Quotes from Classic Theosophical writers like H.P. Blavatsky, W.Q. Judge, the Mahatmas Morya and Koot Hoomi and others.
Theosophical Society - Theosophists
Blavatsky Col. Wr. II, p. 103
Those books, which contain the most self-evident truth, are to it (theosophy) inspired (not revealed). But all books it regards, on account of the human element contained in them, as inferior to the Book of Nature; to read which and comprehend it correctly, the innate powers of the soul must be highly developed.
Col. Wr. Vol. XIII, p. 244
Friends and foes! Criticism is the sole salvation from intellectual stagnation. It is the beneficent goad which stimulates to life and action - hence to healthy changes - the heavy ruminants called Routine and Prejudice, in private as in social life. Adverse opinions are like conflicting winds which brush from the quiet surface of a lake the green scum that tends to settle upon still waters. If every clear stream of independent thought, which runs through the field of life outside the old grooves traced by Public Opinion, had to be arrested and to come to a standstill, the results would prove very sad. The streams would no longer feed the common pond called Society, and its waters would become still more stagnant than they are. Result: it is the most orthodox "authorities" of the social pond who would be the first to get sucked down still deeper into its ooze and slime.
Col. Wr. II, p. 102
... once that a student abandons the old trodden highway of routine, and enters upon the solitary path of independent thought - Godward - he is a Theosophist, an original thinker, a seeker after the eternal truth, with 'an inspiration of his own' to solve the universal problems.
Coll. Wr. XI, p. 466
I speak with "absolute certainty" only so far as my personal belief is concerned. Those who have not the same warrant for their belief as I have, would be very credulous and foolish to accept it on blind faith. Nor does the writer believe ... in any "authority" let alone "divine revelation"! Luckier in this than they are, I need not even rely in this as they do on my intuition, as there is no infallible intuition. But what I do believe is this: (1), the unbroken oral teachings revealed by living divine men during the infancy of mankind to the elect among men; (2), that it has reached us unaltered; and (3), that the MASTERS are thoroughly versed in the science based on such uninterrupted teaching.
Coll. Wr. Vol. XI, p. 124
[about the T.S. :] In its capacity of an abstract body, the Society does not believe in anything, does not accept anything, and does not teach anything. The Society per se cannot and should not have any one religion. Cults, after all, are merely vehicles, more or less material forms, containing a lesser or greater degree of the essence of Truth, which is One and universal. Theosophy is in principle the spiritual as well as the physical science of that Truth, the very essence of deistic and philosophical research.
Coll. Wr. XI, p. 129
Though free to pursue whatever intellectual occupation pleases him the best, each member of our Society must, however, furnish some reason for belonging thereto, which amounts to saying that each member must contribute his part, small though it be, in mental or other labour for the benefit of all. If one does not work for others one has no right to be called a Theosophist. All must strive for freedom of human thought, for the elimination of selfish and sectarian superstitions, and for the discovery of all the truths that are within the reach of the human mind. That object cannot be attained with more certainty than by the cultivation of unity in intellectual labours. No honest worker, no earnest seeker can remain empty-handed, and there is hardly a man or woman, busy as they may think themselves to be, incapable of laying their tribute, moral or pecuniary, on the altar of truth. The duty of Branch and Section Presidents will be henceforth to see to it that the Theosophical beehive is kept free from those drones which keep merely buzzing.
Coll. Wr. XI, p. 135
No one else's opinion should be considered superior to the voice of one's own conscience. Let that conscience, therefore, develop to its highest degree, guide us in all the ordinary acts of life. As to the conduct of our inner life, let us concentrate our entire attention on the ideal we have set ourselves, and look beyond, without paying the slightest attention to the mud upon our feet ...
Those who are capable of making this effort are the true Theosophists; all others are but members, more or less indifferent, and very often useless.
Coll. Wr. XI, p. 266
Having neither dogma nor ritual - these two being but fetters, a material body which suffocates the soul - we do not employ the "ceremonial magic" of the Western Kabalists; we know its dangers too well to have anything to do with it.
Coll. Wr. XI, p. 274-75
"In union is strength" - This is one of the causes of our weakness. We are advised not to wash our dirty linen in public. On the contrary, it is better to confess one's imperfections openly, in other words, to wash one's own dirty linen, than to dirty the linen of one's brother in Theosophy, as some people love to do. Let us speak in general terms, confess our errors, denounce anything that is not Theosophical, but let personalities alone; the latter lies within the province of each individual's Karma ...
