THEOSOPHY, Vol. 19, No. 2, December, 1930 (Pages 82-84; Size: 8K)
CALL IT BY NAME
IN presenting their products to prospective consumers by way of advertising, many manufacturers encourage the idea of recognizing their wares by their trade names and thus discourage substitution. If, in the production of a certain article, certain patented features, available only to that maker, are embodied, the purchaser knows that by demanding the "Eureka" or the "Simplex" and refusing to accept the "Minerva" or "Excelsior" he will assure himself of receiving just what he has been led to desire.
There are no "patented features" in Theosophy; nevertheless there is only the one genuine article -- and a host of imitations. Much has been said and written with a view to enlightening the minds of seekers that they might discern and choose between the false and the true, yet perhaps something remains to be said to those who attempt to point the way to seekers. It is a fine piece of work to indicate to an inquirer that Theosophy is the basis of every great religion. It is also well to mention that no complete exposition of the teachings of Theosophy existed for the benefit of present day peoples until H.P.B. and Mr. Judge performed their mission. Also is it well to add that nothing has been added to and nothing taken away from what they brought and that their recorded teachings still stand as the index and the scope of the philosophy for this race(1) and this period of time.
But to point to Theosophy and Theosophy alone is to sound a clear bugle note above a murmur of confused sounds. Even a little knowledge of Theosophy will enable one to recognize theosophical ideas in many writings. There is Theosophy in the Christians' Bible, but who ever learned Theosophy from the Bible? The writings of Emerson contain many theosophical ideas, and from them one can gain much worth learning, but could one learn Theosophy by studying Emerson? In the realm of fiction, the works of Bulwer Lytton express things also found in Theosophy, and in poetry, history, philosophy -- even in current newspapers and magazines -- much that is truly theosophical may be found.
The study of none of these can bring about a knowledge of Theosophy nor can the piecing together of all such items ever make up such a simple and comprehensive philosophical synthesis as may be found in H.P.B.'s "Key to Theosophy" or Judge's "Ocean of Theosophy." One cannot do much toward putting a sectarian inquirer in the way of a theosophical education by indicating the theosophical statements in his Bible. A man of literary tastes may have his viewpoint enlarged by underlining the theosophical statements in his copy of the "Essays," but he will learn little beyond that. Magazine articles relative to Prison Reform, Woman's Emancipation, Freedom of Thought, Moral Growth, etc., may bring about much good in the world, may further the work of the Theosophical Movement by increasing the potentialities for good in their readers and students; still, they are insufficient in themselves and in their totality.
To say that Theosophy alone, at the present time, contains all that these others lack and that it is the most comprehensive moral, philosophical and evolutionary system available may sound like blatant billboard advertising, yet "truth in advertising" demands that no less be said. Because the work of so many cults, the ideals of so many societies, the theme of so many books is said to be exactly (or, perhaps, "very much") like Theosophy we feel obliged to state that only Theosophy is exactly like Theosophy, and to one who wants the best nothing else will do.
True it undoubtedly is that many have learned of Reincarnation through novels dealing with that idea; we have yet to meet one who through reading such novels became aware of the universal oneness of Life, the never-failing and never-ending series of actions and reactions throughout all nature which in time brings about the realization of the kinship of all beings, and the conscious progress made by self-conscious beings who through a knowledge of natural law aid the less progressed.
And the philosophers have deduced many things from their observation of natural processes; the study of their deductions has increased the understanding of their students; but the existence of many schools of philosophy negatives the claim of any one such school to the possession of a complete and conclusive system. If it be true, as Mr. Judge says, that "No science is complete which leaves out any department of nature, whether visible or invisible, and that religion which, depending solely on an assumed revelation, turns away from things and the laws which govern them, is nothing but a delusion," then is the Theosophist justified in refusing to waste a seeker's time and energy by encouraging him to search for truth in the books of his religion, his favorite philosopher, his most admired poet or his most respected scientist. In Theosophy, and in it alone, can he find the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as presently available.
Many insistent inquirers ask students of Theosophy if they have read certain books, usually those dealing with such subjects as the mind, the soul, the will, oriental yoga systems, or mental science, and wonder why they meet so little response from theosophists. If they follow the clues given them, they find the one system, now named Theosophy, which by means of a power of synthesis puts together a complete philosophy and enables them to understand themselves, the world they live in, the laws that rule the universe and to place each being in his proper relation to all other beings. Why should we outline the system to a listener and then name it? Theosophy, because of its associations and what it stands for has a power of its own and many are waiting to hear it. Call it by name. Then define it, so that if imitations exist, or the name be misused, your work will aid in making the name Theosophy represent what it should to the world.
Lo Here, and Lo There
ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:
COMPILER'S NOTE: I added this footnote; it was not in the article. If it doesn't paint an accurate enough picture, or is incorrect, I hope the Editors of THEOSOPHY magazine will spot it and point it out to me, so that I can make the necessary corrections.
(1) "Race" means the whole Human Race here.
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