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Geoffrey Hodson





Permission to reprint in an amended form material contained in Principles Governing Happiness in Marriage and The Path to the Masters of the Wisdom, by the same author, has been obtained from the publishers, The Theosophical Women’s Association of New Zealand and the New Zealand Section of the Theosophical Society respectively.


This book is the second Volume of Talks which Mr. Hodson broadcast from Station 2GB, Sydney, during his 1952 tour of Aus­tralia under the auspices of the Theosophical Society. The title of this book—Man’s Supersensory and Spiritual Powers—connotes not only a field in which Mr. Hodson is con­tinually working, but also that before the Theosophical Society as indicated in its Third Object: “To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.” Research in supersensory, or extra-sensory, perception has made rapid progress in the last ten years, as these Talks imply, and what is now needed to extend and authenticate it is intensive clairvoyant investigation, beyond the limits of physical sight into the inner constitution of man and of the universe around him. The trend is already seen in contemporary literature, in coloured plates depicting thought-forms and human auras, in the important revelations of occult chemistry regarding the nature of the atom and the constitution of matter, in the reading of the memory of Nature in prehistoric archaeolo­gies and civilisations, and in the reports by Initiated Seers on the origin and evolution of the Cosmos to which we belong. All this increase of knowledge is due to the use of powers of perception above the normal, yet powers which are unfolding in every one of us. This book shows the working of these powers and some of its fruits.

Each Chapter of the book is a complete Radio Talk. The broadcasts on Telepathy, on The Path of Discipleship and on The Angelic Hosts set the keynote of the book. In full-length form, the Talk on Christianity as a Power for Progress was delivered as the Convention Lecture in Adelaide in April, 1952. A group of three broadcasts on The Life Which Begins After Death has been omit­ted and has formed the basis of another book entitled Through the Gateway of Death, (T.P.H. Adyar, Madras, India). Mr. Hod- son has added two Talks on The Principles Governing Happiness in Marriage, which were prepared for the radio but fell outside the time schedule.

All these Talks, however, deal with mys­teries of cosmic and human life and evolu­tion towards perfected manhood, which is the goal of our striving. Mr. Hodson is at his best in this book. There is a rare author­ity of wisdom in these broadcasts and the book will achieve a high purpose if it helps to allay the restlessness and conflict in modern life and to set men pondering and under­standing the deeper realities.


General Secretary,

The Theosophical Society in Australia.

Sydney Christinas, 1952


The word Theosophia, derived from two Greek words meaning Divine Wisdom, was coined by the Neo-Platonists in the Second Century of the Christian era to connote the truths revealed to man by his Evolutionary Elders at the dawn of human life on this planet, and added to, checked and rechecked down to the present day by an unbroken succession of Adept[1] occult investigators. Theosophy, then, is offered to modern man as the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, “an uninterrupted record, covering tnousands of generations of Seers, whose respective ex­periences were made to test and verify the traditions, passed on orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted Beings, who watched over the child­hood of Humanity.... No vision of one Adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions—so obtained as to stand as independent evidence—of other Adepts, and by centuries of experience.” [2] The full fruits of this dual process have been preserved by the still-living Hierophants and Initiates of the Greater Mysteries, in which they were imparted to pledged neophytes alone. In their doctrinal aspect, these Mysteries consist of a vast body of teaching which embraces every conceivable subject to which the mind of man can be turned.

The fundamental principles of religion, philosophy, art, science and politics are all contained within this Wisdom of the Ages. From the time of the closing of the Neo- Platonic and Gnostic Schools to the last quarter of the 19th century, save for the few alchemists, Kabalists, Rosicrucians, occultly instructed Masons and Christian mystics, Theosophy was unknown in the Western world. Before then it was known and studied in various forms by the Platonists, the Pythagoreans, the Egyptians and the Chaldeans, whilst in India and China it has been preserved down the ages in unbroken continuity. It is the wisdom of the Upanishads and the Vedas„ the very heart of Hinduism, Taoism and Islam. By means of allegory and symbol it is revealed in the Christian Scrip­tures the dead-letter reading of which has blinded Christians to their deeper significance.

The Theosophical Society, founded in New York in 1875, a reincarnation of innumerable similar Movements in the past, is one of the many channels chosen from time to time by the Teachers of the Race for the transmission of this Ancient Wisdom to man. Theo- sophists are offered the opportunity of study­ing, living and presenting the age-old truths to the world in terms of modern thought. Though the presentations may vary, Theo­sophy itself, being all-Truth, is unchanging and eternal.

The study of comparative religion reveals the existence of certain doctrines which are common to all World Faiths. Although differently presented in each, when collected and blended into a whole these teachings constitute a basic body of revealed Truth which can be studied independently of all re­ligious systems. Each world religion reveals an arc of the circle of Eternal Wisdom. Theosophy, although as yet but partially revealed to man, is the full circle of Truth. Age by age, at the direction of Those who are the Guardians of knowledge and its accompanying power, aspects of the Eternal Wisdom are revealed to man through World Religions and philosophies.

The great practical value of Theosophy consists in its revelation of the meaning and purpose of human existence, which without it is a hopeless puzzle defying solution. A puzzle may be solved by two methods. One is that of trial and error, of experimenting with various pieces in the hope that ultimate­ly they will fit together. This is a slow and unsatisfactory method, particularly in the attempt to solve the problems of life. The other method, far more satisfactory, is based on pre-knowledge of the position of the vari­ous pieces in the complete design. Theos­ophy provides that knowledge, reveals the due place in an evolutionary plan of every individual and every event.

Life somewhat resembles a piece of tapes­try. On the under side one sees little save incomprehensible tangles, knots, badly blend­ed colours and a general confusion. Exami­nation of the upper side, however, reveals the whole pattern, shows that the confusion is only apparent, since every juxtaposition is essential to the completion of the design. So, also, the apparent confusion in the lives of individuals and of Nations. Theosophy reveals the plan of life, thereby bestowing mental serenity upon those who study it and making intelligent and purposeful living possible for them.

The student of Theosophy will do well to recognise that the human mind, being finite, cannot fully comprehend abstract Truth, which is infinite. As the human intellect develops, man’s power of comprehension increases. Truth appears to change, as does the shape of a mountain gradually approached and seen from different points of view. The mountain itself is, however, relatively change­less, as also is eternal Truth. Theosophy being all-Truth, no final theosophical state­ment is ever possible. No theosophical teacher can legitimately make authorita­tive pronouncements. In the Theosophical Society opinion is therefore free, save, perhaps, concerning the brotherhood of man, which tends to be regarded as a fact in Nature to be recognised rather than as a dogma to be enforced. With this exception, no theosophical utterance is binding upon another and no statement is regarded as representing final Truth.

The Theosophical Society is officially described as being “composed of students, belonging to any religion in the world or to none, who are united by their approval of the Society’s Objects, by their wish to remove religious antagonisms and to draw together men of goodwill whatsoever their religious opinions, and by their desire to study reli­gious truths and to share the results of their studies with others. Their bond of union is not the profession of a common belief, but a common search and aspiration for Truth. They hold that Truth should be sought by study, by reflection, by purity of life, by devo­tion to high ideals, and they regard Truth as a prize to be striven for, not as a dogma to be imposed by authority. They consider that belief should be the result of individual study or intuition, and not its antecedent, and should rest on knowledge, not on asser­tion. They extend tolerance to all, even to the intolerant, not as a privilege they bestow but as a duty they perform, and they seek to remove ignorance, not to punish it. They see every religion as an expression of the Divine Wisdom and prefer its study to its condemnation, and its practice to proselytism. Peace is their watchword, as Truth is their aim.

“Theosophy is the body of truths which forms the basis of all religions, and which cannot be claimed as the exclusive possession of any. It offers a philosophy which renders life intelligible, and which demonstrates the justice and the love which guide its evolu­tion. It puts death in its rightful place as a recurring incident in an endless life, opening the gateway to a fuller and more radiant existence. It restores to the world the Science of the Spirit* teaching man to know the Spirit as himself and the mind and body as his servants. It illuminates the scriptures and doctrines of religions by unveiling their hid­den meanings, and thus justifying them at the bar of intelligence, as they are ever justi­fied in the eyes of intuition.”

On December 23rd, 1924, the General Council of the Theosophical Society passed the following Resolution affirming freedom of thought within the Society:

“As the Theosophical Society has spread far and wide over the civilized world, and as members of all religions have become members of it without surrender­ing the special dogmas, teachings and beliefs of their respective faiths, it is thought desirable to emphasize the fact that there is no doctrine, no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none which any mem­ber is not free to accept or reject. Approval of its three Objects is the sole condition of membership. No teacher or writer, from H. P. Blavatsky downwards, has any authority to impose his teachings or opinions on members. Every member has an equal right to attach himself to any teacher or to any school of thought which he may choose, but has no right to force his choice on any other. Neither a candidate for any office, nor any voter, can be rendered ineligible to stand or to vote because of any opinion he may hold, or because of membership in any school of thought to which he may belong. Opinions or beliefs neither bestow privileges nor inflict penalties. The Members of the General Council earnestly request every member of the Theosophical Society to maintain, defend and act upon these fundamental principles of the Society, and also fearlessly to exercise his own right of liberty of thought and of expression thereof, within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others.”

Despite this complete absence of dogma­tism, which should be the hallmark of all expositions of Theosophy, there does exist a general body of teaching, a synthesis of the common doctrines of world philosophies and religions, ancient and modern, which in prac­tice is generally accepted as long as it rings true. Apart from the development and use of supersensory powers as a means of re­search, this constitutes a test which each stu­dent can apply to all the theosophical teach­ings: do they ring true? If an affirmative answer is possible, they may be accepted as working hypotheses until fuller knowledge proves or disproves them. Should a state­ment not ring true, three courses are open to the student. He may reject, ignore, or suspend judgment until by self-training he develops the capacity to discover the facts for himself. The last of these three courses would appear to be the most desirable. Thus the attitude of mind in which Theosophy should be studied is that of the scientist—the acceptance of a well-supported theory as a working hypothesis until it is proved, dis­proved or suspended.

The writings of Madame H. P. Blavatsky constitute the primary source of theosophical information in modern literature. Though branded as a charlatan by those who have neither investigated her life nor understood her literary work, this great lady is revered by tens of thousands of students of Theo­sophy as a light-bringer to the modern world. They believe her to have been chosen for this mission by the Sages[3] who have been both Guardians and Revealers of Theosophy to man throughout the ages. These Adepts used Madame Blavatsky as an amanuensis and with her aid gave Theosophy to the world in our time. Two main methods were employed. One consisted of fully conscious clairvoyance and mental telepathy in which, as a result of training under Them, she was highly skilled. The other method was that of the occult precipitation of letters written by Them, or by Their disciples at Their direction.

By the first method Madame Blavatsky produced her two great works, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine—each an almost inexhaustible fount of esoteric wisdom and knowledge. By the second method Mr. A. P. Sinnett, at the time (1880) editor of India’s leading newspaper, The Pioneer, ob­tained the material for his books, The Occult World, Esoteric Buddhism and The Growth of the Soul. These authors have been followed by many others, notably Dr. A. Besant and Bishop C. W. Leadbeater, both of whom, in addition to the receipt of direct instruc­tion from the Sages, were trained by Them in the development of occult powers and their use as a means of research. Their subsequent contribution to human knowl­edge is immense.

The late Dr. G. S. Arundale and the late Mr. C. Jinarâjadâsa, past Presidents, and Mr. N. Sri Ram, the fifth President of the Theosophical Society, all of whom are greatly respected theosophical leaders, teachers and authors, have also made their own valuable contributions. The Jate Mr. Jinaräjadäsa collected and published many of the letters of the Sages to Mr. Sinnett and others, in three Volumes entitled Letters of the Masters of the Wisdom, Series I and II, and The K. H. Letters to C. W. Leadbeater. The interested reader is referred to these various sources as the bases for most of the statements made in this book. Since they are admittedly both general and incomplete, each of my main sentences should be prefaced by some such phrase as “According to my limited understanding As this would be tedious, I ask that it be re­garded as implicit throughout this theosophi­cal study of man’s supersensory and spiritual powers.


In this second Volume of Australian broad­casts I have followed the plan adhered to in the first Volume, published under the title: Theosophy Answers Some Problems of Life. In both the conversational, broadcast style has been largely retained. Additional materi­al has been included, quotations checked and their references given, and some few apposite sayings from world literature added.

Since fundamental theosophical teachings formed the basis of all the broadcasts and were repeated in many of them, a certain repetitiveness, particularly of those teach­ings, appears in this work. As, however, readers may on occasion turn to one partic­ular subject and read that broadcast only, the repetitions are retained.

Neither this book nor its predecessor, Theosophy Answers Some Problems of Life, offer anything like full expositions of the theosophical teachings which they contain. The limitations of the time available and the technique of broadcasting necessitated popularised outlines only of such teachings.


Epsom, Auckland, N.Z. 1955






Extra-Sensory Perception

Are we justified in regarding psychic and supersensory powers as worthy of serious consideration? Are such experiences as knowing what is happening at a distance, dreaming true and receiving premonitions about the future, which later on prove to have been founded on fact—are these experiences of any practical value? Modern science evidently considers them to be worthy of very careful study; for in certain Universities in America, in England and on the Continent of Europe the whole subject of man’s supernormal powers has for a long time been submitted to scientific investigation. The leader in this research in America is Dr. J. B. Rhine, Professor of Psychology, Duke University, North Caro­lina, U.S.A. He has written two remarkable books, describing some twenty years of research. They are entitled: The Reach of the Mind and New Frontiers of the Mind.[4] I recommend these books to those interested in man’s psychic powers.

Here is what Dr. Rhine says about his own work in this field of Extra-Sensory Perception, or ESP as psychic powers are now called.

“Every day we are learning new things about the hidden powers of the mind. We know enough to realise that we know comparatively little. However, one thing we have learned is that powers beyond those commonly recognised do exist, and that hun­ches, thought transference, ‘seeing’ without the sen­ses, and foreknowledge of the future are actually far from rare. On the contrary, these faculties are surpris­ingly common and widely distributed among people.

“Back in 1930 a band of researchers at Duke University set out to determine, through scientifically- controlled experiments, whether the human mind does possess a means of obtaining information that is independent of the bodily senses. We conducted thousands of tests. We tested men, women, children, old people, college students, and mental defectives. We used symbols of various sizes, shapes and colours. We ran tests in which both the experimenter and the subject—that is, the person taking the test—were in the same room; also tests with hundreds of miles between the two participants. We worked under conditions in which the experimenter knew before­hand the symbol that the subject was to guess, and the experimenter himself remained in ignorance until after the experiment was completed.

“Again and again we obtained scores which couldn’t conceivably be explained as the result of chance, cheating or involuntary leakage. Apparently some action was taking place that our present-day textbooks cannot explain. That process we labelled extra-sensory perception, or ESP, for short.”

Cases of Extra-Sensory Perception

These paragraphs summarise Dr. Rhine’s general attitude towards psychic phenomena. Now to our question: are these powers and experiences of any real practical value to men? Undoubtedly they are. Some of my Australian listeners may remember the strange, but very useful, experience which came to Mr. Harry Bonner of Adelaide in January, 1948. Here is the story from the press:

“A ‘sudden’ premonition led 60-year-old fireman, Mr. Harry Bonner, to the rescue of a drowning girl at Glenelg late on Thursday afternoon. He swam through a choppy sea to bring in Nannette Prout, eight, of Talbot Road, Croydon Park.

“Mr. Bonner said he was sitting on the lawn at his home when the premonition came to him. 4 I put on my bathers, went to the beach, and thought I saw a ball floating in deep water’, he said. ‘Then a big wave washed against the object and I realised it was a child.’

“Mr. Bonner took about three minutes to reach the girl, 80 yards out, and he was exhausted when he carried her on to the beach. Nannette is in the Children’s Hospital. Her condition is satisfactory.”

In this instance psychic powers undoubtedly proved to have a practical value, for their exercise led to the saving of a human life—that of little Nanette Prout.

Here is a case of “dreaming true” which Dr. Rhine records:

“One very uncomplicated story of precognition was told to us the other day by the mother of a four-year-old girl. When mother and child entered a grocery store one morning, the little girl immedi­ately got down on all fours and started scrambling under the counters and back of barrels. The child usually was quite sedate and proper. ‘What on earth are you doing?’, the mother asked. ‘I’m looking for a six-pence I dreamed last night I found in here. Oh, here it is!’”

Dr. Rhine then comments upon this incident, saying: “These clear, waking, psychic experiences are quite common. They are not always reasonable; in fact, I doubt whether they have anything to do with reason as we know it.”

The Evolution of the Five Senses

What has Theosophy to say about such happenings as these? Does man possess latent powers which are be­yond “reason as we know it”, to quote Dr. Rhine? Yes, says Theosophy, he does indeed possess such faculties. Theosophy also gives a rational explanation both of the powers themselves and of the fact that they are becom­ing more noticeable at this time. They are regarded as still latent senses, in the future to be added to the pre­sent five, and their marked appearance in this age is one of the signs of the progress of man.

In the course of his evolution, man develops spirit­ually, intellectually, culturally and physically. His body grows in its capacity to express the results of evolutionary progress and develops one sense after another. How far, then, has man travelled up to now? What powers do we already possess? Let me briefly review our position up to the present time. We have reached self-conscious awareness physically, emotionally and mentally; for we can truthfully say “I act, I feel, I think.” We also have developed the five senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. The present time is of especial interest, because the sixth sense (ESP) is just now beginning to show itself to a marked degree. This new, sixth sense consists of clairvoyance, telepathy, pre-cognition or correct premonitions, metaphysical states of awareness and other psychic faculties.

In what way can these extra powers help us? In many ways, but more especially in the pursuit of knowledge; for whilst our present faculties reveal to us a great deal about our surroundings, life itself still remains a mys­tery. The botanist, for example, examines a flower but never understands it. He observes and catalogues sepals, petals, ovaries, stigmas, stamens, leaves, stem and roots, but generation and regeneration remain a mys­tery. No one at present knows how, why and by what agencies a plant or any other organic form develops from a minute germ within a seed, a bulb or a root. This limitation exists because such knowledge lies be­yond the reach of our present five senses and our formal, reasoning mind. Higher faculties are needed in order to see direct the Divine Intelligence and the creative Life-Force performing their miracles of reproduction and growth. That is why the study of such faculties is so important and their development can be so valuable. We need not despair of solving the great mystery of life, for the evolution of man is as yet very far from complete.

The Sixth and the Seventh Senses

A sixth and also a seventh sense lie latent in the mind and the brain of present-day humanity. The powers of abstract thought, of intuition, of clairvoyance and of clairaudience, are already budding in modern man. In later Races, says Theosophy, man will develop and use these powers as naturally as at present he uses his five existent senses. Then, and not till then, the mysteries of life, of generation and regeneration, will be solved.

Perhaps at this point you would wish to ask what the new bodily organs of the sixth and seventh senses will be; for, after all, our five senses have each their own organs through which they operate. What, then, are— or will become—the organs of positive clairvoyance, clairaudience, consciously controlled intuition and cor­rect premonition? They differ from the present sense organs in that they are within the body rather than on its surface. They are, in fact, within the brain and con­sist of two small glands which have been made the sub­ject of a great deal of anatomical and physiological research in this csntury. They are called the pituitary and the pineal glands.

The Serpent Fire

How will these organs become hyper-active, as it were? How will they reveal to us more about man, Nature, the universe, and their mutual relationship? Theosophy replies: “By virtue of the arousing into activity of a tremendous, latent force which is locked up in the body of man.” This hidden energy, this electric “fire” within the body, is also receiving a great deal of attention nowadays. Many books have been written about the Serpent Fire, or Kundalini as it is called in Sanskrit. Experiments in awakening it out of latency into potency are being conducted, very unwisely for the most part, I believe. I therefore wish to make it clear that my reference in this broadcast to this power must not be taken to imply encouragement to seek its awakening for purposes of psychic development. Theo­sophy warns us very strongly against attempts to develop psychic power as an end in itself; for, unless under the direction of a Master of occult science, the premature awakening of the Serpent Fire can be exceedingly danger­ous, physically, morally and mentally. Those forms of Yoga, as the science of such development is called in the East, which include deep breathing and concentration upon certain organs of the body in order to develop occult powers, can lead to disaster. Yoga is also a Sanskrit word; it means union, which describes that full realisation of unity with God, and through Him [5] with all that lives, which is the true objective of occult and spiritual self-development.

The Goal

Theosophists are advised to study these matters aca­demically, if they are interested, but to wait until a true Teacher, a Senior in evolution—an Adept,[6] Master, in fact—is found to guide one through the difficulties and dangers inseparable from the process of arousing into activity these normally latent powers. The development of psychic powers is, we should remember, not man’s supreme evolutionary attainment. Spirituality is the goal, and psychic powers are but the by-product of the process of obtaining spiritual vision and realisation.

What, then, is the ultimate discovery? It is this, I suggest. At the heart of the Cosmos there is One Life. The One Life has its sanctuary and its shrine in the heart of every human being. The first major discovery, then, is of this Presence within, “the Inner Ruler Im­mortal seated in the heart of all beings”. Thereafter, identity with the One Alone, the Deity of the whole universe, fully conscious absorption for evermore in the eternal, self-existent ALL, may be attained. This realisation, and not the development of psychic and occult powers, is man’s evolutionary goal.



Thought Transference

I suppose that most of my listeners have discovered that the human mind is a kind of broadcasting and receiving set, and often a very powerful one. What we call tele­pathy, or the transference of thought from one person to another, is a fairly common experience. In some cases, those who live together gradually develop the faculty of discerning each other’s thoughts. Very often a close friend will begin to say something which ex­presses exactly one’s own train of thought at the time. Sometimes someone begins to hum a snatch of a tune, an air or a song, and someone else will exclaim: “Why, I was just mentally humming that tune to myself. You must have picked it up from me or else I did from you!” Some people say that this constant interchange of hu­man thought can become so powerful as to create public opinion and produce national characteristics. Public opinion overflows into national behaviour and national behaviour can make or mar the world. The subject of man’s thought power is therefore, one of very great importance.

An American physician, Dr. Flanders Dunbar, has said[7] that there is such a thing as emotional contagion, and those who have tried to serve in hospitals, asylums and prisons can agree with Dr. Dunbar, who goes on to say:

“The youngest infant can be infected with fear, anger or distrust, even more easily than with measles. The results appear in little homely ways long before they develop into major tragedies. But by the same token the child can catch love and trust and respect. A child does not have to be in the room or actually hear the words of the quarrel, or see the action of violent emotion. The effects are in the very atmosphere and children catch the vibrations. They are sensitive, some more so than others. Some grown people catch vibrations and can sense when they go into the room or into a home whether there is har­mony, peace and love there, or whether there is dis­harmony, bickering and quarrelling.”

This interaction of feelings and of thoughts has, as I said in last week’s broadcast, now become so marked that experiments have been carried out to see whether man does possess supersensory powers. Here is an account of some of these experiments:

Scientific Research

The modern phase of experimental investigation of man’s psychic powers may be regarded as starting with the work of H. J. F. W. Brugmans at Groningen in Germany (1920), Miss Jephson (1924) in England, and Dr. J. B. Rhine at Duke University, North Carolina (1930 onwards). Dr. Rhine (now Professor of Psycho­logy at Duke University), whose contribution to the subject has been very considerable, published in 1934 a book entitled Extra-Sensory Perception, which described experiments in telepathy and telaesthesia, a name used for a form of supersensory perception corresponding to clairvoyance. This book aroused a fierce controversy.

Meanwhile G. N. M. Tyrrell, in England (1934-6), was developing an electrical apparatus in which the per­cipient had to cognise in which of five closed boxes the agent had caused a lamp to be lit. An ingenious “scramb­ling” device ensured that the agent himself did not know what lamp he had lit by turning his selector switch, so that any signalling code, conscious or unconscious, would have been stultified. The faculty used was virtually that of telaesthesia, or clairvoyance, rather than telepathy, since no mind was aware which lamp was lit until after the choice had been made. Highly significant results were reported with one subject. Then in 1934 Dr. S. G. Soal, Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of London, began to carry out an extensive repetition of Dr. Rhine’s experiments with Zener cards, and during the next five years he gave individual tests to 160 persons and recorded 128,350 guesses.[8] In con­sequence of these and other investigations, the posses­sion by man of extra-sensory perception has become a demonstrated fact.

Occult investigation of Thought-Power

What has Theosophy to say about the mystery of man’s mind and his mental powers? It says a great deal which is well worthy of our attention and study. At the very outset an interesting, not to say arresting, idea is presented. Theosophy states that not only do super- sensory powers such as clairvoyance and telepathy exist, but that they can be developed by means of a special kind of self-training. Furthermore, these methods have long been employed by advanced students who have acquired the faculty to observe direct the operation of the human mind, to see on thought waves, as it were. What is the result? In the main, at its own level, thought is found to produce four major effects. Two of these are upon the mind at the thinker and two outside of him. Let us take them in turn.

