The Theosophical Forum – August 1939


I am watching an airplane gliding through the sky. It is very big, yet it is too far off for me to see what makes it move. But I know that the motive power and the skill of movement are all due to a man who must be sitting there, though at the distance he is reduced to such a speck that I cannot see him. Very well; the man moves the plane; but now what moves the man? It is his brain, comes the answer; and that brain is smaller than the man himself. And the power of the brain lies hid in some minute cerebral center, and the power of that center again lies hid in the ultra-microscopic particles that compose it. The smaller a thing is, the more potent it is. It is always the speck that does it, the atom lies at the root of matter, and the electron lies at the root of the atom. The potency of a medicine is all in an infinitesimal proportion of some one ingredient; all the rest is merely padding, vehicle. It is Gideon's band. For the instruction of those who do not know, and the reminding of those who have forgotten, we may recall that Gideon was to fight the Midianites. He had 32,000 men, but the Lord said this was too many; and the number was successively reduced to 300, and the victory thereby secured. Is there not a saying of Lao-Tse that the wise man deals with things when they are small? The point, the atom, is the basis of anything, and is the right handle by which to lay hold of it. In our efforts at reform we labor on details, leaving untouched the principles, like one who cuts off weeds instead of uprooting them. But we are told to seek the root of evil in ourself and tear it out. Who knows but any day he may discover in himself some error of principle, and by correcting it transform his whole life?

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