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VOL. X., No. 5 HAMILTON, JULY 15th, 1929 Price 10 Cents
THEOSOPHY AND AMERICA
By Fred B. Housser
In this article I purpose to develop and discuss a thought which has been with me a long time as I have read articles in the Canadian Theosophist and other modern Theosophical literature. It came forcibly home while reading the article by Mr. William Clark of Vancouver, in the June 15th issue of this magazine in which he spoke of the need to create a more adequate "Mythos" which, as he put it, "will not so much contain but draw out and expand the religious impulse of generations to come."
The need for a more adequate mythos suitable to the west is unanimously admitted by all thoughtful people, Theosophists and otherwise. It was the apparentness of this that lead to the founding of the modern Theosophical Society in the west. H.P.B., Judge and the Masters show in their writings that they knew the task involved more than the mere handing out of philosophy and information. It meant the undermining and overthrowing of an attitude and it is attitudes more than tenets or beliefs that the T.S. in Canada needs to assimilate.
This article is written primarily to discuss an attitude not commonly found in the ranks of the T.S. and in the course of the discussion our present society's attitude will be referred to, an attitude common to most of the members whatever authority they accept, and there are very few indeed, - no matter to what camp they belong, - who do not put weight on some authority.
I do not quarrel with authority. Authorities are necessary. Books and schools and churches and societies and bodies of knowledge are good and indispensable and have a great place, probably the greatest place, in assisting the progress of civilizations and individuals but they are a millstone around the neck of a thinker unless his attitude is creative.
Whitman wrote in 1855, preface to Leaves of Grass: "Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book and dismiss whatever insults your own soul." He was giving advice to the man or woman who would have "the greatnesses in conjunction" and would be a poet to the American people. He was defining the creative individual, the creative attitude which makes a man or woman a law unto themselves and therefore not afraid to "be" themselves "to" themselves, or before others.
William Blake said there were two classes of individuals, creators and devourers. The creators create for themselves poems, philosophies, morals, laws,
ideals, etc. The devourers feed and subsist on the work of the creators. The great ones of the earth have all been creators whether in the field of philosophy, art, science or business. Books and schools and churches and Christs may have supplied the initial momentum and inspiration, but no original contribution was ever made, no new art or science or mythos ever created until the creators were able to travel under their own power and their own steam.
Coming back then to Mr. Clark's article in which he speaks of the need to create a more adequate mythos to draw out and expand the religious impulse of the west, we see at once that to create such a mythos a creative attitude is the first essential. It is precisely this attitude that the Secret Doctrine can give because it sets on fire the imagination, awakens aspiration, sharpens intuition, stimulates the intellect, enlarges one's humanity and nurses to strength and affirmation the latent awareness of the divine nature in us all.
This secret doctrine of Theosophy came out of the East. The Masters, as far as we know, live in the East. The headquarters of the T.S. is in the East. Theosophical writings teem with references to the East. It is natural therefore that we members of the T.S. should love and respect the East. The writer thinks that no one could respect and reverence the East and its wisdom more than he. Again, to quote Whitman, - "I have perused it, own it is admirable (moving a while among it); think nothing can ever be greater; nothing can ever deserve more than it deserves; regarding it all intently, then dismissing it, - I stand in my own place with my own day here."
And so it is with the T.S. in America. It stands in its own place with its own day here. It is in the West, in America, that we have to work and apprehend and comprehend. The East is our spiritual mother but how long are we going to live exclusively on mother's milk, not learning to eat or capable of digesting stronger and less pleasant food and make it nourish us with inspiration and great creative living?
The teaching of the founders of the society was that America, - not Europe or Asia, - was to be the principal scene of the next phase of mankind's evolution. "Americans (North Americans) H.P.B. wrote "have become in only three centuries a primary race temporarily before becoming a race apart and strongly separated from all other existing races. They are in short the germs of the sixth sub-race and in a few hundred years will become more decidedly the pioneers of that race which must succeed the present European or fifth sub-race in all its new characteristics." Judge makes a similar statement in "Echoes of the Orient" and touches on the point in "Letters that have Helped Me."
"It is not the desire of the Brotherhood" writes Judge, "that those members of the movement who have under their rights taken up a belief in a messenger and the message should become pilgrims to India.
. . . Nor is it the desire of the Lodge to have members think that eastern methods are to be followed, eastern habits adopted, or the present east made the model or the goal. The west has its own work and duty; its own life and development . . . . It is to be the western side of the one great whole of which the true eastern is the other half. It has as its mission, largely entrusted to the hands of the T.S., - to furnish to the west that which it can never get from the east."
What is it that the west can never get from the east? It is worth pondering. If we could discover that we might know how to start to create this new western mythos which will draw out and expand the religious impulse of the west.
The beginnings of "the western side of the one great whole" are in Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" and in the life, letters and speeches of Abraham Lincoln. It is the spirit, veiled but robust, of this American continent and of our Canadian North. It is latent in every true North
American. It is not any sentimental emotionalism, nor an arrogant western egotism, nor high-sounding phrases. It is an attitude, perceptible, capable of being experienced but the devil to define in a sentence or a word.
True, - civilization in America is selfish, comfort-loving, superficial, irreligious and bewildered (though not unspiritual). But the mistakes and materialism of America are those of a creative, healthy athletic youth. The mistakes and materialism of Europe and of Asia are those of senility. On the American continent is an attitude unduplicated in Europe or Asia, an attitude that is full of faith, confidence and optimism concerning the future. Here, in spite of personal selfishness, there is a willingness to ignore the individual's so-called rights for the good of society as a whole, an attitude at which Europeans marvel. Asiatic and European consciousness is traditional and historical. Ours is here and now and in the future. The oriental humanitarian goes into seclusion and embraces humanity in consciousness from his isolated retreat. The lovers of men in America go out and mix with the masses letting their love for them be crucified and resurrected to the same plane of being as was reached by the eastern yogi in seclusion. "Here," writes Whitman, "is action untied from strings, necessarily blind to particulars and details, magnificently moving in masses . . . . Here is the hospitality that forever begets heroes."
Such things are rarely, if ever, referred to in Theosophical literature today in Canada. One never meets up with "the roughs and beards and space and ruggedness and nonchalance (and humour) the robust North American soul loves. Our literature smells of libraries and studies and much-thumbed books, scholasticism, eye-doctrines and pale lunar-like reflections of the sun of the east. Our theosophical literature lacks fresh air and the open spaces and the direct sunshine of American enthusiasm which pervades the length and breadth of this western continent. You will find in Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass a brand of Theosophy cleaned and tanned in an American sun and full of unrestrained optimism for the future of western civilization "sounding its barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world." There is an assurance of destiny; a fearless provincialism; a standing on his own feet. "I will confront", he says, "these shows of the night and day. I will know if I am less than they. I will see if I am not as majestic as they. I match my spirit with yours you orbs, growths, mountains, brutes. . . America isolated yet embodying all, what is it finally except myself?"
The T.S. in Canada needs more of this attitude. It has in its keeping the materials for the new western mythos. Where are the architects? They may not be among the present member body. The society if it wants them will have to attract them. Perhaps this is not its function. Perhaps it is the purpose of the T.S. to be merely a conducting wire to carry the current to light American myth makers. Perhaps it is not intended that it should be a builder but merely to supply power to the builders. I do not pretend to know. But even if this be so it will still need an attitude to match the attitude of America. It must be able to contain within itself all that America contains, - all that Canada contains. It must become a unit of the civilization in which it works and learn to speak and think and write in the spiritual language of America. If it does this it can and will play a very great part in the shaping of a new western mythos which will draw out and expand the religious impulse of the west. Whitman is America's first prophet. Others will follow. He once said:
"Not today is to justify me and answer what I am for but you, a new brood, native athletic, continental, greater than before known. - I am a man who sauntering along without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you and then averts his face, leaving it to you to prove and define it. Expecting the main things from you."
REMINISCENCES OF EARLY DAYS OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY.
By John W. Lovell, F.T.S.
(Continued from Page 108)
My first meeting with Mrs. Besant has always been to me a memorable one. We had heard over here of how she had come into the Society, the story is told in her Autobiography, so I need not repeat it, and therefore when word came to Mr. Judge that Mme. Blavatsky was sending her over as her representative, as her rapidly failing health prevented H.P.B. from coming herself as she would have done, it caused great interest in our Society. We were told that Mme. Blavatsky had written a special message which she would deliver to Mrs. Besant to be read at the Convention to be held in Boston in that year, 1891.
It was arranged by Mr. Judge that Mrs. Besant would go directly on her arrival to the beautiful home of Mr. and Mrs. Neresheimer on Lenox Avenue near 130th Street. This was quite in the country at that time. The day after her arrival Mrs. Lovell and I received an invitation from Mr. Neresheimer to dinner to meet Besant. There were present at the dinner, besides Mr. and Mrs. Neresheimer, Mr. and Mrs. William Q. Judge, Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Spencer and Mrs. Lovell and myself. After dinner, in the course of conversation, I asked Mrs. Besant, as she was to be here for only a few days, if she would allow me to show her something of the upper part of the city and Central Park. She very kindly accepted my invitation. Sometime before I had presented to Mrs. Lovell a pair of pretty Canadian ponies and a low Victoria carriage, with which she often drove through the park, and I with her occasionally, in the evening. So I called at Mr. Neresheimer's the next afternoon with the ponies and carriage and found Mrs. Besant waiting for me. A most enjoyable afternoon was spent, at least on my part, in driving through the park. That it was of interest to Mrs. Besant also, was indicated from the fact that when, some 22 years later, I had occasion to write her in connection with the Book Plate I was then getting up for the benefit of Mabel Collins, in her reply she said that she remembered very well that drive of 22 years ago. I am so sorry I can't find this letter in looking over old papers. I find a copy of the letter I wrote Mrs. Besant and cannot find this letter she wrote me. I think I must have sent it to Mabel Collins as, otherwise, it would surely be with the copy of my own.
As Mr. Neresheimer's house was so far away and Mr. Judge desired that all members of the T.S., in the city might have an opportunity to meet Mrs. Besant, Mrs. Lovell and I proposed that a reception should be given to her in our home at 4 Lexington Avenue, as it was so centrally situated, adjoining Gramercy Park, between 21st and 22nd streets. The following account of this reception appeared in the New York Herald on the following day:
A RECEPTION TO MRS. BESANT
Mr. John W. Lovell the Publisher, and Mrs. Lovell gave a reception yesterday to Mrs. Annie Besant, the famous free thought lecturer of London, who, for so long a time, was a coworker with Charles Bradlaugh, and more lately an advanced Theosophist and Editor of the Theosophical Magazine in London called "Lucifer." Mr. Lovell's house at 4 Lexington Avenue, was crowded. Many of the prominent members of Sorosis and the Woman's Suffrage Society were present as well as various prominent Theosophists. Among those at the reception were Mrs. Holloway Langford of Brooklyn, Mr. William Q. Judge, Mr. A.H. Spencer and Mr. E. A. Neresheimer. The occasion of Mrs. Besant's visit is the Annual Theosophical Convention which is to be held at Boston. Mrs.
Besant will lecture at Scottish Rite Hall this Wednesday and Friday evenings and also in Washington, D.C.
When Dr. Arundale was here two years ago I happened to show him this clipping from the New York Herald. He insisted on my having a copy made for him as he wished to take it back with him to Adyar, he said to show Mrs. Besant, and I suppose to add to the various papers there relating to the earlier days of the Society.
Mrs. Lovell and I were present at these lectures in Scottish Rite Hall on Madison Avenue. We also went to Boston on the train with Mrs. Besant, to attend the Convention. The party filled a Pullman Drawing Room car, as we went in daytime. One incident on this trip made a deep impression upon me. Mrs. Ver Planck, afterwards Mrs. Archibald Keightley, who was one of the party, was sitting nearly opposite me and complained of having a very severe headache. Some time before this Mrs. Lovell and I had attended a class for the teaching of Christian Science, conducted by Emma Curtis Hopkins and Mary Plunkett. Mrs. Hopkins was a wonderful teacher and I owe to her my understanding of Spiritual Realization, a state in which we realize that, in reality, there is no evil, sin, sickness, or death. Realizing this as I did I silently, almost unconsciously treated Mrs. Ver Planck and, although I had not said a word, she got up from her seat and, coming over to me said: "I wish you wouldn't do that." There are occultists who hold that spiritual powers should never be used for personal benefits of any kind and Mrs. Ver Planck preferred to differ rather than have the pain removed by any exercise of such spiritual powers. Some occultists hold that Spiritual Powers should never be used for personal benefits of any kind. Needless to say, I do not agree with them.
Mrs. J. Campbell Ver Planck was a dear friend of ours, had visited at our home, was devoted to Theosophy and assisted Mr. Judge at times in the editing of "The Path," using the pen name of Jasper Niemand. She had written a very popular Play called "Diplomacy" but is best known as the author of the work "Letters that Have Helped Me," letters written to her by Mr. Judge. Later she married Dr. Archibald Keightley who, with his uncle Bertram Keightley, was for many years a member of H.P.B.'s., household. They both had independent means and were, therefore, able to help materially in the work in London at that time.
At the Convention I heard Mrs. Besant read H.P.B.'s. message and, as it proved, her last message to the American Theosophists. This was signed by her on April 15, 1891, just three weeks before she, on May 8th, passed over into the ethereal world.
I am therefore incorporating this Valedictory from her, in this record, as one of the few remaining who heard it read and because it has, I feel, an historical interest for all our members. The message begins:
"Suffering in body as I am continually, the only consolation that remains to me is to hear of the Holy Cause to which my health and strength have been given; but to which, now that these are going, I can only offer my passionate devotion and never weakening good wishes for its success and welfare. Fellow Theosophists, I am proud of your noble work in the New World; Sisters and Brothers of America I thank you and bless you for your unremitting labours for the common cause so dear to us all.
Let me remind you all once more that such work is now more than ever needed. The period which we have now reached is, and will continue to be, one of great conflict and continued strain. If the T.S., can hold through it, good; if not, while Theosophy will remain unscathed, the Society will perish and perchance most ingloriously, and the world will suffer. I fervently hope that I may not see such disaster in my present body. The critical nature of the stage on which we have en-
tered is as well known to the forces that fight against us as to those that fight on our side. No opportunity will be lost of owing dissension, of taking advantage of mistakes and false moves, of instilling doubt, of augmenting difficulties, of breathing suspicions, so that by any and every means the unity of the Society may be broken and the ranks of our Fellows thinned and thrown into disarray. Never has it been more necessary for the members of the T.S. to lay to heart the old parable of the bundles of sticks than it is at the present time; divided they will inevitably be broken one by one; united, there is no force on earth able to destroy our Brotherhood. Now I have marked with pain a tendency among you, as among the Theosophists in Europe and India, to quarrel over trifles, and to allow your very devotion to the cause of Theosophy to lead you into disunion. Believe me, that apart from such natural tendency, owing to the inherent imperfections of human nature, advantage is often taken by our ever watchful enemies of your noblest qualities to betray and mislead you. Sceptics will laugh at this statement, and even some of you may put small faith in the actual existence of the terrible forces of these mental, hence subjective and invisible, yet withal living and potent, influences all around us. But there they are and I know of more than one among you who have felt them, and have actually been forced to acknowledge, these extraneous mental pressures. On those of you who are unselfishly and sincerely devoted to the Cause, they will produce little, if any, impression. On some others, those who place their personal pride higher than their duty to the T.S., higher even than their pledge to their divine Self, the effect is generally disastrous. Self-watchfulness is never more necessary than when a personal wish to lead, and wounded vanity, dress themselves in the peacock's feathers of devotion and altruistic work; but at the present crisis of the Society, a lack of self control and watchfulness may become fatal in every case. But these diabolical attempts of our powerful enemies, the irreconcilable foes of the truths now being given out and practically asserted, may be frustrated. If every Fellow in the Society were content to be an impersonal force for good, careless of praise or blame so long as he subserved the purposes of the Brotherhood, the progress made would astonish the world, and place the Ark of the T.S., out of danger. Your position as the fore-runners of the sixth sub-race of the fifth root-race, has its own special perils as well as its special advantages. Psychism, with all its allurements and all its dangers, is necessarily developing among you, and you must beware lest the Psychic outruns the Manasic and Spiritual development. Psychic capacities held perfectly under control, checked and directed by the Manasic principle, are valuable aids in development. But these capacities running riot, controlling instead of controlled, using instead of being used, lead the Student into the most dangerous delusions and the certainty of moral destruction. Watch, therefore, carefully this development, inevitable in your race and evolution-period, so that it may finally work for good and not for evil; and receive in advance, the sincere and potent blessings of Those whose goodwill will never fail you, if you do not fail yourselves.
And now I have said all. I am not sufficiently strong to write a more lengthy message and there is less need for me to do so as my friend and trusted messenger, Annie Besant, she who is my right arm here, will be able to explain to you my wishes more fully and better than I can write them. After all, every wish and thought I can utter are summed up in this one sentence, the never-dormant wish of my heart; "Be Theosophists, work for Theosophy." Theosophy first, and Theosophy last; for its practical realization alone can save the Western world from that selfish and unbrotherly feeling that now divides race from race; one Nation from the other; and from that hatred of class and social
considerations that are the curse of so-called Christian peoples. Theosophy alone can keep it from sinking into that mere luxurious materialism in which it will decay and putrefy as civilizations have done. In your hands, brothers, is placed in trust the welfare of the coming century; and great as is the trust, so great is also the responsibility. My own span of life may not be long, and if any of you have learned aught from my teachings or have gained by my help a glimpse of the True Light, I ask you in return, to strengthen the Cause by the triumph of which that Tree Light, made still brighter and more glorious through your individual and collective efforts, will lighten the world and thus to let me see, before I part with this worn out body, the stability of the Society secured.
May the blessings of the past and the present great Teachers rest upon you. From myself accept collectively the assurance of my true never-wavering fraternal feelings, and the sincere, heart-felt thanks for the work done by all the workers.
From their servant to the last,
(Signed) H. P. Blavatsky.
Shortly after our return to this city, word came of H.P.B.'s. critical condition. Mrs. Besant had started on a tour intending to visit the various Lodges in this Country, but on receiving this word from Mr. Judge, returned at once and left immediately for England, but arrived too late to see H.P.B. again, as she passed away while Mrs. Besant was still on the ocean.
Mrs. Besant returned to this Country again on her second visit, in the following year. I will say something of this later in speaking of Mr. Judge and his work.
The following tribute to H.P.B. by Col. Olcott appeared in the August, 1891 number of Lucifer, and it would seem, might be fittingly incorporated in this record.
"There is no one to replace Helen Petrovna, nor can she ever be forgotten. Others have certain of her gifts, none have them all. Her life, as I have known it these past seventeen years, as friend, colleague and co-laborer, has been a tragedy, the tragedy of a martyr-philanthropist. Burning with zeal for the spiritual welfare and intellectual enfranchisement of humanity, moved by no selfish inspiration, giving herself freely and without price to her altruistic work, she has been hounded to her death-day, by the slanderer, the bigot and the Pharisee. In temperament and abilities as dissimilar as any two persons could be, and often disagreeing in details, we have yet been of one mind and heart as regards the work in hand and in our reverent allegiance to our Teachers and Masters. We both knew them personally, she 100 times more intimately than I. She was pre-eminently a double-self personality, one of them very antipathetic to me and some others. One seeing us together would have said, I had her fullest confidence, yet the fact is that, despite seventeen years of intimacy in daily work, she was an enigma to me to the end. Often I would think I knew her perfectly, and suddenly discover that there were deeper depths in her selfhood, I had not sounded. I could never find out who she was, not as Helena Petrovna, but as "H.P.B.," the mysterious individuality which wrote and worked wonders.
"We had each our department of work - hers the mystical, mine the practical. In her line she infinitely excelled me, and every other of her colleagues. I have no claim at all to the title of metaphysician, nor to anything save a block of very humble knowledge.
"She knew the bitterness and gloom of physical life well enough, often saying to me that her true existence only began when nightly she had put her body to sleep and went out of it to the Masters. I can believe that, from often sitting and watching her from across the table, when she was away from the body, and then when she
returned from her soul-flight and resumed occupancy, as one might call it. When she was away the body was like a darkened house, when she was there it was as though the windows were brilliant with light within. One who had not seen this change cannot understand why the Mystic calls his physical body, a `shadow'."
(To be Concluded.)
By Claude Falls Wright
(Continued from Page 105.)
And he charged the lesser gods with the duty of constructing mortal bodies as well as everything additional that was required for the human soul, giving them dominion also over these and all things consequent thereon, and bidding them rule over the mortal creature as nobly and honorably as they could, that it might not become a cause of evil to itself. - Plato, Timaeus.
An orderly presentation of the esoteric philosophy would here necessitate a description of past races of humanity, out of which have grown or evolved the individual as he stands before us in the present age. But it would perhaps be advisable before so doing to recapitulate something of what has already been said, and, in the light of this, to add one or more additional tenets, thereby to render clearer what is now to follow.
(1) At the dawn of the Manvantara, or at the first dividing of the two poles of life, Spirit and Matter, the "Pilgrim" or monad - Atma-Buddhi - separating itself from the oversoul, commences its long cycle of experience which will end only with the Pralaya, or night of the Cosmos. It passes through world after world, issuing on each in different garbs, and learning the lessons each has to teach.
(2) The cycle of experience or "necessity" thus passed through, is, obediently to the fundamental law of periodicity, itself also composed of many minor cycles, these again including numerous lesser ones - in. very truth, "wheels within wheels;" so that a process corresponding to that act of evolution which we have named "the descent of Spirit into Matter," is repeated again and again throughout the whole
range of life.
(3) The human monad arrives on our planet after experiencing life in innumerable other worlds, and from this point alone the secret doctrine considers its evolution; past worlds having but little interest for us now.
(4) The last chain of globes occupied by the monads of this world was the moon-chain, the parent of the earth.
(5) Life and experience on this world is ordered through multitudinous cycles, of Round and of race, on each of the seven globes of which the earth-chain is composed. The present Round is the fourth of the series in this chain - the total number being seven - the globe now occupied in this Round being also the fourth, or physical one. The esoteric philosophy as at present advanced, deals therefore mainly with this Round as it sweeps through the physical globe, - our earth - the monads having visited this globe three times previously.