 ‘What a Man Thinks on, He Becomes”

The first effect of thought upon the mental body[9] of the thinker is to change the person temporarily into the likeness of that upon which he thinks. His mental ap­pearance and character are altered to make him look like the nature and subject of his thoughts. Ugly thoughts “uglify”, to use Lewis Caroll’s words.[10] No­ble thoughts ennoble and beautiful thoughts beautify. The mental body and aura assume an appearance ap­propriate to the type of thought on which a person is engaged.

What does the mental body look like under normal conditions? It is composed of two parts—an inner counterpart of the physical body, built of the denser material of the mental plane, and an interpenetrating and surrounding aura. This aura is roughly egg-shaped and about three times the size of the physical body, which it also interpenetrates and surrounds. Brilliant, luminous colour is the chief characteristic of the human aura and each colour represents a mental power, a quality of character or a habitual kind of thinking. The general colour of intellectual activity is yellow. This is located in and around the head and is probably the origin of the nimbus or halo. The power of love- thought is rose-coloured, of compassion a soft green, of anger scarlet and of idealism lavender, which last is generally situated in the upper portion of the aura above the head. When a person is strongly moved by love, desire, or idealism, for example, the corresponding colour suffuses the aura, temporarily changing it into the likeness of that on which the person is thinking. This is stated in the Christian Scriptures in the text: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”, and in the East in the words: “What a man thinks on, he becomes. Think, therefore, on the Eternal.” George W. Russell, the great Irish seer and poet, who is known as A. E., correctly stated the effect of thought upon the thinker in these words:

“Race hatred is the cheapest and basest of all national passions, and it is the nature of hatred, as it is the nature of love, to change us into the likeness of that which we contemplate.”

This is borne out by theosophical teaching, based as it is upon direct observation of the processes of thought and their effects upon the thinker.

Thoughts, Feelings and Physical Health

Let me now suggest one practical application of this knowledge obtained by trained extra-sensory perception. Human thought force is indeed extremely powerful in the realm of the mind, as telepathy and crowd psycho­logy demonstrate, but it is also now known that our thoughts can actually affect our physical body and its functions. The right use of thought-power is important in the maintenance of one’s health. Well-controlled, harmonious, ordered thinking helps in achieving physi­cal relaxation, nervous ease. Over-intense, excited, anxious, and fearful thoughts have the opposite effect. They produce nervous and muscular tensions and can interfere with both glandular balance and the glandular secretions, and so must the chemical composition of the blood. Here are some examples. An American physician, Dr. George Schwartz, and his associates, made a study of heart disease amongst financers in Wall St. They found that the frequency of coronary thrombosis ran parallel with the ticker of the stock exchange. “When the market went on a rampage”, they said, “hearts went on a rampage and out came the stretchers.” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: “A man begins a pursuit as a means of keeping alive—he ends by follow­ing it at the cost of his life.” Dr. Connor of the American Heart Association points out that these men become so tense they cannot relax. He observes: “They fight a game of golf—they don’t play it.” Dr. Leo Bartemeier, Associate Professor of Psychology in Detroit, comments: “Even when they try to play, they work so hard at it no one has a good time—especially not they.” In Man the Unknown Dr. Alexis Carrel writes: “Envy, hate, fear, when these sentiments are habitual, are capable of start­ing organic changes and genuine diseases.... Man thinks, invents, loves, suffers, admires and prays with his brain and all his organs.” A relatively new branch of medicine is developing out of such discoveries. It is known as psychosomatics,[11] and is based upon recogni­tion of the interaction—always taught in Theosophy— of his thoughts and his emotions upon the physical body of man.

All this demonstrates the importance both of a study of the human mind and of the development of the power to control our thoughts. In my next Talk I will describe various methods of achieving thought control and era­dicating undesirable mental and physical habits.



How Habits are Formed

I have already described the appearance to trained clair­voyant sight of the mental body of man under normal conditions. Then we considered the first of the two observed effects of thought upon the thinker. This, you will remember, is to change the mental body—and eventually the whole personality—into the likeness of that which is thought.

Now we come to the second observed effect of thought upon the thinker, which is to form a habit. Habits are formed by the repetition of one kind of thought, the continued experience of one kind of sensation or emo­tion, and the constant expression of these in physical action. Together, these three—repeated thought, feel­ing and action—form a habit. If the repetition contin­ues long enough, the habit can become stronger than the man and force him into its indulgence.

Again this theosophical knowledge proves to be very important; for human personality is partly made up from habits. In one sense we, as mortal men, are our habits and our habits are ourselves. How is this im­provement to be brought about? By the right use of the formative power of thought. Thought-power is the major means whereby the change may be achieved. What, then, is the method? First, let us see in further detail how habits come to be formed. Most habitual action has been preceded by habitual thought. When the two—action and thought—are continually perform­ed, a brain path or nerve path leading to the motor centres is “cut” by the thought-energy employed. The next time the thought of performing the action arises, a weaker impulse, or smaller amount of energy, will travel over this path which by now is already marked out; for the resistance and the inertia of the body have become somewhat reduced. This weaker impulse is all that is now necessary to cause one to act, to carry out the desire or idea. Eventually, as this process is repeated often enough, the nerve cells in the brain and nervous system become so well organised and unified that the resultant act or behaviour becomes almost automatic.

When the mental body is watched by means of trained supersensory power, it is discovered that this formation of habits by constant repetition also occurs in that vehicle of man which is built of mind stuff. Every time we think we make a change in our mind body, establish a tendency to vibrate at the same rate more easily next time. This continues until both physical and mental bodies have become habituated to the pursuance of a certain idea, a particular line of thought, leading to physical conduct. In this way, then, habits are formed and, as some of us have found, can become very strong indeed. Such deeply ungrained habits of an undesirable kind can seriously affect the health, the happiness and the progress in life of those who become their victims.

How Bad Habits May be Eradicated

Can such well-established habits be broken? Of course they can and here again theosophical teaching can be of the greatest practical value. The way of self-reforma­tion is to form a new habit, to think about a new act or set of acts which one desires to perform. One should not concentrate so much upon conquering the old, exist­ing habits, but rather on developing the opposite virtues, whatever they may be. Self-cure, then, consists of a reverse operation of the same process by which the original habit was formed. Constant mental repetition of the desired quality implants it in the mind and in the brain. Eventually it becomes so well established in both mind and brain that it crowds the old habit out of existence.

If we will examine them, we shall find that nearly all our feelings, thoughts and qualities of character can be expressed in two opposite ways, one positive and the other negative. The same energy is, however, employed in either case. Here are some of the many positive- negative pairs: love and hate, poised self-control and anger, courage and fear, happiness and depression, humility and conceit, self-indulgence and self-control, purity and impurity. Now, as we have seen, continued negative expression of the forces of thought and emotion can lead to habitual vice, but by constantly dwelling in dynamic, creative imagination upon the positive expres­sion of the same force—the desired virtue—we can build it into our make-up. Thus, by concentrating our thought upon them, we can build quality after quality, virtue after virtue, power after power, into the fabric of our character, for in every weakness resides its opposite power. We should not be unduly distressed by strong desires, therefore; for applying the knowledge which Theosophy gives, we can make “flowers out of apparent weeds, rainbows out of seeming darknesses, and triumphs out of frustrations”.[12] “A weed”, Emerson said, “is a plant the virtues of which have not yet been discovered.”

Irritability, Anger, Rage

This theosophical guidance in the eradication of bad habits is not only important as knowledge, but is also of great practical value; for if we are not careful irrita­tion and anger, for example, can develop into sheer bad- temperedness, which on occasion can mount into a veritable white rage. If we are wise, then, we will use our thought-power to overcome such harmful, and even dangerous, tendencies. This is achieved by redirecting into constructive channels the destructive energy of such emotions as irritability and anger. After all, isn’t it rather foolish to get angry? To be angry when things can’t be helped only makes them worse. To be angry when people disagree with your views is to discredit the worth of those views. To be angry when your con­science tells you are wrong is to fight a losing battle. Therefore, it is a good thing to conquer anger, and this is done by using the teachings of Theosophy concerning the two observed effects of thought upon the thinker. These are, you will remember, first to turn him tem­porarily into the likeness of that upon which he thinks and second, if long continued, to form a habit. Good habits and good character are formed by right thinking, meaning constructive, harmonious thinking, and by concentration upon the qualities of character which are desired.

Mind Radio

We will now deal with the last two of the four effects of the action of human thought. We have considered two upon the thinker; let us see what happens outside of him. We at once discover how telepathy works, whether in people who have trained themselves in thought transference or accidentally, as it were, between people who are closely attuned to each other. Here it is found that the human mind is indeed a mental broad­caster and receiver. This transference depends upon the existence of a refined kind of ether, sometimes called the astral light or the astral fluid, and, in its more refined manifestation, the akash (Sk.) or ether. Akash is a higher form of cosmic ether which links Solar Systems together and is the result of motion in cosmic matter. Although this substance extends uniformly throughout space, it is more dense around the brain and spinal cord of human beings. Thought and its emitted energy produce an alteration in this fluid and in the aura sur­rounding it, which change is immediately transmitted to the person to whom the thought is transferred. There it is transformed into a similar kind of motion in his aura, which affects the nerve fluid of his cerebro-spinal system and thence reaches his brain. If he should at that time mentally be somewhat passive, this impact could cause him to engage in thoughts of a similar nature.

Thus, every time we think we send out a definite energy which by mental vision can be observed as a force rushing out from the mind and brain in mento-electrical waves. These waves of thought force are vibrating on the characteristic frequencies of both the thinker and the type of thought which is occupying the mind. If one is thinking only generally then the thought waves, travelling with the speed of light, go out equally in all directions. The distance to which they travel de­pends upon the intensity and the clarity of the thought and the degree and the length of time of concentration upon it. The longer and stronger the thought process, the further the waves of thought force will travel. If, however, we are thinking of some definite place or per­son, then a kind of beam effect comes into operation. In that case, most of the thought energy is concentrated upon the recipient.

Such is the theosophical explanation of telepathy. Simply put, thought transference is brought about by the generation of a thought-energy which travels from the brain and mind of the thinker into those of the re­cipient. Dr. Rhine and Dr. Soal, to whom I referred earlier, found that people vary a great deal in their capacities both to transmit and to receive. Some are good transmitters and some are especially good receivers, as the investigators have found in thousands of experi­ments. However, whether specially gifted or not, everyone sends out quite strong thought impulses every time they think. Thus consciously, or unconsciously, we are all continuously influencing the thought, the character and the conduct of other people.

The great importance of thought control and speech control now becomes obvious, does it not? Private opinion creates public opinion. Public opinion over­flows eventually into national behaviour, and national behaviour can make or mar the world. That is why private opinions, thoughts and feelings, and especially conversation expressing them, are so extremely impor­tant. Whilst grave harm can be wrought by want of thought, worse evil can be produced by evil thought. We do well to nurture our minds with great thoughts. As Disraeli said; “To believe in the heroic makes heroes.”[13] More than that, inevitably other people are similarly affected.

The Way of Power and of Peace

Here is a closing suggestion. In these days of strain, hurry and tension, it is very valuable to form the habit of taking ten minutes or a quarter of an hour every day, alone in mental and physical quietude. Then we may withdraw our thoughts from the external, ever-changing physical world and fix them strongly upon the very highest and noblest subjects, the great interior and eter­nal truths. One such truth is the omnipresence of God. By dwelling in thought upon the Divine Presence, it is possible to attain to serenity of mind and actually to come to know by personal, direct experience that the Power and Life of God are everywhere around us and within us, that, indeed, “underneath are the everlasting arm”.[14] In one of our daily quiet times, we might well repeat and meditate upon the words of the poet:

“Speak to Him thou for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet—

Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.” [15]


Thoughts are Things

Are any further effects observed when thought processes are studied by means of trained supersensory power? Yes, they are. I have already described the interaction which we speak of as telepathy, or thought transference, between two persons, the transmitter and the receiver. There is, however, a second effect of thought which is produced outside of the thinker. A description of this effect may at first sound somewhat strange, but I ask you not to reject it too hastily, for it contains a very important idea. In addition to the radiation of thought- forces, the action of thought also produces a form made of mind-stuff, sometimes called a thought-form. What do such forms look like? They are of two classes. One of these consists of exact reproduction in the matter of the mental plane of objects or persons about which one is thinking, and such thought images will be clear or vague according to the clarity or vagueness of the thought. The other class of thought*form is produced by abstract thought.

Let us first consider forms produced by concrete thought. Supposing, for example, you thought of yourself. In the upper portion of your mental aura, and a little in front of you, there would appear a thought image of yourself as you are accustomed to think of yourself. This form would perhaps be about a foot to eighteen inches high and would tend to fade out as soon as you turned the thought away from yourself. The longer a thought is held, the more stable the thought- form. Indeed, it is possible to construct thought-forms which will last for centuries and this actually happens, especially when, in addition to powerful, long continued and repeated thought, certain ceremonials are performed and invocations uttered. Indeed, supersensory research reveals that the mental world still contains thought- forms which were constructed by ceremonial action by men of magical power4, whether good or bad, white or black, centuries and even thousands of years ago, in ancient civilisations.

Thought-Forms made Visible

With regard to the thought-form you make when you are thinking about yourself, if you should think of your­self as being in some other place, your thought-form would travel there with the speed of light. Under cer­tain conditions these mental self-portraits, these project­ed thought-forms, become visible and there are many attested cases of what is called bi-location, or being seen in two places at once. What has happened is that you have been thinking very strongly of yourself as being in the company of someone to whom you are attached, or in whom you take a great interest. Your concentrated thought will produce a form of yourself which actually goes to the presence of your friend. If he is at all psy­chically sensitive, he might either find himself thinking strongly of you or feel your presence near him, and even see your thought-form as if you were actually present in the room.

One of the commonest examples of bi-location is the projection and the perception at a distance of the thought-form of someone who is in the process of dying. In his last moments, the dying person’s strong thought of someone in another place can produce an easily visible thought-form. Later on, when the news of the death arrives, the loved one remembers that just at the time of death he thought he saw, or perhaps felt, the near presence of the deceased person. Not infrequent­ly, relatives of soldiers killed in battle have the experi­ence of seeing the soldier just at the time when he was killed in combat. This is because when he was struck and driven suddenly out of his body, his first thought was of someone he loved. This could have the effect of causing a thought-form of him to travel swiftly into the presence of the person of whom he thought. This does not exclude the possibility that any deceased per­son, whether soldier or civilian, might himself travel in a superphysical body into the presence of someone to whom his thought is turned. So, one of the two kinds of thought-forms made every time we think is a replica, built of mind-stuff, of the object or person of which we think.

Helping others by Thought-Power

The second class of thought-forms, as I have said, consists of those produced by abstract or formless thought such as of love, beauty, truth, unity or time. Then an appropriate form appears within the aura and sometimes floats up above the head of the thinker. Supposing, moved by affection, one mentally determined to protect someone in danger, a soldier in the battle area perhaps. A form expressive of love and of the mental decision to protect would then appear in the aura of the thinker. This form would probably be that of a winged sphere. The sphere itself would be rose-coloured, ex­pressive of the love which is the inspiring motive, and the two wings would be golden yellow, representing the action of thought which is the propellant power. Such a form would flash towards the recipient and would hover in his neighbourhood and slowly discharge its protective power. Though only a very powerful thinker could produce a form which would ward off a missile, even an untrained person by love, prayer and intense thought can thus send a protective force, the shield of their affection, to anyone who is known to be in danger. How would this operate? Unselfish love, especially when combined with earnest prayer, uttered in perfect faith, is indeed a mighty power. Whilst not discounting the possibility that such thought could in itself be protective, a more probable effect would be to cause the person in danger unconsciously to move back­wards, forwards, or to one side, thus avoiding some danger either on the ground or in the air.

Elementals and their Influence

Thoughts are indeed things and the thought-power of man is an exceedingly potent agency. The actual formation of one of these thought-forms is vividly des­cribed by a great theosophical seer, C. W. Leadbeater. He is describing how the material of the inner planes is affected when the human mind formulates a definite, purposeful thought or wish. Let me repeat what Mr. Leadbeater says in his book, Thought Forms:

“The effect produced is of the most striking nature. The thought seizes upon the plastic essence, and moulds it instantly into a living being of appropriate form—a being which when once thus created is in no way under the control of its creator, but lives out a life of its own, the length of which is proportionate to the intensity of the thought or wish which called it into existence. It lasts, in fact, just as long as the thought-force holds it together. Most people’s thoughts are so fleeting and indecisive that the ele­mentáis created by them last only a few minutes or a few hours, but an often-repeated thought or an earn­est wish will form an elemental whose existence may extend to many days.

“Since the ordinary man’s thoughts refer very largely to himself, the elementáis which they form remain hovering about him, and constantly tend to provoke a repetition of the idea which they represent, since such repetitions, instead of forming new ele­mentáis, would strenghten the old one, and give it a fresh lease of life. A man, therefore, who frequently dwells on one wish often forms for himself an astral attendant which, constantly fed by fresh thought, may haunt him for years, ever gaining more and more strength and influence over him; and it will easily be seen that if the desire be an evil one the effect upon his moral nature may be of the most disastrous character.”

That is a most instructive description of the effect of our feelings and our thoughts, given by one who could see these inner forces at work.

The Evil of Gossip

Then again, there are other kinds of thoughts which we are advised to try to avoid. One consists of des­tructive thought and speech about another person’s character. This is gossip and gossip is one of the cruel­est evils in the world; it has been called one of the seven deadly sins. Gossip is not just small talk; it can be a wrecker of lives, and when a group of people get together and think and talk critically about the same subject or person, they generate a very powerful current of their united thought-force. This reaches their victim and inevitably makes his or her life much harder to live. Calumny, mental or verbal, travels like waves, and no- one knows when or where it will stop.

Another kind of thought against which we are warned is that of bitterness. I am only too well aware that there is much in human experience and life which can make one bitter and can constitute a very real test of human nature. But, as Theosophy teaches, both for the sake of our own health, psychological and physical, and for the sake of others near to us, we should try never to become either cynical or bitter. Someone has said:

“To be able to stand in the midst of darkness and live as though all about you was light, is the final test of the human spirit.”

That is a splendid ideal and of great practical value; for all negative and all destructive thoughts are harmful to both the thinker and those against whom they may be directed.

Fortunately for us, as I said in an earlier broadcast,[16] it is possible to exercise complete control over the powers of our mind. Theosophy describes the best methods which, if applied, enable us to rebuild our characters, to overcome bad habits and to develop a radiant, ever- helpful personality.



The Perfectability of Man

What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” You will find that question asked in the Psalms of David.[17] Many answers to it have been offered, some of them presenting the view that man is a pilgrim God, a God in-the-becoming. A theosophical teaching states that “the soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.” [18] This concept of man and his illimitable destiny would seem also to be indicated by St. Paul, who said:

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” [19]

Our Lord affirmed a still greater consummation of human life in His words:

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.” [20]

In the Revised Version, which is regarded as a more accurate translation from the Greek, the assurance of this lofty attainment is given in the words:

“Ye shall be perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.”

Man is thus stated to be a Deity in-the-becoming, a pilgrim God, and this may also be taken to be the theosophical answer to the Psalmists’ question. “Perfect” is hardly the best word, however, for it suggests a possi­ble finality to human development. H. P. Blavatsky wrote that perfection is only attained

“in a relative sense, for it must give room to still further absolute perfection, according to a higher standard of excellence in the following period of activity.... This stupendous development has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end. Our ‘Universe’ is only one of an infinite number of Uni­verses, all of them.... links in the great cosmic chain of Universes, each one standing in the relation of an effect as regards its predecessor, and of a cause as regards its successor.” [21]

“Even as your Father which is in heaven is Perfect

Evidently we must prepare our minds for a most stupendous idea. A limitless progression of the Inner­most Spiritual Soul of man is implied. I am aware that it is difficult for any one of us, conscious, only in our mortal, bodily nature, to conceive that the potentiality of the infinite splendour of the presiding Deities of Solar Systems can exist in us. Nevertheless, this is the un­mistakable implication of the various Scriptural and theosophical statements which I have quoted.

Let us, then, look at this idea a little more closely. The human ladder of life, each higher rung representing a more advanced evolutionary phase, is said to ascend beyond the stature of the perfect man, “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”. What could be higher than that? Let me suggest an answer. The planet Earth is but one of a number of planets com­prising our Solar System which is presided over by a Solar Deity known as the Solar Logos and our Lord the Son. To that lofty development every man will one day attain. Is this the absolute summit? Far from it. Stupendous though this conception is, the evolutionary ladder reaches still higher. What lies beyond is almost inconceivable but, as I have quoted, we are assured in Theosophy that this orderly progression is eternal, hav­ing “neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end”. Can we possibly envisage evolutionary heights greater than those to which a Solar Logos has attained? I think we can, for Solar Systems are grouped together, and over such groups a Deity presides Who must be presumed to be greater than the Logos of a single Solar System. And so on and on, in unending progression. Thus the idea may be grasped that, in truth, the future growth and splendour of the Spiritual Soul of every man are entirely without limit.

The Immortal Germ

The idea of human progression to such stupendous heights and beyond is, I think, conceivable, and this for one reason alone, namely that the potentiality of infinite development has always resided within the Spiritual Self of man, which thus resembles a seed. Just as the acorn, under proper conditions, will produce out of itself a complete reproduction of its parent tree, which in its turn can produce hundreds of thousands of further acorns each similarly endowed, so the Spiritual Soul of man contains within itself in a latent or seed-like state the full potentiality of its Divine Source.

A gardener or farmer plants his seeds underground. In due course—the new plants appear and complete their cycle of growth, which is generally consummated in the production of more seeds. The One Life, the One Law and the One Energy, to which the name “God” has been given, would seem similarly to pro­vide for the Divine Sparks or Innermost Selves of men the conditions necessary for the germination and devel­opment of their seed-like, Deific powers. These con­ditions have some analogy with those provided for the seed of a plant when it is planted in the soil.

The Spiritual Soul of man, containing germinally the whole of its future limitless unfoldment and develop­ment, has also been described as an Immortal Germ. This is a helpful title; for all capacities are inherent within it and the effect, if not the purpose, of manifested existence is the germination of seed powers and their sprouting and development throughout unending ages.

This continues until the highest degree of evolutionary attainment possible in any given cycle of manifestation has been reached. The Deity-to-be is already present embryonically within every human being and it is this God within, this Deific potency in man, which was pre­sumably referred to by St. Paul in his three statements:

“Christ in you, the hope of glory”,[22] work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you...” [23] and “ye are the temple of the living God....” [24]

Macrocosm and Microcosm

This is pure Theosophy, in which man is defined as “that being in whom highest Spirit and lowest matter are united by intellect.” Since the highest Spirit of man contains potentially the full powers of a Solar Deity, in­cluding those which are as yet only potential in such a mighty Being, all powers are therefore locked up within him. For this reason man is described as a microcosm, or little world, a reproduction in miniature of the Macrocosm, or greater world, meaning the universe and its indwelling Deity. As the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tze, said: “the universe is a man on a large scale.” Similarly, the Bible affirms that at man’s creation the divine design was that man should be made in his Crea­tor’s image. If the words “Let us make man in our image” [25] are true, then indeed man is a mystery, since he contains germinally within himself all his Creator’s existing manifested attributes and powers and, in addi­tion, those which will continue to become manifested throughout unending ages.

Theosophy thus presents a profound fundamental truth concerning man; that, indeed, in his spiritual, in­tellectual, psychical and physical nature he is a minia­ture replica of the whole order of created beings and things, a model of the totality of Nature. Man con­tains within himself the collective aggregate of all that has ever existed, does at any time exist, and will ever exist throughout the eternity of eternities.

However germinal it may be in present humanity, the possibility of bringing forth future universes and Cosmoi definitely exists as a latent vibratory power within the nature of man. Man is a microcosm, a miniature re­production of the Macrocosm, and therefore is rightly said to be made in the image of his Creator. The words of Lao Tze which I have just quoted, that “the universe is a man on a large scale”, may permissibly be reversed; for it is also true that man is a universe on a small scale.

A Theosophical Formula for Happiness

One further theosophical observation may be added. This is that since the purpose of man’s existence, Na­ture’s will for man, is evolution to the stature of the perfect man and beyond that to ever greater heights, the intelligent person who realises this endeavours to collaborate. Such collaboration implies both the quick­ening of one’s own evolution by every possible means and the helping on of the evolution of every other form of life. This, says Theosophy, is the way of happiness, the secret of well-beingto surrender one’s self-will to the will of the universe, to become an embodiment of that will, a selfless, dedicated servant and lover of the Divine Life in all beings, never consciously injuring a single one.




What is reality and how can it be discovered? Does man possess supersensory powers by means of which ultimate reality may be known? Is there anything real apart from the mind? Berkeley stated:

“All the quire of heaven and furniture of earth, in a word all those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world, have not any substance without the mind....”

Einstein showed that space and time are forms of intuition which, like our concepts of colour, shape and size, cannot be divorced from consciousness. Space, says Dr. Einstein, has no objective reality except as an order or arrangement of the objects we perceive in it, and time has no independent existence apart from the order of events by which we measure it. The electro-magnetic spectrum reveals only the narrow range of radiation visible to mao’s eye. Man’s percep­tions of the universe in which he dwells are restricted by the limitations of his visual sense.

These and other mysteries of Nature dwell in realms far removed from sense-imprisoned man. Theosophy teaches that man can over-ride his physical sense limita­tions and venture more and more deeply towards the heart of reality.



Four Directions of Space

Is there such a thing as a fourth dimension or direction of space? If there is, is it possible for us to know any­thing about it by means of supersensory powers? Before these questions can be answered, we must know what is meant by the word dimension when it is used in this sense. It does not mean size, but a direction of space. At present we can only imagine three directions, those of length, breadth and height. The room in which you are sitting as you listen to me is a three dimensional structure; it has length, breadth and height. At once an interesting fact presents itself, for each of these three directions, as you will note, is at right angles to the other two. This brings us straightway to the very heart of the mystery of the fourth dimension.

If there is such a thing, if there is a fourth direction of space, then it must be at right angles to our familiar three. Try to think of it, try to imagine it, and you will see how difficult it is to do so. Can a fourth dimension be visualised? Modern scientific methods and discover­ies indicate that something like a fourth direction of space exists and can be conceived. This suggests the extension of human knowledge of the universe into directions hitherto unknown by men, apart from the world’s great occult scientists and seers. Theosophy teaches that human evolution is, in fact, freeing us from the limitations of our present three dimensional universe and revealing to us another kind of world—or rather, an altogether new human conception of the world as we have hitherto known it.

From Zero to Two Dimensions

What would we find if we become endowed with fourth dimensional sight? What would our world look like? Very different from that with which we are familiar. Indeed, much which we have hitherto regarded as solid and permanent would disappear altogether. We would find ourselves in a universe of flowing forces, of currents of electrical energy, rather than of solid forms. But I anticipate. Let us approach this question gradually and by easy stages beginning, for example, with zero or no dimension. In mathematics this is indicated by a point, which has position but no size. If we move our point for, say, twelve inches, we get a line twelve inches long and consisting of an infinite number of points. That line represents one dimension or direction of space.

If we then move our line for twelve inches in a direc­tion at right angles to the original one, that is to say either up or down, we get a square which consists of an infinite number of lines. This is a symbol of two di­mensions or flatland, as it is sometimes called. As we shall see in a minute, it would be very strange to live in flatland, for we should only know length and breadth. Up and down would be inconceivable to us. We would be dwellers on the surface of things. However, we have grown beyond that. We can conceive of height and, looking at a flat photograph, can in our minds turn it into a picture with depth. A dog, on the other hand, cannot normally do that. Show a dog a still portrait of his master and it will be quite meaningless to him, simply because his mind is limited to two dimensions as far as flat pictures are concerned. It is of interest that some dogs, for example, can recognise pictures of mov­ing people and animals projected on to a cinema screen. The additional factor of motion evidently enables them visually to turn the flat images into three dimensional objects, as is sometimes shown by their barking at moving pictures.

Beyond the Known World

However, in this our present study we were still con­sidering the world of two dimensions, the realm of flat­land, of surfaces, consisting only of length and breadth.

Now let us move mentally out of flatland. If we take our square and move it for twelve inches in a direc­tion at right angles to the first two directions, then we will form the outline of a cube which is a three dimen­sional object, having length, breadth and height and consisting of an infinite number of squares. At this point let us take the next similar step, for to get into the fourth dimension all we have to do is to continue the procedures which took us from the first into the second dimension, and from the second into the third. So, let us now move our cube in a direction at right angles to the existing three dimensions of space. Impossible, I expect you are saying. Quite so. The mind does normally find it impossible to think of a fourth direction at right angles to the familiar three. Thus, as far as directions of space are concerned, we have arrived at the very limit of the powers of the human mind.

Linear Consciousness

Let us then try another way and see if that will help us to get into the fourth dimension. Instead of geo­metrical figures, let us think of a being living in a one dimensional world which would, for it, consist of a single line. Such a creature could only go backwards and forwards. It could not turn to the right or to the left, because neither of those directions could be con­ceived of and there would be nowhere in the universe in which to turn. Up and down would also be quite beyond its imagination. Supposing two such beings— one dimensional caterpillars living in a groove on the surface of a sphere, if you like—were out walking and they met head on. They could not pass each other be­cause for them there would be nowhere to go, no side­ways, and so no means of getting out of each other’s way. They could only move backwards and forwards on their line, which for them would be the whole uni­verse, just as, for us, what we see in our world of three dimensions is—or seems to be—the totality of existence, and there is no fourth direction of space.

A Dweller in Flatland

Now we must not laugh at these one-dimensional creatures, for we have our own corresponding limita­tions. In fact, higher dimensions apart, our eyes are deceiving us all the time. At a certain speed of revo­lution the spokes of a wheel become blurred and even vanish, as do the blades of an aeroplane propeller under similar conditions. First, the illusion of a disc is pro­duced and, later on, only a kind of transparent mist. Just as the first dimensional creature would regard his experiences as imposed by the nature of space, so do we. But his limitations have no actual existence save to the consciousness of beings like himself who are thus restricted. Bestow upon the one dimensional cater­pillar a recognition of the second direction of space, and his line universe with its limitations would dis­appear. He would then know that it never had any real existence, was only a cross-section of the whole surface upon which he could now move. Even so, a second dimensional creature, a dweller in flatland, can­not conceive of up and down. If a chalk line were drawn around him on the surface on which he lived, he would believe himself to be entirely enclosed. One millimetre of thickness would be enough to give him the impression of being imprisoned in a totally en­closed space from which there was no escape. In the same way, one degree higher, we think we cannot get out of a closed room. If, however, there is a fourth dimension, then the room is open all the time, although we in our turn cannot perceive the way out.

So, whilst the two dimensional being is wonderfully liberated compared to the one dimensional creature and has miraculous powers, nevertheless it is still very limited. It cannot leave the surface on which it lives. It cannot make two oppositely placed draughtsman’s right-angled triangles coincide, even though it wore its whole life away in the attempt. It can only slide them, and to make them coincide one must be lifted up and turned. This is something of which a two dimensional being could not possibly conceive, for there is no up and down, no vertical, third dimension in flatland.

The Limitations of the Human Mind

We also have our limitations. We think the past is finished, behind us, and that the future is as yet non­existent. We also cannot understand how there can be free will if the future already exists. Furthermore, our eyes deceive us constantly. Take, for example, a visit to the Cinema. Twenty-four photographs on celluloid are flashed every second on to the screen. In order to achieve a smooth transition from each single picture to the next slightly different picture, the screen is blacked-out for 1/48th of a second whilst the picture is replaced. This means that for one-half of the time a cinema audience is watching a film, it is sitting in total darkness without knowing it. If we estimate the num­ber of man-hours spent in the British Cinema each week as 75,000,000, over 37,000,000 of them are spent seeing nothing. So you see we, too, have our limitations, as have two dimensional creatures.

Supposing, however, that two very highbrow two- dimensional caterpillars got together and began to dis­cuss the possibility of a mysterious third dimension, the realm of the Soul and the abode of departed cater­pillars! Supposing, still further, that they successfully meditated upon this idea and for a time entered the three-dimensional world. How could they describe it? They could only say that it is at right angles to length and breadth. But if by meditation a twc-dimensional being did enter the three-dimensional world, so that for it this became the normal, then the first and the second dimensional realms, hitherto the whole universe, would disappear. They would be seen as abstractions, as illu­sions produced by sense limitations.

This is also true of ourselves and our knowledge of the world in which we live. If we should attain to a conception of fourth dimensional consciousness, what would happen to our familiar three-dimensional sur­roundings? They also would melt away into nothingness compared to the fulness of fourth dimensional percep­tion. So theoretically we might press on, dimension by dimension, until infinity within and without is reached, ultimate reality attained.

Supersensory States of Consciousness

Is there really such a thing as a fourth dimension or direction of space? Theosophy teaches that whilst there are not actually any more than three directions in which space can be measured, there are latent powers of the human mind which, when awakened, reveal additional properties of matter. When this happens—and it does happen—whole worlds of knowledge and experience be­yond and within those describable by our measurable, terms of length, breadth and height can be perceived. What we now call the future then intrudes upon the present, which is greatly extended. We then possess that foreknowledge which we call premonition. Prob­ably at the centre of the created universe the lateral, the vertical and the horizontal are blended into one cosmic direction, which includes all. If, by the development and use of our intuition, we can find our way in con­sciousness to that elevation and to that centre—which is said to be everywhere and its circumference nowhere —we should know the secret of life, which cannot be fully understood by the intellect alone. “To get be­hind consciousness with consciousness, that cannot be done”, someone has said. The intellect is incurably external, and if we would know more we have to find a way of developing and using higher powers of cogni­tion than those of the senses and the mind as we now know them.

Such means exist. They are latent in each one of us. They can be unfolded ahead of their normal time and the study of higher mathematics is one of the ways of developing them. The time and space limitations of our normal physical existence can be overridden. The omnipresent “here” and the eternal “now” can be known by man. In the process the immortal, eternal, Spiritual Soul of man is discovered.

The Immortal Self of Man in its World of Light

What is found when Egoic consciousness is entered? Mystics and seers who have achieved this unite in testi­fying to an entry into a most brilliant and supernal light, the light “that never was on sea or land, the consecration, and the poet’s dream”.[26] The centre of self-awareness and of observation is known as a more brilliant focus of light within a vast and shoreless sea of light, amidst which other such centres, representing the Egoic Selves of other men, are to be seen. A great intensity of existence and activity, combined with perfect equipoise and ease, are also experienced. Furthermore, there is no sense of resistance, duality having been re­duced to a minimum.

Uttermost certainty concerning the immortality, in­destructibility and invulnerability of the true Self, the purpose of human existence which is evolution to the stature of the perfect man, and the fact of the unity of all life and the “family” relationship of all living beings —these are experienced, known as fundamental verities by every reasonably evolved Ego. Bereavement, separa­tion, loss of loved ones, are impossible at this level of consciousness, where neither time nor space can limit the free play of the human intellect. Intimate mutual attunement, characteristic of human relationship at the Egoic level, provides a complete assurance that the unity thus established, especially with those who have be­come particularly beloved, can never be broken. Such experiences as those of friendship returned, love fully reciprocated, and the complete comprehension of a truth, a work of art and another human being—these experiences of the physical personality indicate the exhilaration and the happiness which are prominent characteristics of Egoic consciousness. The Ego of man knows itself to be an eternal, immortal and in­destructible centre of Divine Power, Life and Light. These well up within it as from an inexhaustible Source and shine all about it as a radiant aura, glowing with many hues.

Such, in part, is the condition of consciousness of the “fourth dimensional” or Spiritual Self of man.



The Superphysical Worlds and their Inhabitants

Does Theosophy support the teaching of all World Faiths that God is served by hosts of Angelic Ministers, Beings normally invisible to man? Yes, definitely it does. Theosophy teaches of the existence in this Solar System of hierarchical Orders of Intelligences, quite dis­tinct from man, but who either have been or will be men.

I am aware that the idea of normally invisible Intelli­gences is not very acceptable to many people in this modern, very practical age. We are accustomed to the demonstration, the proof, and the practical application to human welfare, of all our discoveries. Ideas con­cerning angels and nature spirits are, in consequence, indined to be thought of as somewhat fanciful and, at best, as unprofitable, of little practical value to the busy man and woman of our world. I recognise this, but would advise against too sudden and too decisive dis­missal of the concept of the existence of such invisible Beings. Science itself assures us that behind our visible universe, as the very source of its existence, there is nothing but invisible electrical energy, positive, negative, bi-polar and neutral in polarity.

The Instruments of Research

As stated in earlier broadcasts, science is also now proclaiming, after years of severe tests, the existence of supersensory powers of cognition in modern man, and calls them “Extra-Sensory Perception” or ESP. It is not, therefore, a very great step forward to admit the existence both of intelligent Beings working as engineers amidst the powerhouse of Nature, and of the faculty of trained seership, which enables its possessors to discern such Beings and to explore the normally invisible uni­verse. Furthermore, the weight of evidence for the existence of both angels and human psychic faculties is overwhelming for those who will study the two subjects with an open mind.

The Universality and the Similarity of the Folklore of Mankind

Throughout all time of which records exist, men have borne testimony to their perception of forces, pheno­mena and beings not normally visible. Despite wide separation both in time and space, there is a remarkable resemblance between the myths, the legends and partic­ularly the descriptive folklore of the various peoples of the Earth. This universality, similarity and persistence throughout the ages of belief in the Kingdom of the Angels is strong evidence, I submit, for the existence of a kernel of reality within that belief, a basis of fact upon which folklore is founded.


Added to this belief is the testimony of those who have made both a science and an art of the process of self-illumination, called in the East Yoga[28]. The fol­lowers of this, the oldest and greatest of the sciences, the science of the Soul of nature and of man, aver that extension of visual and auditory power and mastery of the forces, first of one’s own nature and then of Nature herself, can be deliberately and consciously achieved. Anyone, they say, who will fulfil the necessdry condi­tions, who will obey laws as certain in their operation as those to which the chemist subscribes in his labora­tory, can pierce the veil of matter which normally hides from view the eternal, spiritual realities.

The Directive Intelligence in Nature

Before I present some of the findings of such trained seers concerning the invisible aspects of Nature, let us first note what science has to say upon the subject of the existence of an Intelligent Power as the driving and directing force behind all Nature. It says a very great deal. In his book, The Mysterious Universe, Sir James Jeans writes:

“We discover that the universe shows evidence of a designing or controlling power that has some­thing in common with our own individual minds... The universe can be best pictured... as consisting of pure thought, the thought of what, for want of a wider word, we must describe as a mathematical thinker.”

Einstein has stated:

“I believe in God... who reveals Himself in the orderly harmony ot the universe. I believe that Intelligence is manifested throughout all Nature. The basis of scientific work is the conviction that the world is an ordered and comprehensible entity and not a thing of chance.”

Kirtley F. Mather, geologist, Harvard, has said:

“The nearest approach we have thus far made to the Ultimate, in our analysis of Matter and of Energy, indicates that the Universal Reality is Mind.”

If the concept be added of individual Intelligences, Archangelic and angelic embodiments of the “pure thought”, this might well have been written by an exponent of Theosophy.

The Angelic Hosts

Theosophy, founded as it is upon scientific explora­tion and investigation by means of trained, supersensory powers, has much to tell of both the invisible worlds and the invisible beings who are their denizens. Let me put before you some theosophical teachings concerning the Angelic Hosts. Would it be too much to suggest to you that you listen to what I am now going to say as you would to the words of an explorer who is describing the results of his experiences and researches in some strange land?

Eastern peoples, as well as numerous members of the Celtic and other naturally psychic Races, are familiar with the idea of the existence of fairies, angels and Arch­angels. In the East they are called devas, a Sanskrit word meaning “shining ones” and referring to their self-luminous appearance. They are regarded as omni­present, superphysical agents of the Creative Will and as directors of all natural forces, laws and processes, whether Solar, inter-planetary or planetary.

From Nature Spirit to Angel and Archangel

Certain of these Angelic Beings are associated more closely with man than with the forces of Nature, and these are more generally referred to as the angels. Are the angels higher in evolution than man? There are said to be three main stages of angelic development, each having its own name. First, nature spirits—gnomes, fairies, sylphs and the like. In the same way as are animals and birds, they are actuated by a group con­sciousness shared with others of the same genus. Second, angels or devas, who have evolved out of group con­sciousness into separate individuality, as man has done. Third, Archangels, who have transcended the limitations of individuality and have entered into universal or cos­mic consciousness, as have also those exalted members of the human family known as Supermen or Adepts.

The Major Mind

Thus the contribution of Theosophy to the problem of the emanation and constitution of the universe is dual. It consists first of an affirmation of the existence in Nature of a directive Intelligence, a sustaining Life and a creative Will and, second, of information con­cerning the existence, the nature and the function of those individual embodiments of these three Powers in Nature, called in Egypt and Greece “Gods”, in the East “devas” and in the West “Angelic Hosts”

The word deva is from the Sanskrit, as I have already said, and means “shining ones”. The title is very apt, for the matter of which the human-like bodies and the glowing, iridescent auras of the Angelic Hosts are formed is self-radiant, self-luminous. Let me try and give you a description of these shining auras of the Angelic Hosts.

The Auras of the Gods

At least two differing conditions of the auras of the Gods are discernible, one of expansion and the other of contraction. In expansion, the attention is outward- turned upon the divine Life and Mind in Nature. The aura is then greatly extended outwards from the central form and frequently, also, from behind it in three di­mensional, wing-shaped radiations. In this expanded phase the component forces are flowing at their full power, which produces a great brilliance throughout the whole aura and a dazzling brightness at the various force-centres, chakras[29] or, as Ezekiel[30] calls them, wheels. In contraction, the attention of the God is directed in­wards towards the Source of all Life and Power. The aura then becomes relatively quiescent and, with the exception of the radiations above the head, which may increase both in dimension and brilliance, is much reduced in size.

There are various layers of force within the auras of the angels, each layer with its own hues and direction of flow. The general effect is of brilliantly coloured, three-dimensional, shot moiré silk, composed of flowing forces rather than of solid substance, and in constant, wavelike motion. Through these many auric emana­tions, from within outwards, streams of radiant energy, often white and of dazzling brightness, are continually flashing.

The Bright-Crested Ones

The direction of the flow of these currents in the auras of angels is generally upwards and outwards from force-centres in the middle of the head and at the brow, the throat and the region of the solar plexus. Outlining the central, human-shaped form there is also a fine radiation, usually white or golden in colour. The head is nearly always crowned by upward flowing, flame-like forces, which bestow upon the more highly evolved Gods an appearance of regal splendour. Perhaps this is the origin of one of their titles in Hinduism, Chitra Shikhandina, “the bright-crested”. For the most part, the universal energies for which the Gods are agents and directors descend from above the head and flow through the aura, greatly increasing its electric quality and brilliance.

Such, in part, is the general appearance of members of the Angelic Hosts.[31]



Scriptural References and the Hierarchical Order

As Christians, many of us are quite familiar with the idea of the ministry of the angels. We are taught to regard them largely as messengers from God to man in times of national and individual crises. We also learn of angel healers of the sick, guardians of those in danger and protectors of children and the aged. Does Theo­sophy support this Christian view? Do the supersensory powers of man, when used consciously as instruments of research, reveal the existence in the superphysical worlds of nature spirits, angels and Archangels? Very definitely they do.

The Biblical account of the angels as ministers and messengers from God to man, who appear to individuals and nations in times of need, is supported by the teach­ings of occult philosophy. So, also, is the vision of Jacob at Bethel, in which he saw

“a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.”[32]

The Order of the angels is hierarchical. On the lower rungs of the angelic ladder of life are the lesser nature spirits: brownies and gnomes associated with the element of earth, fairies and sylphs with the element of air, undines or nereids with water and salamanders with fire. Above them are angels and Archangels in an ascending scale of evolutionary stature, reaching right up to the Seven Mighty Spirits before the Throne of God.

Countless in their numbers, innumerable in their orders and degrees, the angels dwell in the superphysical worlds, each Order performing its specific task, each possessing typical powers and each presenting a char­acteristic appearance. The whole vast Company of the angels constitutes a Race of evolving Beings which is at present pursuing an evolutionary pathway which is parallel to that of man, though not normally involving embodiment in physical forms, and which shares with him this planet and Solar System as fields of activity and unfoldment.

The Shining Ones

I have already given a general description of these Beings. Let me now be rather more precise. The angelic form is founded upon the same Archetype, divine “idea” or design as is that of man. The bodily outlines, however, are less clearly defined, the forms be­ing far less substantial, suggesting flowing forces rather than solid bodies. Angels themselves differ in appear­ance according to the Order to which they belong, the functions which they perform and the level of evolution to which they have attained.

Let me offer, for example, a description of the presid­ing Intelligence of a mountain, or even of a mountain range. When studied with the appropriate order of Extra-Sensory Perception, a mountain is found to be a living, evolving organism, a body with a Soul formed of the Indwelling Divine Life which pervades the whole universe. Indeed the whole Earth, in which the Three Aspects of the Blessed Trinity are incarnate, is a com­plete organism of body, Soul and Spirit.

At least three processes are occurring within every mountain. These are: first, the creation and the evolu­tion of the atoms, molecules and crystals of which the mountain is built by the action of the Logos or Divine Will-Thought-Sound;[33] second, the vivification of sub­stance and form by the Indwelling Divine Life; third, the awakening and development of the incarnate mineral consciousness. In each of these three processes, Nature is assisted by hosts of nature spirits and angels working under the direction of a responsible Official, who is their Archangel Head. When a peak is part of a range, the whole range in its turn will be presided over by a still more highly evolved Being, of the same Order as the angels of single component peaks.

A Mountain God

We may think of such landscape angels as usually stationed some two or three thousand feet above the peak or range in their charge. Their appearance is most magnificent. In height colossal, often ranging from thirty to sixty feet or more, the mountain angel is surrounded on every side by outrushing, brilliantly coloured, auric forces. These flow out from the central form in waves, eddies and vortices, varying continuously in colour in response to changes of consciousness and activity. The face is generally more clearly visible than the rest of the form, which is not infrequently veiled by the outflowing auric energies. The features are always strongly yet beautifully modelled. The brow is broad, the eyes wide set and ablaze with power and light. Whilst in man the heart and the solar plexus superphysical force-centres are separate and distinct, in mountain and some other angels they are conjoined to form one whirl­ing vortex, one brilliant force-centre, often golden in colour, from which many of the streams of power arise and flow forth. On occasions, these streams take the form of great wings stretched out for hundreds of yards on either side of the majestic figure.

Whilst all such Gods live their own intensely vivid life amongst their peers in the higher superphysical worlds, one part of their attention is almost continually turned towards the mountain below. There they direct into the dreaming consciousness[34] and life of the mountain, currents of quickening, stimulating force. Occasionally, in order to perform these awakening func­tions more effectively, a God will itself descend deep into the mountain. Then from within, its potent energies are unified with the creative forces of which the mountain substance and form are products. Furthermore, its life is blended with the indwelling Life and its conscious­ness becomes one with the incarnate, directive, Divine Mind. After a time, the great God reappears and re­sumes its station high above the peak.

The Ministry of Angels

Such great angels of Nature are not usually interested in man, neither do they display knowledge of human life and modes of thought. Intensely concentrated up­on their task, they are generally remote and impassive, even as are the snow-clad peaks. Certain of them, how­ever, would seem to have had contact with men in earlier civilisations, to have retained interest in human evolu­tion and to be willing, on occasion, to inspire and ad­vise human individuals and groups who are responsive to their influence.

At this point, listeners may be asking themselves whether such information as this can be of any use to mankind. The ministry of the angels, a cardinal doc­trine of many World Religions, has long been a living reality to great numbers of people. Occult research supports the doctrine and reveals that, as part of that ministry, certain Orders of angels are, for example, regu­larly present at religious Services and certain other Cere­monials; for whenever superphysical forces are evoked and directed—whether by means of thought and will alone or by the use of symbols, signs and words of power—appropriate Orders of angels at once appear as the natural agents of those forces. How do the angels help at Church services, for example? Their function is both to conserve and to direct the forces generated by ceremonial action, prayer and adoration and to serve as channels for the power and the blessing which descend in response. In this connection, here is an important point. The ministration of the angels is far more effective when recognised by ministrants and congregation.

The Method of the Occultist

Whilst ceremonial, intelligently performed, is one of the most effective means of co-operation between angels and men, it is by no means essential. The human mind is a powerful broadcasting and receiving station. When empowered by a strong will, trained in concentration and illumined by intuitive recognition of the unity of Life, the mind of man becomes an exceedingly potent instrument.

When human thought is strongly directed towards a particular Order of angels, a mental signal is dispatched towards members of that Order, who unfailingly receive it. If the sender has attained to a certain universality of consciousness and his motive is, in consequence, en­tirely selfless, then the angels will respond. Man may then direct his thought-force into the chosen field of work and be assured of angelic co-operation.

This combined activity may consist of such ministra­tions to others as spiritual healing, inspiring, protecting and giving aid in overcoming weaknesses of character. Collaboration may also be sought in order to achieve needed inspiration in the execution of altruistic work; for angels can be powerful allies in such ministration. They can do two things to help. They can both open up the channels of inspiration between man’s higher consciousness and his brain, and telepathically convey a train of illuminating ideas to receptive minds.

Angelic Healing and Guardianship

Suppose for a moment that such co-operation became conscious. Think what it would mean if, by training and self-development, one could invoke angelic aid for the gaining of inspiration, the guarding of those in danger and the healing of the sick! Can this be regarded as an immediately practicable possibility? Very definite­ly so, I suggest. The veil between the visible and the invisible aspects of Nature is at this time gradually growing thinner. More and more people are becoming aware of the presence of invisible Intelligences, as I have found in some thirty years of almost continuous world travel. Many people are invoking and receiving angelic aid, not only by the familiar methods of Church wor­ship, but also in their own private lives. When our moral sense has become more highly developed, when we have overcome our tendency to use every new dis­covery for destructive as well as constructive purposes, and when we can be trusted with greater power—then, I firmly believe, the day may return when once more angels will walk with men.





