Nov 23, 2017

The Aquarian Theosophist, November 2017






The opening thought of “The Aquarian” for November 2017 says: 

Whenever a civilization loses its sense of ethics, it becomes unable to stand its own weight.

On pages one and two we have the article “Preserving the Roots of Life”, whose subtitle clarifies: “The Sacred Side of Human Love is the Source and Foundation of Every Society”.

Pages 3-4 present the article by Helena Blavatsky which we entitled “The Ecology of Human Consciousness”: a unique fragment from “Isis Unveiled” examining the influence of the environment over mental and spiritual life.

The first paragraphs of Max Picard’s inspiring book The World of Silence” are on pages 5-7.

These topics are also examined in the November edition:

* A Master, On the Exact Way the Light Will Be Shed;

* Thoughts Along the Road - Life Itself Is the Sphinx Before You; 

* The Writings of an Eastern Master - 07, Transcriptions from the Letters of Blavatsky’s Teacher;

* Art and Theosophy - the Date of Creation of a Facebook Page Celebrates the Work of an Eastern Sage; and

* The Secret to Self-Enlightenment: becoming a Helpful Lamp.  

The 15-pp. edition includes the List of New Texts 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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Nov 22, 2017

The Return of the Sun

From Christmas until Easter
Is the Seed-Time of the Soul

John Garrigues




“O Thou who givest sustenance to the
universe and to ourselves, Thou from whom
all proceeds and unto whom all must at last
return, unveil that face of the true spiritual Sun
which is now hidden by a vase of golden light,
that we may see the Truth and do our whole
duty on our journey to Thy sacred seat.”

Gayatri



Cometh the day when the recurrent cycle of the seasons brings us nearer to the Sun [1]; he seems to return to the earth, when in truth it is our own inclination brings us more directly under his influence. Then the dead earth and the sleeping life are quickened and all things reproduce after their kind. Without the Sun they are, and yet are not.

It is the same with the life spiritual within us. Fed upon the things of sense and thought, which seem to be the whole universe of man, comes a day when these wither and decay, so that the soul sleeps the sleep of stupefaction or freezes in the drear winter of its discontent. Life ceases to be the burden bearer and itself becomes a burden hardly to be borne. The consolations of religion fall like dead leaves and the stripped heart beats with an icy pulse.

In this hour of its isolation, with no more any outward thing to lean upon, let the soul incline toward the Spiritual Sun of all, and It will seem to draw near and yet nearer till the vernal impulsion quickens the whole nature from within without, as the physical sun warms and woos the life from without within. For every solar system its sun, so that the teeming planets are never in an unredeemable winter.

From Christmas until Easter is the seed-time of the Soul. Let a man sow the seed whose harvest shall feed the hungry, till the Hyperborean time shall come again and the souls of all men dwell in perpetual Spring.

To live to benefit mankind is the first step. Not by the things of the body, not by the affairs of the mind - seasonal harvest both - but by the crop of the Virtues, shall this thing come to pass. Who listens to the voice of Compassion shall unveil the face of the true Spiritual Sun, where else it shall be hidden by a vase of golden light.

NOTE:

[1] The observation is valid for Christmas time in the Northern hemisphere, and for the month of June in the Southern hemisphere. (CCA)

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The above note was first published anonymously in “Theosophy” magazine, Los Angeles, January 1923 edition, p. 97. It was also published at the December 2013 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”. An analysis of its contents, style and historical circumstances indicates John Garrigues (photo) is its author. Little-known because of his anonymity, Garrigues (1868-1944) is among the most influential theosophists since 1875. See “Life and Writings of John Garrigues”, at our associated websites.

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On 14 September 2016, after examining the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, 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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Nov 17, 2017

Thoughts Along the Road - 13

Opening a New Path, Where no Path Exists

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

The pioneers of mankind find the way to wisdom across an ocean of pain and ignorance



* The mirror of wisdom is right action.

* Daily life works as a looking glass: in the way we look at each object or event, a part of our soul is reflected.

* A transcendent purpose creates in due time the opportunities for its fulfilment.

* The daily practice of inner discipline expands the effectiveness of one’s soul.

* In order to know what you will harvest as your destiny, examine what you are sowing now.

* Detachment regarding circumstances must be associated to sincere good will and solidarity.

* Dogs and books are among the best friends of man.

* In theosophy, one learns to develop a sort of detachment regarding all forms of anxiety. Through peace of mind, one sees facts better.

* When the soul attains the silence whose foundation is in peace and equilibrium, the higher self speaks with no words.

* Detachment grants us the necessary rest. A notion of duty and potentiality produces the energy that gives impetus to the good work.

* The pioneers of mankind find the way to wisdom across an ocean of pain and ignorance.

