Theosophical University Press Online Edition

James A. Long — 1951 Tour Reports


Meeting at Stockholm

Tegnergatan 29
May 13, 1951 — 2 p.m.
Peter Flach, General Chairman
Conrad Ahlberg, Local Chairman
Harald Kallstrom, Translator


Representatives from Gavle, Eskilstuna, Kalix, and neighboring lodges, including Helsingfors, Finland, were also present.

Peter Flach [after introduction in Swedish]: I think the Section and the members present feel that you are here at a great moment of the beginning of the new cycle. I have told the members that there is a question period in which they may open their hearts, if there is time, and ask you questions.

JAL: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ahlberg, and Companions: I personally feel that this is a great privilege to have this opportunity to meet with you here in Stockholm to talk about theosophy and the work of the Theosophical Society. There is no higher duty, no higher privilege in the world today, than to be a theosophist, to live theosophy, and to work for theosophy. We have not the slightest possible conception of what it really means to be a working theosophist at this point in the history of civilization.

As soon as I arrived in Stockholm I asked Mr. Flach to send out letters immediately so that I could, in reading the replies, attempt to feel the pulse of Sweden, and in feeling the pulse of Sweden I could then attempt to give to Sweden that which the members wanted, and what they needed. Not I to give it, but to make myself, to the best of my ability, a channel through which could flow that which Sweden needs. From one member — I do not believe even a member of a lodge, a member more or less isolated and alone where he has had the opportunity to do his own thinking and pondering over the facts and fallacies of true theosophic endeavor — we received a letter which very beautifully portrays the place of theosophy and the responsibility of all of us as theosophists in the world today. I am going to read you that letter which was addressed to Mr. Flach:

I have studied the conflicts which now are taking place within our dear TS, and I understand the great responsibility the leader has voluntarily assumed. I feel for him the deepest sympathy and reverence.

Personally I believe that the thundercloud which is now bursting in the TS atmosphere is not an evil thing, nor do I believe that it is but the karmic result of conflicts that have occurred within the TS, but I believe it is a parallel or analogy of what is happening everywhere around us in the world, with the earth and everything in it in the throes of birth. The thunderstorm is a cleansing process where those who are strong in faith and have a true will to work for good, will be the men and women of tomorrow. What those birth pains really imply, we who are within the TS can possibly visualize. In any case, there is no reason for pessimism.

The accumulated wisdom of experience you find in the proverbs — for instance, it is an ill wind that blows no good; it is always darkest before the dawn; and the most difficult steps lie just before the threshold, and others — all of these contain much hope and truth.

I presume that the leader, Mr. James A. Long, intends to give some talks during his stay here. I have every wish then to receive a printed report of them.

I will say that to the fullest extent possible, what is said at the general meetings which I have called will be printed and sent to every member.

One thing I neglected to do when I started was to express my appreciation to Lodge No. 1 and its present president for making this hall available to me for this meeting. We do appreciate it.

Now, the expression contained in that letter just read expresses the heart of the situation that we face today. I should like to be able in the brief time that we have here this afternoon somehow to help all of us to sense and to feel the real importance of theosophy in the world today.

This work of ours in the Theosophical Society is an impersonal work; it is a thankless job from the outer point of view. And to the degree that we expect thanks and recognition and a pat on the back for what we do for theosophy, to that degree will we be disappointed in the results of our efforts. There are no words more truthful and more applicable to real work for theosophy than those spoken by Master M to Mr. Judge: "Brave soldiers need neither orders nor constant encouragement."

I think for the last year or nearly two quite a bit of humor has been developed as the result of my use of the phrase, "the daily karmic script." It is nothing new; it is nothing that I have discovered. It is something, however, that I have emphasized as of great practical value. It is the natural way of life and the natural way in which a theosophist, once he determines self-consciously to direct his own evolution and improve his character, receives his guidance and works with his karma from day to day, giving him the strength and the understanding and the courage to go ahead without "orders" and without "constant encouragement" from the Masters or from anyone else. Because if he reads that daily karmic script aright, in the very act of doing so he gets his orders and he gets his constant encouragement from himself, from his higher self.

