27 February 2015

THE CONSOLIDATION OF VICTORY

Five Aspects of the Theosophical Path


Carlos Cardoso Aveline




1. Circumstances and Self-Determination

Theosophy invites us to examine the power of circumstances over life.

As we think of changing our existence, we must ask ourselves what precisely is it that we want to change. What are the obstacles to happiness? Are they in the circumstances themselves, or in the way we relate to them?

He who can only look outside will believe the external situation should change for him to have comfort and satisfaction. If we have strength enough to look at ourselves, however, we’ll see something of fundamental importance: it is by changing ourselves that we eliminate the Source of Discomfort. This does not exclude external change: but it gives us the strength to make needed changes in peace, and to calmly examine what changes are possible, necessary and worthwhile.

If we would change only the circumstances around us, we would soon get tired of the new situation. We would then have a desire for other external changes, and look for “novelties” again and again, because of our lack of inner strength and absence of comfort in the relation with ourselves.

Any student of theosophy who is destined to win is in no hurry.

He goes ahead step by step along the way that leads from the life of circumstances, with its constant instability, to the stable existence of someone who knows what his goals are.
Such a student learns to live the wisdom which he already knows. He widens his knowledge in cooperation with others, and thus sets the causes in motion of a true and unconditional happiness.

2. Learning to Fall, or Judo  in Theosophy

No one who makes a serious decision and gets committed to his own spiritual soul should think that the commitment is linear, conventional or mechanistic. At first it will be stable only in the inner space of his own consciousness, and not in the world. The pilgrim will make a thousand mistakes.

The question is not whether the pilgrim will fall or not. He will fall, and fail, one thousand and two hundred times. The first lesson in judo consists in learning to fall.

One must fall with a light body and a light soul. One must be both relaxed and flexible, having no attachment to the act of falling. While falling, one ought to immediately see and observe the way the fall or mistake is taking place. From the exact trajectory and position of the fall, and in its natural sequence, the pilgrim can raise himself in the same instant, paying full attention to the next movements of the fight. He will be able to identify opportunities and keep ready to fall again or to defeat his adversary. The enemy is basically his own ignorance.

As we learn to fall, we can use obstacles and contrary energies to our advantage. It is enough then to try our best and to have patience. Under these conditions, one will be able to study and observe the celestial realm while keeping the feet firm on the ground.

3. A Commitment in the Temple

When we know how to fall and to rise again, the foundations of one’s temple are strong and its walls are solid.

The divine temple is built in silence: worldly sounds do not get to it. [1]

The aura around this temple calms down the noise of the world while revealing the mysterious flow of eternal light and boundless life. The occult temple is not material. It cannot be destroyed by time. It exists and expands in the hearts of good-willing people.

According to theosophical literature, material temples have scarce value. The decision to travel along the sacred path must be made with full self-responsibility in the temple of one’s heart, the inner sanctuary inhabited by the immortal soul. It is in that place, too, that the decision to do one’s best must be preserved and regularly renewed during several incarnations. In the right moment of every existence, the commitment is rescued into the realm of voluntary life and renewed, with some difference in its wording, but having the same essential meaning.

A decision made in the heart’s temple accelerates the awakening of one’s higher self and protects him from the dangers of ignorance. The degree of actual protection depends on individual merit and the possibilities of collective karma.

The heart’s decision accelerates one’s karma. It reveals his weak points and mistakes to be corrected. The path is innerly luminous and externally steep. To walk along the road takes time: patience and perseverance are essential. Each difficulty is a lesson taught by Life. Every obstacle invites the pilgrim to eliminate one aspect or two of that accumulated ignorance which is at the root of human suffering.

By becoming a self-responsible researcher of the universal Law, the truth-seeker attains to the quiet bliss of unconditional happiness.

4. Higher Focus, Antahkarana and Life-Change

In what ways can the abstract, invisible temple of immortal soul express itself in the world?

In order to do this, the temple depends on the lower part of Antahkarana, the bridge between the lower self and the immortal soul.

As we think of Antahkarana, we often visualize it as if our consciousness were located in the lower self. If this is true, expanding contact with the higher self means opening a large window towards the world above.

