[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

The Path to Theosophy

Dec 29, 1996 11:21 AM
by Nicholas Weeks

Although this extract by HPB was a response to those who found
THE SECRET DOCTRINE to difficult, chaotic etc.  to study with
ease; her advice also applies not just to book study, but our
whole approach to Theosophy.

> There are several ways of acquiring knowledge: (a) by accepting
> blindly the dicta of the church or modern science; (b) by
> rejecting both and starting to find the truth for oneself.  The
> first method is easy and leads to social respectability and the
> praise of men; the other is difficult and requires more than
> ordinary devotion to truth, a disregard for direct personal
> benefits and an unwavering perseverance.  Thus it was in the days
> of old and so it is now, except perhaps, that such devotion to
> truth has been more rare in our own day than it was of yore.
> Indeed, the modern Eastern student's unwillingness to think for
> himself is now as great as Western exactions and criticism of
> other people's thoughts.
> He demands and expects that his "Path" shall be engineered with
> all the selfish craft of modern comfort, macadamized, laid out
> with swift railways and telegraphs, and even telescopes, through
> which he may, while sitting at his ease, survey the works of
> other people; and while criticizing them, look out for the
> easiest, in order to play at the Occultist and Amateur Student of
> Theosophy.  The real "Path" to esoteric knowledge is very
> different.  Its entrance is overgrown with the brambles of
> neglect, the travesties of truth during long ages block the way,
> and it is obscured by the proud contempt of self-sufficiency and
> with every verity distorted out of all focus.  To push over the
> threshold alone, demands an incessant, often unrequited labor of
> years, and once on the other side of the entrance, the weary
> pilgrim has to toil up on foot, for the narrow way leads to
> forbidding mountain heights, unmeasured and unknown, save to
> those who have reached the cloud-capped summit before.  Thus must
> he mount, step by step, having to conquer every inch of ground
> before him by his own exertions; moving onward, guided by strange
> landmarks the nature of which he can ascertain only by
> deciphering the weather-beaten, half-defaced inscriptions as he
> treads along, for woe to him, if, instead of studying them, he
> sits by coolly pronouncing them "indecipherable." The "Doctrine
> of the Eye" is *maya*; that of the "Heart" alone, can make of him
> an elect.
> Is it to be wondered that so few reach the goal, that so many are
> called, but so few are chosen? Is not the reason for this
> explained in three lines on page 27 of THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE?
> These say that while "The first repeat in pride: `Behold, I
> *know,*' the last, they who in humbleness have garnered, low
> confess, `thus have I heard'"; and hence, become the only
> "chosen."
> [From BCW 12, 236-37; part of HPB's article "Mistaken Notions on

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application