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VOL. X., No. 12 HAMILTON, FEBRUARY 15th, 1930 Price 10 Cents
THE EXILE OF THE SOUL.
VIII. THE ETHICAL PROBLEM
(Continued from Page 232)
We get our word "ethics" (through the Latin ethicus) from the Greek ethikos, that which pertains to ethos, character. With the Greeks the word ethos had other connotations. It meant custom, usage, native habit, and in its original sense contained also the idea of an accustomed seat or place, a habitat, or primal abode.
As a branch of philosophy ethics concerns itself with the meaning and scope of the words "good" and "bad", "right and wrong", as applied to character and to conduct. The first phase of its enquiry is descriptive. It endeavors to classify thoughts, moods, and actions according to their goodness or badness. In its second phase it determines, if possible, whether the common ideas of goodness and badness and right and wrong reveal any absolute standards of action, or point to any cosmic laws that govern the issues of conduct.
After many centuries during which ethics had been looked upon as purely philosophical in its subject matter and method, enthusiastic scientists of the nineteenth century made an effort to bring it into the fashionable field of positive science, but without notable success.
It should have been evident to the biologists who made the effort that it must end in failure. It inevitably ends in a ring-around-a-rosy. A science is necessarily experimental. Since the results of right and wrong action could be understood only by the experimenter and in his own person - to anyone else or in anyone else they would be mere opinion - he must be, therefore, not only his own laboratory but also his own judge of results, and he must judge by means of his ethical judgment which is the subject of his experiment.
Worse than this for practical purposes, it is the great defect of all attempts at ethical experiment that the observable consequences of actions are too far removed from their causes in point of time. Indeed the cycle of most important moral operations does not fall within a single lifetime. This makes a positive science of ethics quite impossible for a materialist or a theologian. If the experimenter is a materialist he can have no assurance that the results will show at all before the soul that produced the causes is resolved again into the life force from which it came. The results of most of his experiments must therefore be lost entirely or must be seen in physical descendants, in which case the whole problem is transferred to the field of heredity. An action that will only have its effect in a man's remote descendant is, not a matter of active ethical interest, especially if he does not expect to have a
descendant. If the experimenter has a predisposition for Christian dogma he is in an equally bad fix. The results of most experiments will only become evident in Heaven or Hell and will not be natural effects on the doer but merely effects manifested in the approval or annoyance of God. The only possible scientific experimenter in ethics would be the theosophist who believes in reincarnation, and he would expect the results to show in a subsequent life and would regard effects in this life as arising out of experimental conduct in previous ones. He would then have two courses of procedure, one would be to set up a cause and wait patiently for its result with the certainty that by the time he reached his result he would have mislaid his memoranda of the cause. The other would be to develop his memory of the specific causes in previous lives that have given rise to present results. As we shall see there is a simpler method.
It is now generally agreed that ethics had better remain a branch of philosophy.
Philosophy has been defined as "a process of reflection upon the presuppositions involved in unreflective thought". In other words the philosopher turns his attention upon himself to discover how and why his mind does what it does and what are the elements he has all along carried in his mind without thinking of them. He does not deal with new things but with old and previously unobserved things. He sets his own percepts, concepts and processes in new lights and examines them. He seeks merely to become more fully aware of himself.
In logic he examines the processes of reasoning. In epistemology he seeks a theory of knowledge, endeavoring to know how he knows and whence come his ideas. In metaphysics he examines his apprehensions and his conceptions of space, cause, time, and substance. This is the enquiry into what the Greeks called the True - aletheia, the unforgettable. In aesthetics he examines his ideas of the Beautiful - kalos, excellence of form and motion as embodying interior spiritual function. In ethics he examines his ideas of the Good - agathon, that which is firm and secure.
In its first stages ethics is not a philosophy at all. It deals with specific problems such as any man might face in his daily life. "What would be just in this case?" "What, in that case, would excuse one from responsibility?" The power to answer such questions is present with every Ego however little it may have been exercised. The power grows with use. Presently the first philosophical phases of the subject arise. "Why, given similar cases, should there be so great difference in the answers given by different men?" "Why should the answers vary at all?" "Or, why, indeed, should men, having found an answer to a question proceed to do something contrary to that which they have decided?" "Why should men, desirous of following a certain wrong line of conduct justify their actions by casting doubt upon the authority of the ethical judgment?"
Thus, out of its own contradictions and difficulties, arise ethics as a philosophy. After all it is natural that it should so arise. Ethical philosophy is born of its own disabilities as certainly as a study of health is born of the fact of illness. All ethical systems belong broadly to two groups. There are these that maintain that the intuitive power of judgment possessed by man is supreme, and a supreme guide of conduct. The others maintain, on one ground or another, that man's ethical judgment is not final but that there are other and external considerations which must guide his actions. These external standards vary. Herbert Spencer tried to erect standards on biological data and failed egregiously. Christian theologians have tried to base standards on an imputed revelation of the dictates of a personal God. Various writers have tried to found systems based on what they claim
to be the universal acceptance of certain judgments, social, legal, or political. In view of the fact; however, that each of these systems is finally tested by the author's own ethical judgment and is addressed to the ethical judgment of those who read or study it, we are forced to conclude at last that there is only one valid basis for ethics, that of the supreme power of the soul of man to decide between right and wrong. If a soul deciding for itself addresses to souls deciding for themselves a system of ethics which declares that souls do not decide for themselves, there is something wrong with the system.
One of the great controversies in ethics has revolved around hedonism. The hedonist bases his contention that pleasure is the end of all human effort upon the universally experienced feeling that for a "good" to be good it must in some sense be "my good". The anti-hedonist offers the fulfilment of duty as the true end of effort, arguing that the pleasure of the individual can never be complete in himself.
A multitude of controversies have arisen also out of theology aid the effort to place the ideas of an omniscient God above man's interior judgment. The first fallacy of such an external standard for conduct lies in the fact that the ethical judgment is itself superior to the idea of God. Man has never been willing to worship a God who does not fulfil his moral requirements. God is therefore inferior to whatever it is in man that makes ethical judgments. The folly of thinking of a God greater than the maker of Him has led to innumerable contradictions. The most noticeable in its effect on ethics has been that dispute to which I have referred before in these articles, the one about free will and pre-destination. It is a dispute that never could arise in the realm of pure ethics at all because all the ideas of ethics have to do with free choice between right and wrong and the inalienable right of man to will his own destiny. It is only when theologians have managed to persuade men of the existence of a personal deity who knows everything in advance that anyone will consider even for a moment, the soul as bound to a routine laid down in the mind-made God's foreknowledge.
The central problem of ethics, and the one with which I am especially interested in this series of articles, is a mystical one. It is the problem of the nature of that mysterious quality in man that makes him the sole and final arbiter of his relation to earth. The primary manifestation of the quality is the operation of Will. The soul of man acts, it refrains from action. It approves, it disapproves. It judges. It may judge rightly or wrongly in any given case but it reserves, for some high reason it does not itself understand, the right to will and to judge.
Emerson's schoolboy with his book of history is in no awe of Napoleon or of Alexander. He arraigns them for every thought, word and deed, he praises, he condemns serenely and without passion. He is their equal, not of this earth but of a higher world than this from which they all three have come. He is one soul appraising another and deciding what he would do - nay, will do - in like case, trying them by a higher criterion than they or he can bring to actuality. So he judges all kings and saints and heroes. His judgments of the event may be faulty, desires may disturb his calm; anger may sweep over him or a chill of fear; his understanding may limp but from his height he decides. He and they are beings superior to earth, walking about fitfully and dimly remembering how Gods should walk.
Plato, in common with all the great occult philosophers, found in this high assumption a demonstration of the state of the soul prior to its original descent into the bondage of earth. Lest I be accused of twisting Plato's doctrine to my needs let me offer a summary in the words of the late Dr. Henry Sidgwick:
"...If the objects of abstract thought constitute the real world; of which this
word of individual things is but a shadow, it is plain that the highest, most real life must lie in the former region and not in the latter. It is in contemplating the abstract reality, which concrete things obscurely exhibit, the type or ideal which they imperfectly imitate, that the true life of the mind in man must consist; and as man is most truly man in proportion as he is mind, the desire of one's own good, which Plato, following Socrates, held to be permanent and essential in every living thing, becomes in its highest form the philosophical yearning for knowledge. This yearning, he held, springs - like more sensual impulses - from a sense of want of something formerly possessed, of which there remains a latent memory in the soul, strong in its proportion to its philosophic capacity; hence it is that in learning any abstract truth by scientific demonstration, we merely make explicit what we already know; we bring into clear consciousness hidden memories of a state in which the soul looked upon Reality and Good face to face, before the lapse that imprisoned her in an alien body, and mingled her true nature with fleshly feelings and impulses."
Sidgwick gives here the impression, frequent in modern philosophical writings, that Plato's Reality and Good are the ultimate Reality and Good. It is evident from Plato himself and from the Neo-Platonists that they were only comparative and that they do not in any sense embrace the entire scale of knowledge, but only an octave above and beyond the present octave of mind, namely, that subtle but none the less material plane the Eastern writers call Buddhi. It was the realm of the Chrestos in the Gnostic systems. This interior world which the soul has lost, Plato and his followers regarded as one in which our now separated souls must be reintegrated into a unity we once enjoyed but have lost owing to the delusions of earth. The re-awakening of the soul of man is for Platonists, a return to that Unity. This is the One of Plotinos, and as I have already suggested, it is the One which Christian theologians disfigured into their ultimate and all-knowing God.
Conceiving the race of men here upon earth as disintegrated and scattered fragments of that Unity, but essentially bound, each to the others, we have a clue to the truth about that other great crux of ethics - duty. This is the one which Kant called the greatest of mysteries. It is the ethical factor we saw the hedonist rejecting when he said, "That is not good which is not my good." The exponent of duty is a believer, however dimly he may see it, in the lost Unity, and he says, "Good can only be our good." There can be no good which omits any of the exiled race. They must go through together.
The concept of duty - that which one owes - is, then, a blurred recollection of the essential fact of existence in the One. This is the only valid explanation of the constantly recurring intuition that can impel a man to an act of sacrifice which he cannot justify by any process of mind. Hedonism is of the mind; duty is a reminiscence of the lost world beyond mind, and mind has been called always the great slayer of the real. The concept of justice is an archetypal idea from that lost world, as are the concepts of love, philosophy, mathematics and the yearning for beauty.
The differences between the souls of men in this world are not, therefore, to be explained as differences of development or as varying accretions of powers. They can only be explained as varying degrees of loss of divine self-consciousness. This is the only adequate explanation of the differences in the clarity of ethical judgment. Failure of judgment does not come of inadequate development but of overclouding. The will to act, the arrogation of the right to decide are of the divine soul and are common to all men. The failure to judge wisely comes of the obscuring forces of an alien earth.
(To be Continued.)
"The excellent Cessation is the condition of refusing to lean on external things."
