ANSWERS TO SOME QUESTIONS
by RADHA BURNIER
The Theosophist 1985
IT is very important that before anyone is admitted as a member of the Society he should know what its aims are, and also something about Theosophy. He should understand that each man reaps what he sows and is responsible for his own situation. Neither the Society nor any of its officers can or will save any one from the results of his own actions nor does it bestow psychic powers on its members.
Those who join it must do so because they understand that it is necessary to bring about a change in the human mind from selfishness to unselfishness. This is what the Society works for. When selfishness prevails, there cannot be a state of peace or happiness either for nations or individuals. Members of the Society must be those who strive earnestly to remove selfishness from their own hearts and who pursue such studies and such a way of life that will purify their own minds and equip them to help others.
I think it would be best for you to become a member of the Society and of your local lodge rather than be an unattached member. Unattached membership is not encouraged because part of the work of the Society is to help people to learn right relationships with others which means learning together, working together and being patient with one another. All this is implied in the first Object of the Society which is to form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of Humanity.
It will not profit you very much to investigate ‘groups or gurus’. Truth comes from within in the measure that selfish thoughts and feelings are eradicated and we become pure in our inner depths. Theosophy teaches that when the disciple is ready, the teacher will come. But one who pursues gurus will fall into a number of traps if he does not have the purity of vision to distinguish the genuine from the false.
We must be clear about what is meant by ‘gaining ground’ from the point of view of the Society. The Society welcomes those who wish to join because of an interest in Theosophy and who accept the aims of the Society. It has never tried to persuade people to join in order to inflate its membership figures. The important thing is that there should be a change of outlook and relationship.
The Society has influenced a very large number of people outside its membership. Its teachings have helped many to realize, for example, the essential oneness of life.
The great changes at the outer level, brought about by science and technology, have led to a highly organized competitive world which aggravates fear, insecurity, violence and other forms of selfishness. The change from selfishness to selflessness can take place only through patient understanding. We have to go on working at it day by day and not expect quick results.
Spiritual development does not take place if one is ambitious to make quick progress spiritually or in any other way. Ambition is the cause of a vast number of problems for, essentially, it is selfishness. Even if the object of desire is a high one, it still arises from the self which wants to get something.
The best thing is to live earnestly the kind of life which is conducive to inward understanding and leave results to take care of themselves. By emphasizing self, one cannot reach the non-self.
It is also best not to feel that you have a mission to fulfill. All thoughts and feelings that sustain the “I” lead to illusion and are barriers to spiritual progress. They must be seen for what they are and allowed to drop out.
It is not uncommon for so-called teachers to write and speak about the Masters, mentioning them by name and displaying pictures that are supposed to represent them. Anyone who has a real contact with these august personages would hesitate to speak of holy things except very rarely and in the right context.
In our theosophical literature, it is pointed out that only those who are inwardly pure and unselfish in the deepest sense of the terms can approach the Masters. Personally, I do not believe that those people who talk about the Ascended Masters and bring supposed messages from them are in contact with them. The messages do not bear the mark of wisdom nor do they touch the profound levels which are normal to the illumined mind.
In my view, it is not important to know about the Lord Maitreya's physical body. It is much more important to live a life from which the thought of self is eradicated and the heart is expanded in universal charity. Contact and information will come automatically to the one who has made himself worthy.
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