Key, p. 304,5
[there will in the future be] a great need which our which our successors in the guidance of the Society will have of unbiased and clear judgement. Every such attempt as the Theosophical Society has hitherto ended in failure, because, sooner or later, it has degenerated into a sect, set up hard-and-fast dogmas of its own, and so lost by imperceptible degrees that vitality which living truth alone can impart.
Coll. Wr. Vol. XVI, p.120, ft.
... we can never agree with the author "that rites and ritual and formal worship and prayers are of the absolute necessity of things," for the external can develop and grow and receive worship only at the expense of, and to the detriment of, the internal, the only real and true.
Coll. Wr. XI, p. 481
... it is our invariable rule to publish rather reproofs than laudation from our correspondents. If you want to know yourself ask your enemies, not your friends, to describe you; and however great the exaggerations, you will find more truth, and profit more by the opinion of the former than by that of those who love you.
Letters from the Masters of wisdom, second series, p. 155-7, letter 82
... one who has reached to the full comprehension of the name and nature of a Theosophist will sit in judgment on no man or action . . . You claim that your religion [Christianity] is the highest and final step toward Divine Wisdom on this earth, and that it has introduced into the arteries of the old and decaying world new blood and life and verities that had remained unknown to the heathen? If it were so indeed, then your religion would have introduced the highest truths into all the social, civil and international relations of Christendom. Instead of that, as any one can perceive, your social as your private life is not based upon a common moral solidarity but only on constant mutual counteraction and purely mechanical equilibrium of individual powers and interests . . .
If you would be a Theosophist, you must not do as those around you do who call on a God of Truth and Love and serve the dark Powers of Might, Greed and Luck. We look in the midst of your Christian civilization and see the same sad signs of old: the realities of your daily lives are diametrically opposed to your religious ideal, but you feel it not; the thought that the very laws that govern your being, whether in the domain of politics or social economy, clash painfully with the origins of your religion do not seem to trouble you in the least. But if the nations of the West are so fully convinced that the ideal can never become practical and the practical will never reach the ideal - then, you have to make your choice: either it is your religion that is impracticable, and in that case it is no better than a vainglorious delusion, or it might find a practicable application, but it is you, yourselves, who do not care to apply its ethics to your daily walk in life . . . Hence, before you invite other nations "to the King's festival table" from which your guest arise more starved than before, you should, ere you try to bring them to your own way of thinking, look into the repasts they offer to you . . . Under the dominion and sway of exoteric creeds, the grotesque and tortured shadows of Theosophical realities, there must ever be the same oppression of the weak and the poor and the same typhonic struggle of the wealthy and the mighty among themselves . . . It is esoteric philosophy alone, the spiritual and psychic blending of man with Nature, that, by revealing fundamental truths, can bring that much desired mediate state between the two extremes of human Egotism and divine Altruism, and finally lead to the alleviation of human suffering.
Mahatma M. in Coll.Wr.VIII, p. 450
In such a great work as this Movement no one should expect to find his associates all congenial, intuitive, prudent or courageous. One of the first proofs of self-mastery is when one shows that he can be kind and forbearing and genial with companions of the most dissimilar characters and temperaments. One of the strongest signs of retrogression when one shows that he expects others to like what he likes and act as he acts.
