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"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 defence as he would undertake his own-is no Theosophist.-H. P. Blavatsky.
Theosophy is that ocean of knowleslge which spreads from shore to shore of the evolution of entient beings; unfathomable in its deepest parts, it gives the greatest minds their fullest scope, yet, shallow enough at it shores, it will not overwhelm the understanding of a child. It is wisdom about God for those who believe that he is all things and in all, and wisdom about nature for the man who accepts the statement found in the Christian Bible that God cannot be measured or discovered, and that darkness is around his pavilion.
It is not a belief or dogma forinulated or invented by man, but is a knowledge of the physical, astral, psychical, and intellectual constituents of nature and of man. The religion of the day is but a series of dogmas man-made and with no scientific foundation for promulgated ethics; while our science as yet ignores the unseen, and failing to admit the existence of a complete set of inner faculties of perception in man, it is cut off from the immense and real field of experience which lies within the visible and tangible worlds.
That man possesses an immortal soul is the common belief of humanity; to this Theosophy adds that he is a soul; and further that all nature is sentient, that the vast array of objects and men are not mere collections of atoms fortuitously thrown together and thus without law evolving law, but down to the smallest atom all is soul and spirit ever evolving under the rule of law which is inherent in the whole. And just as the ancients taught, so does Theosophy; that the course of evolution is the drama of the soul and that nature exists for no other purpose than the soul's experience. The Theosophist agrees with Prof. Huxley in the assertion that there must be beings in the universe whose intelligence is as much beyond ours as ours exceeds that of the black beetle, and who take an active part in the government of the natural order of things.
The most intelligent being in the universe, man, has never been without a friend, but has a line of elder brothers who continually watch over the progress of the less progressed, preserve the knowledge gained through æons of trial and experience, and continually seek for opportunities of drawing the developing intelligence of the race on this or other globes to consider the great truths concerning the destiny of the soul. These elder brothers also keep the knowledge they have gained of the laws of nature in all departments, and are ready when cyclic law permits to use it for the benefit of mankind. They have always existed as a body, all knowing each other, no matter in what part of the world they may be, and all working for the race in many different ways. In some periods they are well known to the people and move among ordinary men whenever the social organization, the virtue, and the development of the nations permit it.
Alone in reincarnation is the answer to all the problems of life, and in it and Karma is the force that will make men pursue in fact the ethies they have in theory.
Some urge that Heredity invalidates Reincarnation. We urge it as proof. Heredity in giving us a body in any family provides the appropriate environment for the Ege. The Ego only goes into the family which either completely answers to its while mature, or which gives an opportunity for the working out of its evolution, and which is also connected with it or resten af past incarnatiens or causes mutually set up. Thus the ev! child may come to the presently good family because parents and child are indissolubly connected by past actions.
Heredity provides the tenement and also imposes those limitations of capacity of brain or body which are often a punishment and sometimes a help, but it does not affect the real Ego. The limitations imposed on the Ego by any family heredity are exact consequences of that Ego's prior lives.
Suffering comes to nearly all men, and a great many live lives of sorrow from the cradle to the grave, so it is objected that reincarnation is unjust because we suffer for the wrong done by some other person in another life. This objection is based on the false notion that the person in the other life was some one else. But in every life it is the same person. When we come again we do not take up the body of someone else, nor another's deeds, but are like an actor who plays many parts, the same actor inside though the costumes and the lines recited differ in each new play. Shakespeare was right in saying that life is a play, for the great life of the soul is a drama, and each new life and rebirth another act in which we assume another part and put on a new dress, but all through it we are the self-same person. So instead of its being unjust, it is perfect justice, and in no other manner could justice be preserved.
Memory of a prior life is not needed to prove that we passed through that existence, nor is the fact of not remembering a good objection. We forget the greater part of the occurrences of the years and days of this life, but no one would say for that reason we did not go through these years.
