THEOSOPHY, Vol. 21, No. 5, March, 1933
ALL theosophical inquiry, irrespective of its origin and regardless of its outcome, must necessarily include examination of Theosophy as a system of thought. This as necessarily leads to an investigation of the evidences of its authenticity available to the ordinary man. Both these channels inevitably bring even the most casual mind to a consideration of the subject of Masters of Wisdom as embodiments and custodians of a secret doctrine dealing with cosmogenesis and anthropogenesis. The original teachings of H. P. Blavatsky were claimed to be a recorded presentation of such portions of this secret doctrine as these Masters considered ample for the mind of the whole human family for centuries to come.
The Theosophy taught and recorded by H.P.B. did not come into an unoccupied domain of thought. Under the names of the various religions, philosophies, sciences, and other systems, all branches of the human race have always had their own teachings. The race, and each individual of the race, have, therefore, an intellectual and moral as well as physical ancestry and heredity. The influence of these forces has always been sufficient to hold in subjection the vast majority of the race. If, then, Theosophy was to gain any foot-hold at all it had to fight its way at every step against these combined influences, and this, irrespective of the quality or value of its teachings or the actual strength of its supporting evidences.
But if Theosophy, having gained a hearing, was to survive and become a potent influence in future generations, very much more was and is necessary than any mere part-tenancy and partial occupancy in the world of ideas. If abstract Truth alone could prevail in a world of darkness and crepuscular distortions, if Masters of Wisdom could unaided enlighten mankind, then surely ignorance, misconception, sin, sorrow and suffering would have no existence in the world.
Who, then, looks to Masters as miracle-workers able to save mankind without its will, merely decks them up in garments of religious faith and substitutes his image for the reality.
Very evidently, then, if Theosophy is to do good in the world and not merely add to the number of already existing partial and erroneous systems, it had and has to attract minds which will recognize that it is Truth and nothing but the truth, even if not as yet formulated the whole truth -- attract men who will be true to it, in letter and in spirit, and who will give themselves and their all to its preservation in its pristine purity, to its promulgation, to its application; becoming in themselves to the utmost possible degree its embodiments and its custodians here in the corrupted and corruptive arena of human thought and conduct. Otherwise, either Theosophy will die out of the consciousness of the race, as it has done many times in the past; or its teachings will become polluted and perverted into creeds and sects, as has happened still more often. Masters of Wisdom will once more be turned into personal gods by the combined priestcraft of the guileful and the human longings of the ignorant and self-deceived.
Although with her first written words H.P.B. claimed that Masters of Wisdom exist here on earth, that she possessed a "somewhat intimate acquaintance" with them, that she was here as their representative, doing their bidding in what she wrote and in what she refrained from writing; and although her last recorded statement made the same affirmations of fact and bona fides -- at no time, in no way, and to no person did she make any claims soever in the sense of demanding credence either for her teachings or herself upon her ipse dixit. Every recorded utterance of hers was documented for its presentation to the human mind -- and documented for consideration by all the various classes of mentality. She drew upon the secret doctrine for her Knowledge, but she drew upon the experience of humanity for her evidence. It is, therefore, not her testimony that men are asked to consider, but the testimony provided by every religion, every science, every system of thought to which men give and have given their adherence.
If her message is studied it will be found to explain the three streams of human experience as embodied in religion, science, and philosophy. All three are shown by their own testimony to bear in them the abundant evidences: (a) of the actual existence of a Secret Doctrine of Nature and of Man; (b) of the actual existence of Masters of that Wisdom, in the present as in the past; (c) of the active part taken by those Masters and their representatives among ordinary humanity in all the affairs of life. Unless and until a man has considered and weighed her writings in this orderly fashion, he will of necessity either accept or reject her Theosophy merely because of some predilection for or prejudice against, just as other issues great and small are disposed of in human conduct. Human nature being what it is, it was and is inevitable that the great majority should reject her Theosophy; equally inevitable that of the small minority which accepted it the great majority should be content merely to believe in it. There are today tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of believers in Theosophy who do not study it, who do not apply it, who have no more knowledge and surety in regard to its teachings than have the countless millions of those who believe in the various religions or in "science."
It is these passive adherents (for that is what they truly are) of Theosophy who are at once the hope and the despair of the Masters of Wisdom and of the few who are determined to make Theosophy the living power in their own lives, and to do their utmost to make its teachings a living power in the world of human thought.
It is self-evident that mere belief, even in what is in fact true, cannot energize, cannot shield, mankind or any man. Every truly inspired man has recognized this and St. James was but the mouthpiece of all inspired men in saying that faith without works is dead. Unless belief is translated into conduct it is inevitably polarized into passivity; the believer becomes the natural prey and victim of the self-seekers who abound in the world metaphysical even more abundantly than in the world physical. But if one begins to act upon his belief, at once that belief is turned into the form of spiritual energy called faith. His ignorance at once produces unfavorable reactions, but that form of spiritual knowledge we know as discrimination awakens in him. He sees both his own mistakes and their cause. He directs his faith to study as well as to work, and receives the natural harvest -- growth of Soul. He becomes in that degree and to that extent himself the representative of the Master, and needs no certificate, no medal, no special message of recognition from any extraneous source: he has found assurance and surety springing up spontaneously within himself. By this he will develop that true clairvoyance which will enable him more and more widely and unmistakably to discern between the true, the false and the erroneous in the metaphysical world of ideals and ideas; between the truly devoted, the passively devotional, and the self-seekers among men. There is no other way.
That self-seeking men who call themselves Theosophists have usurped the roles of the true Teachers and masquerade in borrowed robes, is evident to any devotional Theosophist who will look at the multitude of theosophical sects with their partisanships and credos. That corrupted and spurious revelations, ranging all the way from intellectual absurdities to spiritual prostitution, are being substituted for the noble ethics and lofty philosophy recorded and exemplified by H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge -- is appallingly evident to any devotional Theosophist who cares to compare.
In all the theosophical societies and outside them are sincere and well-intentioned men, genuine believers in Theosophy. They must unite. They must work. How unite? By studying the true Theosophy, by rejecting the spurious. How work? By applying what they study, by promulgating it, regardless of all lesser considerations. There are too many theosophical societies, too few working Theosophists. There are too many giving and receiving "Messages from the Masters", and all too few genuine representatives of the Masters in the theosophical world.
"Be Theosophists, work for Theosophy! Theosophy first and Theosophy last; for its practical realization alone can save the Western world...."
--H. P. BLAVATSKY.
"Those who can to any extent assimilate the Master, to that extent they are the representatives of the Master, and have the help of the Lodge in its work."
--WILLIAM Q. JUDGE
Do Theosophists long for the help of the Lodge in its work? Do they aspire to share in that work? Are they willing to become and be the representatives of the Master? Then let them assimilate the recorded Message of Theosophy in their own minds; let them emulate the historical example of H.P.B. and W.Q.J. in their own work for Theosophy. Where hearts and minds are in unity in devotion to Masters, Their Message and Their Messengers and Exemplars -- there will be the true nucleus of Universal Brotherhood which shall embrace every friend of the human race.