THEOSOPHY, Vol. 55, No. 9, July, 1967
(Pages 257-259; Size: 8K)

The time must presently come when the really advanced thinkers of the age will be compelled to lay by their indifference, and their scorn and conceit, and follow the lines of philosophical investigation laid down in the Secret Doctrine. Very few seem yet to have realized how ample are these resources, because it involves a process of thought almost unknown to the present age of empiricism and induction. It is a revelation from archaic ages, indestructible and eternal, yet capable of being obscured and lost; capable of being again and again reborn, or like man himself -- reincarnated.


No one styling himself a "scholar," in whatever department of exact science, will be permitted to regard these teachings seriously. They will be derided and rejected a priori in this century; but only in this one. For in the twentieth century of our era scholars will begin to recognize that the Secret Doctrine has neither been invented nor exaggerated, but, on the contrary, simply outlined; and finally, that its teachings antedate the Vedas.

THESE are guidelines provided to those who accept H. P. Blavatsky as the teacher of Theosophy. In the light of what is said by both Mr. Judge and H.P.B., a particular importance attaches to the form in which this teaching is embodied. For, unquestionably, the Wisdom-Religion has taken many forms, down through the ages. One can select for study a particular example of these forms, or, if he has the time and the ability, he may try to study them all. For those who go in these directions, the problem is, on the one hand, to avoid becoming a sectarian, and, on the other, to reach through the forms to the substance which lies beneath.

There is a sense in which H.P.B. was an eclectic. She used the full spectrum of materials afforded by the historical record of past science, philosophy, and religion, and she drew also on records said to be inaccessible to modern scholarship. Yet when she borrowed from Montaigne for the measure of her contribution -- "I HAVE HERE MADE ONLY A NOSEGAY OF CULLED FLOWERS, AND HAVE BROUGHT NOTHING OF MY OWN BUT THE STRING THAT TlES THEM" -- she did not explain the importance of that "string," which put the Wisdom-Religion into a conceptual language affording the human race of her time the best possible opportunity for understanding its meaning. Her eclecticism, in short, was only apparent. Reading the works of H. P. Blavatsky is no antiquarian journey into the learning and wisdom of the past, but a direct contact with timeless philosophy in the thought-forms of the present age. H.P.B. was no child of her times, but she understood the needs of those who were.

This seems the most important single fact to be recognized about H.P.B. She, with her helpers, constructed a Theosophical curriculum out of intimate knowledge of the dynamics of soul-learning in the present cycle of man's evolution. This means that the proportion of principle to illustration and fact, of symbol to metaphysical doctrine, of hint and suggestion to explicit outline, occurs in her writings from understanding of man's nature and its present capacities for progress. This must have prevailed in everything that she did.

So, naturally, the question of "authority" requires attention. To speak in this way of the importance of recognizing H.P.B. as the teacher of Theosophy is, however, not to demand acceptance of her as a conventional authority, but rather to make us attentive to whatever she said concerning "authority." It is to suggest that, whatever she said, it is almost certain to have more pertinence and application to the study of Theosophy than anything anyone else has said. Such an "authority" uses the attentiveness of the student as a means of freeing him from any sort of authority, save his own understanding. What is the evidence for this? It lies in the works of those who have been most attentive to what she taught -- in the writings, say, of William Q. Judge and Robert Crosbie. The minds of these two give evidence of a full, unhalting freedom of expression, of a cosmopolitanism of thought which cleaves spontaneously to the essential lines of teaching found in the works of H.P.B. Thus we are returned to the prefatory statement about The Secret Doctrine, which "claims consideration, not by reason of any appeal to dogmatic authority, but because it closely adheres to Nature, and follows the laws of uniformity and analogy."

It follows that anything said of H.P.B.'s work, if it reflects her intentions, will point, finally, to the internal evidence of its value, and this applies to all the attitudes of faithfulness and devotion given expression by those who have found in her their guide, philosopher, and friend.

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: 


Always they come -- the ones with the vision, the faith, the profound understanding of what makes men human and keeps them so. Always they remind us that we must not only tolerate one another's differences, we must treasure them; for out of these differences come the unpredictable, the new idea, the bright dream, the strange and wondrous gift. When times grow dark, when we persecute or hide away from others because of our fears, these few turn the lights on again with their words. Whether they speak in the name of religion, science, or common decency, their concern causes miracles to happen: men begin to lose their fear, they find things to do, they discover within themselves potentialities they did not know they possessed; and, making use of them, they move the human race up a little -- a few inches, at least -- to a higher level of feeling and doing, learning and becoming.

Whatever lies ahead in the human future is there because men -- yesterday, today, a thousand or ten thousand years ago -- have had a vision of what our world can become and shared their vision with us. It is a good thing to remember that never have all the lights gone out, no matter how confused and bewildered an age we live in. Always there have been those whose vision stayed clear.

--LILLIAN SMITH: Now is the Time

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