Gottfried de Purucker was president of the Theosophical Society of Point Loma for twelve years (from 1929 to 1942) and in 1935 he wrote the following article for an Encyclopedia about Sexuality that produced the leading medical journal in the United States.
THEOSOPHY AND SEX PROBLEMS
In 1936 Encyclopaedia Sexualis was published under the auspices of the Medical Review of Reviews with the subtitle "A Comprehensive Encyclopaedia-Dictionary of the Sexual Sciences". Editor-in-Chief was Victor Robinson, M.D., Professor of History of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
Among more than a hundred distinguished contributors were the Nobel Laureate Thomas Hunt Morgan, F. R. Lillie, President of the National Academy of Sciences, and Gottfried de Purucker, leader of the international Theosophical Society (then of Point Loma, now of Pasadena, California).
In his letter of invitation to Dr. de Purucker Dr. Robinson explained, "While considerable attention is naturally devoted to the medical and biological aspects, the psychological, philosophical, theological, legal and literary aspects likewise receive adequate attention."
We take pleasure in sharing with our readers Dr. de Purucker's contribution.
* * * * * * *
« Matters connected with sex and the abuse of the so-called procreative function have attained an entirely unmerited prominence or notoriety in the modern world for the simple reason that any philosophical knowledge on the subject is largely based in our time upon medical experimentation and the shaky foundation furnished by certain branches of modern psychological study.
It would not seem too much to say that there is no real sex problem in so far as nature herself is concerned and her normal functioning regarding man's being, but that the problems (and they seem to be all too numerous in our modern world) arise, as above hinted, entirely out of the fact that the modern West no longer believes in the controlling sanctions of its one-time religion; and because it has no widely accepted philosophy of life there are, of course, no controlling or inhibitory factors of a philosophical character.
Modern man looks upon the function of sex, or rather the procreative act, only incidentally as a matter of racial importance (i.e., for the propagation of the human species) and almost entirely as an avenue for sensuous if not actually sensual indulgence.
In the religion-philosophy of the ancient wisdom which in modern times is called Theosophy the present division of the human race into two sexes is looked upon as (stated in brief) an evolutionary phase in the steady unfolding in growth of humankind.
Humanity was not created as man and woman, but was in the beginning of the history of the human race asexual or sexless, if the word be preferred; and it was only during the slow progress of the development of the human characteristics now so familiar to us all, that the asexual condition slowly merged into the androgynous state, which, after long millions of years, in its turn gave place to an unfolding into the condition of the two sexes which now prevails and has prevailed for some six or seven million years past.
The Esoteric Philosophy teaches a slow and gradual evolutionary unfolding, from within outwards, of the human race from the first appearance of the human protoplasts on this globe as parthenogenetic beings propagating their kind after a virginal manner, through (at a much later stage in geologic time) the hermaphroditic or rather androgynous condition, which again, after long ages, slowly merged into and finally became the man and woman of opposite sex of the present day and of millions of years past, as stated above.
It needs but a glance of the observant botanical and zoological mind into the different creatures of the lower orders and classes and genera which exist on earth today to see that even among these early, although specifically evolved, forms, both parthenogenesis and hermaphroditism are as well established, even at present, as is the sexual method of racial propagation.
Both in the kingdom of the plants as well as in the kingdom of the animals are still to be noticed these primeval forms of propagation which now survive as holdovers; and it is curious that in either kingdom (i.e., in both kingdoms) may be found examples of all three methods of reproduction, in each kingdom the highest being the sexual, then on a somewhat lower scale the hermaphroditic with probably far fewer individuals, and last the virginal or parthenogenetic.
(The explanation given by Theosophy about this previous development that humans have gone through in their way of procreating, I mention the details in the chapter entitled: “the hidden history of sex”.)
In man himself there still survive both zoologic and physiologic remnants or holdovers, as, for instance, the imperfectly developed mammas in man as also the equally imperfectly unfolded uterus; and, mutatis mutandis, the same observation applies to woman.
All too little importance has been ascribed to these still surviving but persistent if imperfectly developed vestigial organs and, if they proclaim anything at all, they point with some violence to a past condition, the androgynous, when the human race was, as individuals, double-sexed, or bisexual.
It is to be remembered that the true human individual is not his physical body, which is but the vehicle or gross material integument in which the real man works and through which he manifests himself; for it should be obvious to any thinking person that the real man is neither legs nor arms, skin nor hair, bones nor tissues, but:
2) the delicately balanced emotional apparatus commonly called the psychological nature, and
3) the lofty spiritual and high ethical instincts.
All which, in their aggregate union, form the true human being.
In other words, man is not merely an animate "robot", but a thinking, self-conscious, morally conscientious and feeling, being.
From the foregoing statement, however, it should not be misunderstood that the theosophical teaching is based on the philosophical dichotomy first formally introduced into European philosophical and scientific thought by Rene Descartes: i.e., that the "soul" is one thing, and the body in which it manifests or lives is something else and disjunct and of different essential nature from the indwelling consciousness.
Quite to the contrary of this, the Esoteric Philosophy, Theosophy, teaches that the physical body of man is but the expression in the material world of the characteristic and strongly defined inner powers or energies alluded to above as composing the real man.
It is this real man, the inner and invisible being composed of thought and feeling and consciousness, which evolves through the ages by unfolding from within itself the latent powers, attributes, faculties, characteristics, which it draws from the spiritual part of the man's high essential nature, much as the rays streaming from the sun draw their raison d'être and their characteristics from the solar heart.
In other words, man is not separate from the universe in which he lives and moves and has his being, as Paul of the Christians put it, but is an integral and inseparable part of the cosmic source from which he draws all that he is.
From this prime philosophical fact, which is today so accordant and concordant with the statements of the foremost men of ultramodern science, such as Eddington, Jeans, Planck, Bohr, Einstein, and others (to the effect that the essential "stuff" or fundamental thing in the universe is "mind" or "consciousness") the reason of the statement made in the preceding paragraph starts instantly into clear outline, and it is seen that as the essence of man is therefore "mind" or "consciousness" derivative from the universe, man is substantially and fundamentally consciousness or mind throughout all his being, both in those invisible element-principles above alluded to and in their very partial expression as his body in the material physical world.
Just as a plant in the springtime throws out from within itself the characteristics of its inner life expressing itself in verdure or foliage, flower, bud, and fruit, or as the germinating egg unfolds from within its own substance the being, be it chick or man, which later is to become the evolving entity in this physical world (all coming from within) just so is man the invisible the real being and his body is merely his material expression on the physical plane.
Thus it is that evolution proceeds from within outwards, it being the inner or real man who evolves, and his body, irresponsibly and as it were automatically, through the cycling ages expresses in partial measure in the physical world the manifestations of the unfolding or evolving attributes and powers within.
Thus man at one time was asexual because his inner and partially unfolded characteristics were asexual, so to speak; in a subsequent geological age he was hermaphroditic or rather androgynous, because the inner or real man had unfolded this aspect of latent attributes; and in a still later age appeared sex in its two present and opposite forms in the human body, being the evolutionary expression on the physical plane of the bifurcated lower psychology of the inner or real human being.
Sex, therefore, as stated above, is a passing evolutionary phase, a phase of the unrolling of inner characteristics, which the human race in its present evolutionary development is passing through, but which phase, in its turn, in future ages, will be succeeded by some condition as yet scarcely to be defined.
(But since humans are heading back to the union, it is likely that in a still distant future, humans will tend towards androgyny again.)
The consequence of this philosophical and scientific postulate is that sex per se, outside of any opinions that individuals may hold about it, is a perfectly natural, normal, and it may be said even necessary, stage or step in the evolutionary growth of the human race. Therefore, in itself, sex has nothing evil about it, nor is it a necessary sign of a present degraded condition of being.
Sex is an evolutionary fact. In itself it is neither wicked nor unnatural, nor was it brought into function because the two supposititious distant ancestors of the human race ate of a forbidden apple.
Any problems connected with sex, therefore, arise not out of sex itself, or the sexual function itself, but solely out of its abuse, which is equivalent to saying its use in a manner contrary to the clean and unsoiled following of this one of nature's processes, the sole right purpose of which is the propagation of the human race.
All the "problems" of sex, therefore, as just shown, arise from abuses of a perfectly natural function, innocent in itself, and necessary for the continuance of the human species. Such abuses spring almost universally from ignorance — ignorance of natural law, and that particular and perhaps worst kind of ignorance arising in lack of reflective thought. In our modern day, the sanctions of religion, as stated above, have largely lost their hold over men and women with respect to this wholly natural and proper function, when not abused and when used solely for the purposes for which nature destined it; and also (and there is no need to mince words in the matter) the so-called problems have arisen largely on account of the wholly erroneous, because mistaken, teaching and consequent mistaken deductions of a former generation or two of scientific men who, being entirely of materialistic bias, believed and taught that man was his body and naught else.
