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Searchable Full Text of The Friendly Philosopher by Robert Crosbie


The Friendly Philosopher


Robert Crosbie


Letters and Talks on Theosophy and the Theosophical Life





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Searchable Full Text of

The Secret Doctrine by H P Blavatsky


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 Renunciation of Action   The Recognition of Law  The Occult Side of

Nature True Clairvoyance Our God and Other Gods The Language of the Soul

Culture of Concentration The Kingly MysteryThe Power of  Suggestion

The Law of Correspondences The Foundation of Religion Theosophy in Daily

Life Man, Visible and Invisible  The Origin of Evil  The Storehouse of Thought

The Creative Will What Reincarnates? Instinct and Intuition True Morality Real 

Memory New Year’s Resolutions Three Kinds of  Faith The Cause of  Sorrow

Sleep and Dreams Occult Knowledge  What Survives after Death?

A League of  Humanity Mental Healing and Hypnosis Can the Dead Communicate?   


                                                 “A man is said to be confirmed

in spiritual knowledge when he forsaketh every desire which entereth into his

heart, and of himself is happy and content in the Self through the Self. His

mind is undisturbed in adversity; he is happy and contented in prosperity, and

he is a stranger to anxiety, fear, and anger. Such a man is called a Muni. When

in every condition he receives each event, whether favorable or unfavorable,

with an equal mind which neither likes nor dislikes, his wisdom is established,

and, having met good or evil, neither rejoiceth at the one nor is cast down by

the other.”








ROBERT CROSBIE left no name to conjure with before the  populace, but he lived a

life that all might emulate. He was one of the unknown soldiers in the army of

those who live to benefit mankind, who strive for the redemption of every

creature from the bonds of conditioned existence.

There are biographies and autobiographies without number, of men and women whose

lives were spent in the pitiless glare of publicity, whether for their own or

their party’s sake, or for the good of humanity—more often a mixture of all

three. Rare indeed is there to be found, in history or in tradition, similar

record of those whose works were done and whose lives were lived without thought

of self. Every hall of learning overflows with all manner of detail concerning

the world’s great men—rulers, statesmen, re formers, poets, priests,

politicians, soldiers of fortune good or evil. But who knows aught of the

personal life of Lao-tse, Buddha, Jesus, Pythagoras, Plato, or any of the great

of Soul? If this be true of all the great Captains in the Army of the Voice, how

slight the human trophies erected to commemorate the battles and the victories

of the common soldier in the ranks? Yet without these soldiers, the greatest

Captain would have spent his life in vain: a general in the field is no army.

This book, then, is no biography or autobiography written and uttered for the

greater glory of a mortal man, but rather is an introduction to the only life

worth living, whether reflected in the small or in the great—the life of the

Soul. Its speech is in the language of the Soul; its utterance is that of the

Doctrine of the Heart; its purpose is the furtherance of that Cause in which was

hid the mortal existence of Robert Crosbie no less than the earthly careers of

those great Captains whom he revered and under whom he served: H. P. Blavatsky

and Wm. Q. Judge.

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“That power which the Disciple shall covet is that which shall make him appear

as nothing in the eyes of men.” This was the power which Robert Crosbie gained,

this the power that enabled him to keep in touch with the great Teachers after

They had cast off the mortal coil; that guided his steps in following the Path

They showed, the MASTERS who are behind; that sustained him during the long

years when all that could be done was “to work, watch—and wait,” until the

propitious hour should come when, under Karma, recruits might be gathered from

among the generation following the great Mission and the great Message of his


The world is at the bottom of a cycle, and evidently in a transition state. The

old Order changeth and a new one is about to begin—nay, has already begun. The

era of disenchantment is running its course; the materials for rebuilding, a

foundation on which to rebuild the structure of a better and more enduring

civilization—both these are being sought by many minds in many lands. More and

more such minds must be influenced by the great ideas and ideals of Theosophy as

it was originally recorded. More and more of such minds must be drawn into the

active area of the pure theosophical life.

During the fifteen years since the death of Robert Crosbie, the life lived, the

example set, the truths voiced by him have become the increasing inspiration of

thousands who never knew him personally. The simple mind, the hungry heart, will

find in this volume a Presence speaking to them in tones they will recognize,

for it is in accord with their own aspirations; speaking to them in words they

will understand, for it is the language of their own experience. It is the voice

of a soldier fresh from the field of battle addressing those who would enlist in

MASTERS’ cause—the service of mankind, Universal Brotherhood without distinction

of race, creed, caste, color or condition.

The words used are common terms; the ideas conveyed are those of the Eternal


Verities. There is here no display of learning, but light from the lamp of

knowledge illumines every statement made. There is here no intrusion of the

personal, but the all-inclu-

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sive radiance of one who loved his fellow men: the Spirit in the Body, the

friendly philosopher who speaks from Living the Life, those Homely Hints which

turn the reader’s meditation inward as well as outward, to the Eternal Verities,

so that the will of the indwelling Divine Ego may be done now on earth, as it


was In the Beginning.

Robert Crosbie’s life was an embodiment of the gospel of Hope and Responsibility

which is Theosophy, the Wisdom-Religion of all time. In this book are some of

the seeds he sowed. May they find fertile soil in which to germinate and grow

ever more abundantly.

June 25, 1934.

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“For Spirit, when invested with matter or prakriti, experienceth the qualities

which proceed from prakriti; its connection with these qualities is the cause of

its rebirth in good and evil wombs. The Spirit in the body is called Maheswara,

the Great Lord, the spectator, the admonisher, the sustainer, the enjoyer and

also the Paramatma, the highest soul.”

—Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter XIII.


“The senses, moving toward their appropriate objects, are producers of heat and

cold, pleasure and pain, which come and go and are brief and change able; these

do thou endure, 0 son of Bharata! For the wise man, whom these disturb not and

to whom pain and pleasure are the same, is fitted for immortality. There is no

existence for that which does not exist, nor is there any non-existence for what

exists. By those who see the truth and look into the principles of things, the

ultimate characteristic of these both is seen.”




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The following preliminary memorandum was drawn up by Robert Crosbie

anticipatory to the formation of The United Lodge of Theosophists.” It was sent

to many individual theosophists on November 17, 1908.



When the Messengers departed from this scene, all that was left here was the

Message (exoteric and esoteric), and its students of more or less proficiency in

the assimilation of that Message.

With the altruistic example of the Messengers and the inspiration of the

Message, the Theosophical Society should have been able to stand alone and


Unfortunately, history tells another story; disintegration began at once, and

still goes on, and a grand opportunity to impress the world with the spirit and

life of the Message has been lost, through neglect of the essentials and pursuit

of non-essentials.

The First Object—the most important of all—the others being subsidiary—has been

lost sight of in its direct bearing upon all the changes and differences that

have occurred. “To form a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood without any

distinctions what ever” was, and is, the key to the situation. Let me quote a

few sentences from H. P. B.’s last message to the American Theosophists in

April, 1891:

“The critical nature of the stage on which we have entered is as well known to

the forces that fight against us, as to those that fight on our side. No

opportunity will be lost of sowing dissension, of taking advantage of mistaken

and false moves, of instilling doubt, of augmenting difficulties, of breathing

suspicions, so that by any and every means the unity of the Society may be

broken and the ranks of our Fellows thinned and thrown into disarray. Never has

it been more necessary for the members of the T. S. to lay to heart the old

parable of the bundle of

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sticks than it is at the present time; divided, they will inevitably be broken,

one by one; united, there is no force on earth able to destroy our Brotherhood.

   After all, every wish and thought I can utter are summed up in this one

sentence, the never- dormant wish of my heart:



These ‘were prophetic words—but the warning was not taken.

It now remains for those who are able to take the words that express the

never-dormant wish of her heart as the key-note of the present and future: “Be

Theosophists, work for Theosophy,” and get together on that kind of a basis; for

these are the essentials.

The unassailable basis for union among Theosophists, wherever and however

situated, is SIMILARITY OF AIM, PURPOSE, AND TEACHING. The acceptance of this

principle by all Theosophists would at once remove all barriers. A beginning

must be made by those whose minds have become plastic by the buffetings of

experience. An agreement between such is necessary; an assembling together in

this spirit.

To give this spirit expression requires a declaration, and a name by which those

making the declaration may be known. To call it The Theosophical Society would

be to take the name now in use by at least two opposing organizations. To even

call it a Society has the color of an “organization”—one of many, and would act

as a barrier. The phrase used by one of the Messengers is significant, and

avoids all conflict with organizations, being capable of including all without

detriment to any. That phrase is:




Members of any organization or unattached, old and new students, could belong to

it without disturbing their affiliations, for the sole condition necessary would

be the acceptance of the principle of similarity of aim, purpose, and teaching.

The binding spiritual force of this principle of brotherhood needs no such

adventitious aids as Constitution or By-Laws—-or Officers to ad minister them.

With it as basis for union, no possible cause for

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differences could arise; no room is found here for leader or authority, for

dogma or superstition, and yet—as there are stores of knowledge left for all—the

right spirit must bring forth from “Those who never fail” all necessary

assistance. The door seems open for those who would, but cannot see a way. Any

considerable number, living, thinking, acting, upon this basis, must form a

spiritual focus, from which all things are possible.

Local Lodges could be formed using the name and promulgating the basis of union,

recognizing Theosophists as such, regardless of organization; open meetings;

public work, keeping Theosophy and Brotherhood prominent; intercommunication

between Lodges, free and frequent; comparing methods of work of local Lodges;

mutual assistance; furtherance of the Great Movement in all directions possible;

the motto: “Be Theosophists; work for Theosophy.”


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 The following explanatory statement drawn up by Robert Crosbie for the

information of all theosophists, was made public concurrently with the

foundation of The United Lodge of Theosophists” and the adoption of its

DECLARATION by himself and the seven original Associates, on February 18, 1909.

The United Lodge of Theosophists is an integral part of the Theosophical

Movement begun in New York in 1875. It is—as the name implies—an Association of

Theosophists irrespective of organization, who are bound together by the tie of

common aim, purpose and teaching, in the cause of Theosophy.

Theosophy, being the origin, basis and genius of every Theosophical

organization, forms in itself a common ground of interest and effort, above and

beyond all differences of opinion as to persons or methods; and being the

philosophy of Unity, it calls for the essential union of those who profess and

promulgate it.

This Union does not mean a sameness of organization or method, but a friendly

recognition, mutual assistance and encouragement among all engaged in the

furtherance of Theosophy.

The Teacher, H. P. Blavatsky, declared that “Want of Union is the first

condition of failure,” and in her last message to the American Convention in

1891, said: “Never has it been more necessary for the members of the

Theosophical Society to lay to heart the parable of the bundle of sticks, than

it is at the present time; divided, they will inevitably be broken, one by one;

united, there is no force on earth able to destroy our Brotherhood. . . . I have

marked with pain . . . a tendency among you to allow your very devotion to the

cause of Theosophy to lead you into disunion. . . . No opportunity will be lost

of sowing dissension, of taking advantage of mistaken and false moves, of

instilling doubt, of augmenting difficulties, of breathing suspicions, so that

by any and every means the unity of the Society may be broken and the ranks of

our Fellows thinned and thrown into disarray.”

There are a number of Theosophical organizations in existence today, all of them

drawing their inspiration from Theosophy,

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existing only because of Theosophy, yet remaining disunited. The nature of each

organization is such, that unity cannot be had on the basis of any one of them;

hence a common basis should be taken if the success originally purposed is to be


The need of such a basis with a broader view of the Movement, is the cause for

the present Association—the United Lodge of Theosophists—composed of

Theosophists of different organizations, as well as those belonging to none.

This Lodge, having no constitution, by-laws, officers or leader, affords in its

Declaration a common basis of Unity for all who see the great need of it, and

seeks their co-operation.

Holding to its motto: ‘There is no Religion higher than Truth,” it seeks for the

truth in all things, and beginning with the history of the Theosophical

Movement, sets forth herein some facts with their inevitable deductions, for

general information and consideration.

There is no question anywhere as to who brought the message of Theosophy to the

Western World, nor is there any reason to believe that the Messenger, H. P.

Blavatsky, failed to deliver all that was to be given out until the year x time

stated by her for the advent of the next Messenger.

‘While she lived there was one Society. After her departure, dissensions arose,

resulting in several separate organizations. The basic cause of these divisions

is to be found in differences of opinion as to “successorship,” even where other

causes were in evidence. No such question should ever have arisen, for it is

abundantly clear that H. P. Blavatsky could no more pass on to another her

knowledge and attainments, than could Shakespeare, Milton or Beethoven pass on


Those who were attracted by the philosophy she presented, or who were taught by

her, were followers or students, of more or less proficiency in the

understanding and assimilation of Theosophy.

Once the idea of “successorship” is removed from consideration, a better

perspective is obtainable of the Movement, the

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philosophy, and the principal persons—past and present—engaged in its


‘We have the declarations of her Masters that she was the sole instrument

possible for the work to be done, that They sent her to do it, and that They

approved in general all that she did. That work not only includes the philosophy

she gave, but her work with the relation to others in the Movement; and where a

relation is particularly defined—as in the case of William Q. Judge—wisdom

dictates that full consideration be given to what she says.

H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge were co-Founders of the Theosophical

Society in 1875 They were colleagues from the first and ever remained such. When

H. P. Blavatsky left America—never to return—she left behind her William Q.

Judge to establish and carry on the work of the Theosophical Movement in

America. How well that work was done is a matter of history.

H. P. Blavatsky departed from the body in 1891; William Q. Judge some five years

later. He never claimed to be her successor; on the contrary, when asked the

question, he said: She is sui generis—she can have no successor;” the fact being

that both he and she were contemporaneous in the work, he retaining his body for

some five years longer in order to complete the work he had to do.

The work of these two cannot be separated if the Movement is to be understood.

The evidence of the greatness and fitness of William Q. Judge, as a Teacher, is

to be found in his writings—a large and valuable part of which has become

obscured through the organizational dissensions before spoken of. These writings

should be sought for, and studied, in connection with those of H. P. Blavatsky.

That study will lead to the conviction that both were great Teachers—each with a

particular mission—that each was sui generis, that their work was complementary,

and that neither of them had, nor could have, any successor.



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The policy of this Lodge is independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy,

without professing attachment to any Theosophical organization. It is loyal to

the great Founders of the Theosophical Movement, but does not concern itself

with dissensions or differences of individual opinion.

The work it has on hand and the end it keeps in view are too absorbing and too

lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in side issues. That work

and that end is the dissemination of the Fundamental Principles of the

philosophy of Theosophy, and the exemplification in practice of those

principles, through a truer realization of the SELF; a profounder conviction of

Universal Brotherhood.

It holds that the unassailable basis for union among Theosophists, wherever and

however situated, is similarity of aim, purpose and teaching,” and therefore has

neither Constitution, By-Laws nor Officers, the sole bond between its Associates

being that basis. And it aims to disseminate this idea among Theosophists in the

furtherance of Unity.

It regards as Theosophists all who are engaged in the true service of Humanity,

without distinction of race, creed, sex, condition or organization, and;

It welcomes to its association all those who are in accord with its declared

purposes and who desire to fit themselves, by study and otherwise, to be the

better able to help and teach others.

                          The true Theosophist belongs to no cult or sect, yet

belongs to each and all.”

Being in sympathy with the Purposes of this Lodge, as set forth in its

Declaration,” I hereby record my desire to be enrolled as an Associate; it being

understood that such association calls for no obligation on my part, other than

that which I, myself, determine.

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Letter One          

YOU, yourself, have taken a step by your own internal determination to know the

truth for the sake of the truth. Your real self is by your trend of thought

finding a channel for expression, and this will grow. Right thought must precede

right speech and right action, as you know. This has been stated in many ways,

the most familiar of which is, perhaps, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven

(which is within you) and all other things will be added unto you.”

Do not let conditions which surround you, contrasted with what you can see,

weigh upon you. Of course you know that whatever conditions exist were produced

by you—so far as they affect you—and whatever conditions are to be will be in

accordance with your own determination. All that is necessary is for each one to

do his duty by every duty. None is small or unimportant.

You know, of course, that attachment to things or results comes by thinking

about them. You can have no attachment for a thing you do not think about;

neither can you have any dislike for a thing you do not think about. While doing

the best you know in every act and present duty, do not attach yourself to any

particular form of result. Leave results to the law—they will surely come in

accordance with it. Having done your duty as you see it, resign all personal

interest in the results. Whatever the results, take them as that which your true

self really desired.

Surely, for the individual, it is the motive alone that marks the line between

black and white. But what is needed in the world is knowledge Good motive may

save the moral character, but it does not ensure those thoughts and deeds which

make for the

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highest good of humanity. Good motive without knowledge makes sorry work

sometimes. All down the ages there is a record of good motive, but power and

zeal misused, for want of knowledge. Theosophy is the path of knowledge. It was

given out in order, among other things, that good motive and wisdom might go

hand in hand.

If it is remembered that the purpose of life is to learn and that it is all made

up of learning, the ordinary duties of everyday existence are seen to be the

means by which we learn many things. “Do thy duty by every duty leaving results

to the law.” Theosophy was once happily stated to be “sanctified common-sense,”

and I am glad that you perceive it.

The Theosophical Movement is greater than any society or organization. The

latter are but temporal, changing with the nature and understanding of those who

constitute them and influence their policies and ideals; they correspond to our

physical bodies, whereas the Movement corresponds to the Soul. There are many

kinds of bodies, and work has to be done in each, in accordance with the

possibilities afforded by its nature. Those who pin their faith to any body are

choosing a transitory guide, a frail support; most of them are looking for

“authority.” The human weakness that makes priestly domination possible leads to

spiritual darkness in course of time.

The Theosophical Society was founded by Masters as an organization for the

promulgation of the Wisdom Religion. That organization has split into fragments.

Of course, in all the Theosophical societies the message brought by H. P. B. to

the Western world is the basis of their existence. The average person makes much

of organization, form, method, authority—what not, and crystallization of idea

defeats understanding. Thus the attacks, splits, controversies and other follies

that have been perpetrated during the history of the Movement in this

generation. You must have noticed that all the difficulties that have arisen in

the T. S. raged around personalities, rather than over doctrinal differences.

This is significant.

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The T. S. represents the world. In it, in embryo, are fought the battles of the

world. Ignorance, superstition, selfishness, ambition—all are there. There are

other dangers menacing such a body as the T. S. besides the “personal-following”

one. Sometimes self-appointed conservators of the body arise, with hard and fast

conclusions as to men, things and methods. These seek to impose their ideas as

the only true ones—in reality, endeavoring to make a personal following under

the name of a policy—forgetting that no method is the true method; that the true

method must be a combination of all methods. All these things are

lessons—initiations in occultism—if we read them aright. The T. S. presents such

lessons as can be had nowhere else in the world of men.

Into each fragment of the original T. S., there have entered many attracted by

the philosophy. The right or wrong of the splits does not affect them. In each

fragment there must be those who are good and true disciples of Masters. As far

as my knowledge goes, I would say that Masters are working in many ways, and

through many organizations as well as with individuals. There are no barriers to

Their assistance, except such as personalities impose upon themselves. Their

work is universal; let our view be as much in that direction as possible. So

shall we best serve and know.

H. P. Blavatsky was the Messenger from the Great Lodge to the western world.

William Q. Judge was a co-founder and co-worker with H. P. B. from the

beginning. It is well to remember that H. P. B. and W. Q. J. were not accorded

the positions They held through any authority, but through recognition of Their

knowledge and power. They were sui generis; all others are but students. Those

who belittle Judge will be found belittling H. P. B. An ancient saying has it,

“Accursed by karmic action will find himself he, who spits back in the face of

his Teacher.” Not an elegant saying, perhaps, to our ideas, but it conveys a

fact of most grave import in occultism. “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

To those who know H. P. B. and W. Q. J., attacks are worthy of consideration

from only one point of view—that they turn the attention of many who would

otherwise learn the great truths



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of Man and Nature. Theosophists cannot but take the position expressed in the

words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

 As ever, R. C.



Letter Two

You were right in saying that our relations are as they are by reason of that

which has been, undoubtedly, but I would not have you look on me in the light of

a spiritual Guru. Think of me as kindly as you will, but do not place me on any

pedestal; let me be a pilot who will be most glad to help with any charts and

guidance. In reality the Masters are Those to whom we should turn our thoughts

in meditation. They are the “bridge,” as W. Q. J. says in one of the “Letters.”

I do not mean by all this that I think you were placing me in a position where

none but the blessed Masters should be placed, but I am saying these things so

that you may see that it is not the best thing to rely upon any living person, I

mean to the extent of idealizing him; for if such an one should be swept into

seeming darkness for a time, its effect would not be good and might dishearten.

I am glad to know that you are so full of the idea of work for humanity; those

who are really “touched” by the inner fire are usually so, and it is a good

sign. The desire to be and to do comes out strongly and clears the way for the

true and permanent growth with its expansion and retardation—which means growth

and solidification—necessary processes as we see two kinds of trees, one of

which denudes itself entirely and remains expressionless for a large part of its

cycle, and another which slowly and continually renews itself in every part,

never ceasing to give expression, and often holding in evidence the old leaf,

the new leaf, the blossom and the fruit. Both of these are nature’s processes.

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Speaking of those who have fallen by the wayside, it is quite true that “the

greater the height the greater the effort to preserve equilibrium”; but this

applies particularly when the height is an intellectual rather than a spiritual

one, and where the motive is tinged with a desire for self-advancement

regardless of the paramount duty to selves. Very often the ostensible motive is

not the real one, and in this we frequently deceive ourselves. Ambition also

comes in; the desire for the approbation of our fellows may cloud our vision in

our effort to maintain it. There are many temptations, some of which may come

disguised as angels of light. Our best safe-guard is an unselfish desire to

benefit others, with no anxiety about our own progress, while striving all the

time to make ourselves the better able to help and teach others.

There are two doctrines spoken of in the Wisdom Religion, viz., the doctrine of

the Eye (or Head) and the doctrine of the Heart; the doctrine of the Eye is the

intellectual one, the doctrine of the Heart is spiritual, where knowledge

springs up spontaneously within. It is this latter which you crave, and which I

can assure you Theosophy will lead you to. There is no need to grope, nor

stagger, nor stray, for the chart that has led many to the goal is in your hands

in the philosophy of Theosophy. And let me say here to you: do not be too

anxious; abide the time when your own inner demands shall open the doors, for

those Great Ones who I know exist see every pure-hearted earnest disciple, and

are ready to give a turn to the key of knowledge when the time in the disciple’s

progress is ripe.


No one who strives to tread the path is left unhelped; the Great Ones see his

“light,” and he is given what is needed for his better development. That light

is not mere poetical imagery, but is actual, and its character denotes one’s

spiritual condition; there are no veils on that plane of seeing. The help must

be of that nature which leaves perfect freedom of thought and action; otherwise,

the lessons would not be learned. Mistakes will occur, perhaps many of them,

but, as is said, “twenty failures are not irremediable if followed by as many

undaunted struggles up-

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ward.” The help will come for the most part in ordinary ways and from one or

another of the companions with whom you were possibly connected in other lives,

and whom your soul will recognize.

The Great White Lodge exists for the service of humanity; They need and welcome

workers in the world. Is it strange, then, that the light of souls attracted

toward the path of unselfishness should receive Their cognition, and when

deserved—when needed such succor as Karma permits? They, Themselves, have

written, “Ingratitude is not one of our vices”; and while we may not claim

gratitude from Them, yet we may be sure that compassion absolute is there, and

with it the understanding of the nature and needs of each aspirant. There may,

and there often does come a time when one feels, as you say, like “standing on

nothing, in nothing and about to topple over.” The center of consciousness has

been changed; old landmarks are slipping away, and sometimes black doubt ensues.

Doubt and fear belong only to the— personal consciousness; the real Perceiver,

the Higher Ego has neither. The Gita says, “cast aside all doubt and fight on.”

You may remember what Judge says in one of the “Letters,” likening such

condition to the case of one on a strange path and suddenly surrounded by a fog;

the way is obscured, danger may lie in any direction; the thing to do is to

stand still and wait, for it is only a fog—and fogs always lift. And never for

one moment think that you are not going on with your “journey.” It is well for

us if we can always have deep down in our heart of hearts the consciousness of

the nearness of Masters; by Their very nature They must be near to every true


May I add one word to you, as a friend and brother: make clean and clear, first,

the mental conceptions and perceptions; the rest will follow naturally; there

will be no destruction—the Undesirable will die a natural death.

“Grow as the flowers grow,” from within outwards.

As ever, R. C.                                                                

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Letter Three    

There is plenty of material, as well as help, in the devotional books to the

realization of the heart doctrine, for they are designed to awaken the Buddhic

faculty—that of Intuition, the only means by which light can come to you or

anyone. Printed words and the information that they indicate, are only “ladders”

by which the learner can climb to Wisdom. Each one has to make his own

connection with higher planes and Those who live in higher realms. It has often

been said that “when the materials are ready, the Architect will appear.” So our

work must be to get the material ready, and that means we have to get rid of the

purely personal bias by making Theosophy a living power in our lives. So long as

we are working for some reward, are inclined to be despondent or impatient, we

shall be placing obstacles in our own way.

Read The Voice of the Silence and see the keys of the different “portals.” Dana,

the key of Charity; consideration for others, no matter what their state. Shila,

the key of harmony in word and act; that means among other things, sincerity—not

to let acts belie one’s words, or words, one’s acts. Kshanti, patience sweet

that naught can ruffle. These three, if practised, will create a fairer and

clearer atmosphere. Shila counterbalances the cause and the effect and leaves no

further room for karmic action. The same idea is set forth in the Gita where it

says that “Freedom comes from a renunciation of self-interest in the results of

our actions.”

The question always is, “How shall we stand the pressure?” Patience and

fortitude are necessary under every condition. The ripening of one’s Karma

presents the opportunity to gain these qualities, and it is well that we should

learn the lesson. The principal effect of Karma is mental and psychical. Family

Karma is not our own, and will come about sooner or later. The same with

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difficult financial conditions, or any other hard circumstances: they will come

to all. So we should strive for calmness, patience, and fortitude, and also have

full confidence that the tide is bound to turn, even at the fifty-ninth minute

of the eleventh hour. “If the candidate has faith, patience and confidence,

verily he will not have to wait too long.” There is one thing that should be

remembered in the midst of all difficulties; it is this— the lesson is learned

the necessity ceases.”

We should know that Karma does not castigate; it simply affords the opportunity

for adjustment. No one can precipitate our Karma upon us, nor would anyone wish

to do so; so, what ever happens, it is well to remember that it was caused by

ourselves, precipitated by ourselves, can be met by ourselves. We must, then,

assure ourselves that nothing can possibly overwhelm us. It is better to assume

a cheerful attitude to cultivate in one’s self a feeling of confidence, and

endeavor to impart it to our nearest. Our anxiety and inner fears, as well as

our outward expression of them, may go a great way in depressing those who love

us and whom we love.

We all get in that temporary state of loneliness, but it should be a matter of

encouragement to us that we are not alone in reality, for we have company,

although we may not be aware of it in our momentary sense of personal isolation.

There is a point in our progress which involves the passing from one state of

thought and action into another, and knowing this, we should not be dismayed nor

disturbed by anything that may come to pass. It may seem to you that you are now

useless, and your future circumstances dark and foreboding. These are only

shadows of the past cast on the screen of the present; like shadows they will

pass, if you but recognize them for what they are.

Are you thinking too much of yourself, your present conditions and your

prospects? This is not a firm reliance on the Law of your own being which brings

to you the very opportunities that your soul progress needs. What if the future

presents no clear view; what if your desires are not fulfilled; what if your

progress is not at all apparent—why worry about it? You


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cannot change it. All you can do is the best you can under existing

circumstances, and that is the very thing you should do, dismissing from your

mind all thought of those things which are not as you would have them.

Your studies and your efforts are futile if you are disturbed inwardly. The

first thing then is to get calmness, and that can be reached by taking the firm

position that nothing can really injure you, and that you are brave enough and

strong enough to endure anything; also that all is a necessary part of your

training. Mr. Judge once said, “It may be a child’s school, but it takes a man

to go through it.” Then why not make up your mind to go through it, no matter

what the circumstance or condition? Others have; you can. Are you of weaker

caliber than they?

The whole position of the sincere student is summed up in the words: “Hold on

grimly; have confidence and faith; for faith in the Master will surely bring

victory.” We must “have patience, as one who doth forevermore endure”—and forget

ourselves in working for others.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Four    

The coming together of the few will bring on a closer tie and bring out a

stronger devotion. No doubt there will be some reactions, but even so, they will

pass, and all be bettered if all hold firm. Changes will go on. Do not be

surprised if the soul gets into a place or condition where it appears to be

motionless—inert; it will get used to the new conditions and go on from there.

Let our motto be: we are going on with the work.

And look out for criticisms and suspicions of one another; there will be ample

occasion for their exercise, or seem to be. Then we have to recognize that each

sincere student is trying, and that each has his own way by which he comes. Our

way is essentially our way, and his is his, and equally right and important. We

need only Loyalty—loyalty to the work, loyalty to our con-

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victions, loyalty to each other in full faith and confidence that each is a part

of the other and of all. So shall we be united in one thought, one will, one


This does not mean indiscriminate acceptance of everything and everyone. The

attitude of “namby-pambyism” is but a pseudo-tolerance. Carried to its

legitimate conclusion, this false idea of brotherhood” would signify that sin,

sorrow, suffering, error, all religions and all philosophies are all right; that

every body is doing the best he can, and the best he knows how to do, and cannot

do any different, and that all are steps of learning.

Humanity sins, sorrows, suffers and dies a thousand deaths; because of what?

Just IGNORANCE. Theosophy is TRUTH and as such can have no alliance with any

form of error and remain Truth. If partial philosophies could save the world

there would be no need for the sacrifices of the Masters.

For those who never knew Theosophy, or whose minds are so crooked in action that

they cannot receive it, there should be pity and compassion. But pity and

consideration for their false positions cannot call for a surrender of our

discrimination—for a surrender of what we know, and of what it is our purpose to

live and to know.

I am no believer in diluted Theosophy. The Masters did not dilute it. We either

carry on Their work or we do not; there is no need for hypocrisy nor

self-deception. Others in the world, not able to perceive the Oneness of

Theosophy, nor its bearing at the present time, may and do use portions of

it—some of them, it is to be feared, to their own condemnation and the further

bewilderment of mankind. Are they right, or to be praised or “tolerated”? Is it

not the bounden duty of those who know, to hold aloft the White Standard of

Truth? It must be so, else how could an enquiring one perceive it? Theosophy has

to be held aloft in such a way as to confront errors of every kind, with their

handmaidens of cant and hypocrisy.

As ever, R. C.

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Letter Five     

Of the path of true Occultism it is said, “ The first step is sacrifice.” This

means sacrifice from the worldly point of view— the point from which we start.

That we cheerfully unburden ourselves of undesirable things shows the workings

of the true self. Have no fear of the ocean of Life; it will sustain you. I

often think of the passage, “All things work together for good for him who loves

the Lord.” You will have a larger appreciation of this saying than is common.

You speak of a surer sense of truth than any manner of reasoning. This: is the

action of Buddhi—direct cognition—the goal to which all right philosophy and

life leads. In our sincere efforts we at times may have flashes from that seat

of consciousness. The great result would be to have the continuous co-operation

of Manas and Buddhi—higher mind and spiritual knowledge; to work as the god-man,

perfect in all his parts, instead of the present sectional operation which


You may remember that in The Voice of the Silence there are two doctrines

mentioned. The Doctrine of the Eye is that of the brain consciousness, composed

largely of external impressions. The Doctrine of the Heart is of the spiritual

consciousness of the Ego— not perceived by the brain consciousness until right

thought, and right action which sooner or later follows it, attune certain

centers in the brain in accord with the spiritual vibration. It might be well to

read The Voice over and meditate on its sayings. You have had much of the

intellectual side; there should be as much of the devotional; for what is

desirable is the awakening of the spiritual consciousness, the

intuition—Buddhi—and this cannot be done unless the thoughts are turned that way

with power and purpose. You may, if you will, set apart a certain half-hour,

just before retiring and after arising—as soon as possible after—and before

eating. Concentrate the mind upon the Masters as ideals and

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facts—living, active, beneficent Beings working in and on the plane of causes.

Meditate upon this exclusively, and try to reach up to Them in thought. If you

find the mind has strayed, bring it back again to the subject of meditation. The

mind will stray more or less, at first, and perhaps for a long time to come, but

do not be discouraged at the apparent results if unsatisfactory to your mind.

The real results may not at once be apparent, but the work is not lost, even

though not seen. It is more than likely that the work in this direction will be

perceived by others rather than yourselves. Never mind the past, for you are at

the entrance of a new world to you as persons. You have set your feet on the

path that leads to real knowledge.

Do not try to open up conscious communication with beings on other planes. It is

not the time and danger lies that way, because of the power of creating one’s

own images, and because of the power and disposition of the dark forces to

simulate beings of Light, and render futile your efforts to reach the goal. When

the materials are ready the Architect will appear, but seek him not; seek only

to be ready. Do the best you can from day to day, fearing nothing, doubting

nothing, putting your whole trust in the Great Law, and all will be well. With

the right attitude knowledge will come.

I am sorry that so much disagreeableness assails at the beginning. I can very

well understand it all: heat, dust, grind, in contrast with what you have left.

It requires courage and endurance, and these are desirable qualities, just such

as a Kshatriya should have, which, however, does not lessen the sense of

distinction— not all at once. But as we all desire such a fight as will best

prepare us, we can afford to smile inwardly while we contemplate the efforts of

nature to subdue our resolves. We all have our battles, and if we are in the

army, we may be sure the Self supplies just such trials as the peculiar nature

needs. I think that things will look somewhat better after a while—they always

do. It is the personality that does not like discomfort, and the same chap gets

used to things after a while. So whatever may be the outcome in the future, it

is wise to fight it out on the same lines

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as if you had made it your life work. The battle won, the necessity will cease,

because from the Self no Waste of effort can be. It is easy to advise and more

difficult to perform, but performance is what is called for. All these things

must necessarily be tests, training—at least, I think that such is the way to

look at it.

The analogy of the Secret Doctrine shows that every change is preceded by a

rapid rehearsal of previous processes in evolution It seems to me that we might

use this in our own mental processes and possibly might be able to figure out

our position in the cycle. We might be able to let the mind only sweep over the

preliminaries, and step in when the proper point is reached, using the upward

rush as motive power. We should be rushing upward from new levels all the time.

“Is it not so that mountains are climbed?” Once in a while we catch glimpses of

the place we started from, as we are going up elevations; though descending

again, the average rise is apparent. So, expecting these things, we take

advantage of every opportunity to increase the ascent and avoid precipices—for

it is said that mountainous regions abound in such things.

Also remember that there are many unexpended remnants of past Karma—“mental

deposits,” Patanjali calls them—that you have called for, in order to balance up

your account. They have come and will come. Be careful not to incur new

indebtedness, and thus delay the final settlement. You know the difficulties and

should fortify yourself to pass over them. No one can do this for you, as you

well know.

It is well to feel, also, that in your apparent isolation, you are not alone.

This “feeling” should help you and I think it does. Keep it up.

As ever, R. C.

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Letter Six    

The spirit shown in your letters makes me glad for all of us. Well, you have

made a beginning, and in the right way, as it appears to me. While your audience

was small, that part you are not responsible for. Such things are judged by the

effort made and not by the apparent results; the latter belong to the Law and

will be felt in time, as surely as effects follow causes. We should remember

that it is harder to make a beginning in a large city than in a small one; it

takes harder and longer “shouting” to reach those scattered in a big population,

but the results should be much greater in time. Also—no matter who come—it is

certain that each one will talk to others who never come, and will get what ever

impression is made on the attendant. It is said that each person who hears will

in time repeat something to one thousand others. This statement may be

arbitrary, but the number is doubtless large that can be touched in this way;

so, the radius is not to be reckoned entirely by numbers present, even on this

plane of action. This by way of encouragement—not that you need it— but that it

is well to bear in mind the wider range of action of all such work, and that we

are not alone. An iconoclast of any well-recognized system can obtain crowded

houses; but a “builder” gets the few—a commentary on the human mind as at

present constituted. It also reminds me of Mr. Judge’s saying, “Theosophy is for

those who want it and for none others.”

One phrase in your pamphlet, “The Search For the Ultimate,” should give a

key-note and encouragement. I quote from memory: “There are those who may not

have outwardly renounced, but they have inwardly relinquished, and would gladly

welcome the time when the non-essentials are swept away that the essentials may

obtain.” The fact that they have that attitude which would welcome the sweeping

away of the non-essentials shows the inner relinquishment.

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Sometimes it happens that a student passes through a “portal” without knowing

that he is doing so, or has done so, until he finds himself “on the other side.”

He knows then that other and greater portals await him, and he passes them in

like manner, growing—growing—growing—with no thought of anything but service to

the best and highest he knows.

I am glad the “bad week” has gone into the limbo of such things, for it makes

another opening, and a rising cycle is a good time to make further effort. Such

experiences come to all “humans”; they also go, as we know, and in this we are

more fortunate than the world at large. It is the knowledge of the transitory

nature of all experiences, while experiencing, that enables us to remain

separate from them. “I establish this whole universe with a single portion of

myself and remain separate.” The macrocosmic truth must also be the true

position to be attained by the microcosm in his realm of creation.

Sometimes, as you say, one gets into the way of doing things perfunctorily; this

has been found to result from the mind being on other things—things other than

the work in hand. The remedy, of course, lies in the re-directing of the mind

and concentrating on that which is done. Our daily lives give us the best

opportunities for the practice of concentration, and for increase of knowledge

by making Theosophy a living power in our lives.

You speak of control. Control is the power of direction, and when exercised in

one way, leads to its exercise in other ways until it covers the whole field of

operation. A way to control speech is to think of the probable effect of what

one is about to say. This insures deliberation, and the speech carries with it

the force of the intention. The deliberation takes no appreciable time in

practice—a thought towards it, a glance at effects; it is really an attitude of

purposive speech wherein all the processes are practically simultaneous. If in

any one thing control is difficult, begin with the purpose of control in mind,

and stop at the first indication that control is being lost. Everything should

be made subservient to the idea of control, if that is the purpose.

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“The great renunciation is made up of little self-denials.” Who, indeed can deny

the master admission to his house; and who can enter the house of the strong man

and spoil his goods unless the strong man be first bound hand and foot; and

again, who can bind him but his lawful vassals who dwell in his house; and who

can restrain these but the master of the house?

To be master, we must have control, in all things pertaining to our kingdom or

house; if we are swayed by impatience, by irritation at the words and acts of

others, by impulse, habit of mind or body, “we” are not in control. We

frequently are thus swayed, while knowing better, which indicates that we have

not gone to work in earnest to obtain control, or perhaps in the wrong way.

Applying analogy, it would seem that the latter consists in the modern method of

proceeding from particulars to universals, and that the process should be

reversed. We would then begin with the idea, attitude, and purpose of control in

all things that concern the vassals of our house. The advance would then be all

along the line, and the habit of control established, the balance preserved. It

sums itself up in my mind as the establishment of control itself, irrespective


of the things controlled. The “attack in detail” is the other way, but seems to

me to have the disadvantage of being open to disturbance from the rest of the

“details” while assaulting any one point. General Control might lose his title,

and even his name in the mêlée. Each “warrior,” however, having in view the

forces and disposition of the enemy, must make his own fight in the way that

seems to him best.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Seven

We have to stand all tests alike—praise as well as blame. Oft-times praise is

the hardest to stand, because it is so easily applied to the “personal idea,”

while blame is easier cast aside. And the difficulty is not abated by the fact

that what is said is true, in case of praise. should not be elated by praise or

success, nor cast down by blame or failure, because either of these is an

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application of the “personal idea”—an identification of oneself with the event.

Success in doing thus is not to be had at once; it comes, first, by recognition

of the right attitude, and then by repeated applications of the “right attitude”

towards every event. As your letter shows that you know the attitude and that

you make the applications, the rest must be simply a matter of time, and no

cause for anything but “going on.”

You say things are not done with “supreme faith.” Perhaps not; yet “faith” is

there and ever tends “supreme-wards.” Our ideal is always higher than our

attainment; otherwise, there would be no progress. To have attained one’s ideal

is to have ceased progress, however high that ideal may be. This must be true

for all beings in a universe of infinite possibilities. It is an expansion of

the ideal all the time. Your own ideal has changed, although you may not have

perceived it. Being in the same direction, the change is not noticed. Relying on

the Supreme no effort is wasted, because all “creative thought” is in the right

direction. One does not desire to preserve the “undesirable,” but the

“desirable.” The maintenance of the desirable thought, and the cessation of the

undesirable are to be aimed at.

Then again, it is well to remember that our rea1 is registered in the “inner

man”; that every effort to subordinate the lower to the higher, is, to that

extent, an endeavor “to live the life,” thus creating and fastening the “silver

strings” that take the place of the “catgut.”

All this is going on. Why? Because of out attainments, our goodness, our

impeccability? Surely not. It must be “the Service of Man” with all that the

term implies in Theosophy. In this age especially, it spells sacrifice from the

first step, which is, as H. P. B. has said, the best means to lead our neighbor

on the right path, and cause as many of our fellows as we possibly can to

benefit by it. This constitutes the true Theosophist. “The first test of true

apprenticeship is devotion to the interests of another.” Theosophy was given for

“the healing of nations” and must be put out in such form as to make it of

practical use in daily life.

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"About W. Q. J.": William Q. Judge, as you know, was a great being; but many,

while they admired him as a man, never had his greatness revealed to them. The

few who had this good fortune have many times felt like Arjuna in the eleventh

chapter of The Bhagavad-Gita—the writer among them—who, while he tries to

express him, never forgets that he is but a pupil of a beloved, revered and

great Teacher. Following in his steps as best he can, he endeavors to lead

others along the path he knows, that they in turn may realize and profit by the

inestimable privilege, and become teachers in their turn to others, all links in

the great chain of “saviours of men.” So, the “oneness” exists as far as it may

be expressed, all along the line, each for all, and all for


W. Q. J. knew the path that all would have to tread, and balm, advice, warning

and encouragement will be found in his writings at every turn and for every

circumstance of life. The closer one gets into the current that flows from

Him—”the greatest of the exiles”—the more readily will those things which harass

and distress fall away and become as nothing. That you have done so—that is, got

into the current—is the best Karma for you. The work has been for you your “rod

and staff,” and a blessing to many who would never otherwise have had that help.

The more of that and similar work for others unknown who are waiting for it, the

less room there will be for thought or feeling of any thing that does not aid

that work in some way. This is a desirable form of “one-pointedness.”

We consider the writings of W. Q. J. to be particularly designed for the needs

of the Western people. We know their value. We also know that neither the world

in general nor theosophists in general, are aware of their existence, and it is

our desire and purpose that they shall know, as far as our power and opportunity

permit. So, we just stick to our purpose, not because it is ours, but because to

us it is the highest good and the very best thing we can do. They also may come

to see what we see.

As ever, R. C.

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Letter Eight

I am sure that much that you will meet at will be in the nature of jolts. That

is why you went there, in reality. These things are not “happenstances”; they

are real steps by which the necessary trials may come, and “you, yourself

desired it.” There is joy in that thought, because whatever you do now is part

of your schooling, and the knowledge of that as a vital necessity and as

desired, keeps the real man serene under it all; he is happy because things are

now moving—there’s something doing, as the phrase goes; so if you watch

carefully, you will note the insidious manner in which the personality is led to

this, that and the other lunch-counter.”

Get the point of view of the One who is doing the leading and hold to it. You

will remember a phrase of the Lord’s prayer—truly an occult one—“Lead us not

into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the power and the

glory”; only read it, “permit us not to fall, in temptation.” Even Jesus Christ

was tempted, and he fell not, through the power of the “Father” within. This is

the real “try-out,” and if in being tried, you can pass on a word in season, it

is better for those who listen and better for you; only, do not cast your pearls

before those who having ears to hear, neither hear nor understand. Let your

words and acts bespeak the power and knowledge that is really yours. Then will

you be a radiating center of light, unconsciously doing good wherever you go and

whatever you do.

In the way of meditation, DON’T GET PASSIVE; danger lies that way. Be active in

all things. The giddiness will pass away in time; the change with all its

disturbances, mental, and other wise, has doubtless acted upon the

nerve-currents and circulatory system. The way to overcome disturbance, of

course, is by mental and physical calmness; this should be maintained. Medical

assistance should be used for the body at times, because the"men-

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tal attitude” brings about changes in the body—for the most part gradually—but

which sometimes needs material aid in be coming co-ordinated; so do not despise

medical aid should any need arise. Mr. Judge sought such aid when necessary,

leaving to the physician the care of maladjustment.

What you say about cycles is all right, I think. Reincarnation is most certainly

one of the workings of cyclic law, and beings are in opposition or in

conjunction as the cycle determines tendency, or rather, fosters and permits

relations of one or another kind.

Cycles govern all the time and everywhere. Hence the Theosophical Movement of

this time and those things which follow it; the coming in touch of this, that,

or the other individuals— singly or in pairs—with it. Some hear and pass on;

some remain. There is always freedom of choice, the choice in such case being

not merely one determination, but made up of many moments of choice in past

lives—a conjunction which some are wise enough to perceive and, forsaking all

others, “cleave unto,” while swinging around the cycle of existences. Yet even

this wisdom was acquired—comes from experience; there should be confidence in us

in view of that fact.

We have chosen before, but did not “cleave”; yet the Great Law brings back again

to us that which we once have chosen. That Great Law is the law of cycles, the

process of karmic action.

“We meet our karma in our daily duties,” is a good saying to bear in mind, and

in the performance of those duties come our tests. We should therefore do what

we have to do, simply as duties, regardless of whether that performance brings

us praise or blame. All the energy would, then, be expended in the performance

of duties, and there would be nothing left for the personal idea to subsist


I fully appreciate your generous and good-intentioned purpose, which is to make

one who has learned something better able to help and teach others; and if among

others you are in-

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cluded, that is your karma, as it is also my good karma to receive help at your


Well, here is good luck to you in your try for “business.” Do not distrust

yourself; have confidence in the powers which you embody; seek only to do your

duty; holding to that end, all necessary power will be available.

Be steadfast, calm and fearless, as becomes one who doth forevermore endure.

As ever, R. C.




Letter Nine       

It is a matter of much gladness that the “bottle imp” of things has been

discovered in your mind, or rather, mental machinery. I know how it sticks and

hides and continually throws up clouds of material ideas blinding the one sight.

No one can clear an other’s sight. Words, oceans of them, in themselves

containing the right ideas will not convey these ideas without a gradual leading

on and a determined effort to comprehend. On the one hand, it is so simple that

it is passed over in favor of a difficulty; on the other, our mode of thinking

is based on separateness. The very power of the cultivated intellect, by its

ability to discriminate between the shades of differences, is led into a maze of

diversity, forgetting that “The One sees All”; that the explanation of

innumerable effects is not the Cause itself, which both produces, sees and

reproduces. “Oh, where is the sea, the fishes cried, as they swam the brimming


We try to free ourselves from something. Is not this the attitude of

separateness? W. Q. J. speaks of “The great illusion produced by nature in

causing ‘us’ to see objects as different from Spirit.” And in the Gita—”As a

single sun illuminateth the whole world, even so doth the one Spirit illumine

every body.” If this means anything, it means that in everybody there is the

One. Spirit, the Perceiver, the Knower, the Experiencer; it spells unity


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Nor is it easy to get a true conception, because we are eternally using terms of

separateness and resting in such conceptions as arise from them; yet, these are

steps by means of which we rise to greater heights of perception. “Realization

comes from dwelling upon the thing to be realized.” Degrees of realization are

degrees of attainment; are we not then slowly but surely getting out of the fogs

into the clear air?

“Abandoning Hope” reads to me the same as ceasing to look for results for self

and “shunning pain not yet come.” If we could just take conditions as they come

and make the best other “bests” would follow, and all worry, fear, doubt and

anxiety would depart. The Law works just and true. “What has been, is and shall

be.” We have power over nothing but the is”.  It is by working with present

conditions that the nature of the future is changed, and in no other way. This

is reliance upon the Law and a working under it. The various conditions that

confront us are opportunities and means afforded us to increase our

discrimination, strength and knowledge. Having created these conditions, and

seeing what is undesirable in them, we go to work to change our direction of

creative thought and our relation to the undesirable. The old adage, “Necessity

is the mother of invention,” points to the process of growth; we do not “invent”

until we see the necessity. In the great economy of Law and Nature, each being

just exactly where he needs to be to eradicate defects; all necessary conditions

are present for his growth. The only question lies with him: will he take them

as “pain” or as opportunities? If the latter, all is well; he is bound to

conquer whether the way be long or short The purpose of life is to learn, and it

is all made up of learning.” Even those who repeat errors life after life are in

process of learning, for evolution makes for righteousness, being an unfoldment

from within.

It is “we” ourselves who are creating the phantasmagoria before our eyes and

struggling over the solution of its disturbing effects, instead of creating for

ourselves a world of effects more in keeping with our real nature—a world in

which we can live,

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undisturbed by the effects that disturb others, except as we are solicitous for

their welfare.

“We” are the Self. But, as we stand ordinarily in physical consciousness, “we”

are converted more or less into physical consciousness; in other words, “we” are

what we think or perceive, continually identifying ourselves with perceptions

and sense. “Sense” is always nothing else than a channel for desire to flow

through to torment ourselves and others. “There is nothing but the Self.”

As every law is spiritual, so all forms and things, forces, and aspects must

also be spiritual. All error springs from an effort to turn to small purposes

the diversified streams of spiritual force. If as individuals we could take the

position of Kamaduk, the cow of plenty, and with universal beneficence use our

powers without thought of self, life would be another story.

“To establish a new religion,” says the enclosed clipping. Humanity has always

done that with the clear light of Truth. Always have they created idols and

bowed down and worshipped them. What kind of verity is that which substitutes

one kind of idol for another? Theosophy is not a religion, and no religion what

ever can be Theosophy, although all forms of religion exist because of Theosophy

and contain expressions of it.

It is only too true that “religionists of one sort easily become religionists of

another sort.” The fact shows that Americans do not think; they just

“cerebrate.” All this was portrayed again and again by W. Q. J. as the result of

the advent of the Swamis and others to this country—and warned against. Yet we

have self-elected teachers saying that Christianity is Theosophy, and Buddhism

is Theosophy, in a sort of namby-pamby catholicism. They are to blame for much

of the confusion. If so-called Theosophists  remained true to the Message and

the lines laid down and followed by Them, there would not have been room for two

opinions in the matter.

We base our devotion and our efforts upon the nature of Those who gave the

Message, and accept as safe, good, true and what is necessary, the lines that

are to be found laid down in

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their writings. Those who think that way, will work that way. There  is a solid

basis for united effort in this position; any other position can but lead to

differences, to assumptions, to authorities. It  is Unity that the Movement

needs, among all who are attracted by the Message; that which will best bring it

about is the true way, no matter what anyone says. Neither Jesus nor H. P. B.

lived and died that a book or books should be swallowed wholesale, nor even that

men should become disciples but that all men should become brothers. We have to

hold to that which eliminates Differences, not pander to any form of religion

near or far.

H. P. B. once used this phrase, as I recall it, “ a Theosophist who understands

Theosophy in his own bigoted sectarian way.” I was wondering if our

organizational friends might not call us that kind, in view of the fact that we

question their methods and practice? We do not question any methods whatever

used for the promulgation of Theosophy, but only those that tend to obscure it.

We also point out the untheosophical nature of exclusive claims for persons or

organizations. This charge will doubtless be made sometime against us by

someone. We have a sound and effective reply. We are in sympathy with every

movement made to promulgate the message of Theosophy, as such, and with every

endeavor to apply that philosophy. While it is true that the principles of

Theosophy are just as good and effective under any other name, yet the name is

an indication of the source and true embodiment of those principles, and cannot

be obscured or changed without some person or system of thought in the way of

the seeker after truth. What can be the motives for this? Many, perhaps. Usually

some person desires to be the exponent par excellence, knowing well that he will

find those who will accede to his claims.

Some organizations claim to be the spiritual organ of Theosophy. These embody

separateness, cannot make for unity, and are foreign to the spirit and genius of

Theosophy. Theosophy is a Message, which should be made accessible to all

without intermediaries or would-be interpreters; which should be presented as

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delivered, and its existence as an all-inclusive philosophy continually he1d

forth. Societies which do not do this should assume a name which would be

indicative of their particular effort, in the interest of justice to Theosophy

and to those who seek to know it. What do we object to? Titles which present

interpretations as the Thing itself, and which by the fact are misleading. No

one objects to the use of Theosophical principles as admixtures in any system of

thought whatever; it will not hurt them; it may break them; but such use, while

it might be courtesy to call it Theosophical, is not teaching what Theosophy is.

Evidently, “The world is not ready for Theosophy, per se”; at least, one would

judge so from what is being done, since those who claim to be its exponents are

offering something else suited to the “trade.” But do these exponents give the

world a chance? They are hiding the light under a bushel; they are giving stone

for bread; and the blind world does not know the difference. We do, however, and

will keep the link unbroken.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Ten

The coming together of Theosophists of differing degrees and qualities—yes, of

training—is bound to stir up latent personalities, preconceptions and

prejudices. The mental and psychic atmosphere engendered by their co-operation


must work inwards as well as outwards, and still further must arouse evil

forces, for it is a known occult law that every advance made along the path that

leads to selflessness arouses the forces that are opposed to that consummation,

and this is true individually and collectively. In this immense work which we

have undertaken, trials of various kinds have to be encountered, and the ones by

whom we are tried are those of our own household. There are lessons in every

event, even the smallest. We have to do the best we can and leave the results to

the Great Law.

About the meetings: your idea in regard to them is all right. Go right ahead in

whatever way seems to afford the best oppor-

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tunity; use your best judgment and do not be disappointed at anything in the way

of results that may turn up; just keep on looking for ways and means. Act as

seems best under any circumstances that may arise. Something will come of it. If

that something” is different from what you would have liked or ,planned for,

never mind keep on going. Better make no plan other than to get to work along

the line of least resistance. One step will bring another

 "C'est le premier pas qui coute.”

As to Mrs. Besant’s opinion of Leadbeater: It is of value only to those who see

value in it, and in any event it is only an opinion. It has been said that he

who speaks of seeing and meeting the Master thereby loses touch. My judgment

would be that if, as is said, Leadbeater had stood face to face with the Great

Initiator,’” it would never have been spoken of by him, and no other would know

the fact. Leadbeater sought to be recognized as a great teacher and in order to

break into other realms of nature used most abhorrent means—black magic, in

fact. One may be sure that anyone claiming Adeptship is not an Adept, and this

in the very nature of things. Apply this to Leadbeater and Mrs. Besant, who are

continually making public claims in this direction. The question arises: how

much is real, how much for effect, how much self-delusion? The imagination is

the image- making power and may create a glorified image of oneself. I am sorry

it all occurred, for in the public mind Theosophy is connected with it, and many

strange things are assumed to be Theosophy.

Perhaps I should submit to you my opinion that in the interests of those who are

new to the subject of Theosophy, and because of the general tendency to follow

personalities (particularly living ones), it is not wise to put such in mental

touch with writers, who, however good any particular writing of theirs may be,

have failed to show a true appreciation of Theosophic principles. I say this at

the risk of being misunderstood; it is for you to accept or reject my opinion,

as it meets your viewpoint.

The most painful experiences I have had in my Theosophical life have been the

witnessing of the negation of Theosophic prin-

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ciples by those professing them and were it not my duty to put you in possession

of the facts as I know them—facts representing dangers which lie about us in our

quest—I would not have spoken. You asked for the facts; I have to give them as I

know them. It should be said that while we condemn the act, we never condemn the

actor. The Theosophist must recognize that failures are not irremediable if

followed by undaunted struggles upwards, and for professing Theosophists, who to

our eyes appear to have strayed from the Path, we know that the time will come

when the failure will be recognized, and the struggle back will be hard. Such

must necessarily have our pity and sympathy, if we are true to the spirit of the


Here and there failures; will be noted, but there is much to encourage. There is

a distinct change for the better in public sentiment; religions, sciences and

governments are changing little by little. The Great Ones do not repine; neither

do they cease working. Let us follow Their example. You may remember that K. H.

wrote, “He who does all he knows and the best he can does enough for us”; and

again, “Ingratitude is; not one of our vices.”

Now possibly it may be seen what our Lodge stands for: the three objects as laid

down by H. P. B. and Masters, and along the lines laid down by Them; no

dogmatism, no personal followings, no “spiritual authority.” Thus each may

follow his line of development with such assistance as may be afforded by those

who have traveled further on the Path than himself, when such help is requested.

In this way, true discrimination is gained and the bane of all spiritual

movements, authority, dogmatism, and their corollary—personal


Perhaps you may have seen how solicitous I have been to get you started

right—free from mental encumbrances, using your judgment always to check your

intuitions, until in the course of time you come to a direct perception of

truth; and why I am so fearful of any abridgment of individual judgment, or

cessation of effort to develop individual intuition. I see that you can

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be of much help, and to fit you for that, as far as my assistance may avail,

will be my duty and pleasure. But always remember that behind the immediate

helper, there is the Great Lodge whose aid is given to all who serve—serve Them.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Eleven

You have asked me for comment on the questions sent in by our English brother;

particularly, as to “Karma being as merciless as the Bible-God.” But does he

consider that Mercy is not opposed to Justice, and that the fullest justice is

the same as the fullest mercy? Some take the meaning of Mercy to be a permitted

escape from the results of wrong-doing; but this would not be Justice, nor would

it be merciful to those injured by the wrong-doing. He should remember the

definition of Karma: an undeviating and unerring tendency in the Universe to

restore equilibrium, which operates incessantly. Karma is inherent law and its

operation must therefore be impersonal. Some might take this to be “merciless,”


but that would only be because they desire escape from consequences that are


There are just two ways of looking at the question: either the Universe is

governed by Law and under Law, or all is Chaos. Our experience in every

department of Nature points to the fact that Law reigns everywhere; nothing is

done of any kind or anywhere, except under Law. Our control of the elements, our

use of the materials in Nature is possible only because the same thing can

always be done when the same conditions are present. Having discovered some of

the laws of electricity, for instance, we may direct that fluid or force, and

use it for many different purposes.

Now as Law reigns in the material world, it can be seen to rule in the mental

and moral world as well. Karma simply means “action” and its consequent

“re-action.” There is no Karma unless there is a being to make it or feel its

effects; unpleasant effects predicate causes that send forth unpleasantness in

the world,

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affecting others, and finding the restoration of equilibrium at the point of

disturbance. There can be, then, but one consideration, and that is, Justice.

Why should we desire anything but Justice to be done?

The Bible says, “Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap,” and “Resist

not evil and it will flee from you.” What is “evil” but the reaping of effects

of wrong done? If we try to avoid the restoration of equilibrium, the evil will

not flee from us, but come again. But if we accept all as just and right, then

the “evil” flees. We should apply Karma not merely to what we call good and evil

in physical life. The earth rolls on in its orbit, carried further and further

by the Sun in his greater orbit; it grows old through the cycles; it changes its

appearance, and comes under states of matter undreamed of by us. Such is the

Karma of the earth. Soon or late, even while revolving in its orbit, our planet

will slowly move its poles and carry the cold band of ice to where are now

summer scenes—the Karma of the earth and its inhabitants. How, then, shall Karma

be restricted in consideration to the details of one life, or judgment passed

upon it from that basis? I should say that Karma is Mercy itself, for do I not

know that nothing can prevent me nor any other from obtaining what is his by

law, exact and unerring?

“It knows not wrath nor pardon; utter true

Its measures mete, its faultless balance weighs;

Times are as naught, tomorrow it will judge,

Or after many days.

“Such is the Law that moves to righteousness,

Which none at last can turn aside or stay;

The heart of it is Love, the end of it

Is Peace and Consummation sweet. Obey!”

He asks if we have changed our “Faith.” Theosophy is not a “Faith,” for “Faiths”

may be changed; but, being knowledge which each can make his own, there is no

question of change, or fear, or doubt. We know of all the claims of every

description that are made by societies and individuals. How is any one to

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determine as to their respective values—if any? Just this way: if you are asked

to accept anything on the statement of another and the means are not at the same

time afforded you to see and know for yourself before acceptation, you will be

safe to refuse, for you would in that case have surrendered your own judgment

and taken that of another in blind faith.

Now the statement made to him by the Rev. S., being outside of all known law,

spiritual, intellectual, and physical, indicates to me a self-delusion. I would

not impute to this Reverend any intention to deceive. Nor is he alone in

self-delusion on the same or similar lines. If he has heard, as I have,

statements made by different claimants in regard to H. P. B., each one

contradictory to the other, he would know that self-delusion reigned in some

cases and deliberate fraud and pretense in others. To say that H. P. B. now

believes in a personal God, or ever could, is the greatest absurdity that was

ever uttered: this very statement is the most conclusive proof of delusion. Now,

in default of direct knowledge, what evidence has any man as to H. P. B.?

Certainly no more than the evidence contained in her voluminous writings, which

directly refute such an assumption, and at the same time point out the laws that

govern life, being, and consciousness on all planes, so that all men may be free

from the “lo here!” and “lo there!” claims of would-be prophets.

For any to declare that they have private directions to do as they are doing,

regardless of what were the lines laid down by the Teachers, would be no better

nor more elucidating than is the declaration of the Besant people that the Lodge

did not know enough to foresee, and had changed Its plan and purpose. Both these

declarations vitiate all that has been said and done, as well as making it

appear that the Lodge does not work according to Law and Cycles in public

effort. For interim efforts of Their followers and disciples, all ways are open,

and in these, conditions must be availed of as they arise; the eternal verities

can be used in whole or in part according to the minds reached. All this is to

be expected from the variety of mental conditions in the world;

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yet this variety is not from strength and understanding, so much as from


weakness and inability.

Those who are able to perceive, to understand, and to use what They gave have no

reason to deviate or dilute anything to suit contemporary forms: or ideas, nor

to bolster up a decadence that pollutes the mental atmosphere of men. The sooner

Christianity is discredited as a religion, the better for Universal Brotherhood.

As it is, orthodox Christianity stands in the way, as do all other forms

constructed around a basis of Truth. It is well enough and all that can be done,

for the majority of minds, to rebuild and change step by step; there are

thousands who will work that way to one who will be able to understand what is

needed, and the very goal toward which all the rest tend; but that one has all

the more need to keep that goal ever in sight and mind, never allowing any fogs

or clouds to obscure it. If this is not done, all direction is lost. It has not

been done by those who should have done it; hence, the very loss of direction

seen in the world today, and the various cults and systems to which the majority

of people are attracted. They asked for bread and have been given a stone. Shall

any true Theosophist deem it his duty, then, to persuade these hungry ones that

there is valuable nutriment in the stone? Yet, it seems to me, this is just what

such would-be Theosophical efforts are doing. Our duty is clear. We will “feed

the hungry” with nourishing food, and in so doing follow Law, precept and

precedent—thus reverencing our great and illustrious Predecessors and continuing

the work They so well began and left in our care.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twelve

The statement made to you by an “Old Theosophist” that “The Theosophical Society

(meaning Mrs. Besant’s society, in the opinion of this “old Theosophist”) and

Masonry are the two channels in which the Masters are working in this century—

hence ‘Co-Masonry,’ ” calls for some comments.

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The natural question is, “Who says so, and why does he say it?” This brings the

one making the statement, and anyone who may consider it, right back to a

consideration of what it is upon which he is relying. is there anything in the

records left by the Messengers of the Masters that would give a clear indication

that the fact is as stated by “old Theosophist”? If not, then reliance is placed

upon the say-so of some person—in this case, Mrs. Besant—and is based upon

belief only, not knowledge, and can only be classed as an opinion. There are

many opinions and they differ from each other widely. Mrs. Besant’s declarations

of “knowledge” and opinions are often self-contradictory, as shown by her

published writings. In any case they either do or do not agree with the

principles of Theosophy, and the recorded statements of the Messengers. If there

were no well-defined principles and applications left by the Messengers to guide

those who would follow the Path They showed, then we are all certainly in the

dark without a landmark visible, and have to flounder about in the sea of

opinions, clutching at whatever promises support.

But if it is true that H. P. B. was the Direct Agent of the Lodge—and this is

explicitly stated to be the fact by the Master K. H., however Col. Olcott, Mrs.

Besant or others, may twist and interpret H. P. B. and Her teachings—then we

must go to the records left by Her and Her Colleague, W. Q. Judge, for direction

in all matters pertaining to the Theosophical Movement, regardless of the

“opinions” of “old Theosophist” or any other student. For to do otherwise would

be equivalent to saying that those Great Beings, the real Founders of the

Movement, had left no guidance for the generations to come, and that humanity

was left the prey to any and all claimants that might arise.

But it is not true that humanity has been left a prey to mistaken or designing

persons; the records left by the Messengers are a sure, consistent guide, and if

they are well studied and applied, will show a straight, even and self-evident

Path. It is lack of study that leaves so many in ignorance, and ready to pursue

every will—o’-the-wisp they see. You will also find that those who

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rely upon such statements and opinions are the most dogmatic and certain in

their assurance. Those who point to facts and records, with basic principles to

rely on, are not troubled by all these “opinions,” by whomsoever expressed.

There is another thing that sincere students of H. P. B. have to bear in mind,

even if they do not speak much about it. It has been stated by both H. P. B. and

W. Q. J., and also by the Master K. H. in his letters to Mr. Sinnett, that every

effort by the White Lodge opens a door to the Black Magicians—those whose very

existence depends upon keeping humanity where it is, in a state of ignorance,

bewilderment, and running after false gods and those who cry lo here, and lo

there. In this statement we ought to see why the White Lodge dare not give out

more than humanity can put to use.

Every effort has been and is being made by the Dark side to impair and deflect

the efforts of the White Lodge. And where else can the Dark Forces work so

effectively as on and through the personal weaknesses of Theosophists,

especially on all those who become in any way prominent—individuals who in their

turn affect many. All the many crises in the old Theosophical Society, all the

attacks on H. P. B. and W. Q. J., showed a virulence that could not have arisen

from mere personal opinion or interest.

Time and again have warnings been given, but few have heeded them; or, if heeded

at all, the facts stated have been used against any opposed, without making sure

that those who so used them were themselves right.

The defection of Mrs. Besant from loyalty to the Path shown, and to H. P. B. and

W. Q. J., was due to such Dark side efforts. In her last message to students, H.

P. B. said, “Never is the danger greater than when ambition, and a desire to

lead, dresses itself up in the peacock feathers of altruism.” She knew; and in

that last Message are many prophecies, some of which have already been

fulfilled. She said that the Brahmins are the Jesuits of India. Mrs. Besant fell

under the influence of Brahmins and the Brahmanical lines, and their influence

can be clearly seen in her evolution and in all the developments in her society.

