Theosophical University Press Online Edition
Ancient America, Egypt and India
Civilizations of Pre-History
Age of the Great Pyramids
Swabhava and the Monad
Reincarnation and Early Christianity
The Three Logoi
Against Medical Inoculation
The Nature of Evil and Free Will in Man
In a Preface written to Dr. Alexander Wilder's series of articles on the Egyptian Dynasties, published in the old UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD PATH, occurs the statement that "Egypt is older than India, and America older than either." This preface is signed by Katherine Tingley.
This statement cannot be reconciled, it would seem, with the many statements made by H. P. B., both in THE SECRET DOCTRINE and in ISIS UNVEILED, to the effect that India is older than Egypt and that Egypt owed her civilization to India. For example the following:
. . . Egypt herself had, in those unknown ages when Menes reigned, received her laws, her social institutions, her arts, and her sciences from pre-Vedic India. -- Isis Unveiled, I, 589
. . . Egypt owes her civilization, her civil institutions, and her arts, to India. - Op. cit., II, 431
Egypt owes her civilization, commonwealth, and arts — especially the art of building, to pre-Vedic India. — Op. cit., II, 435
ISIS UNVEILED has several other statements, and THE SECRET DOCTRINE, II, 417, reads:
India and Egypt were two kindred nations, and the Eastern Ethiopians (Egyptians) have come from India, as is now pretty well proved, it is hoped, in Isis Unveiled, II, 569-70.
I have heard a statement that certain Atlantean stocks, foreseeing the coming catastrophe, when Atlantis began to sink, migrated to new lands, and these lands became the Americas, became Africa, became parts of Asia, and that in time they lost all memory of their homeland and became the stocks of the ancient Americans, the Mayas, the Incas of Peru, and ALSO THE ARCHAIC EGYPTIANS, AND THE VERY EARLIEST ARYANS.
Question: Can you throw some light upon the contradictions? Is it possible that Dr. Wilder wrote that preface himself, as he wrote the preface to ISIS UNVEILED, which preface admittedly contains errors?
No, no. The statement therein is from Katherine Tingley and is quite true. America was, strictly speaking, the fifth continent to appear about the time of the sinking of the mainland of the Atlantic continental system. But for ages and ages after the first part of the original Americas had risen above the waters of the ocean, semi-continents, quasi-continents, great islands, of the Atlantean system still endured. And not so very long, geologically speaking, after the Americas had arisen above the waters — not then having their exact present configuration — the first roots of what later became Egypt, 'the Gift of the River Nile,' appeared; a little later than that, the larger part of what is now called upper Asia.
There is no contradiction at all between the statements, and I have often wondered why a contradiction should apparently be sought for where none exists. Is it not possible to understand that two statements can mean the same thing, but are made because viewing the same thing from two different angles? It is perfectly true that America is older than Egypt, and that Egypt is older than what is now called India.
What is now India was first colonized from the north, but almost contemporaneously from the south: from what was in ancient times, aeons agone, called Lanka, of which now vanished land, what was the northernmost highland is today called Ceylon. Lanka was one of the quasi-continents that I have just spoken of — I mean the ancient Lanka of the wide-flowing Atlantean system. The peoples inhabiting the ancient Lanka, of which Ceylon is the northernmost tip or prolongation, were mythologically spoken of by the Greeks as the 'eastern Aethiopians' — not meaning negroes, but Easterners, who were called 'Aethiopians' on account of the dark color of their skin — as if the skin had been greatly sunburned.
Thus then, the original part of India had likewise received settlers from the south, coming from the remnant of the ancient Atlantean Lanka, inhabited, if you will remember, by Ravana, the foe of Rama, and by Ravana's armies of 'monkeys ' and 'half-men.' The common Sanskrit name for the inhabitants of ancient Lanka was Rakshasas.
Now, preceding the time when the Asiatic Atlantean Lanka was in the heyday of its prosperity, there existed in what is now called the region of the Atlantic Ocean, a great and extensive and highly civilized range of land which was the continental backbone throughout the ages of Atlantis. When this Atlantic Atlantean continent finally broke up and disappeared, leaving behind it large and small islands — which last condition existed after the original Asiatic Lanka had also broken up and disappeared — emigrants from these remaining islands of the Atlantic traveled eastward and settled on new land which had been rising out of the ocean to the eastward of these remnants of the Atlantean continent, and these new lands later consolidated — these new islands — and became what is now the district of the Abyssinian highlands and lands somewhat to the north of these.