Mohini M. Chatterji, translating the "Atmanatman Viveka," says: "Uparadi (Cessation) is the abstaining on principle from engaging in any of the acts and ceremonies enjoined by the Shastras. Elaborating this in an article entitled `Qualifications for Chelaship,' published in The Theosophist many years ago, and reprinted in "A Guide to Theosophy," (1887), Mohini said: "The third qualification, known by the Brahmins as `Uparati,' is the renunciation of all formal religion and the power of contemplating objects without being in the least disturbed in the performance of the great task one has set oneself. What is here expected of the aspirant for spiritual knowledge is that he should not allow his sympathies and usefulness to be narrowed by the domination of any particular ecclesiastical system, and that his renunciation of worldly objects should not proceed merely from an incapacity to appreciate their value."
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- ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS, H.P. Blavatsky $1.00
- COURSE IN PUBLIC SPEAKING, Roy Mitchell, $3.00 Written specially for Theosophical Students.
- HINTS ON THE STUDY OF THE S D, Roy Mitchell 10c
ONLY A FEW OF THE ABOVE NOW LEFT.
THE BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE
52 ISABELLA STREET TORONTO
By Orlando J. Smith
(Continued from Page 326.)
Fatalism is at War With Justice and Morality.
Justice requires that man shall earn what he gets, and shall not get what he does not earn; that he shall reap as he sows, and not reap what another has sown; that he shall suffer for his own sin, and not for the sin of another. In one creature the Creator has planted good. But this good the creature has not earned. It was but the gift of Jehovah. In another creature the
Creator has planted evil. This evil the creature has not earned. It was but the curse of Jehovah.
The doctrine that all men sinned in Adam is at war with justice. If we can assume that a creature can sin against the will of his Creator and Ruler, then Adam's sin was his own, and he only could justly pay its penalty. But if man did sin in Adam, then man should pay the penalty. Hence the atonement, by which man's responsibility was shifted, is also at war with justice.
The doctrine that salvation cannot be earned through a moral life alone, which has perplexed so many minds, now becomes plain. Man cannot, under the Creative hypothesis, be saved by his own merits, for he has none. His merits belong to his Maker, who gave them to him. His demerits also belong to his Maker; and it may be said that the justice of this claim
is crudely recognized in the granting of easy terms of salvation. Repentance and faith are the essential theological factors in salvation. Repentance is easy, and especially so to one in trouble. Faith is easy also to one who is taught that reason need not - indeed should not - enter into faith.
The churches - even those that still retain the tenet of Predestination in their creeds - have long really abandoned the attempt to reconcile the doctrine of Fatalism, or of the creation of man, with justice and morality. Such a reconciliation is for manifest reasons impossible. No system of morality can be built a on the theory that we are, from our birth, and for no merit or demerit of our own, either the beneficiaries of God's bounty or the victims of his wrath.
The church is now drifting rapidly, and for some centuries has been drifting away from its theological foundations. All of the real power in the church, in modern times at least, is due to its record as a teacher of morality and justice. To this record is alone due its hold upon the minds of men. For man loves justice; it is to his moral sense as the breath of life to his nostrils; and he will not knowingly countenance that which runs counter to it.
Nature's Ways are Large Ways - the Universe Has Been and Will Be Forever.
The whole theory of Creation - the creation of the Universe, of the race of men, of the soul of man - is at variance with the trend, deductions and demonstrations of modern science.
Science has demonstrated that matter cannot be destroyed. Fire, decay, and other forces can change, but cannot annihilate, matter. Neither can matter be created; it is eternal.
Force, also, as demonstrated by science, and all things in the Universe, by rational inference, are uncreatable, indestructible, eternal.
There is no record, no evidence of any change in the laws of Nature. It is reasonable to assume that there never has been, and never can be, any change in these laws. As they are, they have been and will be forever.
Nature's ways are large ways. Her great forces could not have been set to work in some dim, far-off time, as an engine starts the wheels of a factory.
Huxley; in "Essays Upon Some Controverted Questions," says: "But science knows nothing of any stage in which the Universe could be said, in other than a metaphorical and popular sense, to be formless or empty, or in any respect less the seat of law and order than it is now."
Herbert Spencer closes an epitome of the cardinal principles of his philosophy with these words: "That which persists unchanging in quantity, but ever changing in form, under these sensible appearances which the Universe presents to us, transcends human knowledge and conception - is an unknown and unknowable power; which we are obliged to recognize as without limit in space and without beginning or end in time."
The Universe has been and will be forever. There never could have been a time when there was Nothing, not even darkness - for darkness is something. The word Nothing expresses only a negation. It can have no place or habitation. Nowhere in the Universe can Nothing exist.
The Universe had no beginning; and all speculations based on its Beginning or Creation fall. They are based on Nothing, and lead to Nowhere.
It has been said that the thought of something without a beginning or an end is inconceivable. The circle is a line without a beginning or an end. Who can locate the beginning or the end of the equatorial line?
There is in the Universe No Creation and No Annihilation.
In this Universe there is nothing new; nothing has been created, nothing destroyed - and yet the law of the Universe is transformation, unceasing change. No thing stands still for any second of time; not
even the granite rock. A globe is formed from the debris of space. It hardens and ripens until it can produce low forms of life, and these develop into higher forms. The globe, with the life upon it, reaches by slow processes its prime; and then descends gradually to barrenness and final disintegration, its dust going back to space.
Nature does not have one law for large things, and a different law for small things. The law for the globe is of necessity the law for the lowest organism upon it, though one may last for a million years and the other for only a second of time. There is nothing new in the constitution of either - nothing that did riot exist before the incipience, and that would not survive the dissolution, of each.
A Creation, in the basic sense of the word, would be the making of something out of nothing. A man cannot create a house. He can only transform other things into a house. What we loosely call Creation and Annihilation are really Transformations.
There is then in the Universe, no Creation and no Annihilation. That which to our eyes is born anew is but old matter, old force, old thought, old spirit, old love, old hate, old honour, old degradation, in new forms.
Nature has no contradictions. Her laws are harmonious. The Universe being immortal and eternal, all things in it, even the soul of man, must also be immortal and eternal. The flesh in which we see man must be but as a garment worn for a time. There must be a law of evolution for the mind, character and soul, as well as for the physical body of man.
The soul of man has developed through evolution, and its antecedents are eternal. These may have dipped as low as the meanest germ of life, or they may have risen as high as the archangels; but through all experiences, base or noble, the soul's continuity has been unbroken.
Man is the flower of this earth. It is unbelievable that Nature would give immortality to a senseless speck of dust, and deny it to the soul of man.
The Foundation Stones of the Theory of Reincarnation.
From the foregoing propositions we may draw the following deductions, which are the foundation stones of the theory of Reincarnation in its logical form
1. The Universe has in space no boundary; in time no beginnng and no end.
2. Its laws have been unchanged, and are unchangeable.
3. All thngs in it, great or small, have been and will be forever.
4. The soil of man is pre-existent and after-existent, immortal and eternal.
Man Builds His Own Character; He Reaps as He Has Sown.
The theory of Reincarnation is only the completion and the rounding out of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. If man's soul came into existence with the birth of his body, it must die with the death of his body. If the soul be immortal after death, it must have been immortal before birth. The theory that immortality exists after death only, is evidently but a half-truth. That which is immortal is forever immortal.
Building upon the theory that the soul of man is pre-existent, immortal and eternal, Reincarnation teaches that the laws under which we live are just to the last degree. Man builds his own character. We are sick because we have neglected the laws of health; ignorant because we have failed to improve our opportunities; fretful, despondent, lazy or cowardly because we have cultivated mean-spiritedness; boasters, drunkards, ingrates, thieves, liars or murderers because we have dishonored ourselves.
We reap as we have sown. Each man is mentally and morally exactly, and to a large degree physically - what he has made himself. He is forever working out his own damnation, or his own salvation. He may rise to the altitude of the angels; he may fall to the level of the reptile or the insect.
Within certain temporary material limitations, man is free. He cannot speak if he be dumb, nor see if he be blind; but mentally and morally, he is always free. He can think his own thoughts, act wisely or foolishly, do right or wrong.
The form of each being shows what its life has been. Its strength and goodness are medals of honour for its victories; its weakness and vileness are the badges of defeat.
Man's life is an endless battle in which the good and brave are victorious, and the mean and cowardly are defeated.
Without Adversity, Man's Soul Would Shrivel for Lack of Exercise.
Evil is the penalty of wandering from right ways. Evil is also the background of good, or the incentive to good, or the trial of good, without which indeed good could not be. In a world without evil, all men would have perfect health, perfect intelligence and perfect morals. No one would ever care to speak to another soul, his own cup of information being full. There would be no need of industry, toil being an evil; nor of courage, danger being an evil. No scientific, philosophical or religious problems could attract attention, as all these would have been solved, ignorance being an evil. The temperature would stand forever at seventy degrees, both heat and cold being evil. There could be no progress, since progress is but the overcoming of evil. A world without evil would be as toil without exertion, as light without darkness, as a battle without an enemy. It would be a world without purpose.
The law of averages indicates that what is called chance, or luck, is only manifest in a superficial or temporary sense, and that in the deeper and more permanent sense there is no such thing as hazard in the natural world. So true is this, that the important business of insurance is built upon the sound assumption that fires, accidents, marine disasters, and even death itself, will always bear a definite ratio to time and numbers.
Through the working of this law of averages, it may be assumed that man, in his eternal life of which his present life on this earth is but an inconceivable fraction has passed, or will pass, through all forms of experience possible to human beings; and that he has benefitted and suffered, or will benefit and suffer, impartially with his fellows, from all forms of both good and evil fortune.
A man may lose his sight by a stroke of lightning. It cannot be assumed that he is responsible for the thunderbolt, or that he could have avoided it by prudence or foresight. What consolation has he, then, for this affliction which he could not have avoided? The consolation that his loss will be temporary, that his sight will be restored. He should accept with philosophy the evil as well as the good which comes to him, knowing that in the sum of all his lives the good quality greatly exceeds the evil. The loss of his sight by lightning would not, under the law of averages, happen to him more than once perhaps in a hundred thousand lives. If the life of the stricken man were actually to end with the death of his present body, the loss of his sight would be a great injustice; but he should look upon his misfortune as an incident merely of his eternal life, in which adversity as well as prosperity has its uses, and even its advantages.
What is commonly called good fortune is not always really good; nor is what is called evil fortune always really evil. Back of good fortune there lurks sometimes an evil influence, and back of evil fortune
there lies often a good influence. Adverse fortune may strengthen a man's unselfishness, fortitude and courage; while good fortune may weaken him in some of his nobler qualities, as the ownership of great riches may develop idleness or vanity, and as the possession of inherited privileges may foster self-love, arrogance and contempt for one's own kind. The heir to a throne, seen by the lights which illuminate the eternal life, may really be more unfortunate than he who is born to poverty and toil.
Many evils, such as the pestilence and famine, which were formerly considered as manifestations of the wrath of God, are now known to be but the results of man's ignorance. Science has overcome, or can overcome, the pestilence; and has provided, or can provide, the antidote for the germs of disease. Human thought, in the practical form of railroads and steamships, in connection with prudence and foresight, can relieve the horrors of famine.
Poverty and other forms of man's debasement are due mainly either to his own indolence, folly or vice, or to economic and social superstitions which intelligence can overcome.
Accidents, difficulties, burdens and sorrows are but the tests of our manhood, the trials of our worthiness, without which the soul would shrivel for lack of exercise. All forces work to make strong men, high men, real men. The post of hardship and danger is a post of honour.
