Tag Archives: Buddhism

The Silent and Desolate Land


……That desolate land in which thou didst wander, oh Titan! with thy beautiful and mysterious companion, where silent cities strewed the desert, in which no life stirred, and no voice was heard in the streets, but all was death and desolation; where everything lay still or petrified; where gigantic ruins lay around, and the colossal forms of a by-gone life stared out on thee from stone, with an impress of solemn and eternal beauty, uttering a moan to the first beams of the rising sun, offers a true type of this mournful world. For what, in truth, is this earth but one immense ruin, or heap of ruins – a land of death and desolation -a desert strewn with the fragments of an extinct past?

If we contemplate external nature, we find in its stupendous mountain-chains, its gigantic volcanic peaks shooting up aloof into the sky – its abrupt masses of scarped rock and table-lands – scattered, solitary, gigantic stones, far from their parent mountains – its tremendous clefts, and chasms, and valleys, the evidences and traces of immense convulsions in past ages. The whole earth appears a vast assemblage of sublime ruins.

When we consult more closely the materials which form these ruins, we find with astonishment that they too are composed of other ruins; we find everywhere the marks of an extinct world. A gigantic vegetation of consummate beauty in its forms; broken fragments, too, of a creation of living creatures, colossal in size, wonderful in structure, and aweful in power, surround us everywhere. The dead faces of extinct organisations look out on us from stone on every side with their sad, eternal beauty; and, as every fresh sun dawns upon the world of ruins, a mournful plaint is wailed forth from all past creations to greet his rising, which recalls to them their own former being…

If we turned, continued the Rishi, from external nature to what is called the living world, we look in vain for life. Death meets us at every turn. The terrible Yama is everywhere. The whole animal creation appears upon the scene, merely to pass away by some form of violent death. To the peaceful herds grazing on the hillside, Yama comes in the guise of the tiger; to the innocent bleating sheep, as wolf or hyaena. The snake seizes the frog from his moist bed, and drags him into his hole, or his crevice among the stones, crushing his limbs in the traction. The hawk pierces with his cruel beak the poor sparrow; the sparrow, in turn, transfixes or carries off the grub. Bird preys on bird; fish on fish, as it is written in the Mahabharata: –

The stronger fishes, after their kind, prey
on the weaker fish.
This is ever our means of living, appointed
to us eternally.

But man himself is the most terrible incarnation of Yama. He plunges with a savage joy into the thicket of bamboo or sugar-cane, to attack and slay the boar. He pursues over the plain the timid and graceful antelope; his arrows outstrip his fleetness; and the exhausted creature, that erst bounded in beauty and freedom, falls sobbing to the earth, and expires in torture. He gathers the dumb and patient sheep, and the helpless lambs, from the pastures where they bleated in joy, and consigns them to the slaughter-house.

Behold yon porters passing even now the court gate with baskets on their heads full of the beautiful plumage of the Cingalese cocks gathered from the villages round Lanka, sitting happy together, all unconscious of their coming doom. They are bearing them to the camp to feed the military followers. The festivity of man is the signal of death to the humbler creatures of the earth; he rejoices, or weds, and they die as the materials of joy, victims immolated to his household gods. Even those creatures, upon whose flesh he has not yet learned to feed, he harasses to death by more protracted and painful means.

The horse, that in his youth bore him in the day of battle or the pompous ceremonial, is, when age advances, and his fire abates, consigned to the merciless Vaisha, who trades in hired chariots, and you behold thousands of those wretched creatures, lean, lacerated, and panting, driven by male Durgas (furies) through the city, without respite from sunrise till midnight, till at last they drop and expire in harness, or are rudely taken out and cast aside into some corner to die unseen and unpitied.

And the dog, the honest friend of man; and the cat, self-adorning, playful, capricious, coy, timid, watchful, secretive, house-loving, but ever affectionate when gently treated, the friend and… the playfellow of children, the household Numen, and hieroglyphic of domestic life, – what becomes of these? Who sees their end? Into what by-way solitudes, what holes and corners do they creep, led by a mournful instinct of nature to conceal their agonies and yield up their breath?

Ah! how many tragedies of animal agony daily take place not far from the dwelling of man, and he knows it not, or knowing, lays it not to heart, or laughs in scorn of sympathy for animal suffering! And yet all creatures, Manu teaches, have their life in that awful Spirit in whom man, too, lives, and in them as in man that Spirit liveth –

Sarvabhuteshu chatmanam, sarvabhutani chatmani
Saman pashyan

In all creatures the SPIRIT, and all creatures
in the SPIRIT,
Alike beholding.

And let us look at man himself. Is life to be found in his dwelling? Alas! from the cradle to the cemetery where his body is laid upon the pyre, is not his course one long cry of suffering, and sorrow, and terror – one long reminiscence and fortaste of death? The householder in the prime of manhood, and his blooming, comely matron, who stand on the mid ridge of life, look down on either side upon two valleys of mourning. In one are the cherished memories of beloved parents; she weeping for the beloved father, he for the poor tender mother. In the other, the idolized forms of children snatched prematurely from their arms, and wept alike by both; by her in loud lamentation, by him in stifled sobs and hidden tears. The mother dies giving birth to her babe, or lives to weep ere long over its corpse. Disease haunts man from his birth.

