Jul 16, 2019

Thoughts Along the Road - 35

There Can Be No Firmness in One’s
Steps, in the Absence of Self-Discipline

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

A generous self-sacrifice was the natural
thing to do according to George Orwell (1903-1950)



* There is a sharp difference between peace and stagnation. In community, as in individual life, harmony does not include indulgence.

* Cooperation is preserved through the combination of self-responsibility, right action and the shared pursuit of legitimate goals.

* A true understanding of life is beyond words and cannot be verbally communicated. Being acquainted with an accurate description of reality is not the same as knowing the facts. Far from it.

* Before finishing the process of observation, the observer must be one with the facts examined. Happiness is secret, in part, because there is no way for it to be expressed in words. Purely mental thoughts, separated from the other levels of consciousness, are obstacles to a correct view of things.

* There is a time for the pilgrim to perceive little by little his future duty, and to slowly get ready to it. And then there’s a time to act accordingly. There is an occasion to prepare to work, and a time to work indeed. A time to sleep amidst beautiful concepts and ideas, and a time to wake up and walk along the uphill path.

* He who does not want to listen to his own conscience has no real interest in wisdom. A constant dialogue with the voice of his soul is an essential part of the “guiding system” for students of classic philosophy, Eastern and Western.

* According to your system of values, you build your own system of ethics. That which one considers right or wrong depends on what one defines as being of supreme importance.  

* True ethics is based on real values, which belong to the soul, while the love of material possession creates a fake ethics. Every permanent value relates to the higher self. Eternal wisdom and right action expand and inspire one another.

* There can be no firmness in one’s steps, in the absence of self-discipline. Every day one must challenge and defeat laziness, the search for superficial change, love of comfort, personal hopes and fears. These and other feelings do not come from the spiritual soul. And even while strengthening the will and having firm decisions one must also keep the mind open, and preserve humbleness in the heart, in order to be able to see truth, little by little.

* Each action we perform in life, each project we unfold, and each idea we nurture, tend to expand one or two aspects of our character. Right actions create a correct character, expanding and strengthening it, while keeping negative tendencies at a distance. Therefore, the revolutionary question is: “Am I doing my best right now?

* True peace results from the right kind of interaction between mind and heart. An inner silence is necessary for thoughts to be heard in the emotional world. An absence of noise makes it possible for the feelings to be understood on the realm of thought. A detachment from short-term outward situations allows one’s heart and mind to look at the world from the point of view of the “ladder” to the sky, antahkarana.

* An abstract will to do something may be enough to make a decision. Then one must put denser energies into motion so as to create the desired effects. The distance and contrast between intention and action should be observed. Within oneself, different levels of consciousness tend to obey to varied interests. A directness of view is rarely absolute and can be improved every day.

* Calm concentration results from one-pointedness, which means leaving secondary issues aside. Slow movements gather magnetism. Anxiety is the unfortunate mother of modern acceleration. Slow is the growth of a tree and a forest. Quick is their destruction. Unhurried is the breathing in Yoga; superficial inhalation denotes nervousness. The right kind of calm can be as quick as the lightning, while hurry seems to make strong movements, but leads nowhere.

* The question to be faced by each one is not whether an ethical improvement - a growth in wisdom - is possible in human community. For the answer is “yes”, for those who make an honest effort in that direction; and “no”, for those who don’t. Fear and laziness prefer to think negatively of human future. One must have real contact with one’s spiritual soul, to see that the future is bright, and to work for it to take place sooner than later. The real question before us, then, is whether we are aware of our personal responsibility for the fate of mankind, and how far we are able to act accordingly.

* Sweet hypocrisy, well-intentioned falsehood and pious frauds degrade truth by making it look like rude and unbearable. Thus the words cease to serve communication and start hiding truth more than they express it. When this is done, violence and fanaticism can spread in every department of life, for honest persons will be seen as intolerant, and liars, as spiritual souls. The power then belongs to whited sepulchres - until that moment when Karma brings Justice back.

* The various forms of nonsense that one finds in today’s society are humble expressions of the universal law. For the eternal Law of Equilibrium states something about decadence that can be expressed in many ways, and whose main idea remains the same: “Whenever human behaviour gets separated from a sense of honesty and truth, of moral beauty and ethical goodness, then thoughtless, irresponsible actions spread in the community, until common sense is once more recovered and the occult bridge to celestial consciousness is born again.