Mahatma K.H.'s letter #85 to APS., p 395,96; chr. letter 120, p. 412
It is a universally admitted fact that the marvelous success of the Theosophical Society in India is due entirely to its principle of wise and respectful toleration of each other's opinions and beliefs. Not even the President-Founder has the right directly or indirectly to interfere with the freedom of thought of the humblest member, least of all to seek to influence his personal opinion. It is only in the absence of this generous consideration, that even the faintest shadow of difference arms seekers after the same truth, otherwise earnest and sincere, with the scorpion-whip of hatred against their brothers, equally sincere and earnest. Deluded victims of distorted truth, they forget, or never knew, that discord is the harmony of the Universe. Thus in the Theos. Society, each part, as in the glorious fugues of the immortal Mozart, ceaselessly chases the other in harmonious discord on the paths of Eternal progress to meet and finally blend at the threshold of the pursued goal into one harmonious whole, the key-note in nature [Sanskrit characters for "Sat."] Absolute justice makes no difference between the many and the few. Therefore, while thanking the majority of the "L.L" Theosophists for their "loyalty" to us their invisible teachers, we must at the same time, remind them that their President, Mrs. Kingsford, is loyal and true also -- to that which she believes to be the Truth. And, as she is thus loyal and true to her convictions, however small the minority that may side with her at present, the majority led by Mr. Sinnett, our representative in London, cannot with justice charge her with the guilt, which -- since she has emphatically disclaimed all intention of breaking the letter or the spirit of Article VI of the Rules of the Parent Theos. Society (which please see and read) -- is one only in the eyes of those who would be rather too severe. Every Western Theosophist should learn and remember, especially those of them who would be our followers -- that in our Brotherhood, all personalities sink into one idea -- abstract right and absolute practical justice for all. And that, though we may not say with the Christians, "return good for evil" -we repeat with Confucius -- "return go od for good; for evil -- JUSTICE." Thus, the Theosophists of Mrs. K.'s way of thinking, -- were they even to oppose some of us personally to the bitter end, -- are entitled to as much respect and consideration (so long as they are sincere) from us and their fellow-members of opposite views, as those who are ready with Mr. Sinnett to follow absolutely but our special teaching. A dutiful regard for these rules in life will always promote the best interests of all concerned. It is necessary for the parallel progress of the groups under Mrs. K. and Mr. S. that neither should interfere with the beliefs and rights of the other. And it is seriously expected that both of them will be actuated by an earnest and sleepless desire to respect the philosophical independence of each other, while preserving at the same time their unity as a whole - namely the objects of the Parent Theos. Society in their integrity -- and those of the London Lodge, in their slight modification.
Letters from the Masters of Wisdom, first series, letter 4. P.17
[to Francesca Arundale, about the duty's of an officer of a lodge:]
It is not enough that you should set an example of a pure, virtuous life and a tolerant spirit; this is but negative goodness - and for chelaship will never do. You should, even as a simple member, much more as an officer, learn that you may teach, acquire spiritual knowledge and strength that the work may lean upon you, and the sorrowing victims of ignorance learn from you the cause and remedy of their pain.
You should constantly advise with your associates in the Council how to make the general meetings of the Lodge interesting. New members should be taken in hand from the first, by the older ones especially selected and assigned to the duty in each case, and instructed thoroughly in what you have already learnt, so that they may be capable of participating intelligently in the proceedings of regular meetings.
If every Fellow took for his motto the wise words of a young boy, but one who is a fervent Theosophist, and repeated with Bertram K. 'I am a theosophist before I am an Englishman', no foe could ever upset your Society. However candidates should be taught, and old members always recollect, that this is a serious affair the Society is engaged in; and that they should begin the work as seriously by making their own lives theosophical.
If the members in Europe wish well to the Mother Society, they should help to circulate its publications, and to have them translated into other languages when worthy of it.
Intentions and kind words count for little with us. Deeds are what we want and demand.
Letters from the Masters of Wisdom, first series, p. 101, letter 46
...our Society is not a mere intellectual school of occultism, and those greater than we have said that he who thinks the task of working for others too hard had better not undertake it. The moral and spiritual sufferings of the world are more important and need help and cure more than science needs aid from us in any field of discovery. 'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.'
Letters from the Masters of Wisdom, first series, p. 116, letter 53
You have still to learn that as long as there are three men worthy of our Lord's blessing, in the Theosophical Society, it can never be destroyed.
Coll. Wr. XI, p. 465
Nothing of that which is conductive to help man, collectively or individually, to live - not "happily" - but less unhappily in this world, ought to be indifferent to the Theosophist-Occultist. It is no concern of his whether his help benefits a man in his worldly or spiritual progress; his first duty is to be ever ready to help if he can, without stopping to philosophize.
Coll. Wr. IX, p. 8-10
Free discussion, temperate, candid, undefiled by personalities and animosity, is, we think, the most efficacious means of getting rid of error and bringing out the underlying truth [of different religions, philosophies and opinions etc.]
precisely because Lucifer is a theosophical magazine, it opens its columns to writers whose views of life and things may not only slightly differ from its own, but even be diametrically opposed to the opinion of the editors.