Although the monad is compelled to incarnate in, or rather contact, every race, it must not be imagined that it does this for once only. Each main race has, as already shown, seven sub-races; each of these has in turn seven branch or family "races", even the latter being still yet further subdivided, and into all these the law compels its descent. The latter subdivisions may be likened to the nations or tribes of human beings which in this, the fifth root-race, "vary with each succeeding `season' of three or four thousand years," reaching in that period their apex of glory and their downfall. By the figures thus before us we shall be able to calculate approximately the age of the world according to esoteric
chronology. I say approximately, advisedly, for the whole "information concerning the occult calculations and figures pertains only to the highest Initiations." If the period of a "nation" be estimated at 3,000
years, then a family-race will last for 3,000 x 7 = 21,000 years, and a sub-race for 147,000, and the root-race for 1,029,000 years. This for the fifth race, our present one, which has been already in existence for "nearly a million years." As, however, races vary in the length of their duration from the first to the fourth, each of them also overlapping the preceding and succeeding one, besides commencing and closing with "twilights" or periods of birth and death, the above will not help us very far. But the guard over the esoteric calculations has been so far relaxed as to give us the information that the "sedimentary deposits of the earth began in this Round over 320,000,000 years ago," and therefore, if the reader bears in mind that we have passed through three Rounds previously to this, probably much longer ones, that we have yet to experience as many more before life on this planet is ended, and that this world is but a unit in the infinity of spheres which the "Pilgrim" has to thread on its way "home," he will truly begin to have some idea of the immensity of the scheme of evolution advanced by the theosophical philosophy.
Indeed, it may be well here to mention some of the total figures as given, and in this we cannot do better than quote the following passage from the Secret Doctrine. The author of that work, in speaking of the "seven eternities" referred to in the sacred books, says: * [ * Vol. I., p. 35. ]
"By the Seven `Eternities,' aeons or periods are meant. The word `Eternity,' as understood in Christian theology, has no meaning to the Asiatic ear, except in its application to the ONE existence; nor is the term sempiternity, the eternal only in futurity, anything better than a misnomer. Such words do not and cannot exist in philosophical metaphysics, and were unknown until the advent of ecclesiastical Christianity. The Seven Eternities meant are the seven periods, or a period answering in its duration to the seven periods, of a Manvantara, and extending throughout a Maha-Kalpa, or `Great Age' - 100 years of Brahma - making a total of 311,040,000,000,000 of years, each year of Brahma being composed of 360 'days'; and of the same number of `nights' of Brahma (reckoning by the Chandrayana or lunar year); and a `Day of Brahma' consisting of 4,320,000,000 ** of mortal years. These `Eternities' belong to the most secret calculations, in which, in order to arrive at the true total, every figure must be 7x (7 to the power of x) - x varying according to the nature of the cycle in the subjective or real world; and every figure or number relating to, or representing all the different cycles from the greatest to the smallest - in the objective or unreal world - must necessarily be multiples of seven. The key to this cannot be given, for herein lies the mystery of esoteric calculations, and for the purposes of ordinary calculation it has no sense."
During the 320,000,000 years that have elapsed since our physical globe was evolved in this, the fourth, Round of the earth-chain, four races have lived and passed away, and a fifth now enjoys rulership over its kingdoms. And here we meet with another illustration of the law of cycles. The first of these races was ethereal, so much so as to present forms quite inappreciable by our senses as now developed, but nevertheless objective, and consequently - material, no matter of how delicate a texture. The fourth race, on the other hand - midway of the seven which develop in this Round - was even more
** The number 4,320 is the basic number of the great ages, and so appears in all the occult systems. The Jews, borrowing their knowledge from the Chaldeans, transformed the 432,000 of the Dynasties of the latter into the supposed lunar year of the Nativity, 4,320 years. Dr. Sepp, of Munich - who plagiarized the idea from an un-lucky speculation, and a mistake of Colonel Wilford the orientalist - fancied he saw in these figures a confirmation of the date of the coming of Jesus Christ, holding, a priori, that the Hindus had copied them from the Jews. Subsequent discoveries seem to have reversed the tables. In the Bible the 4,320 lunar years have been transformed into solar years, and appear in Genesis as 4,004!
grossly sunk in matter than our present fifth one is. For we are now on the ascending arc of the cycle, and the seventh race which is to be, will be as spiritual or ethereal as the first - but plus the wisdom of its experience gained from the "fall into matter."
But to our history. The mystical sketch which tells the story of the birth of man on this planet, opens in representing the latter as calling on the gods to come and people her "wheel," as she is unable of herself to create reasoning beings. The gods refuse to do so until she has produced forms sufficiently evolved to become fit dwellings for them - and recommend her to call upon the moon for these. Then the earth, after "whirling for thirty crores* [* Ages] more," herself tries to give birth to human beings, and, as a result, creates "water-men, terrible and bad." These fail entirely in their mission as rulers of the planet, and commit much evil. The "Sons of Wisdom" come and look on them, and, finding them unfit to incarnate in, destroy them. Then the waters are dried from off the earth, the lords of the moon come, and with their help the earth produces her first race, out of which are evolved the second and third, in which latter the "Sons of Wisdom" find a fit abode.
All of this is, of coarse, purely allegorical. The earth, like everything in nature, is at first but a germ - a "laya point," or neutral centre. The transfusion of the principles of the moon, its last incarnation, into this centre, gradually produces the new planet, at first ethereal, but consolidating and hardening after many ages; or, in other words, as the transfusion of the moon's principles become more and more complete. The "creation" of man, as we now know him, could not come to pass until this the fourth Round; consequently the "Sons of Wisdom" - our own inner egos - are represented as refusing to incarnate or dwell on earth, when she first calls on them to do so. But in the fourth Round, on the fourth globe, the time has come when men-
animals may be formed, sufficiently developed to serve as dwellings for the gods, and the earth tries then to evolve them herself, but without success; thus showing that "nature unaided fails."
The lunar Pitris - or fathers - then "create" men by projecting their astral bodies, around which the physical stuff of the earth gathers, and thus the first race is produced.
These pitris are the lunar spirits who represented man on the lunar chain of globes; when the first globe of our chain was formed they passed through the various kingdoms elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal and so on during the Rounds until Round IV. Then they "oozed out" their astral doubles from the ape-like forms they had evolved in Round III., thus giving the form around which Nature built physical man. After this they are said to retire to Mahar Loka. * [ * The Great Place; "a region where dwell the Munis or `saints'' during Pralaya." If the writer understands the philosophy correctly, this ascent of the pitris to Mahar Loka is equivalent to their passing out of the manifested world entirely; the "oozing out" of their astral doubles being practically the same as their incarnating on earth. The Pitri is the "root" or seed of the periodically manifesting Astral Body. ]
Now it will be remembered that seven classes of pitris were spoken of - and these may really be said to be the principles of the "human" entity as they remained at the period of the moon's pralaya, which principles must necessarily be transfused into the earth along with the rest of the lunar world. For man is in the esoteric philosophy regarded as a composition of seven gods, forces, elements or "fires" which play through the column we call human, each of which itself evolves; and as the earth-chain is but the next ring of the spiral above the moon-chain, so we must conceive these seven forces or gods "incarnating" here from the moon-chain, and thus creating men "who are themselves." But so far we have only spoken of the Lunar Pitris.
Like every other septenary, the classes of pitris are divided into two main divi-
sions, three higher and four lower, - the former being of the essence of the spiritual, metaphysical side of nature, the latter partaking of the material. In the Hindu account these are called respectively the Agnishwatta or solar pitris and the Barhishad or lunar pitris. And now it will become clear to us why the allegory shows "the Sons of Wisdom" as refusing to incarnate on the earth or "create" man when called upon by her to do so. The "Sons of Wisdom" are the Agnishwatta pitris, and they refused because they could not, being of the spiritual essence, having to wait until the Barhishad, the more material pitris, had evolved the lower principles, or the animal man, before they could find dwelling on earth. The incarnating gods, the Agnishwatta pitris, are really nothing less than the manasic fire, or mental and self-conscious intelligence within us, that which joins Atma-Buddhi, or the monad, to the animal creation. For wherein indeed do men and animals differ from one another? Surely not in the monadic or spiritual sides of their natures, which are identical. Rather is it that man has in him a principle which is possessed by no other being in creation, that which cements the most spiritual and the most material - Manas. And he must ever remain separated from lower creations by this - "the impassable abyss of mentality and self-consciousness."
It was only in the third race that man was sufficiently evolved to allow of the manasic essence being imparted to him. The first two races produced by the Barhishad pitris - were ethereal, astral forms - "spiritual" in a sense, yet belonging so much to the elemental world as to be almost useless. They were certainly forms, and, as the allegory has it, "could stand, walk, run, recline and fly" - yet were but shadows with no sense.
(To be Continued.)
It is good discretion not to make too much of any man at the first; because one cannot hold out that proportion. - Bacon.
MR. CLARK IN MONTREAL
The recent visit of Mr. William C. Clark to Montreal Lodge was an event of unusual importance, for he presented a certain viewpoint which can be best described as an inner attitude to life, and the following is an attempt to summarize the various messages given to us during his visit from May 30 to June 2 inclusive.
Mr. Clark warned against making the Secret Doctrine, or any other book, a Theosophical bible to be set up as an external authority and to the extent that we did this we put ourselves in the same position as any orthodox religious person who seeks guidance from an outer source or bible. The Secret Doctrine, and other vital books, can be suggested as invaluable guides or finger posts, as fundamental sources of information, but real knowledge is developed from within by comparison, analysis and experience.
Mr. Clark's presentation of this viewpoint of the inner attitude to life was clear, direct, concise and left no room for vacillation. In short, it was the drawing of a sharp line of cleavage between the Theosophy of H.P.B. and the Mahatmas versus Neo-Theosophy (the neologism and elaborations of the present T.S. official world leaders and other expositors and commentators associated with them.)
He stated that the T.S. is in the rise of a new historical cycle and, since all high aims have close imitations, the present impasse is the result of the inescapable evils associated with all good things. The T.S. should fill an honorable place in the world to-day, but the present-day leaders at large have attempted to improve on its original teachings to the extent of denaturing them and consequently the vast majority of the members of the T.S. throughout the world have been led far from the earlier sources of information and guidance. As a result, the many who have not developed the faculty of discrimination have grasped the shadow for the substance; they have mistaken the "glitter" of person-
ality for the "gold" of impersonal wisdom. The T.S., he said, needs "debunking" and put back on the rails, with a sign over the front "For Pioneers Only" and another sign over the platform "You're Sure to Get Hurt".
Mr. Clark stated that the Canadian Section is the only section in the world that has remained true to the original teachings of the founders, and it is for the sincere and earnest members in this country to decide whether the nucleus in Canada shall be a rallying point from which the world movement can be rehabilitated and resume its former important place. He rather harshly criticized those who have left the T.S. out of dissatisfaction and disgust and who have become lost to the movement, since we have not heard from them any more. Silence is not always golden, and it is better to remain in the movement and endeavour to purge it of spurious policy and teachings than to allow it to drift into nothingness or something worse. There is as much darkness as light in the universe and to the extent that we push on do we meet with forces generated from the opposite.
