by W. B. Pease

The Blavatsky Pamphlets No 5

Published by The H.P.B Library, Toronto, Ontario. Canada

[This pamphlet has been hitherto issued under the title: “An Introduction to the Study of The Secret Doctrine”.]

[N.B — Quotations in this pamphlet are always from reprints of original works — not from revised editions.]


The world of today is full of questionings. Fifty, years ago it was not so; very few people dared to question any religions belief which had been taught them by their parents and the priest or minister of the sect into which they had been born. They were taught that Doubt was one of the most subtle and dangerous weapons used by Satan to ensnare the wisest and best, so that if one found himself doubting some such obvious absurdity as that the wrath of the Good God could be appeased only by the blood of his Son, he was filled with consternation and straightway prayed very earnestly to be delivered from the dreadful sin into which he was falling.[Such prayers are frequently “answered”, for human will, auto-suggestion, self-deception and kindred powers may produce almost any desired effect on the mind]. But now doubters are to be met with everywhere, and their, numbers are still increasing. At first it was noticed that the few who dared to doubt, and even those who openly scoffed at the most sacred tenets of their sect, did not rapidly degenerate into depraved and God-forsaken wretches, but on the contrary, were often quite honest people, and as pleasant to live with as the most irreproachable believers. It was also observed that dignitaries of great distinction in their Church were often as much under the sway of personal ambitions and temperamental weaknesses as were many scientific materialists or persons sufficiently careless of clerical disapproval as to play tennis on Sunday instead of going to church. These and similar observations very much encouraged the doubters to doubt still more, and many began to give up praying to be delivered from that form of sin. But even now many people are, perhaps without realizing it, afraid to confront some of their beliefs with all the reasoning power they possess; yet this is what they must make up their minds to do if they really wish to clear away the rubbish that obstructs the paths that lead to truth. Theosophy is not for those who lack either moral courage or mental honesty.


Among the questions for which answers are most insistently sought, are the following: — What is the purpose of life on this earth — is there any sense in it all, and, if so, then, whom or what does it serve, Does self-consciousness survive physical death, and, if it does, what sorts of lives are being led by those of our friends who have preceded us into the Great Beyond into which we, too, must enter before long? Did the story of our inner lives begin with the birth of the body we now inhabit ? or, is it that:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting

The soul that rises with us, our Life's star.

Hath had elsewhere its setting

And cometh from afar”.

And if Wordsworth's intuition was born of Truth, then where and how did we live before? From what far country have we come, and shall we ever remember what we have forgotten ? And then the questions with regard to pain and sorrow for which the Prince Gautama forsook earthly happiness to discover answers: The cause of sorrow? Its use? and how to end it?

The answers that Gautama found after he had become enlightened and a Buddha are identical with those of Theosophy. Indeed, Theosophy is nothing less than a synthesis of the fundamental teaching that has been given to us by all the great Teachers and philosophers who have, from time to time, come amongst us to dispel ignorance and give new impulse to human thought, for however much the adherents of religions and sects may differ and dispute over the claims made for the Gods and creeds which they have invented, the Teachers whose names have been used to designate these religions, have always proclaimed the same great fundamental truths, and have never taught anything in opposition to one another. Antagonism has arisen through misunderstanding and mistranslations of the scriptures; from accretions that have been deliberately added or that have crept in; and through a strong tendency apparent in all ages to try to simplify and understand spiritual conceptions by dragging them down to a material level, and by personifying them, and then to mistake the formal expression for the truth it was designed to represent.

Theosophy, however, is able to answer some of the questions above referred to, more fully and with greater detail than can be learnt from any of the ancient scriptures, for the reason that the Guardians of the Secret Doctrine (the source from which the esoteric teaching of all the great religions and cults has been derived, and about which more will be said later on) gave out to the public through their agent, Mme. H. P. Blavatsky, towards the close of the last century, more knowledge of the occult sciences than has ever before been divulged. Not that any question can be completely answered and finally disposed of, because everything in the universe is related to every other thing and, as cur finite minds cannot grasp all the truth of the Universe, we cannot comprehend the whole truth of any minutest portion of it; therefore, to us there must always be mysteries beyond mysteries. It does, however, suggest solutions to many of the puzzles of daily life; it gives us much information of incalculable value in our endeavors to live useful lives, and relieves our minds of all fears for the future. And this information is backed up with evidence and logic. It treats the visible universe and the invisible realms that interpenetrate and surround it as One great whole, and embraces in one system all the different branches of science, philosophy and ethics so that the teaching with regard to one branch is related to that of every other branch, and they are all complementary and necessary to each other. Herein Theosophy vastly differs from modern science and religious teaching when these are considered as parts of a single body of knowledge, for not only is Science often at variance with Religion, but different departments of both are frequently contradictory to each other. And yet how obvious it is that the truth with regard to one thing cannot be contradictory to the truth with regard to any other thing.

This correlation between the different branches and aspects of the Theosophical system is a warrant of its unassailable stability, and of its right to claim the attention and respect of all unbiased students who are more anxious to find truth than to gain support for their own pet theories, convictions or prejudices.


With regard to the significance of the word, “Theosophy”, Madame Blavatsky says in “The Key to Theosophy” :

“Theosophy is Divine Wisdom or Science . . .

The term is many thousand years old”.

and further on in the book she states that this

WISDOM RELIGION was ever one, [The same all over the world and at all times — W.B.P] and being the last word of possible human knowledge, was, therefore, carefully preserved. It preceded by long ages the Alexandrian Theosophists, reached the modern, and will survive every other religion and philosophy”.

And in answer to the question : “Where and by whom was it preserved?” she replies:

“Among Initiates of every country; among profound seekers after truth — their disciples; and in those parts of the world where such topics have always been most valued and pursued; in India, Central Asia, and Persia”.

And as proof of its esotericism, she states:

“that every ancient religious, or rather philosophical cult consisted of an esoteric or secret teaching, and an exoteric (outward public) worship. Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that the MYSTERIES of the ancients comprised with every nation the “Greater” (secret) and “Lesser” (public) MYSTERIES — e.g., in the celebrated solemnities called the Eleusinia, in Greece”.

Mme. Blavatsky then goes on to show how the Jews, Brahmins, Buddhists, and the Pythagoreans, Gnostics and others have, or had, their secret as well as their public teaching, and she adds:

“Finally, do we not find the same even in early Christianity, among the Gnostics, and even in the teachings of Christ? Did he not speak to the multitudes in parables which had a two-fold meaning, and explain his reasons only to his disciples? “To you”, he says, “it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven; but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables”. (Mark iv., II) . . . Examples might be brought from every country to this effect”.

