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Jun 07, 2006 11:56 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

Wednesday, June 07, 2006




This may set some of our ideas on THEOSOPHY more clearly:









"...on the subject of Universal Brotherhood as a fact in nature; not as a
theory, not as a Utopian dream which can never he realized; not as a fact in
society, not as a fact in government, but as a fact in nature. That is, that
Universal Brotherhood is an actual thing, whether it is recognized or
whether it is not. Christian priests have claimed for some years, without
right, that Christianity introduced the idea of Universal Brotherhood. The
reason the claim was made, I suppose, was because those who made it did not
know that other religions at other times had the same doctrine. 


It is found in the Buddhist scriptures, it is found in the Chinese books, it
is found in the Parsee books, it is found everywhere in the history of the
world, long before the first year of the Christian Era began. So it is not a
special idea from the Christian Scriptures. Every nation, then, every
civilization has brought forward this doctrine, and the facts of history
show us that, more than at any other time, the last eighteen hundred years
have seen this doctrine violated in society, in government, and in nations.
So that at last men have come to say, "Universal Brotherhood is very
beautiful; it is something that we all desire, but it is impossible to
realize." With one word they declare the noble doctrine, and with the other
they deny the possibility of its ever being realized.


Why is this the case? Why is it that although Christianity and other
religions have brought forward this doctrine, it has been violated? We
cannot deny that it has been. The history of even the last few years proves
it. The history of the last forty years in America, without going any
farther back, proves that this doctrine has been violated in the West. How
could it have been a doctrine that the Americans believed in when they had
slavery in their midst? How could it have been believed in by the French
when they stretched out their hand and demanded of Siam, a weak and
powerless nation, that it must give up to them its own property? How could
it have been believed in by the Germans and French when they constructed
engines of war and went into battle and destroyed each other by the
thousand? Does not the American War of the Rebellion and the vast amount of
treasure wasted and the thousands slain in that civil war prove conclusively
that Universal Brotherhood has not been practiced? It has been professed but
not practiced. 


Now,  go further back, go back in the history of the nations in Europe,
without going to any other country, and what do you find? Do you not find
sectarian prejudice? Their view of Universal Brotherhood has for years
prevented the progress of science. Is it not true that only since science
became materialized-a most remarkable thing, but it is true-I insist that
since then only science has made progress. 


If Universal Brotherhood had been a belief of this nation, then we would not
have had the burning of witches in America; nor in other countries would we
have had the burning of Catholics by Protestants, nor the burning of
Protestants by Catholics; we would not have had the persecutions that have
stained the pages of history; and yet we have always claimed that we have
had Universal Brotherhood. We have had the theory hut not the practice. 


Now, then, has there not been something wanting? It is a beautiful doctrine.
It is the only doctrine of the Theosophical Society, the only thing that any
man is asked by us to subscribe to. What, then, is the matter with it? Why
so many men who say that it is beautiful, but it is impossible. simply
impossible? There are even some branches of the Christian church which say,
"There is Jesus; why, the altruistic, noble teachings of Christ are
beautiful; but no State could live three months under such doctrine." The
reason that it has not prevailed in practice is that it has been denied in
the heart.


The Theosophist who knows any thing about life insists that Universal
Brotherhood is not a mere theory. It is a fact, a living ever present fact,
from which no nation can hope to escape; no man can escape from it, and
every man who violates it violates a law, violates the greatest law of
nature, which will react upon him and make him suffer. And that is why we
have had suffering; that is why you have in Chicago, in London, in New York,
in Berlin, in all the great cities of the world, masses of people who are
claiming with violence what they call their rights and saying they must have
them, and that another class is oppressing them; and danger lurks in every
corner because men are insisting on Universal Brotherhood. This noble
doctrine has already become a danger. The reason of all these things is that
men have denied the fact. Now, we propose to show you, if we can, that it is
a fact.


If you will notice you will find that when it rains over a certain area vast
numbers of men are affected similarly. The rain has to fall on the fields in
order that the harvest may grow, so that afterwards it may be gathered, and
all the farmers are affected together by the rain. 


If you examine society you will find that at the same hour every day almost
all the people are doing exactly the same thing. At a certain hour in the
morning thousands of your citizens are going down that railway or rush all
together to catch the train and at another few moments afterward they are
rushing out of the train to get to business, all doing the same thing, one
common thought inspiring them. 