There is no such thing as a Sectional or National T.S., but in reality only one world movement, of which all the various branches should be conscious of the one true aim. When a great truth is spoken or action declared in any part of the world it is for the benefit of all and should be staunchly supported by all those who appreciate its worth. If a move is made by appositional forces to make such a course futile and abortive it behooves those in any part of the world who have the welfare of the whole movement at heart to take a firm stand against such a move and be willing to absorb the shock that such opposition incurs. The vital question is "'Are we willing, as individuals or as a Lodge, to be the shock post, to be strong and courageous enough to absorb the recoil and thereby declare our stand to the world ?"
The T. S. is not an uplift movement of psychic emotionalism, but demands a ruthless examination of ourselves and the very best that we can give. It first of all demands absolute sincerity and honesty of purpose, approaching the problems of life with the simple directness and perfect naturalness of a little child, whom the great souls of the world always held up as the one to emulate in this respect. We cannot attain to wisdom by any sort of magic performed by another and Mr. Clark warned against wandering psychological minstrels who come around with fifty-dollar courses, whom he described as spiritual failures or else devoid of spiritual development. Those who bluster their way through life are not strong people but simply feed on psychic power, which renders them unstable and unreliable. To the extent that we are gullible do we dissipate our spiritual force and become non-entities.
Any dilemma in life may be made a problem to be squarely faced, and to the extent that we avoid the issue do we disintegrate our forces and become insipid. Many people have a hankering to get in touch with the Masters, as though such an experience was the result of a special favour conferred, but such people would be the last to consent to become a beneficent, impersonal force in Nature created by oneself, such as adeptship implies. Much modern stuff about the Masters should be placed in the comic section of T.S. literature. To the extent that we put ourselves in harmony with the laws of the universe do we enter into the rhythm of things and become an impersonal vital force for good; and to the extent that we oppose the rhythmic movement do we create a force for evil.
Mr. Clark drew attention to the difficulty of following the middle path, for it was here that all the struggles of life were fought, being the battle ground in the interplay of the positive and negative forces, both being equally valuable and necessary for the struggle. One view of life, typical of the Semitic, holds the comfortable armchair philosophy that the
human race is automatically being carried forward through the ages on an evolutionary wave towards a splendid goal. To the Aryan, however, life is a struggle, a straight and narrow path of self
-discipline belonging to the strong, virile and adventurous.
It was stated that a wise, immense destruction was needed today as a preliminary to a grander future. The question is whether we desire a kingdom of happiness, an Elysian field of ease and comfort in the psychic emotional realm or a battle ground of contest between the Krishna of the higher self and the wavering lower self of an Arjuna, where the manly virtues will be fully tried and tested. Softness and mere optimism does not enable us to develop our life at a premium, to invest it for the largest returns in spiritual dividends.
Mr. Clark paraphrased the Beatitudes by giving them a positive interpretation and stated that `blessed are the daring, for they shall inhabit a new kingdom'. If anyone should smite you on the cheek without just cause do not turn to him the other also but have a real contest and the atmosphere will be cleared for true friendship, since people secretly despise mere softness and negativeness. When we are truly spiritual we never assume the role of forgiver or forgiven, since that implies the superior and inferior, but rather seek to be understood.
He disliked the type of person who was content to be credulous and those who slither their way through life with the least possible trouble or effort. A choice must be made between being an epicure of fine living for the flattering sense of being considered a superior person versus that of absolute sincerity. Mr. Clark stated that every human being can, by his own efforts, gradually draw himself out of the abyss from which he came. But if it is possible for us to progress it is equally possible to regress.
The challenging and arresting theory of the new day is that we are exactly what we are by our own efforts, plus nothing and minus nothing. The Pharisee and Publican who went into the temple to pray are equally offensive, one representing an inflated and false value of his own importance and the other a cringing, servile attitude. Spirituality means the power of perception which sees the interlationship of all things and consequently there is no such thing as a private good or a private evil. What is a real good to one individual is a good to all since life is one, and the reverse is true of evil.
Referring to religion, Mr. Clark stated that God made man in his own image and man forthwith proceeded to return the compliment. He said that the core of Christianity has not been recorded and consequently nobody knows just what it was in its fulness, only mutilated fragments having come down to us. The best proof of the validity of any scripture is comparison with other scriptures. Spirituality, however, has no necessary connection with religion, but if we study Theosophical philosophy we will naturally practice philanthropy.
This philosophy takes us away from egotism and makes us impersonal and unattached. To the degree that we feel personal hurt at the action of another to that degree are we egotistical and lose sight of our place in the T.S. movement. If we do anything for the "kick" we get out of it, to that extent are we merely an "up-lifter". We should endeavour to free ourselves from the dominance of the psychic emotional haze so prevalent today, which gives us false impressions, accepted as truth, and which is merely an imitation of high and noble things. We must continually adjust ourselves, owing to the reaction of this psychic nature. The psychological and emotional baggage is being thrown overboard since the great war and the dire need today is uncompromising sincerity in which we free our intelligence from hopes and fears.
Mr. Clark said that as Theosophists our problem is to test everything and seek to
verify and true it up with the experience of other people. Truth is never destroyed by criticism and we can best judge it by the process of analysis, for if we challenge everything the basic values will come out. When we have a problem, if we are sincere we will frankly and earnestly seek the evidence of other sincere people and compare it with our own experience. If we do not seek to verify it by the experience of others but hug it secretly to our breast, making it superficially our own, it is evidence that we are egotistical, that we flatter ourselves of our importance by getting such impressions at all and such an experience thereby loses all real value. It is worse than useless in so far as we use it to nurse our own vanity and conceit.
Mr. Clark drew attention to the area of Nature represented by the lower quaternary sphere, where natural forces have not the power to rise higher than that sphere unless impregnated by contact from above by the higher forces. The human ego descends into this sphere of Nature and as a result maintains only intermittent contact with the higher sphere from which it came, such contact being best represented by a dotted perpendicular line. All the struggles of life occur in the middle area between these two spheres and it is there where our real battles are fought. The subject matter in all literature is the struggle between the lunar self of blind instinct, representing the forces of darkness and obscurantism, and the solar self of illumination. These two forces are forever working against each other and in the process we must either be the hammer or the anvil.
We are automatically adjusted to the result of our own efforts and if we are wise we will constantly intensify those things we know to be of intrinsic value. When we take vital action and stand firm we encounter appositional force to that degree and must be willing to receive the shock that such opposition incurs. To the extent that we dodge the issue when faced with it our effort is lost. Much initial work amounts to nothing because people are not willing to accept the results arising from their own actions but when a struggle arises they evade battle and return like unengaged and disgraced warriors from the battleground.
As Mr. Clark said, "If you wish to find out what all this is like, take it home and try it out on your piano."
- J. E. Dobbs.
THE ORDER OF RELEASE
(On the death of Bliss Carman)
I shall put off this girth,
Go glad and free.
Earth to my mother earth
Spirit to thee.
Poet, thou are past the portal,
O'er the hill;
What of thee was only mortal
With the mother, she will cherish
It and keep;
Change it shall, but cannot perish,
Leave these ashes Earth our mother
Know'st me not? I am thy brother -
Brother Death, Like thyself I serve the Master,
Work His will,
Labouring, or slowly, faster,
As for thee, thou art a singer -
Lord of song,
To thy fellows a joy bringer
Take thy rest, thy watch is over;
I, Death, give thee, great true lover,
- G. P. Williamson,
in London Free Press.
Ingersoll, June, 1929.
The death of Bliss Carman on Saturday, June 8, was a most unexpected and profound shock to the literary world of Canada. As a poet he had no peer in the country and though he had been compelled like so many others to resort to the United States to support himself, yet since his illness in 1920 when his Canadian friends rallied round him, he had made constant visits to his native country and carried out many tours throughout the Dominion reading his poems and making addresses. He thus endeared himself to the present generation during the last eight years, and several volumes of his poems have been published during this time. On the publication of his first volume, "Low Tide in Grand Pre", in 1893, I was struck with the mystical quality which inspired it, and sent my copy to Mrs. Clement Griscom, Jr., in New York, who also recognized this tendency. It was not, however, till recent years that he came in contact with Theosophy in Canada, and he showed his appreciation of the spirit and force of the secret doctrine by attending some of our Toronto meetings where he also spoke, and by his intimacy with the Orpheus Lodge in Vancouver, where he also made himself at home. As a result of this, such poems as his "Shamballah" and other recent writings have alluded to some of the mystical teachings, and his last volume
- "Wild Garden" - was dedicated "To Ernest Fewster, Master of Ancient Wisdom," Dr. Fewster, himself a poet, being a leading member of the Orpheus Lodge. While there have been differences of opinion among the critics regarding his place in Canadian literature, some placing his cousin, Dr. Charles G.D. Roberts above him, and some, Archibald Lampman and Duncan Campbell Scott, Dr. Roberts himself has paid his tribute in unmistakable terms. "This is not the time nor place," he said at the recent meeting of the Canadian Authors' Association at Halifax, "to give the position of Carman's genius. Sufficient to say that in my considered judgment - and that of many competent and dispassionate critics abroad - that Carman is not only incontestably the greatest poet Canada has produced, but that, in a final estimate, he will rank as at least the peer of the greatest now writing in our language." The remains of the poet were cremated and it is expected that his ashes will rest on the "high green hillside overlooking his own city of Fredericton". Elsewhere we reprint one of Bliss Carman's poems which indicates the spirit of a true Theosophy which underlies his best work.
LORD OF THE FAR HORIZONS
Lord of the far horizons,
Give us the eyes to see
Over the verge of sundown
The beauty that is to be.
Give us the skill to fashion
The task of thy command,
Eager to follow the pattern
We may not understand.
Masters of ancient wisdom
And the lore lost long ago,
Inspire our foolish reason
With faith to seek and know.
When the skein of truth is tangled
And the lead of sense is blind,
Foster the fire to lighten
Our unillumined mind.
Lord of the lilac ranges
That lift on the flawless blue,
Grant us the heart of rapture
The earlier ages knew -
The spirit glad and ungrudging,
And light as the mountain air,
To walk with the Sons of Morning
Through the glory of Earth the fair.
- Bliss Carman.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- THE ORGAN OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN CANADA
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert E. S. Smythe.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
- Subscription, One Dollar a Year.
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
- GENERAL EXECUTIVE
- Felix A. Belcher, 250 North Lisgar St., Toronto.
- Walter R. Hick, 27 Balsam Ave. South, Hamilton, Ont.
- Fletcher Ruark, P.O. Box 518, Walkerville, Ont.
- Fredk. B. Housser, 10 Glen Gowan Ave., Toronto.
- George C. McIntyre, 20 Shannon Street, Toronto.
- Kartar Singh, 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 Theosophist for June continues Mrs. Besant's account of "Twenty Years' Work," describing her tour in America in 1909. A most interesting article by N.D. Khandalvala tells of "Madam H.P. Blavatsky as I knew her" from 1880 onwards. I t is a particularly good number.
Kristin Matthiasson has been elected General Secretary of the T.S. in Iceland at the recent national convention. So many of her fellow countrymen have settled in Canada that it is with cordial fraternal feeling that we can wish all prosperity to her in her official work and for the spread of Theosophy in the ancient northern outpost of the Norse civilization.
