on, my mind kept gravitating first to H. P. Blavatsky, and then to the atomic bomb which is keeping the nations in such a state of fear. And naturally, too, because in her greatest work, The Secret Doctrine, H. P. B. gives some ten of her glorious pages to a description of a similar atomic experiment, made in the early 1870's by one John Worrell Keely, but now lost and forgotten. He was never able to pass the final secret on to others. Something in his own nature blocked it, and the world was saved. He was not "permitted to succeed." In another passage, H. P. B. states that "he was not allowed."
H. P. Blavatsky tells us that Keely's discovery was the frightful "sidereal Force" of the Atlanteans, called by them mash-mak, and later by Bulwer-Lytton in his book The Coming Race called vril. And now the same frightful Force has been discovered and harnessed by modern scientists, and the result is the atomic bomb — a weapon so frightful that the whole world is afraid.
Yet it need not be. Consider those cryptic words: "was not permitted," and "he [Keely] was not allowed," to succeed. Think them over and then ask yourself whether the Great Beings who watch over and protect this world of ours would ever "permit," ever "allow" the nations today to destroy each other when, comparing them with the past and taking them as a whole, they are earnestly trying to find the better, the brotherly way — the only way that is left.
This is just one instance, one example, of what H. P. B. is doing now for a world that was yet unborn when she wrote The Secret Doctrine. Through her teachings she is more alive now than when she was with us in that poor aching body. Let us take one more, just one out of almost numberless teachings or hints in this remarkable book that will be studied for centuries, indeed for millennia to come: the doctrine of Cycles — practically unknown in its universal reach for thousands of years. When we studied Ovid's Metamorphoses, with its Great Cycle of the famous Four Ages within it: Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron, we were told that it was a myth, and soon forgot it. But H. P. Blavatsky tells us that this Great Cycle was a part of Universal Nature, that it happened. Moreover, that India carried this story down as history from the most ancient days in the Rig-Veda, "the oldest document in the world."
In the very early days of India men lived in a true Golden Age. In Sanskrit it was called Satya-Yuga, the Age of Truth, when all men were brothers, and knew it; happiness and justice prevailed; they felt that loving nearness to the Gods and to their Great Teachers or Rishis that all mankind should feel. Fruit and flowers alone were laid upon their altars, never flesh and blood.
But centuries passed, and selfishness crept in. Burnt offerings lay upon the altars; unhappiness and disease began to appear. It was the Treta-Yuga, the "Age of the Three Fires," when the people were three parts good, with one part evil. Then came the Dwapara-Yuga, the "Age of Two," when two parts were good, two parts evil, and wickedness increased. Lastly, the Kali-Yuga, the "Age of Iron," the Age we ourselves have been living through during the last five thousand years, with its injustice, persecution, misery, poverty, deceit, disease, and almost constant wars. Are things to go on getting worse and worse, or what? That is the world's question now.
Again The Secret Doctrine has the answer in these Four Ages, known to every land, every period, somewhere in the world. For humanity, for this world, the worst is over, for we are now just entering another Golden Age, or Satya-Yuga, an Age of Brotherhood and Truth, and it is comforting to know that in the long cycle we have passed the lowest point, and that while things do look discouraging, too much like twilight, still the day is here.
And so with all the teachings that H. P. B. left for us to profit by. They give us hope; they give us faith in divine justice. Reincarnation, Karma, Evolution, the true meaning of Hierarchies, the long-lost teaching that man has a higher as well as a lower nature, and that all depends upon whether he faces this truth and determines to go up instead of down. You cannot be discouraged, even by the newspapers, if you believe that men are brothers, and that this brotherhood is universal.
Nor has the work of H. P. Blavatsky been unsupported by men prominent in the philosophic and scientific world. Camille Flammarion, the great French astronomer of the day, and a member of the Theosophical Society, literally sat at her feet. If you can find a copy anywhere of his book, Urania, long out of print, do read it. It is the purest Theosophy. There was Alfred Russel Wallace, another scientist who studied H. P. B.'s teachings for years, and endured persecution for doing so. In one book in particular he dismisses the current belief that man became Thinking Man by the long slow processes of evolution as seen in the lower kingdoms, and tells us that the gift of Mind was not "evolved" but was bestowed upon man, and at a certain definite period in time! There was the great scientist Crookes whose success in discovering "radiant matter" drew the attention of the very Adepts who had taught H. P. Blavatsky. They watched his work, and left the record of Their help in The Mahatma Letters. There was Edison also, for years a close student of the teachings of Theosophy, and a member of the T. S. And many more, in the East as well as the West.
There were her Successors whom she trained in leadership by means of the teachings that she left. You cannot touch them with the breath of fear; they are equal to any emergency, any attack, as she was. Their daily bread is disappointment — yet they carry on.
Returning to India — because H. P. B. so loved that country and its people, although she herself was trained in a higher school "beyond the Snowy Range" of the Himalayas — I do want to quote a few lines from a letter written by her to one M. D.-A. Courmes in France, a writer, a member of the Theosophical Society, and her devoted disciple and friend: published in English for the first time in THE FORUM for May, 1950. It reads as follows:
"Let us conclude this then from the writings of your articles in the Revue Spirite, for you are right, the time is near, nearer than you may believe perhaps — when the Occident will be finally initiated by the Orient."
The Theosophical ForumTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE