Mar 17, 2019

Video: The Goal of the Pilgrim

The Golden Stairs State the Rules To
Be Followed by Aspirants to Discipleship

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

In this three-minute video, Carlos examines the Golden Stairs of spiritual learning according to Eastern Esoteric tradition. Joana Maria Pinho edited it. Click to watch the video - and share it with your friends:


The above video was published in our associated websites on 17 March 2019.

Read the articles “The Golden Stairs” and “Commentaries to the Golden Stairs”.


See other Audios and Videos about theosophy. 


In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists, whose priorities include the building of a better future in the different dimensions of life.  


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

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Mar 15, 2019

Thoughts Along the Road - 27

Altruistic Actions Provoke an Immediate
Invisible Blessing, Which Makes no Noise

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

* Ignorance uses to disguise itself under the garb of divine knowledge. For this reason the key to attain wisdom is beyond adopting wise words in thinking or talking. One needs to constantly compare the truth present in wise words with the actual falsehood of any daily actions of ours that are based on ignorance.  Courage, confidence and humbleness are necessary in the process.

* The path changes people. As the spiritual pilgrim walks up the mountain, his horizon widens, the air becomes purer, and he has to live with an increasing amount of detachment regarding particular issues and specific objects. If he does not take the initiative to look for detachment, then detachment will look for him, and it will find him, often in the form of loss.

* The magnetism of the Sun transmits life and vision to all. It permeates things. It inspires each being according to its specific degree of evolution. It demands nothing. The Earth and every celestial body in the solar system are parts of the aura of our Star as it proceeds in its anonymous pilgrimage across the Milky Way - and around the centre of the galaxy.

* More intelligent than fighting our circumstances is to learn from them and build better ones. To purify oneself is more useful than criticizing others. Instead of indulging in ambition, one should renounce unwise ideas. The way to happiness is not quite in having our desires fulfilled, but in leaving personal desires aside. A strong will must be built that is altruistic.

* There is no joy like the joy of having fulfilled one’s duty. No pleasure can ever be comparable to the pleasure of knowing that one deserves inner peace. Doing good in undetectable ways is among the supreme forms of happiness. When the Law and the higher self are the sole and secret witnesses of good actions, the pilgrim has his reward already.

* Effort and rest are equally important in life. Both should be complete. There must be moderation in the two. A supreme effort can be made daily that does not deny the principle of moderation. A complete rest has nothing to do with laziness. Detachment, which results from a broad horizon, grants us the ability to combine intensity and moderation in work.

* What is the criterion to evaluate the process of learning? The contents and meaning of knowledge are indicated by the amount of ethics in the way it is used. True knowledge is employed in morally responsible ways, to achieve decent goals. Real knowledge provokes well-being: false knowledge leads to suffering.

* However imperfect, human beings are living ladders between the earth and the sky. In order to improve themselves, they must understand and regulate Life in each step of their own consciousness, and establish little by little a harmony between celestial and earthly forms of life in themselves. It’s a long term task, and every minute counts.

* Naive people take life for granted. They are still sleeping inside. Those who know better conquer life each new day with due effort. They are awakening already. The attitude of misinformed people regarding the future is based on the principle and the philosophy of “wait and see”. People with common sense actively work for a better tomorrow. Everyone can examine to what group of individuals he belongs by now.

* Music, noise and silence make life, just as right action, mistake and repose do. Pleasure, pain and wisdom are part of existence, just as renewal, preservation and a balance between the two.

* A secret dialogue bridges the different sides of existence. Some children seem too old already: they will get younger as time passes. And many are those who at seventy start to live the joy of life.

* The student of universal wisdom must learn how to receive in proper ways in his psychological world the ceaseless events that Life brings to him. New facts and realities harmonize themselves as soon as one puts them in their right context. Thus the student develops an ability to deal with trends of events, rather than mere isolated facts. Once he identifies the patterns, the cycles and trends, he can foresee what the possibilities are. As a result, right understanding succeeds “surprise”, and right action replaces impulsive behaviour.

* Through our sense of inner equilibrium we can understand the rules guiding Life. The Law of Karma expresses itself in a dynamic, spiraled movement, constantly re-establishing equilibrium and balance. It does so through the law of cycles and the law of symmetry. A mathematical symmetry can be seen in every cycle which allows us to infer and calculate in advance the change and renewal of general trends that are yet to come in History and Karma.

* It all depends on the point of view from which we look at life. In order to find the spiritual Path, one must see each thing and every event from a noble viewpoint. Besides, isolated insights have limited results. Before being able to sustain a noble perspective, a stable structure of habits, actions and practice must be built. This is no poetical speculation. Only the grandeur and beauty of the path can inspire one to make the inevitably hard and apparently “inglorious” effort.

