Divine Wisdom - Brotherhood - Occult Science
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VOL. XXX., No. 1 - TORONTO, MARCH 15th, 1949 - Price 20 Cents.
THE ETERNAL PARENT
"The Eternal Parent, wrapped in her ever-invisible robes had slumbered once again for seven eternities."
It is impossible, for all knowledge to be confined to one little cranium; and for that reason it may seem pretentious on my part to even attempt to expatiate upon a subject so sublime as that of Space. Nevertheless, since there are some three hundred references to this very subject in the Secret Doctrine, it seems reasonable to suppose that the adepts who encouraged the writing of it, must have expected theosophical students to make, at least, some effort to wrestle with the problem, no matter how feeble those efforts might be, Furthermore it is just possible that audacity may be one of the seven deadly virtues.
Herbert Spencer, Aristotle and other intellectual giants have formulated definitions of space, and they sound very erudite indeed, but theosophically speaking, Space is synonymous with the Absolute, and any effort to define the Great Unknowable is tantamount to an effort to put limitations upon that which knows no boundaries, conditions or limitations. The concept of space, according to most materialistic philosophers is acquired by means of the senses of sight and touch, and is the result of experience. More intuitive philosophers like Immanuel Kant, however, reason that space is an innate idea contained a priori within the human mind. Dictionaries and encyclopedias inform us that abstract or absolute space is infinite, boundless and immeasurable, and the Secret Doctrine also states that (I, 370) "It is 'unutterable' for the simple reason that it is non-existent. It never was either a name or any word at all, but an idea that could not be expressed."
The statement that the Absolute is that Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless and Immutable Principle upon which all speculation is impossible, sounds forbidding enough, but in addition to that the great Indian sage, Sankaracharya once affirmed that all that had ever been written or spoken upon the subject merely revealed the depth of human ignorance. There is however, some encouragement in the information we are given that we can increase our intuitive perception regarding the subject by making a supreme effort in the realm of imagination to picture in the mind's eye, - boundless, immeasurable space, which always was, and ever will be. We are also told that our understanding regarding it will have increased considerably by the end of the seventh round. (I, 367).
There are a number of synonyms for space used in the Secret Doctrine, but in the oldest records of the human race extant, Namely, - The Stanzas of Dzyan, space is called the Eternal Parent, who wrapped in her ever-invisible robes is neither limitless void nor conditioned fullness, but both. The first verses of the Book of Genesis state that: - "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth; and the earth was without form and void." i.e., the great deep or chaos. Many passages in the Old Testament if taken literally appear to be a meaningless conglomeration of words without the keys furnished by the Kabalah, in which the Seven-headed Serpent, or the great Sea, contained the Seven Sephiroth. What could they be but the Seven Cosmic Principles contained within the Body of the Universe, or Space? "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters", must surely have reference to the Great Deep of Infinite Space, or Chaos. According to Plato and the Pythagoreans, primordial substance pervaded all space and all things; and with the Hindus it was the Deity or Akasha.
About two hundred and fifty years ago, Sir Isaac Newton came to the conclusion that it was impossible to measure motion in space without some object that was standing absolutely at rest "which could be used as a basis of comparison, but in all the reaches of space no such object was visible. Statements to that effect written in the Principia are apparently what started Albert Einstein's mind working furiously, and in 1905 he began formulating his now famous theory of relativity, in which he stated that, - "Nature is such that it is impossible to determine absolute motion by any experiment whatever." Newton also realized that there must be some medium occupying space that the stars and planets rested in, and which interpenetrated them. This medium he called the ether. This absolutely quiescent, all-pervading ether was the only standard or measuring-stick, that could be used for determining the relative speed of moving bodies. For two hundred years this problem, - "How to prove the existence of this hypothetical ether?" has racked the brains of scientists. When there was no gross matter present to explain some phenomenon in Nature, scientists were in the habit of calling to witness some new kind of ether to explain it, until as Sir James Jeans once rather facetiously remarked, "There were almost as many ethers as unsolved problems in physics." Many scientists believed that the ether of space must have certain properties such as weight, density, inertia, elasticity, etc., which are also possessed by matter. The famous Michelson-Morley experiment was performed for the purpose of proving once and for all the existence of this elusive substance, but its results were as futile as any of the other efforts that had been made in that direction.
With one mighty blow, Einstein deprived the ether of any mechanical properties whatever; but Lord Rutherford and the nuclear physicists who have explored and exploited the atom so thoroughly since he made his discovery in 1911, have also deprived gross physical matter of a great deal of its claim to reality. The ether has been reduced to little more than a mathematical abstraction; but solid matter has also been reduced to empty space and electrical energy. If you strike a stone wall with your fist to prove that it actually exists, in actuality it is no more real than a moonbeam, excepting that it responds to the sense of touch as well as that of sight. The atom-smashers have apparently reduced concrete matter that seemed so substantial a few years ago to almost the same condition as the ever-present but elusive ether.
