RE: Theos-World RE: Checked by the Master
Feb 10, 2005 06:17 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Feb 10 205
I have puzzled over that a long time.
Where are the "parents?" Who are they ?
Is there a duty not done?
What does a loving family give that is lacking?
Why, in another place, does HPB call this Earth of ours a "hell ?"
Yet when a crisis or a calamity occurs there are many people who come and
ask if they can help, or give succor immediately.
The Master used it first, I believe:
"For it is "Humanity" which is the great Orphan, the only disinherited one
upon this earth, my friend.
And it is the duty of every man who is capable of an unselfish impulse, to
do something, however little, for its welfare. Poor, poor humanity! It
reminds me of the old fable of the war between the Body and its members:
here too, each limb of this huge "Orphan" -- fatherless and motherless --
selfishly cares but for itself.
The body uncared for suffers eternally, whether the limbs are at war or at
rest. Its suffering and agony never cease. . . . And who can blame it -- as
your materialistic philosophers do -- if, in this everlasting isolation and
neglect it has evolved gods, unto whom "it ever cries for help but is not
MAHATMA LETTER, p. 32-3,
I think Mr Judge renders an explanation best of all:
W.Q.J.-This phrase has a deep significance for me. An orphan may also be one
who had no parents, as the state of orphanage is that of being without
father or mother.
If we imagine a child appearing on the earth without a parent, we would have
to call it an orphan.
Humanity is the "great orphan" because it is without parents in the sense
that it has produced itself and hence from itself has to procure the
guidance it needs. And as it wanders in the dark valley of the shadow of
death, it is more in need of help and counsel than the mere body of a child
which is the ordinary orphan.
The soul is parentless, existing of itself from all eternity, and,
considered as soul, mankind is hence an orphan.
Plunged into matter, surrounded on every side by the vast number of
intricate illusions and temptations that belong to earthly life, it stands
every day and hour in need of protection as well as guidance.
If the idea of a loving parent be applied to the notion that a definite God
has produced mankind, then we find that this supposed parent has at the same
time invented the most diversified and ingenious series of bedevilments and
torments to beguile, hurt, harass, and finally destroy the child.
For if a certain one God is the maker or parent of man, then He also is the
one who made nature. Nature is cruel, cold, and implacable. It stops for no
man, it never relents, it destroys without mercy.
When inhabitants of earth multiply, Nature manages to destroy millions of
people in a night or two, as has now and then happened in China; the very
elect of the earth are swept off the earth in a moment; slowly and painfully
the infant races creep up the ladder of time, leaving as they go vast heaps
of slain at the foot. The whole of life presents, indeed, to man more frowns
than smiles. It is this fact that has made so many who are told of a loving
father and at the same time of an illogical scheme of salvation revolt
altogether from the idea of any meaning to life but despair.
I cannot see how the phrase "great orphan" carries with it the notion of
being without guide or helper. The orphan is every where; but among the
units composing it are some who have risen through trial to the state where
they can help the lower ones. Orphans themselves, they live to benefit
mankind of which they are a part.
They are the head of the body of which the lower members are the less
developed units or atoms. Enthusiasm for the "orphan" is that which will
lead to devotion and sacrifice; and that enthusiasm must be developed not
only in the Theosophist, but in all the men of earth.
Having it they will help all on their own plane, and each stratum of men
rising in development will help all below until all belonging to the globe
have risen to the perfect height. Then they can proceed to other spots in
cosmos where are also wandering vast masses of souls also units in the
"orphan," who require and can then receive the same help that we had
extended to us. If this is not the destiny of man during the time when all
things are manifesting, then the remark of Spencer to the effect that
altruism is useless because when universal there is no one to benefit, must
be accepted. However, the phrase in the question is one of those rhetorical
ones that must not be read in its strict letter and ordinary meaning."
W Q Judge
FORUM ANSWERS p. 94-5
And HPB adds:
"In one word, our whole aim and desire are to help, in at least some degree,
toward arriving at correct scientific views upon the nature of man, which
carry with them the means of reconstructing for the present generation the
deductive metaphysical or transcendental philosophy which alone is the firm,
unshakable foundation of every religious philosophy.
Theosophy, the universal solvent, is fulfilling its mission; the opalescent
tints of the dawn of modern psychology are blending together, and will all
be merged into the perfect daylight of truth, when the sun-orb of Eastern
esotericism has mounted to its noon-stage.
For many a long year the "GREAT ORPHAN," Humanity, has been crying aloud in
the darkness for guidance and for light.
Amid the increasing splendors of a progress purely material, of a science
that nourished the intellect, but left the spirit to starve, Humanity, dimly
feeling its origin and presaging its destiny, has stretched out towards the
East empty hands that only a spiritual philosophy can fill.
Aching from the divisions, the jealousies, the hatreds, that rend its very
life, it has cried for some sure foundation on which to build the solidarity
it senses, some metaphysical basis from which its loftiest social ideals may
Only the Masters of the Eastern wisdom can set that foundation, can satisfy
at once the intellect and the spirit, can guide Humanity safely through the
night to "the dawn of a larger day."
Such is the goal which theosophy has set itself to attain; such is the
history of the modern movement; such is the work which theosophy has already
accomplished in this nineteenth century. "
HPB "RECENT PROGRESS IN THEOSOPHY " Vol. I p. 278
I think the answer lies in those statements.
Now I can only suggest that we quietly think them over and see how they
apply to our own experiences as we recall them from our memories.
Are they true as general expressions?
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