JAL: I am deeply moved. This is such an unexpected pleasure to meet you Welsh members. I did not expect to see anyone except Mr. Harding and Mr. Urquhart, and possibly Mrs. Harries from England who is visiting in Cardiff. So you don't know what all of you Welshmen are doing by coming down.
Alex Urquhart: There are only a few left of Kenneth Morris's original groups in Tonypandy and Ferndale, all the rest having passed on, plus our Cardiff members.
JAL: I understand. And here is Jim Carey too who has traveled all the way from Gowerton near Swansea. Where two or three are gathered in Masters' name, that is where the Lodge force is — it is not hard to know which groups get together in the right spirit and attract that force which keeps the flame burning brightly.
From all that I have heard of the Welsh membership through the years, you have been doing just that. I first heard of Wales, theosophically speaking, in an indirect way from Colonel Conger who knew Kenneth at Point Loma. Colonel as you may know was an exceptional organist, and when KT put the organ in the Temple at Point Loma she gave Kenneth Morris permission (the only person I understand given that privilege) of sitting in the Temple while Colonel was practicing. While Colonel played, Kenneth received the inspiration to write several articles. With a twinkle in his eye Colonel told me that he would put so much into his playing for Kenneth's especial benefit, that Kenneth said his consciousness was raised to the point where he just had to write. There was one article in particular of Kenneth's titled, I believe, "On Hearing a Bach Fugue": it is a beautiful thing. That was my first introduction to Wales.
My second introduction, if you can call it such, which warmed my heart and made me feel very close to Wales and its membership, was when I heard that most of the members here were members who worked hard, of small means, who had to work like the devil, and still they loved their theosophy and gave the real spirit to theosophy. That touched me, because I too was born and raised in those same circumstances where my parents were poor and had the devil's own time making ends meet, with a family of four children. Depressions came along, as they do here, and I know at one time in 1912 as a youngster I was selling Saturday Evening Posts and keeping the family just selling papers, because Dad could not get work for a period. In those days a man earned $9.00 a week; his rent was $12 to $15.00 a month, and he had to feed the family on what was left. So I have lived through the whole thing and understand. I never have become wealthy, and I hope I never do!
It is experiences like these, as you all know, though it is hard to make some people believe it, that open up the soul to the kind of truth that theosophy has to offer. And while I respect fully the intellectuals, I agree 100 percent with Mr. Judge when he had that argument with Mr. Sinnett about "the classes and the masses." Now I don't want to be misunderstood here: I am not against the classes, not at all. But I do agree with Mr. Judge when he said: "It is the masses that will keep theosophy alive." I have seen too many examples of theosophy being taken as an intellectual luxury instead of putting it to work in the heart and making it a part of daily life. That is the second reason why I feel pretty close to Wales.
Another reason is because I know there has not been much activity outwardly here for a long time. That may seem a paradox to give as my third reason for feeling close to Wales, but that is only half of it. The other half of it is that I have known that those members here who had that real light flaming in their hearts were like guardians standing at the bastion gate, protecting the spirit and the fires of theosophy in Wales.
I learned quite a lesson from Colonel Conger while he was President of the American Section. I could not at first understand why he would give so much attention to points in the United States where there was no activity at all. Perhaps there was one person only, maybe quite elderly and unable to do anything for the work at all. But the attention and consideration and the thoughtfulness he put into that particular point was tremendous. I asked him about this, but he did not answer me. He wrote a letter later, and then I found my answer. In this letter, to an old member in Spokane, Washington, in the northwest of the United States, he spoke of how grateful he was that she had kept the light of Spokane burning. He was not interested in her comment that she was old and could not do much, and that only once in a while would she talk theosophy to this friend or that friend in her home.
I learned much that I will never forget through this, the lesson which might be typified by HPB's statement to Judge, and which I have referred to again and again on this present trip. I have done so with purpose, because we cannot consider her words too carefully: that the destructive forces in the world are as fully aware of what is going on as the white forces, and that the defending forces are so scant they must be judiciously distributed. To me, and this I believe sincerely and seriously, theosophy is the only thing that can provide the anchor to windward that the world needs, and that each nation needs. And we must see to it that the defending forces of truth and of creative thought and action are so wisely distributed and placed that the destructive elements cannot penetrate that ring of defense.
