RE: How do we incorporate the ONE with daily life?
Sep 26, 2004 12:59 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Sept 26 2004
RE: How do we incorporate the ONE with daily life?
The philosophy of THEOSOPHY advances a rationale for the existence of things
as they are, and traces this back to the beginning of our present Universe.
It holds that there is a spiritual unity (not psychic or wonder seeking)
which acts as the basis for life and living.
In every living entity there is a base of continued life-force. The Idea of
such a life-force is conveyed in words like "soul, spirit, individuality,
mind, wisdom, law, Karma, 'the Goal of sublime perfection for everyone,'
etc... There is whole gamut of concepts that are interlocking and cohesive.
As such, it offers a "path" that anyone can use or consider , which leads to
continuous improvement and perfection. It declares that all are on this
"path," even if we are unaware of it. Many religions will be found at their
foundation to have said the same thing, since all those have arisen from the
single base of THEOSOPHY.
Brotherhood, honesty, truthfulness, kindness, generosity -- in fact all the
virtues are declared to be the only "path" towards a final wisdom -- which
is said to be the objective of our many lives. Every religion will be
found to have originated in a reform of an older one. In effect the reform
always will be found to consist in a return to virtue and its practice.
Religions do not exclude or excommunicate each other, but priesthoods (the
creators of rites, rituals and dogmas) that have taken over the work of
maintaining the religions and aspirations of people have done that. That is
sadly what has debased them all.
The spirit in Man is said to be immortal, and this is reasonable, since all
our work happiness and suffering alike ought to lead us to think deeply
about the causes of such events as arise in our lives.
If, at death, all is lost, then why such effort? If on the other hand all
that is righteous is preserved. Then there is hope for a continual
improvement in the future of those who see and practice this. It will be
noticed that all dishonest individuals always try to cloak themselves in the
outward robes of "virtue." Why?
Let me offer to you a small survey of this:
THEOSOPHY AS A GUIDE IN LIFE
By William Q. Judge
This is a practical age, and every system or theory is challenged to give
proofs of what it may accomplish in action. How very little is gained by
mere belief is the standing reproach to Churches. Their diversified Creeds
have been steadily evolving through the centuries as new problems in
theology or science arose, and today the separated sects have an outfit of
every possible belief on every possible theme. No small proportion of these
themes are in regions remote from practical life, as also from any means of
proof. They concern such questions as the number and nature of Divine
Beings, the character and bearing of the Divine Will, the fixedness of the
future life, the best form of ecclesiastical sacraments, etc. -- all of them
with little facility of demonstration and with no utility when demonstrated.
Moreover, it is quite evident that, whether there be One God or Three,
whether He predestinates or not, whether evil-doers are damned eternally or
temporarily, whether Baptism is efficacious towards pardon, the various
sects have not made this earth more worthy of the Divine care or diminished
the evils which religion should cure. As conservators of morals, abaters of
sin, regenerators of society, Churches are assuredly a lamentable failure.
It is not merely that society remains unregenerated, but that nobody now
expects them to regenerate it. A copious provision of minute creeds has
clearly done nothing to extirpate evil.
This being so, it is just as certain that the addition of another creed will
not do so. The two classes interested in human progress are the
philanthropic and the devout, and both, when any unfamiliar scheme for such
progress is submitted to them, are sure to point out that mere beliefs have
wholly failed. They say, with entire correctness, that not a new platform or
Church is needed, but something with an object and an impulsion hitherto
If Theosophy has no better aim than have the sects, if it imparts no motive
stronger than do they, if it can show no results more distinct and valuable,
it may as well be rejected now as after a futile trial. But, on the other
hand, if it holds out a better prospect and a finer spur, if it can prove
that these have actually operated where conventional ones have failed, it is
entitled to a hearing. The doctrinal question is subordinate, though, of
course, an ethical system is more hopeful if upon a rational basis.
Let us see if the unfamiliar system known as "Theosophy," and which has
lately received so much attention from the thinking world, possesses any
qualities warranting its substitution for the religions around it. They have
not reformed mankind; can It?