The Dark Ones could not

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destroy or pervert all the efforts of the White Lodge, but they could, did, and

do minimize and corrupt them. In a consideration of all this may be found the

explanation of many things that might otherwise be a puzzle. All those who do

not follow the lines laid down by the Messengers are certain to be misled. Yet

the way is clear; the pity of it is that otherwise sincere and devoted persons

will not heed the warnings given; will not study, think, and apply what was

recorded for them and their guidance.

There has never been anything said that I know of by either of the two

Messengers about Co-masonry.

W. Q. J. is the only one who has spoken specifically in regard to Masonry as “a

great and important part of the Theosophical Movement.” And the context of his

article, “The Theosophical Movement,” as well as the circumstances of its

publication, will give a true idea as to the part Masonry has played in the past

in the work of the Theosophical Movement.

The Theosophical Movement includes all efforts that lead to human freedom and

enlightenment. Masonry has played and is still playing an important part in the

world. For first, its main idea is the Brotherhood of Man, even though in a

limited and restricted sense; second, Masonry debars from its lodges all

considerations of politics or religions, recognizing those to be the greatest

provocatives of dissensions; third, it is the implacable enemy of religious

intolerance, and is at the present day engaged in a death struggle with the

Catholic church of Mexico and South America. It was through Masonry and Masons

that the United States of America was made possible.

So Masonry was and is a great and important part of the Theosophical Movement.

Yet there are more important things than Masonry. If it had been sufficient for

the needs of humanity, there would have been no need for Theosophy.

But what has either Masonry or Theosophy to do with “Co” masonry? Each must

answer that question for himself.

As ever, R. C.

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Letter Thirteen     

I think your idea of making collations from the Teachers’ writings and preparing

for work later is all right—the proper thing to do. You will find in yourself

the incentive as to time and place, “having eyes and arms and feet in all

directions.” An open mind, an eager intellect, without doubt or fear, is the

unveiled spiritual perception. You did a good work with the pamphlets already

written; they are in use continually. The idea is to present what is beneficial

for humanity in the most presentable form—a simple passing on of what was known

before. I gave S— some of the pamphlets to send to an enquirer for reading and

return. They should do good. The energy put in that work has already found many

channels of usefulness of the best kind, and they are good for much more—no

effort in right direction is lost. Further, it is a labor of love, and the

feeling with which you endow your work goes with it. Properly performed, the

result is sure. Your latest, “The Real Significance,” is certainly a “beauty”—W.

Q. J. would say, “a dandy”—and its manner bears out its title magnificently. It

is the best yet—so full of the most vital truths—things so easily comprehended

by the way-farer, and yet so full of the highest wisdom. It does me good.

The introduction is in keeping with the statement below it. In fact, we may take

as part of our statement of policy, “The policy of this Lodge is independent

devotion to the cause of Theosophy, without professing attachment to any

Theosophical organization; it is loyal to the great Founders of the Theosophical

Movement, but does not concern itself with dissensions or differences of

individual opinion. The work it has on hand, and the end it keeps in view, are

too absorbing and too lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in

side issues.”

This is where we stand, and where all true Theosophists should also. If our

position is made clear to Theosophists generally, there

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will be not a few who will see the righteousness of the position. Much of our

work in the future will be the presentation of our “platform.” We have perceived

and given it form; we should let as many as possible know that it exists for

them. We may have something further to say later on. Good work; keep it up.

Yes, you, too, must find yourselves. Changed conditions will give occasion.

These conditions will be bent to the great purpose, “an’ the heart stay

steadfast”—and this I do not at all doubt. Make your purpose the Great Purpose,

and desire for personal growth will have little breathing space. Back of it all

is the Great Lodge, ever watchful, ever working; never doubt that.

Theosophists often speak of “getting rid of the personality,” and, so far as

observed, do not appear to have any clear idea of what they mean. Without

personalities, there would be no field, no evolution. It is not the personality

that is in the way, but the personal idea in regard to it. This is particularly

fostered by the present civilization based on Samvritti (relative truth),

“origin of all the world’s delusions.”

One of the sentences in the last pamphlet applies directly:

“Instead of crushing out the animal nature, we must learn to fully understand

the animal, and subordinate it to the spiritual.” So long as you know the wiles

and lures of the elementary nature, you are not in danger of fooling yourselves,

however much you may fall under their momentary sway. They or it, may be likened

to a steed that is perfectly safe when the reins are well in hand and the seat

firm, but which is ready to take advantage of any unguarded moment to unhorse

you. Such an animal you would naturally watch carefully until it became a part

of yourself. If we could always remember that the body, senses and mind (brain)

are the steed, and the Self, the rider, the animal would have fewer

opportunities to get the bit in its teeth. But we are learning to ride, and

success does not come at once.

From “The Real Significance”: “You, too, are messengers, so that it is not well

that you should regard much your own infirmities. Nature and Time regard not

personalities, but swallow up all alike. Yet do Nature and Time and Destiny

teach ever the same

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great lesson, and he who would learn of these, must both forego and forget

personalities, his own as well as others . . . personalities are but the

fleeting waves on the river of time caused by the friction of the waves of

fortune; they are thy weakness and not thy strength. Thy strength is in thy soul

and thy soul’s strength is in the calm and not in storm revealed.”

To “forego and forget personalities” means to regard truth, only, by whomsoever

presented. So it seems wise that we should not think ill of personalities, and

this includes our own. If they are our weakness, by doing our duty, which is in

our case the promulgation of truth, pure and undefiled, our weakness will

finally become our strength. The Masters do not look at our defects, but at our

motives and efforts.

In your letter, you have asked my opinion in regard to a specific matter of

action. On general principles one might answer such a question, but in

particular cases, where all the elements that enter in can only be considered

fully by the person involved, that person alone is competent to reply, or


In considering a question bearing on the ethics of any case, we have first to be

sure that we have no prejudices or preconceptions that can interfere with

correct conclusions; in other words, “to be free from hard and fast conclusions

as to men, things and methods.” If we are thus free, we will not be liable to be

swayed by the general classifications of good and evil, so common in the world,

and the great error of the churches. The way is then open for the real point at

issue, which to me is not what is done, but why was it done—the motive. Now who

can answer this but the one who acts? If the act appears to him as a duty, and a

proper one, he alone has paramount power, and there should be none to question a

right to perform duty as it is seen and understood. It might very well be that

another’s acts would be improper for us, because of our different attitude; it

might also be that our acts, seemingly proper to us, would to that other seem

improper. From these considerations it would seem fair to deduce that the only

correct sanction, and the one we should seek, would come from within.

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Of course, different attitudes of mind produce different actions in any given

case. Those who have knowledge will not act from the same motive as those who

have less knowledge or none. Those who have no knowledge act under the impulse

of the common attitude or way of doing things. Those who are wise naturally take

all possible results into consideration from their wider point of view, before

acting. With them it is largely a question of duty, unswayed by what the views

of others may be, except in so far as those views might interfere with larger

duties and influence at other times. In fact, so many things have to be taken

into consideration possible to be seen and applied by the person alone who is

involved, that no direct answer can be given in any particular case. General

principles may be stated, and each individual left to apply them as he sees fit.

In no other way can progress be made. We have finally, in any case, to determine

whether we are swayed by inclination rather than plain duty, in order that we

may not deceive ourselves. Whatever, then, is decided in all honesty with

ourselves, is our duty, and no man is our judge.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Fourteen

I am really sorry that conditions are as you mention. I can sympathize with you

in this, because I have had similar fortune. But while it has been bad from one

point of view, it has had advantages which go to the strengthening of character,

and in it all I find good experience.

When we come to consider that the purpose of life is to learn and that it is all

made up of learning, the circumstances by means of which we learn become of

minor importance. As Mr. Judge once wrote me under similar circumstances: “The

ocean of life washes to our feet and away again, things that are both hard to

lose and unpleasant to welcome, yet they all belong to life; all come from the

Great Self that is never moved. So lean back on the Self—be like the great bed

of the ocean that is never moved

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though storms may ruffle its surface.” I know that you understand that attitude.

It does not mean that we should cease to do the best we can at all times, but we

know that whatever comes all is well. Everything is taken as merely a lesson

from which growth and knowledge may be obtained, and while we may appear to

struggle for many things, our minds may not be set upon the things themselves,

but upon the performance of our duty as our expanding knowledge gives us

perception. Thus would we be like the ocean, the surface in action, the greatest

part of us calm—unmoved.

I am glad to have your confidence so that you may speak frankly at all times—not

that any personal knowledge of each others’ past experience is necessary, but

that you feel that way is what counts. We both know that what a man has been

through, or has appeared to have been, matters not at all; what does really

matter is what he is now and what he is trying to do. I think that the attitude

at all times should be—fear nothing, doubt nothing, regret nothing, but GO ON.

It seems sometimes a waste of words to be writing these things to you, because I

am sure you know them. Still, on the other hand, I know that one needs reminding

some times, when in the swirl of engrossing events. Once when I was talking with

Judge and showing much concern over a probable action, he said, “You can’t

prevent people from doing what they can do.” Atruism—something I knew very

well—but his words at that time have served me many a time since. What he said

came from “the heart,” as my words and thoughts go to you. Perhaps that will

explain why you find something other than the words and ideas in what I write.

If it is true, and I think it is, that everything in Nature is septenate, then

words and ideas are septenate—but this opens a large subject. I am writing this

in the office ‘mid noise, confusion and interruption, and just these few words

with whatever they may carry to you.

There is a passage which you may have seen in one of the books: “And that power

which the disciple shall covet, is that which shall make him appear as nothing

in the eyes of men.” This refers to getting rid of the personal idea, of the

wish to have one’s attainments noted. The power of the personality is great and


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sidious. It retains its hold very often when the aspirations and efforts are

noble in character. It is the most difficult thing to be overcome in our race,

where the training is all in accentuation of it. Especially is this so when one

is taking a public leading part. Adulation fosters ambition, if the least

thought of self remains; the person accepts leadership as something due to him

or her, and the faults remain even though changed in direction. “Personality” is

the last foe to be conquered. Do you wonder then that — and — have fallen short,

when it is evident that they do not even perceive how personal they are? They

have taken upon them selves (their personal selves) prerogative of spiritual

direction. A sort of popery is the result—a sense of infallibility, which

doubtless they would intellectually deny, while giving evidence of its

possession. Ambition to shine, to be looked up to—that is the curse that

blighted both. Less prominent members have not been subjected to the same

pressure, and may have learned from the mistakes of these two. There must be

compensation for them some where, somehow, as the great wheel of the Law rounds

the cycles. They are to be pitied for whatever of failure we may be able to


We shall be wise if we do not fall into the same error when Karma tries us. I

think that the sense of personal supremacy was so strong in both of them that

they were unable to take advice on that line. Efforts were made to open their

eyes. A mental bias cannot be changed even by one so wise and powerful as a

Master. If the one in error cannot see his fault, nothing can be done. Another

life in a humbler station, the lesson may be learned.

How can Masters use such vehicles and use Judge? William Q. Judge was of another

class of being than either of those you mention. He was an adept, using a body

of the race. The others had merited the opportunity by services in other lives.

The possibility of failure was there and known, no doubt; so also was the

possibility of success. No one can predicate the result in such cases. In any

event, the fact that the opportunity was offered them is evidence that under

Karma they had the right to try. Neither H. P. B. nor W. Q. J. needed to make

the effort for themselves. The work to be done is for the race and must be done

by men and women

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of the race; there is no other way. So, remembering that — and — are of our

imperfect race, their lack of success is not to be wondered at, in the

circumstances. We have the karmic opportunity of profiting by the lesson their

failure teaches. Perhaps we may take the lesson and be ready to help them, when

we all re- turn to life again to continue the work begun.

As I understand it, Masters cannot interfere with Karma. They work at the proper

season, and with such instruments as are provided by Karma. That better

instruments were not ready is undoubtedly due to our racial development, the

accentuation of personality being its predominant note. Just here occurs to my

mind the shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept,” and its connotation, “How I

would have gathered ye under my wings, but ye would not.” Human history is full

of such failures, but through it all there have been those who have attained a

measurable degree of success, and who are seldom the ones in the public eye.

We must also remember, all the time, that there are intelligent evil forces at

work continually to defeat the emancipation of humanity from selfishness—beings,

in fact, whose very existence depends upon selfish desire and its many ways of

expression. The plane of existence of these beings is the earth and its psychic

atmosphere. Our work is to people our current in space with such thoughts as

tend to dissipate these influences, and to assist right thoughts in others by

awakening them to the realities which have been placed within reach of our


And behind all are the Masters who have not deserted us and never will, so long

as there remains a spark of true devotion.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Fifteen

I was thinking of you and your meeting; hope you had a good and encouraging one.


Are things going hard with you? If so, it is time to push harder along the way

you know. That will inevitably destroy all obstacles, and if persisted in during


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generates and maintains greater powers of resistance. Everybody on the Path goes

through similar obstacles; by having them and overcoming them, you become

teachers with knowledge of how to help. If you had no obstacles, you would not

know how. Thank Karma for “obstacles.”

“Even this will pass away” is a good motto to keep in mind, when things come up

that are hard to stand. The “easy” and happy times are the periods of rest; the

“hard” times are the periods of training—opportunities for gaining strength and

knowledge. If we can look at both in this light, we shall not be overcome by


Kicking against the pricks hurts only the one who kicks; more over, the pricks

seem to enjoy it, for, being kicked, they keep coming back. “Resist not evil and

it will flee from you” is a true saying; we give the evil thing power by

thinking about it, a power that it would not otherwise have. in fact, many of

these things of evil are creations of our own mental state, and have no real

existence; yet they are even more distracting than realities would be, because

composed of fear and doubt. The thing to do is to take higher ground, mentally;

read and think about high themes; regard only the good, the meaning and purpose

of Life as a whole. If in earnest in this way, the evil is dissipated like the

mists before the morning sun.

What is the Dweller? It is the combined evil influence that is the result of the

wicked thoughts and acts of the age in which anyone may live. & When the student

has at last gotten hold of a real aspiration . . . and has also aroused the

determination to do and to be, the whole bent of his nature day and night, is to

reach out beyond the limitations that have hitherto fettered his soul. No sooner

does he begin to step a little forward, than he reaches the zone just beyond

mere bodily and mental sensations. At first the minor dwellers of the threshold

are aroused, and they in temptation, in doubt and confusion assail him. He only

feels the effects, for they do not reveal themselves as shapes. But persistence

in the work takes the inner man further along, and with that progress comes a

realization to the outer mind of the experi-

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ences met, until at last he has waked up the whole force of the evil power that

naturally is arrayed against the good end he has set before him. Then the

Dweller takes what form it may,” which is specialized for each student by the

tendencies and natural physical and psychical combinations that belong to his

family and nation.

“No earnest one who feels called to work persistently for the good of humanity,

and not for his own, need fear aught that heaven or hell holds.” The minor

dwellers have to be met and conquered; as long as we stay on their plane and

daily with them, they will be with us. We must rise above them in thought and

effort to our proper plane where they have no power over us. Each student has

his own particular kind of minor dwellers, and no one kind is any better than

any other kind; hence we ourselves need to be charitable to the weaknesses of

others. We do not look upon our own weaknesses in the same light as we regard

those of others. Compassion understands, and seeking nothing, but desiring to

help—does so.

The Voice of the Silence says: “Compassion is no attribute. It is the Law of

LAWS—eternal Harmony, Alaya’s SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of

everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of Love eternal. The more

thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy

Soul unites with that which Is, the more thou wilt become "COMPASSION ABSOLUTE.”

“Goodness” that results from the compulsion of physical force, threats, or

bribes, physical or “spiritual,” is useless. It must be a self-impulse from

within—a real preference for something higher—not an abstention because of any

fear of consequences in this or any future existence. If we have that preference

for something higher, we must admit that others who are with us on the “path”

have it also; we can then sympathize with them in their struggles, knowing it is

through continued struggle that both they and “we” become free. This is the

beginning of Compassion.

Temptations of any one kind have a tendency to repeat themselves, and students

find that what would have at one time

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swept them away is rendered abortive by apparently irrelevant occurrences; yet,

we know that such things are the operation of Law which has its basis in Unity,

and we benefit in that law to the extent that we feel that Unity. If Masters are

the ideal and goal for which we strive, we should endeavor to imitate Them,

insofar as we are able to conceive of Their attitude toward probationers, Their

disciples, and struggling humanity.

I did “sit up and take notice” of the last pamphlet. It is to the point. You

know when a thing is to the point Theosophically, and “knowing which you shall

never again fall into error”—unless you are off your guard, or perchance close

your eyes. But what a glorious thing it is to know where the right road lies!

Whatever else may be doubtful, that is sure. And to feel that you are able by

your surety to point out the way to others! Help of that kind is greater than

all other kinds put together.

I am so glad that business looks good in prospect. What you have done in so

short a time after establishment is most encouraging, and I hope it will all

turn out better than your highest hopes could express. Everything must turn out

for the best if we do the best we can with what we have all the time—that is, do

our duty by every duty. With this, your help is just as essential as mine, as

things are—and both are mutual. So may it ever be, through the centuries.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Sixteen

You speak of peace and tranquillity; note that it as well as its opposite comes

in cycles. There is no stationary condition in this world of constant change,

through the innumerable causes constantly set in motion by the different

agencies in evolutionary operation. Yes, there is undoubtedly “something doing.”

The above statement, if true, would suggest it, even if you did not know it

yourself. Of course, changes do not invariably mean

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trouble. Knowledge bridges over many things that would other wise mean nothing

but trouble.  About your little dream of me: I think of you a great deal, and

that of itself would bring the real selves together where there is such an

evident tie as in this case. One might make such an excursion and not be

conscious of it, or rather, he might not have a brain recollection of it, as the

brain was not there. It might be none the less real, as you can readily

understand. Such things must naturally occur, for we are greater than our bodies

can at this time express—and I mean by “we,” every soul. ‘We all have powers and

knowledge that the brain does not function in. Our work is to co-ordinate, so

that the higher knowledge may be made manifest in the flesh. I am glad that you

had the experience, especially as the results were good.

In regard to R. et al.: it is safe to say that if a man is satisfied with what

he is getting out of life, and if there is nothing that he wants, then there is

nothing else desirable. To him anything outside of that which gratifies is

adscititious, not worthy of consideration. In such case, there is nothing that

can be done. Having dropped some seed, the character of the soil may be

determined. The duty of the sower is to sow; the seed will test the soil.

So, “There was war in heaven for the space of two hours.” I can understand it.

Fortunately it is not a case for argumentation. The remark by in regard to Mr.

Judge was utterly beyond his knowledge and probably a parrot-like repeating of

what he had heard, as is the case of those who take their Theosophy from Mrs.

Besant, or from other than the true teachers. Sometime you may say to for me,

that I was very, very frequently with Mr. Judge for ten years, entertained him

and was entertained by him, and that I know the statement to be an ignorant and

malicious libel, for which, however, I do not blame him. Only, a Theosophist

ought to know better than to make statements on hearsay. Ask him if he ever

heard of never listening to an evil thing said of another without protest, and

abstaining from condemning others. He might say tu quoque,” which you would

naturally acknowledge; then, questions on the part of both would be con-

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sidered on their merits, as becomes Theosophists. Mr. Judge was wise enough to

know that when people place their attention in the direction of food, form, or

ceremonies, they are almost certain to end in ritualism and the loss of the real

issue, as has happened in too many cases.

The argumentative attitude is of little value in Theosophy. It amounts to each

endeavoring to uphold his own position. With this attitude, any kind of a

statement calculated to undermine the opponent’s position is generally

considered proper, and is used regardless of the truth involved.

A good thing in regard to control of speech is from the Laws of Manu. in

Occultism, speech is regarded as an act, and the most difficult of all acts to

control. To control speech, regular and persistent efforts are required. The

rule for speech is given as:

                                                           Let him say what is


                                                           Let him say what is


                                                           Let him say what is


                                                           Let him utter no

disagreeable truth.

                                                           Let him utter no

agreeable falsehood.

In the same line is Judge’s admonition: “Let us use with care those living

messengers called words.” These are good things to bear in mind at all times,

without making so much of them as to neglect other things quite as important.

If aspiration is for all, and not for self alone, it reaches up to the Universal

finally ; if for self, some degree of illumination results, but only in degree.

The stream of effort cannot rise above its source.

As to the “we,” there is but one “we,” or perceiver, who perceives on any plane

through the sheaths evolved by him on each plane; his perceptions on any plane

will depend on the quality of the sheath or vehicle. Atma (spirit) or

consciousness alone, is what remains after the subtraction of the sheaths. It is

the ONLY witness—a synthesizing unity. On this plane—and this means during

waking consciousness or its dream effects—the perceiver knows only what it knows

on this plane (generally speaking),

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and through the ignorance of the Real, involves itself in the cause and effect

of physical nature, identifying itself with body and sensations, and looking at

other human beings in the same light. This is a wrong attitude of mind. The

“we,” at this end, is the identification of the perceiver with this plane’s

perceptions—a misconception of the perceiver, a dream—a play—in which the

perceiver is so involved as to have lost sight and memory of his real life.

The mind is both “carrier” and “translator” of both lower and higher self; the

attitude determines the quality and kind of action, for one will act according

to the attitude of mind firmly held. The great and incalculable value of acting

for and as the Supreme is that there is nothing higher in the way of attitude,

and this endeavor must by its very nature bring about the best results.

What moves the “mind” this way or that is usually desire for the attractions of

matter, and self-interest in them; these then move and control the mind through

the brain. “We,” the Perceiver, does not perceive anything but the “ideas” which

the senses and organs present. He is not wholly awake on this plane; some times

he gets partly wakened, but drops off to sleep again, lulled by the sounds and

memories of his dream; sometimes “bad dreams” awake him; sometimes he is

awakened by the voices of those who are awake.

The “Real” and the “unreal,” the “fleeting” and the “ever lasting” are terms

which will be more fully understood if looked at from the point of view of the

Perceiver. This is the attitude of mind we should hold.

The appearances you speak of will wear off in time and you will get beyond that

place where these things appear, if attention is not paid to them. “He who would

hear the voice of Nada, the ‘Soundless Sound’ and comprehend it, he has to learn

the nature of ‘Dharana,’ ”—perfect concentration upon one interior object, by

“having become indifferent to other objects of perception.” These appearances

are objects of perception.

As ever, R. C.


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Letter Seventeen

There is only one Perceiver; the sights are modified by the channels through

which the Perceiver looks. It is the same Soul in any and all modifications. The

power of seeing is the Soul; the power of the Soul goes into the seeing, hence

what It “sees” is to It real because seen; as sights each is a reality; but the

nature of Soul is different from any and all “sights.”

The nature of Soul as unmodiflable must be grasped; then, each sight is

perceived as a relativity and there is no more identification than we assume

when we see the many thousands of things that are about us every day,

unaffected, unless we concentrate upon them. We concentrate upon some things,

automatically, through habitude; this automatic habit has to be gradually

changed, and control substituted. It is to be effected by trying to do it, by

keeping at it. The Mind as at present constituted is a or repelled by

externalities, and the power of the Soul flows in the direction of

concentration, be that long or short. Through the Mind, the Soul determines bad,

good, better, best, on this or any plane. Mind has to be adjusted by knowledge

of essential nature, of causes, and by analogies and correspondence. The views

held in regard to existence constitute the Mind and direct the Soul’s energy in

that relation.

There is just “Consciousness” and its “states,” which are conditioned

consciousness. We speculate on conditions; we cannot on Consciousness itself,

for we are that. We cannot find Ourselves in any kind or number of conditions,

which are but pictures in the mind. “It is of this stairway that thou art the

mirror and faithful climber” might mean climbing beyond conditions; is not that

the “awakening of the Self” which the Upanishads speak of? A man in a dark room

is conditioned by the darkness; in the open he is conditioned in other ways; but

he is the same man. We must have knowledge in order to use power rightly, but we

must know that

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we are neither knowledge nor power; they are ours; to imagine that we are any

given knowledge or power is illusion. It might be said that there are to kinds

of knowledge—knowledge of any and all conditions, and knowledge of the Self.

Knowledge of the Self is beyond relativity; relativity cannot be known by

relativity, but only by that which is beyond all relativity. “To blend thy Mind

and Soul” is to make the Mind subservient to the purposes of Soul, an instrument

for use, not a cage of relativities in which to imprison ourselves.

“No action from a true basis could proceed far in an erroneous direction” is

right. Right basis is the compass; should wind or tide deflect the course, the

compass is there to tell the story. We have many correct ideas in particulars,

but forget the universal application of them. The fact that the Perceiver is One

and Impartite, and that the “seeing” is looking directly on Ideas, is the basis

of consideration. No idea is real, for on “looking” at it, motion is caused

which spells “change.” The change is not so much in the object of vision, as in

the mode of seeing. We are so liable to imagine that the change is external, and

endeavor to adjust externalities to internal change—an eternal and ineffectual

struggle. We seek one of the pair of opposites, instead of finding the basis of

their unity, because of our desires.

Kama-loka means the plane or place of Desire. Doubt and Desire seem to go

together; for wanting a thing implies the doubt of getting it, and intensity of

doubt is expressed in fear. So Desire, Doubt, and Fear are the characteristics

of the Kama-lokic state. I think we may have these about anything in life, and

in accordance with our intensity attract similar energies from the Kama-lokic

state, whether emanating from living or dead personalities. Lengthy periods of

doubt and fear are more intensive than shorter ones in their drawing power and

subsequent effects. We enter that current and receive from that plane so long as

we hold on to it. But there is the other side—we can desire nothing for

ourselves and determine to accept what comes. Events and conditions come and go,

and no amount of desiring will prevent their coming or hinder their going.

Taking this attitude, we live in the Eternal and

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watch the wheel of Progress called change with neither desire, fear nor doubt to

assail us. When we desire anything, the thing itself is not what we want, but

the feeling that the thing gives us; if the thing gave us no “feeling,” we would

not desire it. To do service is also “feeling,” but how different in its effects

  instead of harmful reactions.

What will we do when we hear and see what is in Kama-loka? I think that when we

arrive at that stage, we shall know we are looking at a condition, and will not

be identified with it, unless we should choose to plunge into it in order to

“feel” the state. Those in it know nothing but the desires and passions which

animate them, think of nothing else; to them there is no other state.

I have read the articles you sent. They are all right in them selves, but they

lack “point” in the direction we are concerned about. The writer brings out the

fact that the existence of Masters was not first made known in the nineteenth

century. Of course not; the Ocean and H. P. B. speak of Them and adduce evidence

of such a belief in many ways. But the evidence of past beliefs would have but

little effect upon the present, unless it were not only pointed out, but shown,

that They are living Men. The main thing that was shown and needs constant

pointing to is the fact that these past beliefs referred to past efforts of the

Lodge, and that the close of the nineteenth century marked Their latest effort

through Their chosen Messenger. To say that the accumulated knowledge of the

ages is not new, is to say nothing; from this point of view the articles would

mislead the ordinary reader, and we are not in that business.

“To abstain from condemning others” is a course to be continually striven for;

it is vital. No two really act from the same basis of perception; how then can

anyone judge? It should be granted that each one is trying to do his best—the

best that he knows. His knowledge may be small, but if he strives to do the best

he knows, his knowledge increases. For myself, I have an end in view in what I

do; not my end, but something which includes

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many others—all if possible. Whether a temple is intended or a building for a

saloon, similar work has to be performed; so actions are no safe basis to judge

from. As students get to understand this in regard to each other, each in his

degree, better results may be confidently expected. We credit each other with

the best of motives and let it go at that; any other way leads to confusion and

misunderstanding, hence to separative thought and action.

“What do people get ‘mad’ about?” I think, generally, at some thing another has

done, or failed to do; or at some fancied slight. We feel annoyed at the

circumstances, really, not the person; although we foolishly confuse the two.

Now a thing done, is done; no amount of irritation can change it. What is needed

is a consideration of what led up to the doing; this should be taken up as

calmly as any other proposition. If someone annoys you or irritates you by

manner or action, it is to be assumed that he is not doing it on purpose to

annoy. Try to understand his viewpoint; examine the man’s machinery, just as you

would a machine. Some people have been known to get mad at a machine, and feel

destruction in regard to it; but where is the fault? The machine cannot learn

anything; the man can, and needs to. The main trouble, I think, is that most

people consider it perfectly proper to make their likes and dislikes a basis for

action, everything being judged from that basis. This, of course, is altogether

wrong, although very common. We are not called upon for judgment, but for right

action; to act rightly ourselves, and by precept and example induce it in

others. If we essay this task, it will at once appear that we cannot act rightly

unless calmly. We have to cultivate Calmness under all circumstances. Calmness

is like a rock; waves of irritation may dash at it, but cannot affect it; it can

be attained by seeing the necessity for it, and by endeavor which is constant.

It comes from “resting in the Real,” which is never moved, but moves all things,

sees all, without being involved.

So if we take all these things as just our “tryouts,” we shall be able to get

the right view of them, and the right attitude. These things in themselves do

not matter; it does matter that we are unshaken.

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Of course, I am saying these things to myself, for you know them right well;

only sometimes we forget and revert to habitude. But there is always that place

which is never moved, to rest on and in. So with confidence in Them we go

forward, and may Peace be ever ours.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Eighteen

“In order to be the knower of All-Self (tattwa-jynanain—a knowledge of all the

tattwas or forces) thou hast first of Self to be the knower.” This is exactly

what we are driving at; what W. Q. J. set forth in “Act for and as the Self” as

“the first lesson to learn”—and the hardest, as our minds are constituted.

The mind or “thinking principle” is a general term, meaning the power of

thinking; but this power exercised partially, or restricted in direction, makes

what is called “mind” among men— “bundles of perceptions,”—my mind, and your

mind. So Patanjali says, “A firm position assumed, with the end in view” is

necessary, this position being that of the Spirit in Man “untouched by troubles,

works, fruits of works or desires.”

It is well to keep in mind what W. Q. J. said: “Realization comes from dwelling

upon the thing to be realized.” The “dwelling” has to be done by the one who

desires to “realize.” Consciousness, Spirit, Life, are really synonymous terms

expressing co existence; neither idea can be conceived of as apart from the

other two. Consciousness sees all, experiences all, makes all changes, is all.

It is the One Reality, and although the most important factor (to use a word) in

the world of differentiation, it appears the least Real because indefinable. It

is like the power of Sight which sees all things but cannot see Itself, being

universal, unchangeable and inexhaustible. Divide the Kosmos into the permanent

and invisible, and the visible and invisible impermanent; thus we may hope to

guide first the lower and terrestrial, and then the higher and cosmic. The whole

story is contained in, “That which is



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neither Light nor Darkness, Spirit nor Matter, but which is verily the Root and

Container of these—That Thou Art.”

If one were to attempt to write pages, they would be but reiterations. Does not

the whole of life’s purpose point to a realization of Unity in Diversity; seeing

all things at once and as One, instead of separately and in detail? There are

always the “pairs of opposites” in separative considerations, and these are

effects. The One Reality sees both as reflections, as light and dark; if not

seen, they do not exist.

“The nice old gentleman” claiming Theosophy to be “largely a matter of belief”

is like so many others who think themselves passing wise in lightly dismissing

things beyond them as mere matters of belief. “Tomorrow” is a matter of belief

from that point of view; but no one doubts the “morrow,” because of “today” and

“the days gone by,” which are matters of knowledge. Theosophy can be tested out

by present knowledge and proves it self with every test.

The common-sense of Theosophy must appeal to any man of the world; the great

thing is to have it.

W. Q. J. had it par excellence; his lead is a safe and a good one to follow. If

one has it, he will show himself in possession of knowledge which to others

seems desirable. Some will try for it, while others will be “too busy” about

their petty affairs. Who knows what seeds are sown in common-place


An acquaintance with the hopes, aims, and general life of those we desire to

help is desirable, and to be found only in contact and converse. Such touch with

others also emphasizes the Contrast and shows the value of our philosophy in

brighter Colors: the pairs of opposites—attitudes of mind—with and without a

philosophy of life.

I have read H.’s letter. The gist of it apparently is that he and his chums, as

named by him, know what H. P. B. desires Now. This is a large claim and

assumption of authority. H. P. B. well knew, and we can say, “knows,” that just

such claims would be made. We know that they are made in several quarters. How


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any one desirous of following in Their footsteps to know what They desire?

Undoubtedly, the only guide is to be found in Their own records left for that

very purpose. Different minds and dispositions will interpret these records in

various ways peculiar to themselves, as is being done. The only guide is

oneself—as H. very truly says—but there must be an open mind, an eager

intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, to have true direction. This

peculiar sentence in H.’s letter sounds like “cocksureness”: “If you are certain

that we are wrong and you are right, that ends it.” It is their position from

the first; they practically say, “We know what H. P. B. desires to be done from

day to day; we have found our Guru and are obeying Him. H. P. B.’s and W. Q.

J.’s message was that They had found Their souls, and that the message was so

that others could do likewise.” To my mind, this is not pointing to the

“message” itself, nor does it take into consideration the nature of the Two who

masqueraded in mortal garments; it only says, “WE KNOW.” If this is not a demand

for acquiescence, I do not know what is. He talks about our taking Their

writings as “authoritative”; well, they are, in the sense that They told us the

way and laid down the lines that would be best to follow.

As for myself, I bow to Their wisdom; I doubt it not. I and every other was

thought of in the message and the directions They gave. It was and is not to be

trimmed by interpretations, nor special mediums. It stands as Their message as

it was left by Them, and no one has the right to change it. WE WILL NOT. Let

others do as they please—assume authority if they think well of it; but we

reject every authority except that of our expanding spiritual perceptions, and

we recognize and give our devotion to the cause of Theosophy, and are loyal unto

death to the great Founders of the Movement. “They who undervalue Her gift and

Her creation, have not imbibed the Teaching and cannot assimilate its benefits.”