In spite of all that has been done to put the ether of space out of existence, according to the last edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, the majority of our scientists cannot ignore this omni-present reality. There seems to be an ever-increasing tendency to perceive that everything in the universe is permeated by this substance; and that it pervades all matter, and all space; and furthermore that matter itself is in all probability a modification of it. This ether of modern science, is in some respects the equivalent of the astral light of occult physics, or the sidereal light of Paracelsus, and the Hermetic philosophers. The astral light of ether should not however be confused with the AEther of the ancients, the garment of the supreme deity, Zeus or Jupiter. The AEther is synonymous with Akasha or Anima Mundi, and the astral light is merely the lowest aspect of this cosmic principle or Soul of the World.
Sir A. S. Eddington in his Nature of the Physical World wrote: - "The atom is as porous as the solar system. If we eliminated all the unfilled space in a Man's body, and collected his electrons and protons into one mass, the man would be reduced to a speck just visible with a magnifying glass." That being the case the speck could quite easily weigh two hundred pounds; and if all the empty space were eliminated from our earth it would be reduced to a sphere with a radius of not more than half a mile. Truly there is nothing new under the sun; - Democritus and Leucippus both taught many centuries ago that, "the first principles of all things contained in the universe were atoms and a vacuum."
If one were naive enough to ask an ultra-materialistic scientist of today; - if space is indeed finite, and we go beyond that, what shall we find, but more and more space; and if the universe is actually expanding, as Einstein affirms, what can it expand into, but more space? In all probability the answer would be that space is space; that we are now living in the fourth year of the atomic age; that these puerile concepts of the nineteenth century scientists and philosophers, are as outmoded as the horse and buggy. I can picture in my mind's eye Bertrand Russell for instance saying that the space that exists beyond the boundaries of the material or finite universe can exist only in the imagination of a starry-eyed theosophical student like myself. With all due respect for our great savants, it is my candid opinion that notwithstanding, theosophy is still the glorified common sense that it has always been; and that the Eternal Parent is without form or dimensions of any kind, immeasurable and boundless.
Meditation upon the concept of the Eternal Parent, or space, would appear to be the nearest that we can approach, with our puny minds any idea of The Great Reality. It contains everything, - the heavens, and the earth, the firmament, the waters under the firmament, and the waters above the firmament, the night and the day, the ocean and the dry land. While in the material or manifested universe, or that aspect of Reality that we can interpret by means of the five senses, nothing remains the same for the billionth part of a second, the Eternal Parent has always remained the same, whether there is a particle of matter or a breath of life in it. We admire those pioneers who have achieved such a prodigious amount of knowledge, in all the different branches of both basic and applied science; but after all how feeble are the efforts of the greatest intellectual giants who try to put boundaries upon space. We used to think that with our best telescopes we saw heavenly bodies and stars that were billions of miles away, but now we realize that what we see is light that
was emitted by stars millions of light years ago, stars that may have been dead for billions of years. Nevertheless the space that contained them must still be the same, as it was when they were in their noonday brightness, and for countless eons before that. How much more sublime are the ideas acquired about space from a study of the Archaic Doctrine, than anything devised by the wit of man. My space has nearly reached its limit, so let me conclude with a quotation from the Mahatma Letters, - "The book of Khin-te teaches us that space is infinity itself. It is formless, immutable and absolute. Like the human mind, which is the exhaustless generator of ideas, the Universal Mind or Space has its ideation which is projected into objectivity at the appointed time, but Space itself is not affected thereby."
- Dr. E. J. Norman.
"Lift thy head, O Lanoo; dost thou see one, or countless lights above thee burning in the dark midnight sky?"
"I sense one Flame, O Gurudeva, I see countless undetached sparks shining in it."
"Thou to sayest well. And now look around and into thyself. That light
which burns inside thee, does thou feel it different in anywise from the light
that shines in thy brother-men?"
"It is in no way different, though the prisoner is held in bondage by Karma, and though its outer garments delude the ignorant into saying, 'Thy Soul and My Soul'." - Quoted from the Occult Catechism S.D. I, page 145.
MEDIUMSHIP AND MEDIATORSHIP
(In view of the correspondence which has appeared respecting the place of Spiritualism, our readers may find much that is of interest in the following article which was published in the July-September issue of The Path, the official organ of the Sydney Lodge and The Independent 'Theosophical Society, Australia.)
(Extracted from Isis Unveiled, H.P.B., Vol. 1, 485 et. seq.)
On the subject of mediumship and mediatorship, H. P. Blavatsky distinguishes between two classes of phenomena. Selecting from among a variety of seeming wonders of the seance room, she proceeds to discuss levitation of ponderable inanimate objects as well as of human bodies, and to formulate the conditions under which the phenomenon is manifested among Pagan theurgists, Christian saints, Hindu fakirs, and spiritual mediums.
She finds at the focus of many of these happenings certain "sick sensitives" (mediums) who are born with a peculiar organization, and who, in proportion as their powers are developed, become more and more subject to irresistible influence of miscellaneous spirits, purely human, elementary or elemental.
But in a wider sense she asserts every individual is a medium in whose magnetic atmosphere the denizens of higher invisible spheres can move, and act, and live. Thus Apollonius, who asserted that he could see the present and the future in a clear mirror, was capable of conscious feats of magic. About such men as Apollonius, Iamblichus, Plotinus, and Porphyry, gathered an aura pure, crystalline, limpid, opalescent as the morning dew; evolved by the power of their own souls in close unison with their spirits, by the super-human
morality and sanctity of their lives and aided by frequent interior ecstatic contemplation.
