Where then is the Wisdom of our modern age? Here’s a challenge to the boasted Wisdom of our contemporaries, for that old antiquarian past, theosophists bring up. This passage springs from the light of understanding the knowledge possessed in the hoary past, reaching to us, as dim-lights.
It is fitting commentary on our contemporary age.
It allows us to reflect, theosophy may still hold today. As I try to put together an understanding of her writings, and ideal, she was indeed a woman of high philanthropic ones. Not only a talker, but she acted.
Where is the Wisdom?
We are lastly told that we, Theosophists, are “too fond of the dim yesterday, and as unjust to our glorious (?) present-day, the bright noon-hour of the highest civilization and culture”! !
Our age, we say, is inferior in Wisdom to any other, because it professes, more visibly every day, contempt for truth and justice, without which there can be no Wisdom. Because our civilization, built up of shams and appearances, is at best like a beautiful green morass, a bog, spread over a deadly quagmire. Because this century of culture and worship of matter, while offering prizes and premiums for every “best thing” under the Sun, from the biggest baby and the largest orchid down to the strongest pugilist and the fattest pig, has no encouragement to offer to morality; no prize to give for any moral virtue. Because it has Societies for the prevention of physical cruelty to animals, and none with the object of preventing the moral cruelty practiced on human beings. Because it encourages, legally and tacitly, vice under every form, from the sale of whiskey down to forced prostitution and theft brought on by starvation wages, Shylock-like exaction, rents and other comforts of our cultured period. Because, finally, this is the age which, although proclaimed as one of physical and moral freedom, is in truth the age of the most ferocious moral and mental slavery, the like of which was never known before. Slavery to State and men has disappeared only to make room for slavery to things and Self, to one’s own vices and idiotic social customs and ways. Rapid civilization, adapted to the needs of the higher and middle classes, has doomed by contrast to only greater wretchedness the starving masses. Having leveled the two former it has made them the more to disregard the substance in favor of form and appearance, thus forcing modern man into duress vile, a slavish dependence on things inanimate, to use and to serve which is the first bounded duty of every cultured man.
Where then is the Wisdom of our modern age?”
- Blavatsky, Helena. Studies in Occultism: A Collection of Articles from Lucifer, H. P. Blavatsky’s magazine, between 1887-1891, The Dual Aspect of Wisdom.