I am deeply happy to be able to report that as a result of my trip around the world for Colonel Conger last winter, and this present trip, the defending forces are well placed and are strong, stronger than they have ever been in the history of the Society. I do not mean strong in great numbers. We are not interested in numbers. I mean in the quality of the defending force. If there are only one or two who have the right attitude here and there, that attitude carried in their hearts and put into their lives is the greatest defense that we can build up. And however much at times it may seem as though there has been little going on here, however much you may feel that you have not been doing much, Wales has been doing far more than you imagine, because the inner light, the pure buddhic light, that results from true devotion and true inner service to Masters' cause has been shining brightly.
I am not saying this to make you feel good. None of you could feel half as happy as I feel tonight in having the privilege of being here and meeting so many of you. As I told you in the beginning, I thought I was going to be talking here to Mr. Urquhart and Mr. Harding. Then later I learned that John Taylor was in town. But instead of two or three, I find here what is far more powerful than a regiment.
More members arrived at this point, and chairs had to be fetched.
Mr. Urquhart: It is too bad that you should be continually interrupted like this, but we are all getting relaxed. By the time we get all the chairs in, we will all be fully relaxed.
JAL: I want you all to feel relaxed, and talk just as though you were in your own home, because I will only say very briefly that at this particular time in the history of the work and of the Society, our responsibility takes a little different turn from what it has in the past; and because of that, and because we have got to consider what I term practical occultism or practical theosophy more seriously than we ever have before — getting away from theory and getting into the practice of it — I have made it clear that this is a partnership where the leader is one among equals, all of us working together to get this job done. I am not after anything except helping the members to work in an understanding and honest way, and in the simplest manner possible. So you can feel completely relaxed and at home.
Now I have got off my chest what I think about Wales. From the moment James Carey came in until the last one of you arrived, this has been boiling inside me, and I just could not hold it in any longer. Mr. Carey has to return by the night train at 9:30 to Gowerton, so I do not want to take up more time now. I came here to get acquainted with Wales, and I think I am succeeding in that. After our meeting, I will talk with Alex Urquhart, Albert Harding, and Johnnie Taylor. If you have any questions, ask them and we will talk about any aspect of the Society that you would like. Do not hesitate to speak up and mention anything at all that you would like to have discussed, because we are here to think out loud together about theosophy.
Maybe I can ask a question or two that may start the ball rolling. Mr. Carey, you say you have two members up there in Swansea, or are you alone now?
James Carey: Three of us out of seventeen are left now: Burgess, Edwards, and myself.
JAL: Do you get together regularly at all?
Mr. Carey: We used to meet regularly on Sundays, but I have been confined to the house most of the time.
Mr. Urquhart: Mr. Carey has had several sickbed spells, one of them lasted four and a half years.
Mr. Carey: In connection with that, we have a charter for No. 2 Lodge, Wales. Does that still hold good under the various leaders?
JAL: I am glad you brought that up, and I was going to talk to Mr. Urquhart and Mr. Harding afterwards about this. This is the situation: up until GdeP's time you will recall the lodges or branches were all attached directly to Headquarters. There were no formalized national sections anywhere. But during GdeP's time for specific reasons which I need not go into in detail, he organized the Society on the basis of national sections, and in the Constitution which he amended spoke of them as autonomous national sections, with the lodges autonomous within the sections. Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, even with theosophists the word autonomy proved in time a stumbling block.
I don't mean by this that the TS should be regimented; not at all. But what has happened through these years is this: that instead of the section organizational structure becoming an aid to the work of the Society, it became a hindrance, and some members became so section-conscious that a barrier built itself in the consciousness of the membership in the different countries, so that there was an inner barrier to the flow of Lodge force from the Headquarters to the individual members. That is wrong. I have found in both of these trips that practically every member in the world, even in the United States except those very close geographically to Headquarters, felt a lack of something, felt a loss of something, that they were not getting, and it is for that reason that I have initiated the idea with the hope that the national sections themselves would voluntarily make the move.
The leader should not direct or order this, that, and the other thing done, any more than the Masters order this, that, and the other thing done. They do not. They protect but they do not direct or guide the work of the Society. If a leader makes a mistake, the Masters protect the work; and if a section or a lodge makes some bad mistakes, it is the leader's job to protect the work, and he will only take direct action when he must to protect the work.
