To the outsider it seems a very complicated and difficult task to please everybody, and it certainly is. But the honest editor does not attempt to please everybody, and seldom anybody, but is satisfied if he attracts, amuses and instructs them. His chief business is to be honest, by which he will at least gain the respect of his readers. He must play no personal favorites or he may arouse that fiercest of passions-jealousy, even among intelligent readers, who fail to recognize what emotion has disturbed them.
Yet his task is comparatively simple. He must, as a theosophical journal, base himself on reality. Things of temporary nature, whatever they are, churches, politics, physical science, are matters of' opinion, liable to alter their terms at any moment, and therefore not to be treated as though the world depended upon them, but as ephemeral, dangerous as supposed foundations for the soul or SELF which is eternal. Hence the first thing the editor ought to do is to distinguish between the real and the unreal, or in terms of personality, between principles and opinions. With an open mind this is not so difficult as it might seem. Unfortunately the majority of people are glamored with opinions more or less brilliantly set forth by some popular speaker, or some fancied authority ready to guarantee eternal safety to the believer. The real authorities always insist that safety, salvation or life eternal, depends on one's own effort. (From the editorial - Canadian Theosophist, Volume 25, #12 - 1945)
Eileen Caddy, the inspiration behind Findhorn, passed away in December 2006.
Apparently Ton den Hartog got permission from Quest publications to publish Blavatsky's Collected Writings (with the notes from Boris de Zirkoff) online in HTML format.
But all nature is made up of opposites: the existence of "Brothers of the Light" argues that also of "Brothers of the Shadow." The control over the elements which comes of an elevated perception, could scarcely be observed by the evil-minded and selfish without being coveted for personal benefit; it is natural to suppose that the world holds also those who are leaders of its people to spiritual wickedness. The supposition is well grounded. Oriental occult philosophy speaks not a little of Black Magicians, Sorcerers, Pratyeka Buddhas, Dugpas, and others, whose labors in occult study are wholly with the object of gaining personal benefit. The powers attained are used solely for the glory and advantage of the possessor, and consequent detriment of his fellow-men. This statement does not militate against the previous one that these powers are only to be obtained through unity and harmony. Notwithstanding that the Black Adept works on an exceedingly low plane of spirituality, to evil and disharmony in relation to the planet on which he lives, and the race to which he belongs, yet even he has to labor harmoniously with his co-workers. It is not therefore surprising to find sorcerers adopting many methods of producing their results, identical to those followed by the White Brotherhood. This will be rendered clear if the reader remembers that almost every soul-production can be imitated by mathematical ingenuity. It requires talent, rather than genius, to transfer the landscape to our canvas. The most inartistic may, by practice among lines and curves, in time produce what looks like a human face. By a legitimate course of figuring we may even construct a piece of music. But the true inspiration, the divine creative faculty, is absent in every case, they are but base imitations of the genuine article. And, just as the man of genius lives only for his art, while his brother perhaps produces only for the sake of whatever advantage may accrue to him thereby, so also we find some to whom the soul-science comes naturally, others whose labors in the occult fields are wholly with the object of gaining whatever personal benefit is possible therefrom. White and black magic differ from one another, primarily, in the end, each seeks to accomplish; secondarily, in the means employed to reach that end.
In the beautiful hills of Surrey where I live, you can go for walks, and even on a Sunday you never meet anybody, though you may hear the distant roar of traffic down the coast. And the story goes that an economist went there for a Sunday afternoon walk, and met none else than God-Almighty, which gave him a bit of a shock, as he didn't know what to say. He remembered that as a little boy he had been told what is a thousand years to us is but a minute to the Lord. And he asked Him "Is this so?" and the Lord said, "Yes, it is quite so." By that time he had recovered his composure and he said to Him, "Then perhaps it may be also true that what is a million pounds to us is only a penny for you." And the Lord said, "Yes, that's quite true." And he said, "Well, lord, give me one of those pennies." The Lord said, "Certainly, my dear chap. I don't happen to have it on me, but just wait a minute while I fetch it."
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. It was a cowboy's life, a life for someone who wanted no boss. What I didn't realize was that it was also a ministry. Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a moving confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and told me about their lives. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, made me laugh and weep.
But none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night. I was responding to a call from a small brick four-plex in a quiet part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some party people, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory in the industrial part of town.
When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under such circumstances, many drivers just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.
"Just a minute," answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she asked.
I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.
"It's nothing," I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."
"Oh, you're such a good boy," she said.
When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Can you drive through downtown?"
"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.
"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice."
I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening. "I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.
"Nothing," I said.
"You have to make a living," she answered.
"There are other passengers," I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware . . . beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
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