Theosophical University Press Online Edition

The Hill of Discernment

By A. Trevor Barker


Lectures on theosophy by the compiler of the Mahatma and Blavatsky letters to A. P. Sinnett.

Originally published 1941 by Theosophical University Press. Theosophical University Press electronic version ISBN 1-55700-148-0. For ease in searching, no diacritical marks appear in this electronic version of the text.


"Let those who have climbed the hill and seen the vision, and in that clean, sweet air have heard the key-note of the dawning cycle — hold fast — and remember in the days that are coming — the sweetness, and the beauty, and the truth they have seen." — A. Trevor Barker, Introduction to The Mahatma Letters

CONTENTS

In Memoriam
Compilers' Preface

1. NEW YEAR AND OTHER MESSAGES

The Hill of Discernment
The Divine Awakening and the Birth of the Year
Forgiveness and Love
A Call to Action: Individual Regeneration or World Chaos
Ancient Ideals in the Modern Home

2. SOLVING THE INDIVIDUAL PROBLEM

Let Us Go Forward
Individual Responsibility
Idolatry and Leadership
Our Immediate Work
On Looking for Results
On Fraternization
Further Notes on Fraternization
Rising Above Desire

3. H. P. B.

Invitation to the H. P. B. Centennial Conference
Unity Through H. P. B.'s Teachings
H. P. B. and the Masters of Wisdom
Theosophical Slackness
White Lotus Day Meetings:
— H. P. B. as a Symbol of the Masters' Work
— The Brotherhood H. P. B. Came to Found
H. P. B.: A 'Holding Center' of Spiritual Energy
Was H. P. B. an Anomaly?
William Quan Judge

4. STUDIES IN "THE MAHATMA LETTERS"

Teachings on Life After Death
Spiritualism and Psychic Phenomena
On Accidents and Suicides
The Psychology of Chelaship
The Problem of Evil
The Writing of the Mahatma Letters

5a. TECHNICAL TEACHINGS AND THEIR PRACTICAL APPLICATION

Why Study Theosophy?
Obstacles to Meditation
The Occult Law of Correspondence and Analogy
The Lost 'Word'
Destiny, Liberation, Annihilation
Spiritual Gifts and Their Attainment
The Mystery of Pain

5b. TECHNICAL TEACHINGS AND THEIR PRACTICAL APPLICATION, Part 2

The Place of Devotion in the Life of Discipleship
The Creative Power of Thought
Faith Versus Wisdom
"The Dual Aspect of Wisdom"
The Evolution of the Soul
The Real Man
The Destruction of Illusion

6a. THE RATIONALE OF THE AFTER-LIFE

The Living Dead
The Mysteries of Death
What Survives Death?
More About 'What Survives Death?'

6b. THE RATIONALE OF THE AFTER-LIFE, Part 2

Psychic Phenomena
Theosophy and Christian Science

7. SHORTER PIECES

A Bond of Spiritual Kinship
Every Lodge-Room a Temple
Keys to a Cosmic Philosophy
Thoughts on Devachan
Awareness in the Moment and the Day
A Theosophist's Attitude to Book-Learning
The Inner Divine Companion
Questions and Answers
The Ego of a Mentally Deficient Person
The Nature of 'Spirit' Communications
The Relationship of Chela and Guru
The Outer Teacher and the Inner Intuition
Avoiding the Sectarian Spirit
How to Meet Troubles Ahead

Memorandum


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In Memoriam

True Theosophists the world over will grieve at the passing of our brother — and their brother — A. Trevor Barker, on 17th July, 1941, in Torquay, Devon, England. A deep and very simple character, he lived and worked through an unusually complex personality; and because of this few really understood him; but the few who did understand him loved him. Spirit, mind, and soul in him were dedicate to Theosophy; and from the beginning of his awakening in this life to Theosophical work until the day of his passing, Trevor Barker, as far as I know, had but one thought, one objective, one aim: the delivery of our Masters' Teaching to mankind — as is evidenced by the articles and lectures printed in the present volume.

I knew him well and loved him because he was he; and I know that many, many thousands of others who perhaps never met him love him also for his work for Theosophy, and in particular perhaps for his giving to the world the most noteworthy standard Theosophical book we have, The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett.

I understand that Trevor had intended to issue a last edition of this greatest Theosophical work, which would have allowed him to correct a very few errors arising in faulty transcription of sometimes almost illegible manuscript, and of a few other typographical errors; but it was not to be. One of Trevor's last actions was arranging for the depositing of the MSS. of The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett in the British Museum, where these papers are now held in the Department of Select Manuscripts.

Trevor's last official Theosophical act, just a short time before he passed, was making arrangements, as far as he could do so, for the safe continuance of the English Section of the Theosophical Society, of which Section be was for a number of years a most efficient, devoted, and enthusiastic Head. Our deeply earnest sympathy goes to his faithful wife, Virginia, as good and true a Theosophist as he himself was, and to his children. His great love for his fellow-men in connexion with his Theosophical work, should operate powerfully in bringing him back again into Theosophical duty as quickly as karman permits.

Dormit in pace stellisque.

G. de P.

International Theosophical Headquarters,
Point Loma, California, U. S. A.
21st September, 1941.

Compilers' Preface

With the death of A. Trevor Barker on July 17th of this year, the spontaneous wish was expressed by his many friends all over the world that his lectures and writings might be gathered together for publication in some permanent form. The present work, The Hill of Discernment, is an answer to this widespread desire. It contains in large part all the available addresses given in various parts of England, mainly to Theosophical groups and lodges, to European Conventions of the Theosophical Society, and to various 'fraternization' meetings with the Phoenix Lodge and other Lodges of the Adyar T. S. in England. At the end of this volume is a Memorandum which gives as far as possible the original source of each lecture.

It should be noted that Dr. Barker, save in a few instances, had no opportunity himself of editing his work, and the Compilers in all cases have felt it best, except for obvious slips and inaccuracies, to leave his words as given under the urge of his ardent and sincere conviction.

To Miss Margaret Jamieson, who was for many years Dr. Barker's private secretary as well as secretary for the English Section of the T. S., special thanks are given. Without her devotion and her industry in reporting and transcription, the publication of this book would have been impossible.

The Compilers are grateful to Mrs. A. Trevor Barker for the permission she has kindly granted them to use the material which this book contains.


Part 1