In England I did not know what I was going to find. I went up north and met with the members in Middleton-in-Teesdale. I found an excellent spirit. One or two asked me whether I was going to do anything in the matter of lodges and of eliminating the section structure as such, because it seems in general everybody wanted it. I said I did not know. We went from Middleton to Liverpool. In Liverpool we had two very fine meetings, the members of both lodges deciding voluntarily to go on as study groups until such time as they can naturally apply for a charter for one branch connected directly with Headquarters. That was my signal for England that we should in all probability follow this signpost now, rather than later.
I telephoned to Ben Koske the next morning, told him what had happened and asked him to talk to the lodges up north in answer to the question they had asked me about this matter, and to let them know what happened in Liverpool, and ask them if they felt they wanted to express their desire to eliminate the framework of the English Section and apply for charters as branches connected directly with Headquarters. If so, they could send the charters to London. He said: "You can depend upon it. They have wanted it for some time." Last night in Manchester I told them what happened, and after full and free discussion they have done the same thing.
That is what has happened so far on my trip here in the British Isles, and it will be entirely up to the members in Wales who have charters in their possession and to the officials of the Welsh Section to decide just what you want to do in Wales. You can send in your old charters and we can give you new charters as branches connected directly with Headquarters. There will be a secretary in Wales just the same as there would be a president, but he would be appointed by the leader and would work, not as a hierarch of the section but as the leader's representative in Wales to help carry on whatever Wales needed.
The whole purpose of the thing is to help the natural activity of the Society to take place, which is this: that the Lodge force may flow through Headquarters to the different countries out to each member, and from each member out into the world, and that the force returns through each member, through each country, back to Headquarters, back to the Lodge, so that that circulation is not impeded in any way. No matter how far away from Headquarters the members are, they are in contact with the Headquarters, and Headquarters in contact with them. They do not have to carry banners and put signs on billboards, or sing songs or preach from the housetops. They can live their theosophy, and thus give something to the world even if they never open their mouths; and the world is giving something to them. Members everywhere are receiving every day the daily initiation by giving something of themselves to theosophy from their experiences, and that should flow back from the country, to Headquarters, and to the Lodge itself. It is that circulation of force that keeps us alive in the world today.
No matter how erroneous some members in the various sections have been, there have been enough solid members who have kept that circulation going so that the TS has not been nor is it in any danger. It is more solidly entrenched in the progressive flow of civilization upward today than it ever has been. But we have to do more than that. We have to be conscious of the fact that 1975 is not very far off and that we not only must provide enough strength for the messenger in 1975, but we have to provide an inner vehicle that will allow that messenger not just to reach over to the year 2000 into the next century, but provide enough momentum that he or she can by his or her efforts add sufficient impulse to carry the theosophic force over for many centuries to come. That sounds like a big order, but it isn't. We can do it, and we are doing it.
Well, Mr. Carey, it took a long time to say all that. So far as your charter is concerned, you can decide what you would like. I have told a number of lodges that they can either send in their charters and have them endorsed as a branch, if they want to keep their old ones; or they can have a new one. I told Manchester last night that their old charters would be preserved in the Archives. Kirby is the Archivist here, and we are trying to protect some of these old documents. We have several old charters at Pasadena dating from HPB's days, as well as some of the originals of the Masters' letters. And I have no objection if certain lodges would like to have their very old charters hanging on the wall.
There is no problem in Wales. I did not come here to build a fire under the Welsh members and try to get them running around to do a lot of exoteric work. No; you are doing a great deal more than other people without seeming to do a thing. It is the inner light and fire of theosophy which we want to keep burning.
Ronald Lane: I wonder if Mr. Long would continue his explanation, which I think is a very adequate one and very interesting, in answer to Mr. Carey. As I see it, the disturbing factor is not the national sections, although they have their squabbles, but the fact that the major squabble (perhaps I had better not use that term) seems to have come right from Headquarters. I wonder whether you could perhaps give some adequate explanation as to why the Cabinet should be at loggerheads, and why the whole matter of the leadership should not have been a little clearer so that the various national sections would have taken a final view of it, rather than have to settle down in many months to a more reasonable view?
