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VOL. X., No. 11 HAMILTON, JANUARY 15th, 1930 Price 10 Cents
THE SILENT WATCHER
Remote, yet near, unutterably aged, lone,
He sits within the temple's inner shrine,
With folded hands and countenance divine,
Omniscient, inscrutable, unknown,
Whilst through the outer court is felt the tense,
Hot passions of the street, the market-place;
A press of creatures having little grace,
Who lust and trade, the messengers of sense.
What, though the sacred court they desecrate
And fill with rioting continually
Yet He abides within the sanctuary.
The silence of His voice can penetrate
This outer dark with, as it were, a sword
Of Light: His speechless and unspoken Word.
- G.P. Williamson.
by Orlando J. Smith
Of Three Roads, Choose One.
In these times a number of the great minds in the world of science and philosophy have lent their approval to the theory that the study of what may be called the Eternal Problems is profitless, being only an exploration into the lands of the Unknowable. The position "I do not know" is a very modest one. Every man must take it in relation to many things, for "our knowledge is as the rivulet, our ignorance as the sea." But the extension of the formula "I do not know" to "I cannot know; no one knows; no one can know," does not bear the tone of humility or of open
-mindedness. It has the sound rather of a last word to which there can be no answer, a subtle form of denial which should end discussion.
There are but three theories of man's origin and destiny, and they may be expressed in a few words
1. The theory of Materialism - that man's life begins with the birth and ends with the death of his body.
2. The theory of Theology - that man is created at his birth with an immortal soul which survives the death of his body.
3. The theory of Reincarnation, sometimes called Metempsychosis, or the Transmigration of Souls - that man has an immortal soul which existed before his birth and survives the death of his body.
These three theories are very old, and it is not of record that the mind of man has conceived any other, differing from them in its basic farm. Of the three, one must be true, and two false. We are at the point where there are three forks to the road, and only one is the right way. It is not the policy of wisdom to halt, or to proclaim that there is no way out. It is even better to advance on the wrong road than to stand still; for the wrong road when explored must yield some evidence that it is the way of error.
It is not likely that each of the three theories is sustained by exactly the same amount of evidence, or that an inquiry would prove each to be precisely as reasonable as the others. The true one must have more evidence to support it than the false ones, the truth being stronger than that which is untrue.
It should not be considered presumptuous under the circumstances to compare the merits of the three theories, with a view to ascertaining which does the least violence to our natural feelings; which is most in harmony with justice, the noble doctrine of moral responsibility, and the truths of science; which explains best the law of Heredity, the necessity of evil, and other problems that have troubled the minds of men; which furnishes the highest incentive for right living, and for the pursuit of knowledge; which theory in fact is best for man, in the belief that what is best for man must be true and contain within itself other evidences of its verity.
Materialism, The Theory That Death Ends All.
Man, from the standpoint of the Materialist, is born without his own consent - the product of the law of Heredity and of other forces and impulses of which he has no knowledge - and is equipped with physical, mental and moral qualities for which he is not responsible. All that man knows is that he is here; that he is what he is. Why he is here, why he is what he is, he does not and cannot know.
But man, being endowed with intelli-
gence, must ask questions. He must, for example, inquire concerning the terrible law of Heredity, which apparently demonstrates that the physical, mental and moral qualities of the parents are transmitted to their children - even more, that the traits of remote ancestors reappear in the new-born child. That which is bad as well as that which is good in the child can be traced to its forebears. The good and evil in us are apparently but inheritances from our progenitors. It has been claimed that the fool, sot, thief, liar, inherits the sins and suffers for the vices of his forefathers; and that the wise, the noble and the good are heirs to the better qualities of their ancestors.
But how can these facts be reconciled with moral responsibility or with justice? Why should we be condemned for the sins of our fathers? Our man-made laws, weak and fallible as they are, do not commit such an injustice as this. There is on earth no race of beings so savage or degraded as to tolerate a code that would punish one man for the wrong done by another. Can it be that the Creative Force has a weaker sense of justice than have its lowest creatures in human form?
The Materialist would doubtless answer: "Even if the law of Heredity does not exist, or could be overthrown, still the questions based upon it would remain unanswered; for, since man does not create himself, he can neither be blamed nor credited for the qualities born in him. Nature, for reasons which we cannot comprehend, or perhaps for lack of reason, produces creatures which are unequal, some being men, some animals, some reptiles. Of the men, some are wise and some are foolish, some good and some bad."
Then man must needs ask more questions. If Nature has created one man brave and another cowardly, one wise and another foolish, one good and another vicious, then why should the wise look down upon the foolish, or the good upon the bad, or the hero scorn the coward? Is creation but a great lottery, in which some creatures draw prizes and others blanks?
We may assume that the Materialist would answer in these words: "But why do you question me? I am not the Creative Force. I but face the facts, and decline to cherish any illusions. If I have stated the facts incorrectly, please correct me. If I have stated them correctly, then you, not I, must answer them. If you cannot answer them, then accept them and make the best of them. If they overthrow some of our most sacred idols and theories, so much the worse for our idols and theories. The sheep does not complain because it is a sheep, nor the snake because it is a snake. Perhaps it would be wise for us to congratulate ourselves that we are no worse than we are, and make the best of what we are, rather than complain because some creatures have been treated unfairly in the distribution of Nature's favours."
Materialistic Fatalism, - Man is the Beneficiary o f Nature's Bounty, or the Victim o f Her Malice.
The theory of Materialism, we may now say, is the doctrine of Fatalism, and this doctrine may be interpreted as follows:
We are men; we know not why. That we are men is due to no merit of our own. The good are only the beneficiaries of Nature's bounty, and the evil are the victims of her malice. That we are not monkeys, or rats, or snakes, is due to our good luck alone. We had no part in our creation; we will not be consulted about our extinction. A few years ago we were not; a few years hence we will not be. If we are discontented, we can depart of our own will and without fear; for there can be no consequences of self-destruction. He who finds life not worth living is foolish to endure wretchedness here, when he can go hence to eternal sleep.
Courage, truthfulness, honour and wisdom, if the theory of Materialism be sound, are but the gifts of Nature, for which he
who possesses them deserves no more credit than the apple for its flavor, or the rose for its fragrance. The noblest thought of Plato was not his thought; it was but the result of the forces which Nature planted in the skull of Plato. Nature propagates intellectual and moral qualities as she grows potatoes, and vicious impulses as she produces thistles. The good or evil in us belongs to Nature, who planted it. We are only the garden pots with which she indulges her fancy for the cultivation of man. In one she plants a seed which produces a philanthropist, in another a poet, in another a philosopher, in another a hero; and other seeds planted in other pots produce fools, traitors, liars and thieves. Our noblest, brightest and best are only as the prize roses in the flower show; our meanest are as the weeds by the wayside, or as the noxious growths in the swamps of the tropics. What merit we have is due to Nature's forethought; our demerit to her neglect.
If the theory of Materialism be true, then we must indeed part with the idols and ideals which we have most cherished. We must cease building monuments to the good and noble. We must pluck from our hearts all reverence for the great teachers, thinkers, discoverers and heroes of the earth, for we owe them no respect; they were only the fortunate ones in the lottery of Fate. Cowards, fools and criminals we can neither scorn nor condemn; for they are but the wretched victims of Nature's malevolence, and as such are entitled to our sympathy. We must accustom ourselves to the thought that moral responsibility is a fiction, and that equity has no place in Nature's general plan. The theories of eternal justice which we have built up, which we have even thought the best heritage we receive from our fathers, the ripest fruits of human experience, are but dreams and illusions. Nature negatives them all. Man reaps what he has not sown, and sows what he cannot reap.
This is a dismal and hopeless philosophy, which sends a chill to our heart-strings, turns the sweet things of life to bitterness, and destroys the charts and extinguishes the lights by which we have been guided.
And yet the Materialist is right in at least one position - his propositions should be answered, rather than merely questioned or denied.
The Theological Theory, That Man is Created by Jehovah.
The theory of Theology concerning the origin of man differs from the theory of Materialism in two particulars -, first, in the assertion that man is created by God rather than by Nature; and, second, that man is endowed with an immortal soul which survives the death of his body.
The substitution of God for Nature as the Creative Force overcomes none of the objections to the Materialistic theory of the origin of man. It is still the doctrine of Fatalism. Man remains a creature that has been made; and the credit or responsibility for what he is rests with the Maker, and not with the thing made. Man is but a pot in which the Great Gardener has planted a seed of good or of evil.
Indeed, the law of Heredity is distinctly asserted in the Second Commandment (Exodus xx, 5): "For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."
A few of the many other texts touching the creation and final disposal of man, and Jehovah's attitude to man, are here reproduced:
Genesis ii, 7: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
Ephesians i, 11: "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."
Proverbs xvi, 4: "The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil."
Acts xv,.18: "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world."
Proverbs xv, 3: "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good."
Isaiah xiv, 5, 7: "I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things."
Romans ix, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18: "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.) As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."
Romans viii, 30: "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
Timothy i, 9: "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
Ephesians ii, 8, 9 : "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God - not of works, lest, any man should boast."
Romans ix, 21, 22: "Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to chew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?"
Daniel iv, 34, 35: "I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an ever-lasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?"
Psalms cxxxv, 6: "Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places."
Matthew x, 29-31: "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
Psalms xciv, 8-11: "Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? He that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?"
Romans xi, 7: "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear) unto this day."
Theological Fatalism - All Men Are Under the Favor or Curse of Jehovah.
All theologians agree in asserting the all-presence, all-wisdom and all-power of Jehovah. He sees all things, knows all things, wills all things. The creature cannot prevail against the Creator. Man is nothing; Jehovah is everything.
Upon this line of reasoning, has been built the doctrine of Predestination, which is the most absolute form of Fatalism that the wit of man can conceive. Predestination was until recent centuries accepted by
all of the churches, though against the protest of an earnest minority. It yet remains in the creeds of the sects which accept the Westminster Confession of Faith, in which it is expressed in these words
"By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.
"These angels and men thus predestinated and foreordained are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished.
"The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or witholdeth mercy, as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sins, to the praise of his glorious justice."
Whatever may be said of the justice of the doctrine of Predestination, there can be no denial of the fact that it is the logical and unerring deduction from the theory of a Creative God.
But the sense of justice in the hearts of nearly all men revolts against every phase of Fatalism. The larger bodies of the church long ago abandoned the doctrine of Predestination. It may be said that all of the theological controversies of the past have been but efforts to reconcile with justice the Fatalistic theory of the creation of man, and to shift the responsibility for evil from Jehovah to man, or to the Evil One. The contentions over Predestination, free will, Adam's sin and its atonement, salvation through faith, means of grace, all hinge upon this issue.
But the denial that the final disposition of the souls of men has been predetermined by the Creator, even if it could be reconciled with his omnipotence, leaves equally serious questions unexplained; for it is evident, if the Creative theory be true, that Jehovah has already either blessed or damned all of his creatures in the very act of creating them. Man is of necessity, from the first breath he draws - for no merit or demerit of his own - under the favour or the wrath of Jehovah.
Some men are created strong, brave, wise, honest and righteous; some receive the gift of genius, of beauty, of fair-mindedness, of innocence, of honour. These are under the favour and blessing of Jehovah.