As to the cause of this secrecy, she says :

Firstly, the perversity of average human nature and its selfishness, always tending to the gratification of personal desires to the detriment of neighbors and next of kin. Such people could never be entrusted with Divine secrets. Secondly, their unreliability to keep the sacred and divine knowledge from desecration. It is the latter that led to the perversion of the most sublime truths and symbols, and to the gradual transformation of things spiritual into anthropomorphic, concrete, and gross imagery, — in other words, to the dwarfing of the god-idea and to idolatry”.

Modern Theosophy, then, includes what was taught in secret to their pupils by the initiates of the ancient Mysteries — or, at least, a part of that teaching. The term “Secret Doctrine” has been used by Mme. Blavatsky especially to denote that body of occult knowledge which has been guarded by an association of adepts and initiates called “The Great Lodge”, whose headquarters are hidden away in a remote part of the Himalayas quite inaccessible to ordinary travelers. But of this more will be said later on.

To return to the above questions: Complete answers can only be gradually approached by continued study of the whole system, but it may be stated at once that (as I understand (he teaching) the purpose of life on this earth, as of the whole of the manifested universe, is for the evolution of consciousness; and it serves the One Life of which every individual life is a part — “a Spark of the Flame”, or a focal point in the ocean of universal consciousness


Consciousness and Unity

Theosophy teaches that all life, all intelligence, all force and all matter have their origin in The Absolute — the One Reality of which it is said in the Proem of “The Secret Doctrine” [By H.P. Blavatsky].

“An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of thought — in the words of the “Manduyka, “unthinkable and unspeakable”.

From this it follows that notwithstanding the irresistible sense of separateness produced by the working of our minds in separate forms, we are in reality all bound together in one unbreakable unity in which our true interests are identical. This is the basis upon which rests the FACT of the Brotherhood of man; it is not a mere sentimental aspiration, but a fact which cannot be ignored with immunity by men in their dealings with each other, or by nations in their policies affecting other nations. And in this unity all animals must be included, for the life animating their forms, though less advanced in evolution, can not logically be excluded from the One Source. Therefore, every act of justice or kindness on the one hand, or of injustice or cruelty on the other, must inevitably react not only to the benefit and happiness or to the injury and unhappiness of the doer in particular, but also on humanity as a whole.

Consciousness is all-pervading; not only every animal and plant, but every particle of matter is animated by it in the way and degree commensurate to its stage of development; and it guides its own evolution through an age-long progression of ever changing forms.

A distinction, of course, must be made between Consciousness and Self-consciousness. The latter is fully awakened first in man. It has been said: “I slept in the mineral; I stirred in the plant; I dreamt in the animal; I awoke in man”. At the time, in the last century, when the scientific materialism, which Mme. Blavatsky made such strenuous effort to combat, was most rampant, Prof. Tyndall said: “In matter I saw the promise and potency of all forms of life”, but more recently Sir Win. Crookes replied. “In life I see the promise and potency of all forms of matter”.

The God Within

Man may be regarded primarily as an immortal intelligent being endowed with unlimited capacity for evolving powers, and extending its range of consciousness. This is the “real man”, the “God Within” the Ego, who by linking itself with an “animal soul” and a physical body in numerous reincarnations gradually, through countless efforts, struggles, failures, successes and all the joys and sorrows and lessons of life, evolve its latent attributes into potent powers.

It is only here, on this earth, that man as we know him, can make progress towards perfection; hence the necessity of reincarnation. Human consciousness begins at a stage barely removed from that of the animal; for a long period; his Higher Self, the Ego, is little more than a sleeping partner, and his mind is used almost entirely to plan and scheme to supply his physical needs and to gratify his animal appetites. The latter are now greatly encouraged and stimulated by the memory of past pleasure, and by the lure of imagination. The mind becomes enslaved by Desire; consciousness is centered in the Lower Self; and the God Within is slighted, forgotten, and its powers stolen and misused. At length, however, after many disappointments the man begins to dimly realize that happiness is not to be found in the mere gratification of earthly desires; conscience — the still small voice of the God Within — is heeded, and then begins the age-long battle between the Higher and Lower Self, in which every principle and attribute of human nature is sooner or later involved, and which has given rise to innumerable myths, legends, allegories and symbolic dramas from time immemorial. Is it not absurd to suppose that this long-drawn combat, in which first one and then another of the human principles becomes dominant, could be begun and concluded in one life-time? And if, as it has been suggested, evolution is continued after death, then how unfair, how unjust it is that while one soul is born with a good and strong-character, with the few lower tendencies to fight against, and, perhaps, amid surroundings conducive to good thought and action, another soul has to begin at the very beginning with no evil lust or desire conquered, but on the contrary with every enemy to spiritual development either fiercely rampant or waiting to be aroused in its turn. Surely it must be more reasonable to suppose that the struggle commences in every case with the first dawn of aspiration towards an ideal a little higher than mere personal gratification, and that it continues through a long series of lives until the lower self becomes the willing servant of the Higher; illumination dispels ignorance and a glorious new phase of spiritual evolution is reached.

The Cycle of Rebirth

On the subject of the reincarnating individual, fo Rebirth Mme. Blavatsky writes : —

“We distinguish between the simple fact of self-consciousness, the simple feeling that 'I am I,' and the complex thought that 'I am Mr. Smith,' or 'Mrs. Brown'. Believing, as we do, in a series of births for the same Ego, or re-incarnation, this distinction is the fundamental pivot of the whole idea. You see, 'Mr. Smith' really means a long series of daily experiences strung together by the thread of memory, and forming what Mr. Smith calls 'himself.' But none of these 'experiences' are really the ‘I’ or the Ego, nor do they give 'Mr. Smith' the feeling that he is himself, for he forgets the greater part of his daily experiences, and they produce the feeling of Egoity in him only while they last. We Theosophists, therefore, distinguish between this bundle of 'experiences' which we call the false (because so finite and evanescent) personality, and that element in man to which the feeling of 'I am I,' is due. It is this 'I am I' which we call the true individuality; and we say that this 'Ego' or individuality plays, like an actor, many parts on the stage of life. Let us call every new life on earth of the same Ego a night on the stage of a theatre. One night the actor, or 'Ego,' appears as 'Macbeth,' the next as 'Shylock,' the third as 'Romeo,' the fourth as 'Hamlet' or 'King Lear,' and so on, until he has run through the whole cycle of incarnations. The Ego begins his life-pilgrimage as a sprite, an 'Ariel,' or a 'Puck'; he plays the part of a super, is a soldier, a servant, one of the chorus; rises then to 'speaking parts,' plays leading roles, interspersed with insignificant parts, till he finally retires from the stage as 'Prospero,' the magician [“The Key to Theosophy”. — H.P. Blavatsky].