* If you keep in touch with your own immortal and essential nature, you will see the Law of Justice unfailingly acting around you.

* Contentment does not result from external facts. Happiness depends instead on how we look at the outer reality, and in that, detachment is a key factor.

* An effective self-observation is practiced when the student examines both victories and failures as tools for the unfoldment of his sacred potentiality.

* Yoga is the strengthening of the bridge between the impersonal will of Atma, or higher self, and the lower levels of consciousness on the mental, emotional and physical levels of life.

* The victory of the learner can’t be obtained by force. If he tries his best at every instant and with a long-term perspective, he can know that victory will come to him in the right time and in proper ways.

* There is nothing like one victory after the other. But these victories must be small enough, so that they can endure; and our attitude towards them should be humble enough, for us to deserve them.

* Immortal wisdom teaches us the art and science of moderation and discernment. Undeserved satisfaction is short-lived and provokes a lasting pain. Those who deceive good-willing persons will sooner or later have to face the results of the mistakes made.

* He who complains about his suffering is not necessarily ready to get rid of it. To give up pain is not as easy as it seems. Wailing is a form of attachment to the cause of discomfort. He who wants freedom, acts, instead of complaining about the circumstances.

* When we are visited by the wish to lament about something, it is better say thanks. Right thoughts must replace the wrong ones, and gratitude leads us to wisdom. Mistakes must be fought, identifying right and wrong is of the essence, but being grateful elevates us.

* There is a vertical line uniting all levels of individual consciousness, and such union should be reasonably harmonious. One’s inner peace depends on the average degree of direct relation and positive interaction among world view, intention, words, attitude, and practical actions.

* True joy is a state of the soul, and the best smile comes from the heart, going in every direction. Invisibly smiling to oneself and all beings is as important as any kind of smile can be. And this is a result, among others, of an intense contact with one’s own higher, anonymous, self.

* To each acquisition there is a corresponding renunciation. Having a central focus in one’s life is not the same as saying to oneself that this or that goal is the main object in life. Having a central focus means to leave aside everything that is not in harmony with the main goal, or does not help attaining it.

* Discernment and severity are necessary along the spiritual path for one simple reason. The pilgrim must open a narrow Way in the middle of various good-willing falsehoods, pious frauds and sweetened forms of denying facts in the name of the devotion to a master, to a divinity, or to some “divinely inspired” bureaucratic organization.

* Opportunities emerge according to one’s goal. It is not enough to leave selfishness aside. One must have a valuable object during enough time, and search for it with sincerity and in a practical way, avoiding any excess of impatience. And then, it must be taken into consideration that the door will open little by little, showing perhaps unexpected realities and the need for a greater self-sacrifice.

* Every true source of inspiration is a mirror to the sacred potentialities of an individual. Once reflected in it, the light from above reveals whatever is of a higher nature, while burning out the different forms of attachment to ignorance. In this way ignorance becomes knowledge. Our mistakes play the role of wood, in the alchemical fire that sustains the enlightenment.

* Problems stand in line waiting for people. One should not be surprised when after successfully managing one challenge or two, another one or a couple of them immediately appear. Tests have to wait for one’s karma to get ripe enough to allow them to get visible. It is a privilege, therefore, to see “new and heretofore unheard of” problems which need to be solved. It means the previous agenda has been cleared, and we are ready for further steps.

* The higher aspects of the theosophical effort point to sky, and the lower ones point to earth.

* Some of the most important lessons to be learned result from observing the direct relation between the celestial and the terrestrial moments of the pilgrimage. According to the law of symmetry, everything that exists on the spiritual plane has a counterpart on the visible plane.

* One must not think that altruism is a synonym to submission, or obedience.

* Generosity includes renunciation. However, life is complex. Besides being able to renounce, one must have firmness and creativity. Altruism implies an ability to say “no” to selfishness.

* Courage is necessary to open a new path, where no path exists. Altruism is often politically incorrect: it may secretly offend many of those who prefer a different road. For one who has renounced honesty, it may be painful and challenging to see the inner peace of honest individuals.

* Real reason is never apart from feelings. Trying to separate thoughts from emotions is an outstanding factor in spiritual ignorance. Selfishness survives by fragmenting and isolating perceptions of life.

* The feelings behind our thoughts should be examined, so that we make sure we are honest to ourselves. There are many lessons to learn from observing in an impartial way our thoughts and emotions regarding our own actions, and regarding the actions of others.

* A significant degree of harmony among thought, emotion and action is of the essence in theosophy, even if contrast is natural wherever there is diversity. When a dynamic cooperation unites the various levels of consciousness, spiritual intuition is always present.

