Friday, 4 November 2016

Through the Gates of Gold, Part 1 - Prologue

Through the Gates of Gold : A Fragment of Thought is a wonderful, profound, eloquent work, the study of which offers many insights and valuable seeds of inspiration… Intimately linked with that well-regarded spiritual classic, Light on the Path, and they are often packaged together; indeed, studying this text in relation to corresponding passages in Light on the Path is recommended, and in general, can be viewed as a good introduction to that more demanding text. We are also indebted to Mabel Collins for a third theosophical classic, The Idyll of the White Lotus, of which T. Subba Row has written a remarkable commentary, nigh indispensable for unlocking the profundities of that fascinating work.

The book opens with this very simple yet interesting and original observation pertaining to the lives of most everyday people. I would think, that because, for a lot of people, this life is their absolute reality; the physical world is, to them, the ideal world – and therefore it is no wonder that people place so much value in it – in their own sincere way, they are striving to realize their own ideal vision, and one can notice how indeed there is often an admirable efficient concreteness in the way people build their lives, possibly because focusing on optimizing the material reality gives a strong singleness of purpose: the here and now.:

“The man of the world is often, unconsciously to himself, a philosopher of the first rank. He deals with his life on principles of the clearest character, and refuses to let his position be shattered by chance disaster. The man of thought and imagination has less certainty, and finds himself continually unable to formulate his ideas on that subject most profoundly interesting to human nature, — human life itself.”

Of course, this work aims at inspiring and provoking thought in other directions; but there's a down-to-earth approach - it begins from the concrete and works its way from there:

“Whether there is any mode of thought or any effort of the mind which will enable a man to grasp the great principles that evidently exist as causes in human life, is a question no ordinary thinker can determine. Yet the dim consciousness that there is cause behind the effects we see, that there is order ruling the chaos and sublime harmony pervading the discords, haunts the eager souls of the earth, and makes them long for vision of the unseen and knowledge of the unknowable.”

Information on Mabel Collins and the possible original author of this work:
The author of this bio on Mabel Collins is a good astrologer with theosophical interests, but please take some aspects of her biography with a grain of salt (and the review by Gary Lachman is from early on in his writing career, he is much better informed about Theosophy now) :