April 2010 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the April 2010 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
Ever New Theosophy
Reprinted from The
Theosophist, March 1941
IT is a very large claim which the Theosophist makes when he states that within Theosophy are to be found the explanations of all possible mysteries concerning: (1) the nature and the ways of God; (2) the structure of the universe and the processes of evolution in it; (3) and the complex constitution of man as body, soul and spirit. Incredibly great as is such a claim, nevertheless those of us who are old Theosophists have proved to ourselves that, after we became students of Theosophy, all the three factors of the problem of life, Man, Nature and God, have become to us not only more fascinating, but also more intimate to our thoughts, feelings and aspirations.
Those who were attracted to Theosophy joined our Society for one of several reasons. Some were attracted by our ideal of Universal Brotherhood and desired to join the small band of Theosophists working for Brotherhood; some found the idea of Reincarnation worthy of deeper study; some heartily approved the Theosophical attitude of religious tolerance and reverence to all religions; some were fascinated by the statements regarding the hidden powers latent in man.
Now, Theosophy is not a system of thought that is concluded. There is no textbook of Theosophy which can say: ‘All Theosophy is here.’ Because Theosophy is, by its very name, the ‘Wisdom of God’, a declaration of the laws of the universe. But mankind so far has not discovered everything about the universe. The universe is still developing, and with its future transformations new truths will come into being. Some of those new truths may modify our old knowledge; if in the future any new truth is discovered which contradicts an old truth, it merely means that the old truth was not a real and final truth, but only a temporary though useful hypothesis.
You will therefore note that our Theosophy of today is not final. Even the great Adepts will have to discover new truths about the universe, in the course of the millions and billions of years during which our universe will be in activity, before beginning its Pralaya, or periodic rest from action.
We, who are old students, must not imagine, because we have read many books, attended many study classes, or even are Theosophical lecturers and authors, that we know everything about Theosophy. If we have studied well, we realize that there are innumerable new aspects of Theosophy awaiting discovery by us. It is just that fact of new discoveries in Theosophy which makes Theosophy so intensely fascinating. Because the more that one studies, the vaster becomes the problem of Truth; a thousand new mysteries concerning God, Man and Nature reveal themselves before our eyes, beckoning us to come and examine them.
Consider, for instance, the way our Theosophical knowledge has grown. The first study of the early Theosophists was to examine the reality behind Spiritualism; then followed the study of the truths which India revealed in her Veda-s and Upanishad-s. From this followed the need to understand the truths of Buddhism and Zoroastrianism also. Followed then the activities of Hindu, Buddhist and Zoroastrian Theosophists to remove the dust of ages from the old truths of their religions, in other words, to restore certain ancient teachings which had been forgotten as the religions grew from century to century.
An important step in this line of work was the lectures given by Dr Annie Besant on ‘Esoteric Christianity’; for the first time she explained to Christian Theosophists the occult basis of many Christian truths, especially regarding the Sacraments, which they had reverenced but had not understood, because there was no Christian teacher to explain them.
Then came an important body of truths discovered by direct observation concerning the states after death. This knowledge is one of the very special contributions which modern Theosophy offers to the world.
Another group of truths deals with the growth of the various civilizations characteristic of the nations of the world. The story of the past and present races of mankind, their migrations, their religions and cultures, the story of the new races and religions which will appear later, all this unveils a wonderful panorama of history from a new standpoint. Political history as seen from the Theosophical angle becomes a study of God’s Plan for men. Economics and politics, in the light of Theosophy, become deeply interesting aspects of human culture.
I will mention, only in passing, the researches of a few Theosophists into the inner structure of matter. The laws of the building of the chemical elements and of their combinations reveal fascinating truths concerning the operations of the Divine Mind which ‘geometrizes’, as was taught by Pythagoras.
In addition to all these aspects of Theosophy, we have during the last few years discovered a new field for Theosophical research. It is the domain of Art. We are beginning to realize that, without an understanding of the inner meaning which underlies the creations of art, it is not possible for a student of Theosophy to survey accurately all the creations of the Divine Mind.
How many new and inspiring aspects of Theosophy, which succeeding generations of Theosophists will discover, who shall say? We are only at the beginning of the discovery of Theosophy.
In all these remarks of mine, I want to make clear my thought that Theosophy is not a philosophy which is static or fixed, but one that grows. And that therefore we who are old Theosophists must recollect that Theosophy is for us ever new. Though we have read Madame Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine a dozen times, we are only at the beginning of our Theosophical discoveries. For, there is another Secret Doctrine which many of us Theosophists have not so far learned to read. It is the book of Nature. The sea, the hill, the great mountain range, the cloud, the lake, the tree, the flower, the pebble, each one of these is one page of a new Secret Doctrine; we must learn to read those pages also one by one, by identifying ourselves with them by our imagination and sympathy.
Those of us who are old in Theosophy have realized that true and lasting knowledge comes not solely by study, but also by action. It is only when knowledge is applied to human service, that our intellectual knowledge becomes an inseparable part of our inmost self. It is this truth which has been made the chief declaration about all Theosophical study, that all knowledge is transformed into true wisdom only after the student has given himself in service to his fellow-man.