All members are now in arrears who have not paid their dues for the year 1929-30, beginning July 1st. The dues are $2.50 for ordinary members, and $5 for Members-at-Large. Please send at once through the local Lodge Secretary or if more convenient direct to the General Secretary. The Lodges are responsible for the members' dues and should send them in at once as the Montreal Lodge does, their dues having been received already, and the amount, $120 is hereby acknowledged.
A lively discussion on the policy of the Magazine turns largely on what are sometimes described as personalities. The Constitution requires that every member shall have the right to believe or disbelieve any teaching or doctrine and the right to express that belief or disbelief. Correspondents and contributors should observe good taste and good sense in exercising these privileges. But it is not the business of an editor to falsify his contributors' sentiments. The proper practice which we believe has always been observed editorially is to deal with the opinions and doctrines only of those under debate. Those who cannot bear to hear the opinions of their friends or themselves discussed pro and con are still in an elementary stage of thought.
In spite of the slighting remarks sometimes heard in Theosophical Lodges about the New Testament there is a great deal of genuine occult teaching to be found in it by the student. It may require a little knowledge of Greek to get the most out of
it, but with a literal translation and a lexicon much may be learned by the earnest student. Madam Blavatsky constantly read her Greek testament, and her personal copy was well-thumbed. Her essay which is one of her most striking contributions to Theosophic literature, though incomplete, is a valuable aid to this study, and which has been reprinted by the Blavatsky Institute, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, is called "The Esoteric Character of the Gospels." It is safe to say that no one who wishes to understand the New Testament can afford to ignore this little
book, and it certainly confutes the statement that there is nothing in the New Testament for the Theosophical student. Price $1.00
Mr. Peter Freeman, the General Secretary for Wales, has made the rather inconsiderate suggestion that the objects of the Theosophical Society be changed from the present three into one "To form a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood." Mr. Jinarajadasa answers the proposal very fairly in the April issue of "Theosophy in India" which we have alluded to in another and less estimable connection. He advises against any such change on the ground that we still need a good deal of education on the matter of non-discrimination in matters of race, sex, creed, caste, and colour. Of the second object he says we need to bring people together "not merely on the mystical ground of a mutual participation in the Divine Nature, but also by pointing out the common basis of all religion, philosophy and science." It is this synthetic attitude towards all the departments of human knowledge and activity that distinguishes the Theosophical from all other movements. Mr. Freeman's proposals look like another of these efforts to get as far away as possible from the Secret Doctrine and Madam Blavatsky. People who wish to have that should join some other Society that was not founded by Madam Blavatsky and for whom the Secret Doctrine was not written.
The Theosophical World Congress, it is pointed out, will not clash with the Ojai Camp meeting which was over in May. The Chicago Congress begins on August 24 and adjourns on the 29th. The following information has been received from Mr. L. W. Rogers' office. "We have a letter from Mr. C.P. Riddell, chairman of the Eastern Lines Division of the Canadian Passenger Association, saying that all their lines will participate in the Certificate plan. Mr. J.B. Parker, secretary of the Western Lines Division of the Canadian Passenger Division writes as follows: `I regret to advise that owing to insufficient prospective attendance from this territory our member lines would not be warranted in authorizing reduced fares over our entire jurisdiction. However, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific lines at Winnipeg will participate in convention
[[Photo]] MR. WILLIAM C. CLARK
Member of Orpheus Lodge, Vancouver, who has made a tour of the Canadian Section.
fares from this city.' However, summer tourist fares on a lower basis than certificate plan fares will be in effect from British Columbia, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and it might be that Canadian delegates world wish to make connections through these lines."
P.S. - It is most important that all delegates ask for a certificate at the time they buy tickets. Unless this certificate is obtained and presented at the World Congress, no half-fare returning rate will be given.
We trust that our Toronto friends will not feel discouraged by Brother Clark's strictures. We might refer them to some of the things to be found in "The Mahatma Letters" for their inspiration and support. There must always be some differences of opinion among members of the Theosophical Society, and the test of values is not at the disposal of any one of us. Great Karma determines the result according to immutable laws. "Perhaps you will better appreciate our meaning," says the Master K.H. (Letters p. 8), "when told that in our view the highest aspirations for the welfare of humanity become tainted with selfishness if, in the mind of the philanthropist there lurks the shadow of desire for self benefit or a tendency to do injustice, even when these exist unconsciously to himself. Yet, you have ever discussed but to put down the idea of Universal Brotherhood, questioned its usefulness, and advised to remodel the T.S. on the principle of a college for the special study of occultism. This, my respected and esteemed friend and Brother - will never do." Another letter on the Constitution of the London T.S. is to be found at page 398 of the Mahatma Letters, and should be read by all members, and those who are considering the debate over Buddhism and the Tibetan school will find some valuable hints in it too. There is a discussion in this letter regarding Mrs. Anna Bonus Kingsford, and her fitness to be president of the London Lodge. On these two pages, 398-9, will be found enough advice to cover the whole of the troubles of the T.S. at the present time. "As the lady has rightly observed," let us quote, "the Western public should understand the Theosophical Society to be a `Philosophical School constituted on the ancient Hermetic basis' - that public having never heard of the Tibetan, and entertaining very perverted notions of the Esoteric Buddhist System. Therefore, and so far, we agree with the remarks embodied in the letter written by Mrs. K. to Madam B. and which the latter was asked to `submit to K.H.' and we would remind our members of the `L.L.' in this reference, that Hermetic Philosophy, is universal and unsectarian, while the Tibetan School, will ever be regarded by those who know little, if anything of it, as coloured more or less with sectarianism. The former knowing neither caste, nor colour, nor creed, no lover of Esoteric wisdom can have any objection to the name, which otherwise he might feel were the Society to which he belongs to be placarded with a specific denomination pertaining to a distinct religion. Hermetic Philosophy suits every creed and philosophy and clashes with none. It is the boundless ocean of Truth, the central point whither flows and wherein meet every river, as every stream - whether its source be the East, West, North, or South. As the course of the river depends upon the nature of its basin, so the channel for communication of Knowledge must conform itself to surrounding circumstances." And one more quotation may be permitted. "The only object to be striven for is the amelioration of the condition of man by the spread of truth suited to the various stages of his development and that of the country he inhabits and belongs to. Truth, has no earmark and does not suffer from the name under which it is promulgated - if the said object is attained." The Toronto Lodge is far from perfect, and criticism will do it no harm, but these passages indicate the policy it has followed in the more or less crude fashion possible to a group of ordinary western students.
In reply to a letter from Mr. M. Narasimham in "Theosophy in India" the editor of that magazine answers in a most sophistical and tortuous fashion to the charge that "in practice, however, it cannot be denied that an insidious propaganda has been carried on for several years both through the organs of the Theosophical Society and the utterances of leaders, to make the Theosophical Society a hand-maid of the Order of the Star." The charge says the editor is "supported by nothing
more tangible or convincing than `it cannot be denied' and the inaccurate and unsupported statement that `the President has openly handed over the guiding of the Society at the last Convention at Benares, to the Head of the Order of the Star' ". And he defends himself against the charge of insidiousness by replying that there cannot be insidiousness when it is asserted that the propaganda "has been going on for several years both through the organs of the Theosophical Society and the utterances of leaders." Further he argues that there could be no coalescing of the two Bodies until the "General Council was persuaded and won over." This is mere paltering with Mr. Narasimham, for the editor of "Theosophy in India" knows very well that Mrs. Besant has only to express a wish to have at least ninety per cent. of the General Council do what she wants - unless, indeed they have greatly changed their character. There is a lot more side-stepping of the situation and it is no wonder that men like Mr. Narasimham should wish to know where they stand in the matter. The whole attempt to foist the World Teacher and other conceptions of the Star and various other bodies upon the Theosophical Society is not in accordance with the original non-dogmatic principles of the Society, nor is it fair to the world at large for which the Theosophical Society was founded with quite other aims. The world has, in fact, been robbed of the original conception of Theosophy which led a man to seek in his own heart for that Master who could alone deliver him from the bonds of dogmatic opinion and lead him to that Truth than which no Religion is Higher. That path was to be sought by the practice of adherence to the principle of Universal Brotherhood without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour. And now these good friends would impose the creed upon us of a World Teacher the effect of which is to exclude every member of any other religion. A fine way to carry on the Theosophical Society, and when a member protests like Mr. Narasimham, it is thought sufficient to tell him that Mrs. Besant has been elected for the fourth time by a small minority of the Society and that should settle it all. We have had too great respect for Mrs. Besant to attempt to dethrone her from a position which in many ways she has adorned. But we know that she has admitted changing her mind before now on matters to which she had given her warmest and most whole-hearted adhesion. She printed a statement in The Theosophist some years ago that the eleven years she had spent under Mr. Chakravarti had not given her the satisfaction she had anticipated and she had abandoned his method. If she lives to be a hundred it is not beyond imagination that she may come to realize as many have done, that she has been equally misled by Mr. Leadbeater, and that Mr. Krishnamurti, admirable as he may be, is not the equal of Madam Blavatsky. The editor of "Theosophy in India" begs the whole question by suggesting that the re-election of Mrs. Besant settles the matter. We all wish to be tolerant towards Mrs. Besant and her views, but we wish her to be tolerant towards the views of the rest of us, and of Madam Blavatsky, or anyone like Madam Blavatsky, should such a person ever appear in our ranks. Certainly we could not expect any Madam Blavatskys in the T.S. if they had to subscribe to a World Teacher or a World Mother or a World Religion. There are thousands of people outside the Theosophical Society today who ought to be in it, and would be in it were it not for such prevarication, shuffling, equivocation, evasion and-dissimulation as has been carried on through the Esoteric Section, now it is said disbanded, and other subsidiary bodies of the general movement directed from Adyar. Had all our energies and all our means been directed to the carrying out of the three objects of the Society as set forth in the Constitution there would not be today the miserable pleas put forth for funds in every direction among the national soci-
eties, nor such conditions be found as exist in Australia, and other places where the influence of these bodies has been at its maximum. When the Society gives as much credence to the Krishna of the Gita as to Krishnaji; as much to Madam Blavatsky as to the hypothetical World Mother; as much to the Mahatma Letters as to "Man, Whence, How and Whither" we shall have a return to sanity and our appeal to the world will once more be hearkened to by the men and women who are seeking the Truth beyond personalities and Freedom beyond the limits of dogmatic and sacerdotal domination.
MR. CLARK'S TOUR - III.
Toronto Lodge is very favorably situated to render great service to the Society. It is a large Lodge and possesses a Theosophical headquarters to be proud of. There is a fine lecture hall with a seating capacity of five hundred. There is a commodious library, with ante-rooms for committee meetings. Upstairs there are several classrooms. Altogether, Toronto Lodge is splendidly equipped for aggressive Theosophical work in Canada's second largest city.
Perhaps the greatest difficulty here is a lack of Theosophical vision. Toronto Lodge stands for Blavatsky Theosophy indeed, but in a somewhat vague and uncertain way. It regards the later corruptions and distortions of the original teaching with an easy amiability that almost amounts to indifference - as who should say "oh well, who really knows; there is a great deal to be said on both sides"! They love to call this attitude "Toleration", which, I think, is entirely the wrong word.
