This is a special issue on the topic of what Theosophy is and where it is going in today's world from the 100th issue of THEOSOPHY WORLD.
As I see it, THEOSOPHY is a comprehensive view of conditions in all departments of Nature, from the deepest past through the present. It is a record of eternal continuity. It maintains an actual history of the past. It states that the present always emerges from past choices and these choices are both individual and cooperative.
It shows the existence of the present Laws that operate in human relations (such as virtue, generosity, morals, vice, and selfishness) and the life and civilization-supporting laws that operate in the Universe (such as mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, physics, biology, hydraulics, thermodynamics, atomics, electricity and magnetism, engineering, and healing).
This vast evolutionary urge, an inevitable and basic component of all existence, Theosophy calls "Nature's Ways." In considering this, it posits that "Space" (sometimes called "the Void") is actually many-layered, both tangible and intangible, and a surrounding substantial element in which everything is included.
Insofar as we understand, Nature (a term representing the "Universe") shows an impersonal uniformity best described in its manifestation as the "laws of being and of all life." Further, we see Nature exhibiting sensitivity to all impressions and causes, cooperation in all departments, and a surprising attention to all those minute details that show care and support for all of its milliards of components. The Universe is as alive as our own bodies are.
Theosophy states that each of its component entities (life-atoms) is alive and each is at core a deathless "Monad" (a "spiritual" child of its Universe). Each such "immortal entity" is a "Force of individual power" with the right to work and live wherever nature and the laws of coexistence (Karma) have placed it.
Humans are each a "mind-monad." Each has reached the stage of being independent, having acquired the ability to choose his own "Path." As a "Mind-Power," each is presently learning to understand and control his mind and to distinguish emotions, passions, desires, and feelings from his Power to Think.
Each has all the potentials of the whole Cosmos, and even if he is unaware of it, he has tremendous individual responsibility. This is a highly cherished but important "secret." For this reason, the "power to choose" is most important in the advancement of human intelligence (the mental power of moral choice and self-motivation). Here in the human kingdom, individual paths and "goals" diverge into generosity and selfishness. In man, this power of choice creates individual intelligence.
Each ever-evolving entity -- atom, human being, or an Earth -- has its own self-evolved, ruling, and independent intelligence. Each has a right to live and work. Under her immutable laws, Nature gives it a position in which it can do so while cooperating with its neighbors intelligently.
To better guide this enormous enterprise, each independent intelligent entity (Monad) lives and coexists under definite laws of behavior and inter-relationship. These laws, ruling the whole of Nature, are called "Karma" in Sanskrit. They have always existed, are immutable, and cannot be transgressed.
A brief expression of this is, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This is "Golden Rule," basic in religion and philosophy. Simply put, it is recognition of the deathless Soul of Man and the universal facts of cooperation, neighborliness, and "Universal Brotherhood." It also speaks to the enormous responsibility under Law of all entities who attain to the final goal of "Wisdom."
As an example of the power of speech and choice, Theosophy offers as a valuable injunction:
Let him say what is true.
Let him say what is useful.
Let him say what is pleasant.
Let him utter no disagreeable truth.
Let him utter no agreeable falsehood.
Theosophy offers for consideration a reasonable philosophical goal for the end of any one course of its many great evolutionary programs, called "Manvantaras." This has been called "Wisdom-ism"
or "Sublime Perfection." As a whole, all beings -- human or not, Earths, Worlds, Systems of Worlds, Galaxies, and beyond -- are completely filled with an ocean of ever-living monadic entities that cooperatively work towards this elevated and ideal end. In this, Theosophy most emphatically states that brotherhood and cooperation are the sole methods to be employed for final success.
This enormous learning process calls for many embodiments in successive vehicles of flesh and matter. Reincarnation is held to be a universal fact, banishing the fear of "death" from the minds of those understanding that rebirth brings us all together repeatedly. We do not fear sleep, and death is only a longer "sleep." Those who have experienced a near death experience know that there is life after death.
This goal is a common one. It draws friends and relatives back into a unity where they continue to work and assist each other in the path of ideal perfection, and to make possible the progress they are jointly mastering in the here and now.
Theosophy, as at present, is an example of the living progress of history. It welcomes all contributions to its ever-growing record. It always adds such evidence, and it uses a process of review and questioning as a basis for self-criticism and as fuel for present cooperative thought and experience.
It seeks to use the wisdom of the past and bring it into the current context so that today's passing "modernity" is always under consideration. There is an "Eternal NOW." Past, present, and future merge in such a concept.
Theosophy welcomes all considerations and ideas, and provides a forum for reflecting on the evidence provided. In doing this, it reviews all information presently amassed, and it seeks to provide accuracy in response to all.
From THEOSOPHY WORLD, October, 2004
An Internet Magazine Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy
And its Practical Application in the Modern World