Supersensory Powers used by Seers of Old

Throughout all ages, it is said, there have been aspiring men and women who have sought to solve the mysteries of life and death. There have also been illumined men and women who, having solved those mysteries, have given their solutions to carefully selected disciples. These disciples, in their turn, have delivered a portion of this knowledge to the world. In the East this wisdom is called Brahma Vidya, the wisdom of Brahma or God. Some Greek philosophers called this knowledge Theosophia, Divine Wisdom. Others called it the Gnosis, meaning directly perceived spiritual knowledge. Those who achieved such first-hand realisation of truth were known in those olden days as Theosophists and Gnos­tics, or knowers. Nowadays the Eternal Wisdom is called Theosophy, and sometimes the Ancient Wisdom.

The Ancient Mysteries

At first these teachings were secret, veiled, both for their preservation and for their protection from profa­nation and misuse by discordant elements of Society.[35]

Later some of them came to be taught openly though direct experience and realisation of them remained an interior and incommunicable secret, an esotericism which can be personally realised but never fully con­veyed as experience to others. The inmost truths can only be perceived and known direct, and the way to this discovery is also taught in Theosophy. It consists in the main of self-purification and of regular meditation upon sublime and eternal truths, such as the unity of the spirit of man with the Spirit of the whole universe, which is God.

Let us now seek to pass behind the veil of the Sanc­tuaries of old, there to see in outline some of the teach­ings concerning man—the very knowledge once secretly taught in the closely guarded Temples of the Ancient Mysteries. At once we find that the teachings of Theo­sophy are in no sense new. Indeed, some of them are also to be found at the heart of the great World Faiths, as a group of central doctrines common to them all. As we study these fundamental ideas, the solution of at least six basic human problems will naturally emerge. They are:

1.      Death and the preservation of human identity and consciousness after death.

2.      The purpose and meaning of life.

3.      The ultimate destiny of man.

4.      Time and opportunity in which to fulfil that des­tiny, to work, to grow and to reach the goal.

5.      Justice in human life, especially in the inequalities of opportunities, pleasures and pains.

6.      The attainment of well-being, contentment, self-healing and the fulfilment of life.

The True Nature of Man

What, then, was taught in the Ancient Mysteries? In a phrase—a practical philosophy of life. The central teaching concerned the nature and destiny of man. What, then, is man? The Ancient Sages taught that he is a threefold, immortal, Spiritual Being incarnated in four mortal, material bodies. The three parts of man’s spiritual nature are reproductions or reflections in him of the Will, the Wisdom and the Intelligence of the Supreme Deity. The pertinent teaching concerning both the Deity and man is that they are threefold. ‘God the Trinity reproduces Himself[36] as the threefold Spirit­ual Self or Soul of every man. Man is made in God’s image.

In this spiritual aspect of his nature man, sometimes called the microcosm or miniature universe, is one with the Macrocosm or great universe. That Supreme Spirit, Who is the “immortal and eternal God who for ever reigneth serene above the water floods’’, and the Spirit of man are, in very truth, one Spirit. The Deity is in no sense external to, different or separate from man. God and man are one and indivisible throughout all eternity. This is the supreme revelation taught in all Mystery Schools and in all Religions. Full realisa­tion of the unity of God-Spirit with man-Spirit bestows power upon those by whom it is attained. Passage through the successive grades of the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries [37], as they were called, brought the Initiate to a gradually deepening realisation of this truth of truths—the unity of man with God—ultimately be­stowing upon him, as an Initiate, virtual omniscience and omnipotence.

The Divine Powers Locked up in Man

In Christianity this Presence of God in man is des­cribed as follows:

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”[38] “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as he is.”[39] “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” [40]

In Hinduism the Scriptures are replete with references to “the one Godhead hidden in all creatures, the inmost soul of all.”

In the Bhagavad Gita one reads:

“The self, harmonised by yoga, seeth the Self abid­ing in all beings, all beings in the Self; everywhere he seeth the same.” (VI, 29)

“He who seeth Me everywhere, and seeth every­thing in Me, of him will I never lose hold, and he shall never lose hold of Me.” (VI, 30)

“The same am I to all beings; there is none hateful to me nor dear. They verily who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me, and I also in them.” (IX, 29)

“I, O Gudakesha, am the SELF, seated in the heart of all beings; I am the beginning, the middle, and also the end of all beings.” (X, 20)

“Unseen He sees, unheard He hears, unthought of He thinks, unknown He knows. None other than He is the Seer, none other than He is the Hearer, none other than He is the Thinker, none other than He is the Knower. He is the Self, the Inner Ruler Immortal. That which is other perishes.” (Brhadaranycka Upanisad III, vii. 23)

The God Within

A modern poetess has echoed this idea:

“Hurl thou thy cry’gainst heaven’s gate God must admit thee, soon or late.

Thy passport? Saints could ask no more—

His image at thy very core!”

(Angela Morgan)

This is indeed a supremely important idea; for when the individual fully realise his unity with the Cosmic Deity, then the power of the Cosmos is at his disposal.

The distinction between the Logos of a universe and the Deity in man lies not in their location or in their essential nature, but only in the degree in which their triune powers are made manifest. In God these are fully manifested. In man they are expressed in a grad­ually increasing degree of fulness as his evolution pro­ceeds. Ultimately they will be fully made manifest in man as they are now in the Deity. Thus man is indeed a pilgrim God, a God in-the-becoming. This, the an­cient Sages taught, is the destiny of man: fully to make manifest his inherent divine powers. In the words of Our Lord: “Ye shall be perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” [41]

There is no Death

In this divine aspect of his nature man is immune from death. The solution given of the problem of death is that the essential man is immortal and only the body dies. Individuality, capacities, character, interests, memories and affections persist after bodily death. All the faculties attained by man during earthly life are permanent powers of the threefold Inner Self. Neither the Spiritual Soul nor a single one of its inherent and developed powers can ever be lost. Such, in part, is the threefold Spiritual Self of man which is immortal.

The Mortal Man

The outer, personal, mortal nature of man is four­fold. Man’s four material bodies in the order of their

increasing density, beginning at the most tenuous, are: his mental body composed of mental material, mind stuff, his vehicle of thought; his emotional (astral) body composed of emotional material, his vehicle of feeling; his vital or etheric body composed of etheric substance, the conserving principle of his physical vital forces and the link between the superphysical and physical bodies; his physical body composed of physical, solid, liquid and gaseous material, his vehicle of action and self- expression in the physical world. These four bodies are mortal, being subject to death and disintegration.

The Mystic Union

When conscious solely in this fourfold material and mortal aspect of himself, man is temporarily uncon­scious of both his divine nature and his unity with God. As his evolution proceeds, however, he gradually redis­covers this lost knowledge of oneness with the Deity and, through That, with all that lives. This rediscovery of his own divinity and unity with God is the immediate object of all spiritual endeavours, of all practices in Raja Yoga (the royal road to union) and of passage through the grades of the Greater Mysteries. Especially is it the goal of all who seek the way of mystical illu­mination, of direct discovery of truth. The Lord Christ said: “I am in my Father and He in me” and “I and my Father are one.” A poet said: “All are parts of one stupendous whole.” Oneness is verily the supreme truth, and realisation of it the highest possible illumina­tion. The salvation of man, following the so-called “Fall”, is an ascent into full experience of this fact of his oneness with God, which means ascension into conscious union with the One Supreme Deity.

The Purpose of Life

Why is the human Spirit incarnate in a physical body? The purpose of man’s existence is spiritual evolution and this is a dual process. It consists on the one hand of the gradual unfoldment from latency to full potency of man’s threefold spiritual attributes—his individuality. On the other hand, man’s progress consists of the evo­lution of his four material vehicles—the mortal per­sonality—to a condition in which they perfectly make manifest his spiritual attributes. The true and especial purpose of religion is to help man toward this attain­ment.

The Immortal Germ

The Spiritual Self of man is like a seed. It is planted or “born” on earth it puts forth shoots, stems, leaves and it eventually flowers. It is, so to say, strengthened by the winds of adversity, purified and refined by the rain of sorrow and beautified and expanded by the sunshine of happiness and love. Eventually man reaches the fully flowered state. Indeed, all power is seedlike or inherent in man from the begin­ning and the experiences of life bring about its germi­nation and development. All experience is valuable, therefore, whether immediately fruitful or apparently fruitless. Even if we appear to be wasting time and losing opportunities, silently the seed is developing. Thus, life is educative in the true meaning of the word. Naturally, the more wisely we live and the more fully we grasp our opportunities, the more rapid our evolu­tionary progress will be.

These two processes of inner and outer development are parallel. Inner unfoldment of supersensory powers and faculty is accompanied by the evolution of the outer bodies, so that they become a more perfect temple of the inner God. This is the solution of the problem’ of the purpose of life, which is lofty and glorious in the extreme. Here the ancient teaching becomes immedi­ately and physically practical; for once this all -important knowledge is gained, of the purpose of life, the destiny of man, the intelligent man co-operates and thereby finds happiness.

Perfected Manhood

What is that destiny? The goal of human evolution is the standard of perfection described in Christianity as “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” [42] This implies the attainment of a divine state of omni­potence or perfected and resistless will, of omnipresence or perfected and all-embracing love, of omniscience or perfected and all-inclusive knowledge. The attainment of this perfection is absolutely certain for every man. The command, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”, will be literally obeyed by the Spiritual Self of all human beings. There are no lost Spiritual Souls. Man is eternal and indestruct­ible. Moreover, there is nothing to be saved from ex­cept the defects of our own characters, the transgressions to which they lead us and the educative adversities which follow under the law of cause and effect, for God is eternally beneficent. Theosophy repeats the Ancient Mystery teaching that “all His sons will one day reach His feet, however far they stray.”



The Limitless Powers of Man

When one is speaking of the perfection of humanity and of the existence of perfect men or, as St. Paul put it, “the just men made perfect”, one is speaking only in a relative sense. Evolution is a continuous process and there are always heights ahead. The evolution of man to ever greater and greater heights is the purpose of his existence, the “one far-off divine event, to which the whole creation moves.”[43] Since the Spiritual Self of man is a God in-the-becoming, his future splendour, wisdom and power are entirely without limit. This is the theosophical solution of the problem of the ultimate destiny of man for this epoch.

Earth’s Adepts

Theosophy now draws attention to a further great idea, which is that the goal of human perfection has already been reached by certain advanced men. Such perfected men are known as World Saviours, Rishis, Mahatmas, Adepts, Masters of the Wisdom. These superhuman Beings are organised into a great Adept Fraternity, sometimes called the Occult Hierarchy and the Inner Government of the World. They are regard­ed as the true spiritual Teachers and Inspirers of man­kind. They are the august body of “just men made perfect”, the “Communion of the Saints”, the “Great White Brotherhood of the Adepts”. They are no vague tenets to the well instructed student of the Ancient Wis­dom. For him the Communion of Saints is a living truth, and the Masters are living Supermen with Whom a man may enter into direct relationship and in Whose life of service to the Divine Will he may begin to share, eventually climbing to the height upon which They stand. They are the Hierophants and High Initiates of the Sanctuaries of the Greater Mysteries, and the solu­tions of life’s problems as offered in the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom were discovered and given to the world by Them. Any sincere and capable servant of the Race can receive and deliver this teaching to his fellow men.

Successive Earthly Lives

How is this state of perfected manhood attained? The goal of human perfection is reached by means of suc­cessive incarnations in material bodies or vehicles, newly formed during the pre-natal period of each succeeding life. Here we meet the doctrine of rebirth, which needs to be studied in detail and is not my special subject in this broadcast.[44] 1 may say here, however, that reincar­nation is the one and only logical solution to the prob­lems of life, especially those of time and opportunity in which to attain perfection and of justice in human life. The last of these is especially important, for without re­incarnation life is utterly unjust, is indeed a hopeless riddle which defies solution. With reincarnation a flood of light is shed on human life and we see it in its incep­tion and its evolution, and perhaps catch a vision of its goal.

Successive lives alone make attainment of the goal of perfection possible; for, as I have said, the multifarious experiences of these repeated incarnations are designed to draw out the latent powers of the evolving God which is man; every experience has its value in terms of an increase of power, wisdom and knowledge. At the near approach to perfection, however, rebirth is no longer a necessity. All further progress can be achieved in the superphysical worlds. ‘Thus, in the New Testament we read:

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out.” [45]

Cause and Effect as Man’s Teacher

The next theosophical thought especially concerns justice for man on earth. All human incarnations are connected with each other by the operation of the law of cause and effect, or readjustment. All actions, feelings and thoughts produce their own natural and perfectly appropriate reactions. These may follow their causative actions immediately, later in the same life, or in succeeding incarnations. This law is referred to in the text: “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” [46] The Sanskrit word karma is used to desig­nate the operation of this eternal, impersonal, immutable law. Karma works like this: actions motived by love, service and unselfishness produce a pleasure and a growing freedom of self-expression, which encourage the actor to repeat them. Actions motived by dislike, greed, selfishness and cruelty produce a pain and an increasing limitation of self-expression, which discourage the actor from repeating them. Moreover, the intensity of the pleasure or the pain is governed by the degree in which the unselfish or selfish motives find expression in action.

From this point of view suffering is not a retribution imposed by the Deity, a punishment inflicted from above. Neither is it an accidental adversity. All pain is self-inflicted and, moreover, is designed to apprise the actor of his transgression. Suffering, cruel and unjust though it often seems to be, is in fact just, beneficent and educative in its ultimate purpose and effect. This is the solution of the problem of justice for man, especially with regard to suffering and disease.

The Mastery of Circumstance

The principle of the modification of karma, or the law of cause and effect, by means of intervening actions performed before causes have had time to produce their full effects, must be added to the enunciation of the law of karma. Whatever one’s actions in the past—good or bad in varying degrees—their reactions are not to be regarded as an irretrievable fate or as a dead weight from which there is no relief. By their subsequent ac­tions, both individuals and Nations are constantly modi­fying the operation of the law upon themselves. Thus, neither individuals nor Nations are paralysed by their past actions. Everything is not irretrievably fated, how­ever good or bad the past. Man can master circum­stances and make of each experience an opportunity for a fresh beginning, however heavily the past may weigh upon him.

Two examples of the operation of the principle of the modification of adverse karma by beneficent deeds, con­sist of Britain’s abolition of the slave trade and her enactment of the Statute of Westminster, which set her Dominions free. The large part she took in the slave trade must have contributed under karmic law to her adversities, but the fact that she later found her con­science and abolished the trade, with compensation to the slave owners, must have modified the karmic effects of the practice of slavery and brought great national advantages under the law of cause and effect. Britain did net lose her Dominions by setting them free. On the contrary, she bound them more closely to her in loyalty and affection for the Crown and in unfailing readiness to render protection and support.

The Way to Freedom

This is a very important idea— that we can pass from the grip of the law by learning to work with it. For the savage and the criminal, civil law is an enemy be­cause it restrains them, restricting the expression of savage and criminal tendencies. For the civilised man, however, the self-same law is an assurance of security; it is not an enemy but a friend, not a restrictive agency but a preserver of liberty. The same applies to the universal law of cause and effect. To selfish, lawless and cruel people it brings retribution, nemesis, a reac­tion appropriate to the pain-producing action. On the other hand, under this self-same, causative law those who live by love, helpfulness and service generate health, happiness and freedom.

The Riches of the Soul

The Spiritual Self, incarnated in its mortal personal­ity, is continually aware of the operation of this edu­cative law and gradually acquires knowledge, wisdom, power and character development as a result. The Lord Buddha enunciated this truth by saying that “the law moves to righteousness”. This is very important because the knowledge acquired from life’s experiences, the wisdom, the power, the character and the capacity wrested from life, constitute man’s only true and eternal riches. They are the

“treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” [47]

Kipling said truly:

“A man may be festooned with the whole haber­dashery of success and go to his grave a castaway.”

Ruskin also pointed to reality in his words:

“There is no wealth but life, including all its powers of love, of joy, of admiration.”

The action of this law of readjustment constitutes the only external control or judgment to which man is ever subjected. Man makes his own destiny by his own ac­tions, and within this law is absolutely and uncondition­ally free. This is the key to the problem of free will. Man is spiritually free. Any controlling predestination is produced by himself alone. He is subject to no ex­ternal, spiritual authority or power whatever. All reli­gion which is based on the fear of or desire to gain favours from an external God is false. Within every man is his own all-sufficient, divine power, wisdom and light. Through this Presence of the Divine within him­self, man can consciously reach the Divine in all.

Let me sum up this group of theosophical ideas as I close. Perfection is the assured goal of every human being. Successive lives on earth provide the necessary time and opportunity. The law of cause and effect en­sures perfect justice to every human being.



From Man to Superman

Has human life a long-term purpose? Despite the ap­parent chaos of the events of this Twentieth Century, is human existence planned and ordered? Furthermore, is there justice for us all or are we at the mercy of pure chance? These are very important questions. As the preceding broadcasts have shown, Theosophy answers quite definitely that life has a sublime purpose and that justice rules our lives. Theosophy teaches that the pur­pose of human existence is the attainment of the stature of the perfect man, and that everything that happens to us is helping towards that attainment. St. Paul des­cribed this destiny of human perfection in the following words:

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”[48]

How is this Christhood or Christlikeness achiev­ed? By means of successive lives on earth; by the process of reincarnation, or rebirth. We have all lived many times before. After a sufficient number of earth­ly lives man eventually comes, as St. Paul put it, “unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”

Theosophy adds to this teaching of the attainment of perfection by successive lives on earth that the strictest justice is ensured to every human being by the operation of the law of cause and effect, action and reaction, or sowing and reaping. St. Paul also described this law in his words:

“God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” [49]

This does not always seem to be so; for reactions do not necessarily occur in the same life in which the actions are performed. Effects do not always follow in the same life in which the causes are generated; they may appear later on, in another incarnation. But when­ever the reactions or the effects are experienced, they are always strictly just; for, as our Lord said:

“Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” [50]


Theosophy, however, makes a very important further statement, teaching that we can pass from the grip of the law of cause and effect by learning to work with it. There is a process of spiritual alchemy by means- of which adversity resulting from actions motived by selfish­ness can be diminished, or even dispersed, by the deli­berate exertion of energies and the enactment of deeds motived by love. Love is the true philosopher’s stone and service the alchemical process by which the baser human qualities and the pains of adversity may be transmuted into the fine gold of spiritual power.

Love, The Philosopher’s Stone

A magnificent example of selfless service, born of love of their fellow men, was given by four Chaplains on board a U.S. troopship during the second World War. Let me tell the story:

Early one February morning in 1943, the U.S. troop transport Dorchester was wallowing through icy seas off Greenland. Most of the 900 troops on board were asleep in their bunks. Suddenly a torpedo smashed into the Dorchester’s thin flank. Frantically pounding up the ladders, the troops milled in con­fusion on the unfamiliar decks.

In those dark moments of panic the coolest men aboard were four U.S. Army Chaplains—1st. Lieuts. Clark V. Poling (Reformed Church in America), Alexander D. Goode (Jewish), John P. Washington (Catholic) and George L. Fox (Methodist). The four Chaplains led the men to boxes of life jackets, pass­ing them out to the soldiers with boat-drill precision. When the boxes were empty, the four Chaplains quietly slipped off their own precious life preservers, put them on four young G. I.s and told them to jump.

The Dorchester went down 25 minutes later in a rumble of steam. Some 600 men were lost, but the heroic Chaplains had helped save over 200. The last anyone saw of them, they were standing on the slanting deck, their arms linked, in prayer. Presi­dent Truman went up to Philadelphia to speak at the opening of a $3,000,000 All-Faiths Chapel dedi­cated to their memory. The President was escorted by Dr. Daniel A. Poling, Chaplain of the Chapel and father of one of the heroic four. His voice echoing through the limestone archways, Harry Truman spoke with unconcealed emotion: “Those four Chaplains obeyed the Divine Commandment that men should love one another.... This is an old faith in our country. It is shared by all our churches and all cur denominations.... The unity of our country comes from this fact.”

The Path of Swift Unfoldment

By such deeds the process of transmuting the imper­fections of human nature into their opposite perfections may be deliberately applied to increase the speed of human evolution. The goal of perfection, which awaits all men in the far distant future, can in this way be at­tained in a relatively short space of time. This possi­bility of deliberately hastening one’s evolution is thought by some scholars to crown the whole structure of the Ancient Wisdom. All great Teachers have drawn at­tention to this spiritual mode of life. They have also accepted and trained disciples to tread “this way of holi­ness” of Isaiah,[51] the Strait Gate and Narrow Way of Christianity,[52] the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism and the Razor-Edged Path of Hinduism.

Intuitive Perception

When followed steadfastly this Path leads to the de­velopment of many wonderful supersensory powers, including the faculty known as intuition. What exactly is meant by intuition? Let us look at it rather closely, for it is already showing itself in many people. Intuition is variously defined as the immediate and complete cog­nition of any object or truth and as direct perception of truth without reasoning, meaning that ideas arise in one’s mind without the usual process of thought, and often quite suddenly. The solution of some problem with which one has been preoccupied may dawn upon the mind either during an experiment or after it has been laid aside, and this supramental power of cognition is defined as intuition.

The strange faculty of dowsing, or divining, also ap­pears to be associated with the intuition. Some people possess it naturally but dowsing powers can be develop­ed so that the body becomes a super-sensitive receiving instrument. Muscular reflexes then move the twig or pen­dulum in a natural response to electro-magnetic effects produced by surrounding forces, as from water, metals and ore. By long practice and the use of certain devices, the dowser can learn to differentiate between one object and another—between water and metals, for example— and to acquire information concerning their location.

The theosophical view of this strange, supersensory faculty of intuition is that it arises from within man’s highest nature, from a vehicle or body of spiritual wis­dom. This vehicle and power of intuition is now under­going a development which will render it increasingly effective as an instrument of cognition and research. Ultimately the slow process of physical observation and classification, mental analysis, deduction and induction will no longer be necessary for the attainment of knowl­edge; for those in whom intuition is sufficiently devel­oped will be endowed with an implicit insight into first causes and an instantaneous perception of first truths. This is one of the powers developed as one treads the Narrow Way and, as I have said, this spiritual mode of life leads to discipleship under an Adept Teacher, and then onwards to the stature of a perfect man.

The Sermon on the Mount, the teachings of the Lord Buddha and the sublime philosophy of such Hindu Scriptures as the Bhagavad Gita, or the Lord’s Song, and Viveka Chudamani, or the Crest Jewel of Wisdom, define the mental attitude and the conduct necessary for this swift attainment of the goal of human life.

The Noble Eightfold Path

Let me close with a description of this ancient way given by the Lord Buddha some two thousand five hundred years ago, and called the Noble Eightfold Path: Right Belief, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Means of Livelihood, Right Exertion, Right Remembrance, Right Meditation. Summed up, this means: To cease from sin, to acquire virtue, to purify the heart and to serve the world. Theosophy teaches that this Path is open today as of old, and can be found and trodden by means of self-purification and selfless service to the world. It is the true pathway to health, happiness, perfection and eternal peace. Let me repeat the Lord Buddha’s words:

To cease from sin, to be virtuous, to purify the heart and to serve the world.



The Nature and Destiny of Man

What is the purpose of human existence? Why are we here on earth as human beings? Whence have we come? Whither are we going and how will we get there? The literature of very ancient peoples, which has been pre­served, indicates that these great questions have absorb­ed the attention of the human mind from the remotest ages. All of them are fully and satisfactorily answered by Theosophy.

Let me state these answers clearly and briefly. Man is defined theosophically as that being in whom highest Spirit and lowest matter are united by intellect. Highest Spirit means the Dweller in the Innermost, the Divine Spark within man, the “Immortal Germ Lowest matter refers to his physical body and nature, whilst the uniting principle of intellect refers to his mind and mental powers. The essential human unit of existence, the Innermost human Spirit, the Monad, becomes manifested first as an Inner Immortal Self or human Ego and second, during successive lives on earth, as an outer mortal personality in bodily form, the man down here in the physical world.

Mail’s full Powers and their Attainment

What is the purpose of this dual manifestation of the Monad as Immortal Ego and mortal man? Theosophy answers in a word—”evolution The Inner Self of man gains experience, knowledge and evolutionary pro­gress through the activities and the reaction to life of the outer man. By that means, and partly by an inte­rior unfoldment, the Innermost Self, the God in man, perpetually unfolds and develops its germinal powers. This process is perpetual, uninterrupted, the Inner Self being immune from death. The outer, physical form of man is, on the other hand, only a temporary creation. It is born and develops to full bodily maturity, after which it begins to decline and eventually dies, disinte­grates, and reappears no more. The faculties and capacities developed by this outer self are, however, perpetually preserved in the Spiritual Soul, there being but one consciousness and life in them both—that of the Monad.

Thus we learn from Theosophy that the immediate objective of human existence is the development of faculty, whilst the long-term objective is all-round genius or the development to the highest degree by the Inner Self of all possible human capacity. This attainment is termed Adeptship and is the goal of human existence.