Now there have been a few members here and there who have been inclined to be alarmed because a small minority of the membership in the Society, in the several national sections, do not fall into the line of thought and the spirit and the feeling that is flowing through the TS today. There is absolutely no need for alarm, I can assure you. And while it has come to my attention that this or that individual who in an effort to influence the judgment of others has made it appear that there are great numbers who do not support this administration — let us forget about me as an individual, I am talking about this new cycle of work — I can say that it is a barefaced lie. I say this not in anger, but in the greatest firmness: it is a barefaced lie, because we have received at Headquarters, and in every national section, hundreds of letters, far in excess of the majority, an overwhelming amount of support. So do not believe these fairy tales that there is great support of the opposite of truth. There is not. And you have nothing whatever to fear in Sweden or elsewhere. It is for that reason that I have implored in letters and in verbal expressions each individual member to think for himself — not whether he supports me or not, I do not care. I am not looking for support. I am looking for the work of the Masters, the original program, to be carried out: the salvation of the human race. And who, in God's name, can do that kind of work if he is tearing down people and personalities all the time? It just can't be done. I do not propose to do it myself; I am not interested in that sort of thing. But I am going to work and give my life to the cause of Masters, and whoever wants to follow with me is certainly welcome. I will welcome them with open arms, and I will live and I will die for them. That is what I am interested in, and I want the whole world to know it.

Now I have been accused by a certain type of member of being a fighter. Well, I am thankful to the karma that has made me the kind of a fighter I am. I am not thinking of physical violence. But it is my sincere hope that in this Society of ours I am able to build up with the help of this partnership a force so strong that it will be able to show to the world what a real spiritual partnership is, and what it can do in helping our fellowmen to become really more brotherly. I think it cries to high heaven and to the very depths of Hades when we lose sight of the original program that was laid before us by HPB and the Masters. This is a subject that is close to my heart, and my forcefulness is not anger, not at all, because my heart is actually breaking at the thought that members of years' standing who have given their lives to theosophy can take the attitude of unbrotherliness and destructiveness that has taken place in a very few instances — and I say a very few, for you will find in a very short time that in reality it is a few blind people leading the blind.

There is more truth than fiction in the fact that there are a few blind people leading others who are temporarily blind because they have allowed someone else to do their thinking for them. It is the job and the responsibility of the leader to assume the karmic merit and demerit of every member of the Theosophical Society, and with that in mind it should become obvious that he has a responsibility to protect each member in the Society.

Now in the course of events since the passing, and right before the passing, of Colonel Conger it had become advisable to cancel a few memberships and to close a few lodges. The first membership canceled was that of Jan Venema of Holland, canceled by Colonel before my return from my world trip. After his passing, and my assumption of the office, it became my duty to cancel the membership of a few individuals in the United States who had opposed the work of the Masters for the whole of Colonel Conger's administration, and in certain ways part of GdeP's. You in Sweden know of the cancellation of one membership here, that of Mrs. Klara Kirsebom, for which I was responsible. No one please say it was the fault of the section president, Peter Flach, because it was not. I assume full responsibility for that cancellation, and the cancellation of the Lodge No. 2 Charter in Halsingborg.

The truth of the matter in all of these cancellations, the one by the Colonel and the others by myself, is that it was not a punishment of the individuals. That is absurd. The leader has no right to punish. The Master has no right to punish. The Leader's responsibility is to protect. Who would I be to judge my brother and punish him? We have no right as theosophists, or as a Leader or Outer Head, or as a Master even, to condemn our fellow theosophists, but we do have the right to judge the actions. That is an occult rule that has stood for ages. We should never judge the actor, but the actions we can judge and must judge, else how could we progress, how could we distinguish ultimately the right from the wrong action, the right from the wrong impulse?

