Kirby Van Mater, Chairman
Wilhelm Oehrens, Translator
Kirby Van Mater: Companions, we welcome you here this evening, and thank you for coming to this informal gathering. Without any more to say I will introduce to you the leader of the Theosophical Society, Mr. James A. Long. After the meeting tonight the leader would like to make the acquaintance of each of you.
JAL: I am going to stand up just for one brief second, and then will sit down right away and be informal. I want you all to feel at home.
I think I will tell you how this particular arrangement of the chairs came about. I had arranged by telephone from Stuttgart to have a room here in the hotel for our meeting. But I did not know until this afternoon how the room was set up; and when the porter showed me this room with the tables arranged exactly like this with the chairs around them, I almost thought I was in the Hotel Raleigh in Washington, D. C., where I conducted roundtable discussions for about a year with chairs and tables arranged just like this. I thought to myself: why not leave them just as they are, as we are not going to have more than twenty or thirty people, and it would give us a chance to talk together? So here we are.
I have not planned to give any formal lecture; and particularly when the group is small, I prefer to come more directly to the things that may be on the minds of the members, and think out loud together with them about those questions. It does not matter whether they are personal — I do not mean intimate personal questions — but questions about theosophy and the work, whatever they may be. I feel really quite pleased that the meeting is of this size. We have had all kinds of meetings since we came to Holland for the Utrecht Congress, and each one has been different. And this one is different in that I feel very much at home just sitting here with you and wanting to think with you.
Mr. Zeitler: Could you tell us where the greatest number of members is in Germany?
JAL: Do you mean at which meeting was the greatest number of members present?
Mr. Zeitler: No, where we have the greatest number of members, whether in Stuttgart or Munich, or where?
JAL: I would say Munich. The meeting there was held in the Deutsches Museum. There were seats for about 200, and not only were all the seats filled, but a few were standing along the aisle. All were not members of the Munich Branch. Only about 180 were members. But your question gives me the key as to what I want to say now.
This present tour as well as my trip around the world in January have and had a very basic central purpose which I did not fully recognize in January, and which I have only recognized fully since I became leader, and I think I will talk to you a moment about that, for it ties in to the general question about where the greatest number of members is.
Those of us who have been in the Society for a while and have studied theosophy seriously, have all learned sooner or later in our studies that true theosophy and its effect upon the individual and the world is more an inner thing than an outer thing. And as I have gone around on this trip I have found in practically every case, in every town and in every country, that the experiences of the past several decades have more or less conspired to help us lose sight of that basic fact. As a result, I found lodges practically everywhere, no matter whether they were large or small lodges, literally worried to death as to what they might do to work harder and do more for the Society and the work. Invariably, one of the first questions that has been asked me everywhere was: What can we do to spread theosophy more? They had tried every kind of thing, but were not satisfied with the results. So it became necessary to review with them and think with them about the real purpose of the Society in the world, and help them penetrate the veil of misunderstanding and get to the truth of the situation: that if we did not do anything about the inner aspect of it in our individual and lodge cases, we could not expect to get much result on the outer plane. The inner in reality is the cause; and the outer is the effect. And since we as theosophists are interested primarily in causes rather than effects, insofar as solving any problems are concerned, it became very evident that we should analyze the causes. Then if we get the correct causes into operation, the effects would take care of themselves and be good.
