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RE: Re to Mauri - Leon's Baloney

Apr 19, 2002 05:45 PM
by dalval14

Friday, April 19, 2002

Re: "Ethics without compassion"

Dallas asks:

I do not understand how one can speak of "ethics without
compassion." Pity and sorrow for the perversion of the TRUE is
(to my mind) a mandatory part of "ethics" or any one who adheres
to the strict limits of an exact ethical standard.

What is such an "ethical standard." It is, in my esteem, TRUTH
SPEAKING and truth acting -- to the best of one's ability and
knowledge. Let us admit that much of the attempt to practice
this is truncated by the fact that our "embodied Mind" does not
"know everything." Hence some links of motive and explanation
might well exist unknown to the observer and the one who is
reacting or speaking or doing.

Further, does any one really think that compassion, tenderness,
gentleness, sympathy and empathy require in some instances that
only partial truths or "white lies" be used? Let's take into
account that the spirit/soul in man is an immortal and has to go
through every experience and understand it before he or she is
able to go to the "next stage." Karma or the law of rigid
justice prevails. Of course if these are not perceived as facts,
it is useless to proceed, as the doctrines of theosophy mean
little, if anything to, the one involved.

If, on the other hand, only the existence of a Desire nature
mixed with some of the power to Think is meant by our
Personality, then we have described most of us as we are today:
An emotional entity, that sometimes thinks logically, but, most
of the time we are swayed by our likes and dislikes, and rarely
are we able to catch any definite glimpses of our possible future
as individuals. This is important, because if we are unable to
set up a certainty of idealism, if we deny to the Universe as t
ourselves any continuity and immortality, we have really no
objectives beyond "survival" as one of the most intelligent
animals on the planet. We then accept the concept that with the
death of this physical personality we are voided -- a
non-entity -- with no future, no continuity, and thus our living
is held to be always focused on the constant fear of death, and
an endeavor to evade and avoid that finality..

For those to whom Theosophy means a grasp of reality -- the
reality that: as just, fair and equitable laws envelop us all,
our not masking or distorting facts gives momentary hurt to a
sensitive personality. True. But also, is it our duty to be
brutally frank at a moment of crisis?

Or, should we delay and reserve giving an answer for some time,
until the person is able to stand another shock? Silence and
tact are tools, and do not demand a lie. Our witnessing a crisis
means we are somehow involved in the event. We can defuse it, or
we can make it worse. How to discriminate is our test and
task -- but is a lie today justified by the hurt and distrust
that the final truth reveals to the asker, in the "tomorrow?"
Then, we may well be asked to account for our delay and
withholding of an answer or the facts. Certainly any confidence
in us will be thereafter severely weakened. We are considered to
be no longer trustworthy.

Theosophy recommends that we show true compassion by gentleness
and care for the person until they recover from the disturbing of
a crisis and are able to meet facts and truth with equipoise and
a calm understanding. It is a test of our won mastery of the
powers and faculties of ourselves, and adjust them with others.

To this matter H P B wrote:

1.	"WHAT IS TRUTH?" [ H P B Articles, I p.1; LUCIFER, I
p., 425, February 1888;] and

2.	"THE FALL OF IDEALS" [H P B Articles I p. 137; LUCIFER
December 1889]

I offer these below so that we may profit from their value.
Actually #2 will be on a second post

Best wishes,


Extracts from WHAT IS TRUTH by H P B -- Lucifer February 1888

Posting 1


Article by H. P. Blavatsky

Truth is the Voice of Nature and of Time--
Truth is the startling monitor within us--
Naught is without it, it comes from the stars,
The golden sun, and every breeze that blows. . . .

. . . Fair Truth's immortal sun
Is sometimes hid in clouds; not that her light
Is in itself defective, but obscured
By my weak prejudice, imperfect faith
And all the thousand causes which obstruct
The growth of goodness. . . .

WHAT is Truth?" asked Pilate of one who, if the claims of the
Christian Church are even approximately correct, must have known
it. But He kept silent. And the truth which He did not divulge,
remained unrevealed, for his later followers as much as for the
Roman Governor. The silence of Jesus, however, on this and other
occasions, does not prevent his present followers from acting as
though they had received the ultimate and absolute Truth itself;
and from ignoring the fact that only such Words of Wisdom had
been given to them as contained a share of the truth, itself
concealed in parables and dark, though beautiful, sayings.