God and Man are One in Essence

Now our next step in thought. The human Spirit, which I have called the Innermost Self, the Monad, is a frag­ment of Divinity, a concentration of Universal Spirit, with which in origin, nature, substance and potentiality it is identical. The Innermost Self of man is, indeed, as a spark within a flame, a microcosm within the Macro­cosm. This is the highest truth concerning ourselves as men. “We are but broken lights of Thee”, as Tenny­son said.[53] The full realisation in consciousness of this truth of truths—oneness with God—is man’s greatest possible illumination. It is only fully attained, how­ever, when the purpose for human existence is fulfilled when human nature is perfected.

The full realisation begins to be foreshadowed long before Adeptship is attained. Supersensory powers awaken and bring flashes of realisation of the unity of all Life and of all beings, but it is only on the attain­ment of Adeptship or perfection that the identity of the Innermost Self of man with the Innermost Self of the universe is fully realised. Individuality is then dissolved; for the Perfected Man abides in perpetual consciousness of identity with God or Universal Spirit. This is the goal. This is Nirvana, as the Buddhists say; salvation —from the illusion of separated individuality—accord­ing to Christianity; the highest human attainment and the spiritual “purpose” of existence.


How is perfection reached by man? How is Nirvana attained and salvation achieved? By two means—in­terior unfoldment and external experience. Interior unfoldment is continuous, physical experience is intermittent. Repeated physical rebirth, or reincar­nation, provides the time, the opportunity and the external experience which contribute to the continuous spiritual unfoldment.

The next and very important step in thought is this: the cosmic law by which dynamic equilibrium is per­petually preserved operates upon man as a harmonising, compensatory agency. He experiences it as cause and effect, every thought, feeling, word and deed producing its own exactly appropriate reaction, thereby ensuring absolute justice to every human being. Merciful, kind­ly and controlled actions and the right use of the phy­sical body conduce to health and happiness, whilst their opposites inevitably bring sorrow and pain. All human experiences, conditions, successes and failures are de­cided by the preceding actions of those who pass through them. This law of compensation is impersonal in its action, inevadable, immutable, and therefore wholly to be trusted. Man can build upon it and it will never fail him. The places and conditions in which individuals and Races are born, for example, as well as those later entered, are exactly the “right” places and conditions for those people. Only in them can justice be done, and the experience required for the attainment of Adept ship be obtained.

The Adept Brotherhood

Theosophy now carries the great story of man still further. Here is the next thought and it brings us to our subject. Some men and women have already attained to the stature of the perfect man, the state of Adeptship. Certain of these Adepts remain physically upon our Earth as Members of a highly organised Fra­ternity of Superhuman Agents of the purposes and laws of life, and as Directors of planetary evolution. Is it possible to discover these great Beings? Yes, for in Their compassion for humanity some of these Sages accept individual men and women for training in the mode of life and thought which increases the rate of evolutionary progress, and which is called the Path of Swift Unfoldment or, in Christianity, the Strait Gate and the Narrow Way.

These Adepts Who teach and train pupils are known as Masters. They can be successfully approached by those who fulfil the necessary conditions and apply for admission to Their Presence in the appointed way. These conditions and the method of application are fully described in ancient, medieval and modem theosophical literature. This guidance, and the teachings of Theosophy concerning man which I have outlined, have been delivered to mankind by its evolutionary Seniors, the planetary Adepts and Their disciples.

Four Fundamental Truths

Three laws and an ethical ideal may be added to them. Those laws are: increase follows renunciation of personal acquisition; decrease follows the adoption of the motive of personal acquisition; enduring happiness is only attainable by merging personal interests and as­pirations in those of other individuals, groups, Nations, Races, and in creation as a whole, for wisely directed service alone ensures lasting happiness. The fulfilment of duty is the highest ethical ideal, as also the greatest assurance of rapid progress to Adeptship.

The Proof

Is it possible to test and prove, or disprove, these very wonderful teachings? Yes, it is, but what is the final test of truth? It is, I suggest, twofold, consisting of direct superphysical observation by means of super- sensory powers on the one hand, and the experimental application of the ideas to physical life on the other. Just as the student of Geography first takes information from teachers, books, maps and photographs, both still and moving, but must visit the place studied for full knowledge, so also the student of Theosophy, after con­tacting, comprehending and applying its teachings to life, must add direct perception and experience of them in order to become a knower.

So, you see, the successful student of Theosophy passes through successive phases of discovery, examina­tion, test by reason, application to life and, finally in­vestigation by superphysical observation leading to direct knowledge of its teachings. This last phase— direct observation—is the most prized and students of Theosophy, whether in Mystery Schools, occult com­munities or in the outer world, are ever advised to seek that inner perception, that individual experience and comprehension and those supersensory and spiritual powers by which alone Truth may be known.

Occult Development

How is this to be done? Theosophical teaching, an­cient and modern, is replete with guidance in the devel­opment of the requisite powers and faculties for the direct investigation of metaphysical and spiritual ideas. Theosophy thus proves to be a complete, scientific phi­losophy of life and also provides a satisfying religious ideal, doctrine and practice. Read the theosophical literature on the subject, therefore, especially Clair­voyance by C. W. Leadbeater and An Introduction to Yoga by A. Besant.

Now a question. Can man either delay or hasten the process of the development of supersensory powers and the attainment of perfection? Has he any freedom in these matters? Both questions are answered in the affirmative. Quite definitely, man can both speed up and slew down his evolution, for man differs from the rest of physical nature. He is a self-conscious being, He can direct the operation in himself of that which in the sub-human kingdoms is automatic. Man can delay or hasten the process of attaining perfection. Deliber­ate hastening accurately describes the treading of the Path of Swift Unfoldment. For many lives man does not realise the purpose of his existence. The potential perfect man within him is not awake. He cannot re­spond to the ideal of the Path to Perfection. The idea of hastening does not occur to him. He drifts.

The time arrives in human evolution, however, when the thrust of Spirit, the call and the pressure of the awakened Monad-Ego, so affect the personal man that he experiences both dissatisfaction with existing limita­tions and aspiration to attain to peaks of high achieve­ment. Slowness of progress and paucity of attainment disturb the awakened man. Ego-impelled, he then determines to travel swiftly, to achieve mightily, to know truth direct, to conquer self or die. This evolutionary phase is symbolised in the Christian Gospels by the ministry of John the Baptist, the wise Virgins, the men who doubled their talents, the sheep separated from the goats, and the disciples who forsook all and followed the Master in answer to His call.


Despite the pull of the past and the resistance of the world, and frequently of the family, awakened man presses on with mounting determination. He grows in vision, determination, understanding, compassion and idealism. His Soul is alight. His heart is aflame. Duty becomes his guiding star. The glory of his future Adeptship begins to illumine his present humanity. His lamp is lit. Then his Master directly intervenes. The Path of Discipleship opens before him.

Such, in part, is the teaching of Theosophy concern­ing the evolution of man, whether this be normal or deliberately quickened, and the consequent development of his supersensory powers.




I suppose that, on occasion, a great many people ex­perience a longing for the help of a wise, strong, illu­mined friend, a kind of spiritual Elder Brother, a Father in God. Can this longing for a true guide, philosopher and friend ever be fulfilled? Are discipleship, and the receipt of expert guidance in the development of super- sensory powers, possible even in modern days? Theoso­phy answers in the affirmative, teaching that certain of the Perfected Men of our planet remain in touch with ourselves, their younger brothers. These All-Wise Ones, the Elder Brethren of our pupil Race, continually inspire and protect humanity, serving as Guardians and Shepherds of Souls for the whole of mankind. When, therefore, a human being does begin to seek guidance in the pursuit of knowledge and in following a purpose­ful, intelligent mode of life, then that individual comes under the direct observation of one or other of Those whom St. Paul refers to as the “just men made perfect.” [54]

The Shepherds of Souls

Let us look more closely into this inspiring theosophical teaching concerning the hastening of human evolution, and discipleship of a Master of the Wisdom. One fundamental idea is that all human beings pursue their evolutionary pilgrimage from the One Spiritual Source, through matter and back to the Source again, along one of seven pathways. At the beginning man’s divine powers lie latent in the Dweller in the Innermost, the Monad. During the cyclic journey they germinate and develop, partly as a result of the experiences of mani­fested life. At the end they are unfolded to the highest degree possible in that particular cycle. A Superhuman Intelligence presides over each of the seven groups. Each of the Seven Rays, as these Paths are called, has its Adept Head, Who Himself has brought all its powers to perfection. A ceaseless watch over every single hu­man being is maintained by these Adepts. The Head of the Ray is the Master of each Soul on that Ray. During many lives on earth He has watched and loved the pilgrim Soul, has invisibly guided and inspired the inner man. Whenever, by virtue of evolutionary pro­gress, an individual shows signs of spiritual awakening and the recognition of duty as the governing principle of life, he begins to come under more direct Adept sur­veillance, receives Adept aid.

Meeting the Master Face to Face

In due course two important events occur, one phys­ical, the other superphysical. At the physical level, the spiritually awakened man meets occultists and joins an Occult Society, from fellow-members of which he learns of the existence of the Masters of the Wisdom and of the Path of Discipleship. At the Egoic level, during physical sleep, he is eventually drawn into the Presence of his Master. There he sees One Who em­bodies and displays all his own highest ideals of human perfection, the Adept Head of his Ray, his Master-to-be.

This experience remains forever unforgettable. The neophyte finds himself fully conscious out of his body and in the Presence of a Superhuman Being of remark­able appearance, for the Adept displays every perfection of feature and form. His countenance is stamped with the impress of spiritual power and profundity of thought. The eyes are large and alight with inner fire. Their gaze is all-penetrating. They are the eyes of an infallible seer and judge, yet are filled with friendliness, com­passion, understanding. When the Master looks at a man, He knows all He needs to know of that man’s past, present and future. Since He is a Master, and since He sees all, He comprehends all. The aspirant knows this and so is unafraid as, awe-inspired and exalt­ed, he stands in the Presence of the Master. In Him he sees power quite irresistible, wisdom all-inclusive, detachment and serenity that can never be disturbed.

The Master’s Call

The neophyte is then questioned as to his willingness to essay the “razor-edged” Path, as it is also named. He is told that, if he agrees, he will be called upon to take his further evolution into his own hands, to sub­due all earthly desire, to annihilate self-will and to undergo and endure to the end the fiery ordeals and tests inseparable from the Path of Swift Unfoldment. Successfully to tread the Path of Discipleship, he must work continually to perfect his character and, without thought of reward, selflessly serve the world as all his predecessors have done. Thus in modern days, as al­ways, the would-be disciple receives the ancient and unchanging call:

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” [55]


If he assents, as in the Presence of the Master he al­most certainly will, he is taken as a Pupil on Probation. By an occult process the Master then improves the rela­tionship between the pupil’s Monad, Ego and personal­ity, which means the establishment of active interaction between the Innermost Self, the Inner Self and the outer man. A veritable new phase of human evolution is, in consequence, entered upon. From then on the pupil increasingly directs and quickens his own progress, becomes more and more the master of his fate. A mystic name is sometimes given to him by his Master— a name expressive of his new phase of life as a disciple. The Lord Christ apparently followed this practice, for of Him we read:

“And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter: And James, the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:...” [56]

Direct spiritual and occult teaching is also received from the Master Himself, from other Adepts or from advanced disciples; for to him it is now given to know the Mysteries direct, and no longer in parables. Our Lord referred to this ancient practice also when He said to His disciples:

“Because it is given unto you to know the myste­ries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” [57]

The Aspirant is Free

Assent to the Master’s call is not, however, forced upon any neophyte. It is permissible to decline. Every aspirant is perfectly free to do so, if only temporarily, as did the rich young ruler to whom Christ pointed out the way of discipleship; for of him it is written: “he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”[58] This need not imply complete failure. The opportunity is certain to recur and one day to be accepted, whether later on in the same life or in future incarnations. Simi­larly, when the Path of Discipleship and Initiation has been embarked upon, it is regarded as permissible to arrange a respite from the strain inseparable from the process of such self-quickening and to relax the more strict observance of the rules which make for the most rapid progress. It is most important, however, that under such circumstances no marked divergence should occur from the ideals of unselfish love, reasonable purity of life, harmlessness and kindly speech. Above all, no attacks, no bitter accusations, should ever be directed against the Path itself, the Masters of the Wisdom and those who have been fellow aspirants. These things are not only ugly and hurtful in themselves, but they would generate very adverse karma in relation to occult­ism. One effect of such unwisdom could be to erect barriers and set up difficulties when, later on, entrance upon the Path is sought. When, however, a certain evolutionary stage has been reached in which the In­most Self, the Atma, is awakened and active as Spiritual Will within the outer man, “no other Path at all is there to go.” [59]

One characteristic of the Master’s Presence is that for those who receive the inexpressible privilege of admis­sion thereto, difficulties tend to disappear and problems seem easy of solution. Indeed, many of them cease to exist as problems. The power of achievement also ap­pears to be remarkably enhanced, as if henceforth all things were possible. Under this wonderful influence, the neophyte embarks upon the Path. Kneeling, he is received as pupil, blessed, inspired and linked closely to his Master. Thereafter, wherever he may be in the world, his Master can and does use him as a channel for His power and blessing, as an outpost for His consciousness and, on occasion, as a vehicle for His Presence. Our Lord revealed this to His disciples, saying:

“He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”[60]

A Fisher of Men

Work to be done is then outlined and, perhaps, some particular field of action, group of people, or even indi­viduals, are considered. Powers to be developed and necessary improvements of character are indicated. Thus the new pupil is shown his work, which is to be­come a “fisher of men”. During these experiences, as at subsequent meetings with his Master, the neophyte is lifted into a state of interior ecstasy, of indescribable, serene bliss. The labour and aspiration of many lives and the spiritual dreams of the present life are now fulfilled. He knows that the true Beloved One, Who will never fail him, has at last been found, that this Father in God has enfolded him as a son within His heart. His own heart opens as never before. He loves and reveres his Master with all the highest and holiest power of his Soul. Even amidst the greatest strain, suffering and fatigue inseparable from Probation, his love for his Master does not leave him. Allied with an awakened will, it sustains him amidst all his later trials.

The Soul’s Awakening

This whole experience is of the utmost value to the evolving Spiritual Self, the Immortal Ego of the pupil. Conscious entry upon the Path of Discipleship can put an end to doubt and wavering. The neophyte then knows beyond all question what his existence means, for what he has been created. He is an Adept in-the- making, a Master in-the-becoming, a Logos-to-be. The Monad, which is his Innermost Self, has long known of this purpose and this goal, but up to now the successive personalities have been ignorant of the purpose of life. The attainment of self-satisfaction has hitherto been the motive for living. In ignorance or in doubt of the only true purpose of life, the only noble aspiration, the earth­ly man has lived for self and the pleasure of the day. Now, at last, he is awake! Now, at last, he knows, for in his Master he has seen One Who has fulfilled life’s purpose for mankind, One Who has reached life’s goal, the end of all human journeyings. One dominating purpose now absorbs the interest of the pupil. His will is set to one achievement, which is to be like his Master, to become perfect as He has become perfect, and es­pecially to attain to a perfection of the power to help and heal his brother men.

This, then, is the answer to the question which I put at the beginning. Yes, it is possible, even amidst the worldly duties and pressing necessities of our modern way of living, to find one’s Master and to be received and to serve as His disciple.





The Language of Symbols

In presenting certain ideas concerning the interpretation of our Scriptures, I wish to make clear that I have no desire to weaken the faith of any Christian in the literal reading of the Bible, with all its beauty, consolation and inspiration. On the contrary, my hope is that such faith may be strengthened by a deepening understanding of the hidden wisdom contained in many Books of the Bible.

The Scriptures have been regarded by some Biblical scholars as belonging to a special category of literature, sometimes called the Sacred Language. The distin­guishing characteristic of this kind of writing is that, whilst its narratives have some historical basis, the language itself is largely, but not entirely, allegorical; it is constructed of symbols and allegories containing pro­found spiritual and occult truths. This language is also referred to as the Mystery Language, and is said to have been invented by Initiates of the Ancient Mysteries in order both to reveal to those who could be helped, and to conceal from those who could not, spiritual knowl­edge and the power which its possession bestows.

The Reason for Secrecy

The necessity for this reservation becomes fairly clear if we consider the use to which modern man puts scienti­fic discoveries, one example being the destructive use in atomic bombs of the energy derived from nuclear fission. Whilst recognising that their knowledge belongs to the Race, ancient seers and prophets saw that if placed in general hands, and particularly in the hands of disruptive elements in society, such knowledge could be extremely dangerous. They therefore constructed the language in which the inspired Scriptures and myths of the world have been written. Thus, whilst founded in general upon historical events, the world’s Scriptures have also under-meanings, a double, a triple, and even a sevenfold significance.

Our Lord made use of this language when talking to the multitude, which He addressed in parables, but to His disciples He said:

“Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.” [61]

Let us, then, look at some of the well-known Biblical stories from this point of view and see if valuable light and truth can thereby be discovered.

Flesh, Blood, Eating, Drinking

An example of a vivid use of the symbolical language is given in the Sixth Chapter of St. John, verses 53 and 54, where Jesus says:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.”

Quite clearly Our Lord is here making use of the words “blood”, “flesh”, “drinking” and “eating” in an alle­gorical sense. One interpretation is that the blood of God, or Christ, is the ever-outpoured Divine Life by which the universe is sustained and without which it cannot live. When man becomes aware of this universal Life in all beings and consciously identifies himself with it, in the symbolical language he is said to “drink” it. Similarly the “flesh” of Christ has been interpreted as spiritual knowledge, or Divine Truth. When the human intellect becomes illumined with Divine Knowledge, inspired by interior revelation, this is called “eating of Christ’s flesh”; and indeed it does bring a realisation of im­mortality, or “eternal life” as Our Lord said.

The Storm on Galilee

The story of the stilling of the tempest is another ex­ample of an inspired allegory. The ship is looked upon as a symbol of the body of man, which conveys the Soul with its various attributes over the waters of life. The disciples are regarded as personifications of human qualities and tendencies, such as the impulsiveness of Peter, the business capacities of St. Matthew and the deep love of St. John, the only disciple who was present both in the courtroom and at the foot of the Cross. Judas, who betrayed his Master, is also repre­sented in each one of us as the tendency to fall below, and even betray, the highest for material gain. Happily the Divine Presence also exists in each one of us, even if asleep for a time, just as Our Lord slept when the voyage began. A great storm arose, however, and in their anxiety the disciples awoke the sleeping Passenger, the Lord Christ. He, in His majesty and might, then stilled by a word the raging tempest. When we human beings are threatened by emotional stress, by gusts of passion, anger and hatred, or by the cravings of sensual desire, which threaten the success and even the safety of our lives, we, too, are advised to awaken the Divine Power sleeping within us and call upon its aid. Thus exalted and empowered, we shall find ourselves able to say to the storms within us “Peace, be still”, and with certainty of obedience.

The importance of the storms of life is also indicated in this wonderful story, for had it not been for the tem­pest on Galilee the Christ might not have been awakened. The same applies to the struggles, and stresses in our lives. These experiences can be the means of awaken­ing our higher, more spiritual powers.

The Hem of his Garment

The story of the woman healed of hitherto incurable sickness, after suffering for twelve years. is also susceptible of a symbolical interpretation. A deep faith awoke in this woman that if she set forth in search of the great Teacher, Who was in her district, she would be healed. Despite her weakness she found Him, but was unable to come near on account of the “press” of people behind. Her faith was great, however. She stretched forth her hand and touched, not His person but the hem of His garment, and Straightway she was whole.[62]

If this story be interpreted as an allegory applicable to us all, as well as a historical fact recorded in a special manner, we who are spiritually imperfect—and therefore sick—will also become whole if in our turn we but seek, discover and touch the fringe of the consciousness of the Divine, the Christ Presence within us, the “Christ in you” [63] referred to by St. Paul. “The press (of people) behind” is said to symbolise all the un-Christlike attri­butes of mankind, the impurity, the cruelty, the unkind­ness, the selfishness and the self-indulgences which come between us and our Christ nature. Eventually these must go, but in the meantime if, full of faith, we reach upwards with our aspiring thought and prayer, we may then symbolically touch the hem of Christ’s garment. Those who have achieved this will know that when once the consciousness of the Divine Self within has been experienced, floods of inspiration and healing grace descend upon Soul and body. Therefore, straightway we are whole.

Upon the Mount

The “mount” is said to be a symbol of this uplifted state of consciousness, and it will be remembered that many of the great events recorded in the Bible happened upon the mount. Elijah, for example, had been of the counsel of the Lord and a voice said: “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” [64] This may be interpreted as an exhortation to elevate the centre of human awareness towards the inner, spiritual nature of man. Then, in the story of Elijah, there came a rushing wind, symbol of disturbed emotions, and the Lord was not in the wind; next came an earthquake, symbol of purely physical consciousness, and the Lord was not in the earthquake; then came a fire, symbol of the restless and disruptive activity of a critical, analytical and prideful mind, and the Lord was not in the fire. After wind, earthquake and fire—meaning when the consciousness has been lifted above the physical, emo­tional and mental levels—there descended upon Elijah a great peace. His Soul was steeped in silence and therein “the voice of the silence” was heard, the still, small voice of the God within man.

The Pathway to the Heights

The story may now be seen as a manual of medita­tion, a description of the means whereby self-illumination may be obtained. The centre of self-awareness, personified by Elijah, must be dissociated successively from the physical body (earthquake), from the emotional body (rushing wind) and from the mind (fire), and established on those still higher levels (the mount) where­in the Spiritual Self of man perpetually abides. A pro­found stillness then descends upon the devotee and, in that quietude of heart and mind, self-identification is attained with the God-Self, the Christ nature within. Thereafter illumination, comprehension, knowledge (the still, small, inward voice), are communicated to the mind and brain of the outer man.

The Christ Indwelling

You will have noticed that in these interpretations each story is regarded as descriptive of an interior, sub­jective experience, as if all happened within the Soul of every man. St. Paul evidently took this view; for him the nativity of Christ was an interior experience and he said:

“I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.” [65]

The German mystic of the Middle Ages, Scheffler, who wrote as Angelus Silesius, put the necessity for this deep, interior experience of episodes in the life of Christ in these words:

“Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born

And not within thyself, thy soul will be forlorn, The Cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain Unless, within thyself, it be set up again.”

Such deep realisation of the Divine Presence and activity within every man brings down floods of spiritual and intellectual power. Now this power could be seriously misused to the detriment both of others and of the user. Hence the safeguard of the symbolical lan­guage, used to conceal from the profane and yet to reveal to the worthy that spiritual knowledge which is indeed a source of mighty power.

The whole Bible has been regarded by some scholars as a collection of allegories, written in the language of symbols to preserve, conceal and reveal truths which were normally taught direct only to those who were pledged pupils of Adept Teachers, just as was recorded of the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ; for He said.

“Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parable.” [66]



The Christ Life a Universal Life

In this series of broadcasts I am going to present a point of view concerning the Scriptures which, though extremely old, is quite revolutionary to us as orthodox Christians. It is that the Four Gospels do not record the history of external events in time alone. The in­spired authors of the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John also reveal eternal truths, and at the same time describe spiritual attainments, experiences and powers, sensory and supersensory, of every human being.

Thus the Gospel narrative is, in general, of threefold significance. It is the story of the life of Jesus, the Christ. It is also, as St. John informs us, the story of the universe from its beginning or “birth” to its end or “ascension”. In addition to this the Christ life is a universal life, it is your life and my life, and especially after we are spiritually awakened or, as it is said, reborn and our supersensory powers begin to be developed. The Gospels tell of the formation or “birth”, and of the evolution, both of the whole universe to relative perfection and the Soul of individual man to Christ- hood. Especially does the deathless story reveal the final stages of the Way of Holiness, treading which every man ascends through sainthood to the develop­ment of great mental and spiritual powers, culminating in perfected manhood or Adeptship.

Before I proceed to explain this point of view, I wish to make it clear that I have no desire to weaken the faith of anyone who believes in the literal reading of our Scriptures, or to complicate an essentially simple story. I wish only to offer, quite undogmatically, some possible interpretations of the narrative of the life of Christ from the three points of view, the life of Jesus the Christ, the life of a universe and the spiritual life of every one of us. Let us look at the immortal story, and more especially from that third point of view.

Three Stages of Development

Three main types of men and women are introduced into the Gospels. First, the unheeding, work-a-day people of the world, unawake to idealism and uninterest­ed in the possible existence of the superphysical worlds and the Way of Holiness. This was the contemporary population of Palestine amidst which the Lord Christ moved. Second, there were those people who were awakening to spiritual realities and beginning to hear the call of the Divine Voice within. The rich young ruler who approached the Master in search of eternal life is an example of those who are spiritually awakened, but are not yet quite ready to meet all the conditions necessary for the life of discipleship. You will remem­ber how, in answer to his first question as to how he could attain to eternal life, he was told by Our Lord to keep the Commandments. He affirmed that he had done this from his youth up. Then came the acid test. Our Lord said to him: “Sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Then follows what is surely one of the most poignant sentences in the whole of our Scriptures: “he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” [67]

We need not regard this decision as final, however, for perhaps later on in life the rich young ruler may have found himself ready to forsake the world, or rather the purely worldly motive and mode of life, and follow the great spiritual ideal. Reincarnationists would doubt­less say that, even if not in that same incarnation, the opportunity for discipleship would again present itself, and in due course be accepted.

