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Eastern School of Theosophy (15)

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(Echoes of the Orient p. 413-422)

Eastern School of Theosophy

Suggestions and Aids

 

Answers to Correspondence 413

letters used by Mr. Sinnett for his book had They sent such teaching to anyone, and bade us note the fact. This of course does not include H.P.B., as she and They in respect to the teaching are the same. But she and They left many things in writing for future use. Fourth, They directed that about the present time these matters might come out. In respect to one point you will find published something about the sevenfold system of planets of the highest value, and going to upset the old materialistic notions thereupon.

WORDS FROM MASTERS

Of General E.S.T. Interest Some years ago the Masters wrote to H.P.B. and the members that it was unwise to hide belief in Them and Their Lodge from the public through fear of ridicule at the difficulty of proving objectively their existence. Following the advice and orders given, certain members in America have steadily asserted their belief in these Beings and attempted constantly, by argument and illustration, to prove the existence of the Adepts and to expound Their doctrines and ideals. At a later date, the Masters sent the following words to the Heads of the E.S.T.: “If we are ignored we cannot help. America has been more helped than Europe has because in Path and otherwise we have always been recognized.” And within a few weeks this message has come: “Tell the members of the necessity, force, value, and result of proclaiming their belief, when held, in the Lodge and the Masters as ideals and facts.” The necessity is that where the idea is not given out there is no opening of the mind to it; the force follows on the proclamation; the value is that the channel is widened in the mind of the day for the reception of the impulses which the Masters desire to give but cannot if there is no channel in the mental plane; the result is that the idea being abroad, there is a leaning to the belief which is actually founded on memory of past lives — since the Lodge and the Masters are facts — and the Adepts are then able to brighten up what the people are beginning vaguely to have in mind.

The force, value, and result of the attainment of the ideal are that those who are so fortunate as to acquire it are raised up, benefited, and enabled to work steadily for others, for as ideals the Masters relate to and include the entire scheme of the soul of man.

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Although much against my own desire, I now publish privately and by order the following from a letter sent to me by H.P.B. in 1889. Omitted parts contain the names of persons.

W.Q.J.

London, Oct. 23, 1889

. The Esoteric Section and its life in the U.S.A. depend upon W.Q.J. remaining its agent and what he is now. The day W.Q.J. resigns, H.P.B. will be virtually dead for the Americans. W.Q.J. is the Antaḥkaraṇa between the two Manas(es), the American thought and the Indian — or rather the trans-Himālayan esoteric knowledge. Dixi.

H.P.B. ∴

P.S. — W.Q.J. had better show, and impress this on the mind of all those it may concern.

H.P.B.

HAVE PATIENCE WITH THE OFFICE

Members seem to forget that as General Secretary, as editor, as an individual, I have many duties to perform in addition to the work of the School, and that I am totally without means beyond what is needed to give me food and clothing and a roof. Everyone writes and I reply gladly, but I am utterly unable to cover all the ground I would wish and you may desire. Mrs. Besant is in just the same case. I do not ask you to refrain from questions at all. I only ask you to be patient and to ask yourselves if you have as much to do as we have, and if you are willing to give up all idea of worldly advantage. Worldly advantage we do not care for, and thus you may say we are getting what we wish. Very true, but no one has the right to quarrel with us when we are doing all that 24 hours will allow. If there were 60 hours in a day and we had sixty hands and brains, it might be different.

Some of the members have taken no pains to observe the rule as to not mixing E.S. matter in letters with the T.S. business. This makes it very inconvenient for me and vastly increases the work, as the two offices are distinct though my name is in both. It is a small matter, but when you consider all that has to be done here, and the lack of funds and consequent lack of help — for people cannot live on air — you will see that it is better for you to spend four cents and write two letters,

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one to me and the other to the T.S., than to compel me to see each letter in both offices and sort them out. Some of the members send me letters marked “private” containing also orders for books that should go to The Path offices, remittances to be split up by me, and in addition matter relating to the outside work of the Branch. Such methods do, indeed, save you one or two cents, but they double my work quite unnecessarily. Please alter your ways in this regard, remembering that every day I receive from twenty to fifty letters to answer.

examination no. iii

This Examination Paper was sent out in October to those who had had Instructions No. III for six months. Some hundreds of replies were received and had to be carefully examined. Please bear this in mind. The replies will be sent back with comments just as soon as I can go through them all, they having been previously examined by two students who help me. The delay in returning them has been caused by immense pressure of work which arose by reason of the addition to my duties of the management of Annie Besant’s tour here. It was surprising to note how many members seemed to think they could read the Instructions with the questions in hand so as to make good replies. This would not be permitted in any college. The objects of the examination are to show how members are progressing and to give me the means to help them further. But as a whole the result indicates a general progress, as nearly all the questions were fairly answered by the whole School.