Go into the mighty city of Lanka. In every street there passes you a funeral procession, with its red powder, its lugubrious flowers, its mournful rolling ulalatus, and in its rear the mourning women stand before the door in a circle, beating their breasts. In every house there is a cry and a grief – an old man expiring; a child struggling; a strong man agonized; a woman weeping; a little girl with frightened and tearful face. And, as if the terrible avenger Yama had not imposed on humanity a sufficient measure of suffering and death, man goes forth himself in gold, and plumes, and gay caparisons, to crush the limbs, and dash out the brains, and pierce the heart and bowels of his fellow-man. And on the battle-field are left horrible sights, terrible cries, and fearful smells of death. And in the city the women weep, and break their bangles, and shave their heads, and put on grey unbleached or russet garments, and are thenceforth held to be of evil omen.

Oh tragic man! whence is all this death in thy life? Alas! it is because an inward moral death reigns throughout all, that it must have this outward manifestation also. Men’s souls are dead when they are born: this life is the autopsy, and the disease is made manifest to all. One died mad of pride: one phrenetic with anger; one leprous with sensuality; one had the fever of ambition; one suffered from the insatiable craving of greed; one from the malignant venom of revenge; one from the jaundice of jealousy; one from the eating cancer of envy; one from a surfeit of self-love; one from the paralysis of apathy. Many were the diseases, but death into this world the common result of all.

Yes, death is triumphant here – death, physical and moral. The dead bring forth the dead; the dead bear the dead to the funeral pyre; the dead walk about the streets and greet each other, and bargain, and buy and sell, and marry, and build – and know not all the time that they are but ghosts and phantasms! That land of silence and shadows; of desolation and ruins, of sorrow and death, in which thy soul walked in the vision, oh Titan! is the WORLD in which thy dead body now walks waking. Renounce and annihilate it, oh king! by asceticism and divine gnosis, and thus return to real life.

[From The Dream of Ravan, Concord Grove Press, – first published in The Dublin University Magazine in 1853-54.)


Gems from the East

Gems from the East

Days end with sunset, nights with the rising of the sun; the end of pleasure is ever grief, the end of grief ever pleasure.

Two things are impossible in this world of Maya: to enjoy more that Karma hath allotted; to die before one’s hour hath struck.

Seek refuge in thy soul; have there thy Heaven! Scorn them that follow virtue for her gifts!

Patience leads to power, but lust leads to loss.

The soul ripens in tears.

A narrow stomach may be filled to its satisfaction, but a narrow mind will never be satisfied, not even with all the riches of the world.

A learned man without pupils, is a tree which bears no fruit; a devotee without good works, is a dwelling without a door.

When Fate overtakes us, the eye of Wisdom becomes blind.

He who keeps to his business, he who loves his companions, he who does his duty, will never be poor.

He who knows not his own worth, will never appreciate the worth of others.

Whomsoever Riches do not exalt, poverty will not abase, nor calamity cast him down.

All the air resounds with the presence of spirit and spiritual laws.

[from “Gems from the East, A Birthday Book of Precepts and Axioms,” compiled by H. P. Blavatsky, which consists of a quote or axiom for every day of the year.


The Last Theocracy


[This was written about 30 years ago, but the situation is the same and worse in Tibet as it was in 1950, with monasteries now being monitored with spy-cameras, and the Chinese bulldozing a Tibetan settlement and monastery of Larung Gar last summer. See: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-36863888?SThisFB    Let’s hope the U.S.’s new administration will have more backbone in challenging the biggest murderer of human rights in the world.]

In what was to be the beginning of one of the periodic madnesses that grip parts or all the globe, in the spring of 1950 Tibet was invaded by China after China’s declaration that it intended to free Tibet from “the influence of foreign imperialists” (there being six westerners in Tibet at the time) It was to prove the total destruction of the base of exoteric Mahayana Buddhism, which has near identical doctrines to that of Theosophy. The invasion was to directly and indirectly result in the death of some one million Tibetans and to make refugees of 100,000 others including the Dalai Lama.

Before China’s attempted “modernization” of Tibet, it was the home of some 3,000 Buddhist monasteries and 200,000 monks. By 1984 these vast numbers had shrunk to a remaining or rebuilt 45 monasteries housing some 1,400 monks. For years any practice of religion was forbidden in Tibet, but in the last ten years under a new Chinese administration some of these strictures have been loosen. Partially this change in policy is due to the value of Buddhism as a tourist attraction. While the superficial ceremonial practice of Buddhism is allowed, any serious scholastic study of its scriptures is forbidden.

