Apr 23, 2018

The Aquarian Theosophist, April 2018





The opening article in our April edition is “Helena Blavatsky, on the Island of Shambhala”.

On pages three and four, you find the note “How Vanity Paves the Way to Disaster: Practical Effects of Outward Praise”. Page four presents When Truth Prevails”, and “Good Will, from a Marriage to a Civilization” is on page 5.

These are other topics in the April 2018 edition:

* Lao-tse, or Lao-tzu, is said to have written 930 books;

* On Being One With the Law - a Fragment from the Classic Text “Light on the Path to Enlightenment”;

* Thoughts Along the Road - More Than External Actions, One Single Idea Can Change Reality from Above;

* The Writings of an Eastern Master - 13, a compilation of the Letters of Blavatsky’s Teacher;

* A Masterpiece of Editorial Forgery - the false letter which John Algeo and his “Experts” published as Letter Seven;

* Seven Chapters from the Book of Tao, by Laotse;

* The Theosophy of Material Life; and

* The poem “Forever Will Find You”, by Collie Ryan.

The 18-pp. edition includes a List of the New Items recently published in our associated websites.



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The entire collection of The Aquarian” is available at our associated websites.

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Apr 20, 2018

Thoughts Along the Road - 15

As We Write New Pages in Our Individual
Book of Life, Actions Say More than Words

Carlos Cardoso Aveline




While constant postponement
expands suffering, a timely, noble
action is the source of lasting peace.



* The search for Truth cannot be submitted to political or institutional goals, however noble these may seem to be in appearance.

* Bliss results from having courage to love truth in all its aspects, which are often surprising; and not from running away or denying facts that happen to be unpleasant.

* The peace that an individual wants to find must be built by himself within his soul. After that, harmony can be slowly transmitted to the outer world, according to his inner strength and to general karmic conditions.

* In the silence of our soul we find the road to follow. The intensity of external noise makes no great difference: the voice of the conscience is the light on the path.

* The act of continuously expanding our horizons is as important as the fact of developing self-control, or of attaining self-knowledge. These three factors are inseparable.

* While constant postponement expands suffering, a timely, noble action is the source of lasting peace.

* As time passes, new tasks emerge. If we fulfil our duties today, it will be easier to fulfil them tomorrow, and the day after. Contentment is the result.

* Reality is both paradoxical and symmetrical. There is nothing new under the Sun: the one Life of the cosmos is eternal. However, it is also true that life renews itself at each new fraction of a second, for those who have the eyes to see.

* As we write new pages in our individual Book of Life, actions say more than words. Deeds and thoughts should be directly connected. They all must express one’s real intention, so that the immortal soul becomes an active co-author of life’s book.

* It is worthwhile to interrupt a few times our activities during the day, in order to get silently together for some seconds with our own spiritual soul, and to strengthen our relation with the center of peace in our consciousness.

* Just like a person, a country has infinite possibilities along the road to wisdom. Good will and discernment are decisive in observing reality. If I am one with the sacred potentiality within myself, I can see the divine seedlings in the community of which I am a part.

* In the beginning you have to pursue quietness. When peace becomes a part of your inner life, it follows you wherever you go and keeps by your side as you fight the daily battle of right action. However, it will be necessary to preserve a degree of quietude and simplicity in the material world, in order to expand the soul’s contentment.

* There is a principle in the philosophy of self-responsibility which seems to be very simple. It is not new. It has been taught and learned for millennia, yet it is not easy to live by. It says that one should calmly do the best one can each moment, with equilibrium and goodwill towards all, and obeying only to the voice of his own conscience.

* Materialistic illusions are easier to face and to defeat than the “spiritual” ones. Hence the need for discernment to be developed side by side with each spiritual quality that one may want to achieve. Laziness and fear, for instance, can disguise themselves as the loftiest wisdom. However, perseverance in learning will in due time unmask every falsehood and teach us detachment.

* It is a brotherly action to be severe regarding the mistakes of those toward whom we have good will. It is a destructive policy to be indulgent with the mistakes made by people who are important to us. Friendship and brotherhood require vigilance. A noble intention is not seen on the surface: it depends on the quality of one’s goal, on the amount of sincerity, and the ability to be self-responsible.

* Four main aspects of the totality of human existence are sleep, dream, waking state and contemplation. The last one corresponds to the awareness of our higher levels of consciousness.

* For most people the main polarity in living states is given by sleeping and waking. And how do these two interact? The discipline of right action, practiced during the day, makes people sleep better at night. And the reverse is true: by sleeping well one has better days and works with more efficiency.

* Even the best literature on theosophy is not universal wisdom in itself. Divine knowledge cannot be found in the wording that refers to it. It can be attained through the study of the wording, provided that the teaching is true and accurate, and we patiently develop the corresponding practice in our daily existence. Literature therefore cannot offer us more than the road map to knowledge. Wisdom must be found in the way we look at every aspect of reality. A divine perception of life is that which allows us to observe facts from the point of view of the ladder between the sky and the earth.

* At first, good karma accumulates in invisible ways, as if one’s efforts were useless. When it gets mature enough, the outward reality starts changing and gives right action its due reward.

* One should not pay too much attention to the short-term ill-will apparently stimulated by some generous, yet uncomfortable actions. As long as your efforts are based on Ethics, it does not matter whether you are attacked for disrupting established routines. There is no need to ascribe undue importance to organized ignorance. Sooner or later victory will be attained by those who deserve it; and such a silent triumph - unnoticed by the many -, is far greater than the sacrifices made along the road.

* When routine is organized on the basis of spiritual ignorance - however embellished by spiritual talk - the process of self-renewal, soul-learning and inner growth must be painful.

* While naive people often pretend they know it all about Life, wise men are humble students. They have simple hearts and study and learn from the various levels of reality.

* As soon as one liberates oneself from attachment to ignorance, and especially from attachment to ignorance disguised as spirituality, one discovers the long-lasting bliss of love for truth. However painful it may be to whited sepulchres, there is nothing higher or more enduring than truth.

* Wisdom is never frozen. Like the universe, it is in constant unfoldment. Divine knowledge expresses immutable law. The Cosmos consists of the Law in movement. Being something alive, real Knowledge causes surprise and produces changes.

* Observe the void or silence between each thought of yours and the next one. Concentrate on that. See the noiseless point of equilibrium in time between one emotion and another one. This is the eternal, placeless, unconditional center of inner peace.

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The above article was published as an independent text on 20 April 2018.  An initial version of it, with no indication as to the name of the author, is included in the October 2015 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”.

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Apr 15, 2018

Approaching the Theosophical Movement

Attaining References and
Lights for Noble, High Ideals

Juan Pedro Bercial




There is in many an initial “fire”, a desire to know and understand that leads them into a personal quest to find out about the mysteries of Life.

It was in 2014, while doing some research on Leibnitz, that I came across the websites associated to “The Aquarian Theosophist”. I found the approach of this group serious and philosophical, and started to participate in its Yahoo Group “E-Theosophy”.

I then began to understand that a myriad of approaches to philosophy can resonate with our own personal path. I realised that the Theosophical Movement is not to be seen as a formal “Society” in which we have a membership card, pay a subscription and a hierarchy of “enlightened people” will be gradually revealing the truth for us, by degrees.

Having found a clear affinity in the view of the Theosophical work that was created by “E-Theosophy”, I participated in its editorial effort in Spanish, translating chapters from the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature[1] and various articles that consolidated my learning about the movement.  

I was entering a new phase of approach. I had seen that the Movement cannot be forced into artificial human structures of power. The Movement is a tide of effort for the benefit of Mankind. It has been present in Humanity since much earlier than 1875, when Helena Blavatsky started her public work.  I had connected through affinity and experience with the Movement as a whole, in all its exoteric and esoteric aspects. I had begun to realise the different levels at which the Movement works.

As a living organism, the theosophical project gets revitalised by the constant renewal and effort of its “associates” (which do not require bureaucracy of any kind). There are many Theosophists who, in their actions, live Theosophy (basing their actions on Ethics) and many Theosophists with membership cards of any description that are only nominally involved in Theosophy.

After much study and consideration, I had found that I shared with the members of E-Theosophy the methodology in study and the necessary support to give and receive through travelling along the Path. These can be very different to each individual, but the main thing is whether is a Lodge, a group, etc. this must be an egregore of minds with whom one has strong affinity. The strength of the bond of these groups is not external (power, money) but the strength of the individual commitment of its members.