This policy led gradually to dogmatism and assertion. Dogmatism
in churches, dogmatism in science, dogmatism everywhere. The
possible truths, hazily perceived in the world of abstraction,
like those inferred from observation and experiment in the world
of matter, are forced upon the profane multitudes, too busy to
think for themselves, under the form of Divine revelation and
scientific authority.

But the same question stands open from the days of Socrates and
Pilate down to our own age of wholesale negation: is there such a
thing as absolute truth in the hands of any one party or man?
Reason answers, "there cannot be." There is no room for absolute
truth upon any subject whatsoever, in a world as finite and
conditioned as man is himself. But there are relative truths, and
we have to make the best we can of them.

In every age there have been Sages who had mastered the absolute
and yet could teach but relative truths. For none yet, born of
mortal woman in our race, has, or could have given out, the whole
and the final truth to another man, for every one of us has to
find that (to him) final knowledge in himself.

As no two minds can be absolutely alike, each has to receive the
supreme illumination through itself, according to its capacity,
and from no human light. The greatest adept living can reveal of
the Universal Truth only so much as the mind he is impressing it
upon can assimilate, and no more. Tot homines, quot
sententiae--is an immortal truism.

The sun is one, but its beams are numberless; and the effects
produced are beneficent or maleficent, according to the nature
and constitution of the objects they shine upon. Polarity is
universal, but the polariser lies in our own consciousness. In
proportion as our consciousness is elevated towards absolute
truth, so do we men assimilate it more or less absolutely. But
man's consciousness again, is only the sunflower of the earth.
Longing for the warm ray, the plant can only turn to the sun, and
move round and round in following the course of the unreachable
luminary: its roots keep it fast to the soil, and half its life
is passed in the shadow. . . .

Still each of us can relatively reach the Sun of Truth even on
this earth, and assimilate its warmest and most direct rays,
however differentiated they may become after their long journey
through the physical particles in space.

To achieve this, there are two methods.

On the physical plane we may use our mental polariscope; and,
analyzing the properties of each ray, choose the purest.

On the plane of spirituality, to reach the Sun of Truth we must
work in dead earnest for the development of our higher nature.

We know that by paralyzing gradually within ourselves the
appetites of the lower personality, and thereby deadening the
voice of the purely physiological mind--that mind which depends
upon, and is inseparable from, its medium or vehicle, the organic
brain--the animal man in us may make room for the spiritual; and
once aroused from its latent state, the highest spiritual senses
and perceptions grow in us in proportion, and develop pari passu
with the "divine man." This is what the great adepts, the Yogis
in the East and the Mystics in the West, have always done and are
still doing.

But we also know, that with a few exceptions, no man of the
world, no materialist, will ever believe in the existence of such
adepts, or even in the possibility of such a spiritual or psychic
development. "The (ancient) fool hath said in his heart, There is
no God"; the modern says, "There are no adepts on earth, they are
figments of your diseased fancy." Knowing this we hasten to
reassure our readers of the Thomas Didymus type. We beg them to
turn in this magazine to reading more congenial to them; say to
the miscellaneous papers on Hylo-Idealism, by various writers.

For LUCIFER tries to satisfy its readers of whatever "school of
thought," and shows itself equally impartial to Theist and
Atheist, Mystic and Agnostic, Christian and Gentile. Such
articles as our editorials, the Comments on "Light on the Path,"
etc., etc., -- are not intended for Materialists.

They are addressed to Theosophists, or readers who know in their
hearts that Masters of Wisdom do exist: and, though absolute
truth is not on earth and has to be searched for in higher
regions, that there still are, even on this silly, ever whirling
little globe of ours, some things that are not even dreamt of in
Western philosophy.

To return to our subject. It thus follows that, though "general
abstract truth is the most precious of all blessings" for many of
us, as it was for Rousseau, we have, meanwhile, to be satisfied
with relative truths. In sober fact, we are a poor set of mortals
at best, ever in dread before the face of even a relative truth,
lest it should devour ourselves and our petty little
preconceptions along with us. As for an absolute truth, most of
us are as incapable of seeing it as of reaching the moon on a

Firstly, because absolute truth is as immovable as the mountain
of Mahomet, which refused to disturb itself for the prophet, so
that he had to go to it himself. And we have to follow his
example if we would approach it even at a distance.

