No.: 87, December, 2005

Published by the Theosophical Society (Pasadena) Australasian Section

664 Glenhuntly Rd., Melbourne, Victoria, 3162, AUSTRALIA,

Tel: (03) 9528.1011. Fax: (03) 9528.3907

WWW homepage:

ISSN: 1447-8188


The meaning of Christmas. Kirby van Mater.
The Wonderful World of Theosophy. — Lo Guest.
News Corner.

Root Races - What does it all Mean? — John van Mater Snr.
Control Over Time - Is it Possible? — Rosa and Margarita Riaikkenen.

Obituaries: Julius Leslie and Sam Duband.

Jalal-uddin Rumi - the Cosmopolitan poet.
Theosophy in Practice. — Andrew Rooke.


In earliest ages throughout pre-Christian Europe and the British Isles, the moment of the sun’s annual rebirth was one of the important religious periods of the year. Christmas is a very ancient festival which comes down to us from pagan cultures existing thousands of years ago. Even the Stone and Bronze Age people with their horned gods are still present in “the old Abbots Bromley Horn Dance now performed in September and the old Christmas Bull of Wiltshire, the Welsh Mari Lwyd, and similar figures in Poland and Austria and elsewhere in Europe (cf. A Book of Christmas by William Sansom to whom the writer is much indebted).” In many countries the winter solstice was celebrated with festivities lasting twelve days, accompanied by a message of peace and good will aimed largely at calming farmers contending with each other over rights to land, water, or cattle.

The older European cultures were succeeded by Roman conquerors and Roman law. It was only natural that Caesar, after subduing most of Europe and England, should malign and misinterpret the traditional lore of Druidic and other peoples to justify his campaigns. During Roman rule the twelve-day celebration was generally shifted to coincide with the Saturnalia which began in mid-December and ran for seven days. This festival - honoring Saturn, ruler of the earth during its golden age of simplicity, virtue, and happiness - was a harvest-home festival marked by the cessation of private and public work, amusements and social games, a leveling of rank and age, and a making light of tradition. Britons and Celts and all celebrants of the solstice joined in to dance, drink wine, sing, and light their candles. They exchanged gifts of, among other things, wax tapers and dolls. The Greek Libanius wrote, “The impulse to spend seizes everyone. He who the whole year through has taken pleasure in saving and piling up his pence, become suddenly extravagant...” Also an expression of opposites was enacted, masters waited upon slaves, and so forth. A sixth-century Christian sermon included this comment: “How vile, further, it is that those who have been born men, are clothed in women’s dresses...(Op. cit., p. 33-4.)” The Saturnalia was followed by the Kalendae festival of the new year and Janus, god of entrances and doors, whose two faces looked to the past and the future.

Into such a mixture of customs came the mass of Christ. In its beginnings Christianity had to struggle for existence with the many religions in Rome and throughout the Empire. Among these was Mithraism, originating in Persia, whose popularity spread widely. Adhered to by the majority of the Roman troops, it had much in common with Christianity: baptism, a sacramental meal, observance of the Sabbath, and birth of a savior at the winter solstice. Christianity stressed monotheism more than did Mithraism, but held similar ideas of good and evil, or moral uprightness, salvation, and heaven and hell. Mithra emerged godlike and awe-inspiring from a rock, and Christ was portrayed in early times as born “in a cave and no cattle-shed,” as we now think of it. But Mithraism, according to Sansom, gave no place to women, whereas the Christian church recognized women as having souls and received them along with men. This meant double converts and without doubt contributed heavily to the spread of Christianity. Taking advantage of Roman roads the early Christian missionaries had easy access to the conquered peoples. They made their appeal to the poor, and all along the route they travelled they established groups, each overseen by a bishop, and a number of them met in underground temples.

After the fall of Rome the Christian Church conducted a campaign of repression similar to Caesar’s, all the while absorbing and adapting pagan customs until it was difficult to know what were their original beliefs. In those early years Christ’s birth was celebrated on various days of December, January, and March, as the church did not establish Christmas as a Christian festival until the mid-fourth century. In the fifth century, the 25th of December was selected for the birth of Jesus, with the first day of the New Year falling seven days later. In 601 Pope Gregory directed Augustine of Canterbury to decorate the churches as the pagans did their temples, but to sanctify the occasion by Christian feasting. “Nor let them now sacrifice animals to the Devil, but to the praise of God kill animals for their own eating, and render thanks to the Giver of all for their abundance... For from obdurate minds it is impossible to cut off everything at once.” (p.30). This decking of the churches with pagan evergreens included holly, rosemary, bay, and fir, but no mistletoe, perhaps because when taken from the oak tree it was especially sacred to the Druids and Celts.

