(Lecture delivered August 3, 1930)
CONTENTS: The fairyland of truth. — A sublime philosophy taught in past ages: the brahma-vidya and the gupta-vidya. — Why is the secret science hidden from the majority of men? — The travelers in search of light and what they have to tell us. — The difference between occultism and psychism. — Psychic powers a mere reflection, distorted and illusory. — An enumeration of some of our latent spiritual faculties. — Every occultist is a scientist. — Professor J. E. Boodin of Los Angeles voicing old theosophical truths. — What is beauty? "We are upheld by Beauty" says the poet. — Nature's law is to give as one has received. — Christian Science and psychical practices. Watch the aftereffects! — Esoteric hints on the cause and cure of disease. — The physicians of the future. — The Theosophical World-Congress at Point Loma in August, 1931: an explanation of its objects. — Why not be yourself, your spiritual self?
I am going to try to lead you into a fairyland this afternoon — a fairyland of truth not of imagination — taking you deep, deep, deep into the very real things of the cosmic life, that cosmic life which is enshrouded with veils hemming in the imprisoned splendor. Deep, deep, deep into the very heart of this splendor, for it is the heart of the universe; and these encircling veils, these imprisoning garments, these enshrouding encasements, are they which blind, which deceive, which produce illusion, not only in human hearts but in human minds, so that those deluded mistake the illusion for the real, so that they follow bypaths and side issues of life, both human and cosmic.
I have called this realm of the inner worlds a fairyland, but do so only to use a term that will be easily understood of you. Actually it is reality — the heart of the universe. It is the fountain of truth, and the source whence flow forth into the cosmic spaces what we human beings in our ignorance call the "laws" of universal nature. In times far, far past — so long bygone that men have lost, at least in the Occident, all recollection of it — there was taught on earth a sublime philosophy, a formulation in human tongue of the very structure, operations, and nature of the universal mother herself. Faint memories of this archaic wisdom-religion of mankind have come down to men of modern times; and these faint echoes you will find in what is called the heart-doctrine — to use the technical term — of all the great world religions and world philosophies.
Hence, when men read these archaic thoughts imbodied in these ancient world religions and world philosophies, if the readers be of intuitive mind, suddenly light comes to the beclouded intellects, the heart is moved, and the man says: Immortal gods, I have known that before! This is recognition by the god within of something akin to itself, the imprisoned splendor, reality and truth, that I have just spoken of.
This ancient philosophy, this ancient wisdom-religion of mankind, bore various names in different ages and among different peoples. In our time we call it theosophy, "the wisdom of the gods," which in very truth it is. Among the ancient inhabitants of Hindustan they called it brahma-vidya, the "knowledge of the universe;" and the esoteric part of it, the secret part of it, that part of this wondrous philosophy especially followed by the most illuminated minds, the titanic intellects, in other words by the great seers and sages of mankind, and their disciples, was called the gupta-vidya, "the secret science," "the hid wisdom" — not kept secret from motives of selfishness, not hid away for the sole pursuit and delectation of selfish philosophers, but secret and hid only because the majority of mankind could not follow it, because that majority of mankind has never believed that it exists. Men in all ages have not easily given up the personal self and its delusions and illusions, so that the god within which is in all men might shine forth through the encircling veils down into the brain-mind and give that mind light.
Isn't it even so today? What did Jesus the avatara, the Master of the Christians, mean, according to his reported words "Give up thy life if thou wouldst find the life universal," if not what I have just said? That was the substance of his teaching. And in fact it is absolutely true. You cannot become universal until you surmount the personal, the limited, the restricted, the self with frontiers.
It is exactly like the man living within the confines of some great town, who says: "I will not abroad, I will not travel. What my fathers had is good enough for me." But another man, with a hunger for knowledge in his heart, passes out of the city gates, pursues the highways of the kingdom, and travels, and learns, and returns unto his fellow citizens and tells them what he has found, and tries to open their eyes; and they say: "Man, whence camest thou? Prove to us that thou hast seen what thou relatest." And what can the messenger of knowledge say except: "I have seen, I know. Come with me: I will show you the way. Follow the pathway that I will designate, and thus I will bring you to the places of light that I have seen." Some follow him because their minds are more enlightened and their hearts are stirred, and these men of illuminated understanding say to themselves: "Verily, I will look into this. This man is a changed man from the time when he went forth from amongst us. He has seen something; he has learned something; he has become grander and greater." But others will have naught of it.
