Questions We All Ask by G. de Purucker
Theosophical University Press Online Edition

No. 52 (August 22, 1930)

QUESTIONS WE ALL ASK

(Lecture delivered June 22, 1930)
CONTENTS: Sowing seeds of thought is a heavy responsibility. — Our physical sphere but a cross section of the universe. — The will-o'-the-wisps of the emotional spheres. — Psychical and religious flummery rampant in the world today. — How to recognize the true teacher. — Free the treasures of the spirit! — What is the source of theosophy? The foundations of all religions the same. Fantastic religions are easily invented. — A call to those hungering for light. — A word of sympathetic understanding to other Theosophical Societies. "We will not tolerate unbrotherliness." A clear declaration of theosophical policy. A super-society with but one officer. Not a theosophical pope! No place for politics. — Scientific views of Sir Oliver Lodge, intuitive scientist and quasi-materialist. Cosmic ether the seat of cosmic mind. — Within every atom is a spark of divinity. — What produces self-conscious individuality? — Various grades and classes of gods. — Take the kingdom of heaven by the "violence" of your indomitable will.

Many familiar faces are before me today. I like to see faces which are familiar. They make me feel that the message which I have to give to you has found a lodgment in your hearts — some seeds at least of the ancient wisdom have been sown in fertile places, where they will produce good fruit, and where neither the hot sun will dry them away nor the birds of the air, spiritual thieves, will carry them out of your consciousness.

I wonder sometimes if people realize what a thought is. Theosophists call it a thing, and it is a thing. It is a living entity. All the vast and diversified phenomena of nature, so far as differentiations are concerned, are founded upon the one fact that at the heart of each such entity there exists a thought divine, a seed of the Divine, which is destined to grow through the aeons, until the inherent life, individuality, power, and faculty, in such a seed shall find itself flowing forth into more or less perfect manifestation. It is thus that such a god-seed or Monad becomes in its turn a divine entity, a self-conscious god, a child of the cosmic Divine, its parent.

The sowing of the seeds of thought is not an act devoid of responsibility. I told you this on last Sunday, and I repeat it today, that a teacher, a lecturer, a writer, no matter who he may be or what his particular work may be, in fact anyone who sows seeds of thought in the minds of his fellow men, is held by natural law to a strict accountability. Nature is not anarchic; it is governed by cause and effect throughout, by what theosophists call karma — the doctrine of consequences, that what ye sow ye shall reap, and none other fruitage.

While this places a serious responsibility upon anyone who teaches others, and who thus puts seeds of thought and feeling into their minds, nevertheless, on the other hand, what is the guerdon of a noble work well done? The reward, recompense, is magnificent. Think of that side of the matter also. I ask you again: What is the reward for a noble duty well accomplished?

Yes, we make ourselves to be exactly what we are; and we are, at the same time, our brothers' keepers, because each one of us, each one of us, EACH ONE OF US, is responsible for an aeonic chain of causation. Do you get the idea?

I sometimes have wondered, before I step onto this platform, what will be the outcome of the seeds of thought that I am going to try to put into the minds of my audience today? Good, bad, indifferent — whatever the outcome is — I am connected, the inner part of me, the originating intelligence, the flaming fire of intellect and of spiritual will, which is the real spiritual entity, is connected with you forever.

A true theosophical teacher feels his duty, feels his responsibility, very, very keenly indeed. I marvel sometimes, and I tell you this frankly, at the obviously carefree consciousness in which I have heard lecturers speak, casting forth seeds of thought into the minds of their audiences, apparently reckless of what is going to come of it. Guard well your thoughts, and even as carefully guard what you say. Speak little, but when you do speak, speak with deliberate recollection of your responsibility. Fortunately — and here is the great consolation that every theosophical lecturer, speaker, teacher, writer, leader has, if he is true to his wonderful work, to the great opportunities which are his — in his teaching of theosophy he will give naught originating from himself — not one word, not one thought — but will deliver as his message to his fellow men that voice coming out of the far past, that message of the wisdom-religion of archaic times, that soundless voice reaching us even of our day, out of the far distant past, which even now finds an echo in the intuitive souls and hearts of men.