Now 1st. -- Theosophy abolishes the cause of all of the sin, and most of the
misery, of life.
That cause is selfishness. Every form of dishonesty, violence, outrage,
fraud, even discourtesy, comes from the desire to promote one's own ends,
even if the rights of others have to be sacrificed thereby. All aggression
upon fellow-men, all attempts to appropriate their comfort, possessions, or
plans, all efforts to belittle, outshine, or humiliate them, express the
feeling that self-gratification is to be sought before all else.
This is equally true of personal vices, as well as of that personal contempt
for Divine authority which we may call "impiety." Hence the root of all evil
conduct towards God, towards other men, or towards one-self is self-love,
self-love so strong as to sacrifice everything rather than its own
>From this indulgence follow two things.
First, the pains of envy, disappointment, jealousy, and all the mean and
biting passions which attend the ever-present thought of self, and the utter
loss of all those finer, gentler joys which are the fruit of beneficence and
Second, the restraining measures which society, for its own protection, is
obliged to put upon aggression in its coarser forms, -- the workhouses,
jails, and gibbets from which no land of civilization and churches is free.
And if we wish to realize what would be the effect of a universal reign of
unselfishness among men, we may picture a land without courts, prisons, and
policemen, a society without peculation, chicanery, or deceit, a community
whereof every heart was as vacant of envy and guile as it certainly would be
of unhappiness and pain. The root of universal sorrow would be eradicated,
the stream dried at its source.
Now this is what Theosophy enjoins. Its cardinal doctrine is the absolute
equality of human rights and the universal obligation to respect them. If my
neighbor's possessions -- of feeling, property, happiness, what not -- are
as much to be regarded as are mine, and if I feel that, I shall not invade
Still more. If I perceive the true fraternity of man, if I am in accord with
the law of sympathy it evokes, if I realize that the richest pleasure comes
from giving rather than receiving good, I shall not be passively
unaggressive, I shall be actively beneficent. In other words, I shall be a
true philanthropist. And in being this I shall have gained the highest reach
of happiness to self, for "he that loseth his life, the same shall save it."
You say that this is a Christian text? Very well; it is also the epitome of
Then 2nd. -- Theosophy sounds ceaselessly the truth that every act of right
or wrong shall receive its due reward.
Most religious systems say otherwise. Usually they provide a "vicarious"
plan by which punishment is to be dodged and unearned bliss secured. But if
awards may be transferred, so may duties, and thus chaos is introduced into
the moral order of the universe. Moreover, the palpable injustices of human
life, those injustices which grieve the loving heart and sting the bitter
one, are unaccounted for. All the inequalities and paradoxes and
uncertainties so thick around us are insoluble. Why evil flourishes and good
withers may not be known. Night settles down on the most important of human
Theosophy illuminates it at once. It insists that moral causes are no less
effective than are physical, and that its due effect, in harm or benefit, is
infallibly attached to every moral act. There is no escape, no loss, no
uncertainty; the law is absolutely unflinching and irresistible. Every penny
of debt must be paid, by or to the individual himself. Not by any means
necessarily in one life, but somewhere and somehow along the great chain is
rigorous justice done; for the effect of causes generated on the moral plane
may have to exhaust themselves in physical circumstances.
If unselfishness constitutes the method towards social regeneration, Karma
-- for such is the name of this doctrine of justice -- must constitute its
stimulus. Nothing fails; -- no good, no evil, can die without its fruit. The
result of a deed is as certain as the deed. How can a system be unpractical
when it abolishes every bar to the law of causation, and makes practice the
key to its whole operation?
Then 3rd. -- Theosophy holds that every man is the framer of his own
All the theological apparatus of "elections" and "predestinations" and
"foreordinations" it breaks indignantly to bits. The semi-material theories
of "luck," and "fate," and "chance" fare no better. Every other theory which
shifts responsibility or paralyzes effort is swept away.