Such ones as I have spoken of, who left the restricted city of the human personality and wandered forth in search of light, are they whom theosophists call the great seers and sages of mankind, the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion and Peace; and the knowledge that they have brought back from the most wondrous and soul-stirring adventure that it is possible for a human being to have, they formulated into human language and gave it to their fellow men. And this wisdom was the brahma-vidya, the theosophy that is even now taught; and each one of such great Seers and Sages founded a school for those who trusted him more fully than others did; and he taught in this school the deeper things, the hid wisdom, the secret wisdom; and this was the gupta-vidya. It is taught even today. Do you long for it? Are you ready for it? Do you desire it? Then come. Knock, and if your knock is the right one, the doors will fly open, as if by magic. Ask, and if your asking is not based on selfish desire for personal preferment, but based on a passionate love of holy truth and in a desire to help your fellow men when once you have gained that truth, then in asking you will ask aright, and ye shall receive because it is your right to receive.
Such men as those who went forth in the quest for wisdom were the true occultists of the past; they were the great seers and sages, and such great seers and sages were true occultists, students of the gupta-vidya, the secret wisdom of the universe, the wisdom of the gods; for the universe is filled full with gods, with divine beings; and ye children of men are such gods essentially, in your innermost nature, even in your present phase of evolutionary growth, although enshrouded with veils of the lower selfhood — so that in very truth ye know not who ye are. Ye know not what ye have within you; and many of you, alas! will not even see nor will ye listen. Is there anyone blinder than he who will not open his eyes, nor deafer than he who will not unstop the channels of his ears?
Occultism, my brothers, is that aspect of natural philosophy which deals with the hid, secret wisdom of nature's own heart as that wisdom is formulated in the archaic Wisdom-Religion of mankind; and theosophy, even as it is taught today, includes this gupta-vidya or occultism in what the ancient inhabitants of Hindustan called the brahma-vidya.
On the other hand, what is psychism? If occultism be, as I have just told you it is, the treading of the path which will lead you to the very heart of the universe and the gaining of the knowledge which that heart contains — which path you have a right to tread because you are essentially a god, and in treading this path you go simply to your own divine home — if one then who follows this path is an occultist, what is a psychist? He is one who follows the deceptive lights, the illusory gleams, of his intermediate human nature, the intermediate part of his constitution, of the psyche, which James of the Christians — I am not going to be as impolite as he was — called, material, sensuous, illusory.
This description of the psychical faculties and powers is accurate and true. This human part of you is one of those enshrouding veils, of which I have spoken, which blind you to the greater light of the cosmic truths; and those who concentrate their attention on the faculties and the powers pertaining to this intermediate nature of man, are psychists. They mistake the ghostly, illusory, moonlight of the intermediate nature of man for the splendor of the spiritual sun within.
Just as this human part of us is a reflection of the spiritual sun within, of the god within, so is the moonlight a reflection of the sunlight, of the splendor of our day-star. Psychism is a study of the energies and powers and forces belonging to the various realms of the astral world, a realm of nature only one degree or step higher than the physical; and there is today in the Occident no reliable information about it at all, because those who really know the truth about it don't advertise that truth ever, because this would be misleading their less evolved brothers.
There are many people who talk about psychism, who will stand on platforms and tell you all about it; but I can tell you this — and this is the message of all the great seers and sages of the ages — that those who follow the things of the intermediate personal nature, the personal things, those who follow moonlight rather than the splendor of the spiritual sun, cast around themselves veils of personality still more thick than before, still more impervious to the inner divine splendor striving to come forth. These enshrouding veils are the ordinary mental and emotional veils of the lower selfhood.
What we must do is to rise above the personality, above all things that pertain to the merely personal human nature, and strive to become more universal, selfless, gradually more impersonal. Then we rise above this intermediate or psychical nature towards the spiritual day-star of our own inner being, which inner day-star is a spark of the central heart of the universe.