Is it not strange that H. denounces “authority” as applied to Their writings,

yet puts it forward for himself and his confreres? This certainly is the way of

confusion and of delusion, and the one followed by every claimant we know of.

Strange that they cannot see the incongruity of their position.

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It is a crooked world all tangled up with false actions born of false ideas of

life. The present generation has a right to a presentation of truth; a few will

benefit greatly—and all, to some extent; but the time w come when the truth

shall prevail, and all the more convincingly because of having stood through

seas of error and rocks of determined opposition. Knowing this, we can

confidently go on, patiently, yes, even cheerfully, since even those who flout

the truth now will sometime come to know it; for these, too, we serve and wait.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Nineteen

“What is the Perceiver?” is asked. I do not see how any definition can be made.

What is sight? Sight cannot see itself, yet it sees all things. It cannot be

defined or described, yet with out it nothing can be seen; it is not changed

though it receive millions of impressions, nor can a limit be assigned to its

action. Apply this to Consciousness, or the Perceiver, and there is apparent the

changeless, inexhaustible, unprovable Spirit. Reality Is, and cannot be proved

by changing unrealities. Space is not proved by the number of things in it,

insofar as its infinitude is concerned; yet a realization of the impossibility

of a beginning or ending to space can exist.

I think you have the idea right when you say that the trouble exists in the

“thinking principles” on each plane not being in accord. We eternally endeavor

to see the Perceiver as something different, something separate from ourselves,

whereas, “Thou art That.” Our methods of analysis are illustrated in the old

query, “Which was first, the hen or the egg?”—with no solution. Is it not

looking for something separate, different from what we conceive to be ourselves?

“Immortality is on both sides of death,” or change. He is wise indeed who sees

the Self in all things and all things in the Self. The time must come for a

being when “He”

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may know all things, but he would also know that he is not all nor any of these

things. So far as I can grasp words to convey an idea, he would know himself to

be “All-Self,” limitless, and there fore beyond anything that we would call

“knowing.” All manifestation is the result of the action of Consciousness: would

not the first film of substance be the homogeneous product of a previous

manifestation? The time must come for a being when he knows the nature and

possibilities of this homogeneous substance, but “He,” as a conscious power,

stands above and beyond all perceptions and conceptions—infinite, all-pervading,

creator, preserver, destroyer. The power of seeing is not visible; it is the

cause of visibility. But what is the use of troubling about all this? There are

many steps in the stairway of wisdom to be climbed, and one step leads to

another; we cannot climb the stairs by looking up at the top. I think your

expression of “finding the Unity in a pair of opposites to be in itself one of a

higher pair,” is a good one; this might represent the “rungs in Jacob’s ladder.”

It is all right and well to state your difficulties to me. If “mind” has power,

and the will to give all possible help is there, action must follow. Your faith

in this must act as an open door. “Have confidence and faith in Master,” applies

to everything in life and all living; our doubts are the deterrents. We have to

beware that we ask not amiss—from wrong motive. I have no doubt that adjustments

are brought about where there is honest striving, and even apparent mistakes are

made to serve a good purpose in such case. The Masters are not “absentee

landlords.” They are present in the world and we should hold to this fact always

in our personal and collective efforts. We have to do as They do, i.e., take

conditions as they exist and work in them and through them. If all do their

best, Masters can adjust and bring all the lines together for the best and

highest good. In the effort of each, all cannot be in the same place, nor doing

the same thing in the same way, but if the aim is one for all, all benefit, and

the world as well.

I am going to keep your notes in regard to the inability of the student to

relate admonitions to himself. I think despair and despondency come from not

following what we know, and did not

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apply. If we make effort to apply what we know, with an end in view, failure to

achieve does not disconcert us, because we still have the active knowledge and

the end is still in view; it just means a continuation of effort. “It is only in

the present that we can gain wisdom.”

There is so much pettiness in the attitude toward small things, an attitude

which accentuates the personality instead of subjugating it. The fight must

begin there, for all these small irritations are based upon self-assertion. I

have seen these small matters neglected as unimportant, and then the time came

when this very habit of self-assertion showed itself as an assertion against the

Teachers Themselves: “They were nothing but persons, liable to err,” etc.;

ingratitude and disloyalty follow, as a matter of course, and even loss of all

benefit from the teachings. It is as you say— the Arjunas postpone the

engagement, awaiting some big thing to overcome; but they have not the stamina,

should they be so confronted. They fall or flee, blaming everyone but

themselves—self- assertion to the last, and another failure is recorded where

success might have been.

As to “The brother and sister of the Order of Regeneration”: all down the ages

men have been endeavoring to correct existing conditions, by simply re-arranging

them. A re-arrangement of errors does not make for knowledge; the errors arise

because of ignorance; knowledge must be sought as to the causes that produce

existing conditions. This, Theosophy teaches by showing what man is, his origin,

nature, history, and development so far, as well as his grand destiny. Without

this knowledge, all attempts to obtain true and better conditions but plunge

mankind deeper in the mire of ignorance and error. Works without knowledge can

but lead to more and more ignorant works, piling up all the time a worse and

worse future, as history has shown and is showing. Restraint from any kind of

food, habit or practice, leads nowhere. The wise man does not try to regenerate

the world by any one course, but having obtained knowledge, lives according to

it as best he can under any conditions, using his energy and knowledge in the

world and for the world, by presenting what he sees to be truth.

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It is well to have these things come out and to formulate right ideas and

applications in our minds, for they do not remain inert if we “feel” them; we

endow them with our life and energy, and they are our messengers carrying seeds

of thought for other minds. There is an occult meaning to everything, and all

things work together for good to those who love the Lord (Law). That we should

have been brought into direct communication with error, while naming it truth,

has its meaning; it must be a step in the great cause. We should be glad to be

able—and be able—to correct erroneous views and applications. In that is our

strength; our personal weaknesses and troubles are but bubbles on the stream of

time, which our “strength” will safely carry us through and over. This thought,

which comes from inner knowledge, should make us stronger, better able, surer of


It may appear to some that these are criticisms of the methods of others; they

are not so intended. They are intended to show there is a definite philosophy of

Theosophy; that it is scientifically based; that the mission of distinctively

Theosophical societies, viz., to study, apply and promulgate Theosophy, is not

filled by the holding of such misconceptions; and finally to prove that such

misconceptions are not based upon the philosophy of Theosophy, whatever else may

be their foundation.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty

Do not all the senses resolve themselves into what may be called “feeling”—the

residuum of all perceptions, the resolution into the one sense-perception? If I

do not feel any perception there is none for me; also there are grades of

feeling, deep or superficial, more or less transient in effect. We often say “I

see” when we really do not mean what we call sight, but comprehension, which to

my way of thinking means a feeling in regard to the matter. We may rightly call

this “one sense” seeing, if that implies the grasp of all the characteristics of

the subject.

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It seems to me that the true body of man could be well considered as a set of

trained "mirrors" these as conscious lives have their own “seeing” and “memory,”

but man’s seeing and memory would not be theirs nor his feeling, either. “The

eyes of the Highest see through the eyes of the lowest,” but the “lowest” does

not see what the “Highest” does. In each case the seeing is related to the area

of vision. The Perceiver may be universally perceptive without relation, or may

be particularly related by focalization— which would mean a shutting out of all

perceptions but those upon which feeling was concentrated. In such latter case,

the various “mirrors” thus cut off from contemplation would have their own

seeing, which might or might not be stored and regained by the Perceiver in

accordance with the training given them by the individualized being. “Kutastha

he who standeth on high, unaffected. But there is another spirit designated as

the Supreme Spirit—Paramatma—which permeates and sustains the three worlds.” The

former could be taken as the Perceiver, the latter as Consciousness per Se.

JiveAtma is the One Life; from and in this arises being and Divinity; i.e., full

self-consciousness. Light, Life, Being, and Divinity—growth and

individualization within the One, ever tending toward greater universality: this

seems to tell the story, but words do not always carry the meaning of the

speaker or writer; yet sometimes a new meaning is given by the juxtaposition of

ideas as expressed in words. The usual tendency is to consider differentiation

in general and in particular, forgetting that That which sees differentiation is

not any of the things seen, and to attribute to the “sights” the qualities which

can be seen and known only by That which sees.

Yes, the problems are to be faced now, in this life, because they present

themselves. And we have the ways and means to “over come” in our philosophy of

life. Does not the command to “stand aside” mean to look on, to watch the play

of forces? We cannot do that if we make ourselves the lighter. “Be not thou the

warrior, let him battle for thee,” bespeaks renunciation of self-interest in the

result of one’s actions.

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Do you not think that much of our feeling of “strenuosity” comes from wanting

what we want and not wanting what we don’t want? Like and dislike. To be neither

elated by success nor downcast by failure is the even way; we know that and we

keep trying for it. The very effort and desire to attain will bring it about

through all the circumstances which are our teachers.

I think that the way is to begin with the small things. Do not permit yourself

to be annoyed by them: we demand services as our right in so many ways, and are

annoyed when we do not get them as we think they should come. At least, that is

the way I have found it. And adopting that attitude in the small, the same is

maintained in the great, and much more easily. Also, to help us, perhaps, there

is a multitude of small annoyances to each great trouble.

If sensitiveness goes no deeper than the personality, it will be constantly

offending the basis of that false entity, and be a source of irritation to the

person, as to others by reaction. With strong natures this is difficult to

control, but a simple rule might be adopted which would help much if carried

out: “Never speak nor write if the slightest trace of irritation remains”; wait;

or, if speaking or writing is necessary, take some subject which permits of

accord. It is remarkable how quickly one state may be stilled and quite another

one induced by a recognition of the fact and a use of knowledge. Another help is

to take everything that comes as a matter of course—as it really is law. No use,

expending energy on what might have been, nor throwing the onus of conditions on

any one else. When the condition is taken care of calmly and dispassionately,

the causes that led up to it may be judicially considered and stored away for

future use. In this way power grows, is “stored.” The other way fritters away

energy and causes its dispersion in others.

If we are looking for light, it is because we find darkness where at one time we

thought there was light: this is also experience and of the truer sort. One’s

personal experience is one facet through which experience may be gained; to be

of real value it has to be related to and made a part of all experiences. It is

as you say, “de-

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pendence on principles and faith in those principles” leads us out of the

obscurity cast by the bundles of perceptions that are dignified by the name of

“mind.” This means a stoppage of the ordinary basis of action, the (lower) mind

in use, and a creation from the source within, in a true relation, a creation


which proceeds from the basis of the eternal verities. “By those who see the

truth and look into the principles of things, the ultimate characteristic of

these both is seen.”

Undeniably, it is startling to many to think that perhaps we had some of the

Masters working directly among us, with us, and for us, and that we judged them

as though they were actuated by our small and selfish motives. This might not be

true for us, but it is true for many who are now very much in the public eye as

Theosophical exponents, and who appear to be still oblivious of the fact. That

this lack of discrimination should lead to all sorts of mistakes and wrong steps

is easily perceived, as also that many who came later were blinded by those who

claimed to know. It must be clear to everyone who has done much Theosophical

reading and study of H. P. B. and W. Q. J., that the failure of the T. S. lay

principally in that non-recognition, for it implies a lack of comprehension and

power to apply the philosophy given. “They may learn, but what of that?” It

would be well for us and for the world if all had held true to the Teachers and

Teachings; we know that they have not. Belief in any one or any thing is not

called for, but devotion to the lines laid down is, and this is sure to bring

about right understanding and right relation.

These words occur in H. P. B.’s message: “Although Theosophical ideas have

entered into every development or form which awakening spirituality has assumed,

yet Theosophy pure and simple has still a severe battle to fight for recognition

. . . there are others among us who realize intuitionally that the recognition

of pure Theosophy—the philosophy of the rational explanation of things and not

the tenets—is of the most vital importance inasmuch as it alone can furnish the

beacon light needed to guide humanity on its true path. This should never be


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To us, here is clearly and unequivocally stated the duty of those who desire to

carry on the work done by Her, and there is no question at all as to Who and

what She spoke for. It is that we are by every means in our power endeavoring to

do. We have devoted our lives to it, and there is no energy to spare for any

other issue.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-One

I am more than glad that surroundings are pleasant and prospects fair. While you

may be mentally living with us, as you say, we are in like manner living with

you. It is like getting a multiplied experience—a study of the hearts of men. I

think we shall get some good things out of it all, and at long range, too.

Yes, there is really a Thinker, who thinks; who has perceptions on the

phenomenal side of every plane. While in waking consciousness, those who

identify the Thinker with the phenomenal perceptions of physical existence are

fully as wise as one would be who identifies himself with the scenes in a moving

picture show. Such an one would not be creative in active thought,

deliberatively peopling his current in space with thought-forms that spring from

a knowledge of the true; he would be a mere reflector of impressions—a sort of

battledore and shuttle-cock; of such is not the kingdom of heaven.

These thinkers have gotten themselves into the realm of “passing shadows” which

shut out the light. They may be likened to the prodigal son who left his

father’s house and fed on husks with the swine. Some day, they may like him

remember and say, “I will arise and go to my father.” When they do so and

endeavor to find the way back, they will be helped by the deliberate thoughts of

those who have lighted the fires for their guidance; we all can help in that

way, as well as in others. There should be an encouragement in that thought.

Have you seen Mr. Judge’s article in the Path, “Each Member a Center”? “As

above, so below—” analogy everywhere and correspon-

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dence. But correspondence does not imply sameness of process. The thinker is a

creator, and endows his thoughts with self-reproductive power for such time as

accords with their nature, and the kind of matter they relate to. Kinds of

matter and states of consciousness are intimately related; in fact, the teaching

indicates that Manasic consciousness has its habitat in the fifth state of

matter as does Buddhic in the sixth state. The permanency of thought creations

would naturally be greater in subtile than in gross matter; these last would die

out in short order were it not that the lower aspect of Manas receives the first

impact, and, by attention given, recharges their batteries to a greater or less

degree. That attention is of the nature of identification with the impact. Here

we have the meaning of self-interest. The destruction of these obstacles lies in

renunciation of self-interest in the result of actions and reliance upon the

power of Truth—the Self—the Supreme.

You say, “It is strange how little faith there is in the power of truth.” I

translate this, “in the power of truth perceived.” There is power in this

perception, when reliance is placed on it. Rely on the power of truth perceived;

if this is done, there is not much left for any other assumption of power. So

with speaking; it is an acquisition—a talent gained by yourself, and for use—not

of the transient physical man, but of the Divine Man. To talk Theosophy in the

spirit of Theosophy cannot be wrong; so what we have to learn is to guard and

“use with care those living messengers called words.” Let us make all our

faculties serve the one end.

That action and reaction take place more rapidly with you is not a bad sign. It

shows a fluidic state wherein the sediment may be precipitated, and it will

be—if reliance is placed upon the power of truth. For the nature of the inner

man is of Truth, and the perception of truth is of the same nature. Action and

reaction must be mutual and complementary.

The “theosophical” meeting that you write of is much as I should imagine—they

have missed the key as have so many others; they have become involved in the

processes of life. I wonder if these unfortunates ever think what it was that H.

P. B. founded?

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Was it any branch or the people who belong to branches? “Let it be understood

that with the exoteric society H. P. B. has nothing to do.” That which was

founded by H. P. B. was not the diversified aggregation now existing, but

something else which bore that name. They might also consider the saying well

known to them, “If ye love me ye will keep my commandments.” It would be good if

— should voluntarily desire to come with us, but I do not think it wise to press

any one or try to convince; make bold statements if you wish, to provoke

questions and stimulate enquiry, but let it go at that. Do not try to explain


everything so fully as to leave no room for germinative thought on the part of


As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Two

Why is it necessary to sleep? Primarily, because the nature of the body is such

that it can stand the impact of the life-current needed to allow the exhibition

of waking-consciousness, for a portion of the time, only; the resistance of

waking-consciousness must cease, so that the “current” flows through the body

unobstructed, thus renewing the ability to withstand the impact. This impact

during loss of sleep tends to break down the cells of the body and organs faster

than new ones can be formed. The body will die from lack of sleep more quickly

than from lack of food.

It is the body that sleeps—the Ego does not. When the impact of Life grows too

strong for the body, the power to function through it ceases; the Ego,

therefore, functions in other sheaths until the body becomes equilibrized.

The Ego lives its own separate life whenever it becomes free from the trammels

of matter—that is, during the physical sleep. Its thoughts are not subjective

pictures in the brain, such as our thoughts when the body is in use, but living

acts—realities—for they instantly realize themselves in action by the power of

Kriya sakti, that power which transforms ideas instantaneously into

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visible forms. Sometimes these thought-actions are reflected in the brain and

the person says, “I dreamed thus and so.” He feels as though he had lived

through something as a person (which means his brain-consciousness), whereas as

such he had not; but what he perceived through the brain were partial

impressions, usually distorted, as other ideas mingle by the power of the

association of ideas. It can be seen, then, why Right thought and Right action

must prevail in order to be able to use the higher knowledge on this plane.

Right thought prepares the “thinking principle,” and Right action so prepares

the physical brain that no distortion arises from it. The “real man” knows; the

evanescent personality does not know, in the race generally,—but may. This is

the great work which our present efforts, if persisted in, lead to.

From the fact that we “wake” during the day, and “sleep” at night, might be

deduced the conclusion that the direct and in direct rays of the Sun (Sun and

Moon) have much to do with the states. As a rule men do not rise and retire with

the Sun, especially in races where intellectual growth is marked; on the other

hand, lower races—simpler minds—do. This might be taken to indicate that Manas,

being of a higher plane, and partially active on the physical, has the power to

draw from either the direct or indirect rays of the Sun in maintenance of the

body. In either case, how-ever, the body will remain in condition for waking

consciousness for only a certain period. Being of the earth earthy, it is

subject to the general laws of forces pertaining to the earth, of which it is a


The general laws of forces pertaining to the earth, again, are the subsidiary

results of the higher laws under which advanced beings are evolving; so, it may

be summed up that the body sleeps because it needs rest (the Ego does not need

it all the time), and because body, Egos, all beings and Manvantaras are

possible only under the law of periodicity—activity followed by rest. Rest

represents “the unmanifested,” and activity the manifested, the “Unmanifested”

being a limited but general state, such as “sleep,” in and from which, as we

have heard, other higher states are acces-

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sible. So there you are, link upon link, chain upon chain—all connected and all

under one great law. I have your last pamphlet from Path IV. It is nourishment

in tabloid form, and will give basis for many talks. Thank you on behalf of

myself and others who will be benefited. No doubt, your heart-felt desire for

that benefit will be felt by those open. Yes, indeed; all our gratitude should

be to H. P. B., and to her “alter ego” W. Q. J., particularly, for those

building-up efforts which have for so long been passed over by selfishly

ambitious Theosophists (save the mark!). That we are so fortunate as to be

brought in touch and understanding of his endeavor is the best of Karma; and

that we should feel impelled to bring this benefit to the notice of others is

indicative of discrimination and a test of true discipleship. “Inasmuch as ye

have done it to the least of these, ye have done it unto me.”

It matters little if few come to the meetings; these few may be the means of

bringing many; and besides, the effort and sacrifice are what bring the ultimate

result. “A few drops of rain do not constitute a monsoon but they presage it.”

In our age it is well to consider what the Great Ones have done and do. Age

after age, year after year, They conserve the knowledge and wait, doing what

They can, and how They can in accordance with cyclic law. Knowing this and doing

thus, there can be no room for doubt or discouragement. “Theosophy is for those

who want it, and for none others.” We are holding, waiting and working for those

few earnest souls who will grasp the plan and further the work, “for the harvest

is ready and the laborers are few.” Those who were entitled to the first

invitation to the feast have had it, and now with many of these—sad to say—their

ears are so dulled and their attention so diverted that no number of repetitions

will reach them. Yet it must be held out continually for all. That is our

work—our self-assumed work. We have the example in W. Q. J., in means, methods

and spirit, and we, so doing, serve that Great Lodge of which he was and is a

great and devoted part.

As ever, R. C.


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Letter Twenty-Three

Reactions must come; a period of high thought and endeavor is not yet the

consummation, and must of necessity— being above the normal level—bring about a

condition below it. Knowing this to be the law of action and reaction, the

buoyancy resulting from this knowledge should bring us quickly from below to a

higher level than before, to a better understanding.

Ships, sailors and men of all kinds get into “doldrums” at times. The sailors

know that there is no getting anywhere without the ship, and the ship goes not

without wind, so they—just wait for the wind. Some, I have heard, go to

whistling in order to raise a breeze, but I do not imagine that the wind is

hurried at all by their efforts, and the whistlers only keep themselves in a


state of irritation by their deferred hopes. The wiser take the opportunity to

repair their kits, and do a general overhauling, so that when the wind does

come, all is ready for it. The general position with them, no doubt, is that a

sailor’s life is “work all the time,” the kind of work. being determined only by

the circumstances.

A true student of Theosophy is, I think, a good deal like the sailor in many

ways—particularly in the realization that whatever comes, it means work, in one

way or another. A realization of the thing to be done gives the right direction

to effort. And we, who know that the universe exists for the purposes of Soul,

can be but momentarily disturbed by anything that may come to pass. You have

attitude, and the adjustment of the effects of events to it must become more and

more easy and rapid as time goes on, and enough “monads” have been examined to

get the general classification. Call it a study class doing examples in

obstacles. To my mind, you are dead right in saying we blunder if we think that

we get anything outside. That is the tendency of the age—analysis instead of

synthesis. We have not only to fight this in ourselves, but likewise to meet the

effects of it on every hand. It

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is a tough fight, but it makes strong souls; and we accept both these

propositions. We did not start out expecting a “train deluxe” to heaven. We knew

it was to be a fight every step of the way; and not only do we have to fight,

but to meet and surmount all the obstacles that the enemy—this

civilization—places in our way. But in view of the great prize—the uplift of

humanity—these obstacles offer opportunity to get into fighting trim, and as

such should be welcomed rather than decried or denied. We know all these things,

yet we have to say them over and over again to ourselves and to each other for

mutual encouragement. And it is right that it should be so. The comrades who are

well support those who may be suffering from illness and disability from

whatever cause, and they are right glad to do so, for our army is an army by

reason of mutual support. Think what OUR ARMY is, and despair—if you can.

I am reading all your statements with interest; they all show a consideration

from the right standpoint—from Universals to particulars. I think with you that

what is called “old-fashioned hard thinking” is worse than useless, and that “if

one keeps pondering on the philosophy or some application of it, ideas arise in

the mind.” Pondering on the Self as in all things, and all things in the Self

must be productive, even as the Self is the producer.

It is not so much what we can formulate as what we consciously live; the

formulation may give direction and continuity, and so is useful to ourselves and

to others; but the application of right thought comes from pondering on the

Self. Your letters indicate that attitude. The thing to be guarded against is

the materializing of the ideas, and I see no sign of that in you. The Egoic

consciousness, being not limited like that of the physical, and in a state of

matter inconceivable to us, our terms cannot comprehend it, although its

universal application can be brought to bear upon our present plane, and a

junction made—which is no junction in the ordinary sense, but a higher

view-point. All these attempts are efforts, and everywhere in Nature we see that

effort brings results.

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Judge said “All, all is the Self.” He said this for no other possible reason

than that the idea might be seized upon and held. The Gita says: “Enveloped by

my magic illusion I am not visible to the world” (that is, to segregated forms

of perception), “for this my divine illusive power acting through the natural

qualities is difficult to surmount, and those only can surmount it who have

recourse to Me alone.” “I am the Cause unseen, and the visible effect.” “But for

those who thinking of me as identical with all, constantly worship me, I BEAR


All these quotations you know very well, yet they cannot be too often repeated.

I think you stated the gist of the matter when you said that any differentiation

whatever is Maya—because impermanent. There is nothing but Consciousness per se;

all the rest are perceptions in and of different states of matter, and in

infinite aggregations.

You have had a hard week of it; look for the compensation not for yourself, but

under Law.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Four

The despondency of the age is a general tendency, partly personal and partly

belonging to the age. It comes in cycles, as you will have observed. When it

comes, the cycle has reached its lowest point. Knowing this, we begin to lift up

that cycle by rising quickly from it, and so help to reduce its influence, not

only for ourselves but for the age. When we are at the low point, we should try

to remember our fellows who are unconsciously suffering from that of which we

not only know the cause, but the remedy.

“The student oftentimes by reason of the changes going on within, feels himself

less fitted to cope with existing conditions, but He Must Work. It is his only

salvation. What is needed is an utter and entire consecration of the worker to

the Cause.”

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Never were truer words said, and all that follows is in direct line. Keep that

spirit, and all will be well. You have asked for a synopsis of what was said at

the last meeting, but I find this most difficult, as I do not remember the words

I used. The pamphlet was used as a basis for talk—the subject, “The Unknown

God.” One questioner asked, “How could there be a philosophy of the Infinite?”

Reply was, there could not be a philosophy of the Infinite, but there could be a

philosophy of all Existence. Whether there be existence or none, the Infinite

Is, and must be outside of all speculation; the philosophy is in regard to the

origin, nature, history, development and destiny of Man, and his worlds—for

worlds and men develop together. I then gave the idea of Space as representing

the Infinite; of Consciousness, per Se, the Power to perceive—without anything

to perceive; the desire to know itself could only be fulfilled by seeing itself

reflected. The possibilities of all grades of density of matter being in the

primordial matter, and the Power of Creation, Preservation and Destruction

residing in Consciousness, the first differentiation took place in accordance

with the desire. Functioning in that denser state, and thereby obtaining form, a

further differentiation was produced, more dense, and so on, down to the present

state. Pointed out that it was the desire to live that kept us alive; the desire

for sentient life that brought us back into incarnation. As we rise to higher

planes of being, desire becomes less individual and more general—for the welfare

of humanity and all creatures. From this we may be able to get some perception

that Desire, from being general in the beginning of manifestation, became more

and more individual as denser matter was evolved, until with us it reached the

point of separated personal desire. The way back must lie through continual

approach to that Unity from which all have come. The philosophy exists in order

that Man may rebecome a God—as he was and in reality Is.

Your last pamphlet is to my mind a great one; it points out so many things so

clearly. For instance, when it speaks of “analysis” as being the “thought-form”

of the age, it indicates to me that our general consciousness is one of


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no synthesis anywhere. In pointing this out to others, there is much opportunity

to show how narrow a range of thinking our much lauded civilization has. Then

how clearly stands out the statement, “There can be but one philosophy, which is

a synthesis of the whole, and which by its consistency and logic proves itself.”

On the other hand, what have we? Warring dogmatic religions; science which

clings to a materialistic basis; and a psychology which is worse off than

either, because it attempts to deal with meta-physics from a material basis of

consciousness; and at last, so-called New Thought which devotes its energies to

one physical life. What a contrast! How can men fail to realize that they are

ignorant indeed, and that none of these things bring knowledge. Then they would

arouse themselves to seek for light. The student of Theosophy knows that the

reason they are so blind to patent facts is that they are surrounded by the

clouds of past lives and cannot pierce through them; that all that can be done

is to let the light so shine that all who will may see it, thus sowing seed for

future harvests. It would be a hopeless task were it not for Reincarnation.

I am glad that you are able to perceive and hold the right attitude in regard to

events. In both of your letters there is evidence, perhaps indefinable, yet

plainly perceptible, of an inner action; moreover, there is more of

unanimity—accord—however the outer at times may seem to deny it. While we work,

we grow; we grow most when our thought is so occupied with the work that we have

no thought for ourselves, nor for events, in their color and their relation to

us. Knowing that there must be light and shade, heat and cold, pain and pleasure

in life, we can take them as we take any climate in which we live, and just

accept what comes—as the meta-physical climate of the time, place and condition

in which we are—and go on with the appointed work.

What we have learned gives us a larger view of Karma than the mere personal. We

begin to perceive that beyond the personal there comes to the worker in the

field of Theosophy—the student disciple—those other phases of Karma which arise

from family and race. By the very nature of the effort made, and the position

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from which it is made, those other phases must be felt more and more as the

student progresses. It may seem to him that it is all personal; and it is, in

the sense that he is a focus for it; but, if we have assimilated what the steps

must be that lead to adeptship, we must know that the battle we are fighting is

not our own, but that of the world, and that the sins of the world will in

increasing measure be laid on us until we have finally conquered. If, on the

contrary we take these things as personal only, we may conquer them as such, but

of us then it would be said, “Inasmuch as ye did it not unto the least of these,

ye did it not unto me.”

Your Sunday meeting was certainly a small one, and apparently of little use; but

who can tell? We know that it is the effort that counts, and having made it,

Karma does the rest. There are many of these poor unfortunates who are caught in

the mazes of the psychic realm; as long as they look there for their “guru,” he

will not be found. Good thoughts and ideas may go quite easily with

self-delusion; indeed, if they did not, there would be less delusion. All these

things are good practice for you; each “crank” presents a new phase of delusion,

and has to be studied at the time and handled as well as may be, as well as

studied further subsequently. It is fortunate also that they come to you in such

small detachments, and not in crowds or with crowds. The greater the obstacle

the greater the effort, so we will see to it that the good work goes on, with

charity toward all and with malice toward none, and with all our power as the

cycle permits. Well, “sleep sweet” and may you bring from the other side of life

all necessary power and help.

As ever, R. C.




Letter Twenty-Five

“Doubt nothing, fear nothing, chafe at nothing”—we often have to say to

ourselves, when conditions seem to hedge us in and prevent the carrying out of

some good work. These conditions are not only our Karma but that of those we

have in mind to help. Yet we must strive for them, the best we can, to lift

their Karma

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and ours. Sometimes it may seem as if everything conspired to laugh at us and

deride our best efforts; but we know all that is but the dead weight of the

world’s conditions which the Masters, and those who have volunteered, are

working continuously to lift; and we feel the assurance which comes from

understanding that none of this struggle is in vain. Masters do all that is

possible for Them to do; we strive to follow Their example in doing Their work

in this world of conditioned existence, each in his place; the knowledge that it

is Their work, and what should be done, sustains us. What matters it, then, what

kind of conditions confront us? Nothing has yet stopped us, although at times it

has seemed that we could go no further; and we are constrained to see that

nothing can stop us—not life nor death nor any other thing. So we cheer-fully go

on to the end of ends, with our lives and all that they contain—that All may

Live, following the footsteps of those Great Ones who have trodden the Path

before us.

One may constitute himself a disciple by his own inward desire, but that does

not involve the Masters until he reaches that degree of development where he is

actually accepted as a chela. Masters cannot be drawn in unwillingly; neither

will They ever refuse help when deserved. Masters in bodies do take upon

themselves the Karma of that which They teach, and where an actual relation

mutually assumed exists, They must feel bodily the errors of omission and

commission of each pupil. Undoubtedly, Those who have been here would have

remained until this time, or longer, had the professed disciples been true to

their pledges.

It is said They hold back the awful Karma of the world in order to provide

further opportunities. But They do not feel the Karma, while knowing it, and

mitigating the evil forces generated by Man. The power to feel all, implies the

power of not to feel. They must be able to do the right thing, in the right

measure, at the right time, and in the right place, and thus can isolate

themselves from prying curiosity, or desire toward Them from wrong motive.

Otherwise Their work would be impeded. A desire to know is not a condition, and

the proper condition

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is the necessary requisite for a demand upon Them; the demand is contained in

the condition. in Their Message to the Western World, They have shown how They

may be reached, even publicly, in every possible way. Those who admit that

Masters exist, and deny or ignore Their message, can hardly be in the way of

receiving Their direct help. Yet help is accorded to all in a general way, each

raising the self by the Self until the requisite condition of notice or demand

exists. None can be shut out; the welfare of all is desired.

Yet there must be indirect ways, and the direct way. If any aspirant cannot be

made to perceive the direct way, then he must take the way he sees. His

inability to see bespeaks his Karma, his condition; so also, the fact of not

having had the Message brought forcibly to him bespeaks former opportunities

deliberately turned aside or neglected—a Karma numerously incurred during the

past thirty-odd years. Much as it may seem like dogma, there is but one

philosophy; there are Masters; there is Their Message. It is not dogma because

it is a statement of fact, which each is invited to prove for himself—and shown

how to do it. True knowledge has been lost to the world; the Masters restore it.

They help those directly whom They can; those so helped help others directly and

indirectly. The cycle has an upward, less material, tendency; it needs right

direction, which the direct and indirect influence of the Message provides.

Blessed are those who are able to perceive and take the direct way.

