Theosophical Forum Articles

A Sower Went Forth

by Grace F. Knoche

The Theosophical Forum, March 1948, pp. 189-92

Some seed fell by the wayside, other into the stony places of the heart, still other were choked by thistle and thorn, but a few "seed fell into good ground and brought forth fruit an hundredfold." That seed was the Kingdom of Heaven, the "mustard seed," the "least of all seeds," but yet the "greatest." But while "men slept, the enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way."

Thus when the seed of Light sprung up some 2000 years ago, the tares of Darkness appeared, and there was confusion, indecision, dismay. And when the servants (those who 'served,' disciples) questioned: "Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?" the Sower replied: Nay, for both the good and the evil will ye root up. "Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn."

When H. P. Blavatsky went forth in 1875 carrying the selfsame seed for the new Messianic sowing, some seed again fell by the wayside, other among stone and thistle; but a few seed entered fertile hearts and brought forth fruit an hundredfold. That fruit is the present Theosophical Movement whose very existence today as a vital spiritual factor in world regeneration is proof of its tested 'virtue.' For that seed is the seed of the Lodge, seed which has withstood the searching trial of spiritual examiners for millenniums.

The lesson of the Piscean age is the lesson of today: that where there is the greatest good, so also will the greatest of evil be; that while 'men sleep' in things of the spirit, the enemies of mankind work; that once the evil is sowed, it cannot be uprooted but must wait until the karmic reapers of the future descend to separate the wheat from the tares. But let it be clear that while the sowing is in process the will is free; yet once the reapers appear, there is no redress, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap. He that soweth of corruption, shall reap corruption, but "he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

For seventy-five years now the "wheat" of Occultism and the "tares" of diabolism have grown abundant, side by side, until the world scarce can distinguish the true from the false. The harvest time of the 'occult century' (1875-1975) is at hand; the reapers are here. The separation of the tares of destruction, of crystallization, from the wheat of progress, of enlightenment, must be made, and made soon, before the fruit of the past sowing is lost.

That the harvest is at hand should be cause for strength, not weakness; cause for hope, not despair. For the age-old law remains: he that sowed corruption will reap corruption; but he that sowed to the Spirit shall, inevitably, regardless of what the world may think, reap of the Spirit. The sowing of men, of nations, of races, has indeed been mixed; but who can tell what percentage of "wheat'' there may not be in the karmic fruitage. The least may indeed become the greatest, and he who may have spent a lifetime in tragic frustration of the spirit may find himself — because of deeply rooted karmic merit — when the threshing is complete, gathered "into the barn" of a true mystery-school.

Keenly alert to the world's need, to the cry from the wilderness of pain, the Spiritual Guardians have watched with patient care the growing of the "mustard seed" sown by H. P. Blavatsky, watched the "tree," tended and nurtured by succeeding Tillers, become well-nigh strangled with the overgrowth of pseudo-occult, neo-theosophic, tares. That the world, hearing might understand, seeing might discern, a pruning and a shaping were required. Today, with the "tree" strong through the buffeting of karmic storm, the publication of The Dialogues of G. de Purucker comes like a breath of the Spirit through the branches thereof. For here in the now public record of the Katherine Tingley Memorial Group we are taken into the circle of the esoteric atmosphere, and we receive therefrom exactly what we bring.

If we come seeking merely the outward perfection of verbal truth, we shall find but a scattered handling of meta- and ultra-physical subjects. If we search with the eye of intellect, we may find a jigsaw puzzle of amazing brilliance whereby our brain may be whetted to pierce through the maze of Rounds and Races, Globes and Monads, Dhyan-Chohanic Failures and Lost Souls. If our hearts yearn for comfort, solace and strength, we shall find cooling springs of the spirit bring surcease from pain. Finally, if we approach the mystery-teaching stripped of self-thought, with a desire only to serve, then the "barn" may indeed become the "Garden of Delight" wherein we "enter in peace," as did Rabbi Aqiba, and "leave in peace," with the divine illumination of the Sun streaming through our aura, for truly within these pages there may be an opening of the door into Light.

Let it not be thought that the "barn" of the mysteries consists merely in deeper revelation of secret thought. This is the least of Their aims. Discipleship is not experienced by ritual, by formal degrees, but solely by life itself. It is useless to attempt to "enter" where no pathway has first been cleared by aspiration, dedication, unflagging will. The words of G. de P. when pleading to his students to recognize their pledged responsibility are all that need be said:

You don't know what this School may be in the future. You don't know what you may be called upon to do; and I don't want those who are ignorant of their esoteric duty in the School. I don't want any weak links in our chain. I dare not have them. You have had your chance. You have been given more than outer students for many, many centuries in the world's history have been given; and what you have received will remain as a precious treasury in your hearts and minds until you die.

But I want strong men and women in this Group, who are not only willing, but able, to live up to their Pledge: to take that Pledge and study it and realize what it means, and be proud of it. . . . I would liefer have a hundred men and women upon whom I could depend than one hundred thousand weaklings, forming a weak chain, a chain of straw. And in this Degree, oh, how little you are called upon to do — practically nothing, babies' play! You don't know what it is to belong to the Higher Degrees, you have no conception of it.

In the Higher Degrees you are tested by Life, by the forces of Nature, which test and wring every fiber of your being. That is the way in which the real tests come: heart and mind, soul and spirit, will and consciousness, all are tried. It is like the gold which is cast into the flaming furnace; and like it you must come out purified. — K.T.M.G. PaperNine, March 26, 1930, (I, 353-4)

To discover that there does exist "a school of esoteric training among men," that there is a "line of authentic specific esoteric teaching. . . an agency in the world for transmitting direct, specific instruction in the teachings of the esoteric part of the Ancient Wisdom-Religion of Humanity" (p. 107) is a source of deep spiritual strength.

To recognize the line of living Teachers who prune and shape the growing tree of aspiration in the heart of the pupil, is a deeper source of strength.

The seed of the Lodge grows only in the chastened heart, the purified soul, and the determined character of him who wills to join the Brotherhood.

Theosophical University Press Online Edition