January 2014 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the January 2014 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
“A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! This seems easy enough to say, and everyone expects some such greeting. Yet, whether the wish, though it may proceed from a sincere heart, is likely to be realized even in the case of the few—is more difficult to decide. According to our theosophical tenets, every man or woman is endowed, more or less, with a magnetic potentiality, which when helped by a sincere, and especially by an intense and indomitable will—is the most effective of magic levers placed by Nature in human hands—for woe as for weal. Let us then, Theosophists, use that will to send a sincere greeting and a wish of good luck for the New Year to every living creature under the sun—enemies and relentless traducers included. Let us try and feel especially kindly and forgiving to our foes and persecutors, honest or dishonest, lest some of us should send unconsciously an “evil eye” greeting instead of a blessing.”
H. P. Blavatsky
“May no further karma attach to those who have sinned last year in thought as well as in deed. Personally they are forgiven. Let a new year and new hopes begin for them.”
Significance of The New Year
“.... let no one imagine that it is a mere fancy, the attaching of importance to the birth of the year. The earth passes through its definite phases and man with it; and as a day can be coloured so can a year. The astral life of the earth is young and strong between Christmas and Easter. Those who form their wishes now will have added strength to fulfil them consistently.”
H. P. Blavatsky
Many Colours Make The Rainbow
The beauty of the rainbow is the very harmony in the relation of its multiple colors. If one color were lost it would loose its richness. The rainbow is a transitory and glorious phenomenon rising in the end of the tempest, it is the herald of a new beginning, a fresh day coming out of the tempest as the eternal mystery in the cyclic regeneration of life.
The rainbow is like a prophet pointing out in the horizon a new age to come, as Madame Blavatsky did. As she said: “But to the public in general and the readers of The Secret Doctrine I may repeat what I have stated all along, and which I now clothe in the words of Montaigne: Gentlemen, ‘I have here made only a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them.’” So she was giving not any personal importance to herself as the author of the work. Like a transparent crystal prism, taking not any color for itself, she was able to give way for the pure white light of truth to shine through her revealing the seven colors of the rainbow. Eliminating the only hindrance, which is the personal ego, she was not the creator of light, only a channel transparent enough through which the divine light could come, as she said: “True Occultism or Theosophy is the ‘Great Renunciation of self’, unconditionally and absolutely, in thought as in action. It is ALTRUISM...”
Indeed, each one of our leaders gave altruistically his contribution as a color to the cause of Theosophy: Madame Blavatsky, prophetically inspired by the Mahatmas, gave us The Secret Doctrine and the E.S.T., Col. Olcott was our Diplomatic Ambassador and President Founder and gave us a Society as our body, Dr. Annie Besant was our philosopher and gave us the first pillar of The Eastern Order of International Co-Freemasonry, Bishop Leadbeater was our man of religion giving us the main structure of The Liberal Catholic Church, though his clairvoyant descriptions were more a piece of a researcher in Occult Science, Mr. J. Krishnamurti was our psychologist and gave us his superb teaching of unity in universal language with his Schools for the youth around the world, Mr. C. Jinarajadasa was our artist, Mr. Sri Ram was like a mathematician, giving us truth in abstract form and so on, to mention only seven leaders in the beginning of our history. We may have our preferences, but to negate the contribution of any of our leaders is to loose the richness of our treasure which is the many colors of our theosophical rainbow.
Madame Blavatsky never claimed to be the only discoverer of Theosophy, emphasizing even that Theosophy “has existed eternally throughout the endless cycles upon cycles of the Past, so it will ever exist throughout the infinitudes of the Future, because Theosophy is synonymous with EVERLASTING TRUTH.” So, it is important to be always aware that the expression “Modern Theosophy” is a creation of the mind, sometimes used to make a division in what is indivisible, as she wrote: “The mind is the great slayer of the Real.”
In fact, all descriptions created by the mind must be limited as anything in the manifested universe. About the limited parts of the Universe, Dr. Annie Besant said: “You grasp, then, why there should be variety: because no limited thing may fully tell Him (Ishvara, the Lord), because no limited form may fully express Him. Thus the perfection of the Universe is perfection in variety and in the harmony of interrelated parts.” So, it is difficult to imagine a garden of only one flower or an orchestra of only one instrument, because the richness of both is the variety of parts overcoming their limitations making a greater harmonious Whole. That idea is also the idea underlying our motto: “There is no religion higher than Truth.” Of course, Unity is greater than any of its parts, so the Truth considered here is that everlasting Absolute Truth or Ultimate Reality to which all religions refer, as Dr. Taimni usually emphasized.