On the surface what I have said may sound as if the Theosophical Society and its members were in pretty bad shape. That is not the case and that is not the impression I am trying to create at all. I can say this without any hesitation whatever, that the true work of the Society and its Masters is on a more sound basis than it ever has been in its history. The evidence of that sound basis and condition is not in the number of members we have in the Society, because mere numbers in a Society do not indicate its true value in spiritual qualifications. This Society of ours could have hundreds of thousands of members if that was what we were primarily interested in. All we would have to do is a little bit of advertising and talking and making a simple appeal to the selfish side of human nature in our fellowmen, and we could fill the largest hall in Hamburg by offering a spiritual reformation in the soul of each individual in ten weeks' time for so many dollars, and we would get scores of members. However, we would not be able to produce the reformation of the soul on that basis. We are not interested in that sort of promoting of the theosophic work. We are interested in helping our fellowmen to understand thoroughly the words of the Master Jesus when, asked how he performed his miracles, he said: "It is not I that do these things, but the Father within me. These things that I do, ye shall do also, and even greater things." Theosophically speaking, he was telling his disciples and the people who asked that question, that every human being — his disciples, you and I — have within us a spark of divinity which if we do our part will unfold in our natures and characters so that we will be able to do the things that the Master Jesus did, and even greater, not as miracles but as perfectly natural results of spiritual development. That of course does not happen in ten easy lessons! That takes many lifetimes. But the point I am making is that each one of us does have that divine spark residing within us, and our duty to the world is to help as many of our fellowmen as possible realize the same thing, and by our example help them to help themselves unfold that divinity in their own natures. That is not too hard to understand.
In going around on this trip, however, it was a little difficult at first to help the membership to realize that we too, as FTS, no matter how long we might have been members, have the same job to do with ourselves: not just to sit and talk about it, and listen to what the leader or anybody else may have to say about it, but to work from day to day in trying to make of ourselves examples of what theosophy really means. And the only way we can do that, as I see it, is to do our duty as it comes naturally before us from day to day. I think we all know from sad experience in our early days in theosophy that when we neglected our job, or our families, or any other duties that we had lying before us, in order to work for theosophy, we soon found ourselves in a very unhappy position, not only in our professional contacts and experience, but with our families and friends. We may often have felt: "I haven't had time to give to theosophy now for a week, a month, or a couple of months, and I am falling down on the job as a member of the Society"; whereas in reality that is not the case. Since the true basis is inner rather than outer, then that which we do to strengthen and brighten the inner aspect of our natures and characters will have an effect when it reaches the outer aspect of our experience far, far beyond our conception. That may sound intangible, as I said this afternoon to a member at the hotel, but we know that the further along — or the higher up, however you want to consider it — in the realm of consciousness we go, the more dynamic and the stronger is its effect when it reaches the outer plane.
In all of this, I am not referring to anything of a phenomenalistic nature. I am not talking about psychism or the working with the psychic part of our consciousness; that is not at all what I mean. I mean the spiritual part of our consciousness, however little we understand it. The very fact that we have not understood has allowed us to overlook it and miss using it in furthering the work of the Society. At least we fail to use it consciously in the work. Naturally, we have been using the spiritual part of our nature unconsciously, or the Society today would not be on as firm a foundation as it is. But the time has now come, having started up the arc of this century, to work more consciously with the spiritual aspect of theosophy and our own characters and natures.
In order to help the membership, it has become my responsibility to carry on in a more outward manner that which Colonel Conger started in the beginning of his administration in an inner way, and which became noticeable outwardly about a year before he passed on, and that is a more active understanding of practical occultism or practical theosophy.
In my use of the words practical occultism, I do not refer to the occult sciences, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, astrology, numerology, and all the rest of the gamut of "ologies." I am speaking of practical altruism, because occultism in its purest sense is altruism per se. Thus it has become my task in going around the world, and on this trip, to try here and there to help the members realize that the real progress of the work, and the real strength of the Society, has been brought about by the spiritual activities of its membership; and that now, coming to this point in the history of the Movement, we as individual members and lodges must learn to work more consciously with the spiritual aspect of our responsibilities.
If we lived the Golden Rule of the Christian scriptures, we would not have to study or understand or do anything else. We would be theosophists. We must not lose sight of the fact that every sacred scripture has had its origin in what we know as theosophy or the ancient wisdom. And in every one of these sacred writings, whether they be Christian, Buddhist, Taoist, or what not, with the keys supplied by theosophy we will find the same teaching that we have given us in our theosophical doctrines. There is a parallel the whole way through.
I will end my comments by getting back again to the gentleman's question, and I can say this with all truth and sincerity, that where two or three theosophists are gathered together in the true spirit of the work, there will be the force of the Masters also; and the more they feel right inside and have the right attitude toward their duties and responsibilities, with an innate and strong desire to be of help to their fellowmen, they will contribute far more to the work of the Society than a lodge of 500 people who do not attract one ounce of the Lodge force in their outer studies and activities. I think I have talked enough now.
