Theosophical Quarterly, July, 1921
A lecture by Charles Johnston, on May 1, 1921,
on the occasion of the Convention of The Theosophical Society.
What is Theosophy? What is The Theosophical Society? What is the relation of Theosophy to The Theosophical Society?
Let us begin with the more concrete question: What is The Theosophical Society?
The Constitution thus defines the Objects of The Theosophical Society:
The principal aim and object of this Society is, To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.
The subsidiary objects are: The study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and sciences, and the demonstration of the importance of such study; and, The investigation of the unexplained laws of nature and the psychical powers latent in man.
In each of these three Objects, there is an underlying principle, not expressed, but implicit. In the first Object, this principle is, “the identity of all Souls with the Oversoul”; the term made familiar by Emerson. And, as Emerson teaches, each soul is, in essence, one with the Oversoul, and with all of the Oversoul.
But that identity is not yet realized. It can be realized only through ages of growth and spiritual progression, as the soul expands, and opens itself to the life of the Oversoul and to all of that life.
Therefore the first Object of The Theosophical Society does not propose to form a universal brotherhood of humanity by simply gathering together the existing materials, all men and women, good and evil alike; but, on the contrary, it proposes to form only the nucleus of such a brotherhood. Into the nucleus can enter truly only that which is of the nature of the Oversoul, only that which is spiritual and immortal. Therefore the nucleus is not for today, but for the distant future, for men and races yet unborn; the foundation stone of the future spiritual being of an immortal mankind.
In the same way, in the second Object, the study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and sciences, there is implicit the principle that there is an underlying unity in these three, religion, philosophy and science; they are all views of truth, views of the Oversoul from different points. The importance of their study lies in the search for this underlying unity, the search for the expression of the Oversoul, which that unity will reveal.
So in the third Object, there is implicit the thought that, since each soul is fundamentally identical with the Oversoul, there will be, for each soul, a progressive unfolding of divine and spiritual powers, until all the powers of the Oversoul are attained and revealed in it. And, with this unfolding of the soul will come a progressive insight into mystery after mystery of nature and nature’s hitherto unexplained laws.
When these Objects were phrased, in the seventies or early eighties of last century, the word psychic had not gained a sense which it has since acquired, as distinct from spiritual. Psychic was used rather as the antithesis of material, as it is habitually used by many French writers, such as Bergson, perhaps because the word “spirituel,” in French, does not mean exactly spiritual, but rather intelligent, clever or witty. If we were to rephrase the third Object today, we should be inclined to speak of the spiritual powers latent in man, rather than the psychical powers.
So that in each of the three Objects there is thus an underlying principle; and these three principles find their unity in the Oversoul.
This may seem like a doctrine, even a dogma. But The Theosophical Society does not require the acceptance of any doctrine or dogma, or even the acceptance of such underlying principles as have been outlined. On the contrary, it is expressly stated in the Constitution, in the Article on Membership, that every member has the right to believe or disbelieve in any religious system or philosophy. That is already going far; but the Constitution goes even farther, for it adds that every member has also the right to declare such belief or disbelief, without affecting his standing as a member of the Society, each being required to show that tolerance of the opinions of others which he expects for his own.
This is a broad and generous provision, the very perfection of intellectual charity. But it is something more. It is an implicit expression of the conviction that every true inspiration, whether of religion, philosophy or science, is a partial revelation of the Oversoul, a ray of light of the Logos, a thought in the Mind of God.
This word which has just been used, the Logos, is the Greek original of Verbum, the Word, as used in the opening verse of the Gospel according to Saint John: In the beginning was the Word, the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.
Perhaps it would be better to translate the first words: In the primal principle, rather than: In the beginning, as indicating a source rather than an origin in time.
It seems to be generally held that Saint John owes his use of this word to Philo, who is summing up a main current of Hellenic philosophy, which goes back through the Stoics to Heraclitus, who spoke of the Logos as the universal principle which animates and rules the world.
For Philo, the Logos is the Mind of God, very much in the spirit of the ancient Chinese phrase, used nearly four thousand years ago in the Shu King: I will examine these things in harmony with the Mind of God.