That is one of the proofs-a small one-in social and business life that they
are affected together. they are all united. Then in the evening they will
come home at the same hour, and if you could see, at the same hour you would
see them all eating together and digesting together, and then later on they
are all lying down together at the same hour. Are they not united even in
their social life? Brothers even in that? And what do we see here in
business? Lately I have felt it; every man has felt it, and many women;
doubtless all have felt it; lately we have had a financial crisis, perhaps
have it yet, in which dollars have been scarce, during which men have
discovered that there are only just so many dollars and half dollars to each
person in the country, and we have altogether been suffering from that panic
all over this vast country. 


Suffering, why? Because commercially we are united and cannot get out of it.
China even is affected by it, and Japan. India, they say, was the cause of
it. Some men say the reason for this panic is that India put the price of
rupees down, and we who produce so much silver began to feel it. I do not
know that that is the reason. But I think there is another cause. I think
the American nation is so fond of luxury, so fond of fine clothes, so fond
of having a heap of money, that it has gone too far and there was bound to
come a reaction, because it is all united together with the whole world, and
when it spread itself out too far the slightest touch broke the fabric. That
is the reason, and that is another proof of Universal Brotherhood. We are
all united, not only with each other here, but with the entire world.


Now, then, go further still materially and you find that all men are alike.
We have the same sort of bodies, a little different perhaps in height,
weight, and extension, but as human beings we are all alike, all the same
color in one country, all the same shape in any country, so that as mere
bodies of flesh they are united, they are the same. 


We know every man and woman has exuding from him or her what is called
perspiration. The doctors will tell you there is a finer perspiration you
cannot see, the invisible perspiration which goes out a short distance
around about us; we know it comes out from every person, and the emanations
of each person are affecting every other person, being interchanged always.
All those in this room are being affected by these emanations and also by
the ideas of each other, and the ideas of the speakers speaking to you. So
it is in every direction; wherever you go, wherever you look, we are united;
in what ever plane, the plane of mind as well as the plane of the body; the
plane of the emotions, of the spirit, what not, we are all united, and it is
a fact from which we cannot escape. Now, then, further: science is beginning
to admit what the old Theosophists have always said, that there is going on
every minute in every person a death, a dissolution, a disappearance. It
used to be taught and thought in the West that we could see matter, that
this table is made of matter. 


It is admitted today by your best scientific men in every part of Western
civilization that you do not see matter at all; it is only the phenomena of
matter we see; and it is my senses which enable me to perceive these
phenomena. It is not matter at all, and so we do not see matter. Now
admitting that, they go further and say there is a constant change in matter
so-called; that is, this table is in motion. This is not a purely
Theosophical theory. Go to any doctor of Physics and he will admit to you as
I have stated it. This table is in motion; every molecule is separate from
every other, and there is space between them, and they are moving. So it is
with every man; he is made of atoms and they are in motion. Then how is it
we remain the same size and weight nearly always from the moment of maturity
until death? We eat tons of meat and vegetables but remain the same. It is
not because of the things you have eaten. 


In addition to that the atoms are alive, constantly moving, coming and going
from one person to another; and this is the modern doctrine today as well as
it was the doctrine of ancient India. They call it the momentary dissolution
of atoms; that is to say, to put it in another way, I am losing, all of you
in this room are losing, a certain number of atoms, but they are being
replaced by other atoms. 


Now, where do these other atoms come from? Do they not come from the people
in this room? These atoms help to rebuild your body as well as does the food
you eat. And we are exuding atoms from our minds, and we are receiving into
ourselves the atoms other men have used. For, remember, science teaches you,
and Theosophy has always insisted, that matter is invisible before it is
turned into this combination of the life cycle, which makes it visible,
makes it tangible to us. 


So these atoms leave us in a stream and rush into other people. And
therefore the atoms of good men go into bad men, the atoms impressed by bad
men go into good men, and vice versa. In that way as well as others we are
affecting everybody in this world; and the people in Chicago who are living
mean, selfish lives are impressing these invisible atoms with mean and
selfish characters, and these mean and selfish atoms will be distributed by
other men, and by you again to your and their detriment. 


That is another phase of Universal Brotherhood. It teaches us to be careful
to see that we use and keep the atoms in our charge in such a condition that
they shall benefit others to whom they shall go.

There is another view of Universal Brotherhood, and I don't pretend to
exhaust the argument on this point, for I have not the time nor force to
state all that is put forward in the Theosophical books and literature and


That is, that there is in this world an actual Universal Brotherhood of men
and women, of souls, a brotherhood of beings who practice Universal
Brotherhood by always trying to influence the souls of men for their good. 


