The path of occultism- Volume -1- - At the feet of the master - Part 4 of 5 - by Annie Besant and C.W.Leadbeater


Volume -1- A Commentary on


by Annie Besant and C.W.Leadbeater

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4. — Cheerfulness. — You must bear your karma cheerfully, whatever it may be, taking it as an honour that suffering comes to you, because it shows that the Lords of Karma think you  worth helping.

A.B. — This is the qualification which, as I have already explained was formerly frequently translated endurance. Endurance may be a somewhat negative virtue; but what you have to do is not so much to endure things which you cannot help as to take them cheerfully and brightly, facing all trouble with a smile. The word cheerfulness gives you the whole idea of what is required by the great Teachers with regard to this particular endowment. Many people can endure, but they do so sadly; you must take all your trials and troubles brightly. On that point a great deal of stress is laid in some of the Hindu books; things are to be taken gladly.

That karma is very much quickened for people who come forward and offer themselves as candidates for the Path is a fact that has been much emphasized; this is done first in order to warn people beforehand of what they have to expect, and secondly, in order to cheer them up [Page 320] and when the experience comes to them practically, instead of only theoretically – for that makes a great difference.

Karma, being a law of Nature, can be avoided for a while or else can be brought immediately into effect, that is to say, you can put yourself into conditions where it will affect you or into others where you will be sheltered from it for the time being. It is necessary to repeat very often that the laws of Nature are not enactments; they do not command us to do anything. To take a common illustration: electrical forces are always in activity about us, but if we want them to produce certain effects at a given place and time, we require a special apparatus in order to bring them into manifestation. Similarly, karma is a law of Nature, and the apparatus which may start its forces working in the life of an individual may be his appearance on the stage of physical life through the process we call birth. Some changes in an individual's life may very much intensify and quicken the working of the law of karma upon him. When, for example, you offer yourself as a candidate for rapid progress, Those who administer the laws of karma may, by your consent, which you have given, modify the apparatus, so to speak, and let the force which is there show itself more strongly, exhaust itself upon you in a shorter time. Your will is the real cause of the alteration in the apparatus.

If the expressed desire to grow more rapidly, and therefore to get rid quickly of his evil karma, is a real wish on the man's part, so that his soul is set in that [Page 321] direction, then his wish reaches the Lords of Karma, and They put in motion the karma he has made in the past and let it descend upon him. The karma was there; it is not that the man is creating anything new, but he begins to clear off what he has stored up.

If you realize what is taking place, you will not be surprised at anything that may happen to you. Consider the lives of Alcyone, and see how many terrible things occurred in them. In one life his child was murdered; in another he was executed for a crime he had not committed, and so on. You scarcely realize these things when you read them like a story; but you would think them very dreadful if any of them were to happen to you in this life. All those misfortunes and sorrows were so much clearing off of bad karma.

When troubles fall quickly on you it shows that the Lords of Karma have taken notice of your prayer, and that is a very good sign. If things were to go on very smoothly it would mean that They had not yet taken notice. So in this matter again the occult view reverses the judgment of the world: the things which the world calls evil are, from the occult standpoint good.

When to the pain and loss which fall upon you there is added the censure and ungenerous criticism of those around you, then you have the best karma of all. Some misfortunes at once awaken sympathy in others, and all the sympathy poured out on the man who is suffering helps him a great deal. But other misfortunes may excite blame; you may have done your best but acute suffering has fallen upon you, and in addition the world [Page 322] turns against you and blames you. When this happens one is clearing off a great amount of past karma; that additional disagreeable factor enables one to work it off quickly and thoroughly.

It is easy to see that these things are true theoretically, as you hear or read them; but what you have to do is to remember them at the right moment. What people generally do is to admit them till the time comes for their practical realization, and then promptly to forget them. Try to get these facts so thoroughly into your mind that you cannot forget them, so that the thought of them shall strengthen you when suffering and enable you to help others when they are suffering. It may help a little towards the clear understanding that is needed if you look around you and see how constantly troubles come to very good people, who have done, as so often one hears it said, nothing to deserve them – that is, nothing in their present lives, which are noble and useful ones. Our tendency is to compare ourselves with those who are more fortunate than we are; it is well sometimes to do so with those who are less fortunate, that we may feel gratitude for all the good that we have received. We are liable to forget how much there is for which we should feel grateful, because we think always of whatever pain and loss fall to our share; but we ought not to do this.

C.W.L. No one who really understands and believes in the law of karma can fail to be cheerful. It should be made quite clear that karma is a law, like gravitation, and it is always acting. People sometimes think of it [Page 323] and speak of it as though it came into operation occasionally when they do something. This is not true; we are under its operation every moment. A man provides conditions in which the law of karma can act upon him when he does or thinks or speaks some definite thing. The law of karma for each of us at this moment has an account with us, the sum total of our good and our bad deeds. Because we have a1l come up through savage states when we did all sorts of uncontrolled things, there is likely to be a certain amount of evil karma waiting for all of us, unless we have spent many lives working it out. When we find suffering coming upon us, we should assume that we are working out, perhaps, the last part of that karma. If we read the stories of some of the greatest of the saints we shall find that they passed through an immense amount of suffering. All the people who have tried to help the world have suffered terribly. It is part of the training for Initiation, but it is absolute justice always, for not even for the purposes of training can any injustice take place.

The Lords of Karma are simply the Administrators of that Law. In some ways perhaps the word Lords is a little indefinite, because it rather suggests that They direct and rule karma. You cannot direct or rule gravitation; but you can make arrangements to use it at certain points and in certain ways. So with the law of karma; those who are working in connection with it are its administrators. One function of the Lords of Karma is to select a certain part of a man's store of karma and give it to him to work out in his forthcoming incarnation. [Page 324] They cannot take more of good or more of evil than there is in the man's karma, but They do select from that what They think he can work through. Still, the man's will is free, and if the selected karma is worked through sooner than They had expected, if one may put it that way, They may give some more. “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth”— that is the meaning of that extraordinary statement. People also make much trouble from themselves which is not within their karma from the past, by taking things hardly instead of philosophically, and also by downright folly – but the Lords of Karma are not responsible for this.

However hard it is, be thankful that it is no worse.

C. W .L . The tendency of almost everyone who suffers is to say how hard it is and to think of other times when things were better. We may take it the other way and say, “Things might have been much worse than this”, and also, “I am very glad to be working off all this karma; I might have had much more to work out; at least let me make the best of it”.

Remember that you are of but little use to the Master until your evil karma is worked out, and you are free.

A.B. From the Master's standpoint it is a very good, thing for a man to get rid of a piece of bad Karma which is hanging over him in the background, for we have to remember that the Master is hampered by the bad [Page 325] karma of those who wish to serve Him; it prevents His using them as freely as He otherwise could do. Madame Blavatsky, who always spoke very openly about herself, being truthful through and through, said of the Coulomb trouble: “I have not deserved it now, but for my past”. It was a vital thing for her to get rid of this karma, and so the scandalous and shameful way she was treated throughout that affair was the greatest blessing for her; she recognized this when she looked at the matter philosophically, but at times she was disturbed by it on the surface.

All aspirants ought to be helped by that thought, helped to look away from themselves to Him and to think: “These troubles that I am going through make me more useful to Him”.

If you have asked that your karma shall be quickened it is unreasonable to complain when your request is granted. Keep the inspiring idea always in your thoughts: “I shall be of more use to the Master the freer I become”. A gift, once given, must not be taken back. This idea is very common in some of the old Indian books, recurring over and over again in the stories told in them; a gift once given, or a word once spoken, cannot be taken back. If a gift that you have once given should be put back into your hands by circumstances you must give it again; it is not yours, and to keep it would be theft. So, when there is this gift of yourself – the highest and noblest gift of all – you must never take it back. People continually give themselves verbally to the Master, but keep a finger on the gift in order to be able [Page 326] to pull it back if the Master goes too far – that is really what it comes to. They draw back, if the Master takes them at their word, as sometimes He might do, in order to let them see that they have been deceiving themselves, and had promised more than they were prepared to fulfil.

C.W.L.If all one’s bad karma were exhausted one would have the whole of one’s time and strength free for the Master’s work. It has been explained that the Master is hampered by our bad karma, and therefore in getting rid of it quickly we are making ourselves more fit to serve Him. Madame Blavatsky took that view very strongly with regard to the attacks made upon her by Madame Coulomb and others in Madras about the year 1884. While she was indignant that the attacks should be made, and sad at the ingratitude which they showed, and also disturbed lest they should reflect upon her Society and injure it, yet she said: “At least there is this to remember, that all these troubles make me more fit to serve Him”.

We can apply that idea to the Society’s troubles as well as our own. Think always of the service of the Master when the Society is getting rid of what is evil; it goes forward the moment it has passed through some particular trouble, for it has got rid of some bad karma and so become more useful, a better instrument for its true owners.

Having disposed of that portion of its karma the Society could move onward to greater things. Such karma shakes out the dead material, the people who have reached their “saturation-point for truth”, as [Page 327] Madame Blavatsky used to express it, and cannot go further. They may previously have been a great help, but they have become a hindrance to future progress. Yet the rest of us are often very sorry to lose those friends. In the last trouble, it seemed to me that I was somewhat of a storm-centre, and that there was very good excuse for many of the people who misunderstood, so I ventured to represent to the Mahachohan that the test was very hard for them, and to ask for an act of grace for them. Naturally, He smiled kindly at my presumption, and said: “ Will you be satisfied if the same people throw aside Mrs. Besant?”. “Oh, yes”, I said, “of course”. I felt they would not do that, but a few months later they did turn against her, and the Mahachohan said, with the same gentle smile: “You see; for this life their sun has set. But there are other lives, and the sun will rise again tomorrow”.

No one is indispensable, though it does sometimes happen in India that a Lodge grows up round some influential member, and fades away again when he removes to some other town. When Madame Blavatsky went, many of us, accustomed to daily inspiration from her, felt that all would be dark. Another great individuality arose in the person of our present President. Yet I am sure that she would be the first to say that we need not be anxious for the Society when her turn comes to leave us. The instruments change their bodies – in the sight of the unwise they seem to die.“ But the Masters who stand behind do not die, and while They are there some one will always be found to continue Their work. [Page 328]

By offering yourself to Him, you have asked that your karma may be hurried, and So now in one or two lives you work  through what otherwise might have been spread over a hundred. But in order to make the best out of it you must bear it cheerfully, gladly.

A.B. — According to the way in which an old debt is paid, a new cause is started. That should never be forgotten. If you make the best of what looks like bad karma you set in motion new forces for good, whereas if you take bad karma unwillingly and pay your debts grudgingly, the reverse happens. Remember how the Christ said in the sermon on the Mount: “Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him”. (S. Matthew, 5, 25.) That is good counsel to follow in the adverse circumstances that come to you. Your troubles and losses appear to you to come as adversaries; meet them bravely, agree with them quickly, and then they will be done with . We should rid ourselves of our bad karma very much more rapidly if we did not sow new while reaping the old.

C. W .L.People sometimes talk of giving themselves to the Master, and are then afraid that the Master will ask too much. That is the spirit of Ananias and Sapphira. That unfortunate couple had assuredly the most perfect right to retain part of their goods for themselves if they wished to do so, but they made a mistake when they pretended that they were giving everything. To say, [Page 329] “I can give this; I can do this much for Him, but I cannot give myself unreservedly”, marks a stage through which we pass. But when one offers himself to the Master it ought to be in the same whole-hearted spirit that he would give any other gift. It should be offered without reservation as to how it should be used, and one should not want to take any of it back. No one need fear that He will want too much. If we offer ourselves to the Master we must not be surprised and hurt if suffering comes suddenly upon us. That shows that the offering has been partially accepted. Many things that the world calls evil and suffering may therefore be taken as signs of swift progress. Instead of sympathizing with us people often blame us, but generally that is the best karma of all. To be misunderstood, so that our good shall be evil spoken of, as Ruysbroek put it, seems to come always when people are drawing near to their final goal. It has happened to every great occult or mystical teacher all through history. To bear it all cheerfully in itself makes good karma and develops in us various valuable qualities – patience, perseverance, endurance, long-suffering, determination. So, out of evil long past, we may bring good.

Yet another point. You must give up all feeling of possession. Karma may take from you the things which you like best – even the people whom you love most. Even then you must be cheerful – ready to part with anything and everything.

[Page 330] A.B. We come now to a thing that is enormously more difficult than the preceding. The bearing of past karma is far easier than this. You must eliminate all feeling of ownership — first of all for things, and then for persons. The latter is a more subtle task; have you given up all sense of possession with regard to the people you love best ? Even when people think they have done so, circumstances arise to test them, and often show that they have not. Can you let a life go out of your own, which is more to you than your own life ? You may call this the last and most difficult test of your real devotion to the Master. It is a point on which all aspirants should try to test themselves, before the test comes upon them by circumstances, because they can lessen the blow by practicing beforehand. Do not try to kill out the love you feel towards anyone — that is the way of the dark powers. You might practise by loving a person all the time, but withdrawing yourself for a time from that person's society, by doing some work which has to be done away from the person who makes life happy for you, or in some such way as that. If you can do that cheerfully and gladly, you are well on the way to answer the call when it comes – the call to leave all and follow the Master.

Remember how much stress is laid upon that in the accounts that have come down to us of what took place when the Lord Maitreya was in Palestine. Not everyone who was called rose to the height of his opportunity, but some did so. Those who forsook all and followed Him became teachers after He went away; the others [Page 331] never heard of Him again. Remember the case of the rich young man who went away sorrowing, although it was only riches he was asked to abandon. People think that they would have obeyed the call at once, had they been in that young man's place, yet I am not sure that there are many people who would leave great possessions to follow a vagrant preacher – for that was how the Christ appeared, as a wandering teacher surrounded by some half-educated people. Yet this is the test of discipleship, to forsake everything – the things you most like and the people you love best – and follow the Master.

C.W.L. — We must realize that nothing is ours in the personal sense, that whatever we have is given to us in trust for the work of evolution. If one has money or is in a position of influence, that is because it gives the opportunity of doing more for the work. Nothing is our own, in the sense that we may make a separate use of it; one is always in the position of the trusted manager or employee who is using the firm's money, but is in every respect just as careful with every penny of it as he would be if it were his own. That ought to be the attitude of every rich man, and every man in a position of power.

The attitude of living as a representative of humanity is very wonderfully and beautifully expressed by the Masters. They regard Themselves merely as stewards of all the mighty powers which They possess. That is why the Master makes no karma, either good or ill, to bind Him to the human condition. Those who are the [Page 332] greatest actors and performers make no karma that binds

Them, because They do all impersonally, utterly without personal desire. They do it an as a soldier fights in battle, with no thought of the particular enemy whom he happens to kill, but with the feeling that he is working for a cause, as part of a mighty machine. So They work as part of the Great Brotherhood, as part of the Hierarchy, part of humanity, and an the good they do comes back to humanity and helps to uplift it.

First we must have no feeling of possession about things, and then about people, which is harder still; they may be taken from us by death, as it is called, and also perhaps for service to humanity. Of many thousands that was true during the Great War; the wife gave her husband, the mother her son, to go forth and fight for the right. Surely it is not for us ever to hesitate to do as when in the Master's service as so many thousands of others have done in the service of their nations. It is difficult to let a life go out of ours which is more to us than our own life, and yet many have had to do that – some under very sad circumstances, others in conditions which made the sacrifice holy and beautiful.

It is the way of those who follow the darker magic to kill out love and so escape all this suffering. But those who would be of the Great White Brotherhood must make their love ever stronger, yet kill out the selfishness that so often mars it. Remember how a sword pierced the heart of our Lady Herself, the Blessed Virgin Mary. She might have escaped that sword if she had chosen to tear out from her heart all remembrance of her Son and [Page 333] forget Him altogether. In many cases it is as Christ said of Himself,”Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword”. (S. Matthew, 10, 34.) He meant that His new teaching would be taken up here and there by one in a family, and that the others would object and so cause division, or that one might have to leave his old home and friends for the sake of some special work that he could do. Similarly there have been cases where one member of a family has seen the Theosophical truth and the rest have not, and that has led to suffering and division. Often, in modern days, one will leave the family to go to the other side of the earth in order to make money, and no one objects to that; but if one should propose to do it for the good of humanity there is immediate protest – so unevolved is the spirit of our time.

Remember the difficulties that King Suddhodana created when Prince Siddhartha wished to devote himself to the religious life. He spent vast sums of money and a great part of his life in endeavouring to keep his son back from the high destiny that opened before him — endeavouring to make him, instead of the greatest religious teacher the world had ever known, the greatest king in India – an alternative future that the astrologers had foretold for him. The king knew that to become a religious teacher would mean poverty and self-abnegation for his son, and he did not realize that it would be in reality a higher position than that of any king. It is not the great king whose name goes down longest and [Page 334] furthest in history, but the great religious teacher. King Suddhodana wished enormous power and fame without parallel for his son, and it came, but not in the way for which he had hoped and planned. The power of Lord Buddha is greater than that of any earthly monarch, and his renown has spread all over the world.

The Christ said to the people: “Forsake all and follow Me”. When our Christian friends read this in the Gospel they feel that they would have done it at once. That is not so certain. Let us try to put ourselves into the place of the people of that time. Remember the young man with great possessions and great riches who came to Him; those possessions probably brought their duties which he felt he had to fulfil, and therefore he could not forsake them. All the public opinion of the time, all the respectability, and all the orthodox powers were arrayed against the Christ; He was only a poor wandering Teacher who had nowhere to lay His head. Would we have followed Him in the face of all that ? Is it so certain that we would have forsaken everything to follow Him whom all the elders and the high priests and the orthodox people stigmatized as a fanatic ? Would we not have felt a doubt as to whether, after all, we might not be throwing away the substance and grasping at the shadow ? It is not so certain. In the present day, perhaps, it looks like that still, and yet those of us who have thrown away other things for the sake of following Them have never for one moment regretted it. [Page 335]

Often the Master needs to pour out His strength upon others through His servant; He cannot do that if the servant yields to depression. So cheerfulness must be the rule.

C. W .L. Constantly all through this book the same reason is brought forward for everything that is to be done, that it is for the sake of the service of the Master. We might expect many other reasons to be given against depression – that it is bad for the person and it has an unpleasant effect upon others; but the one point which is emphasized here is that the Master cannot use us as a channel for His force; if we yield to it.

A.B. Here the reason why cheerfulness must be the rule is given, for again that inspiring idea is presented, that the Master needs your help, that you can be of use to Him! His force is all joyous because it is part of the force of the Logos; it cannot therefore pour out through a pipe that is chocked with depression. It may sound strange to say that the Master is unable to do this or that, yet the fact is so. Now and again one will hear the Master say of something: “I could not succeed in doing it”. Their power is limited when They work down here, by the conditions that exist on the physical plane. Often They cannot reach a person on the physical plane except through an intermediary; therefore They need the help which perhaps you can give Them. Without that help, things have to remain undone, and later on, in consequence, obstacles have to be removed which need never have been there. [Page 336]



One-pointedness . — The one thing that you must set before you is to do the Masters work. Whatever else may come in your way to do, that at least you must never forget.

C.W.L. — In ordinary life one-pointedness is necessary for real success. The one-pointed man always wins in the end, because all his powers are working together, while other people have a variety of aims, and are constantly changing them. The man who sets himself to make money, for example, and uses all his thought and will for that purpose, and watches and plans for it all the time, is almost sure to gain his object. If one determines all the time to serve the Master with constantly increasing power, and is willing to put aside all other: things for that, his progress will be swift indeed.

Yet nothing else can come in your way, for all helpful, unselfish work is the Master's work, and you must do it for His sake. And you must give all your attention to each piece as you do it, so that it may be your very best,

[Page 337] C.W.L. A good deal of a pupil's work consists in preparing himself for more responsible work for the Master in the future. Some of it is not directly useful in the Master's present plans, but may be compared to much of the work of a boy at school, who in learning , for example, Latin, is not doing any particular good, but is or ought to be developing powers of mind and qualities of character which will be useful in later life. The duties of common life often combine something of both these things, for they provide a splendid training and education for those who do them well, and also offer many occasions for helping other people to progress in character and ideals, which is most emphatically the Master's work. All the varied activities of daily life will come within our one-pointed endeavour to serve the Master, when we learn to do them all in His name and for Him. The Master's work for us is not something peculiar and apart from our fellows. To raise a good family who will serve Him in turn, to make money to use in His service, to win power in order to help Him with it, are all part of it; yet in doing these things we must be ever on guard against self-deception, that we are not cloaking with the holiness of the Master's name what is, underneath, a selfish desire to wield power or handle money. [Page 338]

That same Teacher also wrote: “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men”. Think how you would do a piece of work if you knew that the Master was coming at once to look at it; just in that way you must do all your work. Those who know most will most know all that, that verse means. And there is another like it, much older: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy  might”.

C.W.L. — The whole world exists within the consciousness of the Lord of the World, the One Initiator and therefore everything that we do is being done in His presence. From that is derived the old Christian idea of the omniscience and omnipresence of God, of whom it is said, “In Him we live and move and have our being”. It is not a poetic fancy, but a scientific fact, that we live within the aura of the great Spiritual King of the world. Of course, a consciousness that can grasp all the world simultaneously is to us inconceivably incomprehensible, yet one day we shall reach His stupendous level.

The old conception of God used to make His omnipresence a terrible thought; God was supposed to be one who was always watching to find fault, looking eagerly for any breach of His rules that He might come down in wrath upon the hapless offender. Many a child has suffered terribly because of that thought that God sees everything that he does; he feels it in away unfair that there can be no privacy. This is especially so because a frightened child cannot tell how his mentor will take anything that he does. But if instead one realizes the mighty divine Love, then one begins to see that His omnipresence is our safety and our greatest blessing. [Page 339]

A.B. The test that the Master gives here should be applied to all our work. Suppose you are writing a letter; if you knew that the Master would come and read it over, it would be very carefully written, both as to its contents and its form. Whatever your work is, it is His work, if it is the best you can do; whether it is something that the Master wants done for some immediate purpose, or something that prepares you for future work. Everything is for Him, if we are His; it cannot be for anybody else. Make this your normal and continual attitude of mind, and you make the atmosphere in which one-pointedness can grow.

If we had that real one-pointedness, how splendidly everything would go. That thought of doing all because of His service is one which I keep in my own mind, just as younger disciples can do, though I have more force of habit to help me than they have as yet. “Why should I answer this letter?” I sometimes ask myself; and the answer to my own question at once comes up in my mind: “It has come in my way to do, and so it is Master's work”.

You will continue to hold this thought foremost in your minds all through the time that you are disciples; all have to make the habit, and when it is made they must go on strengthening it. That will help us to do with all our might whatever work we have. We must do it with our might because so it becomes part of the divine work, and because of the training of character that it gives. Make your work quite true, allowing nothing second rate to pass. [Page 340]

One-pointedness means, too, that nothing shall ever turn you, even for a moment, from the Path upon which you have entered. No temptations, no worldly pleasures, no worldly affections even, must ever draw you aside. For you yourself must become one with the Path; it must be so much part of your nature that you follow it without needing to think of it, and cannot turn aside. You, the Monad, have decided it; to break away from it would be to break away from yourself.

C.W.L. The statement that the individual must become one with the Path is made in other Scriptures besides this. The Christ said to His disciples, “I am the Way” (S.John, 14, 6); Shri Krishna made a very similar observation: “I am the way along which the traveller must walk”. The same idea is put forward in The Voice of the Silence, where it said: “Thou canst not travel on the Path before thou hast become that Path itself”. What is happening really is that one is becoming one's own true self. Patanjali, defining, yoga, says, that when a man has gained control of his mind he resides in his own true state”. The Monad is our true Self, the God in man, but he has put down a shadow of himself to form the ego, and that again has incarnated in a personality. Not until a man is considerably evolved can the ego manage the personality; before that, he looks down upon it without trying to do much in such a hopeless cause. Then comes the First Initiation, the [Page 341] point when the personality has ceased to have a will of its own, and lives (except when it forgets) only to serve the higher. The ego is now active through it in the lower planes, and is beginning to realize the existence of the Monad, and to live according to its will. The Monad has determined the path for the ego's evolution; and he can choose no other, because he is becoming himself, gaining release from the bondage even of the spiritual planes. Constantly, while on the Path, the pupil will be swayed from side to side, but when he has achieved one-pointedness he will always swing back to the one right way.

A.B. People often forget that they are the expression of the Monad. The real you is the Monad, and therefore whatever you do down here is done of your own true will, not through outer compulsion of another will. The Monad's will is your will; your desires are not your will at all, but you are drawn to outer things because one or other of your bodies wants to take a particular pleasure. It is not you who like the pleasure; it is the elemental material that wants to taste and experience it. Against this state of affairs you must oppose your true “I”, which points undeviatingly to the highest. You must be like a strongly magnetized compass whose needle may indeed be drawn aside, but returns ever back. Until you are so strong that nothing can draw you aside, you must constantly practise bringing yourself back to the one will.

You are not matter; you must make matter your instrument. It is absurd that you should give way to [Page 342] the piece of material that you have picked up to fashion to your use. It is as though the hammer in the hand of the carpenter struck where it chose instead of where he chose, and crushed his finger instead of driving in the nail. It happens sometimes that a man crushes his own finger with his tool, but that is because he is a clumsy workman. Learn fidelity to your purpose, to your true will, and the time will come when you can cannot turn aside from it.

