Universal Brotherhood Path – April 1902


Among all the prophets of ancient Israel none stands before us with more of trust in the great Law, with less of fear, than Ezekiel. He told his people the truth, in spite of persecution, and tradition has it that he met a martyr's death at their hands on that account.

He was absolutely fearless. Yet, after seeing the vision of the "Fiery Wheels," the "Avengers," he fell prostrate at the awfulness, the fearfulness of the spectacle. These are the words, so say the scribes, which Jehovah spake unto him, "Son of man, stand upon thy feet and I will speak unto thee!"

Jehovah's messenger must stand erect and fearless. As a teacher of the Law, Ezekiel must put aside even the very shadow of fear.

Ezekiel was in captivity, with thousands of his fellows. His heart was torn by their sufferings and he longed to free them. Yet he saw that the real burden upon them was that which only they themselves could remove. No one could do it for them. They were prisoners to an alien nation, to be sure, but their real captivity was that of fear. The people were unacquainted with their own natures. They had but a vague knowledge of their divinity, if indeed they might be said to have any knowledge of it at all. They were in the grasp of a priesthood which kept them in subjection through fear.

Those who should have been their teachers, and who hypocritically pretended to be, so kept the people in ignorance and fear grew apace.

Ezekiel saw that this fear lay upon them like an ugly weight. He plead with them to throw it off. He brought them the true philosophy of life. He told them of their mistakes — which you will admit it takes a brave soul to do. But the people lacked courage. They were afraid to look up. They were afraid to throw off the psychological influence of the priests of their day, as he begged them to do.

They were afraid to face their own sins; their own weaknesses. They longed to be free, yet though they may have realized that freedom could be had on only one condition, the absolute casting away of fear, they had not the courage. The result was, Israel refused to listen to him and the nation went down.

Age after age, we see that the real burden of humanity has been fear. Men have been enslaved, tortured, humiliated, imprisoned, yet all these conditions have been results, and not causes. These conditions would not have been had not men first fallen under the dominion of fear.

Losing sight of their own divinity, forgetting the Great Law, they have lost the power to protect themselves, and at times, even the disposition to do it, from sheer moral cowardice and mental fear.

The result is that confusion and discord have increased since the days when Ezekiel called his people to account in that old land by the River Chebar, until matters reached a climax during the Dark Ages.

Out of its pain Humanity has cried for help, and age after age the great Teachers of the world have come to answer this heart cry — for "more light." Yet after all it has not been more light the people have needed so much as more courage. And these Great Souls have tried to lift fear from the minds of men by the true philosophy of life, which they have always brought. For they realized that it was fear which was keeping humanity dead to its possibilities, fear which was keeping them chained to old customs, wrong ideas. Fear which kept them from realizing that they were souls, divine souls, free, strong, just!

"I came not to bring peace," said Jesus, "I came to bring a sword." Men were cowards then, as too many have been in all ages, willing to let others fight for them, and Jesus came to put the warrior weapon into their hands, and the warrior spirit into their hearts.

To make spiritual warriors of men and women is the object of the great Teachers of the present, H. P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge and Katherine Tingley.

They call upon men to kill out fear, to become true spiritual warriors, to throw aside their fear of the world's opinion, to stand in the sunlight of life and realize their divinity and to claim the heritage of the courageous soul.

Physical science has recently made many remarkable discoveries, among them the action upon the tissues and fluids of the human body by the emotion known as fear. It has been discovered that fear actually creates poisons which paralyze and kill. If this be true on the physical plane, where matter is so dense and, in a sense, intractable, how much more must this be true on the finer planes of the mental and the spiritual.

But few of us are accustomed to watching our own inner changes; if we were we should realize that there is nothing which so poisons and paralyzes all that is best in us as fear. It is the demon's master-stroke. When this weapon can be successfully used, when the human mind can once be stricken with fear, then the Forces of Darkness have won their victory, and it is not pleasant to reflect that, in such event, they win with our help. Yet such is the case.

In permitting fear to enter our minds we play into the hands of the enemies of the human race. We are fearful because we are ignorant, and our ignorance is no light thing; in the face of present opportunities and present dangers — it is an absolute crime.

One thing only has power to remove ignorance, and that is a true philosophy of life. Knowing this, can we not better understand the antagonism that the Teachers of Truth have always aroused in the minds of those false teachers who rule by fear? The Teacher of Truth has always been persecuted by them, and always will be until the burden of fear has been lifted from the minds of men. When that day comes the occupation of those who rule humanity by fear will be gone.