In September 2016, after careful consideration of the Theosophical Movement globally, the members of E-Theosophy and other frontlines decided to start the Independent Lodge of Theosophists, ILT, as it was considered that the group had its own approach to the Movement, and in full respect for the wider Lodge from which the ILT emerged. At this stage I decided to become an associate of the ILT.

The theosophist who finds his or her natural place to grow with others within the Movement also realises that each individual effort contributes to the Movement, and the Movement feedbacks into the student.

The individual realises that his or her thoughts, speech and actions have an inevitable effect in the theosophical egregore, which, like a set of batteries in series, helps Mankind with their collective intent and their effort. As groups of humans, there can be mistakes, but when a mistake is made from a place of commitment and responsibility, it is an element of growth and no effort gets ever wasted. Sincerity is key here, as the effort has to be honest and have internal congruence and consistency. Altruism cannot be hampered by political correctness, or even worse, hypocrisy and blind belief.

No one who approaches the Movement should expect a “top down” Pedagogy. Granted, there will be people who are more advanced in the study of Theosophy, more familiar with the canon of Literature, more involved in developing Literature by re-contextualising the canon. There are no “degrees”, secret oaths, rituals and a passive Pedagogy. Each individual progress is based upon merit and effort and there is no external guru or Master apart from our own Higher Self.

The aim of the Movement is not the selfish growth of its individuals. It is rather to provide a set of guiding references and lights for noble, high ideals. It is to help Mankind in its evolution; and it is far from new. Many a movement which inspired mankind to improve itself (emancipation of slaves, worker’s rights, nuclear disarmament, animal welfare, ecology and so on) has been stimulated by those Elder Brothers, the Mahatmas, who have been overlooking and helping Mankind since the beginning of time.

NOTE:

[1] “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, Carlos Cardoso Aveline, The Aquarian Theosophist, Aveiro, Portugal, 2013, 255 pp.

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Born in Spain, theosophist Juan Pedro Bercial holds a MSc degree in Pure Mathematics (Geometry), and PhD (Materials Science). He currently teaches Mathematics at a College in the North West of England.

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The above text was first published on 15 April 2018.


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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Apr 13, 2018

The Key to Self-Knowledge

Altruism is the Cure for Human Folly

John Garrigues




It is an old saying, and a wise, that the fool acts according to his folly, but how else could he act and still remain a fool?

Even the fool is not altogether foolish, or he could not exist at all. He knows some things, and in so far as he acts on the basis of what he knows, the fool is as wise as the wisest.

What, then, is the difference between the veriest fool and the wisest man? Is it not a difference in the degree of their respective knowledge? Knowledge is the impersonal Lord of both, and this Lord is no respecter of persons. The fool and the wise are both sowers in the field of Life, and each alike reaps what he sows.

Were there nothing in common between them, these two extremes, the fool and the wise man, must each forever remain what he is. But since Life is one, it follows that the wise man must ever be impeded by the foolishness of his fellows until he recognizes the common bond of Knowledge, and deals with the fool, not according to the latter’s folly, but in the Spirit of knowledge, which is Compassion. This is Universal Brotherhood. It is given to few to share in the Wisdom of Masters, but all alike, the foolish as well as the wise, participate in and benefit by the Divine compassion of these Elder Brothers of the human race.

Every man does, in a certain limited sense, strive for perfection - that is, to become adept, to become himself master of this, master of that.

Every man does, in a certain defined way, practice brotherhood. Without some degree of this practice no man could be born, no man could live. But our striving and our practice do not go beyond the definitions and limitations of instinct, of habit, of impulse, of environment, of education. In this sense any and all religions are a definition, any and all sciences are a limitation, of our understanding and our practice of brotherhood.

Our experience and our observation should tell us all alike that we have failed in the mass, and continue to fail individually, in our efforts to achieve perfection, to practice Universal brotherhood, to embody Wisdom. Yet despite the individual and the collective failure in every direction, the thirst for perfection, the urge to association with our fellows, the longing to embody Wisdom, never lose their hold on any man. This should teach us that not only are we brother to the fool in his follies and impeded by them, but also that we are brothers to the Masters of Wisdom and aided by Them - alas, all unconsciously to ourselves.

The trouble of the fool is not with his follies, forsooth, but with himself, and so with all of us, each in his own way; which each, all unconsciously, takes to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. This is as true of Theosophists as of all the other classes of men - that is, of Human Souls. We take it for granted that our apprehension of the Eternal Verities is clean and clear; that our comprehension of their bearings on all the problems of life, on all our relations with our fellows and with Nature at large, is fundamentally correct and sufficient. We assume, in short, that we know ourselves.