* While blind instincts and unguided emotions promote painful ups and downs in life, energy is necessary to keep one’s focus in that which is right, to ignore the illusions of short-term pleasure and pain, and to discharge one’s duty. When pleasure is not a goal in itself, one attains to common sense. Universal wisdom is similar to pure water in natural conditions: it is colourless, odourless, tasteless, and has no rigid external form.

* In the 19th century just as in the 21st, many ask to be accepted in theosophical circles without ever asking themselves how they would like to help the altruistic project. The phenomenon can be seen in the “Mahatma Letters”. It is easy to detect today. Many who search for “initiations” are entirely enthusiastic about themselves, and utterly indifferent, in their hearts, as to the future of mankind. They are blind. Someone must tell them there is no theosophy whatsoever in the territory of selfish and neurotic intentions. Theosophy can only exist in honest minds and universal hearts.

* Sincerity and good will are widely accepted in theory. Everyone seems to like them, as long as they do not question one’s personal opinions, mental routine and emotional comfort. Hypocrisy, on the other hand, is elegant, superficially beautiful to look at, and above all - politically correct.

* Although the fruits of hypocrisy are bitter and bring about disaster, their short-term results are often sweet, especially for people who are foolish enough to live on appearances, and lazy enough not to think by themselves. For these and other reasons the way to truth is long, narrow, uphill, uncertain. It is also the only path available to real life.

* The search for political-correctness forms a living web of illusions, interconnected by their common support to the absence of realism. Thus organized ignorance emerges. How can one abandon the blind ways of life? A degree of indifference to pain and pleasure allows an individual to listen to his soul and perform right action regardless of applause or boycott.

* One’s spiritual soul is friendly to all beings: at the same time, it rejects the thousand and one forms of ignorance and selfishness, regardless of time and place. As each soul awakens, collective ignorance becomes weaker.

* Due to the law of equilibrium, every step in the multiplication of selfishness and ignorance across the world is compensated by an equal amount of growth in wisdom; which, however, may remain “invisible” for some time.

* Those who seem to see more ignorance than wisdom today should remember that the universe is governed by Law, and human affairs are no exception.  However, that which is essential usually remains invisible in the world of passing illusions. It can be perceived by those who have the necessary degree of discernment.

* The timing of justice is not the timing of error; yet Justice is powerful and error is not. Justice is symmetry, and it expresses itself through the law of sowing and harvesting. Life consists of wave motions: Justice is a dynamic process. The re-establishment of equilibrium takes place in the right moments of each cycle.

* “The Secret Doctrine”, the masterpiece of Helena Blavatsky, is described by some as “exceedingly abstract” and “of little practical use in the 21st century”. In fact, mental superficiality is worse than useless in our century, and it has been so for ages.

* Active and responsible minds can profoundly benefit from the study of esoteric philosophy. The study of “The Secret Doctrine” - alongside with other classic works of philosophy - has a decisive and practical effect in daily life. It elevates the mind of the student from the narrow horizons of spiritual ignorance to a direct understanding of the cosmos and of his own heart. Its beneficial consequences include more than one lifetime. There is an impersonal universal wisdom flowing around that immortal poem about Infinite Duration and limitless Space.  Its thoughtful reading liberates human minds from the painful myopia of small personal events and leads them to the wide nameless field of eternal bliss.

* While seeking for abstract truth has supreme importance, living examples of altruism should be cherished and kept visible. Practical lessons can be taken from them. The whole life of Eric Blair, or George Orwell, was an exercise in selflessness and idealism.  

* Writing about how George Orwell barely survived the Second World War, while his wife didn’t, Tom Hopkinson said: “In the last year of the war, Orwell’s wife died, collapsing after a quite minor operation. To a friend who visited him, he remarked that this was probably due to lack of strength: both of them, he said, had consistently gone without their rations, or part of their rations, ‘so that there should be more for other people’.” [1] That was no isolated fact in Orwell’s life, or in his century. Even now, millions of people are invisibly altruistic around the world, a lesson we can learn if we have the eyes to see.  

