"To Live the Life . . ."

By I. M. Oderberg

We are told that "those who would know the doctrine must first live the life." What does this mean? Since this "doctrine" penetrates into the very heart of the essence of universal life, one cannot know it until one lives it! Mere speculation will not unlock the door into understanding.

Greater than the erudition evident in GdeP's writings is their pointer to the relevance of living the life of a fully humanized being. Our daily lives are like the classic dramas of antiquity, which related to the experiences of the personal entity as it unfolds faculties of awareness from the essence of the real human entity within itself, that x-factor that endures through all changes. The path of compassion should lead to the foundation of our awareness of interrelationships between ourselves and all the other elements comprising our planet, solar system, and beyond. "Living the life" refers us to self- consciously knowing the universal Life Essence.

G. de Purucker turned theosophic concepts around like the facets of jewels, presenting different colors to the view. He sought "to drive home by repetition the sublime ideas; . . . [but] at each separate time when I repeat a beautiful thought I try to vary it a little, to give you a little more than before of the wonderful light of the ancient Wisdom-Religion of mankind" (Questions We All Ask 2:123). Thus he was not merely using synonyms, but rather revealing the different meanings which emerge from the relationships of a particular idea with other concepts.

The differing functions of the left and right hemispheres of the brain present us with two approaches toward understanding the phenomena within us, crowding around us, and impinging upon us. Neither the brain nor other instruments of the mind are the originators of a point of view, but are just that: instruments. In the heyday of Athens, for example, the rationalizing of logic was not seen as superior to the intuitive part of the mind, and the rationale of life embraced a wider scope and vision than provided for by the Aristotelian line of approach.

Our present civilization is by no means the first to uncover realms of knowledge. Records exist of other cultures in antiquity which have left signs of their achievements and speculations upon the nature of life and its manifestations. But the great scientific minds of recent times are beginning to "catch up" with the ancients. When Einstein arrived in New York in 1938, among the many questions at the wharf, one reporter asked: "Do you believe in God?" Einstein replied in substance: "If you mean a kind of aggrandized human being way out in space, with the human qualities of mind, emotions of anger, etc., but on a much larger scale, I must say 'No.' But if you mean, what have I learned from my reflections on that precision I find in the functioning of the cosmos at large, the planets and the sun, and further out the galaxies and other complexities, then I must say all of these are signs of a vast intelligence [or intelligences?] in operation."

The writings of H. P. Blavatsky and G. de Purucker bring the complex aspects of human life into focus and stress their relevance as participants in the flow of universal life through all forms of its expression.

 (From Sunrise magazine, April/May 2000; copyright © 2000 Theosophical University Press)

Back Issues Menu


If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it? — Dogen Zenji