By Katherine Tingley
What then is the panacea finally, the royal talisman? It is Duty -- Selflessness. -- William Q. Judge
We sleep; but the loom of life never stops; and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down, is weaving when it comes up tomorrow. -- Beecher
Friends: After listening to the inspiring classical music just rendered by the International Orchestra from the Raja-Yoga College at Point Loma, I think we must all realize that there is a new unity of spirit among us, something emphasized in our natures that we did not realize before. I believe that no chance brought us here together this evening, but that we have met for noble purposes -- possibly greater than we dream; and that there must necessarily follow from this meeting, mutual benefits -- something that will help to remove any misconceptions or possibly prejudices that may exist in the minds of some of my listeners and enable them to become more receptive to that which lies behind my words, that which comes from the heart-urge, that which touches the deeper part of one's nature in the silence.
It is by this communion of spirit that we could really work wonders for the present race and the world's good, if we would only believe it. I have great faith in humanity, as I have always said, and I am sure that if my listeners believed in themselves, in their higher natures, as I do, they would find that they would henceforth be able to strike new and higher notes in their own lives and in the lives of their fellows, that their minds would broaden under the inspiration of the hour, and that there would follow a better understanding of the immutable and divine laws of human life.
I presume there are many strangers here tonight, many probably being visitors to the Exposition, from different cities in America; and there are possibly some who are not acquainted with the theosophical work which is being carried on in this Theater, a work to which I have referred in former addresses here, so I may possibly repeat myself a little.
This theosophical work, which is a part of the activities of the original Theosophical Society, is quite different from any public work that you have ever known. It is based not only on altruistic principles, but on altruistic practices. The theosophical workers who have been giving volunteer service in this Theater every Sunday night for the last fourteen years are members of the original Theosophical Society, which Madame Blavatsky founded in New York City in 1875. A number of these members were her pupils; and there are others who have joined our Society since. They have chosen their profession, so to speak; they have affiliated themselves with this worldwide work for very high and unselfish purposes, and they accentuate in all their efforts this one had particular teaching, which is the keynote to the best in human life, if we would but accept it: Brotherhood is a fact in nature.
Now if all humanity could recognize this, and make it a potent factor in their lives; if our statesmen and our diplomats, our lawmakers, our writers, and our teachers, could have an understanding, or even a half-realization of this doctrine, that brotherhood is a fact in nature, we should not have the awful discord, unrest, brutality, and selfishness that we know do exist in the world's affairs; we should be in quite a different condition as a race, and also as a people. And it is for the very reason that brotherhood, as a fact in nature, is not accepted and lived that we have such menacing and deplorable conditions in all walks of life and in all lands.
It must be remembered that man, in order to understand himself and the laws governing his nature, must first know that he is, in essence, divine; and that he is an integral part of the great human family, bound to his brothers in soul-life. He may have faith; he may have knowledge on many lines of thought; he may be altruistic in his tendencies; he may be a humanitarian in a certain sense; and he may be a man of high scholastic attainments; but unless he is absolutely sure, in the very deepest sense of his consciousness, that brotherhood is a fact in nature, he has not found the real key to the problems of life; and he has not the power to open the door, so to speak, to the great hall of spiritual learning that is ready to receive the whole world; and further, he has not realized that although he is but an atom in the intensity of the universe, yet he can make himself a very powerful atom; that he can round out his character and his life -- his true, inner life -- in such a way that he becomes a living stone in the temple of divine compassion and wisdom.
This is what the members of the Theosophical Society are aiming to do today: first, to make the teachings of Theosophy, which are based on the principle that brotherhood is a fact in mature, so practical that they shall touch the minds of the people and bring them to their own, that they may thus realize their divinity, their heritage, and that they may further discover the latent, spiritual powers in their natures -- those superb powers that you are sometimes conscious of in your most optimistic moments, those godlike powers that your hearts would tell you are yours. Yes, there are times when the human mind, even in the deepest shadows of doubt, may catch glimpses of the possibilities of the human race, and at such times the real soul-knowledge is manifesting.
But alas! this divine touch stays not; for if it did, and each of us were living the life, the real life, we surely should be working together in a brotherly spirit, and all nations would be at peace. People of one nation who call themselves Christians would not be fighting against people of other nations who call themselves Christians. Think of it! People of different countries, professing the same religion and worshiping the same God, fighting each other bitterly, building forts to protect themselves against their brothers, planting the seas with monstrous equipments to slaughter their brothers! Surely the words of Jesus are forgotten, "Love one another."
You probably have had these thoughts many times before about the uncharitableness and unbrotherliness of those who profess to love God; but my urge is to show you that if all men had the knowledge of their essential divine natures, and if they were all "living the life," we should have the means to understand the needs of our brothers and the needs of the nations, and we should also have the power to adjust the differences among the people of the earth in an amicable and peaceful way. And at this present time, when two-thirds of the nations are actively at work accentuating the scourge of war, we should have the power to call a halt and create a continued and permanent peace for all time among the nations of the earth.
Yes, if men had the knowledge of their essential divinity, they would have a broader, deeper, and clearer comprehension of Deity, the supreme, the all-loving, merciful Father -- the God of the universe, which they would hereafter acknowledge, would be greater than the present conception of the personal, revengeful God. Poor humanity needs to have a more intimate and impersonal knowledge of the universal law's of life.
It is simply because man is only half-living today that he is losing his way, and is so nearly helpless in this hour of world distress. It was Goethe, our great German poet, who said when he arrived at the age of thirty, "I will not live my life longer by halves, but in all its beauty and totality." This poet must have caught a glimpse at this time of the boundless possibilities latent within, and he must have felt, for a time at least, a superb power within himself. Before the age of thirty, he must have had some really hard lessons that turned his mind to discovering causes of the ills and joys of life. These experiences may have led him to learn that life is eternal and that man is, in essence, divine; and that to become and to serve, and to really live, man must be full in his life; he must be living from day to day, from the smallest duty to the greatest, the spiritual life consciously -- the real life.
So the members of the Theosophical Society, believing in the essential divinity of man, and consequently that brotherhood is a fact in nature; and believing also in the latent spiritual powers in man, which can be aroused by the spiritual will; understanding the difference between merely the mental will and the spiritual will, the mortal and the immortal; accepting the duality of human nature -- that it is composed of the lower, the mortal, the selfish, animal, passionate side of life; and of the other, the higher, the immortal, the altruistic, godlike, compassionate man -- the members of the Theosophical Society, I say, can understand themselves, to a degree at least; and so they are busy trying to undo their mistakes of the past, committed through ignorance, trying to build more nobly for the future and for all eternity.
So you need not wonder that the members of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society do all theosophical work without salary. Some who ask about this seem to think that there is something very queer and marvelous in the fact. "It is impossible to understand," say they; and they really infer sometimes that it is a little unnatural, as though the members were being deprived of some of their rights, although, bear in mind, they have sought, of their own free will, the positions they have accepted, and would feel that they were deprived of their rights if their appeals were ignored.
We admit that the Theosophical Society is unique -- wondrously unique. I do not deny that "the laborer is worthy of his hire," but bear in mind man has his right to choose, and if his choice proves an uplift to him and gives him the opportunity to lead a cleaner and more noble life, who can say nay? Yes, the members of the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society rejoice to work for humanity without reward, seeking no personal prominence, no self-aggrandizement. Their inspiration, from the beginning of their noble, unselfish work for humanity, has been based on a superb trust in the immutable laws of life, and on the conviction that they are powerful atoms in the world's work, in making the theosophical organization a living light to the people.
We all admit that other societies have high standards and are doing good work; but I am now bringing before you some facts about the original Theosophical Society -- unsectarian -- in order that your questioning may be answered. Many comments are made by inquirers on the unusual enthusiasm among our members, something perhaps that is not found elsewhere. It is an enthusiasm that is constant; it is unselfish enthusiasm; it stays with these workers night and day, and it goes with them to their work, to the places of service.
Perhaps this will explain and answer the question that has been put to me: "What is the meaning of the influence that we feel when we meet the members of the Theosophical Society?" The inquirers tell us how delightful it is, that they sense a new effort in the world's work; they speak of the earnest, thoughtful, happy, and refined faces of our members; they appreciate the fact that our workers do not pretend that they are superior to other people, or that they are perfect types of men and women, either physically, mentally, or spiritually; but they do declare that in meeting our members, and in conversation with them, the association is distinctly wholesome and uplifting.
