THEOSOPHY, Vol. 17, No. 12, October, 1929
(Pages 544-545; Size: 6K)

THEOSOPHICAL TEMPERANCE(1)

WESTERN theosophists need patience, determination, discrimination, and memory, if they ever intend to seize and hold the attention of the world for the doctrines they disseminate. A few score of earnest, active, generous Brethren can thus in time sow seed over this whole continent, and prepare the harvest which is sure to come, but which will come the sooner if we fail not in our labor.

At the present time one of the most urgent needs is for a simplification of Theosophical teachings. Theosophy is simple enough; it is the fault of its exponents if it is made complicated, abstruse or vague. Yet enquiring people are always complaining that it is too difficult a subject for them, and that their education has not been deep enough to enable them to understand it. This is greatly the fault of the members who have put it in such a manner that the people sadly turn away. At public meetings or when trying to interest an enquirer it is absolutely useless to use Sanskrit, Greek or other foreign words. Nine times out of ten the habit of doing so is due to laziness or conceit. Sometimes it is due to having merely learned certain terms without knowing and assimilating the ideas underneath. The ideas of Theosophy should be mastered, and once that is done it will be easy to express those in the simplest possible terms. And discussions about the Absolute, the Hierarchies, and so forth, are worse than useless. Such ideas as Karma, Reincarnation, the Perfectibility of Man, the Dual Nature, are the subjects to put forward. These can be expounded -- if you have grasped the ideas and made them part of your thought -- from a thousand different points of view. At all meetings the strongest effort should be made to simplify by using the words of our own language in expressing that which we believe.

Every earnest student of theosophy proper, ought by this time to have learned that little is gained to the cause of truth by either argument or invective, and that nothing is gained by denunciation.

Don't speak or write as if morality and ethics were unknown before H.P.B. wrote the Voice of the Silence. Buddhism, Christianity, and all the other religions teach the same morals, and literature is full of it.

Don't teach that vegetarianism is the road to heaven and spiritual growth. Has not our old friend H.P.B. written suggestively that cows and elephants are pure vegetarians? Reflect on the fact that some of the very best people on earth were meat-eaters, and that wicked or gross thoughts are more hurtful than the eating of a ton of flesh.

Don't think or say that phenomena are good stepping stones to Theosophy. They are not, for those who stand upon them will fall from them to their hurt.

Don't say that science is all wrong and that men of science are materialists. Huxley has done us good service; and Spencer has many a good thing in his works. Besides, if you want H.P.B. on the matter, you can read her words that the truth is to be found in a union of science with occultism.

Don't think or say that the only true occultism is found in the East, or that we must go to the East for it, or that the West has none of it. Remember that the energy of the lodge of Masters was first expended here in the West in this age. Perhaps it is as has been hinted many a time, that the true thing is to be found in a union of the East and the West.

To explain, to illustrate, and to unfold a principle of philosophy, or a law of nature, is, however, quite another matter. It is enough for us to place truth in its best light by both precept and example, and thus all who are really in search of the truth will recognize it by kinship with the truth in themselves. Error will thus fall away from truth as the veil from the chiseled marble. Who will look at the veil when once the statue is revealed? People are then looking up and not down. It is, therefore, of very great importance to keep the lines of work and of interpretation clear and untangled. This is much better than the glorification of any Brotherhood, and the Lodge is always aiming at such results, for selfish pride, arrogance, and the love of personal dominion have no place therein.


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(1) Excerpted from the writings of William Q. Judge.
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