The Theosophical Forum – May 1941


Seek this wisdom by doing service, by strong search, by questions and humility. — Bhagavad-Gita

To ask a question, is commonly supposed to be one of the easiest things in the world; but is this so certain? Dull-witted people, whose interests are mainly centered in material things, go through life confronted at every step by problems of vital importance, and yet they never seem to reach the point of being able to make a clear-cut statement of their difficulty in the form of a question, a proceeding which not infrequently evokes the answer that is sought.

The vague perplexity of those animal-minded people, whom Pythagoras called "the living dead," may be compared to the effect of burning gun-powder in the open air — a few faint puffs, a flash, a little smoke, and nothing more. But when a man of more advanced development faces a problem which is vitally important for him to solve, it is like a man with a rifle, who rams his charge into the barrel and takes aim at a definite target. The dynamic demand of a man of this type is marked by concentration and direction.

A true question is not a negative thing: it is more than an intellectual void, a hole in the mind. A true question is an appeal to the Higher Law, and contains within itself that positive force for attracting its answer to which Madame Blavatsky refers in her dedication to The Secret Doctrine. "This work I dedicate to all true theosophists, in every country, and of every race, for they called it forth, and for them it was recorded."

Theosophists of past ages, like single drops before a shower, were coming back for reincarnation in ever-increasing numbers, and were eagerly looking around for a modern restatement of that which had been their support in lives long since gone by. Scattered here and there over the earth, and for the most part unknown to each other, they actually succeeded in making an appeal which was collectively of sufficient intensity to induce the custodians of the Old Wisdom Religion to impart a generous measure of the stored-up wealth which they hold in trust for future humanity.

These experienced guardians never make the mistake, so common among other teachers, of answering questions before they are asked; but when we are goaded on to desperation by insistent need, to the point of formulating a question, and ask it in the right way, they impart out of their treasury with no niggard hand.

Our very consciousness of a void within, which no accumulation of material things or merely intellectual learning can satisfy, is a clear proof of that spark of Divinity which sleeps within the clod of animal man,

Irks care the crop-full bird?
Frets doubt the maw-crammed beast?

The measure of our dissatisfaction is the measure of our inward greatness, and contains the promise of our ultimately receiving the answers to the questions that we put.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition