The Theosophical Forum – February 1940

WAY OF LIVING (1) — H. D. Roderick

In The Theosophical Path for January 1919, appealing for sanity and just settlement by negotiation of international disputes, Katherine Tingley wrote among other things passages some of which are extracted below:

The New Way must be the way of Knowledge, of Unselfishness, of Love, of Justice, and of making the principles of Theosophy absolutely pure and strong in our lives. We may preach for eternity, we may have the greatest educational systems, the greatest writers, artists, poets, we may have everything to inspire us to right action, but if we have not begun to build within ourselves and to feel the necessity of finding something more within ourselves than we have had in the past; unless we can become something greater and grander than ordinary men and women, and know that we are something more than merely intellectual, mere flesh and blood, we are on the Wrong Path. We must reach a point where we can feel the power of the Soul and use it for the betterment of our nation — of all nations. There must be perpetual peace. We must constantly and persistently work for it: if we do not we shall retrograde, and in a few years we shall have a war of nations more terrible than ever known.

Now, twenty years after this great-hearted, great-souled Leader of the Theosophical Society delivered her message and warning to the whole world, we stand before a Frankenstein of our own making. Verily, and alas, has the voice of Theosophy been as one in a wilderness.

Many are they who have listened and who have been intellectually entertained; few are they indeed who have consistently endeavoured to make Theosophy a living power in life. We must take our share of the responsibility therefore, for have we done that which we were asked to do? K. T. says: —

Turn to the right Path! This is my pleading: "Find yourselves! Those who have not Theosophy, seek it; those who have it, cling to it, love it — hold to its teachings and make it a living power, not only in your own lives but in the lives of all your fellow-men. The storms and trials and sorrows that we now see raging in human life are indications of the passing away of the old order of things. All that we have to do is to seize our opportunities, to do faithfully our duties as they lie before us, ingrain in the very atmosphere in which we live the finer vibrations of the Higher Law, study and work, love and serve. Bid the Christos Spirit come forth and enter upon the noble work now — for the woes of humanity are great."

Our woes come upon us because we are ignorant of, or indifferent to, spiritual things; we live in mental states, most of our lives, no wider than a parish square, and gull ourselves into believing we are the only people who matter or have ever mattered, and that the great white Universe exists 'just for us,' 'just for me,' perhaps: 'I' dominate all things, or if 'I' don't 'I' shall soon get the other fellow's possessions!

"The Kingdom of God is within you." "The Spirit dwelleth within." So declares the New Testament. So have declared the Buddha Gautama and all Teachers of men of spiritual standing; yet even so men will gull themselves that Divinity is something hypothetical outside themselves. Maybe it is convenient to believe that way; saves one bothering about it possibly. But there it is: man obviously is a composite entity, a child of Spirit and Matter; or shall we say: Man is a soul, immortal in its higher consciousness, mortal in its bodies or lower consciousness, and in between 'higher' and 'lower' are mutations of both qualities: Can't you see this truth yourselves? Beauty and beast in every heart. Some men live wholly in the beast consciousness, bending mind in order to be a worse beast: such a one is selfishness personified. The other type, who live in the immortal part, are wholly Selfless, pure unselfishness, the beneficent ones of history (or otherwise), men who leave behind them an aeon of blessings, Love, and Laws of Compassion. The Higher Self builds; the lower self more often destroys all that sane men hold sacred.

Now then — have not we men all these things in our consciousness: i. e. have we not all the propensity to do good and evil? What then will ye? The only reason; the sole reason why people convince themselves they are worms and incurable sinners is because they have never tried (perhaps) evoking from within them any other ideas. God is a word which comes from the word of ancient usage — Goode — meaning 'The Good,' and if you tell me that man has no good in him, meaning no Godness, then I pray you have another look at yourself within; and if another look tells you that God is something entirely apart and separate from you, then be sure such a one has the craze of domination — cure him!


1. Reprinted from Y Fjorwm Theosoffaidd (Cardiff, Wales), October, 1939. (return to text)

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