Most the destruction of monasteries occurred during the chaos of China’s “Cultural Revolution” in the 1960’s. Some monasteries were taken apart brick by brick while most were dynamited or shelled with field artillery – although the walls of most were too thick to be totally destroyed. The process was to first take an inventory of all valuables. Gold and silver artifacts were taken in truck convoys to China to be melted into bullion. Manuscripts were either burned on the spot or sent for use as shoe padding and toilet paper. Clay images were pulverized and recast for the specific purpose of making public lavatories. At the central temple in the capital at Lhasa, sacred manuscripts kept bonfires burning for five days. Monasteries not totally destroyed were used for granaries, barracks or offices. The temple at Lhasa was renamed “Guest House #5” and used for government offices and its courtyards for keeping pigs.

Monks were either killed or shipped with other Tibetans to work camps such as that at Golomo to build railroads, Tsala Ka to mine borax, or Kongpo for Timbering. At Golomo, which is at 10,000 foot elevation and has six months of winter with gale force winds much of the time, large numbers died almost immediately from exposure and starvation. One account claims that 1,400 of 1,700 prisoners held at Drepang monastery died of starvation from November 1960 to June 1961. Tibetan’s homes were arbitrarily seized and all their possessions sold. During this period Tibet’s agricultural production actually increased, but nearly all the harvest, except that kept for Chinese troops, was shipped to China. to offset its own famine. While famine was previously unknown in Tibet, formerly prosperous peasants were reduced to stealing scraps from the Chinese pigs, picking horse offal for undigested grain, and feeding their own blood mixed with tsampa to their starving children. Fare at the work camps, when there was any, was typically barley husks mixed with sawdust or ulcer-producing tree bark.

Monks and Lamas were special objects of Chinese persecution. Lamas, formerly heads of monasteries, were lashed through the streets of Lhasa with heavy statues of Buddha strapped to their backs. Monks and nuns were forced to copulate in public or branded with irons. There were crucifixions. Monks and nuns were forced to marry while other Tibetans were sterilized in large numbers. One of Tibet’s highest Lamas, the Panchen Lama, was publicly beaten in his trial for “crimes against the state” – chiefly his support of the Dalai Lama. His aged tutor was sent to Golomo where he shortly died and the Panchen himself was imprisoned for fourteen years, and released in 1978 for political reasons. [After the Panchen Lama died, the Chinese kidnapped his recognized child-reincarnation, and substituted their own state-sponsored reincarnation.] It is still illegal today to even have a picture of the Dalai Lama. NBC recently reported an arrest for having the Lama’s picture on a T-shirt.

In China’s “development” of Tibet, the provinces of Gansu and Amdo were transformed into what a 1979 Time magazine article calls a “vast sea of prison camps” with up to ten million Tibetan and Chinese prisoners – a “black hole … from which little information ever reached the outside world.” By 1978 China’s largest nuclear weapons factory was located at Nagchuka 165 miles north of Lhasa. Whole mountain ranges have been denuded of timber. Tibet’s vast herds of wild ass were machine-gunned, her snow leopards, himalayan monkeys and wild yaks have become nearly if not extinct and her formerly endless flocks of ducks and geese have disappeared. Sixty western scientists were allowed to visit Tibet in 1980 and according to their account there is not a large wild animal to be seen anywhere and only a few birds in Tibet’s now sterile landscape.

In short, there has been nothing worse in Nazi Germany, Stalin’s Gulag, or under the Khymer Regime in Cambodia than what has occurred in Tibet under the Chinese. There is no outcry in the West, however, over this great atrocity or even sparse public knowledge. It is good politics to be friends with China and its billion people, while Tibet is important neither economically nor militarily and Buddhism matters very little in the political grist mills of the world. Our country, which prides itself for its stand on worldwide human rights, has chosen expediency and officially recognizes China’s claim to right of sovereignty over Tibet.

What was to befall Tibet was perhaps foreseen by the thirteenth Dalai Lama when he wrote in 1932 a year before his death:

“It may happen that here, in the center of Tibet, religion and government will be attacked both from without and from within. Unless we can guard our own country, it will now happen that the Dalai and Panchen Lamas, the Father and Son, and all the revered holders of the Faith,, will disappear and become nameless. Monks and their monasteries will be destroyed. The rule of law will be weakened. The lands and property of government officials will be seized. They themselves will be forced to serve their enemies or wander the country like beggars. All beings will be sunk in great hardship and overpowering fear; the days and nights will drag on slowly in suffering.”

While the present Dalai Lama has become a world ambassador in his never ending efforts to gain independence for Tibet, his attitude is also objective and philosophic. “There are many prophecies which indicate that I will be the last Dalai Lama. The world is changing so dramatically, that there may no longer be a need for the lineage.” Elsewhere he has stated that “the very aggregates of a human mind and body have, as their actual nature, suffering. They serve as a basis for suffering, and as long as one has them one is susceptible to suffering. From a deep point of view, while we Tibetans don’t have our independence and are living in someone else’s country, we are subject to a certain type of suffering, but when we return to Tibet and gain our independence, then there will be other types of suffering. So, you see, this is just the way it is. You might think that I’m pessimistic, but I am not. This is Buddhist realism. This is how, through Buddhist teaching and advice, we handle situations. These sorts of thoughts make one stronger, more active.”