Secondly, because the kingdom of absolute truth is not of this
world, while we are too much of it. And thirdly, because
notwithstanding that in the poet's fancy man is

. . . . . . . the abstract
Of all perfection, which the workmanship
Of heaven hath modelled. . . . . . .

in reality he is a sorry bundle of anomalies and paradoxes, an
empty wind bag inflated with his own importance, with
contradictory and easily influenced opinions. He is at once an
arrogant and a weak creature, which, though in constant dread of
some authority, terrestrial or celestial, will yet--

. . . . . . . like an angry ape,
Play such fantastic tricks before high Heaven
As make the angels weep.

Now, since truth is a multifaced jewel, the facets of which it is
impossible to perceive all at once; and since, again, no two men,
however anxious to discern truth, can see even one of those
facets alike, what can be done to help them to perceive it?

As physical man, limited and trammelled from every side by
illusions, cannot reach truth by the light of his terrestrial
perceptions, we say--develop in you the inner knowledge.

>From the time when the Delphic oracle said to the enquirer "Man,
know thyself," no greater or more important truth was ever
taught. Without such perception, man will remain ever blind to
even many a relative, let alone absolute, truth. Man has to know
himself, i.e., acquire the inner perceptions which never deceive,
before he can master any absolute truth.

Absolute truth is the symbol of Eternity, and no finite mind can
ever grasp the eternal, hence, no truth in its fulness can ever
dawn upon it. To reach the state during which man sees and senses
it, we have to paralyze the senses of the external man of clay.
This is a difficult task, we may be told, and most people will,
at this rate, prefer to remain satisfied with relative truths, no

But to approach even terrestrial truths requires, first of all,
love of truth for its own sake, for otherwise no recognition of
it will follow. And who loves truth in this age for its own sake?
How many of us are prepared to search for, accept, and carry it
out, in the midst of a society in which anything that would
achieve success has to be built on appearances, not on reality,
on self-assertion, not on intrinsic value? We are fully aware of
the difficulties in the way of receiving truth. The fair heavenly
maiden descends only on a (to her) congenial soil--the soil of an
impartial, unprejudiced mind, illuminated by pure Spiritual
Consciousness; and both are truly rare dwellers in civilized

In our century of steam and electricity, when man lives at a
maddening speed that leaves him barely time for reflection, he
allows himself usually to be drifted down from cradle to grave,
nailed to the Procrustean bed of custom and conventionality. Now
conventionality--pure and simple--is a congenital LIE, as it is
in every case a "simulation of feelings according to a received
standard" (F. W. Robertson's definition); and where there is any
simulation there cannot be any truth.

How profound the remark made by Byron, that "truth is a gem that
is found at a great depth; whilst on the surface of this world
all things are weighed by the false scales of custom," is best
known to those who are forced to live in the stifling atmosphere
of such social conventionalism, and who, even when willing and
anxious to learn, dare not accept the truths they long for, for
fear of the ferocious Moloch called Society.

Look around you, reader; study the accounts given by world-known
travellers, recall the joint observations of literary thinkers,
the data of science and of statistics. Draw the picture of modern
society, of modern politics, of modern religion and modern life
in general before your mind's eye. Remember the ways and customs
of every cultured race and nation under the sun. Observe the
doings and the moral attitude of people in the civilized centres
of Europe, America, and even of the far East and the colonies,
everywhere where the white man has carried the "benefits" of
so-called civilization. And now, having passed in review all
this, pause and reflect, and then name, if you can, that blessed
Eldorado, that exceptional spot on the globe, where TRUTH is the
honoured guest, and LIE and SHAM the ostracised outcasts? YOU
CANNOT. Nor can any one else, unless he is prepared and
determined to add his mite to the mass of falsehood that reigns
supreme in every department of national and social life.

"Truth!" cried Carlyle, "truth, though the heavens crush me for
following her, no falsehood, though a whole celestial Lubberland
were the prize of Apostasy." Noble words, these. But how many
think, and how many will dare to speak as Carlyle did, in our
nineteenth century day?

