Theosophy and Some of the Vital Problems of the Day

By Katherine Tingley

Woman's Mission

Short Addresses by Katherine Tingley and other officials of the Woman's International Theosophical League

Isis Theater, San Diego, California
February 7, 1915



Address by Mrs. Elizabeth Spalding

Address by Mrs. Ethel Dunn

Address by Mrs. Oluf Tyberg

Address by Mrs. Grace Knoche

Address by Dr. Gertrude van Pelt

Address by Katherine Tingley

Lecturer Defines Woman's Mission

Present-day Human Life Unnatural Declares Mme. Katherine Tingley

(From the San Diego Union, February 8, 1915)

A large and appreciative audience again filled Isis Theater last night to hear Mme. Katherine Tingley speak. The meeting was held under the auspices of the Woman's International Theosophical League. Several of the officers and members of the League were seated on the stage, which was beautifully decorated in front with acacia blossoms, with an altar in the center festooned with white roses.

The program opened with the singing of Schubert's "Omnipotence" by the girls' special chorus of the Raja-Yoga College and Academy. Then followed the reading of quotations by the members of the League, all bearing on the theosophical teaching of reincarnation. These included selections from Browning, Whittier, Shelley, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Sharpe, Whitman, and Longfellow.

Mrs. A. G. Spalding, President of the League, gave a short address regarding its foundation and its international and unsectarian character. She was followed by Mrs. W. A. Dunn, principal of the girls' department of the Raja-Yoga College and hostess of the League, who told briefly the story of Mme. Blavatsky's life, of her travels, in all of which she had one purpose: the search for the true knowledge of life.

Mrs. Oluf Tyberg was the next speaker. Her theme was the main purpose of the League and the opportunities that had come to its members of finding through it the realization of their highest ideals, enabling them to step out and fulfil their highest aspirations.

Mrs. J. F. Knoche spoke of the wide influence of Mme. Blavatsky's message in its special application to women.

Dr. Gertrude W. van Pelt, vice-president of the League, spoke of the necessity of study if women were to learn the meaning of life. In particular she urged the reading of Mme. Blavatsky's work, The Key to Theosophy, written especially for students, and the Theosophical Manuals, which had been prepared under Mme. Tingley's direction.

After a brief selection on the organ, Mme. Tingley came upon the stage and was greeted with continued applause. She took as her subjects "What Is Woman's True Mission?" She spoke of the way woman had failed to realize her true position and her power in life, due mainly to lack of knowledge of herself. The conditions of human life today, the speaker declared, are to a great degree unnatural. Neither men nor women realize what is their true position, and the result of this ignorance falls upon the children. Mme. Tingley held, therefore, that woman must first seek to understand herself and the laws governing her life. By living in accordance with these she would become transformed, physically, mentally, and morally.

Mme. Tingley spoke of the yearnings that all women have, the glimpses that they catch of their possibilities; she said that again and again the great majority of them fall under the shadow of their own weaknesses, doubts, and despair. She declared that a great battle, a terrible struggle, was going on in woman's life, but that through it all, through the holding to duty, she would gain a new conception of life, she would find her true position, and then man would find his. She would find that she holds the whole world in her keeping.


Address By Mrs. Elizabeth Spalding

The work of the Woman's International Theosophical League is to solve practically the modern problems by the knowledge of that ancient philosophy of life which H. P. Blavatsky restored to the Western world. That the message brought by this remarkable woman has a unique power in adjusting human affairs is daily demonstrated by the success of the League in meeting conditions for which this teacher's prophetic sight so ably provided.

When, in New York in 1875, Mme. Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society among her students, her avowed purpose was to establish a nucleus for a universal brotherhood. This beginning of a world peace movement has developed with magical vitality, until the unifying influence of the present organization has encircled the globe with its inspiring touch.