THE INSTRUCTIONS

From the first page of the first number, the Instructions contain highly valuable occult teachings which members have overlooked. In many cases they write and wonder why they do not get more. You will find, as many have already, that in the first set there is really more than you can now master. the double-page diagram This is full of value. It is not well understood. It will bear a closer study.

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It shows the relation of the Macrocosm to the Microcosm. And being a symbol or representation it can be viewed from many different standpoints. Considered as a whole we have a partial explanation given on page [542] of the Instructions: “(a) the three pertain to the spiritual world and the Absolute, and therefore to the three Higher principles in man. (b) the 7 pertain to the spiritual, psychic, and physical worlds and to the body of man.” We may consider this last sentence in two ways. First, reading “astral” instead of “physical,” since the astral is the mold of and contains the physical, we have the three worlds or planes as represented in the first oval, “Spiritual, Psychic, and Astral,” and we learn from this that the 7 centers of force in the microcosm, the 7 principles, and also the 7 orifices in the body (through their correspondence with the principles and actual physical relationship with those) are in direct relation to those 3 worlds or planes. Second, we may consider this sentence in another way, viz: the spiritual world or plane is represented by the first oval, the psychic or astral by the second oval (the second face of the diagram — of the astral man) [facing p. 524], while the third oval represents the physical plane; each oval representing one plane only. The physical organs or centers of action represented in the third oval are all on one plane, the physical; the real sense organs, which belong to the astral, represented in the second oval, are all on one plane, the astral; and also the 7 centers represented in the first oval are all on one plane, the spiritual. Now consider each oval separately. The bottom oval is merely the representation of a fact in nature, but the other two being diagrammatic, require some explanation.

All through Nature there is duality: each thing has two aspects, a positive and a negative, every pair of things is also related in the same way, one is always positive to the other. This is expressed in all 3 ovals; (b) is positive to (c), (d) to (e), (f ) to (g); also (1) is positive to (2), (3) to (4), (5) to (6). This is the reason of their being put in pairs. To come now to the reason of (5) being above (6) in the second oval instead of being side by side with it; though the Liṅga-Śarīra, the vehicle of Prāṇa, is negative to Prāṇa, just as Manas is negative to Buddhi, and Kāma to Lower Manas, and therefore might have been placed side by side with it, yet in our present stage we are able to distinguish in thought between Prāṇa and Liṅga-Śarīra — i.e. we are able to conceive of them separately, but this is not the case with our conception of Buddhi-Manas and Lower Manas-Kāma.

In S.D. I:99 (remember the Masters speak in that book) we are told that the square within the circle is the most potent of magical figures, and the second oval may be looked upon as a hint of the cube within the sphere. For a cube has three axes, each being perpendicular to the

Answers to Correspondence 417

other two, two being horizontal and one vertical.

These axes are represented respectively by (1) (2), (3) (4), and (5) (6). If we look upon it in this light we see that (5) bears exactly the same relationship to (6) as (1) does to (2). Representing the cube in perspective we have the figure here given. The sphere, in which the cube is, represents the Auric Egg, and its plane may be reached only by attaining that perfect harmony which is the result of, or is expressed by, squaring the circle, or sphering the cube, by obtaining the value of pi (3.1415+), which may be ever approximated to, but never reached. With regard to a question which is often asked about the 6 principles acting on 4 different planes, this merely expresses a fact which may be perhaps more clearly rendered by reversing the statement so as to read thus: “The Adepts of the right-hand path use these 5 principles on 4 planes, the Auric Envelope being on the 7th.”

If this diagram is considered with reference to the following, Instruction I, p. [516], much light will be obtained on the subject: “But who of you has ever traced all the links of heredity, astral, psychic, and spiritual, which go to make you what you are?” It has been before stated that the diagram shows the relation between the Microcosm and the Macrocosm, but in the light of the above it also shows the different lines of heredity and the link between.

Each oval is divided into 5 compartments. If these are doubled so as to make the negative and positive for each, we have 10 in each oval, corresponding with the “10 centers.” This however is only symbolical for the present, yet useful.

There is no actual transposition of the centers because all have to radiate from one center, and the dotted lines run through certain arbitrary spots in the diagram for purposes of illustration only, for in fact such lines of force run wherever we may force them by our own inner powers.

Further, there are 4 basic principles, and the consciousness being the synthesis of the three aspects makes thus one more, which added to the 4 basic principles makes 5, thus accounting for the 5 divisions in the ovals. And the 7 worlds etc., etc., are placed in the ovals, leaving out the bottom division in each as it is only māyā — illusion, caused by the action of the 3 aspects on the consciousness. This last division is thus

418 Echoes of the Orient

left out in each oval and is called in the first “Material Plane,” in the middle one “Māyā,” and in the last contains the paradigm of the 10th orifice in the lower Triad.

