Studies in Occult Philosophy by G. de Purucker
Theosophical University Press Online Edition

Real Meaning of Pantheism
Jesus and Buddha
Ever-Moving Infinite Life
Lao-Tse Legend
The Ancient Pali Language
Buddhism, Brahmanism and the Adwaita-Vedanta
Status of Mahomet
Evil, the Conflict of Wills
Children's Invisible Companions

Questions and Answers

Real Meaning of Pantheism

Are Theosophists Pantheists?

No, and yet, in a deeper sense, yes. We do not accept Pantheism as it is taught in the West, taught, I mean, not as something to be believed in, but mistaught and misrepresented as something philosophically wrong coming down to us from the ancients — all which supposition is false and arbitrary. The West's ideas of Pantheism were born in the West, and it is just these last ideas that we repudiate. The Occident says that Pantheism means that every stock and stone, every plant and flower, every sun or bit of physical material, is "God." That is the Pantheism as misunderstood in the West. We do not accept it. It is not the Pantheism of the archaic Orient nor of the archaic ages in any part of the world. The Occidental we must call material Pantheism.

The other, true spiritual Pantheism, we do accept in common with the universal consensus of mankind: that whatever is high or low is of divine origin and returns ultimately to divinity, that all springs forth from utterly incomprehensible, nameless MYSTERY, inconceivable by man, and therefore inexpressible in human language. Yet of IT, man has inextinguishable intuitions, for out of it he comes, in it he lives for ay, unto it he returns, and it is his own inmost — the source of All, beyond even the All, and encompassing the All! and hence the ancient Vedic Sages simply called it THAT.

Now, as THAT is utterly boundless everywhere, limitless, frontierless, both in space and in duration, and it is the source of all intelligence and love, of all power and form, of everything, they call this doctrine Pan-theism, all-divine, all from the divinity. So that the true Pantheism does not say that every stock and stone, or flower or bit of wood, every globe and comet or sun and beast and tree, or reptile and insect, is "God"; but that the divine, the utterly divine, the super-divine, Para-parabrahman, THAT, is the utterly incomprehensible Source and encompassing Life of All. From it all comes; even the globe and the sun and the star come forth in hierarchies containing other hierarchies, themselves contained by others vaster still. Hence all is divine in essence, though naturally not in form; so that the stone or the globe or the beast or the wood or the flower or the sun or the planet, or what not, is not God, but is a tiny particle, so to speak, in the veil or garment of the Incomprehensible. Just as when I lay my hand upon a man I touch not the man. I touch but a portion of his physical expression. The real man is invisible, within-above, and his highest is incomprehensible, sublime. That is the Pantheism of which the West has no cognisance; so that when you read of Pantheism in western books, you must not misunderstand them to mean true Pantheism, but what they misconstrue true Pantheism to be.

Jesus and Buddha

In your Society, whom do you consider the greater Master, Jesus Christ or Gautama-Buddha?

Our Society has a platform which is broad and free, and grants liberty of conscience to all its Sections, which are practically autonomous under our Constitution. Hence it is a matter of very small importance whether one Theosophist thinks that Jesus Christ is the greatest Master, and whether some other Theosophist thinks that Gautama-Buddha, or some other Teacher of men, is the greatest Master. To me, such a question is of minor interest, because the thing of great importance is the sublime Message of Theosophy which it is our duty, as genuine Theosophists, to give to the world, and it is not at all our private opinions or feelings about the Great Ones which should govern our official viewpoint or conduct.

To us, Jesus, the Avatara, of Palestine, was one of the great Theosophical Masters, as was also, of course, Gautama the Buddha, and as were others of the spiritual and intellectual Titans of history; and personally it is a matter of small importance to me which one of the world's Great Teachers different men may think to be the greatest. To me the most important thing of all is to bring to suffering mankind and to our dark world the life-giving, light-giving, healing spirit of Theosophy, the sublime Wisdom of the gods.

Ever-Moving Infinite Life

The First Fundamental Proposition, so THE SECRET DOCTRINE tells us, is that there is "An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and IMMUTABLE PRINCIPLE." In the same connexion we read that "This Infinite and Eternal Cause . . . is the rootless root of 'all that was, is, or ever shall be.'" If this "immutable principle," itself rootless, is the root of all that is, i.e., the root of the mutable and ceaselessly changing existences on all planes of manifestation, then it would seem that it must bear within its bosom the seeds of mutability, and therefore not be "immutable." Please unravel this, to me, seeming paradox.

It is a question which has been a perennial puzzle of Occidental philosophy and religion, and, indeed, needlessly so.

In the first place, when H. P. B. wrote The Secret Doctrine, she had to use words. She had to use words which would be understood. The consequence was that, using understandable words for untrained minds, she clothed Infinitude with a label, with labels. But Infinitude is without qualities, without attributes, without definable terms, of any kind that the most spiritual human imagination can place there, and nobody knew this better than H. P. B. herself. Any such attempt to define is a limitation. Defining means drawing a boundary. That is impossible with Infinity. The word itself means Boundless. Nevertheless, she had to use words to give an adumbration of her thought, for her thought was to teach Christians and Christianly-reared Theosophists that the Boundless is no Creator, is not a Demiurge, is not a motive Cause, does not move, whether in parts or in wholes, to produce creations. So she said 'immutable.' Yet, this Immutable is simply the ever-moving infinite Life, always in movement: Life itself, infinite, boundless, beginningless, endless, without terms, which cannot be defined within limits or compass of any human adjective or human noun. We can simply say that it is the infinite Life for ever, from eternity unto eternity, in unceasing movement; and this Motion is itself. I hope this gives some light on the matter.

This Life is to our human understanding composed of incomputable hierarchies of droplets of Spirit so to speak, as the vast ocean is composed of droplets of water, one and yet many — always one, never moving as a complete ocean, but eternally in motion throughout all its parts, in motions, and in movements. While one part is calm, another part moves. The part that was calm begins to move, but the part which was in movement ceases its motions and becomes calm. These are the universes which appear and again disappear into its boundless bosom: Itself, fruits of its bosom; self, selves, of Itself; and thus throughout eternity on all planes.

Occidentals cannot understand that Infinity to our conception, to our understanding, does not, cannot, ever move infinitely as an infinite unit or One, for this would make it no longer infinity, but a One. Infinity is expressed by the zero-symbol containing all Ones. In other words, it is not an infinite creator. If it were, it would produce an infinite creation. H. P. B. was trying to show that the Parabrahman of the occult philosophy is no creative god, active, moving, mutable. Christian theology is filled with contradictions because Christian theology has attempted to define, and therefore to delimit, to encompass, the limitless, that which is frontierless, "without body, parts and passions" as they say — and yet a Creator! Contradictory.

Take anything in the infinite womb of the cosmic Life: you, me, a sun, a planet, on whatever plane, superdivine, divine, spiritual, intellectual, astral, physical, or beneath the physical. Any entity anywhere, any monad anywhere, which is an offspring, a child, of the cosmic Life for ever within it, cannot ever move out of it, is always there from eternity unto eternity; and yet that monad is unceasingly in movement because its heart of the heart, the core of the core of the heart of the heart of the core of the core of it, is Infinitude.

Thus it is that the universes appear and disappear like the "sparks of eternity." In their exterior forms of manifestation, they are mayavi, illusions; but the heart of each, the essence of each, is the Cosmic Life in all its unending realms and reaches. And therefore the heart of each is Infinitude: the heart of me, the heart of you, the core of me, the core of you, is the root of me, the root of you, reaching endlessly into the infinite Cosmic Life.

