Vital necessity of increasing membership — Quotations from H.P.B.'s first message to American Convention, 1888 — Danger of T. S. becoming merely a sectarian body —"The philosophy of the rational explanation of things" — One of the best ways of increasing membership by study of technical Theosophy — Support given to fraternization efforts by members of Adyar — Caution against too quick an absorption from other Theosophical Societies — Essence of fraternization work an attempt to re-introduce the Theosophy of the Masters and H. P. B.
DEAR COMPANIONS AND BROTHERS:
It is at the request of Trevor Barker, the President of the English Section of the T. S., that I am writing to you these paragraphs of greeting and good-will, during the course of which I shall take occasion to lay before you a number of thoughts which live with me constantly as urgent needs for the larger expansion of our sacred Cause, and which I venture to pass on to you all.
The pressure of my official duties here at the International Headquarters does not enable me to come into personal touch with our Fellowship, whether attached or unattached, and whether by personal interview or by writing, as often as my heart would wish it to be; and it is therefore just these messages of mine, sent to different Conventions of a national or of an international character, which enable me to present to you problems to be solved, and suggestions for their solution, and other suggestions for expanding our Work.
The revolving years, integrating themselves into cycles both large and small, bring with them new conditions which, both as a Society and as individual Theosophists, we have to face, and face successfully if our work is to be carried on into the future in the manner which we all long for; yet the experience of long years passed in work and study of the Theosophical Cause has shown me that on the whole such conditions as arise in the different National Sections from time to time are always adequately met, or very nearly always, by the devoted and efficient, because thoroughly enthusiastic and trained, national Officials who preside over the conduct of the affairs of the different Sections.
It is therefore not so much to the internal or national conditions or problems of any particular Section that I wish to direct your attention at the time of the present writing, but to matters which concern the Theosophical Society as an international entity, and which, just because these conditions or problems affect all Sections, will naturally have to be faced by you all.
I would, therefore, like to touch first of all upon the matter of propaganda and of increasing our Fellowship. I will say without mincing of words, and with the utmost frankness, that I have very little patience indeed with any Theosophist who says that we should not seek to extend our Theosophic influence by increasing our membership, or by increasing the number of our Lodges, because, forsooth, so might these individuals say, the Theosophical literature already exists, and it is enough that we keep on reprinting our standard Theosophical works, and let them tell their own silent tale to the world! I believe that this is a false reasoning, bad policy, and highly unwise; and outside of anything else, it runs directly counter to the mandate which the Masters gave to H. P. B.: to found the Theosophical Society and to increase its influence in the world by means of a constantly increasing number of Fellows, and a coordinate and relatively equal increase in the number of our Lodges.
I for one am proud of the Theosophical Society: of its traditions, of its history, of its record, and in all proper humility let me say, of what it already has achieved sometimes in the face of what appeared to be at the moments almost insuperable difficulties. I look upon it as our first duty not only as an organization, but as individual Theosophists, to increase our membership, which includes of course the increasing of the number of our active Lodges.
The basic reason for this policy of working for enlarging the T. S. lies in the well-known fact that union is strength, that combined efforts tell strongly for achieving an objective; whereas the haphazard and often spasmodic efforts of isolated individuals usually achieve little, and sometimes even nothing at all either of moment or of value. This is why organizations are necessary, very necessary indeed, for it involves just the difference that we find between a well-trained and well-disciplined body of men working for an end, and giving unto their work the best that is in them in subordination to the common good, when compared with the haphazard and spasmodic strivings of individuals who, for one reason or another, are too vain or too egoistic or too indifferent to unite their respective individual work into a common Cause.
Let me recall to you in this connexion the memorable words of H. P. Blavatsky, written in her First Message to the American Section of the Theosophical Society, and dated 1888, in which, treating of the same matters to which I herein allude, she says that it is the purpose of the Theosophical Society and of its members
to establish on a firm basis an organization which, while promoting feelings of fraternal sympathy, social unity, and solidarity, will leave ample room for individual freedom and exertion in the common cause — that of helping mankind.
The multiplication of local centres should be a foremost consideration in your hands, and each man should strive to be a centre of work in himself. When his inner development has reached a certain point, he will naturally draw those with whom he is in contact under the same influence; a nucleus will be formed, round which other people will gather, forming a centre from which information and spiritual influence will radiate, and towards which higher influences are directed.