NOTE:

[1] “George Orwell”, a 40-pp. pamphlet by Tom Hopkinson, published by Longmans, Green & Co. for the National Book League, 1953. See p. 29.

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Thoughts Along the Road - 35was published as an independent text on 16 July 2019.  An initial version of it, with no indication as to the name of the author, is included in “The Aquarian Theosophist”, June 2017 edition, pp. 13-15. A few short notes written by the same author and anonymously published in that edition of “The Aquarian” were added to form the article.

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Jul 11, 2019

The Aquarian Theosophist, July 2019





The opening text in our July edition is “If You See an Injustice, Don’t Blame the Victim”, and it says:

“In many a situation injustice is systemic and justice seems powerless. Anti-Semitism is often an example of this. There are others. Individual injustices are frequent in numerous social groups. Persecution for political or ethnical reasons is common.”

Pages three to six bring the article “Happiness in Eastern Wisdom: Commentaries to a Chapter of the Dhammapada”. Then we have “Thoughts Along the Road”.

These are other topics in the July edition:

* The Theosophy of Romanticism;

* The Writings of an Eastern Master - 28, or the need to be loyal and just, if one seeks for universal wisdom;

* The Source of Progress; and

* Yoga and Thoughtfulness.

With 15 pages, the July Aquarian includes the List of New Items at the associated websites.  



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

If you want to help spread theosophy and ethics in today’s world, send the Aquarian to your friends; invite them to write to the editors making a free subscription of the journal.  

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


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Jul 9, 2019

Thoughts Along the Road - 34

Life and the World Are Becoming Liquid

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017)



* Quietness is a source of efficacy. As one learns to better retreat from action into contemplation, one attains to a greater effectiveness in the outward world. In fact, right action, inner contemplation and detachment from results usually coexist in time and place.

* The deliberate upward movement of one’s soul provokes a realignment in the lower layers of one’s Karma which is not necessarily pleasant in its purifying procedures. The symmetry between the higher and the lower is unavoidable. Firmness and transcendence are necessary in all occasions and at every level of the pilgrim’s consciousness.

* All forms of harmonious syntony must grow in time or else fail and cease to exist. Love for truth is no exception to the rule. One’s ability to place a lucid understanding of facts above other goals - and search for truth in itself - can only expand little by little. It takes time to leave aside comfortable consensus or pleasing appearances and choose hard facts, a habit which gives us a higher order of contentment.

* Self-organization and realistic planning allow us to transcend small topics, study universal laws and search for eternal knowledge. He who does not want to organize himself regarding external aspects of life will find it hard to make serious decisions involving his spiritual soul. Self-organization produces peace and silence in the inner world of the pilgrim, and this expands his consciousness.

* Once we see the quiet presence of the Universal Law in daily events - everywhere and in any century -, peace gains strength in our soul. Placed on the firm foundations of tranquility and wisdom, efforts to attain objective goals become more effective.

* The beauty of life is in its limitlessness, as long as the world of form is concerned. The baby being born, the insight coming to us and the Sun rising in the morning all speak of renewal and transcendence. And yet stability is also part of the beauty of life. Relative permanence is necessary for one to understand the very ideas of spring, birth and change.

* I must not disdain the challenges that wait for me before I attain my goals. They are my teachers, I must learn from them. However, the best way to face obstacles is to carefully examine them, to place them in the wider context of my soul’s learning, and concentrate on the practices of right view, right understanding, right contemplation, right action. By thinking mainly of that which is correct and acting accordingly, mistakes are overcome.

* One thing is the total amount of duties, tasks, lessons, privileges and opportunities waiting for me. Another thing is how I organize myself and plan my activities, so as to create good karma and attain my main goals. Time and Energy are two natural resources of great value. Using them in wise ways is a science in itself, and part of the art of sowing that which we would like to harvest.

* The attachment to lower levels of perception prevents the pilgrim from proceeding along the uphill path toward truth and makes him feel like a bird that can’t fly. Renunciation to blind attachment liberates one from unhappiness and enables him to be effective in all departments of life, including material duties. The soul can fly as a bird while at the same time its outward dimension as a pilgrim walks on firm soil.