Now that infinite Cosmic Life never moves as an individual to produce; yet as an infinitude of monads, as the ocean is an infinitude of droplets of water — its very essence is production. Electricity, for instance, to take a very homely simile or analogy, is universal, is cosmic. Considered as an endless essence it is immutable, but in infinite parts or portions of itself is in unceasing activity. Life is infinite, and yet the infinite Life is builded up, so to say, at least we humans so understand it, of infinite lives, each such life a monad, the heart of which being the whole cosmic life, but being as a monad a droplet therein. Thus the Cosmic Life is immutable because it is no individual; it does not act or move or function as an individual, which means a monad. It is the encompassing life of all monads, their mother, eternity, Boundless, out of which all comes, back into which all sinks when its course is run, to reappear again for another manvantaric rise to greater heights of glory, then sinking again to its rest; as we men die, only to be reborn.

Thus there is no contradiction; but the two statements complement each other, explain each other. The "Immutability" spoken of is such only to our very limited human understanding, much as the ephemeral life and tiny mind of a gnat would look upon the moving of the sun in heaven as no moving at all, but as being immutability and motionless. So we men, being unable to encompass within the ranges of our feeble understanding or even of our intuition the first and last and greatest function of Infinitude, which is infinite MOTION itself, speak of it as being "immutability." On the other hand, to call it "mutable" would be equally false, because "mutable" is a merely human adjective descriptive of certain human and other natural phases of manifested life.

Lao-Tse Legend

Lao-Tse is given 81 years for intrauterine growth in one article in your magazine and 72 in another: Which is the more correct, and what is the occult significance of these legends? 9 x 9 = 81. 9 x 8 = 72. His last avataric appearance is stated to have been his ninth.

Seventy-two and eighty-one are both very mystical numbers in ancient reckonings. Thus 72 is 6 x 6 x 2, otherwise 6 x 12. Or again, it may be looked upon as 60 + 12, which is 5 x 12 plus the basic 12 again. And 5 x 72 comes to 360, which is 3 x 10 x 12. Many other similar figures could be got, all of them having an astronomical and occult basis. Thus again with 81; it is 3 x 3 x 3 x 3, or 3 to the 4th power; or again, it is 9 x 9 — nine universally being considered the number of change, and 9 itself is 6 + 3 or 6 + 6/2. Or again, 81 is 3 x 27, one of the lunar numbers; and 81 is 72 + 9, 72 itself being 8 x 9. We thus see a constant recurrence and involving of the famous old root-numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, and their multiples. What does the Hebrew Bible say of a man's being three score years and 10, equaling 70, a round way of speaking of 72? The heart-beats of the average human being, whether standing or lying, change from about 60 a minute to 72.

Answering the above question: call it 72 if you like. The above-mentioned long period of intrauterine growth was the archaic, mystic way of saying the number of years he was carried in the womb of his mystic Mother: Trial, Experience, learning as a chela, before he was finally "born again," or what the Indians call a dwija, "twice born." That is all it means. It does not mean as a physical embryo that his mother carried him for 72 years. That is ridiculous, and is an excellent example of how the Ancients cloaked esoteric facts in ordinary day-to-day events, often exaggerating these events so tremendously as almost to shout from the house-tops that they were but cloaks, metaphors, allegories. On this exact line of argument, the ancient stories about Virgin-births, Saviors born of Virgins, have the identic explanation. The Saviors are the great adepts born of the divine Sophia or Wisdom, or of the Spirit as it is sometimes called.

The Ancient Pali Language

What can you tell me of the Pali language?

Pali really is a Prakrit-language of ancient India, and was undoubtedly the cultured form of that language spoken over a probably large part of India at the time when the Buddha lived. Pali itself had its less cultured forms which were spoken by the masses, the uneducated, just as we have the same thing in certain European countries today, or in Japan, or in China. There is the language of the literary classes, and the popular slangy language of the masses. Connected with Pali linguistically, was Sanskrit, which was really the sacred language of the Brahmanas and held more or less private or secret by them. The Sanskrit even in those ancient times was the vehicle for the archaic Wisdom-teachings of the Aryan peoples of India, such as the Vedas, and the Puranas, and the Upanishads, and the great Epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. But Pali was one of several other languages of culture in ancient India, all which were of so-called Prakrit character, although very little is known about these other literary languages. Pali has survived to the present time because for some curious reason it became the linguistic vehicle in which were enshrined the teachings of Buddhism, i.e., of Southern Buddhism, much as Latin has survived because enshrining the teachings of early medieval Christianity. Just as there were in ancient Italy many other Italic tongues, each one having its literary or cultured form, and likewise its popular idiom, so it was in ancient India.