Theosophy teaches that these arduous earth-lives are not lived closely one after another without intermission; on the contrary each is separated from the other by many centuries spent in the invisible realms by which this earth is interpenetrated and surrounded. These may be divided into two sets, and so, too, may the states of consciousness appertaining to them. One of these .sets is called the Astral Plane, or Kama-Loka, which means Desire-Place. The other set will be referred to later on.

The Astral Plane

I shall say very little about the Astral Plane, because to give any fair idea of its important place in the scheme of things, its immense variety of inhabitants, their influence on the affairs of this plane, and many other matters pertaining to it would involve many difficult and complicated questions which could not be adequately treated here. Some reference will have to be made to it on another page, but for our present purpose it will suffice to say that just as the physical body at death is left to disintegrate on this earth, so the astral body, together with the lower desires and passions inherent in it, must be left behind in Kama-Loka before the Ego is free to pass on to the other set. [N.B. These lower desires, attributes and impulses are not finally disposed of by being left behind in Kama-Loka, for they will be taken up again by the vehicles of the reincarnating ego on the threshold of rebirth, and will hold sway over one personality after another until fought and conquered during earth-life.]

Sojourn in Kama-Loka differs as to length of time and also as to the amount of suffering involved, according to the way in which the life just over has been spent. Thus a very sensual or passionate man or woman may be held there, earth-bound, for many years, for the simple reason that a great deal of vitalizing force has been put into the lower principles by a life of unrestrained self-indulgence and the gratification of the lowest desires. But ordinarily decent people who die natural deaths need linger there but a few days, and in a state of more or less unconsciousness. Very good, pure-minded people may remain but a few unconscious hours.


From Kama-Loka the freed Ego, carrying with it the “aroma” — as has been said — of the last terrestrial life, goes on into the next plane of consciousness, which is called by Eastern occultists, Devachan, a. Sanskrit word meaning Divine Place. It has been adopted by Theosophy because there is no English word by which it can be conveniently designated. Devachan is not the Heaven of Christian Theology, nor it the Summerland of Spiritualism. It is a subjective state akin to, but very different from the dream-state. The objection has been made that such a life must consist largely of illusion. And so it does, but the same objection may be made with equal force regarding our earth-life, during the whole of which we are deceived without pause or let, both by mind and senses, and yet we are perfectly satisfied by a false sense of reality. It is the same in Devachan where, it is said, life appears to be far more vivid, real, and satisfying than any single moment of earth-life. Moreover, it is difficult to see how any life founded upon the complicated interplay of relationships, rivalries and rapid changes of this life, could be made even moderately happy except through some form of forgetfulness or delusion. [It must be recognized that in seeking for truth, one should not allow himself to be influenced by what he thinks ought to be, or what he thinks would be preferable. No objections to dreams could stop dreaming.] The Mahatma known as K.H. writes on this subject:

“Of course, it is a state, one to say, of intense selfishness during which an Ego reaps the reward of his unselfishness on earth. He is completely engrossed in the bliss of all his personal earthly affections, preferences and thoughts, and gathers in the fruit of his meritorious actions. No pain, no grief nor even the shadow of a sorrow comes to darken the bright horizon of his unalloyed happiness; for it is state of perpetual 'Maya' ”. [ A very fine description of the Devachan State is given by the Mahatma K. H. with answers and explanations to Mr Sinnett’s astute questions and objections in “The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett”, from which the above quotation has been taken — page 101. Also see “The Key to Theosophy”.]

K. H. could hardly have meant by “intense selfishness”, that kind of selfishness that grasps at happiness at the expense of others. He means, no doubt, that the bliss of Devachan is founded upon gratified wishes and aspirations formed by and for the personal self.

From this it will follow that the man who has resolutely determined to devote his life and energies to the service of humanity will not regard the prospect of spending long periods amid the evanescent joys of Devachan as a consummation to be desired with complacent satisfaction, but he will rather aspire to the attainment of sufficient strength of purpose to enable him to live a life of such altruism and self-abnegation that, having sown no seeds to yield the illusionary blossoms of which these joys are composed there will be nothing to keep him from quickly rejoining the ranks of those who are fighting on earth for the redemption of mankind. Such attainments is, as yet, quite impossible for most of us and, indeed, the rest of Devachan is as necessary for our refreshment as is sleep for our physical body. We can, however, gradually shorten its period by endeavoring to broaden our outlook on life from the personal and narrow to the impersonal and all-embracing.

In answer to the question: “Do we possess more knowledge than we do in earth-life?” Mme. Blavatsky replies: —

“In one sense we can acquire more knowledge that is, we can develop further any faculty that we loved and strove after during life, provided it is concerned with abstract and ideal things, such as music, painting, poetry, etc., since Devachan is merely an idealized and subjective continuation of earth-life”. [Key to Theosophy].

It is important to note that all these after-death states depend for their length and intensity upon the vital force or impetus that has been generated by the habits of thought and sustained desires of any kind with which the personality of the last earth-life has been occupied. They are the natural consequences of a man's character and the way he has directed his energies, and are not meted out to him by an assessor any more than are the obvious consequences of the simple acts of everyday life.

Communication With the Dead

The teaching with regard to the period between reincarnations, precludes any possibility of there being any communication between average people who have died a natural death, and those who are still on this side of the portal, except in some cases for a few hours, or, at most, for a few days, after death. The released Ego after it has entered the happy state above mentioned, is quite beyond the disturbing influences of sorrow or the selfish hankerings and inquisitive importunities of spiritualistic séances. Victims of accidents, however, remain on the Astral Plane in a state of dreamy happiness commensurate with the purity and goodness of the interrupted life until the hour comes to which they would have lived but for the accident. Suicides also have to wait for their hour, but they remain awake to be tortured by remorse for running away from their responsibilities, and, if they are debased and sensual, by longings for the sensations that can only be obtained through a physical body. These classes can be got at by mediums, and very great harm both. to themselves and to all concerned, is certain to result. Not for nothing has every religion worthy of the name decried and warned against necromancy. [H.P. Blavatsky in “The Key to Theosophy” goes into this matter very fully, and so also does W. Q. Judge in “The Ocean of Theosophy”.]