Do theosophists then deny that there are psychic forces and powers in man? We most certainly do not! It is because we know of their existence, it is because we know of the danger of cultivating these psychical powers, that we call your attention, thus faithfully re-echoing the warnings of the archaic wisdom-religion of mankind, to the things of the spirit, to the things of real value. Theosophists want our fellow men to have wisdom, to have light, indeed to have spiritual powers, and to use the spiritual faculties usually lying latent within them.
But so utterly are these matters misunderstood in the Occidental world today that the average man seems to confuse the psychical powers and faculties with the spiritual ones, and no greater mistake could possibly be made. The psychical faculties and powers and energies are a mere reflection, a secondary, indeed a tertiary, reflection of the divine sun within; and, like all reflected light, the effect that it produces on the consciousness is a distortion of reality, is deceitful, producing mental and emotional illusion.
As I told you on last Sunday from this platform, the real faculties and powers that remain with a man when he passes on from this life, are the spiritual ones, and all personal faculties and powers die when the end of any one reincarnation is reached. Why then, again to speak according to the language of the Christians, why not lay up for yourselves treasures in the realm divine, where thieves do not break through and steal, nor doth rust corrupt? This is a figure of speech, but our language is full of striking figures of speech. The truth behind it is what I call your attention to.
What are some of these spiritual powers, some of these spiritual faculties? First, what is the love in your heart? Is that a psychical power? No, it is the very root of your being, the very life of your essence; and impersonal, unselfish love is the very cement of the universe, nature's supremest, grandest power, and nothing in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, or in the regions under the earth, can stay its passage or forbid its penetrating power. It is all-permeant, it penetrates everywhere, and when you radiate love you produce love in others, because you yourself become lovely, because of its irradiating influences arising in your own heart.
Again, what is understanding? Is this a psychical power? No, it is a spiritual faculty. Do not confuse understanding with the mere psychical-physical brain-mind. Understanding is the faculty which enables you to discriminate between thoughts and thoughts, things and things, to know one from the other. It is a sister of almighty love.
Again, what is vision? Not physical vision, nor that which on the astral plane manifests itself as psychical clairvoyance; but true vision is spiritual clairvoyance, the root of the astral power which, because it is so imperfect — not only imperfect in its development in the psychic practitioner but imperfect in itself — is deceitful. But the spiritual power, when you have allied yourself with the god within you, will show you how to see things at whatever distance. You immediately see things at enormous distances through the inner spiritual eye. Your consciousness is there, whither you have cast it.
In Tibet, they call this power the hpho-wa, which means the power to project your consciousness (which means also your will) to any distance that ye may please: on earth, to the moon, to any other planet, to the sun. This is the true power, the true faculty, of spiritual clairvoyance, and this it is which every true theosophical teacher, that is to say every true occultist, will call your attention to, and plead with you to use it, "to take the kingdom of heaven by violence," which means to enter into the realm of the divine, for it is your heritage. It is your heritage as a man, as a human being.
Have ye the ability inwardly to hear? Not merely with the physical ear, so imperfect and undeveloped a sensory organ as it is, but to hear things at a great distance? Can ye hear the atoms sing? Can ye hear the growth of a flower and the growing of the grass? For I tell you that each atom sings its own song. This spiritual ability is true clairaudience, spiritual clairaudience, the faculty of the inner spiritual ear, of which the psychical clairaudience is but a distorted and therefore deceptive reflection. There is this faculty in man, my brothers, which, if cultivated under wise training, will enable you to hear the songs of the spheres as they pass along; and this is no merely poetical statement. Everything that moves is in motion, obviously. It vibrates, and in vibrating it produces a musical note which sings, and in this manner does every atom sing. The stars, the planets, as they move in their orbits, sing likewise, as Shakespeare said, choiring "to the young-eyed cherubims."
Now think over what I have told you. "Are ye spiritually dead," as the great Pythagoras said, so dead that ye cannot understand: or is there something within you that answers with quick and ready response, It is so! Some people you simply cannot teach. This is because they are not spiritually awake. They simply don't understand what you are talking about. But for that reason, because there are those who cannot understand, should we remain silent? It is a duty to tell your fellow men the truth that you have found, as far as it is wise and proper so to do.