This process of assimilation has continued so that our celebration today is a mixture of many cultures and customs. As Sansom brings out:

When the English-speaking countries sit down at lunch-time to a “traditional Christmas dinner,” they eat an Aztec bird by an Alsatian tree, followed by a pudding spiced with sub-tropical preserves, while in England itself the most popular of Christmas carols still tells of the Bohemian King Wenceslas to music taken from a Swedish spring song. — pp. 10-11

With this conglomeration of customs, we may wonder whether there is any esoteric reality behind these festivities. To understand the real basis behind our Christmas celebration we have to go back to pre-Christian times. For at least a thousand years before the Christian era, the near-Eastern world was, in a spiritual and intellectual sense, running down like a giant clock, reaching its lowest point in the dark ages. The ancient pagan religions and their Mysteries became increasingly decadent and in certain instances, depraved. Eventually the Eleusinian and Samothracian Mysteries of Greece, the centers in Syria, Persia, and Egypt, and those of the Druids of Europe either ceased to exist or became like dried husks containing no life of the spirit. But to the last there were a few centers and individuals of spiritual stature, though their light became hidden until it was but a flicker.

The initiatory cycle, however, was known by many. This was portrayed in the Eleusinian rites and more distantly in the Christian Easter when the neophyte entered the initiation chamber and after three days in the underworld was resurrected. In the solar rite of the Greater Mysteries the initiant entered the crypt and left his body for fourteen days while his spirit-soul travelled to the sun, shedding in each planetary sphere the aspect of itself that belonged there. When totally freed, it became in-filled with the solar god. On its return the spirit-soul gathered to itself its respective planetary life-energies and finally entered its entranced body. Resurrected, the initiant was said to have “risen from the dead,” for initiation follows the same pathways travelled during death, only with full awareness. Such a person glowed with the light of the sun. This sacred event was called Epiphany, from the Greek epiphaneia, appearance, that is, the appearance of divinity through the just returned neophyte fourteen days following what was then the winter solstice. Later the Christians observed January 6th as the feast of the Magi.

There is in fact a unity of truth between the celebrations of the birth of a Savior and the birth of the new year, which goes beyond the astronomical sun reaching its southern-most point and commencing its northern journey. The birth was not of Jesus but of the Christ in him, the solar life and light - hence the custom of lighting candles at Christmas. This was a birth of the spirit, a second birth. Indeed, Jesus was said to have been born anew at the particular time of the year when it is possible for the spiritual life of the solar being to infill him. This relation to the sun is expressed in an early Christian hymn used as late as the seventh century:

O Thou, Real Sun, infill us,

Shining with perpetual light!

Splendor of the holy Spirit

Pervade our minds!

- Ramback 118

Life was accepted as being everywhere and in everything. As Paul said to the Athenians on Mars Hill (Acts 17:28), “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” And again, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things” (Rom.11:36). H. P. Blavatsky portrays the view of the ancients: “The Sun is matter, and the Sun is Spirit. Our ancestors - the ‘heathen,’ [were] wise see in it the symbol of Divinity, and at the same time to sense within, concealed by the physical Symbol, the bright God of Spiritual and terrestrial Light”
(The Secret Doctrine, I, 479).

The birth of Jesus at Christmas followed by Epiphany, and the death of Jesus on the cross and the resurrection after three days at Easter, are in a sense a division of the initiation ritual acts. Spirit is crucified upon the cross of matter, not only cosmically in the spiritual solar being, the Real Sun, but in the spirit within each human being. Only after the human soul has risen above his animal nature can he bring his Christ into manifestation; hence the symbolic sacrifice of animals by the pagans during the period of their winter festival. This illustrates the accomplishment of the initiant and the future promise for every person and being. It is the hidden story of Jesus the Christ, and also the reason the festivities of the winter solstice were universally held: to commemorate the birth of the solar being in man.

Kirby van Mater


During September National Secretary Andrew Rooke and his family visited our International headquarters in Pasadena. Many exciting projects are quietly underway, and a full program of public meetings and study groups recommenced after the northern summer break in October. Grace and all our friends at HQ asked to be remembered to members of the Australasian Section.

