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H P B on the NEW YEAR

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  • dalval14@earthlink.net
    Monday, December 31, 2001 Dear Friends: Tomorrow is the NEW YEAR for us who accept and use the modern calendar. There are nations who use one that has a far
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2001
      Monday, December 31, 2001

      Dear Friends:

      Tomorrow is the NEW YEAR for us who accept and use the modern

      There are nations who use one that has a far older base -- 4 to
      7,000 years of antiquity.

      Looking over what H P B wrote we may secure some important ideas
      for practical use.

      Best wishes,

      Best wishes to all for 2002.


      Some late "News" just received from Peter Bernin at U L T in
      Malmo, Sweden.

      JUPITER: Tonight, New Year's Eve revelers in the northern
      hemisphere might
      notice a bright star overhead competing for attention with
      traditional fireworks. It's the giant planet Jupiter, which
      comes closer than usual to Earth on January 1, 2002. Visit
      SpaceWeather.com for more information.

      THE SUN: On Friday, Dec. 28th, space satellites recorded a
      remarkable solar explosion from an active region hidden behind
      the Sun's eastern limb. The source of the blast, a large and
      complex sunspot group, is coming into view today.

      MOON SHOTS: The Moon skirted through the outskirts of Earth's
      shadow on
      Sunday, Dec. 30th, and experienced a "penumbral" lunar eclipse.


      About 113 years ago H P B wrote:


      PEOPLE usually wish that their friends shall have a happy new
      year, and sometimes "prosperous" is added to "happy." lt. is not
      likely that much happiness or prosperity can come to those who
      are living for the truth under such a dark number as 1888; but
      still the year is heralded by the glorious star Venus-Lucifer,
      shining so resplendently that it has been mistaken for that still
      rarer visitor, the star of Bethlehem. This too, is at hand; and
      surely something of the Christos spirit must be born upon earth
      under such conditions
      Even if happiness and prosperity are absent, it is possible to
      find something greater than either in this coming year.

      Venus-Lucifer is the sponsor of our magazine, and as we chose to
      come to light under its auspices so do we desire to touch on its
      nobility. This is possible for us all personally, and instead of
      wishing our readers a happy or prosperous New Year, we feel more
      in the vein to pray them to make it one worthy of its brilliant
      herald. This can be effected by those who are courageous and
      resolute. Thoreau pointed out that there are artists in life,
      persons who can change the colour of a day and make it beautiful
      to those with whom they come in contact.

      We claim that there are adepts, masters in life who make it
      divine, as in all other arts. Is it not the greatest art of all,
      this which affects the very atmosphere in which we live? That it
      is the most important is seen at once, when we remember that
      every person who draws the breath of life affects the mental and
      moral atmosphere of the world, and helps to colour the day for
      those about him. Those who do not help to elevate the thoughts
      and lives of others must of necessity either paralyse them by
      indifference, or actively drag them down. When this point is
      reached, then the art of life is converted into the science of
      death; we see the black magician at work. And no one can be quite

      Although many bad books and pictures are produced, still not
      everyone who is incapable of writing or painting well insists on
      doing so badly. Imagine the result if they were to! Yet so it is
      in life. Everyone lives, and thinks, and speaks. If all our
      readers who have any sympathy with LUCIFER endeavoured to learn
      the art of making life not only beautiful but divine, and vowed
      no longer to be hampered by disbelief in the possibility of this
      miracle, but to commence the Herculean task at once, then 1888,
      however unlucky a year, would have been fitly ushered in by the
      gleaming star. Neither happiness nor prosperity are always the
      best of bedfellows for such undeveloped mortals as most of us
      are; they seldom bring with them peace, which is the only
      permanent joy.