Pali is not a 'washed-out Sanskrit.' Sanskrit was rather a mystery-language which was 'composed' or 'builded up' to perfection by initiates of the Sanctuaries; and because it was thus constructed into an almost perfect expression of human thought, at least for that day, it was called samskrita, which means 'composed,' 'constructed.' Thus Pali is not a true child of Sanskrit, but is and was the literary form of one of the ancient languages of India popularly spoken over an apparently wide stretch of the Indian Peninsula, and which has survived for the reasons above stated.

Buddhism, Brahmanism and the Adwaita-Vedanta

Why after the death of the Buddha did Buddhism very largely leave India and take root and thrive in neighboring countries? Could Sankaracharya be called a Buddhist?

As regards Buddhism: this noble religious philosophy had wide vogue and spread over almost the whole of India, and it was in its heyday in the times of Chandragupta and Asoka, two great Buddhist monarchs who were mainly instrumental also in encouraging Buddhist missionaries and supporting them, i.e., those who carried Buddhism into Northern Asia and into the lands to the east and south of India. This was during the heyday of Buddhism in India. Brahmanism of course, with various other Indian systems, survived through those hundreds of years of Buddhist glory in India mainly because Buddhism is essentially tolerant and mild. But little by little, after the passing of the Buddhist heyday in India, Brahmanism again got the upper hand, and this for various reasons, one reason being a partial decay of the original Buddhist spirit of enthusiasm in the Buddhists themselves; partly also because Brahmanism is a form of high religious and philosophical thinking which is native and therefore sympathetic to Indian thought; and partly because, as H. P. B. and myself have pointed out, Buddhism originally was really a sort of Brahmanism of the Sanctuaries which the Buddha communicated to everyone who could and would take it, and thus, being extremely recondite in its deeper aspects, made less appeal to the masses on the whole than did the cultus and ceremonials, the pageantry and forms, and the mythological literature, of Brahmanism. Thus, little by little Buddhism faded out from India, but increased pari passu in China, in Tibet, and in all the countries to the north of India, as well as in Siam and Burma and Ceylon and Java, the countries south and east of India, thus in time forming the two great Buddhist philosophical and geographical divisions which exist in the present day.

The Buddhism of the North was, from its first inception, highly mystical, philosophic, and typically esoteric in type. The Buddhism of the South was, from its beginning, highly philosophical but less mystical in presentation and far more pragmatical in spirit than the Buddhism of the North. Now, the real teaching of the Buddha in most of its branches can be gained, at least exoterically, by welding together both the Mahayana of the North and the Hinayana of the South.

It is natural that European Orientalists, like the late Professor Rhys Davids, should ascribe reasons for the downfall of Buddhism in India which seem to these European Orientalists as being sensible and probable causes; and they are not to be harshly criticized for this supposition, because they have no other means of judging why Buddhism finally failed in India. But the real truth was that Buddhism, coming from the inner Sanctuaries of Brahmanism itself, and being as it were an esoteric side of Brahmanism in those days, swept the land like a spiritual fire as long as the Buddha and his arhats and his immediate disciples were there to guide it; but the later Indian Buddhists lost this spiritual fervor of enthusiasm and clarity of insight and gradually sank back into Brahmanism in its various forms. There, then, is the whole thing in a nutshell.