I bring to you the message of these men; I bring to you the words of that
brotherhood. Why will you longer call yourselves miserable men and women who
are willing to go to a Heaven where you will do nothing? Do you not like to
be gods? Do you not want to be gods? I hear some men say, "What, a god!
Impossible!" Perhaps they do not like the responsibility. Why, when you get
to that position you will understand the responsibility. This actual
Brotherhood of living men says, Why, men of the West, why will you so long
refuse to believe you are gods? We are your brothers and we are gods with
you. Be then as gods! Believe that you are gods, and then, after experience
and attainment. You will have a place consciously in the great Brotherhood
which governs the entire world, but cannot go against the law. This great
Brotherhood of living men, living souls, would, if they could, alter the
face of civilization; they would, if they could, come down and make saints
of every one of you; but evolution is the law and they cannot violate it;
they must wait for you. 


And why will you so long be satisfied to believe that you are born in
original sin and cannot escape? I do not believe in any such doctrine as
that. I do not believe I was born in original sin. I believe that I am
pretty bad, but that potentially I am a god, and I propose to take the
inheritance if it is possible. For what purpose? So that I may help all the
rest to do the same thing, for that is the law of Universal Brotherhood; and
the Theosophical Society wishes to enforce it on the West, to make it see
this great truth, that we are as gods, and are only prevented from being so
in fact by our own insanity, ignorance, and fear to take the position.


So, then, we insist that Universal Brotherhood is a fact in nature. it is a
fact for the lowest part of nature; for the animal kingdom, for the
vegetable kingdom, and the mineral kingdom. We are all atoms, obeying the
law together. Our denying it does not disprove it. It simply puts off the
day of reward and keeps us miserable, poor, and selfish. Why, just think of
it! if all in Chicago, in the United States, would act as Jesus has said, as
Buddha has said, as Confucius said, as all the great ethical teachers of the
world have said, 


"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," 


would there be any necessity for legal measures and policemen with clubs in
this park as you had them the other day? No, I think there would be no
necessity, and that is what one of this great Brotherhood has said. He said
all the troubles of the world would disappear in a moment if men would only
do one-quarter of what they could and what they ought. 


It is not God who is to damn you to death, to misery. It is your self. And
the Theosophical Society desires above all things, not that you should
understand spiritualism, not that wonderful occult works should be
performed, but to understand the constitution of matter and of Life as they
are, which we can never understand but by practicing right ethics. 


Live with each other as brothers; for the misery and the trouble of the
world are of more importance than all the scientific progress that may be
imagined. I conclude by calling upon you by all that humanity holds dear to
remember what I say, and whether Christians, Atheists, Jews, Pagans,
Heathen, or Theosophists, try to practice Universal Brotherhood, which is
the universal duty of all men.

      Address given by Wm. Q. Judge 

            [Parliament Of Religions  1893  WQJ ART.  I  41 ]







WE consider Karma as the Ultimate Law of the Universe, the source, origin
and fount of all other laws which exist throughout Nature. Karma is the
unerring law which adjusts effect to cause, on the physical, mental and
spiritual planes of being. As no cause remains without its due effect from
greatest to least, from a cosmic disturbance down to the movement of your
hand, and as like produces like, Karma is that unseen and unknown law which
adjusts wisely, intelligently and equitably each effect to its cause,
tracing the latter back to its producer. Though itself unknowable, its
action is perceivable. Though we do not know what Karma is per se, and in
its essence, we do know how it works, and we can define and describe its
mode of action with accuracy.




We describe Karma as that Law of readjustment which ever tends to restore
disturbed equilibrium in the physical, and broken harmony in the moral
world. We say that Karma does not act in this or that particular way always;
but that it always does act so as to restore Harmony and preserve the
balance of equilibrium, in virtue of which the Universe exists.

Think now of a pond. A stone falls into the water and creates disturbing
waves. These waves oscillate backwards and forwards till at last, owing to
the operation of what physicists call the law of the dissipation of energy,
they are brought to rest, and the water returns to its condition of calm
tranquility. Similarly all action, on every plane, produces disturbance in
the balanced harmony of the Universe, and the vibrations so produced will
continue to roll backwards and forwards, if its area is limited, till
equilibrium is restored. But since each such disturbance starts from some
particular point, it is clear that equilibrium and harmony can only be
restored by the reconverging to that same point of all the forces which were
set in motion from it. And here you have proof that the consequences of a
man's deeds, thoughts, etc. must all react upon himself with the same force
with which they were set in motion.

