Sep 18, 2019

Why Do Animals Suffer?

Do Not Seek in Vain for
Karmic Effects to Explain Cruelty

Helena P. Blavatsky




Question:

Is it possible for me who loves the animals to learn how to get more power than I have to help them in their sufferings?

Answer:

Genuine unselfish LOVE combined with WILL, is a “power” in itself. They who love animals ought to show that affection in a more efficient way than by covering their pets with ribbons and sending them to howl and scratch at the prize exhibitions.

Question:

Why do the noblest animals suffer so much at the hands of men? I need not enlarge or try to explain this question. Cities are torture places for the animals who can be turned to any account for use or amusement by man! And these are always the most noble.

Answer:

In the Sutras, or the Aphorisms of the Karma-pa, a sect which is an offshoot of the great Gelukpa (yellow caps) sect in Tibet, and whose name bespeaks its tenets - “the believers in the efficacy of Karma”, (action, or good works) - an Upasaka inquires of his Master, why the fate of the poor animals had so changed of late? Never was an animal killed or treated unkindly in the vicinity of Buddhist or other temples in China, in days of old, while now, they are slaughtered and freely sold at the markets of various cities, etc. The answer is suggestive:

…. “Lay not nature under the accusation of this unparalleled injustice. Do not seek in vain for Karmic effects to explain the cruelty, for the Tenbrel Chugnyi (causal connection, Nidana) shall teach thee none. It is the unwelcome advent of the Peling (Christian foreigner), whose three fierce gods refused to provide for the protection of the weak and little ones (animals), that is answerable for the ceaseless and heart-rending sufferings of our dumb companions.”…..

The answer to the above query is here in a nutshell. It may be useful, if once more disagreeable, to some religionists to be told that the blame for this universal suffering falls entirely upon our Western religion and early education. Every philosophical Eastern system, every religion and sect in antiquity - the Brahmanical, Egyptian, Chinese and finally, the purest as the noblest of all the existing systems of ethics, Buddhism - inculcates kindness and protection to every living creature, from animal and bird down to the creeping thing and even the reptile. Alone, our Western religion stands in its isolation, as a monument of the most gigantic human selfishness ever evolved by human brain, without one word in favour of, or for the protection of the poor animal. Quite the reverse. For theology, underlining a sentence in the Jehovistic chapter of “Creation”, interprets it as a proof that animals, as all the rest, were created for man! Ergo - sport has become one of the noblest amusements of the upper ten. Hence - poor innocent birds wounded, tortured and killed every autumn by the million, all over the Christian countries, for man’s recreation. Hence also, unkindness, often cold-blooded cruelty, during the youth of horse and bullock, brutal indifference to its fate when age has rendered it unfit for work, and ingratitude after years of hard labour for, and in the service of man. In whatever country the European steps in, there begins the slaughter of the animals and their useless decimation.

“Has the prisoner ever killed for his pleasure animals?” inquired a Buddhist Judge at a border town in China, infected with pious European Churchmen and missionaries, of a man accused of having murdered his sister. And having been answered in the affirmative, as the prisoner had been a servant in the employ of a Russian colonel, “a mighty hunter before the Lord”, the Judge had no need of any other evidence and the murderer was found “guilty” - justly, as his subsequent confession proved.

Is Christianity or even the Christian layman to be blamed for it? Neither. It is the pernicious system of theology, long centuries of theocracy, and the ferocious, ever-increasing selfishness in the Western civilized countries. What can we do?

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Why Do Animals Suffer?” is an independent item in the associated websites since 18 September 2019, reproduced from “The Aquarian Theosophist”, September 2017, pp. 10-12.  The article was first published in London, UK, in May 1888. It is also included in “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, TPH, USA, volume IX, pp. 286-288.

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See other articles and books by Helena P. Blavatsky.

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Sep 13, 2019

The Maya of Imri

A Theosophical Short Story
About Guidance Beyond Delusion

John Garrigues




Imri, following the path, entered the fog of bewilderment. This is always a place where two roads meet. One road seemed the most inviting. It stretched away, smooth and fair, mounting evenly to brilliant skies, and at the summit line he could vision, glorified, Imri jeweled with light, beacon of guidance for the multitudes of men.

This was the reflection of the Imri of dreams cast upon the screen of time, and was caused by the light of the Soul being broken and scattered by the myriads of desires in the heart. Imri did not know this. Full of zeal to be of service to all souls his gaze was turned outward, thinking other souls separate from himself. The traitors of delusion that ensnare the steps of men were known to him. He had watched them snare others and was constantly warning against them, pointing all men to the path of the One Self. But since there is no separateness at all, these traitors of delusion were also in the heart of Imri, making merry in the fire of Imri’s devotion. This Imri did not know. Only those who are awake in the Self know this. To those who dream, the dream path is the real. Fair and full to them is the dream path, while the path of the real seems like a troubled dream.