The third type of men and women introduced into the Gospel narrative are those who were quite ready to dedicate themselves wholly to spiritual ideals. These were the awakened ones who had answered the inner call to the Higher Life and who were determined, even amidst worldly duties, to enter in at the strait gate and follow the narrow way of which Our Lord spoke, the “Way of Holiness” as Isaiah called it. These were the disciples and other immediate followers of the Lord, and it is they who afterwards transmitted part of His message to the world.

These three types—the spiritually asleep, those who are awakening, and those who are fully awake—have always existed. They exist today and you and I belong to one or other of them. For all of these people, what­ever their outlook on life, the Christ life is a perfect pattern and example. Especially for the spiritually awakened, the seeking and the aspiring ones amongst men and women, of whom there are so many today, does His life provide most perfect guidance.

“Christ in You, Your Hope of Glory”

For those who thus accept and try to live His teach­ings a very wonderful thing occurs, a kind of miracle. As so many have found, a mystery is enacted within and around them. Those who are thus awakened ex­perience within themselves the major incidents in the life of Our Lord and His disciples. The particular inter­pretation of that life which I am about to offer applies to these inner experiences, which are far more common than is generally realised. Let me explain.

Throughout all time, and right down to the present day, whenever a man or a woman sincerely and genuine­ly seeks to live according to the highest that is within the seeker, the true teacher appears. Physically, super- physically, or both, a meeting occurs between the ardent aspirant and one who has reached the summit of human evolution, a Perfected Man, an Adept, a Master of life and death. Nor only the rich young ruler, not only the disciples and immediate followers of Our Lord 2,000 years ago, but throughout all time every strong, sincere, aspiring, self-dedicated human being who ardently as­pires to do so, finds his Master’s feet. Then the mystery to which I referred begins to be enacted within him.

Discipleship, Initiation, Adeptship

The five major stages in the life of Our Lord are passed through by every aspirant to perfected manhood; for the Nativity, the Baptism, the Transfiguration, the Crucifixion and the Ascension of Christ, as recorded in the Gospels, portray by allegory and symbol the experi­ences of every human being who at any time finds the Master’s feet. Trained by Him, their supersensory powers are awakened and they are in due time presented for what is called Initiation, or occult dedication to the swift ascent of the evolutionary mount, the attainment in a relatively short space of time of the stature of a perfect man.

I am well aware that this view of the Gospel narrative as a description of events occurring within the Soul of spiritually awakened man will sound strange to some of you who hear it for the first time. Please do not hastily discard it. Let us take the five major phases of the life of Our Lord one by one, beginning with the Nativity. First we will examine the well-loved Christmas story as a description of a profound interior experience which can come to any one of us. This experience is the birth or awakening of the Christ power within the Soul of a human being.


The first Biblical symbolical references to the histor­ical birth of the Christ Child consist of the prophecies in the Old Testament of the later coming of the Messiah. These correspond to the early stirrings of spiritual power within a man or woman who has hitherto been living a normal, natural, and perhaps even rather worldly, life. After a time what has been called a divine discontent is experienced, and to that there is gradually added an in­expressible longing of the Soul for the Infinite. The voice of the conscience becomes stronger and stronger, until at last it is irresistible. Such experiences are pro­mises, as it were, prophecies or foreshadowings of the interior, mystical “birth” or awakening of the Christ powers within man to which St. Paul referred.[68] You remember his words? St. Paul wrote:

“I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”


The prophecies in the Old Testament are followed by the mission of John the Baptist, whose call to the people of his time to repent may be interpreted as the voice of the Higher Self of man, a voice which, if heeded, event­ually becomes the impelling summons of a fully awaken­ed conscience. As a result the daily life is purified of selfishness, of sensuality and of self-indulgence. Posses­siveness begins to be outgrown and service on behalf of others assumes an ever larger place in the life of the aspirant. Eventually the Inner Self rules the outer man and a spiritual mode of life amidst worldly duties is embarked upon.

The Mystical Nativity

A kind of interior Annunciation then occurs. From the very highest Self of man, the Dweller in the Inner­most, sometimes called the Monad, a mighty spiritual power descends, a veritable creative fire. This descent of power produces profound psychological and spiritual awakenings and developments. A “birth” from with­in the Soul occurs. Supersensory powers are born. New faculties are awakened and a Christlike attitude towards life is quite naturally adopted. A deepening sense of unity with God and with all beings develops, and this leads to a life of self-surrender and sacrificial love. Thereafter this new-found realisation dominates the thoughts, the motives, the words and the deeds of the outer man and his life becomes completely reformed, reorganised. Mystically he is said to be reborn, or as Our Lord said, “born again”. [69]



The Language of Symbols

This evening I continue the interpretation of the Gospel story of the Nativity of Christ. First let me remind you of the basis for these suggested interpretations. It is that the Gospels were written by men well-versed in the Wisdom of the Ages and highly skilled in what is called the Sacred Language of allegory and symbol. The pur­pose of the allegorical method of teaching and writing used by the wise men of old was to perpetuate, to con­ceal from those who might misuse it and yet reveal to all who could benefit from it, the eternal, Divine Wis­dom. In so doing the authors used actual people and the material happenings of history, as also material sub­stances and forms, as symbols of eternal and interior truths.

The story of the life of Our Lord is thus written as a great mystery-drama portraying the progress of individual men and women to perfection, whilst at the same time recording events in His life. The two are blended most skillfully and those who possess and use the keys [70] of interpretation may gain profound knowl­edge from the Scriptures and myths of ancient times.

Theosophy offers those keys to the enquiring mind, one of them being that the whole drama is enacted within each human being. Another is that all persons appear­ing in the various stories are personifications of attri­butes, qualities and weaknesses of man. A third key is that all objects introduced into the stories have their own symbolical meaning.

The Immaculate Conception

Let us now continue to apply this interesting method of Biblical study to the great stages in the life of the disciple treading the Way of Holiness, or the Path of Swift Unfoldment. The first stage was the birth of the Christ nature in the human heart, the awakening to active power of one’s divine potentialities. I have al­ready referred to the prophecies, the mission of John the Baptist, the Annunciation and the Birth as interior experiences, suggesting that John the Baptist represents the voice of the Soul, the conscience. Who, then, from this human point of view, is Mary, the immaculate Mother of Jesus? She is a personification of the Im­mortal Spiritual Soul of each one of us, the maternal matrix or womb from within which the Christ conscious­ness, or Christ “Child”, is interiorly born.

This reading of the story is borne out by the state­ment that Joseph, the husband of Mary, was not the father of Jesus, who was immaculately born of a virgin mother.[71] Many earnest Christians find this doctrine of the immaculate conception difficult to accept. The difficulty is greatly reduced, however, if the story is regarded not so much as history, but as an allegorical description of changes and developments occurring within the mind and heart of every human being.

The Christ is Born

If this interpretation proves acceptable and is applied, then the Archangel Gabriel represents the innermost Spirit in man, and the voice speaking the words of Annunciation represents the descending, spiritually creative and fructifying power, the Logos of the Soul. Mary is the Immortal Self of man in its vesture of light, rendered receptive to the power of the Spirit, and the Christ Child Who, in consequence, is born of Mary is the Christ nature within man, the newly awakened power of universal love and spiritual intuitiveness which reveals to the mind the oneness of all Life and all living things. This interior birth is, indeed, immaculate; for in this reading of the Gospel story Joseph represents the formal, logical, concrete mind of a well developed individual.[72] Valuable though this legal power of the mind can be, it cannot give birth to the intuition. By its very nature it is mentally analytical and factual. The intuition, on the other hand, brings swift realisation of underlying principles and accurate premonitions which are inde­pendent of the action of the formal mind. The im­mortal Self, with its capacity for abstract thought, per­sonified by Mary, is able to give birth to this intuitive power. Thereafter the revelations of the intuition are justified at the bar of the intellect, their expression in action being guided by a wise and balanced mind. Joseph, then, personifies the mind and so is rightly only the putative foster-father of Jesus.

Transmuted Desire

Domestic animals were present at the Nativity. Whom do they represent? The controlled and purified emotions, I suggest, whilst the manger, the container of food, sym­bolises the vital or etheric body which receives, pre­serves and distributes throughout the physical body the Life-force from the sun. The stable—in one sense the worldly attitude of mind followed by the majority of people (the stable was full)—is an emblem of the phy­sical body. Thus, in the language of symbols and with the greatest skill, all the seven principles of man— spiritual, intuitional, intellectual, mental, emotional, vital and physical—are introduced into the wonderful story of the historical Nativity, which is so related as also to reveal profound mystical truths of universal significance.

The World’s Adepts

Who, then, are the shephreds and the wise men from the East who brought their gifts, and what is the meaning of the Star of Bethlehem? The shepherds refer to those great Shepherds of Souls Who are the Perfected Men of our earth. St. Paul—far too much neglected nowadays—writes of them as “just men made perfect” [73] and displays in many ways a knowledge of the mystical meaning of the Gospel story. The shep­herds are rightly introduced into the story of the Nativ­ity; for whenever a human being reaches the evolution­ary stage at which the Christ power is fully born within him and his other supersensory powders awaken, he is drawn into the presence of these truly Great Ones of the earth, man’s Seniors in evolution. After divine assent, of which the Star is both a signal and a symbol, a great ceremonial is performed in Their presence. The shepherds therefore have their due place in the story of the Nativity, making of it also a description of what is called the First Great Initiation, which occurs in the presence of other Initiates and the Perfected Men of our earth, our planet’s Adept Shepherds of Souls.

The Three Kings

The three (traditionally) Magi from the East may refer both to three very lofty Adepts Who hold high Offices in the Inner Government of the World, and to the three Aspects of the Inner, Immortal Self of man, Spiritual Will, Spiritual Wisdom and Spiritual Intelli­gence. Each of these parts of the Soul of man is at that time sufficiently awakened to contribute its special powers or gifts to empower, guide and inspire the Ini­tiate in the new life into which he has now entered. In another rendering the three Magi refer to the purified mind, emotions and bodily powers of the Initiate, whose sublimated faculties are offered or surrendered to the Christ power which is now awake within him. Sym­bolically the three gifts are laid at the feet of the newly-illumined Soul, or Christ Child newly born. The Star of Bethlehem is the symbol which flashes out above the head of the Hierophant when a valid Initiatory Rite is to be performed. It is the sign and symbol that the necessary powers and qualities, especially that of selfless­ness, have been attained by the Candidate and that Ini­tiation may be conferred.

The Herod Within

What is the place of Herod, and his cruel action in his massacre of the Innocents, in such an interpretation of this part of the Gospel story? Herod represents the past. The new-born Christ-Child represents the future, and between these two a measure of warfare is inevit­able; for old appetites, habits, self-indulgences, selfish­ness and a materialistic and purely worldly and acquisi­tive attitude towards life are incompatible with a life of loving and sacrificial service. In consequence the Initiate may, at first, experience some difficulty in sub­duing the clamorous demands of the body and the jealous, prideful, possessive attributes of the mind, which are personified as Herod. This power-loving aspect of human nature, the Herod in man, will lose its power—if its opposite, the new, Christ-like attitude, is allowed to develop into maturity. This loss is sub­consciously resented by the outer man, who makes every endeavour to prevent the dominance of the new, spiritual ideal. Writers who use the language of sym­bols dramatise as objective events such deeply mystical, interior experiences, thereby recording—filing them in a kind of shorthand, as it were—revealing them to those whom they would be likely to help and concealing them from others. In this instance Herod symbolically massacres the Innocents in an endeavour to destroy the new-born Christ Child.


The flight to Egypt is of great interest to allegorists; for again the whole make-up of man is present, all the seven parts of human nature being portrayed. Joseph, Mary and the Christ Child personify the threefold Spirit­ual Self of man, the human reflection of the Blessed Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The four lower parts of human nature, mind, emotion, vitality and flesh—the lower quaternary, as it is called—are frequently symbolised by the ass, a quadruped.

The stubborn ass is chosen as the beast of burden both for the flight to Egypt and the entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. This choice is very apt from the sym­bolical point of view; for up to a certain evolutionary stage the material aspects of man’s nature tend stub­bornly to resist the will of the Spirit within him. When once the Spiritual Self has become dominant, however, then the outer man becomes docile, obedient to the will within. This docility is well represented by the symbol of a domesticated animal, the hitherto stubborn donkey, now trained to willing service.

The Sanctuary

Why was the so-called—miscalled I suggest—”flight” to Egypt made? Because Egypt was one of those places on earth where Sanctuaries of the Greater Mysteries had long been established. All the great civilisations of olden days had at their heart what were called the Mys­teries, history telling us much of those of Egypt and Greece, with some information concerning their Initia­tory Rites. So Jesus repaired to one of the great centres of Initiation in order to have consummated physically that mystical experience which is described in allegory and symbol by the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The exclusive pursuit of spiritual wisdom and idealism is sometimes regarded by more worldly minded people as an escape, or a flight, from reality, from the hard facts of life. The Candidate for Initiation has fixed his eyes upon another goal, however, which might be des­cribed as the discovery of the Real, meaning the ever­lasting and the unchanging, and his quest must at certain times take him away from the haunts of men to the secret places of the earth, typified by the stable of an inn and the land of Egypt.

The River Jordan

If the Gospel story is regarded not only as history, but also as a dramatisation of occult and mystical ex­periences of those who pass through the Great Initia­tions when treading the Way of Holiness, to what ex­perience does the Baptism in Jordan refer? The spiritual­ly minded ones, the disciples and the Initiates amongst men, are all of them servants, healers and saviours of mankind in-the-becoming in order that they may be able to teach men the way of happiness, health and harmony, in order that they may have the power and the knowledge to heal the sicknesses of human bodies, hearts and minds, they must themselves experience those sufferings.

The Intelligent Acceptance of Sorrow

Voluntarily they must submit themselves to full ex­perience of unity with ail who suffer; they must share all mankind’s pains and woes and know them as their own. Symbolically the waters of Jordan, in one inter­pretation the waters of this world’s sorrows, must receive and close over them. If this experience is steadfastly endured, then indeed, as the story tells, the Soul emerges from it with a new vision and a new power to under­stand, to help and to heal. A new heaven opens, mean­ing that a new and higher level of consciousness is at­tained. A voice from on high proclaims the one who is thus baptised as a Son of God and a deliverer of men. Mystically, the awakened and empowered Spiritual Will within man bestows upon the outer personality divine attributes and capacities and supersensory powers.

The Wilderness

The temptation in the wilderness then follows. The Devil tempts Jesus in the wilderness—representing periods of spiritual aridity to which all mystics bear testimony—to use his new-found power to gain personal possessions and prestige. Many aspirants are said to fall under this great test. The sense of heightened power is so very great, the intellectual capacity is so wonderfully enhanced by passage through this Second Degree in the Greater Mysteries, that egoism and pride, per­sonified by Satan, can reach monstrous proportions and lay the Candidate low in gratification of the lust for power and the sense of personal pride.

Eventually victory is attained. The right use of the new-found power enables the Candidate to heal, to teach and to draw around him those who become dis­ciples and are themselves helped to find and tread the self-same Way of Holiness, the Narrow Way.


Then the Third Portal opens before him, passage through it being symbolically described by Christ’s Transfiguration upon the mount and the agony of Gethsemane. In the Sacred Language the mount, upon’ which so many wonderful things are made to happen in the Bible, is a symbol of an exalted state of conscious­ness. There upon this lofty altitude, again in the com­pany of those who have gone before, personified by Moses and Elijah, the Initiate experiences an illumina­tion so great that his whole being seems to be trans­figured. There also, whilst thus exalted, he envisages the fulfilment o. his own destiny, the attainment of the stature of the perfect man.


Severe trials follow, the Gethsemanes of the heart, the dark nights of the Soul, which include experience of the quintessence of loneliness. In the darkness of the Garden of Gethsemane, in the hour of His great need, Jesus found His disciples asleep. Rarely, it is said, does a Soul pass through this great trial without a cry from the heart: “Could ye not watch with me one hour?” [74] Then, despite a momentary shrinking of His human na­ture from the cup, Jesus accepts it and His face is set steadfastly towards Jerusalem, the symbol, in one sense, of the world He is now to enter in order that mankind may be delivered from sin and selfishness, and so be freed from the suffering which they inevitably bring.

On Golgotha

The Fourth Portal then opens before the dedicated and consecrated Soul. It is symbolised by the Betrayal, the Trial and the Crucifixion of Christ. Attaining and passing through this lofty stage, the Initiate in the Mys­tery drama experiences a still deeper darkness and lone­liness, when a gulf seems to open up between the Father and the Son, between Life infinite and Life embodied. It is he bitterest of all ordeals, as is portrayed by Christ’s passion on the Cross. He sees His enemies exultant around Him and He drinks the bitter draught—another wonderful symbol for the bitterness of loneliness, isola­tion, defamation and betrayal. The Father Who is yet realised in Golgotha is veiled in the passion of the Cross, and then it is that from the heart which feels itself to be deserted there rings forth the cry:

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” [75]

Why this last dread ordeal? It is said to be necessary because the goal of human evolution includes the attain­ment of fully realised unity, even identity, with God. External aid appears to be withdrawn, lost, that interior oneness may be known. The Adep-To-be, must and does learn, even in the agony of loneliness, indeed because of it, that he is the Eternal and the Eternal is himself. Then he can say with full realisation, as did Our Lord: “I and my Father are one”.[76] Thereafter he remains forever beyond the possibility of the illusion of self-separateness. He knows, and will ever know, that the Life of God in all beings is one Life and that the Life in him and the Spirit in him are identical with the Life and the Spirit of the universe. He is one with God, and through Him with all that lives. As far as earthly life and human limitations are concerned, he can also say those final words of the Christ upon the Cross: “It is finished”.[77]

The Price of Supersensory and Spiritual Power

A number of interesting symbols are employed in the narrative of the Crucifixion of Christ. Amongst them are the instruments by which wounds are caused, such as the whip, the nails, the thorns and the spear. These wounds all refer to the mystic ill-health inseparable from the transformation of a man into a Superman and an Initiate into an Adept. The wounds of the Christ also indicate the forceful breaking down and dissolution of the illusion of self-separateness, and the transcendence of the limitation of matter and the body. In one sense the weapons by which these wounds are made symbolise the dangers through which knowledge of the Mysteries may alone be approached, and by which those Mysteries are guarded. Whilst the crown of thorns portrays the true royalty of Spirit and indicates that sovereignty is only attained by suffering, the thorns themselves sym­bolise the possibility, which is almost a certainty, that suffering will be produced by the wrongful use of the separative and analytical attributes of the formal mind (the head), especially in the early stages of its develop­ment. These mental characteristics almost inevitably cause pain and sorrow (the pricks of the thorns), and since the head is the physical centre of mental life, the thorns are placed upon it as a crown. Before perfec­tion the two aspects of the Higher and the lower mind in man (the two thieves crucified with Christ) strive continually for master, and the pains and wounds of that mystical conflict are also typified by the whips, the thorns, the nails and the spear and the pain they produce.


The death and the burial are also figurative. They refer to the “death” both of the power of the body to imprison the consciousness and of the illusion of self­separated existence. The Resurrection follows naturally, for the freed and crowned Soul is no longer entombed within the limitations of brain and mind. He is able to leave the body at will and, without a break in consciousness, to enter the higher regions of the heaven world. He can transcend the limitations of the formal, personal mind and perceive truth direct by the highly developed faculty of spiritual intuitiveness. He is now accorded implicit insight into every first truth.

The Goal Attained

At last the great consummation is achieved. The Initiate has reached the Fifth Portal—the Gate of the Ascension—and now passes through. Symbolically the Perfected One ascends in clouds of glory to the right hand of God. That divine power in man which long ago was first born as a little child has at last attained to the “measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” [78] He has overcome the world, has become “a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out” [79] into physical birth.

Such are some of the many possible interpretations of the Gospel narrative of the life of Our Lord, which is not only the story of the successful passage (by Jesus) through the five great Initiations of the Mystery Schools, and not only the story of the descent of the Second Aspect of the Blessed Trinity upon Him for the three years of Christ’s ministry. It is also the story of every human being who finds and enters the Path of Discipleship, is allegorically and mystically newborn, baptised and crucified, and who buries his lower nature for evermore and ascends to the full powers of Christhood.

The Christ Life is your Life

The inspired story not only describes processes of cosmic evolution and the experiences of highly develop­ed men and women in the final stages of their evolution to Adeptship. It also describes your life and mine; for the major fact is the universality of the life of Christ. We all experience on occasion our spiritual or inward awakenings or births, the stirring within us of a new force which, if given full freedom, will change us from ordinary human beings into men and women endowed with supernormal powers and afire with spiritual idealism.

We also have our temptations in the wilderness—a state of consciousness—when spirituality seems far away and totally impracticable. Our lower nature tempts us to betray the highest for personal gain, prestige and power. If we conquer, as did Our Lord, we learn to use our powers rightly, especially for helping others, and this leads to a renewal of the spiritual impulse. This can be so strong as to transfigure our lives, even as Our Lord was transfigured upon the mount. Gethsemane, the dark night of the Soul, is not unknown to many human beings. In our hours of great need we also find that those upon whom we hoped we could rely are fast asleep, so that we must go forward alone. In the darkest hours of our lives, hours of solitude, isolation and betrayal, we too feel crucified and it seems as if our hearts are dead within us. If we endure faithfully to the end, resurrection and ascension will assuredly follow.

In this way, and doubtless in many other ways, Our Lord’s life is indeed a universal life, is your life, my life and the life of all mankind.



Where May One Turn for Light?

Those Christians who read these broadcast interpreta­tions of the life of Christ as descriptive of human devel­opment and perfection, may wonder why they are not part of modern Christian teaching. The answer is that the Church has either lost or deliberately renounced its mystical wisdom, its Gnosis or direct knowledge, and is weakened greatly in consequence. A survey of orthodox Christian practice and teaching shows that a great need exists for this inner wisdom and knowledge, which brought into being the devotion and the zeal of early centuries. Christianity stands arraigned today as fail­ing to meet the spiritual and intellectual needs of man in the midst of the greatest crisis that the Race has ever known.

Can this accusation be justified? Does modern Chris­tianity need to be revivified? Many people believe that it does. How often, they say, in these days of two World Wars, do we meet the utter pessimism of men and of women who have lost all they held dear and who question that there can be a God at all, or, if there is a God, that He can be a God of love and mercy and yet let such terrible things happen to His children! This disillusionment is one of the most difficult moods to meet, and yet these black clouds of despair cast shadows over the entire world, shadows which are deepened by the spread of cynicism and bitterness, even amongst our young people.

The chief criticism levelled against Christianity today is that it has proved impotent favourably to influence either human conduct or the progress of major world events in the first half of the Twentieth Century. Others affirm that it is not Christianity but Christians who are in need of reform. Nevertheless there is in modern Christianity a great deal to applaud, even if there is also something to deplore. Although in our lifetime Chris­tian Nations have embarked upon unprovoked aggres­sion, other Nations guided by a truly Christian spirit, at great cost to themselves, have successfully resisted two major attempts to conquer, impoverish and enslave humanity.

Practical Christianity

Two great World Organisations, with the co-opera­tion of non-Christian Nations, have been formed for the purposes of collective resistance to such wanton aggression, to preserve world peace, to combat vice and to give assistance to peoples who are in need. These are the League of Nations and U.N.O., both of which have rendered very great services to humanity. Even now two costly wars are being waged in Asia in defence of human rights. Furthermore, the search for knowl­edge, for understanding and for truth is everywhere evident throughout Christendom. From these activities alone we may assume, I think, that the heart of human­ity is sound. At the same time human conduct is under criticism and Christianity is, in consequence, accused of relative impotence in the face of the grave evils of our time. Christian apologists add that the evil is not with Christianity, but with modern man. They further say that it is impossible to assess the true value of the Chris­tian Faith because, in fact, it has never yet been col­lectively and thoroughly tried.

Mankind’s Moral Decline

What, then, are the chief charges against modern man, particularly in Christian countries? In this period we are being told that we have displayed certain serious evils such as a marked decline in morality, international (aggressive wars), political (corruption) and personal (selfishness, dishonesty and immorality). In the econom­ic and industrial fields also, in monopolies, trusts and cartels, in cut-throat competition based on the doctrine of “each for himself and the Devil take the hindmost”, man adopts the law of the jungle. He sells raw mater­ials and armaments to potentially hostile Nations for profit, and destroys greatly needed food to keep up prices.

Sir Richard Livingstone, a distinguished British scholar and educationalist, lecturing in Australia under the auspices of the National University, in 1951 said:

“This age has sex on the brain. It is decaying in consequence... Today’s students too often stumble through their education as if they were drunk, not knowing where they are, where they are going, or what they are doing... There is far too much em­phasis on preparing young people to earn a living, and not nearly enough on teaching them how to live. Men no longer have moral driving force, a belief in high principles and a willingness to accept discipline and make sacrifices for them, which is far more important to the survival of humanity than either knowledge or intelligence. If the world is ever to recover”, Sir Richard Livingstone continues, “from its present sick uncertainty, it must be pre­pared to accept again principles which are in the broadest sense of the term Christian principles. Christianity is a doctrine of individual responsibility. The man who lives by it chooses a hard way, but a happy one.”