In Exile from the Land of Snows, John F. Avedon, Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 1984
The Making of Modern Tibet, A. Tom Grunfeld, M.E. Sharp Inc., Armonk, NY, 1987

(from Protogonos, Winter 1987-8)


Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine and the Problem of Sex

         – by G. C. Legros

GC LeGros2


(from Legros’ newsletter “Messiah,” circa 1987)

The writer sincerely hopes that nothing in the following pages will strike the reader as “goody goody” moralizing, nor that he, the writer, will appear as a simpering “holier-than-thou” harlequin. The Theosophical Movement has enough comic figures.”*

But the fact is that we are living in the most sexually permissive age since the fall of Rome, and only Theosophists or those familiar with the Eastern occult teachings know that sex is a cosmic force greater than nuclear bombs, representing in every human destiny an ultimate challenge involving immortality or annihilation.

Although regular chelaship and the chastity it demands are several lifetimes away for most Messiah readers, the present is as good a time as any to consider what H.P. Blavatsky (the Masters’ Messenger in the last century and this) has to say on the matter.

We have no other court of appeal. One can expect little help from medical men, psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage counselors, priests, preachers, and educators because, with, of course, a number of happy exceptions, all are infected with the virus of the “New Morality” which would have us abandon all sexual restraints and “liberate” ourselves from the “unhealthy repressions” of our puritan ancestors.

A refreshing exception among medical men is Dr. Val Davajan, chief of the reproductive biology section of the Medical Center at the University of Southern California. Says the doctor: “No matter what the sexologists say, the New Morality is immoral. And I don’t care what the Gay Liberation people say, homosexuality is a perversion, and homsexuals are not normal.”

One of the latest results of the “New Morality” was revealed by a Gallup survey of student attitudes commissioned by Oklahoma Christian College. It was found that as students move along from year to year they tend increasingly to approve smoking, drinking, legalized marijuana, abortion, and pre-martial sex. Among freshmen, 30 percent identified their political philosophy as left-of-center or far left. By the senior year the number had grown to 53 per cent.

The foregoing is an exoteric picture. the esoteric is something else, and we can do no better than begin with some highly illuminating material by Dr. G. de Purucker, himself an initiated chela and the last Leader of the original Theosophical Society.

In his Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, pp. 342-6, he states: “…sex is but a passing phase in racial evolution, and, strictly speaking, is not normal to mankind on Globe D of our planetary chain. This method of procreation actually was copied from the beasts, which ‘separated’ before ‘man’… As a matter of fact, the Atlantean and Atlanto-Lemurian karma has weighed so heavily upon us, the fifth race, that we are actually belated, and have not at the present date, the middle-point of the fifth race, reached that stage as regards the evolving of the physical body which otherwise we should have reached.

“As it stands, however, the teaching tells us that at the end of our own fifth race, men and women will be disappearing as opposite sexes; and that by the middle of the Sixth Root Race (the race to come) men and women as separate sexes shall be no longer. The race will consist of beings who are physiologically neither men nor women; …
“The humans of that period (the Sixth Root-Race) will produce children by meditation and by will; during the Seventh Root-Race, the last to come on this Globe, during this Fourth Round – a race which to us now would seem glorious – the humans of that race will produce their kind in the same general manner; but by consciously exercised will and meditation, but still more impersonally… than the Sixth Race will do.

“The main point then, here, is to realize that this present physiological state of sex is a passing racial evolutionary phase; and that every abuse, every misuse, no matter of what kind or what the world may think about it, is a reaction contrary to the evolutionary ‘law’… and that while it is true that the present method is the one which nature has evolved at the present time, as said before it is not really the method which primordial humanity might have followed… Nature has followed that line, as it were, under protest, through the evil doing involved in our past karma, as the only way by which souls can find incarnation at present…”

We find confirmation of Dr. de Purucker’s views in The Secret Doctrine, II, p. 216: “From the possession of the double principle in one, that is the Androgyne condition, the separation of the dual principle was made, presenting two opposites whose destiny it was, for ever after, to seek reunion into the original one condition.

“‘The curse was this, viz: that nature, impelling the search, evaded the desired result by the production of a new being, distinct from that reunion or oneness desired, by which the natural longing to recover a lost state was and is for ever being cheated. It is by this tantalizing process of a continued curse that Nature lives.”

In a footnote on the same page H.P. Blavatsky adds: “By which (human) nature lives,’ not even the animal – but the misguided, sensual and vicious nature, which man, not nature, created.”
This is abstruse metaphysics, but establishes that sexual reproduction for humanity was not in Nature’s original plan. On page 262, II, The Secret Doctrine, we read: “As has been shown in the present volume (Anthropogenesis), it is the speechless animal that first started sexual connection, having been the first to separte into males and females. Nor was it intended by Nature that man should follow the bestial example – as shown by the comparatively painless procreation of their species by the animals, and the terrible suffering and danger of the same in the women.”
Ambition is the first curse, says Light on the Path, but sex is the greatest, says The Secret Doctrine, II, p. 412: “…the fire received has turned into the greatest curse: the animal element, and consciousness of its possession, has changed periodical instinct into chronic animalism and sensuality. It is that which hangs over humanity like a heavy funereal pall.” It has degraded man into a “helpless, scrofolous being, who has become the richest heir on the globe to constitutional and hereditary diseases, the most consciously and intelligently bestial of all animals.”