Wilhelm Struebig: Why don't we have the principle of demanding a firm contribution of funds?
JAL: How can I answer that now at this particular time? That question has arisen at Headquarters time and time again, and there is the school of thought which wants to establish fixed dues for membership in the Society for very good reasons, because if a member wants to take part in this spiritual movement, knowing full well that spiritual values and spiritual things cannot be bought, he should certainly feel free and unhampered if he has to pay some dues for the support of the administrative work that is necessary; and that if he does not sacrifice anything for what he is getting, he will get very little out of what is given.
Then there is the other school of thought which feels that as soon as you establish a fixed due, a fixed amount that has to be paid, they are afraid that you are charging for the theosophy that you are giving, the spiritual values that you are giving, and that you should leave the matter entirely on a voluntary basis.
Those are the two schools of thought and here I stand right between the two of them. I have given a lot of thought to the matter for a number of years, but I am not finished with it by any means; and at this particular time, with the financial or currency problems in all of the national sections, it does pose a very difficult problem for Headquarters. Suppose, for example, we establish what we consider is a fair amount at Headquarters in American dollars. This might be then all out of proportion for Germany, England, Australia, and the other sterling bloc countries, and I don't think it would be fair to have one amount for one place, and another amount for another place.
There is another thought that has been in my mind for a long time, and has never been expressed before this night, and I have not even expressed it to any member of my staff. It is this: I am beginning to feel that it would be completely unfair to any new member to ask him to pay any fixed dues, except his registration fee, until he has had an opportunity to know what theosophy is and what it means. And then when we get to the point of where he should know, which point is going to be awfully hard to define if we consider this, then would be the time for him to begin financially to help the work. That in reality is the way it has worked automatically for members who do contribute. The more they understand the true work of the Society and what it means, the more they have given — sometimes more than they should. But some manner of approach should be developed that would help all members to recognize this at an early date in their membership. That cannot be done by rules and regulations, but must come from the inside rather than the outside. So you see we do have it on our minds, and maybe someday we will find the real answer.
Of course, that is only the Headquarters point of view. We have no policy for or against sections or individual lodges or branches themselves maintaining their own expenses. That is up to them. Some accomplish it one way, some another. Some of them don't get the money as much as they should. But that is a local situation, and each one would have to be studied separately and dealt with accordingly.
Mrs. von Krumhaar: The spirit of which you spoke is not attached to some Society. I think that there might be anywhere a man who knows nothing of theosophy, but who nevertheless has the same spirit. You will find him everywhere in groups spread about, where men are seeking and where men are realizing their responsibilities.
JAL: I think I can say in all truthfulness that in my short lifetime of 52 years I have met more people out of the Society with the real quality of theosophy in their natures than I have met in the Society, and that gives an affirmative to the words of the lady's question. Now while she did not ask this question, it was implied I think, and I should like to state the question which I sense is in her mind, and try to answer it. It is this: what is the difference then, and why should one become a theosophist or a member of the Society if there are so many men and women outside of the Society who are just as good and maybe better than a great many theosophists? Was that question implied deliberately? Does it necessarily follow?
Mrs. von Krumhaar: Yes, it does.
JAL: My answer to that is this: The Theosophical Society, whose members number very few by comparison with other organizations, is under the direct watchfulness of, and has been formed and brought into being by, those Masters of Wisdom whom we know are the guardians of humanity. Some people may not believe in those Masters; but we do. And some of us know that they are members of a high order of inner spiritual strength that does act as a protection to the human race. When they together with Madame Blavatsky started the Theosophical Society in 1875, they hoped to form a formal organization through which they could work in the outer world, in which organization there would develop a group of individuals who had as their objective the self-conscious, self-directed evolution of their own characters, under a specific study of ancient and known rules and teachings, that would equip them ultimately, possibly after many incarnations, to be conscious helpers of those helpers of mankind.
