THEOSOPHY, Vol. 84, No. 6, April, 1996
(Pages 166-168; Size: 7K)

A JOURNAL OF VALUE

THE PATH commenced in April 1886, and according to H.P.B., was proclaimed by the Masters to be "the most theosophical of all theosophical publications." Her own journal, THE THEOSOPHIST, represented "the fighting and combative Manas" whereas she referred to THE PATH as "pure Buddhi."

During its ten year publication, Mr. Judge periodically commented on its design and intent. The following is culled from his comments [Editors].(1)

THIS MAGAZINE is not intended to replace or to rival in America The Theosophist, nor any other journal now published in the interest of Theosophy. The Theosophist is the organ of the Theosophical Society, while the founders of THE PATH are Theosophists, they do not speak authoritatively for the Theosophical Society.

Its policy is independent devotion to the Cause of Theosophy, without professing to be the organ either of the Society or of any Branch; it is loyal to the Great Founders, but does not concern itself with dissensions or differences of individual opinion. The work it has on hand, and the end it keeps in view, are too absorbing and too lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in side issues; yet its columns are open to all Theosophists who may desire to express their views on matters of real importance to the cause in which all should be interested.

The study of what is now called "practical occultism" has some interest for us, and will receive the attention it may merit, but is not the object of this journal. We admit the existence of hidden, powerful forces in nature, and believe that every day greater progress is made toward an understanding of them. The control of these hidden forces is not easily obtained, and in our view the attainment of true wisdom is not by means of phenomena, but through the development which begins within. Besides that, mankind in the mass are not able to reach to phenomena, while every one can understand right thought, right speech, and right action. The very first step in true mysticism and true occultism is to try to apprehend the meaning of Universal Brotherhood, without which the very highest progress in the practice of magic turns to ashes in the mouth.

It is not thought that Utopia can be established in a day; but through the spreading of the idea of Universal Brotherhood, the truth in all things may be discovered. Certainly, if we all say that it is useless, that such highly-strung, sentimental notions cannot obtain currency, nothing will ever be done. A beginning must be made. Riches are accumulating in the hands of the few, while the poor are ground harder every day as they increase in number. Prisons, asylums for the outcast and the magdalen, can [be] filled much faster than it is possible to erect them.

All this points unerringly to the existence of a vital error somewhere. It shows that merely healing the outside will never reduce the number of criminals nor the hordes of children born growing up in hot-beds of vice. What is wanted is true knowledge of the spiritual condition of man, his aim and destiny. Such a study leads us to accept the utterance of Prajapati to his sons: "Be restrained, be liberal, be merciful"; it is the death of selfishness."

CHANGE OF NAME

APRIL, 1896

There will be a change in the title of this magazine when issued next month. It will appear as THEOSOPHY instead of as THE PATH. This change is thought advisable for many reasons, one of which is the indistinctiveness of the present name. "Theosophy," as a word, has become familiar and a certain definite though not always correct meaning has been attached to it. One of our chief objects will be to spread a proper understanding of its significance, as well as to remove false impressions concerning it. The change will increase familiarity with the word; and it is a word that has a power in it, sufficient to change the tenor of a man's life, as experience has shown in more than one instance. Once seen it will not be forgotten. So as this is a Theosophical venture I invite the cooperation of Theosophists the world over in making it a success. Nothing can be accomplished without you; everything with you.

Efforts to increase the circulation of this magazine are made with the sole aim of spreading a true understanding of the Theosophical philosophy among the people, and only in so far as THEOSOPHY can be of use in that giant undertaking will it fulfil its mission. It's new name will in no way alter its purpose or character, but THEOSOPHY will more explicitly proclaim these to the general public than the old title--The Path. 


--WILLIAM Q. JUDGE

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(1) Note: Collated from Judge Articles Vol. II.
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