Some mystics have called this soundless voice out of the past, the Word lost and forgotten; but it is not a word. It is a message; it is a formulation of natural truth, setting forth the nature, structure, and operations of nature, the great mother of us all, particularly of spiritual nature, of the vast and invisible realms and spheres which are the real heart of the universe, and of which our physical sphere is but a cross section, a single plane, a section cut, as it were, through the vast body of cosmic being.

Keeping strictly to the delivery of this message, there is no danger of wandering into side issues or bypaths; and let me tell you that he who understands but a little of the sublime message which you will remember is the formulation in human language of what the great seers and sages of the ages have seen when they sent their percipient spirits behind the veil of the outward seeming — knows that in delivering this message truly and without personal additions, he never wanders far from the truth. In doing this his imagination is never fascinated by the will-o'-the-wisps of the emotional spheres. His mind is never captured by the psychical and religious flummery which is, alas! so rampant in the world today, distracting men's attentions and thoughts from the great spiritual truths upon which the universe itself, in its infinitude, is builded.

Think! What sublimer message is there than truth? What nobler religion is there than truth? What can men understand more easily than truth, and never have a surfeit of it, for it is a part of the very structure and fabric of the inmost of the inmost of you, and your hearts leap in glad and intuitive recognition when someone tells you something that you sense to be true, and then you say: Immortal divinities, I knew it, but I could not phrase it!

Now, that is what the great founder of The Theosophical Society, H. P. Blavatsky — the first messenger in modern times to our Occidental world, of the great Masters of Wisdom and Compassion — did. She never wandered afield, she never followed any side paths or byways of thought and psychical and emotional illusion. But always she kept in that "straight and narrow path" of the spiritual life, called straight and narrow because it is difficult for men who do not understand it, but oh! how easy, how pleasant, is it when you do understand it and really follow it; and this still small path leads to the very heart of the universe.

That is the message that any true theosophical teacher will give to you. What does it mean, reduced to simple language, so that all who run can understand it? It means know yourself; for as you are a child of the universe, an offspring of its divine spiritual heart, therefore have you within yourself everything — every power, every faculty, every possibility — that the Boundless has.

Are you different from the universe? Are you separate from it? Obviously not. You are inseparably a part of it; and therefore, knowing yourself, knowing what is within you, setting your feet upon this still, small path which the Hindu Upanishads speak of, and which is the pathway of your self, of your diviner self, you tread the way leading to the heart of the universe; and following this pathway means merely an ever-continuing expansion of your own consciousness, growing from human unto being cosmic.

Every true teacher says: "I can show you the way. Come unto me, ye who are heartbroken, weary, and heavy laden, and I will show you the way to peace and glory indescriptible. Knock — and the knock is that of a heart which is pure and sincere — and the door will fly open of its own accord, and you will enter into your own. Ask — which means the heart-hunger which nothing will satisfy except light — and ye shall receive it in full measure, unstinted and overflowing."

If men today knew these secrets better, we should not have the platforms of our own and of other countries carrying unfortunate and mistaken individuals who in most cases tell you their own imaginings and conclusions from a more or less imperfect study of the great religions and philosophical systems of the past. Anyone who tells you: "I have the truth," is not a true teacher. Anyone who tells you: "I am a student of the truth" is worth at least listening to. Paradox! Marvelous paradox in this, for the second person will tell you if he is a true teacher: "I am the way, the life everlasting." These are the words of a true teacher and a true teacher will explain just what he means. He means that he has found, by following that pathway within which leads him ever towards the heart of the universe, that that same pathway is in each and every entity and thing which exists, and hence such a true teacher will say to you: "Man, know thyself, for in you lie all the treasuries of the secret wisdom. I will show you the way."

The Hindu rishis, the Hindu sages, as their teachings have come down even unto our own time in the Upanishads and other parts of the grand literature of ancient Hindustan, voice the core of their teaching in the following two wonderful statements, and these combined are the "lost Word," that voiceless voice coming out of the abysmal deeps of past time, of a time so long gone by that no recollection remains among men of its existence; and these two sentences which together make the "lost Word" are these, and I give them to you in the original Sanskrit with their proper translations: Aham asmi parabrahma, meaning, "I am the Boundless," the heart of the heart of the core of my being is boundless infinitude, which I can never leave and of which I am an inseparable part. And close thereupon comes the consequent teaching in strict and orderly logical sequence: Tat twam asi, meaning, "That thou art."

Has any great sage and seer taught differently? Is not the foundation of every great religion and of every great philosophy the same? Do you see the ethical implications which these two grand statements contain: What thou art, I am. What I am, thou art. Fundamentally we are one. Brotherhood is nature's first law, because it is a part of nature's structure that I cannot live, feel, think, act, unto myself alone, but whatever I do affects ultimately all that is. Morals therefore are not a convention. Ethics are not founded upon human social convenience, but are rooted in the very fabric and nature of the Boundless.

Think over these thoughts. I should be a spiritual criminal if I should tell you one word, occupying the position of theosophical teacher as I do, that wanders one iota afield from the teaching of the message which I was sent to deliver to you. My heart impels me and compels me to keep strictly within the limits of my duty, for there I am strong; and without it I am only a man.

I know nothing so hard and adamantine and stony as human hearts are. I know nothing so difficult to deal with as the crystallized and delicate fabric of men's brain-minds. The brain-mind is so rigid, and yet so crystalline and delicate, that it breaks at a touch. Therefore I do not make my appeal to your brain-minds. I go straight to the heart of you, direct to the very core of your being, to that part of you which, as I have said before, leaps into instant and glad recognition of the truth when you hear it. Therefore, because of the light that you have and remembering that your fellows are sitting in darkness, pity your fellow men, do not blame them.

Let us have peace, let us have harmony, let us have joy in life; and each one of you free all the great spiritual and intellectual treasures that every one of you possesses within, the treasures which it is customary to call of the spirit: peace and happiness, vision and brotherly love, illumination, compassion, and in fact all the great energies that arise in the mind of one whose heart is swayed by almighty impersonal love. It is impersonal love which holds all things in orderly sequence; impersonal love it is which binds all things in the Boundless into their orderly and consequential courses.

Love none has ever resisted, none will ever resist, for its appeal is to the very inmost of you, and therefore it arouses the inmost in you, and your stony hearts and crystallized brain-minds cannot bar its way or resist it. I speak of impersonal love, please, not the selfish, personal love whose cravings are for satisfaction of material wants; it is to impersonal love that I appeal. If you have ever loved impersonally, any one of you, you know full well just what I mean. I pity those men and women whose hearts are so dead, whose lives are so blank, whose natures are so sterile, that they do not know the meaning of love, of harmony, of peace, of joy. How beautiful a thing it is for men to dwell together in peace and brotherhood!

You have often spoken of the wisdom of the archaic ages, as you express it. Is this body of doctrine existing by itself, or is it merely a composite or syncretistic system which modern theosophists have extracted from the various ancient religions and philosophies, and have put together in a more or less consistent, systematized body of teaching?

I would like to hear more from a man who thinks that some other man invented theosophy. I surely would! I think that the man who asked this question, while doubtless meaning it very kindly, has no real idea at all as to what theosophy is. I will now tell you truthfully what it is, as I have often done before: It is the formulation in human language of what the great seers and sages of the ages have seen when, during the initiatory periods through which they all passed, and indeed at other times, and during which they sent their percipient spirit-souls deep, deep, deeper still, into the very womb of being, they became acquainted then and there with the fundamental laws which control the structure, operations, origin, present nature, and future destiny of the universe. Having found out these recondite secrets and laws of being, by individual experience, generations after generations of these great sages and seers brought back and told their disciples what they had discovered in this most wonderful of adventures.