Perhaps we shall get a clearer view of the significance of the use of this word, the Logos, by John, if we remember that Matthew and others of the disciples, seeking to express their understanding of the divine personality of Jesus, thought and spoke of him as the Christ, that is, the Anointed, the Messiah: the Lord long looked for, of the Messianic hope, the king of royal David’s line. John, interpreting the same divine personality, took the expression, the Logos, thus announcing Jesus as the incarnation of the Mind of God. The word Messiah, the Anointed, in its Greek equivalent, Christos, is used in the Septuagint, the Alexandrian Greek version of the Old Testament, in a more general sense. Thus, when Isaiah speaks of the anointed, Cyrus, the word used in the Greek is Christos. But in the New Testament, the word Christ has gained a deeper significance. Christ is the Messiah. Christ is also the Logos, the incarnate Mind of God.
It may be valuable to consider this word, Logos, as it was first used by Philo of Alexandria, writing about the fifteenth year of our era, on the Creation of the World as given by Moses. Philo was gathering together the three threads represented in the population of his native city, Alexandria, where he lived most of his life and wrote, though he went on one occasion to Rome and, in all likelihood, went also to Jerusalem, to the great festivals of the Jews.
Alexandria had its Greek, its Jewish and its Egyptian population. Philo gathered together the thoughts of all. He had some knowledge also of the spiritual life of India, as it became known to the western world through the expedition of Alexander the Great to India. Through Megasthenes and others, a considerable knowledge of India thus found its way westward, and it would be possible to fill a small book shelf with Greek writings on India which we owe to Alexander’s expedition. Thus we find Philo saying of the Indian Gymnosophists, or Sannyasis, that their whole existence is a lesson in virtue.
Alexander’s expeditions drew a circle, one may say, round the three centres of wisdom, Greece, Egypt and India, with Jerusalem in the centre; and, in Alexandria, Philo’s city, these threads of wisdom came together.
Philo undertook to expound the records of the Old Testament along the lines of allegory, as in his book, the Allegories of the Sacred Laws, that is, the Laws of Moses. And he expounds them in the light of the philosophical thought of Plato, so that it was said by an early Christian writer that it is difficult to say whether Philo Platonizes, or Plato Philonizes.
And as the foundation of his exposition, he takes this teaching of the Logos, the Mind of God.
We may condense as follows the first passage in which this thought is developed, in the exposition of the Creation of the World:
When a city, says Philo, is founded by a great king, who is also a man of brilliant imagination, a skilful architect whom he employs, seeing the advantage and beauty of the situation, first of all sketches out in his own mind nearly all the parts of the city, the temples, gymnasia, markets, harbours, docks, the arrangement of the walls, the situation of the dwelling houses and the public and other buildings; he carries in his heart the image of a city perceptible only by the intellect. We must form a somewhat similar opinion of God and His creative work. The world first existed only in the Mind, the Logos, of God.
It may be an interesting surmise, which has, perhaps, been made before, that Philo had here in mind, not an imaginary town, but his own city of Alexandria; that the great king of his parable was Alexander, who, in the year 332 B.C., commanded Deinocrates, the wise architect, to plan the city Alexandria, with its walls, harbours, temples, streets, markets, its many public buildings. Everything which Philo says, describes his own city. It does not exactly describe, let us say, Jerusalem, which, though it had walls, had no harbour, nor Rome, the two other great cities which Philo is likely to have known.
Therefore Philo thinks of the plan of the universe to be created, as first formed in the Mind of God, in the Logos. And, if we accept this great, fundamental thought, a plan of all life, must it not follow that there is, in the Mind of God, a plan for each life, a life-plan for each one of us, in the Logos, in the Mind of God?
The plan, for each one of us, is to be discerned through prayer, through meditation, through the illumination of that Light of the Logos which, as Saint John has so beautifully said, lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
But, since the life of each of us is a divine gift, it carries the quality of divinity, the gift of free will, which the Divine Power cannot and will not revoke. We have the right to choose, either to follow the plan of the Logos, led by the Light of the Logos, or to refuse. With free will must the plan be worked out; it cannot be worked out, except through the free energy of creative will, realizing in succession the thoughts in the Mind of God.
We come thus to the word, Theosophy, used by Saint Paul in his first letter to the disciples in Corinth, in the twenty-fourth verse of the first chapter: Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God, Theou sophia.
It is worth noting here that there are two Greek words meaning wisdom: Gnosis, as in the name of the Gnostics, and this word Sophia, with a somewhat different shade of meaning. Gnosis appears to mean rather illumination, the immediate light of divine inspiration, which the Gnostics aspired to reach; while Sophia is wisdom applied to the conduct of life.
