When the ancient founders of your philosophical schools came East, to acquire the lore of our predecessors, they filed no claims, except the single one of a sincere and unselfish hunger for the truth. If any now aspire to found new schools of science and philosophy the same plan will win — if the seekers have in them the elements of success. — The Mahatma Letters, p. 342
The reference by the Masters to Occidentals going to the Orient to get truth, to get initiation, does not refer to any one School nor to any particular School of any especial epoch exclusively. I believe this to be the real meaning behind the Master's words: When the Fifth Root-Race began to settle themselves, race on race began to settle on the then new lands that had risen above the surface of the Atlantic ocean, and which in our time we call Europe and Asia Minor and parts of Hither Asia. When these lands began to be settled, the holy land, the land of initiation and mystery, already existed; it had already been previously settled by the great Lodge even in Atlantean days. It was then, it has ever since been, and it still is and functions as, the Mother Lodge, the spiritual and intellectual and psychical center to which those who are fit and ready travel for further Light.
Ex Oriente Lux: Out of the East light, refers not only to the rising sun or to the present geographical countries of the east, but to the fact, intuitively known as it were by certain humans through all the ages, that in Sambhala, let us say in a tract of land in what is now the high plateau of Tibet, since immemorial times there has been the greatest School of the sages of all the ages, those whom we call the Mahatmans of Wisdom and love and peace. From Atlantis journeyed those who were eager for more light to this center, and either returned as neophytes to bring light to their fellow-men who were ready for it, or continued at that center to become others of the wondrous group of superhumans living there, and living there today.
Thus, ever since the Alps arose above the seas, probably in what in H. P. B.'s time were called the Miocene or even the Eocene periods, the newly settled lands of Europe bore their immigrant populations from the sinking Atlantean countries; and these, at least their own initiated leaders, knew where the greatest occult center on earth is located. So that when any particular one in these European Schools had reached a certain point of spiritual and intellectual and psychical development authorizing him, because he was ready for it, to receive more, he journeyed east as a pilgrim, with reverence and in the atmosphere of holiness. Some returned home to their own countries to give more light to the occult centers there. Those who were the greatest remained in the East, and increased the number of the Elder Brothers of mankind.
And so it was through all the ages down to our present time. The Celtic races through their Druids, the Scandinavians through their occult school, the Greeks and Romans, the Scythians and Shamans of Russia, and the wise men of what are now the plains of Hungary and the mountains of the Carpathians, wherever in the Occidental parts of Europe there were occult centers having links with the Mother School in the East — from all these and in all ages, neophytes were sent forth. These neophytes proved they were ready so to go. They were trained in these Occidental Schools to look to this great center in the land of the sunrise to them, the land of the rising sun. Ex oriente lux. Light from the East. They were trained with reverence to look upon this wonder-place; and from boyhood up through youth and adult manhood, even perhaps into age, those who were the attendants or disciples of the Occidental occult schools looked forwards some day to making this wondrous pilgrimage to this Mother, this spiritual Mother of earth's children. It was a wondrous thing all through those ages. It was held before the eastern neophytes as the greatest reward that they could possibly have. They were told Yes, here we give you light to a certain point. Beyond that we have not the power to give you more. But more is to be had. It is to be taken by strength, by power within yourself. Go east. And they did.
And as I said, some returned, like Pythagoras and Apollonius and others. A few did not return; they had passed higher, too high as it were to spend their time in the smaller work in the west. Their work had become mundial, world-wide instead of nation-wide. And do you know, Friends and Brothers, this same thing exactly exists today. The same grand hope is held out to our students today. The same possibilities exist for them today. But the wonder is that none can take this pilgrimage successfully until he is ready. Happy the man who succeeds. For him there is the light supernal. There is the freedom of confabulating with the divinities, the men-gods on this earth. For him there is the boundless knowledge, and for him, greatest treasure of all, there is the inestimable privilege of service, service guided by wisdom and love for all mankind, and indeed for all that is, without distinction of race, creed, caste, sex, or color. How wonderful it is!
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