The phenomena of the Séance rooms are not denied, but the question is: What is it that produces them? Occultism answers: The worst class of disembodied suicides, or by other astral entities masquerading as the “dear departed”, by vampires that suck vitality from the medium and the sitters, by elementals and elementaries. In “The Theosophical Glossary”, under “Incubus”, one reads:

“An Incubus is the male Elemental, and Succuba the female, and these are undeniably the spooks of mediaeval demonology, called forth from the invisible regions by human passion and lust. They are now called 'Spirit brides' and 'Spirit husbands, among some benighted Spiritists and spiritual mediums. But these poetical names do not prevent them in the least from being that which they are — Ghouls, Vampires and soulless Elementals; formless centres of Life, devoid of sense; in short, subjective protoplasms when left alone, but called into a definite being and form by the creative and diseased imagination of certain mortals. They were known under every clime as in every age, and the Hindus can tell more than one terrible tale of the dramas enacted in the life of young students and mystics by the Pisachas, their name in India. [See “Theosophical Glossary”, by H.P. Blavatsky].
It is easy for many classes of entities of the astral plane to not only take any form they please, or to animate a form created by the medium's thought, but also to reflect the thoughts of the medium or sitters.

To the question : “ Can we help the dead?” Theosophy not only answers in the negative, but affirms that they do not need our help. Mine Blavatsky writes:

“ . . . . We say that the bliss of the Devachanee consists in its complete conviction that it never left the earth, and that there is no such thing .as death at all; that the post-mortem spiritual consciousness of the mother will represent to her that she lives surrounded by her children and all those whom she loved; that no gap, no link, will be missing to make her disembodied state the most perfect and absolute happiness”.

Again :—

“ We are with those whom we have lost in material form and far, far nearer to them now than when they were alive. And it is not only in the fancy of the Devachanee, as some may imagine, but in reality. For pure divine love is not merely the blossom of a human heart, but has its roots in eternity. . . Again we say that love beyond the grave, illusion though you may call it, has a magic and divine potency which reacts on the living. A mother's Ego filled with love for the imaginary children it sees near itself, living a life of happiness, as real to it as when on earth — that love will always be felt by the children in the flesh”. [Key to Theosophy].
Under conditions so described, surely those who have gone before must be far, indeed, beyond the need of any help that those left behind could give them. On the contrary, any interference from sorrowing friends could but spoil their happiness, for as Mme. Blavatsky writes:
“ And if the 'Spirits of the dead' are enabled to return and see all that is going on on earth, and especially in their homes, what kind of bliss can be in store for them ?” [Key to Theosophy].

Closely interlinked with the doctrine of reincarnation is that of Karma; the Law which ensures that every man shall reap as he sows. It is a perfectly obvious law in the physical world, being nothing more or less, than that every cause must have its effect; it is at once creative, conservative and destructive; it rewards those who act wisely and punishes the ignorant or foolish; it teaches by pleasant and unpleasant experiences, and is the never-failing protector of those who act in accordance with its laws. In the realm of ethics, and of thought, Karma acts as constantly as it does on the physical plane Every thought, desire and motive must have its appropriate effect. It is Karma that necessitates our return to this earth in order that we may experience the effects of causes generated in past lives, for where the seed was sown the harvest must be reaped. All ambitions and desires pertaining to the things of earth must reach their fulfilment on earth; therefore, those who dislike the prospect of returning to earth-life should give up wishing for anything that can be found nowhere else. What we seek we shall find — this year, next year, sometime, or in some life — there is no “ never”.

It is this immutable law, which neither prayer nor repentance can turn a hair's breadth from its natural course, which makes man his own creator and the creator of his destiny. His character is what he has made it by his thoughts and aspirations; his faculties and capabilities are the results of past efforts in whatever direction; his opportunities are those that he has longed to have, and his limitations often the result of neglecting those opportunities that he has had. The present is as we have made it; the future is our own. “ Destiny today is master; man was master yesterday”.

“ My brothers! each man's life

The outcome of his former living is;

The bygone wrongs bring forth sorrows and woes

The bygone right breeds bliss. . .

This is the doctrine of Karma”.

The Ego Remembers

It has often been objected that, as we do not remember our past lives, and are not responsible for the things thought and done in them, therefore it is unjust that we should now have to suffer for them. It might be argued that that is squared by the fact that we enjoy the fruits of the good acts and thoughts of that forgotten time. But the fact is that the Ego does remember, and hence comes a quickening of Conscience as we evolve, for intuitional ideas and innate antipathies and attractions come from the Inner Self, while the memory of which we are conscious in daily life, is inherent in the physical brain. These lives on earth are for the benefit of the immortal man, not for that of the passing personality. The tendency of education and religion has been to produce in the men and women of our time an exaggerated idea of their own individual importance; and of the need of “ making the most”, for their own advantage, of this one terrestrial life, whether it be regarded as an opportunity thrust upon every one for gaining for himself an eternity of bliss, or, in cases of failure to conform to the prescribed requirements, an eternity of punishment; or whether as being the only speck of time in which, perhaps, one will live at all — at best the only one about which anything but the vaguest theories can be conjectured.

Truly, every one of us is of importance — but only as a part necessary to complete the Whole; and every life-time is of importance — but only as one day at school in a long series of days each one of which is preparatory to those that are to follow, and which is more or less successful according to the strength of the efforts that have been made towards improvement.

Karma, the Law of Life, governs the rise and fall of nations, and it holds good for every sort of organized association of individuals, as surely as it does for every being capable of choosing — from the meanest man to the highest Archangel.

The great thing to realize is that humanity, and humanity alone, is responsible for the state of the world as it is today. Any teaching or creed that tends to lessen man's, sense of responsibility or that allows him to think that he can shirk his duty to mankind with impunity, can but retard the evolution of the race and every member it includes.

When Humanity, as a whole, shall have at last grasped the fact that its welfare and happiness can be obtained only by the unselfish exercise of its own creative powers, an age of universal contentment may dawn upon the earth — but not before.


Mankind Is Helped

This statement, however, does not preclude the belief that the men of this earth are helped by suggestions, and guided, as far as they will accept guidance, by Beings who have attained to wisdom and powers God-like in comparison to our own. For there is a Human Hierarchy whose representatives are at all stages of evolution, from man, as we know him, to the highest “ Planetary Spirit”, or Archangel. This great Hierarchy includes all the creative self-conscious Gods, all of whom [Page 17] began their evolution of thought as men on some planet of a more or less remote past. Man is The Thinker, the vehicle for the One Universal Mind. Those of this Hierarchy who are the guardians of our terrestrial humanity, help us by broadcasting ideas in the mental atmosphere, which may be picked up by our minds and used, or rejected, as we think fit. But every choice and every effort must be made by ourselves, and only as we fit ourselves to receive suggestion, we shall receive it.

To conclude the subject of Karma, I quote from the “ Voice of the Silence” : [Translated from “The Golden Precepts”, a very ancient Indian scripture.]

“ Learn that no efforts, not the smallest — whether in right or wrong direction — can vanish from the world of causes. E'en wasted smoke remains not traceless. “ A harsh word uttered in past lives is not destroyed, but ever comes again.' The pepper plant will not give birth to roses, nor the sweet jessamine’s silver star to thorn or thistle turn”.