Thus Sir Richard has put his finger on some of our maladies.

“Naturally, in the midst of these problems we look to the appropriate source of healing, which is religion— the Christian religion and its leaders. When the body is sick we go to a doctor, and when the Soul is sick we go to a priest and to that which he prescribes, namely, the practice and the consolations of religion. Its critics say that this is where modern Christianity fails, and one basic difficulty is that the Christian ideal is constantly denied by our method of living as nominal Christians. The dictates and the example of Christ, embodied in His words: “Love one another” and “Do unto others as you would they should do unto you”—are all too often ignored. Many industrialists, for example, do not accept and ratify Einstein’s dictum: “Man is here for the sake of other men.”

The Strain of life Produces Self-Centredness

Let us take another example. What is the heart of spirituality as taught by precept and example by the Founder of Christianity? Is it not self-surrender, as por­trayed by His Nativity in poverty, in the Sermon on the Mount, and by His voluntary acceptance of rejection, scorn and cruel death? The highest moral law was said by Our Lord to impose a complete surrender of self in all its narrow sense. In this disinterestedness towards self we recognise the tremendous dynamics of Jesus’ teaching. Unfortunately our mental attitude is all too often the reverse of this ideal of selflessness, it has been described as “self first and God afterwards—if I have time.”

Thomas a Kempis saw this difficulty and wrote these rather wonderful words:

“Know that the love of self doth hurt thee more than anything else in the world. With it everywhere thou shalt bear a cross. If thou seekest only thine own will and pleasure, thou shalt never be quiet nor free from care, for in everything something shall be wanting.”

How true his words prove to be today! In everything we possess, in all our wealth, scientific progress, in­ventions and mechanical developments, something is wanting. It is happiness, health, serenity, peace based upon selflessness and obedience to moral law. We must not be too sweeping however, for whilst this is true of much collective action it definitely is not true of the private lives of a great many Christians, who display the multitude of unparaded charities of men.

The Lack of Reverence

What else is charged against us and our Christian Faith? We are, I fear, obliged to recognise the low standards of morality, the concentration upon self-gain and the growing contagion of cynicism to which I have referred. Grave misgivings are also being expressed concerning the prevalent decline in our sense of holiness and reverence. This is very tragic; for when the major­ity of a Nation lose the sense of holiness and the quality of reverence, that Nation is threatened with downfall. The decline in respect for woman, for womanhood, for the parental and especially the maternal functions, and in reverence for the sacrament of marriage—this decline also, I fear, is very marked in these days. Sensuality and sexuality constitute a very grave danger to our civilisation.

Totalitarianism and Cruelty

Other dangerous symptoms are: the rise of aggressive nationalism, imperialism, domination, enslavement of subject peoples; the increase in cruelty, as in concentra­tion and slave-labour camps amongst totalitarian Na­tions; the immense and growing slaughter of food ani­mals—far more than 250,000,000 sentient creatures every year—and also of large numbers of animals and birds in blood sports and in the fur, feathers, vivisection and serum industries. Unfortunately, to all this must be added the employment of scientific knowledge for destructive purposes, as, for example, the atom and hydrogen bombs.

“One Fold and One Shepherd”

The present divided ness of the Christian Faith is re­garded as another of its great weaknesses. In 1951 President Truman told a large audience of churchmen that he had been unable to get agreement among reli­gious groups on a common statement of Faith to meet the communist threat.

“I have asked them”, President Truman told the Washington Pilgrimage of American Churchmen, “to join in one common act which will affirm those reli­gious and moral principles on which all agree. I am sorry to say”, the President went on, “that it has not yet been possible to bring the religious faiths to­gether for this purpose of bearing witness that God is the way of truth and peace. Even the Christian churches have not yet found themselves able to say with one voice that Christ is their Master and Redeemer and the source of their strength against the hosts of irreligion and the danger of world catas­trophe.”

The Need of Logic

I am aware that these are hard sayings and that this Talk has not been a very cheerful one up to now. Please bear with me a little longer whilst we face frankly some of the causes of the apparent religious decline; for in a moment or two I shall begin to speak constructively. Another difficulty is that doctrinal Christianity does not meet the need of the modern mind, which says with the Psalmist: “Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law.” In this age of rapid scientific development, objective demonstration and the scientific method of thought, ancient theological dogmas and the methods of presenting them of earlier epochs fail to attract, con­vince and inspire the questing mind of man. Let me give but one example.

Where is Justice?

Orthodox Christianity offers no logical answer to the problems of justice in human experience from birth to death, and more especially in the inequalities of health, environment and opportunity characteristic of the con­ditions in which babies are born. The poet Dryden posed the general question in his words:

“Virtue in distress and vice in triumph make atheists of mankind”.[80]

In these matters Christian theology remains silent, static. To such questions of justice for man from birth to death, even amidst indescribable and apparently undeserved suffering, it can but reply: “It is the will of God”, despite the fact that this makes of Him a monster of wickedness, a God to be adored through fear, potent to destroy.

Such—in part, only, I regret to say—is a permissible diagnosis of our condition. If all this is true—and I fear it is—are we not in a somewhat parlous state?

I fear we are, and it is just because of this that modern Christianity is said to be in need of revivification.

The Truth is Within

What, then, is needed? We Theosophists here answer at once—a deeply religious philosophy of life which can be justified at the bar of the intellect. In a word, Theo­sophy is needed, the Gnosis; for Theosophy places the emphasis in religion upon direct, interior spiritual ex­perience, and not upon lip service and outer observances alone. Unfortunately modern Christianity has lost much of its mystical element in these days. Men and women of prophetic vision are rare. Despite what has been described as the piling of the incredible upon the impossible in both Scripture and dogma, the appeal is rather to blind faith than to intelligence and logic. The existence, and the keys of interpretation, of the language of symbol and allegory in which the Scriptures are written, and the paramount importance of interior illu­mination, direct spiritual experience and teaching in the techniques of meditation—this, in part, is the contribu­tion of Theosophy towards the revivification of Chris­tianity. It is a most important contribution, for the absence of these elements gravely weakens the Christian Faith.

The Contemplative Life

How is interior illumination to be obtained? By the regular practice of meditation or scientific prayer, defined by Alexis Carrel in these words:

“A serene contemplation of the immanent and transcendent principles of all things.

An uplifting of the soul to God.

An act of love and adoration towards Him from Whom comes the wonder which is life.

The effort of man to communicate with an invisible Being.

A mystic state when the consciousness is absorbed in God.”

In conclusion, here is an interesting story which re­veals the difference between purely formal and vital Christianity. A group of students in a theological college asked a very learned Professor to read the Shep­herd’s Psalm. He read it with great feeling and beauti­ful emphasis. Then someone called for a retired Minis­ter to come up and repeat the same Psalm. His sweet face shone with an inner light as he said the same words with great reverence and meaning. When he finished there was not a dry eye in the room. Afterwards one of the students asked the Professor why he, with his great learning, could not produce that profound effect. The Professor was honest and humble in his reply.

“Well”, he said to the young man, “I have studied the Bible and 1 know all about the Shepherd, but you see our friend knows the Shepherd.”

Direct Knowledge, the Solution

There, I suggest, is the heart of the problem of reli­gion; to know by direct experience the Power and the Presence of God and His Son, Christ Our Lord. The Greek word for such interior spiritual knowledge is Gnosis, and at the time of the foundation of Christianity those who possessed that direct knowledge were called Gnostics. Tragically, these were proscribed in those early days and persecuted as heretics. The contribution of religion to the cure of our present ills is, I suggest, direct knowledge of spiritual truths founded upon in­terior experience. Simply put, we need both to know about the Shepherd and to actually know the Shepherd. As the numbers of Christians thus illumined and in­spired increase, so will Christianity become a power for world progress and peace.


Man undoubtedly possesses, in however rudimentary a form, certain supersensory powers. His evolutionary progress is marked by the development and use of greater intellectual capacity and the exercise, as yet sporadic, of such means of cognition as the intuition, telepathy, correct premonition and supernormal vision in various forms. These “gifts” will gradually be­come less sporadic and spontaneous and more frequent and volitional, for this development is one of the results of evolutionary progress.

The unfoldment of such powers can, however, be hastened. In consequence, the desirability of such a procedure needs careful consideration. Some of the conditions which indicate that desirability are sound health, harmonious and controlled emotions, a stable, logical and factual mentality, a persistent inward urge, the two motives of acquiring greater powers of helpful­ness and making more rapid evolutionary progress, the discovery of a source of reliable knowledge and, event­ually, of a teacher who is a senior in occult study and in evolution, and last, but by no means least, conditions of life which give the necessary freedom from financial stress and family and civic obligations. If these con­siderations exist, supersensory powers may be wisely, intelligently and carefully sought, using Raja Yoga as the chief means.[81] If they are not present, two courses are open to the aspirant. One is to abandon the quest for extra-sensory perception; the other is forcibly to supply the necessary conditions, studying the subject academically whilst doing so.

A reasonable measure of development and control of the powers and faculties one already possesses, and such mastery of circumstances as will ensure health, happiness and harmony in one’s relationships with one’s fellows, especially those with whom one lives, are all essential before one embarks too seriously upon the development of further powers.

The broadcasts which follow are included in this Volume because they offer guidance in the management of human life, the development of human character and —all-important where spiritual and supersensory powers are being sought—the ability to make other people happy and to serve them effectively, especially in their times of need.



Peace of Mind

I wonder how many of us are really established in the belief that, in the ultimate, justice is assured to every individual person? Do we truly believe that, ultimately, our sorrows and our joys fairly represent the balance of bad and good in our characters and in our conduct? These are important questions. Mental serenity, and therefore physical health, can depend upon correct answers to them.

Apparent Injustices

What has Theosophy to say upon this great problem of justice? A great deal that is helpful. Indeed, one part of the appeal of Theosophy consists of its logical answers to the problems of human life. Take, for ex­ample, this very question of justice for mankind. One must admit that the existence of undeserved human suffering, especially of newly born children, does seem to be a denial of justice. Dryden posed this question by saying: “Virtue in distress and vice in triumph make atheists of mankind.” What is the answer to Dryden’s statement? Need we become atheists, cynics, bereft of faith in the goodness of God and in the exist­ence of logic in life? Is human life, especially when it begins at birth, based upon chance or luck, good, bad or indifferent, or is there law, justice, logic in human experience? Theosophy answers unhesitatingly and posi­tively: yes, there is law, there is justice, there is logic.

How, then, does Theosophy explain apparent in­justice, as, for example, when a baby is born blind, deaf, dumb, diseased, malformed, or mentally deficient? How can there be justice or fair play in that?

The Solution

Theosophy answers that if for each one of us there is only one life on earth, then there is no justice in such grievous deficiencies of newly born children. Since, however, we all live many lives on earth and the law of cause and effect governs the conditions in each of them, then justice is meted out to every human being. The Spiritual Souls of such children have been born on earth before, have transgressed in a former life, and are reap­ing in the new life as they have sown in a preceding one. St. Paul was thus proclaiming pure Theosophy when he said:

“God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” [82]

Our Lord, said:

“Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” [83]

Justice Assured to Every Human Being

If, however, there is but one life on earth for each human being, these statements cannot possibly be true. The wicked do prosper and good people do suffer. Only if there are many lives on man’s road to perfec­tion, and cause and effect operates from life to life, can these affirmations of justice be true. Without reincar­nation and cause and effect, life is a hopeless riddle which defies solution. With reincarnation and cause and effect, the riddle of apparent injustice is solved, for very often we sow in one life and reap in the next.

This solves the problem of apparent injustice in the inequalities of human birth. The Inner Self or Soul of the child born into a healthy body or a happy home has earned these advantages by right conduct in former lives. Justice is therefore being done. The Ego of the child which, on the other hand, is born into a diseased body or an unhappy home has, in former lives and bodies, fallen into errors of which the later limitations are the result. He or she has committed sinful actions in previous lives of which ill-health and unhappiness at the beginning of a new birth are natural results or re­actions. Thus viewed, no injustice is being done. On the contrary, absolute justice has been meted out. How satisfactory, how logical that is! Our present conditions are the product of our own past actions. Furthermore, our future is in our own hands. We can make of that future what we will.

Every Life a Guided Life

In spite of this operation of impersonal law, is there a guiding and a guarding love? Are we helped in spite of ourselves? Is there order amidst the seeming chaos in the world during the last half Century? Is there a guiding hand? Theosophy, like many great men of our times, also answers in the affirmative. Mr. Churchill, for example, in Britain’s darkest hours during the Second World War said:

“In the crisis of 1940 it was no more than sober truth to say that Britain saved the Freedom of Man­kind, and we must not cast away our great deliverance. We must carry our work to its final conclusions. We must not fail... 1 have a feeling sometimes that we have a guardian because we serve a great cause and that we shall have that guardian so long as we serve that cause faithfully.”

Theosophy teaches that there is, in very truth, a great planning and directing Intelligence, the Supreme Deity of our universe, Who keeps both individuals and Races moving and evolving according to a well-defined pat­tern, yet always granting individual freedom for Soul growth, interfering only now and then, when they drift too far from the great design. Is there anything in the course of our ordinary observation of life which justifies this view of an unseen Power ceaselessly at work? Yes, I think there is. The most strange things happen con­tinually in Nature, and hardly attract our attention. Merely because we are accustomed to seeing them every day they do not seem strange to us, although we do not understand them. Who would be so “foolish” as to believe that a tree could grow out of a seed, since there is evidently no tree in the seed? Who would believe it if, in spite of all arguments to the contrary, his experi­ence had not told him that trees do, in fact, grow out of seeds? Who would believe that a flower would grow out of a plant, if he had not seen it, for observation and reason show that there is no flower in the stalk? Never­theless, flowers grow and cannot be disputed away. Everywhere in Nature the action of a Universal Mind and Universal Law is manifest, but we cannot see that Mind and that law themselves. Everywhere we see the manifestation of wisdom, purpose, aim.

The Great Plan

Is it possible to state fairly simply the nature of the so-called “aim”, the bent bow of purpose in Nature? Can one gain some idea of the master plan held in the Major Mind? I think one can. Universal Mind, or God, may be conceived as a threefold Divine Being, omnipresent throughout all Nature. God is a Trinity, the Universal Energising Power, the Indwelling Life and the Directing Intelligence within all beings and all things. God is also the Spiritual Source within which all beings and all things are conceived, from which all come forth and descend into the material universe on a vast evolu­tionary pilgrimage, and to which they eventually return with their divine powers highly developed and con­sciously wielded.

The Evolutionary Journey

Man, then, as also the human Race, is the true Pro­digal Son. He journeys out into the depths of space and matter and develops his innate powers. At last he takes the road home, where he is received with feasting and joy. This is the master plan—namely, a journey of forthgoing, a development of powers and a return. The motive for the journey is that the germinal shall be fully developed, the latent become fully manifest. Life is thus a pilgrimage, and every experience which comes to each and every one of us plays its educative and enlight­ening part upon us. If we are wise, we shall recognise the sublime purpose of life and collaborate with the master plan of evolution; for this is the way of enduring happiness.

Such, then, is the great cycle with its two arcs of forthgoing and return, sometimes called involution and evolution. Within the great cycle are many lesser cycles. Within the great plan is a plan for every world, for every species in every kingdom of Nature and, in­deed, for every living being. There is even a standard of development set for the components of each kingdom of Nature on our earth. Can we understand that plan? I think we can. For the mineral kingdom the ideal is dawning sensitivity, feeling and beauty. For animals the goal is self-conscious feeling and thought, combined with beauty of form. Man carries the process still fur­ther. He is self-conscious, an individual. He has to develop his will until it is irresistible, his wisdom till it is all-embracing, his intelligence till it is all-comprehend­ing, and his beauty to the highest degree of perfection and grace. This progressive evolution to ever greater and greater heights is, as the poet puts it, the “one far-off divine event towards which the whole creation moves”

The Everlasting Arms

This information is of the greatest value. Knowledge of this plan can Doth bestow mental peace, and so phys­ical health, ana serve as a guide in our lives with all their tribulations and their joys. Perspective js gained. The individual contribution can be perceived and fitted harmoniously into the general design. This idea of as­sured justice and a Divine plan for each one of us has been beautifully stated by Horace Bushwell in these words:

“Every human soul has a complete and perfect plan cherished for it in the heart of God—a divine biography marked out which it enters into life to live. This life, rightly unfolded, will be a complete and beautiful whole, an experience led on by God and unfolded by His secret nurture, as the trees and flowers by the secret nurture of the world. We live in the Divine thought. We fill a place in the ever­lasting plan of God’s intelligence. We never sink below His care—never drop out of His council.”

Justice Rules the World

Thus we may answer in the affirmative the questions with which I began. Yes, there is justice for man. There is plan behind human existence. There is order amidst the seeming chaos. There is, indeed, a guiding hand which, as far as we will permit, is leading us to the fulfilment of our lives.



“Am I in Love?”

When love comes and marriage is contemplated, many problems confront young people and, indeed, their parents as well. One of the most fundamental of these problems concerns the nature of love itself. What is love, why its strange selectivity, and how may its pre­sence or absence be unfailingly discerned? Other ques­tions also present themselves. Why on some occasions does it spring spontaneously into blossom, and on other occasions develop quite slowly? Why does it sometimes last to the end of life and sometimes bloom but for a day? What are the causes of failure and unhappiness in love and marriage? What are the laws governing success and lasting happiness, and how may these be ensured? What is this information which can be so especially valuable? It consists of knowledge of the nature of man, of the purpose for his existence, and of the means whereby that purpose is fulfilled. Without that knowl­edge these questions are unanswerable. Indeed, it is just this lack of knowledge which is the cause of un­happiness and failure in human relationships.

At this point it may be objected that such intellectual processes are utterly foreign to the experience of love, and that no one would marry at all if such careful plan­ning and examination of faults and failings were carried out. Incompatibility of temperament and character de­fects, it may be urged, can be dealt with after marriage and must not be allowed to mar the happiness of the first falling in love. Life is not a matter of cut and dried rules. Lovers are inwardly and often irresistibly moved. Many of the happiest marriages were planned and carried out on the spur of the moment.

The Problem of Divorce

There may be some truth in this, but the percentage of broken and of unhappy marriages is high and grows higher. Perfect happiness of both partners is rare. Life follows law and wisdom consists of knowledge of and obedience to natural law. indeed, “happiness is no laughing matter”.

Furthermore, a pressing social problem of our mod­ern world consists of the alarming rise in the divorce rate. Divorce can be a most tragic circumstance, both for the married couple and especially for any children of the marriage. The rise of the divorce rate in many countries is indeed alarming. In America in 1940 one marriage in five was broken. In 1946 it was one in four. In fifty years, if this trend continues, the rate will be one in two. In a large number of cases tragic and heart-piercing suffering, frustration and sorrow are experienced by one or both of the partners in such broken marriages. When there are children, knowledge of the division between father and mother, divided loyalties, and the loss of that sense of stability and security which is so important in the development of every child, add a deep poignancy to the statistics of the rising divorce rate. Civilisation itself is becoming increasingly complex and the added stress can put a great strain upon married people, and especially upon those who marry when young.

Young people are well advised, therefore, to study human nature, especially their own, and to note those human traits which are likely to produce happy unions and those which are not. This is very important; for the love that endures is built upon a community of interests, ideals, standards and tastes. True and lasting happiness in love and marriage—as also in comradeship between those of the same or opposite sex—depends upon the existence of certain mutually harmonious traits of character and attitudes towards life. Those who question the practicability, and even the desirability, of a study and an application of the principles which govern human happiness by those contemplating en­gagement and marriage, are answered that this is the only certain way of ensuring success.

Man and the Purpose of his Existence

What are these principles? What, then, is the truth concerning man and his life here on earth? Briefly stat­ed, it is this: in his innermost nature the true man be­hind the bodily veil is a spiritual being, eternal, immortal and indestructible. He assumes the vesture of mortal­ity, the physical body, in order to complete a great pilgrimage, the goal of which is attainment of the stature of the perfect man. St. Paul defines this objective of human existence in these words:

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”

True Love Indicates a Reunion from Former Lives

Success in this quest demands not one, but many lives of rich experience here on earth. A succession of phys­ical lives provides the time, the experience and the opportunity necessary to the attainment of perfection. Finally, of course, there does come a last human life on earth and in that life all human faculty is brought to fruition, every spiritual power is developed to the degree of genius and every human weakness is overcome. Then, according to the Book of Revelations,

“Him that over-cometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall go no more out.” [85]

Such a man, who has become a perfected man, has freed himself from the wheel of birth and death, has fulfilled the purpose of his purely human existence, and therefore the necessity for further physical births is out­grown. These, then, are the sublime truths concerning man. They are that the Spiritual Soul is eternal; it is born on earth to complete an evolutionary process which will bring it to perfected manhood; successive lives on earth provide the time and the opportunity in which to attain.

The Birth of Love

Let us now apply this knowledge to the solution of the problems of love, of marriage, of parenthood and of lasting happiness. Why is human love such an indi­vidual experience? Why is it so selective? In the course of man’s successive lives, links of varying degrees of intimacy are formed between individuals. These bonds serve to draw them together again life after life. In some few cases a deep attachment is formed and it is this which, renewed life after life, can develop into a deep and abiding affection. The bourgeoning of deep love in any given life is nearly always due to an in­stinctual remembrance of a former bond. Behind every story of true love are many stories of varied love rela­tionships in earlier lives, and these need not necessarily have been restricted to love between opposite sexes. They may have been of parental, filial and paternal affections. They are, however, selective and tend to be renewed life after life. Such are the theosophical answers to questions concerning the true nature, the varying degrees of depth, and the selectivity of human love.

Love Relationships Ruled by Law

Why, then, does love sometimes endure and some­times fade? Because these successive lives of man are lived under the operation of the law of cause and effect, or compensation. Every action produces its appropri­ate reaction. Every experience is the product of pre­ceding activity. Happiness and fulfilment in any hu­man endeavour are largely due to the sincerity, the con­tinuity, the fidelity and the general success of preceding endeavours in similar or the same directions. Fidelity in love wins fidelity, just as infidelity brings infidelity. Indeed, all human experience is governed by exact law. Nowhere is there the element of luck or chance. Ab­solute justice rules this world and is ensured to every human being by the action of the compensatory law. St. Paul gave this truth to the world in his words:

“God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” [86]

The Mastery of Fate

The problem of success or failure in love and mar­riage is thus solved. Both are the results of conduct in this and preceding lives. The decision is not in any way final, however. By right knowledge, right motive and right conduct in this present life, undesirable ten­dencies from the past may be modified and neutralised. By wrong attitude and conduct, the most favourable auspices may be nullified. From this it will be seen that marriage can be one of the finest evolutionary aids to the fulfilment of man’s pilgrimage to perfection, which is the supreme purpose of his existence. Love, marriage and parenthood are educative experiences of the greatest possible value to the pilgrim God, which is the Spiritual Soul of man.

The True Nature of Love

The first task of parents whose advice is sought, as also of those who believe themselves to be in love, is to make certain whether or not the attraction so strongly felt really is the love which will endure through all the strain inseparable from the attempt of two people to live harmoniously together for the rest of their lives. Parents may usefully point out that love at first sight is not always a sure guide. It may be true love or it may not, and one test is that of endurance on either side. Real love wears well. False love dies away. Time is as good a test as any. It gives opportunity for thorough acquaintance. Delay, rather than haste, permits this test to be made. Lovers should be sure they love be­fore they leap. Though love can be very imperious, it is not a matter that has to be settled at seventeen. Lovers need not be afraid of an irrevocable loss, for, as Seneca said: “Nothing grows again more easily than love.” This is especially true for the young. It is easy for them to fall in love, but conjugal living is an intri­cate art in which only few excel.

Tests of True Love

Here are some questions which may be applied, as tests, to indicate whether a person is actually in love or is just infatuated by good looks and sex-appeal:

Do you have a great number of things that you like to do together? Mental affinity is very im­portant. You need not think alike, but you should agree on principles.

Do you have a feeling of pride when you compare your friend with anyone else you know? Does he or she evoke your deep respect?

Do you suffer from a feeling of unrest when you are parted?

Even when you quarrel, do you still enjoy being together?

Have you a strong desire to please your friend, and are you quite glad to give way on your own pre­ferences?

Do you actually want to marry this person? Do you love that person better than anyone else in the world, including yourself?

Does he, or she, have the qualities you would like to have in your children? Character is very im­portant.

Do your parents think you are in love? They can be very discerning about such things.

Have you started planning, at least in your own mind, what kind of wedding, children and home you will have?

Are you certain about your own heart? if you are in doubt, then you are not wholly in love.

Fall in Love Intelligently

If an affirmative answer can be truthfully given to at least seven of these questions, then, according to the advice of experts, the lovers are truly in love. An affirmative answer to all of them is the ideal. Those who are not sure take a great risk if they marry. The emotion may be due either to sexual attraction or to the fact that certain physical features correspond to those of the pre-formed ideal or dream. In both cases the mutual attraction is not reliable as a guide. Again, a pause is advisable. Marriage, parenthood and man’s evolution to perfection are far too serious for hasty decisions on purely emotional grounds.

