Universal Brotherhood Path – November 1902


The active selfishness and materialism which pervade the world make the effort to uplift humanity seem futile to superficial observers. But the very excess of activity has in it the elements of hopefulness for better things. W. Q. Judge, in speaking of this iron age, said: Yet Kali Yuga, by its very nature and terrible, swift momentum, permits one to do more with his energies in a shorter time than in any other Yuga.

The vanities and vices, the selfishness and sensuality on every hand are but the gropings of the awakening, bewildered soul in the effort to express itself through the blinding flesh. It is a crucial time for aspiring hearts, as each one not only contends against the materialism of the thought-world, but is hampered in the fight by his own failures of former lives. The fever and restlessness, the monetary mania, the unsatisfied longing and weariness, the infidelities to mere sense ties, the excesses and ennui, mark the progress of the soul through the weary maze of matter. Truth is the object of its search, and these phases of illusion which interest, inspire and disappoint in their turn, are being rapidly reviewed and discarded as counterfeit.

If only leisure and money and power were needed to make happiness, why do the wealthy and influential seek it so vainly? Their environment has all the advantages which even the most radical of material reformers could ask. But the unsatisfied soul looks out alike from patrician and from plebeian eyes, and the faces in all classes of society carry a common look of restless disappointment.

Only a knowledge of the reality of man's divinity can put harmony and purpose into the discordant activities of modern life, and make it worthy the name of living. It is a realizing sense of this "hunger and thirst of the heart," which prompts the reiteration of Theosophic truths in spoken and written words. The students of the philosophy feel the force of the injunction to freely give what they have so freely received. The world's great need and its active search for truth make the story of man's higher nature a fitting one. The soul, struggling for greater consciousness, can only find expression in the language of the higher life and cannot speak the dialect of money and gems, ambition or physical sensation.

Satisfaction and peace will come from the knowledge that men are making their own limitations by living in the narrow limits of the lower nature. We receive what we ask and find what we seek. If our desire is for money it will come, though we mortgage the truth to get it. If we are seeking the truth we shall find it, though it cost a host of lesser things. Each possession has its own quality of force; and though truth can illumine a world of doubt and ignorance, the coin of selfishness can shut out its light as a copper cent close to the eyes may obscure the radiant sunshine.

In this paradox of life, the active materialism which puzzles and discourages dogmatic preachers and superficial pessimists is a basis of hope for wider-eyed believers in man's divinity. Evidently the soul of restless humanity is awakening with an impelling desire to find its own, which is manifestly not of the things it so eagerly examines. Thus it comes to pass that the momentum of materialism in this age of Kali Yuga will carry the saving minority of honest seekers round the cycle of experience toward a point of greater peace. The wisdom of the hour is to work in harmony with the real spirit of the times. Those who bravely engage in the active performance of their present Karmic duties, and thus consciously utilize the force which is thoughtlessly dissipated in the prevailing confusion, may crowd the languid efforts of several lives into one decisive victory. The actors in today's drama have unusual opportunities for advancement, since all things "work together for the good of those who love the Law."

Universal Brotherhood Path

Theosophical University Press Online Edition