      The idea of peace is usually connected with the close of life and
      a religious state of mind. That kind of peace will however
      generally be found to contain the element of expectation. The
      pleasures of this world have been surrendered, and the soul waits
      contentedly in expectation of the pleasures of the next. The
      peace of the philosophic mind is very different from this and can
      be attained to early in life when pleasure has scarcely been
      tasted, as well as when it has been fully drunk of. The American
      Transcendentalists discovered that life could be made a sublime
      thing without any assistance from circumstances or outside
      sources of pleasure and prosperity. Of course this had been
      discovered many times before, and Emerson only took up again the
      cry raised by Epictetus. But every man has to discover this fact
      freshly for himself, and when once he realised it he knows that
      he would be a wretch if he did not endeavour to make the
      possibility a reality in his own life.

      The stoic became sublime because he recognised his own absolute
      responsibility and did not try to evade it; the Transcendentalist
      was even more, because he had faith in the unknown and untried
      possibilities which lay within himself. The occultist fully
      recognises the responsibility and claims his title by having both
      tried and acquired knowledge of his own possibilities.

      The Theosophist who is at all in earnest, sees his responsibility
      and endeavours to find knowledge, living, in the meantime, up to
      the highest standard of which he is aware. To all such, Lucifer
      gives greeting! Man's life is in his own hands, his fate is
      ordered by himself. Why then should not 1888 be a year of greater
      spiritual development than any we have lived through? It depends
      on ourselves to make it so. This is an actual fact, not a
      religious sentiment. In a garden of sunflowers every flower turns
      towards the light. Why not so with us?

      And let no one imagine that it is a mere fancy, the attaching of
      importance to the birth of the year. The earth passes through its
      definite phases and man with it; and as a day can be coloured so
      can a year. The astral life of the earth is young and strong
      between Christmas and Easter. Those who form their wishes now
      will have added strength to fulfill them consistently.

      --H. P. BLAVATSKY

      LUCIFER, January, 1888


      This was written 7 years before that in 1881 ( 120 years ago)
      in the THEOSOPHIST by H P B


      THE dial of Time marks off another of the world's Hours. . . .
      And, as the Old Year passes into Eternity, like a rain-drop
      falling into the ocean, its vacant place on the calendar is
      occupied by a successor which--if one may credit the ancient
      prophetic warnings of Mother Shipton and other seers--is to bring
      woe and disaster to some portions of the world. Let it go, with
      its joys and triumphs, its badness and bitterness, if it but
      leave behind for our instruction the memory of our experience and
      the lesson of our mistakes. Wise is he who lets "the dead Past
      bury its dead," and turns with courage to meet the fresher duties
      of the New Year; only the weak and foolish bemoan the

      It will be well to take a brief retrospect of those incidents of
      the year 1880 (A.D.) which possess an interest for members of the
      Theosophical Society. The more so since, in consequence of the
      absence from Bombay of the President and Corresponding Secretary,
      the anniversary day of the Society was not publicly celebrated.

      It will not be necessary to enter minutely into those details of
      administration which, however important in themselves as links,
      weak or strong, in the general chain of progress, and however
      they may have taxed the patience, nerve, or other resources of
      the chief officers. do not at all interest the public. It is not
      so much explanation as results that are demanded, and these, in
      our case, abound. Even our worst enemy would be forced to admit,
      were he to look closely into our transactions, that the Society
      is immeasurably stronger morally, numerically, and as regards a
      capacity for future usefulness, than it was a year ago. Its name
      has become most widely known; its fellowship has been enriched by
      the accession of some very distinguished men; it has planted new
      branch societies in India, Ceylon and elsewhere; applications are
      now pending for the organization of still other branches, in New
      South Wales, Sydney, California. India, Australia; its magazine
      has successfully entered the second volume; its local issues with
      the government of India have been finally and creditably settled;
      a mischievous attempt by a handful of malcontents at Bombay to
      disrupt it has miserably failed.