Thus, in viewing this matter of cancellation of memberships and charters, I feel inclined to give this little background this afternoon: Jan Venema, Boris de Zirkoff, Helen Harris, Emmett Small, Klara Kirsebom, all of them have given lifeblood and devotion and loyalty to the work of the Masters to the degree that they deserved the protection of the Masters in the cancelation of their membership. Now that may be hard to understand at first thought. But I have talked to you this afternoon about how much more potent the karmic script unfolds in our daily lives when we have pledged ourselves to work in the stream of Masters' cause. And the old maxim "Of those who know much, much is expected" we can apply right here, and the decisions or the actions taken were taken from that occult basis. In other words, when the average nonmember does a good act, it carries an average result, and the same with the reverse. But in the action of a pledged member, if it is good, the results will be very, very good. But when a pledged member works in error and continues in that line, don't you see where the protection comes in? The results of his error are far more potent than even he can realize. And the Masters look at you and at me, not from the standpoint of today or tomorrow, or even this lifetime. We have been in this work before, most of us, and for more than one lifetime, and they look to the value of each member in the future, not only in this lifetime, but in the next and the next and the next. And if they can save you and me when we do make some errors, if they can save us for future good work, then it is their responsibility to do so through the only person they can do it through. They must protect the good in every FTS so that it will bloom someday, somewhere, in helping them with their work. I repeat again, that the karma that attaches itself to a good or a bad act when one is a pledged member is far more potent, especially when done under the protective wing of membership and drawing its strength from the lifeblood of the TS stream. The karmic consequences are terrific by comparison with those felt by John Doe. So you see what I mean by protection: protecting the individual member and also protecting the work.

I had hoped to speak of many other things, but I will try now to bring this talk to a close and wrap up the package a little bit.

I have spoken about the danger of anyone thinking he is important. That happens in the Society, of course; has happened in the past, and will probably happen in the future. But the great danger is this: when a member has successfully worked for theosophy for a number of years, has in reality helped along many fine members for our great work and has gained the respect of a wide number of members, then for some reason which I have not yet been able fully to understand, he reaches a point at which he begins to feel he is important. He begins to feel: "I did this, and I did that; I got those members in, I made those members what they are," instead of realizing the truth, which is that for the time he was the channel for the forces of the Lodge to work through. The moment that he began to think "I did this, I am important," then he began to think wrongly, and being faced with decisions began to make wrong decisions. That has happened in the past. I hope it happens less in the future. There is not one bit of difference between them and the business man who has been astute and alert all through his life, and with wisdom and good use of his intuition has accumulated a satisfactory fortune that will allow him to end his years without financial worries. But one day he allows a wrong thought to enter his mind, and he decides to make an investment that will just add a little bit more. He has been smart all these years, he thinks he can't go wrong now, and so he will invest in this and make a little bit more. What happens? What he thought was good stock, was not. His investment turns out badly, and he loses everything that he had accumulated through a lifetime's work, and finds himself a poor man.

Now there is absolutely no difference except in degree between that man and the TS member who, through a lifetime of devotion and loyalty and good work in theosophy as a channel of the Masters' work, builds up a credit balance in his spiritual bank account that will last him a long, long time. But he too suddenly decides he is important — he can't make a mistake — and he makes a wrong decision and loses the balance in his spiritual account for this lifetime and is a poor man spiritually indeed. That is the great danger we face.

Each one of us must guard against the fallacy of feeling important ourselves. We can only be channels. A leader is only a channel; he is a servant of the Masters and the servant of the members. The great, great error that many members make is to believe as gospel law and almost like a dogma, what this member or that member says who has been in theosophy for forty, fifty, or perhaps even sixty years. And because that person says so, it must be right, it must be correct. This is not at all necessarily so, because every one of us, even the oldest amongst us, are human beings and subject to making errors of judgment. We must not believe anything, not even what the leader says, unless it rings something in our hearts and we know then that it is correct. Let us do our own thinking.