Others are created ignorant, cruel, corrupt, selfish, cowardly and base; some receive the gift of dullness, of selfishness, of meanness, of indolence, of ugliness, of savagery, of depravity. These are under the curse of Jehovah.
(To Be Continued)
With the passing of H.P.B. in 1891, the real position of the Mahatmas, in regard to the Theosophical movement, seems to have been lost sight of. For a short time, some of the outstanding figures that were left in the society, had vague and uncertain impressions of what the Mahatmas really were, but, without the enlightened and unerring guidance of H.P.B., they began to drift, with the result that, as she had predicted in the closing chapter of the Key to Theosophy, which deals with the future of the T.S., nearly the whole society has drifted "on to some sand bank or other, there to remain a stranded carcass, to moulder and die." Even in the lifetime of H.P.B. there was the same tendency that exists today, to ignore the status of the Mahatmas, and to entirely misconceive their objectives.
The first branch of the Theosophical society, after the formation of the parent body in New York City in 1875, was a. Rochester branch organized in 1882, through the efforts of Mrs. J.W. Cables, who in 1884, began the publication, inter-
mittently, of a small magazine known as The Occult Word.
Mrs. Cables was a refined, intellectual woman; psychic and a sensitive who went into trance conditions, and delivered addresses alleged to be inspired by the spirits of the departed. She was associated in this work with W.T. Brown, who, in 1884, under the authority of the London lodge, published a pamphlet entitled dome Experiences in India. Brown was a member of the London lodge, and went to India late in 1883, where he proffered his services in the cause of the Mahatmas and of humanity, and where, according to his own pamphlet, he was accepted as a chela on probation, January 7, 1884.
His observation on this experience was as follows: "On that occasion I was warned of the difficulties of the road which I desired to tread, but was assured that by close adherence to truth and trust in my master, all must turn out well."
He joined forces with Mrs. Cables in 1885, and a year later, over their joint signature they published a repudiation of the Mahatmas. To this manifesto H.P.B. replied in W.Q. Judge's magazine, The Path, in December 1886, using the same title as that used by Mrs. Cables and Brown "The Theosophical Mahatmas." The article is as timely today as it was 44 years ago, and it is as follows:
It is with sincere and profound regret, though with no surprise, prepared as I am for years of such declarations, that I have read in the Rochester Occult Word, edited by Mrs. J. Cables, the devoted president of the T.S. of that place, her joint editorial with Mr. W.T. Brown. This sudden revulsion of feeling is perhaps quite natural in the lady for she has never had the opportunities given her as Mr. Brown has; and her feeling when she writes that after `a great desire. . . to be put into communication with the Theosophical Mahatmas we (they) have come to the conclusion that it is useless to strain the physical eyes toward the Himalayas' is undeniably shared by many theosophists. Whether the complaints are justified, and also, whether it is the Mahatmas or Theosophists themselves who are to blame for it, is a question that remains to be settled. It has been a pending case for several year's, and will have to be now decided, as the two complainants declare over their signature that `we' (they) need not run after Oriental Mystics, who deny their ability to help us". The last sentence, in italics, has to be seriously examined. I ask the privilege to make a few remarks thereon.
To begin with, the tone of the whole article is that of a true manifesto. Condensed and weeded of its exuberance of Biblical expressions, it comes to this paraphrastical declaration; "We have knocked at their door, and they have not answered us; we have prayed for bread, they have denied us even a stone". The charge is quite serious; nevertheless, that it is neither just nor fair - is what I propose to, show.
As I was the first in the United States to bring the existence of our Masters into publicity; and, having exposed the holy names of two members of a Brotherhood, hitherto unknown to Europe and America (except to a few mystics and initiates of every age) yet sacred and revered throughout the East and especially India; causing vulgar speculation and curiosity to grow around those blessed names, and finally leading to a public rebuke, I believe it is my duty to contradict the fitness of the latter by explaining the whole situation, as I feel myself the chief culprit. It may do good to some, perchance, and will interest some others.
Let no one think withal, that I come out as a champion or a defender of those who most assuredly need no defense. What I intend, is to present simple facts and let after this, the situation be judged on its own merits. To the plain statement of our brothers and sisters that they have been
living on husks, "hunting after strange gods" without receiving admittance, I would ask in my turn as plainly; "Are you sure of having knocked at the right door? Do you feel certain that you have not lost your way by stopping so often on your journey at strange doors, behind which lie in wait the fiercest enemies of those you were searching for? "Our Masters are not 'a jealous god'; they are simply holy mortals, nevertheless, however, higher than any in this world, morally, intellectually and spiritually. However holy and advanced in the science of Mysteries - they are still men, members of a Brotherhood who are the first in it to show themselves subservient to its time-honored laws and rules. And one of the first rules in it demands that those who start on their journey Eastward, as candidates to the notice and favours of those who are the custodians of those Mysteries, should proceed by the straight road, without stopping on every sideway and path, seeking to join other "Masters" and professors often of the Left-Hand Science; that they should have confidence and show trust and patience, besides several other conditions to fulfill. Failing in all of this from first to last, what right has any man or woman to complain of the liability of the Masters to help them?
Truly " `The Dwellers of the threshold' are within!"
Once that a theosophist would become a candidate for either chelaship or favors, he must be aware of the mutual pledge tacitly, if not formally offered and accepted between the two parties, and, that such a pledge is sacred. It is a bond of seven years' of probation. If during that time, notwithstanding the many human shortcomings and mistakes of the candidates (save two which it is needless to specify in print) he remains throughout every temptation true to the chosen Master, or Masters; (in the case of lay candidates) and as faithful to the Society founded at their wish and under their orders, then the theosophist will be initiated into . . . . . thenceforward allowed to communicate with his guru unreservedly, all his failings, save this one, as specified, may be overlooked, they belong to his future Karma, but are left for the present, to the discretion and judgment of the Master. He alone has the power of judging whether even during those long seven years, the chela will be favored regardless of his mistakes and sins, with occasional communications with, and from the guru. The latter, thoroughly posted as to the causes and motives that led the candidate into sins of omission and commission, is the only one to judge of the advisability or inadvisability of bestowing encouragement; as he alone is entitled to it, seeing that he is himself under the inexorable law of Karma, which no one from the Zulu savage up to the highest archangel can avoid - and that he has to assume the great responsibility of the causes created by himself.
Thus, the chief and only indispensable condition required in the candidate or chela on probation, is simply unswerving fidelity to the chosen Master and his purposes. This is a condition sine qua non, not, as I have said, on account of any jealous feeling, but simply because the magnetic rapport between the two, once broken, it becomes at each time doubly difficult to reestablish it again, and that it is neither just nor fair, that the Masters should strain their powers for those whose future course and final desertion they very often can plainly foresee. Yet, how many of those who, expecting as I would call it "favours by anticipation", and being disappointed, instead of humbly repeating mea culpa tax the Masters with selfishness and injustice. They will deliberately break the thread of connection ten times in one year, and yet expect each time to be taken back on the old lines! I know of one theosophist - let him be nameless, though it is hoped he will recognize himself - a quiet intelligent young gentleman, a mystic by nature, who, in his ill-advised enthusiasm and im-
patience, changed Masters, and his ideas, about half a dozen times in less than three years. First he offered himself, was accepted on probation, and took the vow of chelaship; about a year later he suddenly got the idea of getting married, though he had several proofs of the corporeal presence of his Master, and had several favors bestowed upon him. Projects of marriage failing, he sought "Masters" under other climes, and became an enthusiastic Rosicrucian; then he returned to theosophy as a Christian mystic; then again sought to enliven his austerities with a wife; then gave up the idea and turned a spiritualist. And then having applied once more "to be taken back as a chela" (I have his letter) and his Master remaining silent - he renounced him altogether to seek in the words of the above manifesto - his old "Essenian Master and to test the spirits in his name."
The able and respected editor of the Occult Word and her secretary, are right, and have chosen the only true path in which, with a very small dose of blind faith, they are sure to encounter no deceptions or disappointments. "It is pleasant for some of us" they say "to obey the call of `The Man of Sorrows' who will not turn away because they are unworthy or have not scored up a certain percentage of personal merit." How do they know? unless they accept the cynically awful and pernicious dogma of the Protestant Church, that teaches the forgiveness of the blackest crime, provided the murderer believes sincerely that the blood of his Redeemer has saved him at the last hour - what is it but blind unphilosophical faith? Emotionalism is not philosophy; and Buddha devoted his long self-sacrificing life to tear people away precisely from that evil breeding superstition. Why speak of Buddha, then, in the same breath? The doctrine of salvation, by personal merit and self forgetfulness, is the corner stone of the teaching of the Lord Buddha. Both the writers may have and very likely they did - "hunt after strange gods" but these were not our Masters. They have "denied him thrice" and now propose "with bleeding feet and prostrate spirit" to pray that he (Jesus) may take us (them) once more under his wing", etc.
The "Nazarene Master" is sure to oblige them so far. Still they will be "living on husks" plus "blind faith." But in this, they are the best judges, and no one has a right to meddle with their private beliefs in our society; and heaven grant that they should not in their fresh disappointment turn our bitterest enemies one day.
Yet, to those Theosophists who are displeased with the Society, in general, no one has ever made to you any rash promises; least 'of all, has either the Society or its founders ever offered their "Masters" as a chromo-premium to the best behaved. For years every new member has been told that he was promised nothing, but had everything to expect only from his own personal merit. The Theosophist is left free and untrammeled in his actions. Whenever displeased - alia tentanda via est - no harm in trying elsewhere; unless indeed one has offered himself and decided to win the Masters favors. To such especially, I now address myself and ask; Have you fulfilled your obligations and pledges? Have you, who would fain lay all the blame on the Society and the Masters - the latter the embodiment of charity, tolerance, justice and universal love - have you led the life requisite and the conditions required from one who becomes a candidate? Let him who feels in his heart and conscience that he has - that he has never once failed seriously, never doubted his Master's wisdom, never sought other Master or Masters in his impatience to become an Occultist with powers; and that he has never betrayed his theosophical duty in thought or deed - let him I say, rise and protest. He can do so fearlessly; there is no penalty attached to it and he will not even receive a reproach, let alone be excluded from the society -t he broadest and
most liberal in its views, the most Catholic of all the Societies known or unknown.
I am afraid that my invitation will remain unanswered. During the eleven years of the existence of the Theosophical society, I have known out of the seventy-two regularly accepted chelas on probation, and the hundreds of lay candidates, only three who have not hitherto failed and one only who had a full success. . . No one forces any one into chelaship; no promises are uttered, none, except the mutual pledge between Master and the would-be chela. Verily, verily, many are called but few are chosen, or rather few who have the patience of going to the bitter end, if bitter we can call simple perseverance and singleness of purpose.
And what about the society in general, outside of India. Who, among the many thousands of members, does lead the life? Shall anyone say because he is a strict vegetarian -elephants and cows are that - or happens to lead a celibate life after a stormy youth in the opposite direction, or because he studies the Bhagavat-Gita or the "Yoga philosophy" upside down, that he is a theosophist according to the Masters' hearts? As it is not the cowl that makes the monk, so, no long hair, with a poetical vacancy on the brow are sufficient to make of one a faithful follower of divine Wisdom. Look around you, and behold our Universal Brotherhood so called. The Society founded to remedy the glaring evils of Christianity, to shun bigotry and intolerance, cant and superstition and to cultivate real universal love extending even to the dumb brute, what has it become in Europe and America in these eleven years of trial? In one thing only we have succeeded to be considered higher than our Christian Brothers, who, according to Lawrence Oliphant's graphic expression "Kill one another for Brotherhood's sake and fight as devils for the love of God", and this is that we have made away with every dogma, and are now justly and wisely trying to make away with the last vestige of even nominal authority. But in every other respect we are as bad as they are; backbiting, slander, uncharitableness, criticism and incessant war cry and ding of mutual rebukes that Christian Hell itself might be proud of. And all this, I suppose is the Masters' fault; They will not help those who help others on the way of salvation and liberation from selfishness - with kicks and scandals. Truly we are an example to the world, and fit companions for the holy ascetics of the snowy Range!
And now a few words more before I close. I will be asked "And who are you to find fault with us? Are you, who claim, nevertheless, communion with the Masters and receive daily favors from Them; are you so holy, faultless and so worthy?" To this I answer I Am Not. Imperfect and faulty is my nature; many and glaring are my shortcomings - for this my Karma is heavier than that of any other Theosophist. It is and must be so - since for so many years I stand set in the pillory, a target for my enemies and some friends also. Yet I accept the trial cheerfully. Why? Because I know that I have, all my faults notwithstanding, Master's protection extended over me. And if I have it, the reason for it is simply this; for thirty-five years and more, ever since 1851 that I saw my Master bodily and personally for the first time, I have never once denied or even doubted Him - not even in thoughts. Never a reproach or a murmur against Him has escaped my lips or entered even my brain for one instant under the heaviest trials. From the first I knew what I had to expect, for I was told that which I have never ceased repeating to others; as soon as one steps on the Path leading to the Ashrum of the blessed Masters - the last and only custodians of primitive Wisdom and Truth - his Karma, instead of having to be distributed throughout his long life falls upon him in a block and crushes him with its whole weight.
He who believes in what he professes and in his Master, will stand it and come
out of the trial victorious; he who doubts, the coward who fears to receive his just dues and tries to avoid justice being done - Fails. He will not escape Karma just the same, but he will only lose that for which he has risked its untimely visits. This is why having been so constantly, so mercilessly slashed by my Karma using my enemies as unconscious weapons, that I have stood it all. I felt sure that Master would not permit that I should perish; that he would always appear at the eleventh hour - and so he did. Three times I was saved from death by Him, the last time almost against my will; when I went again into the cold, wicked world out of love for Him, who has taught me what I know and made me what I am. Therefore I do his work, and bidding, and this is what has given me the lion's strength to support shocks, physical and mental, one of which would have killed any theosophist who would go on doubting of the mighty protection. Unswerving devotion to Him who embodies the duty traced for me, and belief in the wisdom, collectively of that grand, mysterious, yet actual Brotherhood of holy men - is my only merit, and the cause of my success in Occult philosophy.
And now, repeating after the Paraguru - My Master's Master - the words He had sent as a message to those who wanted to make of the Society a "miracle club" instead of a Brotherhood of Peace, Love and mutual assistance - "perish rather, the Theosophical Society and its hapless Founders", I say perish their twelve years' labour and their very lives, rather than that I should see what I do today, theosophists outvying political "rings" in their search for personal power and authority theosophists slandering and criticizing each other as two rival Christian sects might do; finally theosophists refusing to lead the life and then criticizing and throwing slurs on the grandest and noblest of men, because tied by their wise laws, hoary with age and based on an experience of human nature millenniums old - those Masters refuse to interfere with Karma and to play second fiddle to every theosophist who calls upon them and whether he deserves it or not.
Unless radical reforms in our American and European Societies are speedily resorted to, I fear that before long there will remain but one centre of Theosophical Societies and Theosophy in the whole world - namely in India; on that country I call all the blessings of my heart. All my love and aspirations belong to my beloved brothers, the Sons of Aryavarta, the Motherland of my Master.
- H. P. Blavatsky.
THE SELF AND MANAS
By W. Wilson Leisenring
As this article is controversial - a stimulus necessary for mental evolution - the writer wishes to break the usual journalistic conventions and begin with a personal introduction. Not having seen The Canadian Theosophist, the last few years, I am very interested in the October number which has just reached me. It is a pleasure to see the names of some old-time friends in Toronto where I was a member of the Toronto Lodge about twenty years ago, and also to read the exceptionally valuable articles in this issue. It is to be hoped that "Zadok" will discard the anonymity and have his articles published in book form under his own name. Instalment VII strikes me as, the most original and deft handling of the subject that has appeared for many years. But the pseudonym suggests astrologers and fortune-tellers, not the learned author the writer evidently is! This clear exposure of academic fallacies is just what is required for the many new readers who are demanding books on "occult" subjects.
It was with regret and some astonishment, however, that I read the paragraphs on page 238 "From the Letter of an Occultist", and I offer the following comments based on many years' study of
Blavatsky's writings and the esoteric philosophy of the East, and an experience of corresponding length.
The original Canadian Theosophists (the late Mr. Beckett, Mr. A.E.S. Smythe and others), from whom I first learned of Theosophy, expounded the ancient, secret teaching regarding the nature of Man. Through this we have found that those who desire to rise out of karmic, mortal consciousness and ascend to the "immortal Gods" need not study the modus operandi of those who are seeking to prolong their mortal existence and to attain a relative, personal immortality in the lower astral worlds. The writer of this Letter has had, evidently a thorough intellectual grounding in the Theosophical philosophy, and uses the classification of cosmic and human principles first given to the public, in both the East and West, by H.P. Blavatsky; and he also uses the terminology she selected and adopted to explain these principles. He appears, however, unable to comprehend the metaphysical, spiritual implications of this archaic philosophy, and covers his defeat by twisting the doctrines and principles to conform to his own mentality. By this standard, the School of Occultism to which H.P. Blavatsky belonged is on the path of error, and "An Occultist" would correct the primaeval wisdom - for the benefit of unsuspecting readers?
That the writer cannot get beyond his own intellect is shown by his statement, "Manas is the God, the Divine Intellect, the true Individuality". Divine intellect is a contradiction in terms. The rajasic principle (restless energy) is manas, mind, the intelligence-aspect of manifestation; it balances or opposes the tamasic principle of inertia and concreteness in which energy is latent. Within these is the Sattvic principle, the quality of absolute motion (or spirit) pervading the, to us, unmanifested Cosmic Substance. Spiritual energy differs from intellectual energy in that the latter acts selectively by polar action and is subject to `time', and is, therefore, relative; the former acts absolutely, for the frequency is superlative, the movement being continuous, not gyratory with intermittent vibrations: there is no `time' for selective intelligence to act. Thus the Atmic-Buddhic Substance is the state of `bliss' in which consciousness is satisfied by and within its Self, because, having found that Self, manas, as such, ceases to function. This is the state of consciousness per se. It is `divine' because pure, and unmixed with, or unadulterated by, desire or intellectual striving. Intelligence, or manas is, in effect, a principle of polar selection, the means of evolution and even its manifesting cause; but it can equally well obstruct evolution when it is considered an end in itself. This aspect is kama manas.
The polar principle was well-understood by the ancient philosophers, and the electro-magnetic `field' of modern physics illustrates admirably what the Greeks meant by Psyche, the mind or soul. Psyche is merely the field of experience, the soul which defines the type of intelligence temporarily active during the existence of the atom, the elemental, the biological cell, the animal or man. The tales of the wanderings of Psyche and her illusions indicate the ephemeral nature of the mind or soul. We term the human soul, manas. When it operates psycho-physically it is `lower manas'; when psycho-spiritually, it is Higher Manas. Psycho-physical consciousness is the same in animals and men except that in the latter the animal-astral consciousness may be accentuated, perverted and misused by reason of man's more highly organized physical brain in which a direct polarity is established between the voluntary and involuntary powers. The atmic potency enables man to exercise intelligence with conscious volition and to make contact with the Upper Ether (Akasha) the `abode of the immortal Gods', the truly Self-conscious Beings. Animal organisms function in
Chaos, the lower nether. These two spheres are interblended polar opposites: their `matter' gyrates in reverse directions, * and they represent also the lokas and talas of The Secret Doctrine (see Diag. V. Vol. III.)
* This point has been developed in an article in The Occult Review, Oct., Nov. 1929, and it is unnecessary to occupy apace here to elaborate it.
Man, manas or psyche is the invisible "bridge" between the two worlds. Man is the only self-conscious being in the lower world, but he has yet to win his Self-consciousness in the Upper. Animal-man's self-consciousness, however, is nothing but the notion that sensational or astral existence is permanent and `real'. This self-consciousness is a very low-voltage effect, having passed through several step-down transformers. It has been obtained by proxy - the animal psyche interacting with the human psyche, and the latter being linked to the latent, positive essence of will (or spirit) the Divine or Higher Self. It is, of course, in the nature of things that the "seven principles" operating in our cosmos must all be latent in every atom, molecule, and organic unit, including the human animal. Any "horrible confusion" comes from the preposterous implication that the principles are all equally active in every energy-level (or plane). If that were so, there would be no "planes" and no evolution which proceeds by means of the interaction of different types of intelligences at various stages of development.
There are selves within selves. The Real Self of all truly human selves is universal, undifferentiated Spirit which manifests as Spirit-Substance (Atma-Buddhi) latent in all; a mere `germ' or `spark' in most men whose manas rarely contacts It; an embryonic Augoeides in others; and in the higher evolved the hyper-metaphysical, luminous `form' of Upper Akashic (not astral or psychic) Substance. Nevertheless, "An Occultist" says:
"The animal man is not a separate being from his own Higher Self. The Higher Self manifests in each of the three worlds. . . He is at the same time the Solar man, the lunar man and the earthly man. With the completion of the cycle of evolution the three become one."
This is a brilliant manasic statement, for how can they become one if they are not separate, if they are already one? A cycle of evolution is then obviously unnecessary, for the one cannot become what it is. As each type of consciousness has its peculiar and appropriate form, or medium in which it can express itself, it is illogical, unscientific and unphilosophical to state that the Higher Self manifests in each of the three worlds.
There may have been (how does "An Occultist" know?) "intentional omission of almost everything concerning the psychic man, his permanent (?) body and the rupa loca in which he lives". If this refers to Kalpic, astral "immortals" the omission might be made good on application to these adepts. On scientific grounds alone one can say that there is nothing permanent in our cosmos, not even `psychic man'. And there can be no lasting results from terrestrial experiences gained purely psycho-physically; they are nugatory if no contact be made, by means of psycho-spiritual induction, with the Higher Self which being imperishable preserves all that can accrue to its "centre."
In the `lower' astral worlds man's self-consciousness is developed by positing his psychic field against his "environment" viz. the centrifugal forces whether emanating from Nature or the immortal Gods of the Upper Sphere. Thus he may increase the intensity of his self-centred ambition and use his Higher Manas to try to perpetuate his personal, astral body (Linga Sharira) and defy the Gods, represented by his Higher Self. The rupa of one who emphasizes his separate existence to this extent must be in the Kama-loca of the lower spheres.
