The Theosophical Forum – January 1940


In these days when cruelty, insanity, ignorance and even misdirected idealism like a dark and dangerous thunderstorm sweep over poor Europe, one is almost inclined to think: Of what use is it to work for sublime purposes, for peace upon earth, for universal Brotherhood? Of what use trying to evolve forth the Buddhi-Atman within men?

For aeons we have been the most merciless, the most greedy creatures on Planet Terra. Verily, there is enough in the world for each nation, but not for the greediness of each nation. Do we humans really possess possibilities to transform our plain and selfish shape into a compassionate, divine being? Or is it our destiny as matter-heavy creatures always to follow the voice of lower self?

Let us just study ourself and examine: (1) from where we came; (2) whither we go; (3) and how far we have advanced. The archaic Wisdom teaches that we once as un-self-conscious god-sparks emanated from the Divine in order to make a pilgrimage through the matter-side of the universe, thus getting a deeper, greater knowledge about the worlds there inherent.

The archaic Wisdom teaches further that we through self-evolution, self-experience through an ever expanding consciousness finally shall be able to get rid of the strong attraction of these worlds, and again turn to our spiritual home. How far have we advanced towards this sublime goal? Dante says: half-way I stood in gloomy wood with losing steps, and could not gaze on the real path.

This is extremely characteristic of the individual today: a child of heaven, a child of earth is he standing partly in heaven, partly on earth. His body belongs to earth, but his intellect is able to think as keenly as the greatest intellects on earth, and he has a soul with flaming love and compassion enough to warm and enlighten the whole universe. Likewise is he the carrier of a Divine Self in which dwell all the divine qualities of the universe. Nevertheless is he rather losing his way towards his divine destiny.

Can we human beings turn to the right again? Certainly, because every one of us has a yearning after beauty, harmony, and peace. In every human heart there is a longing to understand the universe in its multitudes of manifestations, a longing to ascend above the dull, daily life; in other words, to get a wider, brighter view of universal, eternal values. He who begins to feel at one with his Higher Self, recognises even the Divine outside himself, becomes aware of Him everywhere. Thus the spiritual seeing, the spiritual perceiving, individual understands that other human beings too have a spiritual longing, a spiritual aim. And he discovers even that there have existed men who manifested their Divine Self to such a degree that they verily can be regarded as the noble Leaders and Saviors of humanity. Last but not least this wonderful fact convinces us against all intellectual subtleties and arguments that our most refined aspirations are based upon truth.

The glorious predecessors of humanity are living testimony that it certainly is of use to work for sublime purposes, for peace upon earth and for evolving forth the divine principle within each human being. But how did these noble Masters reach so high a standard? Were they the lucky favorites of Mother Nature, or did an almighty, personal God create them such, or have they become what they are through self-effort, self-discipline, through a powerful self-directed will to reach this lofty goal? We believe in the last thought. We believe that man through the ages receives just what he creates for himself — not more, not less — and if he once accepts this fundamental truth with mind and heart, then he will turn towards the spiritual sun and let universal responsibility control his future acts and deeds. What a glorious hope for seeking, groping souls to know that these Great Saviors have existed, still exist and in the future will even appear upon earth, and that they evolve forth their mastership, not by chance, but through raising their consciousness from their animal-being into their spiritual Self.

What they have done every one of us can do, and shall every one of us sooner or later do, because it is the sole pathway home to the Divine again. We individuals are what we act and nothing else. And here we see the real, the terrible reason why we are already in the rigid claws of a new error. We ourselves created the causes for this state of violence, and every one of us is held responsible for what is going on now. We cannot blame one single person or one single nation. Were it as uncomplicated as that, a new war never could happen. For that reason we ought never to side with or against one or another of the fighting forces, but instead, in every noble manner, try to check that current of hatred which already flows forth from the personal human being; each such rivulet will when time is ripe well out into a new source for coming wars. We must even prevent our fellow-men from growing accustomed to the terrific war-deeds. If we in an indifferent manner begin to accept the evil doing, if we look upon the terrors on the battlefields with a more and more blunt insensibility, then we can pity ourselves more than the combatants, because this is synonymous with losing our soul, our only link with the Divine.

Friends, let us with love and compassion fight for that peace, harmony, and spiritual evolution which men with weapons in hand never can bring about. Violence is for the weak and faint-hearted. Non-violence for the fearless and daring. The spiritual occultist can give his life in defense of others, but never, under any circumstances, take the life of his nearest brother: a human being.

Let us equip all our possibilities and capacities spiritual and otherwise, and through multifold connected efforts try to find an enduring way out of this meaningless, debasing insanity. It is a fact that if a minority can establish a storm of violence, then a minority can even sing this storm into quiet and repose. Heaven itself helps those who possess sufficient conviction and will-power to fight for and collaborate with the White Brotherhood. But mind you, this requires other means in times of darkness and bewilderment than in happy days of peaceful lodge-work.

Please, Theosophists, make a proposal, and we shall indeed follow the spiritually wisest.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition