Compass Newsletter Spring 2012 No.17
The purpose of Theosophy and the aim of Theosophists is not that of converting men to a particular form of religious belief, but rather of awakening them to the ultimate truth behind all religion: that Universal Brotherhood is a fact in Nature, and that the difficulties facing humanity today were brought about by the fact that men have persistently refused to recognise this paramount and vital truth, and live accordingly.
Between the lines of recorded history, in the ruins of ancient civilizations, the tragic story of the human race is written. Nations and civilizations flourish and decay, leaving but crumbling ruins in their wake to commemorate their former glory and excite the curiosity and speculative theories of future generations. The monumental relics of antiquity which have withstood the ravages of time and elements and the destructive vandalism of barbarous hordes and religious fanaticism, stand as mute evidence that civilizations greater than our own, having reached the zenith of material and even intellectual progress, crashed for the want of a most necessary counterbalance — the practice of Universal Brotherhood among mankind.
In these days when the thought atmosphere of the world is so impregnated with fear of wars, crime-waves, and economic uncertainty, man is painfully learning that the ‘bread and circus’ philosophy of life — the glorified materialism which has been dressed in all the glamor human ingenuity could devise — will never satisfy his innate hunger for spiritual light and knowledge. It will not even carry him across the chasm of material difficulties to which it has brought him.
The idea of Universal Brotherhood among mankind is nothing new; every age has talked of it, but none has brought it to a reality in the external conditions of life. Quite to the contrary, the race clings to the great illusion of human selfishness, which hangs like a pall over mankind and which time and time again has been the undoing of individuals, nations, and civilizations, as one age repeats the errors of the preceding one. Each age has looked upon the idea of Universal Brotherhood as a Utopian ideal, an experiment to be tried out by some future generation. To many it is the fantastical dream of impractical idealists, and is as odious to the twentieth century materialist as it was to the decadent and brutal Romans two thousand years ago. Man persists in climbing over man, nation over nation, and race over race, and as one great Theosophist has said: “Unbrotherliness is the insanity of the age.”
Universal Brotherhood has been the keynote of every religion worthy of the name. It was proclaimed by the great teachers of the race before the pyramids were built, and alone will be the ideal of an enlightened humanity after they have resolved into impalpable dust.
It was the basic teaching of Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Lao-Tse, Confucius, and the host of Elder Brothers who have sought to show mankind the way to a happier existence on earth; and it will become a living reality when the creeds and dogmas of their followers are forgotten; for it is the only fundamental religious teaching upon which it is possible for all men to agree. Articles of faith, man-made dogmas, and theological speculations can never successfully be substituted for a love of collective humanity, regardless of race, color, or creed. The former are the fields in which human misunderstanding, strife, and separateness flourish, while the latter sweeps before it all class-hatreds and their resultant train of evils.
Universal Brotherhood is the only panacea for the evils of every age, but the one which really never has been tried. Man rides roughshod over his own kind in defiance of the wisest teachings of all ages; the bitter experiences of the past, the obvious fact that mankind is working out a common destiny, and the stupidity of human selfishness are marvelous to behold. When one-half of the world doesn’t care how the other half lives, or worse still, when it doesn’t want it to live, human progress cannot be expected to pursue an even tenor.
Theosophy is dedicated to the work of awakening in the hearts and minds of men the realization of the spiritual unity of all, and when once this great truth of Nature is understood by the thinking and intelligent people of our age, the external difficulties confronting mankind will automatically be corrected to a very great degree. In the last analysis, these problems have their origin in the minds of men — wrong thinking, wrong ideals, and primarily human selfishness. It is in the psychological complex of human nature with its present lack of understanding, due to the absence of a permanent and satisfying philosophy of life, that the difficulty lies, and it is there alone that a lasting remedy is to be effected.
Any other, principally those of a political or economic nature, regardless of how worthy they may be in themselves, are merely palliative and temporary, rather than regenerative and permanent. — Clifton Meek, The Theosophical Forum – February 1936
Each incarnation presents us with obligations, duties to ourselves. to the people we meet and the wider location that we find ourselves in. This is our Dharma, our duty. The obligation to do the best we can in the position we find ourselves in and with those who, through karma, we are connected with. No matter how much we study books it will be in the happenings of daily life that the greatest opportunities present themselves to live our Dharma. Entered into correctly, we should have no regrets, understanding that the events of life and the people we meet are the correct things that we have brought to us. This is our Dharma. We have everything necessary to deal with life. No more, no less. Neither criticism nor praise should concern us if we act with right motive.
So, no matter how important or how menial events seem we are to meet them as equals, by doing the best we can. The Dharma of another is not ours and we must be mindful of neglecting ours by interfering in theirs and yet our hearts must be open to all. As our Dharma presents itself we will know when that of another is karmically linked with ours. Yes, everything we do carries with it consequences but these will remain with us only until the energy within them dissipates. Our Dharma unfolds before us on personal, familial and national levels. Ultimately, humanity is our Dharma. We shall begin to understand this as we begin to understand our own Dharma. Wherever we are, is the right place. Working with our karma ensures this.
By reading our karmic script we need to get on with the job, and that job is whatever presents itself to us. We need to ‘mind’ (in the sense of taking care of) our own business and understand karma will take care of the rest.
The UK website has undergone an extensive overhaul and a new feature is the facility for ordering all TUP titles online directly using the online book ordering function. Our Websites, both U.K. www.theosophical.org.uk and U.S. www.theosociety.org carry much information. If you are able, please visit them. They will be updated periodically or when necessary. Almost all TUP Publications are available to read online. Many of these titles are being made available in PDF for ease of viewing. Check the Headquarters website.
The Theosophical Forum Magazine (1936-1951) has now been added to the online literature.
Pat & Sandy Powell