Every occultist is a scientist, but not every scientist is an occultist, even today, although the advances that our ultramodern scientists are making are marvelous, simply amazing. Our scientists today are becoming mystics, thinking along mystical lines, and thinking things, teaching things, discovering things, which if even announced fifty or sixty or seventy or eighty years ago would have banned them, ostracized them, from the company of their respectable fellow scientific researchers.
Let me read to you something along this line that a friend sent in to me, taken from an article published in the Hibbert Journal of July, 1930, by Professor J. E. Boodin of Los Angeles, entitled "The Universe a Living Whole." How often have you heard me use this very phrase! How ancient, how familiar it is! It means that everything is alive, that nothing is dead. Death — were such a thing possible — would mean utter immobility, changelessness, inability to move. Show me where any such thing is. Everything is in motion. Everything is alive, and one of the physical manifestations of life is vibration, a very popular word today, because a very expressive one. Here then is what Professor Boodin has to say in the extracts that I have made. Listen:
When one considers the almost infinitely complex conditions which are necessary for intelligence, it is madness to suppose that it could be the work of chance. The spark of creative intelligence itself must be lit by the creative intelligence of the cosmos which furnishes the perennial inspiration for creative activity.
How many times have you not heard these same thoughts enunciated from this platform during the course of the last twenty years or more!
The spirit of the whole dominates the course of the cosmos. It dominates not by despotic power, but by constructive love. It gives tone to the whole. It persuades the finite so far as the finite permits — to use the language of Plato. It selects and encourages all finite initiative which is in the direction of health and beauty. But it suppresses and excludes from the divine life whatever there is of falsehood and perversion in the finite. Nothing can persist in the divine economy which is contrary to the health of the whole. The good, as Plato would say, legislates to the whole and determines survival within the whole. The individual soul which is induced to take on the divine pattern, which falls into step with the choral dance of the whole (to use a figure by Plotinus), becomes integrated into the eternal movement of value. The soul which refuses to do so puts itself outside the divine order. It shuts itself up by its own choice in the outer darkness of its own selfishness and eliminates itself from the whole. This is hell now or hereafter . . . the sordid influences cannot be admitted into the enveloping cosmic spirit. The wicked impulses and thoughts are immured in their local habitation. They are bound by the gravitation of their own lust to their earthly abode.
How true all this is! Here we have a prominent thinker speaking of the cosmic love, the love which is the cement of the universe as I have so often called it, which not only "gives tone to the whole" but actually is the cohesive energy in boundless space. Professor Boodin speaks like a true mystic and like a philosopher of the archaic wisdom-religion of mankind, in other words like a theosophical philosopher today, when he uses the figure of Plotinus that every entity which is in the universe, when it "falls into step with the choral dance of the whole, becomes integrated into the eternal movement." This is a typical idea of the ancient Platonists and Neoplatonists as well as of other philosophers of the ancient world, and it is truth itself; and Professor Boodin is to be warmly congratulated on his most admirable exposition of the root-idea of the archaic philosophy, which he has seized in these respects with the intuition of the true mystic.
On the other hand, what this Los Angeles writer says to the effect that the only hell now or hereafter is that which each entity living in the boundless spaces makes for itself by shutting itself up "by its own choice in the outer darkness of its own selfishness and thus eliminates itself" from the greater streams of life of the whole, is merely voicing another secret teaching of the esoteric wisdom of the archaic ages, and is good theosophy.
And again how true it is according to our theosophical wisdom that "the wicked impulses and thoughts are immured in their local habitation! They are bound by the gravitation of their own lust to their earthly abode"! These citations that I have made are truly admirable; and I have been wondering, since reading them, whether this courageous and mystical gentleman of Los Angeles could have been reading a recent book of mine entitled Theosophy and Modern Science, or perhaps whether he has read and studied H. P. Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine published in 1888.
You see, therefore, why the enshrouding veils of personality shut out the inner splendor which strives always to express itself in and upon the wider fields of the spiritual consciousness innate in every human being. It is these imprisoning and enshrouding and constricting veils of personality which produce the only hells there are anywhere in the universe, and any hell like this is the fertile mother of unhappiness and human misery. It is verily the enfolding and constricting veils of personality — these veils, these garments, enshrouding the inner spiritual splendor — which prevent that inner splendor from manifesting in the mind and in the heart of the average human being.
