The Newsletter of the Northwest Branch of the Theosophical Society
March 2007 -- Vol. 10 Issue 1
Referring to the New Testament life of Jesus, the term healer was commonly used among the ancients of one who brought the supreme blessing of peace of mind and harmony of soul to his fellow human beings. When these exist in life, and throughout the lifetime, they bring in their train physical well-being. Therefore, follow the example of the Buddha and Jesus the Christ: be kindly, charitable in thought, judge not your fellows, learn to forgive, learn to love, for love is harmony. To do these things is not merely our duty, but it is a privilege and right to do them. We should love our fellow men, sending out currents of good will, kindly feeling, helpfulness; and if we keep these up through a number of years, if we watch carefully we will see that our character grows more kindly, richer, mellower, more lovable; and our own health will be much better.
We are wellsprings of energy. That is the fundamental of our character. The very heart of us is love, harmony. Disease of any kind is a result of inharmonious thinking, of in-harmonious emotions, and therefore inharmonious living. Heal the soul and you heal the body. -- G. de Purucker
In spring Christian celebrations of Easter have as their object the honoring of Jesus Christ, an avatara. An avatara comprises three elements: first, the radiation of divine light from an inhabitant of higher worlds, which finds expression through the intermediate nature of one of the guardians of humanity who, in turn, uses the physical body of a selected pure individual. This is a rare occurrence, possible when a divinity successfully makes the "descent" (which is what avatara means) into its underworld -- our earth. The intermediary is an advanced bodhisattva or buddha who receives and transmits the divine energy in and through an outstanding individual in order to fulfill the compassionate mission of shedding light on the hearts and souls of his fellow men.
Similarly, the human initiant who successfully emerges from a like experience must have been able to attract the essence of divinity and withstand the terrific temptations of the initiatory trials. In the process he descended into worlds beneath him, which he has long since outgrown, in order to test the strength of his growth and, if strong enough, return. Just to return is not sufficient: in descending into his under-world he must likewise shed light there, as light was shed upon him from above his world. In withstanding the opposition to that sharing, he comes back triumphant: he has fulfilled a responsibility to the entities below, and also contributed to the inner health of civilizations to come.
Every day and every night we are in the chamber of an initiant, and that initiant is ourself -- an initiant going through the temptations and trials of the descents into the underworld of his own nature. This is what W. Q. Judge had in mind when he spoke of the "daily initiations" that every aspirant on the Path undergoes.
Each one of us in his small way has the opportunity that the avatara has in his larger way. When life and karmic circumstances press us into the atmosphere of the underworld -- which can occur in our day-to-day contacts and conversations and thoughts and actions -- it remains for us in returning from those dark thoughts and emotions to succeed or fail: Did we in the process shed some light on those thoughts and actions, whether of ourselves or of others, while in the cavern of gloom? If we thought solely of ourselves when we were in those depths, then whatever light we might have shared will be dimmed and those about us will have received little or nothing. Our experience will virtually have been in vain because it will have strengthened the selfish side of our nature rather than the unselfish.
There will be daily initiation all along the way, and we are bound to make mistakes, all of us, but we need not shy away from circumstances in which we have once failed. The true occultist will transform those mistakes into stepping stones to future successes. -- James A. Long
This month "Health and Healing" is our subject. We will be discussing such questions as: What do we mean by health or "wholeness"? What are the origins of sickness, and how can we best deal with our own or another's illness, injury, pain, and suffering? What can we learn from illness or pain, and how does it change us? What can we do when faced with chronic, or even terminal, conditions? What about aging? Is health the normal human state and illness an aberration, or are they together parts of a natural cycle of life? How can we evaluate the many types of healing? What about emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, and the many conflicting approaches to problems and health in these areas? How can we bring about inner or spiritual healing and well-being? Come and share your ideas!
Open to the public, unsectarian, non-political, no charge
These subjects are currently being considered for the Monthly Discussion group. As always, those who have a particular topic they would like to have featured are encouraged to contact us.
April 19: Our Place in the Universe
May: Am I My Brother's Keeper?
June: How Do We Find Joy in Life?
July: Ancient Knowledge, Ancient Truths
August: Inner Alchemy
September: Music of the Spheres
October: Is Theosophy Relevant Today?
November: The Uses of Adversity
By Rudi Jansma
Disease is one of the strongest motivations to begin asking about the deeper meaning of life. We seek an explanation for our suffering, and ask ourselves why God or the gods, or nature which is otherwise so full of beauty and compassion, allows such suffering to exist. Do disease and disaster in some sense belong to the compassionate ways of nature? Karma means that nothing can happen without a cause, and that an inharmonious cause brings unpleasant results. But is it a punishment? It is "punishment" only in the sense that it is brought about by nature's laws in order to restore harmony in the most compassionate way. Within this theosophical framework the best response, if disease or disaster comes, is to be grateful, because our deeper self, our inner god, is compassion by its very nature, and intelligence guides events to happen at that particular moment and situation.
Disease is brought about through elemental beings, the invisible and almost automatic subordinates of the higher forces in the cosmos. These elementals form kingdoms of nature that are at a lower stage of evolution than beings in the mineral kingdom, but nevertheless they represent forces too strong for us to destroy or reject once we have made a connection with them. Every thought or feeling we have can be viewed as an elemental we have invited into our being. Sometimes we experience them in our consciousness in a negative way: every time a person flies into a passion, whether of greed or anger, fear or hatred, he has lost control of himself and at that time exemplifies the characteristic and power of some undeveloped elemental being under whose influence he has fallen. These elementals have a strong affinity for mankind. They look on us much as we look on the gods, but when a human being thinks or acts selfishly, then destructive elementals have their chance. They act automatically and instinctively, as impersonally and without conscience as does an electric current.
In theosophical literature diseases are said often to originate from such a loss of self-control, either in this or a past life. This causes a harmful elemental to enter our vital aura, and if we do not immediately oust it with our will and aspiration to better things, that seed will grow, and disease or other grievous consequences result. Using our will at the moment the negative impulse tends to rise is an entirely different thing from suppressing a disease by will power when it manifests. For a person "can indeed apparently cure certain diseases of the body, if he can use certain psychological faculties that he has," but the results
are not good. All disease is a purging, a purgation, a cleansing. Nature's law is that the poison should come out. If it remains within, it poisons the body, the constitution, still worse than before; and the physicians of the future will know perfectly well how to lead disease out of the body so that the body shall not be injured at all. But be very careful about damming it back, throwing it back into the stream of consciousness, for one of these days the trouble will come out despite your best efforts and it will have gained strength and power . . . -- G. de Purucker
As every thought and action has a beginning and an end, and a particular measure of energy, every karmic result in its manifestation has a beginning and an end. Thus sooner or later a disease or disastrous situation is over, in some cases concluded by the compassionate hand of death. Through our efforts to handle the situation, past disharmony is transformed into valuable lessons unless we cling to frustration with hatred, complaint, lack of forgiveness, or fear. We may then live under a further, self-inflicted burden even when the original situation is long over. Let us not create new causes for disaster through having thoughts and doing things which our inner sense of truth and harmony tells us are not right. This inner sense is the silent voice of the inner god of compassion. There are no wrathful gods in heaven or elsewhere who inflict suffering on us according to their will. Nor is there any forgiving God who takes away the sins we have committed, because even our mistakes and failures, though we must suffer their painful consequences, result in our good. G. de Purucker encourages us to "Bless the karmic stimulus; be not afraid of it. Look to the essential divinity within. Remember that everything that happens is transient, and that you can learn from everything, and in learning you will grow -- grow great, and from greatness pass into a larger sphere of greatness."