THEOSOPHY, Vol. 85, No. 7, May, 1997
(Pages 193-194; Size: 5K)


WHAT'S IN A NAME? It is an invisible secret but very potential influence -- Carlyle thought that "there is much, nay, almost all, in names which are the most important of all clothings."

The name or title of a magazine started with a definite object, is, therefore, all important; for it is, indeed, the invisible seed-grain. Thus, for an attempt of such nature, no better title could ever be found than the one chosen. "Lucifer" is the pale morning-star, the precursor of the full blaze of the noon-day sun -- the "Eosphoros" of the Greeks. It shines timidly at dawn to gather forces and dazzle the eye after sunset as its own brother "Hesperos" -- the radiant evening star, or the planet Venus. No fitter symbol exists for the proposed work -- that of throwing a ray of truth on everything hidden by the darkness of prejudice. Such an endeavour then, to force the weak-hearted to look truth straight in the face, is helped most efficaciously by a title belonging to the category of branded names.

According to Milton's superb fiction, Lucifer is Satan, the "rebellious" angel, the enemy of God and man. If one analyzes his rebellion, however, it will be found no worse than an assertion of free-will and independent thought. Deeply rooted, indeed, is this preconception and aversion to the name Lucifer -- meaning no worse than "light-bringer" (from lux, lucis, "light," and ferre "to bring").

By choosing it, we throw the first ray of light and truth on a ridiculous prejudice which ought to have no room made for it in this our "age of facts and discovery." We work for true Religion and Science, in the interest of fact as against fiction and prejudice. It is our duty, as it is that of physical Science -- professedly its mission -- to throw light on facts in Nature hitherto surrounded by the darkness of ignorance. And since ignorance is justly regarded as the chief promoter of superstition, that work is, therefore, a noble and beneficent work. But natural Sciences are only one aspect of SCIENCE and TRUTH. Psychological and moral Sciences, or theosophy, are the knowledge of divine truth.

COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:

Theosophy must be made practical; and it has therefore to be disencumbered of useless digressions, in the sense of desultory orations and fine talk.

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(1) Note: Collated from H.P.B.'s article, "What's In A Name?"
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