There are two facts about the study of truth that many of us still need to understand. The first is that study is a dual process of studying alone by oneself, and of studying in company with others who are aspirants like ourselves. A fundamental truth — perhaps the most fundamental truth — of Theosophy is that the nature of God resides in the nature of man. If God is the Divine Wisdom in perfection, then, in some mysterious manner, each man is an embodiment of that Wisdom of God. It follows therefore that the complete Secret Doctrine which reveals all the secrets of the universe is composed not only of those truths which the Adepts of past and present ages have discovered by their researches, and are given to us in the Mystery teachings, but is also composed of truths deposited in some secret recess in the heart and brain of every man. To study in fellowship with others means to seek to understand the Secret Doctrine which is everyman. That knowledge of man is essential, in order to understand the Secret Doctrine of the Sages.
Of course, knowledge finally becomes our own only when we ponder over it in seclusion, and apply it to explain our joys and griefs, and try to understand the Law of Justice which we call Karma. Knowledge finally must be transmuted into Wisdom by each, and for himself. But study in company with others is a preliminary step. That is why each of us must treasure the privilege of membership in his Lodge, and try to make the Lodge a part of that inner structure of his mind, where he dwells as a seeker and as a server.
The last thought which I want to leave with you all, whether old Theosophists or young, is this: that you must not only accept truth from others, who Wise, but must also create, truth for yourselves. We must create, in order to understand. We must transmute our thoughts and feelings, our joys and griefs, into essays, poems, statues, dramas, paintings, songs, dances; we must transmute and sublimate our experiences into offerings of acts of renunciation or creation (and creation is renunciation, as renunciation is a form of creation), offerings which we lay on an altar dedicated either to God or to Man.
No, Theosophy can never grow old. On the other hand, life offers each day to the wise Theosophist new and fascinating mysteries. Each day the Theosophist renews his youth; and, though his body grows old, he remains young in heart and mind.
Especially privileged and happy is the young Theosophist, young in body, who discovers Theosophy. Because his conception of what life should be — days full of joy and love and enthusiasm — becomes more intense as he realizes the nature of the Masters of the Wisdom, who are the Leaders of humanity, as he discovers that human love is one road to the Divine Love, that the beautiful in life is only a reflection on lower planes of the Eternal Beauty of the Divine Mind, and there is no joy in life so intense as that which conies from helping those who are in need of help. The enthusiasm of youth for all noble dreams and deeds is increased a hundredfold when once Theosophy is discovered and understood.
It is these truths about the Theosophy we love which we must pass on to the young Theosophists who are by our side, and who will take our places. We study for the sake of God and man, but not for the sake of ourselves. And yet because we do try to serve our Brother Man, by planning and working to reorganize and beautify the world for him, we find a new joy in life. The exhilaration which Theosophy brings to all our faculties of heart and mind is something which we can hardly describe in words. But it is for us now inseparable from the wonder which all life reveals.
Though we live in mortal bodies, yet to feel as the eternal, undying gods; to know that though our bodies grow weak and our brains less active with age, yet we are eternally young; to look at all men’s faces, even those of evil men, and yet to get a glimpse of a Divine Face behind each human face — it is these joys and wonders which Theosophy gives. What greater gift could life ever give to us? So, because we have received that gift from life, we are Theosophists now, and shall so remain in all our lives to come.
31st Edition of A Course in Theosophy
& Meditation Course
As part of our continuing effort to achieve our twin-object of popularizing a knowledge of theosophy and induction of new members, we will be starting our combined 31st edition of A Course in Theosophy and Meditation Course on Monday, 3 May 2010.
Theosophy encompasses the science of life and the philosophy of living and has helped many people in the world. All members can help in the mission of popularizing a knowledge of theosophy. You will be doing humanity a great service by reaching out and bringing newcomers to the Society, to expose them to the theosophical teachings. As the Master has said, “Spheres of usefulness can be found everywhere. The first object of the Society is philanthropy. The true Theosophist is a philanthropist who—‘not for himself but for the world he lives’…” “This, and philosophy—the right comprehension of life and its mysteries—will give the ‘necessary basis’ and show the right pathway to pursue. Yet the best ‘sphere of usefulness’ for the applicant is now in his own land."
Once again, the theosophy course will be combined with the popular meditation course, both to optimize our resources and also to give attendees the benefit of two courses at the same time.
3/5 (Mon.) 7-10pm The Different Planes of Nature
6/5 (Thur.) 7-10pm Man’s Evolution
8/5 (Sat.) 3-6pm Death & After
10/5 (Mon.) 7-10pm The Astral Plane
13/5 (Thur.) 7-10pm The Mental Plane
15/5 (Sat.) 3-6pm Thought-Forms
17/5 (Mon.) 7-10pm The Noble Eightfold Path
22/5 (Sat.) 2:30-4:30pm Basic Rules of Meditation
29/5 (Sat.) 3-4:30pm Meditation for Development of the True Self
5/6 (Sat.) 3-4:30pm Meditation to achieve Union with the Divine
Get your relatives and friends to enroll online for A Course in Theosophy and Meditation Course at singaporelodge.org/btc_dates.htm and singaporelodge.org/med_course_dates.htm or by email to email@example.com.