If ye want to immure yourself in still thicker veils of personality and suffer from the restricted vision produced by selfishness and growing desire, then follow the illusory but often flowery pathway of the lower selfhood, the path of psychism; for these psychic powers and faculties, imperfect, illusory, merely reflected light, will lead you astray into the bypaths and side issues of life, will appeal to your lower selfish personality, from motives of personal gain, and these will condense and harden the enshrouding veils more than ever they were before. Herein lies the great danger of the psychic path.
Will ye go to the moon, my brothers, or is your pathway set towards the sun? Children of the sun, sons of the sun as ye all are, I call upon you to come to your spiritual parent! Be great! Ascend, take, be! Be the god within each one of you — which god is your own impersonal, immanent Christos, your own inner god, the inner Buddha within you, the root and fountainhead of your own spiritual individuality. Becoming allied with this, then all powers will be yours; all inner faculties will open and blossom. All spiritual and intellectual energy will become your servant; and when this is achieved then the psychic faculties and powers will develop naturally and safely within you, will open naturally and safely, like the enclosing petals of the unblown bud. This is the spiritual road, the road of safety, because your heart will have previously recognized its kinship with the sun god within you: your inner light itself will be strengthened by the streams of the irradiating splendor within, and ye shall then stand a Master of Life because consciously linked with the very heart of the universe. Being such as this, you will obtain and control successfully all psychical powers and faculties whatsoever.
My brothers, do ye feel the beauty of these thoughts — the beauty in your own spirit? Does not your soul leap and quiver within you at hearing the call?
Do you know what beauty is? It is harmony and symmetry, the sense of spiritual harmony within the observer recognizing the harmony without. Beauty per se is a divine thing, for spiritual beauty is the twin sister of almighty love. That is why beauty is at once holy and dangerous to imperfectly balanced hearts and minds.
The other day a friend sent to me a little poem that was written by a friend of the one who sent this poem to me. It is verse which shows great promise because there is easily visible in it the poetic heart, the understanding heart, intuitively recognizing its oneness with the universe. Do you understand what that means? What inspiration there is in this sense of oneness with all that lives and is! Let me read these verses to you. The poem is entitled "We Are Upheld by Beauty."
We are upheld by beauty;
Beneath our feet, above us; in our hearts.
At night the heavens become a vast dim meadow
Strewn with innumerable glowing flowers;
Beneath our feet the gardens and the fields
Unfold their myriad blossoms,
Flaming poppy, delicate violet,
Fair lilies breathing fragrance like a psalm:
And, when in meditation, with closed eyes,
We look within our hearts,
Well is it for us if we find that garden,
Fairest of all, filled with immortal flowers,
Where, first to warm our hearts, in flaming beauty
Is that flower men call Courage;
Then radiant Faith, clad in heaven's own hues,
And the white lily of unselfish Love.
Beneath our feet, above us, in our hearts,
Beauty enfolds us like a mother's arms.
The mother here spoken of is the mother divine, that is universal nature, spiritual nature — not the mere cross section of nature that we men call the physical universe, but all that is, especially the vast invisible worlds and spheres, and the innumerable worlds and spheres of life vibrating in ceaseless and incomprehensible activity. These are the invisible worlds and spheres of the boundless universe.
Would ye enter into these invisible spheres and know truth at first hand through individual contact? Will ye become a cosmic traveler, an inhabitant of the universe, leaving, as Oliver Wendell Holmes so beautifully puts it in "The Chambered Nautilus," the mansion of a day in order to enter into others still more grand? Ye can do so. Ye have the power to do so within you. There is not a power in the boundless universe which is not in you. You have it within you. There is not an energy, there is not a substance, there is not anything, in boundless infinitude which is not within you, latent or active as the case may be. Ye have it all. Each one of you is a child of the universe, a part of it, inseparable from it; as a part of the whole, therefore, that part contains in essence, manifest or unmanifest, active or latent, as the case may be, all that the boundless whole contains.