One-pointedness can also be developed by concentration. Fix your attention on a small area at any given time; concentrate upon one thing at a time, so as to do it well. A quantity of water which is sufficient to make a strong current ,when penned into a channel, becomes a mere film when it is allowed to spread over a large surface. So is it with your energies. Take up one piece of work after another, and do each thing definitely and forcefully, instead of vaguely trying to do everything. If you follow this advice steadily you will soon begin to see some definite result, very small each week perhaps, but as the weeks pass the results accumulate and soon become very considerable in quantity of work done as well as in increase of power.[Page 343]



 Confidence. — You must trust your master; you must trust yourself. If you have seen the Master, you will trust Him to the uttermost, through many lives and deaths. If you have not yet seen Him, you must still try to realize Him and trust Him, because if you do not, even He cannot help you.

C.W.L.These are partly the words of Alcyone, who is speaking here of His Master; but the Master Himself spoke similarly of others greater than He, because just as we speak and think of the Masters so do They in turn speak and think of the Lord Buddha, of the Lord Maitreya, and others greater than Themselves. It is practically impossible for us to realize a Master. We may try to do so; we may think of the highest ideals we know; but the Master embodies so many kinds of greatness that we cannot even imagine, that the highest ideal we can form of Him is still far too low. Such being the case, uttermost trust in His wisdom is but simple common sense.

Utter trust in the Master is largely a question of one's past. If we look at the lives of Alcyone we can see how [Page 344] that has been so in his case. He has been in close association with his Master through many past lives. From the same set of lives, I see, for example, that I myself have been in similar association with my Master and so have others. I suppose I must take that as accounting for the fact that the moment I read of the Master I instantly felt the strongest possible attraction towards Him. When I had the privilege of seeing Him,it never for a moment occurred to me to distrust Him. In such cases it may be said that the ego knows, either: by being aware of the Master's presence on the higher mental plane, or by memory of past lives in which the Master has been known. Sometimes the ego knows but cannot send that knowledge down into the personality, and sometimes it is transmitted imperfectly or incorrectly, or again, in other cases the ego simply does , not know. The ego is never likely to be wrong; he is apparently, not deceived about anything, but that he is ignorant of certain matters is quite clear, and indeed the very purpose of his incarnation is to remove that ignorance.

Those who have no proof of the existence of the Masters may well consider the reasonableness of the idea, the certainty that since man is evolving and many stages lie behind him, there must be other stages of evolution in front of him. We cannot regard ourselves as the crown of the ages. There is also much testimony to Their existence coming from those who have met and spoken with such Men.(This subject is dealt with at length in The Masters and the Path.) [Page 344]

There are some who have actually seen the Masters and yet, incomprehensible though it may appear, have afterwards fallen away from full trust in Them. I remember very well, for example, a certain Mr. Brown of London; he has written a pamphlet describing his life, so there is no harm in referring to him. Many years ago he went to India, and there had the most unusual privilege of meeting in the physical body one of the two Masters who started the Theosophical Society. They come down very rarely from Their Tibetan home, but both of Them have been in India since I have been a member of the Society, in the earlier years of the movement. In The Occult World there is an account of the visit of the Master Kūthūmi to Amritsar, where the great Golden Temple of the Sikhs is. He said: “I saw our Sikhs drunk on the floor of their own temple, I turn my face homeward tomorrow”. More and more, I suppose, They find They can use Their energies to best advantage upon higher planes, and leave the work on the lower to those who are now gradually gathering round Them in the world. Young Mr. Brown had first seen the astral appearance of the Master Kūthūmi, and then he happened to be travelling in the far north of India as secretary to Colonel Olcott, when the Master came in His physical body to see the Colonel. Mr. Brown was sleeping in the same tent as the Colonel, but in a separate division of it. The Master spoke for some time with Colonel Olcott, and then came round into the other division of the tent. I do not understand why, but Mr. Brown wrapped his head up in the [Page 346] bed-sheet and was afraid to face the Master. Naturally, one would be highly conscious of one's faults, but to adopt the ostrich-like plan of putting one's head under the bedclothes does not seem to me to help much, because the bed-clothes, of course, were also transparent to the higher sight. The Master, however, spoke to him patiently. “Take your head out of the bed-clothes”, He said, ..I want you to see if I am the same person you saw in your astral body”. Eventually the Master gave up and left a little note for him, and only then Mr. Brown recovered his senses. He had there an opportunity for which many would give a very great deal. He had deserved it, of course, but he did not make the best use of it. And afterwards he doubted the existence of the Masters. There have been others also who have had the privilege of seeing Them, and yet have somehow fallen away.

Some people, owing to the experience of their past lives have built up a sceptical nature; others are over-credulous. Neither of these extremes is good for a man's progress; both alike are unscientific. Each man has a general scheme of things in his mind. If new facts which are told him at once fit in with that, he is ready to accept them as probable without demanding exact proof. We say, “Yes, that seems very likely; that fits in very well; probably it is so”. But if, on the other hand, the average person is told of something which does not in any way gear in with what he knew before, he altogether refuses to accept it. When one has had experience in the study of the inner side of things, one soon abandons [Page 347] the attitude which refuses to accept a statement because it does not gear in with what one already knows. One learns to suspend judgment, neither accepting nor declining to accept, but simply saying: “From what I have seen so far that does not seem to me very likely; but I do not deny it. I shall put it aside and wait for further light”. It is futile to say that because a thing is not in one's experience therefore it cannot be. That is the tendency of ignorance.

Generally speaking, the less people know the more certain they are, down here on the physical plane. In ordinary science, those who dogmatize are the students. The great scientific men will usually say: ., I have had experience of such and such things, but of course I cannot pretend to lay down the law”. The Lord Chancellor once said: “I am as certain of that as the youngest barrister present”. He is certain because he has not learnt that there are many possibilities, that you cannot lay down the law too definitely. Those who have been studying for years are much more thoughtful of the way in which they express themselves. There are vast numbers of realities before us all the time, which as yet we do not know. A generation ago many of what are commonplaces of our daily life now would have been derided by most people as utterly impossible. It is well to recognize that fact from the beginning and to be prepared for new discoveries, which may constantly be expected, as man evolves.

It is distinctly useful for us as students of these higher matters to try to get out of the attitude of being [Page 348] bound by our preconceptions. We must be sufficiently plastic to accept even revolutionary truths when they have good reason on their side. Failing that, we must simply put them aside and say we do not yet see, without condemning them or the people who hold them. Truth is many-sided and to see it from all sides at once is not commonly given to anyone man or set of men; consequently there may always be a modicum of truth in that which at present seems to us unreasonable.

One great trouble is that many people who know nothing whatever about a subject are persuaded that they know all about it; especially in matters of religion people who know little are nevertheless clamorously insistent that others should believe the particular delusion that happens to occupy their minds. Sometimes they say their conscience is thus directing them. Even if that be so in some cases, we cannot always depend upon the conscience, since the ego whose voice it is does not know everything. History records that people have burned and tortured others for conscience' sake. An ego who recommends such ideas is distinctly ignorant on very important points. One must, of course, give heed to one's conscience, when one is sure the voice is that, but always remember Bishop South's celebrated reply to a dissenter: “By all means follow thy conscience, but take heed that thy conscience is not the conscience of a fool”.

While it is well to have confidence, one cannot make oneself believe, any more than one can make oneself love. But just as we can dwell upon a person's good [Page 349] points and so gradually acquire reason for loving him, so we can think over the reasons for belief, and perhaps gradually attain it thereby. Strictly, of course, one should not desire to believe anything in particular, but only whatever may be true; yet that truth may come to us only after considerable study of the matter, if we have no conviction arising from the past.

It is not the method of great spiritual teachers to make everything easy for us. I first came into touch with occultism through Madame Blavatsky. She gave occasional crumbs of knowledge to her people, but she constantly applied rigorous tests to them. It was a drastic method, but those who really meant business remained with her, while others very soon abandoned her. She cured us of conventionality, but there was much searching of hearts among her followers in the process. Many people said she did things which a great spiritual teacher ought not to do. My own feeling was always this: ..Madame Blavatsky has this occult knowledge, and I am going to get that knowledge from her, if she will give it to me. Whatever else she does is her affair. I am not here to criticize her; to her own Master she stands or falls, and not to me. She may have her own reasons for what she does; I do not know anything about that. She has this knowledge, she speaks of these Masters. I intend to get this knowledge; I intend, if it is humanly possible, to reach the feet of those Masters.“ I gave up everything else to follow her lead, and I have never regretted the confidence I placed in Madame Blavatsky. If one is critical by [Page 350] nature it is his karma; he will learn much more slowly than the man who is prepared to accept things reasonably.

We have to remember that we cannot play with occultism. If we do, no benefit results from it and we are doing no good; if it is not the first interest in life it is of no value. We cannot give to it the second or the third or the seventeenth place in life as so many good people try to do. It must actually be the first thing in life and everything else must be subsidiary to it. Confidence in the Master does mean that we believe that He knows exactly what we ought to do, and that He says what He means; and so when, as in this book, He lays down certain definite rules we must do our very best to follow them. I know it seems difficult, and it is very hard to make people believe just that thing. They say: “Well, He means an approximation to that. He means something like it”. But He means exactly what He says, and if we do not believe Him, and therefore we fail, we must blame ourselves. In occultism we have to pass from the insincerity of the world into the light of truth, out of our world into Theirs.

 Unless there is perfect trust there cannot be the perfect flow of love and power.

C.W.L.If one is in a condition of doubt as to the existence of the Master, or doubt as to one's own power ever to reach Him or to make progress, then that very doubt sets all the vibrations going the wrong way, and the person having it will not be a channel which can [Page 351] be used. Therefore the pupil must have confidence in the Master and love for Him, and yet at the same time love for mankind which is quite impersonal. It is all the time the Master's one idea to do what has to be done with as little expenditure of spiritual force as possible, so that He may have the more to use in other work. If anyone is in any such condition as I have described he is not a good channel and so is useless to the Master . It would be indeed sad to fail Him just when He wanted our service to have vibrations in our various vehicles that would repel His influence instead of transmitting it.

I remember a case of one who aspired very strongly to become a pupil of a certain Master. He had already served Him well in various ways, and his greatest desire was to see the Master. I was myself staying in that person's house when the Master came in His physical body to visit the city where he lived; but He did not come to the house. I met Him outside and spoke to Him for a long time, but He could not come to see the one who wished to be His pupil, because just at that time that person's astral body was very violently affected it was all torn with ignoble passion along certain lines. Thus the opportunity of a lifetime was lost — perhaps the opportunity of many lifetimes. If that person could have known how near the Master was, I am sure that all his passion would have fallen away in a moment. Yet for the Master to use His power to drive that away in order to show Himself would have been a waste of His force. [Page 352]

It must not be thought that the Master resents want of trust or any attitude of that nature, or that He is hard when He does not spend His time in removing this or that state of passion from an aspirant. He will do only what will best serve the work, and He will not be swayed by sentimental reasons of any description. When there is real business to be done you must take the best man that offers, whether he be a friend or not, and to put him aside and take a less efficient one, because he was a friend, would be to fail in your duty. In the case of a great war, for example, you must take the best available man to lead your forces, to be at the head of this Ministry or that, or to carry on a particular department of the work. It is not a time for nepotism, to consider whether somebody's nephew could be found a certain post; you must have the man who can best do the work, because it is above all else important to everyone that the work should be well done.

The work of occultism is of that nature: it has to be done, and Those who direct it will employ the best man. Years of service to Them do not constitute any claim to office or to attention from the Master. It is the Master's duty to take the man who can do the work, whether he be one who has just come to Him or one who has been serving Him for many years.

Anyone who puts the work first cannot but rejoice at seeing another do it better than he himself could. Long ago Ruskin said of a certain piece of work. “Be it mine or yours or whose else it may, this also is well; it is well done”. You should not hesitate to say that [Page 353]it is well done even though you did it yourself; you should not fail to recognize the better work of another, because it does not matter who did it. There are wonderful passages in Ruskin; he knew, so far as I am aware, nothing of occultism, nor did I when I knew him, yet there is very much in his writing which bears the true stamp of occultism.

You must trust yourself. You say you know yourself too well ? If you feel so, you do not know yourself; you only know the weak outer husk, which has fallen often into the mire. But you – the real you – you are a spark of God's own fire, and God, who is Almighty, is in you, and because of that there is nothing that you cannot do if you will. Say to yourself: “What man has done, man can do. I am a man, yet also God in man; I can do this thing, and I will”. For your will must be like tempered steel, if you would tread the Path.

A.B.When the various instructions that we have been considering are placed before some people, and they are advised to cease their old foolishness or wrongdoing, they sometimes say: “ I cannot help it; it is my nature”. Many people try to shelter under that excuse. But you are not really in earnest if you say that, and you must be earnest; you cannot afford to play with things that are so serious. You can do anything you set yourself to do, though perhaps not at once.

Of course, if you say, “I cannot help it”; you cannot; for you paralyse yourself by the thought. It is a fatal [Page 354] fault; it prevents all progress, and leaves you where you are for months and years. It is as though a man tied his legs with a rope, and then said, “I cannot walk”. Certainly he cannot, as he has been at pains to tie himself up; let him undo the rope if he does not wish to sit where he is, and then he will be able to walk well enough. You can do things! Get rid of the false idea that you allow to incapacitate you. Make up your mind that you can, and that you will; then you will be astonished at the rapidity of your progress. If you will not do this, you are not in earnest, or at least you are not in earnest in the way in which the Master wants you to be; you are merely playing at being in earnest. I do not say that you are not trying, but it is trying in a way that does not count for much. See what I mean by applying it to worldly things, to the business by means of which you feed wife and children. You know quite well that if a thing stood in your way there, you would at once make up your mind to remove it, and would exert yourself to the utmost to do so. You would not sit down and say, “I cannot help it”. Use some of that seriousness here. You have much of it for all the things which are not serious. It seems as if the one thing which matters is that in which earnestness is the most lacking.

It is of no use applying to the Master for help, if you make no effort to help yourselves. It is as though you held a cup which you carefully covered over with your hand, and prayed for water; when the water is poured down to you it flows over the covering hand and round [Page 355] the cup, and you are none the better for it. So long as a man is trying to do a thing with all his available strength, he is doing it in the occult manner. The results of his efforts may not show themselves in the outer world at once, but he is all the time gathering up his force which at last will pour out in successful action.

The things that you have to do have been done and can be done, but as long as you think that you cannot do them, you cannot. But if you say to yourself: “These things have to be done, and I will do them”, then you can do them. Do that, and your thought will be a guardian angel, ever near you, enabling you to accomplish. Otherwise you have near you – as the Christian would put it – a devil, created by yourself with your own thought. You need not create such devils; make instead an angel, a great thought-form — “I can and I will”.

C.W.L. It is quite true that there is nothing a man cannot do, but it is not said that he can do it at once. That is where people sometimes make a mistake. I know this very well, because I receive scores of letters from people who are in some serious difficulty, fallen perhaps under the influence of drink or drugs or of some kind of obsession, and they often say, “We have no will left, it is all gone; we cannot overcome our difficulty; what can we do?” Those who have not met with any such cases have no idea how terrible the hold of such a thing is on the man, how entirely his will is sapped away and how he feels that he can do nothing at all. [Page 356]

Such people sometimes contemplate suicide. That would be fatal. Even if a man is maimed for life, he should take what opportunity he has to repair the harm should gird up his loins and valiantly continue the struggle. Suicide would mean a return to conditions. similar to those from which escape is sought, with the added bad karma of the act. Let the sufferer realize that the will is there, however much it may be hidden. If he had to create the will for himself, he might very well despair, but let him remember that the will is there; it is the will of God which shows forth in every man. It has yet to be unfolded and developed, but that can be done gradually. Sometimes the devotion of a relative or friend, endowed with great love and patience, proves a veritable godsend in such a case as this.

What has that man done to be in such a condition ? Probably for the whole of this incarnation, perhaps for one or two previous lives, he has been deliberately yielding himself to the desire-elemental, to the temptations. of the lower nature – deliberately letting it seize upon him. At first he could have struggled against it, but. since he did not check it, he has an accumulated momentum of the evil force – so much of it that he cannot all at once stem it. But he can begin to do so. We may use the example of a man pushing a railway truck or carriage. At a country station where they have plenty of time you will sometimes see a railway porter shunting a carriage from one line to another. See how he goes to work; there is a huge object weighing tons; he pushes against it steadily, and at first he makes no [Page 357] impression. Presently the thing begins slowly to move.He continues pushing, and it moves faster and faster. Then be goes to work to stop it. Now he cannot stop it all at once; if he stood in the way and refused to move, it would run over him and crush him; so he sets himself to oppose it steadily, giving way yet pressing all the time, until gradually he brings it to a standstill. He had put into it a certain amount of force; he cannot take it out again, but can neutralize it by a similar amount of energy.

The man who has yielded himself to the desire-elemental is in a similar position. He has put great force into the thing, and he must meet and face it. One may say: “But there is so much of it”. Yes, but it is a limited amount. If only he could look at the matter not sentimentally, but abstractly, as a problem in mathematics, he would not say, “I am a degraded worm, and the force is too great for me”, but would go to work and oppose it. He can be absolutely certain that he put into it only a limited amount of force. But now he has unlimited force at his disposal. Just because we are sparks of the Divine Fire we have all the power of God behind us. Only a very little can come through us at a given time, but it is coming all the while.

All this must be looked at from the point of view of the ego; he can do these things and he will. One can never do instantly anything that is worth doing in the work of occult development; just as it is not enough to have music in one's soul, but the ear and hands must be trained so that one can become a suitable channel for [Page 358] the power of the music. The ego has to train his vehicles patiently in a similar way.

People sometimes say: “If I cannot overcome this bad habit now, let me wait till I get another body”.. Such a person forgets that his next body will have the character and qualities of the present one, if he does nothing to change them, and the hopeless conditions will continue in the next life. But if he makes a determined fight against them now, even though they dominate him to the very end of his life, he will begin with a very much better body next time. It is the same way at higher levels. A man may so injure his mental body by debauchery that in this life it never can come back to its pristine condition. Nevertheless, if he makes a determined attempt against the evil he will get a good mental body next time, instead of having one which reproduces his present defects. In this, as in other cases, the chief struggle is at the beginning; confidence grows and becomes strong a. little later on.

Just as many people want to introduce sentiment into their relations with the Master, so some people also want to obtain exemption from the working of the laws of Nature; they want to be suddenly taken out of all their sin and sorrow. The emotional type of Christian says: “You will be saved by the blood of Jesus here and now. You will be taken right out of your trouble and be as though it never had been”. That is in some way attractive, but it is not true. What is true is that, when you turn round and go the right way along with the divine Will, you at once become free from all the [Page 359] troubles and difficulties within you which have arisen from fighting against that; but it does not follow that the outer consequences of what you have already done will be wiped out. You have made the change; you are a converted man and you are going in the right way now, but you have still to deal with the results of having gone the wrong way.

You may change your attitude in one moment; and of course you are forgiven – there is nothing standing against you spiritually, you are absolved. But even an orthodox priest will tell you at once: “I do not profess to put right all the results of the wrong you have done. If you have lived a life of debauchery, if you have undermined your constitution, I cannot put that right — these results will remain and it will be part of your penance to try to undo them. What I can put right is the guilt — to use the ecclesiastical term. You have set yourself at odds with God; I can put you straight again. There my absolution will do something for you; it is the power of the higher will and not the lower. It will take you when once you want to be taken; it will help to keep you in the right line; but the physical results cannot be undone. You yourself can change your attitude; the priest can put you right on the higher planes where you lack the power. I do not say that a person could not do this for himself, but he would do it with great effort, clumsily, unscientifically. That is the power that lies behind the absolution; but it cannot take from a man the results of his sin — the laws of Nature do not work that way. [Page 360]

There is another consideration to be added to what has been said: Until a person has developed his will and taken hold of himself he cannot really offer himself to the Master. People say, “I give myself entirely to the Master”, but is it not obvious that one has not the entire self to give when part of it is in possession of evil qualities of various sorts ? For this reason also we must develop the will. The Master said that, that will must be like tempered steel. I remember the occasion very well because Alcyone did not understand what was meant. by tempered steel, and a little materialization was necessary, to show him. It must be not simply a will of iron, but of tempered steel, a will that cannot be turned aside. The will is there; the divine power is in us; we have but to unfold it and so become masters of ourselves, and then we may make the glorious offering of that will at the feet of the Master.[Page 361-362]




Of all the Qualifications, Love is the most important,  for if it is strong enough in a man, it forces him to acquire all the rest, and all the rest without it would never be sufficient. Often it is translated as an intense desire for liberation from the round of births and deaths, and for union with God. But to put it in that way sounds selfish, and gives only part of the  meaning.

[Page 363] C.W.L. — We have said that in this book there are several departures from the ordinary translation of these qualifications. Of all those departures this one is the most daring — the presentation of mumukshatva as Love. The word is composed from the root muk, “to release it or set free”. In the desiderative stem the root is re-duplicated, and other changes occur, to form mumuksh, “to desire release”. Mumuksha is the noun form, meaning “desire for release”, and mumukshatva means “the state of desire for release”. The termination tva has somewhat the meaning of our ness, as in “eagerness”. From the same root comes also the word moksha, “deliverance”, “release”, or “ liberation”. [Page 364]

The question has often been asked whether moksha is the same as nirvana. The words mean different things, but they may be taken as attributes of the same state of being – or rather state beyond what we know as being . Nirvana comes from the root va with the prefix nis, , to blow “ or blow out”, so it is translated ..the blowing out ”. Moksha is release from the cycle of births and deaths, and nirvana is the blowing out of that part of man which binds him to that cycle – which means all that men can usually think of as ,man. Some Hindus think of moksha as a negative condition, and work to destroy all personal desires and human interests, so that neither things nor persons can attract them back to rebirth, and so they win freedom from the wheel of births and deaths for long periods of time, but the conception of most of them is of an indescribable state of happiness, beyond the illusion of separateness, called kaivalya, independence, absolute oneness. Some Buddhists think of nirvana as complete blotting out of man, but others think of it as the attainment of wisdom and bliss that blots out all previous conceptions of self and experience, because it is superinenarrable. So we see that even in the same religion men hold different views.

We Theosophists sometimes apply the term nirvana to the state of consciousness on the atmic or spiritual plane, but we also speak of nirvana as the condition of those supermen, or Adepts, who have taken the Fifth Initiation, who choose among the seven paths open to them that which resembles the true Buddhist nirvana– not the blowing out ” of the Southern Church of [Page 365] Buddhism, but the indescribable rest and bliss of the Northern Church.

It is the Arhat, he who has passed the Fourth Initiation, who can raise his consciousness to the nirvanic plane, and there experience the flood of life that I have tried to describe in The Inner Life and The Masters and the Path. That consciousness is ,so much wider than anything that we know down here that one hesitates to call it his consciousness at all. He has become one with a very much greater consciousness; he has lost the sense of being separate. All efforts fail to put these ideas into words because we have not words to express them.

It is very difficult to get the right shades of meaning in translating Sanskrit books, but he who has had a touch of the nirvanic consciousness will best know what the old writers, who had themselves experienced it, meant by nirvana; the mere lexicographer cannot be expected to give exact meanings to words of that kind. Suppose that a man who knew nothing about the Christian religion tried to understand such a word as “grace”. If he looked it up in the dictionary he would become entangled with words like “graceful” and “gracious” and get quite another meaning. That is so also with “dispensation”, in ecclesiastical language; it is quite a different thing from what it is in ordinary life. Every religion has a number of terms which in process of time come to have their special religious meaning, and unless one has been brought up in that faith, approaching it from the inside, it is not easy to [Page 366] realize the exact shade of thought. In the beginning of the Theosophical movement none of us knew Sanskrit. Madame Blavatsky understood something of the religions of India, but she did not know Pāli or Sanskrit. Her method was to describe as well as she could what she herself saw, and then say to any Indian friend who might be present, “ What do you call that in your system ? He often did not fully understand her meaning, but he gave her the nearest term he could. The next time she wanted a word she would ask another man, but she never paid any attention to the fact that the first man might be a Hindu and the second a Buddhist – or that the various Hindus might belong to different schools of philosophy.

In addition to this, Madame Blavatsky was not in the position of a teacher of science, who is expounding a theory which he is illustrating with suitable experiments, brought forward as proofs as he goes along. She was not working with a plan or skeleton, into which one would try to fit every new piece of knowledge. She would make several statements which did not agree as far as words were concerned, and if asked for explanations would say, “Never mind the contradictions. Go and think over the statements”. Her ideas were wonderfully clear, and her knowledge definite.

Hers was the opposite method of working to that of our day, when words are first defined very carefully and given fixed meanings. Often, it is to be feared, the result of that is that science and philosophy become a kind of game, like chess, where the moves that a piece [Page 367] can make are strictly prescribed. With her, words were living things — thought-forms on the physical plane, as it were – used as a means to awaken in the hearer's mind the knowledge already existing in her own.

If we wish to understand all the complicated relationship between the ego and the personality, we must first of all have a clear idea in our mind of what these things respectively are. This matter has been dealt with at great length in Theosophical literature both in the earlier days of the Society's teaching and also quite recently. I have said something about it in The Masters and the Path. Putting it very briefly and crudely, let it be understood that we can think of man as existing in the three divisions which S. Paul used long ago – body, soul and spirit. The corresponding Theosophical terms would be the personality, the individuality and the Monad. The Monad is definitely divine – a spark of the eternal flame – to all intents and purposes a part of God Himself. It is of course true in the highest sense that everything is a part of God – that there is nothing which is not He; and that is true of matter as well as of spirit. Nevertheless there is a very special sense in which the Monad may be thought of as a fragment of the Deity coming down into manifestation. I know quite well that is unphilosophical, unscientific, inaccurate, to speak of a fragment of that which is indivisible; but there are no words to express the conditions of higher planes, so that whatever we say must be utterly inadequate and therefore to some extent misleading. Some writers who have tried to express these relations have [Page 368] spoken of the Monad as a reflection of the Logos, the ego in turn as a reflection of the Monad, and the personality as a representing the ego in a similar way. There is a sense in which that expression has its advantages, and yet it seems to me to give somewhat less of the true relation than this other suggestion – that the Monad may be considered as a fragment of the Deity, the ego a fragment of the Monad, and the personality in its turn a fragment of the ego.

As part of the eternal unfoldment it has pleased the Logos of our system to project from Himself a vast host of these Monads. If we may use the simile with all reverence, they are thrown forth from Him as sparks in order that after their passage through various material planes they may return to Him as great and glorious suns, each capable of giving life and light to a magnificent system, through which and by means of which millions of other Monads may in turn develop.

The stupendous height from which this divine manifestation which we call a Monad originally comes cannot be measured in terms of any planes of which we know anything; but the lowest point which the Monad appears able to reach in his out-rush is that which for that very reason we call the Monadic plane. It will be remembered that according to our great President's nomenclature the highest of the seven planes about which we are taught is called the divine, the second (coming downwards) being the monadic, the third the spiritual, and the fourth the intuitional. A still further descent into matter is necessary that the purposes of the Logos [Page 369] may be achieved. The Monad as a whole appears to be incapable of further descent, but it can and does put forth what we must call a part or fragment of himself which is capable of descending to the upper part of the mental plane. On the way down this fragment so put forth manifests itself on the spiritual or nirvanic plane as the triple atma. Of that triple spirit the first manifestation remains on that plane, while the second descends to the intuitional plane and clothes itself in buddhic matter. The third aspect or manifestation descends one plane more and resides in the higher part of the mental plane, where we call it the higher manas. Thus the ego (which is the name given to this fragment put down by the Monad) consists of atma, buddhi and manas, which we represent somewhat inadequately in English by the terms spiritual will, intuitional wisdom and active intelligence.

The ego in his turn puts down a minute fragment of himself through the lower mental and the astral planes and eventually manifests himself in a physical body. Each of these successive descents is a quite indescribable limitation, so that the man whom we meet down here on the physical plane is at the best a fragment of a fragment, and as an expression of the real man is so inadequate as to furnish us with nothing even remotely resembling a conception of what that man will be at the end of his evolution.

The egos with whom we have to do in daily life are at different stages of this incredibly prolonged evolution. In all cases the ego exists primarily on his own plane, [Page 370] which as we have said is the higher part of our mental plane. At that level quite apart from his manifestation as a personality, he may be already wide awake, conscious of his surroundings and living an active life; or on the other hand he may be somnolent, almost entirely unconscious of his surroundings and therefore capable of experiencing anything like an active life only through his personality on much lower levels. As man raises his consciousness through the various planes he finds the vibrations on each one far more rapid than on that next below it. When we speak of the ego as developed on his own plane we mean that he is able fully to respond to all the vibrations of that plane; if he is not so conscious then these very rapid vibrations pass over him without affecting him, and in order to attain consciousness he must put himself down lower and draw round himself a vehicle of the matter of a grosser plane to whose vibrations he can already respond. By much practice in that lower plane he will gradually grow to be able to respond to its higher vibrations and then very slowly and by degrees to the vibrations of the plane next above it; so that the consciousness has to work its way up level by level.

His consciousness therefore in the personality should be reaching upwards all the while towards the ego; and when the consciousness of the ego is by this means fully developed, he in his turn will begin to reach upwards towards the Monad. The whole course of the movement downwards into matter is called in India the pravritti marga or the path of outgoing. When the lowest point [Page 371] necessary has been reached the man enters upon the nivritti marga or the path of return. He returns from his day's work of harvesting, bearing his sheaves with him in the shape of the fully awakened consciousness which enables him to be far more useful on those higher levels than he could have been before his descent into matter. On this path there is always the temptation for that lower part of the ego to forget its connection with the higher, and to identify itself entirely with the lower manifestation which is so much more vivid to it, and in that way to cut itself off from the higher and as it were to set up in business in the lower world on its own account. Presumably the ego himself as part of the Monad is liable to a similar temptation on his very much higher plane; but we are for the moment dealing with the relations between the ego and his personality; and furthermore we are viewing it from the point of view of the personality looking up towards the ego and trying to become one with him.

The ego has associated himself with the personality because he has a hunger, or thirst, for vivid experience. He is undeveloped on his own plane, unable to respond to the high vibrations of that region; the slower vibrations of the lower planes mean more to him, so he comes back again and again for them. As he develops, the hunger abates little by little, and sometimes when he is advanced and has become sensitive to the delights and activities of his own plane, he goes to the other extreme of neglecting his personality – caught as it is in the grip of karma, sunk in conditions [Page 372] which are now full of sorrow or of boredom for him because he feels he has outgrown them.

This diminution of his thirst for the lower planes has taken place as he developed his personality. When he gained full consciousness on the astral plane the physical life began to appear dull by comparison; reaching the lower mental world he found the astral dark and dismal; and all three of the lower levels lost their attraction when he began to be able to enjoy the still more vivid and luminous life of the causal body. Many people have reached the point of evolution at which they can travel about and do useful work on the astral plane during sleep. All students of occultism have their astral bodies well developed and ready for use, though many of them have not yet acquired the habit of using them. The lowest part of the mental vehicle is also in order, and is ready to come into activity; regular meditation develops this and brings it under control. At this stage the man may be taught to use that body, and he can then leave his astral with the physical vehicle during sleep. When this has been accomplished, the process is repeated at the causal level, and the ego is then awake and active on his own plane.

All the lower vehicles are temporary vestures which we put on in order to learn how to use the forces of their planes, and when we have done that completely, and the ego is working perfectly in his causal body, which happens at the Fourth Initiation, there is no need to incarnate again at those levels. Having triumphed over them, a man can at any moment materialize a temporary astral [Page 373] and mental body, show himself on those planes and do what he wants to do. One who has reached this stage need no longer go through the wearisome round of birth and death, which is so unpleasant. Perhaps we do not always think of it as so unpleasant, because we do get little enjoyment out of life; true, but if we could look at it from the standpoint of the ego we should realize what an unspeakable bore it is to the eternal spirit to be down here “cribb'd, cabin'd and confin'd” in a body that cannot do this and will not do that. While we are in it we make the best of it, but it is only a temporary vehicle put on for the purpose of learning, and when we have learned the lesson we are very glad to get rid of the whole thing.

The man who has had some experience of the causal levels sometimes feels very deeply the oppressive limitations of the three lower worlds. He misses all the glorious freedom and love and truth of the ego's own regions. He realizes the cause of his descent into this state of darkness, and may then say to himself: “I will rid myself of this desire, which is the primary cause bringing me down into incarnation, arid I will balance my karma by acting without attachment”. The man who can say this is already a developed man, who has thought a good deal about these things; he is a metaphysician and a philosopher. He says deliberately: “I will shut off this desire; I will balance the karma accurately, and then there will be nothing to bring me back”. That can be done. When he succeeds – and there have been many in India, all through its history, [Page 374] who have succeeded in doing it – the man escapes from this round of births and deaths. He lives in the heaven-world, or perhaps he may reach the causal level; but he does not, as a rule, rise any higher than that. He has attained what he would call moksha.

The man who can do that must be a man who has raised himself above all lower passions and desires, otherwise the thing would be impossible, but all the same he has forgotten one side of evolution. He has understood the action of the law of karma perfectly, and therefore he has been able to release himself from it. But he has not learned perfectly the law of evolution and he has not freed himself from that. He is like a clever boy at school, who might get far ahead of his companions and take several examinations in advance, and then do nothing for three or four years while the others were coming up to his level. That is precisely what happens to the man who attains moksha; he has not attained the goal which is set for humanity, because the evolution of humanity ends in Adeptship.

Now, an Adept is not only a man, free from birth and death, but he is also a living power; he has become one with the Monad, who is, in turn, a spark of the Deity. But the method of the Deity is to put Himself down, to pour Himself out in utter self-sacrifice into this whole plan. Therefore the man who becomes one with the Deity must be also filled with this spirit of self-sacrifice. The Adept does more good works than the greatest philanthropist could possibly do, and is doing them all the time on higher planes, but He does [Page 375] them on behalf of the humanity of which He is a part. Therefore the karma resulting from them comes to humanity and not to Him, so there is nothing to bind Him to rebirth; but the whole of humanity gets a little uplift. It is not a great uplift; that amount of karma spread all over the world is not a very large amount for anyone, but it does mean a steady uplift for all. Therefore, in a sense, everyone gets just a little more than he may appear exactly to deserve. There is no injustice in this, however, because like the rain that falls on the just and the unjust, it is the same for everyone.

Therefore, after the lapse of thousands or even millions of years the man who has attained moksha finds that the tide of evolution has risen to his level and laps round him once more, and he has to come back and be reborn, and proceed with his development. He who seeks moksha generally knows that his liberation is not forever, but he thinks that he will be called back in a remote future, and the world will probably be better by the time he has to return. He says: “I can afford to risk that; I shall gain thousands of years of freedom and be all that time in the heaven-world enjoying myself”.

Our ideal is perfect consciousness on the highest level we can reach. We do not propose to rest satisfied at any level whatever. But on the other hand, we decline to give up our consciousness and go into trance, as some people do for the purpose of reaching a level beyond the scope of their waking consciousness. People talk sometimes about “passing into samādhi”, and some, who are [Page 376] fond of the rolling Sanskrit, talk of going into samādhi when they meditate. We were in much confusion as to the meaning of this word, until we realized that it was a relative term. Samādhi for anyone is the point which is just beyond that at which it is possible for him to retain his clear consciousness. If one is conscious on the astral and not on the mental, then for him samādhi would be the next level – the mental. It is to get just beyond the point where one can be conscious, to pass into a sort of trance from which one emerges with all sorts of glorified and beautiful feeling, but not generally with clear consciousness. People should not go into samādhi when they meditate; they should retain their consciousness, so that when they come back they can remember what they have seen. I know that many have passed into samādhi and have experienced a great feeling of happiness and beatitude. That, however, does not mean progress, because they lose hold and do not know clearly what they have been doing. There is always a certain danger in that – one does not know that he will be able to return.

Dr. Besant and I were once watching some tremendous outpourings of life from the higher planes, great waves that came pulsating forth from the Solar Deity. She said: “Let us throw ourselves into that wave, and see where it takes us”. We should have plunged in had her Master not intervened, and told us not to do it. Afterwards Dr. Besant asked Him, “if we had thrown ourselves into that wave, where should we have found ourselves?”.He said, “You might have washed up in a [Page 377] million years or so somewhere on Sirius or some other solar system”. Manifestly it is not wise to throw ourselves into outpourings of that sort, when we do not know exactly what is happening. It is not a good plan to lose consciousness; it is much better to try to keep control of our vehicles and see a little bit where we are going — otherwise we may lose the physical body and end our temporary usefulness. Our method is to keep full consciousness on any plane that we can reach, and try to be of use on that plane. Our Masters never speak of mere passive contemplation. Our aim is not to sit down and enjoy ourselves anywhere, but to be active in the Master's work at all times.

This paraphrase that the Master has given of the fourth qualification, Love, is eminently characteristic of Him. He goes behind the word itself to the reason for it. He says: “What is your reason for wanting liberation ? In order that you may be free to help better, you are trying to make yourself one with God. What is this God ? God is Love. You must develop Love – if you want to be one with Him. Therefore this qualification is in reality Love”. Readers of Man: Whence, How and Whither will remember how it explains that different bodies of people came over from the other Chains to this, and how certain of those groups of people were spoken of as boat-loads of servers. Practically all members of the Theosophical Society belong to one of those groups; so this idea of service is a very strong factor in our dispositions. We know how hard it is to get away from anything with which we are born. [Page 378] Our nationality, for example, carries with it many little points of view, very difficult to avoid. That is the nationality of the personality; but this idea of service we may call the nationality of the ego, or perhaps of the Monad. He was born with that streak in him, and it has been cultivated ever since.

It is difficult for us to understand that there are other types which are just as good as this one under consideration. The solar Deity manifests Himself through three aspects: will, wisdom and love. That is the way they are given in this book. Men approach Him along all these three lines. Each man's own way is the best for him, but he should remember that the other man's path is better for him and that, in the long run, they all merge. We must acquire the ability to look out simultaneously through all the aspects and know that in truth they are all one. We are told, in the Athanasian Creed, that we must hold this doctrine of the Trinity neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the Substance; we must learn that through all eternity there is only one God, although His manifestations are through Three Persons.

It was said in the beginning that if love is strong enough in a man it forces him to acquire all the other qualities. It makes people act, according to their power. Take one of the very best and most beautiful examples: mother love. Let us see how that operates among a savage race. The mother savage does not know much, but at least she is prepared to defend her child, and even if necessary to sacrifice her own life for him. The [Page 379] civilized mother among ourselves would do just the same thing in the same circumstances. Now and again you hear of a mother losing her life in saving her baby from a burning house, or more often as a result of attending to it when it has some infectious disease. In ordinary life among us that strong love makes the mother think. Her love for the child induces her to study hygiene, all about food and things of that sort. So love leads to both mental and physical activity.

A man must have this love, which is an intense desire for service, if he would reach the Master. S. John said – “We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death”, (I .John, 3, 14. ) and – “He that loveth not knoweth not God”.( Ibid., 4, 8.) All that is perfectly true. It is a very good thing to know the technical terms of Theosophy, and to understand its philosophy and science, and to be able to distinguish and employ the two thousand four hundred and one types of elemental essence is very useful for practical purposes – but love makes the true Theosophist.

I remember well, long ago, when Babu Mohini Mohun Chatterji, who was a disciple, came to London to instruct us, he told us for the first time about these qualifications, which were not expounded in Mr. Sinnett's books, or in Isis Unveiled, which were almost the only books we had. He told us quite plainly that without this fourth qualification, this Intense desire for liberation [Page 380] (that is the way he put it), for union with God, the six points of good conduct “watered but the desert”; they would be really arid and all but valueless to us unless we had this intense desire to be one with God and to do as He does. We did not then realize that it meant service so fully as we do now, though the Masters had emphasized from the beginning Their love to “the teeming millions of humanity, the lowly and the despised”. We were mainly occupied in trying to learn Theosophy. All was so new, so interesting, so exciting, that our time was mainly given to that – much more, perhaps, than it ought to have been, were it not that one must learn something before one can be of real service to others.

It is not so much desire as will, resolve, determination.

C.W.L. Will is pre-eminently the quality of the first ray, on which the Master Morya stands. The Master Kūthūmi is on the second ray, that of wisdom and love but here He spoke as a first ray man would do. I remember one occasion on which Alcyone mentioned his desire to attain a certain quality. The Master said: “Do not desire a thing; desire is feeble. Will, because you are God. If you want to acquire a quality, will to do so, and go and do it”. That emphatically is the standpoint of the Hierarchy. It is very important indeed for us to understand the Master's attitude and way of looking at things, which have brought Him where He is now, and can do the same for us. [Page 381]

To produce its results, this resolve must fill your whole nature, so as to leave no room for any other feeling. It is indeed  the will to be one with God, not in order that you may escape from weariness and suffering, but in order that because of your deep love for Him you may act with Him and as He does. Because He is Love, you, if you would become one with Him, must be filled with perfect unselfishness and love also.

C.W.L. — The pupil of the Master has only one desire and that is to serve. For this, he is willing to give up all personal pleasure and ambition, and remain but a small wheel in the great machine. The ordinary man has not yet begun, to think very seriously of anything higher. He takes life very much as he finds it, and his desire is not to get out of this kind of life into something higher and nobler, but rather to succeed in it. If you suggested that he should give up all that we call the lower self, he would ask: “But what will be left of me if I do that?” It is true that there would in such a case not be very much left, as far as he could see, although the whole of the reality would, in truth, remain.

It is difficult to explain to such a man what we mean by “becoming merged into the Divine Life”. I knew a very good and clever man, who was making a considerable study of Northern Buddhism. He came to me one day and said: “I can't make anything out of this; it does not seem to me worth following up. It is quite interesting as a study in archaeology, but the only object [Page 382] they put before you seems to be to become one with the Buddha. I can't see that, that would be of any value to Buddha, and it would certainly be the end of me”. That is the point of view the average man takes of these things. Yet there is a real, glowing, burning meaning to it all; if one can get hold of that it will revolutionize his whole conception. This widening of the consciousness does not take away any freedom, nor destroy individuality in the least degree. It is not that I am absorbed in the universe, but the universe becomes I. People say, “That Self am I”. That is a delusion as applied to the lower self, but when one realizes “I am God”. then the sense that God is God is not an illusion at all, and the sense that what I thought was I is in reality an expression of Him is not an illusion. It is the idea that anything can exist outside That or can be separated from the one Self that is illusion.

In everyday life there are some things that will serve as an example of this inclusion of the smaller in the greater. You have a great mercantile house, and some young man joins it as a junior clerk. At first he regards the house as a task-master, and it is a great trouble to him to have to come at regular hours and do all his work. But after he has been there for some years and has been raised to a more responsible position, he begins to say, “We do this”, and “We do that”, and then he is beginning to identify his interest with that of the house. So he goes on, until he becomes a manager, and at last a partner. Then he speaks always for the house; and when he considers any of the business, it is “the firm”, [Page 383] he has always in his mind. He is just as free and as capable of taking the initiative along any line as ever, yet he is now certain to use his will along the right lines. The firm has not coerced him into that attitude, but he has grown into it. That is only a small illustration, but it gives an idea of the way in which a man may identify himself with a greater power, yet his will may be as much his own as ever .

There will come a time when we shall have become the Path itself, when we shall never fail in any of the Qualifications because they will have grown into us and become part of our very nature. We are close to the living God all the time, because He is in us and about us and with us always, yet it is for us to learn to realize that, to raise our consciousness step by step, employing all the means that come in our way, until we can really grasp that idea. We are to become one with God in His highest manifestations, in the internal manifestations, not in the merely material form. The very matter in our bodies, and around us also, is His outer garment – but it is not the garment, it is He with whom we wish to become one. When we become one with Him, He on His side recognizes that and uses us as living channels through which His force can be outpoured. We are channels for the divine force on the these lower planes, but we are effective channels only when we have reached the point where we have no separate personality in opposition to Him. He works through such means always, and His ministers, the great occult Hierarchy, do likewise. No doubt They could work miracles by [Page 384] direct action on people, but it would unnecessarily use up a great amount of Their force, so They work through the means which They have arranged.

There is a large class of people who never try to understand the principles of life. They think that nature must bow to them, and they will not accept things in the way that is ordained. They are, in their way, like those investigators at spiritualistic séances, who want to prescribe the conditions under which manifestations should take place. It is a very absurd attitude of mind, because there is no line of investigation in the world in which you can prescribe what the laws of Nature shall do. One has heard of savages to whom electrical phenomena were shown, who declared that they were due to trickery. The savage chief would say, “I see all this is connected by wires: you are doing it with those wires. Cut. them away and then I shall believe you”. The electrician smiles and says in reply: “You do not understand the law. The wires conduct the electricity; without them the force could not come through”. Then the man says: “I have exposed your trickery”. People do the same thing at spiritualistic séances. They will not take the way ordained, but want to strike out another way. There is a certain amount of individuality about the idea of compelling God to do things in one's own way which, I suppose, recommends itself to some types of minds, but it does not appeal to mine any more than the idea of telling God in prayer what to do. I always feel profoundly that He knows infinitely better than I do, and if by any utterly [Page 385] inexplicable chance He should change His intention on account of my asking Him, I know I should be infinitely worse off under that scheme than I should have been under His.

The idea that one should will to be one with God may not have occurred to many of us, but it is very familiar to our brothers in India. The Master uses that sort of phrase several times in this book when He speaks of God. ID an earlier life He was a prominent Buddhist teacher named Nagarjuna, and in that incarnation He made many great speeches and wrote much. In His books which have been preserved, He is very strongly opposed to any idea of personality in the Deity; He objects even to the use of that word or that name, and goes deeply into metaphysical questions connected with it. Indians, knowing all that philosophy of Nagarjuna, have often said, “How curious it is that, in this little book, our Master, who has spoken so strongly against personality in the Deity, should now use that word God. The Lord Buddha also spoke very strongly against anything like personality in the Deity”. The answer to that objection is this: In this book the Master is not going into the question of the Absolute; He is not speaking of That – the Supreme, the Eternal; He is speaking primarily to an Indian boy, about lshwara that is, the solar Logos, the solar Deity – and it is in that sense undoubtedly that our Master uses the word God here. As Nagarjuna He was speaking to students many of whom knew the systems of Indian philosophy, and so He spoke strongly against any endeavour to [Page 386] degrade the conception of the Deity by making it personal in the way in which many of our Christian brothers now do.

Then He says that you must make yourself like Him. This brings up the question: what do we know of Him ? We know that He manifests Himself through three Aspects. Some approach Him through one of these Aspects and some through another. Our way is the way of active love, because that is the way of our Masters. There are seven great rays of the divine life, and therefore seven types of men. One is the line of devotion, another that of will, another that of wisdom. Men seek God in various ways, but as our Masters are on the line of active love, all who wish to follow Them must use the powers of his own special type in active service for love of God and man. Take, for example, the case of devotion, of which there may be three types or kinds. One person casts himself down before the object of his adoration and just longs to become one with it. I suppose this type is found in our Western races only among some few monks and nuns, whose desire is simply to spend themselves in perpetual adoration of the Deity. That is a splendid thing, but for the moment, at any rate, the man is not thinking of others, but only of becoming one with the Deity. If you ask him about others he will say: "Let them do what I am doing”. I knew a man in India whose one idea was just precisely that – to sit in adoration before the image of his Deity, and try to become one with Him. That is the goal he set before himself, and it is the future he will gain. He [Page 387] will spend the whole of his heaven-life, probably a very long one – thousands of years – in a sort of swoon of adoration. Such pure devotion means the development of his various vehicles, and certain advance for himself.

A second kind of devotion scarcely deserves the name – that lower devotion which demands a quid pro quo of the Deity, and says: “If you repay me so much in the way of riches and promotion and general assistance, I will give you so much devotion”.

A third devotee will say: “I love that Great One, or that Teacher so much that because of that I must be doing something to help others to know Him and understand Him as I do. I must do good works in His name”. This is a very noble and practical kind of devotion. Those of us who are on the devotional ray will not be purely devotional, but will have this variant of activity which will make us want to do something on account of our devotion. So also if any of us be on the line that wishes above all things to know, we shall also have the same characteristic in our nature. There are those who desire to become wise merely in order to know and understand. That is a very wonderful quality in a man, and there are many who make great progress in that way. But those among them who are servers will find in themselves the complex resultant: “I want knowledge, but I want it only that I can be really useful to others”. Such a person would see very clearly the mistakes made by other people who, though they desire with all their hearts to serve, yet, because of foolishness, do more harm than good. “Let me have perfect [Page 388] knowledge, then I shall be able to serve really well”, such a man would say.

 We wish to become one with God, not merely that we may be one with Him, and may bask in all that glory and joy, but that we may act as He does, and as, His great action was to pour Himself out in utmost self-sacrifice into matter, in order that we might come into being, therefore he who will be one with God must himself show forth the same spirit of utter forgetfulness of himself for the sake of the work which is to be done for the God who is all Love. That one sentence: “You, if you would become one with Him, must be filled with perfect unselfishness and love also”, really epitomizes the whole Path. Will, wisdom, love – each one of these carried to perfection and employed in service brings in all the others, so it is really true that “ love is the fulfilling of the law”. (Romans, 13, 10 ) [Page 389]



In daily life this means two things; first, that you shall be careful to do no hurt to any living thing; second, that you shall always be watching for an opportunity to help.

C. W .L. — These are two sides of the same thing – the passive that you shall do no hurt, and the active that you shall do good. People sometimes say that the Oriental religions are negative, that the idea of service which we import into them is in reality a Christian idea. That is not so. Though the modern Christian has relegated it to a back seat. it is true that in original Christianity service was expressed and emphasized very strongly. ..But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant”. (S. Matthew, 23, 11.) The same idea appears in the old religions also.

In Buddhism — which has always been spoken of as the most negative of religions — it certainly does give you directions as to the things you must avoid. But its five precepts are not more negative than the Jewish ten commandments. The Buddhist religion does not say: “Thou [Page 390] shalt not”, though it asks its people to promise to avoid certain things. The wording is: “I observe the precept to refrain from taking life, to refrain from taking that which does not belong to me, to refrain from saying that which is not true, to refrain from taking intoxicating drinks or stupefying drugs, to refrain from unlawful sexual intercourse”, That is the form; it is not a command but a promise.

In the summary of the religion in one sutra or verse,. given by the Buddha Himself, we see its positive aspect:

“Cease to do evil;
Learn to do well;
Cleanse your own heart:
That is the religion of the Buddha”.

The same thing comes out clearly in the Noble Eightfold Path, in which you have: “Right views, right aims, right words, right behaviour, right mode of livelihood, right exertion, right mindfulness and right meditation”. Most of this is very positive indeed.

In the Bhagavad Gita, which is practically the gospel for millions of Hindus, you find taught the most positive activity. There God is described as the great Actor and it is said that he who will not follow His example, and work for the welfare of the world, lives in vain. Inaction, it says, may be really an action in a deadly sin. It warns people, as Madame Blavatsky used frequently to do, that sins of omission are as much to be feared as sins of commission. And as to the sannyāsi, [Page 391] the man who has renounced the material life, it says that he must constantly perform acts of charity, sacrifice and austerity. The great historical Scriptures of the Hindus are full of accounts of men who devoted themselves to the public weal, and teachers, many of them considered to be divine incarnations, who taught the service of our fellow-man.

Nowhere could public service be more emphasized than it has been in those religions, yet they have always had their contemplative sides, as had Christianity all through the middle ages. It is only in recent years that, in the intensity of our activity in the fifth sub-race of the fifth root race, we have become secretly inclined to despise the monk and the nun and to magnify the man of action, the great commander in war, the great ruler or statesman in peace. The whole idea of the contemplative orders is, however, a very beautiful one. The plan was that the active orders of the monk and the friar would preach to the people and perform acts of charity, while the contemplative orders would shut themselves up and devote themselves wholly to meditation and supplication. Translating it into other terms, that would mean the formulation of good and high thought, and the sending of it out with a definite view to the helping of people. It was their business to make a specialty of prayer and meditation and to do it for their brethren who, for various reasons, were unable to do it so well and so thoroughly for themselves. The theory in every religion was that they were a part of humanity supplying a need of humanity; they were not merely [Page 392] lazy monks retiring from active work. They were doing very much harder work, which the others could not do, in connection with higher planes, and doing it generally under circumstances of self-abnegation and asceticism which would appeal the ordinary man.

That the life of the monk, however, when it was not so definitely ascetic, attracted many who wanted a comfortable, lazy existence, is also true. Such people escaped physical work, but did not substitute for it the work of the higher planes. Among the Buddhist monks there are some of this kind, who are looked down upon and called “rice monks” — men who are monks for the sake of the assured living, which, though it is not a very luxurious one, will never fail while anyone in the country has any food at all. The same was true, perhaps to a somewhat greater degree, of the monastic orders of the middle ages in Europe. There were people who joined them for the sake of power and influence and did not mind, in many cases, the lack of possessions. Though the individual monk had no possessions, the monastery as a body did acquire a very great deal, which was at the disposal of the individual to a large extent.

First, to do no hurt. Three sins there are which work more harm than all else in the world — gossip, cruelty, and superstition — because they are sins against love.

C. W .L. — When one hears of sins which work more harm than all others one is apt to think of murder and [Page 393] robbery and such crimes, and perhaps is surprised to find such comparatively ordinary things as gossip, cruelty and superstition at the head of the list. The Master is taking into account the quantity of these sins, and their far-reaching effect. Murder and robbery are universally recognized as serious sins, and consequently respectable people avoid them, unless you dignify them by the name of war. But gossip is universal; and if one thinks of the harm it does in any individual case, of the great amount of mental suffering which it may cause, of the depreciation of ideals which it often brings about, then multiplies that by the millions of cases which are going on all the time, one will very soon see that it does vastly more harm than the other. It is a terrible thing to destroy a person's ideal, to cheapen it and lower it, and make him feel that after all it is not so good or high or noble as he had thought. Sometimes there is talk of the destruction of idols as a good thing.The destruction of a person's idol may be the most serious injury one can do him. If he idealizes something which to us is low and mean, we may, perhaps, be able to lead him to some higher ideal, but it is a most evil and wicked thing to take away his ideal without leaving him something higher and better to take its place. It is not for us to point out the flaws or to try to belittle anyone under any circumstances.

Many of us know, probably by personal experience, what a wonderful amount of good Dr. Besant has done. Tens of thousands have seen the light through her lectures and writings, but still the gossip that has been [Page 394] circulated about her has prevented thousands of others from listening to her and reading her books. They say – “I have heard so-and-so about Mrs. Besant. Why should I read a book by a person of that sort?” There have been many in that way turned aside from what would have meant their salvation in this particular incarnation. Thousands of people also write to her and ask her advice about all sorts of difficulties in which they find themselves involved. Many people have been prevented from applying for such advice by the evil and utterly false reports that have been circulated about her.

I think I know no one who has been more frequently and more fully attacked than our great President. Long before she became a Theosophist she was before the public as a teacher of free-thought. She was assailed and vilified first of all because she republished what is called the Knowlton pamphlet, dealing with sex problems which ought to be faced and studied, and not prudishly hidden. This pamphlet had been written long before she was born, but its publication had been discontinued on account of a threat of prosecution. Our President took the matter up partly because she believed that the question should be ventilated and that the poor should be put in possession of the information which the pamphlet gave, but still more, I think, as a matter of protest against the suppression of facts and in vindication of free speech and free publication in regard to everything that concerned the public health and public — good generally. Her re-issue of the pamphlet was fully intended as a challenge to what she considered a bad [Page 395] law; she announced beforehand to the police her intention of selling this work and invited them to come at a certain hour and officially buy a copy. They accepted the invitation, came and formally purchased the incriminating document and then proceeded to prosecute her, but the case ended in nolle prosequi. Then she wrote a more carefully worded pamphlet on the subject. Her reward for that – at any rate on the physical plane – was to have her personal character attacked in the most abominable manner. Later she withdrew the pamphlet, having come to the conclusion that it did not present the best way of dealing with this social difficulty; but I am sure she has never regretted that she did her best to deal with the facts as she then understood them. Such unselfishness and courage are rare in this world.

A great deal of gossip was also started by jealous people against Madame Blavatsky. Wild and mad accusations were brought against her; these appeared instantly and obviously ridiculous to all of us who knew her personally, yet many people have been deterred by them from a careful examination of Theosophical truths. She died in 1891, yet to this day it is quite a common experience, if you mention the Theosophical Society, to be met by the remark: “Oh, yes, that was founded by Madame Blavatsky, who was exposed as a charlatan. We do not want to spend our time and energy considering the teaching of a fraud. It is not likely to contain the truth”. In this way many have missed the Theosophical knowledge that might have changed their lives. [Page 396] From these instances alone we see that immeasurable harm may be done by spiteful and foolish gossip. This form of selfishness also very much hurts the feelings of the person at ,whom it is aimed. That the person can be hurt shows a weakness in his character, but that does not excuse the gossip, or relieve him from the evil karma which he has made. Our President is quite impervious to gossip about her, though if she is abused for more than the usual time along one particular line she does sometimes say: “This is getting very monotonous; I wish they would find something else to discuss”. I also have been much abused, but it has never cost me a night's sleep. Thus karma falls back from us. But the harm done to others by the gossip brings its karma to those who started it and passed it on. It is more difficult not to care what is said about somebody else, and I confess I still find it hard not to be angry when some one speaks ill of our President, for example, or when unworthy thoughts, which to us who know Them are nothing less than blasphemous, are directed to the Masters. Gossip is not real criticism. Unfortunately the very word criticism has come to mean picking holes. It is derived from the Greek crinion, to judge, and should mean a judicial attitude, but now it does not. Justice is one of the manifestations of God; therefore to judge a man's words or actions without their context is wrong and leads to evil. I suppose there is not a scripture in the world, no matter how holy and beautiful, which could not be made ridiculous by taking some words [Page 397] away from their context and putting them by themselves. We are always doing that with the thoughts of other people. We find a man to be irritable; he speaks sharply, perhaps roughly, and we at once assume that this indicates his character. But we do not know the reason for his irritability. Possibly he has been sitting up all night with a sick child; somebody else may have jarred him or annoyed him intensely in some way and we get the reflex action of that, although he is not really annoyed with us. If he were a great Adept he would not be annoyed, but we are not all great Adepts yet, and so these things happen.

I first learnt this as a small child, from an old coachman. I was near him one day when a man approached and spoke to him very roughly. The old coachman answered without seeming to pay any attention to the gruff tone of the other. After the man had gone, I said, “Why, John, what have you done to make that man so angry with you? “Oh, nothing – sir; he's not angry with me,“ the old servant replied. “ I haven't annoyed him; but probably his wife or somebody else has.” And he explained to me that when once a man got thoroughly upset he was likely to vent his feelings on anyone who came in his way.

The grip of unkind judgment on a man's mind and the tenacity and virulence of its poison would be unbelievable, did we not have thrust upon us constant evidence of it. A man gets a wrong idea, and his whole outlook is coloured by it. We have seen that even in regard to this book. When I first heard this teaching [Page 398] about gossip given to Alcyone, long before the book was published, I was much impressed by its importance, so I repeated it on several occasions. When the book was issued some people immediately pounced upon the fact that these statements had been made months before it was published, and said that therefore part of it must have been my work.

I have mentioned that there were two periods in the development of Alcyone's memory of astral plane experiences; one during which he could not remember perfectly, when I would repeat to him the special precept given to him by the Master as applying to the next day; the other, in which he could bring through the memory. I found that in Bombay the story was being circulated that the whole book had been repeated to him by me in that way. But, as a matter of fact, the book was written in the second period, when he was able to remember what the Master had said to him, and he wrote it down by himself. When people get a little twist like that they distort everything. I have suffered from all sorts of injustice and misconception in consequence of such distortion of facts. I do not mind in the least, but it shows me very clearly how easy it is for people to misunderstand when they start with a wrong idea. I have seen the most ludicrous mistakes made, in which every event that occurred was made to bolster up some idea for which there was no foundation in fact, but which was simply imagination from beginning to end.

One of the experiments we have to make in the course of our occult training is to identify ourselves with (399) the consciousness of certain animals. It is merely a question of practice; a pupil is set to do that in order that he may be able to learn later how to do the same thing with other and higher forms of consciousness. We consider ourselves far superior to any kind of animal, and rightly, since we belong to a higher kingdom. It should therefore be perfectly simple for us to understand the mind of that animal, yet from the experience I have had I imagine almost everybody who pays any attention to animals must be misrepresenting their ideas and motives all the time. When you really find out what an animal is thinking, you discover that it has reasons for what it does which never occurred to you. Since we are unable to understand the animal, whose lines of thought are few and simple, we are even less likely to understand our fellow-men. We are nearer to the human being, of course, but I doubt whether any human being ever understands another human being at all. Strange as it may sound, we are all isolated; each stands by himself. There is another way in which it is true that we are a mighty brotherhood, yet as far as our minds are concerned, each lives in a tower of his own. The circumference of his mind touches that of another man's only at a point, and even there only doubtfully and uncertainly.

Against these three the man who would fill his heart with the love of God must watch ceaselessly.

C.W.L. One would think it fairly easy to avoid the three evils mentioned. It is not, because they are so [Page 400] painfully common and so much a matter of habit that few people realize their existence. They are our special difficulties because of the place where we stand in evolution. We have been developing the lower mind which looks first for points of difference. Because of that people notice first the points which they do not like in anything which comes before them; then comment and criticism almost invariably follow. The man who is devoting his energies to picking holes and finding differences is behind the times – a hopeless anachronism. We ought now to be studying synthesis and trying to find the divine and good in everything, because we should be beginning to develop buddhi. We are trying to live for tomorrow, not for yesterday; therefore we must not let ourselves be swept away by this tide of ignorant. obscurantism; but we have constantly to remind ourselves not to give way, otherwise the stream will so surround and press upon us that we shall occasionally slip back.



See what gossip does. It begins with evil thought,and that in itself is a crime. For in everyone and  in everything there is good; in everyone and in everything there is evil. Either of these we can strengthen by thinking of it, and in this way we can help or hinder evolution; we can do the will of the Logos or we can resist Him. If you think of the evil in another, you are doing at the same time three wicked things.

C. W .L. The Master speaks of evil thought as a crime. When we remember how exceedingly careful and balanced is the speech of the Master always, we realize that, that against which He speaks so strongly must be evil indeed.

An attempt to understand the motives of another man, to follow his line of reasoning, is very likely to be incorrect; therefore the least we can do is to give him the benefit of the doubt. Most people are on the whole quite respectable and well meaning, therefore we should give them the credit of good intentions. If we are wrong, our slightly higher thought about the person [Page 402] will act upon him and actually do him good. When you hear something to the disadvantage of another, ask yourself whether you would repeat that piece of gossip and send it on to be magnified if it were about your own son or brother ? No, emphatically you would not. You would combat it in the first place, and in any case you would not circulate it. Why should you act differently with regard to somebody else's son or brother ?

(1) You are filling your neighbourhood with evil thought instead of with good thought, and so you are adding to the sorrow of the world.

C. W .L. The world is very much to us what we make it and as we take it. If a man is pessimistic, bent upon finding evil and darkness, looking for a chance to be offended or hurt, he can find it. There is evil in the world and much sorrow in these lower planes, as the Lord Buddha pointed out. We can magnify these things into serious difficulties, or we can approach the world optimistically, in a cheery spirit of determination to make the best of everything. In the latter case we shall find that there is a great deal that is bright, and shall also be making the world more cheerful for others by our outer life and our thought-power.

There are many people who have been practicing regular meditation for many years. They must inevitably have learnt to think a little more definitely than those who have made no such attempt; their thoughts are therefore more powerful. If these people should think evil of others, it is very much worse in a great [Page 403] number of ways than if the ordinary person did it. First, because they know better, they are. as it is expressed in the Church, “sinning against light”. Secondly, their thought produces definite and relatively permanent forms, which often have considerable influence in the astral and mental atmosphere. Use your power, therefore. to make the world brighter and happier. You have no idea how much that can be done, simply by putting away all sorrowful and selfish thought, and filling yourself with love that will radiate all around you.

(2) If there is in that man the evil which you  think, you are strengthening it and feeding it; and so you are making your brother worse instead of better. But generally the evil is not there, and you have only fancied it; and then your wicked thought tempts your brother to do wrong, for if he is not yet perfect you may make him that which you have thought him.

C.W.L. The clairvoyant can see the thoughts of one person going to another and buzzing round him like a crowd of mosquitoes. They cannot get in while the man is busy with some other matter, but when his thoughts for the moment slacken, when he is meditative or tired, or absent-minded for a moment. they tale their opportunity. The thought-form then fastens on his aura like a burr, and by its vibrations gradually colours the part on which it has impinged, and from there its influence spreads. Thus it suggests the bad or good idea [Page 404] and if there be something in him that is akin to it, as is usually the case, it sets that in motion.

A little impetus given to another might not matter so much sometimes, but in some cases it makes all the difference in the world. School boys running about often push one another; cases have been known in which a boy has quite unintentionally pushed another over the edge of a precipice. You never know when a man's thought may be on the verge of some wrong course of action, and one evil thought about him may just push him over. On the other hand, when a man is in that way balanced between the good and the evil, one strong, helpful, good thought may push him definitely on the good side and set him going on a career which may mean for him rapid development.

I have seen cases in which an evil thought about a man led to a course of evil action on his part the result of which would last for many lives; it was near the surface, but it had not materialized itself in action; there came an evil thought from some one else, which gave just the push which sent him over from thought into action, and committed him to a course of crime. Till you see that clairvoyantly you will scarcely be able to realize it; but see it once, and you will be careful forever, with a care born of horror. It gives you a new sense of responsibility, sometimes rather overwhelming. Remember how the poet Schiller wrote about clairvoyance, how he desired the welcome blindness of the senses again. “Take back your cruel gift; take back this dreadful gift”, was what he said. [Page 405]

(3) You fill your own mind with evil thoughts instead of good; and so you hinder your own growth, and make yourself, for those who can see, an ugly and painful object instead of a beautiful and lovable one.

C.W.L. — Many people take much trouble about their physical personal appearance, and the grace and gentleness of their manners, not merely because they are anxious to appear at their best and to be thought well of, but also because it is recognized to be a duty to society in general. In ancient days it was understood to be every man's duty to make himself as perfect and as beautiful as possible in every way; in attire, appearance, speech and action, he was to learn the right, the graceful, the proper way to do everything. Not only one's personality but one's surroundings also were to be not merely useful but also beautiful. If a man built a house it was his duty to his neighbours to put up something that would be graceful and beautiful, though not necessarily costly; and his pottery, as well as his statues and pictures, was to be good. In these days many think only of building as cheaply as they can, regardless of the hideous effect produced. A man builds a great ugly house or factory, and everybody who is sensitive shrinks back from it at once, and all who look at it are the worse for doing so. The man who is responsible for the building actually makes bad karma. Some think such things do not matter, but they do. Our surroundings are of very great importance. True, the strong [Page 406] soul can conquer, but why should we not have things which would help us instead of those which hinder us ? Everybody who builds a beautiful house deserves well of his fellow-citizens, because he has put up something the sight of which will benefit everyone who sees it. The touch of pleasure that you get when you see something beautiful is no light thing. I always feel that our gratitude is due to anybody who wears a beautiful colour, because of the effect that colour produces in this terrible grey civilization of ours.

All that is true of beauty physically is even more evident on other planes. The man who makes for himself a radiant and beautiful astral body, full of love and devotion, which he pours out on all around him, deserves the gratitude of his fellows. The audience on the astral plane is generally larger than that on the physical. If we allow ourselves to appear badly in the astral world, a far greater number of people are scandalized by our appearance or annoyed by it, than could possibly be the case on the physical plane. Not only do the inhabitants of the astral world see the beauty of it, but everyone, even those who do not see, feels it. These vibrations act upon them, and the people are helped thereby. The man who yields himself to ugly, selfish, evil thoughts is spreading unpleasantness about him, besides being a horribly disagreeable and unpleasant sight. In the physical plane people hide their loathsome diseases, but the astral leper carries his sores in full view. [Page 407]

Not content with having done all this harm to himself and to his victim, the gossip tries with all his might to make other men partners in his crime. Eagerly he tells his wicked tale to them, hoping that they will believe it; and then they join with him in pouring evil thought upon the poor sufferer. And this goes on day after day, and is done not by one man but by thousands. Do you begin to see how base, how terrible a sin this is ? You must avoid it altogether. Never speak ill of anyone; refuse to listen when anyone else speaks ill of another, but gently say: “Perhaps this is not true, and even if it is, it is kinder not to speak of it”.

C.W.L. It requires a certain amount of courage to say this, but it should be done, in kindness to the gossip, as well as to the person who is being criticized. One may do it gently by using the first person plural: “Perhaps we had better not say any more about it”. Then you have not appeared to assume superiority, which is both un-occult and irritating, and probably the man will agree with you, and let the matter drop. [Page 408]



Then as to cruelty. This is of two kinds, intentional and unintentional. Intentional cruelty is purposely to give pain to another living being; and that is the greatest of all sins — the work of a devil rather than a man. You would say that no man could do such a thing; but men have done it often, and are daily doing it now. The inquisitors did it; many religious people did it in the name of their religion.

C. W .L.Cruelty is the work of a devil rather than a man; that is how it looks to a Master. Very often in daily life a man does or says something in order to cause pain to somebody else. He comes under that condemnation; he is doing a thing which is worthy of a devil rather than a man. It seems incredible, but people can be found who do it.

Horrible things have been done in the name of religion. Read the oldest literature we know, the Vedas, and we find evidence of them cropping out very strongly there. We find the Aryans pouring down into the plains of India and proceeding to put to the sword the people [Page 409] who were there. Nothing is too dreadful to be done to these people; they must be wiped off the face of the earth! Why ? For one all-sufficient reason: because their rites are different! The Muhammadans swept over a large part of the world offering their Koran or the sword to the people they conquered. Christians have been no better. “The same spirit led to the persecutions by the Inquisitors, the atrocious treatment of the South American Indians, and all the rest of such things.We think we are becoming more civilized now, yet even today religious feeling is very strong and bitter in some quarters. It is the fashion to say that even if the law permitted such persecutions as used to take place, our higher civilization would prevent us from ever resorting to the horrors of the past. I am not so sure of it. I know places in England where a person of unorthodox religious views is regarded as to be excluded from social functions, and to be suspected of all sorts of bad things. We do not put people on the rack, and wrench out their teeth, as our forefathers did. Autres temps, autres moeurs ! I do not think I should like to see absolute power given into the hands of any of the dogmatic sects.

Vivisectors do it.

C. W .L. There is no excuse for practicing deliberate cruelty to animals. They are our younger brothers, and though not yet men, they will become so after a greater or lesser number of incarnations. The practice of animal experimentation involving cruelty is abhorrent, and can never really benefit mankind, because the law of [Page 410] karma cannot be changed, and as man sows so shall he also reap. I have heard Dr. Besant say that no lives ought to be saved by such methods as that. We know that the instinct of self-preservation is strongly implanted in every man and every animal, so that the body which has been acquired at the cost of considerable effort and trouble may give service to the life within as long as possible, and that therefore human life must be saved when it can rightly be done. But that end cannot justify all possible means. We rightly admire the men who face death rather than dishonour; surely it is great dishonour to human beings to have their lives saved by anything obtained in such a diabolical manner as this. Our President said she would rather die than be saved in this way.

There is very varied opinion on this subject among members of the Theosophical Society, in which everyone is free to have his own beliefs, but the Master's opinion, as quoted above, is definite. Whatever may be our abhorrence of the cruelty of vivisection, however, we must make allowances for the fact that many doctors and others who support and practice it do so regretfully – not for the pleasure of cruelty (though the existence of such things in our midst does give an opportunity for that, to some ghouls in human form), but because they think it the only way to save human bodies from suffering and death, and they sincerely believe that the end justifies the means in this case. However much, therefore, we may disagree with them, let us condemn the sin but not the sinner. There can be no question but that [Page 411] karma will bring great suffering to those who practice vivisection. Many who view them with indignation approaching hatred would change their feeling to pity did they realize this fact.

All vivisectionists are not cruel to the same degree. I know, for example, a member of our own Society, who is one of the leading surgeons, who has performed vivisections of a certain kind. There are certain tubes in the human body which sometimes become severed. They are so fine that when one tries to join the severed ends again the inevitable scar always blocks the tube. It was for a time impossible to save people in this condition until it occurred to this doctor that if one made a larger incision it might be possible for the wound to heal and yet at the same time to keep the tube open. He did this by making an incision in the tube near the end of one piece and on the side of the other, and let them overlap and heal in that way. In order to see whether this would work, he tried it upon a number of dogs. He told me that he tried this experiment on about half a dozen stray dogs. They were thoroughly well fed and brought into perfect health before the operation, some anaesthetic was then administered, and the dogs were nursed very carefully until they had recovered, and it was found that the operation had been successful. The result was that this which before had been thought impossible became a recognized possibility. The operation is now a common one all over the world, and is known by the name of the doctor who invented it. The principle was wrong, but there was practically no [Page 412] cruelty to the animals concerned, and they were much better off, instead of worse, for the time being. This experiment was thus quite different from what usually occurs, and I think it would be entirely inappropriate to attack this doctor in the way in which anti-vivisectionists constantly attack the mass of the vivisectors.

Some of the experiments that one reads about are atrociously cruel, such as that of seeing to what degree of temperature an animal can be baked before certain functions disappear, and dozens of other ghastly and obviously useless horrors. And there are thousands of others performed needlessly for the general instruction of students, and to try all kinds of effects, many of which are quite useless, because the human constitution differs from those of different animals in a variety of ways. For example, a goat, among its other miscellaneous food, will eat freely of henbane, with no apparent injury; but if a human being takes it he will pass on to the astral plane. Again, when an animal is in frightful pain and terror, that must change the fluids of its body and render any observations with regard to them of very uncertain value.

The proper substitute for all this cruelty is, of course. clairvoyance. It is very far better for the doctor if he can see into the interior economy of the living man while the body is whole, than it is to deduce certain things about it by cutting into the living body of an animal which differs from the man. Those who feel that they must do vivisection had better form a society in which they will agree to practice on one another; in [Page 413] that way they will have human subjects giving reactions likely to be useful when those of an animal are not, and they will avoid horrible cruelty to defenceless creatures, which in God's world they have no right to inflict. This is unnecessary, however, for a tenth part of the trouble, and study and research that is put into these experiments would produce an army of reliable clairvoyants; indeed, the attention that is given by the average student to his long training would generally be quite enough to develop his clairvoyance.

There is serious danger of another form of cruelty rising out of the great authority claimed by the orthodox medical fraternity. We do not want to become slaves to them, as our forefathers were slaves to the Church. Though they have done good in various ways, that gives no authority for the establishment of scientific “inquisitions” with power to penalize the heretic who does not wish to submit to their creed of the moment. True, it would be only the civil law that would punish, but that was also the case with the Church — those who would not believe and submit, it handed over to the civil authorities, with the hypocritical prayer that there should be no shedding of blood, which prevented those in power from cutting off their heads and made them burn their victims instead. There has been trouble with the enforcement of vaccination, and it is still compulsory in some countries; though it is an arguable question as to whether the remedy is not worse than the disease which it is professed to prevent. There are very frequent changes in medical opinion, yet each fad is frantically [Page 414] supported while it lasts. The interests of a community in power have often in history given rise to terrible oppression and widespread misery. Let us have no scientific “inquisitions”.

There are some people who try to excuse any cruelty to animals on the old Jewish theory that they exist only for the sake of man. We know better than that. They exist for the Logos; they are stages of evolution permeated by His life. It is, however, justifiable for us to make use of animals, so long as we promote their evolution. They benefit by being in contact with man. It is true that we interfere with the wild horse when we capture him, but in other ways, especially mentally, he gains much development.

Some even extend the old Jewish idea to children. There are parents who think that children exist for them to be used as servants, to be a source of pride, to provide for their old age, and so on. And that leads on to the inhuman notion that a child should be forced to become what we think he ought to be, regardless of the special interests and aptitudes that are his because of his past lives. This leads to superfine cruelty.  

Many schoolmasters do it habitually. All these people try to excuse their brutality by saying that it is the custom; but a crime does not cease to be a crime because many commit it.

C. W .L.The beating of children is a widely spread custom, but that is no excuse for it. It is not, however, a universal custom; I am happy to say that there are a [Page 415] few countries which in that respect have attained civilization. I believe that Japan is one of them. I know from my own experience that Italy is another. I lived for some considerable time in one of the Italian cities, in a house which overlooked the grounds of a large school, and I watched with very great interest the relations between the masters and the boys. Because of their more excitable and freer natures they did not treat discipline as we do. The boys would all be drawn up in line, and at any moment one of them would suddenly leave the ranks and rush up to the master, seize upon his arm and say something to him in quite an impassioned way. The master would smile and pat his head, evidently granting his request or saying something about it. They were all on the most friendly terms. I noticed, too, that whenever those boys met their master in the street, they immediately sprang upon him and pulled him about, and were the very greatest of friends out of school hours also. That was a very good sign, because the man whom children love is always a good man at bottom — their instinct is infallible. In Italy anything like the cruelty that exists in most English schools could not happen, because the customs are different. To lay a hand upon a person is the one unforgivable sin in that country; it involves knives and duels and things of that sort. So the children are perfectly safe.

Punishment has long been a custom, but that does not prevent it from being both cruel and futile. First of all, it is not our business to administer chastisement. [Page 416] The law of karma will attend to all that, and it cannot make mistakes, as we often do. Frightful legal injustice has been committed again and again; the severest penalties have been imposed upon quite innocent people. The criminal has done more wrong to himself than to anybody else, and vengeance may be left to the course of Nature.

Apart from that, punishment is applied to inspire fear in the offender for the future, and in the possible offender at large. The idea of beating a child is the same as that of punishing a criminal by law; these things have in them the elements of revenge. They seem to say: “You do such-and-such a thing, and I will make it very uncomfortable for you”. Often a teacher gets angry, and his feelings are the cause of the punishments he applies – not any reasoned judgment as to what is best for the child. I know it is said that punishment by law is intended to prevent people from committing crimes. But it does not act in that way. A hundred years ago the punishments of the English law were very severe. For example, a person would be hanged for stealing anything to the value of one shilling and sixpence. I remember having seen it recorded at the entrance to Newgate prison – and in other places there is the same sort of thing — that such-and-such a person was hanged for stealing a pair of gloves, valued at two or three shillings. When such severe punishment was meted out, the proportion of crime was much greater than it is now. The amount of crime has little to do with the punishments meted out; it is chiefly a question of general education and civilization. [Page 417]

Punishment by the law or by the school generally has no relation to the crime committed. A man steals something; then he is shut up in a prison for a certain time. What is the relation between the two things? He might reasonably be made to do some work which should return the value of the article stolen, to the person from whom it was taken. The punishment should fit the crime in some way. Merely to shut a man up because he has stolen something is a kind of nightmare. So also among us a child does not learn a certain lesson and they beat him. What is the connection between the two things ? There would be some reason in saying: “You have not learnt the lesson; you will be behind the others in your class, therefore you must stay and learn it when otherwise you would be playing”. There is no sense in this kind of thing, and it is radically wrong. The idea of giving intentional pain is always wrong, and no amount of custom can make it right. All sorts of eminently undesirable and foolish things have been the custom – foot-binding in China, for example, and some of our own fashions at different times. We must not get the idea that because a thing is the custom, even if it has been so for hundreds of years, it must be a good or necessary thing, because very often it is not.

A community might reasonably say to some habitual criminals, as they did to such people in ancient Peru: “We are a civilized race. With great trouble we have arranged our State upon a certain scheme, and it is intended for people who will keep its laws. If you do [Page 418] not intend to keep these laws, go out and live with someone else”. There, exile was the only punishment; and to be cast out among the barbarian tribes was the greatest disgrace, as well as a discomfort. Society has the right to restrain a dangerous person. When you get a Malay running amuck you must stop that man, even though it should be at the cost of having to take his life. But except in emergencies, when it is unavoidable, we have no right to kill; and no one ever has the right to torture – that is absolutely certain. Capital punishment, if it is revenge, means that we become as brutal as the criminal who has aroused what we euphemistically call our righteous indignation. If it has the purpose of saving us further trouble with that man it is wrong in principle, since the State has a duty to every citizen, not only to those who are normal, and also it should think of the real man, not merely of the body. To seek the easiest way out of our difficulty by killing the man is thus positively criminal; and it does no good because much evil passion is aroused, and the man will reincarnate in unpleasant karmic relations with us in the future. The real criminal – who is rare, because most offenders are products of unfortunate environment – is really a pathological case. What he requires is not torment and brutalization which accentuate his anti-social tendencies, but the right treatment and training that will bring him physically and emotionally within the ranks of normal citizenship. The State cares for the physically and mentally defective; it must deal in the same way with the criminal, who is generally either mentally or [Page 419] emotionally defective. This would be the attitude of love, the standpoint of the Master.

These ideals are real, and quite clear and practical. Both the criminal and the child must be helped by education, not driven by fear. The system of terrifying children produces exceedingly evil results. It introduces into their lives fear and pain and deceit, and is generally disastrous to character and good citizenship. It is another form of the old Church idea of hell; but the hell is to be here, and it can be escaped by one with sufficient cunning. People thought they could make others good by frightening them. It is odd how that idea still holds. One of our principal living novelists wrote to me some time ago and said that once at the seaside he met a young man and gave him some Theosophical ideas, in the course of which he explained to him that the hell theory was all nonsense. Later on this youth's mother, full of anger, paid the novelist a visit. She said: “That is the only way I have been able to keep this boy in order — by the fear of hell, by threatening him with it every day and all day long. Now that you have persuaded him that there is no hell, what am I going to do ?. Perhaps if she had known a little better, and had explained things to him from the first there would have been no need to adopt this very unpleasant form of terrorism.

Liberty and love are great factors in the development of the human soul. There are many people who are quite willing to give liberty to others, if they will do exactly what they prescribe! But true liberty means the freedom [Page 420] to try in one's own way. In general there is far too much interference; too much direction from the outside diminishes the very life activity that it seeks to protect or assist. This is seen in school life, where quantities of unnecessary rules are made, when individual freedom would give more opportunity for growth. That is one of the great differences between the English scheme of government and that of some of the other nations. England tries on the whole to leave its people as free as possible. Some countries try to avoid trouble and danger and to assist the people by all kinds of restraints. I remember an official of a foreign state saying to me once: “Well, sir, in a really well-managed country everything would be forbidden!” In traveling about the world I have been much struck by the different forms in which the regulations are expressed: In one country you will find a stern prohibition; in another; a request. Some obviously adopt the military plan which is good only for very young souls; but others appeal to the good sense and goodwill in a man. I remember, for example, reading one sign, forbidding certain unpleasant practices, which ran: “Gentlemen will not, and others must not” do so-and-so. That was in America, which is one of the newer countries. I thought it was rather well put.

There are cases where you must assert compulsion: in the interests of the community; but it is always better when possible to have the wills of the people with you than to drive them along. I am afraid that is only very slightly understood with regard to education. [Page 421] Everything is prescribed; all the time it is: “Do this, do not do that”, Even in teaching the child his interest is not usually engaged, but he is told: “This is a lesson and it must be learned”.

In the newer methods, such as that of Mme. Montessori, the lesson is made interesting, so that the child-mind opens like a flower. There is only one way in which you can really and usefully teach a child anything, and that is by making him love you to begin with. You exercise a certain amount of moral suasion afterwards, because you look injured and pained if he does wrong. That is quite legitimate, because you really do feel the pain. If you start ruling by love you call out the love of the pupil, and get something done. To teach children one must have a clever mind, a heart full of love, and patience as wide as the sea; one must understand the mistakes that children make, and be able to show them how to do things properly, but in their own way. If you start with force and brutality you call out nothing but hostility, and then you do not get anything worth while done.

It is the same in ordinary life. If one business man wants to deal profitably with another, he speaks pleasantly to him, and tries to convince him that the business he proposes will be to their mutual advantage. It would not occur to him to start out by trying to drive the other man; it would only antagonize him and make anything like friendly relations between them impossible. Boys and girls are human beings, too, and you can get more out of them if you have them on your side [Page 422] than if you set them against you to start with. These are matters of experience to those who try to teach. No teacher, however skillful, however learned, is worthy of that highly honourable name unless he can interest the children and get them to love him. It is an absolute prerequisite. That is the way in which the Masters teach: never by force, never by issuing commands, but by showing the right way and encouraging us to try to imitate Them.

Karma takes no account of custom; and the karma of cruelty is the most terrible of all. In  India at least there can be no excuse for such customs, for the duty of harmlessness is well-known to all.

C.W.L.The man who takes up the profession of a school-master does so in order to earn his living, just as he might enter any other profession. The Lords of Karma do not, however, regard the matter from that point of view. They put a man into such a position with the idea of giving him a magnificent opportunity. If he should take it, and carry his work through carefully, tactfully, lovingly, it will lead him to another life in which he will probably be a religious teacher. From that the way is open to become a great saint, a great benefactor of mankind. The teaching profession lies straight in the road to some of the highest prizes of life, from the point of view of the Lords of Karma.

The teacher should realize that each child is an ego; and should give all the help possible to the development [Page 423] of its character. He naturally has a vast opportunity, because the children are in his care to learn, and he can make of them very much what he will. As to the strength of this influence, a well known Jesuit once said: “Let me have a child up to the age of eleven, and after that he can go where he pleases”. The teacher's influence upon the young operates quite as much by what he is and the way in which he acts, as by anything directly said to them. He who is what he ought to be radiates love in a strong and powerful influence. His position is also one of great responsibility, for if instead of rousing love and good qualities in his charges he awakens fear and deceit, he is hampering the progress of those egos, and thus doing serious positive harm.

Misuse of such an opportunity involves a terrible fall for the man. Cruelty in such cases produces very horrible results; on certain occasions we have found it to bring a sort of repayment in kind, but quite often it brings insanity as its result, and short of that, a great many conditions such as hysteria and neurasthenia. In many cases also it has resulted in a remarkable and cataclysmic descent in the social scale. A person who has been cruel in a reasonably good position finds himself thrown down among the dregs of the populace because of that cruelty. For example, I have seen cases of Brahmanas reborn as pariahs, in consequence of cruelty to children. So it is evident that the Lords of Karma, demonstrating the great laws of the universe, take the same view of these things as the Master does. [Page 424]

An opportunity somewhat similar to that of the schoolmaster is given to a man who is the manager of a factory or the head of a large business of any kind. A man thinks of such a place as one to be desired because it gives him an opportunity of getting a good salary or of making a good deal of money and obtaining a certain amount of power. But the Lords of Karma would regard that, again, as an opportunity to help all those other men who came under his control. An employer often regards his men with a sort of scarcely veiled hostility; he thinks they want to get as much out of him as they can and to take advantage of him in various ways. On their part, the men usually think he wishes to grind them down, to get all he can out of them, paying them as little as possible in return. It is true, unfortunately, that in some cases both sides are right in thinking as they do. There are employers who have that attitude; and there are very many workmen who take that line towards their employers; but the man who understands will look at it not in the least from that point of view. That the position gives the man an opportunity of being a helpful influence in the life of a number of people is the only aspect of the matter which concerns the Lords of Karma. The Lords of Karma do not usually look at things from our point of view. Mankind generally, for example, regards death as a terrible thing and a heavy punishment; but it is often given as a kind of reward – as, a release leading to better and more promising conditions. [Page 425]

The fate of the cruel must fall also upon all who go out intentionally to kill God's creatures, and call it ‘sport’ .

C. W .L. As regards conditions in the country in England, Punch's satire. “It is a fine day; let us go out and kill something “ was not very far wrong. As a clergyman in a country parish in England I was in close relation with a typical set of the people who shoot and hunt and fish. They did all these things as their regular daily occupation, and that formed also the principal subject of their conversation. Yet, however hard one may find it to believe, these people were perfectly gentle and kindly towards their fellow-men; the men were good fathers and husbands, lenient judges and kind friends, but they did not see the wrong, in this particular thing. One of those very men, who would kill deer and shoot as many pheasants as he could in the most reckless way would nevertheless sit up all night with a dog that was sick, showing that he had a kind heart, and that even towards the animals he felt a certain brotherhood.The cruelty is all due to a kind of mental blindness. They do not lack intellect, but on this matter they have never thought, but have taken it for granted that all these creatures were created for their use, and for the enjoyment which they could derive from their skill in killing them. People eat meat with the same thoughtlessness. As a young man I did so, and it never dawned upon me that it was wrong until I found a book on the subject — that was long before the Theosophical Society was founded. [Page 426]

When we have once seen that such “sport” is a horrible thing, and that in following it we are taking part in the slaughter of God's creatures, we wonder why we never noticed it before. Thousands of people have not yet seen the evil. The glamour of custom is upon them, and they have never thought of the frightful harm that is being done. The same thing is true in connection with some articles of attire. There are certain kinds of feathers, for example, that can only be procured at terrible cost in animal life – not only the pain and death of the creature concerned, but generally of other young creatures depending upon it. People who wear these things are certainly criminally careless. They are not desperately cruel – not in the least; they are simply following the custom. Still, karma will operate. A man may be in a brown study and walk over a precipice; the fact that he did not know where he was going does not alter the result.

Such things as these you would not do, I know; and for the sake of the love of God, when opportunity offers, you will speak clearly against them.

C. W .L.Here we must note the words “when opportunity offers”. We do not want to thrust our ideas upon other people, so one speaks on such matters usually only when an opinion is asked, or when the subject comes forward in a natural way. To thrust forward one's own ideas, however excellent they may be, generally does more harm than good. The aggressive people who do this always arouse resentment. A man who accosts [Page 427] you in the street and wants to know whether you have found Jesus, or whether your soul is saved, does not impress you favourably, and most people are inclined to feel that since he is so tactless his religion cannot be of great practical value. If a suitable opportunity occurs one may lend a book or a pamphlet, or converse gently and quietly on the subject. But if you find yourself among a number of sportsmen, I should not advise you to start out by saying: “This is a very wicked thing” , – although it is. If I were asked, I should say quietly: “I hold that all life is sacred, that these animals are really younger brothers of ours, and you have no more right to go out and kill them for pleasure than you would have to kill a man for your pleasure”. They would be surprised, no doubt; perhaps they would sneer covertly at me; but they would not be so strongly set against the idea as they would if they were attacked.

We who are vegetarians often feel great disgust if we have to sit at the same table with people who are eating meat, yet it is frequently unavoidable when traveling. Still, it is not well to show our feelings; that is certainly not the way to convert other people, but if they ask about our views we can express our opinions temperately, forcefully but quietly. If we do this it is quite probable, if the man begins to think about it, that he will come over to our point of view. [Page 428]

But there is a cruelty in speech as well as in act; and a man who says a word with the intention to wound another is guilty of this 'crime’. That, too, you would not do; but sometimes a careless  word does as much harm as a malicious one. So you must be on your guard against unintentional ,cruelty.

C. W. L.Some people pride themselves on speaking out just what they think, even if it hurts others, and they seem to regard this as a virtue. The Master, who never uses words carelessly, says it may be a crime, if the words are cruel. In debate or discussion we need not refrain from putting our side of the case, but we can put it carefully and courteously. The Apostle said: Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Romans. 14, 5) That does not mean that he is to try to persuade other people, but that he himself should understand why he holds certain beliefs. When that is the case he will be able to state his views, when necessary, gently and temperately.

It is a curious fact, that many people cannot differ in opinion from others without getting more or less angry, although they know that there are thousands upon thousands of questions in the world upon which there is so much to be said on several sides that one point of view is almost as defensible as another. A discussion between a Catholic and an Orangeman is exceedingly likely to end in blows, which, after all, do not constitute a form of argument which carries conviction with it. If a person differs from another's opinion it appears to be taken as a kind of slight; such a person is so sure that [Page 429] his own idea is right that any other man who disagrees is wilfully of malice prepense declining to accept it! We have therefore to be careful how we put our views before others.

There is a special temptation in regard to Theosophy, because we definitely base our belief on reason, and we only try to show people this; yet often the other man cannot see it. Reason, however perfect, however logical, does not necessarily impress the ordinary man at all; he does not live in his reason, but in his feelings, and if these are roused by what is said, no amount of reason will convince him, and the more we talk the angrier he will become.

It comes usually from thoughtlessness. A man is so filled with greed and avarice that he never even thinks of the suffering which he causes to others by paying too little, or by half-starving his wife and children. Another thinks only of his own lust, and cares little how many souls and bodies he ruins in satisfying it. Just to save himself a few minutes' trouble, a man does not pay his workmen on the proper day, thinking nothing of the difficulties he brings upon them. So much suffering is caused just by carelessness – by forgetting to think how an action will affect others. But karma never forgets, and it takes no account of the fact that men  forget. If you wish to enter the Path, you must think of the consequences of what you do, lest you should be guilty of thoughtless cruelty.

[Page 430] C. W .L. By paying a little less than what a thing is worth one may be causing much suffering to the workman, and his wife and children. The reduction of a few pence from a day's wages may mean that the family has insufficient food. Business is business, I know, but it is better if necessary, to make less rather than fall into the sin of grinding down the poor. Employers are finding that it pays to give “good wages”, as has been the experience of Mr. Henry Ford, who is said to be now the richest man in the world. As a priest, I used to go among the poor and see things from their standpoint, and often found people taking advantage of their helplessness. This was so also in India, where sometimes in the Pariah Schools children actually fainted from hunger, until we were in a position to give them food. [Page 431]



Superstition is another mighty evil, and has caused much terrible cruelty. The man who is a  slave to it despises others who are wiser, tries to force them to do as he does.

C. W .L. Superstition never takes into account the differences of temperament between people. It has some form of belief which it wishes to impress upon all alike, not realizing that you never can impress any belief, except, perhaps, some dry scientific fact, upon all people alike, because there are as many attitudes towards life as there are people. Even if you know a great number of people, you will rarely find two who are alike in the way in which circumstances affect them. You can predict certain general possibilities with regard to the great, majority of men, but until you know them very well you cannot judge accurately how they will react to certain things. So superstition implies among other things a very great want of sympathy. The man who is subject to it does not understand that there are other ways than his own of looking at things. [Page 432]

Superstition is not only bad for the person himself, but when prominent it always leads to attempts to coerce other people. All through history, superstition in religion has led to frightful trouble. On its account the followers of Muhammad have at different times spread bloodshed and slaughter over vast tracts of Asia, Europe and Africa, offering “the Koran or the sword”. The superstition which produced the Inquisition has been previously discussed. The massacres of St. Bartholomew and the Sicilian Vespers, when the Protestants and the Catholics respectively massacred each other were other terrible results of superstition. The last were partly political, but the former was a matter of “religion”. The ill-feeling between the different sects of Christians was very largely responsible for the massacre, though no doubt political considerations also had their share in it, as they had also with Constantine when he became a Christian, thinking it a good card to play in the then state of affairs in the Byzantine Empire.

The Crusades were another mighty superstition. Because of a story which had little foundation in fact, as to the life and death of the teacher Jesus, twenty million men lost their lives in those Crusades, trying to get into Christian hands the country where His life story occurred. If they could have been brought to understand that it was the life story of every Initiate, and that, that has been led in all countries of the world at one time or another, all that loss of life might have been avoided. Perhaps it was not all loss, however, because by going out to fight with the more enlightened Saracens [Page 433] the Christians brought back some useful information into Europe, and that they were willing to die for an ideal counted to them for righteousness. There was something chivalrous and beautiful, no doubt, in the idea that the sacred places of a religion ought to belong to the people of that religion. Time has proved, however, that in this case it was fortunate that the Christians did not succeed. In that holy land the Muhammadan soldiers have had to keep peace between the rival Christian sects – the Latin and the Greek – because they always fight for precedence about the holy fire and at the sepulchre.

At the present day we have in India a similar problem, but no one dreams of trying to settle it by the method of the Crusades. The holy places of the Buddhists – the place where the Lord Buddha was born, the place where He attained His Buddhahood, the place where He died — are all in the hands of people of the Hindu faith, a religion which is as different from Buddhism as Christianity is different from Muhammadanism. The Buddhists earnestly desire to possess their holy places, but it has not occurred to the Buddhist nations to start upon a war of conquest. We may be very thankful for that, for the Buddhists number about five hundred million people. Their religion forbids them to do anything so irrational. Some Buddhists have tried to buy back the site, and they nearly succeeded in doing so. The Theosophical Society assisted them, but unfortunately a great part of the money was lost in a law suit, and the plan fell through. [Page 434]

There is no great religion except Buddhism which has never persecuted. It could not do so because of its inherent principles: it is bound to toleration by the very words of its Founder. Who is a Buddhist ? He is a man who follows the teachings of the Lord Buddha; not a man who believes this or that, but a man who lives as the Lord Buddha said men should live.Ask a missionary what will become of the really good Buddhist, and he will usually answer, “If he does not believe in Christ, there is no hope for him”, or at best he will leave him to the uncovenanted mercies of God, if he is a very good man. If you ask a Buddhist the same question about a good Christian, he will say, “He is quite a good Buddhist; he calls himself a Christian, but he is following the teachings of the Lord Buddha; all will be well with him”. Such is the tolerance of Buddhism, as I have explained before. Of course, every religion really forbids intolerance and violence, but the level of ignorance and fanaticism in some of them has blinded their people to this simple fact.

The form of superstition called race hatred, in which one race instinctively dislikes another en bloc, is also foolish, because there is good and bad in every race. I remember that in remote villages in England the attitude of the peasantry towards a foreigner was always one of suspicion and ridicule. The fact that a man spoke a different language was something to laugh at, among those ignorant people. There are other pleasantries who, in that particular respect, are less uncourteous than our common folk. I always feel that if a foreigner visits [Page 435] our country we are in the relation of host towards him, and it is our duty to make his path easy, and to give him as good an impression of our people and our country as we can.

In the Napoleonic era there was a superstition in England that all Frenchmen were practically devils, fighting against us with the full knowledge that they were on the wrong side and against the light. Today you may get cases where a vast number of people are obsessed by one dominant idea, resulting in a kind of national monomania. Under the influence of such a temporary monomania dreadful atrocities occur, which the same people would never dream of committing at other times. In this case the individuals are responsible only to the extent to which they allow themselves to be swept off their feet in that way; the things that they do are done by the monomania more than by the individuals themselves. It is in much the same way that a man will sometimes lose his temper and say unpleasant things; it is the temper that speaks and not the man. He is to blame in that he allows the temper to get control of him, but we must take into consideration that in all probability he will afterwards very much regret what he has said.

Think of the awful slaughter produced by the superstition that animals should be sacrificed.

C. W .L. Mention of animal and other sacrifices in connection with religion raises the whole question of the relation of God to man. There are only three [Page 436] fundamental views that we can take upon this subject : the first is that God started this scheme of things and left it to take care of itself afterwards, being quite indifferent as to what happened to it; the second is that He retains what must be called a malevolent interest in it, desiring to enjoy blood or other sacrifices; the third is that He remains always the all-loving Father of His creation.

The first theory is practically modern materialism plus the idea of an original creator. The second represents God as a monster full of blood-lust. Many of the old scriptures misrepresent Him in this way. In one case in the Old Testament the Jews boast of sacrificing a hundred and twenty-two thousand bullocks at one time. Probably they were exaggerating, as was their habit in those early days. Jehovah demanded sacrifices, and did not in the least care how much suffering he caused so, long as he could get what he wanted. He was always clamouring for sacrifices, which must be made to him, and to no other deity. The Jews of the present-day could recoil in horror from such a thing, but evidently they did not do so in the days of David and Solomon.It follows that the Jehovah whom they then worshipped was not what we call God, to which conception they could not then rise, but one of the great elemental deities coming over from Atlantean days. The Jews had before then contacted the civilization of Egypt, but its great ideas had made little impression upon them; but later, during the Babylonian captivity, they learned of a supreme God. They at once identified Him, characteristically, with their own Jehovah, and their later [Page 437] prophets wrote magnificently of Him, but still with frequent out-crops of the old ideas.

Blood-sacrifices belong only to early stages of human evolution. They involve the primitive magic of elemental worship, and are always connected with elementals which live on the fumes of blood. The elemental wants the sacrifices because he absorbs the aroma of the blood and obtains from it the power to materialize himself. Among some hill tribes the people say that if they do not perform such sacrifices troubles come upon them – their crops are spoiled and their houses catch fire; the hill gods of India are therefore also probably great elemental deities of Atlantis.

We may be sure that the Great Ones have never countenanced such sacrifices. In India, for example, the original revelation of the Vedas certainly did not contain them, but they came from the aboriginal traditions, which still exist to some extent. The Lord Buddha spoke against animal sacrifices, and induced King Bimbisara to issue an edict abolishing them in his realm.

Clearly no Deity whom we could wish to worship would want offerings of blood, though there are elementals and nature-spirits who do. We must, therefore, regard those portions of Scripture which deal with such offerings as belonging to a period in human evolution long outgrown. Some people do not like to say this openly, because they reverence the Scriptures, but it is nothing but superstition to regard one particular set of words as sacred and sacrosanct for all time. We ought [Page 438] to be eclectic about the Scripture, as about everything else. We take up a book, and value and remember those passages in it which we find especially beautiful and helpful. In the same way, we should take from any scripture what is noble and beautiful and grand for all time, and we may with advantage drop all those parts which do not come up to our standards. Although blood-sacrifices are mentioned in the Psalms and other parts of the Bible, we must face the fact that God could never have wanted them; they invariably belong to the type of religion that considers the Deity as an evil being, who must be bought off.