Does not the gigantic appalling majority prefer to a man the
"paradise of Do-nothings," the "pays de Cocagne" of heartless
selfishness? It is this majority that recoils terror-stricken
before the most shadowy outline of every new and unpopular truth,
out of mere cowardly fear, lest Mrs. Harris should denounce, and
Mrs. Grundy condemn, its converts to the torture of being rent
piecemeal by her murderous tongue.

SELFISHNESS, the first-born of Ignorance, and the fruit of the
teaching which asserts that for every newly-born infant a new
soul, separate and distinct from the Universal Soul, is
"created"--this Selfishness is the impassable wall between the
personal Self and Truth. It is the prolific mother of all human
vices, Lie being born out of the necessity for dissembling, and
Hypocrisy out of the desire to mask Lie. It is the fungus growing
and strengthening with age in every human heart in which it has
devoured all better feelings.

Selfishness kills every noble impulse in our natures, and is the
one deity, fearing no faithlessness or desertion from its
votaries. Hence, we see it reign supreme in the world and in
so-called fashionable society. As a result, we live, and move,
and have our being in this god of darkness under his trinitarian
aspect of Sham, Humbug, and Falsehood, called RESPECTABILITY.

Is this Truth and Fact, or is it slander? Turn whichever way you
will, and you find, from the top of the social ladder to the
bottom, deceit and hypocrisy at work for dear Self's sake, in
every nation as in every individual.

But nations, by tacit agreement, have decided that selfish
motives in politics shall be called "noble national aspiration,
patriotism," etc.; and the citizen views it in his family circle
as "domestic virtue." Nevertheless, Selfishness, whether it
breeds desire for aggrandizement of territory, or competition in
commerce at the expense of one's neighbour, can never be regarded
as a virtue.

We see smooth-tongued DECEIT and BRUTE FORCE--the Jachin and Boaz
of every International Temple of Solomon-- called Diplomacy, and
we call it by its right name. Because the diplomat bows low
before these two pillars of national glory and politics, and puts
their masonic symbolism "in (cunning) strength shall this my
house be established" into daily practice; i.e., gets by deceit
what he cannot obtain by force--shall we applaud him? A
diplomat's qualification--"dexterity or skill in securing
advantages" -- for one's own country at the expense of other
countries, can hardly be achieved by speaking truth, but verily
by a wily and deceitful tongue; and, therefore, LUCIFER calls
such action--a living, and an evident LIE.

But it is not in politics alone that custom and selfishness have
agreed to call deceit and lie virtue, and to reward him who lies
best with public statues. Every class of Society lives on LIE,
and would fall to pieces without it. Cultured,
God-and-law-fearing aristocracy, being as fond of the forbidden
fruit as any plebeian, is forced to lie from morn to noon in
order to cover what it is pleased to term its "little
peccadillos," but which TRUTH regards as gross immorality.

Society of the middle classes is honeycombed with false smiles,
false talk, and mutual treachery. For the majority, religion has
become a thin tinsel veil thrown over the corpse of spiritual
faith. The master goes to church to deceive his servants; the
starving curate--preaching what he has ceased to believe
in--hoodwinks his bishop; the bishop--his God.

Dailies, political and social, might adopt with advantage for
their motto Georges Dandin's immortal query--"Lequel de nous deux
trompe-t-on ici?" {Which of the two of us is being deceived

Even Science, once the anchor of the salvation of Truth, has
ceased to be the temple of naked Fact. Almost to a man the
Scientists strive now only to force upon their colleagues and the
public the acceptance of some personal hobby, of some new-fangled
theory, which will shed lustre on their name and fame. A
Scientist is as ready to suppress damaging evidence against a
current scientific hypothesis in our times, as a missionary in
heathen-land, or a preacher at home, to persuade his congregation
that modern geology is a lie, and evolution but vanity and
vexation of spirit.

Such is the actual state of things in 1888 A.D., and yet we are
taken to task by certain papers for seeing this year in more than
gloomy colours!

Lie has spread to such extent--supported as it is by custom and
conventionalities--that even chronology forces people to lie. The
suffixes A.D. and B.C. used after the dates of the year by Jew
and Heathen, in European and even Asiatic lands, by the
Materialist and the Agnostic as much as by the Christian, at
home, are--a lie used to sanction another LIE.