One of our HQ staff, Alan Donant, has recently been reviewing an important new set of books by the great Buddhist teacher Tsong-kha-pa. Of the many works of the Tibetan master Tsong-kha-pa, few compare in terms of popularity and breadth of influence with his Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lamrim Chenmo), which has been treasured by practitioners and scholars alike for centuries. What distinguishes it as one of the principal texts of Mahayana Buddhism is its scope and clarity. It expounds the entire path, from the way one should rely on a spiritual teacher, which is the very root, right up to the attainment of Buddhahood, which is the final fruit. The various stages of the path are presented so clearly and systematically that they can be easily understood and are inspiring to put into practice. This spiritual treasure after 600 years is only recently published in English language, and will shortly be available in our library in Melbourne.

Our thanks and appreciation to the many friends around Australia and the world, who send their newsletters to us. We encourage you all to read them as they are kept in our library in Melbourne, or photocopies can be sent. They include: Impuls (Netherlands), Contact (South Africa), The Link (USA), Theosophy North-West View (USA), Kali Yuga Rag (USA), San Diego TS Newsletter (USA), Compass (England), Pashupati (Australia), Peace and Love Circular (Ghana-West Africa). Also, Dutch and German language translations of Sunrise magazine are sent to us regularly.
Australasian TS Newsletter is issued three times per year in April, August, and November and is edited by Andrew Rooke. We can be contacted at the Theosophical Society (Pasadena), Australasian Section, 664 Glenhuntly Rd., South Caulfield, Melbourne, Victoria 3162, AUSTRALIA. Tel : (03) 9528.1011 Fax : (03) 9528.3907
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We welcome contributions on theosophy or related subjects. You can be placed on the mailing list by contacting the editor or see our website.


Have you ever thought about the wonderful world of Theosophy, the unifying factor East and West, South and North?

Wherever I look, I find that in Theosophy, the Searching for the Wisdom of God, we are all united. Yes, we do go different ways about it, we search for it and we discover more and more of it. The beauty of it is, that what we find is acceptable to all of us regardless of which place in this world we call home.

The greatest wonder of the world of Theosophy is, we can talk together, we can debate together, and we can do so in peace and harmony whether we agree or disagree. This is what Theosophy is all about the fostering of peace and a brotherhood of man and that is why I call

The wonderful world of Theosophy.

If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character;

If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home;

If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation;

When there is order in each nation, there will be peace in the world.

(Ancient Chinese Proverb)


Julius Leslie:

Julius was our longest serving member in Australia, having been one of an original group who commenced our work in Melbourne in 1938, and he remained active in our organization throughout his long life. He was a member of our Committee for many years ‘til his passing, and regularly attended meetings, even lecturing on a number of occasions. He was a highly intelligent and spiritually questing person, always interested in the latest scientific theories and how they could be applied to the great questions of Life. He was forever debating these ideas with friends and colleagues and always put the most learned people back to basics by challenging cherished assumptions and beliefs. Those who knew Julius can hardly forget the many occasions when he was want to visit and the consequent debates that could continue on into the night on some pet subject of concern to him. His consuming interest in science led him to contact leading scientists here in Melbourne and to debate such questions with theosophical correspondence around the world.

Sam Duband:

Our dear friend and long-standing member of our Melbourne group, Sam Duband passed to greater light on 13th August 2005. Sam will be remembered by all who knew him as a kind, humble person, a true gentleman who tried to live the teachings to the utmost in his life. He attended our meetings for many years in the spirit of a learner, though in truth, he taught the rest of us many times the essence of complex doctrines in simple and straight-forward language, eg. Sam once defined karma as the decision he made every day as he reached the end of his driveway, “Should I turn left or right, as the whole day will be different depending upon what I do now”. Such gems of sincere wisdom came naturally to Sam, and all who knew him benefited from his aura of ‘friendly philosophy’.

Sam, your theosophical friends will miss your wisdom and gentle presence.

Vale Julius and Sam.

“Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glint on the snow,

I am the sunlight on the ripening grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,

I am the swift uplifting morning rush

Of quiet birds in circling flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night,

Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there - I do not sleep.”