I ask your earnest consideration, and, indeed, study, of these noteworthy statements from our beloved H. P. B., and particularly do I point to her concluding words: "and towards which higher influences are directed." Her words here are but another way of stating a fact which the materialistic West has lost sight of, but yet which it instinctively as it were follows when Occidentals organize themselves into solidary bodies for a common work. It is that when an organization such as the T. S. is, is formed by men and women who desire to live a better life as individuals, and to give unto their fellowmen the spiritual and intellectual blessings and teachings which they themselves have received, they become both spiritually and astrally — i. e., on inner planes — an organ, a focus, an organic center, through which will stream influences of a spiritual and intellectual character from on high, i. e., from inner worlds, and more specifically from our own blessed Masters.
I would like to add, furthermore — and I state this with an appeal directly to your hearts and minds: as long as the Theosophical Society remains true to its primary spiritual and intellectual influences, and to the higher Powers which directed its organization and which inspired it in its early days, and which I may venture to say still inspire it, then our future destiny is assured, because we have back of us and with us and through us the spiritual Powers of the World, and more particularly of the Hierarchy of the Masters, whose particular work on our own Globe Earth is with us men.
It is of course a commonplace that wherever there is an organization, there is a Head, under whatever name the Head may be known, or whatever functions his fellows may call upon him to fulfil; and I will add the following pregnant thought, that such Head or Leader will be better or less good, higher or lower, more in touch or less in touch with the Masters, almost precisely in proportion as the membership of such organized unit or organic union of men and women themselves prove worthy of the high trust which is placed in their hands — in our case we can make the application of the foregoing perhaps directly to the Theosophical Society.
Should, however, the T. S. at any time become degenerate, which means, otherwise phrased, should ever the Fellowship of the T. S. as a body fall spiritually and intellectually beneath a certain standard which we up to the present have retained, then there will always be a danger of our beloved Theosophical Society becoming a merely sectarian body, headed — or not headed as the case may be — by a merely exoteric official, who in the worst of such cases would become a sort of Pope.
Let us then see to it that this last spiritual catastrophe never come to pass with ourselves. It is not our duty nor even our privilege to criticize other Theosophical Societies or other bodies calling themselves Theosophical, for we shall have our hands full in attending to our own business, and in keeping our own house in order. Let us strive to see that as individuals we keep on the high level of spiritual and intellectual thought and attainment, thus making the call upon the chief Head of the T. S., and likewise making a similar call to our Masters and Teachers; and I can promise you without qualification that such call never passes unheeded. There is not the slightest danger, therefore, of a popery in the T. S. as long as the members themselves, both collectively and as individuals, hold an attitude of high understanding, which means an attitude of equally high expectancy; for it is obvious if you think a moment, that as long as our members hold this, no mere faker or pretender could ever satisfy the hearts and minds of our members for a single month. Do you not see what I mean?
I point to this series of dangers with some emphatic positiveness, because it is an excellent and sufficient answer to any critics we may have — and there are some calling themselves Theosophists who criticize us on this ground, who do not seem to realize what I have hereinbefore tried to set forth.
I quote once again from the same Message of 1888, written by H. P. B. to the American Section of the T. S.:
But let no man set up a popery instead of Theosophy, as this would be suicidal and has ever ended most fatally. We are all fellow-students, more or less advanced; but no one belonging to the Theosophical Society ought to count himself as more than, at best, a pupil-teacher — one who has no right to dogmatize.
These words of H. P. B., to me are some of the best she has ever written, and I would point out to you that here she does not say, as her words have so frequently been tacitly misconstrued to mean, that all members or fellows of the T. S. are on an equality in intellectual and spiritual, ay even psychical, attainments, but just the contrary, for she specifically says that although we are all fellow-students, some are more and some less advanced.
What are, then, these differences as amongst ourselves, constituting one F. T. S. more advanced than another F. T. S.? It is not the age of the physical body, nor is it merely years passed in intellectual study of our standard Theosophical works alone; but the most and the more advanced amongst us are those who live the life that the Masters teach as being the one we should strive to live, and who coincidently with this living make themselves with an ever-deepening knowledge, more fully acquainted with the sublime God-Wisdom which is the Wisdom of the Ages, and who do their utmost to pass on this priceless heritage to their fellow-men.
