SOCIAL scientists have often wondered if humans by nature are altruistic. Continuing studies show that, indeed, we are.
Those who are selfish, egotistic or abusive, Theosophy says, are breaking a primal law ruling all life – Universal Compassion.
Compassion is regarded as the ultimate power in occult philosophy by Eastern Masters. The Voice of the Silence, calls it “the Law of Laws”
This Law is described in the Voice as: “the light of everlasting Right, an fitness of all things, the law of love eternal.” It is a spiritual directive to every soul to always act for the benefit of others.
The esoteric tradition teaches that Gautama Buddha became the greatest teacher because he epitomized universal compassion. There is none higher that Buddha, and several of his Arhats, says the Voice: “On account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind there is none [higher] known.”
The Voice of the Silence also teaches that each of us is a Buddha, if we choose to express that innate spiritual power, which is our heritage. Thus: “having sought him out, look inward: thou art Buddha,” says the doctrine.
Yet there are still those who champion the self-centered theory, as did the mid 19th century philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill.
Science writer Elizabeth Svoboda, author of a new book – What Makes a Hero?: The Surprising Science of Selflessness – notes that Mill described man as a creature that “does that by which he may obtain the greatest amount of necessaries, conveniences and luxuries, with the smallest quantity of labor and physical self-denial.”
“Children should above all be taught self-reliance, love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else,” H. P. Blavatsky wrote, “to think and reason for themselves” (The Key to Theosophy 271). Further she insisted: “We should aim at creating free men and women, free intellectually, free morally, unprejudiced in all respects, and above all things, unselfish. And we believe that much if not all of this could be obtained by proper and truly theosophical education.”