CHAPTER VI - Part 1
The year 1930 marks the last year of what I call normal living. From that time on I became absorbed in work both in Europe and Great Britain as well as in the U.S. and also in the girls' engagements and marriages, which, curiously enough, took a good deal out of me emotionally. The somewhat normal rhythm of my life from 1924 to 1930 was definitely disrupted in 1931.
These six years were in many ways years of monotonous rhythm and routine—getting up in the morning, working for the Tibetan, seeing that the girls were up and ready for school, breakfast, ordering the groceries, catching the train for New York in order to be in my office by ten and then the monotony of constant appointments, handling my mail, dictating letters, making decisions in relation to the work of the school, discussing problems with Foster and going out to lunch. Often in the late afternoon there were classes and I look back to those times in which I taught the fundamentals of the Secret Doctrine as some of the most profitable and satisfactory times in my life.
In many ways today H.P.B.'s book The Secret Doctrine is out of date and its approach to the Ageless Wisdom has little or no appeal to the modern generation. But those of us who really studied it and arrived at some understanding of its inner significance have a basic appreciation of the truth that no other book seems to supply. H.P.B. said that the next interpretation of the Ageless Wisdom would be a psychological approach, and A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, which I published in 1925, is the psychological key to The Secret Doctrine. None of my books would have been possible  had I not at one time made a very close study of The Secret Doctrine.
Looking back over the years of my own girlhood and those of my daughters, I know now what a difficult time adolescence is. I had a much worse time than my girls did because nobody told me anything. They had a difficult enough time but God knows I had worse. I had to stand by and see them chased and hope they would not be taken in; sometimes they were. 1 had to suffer at their hands by being temporarily regarded as an out-of-date parent. I had to submit to having my views regarded as obsolete and try to remember my own days of revolt. I had seen so much and knew so much of the evils in the world that 1 suffered agonies of terror over them, all of which proved totally unnecessary but which were bad enough at the time. I had to submit to their youthful belief that I knew nothing about sex, that I did not know how to handle men, that nobody had ever been in love with me except the two men I had married.
My experience, of course, was that of every parent who launches young people on to the world, particularly if they are launching daughters. Sons free themselves earlier and keep their mouths shut, and the average mother knows nothing about her son's affairs. The next seven or eight years were, therefore, difficult ones for me and I am not at all sure that I handled them wisely. Anyway, I have apparently done no great harm and I rest back upon that.
In the fall of 1930 it was apparent that the work of the school was growing in Europe and Great Britain. The books that we had published were finding their way all over the world and through them we were coming into touch with people in every country. Many of these people would join the Arcane School, and the majority of them spoke English. At this time we had none of our work in foreign languages nor had we any foreign-speaking secretaries. The knowledge of what we were doing and standing for spread all over the world mainly through the books and through people who wrote in to us about meditation or in connection with some problem or other.
Members of the Theosophical Society who were discontented with the narrowness of the presentation also got in touch with us and many of them joined the Arcane School. When they made application to do so I always pointed out to them that we personally had no objection to their affiliating with us but that the heads of the E.S. of that society most definitely objected. Rightly or wrongly I always pointed out to them that their souls were their own and that they should accept dictation from no one, either from me or the heads of the E.S. The result of this has been that we have in the Arcane School today many of the oldest and best of the E.S. members who find nothing contradictory in the two lines of approach.
The ridiculous theory, promulgated by the E.S. that it is dangerous to follow two lines of meditation at once, has not only amused me but has always proven wrong. For one thing, the same quality and vibration runs through the two approaches and, for another, the meditation work assigned in the E.S. is so elementary that it has little if any effect on the centres. It is, however, exceedingly good for those on the Path of Probation.
The Arcane School was, therefore, growing quite steadily but was still relatively small. We had moved from one location to another according to the vicissitudes of renting in New York City and it was in April 1928 that we first moved into our present headquarters at 11 West 42nd Street. We were among the first to move into this new building and to occupy the top floor, the 32nd. Today we occupy the 31st floor also but our quarters are much too  cramped and we shall have to expand in some way before long.
We had been in correspondence for some little while with a woman in Switzerland who had a good deal of knowledge and who was interested in what we were teaching and in doing something to reach the world with the Ageless Wisdom. She had a beautiful home on Lake Maggiore in Switzerland where she had built a lecture hall and accumulated a very good library. One day in the fall of 1930 she turned up late one night at our home in Stamford, Connecticut, and spent a little time with us there, talking over many things, laying her various ideas before us, finding out what was our point of view and offering herself as a collaborator with us. She suggested the idea that with our help she should start a spiritual centre at Ascona near Locarno on Lake Maggiore and that it should be undenominational, nonsectarian and open to esoteric thinkers and occult students of all groups in Europe and elsewhere. She had these lovely houses, this lecture hall and these beautiful grounds which would be her contribution, and Foster and I should go there and start the project and lecture and teach. She offered us full hospitality and was willing to have the three girls accompany us if we went to Ascona, offering board and lodging to all of us, but not our travelling expenses.
We naturally could make no sudden decision but promised her we would think the matter over most carefully and would let her know soon after the New Year of 1931.
There were many problems involved. The travelling expenses of five people were no light item and we were not at all sure that we wanted to undertake such an enterprise on such conditions. I had been twenty years in America without going to Europe. I could not go to Europe without  visiting my own country and there were many considerations before we knew exactly what was right.
My friend, Alice Ortiz, at this time came to me with a proposition which had a bearing on the whole situation. Without knowing anything about the proposal of Olga Fröbe, she said to me one day, "Which would you prefer for your girls, that I should send them to college for several years, or would you prefer to have them travel abroad? I will defray either expense, but you must do what you think best for the girls." I talked it over most carefully with Foster and we decided that foreign travel was much more useful and broadening for the girls than any college degree. Anybody can get a college degree but few people could travel widely. I suppose I was influenced in this decision because I had travelled so much myself and also had had no degrees.
Only twice have I been sorry that I had had no college degree. Such degrees are frightfully overrated in this country and though I have no degrees I know I am as well educated as those who have. Not so many years ago I was asked to give a series of lectures at The Postgraduate College in Washington, D. C. I was to speak on the intellect and the intuition. The announcements were printed and sent out by the college, but when they discovered I had no degrees after my name, they proceeded to cancel the lectures. I later received a letter from the president of the college indicating that the faculty believed a mistake had been made but that it was too late for them to do anything. Shortly after I was asked by Cornell University to go there and meet the students and speak to them on the modern spiritual approach to truth and to talk to little groups of students. This was also cancelled because I had no college degrees.
Anyhow, my attitude was that the girls would learn to be more useful human beings if they got to know more about  people in other continents, not by visiting monuments and galleries but by getting to know the people themselves, so we gave up all idea of an academic college training for the girls and launched them into the college of life.
Looking back over our decision, I have never regretted that the girls did not go to college. They have learned to know human beings and to realise that the U.S.A. is not the one and only country in the world. They discovered that there were just as nice people, just as intelligent people, just as bad people, just as good people in Great Britain, Switzerland, France, etc., as there are in the United States.
The thing we have to develop in the world today is the world citizen and bring to an end this crude nationalism which has been the source of so much world hate. I know nothing more pernicious than the slogan "America for the Americans." I know nothing more insular than the habit of the British to regard all others as foreigners, or the belief of the French that the French are the leaders in all civilised movements. All that sort of thing has to go. I find the same people in the many countries in which I have lived. Some countries may be more physically comfortable than others but the humanity in that country is the same.
I suppose as I have gone through city after city in the States, Great Britain and on the Continent and have listened to what the different people say about each other and the way they disparage each other and deride each other and despise each other I have noticed it more than most people do, and it was the sense of the oneness of humanity that I wanted the girls to get. I think they have a wider point of view than the average person they meet and this they owe to the way they have travelled and which I owe also to the way I have travelled not only horizontally out into the many countries but vertically also, up and down the social ladder. It is a great education to like people and I was born liking  people. One of the best men I ever knew and regarded as a friend was the son of an emperor. The first and dearest friend I had thirty-five years ago when I came to the U.S. was a Negro woman and they stand with equal importance to me in my consciousness and I think of them with equal affection.
One thing I did find was that the girls were quite able to hold their own in any set or situation though they were only the product of the public schools of America. Given ability, a home where interesting things are valued and where human values are emphasised I know no better training-ground for the youth of the world than a public school education along the lines of the United States.
In the spring of 1931 we made our plans to accept Olga Fröbe's suggestion and go to her house on the Italian lakes for a few months. You can imagine the excitement of the planning, the buying of suitcases, the arranging of clothes and the speculations on the part of the girls about everything. They had never been anywhere in their lives outside of the United States, with the exception of my eldest girl, Dorothy, who had been in Hawaii. Alice Ortiz stepped in with her usual generosity and saw that we all had the right clothes, besides paying all travelling expenses.
We chose one of the smaller boats which went direct from New York to Antwerp, Belgium, and I will admit that I found life on board with three girls full of life and energy slightly exhausting. Keeping track of them was no joke. Rounding them up every evening at bedtime was also no joke. It is no fun for a girl when she is dancing most happily with some officer to see a parent standing on the sidelines and to know quite well it was bedtime. They were exceedingly good but exceedingly excited. They knew everyone on board, who they were, where they came from and what their names were, and they were most popular.