Imri spoke to his preceptor, whose steps were moderated to his own: “This is the path.” And Imri turned to the left.

When Imri had so chosen and entered the path, the Guru walked behind him. After a time this was observed by Imri.

“Master, how is this? In the beginning, when first I found you, it was you who walked before. Then, I remember, for a time we walked side by side. Now, though the way is fair and broad, your steps lag and it is I who lead.”

“This path is of thy choosing, not mine. I but go with thee a little way.”

“Is not this the path of the Self?”

“All paths are the Path of the Self”, replied the preceptor. “The Self in each chooses its own path. There is no other way”.

Imri was troubled, and reproved his preceptor. “I do not understand you. These are dark sayings. You, who are my preceptor, should enlighten me. I desire only to learn.”

“This is the path of learning”, answered the Guru, not answering Imri’s reproach.

Imri was vexed in his heart, thinking the Guru was devoid of sympathy, or weary of journeying, or perhaps had misunderstood him. He said to himself that those who are devoid of sympathy grow weary, and that weariness and lack of sympathy make one misunderstand. He felt forgiveness for the preceptor. Vexation left his heart and he turned sympathetically to the Guru to speak kindly words.

But the preceptor seemed a great way off. So Imri waited till his preceptor should draw, near again. But though he waited a space the Guru seemed no nearer. Vexation again rose in the heart of Imri, calling attention to the delay in the journey, and suggesting that it would be better to proceed, so as to prepare shelter at the day’s end for the preceptor. Imri felt a glow of satisfaction in this thought, and resumed his march.

When night came, Imri looked once more at the summit of the dream self. It stood crowned and radiant, but higher in the heavens than at starting, and while he gazed, farther than ever away. He had marched all day with full vigor and this seemed strange, for the way had been level and fair.

He made haste to prepare shelter for the night, thinking extenuations for his preceptor, and pondering the questions to be asked in the evening’s repose. But when the darkness spread the curtains of the night, the preceptor was not yet come.

Then Imri feared that misfortune had come upon his preceptor. Instant anxiety for his welfare opened the gate of memory. Imri searched in thought over the day’s path; then sped him over their past wanderings to the time of his first meeting with the Guru. His heart warmed in the immediate memorial presence of benefaction received. From the fire of his gratitude the traitors of delusion fled in haste.

Imri rose and retraced his steps out of gratitude to the preceptor, to find him and aid him to shelter. In all this Imri had no thought other than gratitude. Though desire still lay hid in his heart, Imri did not know this, and therefore did not dream that he had strayed from the Path through wrong choosing. In dreams the path of the dream is the true path. The real is the path of waking. Nevertheless the path of waking lies through dream. How could it be other than this, if the life of men is a dream? Imri did not know that the ladder to waking from dreams lies in gratitude. He felt only gratitude, not knowing where it leads and not thinking.

Shukra, the star of evening, lighted his path. Before this star set, Imri found the preceptor. Imri thought that the Guru had hastened his steps finding him quickly. This was not true, for the preceptor had not moved. Only Imri had marched long and returned. Without moving is the journey on the path for those who have found the Path. Long is the journey of those who search for the Path. Desire had taken Imri on the day’s march. Gratitude had cut with a sword the return. Imri found the guru again through gratitude.

“I thought I had lost you, my Master. Where have you been in the day? We must hasten our steps to the shelter I have prepared for you and for me. Let me help you the rest of the way.”

“Look”, said the preceptor, smiling tenderly.

Imri felt a great lassitude, from relief at finding the preceptor, and from his long march. He looked where the guru was looking, over the path he had followed and from which he had returned. Beneath the gaze of the preceptor all things were clear in the darkness of the night, and clear in the languor of Imri.

Imri saw that the path he had followed was the myriad path of the desires hid in the heart, made golden by the light of the soul. The far summit of his dreams was the egotism of the head, desiring eminence. The multitudes for whom he had seemed as a beacon of guidance were other men following dreams like himself. Each one of the multitude saw himself as Imri had seen himself. Each aspired to the path, and each saw himself leader of men.

Then humility was in the heart of Imri, and the sorrow of all souls was his, for he saw that the path he had followed led ever downward and that most men walk that way, following their dreams, thinking their dreams the path.

“Look further”, said the Guru, speaking kindly.

Imri saw a strange thing.

Constantly, at each step that they took, there sprang up before each man of the multitude two paths, one broad and full and fair seeming, pointing straight ahead in the line of their desire; the other, mounting steep and abrupt, seemed to end, or be swallowed in darkness. Few gave even one glance at the steep path. Most entered at once the fair way, which seemed straight, but which turned to the left.

