Condensed from Fountain-Source of Occultism, pp. 3-7
Innumerable schools of occultism, all derivative from the mother-school, have existed in the past, exist presently, and will exist in the future. All such associations, in every country and every age, do a certain good work in their way in proportion to the amount of the ancient wisdom that they teach. But such truth as they do impart is too often seen through the distorting mental prisms of those who have wandered from the fountain-source. Only as they pass on faithfully the splendor originally received from the mother-school can they rightly be called schools of occultism.
Just as the original esoteric bodies became the great religious and philosophical schools of the past, just so the present theosophical movement was intended to be the spiritual-intellectual nursery from which will be born the great philosophical and religious and scientific systems of future ages — indeed, the heart of the civilizations of the coming cycles.
In every important age, theosophical movements in various parts of the globe have been founded. A few succeeded; most of them lived for a while, did some good, achieved a certain amount of the work that was to be done, and then failed, becoming a church, a sect, a dogmatic set of beliefs. Such periodic efforts to instill into men's hearts the ageless verities will continue throughout future time, until human beings shall have so evolved that they will welcome light when it comes, and will honor it as the most precious gift that they have.
Thus it was that in 1875 two men of buddha-like soul took upon their shoulders the challenge of making themselves karmically responsible in a sense for the sending out of a new message which, by the force of its innate vigor and the persuasive power of its truths, would induce men to think. From then on science began to have stirrings of new ideas; fresh impulses were injected into the thought-atmosphere of the world and, not least, the ideal of working toward an eventual universal brotherhood among all peoples took firm hold. The chief objective was to have these ancient spiritual principles work as a leaven in human thought, in the religious and philosophical strata and, ultimately, in the social structure itself. H. P. Blavatsky was inspired to write her masterworks, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine — not for the purpose of founding another religion, but to restate once again and in fuller measure the archaic wisdom-tradition of mankind in its more esoteric aspects. As such, she was one of the links in the serial line of teachers who come at certain stated periods for the passing on of esoteric light and truth. She came at the beginning of a new Messianic cycle and the ending of an old one, and thus was the messenger for the age to come.
The guardians of mankind — name them as you will, masters, mahatmas, adepts or elder brothers of the race — work wherever they see the slightest chance to do good, to cultivate the spiritual nature of their fellow human beings. Obviously, any society or group of people, or any individual, who tries to follow a noble pathway in life will receive their help, if worthy of it. Worthiness is the test, the sole test. Whenever the right call is made, it will be answered. But any call merely for self-benefit most emphatically is not the "right call." The only call they recognize is that given by those whose hearts yearn for light, and whose minds seek wisdom and whose souls are swayed by compassion. And further, the call must be made solely in order to lay such wisdom and light as may be received on the altar of service to humanity. There is not a single earnest heartbeat that remains unanswered, not a single soul-aspiration to help that is not faithfully registered.
Thus is the Brotherhood of adepts the guardian and custodian of the primeval wisdom, whose members are sworn to preserve it in secrecy and in silence until someone knocks at the portals with the right knock. They in turn receive light from others higher than they; and so on forever is this theosophia — the wisdom of the gods — transmitted to men along the Golden Chain of Mercury, the interpreter.
(From Sunrise magazine, April/May 1999. Copyright © 1999 by Theosophical University Press)
We find ourselves today in the midst of a great upheaval of thought which has caused apprehension and turmoil in the attitudes and reactions of every nation, near and far. People are afraid; they have lost their faith in tired literalisms, yet they don't know in which direction to think. It will depend entirely upon the karma of mankind just how the present crises in the nations of the world will be resolved; yet there are signal voices motivated by an inner wisdom sounding through the fog and confusion.
Let us remember that the divine spark in us is itself a center or focus for energies from the divine forces of the universe, both manifest and transcendent. These forces are described in the East as the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva: Brahma, the evolver or producer; Vishnu, the preserver or sustainer; and Siva, the destroyer or regenerator. We are passing through a cycle when these three qualities are manifesting in strength: there is an unprecedented urge to grow, to evolve, to father new and better products of the human genius; there is the sustaining influence, where strong souls in strategic positions are trying, with all the wisdom at their command, to hold the world in balance; and there is also the accent on the Siva characteristics, with the destructive aspects trying to dominate, but with the more powerful regenerating influences quietly at work.
Far too much attention has been placed on the disruptive facet of Siva, and too little on the regenerating and resolving function of this quality of universal nature. The prime function is not to destory, but to clear away the debris of old forms as a necessary prelude for the resurgence of spiritual vitality. In proportion to the collective strength in the heart of humanity will these combined evolutionary influences bring the race over the present dangerous rapids. The challenge is here, and it is for each of us to respond to it and help the positive facets of this Siva influence to manifest. — James A. Long