I have tried to present a picture of the responsibility that we have as members of the TS. That responsibility is not primarily to go out into the streets and shout theosophy from the housetops and to try to gather in many, many new members, just to get in great numbers. That is not our primary job. Our primary job is to get our houses in order, get our individual consciousnesses in order, so that we can make better examples of what theosophy is. In turn we can be in our respective countries examples then of what good citizens are, of what good brothers are, and of what we can do and be for our fellowmen. In so doing we will unconsciously receive the aid and the guidance by the Lodge in our daily lives. We will be helped in reading that karmic script, and we will one day find that the strength of the unity expressed by us in our examples — the unity expressed through the diversity of our personalities in the various nations — will break through into the outer plane and give to our fellowmen a strength and a guidance, however unconscious it will be to them, that will lead this old civilization of ours a real step forward on the path toward the Masters. Thank you.

Intermission, during which photographs of the new Headquarters properties at Pasadena and Altadena were exhibited. The Chairman then invited the audience to submit questions to the leader.

Mr. Ahlberg: I thought of the time of KT and the building up of Point Loma, and the tremendous work she did there for young people. KT's strivings were to educate the young generation to perform the duties you just spoke about. But when KT passed away and GdeP took over, just that kind of work at Point Loma disappeared. Did KT fail in her work, or was it a failure only in that her job was finished and a new job was taken on?

Miss Gerda Stenmark rose immediately to state that as long as there were a few out of the hundreds that may have failed, KT's work could be said to be but a great success.

JAL: Thank you; I quite agree with you. Now this question of Mr. Ahlberg's is a very important one, and I am awfully glad it has been asked because it fits exactly into the picture I have tried to create for you here this afternoon. You will find, if you really analyze the work of every leader, that there were three basic aspects: one, the outer aspect; two, the inner aspect; and three, what I choose to call for the moment the seed-sowing aspect. On the surface, KT's work at Point Loma could very readily be asserted by her critics and those who take the narrow point of view to have been a failure. But KT was sowing seeds — not simply in the minds and the hearts of the pupils of the Raja-Yoga School, for that was only a minor aspect of it, the very outermost aspect of it. She was sowing seeds in the bedrock of civilization itself. And we have seen those seeds bear fruit, first in the open-air Greek theaters throughout the United States and throughout the world. We have seen them bear fruit in a remodeling and a reforming of the educational system in the United States. We have seen them bear fruit in the prisons and in the more enlightened care of prisoners by other than theosophists — all of these things by other than theosophists. We have seen them bear fruit in the handling of young people and in organizations taking an interest in young people's problems. You have them in Sweden, we have them in every country. They may or may not be doing it in the name of theosophy, nor may they be doing it in a theosophical manner as we would probably like them to do, but they are doing it.

Thus when a leader performs his or her task, and the time comes to pass on and for the next one to take over, to sow more seeds, to do more work outer and inner, usually a change of type of work is needed. We cannot even to a small degree realize the tremendous power of a spiritual force generated in the hearts and minds of FTS, the tremendous power that is exerted on humanity, when it finally by karma breaks through into the outer plane and comes in contact with the hearts and minds of our fellowmen. We cannot make the mental connection between this and that act, and the results fifty years hence. But what would be the use of this? That is why in the Gita we are taught, and every teacher tells us the same, to perform the act because it is right to do so, and not for results. "Leave the results to the Law and to us," the Master says, and to the degree that we work for theosophy in that spirit will we see more and more of the true inner results most unexpectedly.

Thus, in answer to your question, Mr. Ahlberg, KT did not fail. She made her impress on the civilization of her day, and furthermore, she laid the groundwork together with HPB and William Q. Judge for what GdeP and after him Colonel Conger had to do, and they have laid the groundwork for that which we have got to do today in attracting and aiding those souls that are coming now into incarnation, and have been for the past generation or two.