Another tenet of the Secret Doctrine is: -
“ The absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe”. [See Proem of “The Secret Doctrine.”]

There is a fine chapter on this subject in “ The Ocean of Theosophy”, [ By W. Q. Judge, page 119] from which I quote :—

“ Reincarnation being the great law of life and progress, it is interwoven with that of the cycles and karma. These three work together, and in practise it is almost impossible to disentangle reincarnation from cyclic law. Individuals and nations in definite streams return in regularly recurring periods to the earth and thus bring back to the globe the arts, the civilization, the very persons who once were on it at work. And as the units in nation and race are connected together by invisible strong threads, large bodies of such units moving slowly but surely all together reunite at different times and emerge again and again together into new race and new civilization as the cycles roll their appointed rounds. Therefore, the souls who made the most ancient civilizations will come back and bring the old civilization with them in idea and essence, which being added to what others have done for the development of the human race in its character and knowledge will produce a newer and higher state of civilization. This newer and better development will not be due to books, to records, to arts or mechanics, because all those are periodically destroyed so far as physical evidence goes, but the soul ever retaining in Manas [Mind principle — W.B.P.] the knowledge it once gained and always pushing to completer development the higher principles and powers, the essence of progress remains and will as surely come out as the sun shines.

This law of periodicity or of cycles regulates the times at which great Teachers and philosophers appear upon the earth to instruct mankind; the greater among them at the beginning of the greater cycles, and the lesser at the beginning of the smaller cycles that divide the greater into a series of shorter periods. At the beginning of the small cycles ideas are often given out through comparatively inconspicuous people. Thus, on looking back, it will be found that in the last quarter of every century, men's thoughts have been turned into new channels, often leading to revolutionary conceptions.

This law also ensures that, as we travel the perplexing paths of life, ever seeking for happiness, we shall be confronted at different stages of our spiritual growth with similar problems in similar circumstances, so that, when through lack of courage or wisdom, we have chosen a wrong course and then, through the ensuing results have regretted the mistake, another opportunity at a later period will occur when a better decision may be made.

Responsibility Of Choice

It must not, however, be supposed that the responsibility which the power of choice and free-will confer upon man is confined to periodical or especial occasions; on the contrary, this power is exercised at every hour of every day, and as we choose in small things, so shall we choose when the great moments of life arrive.

This responsibility should not be regarded as a burden merely, but rather as a most efficient teacher gradually impressing upon us by personal experience the truth that no mere earthly satisfaction or acquirement can for long still the inward craving of man's nature for truth and reality, until at last he need no longer be told, for he knows, that the only quest worth following is that of Reality behind all illusion, Unity behind separating forms. This is the quest of the Holy Grail. Only the knight, purified in the conquest of self, will find it.

It is only by right choosing that we can ever win to full realization of our immortality for it is in terrestrial life to which “ he first saw the light”, and in which all his struggles are made and conquests won that Man, after he has learnt to control his thoughts, desires and emotions, so that they have become ready servants to his higher Will, shall regain the knowledge, never again to be forgotten, that he is his Higher Deathless Self.

It was by choosing aright that the Masters of Wisdom gained the strength that enabled them to forego their well-earned right to liberation from the necessity of re-birth — to turn back from the very entrance to life in the super sensuous worlds of bliss in order to help their fellow-men still struggling amid the sorrows and difficulties of earth-life. And this is the path that links us to them and by which we can, if we so will, follow in their footsteps.

The Constitution of Man and Matter

Theosophy has a great deal to say with regard to the constitution of man and its relations to that of the Universe. Physical Science has lately accepted the theory that “ Matter is a mode of motion”, and that different rates of motion, i.e., of atomic vibration, determine the qualities of different kinds and states of matter. Thus, if the vibratory rate of the atoms of a piece of cold iron be raised to a certain velocity by heat, the solid mass becomes a glowing liquid, and if the rate be still further increased, the liquid is transformed into vapor. This is all in perfect accord with the occult teaching of the Eastern adepts. This “ Ancient Wisdom”, however, goes further and declares that the visible universe is penetrated by many grades of substance of vastly higher rates of vibration than any matter cognizable through our physical senses; that these different grades of matter form worlds, peopled by beings whose bodies or vehicles of consciousness — because they are formed of the same grade of matter as the world to which they belong — are as well adapted to contact the objects of their world as our physical senses are to feel, hear, see, taste and smell the objects of our world; and we say that the physical state or plane of matter is the densest or lowest of all the planes of which we know anything; that it is interpenetrated and surrounded by the next densest plane known among occultists as the “ Astral Plane”, which is likewise interpenetrated and .surrounded by matter in a still less dense, more subtle, and more tenuous state called the “ Manasic” or “ Mental Plane”, and so it is with each succeeding plane. Every atom in the universe, and the universe itself, thus exist on several planes of substance, hence our earth may be regarded as the densest central globe of many concentric globes of increasing circumference and decreasing density.

Moreover, man is likewise composed of different bodies or vehicles of consciousness, each one attuned to vibrate in harmony with the grade of substance to which it is related. While awake in a physical body, however, he can, as a rule. be conscious only through his physical brain, in which vibration must be set up before sensation or thought can be recorded by the mind. Thus the brain acts not only as an instrument, but also as a barrier, which effectively prevents the sights and sounds of other planes from intruding upon this one.

Thus, the universe and all it contains — our bodies, our sensations and mental pictures — are built up of vibrations, and our awareness of any object, feeling or thought depends upon the ability of one or other of our vehicles to respond to the vibratory rate of such object, feeling, or thought.


Symbolism is yet another subject which, studied in connection with theosophical teaching, is found to be of the greatest importance and of fascinating interest. Such signs as the circle, the various derivatives of the cross — that adopted by the Christian churches, the Egyptian tau (a plain T), the ansated cross; the Swastika (the Devil's Mark) ; [The frequent occurrence of the Swastika in many places before the time of Christ had, in common with other forms of the cross, to be accounted for by the Christian clergy of the Middle Ages; it was, therefore, assigned to the Devil, in whom belief was as unquestionably held as was belief in God. This attitude was but logical for a Creator of all that is good, necessitates a creator of all that is evil — a Tempter and a Spoiler. The day when His Satanic Majesty became a joke was a bad one for dogmatic religion] the two triangles interlaced so as to form a six-pointed star, or Solomon's seal — such signs afford proof by their great antiquity and by their wide distribution over the face of the globe that the same arcane truths have been known from the most remote ages and in all parts of the world. “ Identical glyphs, numbers and esoteric symbols are found in Egypt. Peru, Mexico, Easter Island, India, Chaldea and Central Asia”. [The Secret Doctrine]. They relate to the emergence of the Cosmos from the Absolute; the development of qualities and of forms from undifferentiated substance; the involution and evolution of spirit and matter; the descent of spiritual consciousness into bodies of flesh; the triumph of soul above the cross of matter; the union of the higher with the lower self, and many other fundamental doctrines given to the early races of men by their divine teachers, who were themselves products of a previous humanity.