The explanation of this is that our members are working conscientiously and unselfishly, and to a large degree understandingly, in their service to humanity. Day by day they are seeking truth, and gaining knowledge, through the application of truths they have learned to each hour's and each day's efforts. Thus, while their souls hunger for ever-growing truth and constantly increasing light, they work on, believing that they are immortal and that eternity offers them a large field for service.
Oftentimes inquirers speak of our young folk, the students in our Raja-Yoga College (the teachers and professors of which are all Theosophists), and they say that there is something quite unusual in the presence and bearing of these Raja-Yoga students that is most promising and uplifting; that the expression of their faces and their general behavior bespeak something new. We admit they are an interesting and unusual study, and that in poise, manner, and appearance they are above the ordinary student. But we must remember that they have greater opportunities than other students; that the gap between the school and the home is spanned; that they are taught to realize the meaning of the higher nature, of their essential divinity, and that it must become the inspiring, helpful force in life, before the mind and the character can be rounded out to do justice to their true position in life.
While they are taught to accept all the duties of the exterior life, they are also impressed with the sacred meaning of the inner, esoteric life, of that part of their natures which must be accentuated in all human efforts. Then too, their studies are not permitted to be made a task, and therefore are a continuous pleasure. There is no overdoing on this line, no cramming of the young mind. They have learned to work with nature, on lines of least resistance; their environments are unusual; for the professors and teachers who work with them are living in one school of thought and effort; there is no competition, no differences in religious thought to disturb them; the very atmosphere that is around them breathes a superb harmony. Because of all these opportunities, they live closer to the meaning and beauties of nature, and appreciate the benefits of the rules and regulations of their well-organized institution, the Raja-Yoga College, the aim of which is to round out the character of its students and to prepare the youth to meet life's battles.
So it is quite natural, I repeat, that they should have an unusual poise and balance that bespeak their splendid effort.
It should be remembered,` too, that they have some true understanding of themselves, through the influence of Theosophy, partly born from examples of the teachers and professors, who have volunteered to do their part as helpers to them; and then, besides this, there is a concentration of interest with all the workers at the International Theosophical Headquarters at Point Loma; there is a union of efforts, and there is a fine accentuation and beautiful expression of brotherhood which the world's children are positively crying out for.
These students lead the exterior, everyday life in a most human, sensible way, on lines of least resistance, and with a concentration of thought and conservation of energy that bring them unusual poise and balance, mentally and physically; they are taught to avoid extremes, and thus they avoid reaction; they are not devotees of any wild speculations or false notions of life; they are, indeed, in their very youth devoted to principle -- to the true principles of life; and believing that brotherhood is a fact in nature, and that they are their brothers' keepers, they are forced by the very nature of their united efforts and by the very strength of their convictions to work cheerfully, optimistically, and strenuously, without faltering.
So it is no wonder that the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society has many aspects that are relatively new to the present age. No wonder that explanations are sought by earnest people of the meaning of it all! According to a noted French scientist in Europe, himself not a member of our Society, "Theosophy is the most serious movement of this age."
Let not the fact be overlooked that the Theosophical Movement is much larger and much older than its present organized representative -- the Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society. It has been an active force for ages past; at certain periods prominent in the world's work, and at other periods almost unnoticed, except by a few. But in this way it has been moving on for ages and ages. It is as old as the ages. It began its life ages and ages before Jesus was born.
Madame Blavatsky, who founded the original Theosophical Society in 1875 in New York, made no claim to have originated the theosophical truths which she brought to the Western world and taught to the members of her Society. She said over and over again, "I have gathered these ancient truths from the Wisdom-Religion, for the world's children." And believe me, she did thus gather them; and the results of her researches and her wonderful writings are the most interesting fruits of her lifework, great as her other work was.
May I ask, What was it that led Madame Blavatsky to leave her home in Russia, when still so young, surrounded as she was by everything that makes the worldly life attractive to most people -- wealth and honor, family prestige, powerful even then with her pen, and beginning to be known as a writer? With this gift alone she could have made herself internationally famous. What was it, I repeat, that made her turn her back on all these worldly temptations? What was it that led her to leave home and go forth to help the world's blinded children and stay the ignorance of the age? Must she not have had a mission when she founded the Theosophical Society in New York City so many years ago, with a few earnest students? Did she ask them or the public for financial recompense for her efforts? Did she ask for a church over which she could preside? Did she put the dollar-mark to her teachings? Did she ask for salary or support? Did she seek prominence? Did she seek honors or personal adoration ?
I, with all her students, answer nay.
Then why did she make this superb effort? Why did she seek America to disseminate these great truths? What was the urge that brought her to our country? I leave the answer with you, for to me it is obvious. I can only account for it from a theosophical standpoint; and believing as I do in the doctrine of reincarnation, I hold that this noble woman in her different schools of experience during many lives, having reincarnated over and over again, had learned some of the laws governing human nature possibly better than those about her. Her lifework shows she was more familiar with the esoteric, the inner, the higher laws of human life. And too, her heart had been attuned by suffering, in these many lives, to the needs of the people.
Her light brought to her the knowledge that man is a ray, so to speak, a soul-ray from the great, divine, central source of light. God to her, from early childhood, was in all life, impersonal, infinite, infinite.
The age in which Madame Blavatsky lived and worked showed the need of a new and uplifting influence in the human mind, for materialism was fast making conditions for the world's disintegration. She knew also that Christianity -- or "Churchianity," as I prefer to call it -- had assumed forms in its expression and in its teaching, that were shutting out the light of the great and divine truths taught by the sages of the past and by the great Nazarene. She found also that there were deplorable differences among men; that in America, particularly, there was this doctrine and that doctrine, this church and that church, this system of thought and that system of thought; and besides, there were literally millions of hungry souls who were suffering for lack of the bread of wisdom.
No one can consider these first public efforts of Madame Blavatsky without realizing that at times she must have stood on the mountaintops in her views of humanity and its needs; and in the inner sense, that is, in the very truest sense, she must have looked out on the great world, on the human race, with a larger sympathy than any of us have known. She must have realized that it was a time to act; and with her heart ready, and her motive pure, and her love of the whole human family exercising a compelling force, she went forth to accentuate the great note of brotherhood, the great potent note in human life, a note that should be heard by all -- that brotherhood is a fact in nature.
So H. P. Blavatsky found herself in the Western world ready for service. She made no pretensions of being a great light or a great seer; she asked no recompense, no public prominence, no following except that those who came to her should seek to understand the ancient teachings which she brought, and to apply them to their lives for the world's good; for these were the teachings of spiritual freedom. Theosophy declares that truth shall make man free; that there is no religion higher than truth.
Madame Blavatsky brought the Wisdom-Religion, the wisdom of the ages, not only to the Western world, but to America in particular. She no doubt had heard our national song, "America -- the land of the free and the home of the brave." Surely, in this very effort, she paid a high compliment to the American people, though she did not overlook the dangers that menaced our country. There is no question that Madame Blavatsky believed that America would afford larger opportunities for the dissemination of Theosophy. She expected to find that the American people were more progressive than others; that living as they did, under the "banner of liberty," as they called it, not held down by any state religion, they would be more open-minded and more receptive to the liberalizing teachings of the ancient Wisdom-Religion, and closer to the real conception of brotherhood, though they did not fully understand it. These were Madame Blavatsky's ideas when her feet touched the shores of America in 1873, to begin the great work for human uplift. You can see what hopes she had for America and the American people. And more than that, all her members know that she planned for America to be the international center for the Theosophical Society which she founded, which is already known the world over.
But let me tell you a sad and interesting story. The first thing that this noble woman met in New York City was persecution, cruel misrepresentation. In reading some of the published statements about her, without having met her, one would have found it not difficult to believe her a charlatan and an impostor. The pathetic part of it is that some of those who were the most active in this work were professed Christians -- those who taught and professed to accept the Sermon on the Mount and its noble ethics.