 Only a few years ago I came across a big bundle of material which when I unrolled it proved to be three fancy ball dresses I had made for the girls on board the boat. The idea was most unoriginal, for the dresses were the stars and stripes, dark blue skirts striped with white and white bodices trimmed with red five-pointed stars. I refused to put forty-eight stars on each bodice as it imposed too much sewing but the general effect was most patriotic and gay.
I shall never forget the day when we wound our way up the Scheldt river and docked at Antwerp. The girls, of course, had never seen a foreign city. Everything looked new and strange to them, from the fiacre in which we went to the hotel to the duvets on all beds. We went to the Hotel Des Flandes and had a good time the few days we were in Antwerp. The checked tablecloths in the Van Viordinaire, the foreign cooking and the cafe au lait, all were most exciting to them and full of memories to me.
A friend had crossed with us in order to be with us at Ascona but was leaving us after a few days in Antwerp as she wanted to go down the Rhine with her daughter. She had a very different conception as to how to enjoy a foreign land to that which Foster and I had. Down she would come in the morning with a daughter on one arm and a Baedeker on the other. "Alice," she would say to me, "what are you going to see this morning? There is a statue with three stars to it in the guide book, there are the Reubens to be seen in the cathedral and all kinds of other things. Which do you plan to do first?" To her great astonishment I would tell her that we were not going to do anything like that as we were not interested in statues of long dead military men or to visit every church that could be visited.
I told her that my main idea was that the girls should imbibe some of the atmosphere of the country they were in and see some of the people and watch how they live and what  they do at different hours of the day. So we were going to stroll about and sit in little cafes under the awnings and drink coffee and just sit and watch the people and listen and talk. So that is what we did whilst she went off in different directions. I never took the girls to see galleries to gaze at statues, talk about churches or do the everyday things which the average tourist does. We drifted about the streets. We looked into gardens. We would take a walk to the suburbs. At the end of a few days the girls had absorbed an enormous amount of knowledge of the town and its surroundings, its occupants and its history. We never bought souvenirs, but we took photographs, bought picture postcards and found out that foreign people were very like ourselves.
From Antwerp we went to Locarno, Switzerland, which was as far as we could go by train and there Olga met us and took us to her lovely villa where we stayed for a number of weeks. This train trip was a marvellous thing to the girls but an exhausting journey for me. We went on the "Blue train" through the Simplon and across the Cinto valley.
It is quite hopeless to attempt to describe the beauty of the Italian lakes. To my mind Lake Maggiore on the shores of which Olga's villa is found, is one of the most beautiful and it is one of the largest in Italy. Part of the lake is in Swiss territory in the canton of Ticino but most of it is in Italy. The lake is so blue, the little villages are so picturesque, perched as they are on the sides of the hills reaching down into the water. I know nothing more beautiful to look at than the view from Ronco looking up and down the lake. It is useless for me to write about it for I have not got the words, but the beauty of it none of us will ever forget. Such are the things one pictures to oneself in moments of fatigue and disillusionment, and yet behind all this beauty were corruption and very ancient evil.
 The district had been at one time the centre of the Black Mass in Central Europe and evidences of this could be found on the country roads. The little villages around had been largely deserted by their inhabitants owing to economic conditions and had been purchased by groups from Germany and France whose aims and ideas were anything but nice or clean. The few years preceding the war, particularly in Germany, were peculiarly nasty. All kinds of vices and evil were cultivated and a lot of those who practiced these undesirable modes of life hied themselves to the Italian lakes during the summer. Some day the place will be cleaned up and real spiritual work will go forward. One of the things we had to contend with was the spirit of evil which permeated the place and the peculiarly decadent and objectionable people who lived on the shore of the lake.
As soon as I found the kind of place it was, and that in spite of all its beauty there lurked much evil, I simply sat down and told the girls all about it. I was determined that they should not be so innocent that they would get into danger and I pointed out the types of people on the roads who were plainly the undesirable kind. I did not dress up the information in beautiful language. I told them baldly and straight just what it was all about, including its degeneracy and its homosexuality, so that they passed unscathed through a great deal which might have damaged them. You see, there were no secrets withheld, there were no peculiar sins and unholy performances that I had not told them had existed. I pointed out to them the type of people who indulged in these kinds of things and they were so blatantly obvious that the girls knew that it must be so. I have never believed in keeping young people free from the knowledge of that which is undesirable.