Such is the wisdom-religion of the archaic ages, and one or another of this great brotherhood of seers and sages whom today we call the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion, or by other equivalent titles: one or another of these great men came forth into the world, sent as a willing messenger from the Lodge of these great ones, and then taught his fellow men, and, having taught, withdrew; and the message that he left behind him was and also became one of the great world religions or world philosophies. As the fundamental identic system of truth taught by all these messengers is the same, this means that the foundation of each one of these world religions and world philosophies is that same esoteric formulation of natural truth and fact. That formulation we today call theosophy.

As regards fundamentals it matters little what later ages of men did in obscuring this fundamental truth, this identic system in all the great world religions and philosophies. If you want to prove to be true what I here tell you, undertake the study of these ancient systems of thought. There is my challenge. Look for this fundamental body of doctrines in them all, and you will find it, set forth in other languages, set forth perhaps in different phrasings from those of our own, yet each was appropriate to its own time and to the people to whom such a great sage came; but the fundamental truth is the same in all of them, the fundamental system is the same in all of them.

Therefore, that is what I mean by the wisdom religion of the archaic ages. It is not a syncretistic system, put together in modern times by H. P. Blavatsky or by anybody else. Had it been so, it would be an inexplicable marvel of spiritual genius; and a genius of such cosmic power, of such titanic capacity, mankind has not yet given birth to.

Furthermore, why should such a thing be done? Nature is, it is orderly, logical, and consequential in its processes, therefore in understanding it we have what is called truth. Man is an inseparable part of nature. Therefore the way to gain truth is to recognize his oneness with nature, spiritually and otherwise, and by his spiritual faculties to enter into the womb of being. This is the simple, natural way; and it is the way by which esoteric history shows that truth was formulated and systematized in human thought and language.

Do you know why this friend asked this question? He is an intelligent man. He knows something about the later religions which have been founded within the last two thousand years; and his knowledge of history has shown him how easily fantastic religious movements can be started. Do you not know that it is one of the easiest things in the world to make up a religion, to make up a religious philosophy, and to teach it and preach it and get a following? If you have a voice which is loud enough, and a convincing manner, and a ready flow of speech, you can get a following if you preach even that white is black, because many people will think that you must have some wonderful and mysterious power which you are merely hinting at by preaching foolishness.

Yes, there are such movements in the world even today, and it is my duty to state this fact. I do not state it unkindly. If people want to follow these things, that is their business, but I pity them from the bottom of my heart. Never would I voluntarily attempt to control them even if I could do so, because such a procedure would be ethically indefensible, for the reason that every man must work out his own salvation with diligence, as the great Buddha Gautama stated.

Furthermore I believe with the very soul of me in the exercise by every human being of free will and judgment even if he makes many mistakes. He will soon learn by his mistakes and be more careful each next time. But do I accept these fantastic psychical and religious systems? Heaven save the mark! Not on my life! Why should I exchange the boundless truth of boundless nature for psychical and religious flummery? Never can I reach the frontiers, and pass over them, of the wisdom-religion of antiquity, which is the same in all ages, the same among all classes and races of men; which I have myself found out to be, and individually proved to myself to be, in as far as my own studies and opportunities have gone, to be the natural spiritual religion of mankind. It is just what I have told you it is: a formulation in systematized human thought and language of the structure, operations, character, origin, and destiny of the universe. Any one of you can follow the path that I have trodden if only you will; and the first step is to live the life proper to do it, and then you will know.

This living the life does not have anything to do with foolish asceticism, such as torturing the body, and all such vain and self-destructive methods. Not at all. I will tell you briefly how to do it: a clean heart, a pure mind, an eager intellect, the searching to obtain an unveiled spiritual perception, these are the first steps of the golden stair, ascending which you will pass into nature's Temple of Wisdom. The same teaching is found more briefly in the Christian scripture. Doesn't it say: The pure in heart shall see the Divine — "God,"as the English translation runs?