In this wider sense Blavatsky classes mediumship as either (a) self - developed, (b) developed by extraneous influences, (c) or remaining latent throughout life, and may exhibit a character active or passive, repellent or receptive, positive or negative.
A measure of its development and quality may be gauged by the quality of the aura with which the individual is surrounded, dense, cloudy, noisome, nauseating to the pure spirit, attracting only foul beings or having the contrary properties described above approachable by pure, spiritual influences and causing evil spirits to flee.
The thaumaturgist of high spiritual development can make it impossible by exercise of will or physical presence, for an evil spirit to remain in an obsessed person. The Bible bears witness to this scale of development from unconscious mediumship into conscious mediatorship. The mediator is the temple in which dwells the spirit of the living God. If the temple be defiled by the admission of an evil passion, thought, or desire, the mediator falls into the sphere of sorcery. The door is opened; the pure spirits retire and the evil ones rush in. This is still mediatorship, evil as it is; the sorcerer, like the pure magician, forms his own aura and subjects to his will congenial inferior spirits.
Mediumship, as popularly understood and manifested, is a different thing; developed by extraneous influences, it results in weak moral flesh, yielding to the control and suggestion of spirits and intelligences (note that H.P.B. does not exactly specify the spirits of departed human beings. -Ed.), other than one's own immortal self. This type of mediumship may be either beneficent or maleficent, but is always passive. Happy are the pure in heart, who repel unconsciously by that very cleanness of their inner nature, the dark spirits of evil. For verily they have no other weapons of defense but that inborn goodness and purity.
In the time of Moses, David, an, Samuel, and even Christ, distinction was made between conscious and unconscious mediumship, poor oppressed mediums were driven to tombs and waste places, without the city walls whilst simultaneously communities of thaumaturgists, e.g., Essenes, were revered. The ancients, unlike ourselves could "try" the spirits and discern the difference between the good and evil ones, the human and the elemental. They also knew that unregulated spirit intercourse brought ruin upon the individual and disaster to the community.
This view of mediumship may be novel and perhaps repugnant to many modern spiritualists; but still it is the view taught in the ancient philosophy, and supported by the experience of mankind from time immemorial.
The antidote suggests itself naturally. Let the medium cease being passive. Spirits never control persons of positive character who are determined to resist all extraneous influences.
Why do the disembodied devils and miracle-making elementals called elementary, which pass for "guardian angels", so often desert their medium at critical moments, when accusations of fraud are leveled or when ill-health supervenes. It is notorious that the best physical mediums are either sickly or sometimes inclined to some vice or other.
Why do not these healing "guides" who make their mediums play the part of therapeutists to others, give them the boon of robust physical vigour? The ancient thaumaturgist and apostle almost invariably enjoyed good health, nor conveyed to the sick patient any physical or moral taint.
Returning to levitation, having thus classified the phenomena of mediumship, Blavatsky concludes that the medium being passive must be lifted up. The mediator or ecstatic, being active, must levitate himself. The former is levitated by his familiar spirits
- whoever or whatever they may be - the latter by the power of his own aspiring soul.
The reader who has been interested in the above resume of Blavatsky's work should turn to the original Isis Unveiled, wherein he will find a vast store of occult instruction very often over-looked even by the Theosophical student.
'ANTI-HATE' CENTRE AT HARVARD
We are indebted to one of our members for a newspaper clipping respecting an important work which has been started at Harvard University.
"There is too much of hate and greed and too little of love and humility in the world of today. To save itself from self-destruction, mankind must increase its production of love and must decrease its production of hate. Unfortunately the world knows little how to do it, Harvard University believes. For this purpose the University has established an 'Anti-Hate' research centre.
"The main task of the newly-established centre is to explore the ways and techniques of this 'know-how.' Its eventual aim is to prevent bloody wars and to begin to build a creative and peaceful order.
"Research will be carried on at the centre by its director and research associates, working under five-year grants (from anonymous sources) totaling $120,000. Meanwhile, several eminent specialists on the outside will be working in co-operation with the centre.
"The following studies are already under way:
1. A study of great altruists of history. A study of 1,000 cases of American living good neighbours. A study of Christian saints. A study of eminent French altruists. The purpose of these studies is to find out how these altruists succeeded in becoming altruistic.
2. Historical and experimental study of the techniques of altruisation. The techniques of Yoga, Zen-Buddhist, of the founders, of great monastic orders and moral educators of humanity, up to the techniques of modern psychology, psychiatry and education.
3. Experimental studies of the most efficient techniques of transmutation of antagonistic relationships into friendly; of conflict into co-operation; of selfishness into unselfishness.
4. A study of altruistic creativity (love); its nature, forms and factors from mathematical, physical, biological, psychological, sociological and philosophico-religious standpoints."
One of our Toronto members hopes to be at Harvard in the next few months and will endeavour to obtain more information on the spot.