The rupa of one who sacrifices personal safety for others must be of opposite polarity even if only in a comparatively, low-level. Manas untainted by kama may be quite elementary and simple before a strong personal karma has been developed and a definite division made which we describe as upper and lower manas. There are, in fact, two lower and two upper Minds, but the difference is only instinctive in the lower, not self-conscious. There is a `right' and `left' movement in all living things. In the primitive sense a lower, that is undeveloped, manas may function in Devachan but it is not the psycho-physical, kamic mind. The least touch of 'otherness' in thought changes the polarity and carries the consciousness into the centripetally revolving AEther and stimulates the evolution of true Self-consciousness. We each have to develop our consciousness of the Higher Self - that is the purpose of human terrestrial existence.
Any enlightenment we may obtain on the complicated and obscure problems of the human manas will be from the Higher Spiritual Self, not manas as such. And this Light does not penetrate the kamic darkness which surrounds the minds of our present race including the majority of us Theosophists. "Yoga practices" will not dispel it, for until we have destroyed our own self-regarding, mental instincts in all our relations of the ordinary, personal life, such introspective practices merely give increased potency to that which we are. Only the manas conscious of the SELF can "redeem" us. And in the present earth-cycle there are many egos who have two distinct lines of karma, from `good' and `evil' thoughts and actions; and unless the lower breaks away from the Higher Manas, the latter is truly expiating, or suffering for, its wicked relative until the latter sees the error of his ways.
In his article on The Voice of the Silence Mr. Pryse appears to take the same line as "An Occultist". Now, the root of the matter is a question of interpretation and understanding. There is not much difference between the dogmatic and simple-minded fundamentalist, and the Higher Critic except that the latter has a more active brain which has destroyed his faith without stimulating his intuition. The texts selected and the order in which they are arranged has been a subject of controversy since the first "sacred books" were written, as we know from the wrangles of Brahmins, Buddhists, Orientalists, Kabbalists and Biblical Scholars. Infallibility of character and knowledge, not textual accuracy, is the point for the few who sincerely aspire to understand spiritual truths. Do any of us know what H.P.B. knew? She used for The Voice the texts which embody the experience and teaching of the School of Occultism in which she was initiated, and which in her judgment were suitable for the few living in the world. She stated many times that information concerning actual Spiritual initiation is never published. Therefore, this is not a book of Yoga-instructions; it is not intended for the Shramana, the `doer' of the work, but for the Shravaka, the listener or learner. She said what she meant. She carefully showed the difference between the two in the Glossary and deliberately retained `Shravaka' in the text.
Here is where higher manasic activity is really valuable: one must comprehend the doctrine before attempting to practice it as a science. This comprehension is acquired by discharging our personal obligations in everyday life and learning to understand our own nature and the principles that guide us to our "Guru". The Voice o f the Silence is a treatise on the principles of Raja-yoga, not the practices of Hatha-yoga; and therefore, a help in the karmic difficulties of every day life. The inspiration derived from it, is the vision it evokes of Those who have accomplished, and of the reality of Their existence. Did H.P.B. imagine that any of us Westerners were `ripe' for practical initiation, or capable of fully understanding or joining Them?
The use of the word `harmony' in the Theosophical Society to denote the relations existing between its members seems to be only too often taken to mean that they should at all times be in perfect concord one with another, that there is or should be no discord between them.
From this understanding of the word arises the usual idea of a `harmonious' lodge comprised of a number of amiable people who are always in agreement and who are not willing to have their satisfaction ruffled by the efforts of truth-seekers or other disturbers of their peace.
Harmony includes discords as well as concords in its scheme. Music would be very insipid without discords, they bring vitality into the work, are active not passive, and give a sense of life and energy as they progress either towards other discords or onto resolution. In music it is precisely in the study of harmony that one learns the nature and tendencies of discords.
In another type of lodge when an effort to evolve harmony is made, the members feel that they are free to do as they please which same freedom they claim to allow to others, hoping perhaps in this way to avoid the clash of conflicting ideas. This rather haphazard sense of direction can have no analogy with harmony for harmony determines the progression of its component parts according to the rules which govern them.
Why not take discords into consideration; diverse or conflicting ideas? Concords become very tedious with too much repetition, they represent a passive state and their effect musically could be somewhat like one of those old-time popular chants repeated over and over again. Is the serious theosophical member going to be content to make his lodge the equivalent of a pleasant Sunday afternoon?
One of the objects of the Society and part of the work of the theosophist is said to be the study of the laws and forces of nature and the "powers latent in man", while work seems to bring about a more stressful state of discord and many find the effort too difficult and turn back.
Theosophy makes clear then that life, as we know it, is dissonant, so there are likely to be discords amongst the members of the Theosophical Society wherever active work is being done. In their search for truth, all types may enter, none may be excluded, and the function of a lodge if truly `harmonious' would seem to be the working out of all differences, examining them and dealing with them in the light of intelligence.
It seems to be a question for members of being grounded right; it takes a long time to find out what the work really is. The knowledge that discords must be encountered leads to a study of what they represent; they can be prepared for and helped towards resolution, i.e. emergence into a place of rest.
Concord seems to have its happiest function in bringing some form of activity to a close.
"It is all triumphant art but art according to laws," and "Why rushed the discords in but that harmony should be prized."
This aspect of harmony seems to point the way to more positive activity, the resolving of discord into concord. On a small scale it bears some resemblance to the work of the adepts when they form peace centres, "taking the conflicting forces of life and transmuting them into powers that help."
- Western Student
If you are a believer in the Brotherhood of Humanity you should belong to the only Society that makes this the sole basis of membership. The dues are $2.50 a year, including subscription to the official Magazine. Will you not join?
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- THE ORGAN OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN CANADA
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert E. S. Smythe.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
- Subscription, One Dollar a Year.
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
- GENERAL EXECUTIVE
- Felix A. Belcher, 250 North Lisgar St., Toronto.
- Walter R. Hick, 27 Balsam Ave. South, Hamilton, Ont.
- Fletcher Ruark, P.O. Box 518, Walkerville, Ont.
- Fredk. B. Housser, 10 Glen Gowan Ave., Toronto.
- George C. McIntyre, 20 Shannon Street, Toronto.
- Kartar Singh, 1664 Fourth Ave., Vancouver, B.C.
- Dr. Wash. Wilke, 805 Medical-Dental Bldg., Vancouver, B.C.
- Albert E. S, Smythe, 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
The cables announce the serious collapse of Mr. C.W. Leadbeater at Adyar.
Will our Exchanges and correspondents generally please note our change of address. We have sent notifications to all our Exchanges but many of them do not appear to observe it.
A meeting of the General Executive has been called for February 2 at 2 p.m. This is immediately prior to the announcements necessary to the annual elections, which must appear in the February issue.
The Mr. J.M. Pryse, spoken of last month as taking part in a new Parliament of Religions is Mr. John M. Pryse, a brother of Mr. James M. Pryse, so well known by his writings on occultism.
The Title page and Index to Volume ix. of The Canadian Theosophist is now in the press and the bound volumes will be ready shortly. Those subscribers desiring an Index should send a stamp to the office of publication. Those wishing to have a bound up volume should send in their orders at once as only a limited number are bound. The price is $2 per volume, post free.
Every now and again when a contributor writes "selflessness", the printer sets it up "selfishness" and it gets through without correction. When a word looks correctly it is apt to be passed over in rapid proof-reading without regard to its meaning. On page 302 last month, third line of the first column, this unfortunate mistake occurred. Most readers will have made the correction themselves, but we beg the pardon of any who did not.
The Meher Message for November is as interesting as usual. In the report of "Sayings of His Divine Majesty Sadguru Meher Baba" we note No. 51: "If worldly desires and anger take hold of your mind, then take it for granted that you are still entangled in the toils of maya, no matter however much you practice tapajapa and meditation. It is this Maya that is the source of all worries, anxieties and troubles." And No. 54: "As surely as there is no death for a corpse, as surely as there is no shame for a hardened sinner, as surely as there is no bliss for a sense-slave, as surely as there is no hatred for a lover, -there is no obstacle impossible to triumph over for a genuine spiritual aspirant."
Just as we are about to go to press the initial number of the new series of The Theosophist, published at 6137 Temple Hill Drive, Hollywood, California, has come to hand. We had understood that it was intended to appeal particularly to the public, as indeed a four dollar a year maga-
zine must to succeed. However with the exception of articles by Claude Bragdon and Ales Hrdlicka and one on President Hoover and Child Welfare, the contents are primarily suited to Theosophists and Theosophists of the Adyar type. We suppose this to be unavoidable, but it undoubtedly weakens the chances of success, for the public to which such a magazine might be expected to appeal is becoming more and more eclectic in the spirit of a true Theosophy.
A sympathetic review of Mr. William Kingsland's book, The Real H. P. Blavatsky, appears in the December Theosophist, signed E.M.A. In it, we believe, appears the first mention in the Adyar organ of the Mahatma Letters. Of Mr. Kingsland's book the following paragraph is a suggestive tribute: "Written as it is, long after the violent controversies about her have died down, and when people are able to judge more quietly as to the worth of her work, this volume has about it an atmosphere of calm and clear judgment as well as of sincere devotion to `the real H.P.B.', and is marked throughout by a sweet reasonableness that should commend it to Theosophists of every shade and color; for whatever may be our present unhappy divisions, we are at least one in recognizing in H.P.B., the light-bringer and the founder of the Theosophical Society."
Mrs. Besant makes an important supplementary statement in the December Theosophist to her announcement that The Theosophist was to be transferred to the United States. She repeats this announcement in her notes in The WatchTower department, notes which she says represent the editorial policy of The Theosophist, but in any case, "are not binding on any member of the Theosophical Society in any part of the world." Then she continues: "Freedom of thought in the Search for Truth belongs to each of us, and I regard the Search for Truth as our bond of union, not any individual's or group opinion. The Search for Truth is our duty as human beings - while the claim to be in possession of Truth, the whole Truth, cannot be reasonably justified, surely, by any one of us. Was it not Leibnitz who said that if God asked him whether he desired Absolute Truth or the Search for Truth, he would answer: `The Search for Truth. Absolute Truth is for Thee alone.' Because our bond of union lies in that Search, the expression of all opinions rationally maintained and courteously expressed will be welcome to the pages of The Adyar Theosophist. Let me explain why the name of this magazine will be changed in the January number to The Adyar Theosophist, on January 15, its day of publication. The Theosophist published at Adyar, is the property and the organ of the elected President of the Society. The Theosophical Society is a body of people duly incorporated under Indian Law. It was thus incorporated during the time of Col. Olcott, its founder with H.P.B., and the President for life of the Society. When he passed away in 1907, I was elected President; and came, of course, under the seven years' term of office, being reelected in 1914, 1921, and 1928. I have resisted the efforts made to elect me President for life, on the obvious grounds that it would be a bad precedent for the future, and that if the Society wished me to continue as President, it could re-elect me for the following seven years, while on the other hand another person could, if so wished by a majority, be put in my place. That is the present condition of affairs. For the reasons mentioned above, I thought that the United States could produce a better International Magazine than could be produced in India. That will be The Theosophist. I shall send these notes to it every month, as well as print them here. But the Presidential organ, for obvious reasons, will still be printed at the International Headquarters,
the official centre of our world-wide movement. There are five very old members of the Theosophical Society, to whom complimentary copies are sent every month; these copies will be sent from Adyar. The International issue will have to be subscribed to by everyone who wants it - except the President, who will receive a copy, `free, gratis and for nothing.' I have no doubt that the present and probably the future Presidents will claim a copy of the International Theosophist, while they continue to hug to their presidential bosoms The Adyar Theosophist, which will duly issue its volume LI, number 4, on the fifteenth of January, in the year of grace, 1930."