Rounds and Races is one of those technical subjects, which cause a lot of confusion for theosophical students. John van Mater Snr. in clarifying the subject of Root Races and Sub-Races in a lecture to our HQ once said:

...”The Hindus tackle the subject of root-races and their sub-races in a very interesting manner. They start with the life of a man - say 72 years. Seven of these human cycles form the life of a nation, 500 more or less. Seven national cycles form a Tribal Race of some 3,500 years. Seven tribal cycles form a Procession of the Equinoxes, the time it takes for the sun to precess backwards through all the Zodiacal signs, some 25,920 years. Seven Precessional Cycles make up a Family Race of 180,000 years. Seven of these Family Races form a Sub Race of 1,250,000 years; and seven of these Subraces form the complete Root-Race of some 9,000,000 years.

Every cycle great or small springs from the midpoint of its parent. For example, as we approached the midpoint of the European Congeries of tribes and nations [i.e. in our own time], a new cycle commences in the Americas. When the American pioneers came to the Americas, they witnessed the demise of a number of wonderful civilizations [Aztecs, Mayans, Incas, North American Indians, etc....Ed.] And now, millions of people from Europe, Africa, Asia and elsewhere are pouring into North and South America, and Australia. A vast mixing of races is going on. From this melting pot will spring another flowering that will leave its mark on the world’s history...”

John van Mater Snr.

In 518 B.C. Pythagoras traveled west and during his journey reputedly had a significant interview with the prominent ruler Leon of Philus whilst both were attending some public Games.

King Leon was most impressed by Pythagoras’ range of knowledge and asked which of the arts he was most proficient in. Pythagoras replied that, rather than being proficient in any art, he regarded himself as being a philosopher.
King Leon had never heard this term before and asked for an explanation. This is the recorded reply:-

Life, Prince Leon, may well be compared with these public Games for in the vast crowd assembled here some are attracted by the acquisition of gain, others are led on by the hopes and ambitions of fame and glory. But among them are a few who have come to observe and to understand all that passes here. It is the same with life. Some are influenced by the love of wealth while others are blindly led on by the mad fever for power and domination, but the finest type of man gives himself up to discovering the meaning and purpose of life itself. He seeks to uncover the secrets of nature. This is the man I call a philosopher for although no man is completely wise in all respects, he can love wisdom as the key to nature’s secrets.


Our time is limited by daily plans and achievements. At the very least, it is limited with the length of the existence of the physical body because we think that the end of our physical body means the end of that what we understand as ourselves. In such a way we produce an image of an interrupted time of our existence and imprint this image in consciousness and our behavior patterns

We want it all and we want it now! We don’t care about the possible long term consequences of our deeds. We don’t feel responsible for them. We know exactly where we are, what we possess, and we can guess with a great probability when we will achieve the goals of our plans, have a good rest and then die, finishing our Time. Do we have any other option? We have found that we have if we are willing and able to reorient our consciousness, to transfer its attitude from the outward aspects of our life to its inner spiritual meaning. To give to our “core” in Spirit which is free from Time: neither past nor future - just “now”.

The concept of reorienting consciousness opens for us humans a way of working with Time. It opens for us the opportunity of “squeezing” time and changing its condition for creativity. It also opens the opportunity of letting our mind to travel “out of time”.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes people rearing children or working with them look younger than we could expect them to look at their age? It happens when adults adopt the children’s natural ability to learn and develop. Children are yet unattached to their social status. In fact, their status is fast changing together with their growth and learning. For example: yesterday you were the oldest and strongest in the kindergarten, and today you are just prep. at school! In normal conditions, children willingly accept their new roles and undertake the challenges that come with them. They are interested in anything new.

If we, adults, were also ready to undergo constant changes with their challenges in our life and to constantly renounce our obsolete knowledge and achieves statuses for the continuation of learning, then we could align our time to the time of a child.

There is a multitude of opportunities and techniques of working with consciousness, and consequently with time, at our disposal. For example, a follower of Zen Buddhism detaches himself from the outward time to appear in the condition “out of time”. An eager inventor (writer, painter or musician) concentrates on the perceived idea, and “squeezes” time, penetrating to the “core” to fulfill the purpose which comes from within Spiritually advanced people, like Leonardo da Vinci, an artist, inventor, engineer, architect and writer simultaneously, multiply the dimensions of their creativity and appear in the multi-dimensionality of their inner Spirit, changing their personal time in this way.