To the Members of the E. S. T.

The following is from a letter lately received from an Indian brother[1] in E.S.T., and is recommended to your attention as independent evidence of the position of H.P.B. and the connection of the Masters with the T.S.

Annie Besant William Q. Judge

March, 1893

THE LETTER

K.B., a Brahman Yogi, recently went up to the Himālayas: on his way down to Deccan, he was kind enough to stop at my place for some days and imparted to me the following news. I must say here that I saw him at Meerut before he went up to the Himālayas, and asked him what will be the destiny of our Society so far as India is concerned, and as H.P.B. has departed, whether we will have another teacher to give us — Indians — teachings in practical occultism. I asked him these two questions; he replied: “I am going to the Himālayas now, and if I see any Mahatma I shall be able to tell you, and not before.”

This said, we parted from each other, I for Calcutta and he for the north. I must mention here also that this gentleman did not know much of H.P.B. before nor of the Theosophical Society, and whenever I spoke to him about them he used to say, as it were passively, that it is a good work, no doubt, and that H.P.B. must have known the occult philosophy though she was born in the family of the Mlecchas, that whenever the Rākshasas became powerful some goddess is sent to

Answers to Correspondence 419

destroy them, and so she was sent to destroy the materialism of the allpowerful western Rākshasas.

However, now I shall relate what he told me when he came back from the Himālayas. The first thing he said was: “Go on! go on! go on! Fit yourself; you have much to do: go on, go on, and go on.” The next thing he told me was, that this time he considered himself to be thrice blessed by the sight of a Mahatma near Badarikāśrama, in the snow-covered and impassable cave of the Himālayas. He gave me a long detail of what he saw and how he reached there, but it will be too long and not interesting to you to mention them in detail. The Mahatma, he said, he saw perfectly naked; that no living soul could venture to look at his eyes; his color appeared to be of such a peculiar hue that it is not like anything worldly, but when he touched his hand (K.B.’s) between the third and fourth fingers, the latter could not stand the electric shock that ran up to his head from the extreme parts of his feet. It appeared to him as if a most powerful galvanic battery was applied to his body, and he became almost unconscious, although he himself is a real yogi of 22 years’ standing and following the path ever since. He said the body of the Mahatma, though it looked like butter, proved to be hard as steel, and that it was impossible for him to say of what it is made. The Mahatma does not speak, and with him only spoke where he could not make the latter understand his thought perfectly well. After he received his instruction, whatever was necessary for him, he asked: “that in India there they have established a society called the Theosophical Society, and that Madame Blavatsky started it with Col. Olcott. What is this? Is there anything real in it? Who was H.P.B.? Was she a yogi? Is Col. Olcott a yogi? What will be end of all this? Is anybody to come in the place of H.P.B.? My certain friend B.K.L. who takes much interest in the T.S. pressed me for the latter information.”

To all these the replies were as follows, but mostly by gestures and shaking of hands and nod of the head. He said, “The T.S. was their work; it was established to change the present current of the human mind and destroy Nāstikism, to save the seed of the fifth race — the Āryan; that he was present when H.P.B. was sent by her Master from the Mānasarovara Hills in Tibet; that the latter had not better ask who was H.P.B. and where she is now, but she was sent to carry out the work of the Mahatmas; that she was very high up there is not the least doubt, that he himself was one of the Circle, although not so high as the Guru of H.P.B.; that Col. Olcott is a good man no doubt but no yogi, he is entirely different from H.P.B., with whose name you cannot mention Olcott. That what was necessary was done by H.P.B. and the Society

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is successful; that they will not send anybody now, but the work must be carried on from inside the Society itself — that now no one from the West will give occult lessons to the Indians, but whatever they have got, they must prepare themselves so as to receive further instructions from anybody in India till they are able to impart instructions to the Society and keep it intact; that hitherto the T.S. followed a particular line, but in India there should be a change in that line, but there will be no change in the West, they must go on as they do now.”

Since the Svāmiji has come back from the Himālayan Hills his ideas about the T.S. and H.P.B. are entirely different; instead of passive tolerance he simply says: “Go on, go on, and go on. There is much for you to do; fit yourself. I can’t and won’t tell you what further the Mahatma has said, because the time is not come, but when time comes I shall tell you. Oh! I like to worship the portrait of H.P.B.; no one has done so much good for humanity, especially for India, after Buddha and Śaṅkarāchārya in his reincarnation. The T.S. is ours, established for certain purposes by our Mahatmas; go on and go on, work and work.”