We can see this in the name Sophist. It carries an unpleasant flavour, but in the period before Plato, the Sophist was, or aspired to be, a teacher of the highest and best of human things, as Plato says, speaking of Protagoras. And a modern writer on the Greek Genius says of the earlier Sophist, that “he came nearest, perhaps, to a university teacher, glorified, extended, and brought into contact with practical life.”
Paul divides the word into its two parts, Theou sophia, the wisdom of God. It seems to occur first as a single word in the Miscellanies of Clement of Alexandria, who speaks of solving problems “theosophically,” that is, in the light, and through the power, of the divine wisdom in us. After Clement, the word is found often in the intervening centuries, coming into all modern languages.
So at last we reach The Theosophical Society, founded in 1875 and taking this honourable and ancient name, and, in fact, using Theosophy as the wisdom of the Divine in us, wisdom applied to the conduct of life.
By this road, therefore, we come back to our fundamental thought: the conduct of life in the light of divine wisdom; the seeking, through prayer, through meditation, for the immemorial Light in the soul, the Light of the Logos, the leading of the Mind of God.
Here we have our immediate practical application. We are reverently and humbly to seek that Light in the soul and, striving to follow the Light, through effort and sacrifice, undaunted by failure, we are to work out the plan of the Logos, to realize creatively the ideal of our lives as it exists in the Mind of God.
Yet we must have the humility to remember that at first but one ray of the Logos shines into our hearts, a ray refracted and beclouded by our minds; and that the same immemorial Light has illumined reverent hearts, in all lands, throughout all times.
These illumined sages and saints have recorded their experience in seeking and following the Light, in the sacred books of all races, in every age. With this unity of spiritual experience in view, The Theosophical Society, in its second object, suggests the study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and sciences, as a check on our own experience. To ignore this gathered wisdom, or to treat it superficially, would be the unpardonable folly of vanity, and could lead only to confusion.
The scientist respects the stored experience, the careful experiments, of all his predecessors. The mystic, if he be a true mystic, reveres the experience of those who have gone before him, and seeks among the living for those whose experience is wider and deeper than his own.
Therefore we study the records of all spiritual experience: the Bibles and prayer book s and hymnals of all religions. We seek to supplement and correct our own experience by every available revelation of the Light.
If we follow this course, with reverent seeking for the Light, and with heroic valour, two results would seem to follow. First, wholly occupied with the quest and the creative effort, we shall find our purpose and inspiration in these, and shall never fasten with hungry thoughts upon the result, the personal reward. This is the wise precept of the Bhagavad Gita (2, 47): “Thy authority, thy right, is in the work, never in the fruits, the personal rewards.” The motive of life will be progressive illumination, the continuous exertion of creative will, in obedience to the inward light; a ceaseless striving, through innumerable failures, to realize the splendid plan in the Mind of God.
Besides this disinterested aspiration and sacrifice, as itself the purpose and the reward of life, there will be a second result, not less inevitable. Each one of us, fighting our way forward along the path toward the Logos, will find no time to look backward at the debris of the task, the things already accomplished and done with. It will be even less possible for one to fasten hungry eyes on the results of another’s work, the things which, even for him, already belong to the past. Anything, therefore, like envy, like covetousness, becomes wholly impossible to anyone following this life of inspiration and effort, unless it be envy of the finer valour, the completer sacrifice of another. But envy in the common sense, the envy of another’s possessions, is unthinkable. It can have no possible place in that benignant light.
But, if envy of the possessions of another be impossible, since each is altogether bent on treading the path that leads to the celestial light, the fullest sympathy is not impossible. Comprehending love is, indeed, of the very essence of the undertaking, an inalienable element in the Great Adventure.
Each one of us strives to follow the inward light, in the spirit of the Vedic prayer: “Let us fix our souls upon the excellent light of that divine Sun, and may it lead our souls forward.” But, since these are rays of the same divine Sun, the Sun of wisdom, it is the one Sun that illumines us all. As we draw near to That, we draw nearer to each other, just as the spokes draw closer together when they approach the nave. The power to understand, the power to help, are, indeed, the fruits of that divine Light, coming as the reward of sacrifice and aspiration.
We come thus to the essential Theosophical thought of co-operation in the search for spiritual light and life. Each of us has, perhaps, his unicoloured ray; only when united, can they form the white radiance of Eternity. Each has his own note, but harmony comes through the blending of contrasted notes. So students of Theosophy work together, striving through aspiration and sacrifice to build the nucleus of the divine humanity.
