going behind the words
Dec 08, 1993 10:28 AM
When we are faced with our theosophical books from one day to the next,
the thought may come: what do we do with this stuff? A newcomer may
ask us the same question. And what is our answer?
We come to the books and have learned to properly study them. We have
read the classics, and underlined our favorite quotes. We have held
classes for others to study Theosophy. We can properly cite what we
may tell others, knowing where to find our references. We are good
scholars of the literature.
This is, though, but the first step. It is an important one, for the
use of the intellect is necessary for futher progress in understanding
the Mystery Teachings. But there is much more to do. If we stay with
the brain-mind learning, we stare into a wall, a barrier, something
that prevents further progress.
We can read about Theosophy and learn all the various words, and their
typical meanings. But we also must believe what we read, to treat it
as real, to *do what it says*!
You can come in touch with your own inner teacher and learn from within
too! Although it is easy *to pretend*, when not really doing so, this
does not mean that doing so is unreal or is not possible.
Anyone can be a chela if their intent is right, if they try to lead
an impersonal life of selfless service, if they awaken their inner
buddhic light. And this can begin now! It does not require them to be
at the final stages of human personal evolution.
Some would deify the Masters, to make them into superphysical beings,
would deny all personal characteristics to them. Some may even want to
make their Messangers, like H.P.B., into persons of extraordinary
refinement. If you look at her, though, as a real, historic personage,
and not through the idealized representations that some make of her,
you see a person who was far from plesant, someone who smoke and swore
and had a bad temper.
The occult status of H.P.B. was not a result of any particular
characteristic of her personality, but rather because of her ability
to function in the impersonal, of her ability to devote her life to
selfless service of humanity.
We might also hear some people make of chelas and chelaship a thing
of almost superphysical, comic-book hero status, and deny that *we*
could possible undergo it ourselves. Again, they look at the outer
surface of people, the crust, and see not the inner man! We cannot
measure anyone's spiritual status based upon how pious they are in
living out the external rules of a particular religion or philosophy.
The light of the inner nature is not revealed in the outer form. The
outer nature relates to the normal sweep of evolution, the human ego
as a part of human lifewave, and not to the other side of things. The
other side of the dual track of life is the Hierarchy of Compassion,
the path of Looking Back, of reaching to those behind oneself and
assisting them, rather than simply moving forward and attaining one's
own personal progress.
The words that we read in our books are sometimes evasive, they are
hard to pin down. Some words are used in different senses and with
different meanings. At times, a term is used to describe different
aspects of the same thing. At other times, a term might be used to
describe two different things.
Now, have we really tried to set our books down and ask *inside* for
more Teachings, for a better understanding, for a deeper insight?
We read that such is possible, but do we *believe* and *try*?
Do we have a faith in the Teachings that is unshakable, founded in our
experience of trying them, of using them, of making them a part of our
lives? Or do we content ourselves to remember good quotes and stay
within the mental blinders of western academic and scientific thought?
What we read about chelaship is as real, as close, as available to be
tried in our lives as anything we might read on diet, exercize, or
popular psychology. It is unreal but to those who would not know,
those who would not behold it, those who would not admit it into
We learn to live in our spiritual natures, to always orient ourselves
*true north*, like a good compass. When the unexpected events of life
knock us off track, we do not stay misdirected for long, but always
set ourselves aright. We always get up when knocked down in live, and
never give up.
No error, no mistake, no shortcoming holds you back. By dwelling in
the spiritual, the personality is illuminated from within and the lower
nature will transform itself without a sense of struggle. There will be
growth pains, from the hastened development, but these are happy pains,
like those pains that come when doing something that we totally enjoy.
We do not really have a sense of how difficult our spiritual growth
really is, we do not suffer. *Suffering is a state of mind,* which
comes from a sense of personal self. The personal self has lost
something, and it suffers. We feel no suffering, though, for we dwell
in the impersonal, in the selfless, in a far grander part of our
There is a saying: seize the day! We take the raw materials of life,
the yet-unwritten page in the book of life that is today, and fill it
with the highest, with the noblest that we can. We do not do this
by denial of the personality. We do not do it by rejection, by
supression, by manipulation of the personal self. We rather do it by
drawing in the higher nature, by ennobling what we do by giving it
a sense of the divinity behind things, by infilling our activities by
an awareness and *presence* of the mystery behind outer things.
The process of chelaship is not a commonplace thing. It does not come
about by a mere wanting, without the necessary understanding and
readiness. We can observe many pretenders, many who would let us think
that they are chelas or masters. These are people who may fool
themselves and a few followers, but can be seen through, when we have
the necessary keys given us, by the core concepts of Theosophy.
The relationship between chela and teacher is hidden, silent, not
talked about. The very spiritual qualities that enable one to become
a chela would have to be absent were he to use his chelaship for
personal recognition or benefit.
Chelaship is not grand in terms of personal honor, recognition, status,
but grand in terms of impersonal sacrifice, of working to benefit
others without any element of self or self-benefit. We loose ourselves
in action, become infilled with it, and become something grander in
Those qualities of the spiritual nature that are alive and in action
in our lives, *in addition to* the activities of the personality, are
what sends out a call, what draws the attention of the Masters draws
us into their circle, that draws us into the Work.
We must take what we have in our literature. We must treat it as real
and *do it*. It is only unreal to the extent that we do not respect
its reality, to the extent that we do not allow the Teachings to
become a part of our lives.
Getting to the heart of Theosophy is not just defining what are the
right books to read, the right authors to study, the accurate
publication and distribution of the literature, in verbatim form,
unaltered in terms of the mere printed words.
We are responsible to pass on the Truths as we have received them.
And we have received them not in the physical books, in the paper that
we hold in our hands. We have received them as an oral and living
tradition. We have received the heart, the essence, the true nature
of the Esoteric Philosophy in our inner natures, as an illumination
that has arisen due to our studies and our teaching of what we have
learned. It is this illumination, *along with the accurate words*,
that we are responsible to faithfully pass on.
The books veil the Teachings, but are not the Teachings in themselves.
We stand, though, in our study of the literature, before them, and it
is up to us to pull aside the veil or forever stand outside.
We can drink from the fountain of Truth and thirst no more, or refuse.
We have come far, our fourtune has brought us but one step removed
from our goal, the goal of entering a higher life. Let us take that
last step and find that we too can be chelas, that chelaship is not
for the unknowable few, but for anyone whose hearts and minds are
ready and willing to be of service.
The idea that we are held back because we *have not tried hard enough*
is wrong. It is not a matter of trying *harder*. It is just a matter of
trying, really trying, and not stopping to try. The power of the will
is not based upon *quantity*, not based upon energy level, not based
upon having more of anything.
The power is the unyielding resolve to keep at it. We are subject to
mistakes. But combine the persistence of an unshakable determination
with the continual awareness of the spiritual, as a pervasive
background to our experience of life, and we simply cannot fail! We
can experience setbacks, short-run failures, but in the long run,
we will attain our goal, and become a living force for good in the
Eldon Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application