The Theosophical Society is a valuable well of wisdom
Derived from Greek roots meaning “divine wisdom,” it is a body of knowledge that tells us about our place in the universe and why the world is the way it is. Although it agrees in many respects with scientific theories, it goes past them in addressing unseen realities that we all experience, but often don’t understand. It answers many questions that people have, such as:
• Why am I here?
• What is the purpose of the universe?
• Is there a God?
• Why does there seem to be evil and injustice in the world?
• How can I have a purposeful and meaningful life?
The Theosophical Society has brought to the surface a vast reservoir of wisdom that was previously hidden underground.
A lot of it has been made available free, which is an indication of its authenticity. Many people have become rich on offering new age feel-good spirituality, but generally not theosophists.
There are enough audio files available on my OneDrive to provide light on your path for the rest of your current incarnation.
From the Editor’s Desk – Richard Smoley
In his play Our Town, Thornton Wilder writes,
“Everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There’s something way down deep that’s eternal about every human being.”
When I think about this “something eternal,” one image that comes to me is that of a water table. I would say that this something eternal is like a water table underlying everything that we call reality. It is a vibrant, moving presence, and it is there whether we know it or not. The world of the five senses is simply a crust that floats on this eternal presence. And it is this presence that gives life to this crust that we call reality, which would not exist without it.
What name shall we give this underlying presence? Some have called it the Ground of Being. Another common term is Spirit. Yet another is God.
Let us take the metaphor further. There are areas where it does not rain. If people live there, they have to rely on the water table for their water supply. Let’s say that our earthly reality is like a region of this kind. It has no life, no energy of its own. All the life it has is drawn from this Ground of Being, this Spirit.
To live, in any true sense, is to have a connection with this Spirit. We can imagine this process as involving wells, or springs, that connect the two levels of being. At certain points the water of the Spirit breaks through the crust, forming wells. These “wells,” shall we say, are moments of encounter with the sacred.
To take this analogy a step further, let’s say that there are places where the water arises more often. People are attracted to these places. They come repeatedly. Hotels and other accommodations are built for them. Someone notices that this water seems to surface more often at certain times, so the place attracts even more people then. These become regular occurrences, and, like all other forms of human activity, they become formalized.
This groundwater does not belong to anybody. It comes and goes as it will, sometimes in a predictable pattern, often unexpectedly. But the land around the spots where the water comes up can be owned; it is real estate just like anything else. The property is bought up by the devout and by the shrewd, and they start to limit people’s access to the water.
These owners set themselves on high. They say the water rises because of certain things that they themselves do. They will let others take part—if these others will do as they say and pay them a price for the privilege.
Say also that this groundwater of the Spirit erupts in an especially powerful way at a particular place and time. These are the revelations known to world history. Those who experience them have not only seen—and seen in a very powerful way—but often believe that they are inspired to guide humanity in the right path. Usually one individual encounters this eruption most directly and powerfully. He becomes the founder, the lawgiver. He gives commandments about how to pray and how to live with our fellow humans.
This eruption of the groundwater of the Spirit revives and nourishes the land around it for many years. Life becomes possible there. The water continues to bubble up in varying quantities—sometimes enough for a group, sometimes for an individual only. Over the centuries, it bubbles up less often. Soon the land is dry again; only the tiniest trickles appear from time to time. But people still live there, remembering when the water was abundant. Some even eat dirt and tell themselves they are drinking water.
We could also liken the Ancient Wisdom to this groundwater. It does not belong to anybody; no one can claim it, though plenty of people try. The impulse comes with great force, then over the centuries it weakens. Its truths are diluted, its ideas are subtly changed, until it has only the faintest resemblance to what it originally was.
It would be foolish to mistake one of the dry wells for the living water underneath, yet people do this regularly. The water itself becomes a matter of memory and legend. Scoffers deny that there was ever such a thing.
Those of us who devote ourselves to the Ancient Wisdom should, I believe, reflect on these ideas. Every form that embodies this wisdom can dry up. At the very least we ought to avoid mistaking the wells for the water. Perhaps their ultimate value is as reminders to dig our own wells for ourselves.