A star falls. We look up at the night sky and, like children, hasten to form a wish, heedless of the mighty cosmic forces active in either integration or disintegration, so sure are we that Earth swings securely in her orbit and that nothing like that can happen here. But something has happened here. A few months ago a man-made meteor fell from the sky and the shock of its fall banished the sense of security from the world. Has this served to stun brain-minds and permit the higher mind to glimpse beyond the terrifying facts more of Truth, to vision a wider frame of destiny for the human race? If it has, Theosophy, the archaic Wisdom-Religion that has survived the rise and fall of many races and civilizations, meets the need for greater knowledge of a future for man based on unity and good will.
As the program for the development of Earth-life unfolds and there is an increase of knowledge, man is compelled to adjust his ideas of his relations to the universe and with his fellow-men. In the sixteenth century, after Copernicus, man had to realize that not the Earth, but the Sun, is the center of the system of which we are a part. In the nineteenth century physical man was found to be, not a special creation of the Almighty but a part of Nature, bone of its bone and flesh of its flesh. In the twentieth century, with inner endowments not yet accounted for by science, man appears to be assuming the role of the Almighty and advancing the date of the Judgment Day by letting loose hell upon Earth and beginning the final destruction of life on this planet. All our theories as to the future have now to measure up to the possibility of wholesale destruction and mass extinction of human beings.
We have therefore to visualize a larger picture of the destiny of man and his Earth-home. We ask, Can man survive this possible mass extinction? Has Earth served its purpose in human evolution? What is Man, and whither goeth he? Reconstruction today is not merely rebuilding of naked cities: it is actively imagining, visualizing, the wider frame of destiny, in which Man achieves all that the inner, intellectual, spiritual, and divine nature of Man has yet, in this friendly but as yet unfinished universe, to manifest in Earth-life. Man has shown that he can make a hell on Earth: he has yet to make a heaven here. His inner powers must be brought into function, must build out of cosmic truth the ideal which precedes the actual. The materials for this building, the means of filling out the picture of what is yet to be, are to be found in the Theosophical teachings.
What then is Humanity? What means its Earth-life? According to Theosophy, the tie between Earth and Man is deep and strong, not to be severed by a minor cataclysm caused by atomic bombs. Together Earth and Man came to birth: Earth is Man's springboard to all possible cosmic exploration. When the life-impulse stirred, after a period of repose, successive life-waves of awakening beings, of which humanity is one, actually built our seven-globed Earth, or planetary chain; and the host of souls evolved pari passu with the planet from ethereal conditions in the early stages to the solid forms they now have. Vast ages were required for this descent along the downward arc into material existence as we know it. It is not necessarily a fall into evil, unless and until there is intelligent choice of wrong-doing; it is but taking on the job of planetary experience. Later in evolution, and now for us, comes the turn to the upward, or luminous arc, during which after painful purgation and sloughing off of excess material (what has been and is still going on in the world), the waiting better part of man's nature will find expression, still on Earth.
The main point at present is that the turn upward has been made. It is a wonderful time of opportunity for humanity. Will men accept the modification of living in brotherly accord, gladly join the movement into the luminous arc, or will they hold back, clinging to old selfish, separative desires and methods and fail now to prepare for a more momentous choice to be made in a future cycle? It is a time for decision; all portents point to this. Faith, insight, knowledge of Man's cosmic destiny as taught in Theosophy, can bring "the rapture of the forward view" which fires the human heart with high courage for spiritual adventure in this new time.
The Theosophical ForumTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE