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Re: Signposts on the Path of Theosophy

Aug 24, 1996 06:00 PM
by Rodolfo Don

> Hi Rudolfo Don
> I have a question I'd like to put to you and see what you have to
> say.
> Altruism. I have heard this word praised and scorned. The
> definition in American Heritage is selfless concern for others.
> The problem that I find irreconciled about this word is: If I
> define my self as separate from others, I have at that point
> already left the ballpark of Truth. If I define myself as united
> in the All-One, my concern for anyone by definition includes
> myself through our union. Perhaps the mess is in the definition
> of self. Perhaps it should be clarified that one must have
> respect and love for the Self one Truly is and all Truly are,
> because I know from experience that without this type of
> Self-respect any selfless attempt at usefulness is bound to
> failure. In that case, altruism means forgetfulness of the self
> that identifies itself as separate?

Dear Julie,

I totally agree with you. To me, altruism means to identify
oneself with 'Humanity' as a whole instead of myself, my family,
my nation... There is a quote in 'The Mahatma Letters' that

'For it is *Humanity* which is the great Orphan, the only
disinherited one upon this earth, my friend. And it is the duty
of every man who is capable of an unselfish impulse to do
something, however little, for its welfare. Poor, poor humanity!
It reminds me of the old fable of the war between the Body and
its members; here too, each limb of this huge
"Orphan"--fatherless and motherless--selfishly cares but for
itself. The body uncared for suffers eternally, whether the
limbs are at war or at rest. Its suffering and agony never

As you said: "...altruism means forgetfulness of the self that
identifies itself as separate." Or...altruism comes about when we
realize that we are One through the realization of the Self. Our
True Self, the Self of All.

> I have the same problem with "sacrifice". Whenever spiritual
> conversations discuss "sacrifice" they are talking about the
> giving up of material, transient, ultimately worthless
> attachments for the achievement of immortal values. This is not
> a sacrifice, it is a bargain. It is only a sacrifice if you are
> seeing it as an unbeliever or unknower (which I suppose we are or
> we wouldn't be here by theosophical terms). So isn't couching it
> in those terms affirming the state those discussing it are
> seeking to deny?

Sacrifice means to make an action holy. When we act in the world
according to our inner realization.

> Anyway, I'd appreciate your thoughts. (if you want to put this
> and your reply on the group thing, it's okay with me, I just
> don't remember how--and I don't usually spend much time on the
> computer).

Best regards, Rudy

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