One ever learns more from one's enemies than from one's friends.
Mahatma Letters, let. 29, chron let. 29 p. 93
I wish I could impress upon your minds the deep conviction that we do not wish ... to prove conclusively to the public that we really exist. Please realize the fact that so long as men doubt there will be curiosity and enquiry, and that enquiry stimulates reflection which begets effort;
Cranston, p. 243
[H.P. Blavatsky to Emilie de Morsier about the TS in France]
Our society preaches universal fraternity and love, but it leaves its branches free either to embrace each other or not ... Why could you not, you who are at loggerheads with X and Y, ... make an effort to establish a separate branch ...?...
We need such independent centers of research and experimentation ... There is room for everybody. Set to work without worrying about the others ... The Chambers of Deputies is one, and yet how many parties does it contain! They are all working or believe they are working (which is the same thing) for France and have the glory of their native country more or less in view. Work therefore for Truth. Not an atom of your work will be lost.
Damodar, p. 208-210
"Theosophy" and the "Theosophical Society" are two quite different things, since the latter, embracing the former, includes still a few other things. Permit me to remind you that, in our Rules, our objects are defined as follows: -
1) To form the nucleus of an Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed or colour.
2) To promote the study of Aryan and other Eastern literature, religions and sciences, and vindicate its importance.
3) To investigate the hidden mysteries of Nature and the Psychical Powers latent in man.
Of these, the first is the most important for us. It is urged that this Idea is Utopian. But whether it is or is not, is quite beside the question. What people want to know is, whether it is conductive to the happiness and well-being of humanity, and so, worthy of being given a trial - or not. And if it is, that is all we care for. How far we have succeeded in our endeavours, can be seen from the practical results of our work.
... We, therefore, have to admit only such persons who will not interfere with the views of their Fellow Members, but will try to promote mutual Intellectual Sympathy. Between calm and philosophical discussion and bigoted compulsion, there is a world of difference; and a person, who desires to arrive at Truth, must accept it from whatever quarter and wheresoever it may be found. Most of us, Asiatics, believe that we can find it in ancient religions, and, therefore, encourage their study. And here comes in Theosophy. But it is a term which is not properly understood, I fancy, by the majority of our critics: hence - there have been many misconceptions about our Society. Ordinary people say that Theosophy, derived from "Theos - God" and "Sophia - wisdom," means the wisdom of God. Hence they rashly jump to the conclusion that we are all believers in a Personal Deity. No graver mistake could ever be committed. "Theosophy" with us (and it did so with Plato and other ancient Theosophists) means "divine wisdom," or rather the knowledge of that which is yet a mystery to the ordinary run of mankind. In this sense, even a Materialist is a Theosophist, because he is ever trying to find the operation of such laws of nature as have not yet been discovered; a Buddhist, - who recognizes no God, - is also one, for he strives to attain to a knowledge of that which he terms "Motion" and with its help to attain "Nirvana"; so also is the Vedantist, as he is in pursuit of the knowledge of that which he calls "Parabrahm," and thus reach "Moksha"; similarly is a Zoroastrian, for he is striving after that course which will enable him to perceive, with his inner eye, the God Zoroaster saw; and so on and on. But, if we take the religious history of the founders of all these different faiths, we find that they proceeded by the same path and arrived at the same conclusions. It might be said: "How is it then that there should be so many antagonistic passages in different religious books?" Here then comes in true Theosophy, which is the only key to unlock the mysteries of all these noble, ancient philosophies. Secure this key, and all these inconsistencies will fade away. At least those, who have tried it and have succeeded, assert this to be a fact. For a student in occultism, these externals have no charm. He tries to penetrate into the spirit of everything. For him, all exotericism is a mere wrangling of terms.
C.W. II, p. 84,85 [written by H.P. Blavatsky in the first issue of The Theosophist, about its policy.]