A great proportion of those souls coming into incarnation have been in this work before, just as you and I, and they are looking for their home, but they will not find it in the words we speak, or even in the words we may write. But they will find it in the examples we make of ourselves, because when they were in the work before it may have been called anything — not theosophy — so they will not recognize mere words, nor even recognize the words of HPB as such, but they will recognize the quality of the ancient wisdom shining through you and through me. When their hearts are won we will never be able to keep them out, and they will come in and go to work.

Yes, the Raja-Yoga School at Point Loma might appear on the surface to be a failure because there were but relatively few who succeeded in withstanding the training that it involved. It was not what many, many members thought, a purely educational thing. It was a terrific test of the souls of the individuals who went into that School; and very few of them could take it. But that does not mean that KT's efforts were a failure, not at all.

We must think of theosophy today, and of our particular work in the present cycle, as the culmination of the efforts of all of our teachers rolled into one great effort right now which is being experienced in this present cycle, in this partnership in which I have pledged myself to help each one of you to become better theosophists in any way that I can. Thus we will give to our fellowmen that which has been given to us, not only by KT but by HPB and all of our teachers.

Mr. Wettermark: The Leader spoke about pledge fever in his Message to the Congress at Utrecht, Holland. I should like to hear something about the meaning of that.

JAL: You are not asking any specific question about it, but you want to know what I think about it in general? ["Yes, that is the idea."] Well, you seem to know what subjects I like to talk about; you are asking the right questions anyway!

HPB in The Key to Theosophy explains somewhat of what pledge fever is, and I can add my little bit by again referring to the daily karmic script. When an average human being begins consciously to take hold of himself, he says to himself: "Look here, Jim Long, it is about time you start to become a better man." Jim Long says to himself: "Well, that is not a bad idea. I have been a pretty rough customer so far in my life, and I guess it is time that I try to be a better man." Then I say to myself, "I am going to do it." The aspiration to become better has broken through, becoming a determination to become a better man. Immediately — not tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day after that — but immediately that I determine to become a better man, life says prove it. And I have an opportunity almost in the next breath, in the next step, to be a better man, or to fail in my first attempt.

That goes on, and I succeed, and I fail, and I fail, and I succeed. Sometimes I take one step ahead, and two or three steps back, and that keeps on and I begin to seek for more and more answers to the problems that are going on inside, which I do not reveal to anyone but myself. Then one day I meet what we can call a new thought. Having been reared and bred in the Christian Church, I have found it unable to answer the questions I have in my heart. I find something else and I try that, and I try another thing, finding a little more each time, but yet not what my heart is longing for. Then one day I find theosophy, and having tried so many things I shy away wondering if this is not just another blind alley. But something has caught my interest, and I look a little further and a little further into it, and still a little further, finding no end to what satisfies that inner longing. Finally I join the TS, because I find that their chief objective is brotherhood, and I have always in my desire to be a better person wanted to do something for others.

So I join the TS and study and, like all of you, cannot get enough to read; in fact I nearly go crazy because I don't have time enough to read more and more theosophy. Then one day I come across HPB's statement in which she gives the advice to read little and think much. That appealed to me. So I did read little and thought much, and the more I did that in the right way, the more I learned and the more help I got, and the more life then said prove it. Every time life said prove it, I had a foretaste, a foreshadowing, of what later was to become pledge fever.