If we knew ourselves we would know our own past, and have no need to be taught and retaught the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If we knew ourselves we would know our own future, and would have no need of guidance, would have no religion, no science, no philosophy, for we would be ourselves the embodiment of Perfection - Self-knowledge. What distinguishes Man from all the beings below the human? Self-consciousness. And what distinguishes the Masters of Wisdom from ourselves? Self-knowledge.

If we knew ourselves we would know all other beings, those above as those below, for we have over and over again contacted them all, associated with them all, been intimate with them all - or how could our Self-consciousness be?

What is that Key which H. P. Blavatsky put in our hands (she could not put it in our heads or hearts)? Universal Brotherhood: One Life, one Law, one Principle of conduct, which each Being operates for itself, checked or furthered by its own operations. Each Being acts according to his own nature until by association he sees a better nature and adopts it for his own; the vast space of Life in which we have our existence is an Ocean of Knowledge as well as a sea of experience and observation.

There is no Being, however Divine, which has not been a human being. There is no Being, however low in the scale of existence, which shall not someday enter the human tide. There is no human being which shall not one day become the Divine Being - the Master of Wisdom. This is something of the meaning of Universal Brotherhood, as H. P. Blavatsky taught it, as she embodied it: as she taught it to deaf ears, as she embodied it before blind eyes.

She spoke unvaryingly to one end: that we might come, by study and comparison, to throw away our whole fundamental conception of self, of action, of relation, and choose for ourselves the fundamental bases of the Wisdom-Religion for our Principles of being, our motives of conduct. She gave us, not a revelation or a theory or a system of thought, but the Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy.

What militates among Theosophists, as among all other men, against the Universal Brotherhood of H.P.B. and her Masters? Who can be found to deny that Selfishness, conscious and unconscious, is at the bottom of all our human woes? Who but will admit that Unselfishness, even though misconceived, is the sole saving grace in human life? What is the source of selfishness? An erroneous, a false, an infernal conception of Self. What is the source of all unselfishness? The Divine in us, crucified though it be by our ignorance and misconceptions of brotherhood. What is the cure? Selflessness - enlightened unselfishness, through the study and comparison of the Wisdom-Religion of the Masters with the ideas of self and action prevalent among men and overpowering in their influence upon the most sincere Theosophist until by education and application he starts seriously in the pursuit of Self-knowledge. Until he does this, Theosophy is but a name, Masters but a fetish, Brotherhood but a phrase.

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The article “The Key to Self-Knowledge” was first published anonymously in the May 1932 edition of “Theosophy” magazine, pp. 310-312. Garrigues was the editor of the magazine at the time. It was also published at the August 2015 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pp. 3-5. On the criteria to identify texts written by J.G., read the article “Life and Writings of John Garrigues”.

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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Apr 9, 2018

Conan Doyle Studied Theosophy

The Creator of Sherlock Holmes Was Deceived
by False Accusations Against Helena Blavatsky

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

Regarding the fraud made against Helena Blavatsky, Conan
Doyle (1859-1930) lacked the investigative powers of Sherlock Holmes



British author Arthur Conan Doyle, who created the immortal detective Sherlock Holmes, personally met Alfred P. Sinnett - one of the pioneers of the theosophical movement - and had for some time a deep interest in esoteric philosophy.

Doyle found in theosophy various fascinating ideas present in his books. However, he did not have the investigative talents of his character Sherlock Holmes, and for this reason abandoned the theosophical movement. Doyle was naive enough to lose his confidence in theosophy after the publication of the notorious Hodgson Report, the false investigation and farce with which the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) of London “condemned” H. P. Blavatsky as a fraud in the 1880s.