I quote again from the same Message of H. P. B.:
The faint-hearted have asked in all ages for signs and wonders, and when these failed to be granted, they refused to believe. Such are not those who will ever comprehend Theosophy pure and simple. But there are others among us who realize intuitively that the recognition of pure Theosophy — the philosophy of the rational explanation of things and not the tenets — is of the most vital importance in the Society, inasmuch as it alone can furnish the beacon-light needed to guide humanity on its true path.
Pray analyse these last phrases of H. P. B., and particularly her reference to "the philosophy of the rational explanation of things and not the tenets" — i. e., the essence of the teaching, and not merely the tenets thereof expressed in words cleverly strung together and recited parrot-fashion by mere book-students.
What humanity needs more today than ever before, more even than when H. P. B. wrote her noble works, is a knowledge of this deathless Wisdom of the Ages, with its soothing and healing influence on the minds and hearts of our fellow-men, and its constant reiteration of the age-old ethical mandate that we live not for ourselves but unto others and for others, and that we can never escape responsibility for our actions — no, not even for our thoughts.
Now I will say in passing that in my judgment, my dear Companions, one of the very best ways in increasing our membership and thereby increasing the spiritual and intellectual influence of the Theosophical Society in the world, is by a close and careful study of our standard Theosophical books, in other words of what is commonly called 'technical Theosophy.' This fits our members not only to answer any and all questions that within reason will be asked of them, but likewise reacts with inestimable benefit upon themselves. Do, I pray of you all, specialize in technical Theosophical study as found in our standard literature. This will also help our members in propaganda-work, and will enable them to avoid a common fault among Theosophists, which is when on the public platform an indulgence in glittering generalities rather than in definite, clear-cut statements of Theosophical teaching.
There are likewise some Theosophists in the world, who, because they have had no new teachings since H. P. B.'s day, make a virtue of their spiritual and intellectual poverty, and proclaim that no new teaching can be or could be or indeed should be given. The pathos in this attitude of mind wrings one's heart. They overlook the words of the Masters themselves, and indeed of H. P. B., who in this same Message of 1888, wrote on this very point as follows:
According as people are prepared to receive it, so will new Theosophical teachings be given. But no more will be given than the world, on its present level of spirituality, can profit by. It depends on the spread of Theosophy the assimilation of what has been already given-how much more will be revealed and how soon.
This is exactly what I have consistently and at frequent intervals stated and restated, both by pen and by word of mouth, and we are here told that "it depends on the spread of Theosophy," and on its assimilation, as to how much more will be "revealed" and how soon.
My beloved Companions, it is precisely because the noble nucleus of tried and loyal hearts whom Katherine Tingley left behind her at her death, true Theosophists in understanding, and in a yearning for more light, however limited in this understanding some of them may have been, made the imperative call that further and deeper teachings be given, that these were therefore forthcoming. It were ridiculous to suppose that any teaching given out at any time in the Theosophical Society is to be accepted on the say-so of the Leader or somebody else, for such an attitude of mind runs directly contrary to the spirit of individual judgment and of freedom of thought and of conscience, which we Theosophists cherish as a part of our noble heritage. Any newer and deeper teaching than that already received, rests on its own merits, on its own depth, on its own reach into the hearts and minds of men, and should be judged on these grounds alone.
I therefore come back to the thoughts with which I began this Message to the International European Convention — a Message which I fear is already rather over-long; and I point out to you once more that our first duty, collectively as a Theosophical Society, and individually as men and women, is to increase our fellowship, which merely means bringing the light that we have received, and its unspeakable blessing, to others who have not yet received it; and to welcome new-comers, if they prove at all worthy of our brotherly love and confidence, into our ranks, and to give them the benefit of our fellowship, and as far as they prove themselves worthy of the trust given unto them, a portion of the labor of propaganda, of official responsibility, and of aiding us in keeping the wheels turning, to adopt a homely phrase.
Unity is strength; disunion is weakness; men can do incomparably more when working shoulder to shoulder with united hearts, than when striving as isolated individuals in widely separated parts of the land, and with no common bond of organizational unity. It therefore is a bounden duty unto us to increase our fellowship, and if every member, as President Clapp of the American Section pointed out some time ago, would make it his joyous duty to bring in at least one new fellow a year, can you not see how rapidly the T. S. would grow, and how amazingly strong it would soon become in public influence, which simply means in its influence over the minds and hearts of our fellows?