As time passed, these Atlantean emigrants who had settled upon these new lands to the eastward, followed northwards the continual northward rising of new land — the extension of their shores northwards into the Atlantic Ocean; and this was the earliest Atlantean root-stock of what in later ages became the archaic or primitive Egyptians. Remember that the Egypt of history is the 'Gift of the River Nile.' The Nile flows northwards, and through the ages it has brought down enormous accumulations of sediment in its waters and has deposited these continually on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean into which the Nile flowed, so that little by little through the ages this shore-deposit of the Nile extended ever more into the waters of the Atlantic, as the river kept bringing down, through the passing millennia, ever more and more detritus and earthy material, carried northwards in its Waters and derived from the mountains of the hinterland, the back country, Abyssinia, and what is now Nubia and the other countries there. Thus the entire Nile Delta, as the Greeks called it: in other words the Egypt of history, and as it is today, is literally the Gift of the River Nile.
This original Delta was settled anew by further colonists of a later age from the last remnant of Atlantis, which Plato called 'Poseidonis,' which existed some eleven or twelve thousand years before his time; for Poseidonis then still existed in the Atlantic Ocean beyond the Pillars of Hercules; and this Poseidonis at about that time was a large island more or less of the size of Ireland today. These Poseidonians were they who settled anew on the Egypt of the Delta and built the Pyramid some seventy or eighty thousand years ago. You see, therefore, that these Egyptians of the second important immigration were a much later Atlantean immigration than were the first that I have told you, about. Furthermore, the Poseidonians had already become more or less mixed in blood with the Aryans — the new race which had already for several ages been coming down from the plateau of Asia, where, as Atlantean stocks, they had found refuge from the continental agony of Atlantis.
Remember, therefore, that these Aryans coming down from the plateau of Asia belonged to the original Atlantean emigration which I have told you of, which went eastwards to the new lands arising out of the waters of the then Far East.
Once more, still later than the time when Poseidonis sank, which was some twelve thousand or more years ago, Egypt was again invaded and settled by emigrants from what is now southern India who came into Egypt by two routes. The first route was over the Indian Ocean to Abyssinia and the countries around that range of land; and thence down the River Nile into Egypt, the immigrants conquering and settling the country as they went. The other route was a land-route over what is now the Isthmus of Suez. These last immigrants into Egypt from southern India, the Egyptian records refer to as the 'Sons of Horus,' the Sun-God, coming out of the East.
Thus you see that Egypt had first a primal or primitive immigration of Atlantean stock before the Egypt of history had as yet been made by the River Nile. Then came a second and much later emigration of a mixed Atlantean stock from Poseidonis into Egypt, which mixed stock settled on the Egypt of history, some eighty, ninety, or one hundred thousand or more years ago. Still later again there came the third immigration into Egypt of history, it may have been eight or nine thousand years ago or more, these immigrants coming from southern India; and it is this last immigration of Indian stocks from southern India — who were the 'eastern Aethiopians' who mixed with the Atlantean Egyptians and thus produced the composite racial stock which known history, recorded history, knows as having produced the dynasties of Egypt.
Thus America was the oldest continent; Egypt in its beginnings was much earlier than India; then came India; but also southern India at a later time sent her civilization, her arts, her mysteries, the teaching of her great mystical schools, to Egypt. These last south Indian immigrants into Egypt were themselves a mixed people partly of early Aryan stock but of a still stronger infusion of the ancient Atlantean inhabitants of the then already sunken and almost forgotten Atlantean Lanka.
Archaeologists have found no remains of developed civilizations earlier than about 7,000 years ago — not long before the beginnings of Kali- Yuga.
There is positive evidence from tens of thousands of years before that, of a 'primitive' mode of living — stone implements, etc., — and negative evidence of the same — the absence of pottery, metals, buildings, etc.
H. P. Blavatsky says the lack of progress during the immense period of the Stone-Ages was due to the heavy Atlantean karman.
Was humanity really brutal and savage as a whole during the Stone Ages, or are the appearances deceptive, and did a higher civilization exist during the 900,000 years since the destruction of the continent of Atlantis, though lacking the appurtenances we now consider essential to 'civilization'?