Verily I say unto you, there is a way by which to have truth; there is a path, steep and thorny, as H.P.B. put it in substance, which leads to the heart of the universe. I can show to you this way, and also how you may put your feet on this steep and thorny path. In doing so you renounce nothing of intrinsic and real value. You give up nothing that is worthy and fine and noble. What you do is to throw off the shackles, the chains, that bind your interior faculties. What you do is to take the first steps into freedom and light.

Who would willingly remain in a dungeon? Give up your personal, lower, material self, your selfish life on this gross physical plane, and then you will begin to sense the existence of the life everlasting, with all its concomitant wisdom and power, and all the increase in faculty and vision that will accrue then to you. When you succeed in doing this, then indeed, as I have so often said, you will have the vision sublime. There in the distant mystic East, on the mountain peaks of the spirit, you will see the rising sun. You yourself will enter into light and freedom. You will be subject to the dicta of none, controlled by none; you will be a free man: free in the spirit, free of intellect — because you will have become one with spiritual nature.

Do you see the logic of it? You will have entered into the Temple of the Holy One within your own heart of hearts, and there, in the adyta, you will see your own inner god. This is not poetry, these are not empty words. You can do it. Every son of man can do it. Man, know yourself! Look within: follow the pathway of your own consciousness which is rooted in the divinity at the heart of things. Follow that pathway until you enter into the life of the cosmic divine as a self-conscious god.

I mean every word of what I have said. And I will tell you frankly that the time has now come when a theosophical teacher must speak boldly. He risks a good deal in the way of inevitably being misunderstood, but accusations and foolish criticisms are as naught when duty is at stake. I tell you in all solemnity that I can show you the way; I can set your feet on that mystic path. And every true theosophical teacher would tell you the same. It remains with you: if you feel the Call from within — if your heart is breaking its encircling bonds of personality and selfishness, and you feel your inner nature growing, and you have no more either rest or peace, but hunger for light — then come. Come!

Question Two. In your attempts to bring harmony into the Theosophical Movement by uniting the Theosophical Societies and other mystical bodies, may I not ask, without desiring to be offensive, if you yourself have not a fear of starting a super-body largely composed of — n-u-t-s?

The comment written after this question is the following:

All the people of your own society whom I have met seem to be very serious-minded, kind-hearted, and intelligent people, so I don't refer to them.

This comment is kind. My answer is as follows: No, I have not any such fear. Very definitely I have no such fear. Had I seen that in forming such a super-body it would be naught but a super-body of nuts, I am quite positive that I should not have begun my work to that end.

But now, friends, let me say a few kindly words for the officials and members of other Theosophical Societies. Many of them come to our meetings here, and I should deeply regret if any one such, generous-hearted enough to accept my invitation to come, should think for a fugitive instant that I would tolerate a discourtesy, even by answering a question such as this is, without assuring him that what I want and yearn for is mutual understanding, brotherhood, kindliness, peace, and harmony.

I do not know why this questioner should except The Theosophical Society as containing the only sane theosophists, and imagine that all the theosophists of all the other Theosophical Societies are largely nuts. Now, that is not true. There are any amount of splendid, sincere, loyal, devoted theosophists in the other Theosophical Societies. I want that clearly understood. They have their own organizations, their own officials, their own work, their own ideals. I do not want to touch those. Let them stay.

It is an amazing psychological fact in these days that it seems to be customary to make fun of the other fellow, and to point out his weak places, and to be unkind of thought and in speech, so that it is almost difficult to find words in which to express one's honest indignation at that unbrotherly attitude of mind. I have it not, and my officials have it not. We will not tolerate unbrotherliness nor the throwing of mud at others. We ourselves have been grossly misunderstood, accused of intolerable things; but what does that matter? Doesn't every true theosophist understand that he who first willfully does a wrong thing is the one who in the end will suffer the most? Let us pity the wrongdoer, let us have compassion; let our hearts be filled with forgiving love, and with the understanding which love brings. I have extended my hand in earnest and genuine goodwill and fellowship and I have not withdrawn my hand nor will I withdraw it.