With that preliminary comment, the difference between a theosophist who is trying to be a theosophist and who has pledged himself to that responsibility, and the individual, not a member but who may perhaps have even a stronger aspiration in his heart, is that the former is working in a stream or current which is spiritually charged with a conscious element, which gives him a doubly harder job to do because of that fact, than the individual who has not put himself within the influence of that conscious spiritual current. That is no reflection, however, on the nonmember.
Mrs. von Krumhaar: Do you mean that the one who is in the stream has a double burden?
JAL: Even if he does not do a thing, he has a double burden to begin with the moment he consciously pledges himself. He does not pledge himself to any Master or to any leader, or to any lodge or to any individual. He pledges himself to his own higher self and that automatically — even without making a move, inner or outer — puts a double burden on him. That is why our Society is small in number.
Mrs. von Krumhaar: I was thinking that Albert Schweitzer, for example, has taken the same responsibility.
JAL: That is perfectly all right for anyone to believe that. I don't feel the same about it; but who am I to lay before the lady or anyone else proofs? That is an inner thing, which only our own experience will prove or disprove. There are ever so many fine good people in the world, lots of them; the more there are, the better. But we in the Society have a conscious responsibility which has a one-pointed objective which no other organization in the world has, and therefore no organization in the world could be like this organization. There may be other organizations with the same name, but they don't have the same one-pointed objective, in which the occult chain or link with that force that brought the Society into being has remained unbroken.
It is awfully easy to seek spiritual enlightenment and find things here and there that would satisfy a certain portion of our inner constitution, and make us feel good, and help us to a higher level of consciousness and broader understanding of our fellowmen. All of that is good; but I know of no organization in the world that is linked up consciously and deliberately and absolutely with the program such as ours, with the concrete objective to form a nucleus of a universal brotherhood. Now we have all heard a lot about brotherhood, and there are many brotherhood organizations in the world; I am happy that they exist. But again, they are not consciously linked up with that force that is expressing itself in this age deliberately through a specific organization chosen by that force to represent it and carry its responsibilities in the world. I cannot go very much further than that without getting into an aspect of that question which would not be spoken of in a group. That is not meant as an evasion. If I have time I hope we might have just a few words with you after the meeting, and I think I can give you a clear reason why I say what I do.
Mr. Guenther: I should like to know something about the manner or the attitude of churches toward the Society. The churches are not tolerant of us; how are the experiences of Headquarters regarding this problem?
JAL: In answering that, I will try to cover a little wider area than the question itself. The progress of civilization moves westward, and if we draw a dividing line between east and west as we know it, we will find that to the degree that we move west from that line, the tolerance toward theosophy increases. This may graduate very little, but it is noticeable. Now I don't mean that it moves like a curtain, and that everything behind that line, or in front of it, is all the same. There are of course individual circumstances. But generally speaking, and particularly in our country for example, we notice that the eastern part is less tolerant than the Middle West, and the West still more tolerant than the Middle West. But the southern part of the East is more intolerant than the northern part. And that general principle holds fairly well.
Aside from the Catholic Church itself, the Protestant churches, with the exception of those denominations which still hold to the evangelistic type of creed, are gradually becoming more and more broadminded, though this is not a general thing yet by any means. Nevertheless, there is an increasing number of broadminded ministers or clergymen, particularly in the Unitarian and the Congregational Churches, where you can hear sermons by clergymen which could very easily have come from a theosophist. Occasionally we get reports here and there of ministers in their pulpits actually referring to theosophy and H. P. Blavatsky and her Secret Doctrine. That does not happen often, but I feel reasonably certain from the few instances I know of that many of the clergymen have in their libraries, not where their congregations see them, copies of The Secret Doctrine and other theosophical books. The most recent example of what I mean was the clergyman who married Colonel Conger and Mrs. Franklin. I was not at all surprised to find, though I did not learn it until afterwards, that this young minister received his philosophic training in the university under Charles Johnston, the translator of the Bhagavad-Gita, who was an active theosophist; and further that this young man's father, a clergyman in England, had close friends with the theosophists there, and also preached a great deal of theosophy in his sermons.