But what happens when one’s consciousness is focused with a special force in the higher self, due to an expansion of horizons and of depth in one’s own vision of life? What if someone is born in very different conditions than the ones prevailing in his previous life, a life during which he may have expanded his antahkarana in radical ways?   

An illustration of such a challenge can be found in the first chapters of the novel “The Idiot”, by Fyodor Dostoevsky.  While the sixth principle (spiritual intelligence) is intensely active, there are strong limitations in the way the lower self works. The individual may have difficulties in self-control during the first part of life, unless he is surrounded by people who are capable of understanding him, of accompanying his inner experience of life and giving him elements that make it easier to develop his best potentialities.

The same contrast and danger exist for every individual. Childhood is the meeting point between the blessed condition of Devachan - the divine “place” where one lives before being born - and the hard conditions of physical life.

The difficulties faced by H. P. Blavatsky in her lower self are examples of the same contrast. The “madness” of St. Francis of Assisi during his youth, according to the legend of his life, is another example.  The healthy and harmless but “eccentric” behaviour of other persons who are guided by their higher selves is proverbial in various cultural traditions.

The special importance of developing self-knowledge, self-respect and self-control, which is taught in the “Letters From the Masters of the Wisdom”, is due to the fact that these three factors are needed to support and stabilize the expansion of Antahkarana and the spiritual self.  One’s higher consciousness must be correctly managed in the lower self and its daily actions.

The main focus of one’s consciousness dominates that level of territory where it is preferably situated, and has a weaker influence over the levels of territory which are not “his own”. Anyone who expands his Antahkarana must simplify his life on the lower self plane, so that he can correctly manage it while keeping the main focus on a higher plane.

The pilgrim’s strength gets reduced in his lower self and regarding external subjects. He may be even considered a complete failure in these departments of life. He must renounce such forms of “life-struggle” and bless his “personal defeats”: they liberate him concentrate his focus on the abstract and elevated planes.

The act of leaving aside external objects and situations may be gradual. In most cases the antahkaranic expansion takes place step by step. But what happens if someone lives a powerful widening of Antahkarana during a short time or in a sudden way?

The abrupt increase of the higher self’s presence in the emotional and physical life of an individual whose structures are still conventional creates a strong storm in his consciousness. The intense “re-structuring” of the lower self may seem chaotic to those who observe the process, unless the transition is built step by step and after one clearly sees the whole of it.

In any case, the key to progress is a gradually increasing combination of self-knowledge, self-control and self-transformation.  To see a goal may be very quick; to walk towards it requires more time. A thorough change in the external life-structure of someone who had a deep insight about his own existence may be implemented after there is a project for change which is correct, effective, balanced, and ethically responsible. The project may then be put in practice step by step, being reevaluated after each major step.

When there is an individual awakening under the light of a correct pedagogical approach to theosophy, the change in life is not experienced as a rejection of that which is not useful any longer. There is a sense of gratefulness regarding all the previous phases in life. Change is made in order to build something larger and better. True detachment, which brings inner freedom, takes place side by side with a sincere gratitude.

In theosophy, the correct management of spiritual progress is a complex task, and of fundamental importance. It is equally decisive for those who live a slow and gradual expansion in their perception of life.

It is up to each student of philosophy to make sure his inner awakening changes outer life and his existence does not remain a victim of blind routine. It is the duty of anyone who seeks for truth - a duty to his own immortal soul and to everyone around him - to renew his world in a responsible and prudent way, so that his life can increasingly express the sunlight coming from his own Higher Self. And when the nice moments emerge, they must be lived in utter humbleness.

5. The Consolidation of Victory

In Theosophy it is not enough to win. One needs to consolidate the victory so that it becomes a long-term experience which gets gradually wider and deeper.

The danger of making mistakes does not exist only in defeat. Failure is a good teacher, and there is much to thank it for. On the other hand, the possibility of losing one’s good sense may be especially great in the moment of victory. If not received with humble detachment and serenity, victory will blind the naïve and the ill-informed. The moment of victory is decisive:  it may prepare a long succession of other victories; it can also open the door to a defeat that will reduce to nothing the progress made.  