"For as gold is tried by fire,
So a heart must be tried by pain."
(To Be Continued.)
The duty of a Theosophist to himself is to control and conquer, through the Higher Self, the low self. To purify himself inward and morally; to fear no one, and nought, save the tribunal of his own conscience. Never to do a thing by halves; i.e., if he thinks it is the right thing to do, let him do it, openly and boldly, and if wrong, never touch it at all. - Key to Theosophy
WANTED - RESEARCH WORK BY THEOSOPHICAL STUDENTS.
An Appeal by Geoffrey Hodson.
The author of this appeal is at present busily engaged in carrying out a lecture tour of the United States of America, and will be so engaged until October of this year. He thinks he sees the possibility of a valuable piece of work which the Theosophical Society might do for the world, but is himself too busy to attend to its performance. This work concerns especially the task of bringing to the world knowledge concerning the Angelic Hosts and their place in the economics of the Solar System.
Science has at last discovered the fact - always well known to occult scientists - that the apparent solidarity of the material universe is an illusion; that in reality the universe consists of flowing energies. Theosophy has an important part to play at this juncture. One of the next steps in the progress of exoteric human knowledge is the discovery of the intelligences associated with these flowing forces. These are the devas and nature-spirits.
Before we can play our role, our knowledge must be classified and correlated with the latest scientific thought. Hence this appeal.
Will students and groups co-operate with the author in the following ways:
1. Collect from all reliable sources information concerning nature spirits and devas. Some sources are
(a) The Secret Doctrine,
(b) Other standard Theosophical books,
(c) "Fairy faiths in Celtic countries;" by Evans Wentz,
(d) Standard works on national folk and fairy lore,
(e) The author's books,' especially - "The Angelic Hosts", "The Miracle of Birth", and "The Kingdom of Faerie".
2. Classify the information somewhat as follows:
(a) The four great divisions or orders of Nature Spirits of earth, water, air and fire; with the appearance and subdivisions of each order, e.g. earth spirits include gnomes, brownies, mannikins and elves; these evolve into landscape angels, and up to the Spirit of the Earth. (vide The Angelic Hosts).
(b) The Function of each in nature and their method of carrying out that function; their relationship to the phenomena of Nature, vegetation, climate, etc., (vide The Kingdom of Faerie, Chap. V.)
(c) Other orders - such as the builders (vide The Miracle of Birth, especially Chap. V. ), the healing angels, the ceremonial angels, the power angels, guardian angels) etc.
3. Apply the results to modern scientific discoveries in astronomy, meteorology, physics, physiology, biology and psychology, watching and collecting the writings of advanced thinkers in these fields.
4. Prepare the resultant material for publication
(a) As a whole in book form, perhaps in several volumes,
(b) In article form for magazine, both Theosophical and general.
In illustration of the possibilities which lie in this method of work, the author quotes from his address on "Angelic Co-operation in Social Reform", delivered at the Theosophical World Congress in Chicago in August, 1929, and from other sources.
"The present age is marked by the discovery of the forces of Nature and their employment by man, for the pursuit of knowledge is the true keynote of the age. Foremost in this search are the men of science in every land, and their search is leading them away from the materialistic and toward the transcendental outlook. The mechanistic view of scientific phenomena is being discarded and the method of explaining them by the construction of models has come to be regarded as a hindrance rather than an aid to understanding.
So rapid indeed is the progress of scientific discovery that the textbooks of one year become out of date in the following. Within the memory many of us, the foremost men of science were proclaiming that in matter was to be found the promise of life. Later that dictum was reversed. The atom as a material particle of which the whole universe was built, was itself found to be capable of further subdivision. The ultimate unit was discovered to be an electrically charged particle to which was given the name "electron", a unit of force vibrating in the ether. Now even the electron is being doubted, for recent researches have demonstrated that the electron has no continuous existence. It appears, disappears and reappears continually. So rapid is the process, however, that the illusion of permanence is produced.
Today, therefore, this apparently solid world of ours is not regarded as a material world at all. It is a concentration of energy, a focal point of power amid a universe of flowing forces.
Similarly, the brain is no longer regarded a satisfactory model of the mind, a mechanism of concrete particles which constitutes the whole machinery of thought. The brain is now regarded as an instrument, thought the power which drives it.
Of the nature and origin of these forces, science as yet says little, but the movement of scientific thought is away from the concrete toward the abstract, and this is parallel with the evolution of human intelligence which also is away from the analytical and concrete and toward the development of the faculty of synthetic and abstract thought. As an illustration of this, the idea is beginning to dawn that time itself is typical of the kind of material of which the physical world is built. In probing external phenomena to their depths, the scientists and mathematicians fall back upon symbols and equations as the only means of expressing their discoveries. The substance has melted into a
shadow; only force remains.
What is the next step likely to be? The latest pronouncements show that certain men of science are beginning to postulate mind as the ultimate reality. Matter is being regarded as a manifestation of force operating under natural law; and of that law, Prof. Eddington of Cambridge says
"It is perfect and unbreakable, worthy to be associated with the mind of God." He has also stated publicly that it is now possible for a scientist to be a man of religion. From this we see that as truly as the mystic, the scientist is following a light, and his quest is leading him away from the seen to the unseen world. The next discovery may very well be that of the existence of those intelligent beings called in the East "devas" and in the West nature-spirits and angels, who are the agents of the Divine Will in the controlling and manipulating of these hidden forces of the natural world.
What is the contribution of Theosophy to this development? Theosophy itself consists of a body of basic truths concerning the material and spiritual worlds, their inhabitants and the purpose of the Divine Will in creating them. Investigations such as those of the modern scientist referred to have been pursued since the earliest days of human life upon this planet. There has always been an unbroken succession of investigators, and the result of their work has been preserved. It constitutes a vast accumulation of knowledge which is gradually being made available today partly by the illumination of the mind and intuition of leaders of human thought, and partly by the publications and activities of the Theosophical Society, and kindred movements. From this source each man may take that portion of the Divine Wisdom which he himself is able to grasp and to interpret. In the study of Theosophy each man must be his own interpreter; each must provide his own illumination; and the views which I shall put forward are not necessarily those of my fellow members of the Theosophical Society.
For the purpose of this lecture, I have extracted, from the teachings of Theosophy as I understand them, a number of fundamental ideas which would appear to be pertinent to the subject under our consideration.
Behind all the differences and diversities of material forms, there is the one life; that life finds its expression through natural forces. Behind the flowing forces of which the material universe consists there is one Mind - the Mind of That Which is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Transformer of all worlds. The answer to the question as to what is behind the manifested mind of the universe, I can best give by quoting an Eastern scripture, in which the Logos is made to say: "Having permeated the universe with a fragment of myself, I remain." (Note: Bhagavad Gita) Behind the Immanent is the Transcendent, and the Immanent is partly manifest throughout all worlds in and through the forces of Nature. Electricity and Magnetism are the manifestations of the Divine Immanence, aspects of the power of God.
Concerning these forces, Theosophy has a great contribution to make to scientific research, if only for its revelation of the existence of intelligent beings evolving and working in association with them. In the East these beings are called devas, a Sanscrit word meaning "Shining One" and aptly describing their appearance. In the west we know them as Angels, and meet them in the Bible as messengers from God to man, visiting, him at special times in his career and displaying powers over the natural forces which the normal man does not as yet possess. Man is associated with the material and form side of existence; the angels with the life and force side of manifestation. They are the engineers of the Logos and they control and guide the activities of the forces of Nature. To them the Sun is the mighty heart and source of all power and life. From that heart the
energies which are the life blood of the solar and planetary body of the solar Logos are continually outpoured and as continually withdrawn. He breathes out and His power is withdrawn. So rapid is this fundamental process that the illusion of permanence is produced. Science is on the verge of accepting this great fact; for, as previously mentioned, it has discovered that the atom and the electron have no permanent existence; they appear, disappear and reappear continually.
This outbreathing and inbreathing of the solar life is rhythmical. The difference in the appearance of material forms is the result of a difference in rhythm. The solar heart pulses and establishes throughout all worlds that rhythm upon which all other rhythms and time periods are based.
Amid this mighty display of rhythmically out-rushing and returning energy live and evolve the two great races of the children of the Sun - the angelic and the human hosts. Side by side, as neighbours in the solar fields of space, they are evolving; side by side they are working for the fulfillment of the divine will, though all unconsciously so far as most human beings are concerned. The whole system is moving unceasingly toward an ideal which is the perfect manifestation of an archetype within the Creator's mind.
The central motive of this address is that the time has now come in the evolution of the human race when co-operation between angels and men in the fulfillment of the Divine Will may become conscious on our side as it has always been on theirs, and in the concluding portion of my address I wish to show how this consummation may be brought about."
In "Fruit of the Family Tree" by A.E. Wiggam, speaking of the chromosomes of the reproduction cells, he says: "Nothing in all nature is more thrilling than to watch these life processes under the microscope, or to study their outcome in the future offspring. The way these chromosomes behave in the cells, the marvelous and, to us, still mysterious way in which they move with all the mechanical precision of the planets; the way they divide and grow and sort themselves out in Mendelian proportions and thus distribute the various characteristics of the ancestry among the descendants - all carried on as though they were endowed with some inner intelligence or else under the guidance of some Supreme will, acting with a vast `purpose' in view".
Each one of these tiny particles bears its own particular and indivisible burden of life as though it had been divinely appointed as the messenger of some Master Builder who has some purpose of His own hidden beyond human ken."
Further: "What ever God is, or what ever these processes are that lie within and behind it all, we know they can be trusted. Man has at last met the universe face to face and finds that its forces are simply `High-born kinsmen of his own, and that he need not be afraid'."
An article on Sir J.H. Jeans' Book "The Universe Around Us" in "The Outline" Supplement to John O'London's weekly - October 5th, 1929:
Problems of Philosophy:
The astronomer, says Sir James, must leave the problem at this stage and hand it over to philosophy: But he is a bit of a philosopher himself. There is a missing code, he says. A code without which we cannot decipher the "Phenomena which come to us disguised in their frameworks of time and space; they are messages in cypher of which we shall not understand the ultimate significance until we have discovered how to decode them out of their space-time wrappings." The ultimate reality remains unsoluble. We may well admit, he remarks, that science cannot at present hope to say anything final on the question of human existence and human destiny.
An article on Evolution by Professor J. Arthur Thomson, in "John O'London's Weekly" - October 7 2th, 1929:
"The Evolving Process"
This way of looking at the Becoming of living creatures implies (1) that the evolving process can be more or less described in terms of verifiable factors, similar to those that can be seen in operation today.
(2) That there has been a continuity, although particular lines of advance or retrogression may have come to an end, and:
(3) That there has been on the whole a progressive integration from lower to higher forms of life. For Organic Evolution is not an eddy.
But when we explore the exuberant fauna and flora of a region not too badly man
-ridden, or see the bulging dredge emptied out on the deck, or visit one of the great museums with case after case of highly individualized birds and drawer after drawer of once ecstatic butterflies, we are usually dumbfounded. There is an embarrassing richness of individuality and beauty; there are detailed adaptations everywhere; there is an extraordinary perfection and finish, and there seems to be no end to the insurgent resourcefulness of life. We repeat the formulae in which we sum up the known factors in organic evolution; Variation, Heredity, Selection and Isolation - changing and entailing, sifting and singling - and we are left dissatisfied. The factors do not seem to be adequate for the result. We shake our heads when there are no fundamentalists lurking around, and murmur to ourselves There is surely some factor that remains unrecognized (Italics mine. G. H.)
