23 April 2015

THE AQUARIAN THEOSOPHIST, APRIL 2015

 

This is the opening thought:      

“To have a simple heart is not the same as being naive.”

Page one brings an article by John Garrigues entitled “Theosophy and the Mystery of Trust”.

Envy and Friendship: the Alchemical Fever in Esoteric Circles” starts on page four.  On page six, we have the 9 minutes video “Why One Must Remember the Holocaust”.

The article “How to Find the Masteris on pages 7-8 and its subtitle promises “Useful Information For an Effective Search”.

Other topics in the April “Aquarian” include:

* Theosophical Action: Four Online Bookshops;

* Practising Mindfulness in Schools; and

* Thoughts Along the Road: Observing the Sacredness of Life.

The 14 pp. edition concludes with the List of New Texts in our websites.



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You can find the entire collection of The Aquarian Theosophist” at  www.TheosophyOnline.com.

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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  


Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.

On Facebook, see the pages The Aquarian Theosophist,   Helena Blavatsky and  E-Theosophy.



In order to have access to a daily study of theosophy, visit the page of  E-Theosophy e-group in YahooGroups and join it directly from there.

The link to the e-group is - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info. You can also write to   lutbr@terra.com.br and ask for information on E-Theosophy

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21 April 2015

THE OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD OF US

The Art of Seeing Lessons
In Each Event and Everywhere



Carlos Cardoso Aveline

  




“Thou canst create this ‘day’ thy
chances for thy ‘morrow’. In the
‘Great Journey’, causes sown each hour
bear each its harvest of effects, for rigid
Justice rules the World. With mighty sweep
of never erring action, it brings to mortals
lives of weal or woe, the Karmic progeny of
all our former thoughts and deeds.”

Helena P. Blavatsky [1]



Infinite bliss and total harmony: this is the essential substance of life. The eternal law of equilibrium and of truth surrounds us from every side. We walk on it. It is the goal of our efforts. It also dwells in our hearts and in the air we breathe.

Yet we are like fish swimming in a boundless ocean and having no consciousness of that. We are surrounded by unlimited possibilities in every sense of the word, and have the notion that it is difficult to identify them and take advantage of them in order to develop full contact with our original nature or true self

As a result, the task of identifying the seeds and potentialities of happiness constitutes one of the main tests placed before any human being.

Three of the central axioms of esoteric philosophy can be expressed in this way, the first two of them being inscriptions at the entrance to the Oracle of Delphi, in ancient Greece: 

* Be moderate in all things;
* Know thyself; and
* See your opportunity.

The three ideas have a close interaction. One must live a calm and moderate life in the first place, so that one can know oneself. The two conditions enable us to identify our  opportunities along the road to wisdom. 

Human existence is contradictory. Our lives are the battlegrounds of a constant struggle between right actions and sad mistakes. We waste away a large amount of our potentiality for happiness by creating problems to ourselves and to others. We have to make an uneasy  effort to accept the truth whenever truth is contrary to our opinion or seems to threaten our personal comfort and favourite routines.

Living is a dangerous thing to do: there are good opportunities, and there are negative, illusory opportunities as well. Desire, just like will, tends to produce the opportunities that will lead to its materialization.

When a student of philosophy practices self-observation from the point of view of the ideal of human progression and perfection, he sees unlimited possibilities to do good. He then can walk along the path to wisdom and gradually achieve liberation through altruism.

As this occurs, we perform noble actions, build healthy situations and learn to love with altruism. The more we know, the more we learn how to learn.  In the 19th century, one of the Mahatmas of the Himalayas wrote to his lay disciple Laura C. Holloway about the art of taking advantage of positive opportunities:

“Learn, child, to catch a hint through whatever agency it may be given. ‘Sermons may be preached even through stones’. Do not be too eager for ‘instructions’. You will always get what you need as you shall deserve them, but no more than you deserve or are able to assimilate…” [2]

In order to seize the opportunities which life places ahead of us, at least three things are necessary:

A) To know what we want;

B) To have eyes to see the occult lessons beneath external appearance;  

C) To possess a calm self-confidence.  

Émile Coué created in the 20th century a method for autosuggestion. He wrote that someone who has the firm intention of attaining some goal in life will inevitably attain that, because he will do everything necessary to reach his object. If any opportunity emerges, even if doubtful, he will not let it go. In addition to that, he will subconsciously create opportunities according to his will. However, he who doubts himself will seldom be able to take advantage of opportunities, even if they are many, and generous. [3]

Individuals who do not pay enough attention to life consider as “good” that which is pleasant, and see as “bad” whatever is unpleasant. This approach is superficial and produces unnecessary suffering.  Robert Crosbie, the main founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists, wrote:

“Well, let us say nothing is good and nothing is bad, but all is opportunity - the very best opportunity, because the soul knows what it needs for increasing its powers and keeping its energy.”