You cannot apply that to every individual community. It all depends. Even though the progress of civilization is westward, it does move exceedingly slowly. We do have an advantage in the United States because we are a very new nation. We are an infant by comparison with Germany and other European countries. I must repeat here what I have told other German audiences or groups, that the Society and the Masters are very much interested in theosophy in Western Europe at this particular time especially, because many things are going on behind the scenes that will, if we do our job, bring about a much happier situation so far as the West is concerned. When I say Western Europe and the United States, I mean that area or territory referred to by Mr. Judge and the Masters as the vital part of the world from which will come those elements which will make up the forerunners of the next root-race, which we are told will have its home in America.
Thus we can sense far more than we actually can know the importance of Western Europe at this time. But because theosophy is primarily an inner thing, and because we deal with causes rather than with effects, it is important that we as theosophists in the West do our full duty from an inner standpoint, so that however unconscious it may be to us, we will be helping Masters to help the world in the right direction. That is a long way around from your question, Sir. So many thoughts come to mind at the same time.
Peter Lindner: On my way here tonight I read that the Esoteric Section of the TS was being closed. I would like to know why.
JAL: The Esoteric Section has been closed. Colonel Conger closed it down in every place during my trip around the world.
Before I answer this specific question, I must invite the questioner's attention as well as the attention of the rest of the members to the fact that the Esoteric Section was closed, but that the Esoteric School was not. The Esoteric Section was created by HPB in 1888, nearly 14 years after the Society was founded, and it has been opened and closed and opened and closed a number of times ever since. The fact of the matter is it is closed automatically whenever a leader changes, because each leader must be allowed freedom to work in his time in the manner necessary to do a satisfactory job.
Now the Esoteric Section through the years, from HPB on, has been utilized by each leader as a training and proving ground for members of the Society who wanted to pledge themselves to a stronger effort for Masters' work, and who were willing to undergo the automatic reactions from such an effort. The Esoteric Section always represented a group of individuals who were willing to subject themselves to certain tests, tests not brought on or ordered or directed or given by the teacher or the Masters, but tests brought on by themselves in the normal course of daily life. There is an old occult law which is inviolable: in proportion to our aspirations are our difficulties. That law operates in an active theosophist in a potent manner — not in any fancy or preordained way, but in the natural course of daily events.
As an example, if you or I were in a very crowded central station, and there were a lot of people wanting to get on a certain train, and we had to get on that train faster than the others, we could elbow and nudge and work our way through that crowd and get there faster than if we had gone with the crowd. But also we would certainly run into opposition and more difficulties. That is a crude analogy. In other words, in proportion to our aspiration to get there early or first were our difficulties; and the harder we tried, the more difficulties we had.
Of course, that is a very simple example, but that is exactly what happens when we make a strong spiritual aspiration. Then in the natural events of our daily lives, we automatically are called upon to overcome many more difficulties than we would have if we just took our time.
It should be obvious that when a teacher opens the Esoteric Section for that particular type of training, that an additional amount of that spiritual force spoken of earlier would naturally be attracted to that Section by the aspirations of its membership. But we must not lose sight of the fact that we have turned the lowest point of this century; and this leads to the part of the question — why? With that turning point reached and passed, with the esoteric become exoteric, and by deduction the exoteric automatically become esoteric, that force that formerly flowed through the Esoteric Section is now flowing through the TS. Therefore all of the things that I have spoken of this evening, and everywhere I have gone, have been to help the membership recognize that fact and consciously work with it. Those who choose to accept the responsibility have a duty now as FTS to do more than ever before, taking advantage of that force, and allowing it to work in a practical manner in our lives, so that we can be of more help to each other and to our fellowmen. Does that answer your question?
Peter Lindner: Yes, thank you, Sir, it does.
Mrs. Scharnick: The angel Lucifer is referred to in our literature as the light-bringer, and that is also a fact in the Northern myths. Now in other writings he is said to be a fallen angel, and in this I can find no solution.