Now, answering more particularly this question — and I have no doubt that it is an important one at the present time — the idea of starting a super-body is correctly stated, as regards the mere fact, but of course this questioner does not, because he cannot, understand exactly the plan that I have in my mind.

There are two things that I am trying to accomplish: First, to bring about brotherly love among the various theosophists belonging to the various Theosophical Societies of the world. It is a shame and a disgrace to the theosophical name that the very Movement which was founded to promulgate brotherhood and mutual love and kindness among men, and also to teach the doctrines of the ancient wisdom, should today be split up into a number of bodies fighting a desperate internecine warfare. It is wrong! I will have none of it! If I am attacked and attacked untruthfully and unkindly, as long as the attack is against me personally, I will hold my peace. Let the attack be directed against my work, however — then I will act, because I have an ineluctable duty to perform. This, then, is my first wish: to work on a common theosophical platform of mutual understanding and brotherly love with all other Theosophical Societies.

Time will apply its invariable test as to in which Theosophical Society there flows the stream of illumination from the great teachers of wisdom and compassion. My first step, therefore, is kindliness of feeling, brotherly love, mutual generosity among us all. My hope is ultimately to see established a Theosophical Society of the world, in which all Theosophical Societies will join, each one such retaining its own organization, if it wishes, its own officials, its own peculiar teachings if it wishes, but working for the fundamental theosophical truths in brotherly union and comradeship.

I do not care a snap of the fingers for a merely political federation of Theosophical Societies. The idea seems monstrous to me — the idea of trying to confine spiritual truths within the limits of a politically federated body of Theosophical Societies. I will have none of it; and I know the temper of the Fellows of The Theosophical Society which I have the honor and the heavy responsibility of leading. They will have none of it. What I want and what they want is a spiritual brotherhood, one based on love, mutual understanding, and with genuine sympathy each for the difficulties of the others — a desire to help each other.

Imagine trying to cramp the Theosophical Movement within the foolish bounds of a mere political federation! That is not my idea. I want no such super-society as that. Do you know what would ensue almost immediately? I will tell you: a continuation of the same intestinal troubles that have disgraced the modern Theosophical Movement already.

But let men meet with understanding hearts on the basis of love and brotherhood, genuine and sincere, and you will have no trouble.

Furthermore, as you have of course understood from what I have said, I stand irrevocably for theosophy — the original pure and unadulterated theosophy of the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion. If anyone else chooses to preach different teachings, different doctrines, that is not my affair. I will never throw a brick at them; I will never cover them with mud; that is their own business and for what they do they shall be held strictly accountable by nature's ineluctable laws. They may choose. Karma and time will weave their magic solution of all such difficulties and aberrant wanderings into side-paths and byways of thought and life.

Now I will go a little farther and will tell you somewhat of what I have written in my Seventh General Letter soon to be published, to the F.T.S. throughout the world. It is in substance as follows: I am looking forward to a super-society without officers, except one — a society held together by bonds of love, understanding, brotherhood, and ethical principles; that one official to have no power to meddle in the internal affairs of any of the societies composing this spiritual brotherhood, but he will stand as a teacher and leader by the right of training and by the right of having gained the love and confidence of the component elements who and which have conjoined to form this spiritual brotherhood.

Do I hear someone say: A theosophical pope? My answer is an emphatic, No! In my plan, this official shall be without any temporal power whatsoever. He stands as spiritual teacher and leader, as guide, but with no temporal power whatsoever as regards the spiritual brotherhood. And I hope, if I can bring this to pass, that there will become living as a vital current in the history of The Theosophical Society, the unbreakable, ineluctable tradition, that, as soon as one iota of temporal power be taken over by the one occupying this supreme position, it shall be recognized as a sign of spiritual dissolution and decay; and then it will be the probable duty of the component societies to withdraw.