If a man is taught that he is but a more evolved beast, a higher species of ape, and that when he dies that is the total end of him and of all of him, he naturally says to himself:
Why not enjoy life while I have it?
Why not use every function that nature has given to me in the manner that is most pleasing to emotion and passion?
There are here no inhibitions of a moral kind; there are here no illuminating spiritual insights; there is here no philosophy upon which a decent-minded man can lean; and the result is that it is now common in the world to look upon the sexual function either as something disgraceful, or, on the other hand, as something not to be used solely according to natural law, but as a means of sensual gratification.
From the standpoint of Theosophy, the Esoteric Philosophy or the ancient wisdom of all past ages and of all races of men, the sexual function is nature's provision for the continuance of the human race, and in consequence its only permissible use is that, and that alone.
Anything more than this is as much an abuse and therefore is apt to bring about disease, both psychological and physical, as would be the case of the abuse of any other of the functions of the body. If a man drink himself to death, or gluttonize himself into disease, or womanize himself into imbecility, everyone can see that the unfortunate practicer of these immoral perversions of nature's provisions for health or propagation is a victim of ignorance or of lack of ordinary reflection.
The so-called sex problems, therefore, do not arise in any innate wickedness in the human race but solely out of ignorance and because the ancient teaching, so simple and easily understood, has been forgotten.
Any abuse of the body will bring about its corresponding degenerative disease, or, in the least evil cases, decay and premature senility.
It may be as well to state clearly that the body is so amazingly and beautifully balanced that the abuse of any of its functions will bring about disharmony in the physical structure, or equivalently imperfect response of all other organs of the human frame.
Sex in the present human physical vehicle really serves two purposes:
- First and most important, the continuance of the human family;
- Second, the strengthening and building up of the human body as a whole, and of all its tissues and organs as particulars, by the retention therein of the vital sex-essences.
Sex problems, so-called, which so afflict and harass modern men and women, really originate in childhood. Parents themselves are woefully ignorant of the simplest facts of even their own physical frame.
Teach a child from the time that it is able to understand words, something, in a cleanly, decent manner, of the nature of the sexual organs and their proper function; teach it that any abuse whatsoever of the functions of sex brings about sooner or later degenerative consequences not only as regards general health, but as regards all the organs of the body, including those of the sexual nature; and the child will learn to have respect not only for the function but for himself as an intelligent unit of the human race.
It is perhaps too much to hope in these days of nervous tension and moral slackness that the sexual function will be used solely for the purposes for which nature has evolved it, as above stated; so that possibly for ages hence the function will be misused even in marriage for purposes of merely sensuous gratification; but let it once become clearly understood among men and women of normal character that any use whatsoever of the function entails consequences, and that abuse of the function entails disastrous consequences leading to degeneration, and ordinary good sense and the instincts of self-protection and self-preservation will in time attain increasing influences in these human relations.
At least, an enormous amount of good could be done in the world and a great deal of human misery in many walks of life be avoided, and probably some of the most horrible diseases known to medical science could be stamped out, if human beings once were to grasp and have their imaginations captured by the simple natural facts outlined or hinted at in preceding paragraphs.
Furthermore, it is sheer stupidity to imagine that the human race, so obviously as individuals inseparable and integral portions of nature herself, can separate themselves from nature, whether in act or in thought; and if this primal verity were once grasped it would be seen that many diseases, and at least certain forms of insanity, and the widespread because thoughtless sexual immorality in the world, are largely the results or consequences of ignorance of the need of following nature's monitory warnings in the use of the function of sex.
The meaning is: the procreative act is not solely brought about by the union of two beings of opposite sex; this is but the physical mechanism; conception and the consequent growth of the embryo are to a certain large extent dependent upon cosmic and meteorological factors, concerning which, alas, modern science in all its branches is in Cimmerian darkness; but with the amazingly rapid strides forwards that scientific research and investigation are making, it is earnestly to be hoped that this utter darkness may before long be enlightened by some rays of a larger acquaintance with nature's interlocked and interblending laws, energies, and substances.
To particularize: no marriage, provided the best health of the child-to-be is hoped for, should ever be consummated during the fortnight comprised between the full moon and the new moon; furthermore, no procreative act should ever take place when the mother-to-be is either unwilling or physiologically in a non-receptive condition; in other words, the periodic menstrual function should enter into consideration.
Furthermore, in view of the cyclically annual risings of the generative forces of nature, it would be extremely wise to have all procreative acts take place during the early spring when the forces of nature are unfolding after the winter sleep, when vegetation is burgeoning, and when all life feels the new and rising impulse of the vital flow.
So well was this known in ancient times that the month corresponding to late January and early February among the Attic Greeks was called Gamelian, from the Greek word gameo, to marry, and Gamelion was the fashionable month for marriages.
One may well ask oneself: Why?
To summarize: the remedy for all sex problems, so-called, is, as hereinbefore stated, instruction, beginning with little children, in the nature of sex and its function, and the proper uses thereof as contrasted with its abuse and the consequent penalties inevitably following upon nature's violated laws. Indeed, the only original "sex problem" that the present writer is cognizant of is the curious compound of human ignorance of natural laws and consequent abuse thereof.
Here, then, is the true problem and the only real one that the present writer sees, because it is the fundamental cause of all the social misery, of the immoral conditions, and of the common and heartless indifference to the pitiful spectacle afforded us by overcrowded insane asylums and overburdened hospitals — the problem is, as said, ignorance and stupidity.
Correct these by proper instruction about simple facts of the human body and the penalties of abuse of natural law, and ninety-nine percent of the so-called "sex problems" will before long vanish.
There will then remain a relatively minor "problem" to be dealt with by the individual: that already stated as being the mutual or social self-indulgence to the detriment of health, under the marriage vow.
Even this last perversion of one of nature's important and innocent functions will largely disappear when increasing consciousness of the dangers attendant upon its abuse grows greater. »
(Sunrise magazine, August/September 1987)
Personally, I agree with what G. de Purucker said in general and big terms, except when he says that sex should only be used to procreate and that every other use is harmful.
And the reason why I think that statement he gave is incorrect is because the research and practice that I have done on the sexual energy, has led me to consider that what Purucker said is not true.
(That's my opinion, although I may be wrong.)
SOME REFLECTIONS ON THE ARTICLE
"THEOSOPHY AND SEX PROBLEMS"
And to illustrate this topic further, I transcribe also the article that Grace F. Knoche wrote about it.
Grace F. Knoche was the editorial assistant of the magazine "Sunrice" (which was the official magazine of the Theosophical Society of Pasadena) and she later published an article in the same magazine where she presented her reflections on the reactions her readers had to Purucker’s article.
« A year ago Sunrise reprinted an article titled "Theosophy and Sex Problems" written by G. de Purucker in 1935 for the Encylopaedia Sexualis on the invitation of its editor, Victor Robinson, M.D. Because some of de Purucker's views run counter to current sexual mores, the article elicited a larger reader response than usual.
Several objected to his statement that the proper use of the sexual function is for the perpetuation of the race, and that any other use is debilitating and against natural law.
One subscriber asked:
« Why did Sunrise publish this article, and just at this time? Was it because of the AIDS danger? Aren't there other ways, more realistic and spiritual, to be found that will cure or at least mitigate these threats to human life? And doesn't sex belong to mankind in our present stage of evolution? How is it that the author never used the word "love" in this article and ignores the value of attraction between a man and woman who love each other dearly? »
Quite a few took exception to the "authoritative and near-dogmatic way in which principles, which may be basically correct, are pronounced without reservation or qualification".
Others felt that the "thou shalt not" approach to sex was unsatisfying since no suggestions were given on how to handle the problem of sex, especially during one's younger years when the vital drives are strong:
« We do not question that the goal as G. de Purucker stated it is precisely and exactly true. Our need is for more information on how to get to that goal. We are all struggling with the question of how to live in consonance with theosophic principles. Most writings offer compassionate encouragement that though we fail to reach our ideals, there is merit in the trying, but I felt discouraged after reading this article. »
Unfortunately there is so much more to the subject than the act itself. One wonders about provocative clothing, perfume, walking hand in hand, hugging, kissing, etc.
Why, for instance, does orgasm feel like what mystics describe as a mystical experience?
Why should it be so confusing?