It has been shown that the individual members of our Society have their own private opinions upon all matters of a religious, as of every other, nature. They are protected in the enjoyment and expression of the same; and, as individuals, have an equal right to state them in The Theosophist, over their own signatures. Some of us prefer to be known as Arya Samjists, some as Buddhists, some as idolaters, some as something else. What each is, will appear from his or her signed communications. But neither Aryan, Buddhist, or any other representative of a particular religion, whether an editor or a contributor, can, under the Society's rules, be allowed to use these editorial columns exclusively in the interest of the same, or unreservedly commit the paper to its propaganda. It is designed that a strict impartiality shall be observed in the editorial utterances; the paper representing the whole Theosophical Society, or Universal Brotherhood, and not any single section. The Society being neither a church nor a sect in any sense, we mean to give the same cordial welcome to communications from one class of religionists as to those from another; insisting only, that courtesy of language shall be used towards opponents.
C.W. II, p. 216 [H.P. Blavatsky in response to a correspondent, in The Theosophist 1880.]
The theosophists not having as yet studied all these Bhashyas, have no intention to uphold any particular sectarian school. They leave this to the pandits, for whose especial benefit, among others, this journal was founded. A great American quarterly- the North American Review - adopts the plan of submitting some famous contributor's manuscript to one or more equally famous writers of very antagonistic views, and then printing all of the criticisms together. By this wise device, the reader of the magazine is able to see what can be said of a given subject from every point of view. We will do likewise.
C.W. II, p. 405 [H.P. Blavatsky on part of her policy with the theosophist. ]
If, now and then, space has been given to articles of somewhat inferior calibre, the fact must be attributed to design rather than to accident. Not that it would not have been more agreeable to print none but essays of a higher quality; that goes without saying. But we are publishing our magazine for the general public, not alone for the literary critics or antiquarians, and so we always welcome the representatives of popular thought to say their say in the best way they can. To whom shall we look for the revival of Aryan wisdom, the resuscitation of Aryan nationality, the beginning of a reformation of modern abuses? Not to the middle-aged or the old, for their tendency is towards conservatism and reaction. Much as such persons may intellectually revere the sages of old, it is worse than useless to look to them to set an example of putting away prejudices, customs and notions which those very sages would have abhorred and many of which they actually denounced. The hope of the century is in the young, the ardent, the susceptible, the energetic, who are just stepping upon the stage. It is worth more to fire the heart of one such lad than to rekindle among the ashes of their elders' hopes the flickering semblance of a flame. So let us give the young men a chance to explore old records, question and counsel with their parents and teachers, and then publish the results to the great public. They may not always say very profound things, nor use the most elegant phrases, but at least they are sincere and, if encouraged, will be stimulated to study more, take further counsel, and try to write better next time. And their example will be followed by others.
C.W. III, p. 224-226
In common with most of the periodicals we remind our readers in every number of The Theosophist that its "editors disclaim responsibility for opinions expressed by contributors," with some of which they (we) do not agree. And that is all we can do. We never started out in our paper as Teachers, but rather as humble and faithful recorders of the innumerable beliefs, creeds, scientific hypotheses, and - even "superstitions" current in the past ages and now more than lingering yet in our own. Never having been a sectarian - i.e., an interested party - we maintain that in the face of the present situation, during that incessant warfare, in which old creeds and new doctrines, conflicting schools and authorities, revivals of blind faith and incessant scientific discoveries running a race as though for the survival of the fittest, swallow up and mutually destroy and annihilate each other - daring, indeed , were that man who would assume the task of deciding between them! Who, we ask, in the presence of those most wonderful and most unexpected achievements of our great physicists and chemists would risk to draw the line of demarcation between the possible and the impossible ? Where is the honest man who conversant at all with the latest conclusions of archaeology, philology, palaeography, and especially Assyriology, would undertake to prove the superiority of the religious "superstitions" of the civilized Europeans over those of the "heathen," and even of the fetish-worshipping savages?