The deliberate profanation of sex in Atlantis led to the worship of the physical body (the Easter Island statues attest to this), and finally to the sex principle in itself. Phallic sorcery followed, with half of the Fourth Root-Race falling into Black Magic practices which survive today in African Voodoo, Tibetan Dugpa Lamaism, Hindu Tantrika, and various corrupt “New Thought” branches of Western metaphysics.

“The question is often asked” – The Secret Doctrine, II, 295-6 – “Why should celibacy and chastity be a sine qua non rule and condition of regular chelaship, or the development of psychic and occult powers? The answer is contained in the Commentary… During human life the greateast impediment in the way of spiritual development, and especially to the acquirement of Yoga powers, is the activity of our physiological senses. Sexual action being closely connected, by interaction, with the spinal cord and the grey matter of the brain, it is useless to give any longer explanation.”

IMPORTANT NOTE.  At this point the writer wishes to emphatically state that the purpose of these pages is NOT to rail against marriage and human love nor suggest that anyone take the yellow robe of asceticism. Its purpose is solely educational and informative. It is believed that by knowing the esoteric truth about sex and mankind’s Tomorrow, one would be better able to deal with the challenging human relation problems in our immediate experience.

The history of mankind in its present form as separate sexes goes back about eighteen million years to the middle of the Third Root-Race in Lemuria, when the Mind element began to function.
Until then man was “an empty, senseless Bhuta” (form or shadow), the product of two streams of evolution: the Monadic or Spiritual, and the Physical or material. With the entry of Manas (Mind) a third stream of evolution was added, conferring self-consciousness and a sense of moral responsibility.
The early sub-races of the Third Root-Race (The Secret Doctrine, II, p. 275) evolved by sexless creative instinct an “intermediate race” in which the higher Dhyan Chohans incarnated at the time of the separation of the sexes. These were the Sons of Will and Yoga, representing the full incarnation of the Mind principle.

A second class of Ego did not incarnte fully at once, but chose to wait, projecting only “a spark.” It is these (The Secret Doctrine, II, 167) who “constitute the average humanity which has to acquire its intellectuality during the present Manvantaric evolution.”

The “Sin of the Mindless” resulted when certain males of the “separated” humanity (before Manas was awakened and also before sterility was established between the human and animal kingdoms) had sexual congress with female beasts. Thus unconsciously the first misuse of the sex force took place. (The Secret Doctrine, II, 185). “The sin of the brainless or ‘mindless’ Races, who had no ‘spark’ and were irresponsible, fell upon those who failed to do by them their Karmic duty.” Thereupon, seeing this shameful Karmic result, the Sons of Wisdom endowed all men with Manas “lest worse should happen.”

A third class of Egos deferred incarnation till the Fourth or Atlantean Root-Race, in which the worst sexual Karma was incurred because the Atlanteans renewed the Sin of the Mindless with knowledge and moral responsibility. It is stated (The Secret Doctrine, II, 302) that in this case it was “the Spiritual being which sinned, the Spirit element being still the ‘Master’ principle in man, in those days. Thus it is in those days that the heaviest Karma of the Fifth Race was generated by our Monads.”

The most significant statement of all in this connection is found on page 228, The Secret Doctrine, II: “As to those ‘Sons of Wisdom’ who had ‘deferred’ their incarnation till the Fourth Race, which was already tainted (physiologically) with sin and impurity, they produced a terrible cause, the Karmic result of which weighs on them to this day. It was produced in themselves, and they became the carriers of that seed of iniquity for aeons to come, because the bodies they had to inform had become defiled through their own procrastination.

“This was the ‘Fall of the Angels,’ because of their rebellion against Karmic Law. The ‘fall of man’ was no fall, for he was irresponsible.”

“Behold the truth before you! A clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for one’s co-disciple, a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a loyal sense of duty to the Teacher, a willing obedience to the behests of TRUTH, once we have placed our confidence in, and believe the Teacher to be in possession of it; a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defense of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the secret science (Gupta Vidya) depicts – these are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom. Say this to those who have volunteered to be taught by you.” – Blavatsky’s Teacher

Theosophy teaches that we are Spiritual Pilgrims imprisoned by Kosmic and Karmic necessity in bodies of flesh informed by animal instincts and desires. The Spiritual Beings we essentially are aspire toward the god worlds from which we came, while at the same time the “Call of the Wild” would lure us back to the steaming jungles of animalhood.

It is the old story of the god and beast, one of which must ultimately absorb our being. which brings us to the subject of chelaship. A chela is a man or woman who anticipates the crisis by prematurely bringing it upon himself. It means a terrible battle in the heart and mind between the two forces or polarities. Very few are ready for chelaship, but when one is, nothing on earth can stop him.