I have allowed them to read what they liked, provided that if it was a book that I felt was pure dirt I would tell  them about it and ask them why they wanted to read it. My experience was that if you were perfectly frank and yet perfectly willing to let them read even what you yourself felt was unwise, their natural cleanness and their natural fastidiousness were full protection. We never had any reading under the bedclothes, as far as I know, because they knew they could read what they liked, and that I would express myself freely. Anyway, the girls passed through three summers of Ascona and knew much that was going on and got no harm.
The first summer at Ascona we stopped with Olga in her own home but after that we occupied a small cottage overhanging the lake which she had built on her property. Close to our own home she had built a beautiful lecture hall where the meetings were held morning and afternoon. The grounds were lovely. The swimming and boating were ideal and the opportunity at first presented seemed to us Heaven sent, and to have in it the promise of wide future opportunities for expansion. The first year we were there the group was somewhat small but the last two years it steadily increased in size and I think it could be said that the work was a great success. People of all nationalities met there and we all lived together for weeks and got to know each other very well. National barriers seemed nonexistent and we all spoke the same spiritual language.
It was there for the first time that we met Dr. Robert Assagioli, who had been our representative in Italy for several years, and our contact with him and the many years of work with him constitute one of the outstanding happy factors in our lives. He was at one time a leading brain specialist in Rome and when we first knew him was regarded as an outstanding European psychologist. He is a man of rare beauty of character. He could not come into a room without his essential spiritual qualities making his presence known.  Frank D. Vanderlip in his book "What Next in Europe" makes a striking comment about him. He calls him the modern St. Francis of Assisi and says that the morning he spent with Robert was a high-water mark of his European trip. Dr. Assagioli is a Jew. At the time we met him at Ascona and later visited him in Italy the Jews were well treated in that country. The approximately 30,000 Jews in Italy were valued as Italian citizens and were subjected to no restrictions or persecution.
The talks by Dr. Assagioli were outstanding features of the Ascona conferences. He would lecture in French, Italian and English and the spiritual power which poured through him was the means of stimulating many into renewed consecration in life. For the first two years he and I carried the bulk of the lecture work though there were other able and interesting speakers. The last year we were there the place was overrun by German professors and the whole tone and quality of the place altered. Some of them were most undesirable and the teaching given shifted from a relatively high spiritual plane to that of academic philosophy and a spurious esotericism. 1933 was the last year that we went there.
The second year that we went to Ascona was one of very real interest. Grand Duke Alexander joined us there and gave some very interesting talks and, more important still to me was the coming to Ascona of Violet Tweedale. It was a red-letter day for me when she arrived there and I can see her now coming down the hillside with her husband, and, immediately through the power of her spiritual personality, dominating the whole centre. She was so beautiful, so gracious and so stately and her arrival marked the beginning of a very real friendship between her husband and herself and Foster and me. Later we stayed with them frequently in their beautiful home at Torquay, South Devon,  and when I got tired or worried I would go down to Violet and talk with her. She was a prolific writer. She wrote numerous popular novels and her books on psychism, based on her own experiences, are sound and intriguing and one of her last books, called The Cosmic Christ, has had a wide and most useful distribution. She was one of the few psychics in the world in whom it was possible absolutely to believe. She was highly intelligent; with a strong sense of humor and a well developed investigating spirit. She was a great student of the Tibetan's books and I kept her supplied with everything He wrote as soon as He wrote it. She was a friend of high and low and when she died not long ago there were hundreds besides myself and my husband who registered a sense of lasting loss. The brooch that she constantly wore was given to me by her husband and I wear it all the time and always think of her with the deepest love and affection.
Each year after our trip abroad we returned to the United States for some months, usually leaving the girls behind in England where we rented houses when needed and where one house, Ospringe Place in Kent, was very kindly put at our disposal for two years by a friend and school student.
During these years all the three girls married. As related, Dorothy married a Captain Morton, six months her senior and admirably suited to her. It is one of those really happy marriages that are satisfying to contemplate. I think that they are both fortunate. I know that Terence is for Dorothy one in a million, quiet, clever, kind and firm in the right places and Dorothy is witty, sparkling, quite a deep thinker and good psychologist, quick tempered, very artistic and devoted to her husband. Later, Ellison married a fellow-officer of Terence's, Arthur Leahy. Both Arthur and Terence are at the time of this writing Colonels on active  service abroad. One year, my second daughter, Mildred, came back with us to the States and there married Meredith Pugh which was a most unfortunate marriage, though the indications were that it should not have been an unhappy one. Circumstances arose which were so drastic that within four months Mildred was engaged, married and divorced and her little son was on the way. This same little son was more than adequate compensation for all she went through. There is no need for me to deal with the details of the story. On all counts Mildred handled a most difficult situation with poise and serenity and wisdom. When she returned to me in England I was amazed at her lack of rancour or spirit of revenge and retaliation but I was also amazed that anyone could look so desperately ill and still continue to live.