JAL: I will be glad to. When you first spoke I thought you were referring to the older picture of the difficulties springing from Headquarters, but I may touch upon both. I see you mean the differences of —
Mr. Lane: I did not mean as it touched you personally, but consider the Cabinet as a body of people who are governing from Headquarters: it seems there is a division of opinion there, and we have to make our own minds up one way or another. It is a very difficult point for us.
JAL: I am very glad you brought that up, Mr. Lane. To answer that, I should like to go back to the beginning of Colonel Conger's administration. If it comes naturally, later we might briefly discuss also the difficulty Colonel had and the cause of it.
The Leader then repeated the thoughts he had expressed in answer to similar questions on his tour through the Continent, and emphasized in conclusion that "when a leader has to be appointed by a document or a vote of the Cabinet, then this Society is no longer the Theosophical Society with the link unbroken."
Kirby Van Mater: I would like to add this, that everything that happened was reported in the Cabinet meetings, and if the membership has felt that they lacked information, I can say that it was just as much a surprise to everybody on the Cabinet as it was to the members.
JAL: That is true. I will merely add this: that nobody knew, whatever anyone might have thought, that I had been given that responsibility by karma as soon as Colonel died. The only words he said to me on his death bed after I returned from my world trip just ten days before he died, were these: "Finish the job you have started to the very end." That was all. But something touched me. I saluted and said goodbye. The next morning he had his heart attack and never regained consciousness. When he passed, then I knew: I knew that I had to do the job in spite of everything, not because of it. I am not saying this in defense, but I have tried to give you truthfully an answer to your questions.
Mr. Lane: Thank you very much. By way of apology, from a national point of view I can only add that it may be we have had an adequate explanation of things. Maybe things have to happen that way. I don't think it would have been so in Wales or in England, but we always have to make allowances for American characteristics. I don't think a member of the Welsh Section would have had that document from Colonel Conger, knowing in his own heart that he was not fit. He would have burned it, or turned it over to —
Mr. Van Mater: I would have either burned it or given it to Mr. Long.
Mr. Urquhart: It may have happened in any country. Circumstances move people around much the same, whether they are of one country or another, or whether they are in one country or another.
Mr. Carey: It is all rather involved as to why the Headquarters was moved from Point Loma to Covina and then to Pasadena, when Point Loma was a world center, really.
JAL: Each leader has his or her job to do. KT's major work was to establish that great center at Point Loma as a training ground. GdeP's basic job was the giving out of esoteric teaching, with his magnificent explanations and elucidations of HPB's Secret Doctrine. When GdeP took over, KT's particular work closed, but the Headquarters at Point Loma fell into his hands with a tremendous burden of debt which I don't think he would ever have worked out of except with the help that he got. GdeP's instructions were to move into a smaller Headquarters, and he would have very much liked to have reduced the staff sufficiently to move into the small compact headquarters setup we now have, but he could not do it in one step. He did accomplish the first great step: the move to Covina, with about 85 to 90 people. This has reduced itself now, through various natural causes, to about 35-40. For years we have not needed a headquarters staff larger than that, which is adequate to run the main work of the TS, including the printing establishment.
Now I do not mean that we will never have a center like KT's again; perhaps not in our lifetime. However, each leader has a job to do that is his particular task. To move to smaller headquarters was one of GdeP's big problems when KT passed on. It was no longer the Master's wish to perpetuate the center at Point Loma. It had become an absolutely impractical project to carry on. The buildings were of frame and through the years had become fire traps, and to reconstruct them properly would have cost half a million dollars and more.
Now we are moved into Pasadena. Studley Hart and I had the job of finding first of all the residence of the leader. When we had located what we felt was suitable, both Studley and I as we entered the house for the first time knew that that was it. We brought Colonel over the next day, and Colonel seemed to be perfectly at home. We took him upstairs, and then into the attic, and there was no question in his mind that 75 North Grand in Pasadena was the right place.
Mr. Carey: I recall KT's statement that Point Loma was a sacred center of Lodge force. What I had in mind was this: are these centers permanent?
JAL: It all depends on the karma of the time. Everything operates in cycles, and we know from our studies that in the great cycles even the earth's axis changes its position. I have no doubt that as the cycles run through their courses the geographical location of Point Loma will once again be the location of an activity which may well be the rebirth of what KT planted there during her administration.
Mr. Carey had to leave, so the Leader asked Kirby Van Mater to escort him to the streetcar.