One day it became known to me that there was an Esoteric Section in the Theosophical Society. I made the necessary inquiries in the lodge of which I was a member. I was referred to the Secretary General who at that time was Joe Fussell, and I was told what was required. I was sent the Book of Rules and the Pledge, and asked to think it over. It so happened that the lodge to which I was attached also had an ES lodge connected with it, but those members with the exception of one — there were very few members in it — felt that I was not good material as a member of their Esoteric Lodge. The pledge fever, or the foretaste of pledge fever, and the attacks of pledge fever that I had experienced in my own way in attempting to be a better man, the steps backward and not the steps forward, they recognized as possibly being of the quality that they should not want to take a chance on sponsoring me as a member of their Esoteric Lodge. So the secretary of that lodge went to Washington to see Colonel Conger — I did not find this out until later — and told the Colonel very frankly that Jim Long wanted to become a member and had made application, but that the lodge members because of his past experiences and the pledge fever he was going through in his efforts to become a better man, did not feel they wished to sponsor him. Colonel Conger told the young man: "That is all right. They do not have to. I will sponsor him." You can understand what unconscious bond was formed there between Colonel Conger and myself. My application was sent in and accepted with Colonel Conger's sponsorship.

I want to tell you that then the pledge fever really began for one Jim Long. Yes, I could tell you a lot about pledge fever. For in proportion to our aspirations are our difficulties. We have all heard that statement and of what happens to the sincere student who takes the step and pledges to his higher self the resolve to become a helper of the helpers of mankind. In reality, he tells the gods and gives them an order to turn the floodlights of truth hard upon his whole constitution so that all the dark corners that have lain for long, long times untroubled, untouched by any aspirations, are revealed in all their nakedness, in all their gory filth — filth in the sense of the opposite of spiritual purity. We all have it. None of us is exempt. If the strength of our aspiration is sufficiently powerful, and that light which is turned on is sufficiently bright — and it will be as bright as our aspirations call for — it will reveal not only to the world but to the individual to a very much more marked degree than to the average person the good as well as the bad qualities of his nature. It will show up more sharply the noble qualities developed in past lives that he can put to use for his fellowmen, as well as the bad qualities that need to be improved and purified so that he can make them of service also to his fellowmen. The pain and the anguish that go on in the heart and in the soul of the individual member who aspires to be a helper of the helpers of mankind is what brings on that which is called pledge fever.

Pledge fever will take all kinds of forms. That is why we as theosophists, whether members of the Esoteric Section or not, must be kindly and understanding of the weaknesses of others, and protect them to the fullest extent that we can, even if only by thought. That is why it is necessary for a leader, in order to keep that current that is operating and causing pledge fever from ruining an individual's worth to the work in the future, at rare times, to cancel his membership or to take some other such step. A member of the Esoteric Section can never have his membership canceled. Only one person can cancel that, and that is the Master himself.

Along this same line of thought, I might conclude this answer on pledge fever by stating again here that today the occult force that has in the past since 1888 flowed through the Esoteric Section of this Society, is now flowing through the TS, and will so continue for an indefinite period. That means this: that without any formality whatever on the part of the member of the TS, without any label as a member of the Esoteric Section, because it is closed, the aspirations of the individual FTS will in proportion to their strength bring about difficulties to members of the TS which will cause pledge fever. It is nothing whatever to be feared, but is something to be welcomed. It is a joyous thing to go through, however painful it may be. It is the process that is used by the Lodge and life to whip us and to whip us and to whip us into shape in order to be better servants of those who serve humanity. I think that is all I will say just now.

Maud Lundstrom: In his message to the Congress the leader not only speaks of the fact that the esoteric becomes exoteric, but I think it is in the same message that he says the exoteric becomes in our days also esoteric, and I thought about this, and I wonder if behind these words may lie a deeper significance, and I wanted to have an explanation.

JAL: Well, Maud, you have read something into that Congress that I don't believe is there in words! I do not believe I stated there that the exoteric has become esoteric. I have made that statement to a few individuals, or to one or two small groups; but whether you have read it or not, Maud, you have computed a little equation in mental arithmetic! I had hoped someone would make the natural deduction in the real sense. If the esoteric has become the exoteric, then by a simple deduction of thought, does not that imply that the exoteric has become esoteric? I will try to answer your question in this way:

There is nothing that occurs in this Theosophical Society, and especially at a change in leadership when the transition is made from one administration to another, that does not have a very deep significance in the work of the Society and in its effect upon the world. And with each such change there is placed upon the shoulders of the membership an added responsibility to themselves, to the TS to which they are karmically attached, and to their fellowmen. By putting together a few of the thoughts expressed during these past months, we can formulate a picture and a pattern, the weaving of which is going to be the responsibility of you and of me in this new partnership. On the descending arc of the century we have been given much in the way of teachings, both exoteric and esoteric, and at the pit of the century the time had come when the transition had to be made.

