The path of duty lies in what is near, but man seeks it in
what is remote.
Greed in its many forms puts man against man, bringing disunion and contention. Balance, coordination, is necessary for completeness; mere control or denial of the objects of craving does not free thought from greed, envy. Only through understanding the process of craving, by becoming aware of it, is there a possibility of thought freeing itself from it. Awareness is not mere analysis or self-examination. Meditation is interested concentration, the awareness in which the conflict of opposites ceases.
It is not until your own life becomes divine that you discover the divinity behind the lives of others.
Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.
There is nothing particularly scientific about excessive caution. Science thrives on daring generalizations.
It is with mixed feelings that I publish in this newsletter an article by an old theosophist - who was younger when she wrote this... Clara Codd was by all accounts a single woman all her life, yet in this article she supports the importance of motherhood. She follows the example of many great women theosophists in this regard. The same attitude was with Annie Besant and Catherine Tingley. Personally I feel the importance of 'fatherhood' should not be overlooked either. Unfortunately there are various countries where the rights of the father are less than those of the mother.
Still, there is this ache in a woman's heart when she doesn't have children that seems biologically based and in my case related to the menstrual cycle and seems to get less with time. I would be the last to say that motherhood is all a woman has to give to this world, but there is truth to the saying of Manu that Motherhood is the yoga of women. I will only modify this into the following: being a parent is a yoga for men and women.
Long years ago, when I was a fighting Suffragette (*), I knew something very well. I fought in the ranks of the Women's Social and Political Union because since childhood, I had glowed fiercely at the wrongs of the poor and of women. And so, when Miss Annie Kenney came to the West of England where I lived and worked, I was ripe to become her devoted follower. The local committee asked me to help steward at a big meeting in the Town Hall for Miss Pankhurst and Miss Kenney. Miss Kenney was the one who appealed to my heart, and after the meeting I ran up to her and asked her if she could not make use of me. She laughed, but took my address, and a little time afterwards sent for me to join her staff, and thus I became her first lieutenant, and amongst other adventures spent a month in Holloway prison.
But one thing struck me very much. Very often we were sent to lead debates with the Anti-Suffragettes. The "Antis" generally had spacious homes, and were lovely, well-dressed ladies of a graceful habit of life. Coming, as I did, from the hot and weary ranks of a fighting army, where, just because we were "suffragettes," women of all stations made us their confidantes, and so we had perforce to listen to many a tragic tale of sex-oppression and vile wrong, we tended to become "hard-boiled." Many of us lost our womanly look. Our faces grew hard and fierce. I remember one girl saying to me: "I am learning to hate men." Thus the contrast when we entered the stately homes of the "Antis" was very marked, and I, personally, felt a great relief. My principles were all on the side of the Suffragettes, but my heart was with the others. I wondered long over this and at last I began to see the cause clearly. So one day I said to Miss Kenney: "Annie, what this world needs is real mothers." She laughed at me for being sentimental, but the conviction grew, and today, so many long years afterwards, it is as strong as ever. Nothing, nothing in the world can compensate for the loss of true motherhood. It is truly the centre and pivot of all that is lovely, true and gracious in life.
Then a little time later I was in India, and there one of my
very dear friends was a high-caste Brahmin, who would tell me many an
and divine legend. One day he told me about the ancient
lawgiver, Manu, and how He had ordained a four hours' meditation for
all Brahmins, beginning about two in the morning. When the
people asked Him what He would
ordain for women, His answer was very remarkable. "Motherhood," He
"is the Yoga of women."
(*) According to my dictionary, a suffragette is a member of a group of women who, in Britain and the US in the early part of the 20th century, worked to get the right for women to vote in political elections.
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