The Theosophical Forum – January 1941


Some people say they are so occupied with daily cares that they have no time for Theosophy. But this is nonsense and shows that they have not grasped what Theosophy is. It is true that it includes deep studies which demand much time; but apart from this, Theosophy is a way of looking at life. However preoccupied we may be with the daily task, we cannot help thinking; everybody has some philosophy of life, though he may not call it by that name; and surely it is better to have a right philosophy which will help you to face life than a wrong one which will make life more difficult. The advantage of Theosophy is that it explains the problems of life instead of teaching doctrines that do not agree with our experience.

Take the question of the duality of human nature. That is a fact which everyone knows well enough from his own experience, both in his own character and in the characters of his associates. This fact cannot be explained away and must be faced; but if we can understand the reason for it we shall be better able to grapple with it. Sometimes it has been called the angel and the demon in man, or man's higher self and lower self.

We all know that our mind is a battle-ground of opposing forces — those that make for peace and happiness, and those that make for trouble. But what too many do not realize is that every man has within him the power to determine his own destiny. We have in our nature unfathomable depths, and this is a fact which not all the dogmas of science or religion can do away with. Who has sounded the depths of human nature? Who dare set limits to the power of the human spirit? This is a time when each man is called upon to stand on his own feet and manfully assert the power of his own individuality against any doctrines which may teach him that he is only an improved animal or that he is a helpless miserable sinner.

There are various movements of self-culture, New Thought, etc., which teach the calling forth of our innate powers, but there is no definite body of scientific teachings behind. Theosophy, with its teachings as to the sevenfold constitution of man, gives the clue to the problem. Man is not a mere collection of instincts and desires and fancies; he is not merely an improved animal; nor is he the plaything of indifferent cosmic forces, or a poor helpless creature doomed by deity to play a sorry and incomprehensible part. Man is essentially a divine being, a god dwelling in a tabernacle of clay. There are "humanist" movements, which concentrate on making human nature the chief thing; and they are right so far, but they do not know enough about human nature and its possibilities. The essential divinity of man, the sevenfold nature of man, Reincarnation, the doctrine of Karman: these are some of the things which must be understood if we are to understand human nature. And Theosophy explains them all.

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