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Dec 06, 2006 02:00 PM
by carlosaveline


Below,  a nice text by Dallas Tenbroeck on why the Masters refer to humanity as "the great orphan". 
The practical question is, "who is willing to go beyond personalistic questions and face truth, and think in planetary, universal terms?" 

See Dallas below, 



4/1/2006 7:55 AM


Is there a relation to be seen in this expression of love and compassion to
a saying attributed to the Masters whereby our humanity is call “an orphan?”

“If you want to know us, study our philosophy.

If you want to serve us, serve our humanity

Q.: What is the real meaning of that phrase so often seen in
Theosophical papers, “the great orphan, Humanity”?

W.Q.J.—This phrase has a deep significance for me. An orphan may also be one
who had no parents, as the state of orphanage is that of being without
father or mother. If we imagine a child appearing on the earth without a
parent, we would have to call it an orphan. Humanity is the “great orphan”
because it is without parents in the sense that it has produced itself and
hence from itself has to procure the guidance it needs. And as it wanders in
the dark valley of the shadow of death, it is more in need of help and
counsel than the mere body of a child which is the ordinary orphan. The soul
is parentless, existing of itself from all eternity, and, considered as
soul, mankind is hence an orphan. Plunged into matter, surrounded on every
side by the vast number of intricate illusions and temptations that belong
to earthly life, it stands every day and hour in need of protection as well
as guidance.


If the idea of a loving parent be applied to the notion that a definite God
has produced mankind, then we find that this supposed parent has at the same
time invented the most diversified and ingenious series of bedevilments and
torments to beguile, hurt, harass, and finally destroy the child. For if a
certain one God is the maker or parent of man, then He also is the one who
made nature. Nature is cruel, cold, and implacable. It stops for no man, it
never relents, it destroys without mercy. When inhabitants of earth
multiply, Nature manages to destroy millions of people in a night or two, as
has now and then happened in China; the very elect of the earth are swept
off the earth in a moment; slowly and painfully the infant races creep up
the ladder of time, leaving as they go vast heaps of slain at the foot. The
whole of life presents, indeed, to man more frowns than smiles. It is this
fact that has made so many who are told of a loving father and at the same
time of an illogical scheme of salvation revolt altogether from the idea of
any meaning to life but despair.

I cannot see how the phrase “great orphan” carries with it the notion of
being without guide or helper. The orphan is every where; but among the
units composing it are some who have risen through trial to the state where
they can help the lower ones. Orphans themselves, they live to benefit
mankind of which they are a part. They are the head of the body of which the
lower members are the less developed units or atoms. Enthusiasm for the
“orphan” is that which will lead to devotion and sacrifice; and that
enthusiasm must be developed not only in the Theosophist, but in all the men
of earth. Having it they will help all on their own plane, and each stratum
of men rising in development will help all below until all belonging to the
globe have risen to the perfect height. Then they can proceed to other spots
in cosmos where are also wandering vast masses of souls also units in the
“orphan,” who require and can then receive the same help that we had
extended to us. If this is not the destiny of man during the time when all
things are manifesting, then the remark of Spencer to the effect that
altruism is useless because when universal there is no one to benefit, must
be accepted. However, the phrase in the question is one of those rhetorical
ones that must not be read in its strict letter and ordinary meaning."

"As little, and far less than yourself does he seem to realize our real
object in the formation of an A.I. Branch. The truths and mysteries of
occultism constitute, indeed, a body of the highest spiritual importance, at
once profound and practical for the world at large. Yet, it is not as a mere
addition to the tangled mass of theory or speculation in the world of
science that they are being given to you, but for their practical bearing on
the interests of mankind. The terms "unscientific," "impossible,"
"hallucination," "impostor," have hitherto been used in a very loose,
careless way, as implying in the occult phenomena something either
mysterious and abnormal, or a premeditated imposture. And this is why our
chiefs have determined to shed upon a few recipient minds more light upon
the subject, and to prove to them that such manifestations are as reducible
to law as the simplest phenomena of the physical universe. The wiseacres
say: "The age of miracles is past," but we answer, "it never existed!" While
not unparalleled, or without their counterpart in universal history, these
phenomena must and WILL come with an overpowering influence upon the world
of sceptics and bigots. They have to prove both destructive and constructive
-- destructive in the pernicious errors of the past, in the old creeds and
superstitions which suffocate in their poisonous embrace like the Mexican
weed nigh all mankind; but constructive of new institutions of a genuine,
practical Brotherhood of Humanity where all will become co-workers of
nature, will work for the good of mankind with and [ 24 ] through the higher
planetary Spirits -- the only "Spirits" we believe in. Phenomenal elements,
previously unthought of -- undreamt of -- will soon begin manifesting
themselves day by day with constantly augmented force, and disclose at last
the secrets of their mysterious workings. Plato was right: ideas rule the
world; and, as men's minds will receive new ideas, laying aside the old and
effete, the world will advance: mighty revolutions will spring from them;
creeds and even powers will crumble before their onward march crushed by the
irresistible force. It will be just as impossible to resist their influx,
when the time comes, as to stay the progress of the tide. But all this will
come gradually on, and before it comes we have a duty set before us; that of
sweeping away as much as possible the dross left to us by our pious
forefathers. New ideas have to be planted on clean places, for these ideas
touch upon the most momentous subjects. It is not physical phenomena but
these universal ideas that we study, as to comprehend the former, we have to
first understand the latter. They touch man's true position in the universe,
in relation to his previous and future births; his origin and ultimate
destiny; the relation of the mortal to the immortal; of the temporary to the
eternal; of the finite to the infinite; ideas larger, grander, more
comprehensive, recognising the universal reign of Immutable Law, unchanging
and unchangeable in regard to which there is only an ETERNAL Now, while to
uninitiated mortals time is past or future as related to their finite
existence on this material speck of dirt. This is what we study and what
many have solved.

And now it is your province to decide which will you have: the highest
philosophy or simple exhibitions of occult powers. Of course this is by far
not the last word between us and -- you will have time to think it over. The
Chiefs want a "Brotherhood of Humanity," a real Universal Fraternity
started; an institution which would make itself known throughout the world
and arrest the attention of the highest minds. I will send you my Essay.
Will you be my co-worker and patiently wait for minor phenomena? I think I
foresee the answer. At all events the holy lamp of spiritual light burning
in you (however dimly) there is hope for you, and -- for me, also. Yes; put
yourself in search after natives if there are no English people to be had.
But think you, the spirit and power of persecution gone from this
enlightened age? Time will prove. Meanwhile, being human I have to rest. I
took no sleep for over 60 hours.

Ever yours truly,

"While the facilities of observation secured to some of us by our condition
certainly give a greater breadth of view, a more pronounced and impartial,
as a more widely spread humaneness -- for answering Addison, we might justly
maintain that it is . . . "the business of 'magic' to humanise our natures
with compassion" for the whole mankind as all living beings, instead of
concentrating and limiting our affections to one predilected race -- yet few
of us (except such as have attained the final negation of Moksha) can so far
enfranchise ourselves from the influence of our earthly connection as to be
insusceptible in various degrees to the higher pleasures, emotions, and
interests of the common run of humanity. Until final emancipation reabsorbs
the Ego, it must be conscious of the purest sympathies called out by the
esthetic effects of high art, its tenderest cords respond to the call of the
holier and nobler human attachments. Of course, the greater the progress
towards deliverance, the less this will be the case, until, to crown all,
human and purely individual personal feelings -- blood-ties and friendship,
patriotism and race predilection -- all will give away, to become blended
into one universal feeling, the only true and holy, the only unselfish and
Eternal one -- Love, an Immense Love for humanity -- as a Whole! For it is
"Humanity" which is the great Orphan, the only disinherited one upon this
earth, my friend. And it is the duty of every man who is capable of an
unselfish impulse, to do something, however little, for its welfare. Poor,
poor humanity! It reminds me of the old fable of the war between the Body
and its members: here too, each limb of this huge "Orphan" -- fatherless and
motherless -- selfishly cares but for itself. The body uncared for suffers
eternally, whether the limbs are at war or at rest. Its suffering and agony
never cease. . . . And who can blame it -- as your materialistic
philosophers [ 33 ] do -- if, in this everlasting isolation and neglect it
has evolved gods, unto whom "it ever cries for help but is not heard!" .

