Opening a New Path, Where no Path Exists
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
The pioneers of mankind find the way to wisdom across an ocean of pain and ignorance
* The mirror of wisdom is right action.
* Daily life works as a looking glass: in the way we look at each object or event, a part of our soul is reflected.
* A transcendent purpose creates in due time the opportunities for its fulfilment.
* The daily practice of inner discipline expands the effectiveness of one’s soul.
* In order to know what you will harvest as your destiny, examine what you are sowing now.
* Detachment regarding circumstances must be associated to sincere good will and solidarity.
* Dogs and books are among the best friends of man.
* In theosophy, one learns to develop a sort of detachment regarding all forms of anxiety. Through peace of mind, one sees facts better.
* When the soul attains the silence whose foundation is in peace and equilibrium, the higher self speaks with no words.
* Detachment grants us the necessary rest. A notion of duty and potentiality produces the energy that gives impetus to the good work.
* The pioneers of mankind find the way to wisdom across an ocean of pain and ignorance.
* If you keep in touch with your own immortal and essential nature, you will see the Law of Justice unfailingly acting around you.
* Contentment does not result from external facts. Happiness depends instead on how we look at the outer reality, and in that, detachment is a key factor.
* An effective self-observation is practiced when the student examines both victories and failures as tools for the unfoldment of his sacred potentiality.
* Yoga is the strengthening of the bridge between the impersonal will of Atma, or higher self, and the lower levels of consciousness on the mental, emotional and physical levels of life.
* The victory of the learner can’t be obtained by force. If he tries his best at every instant and with a long-term perspective, he can know that victory will come to him in the right time and in proper ways.
* There is nothing like one victory after the other. But these victories must be small enough, so that they can endure; and our attitude towards them should be humble enough, for us to deserve them.
* Immortal wisdom teaches us the art and science of moderation and discernment. Undeserved satisfaction is short-lived and provokes a lasting pain. Those who deceive good-willing persons will sooner or later have to face the results of the mistakes made.
* He who complains about his suffering is not necessarily ready to get rid of it. To give up pain is not as easy as it seems. Wailing is a form of attachment to the cause of discomfort. He who wants freedom, acts, instead of complaining about the circumstances.
* When we are visited by the wish to lament about something, it is better say thanks. Right thoughts must replace the wrong ones, and gratitude leads us to wisdom. Mistakes must be fought, identifying right and wrong is of the essence, but being grateful elevates us.
* There is a vertical line uniting all levels of individual consciousness, and such union should be reasonably harmonious. One’s inner peace depends on the average degree of direct relation and positive interaction among world view, intention, words, attitude, and practical actions.
* True joy is a state of the soul, and the best smile comes from the heart, going in every direction. Invisibly smiling to oneself and all beings is as important as any kind of smile can be. And this is a result, among others, of an intense contact with one’s own higher, anonymous, self.
* To each acquisition there is a corresponding renunciation. Having a central focus in one’s life is not the same as saying to oneself that this or that goal is the main object in life. Having a central focus means to leave aside everything that is not in harmony with the main goal, or does not help attaining it.
* Discernment and severity are necessary along the spiritual path for one simple reason. The pilgrim must open a narrow Way in the middle of various good-willing falsehoods, pious frauds and sweetened forms of denying facts in the name of the devotion to a master, to a divinity, or to some “divinely inspired” bureaucratic organization.
* Opportunities emerge according to one’s goal. It is not enough to leave selfishness aside. One must have a valuable object during enough time, and search for it with sincerity and in a practical way, avoiding any excess of impatience. And then, it must be taken into consideration that the door will open little by little, showing perhaps unexpected realities and the need for a greater self-sacrifice.
* Every true source of inspiration shows to the individual some aspect of his own immortal soul. The light from above enlightens his life, revealing whatever is of a higher nature, while burning out the different forms of attachment to ignorance. In this way ignorance becomes knowledge. Our mistakes play the role of wood, in the alchemical fire that sustains the enlightenment.
* Problems stand in line waiting for people. One should not be surprised when after successfully managing one challenge or two, another one or a couple of them immediately appear. Tests have to wait for one’s karma to get ripe enough to allow them to get visible. It is a privilege, therefore, to see “new and heretofore unheard of” problems which need to be solved. It means the previous agenda has been cleared, and we are ready for further steps.
* The higher aspects of the theosophical effort point to sky, and the lower ones point to earth.
* Some of the most important lessons to be learned result from observing the direct relation between the celestial and the terrestrial moments of the pilgrimage. According to the law of symmetry, everything that exists on the spiritual plane has a counterpart on the visible plane.
* One must not think that altruism is a synonym to submission, or obedience.
* Generosity includes renunciation. However, life is complex. Besides being able to renounce, one must have firmness and creativity. Altruism implies an ability to say “no” to selfishness.
* Courage is necessary to open a new path, where no path exists. Altruism is often politically incorrect: it may secretly offend many of those who prefer a different road. For one who has renounced honesty, it may be painful and challenging to see the inner peace of honest individuals.
* Real reason is never apart from feelings. Trying to separate thoughts from emotions is an outstanding factor in spiritual ignorance. Selfishness survives by fragmenting and isolating perceptions of life.
* The feelings behind our thoughts should be examined, so that we make sure we are honest to ourselves. There are many lessons to learn from observing in an impartial way our thoughts and emotions regarding our own actions, and regarding the actions of others.
* A significant degree of harmony among thought, emotion and action is of the essence in theosophy, even if contrast is natural wherever there is diversity. When a dynamic cooperation unites the various levels of consciousness, spiritual intuition is always present.
* Reality unfolds in patterns and cycles. Yin and Yang succeed each other like in the sequence of heart-beatings and day and night. The basic attitude to be adopted before life by the vigilant student of theosophy must anticipate the “predictable surprises” which present themselves in sudden ways, but are in fact cyclic and recurrent. By identifying and recognizing such events as repetitive and not really “unexpected”, one can take practical measures to reduce the impact caused by false surprises.
* In order to avoid unwillingly becoming whited sepulchres, people of good will must practice a constant self-examination on the individual plane. And there is also the need for a permanent self-observation on the collective level, in any association whose goals are noble and elevated. Such an ethical exercise is especially decisive for the theosophical movement and every initiative whose purpose is to work for the good of mankind.
* If your goal is distant and noble and elevated, you may think you can immediately take grand steps towards it. This is not always possible. A great goal usually generates small opportunities at first, to search for it. You will repeatedly try and fail, until the defeats teach you the sacred value of small steps, taken in the right direction. They are the key to a lasting victory. It should not be a surprise that the seeds of true wisdom are small. Yet you must remain vigilant regarding greater steps. When you are ready for them, the right opportunities may emerge any time.
* Let’s not deceive ourselves with the vision of a sad ethical crisis in Europe, United States and other countries around the world. The crisis is real and serious. It must be faced with severity, in its causes and its effects. However, the truth is that we are experiencing in various dimensions the first phase of a beautiful spiritual awakening, on a planetary scale. The initial moments of an awakening to ethics can be quite unpleasant. Later on, the best of it starts to emerge.
* The Universe can be described as the Law in movement, and as Truth in action. He who acts with sincerity is fundamentally in harmony with the eternal principle which regulates all things. But having a stronger degree of unity with the universe is uncomfortable. Those who follow this Path must face a significant number of tests and probations. Their sincere actions inevitably question all karmic structures based on illusion, and these are not small in number.
Initial versions of the above fragments were published in the August 2015 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”. They had no indication as to the name of the author.
On 14 September 2016, after examining the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to found the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the priorities adopted by the ILT are learning from the past and building a better future.