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VOL. X., No. 2 HAMILTON, APRIL 15th, 1929 Price 10 Cents
REMINISCENCES OF EARLY DAYS OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
By John W. Lovell, F.T.S.
(Continued from Page 5, Vol. X)
When Col. Olcott left in 1878, he appointed Gen. Abner S. Doubleday to act as President here, while he was absent. Mr. Judge went to Brazil for a time and while Col. Olcott and Mme. Blavatsky were busy in establishing a headquarters and organizing Lodges in India, nothing was being done here. In 1884 Mr. Judge went to India to consult with Col. Olcott and Mme. Blavatsky as to taking up the work here. At first, as I have said, the society was a secret one, with grip and password, and Col. Olcott promised Mr. Judge to have a Ritual written to be used at the initiation of new members and to send it to him. But this did not come, so Mr. Judge and General Doubleday decided to go on without it.
Early in 1885, I have forgotten the month, I received a notice from Mr. Judge to attend a meeting of the members of the T.S., at a small hall in Union Square. I attended the meeting. There were not more than eight or ten present, only three of the first members and founders; Mr. Judge, Gen. Doubleday and myself. On motion of Mr. Judge it was decided to organize a branch of the Society in New York, the headquarters being at Adyar in India. This was called "The Aryan Theosophical Society." Gen. Doubleday elected president and Mr. Judge. Secretary.
"General Doubleday was one of the most notable Generals in the Civil War." The American Encyclopedia states that "he was born in Ballston Spa, New York, June 26, 1819, graduated from West Point in 1842 and died in Mendham, N .J., January 26, 1893. When the Civil War broke out he was amongst the first to be actively engaged on the Union side. He participated in the memorable defense of Fort Sumpter, he himself firing the first gun in reply to the enemy's attack. At Manassas, South Mountain, Antietam, Frederichburg and Chancellorville he added lustre to his name and justly earned the command of an Army Corps, with the rank of Major General. He was the acknowledged hero of the first days of the great battle of Gettysburg and contributed as much towards the final result as any other Commander in the entire engagement."
He retired from the army in 1873, joined the Theosophical Society in 1876 and, as I have said, was acting President in Col. Olcott's place in this Country up to 1885 when he was elected first President of the Aryan Theosophical Society. In recognition of his great services to the country a bronze statue of him was placed on the Gettysburg battlefield and unveiled on September 25, 1917. In my somewhat close association with him he told me that
he had become interested at quite an early age in the Eastern Philosophy, had accepted the doctrine of Reincarnation and the great law of Karma. This he told me was a great help to him all through the war. It made him perfectly fearless as he knew, if it was his Karma to be killed, or wounded he could not escape it, and though several of his aides riding beside him were killed, he escaped all through the war without even a wound. His portrait will be found on page 39 of "The Golden Book of the T.S."
Our meetings were held weekly in the Union Square Hall but as the membership increased it was found too small and we moved to the Mott Memorial Hall on Madison Avenue where meetings were held for several years. It was while the meetings were being held in this small hall I met Mrs. Laura C. Holloway, afterwards Mrs. Langford, a brilliant woman who visited us at our home. She was joint author of that very interesting book, "Man - Fragments of Forgotten History, By two Chelas of the Theosophical Society." It was there also I met Mohini Chatterji, a high caste Brahmin who was the other Chela associated with Mrs. Holloway in the writing of that book. Mrs. Holloway, a little later, went to England and became associated with Mr. Sinnett. She was brought directly in touch with the Master K.H. Her name is mentioned in several letters of this Master to Mr. Sinnett that appear in "The Mahatma Letters." Col. Olcott became greatly attached to her and it was said loved her the best of all the members with whom he was brought in contact and was the one person who became his most intimate confidante. She was the Mrs. Lakesby of Sinnett's novel, "Karma."
As the membership increased, an opportunity came to buy the building at 144 Madison Ave., which was done and the meetings were held in this building up to the time of Mr. Judge's death and for a year after when Mrs. Tingley who had been accepted as his successor, had the building sold to supply her with funds to take up the work at Point Loma, California.
Ante-dating the formation of the Theosophical Society was the great Spiritualistic movement that from a very humble beginning at Hydesville, near Rochester, New York, spread all over the world. Just as H.P. Blavatsky was chosen by the Masters of the Wisdom to bring to our Western world the great Truth in what is now embodied in the Theosophical movement and as Mabel Collins, chosen from out the whole world as the one best equipped and who had earned the right to give to the world the rules embodied in "Light on the Path," so were the Fox children selected to give the first demonstrations to prove the continuity of life to a world fast sinking into the abyss of Materialism. In later years it was my privilege to know all these three sisters, Leah Fox, the eldest, afterwards Mrs. Underhill; Margaret Fox, who married the noted Arctic Explorer, Dr. Kane and was known after as Margaret Fox-Kane; Katherine, the youngest, afterwards known as Mrs. Fox Jenckins. Mr. Henry J. Newton, the first Treasurer of the T.S., and I contributed the funds to take care of the last two in their later years.
Sometime in the year 1826 there was born in the City of Poughkeepsie, in this State, of very poor parents, a child who was later to be known as a Seer, by some thought to be the greatest seer of all time. This was Andrew Jackson Davis, who gave to Spiritualism its Philosophy and whose works rank very high in Occult and Mystical literature. It was several years before the advent of the Fox manifestations that, while yet almost a boy, he wrote or rather dictated, for he was then too ignorant to write, his monumental work, "Nature's Divine Revelations," the bible of many Spiritualists. It was from being given one of his books, "The Seer" of the Harmonical Series, and later reading such books as "People from the Other World" by Col. Olcott, "Footfalls on the Boundary of the Other World" by Robert Dale Owen, and
other works, that I became interested in the subject of Spiritualism. Later I subscribed for the "Spiritual Scientist" published in Boston, that is mentioned both in "Old Diary Leaves" and in "The Mahatma Letters." On a visit to Boston I met its Editor, Mr. E. Gerry Brown. When the Theosophical Society was formed the Masters expected this Mr. Brown would become associated with Col. Olcott and H.P.B. and cooperate to carry out their plans, and for a short time he was. But he dropped out, I have always supposed because of the bitter antagonism H.P.B. displayed against Mediums and all Spiritualistic phenomena as it was then called, and partly for this cause and also H.P.B.'s objection to any display of psychic phenomenon, nearly all the early members who were Spiritualists, resigned, so that when the work was at last taken up in this City in 1885, Mr. Judge, Gen. Doubleday and myself of the Founders were, I think, all that still remained in the Society in this country.
Amongst others of the first Members or Founders whom I met was Mr. G.J. Felt, the First Vice-President of the T.S., elected at its first meeting, whose statements made in a lecture delivered on September 7th, "The Lost Canon of Proportion of the Egyptians" illustrated, as Col. Olcott says, with a number of exquisite drawings; and his further statement that he could call into sight hundreds of shadowy forms resembling the human by means of what he called his Chemical Circle, suggested to Col. Olcott the desirability of forming a Society to give Mr. Felt an opportunity to demonstrate this and also for the investigation of psychic phenomena, and then and there his suggestion was adopted and the Theosophical Society was the result. Some years later Mr. Felt translated "Jacolliot's Occult Science in India" which I published for him and in consequence was brought into somewhat close relationship with him. I think a copy of this book is in our library.
It is of Emma Hardinge Britten I would now speak. I met Mrs. Britten under the following circumstances. When in New York over Sunday I would usually attend the meetings of the Spiritualistic Society then held in what was called Republican Hall on the corner of Broadway and 33rd Street. Mr. Henry J. Newton, later first Treasurer of the T.S., was the President and Nellie C. Brigham the inspirational speaker.
On this particular Sunday, September 21, 1875, I read an advertisement in "The Banner of Light" of a remarkable book to be published early in 1876, entitled "Art Magic: Mundane, Sub-Mundane, and Super-Mundane Spiritualism" and that subscriptions would be received by the agent for the author, Emma Hardinge Britten. I called on Mrs. Britten the next morning, Monday the 22nd and subscribed for two copies of the work. She was kind enough to ask me to spend the evening with her and with Mr. Charles Sotheran whom she expected. I did so. I, of course, knew Mr. Sotheran, but hearing their conversation a new world was opened up to me. The next day, the 23rd, I called on Mr. Sotheran as I have explained and then heard from him of his intention of getting up the Theosophical Society. Oddly enough, no mention had been made of this the previous evening though both became Founders of the Society and active in its first days. I did not see Mrs. Britten again for a year when, happening to be in Boston, I read a notice in "The Banner of Light" that there was to be a reception that evening at the home of Emma Hardinge Britten. On going to the reception I found the room crowded and, much to my surprise, Mrs. Britten, as soon as she caught sight of me, immediately came forward to express her pleasure at meeting me again. On my saying that I had expected I would have to recall myself to her recollection, "Why, Mr. Lovell" she said, "I will never forget you as long as I live, you were my first subscriber to `Art Magic.' " On her return to New York we became close and fast friends, in fact, for
one Winter, she spent one evening every week with Mrs. Lovell and myself. Emma Hardinge Britten was in many ways to the Spiritualistic movement what H. P. Blavatsky was to the Theosophical movement.
The most important of her writings were "A History of Modern American Spiritualism" and "Nineteenth Century Miracles or Spirits and their work in Every Country of the Earth," a complete historical compendium of the great movement known as "Modern Spiritualism." She became known as a writer and teacher as far back as 1860 when there was published her six lectures on Theology and Nature. On April 16th, 1865 she delivered what was known as "The Great Funeral Oration on Abraham Lincoln" in Cooper Union, New York before about 3,000 people. This was published and can be found in our Public Library. As she told me her story she was born into a very conservative family and much to their distress, at quite an early age, developed psychic powers. Amongst others the power of leaving her physical body and bringing back the recollection of what happened when out of it. For a time she was used as a messenger by a group of Rosicrucians of which Lord Lytton, then Sir Edward Bulwer, was a member. It was from what he then learned that he wrote his great books "Zanoni" and "A Strange Story."
As descriptive of her work she told me of one case when the London Body wished to send a message to an associated body in Vienna. She was given this message, left her physical body and appeared to the group in Vienna in her astral body, was recognized by them, delivered her message and received their answer, then returning to London took possession of her physical body and delivered the answer. While yet quite a young woman she came to this city with her mother and having developed a high phase of trance mediumship, was so enthusiastic as to the good she thought she could do, that she took a studio on Broadway where she gave sittings to all who came, making no charge. The strain upon her, however, was too great and she felt compelled to give this up at the end of the year. She then devoted herself to public speaking in her field ranking perhaps as high as Mrs. Besant in ours. She told me she was controlled by the spirits of Emanuel Swedenborg for knowledge and of Daniel Webster for eloquence.
What brought her more prominently forward at the time of the founding of the society was the rather extraordinary coincidence that the work "Art Magic," which she had edited and later published, was by her announced on September 20th, 1875 and issued in the following January. The full title of this work is "Art Magic, or Mundane, Sub-Mundane, and Super-Mundane Spiritualism. A Treatise in three parts and twenty-three sections, descriptive of Art Magic, Spiritualism, the different order of spirits in the Universe known to be related to, or in communication with man; together with directions for invoking, controlling and discharging spirits and the uses and abuses, dangers and possibilities of Magical Art."