THE THREE TRUTHS
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
I have, been notified that the President, Mr. C. Jinarajadasa, will shortly visit Canada and in doing so is most anxious to meet as many Theosophists as possible. To further this I am making the necessary arrangements for his tour throughout the Section and am endeavoring to bring the various Theosophical Organizations together at the meetings to be held in the various cities that he will visit. In doing this I hope there will be a fraternization spirit imbued in the gatherings which will be all to the good and with judicious advertising and wholehearted co
- operation the presence of our president should prove an attractive drawing card and stimulate interest in the Theosophical Movement generally.
With sincere regret I learn of the death of Mrs. Mamie McChristie, Wychwood Ave., Toronto, who passed away very suddenly on February 4 whilst visiting her sister in Chilliwack, B.C. Mrs. McChristie was an earnest student of Theosophy and also took a great interest in politics. As a member of the West End Lodge for the past fifteen years she was a regular attendant at its meetings until recent years when owing to ill health she was unable to do so. The remains were brought to Toronto for burial. Sympathy and condolences are extended to the family in their sad bereavement.
Lodges are the focal centres of a great outflow of spiritual forces which gradually permeate their surroundings and this force, if judicially handled should be the means whereby new adherents are brought within the fold. We do not proselytize for members but we should not forget that if new ones do not come in to take the places of those who pass on, the lodge will disintegrate and eventually disappear. For some time now several of ours seem so quiescent that there is not even a ripple on the waters! What is the reason of this apparent apathy? To me the world is Theosophically minded even if it does not know it, and the soil is so rich that it awaits but the sower. And the sower is the official and the members of the lodge severally. It is their duty literally speaking to go into the highways and byways casting the seed. Besides meetings, study groups and so forth everybody should discuss theosophy unobtrusively on each and all subjects and thus arouse interest and perhaps who knows, a new adherent. Many people are already interested around the lodges, and it is to these especially that it should be brought home that for the mental pabulum and the spiritual uplift engendered by our teachings that they should do something in a tangible way in order to enable the organization to carry on. Even if they do not join as members the least they can do is to sub-scribe to the magazine which costs money to produce as well as labour and time on the part of disinterested persons.
It is with great pleasure that I formally welcome to the Society the following members who have recently been admitted to the various lodges: -Miss Ruth Playle, Toronto Lodge; Mr. Leslie Dadswell, Toronto Lodge; Mrs. Agnes Croll, Toronto Lodge; Mr. Frank Wank, Toronto Lodge; Mrs. Helmi Sora, Montreal Lodge; Mr. Fred. Tyler and Mrs. Hilda Tyler, Toronto Lodge; Mrs. Mary Blackburn, Montreal Lodge; The Misses Jean de Lancey and Elizabeth Robinson, Toronto Lodge; and Mrs. George Higgins, Toronto Lodge. This is a new innovation which I shall follow periodically.
- E. L. T.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th day of every month.
- Authorized as second class mail, Post Office Department, Ottawa.
- Subscription: TWO DOLLARS A YEAR
- OFFICERS OF THE T. S. IN CANADA
- GENERAL EXECUTIVE
Dudley W. Barr, 18 Rowanwood Ave., Toronto, Ont.
N. W. J. Haydon, 564 Pape Ave., Toronto, Ont.
Miss M. Hindsley, 745 Bloor St. W., Toronto, Ont.
George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Ave., Toronto, Ont.
Peter Sinclair, 4941 Wellington St., Verdun, Quebec.
Washington E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver, B.C.
Emory P. Wood, 12207 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, Alta.
- GENERAL SECRETARY
Lt. Col. E. L. Thomson, D.S.O., 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont. To whom all payments should be made, and all official communications addressed.
- EDITORIAL BOARD, CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
All Letters to the Editor, Articles and Reports for Publication should be sent to The Editor: Dudley W. Barr, 52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, Ont.
- Printed by The Griffin & Richmond Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario.
Isolated students and those unable to have access to Theosophical literature should avail themselves of the Traveling Library conducted by the Toronto Theosophical Society. There are no charges except for postage on the volumes loaned. For particulars write to the Traveling Librarian, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, Ont.
For the past two years a class in the study of Sanskrit has been carried on
by Dr. Stella Cunningham of Toronto Lodge. This class is open to members
and non-members of the Society. Good progress has been made and it is hoped that the senior students who have completed their two years' work will, next Fall, form a nucleus of a round table group in the reading of the classics. We understand that only two eastern universities offer classes in Sanskrit, the University of Toronto and Columbia University - in both, the courses are restricted to post-graduates.
We have received from Rider and Company a copy of the new edition of The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett. This is well printed and bound and is on thinner paper than the familiar red covered earlier editions. It is encouraging to find that here has been a sufficient demand for this book to warrant its reprinting. Copies are now available from Mr. E. B. Dustan, Book Steward of Toronto Lodge and from Mr. N. W. J. Haydon. Price $4.50.
A syllabus received from a member of the Edinburgh Lodge who is now residing in Canada, shows that among its other activities the Edinburgh Lodge carries on a bi-weekly study group which uses The Mahatma Letters to A.. P. Sinnett as a text book. There is also a bi-weekly Secret Doctrine Class. The list of Sunday evening lectures for October, November and the first part of December indicates many interesting subjects; apparently one Sunday evening a month is devoted to questions and answers. We were very glad to receive this program and it occurs to us that the exchange between the various Societies of programs and information relating to local activities might be a good idea.