There is a whole sense of looking for completion and devotion to an ideal that gets sex and religion and mysticism all mixed in together. Why?
Please understand that I do not disagree with the idea that the ideal role of sex is for procreation only. The questions arise after accepting that ideal; the questions have to do with locating the path to that ideal.
Another reader wrote:
« If sexual communion is meant only as a means of reproduction, what an enormous mistake we are making by the use of contraceptives. And how about those entities who find their return to earth blocked by a contraceptive?
What path do they follow, and is it a good one?
Then there are the many homosexual relationships; among these there must be many serious seekers.
Isn't nature arranged in a strange way if people, in ignorance or blindness, make mistakes and then are punished by degenerative diseases, even insanity?
Why should this be so?
How is it that practically everyone today misuses the sexual faculty when men and women generally feel what is right and what is not right?
In other words, how can the sexual act be in harmony with nature when used for procreation, but against nature when otherwise used? »
Recently a correspondent wrote:
« Your letter with its long and clear explanation certainly makes everything much more understandable. Of course G. de Purucker was right in writing this for the medical Encyclopaedia, but for readers of Sunrise continence looks like a faraway ideal and might make them think they have misused an action they thus far considered as an expression of deepest love and care in a long and happy marriage. »
Before commenting on these thoughtful observations, it is essential to state that the Theosophical Society has no creed and no dogma or belief system to which anyone is required to adhere.
The philosophic truths and moral ideals of theosophy are open to all to examine for themselves and to accept, reject, or put on hold, in whole or in part, according to one's individual truth-sensor.
As H.P. Blavatsky made clear at the outset, the "very root idea" of the modern theosophic effort is to inspire "free and fearless investigation" of all branches of thought.
(The Theosophist [1:1], October 1879, Bombay, India, p.6)
Each of us, therefore, is expected to do our own thinking, and to try to live according to our best lights.
Why, then, did Sunrise magazine reprint this article?
Primarily, to give our readers an expanded view of ourselves as evolving beings, incarnating again and again on earth as a learning process — not to indulge our every whim (and I refer to our whole approach to life, and not merely to sex).
Even the simplest advertisement for toothpaste is designed to cater to selfish and acquisitive instincts, while the entertainment industry profits by glorifying the worst elements in human nature.
Only rarely is something created of pure inspiration, that dignifies the power of love, courage, and sacrifice to ennoble the life.
In rereading the article, certain impressions come into focus: one, that Dr. de Purucker's primary purpose was to delineate the broad evolutionary picture of who we are — far nobler and greater than we dream, only a small part of us being physical.
In tracing human evolutionary history through the early root-races (asexual, androgynous, two-sexed) he was placing the sexual faculty within this larger frame of reference.
By lifting the thought of the reader above the ordinary he was emphasizing the almost forgotten truth, that we are not our body or even our mind with only a single life in which to express the powers of soul; that first and last and in the essence of our selfhood we are monads, gods in exile, with a vast experience of many lives on earth, and that the present division of the sexes is but a temporary evolutionary phase which one day we shall outgrow, a minor and not a major aspect of our totality.
Two, he was addressing a select audience of professionals (medical doctors, psychologists, anthropologists, and the like) and this would account for his rather clinical psychological approach, and in this context there was no call for him to discourse upon love and the sacredness of marriage.
Three, philosophically he had a vision to share as all his lectures and writings testify. Because of this he may have painted a picture larger than life-size. Of course he was aware that some of his statements would be unacceptable and unrealistic to most people today.
But when has that stopped any reformer from daring to go against established practice?
In his published works there are frequent references to the life of the aspirant who seeks to tread the "still, small path" that leads to mystical union with the god within and to the time, in the pursuit of discipleship, when one must offer the full current of his being in the service of his higher self. When this "moment" comes, one gives up the personal life, including marriage and sex.
Most of us clearly have not reached that fork in the road, yet undoubtedly there are a great many individuals in and outside of the accepted faiths, who are sincerely trying to channel their energies into higher forms of creative expression.
Where is the bridge between the ordinary outlook on sex and the ideal that G. de Purucker's article portrayed?
Have we forgotten that every ethical code provides the stepping stones leading to the supreme vow of the bodhisattva, the christos, "to live to benefit mankind"?
Those steps are memorialized in the Sermon on the Mount attributed to the Christ; the paramitas or transcendental virtues of Buddha; the injunctions of Krishna (our higher self) to Arjuna (the aspirant) to become as a muni, a sage, unattached to the fruits of his thinking and actions, unaffected by the impact of pain/pleasure.