Having said so much, we have made clear, we hope, the reason why, believing no mortal man infallible, nor claiming that privilege for ourselves, we open our columns to the discussion of every view and opinion, provided it is not proved absolutely supernatural. Besides, whenever we make room for "unscientific" contributions it is when these treat upon subjects which lie entirely out of the province of physical science - generally upon questions that the average and dogmatic scientist rejects a priori and without explanation; but which the real man of science finds not only possible, but after investigation very often fearlessly proclaims the disputed question as an undeniable fact. In respect to most transcendental subjects the sceptic can no more disprove than the believer prove his point. FACT is the only tribunal we submit to and recognize it without appeal. And before that tribunal a Tyndall and an ignoramus stand on a perfect par. Alive to the truism that every path may eventually lead to the highway as every river to the ocean, we never reject a contribution simply because we do not believe in the subject it treats upon, or disagree with its conclusions. Contrast alone can enable us to appreciate things at their right value; and unless a judge compares notes and hears both sides he can hardly come to a correct decision. Dum vitant stulti vitia, in contraria current (*) - is our motto; and we seek to prudently walk between many ditches without rushing into either. For one man to demand from another that he shall believe like himself, whether in a question of religion or science is supremely unjust and despotic. Besides, it is absurd. For it amounts to exacting that the brains of the convert, his organs of perception, his whole organization, in short, be reconstructed precisely on the model of that of his teacher, and that he shall have the same temperament and mental faculties as the other has. And why not his nose and eyes, in such a case? Mental slavery is the worst of all slaveries. It is a state which, as brutal force has no real power, always denotes either an abject cowardice or a great intellectual weakness.
Among many other things, we are accused of not sufficiently exercising our editorial right of selection. We beg to differ and contradict the imputation. As every other person blessed with brains instead of calves'-foot jelly in his head, we certainly have our opinions upon things in general, and things occult especially, to some of which we hold very firmly. But these being our personal views, and though we have as good a right to them as any, we have none whatever to force them for recognition upon others. We do not believe in the activity of "departed spirits" - others and among these, many of the Fellows of the Theosophical Society do - and we are bound to accept their opinions, so long as they respect ours. To follow every article from a contributor with an Editor's Note correcting "his erroneous ideas" would amount to turning our strictly impartial journal into a sectarian organ. We decline such an office of "Sir Oracle."
The Theosophist is a journal of our Society. Each of its Fellows being left absolutely untrammeled in his opinions, and the body representing collectively nearly every creed, nationality and school of philosophy, every member has a right to claim room in the organ of his Society for the defence of his own particular creed and views. Our Society being an absolute and uncompromising Republic of Conscience, preconception and narrow-mindedness in science and philosophy have no room in it. They are as hateful and as much denounced by us as dogmatism and bigotry in theology; and this we have repeated usque ad nauseam.
Having explained our position, we will close with the following parting words to our sectarian friends and critics. The materialists and sceptics who upbraid us in the name of modern Science - the Dame who always shakes her head and finger in scorn at everything she has not yet fathomed - we would remind of the suggestive but too mild words of the great Arago: "He is a rash man, who outside of pure mathematics pronounces the word 'impossible.' " And to theology, which under her many orthodox masks throws mud at us from behind every secure corner, we retort by Victor Hugo's celebrated paradox: "In name of RELIGION we protest against all and every religion!"
C.W. IV, p. 88-90
Milk for babes and strong meat for men
When the great poet and writer, Coleridge, tried to establish his Watchman - a periodical in prose and verse, intended to advocate liberal opinions - owing partly to its toot learned and philosophical contents, and partly to the fact that its views were not those which its supporters had expected, The Watchman was dropped at the tenth number. Without presuming to compare, in any way, our humble work and ability to those of the most versatile genius of England, we may yet remark that, luckier than the poet, inasmuch as we had not yet to drop our pubications, nevertheless we are very often threatened to lose subscribers on the ground that the journal is too profound for them to understand, and its matter too abstruse for the general reader. The objection is an unreasonable one, since for one metaphysical article there are ten, which are quite understandable by any one of general knowledge, and we often publish papers, which, as far even as nonspecialists are concerned, are likely to awaken their interest, if not entirely meet their approbation. Thus, since the first appearance of The Theosophist, we had to labour under a variety of difficulties in order to please all our readers. Some wanted it less philosophical; others clamoured for more metaphysics; many took exception to the spiritualistic or phenomenal element in it; while still more complained of being unable to come to a definite conclusion in regard to the "beliefs" and "creed of the Theosophical Society," whose organ it was. All this is, as it should be; the various complaints being a perfect test that our journal has hitherto carried out faithfully its original programme: namely, an impartial hearing to all; no dogmatism or sectarianism; but a constant and patient work of investigation into, and comparing notes with all and every claim, which is held in common by either small or large bodies of our fellowmen. That these claims, once laid down, were not always followed by adequate explanations, and sometimes failed entirely in giving their raison d'Ítre, is no fault of ours, and no one could reasonably take us to task for it. It certainly is not our province - even though we do defend the right of every man to hold to his particular view or views - to explain, least of all to support the views so expressed. In the first place, it would necessitate a universal knowledge of things - an omniscience we were never so foolish and conceited as to lay claim to; and secondly, even admitting the capability of the editor, in a few cases, to express her opinion thereon, the explanation would prove worthless, since passing but through one side of the lens of our personal opinion - it would naturally modify the whole aspect of the thing. Having first of all to satisfy the "thousand and one" creeds, beliefs and views of the members of the Society, who belong to the greatest variety of creeds, beliefs and views, The Theosophist has to make, as far as it can, room for all, and having done so, to remain as impartial as possible under the circumstances. So narrow-minded and bigoted is the majority of the public that the person, liberal enough to afford to his brother and fellowman the opportunity he loudly exacts for himself, is a rara avis indeed. Our Journal - we say so with a just pride - is the only one in the whole world, which offers such opportunities to the adherents of every religion and philosophical system, or even ideas. It is for them to make the best of the chance so offered, and we can do no more.
