We live in a very interesting age, Companions, a time when history is in the making. I do not think that in the recorded annals that are open to us at the present time there has ever been an epoch when serious-minded students of the Ancient Wisdom, which we call Theosophy, have the opportunities that now we have. It is precisely the stress and the strain which are opening our hearts and tearing the veils away from our minds. It is the same thought that our Masters have told us applies to kali-yuga, the Iron Age, a hard, rigid age where everything moves intensely and intensively and where everything is difficult; but precisely the age in which spiritual and intellectual advancement can be made most quickly. There actually have been ages in the past when chelas or students have longed for conditions to be more difficult than they were, to give them the chance to advance faster.
In the Golden Age, which it is beautiful to dream about, in the so-called Age of Saturn, in the age of man's innocence, everything moved smoothly and beautifully and all surrounding being co-operated to make everything beautiful and pleasant; and there is something in our hearts that yearns to return to it; but it is not what the chela longs for. He longs for opportunity; he longs to climb; he longs to test what is in him, to grow from within.
Isn't it a strange paradox that the hardest, crudest, of all the yugas is precisely the one in which the quickest advancement can be gained? I think there is a world of wisdom in this thought; and I speak of it tonight because only a few days ago I received a most pathetic communication from one of "Ours" who wanted to know if there was not something good in the kali-yuga: if mankind had to go under without hope. Why it is the very time when the chances are the most frequent for progress! It is the opportunity-time.
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