IN TIMES OF CRISIS
Humanity is passing out of one cycle and entering into another one. Such periods of transition are always very dangerous to the spiritual and intellectual, social and political, welfare of mankind. They are always times of crisis.
At present we are not far distant in time from a social and political upheaval which will shake the very foundations of present civilizations. It will unquestionably be accompanied with bloody revolutions in different countries, and with wars; and I do not care to go farther into it. I think that I had better not. One of the efforts of the Teachers, or rather perhaps, the main effort of the Teachers, in founding the Theosophical Movement was to provide an international body of men and women who by the power of their thought expressed in words, in teachings, whether oral or written, and by their acts, would tend to alleviate the evils that are coming, that are about to fall upon humanity.
It is amazing how much a few determined and doggedly-willed men and women can do. History has shown it repeatedly. That is why I say preach Theosophy from the housetops, teach it, declare it. Neglect no opportunity to pass the good tidings on. Our main duty is not so much to propagate the Theosophical Movement, although that is the way by which our main duty is done. In itself it is a secondary thing. Our main work is to change men's hearts, men's minds, to soften the horrors when they come, to alleviate the distress by preparing for it before it comes.
There is no humanitarian work so lofty as this. There will be an unloosening of human passions when these things come about which will be more terrible than anything history has known of, and while the Theosophical Society, our Theosophical Movement, will probably be quite unable to stop it entirely by the influence of Theosophical thought, and Theosophical thinking, and by its refining and alleviating power, nevertheless all this will greatly help in diminishing the evil that might otherwise be done.
Teach men brotherhood, teach men that they are inseparably bound together, that what one does all are responsible for, that what all do everyone is responsible for; that there is no fundamental separation of interests at all in any line - spiritual, religious, political, what not. Those are the thoughts that must go out into the world's consciousness.
Teach men the nature and characteristics and function of the proud and selfish brain-mind in which most men live today, and which in their ignorance they are proud of. Teach men its limitations, and also its value as the instrument for spiritual wisdom, when it is properly trained and directed by the spiritual will. These are also some thoughts that will he!p. These are the teachings that will raise men's ideals and ideas. Furthermore, but by no means last, teach men the philosophy of the Ancient Religion of mankind, showing to men their common origin, their common destiny, on the one hand; and the interlocking and interwoven spiritual, psychical forces, energies, and powers of Nature on the other hand.
Do you think, for instance, that this recent Great War would or could have come about, if for the last eighteen or nineteen hundred years men had had Theosophy in their minds? If the psychic and mental atmosphere in European countries had been filled with Theosophical thoughts and ideals and truths? No! The Great War arose out of centuries of wrong thinking and wrong doing, out of selfishness, out of a lack of knowledge of the nature of man and of his being rooted in the Universe; and that the Universe is essentially a spiritual being; that man fundamentally and intrinsically is a god; and that his main and noblest duty is so to live - to live divinely, to live god-like. Deprivation and loss of possessions are as nothing at all in comparison with knowing and possessing and living these sublime truths. They could have made a civilization which would have held in chains the passions, the selfish impulses, the grasping, acquisitive spirit, which have dominated all European civilization up to the present, and which still dominate it.
It is the duty of the Theosophical Movement to loosen into the world a new spiritual energy, an illumination - to change men's hearts and to give light to their minds.
From a private talk, June 1930
Eclectic Theosophist, Nov. 15, 1974