When the signal was given, GdeP as early as 1935 began to get his administration in order so that the real transition to come could be made. As you all know he was ordered by the Master to prepare a document in 1935 in which he said in essence that if no one comes forward to take possession of his office when he passed on, then the Cabinet should run the TS for three years, and at the end of three years it should elect a leader. I don't want to go into the history of the organization and the consequence of that approach to the pit of the century. GdeP was preparing the stage for Colonel Conger. We know that the three-year administration of the Cabinet was a test for every member of the TS, as well as for the members of the Cabinet, and for those members whose karma it was to be at Headquarters. It was the first step in a series of major steps begun by the Great Lodge to prepare for the upswing of the cycle towards 1975 and beyond — steps taken to make it possible for the respective leaders who would succeed GdeP to allow the membership themselves to take the initiative either to eliminate themselves from or to associate themselves with the new cycle to come. As a result of these instructions to GdeP and the signs of the times, he stopped giving out esoteric teachings in 1939 approximately.

After Colonel Conger became leader he published the Papers of the KTMG [The Dialogues of G. de Purucker]. Previous to that, the Fundamentals was made public, which at one time had been esoteric instructions. As it stands today, practically all of the esoteric teachings have found their way into print. There are only a few of HPB's, but in principle these too have been made public through GdeP's writings. Thus we find literally that the process of the esoteric becoming exoteric insofar as the teachings and writings were concerned, was completed during Colonel Conger's administration. But this is not enough. As I said at Utrecht, we can no longer carry on in the manner outlined by Mr. Judge, sitting like birds with our mouths open waiting to be fed. The transition Colonel Conger made is now accomplished. The esoteric has become exoteric, and by inference as the questioner stated, the exoteric has become esoteric.

Now what does that mean? It means simply that the time has come when the force of the Lodge is flowing so strongly through the TS that we members of the TS must now carry the responsibility, each one of us, and make the teachings that have been given out during the downward arc of the cycle a living power in our lives. From now on, we must change our attitude from that of being on the receiving end of esotericism to the giving end of esotericism, and in so doing become practical occultists, practical altruists. I am not speaking of the occult sciences, nor of astrology, numerology, or any of that bunk. I am speaking of pure altruism, of making that a power in our living so that the bright light of truth that shines through our hearts and souls will be recognized by our fellowmen, and we will be examples for them to want to be likewise.

Now what does that mean to each one of us in our daily lives, in our respective positions, wherever we may find ourselves? It means this: that we are faced with the simple fact that if we do our one-pointed duty as men and women, as citizens of the country to which we belong, and as theosophists, we will one day find ourselves associated in a unique fraternity. What will that unique fraternity be? How can we define it? If we define it, it perishes. But I can give a hint as to what it will be, and what it will mean to you and to me. It will mean this: that in time if you, Maud Lundstrom, or you, Lars Eek, or any one of you, do your karmic duty as men and theosophists and live the theosophic life to the best of your ability, it will mean that you will recognize immediately in any place in the world, at any time, any brother of that fraternity — without the need of signs or passwords, without the need of any word whatever.

Today we celebrate Whitsuntide, and while I do not agree with all of the interpretations that are placed upon the occult significance of this day, it is a beautiful time. I will close by saying that when the spirit of the Masters of Compassion and Peace descends into the hearts and minds of you and me, then we will have established that unique fraternity.

Thank you very much.

The meeting closed at 6:25 p.m.

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