Perhaps every person here this afternoon has some conception of the beauty and profound spirituality of the Theosophical teachings. Intelligent, thinking men and women, everywhere are beginning to recognise that the serenity and inner joyousness of students of Theosophy is based on that fundamental teaching that we are all Divine Beings, that all that lives is rooted in Godhood, forming a vast universal unity which makes Brotherhood a logical fact beyond question.
Our subject this afternoon takes us into some of the deeper reaches of this teaching. If you can take it into your hearts and truly consider it, you will soon realize the reverence and the sense of sacredness with which Theosophists view Life. The perspective it unfolds reveals the necessity of concentrated direction of one's faculties through countless lives toward an ever wider expansion of consciousness, of understanding, as we grow into at-one-ment with the great souls who have gone before us in their own self-directed evolution.
These teachings have been formulated by Master Minds, by the Gods who descended at the opening of humanity's self-conscious drama. They taught the more advanced of humanity the Arts and Sciences and having laid the foundation for the grand ancient civilizations, they placed these teachings in the hands of the Flowers of humanity, the Masters who guard and watch over this heritage of all beings.
We are taught that we are linked through our own Divine, Spiritual nature with the chain of Great Teachers, and also with the Planetary, Solar and Galactic Beings which make up Manifested Universes. They are all titanic Spiritual Beings who have advanced from being men to become Gods with vastly enlarged responsibilities and, even then, a growing realization of Divine Reality.
Man, himself, is a Universe in Miniature. In order to live and learn on this planet, he uses countless lesser evolving beings in the make-up of his various sheaths of consciousness. His body is fabricated of life atoms for which he is responsible; the vital life of the Universe that flows through him enlarges his strict accounting for the influences he emanates. The thoughts which he contributes to the World Thought are a sacred charge, and beyond, guarding and guiding his human self, is the much more advanced Being, his Spiritual, Divine, Monadic Self — which we cannot see with our eyes, but can sense with our intuition.
Love is the key-note of the whole hierarchical scheme — Love, compassion, sympathy and complete understanding, extended always to the lesser beings by those who have been through the tests and trials of lower spheres, and stand waiting on the threshold of a higher plane to help all below to move upward.
That is why Theosophy is a doctrine of such immense Hope and Beauty. We are growing toward ensoulment in our Greater Self, toward spiritual recognition of the marvelous manner in which we are rooted in the heart life of the successively grander beings.
The Buddhas who are a line of the Hierarchy of Compassion, serve higher Teachers as they take their duties on the millions of planets — in grades of responsibility. They inspire and urge forward the spiritual evolution of great cycles or rounds, of whole root-races of advancement. They appear and teach this doctrine, then continue to live after their visible cycle in a body appropriate to Man's higher faculties. They direct the Masters and their Messengers in a continuous silent protection of our chance to grow into true humanhood. They form a guardian-wall about us, keeping back cosmic forces that would annihilate us. They help us continuously and we never know it.
If we cherish every urge to unselfish living, to impersonal effort, we are recognising our kinship and our loving Help from this background of Love and Compassion which makes life so wonderful.
Each planet that appears visibly has more ethereal globes on inner planes where beings dwell in progressively more material vestures until, in Nature's grand scheme, men are ready for the tests of the kind of gross planet we walk on now. But each globe is a living being, moving in obedience to Nature's Laws. Each has its invisible, spiritual, Divine Self. Each is the channel for Divine Life currents that sustain the beings that make up its body.
All sense of superficial thought about knowing what the Divine Reality is back of Universal Manifestation falls away when we try to imagine something of the Grandeur of the Wondrous Being that is the Higher Self of the entire constitution of even this Earth.