We have already drawn illustrations from East and West, from the Gospels and Greek philosophy and from the Indian books of wisdom. And necessarily so, since this teaching of the Logos is fundamental in all religions. We have found the ancient sage of China, nearly four thousand years ago, endeavouring to think in harmony with the Mind of God. And Tao, the fundamental principle of Lao Tse, some twenty-five centuries since, is so close to the same thought, that the great French Sinologue, Remusat, thought that Logos was the fittest word to translate it. And we are told by a recent student of the Tao Teh King, Dwight Goddard, that, when Christian scholars came to translate the Logos of Saint John, they were satisfied to use the word Tao.
From China westward, we can trace the same great thought through India, where Vach and Viraj exactly indicate the Logos, and where Brahma-vidya anticipates Theosophia; through Thoth or Tehuti in Egypt, the Divine Intelligence uttering the creative word; through the Logos from Heraclitus to Philo, from the Wisdom of Solomon (9, 12): “O God of the fathers, and Lord of mercy, who hast made all things in thy Logos,” to Saint John; literally from China to Peru and even farther west to Guatemala, finding the same concept in “the Creator and Former, the Mother and Father of life,” in the aboriginal Popol Vuh.
Theosophy, which rests on a thought fundamental in all religions, of necessity cannot be antagonistic to any religion. The Theosophical Society is, in virtue of its very nature, the friend and ally of all religions, even of all Churches, each of which has its individual light. And it has been well and wisely said that the purpose of The Theosophical Society is, to convert each man to his own religion.
A little while ago, we were considering a verse of the Bhagavad Gita: “Thy authority, thy right is in the work,” the Sanskrit word for work being Karma. And this brings us to another fundamental idea.
Perhaps we can best approach the consideration of Karma through a sentence in the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad: “As they said of old: Man verily is formed of desire; as his desire is, so is his will; as his will is, so he works; and whatever work he does, in the likeness of it he grows.” Even then, in that ancient Upanishad, it was a saying of far older days.
Here again, the word is Karma; and it is a fundamental thought in the wisdom of India, that a man’s life is his own doing, his own work. He advances through effort and sacrifice toward the Logos. At each moment, he is at that point on the road to which his effort has carried him. His task is, to go forward on the road. The point of the road at which he finds himself is not so important; the vital thing is that he shall go forward.
From this consideration of Karma it will follow once more that, to those who hold this view of life, envy or coveting is impossible; simply non-existent for that view of life. And, if this view were generally apprehended, all the ferment and revolutionary turmoil, the feverish social problem, as it is called, would cease to exist; it would be like a flurry of snow falling into a stream, “a moment white, then melts for ever.”
There is another simile of the same law which Prince Siddhartha, the Buddha, seems habitually to have used, the simile of sowing and reaping, the seed sown and the fruit gathered; he who sows rice, reaps rice, and he who sows sesamum, reaps sesamum. This has its exact parallel in Saint Paul’s autograph letter to the Galatians (6, 7): “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
And every gardener and farmer knows that as he sows, he reaps. Therefore he regards his own field, his own garden, and not another’s. Here, once more, if we look at our lives in this light of sowing and reaping, a greedy envying of the fruits of another must melt away. Or, to return to the former simile, each of us, through effort and sacrifice, has reached a certain point on the path toward the Eternal; the vital thing is, to go forward, through effort and aspiration and sacrifice.
And we shall do well to keep in mind that superb phrase of the Bhagavad Gita (3, 10): “Putting forth beings united with sacrifice, the Lord of beings of old declared: By this, by sacrifice, ye shall increase and multiply.” We are united with sacrifice, through the creative act of the Lord of beings, through the everlasting will and decree of the Logos, and we shall be wise to cleave in love to this companion of our journey.
So we find this fundamental principle, the Logos, everywhere, in all religions. And students of Theosophy hold that all religions owe their very existence to the Logos; the great Master who is the founder and central figure of each religion, being clothed with the Logos, an Avatar, a plenary Incarnation of the Mind of God.
At this point, we may, perhaps, draw a contrast between the mood of the East and the mood of the West: The East, more contemplative, approaches life on the side of intelligence, seeking to penetrate and comprehend the great Mystery, desiring illumination and the clear vision of the Everlasting. The West, more active, full of energy and force, and very often carried away and overwhelmed by its own energy; so that the streets of a great city like New York are turbulent torrents of energy, furiously rushing this way and that, with very little wisdom, very little illuminated insight into the path that is being traveled; hardly a thought of the inward light flowing down from the Logos, ready to lead us along the everlasting ways.