Here then is the pathway that I call upon you, my brothers, to follow. Find yourself. Finding, ye shall know yourselves. Knowing yourselves, ye shall enter upon your cosmic rights, your spiritual heritage, and ye shall thereafter take command of yourselves and be true men. A true man is a god manifesting through a man's body. The universe is filled full with gods existing in innumerable hierarchies, and in all-various grades of evolutionary growth. And ye, the human host, are but one minor hierarchy of this countless multitude of hierarchies. Every one of you is individually a god in the core of the core of his being. Each one of you has within you the potentiality of becoming a Master of Life, of developing forth from within your essence powers and faculties which at the present time are completely unknown to you.
And why should you not begin at once to do this? The way to do it is to receive instructions, to train yourselves under competent spiritual guidance, given by those who know how to do it; and I can show you the way to enter upon this path of accelerated evolution if you will trust me. But ye must remember the law of compassion flowing from nature's own heart: ye can take this knowledge, this wisdom, only when ye take it in order to give to others. Just as a muscle grows through exercise, just as the mind develops its faculties and powers by exercise, so likewise does the inner growth proceed by study, by meditation under competent training; and ye cannot grow unless ye give to others what ye yourselves have received. This is nature's way of working and therefore it is nature's law. All exercise is in a sense giving to others, because it means producing, and any entity or thing producing for itself alone is trying to do something which he cannot achieve. He defeats his own end ultimately.
How beautiful this spiritual verity is! The sense of beauty in the human heart recognizes this great law of spiritual nature with instinctive gladness. On the other hand, think of what selfishness means. Ye cannot truly enjoy anything without sharing it with someone else. The miser dies even while he lives, and the giver lives even when he dies, for he becomes one with the All.
My brothers, I call upon you all to follow the pathway unto the gods. You don't have to seek outside of yourselves for that pathway, for if you do you will never find it. That pathway is within you. Each one of you is that pathway. As I have just told you, each one of you is an inseparable part or portion of the cosmic whole. Therefore know yourselves, and in knowing your spiritual self ye will be following that pathway. That pathway will lead you to the sun, to the spirit of light and life, to the chief of our own home-universe. Sons of the sun ye verily are! Why not then recognize your spiritual parentage; why eat of the husks — to follow again the figure of the Christian New Testament — which the swine do eat? Why not go to the Master's table, to your Father's table? The average man does not see the beauty of this tremendous truth because he does not believe that he is a son of the sun. Not believing it he does not think about it. Not thinking about it, he does not care about it. Therefore you cannot interest him. He has no interest whatsoever in it. And it is these darkened human minds and stony human hearts enshrouded in the dark veils of selfishness and personality whom we must help.
But the brighter minds, those who can see even a little of the sublime light, they desire to return Home; they want truth; they are avid for it. They are hungry for it, and they will have it; and to such as these I say: Come! There is indeed truth to be had; I can show you how to find that truth. I can show you how to put your feet upon the pathway which will lead you to that truth, and it is you who will travel along that pathway and prove to yourself that what I tell you is truth.
Every true theosophical teacher has as his first duty to show his fellow men that pathway sublime, splendid, leading to the very heart of the universe, and that pathway is within yourself. Each one of you a god as you verily are, kin to the gods which fill the universe full, O sons of men, why will ye not see when the vision sublime lies plain before your eyes!
A man said to me once: "When a Christian Scientist has had visible, tangible evidence of the results produced on a man's body by thought-power, it is impossible to convince him that he is wrong, and that theosophists are right in saying that such things are not possible."
Question: Does theosophy say that these so-called marvels are impossible of accomplishment, or merely that following such practices is extremely dangerous to the human constitution?
The questioner is right in the deduction. Now in answering this question, I don't want to step on any sensitive toes. I have very good friends, or have had very good friends, among the Christian Scientists. But I must nevertheless answer this question. I cannot answer it with an answer that I myself do not believe is a truthful one. So please remember that in answering this question I do so from the standpoint of a theosophist. Let me add, however, that the theosophist never, at any time, attacks the religious beliefs of some fellow human being. We look upon that procedure as disgraceful, and also as being short-sighted and as showing a lack of an understanding heart. But while we try always to render unto others the same kindly courtesy that we ask of others when they study our sublime theosophical doctrines, this does not prevent us from telling what we believe to be the truth as proved to us by our studies.