. . Thus --

"Since there is hope for man only in man
I would not let one cry whom I could save! . . ."

Yet I confess that I, individually, am not yet exempt from some of the
terrestrial attachments. I am still attracted toward some men more than
toward others, and philanthropy as preached by our Great Patron -- "the
Saviour of the World -- the Teacher of Nirvana and the Law . . . ." has
never killed in me either individual preferences of friendship, love -- for
my next of kin, or the ardent feeling of patriotism for the country -- in
which I was last materially individualized. And, in this connection, I may
some day, unasked, offer a bit of advice to my friend Mr. Sinnett, to
whisper into the ear of the Editor of the PIONEER En attendant -- "May I beg
the former to inform Dr. Wyld, the Prest. of the British T.S., of the few
truths concerning us as shown above? Will you kindly undertake to persuade
this excellent gentleman, that not one of the humble "dew drops" which,
assuming under various pretexts the form of vapour, have at various periods
disappeared in the space to congeal in the white Himalayan clouds, have ever
tried to slip back into the shining Sea of Nirvana through the unhealthy
process of hanging by the legs or by making unto themselves another "coat of
skin" out of the sacred cow-dung of the thrice "holy cow"! The British
President labours under the most original ideas about us, whom he persists
in calling "Yogis," without allowing the slightest margin to the enormous
differences which exist even between "Hatha and Raj Yog." This mistake must
be laid at the door of Mrs. B. -- the able editor of "The Theosophist"; who
fills up her volumes with the practices of divers Sannyasis and other
"blessed ones" from the plains, without ever troubling herself with a few
additional lines of explanation.

And now, to still more important matters. Time is precious and material (I
mean writing material) is still more so. "Precipitation" -- in your case
having become unlawful; lack of -- whether ink or paper -- standing no
better chance for "Tamasha," and I, being far away from home, and at a place
where a stationer's shop is less needed than breathing air, our
correspondence threatens to break very abruptly, unless I manage my stock in
hand judiciously. A friend promises to supply me in case of great need with
a few stray sheets, memento relics of his grandfather's will, by which he
disinherited him and thus made his "fortune." But, as he never wrote one
line but [34] once, he says -- for the last eleven years, except on such
"double superfin glace" made at Thibet as you might irreverently mistake for
blotting paper in its primitive days, and that the will is drawn upon a like
material -- we might as well turn to your book at once. Since you do me the
favour of asking my opinion, I may tell you that the idea is an excellent
one. Theosophy needs such help, and the results will be what you anticipate
in England as well. It may also help our friends in Europe -- generally.

I lay no restrictions upon your making use of anything I may have written to
you or Mr. Hume, having full confidence in your tact and judgment as to what
should be printed and how it should be presented. I must only ask you for
reasons upon which I must be silent (and I am sure you will respect that
silence) not to use one single word or passage from my last letter to you --
the one written after my long silence, no date, and the first one forwarded
to you by our "old lady." I just quoted from it at page 4. Do me the favour,
if my poor epistles are worth preserving, to lay it by in a separate and
sealed envelope. You may have to unseal it only after a certain period of
time has elapsed. As to the rest -- I relinquish it to the mangling tooth of
criticism. Nor would I interfere with the plan you have roughly sketched out
in your mind. But I would strongly recommend you in its execution to lay the
greatest stress upon small circumstances -- (could you oblige me with some
receipt for blue ink?!) which tend to show the impossibility of fraud or
conspiracy. Reflect well, how bold a thing it is to endorse phenomena as
adeptic which the Spiritsts. have already stamped as proofs of mediumship
and skeptics as legerdemain. You should not omit one jot or tittle of
collateral evidence that supports your position, something you have
neglected doing in your "A" letter in the Pioneer. For instance, my friend
tells me that it was a thirteenth cup and the pattern unmatchable, in Simla
at least. (1) The pillow was chosen by yourself -- and yet the word "pillow"
occurs in my note to you, just as the word "tree" or anything else would
have been substituted, had you chosen another depository, instead of the
pillow. You will find all such trifles serving you as the most powerful
shield for yourself against ridicule and sneers. Then you will of course,
aim to show that this Theosophy is no new candidate for the world's
attention, but only the restatement of [35] principles which have been
recognised from the very infancy of mankind. The historic sequence ought to
be succinctly yet graphically traced through the successive evolutions of
philosophical schools, and illustrated with accounts of the experimental
demonstrations of occult power ascribed to various thaumaturgists. The
alternate breakings-out and subsidences of mystical phenomena, as well as
their shiftings from one centre to another of population, show the
conflicting play of the opposing forces of spirituality and animalism. And
lastly it will appear that the present tidal-wave of phenomena, with its
varied effects upon human thought and feeling, made the revival of
Theosophical enquiry an indispensable necessity. The only problem to solve
is the practical one, of how best to promote the necessary study, and give
to the spiritualistic movement a needed upward impulse. It is a good
beginning to make the inherent capabilities of the inner, living man better
comprehended. To lay down the scientific proposition that since akrshu
(attraction) and Prshu (repulsion) are the law of nature, there can be no
intercourse or relations between clean and unclean Souls -- embodied or
disembodied; and hence, ninety-nine hundredths of supposed spiritual
communications, are, prima facie false. Here is as great a fact to work upon
as you can find, and it cannot be made too plain. So, while a better
selection might have been made for the Theosophist in the way of
illustrative anecdotes, as, for instance, well authenticated historical
cases, yet the theory of turning the minds of phenomenalists into useful and
suggestive channels away from mere mediumistic dogmatism was the correct