Guardsman Publishing Company, Box 74, Kitchener, Ontario, announces
the reprint of Rosy Cross or "Mysteries of The Rosie Cross or History of that
Curious Sect of the Middle Ages known
as the Rosicrucians" as set out in what is apparently a facsimile of the title page of the original book which was published in London in 1891. The new edition will be about 150 pages, 5" by 7-1/2" and hand-sewn linen bound, price $3.00 and will be ready about March 21st.
A supply of Through the Gates of Gold by Mabel Collins has now been received in Toronto. This neatly bound edition sells at $1.25 and may be obtained from the Book Steward, Toronto Lodge.
The Blavatsky Institute of Toronto will publish in book form the articles entitled "The Exile of the Soul" which have been running in the magazine since January 1948. This will very likely be a paper bound edition. Further particulars will be announced later.
The Saturday Review of Literature devoted several pages a few months ago to a little known book on the psychological system which was first propounded and used by the late Dr. Vittoz of Switzerland. Manas also had a short note on this matter. The comments seemed to indicate that Dr. Vittoz had come much closer to a spiritual concept of human psychology than many other workers in the same field and that his system of applied psychology did actually work in "The Scientific Production of Love" as the rather startling headline in the Review had it. Unfortunately the only book on the subject was out of print; we have now been informed that owing to the demand which has arisen, a paper covered reprint will be available shortly. A review will appear as soon as possible - in the meantime, we suspect that the 'anti-hate' educational movement at Harvard University (a note of which appears elsewhere) has some link with the Vittoz work.
"The Maha Chohan's Letter of 1881" has been published with a commentary by the President, by the Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar. Mr. Jinarajadasa's interesting comments give the history of the document which 'contains practically the charter for the work and development of the Theosophical Society throughout the ages,' There is a long quotation in the comments from The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett. A supply of this important pamphlet has been ordered and will be available for distribution shortly.
THE ANNUAL ELECTIONS
Nominations for the office of General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive should be made by the Lodges during the month of March so that all returns may be in early in April. Secretaries of Lodges will kindly see that the matter is brought before their respective Lodges, and when nominations have been made, have them sent at once to the General Secretary. Nominations must be made through a Lodge and the consent of parties nominated must have been previously obtained.
Experience has shown that unless the returns reach the General Secretary early in April, it is impossible to issue voting papers, carrying on the elections, get returns made, and scrutinize the ballots in time for a declaration of the results in the June Magazine.
Nomination returns should be sent in a separate letter addressed to the General Secretary, 52 Isabella St., Toronto 5, Ontario.
- E. L. T.
SOME COMMENTS ON THE MAHA CHOHAN'S LETTER
By C. Jinarajadasa
Since 1919 when I first discovered this Letter of the Maha Chohan, I have had occasion to read it again and again, as also to quote from it constantly. On each occasion some special phrase or thought has shone out more brilliantly than the others. But just now, as I am correcting the proofs and read with intensity, I feel a dazzling and awe - inspiring sense of the vastness of outlook, of the Great Adept who tells us what He sees of man's civilization and where the world stands today. The vision of men, events and things which characterizes every Adept - as revealed in the Letters received from a few of Them - is that of Beings who live in the Eternal, have before Them the Plan of Evolution as-it-shall-be, and so judge with a metron or measuring rod which not even the most advanced of men possess. But vaster, from a loftier plane, is the vision of the Maha Chohan. It is as if He were the great God of Olympus and from the summit of that mountain sees all mankind spread out before Him, and there is no secret hidden corner which is unrevealed. As no philosopher has ever dreamt of suggesting, with the single exception of Gautama Buddha, the Maha Chohan shows where is the diseased spot in civilization today, whence an infection has spread everywhere, causing untold suffering to mankind. This is the struggle for existence, which has steadily become sharper, more violent, with the onward sweep of modern civilization. Only in the progressive lessening of that struggle is the way of liberation for men from their self-created miseries. Like some great searchlight on a height moving its beam around, above and below, cleaving the dark, so the Maha Chohan's mind penetrates into our problems, and swiftly tells the truth about ourselves, our civilization, and how our efforts to gain happiness can never succeed, until we learn that Brotherhood is the law, the only law on whose operations we can rely in perfect trust.
Then, for such of us as are pledged to the cause of the Theosophical Society, the Maha Chohan reveals what is our objective and what are the tasks which we are to achieve.
It is, to discover by constant searching of religion, science, philosophy, and of all men's works what are:
"the right and logical explanations on the subject of the problems of the great dual principles, right and wrong, good and evil, liberty and despotism, pain and pleasure, egotism and altruism."
Our task as Theosophists is, intensely ethical; not ours the goal to develop occult powers, nor gather more knowledge merely for the sake of knowledge, nor even to worship Divinity because that gives us supreme personal happiness. Ours the task to discover the solutions, not of our ills, but of the ills of mankind as a collectivity, and to reveal:
"the true philosophy, the true religion, the true light, which gives truth and nothing but the truth."
All religion, all science, every philosophy, and all the arts are the field of our operations where we can find Truth; but we must seek that Truth in order that by giving it we can make the Solidarity of Mankind the supreme, the over-mastering Fact of facts in all men's consciousness.