I ventured to suggest to one of the most earnest and thoughtful of the members that they were getting their Theosophy carefully filtered through the Y.M.C.A. Indeed, there is a distinct suggestion of that worthy institution in the Toronto Lodge and a little unchristian definiteness and positive force would do no great harm. But it would be unfair to Toronto to close my criticism on this note; for there are a number of earnest, aspiring students in the Lodge who will yet give a good account of themselves. The heavy spiritual inertia which broods over the whole Theosophical Society is against them, and can be counteracted only by earnest, intelligent effort towards clearer ideals, and an utterly uncompromising stand for the great clear Theosophical values. When in the near future the line of cleavage can no longer be mistaken or ignored, and the struggle is upon us, Toronto Lodge, I am confident, will send its quota of combatants into the firing line.
Hamilton Lodge responds very blithely to the Aryan note. The members here do not seem to be troubled with inferiority complexes and such psychological maladies. When they become clear as to the nature of the contribution which they resolve to make to the Theosophical Movement, they will work with courage and enthusiasm. Here as everywhere throughout the Society, there is the same vague, cloudy conception as to what is the essential contribution of a Theosophical Lodge to the life of the community.
But Hamilton Lodge has both grit and intelligence; and. when the forthcoming effort is being made by our Canadian Lodges to clear up this most important question, this Lodge should be able to offer some thoroughly practical suggestions.
Nothing has been made so clear to me on this trip as the dire need for clarity of thought and definiteness of aim in our Lodges. More than nine-tenths of our efforts and energy is being wasted through a lack of definiteness of thought and purpose.
In the pretty town of St. Catharines, near Niagara Falls, there is a small body, of earnest, intelligent students. They have organized themselves into a group whose aim is the search for Truth. Surely no better or nobler aim could be found as a basis for the united effort of intelligent
men and women. They felt that to organize a Theosophical Lodge in St. Catharines would be somewhat premature in view of their small numbers. At no distant date, the St. Catharines Lodge of the Theosophical Society will be one of the staunch strongholds of the great Aryan Philosophy in Eastern Canada.
Montreal Lodge suffers from the vagueness and confused thinking which is so unfortunately the rule in the T.S. today. But confused thinking can be forgiven, and can be corrected; a lack of sincerity alone is utterly unpardonable. These Montreal members have a high degree of earnestness and sincerity; and no Lodge is really in a bad way of which this can be said.
During my visit to this Lodge we discussed some of the Principles underlying the Theosophical Philosophy in a thorough-going and drastic manner. There was no shrinking or evasion with these members as some of the practical implications of these Principles were brought out. They won my admiration with the sincere way they faced uncomfortable facts and some of their rather startling implications. It was impossible to despair of the T.S. in the midst of these earnest and devoted members. I shall be surprised if in the reorientation of the Montreal Lodge, their library and lodge-room ornaments do not come in for a very drastic revision.
Theosophy in Ottawa is in a state of chaos. The Lodge is practically dormant, a number of the more active members having some time ago associated themselves with the Aquarian Foundation. There is all the same vagueness and confusion here as in so many other places - the great significance and purpose of the Theosophical Movement being entirely missed. But the members of the Ottawa Lodge are hardly to blame for this. The story of Theosophy in this city has an element of comedy, and will bear the telling. Long years agone, dear children, in the bad old days beyond recall, one of our Krotona high-pressure lecturers, working at 100% efficiency, surged into the peaceful city of Ottawa and commenced his ministrations. No accurate record has been kept of the details of this mission, but the scene must have been extraordinarily impressive - a regular Aimee McPherson orgy where women prayed aloud and strongmen wept. For at the tail end of the Carnival sixty people came forward and joined the Society - sixty repentant souls came to Jesus - by night - and signed on the dotted line. "Theosophy" was off to a wild start, and the betting, I am told, was even money.
But there are some serious students in Ottawa today, although a good deal of the confusion of those far-off days remains. But when these students get back and study the original teachings, this will disappear, and Theosophy will become a real force in the intellectual and spiritual life of the beautiful Capital City of the Dominion.
I have tried to keep the personal equation out of this report as far as possible; but it is only just and fitting to say that the thanks of the General Secretary, the Executive, and the present writer are due and are hereby accorded to the ladies in the various cities, who so generously entertained the lecturer, and thus saved no inconsiderable sum from our slender resources for further work in the Section.
Next month I will give a summary of my impression of the Theosophical situation in Canada, and an estimate of Canada's possible contribution to the forth-coming effort to bring Theosophy back to the Theosophical Society.
- Wm. C. Clark.
Better be a nettle in the side of your friend than his echo. The condition which high friendship demands is, ability to do without it. To be capable of that high office requires great and sublime parts. There must be very two, before there can be very one. - Emerson.
AMONG THE LODGES
Hamilton Lodge held its annual picnic on Sunday, June 23, at the Mountain east end park, and from eleven o'clock a goodly number gathered and lunched together. The General Secretary remained till three o'clock, when he had to take the train for Toronto, where he was to speak. Mr. Belcher arrived just as he left, having been speaking to the group at St. Catharines.
Miss Brenda Johnson, to whom we owe the organization of the meeting in New Liskeard to meet Mr. Wm. C. Clark, reports that those who heard him were thoroughly roused, and he gave all of them much food for thought. His practical views regarding the application of Theosophy to daily life and its problems made a great impression. One paper refused to report the meeting, fearing New Liskeard opinion. It is intended to start a group for study, and Mr. Clark has promised to send some class papers to help. Miss Johnson expects to leave Kirkland Lake for Winnipeg almost immediately.
Mrs. Gertrude Knapp, secretary of the Niagara District Study Group, reports that three meetings of the group had been held at DeCew House, on June 9, 16, and 23. At the first, Mr. J. Bailey of St. Catharines, led the discussion which centred around such fundamental problems as "why am I here? where am I going? what is it all for?" All members of the group expressed their views with the result of much clearing of the mental atmosphere. On June 16, Mr. McKinney discussed the philosophy of work. He quoted largely from the poets and succeeded in making us all feel that the struggle against human inertia is worth while. Sunday, 23rd inst., we had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Belcher on "Individuality and Personality". In true scientific method he began by defining his terms and thus laid a good foundation for a lucid address. Already we have money in the bank, four dollars and ten cents, which is surely not a bad start.
The St. Catharines and Niagara District group met on Sunday, June 30, at DeCew House, Foothill, ten miles from Niagara Falls, and spent a delightful day enjoying the hospitality of the Griffiths family of whom Alfred, George and John, Gertrude (Mrs. Knapp), and Grace and Mrs. George were present, Mr. and Mrs. Bailey, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald V. Garratt, Mr. McKinney, Mr. and Mrs. Yarrell and their three children, Mr. Taylor, Miss Madge Lang, Miss Phoebe Thompson, and the General Secretary and Mrs. Smythe. The General Secretary addressed the group in the morning, and after luncheon the beautiful scenery was admired and the DeCew Falls visited. In the evening most of the party drove to Niagara to see the illuminations.
Montreal Lodge closed on June 29, after a season of well attended meetings, and shall reopen again on September 14, after a rest during the vacation season. Interest in the programme has been well maintained throughout the year and the public lectures have been regularly reported to the Daily Newspapers, who have given a very liberal amount of space each week. Owing to the generosity of a few members and a friend, it was possible to make considerable improvement to the Lodge room by the purchase of new comfortable chairs, curtaining and attractive drapes for the windows, reading lamp, etc., as well as complete redecoration of room by the landlord. The work of the ladies' House Committee in the selecting and making up of the materials was, of course, a very important and necessary feature in effecting these improvements. During this month five new members were received into the Lodge and there is under consideration the conducting of a beginners' class during the summer season. An outstanding event was the visit of Mr. William C. Clark.
[[The Table here is too complex to reproduce fully. - dig. ed]]
STANDING OF THE LODGES
1929 Active Members:
Montreal ......................... 47
St. Thomas .................3
Toronto, West End .............17
Vancouver, Orpheus ...............20
Winnipeg, Blavatsky ........................1
Members at Large.......................12
[Total 1928 Active members - 486]
STATEMENT OF FUNDS YEAR ENDING JUNE 30th, 1929
Balance from last year . . . . . . $1055.34
Lodge Fees and Dues . . . . . . 1108.78
Sale of pamphlets......................... 4.50
Bank interest .............................30.41
Magazine receipts...................... 484.47
Per Capita paid Adyar...............$ 122.46
Magazine cost ..............................1357.17
Traveling Library ....................100.00
Stencils ................... ............6.60
Printing membership cards,
dues slips, etc....................12.55
Petty Cash, Postage, etc............... 36.54
Mr. Clark ....................... 305.20
Balance forward............ 425.03
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
The General Executive of the T.S. in Canada met at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto on Sunday, July 7, at 2 p.m. Messrs. Belcher, Hick, Housser, McIntyre and the General Secretary present. Mr. Fletcher Ruark wrote explaining his inability to be present and hoping to be able to assist at future meetings. Messrs. Kartar Singh and Dr. Wilks are in Vancouver. Mr. Clark's lecture tour was discussed pro and con and a resolution adopted thanking him for the work he had done. The agenda of the Chicago Convention of the General Executive of the Society was discussed and the change of the objects of the Society proposed by Mr. Peter Freeman to the single one, "To form a Universal Brotherhood," was met with a resolution that it was the view of the Canadian Executive that there should be no change in the existing objects and that this view be conveyed to the General Executive. It was moved and carried that the expenses of the General Secretary be paid to the Convention. In discussing propaganda, Mr. Hick said he thought the members did not realize their responsibility sufficiently in connection with public lectures. If each member brought a stranger with him to meetings much good could be accomplished, even if the visitor never returned. The traveling library has been the most valuable propaganda agency the Society has had in the past year and instances of members who had joined through it were mentioned. The Canadian Theosophist was discussed and it was moved that the editor be deposed. This did not find a seconder. It was moved that all letters to the Magazine be signed with the bona fide names of the contributor. This was lost on a vote. The annual report of the standing of the Lodges and the Statement of Funds were submitted. There are 56 fewer members than last year the lapse occurring chiefly in the Toronto Lodge where 42 members became inactive. It is understood that the Lodge will endeavour to get most of these reinstated. Personal canvas for dues is necessary. These statements appear elsewhere. The General Secretary reported an unsolicited donation of $250 from Mrs. Gillespie of Sydney, Australia, for the Society to be applied as he deemed advisable. The members of the Committee on Union reported progress, a large number of suggestions having been received but nothing definitely settled. A super-Committee representing each of the three bodies had been proposed to carry on the discussion permanently. The General Executive will probably meet next on September 21.
