Tradition relates that in the building of King Solomon's temple there was a stone of such peculiar shape that the workmen could find no place for it, though it was regularly cut and with great care, and contained the sign of the Master. When the temple was near completion a place was found for the stone which the builders had through ignorance rejected. It was the Keystone of the Royal Arch.
Those who have opened the halls of learning to this generation have given a foundation stone, and repeatedly declared that no other foundation can endure, that the floods of time and the storms of passion will surely sweep with the besom of destruction every superstructure not founded on this rock. And yet there are those who wear the garb of fellow-crafts, and claim the wages of workmen, who not only reject this stone but ridicule it, and laugh it to scorn. The result is manifest in the confusion of the workmen, and it will presently become manifest that those who thus reject the cornerstone of Theosophy are brothers of the shadow literally, rather than Sons of Light; they will find no designs on the tracing-board, and they will be accused of murdering the "widow's son."
The time for wages will surely come, and even they who have come in at the ninth hour and labored faithfully in the vineyard will receive due wages.
The corner stone of Theosophy is distinctly stated to be Universal Brotherhood. A firm belief in this principle is required of every candidate for membership in the Theosophical Society. This is the sole requirement for affiliation, it is made plain, and no one can plead ignorance of this one requirement. To claim fellowship in the society, and ignore or repudiate its cardinal doctrine is not only the most pronounced hypocrisy, but works in every way to the injury of the individual and the society. Those therefore who are not ashamed to repudiate this cardinal principle ought in all fairness to retire from the society, and direct their energies into more congenial channels.
But aside from explicit repudiation of this principle of Brotherhood there is too often a tacit disregard of its requirements. It has been charged against the Society, that in the enunciation of this simple doctrine, they have announced nothing new, and it may at once be answered that it is not claimed as a novelty, but an actuality. And yet it is too often the case, that the application of this principle of universal brotherhood reaches no further than to the admission to membership in the T. S. of persons of either sex, and of every creed, color, and nationality, while in the relations of members and the necessary work of the society, the principle of brotherhood is too often practically ignored. It may therefore be profitable to inquire into the reasons assigned by the Masters for giving out to the world at this time their priceless treasures, and the purpose for which the Theosophical Society was instituted, though these purposes have been time and again stated, in plain English, and are printed in the rules and by-laws of the society, as well as in every application for membership. The misinterpretation of these plain declarations leads to constant disappointment, and hinders the legitimate work of the Society.
We have been repeatedly told that the Masters are no respecters of persons. They have on every occasion persistently and consistently refused to teach occultism to individuals. They have stated over and over again the terms on which anyone can gain their notice, or hope to advance in spiritual knowledge or power, viz: by working unselfishly and unceasingly for the advancement of the Brotherhood of man. This is the plan on which the masters work. Whatsoever they have given out has been designed for the elevation and well-being of the whole human race.
They have chosen such agents or assistants as were available for the promulgation of their doctrines, and they have distinctly stated, that not for this generation alone, but more especially for the coming Yuga, do they labor, like wise husbandmen, sowing now the seed for future harvests.
The meaning of Universal Brotherhood, and the mission of the Theosophical Society become thus perfectly plain, and we can misinterpret only at our peril. The masters have said, work with us, and become a part of us, and sharers with us.
Creeds and sects are innately selfish, dividing mankind into selfish circles of conceited and selfish men. Creeds are crumbling; replace them with universal benevolence, toleration, charity, justice — in one word, BROTHERHOOD. He, therefore, who repudiates brotherhood, denies all. He who forgets charity, kindness, forbearance, forgiveness, has no right to call himself a Theosophist. We should have charity for everything but for uncharitableness. Let those who will in the face of all this, strive for occult power. Let them in spite of constant warning force, if they can, themselves into the astral plane, to be driven back in everlasting terror by the "Demon of the Threshold," or end their days in an Asylum for the Insane, but let them look for no assistance or protection from the Masters.
Pure and undefiled Theosophy leads man only to higher planes of thought and life. It puts him in possession of the true philosopher's stone, by enabling him to convert the energies of life, into higher uses, for the welfare and elevation of his race. It teaches him neglect of no common duty or obligation, and it nowhere holds out the inducement that a Mahatma can be evolved by some secret hocus-pocus out of a mountebank. The mountebanks will presently denounce Mahatmas and repudiate theosophy, but they will prove as powerless to stay the tide of truth as to achieve mahatmahood. They may deceive the foolish and unwary, and console themselves with the company of Coloumb, Hodgson & Co., but those who have accepted in deed and in truth the simple doctrine of universal brotherhood with all that it implies, will possess their souls in patience and perfect trust, for they have heard the music of BATH COL.
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