Before concluding this Message to you, my Brothers all, I would fain turn to a matter which, although it has a certain magnitude of importance, I can only touch on briefly. Since I began the Fraternization Movement in 1930, very strenuous efforts have been made by some misguided Theosophists belonging to other Societies, to denigrate this our effort, to throw mud at it, to cast slurs upon it, and in fact — and I say this with sorrow — to misinterpret it in every way possible. All this was to be expected, and so far as I personally am concerned, I paid absolutely no attention to these attempts. Yet there is one aspect of the criticisms made against the Fraternization work which it may be as well for me briefly to uncover and expose.
It has been said that the Fraternization Movement, which so many of our Fellows of the T. S. are sincerely working in, assisted by certain noble hearts of other Societies, like Brother Cecil Williams of the Theosophical Society in Canada, who likewise by the way is one of our own F. T. S.; and like J. W. Hamilton-Jones of the Phoenix Lodge, London, who has given sympathetic co-operation in many fraternization efforts — it has been said, I say, that our fraternization work is insincere and was begun solely for the purpose of stealing members away from other Societies. This statement is a libel, or slander, pure and simple. If members from other Societies come over to us, we certainly are not going to slam the door in their faces, nor turn our backs upon them, and we welcome their co-operation and their help. Nevertheless, the Fraternization Movement was not started for the purpose of stealing members from other Theosophical bodies, nor was it in fact started with an eye upon the distant future when perhaps Point Loma would sit astride the Theosophical pyramid, with its Leader topping all! This too is an utter misunderstanding.
It is a fact that on a few occasions, when pondering over the future of the Fraternization work, I have even envisaged a possible unity in the distant future, of such ones of the Theosophical bodies as might care to incorporate themselves into an organic unity; but any remarks of mine directed to this last point of thought were merely reflexions, speculations, as to the possible effect of the Fraternization work on other Theosophical bodies, and were certainly never written to lay down a program or a platform that Point Loma was going to work to have its Leader — whoever he might then be at the time — the official chief of such possible union of different Theosophical bodies.
In fact it would be fine if it were so, and I do not mind saying so, nor do I hesitate in so stating, so greatly am I convinced of the justice of our Cause, and of the fact that we have malice and hatred towards none, and of the further fact that we are so completely faithful to the original tradition of the Masters and of H. P. B.; yet how preposterous is the idea that I deliberately made such statements as being the objective of the Fraternization Movement; for isn't it obvious that such supposed folly on my part would simply have alienated the members of other Theosophical Societies from us?
Indeed, I will even go farther and state quite frankly that I would not envisage with equanimity, in other words I would not like to see, the rushing into our ranks of large numbers of the members of other Theosophical bodies. Why? I will tell you the reason, and this is no slur or casting of mud on others, but simply an honest statement of my own conviction: the history of several other Theosophical Societies for the last thirty years or so, has been partly composed of the introduction into their thought-life of teachings which we, genuine followers of our beloved H. P. B., could not accept as the unadulterated teachings of our Masters; and as these dear and good people of these other Theosophical bodies accepted these later teachings of their own with apparent conviction and sincerity, any such attempt to digest a large influx of them into our own T. S. would bring about a perfectly hopeless and indeed a dangerous situation for us.
If members from the other Theosophical Societies care to join us as individuals here and there, of course we gladly accept them as brothers and fellow-workers in our ranks; but I would not like to see too large an influx of them amongst us, if such influx came as a wave; and I probably am speaking only the truth when stating that in my judgment the officials of other Theosophical Societies would not know how to digest a wave of Point Loma members, if such a wave ever deluged some other Theosophical body. They could not digest us! for it would be a mixing of spiritual and intellectual elements too unlike and too disparate for mutual comfort and successful common or united work.
No, our fraternization labors are an attempt to bring about a kindlier spirit as among the different Theosophical bodies; to learn to respect the better and finer elements which each such body has or may have; and even — I will state it quite frankly — an attempt to reintroduce the Theosophy of the Masters and of H. P. B. in places where it has been forgotten — but never by force, never by dishonorable methods of deceit, but always by utmost frankness and candor, and a plea to all other Theosophists to the effect that if we cannot accept each other's teachings, we can at least respect each other's convictions, find common points of understanding and contact in the teachings of H. P. B. and of our Masters that we all received, and thus learn to live at peace with each other, even if none of us wants organic unity — at least at present — with any other Theosophical body.