You are quite right, I think, in your deductions regarding “repetitions.” They

are, in the case of my talks, re-petitions; only, most do not see what is in

them. “There is nothing new under the sun”; there is only a handing on of what

has been known before. As the synthesis of the philosophy can be given in a very

few words comparatively, those who make only one application of the words—see

only one color of the prism, hear only one sound of the scale—naturally get the

monotony of it. I think the main obstacle in the way of some is an attitude of

criticism, such as, for instance, is taken in saying, “His interpretation does

not agree

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with mine;” or anything, in fact, that considers the person, rather than the


Our last meeting was a good one. One questioner asked, ‘Why is it that

Theosophists are so passive to political and social conditions?” My reply was:

No true Theosophist is passive to any-thing; his knowledge, however, shows him

where his energy can be best used for the benefit of humanity. He does not waste

his energy poulticing the boils on the body corporate, but devotes it to the

pointing out of the seat of the disease and the remedy. It is apparent to

anybody that the cause of all human troubles is selfishness and ignorance. The

ignorance, which is the cause of the selfishness, lies in men’s way of

thinking—their ideas in regard to life. The prevailing idea is that there is but

one life, and that each must struggle for himself as against all others. The

very idea contains in it “fight,” “opposition,”—his hand against every man and

every man’s hand against him. As long as these ideas prevail in men’s minds,

they will act selfishly and in opposition, where self-interest is concerned. The

Theosophist knows what the true way is; that man lives many lives, and that in

each life he reaps what he sowed in other lives, as well as in this one; that if

every man were to have this knowledge, he would see that true happiness for all

can be obtained only when each human being uses all his powers for the good of

others. Under such a way of thinking, no man would be allowed to suffer for one

moment, because there would be many willing hands to help on every side. The

greatest need, then, is to have a right and true philosophy of life, for the

following of it will not only bring relief from the many forms of suffering, but

a knowledge that will lead humanity to greater heights. The Theosophist works to

relieve the cause in the only way possible. Doubtless, if Theosophists were more

numerous, they would be found relieving every possible distress to the best of

their ability; but, unfortunately for the world, they are few, and are thus

compelled to put all their energy into calling attention to the true nature of

man, and to a philosophy of life, so that more and more minds may be turned that

way, and the day of relief brought nearer.

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This was not by any means an ideal answer, but it seemed to be what the

questioner was ready to consider.

With regard to Metaphysics and Physics; metaphysics is beyond physics and must

have preceded the latter. It seems to me that Metaphysics becomes physics by

ideation on the plane of physical density. To the perceiver on any plane,

perceptions are objective to him; on a higher plane than this, would they not be

his “physics,” although metaphysical to us? From our plane, that which is

metaphysical becomes physical when embodied. Perhaps I do not get what you want;

if there is nothing here, come again.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Six

“Try; try; ever keep trying.” “Realization comes from dwelling on the things to

be realized.” Following such injunctions of Those Who Know, a constant gain will

appear. Ups and downs there will be, in accordance with the swing of the

pendulum, or, more properly, the turn of the spiral. Knowing the law of action,

we can keep on, whether we are at the highest or lowest point of the cycle. As

time goes on and the right attitude is maintained, we shall grow less and less

subject to the high or the low.

To realize, at the beginning, the continuous effort required, would be

discouraging; but as the greatness of the task we have set before ourselves

becomes more and more real, we grow into the condition represented in the six

glorious virtues as that of being constitutionally incapable of deviating from

the right path.

We have in the past generated, or created by thought, and re-inforced by action,

numerous elemental beings of the nature of Prakriti. As long as our thought is

in keeping with their natures, no great friction is observed; but when our

thoughts fail to provide them with sustenance, the struggle for life begins, and

must continue until these creatures of ours die, or are so changed as to cause

no hindrance. It is a new Manvantara in our little solar system, “the guiding

spirit” ruling, controlling, or sweeping away

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all entities connected with the old evolution, in accordance with the key-note

of the new. So, in the concrete state of the old, and the nebulous state of the

new, we have to go through the preparatory Rounds. Great Nature repeats her

action in accordance with Law, in the small as well as the great.

As to “the hardest job of reconciliation” set you in this matter of H—: you will

remember that I said in a recent letter that I wanted you to keep in touch with

the various events, so that you might be able to observe developments—see how

things work out under certain methods founded on principles, for all these

things are object lessons.

In the first place, there is no room for misjudgment; judge not at all as to

persons should be the rule. As to their ideas, their capacity to grasp one set

implies capacity to grasp other kinds. If they have wrong conceptions and are

amenable to reason, their wrong conceptions can be reasonably considered on

their merits— in themselves, first, and then in their relation to other

conceptions. In all this, there has to be first sought points of agreement—all

of them; in fact, show a disposition to agree. At no time should any

oppositional attitude be felt or assumed—no expressed or implied superiority of

knowledge. If opposition exists even in thought, a counter opposition is set up,

and the aim to enlighten is not effected. Of course, none of this prevents one

from seeing things as they are, and leaving the door wide open for others to see

what we do.

Our work lies among those whose ideas are in strong opposition to what we know

as truth. We have to meet ideas as we find them, and extend them in the

direction we know. This is a different case from a talk on Theosophy, where we

are giving an exposition in order that others may know what it is.

One of the results of wisdom is the ability—in degree, at least—to do the right

thing, at the right time, and in the right place. The object of all right doing

is to help others who are seen and known not to be right. Our seeing and knowing

their present condition gives us the clue to the kind and manner of helping. If

we judge them incapable of help, we shall afford them none. So

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we judge not, but like the Sun and Nature, treat all alike—shine for all, work

for all, irrespective of presently held ideas, or presumable qualifications in

any. Such has been the course of all great Teachers. They come to call “not

saints, but sinners to repentance.” All have had their Judases, but even Judases

have to have their chance with the rest; even they are inherently perfect, and

having free will may rise to the opportunity. The Gospel hymn which says, “While

the lamp holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may return,” voices a truth; so

what is there in all this that calls for mortal judgment? None, I think you will

say, when you consider the matter in its wider bearing, and in the light of

Karma which brings opportunity both to give and to receive.

There is no pretense of personal virtue or knowledge in handing on for the

benefit of others what one perceives to be good for them. A claim, even a

thought of personal virtue, is detrimental— because it is personal. The Egoic

perceptions on this plane are limited by this very thing.

“Thy body is not self, thy Self is in itself without a body, and either praise

or blame affects it not.”

“Deliverance of mind from thralldom by the cessation of sin and faults is not

for ‘Deva-Egos’ (reincarnating egos). Thus says the ‘Doctrine of the Heart.’

“The Dharma of the ‘Heart’ is the embodiment of Bodhi (True, Divine Wisdom), the

Permanent and Everlasting.”

“To live to benefit Mankind is the first step. To practise the six glorious

virtues is the second.”

The six glorious virtues are:

ONE—“Sama.” It consists in obtaining perfect mastery over the mind (the seat of

emotions and desires), and in forcing it to act in subordination to the

intellect which had been strengthened by attaining—

(1.) “Right knowledge of the real and the unreal” (Right Philosophy).

(2.) “Perfect indifference to the fruits of one’s actions, both here and

hereafter.” (Renunciation of the fruits of actions.)

TWO—“Dama.” Complete mastery over bodily acts.

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THREE— "Uparati."Renunciation of all formal religion, and the acquirement of

contemplation of objects without being in the least disturbed in the performance

of the great task one has set before oneself.

FOUR—“Titiksha.” Cessation of desire and a constant readiness to part with

everything in the world.

FIVE—“Samadana.” That which renders the student constitutionally incapable of

deviating from the right path.

six—“Shradda.” Implicit confidence on the part of the pupil in his Master’s

power to teach, and his own power to learn.

SEVEN—One other, and the last accomplishment required, is an intense desire for

liberation from conditioned existence, and for transformation into the One Life.

While some of these may be beyond us, we can “practise” in these directions; in

fact, we have been so doing, and we know that practice makes perfect. Well, I

must stop now and send you the best I have, with love.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Seven

It is said that there is but one sense; the different organs are but modes of

reception. From the same point of view it might be said that there is but one

“Eye”; the rest are modes of seeing. These, of course, have to be brought into

line for unobstructed vision. The various soul sheaths, as I understand it, are

formed from the first ethereal substance of which the permanent body is

composed. Man is the microcosm of the macrocosm; so, imagine one individual in

his permanent body at the beginning of a solar system: that body will contain

within it all possible changes of density; those changes will be the necessary

steps, under the general law of the solar system, to reach the most concrete


The concrete expression must be reached in order that the descending

intelligences may be able to help or impel to a higher standard the forms of

consciousness not yet self-conscious; all

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forms meet and mingle in man. Each change in density of sheath involves a loss


of spiritual perception, and knowledge of the more dense matter obtainable in no

other way.

As the universe exists solely for purposes of soul, and as resistance is met in

degree in all states of matter below the first state, the power of Creation,


Preservation and Destruction must be in operation on every plane and all the

time. Creation works in the change in density, and toward the ideal form for

fullest expression on this plane. This involves continual adjustment, implying

the preservation of that which fulfills the purpose, and the destruction of that

which does not, as well as further creation to take the place of that which was

destroyed. The Creator, Preserver and Destroyer within his own sphere, then,

must be the permanent Ego. The same law applies everywhere. For instance, in

your business, a new department is added; the other departments keep on and the

new one is either shaped into line with the general purpose—or cut off.

The Secret Doctrine says that we are at the middle point of the seven Rounds;

this means that the collectivity of beings called ‘Nature” has passed through

the changes in density three times, each time reascending to the original state,

each descent marking a further density of each change. We now ascend perfecting

and assimilating for three and a half Rounds more, each succeeding plane

becoming less dense until the completion of the seventh Round, back to what

might be called real matter. Relating this to soul, it would appear that the

sheaths are not yet what they will be, though the Perceiver is one through all

the changes. The Self is the key, the plan, the purpose and the fulfillment—to

lose that sight, is to lose all.

The quality of your Theosophical expositions seems to dissatisfy you, but the

attitude you hold in regard to it is infinitely better than as if you were proud

of it, and the probability of the improvement is thereby made certain. As I

understand the matter. your exposition is not criticised, but the manner of it;

if there is fault there, necessary correction should not be very difficult. All

progress is made by a recognition of disabilities at first, after which

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follow steps for their removal; but these are minor things. The great effort is

to promulgate the fundamental principles of Theosophy; it requires strenuous and

persevering exertion, but personal progress is forgotten in the effort. ‘With

the right attitude we would not realize our own advance, while it would be

perfectly patent to others; this, because we are aware of defects, which

probably look more important than they really are. Defects—not being

valuable—are not important; their absence is; therefore our thought should be in

regard to those qualifications which displace them. If we were refurnishing a

house, we would not be thinking of the old furniture, but of the new, which was

to take its place.

Being of the Kshatriyas, and in training for the greatest battle that can be

fought, we welcome every event, great or small, that makes us fit for the


As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Eight

Your letter received. True, it is hard for those who think in other ways to have

to exist in a world and at a time when the generally worshipped god is so hard,

unfeeling and merciless in his requirements. Yet such is our Karma, and the

Karma of the race we desire to help. We cannot help without sharing the Karma,

and in sharing we have to do it in all ways. These things are part of our

trials. We can but recognize that even heavenly death is provided for, and if

so, why not life—even as we know it?

We would know that Law reigns for all, and for each and every circumstance, were

it not for our doubts and fears. It is natural that fears should arise, for all

terrestrial things tend to create them, yet we know from “Those who know” that

“the man who knoweth the Supreme Spirit, who is not deluded, and who is fixed on

him, doth not rejoice at obtaining what is pleasant, nor grieve when meeting

what is unpleasant.” “Be free from the ‘pairs of opposites’ and constant in the

quality of Sattwa, free from worldly anxiety and desire to preserve present


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All this is like sending coals to Newcastle, yet sometimes a reiteration helps

one free himself; and too, your letter shows that you see clearly what is right,

so absolutely clear and sound that I fear some difficulty more than ordinary

must present itself to you. Yet for every difficulty there is a way, even if it

is not the way we see as the preferable one. And we have to overcome all sorts

of difficulties.

I can understand right well the many things you have in mind to be provided for.

In all things there is but one thing to be done, and that is, the best we can.

Then await the event; meet one thing at a time, and as it comes. Thus we avoid

attachment to results, and interject no interference with the law which works

for good to those who love it.

We so desire personal assurance that all will be well with the personal self

that we distrust ourselves and all others, if we do not get it; and all the time

we know that we should rely upon the law that works for righteousness. What,

then, is needed is a greater faith and confidence, a stronger courage.

I had a little stone once, upon which was engraved, “Even this will pass away.”

It served many a time to remind me of the transitory nature of all trials and

troubles. The motto is a good one and may serve many others, if used when need


In all the above, it is not meant that proper care should be neglected, but that

fear and doubt should be dismissed. “Fear is the same thing as frigidity on the

earth, and always proceeds by the process of freezing.” Who can say in how many

ways that “freezing” prevents what would otherwise be.

To one confronted by “hard facts,” philosophy seems inadequate, especially when

one has to meet the fact, and when the philosophy is quoted by another. Yet it

is this very application that has to be made in every circumstance. No great

effort is necessary to apply philosophy when the stress is slight; but when the

stress is great, greater effort is needed. The main thing is to apply the

philosophy, and in fact rely on it. All sorts of unforeseen obstacles will arise

to test that reliance, in order that we may be

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confirmed, and ourselves rendered “constitutionally incapable of diverging from

the true path.”

We do not encompass the six glorious virtues all at once, nor one at a time, but

make progress in all of them. Obstacles will arise in the circumstances of

every-day life and in our relations to each other.

I have found it helpful to go back to the time when full confidence abounded, if

obstacles pressed hard and insistently. It often appears to us that obstacles

that meet us need not be; that they have no relation to the great task we have

set before ourselves; yet due consideration of what we have learned must show

that nothing can possibly occur which is out of that relation. We often say to

ourselves, “If this thing were only different, or proceeded or occurred in this

other way, it would be better,” failing to perceive that if it were different,

it would be different. The key to conduct, then, seems to be—taking things as

they come, and dealing with them singly day to day. We find this hard, yet the

“hardness” will continue in degree as we become “confirmed,” until all is easy.

The harder the effort, the greater the strength acquired.

I used to look calmly and dispassionately at the very worst picture I could

conjure up as happening to myself, and found it helpful in getting rid of “fear

of consequences.” I mentally took account of the very worst, saw myself in it

with all that it entailed, went through it in all its parts leaving myself

alone, dishonored, stripped of everything. Those very things have happened to

me, but I knew them, had outlived them, and went on undismayed. Had I not done

it, I would not be where I am to-day. But you know all this and it may seem like

cold comfort. I would that I could give you more.

Look back at the chain of circumstances since first we met, and realize more

fully that there is “a Destiny that shapes our ends, rough hew them as we may.”

Can we question Master’s hand in everything done in His name? The circumstances

may not smile at us, but it is not their favor that is sought. We ought to know

by this time that seeming evil is very often—we might say, always—

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turned to good. For it is “that Great Initiate of All, Who keeps this whole

Movement in being.” May you have all power, health, and courage externally,

internally and eternally. Good night to you.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Twenty-Nine

I have your letter of first today. Also those “fat pages,” which certainly merit

all you say of them. Judge once said, “It is not money that is needed but

Hearts.” And it would not take so many, as numbers go, to save a city or a

nation. “Providing there be found three righteous men, I will not destroy the

city,” says an ancient scripture. There could be no greater work than that in

which we are engaged. When our lives are ended, what will count? Our defects?

Not at all. It will be the efforts we have made to destroy the causes of all

defects among our fellow men.

At a late meeting the question of being charitable to the weaknesses of others

came up for discussion, and brought out quite a lengthy talk on why that

attitude is absolutely necessary, from the standpoint of the spiritual Ego, for

right development in the mind of spiritual perception and knowledge. It was

pointed out that all the errors of any life result in reality from a diseased—if

not insane, at least, un-sane mentality. An imperfection is an imperfection—the

difference in kind not being anything that anyone should pride himself upon. Our

duty is not to rid our neighbors of their imperfections, but ourselves of our

own. The pride that results from fancied virtue was spoken of; judgment in

anger—that the anger passes but the judgment remains as a bias in the mind, and

a hindrance to the one judged; the danger of thus standing in the way of

another, to say nothing of the reactionary effect on ourselves. The talk came up

because of the tendency of minds in general to pride themselves upon not having

the defects that others have, while at the same time they may exhibit defects,

which, while not so obvious—as generally classed by the

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world—are yet worse, because of being deeper seated and harder to eradicate, as

well as being more widely injurious. In regard to your question of confidence:

your words sound as if you had more real courage than you ever had. This

confidence should not merely be the power to endure trials and suffering, but to

stand firmly and courageously through anything and everything. To fall short of

that would be a useless sacrifice for all, for slipping to the bottom means to

do it all over again. Now is the time to hold fast. “Live while you can and die

only when you must.” For it is during life, and then alone, that the most and

best can be done for your fellows in that life. No circumstances can arise that

will deprive you of the power of assistance, if that is your inmost desire. For


are you not greater than any circumstance? And are not all circumstances your

field of battle? There-fore, arise, 0 Arjuna, and resolve to fight.

If one cannot do what he would like to do, he can always do what he can. No one

can do more than this. And doing this, he does all. You see that clearly. So let

us meet each moment and circumstance as it comes, putting all our energy into

doing what should be done according to our best judgment at the moment, and

living every moment free from doubt, fear, anxiety—joyful that we are alive, and

that there is so much of life in us. Every possible circumstance has its

Sattwic, Rajasic, and Tamasic quality, and as all experience affects only in

accord with its meta—physical aspect, let us take the Sattwic of each and every

one. Thus shall we live and get true learning out of living.

Don’t worry about me, the meetings, B— or anything; we should know that all that

is provided for. You remember what Jesus said: “Take no thought for the morrow

what ye shall eat, nor wherewithal shall ye be clothed.” This to his disciples,

because reliance on the Law places no hindrance in the way of its free action.

Now, once more, good nights and days to you, and all help.

As ever, R. C.


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Letter Thirty

Your letter, as well as the books mailed, have just arrived. Many thanks for all

of it, and for the good thoughts and wishes you send me; they are sincere. May

they all bear fruit.

There is a “feeling” of closing in. It comes from that steadfastness which trial

alone can bring, and I dare swear that you have that steadfastness, even though

you may know it not. In the work we have undertaken together, matters not

whether it fails or succeeds as far as we are concerned. Our effort has been and

will be for success; the rest is in “other hands,” and stronger ones. We have

thrown, each one of us, the best he had into the breach. That “best” may not

seem great to us, but certainly the motive was there, even if at times nature

and events conspired to minimize it. They did not defeat us—that is sure. To

hold our ground is victory, in some cases. It is more, if we manage to move

forward, and we have done the latter—which is worth all that it cost and much


“Having found a secluded spot remain firm and steadfast in it.” When a student

enters upon the new life, he does so because he sees the true. At the same time

he is buffeted about by the effects which have arisen, and arise, from whatever

of untruth he had held. He oscillates between the real and the seeming real—or,

as he might term it, “the ideal and the facts.” His effort should be to remain

steadfast in the true, having found that secluded spot.

A right, true, and correct philosophy of life is absolutely necessary if

constant, steady growth is to be attained. This philosophy must have in it—as a

center—immutability; otherwise any building up of an “inner body” on a center

which is mutable necessitates the destruction of that building and the beginning

of another one on another center, with loss of time, effort, and progress. If

the second center prove mutable, again destruction is necessary. This is why

there can be no progress from the standpoint of any but the Supreme Self. This


is LAW and not sentiment.

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We should endeavor to remain steadfast, relying upon the Supreme and dedicating

all our thoughts and actions to THAT. As we endeavor, the oscillations will

become less manifest. ALL of the events of life give us opportunity to exercise

the “power of steadfastness.” So we should welcome everything—pleasant or

otherwise—as a means of growth, for, as has been said many times, the purpose of

life is to learn; it is all made up of learning.

The essence of growth is change. Any center short of the Self (which is all)

implies a finality; hence, concretion and cessation of growth, from which

necessarily follows decay. With the “true center” all growth remains, for it is

of the nature of that center, and indestructible—“The Changeless Self,” with

fluidic instruments—always fluidic.

You say, “I am doing nothing.” Perhaps, but the Self has been afforded an

opportunity—yes, opportunities, and these will be continued. The little “I” may

take some pride in it, but the real “I” says “you” did not do it and never

could, because you are only a reflection and an instrument. You served the

purpose well, and will continue to improve. Gradually the lower Manas will

become so attuned with the Higher that there will be no distinction between

them; then, instead of “puffing up” in one department, the energy will express

itself as incentive and power for more and greater work. The “pride” is natural,

but when properly diffused, it will not be called by that name. It is energy, of


You seem to be getting interesting questions at your meetings. It is splendid

training—all of it; just what is needed. It may help if you take the position

that “I do not answer; the philosophy does;” and “I do not answer the person; I

answer the question.”

If the right attitude is kept up, all necessary qualities will appear. “No

concern but to keep in fighting trim” is most excellent. “Desire ceases to

attract us when we cease to identify ourselves with it.” Similarly, “badness”

ceases to affect us, when we cease to identify ourselves with it. “Badness” is

but one of the three qualities.

“We are apt constantly to forget the existence of the great force and value of

our super-sensuous consciousness. That con-

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sciousness is the great register, where we record the real results of our

various earthly experiences; in it we store up the spiritual energy, and once

stored there it becomes our own eternal possession.” We forget, in looking for

appearances of advancement, which is common to all students at first; but by

retaining the fact in their minds, they by degrees cease to observe or care for

signs of such progress, and none of their energy is wasted. They know that the

“storing” goes on, and they keep busy at it, which means the performance of

duty, doing the best they know and can— under all circumstances. They “lay up

treasures in heaven,” not on earth. This we are doing and will continue to do.

It serves to destroy the personal idea”—the enemy of progress.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-One    

“OLD WARRIOR” is true as regards the Self, and also as regards the real inner

evolved man. He is a fighter in lawful war fare, and is only hindered by

ineffectual accoutrement, and lack of co-operation; so it applies to you and to

all of us who are fighting in lawful warfare. This warfare is against the causes

of sin, sorrow and suffering.

“The Self acts only through the creatures.” It needs bodies or vehicles. The

units give adhesion, which then becomes cohesion— unity on all planes.

The U.L.T. will go along all right as long as there is some one individual who

knows the right lines and will keep them. If the Lodge centers spread by being

taken up by people not trained at all in the right line of thought and study,

they could very easily go wide of the intention and lead others wrong.

There-fore, while there is no Constraint, there will be a point from which right

direction can be obtained, and advice given as to methods and kind of study.

This has to be provided for, even if it is not the ideal condition. The latter,

of course, could only exist with ideal minds, and we are not dealing with such.

“To perish doomed

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is he, who out of fear of Mara refrains from helping man, lest he should act for

self,” says the Voice; so we need not fear doing whatever has to be done to meet

the circumstances of the case and time. H. P. B. found it necessary to lay down

the lines along which the psychical currents might flow from the Lodge. In like

manner, we in a smaller way have to provide lines of thought and influence along

which may flow the spirit and genius of that which we have undertaken. Our

Associate cards provide the means of individual adhesion to the principles. They

are a form of pledge, and on individual honor. The sum of individual adhesions

makes the cohesive body.

The a holding power” is the power to hold things together with a definite end in

view; statements of that end are contained in our Declaration. The power grows

as does the conviction of the reality of our endeavor and the soundness of the

principles we promulgate: centripetal foci.

The motto of U. L. T. is There is no religion higher than Truth.” Truth alone

can be authority; it demands nothing from anyone, but invites close examination.

Falsehood disagrees with falsehood as well as with Truth; Truth disagrees with

falsehood, but agrees with itself. As in an authoritative claim that a certain

metal is gold, the test does not lie in the authority, but in the test of the

metal. One who has gold and has proved it to be so, has a right to say so, but

he does not exact belief in his authority; he presents his gold for testing.

This is the kind of authority you will find in Theosophy.

Well, must stop now and call this today’s letter. Good luck to you and all the

other good things.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Two    

I think that what we have to do is to carry on the work of disseminating the

philosophy of Theosophy in the best way known to us, avoiding the errors of

omission and commission that have

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been observed by us. Thus working in and through the “minor currents,” we begin

to learn the greater lesson. The Lodge has to have its agents in the world of

men. “Those who can to any extent assimilate the Master, to that extent they are

the representatives of the Master, and have the help of the Lodge in its work.”

In a letter of K. H. to Sinnett, He says that the work of the society has to be

carried on by “carefully devised plans by the best minds among you,” or words to

that effect. Having the fundamental principles, we have to put them into

practice by applying them in every way—in our lives and in the work. All this is

part of our schooling. There is no set way given us nor any particular form and

method; we have to work it out—and yet all that we do has Their help. We shall

do rightly and well in any event, if we are single-hearted in what we do. It is

true that we have landmarks here and there to guide us, but to be able to

recognize these is also a part of right knowledge. The power of the “initiatory”

in right direction has to be developed, and that must be done by exercise. If

what we have undertaken leads to adeptship we have to begin the development of

the powers here and now, while clearing up our natures. One process is

complementary to the other, if both are carried on. All this by way of adding to

what you say.

“We cannot prevent people from doing the things they can do,” and would not use

force even if we could, because the mind has to be free to choose; otherwise

there would be no real progress. We might apply an analogy right here: let

Oxygen represent the Truth, and Nitrogen purely terrestrial conceptions; the

more nitrogenous the conception, the less room for “oxygenation” in any given

vehicle. There can be no breath whatever without some oxygen, and a little is

better than none at all. Perhaps the Tingley, Besant and other stripes of

Theosophy have their place in the great economy of consciousness; they must

have, or minds would not seize and hold that kind. If the “kind” does not bring

the expected result or knowledge, a further search is indicated. “It is better

to have no side, for it is all for the Master, and He will look out for all, if

each does just right, even if, to our view, another seems not to do so. By not

looking at their errors too closely the Master will

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be able to clear it all off and make it work well. Hence, go on, and keep the

spirit that you have only to proceed, and leave the rest to time and the Lodge.”

I think that this is a good attitude for us all in the matter of Theosophical

claims and exponents. Every person really waked up by them will touch us sooner

or later if we hold to the straight line.

Meditation as used by us, is what is called in Sanscrit Dhyana, i.e., want of

motion, and one-pointedness. The main point is to free the mind from the power

of the senses, and to raise a current of thought to the exclusion of all others.

Realization comes from dwelling on the thing to be realized.” W. Q. J. says, “To

meditate on the Higher Self is difficult; seek then, the Bridge, the Masters.

The patient dwelling of the mind on a single thought results in the gaining of

wisdom, and it is thus that the true Occultist is developed. Aspiration toward

the Higher Self should form part of the daily meditation; the rising toward the

higher planes of our being, which cannot be found unless they are sought.

Earnest and reverent desire for Master’s guidance and enlightenment will begin

the attunement of the nature to the harmony to which it must one day respond.

Concentration on a single point in the Teaching is a road to the philosophy;

self-examination, a road to knowledge of oneself. To put oneself in the place of

another, to realize his difficulties, and thus be able to help him, is that

faculty—which when extended makes it possible for the Adept to understand the

nature of the stone or other form of consciousness.” Meditation is a good

beneficent practice leading to a great end. It is also a great destroyer of the

personal idea.

Generally speaking, a “ray” comes from a “light”; the ray is not the light

itself, but a projection of it, and yet is the light, because without the light

there would be no ray. The color of the light is clear and uniform; the ray is

changed in color by the substances through which it passes. When the “ray” is

“indrawn,” it is of the same color as the light and is the light; in fact, was

the light all the time, for the appearance of the different colors in it was not

from the light, but from that through which it passes.

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Unity; one in essence. There is nothing but the Self. Was this what you had in


I will mail the Incidents. It will require considerable keenness to pick out

valuable information from this book, because it is composed of incidents which

are often unrelated to each other as to time. You will, however, get something

from it as to general idea, dismissing, of course, any personal conclusions of

the author. You will note that the tenant of the body is considered as the same

all the time by him. There is also a terrible wound spoken of, in regard to

which there is no information; also a desperate sickness. A change in occupancy

might be looked for about that time. I do not know the cause of the wound, and

it does not matter, nor is it necessary to know. We can understand something of

the personal nature, habits and manners running concurrently with “something

else,” by comparison with the case of W. Q. J.

The Incidents are what others saw, and, of course, do not relate to what the

relators did not see or understand. From our point of view, we may be able to

discern matters unperceived by them, from what they relate. They observed the

personality and the effects produced through it, but had not the slightest idea

of the nature of the Consciousness and Power behind these, masked as they were

by commonplaces. “Great is the mystery of the human ego.” I think you will find

the book very interesting.

We are preparing for the future as best we can and feeling our way, taking

advantage of the seasons and opportunities. Onward and Upward is our watchword,

and we might as well add to it what the Old Lion of the Punjab did, the word


Well, good nights to you—even if days are not what we would like.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Three   

From the intellectual point of view, the truth explains; from a higher point of

view, each one contains within himself, and actually is the Truth. The

intellectual is microscopic; the other,

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vision itself. “The great difficulty to be overcome is the registration of the

knowledge of the Higher Self on the physical plane.” It cannot be done by the

intellect, although the intellect may put the house in order. Patanjali tells

what the “hindrances” are; Manas has to get rid of these so that “the way of the

Lord” who comes with Truth and Knowledge may be made clear. He is waiting,

watching, working. “Behold I stand at the door and knock.” Nothing withholds

knowledge from us but the mode of operation of our lower mind. We can have no

complaints, if we do not make it conform; but Theosophy, applied, leads us to

Truth, which is ourself. Service is a great clarifier.

You speak of the balancing of forces. In what relation? Perhaps you mean that

“continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations,” which is

the basis of rebirth, both of which have to be subjugated before freedom is

obtained. If so, this is kundalini—the power or force that moves in a spiral

path; it is the Universal life-principle manifesting everywhere in nature. This

force includes the two great forces of attraction and repulsion; electricity and

magnetism are but manifestations of it. Hermes says: “the genii have, then, the

control of mundane things, and our bodies serve them as instruments . . . but

the reasonable part of the soul is not subject to the genii; it is designed for

the reception of the God who enlightens it with a sunny ray, for neither genii

nor gods have any power in the presence of a single ray of God. But all other

men, both Soul and body, are directed by genii, to whom they cleave and whose

operations they affect.” If forces are balanced, there must be something upon

which the balance may be obtained; anything that can be moved by the forces

would not so serve. There is but One Immovable—the Self.

Transitory balancings may be obtained but not maintained. The “ups” and “downs”

every one is subject to; sometimes psychic, sometimes mental and sometimes

physiological; occasionally, all three at once. These must necessarily be the

various adjustments, or “balancing of forces,” which are in constant process of

variation. There are, of course, “devachans” in between. The same old process.

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It does not surprise me that you find “something” at the Theosophical rooms—and

stronger at times than at others. Help comes often, when least expected, and it

is liable to come at that place where the work is done which merits help. As the

rooms are set apart particularly for Theosophy, there would be less obstacle

there than elsewhere to such help.

You have it right: one has to grow into that state where he seeks nothing for

himself, but takes whatever comes to pass as the thing he most desired. There is

no room for personal desire in this.

With reference to the mind’s poor grasp of things: what we want cannot be

obtained by anxiety, doubt, fear, impatience, expectancy that it is time that

something should come to us, and so forth. This latter is looking for reward.

Make up your mind to continue as you are for one hundred lives, if necessary,

and continue. The hindrances must be stopped, if that which is hindered is to

come. All the other study is good, necessary, and preparatory.

Unity—Study—Work—are the trinity of this plane. Universality, Wisdom, and

Service are the higher trinity. You are the One who is preparing the way for the

latter, by means of the former.

We learn by experience. Confidence gives courage—is courage. After a while we

learn that the Law will act, regardless of any sentiment we may hold. And in

this work things occur in peculiar ways—not to be accounted for by the usual

process. At least, such has been my experience.

The attention that is paid to what you have to say in the meeting lies primarily

in the native force of truth, but much comes from the conviction that one has in

presentation, as well as the form used. This triad you have. The main thing to

be minimized is whatever you have of diffuseness. It is only a question of

keeping on the line of making more and more perfect. The feeling that “I am

doing something” is natural. But it is better far to “let the warrior in you do

the fighting.” Think of the Master as a living man within you; let Him speak

through the mouth and from the heart. The strength shown is not that of the

personality, for like an organization, the personality is only a machine for

conserving energy and putting it to use. Why give it credit for anything else?

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The general habit is to think of ourselves first, and others afterwards. Reverse

the habit—consider ourselves last and least in anything we have to do or say. At

the meetings, take the view that we are there to give what help we can to those

who come, instead of looking at those present as there to listen to us. Judge

would sometimes say, “You must not think that I know all these things; I am only

telling you of knowledge that exists, and which I am convinced is true.” Each

one must arrive at conviction through a study and application of the knowledge.

There is no other way.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Four    

Thought, being self-reproducing, would suggest crystallized centers, but they

are more than “crystallized,” if we would take into consideration that

everything is conscious. Each thought stirs to action some form of life;

according to the nature of the thought is the nature of the life stirred and

guided, the permanence of the thought-action depending upon the energy put into

it. I think that the subsidence of the direct energy leaves a latent tendency in

the conscious lives to respond to analogous or similar energy. Some of these

impressions may be so deep as to have left respondent foci in the physical

brain; hence, remembrance is more easily recalled into action; other

impressions, not so deep, are obliterated by subsequent ones as far as brain

foci are concerned, but remain in some one or other of the sheaths of the brain,

and are recollected by the proper stimulus, which may come from similar thought,

or from the impressions of the organs or cells of the body.

Nature tends to repeat any action; thought is the plane of action—the creator,

preserver and destroyer of Nature’s modes of action. The Manasic plane is the

noumenal plane; the plane of the essence of the phenomenal; the active-aspect of


As to your question on Spirit and Matter. You will remember what Judge said:

“The whole universe is made up of spirit and

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matter, both constituting together the Absolute. What is not matter is spirit,

and what is not spirit is matter; but there is no particle of matter without

spirit, and no particle of spirit without matter. If this attempted definition

is correct, you will see that it is impossible to define the things of the

spirit, and that has always been said by great Teachers of the past.”