C.W. IV, p. 419,420
Plenty were the avataras since the first man looked up into empty space for help, instead of trying his own intellect, and rellying upon his own omnipotent spirit. Has any one of those "prophets" ever benefited mankind, assuaged its social wrongs and miseries, alleviated its mental and physical woes, or lightened in any way for it the heavy burden of life? No! On the contrary, each of them has dug for those who believed in him one more deep chasm to separate his own followers from their brothers, the apostles of some other rival prophet; each chasm weakening still more mankind, breaking it up as a strong unit into isolated weak units, dividing it into inimical ever-fighting factions. And thus it went on until humanity is now absolutely honeycombed with such chasms - regular pitfalls for the weak in intellect, full of sectarian gall and bitterness, prolific of hatred, every group ever ready to pounce upon its neighbours to either exterminate or drag them down into its own pitfall. Who will fill up those accursed pits? How many are there of absolutely unsectarian, unselfish reformers, who having neither personal ambition, nor any other aim in view but the practical good of mankind, are ready to sacrifice themselves for the great and holy task? At one end the bloody-handed anarchists, nihilists, the so-called socialists, and, at the other, religious sectarian bigots, intolerant enthusiasts and dogmatists, each and every one of those an enemy to any man but his own co-workers. Verily, it is easy to undergo any sacrifice and physical torture of limited duration to secure to oneself an eternity of joy and bliss. It is still easier especially for an immortal God to die to save mankind. Many were the so-called Saviours of Humanity, and still more numerous the pretenders. But where is he who would damn himself for ever to save mankind at large? Where is that being who, in order to make his fellow creatures happy and free on earth, would consent to live and suffer hour after hour, day after day, aeon upon aeon and never die, never get release from his nameless sufferings, until the great day of the Maha-pralaya? Let such a man appear; and then when he does and proves it, we shall worship him as our Saviour, the God of gods, the only TRUE AND LIVING GOD.
C.W. IV, p. 470
Now our society, as was explained even to the outside public repeatedly, has one general, and several - if not minor, at least less prominent aims. The earnest pursuit of one of the latter - occult science in this case - far from being regarded as the common duty and the work of all, is limited for the reasons given above to a very small faction of the Society, its pursuit resting with the personal tastes and aspirations of the members. As to the former - the chief aims of the Theosophical Fraternity - it is hardly necessary to remind any Fellow of what it is. Our fundamental object is Universal Brotherhood, kind feelings and moral help proffered to all and every Brother, whatever his creed and views. Based upon the conviction that a Brotherhood of all faiths and denominations, composed of Theists and Atheists, Christians and Gentiles throughout the world, might without anyone surrendering his particular opinion be united into one strong Society or Fraternity for mutual help, and having one and the same purpose in view, i.e., the relentless, though at the same time calm and judicious pursuit of Truth wherever found, especially in Religion and Science - it is the first duty of our Society as a united body to extirpate every weed that overgrows and stifles that truth which only can be one and entire. The best recognized way to make both the psychological and physical sciences, as all sectarian and dogmatic religions, yield their respective verities, is, in construing them, to take the middle path between the extremes of opinion.