THEOSOPHY, Vol. 82, No. 9, July, 1994
(Pages 262-266; Size: 12K)

REVIEWING "THE NEW CYCLE"(1)

WE HAVE already said in the Theosophist: "Born in the United States of America, the Theosophical Society was constituted on the model of its mother country. The latter, as we know, omits the name of God from its constitution, lest, said the Fathers of the Republic, this would someday afford the pretext for a State religion; for they wanted to grant absolute equality in its laws to all religions so that all would support the State and all in their turn would be protected."

The Theosophical Society was established on this beautiful model.

Each branch as well as each member, having the right to profess the religion and to study the sciences or philosophies it or he prefers, provided that the whole remains united by bonds of solidarity and fraternity -- our Society may be truly called the "Republic of Conscience."

While being free to engage in those intellectual pursuits that please him the most, each member of our Society must, however, give some reason for belonging to it, which means that each member must do his own chosen part, however small it may be, by way of mental work or otherwise, for the good of all. If he does not work for others, he has no reason for being a Theosophist. All of us must work for the liberation of human thought, for the elimination of selfish and sectarian superstitions, and for the discovery of all the truths that are within the reach of the human mind.

We are now facing all the glorious possibilities of the future. Once again the hour has struck for the great periodical return of the rising tide of mystic thought in Europe. We are surrounded on all sides by the ocean of universal science -- the science of life eternal -- bringing in its waters the buried and long forgotten treasures of vanished generations, treasures still unknown to the modern civilized races. The powerful current rising from the submarine abysses, from the depths where lie the learning and arts engulfed with the antediluvian Giants -- demi-gods, though mortals hardly yet formed; this current blows us in the face, murmuring: "That which was, still is; that which is forgotten, buried for æons in the depths of Jurassic strata, may once again reappear on the surface. Prepare yourselves."

Happy those who understand the language of the elements. But, where are those heading to whom the word element conveys no other meaning than the one given to it by materialistic physics and chemistry? Will the great waters carry them toward familiar shores when they will have been swept off their feet in the on-coming flood? Will they be carried toward the summit of a new Ararat, toward the heights where are light and sun and a safe spot to stand on, or toward a bottomless abyss that will engulf them as soon as they attempt to fight against the irresistible waves of a new element?

It is useless to rely on chance, and to await the approaching intellectual and psychic crisis with indifference if not with total incredulity, saying to oneself that if worse comes to worst, the tide will carry us quite naturally to the shore; for there is a strong likelihood of the tide stranding but a corpse! The battle will be fierce, in any case, between brutal materialism and blind fanaticism on the one hand, and on the other philosophy and mysticism -- that more or less thick veil of the Eternal Truth.

It is not materialism that will have the upper hand. Everyone fanatically clinging to an idea isolating him from the universal axiom, -- "There is no Religion higher than Truth" -- will find himself separated like a rotten plank from the new ark called Humanity. Tossed by the waves, chased by the winds, buffeted by this element so terrible because unknown, he will soon find himself swallowed up.

Yes, thus it must be, and it cannot be otherwise when the flame of modern materialism, artificial and cold, will be extinguished for lack of fuel. Those who cannot conceive of a spiritual Ego, of a living Soul, and of an eternal Spirit, within their material shell (which owes its illusory life only to these principles); ... those will do well to be prepared for the keenest of disappointments the future could have in store for them. For, from the depths of the muddy black waters of matter, hiding from them on all sides the horizons of the great beyond, a mystic force is rising towards the closing years of this century. A mere touch, at the most, until now, but a superhuman touch, "supernatural" only for the superstitious and the ignorant. The Spirit of Truth is at this moment moving upon the face of these black waters, and, separating them, forces them to yield their spiritual treasures. This spirit is a force that cannot be either checked or stopped.