Finally, there is a very important although typically occult and esoteric reason for the passing of original Buddhism out of the Indian Peninsula, and it lay in a situation which is extremely difficult adequately to describe, and yet was the main contributing cause of the Buddhist decline there. The facts are as follows: In his immense love and pity for mankind, and in his desire to bring certain fundamental secret teachings of the Sanctuaries to the attention of the multitudes for their spiritual succor and intellectual and moral health, Gautama the Lord Buddha made on the whole in so doing an almost perfect presentation of the philosophic and ethical side of the Ancient Wisdom-Religion; but, shortly before his Nirvana, he realized that there had been an insufficiently adequate elaboration of the mystical and religious aspects or portions of the Wisdom-teachings, except in so far as the Buddha's immediate circle and his arhats were concerned. In order, therefore, to correct this insufficiency, Gautama the Buddha some fifty or more years after his passing, brought about the birth and being of the Avatara, the great Sankaracharya, the Buddha himself supplying the psychological apparatus of this great Hindu Teacher of the Adwaita-Vedanta. Thus it was that, although born in the South of India, and some fifty or more years later than the passing of the Buddha, Sankaracharya was, so to speak, a 'reappearance' as Sankaracharya, of the human part of Buddha Gautama. The Theosophical reader will understand at once what is here meant when he recollects the Theosophical teaching of the doctrine of the Avataras. As Sankaracharya grew to manhood and began to do his work, his teaching, which almost from his own day and up to the present time has been called the Adwaita-Vedanta, or non-dualistic Vedanta, spread like wild-fire over the Indian Peninsula; and this really great Teacher drew into the circle of his Doctrine the larger part of the most intuitive and philosophical minds in India of all ages since his day, so that even in our own times, the Adwaita-Vedanta is perhaps the most popular and most widely accepted form of philosophic and mystical Brahmanism known.

Indeed, so closely akin and so similar in philosophical and mystical teaching and outlook are the Adwaita-Vedanta of Sankaracharya with the Mahayana-doctrines of Northern Buddhism, that the bigoted critics of both describe the Adwaita-Vedanta as a "masked or disguised Buddhism," and similarly describe the Northern mystical Buddhism as a "masked or disguised Adwaita-Vedanta." The criticism is absolutely true in fact, because the Adwaita-Vedanta and the esoteric Buddhism of Gautama were virtually identic. Thus it was that the Avatara Sankaracharya, the 'reappearance,' as above said, of the 'human part' of the Buddha-Gautama, was perhaps more instrumental than any other single cause in bringing about the fading out of the philosophical and ethical Buddhism of the beginnings — a strange paradox which gives us food for deep thought.

It is also true that the mystical Mahayana-Buddhism of the North was on the whole a truer presentation of the complete doctrines of the Buddha as he taught them to his arhats than was the more formally philosophical presentation of original Buddhism as we find it even yet imbodied in the doctrines of the Southern School, called the Hinayana.

Hence, if the student will combine the Adwaita-Vedanta of Sankaracharya with the magnificent mystical and occult philosophy and sublime ethic of early Buddhism, the latter now mostly imbodied in the Mahayana, he will have not only the original Doctrine of the Buddha-Gautama as the latter taught it to his arhats and his immediate pupils, but will likewise see the identity of such unification of the two with the archaic Esoteric and Occult Wisdom of the ages, today called Theosophy.

Status of Mahomet

I have been greatly interested in your statements about Mahomet, but cannot quite reconcile them with a passage occurring in THE OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY. W. Q. Judge speaks of Mahomet as a lesser Avatara. The passage I am referring to is to be found in chapter xiv, German edition, page 164, line 16. Retranslated into English it reads: "Mahomet was a lesser Avatara for the special part of a race, and belonged to the civil, military and religious class."

What W. Q. Judge says of Muhhammed as a 'minor Avatara' is quite correct, but a strong emphasis should be laid upon the word 'minor,' the truth being that Muhhammed can be called an Avatara, but only by a great extension of the meaning of the word 'Avatara.' Muhhammed did a certain racial work under the influence of a Ray from the Planetary Spirit, but was not conscious of his mission in this sense of the word, and was, in fact, but very little higher than any other noteworthy man who is made an instrument of karmic activity. In this sense only was Muhhammed a minor Avatara, and he did indeed, as Judge says, belong to the 'civil, military, and religious' type.