I take this occasion to express my approval, in view of the immediately foregoing lines concerning fraternization, of what seems to me to be the very admirable work that your National President has undertaken with the co-operation of the officials and members of the Phoenix Lodge (Adyar), London. I do not know much about this effort except what Brother Barker has written to me, and what I have heard from others of the success of the two or three joint meetings already held; but it struck me as being an effort in the right direction, towards diminishing dislike, reducing hatreds, increasing mutual respect, and thus bringing about a clearer and higher atmosphere of thought as amongst the different Theosophical bodies.
And now, my Brothers and Comrades, to each one of you and to all of you, go my heart's best wishes, and the assurance to all of you of my trust and deepest affection.
G. de P.
— Letter to European Convention, London, England, August 2nd and 3rd, 1936. This same message in substance — was sent to the Triennial Convention of the American Section, T. S., held at the Bellevue Hotel, San Francisco, California, August 29-30, 1936.
Each lodge should study its own particular need — Varying conditions demand varying methods of work — Intellect and understanding heart must combine — Avoid gush or merely the dead letter — Policy of Leader not to interfere with National Sections — Internal dissensions give cause for failure.
We are almost at the end of this European visiting-tour, and I can truthfully state that everywhere we have gone we have found a renewed enthusiasm over what it was some three or four years ago when we were last amongst you, a wider vision of what our Theosophical work means for mankind and a larger determination, with a more strongly set will to carry this work to the public. I have found something likewise which has been extremely grateful to me; and it is that our members are now beginning to realize that there are divers ways of doing our Theosophical work. I mean to drive this fact home everywhere I go. In some towns it is best to work in a certain way, which each lodge must find out for itself. In other towns or cities conditions are such that a somewhat different approach to the public is required; and wherever these towns are the lodges in them must find out that way that is best for themselves. They are on the respective spots; they labor in that particular field; and it is for them very diligently and intelligently to study, each lodge its own ground, and to ascertain what the psychology of the people is among whom they live and work, and to approach that psychology intelligently. I believe it is all wrong to send out instructions from Point Loma after a cut-and-dried fashion that our different Sections and Lodges should all work after a stilted and crystallized pattern. Conditions in the different countries vary so enormously, and even in one country conditions vary enormously. My first point is that I have seen a growing realization of this fact, and I am delighted.
Now, this does not mean that the lodges of the T. S. follow divergent paths. It is all one pathway that all Theosophic work and propaganda follow, but for each lodge there is some special or specific way which is the best for it. Try to find out what is that specific and particular way here. Furthermore, our Theosophical workers must clearly understand, if they are to be successful in their beautiful work which we all so love, that we must do it with the instruments which every son or daughter of man has — with the heart and with the head: the intellect and the understanding heart must combine. I believe it to be an entirely wrong psychology, introducing the dead letter into Theosophical work, merely for the members of a lodge to think that the only way to give Theosophy to others is by quoting extensively from books. That is excellent as one of the means of Theosophical propaganda. But such quotations ordinarily must not be presented word for word but given with a freshness arising in the mind and in the heart of the speaker himself or herself. This makes an immediate, a direct appeal to the hearers. Otherwise you have a stilted way, an artificial way, a very unsympathetic way of presenting Theosophy, and it is often repellent.
Or again, an equal folly in our beautiful work — fortunately there is very little of it in our T. S. — is to try to teach Theosophy by what some people call feeling, emotion, gush. That is equally offensive. Try to combine heart and intellect together and give them both to your audience. It will always attract. Try to add freshness to it from your own consciousness and understanding of the teachings. This makes things very fresh and bright and interesting. It gives life.
Now to come more particularly to the work in England. I am not here, dear Friends, for the purpose of examining and looking into things and listening to complaints or hearing praises. I am here solely to be amongst you and to see if I cannot be of service to my beloved English Companions; just as I have tried to be in Wales and Ireland and in Holland and in Denmark and in Sweden and in Finland. Our work in Germany, which was growing so fast, with an enthusiasm such as I have never yet seen in any single National Section of the T. S., has unfortunately been forbidden by the Government and our beloved German brothers have bowed to the law of their country and have done right. But their hearts are as true as ours are, and the time is coming when, I haven't the slightest doubt, they will pick up the work where they were forced to lay it down or obliged to by honor and by law.