KARTAR SINGH'S MAGAZINE
Mr. Kartar Singh has successfully inaugurated his work among the Sikh settlers in British Columbia with the issue of his new magazine; India and Canada. His leading article is entitled "The Canadian Crucible," and on the front page is a portrait of Mr. Bhagat Singh Dhami, one of the 1929 graduates of the University of British Columbia in Electrical Engineering. He stood at the top of this year's graduation class and received his degree May 9. He is the son of one of those Sikh settlers who thirty years ago were not considered good enough to enter the country, and are not yet regarded as good enough to become Canadian citizens. Prejudices of this kind are very hard to break down, especially where the United States' influence is so strong, and the prejudice of ignorance also has to be fought. There is no such prejudice in England or Ireland or Scotland, nor in France nor in any of the European countries that we are aware of. Kartar Singh has set himself the heavy task of changing these prejudices and it is the privilege of all right-minded British people to help him. He is not going to do it by raising worse prejudices on the other side, but by education and explanations gradually bring the two kinds of British subjects into a better knowledge of each other. It seems absurd that Chinese and Japanese and
other aliens should be better treated in Canada than men of British citizenship, but it is the mournful fact. Perhaps we are afraid of these clever people who come over and head our engineering classes, and make fortunes in lumbering and fishing and other lines where our native born are unable to succeed. Those who wish to assist in this important and brotherly work should subscribe to India and Canada at $2 a year, addressing Kartar Singh at 1664 Fourth Avenue West, Vancouver, B.C. We owe much to India, and we owe a big debt as an Empire directly to the Sikhs. Kartar Singh points out a reasonable and acceptable way of at least acknowledging that debt even if we cannot fully discharge it. His temperate spirit and moderate statements will enable the British student to arrive at the truth of a situation which is not altogether to our credit.
The following notice of "India and Canada" has been contributed to the Vancouver "Province" by Grace Luckhart, on June 12.
The new little paper "India and Canada" which has just made its appearance in Vancouver is deeply interesting from many points of view. It is well printed, and well edited, and its most energetic and enthusiastic editor, M. Kartar Singh, deserves the goodwill of the public for his self-sacrificing labor in endeavouring to clear up misunderstandings that have arisen with regard to immigrant Sikhs in Vancouver. From first to last he has been a man of intense action, though most susceptible to the religion and poetry of his nation.
In discarding Sikh apparel and customs in order that he might learn to view Canadians as they are, he certainly adopted a method that would be hard for some of us to follow.
The new paper is embellished with a portrait of Bhagat Singh Dhami, a 1929 graduate of the University of British Columbia in electrical engineering, and also with a fine half-tone of Tagore, who was a recent visitor to Vancouver.
Kartar Singh has been a resident of Toronto for the past fifteen years, and in that time he gained a knowledge of the English language, of printing and of business, with which he hopes through the medium of his paper to help his compatriots in Vancouver.
AGENDA FOR CHICAGO
Recording Secretary's Office,
Adyar, Madras, India.
6th May, 1929
To the Members of the General Council
of the Theosophical Society.
My Dear Colleague,
In accordance with Rule 3 of the Constitution and Rules Governing a World Congress of the Theosophical Society as adopted by the General Council, T.S., at its meeting on 29th December, 1926, a meeting of the General Council, T.S., will be held on Saturday, 24th August, and Thursday, 29th August, 1929, at the Hotel Stevens, Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill., U.S.A., to transact the following business:
1. To receive a full report from the International Council of the World Congress.
2. To elect a Secretary or Secretaries, Treasurer and International Committee for the next World Congress.
3. To fix the time and place of the next World Congress.
4. To arrange for editing and publishing the transactions of the World Congress.
5. To consider the proposal of the General Secretary, T.S. in Wales, regarding the Objects of the Theosophical Society as circulated by him in his letter of July, 1928.
6. Any other business.
Ag. Secretary, General Council. T.S.
The Soul lets no man go without some visitations of a diviner presence. - Emerson
FELLOWS AND FRIENDS
The first member of the second volume of Dr. Kenneth Guthrie's "Good News for All," appears in a new format, the front page delicately ornamented with a floral decoration in violet.
The death is announced at the age of 87 of Edouard Schure, one of the most highly inspired, according to The International Psychic Gazette, and best known of Spiritualist writers. His book on "The Great Initiates" is a well-known work, and he took a prominent part in some of the French discussions on the Leadbeater craze in France. His review of the whole question carried great weight with sensible people.
Mr. Hannen Swaffer, who has been written up recently in Canada as the most important and most influential of the dramatic critics of London, turns out to be one of the leading spiritualists of the great metropolis. He spoke at the annual convention of the London Spiritualists on May 16 at the Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, on "Inspiration". His address consisted of evidence in the form of letters and statements from a goodly number of authors, dramatists, and artists, who had stated to him that sometimes the work they gave to the world was not their own unaided product, but had been inspired, if not even created, by influences outside of themselves. The names given were those of men famous in the literary, art and dramatic worlds.
There are not in the world at any one time more than a dozen persons who read and understand Plato: - never enough to pay for an edition of his works; yet to every generation these come duly down, for the sake of those few persons, as if God brought them in his hand. - Emerson
MARRIAGE BY ASTROLOGY
If we think of Vocation by Astrology, why not Marriage by Astrology? Is Vocation, the choice of a life work, more important a consideration than the choice of a life partner? But you may say that the choice of a vocation is not irrevocable. If your choice is bad, you may change and adopt a different vocation whereas marriage once concluded, cannot so readily be dispensed with, so one ought to give it a more careful examination than could be possible from such an uncertain and eccentric science as Astrology. But if marriage is such a serious matter, should you not use every means beforehand to assure yourself that it will result in happiness and not misery. Amongst the Chinese and the Hindus, the use of the horoscope for marriage arrangements is as usual as our settlements and endowments. Look at your own horoscope carefully and see if the indications for yourself are a happy marriage, or are forces there operating which will result in injury to you or misery to some one else.
The Seventh House is not only the house of marriage, but rules or contains the potentialities of all contracts, civil or religious. It treats of partners in marriage, in business, and of associates or opponents in law. It is not to be wondered at then, that the forces which bring us into court with legal talent arrayed against us, ready to take advantage of every smallest opportunity to defeat us, may be turned into the channel occupied by the marriage partner, who turns out to be a hinderer and not a helpmate, or the business partner who uses us as stepping stones to his own success.
Generally speaking marriage should provide a balance and a balance indicates a certain element of opposition. It is not without good reason that as you are described by the ascendant, so the marriage partner is designated by the seventh or opposing house. There must be sufficient of opposite elements in marriage partners to produce equilibrium; harmony is the
ideal state - not static. Form your judgements then by the rulers of the seventh house for from the position of this planet first of all, will be shown whether the marriage state will be a blessing or a burden.
Mercury ruling the seventh house is almost a sure sign of instability in marriage or other partners. Remember the fault is in yourself. You seek out this kind of person, whom you may find later has no depth of affection or may even be deceitful or treacherous. The signs ruled by Mercury are Gemini and Virgo. The first named on the seventh signifies intellectuality but not strong morality in the marriage partner, and from its dual quality, may indicate more than one marriage. The location of Mercury in the zodiac and its configurations with the luminaries or other planets, will point out the difficulties to watch for and to avoid if possible, but bear in mind that a greater growth of character is found by facing your difficulties without fear, and at all times bearing your burdens without lapse from the true and the good. If your Karma is to suffer through selfish or unscrupulous partners, take care that you preserve your own integrity. Who knows, but that you have, in some past age, caused some one to suffer by just such action. There is but one course for you. Let the evil forces spend their effort without reaction on your part, so they will pass on and return no more.
Virgo on the seventh house will indicate a faithful and helpful partner, not ardent or greatly affectionate, but kind, considerate and intelligent. Bind this one to you with hoops of steel. Time is boundless; you may meet again in bonds of a more intense affection. Give of your very best, and even the calm, sober and dispassionate Virgo must respond.
Venus ruling is not the best indication of married happiness. It will require to be well placed in the horoscope or aspected by some of the more powerful planets or the luminaries. A Taurean partner will be phlegmatic, plodding, sometimes selfish and indifferent, or so given over to some artistic aptitude as to weaken the obligations towards domestic duties. On the other hand they may add just that cultural blend necessary to raise the union out of the dull clay of commonplaceness.
The Libra partner will be pleasant, agreeable and artistic. They will want every thing that is nice, but are unwilling to exert themselves to secure it. They are temperamental, sometimes accomplished and highly intellectual; delightful companions but often lacking in force and decision at the required moment. This is a case then of making a choice. Do you wish a husband who is agreeable, loving and refined? Then be prepared to experience financial or commercial mediocrity or even incompetence. What a happiness to secure both - but oh - such combinations come but seldom, and what will that individual be looking for as mate ?
Mars ruling the seventh speaks of energy and application. The marriage or business partner will be original, active, energetic, often passionate or angry, but sometimes just what is needed to put life and inspiration into a character that is lazy and indifferent (Note Libra opposition Aries). Mars is enterprising, businesslike and full of initiative, so if we cannot find an individual possessing both artistic and commercial ability, we may unite executive force and tenacity with beauty and appreciation (Note - Taurus opposition Scorpio). The road to married happiness is through the appreciation and understanding of the varied qualities of the marriage partner; the cause of married unhappiness is the cause of all unhappiness - selfishness.
Jupiter ruling the seventh is the beginning of martial tranquillity, and the reason is easily found. Jovial people are broader minded, more charitable, and tend towards a wider vision and appreciation of the mixture of good and evil to be found in every person. Less fussiness and captious criticism; more judicial or good-natured consideration are characteristic of
this planet, but do not look for high ideals and poetic inspiration from this source, generally it is a placid, opulent, very human life on a rather materialistic level, unless other forces greatly assist when the marriage partner may achieve some considerable worldly distinction.
As we ascend the scale the forces become more powerful, and those whose souls are not highly developed halt from an inability to face the high vibrations or go onward to be torn to fragments by a force they are not able to master. Saturn governing the seventh will be a disaster to most of us, unless we can see that there is power and growth to be extracted from renunciation. Can you go through one incarnation without a companion? Can you tread the wine-press alone? Do not be disquieted, time is boundless and there will be a time for everything. Remember how Christian faced the Valley of the Shadow of Death alone, but came out on the other side with a faithful companion. Generally marriage is inadvisable for those with Saturn ruling the seventh house, but should Jupiter or Venus assist, it may prove at least not disastrous, but one must be either very placid and contented, or willing to marry some one who has a life with them, and another life apart in which they cannot share. If it is possible for you to trust completely one who has a side of life which is a closed book to you. But alas - too often this situation has produced such a green-eyed monster that marriage happiness is shattered into a thousand pieces, far beyond any possibility of repair.
And what shall we say for those whose seventh house is ruled by that mysterious stranger Uranus? Who can prove a mate for genius? Yet some are able; the wife of Thomas Carlyle was a notable example, yet what an experience. It takes strong characters to mate with strong characters; strong in the sense of strength and also in poise and balance. Yet as these tremendous forces present themselves what high ideals and what soaring aspirations; what mighty respect and honour is given to marriage. But this respect and idealism may have to experience the shattering of every hope; the extinction of every joy. To most of us this planet of upheaval can bring nothing but disappointment and misery. A great distance must be traversed before we are able to face the high vibrations of Uranus and yet go on. There is somewhere ahead of us a felicity un-dreamed of.
And last of all, Neptune, the occult and yet the sordid one. It is not without good cause that the search for a soul-mate is often surrounded by such evil and abomination. The influence of Neptune in the marriage state is far too often shown in infelicity, estrangement, wrecked morals and wrecked lives, for the occult, the supra-physical and the spiritual is divided by but a line from the bestial, the furious and insane. We wonder why some are found who marry, divorce, marry and divorce again and again. Who is to say that this is all evil and sensuality? Perhaps this lonely soul cries out in anguish for a mate who will answer the deepest call of its being, but does not know how or where to find such a one. Neptune in marriage speaks of unhappiness, death, desertion, loss of affection, ceasing to care or even abhorrence, UNLESS we are able to receive and absorb the real message of Neptune, and that is still far, far ahead of most of us.