Evil, the Conflict of Wills

What is your opinion as to the origin of evil? There is no doubt that we are part and parcel of the Universe; but when we come to think that the scheme of creation is based on universal slaughter, and pain and anguish, I as a man who believes that our lives should be a peaceful transition from youth to old age, and that our life should be a period of enjoyment and happinessI just cannot understand it. This terrible intelligence, this wonderful power, this horrible force, that governs the Universe, whatever it may beto me it is diabolic. It fashions the tiger, it gives the unfortunate animals no opportunity to get away from the danger that surrounds them. What gives the poison to the snake, the fangs to the tiger, the idea that men should fight each other and slay each other, if it is not that we are nothing but a conflicting hierarchy of conflicting ideals, destined some day to rise out from this cosmic turmoil, and to enjoy celestial bliss?

What you have pointed out is of course something that occurs to every student of life and of the things around us. I remember that when I was a boy, this very question was the first one of a serious character that occurred to me, and it was only when my eyes were opened that I learned that happiness without contrast cannot exist; that there is no peace which has not been earned. How many times have I not as a child, as a young man, said to myself: They talk about Almighty God, a merciful Father, and yet the Universe is filled with strife and pain! Evil sometimes prevails over good, at least temporarily; what a monster God must be, the Maker of it all, to have made things thus!

Your thoughts are very natural indeed and have my deepest sympathy; but we must accept things as they are, and the explanation of the problem is this: that no 'God' is the maker or creator of the iniquities of which you speak. Beside the poison is its antidote; beside disorder is order; dishonor proves honor; darkness could not exist except for light. We cannot at once change our portion of the material universe with all its evil phases; but these are only events in the marching army of beings passing forwards and upwards through space-time. It is out of suffering that we learn; and thank the immortal gods that the universe is so constituted that we can learn. Fancy a universe so constituted that there was nothing in it but peace and happiness, and dull, inactive sloth lasting unto eternity! It would be a hell. There is something within me which yearns to bring light to those who have it not; there is something within me which yearns to give the compassionate hand — there is something within me which is more precious than my own being, which makes me yearn to help my fellows. Fancy what it would be if I were deprived of this exquisite joy of doing my bit to raise the world's burden.

We cannot make the Universe different from what it is, and it is what it is because of karman — the intricate and intertwined karman of uncounted multitudes of beings learning through growth and suffering and pain to take part in the Cosmic Labor guided by Compassion, infinite Sympathy, and Love for all that is, to join the hosts of the bright gods. The horrors that the questioner speaks of most certainly exist; but ineffable beauties exist also. Why not likewise speak of the beauties in nature? Why not speak of its orderliness, its law, peace, growth, and the expansion of consciousness that all beings undergo throughout the cycling periods of time? Why not speak of the beauty of natural being as well as of its horrors? Disease exists indeed, but so does health. Crime exists, but so do men who are no criminals. Horrors exist, but so likewise are they counterbalanced by the beauties, and by the symmetrical, shapely, and holy things in life that are an eternal joy.

The Universe is as it is; and these horrors I now will explain, giving you the Theosophic teaching of the origin of evil. Briefly, then, all these things exist in and from evolving creatures, imperfect entities, innumerable multitudes of them, all learning through suffering and sorrow and pain to become orderly, to be loving, to be compassionate, to be peaceful, to be inwardly and outwardly beautiful — in the original sense of the word beauty.