What I meant by the "Forlorn Hope" was that when one regards the magnitude
of the task to be undertaken by our theosophical volunteers, and especially
the multitudinous agencies arrayed, and to be arrayed, in opposition, we may
well compare it, to one of those desperate efforts against overwhelming odds
that the true soldier glories to attempt. You have done well to see the
"large purpose" in the small beginnings of the T.S. Of course, if we had
undertaken to found and direct it inpropria persona very likely it would
have accomplished more and made fewer mistakes, but we could not do this,
nor was it the plan: our two agents are given the task and left -- as you
now are -- to do the best they could under the circumstances. And much has
been wrought. Under the surface of Spiritualism, runs a current that is
wearing a broad channel for itself. When it reappears above ground its
effects will be apparent. Already many minds like yours are pondering the
question of occult law -- forced upon the thinking public by this agitation.
Like you, they are dissatisfied with what has been hitherto attainable and
clamour for better. Let this -- encourage you. [36]

It is not quite accurate that by having such minds in the Society they would
be "under conditions more favourable for observation" for us. Rather put it,
that by the act of joining other sympathisers in this organization they are
stimulated to effort and incite each other to investigate. Unity always
gives strength: and since Occultism in our days resembles a "Forlorn Hope,"
union and co-operation are indispensable. Union does indeed imply a
concentration of vital and magnetic force against the hostile currents of
prejudice and fanaticism.
MAHATMA LETTERS , pp. 32 -35

"In one word, our whole aim and desire are to help, in at least some degree,
toward arriving at correct scientific views upon the nature of man, which
carry with them the means of reconstructing for the present generation the
deductive metaphysical or transcendental philosophy which alone is the firm,
unshakable foundation of every religious philosophy. Theosophy, the
universal solvent, is fulfilling its mission; the opalescent tints of the
dawn of modern psychology are blending together, and will all be merged into
the perfect daylight of truth, when the sun-orb of Eastern esotericism has
mounted to its noon-stage.
For many a long year the "great orphan," Humanity, has been crying aloud in
the darkness for guidance and for light. Amid the increasing splendors of a
progress purely material, of a science that nourished the intellect, but
left the spirit to starve, Humanity, dimly feeling its origin and presaging
its destiny, has stretched out towards the East empty hands that only a
spiritual philosophy can fill. Aching from the divisions, the jealousies,
the hatreds, that rend its very life, it has cried for some sure foundation
on which to build the solidarity it senses, some metaphysical basis from
which its loftiest social ideals may rise secure. Only the Masters of the
Eastern wisdom can set that foundation, can satisfy at once the intellect
and the spirit, can guide Humanity safely through the night to "the dawn of
a larger day."
Such is the goal which theosophy has set itself to attain; such is the
history of the modern movement; such is the work which theosophy has already
accomplished in this nineteenth century. "

Best wishes,

Dallas [ TenBroeck ]

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

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