It has been the great tragedy of Christianity that this idea became mingled with the pure teaching of the Christ about God the loving Father. True, animal sacrifices to the Deity have not disgraced Christianity, but the idea of God as a being who will do harm unless bought off is still taught by the great Christian organizations. They invented the amazing theory that God sacrificed his own Son instead of all the other people who would otherwise have been sent to hell. I suppose most people never stop to think what kind of a god it could be who would require or permit such a sacrifice. You can imagine. what would be said of any earthly king who condemned quite casually a number of people to horrible tortures and then released them because his own son came forward and said. “If you must kill somebody, kill me. I have not done anything wrong; but nevertheless, kill me; and let these people go free”. That theory is not Christianity. [Page 439]

Colonel Ingersoll was right when he said that an honest God is the noblest work of man. It is true that only a nation which was already highly developed could rise to the conception of a really grand and glorious Deity. It is true that our remote forefathers, who ran about in the woods and painted themselves blue, and the ancient warlike Jews, and others, had crude conceptions of the Deity, but there is absolutely no reason why we should carry them on at the present day.

The third theory, which we hold in Theosophy, is that God is beneficent, that He has brought the whole scheme into existence for a purpose which He is steadily pursuing all the time, and that therefore everything that happens is part of His work. He allows a certain amount of free will to His creatures and they do things which are clearly not in harmony with His great plan; yet as their will is part of His plan, all is ultimately His work.

When we say that God allows man some independence or freedom, we must make it clear that we understand it to be limited, and growing. If a man uses well the freedom and power that he has, more will be given to him. The method seems to be like that by which a little child is taught to walk. The teacher allows him to try, and tumble, and try again; if he were always carried in someone else's arms, so as to avoid all possible tumbles, he would end as a cripple. But what the teacher does not do is to let the child learn to take his first steps alone on a marble floor, at the head of a staircase or in other dangerous places. Later, when he has grown up, he may walk on the edge of a precipice to admire the [Page 440] view, if he so chooses. In some such manner the Logos guards us while He trains us, so that we cannot wreck our lives or hurt ourselves beyond repair.

This third theory is steadily gaining ground. For a long time now, Christianity has been much better than its creeds, and very many Christians have held wider views than their Churches have officially authorized. The Church of England, for instance, formulates what it supposes to be its theory of things in a certain predication called “The Articles of Religion”. The clergy have to assent to them, but if one of them should ask, “How am I to accept these Articles; they are evidently contradictory?” he is told that at the time they were written there were two irreconcilable parties, and Something had to be said to please them both. They say: “The Bishop and the rest of us have all signed them, we have all taken them in this philosophic way, and since we have done so, I think you may do so, too”. The young man will probably say. “Well, I suppose if you assure me that it does not mean anything, I may as well accept it”. But the position is not quite dignified.

I have no objection to the Christian Creeds; there is a far deeper meaning underlying them than the Christian usually suspects.( See The Christian Creed, by C.W. Leadbeater.) But I do object to the Thirty-nine Articles and the Confession of Faith, because with some most beautiful ideas they contrive to intermingle others which are absolutely impossible. If in the Catechism they had only stopped at the end of the first question and answer: “What is the chief end of man ? [Page 441] To glorify God and enjoy Him forever”, that would have ?? l been magnificent.

Christianity has gone very much ahead of its authorized pronouncements and beliefs. I came across a passage the other day which shows that rather clearly. There is a book by the Dean of Ripon, in which he says: “The development of Christ in man is the object of Christianity”. Then he goes on to explain what the Christ in man is: “It is the wisdom of the man of science; it is the eloquence of the lawyer; it is the fairness of the judge; it is the love of beauty in the artist; it is the love of man in the philanthropist”, and , so on. That kind of Christianity we will all accept. There is very much the same idea in the Gita. “Of rulers”, says Shri Krishna, “I am the sceptre; of those who seek victory I am statesmanship; and of secrets I am also silence; the knowledge of knowers am I”. “Whatsoever is glorious, good, beautiful, and mighty, understand thou that to go forth from a fragment of My splendour”. (Bhagavad Gita x, 38,41) The Christian Dean is very nearly in agreement with the writer of the Bhagavad Gita, a scripture of immense antiquity, very much older than the Mahãbhãrata, of which it became a part. Much of the glorious teaching incorporated in the Gita existed among the Atlanteans residing on the plains of India long before the Aryan invaders entered the country. I know that, that is not the generally accepted idea, but it represents certain facts which we have seen. [Page 442]

Assuredly we may trust God utterly, because He knows and ,we do not know. We know, in a general way, what is expected of us in the helping forward of His scheme of evolution, but we do not know the details. Yet we know that those details are in competent hands. What our karma will be we do not know, but the great Powers who are managing the matter know it all, and will decide wisely how much of it can usefully be brought down upon us now, and how much should be reserved for the future. If it were possible for the Great Ones to listen to us, and to change our destiny in accordance with what we think we should like at any time, it would assuredly be the worse for us. I do not say that our own aspirations in the matter are useless – very much the reverse, for if we have good aspirations, those are new factors introduced into the case, and they may well enable the Great Lords to modify the working out of our karma, perhaps to bring down more so that we may the sooner be rid of it, perhaps to alter its incidence and bring it down in some other way. But whatever is done, is done for the best for everyone and not for a few only, and so we surely should not try to alter God's will; we should thankfully accept whatever comes to us, and should always make the best of it, not the worst. We should take our difficulties as something to be dominated, yet be always glad because we know that God is behind it all, and He is utterly beneficent. [Page 443]

And by the still more cruel superstition that man needs flesh for food.

C.W.L. That is a superstition, because, there are many millions of people who exist in perfect health without it. There are probably some few people who, owing to bad heredity and their own karma, are really unable to make their bodies digest the purer form of food, but they are very, very few. I have myself known of a few instances, among many hundreds of Theosophists, of people who after really trying for a long time to adopt a vegetarian diet, found that they were unable to do it; but all the rest, after a certain amount of difficulty just at first, were able to maintain and often improve their health on vegetarian food.

It has been proved unquestionably that most people can be perfectly strong without saddling themselves with the crime of taking part in the slaughter of animals. It is but a small percentage of physical bodies that cannot be adapted to vegetarian food. It is an unfortunate condition for these persons, but if one has really tried intelligently to reform one's diet in this way, and finds it impossible. one must accept it as karma. In such a case it is not always wise or right to say, “I will force my body to do what I will, or let it go, I will live on pure food or not at all”. It may be that one has duties towards others, which cannot be fulfilled if the body is weak, duties which demand rude health. I know, of course, that advice of this kind may very easily be used as an excuse by those who do not like the higher form of food or who shrink from the trouble of adapting the body to a new diet, but it must be given because there [Page 444] are some few unfortunates who must needs continue in their old ways.

Flesh food is undesirable because it is cruel to kill animals, and also because it brings undesirable particles into our bodies, which coarsen them, and excite animal desires in the elementals of those bodies. There are many other reasons also, which I marshaled together once in a lecture which may be found in my book Some Glimpses of Occultism. This is one of the few subjects in which practically all the arguments are on one side, for there is nothing to be said for meat-eating, except that people follow the practice because they like it. I think we can make it abundantly clear to any enquirer that it is entirely in his interest to abstain from flesh food. It is not only a question of principle, although surely that is enough for us, but a vegetarian diet means better health, and the avoidance of certain fearful diseases; and definite facts show that the vegetarian has relatively greater endurance.

People sometimes object to this idea and say that in any case we must destroy life in order to live, that those who are vegetarians also destroy life. That is true, to a very limited extent. I suppose we may be said to be, destroying the vegetable life, but that is much more primitive, and has not the acute sentiency of the animal.

The fundamental objection to killing is that it interferes with the course of evolution. If you kill a man, you really do no harm to that individual, so far as his pleasure and happiness are concerned; he goes usually to a plane where he will be far happier than he ever was [Page 445] on the physical plane; and the mere destruction of the body is not necessarily cruel, because a man killed suddenly does not feel it.The wrong you have done is to cut him off from the opportunity of evolution which he would otherwise have had in that body. He will have a further opportunity in another body later on, but you are delaying him, and giving the Lords of Karma the trouble of finding another place for that man's evolution and of carrying him on again through babyhood and childhood before he has the opportunity for development that the conditions of mature manhood provide. That is also why it is so much more serious to kill a man than an animal; the man has to develop an entirely new personality, but the animal goes back into his group-soul, from which incarnation is a comparatively easy matter. Still, in the case of the more evolved animal, which is a more complicated manifestation, it causes, if we may reverently put it so, a great deal of trouble to the evolutionary Powers. The killing, say, of a mosquito is an infinitely smaller matter, because it flows back into its group-soul and comes out again in a very short time.The trouble caused by the destruction even of hundreds of thousands of those insects is as nothing compared to the killing of one horse, or cow, or cat, or dog.

There is no conceivable case in which it could be the right thing to kill a man for any purpose of one's own, except in emergencies in self-defence or the defence of another. The yogi does not even defend himself; he leaves the whole matter in the hands of karma. Still I believe that we are justified in defending our lives [Page 446] when we are attacked, and I am quite certain we are justified in defending a friend or a child, even at the cost of killing the aggressor. The same thing holds good with regard to all kinds of animals. If an animal attacks you, endangering your life or your safety, you have, I think, the right to kill it if necessary. The whole question is: which will cause the greater harm ? If, for example, you are troubled by mosquitoes, which have left their own natural food to attack you and poison your blood, and perhaps spoil some important work, it might very well be the lesser evil to kill the mosquito. If you can take refuge behind a mosquito net, or drive them away, so much the better. The mosquito is vegetarian by nature and by instinct. There are millions upon millions of them which have never tasted blood. Bring them into contact with human beings and give them that vitiated taste and you know how it turns out. It is exactly the same with a variety of other small pests. They are good in their proper place, but that is not in close contact with human beings. Not only do we ourselves suffer if we permit them to overrun us, but we also subject other human beings to infection from which they would have been free if it had not been for us.

Though, with our imperfect knowledge, it gives us no special justification to kill or exterminate any creature offensive to us, it is a fact that some forms are now intended to die away, either because they have run their course, or because they are experiments that have been improved upon and are therefore no longer needed. It is not irreverent to think of the great evolutionary Powers [Page 447] as experimenting to some extent. The Lord Maitreya, when He succeeded the Lord Buddha as World-Teacher, tried some new methods in religion, which might conceivably have failed. Madame Blavatsky used sometimes to speak guardedly of certain plants and animals as failures, whose life-form was being permitted to flow on and die out gradually, being used sometimes for the indwelling of creatures lower than those originally intended to occupy them and sometimes even for those undergoing involution. She spoke of certain loathsome forms of insect and reptile life as “by-products”, and considered that the killing of these was by no means the same thing as the destruction of evolving forms of life.

The theory of the non-destruction of life is carried to extremes in certain place, as for example, where people decline to kill vermin, and allow themselves to be eaten by them. That does not commend itself to any civilized person. Again, a person who has a library of useful books will sometimes find them attacked by little silverfish. It would be preferable to drive them away, but it is better, certainly, to destroy those insects than to allow good books, which might be of use to others besides oneself, to be rendered useless. There are many small forms of life which if we permit them, would render our lives practically impossible. For the yogi, who never destroys life, food is always provided, but the agriculturist who provides it has to protect his crops from grubs and worms. In Australia he has particularly to deal with rabbits, which having been imported into the country, have increased in such millions that if left free [Page 448] to do so they would destroy every vestige of cultivation.

It is not only for the sake of food for man that one must destroy some of the pests, but also as a matter of protection, for if one cultivates plants, or trees or vegetables, one has a certain responsibility to the life that takes up its dwelling in those forms. I think we should use common sense in all these matters all the way through. In any case, to kill any animal in self-defence is surely a different thing from killing highly evolved creatures, such as cows and sheep, to gratify a low form of taste, when it is absolutely unnecessary.

Think of the treatment which superstition it has meted out to the depressed classes in our beloved India, and see in that how this evil quality can breed heartless cruelty even among those who know the duty of brotherhood.

C.W.L. The depressed classes in India, sometimes called the panchama, or fifth caste, really the outcaste, the pariah — are the descendants of the original inhabitants of India, whom the Aryan found there when they came over the Himalayas. The caste rules ordained by the Manu, which were good eugenic and magnetic rules at the time, forbade the settlers to intermarry or mix or eat with them. Beyond that, however, they have been treated with great cruelty. For instance, the pariah is not allowed to approach the caste well to draw water, because he will contaminate it for the caste people; consequently he bas to depend upon such inferior wells [Page 449] as he can make or find, and this often causes serious hardships, especially as in some parts of the country the outcaste villages have been driven to unfavourable plots of land, and often forced to move. Until quite recently a pariah could hardly attain a good position in life, except by the undesirable expedient of becoming a Christian or a Muhammadan, a course which removes some of their most serious social disabilities.

This, and even worse than this, has been the treatment which superstition has meted out to these depressed classes, even among people who make a specialty of brotherhood. In this case they have forgotten what brotherhood means, because of their superstition. One hopes that in time they will come to form a respectable and clean community. Modern conditions, such as the mingling that takes place on trains and tram-cars, tend to facilitate this process.

It is the duty of the better classes of the Indian people, and also a karmic obligation upon them, to uplift these outcastes whom their ancestors conquered. Their very nobility, their innate Aryan quality should urge them to this necessary task. If a child is not clean we do not recoil from him, but we take him to be washed; so must we not shrink from the pariah, but provide him with conditions in which he can acquire health, cleanliness and knowledge. It is not necessarily a question of eating together, but it is assuredly our duty to be kindly and compassionate to our younger brother.

It is true that birth in a given caste or community always offers a man certain definite opportunities, but it [Page 450] does not follow that he is making the best of them. To be born into the family of a good man of lower caste: would offer better opportunities in some ways than to belong to the family of an unworthy Brahmana. Often men strive for some goal, and when they attain it they fail to make good use of opportunities which it brings; hence a bad Brahmana may be one who is taking his first incarnation as such, or who has neglected or misused his opportunities in a former birth. It is true only in rare cases that:

Who toiled a slave may come anew a Prince
For gentle worthiness and merit won;
Who ruled a King may wander earth in rags
For things done and undone

(The Light of Asia Book VIII)

As a general rule ,those who are in the great mass of the working classes will only gradually raise themselves into the bourgeoisie, and then higher. Most of a man’ s karma is made with the class of people among whom he is, and he needs similar conditions for working it out in a future life. The way of evolution is also by gradual advance in culture and refinement, so a sudden transition into a distinctly higher or lower class is somewhat in the nature of a surgical operation, necessitated by very exceptional karma. Still, mankind is one family, and the duty of brotherhood applies to all without exception. [Page 451]

Many crimes have been committed in the name of the God of Love, moved by this nightmare of superstition.

C. W .L. One other point about superstition is that the man who does the most harm because of it is the one who has the best intentions, who is standing loyally to the letter of his law. A really selfish bad man – there are such people, though perhaps not very many — is concerned mostly with gratifying his own desires. He does not want to interfere with others unless they obstruct his way; so, after all, he does not do so much harm in the world. .he stupid person with good intentions is really a far more serious danger, because he always wants to interfere with others. Missionaries, for example, are often a case in point. I do not doubt that the missionaries sent out from Europe and America have done much good among Central African savages and people of that type, but in India, where any common labourer in the street usually knows more than the missionary about the philosophy of religion, about all the greater and higher ideas, the missionary is ridiculously out of place. His intentions are good enough, but he does a great deal of harm. Many wars have been caused by the irrational methods of missionaries; their State has to step in and save them when they are in danger of what they call martyrdom. It has come to be a regular thing: first the missionaries, then those selling brandy and gin, and after them a conquering army. Poor old ladies in England and America even go without the necessities of life in order to help these missions, and think they are doing it for Christ's sake! They have absolutely no conception that thousands of years before Christ India had a profound [Page 452] religion and philosophy, and that their money could be better employed in converting the heathen in England itself.

Be very careful, therefore, that no slightest trace of it remains in you.

C.W.L.The emphasis which is laid upon it clearly shows that there is a danger that we may be superstitious without knowing it, so it is well that we should carefully watch. There are always at .least two sides to any question. No one sees the whole thing – not even the Theosophist. When we become consciously one with the Logos on His own high plane, then we shall see all round everything, and be able to say: “My view is right”, but when that occurs our view will probably include all the others, because there is generally some germ of truth in all.

These three great crimes you must avoid, for they are fatal to all progress, because they sin against love.

C. W .L. That love should govern our lives and vivify all our other powers is the special teaching of the line to which the Master Kuthumi belongs. It is difficult for many to understand exactly how the Masters, who contain within Themselves all the highest and the noblest qualities which we can imagine, can yet somehow have one quality more than another. The Master Morya, who represents to us the First Ray, has for His greatest characteristic will and power, yet it would be a [Page 453] mistake to suppose that He has any less of love or wisdom than any of the other Masters. So also should we be quite wrong in supposing the Master Kuthumi to have any less power than Masters of the First Ray. These are differences beyond mere human knowledge.

In the same way there are distinctions of level among the Great Ones; the Bodhisattva stands far higher than our Masters. To us they all appear so great that we cannot venture to make any distinction between them. They are all suns of blinding light, and to us there seems no difference between a great Angel and a Devarāja; yet one is a whole kingdom, a whole evolution above the other. It must be that the Solar Logos has greater power than all these that are parts of Him; although it seems as though no being could have more than They. The knowledge and the power of the Master are so much greater than ours that for us the whole thing is one blinding glory; but the distinction exists.[Page 454]



But not only must you thus refrain from evil ,you must be active in doing good. You must be so filled with the intense desire of service that you are ever on the watch to render it to all around you – not to man alone, but even to animals and plants. You must render it in small things every day, that the habit may be formed, so that you may not miss the rare opportunity when the great thing offers itself to be done.

C.W.L.We may very often miss a chance of helping some one if we have not formed the habit of watchfulness; but if we have that habit we are not likely to pass many opportunities, because it will assert itself, even in the most unusual surroundings or in the greatest emergencies. That is the whole reason of the long, rather painful drill through which soldiers are put; not only that they may know exactly what to do when certain orders are given, but that they may have certain habits instinctively part of them. In battle in the old days, if not today, the soldier found himself in absolutely novel surroundings, that might well try his courage, [Page 455] however brave he might be, conditions such that a man might well be excused if he lost his head. But even in such an emergency habit would assert itself, and the man would obey orders and do what was required.

This remark about being active in doing good is not directed in any way against those whose activity is on other planes. Such a remark as that might easily be wrongly used against the contemplative orders of monks and nuns, or the Brahmana caste in India. The theory in the old days was that the Brahmana was the spiritual leader of the nation, and he was supposed to devote all his time to the performance of ceremonies and rites, and to study and teaching and giving advice, which would benefit all the community. The other people, whose lives were taken up in ordinary work, and in making money, supported him because he was doing this spiritual work for them. A similar idea in Catholic countries is behind those orders of monks and nuns whose time is taken up in praying for the dead. In the days when those arrangements were made it was recognized that the dead and the living were one community, and that this was afar higher service to the community than the growing of corn; therefore those people received their living in charity and were in nowise ashamed of it, and those who gave to them felt themselves highly honoured. The whole conception was entirely different from the modern one; there was no shame whatever attached to begging for a living; in fact, those who did it were the most spiritual of the people, bound by the vows of poverty, chastity and [Page 456] obedience. To condemn the people who lived in that way is to make exactly the same mistake as was made in the French Revolution, when they said that a philosopher ,or a writer was a man living an idle and useless life, and that he ought to be breaking stones upon the road.

For if you yearn to be one with God, it is not for your own sake;  it is that you may be a channel through which His love may flow  to reach your fellow-men. He who is on the Path exists not for himself, but for others; he has forgotten himself, in order that he may serve them.

C.W.L.The whole idea of this book is to get people into a certain attitude. What is aimed at is not nearly so much to know as to be; that is, to live the Theosophical life, to be filled with love for all and with an intense desire to help forward evolution, so that we forget ourselves in the service of others. If you ever saw a surgeon perform a big operation, you know how a man in the most intense activity and with the keenest use of brain and hand, can yet be absolutely absorbed in the work he is doing, with his whole life, as it were, in the ends of his fingers. In war, too, a man sometimes forgets himself utterly in the effort to save a wounded comrade or to perform some necessary but dangerous deed.

The Logos is omnipotent in His system; He pours out force at all levels in that system. We cannot but suppose that He could flood the whole system with that [Page 457] force at any level and to any extent that He chose. As a matter of fact He does not do that; the force poured out at each level seems to be a definite amount, and of a definite kind only, and so it remains that we, who are sparks of His fire can do certain things which the Great Flame of which we are a part does not do, except through us, who are parts of Him. We cannot say that He could not do it, but that He does not, apparently.It is within our power, with our intense devotion, setting our wills to work along with His will, to draw down more force from higher planes, to transmute it and send it out. That is work which would not be done, as far as we can see, unless we did it. It would seem that He counts on our co-operation. Yet that is also His, because there is no force that is not His.

I have several times used the simile of a channel or pipe to help in describing the fact that the force of the Master is distributed on lower planes by a pupil. One may use also the simile of the transformer of electricity; you have great quantities of electricity sent at high pressure, perhaps hundreds of miles from the generating station, to the transforming station in a city; there are there transformers which receive it at that high pressure, and convert it into huge volumes of current at lower pressure, suitable for lighting and other purposes. So a pupil in Sydney, for example, may receive the Master's force coming on higher planes from the Himalayas, and transform it into force of the lower planes, so that it may be distributed around him or directed to those for whom it is intended. [Page 458]

Every Initiate is thus a transformer of spiritual force; through him it can flow at a certain level, according to his stage or degree. The divine force is all round us, just as the sun is shining all the time. When the sunshine does not reach the earth it is the earth's doing, except during a solar eclipse, because it raises clouds which come between it and the sun; so also do men raise clouds of selfishness and ignorance between themselves and the Logos, who is raying out a great variety of His forces on every plane. The Initiate takes a definite step which enables him to be a better channel for these forces. It is not that the forces are themselves in the least affected – they are there all the time, but they pass us by when we are not ready to receive them.

Let us take the analogy of prāna on the physical plane. Every body draws in prāna, but sometimes when a man falls ill he is unable to specialize it for himself, and soon begins to feel a great lack of vitality. Although he is then unable to specialize prāna for himself, he can still use that which has been prepared by another; another man, abounding in vitality, may pour it upon him and give him the strength that he requires to enable him to recover his normal condition. Similarly, the Initiate takes up many of the higher forces and transforms them into a condition in which they become readily assimilable by others. As more and more of our mankind reach the stage at which they can do this work the evolution of men in general will increase in rapidity. Though it is true that there is a [Page 459] limit to the amount of sunlight that plants can bear, it is also true that it is impossible to pour upon any man too much of the spiritual light.

Do not, however, think of these channels as merely passive. They are living channels. The pupil is not sitting still and simply acting as a pipe. There are forces that do come through like that, and the pupil of the Master is often conscious of the nature of the force pouring through him and knows to whom it is going. But there is also a great amount of it which he can at any time employ as he will, which he can turn this way or that, as he sees it to be needed. His own adaptability and tact are thus called into play, and his life is very full indeed of positive activity of this kind. His is not therefore, a life of blind obedience – on the contrary, he is busy when others are idly thinking about themselves.

Ordinary men cannot commonly be used in this way, because they are not sufficiently developed on the higher planes, and because even when the ego is somewhat advanced the thread of connection with the personality is very narrow. The Master can use the pupil because the channel is open; so also can the One Initiator use the Initiates for the force of the Hierarchy. In these cases the man is the higher self, and even when he is engaged in the duties of the physical plane there is the feeling always in the background of the mind: “I am I; a spark of the Divine; I can do nothing unworthy of That; noblesse oblige”.

Because of the importance of the work, the relation between Master and pupil is never based on sentiment, [Page 460] though it is full of the deepest affection that the world can know. The Master does not accept a man as a pupil because some other member of his family is a pupil or because He has known him in previous lives. Both Master and pupil think only of what was called in Egypt “the hidden work”, the building up again of the riven body of Osiris, the reuniting of the scattered fragments. They know of “the hidden light” in every man, “the jewel in the lotus”, through which he can always be helped when the appeal is rightly made. This was the work of the Initiates in ancient Egypt, as it is of those of today. They use the power that made the worlds, the love of God, which is not personal. No one is bound to come forward into occultism, but if he does so he must adopt the motto and attitude of the Brotherhood, which is to live not for himself, but for others, not for personal advancement or satisfaction, but for the work.

He is as a pen in the hand of God, through which His thought may flow, and find for itself an expression down here, which without a pen it could not have.

C.W.L. It would seem that He must have calculated that at a certain stage of evolution He would have many such pens through which He could write, that God Himself, as a poet puts it, “needs you and me”. Our help is part of the plan. That is a grand idea and very logical; we see at once that if we have been able to reach a level of knowledge, of love, of power which is [Page 461] a little higher than the standard about us, we have done it in order that we may be of use in distributing it to others.

Yet at the same time he is also a living plume of fire, raying out upon the world the Divine Love which fills his heart.

C. W. L. — There is a story of, two Alexandrian monks who wanted to keep themselves perfectly pure; one did it by making round himself a shell of protective thought, but the other was so full of the love of God that it rayed out from him all the time and kept him pure. There are always the two ways of the occultist, who progresses by work in the world, and the mystic, who retires into himself. In many cases the aim of the mystic is simply to become utterly one with God; yet it is not right to call him selfish, because even in the act of so becoming he must and does shed a tremendous influence on all around him. Our aim, that of the occultist, should be to raise ourselves, step by step through all the different stages until at certain high levels of Initiation we can merge our consciousness in the Third Aspect of the Deity, then with the Second Aspect, and finally with the First. The mystic throws himself into the Divine Life here as he stands, but it is a lower manifestation of the Divine Life; then he has to work upwards in order to feel himself one at higher levels also. [Page 462]   

The wisdom which enables you to help. the will which directs the wisdom, the love which inspires the will — these are your qualifications. Will, Wisdom and Love are the Three Aspects of the Logos; and you, who wish to enrol yourselves to serve Him, must show forth these aspects in the  world.