Many persons do, however, remember that they have lived before. Poets have sung of this, children know it well, until the constant living in an atmosphere of unbelief drives the recollection from their minds for the present, but all are subject to the limitations imposed upon the Ego by the new brain in each life. This is why we are not able to keep the pictures of the past, whether of this life or the preceding ones. The brain is the instrument for the memory of the soul, and, being new in each life with but a certain capacity, the Ego is only able to use it for the new life up to its capacity. That capacity will be fully availed of or the contrary, just according to the Ego's own desire and prior conduct, because such past living will have increased or diminished its power to overcome the forces of material existence.
By living according to the dictates of the soul the brain may at last be made porous to the soul's recollections; if the contrary sort of a life is led, then more and more will clouds obscure that reminiscence. But as the brain had no part in the life last lived, it is in general unable to remember. And this is a wise law, for we should be very miserable if the deeds and scenes of our former lives were not hidden from our view until by discipline we become able to bear a knowledge of them.
The appearance of geniuses and great minds in families destitute of these qualities, as well as the extinction from a family of the genius shown by some ancestor, can only be met by the law of rebirth. Napoleon the First came in a family wholly unlike him in power and force. Nothing in his heredity will explain his character. He said himself, as told in the Memoirs of Prince Talleyrand, that he was Charlemagne. Only by assuming for him a long series of lives giving the right line of evolution or cause for his mind and nature and force to be brought out, can we have the slightest idea why he or any other great genius appeared at all. Mozart when an infant could compose orchestral score. This was not due to heredity, for such a score is not natural, but is forced, mechanical, and wholly conventional, yet he understood it without schooling. How? Because he was a musician reincarnated, with a musical brain furnished by his family and thus not impeded in his endeavors to show forth his musical knowledge. William Q. Judge, Ocean of Theosophy.
The "struggle for existence" applies to the physical, never to the moral plane of being.-H. P. Blavatsky.
The world is my country, to do good my religion.— Thomas Paine.
As the years roll on and human life unfolds, Christ, the friend of all humanity, should be revealed in a new and clearer light to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.-Katherine Tingley.
Those of us who think knowledge can be acquired without pursuing the path of love, mistake. The soul is aware of what it requires. It demands altruism, and so long as that is absent, so long will merely intellectual study lead to nothing.-W. Q. Judge.
Let me say one thing I know; only the feeling of frue brotherhood, of true love towards humanity, aroused in the soul of some one strong enough to stem this tide, can carry us through. For love and trust are the only weapons that can overcome the real enemies against which the true lover of humanity must fight. If I, or you, go into this battle from pride, from self-will, from anything but the purest motive, we must fail. W. 0. Judge.
Men are beginning to realize that their divine birthright is no dream. The utterance of the statement brings with it a living power reviving the embers in the heart. We have but to take the first step in the true spirit of brotherliness, and all other steps will follow in natural sequence. We have to be warriors and fight the old fight unceasingly, but leagued with us in this ancient fight are all the hosts of light. Behind man, back of all things, broods the eternal spirit of Compassion.-Katherine Tingley.
There is no individual who cannot become a center for the restorative forces of nature, no individual who cannot become a world of light in miniature in which the radiance of hope will go out into all other worlds which are, or may be, in the darkness of dread and despair. Let us believe in justice and the triumph of right. Let us be assured that the oversoul of humanity is alive forevermore, that it has the keys of fate within its hands and that it will subdue all insurrection from below, imposing at the last its utmost perfect peace upon all turbulences and upon all violences.-New Century Path.
The ultimate origin or beginning of man is not to be discovered, although we may know when and from where the men of this globe came. Man never was not. If not on this globe, then on some others, he ever was, and will ever be in existence somewhere in the Cosmos. Ever perfecting and reaching up to the image of the Heavenly Man, he is always becoming.-William Quan Judge.
Unbrotherliness is the insanity of the age.-Katherine Tingley.
To live to benefit mankind is the first step.
Learn that no efforts, not the smallest—whether in right or wrong direction-can vanish from the world of causes.
If thou woulds't reap sweet peace and rest, Disciple, sow with the seeds of inerit the fields of future harvests.
Sow kindly acts and thou shalt reap their fruition.
Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like as the Lotus bares its heart to drink the morning sun.
Have perseverance as one who doth for evermore endure.
-Voice of the Silence.