But whether the man of today be a fanatic, a skeptic, or a mystic, he must realize that it is fruitless to struggle against these two moral forces now unleashed and engaged in a fight to the finish. He is at the mercy of these two adversaries and there is no intermediary power capable of protecting him. It is but a matter of choice: to let oneself be carried away naturally and without struggle by the flood of unfolding mysticism, or else to struggle and react against the stresses of the moral and psychic evolution and to feel oneself swallowed up in the Maelstrom of the new tide. At this very time the whole world with its centers of great intellect and of human culture, with its political, literary, artistic and commercial centers, is in turmoil, everything is tottering, falling apart, and now tending to reform. It is useless to blind oneself to this, useless to hope one will be able to remain neutral between these two warring forces; one can only be crushed, or has to choose between them. The man who thinks he has chosen freedom and who nevertheless remains submerged in this seething and foaming cauldron of filth called social life, utters the most terrible lie to his Divine Self; a lie that will blind this Self through its long series of future incarnations. All of you who waver on the path of Theosophy and of the occult sciences, who tremble on the golden threshold of Truth, the only Truth still open to you, since all the others have failed, one after the other -- look the Great Reality now offering itself to you straight in the face. These words are for the mystically inclined only, for them alone they will be of some importance; for those who have already made their choice they will prove vain and useless. But you Occultists, Kabalists and Theosophists, you know well that a word as old as the world, though new to you, has been sounded at the beginning of this cycle, and lies potentially, although not articulate for those others, in the sum of the ciphers of the year 1889; you know that a note, never before heard by the men of the present era, has just been sounded, and that a new kind of thought has arisen, fostered by the evolutionary forces. This thought differs from all that has ever been produced in the 19th Century; yet it is identical with what was the keynote and the keystone of every century, especially the last one: "Absolute Freedom of Human Thought."

Our century must be saved from itself before its last hour strikes. Now is the time for action by all who see the sterility and foolishness of an existence blinded by materialism and so ferociously indifferent to the fate of others. It is for them to devote their best energies, all their courage and all their efforts to bring about an intellectual reform. This reform cannot be accomplished except through Theosophy, and, let us say it, Occultism, or the Wisdom of the East. Many are the paths leading to it, but Wisdom is forever one. Artists foresee it, those who suffer dream of it, the pure in spirit know it. Those who work for others cannot remain blind before its reality even though they do not always know it by name.

No one is so busy or so poor that he cannot be inspired by a noble ideal to follow. Why hesitate to blaze a trail toward that ideal through all obstacles, all hindrances, all the daily considerations of social life, and to advance boldly until it is reached? It is true that the first requisites for getting there are absolute unselfishness and unlimited devotion to the interests of others, and complete indifference as to the world and its opinions. To take the first step on this ideal path requires a perfectly pure motive; ... Yet, there are men and women perfectly capable of all this, and whose only desire is to live under the aegis of their Divine Nature. Let these, at least, have the courage to live this life and not to hide it from the sight of others! No one's opinion could ever be above the rulings of our own conscience, so, let that conscience, arrived at its highest development, be our guide in all our common daily tasks. As to our inner life, let us concentrate all our attention on our chosen Ideal, and let us ever look beyond without ever casting a glance at the mud at our feet....

Those capable of such an effort are true Theosophists;... 


--H. P. BLAVATSKY


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:

There is a faculty of the human mind, which is superior to all which is born or begotten. Through it we are enabled to attain union with the superior intelligences, of being transported beyond the scenes and arrangements of this world, and of partaking the higher life and peculiar powers of the heavenly Ones. By this faculty we are made free from the dominations of Fate (Karma), and are made, so to speak, the arbiters of our own destinies. 


--IAMBLICHUS


[Note: As I mentioned in the footnote, here's the link to HPB's article that the above article was collated from: "The New Cycle".--Compiler.]

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ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:

(1) NOTE--A collation of excerpts from H. P. Blavatsky's article, "The New Cycle," first published in La Revue Theosophique, March 21, 1889. Reprinted in H.P.B. Articles, I, 397-408. [Note: Just in case you may want to read "The New Cycle," after reading this collation from it, I have put a link to it at the end of this article.--Compiler.]
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