This work led to a great deal of discussion. Col. Olcott gives one whole chapter to it in his "Old Diary Leaves." While he did criticize it somewhat severely and tried to cast discredit on its authorship he does say: "The book marks a literary epoch in American Literature. Unquestionably there are fine, even brilliant, passages in it and a deal that is both instructive and valuable. Mrs. Britten told me herself that the author was a Prince of the House of Austria who had surrendered any claim he might have to the throne to devote his life to study on occult lines. The work was the result of these studies and experiences and, as he did not wish his name to be known to the outside world, he asked Mrs. Britten as a close friend to arrange its publication. Of this book and her first meeting with Col. Olcott and Mme. Blavatsky I will let her tell in her own words. This appears in her `Nineteenth Century Miracles'."
(To Be Continued.)
THE EXILE OF THE SOUL
IV. The Philosophical Problem.
(Continued from Page 9, Vol. X.)
We have seen how, in the latter half of the nineteenth century, psychology, attracted by the glittering beginnings of scientific research, deserted the field of philosophy for that of positive science and came thereby under limitations that have made it almost unworkable. The other branches of philosophy could not so readily change to a materialistic basis and they have remained more or less in their original field of subjective research, but they too have been affected by the scientific fashion. They have assumed the name of "the philosophical sciences". They define their province as the co-ordination and synthesis of the results of scientific research. That is, they have been persuaded that the interior or subjective method is no longer good enough, because reality lies outside us. They become, therefore, the servants of external reality. The modern philosopher proudly calls himself the "critic of the sciences," and, as inevitably happens when a man devotes himself exclusively to the criticism of the product of others, he ceases to produce in his own right.
The philosopher's position would be superb if he could sit in state and have the scientist bring results to him for criticism. But a scientist does not quite see the necessity for a philosopher at all. The scientist is quite confident he can do his own criticizing. And so, within the rules of his enquiry, he can. At last with no business coming in, the philosopher goes looking for business and ends up in the orbit of a scientist who has his eye fixed to the end of a microscope. When a few philosophers, all in quest of business, have gathered, they find nothing to talk about but whether the microscope-man can believe his eye. The idealistic monists contend that what he sees is all in his mind. The materialistic monists ask "What is he himself but the sort of thing he sees under the microscope?" The reality is in the object. The seer is an illusion arising out of the motion of the parts of the object. The critical realists, who as we have seen before have a high position - Kant's - if they wish to take it, content themselves with a compromise and try to steer a peaceable middle course.
Am I flippant about it? Here is a modern philosopher stating it in more dignified terms. It is Professor A.S. Pringle-Pattison speaking:
"Subject-object, knowledge, or, more widely, self-consciousness, and its implicates - this unity in duality is the ultimate aspect which duality presents. It has generally been considered, therefore, as constituting in a special sense the problem of philosophy. Philosophy may be said to be the explication of what is involved in this relation."
This is the present state of the art of Pythagoras and Plato, of Kapila, of Sankaracharya, of Nagarjuna, of Aryasangha, of Plotinus, of Kant, and all the line of the lovers of wisdom. It has been said, not once but many times, these recent years, that formal philosophy has reached the most arid, unserviceable -and generally contemptible era in its history.
Professor Pringle-Pattison's definition of the crux of modern philosophy is the sterile modern form of what once was the great and fertile problem of epistemology, the theory of knowledge. The ancient philosopher asked, "How does knowledge come into the world?" The immediate and inferior answer is, "Through the senses." Such an answer will not stand the test of the commonest experience. We are all conscious of knowledge not traceable to what we have seen or heard. Apart from visions in dreams, which might be recollections of something we have seen but have forgotten, we have tendencies, aptitudes, capacities which are themselves a sublimated form of knowledge. If playing
the piano after long training is an earned aptitude, the capacity to play the piano without any training in this life can only be an earned aptitude. Precocious genius is a kind of knowledge not traceable to known experience. So the philosopher, articled to the scientist, who is in his turn articled to the doctrine of the exclusive reality of an outside world, falls back on the idea of heredity and says some ancestor earned the aptitude. These knowledge-powers, he says, are transmitted from generation to generation. This is the Plan of the Universe.
It may be true, but at the best it is an inefficient Plan, and in nowise to be compared to the other processes of nature. For one thing, too many of the wisest of mankind do not transmit at all, and when they do so it is with the poorest results. Almost all of mankind transmit at a time when they would seem to have the least worth transmitting. The valuable experience of all of them is at its greatest worth long after they have ceased transmitting. Too many make no use of what has been transmitted, and too many destroy it with counteractive energies. Added to which the scientist is now satisfied that acquired characteristics cannot be transmitted anyway. What escaped these abysses of inadvertence is called heredity. This seems to be the Plan. A more incompetent one could scarcely have been conceived. A Greek or Hindu philosopher would be ashamed to entertain it even for a moment. It neglects the one factor of which the philosopher - or anybody else for that matter - can be sure, the factor of soul. But this man of ours, having become a critic of the revelations of microscopes can only admit what microscopes reveal, and they are not equipped to reveal souls.
For a statement of the problem in terms of souls, therefore, we must take the whole inquiry to the older philosophers. Plato is nearest to hand and easiest for my reader to examine for himself. It comes up in the Phaedo. There, in the last talk between Socrates and the Thebans, Simmias and Cebes, Socrates raises the whole question of knowledge. Whence comes it?
Socrates wastes little time on the possibility of attaining pure knowledge through the senses. Even seeing and hearing, the best of the senses, are not accurate or exact. What then of the inferior senses of smell, taste and touch? Certainly the body is of little assistance. On the contrary it contaminates truth. It keeps man busy finding sustenance for it. Its diseases hinder the pursuit of truth; it begets passions, desires, fancies and foolishness, and so constantly does it break in on study that the Ego finds it almost impossible during life to think at all.
But man, Socrates argues, has interior standards of truth, and the perceptions of this world fall short of them. Two objects, for example are almost equal. They just fall short of a perfect, abstract equality which man can entertain although he has never seen perfect equality on this earth. So it is, Socrates argues, with every other external fact we contemplate. We measure it against an abstract perfection which cannot have arisen out of earth experience. We look at a triangle. It is not a perfect triangle. How do we know? We have never on earth seen a perfect triangle. Neither have we ever seen perfectly parallel lines but we persist in thinking of them. So also with a point which we cannot ever have known on earth, and a line, and all the posited ideas of geometry. We have abstract perfect criteria for goodness, truth, beauty, love, justice.
None the less these perfections we cannot quite bring to earth. They are vague and fragmentary, now in our effort to realize them, stronger; and since obviously they are not of this human state, in which such perfections are nowhere evident outside of us, there is only one possible explanation of them. They are recollections. They are the earned aptitudes of a half-remembered past. Of what past?
The scientist recognizes interior recollections that have no counterparts in this life. He says they are inherited and has
erected about them a doctrine of racial memory, but that will not explain their perfection. His race is evolving. Its ancient memories cannot be of things more perfect than anything in its present state. If so the race is degenerating.
There is also a school of pietists who deny the interior ideas as memories, preferring to think of them as divine intimations of the future. Socrates has a quick answer for these!
"If a man, when he has heard or seen or in any other way perceived a thing, knows not only that thing, but also has perception of some other thing, the knowledge of which is not the same but different, are we not right in saying that he recollects the thing of which he has the perception? . . . As when one sees Simmias, one often remembers Cebes."
What other solutions are there? That we got the perfections in this life? Obviously not. That we got them at the instant of birth and lost them in the same instant? This is ridiculous. Did we get them in a previous life on this earth? There could be nothing more perfect in a previous human life than in this one. Whence then?
From a state that preceded the human one, when, before we were human beings, we were in a state higher than the one in which we now find ourselves. Our present earth life and the earth lives preceding it are to be thought of, not as our proper place in a schema of soul evolution at all. If so we are degenerating. The old philosophers called our present state a temporary obscuration and the result of some offence of ours against divine law. It is an obscuration that has brought about a condition of amnesia. Thus only can we explain the high memory that is evoked by the imperfect perceptions of this earth life.
The problem is the central one in Plato. In Socrates' discussion with Meno, the whole dialogue turns on this theory of knowledge. If Meno knows the whole of anything he need not ask about it. If, on the other hand, he knows nothing about it, he can neither ask nor learn. The only possible condition under which he can know enough to ask, and little enough to profit by being told, is that he possess a fragmentary recollection of it. This fragment is his fragment of crystal. The instruction enables him to restore it to its original completeness. One man cannot teach another unless by virtue of the fact that the other has a partial recollection of the truth to be taught.
Socrates, in Meno's presence, demonstrates the truth of his doctrine, when he calls in a slave-boy and, first, by letting the boy discover his own ignorance, then by asking him questions to elicit his memory, leads him through the geometrical problem of the duplication of the square.
This is the central doctrine in the greatest of the lovers of wisdom. It is Empedocles' doctrine of the fall into the dark meadow of Ate. It is Plotinus' doctrine of the restoration of the Divine Intelligence and the return to the One. It is the basis of the Taraka Raja Yoga system which proceeds by an exercise of reminiscence identical with Plato's dialectic or "choosing through." It is the basis of the many mnemonic systems occultists have used as an aid to meditation, those curious arrangements of questions and the philosophical categories placed on revolving discs such as the one Raymond Lully invented and Giordano Bruno used. It is the basis of the lamasery wheels of which the exoteric "praying wheels" are the distorted form, the discs of the Tibetan mystics called chakravartins or wheel-turners. It is the explanation also of the effort of the older philosophers to arrange knowledge in categories. It is the only valid theory of meditation itself as the process of stilling the body and steadying the mind in order to elicit from the archetypal memory what the Ego has known but has forgotten.
This is the only fertile mode in philosophy. The narrow treadmill of subject-object must always be sterile, must always contradict itself, must always fail of what
it undertakes to do. We can only know the higher truth of a thing by rising into a higher plane of being.
What then must we do? Await the slow crawl of the evolution of the soul until we evolve those higher powers? Maybe we can try to hasten evolution. We had better save ourselves so vain an effort. We would be trying to hasten that which cannot by its very nature be hastened.
It is not a problem of evolution that faces the soul, and still less a problem of hastening evolution. It is a problem of resumption, of recovery of atrophied powers long since evolved and now forgotten.
This is the testimony of the sages and seers. They do not offer it as a guess. They offer it as a demonstrable fact which every man, by virtue of his dormant divinity, may know for himself by examining his intuitional memory.
Clearly it is not a current problem in academic philosophy. Philosophers of our time have forsaken intuitional memory and, devoted themselves to the inferior reports of the senses. And, as we have seen, fertile philosophy has tended these recent years to pass over to the mathematicians for whom the senses matter less and the intuitions more.
For the purposes of this series, the problem of the theory of knowledge offers us another picture of the Ego, bewildered and stripped in a strange world which he sees through senses which are not his own, in a body that limits the use of the mind. He is the possessor of a high reality which he neglects for an illusory appearance he has lost the power to interpret.
(To be Continued.)
Erratum. In the correction in February issue of the typographical error in Mr. McHarg's letter on "Nous and Manas" in our January issue, the correction on page 371 missed the point of the error on page 348. In the second line from the bottom of the latter page, first column, ennous should have been eunoos.
By Claude Falls Wright
(Continued from Page 15.)
It is upon a correct understanding of the "seven principles of man" that rests a knowledge of Occultism. The principles are each drawn from one of the seven planes of the cosmos. Man is therefore a veritable copy of the whole universe and through a complete understanding and a rendering active of his seven natures he becomes acquainted with all the laws of Being. No other entity on this globe is perfect; - the fire of manas is wanting in the animal, Kama is absent from the plant, Prana does not exist in the mineral. Atma-Buddhi, the Monad, is of course present in all things, but it is not individualized save in the higher organisms. Even in the animal there is wanting that which can form a self-conscious link between its lower nature and its spirit. Only in man does this exist, and it is Manas. This principal in man is an incarnate god, and, as will later be explained, has come from other spheres to help on the evolution of this globe. Each of us therefore in his inmost self, is a foreigner on this planet, with definite labour to perform; we have to educate all things below us. Few of us have realized this. But even ordinary man, little as he follows the high calling of his life or heeds his higher nature, is yet helping forward nature's work. He touches a plant, and it is cultivated; an animal, and it is tamed! Wherever he goes he dominates and changes the face of the globe. But he will only have quite fulfilled his mission on that day when he has endowed everything with the power of his own soul.
Life and Death
There is a principle of the soul, superior to all nature, through which we are capable of surpassing the order and systems of the world. When the soul is elevated to natures better than itself, then it is entirely separated from subordinate natures, exchanges this for another life,
and, deserting the order of things with which it was connected, links and mingles itself with another.
The house of life hath many chambers. - Rossetti.
It is seldom indeed in this age of precipitancy, impetuosity, and confused activity, that one comes to question himself without bias as to the wherefore of his curious life. Religionists are prone to rely entirely on the creed they have come to by inheritance, and therefore constantly tend to throw back their powers of thought into the beliefs formed in their infancy. Little inquiry is made; less advance possible. So-called scientific investigators, on the other hand, fall into an equally obvious
error. The training of youth is ever to regard externals as finalities; to take heed of appearances, rather than of whatever reality may lie behind them. This analysis of surroundings, carried to its furthest limits, and into the vigorous thought of mature age, is what is usually, though improperly, denominated "scientific investigation." How if both sides be wrong? What if the beliefs of the religionist be based upon error; the "discoveries" of the biologist upon a wrong conception of life?
What if each person's life be nothing but a nightmare dream? Of little avail then would be doctrinal knowledge, or scientific examination of the surrounding shadows. Yet no one can positively affirm that such is not the case.
The philosopher, however, is not content with shadows, whether for belief or investigation, but tries to find a key to the situation by a study of himself in relation to life at large, analyzing his own mind to find from whence its inspirations spring, and reaching down into the depths of his conscious being to discover a rock whereon to base some absolute knowledge.
In such search it is but natural that he should advance along the lines followed by his predecessors in the same field. However varied human nature may be, all follow approximately along the same road of experience, and it is decidedly to the advantage of those who are thinking in certain directions to have access to the record of experiences of others who have gone before. Theosophy is little more than the recorded experiences of thousands who have dived into and studied the workings of the human mind, of seer after seer who have for ages sought truth in this domain; if such be the claim of the science, it deserves consideration at least at the hands of earnest thinkers.
We ordinarily fancy that the life we spend here, the waking state, or physical being, is the only one of which we are properly conscious, any other state we may pass through being regarded as abnormal or of no account. Strange that we should hold to this when we have almost daily testimony to the fact that we know next to nothing about this consciousness at all. Case after case has been recorded where persons have lived through seemingly long periods in a second of time. De Quincey mentions one where sixty years were passed through in less than a minute! Abernethy affirms that on a certain occasion, when sitting with one of his pupils in his study, a hand-bell fell from off the table on to the floor, and during the short space of time that it took to pass through the air, the student dreamed that he had committed a crime, had been sentenced to twenty years of penal servitude, and had served his time. He saw the years go by with their sorrow and pain. On the last day he heard the gong sounding to call him in from work. It was the bell striking the floor! If we have such problems as these to deal with in life, who shall say what our normal state is, since the sum-total of our present life may, from another aspect of thought, or plane of consciousness, be passed through in a second of time.
The whole problem of consciousness may be well expressed in the anecdote of the Persian philosopher, who, seated one day writing in his garden, observed a butterfly moving to and fro among the flowers; and watching it intently, he fell into a trance and fancied himself a butterfly also. He flitted about among the plants, around the
garden, and finally flew away into the woods. Half an hour later he suddenly awoke to find himself seated before his writing. Then reasoned the sage thus: "'Was I then a philosopher fancying myself a butterfly; or am I now a butterfly who imagines himself a philosopher?"
Let us see what Theosophy has to say for human consciousness. Every person dreams, although not every one remembers having done so. This is because the various organs through which the thinking part of man functions, are not always coordinated. Each individual is conscious physically, psychically and spiritually, and every one of his experiences in each of these states is of equal importance in his evolution as a whole. But the memory of one state is not ordinarily carried into the next.
Occult training teaches how to coordinate these states. Modern discoveries in hypnotism have conclusively proved that freedom of mental action, or clearness of vision, is often much greater during sleep than at other times, giving to the somnambulist knowledge of events and even of languages not possessed by him when awake. The dullest intellects are sharpened to a degree far exceeding the average; clairvoyant powers are established; and even cases of prophetic vision recorded. But hypnotism is only a dishing-up of the arcane theurgic practices, of sorcery and the magic of old. And but a very small portion indeed has been revived. The "discovery" the schools have made in this instance constitutes only one of the many ways of coordinating two states of consciousness, and not by any means the best way either, for the subjects rarely, if ever, remember the experiences they have passed through, upon being awakened out of the trance. Still hypnotists have made some discoveries, and if what they say be true, can anyone yet deny the possibility of wakefulness on other planes of being, during sleep, or the periods of unconsciousness here?
Through experiments and training, based upon a greater knowledge of natural laws than we of the west have, the eastern occultists have discovered how to co-ordinate the various states of consciousness, to reflect into the brain any knowledge gained during trance or sleep, and thus to carry it into the subsequent waking stage. They teach us as follows: during an incarnation - the period of time that we are associated with any one physical body - the states of consciousness which are proper to the Lower Manas, or "I am" principle in us, divide themselves roughly into:
Sanskrit Terms ; English Equivalents
Yagrata ; Waking
Svapna ; Dreaming
Sushupti ; Trance
These without taking cognizance of the fourth or highest spiritual state.
The only one of these three which is not generally known to us is the dreamless or trance state. All those confused memories which we bring back from our nightly slumbers, all the various states pertaining to catalepsy, lethargy, somnambulism, must be grouped under the class called svapna or dreaming, which constitutes the link between the sushupti and the yagrata. But each condition is walled off from its fellow by a barrier which is with difficulty broken down, and only under circumstances bringing about an abnormal arrangement of the principles. The three states may roughly be compared to three chambers leading into one another through spring doors. Directly anyone passes from one room to another, the door dividing them shuts, cutting off the communication and allowing no view of the room just left. Room No. 2 lying midway between the other two, must be passed through in getting from No. 1 to No. 3, or vice versa, and we can see by this analogy that the intermediary state of svapna or dreaming has to be passed through before one can enter the sushupti, or trance state, from the waking, or yagrata. Again, directly we pass from one to another, the doors close, and we have no memory of what we have left behind. But by certain processes the doors may be held partially open, and then
it is possible to retain the memory of the other states, at least to some limited extent. Glimpses can be caught through the half -open door of what the next chamber is like, and what it holds.
So that although when we sleep we pass into states transcending the yagrata or waking consciousness, yet when we again return here, it is a rare occurrence for us to carry back any recollection of what we may have been doing or experiencing. That we have dreamed, however, without immediately recollecting it, is often proved by the fact that after the lapse of many hours or even days, some trivial instance may serve to stir the chords of memory, establishing a momentary link between our waking and sleeping consciousness and enabling us to recall some incident of the dream. The avenues leading from the waking to the dreaming, or from the dreaming to the trance states may be held open by the use of certain drugs, by such processes as hypnotism or mesmerism, or by an idiosyncrasy of the individual, but normally none have consciousness on the physical plane or in the ordinary waking state, of what has occurred in other conditions.
Few persons have the power in ordinary everyday life of relating their ego sum to anything else than chairs and tables, rooms and people. Consequently they are not assured of the fact of their immortality; living only a life of relativities, they know nothing outside their impermanent and transitory existence. They have no fixed point, no stronghold within themselves where they can retire at will "far from the madding crowd," no real "home." Nevertheless, belief in his immortality, in what has been loosely called an "after-state," is strong in the breast of man, and this alone would prove a powerful factor in any argument in favour of it. But what need for argument; if it be true that we retain our consciousness, our egoity, from sleeping to waking - and there is no conceivable reason why we should regain it upon again rising from our slumbers if we do not - then who can object to the statement that it is eternal, that it has existed and will exist everlastingly, and that the only reason why we are at present bound within the walls of time, knowing a beginning, a future and a past, is because of the materiality of our conceptions?
The fact is, that while our consciousness, or that pertaining to the real self within - the higher aspect of Manas - is eternal, yet as a manifestation only of the One Supreme, it - during a Manvantara - is subject to the same great law of cycles, which underlies the workings of all things in the universe. So that it has its greater periods of waking and sleeping, as well as its lesser, each knowing an almost infinite sub-division into smaller and smaller cycles. For a period it manifests here, and we call that Life; for a period it sleeps, and we call that Death. They are but transitory phases of the everlasting consciousness. Life, however, again divides itself into the alternation of day and night, during the latter of which, in sleep, the ego once more frees itself from the cares of this world and ascends to purer regions; and it is said that once in seven nights at least, man has reunion with his god.
Thus life is a journey, a march around the great cycle of experience; this cycle being but one step of a spiral, composed itself of thousands of lesser and ever lessening spirals. Each "Pilgrim" has to pass through cycles of waking and sleeping, of life and death, of races, of globes, of Rounds, of planets, of systems, of universes, in an ever upward climb, ever enlarging its knowledge of existence, ever placing at greater distances the boundary mark of its finite perceptions; so to an eventual merging in the pure essence of life, the fount at which it had drawn its being.
Death and After
The soul leaving the body, becomes that power which it has most developed. - Plotinus.
When we die we shall find that we have not lost our dreams; but that we have only lost our sleep. - Richter.
But the various phases or states of consciousness of which we have been writing, refer only to the period of incarnation, or life as associated with the physical plane. And as our consciousness of any state runs, as said, in cycles, sooner or later our perceptions of this present existence end, and we pass away, as from waking to sleeping, to a condition, more or less prolonged, of rest.
Ordinarily speaking, death is the destruction of the physical body. Occultism says it is far more. It is the dividing-up of all the principles of which the human being is composed, and the return of each to its respective source. Death is the portal to rest; but it would be absurd to fancy that such rest is only for the self-conscious lord of the numberless beings that harmonize together in the building called man. Each of these rests also, and from this point of view we may define death as the return of all the constituent elements composing any being, to their respective homes. The physical body gradually dissolves after the separation from it of the astral body or Linga Sharira, the latter itself slowly fading out. Prana re-becomes Jiva, and the Kamic element is dissipated in its own sphere. The Lower Manas, or human soul, thus freed from the four chains which bind it down to earth, escapes into the spiritual world and claims reunion with its alter ego - its "Father in Heaven."
But before describing the actual processes undergone during death, according to the occult philosophy, some description of the different lokas, abodes, and states through which the soul passes in its upward flight, and those to which its destiny will eventually lead it, are necessary.
