Ever New

By Betty Bland

Originally printed in the January-February 2005 issue of Quest magazine. 
Citation: Bland, Betty. "Ever New." Quest  93.1 (JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2005):6

bb

In fact, if water does not flow, it does not remain the same, but becomes stagnant. Change occurs in one way or the other. As Madame Blavatsky (HPB) said in The Secret Doctrine when describing the fundamental principles of the universe, motion and change are inevitable as a basic characteristic of manifestation:

This second assertion of The Secret Doctrine is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe. (p. 17)

Although everything is in a state of change, some things are more obvious, such as the flow of water and the changes of the seasons. Others are more difficult to notice, such as the evolving changes in ourselves. The changes occur so gradually that we might not notice anything at all. And yet of all the changes in the universe, those wrought in our own consciousness are among the most profound. Humanity's purpose on this earth is to learn and grow through experience as a part of its unfoldment.

Understanding life's changes and working with them can make our lives a lot more pleasant and harmonious with the way things are. Our personal self wants to cling to the things we like and reject the things we don't like. Parents may want to stop the clock and cling to their children at certain cute ages, or to speed up the clock and avoid the difficult stage of the teenage years. Christmas never seems to come, but the end of a relationship or death of a loved one comes much too soon. Our attachment or avoidance of any situation makes the change appear to go very slowly or all too swiftly. Yet all these experiences lie within the inexorable flow of our consciousness.

To accept the changing flow of consciousness and to be able to deal at least somewhat dispassionately with the changes we all encounter are marks of spiritual maturity and bring healing to the sorrows of life. Our lack of flexibility in viewing ourselves, others, or situations blocks our clarity in seeing things as they really are. For instance, we may have grown greatly in our abilities to interface with people or to manage difficult situations, but if the little voice in our heads is repeating an old parental admonishment that we are not good enough, then we may still feel trapped at an earlier stage of development. Old habitual thinking therefore blocks our change and growth, just as a large rock may dam up a stream. Moreover, when we deal with others, if we cannot daily see them with fresh eyes, we might be doing them the same disservice by limiting their ability to grow and change in relationship with ourselves.

To realize that consciousness is like that river into which one can never step twice is to progress toward healing and growth. It is freeing to be able to look forward to the changes that occur and delight in the opportunities they bring. In Michael J. Roads' book, Talking with Nature, he relates how the flowing river taught him about the flow of consciousness. He recognized that consciousness is like the moving water of a river. Although the banks of a river or the body of a friend may look relatively unchanged for long periods of time, there is a constant motion and changing composition. And at every moment one must be able to overlook the relatively static outer form and relate to the newness of the inner life. Then our relationship will be ever new and vital, without the excess baggage of our history. This is a part of what Krishnamurti and other great teachers have meant when referring to "living in the present moment."

If we can tune in to this fresh perspective, we will be better able to tune in to the messages of meaning hidden in the world around us and be flexible enough to flow with the river of consciousness as it unfolds in ourselves and others. We will be able to allow ourselves and others to develop as needed, being ever new creations. Greet the possibilities that flow into each new day with thanksgiving.

This first issue of Quest for 2005 explores ideas about divination as a way to look at the changes in our lives and the world around us. This issue also manifests some of the changes that have been occurring in the background as we flow with our creativity in exploring new images and ways to communicate with our readers. We hope you will be pleased and as always we invite your comments.

A New Expression of a Time Honored Theme

As every member of the Theosophical Society knows, the Society has three objects which have remained relatively unchanged for over a hundred years. These objects are the cornerstone of the Society worldwide and appear on all membership applications. Many members know them by heart and use their basic ideas whenever trying to answer for inquirers that most difficult of questions, "What is Theosophy?" The three objects are:

  1. To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity regardless of race, creed, sex, caste, or color;

  2. To encourage the comparative study of religion, philosophy and science;

  3. And to explore the unexplained laws of nature and powers latent in humanity.

Anyone who is in sympathy with these objects will find kindred spirits among us and is invited to join our band of seekers and servers.

In order to communicate these ideas in a more concentrated and modern form, a team of leadership staff, including the National Board of Directors, has been working for a good while to create a new mission statement. Although Theosophy has ancient roots and is ever the same, yet it is ever new.

Our Mission

The Theosophical Society in America encourages open-minded inquiry into world religions, philosophy, science, and the arts, in order to understand the wisdom of the ages, respect the unity of all life, and help people explore spiritual self-transformation.

In this new year, celebrate with us a freshness of vision and an eagerness to approach our mission with renewed zeal in a world that certainly needs our message.