C. W. (Charles Webster) Leadbeater.

The inner life online

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Online LibraryC. W. (Charles Webster) LeadbeaterThe inner life → online text (page 1 of 53)
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Our evening "Talks" at the Theosophical Headquar-
ters at Adyar have become quite an institution, and a
very considerable amount of information, due to new-
research, often arising from some question put by a
student, is given in this friendly and intimate circle.
Our good Vice-President, Sir S. Subramania Iyer,
found so much help and illumination from these talks,
that he earnestly wished to share his pleasure with his
brethren in the outer world, and gave a sum of money
to help in their publication. I cordially endorse his
view of their value, and commend this volume and
those which will follow it to the earnest study of all
our members. A second series is ready for the press,
but the date of its issue will depend partly on the re-
ception given to the present.



I wish that I could help my American readers to
realise the conditions under which this book has been
produced. The Theosophical Society as a whole does
not by any means sufficiently understand or appreciate
the work done at its Headquarters, and although for
you in America it is away on the other side of the earth,
I should like to help you to see it as it is. Readers of
the "Messenger" must at least have some general idea
of the appearance of the place, and must know some-
thing of the life which is lived here — a long life, a
strenuous life, and a life lived under very peculiar con-
ditions. Nowhere else in the world at this present mo-
ment is there such a centre of influence — a centre con-
stantly visited by the Great Ones, and therefore bathed
in their wonderful magnetism. The vibrations here
are marvellously stimulating, and all of us who live
here are therefore under a constant strain of a very
peculiar kind, a strain which brings out whatever is
in us. Strong vibrations from other planes are play-
ing all the while upon our various vehicles, and those
parts of us which can in any sense respond to them
are thereby raised, strengthened and purified. But it
must be remembered that there is another side to this.
There may well be in each of us some vibrations the
character of which is too far removed from the level
of these great influences to fall into harmony with
them, and where that is the case intensification will
still take place, but the result may well be evil rather
than good. To live at Adyar is the most glorious of


all opportunities for those who are able to take advan-
tage of it, but its effect on those who are constitution-
ally unable to harmonize with its vibrations may be
dangerous rather than helpful. If a student can bear
it he may advance rapidly; if he cannot bear it he
is better away.

The workers here live mostly in the great central
building, within the immediate aura of the shrine room
and the President. The students live chiefly half-a-
mile away at various other houses, though all within
the large estate which now belongs to the Society.
Each during the day does his own work in his own
way, but in the evening we all gather together upon
the roof of the central building, in front of the Presi-
dent's rooms, formerly occupied by Madame Blavatsky
herself, and there, under the marvellous night sky of
India, so infinitely more brilliant than anything that
we know in what are miscalled temperate climes, we
sit and listen to her teaching. All through the sum-
mer of last year, so much of which she spent in a tour
through the United States, it fell to my lot to take
charge of the meetings of the students here. In the
course of that time I delivered many informal little
addresses and answered hundreds of questions. All
that I said was taken down in shorthand, and this book
is the result of those notes. In a number of cases it
happened that what was said on the roof at the meet-
ings was afterwards expanded into a little article for
The Theosophist or The Adyar Bulletin; in all such
cases I reprint the article instead of the stenographic
report, as it has had the advantage of certain correc-
tions and additions. Necessarily a book of this sort
is fragmentary in its nature; necessarily also it con-
tains a certain amount of repetition ; though this latter
has been excised wherever possible. Many of the sub-


jects treated have also been dealt with in my earlier
books, but what is written here represents in all cases
the result of the latest discoveries in connection with
those subjects. The subjects have been classified as
far as possible, and this volume represents the first
series, containing five sections. The second volume,
containing the nine remaining sections, is now in the
printer's hands. A list of the subjects of which it will
treat will be found at the end of this volume.

Adyar, July, 1910.


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The Great Ones and the Way to Them


The Great Ones 3

The Work of the Christ 19

The Work of the Masters 22

Masters and Pupils 26

The Path of Progress 46

The Ancient Mysteries 73

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The Logos 93

Buddhism 97

Christianity 114

Sin 120

The Pope 121

Ceremonial 123

Prayer 124

The Devil 126




Hinduism 129

Castes 133

Spiritualism 134

Symbology 137

Fire 142

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The Theosophical Attitude

Common-sense 147

Brotherhood 147

Helping the World 157

Criticism 159

Prejudice 162

Curiosity 167

Know Thyself 169

Asceticism 176

Small Worries 181

Killing out Desire 189

The Centre of my Circle 191

Our Duty to Animals 196

Sympathy 199

Our Attitude Towards Children . . . . . 201

The Fear of Death 201

Co-operation 203

A Day of Life 204

Meditation 206


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The Higher Planes


Nirvana 219

The Triple Spirit 222

Buddhic Consciousness 226

Experience 227

The Spheres 227

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The Ego and his Vehicles

The Ego and the Personality 241

Counterparts 253

Colours in the Astral Body 259

The Causal Body 260

The Deske-Elemental 260

Lost Souls 265

The Focus of Consciousness 285

Force-Centres 286

The Serpent-Fire 298

Obsession and Insanity 309

Sleep 315

Somnambulism 318

The Physical Body 319

Tobacco and Alcohol 321

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Online LibraryC. W. (Charles Webster) LeadbeaterThe inner life → online text (page 1 of 53)