Modern Christianity, or at least the Protestant fraternity, recognizes but two after-death states - "Heaven" and "Hell." Roman Catholicism has in addition that of "Purgatory." But those of the esoteric philosophy, like those of the Egyptians and the Greeks, and of all the great religious systems, are almost innumerable. While this is so, however, it names only "three principal lokas, so called - namely, 1, Kama loka; 2, Rupa loka; 3, Arupa loka; or, in their literal translation and meaning - 1, world of desires or passions, of unsatisfied earthly cravings - the abode of `Shells' and Victims, of Elementaries and Suicides; 2, the world of Forms - i.e., of shadows more spiritual, having form and objectivity, but no substance; and, 3, the formless world, or rather the world of no form, the incorporeal, since its denizens can have neither body, shape nor colour for us mortals, and in the sense that we give to these terms. There are the three spheres of ascending spirituality in which the several groups of subjective and semi-subjective entities find their attractions. All but the suicides and the victims of premature violent deaths go, according to their attractions and powers, either into the Devachanic or the Avitchi state, which two states form the numberless subdivisions of Rupa and Arupa lokas - that is to say, that such states not only vary in degree, or in their presentation to the subject entity as regards form, colour, etc., but that there is an infinite scale of such states, in their progressive spirituality and intensity of feeling; from the lowest in the Rupa, up to the highest and the most exalted in the Arupa-loka. The student must bear in mind that personality is the synonym for limitation; and that the more selfish, the more contracted the person's ideas, the closer will he cling to the lower spheres of being, the longer loiter on the plane of selfish social intercourse." * [ * Extract from an Adept's letter, quoted in Esoteric Buddhism, page 141. ]
We are thus immediately brought to a consideration of the two principal states into which the souls of the dead enter, to rest during the period intervening between incarnation and incarnation.
Devachan claims our first attention. Although literally the "abode of the gods," it is a state rather than a locality, and is that pure, spiritual condition of rest which is the lot of the average man after he has "shuffled off this mortal coil." It will be
recollected that the manasic principle, during the period of incarnation, is divided into two parts, or better expressed, perhaps, has two aspects - a higher and a lower; and that the latter constitutes the real human soul or personal being. The transitory period of life ended, the two Manases or selves re-become one, and are virtually the same as before life, but with this addition - the recollection or association of the experiences passed through by the lower. Spirit must have a material basis through which to express itself; the noumenon is unseen save through the phenomenon, and in this way we can understand the impossibility of any spiritual enjoyment by the personality without an association of its consciousness with the memory of the things it had left behind. Consequently the aroma of the life, the most divine thoughts, everything that approached, however remotely, to aspirations is one with the Devachanee, together with the same environment and friends as in the earth-life. "We say that the Bliss of the Devachanee consists in the complete conviction that it has never left the earth, that there is no such thing as death at all." * [ * H. P. Blavatsky, Key to Theosophy, p. 146. ]
The illusion is perfect. It can only be compared to a prolonged refreshing dream, in which the sleeper has every wish gratified, every hope fulfilled, every aspiration realized, where, surrounded by all he loved, he lives and breathes in an atmosphere of purity and bliss, forgetting absolutely that anything ordinarily termed sorrow exists or ever did exist, or that he had ever suffered.
(To Be Continued.)
Ancient, historical Magic is . . . reflecting itself upon the scientific records of our own all-denying century. It forces the hand and tires the brain of the scientist, laughing at his efforts to interpret its meaning in his own materialistic way, yet helps the Occultist better to understand modern Magic, the rickety, weak grandchild of her powerful, archaic grandam. - Theosophist, Oct., 1886.
The whole world is at work; all mankind are variously employed for good or ill. What keeps them going by furnishing ideas; thinking new thoughts and conveying, imperfectly at times and often misinterpreted, the will or force or the creative faculty of the Logos? It is the Ram, the Lion and the Centaur, the signs of fire (spirit) and inspiration.
Aries has had in other cycles, the name of Messenger of Light given to it, and there is a sense in which it becomes, in higher octaves, a Messenger of Knowledge, Wisdom and understanding, but for the most of us it demonstrates as energy, activity, and strenuosity. The first creative force rushing out into action, with courage to venture, not knowing where it is going or what it may meet or what produce, is symbolized by the Arian who draws down the inspiration of faith and strength from the Divine world and plunging into the unknown carries the fire of action where ever he goes.
Those with Aries on the tenth house are pioneers whether geographical or metaphysical, they rush into the unknown parts of the world and bring them to light. They experiment fearlessly with the metaphysical and occult. Because of Mars' rulership they are workers in steel and iron; everything that takes energy, courage and self reliance will entice them. So they will be found as machinists or railroad men. They are explorers, surveyors or prospectors, and this too in realms that are mental, intellectual or even spiritual.
Aries will develop the missionary spirit, the spirit of propaganda, and in every department where you find it, there will be action. Unfortunately being a cardinal sign it does not give the perseverance that is required to establish perfection, so you will find machinists, steel workers, shifting about, trying a new job anywhere, provided only that it gives scope to that restless energy which they seem to possess in such abundance.
Leo on the second house serves as a strong index to this character. Leo has pride, dignity; wants the big things, those with glory and honour; monetary rewards are not considered alongside of decorations and fame. In this way we find nearly every living machinist working in his spare time to perfect some wonderful machine; the explorer goes to the ends of the earth for the notoriety that will come from the fact that he has trod where never yet man has trodden. Thus we find that the inspiration of Aries is Divine energy and the courage drawn down to physical sense to give men a faith in the tremendous weight and sweep of creative energy which has placed this glorious universe of ours in space, and holds it there.
Leo is the teacher; the instructor and guide, he is the prophet, priest and king, benevolent, patronizing at times, but judicial and ever striving to rule, or at least direct the physical, mental or spiritual activities of humanity. So we find the teacher, the instructor, the lecturer and the preacher, those who, in every walk of life, give training to those starting out.
The school teacher is in this class, also the one who trains workers. They wish to appear in the public eye, to bring themselves into prominence, to receive decorations and awards, to receive degrees from universities or titles from governments. Frequently they go into politics and adopt a preeminent attitude towards the common people whom they wish to serve. With Jupiter ruling the second house they will have a fine appreciation of the almighty dollar, and even if they are not successful in capturing very many of them, they will admire and seek the society of those who have.
It will be seen therefore, that those with Leo on the tenth house will be found in many vocations; they will seek to serve in a public way and on a large scale. They will be found at times sacrificing themselves to obtain the goodwill of their fellows, giving much and expecting little in return, but they generally tend to feel greatly hurt if their efforts are not fully appreciated or if a due amount of respect is not shown to them, for Leo is a fixed sign and so not very flexible.
With Aries on the sixth house, they will be liable to fevers, to accidents through fire or blows, or to head injuries, or head troubles causing breakdowns of nerves or brain.
Sagittarius on the tenth house is a more human sign, as it is symbolized by the centaur, the animal ruled by the human, but not yet completely under subjection. It would seem that nearly all means of transportation would be the vocational outlet for the forces of this sign. Transportation by horse, railway, automobile or airplane. Sagittarius predicates a start for a point, a straight flight like an arrow and the arrival at the destination. These people are found among horses or dogs, which they admire and love, and thus they exercise a power over them which others cannot. They have more courage than Leo and more caution than Aries, yet they have great faith in the Divine in everything. They are less rancorous than Aries, and are less doleful than Leo. It would seem as if the three fiery signs, symbolized the three virtues of Faith (Aries) Hope (Leo) and Charity (Sagittarius). This charity is not benevolence, but is a human outlook on the world of men and things.
"God's in his Heaven, all's right with the world" might be taken as the lesson of Sagittarius. The inspiration of goodwill to men, a wish to view without censure the shortcomings and weaknesses of humanity, to be men amongst men first, let the god-like qualities follow in due course. So these people will also find themselves in many vocations, any of which will be of a character to develop the qualities of a human being, and to suggest, if not to insist that there is a great universal brotherhood of humanity.
Aries on the second house will make them spendthrifts generally exhibiting once more the charitable trend, while Leo on the sixth will indicate blood disorders
or organic troubles, frequently of the heart. We have now in a series of short articles, looked upon the whole range of men from the toilers to the emotionalists, to the thinkers, and to the inspirers, and we must return to the beginning again and reiterate that no class of men is really superior to any other. Some of the most inspiring men have appeared among the toilers, and also some of the most brutal and merciless among those of the inspirational.
The whole round of the Zodiac must be encompassed before the really Divine Man appears, who when he comes will be like them, for they have said "Let us make man in our image", and though it may take myriads of years to do so, it will be done.
- George C. McIntyre.
A LETTER FROM H.P.B.
Mrs. Besant prints the following letter from Madam Blavatsky in The Theosophist for March. It was discovered by Miss Nett who had been going through many boxes of old papers and letters of Col. Olcott's at Adyar. The letter follows:
"Yes; you are right. My life was a chequered and marvelous one, but the marvels and checks in it are not at all due to my connections with great men whom they began calling Mahatmas in India. The Masters I know are neither the Yogis as known in India, who sit for ages buried in a jungle, with trees growing between their arms and legs, nor do they stand for years on one leg, nor yet do they make tapas and hold their breath. They are simply Adepts in Esoteric Science and Occultism; Adepts whose Headquarters are in a certain part of Thibet, and whose Members are scattered through the world. These are the Men - great, glorious, more learned than any others on earth; some quite holy, others less so; - whom I know, with whom I learnt what I know, with whom I lived, and whom I swore to serve for ever, as long as I have a breath left in my body, and whom I do serve faithfully, if not always wisely and - Who do exist. Now whether any believe in Them or not is not the question. Maybe They Themselves did everything in Their power to bring people to disbelieve in Them, as from 1879 to 1884 the belief had degenerated into worship and fetishism. I never said that I was their `representative,' I only said I was Their servant and faithful slave; aye, unto the bitter death and end. To conclude, you do not know me, nor have you ever known me as I really am; some day perhaps you will learn to know better."
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus..
Children should above all be taught self-reliance, love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and, more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves. We would reduce the purely mechanical work of the memory to an absolute minimum, and devote the time to the development and training of the inner senses, faculties and latent capacities . . . . We should aim at creating free men and women, free intellectually, free morally, unprejudiced in all respects, and, above all things, unselfish. - Key to Theosophy.
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.
- Edwin E. Bridges, 276 Prud'homme Ave., Notre Dame de Grace, Montreal.
- Miss Nellie Gates, 96 Rothsay Ave., Hamilton.
- Fredk. B. Housser, 10 Glen Gowan Ave., Toronto.
- George C. McIntyre, 20 Shannon Street, Toronto.
- Kartar Singh, 9 Toronto Street, Toronto.
- Dr. Wash. Wilke, 314 Vancouver Block, Vancouver, B.C.
- Albert E. S, Smythe, 71 Sanford Avenue South, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
The Anti-Capital Punishment Association of Canada holds meetings in the interest of the movement to abolish this blot on civilization and those wishing to join the association may do so on payment of the fee of a dollar a year. Llon Penhall Rees, Mus. Bach., is secretary-treasurer, at 531 Markham Street, Toronto, 4.
Elizabeth de Rathonyi sends a cordial invitation from the Theosophical Society in Hungary to all members of the T.S. in Canada to attend the Special Convention of the T.S. in Hungary under the auspices of the European Federation T.S. The Convention is to be held in the beautiful City Hall adjacent to the old Chateau Vajdahunyad. The Convention is to be held on May 17-22, in Budapest.
Ganesh & Co., Madras, India, are to publish a reply to Katherine Mayo's "Mother India." It is to be entitled "An Englishman Defends Mother India," not the book, we understand, but the country. It will be illustrated with 60 pictures of Indian life, and will cover all phases of Indian home and society, education, manners, customs, and whatever else may be needed to disinfect public opinion after Miss Mayo's gas attack.