And of equal importance is the symbolism of natural objects. It reveals many hidden meanings of the ancient scriptures of the world and of the myths and allegories of folklore. Our own Bible is rescued by it from the contempt into which it was thrown by such caustic and unanswerable critics as Thomas Paine [See “The Age of Reason,” by Thomas Paine] and placed among the most profoundly interesting books ever compiled.

Thus, if we know that a serpent signifies Wisdom or a Sage; that a tree stands for the Thinking Principle, or the Mind; and that the birds come and flit in and out of its foliage and fly off to other trees are Ideas; a mountain, a high plane of consciousness; water, among many other meanings, Material Activity, and wine, Spiritual Activity; cattle and the beasts that perish, Animal Instincts and Desires, etc., we shall find new meanings for many old tales.

Eve will be exonerated from having brought down God's curse upon mankind for, as his “ better half” — the intuitional side of man's nature, she persuaded Adam, the animal man, to partake of the fruit of the tree recommended her by the Serpent. This antagonized Nature (the god, Pan) and Man, after he had exchanged innocence and ignorance for the power to know and to choose, began at once to break the laws of Nature and to suffer from so doing. But his suffering is not in vain, for with the acquisition of responsibility and the power to reason, and with the development of will and creative power, he is now a self-conscious being with possibilities before him of limitless evolution.

To take other examples, The Christos, the Christ-spirit of universal love and compassion, is born a weak babe in a stable (among the cattle). At the marriage feast when Reason, or intellect, is united to Intuition, or spirituality, Christos turns water into wine. It is His first miracle. And when one goes up into a mountain to pray he transfers his consciousness to the higher planes of his being and communes with “ his Father in Heaven”, — his Higher Self.

And the statement that Man was given dominion over the fish in the sea, the birds, the cattle, and every creeping thing, means that by the exercise of his Will he can and ought to rule the desires and propensities symbolically represented by these creatures. It certainly does not mean that their God has given His Christian worshippers the right to tyrannize over and torture those animals over whom, by his superior cunning, he has gained mastery, for they are as truly vehicles and centers of the One Life, as are the “ Lords of Creation”, though the Life manifesting through them is on a different plane of development.

Do those who support and condone the merciless acts of vivisectors or animal-trainers, imagine that justice extends only as far down the scale of evolution as our own race, and that an easy way of escape from the pains and penalties incurred by disregard of physical law can be found by violation of moral law ; or that knowledge or amusement that has been obtained by heartless misuse of power can be enjoyed with impunity? Ignorance of the working of the One Law will not save individuals or the race from reaping the harvest they are daily sowing. Indeed, we are reaping terribly today!

Other Subjects

Theosophy also treats of the early history of man from his first appearance on this globe: of the formation of the worlds from cosmic substance, and, indeed, touches upon all the sciences of the past and present that have ever occupied the restless thoughts of men.


To the question, often asked, is Theosophy antagonistic to Christianity, I should say that it certainly is not antagonistic to the teaching of the New Testament [See “Open Letter from ‘Lucifer’ to the Archbishop of Canterbury” — To be obtained from ] nor to that of any of the great World-Teachers, but with regard to any special creed or dogma the student must decide for himself. The chief value of the study of Theosophy is that it leads logically to the conclusion that to “ Love thy neighbor as thyself” is more than merely a pious duty, for it proves that “ thy neighbor” is “ thyself”, and that until the significance of that fact be recognized and intelligently acted upon, no satisfactory solution of the world's difficulties will be found, no true knowledge gained nor lasting happiness achieved.

The Masters of Wisdom

The reader has now been given some idea of the range of subjects which Theosophy coordinates into a rational system, and it only remains to present a few facts with regard to “ The Masters of Wisdom” and their agent, Madame Blavatsky.

As to the former, a great deal of evidence might be brought forward in proof of their existence and of the existence of the great body of knowledge of which they are the guardians, but I do not propose to produce it here, because theosophy does not depend upon any authority for its acceptance, and because any readers of this introduction who may have been sufficiently attracted by anything herein contained to wish to enquire further, will find all the evidence they need in books already published, [See — “The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett”, “The Occult World” (A. P Sinnett), “Echoes from the Orient.” (Judge)] while those whose interest or intuition has not been aroused, would not be greatly impressed by any arguments, however conclusively they might be presented. To sympathetic enquirers, however, the following information may be of interest, because it relates not only to “ The Masters”, but also to the doctrine itself, to an ideal of which They are practical exponents and to a goal that may be reached by any aspirant sufficiently determined to succeed and willing to make the necessary sacrifices with a motive that shall place his efforts at the service of Humanity for which these Masters live.

If we accept the theory of man's spiritual and intellectual evolution, and then consider the faculties he is known to possess for obtaining and assimilating knowledge, and also the power of his creative thought, as exemplified by numerous recent inventions, we shall have to concede that, unless his development stops short somewhere, man is at the entrance stage of a creative hierarchy of intelligent beings to whose evolutionary ascent no limit can be imagined. We contend that the stopping short idea is unreasonable and that there is good reason to suppose that the evolutionary urge will continue indefinitely after all that this earth can teach has been mastered. And further, that as no rung of the evolutionary ladder can be missed out, there must come a moment to every successful climber when the great choice, previously referred to, must be made, and the decision taken that will either free him from further contact with the earth and its affairs, or bind him to the service of humanity on this globe through countless ages, until its end. And if he has evolved spiritually as well as intellectually, so that love of humanity, compassion and sympathy have become a dominant part of his very nature, then it is but reasonable to admit that the latter course may be taken by him. The Masters of Wisdom, or Mahatmas, are men who have so chosen. [Whilst no dogma is propounded thereon, it is, on the other hand no outcome of sentimental devotion, but its antithesis, to postulate a spiritual evolution that is progressive, instead of the entirely illogical assumption, which, ignoring all process of “becoming,” holds that man, immersed in the interests of earth-life, can be at death instantly translated into an immortal being of spiritual purity].