During these years in which my husband and I were five months over in Great Britain and Europe and seven months in the United States the school work was steadily growing. The work done in Ascona for three years had brought a number of people of different nationalities into the school and these along with others who had already joined the school through reading the books had produced a nucleus in many countries in Europe on which we could build the future work. The work in Spain under Francisco Brualla was going ahead exceedingly well and we already had several hundred Spanish students, most of them men. The work in Great Britain was also going ahead. Little groups of students scattered throughout the world were beginning to join the school together as a group.
One such group in India interested me very much. There was an organisation in India called the Suddha Dharma Mandala. It had been founded by Sir Subra Maniyer. It was an occult order of apparently an advanced kind. I had come across one of the books they had put out and had discovered  several of the leaders of the Theosophical Society were working in the order, having outgrown the esoteric section in the T.S. I'm not a good hand at joining organisations but I wrote to the head of the order and asked permission to join but received no reply. The following year, as I had heard nothing, I wrote again and ordered some of their books, enclosing a check in payment. I received no reply and no books were sent me, though the check was cashed. After some months I sent a carbon copy of my previous letter to the head of the order but still received no reply. I gave up the attempt and decided that it was one of those peculiar, fake organisations which snare the gullible occidental.
Three years later I went down to Washington, D. C., to give a course of lectures in the New Willard Hotel. At the close of a lecture a man came up to me with a small suitcase in his hand and said, "I have been ordered by the Suddha Dharma Mandala to give you these books." And there were all the books I had requested and my faith in the righteousness of the organisation was restored. I heard no more for some time and then I got a letter from a member of the group saying that Sir Subra Maniyer was dead and that my book A Treatise on Cosmic Fire had been his constant companion and that on his death bed he had requested the seven senior members of his organisation to join the Arcane School and put themselves under my instruction. This they did and for years this most interesting group of old Hindu students worked with us. All these men were old and have gradually died off until today there seem no more for me to be in touch with. They had a great reverence for H. P. Blavatsky and I found my contact with them most interesting.
Another link with H.P.B. came when a small group of Sinnett's people affiliated with the Arcane School, the first  of them being my friend Lena Rowan-Hamilton. They interjected into the school life some of the old tradition and a strong sense of relationship with the source in the 19th century of the Ageless Wisdom as its light streamed into the Occident.
One of the interesting developments in the school has been our steady stiffening of the requirements of membership. Increasingly we find ourselves rejecting students who are strictly on the emotional level and emphasising the necessity for some mental focus and development, if the more advanced training of our senior degrees is to be given. As the years go by and the need of the world becomes more crucial the paralleling need of trained disciples also becomes increasingly apparent. The world has to be salvaged by those with both intelligence and love; aspiration and good intention are not enough.
During these years of travel we met many types of occultism in the different countries in Europe. Everywhere small groups could be contacted who were emphasising some aspects of the Ageless Wisdom and some presentation of esoteric truth. The first indications of a rising spiritual tide could be seen everywhere, equally in Poland and Roumania as in Great Britain and America. It was almost as if the door to a new spiritual life had been opened to humanity and that this evoked a corresponding uprising of the forces of evil which culminated in the World War; that this rising tide has been interrupted by the war I do not believe. I am confident that it will have led to an intensification of the spiritual urge and that those of us who are workers in the Masters' vineyard will have our hands full in future years in organising, in encouraging and instructing those who are spiritually awake.
One of the reasons which has encouraged me to write this autobiography has been that I and the group associated  with us have been in the position to watch and recognise certain developments which under the guidance and influence of the Hierarchy have taken place on earth. Some of the work which is intended to inaugurate the new age and the future civilisation, particularly from its spiritual angle, we ourselves have been used to initiate. Looking back over the years it is now very apparent to us what has been definitely accomplished by the Hierarchy through our instrumentality.
When I say this I am giving no indication of bragging or self satisfaction. We are only one of many groups through which the Masters of the Wisdom are working, and any group that forgets this is apt to become smug isolationist and, therefore, in imminent danger of collapse. We have been permitted to do certain things. Other disciples and groups have been responsible for initiating other projects under the guidance of their own Masters. All these projects if carried forward under Hierarchical inspiration and in a spirit of true humility and understanding are contributory to the factors in a great spiritual enterprise which the Hierarchy started in 1925. It is with one of these dramatic expressions of Hierarchical purpose that I want to deal at this time.
In 1932 when we were at Ascona I received a communication from the Tibetan which was published in the fall in a pamphlet entitled, The New Group of World Servers. This was epoch making in its significance though only a few people as yet realise its true meaning.