Theosophy will have none of them. It insists that we can be only that which
we have willed to be, that no power above or below will thwart or divert us,
that our destiny is in our hands. We may perceive the beauty of that
conception of the future which embodies it in a restoration to the Divine
fullness through continuous purgation of all that is sensuous and selfish
and belittling, and, so perceiving, may struggle on towards that distant
goal; or self-besotted, eager only for the transient and the material, we
may hug closely our present joys, heedless alike of others and of Karmic
law; but, whatever be the ideal, whatever the effort, whatever the result,
it is ours alone. No Divinity will greet the conqueror as a favorite of
Heaven; no Demon will seize the lost in a predestined clutch. What we are we
have made ourselves; what we shall be is ours to make.
Here comes in the fact of Reincarnation. No one life is adequate to a man's
development. Again and again must he come to earth, to taste its quality, to
lay up its experience and its discipline, each career on earth determining
the nature of its successor. Two things follow: 1st, our present state
discloses what we have accomplished in past lives; 2nd, our present habits
decide what the next life shall be. The formative power is lodged in us; our
aspiration prompting, our will effecting, the aim desired. Surely it is the
perfection of fairness that every man shall be what he wishes to be!
Of all the many schemes for human melioration which history has recorded and
humanity tried, is there one so rational, so just, so impartial, so
elevating, so motived, as that presented by Theosophy? Artificial
distinctions and conceptions are wholly expunged. Fanciful ambitions have
absolutely no place. Mechanical devices are completely absent. The root of
all separations and enmities -- selfishness -- is exposed and denounced. The
inflexibility of moral law is vigorously declaimed. The realization of
individual aim is made entirely individual. Thus sweeping away every
artifice and annulling every check devised by theologians, opening the path
to the highest ideal of religious fervor, insuring that not an item is lost
in the long account each man runs up in his many lives, handing over to each
the determination and the acquirement of his chosen aim, Theosophy does what
no rival system has done or can do, -- affirms the moral consciousness,
vindicates the moral sense, spurs the moral motive. And thus it is both
practical and practicable.
Thus, too, it becomes a guide in life. Once given the aim before a man and
the certainty that every act affects that aim, the question of the
expediency of any act is at once determined. Is an act selfish, unfraternal,
aggressive? It is then untheosophical. Is it conducive to unselfishness,
spirituality, progress? Then Theosophy affirms it. The test is simple and
uncomplicated, and, because so, feasible. He who would be guided through the
intricacies of life need seek no priest or intercessor, but, illuminated
with the Divine Spirit ever present in his inner man, stimulated by the
vision of ultimate reunion with the Supreme, assured that each effort has
its inseparately-joined result, conscious that in himself is the
responsibility for its adoption, may go on in harmony, hope, and happiness,
free from misgivings as to justice or success, and strong in the faith that
he who has conformed to Nature and her laws shall be conformed to the
destiny which she predicts for Man.
See PATH 4, p. 154
THE APPLICATION OF THEOSOPHICAL THEORIES
The mistake is being made by a great many persons, among them being
Theosophists, of applying several of the doctrines current in Theosophical
literature, to only one or two phases of a question or to only one thing at
a time, limiting rules which have universal application to a few cases, when
in fact all those doctrines which have been current in the East for so long
a time should be universally applied. For instance, take the law of Karma.
Some people say, "yes, we believe in that," but they only apply it to human
beings. They consider it only in its relation to their own acts or to the
acts of all men. Sometimes they fail to see that it has its effect not only
on themselves and their fellows, but as well on the greatest of Mahatmas.
Those great Beings are not exempt from it; in fact they are, so to say, more
bound by it than we are. Although they are said to be above Karma, this is
only to be taken to mean that, having escaped from the wheel of Samsara
(which means the wheel of life and death, or rebirths), and in that sense
are above Karma, at the same time we will find them often unable to act in a
Why? If they have transcended Karma, how can it be possible that in any
instance they may not break the law, or perform certain acts which to us
seem to be proper at just that juncture?