* Reality unfolds in patterns and cycles. Yin and Yang succeed each other like in the sequence of heart-beatings and day and night. The basic attitude to be adopted before life by the vigilant student of theosophy must anticipate the “predictable surprises” which present themselves in sudden ways, but are in fact cyclic and recurrent. By identifying and recognizing such events as repetitive and not really “unexpected”, one can take practical measures to reduce the impact caused by false surprises.

* In order to avoid unwillingly becoming whited sepulchres, people of good will must practice a constant self-examination on the individual plane. And there is also the need for a permanent self-observation on the collective level, in any association whose goals are noble and elevated. Such an ethical exercise is especially decisive for the theosophical movement and every initiative whose purpose is to work for the good of mankind.

* If your goal is distant and noble and elevated, you may think you can immediately take grand steps towards it. This is not always possible. A great goal usually generates small opportunities at first, to search for it. You will repeatedly try and fail, until the defeats teach you the sacred value of small steps, taken in the right direction. They are the key to a lasting victory. It should not be a surprise that the seeds of true wisdom are small. Yet you must remain vigilant regarding greater steps. When you are ready for them, the right opportunities may emerge any time.

* Let’s not deceive ourselves with the vision of a sad ethical crisis in Europe, United States and other countries around the world. The crisis is real and serious. It must be faced with severity, in its causes and its effects. However, the truth is that we are experiencing in various dimensions the first phase of a beautiful spiritual awakening, on a planetary scale. The initial moments of an awakening to ethics can be quite unpleasant. Later on, the best of it starts to emerge.

* The Universe can be described as the Law in movement, and as Truth in action. He who acts with sincerity is fundamentally in harmony with the eternal principle which regulates all things. But having a stronger degree of unity with the universe is uncomfortable. Those who follow this Path must face a significant number of tests and probations. Their sincere actions inevitably question all karmic structures based on illusion, and these are not small in number.

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Initial versions of the above fragments were published in the August 2015 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”. They had no indication as to the name of the author.

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On 14 September 2016, after examining the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, 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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Nov 13, 2017

The Yoga of Editorial Work

Right Action and Self-Discipline
in the Theosophical Movement

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

An example of proof-reading made by Helena Blavatsky during the preparation of
“The Secret Doctrine”. The fragment corresponds to pp. 577-578, volume II of the book.

[ Source of the image: Pasadena Theosophical Society ]



Since ancient time, the frontline of philosophical schools has been kept alive by editorial work, including research, writing, proof-reading and publishing. It has been so both in the East and the West, in Vedantic and Platonic literature alike.

The modern theosophical movement is no exception to the rule. Its main founders were notably its hardest-working authors, translators, researchers and editorial workers. The fact is well-documented that as long as the masters of the wisdom were in direct touch with the movement, they themselves took part in editorial tasks and actively helped the work of publications like “The Theosophist”.

The original Pedagogy of the Masters and Helena Blavatsky recommends a living process of research and study in which the dead-letter memorization is avoided.

The seemingly endless effort in proof-reading philosophical texts - among other editorial tasks - is a form of training. It develops abilities like patience, perseverance, flexibility, attention and concentration. Planning and the right use of time and energy are critically important.

Editorial work forces the student to research and expands the contact of his soul with the ideas discussed in the texts. Being an altruistic effort, the process has many an element of Karma Yoga. The practice teaches humbleness and self-examination, since the student will have to see his own mistakes on a daily basis, and if he is lucky he will have his mistakes shown by friendly readers and persons of good will.

These are some of the reasons why the inner vitality of the esoteric movement directly depends on the importance ascribed to the process of research and writing, while all the individuals involved try to expand both the quality of the work and the altruism of their motivation.

A theosophical association that is not centered on the active search for knowledge ceases to be a community of learning and becomes a community of automatic believers. Its official truths are subject to political negotiation and quietly arranged according to institutional interests.

When Courtesy Replaces Research

While political activity is normally based in corporate interests and superficial opinions, leading-edge research questions old established ideas and destroys attachment to mental routine.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, politics and organized belief have had too much power in the theosophical movement. In the various corporations, research, the practice of the teaching and the search for consistency became uncomfortable for the dominant order in the various corporations.

In the 21st century, the larger and more bureaucratic associations of the theosophical movement are governed by political processes and not by a living unfoldment of advanced study and research. In the esoteric circles which are large enough to be governed by politics, the Karma Yoga of altruistic action is less important, in defining leadership, than the politically correct smile and the art of looking like a saint. While this rosy atmosphere dominates in many an esoteric group, the true theosophical movement follows the example given by its founders.

A Practical Lesson from HPB

Helena P. Blavatsky teaches through her life. She did not spend her days making exercises in public relations. She challenged organized ignorance and fought the causes of human pain. Although her life was an uninterrupted practice of austerity, she adopted no idle form of self-discipline. She followed the discipline of self-sacrifice for a humanitarian goal, and was an editorial worker.

