The Changing of the Tide
New Winds Can Heal and Transform
The Way One Sees the Ocean of Karma
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
The testing of honesty is a central topic in Shakespeare
The soul’s process of probation in its loyalty to its own higher self has been well investigated in William Shakespeare’s plays.
In order to better understand the often tumultuous history of the theosophical movement, which sometimes resembles a Shakespearean drama or comedy, one must “read” its evolution from the viewpoint of the probationary challenges.
The path is better seen as a dangerous collective journey, for treason is a possibility, especially for lukewarm souls and as soon as they are submitted to tests.
No blind obedience is demanded in theosophy. Loyalty should be given mainly to universal principles, not so much to personalities. Once facts are examined and as long as leaders and teachings resist the verification, they deserve one’s loyalty to the end. Especially so if one wants to be able to learn the higher levels of the teaching. No Judas can understand the beauty of the New Testament. No one who betrays Helena Blavatsky or distorts her philosophy while using her name and the name of the theosophical movement can know anything reliable about discipleship or esoteric wisdom.
Someone who comes to disagree and leaves the movement deserves full respect. Attacking the movement from within and in disguised ways is something different.
There have been a few significant traitors in the theosophical movement since 1875. This happens to give the movement and each theosophist a reasonable amount of probationary events, which are necessary for the movement and its students to be tested, thus acquiring the necessary firmness and discernment.
It is important therefore to look at the behavior of traitors and “judases”, as they were called by Helena Blavatsky. One can have access to valuable insights by studying the pattern of action followed by undeclared enemies of theosophy, who at times have occupied leading positions in theosophical associations. Key lessons can be learned from the crises and opportunities that unethical and untruthful individuals create within the movement.
Honest students get stronger as they stand firm, facing difficulties and actively defending the ideals they adopted. Only deeply sincere students can preserve the source of the Teachings which are studied by all. They have the ability to do so because they have wide horizons and a long-term view of life. It is thanks to this fact that they are able to endure short term suffering. They have confidence in the Law: they can afford acting with altruism. They know that they will lose nothing by giving up things which belong to the lower realms of reality.
Individuals having “a difficulty to be loyal”, on the other hand, have shallow short-term minds. They can only see small things. They look for immediate rewards and think they are very clever for that.
Ethical students can’t teach loyalty to those who are unable to have a long-term view of Life, or who can’t understand the actual Dynamics of the One Law.
Individuals who lack this understanding are the slaves of blind immediacy. Their search for happiness is self-defeating, but they don’t know any other way to look for satisfaction. Most of them are poor misguided souls who had no access to a sane pedagogy of Theosophy.
A lasting loyalty to Ethics emerges from a strong Antahkarana - the bridge between higher self and lower self. A stable strengthening of Antahkarana occurs from within, not from the outside world.
However, the more experienced students can mark and show the way for those who have less experience regarding inner challenges. They must demonstrate to everyone - as much as possible - that it is not worthwhile to abandon Ethics; that those who betray are unmasked perhaps even in the short term; that liars can be shown as such any time, as soon as evidence is sought, gathered, and shared among those concerned.
There is nothing like example to teach theosophy. In this way true students help establishing the general karmic tide of events on the basis of ethics and self-responsibility.
Such students are never too numerous. H. P. Blavatsky called them “The Few”. Yet they can do their job, and usually succeed. They learn their lessons from every obstacle along the path.
Each time the teachers and the teaching are firmly defended, disloyal people who thought they would gain short term advantages by attacking in an unjust way the Source of Sacred Learning start to change their minds, and begin to adapt themselves to the new winds. This adaptation, of course, is circumstantial and short term. It is blind: vigilance is necessary at all times. Yet the general atmosphere improves and the spiritual souls of new students arriving to the movement will find it easier to breathe.
Of course, visible disloyalty regarding the teaching and the teachers can only happen if the karmic tides are difficult enough to turn weaker souls unable to stand on their own feet. From this point of view, there are no traitors really. Disloyal “esotericists” can be seen as only weak and blind souls who are trying to convince themselves - and trying to convince others - that they are clever. This is a childish goal indeed: still, it is a dangerous process which cannot be accepted.
Each time there is a vigorous defence of ethics in the theosophical movement, a change for the better occurs in the karmic tide, and the “floating objects” get ready to adapt their outer behavior to new winds and new oceanic currents, more favourable to sincere truth-seekers.
This is good for such “floating objects”, in the short term. It is also beneficial for them in the longer term. In fact, this is helpful for everyone. It is the duty of loyal students who happen to have a degree of discernment to help put before souls real opportunities to enter the good Path. They also must reduce opportunities for neophytes to “learn” disloyalty or “unlearn” Ethics.
The task of marking the need for ethics must be done in an open and transparent way. There are always those who can understand the several layers of meaning present in the cycles of the modern theosophical effort, and they will learn better with transparency. The movement is still very young, having been inaugurated less than two hundred years ago; yet its historical experience is rich already, and constitutes a source of decisive lessons.
The above article was written a few years before the foundation of the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. By then book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature” was being prepared and our first e-groups and associated websites were entering into action in English language, quickly getting a significant readership. The text was updated in January 2017.
In September 2016, after a careful analysis of the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to form the Independent Lodge of Theosophists, whose priorities include the building of a better future in the different dimensions of life.
E-Theosophy e-group offers a regular study of the classic, intercultural theosophy taught by Helena P. Blavatsky (photo).
The Changing of the Tide