William Lucas: I would like to ask a personal question. I have been a rebel all my life. I have been through all of the religious thought there is, up and down trying to find a home. Finally I became a Spiritualist. I was in the movement many, many years, but was not interested in the phenomena. Eventually I came in contact with Kenneth Morris, and then I gave up my membership in Spiritualism. But through the contact that I had made with Spiritualism, I am utilizing that to spread theosophy. And the question that I would like to settle in my own conscience is this: although I feel within myself that I am spreading theosophy, am I doing harm in addressing Spiritualist meetings upon theosophy?
JAL: If I understand you correctly, they have invited you to speak to them about theosophy?
Mr. Lucas: They have given me the platform to speak upon what I like.
JAL: If you are giving them straight theosophy, I cannot see that you are doing them any harm.
Mr. Lucas: That is my ambition, and I feel it is the sphere in which I can do the most for theosophy.
JAL: I wish some of us would have a similar opportunity.
Mr. Lucas: Well, I can assure you, Mr. Leader, every time I speak in these fortnightly meetings, about 20 to 30 a year, I can tell you that the profundity that can be brought through theosophy is amazing. I should like to say just now how proud I am to meet another leader. I should like you to realize how much it means. The vision that it has given us, the incentive to do wherever possible all that we can do. We are only just three in our group now, but we are very much alive, and as Kenneth told me that is what counts. I shall never forget his words.
There used to be these meetings together in the Workmen's Hall in the Library, and on the Sunday previous to the meeting there on that Tuesday, I had been speaking and I had 60 people there. But when we came to the Library where the Doctor [Kenneth Morris] was speaking to us, he had only six. All the time he was speaking it was worrying me that he had only six, and that I with my little simple way had 60. He could see that I was worried, and when he finished his address he said to me: "What's troubling you, Lucas?"
I told him: "When I talked last Sunday, I had 60 people."
"Did you?" he said. "What did you talk about?" I told him. "What did you say?" I told him.
"But that is not what is worrying me. The fact that you had six and I had sixty, just doesn't seem right to me," I said.
"Oh," he said, "I hope you never say that to me again. Do you know what is happening? No, and it's that that's troubling you. It's that puny self of you counting in numbers. If there is only one, that is all that matters."
These things sank deep, and I would not for my very life do anything to belittle the cause. Then when he asked me to address the meeting in Cardiff, I said: "What, me? I am the youngest member in the Society." "You may be this incarnation, but you have tapped it before," he said. I have been very jealous of the meetings, very jealous of theosophy, because I would not for my very life do or say anything that would belittle it. And that is the reason why my question. Believe me, although they are Spiritualistic meetings, it is theosophy they get.
JAL: Well, I don't care if you speak theosophy to half-tight miners in a pub, that is all right with me. There is as much gold in the hearts of people there as you would find in the finest churches on Fifth Avenue in New York. So don't think that the leader is going to stop anybody from carrying the flag of theosophy to the hearts of people, I don't care where it is. If KT could go into the prisons and talk to men of every kind, and tell them that there is still a chance for them, you can tell the Spiritualists whatever is in your heart. They will perhaps understand a great deal more than we realize.
Mr. Lucas: Well, I can assure you they are getting it and appreciating it, although they don't know it as theosophy. They are swallowing it all right, and some day it will bear fruit.
JAL: Thank you very much, Mr. Lucas. Are there any more questions?
Hilda Harries: I wondered if there is any work one can do to help the Headquarters? I cannot do a lot of theosophic work, but if there are little things that can be done to keep up a sort of link with the Headquarters.
JAL: There may be some things later on. Of course, we don't have the translation problem here, although sometimes when I am spoken to by a taxi driver or a porter, I wonder if I don't need an interpreter, because there are more kinds of English in England than there is Dutch in Holland! In the meantime the best thing that a member can do is just to be the finest example you know how. Try to live the Golden Rule, and things will turn up to do, even if it is just a kindly word here and there to somebody who is having a little pain in his or her heart. That helps Headquarters far more than you realize. It keeps that circulation between Headquarters and the world alive. However, I know what you mean, and at the moment while the organization of the English Section is in transition, I would not know how to answer it. I may be able later on to have a suggestion or two. Any time you care to write and discuss anything that you may have on your mind, do not hesitate to send a letter to Pasadena. After all, this is a partnership in the full sense of the word. I will not be able to maintain a running correspondence with every member, but I will get the letters, and they will receive attention.