In 1883, during the theosophical attempt to create in India a daily newspaper which would be named “Phoenix”, Alfred P. Sinnett questioned the effectiveness of HPB’s office.

She then revealed to Sinnett some of the circumstances under which the theosophical work has to be done, if the goal is to defeat mental routine and transmit the ethics of universal wisdom:

“I would like to see you undertake the management and editing of Phoenix with two pence in your pocket; with a host of enemies around; no friends to help you; yourself - the editor, manager, clerk, and even peon very often, with a poor half-broken down Damodar to help you alone for three years, one who was a boy right from the school bench, having no idea of business any more than I have, and Olcott always - 7 months in the year - away! Badly managed, indeed! Why we have made miracles in rearing up alone, and in the face of such antagonism, paper, Society, and business in general. (…..) Please remember that while you in the midst of all your arduous labours as the editor of the Pioneer used to leave your work regularly at 4 after beginning it at 10 a.m. - and went away either to lawn tennis or a drive, Olcott and I begin ours at five in the morning with candle light, and end it sometimes at 2 a.m. We have no time for lawn tennis as you had, and clubs and theatres and social intercourse. We have no time hardly to eat and drink.” [1]

The above lines help describe the life of disciples and aspirants to wisdom.

Personal comfort is not their priority; and Damodar K. Mavalankar, whose life constitutes the most brilliant success story in the theosophical movement of all time, is here frankly described by HPB as outwardly “half-broken down”.

NOTE:

[1] “The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett”, TUP, Pasadena, CA, USA, 1973, 404 pp., see Letter XXVII, p. 57.

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An initial version of the above article was published at “The Aquarian Theosophist”, April 2017, pp. 9-11. It had no indication as to the name of the author.

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On 14 September 2016, after examining the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, 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.  

000 

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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Nov 11, 2017

A Prayer for Those Who Heal

With a Commentary from a
Theosophical Point of View

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

A classic portrait of Saint Francis of Assisi



In one of her works, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross publishes a version of the famous prayer by St. Francis of Assisi, adapted to therapists and healers in general.

The prayer says;

LORD,
   Make me an instrument of your health:
where there is sickness,
   let me bring cure;
where there is injury,
   aid;
where there is suffering,
   ease;
where there is sadness,
   comfort;
where there is despair,
   hope;
where there is death,
   acceptance and peace.

GRANT that I may not:
so much seek to be justified,
   as to console;
to be obeyed,
   as to understand;
to be honored,
   as to love. …
for it is in giving ourselves
   that we heal,
it is in listening
   that we comfort,
and in dying
   that we are born to eternal life. [1]


The prayer is not limited to professional healers who perceive the ethical and spiritual dimension of their work.

Anyone who seeks for universal wisdom tends to radiate higher feelings and thoughts around him. Such individual thus becomes up to a certain point a healer, a therapist, and someone who spreads relief among those who suffer.

From a philosophical point of view, one must be able to see the difference between the Cure and the Anaesthesia; between the real relief of pain and the fruitless escape from it; true liberation and a limited struggle against the external effects of suffering. There is a subtle abyss between these two possibilities.

The treatment that leads to an effective elimination of suffering may not be pleasant at first sight.

Every patient who suffers from the disease of spiritual ignorance will have to recognize in his own self the adversaries called fear of healing and resistance to the remedy. These two opponents lead him to reject, in partially unconscious ways, the direct perception and first-hand experience of universal wisdom.

Both the therapist and the spiritual pilgrim must make one central fact clear to their fellow-beings:

That which is good, that which heals and does good, is not always pleasant; and, on the other hand, that which seems to be pleasant is often not good, does no heal, nor does good.

A certain degree of indifference to short-term pain is therefore unavoidable for the true healing to occur, be it physical or spiritual.

An attachment to personal satisfaction and the childish escape from everything that seems unpleasant are two twin sources of the internal imbalance that leads one to the absence of health, on the various levels of life.

When one is aware of these facts, the healing gets deeper and more enduring.

As long as the truth-seeker and the therapist are in full contact with the inner bliss and health, they will radiate courage, confidence and bliss around them. Wherever they are, they stimulate other beings to directly connect in their souls with the inner source of health and well-being.

Experienced therapists and theosophists avoid administering too much of short-term anaesthesia to others. Because of this, one needs a degree of discernment to recognize them, and far more discernment is necessary to gradually become a helping hand oneself.

In the long run, the path of healing is a process of self-realization, self-regulation and self-fulfilment, which occurs in an atmosphere of solidarity and in inner communion with other beings.

NOTE:

[1] “Prayer of Saint Francis”, modified by Charles C. Wise, and published as “Prayer for Healers” in the opening pages of the work “Death, the Final Stage of Growth”, by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, USA, 1975, 182 pp.

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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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