Earnest Theosophists, of small means and opportunity, often inquire what one thing they can do to further the spread of Truth and contribute to the upbuilding of the Society. There is certainly one which is simple, inexpensive, and often most efficient, and which can be systematically carried on in precise proportion to spareable funds. It is the mailing of a Theosophic tract to any name in any place in any State. One cent stamped envelopes are sold by the P.O. at the rate of $5.90 per 500, and each of the two tracts thus far issued from the PATH office is furnished at the rate of 50 cts. per 100, smaller quantities in either case being in proportion.
The two tracts referred to were printed and electrotyped by private funds, and were then presented to the office, so that receipts from sales make possible new editions. Moreover, the PATH has been informed that provision will be made for the reprinting in this country of certain others which are successively to appear in the pamphlets of the T. P. S., so that in time a series of these brief circulars, treating condensedly of some Theosophical topic and bearing the address, etc. of the General Secretary, will be available to any one wishing to purchase them for distribution. Due notice of each new issue will appear in the PATH.
In the press, in private correspondence, and in social life, a Theosophist on the alert for an opportunity to sow seed finds many a name whereto may be sent a circular. It simply requires to be folded, placed in a stamped envelope, addressed, and mailed. The donor is unknown. Possibly the circular may be wasted; yet who can foretell that? The ground may be altogether ready for the sowing.
Of the two tracts referred to, there have been sold within the last two months, of the "Epitome of Theosophy" 1024 copies, of "Theosophy as a Guide in Life" 2254 copies. From the PATH office there have now been issued, of the former about 10,000, of the later about 6,000. The latter is perhaps more fitted for general public use, but almost every Theosophist could keep on hand a small supply of each, and be prepared to use either when opportunity arose.
Path, August, 1889
TO THEOSOPHISTS WILLING TO WORK
For some 18 months past, private zeal has carried out a system by which a single copy of one of the tracts expounding popularly some Theosophic topic has been mailed to names gathered from newspapers published in the smaller towns through the United States. In this simple way the seed of much Theosophic truth has been scattered broadcast, and many minds have thus for the first time received word of that Wisdom which is in time to reform humanity. To take part in such sowing is a privilege to all who love their fellow-men, and, while it is impossible to learn the results achieved, we may be sure that no such effort can be wholly without fruit. The present time is peculiarly ripe therefore. Ample evidence demonstrates the "Theosophy is in the air," and every judicious publication of its doctrines hastens the day when its motives too shall become operative and its reforms be realized.
The system referred to above appears the only way by which a knowledge of Theosophy can be carried direct to every town, village, and hamlet in the land. In a smaller form it was recommended to Theosophists in a brief article on Page 154 of the PATH for August, 1889. Through responses to this, and otherwise, the General Secretary has been enabled to thoroughly organize a scheme by which a proffer of help from any Theosophist willing to devote from $1.00 up and some time may be utilized, while all danger of duplicating addresses is avoided. To each one thus proffering, the General Secretary will supply a printed circular of instructions and assign a definite field. It is only needful to inform the General Secretary of the amount of money the offerer feels prepared to expend, and thereupon he will be furnished with the circular and the field, as well as with printed blanks for convenience in ordering the copies of the newspapers indicated.
Every theosophist desirous to aid the Society, to promulgate its teachings, and to serve the highest interests of man is invited to communicate with the General Secretary briefly and to the point. No name is divulged. A few score of earnest, active, generous brethren can thus in time sow seed over this whole continent, and prepare the harvest which is sure to come, but which will come the sooner if we fail not in our labor.
WILLIAM Q. JUDGE, Gen"l. Sec"y.
Path, November, 1889
THE TRACT-MAILING SCHEME
The General Secretary heartily thanks those Brethren who have responded to the call "To Theosophists Willing to Work," and congratulates them that the number now reaches 47. Thousands of tracts are now on their beneficent way through the land. It may very well be that there are many Theosophists thoroughly sympathetic with this work, but unable, some to spare the time, others to pay the cost, of taking part. Several of the former have contributed the funds wherewith several of the latter have been set to work, and if those Brethren who have money but no time will donate money, and if those who have time but no money will donate time, the operations of the Tract-mailing Scheme can be enormously increased. The General Secretary, upon receiving a gift of money, supplies the necessary tracts and envelopes to the profferer of time, and the work goes on.
It is also suggested that any friend able to contribute both time and money, and thus personally participate in this missionary effort, should decide upon the sum he can at present spare and remit about one-third thereof to the General Secretary. Tracts to that amount will be sent him, and he will find that the stamped envelopes and newspapers just complete the sum to be expended.
One other thing. This is a scheme which should be permanent. It can go on year after year with the same benefit, for the country is vast and new towns are ever growing up. Each F. T. S. can feel that his efforts are helping to ensure the future of the Cause and of the Society, and can apply for a new field as soon as his resources enable him to do so. To missionize one town is no small gift: what would it not be to missionize several towns a year throughout life!
Path, December, 1889