Theosophical University Press Online Edition

James A. Long — 1951 Tour Reports


General Congress of the Theosophical Society

Utrecht, Holland — Sunday, April 15, 1951


From the Morning Session

The Leader's Report

Mr. Chairman, Delegates and Friends: As has been my custom in the last few years, I refuse to make any plans as to what I am going to say, or what I am going to do. But I think I can give you an interesting report of my trip around the world, and of the stewardship of the work since the passing of our former chief, Colonel Conger.

I should first, however, like to thank the delegates from the different national sections for coming here and making this Congress possible. The idea of a truly effective and working partnership in this beloved Society of ours is not an idle myth. The time has come with the midpoint of the century, and what lies ahead, for us to so knit together the kernels of truth that we have garnered through the years that we create a solid pattern of effort that will carry theosophy and its influence in the world on through not only this century but many, many centuries to come.

When Colonel Conger took office as leader there was one outstanding statement which I dare say very few members, even of his own staff and Cabinet, took very seriously — not because of any lack of devotion or appreciation, but because it was such a simple statement that in the ordinary course of events it slipped out of the mind. But in this matter of practical occultism it is the very simple things that are the most powerful. That simple statement was this: "We have got now to turn from the receiving end of theosophy to the giving end of theosophy." He did not amplify that statement, but he did exemplify it by his great sacrifice.

Colonel Conger gave of everything he had, from every principle of his constitution, to the work of the Masters. He gave up to his very last breath his all, with no thought of himself. To those of us who had the privilege of working with him, he was what can only be termed a true spiritual aristocrat. True aristocracy is not something way up here [pointing upwards] and untouchable. True aristocracy is a simple thing. It is the greatness of the soul shining through the daily responsibilities and work of any individual who selflessly has the interest of his fellowmen at heart. And we all know who knew him, and those who met him, that he represented as fine an example of what a theosophist can be as any person we have known.

On December 13th, as I recall it, in the morning before Colonel Conger arose to take his accustomed shower with the help of Larry Merkel and myself, he called us to his bed and said he wanted to have a meeting as soon as possible. This request was typical of the way he worked. We asked him what kind of a meeting did he want. He said: "I want a meeting of everyone in the household and Mr. Hart, as well as a representative of the American Section if he or she is available." We asked no questions. We immediately got in touch with everyone and asked them to come to 75 North Grand, which they did within the course of three-quarters of an hour, because at that time Mr. Hart had to come from Covina. When we were all assembled in his bedroom, he asked me to tell the assembled members what the meeting was all about. You can imagine how I felt as I had not been told; and then suddenly it dawned upon me that he perhaps over the night had been doing some thinking about a conversation we had had the night before, and I asked him: "Colonel, did you want me to tell the folks what we talked about last night?"

He said, "Yes."

I said: "All right, Sir," and I did. And it was just what we had considered a normal conversation about the work, which we held periodically: what the situation in the world was, the place of theosophy in the world, and the work as it existed in the different national sections.

To make a long story short, the outcome of that meeting indicated that someone should come to Europe. I had no idea whom he had in mind, because no names were mentioned. But we knew somebody should come to Europe. That state of affairs existed for the rest of the 13th, and the 14th, and part of the 15th, when Mr. Merkel very gruffly and unceremoniously took hold of my arm and said: "Look, Jim, don't be a fool. The Colonel wants you to go on that trip, now go in and tell him that you will go." I was very timid about it, but I went in and said: "Colonel, Larry thinks you want me to go on this trip, and that I should say I am willing to go. If that is the case, of course I am willing to do anything you want me to do." I got absolute silence for about a moment or two. "Is that what you wish, Colonel?" "Well — get going!" he replied; so I came to Europe and went around the world.