- George C. McIntyre.
JUDGE AND BESANT
Our old friend Mr. C.H. Collings, of London, has a letter in Dr. Stokes' O.E. Library Critic, in which he asserts his unchanged and steadfast belief in Mr. Judge after thirty odd years as he held it through all the debate of 1894 and subsequently. If Mr. Collings saw the Diary which Mr. Judge wrote and in which he appointed Mrs. Tingley his successor and still continues to hold an unchanged opinion, he differs from some others in this respect.
Some of us who have not seen the diary, but have been assured by some who have, that it contains what Mrs. Tingley purported to find there, can only suspend their opinion on that phase of Mr. Judge's later life when he was in ill-health and bitterly opposed by all those attached to Adyar who might have been expected to support him. It is not sufficiently realized that the death of H.P.B. threw the whole of the leaders of the T.S. on their beam-ends. Some turned right over and went down soon afterwards. Some never righted themselves and have been drifting about ever since ready to capsize. Most of the lesser mariners have showed that they had no anchor hold. A few who had become accustomed to doing their own navigation and sailing their own skiffs, have stuck to the original course and are making steady progress. The splitting of the Society was the act of Colonel Olcott who hated Judge. Judge had expected that the Colonel would recognize the autonomous T.S. in America and affiliate it with Adyar, but Olcott changed his mind and refused to do this, and Judge, who had apparently been advised to the course taken in Boston in 1895 by Mrs. Tingley, was much disappointed with the Colonel's refusal. I was in the office at 144 Madison Avenue when Judge received a letter from Olcott postmarked and stamped from Spain, and Judge remarked `Now everything will be all right." But the letter was not what Judge expected and his disappointment was very obvious. This phase of the situation has never been explained, and I have never been able to learn whether Judge counted with warrant on Olcott's support, or whether it was really a right-about-face on Olcott's part, for Judge certainly expected Olcott to support him. Judge had collected $17,000 in America and sent it to Olcott when the Adyar treasurer embezzled that amount. How he could have come to accept Mrs. Tingley as an adviser has never been explained, but her influence was manifest since 1894 in his policies. She was a shrewd and clever woman, sufficiently so to deceive the very elect. Judge may have been deceived. But was he worse deceived than Mrs. Besant was by Mr. Chakravarti or by Mr. Leadbeater? Judge and Besant were all right till H.P.B. died and we can honour and depend upon them up till that point. After May 8, 1891 we have had to depend upon ourselves and should be charitable to our neighbours.
The muddle the Theosophical movement is in at present has been created by the agency of human frailty. The weakness of vanity, the ambition to direct and control, the limitations of intellectuality and spirituality, self hallucination and wilful perversity, have been the predominating contributory factors. The constant flaunting of misconceptions that have been allowed to go unchallenged, has also had an active place in the destructive combination which has sought to destroy the original objects and teachings of the Theosophical movement.
It cannot be too frequently pointed out to newcomers that before any attempt is made to seriously study this philosophy, it must first be known where the true sources of the teachings can be found. The student of scientific subjects, for instance, naturally feels that the books dealing with the latest discoveries, are more important than earlier writings, whose theories and directions have been abandoned for later conceptions. But this method does not apply in the study of Theosophy.
One of the first of English writers to deal with the ancient doctrines was A.P. Sinnett, who published The Occult World, based upon certain letters he had received from the Masters of H.P. Blavatsky. When the writer of this article was first advised to read the Occult World, it was a natural thought that some of the later writings of Mr. Sinnett would be more valuable, the impression being that Mr.
Sinnett, after 30 or 40 years' contact with Theosophy, would surely know more about it than he did in the days of his early contact. But such is not the case. There are two books of Mr. Sinnett's that can be read with some instruction and interest. But his later works were pitiful misconceptions, as all those may know if the trouble is taken to compare them with the writings of H.P.B. and the Mahatmas.
Quite recently an instance of unchallenged error has come under my notice, and I feel it my duty to call the attention of readers of the Canadian Theosophist to that error. It has been the practice of the Canadian section for some years to issue pamphlets dealing with Theosophical subjects. A supplementary statement is carried in each of them setting forth the objects of the society and certain tenets that Theosophists are advised to subscribe to. Included in them are the following injunctions and comments;
"There are Three Truths which are absolute and cannot be lost, and yet may remain silent for lack of speech. They are as great as life itself, and yet as simple as the simplest mind of man.
1 - God exists and He is good. He is the great life giver who dwells within us and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent. He is not heard, nor seen, nor touched, yet He is perceived by the man who desires perception.
2 - Man is immortal, and his future is one whose glory and splendour have no limit.
3 - A divine law of absolute justice rules the world, so that each man is in truth his own judge, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself, the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment."
In the Theosophist for June, 1885, there is a review of a book The Idyll of the White Lotus, written and published by Mabel Collins, author of another notable Theosophical work, The Light on the Path. The book received the heartiest commendation of the Theosophist, and the advice was
given: "that the following passage should be deeply engraved in the hearts of Theosophists; -
"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 nor 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".
"Different indeed would be the face of the world were these truths known and realized by humanity at large. Be it ours then to proclaim and teach them wherever opportunity is found, and by so doing, we shall become in some degree co-workers with nature in its ever upward spiral path of progress".
Now, if the readers of this magazine will take the trouble to compare the phraseology used in the Canadian Section pamphlets, and the wording of the quotation used in the Theosophist, he will see that very grave liberties have been taken in the way of transcription and paraphrasing. This diabolical perversion is the work of C.W. Leadbeater and appears in his book, An Outline of Theosophy, published many years ago. The original passages in The Idyll have been unwarrantedly mutilated, transpositions have been made, and the whole reeks with the specious anthropomorphic conception of deity which is notoriously Leadbeater. To the credit of the editor of The Canadian Theosophist be it said that when he has occasion, which is not infrequent, to publish these inspired passages, he uses the original text. But
no time should be lost by the General Executive in having the Leadbeater variant expunged from the official literature of the Canadian section.
THE ONE IS THE TWO
B. - The other day you made use of an illustration of Aristotle's which struck me as paradoxical. He referred to a point which was one and yet two. To me a point is obviously one, and I fail to see how you can make two out of it.
A. - The idea of duality in unity is an old one, and appears to me to be quite Theosophical. In Theosophical thinking you cannot avoid it. Perhaps I may be allowed to illustrate its frequency in Theosophical teaching?
B. - Certainly.
A. - We have been speaking rather loosely about the soul, which we have agreed is consciousness or mind. The Theosophical definition of consciousness is more exact,
but our definition has so far served our purpose. According to Theosophy man has seven principles. Without now examining this teaching, let us assume for the purpose of my illustration, that the principles are demonstrated.
B. - All right. I know their Sanskrit names: Atma, Buddhi, Manas, Kama-rupa, Linga Sharira, and Rupa.
A. - Fine. Now observe this curious thing about them. Atma and Buddhi are two and yet one - the Monad. Buddhi and Manas are two and yet one - the Divine Ego. Manas is dual and yet one. Manas and Kama-rupa are two and yet one - Kama-Manas.
B. - That is striking. It occurs to me that spirit and matter are two and yet develop from a common root which is one.
A. - Yes, but that introduces the idea of a trinity - spirit, matter and the common root. But the idea of the duad is there also. Spirit and matter are two and yet one.
B. - Spirit and matter one!
A. - Surprising though that statement may seem at first sight, it can be demonstrated. But do so now would take us away from our present purpose. You say the mathematical point is one, but - it is also two.
B. - I fail to see it.
A. - Let us concentrate for a while upon the idea of the point. I make a dot with my pencil upon this paper. Would you say that was a point?
B. - No, for the dot has some extension; it has length, depth and breadth.
A. - Let us abstract extension from it, and let us do so by stages. We take from the idea of the dot, length.
B. - Yes.
A. - Then breadth.
B. - Yes.
A. - Then depth.
B. - Yes.
A. - What is then left?
B. - Nothing physically.
A. - Look at the idea attentively. There is something - the idea of the point - there, how would yon describe it other than negatively? What, in other words, do you perceive?
B. - It appears to me as a dot, which when I have abstracted extension from it, and concentrate upon the idea of the point, reappears as a smaller dot, and this process continues. I cannot see any end to it. I seem to be looking into infinity.
A. - In other words you cannot think of this ever but never vanishing point except as appearing and disappearing?
B. - Yes.
A. - It seems to me that you are defining the point as dual.
B. - So I am. The point is certainly one thing, but when I look at it, it cycles from the image of a physical atom (let me say) to the image of nothingness. It is one and yet it is two. How curious! But stop a minute. I can think of the point as position, and having one position only. There is unity there.
A. - But position relative to what?
B. - There we have duality again.
A. - There is another way in which duality supervenes. For in the consideration of the point you have forgotten - yourself.
B. - You mean that I am one and the point another one?
A. - Yes.
B. - But I am not the point?
A. - Then what are you?
B. - I am the observer.
A. - You would say that when you think about the point, or any other idea, that you are not that point or idea. Would you not say that in thinking you are mind or consciousness?
B. - I am exercising my mind or consciousness.
A. - Who is this "I" that is exercising the mind or consciousness you say you possess?
B. - I don't know. It is difficult not to speak of consciousness in the possessive case. Perhaps it is higher Manas exercising lower Manas.
A. - Do not let us dodge a difficulty by the use of words whose meaning we have not clearly defined and comprehended. There is a danger of concealing from ourselves our ignorance by the glib use of Theosophical terms.
B. - That is so. But I am rather baffled by the thought that I am mind or consciousness and yet mind or consciousness is something which I exercise. Can I truly exercise myself, or am I exercising something I possess? If the latter then I cannot be mind or consciousness.
A. - Perhaps we can resolve the problem if we endeavour to define and comprehend self-consciousness.
- Cecil Williams.
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 SONG OF THE SALMON GOD."
"It is a strange irony," writes Mr. W.P. Ryan in his Foreword to his little booklet, "The Song of the Salmon God", (John M. Watkins, 21 Cecil Court, London, W.C., 2, England), "that associates the Boyne with political fever and division. In immemorial lore it is a sacred river in a romantic region, as remote from racial feud and passion as Stonehenge and Carnac. It is natural to link it with these; for a time there was when the whole Boyne region and those of Stonehenge and Carnac were situated in the same country." The spacious island of Inis Alga, "the noble island," comprised the regions, he intimates, which after divers changes were to be known as Ireland, Scandinavia, Britain and Northern France. Mr. Ryan's dramatic poem describes the waiting of Fionn the bard by the "pool of stillness" waiting for the appearing of the holy salmon in the Boyne, his capture of the god, whose flesh tasted by Deimne confers upon him mystic powers and the knowledge of ancient lore. It is a very ancient and of course pre-Christian form of the teaching: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood ye have no life in you" (John vi. 23). Mr. Ryan's rendering of the ancient myth will be welcomed by students of comparative religion for its lucid and graceful expression.
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