Let us remember the immortal artifacts which have been created centuries ago, and some of them required more than a lifetime of one person to complete. The Mayan and Egyptian temple complexes, the Masonic works in Europe, etc. We have the opportunity of enjoying them now, but what influenced their creators, what forced them to work hard without looking for the fruits of their labour?

We can guess that, perhaps, they understood their life as an uninterrupted life-stream. Perhaps, with their creative work they could send a message through the Time to their own future incarnations. At least, they made the civilization’s culture continuous and uninterrupted. As if we, contemporary people, will manage to detach ourselves from pursuing immediate goals and prefer to fulfill our spiritual purpose as it comes to us at any moment in life, maybe we will make our lives continuously purposeful, excluding in such a way the very concept of interruption?

Rosa and Margarita Riaikkenen

Some people understand life better, and then they call some of these people, retarded”...

At the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash.

At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back .. every one of them.

One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, “This will make it better.”
Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.

Everyone in the stadium stood, the cheering went on for several minutes.

People who were there are still telling the story.

Why? Because deep down we know this one thing.

What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.

If you pass this on, we may be able to change our hearts as well as someone else’s

. “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”

Jalal-uddin Rumi – the Cosmopolitan poet

Jelal-uddin Rumi was born in the region today known as Afghanistan in 1207. His family fled the Mogul invasion to Konya, Turkey where he spent most of his life. Despite difficulties and insecurities in his early life Rumi had a very good start in his incarnation. He had very close relationship with his father, who had a big influence on him. Also his path was joined with wandering dervish Shams of Tabriz.
Of his meeting with dervish Shams, Rumi said, “What I had thought of before as God, I met today in a person.”

When his father passed away, Rumi succeeded his father in 1231 as professor in religious sciences.
Rumi, 24 years old, was already an accomplished scholar in religious and positive sciences.

If there is any general idea underlying Rumi’s poetry, it is the unshakable love of God, devotion and absolute surrender to the Divine; not only surrender but very deep and, sometimes painful, longing for the Divine. I have an impression that Rumi ‘touched’ and ‘tasted’ it within to have such longing.

In the Islamic world today, Rumi is read for much the same reasons he was admired during his life: for his excellence as a poet, for his rare ability to empathise with humans, animals and plants; for his personal refinement; and, above all else, for his flawless moral center and ability to direct others towards good conduct and union with Allah.

Rumi’s work also has been read in the West for centuries and there have been informed references to him in the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson and George Friedrich Hegel and many others. But in recent years the popularity of his work in the West has increased to a surprising extent: Rumi ranked as America’s best-selling poet in 1997. The best explanation for Rumi’s popularity may simply be that he was a very wonderful poet, uniquely capable of going beyond “outward appearances” towards the mystical “inward reality,” Rumi writes: “Do thou hear the name of every thing from the knower? Hear the inmost meaning of the mystery of He That Taught the Names. With us, the name of every thing is its outward appearance, with the Creator, the name of every thing is its inward reality.”

In Turkey today, Rumi is revered by many as the founder of the Mevlevi Order, which is associated with the colourful “whirling dervishes,” the Sufis who twirl themselves into joyful merger with the Absolute. Rumi himself helped make popular the once questionable practice of this mystic dance by twirling, first in the marketplace, and later, to the astonishment of many, at a funeral for a beloved friend.

It is also interesting to note that similar to other major religions, Islam frowns upon dancing and using words such as “gamble,” “drunk,” and “wine” which you find throughout Rumi’s and other great Islamic and Sufi poets’ writings. Obviously they mean “drunk” on God’s grace, or God’s love but that’s not to say they wouldn’t be condemned by religious fundamentalists today.

Rumi was genuinely cosmopolitan. Maybe because in his lifetime he enjoyed unusually good relations with diverse groups. Born in or near Balkh, an area with Buddhist, Islamic, Christian, Zoroastrian and Jewish traditions, Rumi apparently was familiar with all those religions and often friendly with their practitioners. After the death of his first wife, an Islamic woman, Rumi chose as his second wife a woman of Christian origin. The second marriage took place at the time of the Crusades, when large portions of the Christian and Islamic worlds were preoccupied with mercilessly conquering each other.