Now that is typical of the way the Colonel worked with some of us. He forced our intuitions almost to the breaking point sometimes, but he knew what he was doing. It gave me just about 24 hours to get a lot of work finished. Because Mr. Merkel was helping take care of the Colonel personally, it fell upon my shoulders and upon one or two others to get the magazines out, and we had to finish printing one of the magazines that day. So I worked until l2:30 that night at the Press at Covina, and came back from there and dictated a lot of letters to Miss Knoche, and left a lot of instructions in matters that were my responsibility so that someone else could take care of them, and started to pack and left the house at 4:30 that morning to take a 7:00 o'clock plane departure from the Los Angeles Airport.

When I went up to say goodbye to the Colonel, I asked him if he had anything to say in the way of direction or instructions. He said only: "Bring the expedition to a successful conclusion." I said: "Thank you, Sir. Goodbye."

I am not going to bother you with all of the details of that long, no not long, but short eight-week trip around the world, but I am trying to give you somewhat of the atmosphere of Colonel Conger, and of the intenseness but yet calmness with which he set the stage for the future.

I flew to London right before Christmas; spent a few days with the chief magistrate of Teesdale [Ben Koske], and Christmas Day there, and the day after Christmas which they call in England Boxing Day, I left. But the few days I spent in Teesdale with the Teesdale philosopher were very helpful in that it was so cold (the coldest weather England had had in 17 years) that while I never got warm except on the side by the fire, I did have the privilege of tending the fire and doing a lot of thinking after they went to bed at night and I could sit down alone by the fire.

At any rate, I went to work first in England. The English Section has had its ups and downs, just as every section has had through the years of theosophic history, but actually there have been no real difficulties in any of the national sections. But with the tremendous job that lies ahead, the Colonel realized that he had a responsibility to help each national section to get its house in order, so called, for the long hard pull up to l975 and beyond. I have got to be very careful in what I say about these different national sections!

About two years ago, or a little more, Colonel Conger asked Miss Grace Knoche to give a series of lectures in the lobby of the Administration Building at Covina. This series of lectures on the sacred scriptures of the East was to be interpreted by her from the theosophic point of view, which was to be followed by another short series on the sacred scriptures of the West, the Christian scriptures from the original Greek, into the theosophic interpretation. At the first meeting Colonel Conger took 45 minutes to introduce the series, and the highlight of his comments I paraphrase in this statement: he said, "Companions, I want you to realize that in the past the dangers to the work of the Theosophical Society came from without. But those days are past. We have nothing to fear in this Theosophical Society from the outside any longer." But, he said, "The dangers now and in the future that we need to be on guard against are the dangers to the work from the inside of the Theosophical Society."

That was two years ago. It came as quite a shock, but knowing Colonel Conger, we knew that he made no idle statements. It thus became my responsibility on my trip around the world, with that keynote as a guide, to examine the work in the different national sections with the aid of the officials, the key members, and to make them acquainted with the responsibilities that were resting and are resting upon the shoulders of every official and every FTS [Fellow of the Theosophical Society] during this transition from the descending arc of the century to the ascending arc — the transition from the receiving to the giving end of theosophy, and the transition from a quiet passive working with the law of karma as it involved the work of the Society to the mid-century point, and the making of that transition from a passive to an active and dynamic approach to the work on the ascending arc or the evolving arc of the cycle.

If theosophy means anything, it means working with and as nature does, so that as we approach the midpoint of the century we no longer find ourselves in the position that Mr. Judge so aptly defined even in his day, where we could be like birds with our mouths open waiting to be fed. We were faced with the responsibility — when I say we I mean every member — of taking the theosophy that had been given to us since l875 and, having digested and assimilated it, of making it a part of our daily lives.