And Crosbie went on:

“We sometimes do not recognize our opportunities, for they are occurring every moment of the time. Every single event is an opportunity - even the passing of people on the street and the thoughts and feelings they stir up in us; whatever we feel toward others, our relations with them, our touch with them, our family relations, our social, our business, and our national relations - all these are opportunities to be taken advantage of in every way; every one of them constitutes Karma. Our touch with Theosophy is a Karmic opportunity.” [4]

Sincere contact with the authentic esoteric philosophy constitutes a golden opportunity. To actually take advantage of it, however, requires patience and a long term view of life.

A degree of humbleness will be necessary to accept the fact that the ability to identify and assimilate lessons grows but little by little over the years. On the other hand, each step taken in the right direction is valid in itself and improves some aspect of our present and future. While the goal is situated far away, every sincere progress towards it must be duly celebrated.

NOTES:

[1] “The Voice of the Silence”, by H.P. Blavatsky, Theosophy Company,
Los Angeles, 1987, 110 pp., Fragment II, p. 37.

[2] “Letters From the Masters of the Wisdom”, compiled by C. Jinarajadasa, TPH, India, First Series, Letters To and About Mrs. Laura C. Holloway, see Letter II, p. 150.  In these lines the Master refers to the fact that the relation between teacher and student occurs fundamentally beyond verbal and visual communication. The disciple must develop his discernment in order to identify the higher teachings and inspiration in any aspect of life.

[3] “Self-Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion”, by Émile Coué.  Brazilian edition, “O Domínio de Si Mesmo Pela Auto-Sugestão Consciente”, Émile Coué, Ed. Martin Claret, SP,  2002, see p. 83.

[4] Quoted in the magazine “The Theosophical Movement”, Theosophy Company, Mumbai, India, February 2005 edition, p. 144. 

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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  


Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.

On Facebook, see the pages The Aquarian Theosophist,   Helena Blavatsky and  E-Theosophy.



In order to have access to a daily study of theosophy, visit the page of  E-Theosophy e-group in YahooGroups and join it directly from there.

The link to the e-group is - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info. You can also write to   lutbr@terra.com.br and ask for information on E-Theosophy

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17 April 2015

QUALITY AND QUANTITY

David, Goliath and the Alchemical Process

Carlos Cardoso Aveline




What gives any action legitimacy: its contents, or appearance?

In the Jewish symbolism of the struggle between David and Goliath - narrated in the chapter 17 of the first Book of Samuel - we see that the principle of spiritual intelligence is more valuable than material strength. However, not everyone can correctly interpret the fight between David and Goliath.

Many find it difficult to accept that financial, political and institutional forms of “power” all are varieties of that strength which Goliath possessed, according to the Bible, and that they lead people to ultimate defeat.    

If a radio station wants to obtain more audience than consistency or quality, what does it do?  It makes the level of its shows go down and chooses the way of the giant Goliath.  

When a politician follows the game of easy popularity and leaves aside the search of an ideal, what does he do?  He abandons in his heart the goal of common good. He leaves ideas aside and prefers adopting the practices of hand-shaking with everyone, smiling to all, buying votes and offering or taking bribes while keeping the outer appearance of a pious idealist. Although he may have his years of personal glory, he shares his final destination with Goliath, who was hit in the head and lost his mind before falling to the ground. 

When a spiritual or theosophical group wants to obtain strength in the visible world, instead of expanding its inner life and consistency, its option is also for the easy path.

Its leaders start to “talk to Masters”, the group fabricates an Avatar, “channeling” takes place, extraordinary things are shown to naïve people, and every nice thing the group has is included in its propaganda campaign for everyone to see, side by side with other things that seem to be good but which the group does not possess in fact, or which are not good at all except in their outer aspect.  

These are well-known mechanisms of illusion, psychological and psychosocial. They occur on an individual plane as well as collectively. Thanks to them many different actions and social initiatives obtain an apparent “success” and false legitimacy in materialistic societies. Failure is their destiny.

As one makes progress along the spiritual path, on the other hand, one must choose once and again to seek the truth and not applause. This first definition has extreme importance. It constitutes the solemn Door of Transition from make-believe euphoria to the true Path.

