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The Hill of Discernment

By Alfred Trevor Barker

Unity through H. P. B.s Teachings

— Remarks of A. Trevor Barker as Chairman of the H. P. B. Centennial Conference held in London, June 24, 1931.

Fellow Theosophists and Brothers: We are assembled here together today to pay a tribute to the work and memory of H. P. Blavatsky who founded the Theosophical Society in 1875 as the agent and messenger of that holy Brotherhood of living men whom we call the Masters of Wisdom, Compassion, and Peace. In Their name she performed her great work for humanity through toil and sacrifice and suffering which is only paralleled in the lives of the Great Teachers and Saviors of the Human Race. She lived and worked to make possible a real living Fraternity among men — and with the same high end in view we have come here at the invitation of Dr. de Purucker.

Brothers, there is no higher tribute we can pay to the memory of the Great Teacher than to honor the Truths she taught, to demonstrate them practically in our own lives and make them part of the very fabric of our being.

I venture to say that in coming here today, many from long distances by land and by sea, and accepting the hand of friendship so sincerely held out to you, you have by that act alone paid a genuine tribute to H. P. B., and have proved before the world that Theosophists are capable of practising the Brotherhood they preach. Just as you have trusted us in coming here today, so do we trust you not to break the sacred law of Brotherhood in anything you may say from this platform. We want to use this magnificent opportunity to get to know and understand each other better and to discuss in an entirely impersonal and constructive way how as members of different Theosophical organizations we can best co-operate to present H. P. B.'s message to the world. It is a great opportunity, Brothers, and we must all feel called in this hour to rise above limited personal views into the pure air of Eternal Ideas. Let us disabuse our minds here and now of any intention in our speeches to criticize any brother Theosophist, present or absent, and that applies equally to the policy pursued by any Society. This conference is not merely to listen to the views of the Point Loma Society or its Leader, not at all; on the contrary, we are sincerely desirous of hearing from you an expression of the ideals for which you stand, of the hopes and aspirations towards which you are looking in the sacred cause which we all hold dear. The Society to which belong stands simply and truly for what is known as the Blavatsky tradition in Theosophical work. We are proud to wear the uniform of H. P. B., and to uphold her teaching in any and every circumstance. We believe that in remaining true to the lines she laid down as the direct agent of the Masters who sent her forth, lies the road of Salvation for the Theosophical Movement today.

* * * * *

Brothers, I want you to allow me to express what I feel, as nominal chairman of this Conference today. I want to thank you for the very fair spirit which everybody has shown in speaking here today, because I do think that all must agree that they have played the game in the spirit in which the meeting was convened; and it must mean for us that in the future we shall not have the same hesitation in joining together in an impersonal way for our common purposes; and that is, after all, the thing to be achieved.

Several remarks have been made about practical proposals. May I say, just speaking for myself as a Blavatsky Theosophist, that I believe one of the most practical things that we can do, while still remaining as members of our own different organizations, is to come together every so often, not in a semi-formal affair of this kind, but just in an informal friendly way, for joint study; because we can give to each other such a tremendous amount of help. We none of us know the whole philosophy, and only comparatively little of any part of it; and to hear Brother-Theosophists of other Societies expounding H. P. B.'s teachings is something that warms the heart and brings our minds together as nothing else in the world can.

I confess to you that I am a dyed-in-the-wool H. P. B. Theosophist. For me her writings will always be the criterion of Theosophy, and I try in my own studies to empty my mind of whatever preconceptions I may have, and, as it were, to go with as clean a slate as I can to those great teachings, and there to hear and to listen and to study and to read and to try to fill my mind with the great truths that she brought to us. Ultimately I believe that it is on the basis of H. P. B.'s teachings that all the different Theosophical Sections will come together. That is my own belief.



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