Nor would the ways of Karma be inscrutable were men to work in union and
harmony, instead of disunion and strife. For our ignorance of those
ways-which one portion of mankind calls the ways of Providence, dark and
intricate; while another sees in them the action of blind Fatalism; and a
third, simple chance, with neither gods nor devils to guide them-would
surely disappear, if we would but attribute all these to their correct
cause. With right knowledge, or at any rate with a confident conviction that
our neighbours will no more work to hurt us than we would think of harming
them, two-thirds of the World's evil would vanish into thin air. Were no man
to hurt his brother, Karma-Nemesis would have neither cause to work for, nor
weapons to act through. It is the constant presence in our midst of every
element of strife and opposition, and the division of races, nations,
tribes, societies and individuals into Cams and Abels, wolves and lambs,
that is the chief cause of the "ways of Providence." We cut these numerous
windings in our destinies daily with our own hands, while we imagine that we
are pursuing a track on the royal high road of respectability and duty, and
then complain of those ways being so intricate and so dark. We stand
bewildered before the mystery of our own making, and the riddles of life
that we will not solve, and then accuse the great Sphinx of devouring us.
But verily there is not an accident in our lives, not a misshapen day, or a
misfortune, that could not be traced back to our own doings in this or in
another life.




Questions with regard to Karma and rebirths are constantly offered, and a
great confusion seems to exist upon this subject. Those who are born and
bred in the Christian faith, and have been trained in the idea that a new
soul is created by God for every newly-born infant, are among the most
perplexed. They ask whether in such case the number of incarnating Monads on
Earth is limited; to which they are answered in the affirmative. It was
stated that Karma-Nemesis, whose bond-maid is Nature, adjusted everything in
the most harmonious manner; and that therefore, the fresh pouring-in, or
arrival of new Monads, had ceased as soon as Humanity had reached its full
physical development. 


No fresh Monads have incarnated since the middle point of the Atlanteans.
Hence, remembering that, save in the case of young children, and of
individuals whose lives were violently cut off by some accident, no
Spiritual Entity can reincarnate before a period of many centuries has
elapsed, such gaps alone must show that the number of Monads is necessarily
finite and limited. .

Hence the assertion that many of us are now working off the effects of the
evil Karmic causes produced by us in Atlantean bodies. The LAW of KARMA is
inextricably interwoven with that of Reincarnation.

it is only this doctrine, we say, that can explain to us the mysterious
problem of Good and Evil, and reconcile man to the terrible and apparent
injustice of life. Nothing but such certainty can quiet our revolted sense
of justice. For, when one unacquainted with the noble doctrine looks around
him, and observes the inequalities of birth and fortune, of intellect and
capacities; when one sees honour paid fools and profligates, on whom fortune
has heaped her favours by mere privilege of birth, and their nearest
neighbour, with all his intellect and noble virtues-far more deserving in
every way-perishing of want and for lack of sympathy; when one sees all this
and has to turn away, helpless to relieve the undeserved suffering, one's
ears ringing and heart aching with the cries of pain around him-that blessed
knowledge of Karma alone prevents him from cursing life and men, as well as
their supposed Creator.

Of all the terrible blasphemies and accusations virtually thrown on their
God by the Monotheists, none is greater or more un pardonable than that
(almost always) false humility which makes the presumably "pious" Christian
assert, in connection with every evil and undeserved blow, that "such is the
will of God."


Compare this blind faith with the philosophical belief, based on every
reasonable evidence and life-experience, in Karma-Nemesis, or the Law of
Retribution. This Law-whether Conscious or Un conscious-predestines nothing
and no one. It exists from and in Eternity, truly for it is ETERNITY itself;
and as such, since no act can be co-equal with eternity, it cannot be said
to act, for it is ACTION itself. It is not the Wave which drowns a man, but
the personal action of the wretch, who goes deliberately and places himself
under the impersonal action of the laws that govern the Ocean's motion. 


Karma creates nothing, nor does it design. It is man who plans and creates
causes, and Karmic law adjusts the effects; which adjustment is not an act,
but universal harmony, tending ever to resume its original position, like a
bough, which, bent down too forcibly, rebounds with corresponding vigour. If
it happen to dislocate the arm that tried to bend it out of its natural
position, shall we say that it is the bough which broke our arm, or that our
own folly has brought us to grief? Karma has never sought to destroy
intellectual and individual liberty, like the God invented by the
Monotheists. It has not involved its decrees in darkness purposely to
perplex man; nor shall it punish him who dares to scrutinise its mysteries.
On the contrary, he who unveils through study and meditation its intricate
paths, and throws light on those dark ways, in the windings of which so many
men perish owing to their ignorance of the labyrinth of life, is working for
the good of his fellow-men. KARMA is an Absolute and Eternal law in the
World of manifestation; and as there can only be one Absolute, as One
eternal ever present Cause, believers in Karma cannot be regarded as
Atheists or materialists-still less as fatalists: for Karma is one with the
Unknowable, of which it is an aspect in its effects in the phenomenal world.