      It has made official alliances with the Sanskrit Samaj of
      Benares, that is to say, with the most distinguished body of
      orthodox Sanskrit pandits in the world, with the other Sabha of
      which Pandit Rama Misra Shastri is Manager, and with the Hindu
      Sabha, of Cochin State; while, at the same time, strengthening
      its fraternal relations with the Arya Samajas of the Punjab and
      North-Western Provinces. Besides all this, we can point with joy
      and pride to the results of the late mission to Ceylon, where,
      within the space of fifty-seven days, seven branch societies of
      Buddhist laymen, one Ecclesiastical Council of Buddhist priests,
      and one scientific society were organized, and some hundreds of
      new fellows were added to our list.

      All this work could not be accomplished without great labour,
      mental anxiety and physical discomfort. If to this be added the
      burden of a correspondence with many different countries, and the
      time required for making two journeys to Northern India and one
      to Ceylon, our friends at a distance will see that whatever other
      blame may properly attach to the Founders, who have never claimed
      infallibility of any sort, that of laziness is assuredly not to
      be cast in their teeth. Nor, when they learn that the work done
      since leaving America, the traveling expenses and the fitting and
      maintenance of the Headquarters establishment has cost some
      twenty thousand rupees, while the cash receipts of the Treasurer
      (exclusive of those from Ceylon, Rs. 2,440, which sum is set
      aside as a special fund to be used in the interest of Buddhism)
      have been only one thousand two hundred and forty rupees, all
      told, including one donation of two hundred rupees from the
      universally respected Maharanee Surnomoyee, and another of twenty
      rupees from a well-wisher in Bengal, will those who direct the
      Society's affairs be regarded by them as making money out of
      their offices. And these figures, which may most readily be
      verified, are our only answer to the calumnies which have been
      maliciously circulated by some who did not, and others who did,
      know the truth.


      The trip to Ceylon occupied seventy-seven days in all, the second
      one to Northern India one hundred and twenty-five days. Thus the
      Founders have been absent from Bombay on duty twenty-nine weeks
      out of the fifty-two; their travels extending through twenty-five
      degrees of latitude, from Lahore at the extreme north of India,
      to Matara, the southernmost point of ancient Lanka.

      Each of the Indian Presidencies has contributed a quota of new
      members; and at the former capital of the late lion-hearted
      Runjeet Singh, a branch was recently organized by Sikhs and
      Punjabis, under the title of the "Punjab Theosophical Society."
      During the twelvemonth, President Olcott delivered seventy-nine
      lectures and addresses, a majority of which were interpreted in
      the Hindi, Urdu, Guzerati and Sinhalese languages.

      Many misconceptions prevail as to the nature and objects of the
      Theosophical Society. Some--Sir Richard Temple in the
      number--fancy it is a religious sect; many believe it is composed
      of atheists; a third party are convinced that its sole object is
      the study of occult science and the initiation of green hands
      into the Sacred Mysteries. If we have had one we certainly have
      had a hundred intimations from strangers that they were ready to
      join at once if they could be sure that they would shortly be
      endowed with siddhis, or the power to work occult phenomena. The
      beginning of a new year is a suitable time to make one more
      attempt--we wish it could be the last--to set these errors right.
      So then, let us say again:

      [What the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY does]

      (1) The Theosophical Society teaches no new religion, aims to
      destroy no old one, promulgates no creed of its own, follows no
      religious leader, and, distinctly and emphatically, is not a
      sect, nor ever was one. It admits worthy people of any religion
      to membership, on the condition of mutual tolerance and mutual
      help to discover truth. The Founders have never consented to be
      taken as religious leaders, they repudiate any such idea, and
      they have not taken and will not take disciples.

      (2) The Society is not composed of atheists, nor is it any more
      conducted in the interest of atheism than in that of deism or
      polytheism. It has members of almost every religion, and is on
      equally fraternal terms with each and all.

      (3) Not a majority, nor even a respectable minority, numerically
      speaking, of its fellows are students of occult science or ever
      expect to become adepts.