The Maha Chohan reveals our fundamental defect, even when we are seekers of truth and servers of mankind. There is an element of selfishness in our plans and actions, though we pride ourselves that we are utterly altruistic. But the Maha Chohan diagnoses our secret and inner failing when He says:
"All of us, have to get rid of our own Ego, the illusory apparent self, to recognize our true self in a transcendental divine life. But if we would not be selfish we must strive to make other people see that truth, to recognize the reality of that transcendental self, the Buddha, the Christ or God of every preacher."
When the idea of the self - our self - has faded out of our dreams and our work (and that necessitates much suffering as our self is broken upon the wheel of our Karma); and we serve the Great Self, whether we call it God, or Humanity, or the Saviour to whom we offer our devotion, with no thought of recognition or reward here upon earth or in a heaven to come; when in our lofty contemplations of Service, we as the self disappear; then we join the ranks of the "three" mentioned by the Mahatma M. .-.
"So long as there are three men worthy of our Lord's blessing in the Theosophical Society, it can never be destroyed."
If the three are loyal to the teachings revealed to them by the Adept Brothers, then the destiny of the Theosophical Society, so decrees the Maha Chohan, is to be:
"the corner-stone, the foundation of the future religions of humanity."
Could there be a nobler decree of Fate, that is, of our Karma, than to have the opportunity so to work that we lose our very selves by work in that Objective and Goal?
THE RITUAL OF HIGHER MAGIC
by Furge Morrish
- Published by "Oak Tree Books"
- London - Melbourne. Price 15
Mr. Furge Morrish has made a very interesting compendium of some of the facts and factors which go to furnish the necessary material for any Ritual. To begin with, there is a resume of the constitution of the Universe, as well as a description of the constitution of man. Naturally these two must be clearly defined in any attempt to get in touch with what Theosophists have always called "Nature's Finer Forces."
He therefore begins very correctly with the consideration that Ritual will provide a means of contact between man and other types of living entities. Man, as a battlefield of Good and Evil, ought to know how to call to his aid that extra help at crucial times which will provide a victory rather than failure or a stalemate.
He explains, just why colour, perfume, and music are valuable on the astro-mental planes, as aids to that intercourse between men and gods, for which the Ritual is specially designed. None of this is in any way exhaustive; it is but an introduction, as it were, for the experimenter who must indeed seek further and elsewhere for more precise details. The author has evidently been connected with Mr. Leadbeater's version of Co-Masonry, and still feels that the Liberal Catholic Church has a part to play in the shaping of a new code for the coming New Race. Good music, art, architecture, colour, all affect us for good and help to build into our auras forms and colors, of beauty and proportion, increasing our evolutionary response to the Good, the True, the Beautiful, which are all One. This is the function of the Ritual . . . There have been in all ages beautiful, uplifting
Rituals, designed to counteract the lower nature, and build beauty into the mind and aura of the participator.
The author has some interesting remarks on Masonry, and thinks that possibly it has a future part to play in the more rapid awakening of the Spiritual faculty in man. "The architectural symbols of the First Degree and the geometrical terms of the Second Degree, refer to the aura of man with its vortices and lines of force. Its Third Degree symbolism may become the basis for a ritual of rapid spiritual development" - all of which students of speculative masonry will endorse. His main desire is, however, to establish the Ritual of the Christian Mass in such a way that it would make a universal appeal to the forthcoming members of the New Race, by providing them with a key whereby they could come into more intimate contact with the forces that are molding the new world.
In one of the later chapters he reminds the reader concerning the old, old rituals which date back to Lemuria and to Atlantis, drawing attention to the fact that their very much debased relics are still with us today. He leans heavily, of course, upon C.W.L's. lively descriptions of things seen astrally.
What is really far more exciting to the modern student is that correspondence between sound and form such as is discovered in experiments made with sand and copper. Why E flat should produce a four-fold form, D major an 8-petalled effect, and the note C a horse-shoe shape - these are basic facts universally true. Along the lines of such correspondences a really good Ritual in accord with Nature could be built up, and the book may stimulate the student of the Occult, who has leisure and opportunity to pursue his researches scientifically, to delve further into these vital correspondences.
Only in one instance does the author give a concrete example of the effects of magic, and this could well have been omitted altogether. It is only too easy to imitate this low form of black magic.
He has written a most interesting survey of the magical landscape, and out of his suggestions there may arise some potent blending of Christ-like compassion with the old Brotherhood ideal of Masonry, which will be as a beacon light for the future.
Humanity is still awaiting it, with expectation of illumination.
- M. H.
We acknowledge with many thanks the receipt of the following publications:
From The American Philosopher Society seven attractive pamphlets entitled Your Guide to Philosophy; The Mystery of Life and Death; Human Destiny; Saints, Saviours and Philosophers; Pythagoras; The God of Exodus and The Philosophy of Art - the latter being from a lecture given by Professor Roy Mitchell on "The Spirit of Modern Art."
Also from The American Philosopher Society, a copy of the new Edition of Ancient and Modern Physics by Thomas E. Wilson; this neat, paper bound edition sells at $1.00.
