Members' Forum: For Such a Time as This

Printed in the Summer 2019 issue of Quest magazine.
Citation: Heubel, Peggy ,"Members’ Forum: For Such a Time as This" Quest 107:3, pg 9

By Peggy Heubel

None can doubt these days that turmoil in one form or another exists worldwide; no country seems to have escaped some form of conflict, disorder, or hardship, internally or internationally. Diplomacy, negotiation, tact, and a true acknowledgment by individual, local, and world leaders of the need for peace and harmony (through genuine, not self-centered, compromise) no longer exist. Or if they do, they are drowned out by the more powerful, more ambitious domestic and international heads of governments, who are strengthened by a belief in the superiority of their own perspective and of their own country over all others.

Such incivility and nationalistic posturing reflect the same characteristics in the majority of human beings. Egoism and selfishness, with apparent obliviousness to our collective and communal oneness, is overtly strengthening—we see it everywhere. By comparison, in the relatively recent past, this was not as obvious as it is in today’s climate. We could say these traits were, at the time, covertly simmering just under the surface of awareness.

We could perhaps understand if only one or two countries or a few handfuls of individuals here and there were exhibiting such negative qualities, but when we see general displays throughout all levels of society, how are we to understand what may be behind it? Seeing this is like watching as a viral illness grows to global proportions—and relatively suddenly.

Theosophists are familiar with the concepts of cyclic periodicity and understand that events recur after a relatively fixed and determined period of time, with the karma of every nation as an example. If periodicity is due to natural law, then the phenomenon now rampant on a global scale is a natural (and inescapable) part of human life.

For those of us who support the idea of universal brotherhood as another fact of natural law, with all its attendant ramifications (working toward a life of peace, harmlessness, respect, active compassion, and altruism to all), are we then to stand by, passively observe, and think all this will pass on to yet another cycle—one more aligned toward trying to live a life of practical brotherhood?

True Theosophists would never hold such an attitude, which is equivalent to watching someone about to walk off a cliff and doing nothing about it. A real Theosophist knows we have an obligation to act for universal good. We have personal obligations not only toward other individuals but to ourselves. In The Golden Stairs, we find two phrases that are applicable toward dealing with one of the most serious periods in human history: “a brave declaration of principles” and “a valiant defense of those who are unjustly attacked.”

As Theosophists, let us declare our beliefs; let us actively support brotherhood amongst all; let us, with courage and fearlessness, defend those who are weaker than us—who, out of fear, can’t speak for themselves. We have a voice; let us use it. Let us turn the tide that threatens to drown the entire world.


Peggy Heubel is president of the Theosophical Society of the East Bay in northern California. She is also a member of the Theosophical camp Far Horizons, a mentor for the TS’s Prisoner Correspondence Program, and a member of the board of the Theosophical Order of Service.


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