June 2006 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the June 2006 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
Essence of Theosophy
By Geoffrey Hodson
I. Man is a threefold immortal spiritual being, incarnated in four mortal material bodies.
II. The three parts of his spiritual self are reflections of the Divine Will, Divine Wisdom and Divine Intelligence.
In this spiritual aspect of his nature, man is one with the Logos. The difference between the Logos and man lies in the degree in which their triune powers are made manifest.
In God these are fully manifested; in man they are manifested in a gradually increasing degree of fulness, as his evolution proceeds.
III. Man’s four material bodies in the order of their density are:
(a) His mental body composed of mental material; his vehicle of thought.
(b) His emotional body, composed of emotional material; his vehicle of feeling.
(c) His vital or etheric body, composed of etheric material; this is the conserving principle of his physical vital forces and the link between the superphysical and physical bodies.
(d) His physical body, composed of physical, solid, liquid and gaseous material; his vehicle of action and self-expression in the physical world.
In this fourfold material aspect of his nature man is temporarily unconscious of his unity with God. As his evolution proceeds he gradually rediscovers his lost knowledge; this rediscovery is the object of all spiritual endeavour.
IV. The purpose of man’s existence is growth.
Growth consists of the gradual unfoldment from latency to full potency of man’s threefold spiritual attributes on the one hand; and on the other, the evolution of his four material vehicles to a condition in which they perfectly make manifest his threefold spiritual attributes. The true purpose of religion is to help man towards this attainment.
V. The goal of human evolution is the standard of perfection described in Christianity as “The measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
This implies the attainment of a divine state of omnipotence, or perfected and resistless will; omnipresence or perfected and all-embracing love; and omniscience or perfected and all-inclusive knowledge. The attainment of this perfection is absolutely certain for every man. The command “Be ye perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect” will be literally obeyed by all human beings.
VI. Beyond this state of human perfection is a still higher stage of superhuman perfection; beyond that again there is a gradual ascent towards the spiritual stature of the Logos Himself.
Logos is the Creator, Sustainer and Transformer of all worlds and the Spiritual
Parent of all men. He Himself is evolving, together with His whole system and
all which it contains, towards a goal which is beyond the comprehension of
VII. The goal of human perfection has already been reached by men.
Such perfect men are known as Adepts and Masters of the Wisdom.
VIII. These superhuman beings constitute the Inner Government of the World, and are the true spiritual rulers, teachers and inspirers of men.
They are the august body of “Just men made perfect,” the “Communion of saints.”
IX. The goal of human perfection is attained by means of successive incarnations in material vehicles newly formed during the pre-natal period of each succeeding life.
X. The multifarious experiences of these repeated incarnations are all designed to draw out the latent powers of the evolving God, which is Man.
The purpose and effect of repeated physical existence is education in the true meaning of the word.
After the achievement of perfection, rebirth is no longer a necessity; all further progress can be achieved in superphysical worlds. “Him that overcometh I will make a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall go no more out.” Rev.
XI. All incarnations are connected to each other by the operation of the law of cause and effect or readjustment.
All actions, feelings and thoughts produce their own natural and perfectly appropriate reaction. Reactions may follow actions immediately, later in the same life, or in succeeding incarnations. This law is referred to in the test: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” The Sanskrit word “karma” is used to designate the operation of this eternal law.
XII. Actions based on a recognition of unity and motived by love, service and unselfishness, produce a pleasure, a health and a growing freedom of self-expression which encourage the actor to repeat them.
XIII. Actions based on separateness and motived by dislike, greed and selfishness, produce a pain, an ill-health, and an increasing limitation of self-expression, which discourage the actor from repeating them. Thus the law moves men to righteousness.
The intensity of the pleasure or the pain is governed by the degree in which the unselfish or selfish motives found expression in action.
Suffering is neither a punishment inflicted from above, nor an accidental adversity; it is self-inflicted and is designed to apprise the actor of his transgressions; it is therefore truly beneficent and educative in its purpose and effect.
XIV. The spiritual man inhabiting his four bodies is continually aware of the operation of this educative law and gradually acquires knowledge, wisdom, power and character as a result.
These constitute man’s only true and eternal possessions. They are the “treasurers in heaven which neither moth nor rust doth corrupt.”
All material possessions and temporal powers are transient, and the exclusive pursuit of them is utterly vain.
XV. The action of the law of readjustment constitutes the only control or judgment to which man is ever subjected.
Man makes his own destiny by his own actions, and within this law is absolutely and unconditionally free. Man is subject to no external spiritual authority or power. All religion which is based on the fear of, or desire to gain favours from an external God is false.
XVI. There is a spiritual alchemy, by means of which adversity, resulting from actions motived by selfishness, can be diminished or even dispersed by the deliberate exertion of energies and the enactment of deeds motived by love.
Love is the true philosopher’s stone, service the alchemical process by which baser human qualities and the pains of adversity may be transmuted into the fine gold of spiritual power and happiness.
XVII. The alchemy of the spirit may be applied to the healing of disease by the sufferer himself, and constitutes the true science of spiritual healing.
XVIII. The process of the transmutation of the imperfections of human nature into their opposite perfections may be deliberately applied to increase the rapidity of human evolution.
The goal of perfection which awaits all men in the far distant future can be attained in a relatively short time.
XIX. This spiritual mode of life constitutes the short and narrow way of Christianity, the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism, and the razor-edged path of Hinduism. It leads to salvation, Nirvana or liberation.
The life of Christ as portrayed in the Gospels is a dramatic representation of the experiences of the soul in this path.
The Sermon on the Mount, the teachings of the Lord Buddha, and the Hindu Scripture, known as the Bhagavad Gita, define the conduct necessary for the achievement of perfection.
XX. This path of swift unfoldment is open today as of old: it can be only trodden by purity of life and selfless service to the Divine Will: it is the pathway to health, happiness, perfection and eternal peace.
The Christian Creed
In the words of C. W. Leadbeater, “There are many students of Theosophy who have been, and indeed still are, earnest Christians; and though their faith has gradually broadened out into unorthodoxy, they have retained a strong affection for the forms and ceremonials of the religion into which they were born. It is a pleasure to them to hear the recitation of the ancient prayers and creeds, the time-honoured psalms and canticles, though they try to read into them a higher and wider meaning than the ordinary orthodox interpretation.”
The Christian Church at present uses three formulations of belief, called respectively the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. We shall examine these creeds based on theosophical knowledge and try to understand the esoteric meaning of the Christian Creed, its origin, signification and correspondence with other traditions.
This programme, based on the book of the same name by C. W. Leadbeater, is a theosophical programme intended for both Christians and non-Christians alike. This talk by Chong Sanne also discusses the creation of the Solar System and evolution in nature as a prelude to understanding the Christian Creed.
Prayer and Forgiveness
The modern scientific mind rebels at the thought of prayer, yet the religious spirit is strongly attached to it. However, the religious man sometimes feels uneasy as to the rationale of prayer; is he altering the will of Him in ‘whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning’? Are prayers answered? If so, who or what answers them and under what circumstances? Why are the most fervent prayers not answered? This talk will examine the nature of prayer, the different types of prayers and methods for answering them, how we should pray, and prayers for the departed. It will then take a look at a closely related subject —the forgiveness of sins. Can sins really be forgiven, and if so, would this be contradictory to the Law of Karma; the nature of sin and sorrow, physical ailments and forgiveness, the truth behind healing and last but not least —how to forgive. Come for this interesting and thought-provoking talk by Sis. Lily Chong on Saturday, 24 June 2006 at 5 p.m.