All this reminds me of the old Christian idea of Heaven. I remember what my dear father, who was a clergyman, taught me about Heaven: If I were a very good little boy, when I died I would surely go to Heaven and sit on the right hand of God and sing songs eternally. That course of life did not appeal to me at all. It did not answer anything in my own being; and when I grew older and heard the arguments that were given to men, and likewise the philosophical ideas current among men concerning so-called immortality I rejected the immortality as presented, because this immortality was merely a speculative immortality of the personal man with all his imperfections, manifold and sometimes monstrous; and I could not stand the thought that if that doctrine were true, I was destined to pass eternal aeons without end as an imperfect entity; no matter how much I might change, I was supposed to be always the same egoic being. No, I wanted to grow in a different manner; I wanted to become greater, and to give vent and expression to the locked-up spiritual and intellectual and other powers within me. I discovered that there is no immortality for the personal man, because if there were, then the personal man must remain relatively unchanged. If he changed in the remotest way, he was then no longer the same — and the supposed immortality vanishes. Instead of immortality of the personal man, we Theosophists say that there is eternal, endless evolution, endless growth, endless expansion of faculty, of power, always bringing out more and more what is locked up within, passing from the low and evil regions of the Universe up into the higher; and when there, turning and extending a compassionate hand in help to those in the lower darkness. I learned the great and profound truth that even the ego changes, that even the spirit evolves to vaster things, so that the immortality of the ego, or what is called the personal man, was but the vain dream of an obscured imagination.

Evil certainly exists in the world, but it arises out of the fact that the world is filled full with imperfect beings and entities — just as there are likewise innumerable hierarchies of relatively perfected and godlike beings. Because the former are imperfect, they act in consequence in distorted and what we men call evil ways. This produces the disharmony, the preying of entity upon entity, and the consequent suffering and pain. Follow out this profound teaching. As just stated, above these multitudes struggling in the lower realms, there are the great regions of the gods. It is quite possible that they may have their problems too, and personally I think they have; but they are regions which to us human beings are incomparably light, holy, majestic, and our inner spiritual and intellectual natures are native there. From there, come into our minds and our hearts our noblest impulses to do deeds of good; our noblest intellectual aspirations are born in these inner divine and spiritual realms. In fact, our spirit is native there.

Children's Invisible Companions

What is the explanation of the 'invisible companion' which some children speak of constantly as almost part of themselves?

An interesting question, and one which likewise shows how greatly we adults have lost the intuitive recognition of spiritual companionship that children — unless spoiled by over-fond and over-doting parents — still retain.

It would be quite a mistake, I believe, to suppose that these dear little ones are self-consciously aware, as adults might be, of any invisible companion; what they have is a distinct 'feeling,' or inner conscious cognisance, of the spiritual presence of the inner Self, to which 'presence' a child will often give a name, and of which, taking individual children as instances, they are the human radiance.

Only recently, comparatively speaking, out of the devachanic condition in which this spiritual presence was a living reality, although not there and then understood as something separate — for indeed it is not — the Ray reaching incarnation and imbodying itself, in the manner which I have endeavored to describe in my The Esoteric Tradition and elsewhere, still retains the intuition of the spiritual presence of the inner Self; and the child's mind, instinctively feeling this presence, but not having the developed brain-mind as yet to argue about it or analyse it, recognises the fact, and talks of what we adults call, or might call, 'an invisible companion,' or by some such similar phrase.

As a matter of fact, highly developed human beings who are likewise esoterically trained, are self-consciously aware of this spiritual companionship, so much so that Adepts and Initiates know the fact in its proper relations, and speak of this inner Self working through them by various terms, such as 'Father-Flame,' 'Father in Heaven,' 'Father-Fire,' etc., etc. In other words, the adept knows and recognises his inner Self as the 'invisible companion,' and puts himself under its steady and unfailing guidance and inspiration. Little children, still fresh from the spiritual realms, likewise, as said above, feel the fact, though not with the self-conscious analysis of the Adept; but they recognise it unconsciously, so to speak, as a 'feeling'; and the unspoiled child will frequently be so impressed with this invisible companionship that it will speak of it to others.

In the case of the Adept-soul, the invisible companion is precisely what was meant by the Avatara-Jesus when referring to his 'Father in Heaven.'