Miss Brenda Johnson, who is present at Kirkland Lake, suggests that there may be some members and others at or near North Bay who would like to meet Mr. Clark if he could arrange to have a meeting there. Miss Camp of South River reported when in Toronto that she might be able to attend but could not say if the trains would suit. Others who are in the North country might report either to this office or to Miss Johnson and if it be feasible an effort will be made to carry out the suggestion.
"Forget Your various gurus, your various paths, your various types, your various temperaments," says Mr. Krishnamurti in the Star Bulletin for March. "There is only one Master in the world, only one Teacher, only one Source, and if you touch the Source, only you drink at that Source then you will help humanity. The Beloved whom we follow, is everything. When you think of him, when you are part of him, when he is yourself, you forget your temperaments and types. All of us are one, all want happiness, all want Truth, all want to be free."
We understand that several meetings have been held by the Committee on Union, and that the discussions have created a large degree of amity and good feeling. It is expected that plans will be submitted for discussion and that a really earnest attempt is being made to discover a common basis for cooperation, if not of organic union. Where there is a will there is a way, and
it is fur every member to seek within himself whether or not there is a will to union, or if his will is to separation. The effect of each member's influence will surely react upon the Committee and have its due effect upon the result.
We have been requested to remind our members that the Chicago Theosophical World Congress meets in August. Mrs. Besant and Mr. Jinarajadasa are to be the leading attractions. Mr. Krishnamurti has stated that his own convention at Ojai will prevent him attending. There is a disposition in Canada among those who intend to go anywhere to go to Ojai. It is perhaps unfortunate that the dates should clash, but those who travel must make their choice. They should take care to get certificates when they buy their railway tickets if they are going to Chicago giving their names and destination and the Convention date, so that they may get a reduced return fare from Chicago when they buy their tickets to return home again.
There is still a lively discussion going on among the Theosophical magazines as to what people are to understand- Mr. Krishnamurti to say. The Messenger finds it necessary to assert that Mr. Krishnamurti is a Theosophist, and this is not to be wondered at, for we have been saying the same things and the same kind of things for the tenth year now and all that time we have been tabooed as un-Theosophical in quarters where we least expected it. Mr. Krishnamurti admits that he is a member of the Society but adds: "There is nothing wrong about it; there is nothing particularly right about it. It doesn't make a great deal of difference one way or the other." That is how many people feel when they begin to think of leaving us. But considering his training Mr. Krishnamurti is doing remarkably well.
The General Executive met on Sunday afternoon, March 17, Mr. Bridgen being absent through ill health, and Mr. Kartar Singh who is in Vancouver. Mr. J.B. Wright attended as a delegation from London to protest that he had not divulged any information from the Executive to Brother XII. of the Aquarian Foundation, and his explanation was accepted. Mr. Clark's lecture and study class tour was reported upon and approved. The Committee appointed to consider reunion reported progress. It was decided to give credential, to any member of the Section who intended to be present at the Chicago Convention in August. Reports on the Magazine, the condition of membership, and the Traveling Library were considered. An effort will be made to invigorate some of the Lodges in connection with Mr. Clark's visit.
The Theosophical Quarterly begins the reprint of "A Hindu Chela's Diary" from The Path of 1886. We commend this work to all students. It had been our intention to republish it, but The Quarterly has been moved by the same desire and we are glad that many may have the opportunity to read these valuable pages. This number of the Quarterly is of special interest with an address by Henry Bedinger Mitchell on "The Theory of Relativity," and the continuance of Mr. Johnston's translation of the Chhandogya Upanishad. Is it true as is stated in "On the Screen of Time," that "the leaders of the so-called `Back-to-Blavatsky' movement believe that the Masters failed in their work through H.P.B., and that the Society which they founded no longer represents them?" We fear the writer of the criticism on Mr. Kingsland's book on H.P.B. is infected with the common malady of "We-are-It."
Mr. William C. Clark has, we understand, at time of writing, started upon his tour, but we have no further information than we gave last month. Mr. Clark will notify the Lodges in advance of his visit, and will state what he expects to do. The tour is for the purpose of helping and strengthen-
ing the Lodges primarily, and if any opportunity remains to meet the public that will also be attended to. We trust the Lodges will do all they can to assist in making Mr. Clark's visits successful in what he aims at. Those who wish to get to close grips with Theosophy will have an excellent chance to do so in meeting him. The astonishing power of Theosophy in those who know it to attract others to its influence is rarely understood for the simple reason that so few know what real Theosophy is. If the Lodges will give it a chance such as Mr. Clark's visit offers we believe it will have a revivifying effect upon their members and that in turn will start a new current of life in the Lodges themselves. We hope to have fuller reports front Mr. Clark next month.
The following "Protest" has been sent to the Editor of "Theosophy," concerning the attack on Mrs. Cleather and Mr. Crump in the article entitled "To every open-minded Theosophist" which appeared in the January 1929 number of that Magazine: "26 Bedford Gardens, W. 8. To the Editor of 'Theosophy': - Referring to an article entitled `To all open-minded Theosophists' which appeared in the January number of `Theosophy', we the undermentioned individual members of the Council of the Blavatsky Association wish to unite in taking the strongest exception to the unwarranted and uncalled for attack on our fellow Councillor, Mrs. A.L. Cleather and her co-worker Mr. Basil Crump, who have been such life-long and devoted workers for Theosophy as presented by H.P. Blavatsky. This most untheosophical article, containing gross inaccuracies and insinuations, can only reflect discredit on the writer or writers, and it presents to the world an exceedingly bad example of theosophical `Brotherhood'." (signed by) W. Kingsland, F. L. Gardner, W. Hammond, L. J. Knowles, Miss Higginbotham, Miss Bingham, Mrs. A. Davey, (Hon. Sec.)."
An article of truly remarkable interest is to be found in the April issue of The Occult Review, the English magazine which has taken the lead for a long time in, all independent thinking of an occult, mystical or Theosophical character. One would judge that there has been another change in the editorship recently, but the high standard of the magazine is kept as high or higher than ever. The leading article to which we refer deals with the most important issue in the Theosophical Movement today, the question of Brotherhood, and to such points as Mr. Belcher raises in the letter we call attention to elsewhere. A useful reference is made to "Letters that have Helped Me," a book sadly neglected by many who ought to know better, but evidently esteemed by the Occult Review editor, as also is "Light on the Path" and "The Voice of the Silence." There is common sense in the warning to be on 'guard against putting too much reliance on any physical-plane relationship resembling that of guru and chelaship. And it reminds us that beyond the Hall of Learning is the Lodge. It is the whole body of Sages in all the world."
The Meher Message, in which Kaikhushru Janshedji Dastur, M.A., LL.B., conveys the teachings of His Divine Majesty Sadguru Meher Baba, a superlative example of that illumination of which India has so many and the western world practically none. It is this True Bhakti that Mr. Krishnamurti is teaching. "The most that philosophy or intellectual gymnastics and shariat (religious rites and dogmas) can achieve is Ilmul yakin - intellectual certainty. They may make one intellectually certain about the existence of God. But it is only the love for God, the divine love; that enables one to find Him actually, and finally to become one with Him. One gets the sighted certainty (Almoom Yakin) by seeing God, and the realized certainty (Haque Yakin) by becoming one with Him." This complete surrender of one's self to the Beloved is the ecstasy of Mysti-
cism which is a feature of the Ommen teaching. The Meher Message represents this system of Bhakti in all its native simplicity and outright devotion. It is this that turned a Saul into a Paul and threw Vivekananda at the feet of Ramakrishna. Blessed are they who not having seen, yet have believed.
Attention is called to the letter from Mr. Belcher on the subject of personal applications of principles involved in public discussion. He holds, and we believe correctly, that this is the cause of much of the dissension in the ranks of the Theosophical movement. We cannot of course forget that it was the leaders in the Society that first set this example and accused and charged each other with various breaches of ethical and other standards. We have tried to forget all these things and they are well forgotten. Karma will take care of all those issues. But when one after another rakes up some nearly forgotten affront it is natural that a reply should be made. Our own policy, as we have several times explained is to deal with principles only and confine the argument to them, omitting personal allusions where possible. We must expect differences of opinion and be broad and tolerant enough to remember that none of us is infallible and that even when we are very wise we may make a mistake, and that much of our most respectable and hoary-headed history and science is in error. "Adverse opinions are like conflicting winds which brush from the quiet surface of a lake the green scum that tends to settle upon still waters," writes Madam Blavatsky, and it is well to remember that it is a good thing to be able to hold an adverse opinion, and still better to be able to meet an adverse opinion without losing one's temper or showing a skin so thin and tender that the poor little soul inside shrivels up at a cool breath of air. We trust our correspondents will note Mr. Belcher's protest and respect it, even though he finds it natural to point a moral himself by indicating a transgressor.
A correspondent writing from Saskatoon sends in his subscription with an apologia, which for once we reproduce as a sample of innumerable similar letters received during the year. He says: "I enjoy the C.T., especially your own editorials and articles, they being clearer to an ordinary mortal who is not conversant with many of the terms used. I suppose many of them have a meaning that really could not be expressed in English. Several years ago I carefully read `Esoteric Buddhism' by A.P. Sinnett, and I purchased `The Mahatma Letters' and a number of other books on that phase of Theosophy, and got something to think about. But I can't take books about with me, so that the meaning of many terms has faded from my memory, even what few I did absorb, which is neither here nor there. I believe the result of your work and that of others is being expressed from some pulpits today, where the majority anyway, of the hearers wouldn't know the meaning of the term Theosophy. Last Sunday I attended an United Church service in this town, and the sermon delivered (Colossians iii. 11) might easily have been a lecture by yourself in your hall on Isabella Street, Toronto. He, the minister, mentioned different religions, naming them, ancient and modern, as being different expressions of the same thing. He emphasized the brotherhood of all men without reference to colour, or creed, etc. Remarkable Enough to make some of the parsons of even twenty-five years ago turn over in their graves. Still, the meaning has always been in the text. I mention this for your encouragement, as you do a lot of work, give a lot of service, and I dare say it's hard to see that much headway is being made. But it is in reality - possibly not under the heading of Theosophy, but the truths are being absorbed, and what difference does it make about the names, or who gets credit for it."
The Eternal is my Light and my help; whom then shall I fear? Ps, xxvii. 1.
FELLOWS AND FRIENDS
Montreal Lodge continues to have excellent reports of the Sunday evening meetings inserted in the Gazette. Intelligent and neutral reports are nearly always welcome in the newspapers, only a few editors now having the prejudice that accompanies lack of familiarity with our work. Recent addresses reported in Montreal were by Mrs. E.A. Griffith, J.E. Dobbs, and Mrs. E. Matthews.
The Educational Conference in Vancouver April 8-13 is distinguished by the presence of Sir Rabindra Nath Tagore who came all the way from India to attend it. Many other distinguished visitors came from ten different countries. We presume Mr. Kartar Singh of the Toronto Lodge has been present and Mr. William Mulliss, of Hamilton, also attended.
Mr. W.R. Hick of the Hamilton Lodge, suffered a serious accident last month through which he lost two fingers from his left hand. He is now out of the hospital and recovering. Perhaps it was the result of Karma generated or precipitated by his nomination as a member of the General Executive. He has our sympathies in any case, and may need them more on the General Executive than in the hospital.