These are not unattainable and therefore impractical rules of conduct meant only for chelas or avowed disciples; they are eminently pertinent to us all. It is not only reaching the goal that counts; it is the setting of the heart on the noblest ideal and living up to it as far as humanly possible that is the triumph.
Today's civilization is proud of its progress, of having advanced beyond the ethical codes of former eras; we are liberated from the hypocrisies of the past, we think. But are we so certain of our destination?
Where are we heading?
Challenging voices are being heard all over the globe, calling for a revolution of thinking and attitude, for a new way of addressing humanity's basic ills, sexual and other.
They are beginning openly to state that the grave social problems of the day will never be solved by working on effects alone. We must eradicate the causes of human misery and disease because all ills of body and mind have their seeding in the mind and psyche, and any distortion or imbalance therein inevitably will have debilitating and sometimes disastrous effects on the body of man — and on our planet.
AIDS, for example, is only one of many such diseases presently afflicting humanity; it hasn't reached its peak and the predictions are sobering. We are all involved: we are one humanity.
Can any one of us honestly say that we have not contributed to the overall confusion of soul and of ideals that characterizes our times?
We cannot divorce ourselves from the great human need and the pain and sorrow that weigh down the lives of millions. Their unspoken longing (for love and understanding in coping with their often tragic circumstances) is our longing.
But if we are ignorant of nature's laws why should we suffer disease or other adverse effects?
Where is the justice?
May we not also ask why an infant is burned when he puts his hand on a hot stove?
The laws of nature act impersonally, regardless of human ignorance; they act on animals too, and on atoms and molecules. There is nothing intrinsically cruel or unfair in this.
Actually, it may well be nature's most compassionate way of teaching her children what it means to work with and not against her laws. How often we suffer a painful reaction when we act contrary to what we intuitively know to be in our best interests.
When we finally tire of being hurt or thwarted, we change our ways. We know that physical pain is a godsend — if we didn't experience pain when something is wrong with us, we would do nothing to correct the problem.
Wrong use or overuse of any faculty is bound to result in some form of imbalance. Unless we can reap the consequences of our thoughts and feelings, both constructive and destructive, it might take us ever so much longer to evolve.
Theosophical ideals do have a direct bearing on the problems and practices of today, and our challenge is to discover their relevance and applicability to our individual lives.
Take the case of contraceptives: the problems arising from overpopulation are becoming increasingly severe, but from the long-range view we cannot help but wonder what type of karma we are building for the future by our rather casual way of attracting returning souls and then preventing their incarnation.
(Surely a strong magnetic pull is energized before actual physical conception occurs.)
From the short-range view, however, some type of preventive program seems to be the only practical, humanitarian solution, both for the potential parents and for the children seeking birth.
When an incoming soul or ego is foiled in its attempt to be born, it may have to try more than once before it finds a family where it can continue to develop its potential.
We cannot say its path is either "good" or "bad," for whatever the environment or circumstances in any life, it will attract to itself the experiences it needs, according to its stored-up karma from the past.
Turning to the issue of homosexuality: apparently, as far as history records, there have always been those in every race and era who have pursued this line of sexual activity.
This is a difficult subject for we have no right to make value judgments on individuals, heterosexual or homosexual, who are caught up in behavioral patterns that divert sexual energy into unnatural avenues.
On the other hand, we are required to judge whether or not any act or event is in accord with nature and for the benefit of the greater number. The only real protection for any one of us against becoming enslaved by our body and psycho-mental and emotional nature is to guard against overindulgence of any faculty or appetite.
By forgetting ourselves and channeling our energies into service-oriented fields, we build constructive habits of thinking and emotion that keep the nature in health and in balance.
The fact is we know very little about sexuality, how it will manifest in future ages. G. de Purucker points to the theosophic teaching that just as the human stock was androgynous (both male and female functioning in one form) before the separation of the sexes, just so the time will come millions of years hence when humanity will again be androgynous, able to produce offspring by the power of thought and will.
(Such changes are not effected instantly but over long periods of time, with many transition stages.)
Later still, we will have bodies of light, rather than of physical matter. The point is that as we evolve spiritually, ethically, and intellectually, the sexual aspect of our lives takes on less and less importance.
