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Mar 03, 2006 04:44 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck


3/3/2006 12:42 PM



            Dear Mauri:


May I interject ?


            Here we are exo- eso- tericing again.  Gets nowhere (to me).



A friend provided reference to an allegory, part of which runs:






"A year had gone by when one day the stranger whom he had 

met twice before sought him out.


"You have allowed yourself to be deluded," the stranger said with

grave directness. "You must free yourself once and forever from

these entanglements if you hope to ever share in the work pursued

by the "Brothers of the Silence."


The "Brothers of the Silence," Ernest exclaimed bitterly. "It is

because I sought them that I am where I am now."


"No, it is because you sought them in the wrong way."


"Tell me, then, do they exist?"


"Yes. I am one of them."


"Then why did you not set me right?"


"Because each member must earn his own entrance."


"I may be misled again."


"Why? The test is a very simple one. The Brothers do not work

for self-interest, but for the good of humanity. That is the

beginning and the end of their mission. Yet each one has a task

of his own to perform, and each must find it by searching his own

heart. Use your clearest judgment, your highest ideals, and the

best of your faculties, for the work deserves all. In a year, I

will seek you again."


The year went by. Ernest had cut himself free from his old

associations and joined the army that was fighting on the

frontier. He had fought bravely, for the words of his unknown

guide remained with him, and the thought that in serving his

country he was surely doing the work of the Brothers gave him



He had a hope too that his probation might at last be

done, for had he not won distinction as a soldier and more than

once saved the field from disaster? All the land was ringing with

his praise. He waited impatiently for the day when his friend

had promised to return. It came.


"Have I won entrance yet," Ernest demanded confidently. He 

could hardly credit the gravely spoken answer.




"Why? Is not the work I have done good?"


"It is good work and deserves a reward. You will have it, but

you have not won entrance to the Brotherhood. That does not come

to those who seek it for themselves, even though they seek it by

the path of service. 


There may be selfish ambition even in self-sacrifice, and the 

Brothers, remember always, are not concerned with the 

advancement of themselves, but with the good of the whole. 

Yet, take courage for another trial!"




He was inexperienced, and measures that he designed for good 

sometimes proved so ill advised that their effect was worse than 

the old were. When the end of the year came, he looked back at 

the great things he had planned and the small things he had 



It seemed to him that his work had been all a failure. He stood

with downcast eyes when the stranger who had grown his watchful

friend found him again.


"What of the year past," the Brother asked, his voice kinder than



"You know," said Ernest moodily. "At least you know what I have

done. You cannot know what I meant to do."


"Why have you failed?"


Ernest paused.


"Because of my own ignorance, largely," he said at last. "I did

not know how to deal with the conditions I had to meet. I see it



"Then do you see, too, why you have not yet gained entrance to

the Brotherhood," he asked gently. "In their work, a mistake may

be fatal. Well-intentioned effort is not enough. It must be

wisely directed."


"Yes, I see" Ernest said patiently. "Well, I will study and



His friend smiled as though well content.




With a mind disciplined and strengthened by the work of

the last ardent years, he applied himself to assimilating the

knowledge that is stored in the wise books of the world. He

studied with humility, for his errors had revealed to him his own

lack of wisdom, and he worked with ardor, for he felt that a

greater undertaking awaited him when he should be fit. In the

outside world, the old throbbing life beat on, and ever and anon

calls came to him to join in it as before. Some upbraided him

with indifference in thus shutting himself apart, but he knew the

scope of the task before him and followed it without pause or



One morning, when the first rays of the sun put out the light of

his lamp, he lifted his eyes from his books and remembered that

the year of study he had set for himself had gone by. What had

he gained? He now had new ideas of life in many ways, new ideals,

firmer judgment, and deeper reverence for the men who in the past

had thought their way into the deep places of nature. It was

strange that so few should come to share it! Strange that the

world should go on and men live and die as though this legacy of

wisdom from the greatest of earth's sons had been forgotten of



"Knowledge stored away and unused is like grain sealed in a

granary," said his friend, who, unseen, had come to stand beside

him. "The millions on the plain outside may starve for lack of

it, and the grain itself will mildew -- if it be not unsealed."


"I understand," said Ernest with a smile. "That, then, shall be

my further task."




He shut up his books, left his room, and returned to the world,

this time as a teacher. 


Here a disappointment awaited him at the outset, for the people, 

busy with their own interests and quite content with their own 

ideas, were not as eager to listen as he to teach. 


Some laughed and some doubted, and of all that heard,

few heeded, but the burden of speech was laid upon him and he

dared not keep silence. Sometimes the children listened, and in

their earnest eyes, he read a reassurance that the coming years

might see the fruit from the seed he planted. Sometimes a youth

who reminded him of what he had been in earlier years came,

listened, and went away with a new purpose. Sometimes old eyes,

ready to close wearily upon a world that had yielded many cares

and little content, brightened with a gleam of comprehension as

he spoke. "Ah, that then was the meaning of the riddle!"