A MASTER IN EUROPE
The Theosophist for November in its series of "Echoes of the Past," narrates how on July 8, 1881, Mr. A. P. Sinnett received a letter from the Master K.H. in which the latter remarked: "I may answer you, what I said to G.T. Fechner, one day, when he wanted to know the Hindu view on what he had written." This is to be found in The Mahatma Letters, p. 44. Mr. C.C. Massey, who was always skeptical about the Masters, set out to test this bit of evidence and wrote to Dr. Wernekke of Weimar with the hope of corroborating or perhaps of discrediting it. But Professor Fechner wrote back from Leipzig on April 25, 1883 to Dr. Wernekke the following letter which should be of the first interest to all real students of the Theosophical Movement: "What Mr. Massey enquires about is undoubtedly in the main correct; the name of the Hindu concerned, when he was in Leipzig, was, however, Nisi Kanta Chattopadhyaya, not Koot Humi. In the middle of the seventies he lived for about one year in Leipzig and aroused a certain interest owing to his foreign nationality, without being otherwise conspicuous; he was introduced to several families and became a member
of the Academic Philosophical society, to which you also belonged, where on one occasion he gave a lecture on Buddhism. I have these notes from Mr. Wirth, the Librarian of the Society, who is good enough to read to me three times a week. I also heard him give a lecture in a private circle on the position of women among the Hindus. I remember very well that he visited me once, and though I cannot remember our conversation, his statement that I questioned him about the faith of the Hindus is very likely correct. Apart from this I have not had personal intercourse with him; but, after his complete disappearance from Leipzig, I have been interested to hear about him, and especially to know that he plays an important role in his native country, such as undoubtedly he could not play here."
AMONG THE LODGES
Miss. Clara Codd is to speak in Toronto at the Hall, 52 Isabella Street, on the evenings of January 15-19 inclusive. She is the senior National lecturer for the T.S. in England, and is at present making a lecture tour of America.
The reception held by Mr. and Mrs. A.E.S. Smythe on New Year's Day in the Lodge Room was a very enjoyable occasion. A number of members and old and new friends attended and Mr. and Mrs. Smythe were delighted to renew so many old friendships. The rooms were very tastefully decorated by the Women's Committee. Miss Stuart and Mrs. Buckley poured tea. -The Toronto Theosophical News.
The St. Catharines group met variously throughout October at Welland, Niagara Falls and the "Garden City". Lectures were given by Mr. Leslie Floyd of Toronto; Mr. Hick of Hamilton; Mr. A.E.S. Smythe and Mr. John Bailey of the local branch. At the last meeting of the month it was decided to devote considerable time during the winter to study and discussion
based upon the "Key to Theosophy". This policy was entered upon immediately and in November three of the meetings took the form of an open exchange of views. The only lecture was the outstanding address given by Mr. Kartar Singh on "Unity in Diversity". This topic was handled from an ethical viewpoint and developed into a plea for sympathetic appreciation of the benefits of a many-angled human progress.
PREDICTIONS A LA MODE
Of the making of Mahatmas there is no end. The trouble is that the pains are not spent in making real Mahatmas, or in honestly trying to turn eligible men by their own exertions into Mahatmas, but in simulating Mahatmas or in pretending by Pharisaic laudations to recognize Mahatmas in very ordinary persons having not the slightest claims to such rank. We have had a number of examples of this sort of thing recently, but the cup brimmed over with a perusal of the article in The Theosophical Messenger for January, in which Mr. Charles E. Luntze professes to find a prediction verified.
He states the case, to take a short paragraph, in these terms: "In The Theosophist for February, 1910, when modern developments in radio were not even a dream, the article appeared which is quoted below. This article was reprinted in The Messenger for April, 1910. It may also be found in Chapter xxvi of `Man, Whence, How and Whither.' Then there is a quotation from the last mentioned book: `More usually, when the Manu desires to promulgate some edict or information to all His people, He Himself speaks in the great central Temple, and what He says is simultaneously produced by a sort of altogether improved phonographic system in all the other Temples'."
Mr. Luntz adds, for the further mystification of the ignorant, "The word microphone of course was not in existence, so he is forced to use the clumsy terminology, `a sort of altogether improved phonographic system'."
Readers with no memories, or who take no pains to verify what is said in Theosophic writings, a practice which every student must make a habit if he is ever going to get any kind of reliable information, may accept such statements and add to the glorification of the applauded writer. But only the ignorant and the stupid can be so misled.
To take the earliest easily rectified blunder, the use of the word "microphone". If Mr. Luntz will consult The Standard Dictionary he will find the word noted there with a quotation from George Elliot's book, Theophrastus Such, dated 1979. "A microphone which detects the cadence of a fly's foot on the ceiling."
Wireless telegraphy was the precursor of wireless telephony, and the one was implicit in the other just as wireless telegraphy was implicit in the induction principle itself. In 1889, when crossing in the Sarnia to Montreal, I told a passenger, a Mr. Vining, that wireless telegraphy was within measureable distance, and he pointed me out to his fellow passengers as a crazy man. That was in 1889, and in five years wireless telegraphy was an accomplished fact.
What the human faculty is capable of can to some extent be reproduced by mechanical means, and as clairvoyance and clairaudience are common-places of occultism it took no great ability to foresee their imitation on the physical plane. As early as 1838 the principle of wireless telegraphy was recognized by Steinheil of Munich. The methods of conduction and induction were abandoned when in 1886 and 1887 the classical researches of Hertz led to the production of electric waves. Edison had observed some kindred phenomena as early as 1875. Branly in 1890 made an important contribution to the work by the discovery that an electric spark at a distance had the power of changing loose aggrega-
tions of metallic powders from poor to good conductors. I heard in 1898 a lecture in which the coherer was explained and illustrated, as invented by Marconi. To say after that, that anyone predicting wireless telephony in 1910 had some inspired source for his ideas is to talk simple and unadulterated rot.
In July and August, 1899, the Marconi system of wireless telegraphy was tried for the first time during British naval maneuvers. In the interval from this time up till 1910 the whole electrical world was on the qui vive on the subject, and the gradual perfection of the present system came about quite naturally according to general expectation. Besides all this, Madam Blavatsky gave all kinds of hints as to the coming developments and any student who was too stupid to pick up ideas from what she said may perhaps be pardoned for not being able to protect himself from the deceptions of others who may have done so, and made use of the information to provoke admiration of themselves.
FELLOWS AND FRIENDS
Dr. James H. Cousins contributes an interesting account of his tour in America and afterwards to the December Theosophist. He has been recognized by the American Universities and is to give a course of lectures to one of these next year. If there were no other justification for Adyar this may be accepted, and if it is Irish culture that is responsible we may welcome it the more readily since it is Irish culture that is active in the New York group and at some other points. It is interesting to note that when Mr. and Mrs. Cousins spoke at Kyoto in the Otani University, Mrs. L. Adams Beck, who is spending a year in Japan studying and writing about Zen Buddhism was an interested auditor.
DR. A. S. GULLEN HONOURED.
Courage and a determination to blaze a trail won for Dr. Augusta Stowe Gullen the honour of being the first woman physician to graduate from a Canadian university. But it was her gallant spirit, her wholly charming personality and her deep love for her fellow-men that earned for her the sincere warmth of affection and devotion which marked the gathering of distinguished members of the medical profession at the Academy of Medicine last night, when her portrait, painted by Allan Barr, was presented to the Academy by the Medical Alumnae. In the presentation of the portrait the alumnae honored the pioneer in the profession, but in the heart-felt tributes paid to Dr. Stowe Gullen by the official speakers and by those who merely clasped her hand, they honoured one who has been to them a wise counselor and a beloved friend.
That her interests had not been confined solely to medical circles was proved by the disappointment of her many friends outside the profession when they were unable to share in the presentation of the portrait. Members of the various women's organizations in which Dr. Stowe Gullen has always taken an active part requested the privilege of contributing toward the portrait, but it was felt that it was better to confine it to the Medical Alumnae.
A great sheaf of red roses was placed in the arms of Dr. Stowe Gullen by Dr. Edna Guest, President of the Medical Alumnae, who presented the splendid portrait of her to the academy. Dr. W. Warner Jones, President of the academy, accepted the gift and paid his own tribute to the guest of honour. Dr. Guest, in making the presentation, reviewed the history of women in medicine from prehistoric times up to the present.
"Here in our own country," said Dr. Guest, "we find there was born at South Norwich, Ont., in 1831, a little girl, who later became Mrs. Emily Howard Stowe, a woman of great force of character, un-
daunted courage, and by temperament a pioneer, who, after proving herself the successful mother of three children, found her thirst for an education which would enable her to help other mothers and children still so strong in her that she was impelled to steal quietly across the border to the south of us, to a school of medicine where women were admitted as students."
"In 1867 she graduated and returned loyally to her native soil to serve her country women, but it was not until 1880 that she was admitted a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, when she became the first woman physician permitted officially to practice medicine in Canada. During these years, she and her only daughter, Miss Augusta, became inseparable pals, and with a spirit almost beyond the imagination of any but the true pioneer, she urged her daughter to follow the trail and to break through the early convention of this country. And so it happened that just fifty years ago this past October, and one year before her mother got her official licence to practice - a shy and sensitive young girl in her teens, collecting all the courage she could muster, went forth to register in the great friendless halls of the man-inhabited college - and she carried on - though she admits wet lashes closed her eyes on many nights from sheer loneliness. In 1883 she graduated from our own Toronto School of Medicine, which at that time was in affiliation with Victoria University.
"This demure and timid girl is now the charming, buoyant and delightful woman whose portrait we are about to present to her," said Dr. Guest, and Dr. Stove Gullen laughed happily.
"Through all these years she has been a happy inspiration to those of us who have found when we grow to the age of cognizance, that we too had fortunately, or unfortunately, been born with that indescribable something which impelled us to join the trail which she and her mother and the pioneers of other lands have blazed so well for us."
Among the special guests at last night's gathering at the academy were: Sir William Mulock, Chancellor of the University of Toronto; Miss Addison, Dean of Women of Victoria University, the university which conferred the first medical degree on a woman in Canada; Dr. Alexander MacPhedran, a member of the first faculty of the only women's medical college in Canada (1883-1906); Dr. Gibb Wishart, Secretary of that women's medical college; Dr. G.B. Smith, Allan Barr, and Dr. J.B. Gullen, classmate and husband of Dr. Augusta Stove Gullen. - The Globe.
LIVING THE LIFE
Living the life from day to day
Minding not what others may say,
Heeding only the voice within,
Knowing the Soul is free from sin.