There is no reason in my considered judgment why the work in dear old England should not go forward from now on fast and really grow, if every lodge and every member of a lodge and every member-at-large in England will try to put personality into the background and put the love of the Cause, the Cause itself, first. Conditions nowhere are perfect. Don't I know it! In my capacity as Leader I receive from all parts of the world documentary communications outlining the work in different countries, and I find that human nature is pretty much the same everywhere. I want these thoughts to sink in. It is never my policy to interfere in the internal affairs of any Section whatsoever. I think that such interference would introduce a very lamentable precedent; for it would immediately authorize one Section or the members in one Section to try to interfere in the affairs of some other Section, and that is not good. If I did it they would say: "See, the Leader does it. Why should not we try to help our brothers of the other Section?" And by logic you can prove almost anything to yourself. But here is my point: If you dear hearts want Theosophy to grow and prosper in your native country, put Theosophy first. Put your opinions last and push the wheels ahead. It is united effort that will cause you to grow. Internal dissensions will cause you to go backwards or to fail.
I am not saying these words especially in England. I have said them everywhere, not because they are particularly needed anywhere, because they are not, but because our Society is really growing, growing steadily all over the world; and in that growth we shall find new problems to meet, new minds coming in — often critical, fault-finding, ambitious, jealous — not meaning to be such but with these traits of character. In other words, as we grow stronger numerically our problems to preserve harmony and the brotherly love for which we stand will increase. Isn't that plain? So I am giving you in England now a word of warning. Listen. Stand by Theosophy first; stand by the Leader next; stand by your national officials third; stand by your personalities last; and never forget the officials of your lodge. I have put them the last in my series of observations, because my heart is particularly with the lodge presidents. Their work is a heavy one, a responsible one, and they need all your support. I am not speaking of dear Brother Hutchin alone, for the same applies in every lodge. I believe the lodge officials should be held more or less responsible for the work of their respective lodges and for the loyalty and fidelity of their members to the T. S. This does not mean that a lodge president should be dictatorial or over-masterful or unkind. But it is precisely because so many delicate psychological qualities are found in a successful lodge-president that they all have my deepest sympathy.
Some of you may perhaps wonder why I am talking about these things. I cannot tell you all my reasons; but they are important, and I am looking into the future just a bit, and I am putting you on guard, asking you to be on the watch for what is coming forth in future years. We may sum up the whole substance of what I have been trying to say — purposely rather vaguely — in this: Unity is strength; dissension means disunion, disunity, and weakness. O matter what happens in the English Section in the future, put Theosophy first and all will come out right. Remember the Masters are behind our work and will never fail us. Let us see that we do not fail them.
— Address to members of the Liverpool Lodge, October 6, 1937.
United we stand, divided we shall fall — Personal opinions should not supersede inherent Theosophic principles — Vitality and devotion of members keeps channel of inspiration open.
On the eve of our leaving you — I fear it may be for a year or two, maybe three or four — I want to tell you how deeply impressed I have been, not only with the results of the European tour as a whole, which Brother Iverson has touched upon so enthusiastically, but with what I have found, as I believe it to be, the spirit of Theosophic health in the different sections of the British Isles. That has pleased me more than anything else. I did not look for, nor did I expect to find, a multitude of angels in Britain. In fact, had I found them, I should have been quite out of place! But I have found people of really angelic tendencies — kindly, considerate, long-suffering without complaint under their longing for immediate Theosophic expansion and growth, forgiving others their peccadillos, making all just allowances for each other. And this to me is a state of well-being, of welfare, a sign of health in the Theosophic commonweal in Britain. I want you to weigh these words, to ponder over them and to remember them after I have gone, after we have gone; for my two helpers from Lomaland are of precisely the same opinion on these things that I myself hold about them. I have found efficient leadership in England, in Wales; and I look for the same to come in the future in other National Sections which I verily believe will begin their growth, will have their birth rather, in a relatively short time.