It had been obvious even before GdeP [Gottfried de Purucker] died that that period was rapidly approaching. He himself stopped giving out teachings in l939 approximately. There were no new instructions of any consequence from that date on, even in the Esoteric Section. And today we are beginning to feel the effect of another transition as the result of Colonel Conger's administration — which he himself termed a transition administration many, many times. That other transition which acts as a supplement to the foundation upon which the future work is built is this, and it was exemplified in his publication of The Dialogues of G.de Purucker which, as you all know, was the printing for public distribution and consumption of the KTMG [Katherine Tingley Memorial Group] Papers. Now what transition does it signify? It signifies that the esoteric has become exoteric — that is only one way of putting it — but it also signifies that the force of esotericism that has flowed through the work of the Society and its Esoteric Section is now flowing through the TS. And those of you who have been in the Society long enough to know and to see what pledge fever is, as HPB calls it in The Key to Theosophy, know that the new member in the Theosophical Society who has true aspiration in his heart, and true devotion to the work of Masters, has experienced worse pledge fever, worse pain as he approached and passed through the minor and other gateways of purification, than many, many of the members of the Esoteric Section have passed through. It is just another sign of the times.

Now with that background, I will hastily go through the different national sections. In England I received my first major direction from the Colonel, and I was asked to close down the Esoteric Sections in every country as I got to them. That has been done. In England there was no serious problem from within except what has come to be known as Fraternization, and the effort of other organizations as well as some members of our own to try what seemed on the surface to work together organizationally. Well, not to agree with that idea seems quite unbrotherly at first appearance; but we have to guard carefully our concepts of real brotherhood. We can get many clues from the Masters' own words in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett. There is danger in the duty of another; and if we should, for example, put ourselves, either one person or a lodge or as a Society, in the position where we — and it would probably be unconsciously — would come into a sort of psychic rapport with an organization that is not following or exemplifying the true raja yoga spirit which underlies all of our theosophic work, then soon we would be weakened and so diluted and so ineffective in our own work that our efforts would come to nil. It is not for nothing that there are three major Theosophical Societies; not at all. There is no harm in twenty-three. But there is great harm if this Theosophical Society allows any aspect of its interests and efforts to become diluted by any means whatever. We have a very big job ahead of us. England has solved its little problem very nicely.

I went from England to Sweden — I am just touching a few points. Sweden also has no real problems, but there was slight indication of one or two points there which might have become a danger to the work from within, and that is crystallization. Crystallization is always dangerous, and we have all seen examples through the years, or read of them, where either a member or group of members have crystallized on KT's [Katherine Tingley] approach and way of doing things, or on Mr. Judge's or GdeP's, and that is it: it appeals to them and there isn't anything else. They rob themselves of the real value of what HPB and Judge and all of the other teachers have to give. I have gone into groups — not of Sweden alone do I speak now — where the members in reality were sitting there, not in a KT atmosphere, but what they thought was a KT atmosphere, almost literally with their hands folded as if they were waiting for KT to come in and tell them what to do. That is not good. KT is gone, and her phase of the work has gone forever. The principle underlying it may come back — may be back now, part of it — and it will never be lost. But we have got to try to assimilate in our daily lives for theosophy everything that has gone before, and especially at this time in the century. We have got to try and assimilate HPB, Mr. Judge, KT, GdeP, and Colonel Conger. In Sweden we have found they have taken the bull by the horns, as the saying goes, and are doing a nice job.

From Sweden I went to Germany. Brother Saalfrank has done a grand job in Germany. I was deeply impressed, not alone with his attitude, for one would not expect much less than a fine attitude, but the membership there, generally speaking, have done a tremendous job psychologically, especially. The German people — of course I was only in West Germany — the German people's attitude, working day by day still under the same conditions of bombed and demolished buildings that you folks here had to work under for many years, and still with the spirit and the eyes looking confidently, a little wavering at times of course, but confidently to the future. I found no serious trouble at all in the German Section. A few elements of doubt were there (but not important), because another danger from within is that which arises in the hearts of faithful members as the result of some other member sowing seeds of doubt and suspicion, indicating a complete lack of trust in Masters. As Colonel Conger put it more than once: "The Masters are very close to the Theosophical Society and are not missing a thing that is going on at Headquarters or any place else in the world."