Learning the Truth as I go along,
Singing each day a joyful song;
At times I glimpse a sight of my goal,
As I live the pure life of the Soul.
Living, living the life of the Soul,
While the years of eternity onward roll,
I am one with the bird and the flower and tree,
And one with the Man of Galilee,
With the ALL that was and that is to be, -
For I'm living the life of the Soul.
Helping my brothers along the way,
Paying all debts that I'm due to pay,
Bearing my burden with cheerful face,
Doing my work with patience and grace,
Singing along through the sunshine and rain,
Sharing the joy of the world and its pain,
I am God in Man and in life as a whole,
When I live the pure life of the Soul.
- H. H. McKinney
St. Catharines, Ont.,
O! Master, Do Thou Mend, With Thy Perfectness, Thy Servant's Imperfection, lest any earnest seeker after Truth be led astray by error of his.
Subtile is that utter Truth, though all so simple, very difficult to be set on high so that it shall shine out strong and clear and steady, and very feeble for such purpose is the hand that would now do so.
Guide Thou That Hand Aright.
- A sketch of the Life and Teachings of Pythagoras.
Pythagoras, according to H.P.B. was the most famous of Mystic Philosophers, (Glossary p. 248,) He traveled all over the world, studying the esoteric Sciences, under the Priests of Egypt, and also under the "Brachmanes" in India, where he went by the name of Yavanacharya, (or the Ionian Teacher.)
The essence of his teaching and system comes down to us in the Golden verses of Lysis, also the commentary of Hierocles, fragments of Philolaus, and in the Timaeus of Plato, which contains his celebrated Cosmogony.
About the beginning of the reign of Polycrates in Greece, in the early part of the year 586 B.C. or nearly 600 years before Christ, Pythagoras was born on the Island of Samos. He was the son of a wealthy jeweler called Mnesarchus, and of a woman named Parthenis.
Before he was born the Pythoness of Delphi promised them - "a son who would be useful to all men, and throughout all time", he was then, i.e. before he was born, consecrated to the worship of Apollo; and when a year old, the priest of Delphi told his mother to take him to the Temple of Adonai, in the valley of Lebanon; where he was blessed by the priest there; His mother often brought back to his mind what the Hierophant of Adonai said - "O woman of Ionia, thy son shall be great in wisdom, but remember that, though the Greeks still possess the Science of the Gods, the Knowledge of God can no longer be found elsewhere than in Egypt". This was before he returned to Samos.
At the age of 18, a sage whom he had consulted said to him, "It is from Demeter (Nature) that all springs. Nothing comes from nothing. The Soul comes from water, of Fire, or from both. This subtle emanation of the Elements issues from them only to return; The Eternal Material is blind and inflexible, resign thyself to her fatal Laws. The only merit thou wilt have will be that thou knowest them, and are resigned thereto".
The priest of Juno said to him, in respect of the firmament and the starry heavens,"This is the heaven of the Gods, which was before the Earth; Thy Soul comes therefrom; Pray to them that it may mount again to heaven".
Pythagoras thought of these things under the Light of his experience, and found the Earth saying "Fatality", Heaven said "Providence", while mankind between the two, replied, - "Madness, Pain, Slavery." In the depths of his own nature, however, the future adept heard an invincible voice, which replied "Liberty". Only he who can find agreement between them, and the laws of their equilibrium, will be wise; he alone will be in possession of the Divine knowledge, and capable of aiding mankind; it is in the Synthesis of the three worlds that the secret of the Kosmos lies.
The Kosmos, controlled and penetrated by God, formed the "Sacred Quaternion" (or "Tetractys",) the source of Nature, whose cause is Eternal" (see Golden Verses.) Yes! Here concealed in the geometrical lines, is the key of the Universe, The Science of Numbers; The ternary Law, regulating the constitution of Beings, and the septenary Law, that governs their evolution - Equilibrium of Earth and Heaven, of which human Liberty holds the control; Three worlds,
the Natural, Human, and the Divine, sustaining and determining each other; playing the Universal drama, in a double; that is ascending and descending; Cyclic movement.
But; to prove by reason, what pure intelligence obtains from the Absolute, requires many human lives; and it is indeed the work of a Hercules. (Schure p. 19.) .
Polycrates, willingly gave Pythagoras a letter of introduction to the Pharaoh Amasis, who introduced him to the priests of Memphis, Egypt, where he went, to undergo Initiation. Here, after 22 years of study, trials, temptations, etc., he became filled with Divine Knowledge, and mastered the sacred mathematics and science of numbers; which he formulated anew, as the centre of his system. Here he attained that view from above, which allows of one seeing the spheres of life and the sciences in concentric order, and understanding the evolution of Spirit into matter by Universal creation, and its evolution, or re-ascent towards Unity, by way of that individual creation, called the development of a consciousness.
Then war was declared; - And Cambyses, son of the conqueror of Babylon, descended on Egypt, and put an end to the ancient Institutions of Egypt of the Pharaohs. Cambyses had Pythagoras taken to Babylon, where he remained for twelve years, and then, a compatriot named Democedes, the King's physician, obtained an order from the King, giving him his liberty, and he returned to Samos, after thirty-four years' absence. He did not stay in Samos however, but went on with his mother to the Temple of Apollo, which he hoped to restore and then to found somewhere a school of the sciences of Life, whence should come forth, not politicians, and Sophists, but Initiates; true mothers and pure Heroes, -
AEschylos, whose affirmation is not without weight, and who was himself an initiate, tells us in his Eumenides, that this Temple was first consecrated to Gea, the Earth; Then to Themis, Justice, then to Phoebe, (the interceding moon), and finally to Apollo, the Solar God, and in Temple symbolism, each of these names represents a long period of Time, just as Dionysos signified the Divine Spirit, in the evolution of the Universe, and Apollo the manifestation thereof to mankind on earth, or as Bacchus reigned over the mysteries of the Beyond, and Apollo over the world. of the living.
Thus we find in Apollo, the Solar Logos; the Universal Word, the Mighty Mediator; One with Vishnu of the Hindus, Mithras of the Persians, and Horus of the Egyptians; as AEschylos says, - "Apollo goes to Delphi, and pierces with his arrows a monstrous Serpent, which was ravaging and laying waste the land. He purified the country and established His Temple. The Serpent symbolized at once, the fatal circle of Life, and the evil resulting therefrom. Yet from this Life, once understood and overcome by the purified Will, springs forth knowledge.
The slayer of the Serpent is the Initiate, who pierces nature by Science, tames it to His Will, and breaks the Karmic circle of the flesh, and mounts aloft, in Spiritual Splendour.
Pythagoras, like the Aryans, directed worship towards the Source of Light, Heat, and Life, but rose from the phenomenon to the Cause behind this Sensible Fire, this visible Light, and perceiving an Intelligible Light, and an Immaterial Fire, fell in line with the most ancient Mythologies. So in Genesis, the Elohim said, "Let there be Light", and there was Light.
And as the creation of this Light precedes that of the Sun and Stars, it means that in the order of Cosmogony and Principles, the Intelligence precedes the material Light.
This Intelligible Light was well demonstrated by Reichenbach, who experimented extensively; He found that subjects of very sensitive nerve-fibre, when placed in a very dark room, in front of a magnet,
saw at its two ends, strong rays of Red, Yellow and Blue Light, which sometimes vibrated with an undulatory movement.
He continued his experiments with all kinds of bodies, especially with crystals; Luminous emanations were seen by his sensitive subjects around all these bodies.
Round the heads of men, placed in the dark room, they saw white rays, and from their fingers issued small flames, while pure astral Light appears only in a condition of lofty ecstasy, though it is polarized in all bodies; While it plays diverse roles in electricity, in terrestrial and animal magnetism; but see his work on "Researches in Magnetism, Electricity, Heat, Light, Crystallization and Chemical Attraction." Translated by Gregory, London, 1850".
Condensed in enormous masses in the atmosphere, she produces electrical phenomena, while absorbed by the earth she circulates in magnetic currents. Subtilized in the nervous system of the animal she transmits her will to the limb, and her sensations to the brain.
It serves as substance in the astral forms of living organisms, and as body for the soul, and as the Shekinah or body of Light, which the Spirit is ever weaving for itself.
Thus the astral Light, being the matter of the Archetypal world and the basis of the Formative World, (Yetziratic) we begin to understand the meaning of the Veil of Isis and the Mantle of Cybele, into which all beings and things are woven.
There are many volumes written on this astral light and its phenomena; of which I will mention - Letters on Animal Magnetism, by Wm. Gregory, London, 1850. One on Mysticism of the Mind; by Von Maximilian Perty, Leipzig, 1872; also one on Magnetism by Dupotet; one by Deleuze, and another by Justinus Kerner. There is too, some fine investigation by Schelling. But, perhaps the "Philosophic der Mystik" by Charles Du Prel (1886) is the best. He says, - "The sphere of soul far surpasses that of consciousness" and consequently there is a latent Ego in us; This latent ego, which manifests itself in sleep and dreams, is the real Ego, super-terrestrial and transcendent, (possibly the super-conscious mind) whose existence precedes our terrestrial ego, which is bound to the body.
The terrestrial ego is perishable but the transcendent is immortal. And this is what St. Paul referred to when he said - "The Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body so that it be fashioned like unto his glorious body".
So, if we analyze and tabulate these states and faculties, checking up as we go, we find a very wide field, commencing on the lower plane, with suggestion, thought reading, and distant vision, which alone prove the existence of the soul, and transport us above the plane of the physical universe without making us leave it altogether.
Clairvoyance, however, has infinite varieties, and a scale of different states far wider than that of the waking consciousness, and in proportion as the scale is mounted, the phenomena become rarer and more extraordinary. "Retrospection" is the vision of the past, "Divination" is the problematic vision of the future by introspection of thought, or by the occult influence of Superior Spirits, who can unfold the future to the vision of the soul. And finally "Extasy", which is the vision of the Spiritual world, where the Spirits (good or evil) appear in form to the seer, and communicate with him. So perhaps, we may look to the science of the future with hope, and say with Homer "that through the gate of sleep and dreams" shall we divine, Psyche, banished from our civilized life, and weeping in silence beneath her veil, regain possession of her altars. Of course, we must always carefully discriminate between hallucination and real vision, not to reject or accept facts because we do not understand them, but investigate from the point of view of well ascertained laws, and prove all things,
holding fast to that which is true. If clairvoyance is a faculty of the soul, we have a firm foundation for the divinations which have been practiced in Temples of old, under fixed principles, while the study of comparative religions and esoteric traditions shows that these principles were and are the same everywhere, though their application may have varied infinitely. Their great corruption, which caused the worst abuses, is what has discredited these divine sciences, because, their glorious manifestations are possible only in beings of exceptional purity on all planes.
It was at Croton, in the Gulf of Tarentum, Southern Italy, that Pythagoras founded his school. He approached the Senate, who asked him to explain his conduct, and the means he was making use of to master the minds of the citizens; this gave the Master his chance to develop his ideas on education, and demonstrate that, far from threatening with ruin the Doric constitution of Croton, they only strengthened it the more; and he then proposed that they should found an Institute for himself and his disciples. That those that already deserved the name of Master, might serve as teachers of physical, psychic and religious sciences. That young men should be admitted to the lessons of the Masters, and to the different grades of initiation, according to their intelligence or earnestness in study, under the control of the head of the Order.