But I desire most earnestly and from my heart to leave a word of warning with you. Give not up this state of health because of personal opinions regarding either the T. S. and its way of doing its work in Britain, or because of the peccadillos, traits of character, biases, tendencies of character, that you may see in each other or in your lodge presidents or in your national officials. Our Theosophical Society were a ghastly failure and a mockery if we were not able to sustain amongst ourselves the primal duty that our blessed Masters give to us to follow — not to preach about, but to follow and that is the practice of fraternal relations amongst ourselves and the reflexion of these fraternal relations with and among other Theosophists who don't belong to our ranks.
No thing in this world can prevail against the T. S. and its work as long as we stand united, determined to continue to stand united no matter what may be at times our own personal feelings or convictions regarding others. United we stand; divided we shall fall. There is no doubt of that whatsoever. Remember it. To me it is inexcusable — I shall speak directly to you from my heart because of the healthy state of the T. S. in Britain and because I most earnestly desire that it continue so — to me it is not only non-understandable but inexcusable, for anyone to hinder our work, even from personal convictions; because such an individual in the Section, or a body of them, a group of them, or scattered individuals among them, of the Section or of the work in Britain, may imagine that the Society or its officials should act otherwise than has been the case in the past or than is the case at present.
Why do I say this? Because I possess some grains of commonsense, which I have a right to expect to see in all British Theosophists. United we shall stand, we shall progress, we shall become prosperous, and we shall do our work. Disunited, fighting amongst ourselves, we shall fall. Of that there is no doubt. The future of genuine Theosophy in England — I am speaking mainly to an English audience, but my words apply all over Britain, or, indeed, in any part of the T. S. — the future of Theosophy in England depends upon your carrying out what I now tell you. At the head stands the Leader, who will not tolerate untheosophical work, untheosophical attitudes towards the hard workers, who will not tolerate the unbrotherly criticism of those who are carrying the burden, filled with charity as my heart always is and loving all the time our dear members, not one of whom has ever wilfully worked against the T. S.; but looking at the history of the past we have seen how, once the T. S. of H. P. B. was rent in twain because individuals thought their opinions were more important than those Theosophic — nay, inherent, spiritual principles of unity and of the practice of brotherhood and of forgiveness, which make any organization strong and victorious ultimately, and the lack of which invariably will bring disaster, shipwreck possibly — complete disaster, that is.
I was asked once — not here in England, but when I was at Point Loma — whether it was proper to oppose a Theosophist who in the opinion of the questioner was acting in an untheosophical way, as the questioner phrased it, one who was traitorous to the Cause and to the Leader. My answer was this: You are a Theosophist. I will address you as such. As long as the Leader, with the powers placed in his hands by our Constitution, makes no move, takes no action, do you think that you, professing devotion to those principles of brotherhood and unity, are the one to criticise him, for your critical action of others is a criticism of the Leader? It means, it is tantamount to saying, that the Leader sleeps; perhaps he dreams and knows not what is happening. But the Leader knows. Otherwise he were not fit for his job. I, too, have patience, sometimes long-suffering and enduring; but patience, because I see that right in the end will prevail; that all of us can stumble at times on the path and make mistakes; and I feel that the Leader has no more right to judge others than others have to judge us.
Fortunately our Theosophical government, if you like to call it that, is a hierarchical one, and as such receives inspiration from what men call 'above'; and the inspiration runs downwards and reaches even the smallest runlets, wherever the vitality and devotion of our members open these little canals; in other words, in every true Theosophic heart. Let that inspiration enter in and do its work and you will have no trouble, no more anxieties. You will become so united, so firm in a single purpose, so determined to prevail over all troubles and conditions, because you trust, because this trust will bring conviction, because conviction will bring you knowledge.
My last words to you, dear British Hearts, for all have my love and respect, are these: United we stand, shall stand, and we shall succeed brilliantly. Disunited, torn by dissensions, rent by misunderstandings, however honest, and we shall ever hinder the efforts of our blessed Teachers in Britain; or, if these dissensions and misunderstandings become dangerously strong and develop into active opposition, and if this opposition spreads, then we shall fail. Now, remember: united we shall stand and succeed. Disunited, we shall fail.
— Closing address of European lecture-tour on the eve of departure for the U. S. A., to members of the English Section at the Headquarters, 3 Percy Street, London, England, October 15, 1937. On this tour Dr. de Purucker was accompanied by Miss Elsie V. Savage and Mr. Iverson L. Harris.