* The soul has its own ecology. A stable silence within allows one to contemplate the emotional and mental landscape of his individuality, with its higher places and lower places, its climate and atmosphere. Passing “winds” and “rains” can change the short term aspect of one’s nature and its temperature. These factors alternate with sunlight, moonlight, and the influence of clouds of various kinds. In order to sow in effective ways, one needs patient labor done under changing weather conditions. The agriculture of the soul is an Occult science: it requires hard, intelligent work.

* Sentences have an occult life. At each sentence or paragraph studied in reading theosophical literature, the pilgrim must ask himself: “what is the actual meaning of these words to my own inner life and daily existence?”  The best answers to such constant question will probably be wordless. Yet the ever-renewed query remains decisive. The secret dialogue between philosophical thoughts and one’s conscience and actions cannot be artificially provoked, just as the germination of a seed cannot the forced from the outside. One must create the proper conditions for it to occur of its own, and give it the time it needs to flourish.

* Theosophy is the perception both practical and contemplative of the unity of all beings and things. It inevitably cancels the illusion of being a separate self. Theosophy is therefore one with altruism.

* While there are many different individualities, no separation exists. Diversity and unity live together. As a result, there can be no personal acquisition of a knowledge regarding theosophy. All that one’s personal self can do is learn concepts and get acquainted with the wording, paving the way for the understanding of one’s soul. Real knowledge does not belong to one’s outer vehicle. For the lower self, loving truth is to love something located beyond and above itself: thus true devotion is born.

* Socratic questions are useful in the search for truth. If we have an interest in the path to divine wisdom, it will be useful to ask ourselves some questions. For instance:  What is it that inspires us?  Does it invite us to perform better actions? Does it teach us to become wiser and look at life from a higher point of view?  Do we defend such a source of inspiration from the inevitable pressures coming from lower forms of consciousness?  Do we feel grateful to the sources of our learning? Do we share a knowledge of such a source with others who may deserve contact with it?

* The law of karma operates on every level of reality and so does the ripening of karma.

* Some levels of action take a long time to return to their originator, and sometimes this takes place in a future incarnation. In other situations, fruits are immediate. Examples are many of mistakes whose karmic consequences occur in the fraction of a second.

* If someone is humbly performing an altruistic duty, the consciousness of his action and duty enlightens him as an immediate blessing which makes no noise. Bliss may even avoid his self-conscious awareness and flow undetected by the physical personality - unless the pilgrim develops a deeper attention regarding life. And this should come in time.

* Progress along the path to wisdom allows students of philosophy to learn little by little an important lesson. They become able to anticipate the karmic development of situations and to know the effects of an action before it takes place. By practising the science of right living, they avoid unnecessary pain and enjoy inner bliss.

* In the age of anxiety, speaking at high speed is considered a sign of cleverness, while slow thinking constitutes a proof of mental retardation. And this is one of the delusions of the century. Superficial and meaningless minds feel proud to be quick and believe others to be less than clever. In fact, intelligence ignores hurry, and is ignored by it.

* Starting a real dialogue with another person requires a multiple focus on various levels of consciousness at the same time, while listening to one’s own soul. The calm presence of silence is necessary for that to take place. The deep mind is slow in changing subject: the soulless mind is not. The real self is a friend of silence and can learn from a turtle or from a tree; the outward mask is not, and cannot.

* You may want to be quiet and silent and modest in order to live universal wisdom. And this is only the first step on the probationary path. The very fact that you search for wisdom is enough to challenge, reveal and confront un-wisdom, or ignorance. You will try to avoid the fight, but the fight will come after you, and this is why the Masters of the Wisdom often use in their Letters the metaphor of the Warrior to refer to true theosophists.

* The act of living in wisdom and existing in the strict territory of universal ethics invites all kinds of tests, which will check and verify the pilgrim’s resolve. In the process of facing obstacles and learning uncomfortable lessons, the main refuge of lucidity is an impersonal point of view. The pilgrim gradually realizes he is no one. He is not a personality or mask. “He” is but a nameless, timeless soul, present here and now and in other places and occasions as well.

* It is not enough to preserve physical cleanliness by brushing one’s teeth, washing hands from time to time and taking a bath each day. Actually, impurities of mind and emotion are worse than physical impurities, and the fact is stated in the Mahatma Letters (see Letter IV, pp. 15-16).

* Better than the washing of one’s teeth, is the purification of one’s feelings and thoughts. A few rites of daily purification are necessary on the psychic and spiritual level, like contemplating abstract universal ideas which refer to sacredness; practicing concentration on a feeling of love for the Highest Truth; or examining the substance of a sincere gratitude for all beings. 