One’s vocation for victory depends on discernment. He who has good sense does not change his attitude in victory or defeat. If receiving good news, he avoids superficial joy. He leaves to fools to make intense celebrations. When there is unpleasant news, he uses the inner energy accumulated during victories and faces suffering as serenely as possible, while searching for the secret gap and opportunity which can take him from defeat to victory. He remains stable along the ups and downs of life, because he knows that only calm allows him to build an enduring victory.

As we receive good news and see progress in our efforts, we must remember that our main goal belongs to long term time. Each victory is in fact a small step ahead, which we must consolidate in silence, while keeping a calm vigilance over our limitations.

NOTE:

[1] Like the building of Solomon’s temple: see 1 Kings, 6: 7.

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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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26 February 2015

ICONOCLASM TOWARD ILLUSION

The Day of Man’s Childhood As
An Immortal Being Has Passed Away


William Q. Judge
  
 
Christian and Popish Ritualisms Are Based on Blind Belief



A disposition not to interfere in any way with beliefs which are illusions prevails with many who dislike the pain caused by such tearing away of the veil.

And the argument that illusionary beliefs, creeds, and dogmas should not be done away with so long as the believer is happy or good has been used by the Christian Church - and more especially by the Roman Catholic branch of it - as a potent means of keeping the mind of man in an iron chain.

They are accustomed to add that unless such creeds and beliefs shall stand, morality will die out altogether. But experience does not prove the position to be correct. For numerous examples exist in the dissenting or Protestant form of Christianity showing that the important doctrines of the Church are not necessary for the prevailing of good morals; and, on the other hand, immorality, vice, and crime in places high and low coexist with a formal declaration of belief in the church dogmas.

In many parts of Italy the grossest superstition and murderous vengefulness and crooked hearts are found side by side with an outwardly pious compliance with the ordinances of the Church and a superstitious belief in its dogmas. The whole Christian assembly of nations officially violates the commands of Jesus every day and hour.

Shall it be worse or better, or kind or harsh, to tear away the veil as quickly as possible? And if the iconoclastic attack should be made, for what reason ought one to hesitate because the operation and the attack may result in mental pain?

The only reason for hesitation lies in this fear to give pain; there can be nothing but good results from the change from an untrue and illogical, and therefore debasing, creed, if a system that is complete and reasonable be furnished in its place.

Were we dealing with children or with a race mind which though dwelling in an adult body is but that of a child, then, indeed, it would be right to lead them on by what may be entirely an illusion. But the day of man’s childhood as an immortal being has passed away.

He is now grown up, his mind has arrived at the point where it must know, and when, if knowledge be refused, this violation of our being will result in the grossest and vilest superstition or the most appalling materialism.

No child is born without the accompanying pains, and now the soul-mind of man is struggling for birth. Shall we aid in preventing it merely for the avoidance of preliminary pain?

Shall we help a vast brood of priests to refasten the clamps of steel which for so many centuries they have held tightly on the race-mind?

Never, if we see the great truth that we are preparing for a cycle when reason is to take her place beside the soul and guide the pilgrim to the tree of life eternal.

Be not beguiled by the argument that 'tis unwise to tell the truth. It is but the song of the siren, intended to lure the traveler to his doom.

Tell the truth, but do not force it. If even a pious soul should lose the historical Jesus Christ and see instead the glorious image of the Self in every man, that were a gain worth all the pain the first rude shock might give. The danger of lifting the veil of Isis lies not in the doctrines of Unity, Reincarnation, and Karma, but in untaught mysteries which not Theosophist is able to reveal.

The change from dogma or creed to a belief in law and justice impartial will bring perhaps some tears to the soul, but the end thereof is peace and freedom.

That “great orphan Humanity,” now grown up, no longer needs the toys of a thousand years ago, but requires, and with a voice like the rush of mighty waters demands, that every veil shall be lifted, every lie unveiled, and every light be lighted that can shed a ray upon the remainder of its toilsome road.

 [“Path” magazine, December 1892.]