Our Uneasy Feeling.
It is not the Fact of Organic Evolution that we have any dubiety about; our hesitation concerns the Factors. Are they sufficient to account for the outcome - an outcome that includes ourselves? Let us briefly inquire into the reasons for our dissatisfaction - our uneasy feeling that we are missing something.
(a) To some extent this is a fallacious impression due to our preoccupation with end-results and forgetfulness of the long-drawn-out process of evolution. The human ear is a marvel, but it is led up by a long staircase.
(b) It must be kept in mind that many of the ladders of life have lost their lower reaches by elimination, and that the origins of many of the great groups of animals remain quite unknown.
(c) It is hopeless to try to envisage the evolution of living creatures in a mechanical way. As effortful individualities they have taken a hand in their own evolution. Variability is an urge towards self-expression; heredity is the reminiscent hand of the past on the shoulders of the present; Selection is often a sifting of endeavors after well-being; isolation is often the outcome of sex-whims. It is impossible to leave out the mental factor - the urge of feeling and the bent bow of purpose."
The author is willing to help with this work and is especially interested to receive results of work carried out along these lines. His address up to October 30th, 1930, will be care of Theosophical Society, U.S.A., and afterward care of Theoso
phical Society, Adyar, Madras; India.
TWO NEW BOOKS ABOUT A. 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.
564 Pape Ave., Toronto (6)
A LETTER TO THEOSOPHISTS.
This letter is addressed to all who feel gratitude for the Teachings made available through the pen of H.P.B.
The material in them was given to the World, that men might better understand the composition of the fabric woven in preparation for the expression to be interjected at the beginning of the New Race - not as a snare and blind for the less acute mind; but rather that by intuitional awakening all who contacted the Truth, might more readily comprehend the nature of the field of this expression and lend their strength to the building of a temple "not made by hand" but rather by understanding.
How far have you been able to grasp the Great Plan and eater into its construction?
What has each of you contributed as his share, for from him to whom much has been given, from such is much expected.
How does the Theosophical Movement with all its component parts appear to us today?
Has Our effort succeeded, or must We withdraw to Our own fastnesses, vanquished by those it is Our Life thenceforth to help and guide when occasion allows and man by his own act invites?
Are Our life-giving forces flowing through the activities or are the lodges and groups bait streams clogged - dammed up by Maya's mighty hosts?
That all know well the fundamental object of Our effort is clear from the reading of each Platform as Brotherhood in one or another manner is declared to be the Object of each Group or Branch based upon Our Teaching.
But what a travesty on Brotherhood when it is pronounced by each and every Offshoot and - yet can be lived by none in toto!
Were One of Our own to come to you, where think you He could feel at home?
Would He find His place in that small group of America's Elect to whom no stranger is welcomed, where no stray lamb is received within the Fold; where wise-heads give utterance to deep philosophy - sufficient unto themselves, in close communion wrought? Strange help to Us who seek to feed the hungry!
Another - Homestead spot - there is in a place of natural beauty on earth where the Universal mother opened wide her arms in welcome to the "orphan humanity". Here surely One would feel at home and at peace. But wait! how came it to be apart and separate from the Whole?
Look deep within and see the canker spot of Jealousy, well covered o'er but deep-seated within.
Ah, yes, We hear the rebellious cry in explanation peal forth, "it was but loyalty to him who gave his very life for the cause", that forced this organization into being, that the World might ever know the Truth and recognize the Real from that Unreal semblance of Truth, foisted on the - bigger whole - Society.
A loyal heart devoid of self-interest might have seen opportunity to serve truth from within the Body - but - with shortened vision - the break was made and feud begun.
A second cry of Loyalty, to that same one; comes forth - offshoot of the "Mothers two"!
An Association for declaring Faith to Comrades True, a staunch stand to keep true texts of the Teaching intact, death to the personality which must be in the whole submerged; but ever at war with personalities outside their ranks who refuse mergence.
Would he, to whom reverence-due is given here, be recognized by them were he to claim his own?
Their law is strict, their knowledge grounded well, of what to expect and whom to recognize. Should he appear - before the time they know decreed - reception would scarce be given.
Could these but read between the lines they cherish so; and copy, some, the life of him whose cause they make their life work they would perforce develop gentleness of spirit, sympathy for those who through error, made attack. He who was withdrawn that severance be not brought upon the T. S. body - aye, for love of one of Us - can but feel anguish that his sacrifice was so little understood, and caused such havoc after all!
From the latter Offshoots comes the cry, raised through pride of understanding for (H.P.B.) the Teacher and her Teachings - a wild triumphant call - "Down with the False-Gods, the Traitors to Truth and their spurious writings"!
Understanding! - How little they have gleaned from that Lion-hearted One if they glimpse no reason, for her acceptance of the President of the T.S. today!
In H.P.B. they see the wisdom of a superman yet (no longer even conscious of Our humble Selves) they can think her hoodwinked in this instance, overcome by worldly power and recognition given one She knew must be granted opportunity to teach and lead Her (H.P.B.'s) blessed Society!
Again, beware of the Iconoclasts, those self-sufficient ones, who seek a following of their own, who, erudite with wisdom - children of their own brains - with wordy eloquence can float a ship "on the flood of their oratorious fallacies". For they see, the T.S. ship of state a foundered thing, brotherhood a lost cause, and hope of recognition from the Lodge a matter of dreams and phantasy. They declare the "devoted ones" to be the cause that instigated insurrection and upheaval - and constitute the remnant - left to sit in adoration at the Wake.
To this remnant group a charge is now given to awake - tear away the bandage from off your face, which has been constructed through fanatical dedication to a leader - and give of the light of your own souls, to Truth that you and your leader may see the way more clearly.
Remember to you befalls the task of keeping the roots of this Tree of Wisdom alive and healthy. By blind devotion you but add to the karmic load of the one who perchance has led astray in the existing chaos of things today.
And now the day has come when stock must be taken and accounts rendered of the past.
To all, these words are addressed:
No longer concern yourself with the gnat in your brother's eye but look first to the moat that blinds your own - and with vision cleared, declare a Truce, an Armistice of all old feuds.
Look to building anew and see what each has to contribute - communities, wealth, loyalty, sincerity, understanding, courage. Merge the resourcefulness, the one-pointedness or observations, the steadfastness, developed in each and every isolated group, as qualities belonging to the One great, body - eliminate all prejudice and doubt. And once again Brotherhood will be assured in spirit as in name.
Then One of Us can come to work with you endangering none by the play of His forces that might otherwise enhance the differences and jeopardize the work for good that will promise great harvest once unity is established.
Be not concerned, the one accepted as such a messenger today by many as Our Teacher to you, will assuredly be the first to greet a Brother and Co-worker.
There are undeniable signs by which Brother recognizes Brother.
Bear ever in mind the words of the Light-Bringer of the 19th Century - that "Charity and Love Immortal" are alone the Key that opens the First Portal.
- A Student Messenger.
Printed by H.P.B. Publishers, Inc., for the School of Service. (All Theosophical publications are invited to copy this Letter.)
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.
This is the last number of volume x. Indexes for volume ix. are now ready and may be had on application with postage, 2 cents. Index of volume x. will be ready shortly. Bound copies of these and earlier volumes may be had at $2 each. Only a very few of the early volumes remain.
With the elections once more in sight, it is hoped that all members in arrears will pay their dues and get into good standing and take an interest in the affairs of the National Society. Back numbers of the Magazine will be supplied to those paying up their arrears of dues.
We are not sure if it would have made any difference to Mr. Pryse had he known he was criticizing a lady, but we have left his MS in which he discusses Mrs. Leisenring's position as he wrote it, to indicate, at least, that he was unaware of his opponent's identity and wrote impersonally.
We desire to call attention to Mr. Dobbs' address to the Montreal Lodge as president, in which he speaks of the amount of space given to notices of the Lodge's activities. No Lodge, however small, but may have proportionate space, if it will only take the trouble to send in notices to this magazine or to local papers. The news of what other Lodges are doing stimulates all and is of interest to members.
Copies of The Adyar Theosophist, in all respects but name like its immediate antecedent The Theosophist, and the Hollywood Theosophist, with all the faults and none of the virtues of its antecedent, have arrived together and compel comparison. Of course they are odious, but what would you? We should except Mrs. Cousins' article in the Hollywood issue, and we have dealt with Mr. Jinarajadasa's article elsewhere. The Adyar Theosophist republishes Madam Blavatsky's letter to the New York Daily Graphic answering Dr. Beard's charges that the Eddy Spiritualistic manifestations were frauds. It is evident that the spiritualistic debate is on once more. Perhaps we shall have some light thrown this time upon the part the Nirmanakayas may play in it. We shall hope for a report in the next Adyar number of the Adyar Council meeting.
We have received a circular letter from some members of New York Central Lodge stating that Mrs. Broenniman is being brought out as a candidate for the Presidency of the American T.S. in opposition to Mr. L.W. Rogers. This is not the business of the T.S. in Canada, but it has been referred to us, and we have learned that the action has been inspired by one Kunala, a Hindu, who has written the letters signed a Student Messenger, and who poses as a messenger of the Mahatmas. It is well known that anyone making such
a claim at once vitiates his title. No real messenger of the Lodge would assert himself as such. "Love vaunteth not herself; is not puffed up; seeketh not her own." Apart from this, however, an attack is being organized against Mr. Rogers on account of his criticism of the Liberal Catholic Church at the Theosophical Congress in Chicago last August. The L.C.C. is a body distinctly hostile to the T.S. by its very nature and aims. It cannot help being so though many of its members are unaware of the fact. While it opposes Mr. Rogers it is acting against the interests of the T.S. and anyone who takes a similar position of hostility must be reckoned among the Allies of the L.C.C. It is well to know where we are, considering we have perfect liberty to choose our ground and our alliances.
The Path, from Sydney, Australia, contains a review of the volume of unpublished letters from Madam Blavatsky to the late Professor Corson of Cornell, edited by his own son Dr. E.R. Corson. We have not seen the volume yet, but it is evidently having a good circulation. The Path continues the articles "On the Threshold" by The Dreamer. We venture to quote a passage which appeals to us as presenting a natural and consistent attitude towards one who has been in the mind of the Masters for years before she took up the study of Theosophy. "The thirst for spiritual life is quite commendable. The psychic-craze, however, is (but) an imitation of the true Life, and should not be encouraged. The present disaster in the T.S. is mainly due to want of care and foresight in this matter. But whatever you do, you should keep your head cool, and your heart fixed upon Divine service, and that alone. Personal interest, and social and other disturbances, should not determine your conduct, to say nothing of race feeling, which is most detrimental to spiritual growth. I don't think one can repeat too often, that the guiding principles of our actions should be Truth
and Brotherhood. You may not approve of A.B.'s present mood or action; but that need not make you love her any the less. She is not identical with moods, movements nor actions, but is above and apart from them all, just as the ocean is apart from its passing waves. You will do yourself harm if you allow any other feeling than those of love and reverence to take possession of your mind. Of what use is intuition if the real cause cannot be discriminated from the accidental? You might as well despise me, if I happened to call on you in an English costume. True, when we see a grand and heavenly movement threatened with utter ruin in this fashion, we cannot but forget our own personal grievances, and lose ourselves in the far wider life of the world."