At the beginning, they must submit to the rules of the Order and common life, and spend the whole day in the Institute under the Master's supervision. There would be a section for women, along a parallel initiation, though different, and more adapted to their sex. (Schure, p. 67).
Thus sprang into being the Pythagorean Institute, the plan being adopted with great enthusiasm. It became a college of education, an academy of sciences; and a model city, under the control of a great Initiate.
The white building of this institute was situated on a hill, surrounded by olive and cypress trees; the porticoes and gardens and gymnasiums could be distinctly seen on approaching from below, with the Temple of the Muses and its circular colonnade showing above the two wings of the main buildings.
The presiding Deities of this Temple were, Ceres, the Goddess of the Earth and fecundity, and the same symbolically as Isis of Egypt, and Apollo the Sun-God, of the Heavens, and synonymous with the Egyptian Osiris.
Pythagoras married, late in life, one Theano, daughter of Brontanos, of Croton. They had two sons, Arimnostes and Telanges; and a daughter, Damo, all of whom became initiates.
The manner of his death was, as near as we can ascertain, though not altogether certain, this; It appears that one evening, when some forty of the principle members of the Order had assembled, in the abode of one Milon, the tribune; Cylon, whose position I shave been unable to ascertain, but who it appears was refused admission to the Order, as he had failed in some of his preliminary tests, and was in consequence always in opposition to the Master; collected his followers and surrounded the house. The members barricaded themselves in, but the followers of Cylon set fire to the house, which was consumed, and thirty-eight of the very first of the disciples perished, either in the flames, or at the hands of the people; Two only escaped, Archippus and Lysis.
Thus died this divine man, whose effort it had been to instil his own wisdom into human rule and government. But as H.P.B. says, - "where do we find in history, that Messenger, grand or humble, Initiate or Neophyte, who, when he is made the bearer of some hitherto concealed truth or truths, was not crucified, and rent to shreds by the "dogs" of Envy, malice and ignorance, etc. "Such is the terrible occult law". But another Master has said, "That which is sown is not quickened except it die": also from Egypt we have,
speaking of the setting Sun, "So surely as He sets today, so surely shall He arise and pursue his triumphant course tomorrow".
I am hoping to continue this paper shortly, when I shall make an attempt to accompany the Novice in thought, into the Institute, and follow him step by step, so far as our Spiritual faculties will permit us.
- "Ich Dien"
Nov. 4, 1928.
Summary of lecture before the Theosophical Society, Montreal, Saturday evening, April 20, 1929, by Fletcher Ruark.
We live in a world of manifestation which is in essence a world of unreality. For the most part we live in a world of appearance. Our commonly accepted knowledge is simply appearance information. But to the extent that we are able to know a thing self consciously just to that extent are we put in touch with the source of all knowing; what formerly appeared to us as duality now demonstrates itself as unity or reality.
Simply to possess knowledge or information or to accumulate facts out a subject is quite a different thing from the ability to use the faculty of knowing, which is a partial conquest of truth. In order to attain to all truth the soul must first descend into all falsity. We all possess these powers in latency. The test of the value of any possession or any ability is its power to purify and ennoble the life. Life itself possesses no qualities of its own. It acquires them through use and function.
In order to practice the faculty of knowing we must detach ourselves from the current of events, otherwise we cannot escape appearance or duality. If creator (the man) and creature (that which he reproduces in his consciousness) are opposing each other in thinking, then man's environment will eventually subdue the soul or that which is to lift him out of the mire of selfishness. To work out this condition here and now requires relaxation and detachment, but this does not mean cutting oneself off from the world or from one's fellows. Actually we can only know in reality that which we can and are willing to endow with a part of our higher and nobler self in order to blend, as it were, the best in our nature with the source from which that higher nature springs. In a word, we ourselves have to become in fact one with the object of our investigation; we must bestow upon it an adoration or affection for truth, valuing truth above all else, then truth will be born for us and will lead us into harmony.
To know the world about us we must first know ourselves, though the two acts are interdependent and in the final analysis really blend into one single act. To know is not simply to think, though thinking is necessarily involved in knowing. While the process called thinking is but the shadow or appearance, as it were, of knowing, still it is one of the steps or approaches to knowing and therefore must not be despised. Before we may enjoy and be at home on the plane of knowing we must first have earned the right by having put to the best use the experience gleaned from our life on the lower rungs of the ladder. No one may be exalted to something higher unless and until he shall have passed satisfactory examination as to his actions while functioning on the lower level. If we sell our birthright then we cannot have the father's blessing. In thought as in life, greater nobility may be reached only through noble acts.
While thinking is a very complicated process, knowing on the other hand is not complicated at all. Thinking is concentrating on a particular subject or phase of that subject, while knowing is like perceiving all aspects of the subject at a glance, or like having in the vision not only the beginning but the end of a journey at one and the same time. Knowing brings us into the realization that the success or failure of life is in our hands. To know is to dwell in harmony.
Thinking involves not only the physical brain but also the etheric brain, the emotional nature and the mind. As egos we function in the region of abstract thought which is within our own auras. Here we observe the outer world through what we call our senses. From the images thus created are born our conclusions or ideas. We project the idea through the mind in the region of concrete thought where it takes shape as a thought form. The emotional nature clothes this thought form with something of its own nature which gives it added life. The thought form is then able to act upon the etheric brain and it sends the vital force through the brain centres and nerves to the voluntary muscles which produce action. Thought, it will be seen, is the mainspring of all activity. Knowing is the coming into harmony with the truth concerning that activity. Ordinary thinking is to knowing as the alphabet is to learning. We no longer have to use the alphabet consciously; we have graduated from it.
The three essentials for the expression of an individual ego are:
Upright walk to receive the currents from the sun;
Upright larynx to be capable of speech;
Warm red blood. -
Man's universe is conterminous with himself. The boundaries of a thing depend upon our ability to comprehend it. We can only know what we can reproduce in our consciousness. To learn the secrets of nature it is necessary to improve and therefore ennoble the investigator himself rather than simply to invent instruments, though these evidently have their place. The purpose of life in our world is the proper use of faculty. All progress made by man is gained at the cost of some previously-possessed faculty, which faculty, however, is later regained in a higher form. When the virgin spirit (which was to become man) started on its mission it possessed all-consciousness, but only through experience may it attain unto self-consciousness. Just as involution was necessary for man-in-the-making to know himself, so evolution is necessary for man to attain to soul-power, creative mind and self-consciousness.
Man built the brain at the expense of the temporary loss of the power to bring forth offspring from himself alone. He obtained mind but became subject to difficulties, sorrow and pain, incident to the perpetuation of the race. His reasoning power was bought at the cost of the temporary loss of his spiritual insight. But in the process of evolution these faculties which were temporarily lost will be restored and in addition he will have attained unto self-consciousness, rationality and freedom of will.
When the heart shall have caught up (consciously) with the mind, this union will bring us into consciousness of reality, which is knowing. Man's ultimate goal and ideal is to set up in his own consciousness a kingdom, in tune with universal harmony.
THE THREE TRUTHS.
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech.
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 lawgiver, 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.
NEEDS OF THE SOCIETY
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - As an English Theosophist may I congratulate you on your fine and outspoken magazine. You do not sit on the fence. England is in the deplorable position of no longer possessing a magazine of her own, so I am writing to you. In the November number of the Canadian Theosophist there is an excellent article or letter by Harold Spicer, Secretary of Edmonton Lodge where he makes clear that in his opinion true Theosophy is being lost sight of, and there is a lack of enthusiasm among members. These statements seem true to me and I am in agreement with them. The trouble is that the original books are not studied. They are said to be (a) too difficult. "Read the modern books; they are explanatory and much easier" we are told so often. (b) Out of date in some ways (!) At that rate, the sayings of Jesus are hopelessly out of date, for they are nearly 2000 years old. Compare the original Theosophical works with some of the modern ones. This has already been done by many scholars and students and they all come, to the same conclusions, i.e. that the teachings do not tally. Why? They cannot both be right: The original works, e.g. Secret Doctrine, Isis Unveiled, Key to Theosophy and The Voice, to mention the chief ones, are the direct production of H.P.B. and the Masters themselves, and they do not contradict themselves or change the teachings from year to year. Many modern writers produce books based on their personal and (possibly) incomplete understanding of the original works without which they would have known nothing. The verdict is not in favour of many modern books. Therefore it becomes necessary to study the original works, and, if possible, in an unsophisticated edition, in order to learn the fundamental principles of Theosophy.
Then again, the Society in general seems to be swamped out with side-shows, all very attractive and entertaining for the personal side of one's nature. These side-shows are not of much use unless they form a true expression of the fundamental principles of Theosophy. But these fundamental principles require much effort and study; which usually appear to be lacking. Prove this by meeting some of the people concerned.
It is an outrage that the L.C.C. and the Order of the Star were ever allowed to have such a foothold within the Society, and to be very often identified with the T.S. and with Theosophy in the minds of the general public. And a propos "Neo-Theosophy" perhaps it is not generally known that when the Prince of Wales was in India he was presented with a copy of Leadbeater's "Man" as a representative book on Theosophy!
These two movements, the L.C.C. and the Star, have evidently been foisted by fanatical and determined people who obviously cannot understand or practice the true Theosophical principles, because these two bodies directly contradict the very fundamental principles of Theosophy. The sun cannot radiate both light and darkness. That they exist as they do within the T.S. is the bad Karma of the Society, and fully illustrates the lethargy of the majority of members. It will require united and sustained efforts to modify and ultimately remove the far-reaching effects of this bad Karma.
An excellent antidote is to study the original teachings wholeheartedly. First there must be theoretical study, plain grind and getting hold of facts. If this is done sincerely an interior change is wrought in the student, for the effort to understand metaphysical and spiritual problems develops those very faculties required to solve them. Concentration on Theosophical principles also has the result of making the student forget himself, and forget bothering about his own personal development. When he thus forgets himself he begins to improve and change for
the better, so that he may become a small but growing centre of Light which will attract people to him, without his running after them. He may now be of some use to his fellow students. "To live to benefit mankind is the first step; to practice the six glorious virtues is the second" ( Voice of the Silence). Controversies and arguments which are bound to arise in group or Lodge study, broaden the mental outlook, develop humor, self-control and the right kind of toleration. These virtues are always needed everywhere.
There is beginning to be a Renaissance within the T.S. Small isolated groups and individual members are popping up their heads and breathing fresh air. They are beginning to study the Secret Doctrine, and are sending round leaflets to other Lodges, which, we hope, are read before being consigned to the wastepaper basket. Some members, unfortunately, become "fed-up" and leave the Society. This is a pity, because if only Theosophy came really first and before their personal feelings, then they would stay and do their best where it is most needed - in the Society itself. Some say "Back to Blavatsky". Staunch Theosophists have never left her and the Teaching - others have never yet met it and need to do so. There is an urgent need for amalgamation of all true Theosophists. If Theosophy is the most vital thing for them, then they should not be afraid to say so. The first step is not to tramp round on a campaign for up-rooting pseudo-Theosophy, but to band together, and to do some constructive real-Theosophy propaganda. The other will follow in time of its own accord.