I feel your questionings: Why was this so? I can tell you, not with fingers on lips, that those who put stumbling-blocks in the way of Madame Blavatsky's noble work, did not wish to be disturbed in their beliefs. They were fearful, too, that their creeds and dogmas would lose all support, and that the attendance in their churches would be lessened on account of the broad and liberal teachings of this strange woman. I know that there are many good people in the churches who would not stoop to such small acts; but many did, in their selfish and dogmatic egotism and unbrotherly spirit, affect the public mind by their unchristianlike methods. They appeared indifferent to the needs of the millions in America and other countries who were in the shadows of despair, who did not and would not accept the creeds and dogmas as a means to salvation. These persecutors, by their ignoble acts, turned their backs on those who were calling for help, for more light, for that essence of truth that would give them the power to live in the real sunshine of life. America, Madame Blavatsky and her early followers had their share of persecution from those who should have been the first to welcome the messenger And then too, the dear press, which with but few exceptions answers the call of the public appetite for With these facts before you, you can see that in our so-called tolerant sensationalism, showed that lack of tolerance that would have prevented them from She was impressed upon the public mind as one absolutely many of the papers from one end of America to the other, Madame Blavatsky was cartooned, misrepresented, and maligned, as a grotesque, unshapely, unwholesome character. She was impressed upon the public mind as one absolutely the antithesis of what she really was. Since that time, however, it is gratifying to note that the press in many instances, has shown a more worthy and dignified attitude towards Theosophy and its teacher, for the reason possibly that the teachings have spread from pole to pole, and further, because there are thousands of people in every country accepting these truths and supporting them as the salvation of humanity.
When I recall those times, and remember the unfairness of all this unbrotherly work, I realize that the day is coming when posterity, in acknowledging H. P. Blavatsky as a truly great worker for the world's good, will blush for shame that such un-American conduct could have been possible in this country. It is true that Madame Blavatsky was not nailed to the cross by her persecutors, but mentally and morally she was most certainly crucified, and there is no question in my mind that this persecution during her early efforts shortened her life.
Surely those who know the inner facts -- and there are many inside the Theosophical Society and out of it who do -- now cry shame, shame, on the unbrotherly spirit that was manifested by the engines of progress in the early history of the Theosophical Society in America.
Let me briefly touch upon one interesting and pathetic incident in H. P. Blavatsky's life, which will show you the heart of the woman. When she was leaving one of the European seaports for America, she found a poor emigrant woman with four or five children bewailing the loss of their steamer tickets. This woman was coming to America to see her husband before he died. Madame Blavatsky, in her sympathy for these unfortunates, at first deplored the fact that she could not help the woman as she would like to, because she had only her passage ticket and a small amount of money with her.
But later, a happy thought occurred to her. She arranged to give up her first-class passage, and in place thereof to give this emigrant woman and children their passage to America. In doing this Madame Blavatsky surrendered her sanitary and comfortable quarters as a first-class cabin passenger, and took "accommodations" among the emigrants in the steerage. It was only by accident that later some of her followers learned of this incident from someone who was on board the ship at that time, for she never spoke of it herself.
With her heart glad and her soul rejoicing, Madame Blavatsky moved on to America; and in spite of the persecution that she received in New York City and throughout America from unchristianlike people, she found many waiting to hear the gospel of life and to receive help from the old Wisdom-Religion. And, as she believed in reincarnation, she must have known when she met these eager-minded students, who have stood loyally by the Society from the beginning, that she had worked with them before, that somewhere along life's path there had been a parting of the ways, but that they had come together again for renewed effort.
To my mind there is no other way to account for the stedfastness and loyalty of these faithful followers of Madame Blavatsky; for we have today all over the world members who joined her society in its early days, and who have done their part in helping to make it the power that it now is in all lands. All honor to them, I say -- to these friends who continued to cling to the teachings throughout the days of misrepresentation and persecution, heartily supporting the great international work and defending their Teacher.
These facts are all the more interesting when you remember that most of those who responded to Madame Blavatsky's call had never met her, as far as they knew until I she organized the world-wide Theosophical Movement of the nineteenth century. They had not even seen her, had never touched her hand, never had looked into those glorious, soulful eyes of hers, never had heard the eloquence of that sympathetic voice, and had never tested the compassion of her heart or the depths of her knowledge.