Spirit-matter contains both consciouness, per se, and all possible states of

matter from the finest to the coarsest. These states are evolved individually

for individual experience, and also collectively for collective experience, each

individual proceeding on his own line, and in accordance with the general

progress of the mass of beings. Changes of matter take place in regular sequence

by the force or energy of the mass, of which energy each individual supplies his

portion. This energy might be called consciousness in action, or the force of

ideation, the lesser entities being guided in their energy by the greater, and

more progressed.

Also, hold in mind that Spirit and Substance are co-existent and co-eternal. We

are higher beings clothed in bodies made up of small lives on this plane. We

call these lives “matter,” but they are matter only relatively, because we can

mold them. To them-selves they are conscious in their way, receiving impress

from us, but not recognizing the source of the impress nor its import. We are

their incognizable universe in which they live, move, and have their being; our

light adds to theirs, as ours is added to by the impress from still higher

beings. So there is a chain of life and consciousness which gradually tends to

fuller and fuller individualization of being in non-separateness—the more

complete the individualization, the more full the sense of non-separateness.

This quotation from H. P. B. may be helpful. “At the ‘Day be with us’ every Ego

has to remember all the cycles of his past reincarnations for Manvantaras . . .

. It sees the stream of its past incarnations by a certain divine light. It sees

all humanity at once, but still there is ever, as it were, a stream which is

always the ‘I’.”

The place where the line of involution and evolution meet is in the incarnation

of the descending gods—ourselves—in the highest evolved form. The analogy is

seen in any reincarnation.

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The consciousness leaves the body, which goes to pieces on its own plane. When

the real man returns, he has to wait until the lower lives have built up a form

for him into which he may enter, this form being built under the impress given

by the real man in other lives. A Manvantara is an enlarged and expanded similar

process. We came from the Moon, where we had evolved form to a degree. At

pralaya all things stopped evolution of form; on re-manifestation, the lower

lives or “builders” began to build up as before, and as their impress and

previous building admitted. When the form of man had reached the highest

previous point reached, the Kumaras, or real men, overshadowed and entered to

carry the evolution further. “They, and no other, are we.” Well, good nights and

days to you all the time. The days help make the nights and the nights help to

make the days; they both belong to life.

As ever, R. C.




Letter Thirty-Five    

I have your letter of Sunday. Sorry that the trip was hard and immediately

fruitless, but we know that there is no blame for results, if the best we know

is done. So we can rest on that, and go on to the next duty free from any


I have read the extracts you send: they are all good, and we cannot have too

many of them. Even if we do not use them all in the prospective pamphlet, they

will be at our hand in compact form for reference and use for others. All this

research must have its effect on your perceptions as to what the intention of

the Messenger was and is. You have found for yourself and cannot be accused of

taking any other’s statement. It places you in a position which is unassailable,

and that is good for you, for the benefit of others who have accepted other

ideas and follow other courses.

“The Self of Matter and the SELF of Spirit can never meet.” The trouble is as

you say—materialization of concepts. When we see that the trouble lies in that,

we are on our guard against it,

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and all the time endeavor to correct that personal tendency; as results always

follow effort, the difficulty is finally overcome. If we have confidence in our

power to learn, and reliance on the law of our being, we can never feel

discouraged even though we seem to be falling back, or making no progress. The

result of the effort is not in that with which we identify ourselves when we are

impatient or discouraged, but of, and in, the inner nature which impelled the

effort, and which in reality was then in action. We are not our body, brain,

circumstances, duties nor any changeable thing; they constitute our instrument

and opportunities only; they change and pass away. In them all, “Duty is the

royal talisman.” I think it would be better to take the position that you never

fail nor fall nor slip back, but that you have not been constant and careful in

guidance of your responsive, but irresponsible instrument; hence, you feel the

effects through it of your lack of care. Get hold of it, take care of it, guide

it, use it, but be the Self—”The man that is, that was, that ever shall be,” to

whom all these things are but fleeting shadows.

The fight against the personal idea is a long one. The personality has to be

watched that it does not insidiously take to itself what it has no claim to.

Theosophy was given to us; we but pass it on. People are naturally grateful to

receive it, and this is right, but the one who passes it along knows where

gratitude belongs. He can say, “Thank Theosophy, as I do. It enables me to help

others; it will also enable you.” In that way he helps himself as he helps


Now as to your extracts on which you want me to say something: “I establish this

whole universe with a single portion of myself and remain separate.”

The finite mind cannot understand many things, and being finite and conditioned

myself, I cannot explain that which is beyond the power of sages, but if I were

endeavoring to form an idea for myself in regard to the above, I would take that

of Abstract Space as the basis of that “I” which establishes the universe as a

portion of “itself.” That portion could not be formed by any other cause or

inherency than the Absolute (Space) ; yet

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Space is illimitable, notwithstanding innumerable universes; Space being not

only around such universes, but in and throughout every particle of manifested

matter. Our bodies are in space, and space is in our bodies, so that while

bodies are formed from and in space, yet space remains space and hence separate.

These are words only, yet may serve to convey an idea—grasped but not


“I am the origin of all,” would have its explanation in the above; the Self as

All and in All.

“The eight-fold division of my nature is inferior,” even though it includes

Manas, Buddhi, and Ahankara; these divisions are inferior because they are

divisions, conditioned aspects, progressively changeable, hence non-eternal. The

superior nature is different because eternal and unchangeable—the origin, nature

and basis of all beings. While all these conditioned aspects exist, that which

perceives in them all is the Self; there is nothing but the Self. Take

ourselves: what perceives in waking; what in dream; what in sushupti; what in

Manas; what in Buddhi; is it not the same consciousness per se under varying

conditions? This consciousness is no one of the aspects or conditions, nor all

of them put together, but is the cause of all evolution of matter and form, and

the perceiver and knower in all. It is said that the universe is embodied

consciousness. Consciousness must be the Knower of all embodiments and superior

to any embodiment or conditioned aspect of perception. Our bodies are made up of

in numerable and varying small lives, through which we obtain contact with this

plane. Our conditioned aspect of consciousness is so by reason of this contact

and attraction of lives; their aspect is expanded; and both are consciousness

differently conditioned. We might consider it this way: All is Consciousness,


Unconditioned or conditioned in innumerable degrees, and yet that consciousness

is One—the power to perceive. The more any aspect expands, the more the sense of

Oneness in it—“the Self in all things and all things in the Self.” It cannot be

explained, but it may be felt. The conditioned has its origin, basis and being

in the Unconditioned, but the conditioned is not the Unconditioned.


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“Know that Purusha and Prakriti are eternal.” This is the same as saying “Spirit

and Matter are co-existent and co-eternal.” Spirit and Matter are not to be

regarded as independent realities, but as two facets or aspects of the Absolute,

which constitutes the basis of conditioned Being, whether subjective or

objective. If nothing in these suggestions, call again.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Six     

I dropped you a line yesterday which doubtless you have received. If you caught

the line and held it, it will be good for you. For, after all, it is not what we

get but our eagerness to grow that counts; that, when held, never loses an

opportunity. Now, whatever comes of the present occasion, you will have taken

the right position, and the results must be in the direction of growth. If you

could but have taken this position from the start, it would, of course, have

been better; but now that you see it, you have a basis to work from in future.

I know very well what you forego must be a severe deprivation, but its very

severity makes the lesson greater and stronger. So, work now as if you were

alone, and always going to be alone. Taking such an attitude will bring out your

strength—your reliance being on the Law, the Lodge, and your inner Self. Have no

fear whatever; forget results and let the Warrior fight in you. So will you grow

into a closer union, a better realization. “Good Karma is that which is pleasing

to Ishwara.” It is “good” because of the attitude taken, and because it came

from beyond the personality—was not striven for as such.

I do not suppose that it offers much consolation to think that we will have to

avoid making “good Karma” as well as “bad”; for, generally considered, both are

personal and physical, relating to the lower self. We use Karma in performing

duty, but our work is evidently not that of manufacturing any special brand for

our own use and pleasure; we take it as it comes, and are happy

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as may be under the circumstances, learning to be happy under any. So, in any

case, we will resignedly say, “It is a good opportunity to learn something.”

Yet, we would have been equally glad had it been otherwise.

Doubt is a horror; it grows and spreads quickly in the soil of the personal

idea. The remedy is to go back to the time when you had the strongest sense of

sureness, and then rehearse your grounds of surety; by this, doubt will be

dispersed like the mists before the morning sun. You apparently know how, for

having given definite expression to a form of doubt, you let the sun shine on it

and it went.

“The shifting serpent of Self” is a great “murkier” of the waters of life, as

you remark. Fortunately, WE are not the waters, and we can learn to swim, with

the “head” high; then, it makes little difference how much the serpent “murks”;

that’s his business—not ours.

“Prakriti is said to be that which operates in producing cause and effect in


“He who gives up the results of action, is the true renouncer.”

“The true renouncer is averse neither to the works that fail nor those which


“Let us be true renouncers.”

That is the right idea, to fight it out on the line of battle, no matter what

comes. The worst that can come is to die fighting in a righteous cause. It is

also the very best that can come. So there is nothing to fear. “Death never

touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems.”

About the meeting: I think that the explanation about the “astral” was all

right. When a man sleeps, he neither knows nor cares what is going on in the

world about him; yet he has his self-consciousness and is otherwise occupied

than with the doings of physical bodies. At the same time, he may converse with

people who may be actively engaged in bodily actions at the time, and who will

know nothing of the converse. The “community” is within the sleeper, as the

result of waking experiences; the heavenly state is, also, the result of the

best of the waking ex-

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periences; both are individual and assimilative rather than communal, in the

ordinary man. The astral plane is a reflection of earth and an inferno. The wise

man tarries there neither during life nor after death. When a man dies, he does

so to get rid of the earthly body and its connections; having had a meal of

earthly conditions, he stops eating, in order to assimilate the food. If he had

to “eat” more on the astral plane (which communal life would necessitate), the

cessation of bodily activity would confer no advantage, nor opportunity for the

assimilation of desirable elements acquired during physical life. Other

analogies may occur to you.

The elemental kingdoms have never been fully explained, for which there must be

a reason. There are seven great classes of Devas, with their seven

sub-divisions, among the former being the Kumaras with whom man has most to

do—or vice versa. The nature-spirits seem to be the off-shoots of the first

elemental kingdoms, some passing the concrete Mineral (not becoming

crystallized) ; others not becoming herbalized; others escape forms of watery

life; still others escape forms of air life. It may be that there is a greater

supply of the spirit of the lower kingdoms than opportunity for entrance, and

that these become the spirits of the elements connected by nature with the four

elements of earth, water, air and fire; some would have etheric forms, and some

astral, their field of operation being in their respective elements. They appear

to be outside the line of evolution that leads to human consciousness—in this

-manvantara—but must be necessary elements in the great scheme. H. P. B. says,

“There are no entities in the four lower kingdoms possessing intelligence that

can communicate with men, but the elementals have instincts like animals. It is,

however, possible for the Sylphs (the wickedest things in the world) to

communicate, but they require to be propitiated.” Just why the Sylphs are

wicked, I do not know, but think that this is a class that can alter shape at

will and produce glamour where human defects permit their impersonations; they

seem to court and delight in human worship. No doubt, there are several classes

of them. “The heathen in his blindness bows down

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to wood and stone,” but he, if the above be true, is better off than many who

call him heathen. He is wise who sees the Self in all things and all things in

the Self.

There is no memory without thought. The moment we cease to think of a desire, it

is non-existent for us. Memory is the thinking of a past experience. We

sometimes recall these experiences into action, purposely; sometimes, they arise

by association with other things thought of or experienced; but we do not need

to identify ourselves with them or entertain them. The best way is to entertain

and keep busy with other kinds of thought; then, there will be no room for

undesirable tenants. Well, I will let this go—best of luck and health.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Seven   

You should have got a lot of strength and courage from the present short

separation and its circumstances. It may not be fully apparent just now, but the

results will flow from it, if your attitude has been toward the performance of

duty as it came, regardless of self-interest. This is not easy to learn, but

every circumstance, taken rightly, leads to this priceless acquisition. We

sometimes forget that we ourselves desired to be tried and tested, and that

these trials and tests come in the ordinary events of everyday life. If we

cannot take these as they should be taken, we do not gain the strength that will

carry us through, nor do we lessen the bonds that hold us to rebirth.

I have your letter about the meeting of Thursday night. Of course one feels

one’s inability to meet all inquiries, but it is the very learning of what is

needed that induces the study lacking. We accept and know many things

interiorly, but if we are to give others the proper words and ideas that will

convey them, we have to be able to formulate them; so we practice formulation of

answers, constructing them ourselves, or adopting those used by others that do

so effectively.

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In your last paragraph you say, “When the Self ideates, the Manvantara is going,

and the ideations of the Self are ‘the Rays from and one with the Absolute’

”—meaning all beings from man up—all the rest of the Cosmos being the results of

the ideation of these Rays. Could there be any ideations other than those of the

Self, whatever their focalizations? Ideation implies consciousness, and as

everything in the universe from the atom to Brahma is conscious, each in its

degree, can the Self be absent from any? Is it not apparent that the personal

man holds himself as separate from all the rest, and that the lower forms have

less and less of such sense as they descend?

How does this sound: The Self ideates and the Universe is formed in primeval

focalizations. In these upadhis Its ideation produces less ethereal and more

limited focalizations; so, on to the more concrete, all are forms and aspects of

the Self, indissoluble as to essence, ever changing as to aspect and form, each

aspect and form acting and being acted upon by every other in both ascending and

descending cycles, or Rounds. All rebecome the Self at the close of a

Manvantara, each to re-emerge in its integrity at the beginning of a new one, to

continue its eternally recurring active progression.

To get back to the Real would be like standing back from the whole manifestation

and seeing how it looks—to use a phrase. Standing back thus, the Real is gained,

but as rest is followed by activity, still further and greater manifestation

must follow. The Real is the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer in order to

further create, but is not subject to change, although the Cause and Experiencer

of all change.

“The Self ACTS only through the creatures.” It can only know itself in action

through its differentiations, which by the inherent power of Self-hood and the

action and re-action of all in giving direction, are raised from perception to

self-consciousness; this Self-consciousness, once achieved, must continue to

expand or be lost. This, of course, is one way of putting it.

Your letter of today is an excellent statement. I would add to it: the Om is the

omnipresent spirit which is also in the body.

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Its powers are Preservation, Creation and Destruction—the basis and the means of

progress. Re-creation, on an advanced basis, follows destruction until such

perfection as is possible in any given age is reached, which, in turn, forms the

basis for further creation. Progression is eternal, yet the Self is one and

changes not. One might say, as a conception, that It realizes Itself through its

creations. The higher the creation, the higher the realization. The realization

may be individual, but that which realizes is the Self. It cannot be fully

understood, yet the mind gets glimpses now and then which no word or idea can


As to Masters: the power of Preservation is Theirs as well as other powers. Any

height may be retained as long as serviceable, or if not retained in particular

can be quickly reached when needed. The present time may be a period when

Preservation is in force; who knows? Some have bodies of the highest

transmutation of matter; others are Nirmanakayas, we are told. The sheaths used

are in accordance with the work to be done. Nirmanakayas can and do act in the

way you describe; if They did not retain the Nirmanakaya kosha, They would be

beyond the possibility of helping humanity. By this it would seem that certain

“Preservations” are necessary for long periods, possibly a Manvantara. So, there

must be a “retaining” in order to “remain” and help. This is the “sacrifice,”

and it must be so all along the line. They help on higher planes always; Their

lower koshas enable them to help on lower planes as well. At least, that is what

I understand from what is given.

The copies of the pamphlets you send are priceless in value for students whose

eyes are open. The unfortunate thing is, that until each one has clarified his

perceptions, he would not know gold of Ophir from base metal. So much that is

here and ready is too high for most; if given, it avails them not. You know how

that is in your own progress; words and sentences do not always have the same

meaning—the point of view alters them. The danger lies, as you say, in

finalities. A high concept serves as a stepping-stone to higher ones; as

stepping-stones they are

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good, but as resting places they are distinctly inhibitive of progress. Progress

precludes finality. Well, good nights and days to you.

As ever, R. C.



Letter Thirty-Eight    

I read with pleasure of your meeting. I remember the name of Dr. G—. He is one

of the “old-timers”; he should be able to pick up the string once more. Some of

them think that the effort has failed for this cycle, because of the

dissensions, but they ought to remember that Masters never cease working, and

that it is always possible for the clear-eyed and the humanity - loving to aid

Their endeavor. The way to know is to get right back to what They gave—as to

philosophy and as to right work; if that is done, it will be found that there is

neither variableness nor shadow of turning in the U. L. T. from the lines laid

down. And I would call again to mind what H. P. B. wrote: “Night before last I

was shown a bird’s-eye-view of the Theosophical Societies. I saw a few earnest

reliable Theosophists in a death- struggle with the world in general, and with

other nominal but ambitious Theosophists. The former are greater in number than

you may think, and they prevailed, as you in America will prevail, if you only

remain staunch to Master’s program and true to yourselves.”

Also this: “For it is only when the nucleus is formed that the accumulations can

begin that will end in future years, how ever far, in the formation of that body

we have in view.”

To think that the effort has failed and that it is no use to try further, would

show lack of faith in Masters and the Law, and a misunderstanding of the great

occult laws that govern such a Movement as this. “The wheel of the Good Law

moves swiftly on. It grinds by night and day. The worthless husks it drives from

out the golden grain, the refuse from the flour.” This applies to the Movement

as well as anything else—being universal in its scope. Apply—apply—apply the

Teachings. This, as well

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as the booklet, would be good for Dr. G— and for others as well. There is no

time-limit to effort.

The “Authority” you speak of is not what men term authority, which comes from

outside and which demands obedience of mind and body, but an internal

recognition of the value of that which flows through any given point, focus, or

individual. That is the authority of one’s Self-discrimination; intuition; the

highest intellection: that kind we all hold to, and if we follow what we

recognize in that way and still find it good, we naturally keep our faces in

that direction, in the source found to be pure and right. But this means no

slavish following of a person—a distinction which some are unable to appreciate.

You will remember that H. P. B. said: “Do not follow me nor my path; follow the

Path I show, the Masters who are behind.” The wisdom of which is seen in the

course of those who judged of the teaching by what they were able to understand

of the Teacher. They judged Her by their standards and fell down on everything.

In their views, a Teacher of high philosophy should not smoke, should be

conventional; she made mistakes, in their wise opinions; ergo, her philosophy

must be wrong. All the time she said, I am nothing; I came but to do the bidding

of Him that sent me. W. Q. J. had similar judgment passed on him; primarily,

because he upheld H. P. B. first, last, and all the time— which was the

underlying reason for the attacks. Fearful of “authority,” they minimized the

only possible source upon which reliance could be placed, and then endeavored to

convey the impression that they were so much greater than H. P. B., that they

could explain Her away; in this, they made a greater claim for authority than

she ever made. Where was W. Q. J. all this time? Right beside Her, holding up

Her hands, pointing to Her as the one to whom all should look. Those who

followed his advice or yet follow it, will find where She pointed. It comes to

this, that those who pretend to follow H. P. B. do not do so, unless they also

recognize W. Q. J. They had to vilify H. P. B. in order to do likewise with W.

Q. J. These Two stand or fall together. About W. Q. J. being

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at work now. It can be said that he never ceased working, and that work has gone

on directly and indirectly. He is working for unity—what he has always worked

for. His aid will be given to every effort to spread Theosophy pure and simple,

and to such individuals as could understand him, and this in exact measure.

Here are some significant statements from H. P. B.’s messages to the American


“The ethics of Theosophy are more important than any divulgement of psychic laws

or facts.”

“Do not work merely for the Theosophical Society, but through it for Humanity.”

“Theosophy is Universal Brotherhood, the very foundation as well as the key-note

of all movements towards the amelioration of our condition.”

“There is a power behind our society which will give us the strength we need;

which will enable us to move the world, if we will but unite and work as one

mind, one heart.”

“Once united in real solidarity, in the true spirit of Universal Brotherhood, no

power can overthrow you, no obstacle bar your progress, no barrier check the

advance of Theosophy in the coming century.” “Each can, and should co-operate

with all, and all with each, in a large-hearted spirit of comradeship to forward

the work of bringing Theosophy home to every man a woman in the country.”

“But in order that we may be able to effect this working on behalf of our common

cause, we have to sink all private differences. Many are the energetic members

of the Theosophical Society who wish to work and work hard. But the price of

their assistance is that all the work must be done in their way and not in any

one else’s way. And if this is not carried out, they sink back into apathy or

leave the Society entirely, loudly declaring that they are the only true

Theosophists. Or, if they remain, they endeavor to exalt their own methods of

working at the expense of all other earnest workers. This is fact, but it is not


As ever, R. C.

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To make ourselves “better able to help and teach others” is the task. The

personality naturally either rebels or is depressed—or both. But we may expect

that and can be prepared for the reaction if we are wise and have confidence in

Masters’ teaching. We want to know, to be, and to go forward, and we know that

every little assertion of “personal ideas” is a hindrance, and that these ideas

and their particular “feelings” are very easily disturbed and hurt. Their very

“tenderness” shows their fragile nature, and that they are not worth preserving,

in the face of what we have learned and what we have to do to forward the great

results. “Thou grievest for those that may not be lamented” is a true saying,

which we should take to heart.

“The personality, driven from one defense, takes refuge in any other available

one;” we have to watch all along the line. The right attitude will make the

battle easy; so, having taken this, “send the arrow straight to the mark.”


We have to learn that we are dealing with minds which need leading, by

presenting wider ideas. We can say a great many things if the right manner is

adopted and the right, kindly feeling held. It does no good to arouse

opposition, and this is most forcibly done if ridicule is used. In any effort to

point out fallacies every factor counts: a harsh uncompromising voice, an abrupt

manner, together with words whose significance is unfriendliness—these can

easily provoke a charge of intolerance. To point out where a system of thought

is inadequate, however, is not “tearing it down.” The motto of Theosophists is:

“There is no religion higher than Truth,” and all philosophies must be able to

stand the most rigid and critical examination in its light, or they are

valueless. Everything must stand upon its own merits. If this is pointed out and

the talk is in the line of examination

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of merits, and the pointing out of demerits in the endeavor to reach the true,

no one can find fault. Candid, unprejudiced examination appeals to all.


Dogmatism is a failing of many. I think it is engendered by a feeling of

insecurity, in reality, while endeavoring to assure oneself and others of the

certainty of one’s correct knowledge. Of course there are other kinds, such as

the maintenance of one’s own opinion simply because it is one’s opinion—an

egotistical assertion. Dogma is said to be that which appears good and right to

one; Dogmatism, arrogance usually, is assertion. It always calls up to my mind

the idea of the assertion of a statement the proof of which is unattainable. One

may speak convincingly of that which to him is true, without incurring the

charge of dogmatism. When we are convinced of the truth of a matter, there is no

reason why we should not voice that conviction as strongly as the case demands,

but there is no reason why, in such case, we should demand acceptance of it. In

our case, we do not demand acceptance of Theosophy; we point out its principles

and their applications. Theosophy makes certain statements as being matters of

knowledge by perfected men, but not as statements to be believed. It is shown

that such knowledge, being acquired by Them from observation and experience in

many bodies, can be reached by all men, and the ways to do so are pointed out.

The reasonableness of the claim of knowledge takes the statement out of the

realm of dogma.

“Consciousness is ubiquitous, and can neither be localized nor centered on, nor

in, any particular subject, nor can it be limited. Its effects alone pertain to

the region of matter, for thought is an energy that affects matter in various

ways, but consciousness per se does not belong to the plane of materiality.”


Faith is really our confidence in the fact that Masters exist, and that Their

teachings are what we are following. If our study, so far, of Their philosophy

has not begotten that confidence, there is little hope for us—that is, if we

have already

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studied long. But if we have that confidence, and have realized benefit from

Their teachings, we can surely go on in full confidence; for it is only by

following the lines laid down by Them that we will ever know. It is not so much

a question as to what “we” promise to abstain from—that is, our intention to do

so— as a knowledge of the right course to pursue. No one compels us, and no one

will punish us, but “we” succeed or fail in accordance with our use of the

advice and suggestions freely given. Do we doubt our ability? As long as we

really do so, we shall never make much success. We learn to know our ability by

using it to the limit. Mistakes need not worry us, if they represent

conscientious and unwearied efforts—we can learn through the mistakes we make.

It is pure selfishness to desire to know that any advised course will benefit

us; advice can be given, but knowledge is acquired. Personal results should not

be looked for. We should do things because they are the right things to do, and

not because they will be of benefit to us. All our vacillations, fears and

despondencies arise from a personal attitude. This we must change, each one for

himself. No one can change it for us. The first step towards making the change

is the seeing of the necessity for it.


Many of the statements made by the Teachers are axioms to be applied, while at

the same time they are woven in with such reasoning as may suit the ordinary way

of thinking. Most people imagine and accept as fact, that there is but one way

of thinking—reasoning from premises to conclusions, and tabulating things in

order to find the cause. By the infinitude of tabulations they come to imagine

finally that Matter is every-thing and does all, because nothing is found that

can be “nailed down.” Science, Psychology and all other efforts that proceed

from particulars and are based upon them, fail. They fail for no other reason

than that they will not admit the existence of a true and full knowledge, or

that it could have existed in times preceding theirs. Has not the science of

every period held that theirs was the highest and most glorious that ever has

been, their civilization the grandest? If Western Science and Psychology would

go on

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with their painstaking effort in the light of the knowledge of the ages, the

spiritual and intellectual darkness would soon be overcome, and a civilization

come into being which would express the spiritual and intellectual in a true

physical life. What hinders? Intellectual pride hinders, together with the

cramping effect of false conceptions of religion which give a material bent to

thought, which makes a material life, heaven, hell, god—“idols made of mud.” It

is a wonder that life is as bearable as it is; or, it would be a wonder, if we

did not know that man is more than his experiences, his conceptions, or

philosophy, and that he does not follow out to its logical conclusions what he

adopts as his “religion.”


After an explosion of personality, and the ensuing reaction, a Disciple

sometimes resolves that in future he will not oscillate so much. This is not the

true position—it shows he expects to oscillate some. Of course if he expects to

oscillate, he will oscillate. It would be better to expect to hit the mark,

instead of expecting to miss it. There is a great difference in the

psychological position, as well as in the quality of the energy aroused. We

should cease doubting our power to accomplish. If we doubt, it will be like

trying to shoot an arrow with a loose bow-string—no force, and no certainty of

direction. When the bow-string is pulled taut, and let go, there is no

hesitation in the arrow. It goes where pointed and with the strength in the


The sincere desire to help others acts as a great inlet from our supersensuous

consciousness. More reliance on our inner nature, and the Power that is

conjoined with it, will bring forth fruit. Always the inner is the more perfect,

and this makes the apparent imperfections and inabilities of the outer more

obvious; but this very perception arouses the necessary effort to bring the

inner and outer into accord. We could not think, we were perfect or imperfect,

were we not actually above and beyond both. H. P. B. says, “The progress of the

Ego is a series of progressive

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awakenings.” Not being sticks nor stones, but human beings, we must “feel”

success or failure. The wisdom is shown in not being “swelled-up” by the one or

cast down by the other; we should make a steady, unvarying pursuit of that which

is seen to be right.


Every working student of Theosophy must sooner or later meet some Theosophical

“bumps.” These are all good as they come, for if we “bump” anything, it must be

because we are off the straight road, and “bumps” are of consequence only as

indications to us to look to our bearings. We would not feel them if we had not

a “compass” inside. The purpose of life is to learn and it is all made up of

learning; so these things, while they may not smile at the time, will be matters

to smile at later on. Among the Greeks it was said that when the Earth was

started rolling in space, the Gods burst into a fit of laughter, just to see the

thing go. So we, being those very Gods, can afford to smile at the follies we

meet, and go on with the work of promulgating correct ideas for those who are

able to receive them. We have to cultivate the attitude of mind spoken of in The

Bhagavad-Gita, of being undisturbed by anything that may come to pass. And these

disturbing things are the very means by which we arrive at that attitude.

We sometimes, perhaps often, feel our weakness, as we think. The weakness is not

that of our real Selves, the inner Man, but of that which we have leaned upon,

the false ego. If we remember that we are working with a portion of our powers

now—that portion which needs exercise and proper direction—in order to

assimilate it with what we really know and are, we shall feel more content to

await the full blossoming. The point of view from which we regard things

determines the kind and quality of action. The keeping in mind that the Masters

are not only Ideals, but Facts, and that all that H. P. B. and W. Q. J. have

written about Them was for our help and encouragement in the

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struggles that must be ours, brings us closer to Them, and makes us strong with

the power that flows from such reliance.


The best method to follow in trying to help our friends is to aid them to see

their obstacles. One way to do this is the in direct way—telling a story, for

instance, of somebody we know who thought or did thus and so; and telling it in

such a way as to arouse no suspicion in the mind of the one we are trying to

help. It requires finesse, but it can be done—and well. Of course, an obtuse

mind, engrossed in its own affairs, is sometimes best dealt with by the direct

method. The main point is, not to work for an opportunity, but to take it when

it comes.


Some students have never gotten down to a sound basis. There are many who call

themselves Theosophists who take this view of things: “The principles are as

good under any name.” This is quite true; but one soldier in the field is not an

army, and one principle is not an all-embracing philosophy. Theosophy points to

a fact—one of the utmost importance—namely, that there are Masters—our Elder

brothers, who have under the name of Theosophy given to the world a record of

the Laws that govern all the constituents of Man and of Nature. To take some of

the minor portions of this, and withhold from mankind the knowledge of the

whole, is an ignoring of the great fact itself—a fact sadly needed in the

world—as well as a prevention of the knowledge itself. Whether done consciously

or ignorantly, such action entails detrimental karmic results. It is no small


thing to stand between the Masters and Their work in an obstructive way. The

fact cannot be too often repeated that Theosophy is a record of knowledge, and

cannot be assimilated or understood if trimmed and modified in order to suit the

preconceptions and prejudices of the time or people; it is sui generis, and must

be so taken if benefit is to accrue from it.


People sometimes say they find a kind of “coldness” at a Theosophical meeting,

where principles of philosophy and their

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application to the affairs of daily life are discussed; they find more

“devotion” at the meetings of the various sects or cults, or even at other types

of meetings called “theosophical.” It would be interesting to know what such

people understand by “devotion.” They often doubtless refer to those types of

meetings where there is “meditation,” a sort of prayer-meeting where

psycho-religio emotions are aroused. The Teachers of Theosophy say, “The first

test of true discipleship is devotion to the interests of another.” So there are

different kinds of “devotion,” some of them to the personality. The real

meditation is not that.


Some Theosophists do not study; this makes them weak. They are often sincere,

but they do not work, nor feel the intense desire to do all that they can. On

this account they lose in every way. The work will not come without the feeling;

even working for personal results without the feeling would be futile. There is

but one way to progress—to cultivate the feeling that produces the work. This

both strengthens and improves the whole nature, and even the circumstances of

life. Again, other students have the devotional feeling, but center a

considerable amount of it in themselves. They need to forget themselves in

working for others, and to give all their thought, strength and effort to the

Cause they see to be true. This will include the personality as a means, not as

an end.


Is it not true that when the personal self is suppressed, the higher finds

expression? There is a leaning back, as it were, on the great Ocean of Life—the

SELF—and identification with personal ideas and feelings becomes non-existent.

When such times come we must beware of self-gratulation; the lower feeds and

waxes strong on this, and very often without our being sensible of it—yes, even

when we are trying to guard against it, or think we are. Nor is it well to talk

to others about these inner struggles, even to our best friends, for there is a

self-satisfaction engendered by it—so subtle is the nature of the personal. We


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learn to recognize things for what they are, in fact, and cease to value them in

the light of the opinions or feelings of others. Nor should we feel depressed.

In other words, we should not be affected by the depression of the lower nature,

for that is what is felt, and show no signs outwardly of the struggle going on



The life of the Disciple must be one of constant watchfulness, not merely of

others, but most of all of himself. Our tendency often is to separate our

Theosophical life from our personal life. But we cannot restrict our efforts


upon ourselves to include only those relations directly connected with our

active Theosophical work. In our home life and in our ordinary communications

there is more probability of our slacking down than in our public, student

relations. The personality has had home life and connections as its paramount

stamping-ground, and is more apt to give full play to its disposition there than

elsewhere. And this play can be carried on, apart from what we might call

inordinate self-assertion, in small and seemingly harmless methods of keeping

itself in evidence—such as telling others in the home what one is going to do in

regard to matters that are not necessary to communicate. When one comes to think

of it—and thinking of these things is necessary—such actions are just the

efforts of the personal nature to keep itself in evidence, trying to attract

attention to oneself in any way—by speech, by action, by calls for sympathy, by

assumed direction to others, by patronizing speech, and the thousand and one

ways that the personality keeps on tap, by means of which he keeps alive; for

when suppressed in one direction, he slyly emerges in some other way. “He” will

do this as long as we leave any loop-hole for “him.”

The foregoing may seem very restrictive and difficult, but it really is not. The

very feeling of “restriction” comes from the personality, not from the Ego. Some

Disciples who were trying, and trying very hard, have been known to draw

attention to the fact that they had overcome this and suppressed that—this is

the same old personality with another suit of clothes on. So it is

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best always not to speak about one’s self, “either as to what he shall eat,

drink, or wherewithal he shall be clothed.” Here are some good maxims, to apply:

“Never ask another to do for you what you can do for yourself;” “Know where your

things are and get them for yourself when you need them;” “Do for others all you

can in a nice way, but don’t expect others to do for you;” “You are valuable

only when you are helpful, not when you require help.” These will be found good,

if we try them out.