From Germany I came to Holland. I met with the Dutch Board at a very memorable meeting. In Holland I found the best and the worst in examples of theosophy in action. Fortunately, as I told them, the best so overwhelmed the worst that there was nothing to worry about, and that is correct. I will have more to say about that after this formal Congress closes this afternoon when I speak to the Dutch members. I have a message for them.

From Holland I made a quick trip back to London, and then flew east to go to Australia. In Australia there had been for ten years a difference of opinion between two groups, both really and sincerely devoted to theosophy — there was no question about that, and I mean the right kind of theosophy, no pseudo-theosophy, but real theosophy. But there had sprung up in the course of ten years a terrific difference of personalities. They were not fighting or having surface difficulties, but the work was not progressing because of it. They found it impossible to express the unity that does exist in the diversity of personalities. But there too, after talking first individually and then together to the two principals in those two groups, they themselves decided to work together and have been doing a beautiful job ever since.

I got back to the United States, but I did not have a chance to do any touring in the United States, though I did have the opportunity to complete the work of closing down the Esoteric Section. I did get back very fortunately just one week before Colonel Conger had his heart attack — time enough to give him a very brief digest of what I had found and what I felt was needed, and he knew, as did we, that his time had come to leave us. We were greatly relieved when he said one day: "The end of my journey will not be painful." And it was not. Of course I did not know what day or how the end would come. But three nights before he passed on, I went upstairs to his room as I usually did before retiring, and said: "Colonel, I think I will turn in now." It was about 10:30. "Is there anything I can do for you before I retire?"

He said: "Yes."

I said: "Colonel, you just name it and I will do my best to do it."

He thought a while, and he looked up: "Finish the job you have started to the very end." I understood. I saluted him good night and goodbye. The next morning he had a heart attack, did not regain consciousness for three days, and passed on. His memory in the Theosophical Movement will never fade out, nor will the effect of his great sacrifice be diminished.

Now let me very briefly bring you up to date. Colonel Conger, and again I mention his name in setting the stage for the future, called me in one morning in Covina in September and said: "I had a dream last night."

I said, "Yes? Are you going to tell me about it, Colonel?"

"That is what I hoped to do."

I said, "Swell, I am anxious to hear it."

He said: "The Master told me that no useful work can be carried on here any longer" — meaning Covina headquarters.

I said, "Thank you, Colonel. Would you like to see Studley Hart when he comes up this morning?"

"Yes," he replied. The story has been sent to you: the Colonel himself made a report of the facts in connection with the move. The property at Covina has been sold. The three properties in the Pasadena area have been purchased. The leader's residence was purchased. The Deodar House, in which the other members of the Headquarters staff will reside, has been purchased and the escrow closed, the deed transferred. We now are in the process of putting in a sprinkler system which is a fire prevention system. That system should be in by the first of June or before that, so that the actual move of the people to the new house should occur not later than June 1st. The Press building has also been purchased, and the Press will use only about one-third of the space available in that building. The rest of the building is occupied by tenants from which we will receive rent. As an example of the way that building will stand us, the rent received from one of the tenants alone carries the overhead of the whole building: the taxes and insurance. The rest will be devoted to work for theosophy.

The Press equipment has been moved to the new Press building; that move was made since I have come over here. That is the situation with regard to the property. I have with me some photographs of the leader's residence and of the Deodar House, which you are welcome to look at during the intermission over the luncheon hour. They will be available here.

There is one other thing I wanted to mention, but I cannot think of it now; however, I give this short report so that the delegates here in their deliberations will have at least a brief background of the setting that has been prepared for them to think about and to discuss the work of the Society for the future.