The position taken by the spiritual Hierarchy on our planet was that a group was in process of formation that had in it the nucleus of the coming world civilisation and was characterised by the qualities that would distinguish that civilisation during the next 2,500 years. These qualities are primarily a spirit of inclusiveness, a potent desire selflessly to serve one's fellowmen plus a definite sense of  spiritual guidance, emanating from the inner side of life. This new group of world servers includes two definite divisions. The first part of the group has a close relationship to the spiritual Hierarchy. It is composed of aspirants working towards discipleship under the guidance of certain of the Masters' disciples who, in their turn, are directed and guided by a few world disciples whose work is on such a large scale that it is definitely international in scope. This group acts as a definite intermediary between the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet and the mass of humanity. Through them the Masters of the Wisdom, under the direction of the Christ, are working out gigantic plans of world salvage.
This attempt to lead humanity onward along new and more definite lines and on a much larger scale than heretofore is made possible by the coming in of the Aquarian age. This Aquarian age is both astronomical and astrological in import.
There is a very strong prejudice in the world today against astrology and this is understandable and also constitutes a definite safeguard for the gullible and the stupid. Predictional astrology is, to my personal point of view, both a menace and a handicap. If a person is highly developed they will begin to rule their stars. They will do the unpredictable and their horoscopes will prove inaccurate and have no meaning at all. If a person is undeveloped then the probability is that their stars completely condition them and their horoscopes will therefore be entirely accurate from the predictional angle. When this is so and the person accepts the dictum of their horoscope their free will is completely stultified, they work entirely within the limits of their horoscope and the result of this is that they fail to make any personal effort to free themselves from the possible determining factors.
I often smile to myself when people boast and say  that their horoscope is entirely accurate and that everything happened to them as their horoscope indicated. What they are really saying amounts to—I am an entirely mediocre person; I have no free will of my own; I am entirely conditioned by my stars and, therefore, have not the faintest intention of making any progress in this life at all. This type of horoscope is one that the best of astrologers avoid. The finest men in this field are primarily concerned with character delineation which is most helpful and with the effort to discover in what manner the horoscope of the soul can be cast so that the life purpose of the incarnating individual can be ascertained, and therefore a clear distinction can be made between the tendencies of the personality established through many incarnations and the emerging purpose and will of the soul.
When, however, one comes to a consideration of the astrological implications to astronomical happenings the story is very different. People hear the statement made that we are now transitting into the sign Aquarius which means that from the angle of the zodiac, which is the imaginary path of the sun in the heavens, the sun appears to be going through the constellation Aquarius. This is an astronomical fact at this time and has nothing to do with astrology. The influence, however, of the sign through which the sun may be passing at any particular world period is irrefutable and I can prove it to you here and now.
Prior to the Jewish dispensation when Moses was leading the children of Israel out of Egypt the sun was in the sign Taurus. It was passing through the sign of the Bull. We then had the appearance on earth of the Mithraic mysteries which centered around the sacrifice of the sacred bull. The sin of the children of Israel in the wilderness which so aroused the anger of Moses when he descended from the mount of the Lord and found them falling down before  the golden calf was that they had reverted to a past and obsolete religion which they should have left behind. The Jewish dispensation itself was governed by the sign of Aries, the Ram, through which the sun was passing for the next 2,000 years. Then we have the appearance of the scapegoat in Jewish history. We have the Bible story of the ram caught in the thicket and all this was due to the influence of the passing of the sun through the sign of the bull and the sign of the ram.
Something apart from the findings of academic astrology, which even at present could only touch a very few people, produced these natural reactions. Some influence, emanating from the sign of the bull and the sign of the ram produced the symbology which conditioned the religious life of the people of that era. This becomes still more apparent when the sun transitted into the next constellation, the sign of Pisces the Fishes. Then we had the appearance of Christ and the fish symbology which ran so characteristically through the entire Gospel story. His disciples were largely fishermen. He performed the miracles with fishes and sent His apostles out after His death under the leadership of St. Peter with the injunction to be fishers of men. It is for this reason that the mitre which the Pope wears is the mouth of the fish.
Now, according to astronomy we are transitting into the sign of Aquarius, the sign of the water-carrier, the sign of universality, for water is a universal symbol. Prior to His death Christ sent His disciples out to find the water-carrier who led them to an upper room where the communion service was instituted. All this was indicative of the recognition by the Christ of the coming new era which would succeed His dispensation and into which we are at this time entering. Leonardo da Vinci's great picture of the communion in the upper room is the great symbol of the Aquarian  age, for we shall sit down together under the loving direction of Christ when brotherhood will be established and men will be banded together in the bonds of divine relationship. The old barriers between man and man and nation and nation will, during the next 2,000 years slowly disappear.
