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Theos-World Theosophy and Ethics by AB

Apr 30, 1999 11:21 PM
by Martin Leiderman

I would like to share with all of you some paragraphs from the great talk
that Annie Besant gave in the Parliament of Religions , Chicago 1893.
Hope this few words provide much inspiration for understanding meditation, and
daily living.

Martin Leiderman

Theosophy and Ethics
>From an address by Annie Besant given at the Parliament of Religions, Chicago,

All true love has its root in unity, where it is not two but one. So in the
highest ethics this is the true note that we should strike. For our most
beloved there is no such thing as service regarded as altruistic, because the
deepest joy and the highest pleasure come in serving the better self of each.
As we grow in spiritual life and understand the true oneness  of humanity, we
find the best beloved is humanity itself. We serve our higher Self in serving
it, and thus we return to that from which we started, the Invisible, the One,
and the All.

While we are still consciously separate, altruism may be regarded as the Law
of Life, based on our common origin in the Divine. We share common training on
the pilgrimage every soul must tread, common experience in learning every
lesson, acquiring all knowledge, sharing the various possibilities of the
human lot, and building a sublime character out of common material. Our
destiny is one: the perfection of a divine humanity that is one in origin and
one in training. Of what value is it to separate one person from another, to
build walls of division between brothers and sisters?

Unity is the foundation of our brotherhood, as "brotherhood" is the word that
includes all our ethics. All true conduct has its root in the Law of Love. As
long as external law is needed, that law is the measure of our imperfection.
Only when no law is wanted, when the nature expressing itself spontaneously is
one with the Divine Law, is humanity perfected and liberty and law become one.

Does morality always depend on an "if," so that those who refuse the goal
reject right conduct and stand lawless in a universe of law? If that is so, it
seems to me that human progress will be very slow, for you would first have to
evolve conscience, and training of the conscience is needed for right ethics.
You would be walking constantly in a vicious circle with no starting point. .

Humans, ignorant and foolish, not knowing the laws that surround them, desire
to follow the promptings of their own untrained will. They are driven,
perhaps, by the desires of the lower nature and hear in them the voice that
allures and compels. Nature mandates sternly, "Thou shalt." The human will,
able to choose, answers "I will not." Then two words fall upon the silence:
"Then suffer."

Such is the way in which physical nature teaches the inviolability of law.
Humans strive to follow their own untrained will. They dash themselves against
the iron wall they cannot break, and the pain of the bruises teaches them that
law is inviolable and unchangeable, that it must be obeyed or the disobedient
will perish in the struggle.

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