Brutality and brutishness walk the streets of our cities; and you will see among us many examples of the so-called Stone-Age man of the archaeologists. There are Stone-Age men today, savage and barbarian tribes, using stones; and there are so-called civilized men also today. Consequently, my answer is, that higher civilizations have existed during the last 900,000 years, most emphatically so, certainly so. During the 900,000 years that this querent speaks of, which is by no means all the time since the downfall of the Atlantean civilization, but even within this smaller period of 900,000 years, there have been great civilizations in various parts of the globe, which were born, which flourished, which brought forth the best that they could achieve in the plenitude of their power, and then decayed; and not a wrack of them remains as a witness today. Our fate will be exactly the same; but while these brilliant civilizations flourished in various parts of the world, there were Stone-Age men then, just as there are today.
There are different kinds of waves of civilization which sweep over the earth, such as that which existed during the times of the Greek and the Roman Empires, when all over the world civilization was fairly low when looked at from a standpoint of merely mechanical achievements, and not so high in that respect as our civilization is at the present time; but from a nobler standpoint, higher than civilization is at present. The essence of civilization is the bringing forth into manifestation in human life of the spiritual and intellectual faculties and powers of men, whether men have automobiles and flying machines, or not.
When a man thinks and produces the fruits of his thought in noble works, in literature, in the mysteries, in religion, in philosophy, in human kindness, there we find a true civilization. It is a civilization of a higher type than one like our own. Yes, there have been many civilizations in the past more brilliant even than our own at present. We have not reached the fullest expression, the highest point, of our present cycle of growth. But that highest point is not far off, and then our turn will come to decay — unless the Theosophical Movement can arouse generally in the hearts of mankind some greater longing for spiritual things; unless our spiritual movement arouse in the hearts and minds of men — so that it will carry them over the difficulties of the future — a vision, a vision of Truth, and of Reality; and above everything else, unless it can evoke brotherly kindness, brotherly love.
You will find brutes walking the streets of our great cities today, types and examples of those purely imaginary figures which the imaginative archaeologists portray as the 'dawn-man,' or the 'paleolithic man' or the 'neolithic man,' or the 'Stone-Age man.'
Not so many thousands of years before Greece attained the remarkable brilliance which characterized its civilization during the Periclean Age: not so many thousands of years before that, there flourished a civilization which would put ours to shame, actually a series of civilizations, and they had their habitat and stage in what is now Persia and Western Afghanistan, and in the lands to the north and east of these, lands which are now barren and desert countries. Brilliant civilizations flourished there. There were also civilizations which once covered with a perfect web of cities and towns what are now the Gobi plains — a howling waste of sands and desolation, but which were then dotted with prosperous cities and towns and villages. The land was highly cultivated. Astronomical observatories and chemical laboratories were as common as they are with us. What remains of them? Naught but legends, dreams of the past, a few scattered archaeological remnants, which are supposed by the degenerate inhabitants of the Shamo desert today to be the dwelling-place of spirits or genii. Many parts of the earth were the seats of once brilliant civilizations of which not even a memory remains today.
What is the true age of the Great Pyramids of ancient Egypt?
I would say that the Great Pyramids are at least three Zodiacal years, or 75,000 years old, and perhaps more, a good deal more. Any attempt to fix even an approximate age would depend upon the geology of the Nile delta and other similar things, which would act as time-checks. The Great Pyramid of Cheops was builded at the time of the second Atlantean immigration-period. After the first great pyramids were builded, many other pyramids were constructed in later ages; but between these two periods the original Atlantean immigration and the later ages — there took place the heavy immigration from the Orient, from what is now Southern India, Ceylon, and the other part of the big island of which Ceylon is the sole remaining remnant.
The pyramid is a typical Atlantean structure; and that is why they are found in the New World also, in Yucatan and Mexico, the principles of pyramidal construction having been carried there by Atlantean immigrants from the sinking Atlantean islands.
In regard to Swabhava, is the idea correct that different classes of monads pass each through certain different types of self-expression in all the kingdoms — one class through certain genera and species in each kingdom, another class of monads through different ones? And if every monad must pass through all the types from monad to god, how is the actual difference in its own swabhava developed?