How may fear be eliminated? By a knowledge of our own natures and by an absolute unwavering trust in the Great Law. "Know thyself" has in all ages been the injunction of the Teachers of the Law. Theosophy, in giving men a knowledge of themselves, a knowledge of the duality of their own natures, gives them the power to eliminate fear, and thus rise into absolute Godhood.

We have too long forgotten that we are souls, divine souls, and that the kingly prerogatives of all free souls are ours, when we can claim them. But the lower nature persuades us to compromise, to parley; perchance it drags us into open conflict with the soul, into open indulgence of our appetites, our greed, our jealousies and our fears.

Katherine Tingley teaches what all great Teachers have taught (although never before so plainly), that man is dual by nature; that within his breast are two natures, one the angel, the other the demon, "each seeking for mastery, each seeking to absorb or destroy the other. One or the other must ultimately gain the victory, and one or the other is strengthened by every act and every thought of our lives." This is a serious matter, is it not?

Now this lower nature of ours is very subtle and exceedingly crafty. It is determined to rule; if it cannot succeed in deluding and blinding the soul in one way it will try another. It plays upon our ambition, our vanity, our love of the world's applause, and when disappointment teaches us that hypocrisy does not pay, then it tries means subtler still. We determine to have no more of the things that the world rates so high. We seek greater knowledge of the world's processes and ways, we sit at the feet of the Great Law, we look into our own nature, and note its follies and its weakness. We see the God within ourselves, sealed like a Christos in the tomb of our own making. We see our divine possibilities, we see before us the Path, and over its windings brooding an eternal peace; its distant mountains shining with the sunlight of truth. We resolve to follow this path — and then this crafty elemental self of ours, its formerly-used weapons broken, forges a new one, and names it fear.

Fear sweeps in upon us — and unless we are both wise and strong, it paralyzes and poisons. It is the "Dweller on the Threshold." We cannot pass the threshold of the divine until we have fought this demon of fear and conquered it. We are afraid to take a step forward when all looks dark, and we fear because we do not trust the Great Law. When Mephistopheles began his work of leading Faust upon the wrong path, he first of all robbed him of his trust in God, his belief in the soul, his faith in humanity. That was his first great victory over Faust, and it opened the door of his mind to fear, which then stepped in and took possession of Faust. In yielding to fear, he yielded to the arch-enemy.

Are we afraid of the opinions of others, afraid of what the world will say, if we should dare to step out of the slavery of its fashions and follies? Then we do not trust the merciful law, which insures that bread cast upon the waters shall, after many days, return; which insures that we shall reap the harvest we have sown. Let such a soul cast aside his fear of losing the esteem of his friends, knowing that all that he loses will again be restored when he becomes able to stand without it, yea, restored ten-fold. Job, you remember, regained all his wealth and prestige when he became able to do without these.

That humanity is today shut out from its diviner possibilities, through the influences of what Katherine Tingley calls the lower psychology, is evident enough to those who watch this vast world panorama of men and affairs, and the greatest factor in its deadly influence is fear. Men are afraid of each other. Suspicion is rife. Is it too much to say that if fear could be eliminated half our difficulties would disappear, and the other half we should easily solve? I think not. And even some of those who are, in the highest sense, humanity's warriors, allow themselves to be defeated in battle after battle through fear. They hesitate to enter a contest in which their own forces appear to be outnumbered by those of the enemy. I say appear to be, for if one is right, such is only a deceptive appearance, depend upon it.

Let the warrior throw away his fear and resolve, never, never, to surrender if he is right, and if he will not surrender, he cannot be defeated! By that act of courage, by the resolute casting aside of all fear he has allied himself to the forces of light, the divine advance guard of humanity. But fear must be thrown aside. Defeat is impossible if one will only stand, and stand fearlessly. The strength of the whole army of Light is at one's command when fear is overthrown and right action established. All humanity, particularly the women of the world, are shut out of their divine rights by fear. Oh, if the women of the world knew the message that their sisters in Loma-land have for them, how many of their fears would be dispelled, how much of joy would come into their lives; how ideal could they make their home life; how much of the real joy of life could they bring into the lives of their children.

Many women are absolutely psychologized into chronic fear of false ideals, false education, false ideas of duty. Let them recognize that it is fear which is dwarfing them and shrinking their lives, and then let them resolutely throw it off, like the hideous weight that it is, and rise into a richer life, and a deeper sense of responsibility to their homes, their children and to humanity. Wisely has the ancient sage written: "The more one dares the more he shall obtain, the more he fears the more that light shall pale, and that alone can guide."

Universal Brotherhood Path

Theosophical University Press Online Edition