The following paragraph from the St. Catharines Standard of April 4th, refers to our friend who was president of the Hamilton Lodge last year: "Mr. H.H. McKinney, formerly of Hamilton, has just located in St. Catharines as district manager of the North American Life Assurance Co. This live Company, like many others, is taking note of the increasing business opportunities in St. Catharines and along the Wetland Canal, and are organizing for greater activity in the writing of life insurance as well as mortgage loans. While a native of the U.S., Mr. McKinney is a naturalized Canadian and has lived in Canada for seventeen years, a considerable portion of which time he was engaged as a farmer in Saskatchewan. Aside from his life insurance activities he has found time for writing, and some of his poems have had favorable recognition. For the greater part of his life, however, he has been a life insurance organizer and writer."
THE NEW EXECUTIVE
The nominations for the General Executive were closed on Monday, April 1, when it was found that eight names had been submitted. These were Mr. Felix Belcher; by West End Lodge, Toronto; Dr. Wilks, Orpheus Lodge, Vancouver; Mr. Fletcher Ruark, Montreal Lodge; Mr. Kartar Singh, Mr. George C. McIntyre, Mr. George I. Kinman, and Mr. Fred Housser, Toronto Theosophical Society; and Mr. W.R. Hick by the Hamilton Lodge. The President of the Toronto Lodge who had not been present at the meeting at which the nominations were made subsequently pointed out that it would be desirable to have the nominations as widely scattered as possible, and that for Toronto to have six members on the Executive out of eight was rather an unequal distribution. Mr. Kartar Singh is at present resident in Vancouver and might well be left there as a representative of both east and west. Mr. George I. Kinman, with fine magnanimity withdrew his name from the contest thus leaving seven nominations and under the Constitution they are therefore elected to the General Executive for the year July 1, 1929 - June 30, 1930. The General Secretary was nominated by several Lodges and as there was no other nominated, he is re-elected by acclamation. As a result of Mr. Kinman's generous act the Section will be saved the expense of an election and the General Secretary's office much trouble. The changes are few. It is a matter of general regret that Mr. Bridgen's health has caused him to give up all work outside his employment, and it is on this account that the Montreal Lodge nominated Mr. Ruark. He is at present resident in Walkerville,
Ontario, and as he is an able writer and speaker, we welcome him as a worthy successor to Mr. Bridgen. Mr. Hick succeeds Miss Gates, who desired to give others an opportunity to serve on the Executive, and declined to stand again. Mr. Hick has been president of the Hamilton Lodge and is an earnest student and devoted member.
A JUDGE ANNIVERSARY
Had William Quan Judge survived he would have been 76 years of age on April 13, but he died at the age of 45 on March 21, 1896, after a year's illness. He was one of the original founders of the Theosophical Society and there never was anyone more loved and honoured outside Madam Blavatsky herself. Some day his scattered articles will be collected in a volume and it will be more valuable than anything written in his time outside Madam Blavatsky's works. He has been greatly dishonored by the Theosophists who have neglected him, but this is of no importance except to themselves, for Karma adjusts all such matters. It is a pity for the world, however, that his practical ethical teaching should have been so buried and almost forgotten. In all the flood of literature of the last thirty years nothing so valuable for the personal guidance of the student has appeared as "Letters That Have Helped Me," and if we are spared to carry out some designs, we propose to reprint these in the Canadian Theosophist. Judge was a real nastika and there are but few of them left in the ranks of the Society. It is astonishing how idolatry springs up among people who are supposed to understand Theosophical teachings. Mr. Krishnamurti seems to have taken up the mantle that fell from Judge's shoulders in this respect.
If you are a believer in the Brotherhood of Humanity you should belong to the only Society that makes this the sole basis of membership. The dues are $2.50 a year, including subscription to the official Magazine. Will you not join?
THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL
A. - Man is immortal in that period of time known as the past, we have agreed, but we have yet to consider if he is immortal in the future. What do you think?
B. - Why, that there is something absurd about the idea that man can be immortal only in one direction.
A. - He would not, in that case, be immortal?
B. - No.
A. - We have agreed that mind possesses the qualities of memory, attention and image-formation, and that without all of these mind cannot be said to be mind; in a word, that without these three consciousness would cease?
B. - We have.
A. - But we have not examined all the qualities of mind. There is the reverse of memory for instance, the ability to look into the future, or anticipation.
B. - That is so.
A. - But is this essential to mind? I mean, could mind exist without anticipation? Let us consider the act of thinking. You remember that you have left something in the other room; your mind attends to the memory, and the thing attended to is an image, a mental image or idea. Does anticipation come in here?
B. - No, but it might come in immediately after; I might anticipate getting the object.
A. - Could you look into the future, could you picture yourself picking up the object, if the quality of futurity or anticipation did not come in?
B. - No. If I did not think of the object as related to some future event, I could not perform the action of picking it up. What I mean is this, I turn to pick up a book. I find it is not at hand. Immediately there comes to my mind the memory of having laid it down in the other room, the place where I laid it down, the reasons for my doing so, and other details. I will to have that book, to look up a passage say. Now suppose I could not anticipate pick-
ing it up, how could I think about getting it? I could form no mental image of my action, my mind would be a blank as far as the future was concerned. I could do nothing. I would be unable to will to do anything, for how could I will to do that which I could not conceive?
A. - Ah! We have arrived at what seems another essential quality of mind - the will. But is it essential? Can you, for instance, attend to an object without willing to do so?
B. - Of course not.
A. - But we have found that attention was essential to mind, and without it mind would cease to be.
B. - We have.
A. - Then if attention is essential to mind, and attention depends upon will, mind would not be mind without will?
B. - That is so.
A. - But mind exists and will exists, and will it would seem is dependent upon the future.
B. - How so?
A. - Well, when you thought about the book you willed to think about it didn't you?
B. - Yes.
A. - But you could not will to remember it, that is to retain it in your memory, in no time. You took some time however brief it may have been, to think about it?
B. - I agree.
A. - In order to will to do a thing, whether to act or think, time is essential?
B. - Quite so.
A. - You could not will without future time to will in, and you could not will without consciousness of the future?
B. - No, I could not.
A. - Now we have agreed that a thing cannot possess qualities and yet not possess them. And mind, or the soul, cannot possess the quality of will and yet not possess it. Moreover, it cannot possess the consciousness of the future and yet not possess it.
B. - That is so.
A. - We have also agreed that it is unthinkable that one should remember and have nothing to remember. Is it also unthinkable that one could anticipate and have nothing to anticipate and no time to will in?
B. - There seems to be a catch in that.
A. - Say, rather, an obscurity. But what is it that makes you doubtful about it?
B. - Death! Consciousness may go out at death - memory, attention, will, consciousness of the future, all may fade.
A. - They may, but do they? At what point would a dying person cease to will?
B. - I would say, at the instant of death. From the materialist's viewpoint at the time when the heart ceased to beat and the lungs to breathe.
A. - Good. Consciousness may cease at that instant?
B. - Yes.
A. - Let us consider what that means. At the instant of death a man is conscious of the future. At the instant after it, he is not conscious of anything?
B. - Yes.
A. - Is that possible?
B. - Indeed, yes! At the instant of going to sleep I am conscious of something I remember. The instant afterwards I am conscious of nothing.
A. - Let us sum up the situation. Here we have mind possessing these qualities: will, memory, anticipation, attention and ideation (or image-creation). In order that mind may function time is essential. In the past mind is linked to time; mind depends upon future time for its existence.
B. - Correct.
A. - Yet at death or sleep mind may cease?
B. - It would appear so.
A. - But we have not yet considered another quality which mind must possess in order to function, and if it ceases to function it ceases to be mind.
B. - A bell is still a bell whether it rings or not.
A. - It is a convenience of speech to speak of a bell which does not work as a
bell; to say for instance, "The bell is out of order." But such an expression is not accurate. This is readily seen by the answers to two questions: What is a bell? Something which rings. Is a thing which does not ring a bell? Obviously, not, for it does not fulfil the condition. The same is true of mind: What is mind? Something which thinks? Is something which does not think mind? Obviously, not, for it does not fulfil the condition.
B. - That is so, but what is this quality you speak of that we have not considered?
A. - Forgetfulness.
B. - Forgetfulness, essential!
A. - It is essential to forget the object in your mind in order to remember another one. If you could not forget the object you are now thinking of your mind would not be able to think. How could you think of picking up the book, in the instance you gave, if your mind was forever fixed upon the idea that it was beside you?
B. - How true!
A. - So forgetfulness is the antithesis of memory?
B. - We may say so.
A. - What is the antithesis of anticipation?
B. - I would say, ignorance.
A. - The word "ignorance" has, I fear, too wide a meaning. Let us call the antithesis of anticipation, non-anticipation, and mean by it that which we shall think of as related to future. Forgetfulness would be non-attention to the ideas of the past, non-anticipation would be non-attention to the ideas of the future. But forgetfulness is more than ceasing to attend; it involves inability to attend also.
B. - Quite true.
A. - So non-anticipation also involves inability to attend to the ideas of the future. In a word, we may say we are ignorant, of what we cannot remember and what we cannot anticipate. (This suggests interesting questions. For instance: Is ignorance essential to the development of will? But to think that out would take us too far afield). We have seen that non-attention is essential to mind, but ignorance is not essential to it. In fact, perfect ignorance would end mind - how could you think if you did not know-something?
B. - I couldn't.
A. - In the case of the man going to sleep, he ceases to attend to the world around him, even, it would seem, to the train of thoughts in his mind?
B. - Yes.
A. - But does he then lose the ability to attend?
B. - No. He does not lose the ability to attend, for when he awakens it is still there.
A. - A man falling asleep then, does not lose consciousness but only neglects to use it?
B. - Yes.
A. - Is that possible?
B. - Surely. The fact is evident. He ceases to pay attention to the world around him, and even, it would seem, to his "stream of thought" as James calls it.
A. - One of the Mahatmas used a more suggestive phrase: "his current in space." But enough of that now. In asking, "is that possible?" I meant not whether the man when falling asleep ceases to pay attention to the world around him, but whether he ceased to pay attention to anything?
B. - Ah! Let me see. I sometimes dream. I remember that I dream and by that I mean I am conscious of the, I suppose, imaginary events as occurring during sleep.
A. - Your dreams then indicate that during sleep you do not cease to pay attention to something?
B. - Sometimes, I pay attention, yes.
A. - Why not all the time you are asleep?
B. - I do not remember doing so.
A. - That does not demonstrate you do not. Can you remember paying attention all the time you were awake today?
B. - No. I cannot remember every detail, but I am conscious of the idea of an
unbroken stream of consciousness during the day.
A. - How can you say you are conscious of an unbroken stream of consciousness and yet conscious of a broken stream of consciousness?
B. - Yes, there is something wrong with that. I have forgotten what I did with a letter I received for I tried in vain to remember, and I must have forgotten thousands of mental images.
A. - Would you say then that the impression of continuity of consciousness during the day comes from the shortness of the gaps, and that the impression of discontinuity during sleep comes from the length of the gaps?
B. - I don't know. The character of the gap is different. The consciousness of dreams is different from the consciousness
of external reality.
A. - Let us see if we can find in what way it differs. In waking consciousness we have these qualities: will, attention, non-attention, memory, anticipation, ideation. What qualities are lacking in the consciousness of dreams?
B. - None. Dreams are certainly very vivid mental images compared to our waking thoughts, and less stable, more
plastic, than the mental images which impinge upon our consciousness from the physical world around us. It would seem as though our ceasing to attend in sleep to the external world enabled us to see more clearly in dreams the images of our stream of thought.
A. - So the difference in character between the waking and the dream consciousness to which you referred arises from the
transference of attention from physical to mental images, the result being that the latter gain the vividness that comes from
B. - It seems so, and indeed it is what might be expected if mind did not cease to function in sleep.
A. - So that in sleep one does not lose consciousness or even neglect to use it, but merely transfers part of one's attention from physical to mental images..
