THEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ( PASADENA - US )
Individual Regeneration or World Chaos
For our doctrines to practically react on the so-called moral code or the ideas of truthfulness, purity, self-denial, charity, etc., we have to popularise a knowledge of Theosophy. . . . For as everyone knows, total emancipation from authority of the one all-pervading power or law called God by the priests — Buddha, Divine Wisdom and enlightenment or Theosophy, by the philosophers of all ages — means also the emancipation from that of human law. Once unfettered and delivered from their dead-weight of dogmatic interpretations, personal names, anthropomorphic conceptions and salaried priests, the fundamental doctrines of all religions will be proved identical in their esoteric meaning. Osiris, Krishna, Buddha, Christ, will be shown as different names for one and the same royal highway to final bliss — NIRVANA. Mystical Christianity, that is to say that Christianity which teaches self-redemption through our own seventh principle — this liberated Para-Atma (Augoeides) called by some Christ, by others Buddha, and equivalent to regeneration or rebirth in spirit — will be found just the same truth as the Nirvana of Buddhism. All of us have to get rid of our own Ego, the illusory apparent self, to recognise our true self in a transcendental divine life. But if we would not be selfish, we must strive to make other people see that truth, to recognise the reality of that transcendental self, the Buddh, the Christ or God of every preacher. — Letters from The Masters of The Wisdom
We recognise no higher authority than the writer of that letter, and therefore at least all Theosophists will pay a good deal of attention to these words that come from a great Master of Wisdom, although it is from an abridged letter. The point that I want to draw attention to is that it does not very much matter what you call this universal Divine principle in nature — something which the Christian is accustomed to call "God"; which in older times in Egypt they referred to as Osiris; which the Buddhists look upon as Nirvana; which the Hindus look upon as Brahman, with the Teacher, the incarnate God, as Krishna — Krishna, whom many of you are probably familiar with now, through the Hindu epic of the Mahabharata, where he appears as the Divine Teacher speaking to Arjuna in very much the same way as the Jesus of the Gospels is the God incarnate giving his Divine message to the Theosophists of that age.
Now, the thing that I want to talk to you about tonight is the problem of how we are going to contribute something — to do our part in solving the crisis towards which Europe and the Western peoples generally are hurtling at breakneck speed. You and I know, if we have read the signs aright, that something is on the way, and that something we are going towards very, very fast; and unless there is a universal Spiritual awakening now immediately, particularly amongst the Western peoples — this civilization is in danger of destruction. Can the Theosophical Movement contribute to the solution of that problem in a dynamic and practical way which you and I as ordinary men and women can apply, or are we going to talk high metaphysics and be generally and beautifully vague — not really getting down to brass tacks in our own lives, and certainly not bringing any real influence to bear upon the hearts and minds of the people at large or the world in general?
One of the purposes of the Theosophical Movement is to change the hearts and minds of the peoples of the world, so that we can usher in a new world order based, not upon selfish and materialistic thinking and living, but upon the realization by each individual man, that he is literally in himself the Temple of an incarnate God — that he is an incarnate God. This Deity is his very essence, the root of his being, which means if you understand it correctly, that we — not as separate isolated personalities, but as Spiritual beings — are one with the heart of the Universe. Again not to be abstruse and metaphysical, but striving to find words to express the sublimity of the idea, the Universal Self is that which is the same in you and in me: that something in which we live and move and have our being; which is nearer to us than hands and feet, and closer than breathing. All men and women can, if they will, have at their command the knowledge, the wisdom, the power, to solve the world problem we are facing today, and stop this headlong rush along the broad road to destruction. Do you believe that to be a practical possibility? I do, and that is why I am here tonight; and every man and woman who seizes hold of the ideas that I am going to try and lay before you can in proportion to their sincerity, their determination and self-abnegation, become resolvers of chaos, first in their own lives, then in their homes, then in their towns and in their nations. Thus by transforming and changing the lives of individuals, they become instruments for the universal splendor of Divine power, wisdom and love to flow into the world. Wherever we live we shall be able to bring to bear that resolving, ameliorating, inspiriting, purifying, energizing, dynamic force of the Supreme itself.
It is useless to talk about serving humanity in some vague way, and appealing to people in the mass — it cannot be done if we cannot go to a single individual and meet his needs and problems. And unless you and I as individual Theosophists are convinced from having proved it in our own lives, from having conquered ourselves, and are therefore able honestly and sincerely to declare a victory where we previously had defeat, we cannot do anything. It is useless to attempt to solve the world problem until we have solved our own problem. Theosophy is there if you want it; and if you don't want it, it has nothing to say to you. If you have suffered, if you have struggled, if you have had to register defeat in your moral and spiritual life — (and show me the man or woman who has not) and more, if you see men and women and children around you that you want to help by bringing to them the saving and regenerating power of Spiritual knowledge — then you will come to recognise that you never will be able to do it, until you have learnt the secret of regenerating your own life and making of yourself a reborn man, a spiritual man. Does this mean years and years and years of studying endless books, and a tremendously complex, metaphysical and philosophical system; or is it something that you can apply here and now? Again, there is no time to teach men abstruse metaphysics and philosophy in this hour of universal crisis. The World today is on the brink of collapse, and it is not an economic collapse primarily, but a spiritual one, as all collapses are. If a man collapses it is because his spiritual life is at fault, and if our own nation, and if our own homes, are in chaos or misery or disharmony, it is because the spiritual life of that home, the spiritual lives of the individuals concerned in it, are wrong. It is the mission of the Theosophical Movement at all times, but particularly in these hours when we are hurtling to destruction, to change this state of affairs and to change it rapidly — but this means you and me. You cannot leave it to somebody else. The human race is made up of individuals, and you are one of them.
Perhaps by now you will be wondering how these things are to be accomplished. First you will have to ask yourself the question: Do you believe that in your own inmost essence there is Divinity, Power, Wisdom, Knowledge? If you believe in it because you have experienced its strength and its peace, then your problem is how to incarnate it in your life so that you become a center of conscious, dynamic, spiritual energy — going out into the world as ordinary men and women but capable spiritually of doing extraordinary things. That is the first question you have got to ask yourself: Do you believe in the Divinity and power of your own innermost nature, and if so how are you to reach it and make it effective so that it will not only transform your own life, but transform the environment around you? Do you believe that the Sermon on the Mount is a practical affair, a practical statement that can be lived in this modern world by ordinary men and women; or do you regard it as a beautiful ideal to be put on the shelf somewhere and worshiped from a distance — to dream about as a possibility for us in some infinitely remote future; or do you think that that great master mind that lived and worked in Palestine meant what he said when he commanded all men to be perfect as their Father in Heaven is perfect? So many of us just shrug our shoulders and say "Stuff, platitudes, impractical nonsense!" What do YOU think about it? I believe it is not only practical, but that it is sheer folly to ignore it.
THEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ( PASADENA- US )