Letters That Have Helped Me
My Dear Brother:
Your last long letter came duly to hand and has been read with much pleasure. It is quite rare to find one willing to enter this movement on the basis you have laid down for yourself, and my previous letter was written in order to see what your attitude really was, and also because I then felt from your writing that you were really in earnest. And before yours of today, I fell to thinking about you and wondering whether a future of power, a brilliancy of knowledge, was not your aspiration, and what effect certain occurrences would have upon that.
Judge, then, my pleasure in reading your words exactly answering my mental inquiries of yesterday and placing you in the right position.
It is true, we must aspire ardently, and blessed is the one who, after the first aspiration, is wise enough to see the Truth.
Three qualities forever encompass us: Satwa (truth and stability), Rajas (action, war, aspiration, ambition), Tamas (indifference, ignorance, darkness).
None may be ignored. So the path lies from Tamas, up through war, ambition, and aspiration, to Satwa, or truth and stability. We are now in Rajasika regions, sometimes lifting our fingers up to the hem of the garment of Satwa, ever aspiring, ever trying to purify our thoughts and free ourselves from the attachment to action and objects. So, of course, the ardent student naturally aspires for power. This is wise. But he must soon begin to see what he must do for real progress. For continual aspiration for power merely is sure to sow for us the giant weed of self, which is the giant spoken of in Light on the Path.
As to the Theosophical Society, all should be admitted, for we can refuse no one. If this is a Universal Brotherhood, we can make no distinctions; but we can put ourselves right in the beginning by seeing that people do not enter with mistaken notions of what we have. And yet with all our precautions, how often we find persons who are not really sincere themselves judging us by their standard, unbelieving in our sincerity. They enter; they find that each must study for himself and that no guides are told off to reach one; then they are disgusted. They forget that “the kingdom of heaven must be taken by violence.” We have also had to suffer from our friends. People who have joined us in secret like Nicodemus; they have stood idly by, waiting for the Cause to get strong or to get fashionable, and leaving all the hard fighting to be done by a few earnest men who defied the hosts of Materialism and of Conventionality. Had they spoken for their Cause, more earnest people would long ago have heard of the movement, instead of being kept away until now, like yourself, for want of knowledge that it existed.
You will find that other members care for nothing but Theosophy, and are yet forced by circumstances to work in other fields as well. What moments they have left are devoted to the Cause, and in consequence they have no unoccupied hours; each moment, day and evening, is filled up, and therefore they are happy. Yet they are unhappy that they cannot give their entire working time to the Cause in which some have been from the beginning. They feel, like Claude St. Martin, a burning desire within them to get these truths to the ears of all men. They are truths, and you are in the right path. In America it is as easy to find the Light of Lights as in India, but all around you are those who do not know these things, who never heard of them, and yet many of our fellow members are only anxious to study for their own benefit. Sometimes, if it were not for my reliance on those Great Beings who beckon me ever on, I would faint, and, leaving these people to themselves, rush off into the forest. So many people like Theosophy, and yet they at once wish to make it select and of high tone. It is for all men. It is for the common people, who are ever with us. Others, again, come in and wait like young birds for food to be put into them: they will not think, and ages must pass before they will progress.
You misunderstood a little the words “Do not think much of me.” Underline “much,” but not “think.” You’ll please think all the thoughts you will of me, but do not place me on any pinnacle: that’s all I meant.
A constant endeavor towards perfecting the mere mortal machine is folly. Thereby we sometimes fail to live up to our own intuitions. This habit goes on for some time, but will get weaker as other senses (inner ones) begin to appear. Yet know the new fully before being off with the old.
Inasmuch as we learn almost solely from each other—as we are all here for each other—the question of the effect of affinities upon our acts and thoughts is enormous and wide. It anon saves us, and anon damns. For we may meet in our lives a person who has a remarkable effect, either for good or ill, because of the affinities engendered in past lives. And now our eyes are open, we act today for the future.
That you may pass beyond the sea of darkness, I offer you my life and help.—Z.