The true nature of love should be realised. Deep love produces a physical, emotional, mental and spirit­ual upliftment, and an indescribable happiness and ex­pansion of heart and mind. The companionship of the beloved engenders a sense of moreness, fulfilment, har­mony, bliss. The reason, however, is by no means eclipsed, or at least it should not be. Readiness to examine and abide by the principles governing happi­ness, willingness to plan, to be advised, and to make the best possible preparation to give happiness to the beloved—these are both sure signs and reliable tests of true love. On the other hand, unreadiness to consider these principles, unwillingness to be advised by anyone or to acknowledge any restraint whatever—these are dangerous signs. Whilst falling in love can be an al­most overwhelming experience, it need not—and gener­ally, I think, does not—sweep young people completely off their feet, deeply moving though the experience may be.

Here is a verse which beautifully describes the nature of love:

There are many kinds of love,

As many kinds of light,

And every kind of love makes

A glory in the Light.

There is love that stirs the heart

And love that gives it rest,

But the love that leads life upwards

Is the noblest and the best.



Causes of Unhappiness

My theme in these Talks is that happy marriages can be scientifically planned and the drastic surgery of di­vorce can be avoided, or at least only resorted to when there proves to be no other possible solution. What should we find if we were to look into a home where the happiness of the first years of marriage is slipping away from those who had longed and hoped for permanent happiness together? We would find one or more of the many known causes of marital discord. Here is a list of them. Jealousy; different spare-time interests; failure to retain friendly, sociable contacts with the outside world; immaturity in one or both partners; boredom in carrying out the routine of home-making and home- keeping and the avoidance of unpleasant duties: less than one year’s engagement and allowing quarrels to go beyond that definite limit at which one or other should leave the room. There are, of course, other causes of unhappiness, such as too marked religious and racial differences, frustration in the marriage relationship and even infidelity, whether of thought alone or also in practice. Indulgences, too, can break up a home and amongst the most common of these is alcoholism, though gambling, drug taking and any excess are equally destructive.

The Art of Giving and Preserving Happiness

The fact is that the attainment and preservation of happiness in marriage is a fine art which requires con­stant and close attention, much skill and ready humour if it is to be successfully pursued. The joys and fulfil­ments of marriage only come as a reward for deep and faithful love, intelligence, understanding and the recog­nition- that marriage is a living thing which survives only by constant renewal. Love for beauty’s sake alone —often characteristic of love’s first awakening—does not generally prove sufficient. It must deepen into love for friendship’s sake, tenderness and a desire to be a comfort to each other. This cannot be achieved if the small things essential to the smooth functioning of a home are neglected, meals are hastily contrived, house­work is unorganised, personal reading at meals and afterwards is indulged in from which the other is ex­cluded or, in a phrase, failure in the husband himself to share his leisure and his interests with his wife and family and vice versa.

The housewife and mother needs love, praise and en­couragement from the husband, who should also try to keep her life interesting and to plan shared interests and occasional evenings away from the home. A husband should treat his wife as an equal, talk things over with her, respect her advice and, on occasion if necessary, tactfully make suggestions to her. Neither should take the other for granted, but always want to hear how the day has gone, how happy time can be planned ahead, and how mutual help and comfort may be given. Un­expected and unsought signs of love and an occasional surprise gift lovingly given: all these and many other things go to the building up of serene and trusted happi­ness and to the continuance of one of the most wonder­ful and blessed experiences -love, marriage, parenthood and home life—which can ever be the lot of mankind on earth.

The Influence of Friends

The well-meant, but often very destructive, advice of friends who are unhappily married should always be correctly evaluated. Discontented and disappointed married couples can be embittered by the happiness of their married friends. They are inclined to speak cynic­ally of marriage, and may even try to break up a happy union because it manifests their own failure. They can exert a strong destructive influence upon their happily married friends. Where possible, therefore, friendships should be shared with those who have their own share of love and happiness and will not envy others for their contentment.

Character the Rock Foundation of Human Happiness

Emerson said: “Happy will that house be in which the relations are formed from character.” I believe this to be profoundly true and that the foundation of all happiness, and therefore of happiness in marriage, is human character. Theosophy can be a great help both in the study of human characteristics and in the correc­tion of faults and undesirable habits. When these are examined they are found to exist in pairs of opposites, as they are called in Theosophy. All types of men and all human traits are susceptible of classification into pairs, one of which may be thought of as a positive expression of a force and a quality and the other as a negative. Virtues and desirable feelings are for the most part positive, whilst vices and undesirable feelings constitute negative expressions of the same force and quality. In advance, I may say that the key to self- correction consists not so much in the suppression of an undesirable trait or habit, but rather in the redirection of the force behind it into positive channels.

The Science of Character Building

The primary pair of opposites is attraction and repul­sion, the first being of the nature of Spirit and the second of matter. From these two apparently opposite forces all emotions stream forth. One of them is love which tends to unity, and the other is hate which tends to divide. The science of ethics is founded upon this principle of pairs of opposites, from which we learn to know what is right and what is wrong, what is con­structive and harmonious and what is destructive and discordant.

In general it may be said that all that makes for divi­sion, for hatred, for separation, is evil and man must resist and conquer it. This is achieved by that wisdom in which all actions in their entirety must ultimately culminate. Wisdom is the burning “fire” which re­duces to ashes the “fuel” of evil in human character, there being no purifier in the world like wisdom. Since Deity abides in both attraction and repulsion, the wise ones amongst men look equally upon them both, having achieved equilibrium between the two. They have reached the highest state of wisdom, which shines in them like the sun.

The Pairs of Opposites

The science of character building and self-correction consists of the elimination of the negative and the devel­opment of the corresponding positive quality. This is achieved by mental concentration upon the desired characteristic and its consistent expression in life. The following list of these opposites will provide both an infallible test of compatibility between those who pro­pose to marry and a guide in character development. If positives predominate, and the lovers possess similar traits and preferences and experience the same feelings in a considerable majority of these examples, then no serious character obstacles would be likely to interfere with their happiness. If, however, the negatives pre­dominate in both, or they differ in a majority of char­acteristics, then they should hesitate before proceeding.

This brings us to a special theosophical teaching con­cerning human character. Here is a short list of the positive and negative human traits and emotions. As far as the deep happiness of first love will admit, young people are well advised to first examine themselves from this point of view.



Sociable. Warmhearted.

Aloof. Cold. Reserved.

Easily swayed.



Heedless. Selfish.

Calm. Poised. Quiet.

Irritable. Impatient.

Prepared to reason. Logical.

Hasty. Impulsive. Unreasonable.

Open. Frank. Loyal.

Deceitful. Secretive. Dis­loyal.

Co-operative. Liking to share and to serve.

Individualistic. Independent. Dominant.

Easily appeased.




Idealistic. Moral. Honour­able.

Materialistic. Expedient.


Given to white lies.



Dependable, with a sense of duty.



Psychologically adjusted.

Badly adjusted.

Great power of love and sacrifice.

Narrow. Self-centred.

Tolerant in religion.


Sense of humour. Love of fun.





(Possession of the same kind of humour, tendency to laugh at the same sort of things, is important).

Desire for children.

No desire for children.

Free of gross indulgences.

Addicted to vice. Healthy. Diseased.


Facing Faults with Honesty and Courage

The characters and tastes of those who wish to find enduring happiness should harmonise on most of these points. Where they do not, the two concerned should be prepared manfully to attack the undesirable qualities and eliminate them, and to make mutual adjustments for the harmonisation of opposite traits. They should be ready gently and tactfully both to give and receive help one from the other. Mutual correction is, how­ever, an extremely dangerous procedure, requiring care­ful choice of the right occasion and method and the utmost forbearance, wisdom and skill. Nagging is ana­thema and will ruin any partnership. The desire to dominate should be most carefully guarded against. It is the commonest of human traits and the greatest cause of man’s unhappiness. “The desire to rule is the most vehement of all passions.” [87] If young couples are not prepared to acknowledge and correct the faults in their own characters, to accept guidance from each other and wisely to give that guid­ance, then they are not suited to each other and most probably are not deeply in love. They are still self- centred and self-moved. Their first joy is not likely to develop into lasting happiness.

The Value of Discipline

What other factors are there which ensure enduring happiness in comradeship, love and marriage? Here are some others. Steadiness and stability of emotion and mind are qualities to be developed and prized. Infantile and childish outbursts and attitudes should be checked and cured. Sexual harmony depends largely upon emo­tional maturity and stability, upon freedom from com­plexes, phobias and neuroses. Gentleness, self-control and considerateness in the sex relationship on the part of the husband are of the utmost importance. The greater the voluntarily applied restraint, the greater the happiness derived from marriage. Parents who wisely instruct their children in the matters of sex contribute greatly to their emotional maturity, and therefore to their marital happiness.

The occupation of the man is important. His pros­pects should be carefully considered by the girl and her parents, for economic security or insecurity can make or mar a marriage. Regular hours and a permanent place of employment are obviously much better than changing shifts and much travelling away from home.

Religion, Family Interests and Ideals

Similarly of religion is another matter to be consider­ed. Wide differences can cause friction. Tolerant understanding and agreement beforehand as to how the children will be brought up, and whether they will be affiliated to a Church, are very necessary. Wide diver­gences of religion, as of age, race and class, are to be avoided.

Family background should be observed. Happiness in marriage runs in families. The prospective partners should come from the same sort of homes. Happy childhood, happily married parents, home harmony during youth—all these play a strong, formative part in character development and in suitability for marriage. A boy or a girl from a home in which there have been constant bickering, parental differences and quarrels will need much help and training, and Very wise and gentle treatment, if he or she is to be happy in marriage.

As far as possible every interest and pleasure should be shared. The pursuit together of an ideal, study to­gether of elevating subjects, and service together in a noble Cause, will cement the two lives and bring them safely through many difficulties. To give happiness is a noble marital ideal, and one test of an individual’s character is the happiness or otherwise of those who live with them. The content or discontent of one part­ner are often indications of the character and way of life of the other.

Spiritual, Intellectual and Cultural Progress

There is one other very important factor in the attain­ment and preservation of happiness in an intimate hu­man relationship. This is a deep concern for the spirit­ual progress of the loved one In common with World Religions, Theosophy teaches that the attainment of perfected manhood is the true goal of human existence and that the experiences of life are the chief means of attainment. Of all such experiences marriage can be the most educative and helpful. When close harmony is achieved and maintained, each partner shares the life of the other and, in consequence, passes through two sets of experiences, lives two lives, and so receives a dual education. This educative aspect of marriage should be deeply realised and all relationships and ac­tions be considered according to their helpfulness as evolutionary aids.

Each partner can make or mar the present incarna­tion of the other, both materially and spiritually. The ideal objective is to ensure the greatest possible evolu­tionary benefit and cultural, intellectual and spiritual progress from the association. As far as human limita­tions will permit—and I recognise that much that I am saying is a counsel of perfection—nothing should ever be done or allowed to happen consistently which could warp the character of the beloved, or delay their pro­gress towards perfection. On the contrary, everything should ideally be planned and carried out with this supreme objective in view—to advance together towards the stature of the perfect man. Acceptance and appli­cation of this motive, I have become convinced, will not only increase all the happiness of marriage, but will also help very greatly in restoring happiness and harmony when—as is almost inevitable at times—they are lost.

Knowledge the True Key to Harmony, Happiness and Health

Let me say, as 1 close, that important though all the other factors contributing to success in marriage are, collaboration and companionship undoubtedly are the most important of all. The grave international divi­sions, wars with their tragic casualty lists and destruc­tiveness, and the steadily rising divorce rate, criminality and juvenile deliquency of this Twentieth Century, all demonstrate the ignorance of modern man concerning his true nature, his destiny and the purpose of his existence.

Theosophy teaches that his nature is spiritual and that evolution to perfection is his destiny, the purpose of his existence. The absence of this knowledge as the guid­ing principle in all human activities and relationships is the root cause of the catastrophes, the sufferings, the sorrows, the failures and the fears of modern man. Similarly, possession of the knowledge, its application to life and its acceptance as a guiding principle in all relationships is the one great assurance of health, of harmony, of unity, and therefore of happiness.

The wonder and the mystery of man is that he is called upon to collaborate with the Deity in the fulfil­ment of the Divine Plan, which is evolution. The home is the true centre of human life. Where mutual help­fulness in all respects, and especially in spiritual, in­tellectual and cultural unfoldment, is the great incentive then all difficulties can be overcome, all discords re­solved into harmony, and happiness between those who love can be completely assured.


The following quotations from Life and Destiny by Maeterlinck may usefully be added to the guidance re­ceived from a study of Theosophy and offered in these broadcasts, now made available in book form.

“If you have been deceived, it is not the deception that matters but the forgiveness whereto it gave birth in your soul, and the loftiness, wisdom, completeness of this forgiveness—by these shall your life be steered to destiny’s haven of peace. By these shall your eyes see more clearly than if all men had ever been faith­ful. But if by this act of deceit there have come not more simpleness, loftier faith, wider range to your love, then have you been deceived in vain, and may truly say nothing has happened.” (pp. 30-1)

“No great inner event befalls those who summon it not; and yet is there germ of great inner event in the smallest occurrence of life.” (p. 33)

A sorrow your soul has changed into sweetness, to indulgence or patient smiles, is a sorrow that shall never return without spiritual ornament; and a fault or defect you have looked in the face can harm you no more, or even be harmful to others.” (p. 34)

“If the shafts of envy can wound and draw blood, it is only because we ourselves have shafts that we wish to throw; if treachery can wring a groan from us, we must be disloyal ourselves. Only those wea­pons can wound the soul that it has not yet sacrificed on the altar of Love.” (pp. 199-200)

 “The simplest lie to myself, buried though it may be in the silence of my soul, may yet be as dangerous to my inner liberty as an act of treachery on the market place.” (p. 202)

“The thinker must never lose touch with those who do not think, as his thoughts would then cease to be just or profound. To disdain is only too easy, not so to understand.”

“No ideal conceived by man can be too admirable for life to conform to it.”

“For our conduct only to be honest we must have thoughts within us ten times loftier than our con­duct... Even to keep somewhat clear of evil bespeaks enormous craving for good.” (p. 220)

“It is well to have visions of a better life than that of every day, but it is the life of every day from which elements of a better life must come.” (p. 245)

“There is not a thought or a feeling, not an act of beauty or nobility whereof man is capable, but can find complete expression in the simplest, most ordinary life.” (p. 251)

“To be wise, we must first learn to be happy, that we may attach ever smaller importance to what happi­ness may be in itself.” (p. 256)

“We can only have praise for heroism, and for surpassingly generous deeds—but more praise still for the man who never allows an inferior thought to seduce him.” (p. 286)


For Study:

A Textbook of Theosophy

C. W. Leadbeater.

The Ancient Wisdom

A. Besant.

Man, Visible and Invisible

C. W. Leadbeater.

Thought Forms

A. Besant and C. W. Leadbeater.

Thought Power, Its Control and Culture

A. Besant.

An Introduction to Yoga


Theosophical Manuals, Nos. l to 7

A. Besant and C. W. Leadbeater.

Invisible Helpers

C. W. Leadbeater.

Esoteric Christianity

A. Besant.

The Christian Creed

C. W. Leadbeater.

The Inner Life, Vols. I and II

The Hidden Side of Things

The Masters

A. Besant.

In the Outer Court

The Path of Discipleship

The Masters and The Path..

C. W. Leadbeater.

The Light of Asia

Sir Edwin Arnold.

The Song Celestial

A Theosophist Looks at the World

Sri Ram.

The Human Interest

An Approach to Reality

Man: His Origins and Evolution



Geoffrey Hodson.

The Brotherhood of Angels and of Men

The Angelic Hosts

Reincarnation, Fact or Fallacy?

The Seven Human Tempera­ments

The Miracle of Birth

The Kingdom of the Gods

Old Diary Leaves, Vols. I, II, III, IV, V, and VI

H. S. Olcott.


Reference Books:


The Etheric Double

A.E. Powell

Indexed compilations

which all serious

students should possess.

The Astral Body

The Mental Body

The Causal Body

The Solar System

The Key to Theosophy

H. P. Blavatsky.

Isis Unveiled

The Secret Doctrine

The Theosophical Glossary

H. P. Blavatsky.

Letters from Masters of the Wisdom (Compilations)

C. Jinaräjadäsa.

The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Transcribed and Compiled)

A. T. Barker.

The Science of the Sacraments

C. W. Leadbeater.

The Hidden Side of Christian Festivals

The Chakras

Talks on the Path of Occultism Vols. 1-3

A. Besant and C.W. Leadbeater.

Man: Whence, How and Whither

The Story of Atlantis

Scott Elliott.


G. S. Arundale.

The Lotus Fire

The Science of Seership

Geoffrey Hodson.

Some Experiments in Four-Dimensional Vision

Devotional Books:


Christ and Buddha, and all the smaller books

C. Jinaräjadäsa.

The K. H. Letters to C. W. Leadbeater and other compilations

The Practice of the Presence of God

Brother Lawrence.

Spiritual Maxims

At the Feet of the Master

J. Krishnamurti.

The Doctrine of the Heart

A. Besant.

The Bhagarad Gita (Translated)

Viveka Chudamani (Translated)

M. Chatterji.

Light on the Path

M. Collins.

The Idyll of the White Lotus..

The Voice of the Silence

H. P. Blavatsky.

The Gospel of the ‘Buddha

Paul Cams.

The Life of the Lord Buddha.

L. Adams Beck.

Thoughts for Aspirants

N. Sri Ram.

Meditations on the Occult Life

Geoffrey Hodson.

Be Ye Perfect

Thus Have I Heard

Occult Fiction:


John Silence

Algernon Blackwood

The Education of Uncle Paul

The Bright Messenger

The Centaur, and other Works

A Brother of the Shadow

Grace Colmore.

The Ninth Vibration

L. Adams Beck.

The Treasure of Ho

The Garden of Vision

The House of Fulfilment

The Splendour of Asia, and other Works


Talbot Miindy.


B. Lytton.

The Coming Race

Peter Ibbotson

Du Maurier.

The Perfume of Egypt

C. W. Leadbeater.

The Caves and Jungles of Hindustan

H. P. Blavatsky.

The Youngest Disciple



About the Author

GEOFFREY HODSON was born and educated in England. During the First World War he served with distinction in the British Army and afterwards became actively interested in Theosophical studies. He carried out occult research in collaboration with medical men, physicists, anthropologists and archeologists.

For some sixty years Mr Hodson lectured for the Theosophical Society, speaking in America, England, Europe, South Africa, India, New Zealand, Australia and the Far East. He was the author of about forty Theosophical and other books, dealing with such topics as meditation, the spiritual life, health and disease, and the life and powers of the occultist. He carried out special and first-hand investigation of fairies and angelic evolution.

Mr Hodson was four times Director of Studies at the School of the Wisdom at the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society, Adyar, Chennai.

He was awarded the Subba Row Medal in 1954 for his contribution to Theosophical literature.

Some Other Books by Geoffrey Hodson

At the Sign of the Square and Compasses

Basic Theosophy

The Hidden Wisdom in the Holy Bible (4 Vols.)

The Kingdom of the Gods

Meditations on the Occult Life

Music Forms

Occult Powers in Nature and Man

The Pathway to Perfection

The Supreme Splendour


[1] Adept. An Initiate of the 5th degree; a Master in the Science of Esoteric Philosophy; a perfected man; an exalted Being who has attained mastery over the human nature and possesses knowl­edge and power commensurate with lofty evolutionary stature. This fulfilment of human destiny is thus described by St. Paul: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (Eph. IV: 13). Certain Adepts remain on earth to assist humanity and are referred to by St. Paul as “just men made perfect (Heb. XII: 23). The Lord Christ similarly described the destiny of man in His words: “Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt. V: 48 R.V.).

[2] The Secret Doctrine, H. P. Blavatsky, Vol. I, p. 316. Adyar Edition.

[3]  Vide The Masters, A. Besant.

[4]  Pelican Books. Further information on this subject may be gained from Journal of Parapsychology, Duke University Press, Durham, N. C., U. S. A.

[5] The masculine is used only for convenience, Deity being regarded as equally masculine, feminine and androgyne, Father, Mother and Son in one Supernal Power.

[6] Vide Meditations On the Occult Life and The Pathway to Per­fection, Geoffrey Hodson, T. P, H., Adyar, Madras, India.

[7] Everyman's Search, Rebecca Beard, pp. 53-4.

[8] Vide Science News 9, Penguin Series.

[9] Vide Man, Visible and Invisible, and Thought Forms, A. Bcsant and C. W. Leadbeater. T. P. H., Adyar.

[10]  Alice in Wonderland, Chapter IX.

[11] For a fuller exposition of psychosomatics see Theosophy Answers Some Problems of Life, Geoffrey Hodson, pp. 191-197, T. P. H., Adyar.

[12] The Lotus Fire, G. S. Arundale, p. Ill, T. P.H., Adyar.

[13] Sidortea.

[14] Deut. XXXIII: 27.

[15] The Higher Pantheism, Tennyson.

[16] Chapter III.

[17] Ps. VIII: 4.

[18] The Idyll of the White Lotus, by Mabel Collins, Seventh Edition, p. 123, T. P. H.. Advar.

[19] Eph. IV: 13.

[20] Matt. V; 48.

[21] The Secret Doctrine, H. P. Blavatsky, Vol. I, p. 115, Adyar Edition.

[22] Col. 1:27.

[23] Phil. II: 12, 13.

[24] Cor. VI: 16.

[25] Gen. I : 26.

[26] Wordsworth.

[27] The substance of this broadcast also appears in my book, The Kingdom of the Gods, being here included in an amended form by kind permission of the publishers of that book.

[28] Yoga (Sk.). Union. The science, the methods and the results of self-training to the end of conscious realisation of the identity of the Spirit of each man with the Spirit of the Universe as a whole. Vide Self-Realisation Through Yoga and Mysticism, Josephine Ransom, T. P. H., London.

[29] Chakras (Sk.). Wheels. Vide The Chakras, C. W. Leadbeater.

[30] The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, The Bible, Chapter I.

[31] Further descriptions of the Angelic Hosts are to be found in Chapter IV, Part II, of this work and also, together with coloured illustrations, in the author’s book, The Kingdom of the Gods.

[32] Gen. XXVIII: 12.

[33] The Logos Doctrine is expounded in the author’s book, The Kingdom of the Gods, Chapter III, Part I.

[34] A theosophical axiom says: “God sleeps in the mineral, dreams in the plant, stirs in the animal and reaches self-consci­ousness in man”, thereby describing the evolution of Life through the pub-human kingdoms, to attain to self-conscious individual­ity in man.

[35] This subject is more fully considered in Part IV, Chapter I.

[36]   The masculine pronoun is used for convenience only. See footnote, Chapter I, Part I, p. 9.

[37] The Mysteries. Observances, generally kept secret from the profane in which were taught by dramatic representation and other methods the origin of things, the nature of the human spirit, its relation to the body, and the method of self-purification and entry upon a spiritual mode of life.

[38] Col. 1:26-7.

[39] 1st Epistle of St. John ill: 2.

[40] 2nd Cor. Ill: 18.

[41] Matt. V: 48. R. V.

[42] Eph. IV: 13.

[43] In Memoriam, Tennyson.

[44]   Vide Reincarnation Fact or Fallacy? by Geoffrey Hodson, T. P. H., Adyar.

[45]  Rev, ITT; 12.

[46] Gal. VI: 7.

[47]  Matt. VI: 20.

[48] Eph.YV: 13.

[49] Gal. 7.

[50] Matt. V: 18; VII: 1,2, 12.

[51] Is. XXXV: 8.

[52] Matt. VII: |4.

[53] In Memoriam.

[54] Heb.. XII: 23.

[55] Matt. IV: 19.

[56] Mark III: 14-17.

[57] Matt. XIII: 11.

[58] Matt. XIX: 22.

[59] Upanishad.

[60] Matt. X: 40-42.

[61] Mark IV: 11.

[62] Mark V: 25-30.

[63] Col. I: 27.

[64] I Kings XIX: 11.

[65] Gal. IV: 19.

[66] Mark Vi: 11.

[67] Matt. XIX: 16-22.

[68] Gal. IV: 19.

[69] John III: 3.

[70] Vide Theosophy Answers Some Problems of Life, Geoffrey Hodson T.P.H., Adyar.

[71] Matt. I: 18 and Luke I: 31-35.

[72] Matt. I: 19.

[73] Hebrews XII: 23.

[74] Matt. XXVI: 40.

[75] Matt. XXXVII: 46.

[76] John X: 30.

[77] John XIX: 30.

[78] Eph. IV.: 13.

[79] Rev. III: 12.

[80] Cleomenes IV: 1.

[81] An Introduction to Yoga by A. Besant and Raja Yoga by Ramacharaka are recommended to the student.

[82] Gal. VI:

[83] Matt. V: 18.

[84] This and the following chapter were talks prepared for deli­very, but not broadcast from Station 2GB.

[85] Rev. Ill: 12.

[86] Gal. VI: 7.

[87] Tacitus.