The Theosophical Movement is a spiritual movement; it has a duty to perform in the world — to give forth certain sublime spiritual and intellectual teachings, and all questions of inter-organizational politics would be entirely out of place in such a spiritual brotherhood. Such politics would be wholly wrong there. Remember this: Such a supreme position did the great founder of The Theosophical Society in modern times, H. P. Blavatsky, hold. No one needs to join such a spiritual brotherhood, who fears, who doubts. To such as these I say: Stay out. But to those who have the intuition to understand and to see and to realize how this spiritual brotherhood — after the manner in which I have described it so briefly to you this afternoon — will cause dissensions to cease, will bring peace where there is now discord, and will be a unifying and cementing power such as none other in the world is, because it will be based on the moral instincts of men, on their hunger for love and peace, for union and brotherhood, I issue the call.

It would mean that any society composing, or being one of the composite elements of, this spiritual brotherhood would retain all its own officials, all its own doctrines (or lack of doctrines), all its own traditions, its own sphere of work, would be as free as the ambient air, but would nevertheless be an element equal with others in such a super-society, such a spiritual brotherhood. The fact is that the hearts and minds of the members composing most of the different Theosophical Societies are hungry — hungry for light, hungry for peace, hungry to receive the divine wisdom.

It is almost time to close for this afternoon. But I have still one question here which I promised to answer today. I crave your kindness for a few moments more. A promise with me is a sacred thing.

What have theosophists to say about the opinions of the great English scientist Sir Oliver Lodge concerning the cosmic ether as being the home or seat of cosmic, undifferentiated mind?

Sir Oliver Lodge is a spiritist, I believe. He is an intuitive man. I do not accept his religious beliefs, but I respect him for his high mental qualities and for his intuitive mind. I read his articles with deep interest, and I can always find something in them — strange enough — to bring to the attention of my audiences, as being the dicta of one of the most eminent scientific researchers and thinkers of today, in proof of one or more of our theosophical doctrines.

I am not well acquainted with what Sir Oliver has to say about the "cosmic ether being the seat or shrine of cosmic mind or consciousness," and therefore I speak perforce with a certain amount of reserve. I do not want to be unjust in anything that I may say. A friend of mine to whom I was speaking about Sir Oliver's viewpoint called my attention to an article printed in Public Opinion, an English magazine, issue of May 23rd of this year, in which Sir Oliver Lodge's views are commented upon by Professor Andrade, evidently an English scientist with a Portuguese name, and I find the following paragraph which seems to set forth quite clearly Sir Oliver's views. It is Sir Oliver himself speaking:

I wish to emphasize the importance of the universal connecting medium, the ether of space. I believe that this substance or substantial entity will ultimately be found to be of the first importance both in science and in philosophy; I believe that it will act as an instrument of unification between mechanism, on the one hand, and spiritual guidance, on the other.
If the ether is a substance of universal prevalence — as in physics it appears to be — then it may be the real vehicle of mind and spirit. If so [please listen carefully to this], then it must be by or through the process of what we call incarnation — a connection between ether and matter which has still to be understood — that the undifferentiated mind develops into separate personality. It proceeds by utilizing the essential discontinuity of matter to partition itself off into free and independent units, so that in association with matter they may acquire an individuality of their own, and thus by free and personal development enhance the value and complexity of the whole.

Most intuitive is this on the whole, and yet most extraordinarily divergent in some most important points from our own majestic theosophical doctrines. This intuitive scientist, a quasi-materialist, nevertheless seems to conceive of cosmic mind as being, so to speak, a universal ocean of mind-stuff, as Professor Eddington, another eminent English scientist, has called it, or consciousness-stuff, which has no individualized consciousness, no individual self-consciousness, but is abstract or diffused cosmic consciousness, and that according to Sir Oliver's theory this cosmic consciousness needs the differentiations of matter in order that this undifferentiated consciousness may become individualized.

