Dr. De. Purucker. The present Leader of The Theosophical Society, which has its International Headquarters at Point Loma, California, delivered the lectures contained in this volume to members of the Esoteric Section during the years 1924-1927. They were given under the direction o Katherine Tingley, then Leader of The Theosophical Society, in fulfilment of a long cherished plan to give to the world a work which would serve not only as a commentary upon The Secret Doctrine of H. P. Blavatsky, but at the same time would be the means o giving out certain esoteric keys, which would enable students to unlock for themselves the treasure of knowledge therein contained. Many are the educated men and women who have been forced to lay aside The Secret Doctrine as too abstruse and difficult, because they had no instruction and therefore no understanding of the fundamental conceptions upon which the Esoteric Philosophy is based.
To those who hunger for truth and spiritual knowledge, and who bring an open mind to the study of this book, it is not too much to say that in asking they will receive, and in seeking they will find.
The original stenographic report of these lectures was corrected by the author, but he has not had the time to read the proofs, the responsibility for which he left to the Editor. The book owes much to the collaboration of Dr. J. H. Fussell who, in addition to doing some of the preliminary work of preparing the MS. For publication, undertook the selection of the quotations, which appear at the head of each chapter. It should be mentioned that all references to The Secret Doctrine are to the original Edition (1888) of that work.
A certain amount of criticism was aroused among students of Theosophy by the announcement that Dr. de Purucker had given in these pages teaching which is not contained in the works of H. P. Blavatsky. Moreover, these critics appear to base their objections upon isolated quotations from Mme Blavatsky, in an endeavour to show that it is impossible at this time that further genuine teaching can be given, and ipso facto anything that is given must be false. But students will recognise that anything in the nature of dogmatism is contrary to the spirit of the Esoteric Philosophy, and for that reason should be avoided. Inevitable child of crystallized thought, it begins its lethal work by laying a shadow on the mind, and ends by producing a sect.
The tendency of the dogmatist is to read only those parts of the teaching which suit his own peculiar purpose, and the rest of the Teacher's writings are pushed into the back-ground and thus prevented from doing their beneficent work. Shall we not see for ourselves how H. P. Blavatsky regarded the problem? In her five Messages to the American Theosophists, she wrote.
"Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable. It is diversity of opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the Theosophical Society a living and a healthy body, its many other ugly features notwithstanding. Were it not, also, for the existence of a large amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy divergencies would be impossible, and the Society would degenerate into a sect, in which a narrow and stereotyped creed would take the place of the living and breathing spirit of Truth and an ever-growing Knowledge.
According as people are prepared to receive it, so will new Theosophical teaching be given. But no more will be given than the world, on its present level of spirituality, can profit by. It depends on the spread of Theosophy-the assimilation of what has been already given-how much more will be revealed and how soon.
Again in the Introductory to The Secret Doctrine she wrote: "In Century the Twentieth Some disciple more informed, and far better fitted, may be sent by the Masers of Wisdom to given final and irrefutable proofs that there exists a Science called Gupta-Vidya; and that, like the once-mysterious sources of the Nile, the source of all religions and philosophies now known to the world has been for many ages forgotten and lost to men, but is at last found."
These statements are quite enough to show that Mme Blavatsky never meant it to be understood that under no circumstances would additional teaching be given. On the contrary she clearly indicated that although the two volumes of The Secret Doctrine contained all that could be given to the world in the nineteenth century, the giving of further teaching would depend necessarily upon the readiness of people to receive it.
So far from claiming that her writings contain the whole of Theosophy she pointed out in her Introductory to The Secret Doctrine that she had raised "but a small corner of the dark veil" and "after long millenniums of silence and secrecy" had given but an "outline of a few fundamental truths", "because that which must remain unsaid could not be contained in a hundred such volumes". The Esoteric Doctrine in its totality has always existed in the keeping of The Adepts in The Sacred Science, and it is therefore a complete system of thought, which does not evolve or change. But the whole of it never has and never will be given out publicly, and therefore since from time to time additional teaching is given, this does constitute for the public a further unfolding or evolution of the age-old Doctrine. In other words Theosophy-the Wisdom of the Gods-is eternal is Nature, but our understanding of it grows, and as "those who have ears to hear" become fit and ready to receive more teaching, more will be given. This fact is clearly brought out also by William Q. Judge:
"If any persons regard H. P. B.' s writings as the infallible oracles of Theosophy, they go directly against her own words and the works themselves; they must be people who do not indulge in original thinking and cannot make much impression on the times.
As for the Theosophical Society, the moment it makes a hard and fast definition of Theosophy it will mark the first hour of its decay.
Inasmuch as Theosophy is the whole body of truth about man has the 'power of growth, progress and advancement,' since every new truth makes it clearer. But among the truths will not be reckoned at any time the definitions, dogmas, creeds or beliefs laid down by man."
None the less it is a fact, paradoxical though it may seem to some, that no teaching calling itself Theosophical will bear the text of a thoroughly impartial investigation, unless it is consistent with the teaching of H. P. Blavatsky; and this precisely because her writings bear the stamp of consistency with the recorded teachings of all the great Sages and Seers of Antiquity.
Herein lies the strength of Dr. de Purucker, not only in this work but in his other writings. True to the lines laid down by Mme Blavatsky, he makes no appear to dogmatic authority, but claims his right to an impartial hearing on the ground that his uniformity and analogy". "Proof," he defines, "as the preponderance of evidence bringing conviction to the mind," and goes on to show that if knowledge is to grow in us then it is necessary to check any tendency to crystallization of thought, i.e., to limit the understanding by closing the doors of the mind to further light upon any particular subject o study. The truth is that in the search for the Great Knowledge, progress is seen to be as endless as boundless Infinitude-inwards and upwards for ever-towards the Unutterable. Herein perhaps also is the secret of humility.
The meaning of any part of this book is not to be understood by merely dipping into it here and there. A particular doctrine is touched upon in one chapter, outlined in another, then dealt with in fuller detail until in some later chapter the key thought to the whole subject is revealed if the preceding ideas have been grasped. Thus the mind of the reader is opened gradually to receive teaching which becomes every deeper with each succeeding chapter, unfolding before the inner eye a vision of the age-old Path that leads at last from darkness into Light.
Back Of The Book
A viewpoint of the Real, bringing a sense of the unbroken thread of ever-extending life." Magic casements" opening upon bright inner worlds of Reality stimulating one to daring flights of thought; Revealing passages about the Mystery Schools and their method o teaching, and glimpses of the mysterious parts played in the drama of evolution by Sun, Moon, the Zodiacal Constellations and the "Seven Sacred Planets"
a further unveiling of the jewels of Esoteric Wisdom begun in H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine
a part o this New Age as Sunrise is o Morning.
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