In The Theosophist of July 1883 H.P. Blavatsky wrote: “One who undertakes to try for Chelaship by that very act rouses and lashes to desperation every sleeping passion of his animal nature. For this is the commencement of a struggle for the mastery in which quarter is never to be given nor taken… in this moral battle, if the Chela has one single hidden blemish – do what he may, it shall and will be brought to light… He is now in an atmosphere of illusions – maya. Vice puts on its most alluring face, and the tempting passions try to lure the inexperienced aspirant to the depths of psychic debasement.

“If the candidate has the latent lust for money, or political chicanery, or materialistic scepticism, or vain display, or false speaking, or cruelty, or sensual gratification of any kind, the germ is almost sure to sprout; and so, on the other hand, as regards the noble qualities of human nature. The real man comes out. Is it not the height of folly, then, for anyone to leave the smooth path of commonplace life to scale the crags of Chelaship without some reasonable feeling of certainty that he has the right stuff in him? Well says the Bible: ‘Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.’ – a test that would-be Chelas should consider well before they rush headlong into the fray!”

It’s a fantastic situation. Apparently when we were awakened to Manasic self-consciousness and were able to recognize our essential Divinity, it was in Nature’s plan for us to carry on in an androgynous state. With Mind – a godlike faculty – active within us we deserved to live free from animality and beasthood.

But something went wrong, and Nature’s plan had to be revised. So here we are – gods trapped in the bodies of animals which too often we mistake for ourselves, with heartbreaking consequences.
When Dr. G. de Purucker was asked: “Do Theosophists approve of marriage?” he said, among other things (Questions We All Ask, p. 137): “Theosophists most certainly approve of marriage, decidedly so. The only trouble is that so many marriages are ‘merely farces.’ Marriage itself is beautiful. The principle is holy; and if true marriage takes place, life is sanctified for those two human hearts.”

When H.P. Blavatsky was asked if a man must marry or remain a celibate (The Key to Theosophy, p. 262), she replied: “It depends on the kind of man you mean. If you refer to one who intends to live in the world, one who, even though a good, earnest Theosophist, and an ardent worker for our cause, still has ties and wishes which bind him to the world, who, in short, does not feel that he has done for ever with what men call life, and that he desires one thing and one thing only – to know the truth, and to be able to help others – then for such a one I say there is no reason why he should not marry, if he likes to take the risks of that lottery where there are so many more blanks than prizes. Surely you cannot believe us so absurd and fanatical as to preach against marriage altogether? On the contrary, save in a few exceptional cases of practical Occultism, marriage is the only remedy against immorality.”

There is the story about a young man who went to Socrates with the question of whether or not he should marry. “It doesn’t matter much one way or another,” said Socrates. “Whatever you do, you’ll regret it.”

* Witness the ludicrous spectacle of T. S. official pontificating as “bishops” of a “Liberal Catholic Church,” or the California prankster solemnly claiming that UFO’s are Atlantean aircraft from Poseidonis some eleven thousand years submerged! Even the notorious science fiction hoaxer C.W. Leadbeater never topped that. Nor did Geoffrey Hodson with his dainty spoof: Fairies at Work and at Play. (G.C.L.)



Tibetan horns

(Ref: The Cycles of Heaven by Guy Playfair & Scott Hill, Avon Books, 1978)

“…noise can be put to good use, the most off-beat of which in our experience comes from Tibet, where apparently it is, or has been, used to raise blocks of stone. We would hesitate to mention this but for the remarkably detailed evidence provided by the late Henry Kjellson, one of the pioneers of Sweden’s aircraft industry, who has left a very precise description of how Tibetan monks build walls on high rocky ledges. It is based on first-hand evidence, and we have also been able to obtain his original drawings of the event, which is reproduced here . . .

“Blocks of stone measuring 1.5 metres square were hauled up to a plateau by yaks, and placed over a specially dug bowl-shaped hole one metre in diameter and 15 cm. deep. The hole was 100 metres from the sheer rock wall on top of which the building, presumably a hermitage of some sort, was to be built. Sixty-three metres back from the stone there stood nineteen musicians, spaced at five degree intervals to form a quarter-circle, in groups, as clearly shown on Kjellson’s drawing. Measurements were taken extremely carefully, using a knotted leather thong.

Behind the musicians, about 200 priests arranged themselves so that about ten stood behind each musician. The instruments involved were drums and trumpets of various sizes, (Kjellson gives the exact dimensions of the 13 drums and six trumpets that made up this unusual orchestra.)

“Then, at the command of the chief priest, the music began. The beat was set by a gigantic drum weighing 150 kilos and slung from a specially built frame so that it was off the ground… Two monks took turns at each trumpet, blowing a total of two blasts per minute. All six trumpets were pointed towards the stone on its launching pad, and after about four minutes of what must have been indescribable racket (since the meticulous Kjellson fails to describe it), the stone rose into the air, wobbled slightly, and then, as the noise from trumpets, drums and chanting priests increased, followed a precise parabolic course of some 400 metres up to the top of the cliff. In this way, we are told, five or six blocks were lifted in an hour…”

The diagram also states that the stone blocks sometimes broke upon landing.