That they should form such an organization to carry out their plans as the “ Great Lodge,” already referred to, is what might be expected. Their methods, of course, would naturally differ in many respects very widely from those of any ordinary association. For instance, their complete command of such powers as clairvoyance, clair-audience, telepathy, etc., would make it perfectly easy for them to communicate with each other at long distances without using any of our contrivances. One way in which they aid humanity is by accepting as their pupils aspirants who, by the unselfishness and self-abnegation of their lives, and by the purity of motive with which they have devoted such powers and knowledge as they may have possessed to altruistic work, have proved their fitness to receive the occult training and instruction that will at length enable them to work with some of the hidden laws and forces of nature. Before this can be done, however, the aspirant must have proved his willingness to conform to many very severe requirements with regard to his mode of life.

The Ancient Knowledge

It may be asked how this body of knowledge, said to be complete as far as the lower planes at least are concerned, which is guarded by this mysterious “ Lodge” was first acquired, especially as it has been stated that the world has never been without it. The answer is that there have been humanities on other planets that may have long since passed away, and that men who had gained knowledge and power in those humanities reincarnated among the early races of this earth in order to instruct and rule them. These were the “ Divine Kings” and patriarchs, echoes of whose fame are still to be found in the ancient records and .scriptures, myths and legends of the world. They taught and guided the men who, with their constant aid, built up those ancient civilizations, traces of which are still to he found in many widely separated parts of the earth — in central Africa, in central America, Asia, southern Europe and elsewhere [Had not some knowledge of the arts and crafts been brought to this earth from pre-existing planets, it is doubtful whether mankind could ever have begun to rise from a state of savagery]. Since those early days, this race of “ Mighty Men of Old” has retired from the sight of men, but has not deserted them. “ Knowing neither rest nor Nirvana, spurning heaven, and remaining constantly on Earth for the salvation of mankind”, [See Abridgment of the “Secret Doctrine” (Katherine Hillard p 409) these Adepts and Initiates live secluded from the world, but in touch with its needs.

H.P. Blavatsky and Her Work

We come now to Mme. Blavatsky, to whom, in the belief of many students, the world is far more deeply indebted than most people have any idea of. The publication of her first notable work, “ Isis Unveiled”, immediately aroused fierce opposition in many quarters where the forcefulness of her argument and consequent danger to the prestige of both eastern and western established religious sects, and to financial interests and prerogatives connected with them, was clearly recognized. And as the Society which she founded became active, and knowledge of the newly stated doctrine began to spread, its opponents were driven to use the only effective weapons available to them, namely, misrepresentation of the teaching, and unscrupulous vilification of its principal exponent.

Lies and slander proved to be so efficacious that, to this day, Mme. Blavatsky is often supposed to have been nothing more than a clever trickster and charlatan, her writings to be unworthy of the attention of any sane man or woman, and her adherents and admirers to be but credulous dupes or fanatics.

Needless to say, very few, if any, of the people who hold these opinions have ever read one single word of her own books ; indeed, one of the most serious effects of these misrepresentations and slanders has been that they have kept the general public from reading and judging for themselves. [Her work can only be fairly judged by what she herself has written. A great deal has appeared since her death under the name of Theosophy which is calculated to give a wrong impression as to what she taught.]

For this reason I shall now draw attention to a few facts and considerations which may help to remove the contempt and ignorance which have cast such a dark shadow over Mme. Blavatsky and her work.

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was born in the south of Russia in 1831. Her father was an officer in the Imperial army and her mother the daughter of Princess Dolgorouki. She received the education that was usual for young ladies of her class and time, that is to say little beyond music, modern languages, deportment, etc. This fact has an important bearing on our argument. The fascinating story of her extraordinary childhood must be passed over, and the reader referred to other books. [See “Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky” (A.P Sinnett) also “Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky,” and “The Secret Doctrine,” by Countess Wachmeister].

As a young woman, and for many years, she traveled extensively, often into countries almost untrodden by Europeans, for she had a great, and for those days, a very unusual contempt for the conventions of social life. At the age of 22 she first tried, without success, to reach the “ Forbidden Land” of Tibet, and a few years later dwelt for some time in Little Tibet, or Ladakh.

She fought, dressed as a soldier, in the war for Italian unity, under Garibaldi, against the papal forces; was wounded, and picked up for dead. Soon after recovering from her wound she made another attempt to penetrate to the fastnesses of Tibet, and this time was successful. It was during the subsequent years spent there that she obtained the training and knowledge that fitted her to undertake her Mission.

Her two great works, “ Isis Unveiled”, and “ The Secret Doctrine”, were published respectively in 1875 and 1888. [These works, which occupy several large volumes, were followed in 1889 (shortly before her death) by “The Voice of the Silence,” a translation of Eastern Treatises containing unique esoteric teaching especially with regard to the “Great Choice.” referred to on pages 19 and 24. She also wrote a great many other books and publications].

It is the circumstances in which these were written, their extraordinary erudition and the fact that they contain many assertions related to almost every branch of modern science that anticipate the findings of recent research (in some instances by many years) that afford irrefutable evidence in black and white that Mme. Blavatsky had access to some reliable source of profound knowledge. Mrs. Alice Leighton Cleather, in a recently published book [“H.P. Blavatsky, Her Life and Work for Humanity.”] devotes a chapter to “ The Writing of 'The Secret Doctrine',” in which the author most convincingly sets forth evidence to show that H.P.B.'s knowledge surpassed that of expert scientists in their own special fields of research.

I must content myself with but two short quotations: With regard to erudition, Dr. J. D. Buck, author of “ Mystic Masonry”, is quoted by Mrs. Cleather as saying:

“ Everyone who has ever read her larger works, even with curious and literary interest, has remarked the almost innumerable references to many books in many languages and written in almost every age. Profound, indeed, would be the knowledge and priceless the opportunity to verify all these references. . . . known to have been made apparently from memory, for it is well attested that she had a small number of volumes of any sort within her reach, and for months together never left the house in which she was living. Fortunately I have one of the largest libraries of occult and rare books to be found in America, and as my studies progressed I kept buying books to which she referred in 'Isis Unveiled,' in the 'Secret Doctrine,' and in her almost numberless fugitive essays, for the purpose of verifying her statements as well as for further research. Through the clues thus afforded by her writings I was almost unconsciously gathering a mass of testimony in support of the old Wisdom-Religion”

And with regard to her scientific knowledge: Dr. Carter Blake, one of the secretaries of the British Association in 1863, says: —

“ On ordinary lines it is strange that an old, sickly woman, not consulting a library and having no books of her own of consequence, should possess the unusual knowledge that Madame Blavatsky undoubtedly did. Indeed, it is incomprehensible, unless she were of an extraordinary mental capacity, and had spent her whole life in study. On the contrary, from many sources we gain undoubted evidence that Madame Blavatsky's education had not even been carried as far as that of a High School student of the present day. But it is a fact that she knew more than I did on my own particular lines of Anthropology, etc.”

Then follow instances of this superior knowledge.