Why can they not, say in the case of a chela who has worked for them and for
the cause, for years with the most exalted unselfishness, interfere and save
him from suddenly falling or being overwhelmed by horrible misfortune; or
interfere to help or direct a movement? It is because they have become part
of the great law of Karma itself. It would be impossible for them to lift a
Again, we know that at a certain period of progress, far above this
sublunary world, the adept reaches a point when he may, if he so chooses,
formulate a wish that he might be one of the Devas, one of that bright host
of beings of whose pleasure, glory and power we can have no idea. The mere
formulation of the wish is enough. At that moment he becomes one of the
Devas. He then for a period of time which in its extent is incalculable,
enjoys that condition--then what? Then he has to begin again low down in the
scale, in a mode and for a purpose which it would be useless to detail here,
because it could not be understood, and also because I am not able to put it
in any language with which I am conversant. In this, then, is not this
particular adept who thus fell, subject to the law of Karma?
There is in the Hindoo books a pretty story which illustrates this. A
certain man heard that every day a most beautiful woman rose up out of the
sea, and combed her hair. He resolved that he would go to see her. He went,
and she rose up as usual. He sprang into the sea behind her, and with her
went down to her abode. There he lived with her for a vast length of time.
One day she said she had to go away and stated that he must not touch a
picture which was on the wall, and then departed. In a few days, fired by
curiosity, he went to look at the picture; saw that it was an enameled one
of a most ravishingly beautiful person, and he put out his hand to touch it.
At that moment the foot of the figure suddenly enlarged, flew out from the
frame, and sent him back to the scenes of earth, where he met with only
sorrow and trouble.
The law of Karma must be applied to everything. Nothing is exempt from it.
It rules the vital molecule from plant up to Brahma himself. Apply it then
to the vegetable, animal and human kingdom alike.
Another law is that of Reincarnation. This is not to be confined only to the
souls and bodies of men. Why not use it for every branch of nature to which
it may be applicable? Not only are we, men and women, reincarnated; but also
every molecule of which our bodies are composed. In what way, then, can we
connect this rule with all of our thoughts?
Does it apply there? It seems to me that it does, and with as much force as
anywhere. Each thought is of definite length. It does not last for over what
we may call an instant, but the time of its duration is in fact much
shorter. It springs into life and then it dies; but it is at once reborn in
the form of another thought. And thus the process goes on from moment to
moment, from hour to hour, from day to day. And each one of these
reincarnated thoughts lives its life, some good, some bad, some so terrible
in their nature that if we could see them we would shrink back in affright.
Further than that, a number of these thoughts form themselves into a certain
idea, and it dies to be reincarnated in its time. Thus on rolls this vast
flood. Will it overwhelm us? It may; it often does. Let us then make our
thoughts pure. Our thoughts are the matrix, the mine, the fountain, the
source of all that we are and of all that we may be.
WILLIAM Q. JUDGE, The Occult Word, May, 1886
From: Richard F
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2004 8:55 PM
Subject: Re: How do we incorporate the ONE with daily life?
I am new to the study of Theosophy, but not new to trying to develop
an intuitive sense of the unity of all. I practiced Zen for a
period of time a number of years ago and I believe the practice of
zazen is directed at this perception. Zazen practice is basic to the
Zen I was introduced to. The Zen Master that provided the teaching
said that practice is essential and Buddhist teachings enhance the
practice experience. This experience would lead me to the
understanding that to develop a real perception of the Unity you
referred to requires an activity such as you are suggesting.
Since my study of Theology so far only includes some of the
introductory materials on the Blavatsky.net Web site and the first two
chapters of DEITY, COSMOS AND MAN, I not sure what method of moving
one's consciousness along has been identified. So far none of the
concepts presented in DEITY, COSMOS AND MAN seem surprising. In my
youth I was really searching for the Way and many of these concepts
presented themselves. I then began studying Christianity. However, I
have found some of what has been presented to be hard to reconcile.
Unfortunately, materialism seems to have dominated most of my time and
I'm glad I stumbled on this study.
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