Rumi was a philosopher and mystic of Islam, but not a Moslem of the orthodox type. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love.
To him and to his disciples all religions are more or less truth. Looking with the same eye on Moslem, Jew and Christian alike, his peaceful and tolerant teaching has appealed to men of all sects and creeds. There was no more beautiful tribute to Rumi’s universality than his funeral, a forty day marathon of grieving attended by distraught, weeping Muslims, Christians, Jews, Greeks, Arabs and Persians.

Jalal-uddin Rumi died on December 17, 1273. Men of five faiths followed his body. That night was named Sebul Arus (Night of Union). Ever since, the Mawlawi dervishes have kept that date as a festival.

THEOSOPHY IN PRACTICE: with this issue we commence a new series, and invite you to contribute also ideas on the practical application of theosophical ideas. For 130 years the Theosophical Society has been discussing the wonderful ideas of the Ancient Wisdom. Now many people are asking for practical means to apply these principles in daily life. This new series will be devoted to such practical ideas in the form of stories and parables, methods we have found through life experience, or methods from past and present, which busy people of today can practice. Let’s start with some ideas on FOLLOWING THE DAILY KARMIC SCRIPT:

 We are composite beings, a whirlpool of forces amidst the greater sea of life in which we are immersed. The enduring part of us, our higher self, animates the material forms and energies with which we are more familiar, and sends us forth periodically on the journey we call a lifetime. As the conductor of our lives, it exactly balances the joys and hardships we face, so that hopefully our understanding will have increased at the close of each life. Our daily experience here and now is an unrolling day by day of a karmic score or script, if we have the eyes to see it. Reading this script enables us to appreciate more of the purpose that our higher self is trying to communicate each second as it urges our footsteps along the path to greater awareness of the oneness of being. As James A. Long put it:

in our struggles toward a fuller understanding, we begin to realize we can develop the ability to read the unfolding karmic script of our lives. When we work with this, then we find ourselves better able to feel out the situations as they arise, and deal with them more intelligently. We can think of it as a Book — the Book of records as the Koran calls it — in which is inscribed in its entirety our individual life. Each of our days, representing a page of so-called karmic merit and demerit, will contain the signposts, the impellings and repellings, the conscience knocks, and even the intuitions that are there to be utilized. Once we are able even slightly to read the daily script of our experiences, we realize something else: that there is a direct relation between the quality of a reaction and the quality of action that brought it into being. This is not going to be spelled out, but if we keep in mind that our major task in the long run is to unfold fully the divine values within us, we will know that the process of transmuting the lower by the higher self must be accompanied by a continued effort to improve the quality of our attitude in every circumstance.
Expanding Horizons, pp. 24-5

Religious and philosophical teachers have offered various insights towards developing our ability to read this daily script. Discussing a few of these signposts perhaps will stimulate our own efforts.

In these days of uncertainty in world affairs, it is easy to slip into the habit of becoming absorbed in the darker sides of life. Yet to discern the patterns of the daily karmic script, which our higher self is trying to communicate, we should take a positive attitude toward our experiences. Rather than asking “Why me?” we could develop the habit of asking what our inner self is giving us the opportunity to learn. We might start by looking for the best aspect of every person and situation, rather than thinking and talking negatively about others and world conditions. A friend once described this habit as looking for “the Saint George and not the Dragon” in whatever we meet. This is no easy task when the people or problems, which aggravate us most are close to us and there is no ready avenue of retreat.

One simple practice we can follow to help strengthen a positive attitude is greeting each day for the unique opportunities it offers, and in the evening reflecting on what we have learned from the day’s activities. In such tranquil hours we can make a real effort to empty ourselves of selfish and irritable thoughts, hurt feelings, and the jangle and pressure of our lives. In the privacy of our deepest being, let us daily renew our vow to live up to the best of ourselves and to work each day for the betterment of all peoples, no matter how they have behaved towards us.
— Andrew Rooke

Pearls of Wisdom

Human history is a drama in which the stories stay the same, the scripts of those stories change slowly with evolving cultures, and the stage settings change all the time.

Common sense and conscience are like a muscle. If you don’t use a muscle it gets weaker and weaker.

Good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement!

Often the same thing that makes one person bitter makes another better.

Love looks through a telescope; envy looks through a microscope.

A neurotic builds castles in the air. A psychotic lives in castles in the air. And a psychiatrist is the guy who collects the rent.

Judge each day, not by the harvest, but by the seeds you plant.

For every minute you’re angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.

An angry man is seldom reasonable; a reasonable man is seldom angry.

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.