THE ANNUAL ELECTIONS
Nominations for the office of General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive should be made by the Lodges during the month of March, so that returns may all be in by the 1st day of April. Experience has shown that it is impossible otherwise to issue voting papers, carry on the elections, get returns made, and scrutinize the ballots in time for a declaration in the June magazine. Secretaries of Lodges will please see that the matter is brought before their respective Lodges, and when nominations are made have them sent at once to the General Secretary. Nominations must be made through a Lodge and consent of parties nominated must have been previously obtained. Nominations must reach the General Secretary by April 1, when the nominations will close. They should be mailed at least a week before. This will enable ballots to be sent out, should an election be necessary, on or before April 30, and the voting to close on June 2. Nomination returns must be sent in a separate letter addressed to the General Secretary at 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario.
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
The General Executive met on Sunday 2nd inst., at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, those absent being Mr. Belcher, Mr. Ruark, Mr. Kartar Singh, and Dr. Wilks. Discussion on the possibility of getting into cooperative harmony with other branches of the Movement was very full, and letters and circulars were referred to from various quarters. It was felt that if the various bodies deriving from Madam Blavatsky cannot show a united front to the public their profession of Brotherhood will amount to little. The following resolution was adopted on the motion of Mr. McIntyre, seconded by Mr. Housser: "The General Executive of The Theosophical Society in Canada wishes at the present juncture to place itself on record as favoring the widest means of cooperation with all the Theosophical Societies now existing in the Dominion." It was reported that new members were coming in, the list now having reached 1015. The number in good standing was in excess of the number at the same time last year. A letter from Mr. Kartar Singh reported progress in the west.
MESSAGE TO MONTREAL MEMBERS
Dear Fellows of the T. S.:
The Montreal Lodge has arrived at another mile post in its history with the commencement of the year 1930 and in this connection it may be worth while to remind ourselves that Montreal Lodge received its Charter in the month of April, 1905, thus being twenty-five years, or a quarter of a century, in existence this coming Spring as a chartered Lodge.
As has been mentioned previously, the foundation of Montreal Lodge has been built by the devotion arid energy of elder members who carried on the work during the earlier years of the Lodge, some of whom have been spared to be still associated with us, while others have passed through the gates of physical death into the realm of a larger life. Those early members who still survive naturally cannot now be expected to engage in energetic activity for the Lodge, this work being passed on to those who follow, who must, in turn, ultimately relinquish same to the succeeding generation. It will, therefore, be obvious how necessary it is to interest more of the present generation in Theosophy in order that our Lodge may continue to function effectively as a Theosophical centre in this Metropolis.
The Lodge is a composite of all its members and its character or quality is therefore determined by the general attitude of its membership. It may be overcome by that inertia which arises out of separateness and insufficient belief in its purpose; or we may, by considering ourselves a group of servants in the Temple of Humanity, contribute whatever we can to make it an effective channel for wisdom and thought development. Although we are the second largest Lodge in Canada, that in itself does not mean very much numerically, and opportunities for self expression may seem few. We can, however, bring into the Lodge whatever knowledge and talent we possess and activities can be expanded, or new ones initiated, as the desire and need is manifested.
Our Saturday evening meetings continue to be the only form of organized work for the public and appreciation is here conveyed to those who have attended these meetings with fair regularity throughout the year, thereby sustaining this form of activity. While dependence is not wholly placed on numbers, nevertheless, it is certainly gratifying to have a well-filled room when a lecture is being given and members can render valuable assistance to the Lodge by co-operating in this respect.
The class for members on Tuesday evenings has been regularly maintained during the year, the textbook during the first six months being "Isis Unveiled", and
the textbook for, the later session being "The Ocean of Theosophy". A marked increase in attendance has been noticeable during the study of the latter textbook and appreciation is again expressed to those who have attended this class so faithfully. "The Ocean of Theosophy" was chosen by the Executive Committee as a most valuable Theosophical textbook and it is hoped that attendance at this class has been rewarded by acquiring a fuller knowledge of the fundamentals of Theosophy.
Reports of the Saturday evening lectures were sent to Montreal daily newspapers during the first six months of the year, The Gazette giving a total of 205 inches of space, and The Daily Star 74 ½ inches of space, to the lectures of this Lodge. Reports of our various activities also appeared in The Canadian Theosophist in eleven issues out of the twelve during the past year, a total of 104 3/4 inches being given to reports of Montreal Lodge, and appreciation for this service is extended to the Editor.
Forty-three lectures have been given on Saturday evenings in this Room since the last Annual Meeting, thirty-six of these lectures were given by eleven members of this Lodge, while the remaining seven lectures were given by five persons who are non-members. It is gratifying to note that practically one-fourth of our membership have been on the lecturing list.
Attention might be called to the fact that Montreal Lodge added eight to its membership roll during the year 1929, but this increase was largely offset by five lapsed and two resignations during the year.
Owing to generous donations made to the Lodge, it has been possible to effect a great improvement in the interior furnishings of the Room and appreciation, on behalf of the Lodge, is hereby extended to the donors, Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher Ruark, Mrs. A.D. Richardson, Miss G. Galibert and Miss R. Schuster; as well as to the ladies of the House Committee, Miss C. Burroughs, Mks. E.A.,Griffiths, Mrs. A.D. Richardson and Mrs. A.J. Ruark, all of whom have made these improvements possible.
Devotional readings at the public meetings have been arranged by Miss H.E. Mills, who has looked after this phase of work faithfully and regularly throughout the year. Appreciation is also extended to all those who have contributed to the programme, read selections or in any way helped along the work of the Lodge through service rendered or donations made.
The Executive Committee during the past year has been ready to provide for any need of the Lodge and the incoming Executive will undoubtedly be most ready to know and respond to your wishes in this regard.
J.E. Dobbs, President
January 14, 1930.
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 fixture 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.
AMONG THE LODGES
The St. Catharines group held meetings during the first four Sundays of December. At three of these the "Key to Theosophy" was the basis of a general group discussion. The treat of the month was Mr. Belcher's charming lecture based on extracts from one of the pithiest of poems - the "Essay on Man" by A. Pope. - Gertrude Knapp, Secretary.
The St. Catharines' group decided at the first meeting of the New Year to devote three study periods per month to the "Key" and to reserve the fourth for an outside speaker. Mr. A.E.S. Smythe addressed them on Jan. 26. The group have now arrived at the dignity of printed programmes in which the work is outlined for some months ahead but, being only beginners, all feel they would be helped if the older lodges of the Canadian Section would give some publicity to their proceedings by advertising themselves in the Theosophist. We are young but not too modest. - Gertrude Knapp, Secretary.
The Annual Meeting of Montreal Lodge took place on Tuesday, January 14, and the various reports made by the officers indicated that the work of the Lodge had not receded in any way but, on the contrary, a steady improvement was reported in connection with several phases of the work. The Treasurer, Mr. W.A. Griffiths, gave a very satisfactory statement of finances, announcing that donations received during the past year showed a marked generosity on the part of members and friends of the Lodge and the weekly collections also reached a comparatively high figure. The Librarian, Miss C. Burroughs, reported that good use had been made of the library and that the class of books in most demand were of a high standard. The Secretary, Miss R.D. LeBel drew attention to the fact that the Lodge had been visited during the past year by Mr. William C. Clark, Mr. Geoffrey Hodson and Mr. Kartar Singh. Mrs. E. A. Griffiths, Convener of Social Committee, reported receipt of $55, being proceeds of a social and bridge party held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. H.R. Mallison. The officers elected for the year 1930 are: President, Andrew Baldwin; Vice-President, Joseph B. Verdon; Treasurer, W.A. Griffiths; Asst. Treasurer, Mrs. C. Erbert; Secretary, Miss R.D. LeBel, P. O. Box 351, Station B, Montreal, P. Q.; Librarian; Miss C. Burroughs; Chairman Publicity Committee, J.E. Dobbs; Auditor, D.B. Thomas.
STUDY OF THE MAHATMA LETTERS.
The Chairman of Central Lodge, New York City, introduced the line of work as follows: Friends, Brothers, this group of students is undertaking a study that is different from that generally pursued in the T.S. lodges.
As this is, so far as I know, the first lodge in the American Section to study The Mahatma Letters, it is in order to emphasize our responsibility in so doing.
You may all be familiar with the fact that Mr. Barker has taken upon himself the karma of publishing these letters, even though the Master indicated that some of them were to be kept "private" being written for the addressee (Mr. Sinnett) only, in the hope that the Masters' own statements might serve to help all T.S. members to see the Light and to better understand Their hopes for the T.S. With Their words and advice available we might see more clearly the right and necessary action at this period of trial when chaotic conditions prevail.
That his courage is great is without question, to take such a stand even though the individuals to whom personal reference is made in the Letters have been taken from their earthly activities for some time. But it makes his position in this decision
uncertain until the attitude of the readers is known.
That the Masters will overlook any seeming disregard of old instructions if we are able to benefit by this opportunity is sure; but should this publicity bring further misunderstanding and questioning with regard to Their Teaching and more disruption to the Society, the result would be deplorable.
In taking this work up then we must realize that we hold the opportunity of making Mr. Barker's karma in this matter good or ill according to the spirit with which we carry on the study.
We should remember that here we have explanations from Those who know; and when a statement appears to us to be contradictory or astonishing as compared to that previous knowledge acquired by us, we should not indulge in the usual method considered generally to be most useful in study work - that of analyzing and criticizing.
Rather should we try to understand that always there must be something for us to gain if we but hold an "open mind". And if after endeavouring to grasp the Master's point of view or to comprehend the explanations given we find known facts failing to corroborate the line of thought presented we should not question nor denounce but quietly put the matter aside with a feeling of confidence that all will be clear at a later time.
It is essential, in order to benefit from this book, that we take the position of the chela toward his accepted Guru - otherwise we will manage to close "the door" more securely against further opportunity.
This lesson is brought home to us in the Letters themselves when we read of the methods of their being given.
It is stated by the Master that the method of precipitating His thoughts on to paper is an easy one, when the ability has been developed, and requires only a deep concentration.
Because of the critical, analytical, skeptical attitude on the part of Sinnett and Hume especially, the Master was no longer allowed to use his occult powers for this correspondence. He then resorted to throwing or impressing his answers by thought into the minds of the accepted chelas that were at that time in touch with the Englishmen.
He would by this method impress his thoughts on the mind of the chela and cause him to transcribe the answer.
Later even the dedicated chelas (H.P.B., Damodar and others named) became incensed, at the to them insulting replies and aspersions of these two men toward Those whom the chelas held in reverence, until each of these in turn requested that they be relieved from acting as transmitters.
It was then that the Masters were obliged or forced, in order to carry on the correspondence which Master K.H. had particularly undertaken in the hope of shedding some light on the world, to adopt the world's means of laboriously writing in long hand Their communications and sending them sometimes by post, sometimes by chelas acting as messengers to deliver the letters.