But they cooperated with her in her early efforts, and they stood by her through those years of persecution. So I say that there is no other way to account for the meeting of the followers of H. P. Blavatsky and herself, and for their splendid spirit of loyalty to her and to Theosophy, except that it was a part of the great, divine scheme, that they should meet together again at the right time, and in the right place, to unite for a common service to discouraged humanity. It was their destiny.
It is this quality of unselfish devotion and altruism, that is the building force today in the theosophical activities which I have the honor to direct. One and all in this great body are working not only for this generation, but for the generations to come.
I do not presume to say that the students of Theosophy have become godlike, or that they have attained perfection, or that they may not be making mistakes from day to day; but it is true that they base their efforts on positive knowledge, on knowledge that they are divine in essence, and that this potential divinity in their natures affords them the means of grasping the larger life -- to look out beyond the limitations of dogmas or creeds, or the belief in one earth-life.
May it not be possible for my listeners to discern that if the theosophical principles could become a living power in the lives of all, and that if all could realize that brotherhood is a fact in nature, and act accordingly, the pessimism of the age would ere long disappear, and a new optimism would lead men to greater hopes and grander efforts? Can you not see that many vices would vanish under this new regime, as would also misunderstandings, intolerance, and selfishness? Is it not plain that a new bond of life would be made -- a spiritual bond, and that almost in the twinkling of an eye, without our knowing possibly the fullness of the force that would be active, a world's peace would be inaugurated?
But are we not arrant cowards when we sit still and let the nations continue their warfare in Europe, without making a national and effective protest? What are we doing to overthrow the terrible conditions that we know exist separate from the present war -- that are eating the very heart out of our present civic, national, and home life? Can we be unmindful of the wave of crime and vice that is creeping in upon us, increasing in its power daily? Are we sufficiently awake to its menacing forces?
It is true, believe me, as I have said time and time again, that humanity is only half-living, and seems often to be asleep to its greatest dangers. However, let me assure you that I do not forget the noble workers all over the world, there are many of them, bless their hearts, who are doing the best they can; but let me tell you that the greatest workers for humanity today stand almost unsupported. Some are ready to work, ready to make great sacrifices for human betterment, but they are not understood. They are overlooked, and the reason, I think, is because they are too genuine to play false notes for public recognition.
I admit also that there are humanitarian organizations that are based, to a large degree, on noble principles. But there is something awry with their methods; and as a Theosophist, I find it is because their workers do not realize their inherent divine powers, and their possibilities; they have not the real key to the situation, to the mysteries in their own lives, and they cannot meet those in the lives of others. In fact, no matter how great their faith may be, in God or in immortality, they have not the inner knowledge which is needed to illuminate their minds and clear their paths for positive, permanent service to the world.
Most of the workers in these organizations that I refer to may be living the exoteric life quite acceptably, with no discredit to themselves; they may be meeting the ordinary standards of morality and right-living; but the inner life is not manifest; it is negative or asleep. I often wonder if people who devote so much time to the exterior life realize how many precious moments they waste, how much brain-oil, how much energy are lost by ignoring the inner life and living only in the external.
Some very honest and well-meaning inquirers say to me, "Well, I have read some of the teachings of Theosophy, and of the activities of your organization; but why is it that this society which you direct does not perform more than it does in bringing about at this present time a permanent peace?" My answer is, it is true that we have the knowledge, and we have the means to call a halt in this brutal slaughter of men. But, large as our body is, with its many supporters all over the world, the present demand requires the united voice of the people; and it is to the American people that I appeal.
Let the people of America respond to the call that will be made at the Parliament of Peace and Universal Brotherhood, which is to be held at the International Theosophical Headquarters at Point Loma, California, in the Greek Theater, early this autumn. The American people have the power, on that occasion, to send a demanding message of brotherly love to the heads of the battling nations, that will create not only peace, but new hopes for all 'people. (See Appendix)
What a splendid conquest for the American nation, if its people as a whole were ready to declare that simple truth is the foundation of the highest ethics and of the highest religion!
If they were ready to say that dogmas, creeds, and endowments, if they interfere with one's freedom of thought, must be set aside! If they were prepared to admit that what they honestly believed in yesterday, may be impossible for them to accept today! If all were ready to step out from preconceived notions, prejudice, and selfishness to protest against the wrongs of the age, and to work unitedly for really universal purposes! Then we might see the angel of peace brooding over all lands, and a promise in the hour of the purification of human life and an explanation of all the vital problems of the day.