JAL: I am awfully sorry that The Dialogues of GdeP is not translated into German. The answer centers around the teaching about the manasaputras. When the human kingdom in the middle of the third root-race — that period which is mentioned in the Christian scriptures in the Garden of Eden story when the separation of the sexes took place and man became self-conscious individually and, as the Bible puts it, tasted from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and from then on had free will to do as he chose, making errors and mistakes and learning by them what not to do — it was at that point of the manasaputric activity when the truth of the occult story of Lucifer took place, when Lucifer was supposed to have become a fallen angel. The answer to your question is, in very truth, that Lucifer was a fallen angel and was a light-bringer also. There is absolutely no conflict in the matter whatever. The only conflict is in what certain minds attach to the fallen angel as Satan, primarily the clergy in the later interpretation of the Christian scriptures.
The simplest way I know to tell the story is by analogy. We know that as is the small, so is the great. The planets come into birth just as human beings come into birth. After a child is born and enters that period between seven and fourteen years of age, depending on the individual svabhava of the child, there is that point at which the manas, the mental aspect of his constitution, becomes incarnated, at least in measure. We can see in every child if we look, that from then on it begins to realize self-consciously that this is wrong, that is right, etc. Let us forget the little and go to the great. When this planet earth was born, it reached that point at which it was ready to receive the life-wave of humanity; then when we as a humanity reached that point at which we were ready to become self-consciously able to recognize good from wrong and receive an "incarnation" of that which we call mind or manas — when that occurred in the large with humanity as a whole, the so-called occult mystery of the descent of the manasaputras took place, and some element from an advanced human kingdom, waiting to imbody in this human kingdom and light the fire of mind in this kingdom, did just that. In reality, they were fallen angels from a higher level, but they were truly as Lucifer in man, the light-bringer. That is the story as simply as I can tell it.
Mr. Struebig: Is it not so that the form of humanity was existing at that time, but that mind or manas was lacking at that point?
JAL: That is right. The manas was there latent, as we have it today, but it was not lighted.
Mr. Struebig: The form existed and the qualities of future men were latent in this form?
JAL: That is right.
Mr. Herbert von Krumhaar: Yesterday I had a question in mind which I was wondering if it would be right to ask here, and I wrote it down: Is the conception of the Lord Living God in Christ Jesus a divinity also, and known as the Great I AM? That is to say, consciousness that can be resident in the individual as an illuminating consciousness, and again as a consciousness that descends and returns to the so-called mental reassembling eye, or that one considers to be but far more than the Not-I, as Professor Jung of Zurich once said. Is this conception in accordance with or reconcilable with Theosophy?
The Leader: I cannot answer that question, Sir, unless you explain to me what you mean by the Lord Living God in Christ Jesus. That will clarify or not clarify the whole question.
Mr. von Krumhaar: The thought comes to me at the moment, I wonder if it would be right to say a personal God. I believe what is back of my mind is the conviction that that which made Christ a God-man is really meant for every one of us to become, the same God-man.
The Leader: I think I see the difficulty, Sir. So far as our theosophical teachings are concerned, the Master Jesus was an avatara, which was neither a God-man nor a man-God, but was both, plus something else, and to make the relationship between the forepart of your question is an impossibility from a theosophic standpoint, if we recognize the fact that the Master Jesus was an avatara. In other words, for the benefit of those who may not know what an avatara is, I will briefly explain. Let us call it a conjunction of elements that create an avatara at certain karmic and cyclic periods, such as a Messianic period. There are three constituents that go to make up an avatara, which three constituents are loaned by three individual and different beings, and which by karma are prepared and capable of performing that particular act of white magic at that particular time. Those three beings in that combination will never come together again. The lower element of that combination is provided by an individual, a human being, whose constitution is ready for that responsibility. The intermediate part is provided by a Master or buddha of that Great White Lodge, also whose karma has prepared him for the task. The highest part of that constitution is provided by a higher being, of a quality higher than those beings we spoke of as mahatmas, and who might for the sake of our understanding now be said to come from those divine regions which are far beyond our mental concepts today. In fact, in a certain sense, we might even think of it in order to clarify it in the terms used by Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita when he said: At certain periods when there is an insurrection in the land, wickedness and wrong doing, I incarnate a portion of myself from age to age, and yet remain apart. That is the theosophical concept of the Master Jesus, or the Christ Jesus or the Living God.