Mr. Griffiths: I am a very young member in the Movement, and I have not had contact with anyone except the two members who are now in Ferndale. I am very interested in the literature, and I do feel I know more about it after my visit here tonight.
JAL: Well, keep this in mind, that if you love theosophy you will be given the answers even though you may not have read all the books. When I was young in the work I wanted to be a public lecturer and go out and tell people all about this wonderful philosophy that would help them in their lives, and I wanted to get in a lot of members, which was perfectly natural. I spoke to Colonel Conger about my education. I had formal education only through high school, for after graduating I never went further, except with business courses to prepare myself for earning my living. I did educate myself to a degree since, but not in any formal sense, and I felt my lack of vocabulary and my lack of —
Mr. Urquhart: You did not use enough big words!
JAL: That is right, and I felt I did not have enough education. After listening very patiently he said with a beautiful smile in his eyes: "You don't realize how fortunate you are." I was shocked, but he went on: "I don't care if you don't use the right words, if you have the natural opportunity to speak theosophy before a small or a large group, get up and speak, speak from your heart, and what is in your heart will reach the hearts of those there."
Then he reminded me of what the Master Jesus had said to his disciples: When you are before the magistrate, take no thought of what you shall say; it will be given to you. So, Mr. Griffiths, keep on with your love of theosophy, and you will find that you have absorbed far more of the truth it contains than you have any idea, and when the opportunity comes you will be given what to say. When you are approached by a searching soul, or a soul in pain who has recognized possibly that he might receive a word of strength or comfort from you, it will be given you what to say. That soul came to you by karma, because he or she needed exactly what you have to give. That is why karma brought him to you. Everybody who crosses our path has a purpose: either to bring something to us, or to receive something. That is karma, and if they come to us to give us strength or comfort, or perhaps a needed lesson, then let us receive. When they come to receive, then let us give from our hearts. By karma they have come, and by karma they will get the right thing. Their needs will be supplied, and so will ours.
Questioner: Are the children's groups or circles in America thriving?
JAL: our, except in Holland where they have several large groups, but the whole youth work has got to be revamped. It has been in the process for the last two or three years. Colonel Conger started it, and I hope to find the assistants to build what we think should be done. There have been some flaws in the basic concept of the work for the young people in the past, but these have not caused the retarding results. The thing that we as theosophists have missed fairly generally is the same thing that most parents miss in the bringing up of their children. As parents we many times assume that we know more than our children basically; whereas in reality most if not all instances, the children of this and the past two or three generations are older souls from the standpoint of theosophy than we are. That has been proved time and time again.
So far as our work with the young people is concerned, it is my hope, which I have checked with every section where there is any inclination to carry on youth work, it is my hope to have the young people themselves give me the basis of establishing the youth work. I would like to see it set up with the age groups from the lodge membership down, in the same position in principle as the Masters are to us: one hand to the age group above, and one hand to the age group below. And in this manner keep a force running from the oldest to the youngest, and from the youngest to the oldest. In this way we will be able to find out what the young people need. Actually, for some time now, the youth work throughout the Society has been almost at a standstill, with the exception of Holland, and a few centers in the United States, and one or two in Germany, and possibly in Sweden. My hope is that it will ultimately work out: of the young people, by the young people, and for the young people. If you have any youngsters, please write in and we will try to work it out together.
Does the younger Mr. Urquhart have any questions on his mind?
Mr. Alastair Urquhart: Not at the moment, thanks.
Mrs. Harries and Mr. Morris Griffiths had to leave.
W. Jones: That question that Will Lucas asked about some objection to theosophy when he speaks to that group: I believe he is doing good work in it. He will touch a few there every time.
JAL: I don't know what Spiritualism is here in your country, but in some places they go pretty far with their seances. If you can counteract the dangers of that, not for the purpose of getting members but to provide the opportunity for the truth of the philosophy to take root, and then let the Law take care of the results, only good can come.