Where then is even relative truth to be found? If, so far back as
the century of Democritus, she appeared to him under the form of
a goddess lying at the very bottom of a well, so deep that it
gave but little hope for her release; under the present
circumstances we have a certain right to believe her hidden, at
least, as far off as the ever invisible dark side of the moon.
This is why, perhaps, all the votaries of hidden truths are
forthwith set down as lunatics. However it may be, in no case and
under no threat shall LUCIFER be ever forced into pandering to
any universally and tacitly recognised, and as universally
practised lie, but will hold to fact, pure and simple, trying to
proclaim truth whensoever found, and under no cowardly mask.
Bigotry and intolerance may be regarded as orthodox and sound
policy, and the encouraging of social prejudices and personal
hobbies at the cost of truth, as a wise course to pursue in order
to secure success for a publication. Let it be so. The Editors of
LUCIFER are Theosophists, and their motto is chosen: Vera pro
gratis. {Truth is free.}

They are quite aware that LUCIFER'S libations and sacrifices to
the goddess Truth do not send a sweet savoury smoke into the
noses of the lords of the press, nor does the bright "Son of the
Morning" smell sweet in their nostrils. He is ignored when not
abused as--veritas odium paret. {Truth appears odious.}

Even his friends are beginning to find fault with him. They
cannot see why it should not be a purely Theosophical magazine,
in other words, why it refuses to be dogmatic and bigoted.
Instead of devoting every inch of space to theosophical and
occult teachings, it opens its pages "to the publication of the
most grotesquely heterogeneous elements and conflicting
doctrines." This is the chief accusation, to which we answer--why
not? Theosophy is divine knowledge, and knowledge is truth; every
true fact, every sincere word are thus part and parcel of

One who is skilled in divine alchemy, or even approximately
blessed with the gift of the perception of truth, will find and
extract it from an erroneous as much as from a correct statement.
However small the particle of gold lost in a ton of rubbish, it
is the noble metal still, and worthy of being dug out even at the
price of some extra trouble. As has been said, it is often as
useful to know what a thing is not, as to learn what it is.

The average reader can hardly hope to find any fact in a
sectarian publication under all its aspects, pro and con, for
either one way or the other its presentation is sure to be
biased, and the scales helped to incline to that side to which
its editor's special policy is directed. A Theosophical magazine
is thus, perhaps, the only publication where one may hope to
find, at any rate, the unbiased, if still only approximate truth
and fact. Naked truth is reflected in LUCIFER under its many
aspects, for no philosophical or religious views are excluded
from its pages. And, as every philosophy and religion, however
incomplete, unsatisfactory, and even foolish some may be
occasionally, must be based on a truth and fact of some kind, the
reader has thus the opportunity of comparing, analysing, and
choosing from the several philosophies discussed therein.

LUCIFER offers as many facets of the One universal jewel as its
limited space will permit, and says to its readers: "Choose you
this day whom ye will serve: whether the gods that were on the
other side of the flood which submerged man's reasoning powers
and divine knowledge, or the gods of the Amorites of custom and
social falsehood, or again, the Lord of (the highest) Self--the
bright destroyer of the dark power of illusion?" Surely, it is
that philosophy that tends to diminish, instead of adding to, the
sum of human misery, which is the best
At all events, the choice is there, and for this purpose only
have we opened our pages to every kind of contributors. Therefore
do you find in them the views of a Christian clergyman who
believes in his God and Christ, but rejects the wicked
interpretations and the enforced dogmas of his ambitious proud
Church, along with the doctrines of the Hylo-Idealist, who denies
God, soul, and immortality, and believes in nought save himself.

The rankest Materialists will find hospitality in our journal;
aye, even those who have not scrupled to fill pages of it with
sneers and personal remarks upon ourselves, and abuse of the
doctrines of Theosophy, so dear to us.

When a journal of free thought, conducted by an Atheist, inserts
an article by a Mystic or Theosophist in praise of his occult
views and the mystery of Parabrahmam, and passes on it only a few
casual remarks, then shall we say LUCIFER has found a rival. When
a Christian periodical or missionary organ accepts an article
from the pen of a free-thinker deriding belief in Adam and his
rib, and passes criticism on Christianity--its editor's faith--in
meek silence, then it will have become worthy of LUCIFER, and may
be said truly to have reached that degree of tolerance when it
may be placed on a level with any Theosophical publication.