Before I close I will tell you a little story about Utrecht. Fred Lindemans and I went up to see Mr. van Dishoeck on some book business when I was here before, and on the way back we stopped at the Hotel Pays-Bas for lunch, and Mr. Lindemans went to clean up because we had been driving a good bit, and when Mr. Lindemans returned he brought back a card which was being distributed, apparently calling attention to the exhibition to be held here on April 3-l2, with the picture of Hermes sticking his staff right down into Utrecht.

Kirby Van Mater then hands JAL the above mentioned card.

This is the one. Well — I can't describe it, I can't give any reason for it, except that when Fred brought that in and gave it to me, it just did something, to the degree that I put it in my brief case. It went with me around the world and back home, and I have it here back with me now in Utrecht, and I can only say to the delegates: there is a keynote. If you will and can make the effort to take the staff of Hermes, and everything that it represents symbolically, and stick it firmly into your deliberations in this Congress, I think what the staff of Hermes represents will then shine throughout the whole world, and our beloved Theosophical Society and its work will begin to take its full place in the world and do its rightful duty to our fellowmen and to mankind, and help this civilization of ours move forward with the true theosophic impulse.

Thanks very much.



From the Afternoon Session

Message to the Congress

Mr. Chairman, Delegates to this Congress, and Companions:

I have been sitting there listening and feeling, and I am frank to say you will have to bear with me a moment because I am too moved to speak. However, I must thank you for this expression of confidence and trust and loyalty which it happens to be my karma to accept for the Masters — not for myself — and for the work that they have tried so hard, so very hard, to get us to understand and to do. When we realize that for centuries and centuries in the past those individuals known in history who had the touch of the Great Lodge on their shoulders made an attempt to help their fellowmen in their respective eras, in their respective ways — Saint-Martin, St. Germain, and all of the philosophers of the Middle Ages — whose motive was not only to sow seed, but they had hoped they could do that which would give mankind a knowledge and an understanding that would help them to help themselves forward, as a unit of the civilization in which they lived.

But not until Madame Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in 1875 have any of those efforts succeeded. Why did that effort succeed? Can we say that it was because she had around her a group of perfect theosophists, perfect examples of theosophy, that gave it the impulse to carry over into this century? I am afraid that we have to give just a small amount of credit in that connection. But what really did happen in 1875? Until then those other representatives of truth had to speak as the Master Jesus spoke two thousand years ago, in parables, in paradoxes, except to their disciples. As the Master Jesus said: to you I explain the mysteries — to his disciples. One of the reasons the efforts failed in the past was because the real esoteric truths underlying the exoteric expressions of those individuals could not be given to the public, and their disciples were sworn to secrecy.

Aside from that there was public opinion which saw to it that when an individual expressed a really esoteric truth publicly, he was either burned at the stake or thrown into a dungeon or suffered other like tortures. Thus we follow very crudely the progress of civilization through those past centuries, blind in one sense, yet here and there a window represented by the soul of an individual through whom some inner light shone forth.

When HPB founded the Theosophical Society, her first job, as we all know, was writing Isis Unveiled, which was in reality a proving ground, a practice job in a certain sense, looking at it from the big view, a practice job for Masters to use in preparing and helping that instrument, HPB, to be a good receiving set for the message they wanted to give to the world exoterically. When that job was finished, they gave her the assignment to write The Secret Doctrine. This represented the presentation to the world at large of some esoteric truths never given out before. From the time of Christ until 1875, the furthest any teacher or any philosopher could get in an explanation of the organization of nature, of the constitution of man, and of the area of interest that we as human beings had to work in in order to improve our characters if we wanted to improve them, was what we find St. Paul in his Letters referring to as body, soul, and spirit: the threefold breakdown of our constitution. No one had gotten beyond that exoterically until the time of HPB, and she in The Secret Doctrine as you know gave to the world the idea of the seven principles of man, of the seven principles of everything. Thus the world got the opportunity — and it was nothing more really than an opportunity at that time — to consider the possibility of improving their characters in a wider area of operation, both inner and outer.