The animal is able to relate cause and effect in some directions, but perceives

little, if any, relation between different states. A cat out in the cold will

cry to come in, for instance; once in and warm, it will go out again with no

hesitancy, nor recollection of the state it had shortly before suffered in. Some

humans come perilously near to a similar state of existence, and all fall into

it in some degree. Most people identify the power to perceive with the act of

perception and thus lose right comprehension and application. “What shall arouse

them from the living body of this death?” Trouble, pain, sorrow, loss. In the

meantime, they are joined to their idols, and have to be let alone. “Theosophy

is for those who want it and for none others.”


If Consciousness is the only Reality, the Knower, Sustainer and Experiencer,

then every condition or state is more or less a temporary appearance. All

classifications refer only to actions of Consciousness—the universe being

“embodied consciousness,” a creation of forms, a building up of the great from

combinations of the small, so to speak. You will remember that H. P. B. says,

“It stands to reason that life and death, good and evil, past and future, are

all empty words, or, at best figures of speech. They are changes of state, in

fact, and no more. Real life is in the spiritual consciousness of that life, in

a conscious existence in Spirit—not matter.” She also said that she had in vain

endeavored to impart this idea to Theosophists at large, and that with this

basic idea all the rest becomes easy; yet thousands of Theosophists read-

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ing the statement and like statements, time and again, get no meaning from them.

Consciousness is the cause and basis of all states, whether the fact is realized

or not. It alone is whether there are universes or none. If we take the idea

that Sight which sees all things cannot see itself, and apply it to

Consciousness, we must concede that Consciousness cannot know itself, although

knowing all things. Is not Consciousness Knowledge itself as an abstraction? “It

is wisdom itself, the object of wisdom, and that which is to be obtained by

wisdom; in the hearts of all it ever presideth.” It is ever-present, ever

perceiving the changing panorama of existence. “I establish this whole universe

with a single portion of myself and remain separate.”

Our form of consciousness is made up of various and differing contacts with

other forms of consciousness. We base our modes of action upon these partial

expressions, and get the reaction from them in constant repetitions. As the Self

is all and in all things, and all things are in the Self, the Self is the

Witness of all. The seeming separate view in us is not a separate Self, but the

One and Same as appears separate in all creatures.

Self-knowledge comprises both Self and Knowledge; without Self there could be no

knowledge; without being there could be no knowledge of Self. “The Highest see

through the eyes of the lowest.” All are partial expressions of the One, seen by

the One, known by the One. Individualization of being does not tend to

separateness, but to universality of ideation and consequent action. What does

it? Thought does it. All experience is by and in Consciousness; Ideation becomes

more and more universal.

“And when unreality ceases to exist in the individual self, it is clear that it

returns towards the universal; hence there is to be a rejection of the

self-assertion and other characteristics of the individual self.”


As to our fellow students: we are apt to be mistaken in regard to their real

attitude towards us. It is so often our attitude towards them that presents to

us a false conception of theirs. That

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we all have defects is quite certain, and a defect of one kind is no better than

a defect of another kind. We notice defects in others, or what appear as such,

in much the same way as they may notice defects in us, and then on both sides

there is judgment of one another on the basis of the defects perceived. This is

the opposite of that respect for our fellow students which we ought to have,

because they are such, and all are working for a common purpose. We will readily

admit the common ground, but say at the same time that on no other basis would

we be at all congenial; so it must be true that there rests misunderstanding of

one another. What this may be has to be searched out by each one. There is

something that causes it. Is it fear, doubt, ambition, jealousy—or what? These

things we have to determine and act upon for ourselves, regardless of what any

other may do, or what we may have thought of that other. All this will keep us

so busy in watching ourselves that we will have no time nor inclination to take

offense at others. And all the time we will be raising ourselves to a higher and

better degree of discrimination and power to help in the best and most effectual

way the very ones whom we may have placed in a pigeon-hole that we have

specially constructed for them.

It is written that students are not selected because of their natural affinity

for one another, but for quite other reasons. Each student or disciple carries

with him some particular expression of racial defects, which on the surface

appear as points of dislike to others, and yet which have similar roots in each

student, so much alike that one could not tell them apart. So each has to dig

out the root, and when he has done this, the true nature shines forth and is

reflected in the others.


The desire to know the “whence, where and whither” of humanity springs from the

general “religious instinct,” the real basis of religion being in man’s own

spiritual nature. Religion does not arise outside of man, as the word itself

shows—from religere, to bind back. Religion is the binding back of all men and

all beings to the One Source of all. Real knowledge arose within man him-

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self as he perceived his real nature. Knowledge of man’s nature has always been

and has been restated from time to time by perfected men from other periods of

evolution. All forms of religion are pale and distorted copies of the original

statements upon which they are based, the Three Fundamental Propositions of



The greatest thing most students have to guard against is self-deception. The

versatility of lower Manas in this direction is beyond characterization. So we

have to watch to see whether our ostensible motives are not cloaks for other

underlying ones. While doing this, we should be serious but cheerful—not taking

“our selves” too seriously, but the task. itself as seriously as we can. By this

course we will gain insight and strength, if we never despair, never doubt—and

keep quiet, thoughtful and persistent, as well as cheerful, through it all.

Nothing is as bad as we think it is, nor ever will be.


People sometimes charge others with intolerance. Perhaps this accusation arises,

not on account of the statements actually made, but because of the tone and

feeling within and behind them. One can usually state his belief and

understanding, giving his reasons therefore, without arousing antagonism. This

is a good thing to strive for. Tolerance is good, if understood rightly; but

there are many strange ideas in regard to it. Some think it to be intolerance to

point out to others holding different views any errors of statement or fact. But

Truth never yet agreed with error, nor does error agree with error; Truth agrees

only with Truth. So if we firmly believe, and are convinced by fact and reason,

that we are in possession of Truth, it would be a false tolerance which would

withhold it in the face of error. Truth exists in the world for the purpose of

destroying error. Error is dogmatic and does not court close investigation.

Truth courts all and every possible investigation, and, calm in its certitude,

examines everything upon its merits, tests it by the standard of Truth. The

average mind of the day is still under the sway of superstition, of dogma and

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authority, and must remain so for some time to come. Meeting frequently those

who have broken loose from old forms to engulf themselves and, what is worse,

others in newer forms of the same old errors, we can but keep on the straight

path we know, making a trail that these very ones may follow in the future. We

need not be distressed that they cannot now see. Their time will come; for all

these things are provided for in the vastness of time. We have but to go on with

the Work.


At certain stages of his student life, the Disciple often feels that getting

away alone somewhere with regularity helps him keep his psychic balance. Surely

it is not a good thing for progress to depend upon externals for balance.

Thinking so only perpetuates the dependence, and cannot bring that inner

strength and perception which is so necessary. That dependence occasions

dissatisfaction at the majority of externals, and demands periodical changes,

none of which brings anything lasting. From all this a nervous tension is

produced which is corrosive and destructive, occupies the mind with one’s

fancied needs, and reacts injuriously on the body.

True strength lies within and can only be aroused and used by ceasing to think

that anything in particular of an external nature is necessary for us, in the

ordinary acceptation of the word. We have our place and our duty to fulfill and

perform; externals are our temporary opportunities, and we shall be wise to use

these rightly. Furthermore, we will do well if we take the attitude that “we”

are not necessary to others; that if we were gone they would miss us only for a

comparatively short time, and that other persons and things would finally fully

occupy their attention. Only when we have arrived at that state—the sooner the

better—where we stand self-centered in the true sense, and “upon nothing

depend,” can we realize our inner nature, and be of the greatest service in the

world of men. All of which means that our tendency is to exaggerate our

importance; and that is distinctly separative and obstructive to real knowledge

and effectiveness.

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Effective Theosophical work cannot be done unless there are found persons in the

world who can see the necessity for it and will fit themselves more and more to

supply the need. That certain persons find such an opportunity is their karma,

but what they do with the opportunity depends upon their realization of its

importance. Once we see something of what the Theosophical Movement means to the

world, we are necessary to it—not as persons—but because we see and do. The

Movement is accelerated by us to the extent we work for it, and hindered to the

extent that we, as it were, let it pull us along. Of course, if we were dead and

gone, or not able to grasp the great fact of such existence as the Lodge of

Masters and Their work in the world, the great Movement would be going on in

such measure as others— perhaps not so wise nor capable in many ways—might

afford. So, every student who will strive to make himself a fitting instrument

is necessary to the work, to his full capacity, Soul, Mind and Body. It is a

fact of tremendous significance to our personalities! If we are impressed with

the significance of it, and accept ‘ fight that only fortune’s favored soldiers

can obtain,” we will hesitate not at all, but seeing that the present basis of

action in the world is wrong will work with it as far as we must, while

ourselves thinking and acting from a very different basis. Our thoughts are our

thoughts; our lives are our lives, and both are devoted to our work. Having put

our hands to the plough, and seeing the field that needs cultivation, we may

push on in confidence and faith. More power is needed? It will come, if we will

just open those big hearts of ours and let “them” work.


The right kind of Theosophical talking comes only from practice. It is not

merely the use of a facile vocabulary, but the possession of well-digested ideas

that is necessary. These come only from constant study and application. Frequent

reading of articles by W. Q. J. develops the tendency to present the right ideas

in the simplest form, and these ideas become a mental storehouse which can be

drawn upon at will. It is not necessary that we understand the deeply

metaphysical concepts of Theosophy, as

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it is to comprehend the fundamentals and be able to make an application of them

to every problem of life. W. Q. J.’s articles will be found to contain

“alphabet, grammar, and composition,” or, in other words, a basis for right

ideas, right thinking and right application. A daily reading from his writings

is advisable. One who does this cannot help but imbibe—absorb—the spirit of

them, and become an exponent who is at once deep, simple and convincing.


The question of personality is so large that it might seem as though its

successful solution should resemble the working out of a complicated

mathematical problem. But the greatest truths are the simplest. And if we

reflect a moment on what impersonality is not, perhaps that will help us to see

what it is. Some orate forcibly against personality. That does not prove they

are free from it. Some say little, but the effect of what is said is to imply

that they are impersonal. They seem so modest, but are only politic. Some are

afraid to talk about personality, thinking that it must be shunned as an ogre.

Yet others preach a doctrine of impersonality which takes everything human out

of life and makes of it a cold negation. This doctrine has no patience with

evolution—all faults must disappear at a single stroke.

Impersonality isn’t talking; it isn’t silence; it isn’t insinuation; it isn’t

repulsion; it isn’t negation. Above all, it isn’t a diplomacy which masks



Impersonality means freedom from personality, but none of us are going to attain

that, right away; we are doing well enough if we are persistently, albeit

slowly, overcoming.

For practical purposes: if we are developing the child-heart; if we are learning

to love things beautiful; if we are becoming more honest and plain and simple;

if we are beginning to sense the sweet side of life; if we are getting to like

our friends better and extending the circle; if we feel ourselves expanding in

sympathy; if we love to work for Theosophy and do not ask position

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as a reward; if we are not bothering too much about whether we are personal or

impersonal—this is traveling on the path of impersonality. So much for the

individual. For the T. S. A. impersonality means not to worship itself as an

organization; to endeavor to get broader and freer; to merge itself, more and

more, into the living spirit of the movement— its higher self; to neither

despise itself because it is a form nor exalt itself because it has a soul; to

become less doctrinal and more human.

July 12, 1897.

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“Seek this wisdom by doing service, by strong search, by questions, and by

humility; the wise who see the truth will communicate it unto thee, and knowing

which thou shalt never again fall into error, o son of Bharata. By this

knowledge thou shalt see all things and creatures whatsoever in thyself and then

in me. Even if thou wert the greatest of all sinners, thou shalt be able to

cross over all sins in the bark of spiritual knowledge. As the natural fire, O

Arjuna, reduceth fuel to ashes, so does the fire of knowledge reduce all actions

to ashes. There is no purifier in this world to be compared to spiritual

knowledge; and he who is perfected in devotion find eth spiritual knowledge

springing up spontaneously in himself in the progress of time.”


Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter IV.





        Letter One

YOUR letter of ‘Wednesday is here; a good brave letter, and true all through,

covering the ground. Yes, if we were quite certain that They were on hand always

to pull us out of holes we walk into carelessly, or have made possible by past

neglect, we would never become as They are. All the same we are helped, and in

the right way, the way our nature needs, not necessarily according to the way we

assume would be the proper one. If helped at all, it must be so. “Ingratitude is

not one of our vices,” is Their written statement, and it is lived up to; the

very best that can be done for us is done, and being done all the time. At times

we may doubt, but this arises from the personal uncertainty, fear of some or

another kind of consequence. We should take it that whatever arises is a

necessary position for us to be in, in order for us to do further and greater

work for Them. This must be, if we are true to Them; so, while doing all we can

to make the way sure and clear according to our light, we step forward with

strength and boldness because the Path is ours and Theirs. We lay our strength

and our weaknesses on the altar of sacrifice. Does not the Gita say “Place all

thy works, failures and successes alike, on me”? The fact that some are

recognized as bad means their relinquishment, sooner or later. The reason for

this seems plain; if we waited till we were saints, would we ever begin? We

would not. So, recognizing this interiorly—if not in words—we go on and keep

going. This is the gist of your letter, and it warms me up to have you write it.

This is a school and everything that comes for us to do contains a lesson for

us. ‘We should not forget that, ever. What comes

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at any time contains in it the thing we need; so whether it seems hard,

troublesome, or pleasant, there is something in it for us. Also it is well to

bear in mind that W. Q. J. says in the “Spiritual Will,” that the essence of

eradicating the personal element lies in doing the things we dislike to do.

Fortunately for us, we don’t have to hunt them up. They come to us right along.

If we had to hunt them, we might let a lot of them go by, as not the right kind,

or for some other reason. Being Arjunas, we have the battles ready to our hand.

There comes a time in our development when work seems useless and irksome, but

W. Q. J. says, “the disciple must work,” notwithstanding. I think that in the

irksome work is the clearing up of Karma, and clarification of the sheaths. We

are doing it all, bearing it all, for the Self. It is by the giving up of self

that the White Adept becomes. That which galls, that which hurts, is the

personal desire unattained, or feared to be unattainable. We know it very well,

but find the pressure hard many times. We also know that “realization comes from

dwelling on the thing to be realized;” so we have to keep on, and “dwell” as

much as we possibly can. Every effort brings the time of realization nearer.

I was amused at the remark of the lady, “If we could see on the astral plane, we

could find there that H. P. B. made mistakes.” I would say, “Perhaps if we could

understand English, our mother tongue, and could understand the simplest

information in regard to a thing we had never heard before, and knew the very

first laws of Occultism, we would keep silence, try to learn, and refrain from

showing our ignorance.” This “parrot-talk” has a tendency to make me “tired.” I

have heard it before, and I am not gentle with it as I am with other things. It

is so unspeakably silly; I often quietly say things that tend to startle such

people out of their goose-like assurance. (You have seen geese and heard them!)

These people should be told to stop taking as a fact what other people tell

them, and if they want to know anything, go study the history of the Movement

from every point of view. We have done it, and are giving out the result, which

they can

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verify if they choose. What we are giving cannot be refuted in any way but by

that history, assimilated and understood. We stand on the whole record, without

omissions or interpolations. Of course, the study needs a modicum of power to

understand the meaning of words and their application; if they have it not, then

they would better follow some “leader” or another until they have acquired it.

This is not their class.

When the lady asked if never lectures on “what Theosophy is,” it would have been

a great opportunity to have her tell what it is. I imagine she would have

exposed her ignorance. Such people—many of them—think that talk about Lemuria

and Atlantis, Parabrahm, the Logoi, Pitris and what not, is Theosophy; none of

them understand even what they talk about. No very explicit information was

given out by H. P. B., and there is none other to be had. The races are simply

sketched so as to give a general comprehension of the history and nature of the

preceding races; if we knew every detail about them, it would not help us any.

True knowledge does not lie in the direction of book-study, as we know, and as

doubtless you have told them.

The — were asking last night in respect to the “Declaration.” I had said at one

time that the very words were Mr. Judge’s; they evidently got the idea that he

had “communicated” the Declaration to me. I told them that I had been looking

for the right thing to put Out as a Declaration of Principles and that while on

that hunt, you had sent me the very thing I wanted, further explaining that the

Messengers had left all that was necessary for us, and that it was for us to

apply the right things at the right time and places. thought that was rather

discouraging, evidently thinking that we should have direction in ways and

means. I tried to show we could not do any good, if directed in everything; we

would not grow in discrimination, power and judgment; we would be but automata,

and would never fill the necessary place. No doubt we would be helped by

readjustment rather than direction, so we should not look for the latter, but

using our best Theosophical judgment, move forward, feeling sure that if our

understanding of the nature of the task is good,

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and our motive pure, the right way will appear to us. Such would be guidance of

the right sort, one that leads to growth. Should it be necessary to have

“direction” at any time, we may be sure that it, also, will come. In the

meantime we live and learn; and we should not forget that They and we are

working for the future, and for the same end.



Letter Two

Glad that you had such a good and large meeting, and that your courage increases

as time goes on. You would not have believed a year ago that such progress in

the work and in understanding could be made in the time elapsed. Think of the

numbers of souls awakened and set upon the right path by going the way yourself

and pointing it out to others. This is something that falls to the very few.

“Just to thy wish the door of heaven is found open before thee, through this

glorious unsought fight which only fortune’s favored soldiers may obtain.” The

kind of fighting was not our choosing, but was and is that of fortune’s favored

soldiers; the end of the battle is not seen until the enemy has surrendered. He

may be defeated in one place to stand and give battle in another; so the fight


keeps on because a soldier of the Kshatriya tribe has no duty superior to lawful

war. War is his business, and he should find joy in the battling with

difficulties presented to him to try his courage, to test his strength and

endurance. “Make pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, the same

to thee, and then prepare for battle, for thus and thus alone shalt thou in

action still be free from sin.”

I can readily imagine the troubles found in getting people to really study; as a

rule, the necessity is not perceived, and this, I think, on account of the

present methods of education wherein the soul and mind are considered as mere

recorders. Is it not strange that plain statements are not grasped, that the

superficial meanings of words are taken to be the applications of them? All

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of which is chargeable to our modern educational methods. Most men think that

when they have heard a statement made, they know it.

Some one or two may wake up, among a number of those interested, and therein

lies the hope; also we know that those who merely listen or read with attention

get something in the way of a trend that sometime will develop into greater

things. It is not labor lost, although results at times do not appear to be

commensurate with the effort put forth. We make the effort, and the effort

brings results: this is enough. We may not look for any specific kind of

results, but keep on doing the best we know and can; this includes all proper

ways and means open to us.

What you say about Consciousness is right, as I see it. There is consciousness

and its perceptions, the latter becoming more and more objective creations on

different planes of matter on account of the Creative, Preservative and

Destructive powers inherent in Consciousness, or, more properly, the Self.

‘Whatever state of consciousness the Perceiver may be in, the things of that

plane are for the time being his only realities.” It is all relativity and here

is where the knowledge of the Real and the Unreal frees from bondage. The whole

universe exists only for purposes of Soul. Soul is individualization of Being;

we, as self-conscious beings, have to remain in the bondage of matter long

enough to give lower segregated entities the necessary impetus toward self-

consciousness. The majority do this work unconsciously, partly right and partly

wrong. It is possible to do it consciously and free from attachment, as well as


A good comprehension of the processes is wise and necessary, for the sake of

others who need to see that the way of devotion is not that of merely being

good. The books of devotion contain the rules of war, the duties—individual and

collective—of the warrior, the right conduct in the field. Moreover, they give

the maps of battle-grounds where the foe is to be met, and tell how the battle

should be fought—to win. All the works of the Teachers have their places, and

all of Them had a particular work

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to do. Those who think that the Teachers can be pigeon-holed— as some do—have

failed to grasp the meaning of the Movement. We can see how the work of one

Teacher so clearly and so beautifully complemented that of the other. You

remember what H. P. B. wrote to W. Q. J.: “As you in America will prevail, if

you only remain staunch to Master’s program.” There is no way under heaven by

which we shall know that program except through the record left by those Two.

The more we proceed on the line we are going, the more clear does it show itself


to be according to the “program.




Letter Three

I am rejoiced that you find lessons in all these things that come to pass: this

is the realizing of the meaning of life. Most people take it to mean eating,

drinking, waking, sleeping, enjoying, doing business for gain in order to do

these things—and learning nothing, frittering away opportunities, multiplying

difficulties, avoiding by every possible means those things from which they

might learn.

Our attitude should be that if there is work and we can do it, we must,

regardless of results; we know that the Law takes care of them, without thought

or effort on our part, and with exactitude undisturbed by our sentiments. We see

that and admit it, yet fear to trust, even when we know that there is nothing

else that can be done by us.

One finds spiritual knowledge springing up spontaneously within him, not because

of his mental exertions, but because of his “attitude of mind.” “Place thy heart

on me as I have declared myself to be, serve me, offer unto me alone, and thou

shalt come to me; I swear it, for thou art dear unto me.” Krishna calls these

“my supreme and most mysterious words”; he adds, “He who expoundeth this supreme

mystery to my worshippers shall come to me if he performs the highest worship of

me, and there shall

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not be among men any one who shall serve me better than he, and he shall be

dearest unto me of all on earth.” What determines it? Thought determines it.

Motive determines it.

I am glad that you wrote R— and put it up squarely. I think that was the right

thing to do; if it hurt personal pride for you to do it, the hurt showed the

need. A sore place like that is not right; some massaging will not do it any

harm. The fact that you felt better after writing shows you knew that it was the

right thing all the time, but hesitated, like the boy with the tooth and the

string. The personality is what you say—a “peach.” It can play all parts, from

lord of all creation to Uriah Heep, as its occasion requires, and the man is

involved in its pretensions. But he learns, and some time Mr. Personality will

be “out of a job”; “there won’t be no such thing”; instead, there will be a

whole man.

I can understand the trepidation that arises in such a transaction as you

mention; one does not want to make a mistake because of the large loss that

would be incurred, and yet one must decide to do or not to do. The nature of

your business contemplates a certain amount of risk based on the probable action

of others. It is a sort of gamble; probabilities are better in some cases than

in others, but in any, there is no certainty to be obtained. To be able to

determine accurately one would have to know all the converging factors, to see

them all in their several courses, and this is not possible to us; so we have to

guess on probabilities to a great extent. It is this uncertainty which un nerves

us. We do not want to make a loss, and we do not want to lose a business

opportunity. The only course left, is seems to me, is to determine whether it

would be considered a fair risk; if so, we would be justified in taking it,

because there is no way by which results can be absolutely assured. Our judgment

would then be centered on the quality of the risk, leaving results to general

average—that being all that we can do.

The Conditioned is surely unlimited in its capacity for wrong action, but we

might remember that the Unconditioned does not and cannot act. “The Self acts

only through its creatures;” the

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conditioning is collective. The conditioned has also to exercise its capacity

for right action; its ascertained errors lead in this direction, and the

possibilities are also unlimited. All being is conditioned, but in it there is

an infinite variation. If we rise out of one set of conditions we are in

another. The secret would seem to be non-identification with conditions of any

kind, while working in and with those which on any plane surround us, improving

our judgment and discrimination in regard to them all the time, as well as the

instrument in use on that plane, giving the conscious lives of which that

instrument is composed the right direction.

Had we transcended physical conditions, we should not be trammelled by them,

would not be in them, except by choice. Even then we could not do other than put

ourselves under their operations and limitations, in order to gain a full

comprehension of them in all their bearings upon those in that condition by

necessity. We have to abide by the rules of whatever game we are playing; at the

same time we may know better games.

It is good to have that “touch of heart” which transcends time, space and

conditions. I fully appreciate it, and you know that it exists on my part. Love

to you and the highest success in your endeavors.




Letter Four

While situations are not always agreeable, or what we would choose, yet they are

the very apparatus by means of which we learn discrimination; you know that.

Seeming misfortunes turn into blessings if taken right; this must be true if the

purpose of life is to learn. Everything that comes is a part of life, and when

it comes to us, it is a part of our life; so all must be right for us if our

object is to learn. If people could only look at it in that way, they would

learn more, get through with less friction, be happier, and, in reality, have

fewer difficulties to surmount; the necessity for learning ceasing, no means are

drawn to us for that

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purpose. It is Karma, all of it, and as students we should realize and benefit

by the knowledge. But it takes time for most to do so, and opportunities are

lost and energy uselessly expended in the meantime. Our work is with ourselves,

however, and we can do only what we can for others, giving them such

opportunities as are beyond us to take; then they must choose. W. Q. J. said

there are two things needed—to hold on firmly, and to have perfect confidence. I

think therein lies the door to a safe refuge. (He used the words “hold on

grimly”—which is more expressive of determination.)

It is true that when we are relying on other things, we are not relying on the

law. Yes, it looks a good deal darker than it really is. We have to grow

accustomed to another kind of light, and we shall then see as plainly, or more

so, than before. The very sacrifices made to relieve the trials of others are

also tests for ourselves, and means of growth, growth coming from the sacrifice

of the lower to the higher in every way, as well as on every plane of being. It

is spiritual fire that burns out all the dross. At no time is the way easier,

but it is sure, and the refining goes on. If we must go down, it will be with

our flags flying, fighting to the very last. That is the worst that could

happen, and even that is not very bad for us, though others might suffer because

of our removal to another field. We may now regret the possibility, but then we

would not, because no more could be done.

Also, your thought that we are not deserted must be right. Too often we think

all depends upon our effort and continuance; yet we must know that all these

things are provided for, and there are always those who are near us, who see and

know, and will never fail us, even though we have to go through the gates of

death to get a wider vision and understanding. All the trial and training tend

to pull us out of one place in order that we may lay hold of another and better

one, when we determine to “suffer or enjoy whatever the Higher Self has in store

for one by way of discipline and experience.” It is the Higher Self that pulls

us into places and conditions that the personality would run in affright

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from, if it alone were acting. It shrinks from the unknown like the steed, but

the rider by spur, bridle, and encouragement makes it carry him where he desires

to go, for he knows where food, shelter, and rest await both.

In this work natures are intensified; good and bad come to the surface, but the

cleansing process is gradual. Each must do his own work of elimination where

such is seen to be needed; it is a process of purpose and discrimination, and

events bring us opportunities. Wise are those who take advantage of

opportunities and examine motives in the handling of events.

The Law works in strange ways at times; it is never idle and it makes no

mistakes. Let us rely on IT, for there is nothing else on which we may. If I

were utterly worthless, your love and faith and courage would bring results to

you just the same, and your sacrifice to an ideal bring out in you all that the

ideal holds. And when it is Truth itself we seek and serve, nothing can dismay

us or turn us aside. It is much to have gained this understanding—worth its cost

ten thousand times.




Letter Five

You have it right about passing from plane to plane daily but relating

everything to the brain circle of necessity and thus losing the meanings. I

think both a dwelling on the fundamentals and a giving it to others is what

produces the best results. W. Q. J. says, ‘ it (the Will) is freed from the

domination of desire and at last subdues the mind itself. But before the

perfection of the practice is arrived at, the will acts according to desire,

only that desire is for higher things and away from those of material life.” The

ordinary events and duties of the day do become fatiguing and harassing to the

earnest student by the very nature of the change of attitude and plane of

action, and of the changes going on in the body itself; but this has to be

overcome. The disciple must work, must do every duty, not in order to get it

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done, but as though his whole interest were in it and it were the only thing to

be done. This, you will see, is because desire is working in the new field.

As to memory: you see that memory is a faculty of perceiving registration.

Registration is there, but oftentimes remote from the plane of perception, the

impression being pressed upward, as it were, from below. Physical memory can be

trained to greater effectiveness, a close observation and notation of every

thing and every circumstance being the principal agent. We have many careless

habits of letting things impress us without definite notation. For instance,

people often look at their watch and put it back in the pocket; then, being

asked, “What time is it?” have to look again, being unable to tell. In such

cases, the object was to see what time it wasn’t, and observation went no

further in the way of notation. To carefully note things and not allow the

notation to affect our proper course of conduct—that is, to note impersonally—is

studying the hearts of men who make up the world in which we live; is studying

man as a whole, in fact, for the whole is made up of the parts. Such an attitude

neither judges nor condemns, but votes, in order to help understandingly. This

careful notation works both ways, inwardly as well as outwardly, and tends to

effectiveness of the physical registry. Motive counts in this as well as

elsewhere; otherwise, it might descend to “peering about.” One sees without

giving any indication of having done so, and without the slightest intention of

making any personal use of perception so gained. When we can read the thoughts

of others, such knowledge is never used to the detriment of others but ever for

their benefit and with wisdom; like the saying of the Masons, it is “locked in

the safe and sacred repository of the heart.”

I think you have the understanding of “Look not behind or thou art lost.” The

context says, “Kill in thyself all memory of past experiences.” If we do not do

this, we live in them and rejuvenate them. Having in the past made a deep

impression, while we have now increased our power of thought, they are re-lived

with increased power and expression. Reliance on the Self— “That Thou Art”—is

the way out. “As we admit the reality of the

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Higher Self, we should embrace the idea, dwell on it day in and day out until

the will and desire naturally incline to it and have it as the subtone or aim of

thought. This process will make the line of influence brighter and better with

every thought. When the influence grows strong it pervades the entire nature and

strengthens as well as improves. It will give knowledge and also energy. This is

the real and only road to the Masters, the Adepts, the Mahatmas.”

What you say is true, that any other position than that of the Self is all the

more disastrous because temporarily strong. Whatever a man relies upon, to that

he goes; he, only, who relies upon the Self is not subject to rebirth. It does

require an immortal courage to have an immortal point of view, and to hold to it

while watching and guiding the lower forces in unity, for the Self of All. The

Spiritual Will cannot act so long as there is any selfishness in the action or

the desire for its results. The only way out is renunciation of self-interest in

the fruits of actions, and while the perfection of renunciation may not now be

ours, growth in that direction is always possible, and each modicum of growth

makes for better attainment.

It is well to have recognized that for a long time the hidden activity of the

spiritual aspiration manifests most in the increased activity of the lower

nature, and this may also mean in the circumstances of life. It is the hastening

of Karma, which may be good quite as well as what we might be disposed to call ‘

Karma. Good Karma is that which is pleasing to Iswara; bad Karma is that which

is displeasing to Iswara—the best definition of the two kinds.

We need not mind what we have not done nor yet what we have done. Have care only

for what we are doing; so shall we best work and serve. Like St. Paul, we find

the spirit willing but the flesh weak, yet the latter gets stronger all the

time. It looks weaker than it is because of the higher standard of judgment we

apply to it. Always the inner is the more perfect, and it is that which does the

work of perfecting. He who seeth that all his actions are performed by nature

only and that the Self within

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is not the actor sees indeed.” Our Declaration says, “A truer realization of the

Self, a profounder conviction of universal brother-hood.” We are beginning to

realize what those words mean, and we realize it by teaching it and endeavoring

to live it.

The Perceiver having to be understood as changeless troubles a good many. This

is because we identify that which perceives with its perceptions. Each person

has what he calls his mind, but many think that the present attitude of mind is

the Perceiver, although he had other attitudes at one time, and will have still

others because He changes his mind as He perceives need for such change. The

mind is therefore only his instrument for comprehending things and natures on

the plane upon which it is used. That instrument can be strengthened and

improved; it is and must be something permanent which uses, strengthens, and

improves the instrument. The mind might be likened to a telescope in use by the

Man, the Perceiver, in order to be able to perceive the nature of the things

about him. He can act only in accordance with what He perceives through the

telescope. If the telescope is not properly adjusted or out of focus, the

perception will be out of true, and wrong action will follow. The Perceiver must

there-fore learn, by experience and through the experience of others like

himself with similar instruments, the proper adjustment and focussing of the

instrument upon which right perception and action depend. If he became any

particular perception or perceptions gained through his instrument, he would

immediately lose all relation with other possible attitudes to be obtained,

together with those that have been obtained.




Letter Six

You ask about the Ego leaving the astral body. I think that the best

comprehension of the subject can be had by analogy. ‘When one is said to be

asleep, the Manas or mind is no longer receiving nor transmitting impressions

through the body; he

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passes into the dreamless state, where he functions as a spiritually

self-conscious being until the cycle of return comes to function through the

body again. Now if we regard death as a more complete sleep, a final one for

that body, the Ego would simply cease forever to function through that body; the

linga sarira or “form” astral would immediately begin to disintegrate, remaining

with the body until its last particle, except the skeleton, is dissipated. The

Ego, however, is no more tied to the one than to the other; the Kama Rupa, or

desire form, aggregates itself from the skandhas or tendencies of the lower

nature clothed in astral matter (not the linga sarira), and the Ego ascends to

Devachan clothed in his highest essence. The Kama Rupa quickly or slowly fades

out, according to the grossness of the nature of the man in life, but its

“seeds” remain, awaiting the return of the Ego from Devachan. As the Ego while

inhabiting a body, and during the sleep of the body, may ascend to Devachanic

regions without hindrance by the fact of the existence of that body or the

desires pertaining to it, so, after the death of the body, the Ego is not held

by the disintegrating process of his lower principles, but may quickly pass

through the kama-lokic (dreaming) to the Devachanic state. The kama-rupa is but

the mass of desires and passions, abandoned by the real person who has fled to

“heaven.” Yet, as some dream more than others and in different ways, there is a

period of greater or less extent before the segregation of the kama-rupa is

complete, before the Triad is entirely free. You will note that Mr. Judge

writes, “When the separation is complete (between the body that has died, the

astral body and the passions and desires) . . . the Higher Triad . . .

immediately goes into another state.”