* An anonymous theosophist wrote, a few years ago: “A lack of moderation is an absence of respect and love for oneself. One’s purpose must be to serve equilibrium and express love.” Indeed, a sense of balance is necessary for the student of esoteric philosophy to deal with the sharp contrasts produced by life. Self-knowledge generates self-confidence, and self-confidence in time will pave the way to moderation.

* As long as my horizon is narrow and my goal remains limited to short-term timing, a sense of failure will fortunately teach me the art of obtaining a broadening horizon, and the science of searching for a bright, lasting goal. And when my horizon becomes wide and my goal impersonally includes many thousands of years, then my short-term actions will be far more important - because they will unfold in a larger context.

* Sudden change often takes place after many delays and constant postponements. The change in the consciousness and Karma of our mankind is getting quicker in our century. Falsity becomes unsustainable, and social structures based on illusion get increasing unable to resist their own weight. Truth shines, and all that it shows is not beautiful. Yet no one can stop the Sun from rising in the morning.

* Artificial spirituality tries to deny and ignores the physical aspects of life. True wisdom teaches us instead to gradually reorganize every department of daily existence on the basis of our perception of the Law. All life is sacred if looked at and transformed from the point of view of the Soul. The physical body is a temple and it can be respected as such. One’s emotional world is another atmosphere in and around the shrine. So are the thoughts, ideas, higher impressions and one’s central, noble purpose.

* Perceiving the truth of the existence of a reincarnating Self in each human being is a great source of peace. It changes our relation to eternity and makes us become friends of endless time. It also improves our relation to passing aspects of life. Each minute becomes more meaningful, and the years and decades ahead are seen as part of a broader context.

* Peace and order use to go together. Human conflicts can be understood as symptoms of a deficit in order. Disorder generates frustration and hostility. Order can only exist where harmony is present; and harmony, on its turn, needs knowledge. With these elements, we have a virtuous circle that deserves study and observation. Knowledge brings about a perception of unity. Conscious unity is the substance of harmony. The dynamics of harmony opens the door to a natural order, and order produces a lasting sense of peace.

* Many kinds of karmic acceleration make it hard for people to think before acting, and to duly observe facts, before making decisions.

* Whenever someone or a social group loses contact with the ethics of higher levels of consciousness, the result is a sudden feeling of pride and an exaggeration in self-confidence. The individual or collectivity then gets euphoric and leaves aside things like moderation or prudence.

* In times of sudden karmic acceleration, one must keep to the fundamentals and avoid all thoughtless conclusions. Blind attachment to appearance and circumstances is a trap. Inner silence and a profound independence from established ideas are effective protections to him who searches for wisdom. 

* The Law of Ethics and Equilibrium loses nothing by being ignored, but those who try to leave it aside have much to lose.

* When truth is suppressed for a long time, it may come back with a large and profound implosion of sophisticated structures that are based on illusion, and often on fraud.  

* Sincerity may be difficult to accept sometimes, but it gives strength to living structures.  When it is consciously ignored and denied, it becomes increasingly “unbearable”, until truth comes back and destroys whatever stands on its way. It then makes the entire landscape of karma change.

* Since human beings are the fundamental building blocks of every group, institution or nation, it is only by the self-improvement of the individual himself, in the first place, that social structures can be corrected.

* Humanistic efforts have a decisive importance in human future because they offer stimuli and useful information to those who want to improve themselves, who try to cease making unnecessary mistakes and practice the art of right action. The moral quality of social life also depends on long and short Karmic cycles which are the subject of deep studies in theosophy. At any point of the cycles, however, to do one’s best is a safe source of inner bliss.

* Life is getting “liquid”, as Zygmunt Bauman wrote in his books. Forms and structures are melting. Everything seems to be falling apart. Not being a student of esoteric philosophy, Bauman could not see that life is becoming astral, in reality, and that this has at least two sides. On one hand, our lower selves lose a lot of certainties they used to have, and which - by the way - were false, although they gave us comfort. On the other hand, we painfully learn detachment from outer form and obtain freedom of action in a wider horizon. There are of course gains and losses in the fact that life becomes more astral, or “liquid”, and less physical. Considering all factors and levels of consciousness involved, no one has reasons to complain.