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The above article is reproduced from “Theosophical Articles”, William Q. Judge, Theosophy Co., Los Angeles, 1980, volume II, pp. 355-356.

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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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23 February 2015

THE AQUARIAN THEOSOPHIST, FEBRUARY 2015

 

The opening thought of the month is:      

“The best victory defeats no one.”

On page one the reader has “A Personal Commitment to Life”. It is an exercise in integrity of character.

Page two brings two brief notes: “Defining the Substance of the Day” and “Cacophonous Surroundings: The Perfect Blessing”.  A few extraordinary paragraphs by Immanuel Kant are presented on pp. 3-4 under the title “The Power of Good Will: Right Intention Has a Decisive Value”.

A short fragment from the Jewish thinker Moses Maimonides examines the choice that must be made once and again along the path to Truth: see p. 5. 

On pages 5-7, we transcribe a few and brilliant paragraphs written by former  U.S. vice-president Al Gore. The title is “An Assault on Reason: Television as a Hypnotizer”.  A note on “The Healing Chain of Causation” is on page 8.

Other topics in the February “Aquarian”  include:

* Helena Blavatsky, On Brotherhood and Sisterhood;

* A Master of the Wisdom: Buddha Is a Planetary Spirit Now;

* Thoughts Along the Road: Observing the Sacredness of Daily Life; and

* The ULT Declaration:  The Founding Document of the United Lodge in 1909.

The 15 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  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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22 February 2015

IL LIBRO DELLE CITAZIONI

Per Ogni giorno dell’Anno un Brano
Tratto dalle Opere di H.P. Blavatsky



La Loggia Unita dei Teosofi


Helena Blavatsky



Prefazione dell’ Edizione Originale Inglese:

Pubblichiamo qui delle citazioni tratte dai libri e dagli articoli scritti da H.P. Blavatsky che ha formulato nuovamente gli insegnamenti della Teosofia per la nostra era.

Questi brani scelti da uno studente della Loggia Unita dei Teosofi, un brano per ogni giorno dell’anno, offriranno un incoraggiamento ed un’istruzione morale, un’illuminazione mentale ed un’ispirazione spirituale a colui che li saprà usare come pensieri-seme per la meditazione.

Ogni seme contemplato darà una sua ricompensa di luce, di conforto e di forza.

Gli Editori
22 Ottobre 1954

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Sul ruolo del movimento esoterico nel risveglio etico dell’umanità durante il 21° secolo, vedi il libro “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, di Carlos Cardoso Aveline.



Pubblicato nel 2013 dal The Aquarian Theosophist, il libro ha 255 pagine e può essere acquistato tramite Amazon Books.

Su Facebook, vedi le pagine The Aquarian Theosophist , E-Theosophy , Teosofia e Italia Teosofica.


Visita sempre www.Esoteric-Philosophy.com, www.TheosophyOnline.com e www.FilosofiaEsoterica.com .

Per avere accesso ad uno studio quotidiano della teosofia in lingua Inglese, visita la pagina dell’e-gruppo E-Theosophy in YahooGroups e iscriviti direttamente da lì.

Il link all’e-gruppo è - https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/E-Theosophy/info.
Puoi anche scrivere a lutbr@terra.com.br e chiedere informazioni su E-Theosophy.


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21 February 2015

THOUGHTS ALONG THE ROAD - 4

Observing the Sacredness of Daily Life

 Carlos Cardoso Aveline


 
Spiritual knowledge must be severely tested in daily life,
in order to make sure it is not mere pretense or make-believe.



*An absence of noise seems to surround all things beautiful.

* In the presence of silence, words naturally tend to be sincere and accurate. Happiness shines in the creative equilibrium between silence and sound, or contemplation and action.

* Peace exists in the absence of noise, and it flows according to the law of equilibrium. In the silence of one’s soul, truth can be heard without a sound.

* Right self-discipline and self-control lead to unconditional happiness.

* Students of theosophy learn to see short term events in the wider context of time eternal.

* Every moment in life is sacred and its divine substance can be consciously experienced, if we are prepared to that.

* The fulfilment of one’s duty is the safest path to bliss. The sense of duty is the best compass one may use. It is in one’s own heart. It speaks through the voice of the conscience.