The swabhava is the characteristic individuality of a being or entity, one having swabhava X, another swabhava Y, another swabhava Z, a fourth swabhava Q, a fifth swabhava P, etc., etc., these swabhavas being the stored-up treasury of experiences from preceding cosmic manvantaras. Just so with human beings: each man has his own swabhava, and yet all men are linked each through his highest with the Cosmic Monad from which all originated in the dawn of manvantaric manifestation, and to which Cosmic Monad all will at the end of the manvantara be ingathered again. When these individual monads reissue forth at the dawn of a new cosmic manvantara for a new life-period, each will do so with his own treasury of ingarnered or ingathered experiences from the present cosmic manvantara, and each thus will have his own improved or evolved swabhava or individual characteristics — or individuality. These armies of monads issuing forth from the Cosmic Monad, i.e., from its bosom, will thus break out into the welter, into the incomprehensibly vast multitudes, of beings in differentiation and in manifestation, which will produce the amazing and fascinating variety and differences of the future cosmic manvantara; just as the varieties around us now were born in the manner above explained from the experiences gathered in during the previous cosmic manvantara.
Thus slowly through the revolving ages of endless time, the Monads gradually change or rather evolve their swabhava or 'character' or individuality, ever towards higher and nobler and loftier types, because the swabhava or individuality of each grows from the less to the greater, from the more imperfect to the more perfect, but always bringing out from within, and not growing by adding increments from outside.
Summarizing, then, in our thought, this wonderful picture, we see that karman obliges every individual Sparklet or Droplet of the ocean of the Cosmic Monad to pass, in the whirling of the Wheel of Life throughout endless time, through all possible phases of experience in the cosmic manvantara as these succeed each other.
To particularize: it is quite wrong to imagine an individual monad being in one of its evolutionary stages a tiny particle in the mineral kingdom, such as of hornblende or quartz or granite or whatever it may be, and slowly becoming through time perhaps an atom in the flesh of some beast, and finally becoming as a separate entity the monad of a Humboldt or of a Newton or of a Dante or of a Vergil. Here the attention is wrongly centered upon the monad as being an entity disjunct and 'separate' from the Cosmic Monad, in the materialistic fashion of the science of fifty years ago when H. P. B. wrote; and this is very misleading. The truth is that the Individual Monad passes through and helps to form each and every one of the kingdoms of Nature, becoming more and more individualized because of the ever greater expression of its own inner swabhava flowing from within itself, the stage finally being reached in this development from within upwards when the Monad can express a sufficiency of its inner and hitherto latent spiritual and intellectual and psychical powers, so that it then brings forth in the human kingdom a Humboldt or a Newton or a Dante, etc.
Thus, then, the correct way of phrasing the teaching is: The Monad expressing itself with others in every kingdom of Nature, or passing through these various phases of its long evolutionary pilgrimage, at each stage unfolding from within in continuously larger measure the powers and faculties and attributes latent in its swabhava.
The Doctrine of Reincarnation was generally taught and accepted in the pre-Christian times, but was discarded during the early days of Christianity. Could you tell me why this was done, and when?
It dropped out of belief and acceptance because Christian theology, during its first three or four or five centuries of development, discovered that the doctrine of Reimbodiment, with its collateral doctrine of intrinsic retributive justice and compensation, did not harmonize with its own ideas of salvation by 'the blood of the Lamb,' plus repentance no matter how black one's sins might be. The doctrine thus gradually fell into oblivion, and people thereafter began to imagine that they could be 'saved' by believing on Jesus as the "only Son of God, who was sent into the world by God Almighty to die for our sins, and if we believe on Him and repent we shall be saved unto life everlasting, because we shall be washed in His blood" that is, our souls will be, I suppose!
The doctrine, in the form of Pre-existence as taught by the great Church-Father, Origen, was formally anathematized and condemned at the 'Home-Synod' — which is another term for a minor council — held under the Primate Mennas in Constantinople at a date which modern scholars fix between 538 and 543 (they are not certain of the exact year), as a consequence of the theological and other disputes over the teachings of Origen, the great Alexandrian Church-Father, which had racked the Christian Church for nearly two hundred years or more previously. These particular disputes are called the 'Origenistic Controversies.' Among Origen's teachings was the implicit statement that all the Universe is alive, even the stars being living creatures and having souls, and therefore involving themselves in moral responsibilities; and that, furthermore, imbodied souls must have pre-existences as well as post-existences, before and after death, and hence souls are responsible for their feelings, thoughts, and acts.