It was to inaugurate and institute this work that the Hierarchy announced the emergence on earth of the New Group of World Servers, led and guided by disciples and spiritual aspirants who know no sense of separateness, who see all men alike, irrespective of colour or creed, and who are pledged to work without cessation for the promotion of international understanding, economic sharing and religious unity.
The second part of the group in the organisation of the New Group of World Servers is composed of the men and women of goodwill. These are not strictly speaking spiritual aspirants. They are not particularly interested in the Plan and have little or no knowledge of the planetary Hierarchy. They do, however, want to see right relations established among men. They want to see justice and kindness prevail on earth. Under the direction of the world disciples and their helpers these people can be trained in practical and effective ways of expressing goodwill. In this way they can do basic and foundational work in preparing the world for a fuller expression of the spiritual purpose. They can familiarise mankind with the need for right human relations expressed in every community, in every nation and, eventually, on an international scale.
For this the disruption of the present world war has effectively cleared the stage. The evils of wrong human relations, the wickedness of aggression and racial discrimination are made so apparent that only the stupid and unintelligent can fail to see the necessity for active goodwill.  So many people of good intentions theoretically accept the fact that God is love and blissfully hope that He will make that love apparent in humanity.
Thus the New Group of World Servers was launched into the consciousness of modern humanity. The pamphlet outlining this ideal received the widest distribution and it was followed by other pamphlets on the same subject written by the Tibetan and enlarging upon the basic theme of spiritual purpose and goodwill. The Tibetan in these pamphlets outlined a definite procedure for us to follow. He advocated the building up of mailing lists of the men and women of goodwill in the various countries in the world. He suggested our organising what He called Units of Service in as many countries in the world as possible. He outlined for us the nature of the teaching which they should receive and these suggestions and injunctions we immediately proceeded to carry out.
From 1933 until 1939 we occupied ourselves with the spreading of the doctrine of goodwill, with the organising of Units of Service in nineteen different countries and in finding those men and women who responded to the vision of the Tibetan and were willing to do what they could to promote right human relations and spread the idea of goodwill amongst men.
Foster and I have always been dissatisfied with the emphasis laid upon peace. For years the peace groups in the world have been occupied in spreading the idea of peace, piling up mailing-lists of people who endorsed the idea of peace—and who doesn't—and in spreading everywhere the demand that peace become a compulsory thing. We have felt very strongly that this was putting the cart before the horse.
In the days of violent peace propaganda between World War I and World War II the idea of peace made great  strides. Millions of names appeared on lists demanding peace. The Axis nations welcomed the idea of peace propaganda for it represented a soporific condition in which no steps would be taken to arm the nations against possible aggressors. The fact that war is largely incidental to rotten economic conditions led to little real activity to put these conditions right. People continued to starve; many continued to be underpaid in all parts of the world; child labor was not wiped out in any country though great strides were made in the endeavour so to do; the over-population of the world steadily increased the difficulties. All conditions that might incite to war were present everywhere even while the cry was going up "let there be peace on earth."
When the angels sang at Bethlehem they said, "Glory to God in the highest"—the final consummation and goal. Then "Peace on earth"—where humanity as a whole is concerned and, as the first and absolutely necessary step, "Goodwill towards men." Goodwill has to come first if there is ever to come peace and this has been forgotten. People have attempted to initiate a period of peace before there has been any demonstration of goodwill. There can be no peace until goodwill is a conditioning factor in all human relations.
Another revolutionary thing that the Tibetan did was when He dictated the contents of A Treatise on Cosmic Fire. In this book He gave what H.P.B. prophesied He would give, the psychological key to cosmic creation. H.P.B. stated that in the 20th century a disciple would come who would give information concerning the three fires with which The Secret Doctrine deals: electric fire, solar fire and fire by friction. This prophecy was fulfilled when A Treatise on Cosmic Fire was given out to the public. This book concerns the fire of pure spirit or life; the fire of the mind that vitalises every atom of the solar system  and creates the medium through which the Sons of God develop. It also concerns the fire of matter producing that attraction and repulsion which is the basic law of evolution, and holding forms together so as to provide vehicles for the evolving life and later, when they have served their purpose, repulsing those forms so that the evolving lives can move on their way to higher evolution. The true significance of this book will only be appreciated towards the close of this century. It is of a profundity and a depth of technical knowledge which lies beyond the understanding of the ordinary reader. It is also a bridging book because it takes certain basic, oriental ideas and phrases and introduces them to the occidental student, whilst at the same time it makes practical the sometimes vague, metaphysical concepts of the East.
A third unique thing which the Tibetan has accomplished, and this within the last few months, has been to present the platform and certain indications as to rituals upon which the new world religion can be founded.
