THEOSOPHY, Vol. 22, No. 10, August, 1934
(Pages 433-436; Size: 12K)
[Compiler's Note: All 12 articles have the same name.]
THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER(1)
[Part 10 of a 12-part series]
IF we waited until we were saints would we ever begin? The Bhagavad-Gita says, "Lay all thy deeds, good and bad alike, upon me." We have to give ourselves as we are, not as we would like to be, or we could never become as Masters are. The fact that some of our deeds are recognized as bad, means their relinquishment sooner or later. This must be so, if we are striving to be true to Them. So, while doing all we can to make the way sure and clear according to our lights, we may step forward with strength and boldness, because the path is Theirs as well as ours. At times we may doubt, but this arises from the personal uncertainty, the fear of one or another consequence. We should take it that whatever comes is a necessary position for us to be in, in order to do further and better work for Them.
And we are helped, and in the right way, the way our nature needs -- not necessarily according to what we assume would be the proper way. If we felt certain that They would be on hand to pull us out of holes we walk into carelessly, or have made possible by past neglect, how could we ever learn right discrimination and right action? "Ingratitude is not one of our vices." They have said this, and it is lived up to. We may be sure the very best that can be done for us is done and being done all the time. We have to find the way to Them through service. Criticisms by others may or may not be well taken. We have to judge by results obtained, rather than by anyone's opinion, and follow those methods which bring desirable results. "Old timers" will naturally criticize because in many cases they have lost the spirit of the Work. They are in the dark generally, both as to Theosophy and the theosophical organizations, so that simple loyalty and devotion to the Message and the Messenger is difficult for them to understand. We shall be glad to have their moral support if no more, and their criticisms will help us to steer clear of repeating the errors of the past. The "old timers" do not realize that they need adjustment more than any newcomers to Theosophy. The best way to help both classes of mind as well as ourselves is to stick to principles and let each apply them for himself. The "stuff" handed out by all these organizations and leaders, the claims made for them, only go to show how vitally necessary it is that the true Teachers and the true Teaching should be pointed out in no uncertain tone.
There is a psychic wave at present and it will require much effort to maintain any movement in the true direction. So far as we are concerned, this will cause the output of energy which increases strength. If it were not for such obstacles and opportunities we might fall into mere reliance upon our present acquirements and results achieved, and so go no further. We have to think at all times of others and of the future. If others are not helped and trained to take hold, to share in the work and its responsibilities, then, should anything happen to us, the Work would suffer. Study and preparation on the part of beginners will alone make them efficient as propagandists. In endeavoring to aid them, it is essential to encourage their own initiative as much as possible, suggesting and adjusting when and where necessary.
For the beginning, the middle, and the end, we should hold to the Three Fundamental Propositions of The Secret Doctrine in all our public work -- for upon these the whole philosophy hinges, and unless well grounded in them, no real progress can be had. The first thing to make clear in every exposition of Theosophy is the impossibility of the ordinary conception of a personal or separate God, and the importance of realizing the SELF as all, in all. Then, the Law of Periodicity, Cycles or Karma, in all its applications as "the world's eternal ways." This shows Reincarnation by analogy, as also the successive re-embodiments of solar systems, planets, and every form of matter. This leads naturally to the consideration of "the Universal Over-Soul", the collective intelligence in any solar system, as well as in all of them -- for all are connected, "down to the minutest conceivable atom", and what affects one affects all -- Egos small and great as well as embryonic ones. This means Unity throughout all, inter-action among all, individual responsibility.
It will be well at every study class to state what the purpose of the meeting is; to have volunteers state in their own words their understanding of the Three Fundamentals. Questions should be freely invited and asked, the object being that students, even beginners, should formulate for themselves. Only so can they make their understanding good, and get themselves in the position where they can best help others even as they have been helped. In the class in The Ocean of Theosophy, the Three Fundamentals are the background of the whole work. Chapter by chapter, in question and answer, the applications can be brought out and the consistency of the entire philosophy made clear. Individual students who want to learn should both ask and answer questions in terms of the philosophy itself. There will be difficulty in getting many to see the importance of this continual reiteration, but it is essential to all true progress.
Unavoidably we shall draw the attention of those who are inimical to anything we may attempt in Theosophical work, as well as the attention of those who desire to learn what pure Theosophy is. Well, all this takes time to overcome, but time swallows up men, centuries, and worlds -- as well as some attitudes of mind. We know such an effort as ours is needed, and we know that what we present is eternal Truth itself, the effects of which will go on forever. We are glad to have people "register", glad for them, and glad for the world's sake, but not as a favor to us. We can rejoice that those interested are able to see their true interest and join themselves to the helpers of humanity. There is much of wrong, of error, of mistaken idea, and these we have to recognize where found, take a lesson from them, and so avoid the pitfalls into which so many have stumbled. We need not care for what is said about any of us personally, though we shall have to meet it so that "U.L.T." will not be affected by anything of the kind. All attacks upon Theosophy and Theosophical work have been directed, not at the philosophy or the Objects of Theosophical work, but at those who were at the front and looked upon as the directors of the Movement. We will discount this as much as possible by keeping ourselves in the background, so that if attacks should come, as is not improbable, they will affect the Work as little as possible. The way we have marked out for ourselves bids fair to prevent any particular hindrance to our work. H.P.B. and Judge were pioneers, and many of the theosophical illuminati --save the mark -- have sought to belittle Them. The whole crowd of "successors" have either to belittle the Teachers -- or direct attention to Them. In the latter case, the "successors" lose out; what they have done and are doing tells its own story. Well, people can take their choice between our work, which directs attention to the Messengers and Their Message, and the work of those who call attention to themselves by hoisting themselves up on what the Messengers have left for the world. If the world had to depend on these "old timers" for Theosophy pure and simple, what chance would the world have?
The Movement begun by H.P.B. and Judge has passed through many changes -- changes unavoidable in a period of transition and among people whose heredity and training are obstacles in the way of right appreciation and application. But out of all these confusions must come the nucleus of that great body, the formation of which They had in view from the very first. We do but labor to hasten that great aim and object. Who or what can prevent, however much they may try to hinder?
It is strange that so many who have studied Theosophy fail to understand and apply it, but never fail to characterize and pass judgment. Their interest is limited either to the worship or the condemnation of persons.--ROBERT CROSBIE.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
Fifteen years ago this month, THEOSOPHY contained the announcement of the passing of Robert Crosbie beyond the range of mortal vision. During those fifteen years, his spirit has lived on in the hearts of his original Associates, and his example of the theosophical life has become the inspiration of thousands who never knew him personally, yet to whom his Presence is a warm and protective reality. His instruction, no less than his example, enriches mind and heart and soul.
But of necessity the ranks change constantly in the Great War, and the new recruits, the volunteers who swell those ranks, have need for the same instruction and the same example. To this end, then, THEOSOPHY is happy to announce the forthcoming publication, in book form, and under the title of "The Friendly Philosopher", of the entire series of Letters, talks on the Eternal Verities, and other writings of Robert Crosbie, which will thus be given permanent and more widely useful embodiment.
The exact date of publication, together with the cost of the volume, will be made known as soon as possible.
--THE THEOSOPHY COMPANY.
THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER
[Part 11 of a 12-part series]
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GROUPING OF HUNDREDS OF "COLLATED ARTICLES"
Back to the full listing containing all of the
"Additional Categories of Articles".
ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:
(1) [Note: The Index that I selected this series from said that the 12 articles were "Collated from Robert Crosbie". Researching this, I found the collation to be made up of 12 of his many letters. On another note, "U.L.T." refers to "The United Lodge of Theosophists".--Compiler.]
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