But so long as none of these organs do something of the kind,
they are all sectarian, bigoted, intolerant, and can never have
an idea of truth and justice. They may throw innuendoes against
LUCIFER and its editors, they cannot affect either. In fact, the
editors of that magazine feel proud of such criticism and
accusations, as they are witnesses to the absolute absence of
bigotry, or arrogance of any kind in theosophy, the result of the
divine beauty of the doctrines it preaches.

For, as said, Theosophy allows a hearing and a fair chance to

It deems no views--if sincere--entirely destitute of truth. It
respects thinking men, to whatever class of thought they may
belong. Ever ready to oppose ideas and views which can only
create confusion without benefiting philosophy, it leaves their
expounders personally to believe in whatever they please, and
does justice to their ideas when they are good. Indeed, the
conclusions or deductions of a philosophic writer may be entirely
opposed to our views and the teachings we expound; yet his
premises and statements of facts may be quite correct, and other
people may profit by the adverse philosophy, even if we ourselves
reject it, believing we have something higher and still nearer to
the truth. In any case, our profession of faith is now made
plain, and all that is said in the foregoing pages both justifies
and explains our editorial policy.

To sum up the idea, with regard to absolute and relative truth,
we can only repeat what we said before.

Outside a certain highly spiritual and elevated state of mind,
during which Man is at one with the UNIVERSAL MIND--he can get
nought on earth but relative truth, or truths, from whatsoever
philosophy or religion. Were even the goddess who dwells at the
bottom of the well to issue from her place of confinement, she
could give man no more than he can assimilate.

Meanwhile, every one can sit near that well--the name of which is
KNOWLEDGE--and gaze into its depths in the hope of seeing Truth's
fair image reflected, at least, on the dark waters.

This, however, as remarked by Richter, presents a certain danger.
Some truth, to be sure, may be occasionally reflected as in a
mirror on the spot we gaze upon, and thus reward the patient
student. But, adds the German thinker, "I have heard that some
philosophers in seeking for Truth, to pay homage to her, have
seen their own image in the water and adored it instead." . . . .
It is to avoid such a calamity--one that has befallen every
founder of a religious or philosophical school--that the editors
are studiously careful not to offer the reader only those truths
which they find reflected in their own personal brains.

They offer the public a wide choice, and refuse to show bigotry
and intolerance, which are the chief landmarks on the path of
Sectarianism. But, while leaving the widest margin possible for
comparison, our opponents cannot hope to find their faces
reflected on the clear waters of our LUCIFER, without remarks or
just criticism upon the most prominent features thereof, if in
contrast with theosophical views. This, however, only within the
cover of the public magazine, and so far as regards the merely
intellectual aspect of philosophical truths.

Concerning the deeper spiritual, and one may almost say
religious, beliefs, no true Theosophist ought to degrade these by
subjecting them to public discussion, but ought rather to
treasure and hide them deep within the sanctuary of his innermost
soul. Such beliefs and doctrines should never be rashly given
out, as they risk unavoidable profanation by the rough handling
of the indifferent and the critical. Nor ought they to be
embodied in any publication except as hypotheses offered to the
consideration of the thinking portion of the public. Theosophical
truths, when they transcend a certain limit of speculation, had
better remain concealed from public view, for the "evidence of
things not seen" is no evidence save to him who sees, hears, and
senses it. It is not to be dragged outside the 'Holy of Holies,"
the temple of the impersonal divine Ego, or the indwelling SELF.
For, while every fact outside its perception can, as we have
shown, be, at best, only a relative truth, a ray from the
absolute truth can reflect itself only in the pure mirror of its
own flame--our highest SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS. And how can the
darkness (of illusion) comprehend the LIGHT that shineth in it?

-- H P Blavatsky



-----Original Message-----
From: g s
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2002 7:27 AM
Subject: M---i - L--n's "Baloney"


J-y S and G-e S are both me. I am currently subscribed to
theos-l, and only to theos-l. ---- and -----....appear to me to
be good examples of ethics without compassion, and why I keep
harping on this problem within the T S community. Exoteric
Theosophy is big on ethics, and weak on compassion....


Please continue with POST II next

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