Reading from Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, by G de Purucker:
As the Summit of our Hierarchy is One, the Root of our ens, in which we "move and live and have our being," as the Christian Apostle Paul puts it; so similarly in the spiritual-psychological Hierarchy there is a One in whom we are all rooted, in whom psychologically and mystically and religiously, yea and inspirationally, we live. This One is the Great Initiator, the Great Sacrifice, the Wondrous Being referred to by H. P. Blavatsky; the Supreme Head of the Hierarchy of the Teachers. From it originally come our noblest impulses through our Higher Selves; from it come the life and aspiration we feel, stirring oft in our minds and hearts; from it, through our higher natures, come the urge to betterment, the sense of loyalty and troth, all the things which make life holy and bright and high and well worth living. — p. 182
Now just stop and imagine yourself looking up at the evening sky — seeing the flowing river of Suns that we call the Milky Way. We cannot look up at the Radiant Beings that begem the sky without marvelling, if we know they are all gods in some stage of evolution.
What is the Sun? We see its radiant body — but do we stop to think that it is our giver of Life, our channel of the Divine Life of the Universe? It is the Heart and Brain of the whole Solar System. We could not live a moment without it. We are rooted in its soul-life, from it we learn the spirit of giving, of serving in a grand scheme; for it is but a ray — a child of that Raja Sun which is the heart of the Galaxy — that Milky Way, made up of millions of such sun-children — each the channel for its solar family.
As far as we wish to extend this analogy, we can envision still grander millions of galaxies, making up the constitution of grander beings until we stop before the immensity of such Truth. Our faculties reach their limit, yet we are taught that the grandest entity we can conceive of is but a speck in the Boundless Life. The analogy is correct also in this respect, turning again to Dr. de Purucker's Fundamentals:
That if we made it universal, kosmic, we would say that that Inexpressible ONE, which is the Utmost of the Utmost, and the Inmost of the Inmost, of our Kosmical Universe, comprising the greatest boundaries of the Milky Way: corresponds to all within the Milky Way as our human ego corresponds to the infinitesimal atomic universes which compose its own physical body. The symbology is there: the correspondence is there; and it is by the correspondence that we are striving to explain somewhat of the Mystery, how the One becomes the Many; not because the One "descends into Matter" or becomes "many" materially and literally. Not at all. But in the same way that the sun is an immense and exhaustless reservoir of vital, psychic and spiritual rays, sending them out through billions of years, exhaustlessly; in the same way the Hierarchical Wondrous Being of Kosmic Magnitude, through its inferior but high Wondrous Beings of various degrees, enlightens us and uplifts us and inspires us, and leads us onward and upward towards immortality, for aye doing its best, through Its own spiritual Ray within us, to illumine and lighten our material corruptibility, in order to make it incorruptible; that from Personality we may enter Individuality; "that from darkness, we may go forth in Light"! And the time will come when we shall do this Work and become incorruptible consciously, working with Nature and becoming one with her; for, just as this Wondrous Being is the foundation force back of and behind all that we call Nature, so that same Wondrous Being in far-gone former Manvantaras was then a Man. even as you and I now are. Such we shall become, if we run the Kosmic race successfully! Wonderful, inspiring thought! — p. 201
These ideas form the Esoteric background of all great civilizations, of all great Literature and Art. They are the heart Teachings of every Messenger that ever came from the Hierarchy of Compassion.
The great and peaceful ones live regenerating the world like the coming of Spring, and after having themselves crossed the ocean of embodied existence, help those who try to do the same thing, without personal motives. — Sankaracharya
This is the theme of all Oriental Art — of the Serene Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Kwan Yins. At the Fine Arts Gallery, pause before that great old Kwan-Shai-Yin that was carved a thousand years ago from a great tree by some Chinese Initiate artist. Look at it. It is the Higher Self — seen and realized! It is the Self of the Earth — the Wondrous Being of the Cosmos.
This glorious truth is the reason Hymns to the Sun were the invocations of all Ancient peoples. Thus, in the Mahabharata, the great epic of old India, Yudhishthira said, "Thou art, O Sun, the eye of the Universe! Thou art the soul of all corporeal existence! Thou art the origin of all things! Thou art the embodiment of the acts of all religious men!"
This, dear friends, is the pathway of Initiation, the way for the strong of heart to become channels for the Inner Splendor — going step by step into self-conscious at-one-ment with the Great Beings. From heart to heart may we go in the Sublime realization of True Compassion and Love.