At the present moment, when the European upheaval is a dramatic picture of the selfish passion, the confusion, and the questioning despair which mock our civilization, the illuminating teachings of Mme. Blavatsky are made the more manifest because of this darkened background upon the screen of time. No misrepresentation of this great teacher's work can longer obscure the fact that, in a world distraught by its own moral helplessness, Theosophy is the one sane, confident, adequate note that rings true to the needs of the hour. Well did she foresee that when an incredulous public would no longer tolerate mere theories and creeds, there would be an impelling power of belief in the living examples of right living. From the first, her students were taught that "Theosophist is who Theosophy does"; or, as the Nazarene said: "He who lives the life, shall know the Truth." She clearly stated that love of fellow men would insure a measure of the priceless teachings not to be acquired by mere culture and education.

From the many who became interested in Theosophy with Mme. Blavatsky, there was organized the nucleus of a society that would espouse truth for truth's sake. With undaunted courage she taught and toiled and suffered, leaving a rich legacy of literature for future use, and a body of loyal students. She saw the superb service which women could render humanity, and she builded the sure foundation upon which, in later years, the Woman's International Theosophical League was to rest. Her successor, William Q. Judge, carried on the work, firm in the belief that those who would unite in the spirit of true brotherhood could not fail. With peculiar ability to organize, and to harmonize the disturbing elements of personality, he inspired the loyal members by his example of devoted effort. He took infinite pains to train men and women for unselfish service, knowing well that he would not live to direct it. His parting words to "Hold fast; go slow," are eloquent of his boundless faith and endless patience. He left to his successor, Katherine Tingley, a body of earnest students all over the world, more or less prepared to undertake practical work.

Immediately new and widespread activities followed. Upon returning from her first crusade around the world, she laid the cornerstone of the School of Antiquity at Point Loma, of which institution the Woman's International Theosophical League is a recognized department. Every year the needs and possibilities of men, women, and children were met in a new way. Especial emphasis is put upon the responsibility of women, and the inherent power of motherhood to raise the standard of all life. The sanctity of the home relations is the pivotal point of civic and national character. Peace and purity here are the vital antidotes for all sin and strife.

The world-wide membership of the Woman's International Theosophical League touches women of all classes and the conditions of all countries. Men who leave become honorary members, through sympathetic interest, bespeak a human cooperation along the higher levels of attainment. In the better understanding of themselves which has come from Katherine Tingley's educational training, all members have advanced to a better understanding of the many problems which confront their brothers and sisters in the human family.

The first object of the League is to help men and women to realize the nobility of their calling and their true position in life. This body of international character, which recognizes the essential divinity of all, is doing a humanitarian world-work, which is profoundly affecting the lives of men with its sanctity and uplifting influence.


Address by Mrs. Ethel Dunn

It is nearly fifteen years ago that Katherine Tingley gave an opportunity to the citizens of San Diego to hear the teachings of Theosophy given from this Theater. And it is safe to say that during these twelve or fourteen years not one Sunday evening has passed without the guests and those in the audience having heard the name of Madame Blavatsky.

The history of the Theosophical Movement, in the early days particularly, is the history of Madame Blavatsky's life. She was born in 1831 in Southern Russia, and as a child she had all the comforts and refinements of a delightful home. She was a child of nature, loving the silence of the woods and the wild animals and the flowers. She gave sympathy; she saw opportunities for helping and serving others. At the early age of fourteen she was taken to Paris and London by her father, and during that same year, or possibly later, she visited the different countries of Europe and also Egypt and India. After returning, at the age of twenty we find Madame Blavatsky in America. She came as far west as California; crossed the Pacific, visited Tibet and India again, and then on to France and Germany, and back to Russia.

To all students of Theosophy who have studied the life of Madame Blavatsky and her journeys over the earth and in the different countries, is made certain the mission of her life. There is no question in the minds of theosophical students that Madame Blavatsky was conscious of an urge; and she carried that urge out unselfishly.

We find her visiting America again in 1873, and about that time she met William Quan Judge, who became her pupil and also her co-worker. In 1875 she founded the Theosophical Society in New York, and after that published her first book, Isis Unveiled, and a few years later the two volumes of that stupendous work, The Secret Doctrine.

To those students who perhaps have studied the life of Madame Blavatsky with an unusual sympathy, the fact is patent that had Madame Blavatsky's urge not been right, had her motives not been pure, she would not have courted and sought, as it were, the persecution and slander of those who were jealous of her and the teachings, or the enmity of those who could not understand them. But she was persecuted only by those whose small minds could not understand her large and great character, and by those who could not grasp the meaning of her life or the reason why she was willing to be persecuted for the truths of Theosophy.

It is significant when one knows of Madame Blavatsky traveling around the world and visiting these various countries so many times, that at last she established the theosophical work in America; but this is explained in her writings, for she tells us that America is to be the home of the coming race.

At Madame Blavatsky's death William Quan Judge carried on the work of the Theosophical Society, and he was sustained to a large extent during the latter part of his life by the woman who became his successor -- Katherine Tingley. Katherine Tingley felt that the time was ripe for the teachings of Theosophy to be given a more practical turn; so she changed the Theosophical Headquarters from the environment of crowded city life to Point Loma, California, in the country of her dreams -- the Golden Land. And at Point Loma, as you know, she has established an institution of learning, and it is there that the students are attempting to put into practice the teachings of Theosophy.

Another point that shows Madame Blavatsky's modesty is the fact that she stated that she brought these teachings not as coming from herself; that she had merely garnered and collected them and given them as coming from those who sent her. And in paying tribute to that noble woman, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, I can do no better than to read from the Point Loma Edition of The Secret Doctrine, Katherine Tingley's Foreword describing Madame Blavatsky's mission.

What then was her mission? She herself described it as "to break the molds of mind"; it was to plow into the current thought-forms and to sow new seed, seed from the harvest of ancient Wisdom garnered ages ago and kept inviolate by the Helpers of Humanity. A few of such seeds had been sown by the noble Sage of Palestine, but the tares had grown up and choked them. Her mission was to restore to Humanity its lost ideals; to point out once more the pathway of true knowledge, and the gateway of a pure life; it was to sound once more the keynote of Truth to reverberate throughout the coming cycle. It was to teach once more as living realities the facts of Man's divinity, of the higher and the lower natures in him, and the eternal warfare that must go on until the lower is subjugated and controlled; to show that Karma, the law of strict justice, of exact retribution, that we reap what we sow, is the law that governs all life, absolute, unfailing; that the knowledge of it and the doctrine of Reincarnation is the great hope for humanity; and that the life of altruism, based on a true Wisdom, is the only sane life, on which all true progress depends. If the student will accept these primary truths of Theosophy, and will seek to live according to them, every page and every line of THE SECRET DOCTRINE will have its message for him. But mere book study will avail little; something more than that is required and demanded of the student of Theosophy; the full understanding of the teachings of all Theosophical works, and preeminently of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, is only possible as the life conforms to those teachings. The true doctrine is secret, hidden; not by the teacher, but in the very nature of the teaching itself, and to gain it, the student must enter by the only door which gives entrance.


Address by Mrs. Oluf Tyberg

The Woman's International Theosophical League is an unsectarian body, and this has a special significance. The members of the League have not all throughout their whole lives been thoroughly unsectarian in their attitude, for many of them were brought up to accept the creeds and dogmas that are taught at present and, for a time at least, accepted these as truths. They found, however, that they did not receive from these religious teachings that were given them the conception of life and of human destiny that satisfies their intellects; and they did not receive the spiritual truths that could meet the cravings of their hearts.

And so after years of doubt and questioning, and much experience and long search in many cases, they found Theosophy. And when they studied the works of Madame Blavatsky and William Q. Judge and Katherine Tingley, they learned about the great truths of life and being, the essential truths that underlie the religious teachings of the world. And they learned from their studies to distinguish between these essential truths and the mere garbled versions of these truths that some of the presentations of creed and dogma really are.

In those days they felt isolated; they felt that the deeper side of their natures found nothing in the world to call it forth. They later took up the study of Theosophy; these inner strivings and aspirations grew as they went on with their studies, and they found that in place of feeling what one would believe was a barrier between them and the women of this country or that country, or this belief or that belief, they had found the truth that was the basis on which they could stand in unity with the sincere believers of truth in whatever form it might be presented. They found that by the recognition of these broad truths of life and these teachings concerning destiny and the constitution of man which Theosophy gives, they were brought face to face with themselves and with all others in a different way; that their conceptions deepened and broadened; and that their efforts to apply the theosophical truths in their lives told.

They more fully realized what the significance of these teachings was when they became identified with the Woman's International Theosophical League, and had further opportunity to work unitedly. It has been an intense realization that has come to the women through working in this League. They have found that a rare quality of unity pervades all their work, because the ordinary walls and barriers that stood between women on account of their beliefs, their creeds, and the dogmas that they held, have disappeared; and therefore it is possible to feel a rare comradeship with all the women of the world -- a comradeship that is inspiring, that is challenging, that is based on the heroic side of woman's nature and brings forth strength and vitality and energy that had not been brought into active life before. They found that in place of feeling separated from women of different countries, that women of different countries who had had very different environments found themselves at home in this League and were able to add their energy, their sympathy, and their work to the work of the League without having to overcome any of the obstacles that generally exist. They found that life had a new significance because of this broad basis of understanding of the principles underlying life which they had gained from Theosophy, and which, be it noted, can be communicated and felt independently of words.

They have discovered this great secret of united work and of close association in noble efforts; they found that obstacles disappeared when they undertook to perform work. They found the resourceful part of their natures which they had believed in at times and had hoped for a chance to develop, and which, under ordinary circumstances, they had not had the chance to bring forth. They discovered many things in this resourceful part of their natures which had been quickened and challenged by these great truths of Theosophy and by the challenging comradeship of women who are awake to the possibilities of their divine natures.

So now with what the women of the Woman's International Theosophical League have, with this knowledge of Theosophy, of these essential truths, of the unity with which women can act, we feel that we can stretch forth a hand to all the women of the world which will encourage them and enable them to make of life a triumphal progress towards the realization of these ideals, higher than they have ever known.


Address by Mrs. Grace Knoche

Friends: Did Mme. Blavatsky have a special message for the womanhood of the world? And if so, what was that message? In thinking over conditions in the world, and in women's lives in particular, are we not conscious first of all of the fact that a great gulf exists between women and their real possibilities -- a great gulf between life as women live it, with rare exceptions, and life as they know it ought to be lived?

H. P. Blavatsky came to this generation as a torch-bearer, but she came also as a woman to women, and with a special and unique message. In the priceless teachings of Theosophy which, as you have heard tonight, are not new, but are as old as the hills, ancient as time, and only seem new because they have been obscured and forgotten for centuries -- in these priceless teachings she left to the womanhood of the world a great heritage of power.

For in the study of them a woman gains the power to look her own life in the face, to discriminate between the real things and the illusions of life, to discriminate between those things which stop and perish when the body stops and dies, and those things which we carry across the gulf of death with us. She gains the power to protect her loved ones and to protect her home, and to see the dangers that menace before it is too late. She gains the power to make her home what it ought to be -- a center of peace, a spiritual altar, a real anchorage for the loved ones -- the brother, the father, the husband, the son, who are out all day battling with the storms of outer life which she does not have to meet. She gains the power to solve the problems of daily life as they come to her; she gains an insight into the needs of those who look to her for help, whether they are young or old.

To give a single instance, how many mothers have not looked in perplexity into the faces of their little children when they have asked the old questions that we all know so well: Where did I come from? What am I? What is God? For in the study of Theosophy, in the teachings of karma and reincarnation, and cyclic laws, so important and so little understood, and the divinity of the soul, the mother knows what she has to meet, and she knows how to meet the demand that is made upon her; for she has found that her child is something more than just a little body to be fed and clothed and sheltered -- something more than a brain to have facts put into it; she realizes that it is a soul, as she is a soul, coming to her "not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory" from a mighty and illimitable past; as Katherine Tingley has said many times, coming to her, traveling down the ages to the present time; not her creation, not her property, but loaned to her, entrusted to her by the Great Law, the Higher Law.

