THEOSOPHY, Vol. 22, No. 11, September, 1934
(Pages 481-484; Size: 12K)
[Compiler's Note: All 12 articles have the same name.]
THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER(1)
[Part 11 of a 12-part series]
THE right way of looking at things is shown in Theosophy. Each has to learn, to know, and to control his own nature, if he is to acquire discrimination -- the ability to help others. Each has to take the philosophy and apply it, in the face of all mistakes and acts which, while they make the task more difficult, have been the means of arousing the very discrimination needed. Our vicarious atonement having shown us the way, our mistakes can be turned to good account. We will take time to think what we shall say and how we shall say it. One gets over changeableness and indecision as he takes time to think things out fully before acting or making promises. He will then study to do whatever he says he will do. This carefulness will increase true self-reliance and the reliance that others will place in him. Only as full confidence is gained can men be helped in themselves and with each other. Masters must work with those who will work, and as They can, and this applies to all. Some blame H.P.B. and Judge for the mistakes made by those who played leading parts in the Movement, as pupils lay on the shoulders of the Teacher their own fiascos. All this comes from lack of discrimination, the failure on the part of leaders and followers to apply what H.P.B. and W.Q.J. taught. The letters written to you are the results of observation, experience, study and application of the philosophy of Theosophy, and as such must be of use to others in like case with your own. So must also be the results of your own efforts, and those of all other sincere students.
The Western mind is apt to look upon mere literary form and fine phrases as the standard of judgment. People in general do not get the meaning of what is written, in the same way that they do not extract the value from their experiences. They make surface deductions and applications only. So they have little ability to apply the philosophy to daily life, nor can they see its practical value. They have to be helped to assimilate the fundamental principles if they are to realize right valuations and applications. Each has to eradicate his own faults in these as in other directions -- not the faults of others. Until students set to work seriously on these lines they cannot find surety nor happiness. Theosophy and its application go together, if there is to be real progress. It is not for us to say, "Do this," or "Don't do that." It is for us to put the case, Theosophy and its individual application, and leave each student, each inquirer, to make his own decisions. People get into tight places right along by following "advices," instead of exercising their own discrimination, and then invariably blame the "advisor" when matters do not go according to their expectations.
Is it not strange that plain statements are not grasped? That superficial meanings are taken to be true applications? Most men think, when they have heard a statement made, they know it. All of this is chargeable to our modern educational methods, wherein soul and mind are considered as mere recorders. "Amongst thousands of mortals a single one perhaps strives for perfection." So, among the many who may be interested in Theosophy -- the philosophy of the perfectibility of Man -- here and there will be one who may wake up. Therein lies the hope. And even those who are interested enough merely to listen or to read with attention, will get something in the way of a trend that may some day develop. If we keep trying in all proper ways and means open to us, something will come from such mutual endeavors.
The fundamental statements of the Teachers are axioms to be applied. At the same time they are woven in with such reasoning as may affect the ordinary way of thinking. Science, Psychology, and all efforts that are based on them, fail -- and for no other reason than that they do not assume or admit that full and true knowledge exists. If Western Science and Psychology would go on with their painstaking efforts in the light of Theosophy, the spiritual and intellectual darkness of the world would soon be overcome and a civilization brought into being that would best express a true physical life. What hinders? Intellectual pride, together with the cramping effects of false religious conceptions. If the idea is held that there is but one life on earth, then all the learning of the man and of the age is limited to a small and narrow range. But if one grasps the idea of successive lives on earth -- all under Karma -- then, the learning takes on a wider sweep, leading the man to the conception that all powers of every kind proceed from the Supreme, the Self of all creatures; that he himself is in reality a spiritual being, and must think and act as such.
We may not be able to apply, as fully as we and others might desire, all the axioms and reasoning of the philosophy; but what of that? We can apply what is possible and all that is possible to us, and in that application greater understanding and facility arise. Each one has to find his way. Words cannot give it, yet there is a way for each. Most of the trouble lies in trying to see, trying to hear, trying to "think" it all out, instead of applying what we do see. All ability comes very gradually, imperceptibly -- felt, grasped, realized, rather than perceived in the ordinary sense. Here, there is not enough acquaintance as yet with the philosophy itself for many of the students to have confidence enough to take hold and carry on the work. When I have hinted at approaching departure, it brings dismay because they imagine that Theosophy will be dead if I go; yet they ought to have learned that no one is Theosophy and the best are but transmitters; that they too, having received, should get busy doing as much by others, becoming transmitters in their turn.
Forty-one Associates of "U.L.T."! If twenty-five of them turn out to be "good stuff," will the effort not prove to be worth all that it has cost? "Good stuff" means just that many Warriors for the restoration of the Theosophical Movement to its original lines. Many thousands are needed, but as the body grows, it takes care of itself. The struggle will be fierce -- as we face it, not knowing the outcome -- but the struggle is for us, or we would not have it. We will take what comes, and will give all that we are and have to the common cause, knowing that we are not fighting for self but for all. More we cannot do, and less we may not do under the Law of Brotherhood. A year ago today we began this struggle, and so it naturally brings retrospections to us. Things past are always easier than things present, or the unknown yet to come. The past can be judged as to relative importance, for it is now the hollow of the wave of progress, whereas the present and the future represent the crest and the resistance felt or feared. Yet -- if we remember -- the past, when it was both present and future, held just such disturbances which we now see were a waste of energy. In the writings of the Teachers there is naught but encouragement. It is the deep sense of the gulf between our ideals and their attainment that dismays the personal conception. If we involve "ourselves" in these personal conceptions, we shall feel despondent -- like Arjuna. In reality we should feel more of encouragement than ever, for the past year has brought a success greater than we could then have dared to hope in the circumstances.
We are all links in the great chain of the Theosophical Movement. What affects one affects all, and in degree. Everyone who endeavors to help others in any real way, puts himself in the position where he must take the reactions. The Karma of the Parent theosophical society is that of H.P.B. and Judge, known by them beforehand in a general way. It is also our Karma and that of all other Theosophists. Theirs was the first effort to spread Theosophy; much has been done since in this respect, and by many students. But its application has not been as general as might have been. The reactions from the spread of Theosophy and of its mis- and non-application by students will be taken care of when They come again. We and all other true students are linked with the Great Lodge by aspiration, by service, by following the Masters' program as nearly as we know. All sincere students are surrounded by an "invisible escort" as long as their faces are set toward the Goal and they remain staunch to Masters' program. Masters neither push, pull, nor hinder voluntary action. To do so would be to prevent true Self reliance. For this reason some may think that Masters have deserted them, or do not see nor hear them; but this is the worst conception that could be. It belittles Them and implies ignorance and ingratitude on Their part. They have spoken clearly of Their nearness to all those who "try and ever keep trying."--ROBERT CROSBIE.
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:
It is but natural that a student should hope for recognition from a Master, but this desire is to be put aside, and that work to be done which lies before each. At the same time each one knows that the effect follows the cause, hence whatever our due, we shall receive it at the right time.--W.Q.J.
THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER
[Part 12 of a 12-part series]
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GROUPING OF HUNDREDS OF "COLLATED ARTICLES"
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"Additional Categories of Articles".
ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:
(1) [Note: The Index that I selected this series from said that the 12 articles were "Collated from Robert Crosbie". Researching this, I found the collation to be made up of 12 of his many letters. On another note, "U.L.T." refers to "The United Lodge of Theosophists".--Compiler.]
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