From the Theosophical University Press, Covina, a finely bound edition of Gems from the East - a Theosophical Birthday-book of Precepts and Axioms. This edition is described as being 'a faithful reproduction of the original, published by H. P. Blavatsky in London, England in 1890.' The Precepts and Axioms, compiled by H.P.B. are culled chiefly from Oriental writings. This
would be a nice gift for Theosophically-minded friends.
From the Theosophical University Press also four paper bound books of between 165 and 260 pages and being vols. 1 - 4 of Questions We All Ask by Dr. G. de Purucker. The Questions arose out of lectures delivered by Dr. de Purucker in 1929 and 1930. This interesting series covers a wide range of subjects and the answers are direct and concise, reflecting 'the divine common sense' of Theosophy. An excellent set of books for newcomers and containing much that older students will find stimulating and valuable.
And also from our Covina friends, whose kindness in sending books is deeply appreciated, we acknowledge receipt of a three volume edition of The Dialogues of G. de Purucker, together with Nature's Magic by Allan J. Stover. A fuller note on these will appear later - but may we at present congratulate The Theosophical University Press upon the fine craftsmanship displayed in all the volumes we have received.
From the Theosophical Publishing House, London, three paper bound booklets, first The Imperishable Body, by E. L. Gardner, a study of the nature of the immortal body 'an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens'. There are numerous quotations from H. P. Blavatsky, Annie Besant, The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, T. Subba Rao, C. W. Leadbeater, A. P. Sinnett, Sri Krishna Prem - second, Introductory Studies in Theosophy by Adelaide Gardner, which is a redraft of an elementary study course in Theosophy for new members, originally prepared by a Study and Training Committee for the Society in England; - and third, Vital Magnetic Healing also by Adelaide Gardner, a revised and much enlarged paper on some of the material on this subject which first appeared in the book entitled Some Unrecognized Factors in Medicine prepared by the Medical Group of the Theosophical Research Centre, London.
"You Theosophists had the Light given you but it was withdrawn".
This statement was made recently by a lady who is, she says, "seeking". How much of it is true? Was "the Light" given to Theosophists or was it but a portion of the Light? Nowhere in Theosophical books or teachings do we find it stated that "All Light or Truth" has been given. Rather we are told that a portion only has been given and when we reach an understanding of that portion, more will be given us.
True seekers will always find some aspect of Truth and that aspect will never be withdrawn. The original Light, given to the Founders of the Theosophical Society by the Masters of Wisdom, is still to be found in the pages of The Secret Doctrine, The Mahatma Letters, Ocean of Theosophy and other of the earlier books written by H.P.B. and her followers. But even though the truth is there, it is hidden and we must search for it.
Words are things. They are material forms in which spiritual truth is safely hidden from all but true seekers. Only by meditation, concentration, devotion can the Light so concealed, contact that inner light which is in every man, hidden also by veils of matter which must be dispersed. We are apt to say, "Mr. So-and-so says this; Mrs. So-and-so says that; Mr. Somebody else, disagrees and says this which is entirely different," and we clutter up our minds, with the ideas and statements of others. It is so easy to sit and listen to some exponent of Truth and to accept unquestioningly what he says. To study that Truth, to try to understand its begin-
nings, and its logical conclusions, would mean mental activity on our part.
Sometimes we study the people who have had access to that Truth, and are disappointed. They do not say this, or think that. Invariably they fail to come up to our ideals and we are apt in judging them to judge the teaching also; yet we have only the right to judge ourselves.
We seek for Truth. We have made in our minds a nice, compact beautiful picture of Truth as it ought to be, as we would like it to be, and we will see nothing but that picture. But the picture is not Truth. It is imagination, a chimera. In seeking it we overlook such of the Truth as is available.
Do we seek the ultimate Truth? We could not comprehend it if it were presented to us. By continual study of the original books some concept must come to us and as the years go by, greater understanding will be ours.
When the Masters of Wisdom withdrew from active work in the Theosophical Society, They did not withdraw Their teaching. Instead, we have Their assurance that such teaching as was given by H.P.B. was given under Their supervision, with Their consent, and backed by Their authority. It is also corroborated by Their letters to Mr. Sinnett, now published in the book known as Mahatma Letters. These writings hold the Truth for us. We know it is only a portion of the Truth; we know we must work to make it ours.
We must learn to live in such a way that the light which is within ourselves is no longer obscured. It is that obscuration which holds back from our vision the Truth we seek. Mabel Collins, in Light on the Path says: "For within you is the light of the world
- the only light that can be shed upon the Path. If you are unable to perceive it within you, it is useless to look for it elsewhere. It is beyond you, because when you reach it you have lost yourself. It is unattainable, because it forever recedes. You will enter the light, but you will never touch the Flame."
In "The Voice of the Silence" we read: "The Light from the One Master, the one unfading golden light of Spirit, shoots its effulgent beams on the Disciple from the very first. Its rays thread through the thick, dark clouds of Matter."
And Patanjali: "The soul in the Perceiver is assuredly vision itself pure and simple: unmodified: and looks directly upon ideas. For the sake of the soul alone, the Universe exists."
Yes, the Light still shines bravely in the teachings left to us by those Great Teachers. But we will not find it if we turn our backs to it. Only with an open mind may we seek, and find, the Vision.