Think too of the inspiration afforded by Mme. Blavatsky's life to the women of the world today. One loves to dwell upon the picture so well presented of this girl starting as she did a little cycle of unselfish effort, but she kept it revolving; she never dropped the thread; she never let it stop, and it grew and grew and led her to those world travels which in themselves would have made her a woman of power; the travels that she undertook year after year in search of truth, and because she sought unselfishly she found abundantly, and she garnered the ancient truths and brought them back to the world; gave them freely and opened them as she had received them. "I would rather starve in the gutter," as she wrote to a friend, "than take one penny for my teachings."

It is true that she was an old soul, that she must have passed through many experiences to have brought her to that point of wisdom and compassion which we know of today. But are we not souls too; is it not quite possible that she may stand to us as an example of what we may become in degree, with the same sacrifice and with the same effort? And if we have little to offer in comparison with what she had, is it not time for us to stop and consider and ask ourselves the reason why -- why it is that we have been wasting our opportunities all down the ages, as we have been doing?

The object of the Woman's International Theosophical League is to help men and women to realize the nobility of their calling and their true position in life. H. P. Blavatsky brought to the womanhood of the world the knowledge of her true position in life, the knowledge of her true place in the great evolutionary plan, the great divine creative scheme of life. She brought to us the knowledge of what she is in her own essential nature. This is the heritage of power that H. P. Blavatsky brought to the women of the world -- to you and to me and to all women. And every woman today, even the humblest, if she will take the pains to look into these teachings and study them sympathetically and apply them to her life, will make plain that heritage.


Address by Dr. Gertrude Van Pelt

In line with those who have preceded me, I would like to add a few words. It has been intimated that the women of this body have found the key. The Woman 's International Theosophical League feels itself strong as a body, because it has had such great opportunities. It is impossible to guide one's life intelligently without knowledge pertaining to it.

Now it is just this knowledge that Madame Blavatsky brought to the world. She, of course, did not evolve it (it has always existed), but she made it accessible to the modern mind. As a woman to women, she brought especially the knowledge that will enable them to find their true place in nature, and that will unmistakably indicate the right way in which to work.

It might be said that all have this knowledge within themselves. This is quite true, but it is buried so deep that it is not available. Even those of deeper insight, those who have really caught some of life's truths, have only done this in a fragmentary way, and have not been able to relate the different phases of life to each other. Madame Blavatsky, however, had reached that point of evolution which enabled her to attain it and to present it to the world; to translate it, so to speak, into modern thought. Without the work that she did, this book would have been closed to the present century. Imagine, then, the gratitude that those who sense to a degree her priceless gift feel to this woman who made such wonderful sacrifices to help the world in this way.

All women feel that they need this knowledge, but all do not realize it. From among the number who do, we are often asked what course to pursue, what steps to take to attain it. We answer: Study Theosophy. Read first The Key to Theosophy by Madame Blavatsky. It was written for you. It is so arranged that it will open the mind naturally to be ready for a deeper study of Theosophy -- this wonderful philosophy which is said to be so simple that a child can grasp it, and yet so profound that the greatest intellect cannot compass it. Follow this reading of The Key to Theosophy by a study of the Manuals, a series of books which has been especially arranged to present an outline of the philosophy in a simple way, so that anyone reading them may have a comprehensive view which will enable him to study still further.

Unfortunately for the world, Theosophy has been much misrepresented, but those who study the books I have indicated will learn not only what Theosophy is, but what it is not.


Address by Katherine Tingley

Theosophy is the thread which passes through and strings together all the ancient philosophies and religious systems, and what is more, it reconciles and explains them. -- H. P. Blavatsky
People frequently reject great truths; not so much for want of evidence, as for want of an inclination to search for it. -- Anonymous
Woman's Mission

I have but a few minutes to speak to you, and the thoughts that have come to me as the result of the addresses that have been made here tonight, and from your heart-yearnings and your silent questions, are varied indeed. In order to keep to our subject, "Woman's Mission," I shall touch on the questions involved in that theme. What is woman's mission? It is to find herself; it is the evolution outward of the god within. How many women are there in the world today who know their mission? How many women do you suppose there are who are acquainted with themselves, in the very truest sense? And how many women are there who have a full realization of duty, in the highest sense of that word?