Thus you can see that that concept is the only one that I can work with in answering any question of that nature, and how difficult it would be to relate that act of white magic known as the avatara with the I-AM and the I-Am-Not. Your thought is a beautiful, mystic one, and I say this with no criticism at all, but we are thinking out loud and trying to help each other. The thought back of your expression is really beautiful, but the danger, not a serious one, lies in our efforts to put our feelings, and our mysticism, into practice. In that approach we often lose our hold on the solid foundation of truth, get our feet off the ground, and forget the truly Jesus element that is right down in the world, working with men and helping them to help others. If we lose contact with that, then what is any philosophy worth if it does not help men to live better lives?
Mr. Strubig: I think that the teachings of Blavatsky, Judge, and so on, are good only for the only purpose of proving ultimately that mankind is of divine origin at its innermost.
JAL: Yes, that is true, but it goes a little farther than that in a general way. There again that statement is perfectly true, but yet if it is not brought down to some tangible adaptation to our own thinking, of why and how, it won't mean anything to us in our daily lives. I like to think of it in this way: Madame Blavatsky came to give to the world and to mankind some thoughts and teachings which the world had not had in any outer form at any time in this great cycle through which humanity is now and has been passing for millions and millions of years — teachings that had not been given to the world-at-large until she came. Before that they were given out only to those individuals who in the ancient Greater and Lesser Mysteries were strong enough to withstand the fires of initiation, and who were pledged, with the penalty of immediate death if they revealed any of these esoteric teachings.
In 1875 the world had earned the right to receive what was previously esoteric. During the Christian era, the things that were taught to the Master Jesus' disciples, and were given out since that time, dealt only with the threefold aspect of the human constitution — body, soul, and spirit — of which we read all through the scriptures, in St. Paul especially. But when she wrote The Secret Doctrine she gave to the world the seven principles of our constitution, the sevenfold division. This offered to the world and those who wanted to study it, a tremendous instrument of help in carrying out the ancient injunction "Man, know thyself," because if we know ourselves we know the universe — that is, if we really know ourselves. Thus the knowledge of the seven principles has helped mankind since that time far more than we realize, not only in religious and philosophic circles but in scientific circles; and you would be surprised to know how many philosophers and scientists know The Secret Doctrine, and how many students in the universities use that book. In fact, the copies of The Secret Doctrine in the university libraries are "dog-eared" and worn. Many, many individuals have used and given out the ideas and information, in their own words, in the scientific and philosophic and religious fields, which are readily recognizable as having come from and had their origin in The Secret Doctrine. That is all right. Nothing would make HPB happier if she were living today than to see that. She and the Masters do not care whether they get credit or not, so long as the world gets the benefit. I could go into a great many aspects of their value in daily life, but I think you know enough to make the relationship.
Now I think I will comment further upon Frau von Krumhaar's question which I said I would answer individually. The reason I have decided to do that is because this gentleman asked the question about the Esoteric Section, and I now can give the answer just the same as I would have individually, and which points up my meaning in what I said in a more or less veiled way before.
In this Society there has been an Esoteric Section that members could take part in, if they chose and were willing to take a specific pledge, not to anyone except to themselves. In taking that step in the Esoteric Section, they attract the attention of what I refer to as the Esoteric School, of which those very same Masters I spoke of are a part. Now I don't mean that those members get the individual personal attention of those Masters in that School, because that is not the case for many, many incarnations. But they put themselves in a position to partake of and live in and through and by that occult force flowing out from the Society into the world, and as a result you can readily see the burden placed upon the individual by himself in proportion to that which another individual might place upon himself without relationship with that force. What actually happens is that the searchlight of real occult truth is turned full upon the whole nature of the individual taking that step, upon every dark corner of his nature, wherever any error or incorrect aspect of consciousness exists, so that the bad qualities in his nature as well as the good come to the surface in the daily affairs of his life for him self-consciously to go to work on: to purify the bad, put into active service for his fellowmen the good, that he can the quicker become a real helper acceptable to those Masters who are helping and guarding the human race.