The need has long been apparent for some point of contact between the exoteric religions of the West and the esoteric faiths of the East. On the levels of the esoteric or spiritual approach to divinity there has always been uniformity between the East and the West. The techniques followed by the mystical seeker after God in the Occident are identical with those followed by the seeker in the Orient. At a certain point on the path of return to God all ways meet and then the procedure is uniform for all subsequent stages of approach. The steps in meditation are identical. This will be apparent to anyone who studies the works of Meister Eckhart and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. All of the great expansions of consciousness as outlined in the Hindu philosophy and the expression of these five great expansions as portrayed in the five great crises in the life  of the Christ, related in the New Testament, are also the same. When man begins consciously to seek out God and consciously to take himself in hand for discipline and endurance, he finds himself at one with seekers in the East and in the West and with those who lived before Christ ever came and with those who are seeking today.
It was in an effort to make the relation between the East and the West clear that I wrote the book, The Light of the Soul. It is a commentary upon the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, who lived and taught probably 9,000 years before Christ. The Tibetan gave me the paraphrase of the ancient Sanskrit phrases because I know no Sanskrit but I, myself, wrote the commentary, as I was anxious to present an interpretation of the Sutras which would be more adapted to the Western type of mind and consciousness than the usual oriental presentation. I also wrote From Bethlehem to Calvary in order to trace the significance of the five major episodes in the life of the Christ—the birth, baptism, transfiguration, crucifixion and resurrection—and their relationship to the five initiations as outlined for the Eastern disciple. Both these books have a definite bearing upon the new world religion.
The time must come when the work of the great Master in the East, the Buddha, Who came to earth and achieved illumination and became the guide and teacher of millions of orientals, and the work of the Christ, Who came as the teacher and saviour recognised first by the occident, must achieve fusion. There is no divergence or conflict in Their teaching. There is no competition between Them. They stand forth as the two greatest world teachers and saviours. One has guided the Orient and the other has guided the Occident nearer to God.
It is this theme that the Tibetan elaborates in His pamphlet, The New World Religion. He indicates that the  work of the Buddha prepared people for the Path of Discipleship, whilst the work of the Christ prepared people for Initiation. He indicated a ritual in this pamphlet in which the great day of the Buddha, the Wesak Festival (the Vaisakha Festival at the May full moon), and Easter Sunday, fixed by the April full moon, stood for the illuminated Buddha and the risen Christ, whilst the full moon of June was the Festival of Humanity making its major annual approach to God under the guidance of Christ. The other full moons in each month constitute lesser festivals in which certain spiritual qualities necessary for the expression of discipleship and initiation are considered and emphasised.
One other revolutionary activity brought to the attention of humanity by the Tibetan indicates the first steps that are being taken by the Hierarchy to approach closer to humanity, to restore the ancient Mysteries, and to externalise and make possible the manifestation upon the physical plane of the Masters and Their groups of disciples gathered together in what are technically called Ashrams.
Implicit in this effort, therefore, lies the significance of the second advent of the Christ. He will come bringing His disciples with Him. The Masters will again some day be present upon earth as They were millions of years ago during the infancy of mankind. Then They left us for a while and disappeared behind the veil which separates the seen from the unseen. This they did in order to give man time to develop free will, to become an adult using his mind, making his own decisions, orienting himself finally towards the kingdom of God and consciously endeavoring to tread the path of return. This has taken place on such a large scale that it now appears possible that within the coming century the Masters may emerge from Their silence and again be known among men. To this end the Tibetan has  been working and many of us have been collaborating with Him.
He also instituted the new rules for disciples which permit a much greater freedom to the individual disciple than do the rules so well known in the past. No obedience is today exacted. The disciple is regarded as an intelligent agent and is left free to fulfill the requirements as he sees best. No secrecy is enjoined because no disciple is admitted into an Ashram or into a place of initiation as long as there is the slightest danger that he will speak. Disciples are now being trained telepathically and the actual physical presence of a Master is no longer necessary. The old personal development is no longer emphasised. The need of humanity is presented as the major incentive for spiritual development. Disciples are being taught today to work together in groups with the possibility of group initiations held before them, an entirely new idea and vision. The physical disciplines are no longer obligatory. The modern disciple, intelligent, loving and serving, is regarded as not requiring them. He should have outgrown his physical appetites and be free now to serve. Much of this teaching is given in a book just published, Discipleship in the New Age which contains instructions that the Tibetan gave to a group of His disciples in the world, some of whom were known to me and some of whom were not. This is the first time in the history of the Hierarchy, as far as we know, that the detailed instructions given by a Master to His group of disciples have ever been published and so put into the hands of the general public.