Woman has been slowly losing her way along the ages, beyond a question, as has also man. Woman has been deprived of rights which are naturally hers because of her immortal nature. The same may be said of man. The obscurations and stumbling-blocks that woman has found in her path, as also man has, have been many and great, and have brought into woman's life an unrest that few men realize. I believe that men know very little about the inner life of woman; unless man is acquainted with himself, with his essential divinity and his possibilities, how can he judge? And if woman is unacquainted with herself and in her turn knows not her essential divinity, how can she understand life or her duty? How can she become the ideal woman that her heart is craving to be? This is the problem for her to solve. And it can be solved. Its solution is easier than is the bearing of the present burdens of ignorance. False education and the errors of ages, have surrounded woman with environments, unreal and unnatural; and these environments in their turn have crippled her genius and forced her into a life that is not hers. If even two thousand years ago woman could have discovered herself, in all her natural dignity and power, man too would have found himself. Woman would be in her true place and man in his, and the spiritual and intellectual force and power emanating from them would by now have brought us to fashion for ourselves almost an ideal world. Had this been achieved, we should now have the ideal woman; that is to say, we ourselves would be far closer to the ideal of perfection we all hold in our hearts, than we are. Thus would woman have found her mission, which is herself; and this means releasing from bondage the real woman within. Woman would walk in the light understandingly, knowing herself and the divine laws which govern her. She would understand the science of life, which is the science of sciences; she would know how to apply its lessons, not only to her own life, but to that of her associates less fortunate than she, and to her children.

It is the unnatural conditions or rather environments of human life today that are hemming women in and holding them down and causing unrest and consequent unhappiness. This reacts upon the men; their unrest in turn reacts upon the women; and the combined influences of their mutual unrest and of their doubt of each other, and of their discouragement, fall upon the children, the homes, and the nations. I repeat with all my strength, that if woman is to find her true place in life, she must first know herself, for this is her true mission; she must understand the mysteries of her own being, and in the finding, in the revealing, in the living, she will become transformed physically, mentally, morally; elevated to a higher expression of womanhood. She will then no longer be limited to the small mental life in which she now lives; for her soul would not bear it; her aspirations would be so high, and her ideals so much higher and her knowledge so much greater, that, living in the light of these and under the inspiration of them, she would broaden her views, broaden her life, broaden her sphere of usefulness. Thus we should have not only the ideal woman, but the international woman.

The strength that would come to a woman seeking the light, finding it, and applying the knowledge realized from it, would be such that one nation would not be enough for her, but she would yearn and work to hold the whole world in her sympathy, in her love. Can anyone say that this is not possible? All the women here tonight would answer me, if they had the courage to speak, that this word-picture has touched the hidden depths of their natures; that they do know of these yearnings and of these aspirations and of these hopes; and that they do know that they sometimes catch glimpses of the eternal laws and of their own possibilities; but they fall back under the shadow of their weaknesses, of their doubts, and of their despair.

There is being enacted on the mental plane a great battle in woman's life -- a terrible struggle. It may not be openly written in history, but it is recorded in the very atmosphere of the world today; it tells its story in the silence, and it comes in upon us at times, into our hearts, so greatly, that while we feel it we cannot always explain it. But if we stand away from the environments of the moment, we realize that something is the matter with womankind, that the world, in a sense, is awry.

I believe in the equality of the sexes; but I hold that man has a mission and that woman has also a mission, and that these missions are not the same; the difference is due in part to lines of evolution. If woman is to understand the duties of real wifehood and motherhood, and to reach the dignity of ideal womanhood, she must cultivate her femininity. She was born a woman and she must be a woman in the truest sense; and the contrast between man and woman exists in life. There must be a balance of the sexes -- the heart yearning perhaps different, but both man and woman reaching towards the same goal; the intellects somewhat different, developed under different conditions and environments, yet reaching towards the same goal; for these contrasts hold within themselves, in the very undercurrent of human life, a superb and glorious harmony. Woman in her place, her true position, hand in hand with man in his true place, would bring about such a new order of things that we can hardly speak of, much less realize, the resulting possibilities. This picture shows us what would be a new life, for it is a rebirth; it is a resurrection of the spirit; it is the shining forth of the inner, higher, and eternal quality in the human soul.

