THEOSOPHY, Vol. 20, No. 5, March, 1932
(Pages 213-215; Size: 10K)


ALL Life is a search. The life of every man is an attempt to reach a certain goal, and to each one the most desirable thing, the object of all his searching, is that which according to his opinion will deliver him from whatever he regards as evil. Many are the objects of human search, because many indeed are the human evils. But every human search, whether for wealth, for happiness, for health, for fame and glory, for peace or learning, is rooted in this fundamental desire to be delivered from evil. According to each man's conception as to the cause of his evils, is the nature of his search.

The human conception of Life is that all our troubles and difficulties, all our sorrows and sufferings, are due to causes outside of ourselves, whether they are considered as punishments from a personal god, or whether they are attributed to some providence or fate, or merely regarded as the play of blind forces. This is one point upon which the religious man, the skeptic, the fatalist, and the materialist, all alike agree. It is the human conception of Life, which looks at events and circumstances, good or evil, as something which befalls from an outside source.

This being the basic conception of men in regard to the cause of their evils, it inevitably follows that the means for their removal are looked for on the outside too. This is precisely what all men are doing. The religious man, the skeptic, the fatalist, and the materialist -- once more they agree -- all alike are engaged in searching outside of themselves.

How many are successful in their search? How many ever attain the object of their desires? How many succeed in removing the various evils that afflict them? Few indeed. And among those few who reach the desired goal, how many are there whose "success" does not turn into ashes in the mouth, leaving them more dissatisfied than before, more truly afflicted by evil -- the evil of having nothing more to look for?

Human life is a search indeed, but it is a dream-search, and like all dreams it is an ever-changing round of pictures, self-created images of hope and despair, of pleasure and pain, of happiness and misery, of success and failure, ceaselessly revolving in an endless succession, endless as only dreams can be -- as long as we are dreaming. No human attainment, however high, no human success, however great, is more than a dream within a dream. No human sorrow, however deep, no human despair, however cruel, is more than a nightmare, the end of a blind-alley in the land of dreaming. But there is no standing still. Life -- even dream-life -- ever moves on, and so men can but turn back again, their vanished dream-successes of yesterday becoming their dream-evils of today, engendering new dreams of success for to-morrow. Let the man who doubts that human life is a dream-life, that human success and human sorrow are its ever alternating poles -- let him look over the pages of human history, and see how successful men have been in removing evil from human life. Let him look at human success in the world to-day, and ask himself what kind of dreams mankind will be dreaming to-morrow. Let him look into his own life -- and perhaps he will need no further proof that human life is a dream-search for a dream-goal.

The overcoming of human evils, the object of all human search, can never be found as long as men go on dreaming, for the simple reason that the basic cause of all evils lies in the very fact that men are dreaming, and do not know it. This is the only Evil there is, deliverance from it the only thing worth striving after: the only Search for the only Goal. How, then, is that goal to be attained, how is the path that leads to it to be found? By realizing that we are dreaming. As long as we regard any dream as real, we will continue in that dream. To see it for what it is, to realize that it is but a dream, self-created and self-sustained, is to overcome it, is to wake up. To what? To a divine, immortal conception of Life; to the fact that human evils are but the outcome of human ignorance, the mortal reaping of human sowing; to the fact that the birth-right of every human being is the attainment of Divine Wisdom, the immortal reaping of divine sowing.

Then Life ceases to be a dream-search for a dream-goal. It is a search still, but no longer is the search based on human, mortal conceptions of good and evil, of success and failure. Human ignorance is seen to be the cause of all mortal ills, Divine Wisdom is seen to be the only deliverance from evil. Henceforth the search becomes a knowing search, along a divine path, for an immortal goal.

The Voice of Those who once were dreaming human dreams like ourselves, but who, in ages past, woke up and, seeing the Path of Wisdom, pursued the search until They reached the goal, is ever calling those who in their dreams may listen and remember. Some hear it, faintly, now and then, but it fades soon away again, drowned by the voices of their mortal hopes and fears. Some others hear it more distinctly, and try to listen for a while. But being only half aroused, they fail to understand its language, and soon their feeble effort dies away, as they sink back once more into the land of dreams. Yet, a few there are, who not only hear the voice and listen to its sound, but listening -- remember. Remember the language that it speaks, the language of their homeland whence, in ages past, they came into the land of dreams. At last the old familiar voice is recognized, that speaks the old familiar tongue: the voice of their own Higher Self, reminding them of their divine mission that still is unfulfilled, to sow the seeds of Life Immortal in the land of mortal dreams. Remembering the ancient Vow, the long-forgotten search is taken up anew, the search of Life, the search for Life: the Search for Truth.

"So that neither blight nor mildew,
Neither burrowing worm nor insect,
Shall pass o'er the magic circle; ..."
drawn around the fields of far-future promise by all striving to eschew self-interest and "live to benefit mankind."

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:


"Pilgrim" is the appellation given to our Monad(1) (the two in one) during its cycle of incarnations. It is the only immortal and eternal principle in us, being an indivisible part of the integral whole -- the Universal Spirit, from which it emanates, and into which it is absorbed at the end of the cycle. When it is said to emanate from the one spirit, an awkward and incorrect expression has to be used, for lack of appropriate words in English. The Vedantins call it Sutratma (Thread-Soul)(2), but their explanation, too, differs somewhat from that of the occultists; to explain which difference, however, is left to the Vedantins themselves -- S.D. I, fn. pp. 16-17.

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Dreams and the Dreamer -- I
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COMPILER'S NOTE: I added these footnotes; they were not in the article. If any of them don't paint an accurate enough picture, or are incorrect, I hope the Editors of THEOSOPHY magazine will spot them and point the inaccuracies out to me, so that I can make the necessary corrections.

(1) "Monad" is the Unity, the One; when referred to Man, or ourselves, it is the changeless Perceiver. All of this emanates out of the Absolute: the unknown and attributeless ALL.
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(2) "Sutratma (Thread-Soul)". This is some of what is said about it in the Theosophical Glossary: "Sutratman...'the thread of spirit'; the immortal Ego, the Individuality which incarnates in men one life after the other, and upon which are strung, like beads on a string, his countless Personalities. ..."
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