 C. W .L. — That is beautiful ending, my brothers. As Alcyone achieved, may you attain.


This document is divided as follows:

Part 1- Page 1 to 162
Part 2- Page 163 to 310
Part 3- Page 320 to 488 + Index



INDEX (Page 465)


Abraham, sage answer of..192
— story of, in Talmud..316
Absolute, the..385
Account, opening a new..129
Action, be true in..147
— no spontaneous..272-5, 355
— self-control in..75, 272
Actor, God the one..270,390
— simile of an..6-7
Adept copies the Deity..374
Adeptship, attainment of, a great change..20
— results from qualifications, 5
— the end of the Path, 15, 48
— the goal of human life.. 20, 374
Advice, giving..171
Adyar, Alcyone's life at..287-8
— thoughts intensified at..253
Affection, "set your, on things above"..16
Age of body and of soul..13
— of disciples of World-teacher..14
Alcohol, avoid.. 86
Alcyone and tempered steel..360
— as young disciple..3,14
— astral memory of..398
— ceremonies of..304
— English of.. 25
— helped by Master.. 34, 50
— karma of..321
— life of, at Adyar..287-8
— took pledge to the Lord Buddha.. 48
Alcyone, The Lives of.. 3, 48, 343
Amritsar, Master's visit to..345
Anachronism, selfishness an..98
Ananda and Buddha.. 155
Ananias and Sapphira..328
Anger always foolish..132
— reactions of..110, 133
Anglo-Saxons boast of freedom..212
Anguttar Nikâya on belief..127
Animal, Body is your..83
Animals benefit by contact with man..414
— cruelty to..409-14, 425
— do not exist for man..414
— identification with..398-9
— obey the Plan unconsciously..280
— reason of.. 399
— sacrifice of..435-6
— slaughter of..74
— suffering of..250-1
Apostles on serving tables..118
Argument not occult..139, 230
Arhat and nirvânic plane..365
Articles of religion..440
Artists, prejudice of some..231
Aryan invaders, cruelty of.. 408
Asceticism, delusion of..59
Astral body of savage and advanced man.. 18
— senses not unreliable..188
— visions..187
— voices..190
At the Feet of the Master
— and the First Initiation..3,4
— and the World-Teacher 26 [Page 466]
— begins..3
— contains the Maser's own words..25, 34, 398
— contents of..3
— given on the astral plane, 57
— good done by..26
— origin of..25, 398
— simplicity of..3, 58
Atmâ, buddhi, manas..273
— the triple 369
Atom, permanent..274
Atomic, sub-planes, way through..79
Attitude of the Master, understand the..36
Augustine, S., quoted..11-2
Aura of Master affects pupil.. 10, 42-3, 269
Awake, at night, lying..247


Baby, and candle, simile of..187
— mother proud of..231
Background of the mind..262
Balance of enthusiasm and forethought..284, 287
Bank, experiences in a London..234
Batsman, simile of..170
Beacon, simile of..203
Beauty is all God's.. 70
— of self and surroundings..405
— on other planes..406
Bee and flower, simile of..7
Begging, old idea of..455
Behaviours of occultist in public..148
Belief, Buddha on..127, 297-8, 301-2
— must be intelligent..126-8
— what is rational?..300
Besant, Annie
— adaptability of..313, 317
— and Knowlton pamphlet..394-5
— calm amid troubles..262
— children of..285-6
— criticism of..394
— dramatization of mind of..246
— has no small talk..205
— makes use of everything..236
— on board ship.. 147-8
— on helping exceptional children..197-8
— policy of, towards prophecies..216
— sees alternatives when lecturing..144
— send thought to..265-6
— taught in childhood by Miss Marryat..235
— thinks always of the Master..262
— thousands helped by..393
— wrote Preface to At the Feet of the Master..13
Best, do you..238
Bhagavad-Gitâ, The
age of..441
on activity..278,306, 390
on ceremonies..306
on contentment..169
on courage..241
on fighting..58
on gambling of cheat..157
on objects of sense..58, 167
on offerings..310
on qualities of God..441
on skill in action..58, 284
on the one actor..270
on working for fruit..178
Bigotry, along with goodness..65
Blavatsky, Mme,
and C.W. Leadbeater..349
confidence in..249
effect of death of..327
gossip against..395
method of..366 [Page 467]
on behaviour..148
on “by-products”..447
on Coulomb trouble..325-6
on going into crowds..308
on karmic ties..286
on privation of matter..274
on sins of omission..390
on the saturation point..326
overstrained nerves of..237, 240
Sanskrit terms of..366
trained people rigorously..349
used “initiation” loosely..15
while writing The Secret Doctrine..240
Bodies as entities..76,81
be kind to..83,4
express last incarnation..172
forces sent through clean..87
identification with..89, 94
of average man..229
of savage and advanced man..18
scars on the.. 245
the three, must be controlled..19, 83-4
wishes of the..75, 89, 90
age of , and soul..13
control of, difficult..239
first leaving of, alarming..243
is your animal..83-4
service of..252
soul and spirit..369
Bonds, break all..175
of the heart..174
of Buddha..302
of Isaih..302
Books, disadvantage of too many..129
Bottle-glass, simile of..233
Brahman, “the fearless”..241
caste, object of the..455
type, pupils of the..41
Brotherhood, in sixth race..221
of the Theosophist ..315, 318
S.John on..379
the Great White, and love..332
Initiation admits to..17
Initiation given by..17
insists on tolerance..291
the elect..33
Brown, Mr., of London..345
Buddha, the
and Ananda..155
as a youth..286-7
book of..302
devas felt influence of..195
father of.. 333
how Masters think of.. 343
Noble Eightfold Path of..154
on belief..127, 297-8, 301-2
on carelessness..207
on ignorance..69
on personality of God..385
on prayer..244
on right thought..124
on sorrow..403
on superstition..297-8
spoke of heaven and hell..174
Buddhi in sixth race..221
Buddhic consciousness and
and unity in God..80
startling of first..80
includes other religions..316
Nirvâna in..364-5
peacefulness of, and Hinduism..433
precepts of..389-390
shrines and Hindus..433
Bull and gate, simile of..110
Burrs, simile of..403
Bushel, don't hide light under a ..203
Business, friendship in..421, 424 [Page 468]
Business, mind your own 212, 220, 277


Calf, simile of pulling 112
Cancer, simile of 276
Carelessness, not occult 257
Carpenter, simile of 103
Caste and opportunity 448-50
— origin of, system 448
Cat and bedpost story 298-9
Caterpillars, children study food of 86
Catholic and Protestant views 293-4
Cats and dogs, sensitiveness of 195
Causal body, only good in 274
— vanishing of 81
Ceremonies, a form of science 305
— and the third fetter 130
— as crutches 127
— Christian, collective 305
— dangerous and helpful 307
— Eucharistic, benefit millions 305
— for the dead 126
— giving up 307
— Indian villagers' 309-10
— necessary for some 293
— not necessary 304-7
— of different kinds 305
— of pupil Alcyone 287, 304
— the wise do not condemn 306
Cessation and tolerance 50, 228
Change, important points of 20-1
Channels for God's love 456
— for Master's force 87, 383, 457
— living not passive 459
Character tested in small things 260
— to be changed 165
— why change 165
Charing Cross 37
Cheerfulness and endurance 50, 249
— and the Master's force 335
— begins 319
Chemistry, simile of teaching 5
Chess, simile of 366
Child and rag doll 309
— “I spake as a” 311
— learning to walk 307
— marriage 108
Childhood easily forgotten 82
— occultist remembers 311
Children, always be kind to 310
— control of 169
— cruelty to 415-6
— Dr. Besant on helping exceptional 197-8
— desires of, urgent 82
— exceptional, being born 14, 197
— frightened by ideas of God 338
— helping, to eliminate faults 275
— in Pariah schools 430
— many, near the Path 119
— of Dr. Besant 285-6
— selfish possession of 414
— still taught hell doctrine 301
— to be told about the Coming 14
Chohans at head of Rays 41
Christ and S. John 155
— and the rich young man 331, 334
— bringing souls to 65
— established Eucharist 305
— hid with, in God 9
— “I can do all things through” 269
— in the heart 32
— life of 432
— living and dying for 11-2
— on agreeing with adversary 328 [Page 469]
Christ on gifts 311
— on hell 301
— on idle words 146
— on losing life 80
— on loving enemies 99
— on peace on earth 333
— on resisting evil 131
— on selling in temple 178
— on service 389
— on the one Good 71
— on whitened sepulchres 299
— reviled not again 100
— said “I am the Way” 340
— said “Ye are Gods” 170
— what is, in man 441
— would we have followed? 334
Christian scientists 239, 251
— superstition 299
Christianity and service 389
— better than its creeds 441
— obsessions of modern 32
— the great tragedy of 438
Christians, early, and Romans 291
— rival, in Palestine 432
Christs, false 193-4
Churches and mosques, entering 292
Circle, centre of your 132
Citizens of the world 68
Clairvoyance, wishing for 73
Cleanliness, necessity for 83, 87
Clerk and partner, simile of 382-3
Clouds, earth-made 458
Coachman, lesson of old 397
Common sense, use 107-10, 192
Companionship, value of good 42
Compass needle, simile of 341
Compromises, no 107, 108
Concentration, double 233
— in Indian schools and homes 236
— in work 257, 260, 342
Concentration of Dr. Besant in childhood 235
Confidence begins 343
— cannot be forced 345
— from sense of unity 80
— in Master complete 350-1
Conscience, errors of 348
— follow your 108-9
— of a fool 348
— troublesome 238
— the fruit of experience 213
Consciousness, all one 70
— buddhic 22, 30
— expansions of 30
— effect of planes on 30
— identification of, with animals, etc. 398-9
— merges in God's 71, 381
— no loss of 22
— of bodies 76
— widening of 382
Constantine, motives of 432
Conversion, meaning of 16
— of Panchamas 448
— the same as discrimination 16, 47
Cosmic planes, reaching up to79
Coulomb trouble 325-6
Courage and Hinduism 241
— due to calm mind 241
— from realization of self 241-2
— physical, necessary 243
Courtesy, importance of 134
Credulity and scepticism 346
Creed, the Athanasian 378
Crime and punishment 417
— caused by depression 91
Criminals in ancient Peru 417
— must be loved 418-9
Criticism of other races 67-8
— true and false 396-7
— unoccult 141, 220-1
Critics generally idle 142
Crowds 308
Crown of the helper 57 [Page 470]
Crucible of discipleship 253
Cruelty, chapter on 408-30
— interfere with 216-7
— karma of 422
— speaking against 426
Crusades 432
Crutches, simile of 127
Cup, simile of covered 354
Customs, foolish 417
— ignored by karma 422
— important and unimportant 128


Dâmo 49
Darkness, from, to light 27, 29-30
Defeat, never accept 114
Dead, ceremonies for the 126
Death and birth, cycle of 32, 172-3
— and birth inseparable 31
— from, to immortality 27, 31
— life after 172-3
—Theosophical attitude towards 31
Delusions, religious and social 8
Demon, elemental not a tempting 77
Depression affects others 90
— how to remove 92, 256
— is wrong 256
— obstructs force 335
Desire is a root 167
— kill out 174
— shutting off 373
— to see results 177-8
Desire-elemental, continuity of the 95
— cunning of the 77
— do not be kind to 77
— effect of yielding to 357
— evolution of the 77
— identification with the 166
Desirelessness and Vairagya 48, 163
— begins 163
Desires and Initiation 167
Desire and unhappiness 163
— “I am not my” 164-5
— obstruct service 174
— of astral body 89, 92
— of the mind 101
— refining of the 176
— selfish, bind 173
— small 203
— superficial and deep 168
Devachan, not kingdom of heaven 33
Devas, sensitive 195
Devil-dancing 303
Devotion and knowledge 387
— gushing type of 295
— similar in all religions 296
— types of 386-7
— value of 151-2
Difficulties, each has his own 95
— use of 93, 235-6, 442
Dinner, dressing for 128
— people prefer a good 74
Disciple, first test of 284
— must not worry 247
— C. W. Leadbeater as 200
— the one thought of the 102, 159
Discrimination and conversion 16, 47
— begins 55
— of desires 89
— of the occultist 112
— varieties of 72
— why, first 16
Diseases, mental 230-1
Distortion, occult effects of 88
Disturbance, concentration during 235-6
Dives 191
“Do it heartily” 337
Doll, simile of rag 309
Doubt 350
Dress, freedom in 212-3
Dressing, learn sentence while 262 [Page 471]
Drill and habit 454
Drink and drugs 355
— sale of 63
Drugs, effect of 355
Duty, do your own 277, 283, 286
occultist does ordinary 283
of others full of danger 278


Earnestness, Master wants 175
Eating, simile of 35
Education, value of 121-2, 419
Effort, constant, necessary 39
Eggs, on small and large ends 230
Ego, adopt viewpoint of 357
— and Monad, union of 21, 47, 340-1, 368-9
— and personality explained 367-73
— and personality one entity 19
— and personality, union of 17, 19, 47, 137, 340, 367-73
— desires progress 166
— is ignorant 348
— must train his vehicles 356
— nationality of the 378
— never wrong 341
— not proud of our progress 268
— on his own plane 369
— puts down fragment of himself 19
Egypt, Initiation in 460
— occult teaching in 460
Elemental activity builds new cells 78
— essence 2, 401
— kinds of 189
— of blood sacrifices 437
— physical and mental 78
— the desire 77-8, 166, 357
Emotions, advanced man selects his 18, 82
— are desire plus thought 234
— colours of 156
Emotions, identification with 90
— must be strong 177
— return good for evil 93
— rush of the 110, 177
— weakened by worry 245
Employee, simile of trusted 331
Employers and workmen 424
End of life cannot be understood 24
Endurance and cheerfulness 50, 319
Energy, do not waste 189
Enemies, love your 99
Engine, simile of racing 247
English man and Indian compared 67
Enthusiasm aroused by sight of Plan 63
— carried to a fault 213
Esoteric work 284
Eucharist established by Christ 305
Evidence of the senses 188
Evil, all, is transitory 252-3
— and good in all 401
— directed against aspirant 281
— effect of thinking 401-3
— “I, the Lord, create” 158
— matter is not 29
— thought can produce 403
Evolution, God's plan is 62, 157
— how will it end? 21-2
— of the desire-elemental 77
Exaggeration in words 146
Experience a great teacher 216
— value of direct 38
Eye, “hath not seen ...” 24


Factory, a beautiful 405
Failure, do not fuss over 238
— leads to success 142
— one's own fault 6
Falsehoods, unintentional 207
Family affection 68
— divisions 332 [Page 472]
Fanatic and occultist 112
Fashions involving cruelty 74, 426
Father, all from one 70
Fatigue, no, on other planes 172
Faults, correcting of others' 219
— thinking about your own 98, 152-3, 238, 248
Fear, control by 416-9
Feeding bodies and souls 115
Feelings, hurting people's 109
— must not be hurt 96
— put good, in letters 258
Feet, care of the 88
Fetter, the third 130
Finger, simile of, striking note 270
— simile of washing little 189
Fire, simile of extinguishing 231
Flower, grow as the 152
Food, consider your 85-6
— purity of 86
Force, and cheerfulness 334-5
— channels of 87, 384, 456-7
— emerges through extremities 88
— in the Mass 305
— of the Hierarchy, floods of 195
— sent through clean bodies 87
— varieties of 87
Ford, Henry 430
Forefathers, painted blue 439
Forgiveness of sins 358-9
Forms, clinging to 126
Foundations, simile of 180
Frankness, value of 148
Frauds, duty of exposing 146
Freedom, claim and give 212-5
— in dress 212-3
— in England 420
— of man growing 280, 439
Freethinkers and persecution 290
Friction, how to deal with 113
— inevitable 133
Friends, value of 356
Fruit, simile of ripe 277
Future full of glorious service 24
— you can make your 255


Gamaliel 194
Gambling of the cheat 157-8
Garden, weed the 248
Gate, “strait is the” 32
Gayâ, Dr. Besant at 308
Gentlemen “will not, others must not” 420
Give as God gives 179
Giving and selling 178
God, act with 381
— all powers are of 80
— and the Absolute 385
— Buddhic consciousness shows we are 80
— channels for Love of 456
— crimes in the name of 450
— everything is 70, 158
— evil an expression of 158
— in everything 71, 156-7, 270
— “in Him we live, etc.” 338
— is Love 377, 381, 388
— knows entire system 231
— manifested in Wisdom 120
— merging in 381-2, 388, 461
— men approach variously 378
— Monad, the, in man 340
— needs us 457, 460
— omniscience, etc. of 338
— only, is great 269
— pen in hand of 460
— personality in 385-6
— Plan of, for man 62, 166, 439, 442
— repeating names of 264
— says “It is good” 31
— the one Actor 270, 390
— the real doer 58, 270
— three ideas of 436-7
— “to, be the glory'' 270 [Page 473]
God, “to glorify” 441
— we are 78, 353, 356, 382
— we may trust, utterly 442
— who knows, is on His side 64
Gods, ye are 23
Good-bye 260
Good and evil in all 401
— and evil standing for 64
— arid without love 380
— conduct, six rules of 49, 227
— Hierarchy extracts 65
— in all 158,223,401
— of greatest number 70
— only, in causal body 274
— take, from all sources 194, 221-2
— “why callest thou Me?” 71
Goodness is all God's 269
— must be positive 265
Gossip about C. W. Leadbeater 396
— about Dr. Besant 394
— about Mme. Blavatsky 395
— chapter on 401-7
— forbidden 145, 209-10
— ignore 97, 145
— immeasurable harm done by 396
— is wicked 209, 393
Grace or spiritual force 305, 365
Gravitation, simile of 322
Greetings should be real 259-60
Grief is selfish 152
Gun, simile of loaded 208
Gurus, Indian 42


Habit, drill and 454
— helpfulness of 38, 73,106, 264
— of watchfulness 35, 207, 454
Habits, overcoming bad 358
Hammer, simile of 342
Hand, “the touch of the vanished” 31
Hands, shaking 259
Happiness, riches and 169
— the secret of 152-3
Hatha-yoga methods, avoid 84
Hatred, how to treat 281
Health and talk 206
— and vegetarianism 444
— necessity for 88
Heart, bonds of the 174
Heaven is personal 176
— kingdom of, not heaven-world 32
— many prefer to avoid 171
— the Christian liberation 171
— the conventional, a bore 165
— the desire for 174
— “Thou art there” 157
—use of thought about 173
Hell, road to, how paved 276
— still taught to children 301
— superstition of 300-1
— taught to make people good 419
— the eternal 32
— “Thou art there” 157
Help from within 158,214
— must be appropriate 214
— watch for opportunities to 389
Helpers, visible and invisible 202
Hermit life, the 9, 229
Hierarchy, The, avoids miracles 383-4
— extracts good 65
Hill-Gods 437
Him, “In, we live and move ...” 30
— “of, are all things” 30
Hindu, subtlety of the mind 144-5
Hint, take every 34-5, 38
Holiness, the Path of 15
Honesty necessary 145-6
Horse, sensitiveness of 250
— simile of 83-4 [Page 474]
Hurry, do not, others 213-4
— never 134, 216
Hurting others 256
Hydra, simile of 151
Hysteria, one cause of 423


“I cannot”, do not say 141
Ideals must be constantly applied 11
— never lower your 108
Ideas, association of 101
Identification with others 398-9
Idle, do not be 118, 209
Idols, destruction of 393
Ignorant, do not disturb the 306
Illusions of the senses 186
Image, the living 138
Imagination behind much suffering 253-4
Imitation of Christ, Of the, on serving for naught 179
Immortality, from death to 27, 31
Important and unimportant 112, 115
Impulse, acting on 111
Impurity, little, in Greece and Rome 8
Inaccuracy, danger of 146, 207
Indian and Englishman, compared 67
Indifference inadequate 48
Indigestion, causes of 86
Indispensable, no one is 327
Individualization 20
Ingersoll, Col., on God 439
Initiation and desires 168
— and spiritual force 458-9
— divulging secrets of 209
— implies union of ego and personality 17, 47, 341
— in Egypt 460
— karma and 323
— probation for 15, 17
— reached by few 32
— the Fifth 21, 48
Initiation, the First and At the Feet of the Master.. 3
— the First, and the lunar form 19
— the First, entry to the Brotherhood 17, 21
— the word, loosely used 15
Initiations given by the Great White Brotherhood 17
— Monad flashes down at all 48
— not taken for self-satisfaction 20
— the great 15, 16-7
Initiator, the One 17, 459
Inner Life, The 365
Inner world, the, is real 6
Inquisition, scientific 413
— the 282, 409, 413
Insults to be ignored 97, 132
Intellect, human, narrow 23
Intentness and one-pointedness 50
Interference, mental 280
— sometimes necessary 216-7
— with others 169-70, 210,212, 277-83
Introspection, morbid 154
Intuition and reason. 298
— and superstition 303
Irritability, removal of 93, 95
Italy, school life in 415


Jains 207
Jealousy and love 90, 156
— impossible on Path 117
Jehovah 436
Jesuit on child training 423
Jesus, life of 432
Jewel in the Lotus 460
Jewels, the six, of Buddha 49
Jews, ideas of God of the 436
John, S., and Christ 155
Jostling 133-4
Judgment, learning to suspend 347 [Page 475]
Judgment, the day of 21
— use your own 35
Justice always done 100


Kâli cult, the 303
Karma, a law of nature 320-1
— all outside happenings are 7
— and beauty 405
— and social conditions 450
— apparatus of 320
— balancing 373
— bear, cheerfully 249
— functions of Lords of 324
— how to receive 7, 254-5, 328
— intensified on Path 255, 219-20, 328
— instruments of bad 256
— is action 272
— ignores customs 422
— Lords of, and killing 445
— Lords of, know best 442
— may remove people you love 330
— modifying the effects of 249-50, 254
— no interference with 253
— of Alcyone 321
— of Adept 375
— of controlling others 169
— of cruel sport 426
— of cruelty 422
— of inaccuracy 207-8
— of pupil hampers Master 324-5
— of obedience 40
— of thoughtlessness 429
— puts all things right 100
— ready-money 254
— sheltering from 320
— trouble the best 321
— views of the Lords of 422, 424
— why Master makes no 331-2, 375
— will see to results 181
— with criminals 418
Killing, ethics of 444-8
Knife, simile of a 29
Knock, to those who 13
Know, dare, will, be silent 211
— those who 61, 116, 129, 253
Knowledge, all, useful 119, 189
— and devotion 387
— testing your 128
Koran or sword 409
Krishnamurti, J., as young disciple 3
Kshatriya type, pupils of the 41
Kûthûmi, the Master, and will 380
— is sunny 228
— shows love 40
— taught Alcyone 3


Lake, simile of calm 232, 235
Language, each has his own 294
Latin, simile of learning 337
Law, results follow by 179, 358
Laws of the country 217-8
— of nature give no exemption 358, 384, 426
— like rocks 157
— some kick against 384
— study the 107, 109
— use of the 182
Laziness not permitted 275-6, 277
Leadbeater, C. W., and Madame Blavatsky 349
— and the Mahâchohan 327
— and The Occult World 43
— as Christian and Buddhist 316
— as disciple 200
— as priest 133, 159, 430
— gossip against 396
— lecturing 233
— trusted his Master 344
Leadership, qualities of 113. 279
Leaders may fail us 249
Learning by precept and experience 157 [Page 476]
Lecturing, astral conversations during 233
— importance of 117
— pain disappears during 251
Leg, simile of lame 165
— simile of tied 354
Letter, every, a blessing 258
— of occultist 257
Liberation from rebirth 171, 174, 363, 374-5
Liberty, give others 111
— of man growing 280, 439
Life, losing your 80
— the wheel of 31
Light, from darkness to 27, 29-30
— “sinning against” 403
— “the hidden” 460
Light of Asia, The, on devas 195
Light on the Path, date of 3
— scope of 4
Lillyvick, Mr. 294
Lines, simile of double 309
Livelihood, objectionable forms of 74
Liveth, “no man, to himself” 255
Logos, aspects of the 462
— example of love 100
— joy of the 201
— pours out forces 458
— projects Monads 368
Lord Chancellor quoted 347
Lord of the World 338
Lot's wife 99
Love all 153
— all, is God's 70
— and Great White Brotherhood 332
— and liberty 419
— and selfishness, confusion of 90, 175-7
— coated with selfishness 153
— creates other virtues 378
— do dot kill out 330
— fulfils the Law 388
Love, God is 377, 381
— in order to teach 421-3
— of savage mother 378
— of Self for Self 175
— of the Logos 100
— S. John on 379
— the greatest motive 183
— the most important qualification 363, 379-80
— the reason for 377
— without wanting return 153
— your enemies 99
Lower, how to give up the 58-9
Loyalty, importance of 64
Lunar form, the astral body 19


