Compass Newsletter Spring 2013 No. 20
Todays world urges us to be involved (some way, some how, in some thing). Delivers information to us so quickly and in such volume that it can seem to overwhelm us (and in the process possibly weakening our inherent quality of discernment) ; urges us to be active, constantly affirming to us that the only positive position we should adopt is to involve ourselves in some outward action that which will empower us, providing some appearance of change. Appearing to be inactive, therefore not actually doing carries negative connotations. There will be times when action is required from us and we should approach the situation with resolve and determination, giving to it the best of all that we have within ourselves and with consideration to our motive, but;
“It is not that you must rush madly or boldly out to do, to do. Do what you find to do…” (William Quan Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, TUP, Letter 1)
So what are we to do ? How are we to apply ourselves ? The articles that follow may hold suggestions for us.The kernel of a message often sits below the surface and requires us to apply effort and reflection to uncover it, regardless of time and place, Truth remains constant, never changing. Perhaps we achieve most once we start with ourselves as the centre to work from, rather than the centre we expect everything to migrate to. Life offers up to us so many opportunities to begin to actually be the change we wish for humanity.
Walking within the garden of his heart, the pupil suddenly came upon the Master, and was glad, for he had but just finished a task in His service which he hastened to lay at His feet.
“See, Master,” said he, “this is done: now give me other teaching to do.”
The Master looked upon him sadly yet indulgently, as one might upon a child which cannot understand.
“There are already many to teach intellectual conceptions of the Truth,” he replied. “Thinkest thou to serve best by adding thyself to their number?”
The pupil was perplexed.
“Ought we not to proclaim the Truth from the very housetops, until the whole world shall have heard ?” he asked.
“And then – ”
“Then the whole world will surely accept it.”
“Nay,” replied the Master, “the Truth is not of the intellect, but of the heart. See !”
The pupil looked, and saw the Truth as though it were a White Light, flooding the whole earth; yet none reaching the green and living plants which so sorely needed its rays, because of dense layers of clouds intervening.
“The clouds are the human intellect,” said the Master. “Look again.”
Intently gazing, the pupil saw here and there faint rifts in the clouds, through which the Light struggled in broken, feeble beams. Each rift was caused by a little vortex of vibrations, and looking down through the openings thus made the pupil perceived that each vortex had its origin in a human heart.
“Only by adding to and enlarging the rifts will the Light ever reach the earth,” said the Master. “Is it best then, to pour out more Light upon the clouds, or to establish a vortex of heart force ? The latter thou must accomplish unseen and unnoticed and even unthanked. The former will bring thee praise and notice among men. Both are necessary: both are Our work; but – the rifts are so few ! Art strong enough to forego the praise and make of thyself a heart centre of pure impersonal force ?”
The pupil sighed, for it was a sore question.
William Quan Judge, The Path Magazine, October 1895
Some years ago one of those Masters in whom so many of our members believe directed H.P.B. to write a letter for him to a certain body of Theosophists. In this he said that each member could become, in his own town or city, if earnest, sincere and unselfish, an active centre from which would radiate unseen powerful forces able to influence men and women in the vicinity for good; and that soon enquirers would appear, a Branch in time be organised, and thus the whole neighbourhood would receive benefit. This seems just and reasonable in addition to its being stated by such high authority. Members ought to consider and think over it so that action may follow.
Too many who think themselves theosophically alone in their own town, have folded their hands and shut up their minds, saying to themselves that they could do nothing, that no one was near who could possibly care for Theosophy, and that that particular town was the “most difficult for the work.”
The great mistake in these cases is forgetting the law indicated in what H.P.B. wrote. It is one that every member ought to know — that the mind of man is capable of bringing about results through means of other minds about him. If we sit and think that nothing can be done, then our subtle mind meets other minds within the radius of our sphere — not small — and shouts into them: “Nothing can be done.” Of course then nothing is done. But if unselfishly and earnestly we think Theosophy, and desire that others should, like us, be benefited by it, then to the minds we meet in stray moments of the day and in many hours of the night we cry “Theosophy,” and “Help and hope for thee.” The result must be an awakening of interest upon the slightest provocative occasion.
Such an inner attitude, added to every sort of attempt at promulgation, will disclose many unsuspected persons who are thinking along this very line. Thus will the opportunity of the hour be taken advantage of.
Our last Convention marked an era: the dying away of strife and opening of greater chances, the enlargement and extension of inquiry and interest on the part of the great public. This is a very great opportunity. Branches and members alike ought to rise to meet and use all that this will afford. Remember that we are not fighting for any form of organisation, nor for badges, nor for petty personal ends, but for Theosophy; for the benefit, the advantage and the good of our fellow-men. As was said not long ago, those of us who follow after and worship a mere organisation are making fetishes and worshipping a shell. Unselfishness is the real keynote.
Those of us who still, after years and after much instruction, are seeking and wishing for personal progress or preferment in the occult side of life, are destroying that quality first referred to — of being a living, breathing centre of light and hope for others. And the self- seekers thus also lessen their possible chances in the next life here.
Close up the ranks! Each member a centre; each Branch a centre; the whole a vast, whirling centre of light and force and energy for the benefit of the nation and of the race.
Renée Hall (1937-2013)
We bid farewell to Renée who passed away in February after stoically facing up to a long term illness. Renee was born in 1937 in Pietersburg, South Africa. She came over to England in 1960, moving back to South Africa for a short period before returning to the UK, where she lived for the rest of her life. Renée took on the role of National Secretary in 1991which she fulfilled with the devotion to duty which we enjoyed and benefited from. To those who worked with her closely we admired in her ‘the gentleness of the strong, and the strength of the truly gentle.’ Always available to put a calm perspective to issues and always open to the input of others. Many times she would listen intently to another point of view before commenting, either in agreement or otherwise but always exhibiting a compassion and understanding. Before relinquishing the office of National Secretary she worked tirelessly, both outwardly and inwardly for the ideals which she lived for and by, altruism and brotherhood. After relinquishing office she continued living through these ideals, for they were a part of her, comfortably finding a place within her heart from times past. When the time came for her to leave this particular life she was able to do so with the love of her family surrounding her and also with the love of her friends and colleagues.
We wish you well Renée as you embark on another journey of celestial experience and we are fortunate to have shared experiences which are known, not necessarily by their outward appearance, but by the inward connections formed in the mists of time. May our love help to carry you onward.
If you have anything you feel you would like to contribute for publication in Compass Newsletter or have any comments you wish to share please let us know. We would be interested to hear your ideas and thoughts.
Our websites, both U.K. www.theosophical.org.uk and 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.
National Sections Web Addresses and Contact Details
The Theosophical Society, Nigerian Section I. C. Amakulo, Coordinator
Deans Office, Faculty of Pharm. Sciences University of Nigeria
Nsukka, Enugu State
The Theosophical Society, South African Section Alice Yetman, National Secretary
Tel +27 12 654 3193
Constantia (Cape Town area): Dewald Bester, Tel +27 21 434 2281
Kwazula-Natal (Greater Durban area): Grant Halliday, Tel +27 31 702 3411
Newsletters from Abroad
Newsletters received, from our colleagues in Australia “Theosophy Down Under “,“Impuls” from our Dutch colleagues, “Contact” from our colleagues in South Africa and “21st Century Path” from our American friends. Each contains very beautiful and interesting articles and topics, for which we send our thanks. Copies of these newsletters are available on request. Please contact the UK National Secretaries.
Pat & Sandy Powell National Secretaries