The year 2000 has slipped into 2001. We cannot say that 2000 was the true first year of the millennium. According to the Christian traditionalists 2001 commemorates the 2000th birthday of the Lord Jesus Christ. The date of his birth is questioned, or even whether he lived at all. It is apparent, however, that something very significant did happen round about that time. Some say that many of the sayings commonly attributed to Jesus were in fact those of a Teacher of Righteousness of the Essene community and that he lived 100 years or so before Jesus. The evidence for this is not, however, commonly accepted, but that is not the subject of this letter.
During the last year we have seen the end of the Chechen fighting, with Russia completely overwhelming that Moslem minority. The Moslems were desperately trying to establish their independence as an Islamic State. Behind the political problem was the religious one. This war was different from that which took place in Bosnia between the Moslems and the Christians. Both the racial and religious differences were historically very long-standing and much hatred had been built up. Similarly, the possibility of peace in the Middle East between the Jews and the Arabs must remain remote. In a previous Newsletter we discussed the evils to humanity which arise from religious differences, but that on close examination there seems no real justification for them.
Taking a large instead of a parochial view, our earth is a member of a solar system of planets. That system is itself a tiny part of a galaxy, of which there are millions in the Cosmos. We do, however, see a law of harmony prevailing throughout and without which the whole universe would be chaotic and self-destructive, but it is not. It has persisted countless millions of years by reason of the fact that it is self-regulating; there is mutual adjustment between all the parts of Cosmos which ensures their harmonious and continued existence.
Such a harmony could reign between our various religious groups. Just as there is only one Cosmos, so the laws that govern it must be common to all its parts. If we would let these laws apply to our human situation we would surely find a harmony between all sections and factions. The tragedy is that the warring factions do not feel themselves to be within a common single humanity, nor do they have regard to a natural law applicable to all. They are all concerned to maintain a position that they believe stems from their divine Lawgiver and that his laws, even though different from everyone else's, must be maintained. This stems from the idea that their Lawgiver is different from everyone else's, whereas in cosmic unity this is absolutely untrue. It is just not possible to have a number of incompatible Lawgivers looking after a single universe or the whole human race. Such an idea would completely conflict with the principle of universal Unity. The differences of belief do not lie in the natural scene with its natural laws, but in what the religious leaders, the priests, etc., declare to be the will of their special Deity. But the Law proper is one of harmony, not discord.
Was not the law governing human society stated clearly by Jesus of Nazareth 2000 years ago when he said "with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you", or "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap", or even just "Love one another"?
In the Far East there is a universal law, Karma, commonly the law of cause and
effect. It says that everything that now is had antecedents in the past. This
is an aspect of universal law; it applies to everything. Other aspects of it
are equilibrium and balance, and reward and punishment or retribution for good
and evil deeds. This law reflects the universal law and were it generally known
and accepted as a rule for the governing of our lives, the whole political and
religious scene would change, as indeed would relationships between men, individually
or their groups.
The law is paramount. No matter whether it is regarded or not it works. It cannot be gainsaid. It is inexorable. No prayers or supplications will alter it, but it works in its own time and its effects may not immediately be seen. They are as certain, however, as the rising of the sun at tomorrow's dawn.
For an understanding of the ways of Nature acceptance of this law is essential; so too is a knowledge of the fact that Nature operates on a number of levels of being, apart from the physical one of which we are aware by way of our five senses. Many of our normal living activities are non-physical; for example, our emotional feelings, our thoughts, our aspirations, our hopes and fears, our ecstasies, none of these are physical although we are aware of them in consciousness via our physical brains. The teaching is that these invisible, subjective levels of activity are reflected in the overall nature of our globe and universally throughout the Cosmos. The teaching has it that these are the realms of formation and energy. For example, every manifest thing on our physical planet has its counterpart in the lowest of these invisible worlds i.e., next inside or above our physical. It is from that plane that everything we can see or sense at our level is projected. In other words, forms such as, for example, our physical bodies and all that comprises them in their wonderful complexity, like eyes and ears, skin and internal organs, are first manifest on that plane. It is there that they have their real being.
Another aspect of this realm is that it is dynamic; it is the vehicle of all aspects of 'life' as it manifests at physical level. This 'life' is common to everything in terms of eternal, internal energies, with their many forms of heat and light, cosmic radiation and so on. This life or energy is transformable into all these various forms to fulfil various functions, first in the inner worlds and then by reflection into our world.
All this knowledge of the inner worlds and their various levels and multitudes of function is Occultism or, under its modern name, Theosophy. It is this inner nature of everything that is not regarded by modern scientists. It is not allowed for in modern hypotheses or even thinking, not in the deliberations of our modern philosophers. By them everything is related to the material, physical world.