There is a wonderful example here of self sacrifice of the Master and the lesson to us of how our attitudes may react to retard and embarrass the work undertaken for the benefit of humanity.
It behooves us today to see that we are not again, by our dissensions and quibbling or bickerings, retarding in similar manner what they are only waiting to share.
The Chairman introduced Mrs. Roy Mitchell who had generously consented to lead the work and read the Letters.
It was first explained that these Letters were written by the two Masters who had undertaken to establish the Theosophical
Society as a channel for the reviving of the old Teachings and the emphasizing of Brotherhood as the 19th Century effort.
The two Englishmen to whom the Letters were for a time regularly sent offered
opportunities through their literary connections in the world (one being an able writer, the other the editor of an English newspaper in India known as the Pioneer) that seemed promising for the dissemination of the knowledge it was deemed possible to give to the world.
The Englishmen had become interested in the phenomena produced by H.P.B. and through her were put in touch with Master K.H. who took upon Himself the onerous task of instructing them.
The Letters explain the various situations so that it is sufficient to say that the correspondence was commenced in 1880.
This first Letter is written in reply to a request by Sinnett and Hume that the masters prove Themselves and Their magical powers to the world by producing sensational phenomena, i.e.: the appearance in England of copies of the Pioneer, for distribution there the very day the paper came off the press in India.
This Letter contains the Master's own answer with full explanation as to the unwisdom and positive danger to those requesting such a thing as well as to the world at large, which is of necessity a refusal.
Central Lodge of New York of the T.S., 23 East 37th Street, New York City; August Trath, President; Amador Botello, Secretary.
LIBERTY IN DIVERSITY
Editor Canadian Theosophist: - It is not often that I am tempted to express an opinion of present day politics in the Theosophical Movement, but your animadversion (forgive the word) on the Krishnamurti position concerning the Masters leads me as a student of Theosophy and a firm believer in the existence, status, and place of the Masters in the "sweet ordering of all things" to take up the cudgels for the Krishnamurti outlook or viewpoint so briefly touched on by you in a recent sub-Editorial.
You quote Krishnamurti as saying in effect (I am paraphrasing freely) "Why worry about the Masters? Make your stand on and your strength from the principle of the God within: You can never be strong or free while depending on the authority, personality, teaching or position of another." This idea, I think, has nothing to do with pupilage. This ideal is the end and aim of pupilage and it is hardly fair to represent Krishnamurti as attacking pupilage when shadowing forth some of its results.
My reason for writing is my admiration for the position taken up by the Canadian Theosophist in endeavoring to preserve for us in its pristine beauty and purity the Ancient Wisdom, but I would not wish the struggle and ultimate victory to be stained by excess. We must use discrimination and exercise our intuition else we may condemn indiscriminately through judging the letter only and ignoring the spirit. Krishnamurti is, I think, on the right lines. He has already done much to clarify the position and he will do more. His metaphysical teachings though not new; are sound and in accord with the Spirit of the Wisdom.
I am of course, no upholder of the unprovable claims made on behalf of Krishnamurti which so far as I know have never been made by him. To a friend in California recently he has said, "I am no more the World Teacher that you are". He is a World Teacher in the sense that all of us are or should be World Teachers else why have we developed contact with the Wisdom?
Let us then cease worrying about the Masters. Let us get on with our job, first, of realizing, then of expressing. They will carry on with their job whether we worry about them or not, but if it is our earnest desire to hasten, in however small a measure, the evolution of human consciousness, which is their job and ours, let us get at the fundamentals of the Wisdom, which are not antagonistic to
Krishnamurti's metaphysics, and we will then be in a better position to cooperate with the elder brethren in the magnum opus to which they and we have set our hands and hearts. Wishing you all of the best, yours gratefully and fraternally.
- Wm. Henderson
Belfast, Ireland, Dec. 27.
"THE REAL HEART Oh THE T.S."
Editor Canadian Theosophist: On 31st October, 1928, Dr. Annie Besant as Outer Head, sent to every member of the E.S. a long letter in which she said: "The World Teacher Krishnaji is living among us, we have rightly promised to serve Him, by spreading his ideals. That promise must be kept. I am the Outer Head of the E.S., the Inner Head being my Guru, and I act with the approval of the Guru I adore.
Under these precious circumstances we need naught else. The new wine must not be poured into old bottles. So I as the Outer Head of the E.S. in obedience to the Inner Head and in service to the beloved teacher, suspend the Institution (E.S). which has prepared us for the Freedom, into which we enter.
We are dedicated to the spreading of the World Teacher's ideals. All members should study his writings. Try to attune themselves to the song of the Lord. Let us rejoice in the Life He pours out. Let us trust ourselves fearlessly to its guidance, for it is the Life of the Lord."
After more than a year a Cloud has appeared. Dr. Besant writing to the Members of the E.S. on 1st December, 1929, says: -
"In order to keep the field clear for the World Teacher in his priceless work, I suspended the E.S. for a period. But the Theosophical Society is suffering in its world-wide duty, for the lack of the Organ (E.S.) which is its real heart on our Earth. - This (E.S.) was therefore revived on October 1st, 1929, but it will be confined to those who can accept the Raja Yoga Discipline, as their rule of life, so as to form a more useful instrument in the hands of the Hierararchy."
Then follows a long list of directions and rules to be strictly obeyed. She again writes: -
"Dear Brothers - If you feel that you can try to live the Raja Yoga Life, If you can accept Krishnaji as the Vehicle of the World Teacher, The Chohan Maurya as the Inner Head of the E.S. and Brother Annie Besant as the Outer Head, appointed by Him, and if you are prepared to give ordinarily an hour a day to study, and to meditation on the study or on the Inner Head, with a desire to unite your consciousness with His, then I invite you to continue your membership in the E.S."
She signs herself as: - "In the service of the Inner Head, Annie Besant O.H."
The enfranchised members of the E.S. are greatly surprised and disturbed by reading this somersault, and a considerable number of sheepish members will again be unsuspectingly drawn into the cage (from which they have been set free) by the misrepresentation of Krishna Murti's noble teachings, as a part of the teachings of the E.S. and of the Masters, although Krishna Murti's teachings plainly contradict the autocratic teachings given in the E.S. The alleged "Secret Heart" of the T.S. ought to be made known to all Theosophists that they may understand what their shackles are, and what their alleged Freedom consists in.
- M. Gupte.
There is no Devil, no Evil, outside mankind to produce a Devil. Evil is a necessity in, and one of the supporters of, the Manifested Universe. It is a necessity for progress and evolution, as night is necessary for the production of day, and death that of life - that man may live for ever. - Secret Doctrine, II. 389.
KRISHNAJI AND THE MASTERS
Why are you bothering about the Masters? I say that the Masters, man, every being, has to attain liberation. It is of very little importance, whether they have attained or have not attained. Not who else has attained, or whether I am greater than the Masters. I really do not care. What do you know about the Masters, except what you have been told? So, you cannot compare. You cannot say I am greater than another, or less, if you have not the knowledge with which to make a comparison. To me this question is of so little importance that I do not even want to talk about it. I say that the Masters and human beings have to attain as I have attained. I am not saying I am greater or less, or this or that. The point is whether these people who are listening to me are concerned with the achievement of the thing for themselves, whether they are anxious, whether they are strong enough, free enough to attain. It is not a question of vital importance whether the Masters exist or not, or whether you are their pupils. Who cares whether you are a pupil or an initiate or a Master himself? The essential is that you should be free and strong, and you can never be free and strong if you are a pupil of another, if you have gurus, mediators, Masters over you. You cannot be free and strong if you make me your Master, your guru. I don't want that. What I want is to make you strong and free, really harmonized within, certain, not through ecstasy, but by careful and deliberate thought and feeling, after much search. This inner certainty alone will destroy all the perverseness of the unreal. - From International Star Bulletin's reports of Krishnamurti at Eerde.
Between the extremes of spiritual negation and affirmation there ought to be a middle ground; only pure philosophy can establish truth upon firm principles; and no philosophy can be complete unless it embraces both physics and metaphysics. - Modern Panarion, 302.
Further Study of "The Voice of the Silence"
- By James Morgan Pryse.
The Lord Buddha particularly warned his hearers against forming beliefs upon tradition or authority, and before having thoroughly inquired into the subject. . . The whole difficulty springs from the common tendency to draw conclusions from insufficient premises, and play the oracle before ridding oneself of that most stupefying of all psychic anaesthetics - Ignorance. - H.P. Blavatsky, "Lodges of Magic," Lucifer, Oct., 1888.
In my article on the Voice I paid that little work a liberal tribute of praise. No one has praised it more highly. To show that my praise was based upon a just estimate of the book, I pointed out that it has minor literary defects and that certain erroneous exoteric doctrines had been inserted in it by H.P.B., "in a moment of weakness," as she herself said to the pupil whom she charged to correct it.
My article has called forth caviling replies from several Theosophists, as was to be expected when there are so many of them who, whenever they find a writer making statements that do not dovetail with their own preconceived notions, deem it their duty to rush into print, and make him stop it.
I carefully explained that although the Preface seems to say that the Voice is made up wholly of extracts from the Book of the Golden Precepts it may also be construed to mean that selections from other sources are included. In fairness to H.P.B. the Preface must be so construed; for otherwise she would stand convicted of plagiarism. Yet Edith Fielding asserts that my statement is "deliberately misleading" and - "arouses suspicion as to the veracity" of H.P.B. Refusing to yield to conclusive evidence and give up an un-
tenable preconception, Edith Fielding insists that H.P.B. plainly states that the Voice is composed exclusively of selections from the Book of the Golden Precepts, and at the same time acknowledges that it also contains selections from other Eastern Scriptures.
Oh, no, Edith Fielding; I have not questioned H.P.B.'s veracity. It is you who have done that. Nor have I misled you. You have simply tangled yourself up by trying to make your erroneous preconceived notions tally with the demonstrated facts. Merely because I exposed the fallacy of those preconceived notions you wrote some very unkind and unjust things about me in your letter, and I hope you were heartily ashamed of them when you saw them in cold print. I freely pardon your grossierete, but of course Karma will not let you off so easily. Here is what Karma now hands out to you:
In a splendid contribution to the Theosophist (Vol. I) Mr. Rattun Chund Bary says:
"It is in Dhyana ("Meditation," here a synonym of Raja Yoga) that a student begins to hear the mystic music called the Anahadshabd, which varies in its tones and notes in proportion to the advancement of the student from one stage to another.
"It is in the tenth stage, called Samadhi, that Hiranyagarbha, the eternal and unfailing Light, which until then penetrated with its rays only now and then through the thick cloud of matter, breaks in upon the yogi in its full brightness and glory, and absorbs him. The yogis, when they reach this state, gain the power of the Deity."
In the Voice (p. 17, Judge's edition) the above passage is paraphrased as follows:
"The light from the One Master, the one unfailing light of Spirit, shoots its effulgent beams on the disciple from the very first. Its rays thread through the thick, dark clouds of Matter.
"Now here, now there, these rays illumine it, like sun-sparks light the earth through the thick foliage of the jungle growth . . . . Nor will the mystic sounds of the akasic heights reach the ear, however eager, at the initial stage."