When the year had gone by the results seemed meager.


"I had hoped to bring to all men the truths I had found," he said

to the friend who came as before, "but they do not heed them."


"They will in time, and your efforts will bring the time nearer,"

was the serene answer. "One who works for humanity must never

lose faith in the ultimate triumph of good. Yet he may not cease

to work as though the salvation of all rested with him alone."


"Am I fitted yet to do the work of the Brothers," Ernest asked

after a pause.


The other gave him a kindly look.


"One task remains. I leave you to find it."




Six years had gone by since, an eager boy, he left his home in

the mountains, and a yearning came into his man's heart to rest

again in the high, pure solitudes where he had dreamed as a



All places are alike to him who holds himself ready for service, 

so he turned toward the mountains. Steadfast and tranquil as 

of old, the white peaks lifted themselves above the

purple mists as he had always seen them in memory. The dawn

softened but could not melt them; the sunset illumined but could

not stain them. Down the gorge as of old, the mountain torrent

tumbled in foamy wrath, and the little village beside it was no

older than on the day he had turned his back upon it to seek the



He went to the pass above where the bridge was to have been. The

hewn timbers lay heaped on either bank just as he had left them,

only that a creeping vine with gay blossoms had twined about the

beams that were gray with the weather and green with moss. His

unfinished work reproached him, and with a blush for the

impatient boy that he had been, he set himself to complete it.

Since the villagers were busy as of old, he worked alone.


Through fair weather and foul, he kept to the task, planting the

foundations deep and making each part strong and true. The

summer went by while the work was yet unfinished. The winter

fettered the wild stream, and on the ice, he crossed from shore

to shore, still carrying the work forward. The spring came, and

he had finished. When the freshets came down from the ice fields

above, the bridge stood firm and unshaken above the whirlpool.

In the absorption of his work, he had forgotten what day it was

until all at once he saw the stranger of that old spring morning

standing on the bank, the guide and friend of all the years



"You found the task."




"It was yours. No other could do it."


They stood in silence a moment gazing at it, and then the Brother

spoke again.


"Do you see now how the way has led through all the years? First,

steadfastness came, for without that no effort can avail. 


Then was clearness of vision, to prove all things and hold to the

good. Then came the conquering of passion, and the devotion of

all faculties to the service of man and the training of self to

the end that others may be enlightened. 


Lastly, to crown all, the simple duty that lay at your hand at the 



"Is it done," asked Ernest, doubtingly? "Am I worthy to become

one of you?"


The smile of the other was an illumination.


"You ARE one of us."



By:      By Lily A. Long


[From THE PATH, May 1892, pages 40-43 and 

            June 1892, pages 82-86.]





-----Original Message-----
From: Mauri 
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 11:59 AM
Subject: Re:correction/clarificaltion re planar travel





Gerald, but in keeping with my attempts to turn over some sort of

somewhat newer leaf, I had invibile quotes on my "oobs." I was exoterizing.

Haven't I often enough commented on what I mean by "just being"?  I'm

tending to think (just exoterically thinking/speaking) that "just being"

might be seen as an introduction of sorts re "planar travel."


Eg, take those last three sentences.  As I tend to see it, in the context of

"just being," the words "what I mean by," eg, could be rather misleading for

some people (inasmuchasif my words are interpreted as if I'm referring to

exoterics as a "key to meaning" rather than "esoterics that can't be

interpreted, basically"), so ... but in keeping with my attempts not to seem

even crazier than I might already seem, I didn't put any quotes on "what I

mean by," among other things.  Also, for the same reason, I didn't put any

quotes on "might lead to," among other things.  And, for the same reason, I

didn't put any quotes on "introduction of sorts," eg.  But if my exoterics

re "just being" and "planar travel," among other things, aren't getting

across ... "what can I say" ...


Not that my "selective" and logically inconsistent use of quotes might not

have led some readers around some bends, but I keep telling myself that this

is an esoteric/y kind of list, after all. And since I seem to keep on

thinking that some words and phrases might be keyer than others, in some

sense, I guess I might keep on thinking that some quotes might alert or help

introduce some readers towards some sort of "more esoteric understanding or

version" (one that might be seen as sort of "represented by words," but not

of the words). While I might be short on planar experiences, in general,

myself, or in some particular sense, maybe (depending on whatever criteria

...), at least I'm admitting (unlike some people ...) that my offerings on

this list are meant in a basically speculative sense (because I feel that

the EST and Theosophy is all about getting beyond "initial/logical

assumptions" and conventional worldviews).






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