The above article was published as an independent text on 15 March 2019. An initial version of it, with no indication as to the name of the author, is included in “The Aquarian Theosophist”, October 2016 edition, pp. 13-15. Various short notes written by the same author and published in that edition of “The Aquarian” were added to form “Thoughts Along the Road - 27”.


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Mar 12, 2019

The Golden Stairs

Summing Up the Rules of Sacred Learning

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

A ladder to the highest

Robert Crosbie wrote:

“An open mind, an eager intellect, without doubt or fear, is the unveiled spiritual perception.”[1]

Crosbie was thus commenting the opening words of the “Golden Stairs”, a document Helena Blavatsky shared with her esoteric students in the 19th century.

The Stairs constitute a summary of the rules to be followed by aspirants to discipleship in Eastern esoteric tradition. It is a short and decisive text. Students use to memorize its words, in order to have a permanent access to it - anytime, anywhere.

A few introductory sentences precede the Stairs. Although most people do not pay attention to them, these ideas are of fundamental importance in the eyes of those who have good sense.

The introduction clarifies:

“He who wipeth not away the filth with which the parent’s body may have been defiled by an enemy, neither loves the parent nor honours himself.  He who defendeth not the persecuted and the helpless, who giveth not of his food to the starving nor draweth water from his well for the thirsty, hath been born too soon in human shape. Behold the truth before you.”

Then the Golden Stairs say:

A clean life,
an open mind,
a pure heart,
an eager intellect,
an unveiled spiritual perception,
a brotherliness for one’s co-disciple, [2]
a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction,
a loyal sense of duty to the teacher, [3]
a willing obedience to the behests of truth, once we have placed our confidence in, and believe that teacher to be in possession of it;
a courageous endurance of personal injustice,
a brave declaration of principles,
a valiant defence of those who are unjustly attacked, and
a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the secret science (Gupta-Vidya) depicts -
these are the golden stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom. [4]

The exact sequence of the Golden Stairs is not necessarily rigid, in its application to the life of a student. Any specific stair can be seen as the first one. That will depend on the temperament of the pilgrim and the ethical challenges he faces at a given moment.

Every stair contains, in a way, all the others.

Such a golden ladder has been used since ancient time by students of the esoteric wisdom.  It works as a powerful mantra, because it sums up the “path to heaven” which one must tread. Many an apprentice uses to repeat these axioms, slowly examining the practical implications of each one of them, in the present scenario of his life.

When looked at from the point of view of their essence, the Golden Stairs correspond to the ladder of Jacob, which combines the celestial and terrestrial levels of consciousness (Genesis, 28: 11-12). The Stairs also have much in common with the Golden Verses of Pythagoras. [5]

The different approaches to the inner awakening of one’s soul refer to Antahkarana, the “bridge” or ladder existing in the consciousness of each individual, according to Blavatsky’s theosophy, and whose function is to connect his lower self to his higher self; the mortal mind - to immortal spirit.


[1] “The Friendly Philosopher”, Robert Crosbie, Theosophy Company, Los Angeles, 416 pp., 1946, p. 37.

[2] Every living being is our co-disciple. All are companions in soul-learning. 

[3] Who is the teacher? The work “Light on the Path”, which has essentially the same source as Golden Stairs, clarifies: “Intelligence is impartial: no man is your enemy: no man is your friend. All like are your teachers.” (“Light on the Path”, Theosophy Co., India, p. 24.) However, there are sacred and central sources of spiritual teaching, and one’s access to them must be obtained and preserved. The idea of this verse could also be expressed thus: “a loyal sense of duty to the source of the teaching and inspiration”. For the source is not personal, and it is not motionless. The source may be found in different places and forms. Yet it must be respected in one’s heart, for one to deserve and to preserve contact with it. It is the inner affinity that provides the magnetic conditions necessary to learn from an elevated source of wisdom.

[4] “Collected Writings”, H. P. Blavatsky, TPH, India/USA, volume XII, p. 503. The Golden Stairs have been divulged in various other publications.

[5] See the Golden Verses of Pythagoras in our associated websites.


An initial version of the above article was published with no indication as to the name of the author at the March 2019 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pp. 1-3.

The Golden Stairs” was published as an independent item in our associated websites on 12 March 2019.


Click to read the article “Commentaries to the Golden Stairs”.


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

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Mar 9, 2019

Einstein’s Theory of Happiness

The One-Sentence Formula of Inner Joy

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

A picture of Einstein’s note, taken on 19 October 2017

While visiting Japan in November 1922, Albert Einstein wrote in a piece of paper in his hotel this succinct theory of happiness:

A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.

The note, handwritten in German language, was sold at auction in Jerusalem, Israel, in October 2017 for 1.56 million, US dollars.

According to Theosophy, however, Einstein’s idea in itself is worth much more than that sum, and yet, it cannot be sold, or bought. Its value is above the uncertain laws of marketing.