When woman has reached the point of understanding that I have spoken of, then she shall receive a clearer knowledge of duty, and she shall hold it more sacred than duty is now held even by the most devoted. When this stage of evolution has been attained, she knows; she can discriminate between duty and false ideas of duty; and in her further spiritual development, in her endeavor to advance and reach the real goal of womanhood, and self-knowledge, she begins to realize that emotion, false sentiment, vanity, and self-love often play too great a part in woman's life.

Woman is of a different make-up from man. She is more sensitive; she is perhaps more highly strung; and she is more intuitive; she is in some ways altogether different and in those ways she should be altogether different -- because she is a woman. And unless she is eternally vigilant and cultivates discrimination, the faculty of knowing the difference between the true and the false, between real duty and merely supposed duty, she is bound to lose her way. Duty is of course what is due to others; and the unspoiled mind has little difficulty in knowing its dues to others.

Woman is today in the shadows through lack of self-knowledge -- knowledge of her divinity. With all her hopes and her possibilities, she is unable to realize them; for the psychological influences of the age have overwhelmed her in her ignorance of her better self. There was a time when she might have found her way, but she now thinks it is impossible. She either lives her little, lonely, isolated life in suffering and patience, and tries to do the best she can, or goes out of her proper sphere in seeking her freedom; or she gives up the struggle and loses hold of the better, nobler part of her nature -- she then simply exists. Oh, the tragedies in women's lives! These are the pictures we have in contrast with what might be, if the real woman could find herself, discover herself, and become the diviner part of herself.

These earnest word-pictures of mine to some minds may seem far-fetched; but let me assure you that they are not so. I know (and I presume to tell you this) the possibilities of women through my contact with the different phases of a woman's life in my public work, and also through my knowledge of Theosophy. I know that if the men and women of the present time could be startled into the doing of what they have never before done, if they could be forced into some position where they would feel that they must do something or be lost, where they would put in their proper places the merely material efforts in which they are actually sacrificing their lives, the temporary benefits, the so-called pleasures and enjoyments of the world, and could turn about and stand still and dare to face the eternal truths in themselves, they would find an echo in their hearts, and a wording in their minds, of the inner glory, of the everlasting source of knowledge within themselves, the source of their aspirations.

The mission of woman, then, is to discover herself, to find her true place in life. The greatest work that woman can do today is to become so sweetly feminine, so sweetly spiritual and strong, so grandly compassionate and helpful, that she will hold the whole human family in her keeping. She will make the home her altar, her kingdom; and from that kingdom shall be sent out the gospel of life to all people. The proof of the gospel shall be in the living it.

A few more words: The Wisdom-Religion, the teachings of Theosophy, are the essential truths of all religions and were splendidly adapted to our times by that wonderful woman, Mme. Blavatsky, one of my predecessors, and Foundress of the Theosophical Society. These truths remove the obscurations from the natural religion of the human race, the philosophy and science of being, which has been so sadly hidden and obscured by creeds and formulae. For ages we have been forced into an early spiritual death, stifled by these errors of the past, until humanity has been brought to a point where it does not think in the deepest sense. But it must be aroused to think and to know; and this was the mission of Mme. Blavatsky and is the mission of all true Theosophists. It is a noble cause and a work of joy to all who participate in it. I thank you.


Thoughts Suggesting Reincarnation, from Robert Browning's Paracelsus
At times I almost dream
I too have spent a life the sages' way,
And tread once more familiar paths. Perchance
I perished in an arrogant self-reliance
An age ago; and in that act, a prayer
For one more chance went up so earnest, so
Instinct with better light let in by Death,
That life was blotted out -- not so completely
But scattered wrecks enough of it remain,
Dim memories; as now, when seems once more
The goal in sight again.

Address No. 5