This can then be extended on a much larger scale, when a strong thinker, whether religious, scientific, artistic or political, gives out a message to the world. After being adopted by those who immediately resonate with it, the thought form grows stronger by being thought by its adherents and becomes a collective thought form which can sometimes affect millions of weaker minds who are influenced by it, just because it is so strong and makes them believe it must be true. We can see this in history (and in the present) for good and ill, depending on the quality of the original idea. It is the power of public opinion.
Charles Webster Leadbeater, a colleague Theosophist of Annie Besant who was exactly as old as she, was a great mystic who became prominent in the Theosophical society in the 1890s. Gifted with a robust physique and a dynamic personality, among his mystical powers was an ability to trace people's past lives. He is credited to have \"discovered\" Krishnamurti in 1908 when the boy was 13. Being clairvoyant, Leadbeater saw a luminous aura, without a trace of selfishness around Krishnamurti. He declared him an incarnation of Lord Maitreya and the future Messiah. Krishnamurthi left the Theosophical society in 1929, but he left an imprint and a legacy on the world's philosophical thought.
She further describes the three aspects of this ultimate reality as Absolute Abstract Motion, Absolute Abstract Space and Duration. The Absolute Abstract Motion is pre-cosmic ideation. It is the root of that quality which makes creativity possible, and it is also the root cause of the individual consciousness. Through infinite graduations and \"steppings down\" (somewhat as a transformer steps down the mighty power of electricity so that it becomes useful rather than destructive) it manifests as our consciousness, our mind and our thoughts.
Absolute Abstract Space is that aspect which gives shapes or forms to the different things in the universe. Duration is the root of time, that from which the principle springs into manifestation. This aspect makes \"action\" possible. Thus, Theosophy states that from this ultimate reality, we derive our consciousness, our minds, our power of thought and our power to create. It is the one principle that is not only the cause, but the unifying force and one common factor in the entire creation.
Let us, first of all, ask ourselves, looking at the world around us, what it is that the history of the world signifies. When we read history, what does the history tell us It seems to be a moving panorama of people and events, but it is really only a dance of shadows; the people are shadows, not realities, the kings and statesmen, the ministers and armies; and the eventsÄ the battles and revolutions, the rises and falls of states Äare the most shadowlike dance of all. Even if the historian tries to go deeper, if he deals with economic conditions, with social organisations, with the study of the tendencies of the currents of thought, even then he is in the midst of shadows, the illusory shadows cast by unseen realities. This world is full of forms that are illusory, and the values are all wrong, the proportions are out of focus. The things which a man of the world thinks valuable, a spiritual man must cast aside as worthless. The diamonds of the world, with their glare and glitter in the rays of the outside sun, are mere fragments of broken glass to the man of knowledge. The crown of the king, the sceptre of the emperor, the triumph of earthly power, are less than nothing to the man who has had one glimpse of the majesty of the Self. What is, then, real What is truly valuable Our answer will be very different from the answer given by the man of the world.
Annie Besant was arguably the most famous, or rather infamous,woman of her age. For much of the 1870s and 1880s she promotedthe secularist cause with remarkable vigour. She became a vice-president of the National Secular Society, the members of which thoughtalmost as highly of her as they did of Charles Bradlaugh, the president.In1889, however, she joined the Theosophical Society in a sensational movethat shocked even her closest friends. Eventually she became presidentofthe Theosophical Society, the members of which again revered her almostas much as they did its prophet, Madame Blavatsky. Besant moved fromthe materialist atheism of the secularists to the New Age thought of thetheosophists. All of her previous biographers have emphasised the contrastbetween these two sets of beliefs. They have been unable to recover anycoherence in her activities within the secularist, Fabian and theosophicalmovements. Indeed, they have spoken of her many lives, as though shewandered aimlessly, if enthusiastically, from cause to cause with noguiding theme whatsoever. When they do look for a pattern in her life,they typically turn not to her reasons for doing what she did, but ratherto her hidden needs, such as to follow a dominant man or to exercise herpowers. They turn to her emotional make-up to explain her final flightfrom reason, and they then explain her earlier commitments by referenceto the emotions they have uncovered. In contrast, I hope to representBesant's life as a reasoned quest for truth in the context of theVictoriancrisis of faith and the social concerns it helped to raise. Besant, with hersecularism, Fabianism and theosophy, was very much of her time, forwhilst the early part of Queen Victoria's reign was shaped by a religiousmovement to make Britain a truly Christian nation and a politicalmovement to make Britain a democratic nation, the later part of her reigntook its shape from the need to find both a faith capable of survivingtherationalist onslaught and solutions to the social problems an extendedfranchise had failed to solve. 1e1e36bf2d