THEOSOPHY, Vol. 20, No. 9, July, 1932
(Pages 409-411; Size: 10K)


[Article number (21) in this Q&A Department]

IF Thomas Paine is considered to be "one of the Adepts of 1776," why do we not study his works now?

While the right to "consider" Thomas Paine to be an adept by those who so wish cannot be denied, a perusal of the article, "The Adepts in America in 1776," published by H.P.B. in The Theosophist and reprinted in THEOSOPHY (Vol. IV, page 145), indicates that Paine was rather an instrument used by the Brothers than one of them himself. Quoting this article, we find: "The great Theosophical Adepts in looking around the world for a mind through which they could produce in America the reaction which was then needed, found in England, Thomas Paine." Paine's "Age of Reason," is quoted by the writer, disclosing that he saw "a vast scene opening itself to the world in the affairs of America;" and that unless the Americans declared themselves independent, they would "shut out the prospect that was then offering itself to mankind through their means." Further on Paine wrote: "There are two distinct classes of thoughts; those produced by reflection, and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord. I have always made a rule to treat these voluntary visitors with civility, and it is from them I have acquired all the knowledge that I have." Commenting, the writer of the article states: "These 'voluntary visitors' were injected into his brain by the Adepts, Theosophists." As to studying his works, there is no doubt but that "Common Sense" and the "Age of Reason" are well worth the student's time in thoughtfully reading them, but hardly are they for continuous study in the same degree as Theosophy. The life and works of Thomas Paine are a mile-stone in history and mark the opening of a significant cycle in the Theosophical Movement. Let us remember, however, that the Movement has two aspects; the direct and the indirect. The Adepts of 1776 were concerned with the latter. The duty of present-day Theosophists is to concentrate their powers on the study and application of the publicly recorded teachings of Theosophy and to promulgate them as such. [Note: Since you may want to read it after you finish reading this article, I have provided a link to "The Adepts in America in 1776" at the end of this one.--Compiler]

It is to be supposed that the Theosophical Adepts who were behind the American Revolution are behind every revolution as well?

It should be understood from the first that adepts are interested only in the welfare of humanity and have no reason to interfere with the tumultuous course of human events unless to bring about a general and lasting good. The American Revolution was one of the first outward steps in a chain of causes which is to finally bring about a "new order of ages;" a preparation for the birth of the sixth sub race of the great Aryan root. Little wonder that the Theosophical Adepts took a hand! As regards the French Revolution, H.P.B. tells us that "It is that mysterious personage, now conveniently classed with other 'historical charlatans' (i.e. great men whose occult knowledge and powers shoot over the heads of the unthinking majority), namely, the Count de St. Germain -- who brought about the just outbreak among the paupers, and put an end to the selfish tyranny of the French Kings." She also records that the Carbonari, the secret society that laid the foundations of Italian unity, numbered among its members "more than one Freemason deeply versed in occult sciences and Rosicrucianism." Adepts may, in times of historic crises, use their wisdom to turn the tide in its direction benefiting humanity, but we may be sure that such scenes as the reign of terror had their inspiration solely from the kamic nature of ignorant men, drawing on the "muddy torrents of Kama Loka" for their sustaining force.

How does it happen that if the Declaration refers to "nature and nature's god," and the preamble to the constitution prohibits the establishment of religion, that all public events open with prayer, and even the president takes his oath upon the Bible?

It was officially once said that "The government of the United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian religion. The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or Mohammedan nation." True as this is, established in the constitution by law, the fact remains that the race mind of the American people, while having thrown off to a large extent the bigoted theological dogmatism of the Puritan Fathers, is still shackled by a passive adherence to Christian creeds. Religion is practiced today as tradition or etiquette, and oaths taken in court and by the president are "hallowed" more by centuries of use than by a vital opinion of their importance in the minds of those so swearing. Just is the Karma which decrees that the egos now incarnated in America be in thrall to the dogmas of the Jewish religion when it is those same egos who enslaved the Jews of old in Egypt. The opening of public events by prayer may be ascribed to tradition and while the constitution says that "congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion," it also provides for "the free exercise thereof." This would indicate that if the man uttering the prayer chose to appeal to the higher self of humanity instead of an outside deity, no one with justice could say him nay. Theosophists usually ask to be affirmed in law courts, rather than "swearing" before "God." We may look forward to the day when Theosophy has caused the tattered remains of outworn creeds to be seen in their true light as mere shells of the truth which formerly inhabited them.

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:


Question: How can the actions of men produce convulsions of nature?

Answer: Through their cumulative effect upon the psychic nature of the elemental beings. Karma is the key-note of all conditions, for it governs the smallest atom as well as the highest spiritual being. The elementals of the mineral kingdom, and the kingdoms below that (the elementals proper) are "psychic embryos." Every thought of man upon being evolved passes into the inner world, and becomes an active entity by coalescing with an elemental -- that is to say, with one of the semi-conscious forces of the kingdoms. It survives as an active intelligence -- a creature of the mind's begetting. Thus a good thought is perpetuated as an active, beneficent power; an evil one as a maleficent demon. The automatically acting brain stores up only brute energies, and begets correlations that are unfruitful of benefit, and at last bring about convulsions in nature. It is analogous to combinations of chemicals produced by scientific minds -- antagonistic elements held in leash, which at last a spark suffices to release and bring about terrific explosions. It is man who is the real motive and directing power in this universe, for he is at the head, being self-conscious, with the power of acquiring qualities, of understanding the natures of all beings, and of manipulating the lower natures. It devolves on him so to use those natures as to bring about the best results for all the beings concerned in the stream of evolution which makes up this earth and solar system. Man has produced many combinations and transformations in the lower kingdoms, not possible to them of their unaided powers, which are beneficent.--Robert Crosbie

Note: In case you want to read it, before going on to the next article in this Department, here's a link to the article by William Q. Judge entitled "The Adepts in America in 1776". It was published by H.P.B in The Theosophist, as spoken of, quoted from, and referred to in the answer to the first question in the above article.--Compiler

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[Article number (22) in this Q&A Department]

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