As just said, at the Home-Synod under the Primate Mennas, this was one of Origen's doctrines formally condemned and anathematized and pronounced heretical; and when this anathema and condemnation were repeated and confirmed at the Fifth General Council also held at Constantinople in 553 under the Emperor Justinian and with the strong arm of the Church enforcing the anathema, backed by the equally strong arm of the State, the doctrine of Pre-existence and of Reimbodiment fell first into heretical disrepute, and finally, within a short time, into oblivion.
The full Theosophical doctrine of Reincarnation, that is to say the technical doctrine as we now teach it, cannot be said to have been condemned and anathematized at these two Constantinopolitan councils: it was Origen's particular form of the teaching expressed in his doctrine of Pre-existence and of moral responsibility arising out of it, which was thus banned and declared heretical. His doctrine in many respects is very much the same as our complete doctrine of Reincarnation; but it is not exactly our Theosophical doctrine, because Origen's form is incomplete and therefore imperfect. Don't make the mistake of ignoring this subtil distinction, because if you do you may be caught some day by some clever casuist, and become confused over what after all is mere words. Origen undoubtedly taught the doctrine under his own form of Pre-existence involving the soul's having lived before birth, and the fact that it will live again and again, and will take imbodiment in different nations of the world, at one time being, as he put it, an Egyptian, at another time a Jew, etc. Yet Origen taught the doctrine from his own particular or rather individual viewpoint, attempting to link it with half-formed theological teachings. Hence, he did not teach the full and complete doctrine of Reincarnation as we give it today.
Thus, to state baldly and without further qualification that the two Councils held at Constantinople, in 538-543, and again in 553, condemned and anathematized and declared heretical our Theosophical doctrine of Reincarnation, is a dangerous thing to say, because, first, it is inaccurate because incomplete, and second, inaccurate because it was only Origen's form thereof that was condemned. This form is partly true, three-fourths true let us say, but yet not accurately stated.
There is little doubt that the full Theosophical teaching of Reimbodiment would have been condemned and anathematized with even more vigor and detestation than was Origen's white-washed form. I might add in conclusion as showing how the spiritual powers in the world are continually at work, that just about the time when these two Councils condemned Origen's doctrine of Pre-existence and Reimbodiment, a new and much more spiritual current of theological teaching based on Neo-Platonic and Neo-Pythagorean doctrines began to have large currency in the then Christian Church. This new current took its crystallized and literary form in the writings of the Pseudo-Dionysius, the Areopagite, and affected all later Christian theology tremendously, profoundly modifying and spiritualizing it.
Is there anything on record showing that Jesus himself taught the doctrine of Reincarnation?
I don't think there is any record except in the Gospels themselves, in vague allusions of a purely mystical character, such as the question of Nicodemus; and again the statement: "This is Elias which was for to come"; and we must always remember the more general fact of history that the teaching of Reincarnation in one or in another form was a doctrine well known and accepted by the Pharisees of Judaea of the period in which Jesus was said to have appeared. It was as commonly known and as commonly accepted — indeed much more largely then — as it is in the world today. I think people would be surprised to find out how commonly the teaching is taken for granted in our own times. It is no longer considered to be a funny or a peculiar doctrine. It is 'in the air.' Tens of thousands of people accept it openly, and multitudes of others accept it tacitly but do not talk about it, because they do not understand it; and just so it was among the Pharisees and others.
What about the question asked of Jesus: "Who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Yes, there are four or five such allusions, but no direct and specific declarations. But if the question is: "Did Jesus Christ teach Reincarnation?" the proper answer is: I am perfectly persuaded that he did, because it was such a common doctrine and so universally accepted in his time by the best minds, that if he did not at least accept it, he would have been considered to be a man of small insight and perhaps of small education. But there is absolutely no authentic record that he taught it. The Gospels themselves were written by men who lived anywhere from fifty to two hundred and fifty years after Jesus died.