One can find the same contrast in the Eastern and Western religions of today. The Eastern teachers, as the outer world knows them, and as they are known to some degree even in the West, resting in a refined understanding of intellectual problems, diligently analyzing the Mind of God. And, on the other hand, we have so many Western churches busy about many things, the so-called institutional churches, full of energies and activities, but hardly considering the Mind of God which, if sought after, may shed light on each of these things, revealing its enduring value, its part and purpose in the immortal work.
Here, Theosophy can render a service to each, giving the East a deeper comprehension of the Mind of God, as to be not alone understood, but also to be continually realized through effort and sacrifice; and helping the West to dwell more in the light of the Logos, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, pouring its benign radiance on each task and problem as they arise, and guiding us with ever growing brightness into the ways of the Everlasting. So does Theosophy supplement and complete, lending its inspiration to all.
But we have seen that the second Object of The Theosophical Society indicates that we must study not only religion, but philosophy and science also. And students of Theosophy, obeying the high device of The Theosophical Society: “There is no religion higher than Truth,” do, in fact, ardently pursue the study of both philosophy and science; of science, not only for the truths which it directly gives, its many insights into the working methods of the creative Logos, but also because science profoundly colours philosophy, and plays a vital part in forming our conceptions of human life, and of all life.
We can see this at once in Darwinism. Primarily concerned with the problems of biology, with the life and growth of plants and animals, the Darwinian theory of evolution at the same time profoundly affected the philosophy of the time, strongly colouring the general conception of life. And it affected philosophy both in a favourable and in an unfavourable way. The unfavourable way was well characterized by John Burroughs, in one of his last writings, in which he undertook to show that the brutal and destructive mind of Germany was inspired and moulded by Darwin’s doctrine of the struggle for life and the survival of those who succeeded in that struggle.
But the teaching of Evolution bore another and a better fruit. It directly affected religious thought. Darwin taught the age-long evolution of bodies. With and from this came the cognate thought,—the infinite development of the soul. In a sense, Darwin’s thought liberated the soul from the bonds of a static salvation, bidding it go forward to a never ending, ever growing splendour of perfection.
If we take a wide view of the progress of scientific thought, covering a period of several centuries, we shall be inclined to call the nineteenth century the century of Darwin. And we shall find that, about the year 1900, another note began to dominate; no longer that of biology, but that of physics and chemistry blending into one; not concerned primarily with the problem of living organisms, but concerned rather with the ultimate constitution of matter, the final substance of the external world.
In the twenty years which have elapsed, marked and indeed marvelous results have been reached, which have a peculiar interest for students of Theosophy, since they closely approach the views that are characteristic of students of Theosophy.
Briefly, the result is, the dynamic conception of the universe. Matter is no longer thought of as solid and inert; the atom has lost its unity, and is seen as a highly complex body, comparable in its degree to a planetary or solar system, and made up of units of positive and negative electricity; minute but intensely potent particles of energy. A seeming solid substance is held to be a system of these electrically built atoms ceaselessly vibrating with inconceivable swiftness.
The whole universe, therefore, and every particle of matter in it, is formed of these intensely vibrating systems of energy. Matter, in the old sense, has simply ceased to exist.
Philosophically, this dynamic view of the universe has already found expression in the writings of Henri Bergson, beginning about the year 1900, and especially in Creative Evolution, which is the goal and summary of all his books.
Bergson speaks of the “elan vital,” the vital drive, to be recognized in all life about us, and to be identified in the creative will and consciousness within us. And he well describes this power as creating, both without and within us, something perpetually new; developing a series of forms, whether of art or nature, each of which might, in the retrospect, be seen to be the outcome of what went before, but no one of which could be foretold, by any mental process, before it has actually come into being; just as, from a contemplation of their supposed anthropoid forefather, no one could have prophesied Phidias and Plato.
Bergson sees this vital drive, both within and without us, as of the essence of Life, of creative consciousnes and will; and, while he himself has not pushed this splendid thought to its spiritual conclusions, as Darwin did not push the thought of evolution to its spiritual conclusions, it will well repay us to try to do this.
For we shall see, in this drive of creative will and consciousness within us, exactly the power and light of the Logos, which we found to be a fundamental thought of all religions. And we shall recognize in the perpetually renewed creation of the vital drive within our consciousness and will, that ceaseless spiritual renewal, through effort and sacrifice, the very treading of the path toward the Logos, the immemorial way of the Eternal.
