THEOSOPHY, Vol. 28, No. 9, July, 1940
WHEN the student of a foreign language becomes conscious of the fact that he is thinking in that language his progress is certain. When the student of Theosophy reaches the point where his attempts to master and apply the philosophy begin to affect his thoughts and actions there is definite encouragement for him. This progress may be noted in many ways. There will be a greater freedom of thought in some directions, a greater restriction, self-imposed, in others. Idols will fall and ideals will be built up.
The student will learn to pay as he goes and will know that the price of anything is always something else. He cannot expect to win anything; he knows he must always earn. If he puts forth effort or freely sets forth his mental store and receives nothing in return even by way of grateful recognition he is certain that the time of payment to him is only deferred; if he takes or receives something of benefit for which he presently pays nothing he knows that the accounting will come later, or that he now receives that which he gave previously. That he may be unable to identify any particular cause or realize the extent of the period between cause and effect means nothing to him as he has learned to think in terms of continuity and knows that present effects have surely had past causes. He will learn to estimate things at their inherent values rather than at the price marks they bear and will acquire a criterion for this estimate. The value of a statement to him will be the truth it conveys regardless of the lips it falls from. Truth is impersonal and the student will recognize and appraise it as well in the rude speech of a laborer as in the well-turned phrases of an editorial writer.
The causes of effects observed by the student, if not apparent, will be known to exist, as well as the laws under which they operate. It is this dwelling upon cause and effect, or Karma, which produces in the student the mental habit of analysing, which soon becomes the process of thinking theosophically. Thoughts are things; a habit of thought is a procession of things. A habit, good or bad, will sooner or later show its effects. By thinking theosophically the student will form habits of thought that will direct him to mental discipline; this, augmented by his increasing knowledge of the Law, will make it easier for him to conquer undesirable habits, and to work for the benefit of others.
The student will learn to differentiate between the apparent and the actual value of all things. His past, present and future are so closely involved with those of every other individual that the lines of divergence and separation presently obtaining in relation to men, places and things show their illusory nature to him. The habit of theosophical thinking makes it possible for him to recognize potentialities in those considered the humblest, and to reject the "infallibility" of those acclaimed the greatest. His fear of "authority" is gone and with it his lack of consideration for those "not yet arrived."
A sense of increasing satisfaction will be noted as the student tests his teachings and finds they do not fail. Many items of detail from theosophical teachings, once considered absurd by the world at large, have been demonstrated and are now part of the body of so-called science. As this is being written the daily papers are carrying articles relative to the "new" theory that the ape is man's offspring, not knowing or not caring that students of Theosophy have proclaimed this idea upon logical grounds for some forty years. As some of the platform planks of the minority political parties are sooner or later incorporated into the platforms of the popular parties, and ideas once called wildly "socialistic" are put forth under the banners of the Democrats or Republicans, so theosophical teachings find their way into Biology, History, Religion and the various sciences, disfigured and re-christened but still recognizable.
The student's satisfaction in regard to his teachings is based upon their reliability. The facts set forth on any page of the Secret Doctrine fit in with any others therein set forth, and with their help one can solve problems that baffle the materialistic scientist. In the process of studying and testing these facts and their companion ethical teachings which alone make their proper use possible, the habit of thinking theosophically is further developed. When this thought-process becomes habitual a new attitude toward all things is apparent. As the mastery of a language opens a new field of literature, commerce or social contact, so the habit of thinking theosophically gives the student a new outlook, kills fear, removes the sense of separateness, increases love and makes the spreading of these ideas possible.