* Each mistake, once it is corrected - just as every pain understood - corresponds to a step in the warrior’s path. Conquered imperfections become virtues.[1]

* The higher self or spiritual soul has unlimited resources on its own plane. By concentrating our hearts on it, we get in touch with universal life.

* Detachment, good will and confidence are necessary in order to develop a creativity that transforms every aspect of existence.

* A concentrated mind does not “exclude” that which is not its chosen object of observation. It includes all life: it also transcends each and each one of its manifested aspects.

* A strong will does not eliminate open-mindedness.  One’s efforts must aim at obtaining a lasting victory which produces defeat to no one. 

* Concentration of mind widens one’s horizons. It also purifies and elevates them.

* One-pointedness allows one’s mind to have wide horizons. A dispersive consciousness is narrow.

* Self-respect creates stability: you need a firm basis in order to observe the sky.

* Idle thoughts should be eliminated because of their negative magnetism.  Any idea in one’s mind must have a purpose, and one must be consciously responsible for it, and for its results.

* Blessed are those who investigate beneath the surface of things, for most blessings are hidden under unpleasant appearances. On the other hand, many a harmful thing presents itself as nice and saintly.

* Students of philosophy must harmonize external activities with their most abstract dreams and projects. From the correct interaction between the objective and the abstract, a consistency of behaviour and inner happiness emerge.

* Mirrors produce images symmetrical to that which is reflected. An intimate relationship works like a mirror. It can be accurate, or it may distort the image of the other.  It is necessary to keep in touch with the best in oneself, in order to stimulate the best in the other half of a marriage, and do this in a long-term process.

* Whether we pay attention to it or not, life on Earth develops in a close dialogue with countless aspects of the wider life in our solar system. There is a dance of billions of years in the sky. Each planet teaches our souls a particular set of lessons, and their wordless teachings and influences interact among each other all the time.

* Spiritual knowledge must be severely tested in daily life, in order to make sure it is not mere pretense or make-believe. 

* Within one’s soul, as well as in outer circumstances, life combines stability and change. We need both factors. There is a time to choose continuity, and a time to provoke radical changes. The transformation must not be a jump into the unknown. It must be made with courage and prudence, while visualizing the goal we want to reach through hard work and on the basis of acquired merit.

* A few measures should be taken, in order to avoid unnecessary waste of time and energy. The first one is to have clear-cut, noble goals. The second is to develop our discernment regarding which actions lead to our goals and which ones don’t. Provided that we have the necessary strength of decision and of character, we will be able to save large amounts of time.

* Planning is as important as our ability to look at life as if there were no planning. Creativity renews our action plans, and we must include in our planning the need to look at life from new and different points of view any time, while persevering in that which is of fundamental importance in our roadmap.

* We are all learners. The practice of regularly questioning and re-examining our premises only makes them stronger and gives further power to the foundations of our daily action.

* Along the path to wisdom, the pilgrim is protected by his own accumulated good karma. Courage is good, but it must be exerted with prudence, for challenges renew themselves at each new step. It is not easy to know the precise strength of the good karma accumulated by the pilgrim thanks to his right action. For this reason, harvesting is dangerous and may lead to illusion. The most important thing is to persevere in sowing good karma at each moment, using courage when it is necessary and avoiding too much audacity.

* The Law of Karma is the Law of Symmetry. Whenever difficulties seem to expand, there is no need to become hypnotized by the obstacles.  Positive opportunities and blessings get increased in equal measure as to challenges, and perhaps with an advantage, from the point of view of those who have eyes to see. While difficulties sometimes seem to dominate the external aspects of life, positive opportunities are decisive on the inner and highest planes, and this takes place in strict accordance with the Law. 

NOTE: 

[1] The idea corresponds to an axiom in “Light on the Path”. It is reproduced from the book “Três Caminhos Para a Paz Interior”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline, Ed. Teosófica, Brasília, 2002, 191 pp., p. 26.

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The above fragments were first published anonymously in the October 2014 and November 2014 editions of “The Aquarian Theosophist”.

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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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