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Thoughts Along the Road - 34was published as an independent text on 09 July 2019. An initial version of it, with no indication as to the name of the author, is included in “The Aquarian Theosophist”, May 2017 edition, pp. 10-12. A few short notes written by the same author and anonymously published in that edition of “The Aquarian” were added to form the article.

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Jul 4, 2019

Thoughts Along the Road - 33

As the Outward Challenges Multiply,
Occasion Arrives to Find Peace Within

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

A street in the village of “Casal de São Simão”, in Portugal



* True happiness tends to be exclusive to the territory of altruism.

* No bliss belongs to the lower self, although part of it can descend upon the lower levels of consciousness as an unexpected grace and a source of peace.

* Thoughtlessness is a disease of our time, while thoughtfulness opens the door to Yoga. Examining life is exclusive to those whose souls have awakened. The quest for truth constitutes a privilege: it gives people unlimited amounts of inner strength.

* There is no limit to one’s creative possibilities, although people may have a very limited vision of such potentiality. Through moderate efforts made in the right direction, we awaken little by little the infinite power of life present in ourselves.

* Microcosm and macrocosm are One. A long-term patience is an essential tool for the pilgrim, yet every moment counts. A correct view of past and future is necessary in the science of right action. However, life flourishes and unfolds in the Now. The whole Cosmos and its laws must be studied, yet the pilgrim has to watch his every step on the ground of the earth.

* The springtime of the soul takes place when the light of truth shines with increasing strength. A spring is not necessarily comfortable, and truth has no duty to be pleasant in the short run. The spring of the soul unfolds when the sun of the higher Self enlightens the mistakes we must correct, indicates noble actions to be done at last, and highlights long-forgotten tasks which must be rescued from oblivion.

* The source of true contentment is not in seeing one’s desires fulfilled, but in getting free from personal desire, instead. By transcending the narrow horizons of the lower self we attain blessings.

* It is wrong to think that the Universal Law is outside ourselves. Natural or Universal Law, also called “the law of nature”, works in all aspects and levels of the world, including human soul. It is the dharma, the duty and the Karma regulating individual life. The voice of our conscience expresses the Law. The act of being in peace with ourselves allows us to get in syntony with the noble aspects of other beings.

* Goodness can always be found in human consciousness. Selfishness is a dangerous form of self-delusion and gets extinguished in due time. Yet falsity needs to be unmasked, once and for all, before we get rid of it.

* Those who have been morally blinded by the ideology of love for money or power are often unable to see goodness in life. Yet generosity makes the sun rise every morning. Good-will leads the planets around the Sun, and free birds express a joy of living that is shared by all. It is thanks to the sacred presence of altruism that humans help each other in every aspect of our society.

* One thing is clear from the study of the Mahatma Letters and the writings of Helena Blavatsky. The proper way to learn esoteric philosophy includes the conscious building of a “bridge” between the celestial and the terrestrial, between the macrocosmic and the microcosmic, the spiritual and the emotional, the ideal and the fact, the ethical precepts and their daily practice.

* As long as there is a clear and noble goal the key task is to focus our mind and energy in the practice of wisdom and the search for universal truth. This must be done while developing that “second attention” which can identify the divine opportunities surrounding us. There will be doors to be knocked at, and new grounds which one will gradually learn how to tread on.

* He who is not ready to accept defeat will not attain real victory. The pilgrim who does not care if he looks like an idiot to others can have access to eternal wisdom. Anyone who tries to be cleverer than others will have to come to terms sooner or later with his profound lack of intelligence.

* By being quiet, one realizes the best way to use his energies. Through a combination of pure heart and right discernment, the pilgrim can identify both sincerity and falsehood in human minds.

* The illusion of high speed is a hallmark of urban industrialized societies. Physical, emotional and mental hurry are signs of superficiality in decision-making. Before the pilgrim speeds up his march ahead, it is wise to ask himself where exactly he is going.

* We often have to choose between making slow progress towards a valuable goal and going much more quickly, and initially with more satisfaction, to places that are worse than useless. The absence of acceleration preserves common sense, allows people to think by themselves and makes it easier to make wise decisions.

* By abstaining from personal attachment to any particular form of action, one can better identify the right decision to be made any time. An excessive number of automatic reactions inevitably provokes a distortion of reality and facts. It is our perseverance in following the most truthful and accurate view of reality of which we are capable, that effectively helps us in decision-making. In the choice between love of truth and love of psychological comfort, much of our character expresses itself.