Those individuals who became members of the Theosophical Society not only had an opportunity, but they actually had placed on their shoulders a responsibility to study and assimilate and realize just what it meant to be given those truths and those facts of nature. They have been expanded down through the years by one leader after the other until we had GdeP, whose chief responsibility was to write an immense and comprehensive commentary on The Secret Doctrine. Everything that GdeP has written, except perhaps his Golden Precepts, really can be looked upon as a commentary on the basic concept of The Secret Doctrine. In his talks to his esoteric students, he went beyond the limits in The Secret Doctrine — those limits established by the fact that certain keys were not put in The Secret Doctrine by the Masters and HPB.

However, we were rapidly approaching this point which I spoke of this morning when a transition had to be made in this century. That transition involved the further step of making and allowing the additional material that had become esoteric from the time of HPB to become exoteric. Now what happens when something like that takes place? We cannot for one moment suppose that we can sit by and go on as we have before, and that it will not affect our lives and it will not affect the lives of the whole human race. Because it will. The responsibility that falls upon the shoulders of a theosophist when that occurs is much greater than that mantle that fell upon the shoulders of FTS in the days of HPB. It means simply this: that the great force of the White Lodge, which up to this time had been confined to a limited number, is now released for the benefit of every FTS. Now don't misunderstand me: I am not attempting to say that the Theosophical Society is now the Esoteric Section. The Theosophical Society today is the Theosophical Society. I should like to mention this and draw a distinction. The Esoteric Section is not the Esoteric School; the Esoteric School was in existence long before the Theosophical Society came into being. The Esoteric Section was formed by Madame Blavatsky in 1888 and became nothing more nor less than a proving ground for aspiring FTS who felt that they wanted self-consciously to improve their characters, and to those students a little more was given, some of the mysteries were explained.

But there is a high and most encouraging indication in the fact that the cycles have turned, and the karma of today has called for that force that went into the Esoteric Section to flow through the Society itself. Nothing happens by chance, and it is not done because this leader or that leader or another leader decides to do it or says so. It happens by karma, and it happens because mankind itself has called it forth. It has been indicated and has been possible to call it forth because the members of this Theosophical Society have been in sufficient numbers and in quality of a stature that the Masters feel it is a sufficiently satisfactory vehicle for the force of the Lodge to flow through to mankind to our fellowmen. Nobody ordered it but our fellowmen; and we cannot fall down on the job this time.

With those general remarks, I want to say to the delegates, individually and collectively: your presence here and participation in this General Congress marks, to me at any rate, a historic point in the evolution of the Theosophical Society such as we have never had before. There are no outer standards of the past that we have to guide us today. But there is one standard that we do have, and that is the innate possibility of each individual human being and the innate possibility of each individual FTS who has, by the aspiration of his heart, decided self-consciously to make himself a better man and a better helper of humanity.

Membership in this Society is not a light thing. I regret that almost universally an inquirer comes and is told: "There is no problem in joining the Theosophical Society. All you have to do is to believe in the principle of universal brotherhood. There are no fixed dues. Come on in." I am sorry, I think that is a great mistake, and I am not criticizing anyone, because we learn from experience, for I have done the same thing over and over again until I saw what harm I caused to the inquirer by doing that. And I stopped. This is a sacred cause, ladies and gentlemen. This is not a fraternal organization. This is the cause of brotherhood, the original program of the Masters. We must not lose sight of it. And when we dip our finger in the stream of Masters' force as it flows through this TS we are affected materially; the catalytic force of their efforts and energy will stir up the muddy waters of our souls to such a degree that we are apt to do most anything. Thank the gods — because how else could we learn?