Also in the field of Science, it is possible to see the limitation of any theory isolated because it is a fact that Reality is greater than any theory to describe it. The electron was always considered as a particle, but experiments proved that it diffracts behaving as a wave. Light was always considered as a wave, but Dr. Einstein’s experiments proved it as constituted of particles called photons, which are quanta of light with mass. So, any effort to describe nature through any scientific theory of a Cartesian division into these two categories of matter, which mean particles, and energy, which mean waves, will come eventually to contradiction, because it is an artificial division, or an illusion, as the Ancient Wisdom called it as Maya. Unity is the Ultimate Reality or Truth and cannot be perfectly described by any theory.
Theosophy is not an exception. When it uses thought to describe Reality through language it puts some artificial limitation, created by the mind, over Reality which is indescribable. So, the ancient Sages, perceiving that difficulty, preferred to give different names to different levels of Truth, as Madame Blavatsky mentioned in The Secret Doctrine: “’Paramarthasatya’ is self-consciousness in Sanskrit, Svasamvedana, or the ‘self-analyzing reflection’ – from two words, parama (above everything) and artha (comprehension), satya meaning absolute true being, or esse. In Tibetan Paramarthasatya is Dondampai-denpa. The opposite of this absolute reality, or actuality, is Samvritisatya – the relative truth only – ‘Samvriti’ meaning ‘false conception’ and being the origin of illusion, Maya; in Tibetan Kundzobchi-denpa, ‘illusion-creating appearance.’” Dr. Radha Burnier, in her book No Other Path to Go, also mention this double side of levels of truth saying: “Eastern philosophy speaks of two kinds of truth: one is paramartika satya, absolute truth; the other is vyavaharika satya, relative truth.” Mr. J. Krishnamurti synthesized this question simply saying “the word is not the thing.”
An analogy can give us more clarity on this question that Truth has different levels as well as Theosophy, according to the level of our own consciousness or perception. Let us imagine that Absolute Truth or Divine Wisdom as pure white light, that primary Theosophy which Madame Blavatsky said to be synonymous with Everlasting Truth. When it comes into our perception it divides itself in the seven colors of the rainbow, like if it had come into a transparent prism. Of course, these seven levels of perception would correspond to our so-called seven bodies or vehicles of consciousness, and so to a level of relative truth or secondary theosophy, as Mr. Hugh Sherman named it. He wrote: “In practice, theosophy, or god-wisdom, has come to have two principal meanings. First, there is its primary meaning, signifying the ultimate wisdom, the ultimate truth which life holds; and there is a secondary meaning, signifying the body of teachings about man and the universe which has been given forth, in particular, by members of the Theosophical Society, something which is knowledge rather than wisdom… But no secondary theosophy is complete in itself nor can it be understood without some recollection that it is intended only to lead on to experiencing of a greater and incommunicable theosophy underlying it”, which is that primary theosophy about which the Chinese sage wrote “He who knows speaks not; he who speaks knows not.”
(to be continued)
Mr. Ricardo Lindemann, an engineer by profession, is a National Lecturer and former General Secretary of the Brazilian Section of the Theosophical Society.
One of the annual talks is on the Purpose of The Theosophical Society. This talk reminds us why the Society was founded in 1875 by Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Henry Steel Olcott. More importantly, we are reminded of the words of the Great Ones on the true purpose of The Theosophical Society. Understanding the purpose of the Society is important if the Singapore Lodge, as a part of this great worldwide movement, is to contribute to the noble ideals of the Society. We must realize our specific mission. As this talk will be given on 25 January 2014 when we celebrate our 125th anniversary, you have one more good reason to come and join us in our celebration.
For those who are interested to know more about clairvoyance and psychic abilities, you may wish to attend the talk on The Nature of Psychic Abilities on 11 January 2014. In this talk we will realize that the unfoldment of psychic powers is a natural process in evolution.
Another annual talk which is intended exclusively for members is The Occult Hierarchy. As students of theosophy, we know that just as there are many below us climbing the ladder of evolution, there are also many above us, way ahead of the mass of humanity, who have achieved perfection—the Adepts. We also know that amid the seeming chaos in the world, there is perfect law and order supervised by the Inner Government of the World. In this talk we learn about the quest for perfection and the august fraternity of humanity who have reached the other shore—The Masters and The Path. This talk is scheduled for 18 January 2014. Don’t miss it if you are a student of occultism.
Let’s Celebrate Our 125th Anniversary
The Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society was formed by Col. H.S. Olcott on January 24, 1889. Many of us may not realise that we have been in existence for 125 years! As a matter of fact, the Singapore Lodge was formed only 14 years after the founding of the parent Theosophical Society in 1875.
To commemorate this momentous occasion, we are gathering together on Saturday, 25 January 2014, to have an anniversary bash. On this day, we shall remind ourselves of the Purpose of the Theosophical Society and reaffirm our dedication to it.
This is one of our most important days in the year. Do come and join the merriment and rejoice together. Remember, it will be on Saturday, 25 January 2014 at 5 p.m.