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Besant's Last Public Address

Jun 09, 2009 11:21 AM
by MKR

There is always the question of how to spread Theosophy. The last public
address of Annie Besant is a very elevating one and addresses this key
question and what she has to say is applicable even today.
The Presidentâs Address to Convention - 1931
Friends, the point I want to impress upon all of you to-day is that only as
you live Theosophy can you spread Theosophy. It is not our words, it is our
life, that affects people. And I want each one of you and all whom you have
influence with to remember that the man who lives a Theosophical life is the
best propagandist of Theosophical ideas. It is not our words that influence
people so much as our lives; our lives if they are unselfish, pure, loving
and helpful are the best propaganda of Theosophical ideas; for it is no good
to talk Theosophy unless we live what we talk.
Also, although physically I am very weak, still I am glad it is not quite
true that I am absent. I am here. After all, you know, we have got several
bodies; you know that as a theory, don't you? And some of you, I daresay,
now and then have various lively dreams, and you can do what you like in
your dreams more than down here on the physical plane. That is literally
true. The more you can use the higher bodies, the more you can help the
people among whom you live.
Now you can only use the higher bodies by living Theosophy, so that every
one of you in proportion as you live the Theosophical life, becomes an
active propagandist for Theosophical ideals. Do not imagine that because you
are not learned, because you do not know many foreign languages, you cannot
influence people all over the world. You can; because they see your life,
and they translate that life into their own language. If you do a kind thing
and people see you do it, you do not have to tell them it is a kind
thing-they will see it is, and they will say to others : " Oh, so and so is
a Theosophist, so we know he will be helpful." Never mind a man's speech, it
is his actions that matter. And if you can get that into your mind strongly,
so that it influences you every day and all day long, you are not only
helping those around you, you are teaching others how they can help by
working on the higher planes of our being.
Most of you are afraid to trust yourselves; but that is a great mistake. The
deeper you go into yourself, the more the real you can be trusted. The
weakest among you physically may be very, very strong on the higher planes.
Give everything you can, and there are plenty of Devas, as we call them, or
fairies if you like that word better, who take up what you give. They
understand it. They see us doing kind things all the time. They say: "Here
are people who help others. We can help others by helping them" ; and they
pour out their life to you who are willing to give it away. It is not what
you hold on to that is your real character; that is your life that spreads
its example every-where round, just as the rose sends out its fragrance much
farther than it is able to spread the sight of its beauty.
Learn to trust the Divine in you. There lies your real strength. You are
Divine. You don't want to look up to the skies to find the Divine; look into
your own heart, and the Divine is alive in you. It is you who can send out,
each of you round himself, the Life that comes from above. Do not be
distrustful; that poisons your usefulness. Trust God in you more than you
trust God up in the sky, or God down somewhere in the world you don't know
where. Trust God in your own heart, and He is always with you, for your
heart is always the Life in you, and that Life is Divine.
If only I could inspire you with what I know to be true - that the very best
of us is when we pour out love to those around. You know the old story about
one of the Apostles of the Christ who was very very old, older than I am
now, over one hundred; and they used to carry him down every day to the
meeting, and he could not talk to them but could send out his love to them.
And his love went into their hearts and spread in every direction, and his
most useful days were the days when he did not talk, but lived the God
within him. And so, I say that to you, I say it to myself; often I speak to
myself and say: " Oh, you old woman, what is the good of you? what can you
do for people?" Then I answer: "Because very deep within me I am God, then I
can do all things because I am Divine. Believe that as the reality, do not
think of it only as dreams.
I am seeing here something I said to you here last year, that we are bound
together by common ideals, and not by a common belief. It matters very
little what you believe; it matters enormously what you are. What you are
will improve what you say. There is no good talking unless you live better
than you speak. Give the God in you a chance. Open your-self, and pour out
to all around you. There must be somebody you can help-some child perhaps
who is still perhaps not very strong on his feet. He tumbles down on the
road. Do not say:âSomebody ought to pick up that child.' Go and do it. Then
somebody else will help another child, and presently everyone will be
working away helping each other.
And so we shall learn how to love, which is the lesson we have to learn
while we are here. It is just because the world is imperfect we can learn to
help. We are not perfect creatures, but let us pour out love. Love is always
good, even when sometimes its expression may be foolish. You see a baby
tumble; as you run to help it never mind that your skirts may get muddied.
Your skirts will wash; they will be cleaned; and when the angels look at
them they will see them shining brightly because they are full of love.
Believe in the Self within you, the God within you, and then you will live
the noblest life because it is a life of love.
I dare say I can come down a little every day, and if you love me a little I
will get stronger. It is quite true what is said here, that I am doing a
great deal at present out of sight. This body cannot do it, but that leaves
my other bodies free to do more. I have got a lot of other bodies, and they
are working away ever so hard. Just now I do not want to do so much down
here, so I can do more up there. I shall keep pouring down on you. You think
that now it is raining hard. That rain will presently come up in nice little
green plants. That is what I want you to help me in, to make the world
beautiful for others, Never mind about yourself. If we do not take care of
ourselves, then the higher powers will take care of us. If we think of
ourselves, they look at us, and They say, "He is not of much use, let us
find somebody who is giving himself fully."
The real reason why my brother Charles and myself get along pretty well is
that we are always trying to help each other. I help him, and he says, "What
a nice creature she is!" Then he helps me, and I say, " What a fine man he
is!" The best of us is always the Divine part. We must believe in ourselves.
We cannot believe in God if we cannot believe in man.


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

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