The task is to pursue inner improvement. Whoever decides to go along this path must completely abandon the search for visible power or praise. He must have realized that these are not valid goals. He will have to develop instead that power that makes him appear as nothing in the eyes of others. This principle is taught in the classical teachings of theosophy [1], and symbolized in the New Testament legend which presents the narrative of Jesus’ persecution and crucifixion. In that truthful legend, the power of the Initiate is not only considered as “nothing”. Since it is “invisible” to the world, it is condemned as worse than nothing, id est, as something that must be eliminated by the use of force.  

Of course, Jesus’ sect was a Jewish school of thought. He and all of his disciples were Jews. Jesus never created a church and he respected the independence of the learner.  

If someone wants to improve himself and decides to follow the example given by the great sages of mankind, he must have in the first place the courage to think in clear terms. 

By being essentially indifferent to applause or criticism coming from the external world, he can remain - up to a certain extent - free from social manipulations, emotional blackmailing and other group-induced illusions. He will be able to directly look at and identify what is ignorance and wisdom, both inside and outside him.

The learner is then mainly afraid of being despised by the spiritual soul which lives in his own consciousness, and whose wordless voice he is learning to hear. He seeks above all the silent approval from his higher self or spiritual soul. Once the learner can see behind appearances, he is ready to take the next step in the alchemy of learning. The task now is to effectively make room for the symbolic gold and silver, mainly within himself, and up to a certain point in the outer world, too. Thus he slowly strengthens the noblest and the highest in human nature. The lead of gross materials is little by little transmuted into noble metals like Silver (a clear mind) and Gold (the heart, the sun, the spiritual Monad). 

The alchemist must be willing to wait, and this is not enough. While he adopts Time as his friend and master, he must also plant, and to plant all that is fair and correct. His duty is to sow goodness and wisdom even as he harvests sour fruits under bad weather.

Such a perseverance emerges from the right perception of life-cycles, long and short. By understanding the spiraled circles of Time, he can have confidence on the law of planting and harvesting.

The agricultural metaphors are as good as the alchemical ones: a seed of mustard repeats in its own way David’s struggle, successfully defeating that which seems to be great.  Just as the power of the initiate, a seed is almost invisible for those who look for big and obvious fruits in the world of appearances. The New Testament Jesus teaches:

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows up, it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests in their branches.” (Matthew, 13: 31-32)

Such is the power of life, and of the Initiates. The lesson is present in different traditions. “Many who now are first will be last, and many who now are last will be first.” (Matthew 19:30)

That which is small will become big. The whole is present in each of its parts. Heaven and Earth interact all the time. Extremities live together: the middle way integrates the extremes. It establishes a balance between them: therefore it endures.

All life is cyclic, and evolves through transmutations. Just like the alchemist’s lead becomes gold, the seeds sown germinate on the physical plane so that life can adopt new forms in its search for the light from the Sun.

However, one must have eyes to see, for gold can also become lead, and all that glitters is not gold.

In the symbolism of sowing, both the wheat and the tares are part of the process. Not all that is small is a seed, and not every seed is good.  An intense vigilance constitutes a master-key in the search. Discernment is inseparable from detachment, and both factors have a decisive importance in one’s effort along the road.

NOTE:

[1] “Light on the Path”, by M.C., Theosophy Co., India, 90 pp., see Rule 16, first set of rules, p. 4.

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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  


Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.

On Facebook, see the pages The Aquarian Theosophist,   Helena Blavatsky and  E-Theosophy.



In order to have access to a daily study of theosophy, visit the page of  E-Theosophy e-group in YahooGroups and join it directly from there.

The link to the e-group is - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info. You can also write to   lutbr@terra.com.br and ask for information on E-Theosophy

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11 April 2015

FROM RITUALISM TO RAJA YOGA

The Path to Discipleship Depends on
Self-Knowledge, Not Blind Obedience

A Mahatma of the Himalayas




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A 2015 Editorial Note:

The following fragments are reproduced
from “The Mahatma Letters”, T.U.P. edition,
Pasadena, California, Letters LXIV, LXV and
LXVI, pp. 358-367. The number of the page is
given in parenthesis at the end of each quotation.

Readers will remember that the word “chela”
means “disciple”, and “chelaship”, discipleship.

In the original letter LXV, the Master wrote
Raj-Yog”: we have completed the expression
as in its more popular usage: “Raja Yoga”.