B. - I do not see how we can avoid that conclusion. For neglect to pay attention is equivalent to saying mind has ceased, and this involves the problem of the restoration of mind. What I mean by that is if every time I went to sleep my mind ceased to be mind, because it did not function, it would be necessary for it to be recreated or repaired every time I woke up. This presents great difficulties. For instance: could mind, having once ceased to be mind, retain memory? But wait a minute! A bell if in working order is still a bell, even when not working.
A. - We might say it was a potential bell.
B. - Yes.
A. - The analogy might be true if we were to allow that mind is static and not dynamic, and that it became dynamic under the influence of an external force applied only during waking hours. But mind ceases to be mind if it ceases to pay attention, for then memory, anticipation, will, ideation all are gone. We can only use the word "potential" as applied to mind in this sense: That possessing the power to pay attention, and having ceased to pay attention to a particular thing, or never having directed its attention to it yet retains the power of directing its attention towards that thing.
B. - Quite true.
A. - Let us see where we are at. Mind, we have agreed, is immortal in the past; mind does not cease to be during sleep; the question now is: Does mind cease to be at death? Now I have come to the conclusion that any object or idea contains within itself the demonstration of its true nature. If mind or the soul is immortal it itself provides the demonstration. All that is required is sustained attention to discover it.
- Cecil Williams.
[[There is a large diagram here centered around a six
-pointed star. - Dig. ed. ]]
The following notes and comments are the result of a lecture delivered by Mrs. A.A. Bailey on Meditation at the Toronto Lodge on Dec. 4-28. To me it was a very enlightening address and I take this opportunity of thanking Mrs. Bailey. Although having studied the subject from various sources I had never before realized the fundamentals. The great obstacle of keeping one's mind steady was recognized by Mrs. Bailey and I think the key to overcome this was given. It is the very root of the process, I believe, and the following comments and diagram are offered to help those who have this same difficulty.
To begin with, Mrs. Bailey pointed out the necessity of pure motives and the support of a good character, not in the sense of being pious, but in being a sincere student of the occult. She then spoke of the mind being the organ of perception through the physical and emotional natures and how our minds were mostly set in motion by outside thought forms. This
must be corrected by the daily habit of onepointedness if we are to become successful in the practice of meditation. Several definitions were given. Meditation makes the mind ready for original thought - it makes the mind receptive to soul thoughts which belong to the soul by right - it makes the mind act as an interpreter to the physical brain, a transmitter of information of a new world and thereby opens a new sense avenue to the mind. Three factors are brought into play by the process of meditation. (a) The thinker - the soul. (b) The mind. (c) The Brain. and the three must function as a unit - the co-ordination must be complete or the unsteady mind cannot be steadied. This becomes more clear as we recognize the progressive stages that are necessary in meditation.
There are five stages and they necessarily follow and develop one another as in the order given by Patanjali.
2. Meditation Proper
1. Concentration is the holding of the mind steady, this is the great difficulty and is obtained by associating oneself with the Thinker, which is apparently more of a spiritual exercise than a mental one. It frees one from authority which is very important and takes one midway between the Higher and Lower minds, making formation of the spiritual triangle possible. See diagram: -
It is a concentration upon the idea "I am the Thinker" or "I am the Son of God". It is the key to future progress and blends into and becomes Meditation Proper.
2. Meditation Proper is divided into two stages: - (a) with seed, (b) without seed.
(a) Is the act of perfect concentration on a phrase such as "God is Love", or upon an object. Mrs. Bailey spoke of a picture of the Christ (personally I think this would in some cases interfere with that freedom from authority that is so essential). I was pleased to note Mrs. Bailey spoke of the impossibility of more than 3 mins: for this concentration and 1 min
being a good start. It had always bothered me when people mentioned much longer time, for on certain occasions I had come to the conclusion my mind was very unsteady and a wanderer in a strange land during such practice and I gave up in despair. This concentration must first be on the form or nature of the phrase or object, secondly on its quality and thirdly on its purpose; which brings one in contact with the reality behind thus to an extended consciousness of the phrase or object.
(b) Meditation without seed immediately follows this extended consciousness. It is a period when the mind becomes emptied and clear. This stage is called the psychic gateway - it is really the interlude between two activities - a period of peace. Most of us I take it go no further for at this point we allow ourselves to function on the physical plane. We relate a certain bliss and joy which we had not really partaken of, which was within our grasp had we only overcome a weakness and thus reached: -
3. Contemplation where the brain, mind and soul create a channel. The chalice into which truth flows and becomes a reality. It is the moment of perfect vision, where the seer sees and becomes illumined.
4. Illumination. Light activates the mind with thoughts which become lucid apprehension of the truth and the Spiritual Verities become very real to the physical brain which in turn registers through: -
5. Inspiration given to our daily activities or by projection into immediate action.
Let us make no mistake; practice is essential and every stage must be appreciated to its full significance. To do this
I formulated for myself the diagram and found it very helpful, and is self explanatory. The understanding and visualizing of the double triangle will I hope bring the soul
- the Thinker - to preside as master of the ceremony. It is the symbol of the son of God and is formed by the exercise of meditation if taken in the order given, and I hope it will be quite obvious that the perfect Star cannot be formed unless the centres of both triangles are in the same position, that is, the Thinker is the initiator into the mystery of Meditation.
- H. L. Huxtable.
There is only one right assertion of self, - the assertion by a man of the divine Self within himself, against the lower self, the self of sensuality and selfishness. And while a man is busy with this, the last feeling likely to come to him is self-righteousness; feeling the enormously strong hold of the lower self, with its grossness, its timidity, its cravings and cowardice, he will rather declare himself the chief of sinners. While he is busy with this, he will have little time for condemning others; others who are still under the clouds that have hardly dispersed for him; others who are still, by painful experience, verifying the grim laws of being that have so newly brought him to the beginning of the way. And when he has perfectly become one with the divine Self, he will have little inclination for condemning others, for he will have learned that the divine Self for him is the divine Self for them also; that they are in truth his other selves. And his other selves a man will help with generous sympathy and love, and not with bitter denunciation. Thus we find, in the light of the higher Self, with its eternal life, that the old grim counselors who sowed sorrow for us so unceasingly before were really our best and gentlest friends; winning us, by the only way that could have won us, to the life of the truer Self that is the path to the Eternal. - The Theosophy of the Upanishads.
"WHY SHOULD IT BE NECESSARY? "
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - In the last issue of the Canadian Theosophist is a letter from W.M.W. in which the following words appear: - "Why should it be necessary to drag personalities into the columns of a Theosophical magazine?"
Quite so; but a very curious conclusion to draw from the following extracts which precede it.
"that dazzling personality - Annie Besant". ". . . self appointed writers and lecturers". ". . sitting at the feet of these self styled Theosophical authorities and swallowing delirious drivel". "H.P.B. sized up the tribe of would-be leaders". ". . . .we might almost feel as if the observation of H.P.B. was directed to Mrs. Besant. The words of warning are; `Self watchfulness is never more necessary than when wounded vanity and a personal desire to lead, dress themselves in the peacock feathers of altruism and devotion". "Most of the stuff that is appearing in the magazines today is petty and fault-finding, and satirical thrusts at misguided but well-meaning personalities are indulged in too freely with a vicious tone that hurts and wounds".
The letter concludes "Stick to the masters and H.P.B. and you cannot go wrong". Again, quite so. One of the masters has said the following: "as an Association, (the T.S.) it has not only the right, but the duty to uncloak vice and do its best to redress wrongs, whether through the voice of its chosen lecturers or the printed words of its journals and publications - making its accusations, however, as impersonal as possible. But its Fellows, or Members, have individually no such right". "No Theosophist should blame a brother, whether within or outside of the association; neither may he throw a slur upon another's actions or denounce him, lest he himself lose the right to be considered a Theosophist."
These words make it clear that the editor
of a Theosophical magazine has the right and the duty to refuse space to communications that violate this canon of criticism. It is sincerely to be hoped that our Canadian Theosophist will in future keep its columns free from the personalities referred to above.
- Felix A. Belcher.
950 Lisgar St., Toronto.
THE MAHAYANA BUDDHIST CHURCH AND THEOSOPHY
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - As Theosophists we would like to discuss through your columns the correctness or otherwise of identifying the doctrines of the Buddhist (Mahayana) Church of today with Theosophy.
We of the West have been taught by certain Masters, that H.P. Blavatsky, their accredited agent, gave out to the whole world much more of the esoteric doctrine, as Theosophy, than had ever been given before. "Theosophy is not a Religion, . . . .Theosophy is Religion itself." (H.P.B. Lucifer, Nov. 1888).
H.P. Blavatsky in a letter to her sister wrote: "Why should Novoe Vremya tell such fibs? Whence could it gather that our intention is to preach Buddhism? We never dreamed of such a thing. If in Russia they read my Lucifer, our chief organ . . . .they would learn that we preach the purest Theosophy, . . trying to re-establish the purely Christ-like Theosophy and life-giving morality." (The Path, Vol. X., p. 236).
H.P.B. taught more than 40 years ago that Chinese Mahayana Buddhism had much of the Truth in its teaching. In her Introductory to the S.D. she speaks of the mistake of limiting Theosophy to Buddhism, - "The `Wisdom-Religion' is the inheritance of all nations, the world over . . . . " (Vol. I, xviii) The teachings she gave did not belong exclusively to any religion, i.e. Buddhism, Christianity, etc . . . . Again she writes: - ". . . the records we mean to place before the reader embrace the esoteric tenets of the whole world since the beginning of our humanity, and Buddhistic occultism occupies therein only its legitimate place, and no more." (S.D. I, p. xx).
What are the Buddhist (Mahayana) Church doctrines of today? We quote from a well-known authority on Buddhism, R.F. Johnston. Speaking of "the notion of the efficacy of faith - a notion which in certain Mahayanist sects has become all-important" . . . . - he goes on to say of the bodhisats - "Thus the human characteristics of the great bodhisats gradually disappeared in a blaze of celestial glory. From the twilight of mere humanity they emerged into the radiance of divinity.
From being heroes among men they became the divine companions, and practically the equals, of the deified Buddhas. Already in the first century of our era, and perhaps earlier, the bodhisats had come to be regarded as divine beings to be worshiped, rather than as supermen to be respected and imitated. Later dogmatic developments were associated with the idea of salvation by faith. According to the tenets of certain Mahayanist schools which today enjoy greater prosperity and influence than any others in China and Japan, the Buddhist who wishes to qualify for salvation need do no more than cultivate in himself an attitude of unquestioning faith in a divine saviour - a celestial bodhisat - who will receive his soul and conduct it to a blissful home in Paradise. The accumulated merits of the bodhisats are supposed to be so superabundant that each bodhisat is able to transfer immeasurable quantities of surplus merit to the account of sinful men, whose salvation is thus due not to any works or merit of their own, but solely to the merit transferred to them by the bodhisat who has endowed them with his saving grace. This theory of diverted merit, which nullifies the old law of retribution and directly contradicts Buddha's own teaching that each man must work out his own salvation, is one of the few Mahay-
anist doctrines which are not traceable to any source in primitive Buddhism. (Note. The doctrine is practically identical with the Roman Catholic teaching concerning the theory of indulgences.) In such forms of Buddhism as these, . . . . there is an obvious tendency for morality to be subordinated to faith; and Buddhism, if it becomes more of a religion - as the term is commonly understood - is apt to become less effective as a practical guide of life." (Buddhist China, p. 60, 78, 79).