Here we have something that was borrowed, not from any Eastern Scripture, but from Mr. Bary's original article. Now, Edith Fielding, it is for you to explain why Mr. Bary received no credit. If you can solve that problem, and want another and more difficult one, I'll be ready with it. For, when drawn into a controversy I do not exhaust my ammunition in the first clash, but keep some in reserve. You may have observed that I used only a small part of it in my first article on the Voice; and I can assure you that I did not expend all of it in the second one.
I cordially thank Mr. Pease for the courteous tone of his controversial letter. Also I am glad to notice that he is gaining a broader view of the subjects under discussion. In the Canadian Theosophist, Oct., 1928, he maintained that a Pratyeka actually reaches Nirvana. Of course none but a Buddha can reach Nirvana. Now Mr. Pease says emphatically that "a Pratyeka-Buddha is not a Buddha - any more than a false Prophet is a Prophet." Good! But he says, in effect, that men can be "helped to gain wisdom" independently of their Karma. My understanding of it is that a man can be helped only to the extent that he karmically merits help. If a man can be helped when it isn't his Karma to be helped, Karma must be a wobbly and uncertain Law that doesn't always work. Please think that over, Mr. Pease, and reverse yourself again.
I agree with Mr. Pease that "what may seem an absurdity to one student may seem perfectly reasonable to another." But is not that because one or the other of 'em is not using his reasoning faculty to good purpose? Think that over, also, Mr. Pease, and again reverse yourself. I boldly assert that the doctrine of "the Path of
Woe" is an absurdity. Put it to the test. Go to any "anxious enquirer" with a copy of the Voice in your hand, and say to him:
"By accepting the principle of Universal Brotherhood and diligently studying Theosophy you may eventually find the Path that leads to Wisdom. It is a 'Path of Woe.' As soon as you have found it you will become a `candidate for woe throughout the cycles'. When you have reached the end of that Path, `O aspirant to Sorrow, throughout the coming cycles', you will be `wedged as a stone with other stones' in a wall raised by the tortures and cemented by the blood of yourself and, many others, and suffer `mental woe un-speakable' for uncountable ages, until the Universe comes to an end. Here is an application for membership in the T.S. Just sign your name on the dotted line".
If the inquirer is a man of good sense he will probably say that you are crazy with the heat, or something like that, and turn his back on your brand of Theosophy.
The courteous tone, and freedom from personalities, which distinguish Mr. Pease's letter, are not noticeable in Mrs. Leisenring's contribution. Quite otherwise. In fact, its tone is such that replying to it is really an unpleasant task. Yet it calls loudly for a reply, inasmuch as it is a covert and insidious attack on Theosophy and an attempt to lead students astray from the Path pointed out by the Voice.
Mr. Leisenring sneers at the followers of Raja Yoga "who are seeking to prolong their mortal existence and attain a relative, personal immortality in the lower astral worlds." Yet that is precisely the state attained by all the Nirmanakaya-Buddhas, and it marks the end of the cycle of reincarnations, the completion of individual evolution in the material world. Further comment on that score is unnecessary.
"Divine intellect is a contradiction in terms," says he. Ergo, there are no Divine Beings in the Universe, or if there are any they are idiots. By consulting an English dictionary Mr. Leisenring might have learned that "divine" means "pertaining to God, to any God or Deity, Godlike." (When doing literary work I always have an exhaustive English dictionary at my elbow, with Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, French and Spanish ones in reach, as they come in handy; if I knew more languages - my Sanskrit teacher, Prof. Roehrig, knew 73 of 'em - I'd have more dictionaries.) Before using a word, Mr. Leisenring, it is well to know its meaning. Real scholars are careful in that respect. A Divine, God-like Intellect does not involve a "contradiction in terms." A man's Nous, his Manas, is his Divine, Eternal Intellect, his God-Self, his Father in Haven. Atma is a Universal Principle, and Buddhi, is a colorless Spiritual Potency devoid of Intellect; together with Manas, the Conscious Individuality, they constitute the Higher Self.
Casting another slur on the Nirmanakayas, and decrying Raja Yoga, Mr. Leisenring says that a man "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." Let us examine this wondrous dictum.
Higher Manas is inseparable from Atma and Buddhi; it is, with them, the Higher Self. You cannot "use" your Higher Manas. "Whom the Self chooses, by him is the Self obtained, not by others."
The Linga Sharira is not in fact as "astral" body, though often loosely so called in exoteric literature. As H.P.B. says (Ins., p. 150), the physical body is "merely a denser aspect of the Linga Sharira, for the Body and the Linga Sharira are both on the same plane, and the Linga Sharira is molecular in its constitution; like the Body." When an individual has completed the course of evolution in the material world, he perfects his true physical body, the Linga Sharira, so that it then becomes the Nirmana-body; and thus the
Shramana, as a Nirmanakaya, attains the first stage of Buddhahood. Similarly, he completes the evolutionary course in the two higher worlds, successively as a Sambhogakaya and a Dharmakaya; and having thus completed the cycle of evolution, he enters Nirvana. Let the student note carefully how these stages correspond to the four Avasthas, the Waking, Dreaming and Undreaming states, followed by Turiya Avastha, which is but another name for Nirvana. In the waking state man's consciousness is in the physical world, in the dreaming state it is in the psychic world, and in the undreaming state it is in the spiritual world. In each of these states he is the same man. So also the three "men" manifested by the Self in the three worlds, in the three streams of evolution, are in reality one, being three branches, as it were, of the stream of evolution, and at the close of the evolutionary cycle the three streams unite. Thus the Initiate says, magnificently, in the Gospel of Philip, "I have gathered myself together from the four quarters of the universe."
According to Mr. Leisenring the action of Manas is "gyratory with intermittent vibrations." Gyrus is Latin for a circle; and to gyrate, says the dictionary, is to turn round in a circle, to revolve. When a man's Manas gets to whirling in that way the authorities put him in the psycho-pathic ward for examination, and then confine him in an institution maintained by the State for such unfortunates.
The Greek word psyche, "breath" (from psychein, to breathe) signifies the immortal soul as opposed to the mortal body. Homer applies it only to the disembodied soul (Kama Rupa), and for the embodied soul he uses the term thymos (Kama Manas.) Later writers give psyche as the embodied as well as the disembodied soul, making it the instrument of nous and the seat of thymos, which in this usage is restricted to Kama. The Psyche is immortal, and not, as Mr. Leisenring asserts, "ephemeral" (short-lived; literally, "lasting but for a day"). Mr. Leisenring seems to have neglected his Greek lexicon as well as his English dictionary. He even gives "Augaeides" for Augoeides, when the proverbial "any schoolboy" could have told him that in Greek ei is a dipthong and oe never is.
Chaos is simply Greek for infinite Space, the "Container" of the Kosmos, and is, as H.P.B. explains (S.D., I. 536), "the primary aspect of Mulaprakriti." Yet Mr. Leisenring informs us that it is "the lower aether."
Mr. Leisenring waxes sarcastic over the "permanent body" of the psychic man, referred to by "An Occultist." Again neglecting his dictionary, he seems not to know that "permanent" signifies durable, lasting, of long continuance, as when a man takes up a permanent residence. However, let us call that permanent body an eternal body, and then see what H.P. Blavatsky says about it. See S.D., I. 282. Read the whole page, Mr. Leisenring, you who boast of your "many years" study of Blavatsky's writings and the esoteric philosophy of the East." Here are a few sentences from that page:
"Occultism teaches that no form can be given to anything, either by nature or by man, whose ideal type does not already exist on the subjective plane."
"The countless forms which are finite and perishable . . . . existed as Ideas, in the Eternity, and, when they pass away, will exist as reflections."
"Therefore our human forms have existed in the Eternity as astral or ethereal prototypes; according to which models the Spiritual Beings (or Gods) whose duty it was to bring them into objective being and terrestrial Life, evolved the protoplasmic, forms of the future Egos from their own essence."
Even without being a Sanskrit scholar Mr. Leisenring could have learned from Theosophical literature the difference between Hatha and Raja Yoga. It would
seem that by his "many years' study" he has only beclouded his mind with misconceptions of the esoteric philosophy - misconceptions which, as presented in his article in the Canadian Theosophist, would work great harm to any students who might accept them as true Theosophical teachings. That is my sole reason for replying to them.
He asserts that the Voice is not a book of practical Yoga instructions, and is not intended for the Shramanas, the "doers," but merely for the Shravakas, the "theorists." Further to discourage students, he confuses Hatha Yoga with Raja Yoga, and caps the climax of his anti-theosophical dicta by asking this nonsensical question, which is really, a fling at the faithful Messenger of the Masters: "Did H.P.B. imagine that any of us Westerners were `ripe' for practical initiation, or capable of fully understanding or joining Them?"
Whoever is "ripe" for initiation needs no one to tell him of that fact, or to lead him to a Lodge. No one but a Master can fully understand other Masters. Therefore H.P.B. was not trying to find those who had qualified themselves for initiation and hence had no need of her instructions. But she was always seeking out the beginners, those who were, as she herself expressed it, "still in their pin-feathers." Heroically she strove to help as many of these as possible to become Shramanas. She drew to herself a number of the raw beginners, and mothered them "even as when a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings."
From the first page to the last the Voice is a treatise on practical Raja Yoga, the "Dhyana" of the Buddhists; and it is addressed to the Shramanas who are as yet inexperienced beginners, as well as to those who are seeking to follow the Path (Raja Yoga) that leads to Buddhahood. To them its given this assurance:
"No Arhan, O Lanoo, becomes one in that birth when first the Soul begins to long for final liberation. Yet, O thou anxious one, no warrior volunteering fight in the fierce strife between the living (the immortal Higher Ego) and the dead (the lower personal Ego), not one recruit, can ever be refused the right to enter on the Path that leads toward the field of battle."
Therefore I say to every Theosophist who has the good of humanity at heart, and longs to find the Light, so that he may guide others to that Light: Study the Voice and practice daily the Dhyana it so eloquently teaches. Let no perverter of Theosophy discourage you from making the attempt to reach up to your Father in Heaven, your true Self. Remember that even though on earth you may be poor, feeble, untaught, insignificant in the sight of others, nevertheless in the glorious World Within you are a deathless God, a Master of sacred Wisdom. Only by the Path of Dhyana can you ascend to Him, your Heavenly Father; and you may have to follow that Path for many weary incarnations. But a beginning must be made, and the time to begin is now.
THEOSOPHY AND THEOSOPHISTS.
Mr. C. Jinarajadasa has issued a pamphlet entitled "Theosophy and Theosophists." It is an address delivered at a Convention of the Society at Amsterdam on December 1 last. It deals with the question which we have discussed exhaustively in Canada, involving the perfect liberty of every one to hold and express any view that appeals to him, while he permits others to do the same. It would be well for some of our dissentient brethren to study what Mr. Jinarajadasa has to say on this point, and we venture to make a few extracts which we believe will represent his general attitude.