(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)

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“The aspirant is now assailed entirely on the
psychological side of his nature. His course of
testing - in Europe and India - is that of Raja-yoga…”



* Ah, how long shall the mysteries of chelaship overpower and lead astray from the path of truth the wise and perspicacious, as much as the foolish and the credulous! How few of the many pilgrims who have to start without chart or compass on that shoreless Ocean of Occultism reach the wished for land. (358)

* Believe me, faithful friend, that nothing short of full confidence in us, in our good motives if not in our wisdom, in our foresight, if not omniscience - which is not to be found on this earth - can help one to cross over from one’s land of dream and fiction to our Truth land, the region of stern reality and fact. Otherwise the ocean will prove shoreless indeed; its waves will carry one no longer on waters of hope, but will turn every ripple into doubt and suspicion; and bitter shall they prove to him who starts on that dismal, tossing sea of the Unknown, with a prejudiced mind! (358)

* Self personality, vanity and conceit harboured in the higher principles are enormously more dangerous than the same defects inherent only in the lower physical nature of man. They are the breakers against which the cause of chelaship, in its probationary stage, is sure to be dashed to pieces unless the would-be disciple carries with him the white shield of perfect confidence and trust in those he would seek out through mount and vale to guide him safely toward the light of Knowledge. (359)

* The mass of human sin and frailty is distributed throughout the life of man who is content to remain an average mortal. It is gathered in and centred, so to say, within one period of the life of a chela - the period of probation. That, which is generally accumulating to find its legitimate issue only in the next rebirth of an ordinary man, is quickened and fanned into existence in the chela - especially in the presumptuous and selfish candidate who rushes in without having calculated his forces. (359-360)

* If you would learn and acquire Occult Knowledge, you have, my friend, to remember that such tuition opens in the stream of chelaship many an unforeseen channel to whose current even a “lay” chela must perforce yield, or else strand upon the shoals; and knowing this to abstain for-ever judging on mere appearance. (361)

* What grumblings, what criticism on [the] Devachan [teachings] [1] and kindred subjects for their incompleteness and many a seeming contradiction! Oh blind fools! They forget - or never knew that he who holds the keys to the secrets of Death is possessed of the keys of Life? (365)

* Why is it that doubts and foul suspicions seem to beset every aspirant for chelaship? My friend, in the Masonic Lodges of old times the neophyte was subjected to a series of frightful tests of his constancy, courage and presence of mind. By psychological impressions supplemented by machinery and chemicals, he was made to believe himself falling down precipices, crushed by rocks, walking spider-web bridges in mid-air, passing through fire, drowned in water and attacked by wild beasts. This was a reminiscence of and a programme borrowed from the Egyptian Mysteries. The West having lost the secrets of the East, had, as I say, to resort to artifice. But in these days the vulgarization of science has rendered such trifling tests obsolete. (365)

* The aspirant is now assailed entirely on the psychological side of his nature. His course of testing - in Europe and India - is that of Raja-yoga and its result is - as frequently explained - to develop every germ good and bad in him in his temperament. The rule is inflexible, and not one escapes whether he but writes to us a letter, or in the privacy of his own heart’s thought formulates a strong desire for occult communication and knowledge. As the shower cannot fructify the rock, so the occult teaching has no effect upon the unreceptive mind; and as the water develops the heat of caustic lime so does the teaching bring into fierce action every unsuspected potentiality latent in him. (365-366)

* Few Europeans have stood this test. Suspicion, followed by self-woven conviction of fraud seems to have become the order of the day. I tell you with a very few exceptions -- we have failed in Europe.  (366)

* Every step made by one in our direction will force us to make one toward him. But it is not by going to Ladak [2] that one shall find us…. (366)

* Beware then, of an uncharitable spirit, for it will rise up like a hungry wolf in your path, and devour the better qualities of your nature which have been springing into life. Broaden instead of narrowing your sympathies; try to identify yourself with your fellows, rather than to contract your circle of affinity. (367)

NOTES:

[1] This axiomatic statement has a decisive value for those who want to understand esoteric philosophy. On the fascinating topic of the Devachan and the whole process between two terrestrial incarnations, one can see the letters 16, 19, 20-A, 20-B, 20-C, 23-A, 23-B, 24-A, 24-B, 25, and 86, among others in “The Mahatma Letters” (TUP edition).  (CCA)

[2] Ladak - a city in Asia which the Mahatmas frequently visited in the 19th century. (CCA)

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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  


Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.

On Facebook, see the pages The Aquarian Theosophist,   Helena Blavatsky and  E-Theosophy.



In order to have access to a daily study of theosophy, visit the page of  E-Theosophy e-group in YahooGroups and join it directly from there.

The link to the e-group is - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info. You can also write to   lutbr@terra.com.br and ask for information on E-Theosophy

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10 April 2015

FROM FEAR TO HAPPINESS

Observing the Sources of Confidence in Life

Carlos Cardoso Aveline


In the second paragraph of their 1776 Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin,  Thomas Jefferson and other members of the  U.S. Congress mention some “self-evident truths”.