Machinery, living 85
Magicians, black 158
Mahachohan 4
— and C. W. Leadbeater 327
Man, bodies of advanced 18
— emotions of 18
— “has” a soul 81
Man, Visible and Invisible 17
Man: Whence, How and Whither 377
Manodvaravajjana 16
Manu, work of the 180
Marriage, child 108
Martyrdom not the best service 12
Martyrs, some, felt no pain 251
Mary, the Virgin, sword pierced 332
Massacres 432
Master, adding to force 266
— and Mr. Brown 345
— attitude of, to criminals 419
— avoids sensual person 351
— C.W. Leadbeater's first touch with 199
— can interpose veil 138
— constant thought of 262, 266
— degrees of relation to 17
— difficult to realize 343
— Djwâl Kûl, pupils of 41 [Page 477]
— do not trouble the 245, 354
— does not speak twice 38-9
— does not waste time 39
— effects of aura of 10, 42-3, 269
— effect of seeing the 166-7, 203, 268
— everything of service to the 106
— gift to, complete 325, 328-9, 360
— gives powers to workers 198
— hampered by pupil's karma 325
— helped Alcyone 34
— helps to unfold psychic powers 198
— if, were looking 337-9
— Kûthûmi and will 380
— Kûthûmi, gentleness of 40, 452-3
— Kûthûmi is sunny 228
— leaving all to follow the 331
— letters and the 258
— listen only to voice of 9
— looks out for earnestness 175
— method of training of the 40
— Morya, kingliness of 40, 452
— Morya on thought and action 276
— never sets too hard task 168
— obeys plan perfectly 280
— on ceremonies of Alcyone 287
— on repentance 99
— on vivisection 409
— only, knows people's thoughts 144
— pledge to the 286
— presence of, annihilates wrong thought 11
— presence of encourages 268
— pupil one with the 136-7, 255
— pupil's relation to 17,136-7, 255, 460
— realizing the 232
— says cheerfulness is a duty 249, 256
— should be definitely served 102
— saved authors from wave 376-7
— sends force through pupils 87, 383, 457
— senses trained by the 186
— serve, without reservation 183-4
— son of the 138
— testing thought beside that of 136, 138, 143
— thinks only of service 101, 102, 160, 183, 198, 200
— thought of, removes worry 248
— trust your 343, 350
— understand the attitude of the 36
— useless thought separates from 205
— vague thought about the 102
— “waiting the word of the” 35
— what would the, think? 142
— why, makes no karma 331
— work of the 114
Masters always ready for pupils 6
— adopt attitude of 9
— and karma 331, 375
— and the teeming millions 380
— are on our side 56
— becoming accepted pupils of 9
— cannot do everything 335
— different types of 452-3
— grades of 453
— influence many people 194 [Page 478]
— many would die for the 11
— never approve revolution 114
— not always as expected 148
— numbers in touch with 6, 200
— proof of existence of 344
— rarely command 40
— test knowledge of pupils 128
— thought sent to 266
— train pupils differently 41
— union in thought with 9
— virtues of the 268-9
— want mighty spiritual powers 223
Masters and the Path 25, 31, 365, 367
Materialization, mental, easy to control 239
Matter not evil 29
— privations of 274
— the Monad's descent into 368-9
Meat-eating a superstition 443
— is bad 86, 223, 425
Meditation and power of thought 402-3
— causes sensitiveness 240
— develops virtues 95-6
— mind distorts 105
— must be regular 94, 164
— on virtues, why 104
— prepares one for emergencies 245
— realizing Self in 242
— use of morning 93
— worry spoils 247
Memory, right 154-5
Metaphysics, speculative 24
Millionaires, American 69
Mind, a mighty power 101
— background of the 102
— calm, gives courage 241
— control of 222, 234
— desire of the 100
— development of 103
— disease of 231
— difficult to control 106
— dramatizes 246
— examine contents of the 128
— fickleness of the 101
— fix, on work 260
— increases suffering 251
— is proud and separate 104-5
— must not be idle 261
— opening the doors of the 16
— unaffected by troubles 251
— weakened by worry 246-7
Minds are separate 399
— differ greatly 145
Minorities cannot be ignored 68, 70
Miracles and the Hierarchy 383-4
Missionary ridiculously out of place 451
— spirit of the 296,310
Mistakes, how to deal with 99
Misunderstanding 100, 145
Mohini Chatterji 379
Moksha 174, 363, 374-5
Monad and Ego, union of 21, 47, 341, 368-9
— comes down like a God 48
— decision of 341
— flashes down at all Initiations 48
— is the Self 341
— three aspects of the 274
Monk, life of the 392
Monks, “rice” 392
— two Alexandrian 461
Monomania, dangers of national 435
Montessori method 421
Moods, description of 91-2, 164
— how to remove 92-3
— not due to the Self 164
Morya, a king 40, 452
— the Master, on thought and action 276
— shows will 452
Mosquitos, right to kill 446 [Page 479]
Mosquitos, simile of 403
Most High, children of the 23
Mother, love of savage 378
Motives, ascribe good 401
— never attribute bad 131, 144, 223, 397
Motor-car, simile of repairs to 172
Mountain, simile of 108
Muhammed wrote 302
Muhammadan greetings 260
Multitude, “And lo, a great ...” 33
Mumukshatva 50, 363
Munis 206
Mysteries, Egyptian 460
Mystic, way of the 461


Nâgârjuna 385
Name, in His 387
Nationality of the Ego 378
Natural, what is being? 149, 353
Nature, “It is my” 353
Nature-spirits, deceitful 190
Nepotism 352
Nerves, become sensitive 236-7
— controlled by pupil 237
— of Madame Blavatsky 237-8
— overstrained 134-5
Nicholas Nickleby 294
Nirvâna, derivation of 364
— meaning of 364
Nirvânic plane and Arhat 365
Noble Eightfold Path, the 154, 390
Noblesse oblige 459
Note, simile of false 136
Now, do it 277


Obedience, necessity of 34
— not blind 459
Occult science in experimental stage 143
Occult World, The, and Mr. Leadbeater 43
on calmness of mind 235
Occult World, The, quotes Master Kûthûmi 345
Occultism, Some Glimpses of  444
Occultism, a science 5
— gives no unnecessary precept 5, 35, 460
— insists on right 107
— must have first place 350
— no criticism in 141
— pride among students of 267
— thought and action in 355
Occultist avoids trance 375
— belongs to all religions 314
— discrimination of 111
— does not pose 148-9
— impartial and sympathetic 313
— is charitable 134
— is misunderstood 329
— letter of 257
— never argues 139
— never gives up 113
— never hurts others 109
— no one busier than 178
— not necessarily superior to others 267
— not wasteful 189
— recognizes self 290
— tact of the 112
— tolerance of the 314
— uses difficulties 93
— way of the 461
— works better than others 58, 283-7
— works on two planes 233
Offence, does not take 96-8, 133
— visited by Master 345
Omission, sins of 390
One, merging in the 281-2, 388, 461
One-pointedness applied to work 339
— begins 336
— defined 340
Opinions, difference of 428 [Page 480]
Opinions, how to express 429
Opportunities, difficulties are 93
— to help, watch for 389
Optimism, effects of 402
Order, a decided 75
— of Service 118
— of the Star 196
Orders, contemplative 391, 455
— Masters rarely give 40
Osiris 460
Outer Court, In the, on meditation on ideals 241
Outlooks, practising different 313
Overcoat, simile of 94
Overwork, avoid 84-5


Pain and love 175
— control of 239, 251
— disappears during lecture 251
— much, caused by mind 250-1
— of modern life 240
— of soldier and martyr 251
Panchamas 448
Parikamma 48
Past lives, influence of 44
Patanjali, on becoming the Self 340
Path and the world 6, 11
— becoming the 340, 383
— books for the 3-4
— each must himself tread 4
— five steps of the 15
— four approaches to the 42
— how reached 27, 42
— infinitely worth while 12
— jealousy impossible on the 117
— karma quickened on the 255, 319, 328
— of holiness 15
— open to all 34
— qualifications for, well known 4
— rapid progress on the 176
— requires courage 241
— some difficulties of the 12
— stages of the 15
— success on the 12
— the middle 285
— the Noble Eightfold 154, 390
— the probationary 15
Paths, there are many 295
Patience, how to develop 93, 95-6
Patriotism, good and bad 68
Paul, S., all things to all men 314
— on body, soul and spirit 367
— on his childhood 311
— on persuasion 428
— on wisdom 45
Peace comes from love 152
— Master aims at 136
Pearls, pounce upon the 65
Pen, simile of a 460
People, two kinds of 61
Period, the Official 15
Permanent and impermanence 28
Persecution, Buddhism has done no 434
— by Romans 291-2
— in English villages 409, 434
— of various kinds 289-90
— religious 408-9
Persian King, motto of 254
Personality and ego, union of 17, 19, 47, 137, 341,368-9
— and ego, not two entities 19
— cause of assertion of 19
— ego may neglect 371
Persons, attachment to 330, 332
Peru, criminals in 417
Pessimism, effects of 402
Peter, S., advice of 46
Physical culture, simile of 4
Pies, other people's 278
Plan, God's, and free will 439 [Page 481]
Plan, animals obey the 280
— knowledge of, leads to work 62
— obedience to the 279-80
— Theosophists know the 166
— will be fulfilled 62
Planes, reality of the 28-9
— rising through the 29, 79
Plants, pulling up 154
Please, the desire to 107
Pleasure 60
Positive, be 265
Possession, give up sense of 330
Poverty, cause of 117
Power, Adept a great 374-6
— and wealth 168
— calling up, from within 244
— of will is expression of Self 232
Powers, all, are God's 79
— Master trusts workers with 199-200
— Masters want great spiritual 223
— our, still small 268
Prâna 458
Prayer, ignorant 384
— thoughts during 263
— true and false 244
Precari 244
Precept and example 27
Precipice, simile of 404
Prejudices and recognition of Masters 150
— hurting people's 109
— in favour 231
— popular 110
— shown in bodies 230
Presentation, necessity for good 120-2
Pressure, contrary, removed in the seventh round 55-6
— from mental and astral planes 10
— of public opinion 6, 10
Pretend, do not 59-61, 147, 149
Pride comes from ignorance 267
— subtleties of 105
Priest, C. W. Leadbeater as 133, 159, 430
— character of the 305
Prison, simile of a 293
Probation, length of 284
— why necessary 136, 284
Probationary Path, the 15
— four roads to the 42
Progress, children ready for 119
— ego desires 167
— for the sake of service 20, 102
— health necessary for 88
— in seventh round 56
— many ready for 118
— of Theosophists 276
— strict rules necessary for 208
— through evil 158
Prohibition 63-4
Protestant and Catholic views 293-4
Psychic experiences increasing  193
Psychic powers and common sense 192
— dangers of forcing 190
— defined 185
— have no desire for 185, 198
Public opinion, pressure of 8, 10
— to be resisted 10
Punishment and crime 415-6
— capital 418
— folly of 416-8
Pupil can test thoughts 9,136, 138, 144
— eager for knowledge 189
— karma of, hampers Master 325
— must be sensitive 237
— must control nerves 237
— must think of others 49
— must trust Master 343,350-1 [Page 482]
— one with the Master 136-7, 255
— relation to Master 17, 136-7, 255, 459-60
— the one object of the 336, 339
— worldly duties of 285
Pupils always developing virtues 10
— are misrepresented, etc. 242
— do any work 104
— evil directed against 281
— force sent through 87, 383, 456-7
— how to become 9
— must avoid preconceptions 348
— must learn balance 287
— seven types of 41
Purification of astral body 78
— of vehicles 73
Puritanism and discomfort 59
Pythagoras imposed silence 206


Qualifications for the first Initiation 17
— for the Path, known precisely 5
— if perfect, make Adept 5
— love is chief of the 363
— Rosicrucian form of the 211
— the four, begin 47
— the four, not stages 15-6
— to be taken seriously 5
— translations of the 47-50, 227
Quiet, sit, before writing 235


Rabbits in Australia 447
Race and religion unimportant 61, 64-5
— fifth, aggressive 220-1
— hatred 434-5
— simile of a 4
— the sixth 113, 221
Races, criticism of other 66-8
— minds of different 144
— people pass through many 66
Races, training given in the 66
Radicalism 64
Raja of the senses 106
Râma, repetition of 261, 264
Râmakrishna Paramahamsa,
— training of 312
— a devotee 313
Râmanujâchârya, Shri 296
Razor-path, simile of 277, 285
Reading leads to Path 44
— vague 261
— without thinking 129
Real and unreal 9, 27-8, 58
Reality of the unseen 37
Reason 107-10, 186-7, 190,194, 428-30
Reasonableness, sweet 1,10
Recollectedness necessary 72, 207
Reflection, enlightened 45
Reforms, development of 181
Reincarnation, quick 173
Religion and race unimportant 61-5
— Articles of 440
— formalists on 264
— most, is superstition 299-300
Religions absorb while they spread 302
— all, are paths 289, 292
— but little lived 4-5
— devotion similar in all 296
— languages of the 312,317
— Oriental, not negative 389
— people go through many 68
— practise others' 312
— same virtues 'in all 296
— terms of 364-5
— Theosophy key to all 317
— traces of old, everywhere 303
— vagueness in 5, 37
Remorse, dangers of 99
Repentance, a Master on 99
Repetition of words or phrases 261, 264 [Page 483]
Resolutions, carry out 276-7
Resting properly 261
Results follow by law 179
— looking for 177-80, 182-3
Retirement, life of 10-11
Revelations, fancied 186, 190
Review of day's work 62
Revolution, Masters never approve of 113
— the French 113, 456
Right and wrong 72-3, 107 ss.
— for right's sake 182
— no choice between, and wrong 73
— ways of working 73-4
Ripon, Dean of, quoted 441
Road, “Broad is the . . .” 32
Romans, tolerance of the 291
Round, progress in seventh 56
Rounds, fourth and seventh 55-6
Rudeness, causes of 98
Rules necessary for progress 207-8
Ruskin 353
Ruysbroek 329


Sacrifice of animals 435-6
Sacrifices, blood, primitive 437
— the Buddha on 437
Saddhâ 49
Safe, the man who is 21
Salvation 32, 358
Salvator Mundi 301
Sâmadhâna 49, 228
Samadhi a relative term 376
— effect of 376
Samo 49
Sanctimoniousness 149
Sannyâsi, duties of the 390-1
Sansâra, the 31
Sanskrit, flexibility of 29
— terms of Mme. Blavatsky 366
— translations from 365
Saturation point, simile of 180, 326
Savage and electric phenomena 384
— bodies of 17-8
— education of 83
— impulses of the 83
Say, what will people? 107
Scars on the vehicles 245
Scepticism and credulity 346
Schiller and clairvoyance 404
School masters, cruelty of 414-6
Scribes and Pharisees 299
Scriptures, eclectic view of 438
Sea and the drop, simile of the 23
Secret Doctrine, The, on sparks burning low 265
Self and meditation 164
— bodies not the 81, 94
— beyond fear 243-4 , 269
— conquest of 12
— expressed in will-power 232
— forgetting 173-4
— give higher, a chance 141, 183
— Monad is the 341
— no changes in the 164
— realization of, and courage 241
— “that, am I” 382
— thinking about 132
— unity with the One 79
Self-control as to mind 227
Self-defence, duty of 445-6
Selfishness an anachronism 98
— and Great White Brotherhood 332
— and unselfishness 151
Self-sacrifice 374
Selling and giving 178
Senses, evidence of the 188
— illusions of the 187
— value of the 186
Sensitiveness, due to meditation 240
— of horse 250
— of pupil 237
Sensuality, a case of 351 [Page 484]
Separateness 105, 159, 259
Servants, control of 169
Servers, boatloads of 377
Service, above all 101-3
— and devotion 387
— as Master wills 174
— by thought 96, 102,152-3, 258, 266, 391
— chapter on 454-62
— obstructed by desires 174
— of God for naught 179
— of the body 252
— only thought of Master 183, 98-9
— Order of 118
— taught by Christ 389
— taught in Hinduism 390
— the one desire 381
— through letters 258
— without reservation 183
Sex, change of 315
— practise identity with opposite 312, 315
— prudery about 8, 394
Shatsampatti 49
Shell, protective 461
Shine, never wish to 203
Ship, simile of track of 285
Shraddhâ 228
Silabbataparâmâsâ 130
Silence, effect of vow of 206
— value of 211
Simile of actor 6-7
— baby and candle 187
— backward child 21
— batsman 170
— beacon 203
— bee and flower 7
— bottle-glass 233
— bull and gate 110
— burrs 403
— calm lake 232, 235
— cancer 276
— carpenter 103
— cat and bedpost 298-9
— chess 366
— child learning to walk 307
— clerk and partner 382-3
— compass needle 341
— covered cup 354
— crutches 127
— dirty pipe 87
— doll 309
— double lines 309
— dust on wheel 115
— eating 35
— electrical transformer 457
— extinguishing fire 231
— false note 136
— finger striking note 270
— flower 152
— foundations 180
— gravitation 322
— hammer 342
— horse 83-4
— hydra 151
— knife 29
— lame leg 165
— learning Latin 337
— loaded gun 208
— mosquitos 403
— motor-car repairs 172
— mountain 108
— nepotism 352
— overcoat 94
— pen 460
— physical culture 4
— precipice 404
— pressing down waves 248
— prison 293
— pulling calf 112
— pulling up plants 154
— pushing truck 356-7
— race 4
— racing engine 247
— razor-path 277, 285
— ripe fruit 277
— saturation 180, 326
— sea and the drop 23
— small wheel 381
— soldier in battle 332
— spark 265
— splints 10
— streamer screw 248 [Page 485]
— Simile of stream 15, 21
— sunlight 186
— sunlight through clear glass 147
—surgeon 456
— talents 117, 198 , 201
— teaching chemistry 5
— tempered steel 353, 360
— timepieces 43
— toys 60
— track of ship 285
— trusted employee 331
— tuning instrument 140
— tying legs 354
— warts 229
— washing little finger 189
— weeds 12
— well 80
Sinners, miserable 154
Sinnett, Mr., on allegiance to the higher Self 19
— on karma 254
Sins, forgiveness of 358-9
— three greatest 392, 399
Sleep, remembering experiences 232
Soldier feels no pain 251
— simile of 332
Solution, simile of saturated 180, 326
Son of the Master 138
Soul, age of the 13
— man is a 81
Souls, saving 282
South, Bishop, quoted 348
Space, traversing of 22
Spark, simile of the 265
Speculative thoughts 24
Speech, cruelty in 427
— thought before 146, 204, 209
— too much 143
— truth in 142
—watchfulness in 207
Spirillae in seventh round 56
''Spirit Messages'' how to treat 190-2
Spirit, the triple 369
Splints, simile of 10
Sport, karma of cruel 426
Starving out undesirable qualities 151
State, duty of, to all individuals 418
— persecution by the 289
Statesman, acts of a 115
Steadiness 245
Steamer screw, simile of 248
Steel, simile of tempered 353, 360
Stewardship 331
Stories, do not repeat 145
Strain of preparation 88
Stream, entering upon the 15, 21
Study and work 284
— necessity for 103, 119-20
— people's superstitions 297
Subba Rao,' Swami T., on Light on the Path 4
Success is certain 142
— of others, rejoice in 179 , 352
Suffering, ignore your own 152
— of saints 323
Suicide, folly of 356
Sumangala Thero 50
Sun always shining 458
Sunday, religion of 11
Superstition of 299
Sunlight, simile of 147, 186
Superstition against the French 435
— among Theosophists 124,130
— and birth 126
— and ceremonies 126
— and goodness 126
— and intuition 303
— and persecutions 432
— and reading 129
— chapter on 431-53
— contains truth 297
— definitions of 297
— lasts beyond Initiation 125
— most religion is 298
— of hell 300-1 [Page 486]
Superstition of Sunday 299
— one of the greatest evils 130
— use of 127
Supreme, the indefinable 24
Surgeon, simile of 456
Surroundings, make, beautiful 405
Suspicion 222, 280, 403-4
Sympathy and superstition 431
— develop, by practice 311


Tables, Apostles on serving 118
Tact, necessity of 113
— of occultist 111-2
Talents, parable of the 117, 198, 201
Talk and health 206
— much, untruthful 205, 207-9
—small, Dr. Besant has no 205
Talleyrand on mistakes 99
Talmud on tolerance 315
Teacher, function of occult 4, 214
— should recognize ego 422
Teaching by love 421-3
— fruitful only if lived 27
— profession, fruits of the 422
— work of 118
Temper, control of 229, 234, 435
— distorts vision 234
— of Mme. Blavatsky 237, 240
Temperance 63
Temporal and spiritual business 36
Tests on the Path 243
Theosophical Society has knowledge 117
— “initiation” into 15
— troubles in the 248-9, 326
— work for the 287
Theosophy alone encourages 166
— and brotherhood 315, 318
— does not rest on testimony 249
— key to all religions 317
— must be well presented 120
— taken casually by many 11
Think before speaking 146, 204
— stopping to 72, 75, 143, 146
— what would the Master? 142
Thinking leads to Path 45
Thought about others 130-1, 280
— accumulation about, force 272
— affects others 182, 222, 403-4
— control of 101,234
— force as real as money 265
— for others 151-2, 258, 265
— guard your 273
— helping others by 96,102, 151-2, 258, 265, 391
— intensifies itself 182
— must be independent 127, 129
— of Master and pupil one 9
— of work must dominate 104
— precedes action 272-3, 354
— pupil can test his 9, 136, 138, 142
— rapidity of 143
— send, to Dr. Besant 265-6
— sent to Masters 266
—use, for good daily 264-5
— without action 276
Thoughtlessness, bad effects of 429
Thoughts, clairvoyant can see 403
—Master knows people's 144
Timepieces, simile of 43
Tired, do not give up because 75
Titikkhâ 49
Tolerance and cessation 50
— and indifference 289
— and non-Theosophists 194
— and superstition 296-7
— and the Great White Lodge 291 [Page 487]
Tolerance begins 289
—from unworthy motives 290
— of Buddhism 433
— of the occultist 314
— of the Romans 291
— to replace interference 220
Tongue a little member 206
— holding the 145
— mastering the 205-6
Tortures of Inquisition 282
Toys, simile of 60
Trams, what to do on 259
Trance, occultist avoids 375
Transformer, simile of electrical 457
Trinity, Three yet one 378
Trishnâ, 371
Troubles are transitory 252-3
— do not matter 249
— in the Society 248-9, 326
— people make unnecessary 324
— the best karma 320-1
— we do not know others' 135
Truck, simile of pushing 356-7
Trust Master completely 350
— yourself 353
Truth and falsehood 124
— comes first 124
— in action 147
— in errors dangerous 283
— in speech 142
— much speaking and little 205
— must be above everything 73
— relative to persons 130
Tuning instrument, simile of 140


Understanding, necessity for 125
— of others, no 399
Unity, knowledge of 81
— with oneself 79
Unmanifested, the, alone permanent 28
Unreal, from the, to the real 27
— is the phenomenal 58
Unseen, reality of the 37
Unselfish, how to become 151
Untruthfulness and inaccuracy 205
Upachâro 49
Upanayana 304
Upanishads 108, 174, 297
Uparati 49,
Useful and less useful 228, 115
Usefulness the test of importance 9
Utilitarianism, the motto of 70


Vaccination 218, 413
Vagueness in religion 5, 36-7
Vairâgya 48, 163
Vegetarianism 86
Vehicles must be purified 73
— use of mental 372-3
Vengeance is the Lord's 100
Vibrations, desire-elemental wants strong 76
Virtue leads to Path 45
— pupil always developing a 10
Visions, astral 186-7
Vitality or prâna 458
Viveka 16
Vivisection 409-13
Voice of God is yours 79
Voice of the Silence, The, date of 4
— quoted 340
— reference to 19
— scope of 3
Vortices in astral body 22.9-30


War, sacrifice in 332
Warts on astral body 229
Wastefulness due to worry 246-7
— to be avoided 189
Watchfulness in service 454
—in speech 207-8
Waves, simile of pressing down 248
Way, having your own 111-2
— “l am the” 340
Wealth and power 168 [Page 488]
Weeds, simile of 12
Well, simile of 80
Wheel, simile of dust on 115
— simile of small 381
Wicked, the, to be pitied 69
Will, always underneath 356
— and love 381
— average man has little 232
— move with the divine 16, 358, 457
— of tempered steel 353, 360
— partial freedom of 439
— the Monad's 341
— unity with God's 385
— wisdom and activity 273
— wisdom and love 461
— you can if you 167
Wisdom “among them that are perfect'' 45
— manifests God 120
— the only authority 130
Wise shall shine as firmament 453
Wishes, insincere 167
— of the bodies 75
Work, all good, is Master's 336, 339
— appreciate others' 352
— astral 200
— careless and slipshod 67
— concentration in 257, 260
— do, well 257, 336-7
— do not gaze at results of 178
— esoteric and exoteric 284
— for God's plan 61
— in God's way 156
— Masters select best man for 352
— of lecturing 118
— philanthropic 116
— right and wrong ways to 72-3
— ''the hidden'' 460
— the lower, who will do? 104
— the one 102-3
— think only of the Master's 336
— useful and useless 115, 337
Work, useless 115
— who will do the? 82
Workmen, control of 169
World, the, a mimic world 7
— and the Path 6, 11
— follies of the 7
— “from your, into ours” 9
— variety and unity of 279
World-Teacher a mighty beacon 203
— and At the Feet of the Master 4
— and quick reincarnation 172
— and outpouring of force 255
— and superphysical experiences 193
— Devas and the 195
— disciples of, being incarnated 14
— experiments 447
— how Masters think of 343
— may be opposed 196
— prejudices about the 150
— preparing for the 113, 148, 196
— thought of usefulness to the 20
— will preach love 183
— will produce results 181-2, 196
Worry a bar to progress 247
— best cure for 248
— cannot improve matters 247
— definition of 245
— is useless 7
— over faults 248
— wears people out 245-6
Worship, collective 305
Writing, work of 118


Yama 73
Yield in immaterial things 112
Yoga “is skill in action” 58, 284, 287
Yoga Sutras on right and wrong 73
Yogis and the senses 185



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