Christian Science, no matter what its proponents may claim for it, falls within the frontiers of what I have called psychical practices. Of course, by faith, or by thought-power, or willpower — call it what you will, let us not quibble about words — a man can work sometimes what seem to be marvels. He can not only change his thought-currents and thus change his character, which is indeed a wonderful and splendid thing to do, it may be, but he can even, by the power of his faith and by his thought, change his physical body. Hence, in our practical, pragmatical world, that is quite enough to enable anybody to say: "How practical! The fact is proved. I will proceed." But is the fact proved?
By taking drugs I can stimulate certain organs in my body so that for the time being I become almost superhuman. The unwonted alertness, the quickening of the life-flow, the stimulation of the mental and psychical faculties within, are in certain cases phenomena which follow. But the aftereffect — there is the proof of the pudding! The taking of drugs is always ill-advised, for drugs destroy: not only do they destroy nerve tissue and other tissue, thus making the man worse than he was before, but they strengthen mental and emotional selfishness, because no human being will take drugs unless it is to gain some personal advantage of some kind. And furthermore the very fact that a man takes drugs is a sure sign that the enshrouding veils of personality and individual appetite and passion are very dark around him. I am not now speaking of proper medical practice.
Do you realize that when a man has a disease, that that disease has had a cause? Do you also realize that the man is simply working out what has come to him because he has brought it upon him by his own acts? Also that his nature is changing, is in process of cleansing, and that the inner poison, the poison in his mind and in his heart, which has been manifesting in his body as a disease, is now in the process of working out of his system. It is quite possible to dam back that disease and thus to throw it back into the constitution again. You can indeed dam it back; and the result is that someday it will come out again, but bringing in its train a thousand devils worse than itself, because it will have accumulated energy by being dammed back.
Christian Science, while I have deep respect for the sincere and beautiful characters who follow it and earnestly believe it, is something that I — and this I have a right to say undoubtedly — personally cannot accept. To me it is very dangerous. It is a meddling, by using psychical powers, with the delicate constitution of the human being. It is damming back what nature is trying to throw out. Disease is a purgation, a cleansing, and therefore the poison within ought to come out. Disease is nature's way of making the flow of life clean and sweet again.
Men of the West, as a rule, are cowards where disease is concerned, because they are short-sighted, due to the fact that they have no real philosophy of life and of the human constitution. A man has a disease, or a woman has, and he or she hunts up and down the earth for some remedy to cure the ill. And that in itself is all right. There is no harm in attempting to find a proper medical cure, no harm in trying to get relief. This is perfectly proper. But when you dam that disease back by willpower or thought-power, or psychical energy, this is another thing entirely, for the time will come when it will have accumulated strength by the increase of the latent fault of character which originated that disease; and heaven help the unfortunate wretch when the time comes for this increased disease again to manifest its action, for this it will certainly do at some future time.
Much better is it to let nature purge the constitution, as it is trying to do; and I tell you that the physician of the future will have learned how to lead disease out of the body, carefully, gently, easily, so that the body will be neither wrecked nor even hurt, and yet the lesson will be learned. When I say the physician of the future, I do not mean men of a year from now, but the practitioners of a much more distant period.
There is much good in Christian Science, from one aspect at least. The Christian Scientists are so earnest, they are so devoted, they really believe what they teach; and those moral qualities are admirable, because worthy of high respect. In many ways they teach beautiful thoughts, such as kindliness to others, love towards others, mutual helpfulness, kindly charity. All that is fine. I am glad to pay tribute to these splendid qualities — but the philosophy of Christian Science, if indeed it can be said to have a philosophy, which I seriously doubt, it is impossible to accept; and last but not least the methods of Christian Science do not cure the disease at all. They merely throw it back into the system and there it lies dormant until the time comes for it to reappear.
The last question that I shall be able to answer this afternoon, due to the shortness of time at my disposal, is the following:
Your announcement of a World-Congress of Theosophists at Point Loma in August 1931, has aroused so much interest in the theosophical world that there are indications that literally thousands of people will be planning to come here to attend this Congress. Are you going to be able to receive such a crowd at your public sessions? Will you have living accommodations for them all here at Point Loma? Or will you have to shut your doors on the greater number of these, even if they be earnest and sincere theosophists?
