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engage the process

Nov 16, 1993 07:10 AM
by eldon

When we approach a study of Theosophy, how seriously do we take it? Is
it something interesting to think about, but is soon forgotten as we
set down our books and resume life in the so-called real world?

There is a lot more to the theosophical literature than a clever,
entertaining mental puzzle! Theosophy is literally real! That means that
it can be relied on as readily as the science and technology that we
learn in our modern classrooms. It is not empty words, it is something
that can be tried out in life and known to be true by our personal

We won't really experience it in life--not fully, truly, as a living
Truth--until we put in it as much confidence as we do in the simple
things of life. We know that we will fall down if we lean over too far;
we know that to touch something burning hot will hurt us; we know that
the sun will rise in the morning. These are all simply facts of life.
And Theosophy, too, needs to become a simple fact of our lives.

The numerous Teachings like the globe chains, karma, and the seven
principles all have to become as real as money, housing, and food, as
waking and sleeping, as physical exercise and meditation are in life.

This does not mean that we take ourselves too seriously. A sense of
humor is important. There are many times in life when we need to be
light, cheerful, and humorous; we are not expected to go about life
with long faces, always somber and heavy, always gravely saying "do
this" and "don't do that!"

Theosophy deals with real things. They may sometimes involve knowledge
of life far removed from the experience of the moment, like the
nature of our after-death experiences--and I'd certainly hope that I'm
far removed from after-death experiences! And they may involve things
that happen about us at every moment, things that we simply haven't
been paying attention to, things that are a part of our life that we
have simply been ignoring.

We should be willing to look for Theosophy in unexpected places. And
it can be found in the ordinary as well--there but simply unseen until
we know to look. There is a lot to life that stares us in the face, but
our eyes, unfocusing and glazed over, do not take it in. A wonderful
spiritual insight may await us by just stopping for a moment, and
looking around in the room in which we not sit. The man that walks by
in the hallway could very well be a Mahatma, but we just did not
notice it. Making that phone call to a friend, needing encouragement and
support, could be the spiritual experience that we most need to
undertake; and it just awaits our recognition and action.

When we speak of being a true Theosophist, or a chela, we should not
put up such a lofty, high, unapproachable ideal that we can never hope
to experience it, to make the experience a part of our lives. The
Masters have said that even if we approach their precincts in thought,
that we are drawn into the vortex of probabation, that we have engaged
the process.

The Path is a process, a natural process in life. It can be engaged,
started, entered upon. It is as natural as eating or sleeping. There
is a way that it works, a real way; it is a real process. It is not
something imaginary, a delusion, a make-believe fantasy, like that of
a three-year-old child wanting a magic carpet to fly through the sky
on, because of seeing it in a movie.

The Path is *real*, it is a thing that can be done. And it is not an
arrogant claim to superiority, a sign of pride and egotism, to start
living it. A chela may not be able to say that he has undertaken
certain training by a specific Teacher, becuause of being pledged to
secrecy, but participating in the general process of hastened
development, the Path, is not a secret thing. It is pointed out, in
many different ways, as the noble life, the saintly life, the spiritual
life; the many religions of the world all mention aspects of it. It
is not a secret thing, it is talked about widely, under a multitude of

And the Masters are not unapproachable deities. They are men in bodies
of flesh, such as us, and only are fully Mahatmas when they have
engaged their higher natures, and stepped aside from physical life.
We should neither deify them nor the Path. They are not so
unapproachable, so rare, so removed from life that we can only humbly
bow our heads and pay homage to them, if not give them our prayers and
worship. That is nonsense! They are *real* and their participation in
life is as actual men. They are *somewhere* and are doing *something*.
They do not merely exist as the painted faces on pictures in someone's
shrine room!

The difficult part, though, is knowing where and how to look. While
giving the written word the high respect it is due, and deeply
studying the Teachings, we do not allow ourselves to worship the dead
letter, finding and giving proper citation to a nice quote is far
removed from an actual experience of a deep insight. And when we look
about us at the ordinary events of life, we do not allow us to take
for granted our ordinary interpretation of what happens. There is a
deeper mystery behind what happens to us, and we only need look at
things with the right eyes, with the right awareness, with the right
experiencing of the world.

Stop and listen correctly. Look again at what is before you. Consider
again what the other person said. Look at your friend's face more
closely. Be aware of the room you are talking in. Lose yourself in
the activity of the moment. See it in the big picture of the life, a
little but highly-important drama in a meeting room, in a city, in
a globe racing through space, in vast, dark space lit up by starry
orbs. Recognize that the whole universe is present in the moment, in
your discussion with your friend. See greater mysteries behind ordinary
life. And *engage the process*, begin that long road that leads to
spiritual perfection, start to awaken the inner nature to the realities
that reach beyond our outer world, that go deep within, that lead us
to our inner divinities!

                           Eldon Tucker (

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