Far more knowledge and understanding are needed with respect to the role and destiny of human beings as a whole.
Above all, we need a credible philosophy of living that nourishes both heart and mind, a philosophy of cosmic proportion that will help us see ourselves as vital elements in an organic whole, self-conscious participants in a divine enterprise spanning many world cycles.
Such a vision lifts us above the forbidding "curse" of "original sin" and the equally untenable mechanistic view that would reduce the fire of spirituality to a blob of protoplasm.
Neither of these provides a satisfying perspective on human problems, much less on the mystery of sex.
In her Secret Doctrine, H.P. Blavatsky slips in this gem:
« The separation of the sexes was in the program of nature and of natural evolution; and the creative faculty in male and female was a gift of Divine wisdom. »
(SD II, p.217)
Could anyone say it more succinctly?
We have to ask ourselves,
What have we done and what are we doing today with this creative faculty, this "gift of Divine wisdom"?
(In the same volume is a masterly passage in the section titled "The 'Curse' from a Philosophical Point of View" (page 410 et seq.)
Creativity is not limited to the physical/astral, it is the source of our grandest inspirations. Every moment in time the miracle of creation is being enacted throughout space, the primal rhythm urging suns and planets and human souls to issue forth again and again out of the darkness of the Unknown into the light.
In his contribution to the Encyclopedia G. de Purucker was casting into the thought consciousness of trained and dedicated minds seed-ideas that will eventually germinate.
Every one whose voice is heard above the crowd, however, runs the risk of having zealous followers overemphasize one or another aspect of his message.
This occurred with the beautiful ideal of chelaship which G. de Purucker made much of in his meetings with students. But if this sacred theme is misunderstood and misapplied, it can have unfortunate consequences.
Certain natures being fired with the ideal begin to imagine that they are ready for discipleship when they have scarcely taken the first steps in self-mastery.
Often they go to extremes of asceticism and unless their own pure goodness comes to their rescue and they wake from their fantasies, they may, like Icarus on his flight to the sun, take a fearful tumble.
Hold to our ideals we must, but if we would aspire sunward, our wings must be self-grown and not held on by wax.
Hopefully, the discovery that we are human after all will help us recognize that to live a normal, natural life may do more for humanity (and, incidentally, for our own and others' progress) than to seek to climb the Everest of the spirit totally unprepared.
The rigors of sustained aspiration must be fortified by inner discipline over many lives.
G. de Purucker's dynamic evolutionary vision represents convictions drawn from years of reflection on the wisdom-teachings of H.P. Blavatsky and the philosophies and lore of many peoples.
Nonetheless, we are expected to test all things for ourselves and not simply blot up without thought every word that is written or said. To do so would deny the very platform of free and independent spiritual inquiry which Blavatsky labored so valiantly to uphold.
Having said all this,
Where do we stand today?
We are touching on man's and woman's basic urge to unite as one in loving communion. Ideally, as has been stated, this should occur only when children are desired. But we do not live in an ideal world, and it is scarcely to be expected that most people would choose a life of continence, especially when the act is an "expression of deepest love and care."
It took us centuries to unburden ourselves of "guilt" with respect to sex. To be told that sexual contact should be limited to purposes of procreation seems little better than resurrecting the "original sin" dogma.
To saddle us with guilt was never G. de Purucker's intent. His life's purpose was to encourage us to drop our fears and aspire to live a more spiritual life. To accomplish this we must first change the direction of our thinking, from self-interest to genuine concern for others.
Are we implying, then, that if continence were universally observed, humanity's ills would vanish?
Not necessarily. But just as we live in a world where water, air, and food are becoming ever more polluted (due largely to human ignorance and greed) just so are we living in an era when our sexual mores are distinctly out of balance.
G. de Purucker's article does make us think about and question our own attitudes about every aspect of our lives. To him marriage was a sacred commitment, as was the responsibility of parenthood:
« The whole thing could be so beautiful and holy, and should be. »
(Studies in Occult Philosophy, p.109)
Nor are marital duties a bar to spirituality. On the contrary, marriage and parenting are probably one of the finest training schools, for where are patience, self-sacrifice, discipline and, above all, love in greater demand than in re-experiencing the growing pains of childhood and adolescence?
So let us take a balanced view on sex and all matters, remembering that motive is all, and makes the life tawdry or luminous, as we will. »
(Sunrise magazine, August/September 1988)