Altruism and idealism, fellowship and brotherhood, philanthropy and humaneness, ahimsa 4 and harmlessness — they are all shades of One Great Ethic that is borne out of The Secret Doctrine’s first proposition.
The deer, the fish, and the virtuous, living on grass, water and contentment respectively [find] in this world unprovoked enemies [in] the hunter, the fisherman, and the wicked.
BP Wadia will now explain how virtue can bring about the dramatic metamorphosis asserted in the Third Proposition.
Understanding by the higher mind and apperception by intuition are not sufficient unless these produce the action, which is altruism. . . . The lower fourfold man, the quaternary, has to become triune, and The Secret Doctrine, which is a book of practical occultism, helps us to achieve this task. The higher triad has to be transformed into the Sacred Tetractys — that is the goal taught in the message of H.P.B. The single energy of altruism unifies all actions, which are undertaken in terms of the understanding of the universals and executed in terms of the intuitive apperception of the Heart.
If we decide to acquire the knowledge about universals, which is the one sure way to free our mind from the hooks of kamic particulars, we are bound to touch the plane of intuition in due season, and then naturally our Creative Will will work altruistically. But we must not wait for compassion to express altruism and only ponder over the cosmic ultimates, determined to see the one in the many; while thus occupied we must devote time in paying attention to The Voice of the Silence and making use of The Key to Theosophy, so as to help the awakening intuition and the awakening altruism.
Shri Wadia went further and defined the objectives of would-be Theosophists in metaphysical, mystical, and ethical terms:
To perceive the interrelation and interdependence of man and nature;
To correlate the correspondence subsisting between universals and particulars;
To cognise our minds as the playground of the energies of the Spirit and of the shadows cast by the movements of Matter;
To practice the doctrine of Universal Brotherhood;
— all these are the descriptions of one and the same process, in different tongues, of metaphysics or of ethics.
And for the benefit of those who think that morality differs from moral philosophy, he highlighted two passages from the writings of HP Blavatsky, where “the same identical truth” of altruism is put across in a metaphysical and an ethical presentation. They are reproduced in Appendix A, p. 337.
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