The Theosophical Society in America

Always, Always, Something Sings

Originally printed in the November - December  2002 issue of Quest magazine.
Citation: Bonnell, Robert. "Always, Always, Something Sings." Quest  90.5 (NOVEMBER - DECEMBER  2002): 232.


thinking aloud

By Robert Bonnell

RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803–1882), the American essayist and transcendental philosopher, poetically wrote:

’Tis not in the high stars alone,
Not in the cups of budding flowers,
Nor in the redbreast’s mellow tone,
Nor in the bow that shines in showers,
But in the mud and scum of things,
There alway, alway something sings.

The words “alway, alway, something sings” contain the esoteric key to understanding the true nature of the evolutionary process. Calamity, personal or impersonal, national or international, clearly reveals the cyclic nature of the growth process with its ascending and descending arcs, which are necessary counterparts to complete the circle. The descending arc, with its negative consequences, is a formidable challenge to the better part of our nature, for it does not please us, as September 11, 2001, overtly demonstrated.

Yet despite the gloom, positive aspects appear because there are lessons to be learned. The descending arc gives us the impetus to regroup our inner nature, rethink our values, and recapture our communal spirit—all of which form a catalyst for the forthcoming ascending arc on the cyclic path and its “saving grace,” which transforms stumbling blocks into stepping stones and trying times into times of trying.

The spiritual or Theosophical vision sees all events in sympathetic union, thereby creating new directions in the course of human destiny.

Robert Bonnell is a retired chiropractor and naturopath who has been active in Theosophical work for some forty-five years. He has been President, Program Director, and presenter for the Long Beach Lodge and recently completed six years on the National Board of Directors.