First Edition copyright © 1948; Second Edition and Revised Edition copyright © 1997 by Theosophical University Press. Electronic version ISBN 978-1-55700-094-1 (print version available). All rights reserved. This edition may be downloaded free of charge for personal use. Except for brief excerpts, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial or other use in any form without the prior permission of Theosophical University Press. For ease of searching, words are not accented in this version.
NOTE: Changes to this second edition consist entirely of modernizing capitalization and punctuation.
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Shortly after assuming the Leadership of the Theosophical Society on July 11, 1929, Dr. G. de Purucker formed the Katherine Tingley Memorial Group in commemoration of the lifework of his predecessor, Katherine Tingley.
For thirteen years this group, composed of members of the Esoteric School, held regular meetings at the International Headquarters — formerly located at Point Loma, but in June 1942, removed by Dr. de Purucker to Covina, California. During this period stenographic reports of these sessions were privately printed and distributed to the group, whose membership had extended throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Unless specifically stated, as in the case of the few KTMG meetings held in Europe while G. de P. was on lecture tours, it is to be understood that the meetings were held at the international headquarters.
The time has come when that which has "been kept secret from the foundation of the world" should be made public. Authorized now to do this, I but fulfill G. de P.'s prophecy when he said:
I can see very clearly that the time will probably come when what we now call esoteric we shall publish broadcast, because the time will have come to do so. But that does not mean, if you please, Companions, that any one of you is entitled to break his oath of secrecy. It is not for me to say when. It is for Those who know more than any one of us here. But I can feel that it is coming. — Meeting of May 26, 1942, pp. 177-8.
Especial thanks are given to the members of the committee who have worked daily with me for the past several months. They are Mary W. Peyton, Martha R. Franklin, A. Studley Hart, Hazel Minot, Grace Frances Knoche, and James A. Long. Because of their close association at the Headquarters with the KTMG activities since their inception, Mrs. Minot and Miss Knoche contributed valuable aid in the preparation of the manuscript.
The present volume comprises papers One to Ten, plus additional material given by G. de P. while the Headquarters Group was studying Papers One to Four. These supplements will be of interest, not only for the richer light thrown on the subjects handled by G. de P. during the early years of his teaching, but also because they have not hitherto been circulated outside the Headquarters Group. Volumes Two and Three, to be printed subsequently, will complete the series of 36 papers plus supplements, with index in the third volume.
This has been a labor of fidelity and love, and it is my belief that the earnest student whose resolve equals his aspiration will find in these Dialogues between teacher and pupil that path leading him to the "terrace of enlightenment."
A. L. CONGER. International Theosophical Headquarters,
January 15, 1948.
September 26, 1933
Companions, I have on a few occasions received word from members of the ES and from a few members of the KTMG throughout the world, asking for directions in training. The phrase ran in substance in one communication: "Dear G. de P., cannot you give us some esoteric training in the ES and the KTMG so that we can live by it? The teachings themselves are beautiful and helpful, but I would like to know a few rules showing me how to live."
Companions, you know me well enough to realize that I would not say an unkind word about anyone, yet I will tell you frankly that I was hurt, and have been hurt, when receiving these communications, which although not numerous yet do reach me from time to time. They have amounted all told to about ten, possibly twelve; and I will now tell you why I have been somewhat distressed. What these dear people were really after was instructions in what they thought was yoga training. What they really craved was hatha yoga exercises. They wanted instructions as to concentrating the mind at certain hours, and to be shown the best way of doing it, and to be told what positions the body should take, and to be given astrological instructions as to concentrating in the proper planetary positions, and so forth.
Now I will tell you something really important, and I ask your most earnest attention. Your pledge, if you will only live it, and not merely talk about it, will be all the training that your mind and heart and imagination can possibly understand and follow. "Live the life and you will know the doctrine." Live the life and you will achieve masterhood. The whole effort in our ES today is exactly the same as what it was in HPB's Esoteric School, for hers and ours are one and have always been the same. The ES is a distinct school of training in chelaship and is an attempt to develop our students so that by living the life they may grow inwardly, so that they may develop their spiritual and intellectual and psychical faculties and powers. I will tell you frankly and once and for all that you will never develop these powers by any yoga practices whatsoever — never! It simply cannot be done. It is a running after will-o'-the-wisps of faulty imagination. This is my only objection, as it was KT's, to these itinerant yogis from the East traveling around and teaching yoga — usually for a price. The doctrines of the Vedanta that they teach are usually beautiful as doctrines; and if they are the teachings of the genuine Vedanta these teachings are unquestionably fine. If they are of the genuine Vedanta of the adwaita cycle, they are mostly our own doctrines; but these doctrines by themselves and without the esoteric keys that are given in the ES do not emphasize the need of ethical living, of noble thinking translated into noble action. And I will tell you that if you follow the pledge which HPB gave to us, and which we now have, you will have all the yoga exercise that you can possibly manage to take care of. Certain ones of the higher yoga exercises are good and are occasionally followed by our Masters' own chelas for specific and particular reasons; but usually, if not always, they are followed in the cases of less advanced chelas whose lower principles are so strong that they need particular subjugation.
There is no true school of occultism outside our Masters' own circles which is known to me, except our own; and we in the ES follow the age-old precepts of the Masters of wisdom and compassion, as they have been handed down to us from immemorial time: live nobly, think nobly, feel nobly, do your duty to all at all times and in all places, and by all men. Speak the truth, fear naught, stand up for others when they are unjustly attacked; never add your voice to the burden of condemnation of others. Rules like these are the rules that our chelas follow; and I tell you truly that you will have your hands full and your mind full and your heart full in following them. And, in addition, if you wish to undertake another aspect of the chela training, one which is the invariable practice in our own School, then follow the teaching of the ten paramitas of Buddhism, which are always followed in the true schools of esoteric training, and which we attempt to follow in our ES. The paramitas are ten, sometimes they are enumerated as seven, sometimes as six. The six are the easier; the seven are a little more difficult; and the ten are for those who intend to devote all their life, and the next life perhaps, and possibly the next life after that, to that resigning of the lower self to the higher in service to the world.
There, in these rules, is the whole path of achievement. The Masters have no other training than what I have told you, and it is the same that their chelas invariably follow; only the Masters follow this training more grandly, and on a scale which is wider, and with reaches which are much more extended than their chelas can comprehend. I might say without feeling that I am wandering into hyperbole, that the very gods follow the same thing, inasmuch as they live for the universe; and I trust that the day will never come when our School will see the introduction of hatha yoga practices of any kind! Should it so happen, it will mean that our School has broken the link and is on the way to mere quasi-secret, sectarian degeneration.
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