Therefore I say to you delegates nothing new — no one can say anything new; we rediscover by experience and pain — but I say to you delegates, when you go home, try to help your members to realize their individual responsibility in Masters' cause. I don't want to keep repeating myself about this partnership, but it is very important. It is very important. Never before has the opportunity been so great in the Theosophical Society and in the history of the Movement for every member who really has the cause of theosophy at heart, to take part in an active way. Now I don't mean to run around like a hen on a hot griddle, to do, to do, to do, because that isn't always the best way to work. Sometimes we do far greater good by sitting in the corner and just thinking right thoughts — and I don't mean by that looking at the end of your nose and meditating, I mean doing the duty before you and thinking right thoughts. The power of simple spiritual energy coming forth from the heart of a human being when it adds to that reservoir of spiritual force which the Masters only can use, and nothing more than we send there, is so great when it finally breaks through on the outer plane that we have not the slightest possible conception of the results that are given and received by the average human being.

I will tell here a little story about a man who died, and he got to heaven, and St. Peter was there at the gate to welcome him. He said, "Come in, John. I have been expecting you."

"Oh, you have?" he said.

"Yes. I will take you right to your new home," he said.

"Well, that is fine. Thank you." And they started down the golden streets, and John noticed the beautiful mansions and homes on both sides of the street, and marveled at them, and he said to St. Peter: "My, you certainly have some nice places here. They are beautiful."

"Yes," St. Peter said, "some of our people here live very well. They have fine accommodations." So they went down and down the streets, and John marveled and marveled, but the mansions and the houses were not quite as pretentious — a little smaller. But they kept going, and he still marveled. But after a while the houses became a little bit decrepit looking, and John said to St. Peter, "These places aren't nearly as nice as those up there. How's that?"

"Oh, we have all kinds here. It all depends," replied St. Peter. So they kept walking, but after a little while longer they got very ramshackle, and John got a little worried and said to St. Peter: "Now, wait a minute. Where are you taking me?"

"Why, I'm taking you to your new home," St. Peter said.

"Yes, but I would like to have one of those back there."

"Now wait, you will have your place in just a moment." So they went around a little corner and got to a place, and here were just a few sticks up with a roof over them, and within an old broken-down chair and bed. He said: "This is your place, John."

John drew back and said, "Oh! I don't want this. I want something better than that. Why can't I have something like those other houses? I don't have to have one of the big houses; one of the little nice ones would be all right."

St. Peter said to John: "Well, I am awfully sorry, John, but this is all you sent up for us to build your house with." [General laughter]

There is, as you see, a real occult truth there. We have studied our theosophy for years, some of us for years and years, and we read these things and talk about them, tell our friends about them; but I wonder if we do believe them — sometimes. I find myself catching up with myself quite often, I am frank to admit. I have learned very little in the course of this one lifetime, but the truth of the matter is that we as theosophists, who profess to trust the Masters and to believe that they are helping and wanting to help mankind, fail to provide many times — we do provide of course, or the Society would have failed long ago — but do we provide enough of that spiritual force, that spiritual water of life, for their reservoir of spiritual energy, which is the only thing they can use to help mankind?

Now thank the gods that some who have gone before us, even before the Society was formed, have done better than John, and have sent quite a bit to "Topside" so that they have a reservoir there. But if we don't keep on supplying spiritual water to that reservoir in increasing quantity as we go up the turn, not only of the century's cycle — don't forget there are other cycles involved in this serious historic point in the history of the human race — we fail. And it is our job as individual theosophists to so live and to so exemplify our theosophy that we are day by day, even by just a little drop, sending up to Masters our contribution to their cause — and that, friends, is an inner thing. It may be the poor widow with hardly enough to eat who sends to Headquarters a postage stamp who will contribute more spiritual value to her fellowmen than the one who gives $50,000 out of a pocket that is bulging with $50,000 more. I don't discredit the man who gives a lot; I am only trying to point the value of a real spiritual thought and deed.

So, delegates, I should like to take this opportunity of thanking you. And Mr. Chairman: for the job you have done here for the Cabinet and for the membership this day, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and say, may the gods be with you all.


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