Blavatsky on Altruism


“For real Theosophy is Altruism, and we cannot repeat it too often. It is brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth. If once men do but realize that in these alone can true happiness be found, and never in wealth, possessions, or any selfish gratification, then the dark clouds will roll away, and a new humanity will be born upon the earth . . . . .”
“But if not, then the storm will burst, and our boasted civilization and enlightenment will sink in such a sect of horror that its parallel History has never yet recorded.” – H.P.B. in “Our Cycle and the Next”.

“As long as people, instead of fraternizing with and helping each other, claim but the right to safeguard their national interests, while the rich man refuses to understand that in helping a poor stranger he helps his poor brother in the future, and sets a good example for other countries; as long as the feeling of international altruism remains an empty phrase in the air, progress will accomplish no other function than that of executioner of the poor.” – from “False Conceptions”

“We need all our strength to meet the difficulties and dangers which surround us . . . the cure [against the strong psychic trend] is ‘ALTRUISM’. And this is the keynote of Theosophy and the cure for all ills….” – from letter to TS Convention, April 28-29, 1889

The Great Cry of Humanity
“. . . While the heart is full of thoughts for a little group of selves, near and dear to us, how shall the rest of mankind fare in our souls? What percentage of love and care will there remain to bestow on the “great orphan”? And how shall the “still small voice” make itself heard in a soul entirely occupied with its own privileged tenants? What room is there left for the needs of Humanity en bloc to impress themselves upon, or even receive a speedy response? And yet, he who would profit by the wisdom of the universal mind, has to reach it through the whole of Humanity, without distinction of race, complexion, religion or social status. It is altruism, not ego-ism even in its most legal and noble conceptions, that can lead the unit to merge its little Self in the Universal Selves. It is to these needs and to this work that the true disciple of true Occultism has to devote himself, if he would obtain Theosophy, divine Wisdom and Knowledge.”
” . . . We are in the Kali Yuga and its fatal influence is a thousand-fold more powerful in the West than it is in the East; hence the easy preys made by the Powers of the Age of Darkness in this cyclic struggle, and the many delusions under whiich the world is now laboring. One of these is the relative facility with which men fancy they can get at the ‘Gate’ and cross the threshold of Occultism without any great sacrifice. It is the dream of most Theosophists, one inspired by desire for Power and personal selfishness, and it is not such feelings that can ever lead them to the coveted goal. . . .” – H.P. Blavatsky, ‘Occultism versus the Occult Arts,’ Lucifer, Vol. II, May, 1888.

“He who does not practice altruism: he who is not prepared to share his last morsel with a weaker or poorer than himself; he who neglects to help his brother man, of whatever race, nation, or creed, whenever and wherever he meets suffering, and who turns a deaf ear to the cry of human misery; he who hears an innocent person slandered, whether a brother Theosophist or not, and does not undertake his defense as he would undertake his own – is no Theosophist.” – Lucifer, Vol. I, p 169

   Disproving the Law of the “survival of the fittest”: “And this miracle the Theosophical Society will perform. It will do this, not by disproving the relative existence of the law in question, but by assigning to it its due place in the harmonious order of the universe; by unveiling its true meaning and nature and by showing that this pseudo law is a “pretended” law indeed, as far as the human family is concerned, and a fiction of the most dangerous kind. ‘Self-preservation,’ on these lines, is indeed and in truth a sure, if a slow, suicide, for it is a policy of mutual homicide, because men by descending to its practical application among themselves, merge more and more by a retrograde reinvolution into the animal kingdom. This is what the “struggle of life” is in reality, even on the purely materialistic lines of political economy. Once that this axiomatic truth is proved to all men; the same instinct of self-preservation only directed into its true channel will make them turn to altruism–as their surest policy of salvation.” – from “The Theosophical Society: Its Mission and Its Future”, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 12, Aug 15, 1888

“… true evolution teaches us that by altering the surroundings of the organism we can alter and improve the organism; and in the strictest sense this is true with regard to man. Every Theosophist, therefore, is bound to do his utmost to help on, by all the means in his power, every wise and well-considered social effort which has for its object the amelioration of the condition of the poor. Such efforts should he made with a view to their ultimate social emancipation, or the development of the sense of duty in those who now so often neglect it in nearly every relation of life.”
“… no Theosophist has the right to this name, unless he is thoroughly imbued with the correctness of Carlyle’s truism: ‘The end of man is an action and not a thought, though it were the noblest’ – and unless he sets and models his daily life upon this truth.”
“… the main, fundamental object of the Society is to sow germs in the hearts of Men, which may in time sprout, and under more propicious circumstances lead to a healthy reform, conducive of more happiness to the masses than they have hitherto enjoyed.” – The Key to Theosophy, pp. 235, 230, 257.