Finally, I wish publicly to voice a complaint leveled at the H.Q. of the whole T.S. Individual members appear to be kept isolated and completely ignorant of the Society's affairs; e.g. There was an important Convention held at Chicago in July this year. These Conventions are only held once in so often, and are surely of great interest and importance, being at tended by Delegates from all over the world. The English F.T.S. have received no official verbatim report, and have not (yet) been told that they are likely to receive one. The only news they received consisted of a brief, informal and personal account by a Bishop of the L.C.C. in November News and Notes. In November, three months later. Suppose any members wished to ask questions, make proposals or resolutions to be brought up at the Council Meeting at Adyar in December, at which the Chicago Convention affairs will be dealt with, it is too late to do so, unless their statement can be worded at a moment's notice and posted by Air Mail. This state of affairs is surely out of order, is certainly unbusinesslike, and (I might add uncharitably) it even looks faintly suspicious. Have other Sections of the Society been left in the same predicament?
Whether my letter is published or not, I trust that Officers of the Canadian Section will enquire into my complaint voiced in the last paragraph if any enquiry is needed.
- English F.T.S.
London, England, Dec. 2, 1929.
BUDDHISM AND BRAHMANISM
Editor Canadian Theosophist: - During the past few weeks it has been brought forcibly before my notice that there is a great difference between Brahmanism and the teachings of the Buddha, and that it might be well to bring this before the students of Theosophy, since it appears to me that this has been the stumbling block in the T.S. for many years, chiefly, I think on account of Mrs. Besant accepting the Brahmanical ideas instead of the purest Buddhism which was presented to the world by the Mahatmas, through their messenger H.P.B. It should not lie forgotten that the two Masters of whom we know most are Buddhists, and as they gave out Theosophy to the Occidental world in 1875, and since, then our philosophy must be pure Buddhism, which was presented
to India by the Buddha in an endeavour to free his countrymen from the chains of priestly Brahmanism, India having been priest-ridden for many hundreds of years.
Brahmanism is a religion of priestcraft, rituals and dogmas, it holds its adherents in chains of fear somewhat similar to certain branches of Christianity, so is therefore very different from Theosophical ideals, it is not the teachings of the Masters whom we have to thank for Theosophy in this century, 1875 to 1975. Theosophy teaches that there is no extra-cosmic deity or deities, no God standing outside who can help us in our struggle after Truth, the redemptive power lies in man himself, in man are infinite potentialities, which he must needs awaken, through his own individual efforts if he is ever to realize any degree of Truth. The T.S. went off the track by introducing a religion, filled with rituals and dogmas, by teaching the coming of a new world teacher, someone to worship and look to for guidance, instead of proclaiming the age-old truth that man is his own redeemer and nobody else, and that within himself lies untold possibilities waiting to be awakened. There is a pretty safe key which may be applied by the Truth-seeker in his search, and that is, - Truth is always impersonal, never of a personal nature, and to the extent that an appeal offers a personal reward just to that extent is to error; if this key is closely followed it is sure to prevent the sincere student from making many mistakes. Truth will always be found to be reasonable, perhaps super-reasonable, but never unreasonable, also Truth can be brought before the most critical tribunal, it will withstand the most severe criticism and come out unscathed; this is a test which can be relied upon, always.
It might be opportune to quote here from page 461 of the "Mahatma Letters", the words of one of the Masters himself: -
". . . . It is useless for a member to argue 'I am one of a pure life, I am a teetotaler and an abstainer from meat and vice, all my aspirations are for good;' and he, at the same time, building by his acts and deeds an impassable barrier on the road between himself and us. What have we, the disciples of the true arhats, of esoteric Buddhism and of the Sang-gyas to do with the Shasters and orthodox Brahmanism? There are one hundred of thousand of fakirs, saneyasis and Saddhus leading the most pure lives, and yet being as they are, on the path of error, never having had an opportunity to meet, see or even hear of us. Their forefathers having driven away the followers of the only true philosophy on earth from India and now, it is not for the latter to come to them but for them to come to us if they want us. Which of them is ready to become a Buddhist, a nastika as they call us. None?"
Without quoting it at length I would suggest reading page 58 of the Mahatma Letters, which will throw some further valuable light on this subject of the difference between Brahmanism and Buddhism.
Buddhism, hence Theosophy is the truest teaching on earth. Brahmanism is priestcraft, dogmatism and ritualism. Between Truth and error the choice must be made.
- Stanley Pratt.
Golden Gate Lodge,
San Francisco, Nov. 18, 1929.
MR. PRYSE AND " THE VOICE."
Editor Canadian Theosophist: - Once more Mr. J.M. Pryse is pursuing his self-appointed task of criticizing, revising and correcting the work of H.P. Blavatsky.
It is only a little over a year ago, (C.T. July 1928) that Mr. Pryse accused H.P.B. of including "fallacious teachings" and "pessimistic tenets" in her mystical work "The Voice of the Silence".
In 1897, speaking of Mrs. Besant's criticism of H.P.B.'s books, and of her apparent reluctance to edit them, Mr. Pryse said: "What a wealth of esoteric lore we have missed through Mrs. Besant's literary delicacy!"
It is very evident from the latest series of articles from the pen of Mr. Pryse, at present running through the "Canadian
Theosophist" that we are to miss nothing through his delicacy, either literary or other, for once again he proceeds to tear to pieces the above mentioned work, and to arouse suspicion as to the veracity of its author.
In the current number of the C.T. page 259, he states that "in the preface (to the Voice) H.P.B. frankly makes the inclusive statement that the text of the Voice is made up of a 'judicious selection' from various Eastern treatises".
Frankly, H.P.B. makes no such statement, and nowhere in the Preface does she give this impression. In the paragraph where she speaks of a "judicious selection" - he said it is to be made from "those treatises", there is no mention of "Eastern treatises"; and the words "those treatises" refer most unmistakably to a previous paragraph where she speaks of the Book of the Golden Precepts as containing "about ninety distinct little treatises".
Why does Mr. Pryse not finish the quotation and show why a selection had to be made from those treatises? The reason, for the selection lies in the following words: "Nor could they be all translated and given to a world too selfish and too much attached to objects of sense to be in any way prepared to receive such exalted ethics in the right spirit."
In his earlier article on "The Voice of ;he Silence" (C.T. July 1928), Mr. Pryse eschews the Doctrine of Compassion as acing incompatible with the Law of Karma. It is rather significant that the above portion of the paragraph just quoted and which he deliberately omits, should also sound the note of unselfishness. Why invent explanations when H.P.B. has given her own?
On the same page Mr. Pryse also has the following: "It is clearly evident and undeniable that the passages here (in his article) quoted from the Voice were taken from the Upanishad . . . . no direct credit is given for the quotation . . . . she (H.P.B.) does not designate the particular source of any of the quotations included in the collection, nor even distinguishes from the rest those taken from the Book of the Golden Precepts". However, Mr. Pryse kindly exonerates H.P.B. from the charge of plagiarism.
Apart from H.P.B.'s statement on the title page as to the source of the Voice being the Book of the Golden Precepts, students need only read the Preface carefully for themselves to see how deliberately misleading Mr. Pryse's statements are.
Regarding the accusation that H.P.B. has given quotations from the Upanishads in the Voice, without acknowledgment, we have only to turn to the Preface once more to find this statement: "the maxims and ideas (of the Book of the Golden Precepts) however noble and original are often found under different forms in Sanskrit works, such as Dyaneshwari. . .
and again in certain Upanishads". Surely for the unprejudiced comment is unnecessary.
One sometimes wonders, was it an inmate modesty which prevented Mr. Pryse writing "The Voice of the Silence" himself in the first place?
- Edith Fielding,
206 East 27th St.,
North Vancouver, B.C.
November 25th, 1929.
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - In Mr. James Morgan Pryse's "Study of the Voice of the Silence" the following passage occurs on page 293: "The second is called the 'Path of Woe', which leads the Arhan to mental woe unspeakable, woe for the living Dead, and helpless pity for the man of karmic sorrow." The word `helpless' turns this passage from pathos into bathos. The stupendous self-sacrifice is made to small purpose; . . . . ." I should have thought it obvious that the helplessness is in regard to karmic sorrow that must be borne by the men who have engendered it but not to mankind in general who can be helped to gain wisdom and so avoid making
more karmic sorrow. Mr. Pryse goes on to say: "A Buddha is a man who has become one with his inner God, his Divine Monad. It follows, therefore, either that the Pratyeka, who in his `spiritual selfish-ness', cares nothing for the woes of others, is a theological scarecrow, or that the God within him is selfish and callous." Mr. Pryse seems to forget that a Pratyeka Buddha is not a Buddha - any more than a false Prophet is a Prophet, or a false diamond a diamond - and that the term pratyeka entirely precludes the idea that such a "Buddha" could have become one with his inner God. The teaching that very high states of consciousness can be reached through "high intellectual development with no true spirituality (Theosophical Glossary, page 243 ) is of great importance as a warning that concentration on the cultivation of intellect at expense of aspiration towards wisdom will result in profound egoism.
Mr. Pryse should remember that what may seem an absurdity to one student may seem perfectly reasonable to another and at the same time the two students be equally intelligent, open-minded, free from prejudice and desirous to find truth for truth's sake.
Moreover, it does, not follow that because a student defends the statements of an author against what he considers to be erroneous and disparaging conceptions of their meaning or implications that he must necessarily deem the work of the author to be "inspired" or the author to be "infallible".
- W. B. Pease,
2840 Cadboro Bay Rd.,
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - Mr. Spicer's letter in your November issue is a clear call to arms!
He voices something already working in the minds of certain of us - a plea for concerted action in the Canadian Section with regard to the work inaugurated by Mr. Clark - the representation in the T.S. of the great Aryan Philosophy.
With Mr. Clark's lucid exposition of the situation in your September number, and Mr. Spicer's practical suggestion of getting to grips with it, the way seems open for something definite, and we propose:
1. That our first step be to clarify our minds on the great Principles to which we are committing ourselves;
2. That a general correspondence be set on foot in the Canadian Section to take the form of an interchange of discussions on vital subjects between all lodges.
- E. Hedley.
Vancouver, Dec. 9. 1929.
However often the true nature of the occult training has been stated and explained, few Western students seem to realize how searching and inexorable are the tests which a candidate must, pass before power is entrusted to his hands. Esoteric philosophy, the occult hygiene of mind and body, the unlearning of false beliefs, and the acquisition of true habits of thought, are more than sufficient for a student during his period of probation, and those who rashly pledge themselves in the expectation of acquiring forthwith "magic powers," will meet only with disappointment and certain failure. - Lucifer, December, 1888.
TWO NEW BOOKIE ABOUT H. P. B.
Unpublished Letters of H.P.B., edited by Prof. E.R. Corson, to whom they were written during his residence at Cornell University, Postpaid $3.25
Fragments from the Teachings of H.P.B., compiled by H. Burford Pratt. These extracts are arranged as an outline of
study of Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. Postpaid $1.60
My "Suggestions for Reading" sent on request.
N. W . J. HAYDON
564 Pape Ave., Toronto (6)