The Theosophical Society Lodge of San Francisco has a deep, rich heritage stretching back to 1901.
Among the many mystical treasures that have been swept up into the Lodge's ongoing narrative are two powerful invocations, the First Ray and the Clear Light. Every Friday night meeting opens with one or the other. Each has a story that flows along with it into the future.
Both of these stories are told in Richard Power's Great Song: Life and Teachings of Joe Miller.
The Clear Light came to us from Dr. W.Y. Evans-Wentz through Joe Miller.
The great scholar-mystic was an important influence on Joe.
In the oral history included in Great Song, Joe tells both the story of their friendship and the origins of the Clear Light as it is uttered at the SFTS Lodge to this day:
- "In the late 1950s, Joe wrote an essay on the Clear Light, which Evans-Wentz edited for him Although the short piece was never published, it gave Joe an opportunity to formulate some ideas. In his edit, Evans-Wentz struck a paragraph of Joe's and contributed one of his own as a substitute. Evans-Wentz's contribution was one of Joe's treasures, and he recited it at the conclusion of his Lenten readings of the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation: The Clear Light is the source of light that ligheth everyone of humankind that cometh into the world. It is the radiance of Cosmic Consciousness. Yogins realize it while still in the fleshly bodyAnd all humans glimpse it at the moment of death. It is the light of the Buddha, the Christ and all Masters of Life. And to the devotee in whom it shines unimpededly, it is the Guru and the Deliverer." (Great Song, pp. 226-227.)