The Svāmiji’s opinion is a little dwarfed about Col. Olcott — but he says he is a good man. I must tell you that the Svāmiji never knew any of these informations about the T.S., the West, or H.P.B. before he went up to the Hills.

The Svāmiji showed me his hand where the Mahatma held it with his two fingers — there is the white sign of inflammation still existing, and subsequently the skin was off from that place.

These are the facts that are revealed to me, and I asked him whether I can convey them to any of those Westerns who are the workers of the T.S. He told me the Mahatma has not told him that the matter should be kept secret, so I have the liberty to reveal but only to the worthy person. It appeared also that the Svāmiji is the chela of one of the chelas or grand chelas of a Mahatma of the Circle.

Answers to Correspondence 421

Correspondence No. 5

December 1893

RELATION OF THE E.S.T. TO THE T.S.

The great object which H.P.B. had in view in starting the E.S.T. was to help the T.S., to make the E.S.T. a heart which should enliven and push on the body. This is emphasized in the Book of Rules, the Introduction to Instructions III, and elsewhere. It was not organized for personal aggrandizement, and its course since the beginning has shown that from several facts that may be mentioned. (a) No orders have been sent out for members to do this, that, or the other; (b) no suggestions as to what course should be pursued in relation to the administration of the T.S. have been made; (c) discipline of members who in the eye of the world require it, who in any church or other body would have received it long ago, has not been indulged in. This is because we are working under Karma, and are not wise enough to apply force to men and women who should live up to their pledges so as to require the application of no law. It is perfectly certain that Karma will look out for all such offenders in the long run, for which we all can wait; meanwhile they may enter on other courses. Failure to apply discipline does not mean that the Masters behind are not cognizant of offences committed in secret, but it does mean that those Masters are full of compassion and we ought to imitate them therein. The sacred pledge to the Higher Self will make the Karmic results all the worse; there is no need for us to add to that.

Members ought to scrutinize their motive for entering the School. Is it for personal advantage expressed by the words “what can I gain by joining and working in the E.S.T.?” Is it under the idea that a craving for occult knowledge may be satisfied or occult power gained? Or is it that help may be given to the human race by spreading a sound philosophy and ethics, meanwhile being assisted in that by others and by what the Instructions teach? If it is the latter, then there will be always opportunities for helping and the real foundations will be laid for deeper knowledge. If the former or any of them, the object will be defeated wholly, for there are only two ways of getting personal power. The first is through selfishness ending in the very highest and blackest

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of black magic, in annihilation; and the other is through renunciation of self, which leads to union with the source of all permanent power and confers at last the ability to personally help the world. This is no contradiction, because in that union the individuality is retained, and of course at every step must on this plane work through a personality that does not enchain the soul as ours now does. If you find your motive is too personal, it should be elevated by constant thought and striving. Reflect on the fifth and sixth clauses of the pledge:

5. I pledge myself to do all in my power by study and otherwise to fit myself to help and teach others.

6. I pledge myself to give what support I can to the Theosophical movement in time, money, and work.

On this some have asked, what about duties to family, and what if I have no money to spare, being poor and full of responsibilities? The first teaching is to do all your duties; fulfill these and Karma will take care of the rest. Each one must decide for himself. One’s duties are not confined to the family. Each has a duty to the race also, which he certainly has time for, since it can be no larger in obligation than one’s limitations prescribe. It is not measured by another’s duty. The family has its due proportion, but the pledge requires devotion also to the cause of humanity. It is not the amount of money given but the spirit of the giving that is the test. The words “what support I can” do not mean that you are to give your all, but what, under all your actual duties and obligations, you are able. And it also allows one to decide for himself the particular channel through which the help of time and money shall be given. The pledge is to the Higher Self and not to any person; it is therefore sacred and should not be lightly forgotten. The religious parliament and other things have given more prominence than ever before to Theosophy, but at the same time this success has its reaction in which there is some danger; that reaction will be felt not only in the T.S. but also in its heart, the E.S.T. Hence we should be united and harmonious, for thus alone can we be strong. Harmony does not mean that the ideas of all should be alike, that the few should be copied in all things, but that one single devotion, one motive, one desire and aspiration should be had by all. Differences of nature and mind are inevitable; each should therefore accord to all the same toleration he asks for himself, and then the single thread of devotion will unite all into one force. The power of this if put into operation would be immense; it would send to all, along the invisible but real currents uniting all on the psychical plane, a stream of help for mind, soul, and body. That we do not feel the full benefit of this is the fault alone of the School, for the wisest spirits either in the body or out of it cannot

  1. [Possibly Rai B. K. Laheri (B.K.L.), an Inner Group member.] [<<]
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