* As the outward challenges multiply, occasion arrives to find peace within. Monetary materialism and religious fanaticism - those twin forms of blindness always opposing and complementing one another - make meaningless noise and stimulate superficial anxiety. An unconditional respect for Life and the decision to improve oneself in quiet, almost invisible ways, are two factors which produce equilibrium and well-being. A sense of duty towards the soul paves the way to a happiness that takes place on the permanent levels of one’s being.

* Immediately above that mental territory where thoughts dominate, a form of perception occurs which is too quick, or too subtle, to be transformed in words. As long as this level of perception still associates different ideas and facts, it can be called a form of “wordless thought”. When consciousness gets quicker or more subtle than wordless thought, one’s perceptions transcend specific topics and the understanding becomes effortless. Consciousness above thought is supreme. However, for one to see the plenitude in the void the state of complete concentration must be quietly natural and spontaneous.

* Falsehood is often sweet, and truth, bitter. Yet sweets are something to be avoided along the path to wisdom, and so are artificial flavors, physical or emotional. Truth either is accepted or refused. Accepting truth means changing habit, choosing health - physical and spiritual - and being able to learn.

* New and more accurate views of reality may appear to be aggressive in the way they transform our lives, if accepted by us. In order to deal with strong facts, one must not pretend one knows all things already; one must be a humble learner, an honest seeker.

* As the pilgrim learns to look with respect at his own mistakes, he stops denying his failures to himself and finds it easier to correct them. By being innerly truthful, he establishes peace among his various levels of consciousness. Thus the pilgrim becomes sincere and harmonious with other honest beings. He will inevitably tend to expect sincerity from everyone. For this reason the student of philosophy may look like he belongs to another planet, for those who enjoy acting like liars. Yet he is not an extra-terrestrial being. He is a pioneer of the future civilization, whose foundations include the basic principle of respect for truth.

* The false need to be in harmony with the others at all cost destroys antahkarana, separates the individual from his own soul, leads him to act in irresponsible ways, and stimulates that which should not be stimulated.

* One must be in harmony with the voice of his conscience, first, and then confront the karma of being sincere in a civilization where falsehood is not difficult to find, and hypocrisy is sometimes more easily accepted than truth.

* From sincerity to oneself the feeling of honesty towards others results. Of course, thoughtless individuals see honesty as politically incorrect. While superficial minds are inhabited by passing winds, the deeper levels of mind make the real difference, for they are in syntony with one’s soul.

* The word “transfiguration” is defined as “a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state”.  While this is correct, there is also a negative form of “transfiguration”, which makes the morally ugly aspects of an individual become visible. It usually occurs when the outward personality of a student of theosophy - full of sincerity and good intentions - is submitted to the process of probatory fire, and/or to psychoanalytic examination. Positive and negative transfigurations are both useful changes in form and express different moments of cycles in human evolution. They correspond to the springs and autumns of spiritual pilgrimage. Common sense invites the student to look at the whole cycle, which includes all “seasons” of the soul.

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Thoughts Along the Road - 33was published as an independent text on 04 July 2019.  An initial version of it, with no indication as to the name of the author, is included in “The Aquarian Theosophist”, April 2017 edition, pp. 14-16. A few short notes written by the same author and anonymously published in that edition of “The Aquarian” were added to form the article.

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Jun 29, 2019

The Occult World

A School of Philosophy of Which
The Modern Culture Has Lost Sight

A.P. Sinnett

Alfred P. Sinnett



Dedication

To one whose comprehension of Nature and
Humanity ranges so far beyond the science and
philosophy of Europe,  that only the broadest minded
representatives of either will be able to realize the existence
of such powers  in Man as those he constantly exercises, - to

THE MAHATMA KOOTHOOMI

whose gracious friendship has given the present
writer his title to claim the attention of the European
world, this little volume, with permission sought and
obtained, is affectionately dedicated.

A.P. SINNETT




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The book “The Occult World” was published in the associated websites on 29 June 2019.

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See “The Mahatma Letters”, A. Trevor Barker (ed.), 1926 edition, published by T. Fisher Unwin Ltd., in London, UK, 493 pages.

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