The sun may be coloured, yet ever the sun
Will sweep on its course till the Cycle is run.
And when into chaos the system is hurled
Again shall the Builder reshape a new world.
Your path may be clouded, uncertain in your goal:
Move on – for your orbit is fixed to your soul.
And though it may lead into darkness of night
The torch of the Builder shall give it new light.
You were. You will be! Know this while you are:
Your spirit has travelled both long and afar.
It came from the Source, to the Source it returns –
The Spark which was lighted eternally burns.
It slept in a jewel. It leapt in a wave.
It roamed in the forest. It rose from the grave.
It took on strange garbs for long eons of years
And now in the soul of yourself It appears.
From body to body your spirit speeds on
It seeks a new form when the old one has gone
And the form that it finds is the fabric you wrought
On the loom of the Mind from the fibre of Thought.
As dew is drawn upwards, in rain to descend
Your thoughts drift away and in Destiny blend.
You cannot escape them, for petty or great,
Or evil or noble, they fashion your Fate.
Somewhere on some planet, sometime and somehow
You will reflect your thoughts of your Now.
My Law is unerring, no blood can atone –
The structure you built you will live in – alone.
Your lives with your longings will ever keep pace
And all that you ask for, and all you desire
Must come at your bidding, as flame out of fire.
Once list’ to that Voice and all tumult is done –
Your life is the life of the Infinite One.
In the hurrying race you are conscious of pause
With love for the purpose, and love for the Cause.
You are your own Devil, you are your own God
You fashioned the paths your footsteps have trod.
And no one can save you from Error or Sin
Until you have hark’d to the Spirit within.
~ * ~
The above poem is often said to be a Maori poem written in the 18th century by Tieme Ranapiri and translated into English by Kere Graham. According to the family of Tieme Ranapiri, however, the latter lived in the 20th century and wrote the poem in English whilst undergoing an apparent mental health crisis. It was therefore not translated into English but written directly in that language. In August 2020 we were contacted by the great-grandchild of Tieme Ranapiri, who told us that there is much misinformation around regarding the poem, which we hope to have now been able to correct to some extent.
This poem really captures and expresses the pure essence of Theosophy. Central teachings of the Theosophical philosophy are found clearly portrayed in those highly inspirational and inspired verses, such as . . .
(1) Cyclic evolution of the Cosmos (the Law of Cycles or Periodicity).
(2) The long path of soul evolution from the lowest kingdom of Nature up to the human kingdom and eventually beyond.
(3) The ongoing process of reincarnation or re-embodiment.
(4) The great moulding influence of our own thoughts and consciousness upon our future.
(5) The Oneness and Divineness of all life.
(6) The law of self-created destiny, which makes each of us solely responsible for our own actions, which in due time will inevitably bring forth the corresponding reaction, i.e. the Law of Karma.
In fact, the Three Fundamental Propositions of Theosophy, found in the Proem to “The Secret Doctrine” by H. P. Blavatsky, are the very basis of this poem. It is very possible that Tieme Ranapiri had never even heard of Theosophy, Blavatsky, or “The Secret Doctrine.” This makes little difference, for anyone whose consciousness becomes attuned, however briefly, to the influences or “vibrations” of higher planes and indeed the higher principles or aspects of their own inner being, will naturally and inevitably come into contact with some portion of those all-important truths, which are timeless and universal.
If you would like to discover more about Theosophy and what it teaches, please take a look at the articles titled 12 Things Theosophy Teaches, Golden Keys to The Secret Doctrine, A Right Understanding of Karma, A Right Understanding of Reincarnation, The Sevenfold Nature of Man, Death and The Afterlife, Living Consciously, and Universal Theosophy and Universal Theosophists, or visit the complete list on our Articles page.