Theosophists the world over, filled with the never-satisfied longing of the human heart to do something more that is constructive for the race, are pausing at the threshold of 1937 watching keenly the conflict of unresolved forces at present rife everywhere. We are aware of the fact that we are the recipients of a Philosophy of Life; not one which promises a neat solution of individual and world problems all in a day, but one which gives courage, fortitude, understanding, sympathy, a sense of moral responsibility and perspective adequate for the meeting of these problems. We have been given a sublime philosophy indeed, but there is one thing more that is needed if we would pass on a living message to the world. This thing is vision. Spiritual vision, seeing with the inner eye, is not a gift that can be bestowed upon us. It does not come from without; it comes from within. To possess it one must bring it to birth, nurture it, give it wings. With our own eyes we must see.
"He has genius," said a recent poet and philosopher, "who can make us see the beauty he sees, but he is a master who can give us his own power of seeing." Yes, but even the master's gift of vision would be of no avail to us if we did not use it.
It was at the opening of that fateful year 1610 that Galileo for the first time turned his modest hand-wrought telescope to the sky and beheld the lovely vision of Jupiter and its revolving moons, and thereafter watched these tiny satellites as they pursued their measured course around their central luminary. What had he seen? Not merely a planet and its moons. There flashed upon his inner vision the picture of a Solar System — our Solar System, our Sun with its attendant revolving planets. The riddle was solved. Copernicus was vindicated; the heliocentric theory emerged once more after centuries of obscuration. A New Day had dawned. Science and Religion were profoundly shaken. Europe that had long been stirring from its intellectual sleep was at last waking.
The dramatic story is now but an item in the records of history, revivified perhaps only in the imagination of the comparatively few who study the series of awakenings that mark the upward progress of cycles of civilization. But here is the point: it was vision that gave stature to the work of Galileo. It is vision in great or lesser degree that marks any man as illustrious. It was the mighty vision of H. P. Blavatsky and of Those behind her that launched the Theosophical Movement. She focussed the telescopic lens of her own peerless self upon the heavens of Eternal Truth, and we have received the message she brought from those bright Galaxies. Shall we then be content with another's vision? When shall we too begin to see?
Long ages will pass before the "Eye of Siva" will once more be fully active within us. We are as yet too closely linked with our Atlantean past when man forfeited his right to spiritual insight. What a foreboding cadence echoes in those ancient words quoted by H. P. B. (S. D. II, 20) from a Secret Volume: Then the Third Eye acted no more! Yet the records of occult history tell how the crippled Atlantean Race was not abandoned; how Mystery Schools were established as centers of spiritual learning; how the infant Fifth Race, blind but innocent, was ruled over and guided by Initiate Kings who in their divine compassion protected it and led it safely into its lusty youth; how the Brotherhood of Mahatmans, a "focus of Living Flames," holds today, as it has through the ages, the children of men in its safekeeping, teaching, inspiring, challenging, through cycles of Light and cycles of Darkness, in order that a memory of our former splendor may quicken within ourselves our spiritual intuitions. For there is a promise that the Eye of Siva will one day again be active in the race. It is not a gift to be bestowed upon us even by the Great Brotherhood itself. We ourselves must open our own eyes.
It is a question to ponder over: "What is spiritual vision; how may we begin to develop it?"
As the Esoteric New Year is at its dawning, and in the silent sanctuary of our inner self we prepare for the New Day, meditating upon this thought it may be that we shall receive that first glimmer prophetic of the light of intuition which went out some eight million years ago but which may again be ours to carry us forward into the rising cycle.