- Mrs. N. Dalzell.
1 McLean Blk.,
Above the dark deed's swift intent
I saw the shifting fears of youth,
The dirty, teeming, tenement,
The sick dull lies distilled from truth
I saw the hopeless years between
Triumphant birth and sulky prime,
Relentless mirrors that must screen
The wasted hopes of silent Time.
And as I learned, with earthly eyes
No man might weigh the right to live,
The light came down from clearer skies,
If God may, so may we forgive.
- By J. Thompson.
"Now bend thy head and listen well, O Bodhisattva - Compassion speaks and saith: 'Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?' "
- Voice of the Silence.
"The Sons of Wisdom, the sons of light ready for rebirth came down, they saw the vile form of the first third. 'We can choose' said the Lords, 'We have wisdom'. Some entered the Chhaya. Some projected a spark. Some deferred till the fourth . . . Those which had no spark took huge she animals unto them. They begat upon them dumb races. Dumb they were themselves. But their tongues untied. The tongue of their progeny remained still. Monsters they bred. A race of crooked red
- haired covered monsters going on all fours. A dumb race to keep the shame untold."
"Seeing which the Lhas who had not built men wept saying, 'the mindless have defiled our future abode. This is karma. Let us dwell in the others. Let us teach them better, less worse should happen'."
The above quotation from the Stanzas of Dsyan deals with a critical period in human evolution. Some of the Sons of Wisdom whose karma it was to enter the evolving forms and endow them with mind, refused to incarnate in the irresponsive, chaotic forms of the early earth born races - and these remained mindless. Later when the sexes were polarized, the mindless ones united with animals and produced the ancestors of the anthropoid apes - our animal half-brothers 'a dumb race to keep the shame untold'.
This is called the 'sin of the mindless' but behind that was the refusal of the sons of mind to help. "We have free will" they said, "the forms are not pure enough for us. When they become cleansed and organized we will come in." So they stayed out - or was it we who refused in that dim shadowy past? - and the mindless ones slipped backward.
This ancient teaching is confirmed by modern science which has found evidence that the apes are an offshoot of the human race.
But apart from its historical and scientific side, the teaching has an immediate application.
Do not we as mental beings continue to commit the old offense? There are so many important things to be done in the world and such a dearth of impersonal, creative persons to take part in them. Statesmen with the Kshatrya qualities are sorely needed, but when a man of outstanding ability is approached to help and to bring a new tone and attitude to civic, provincial or federal government, how often the answer is, "Politics is an unclean game and I do not wish to be mixed up in it."
And is there not a similar attitude in the Theosophical Society. In Canada there are hundreds of ex-members and former adherents. How often the reason for their absence is "I cannot stand so-and-so; he is so hypocritical," or "There are so many queer, spooky persons around there" or "I am deeply interested in the philosophy, but so many people around there have not begun to think yet."
The most of us have a limited time to give to the Society after our working hours and each worker is entitled to a certain freedom of choice as to where and how he shall work. Some members spend that time in study and in discussing Theosophy with their friends who do not contact the society directly - and of course that is excellent.
But there are others who do not "incarnate" in the Lodge and remain aloof from its problems. This is another
critical period and the need of Theosophical attitudes is so apparent in sociology, economics, science, art and morals. The society needs the best of workers endowed with courage, insight and devotion. The Lodge is the members - as-a-whole and its work is a reflection of their capacity.
"Theosophy" said H.P.B. "alone can save the western world" but Theosophy can be expressed only through its workers. - Toronto Theosophical News, January, 1936.
BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE PUBLICATIONS
- ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS by H. P. Blavatsky.
- THE EVIDENCE OF IMMORTALITY by Dr. Jerome A. Anderson.
- MODERN THEOSOPHY by Claude Falls Wright.
- THE BHAGAVAD GITA - A Conflation by Albert E. S. Smythe.
Owing to the higher costs of binding it has been necessary to increase the price of the above books to One Dollar ($1.00) each.
Copies of Professor Roy Mitchell's COURSE IN PUBLIC SPEAKING are still available at $3.00 per set. This course was especially written for Theosophical students.
- ANCIENT AND MODERN PHYSICS by Thomas E. Wilson
This valuable text book has been reprinted in a paper bound edition by the American Philosopher Society and may be obtained through the Blavatsky Institute at a price of $1.00.
The Institute will also print in book form the series of articles 'The Exile of the Soul" which have been published in the magazine.
THE BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE
52 ISABELLA ST., TORONTO 5, ONTARIO
- CALGARY LODGE: President, E. H. Lloyd Knechtel; Secretary, Mrs. Lilian Glover, 418, 10th Ave. N.W., Calgary, Alta. Meetings at 231 Examiner Bldg.
- EDMONTON LODGE: President, Mr. Emory P. Wood; Secretary, Mrs. V. J. Trupp, 10134 155th St., Edmonton, Alta.
- HAMILTON LODGE: President, Mrs. E. M. Mathers; Secretary, Miss Malbel Carr, 108 Balsam Avenue South, Hamilton, Ont.
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- TORONTO LODGE: President, Miss M. Hindsley, Secretary. Mrs. G. I. Kinman; Lodge rooms, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, Ont.
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