THEOSOPHY, Vol. 22, No. 7, May, 1934
(Pages 290-293; Size: 12K)

[Compiler's Note: All 12 articles have the same name.]

THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER(1)

[Part 7 of a 12-part series]

WHAT we need to be on our guard against in working theosophically, is not our mistakes -- but our avoidable mistakes.

It is a mistake to allow the impression to grow in anyone's mind that he is of importance to Theosophy. Theosophy was restored to the world for the sake of those who are looking for light, not for those who are satisfied with things as they are and life as they find it. So, to try to interest special persons is not worth the effort expended. The very effort made prevents by arousing either opposition or erroneous notions. To let as many as possible know about Theosophy, but to seek out no one in particular, is the wiser course.

The Karma of many is such as to leave no mental or physical doors open directly, yet even they may be reached indirectly through the efforts of others in affinity with them, who may take hold and find the way. What we should do is rather to convey the information that the opportunity to understand and apply Theosophy comes under Karma to the very few, not because it is withheld from anyone, but because their prevailing tendencies are not of a nature to leave the mind open to the consideration of new truths, or to enable them to take advantage of the ways and means afforded. This comes from neglect or misuse of opportunities in former lives, in many cases. Especially is this true in this age when so much of the ancient Wisdom is once more made available to all who will. All get this chance, some more favorably than others. It is the height of unwisdom to neglect the opportunity again, most especially in those cases where it is brought home to them without effort. In our daily lives we mingle with people as they are. This enables us to show human sympathy with their life, to understand their conditions, without getting involved in either, while in indefinable ways giving the impression of the serious side of life and the necessity of real knowledge as to its meaning.

It is both wise and necessary to have a good comprehension of ways and means, of the processes of dealing with others' minds, not merely for the sake of doing or being "good", but that they and we may learn the rules of Soul-warfare, the duties, individual and collective, of the incarnated Ego, the "warrior". We are Karma, for we are the cause of all we do. Our trouble is that we do not realize the extent to which the causes go which we set in motion, either for good or evil. Hence the necessity for knowing our pedigree, spiritual, intellectual, and physical. Our heredity is our own, the present effects of causes set going by us in the long past.

Although all that we can say is but a re-statement, there is a different light cast sometimes by a word or an application, which will be helpful and useful to some. The two things that hinder effectiveness are our own failure to give as good an impression as might be, and the failure of the listener to appreciate the meaning of what is said. Most minds cannot look beyond the person, with his faults and limitations, beyond the giver to the gift itself and all that it implies, and so, expect too much of the personality in that it does not fully embody what is handed on.

This will be true of the "U.L.T.", as of the workers who make up its life, for the course "U.L.T." will be what its Associates make it -- no more, no less. Its "basis for union" is purposely left undefined from the exoteric, the personal, point of view, in order to make more prominent the true and lasting basis for unity among all who call themselves Theosophists. A central office or bureau of registry will serve to keep a record of all Associates, and to receive and give out information and help to all Lodges and individual inquirers interested in any way in Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement, quite regardless of whether they are affiliated with our Association or not.

This means of Theosophical inter-communication will be of great importance, but every care must be taken to keep it impersonal, non-partisan, non-proselyting, while at the same time a dependable source of information on Theosophical history as well as philosophy. It must be so conducted that it will never drift into any kind of a controlling force. This can always be obviated and guarded against by continual reiteration and application of the principle of union, that "mental control" of any kind is contrary to the letter and the spirit of our Declaration, and that, while Lodges and individuals may seek information, advice and suggestion, they are not in any way bound in so doing.

Those who are true to this principle will always remain in union, even on an agreement to differ, if the older students take that position and set the example themselves. It should never at any time, nor should any of our policies and practices, degenerate into hard and fast conclusions as to men, things, or methods of work. If we stand true and steadfast as to our aim, purpose and teaching, we will afford such aid and guidance as is in our power to all who may inquire, and all necessary arrangements will shape themselves. We have but to keep continually in mind and heart the original lines laid by H.P.B. and W.Q.J., namely UNITY first, as a focus for spiritual growth and mutual strength; STUDY, that a knowledge of the Movement, its purpose, its Teachers and its Message, may be had; WORK, upon ourselves in the light of that study, and for others first, last, and all the time.

All that any of us can give is Theosophy. We did not invent it. It was given to us; we stand in line and pass it along, as people used to do at fires in passing the buckets of water. People are grateful to the one who passes the "water of life" along to them, but the "passer" knows where gratitude belongs, and says: "don't thank me; thank Theosophy -- as I do. It enables me to help others; it will also enable you." Thus he helps them and helps himself to get rid of the personal idea. The fight against the "personal idea" is a long one and a strong one. It has to be guarded against that it does not take to itself what it has no claim to. What others think we are serves as an object lesson for them, but our ideal is beyond all personality and personalities. It does not matter what people think of "us" as long as they come and get Theosophy straight. There should be more and more come in closer, for the sake of Theosophy -- new units in the body of Workers.

The Messengers have left all that is necessary -- for us and for others -- in the way of direction; it is for us and for them to apply the right things at the right times and in the right way. Some may think this discouraging; so, many are looking for "orders and instructions" from Masters in ways and means. This would not do any good, even if it were possible, for if directed in everything, how could we grow in discrimination, judgment and power? We would be but automata, and would never fill the necessary place. No doubt They help all sincere men by adjustment rather than direction; so we should not look for the latter, but using our own best Theosophical judgment move forward, feeling sure that if our understanding of the nature of the task is good, and our motive pure, the right way will appear to us. This will be guidance of the right sort -- one that leads to growth. In the meantime we live and learn, and should not forget that They and we are working in the present for the future, and for the same great end. It is a "bumpy" road that we are traveling -- because the Karma of our race has constructed that kind of a road; there is no other way to get help to the race but by traveling it as best we can.

Masters do not direct; They adjust. There have been and there are those who think and say, in effect: "the Master will do everything." All such are bound to go wrong, by not considering what is the right thing and the right way, by not using all the powers they have to determine the right procedure and conduct. We trust to the great Lodge and to the Law, but use the powers we have to the best of our ability: what we cannot do, we know They will do when necessary. We have to present this idea for the better guidance of all.

--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:

ADVICE BY W.Q.J.

There is never any need to worry. The good law looks out for all things, and all we have to do is our duty as it comes along from day to day. Nothing is gained by worrying about matters and about the way people do not respond. In the first place you do not alter people, and in the second, by being anxious as to things, you put an occult obstacle in the way of what you want done. It is better to acquire a lot of what is called carelessness by the world, but is in reality a calm reliance on the law, and a doing of one's own duty, satisfied that the results must be right, no matter what they may be.

If unselfishly and earnestly we think Theosophy, and desire that others should, like us, be benefited by it, then to the minds we meet in stray moments of the day and in many hours of the night we cry "Theosophy," and "Help and hope for thee." The result must be an awakening of interest upon the slightest provocative occasion. Such an inner attitude, added to every sort of attempt at promulgation, will disclose many unsuspected persons who are thinking along this very line.


Next article:
THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER
[Part 8 of a 12-part series]

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GROUPING OF HUNDREDS OF "COLLATED ARTICLES"

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"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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