Ms. Blavatsky, an unmarried woman writing in the 19th century, questioned the main scientific, cultural and religious dogmas of her time. It was both easy and convenient to personally attack her as a means to preserve the blind routine of that intellectual and religious world. One hundred years after the “condemnation” of Helena Blavatsky, the very Society for Psychical Research made an informal self-criticism, in April 1986, and published the essay by one of its leading members showing that Blavatsky’s accusers used falsehood and fraud in the charges made against her and the theosophical movement.[1]

In the 1880s, however, Conan Doyle believed at least in part in the political show created by the Society for Psychical Research. In his memoirs, Doyle says:

“I was deeply interested and attracted for a year or two by Theosophy, because while Spiritualism seemed at that time to be chaos so far as philosophy went, Theosophy presented a very well thought-out and reasonable scheme, parts of which, notably reincarnation and Karma, seemed to offer an explanation for some of the anomalies of life. I read Sinnett’s ‘Occult World’ and afterwards with even greater admiration I read his fine exposition of Theosophy in ‘Esoteric Buddhism’ [2], a most notable book. I also met him, for he was an old friend of General Drayson’s, and I was impressed by his conversation. Shortly afterwards, however, there appeared Dr. Hodgson’s report upon his investigation into Madame Blavatsky’s proceedings at Adyar, which shook my confidence very much.”[3]

Unfortunately, Conan Doyle had more in common with Watson than with Sherlock Holmes. Had he had the same eagerness to look for truth as the detective he created, he would have investigated the facts by himself and seen the sad fraud organized by Mr. Hodgson and the London SPR.

Conan Doyle wrote “The History of Spiritualism” (1926) and other books on the Spiritualist doctrine, such as “The New Revelation” and “The Land of Mist”.

Maracot Deep and Poison Belt

Perhaps his most interesting book from a theosophical point of view is “The Maracot Deep”[4], a science fiction novel offering an imaginative version of the end of Atlantis. The book makes a thoughtful approach to the relation between the absence of ethics and moral values and the end of civilizations.

Another volume by Doyle which coincides with the writings of Helena Blavatsky and with the first books written by Alfred Sinnett is entitled “The Poison Belt”.[5] The story contains some elements of the warning made by Helena Blavatsky of a mysterious form of war that could instantaneously annihilate most of human kind. One of the implicit objects of the modern theosophical movement created by Blavatsky is avoiding this kind of war through the formation of a nucleus of universal brotherhood.

In the short-story “The Disintegration Machine” [6], Doyle anticipates in a humorous style the idea of tele-transportation, or dematerialization and rematerialization of objects.

The concept belongs to Raja Yoga and is present in the spiritual traditions of different nations. Carlos Castaneda describes it in some of his works. In present-day science, we have the idea of “quantum teleportation”. In the first years of the theosophical movement, a number of experiences in tele-transportation were described and discussed by Alfred P. Sinnett in his first books, which were based in “The Mahatma Letters”. The fact is discussed by Helena Blavatsky, who wrote:

“In the transport of inert substances, the atoms are disintegrated, and suddenly reformed at the point of deposit”. [7]

Doyle adapted the idea of teletransportation to the context of science fiction.

The creator of Sherlock Holmes was certainly an effective writer and a good-willing soul with a genuine interest in theosophy and the future of mankind.

NOTES:

[1] See the Essay “J’Accuse - An Examination of the Hodgson Report of 1885”, by Vernon Harrison, Ph. D., published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. 53, No. 803, April 1986, pp. 286-310. Read also the book “Blavatsky and the SPR, an examination of the Hodgson Report of 1885”, by Vernon Harrison, Ph. D., member of the Society for Psychical Research, London, England; Theosophical University Press, TUP, Pasadena, CA, USA, 1997, 78 pp.

[2] Both books are easy to find in the 21st century.

[3] “Memories and Adventures”, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, USA, 1924, 410 pp., see pp. 80-81. 

[4] “The Maracot Deep”, Arthur Conan Doyle, first edition, 1929. There is a recent edition published by Sequoya Books in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 2004, with 198 pages.

[5] “The Poison Belt”, Arthur Conan Doyle, first edition, 1913. There is a recent edition published by HiLoBooks in 2012, in Boston, MA, and Brooklyn, NY, with 174 pages.

[6] The story was published by the “Strand” magazine in January 1929 and included in the 1919 edition of “The Poison Belt”. It is now available online thanks to the Project Gutenberg Australia: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601391h.html.

[7] See for instance “Collected Writings”, H. P. Blavatsky, TPH, volume IV, p. 125. Read more on pp. 174-175.

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The above article is a translation from “Conan Doyle Estudou Teosofia”. It was first published in English language on 9 April 2018.

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On 14 September 2016, a group of students decided to found the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the priorities adopted by the ILT are learning from the past and building a better future.  

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E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).


Those who want to join E-Theosophy e-group at YahooGroups can do that by visiting  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.

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