The idea of universal Law would be strongly argued by religionists but within their ideas of 'God' and of what 'God' can do. He can dispose everything at his will in a quite arbitrary way. The occultists say, "No, 'he' does not do that, it is the Law ever-working that dispenses whatever is and whatever shall be as a result of whatever has been". In the processes of living everything is modified; it gains experience. This experience is registered in the inner worlds and it is these inner worlds which affect or modify the outer, the physical forms. This is the modus operandi of the evolutionary process.
If it could once be realized that all the participants in the ever-recurring politico-religious quarrels were themselves subject to these inescapable laws, and that they apply not only to themselves but to their enemies, there would immediately be a common ground for agreement in so many areas of present disagreement. The people taking a stance on one side could realize that they are exactly the same essentially as those on the other side. What do we mean by exactly the same? We mean that they have the same constitution, they have physical bodies and organs just the same. They have the same kinds of thoughts and feelings. They are motivated by the same desires, affections and even hatreds. Their love for their families and relatives, their interest in hobbies and so on are all the same. They suffer from the same diseases, from the same ill-health, the same physical and mental afflictions. As Shylock says in The Merchant of Venice (iii, 63):
"Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hunted with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same summer and winter, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?"
"And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?": this is a sentiment deep in many people's hearts. It perpetuates old feelings of hatred and resentment. It is entirely contrary to the law propounded here. "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord" - in other words, the Law will redress any wrong, in its own way and time. He who takes it upon himself to act as an agent of the law risks incurring its inevitable reaction upon himself. The law takes cognisance of factors unknown to anyone seeking personal revenge.
It is natural for everybody to be proud of the country or nation he belongs to, to be a patriot. The divisive factor is when patriotism turns into competitive nationalism, where the immature emotions of childhood overflow into nationalistic feeling, e.g., as undue pride, fear of one's neighbour, the taking of what is not one's own, the acquisition of others' land or whatever it may be, an unwillingness to share, rigid adherence to unjustifiable traditional customs; these are the things that make the disruptive differences.
The great Truth is that the universe is One Thing. Whatever governs it is a universal power manifesting as universal law. This applies throughout the whole of creation from the largest down to the smallest thing, from every deed to every thought of a human being. All is subject to one and the same law. Religious beliefs often impose practices which with respect to this law are artificial. They have nothing to do with it but the practices are revered. They are ingrained in the mind of their practitioners who are very fearful of altering them, fearful of offending their religious mentors, even their 'God'. All their scriptures are felt to justify these practices. It is not appreciated that the scriptures themselves were not written by 'God'. They were written by someone in his name who put into them what he or she thought should be there according to the current ideas of dogma, and so on.
Somehow or another mankind has to be freed from these pernicious beliefs. They
are pernicious because of the harm they do. They provoke disharmony instead
of harmony. Further, they do not often render their adherents any the more moral.
True morality arises out of consideration, out of regard for others, even affection
and love. If these sentiments were to become generalities then the differences
would be seen in their proper colours and humanity could be saved by its own
inherent common sense and good will.
The Trust organized two weekends at Tekels Park guesthouse in Camberley, Surrey,
during the year. These were:
1) A Theosophy/Science weekend. The theme was:
The past century has witnessed tremendous changes in the modes of scientific thinking especially concerning the nature of matter, space and energy. Some modern scientific conclusions are remarkably similar to much that is postulated in The Secret Doctrine (published 1888). The weekend explored current scientific views in relation to theosophical teachings.
The speakers with their subjects were:
Edi Bilimoria Mirages in Scientific Cosmology resolved by Occult Cosmogenesis
Julian Candy Goethe, Science and the Esoteric
David Lorimer Towards a Science of the Spirit
Richard Milton Taboo-suppressed Research in Science
Harold Tarn The Contemporary Scene
2) A Secret Doctrine Study weekend - an instructive and happy event.
The Trust spends a considerable sum each year on advertising in national magazines to "let it be known that such a thing as Theosophy exists." This advertising raises some 400 enquiries a year. Each enquirer is sent a recommended Reading List and some particulars about the Trust.
As has been reported, the Trust has made three videos: "Blavatsky", "Theosophy for Everyone" and "When We Die". A fourth entitled "the Heart of Religion" is nearly completed.
The Trust has also established a Website at www.blavatskytrust.org, and everyone is invited to visit it. Comments on it are welcome.
Unfortunately work on the fourth video and fresh content for the Website are
in abeyance for the time being.