Intimately, or rather indissolubly, connected with Karma, then, is the law
of rebirth, or of the reincarnation of the same spiritual individuality in a
long, almost interminable, series of personalities. The latter are like the
various costumes and characters played by the same actor, with each of which
that actor identifies himself and is identified by the public, for the space
of a few hours. The inner, or real man, who personates those characters,
knows the whole time that he is Hamlet for the brief space of a few acts,
which rep resent, however, on the plane of human illusion the whole life of
Hamlet. And he knows that he was, the night before, King Lear, the
transformation in his turn of the Othello of a still earlier pre ceding
night; but the outer, visible character is supposed to be ignorant of the
fact. In actual life that ignorance is unfortunately, but too real.
Nevertheless, the permanent individuality is fully aware of the fact,
though, through the atrophy of the "spiritual" eye in the physical body,
that knowledge is unable to impress itself on the consciousness of the false




We distinguish between the simple fact of self-consciousness, the simple
feeling that "I am I," and the complex thought that "I am Mr. Smith" or
"Mrs. Brown." Believing as we do in a series of births for the same Ego, or
reincarnation, this distinction is the fundamental pivot of the whole idea.
. . . 


"Mr. Smith" really means a long series of daily experiences strung together
by the thread of memory, and forming what Mr. Smith calls "himself." But
none of these "experiences" are really the "I" or the Ego, nor do they give
"Mr. Smith" the feeling that he is himself, for he forgets the greater part
of his daily experiences, and they produce the feeling of Egoity in him only
while they last. We Theosophists, therefore, distinguish between this bundle
of "experiences," which we call the false (because so finite and evanescent)
personality, and that element in man to which the feeling of "I am I" is
due. It is this "I am I" which we call the true individuality; and we say
that this "Ego" or individuality plays, like an actor, many parts on the
stage of life.


Is it this Ego then which is our God? Not at all: "A God" is not the
universal deity, but only a spark from the one ocean of Divine Fire. Our God
within us, or "our Father in Secret" is what we call the "HIGHER SELF,"
Atma. Our incarnating Ego was a God in its origin, as were all the primeval
emanations of the One Un known Principle. But since its "fall into Matter,"
having to incarnate throughout the cycle, in succession, from first to last,
it is no longer a free and happy god, but a poor pilgrim on his way to
regain that which he has lost. I can answer you more fully by repeating what
is said of the INNER MAN in Isis Unveiled (Vol. II. 593):- From the remotest
antiquity mankind as a whole have always been convinced of the existence of
a personal spiritual entity within the personal physical man. This inner
entity was more or less divine, according to its proximity to the crown. 


The closer the union the more serene man's destiny, the less dangerous the
external conditions. This belief is neither bigotry nor superstition, only
an ever-present, instinctive feeling of the proximity of another spiritual
and invisible world, which, though it be subjective to the senses of the
outward man, is perfectly objective to the inner ego. Furthermore, they
believed that there are external and internal conditions which affect the
determination of our will upon our actions. They rejected fatalism, for
fatalism implies a blind course of some still blinder power. But they
believed in destiny or Karma, which from birth to death every man is weaving
thread by thread around himself, as a spider does his cobweb; and this
destiny is guided by that presence termed by some the guardian angel, or our
more intimate astral inner man, who is but too often the evil genius of the
man of flesh or the personality. Both these lead on MAN, but one of them
must prevail; and from the very beginning of the visible affray the stern
and implacable law of compensation and retribution steps in and takes its
course, following faithfully the fluctuating of the conflict. When the last
strand is woven, and man is seemingly enwrapped in the net-work of his own
doing, then he finds himself completely under the empire of this self-made
destiny. It then either fixes him like the inert shell against the immovable
rock, or like a feather carries him away in a whirlwind raised by his own


Such is the destiny of the MAN-the true Ego, not the Automaton, the shell
that goes by that name. Now some of our Theosophists have got into the habit
of using the words "Self" and "Ego" as synonymous, . . . whereas this term [
ought never to be applied except to the One universal Self. This "Higher
Self" (ATMA) . . . can never be "objective" under any circumstances, even to
the highest spiritual perception. For Atman or the "Higher Self" is really
Brahma, the ABSOLUTE, and indistinguishable from it. . . . For even Buddhi,
the "Spiritual Soul," is not the SELF, but the vehicle only of SELF. All the
other "Selves"-such as the "Individual" self and "personal" self-ought never
to be spoken or written of without their qualifying and characteristic


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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