Such a conception, I submit, is neither logical nor reasonable. What is this wonderful matter which is so subdivided into individual parts or portions that it is it which gives conscious individuality and the feeling of continued spiritual egoic existence? Don't you see the faulty logic there? Theosophists say that it is consciousness which is the fundamental of the universe, and the very fact that matter is so diversified and differentiated into atoms, and those tinier bodies called electrons, is a proof that it is in the realms of consciousness and spirit that the diversifying causes lie. Matter is but an effect, a result, because it is nothing but a congeries of atoms springing forth from the spiritual base which is the cosmic consciousness. In this spiritual base are the infinite hosts of self-conscious causes, and matter simply reflects them in the material sphere as differentiations, as in the atoms for instance.

What brings the atom into being? What differentiates it from some other atom? The ancient wisdom-religion says that at the core of the core of any such atom there is this inner spark of divinity, which manifests in the human being as the inner god, and it is the working of these individualities, these god-sparks, through the material realms which produces the vast and complex diversities that we see in the physical sphere around us. Differentiation has its roots in consciousness; it is not matter which produces self-conscious individuality, self-consciousness. The spiritual realms are filled with gods, differentiated centers of the one consciousness-substance-light, and the universe is brought forth by and through the vital powers, faculties, energies, in other words the life, working in and through these divine beings which fill the Boundless and which indeed make it what it is.

These gods with which the universe is filled are of all-various classes and kinds, and they are existent in all-various evolutionary grades — highest, least, and all intermediate grades of development; and the working and interworking, the actions and interactions, the minglings and interminglings, of these multitudes, hierarchies, hosts, armies, of gods, produce the vast and bewilderingly complex diversities and differentiations of the universe which our human mind gives us some feeble cognizance of.

Where is the life of anything? At its heart, at its core. What is it that produces anything? That which flows out from within itself. What produces the blade? The seed — the life in the seed.

Whence comes the six-foot man? From a microscopic germ: from the mystic and wonderful elements and powers lying in that germ and manifesting themselves, when circumstances are appropriate, as a human being. All things that are come from within, and in flowing out manifest their native and latent powers. This is evolution. It means a rolling out, an unfolding, an unpacking, of what is within, enfolded, involved.

In leaving you this afternoon, I want to call your attention again to something that I tell my audiences of on every Sunday. I want to remind you that each one of you, in the inmost of his inmost, is a divine being: each normal man, every normal woman, is, at the core of the core of his or her being, a bright and flaming intelligence, a god; an entity not built up by the body, not the product of your mind, but contrariwise your soul and your mind and your body are its last and least expressions. Each one of you is a divinity at the heart of the heart of you. Each one of you has within him a living and immanent Christ, an inner Buddha.

You do not know what is locked up within your inner being; you don't know what inner powers and faculties you have latent within you. You don't know these inner powers and faculties because you never call upon them, because you don't know of their existence, except by vague rumor, or perhaps except by your intuitive cognition of the fact sometimes in your better moments, which cognition is the whispering of that voiceless voice coming out of the far-distant past, that voice of which I spoke to you, whose echoes even today are heard in the hearts and minds of men, the spiritual Word which is no word, and which in its human formulation is the ancient wisdom-religion of antiquity.

Men have sensed it; men have felt its existence; and all the essential teaching which any theosophical leader can possibly give unto you reduces itself to this fundamental rule: Look within your own developing consciousness; seize the vision that is there; enter into your spiritual rights; take the kingdom of heaven — not of the earth — by the "violence" of your indomitable will and clean heart and eager intellect and unveiled spiritual perception. Each one of you is an incarnate, or rather embodied divinity in your higher parts. Why, O children of men, why not be it!


Vol 2, No 1

Contents