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The Prize Goes Unclaimed

Sep 08, 1994 03:56 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

This is by Eldon Tucker


The Prize Goes Unclaimed

    As we take Theosophy and bring it into the activities of
our daily lives, our personal interests come strongly into
play. Those things we like to do determine how we live out the
Teachings, how we bring them into the world and influence the
people and surrounding environment.
    If our interests are in art and music, we give it a
theosophical touch. If we are strongly involved in
interpersonal work, perhaps as psychologist or social worker,
we use our new-found wisdom to fashion new techniques of
helping others, and to enrich the content of our interaction
with them. And if we are school teachers, we may pose good
questions, leading the children to think in the right
direction, and work to continually train them to keep open
minds and continually reconsider what they thought they knew
and took for granted.
    We need to make a distinction, though, between our
personal interests, based upon the personalities we have
fashioned for ourselves in this particular lifetime, and the
actual content and nature of the Teachings themselves. What is
given us is quite distinct from how we may give personal
expression  to it. If we don't carefully make this
distinction, we lose sight of the true Gupta Vidya, the
Wisdom-Religion. When we take our personal interests, and
project them onto Theosophy itself, we no longer gaze directly
on its face, but instead look at an idealized mask of our own
    A simple description of Theosophy is that it is a gateway
to the Mysteries, a semi-veiled exposition of introductory
Mystery teachings. The wondrous part of it is that it is just
that: semi-veiled, leaving open the possibly of entry into the
outer court without a key. The outer door has been left ajar,
rather than shut and locked. We may step inside if we dare.
    It is easy to confuse our personal interests with the
right way to do things. We may assume that since we do so much
good in the world that everyone should follow our lead and do
the same sort of work. We forget that any form of service to
others, any form of contribution to the well-being and
betterment of humanity is quite personalized, and must be
self-devised. Forgetting that, we become short-sighted and
start picturing others, with different interests and
activities, as apathetic, as non-caring, as wasting their time
in "unreal" pursuits. We have erred in seeing things through
the narrow perspective of our personalities, rather than
opening up and gazing upon the big picture.
    Consider the socially-oriented person. This man or woman
may care deeply about how others feel, and have an interest
and aptitude in helping them solve personal problems. There
may be a talent in providing psychological assistance to
troubled people. Such a person, taking too narrow a view of
things, might call on others to "get real" and start doing
things to help people, doing "real" things. But what are real
things? How are the others, with other involvements, not also
making a contribution?
    Tolerance is important. Not just tolerance for different
views and ideas about things, but tolerance for different
approaches to making valid contributions to the good of
others, different approaches to giving outward expression to
the highest in life.
    It is different, though, when we approach the Teachings,
when we approach the Path. Although the means that we employ
to engage the Process may vary, that which we approach is one
and the same thing. The Treasure that we approach is the same,
even if the means of sharing it varies widely by individual
    As students who would enter the Stream, we see that our
study of the Mysteries is a *real* activity, something leading
to inner transformation and very real changes in others and
the world. First we attain the treasures, and the means of
sharing them will naturally follow. Hard work making the
nicest of wine bottles is fruitless, a waste of time, should
the bottles remain empty, because we have neglected wine-
making itself.
    Going after the wine, we find an approach that challenges
our highest natures, the highest parts of us accessible at
this point in evolution: the spiritual-intellectual. This is
what we train in, Buddhi-Manas, and it opens up a new part of
ourselves that was not present before.
    There are many ways to confuse the making of wine bottles
with the going after the wine. One is found in the assertion
that in the dynamics of the personality is the only real basis
of growth, leading to transformation of self and society.
Another is that the wisdom to be shared comes from psychism, from
the fruits of a quest for phenomena and powers. A third
is in an even-more material quest: to provide food, shelter,
and physical health to the helpless and incapable of society.
In all cases, we become preoccupied in too low a part of our
natures in our search for Wisdom. These can all be ways to
personally share what we have found. They are but empty wine
bottles, though, if they are uninspired activities, activities
lacking the inspiration of a rich inner nature, aglow with an
awakening spirituality and wisdom. An awakened spiritual-
intellectual nature provides the wine to fill these bottles we
may fashion, bottles of whatever shape.
    We can have a moderately healthy life and not be
preoccupied with body building. We can have some naturally-
unfolding occult powers without being drawing into a craving
for power and phenomena. We can have reasonable psychological
health, without an obsession with psychological well-being.
And we can have a reasonably active intellect, with
challenging things to read, study, and talk about. All the
various parts of our nature can be active and healthy. And the
next step is the higher Human Nature, the spiritual-
intellectual, the inspired-mind nature. This is what we
nurture, what we would have flower in our lives. It provides
the wine that gives the contents and value to our outer lives.
This part of us is "where the action is," and we seek to make
it the seat of our consciousness. It is the part that we train
in, that the Wisdom-Religion promotes in its followers. And it
is a faculty that is there, ready to be tapped, waiting for us
to make it a part of our lives.
    There are great Treasures to be found in our philosophy.
They provide a beckoning gateway to the Mysteries. There is
just the smallest step to take, a small step beyond the books
in the right direction. And taking that step is the most
important thing that we should be doing. The outer activities
in our lives will naturally follow. Let's embrace the
Mysteries and live for the Highest.
    Until this step is taken, Theosophy may seem to be a mass
of philosophical theory and speculation, with but bits and
pieces of eastern thought worthy of sharing with western
thought. But that is only while we keep our eyes shut! And we
don't have to; our eyes can open any time we choose!
    I'm reminded of a shy teenage boy, sitting beside a girl
he would date. He has only to ask her out and she'll happily
say "Yes!" But he burdens himself with doubts and lets fear
and uncertainty hold his tongue silent. The easy words are not
spoken and the prize goes unclaimed.

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