If it is remembered that the real Man is the Perceiver of all states, the

different states will simply mean his perceptions on different planes. When he

finally leaves his lower principles or instruments, he has no further

perceptions of those sorts, but has others of a higher sort. He never ceases to

perceive, while in manifestation, on any plane; he simply changes the direction

of perception. While occupying a body and during waking hours, he is affected by

the stimuli received through the body; after the body

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sleeps, he is affected by the repetition of the stimuli more or less during the

dream; these die out and he is free as Ego on a still higher plane. At death

these have a wider range, each of the lower principles beginning to disintegrate

immediately upon the death of the body, for it was the field of their operation.

Body of itself has no consciousness, no power of perception; it is the gross,

concrete, earthly part with which we contact earthly things. One of the Teachers

wrote, “Chelaship does not Consist in any kind of eating or drinking, in any

practices, observances, forms, or rituals; it is an attitude of mind.” Another

Teacher said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all the rest shall be

added unto you.” The reason for this is that it is the mind which is involved.

If we resort to practices, then the mind is bent upon them, becomes more and

more implicated in them, and as they are concrete things, the mind becomes of

that complexion. Jesus said, “Be ye not as the Pharisees who make clean the

outside of the platter.” The inner nature has a diet out of our thoughts and

motives. If those are low or gross or selfish, it is equivalent to feeding that

nature upon gross food. True Theosophic diet is therefore of unselfish thoughts

and deeds, untiring devotion to the welfare of Humanity, absolute negation of

self, unutterable aspiration to the Supreme Soul. This only is what “we can grow

upon, and vain are the hopes of those who pin their faith on any other


As to bodily food. It is that which best agrees with you, taken in moderation,

neither too much nor too little. If your Constitution and temperament will

permit vegetarianism, then that will give less heat to the blood. “If from

illness or long habit a man cannot go without meat, why, by all means let him

eat it. It is no crime; it will only retard his progress a little; for after all

is said and done, the purely bodily functions are of far less importance than

what a man thinks and feels, what desires he encourages in his mind and allows

to take root and grow there.” (H. P. B.)

I am saying so much on this subject because experience has shown that it is so

easy for students to slip into bodily observances and stay there; this is the

wrong end to begin on. It is best

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not to make any particular selection as to diet; take what best agrees with you

and sustains your body best. There is nothing in vegetarian diet to create

spirituality. The Hindus who have been vegetarians for centuries are, for the

most part, degraded, and the better portion have as much difficulty as the

western man in the acquirement of spiritual knowledge. Also, cows and sheep

would be spiritual if such food had that kind of effect. It is the motive that

counts, too, in anything. If a person stops eating meat in order that he may, by

complying with that condition, attain to a development he has set before him, he

misses the mark and has acquired a selfish motive for the line thus adopted.

Also, of course, you should know that it has proved to be a real danger for

western peoples, whose digestive organs have become habituated to a meat diet,

to change to a vegetarian one. The trouble does not arise from weakness

following lack of meat, but from imperfect digestion causing disease—due to the

retention in the stomach of vegetable matter for so long a time that yeasts and

other growths, including alcoholic fermentations, are thrown into the

circulation, sufficiently to bring on nervous diseases, tuberculosis, and

manifold other derangements. It is well known that a man who has melancholia due

to systemia cannot expect to reach a high development in occultism.

The first thing, then, is to have the right kind of thoughts; the other, and by

far the least important, is diet, in which the main thing to be observed is, eat

whatever will keep the body in the best working condition, so that it may be as

effective an instrument for work in the world as possible. It is quite true that

the foods of the present time are not ideal. In the future better products will

be had, but they will come from right thinking; our present work is to think

from a right basis and become established in that basis, and assist others to do

likewise. From this will flow what is in accord with it, from within, outward—a

natural growth.

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Letter Seven

No one who sees his mistakes can be a hopeless case. The moment we see that we

are deluded, that moment we are no longer deluded, although we may be surrounded

by the consequences of delusion and have to work through them. Any trouble and

hindrance come from self-identification With delusion and mistakes; this is the

delusion of delusions.

The way you are furnishing the motive power for the business is great. One feels

less and less desire for the things of this world, but he must work. It is

Karma, and Karma is Dharma—duty; duty, not ‘inclinations,” is what is required

of us. The motive is duty, not love of the game as it is played; we would not

play for love of it. But if we aspire to become as Masters are, we work as those

do who work for themselves and for ignoble aims. We work just as they do, but

our work is not theirs.

It is well to keep the mind off the future as much as possible, as far as

results are concerned, and to concentrate on the immediate work in hand; do that

and the rest will follow and find you ready to go on with it—whatever it may be.

Above all, avoid being carried away by the excitement of effort; be calm and

confident; cultivate calmness and confidence; by them one preserves his best

judgment and highest powers. Each day contains no more than a day’s work; each

day contains so many hours for the appointed work; let each day and hour be

attended to as it arrives. Avoid useless sacrifice of thought and effort;

conserve energies; work without strain.

If help is to come into the Movement we have at heart, the ways by which it will

come are provided, and the opportunities will be presented. All we have to do is

to take advantage of the opportunities, step by step, as they arrive, doing the

best we know, but fearing no failure, courting no success. Keep the attitude “I

am doing nothing” before you; it will serve to lessen the strain

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that makes you tired. Take the position that everything is going to be for the

best, and that your part is to perform whatever comes before you to do. It then

becomes the performance of duty, and should arouse no more strain than routine

work. And build no castles in the air: they cause only fear of their

destruction, and in themselves are useless. Take what Karma brings you and make

good use of it. Karma will bring to us what belongs, so there can be no cause

for worrying over any future. There is need only that we hold all our powers in

readiness to make good use of what is brought to us, and this is best done by a

quiet, calm, confident performance of what we are able to do, day by day, from

day to day.

I am glad that M— is getting on right lines. Hope that he will get on a straight

line of thought and action. So many mystical minds from their love of mystic

meanings turn over the dust heaps of times when hidden meanings were absolutely

necessary, and overlook the clear unequivocal truth which is before their very

eyes. This is lack of discrimination. If they studied the work of the Lodge down

the ages, they would know better than to spend much time on past efforts, the

only record of which is found in the impress made on minds of the time, and they

would at once take up the lines laid down in the present effort.

Yes, it is war; but not against persons. War for the Truth— the eternal ideas,

the eternal thought in the Eternal Mind; war against error, cant and hypocrisy.

When the Eternal Verities are presented to the world, they are always presented

through persons. Some worship or lean on the persons; others curse, defame or be

little them; none of these look at what is brought forward and handed on. So,

too, when error is pointed out, it has to be designated and names used to

specify; again, the thoughtless see an attack upon persons. In an age of

“personality,” the ordinary mind cannot see beyond it, unless care is taken on

each occasion to explain it. The war is to help “personalities” to become

“living souls.” It is the Mahabbarata—the Holy War. Ideas are ideas by whomever

written or expressed; so, they can flow through anyone who is in the right

condition. We find

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Theosophical ideas in every direction, in all classes of thought, speech, and

writing; pieces here and there are as good as any that Theosophy gives, but

there is no synthesis. Theosophy is synthetic and spells unity in diversity, the

diversity being only apparent, not real. “Meanwhile the world of real Occultists

smiles silently, and goes on with its laborious process of sifting out the

living germs from the masses of men. For occultists must be found and fostered

and prepared for coming ages when power will be needed and pretensions go for


When we consider—as we must—that our individual lives stretch back for untold

ages, and have an illimitable future, and that the present bodily existence is

but one small aspect of that great continuous Being, we rise above the

temporary, while acting in it, and, seeing more of the right proportions and

relativities, are less involved or troubled by “what may come to pass.” This of

itself is much to have gained; it gives the steadiness of the warrior in the

fight. “Forget not this lesson, the spiritual man is in this world to get rid of

defects. His external life is for this only, hence we are all seen at a

disadvantage.” Looking at life from this point of view, everything that comes is

an opportunity to be taken advantage of by that “spiritual man,” and in

everything we find that “glorious unsought fight that only fortune’s favored

soldiers may obtain.”

You will remember what W. Q. J. wrote: “None of us, and especially those who

have heard of the Path, or of Occultism, or of the Masters, can say with

confidence that he is not already one who has passed through some initiations,

with knowledge of them. We may already be initiated into some higher degree than

our present attainment would suggest, and are undergoing a new trial unknown to

ourselves. It is better to consider that we are, being sure to eliminate all

pride of that unknown advance we have made.” We may all take comfort and

encouragement from what is there said, for it may be especially true of those

who are fired with zeal for Master’s work. Well, I will close now; grieve not,

fear not, but cut all doubts with the sword of knowledge.

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Letter Eight

What you say about “incarnations like H. P. B. and W. Q. J. being evidently

governed by conditions widely different from ordinary humanity” is correct. If

we would look at the bodily H. P. B. as a mirror which reflected from above and

from below as well, giving back to each who confronted it his own reflection

according to his nature and power to perceive, we might get a better

understanding of her nature. To the discriminative, it was a well of

inspiration; in it the commonplace, the Judas, the critic, and every other saw

himself reflected. Mighty few caught a glimpse of the real individuality. Each

got the evidence that he sought. We have the Master’s words that the body of H.

P. B. was the best that they had been able to obtain for many centuries. Those

who looked at the body and its human characteristics got what that view was

capable of giving them; those who looked at the mind behind got what came from

it, in the degree of their comprehension; those who were able to look into the

causes of things saw what their depths of sight gave them—more or less of Truth.

“By their fruits, shall ye know them.”

The Jews are still looking for a coming Messiah. It is very, very few who

discover the “Presence,” and among them, even, the tendency is to relate it to

the present times and surroundings only, and so miss the greater scope. Many

years after such Visits, one here and there begins to see landmarks that

indicate that “some one of importance” has been among the people; but they too

relate everything to their “present time.” And so it goes, each “discoverer”

putting his construction on the facts, while there results an exoteric

degradation of Truth—a regard of events and persons, rather than an

understanding of truths imparted; finally, someone else has to come, facing

similar treatment. All the time, however, and each time, an impress is made upon

the thought of the age and humanity gains a little: there is no other way.

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It is interesting to turn to the “Esoteric Character of the Gospels,” by H. P.

B. “Theosophists—at any rate some of them— who understand the hidden meaning of

the universally expected Avatars, Messiahs, and Sosioshes and Christs—know that

it is no end of the world, but the consummation of the age—that is, the close of

the cycle—that is fast approaching.”

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 was written November and December, 1887,

and January, 1888. She said, “There are several remarkable cycles that come to

a close at the end of this century

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 nineteenth  . First, the 5,000 years of the Kali-Yuga cycle; again, the

Messianic cycle of the Samaritan (also Kabalistic) Jews, of the Man connected

with Pisces. It is a cycle historic and not very long, but very occult, lasting

about 2155 years, but having a true significance only when computed by lunar

months. It occurred 2410 and 255 B. C. or when the equinox entered into the sign

of the Ram, and again into that of Pisces. When it enters, in a few years, the

sign of Aquarius, psychologists will have some extra work to do, and the psychic

idiosyncrasies of man will enter on a great change.” This “great change” I think

can be stated in three words:

Susceptibility to suggestion, good, bad or indifferent. Look about you and see

if this is not so. Are the “Messiahs” of today using suggestion? And was there

ever a time when men should use their reason more than at the present time,

based upon the widest possible consideration of facts collected for humanity?

Jesus said, “Take heed lest no man lead you astray, for many shall come in my

name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and shall lead many astray.

If any man shall say unto you, ‘Behold, he is in the wilderness,’ go not forth;

‘behold he is in the inner chambers,’ believe them not. For as the lightning

(light) cometh from the East, and is seen even in the West, so shall be the

presence of the Son of Man.” The esoteric savior is no man, but the divine

principle in every human being. What is needed is a knowledge of the Path that

leads to Him or It. The foolish look for a “Man”; the wise look for a “Message.”

Few know the Messenger when He comes, but it is possible for many to know a true

Message by putting it to every conceivable test. The “Messiah” has come and

gone; but

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He has left the “Comforter”—His Message. He will return, but not for several

generations of men. It is possible for men to get at the truth of these things

if they will take the trouble to make the search in all sincerity.

H. P. B. said, “Do not follow me nor my path; follow the Path I show, the

Masters who are behind.” This she knew to be the safe course for all, for each

one will judge of the words and deeds of a personality from his own standpoint

and understanding, some under-rating, some exaggerating, and some with

indifference. At the same time, for those who are able to see behind the veil of

physical maya, there is recognition of those who are travelling the same path,

and in that recognition, there is comfort and help which extends from the

smallest to the greatest—a great band of brothers which includes the Masters as

the Guides and the Consummation. “Whosoever does it unto the least of these,

does it unto me.”

A Siddha-Purusha (perfect man) is like an archeologist who removes the dust and

lays open an old well which has been covered up by ages of disuse. The Avatara,

on the other hand, is like an engineer who sinks a new well in a place where

there was no water before. Great Men give salvation to those only who have the

waters of piety hidden in themselves, but the Avatara saves him too whose heart

is devoid of love and dry as a desert.



Letter Nine

I think you have taken the right position in your letter and I like it very

much. There are just two positions. One stands fairly and squarely upon the

Messengers, Their Message, and the admission of Their knowledge as to the needs

of the interim between Their appearances, that period being clearly stated by

Them so that there could be no vain imaginings that we were left alone in the

world and to our own devices. The other position holds that They could not see

ahead, that They did what They could,

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and left what They did to the tender mercies of the world and the imperfect

knowledge of Their followers; that, in fact, there was no guidance in what They

left of record, as to study, philosophy, and propaganda.

We stand in and on the first position; there we are sure. The closer we stick to

it and to what They left us, the nearer we will be to the lines They laid down.

You will remember what is covered in that article of

W. Q. J.’s on “The Future and the Theosophical Society”:

“There must be adherence to the program of Masters. That can only be ascertained

by consulting her and the letters given out by her as from Those to whom she

refers. There is not much doubt about that program.” . . . ‘ This is the moment

to guide the recurrent impulse which must soon come and which will push the age

toward extreme atheism or drag it back to extreme sacerdotalism, if it is not

led to the primitive, soul-satisfying philosophy of the Aryans.’ . . . “We must

follow this program and supply the world with a system of philosophy which gives

a sure and logical basis for ethics, and that can only be gotten from those to

which I have adverted.” . . . “By our unity the smallest effort made by us will

have ten-fold the power of any obstacle before us or any opposition offered by

the world.” . . . “Our destiny is to continue the wide work of the past in

affecting literature and thought throughout the world, while our ranks see many

changing quantities but always holding those who remain true to the program, and

refuse to become dogmatic or give up common sense in Theosophy. Thus we will

wait for the new messenger, striving to keep the organization alive that he may

use it.”

Our friends may claim that they are affecting literature and thought in the way

they pursue, but is it true that they could do so with any purpose or direction,

were it not for those who stand by the program and uphold the standard of true

philosophy and the scientific basis for ethics? Besides, it is recorded in

scripture well known to our friends, “No man putteth new wine in old bottles,

lest the bottles break and the wine be lost.” The inevitable result will be as

just stated. Literature is not affected that way, nor

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religion. Christianity is a “revealed religion”; its basis lies in the Bible

revelation, and nowhere else; to change it, the true basis must be given without

pandering to error; otherwise, there is only a change of error. We may well

remember that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump, and dispense the leaven,

leaving the leavening process in both literature and religion to take its own

course, as it undoubtedly will if we are true to our trust.

Theosophy is for those who want it and for none others. Our standard is clear

and unequivocal, and we may be able to help even old and sincere students by our

inquiries. Either there is true knowledge or there is not; if there is, and we

are assured in our-selves of it, let us assert it, maintain it, and let error

correct itself. It looks hypocritical to me to get in with a lot of church

people and pretend that we think just as they do, to say that Christianity is

just what we believe, is, in fact, Theosophy, when what is understood by the

word “Christianity” is antagonistic to the Eternal Verities, and we know it. Is

Theosophy to be administered surreptitiously? If so, will the unfortunate

“patients” ever know where they are? If they get a distaste for Christianity as

it is taught, what will they have a taste for? We know where we stand and why.

Perhaps the lack of any real success in all these years is a lack of real faith

in Masters, as well as the attitude of being “poor miserable sinners” and

unworthy; hence, the lack of strength of Conviction. If there is to be learning,

the student must have confidence in his Teacher, and follow the lines he sets

forth, or no good result can come. When he knows more, or thinks he does, than

his Teacher, let him seek another more advanced. If one desires to teach

another, there must be a “tone of settled conviction” to carry any weight. It

will appear if the Teacher has any real knowledge. But this does not carry with

it any more “authority” than the student accords, and in Theosophy could never

rightly be imposed, as the appeal is to the reason, intelligence, and inner

perception. What does it matter if the writer believes he speaks from a higher

plane of knowledge than that with which the reader is

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acquainted, if he seeks to impose nothing? is not the whole effort of students

to acquire knowledge in order to pass it on? How can they pass on what they have

not? Are there different degrees of knowledge, and are they to be recognized and

sought after? To sum up in a nutshell: There are older students; without them

there would be no younger ones, and no work done; this line runs from the very

youngest to the Masters. “We are all alike and some different.”




Letter Ten

I suppose it is inevitable that you should find yourself head over heels in work

on your return home. It is a “muddy civilization,” and we have to wade through

the “mud” of it; but there is comfort in the thought that we are not any of the

mud and can go through it and look toward the end in view—the goal to be

reached—for the sake of those who are hopelessly floundering. So, perhaps we

take upon ourselves the muddiest kind of mud in performing the task we have

undertaken. If we look at all the pressures and strains in this way, we shall

not be discouraged by anything that may come to pass. In our course we have to

take advantage of conditions as we may, and always of such as tend to the end in

view. Is it not so that mountains are climbed? Also, we can reach the valley

only by careful descent. Do we not thus climb and descend, figuratively, all the


About men and women “as such,” and the ideas which prevail with each in regard

to the other: these must change, being based on physical differentiations and on

accentuation of separateness mentally and physically. We have to look at souls

and minds, regardless of the kind of body which envelops them, and get away from

the hard and fast conclusions so common in the world. These differentiations are

not at once to be gotten rid of, but a better recognition must have its

beginning, and who should have this, most clearly, but those who see the Triad

in every human being?

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The present movement of women is such an assertion; it is neither a fad nor a

fancy, but an urge of the rising cycle. Necessarily it must follow, at first,

the ordinary lines of thought and action pursued by the men in general; but it

is bound to work into lines which affect the home, the family, and general human

interests, rather than possessions. Errors of judgment and mistakes will

doubtless be made, but from them better judgment will come. No one can help the

restrictions of time, place and circumstance; they should be recognized, and

what is to be done, done as best may be under them.

Most men are burdened with positivity, right or wrong; most women with

negativity, right or wrong; both men and women having these qualities in

balance, or approaching it, are nearer to the “double spinal cord,” which must

come about in the race as a whole. I share your opinion as to women speakers in

general, but I am not blind that there are exceptions, and I look for them, and

am glad when I see signs of such in the work; for they can best help that side,

and they can and do express a quality of devotion which mighty few men possess.

As you say, not only much but all that was ever written was by way of

“pointers.” Each soul is held by some conception, some interest, which he takes

to be the "summum bonum”; the consideration of these is necessary in order to

lead the mind from the unreal to the Real. There is no other way. Even those who

know real things get caught up in the “turba,” the phantasmagoria that we create

for ourselves, and have difficulty in reverting to the Real and Eternal—such is

the strength of objective consciousness which begets the idea of separateness.

We have to see and know all these classifications in pointing to the unity of

which they are impermanent expressions. True it is that there are but few books


“Let me say one thing I know; only the feeling of true brotherhood, of true love

toward humanity aroused in the soul of some one strong enough to stem the tide,

can carry us through. For love and trust are the only weapons that can overcome

the Real enemies against which the true Theosophist must fight.” “Let us all

draw together in mind and heart, soul and act, and try thus

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to make that true brotherhood through which alone our universal and particular

progress can come.”

“The number of true Theosophists is not legion. The ranks are not crowded. They

are not to be known or judged by standards of the world, but by the strength of

their convictions. They are one and all dead in earnest. They are those who

though they may not have outwardly renounced, have inwardly relinquished, and

who will be glad when the incidentals are swept away, and only the essentials

remain. They are those who move from age to age invincible and eternal.”

One asked me a question the other day: why, in view of our undoubted relations

in past lives, are we placed in positions that are so difficult and so dark,

when the obviously fortunate one was so near and so clearly defined. The answer

that came to me was:

Long ago you took a vow, one of the meanings of which was to step out of

sunlight into shade to make more room for others.” We should remember that this

was voluntarily done by the inner man, and that now, the very principles of our

nature compel us to act, as it were, against our inclination. We should also

remember the harder the battle, the greater the victory, and nothing but victory

will suffice us. Yes, the present is the test; the past we will meet in the

future—that present which has not yet ripened. Yet it is said that the process

of development consists in the recovery of the memory of the past. This,

however, cannot mean the sordid details of physical existence, nor would there

be much concern whether one wielded a battle-axe, or what “part” one played in

the various dramas of existence, but a something larger, finer, greater—the

memory of the divine Ego, and those functions of our real life which go on

during sleep.

It is all lived out in the mind. Most minds instead of living and acting out

their ideals in the present, and fulfilling their present known duties to

others, waste most of their opportunities in memory and anticipation. To live

and act fully and rightly in the present is the whole of life; the dynamic force

of the brain would then act fully and rightly, and there would be no exhaustion.

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Letter Eleven

As the work goes on and new elements are added to it, there must occur the

process of assimilation. Each new nature is a new element and has its peculiar

effect, but there is nothing in this to cause any surprise or dismay. All the

time there must be the getting closer together of the “living germs”; this goes

on while we work, each in his own way. Few of us have pleasure in the works

themselves that are our Dharma, but we know we are there to do, and they are

there to be done.

One of the great troubles we make ourselves, I think, is the construction of a

mechanical universe. And it will not work out to our satisfaction. This way is

swimming against the stream. The Universe is guided from within outwards and all

possible knowledge of “outwards” will give no real understanding. In trying to

gain a knowledge of “outwards,” there is an exercise of what we are pleased to

call the mind; but from what foundation and to what end? The problems that the

“mind” has are before it here and now, and concern not what has been or what is

to be. What if we do know all the laws and forces, all the processes; will that

fit us any better to do whatever comes before us? The law works in us and

through us; we are ministers of the law, and while recognizing this, while doing

our best with what we have and see, further power and perception come. The

Upanishads say that this “real knowledge is not to be gained by the mind, but by

the subtle sight of the subtle—sighted”—---the Perceiver.

What is your confusion about Mind? The Self only eternally Is. Now what are all

the rest? Perceptions, I think; some permanent, being related to the Self, or of

the Self; others, perceptions of perceptions and impermanent in that they are in

constant change. The two classes or bundles of perceptions in individuals would

be Higher and Lower Mind. Perhaps Higher and Lower Self would be better, but no

set terms can give anything but approximations

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of differences of perceptions. We may call what is perceived “matter,” or

“prakriti,” that basis by which action may take place. It would seem that this

basis is the general result of the interpenetration, interblending, and

interaction of the perceptions of multitudinous classes of beings.

The “mind” with which we work is just a bundle of perceptions of this physical

plane wherein every idea held has a physical basis. Can such a “bundle” include

or solve that which is the cause, or sustaining power itself? Each plane has its

own mode or “mind,” and the only way by which we in lower manas can approximate

the inner is by rising to that plane where the perception and the mode is

different. Can it be wondered at that all at tempts to solve by brain-mind must

be temporary hypotheses, one after the other discarded as we see its futility?

Yet the very exasperation induced sometimes opens a door to us.

There is a state of Soul as Spectator without a spectacle, also many states of

“spectacles” more or less circumscribed. Spirit, I think, would not be the whole

of any given class, although such a condition might be called “spirituality,” if

the ideas were the eternal verities. Naught adheres to Spirit.

There must be that Mind or Power to Perceive which takes in primal causes as

well as subsequent effects; also that other circumscribed action which deals

with minor causes and effects. Mind is the power to perceive, residing in the

Perceiver, its manifold perceptions and possibilities presenting kinds of mind

and separate ideas and actions. All spiritual beings are the same in kind,

differing only in degree. Terms are confusing, but ideas may be had out of the

confusion, if we adhere to the One Reality—which is both Being and Non-Being.

Each has his own way of seeing and translating what he sees.

The question as to whether one could, or could not, get benefit from hearing of

Theosophy before death, depends on one’s ability to realize its truth; the mere

listening to the words without realization or acceptance could have no place in

the thoughts of the thinker. The karma, however, that brought the dying one in

contact with those desirous of so helping, will bring him again in con-

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tact with that knowledge and probably under better auspices. No effort is lost.

Our love for others is truly shown in our desire to serve, and love is the great

bond. The highest love that we can have for those nearest and dearest to us

should be the standard which we should strive to hold toward our other selves—an

intense love of humanity, one which seeks their highest good, which seeks

nothing for self, but has all that fortuitously comes. “Friends for the future.”

A mental change or glimpse of truth may make a man suddenly change to the truth

even at death, thus creating good skandhas for his next life. But the karmic

effects of the past life must follow. H. P. B. said that the Ego was drawn

before birth to the scenes of his former life, saw the meaning and trend of it

all and the karmic results that must ensue, and knows the justice of it. There

is also the “summing up” after death—cause and sequence, and “Being’s ceaseless





Letter Twelve

It is well to hold the position you do—to maintain the true attitude of the

“higher carelessness.” It makes no difference what ever what we do; how we do

anything is what counts. And as there is always something doing, we have always

opportunity to practice right doing.

It is no good being anxious; all we have to do is to do our best with each

moment and live it as it comes. “If the candidate has firm reliance on the Law,

he will not have to wait too long.” In this way whatever comes will be right for

him. We must take the position that whatever is right will come about, and while

making use and taking advantage of every opportunity, feel that if what seemed

good did not come our way, it was best that way for the main object that we

worked for. In this case we preserve our best energies, and are neither elated

nor cast down by whatever comes to pass.

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We are apt to overlook the good we afford to others by our effort. Every one we

affect, even in a slight degree, affects others, and no one can say what may be

done for the future through indirect methods. There is much encouragement in

this, and encouragement means a continuation of courage. We have but to keep on

in the courage with which we began, for in all great effort there is sure to be

reaction; and knowing this to be the Law, we are prepared, and never downcast,

but like the song, “We wait for the turn of the tide,” and ride higher on it.

I was looking over the magazine article you mentioned. It is interesting,

instructive in places, intelligent and bountifully interspersed with diagrams.

It gives the impression of great learning on the subject. But it speaks here and

there of the Logos and His care of His children. Too much of the personal God

under another name, thus leaving “His” poor, ignorant, sinful children none the

wiser as to their godlike nature! The article made me think of the way the

Jesuits side-tracked Masonry. They entered it, obtained its secrets, invented

“higher degrees” to draw attention from what lay hidden in the original ones,

and gradually made it innocuous, and incapable of leading to the knowledge that

they feared. Much that is going on and has gone on in the . . . society has the

appearance of leading into innocuous desuetude. This is the mode of working of

Brahmano-Jesuitical forces, and the ordinary thinker is unable either to

perceive, or credit it if warned. It is not believed that there are Dark Forces

and their agents in the world, and that they war within that which they would

destroy; that they dress themselves up in “sheep’s clothing” so as to be

unsuspected. But it is too true. Every failure to establish the Wisdom-Religion

is to be traced to the work of the Dark ones among the unsuspecting stupid

“sheep,” who are appealed to through their weakness and led astray. There is no

panacea for stupidity and ignorance but self-knowledge, discrimination; anything

that leads away from them leads to desolation. Would that there might be some

way by which eyes could be opened to a wise and proper consideration of all

things. Yet, if one should publicly point out these things, “untheosophical”

would be the least charge laid at his

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door. All that we can do is to accentuate the difference between the Eye

Doctrine and the Doctrine of the Heart with full exemplification. The . . . talk

glibly of these, but in the words of Kipling, “what do they understand?” Those

in that society who have the “heart-desire” may find that doctrine, but the mass

have it not, and are kept from its consideration by every means.

Without any conceit, you know it would be admitted by those who listen to you

that it would be an easy matter for you to draw diagrams, and lecture on the

differentiation of species, on the various Logo, Dhyanis, and classes of beings,

Rounds and Races and so forth; but you know, and anyone can see, that if one had

all these qualities at his tongue’s end, he would not be one whit better in

character, nor would he possess any real knowledge—the knowledge that leads to

the wisdom and power of the Adept. Intellectual acquaintance is well enough for

those who are entertained by that sort of thing, but those who seek

self-knowledge, who will not be satisfied with anything else, go not by that

road. Self-knowledge is the first desideratum; the other is incidental, and

useless without the first. The first requires whole-heartedness,

self-discipline, constant service, unflagging determination. It is undertaken

only by determined souls and continued by increased heroism—of such are the

immortal heroes of the ages. The second can be followed by any schoolboy, and is

necessary to some extent, as an equipment for the sake of others, but unless

subservient to the first, it is useless as a means of growth. The general

tendency is toward “intellectualism,” and it is easy to follow that line of

acquisition. The effort should therefore be to present and practice the study

that leads to growth, using the “process” only to assist the understanding. The

opposite is too generally the practice. There are Theosophists in name and

Theosophists by nature; they are different.                                     


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206 Newport Road, Cardiff, Wales, UK. CF24-1DL



Letter Thirteen

Your statement of monthly expenses is not encouraging, but we have seen worse

conditions, and with less in view to face them. It looks like “alone and

possessing nothing” for us; but we can face all this without the slightest fear.

‘We must trust absolutely to the Law, doing our conservative best as we go

along. We have but to keep that work, which we see to be the Real work, going

through thick and through thin; then, whatever comes will be right, and we shall

finally see the right results for All, for it is “All” that we are working for.

Business has been defined as “a lot of useless activities which we have created

and now bow down to and worship.” But there are some we know who are heretics in

that direction, and I like these best. Well, the world we live in is governed by

these very follies, and we are here to hold fast and get going a crop of better,

finer ideas. The fact that burdens are growing heavier cannot be accounted a bad

sign; there must be in those to whom burdens come From an unused strength that

needs exercise. We will have to take the Bible saying as true that “the burden

is to the strong.” Too, it is well to know one’s strength, which cannot be known

without using it. By and by you will know what you can do, and the necessity for

these trials will cease.

In answer to H— I am glad that you made it plain—and it cannot be made too

plain—that there is absolutely no one in U. L. T. who “instructs and informs

other members of what he or she gets as coming from Masters.” This is the safest

way for all: point to the records and advise an open mind and an eager intellect

as well as an unveiled spiritual perception. We have faith that “the Master’s

hand is over all” and go the limit on that. I think that your letter covers the

ground pretty well. The “writer” of the “extracts” in question does not care

what is done with any

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words he has written, so long as the sense and meaning is main tamed, the intent

preserved; nor would he in the least object to the presentation of the ideas in

any other way; in any event, no name is attached, nor recognition sought.

In regard to the question asked. In the Voice it speaks of Kundalini as Buddhi,

considered an active power—the power of that sheath in full operation.

Ordinarily, Buddhi acts indirectly through Mamas in its lower aspect of action,

thought and feeling, as they relate to the objective consciousness. In this

sense, there-fore, Buddhi may be called passive; the power is there but

transmuted into lower and divergent energies.

The unitary idea in the septenary nature is to be had from the conception of

Consciousness, or the Perceiver, using different vehicles for expression and

reception on different planes. It is not waking nor sleeping nor Deep sleep, nor

Sushupti, nor Turya, but just Consciousness acting in these various ways and

conditions. We are That which perceives in these various ways. Consciousness is

One—the ways are various. The Seer is unitary, but has many ways and directions

of seeing. “Man” is not any of his principles, but they are “his” instruments.

These principles or sheaths are made up of the “lives” of various kinds of

different planes. The unitary idea is consciousness with power to perceive in

every direction through appropriate evolved instruments. Like the God of the

Bible, “Man” cannot be found out, for darkness surrounds his pavilion. “He” is

ever behind every manifestation and expression, and is also Paramatma, the

Highest Soul.

Unity cannot be stepped down. IT ever is; IT is to be realized. Of course, it is

a consideration of processes that is confusing with our present perceptions; but

it is not so difficult to have a working generalization sufficient for our

present purpose. The thing to be realized is Unity—the One, not separate in its

manifold appearances. “That Thou Art, 0 Svetaketu.”

I think that the word “Perceiver” connotes both individuality and that power of

perception which is infinite. As individual, or as Ego, it connotes all the

experience of the immense past. It is also Ishwara and Paramatma, for that which

perceives has no limita-

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tions to its possible field. The Perceiver rests in the Infinite and is always

behind and above any and all expansions of perceptions. ‘Man” is greater than

any mind he may have, for he is constantly changing it—and remains. The Soul

looks directly on ideas; nothing comes to it but ideas, obtained through its

various evolved sheaths. We can have no experience whatever, whether from the

bodily organs, or by suggestion, unless an idea is presented. Ideas may come

from objects, from words written or spoken, but our only real perception of them

is in “idea.” We classify ideas because of an assumption of separateness, but

that is not the true way, and the effort should be made to realize that the Soul

is vision itself, and that it looks directly upon ideas.

There are minds many, and many kinds of mind, but there is the Eternal Thought

in the Eternal Mind—the world of Eternal Idea which is the world of True Being.

We must bring back to the light of day the present sense of our divinity which

illumines us in dreamlessness—where the “Spirit thinks not, yet thinking not, he

thinks, for the energy that dwelt in thinking cannot cease because it is


Study, work and service are the means, with the