Reincarnation was also one of the commonest beliefs in the Roman Empire, which included practically all the civilized European world then, outside of Parthia and the Orient. The Roman Empire included practically all of Asia Minor and Egypt, Italy, Greece, Gaul, Spain, part of Germany, most of Britain and spots in Ireland. All the Germanic peoples believed in it; all the Celtic peoples accepted it as a matter of course. It was one of the Druidic teachings. It was one of the intellectual 'stock in trade' beliefs of the time.
I am often confused in Theosophical literature over the use of the term Logos or Logoi which seems to be used in different ways in different places. Can you clear up this matter?
Logos is a Greek word which originally means 'Reason,' and finally also came to mean 'Word.' Why? Because when a man addresses a man, he utters an idea of reason; reason or thought is conveyed by words between man and man; and taking this simple thought, certain Schools of the philosophy of Greece transferred it as a figure of speech, as a picture, to Cosmic processes and said: First there was the divine Reason, the divine Thought, which in order to communicate the life and intelligence within itself needed a vehicle, needed a Word, to pass itself on. And the Word or vehicle was produced by the functioning of the Reason, just as human speech is produced by the function of human reason, human thought.
There are of course many Logoi. Every different plane has its own three Logoi: the unmanifest, the partially manifest or quasi-manifest, the manifest, otherwise called First, Second, and Third Logoi. Why is this? Because Nature's operations and functions and structure are repetitive on all planes — what, is in the highest is in the lowest, and vice versa; or, to put the thought differently, because the entire Universe is constructed, of and in hierarchies which repeat each other on the different planes. Therefore each hierarchy, each plane in other words, has its First Logos, its Second Logos, and its Third.
You see how simple this thought is; and there is no reason to be confused when you see in The Secret Doctrine or in other writings, different statements about the Logoi or about the Third Logos or the Second or the First. First examine and find out which hierarchy or which plane is spoken of. This is why in Fundamentals I put the First and Second and Third Logoi in places relative to others, which are perfectly correct, but would be inaccurate if you transferred these relative positions to the Cosmos Universal, because in the Cosmos Universal Mahat is the Third Logos as it is indeed in man; Atman the First Logos, Buddhi the Second Logos, Manas the Word, Reason, the expressed reason, the reason delivering the life of its progenitor to others — the Third Logos or Manas.
The teaching is very simple indeed. Do not boggle over words and think there are mysteries where there are none. There are mysteries enow, I tell you, without trying to find new ones, and that is what we all do! Find out first which Logos is spoken of, to which plane it is properly referred; then ascertain other facts about it; and you will find your way as clear as you could wish it. You will have no difficulty whatsoever. Every hierarchy, which means every plane, has its own three Logoi: the First or highest, the unmanifest for that hierarchy or plane, the Hyparxis, if you wish; its clothing or offspring or expression, the Second Logos; its child or offspring or clothing, the Third Logos.
What is the Theosophical point of view regarding medical inoculations of human beings as preventive measures against contagious diseases? Does it approve or is it opposed to them, and if so, why?
While there is no doubt that the injection of virus or so-called antitoxin-substances from human and animal bodies into the veins of some other human being may, indeed certainly will, have its effect, nevertheless it is all too often overlooked that the injection of foreign poisons, often of a disgusting origin, into the human blood-stream, is bound to have one other and inevitable result, and this is, weakening the body's normally active powers of resistance, as well as the body's own inherent and instinctual production of substances which in the normal case will be produced in order to protect the body against invasion from outside, whether by germs or in any other manner; and even should invasion occur, to neutralize their poison.
People are all too often swept off their feet — and with due apologies to the profession, medical men in particular — by the realization that a new antitoxin has been discovered which, when human bodies are inoculated with it, will prevent, it is hoped, the spread of a disease; and in consequence frequently human beings showing no sign of the disease are inoculated simply as a preventive measure.
I have no desire whatsoever to touch upon occult or esoteric reasons in connexion with this question, for these reasons would have no appeal whatsoever to the ordinary man in the street, and might even prejudice him, because of his blindness and lack of thought, against Theosophy, and Theosophists themselves as being in his view simple 'cranks' or 'mild lunatics.' The situation must be met on its own grounds. The annals of medicine present us with too many cases where this fad or that fad has been followed and at first acclaimed as a heaven-sent blessing, but later discovered to be a hell-sent curse! It is the short-sighted view that usually prevails, unfortunately.