“Self watchfulness is never more necessary than when wounded vanity and a personal desire to lead, dress themselves in the peacock feathers of altruism and devotion.” – HPB in Last Message to Am. Conventions

“The Theosophical ideas of charity mean personal exertion for others; personal mercy and kindness; personal interest in the welfare of those who suffer; personal sympathy, forethought and assistance in their troubles or needs. We Theosophists do not believe in giving money (N. B., if we had it) through other people’s hands or organizations. We believe in giving to the money a thousandfold greater power and effectiveness by our personal contact and sympathy with those who need it. We believe in relieving the starvation of the soul, as much if not more than the emptiness of the stomach; for gratitude does more good to the man who feels it, than to him for whom it is felt. Where’s the gratitude which your “millions of pounds” should have called forth, or the good feelings provoked by them? Is it shown in the hatred of the East-End poor for the rich? in the growth of the party of anarchy and disorder? or by those thousands of unfortunate working girls, victims to the “sweating” system, driven daily to eke out a living by going on the streets? Do your helpless old men and women thank you for the workhouses; or your poor for the poisonously unhealthy dwellings in which they are allowed to breed new generations of diseased, scrofulous and rickety children, only to put money into the pockets of the insatiable Shylocks who own houses? Therefore it is that every sovereign of all those “millions,” contributed by good and would-be charitable people, falls like a burning curse instead of a blessing on the poor whom it should relieve. We call this generating national Karma, and terrible will be its results on the day of reckoning. – Key to Theosophy, pp. 244-45, orig. ed.


Parabrahman – the Great ALL


In Blavatsky Theosophy, Hindu Vedanta, and Buddhism there is no “personal god”, no all-powerful individual being that one can pray to and that “notes the fall of a bird,” and the “number of hairs on one’s head.” The Ultimate Source in Theosophy is Parabrahman, “beyond Brahman”, and it cannot know that one even exists or any individual thing relative. It is something that is undefinable, but perhaps intuition can be stimulated from analogies – all ultimately wrong and inadequate.

Looking at things from a hierarchical aspect might point in the right direction. In Theosophy the ultimate source of each individual is a monad, the Atman, by which a process of unfolding or indirect manifestation the individual human results. To us it is the ultimate source and Absolute and Universal, and of which no relative description is possible. It is the same for all humans as all monads in Essence are One. An experience of it is called by various names – Moksha, Enlightenment, Satori, etc. That it is Absolute to us in our comprehension does not mean that it may not be some individual consciousness and being in the larger Cosmos. In our human bodies the absolute for an individual cell might be our own human consciousness, which is forever beyond the meager consciousness of a cell, but not beyond us.

Each level of individuality in the cosmos may have its own Monad or Absolute – the atom or cell, human consciousness, the Earth, the Sun, the Solar System, the Galaxy, into infinity – and I believe even science and Physics now claims the universe in infinite. The abolute of the consciousness of the Solar System (and how can we in our pip-squeak understanding not say there is one, including inner invisible planes of consciousness as well as outer physically-based ones) – would be “Parabrahman” or Para-Atman to us – beyond Atman or our monad/absoute – the Great Beyond. ‘And so on infinitely – a consciousness of the Galaxy, and perhaps there are “galaxies of galaxies.” No individual being however Grand in the Cosmic scheme can realize Parabrahman. It is forever Beyond.

From the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary:

Parabrahman (Sanskrit) [from para, beyond + Brahman (neuter) universal self or spirit.] That which is beyond Brahman; the self-enduring, eternal, self-sufficient cause of all, the one essence of everything in the kosmos. It is before all things in the kosmos, and is the one sole limitless life-consciousness-substance from which starts into existence a center of force which may be called the Logos. In the Vedic cycle of writing it is referred to as tat (that) as opposed to the world of manifestation called idam (this).

“Parabrahman is intimately connected with Mulaprakriti. Their interaction and intermingling cause the first nebulous thrilling, if the words will pass, of the Universal Life when spiritual desire first arose in it in the beginnings of things…. Parabrahman is no entity, is no individual, or individualized being. It is a convenient technical word with conveniently vague philosophical significancy, implying whatever is beyond the Absolute or Brahman of any hierarchy. Just as Brahman is the summit of a kosmic Hierarchy, so, following the same line of thought, the Parabrahman is ‘whatever is beyond Brahman'” (Occult Glossary,  p. 121).

The parabrahman of the Vedantists is likewise conceived of as an eternal and periodical law which causes an active and creative force to emanate from the ever-concealed and incomprehensible one principle at the beginning of every mahamanvantara or new cycle of cosmic life.

“Parabrahmam is an unconditioned and absolute reality, and Mulaprakriti is a sort of veil thrown over it. Parabrahmam by itself cannot be seen as it is. It is seen by the Logos with a veil thrown over it, and that veil is the mighty expanse of cosmic matter. It is the basis of material manifestations in the cosmos” (Notes on the Bhagavad-gita, Subba Row, p. 21). Parabrahman has the same relation to the Logos as our atman does to our karana-sarira; and parabrahman is the very foundation of the highest self.

Parabrahman is identical with the ‘eyn-soph of the Chaldean Qabbalah.