Mr. Lane: I wonder whether you could tell us a little more of the plans for preparation that you outlined, a little that might be taking place after possibly your tour, having gathered in the threads, and so on. I presume Headquarters will be initiating some form of plan in order that the national societies will be able to carry on whatever they are doing in theosophy in some special fashion. By special fashion, I mean wherein I gather that the esoteric part of theosophy is not necessarily to be outlined as more important than the humanitarian attitude. I was wondering as we are separately working in our spheres whether Headquarters will be initiating some plan which will suggest forms of work, because I know it is very, very difficult to get in touch with people who are at all interested in anything of the religious attitude, and I use the term in its rather widest fashion.
JAL: Let me tell you my thoughts in this way. There will be no crystallized plan to be adopted by the whole TS and all of the countries in the TS, because every locality and every situation in each country offer different circumstances which must be met; and it is my hope in this partnership, with the aid of the national secretaries and their assistants, to be able to help the members wherever they may be to meet the particular conditions and circumstances with which they have to deal, and thus help develop the right plan of work there.
There is one thing that I hope to do as soon as I can that will be of a general nature, not as a plan, but as a basis of understanding, and that is this: not to impose it upon the membership, but to encourage the members generally to become better acquainted with the Christian scriptures, for in doing so with our theosophic background and knowledge we will automatically recognize the basic teachings in almost every chapter, particularly of the New Testament. We are failing in our duty to them and to the world if we are not able to meet the inquirers from where they stand, and help them to bridge the gap from what they have and perhaps do not understand to what we know and do understand with our theosophic keys. We cannot ever hope to have them leap the huge gap without any help. We should be able to talk to them in their own Christian terminology, providing naturally and simply the keys to a broader understanding of their faith so that they will become better Christians first. Then as they become better Christians and understand true Christianity as originally taught, rather than merely Churchianity, they will begin to recognize what theosophy is: the interpreter of all faiths. Theosophy will begin to take hold and help them then to become better citizens of the country in which they live, and through that influence become better men and women.
Let us not take the theosophic flag down, but on the other hand we should not try to take down somebody else's flag. Nor should we worry if we find that this fellow or that fellow begins to borrow the theosophic ideas which we have shared with him but does not give credit. HPB wrote her Secret Doctrine some 60-odd years ago, and today in the university libraries and in the large public libraries all over our country those volumes are constantly in circulation and are dog-eared from use, many of them interlined with notes and diagrams by students reading them, despite the library regulations never to write in the books! Scientists, religionists and philosophers have all borrowed from HPB without giving credit, but what would that matter to HPB! Theosophy is getting to the world in spite of us, and we see the broadening and uplifting effect. Why then should we care if it doesn't have the label of theosophy on it. If they become members, that is different, because then there is a loyalty to the theosophic banner. We should ourselves as I said keep the flag flying at the top of the mast.
Now when this partnership really gets under way, it is my hope with the assistance of my staff to be able to sit down and think out loud by correspondence about the problems of the various groups, wherever they may be, in whatever country. We want to try to help them be realistic in meeting the current situations, and not work against the tide, but rather utilize and take advantage of the karmic circumstances so that their efforts are not wasted or nullified. This is just simple common sense, and I think the Welsh members have quite a lot of that and understand its need.
Civilization needs an anchor to windward, and there is only one formal organization in the world that can provide that anchor, and that is the Theosophical Society which has kept the link unbroken. Maybe some of us before we die will see the first glimpses of a brighter age ahead. Try to feel the inwardness of things, the inwardness of the work that we have before us, then hopefully we will recognize that in time the theosophic force will affect the outward aspect to a marked degree.
It is getting late, and I know that many of you have some distance yet to go. I am sorry to say goodbye. Let me thank you from my heart for coming tonight. There was something in this meeting here. I don't like to personalize it or to make comparisons, but the simple things in life appeal to me tremendously, and the simple truth, the simple philosophy that has been burning in the hearts of you Welshmen has meant and continues to mean a very great deal, much more than you realize, to Headquarters.
While I think of it, Fred Lindemans in Holland asked me to give his warm regards to his Welsh friends. He is a grand man, and I love Fred Lindemans like a brother. He is doing a great job in his country, and he asked that if I went to Wales please to say hello to any who might remember him.
Thank you again for coming up here this evening, and if there is anything on your minds at any time, do not hesitate to write. We will try to be with you in spirit, and come over here a little more often in the future, if the funds and the circumstances of travel permit.
The meeting closed at 10 p.m.
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