Just as the evidences of erudition are overwhelming, so are the proofs that H.P. B, forestalled many of the discoveries of science which, since her death, have been hailed as triumphs of modern research, and also that she was the first to expose the fallacies in many theories held as beyond question in her time, but which have since been discarded or seriously doubted by scientists themselves. Any learned person who cares to read the “ Secret Doctrine”, cannot fail to be convinced of this statement.

I must confine myself to two or three instances :

Mr. William Kingsland, in a notice of the founding of the “ Blavatsky Association”, appearing in the magazine, “ Dawn”, writes : — [See May 1924, issue of “Dawn” — official organ of the T.S. Loyalty League, published at Sydney, N.S.W. Australia]

“ I have never forgotten her determined attitude as to the disintegration of physical matter. Science held that matter was indestructible, and that you could not break up a physical atom; but she held that a physical atom was only a very low grade of a Universal Substance. Her theory of the atomic nature of electricity has [Page 30] since been confirmed very fully, for the electrons of modern science are nothing but her atoms of electricity”.
The next instance is taken from a book published as far back as 1908, in which the author, Dr. A. Marques, submits comparisons which prove many forestallments in nine of the principal branches of Science:
“ Sir Norman Lockyer and Prof. J. J. Thompson have started the scientific hypothesis of Ions and Electrons . . . moreover these electrons are not huddled up together, and if the distances between them were calculated, they would seem proportionately to their size, to be as widely separated as the planets are in the solar system”.
(N.H.—This was a new theory about 1908, though now, of course, a commonplace.)

About ten years previously H. P. B. had written:

“ A wooden or a stone block is motionless and impenetrable to all intents and purposes, nevertheless and de facto, its particles are in ceaseless eternal vibration . . . and yet the spatial distance between those particles, in their vibrationary motion is — considered from another plane of being and perception — as great as that which separates snow-flakes or drops of rain. But to physical science this will be an absurdity”. [“Scientific Corroborations of Theosophy”, by Dr. A. Marques.]

And as such it was, indeed, received!

Mme. Blavatsky always vigorously denied that man has evolved from an ape or any ape-like animal; she declared that the “ missing link” would never be found — (its discovery was almost daily expected at that time) — and drew special attention to the great difference between the brain-cavities of the highest ape and of the earliest specimens of man, and the very small difference between that of the earliest man and the most advanced races of today, and now Dr. C. H. Hill-Tout, in August of this year (1924), before the Anthropology section of the British Association at Toronto, is quoted as saying: —

“ The conclusion is forced upon us, contrary to what has generally been held, that the anthropoids, and not man, have departed most from the ancestral type in respect of skull characteristics”.
That is to say, apes have departed greatly from the common stock, while man has not — bearing out the “ Secret Doctrine” contention that the apes have descended from a race of men who mated with an animal (now extinct) millions of years ago.

The reader is now in a position to answer the following question: “ Did Mme. Blavatsky obtain the knowledge and help that enabled her to write the “ Secret Doctrine” from her “ Teachers” — the Adepts of the “ Great Lodge” — as she states, or is it more reasonable to suppose that she was a consistent liar for many years and a miraculous sort of person who gained her knowledge from some other still more mysterious source that has never been revealed?

But however this question may be answered, it must not be supposed that the author of the “ Secret Doctrine” makes any appeal to the authority of her “ Teachers” for the final acceptation of her assertions and postulates; on the contrary, in her book she submits them solely to the arbitrament of evidence, reason and logic.

A Warning!

A general outline of Theosophy has now been presented to the reader, but no attempt has been made to adduce all the evidence that might be marshaled in support of the postulates and tenets hinted at, nor have any of the subjects herein contained been treated exhaustively or conclusively. I wish to draw particular attention to this, because many people, after reading one or two pamphlets or hearing a lecture supposed to be theosophical, seem to imagine that they are in a position to judge of the merits of the whole theosophical outlook, whereas the most that such a very slight acquaintance with Theosophy could possibly do for any enquirer would be to help him to determine whether or not the study of Theosophy or Occultism would be likely to interest him.


And now in conclusion let me re-state those tenets of Theosophy that seem to me to be of the greatest importance.

That it is the thirst for material life, acting through Karma, the Law of Cause and Effect, that impels to re-birth among material things; that all the faculties, aptitudes and innate knowledge with which a man is born and which may be brought out by education, have been earned by him in past lives, for a man is not made, but has become, and is becoming, by his own exertions, and that even any help he may obtain from others, or give to others, is neither more nor less than what he has earned the right to give or receive.

When the pupil has made himself ready to receive, the Master will be found — but not before.

That man lives by Law, the immutability of which (acting as many laws) assures that every effort made on any plane in any direction shall have its full effect.

Therefore, that man is a creative being — a beneficent or maleficent force in Nature, responsible, according to his degree, for the progress or retardation of the welfare and evolution of Mankind; and that it renders him particularly his own creator, his own judge, dispensing to himself weal or woe.

That the Brotherhood of Man is a FACT. It is an expression of Eternal Law which is, in itself, an expression of the One Life. As the Law cannot be broken, it follows that when a man opposes it with his pigmy strength he will suffer to the exact extent of the force he exerts in opposition. It therefore behooves every one to study the Law and to recognize the responsibilities it entails, for neither prayer nor repentance can save him from the natural results of his ignorance.

That instead of looking upward and worshiping the “ God on High”, hoping to obtain favors from Him in return for services rendered, the only true God should be sought for down among men in the mysterious depths of human nature. And in serving humanity, that “ God within”, which dwells in unity with the collective soul of Humanity, should he more considered than the evanescent personalities that are temporarily ensouled by Him, or rather, It.

That all forms, whether objects perceived by the senses or mental pictures, are but units in the unthinkably vast hosts of things that go to make up the Universe, which is “ a part” of the One Reality manifesting as the Many. In other words: All things and all beings are “ God”.

That the sense of separateness, that illusionary conviction that “ I-am-I” and “ I-am-not-You”, is “ The Great Heresy”, which must be gradually transcended by the expansion of our sympathies until they include, at long last, all beings within the consciousness of our own being; that only by this gradual expansion can we gain access through Universal Mind to the Light of Truth that shines behind all the shadows among which we grope, mistaking them for realities, for, to use the words of H. P. Blavatsky, “ he who would profit by the Universal Mind has to reach it through the whole of humanity without distinction of race, complexion, religion, or social status. It is altruism, not ego-ism, even in its most legal and noble conception, that can lead the unit to merge its little Self in the Universal Selves.[“ Occultism versus The Occult Arts”, by H. P. Blavatsky. To be obtained in pamphlet form from the “ H.P.B. Library”, Toronto, Ontario. Canada].

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