The simple fact amounts to this: that the average human being does not make contact with and work in that force, but has only to live out and work through the natural portion of karma that he came into incarnation with for this lifetime; whereas the individual taking the pledge, in so doing calls upon his shoulders the extreme portion of past karma that can possibly be borne in this lifetime, which may represent the equivalent of one, two, or three, or even four lifetimes of karma of an average individual. This Society is the only Society in the world today that has that direct relationship with the true esoteric background of the human race.
Now, I don't mean by that that the Masters do not work with anything outside of this Society. That would be ridiculous, because we know that they work anywhere and everywhere where karma permits, and they recognize the buddhic light, that spiritual light flaming in the heart of anyone, no matter who he is or where he is, or what he does, whether he is in a church, in a scientific laboratory, or anywhere. They are by occult law compelled to recognize the buddhic light, no matter where it shines; and I will tell here a little story that I have told before, to show you what I mean.
In New York, during Mr. Judge's days, there was a clergyman of a very large Episcopalian Church, who had the finest congregation in New York, large and wealthy. He was preaching theosophy — not by name, but straight theosophy — and the Bishop did not like it, and finally called him on the carpet and told him he would have to stop it or he would lose his assignment. This clergyman said to the Bishop that that would be all right with him if that was the way he felt. He could relieve him of his assignment, but he would take his congregation with him as he was not going to change his method of preaching or teaching. The Bishop did not relieve the clergyman because he knew that his congregation would follow him, and he did not want to lose that membership.
Later on this clergyman had occasion to seek the services of a lawyer, and for some reason which I do not know heard of Mr. Judge, who was a practicing attorney in New York, and went to see him at his office. When he entered Mr. Judge's office, he noticed the two pictures of the Masters — Master Morya and Master Koot Hoomi, or Masters M and KH as we call them — above Mr. Judge's desk on the wall. Hardly had he shaken hands when he looked up at Master M's picture and said to Mr. Judge: "Oh, do you know him too?"
Mr. Judge said, "Why, yes. Do you know him?"
And the clergyman replied, "Oh, yes, he comes to see me quite often."
I tell that story only to indicate that the Masters do not miss any real spiritual effort, no matter from where it comes, if that spiritual light is strong enough to attract their attention. They will not only visit or touch on the shoulder a clergyman, but we know that they have touched the shoulders of many men in high places, in government or elsewhere, and we have every reason to believe that in the creation of the United States of America they were very close to the scene. We also know that they are close to the scene at the present time, both in Europe and America, just as they were during the last war and the previous war.
That is my answer to your question as to why the burden is heavier for one in the Theosophical Society than it would be for somebody who is not.
Mrs. von Krumhaar: Thank you. Do the Masters live everywhere in the world?
JAL: The Masters themselves are located in a certain portion of Tibet, but they have made it clear that there are branches of their Order in every country in the world, but completely unknown to anyone except themselves. They never reveal the fact to anyone or they would die as soon as they did. They are not recognizable by the average person at all, because they work silently, without reward, completely selfless, getting no credit whatever, no recognition whatever, but have devoted themselves fully and completely to the work of the Great White Lodge. They may be in government positions, they may be any place, but unrecognized. But one member of the Order will recognize another member of the Order, no matter in what part of the world he is, without the need of a word or a sign or anything else. And that is part of the organization we call the guardians of humanity. It is awfully hard for many people to believe, but that is the way it is, and you have only the unsupported word of HPB and the Masters. Those who know, know. Those who don't, someday will.
I think we had better bring this meeting to a close. It is getting rather late for everyone. I want to tell you again how happy I am to meet all of you. I have had lots of fun tonight, fun in the good sense, talking with you, trying to answer your questions, and thinking about theosophy together.
I will say good night to all of you now, and say aufwiedersehen, and go upstairs and see if I cannot get a cup of coffee and go to bed. Dankeschoen.
The meeting closed at 11:30 p.m.
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