Theosophy on the other hand teaches: - "It is an eternal law that man cannot be redeemed by a power external to himself." (Prac. Occ. p. 83). Again, "The true philosopher, the student of the Esoteric Wisdom entirely loses sight of personalities, dogmatic beliefs and special religions." (S.D. Vol. I, p. xx).
H.P. Blavatsky fully explained that the source of her knowledge was the Trans-Himalayan Arhat Esoteric School. "Budhism" (Theosophy or the Wisdom-Religion) "preceded Buddhism by long ages and is pre-vedic." (Lucifer, II, p. 256). We therefore protest as students of Theosophy as taught by H.P.B., and on her behalf, against "Mahayana Buddhism" a Church system (exoteric) being applied to the Truths she taught as Theosophy. That it is not, as the title of a recent book published in Peking suggests, Buddhism which is the Science of Life, but Budhism, or Theosophy which is undoubtedly the science of life.
As a younger generation we stand absolutely for H.P.B., and Theosophy and must rely on a nucleus of still younger students doing the same. For when the S.D. is recognized at last and therefore H.P.B., it is to Theosophy as she taught it, pure and unadulterated that men will turn. "We are pinned to no faith . . . . the T. S. is perfectly right in protesting against being mistaken for a merely Buddhist propaganda, . . . We follow the Buddha alone." "Therefore, once it becomes necessary to go behind the actually existing forms, and who will deny this necessity in respect to Buddhism? . . . is it not infinitely better to go back to the pure and unadulterated source of Buddhism itself, rather than halt at an intermediate stage?" (Lucifer II, p. 425, 426) "That the world is in such a bad condition morally is a conclusive evidence that none of its religions and philosophies . . . . have ever possessed the TRUTH" . . . . "And this TRUTH is not BUDDHism, but esoteric BUDHISM." (Lucifer II, p. 433).
As regards the "Voice of The Silence" most sincere disciples of H.P.B. have had intuition enough to know that it was as she said, to some it proves its source. Of these Fragments - aphorisms learned by H.P.B. many years before, she chose some, and translated them for the few who have comprehended; for, as she said, it supplied their needs. Clearly in her preface she states from where they were derived, many she said were pre-Buddhistic.
In conclusion we quote H.P.B. once more: - ". . . I maintain, . . . that criticism is the great benefactor of thought in general; and still more so of those men who never think for themselves but rely in everything upon acknowledged `authorities' and social routine."
"For what is an `authority' upon any question, after all? No more really, than a light streaming upon any object, through one single `more or less wide, chink, and illuminating it, from one side only. Such light, besides being the faithful reflector of the personal views of but one man - very often merely that of his special hobby - can never help in the examination of a question or a subject from all its aspects and sides. Thus, the authority appealed to will often prove but of little help, yet the profane, who attempts to present the given question or object under another aspect and in a different light, is forthwith hooted for his audacity. Does he not attempt to upset solid `authorities,' and fly in the face of respectable and time-honoured routine thought?"
"Friends and foes! Criticism is the
sole salvation from intellectual stagnation. It is the beneficent goad which stimulates to life and action
- hence to healthy changes - the heavy ruminants called Routine and Prejudice, in private as in social life. Adverse opinions are like conflicting winds which brush from the quiet surface of the lake the green scum that tends to settle upon still waters." (Lucifer, Sept. 1892).
That the spread of true Buddhism may continue throughout Asia, is our most earnest wish, "since even exoteric Buddhism is the surest path to lead men to the one esoteric truth." (Letters Masters of Wisdom, p. 7). But what need have Theosophists (true philosophers) for a Church, and creed?
Yours sincerely and fraternally,
J. A. Crampton Clark.
The H.P.B. Lending Library,
1613 Elgin Road,
March 5th, 1929.
DOWELL O'REILLY FROM HIS LETTERS
Simkins, London, 106 net.
Odious indeed are the comparisons that suggest themselves between the Letters of Dowell O'Reilly and the Letters of Abelard, whose so-called sorrows wishy-washy sentiment has for so long taught us to pity. A belated perusal of Abelard has compelled the writer to realize that this much belauded hero of romance was, self-confessedly, but a scurvy selfish cad for whose treatment of the self-sacrificing Heloise no erudition nor excellencies of literary style could offer the slightest palliation.
It was with more hopeful anticipation that the writer took up Dowell O'Reilly's Letters, for he (the writer) had the great Conrad, "a rare internal lift of simplicity of heart and rectitude of soul." Of this written. There was no disappointment there is abundance of evidence in these Letters. The literary output of Dowell O'Reilly was small, mainly owing to a sort of mental inertia induced by parental restrictions during his youth, which even a wise and loving mother could do but little to relieve. His father, Canon O'Reilly, was a man of domineering character who thought nothing of entering a bar-room full of drunken fighting toughs and quelling the riot by sheer force of his personality. It was also his custom to retire to his study and wrestle with God, in prayer, for days at a time. The effects of such a character, however well-intentioned, on a sensitive growing boy was bound to sap his initiative and weaken his power of expression. And, as the Letters clearly indicate, Dowell O'Reilly had the greatest difficulty, ever after, in giving rein to his thoughts and ideas. He had infinite capacity but lacked the ability that comes of practice. Only in his Letters does he let himself go, and it is very significant that these were all written in pencil on odd scraps of writing paper.
It would seem as if the absence of restraint implied by the use of the unconventional pencil and paper enabled him to express himself more freely, while his contact with the sympathetic and understanding heart of "Molly" drew from him a veritable revelation of his soul.
That his potentialities were great is proved by the Letters for among other things he there shows himself to be competent as a philosopher, sociologist, logician and poet, and the principles and themes he would have dealt with had he been spared, are clearly indicated in the Letters. The whole tragedy of his life is summed up in the following short extract from one of the letters to "Molly". "Your description of youth's fevers - sensitiveness - imaginings - is an exact description of my hateful remembrances. I was defrauded of my youth ... I never knew the serene
heavenly happiness that leaves its mark on the soul just as sorrow does - except in glimpses. No, I have never had my youth - it will never come, I know; yet I am always waiting, watching for it. If it came I would go to hell with it tomorrow; but it has gone and I shall never be content." He is deeply religious and explains that the horrors of his childish upbringing do not alone account for his active dislike of all dogmatic religion. He is a fair-minded and logical thinker and differentiates clearly between ethical wheat and sectarian chaff. "The Ethics of Christ are . . . . beautiful - we set them apart. But. . . so much that the Church teaches as Christianity, is abhorrent, degrading
- ." He paid some attention to Theosophy and remarks - "The obvious charlatanism that fastened on to Theosophy chilled me from it, but not from the idea it suggested - that behind all `religions' there is a truth." Had he given more thought to the matter his keen analytical mentality would have seen that his definition of the Ego applied to the personality only, which is transient, while the individuality is permanent. "Consider," he writes, "what actually is the Ego of D.O'R. aged forty-nine at this moment? A disconnected jumble of memories - a few beautiful, many grotesquely commonplace, still more, better forgotten, yet still persisting; now that really sums up my Ego." Obviously a clear example of incomplete reasoning. Another example of this is seized on by a lovely and witty California friend who writes - "D.O'R. is wrong where he says that `man is the animal's mate.' He is the mate's animal."
Poor Dowell's ventures on the waters of matrimony proved it to be a veritable sea of trouble, for the lovely mother of his family became a hopeless and helpless invalid, and he had to be father and mother and housewife in one, thus making it almost impossible for him to give literary expression to his vivid inner self. He became an "inarticulate singer" as he writes, and finds that "working by will is so much harder than working by energy." His observations on the Conscription Referendum in Australia are exceedingly interesting and to the point, yet tolerant. He recognizes that "It was the young girls who turned the vote; you see, a bird in the hand is worth two in the trenches!" Yet, "Because this anti-movement is brainless, unreasonable - mere emotion, it does not follow that it is all bad." One of the chief charms of Dowell O'Reilly's writings is his freshness and freedom. He is a young citizen of a young nation. While deeply conscious of his debt to the older world he is entirely untrammeled by tradition. He writes as he feels and acts as he writes, though always in consonance with the realm of the Spirit. ". . , the three ages of Man," he writes, "Youth, Prime and Age - should march naturally, under the banners of the three Rulers of Life, the Flesh, the Mind and the Spirit."
A good example of his humour occurs on page 209 - I was suddenly awakened by a shower of stones thrown violently against my window! Don't be alarmed, Darling, it was only God. The heaviest hailstorm semi-tropical Sydney has ever known." Apparently most people took Dowell O'Reilly at his face value for he was invariably a welcome visitor, even with strangers. Frequently, when out walking, he would be attracted by the appearance of a window and would remark - "I like those windows. I am sure they must be nice people. I should like to call on them." Next moment he would be knocking at the door, shaking hands with the owner and welcomed as if he were a friend of many years' standing. Mrs. O'Reilly is to be complimented for her courage and generosity in sharing such precious possessions with the public. But it would have been a tragedy had they been suppressed. The Scroll of Literary Fame would have been incomplete wanting the name of Dowell O'Reilly, and Australia will yet be proud of her son, for his Letters will live when the whinings of Abelard are forgotten.
FROM LETTER OF K. H.
As implied in my last, at the date of the above communication the burning question was not as to the literal or allegorical character of Mr. Sinnett's latest work but the loyalty or disloyalty of your President and our co-worker towards ourselves, whom many of you have seen fit to choose as your esoteric Teachers. From such a standpoint, and no other complaint having been lodged at that time (October 21st), an imperative necessity arose to maintain, in the wise words of Mrs. Kingsford - themselves but the echo of the Tathagata's own voice - the policy of dissociating "the authority of names, whether in the past or in the present, from abstract principles." (Inaugural Address of the President, October 21st, 1883). The question involved being that of Justice, Mrs. Kingsford's ignorance of our real character, our doctrines and status (underlying as they do all her uncomplimentary remarks in connection with the present writer and his colleagues) made them of not even the weight of a flake of cotton in the matter of her re-election. This, coupled with her own intrinsic and individual worth and her charity to the poor brutes, as also the fact of her asking Madam H.P. Blavatsky to "submit my (her) letter to Koot-Hoomi" - made her former course the proper one. - Mahatma Letters, page 406.
To stand within the sanctuary of your being after the labour and strain of life in the physical, with its limitations and suppressions, is to be aware of a marvelous liberation of power. It gives on the plane of enlarged consciousness a stability that cannot as yet be reached within the physical, but which must be the aim of all those working towards knowledge in evolution.
This standing within the sanctuary of your being, comes after prolonged meditation. It may be of years or of lives, but a focus point is reached in time and the blossom opens its first petal. To force the further opening to the complete unfoldment is cruel and wrong. Gradually, under the influence of living the life of Love towards all, comes the great understanding which is this sanctuary; within it is a golden light which radiates like a new star born in the heavens. The light from it is from within and not reflected, therefore, it is from the source direct - the seedling or spark which has ever been within earth-substance, but unable to sprout or shine until the vibration has contacted and become attached through the raising of the bodies in rhythm and balance of expression.
Concentration in aspiration is the apparent way and by meditation and action following each other like the beat of the heart is the work of evolution taken forward to the goal of aspiration.
Ever is this increasing, now that the turning point is passed. What we may call stability in understanding is the result of many lives' experience condensed to a point, and that point is what Man holds of the source within himself.
Let our aim be, at whatever stage we attain our realization, to stand firm on our balance of understanding and from that our sanctuary, live our daily life and so will go forth a light that is pure spiritual energy, creating and destroying to a certain goal.
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