      All who cared for the information have been told what sacrifices
      are necessary in order to gain the higher knowledge, and few are
      in a position to make one tenth of them. He who joins our Society
      gains no siddhis by that act, nor is there any certainty that he
      will even see the phenomena, let alone meet with an adept. Some
      have enjoyed both these opportunities, and so the possibility of
      the phenomena and the existence of "Siddhas" do not rest upon our
      unverified assertions. Those who have seen things have perhaps
      been allowed to do so on account of some personal merit detected
      by those who showed them the siddhis, or for other reasons known
      to themselves and over which we have no control.

      For thousands of years these things have, whether rightly or
      wrongly, been guarded as sacred mysteries, and Asiatics at least
      need not be reminded that often even after months or years of the
      most faithful and assiduous personal service, the disciples of a
      Yogi have not been shown "miracles" or endowed with powers. What
      folly, therefore, to imagine that by entering any society one
      might make a short cut to adeptship! The weary traveller along a
      strange road is grateful even to find a guide-post that shows him
      his way to his place of destination. Our Society, if it does
      naught else, performs this kindly office for the searcher after
      truth. And it is much.


      Before closing, one word must be said in correction of an
      unfortunate impression that has got abroad. Because our pamphlet
      of Rules mentions a relationship between our Society and certain
      proficients in Occult Science, or "Mahatmas " many persons fancy
      that these great men are personally engaged in the practical
      direction of its affairs; and that, in such a case, being
      primarily responsible for the several mistakes that have occurred
      in the admission of unworthy members and in other matters, they
      can neither be so wise, so prudent, or so far-seeing as is
      claimed for them. It is also imagined that the President and
      Corresponding Secretary (especially the latter) are, if not
      actually Yogis and Mahatmas themselves, at least persons of
      ascetic habits, who assume superior moral excellence.


      Neither of these suppositions is correct, and both are positively
      absurd. The administration of the Society is, unless in
      exceptionally important crises, left to the recognized officials,
      and they are wholly responsible for all the errors that are made.
      Many may doubtless have been made, and our management may be very
      faulty, but the wonder is that no more have occurred, if the
      multiplicity of duties necessarily imposed upon the two chief
      officers and the world-wide range of activity be taken into
      account. Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky do not pretend to
      asceticism, nor would it be possible for them to practise it
      while in the thick of the struggle to win a permanent foothold
      for the Society in the face of every possible obstacle that a
      selfish, sensuality-loving world puts in the way. What either of
      them has heretofore been, or either or both may in the future
      become, is quite a different affair.

      At present they only claim to be trying honestly and earnestly,
      so far as their natural infirmities of character permit, to
      enforce by example and precept the ideas which are embodied in
      the platform and Rules of the Theosophical Society. Once or twice
      ill-wishers have publicly taunted us with not having given
      practical proofs of our alleged affection for India. Our final
      vindication must be left to posterity, which always renders that
      justice that the present too often denies. But even now--if we
      may judge by the tone of our correspondence, as well as by the
      enthusiasm which has everywhere greeted us in the course of our
      journeyings--a palpably good effect has been produced by our
      appeals to the educated Indian public. The moral regeneration of
      India and the revival of her ancient spiritual glories must
      exclusively be the work of her own sons. All we can do is to
      apply the match to the train, to fan the smouldering embers into
      a genial warmth. And this we are trying to do. One step in the
      right direction, it will doubtless be conceded, is the alliance
      effected with the Benares pandits...custodians of Sanskrit
      learning have promised to put in writing the precious treasures
      of Aryan philosophy, and to cooperate with us to give the facts a
      worldwide circulation.


      The London Spiritualist remarked, the other day, that we were
      doing much for Spiritualism in India. It might rather be said we
      are doing much to make known the importance of mesmeric science,
      for wherever we have been we have spared no pains to show the
      close and intimate relationship that exists between our modern
      discoveries in mesmerism, psychometry, and odic force, and the
      ancient Indian science of Yoga Vidya. We look forward with
      confidence to a day when the thorough demonstration of this
      connection will give to both Asia and Europe the basis for a
      perfect, because experimentally demonstrable, science of


      January, 1881

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