I might as well point out that nobody will contract any disease whatsoever unless the germs of that disease are already in the system, their being there because of a proclivity towards that disease, this proclivity itself being due to karmic causes. Thus inoculating an otherwise healthy man of this type with the antitoxin-virus of some loathsome disease not only weakens the body of this otherwise healthy man, but because of this weakness predisposes his system towards reception of the latent disease, despite the efforts of the body to react protectively against it; and, furthermore, because of weakening the body it predisposes it likewise, on account of this ensuing weakness, to other possible invasions of still other diseases.
I am convinced that, by means of stricter hygienic and preventive measures, a wiser future medical science will bend most of its efforts towards stamping out the diseases which afflict both man and beast. In itself there is something unspeakably revolting in injecting virus from unfortunate and diseased animals, or from the bodies of human beings suffering from loathsome disease, into the blood-stream of apparently healthy people, in the hope thereby to render them immune against contracting of such diseases. Vegetable poisons are incomparably less dangerous to the human system when properly used in a prophylactic or preventive manner, although of course it is true that some vegetable poisons are as fatal as any known.
Summarizing, therefore, I for one may say that I am absolutely opposed to poisoning the blood-stream of human beings with antitoxin-virus of any kind taken from the diseased bodies of man or beast. The mere fact that this is running counter to so strong a stream of current medical opinion, is a matter to me of utter unimportance. Medical science, like all other sciences, changes so rapidly that the opinions of one day, however widely and loudly proclaimed, become the discarded theories of a succeeding age. The proper way to do, therefore, it seems to me, is to take all natural, cleanly, sane, and normal preventive measures, both in the individual and in the collective fields, especially sanitary and hygienic measures, paying due and proper attention to exercise, diet, and personal cleanliness of all kinds. Then, if one contracts a disease, it becomes a duty to try to recover health in every cleanly and sane manner possible, and it is perfectly right so to do. It is extremely doubtful in my opinion if it is either right or wise in any case whatsoever to inoculate human beings with the disgusting virus drawn from the diseased bodies of either man or beast for this purpose. I am convinced such inoculation brings along with it ten devils worse than the disease itself.
In what way did the Stoic teaching differ from that of Theosophy as regards (1) the nature of evil, (2) Free will in man?
We must remember that the Stoic Philosophy, a really grand system of cosmic thought, has been badly understood by moderns trained in Christian ways of theological thought. The Stoics had virtually the same fundamental or esoteric teaching that the Platonists had, and consequently 'the nature of evil' is just about what I have explained in my answers to former questions. Evil is imperfection, i.e., insufficient evolution, and is therefore relative; because what men might call 'good,' the gods who are above us might actually call 'evil' by comparison with their own supergoodness.
It may be illustrated by the example of light: There is weak light, light of moderate strength, and dazzling brilliance. The beings who live in the intermediate light, would say that the weak light is evil. On the other hand, the beings who live in the dazzling brilliance, would say that the intermediate light is evil. Therefore, the nature of evil, as taught in the Stoic Philosophy, or, indeed, as taught in Platonism, or, indeed, as taught in modern Theosophy, is simply imperfection. Any being who or which is insufficiently evolved to have brought out divinity from within itself, at least to some degree, can be called 'evil' by comparison with beings much more evolved, who are therefore much more perfect.
Next, as regards the Stoic doctrine of 'Free will in man,' this Stoic doctrine is exactly the same as part of the Theosophical teaching on the same topic; and please remember that the heart of Platonism or Stoicism is identic with the heart of Theosophy. But alas, this esoteric heart moderns have never understood because of their Christian prejudices and biases. Free will in man arises out of the fact that man is a child of the Universe, divinely, spiritually, intellectually, psychically, astrally and physically, as well as morally. Consequently, free will in man arises out of the heart of his being, which is as much as saying the heart of the Universe, of which he is a child, because the Universe is the Great Whole; therefore the part must have whatsoever it may be that the Great Whole has. You see how beautifully this thought works: Man has free will because he is of the same essence or substance as the spiritual Universe, which is or has free will. Conversely, we can prove that there is free will in the Universe because man himself has it, man being a part of the Whole — it being inconceivable that a part can possess something which the Whole has not.