The first one, they say,  is that all men are created equal. And, from a theosophical point of view, one should add: “Equal before the  Law of Karma”.

The second self-evident truth is that  all men have some inalienable rights, and among them are  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Of these rights, the third one is essential for the esoteric philosophy, as it  refers to the best possible use of  the two previous conditions: Life and Liberty. 

It is enough to observe the daily facts around us to realize that the Pursuit of Happiness is present in all forms of life.

Such a goal is clearly far from being limited to the human realm. Plotinus, the neoplatonist, wrote that  plants search for happiness. It is easy to see that  all animals do the same. Knowing this,  Buddhists use to wish “peace to all beings”. The specific challenge faced by modern citizens  is how to find a lasting happiness within, and how to individually obtain an unconditional peace which cannot be disturbed by outer events.  

Life shows that the journey from fear to happiness is not an easy one, and it is not short, either.  Courage is necessary. We may have to ask ourselves:

What are we afraid of, after all? And why is it that fear emerges once and again in our emotions?

External sources of fear can only be active when, and if,  there is an internal  lack of confidence which responds to them. Without a subjective counterpart, no outward, objective threat or difficult situation can easily provoke a “psychological” fear.  

Our “lower self” or personality is never afraid of anything purely external only. It must  also be afraid of some internal impulse, some desire, feeling or situation that threatens it and its sense of continuity - “from within”. 

The existence of fear is related to one’s personal hopes and desires, and to one’s emotional dependence on things, places or persons. We are instinctively afraid of anything  that threatens our hopes and expectations;  and these hopes are often subconscious.  

If one takes something for granted  which is not realistic (for instance, the ideas that “I’m not going to get old” or  “I am not going to die” ), fear will come.

If one supresses any specific fear on the voluntary layers of one’s mind, that feeling will become subconscious, without ceasing to exist. It may soon surface later again, under other forms. Hatred often serves as a disguise for a feeling of uncertainty. One day, perhaps after some subconscious preparation, one may be able to accept an honest confrontation with one’s root-fear -  always a form of ignorance - and then get rid of it. 

That which is said of fear can, of course,  be said of anger and other negative feelings as well. There seems to be a “symmetrical axis”, a “balance line” between our inner and outer sources of anxiety, happiness, self-confidence,  and other psychological sensations as well.  

Individual states of mind run in parallel with, and are relatively independent from, our surrounding objective circumstances. 

You can have inner happiness while you face a difficult situation. You can feel sadness and despondency while everything seems to be objectively OK.  It all depends into a great extent on whether your higher self is, or is not, intensively  present in the situations you face.

There can be no psychological fear in the presence of Atma and Buddhi, the higher principles of consciousness. Everything is good and worthwhile, as long as the Immortal Soul is directly engaged in one’s activities.

When the focus of our consciousness is established within the temple of our own spiritual consciousness, attachments disappear and we can have a complete confidence in Life, which brings about a blissful self-forgetfulness. The absence of selfishness is the outer garment for a new centre of consciousness: the inner awareness of our true Self.  One forgets  his narrow and small self because he has seen his true being. 

A general law in Nature establishes that all beings leave aside smaller forms of happiness, once they see deeper and more enduring ways to be happy. Then the lower self may still suffer,  but the real focus of consciousness will not be limited or misled by the personal suffering, any longer.

How We Ascribe Meanings to Life

In our daily lives, the world within and the world without exchange “messages” and energies all the time.

It is the way you connect the inner and the outer worlds in your own consciousness that makes the difference.  The meaning you  give to facts and things within the context of your own view of life makes you a happier or unhappier person along the process of a lifetime.   Antahkarana is the metaphoric bridge between celestial and terrestrial levels of consciousness. It constitutes the individualized version of the Jacob’s ladder (Gn.  28: 11-13), which plays the decisive role along the road to wisdom and contentment.   

The wordless voice within is the voice of the silence, and it speaks in our conscience through Antahkarana.

Listening to this soundless sound produces a happiness that nothing can destroy.  Then an unconditional, long term joy and an unlimited confidence in life get to be with us for good, even while we may face apparently great obstacles and difficulties.  

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An initial version of the above text was first published in the December 2006 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pp. 5-7. The whole collection of “The Aquarian” can be seen at www.TheosophyOnline.com .

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On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  


Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.

On Facebook, see the pages The Aquarian Theosophist,   Helena Blavatsky and  E-Theosophy.



In order to have access to a daily study of theosophy, visit the page of  E-Theosophy e-group in YahooGroups and join it directly from there.

The link to the e-group is - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info. You can also write to   lutbr@terra.com.br and ask for information on E-Theosophy

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