The axiom belongs to the wisdom of all time. Worded in various ways by different religions and philosophies, the idea, well expressed by Einstein, is freely available to every human being of good sense.

The Buddhist Dhammapada says:

Better than a man who conquers in battles a thousand times a thousand men is he who conquers himself. He indeed is the mightiest of warriors.” [1]

A strikingly similar principle is present in the Jewish Pirke Avoth:

“...He that rules his spirit is better than one who conquers a city.[2] The same Mishnah in the Pirke Avoth says: “Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot”. And Irving M. Bunim comments:

The key that unlocks the riches in all things is the ability to be happy with your immediate circumstances, no matter what they are. This is a skill that lies within a person’s own reach; it does not depend on the fulfilment of desires or the satisfaction of needs. And it can be achieved only when you have a sense of self-realization, a sense of meaning in your existence.” [3]

The Jewish Tanakh and the Christian Bible touch the same point in Proverbs, 16: 31-33:

Gray hair is a crown of glory;
It is attained by the way of righteousness.
Better to be forbearing than mighty,
To have self-control than to conquer a city.

The lesson recorded by Einstein in his 1922 note belongs to Eastern and Western scriptures alike. It is central to Chinese Taoism. It is taught in classical Stoicism, being prominent in the writings of Marcus Aurelius, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus and Lucius Seneca. It has been adopted by Christian mystics. The principle of abstinence is of decisive importance in the Yoga of Patanjali. It is one of the main topics in the classical book “The Duties of the Heart”, by the Jewish sage Bahya ibn Paquda.

Examples are many.

True, millions of people prefer to ignore such a fundamental view of happiness. And this is because they lack a deeper sense of self-esteem. One must know first-hand the value of his own life, before one is able to strive for the best and to live up to the moral precepts of universal wisdom.

Laziness induces sleep, and a negligent person will go hungry. He who has regard for his life pays regard to commandments”. [4]

A feeling of self-respect leads to firm, moderate action. The approval of our own conscience allows us to practice self-restraint; and voluntary simplicity paves the way to mutual help. A modest attitude before life makes a solidarity possible whose result is lasting peace.


[1] “The Dhammapada”, with explanatory notes and a short essay on Buddha’s Thought, The Theosophy Company, Los Angeles, California, 1955, 139 pages. See chapter eight, p. 23.

[2] “Ethics from Sinai”, an eclectic, wide-ranging commentary on Pirke Avoth, by Irving M. Bunim, 3-volume edition, Philipp  Feldheim, Inc., New York, copyright 1964, see volume II, Perek IV, Mishnah 1, p. 3.

[3] “Ethics from Sinai”, by Irving M. Bunim, Philipp Feldheim, Inc., New York, vol. II, p. 8.

[4] Proverbs, 19:16. “Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures”, The Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia, Jerusalem, copyright 1985, 1624 pp., see pages 1315-1316.


See more on Einstein’s note about happiness.


An initial version of the above article was published at “The Aquarian Theosophist”, March 2019, p. 16, under the title of “Albert Einstein, on a Quiet Life”. It had no indication as to the name of the author.

Einstein’s Theory of Happiness” was published as an independent article in our associated websites on 09 March 2019.  It is also available at our blog in “The Times of Israel”.

You are invited to read the articles “The Theosophy of Albert Einstein” and “E. Galois and A. Einstein”.


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.


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


Mar 6, 2019

The Aquarian Theosophist, March 2019

This edition opens with the article “The Golden Stairs”, whose subtitle is “Summing Up the Rules of Sacred Learning”.  On page three, the beginning of the article “The Life of Boris de Zirkoff”.  The editor of Blavatsky’s Collected Writings, Boris was born on the seventh of March, 1902.

The journal presents four articles on theosophical messages present in stories by Jules Verne. “The Ethics of Modern Knowledge” discusses the importance in our century of Jules Verne’s narrative “Doctor Ox’s Experiment”. On page 6, “A Drama in the Air: Jules Verne and the Aim of Science”. On page 8, “A Winter Amid the Ice: Living in Extreme Conditions”. Finally, on page 10, a discussion of his short-story “Master Zacharius”, which involves Karma, Time and Wisdom. It is also a discussion on the ethics of science.

Other topics include:

* A Fragment from Swami Vivekananda, on Defeating Pain;

* A one-minute contemplative video, “The Healing Power of Truthfulness”.

* Photo of the manuscript, transcription and analysis of Albert Einstein’s one-sentence formula for happiness, written in 1922;

* The Writings of an Eastern Master - 24; and

* Raja Yoga, on Happiness and Desire.

With 16 pages, the March edition contains the List of New Texts at our associated websites.


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.


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

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