Why the war ever began certainly must be a comdrum to many human-loving people. But it is easily explained in this fact: that our great human family was not united in the belief that brotherhood is a fact in nature. Views of life were so different, interests so different, the different doctrines of so-called religion, the fads of the age, keeping men apart; and at the very time when war was menacing, men were pulling in contrary directions, some for supremely selfish purposes, for material benefits, and others through their blindness as to the needed remedy for this great scourge of war.
To make clearer the fact, let me say that humanity is suffering today individually and collectively because the spirit of the inner man is not manifested in the doings and duties of daily life; because instead of man possessing knowledge, he has but weak faith.
It stands to reason that if the brain-mind is to be accepted as the highest vehicle for noble thought and action, if reason is to be considered superior to intuition and compassion, then of course all must continue to suffer and lose their way in a state of unrest and dissatisfaction. My urge is for all to reach out for the truth, the simple truth, to appeal to the impersonal god in their own natures, to sound the depths of soul-life, to feel the nearness of infinite force and power! Oh! this is the glory and the joy of living -- aiming to lead the spiritual life! That is why one can stand and see all these awful conditions, and yet be hopeful and joyful and trusting. It is the divine in man that keeps his heart warm, his mind clear, and his courage ever ready to serve, that keeps him firm in the belief, as I have so often said, that he must live for his country, and not die for it.
It must be remembered that one seeking the path of unselfish endeavor and for the light to guide him, must know that the whole truth cannot be gained in one lifetime. But truth can be approached with enthusiasm, and with determined will, and day by day these efforts will bring added knowledge. It takes application, unselfish effort, and continued trust to lift the veil which hides the eternal verities and the great realities of life.
But let me assure you that self-purification and self-development will begin at once, and the inner man will reveal himself, and as time goes on he will be able to storm the citadel of his own being and gain spiritual victories.
To know the truth, one must have a love for the truth and a desire to work for it. To understand the Wisdom-Religion, one must study Theosophy. This study leads to real knowledge, and the knowledge gained establishes a foundation of royal principles which serve as guides through life. Become as little children at the feet of the Master in your thoughts and acts, and you will then quickly gain the discernment that will lead you on and on to greater achievements. You will know how to adapt yourself to human needs, and also realize that while today you may not understand all that is taught in the name of Theosophy, tomorrow the veil may be lifted; and that what you fail to grasp today may become tomorrow a living power in your life.
The conquering of the lower self brings wonderful revelations into the life, in proportion as prejudice, misconceptions, intolerance, and selfish desires are left behind. Indeed each day may be a new birth to the aspiring soul. With new ideas, higher aspirations, and grander principles to follow, man can became a real leader in the great thought-world of life.
Many earnest people say, "We know that unbrotherliness is the insanity of the age. We see all these deplorable conditions. But how are the people to be awakened to the needs of the hour? How could all be made to voice the needed heart-notes for the one great hymn of universal peace?"
My answer is that I can see no way to arouse the people for immediate action, unless they could come to their senses through the consciousness that possibly in twenty-four hours America was to be visited by a cataclysm that would deal death and destruction everywhere. Under such menacing conditions, possibly in their alarm and fear, people would throw aside all differences of creeds and dogmas, all selfish interests, and would come together for self-preservation, if for nothing else.
Then would follow the cry for the knowledge that is now at hand, and for the power to stay the fearful menace. Then we should have unity in thought and action among the people of America. But the pity of it would be that selfishness would bring them together, not the love of their fellows.
Possibly now, ere it is too late, higher motives may move us to action, and we may yet be able to stand out in the history of the world as the builders of the nations' spiritual liberty through recognizing truth, and that the International Theosophical Movement is the basis for permanent world peace -- for a universal brotherhood and a universal religion.
Consider all this, and then tell me whether I am too sanguine when I say that if the Theosophical Society survives and lives true to its mission, to its original impulses through the next hundred years -- tell me, I say, if I go too far in asserting that earth will be a heaven in the twenty-first century in comparison with what it is now. -- H. P. Blavatsky's closing words in "The Key to Theosophy," written in 1889.