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Volume 2: Epilogue

In The Art of Rhetoric 2.23, Aristotle (4th century BC) proposed that it is impossible to have an "opponent" who we don't think is more wrong than us. To have brotherhood, we must know that we are not right. It is the exact opposite of what everybody thinks. Brotherhood doesn't come from knowing but from not knowing. This is why Socrates refused to know anything. Because the gods are not omniscient, they know more than we do. We must flip the script of our thinking; the language of our mind must change. The 17th-century Rosicrucian text, The Chemical Wedding, climaxed with the revelation that "the highest Science is to Know nothing." More than one adept has adopted this mantra. Knowing nothing, one can have no "opponents." And so he sets out in this way to help humanity because people matter. If humanity knew more than it presently does, everyone would simply create a host of imaginary "opponents" with whom to do battle. It is better that mankind does not know too much. H.P. Blavatsky affirmed in The Secret Doctrine 2:742, "What is given here is amply sufficient for THIS century."

As to the upcoming cataclysms, the 19th-century Scottish scientist, Sir Charles Lyell, asserted that "the connection between the doctrine of successive catastrophes and repeated deteriorations in the moral character of the human race, is more intimate and natural than might at first be imagined," per The Secret Doctrine 2:786. H.P. Blavatsky pointed out in Collected Writings 11:202 that they are intimately connected, "If once men do but realize that in these alone [ed. ALTRUISM, brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth] can true happiness be found, and never in wealth, possessions, or any selfish gratification, then the dark clouds will roll away, and a new humanity will be born upon earth." But if not, "then the storm will burst, and our boasted western civilization and enlightenment will sink in such a sea of horror that its parallel History has never yet recorded." Men and women in the 21st century need moral virtue. Moderation is the order of the soul. Correction is better than absence of restraint. Plato conceded in Verse 469 of Gorgias that the "greatest of all misfortunes is to do wrong." He related in Verse 77 of Meno how all people want to do "good" but don't recognize what is "bad" for them. This is because they do not understand "Ethics." In Verse 357 of Protagoras, Plato defined Ethics as the "knowledge of measurement," or the knowledge of short-term and long-term consequences. People do things "wrong" because they don't understand consequences. Moral virtue is an understanding of the significance of outcomes. But, as Plato remarked in Verse 99 of Meno, this "understanding" cannot really be "taught" and therefore it is not really a "knowledge." What is it? Plato suggestd that "being good is not something that comes to us naturally, or something that can be taught; instead, it seems it arises by gift of god." To possess an understanding of short-term and long-term consequences is to sense the intuitional promptings of one's inner god. The Manasaputra initiates contact but then responds to us in direct proportion to how we respond to it. Moral virtue arises through the strength of this interchange.

In Grace F. Knoche's To Light a Thousand Lamps on page 170, she wrote one of the finest passages in theosophical literature, "it seems to me that every human being has within him the power to do what is required: privately and unnoticed to follow the lead of his higher self. But we have to persevere in this practice; above all, we have to trust unreservedly in the potency of our inner light to illumine our lives. If each one of us steadfastly heeds its guidance, in time we will become an embodiment of compassion, understanding, knowledge, and helpfulness--and yet, paradoxically, we will have achieved the greatest boon of all, we will have become as 'nothing in the eyes of the world.'" On this note, H.P. Blavatsky reminded us in Collected Writings 11:202 that the success or failure of the New Age depends on the "few Theosophists" who still "fight the battle." What are we fighting for? In The Secret Doctrine 2:445, H.P. Blavatsky explained that we are fighting for the New Age to "silently come into existence" unnoticed until one day this New Age, having been formed and shaped gradually by the thoughts of all those humanities in the smallest sub-cycles of the Tribal Races that widen to influence the National Races to include the Family Races and finally the Sub-Races, will usher in a mankind of a new Root-Race that "will awake to find themselves in a majority." In the meantime, the responsibility of the individual rests quietly in the bosom of his own living and dying. His friendship with the Manasaputra flows through both phases of his existence. The final words of Marcus Aurelius in Meditations, Notebook 12, are apropos, "The ending is decided by the one who was formerly responsible for your constitution and is now responsible for your disintegration. You have no responsibility for either. Go serenely, then, matching the serenity of the god who is dismissing you."


Sources:

Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric, trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations: The Annotated Edition, trans. Robin Waterfield (New York: Basic Books, 2021).

H.P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, Vol. 11 (Wheaton: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1973).

H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2019).

Grace F. Knoche, To Light a Thousand Lamps: A Theosophic Vision (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2001).

Plato, Gorgias, trans. Walter Hamilton and Chris Emily-Jones (London: Penguin Books, 2004).

Plato, Protagoras and Meno, trans. Adam Beresford (London: Penguin Books, 2005).

Benedict Williamson, comp., The Rosicrucian Manuscripts (Arlington: The Invisible College Press, 2002).

(Photo by Andrew Shelley on Unsplash)

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