“Master, teach me the meaning of this symbol. Why do all choose the smooth road, and none try the rugged path.”

“Dreams are born of the desires which are hid in the heart. All seek to enter the path, but they follow the voice of desire which is golden and sweet and enticing, luring men on. The path is the service of soul. When men aspire to enter the path, desire dreams an easy path.”

“Why do not the Masters and Gurus restrain them, and show them the path of duty?”

“It is the Master in the heart of each, which offers at each step that men take, the steep path you have seen.”

“Can not men see the true path?”

“They see, but they do not consider because of the desires hid in the heart.”

“Why do not the Masters speak, showing the true path?”

“In their dreams, desire, clothed in the light of their souls seems to them the Master, and the voice of the Guru seems but a dream hard and unfeeling.”

“Can nothing be done to awaken these souls wrapped in the images of desire?”

“In their dreams they choose always the road that seems fair and smooth. But the myriad desires bruise their feet. Then they consider and listen.”

“Ah”, said Imri, “even as I was bruised and came to thee, my Preceptor in the beginning.”

“I was with you always”, answered the Guru, “for whatever the path taken by mankind, that path is mine.”

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The Maya of Imri” was published in the associated websites on 13 September 2019. It is part of the volume “From the Book of Images”, by Dhan Gargya, The Cunningham Press, Los Angeles, California, 1947, 192 pp., see pp. 29-33. Dhan Gargya is a pseudonym used by John Garrigues.  

The same story can be found, with no indication as to the name of the author, in the April 1917 edition of “Theosophy” magazine, Los Angeles. 

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See the article “Life and Writings of John Garrigues”. Click to read other texts by John Garrigues.

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Sep 9, 2019

The American Sex Revolution

A Long-Standing Attack
Against Deep and Lasting Love  

Pitirim A. Sorokin





A timeless classic,
in its 1956 U.S. edition



Chapter I
REVOLUTION IN SEX BEHAVIOR

AN ODD REVOLUTION

Among the many changes of the last few decades, a peculiar revolution has been taking place in the lives of millions of American men and women. Quite different from the better-known political and economic revolutions, it goes almost unnoticed. Devoid of noisy public explosions, its stormy scenes are confined to the privacy of the bedroom and involve only individuals. Unmarked by dramatic events on a large scale, it is free from civil war, class struggle, and bloodshed. It has no revolutionary army to fight its enemies.


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The book “The American Sex Revolution”, by Pitirim A. Sorokin, was published in the associated websites on 09 September 2019.

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On Sorokin’s work, see the article “The Five Dimensions of Love”.

You might like to read Blavatsky’s article “Moral Education, by Prof. Buchanan” and the book Moral Education: Its Laws and Methods” (Joseph Rhodes Buchanan).

Take a look at the articles “Is Family Life a Duty?”, “Family and the Sources of Life”, and “On Abortion: Is Foeticide a Crime?” (by H.P. Blavatsky).

Read “How Women Enlighten the Future” (by a Master of the Wisdom). Examine the list of “Texts on the Family and the Path”.

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Sep 6, 2019

The Aquarian Theosophist, September 2019




In the front page of the September edition, the Aquarian presents the article “An Improvement of the Heart”, which says:  

In one of his books, Boris Johnson describes a special moment in the life of Winston Churchill.”

On page three we have “The Key to Contentment: Less Cunning, More Intelligence”. The notes “The Horizon of Freedom”, “The Substance of One’s Agenda” and “The Possibility of a New World War” will be found on page four.

Other topics in the September edition include: 

* The Endless and the Limited;

* I.K. Taimni - The Role of Tapas in Raja Yoga;

* A Book Recommended by Helena Blavatsky - Buchanan, on Moral Education;

* Thomas Cleary - From the Taoist Classic ‘Wen-tzu’;

* The Writings of an Eastern Master - 30, Other Letters to the Chela S. Ramaswamier; and

* Thoughts Along the Road

With 16 pages, the 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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Sep 1, 2019

Change in the Poles of Our Planet

Classical Theosophical
Teachings and Recent Facts

Carlos Cardoso Aveline




Before Starting:
The Sense of Inner Guidance

Visible compasses point to the physical North Pole and indicate at the same time the South Pole.

Besides the compasses that are made of physical matter, there are other ones, and they are spiritual. These can be found in the souls of human beings. They point to the higher North which corresponds to unchanging goodness and unconditional truth.



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The article “Change in the Poles of Our Planet” was published as an independent item in the associated websites on 01 September 2019. Editorial assistance: Joana Maria Pinho. It is a revised version of writings published in the February 2019 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, which had no indication as to the name of the author.

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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).


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