"Now the T.S. as an organization works under a Constitution; are you aware that in that Constitution the word `Theosophy' is not mentioned? Nowhere is it said that the object of the Society is to proclaim Theosophy. In no part of our Constitution
is there any reference to Theosophy as a philosophy of life, and therefore of course not the slightest attempt to define what Theosophy is or is not. The purpose of the Society is to form here below on earth a nucleus of Brotherhood - an effective nucleus of men and women who are tolerant and spiritual, and who embrace within their interests all races, creeds, castes and colors, and both the sexes.
"Just as there is no definition of Theosophy in the Constitution, so too there is no definition of what constitutes a Theosophist. The word `Theosophist' does not appear - only the words `Fellow, or member of the Society'.
"What is the result? Just this: that within the Society, as an organization working with a Constitution, no one has the right to say, `This is Theosophy, that is not'; nor `This man is a Theosophist, that man is not'. I say, no one has a right: that does not debar anyone from saying so. A man may think it his duty to say so. Only, his action is not one in which the Constitution is interested. The Constitution is interested in the member, not because he bears the label `Theosophist,' but because he is one who accepts the ideal of Universal Brotherhood, and presumably is helping the world to realize it."
"The Christian who believes in a Personal God is welcome as a member; but no less welcome is the Buddhist who denies the very existence of God. Nor does the Society limit the freedom of any member. Those who accept Mr. Krishnamurti's teachings to the letter, and those who do not, those who are Liberal Catholics, and those who object to ritual religion in any form, have as members the same status within the Society. They can hold any office, including that of the President of the Society, if a majority of members elects them."
"Within the Society, we are of many creeds, and of none, but there is one profession of faith which we all heartily accept, and that is, the wonderful hidden nature of man. We may dispute whether God is a Personal God or an impersonal God, but none of us Theosophists doubts that man, the ordinary man and the ordinary woman, enshrines something so wonderful and great that we can only describe it with the phrase `the Nature of God'. On what man is we are all agreed - that he is not merely the body, and that he is not just the mere weak and sinful aspect which he reveals more frequently in life than any other. On the other hand, man is a Divine Thing, a Mystery, a Holy of Holies, which in some incomprehensible way contains the Totality, even while he continues to be such a pitiful unit in that Totality."
"It is because of our Gospel of Man that we Theosophists have already made such a mark on the intellectual and emotional life of the world. Every Theosophical Lodge shines invisibly with a flame which lights up for the enquirer the puzzling world around him. To be a Theosophist is to me to have an unbounded belief in the greatness of man."
"We who have been students of Theosophy already know that every religion contains a part of the Truth, and no one religion all of it; I think the true Theosophist understands religion in a deeper way than does the devotee of any one particular religion. Many of us also know, by direct experience, how both science and art and philosophy bring us to the Wisdom. Moreover, some of us know how those hidden facts of life vaguely termed `Occultism' have shown us yet more glimpses of the Wisdom."
"But the principle which Dr. Besant insisted upon - that Wisdom grows by Action - is eternally true concerning every truth; we know Truth not only by contemplating it, but also by trying to make it a power in the lives of others."
"A far more fundamental criticism of all reformers is that which Mr. Krishnamurti has made with his well-known statement that `the individual problem is the world problem'. Most of us, who are keen
on any kind of reform, fail to realize that the success of our work depends fundamentally on our character, and not on our gospel. Just because if our gospel is wonderful, we forget that it is our duty to make ourselves wonderful also. We find thousands of enthusiasts lavishly sacrificing their all, without making much headway in their reforms."
"How many Theosophists are there not, who are working hard for Brotherhood, but are very little Brotherly in the Lodge or in the home or in the community? For it is so easy to blind ourselves with any gospel which makes us feel we have something great."
"During the Middle Ages, the interest in God overrode the interest in man; today it is the reverse, and the problem of the perfecting of man is far more interesting than the problem of the understanding of God. In the world today, what with machinery and standardization and the frantic appeal of civilization to live on the surface of as many things as possible, Mr. Krishnamurti's gospel that `the individual problem is the world problem' comes as a messenger of light to guide us toward a reconstructed world."
"And since truth in every form, in every age and in every setting is but a particle of the one Infinite Wisdom, let us be deeply grateful for every event, pleasant or unpleasant, which adds to the stock of knowledge which today we call Theosophy. If there is something in our Theosophy of today which is error masquerading as truth, let us discard it; but what we do then is not a giving up of Theosophy, but rather a receiving of it."
To act and act wisely when the time for action comes, to wait and wait patiently when it is time for repose, puts man in accord with the rising and falling tides (of affairs), so that, with nature and law at his back, and truth and beneficence as his beacon light, he may accomplish wonders. - Practical Occultism. - H.P.B.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IT?
Madame Blavatsky speaking of faith, knowledge, belief in the great White Lodge, the Masters, and the Ancient Wisdom once stated that she spoke with absolute certainty only so far as her own belief was concerned.
This, I think, raises an important point. The question was asked some time ago, "How do you know this to be a fact? How can you prove it?"
Earnest students of Theosophy are aware of three ways in which a philosophy appeals to imagination and intellect with the force of conviction. These three ways may be summarized as intuition, records, and analogy.
We believe a thing because it appeals to our intuitions. It is true that we are ever trying to learn the truth regarding life and its source, and to transmit what threads of knowledge we may have gleaned to others in the hope that they may see light and thus fit themselves for greater service to their fellows. But, it is also true immediately we read or hear of this philosophy or that it either appeals to us as sound and believable, or it doesn't. Intuition is our guide.
Our intuition is this something within us closely allied to our Higher Self, to the God within each of us. Conscience and intuition are likely also closely allied. Conscience, that spirit of God within us tells us without fail what is right, what is wrong. Likewise intuition tells us what is true, what is false.
Truth is fundamentally too vast for the finite mind to fully grasp. Hence, we grasp it in bits or pieces. The hard shelled Baptist believes implicitly in that religion which grips him to the very core. Likewise the more advanced soul believes implicitly in his own concept of life and religion. Both have glimpsed the vale of reality, because much of it, perhaps all of it has been of their making. But neither has fully known Reality, because it is too
vast and sublime. As the traveler voyages on and on through life and experience he constantly encounters new angles of universal truth. That is how he progresses toward the final goal which is reached only after great tribulation, renunciation, self-sacrifice and attainment.
Hence, all of us know by intuition whether or not this philosophy or that is true. We cannot know for others only point the way. But, the more advanced the soul is, the greater its sense of universal brotherhood and the more surely it senses the vastness of life and experience, the more it glimpses of this vale of truth, and the nearer it approaches its holy grail, the final goal.
In other words intuition implants perfect faith in us, and gives us the truth in accordance with our capacity to grasp it. And, that intuition which senses the vastness and sublimity of life and experience is closer to truth than that which is confined and which in turn confines the viewpoint and attitude of mind. Narrow, bigoted dogmatism is on the lower rung the ladder of Truth; humanitarianism and width of vision and philosophy are on higher rungs of this same ladder.
That to some degree covers the truth as expressed in the understanding of the intuition. There remains, naturally, vast fields of literature which will confirm for him who has the time to study that which his intuition tells him is true. Most of us have little time for such study, and must rely upon records which but give us a few of the truths.
The Bible is massed with truth, but only, if it is read between the lines, and with understanding. The Secret Doctrine tells us the truth straight from the shoulder for those whose intuitions accept it. There are innumerable other philosophical works which do likewise, and it is only by studying the many religious works and documents that we can even in some measure confirm the faith of our intuitions.
Analogy is perhaps the safest guide to the truth for those who will not be guided by their intuitions and who have no time to pore over all manners of records and philosophical works.
Periodicity, the law of cycles is one of the most profound of universal truths. On this law is founded apparently all that is.
We know the regular astronomic laws of night and day, weeks, lunar and solar months, years, centuries, millennia. By analogy we may look for an enlargement of this system of minor cycles, hence we may anticipate major cycles, just as in evolution knowing there is a mineral, a vegetable, an animal, a human type of evolution we may safely anticipate far grander heights in the scheme of evolutionary progress.
We all know God exists. We all know that the amoeba and the animalcule exist. Between the amoeba and Godhood there are likely innumerable stages of evolution progressing successively. Analogy will help us to link up in orderly procession the many rungs of the ladder of evolution.
Now, in the Secret Doctrine and similar works we read by analogy the exact course of this progressive evolution, and what we read coincides with what we would expect from our hitherto elementary knowledge of evolution.
In the same way we can readily understand that if there are minor cycles there must also be major cycles so that the great universal plan of life may be carried to its farthest limit. What that limit is we don't know, since as already pointed out, Truth is too vast and sublime for our minds to grasp.
However, with the help of the science of analogy we come to the point where we read in faith facts concerning such cycles as manvantaras, maha kalpas, years and centuries of Brahma, and where we can fully realise the truth of that profound statement, "in the eyes of God a thousand years is like unto a day in the sight of man."
"Modern Theosophy" is the most lucid, the most readable, and the most authentic exposition of Theosophy as outlined by Madam Blavatsky in her writings that has been published. It is by one of Madam Blavatsky's personal pupils and was written shortly after' her death so that it is not affected by any of the various psychic interpretations of Theosophy that have been circulated in the last thirty years. It can be commended to beginners, and those who have waded through some of the later systems of Neo-Theosophy should read this book and find how far they have been led away from the simplicity and consistency of the Mahatmas' message to the world. The Blavatsky Institute, 52 Isabella Street have published the book in a neat volume from the type used in The Canadian Theosophist, bound in blue cloth for $1.25. Claude Falls Wright had been studying in Dublin for the medical profession when he first heard of Theosophy. He went at once to London to meet Madam Blavatsky. He asked her what he should do, and she told him to go back to Dublin and form a Lodge of the Society. That is undoubtedly the best way to reach the Masters. Anyone who has Brotherhood enough to undertake to carry the message to others, no matter how incompletely he knows it, will have the intuition to carry him through his task. He formed the Lodge and it was joined by such ardent Theosophists as they came to be afterwards as Charles Johnston, George W. Russell (AE) , John Eglinton, W.B. Yeats, Fred Dick, D. N. Dunlop and many others. Claude Falls Wright wrote this book on "Modern Theosophy" and it is a good one to study.
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?
We are lost archangels - not flameless,
not sundered from spirit entire;
but the light has flickered and nameless
the darkness and depth of desire.
we have lost the secret of living,
we have lost the faith that we had in the word, the name, the beginning,
and now we are mad.
We have gained the world by our labor -
we've gilded its turrets and towers,
and now we have sorrow for neighbor
that shadows and shatters the hours
with pain and with passion - that crushes
all hope of the flame that we had.
It blows in the wind like the rushes,
and so we are sad.
We are angels reaping and sowing
the sorrow, the pain and the tears
that come in their cycles. The mowing
spreads over the earth and the years,
till hid in our hearts we discover
the truth, and the flame that we fell
burns brighter because of a lover
who comes to reveal.
We are lost archangels who squander
the light and the life at its birth,
and weary and footsore we wander
to the ends of the shadowed earth,
He comes when the cycle is ended,
a risen Lord glorious and glad.
and His flame will be our flame blended
with that which we had.
- H. L. Huxtable
Our conceptions, limited to the narrow area of our experience, attempt to fit if not an end, at least a beginning of time and space; but neither of these exists in reality; for in each case time would not be eternal, nor space boundless. - Isis Unveiled, I. 184.