We certainly shall not shut our doors in the face of anyone, but if they come by the thousands, where on earth could we put them? We have only two guest rooms at the present time; so I am afraid that the only thing to do will be to ask the kindly brothers of other societies and of our own society, outside of one or two prominent officials who have already been promised accommodations here, to live in San Diego or in Ocean Beach or in some outlying but close-by place.
I want to tell you something about this congress or gathering of theosophists in next August — 1931. I am very happy about the responses that I have received from all over the world to my suggestion to hold such a congress at which representatives from all the Theosophical Societies will be present; but I think that so large a gathering — I mean so huge a gathering as thousands attending it — would nullify any possibility of fruitful and efficient work. What I really desire is to have a heart-to-heart talk with the chief officials of the other Theosophical Societies with my own officials here present, so that we can come to some mutually honest and sincere understanding of each others' problems. I want brotherly feeling among theosophists. I want kindliness, mutual charity, and forgiveness of each others' faults. That is what I want; and my hope is that next year, if I can gather the heads of these other Theosophical Societies at Point Loma, where they will meet me and my officials here in our Temple of Peace or in our Greek Theater, we can then iron out things that bar a complete understanding at the present time. They will then know me; I will know them; and distrust I hope will give way to trust; suspicion will give way to brotherly love and kindliness.
Some of these other theosophists seem to think that I am going to swallow them all. Well, I will frankly say that I wish I could. I am not a bit ashamed to say it. I am proud of The Theosophical Society which I have the high honor and responsibility of leading. I know, my brothers, what we have and especially what I myself have to give. I know what I have been taught to give to my fellow men; and it is my duty to give it to them.
But does this mean that I ignore the rights of others? No indeed. How could that be? I were not worthy to be a theosophical teacher if I could infringe the smallest right of any fellow human being. My heart tells me also that this my duty lies even more plainly in the case of other men and women who are theosophists and who, through the mutual misunderstanding and distrust that have existed in the past among theosophists, are members of different societies, and follow other leaders.
Now, I have no objection at all to the existence of other Theosophical Societies. What I want is brotherly love among them, and if possible a reunion. I want a common understanding among us. As I have said before, my idea is to found a super-society — not a political federation, for then there would be the same conflicts and trouble that we have had in the past; but my idea is to form a spiritual brotherhood, to which every theosophical organization would give honest allegiance and also be able to withdraw from it at any time; every such component Theosophical Society (and our own would be the first) to give up no rights; each one would retain all its rights, its own officers, its own constitution, its own field of work, its own particular teachings — in fact anything it likes; but in the name of the Masters and of the immortal gods, let us meet on a platform where universal brotherhood shall reign over our hearts and live in our souls!
This supreme society, according to my idea, would have one supreme officer, holding his position by innate spiritual right due to his esoteric and occult training. This supreme officer would have no political powers whatsoever, but would be merely one who is accepted as the teacher and leader of this super-Theosophical Society; and he would hold office by and through the love and trust and confidence — the children of experience — that he would evoke in the hearts of all the composing theosophical bodies and individuals. Here, therefore, is just an outline of the idea and hope that I have in mind to bring about if I can. Some day it will certainly come to pass, and I hope that we shall see it a living reality soon.
Our time to close has now come. I have tried to carry you into the spiritual fairyland that I spoke to you about in beginning my lecture this afternoon. I have given to you ideas of supernal beauty. I have drawn your attention to the beauty which is at the very heart of things. I have called your attention to the fact that cosmic love, almighty love, is itself that heart of things; and that each one of you is a channel for expressing it, if ye will; that the cosmic pathway to magnificent experience and growth begins within each of you, and in following this pathway it will lead you to the heart of the universe; that the method of freeing your feet from the clinging mire of the personality is to become impersonal, self-forgetfully to love — to learn to love, and to learn to forgive. Then ye become already quasi-divine. Nothing except forgiveness and love and honesty will purge your heart of weaknesses, children of selfishness.
Remember then, my brothers, that each one of you in the core of your being, is an imbodied god. Why will ye not be yourself — your greater self, your spiritual self!