Here, once more, we can make directly practical application. We shall understand life, the life of each of us, to have its very essence in this ceaseless spiritual creation, through effort and sacrifice, the sacrifice of the worse to the better, the sacrifice of the lower to the higher; the effort, at each moment, to catch the light of the Logos, and, in each element of our task, to carry out the plan and will of the Logos. Our life, like the universe, will be throughout dynamic.
And we shall at once perceive a conclusion that flows from this, a conclusion of most practical force. We shall understand the falsity, the illusion, of looking for rest, in the sense of something stationary and stagnant, as the end and the reward of our work. There is no place for the rest of stagnation in a dynamic universe; even a stone is, as to its atoms, in intense, ceaseless vibration. Much more, there is no place for the rest of stagnation in spiritual life, life in a spiritually dynamic universe.
We may as well face this at the outset, and make it the set attitude of our minds and hearts. Our destiny is, ceaseless creative effort and sacrifice, which will be steadily intensified as we draw nearer to the Logos, on our ancient, predestined way.
Rest will come, it is true; but it will come, not through a stationary condition of stagnation. Rest will come through the perfecting of our creative effort and sacrifice, through the complete harmonizing of our wills and of our hearts with the creative will and heart of the Logos, which the Popol Vuh so well calls the Formative Power, the Engenderer. That will be the rest of perfect activity; the peace of intensely active creative motion; the unconsciousness, if you will, of a consciousness absolutely at one with the Divine Consciousness.
To reach this view and ideal of life, to begin to put it into effect, we shall need something like a reversal of polarity. We shall have to turn our eyes resolutely from what has been accomplished, from anything like the idea of harvested rewards; we shall have to fix our vision and our will on what lies before us to be done, pressing toward that mark by an intense effort; with complete sacrifice leaving that which is behind; looking to the light, following the gleam.
We have an illustration ready to hand, in THE THEOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY, which gathers up one part of the work of students of Theosophy. The April number has recently been distributed. But we are no longer concerned with the April number; we are busily engaged upon the July number. As soon as that is printed, we shall begin upon the October number, each representing new creative effort; an embodiment, so far as we are able, of new light and power.
THE THEOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY does not live, and could not live, in its back numbers, in what has already been done. Nor can any periodical. A magazine that attempted to live on its back numbers would not live at all. It would be already dead.
So we may apply our simple parable. We too must courageously put behind us the desire to live in our back numbers, in what we have already accomplished, the heaped up results of our preceding work. We may be buried in these things; we cannot live in them.
Therefore let us valiantly grasp the principle that our effort and our sacrifice are to be endless, everlasting as the creative will of the Eternal. Let us fix our eyes, not on a haven of rest and cessation, but on the full flood tide of creative will, which shall find its one and only rest in more perfect effort and sacrifice; in effort and sacrifice completely one with the divine effort, the ever renewed sacrifice of the Logos, the ceaselessly creative Mind of God.
Philosophers of old sought curiously for perpetual motion. We have come to see that all motion is perpetual; that the true wonder would be, to find, anywhere in the wide universe, motion that is not perpetual. It is time to recognize the same truth within us; to make up our minds to the perpetual motion of spiritual life. This resolute looking forward and striving forward, this reversal of polarity, is one way of understanding repentance, conversion, the Greek “metanoia,” the transformation of the heart and will into likeness with the will and heart of the Logos.
So we come to sum up our conclusions: The Theosophical Society, with its three Objects; the first, finding in the Oversoul, the Logos, the binding force of human life and the nucleus of divine humanity, seeing the Light of the Logos in human consciousness, which steadily tends to become spiritual consciousness; the second Object, to seek for that Light in all religions and philosophies, seeing in them the recorded experience, as a check on our own, of those who have sought and obeyed the Light; recognizing, too, that all true science comes by inspiration, revealing the working methods of the Logos; the third Object, with its promise of the spiritual unfolding that comes by following the Light.
So in Theosophy, Divine Wisdom penetrating the soul, and applied to the conduct of life, we see an inspiration for every one, the best ally and friend of religion and of all religions, the completing element of every science, the power destined to still all social turmoil, driving out envy through aspiration and love.
Finally, the practical bearing on the life of each one of us: illumined by that benignant Light, our life becomes the Great Adventure. The Great Adventure—and something more. For all the delight of the finest artistic creation, the best embodiment of beauty; the high ecstasy of the scientific search for truth; best of all, the passionate love and adoration of the Highest, which has enkindled all human love; these shall be our heritage as we rise toward the Living Divinity.