The Theosophical Forum – August 1936


To state our debt to H. P. Blavatsky is to enumerate the baffling questions which we were faced with fifty years ago, and then to give the adequate answers to these questions which are to be found in the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom, which were restored by her to the world towards the end of the last century.

Dreary work it was, before H. P. B. came, to try to understand the Universe. The crumbling of long-accepted religious beliefs regarding man and the world and God left many of us agnostics. Scientific evidence of the evolution of physical forms left us isolated from the inner spiritual field, seemingly unrelated to Divinity. The imperfection of the purely materialistic theory wounded our aesthetic sense. The lack of any satisfactory basis for ethics stung our moral natures to a kind of desperate activity. Scientific study whetted our desire for comprehension of the Plan of Life, and — thanks be to the Cosmic Beings who are the Law — the intuitions of determined seekers for Truth were at the same time quickened for response to any great idea, any teaching that could reveal the true significance of love and duty and service, any Plan of Life that could show Man's relation to Divinity and the Universe.

From the Hierarchy of Compassion, whose duty it is to keep alive man's spiritual intuitions and at cyclic intervals to impart to man the truth concerning the cosmos, then came, through H. P. B the chosen Messenger of that Hierarchy, the startling announcement that it is to the prehistoric past we must look for a comprehensive Plan of Life, one covering mental and spiritual development as well as physical. Here, said H. P. B., you could find the history of the origin of man, of the evolution of the race — in fact a formula of evolution which can be applied to anything, from the tiniest atom to a Solar System, etc.

To all students who have the spirit of loyalty H. P. B.'s rehabilitation of the Ancients has been a priceless gift of Truth. The retrospective view of the life of mankind established the unity of history. The Archaic Wisdom-teaching concerning the divine ancestry of man added conviction to the natural protest against the ultra-materialistic theory of man's origin. The conception that man, like the greater entity, the Universe, is a Divine Being, who has chosen to clothe himself in bodies of gradually increasing materiality, that Man, an essentially spiritual being, has descended to the present encasement of his inner Self, was a thunderbolt to the materialist who claims that Man has ascended from animal ancestry, but it makes a strong appeal to those who have never denied the innermost Self.

The supplementary teaching, that Man in the future is to ascend through cycles, in which both he and the planet he inhabits are less grossly material in form, to his pristine divine state plus the self-consciousness gained from his long experience, completes a picture of the destiny of mankind that inspires courage and deep Self-respect. What a contrast to the one-life idea of man, without any knowledge of Humanity's origins or of the complete cycle of its life, speeding towards a head-on collision with eternity — or with what we must know is impossible — annihilation. It is to H. P. B. that we owe the restoration of the knowledge of the sublime spiritual consciousness that has been, and is to be for those who make the grade.

Is it conceivable that any period of life, any stage of development, passed away utterly unrecorded? H. P. B. states that Earth has many secrets and that the hidden places still hold the complete record. Archaeological findings yearly indicate that the past has many surprising revelations concerning races more spiritually awake than we are, more aware of the cosmic verities.

One channel by which the archaic history and wisdom reach even us is by way of myth and tradition. Never had there been so worldwide a survey of these as that made by her. Never had these precious old stories been glorified by having their original, unadulterated cosmic significance pointed out. Verily H. P. B. supplied a key to all mythology, showing them all to be offsprings of the World-Myth, which is the story of the Universe and Man. Never had there been such a wholesale cracking of the anthropomorphic molds that concealed the primeval truths at the root of all the great religions of the world. In uncovering the identity of the wisdom-teaching from which all originally sprang did H. P. B. achieve mighty demolition of barriers between man and man. And in bringing forward the truth that all the Great Teachers of East and West and North and South, all the Founders of the World-Religions, come from the same source, the Hierarchy of Compassion, H. P. B. instituted a reintegration of religions which will in time result in far-reaching reconcilement between those of different faiths.

The reintegration of all religions in the primeval truth — and the reintegration in the ancient Wisdom-Science of the results of scientific analysis up to the year 1888, when H. P. B.'s The Secret Doctrine was published, these meet the need now openly expressed for a cosmogonical religion, a synthesis of the facts concerning the inner and outer realms of man's nature and of universal Nature, the reverent acceptance of which leads to a new level of understanding, a new order of life on Earth. With this synthesis man can learn to "live in harmony with a scientific vision of the universe."

It was H. P. B.'s signal loyalty to Those who have reached the higher levels of the Ladder of Life, who have won to the Hierarchy of Compassion, that brought back to the Western world the sense of nearness to the Elder Brothers, a revival of the sacred relation of Master and Disciple. It was the diamond fiber of her loyalty that enabled her to transmit the archaic wisdom that has helped us to see in Symbolism not an anthropomorphic sign-manual but the shorthand of metaphysics, the science of the unseen universe. It was her Diamond Heart that brought to discouraged Humanity the message that our planet is a well-guarded Home, bright unseen Intelligences and Silent Watchers in and over all; and is also one department of the great Cosmic University, where Man can learn the science of life and the key to spiritual advance on his pathway throughout the Circulations of the Cosmos.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition