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VOL. X., No. 7 HAMILTON, SEPTEMBER 15th, 1929 Price 10 Cents
THE THEOSOPHICAL WORLD CONGRESS.
The World Congress of The Theosophical Society met at Chicago in the Hotel Stevens, August 24-29, and the 43rd Annual Convention of the American Theosophical Society was held on Sunday, August 25 at the same place. Saturday was occupied with Registration of Delegates, a meeting of the General Council, at 2 p.m., and an official reception to Mrs. Besant and the International Delegates. On Monday the Official opening of the Congress took place. An Official Photograph was taken about noon. Tuesday and Thursday were devoted to general business and discussions. Wednesday was given to the Order of Service. Thursday the General Council met again, and the Congress was closed with a banquet in the evening.
Temptation to laud and magnify the World Theosophical Congress at Chicago is very great, but it is wiser to get rid of the maya and try to see what was a magnificent gathering, as it truly was. There has never been a more important gathering of Theosophists in this part of the world and that is not forgetting the wonderful meetings in Carnegie Hall in 1896. There was a much finer spirit, for though the most diverse opinions were represented the utmost courtesy and harmony prevailed.
The great mistake of the Congress, its real failure, in fact, was that none of the views were translated into action; and though a number of important resolutions were brought up, the members were not permitted to register a vote either for or against them, and the General Council was informed that it had no legislative authority, and could only forward the resolutions to Adyar to be passed upon in December. Even consideration of the resolutions submitted was nearly suppressed but for the strong protests made on Monday evening, which led to a change in the programme. Some discussion was permitted on Tuesday morning, and Mr. L.W. Rogers, president of the American Theosophical Society, made himself the outstanding figure of the Congress by his speech, although it was cut down woefully for want of time.
Whenever there was any time it was always occupied with something unimportant, a veritable Fourth Rounder, full of Kamic energy, standing ready to pour forth floods of words, as he did on Thursday morning, when a period was allotted to an Open Forum with five-minute speeches, and he occupied the whole time.
Next to Mr. Rogers, who received the heartiest applause for his appeal to be freed from ecclesiastical shackles, and was
twice recalled to bow his acknowledgments, Irving Cooper was most applauded. His magnanimous statement, withdrawing his Church entirely from its invasion on the Theosophical Lodges, caught the goodwill of the people; and they gave his action a very warm endorsement. Dr. Arundale did not associate himself with this statement.
Mrs. Besant was, of course, the great figure of the occasion. Burdened and bent with the weight of years, and scarcely able for the onerous duties of the chair, she flamed up with wonderful power in the several speeches that she made, and her opening address to the Congress was instinct with the spirit of tolerance, not passive tolerance, but the active acceptance of criticism, the recognition of the value of opposing opinions, the advantage of differing points of view. She claimed the same liberty for herself in expressing her views that she insisted upon for others, and though her addresses were permeated with Brahminical theology, true Theosophists can have no quarrel with a liberty-toeing President.
There could be no doubt of the influence of the absent Mr. Krishnamurti. His sentiments have acted like a release to many minds, and in many respects the Congress was like a body of men set free. There could be no greater consolation to an old student who realized that the Secret Doctrine was vast enough to embrace and explain all the differences. A meeting with Jacob Bonggren, who did not attend the congress, confirmed this impression. An old pupil of Madam Blavatsky, he was broad-minded enough to have no difficulty in "casting no one out of his heart," to use the phrase of the first American General Secretary.
If the General Council in December can imbue itself with some of the spirit of the Congress, especially in regard to the resolutions that gained the favour of those in attendance in Chicago, a new era may be ushered in for the Society.
An important announcement was made by Mrs. Besant when she stated that she was going to hand over the publication of her magazine, The Theosophist, to Mr. and Mrs. Hotchener, the transfer from India to America to take place in January next. It is to be hoped that this does not open the way for the adoption of Mr. Woods' well-meant but impractical plan, as it was generally held to be, to make membership in the society to depend solely upon subscription to the magazine. The platform of the Society must not be narrowed in any particular, and it is not easy to see how it can be widened, if it is to consist of active members.
The report that follows is necessarily fragmentary, and of course unofficial, and is not intended to take the place of the official report which is to be published. What would be of interest to members of the Canadian National Society has naturally been stressed, but it is hoped that there are no serious errors either of omission or commission. As the General Secretary was engaged on Committee work at times, he has to thank Mrs. Smythe for considerable assistance in making notes.
The American T. S.
On Sunday morning the annual convention of the American Theosophical Society was opened by Mrs. Besant. Mr. L.W. Rogers, the president, read his report which told of 706 new members, leaving with 88 dead during the year, 70 resigned, five transferred, and several hundreds become inactive, a total in good standing of 6917. The Summer School, the Correspondence School and other activities were reported in good shape, and the funds showed assets of $296,262 with an actual surplus of $247,960. For the completion of the Headquarters Building a sum of $12,468 was still required. Mr. Rogers concluded his report with remarking:
"We have therefore mo reason for uneasiness on account of the temporary decrease in our usual cash receipts, but we do have good reason for energetically restoring to their normal state the Funds that will enable us to do useful work and to increase it. The one way, I am convinced, in which we can most certainly accomplish that and perpetuate our usefulness is to concentrate our attention and our energies on the great need of the world for the kind of Theosophy that is described in the Three Objects of the Theosophical Society. In our population of one hundred and twenty millions, the vast majority have scarcely heard of The Ancient Wisdom. There may be other phases of Theosophy which the world greatly needs, but we are not qualified to teach them. If so, we will do well to leave those to others who are. As for our duty, there can be little doubt. While others teach, we can work. We do know how to give the average human being the Ancient Wisdom - the truths of evolution, of reincarnation, of the continuity of life, to the millions that are groping in darkness. With renewed enthusiasm and greater energy, let us consecrate ourselves in that work."
Mrs. Besant Speaks.
Mrs. Besant was, of course, the central figure of the Congress. She presided on all occasions and her opening address was one of importance in laying down once more the great policies and principles of the Society. Mr. Warrington had spoken of the Theosophical Society as instinctively united when not cosmically minded. She proceeded to speak of Theosophy and World conditions, and began in the old way which apparently so many modern Theosophists endeavour to avoid or ignore.
"You will take it for granted that I am giving you my own opinions, and I am not in any way committing the Theosophical Society to the opinions I express. They are colored by Theosophical thought but they are only the opinions of the speaker. It is true I am President, but I have no more authority than the youngest member that has come in since the Congress began."
She emphasized this point and the fact that no one had the right to impose his opinions on another. She claimed the right to make her own deductions from facts without infringing the freedom of her fellow-members to draw different deductions from the same facts. The only condition of membership in the Society was the acceptance of Universal Brotherhood, and that was the only bond of union. Every member had the right to dissent from her conclusions.
She spoke of the recognition in modern literature of the power that makes for righteousness in the universe. This view was supported by history. Nations died as they fell away from justice, righteousness and morality. The life that was molded on Theosophical knowledge would affect the age. Matthew Arnold's words were more definite and specialized, she said, by the idea of an inner government of the world. The Christian idea of a great company of just men made perfect was the Theosophical conception of the great White Brotherhood.
Many details were hidden, she said, as she described the long series of powers and authorities from the King or Lord of the World, who translated the Will of the Logos through lesser authorities, through the Manu of the Mother Race of the Aryans. This race began in Central Asia and sent out bodies of emigrants, one of which settled in India 9000 B.C. A recent expedition had discovered in the heart of the Gobi desert traces of that great city whence they sprang. History had recorded the ineradicable love of liberty of the Aryans. Students from China had carried back to the Flowery hand the wisdom of India.
She spoke of the work of those who settled in Europe, in Greece, in Italy, and of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras who went to India and afterwards founded the Greek learning which became the foundation of modern culture. Theosophy was a very old word, used in Athens and Alexandria, and simply meant Divine Knowledge or science.
All Roads Are Mine.
She went on to speak of Shamballah, and the World Teacher, who was one of a succession. He was the great brother of the Manu, and was in charge of the World Religions. "By whatever road a man approaches me by that road I receive him, for all roads are mine," he had said.
She spoke next of the MahaChohan and the part played by him in the founding of a new civilization. Vyasa had given India her scriptures, her histories, the Puranas. When a new race was born the world might look for a World Teacher. If they turned to the Secret Doctrine they would find it stated that a new race would evolve in America, or more exactly speaking a new sub
-race. It was not merely Theosophists who had recognized this new race among the children now being born. Anthropologists like Hrdlicka, had done so. The children of this new race had appeared in California chiefly, where the teachers in the schools had found it necessary to separate these children from the normal type. The quality they had developed was intuition, and after two years the teachers had formulated a theory about Them, that they could grasp an idea at sight. "Why talk so much," they said to a teacher who took pains to explain things, "we see it."
These children of the new race indicated the coming of the World Teacher of whom large numbers now recognized the practical incarnation. Life, freedom and joy were the great characteristics of his teaching. It was always the disciples who founded a religion, never the World Teacher himself, she said. She wished to impress one point on every member of the Society and student of Theosophy. It was on their grasp of Theosophical teachings that depended the next stage of evolution and civilization.
The consciousness of his representative would have to be taken up into the consciousness of the World Teacher, she said, and he had to manifest as much of that consciousness as his body permitted. The Athanasian Creed, she declared, dealt with this in saying there were not two but one, "not by the taking of the Godhood into flesh, but by the taking of manhood into God." He had been trained in purity, but had the inevitable limitations of the human body. One characteristic he did not share with the World Teacher - omniscience. "Krishnaji does not share that," she remarked. "I know that because I asked him one day."
The Cradle Message.
Every nation, she proceeded, had its own character. There was an old legend, "God writes a word on the cradle of every nation, and that is its message to mankind." What is your message to mankind? That you must find out for yourselves. She wished to put before them the possibility of finding the union of Liberty and Law. There was no Liberty without Law. Without Law there was only Chaos. Without Law there could be no society. Perfect freedom was only found with Law, and the service of Law was perfect freedom. A stranger might speak a word of warning. She thought there was too little respect for Law in America, and advised them to quit grasping for freedom for the individual without respect to the nation of which they formed a part. The great ideal had been lost sight of in democratic jargon. No democracy was worth having unless every child was educated. They must get rid of
one great curse and judge a man, not by what he is, but by what he does.
She went on to speak of social problems and the result of great masses of men in the producing class and their partial enslavement. A good many capitalists now recognized that they should give back somewhat of that which they had taken, and the workers were working cooperatively and depended on capitalist banks, as one had to do, if one became a capitalist. She had used the word Cooperation because they had a horror of the word Socialism. If she said Socialism they would think Communism, but if she said Cooperation they would think Socialism, she explained. This subject must be carefully studied and thoroughly carried out.
All their problems were best solved by the great word Brotherhood, the very essence of our Theosophical Society, she said. They must prepare for peace. "Do not prepare for war. You will reap what you sow. If you sow armaments you will reap war. If Britain and America work together, peace is secured to the world."
Another point she took up was race color. Color was a matter of climate, not of race. She deplored the way the white race thought they had a right to dominate even the great race of India, their own Aryan stock. Revolution might spring out of this arrogance of the whites, she warned. Out of seven people in the world, six were colored and one was white. It was only by giving freedom to the colored races that peace could be maintained. The British Empire should be changed to a Federation of free peoples.
War of Color.
"A war of color is the great danger of the future. If Asia fights Europe you will be drawn into it," she asserted. She prophesied trouble in India unless the arrogant whites learned to respect the colored ones, and not to judge them by the color of their skin. India, she said, must have Dominion status; revolution would have led to it long ago but for the fact that they were disarmed. "But we shall win!" she added determinedly. "The British Empire depends on giving fre
edom to India. Without that we shall declare our independence and freedom and challenge the British yoke. This is a menace to the peace of the world."
Mrs. Besant then referred to Sunderland's recent book on India with approval. Democracy without wisdom was chaos, she thought. It had been proscribed in India, so they might judge of its value. The tendency of the best men in America she had found was to abjure political life. Why not purify political life end have the best men working out your political problems? she asked. Democracy without wisdom was chaos, and ruin to the nation. There were plenty of problems for Theosophists to take up and face. What was the use of their Theosophy if it were not applied? The Theosophist should be the best American. The only right of one man to rule another was wisdom.
She closed with an appeal to those in power to realize that democracy, with wisdom would solve all problems. "I ask you to take up these problems as your chief interests; begin with the home," she suggested. "We must go farther than we yet have done in doing away with the class quarrels and hatreds of the nations, and the contempt of race for race. Not only mankind but the whole world of animals, of plants, of minerals share the one life and belong to the one great Brotherhood. Let us practice that Brotherhood and live in that life.
On Monday morning at 9.30 the official opening of the Congress took place, the band playing the National anthems of all the nations represented. The delegates from each nation stood as their anthem was played.
"It is always a pleasant thing," said Mr. Rogers, the National President, in greeting the delegates, "to welcome friends to one's home. When they are fellow workers it becomes a real joy. We welcome you from abroad, from far and near. We welcome you to our America - the world of the new, the country of the open mind. And with no less cordiality do we welcome our countrymen to exchange ideas and broaden our Theosophical concepts, renewing old friendships and founding new ones. A kind of remembering and forgetting; remembering our loves and forgetting our hates, remembering our affections and forgetting our enmities; remembering out sympathies and forgetting our prejudices; remembering the good motives of those who do not agree with us; forgetting the things that separate us; forgetting even our nationalities, remembering only that we are Theosophists. It is a fine thing even to be neighbours; a glorious thing to be in the great spiritual life included with those of the hierarchy. In the name of America I welcome you to our Country, our City, our homes and our hearts. And may every social contact strengthen the tie that may endure forever."
Mrs. Besant's Address.
Mrs. Besant's address followed, but through a misunderstanding the address she was to have given to the Congress on Monday had been given to the delegates to the American Convention on Sunday. There were some repetitions, in consequence.
"The very pleasant duty falls upon me," she said, "as president of the Theosophical Society, first of all to thank your General Secretary, President of the American Theosophical Society, for the cordial welcome he has extended to all who are here." She was particularly glad that their national circle had just had added to it the delegation from Poland. Torn into three parts by a cruel treaty it was now reunited and stood complete before the world.
They must recognize the value of these periodic gatherings of a Society which claimed to be and was a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood. The President, of course, had no authority over the National divisions of the Society. She alluded to the sponsors required to introduce parties worthy to become members of these autonomous societies. We call it Universal Brotherhood; let us live up to our name as members of one family. Get rid of formalities. All are welcome to enter by reason of their humanity, and their great desire to take part with those who are united in the search after Truth. It is their birthright if they wish to claim it. If any dare to claim brotherhood with the just men made perfect he cannot deny it to the lowest criminal. It is either universal or partial. Let us in every way assume and believe that it is universal. Only then should we claim brotherhood with the Elder Brothers who are willing to recognize one younger. Better to welcome a younger brother who needs us than to turn to our Elder Brothers for help for ourselves.
If there be no religion higher than Truth, she proceeded, we must recognize that Humanity is the one quality we permit in our Brotherhood. She would be glad to strike out the word Humanity, she said, and include the animal kingdom in our bond. Surely then we should not proceed to eat our younger brothers any more nor continue our disregard of the rights of the weaker. If we could move our world to recognize Universal Brotherhood we should extend it to the vegetable and mineral kingdoms, since there is the One Life within all. We should be far more careful then of the beauty of the world. Our larger cities are really blots on the beauty of nature. Once we recognized how unwholesome and unnatural they were we should help the lower kingdoms to
a higher life. She commended the Garden Cities of England where trees can grow healthily. The poison of factories now pollutes the air in our cities so that trees cannot grow healthily, and when this is the case how can children have health, she asked.
They must learn as Theosophists the practical type of brotherhood and adopt it as an attitude in life. The study of society must begin with the individual; then the group, and then the larger groups that form nations. The larger idea of international groups followed, and then humanity itself. Nationality should be cherished for its value but not allowed to become a barrier. Each nation should share the common life. The best way to begin was to share international culture. Sculpture, painting, music do not need translation. They are welcome.
Mazzini said that God had written a word on the cradle of every nation. That word was its message to mankind. No oration could give its message if it were not free. In the multiplicity of these messages lay the fuller expression of the truth. The great gentlemen of old times sent their sons on what was called the Grand Tour, so that they had the opportunity to mix with the best of each nation. They brought lack the best of the culture and habits they encountered to add to the best of their native land. We were separated into nations so that our message should be given freely.
The duty of the individual to his own native land should never be forgotten by Fellows of the Society. Wherever Theosophy goes it goes as a peacemaker. We must break our cages and come out and help our fellows in the world. Europe today tended to be a hot-bed of war, groups of nations always quarreling with each other. The Theosophical society, she thought, was doing a good deal to bring peace, but Europe never would be at peace till the injustices of the Treaty of Versailles were eliminated, and countries shorn of their territory had it restored.
The United States and Great Britain were like two strange dogs approaching each other. We must think Peace - not War. We must take the risks of Peace, as Ramsay MacDonald had said, not the risks of War. If any two countries in the world could set the example of Peace, they were the United States and Great Britain. If they would make an indissoluble pact then one of the greatest steps would have been taken for the peace of the world. Only one nation in Europe was disarmed. This was Denmark, and though a small nation it was setting a splendid example to the world.
There was one danger - the war of color. It meant, of course, a war between Europe and Asia. It was less likely than some years ago. As president of the Indian Congress she had been conscious of three awakings, the awaking of Asia, the shaping of Asiatic opinion, and Asiatic self-consciousness. All who cared for the peace of the world should take note of this. China had become a military nation through her civil wars. The spheres of influence demanded by the European nations were an ugly thing. The sphere of influence brought trade, and trade brought war. All the barriers that kept nations apart should be abolished. Premier Briand spoke of the United States of Europe and people talked of a Pan-Europe. Britain was a world power, not a European power.
They were showing by the Congress that different nations could meet without quarreling, in amity and brotherhood. The more we know of each other the less desire to fight we have.
Value of Criticism.
Mrs. Besant then turned to personal and Theosophical principles. Criticize your principles, she said. Criticize yourselves and not your neighbours. It was easier to alter themselves than other people. Preserve jealously the freedom of others. You are your own business. Your neighbour is not your business unless you are able to help him and he wants your help.
The one great danger was the danger of orthodoxy. "'Fight against that wherever it is," she admonished. "Welcome diversity of opinions, for no person holds the complete truth. Welcome some one in your Lodges who criticizes all the Theosophical teachings. It is not he who makes disharmony. It takes you to disagree with him. Papers I agree with give me my own opinions. My opponents may teach me something I do not know."
She spoke strongly for individual liberty and absolute freedom of opinion. "If you want to see the glow, and can't go around it yourself, see others who see the glow. If you are really tolerant you will never quarrel. Get out and talk to your opponents. Krishnaji does not teach doctrine. He teaches individual freedom.
"My dear friend, Charles Bradlaugh, said, `Welcome truth wherever it comes and add it to your own little stock.' He also said, 'Truth has her laurels alike for victor and vanquished; laurels for the victor in that he defended the truth; laurels for the vanquished now that he is crowned with the truth.' Don't cold-shoulder people, the way some Lodges do. Welcome the stranger and make him feel welcome. Try everywhere to be searchers after the truth. Welcome dissension from your own views."
Speaking of toleration she said some good people would say, "I tolerate you, but I love the truth." This was insulting. They should practice the perfect respectful tolerance that tries to learn from others and not reject diem. If there was one truth more important than another to take away from the Congress it was to remember with freedom to have courtesy. Why should we quarrel with persons we disagree with? If you are right and he is wrong, why be angry! If you have a real diamond and some one calls it paste, you can afford to smile. Do the same about opinions. Each makes his own past and is making his own future. The transition is the difficult time. Test everything. If it rings true why should we quarrel over it.
"The very worst service you can do to Krishnaji is to quarrel over him. You may not understand him. He is too big for you. We cannot understand those who are greater than ourselves. When we can't judge, we should not form an opinion. Take him as he is. He is greater than us all. Let the life flow in from him that he pours out so abundantly."
Mrs. Besant told how on one occasion on receiving instruction from her Guru, she had stopped following him to puzzle over something he had said. He turned and looked at her quizzically and said, "Never mind that now; you will understand it by and by."
When you worry, she said, the judgment gets blurred. We must seek peace within - the perfect poise of reason and love. Love was the fulfilling of the law, she quoted. Readjust yourself to life. Individual kindness will create future peace. Be kind, was Krishnaji's injunction. "Let us go out into the world and be kind to everyone," she concluded.
Voyage - Not Battle.
Dr. James Cousins spoke on the education of the rising generation. Every second new manifestations of the Cosmic Being were coming into the world. It was necessary to wipe out the idea that the young are to be educated to fight the battle of life. Rather were they to be educated for the voyage of life with their fellow
passengers. Theosophical truths are the laws of life and they are not bottled up by anyone. One must see the full complete nature of the student, the spiritual entity seeking to evolve its cosmic nature through human limitations. Achieve the liberation of the student and we establish, not anarchy, but the Divine Order. We must be creative and not merely thinking entities. With this comes control over the lower faculties and the fullest, opportunity for the expression of the highest things in the student's nature.
Miss Clara Codd thought the misery of the world was largely due to the fact that we did not understand universal principles, and how to apply them. If every Lodge did its duty the sorrow of the world in the community of that Lodge would be sensibly diminished. H.G. Wells, had said that the great and universal truths were so few that they could be written on a postcard. If we had these principles established, war would cease; we would understand what to do with our criminals; we would treat animals properly. She emphasized the value of the Golden Rule which represented the spiritual side of socialism. A man in England had remarked, after hearing some Theosophy, that he thought it was the spiritual side of Socialism. Some Theosophists made the mistake of presenting Karma as the new Devil. Krishnamurti had said that the real Devil was fear - fear in all its forms. The great truth was that within every man lived a spark of the Divine, and there lay his dignity and future spiritual life. The solution of world problems was the solution of our own difficulties. It was not psychic revelations that we needed, but the great principles of life that we should learn and know.
Geoffrey Hodson, who is the author of many books concerning the fairy and angelic worlds, spoke next. There was a growing need, he said, for exact knowledge of the interior faculties of man. With our knowledge of Theosophy he thought we were well qualified to fill that need. He shuddered to think of the reception some of the sixth race children would meet. We were forerunners of the sixth race and few mothers and teachers were as wise as the California teachers and parents who were learning to recognize them and allow them to have special training. We should take pains to spread that knowledge among mothers and children. He described a Spanish boy who was known to have X-ray vision. He could see through solid objects. His gift was recognized by his father who had lost something he wanted. The son told him it was in his pocket. How did he know that? He said he saw it there. This boy is now considered as subnormal and is being treated accordingly by the medical men. Mr. Hodson declared we must show a better way of research and abolish vivisection. "Theosophize the World," was his advice. To develop the higher faculties was the great need of the Theosophical Society and to spread the Ancient Wisdom freely throughout the world.
Freedom for Woman.
Mrs. Rukmini Arundale gave a brief address. "I want to explain to you," she said, "that I do not believe the Theosophical Society will solve world problems. As soon as we solve one we shall want to solve it again in a new way. Freedom is the first thing, and woman should have freedom. We do not need to fight for it, but we must have it." We should understand what woman is and what she represents before we enquire what she should do. Men and women are of two different types. The quality of their work must be correspondingly different. In ancient Greece they approached the idea of woman through the worship of beauty, and they had wonderful stories of the ideal woman. She made a strong appeal for freedom. She felt that it was a waste of time to try to be equal to anyone. We should try instead to be equal to our own Higher Selves. That equality
cannot be made. It is there. If you live it, you are It. We should understand what woman really is. She is responsible not only for herself, but for her children. Her children make the future of the world. Every woman is in her secret Self pure, immortal. Through woman we may contact that pure immortal womanhood. Through her we must do what has to be done in the world. "My inspiration comes from the beauty of nature," she said. "If you can love and understand beauty, you will know what woman is. You can see it in Nature. We can extend that love of beauty and not merely to our own homes but to the whole world." She spoke of motherhood as a wide and deep principle of life, blessing the animal world as well as the human. It was a small portion of the Universal Brotherhood which they were representing. India was to those who understood it, a mother of deepest love. "The soul of India is the Himalayas - her crown - our mother," she said. There they had a glimpse of the immortal woman, the symbol of their equality, the ideal in love - deep love. Every woman must represent that ideal in love and live the life free and beautiful, with Divine love in her heart and in her daily life, with graceful speech and firm deep love for children and animals, in simple and beautiful union with the world.
Mr. Wood's Resolutions.
At the afternoon meeting on Monday it was resolved to send letters of greeting to Messrs. Krishnaji, Leadbeater, Schwarz and Jinarajadasa. Mrs. Besant was deputed to write the letters.
Ernest Wood's resolutions, which were somewhat lengthy, were brought up. They dealt with a proposed reorganization of the Society throughout the world, with an entirely new Constitution. Mr. Wood said that Madame Blavatsky had to face materialistic science and religion in her time and had to bind together the few who formed scattered groups. Every one in the society stood battling against a prejudice. After fifty years the character of the world had changed. In most parts of the world the prejudice had disappeared science was no longer materialistic. His suggestion was that the Society abolish the present constitution and forms, and that membership consist of subscription to a magazine, after the manner of the American National Geographic Magazine. This would be the official organ of the Society and no other Magazine would be published. There would be no Lodges except by the desire of any members who desired such organization. The Magazine subscription was variously estimated at from $3 to $4.50 a year. Applicants for membership would sign a blank subscription form for the Magazine, this form to contain the objects of the Society. No sponsors would be necessary. One-third of the subscription would be sent to the National Societies and the General Secretaries would retain half of this amount for activities within their territories. Seven or more members might get a charter. The Magazine would be published in English without profit. Other languages would have the right to reprint the Magazine in translation. The last resolution of Mr. Woods' series provided that "there would be no subsidiary activities recognized in the T.S."
Captain Sellon, as president of the Federation of New York Lodges felt pleased to speak for the 600 members and 14 Lodges of the Federation. He was afraid that the whole security of the Society was apt to be dissipated if any one who cared to read a magazine was admitted.
It was decided to refer the resolutions to Adyar. Other resolutions were left over.
On Monday evening it had been hoped to have Mr. Jinarajadasa speak, but he was unable to get a steamer from Central America in time for the Congress, and as
the evening was vacant, Mrs. Besant kindly consented to speak on "Right Civilization."
It was necessary to know, she said, what was meant by civilization so as not to waste time groping about after fundamental experiments, many of which had proved to be failures. Political science in modern days was more or less a novelty. In the history of India, in the time of Alexander, the question had been fully discussed and developed. There were fourteen schools of political science then, and the word applied to their writings was the Shastras, the scriptures of well
-being. Sedgwick, an Oxford man, had said that if you would know what England could do, you must know what England had done in the past. India had been a wealthy and prosperous nation, in possession of a magnificent literature. Political science, like other sciences, should be founded on the study of facts, after the usual manner of developing a science. Ultimately it would be found to be a quite definite system of law, equally applicable to every nation. The temperament of a nation grew out of its past, and a nation needed its own experience, just as we need our experience to guide us. It was necessary to know its past in order to build up a future sequential in its character.
The first thing we had to do in thinking of a new civilization was to think of a nobler type than that appearing today. To do this it was necessary to know the past. She hoped the education we gave our youth would not be forgetful of the fact that we were leaving our civilization to be built by the younger generation that would succeed us.
Nor must we neglect other civilizations, older and younger than our own. Excavations had been made that gave us material to study which brought us into touch with civilizations that we only knew by their ruins. A book had been issued full of the life of the past, chiefly in Madras Presidency, full of interest to those who wished to reconstruct the past of India. Coins, records in stone and metal, had been recovered, and out of this mass of material very coherent records had emerged. Two books covering eleven centuries had been printed, of a period prior to the fourth century.
The villages give us the fullest knowledge of the Indian life. The long range of her history had been built up out of the villages. Lists of kings and battles were comparatively trivial things compared with the life of the people. They would never find India going back. The Institutes of India were the laws of Manu, written by Vyasa.
"You in your turn are children of the Manu," she said, "and they had something to learn from that story." She added, "The blessings of British rule are conspicuous by their absence."
Manners Make the Man.
The Chinese, one of the most ancient nations, visited India constantly. A subject of King Alfred traveled to India to find the learning and truth he had been told about. The root of Indian prosperity was her religion. Out of that came her civilization. Manu laid down ten great principles, cleanliness, purity, chastity of body and mind, good manners and morals, for manners maketh man; and manners are the outward manifestation of the evolution of temperament. Without good manners it was almost impossible to get good morals.
The mind had to be educated, and the qualities to be developed were reverence for parents as elders, for brothers and sisters as equals, and for the youngest and the servants of the family. The tending of the two fires was a duty, one the culinary, the other the sacrificial. These two included the whole life, all ordered and sequential.
Then there were meditation for the elders and worship for the younger people.
and sacrifices to the devas; and to the Masters daily sacrifices. There was study of the great books of knowledge and sacrifice to the ancestors for what they had bequeathed, reverence for work well done, and gratitude for the results left behind. Then came charity, kindness and helpfulness. The Brahmin does not eat till he has fed some one else who needs food. It is possible to see a man going about looking for a beggar in the villages so that he can feed him before having his own meal.
There were also sacrifices for animals, reverence for the past and daily sacrifices, all extremely practical, and growing out of and in fulfilment of the householders' duty. The Manu always goes by tens. There were ten villages in the groups and ten groups make towns. Reverence for elders, especially women, was insisted on. The grandmothers are the rulers of the family.
Physical exercises for the health of the body were established, and this was spoken of as the lowest science. Direct knowledge of God was enforced as necessary to the perfect life, taught in Pali Vidya. Other principles followed, first of them - Truth. Speaking of health, she said not many of them knew how much of their nervous force was wasted. A piece of advice she gave was to practice quiet of the body.
How were they to educate their young people? She reminded them that "He that is greatest among you must be the servant of all." The desire for service was the foundation of all good citizenship. She spoke of Self-control. Man consisted of two compartments, mind and emotions, and Physical body with speech. How many controlled their bodies? How many lay awake at night worrying?
Solace for the Bereaved.
She spoke of sorrow over bereavements and said there was no difficulty in meeting departed friends during the hours of sleep. In the first place they must have great affection, and in the second serenity. The emotional body must be quiet if you are to meet your friend on the other side. The emotional body affected the action of the heart. The astral body - the life - was with one all the time. Violent action affected the heart, and one must think quietly of the departed friend and without agitation. When you control the mind stop thinking. It was hard to control, but control could be gained by dispassion and constant practice.
One should never make a purposeless action. Speech should be controlled. This was the last and most difficult of all. More mischief was done by mischievous gossip than by any other habit. They should ask themselves before gossiping - Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
She described the three conditions of the celibates, of the householders and of the merchants. The latter were great benefactors of all useful movements, and carried on the duties that specially belong to those who gain wealth. When a grandchild sits on their knee they retire and leave the rising generation to carry on. They take the beggar's bowl and staff and abandon their property. A Judge of the High Court of Madras abandoned his Judgeship and went about teaching religion and moral duties. Through long ages this training had established the happiness and order of Indian life.
She did not suggest that all these things were necessary for our nations, but they could train their children up to a certain standard so that their social intercourse would be easy and friendly. If something of this kind were introduced into our system there would be less chaos.
Systems of education were an abomination. The system should fit the child and not the child be made to fit the system. In the Montessori system which she commended, the child is led to choose its own vocation. She would teach children to love their country. "Don't begin to be an
internationalist until you are a good nationalist," she advised.
On Tuesday morning the resolutions presented the previous evening were again brought forward. Mr. Wood explained the intention of his plan in brief terms and signified his willingness to leave it over till December. He wished to make membership in the Society easier for the public and the organization less cumbersome.
Mr. Smythe was called on and explained that the resolutions he presented were not the result of theory but of conditions. The first had been withdrawn on account of the valid objection raised by Dr. Arundale to the responsibility placed upon the General Executive of discriminating among Societies which might wish to affiliate. An amendment was carried that Mrs. Besant be requested to send out a general greeting to all bodies and Societies having similar aims and sympathies. This was accordingly done. The resolution had asked for restoration to the Constitution of the power to affiliate any kindred society which desired it, this clause having been eliminated in 1896 under the presidency of Colonel Olcott.
The next resolution Resolved: That the resolution affirming the existence of a World Religion, and stating "The Basic Truths of Religion," as declared by "A Fellowship of Faiths," be expunged from the records of The Theosophical Society, such a statement, apart from any question of its correctness or authority, being inconsistent with the non-dogmatic character and professions of the Theosophical Society.
It was explained that the General Executive of the T.S. in Canada had supported this resolution and desired to have it carried as it represented the principles of no existing religion, and did not harmonize with the non-dogmatic character nf the society.
Resolved that Rule 44 of the General Constitution be replaced by the following:
That when differences of opinion arise among the members of a Lodge or National Society which had a desire for withdrawal from or separation in the Lodge or the National Society on the part of one-third or more of such members in good standing, the property belonging to such Lodge or National Society, shall be divided pro rata among the two groups of members, the Charter to remain with the original group.
This resolution was explained by Mr. Smythe as intended to obviate such difficulties as had arisen with the Vancouver Lodge and the Sydney Lodge in Australia. The principle met with general approval.
Resolved that Rule 30 be abrogated so that persons desiring to join The Theosophical Society may attach themselves to any Lodge to which their nationality, language or principles may render them sympathetic and without reference to the jurisdiction of the National Society under which they reside.
This resolution was generally approved, and Mrs. Besant herself had expressed a wish for less formality in receiving members.
All the resolutions were referred to the General Council at Adyar in December next, and those who wish action taken upon them should get their Lodges or National Societies to send in recommendations or resolutions in their favour.
Future of the T. S.
Mr. A.P. Warrington read the passage from The Key to Theosophy, in opening the discussion on "The Theosophical Society: its Present and Future," to be found on pages 304-5 of the original edition, beginning "Its future will depend almost entirely upon the degree of selflessness, earnestness, devotion, and last, but not least, on the amount of knowledge and wisdom possessed by those members, on whom it will fall to carry on the work after
the death of the founders," and closing with the warning that degeneration into a sect or warped by inherent bias it would "drift off on to some sandbank of thought or another, and there remain a stranded carcass to moulder and die." They must remember the root base of the movement, he said, and not get off on side tracks. There was a danger of our work adopting petty standards. Founded by the great Brotherhood we stood in the position of sustaining a Society which represented their thought. It was the Masters' Society. What we should find out is what it was they wanted. We could make the Society what it was intended to be. We had to preserve the records of the Ancient Wisdom that had come to us and to do that we must become familiar with our Theosophy. He also affirmed the necessity of freedom and of loyalty in such freedom to the truth. That was the important thing in the support of independent thinking.
Canadian General Secretary.
The General Secretary of Canada was introduced and spoke somewhat as follows:
I am glad we had that passage from the Key to Theosophy read to us. It sums up all we can hope to know of the future of the Society. The future grows from the present, however, and whatever it becomes it is because we are what we are. If it has defects it is because we have defects. If it develops perfection it is because we will develop perfection in ourselves. Theosophy is not of a Society or of a body of men. Every man has to make his own Theosophy. Every man has to discover his own truth. We have forgotten that too much in recent years, I believe. We may accumulate great numbers of members and yet miss the one important thing, and unless we have the realization that pearl of great price is to be found, and where it is to be found, and unless we make diligent search for it and give up everything for it, we shall not have or know Theosophy.
Mr. Warrington also spoke of the necessity of maintaining the records intact. I do not know whether we value them all as we ought to do. When people in my generation began to study Theosophy they didn't have kindergarten literature about it. We sharpened our teeth on Isis Unveiled, and I do not know anybody who reads Isis Unveiled today. It would be an excellent thing for the whole Theosophical Society if every member started in to read it. If we would do this and make a serious study of these things we would begin to realize there are regions in our own consciousness that we know nothing about.
We must know ourselves. To do that in every respect we must make ourselves familiar with the principles of our Theosophy. These have been touched upon - autonomy, freedom, liberty of conscience, liberty of speech, no fences in any direction. I would have liked to have spoken on the resolution that was before the house a little while ago. The Executive Council of my national society deputed me to bring this question up. I want to say we feel the necessity of that freedom. We have had even some of our members withdrawing from us because we insisted upon that freedom. A great many people don't like to hear something they don't agree with. Our President has reminded us that we learn from the disagreements of others. We learn from our mistakes. We have all been mistaken: I made a mistake in 1899 but I didn't leave the Society on that account. I happened to be in London in 1907 when Mrs. Besant was there and I begged for an interview. I said to her, "We disagree in some things but can we not agree to work for Theosophy?" She said, "yes," and we shook hands on it.
I think I may disagree with her in some things but she has been constitutional. She has been loyal to the principles of the Society. She has protected the freedom of
the Society. So we are loyal to her in Canada. That loyalty and fealty to freedom and truth is something we must protect within ourselves if there is to be a future to the Theosophical Society.
Theosophy has three things in view - the study of ancient and modern religions, philosophy and sciences. We sit, so to speak, on a three-legged stool. Some of us for a long time have been trying to sit on one leg, an uncomfortable and precarious position. There has been too much religion in the Society, and too much mushy religion at that, and too little philosophy and too little science. We have to get back to these supports of independent thinking and clear seeing before we have a real Theosophy that will appeal to the public.
Need for science.
Where are the Crookes and the Wilders and the Edisons that used to belong to the Society? Why don't we have Sir Oliver Lodge in the Society, Prof. Millikan, McLennan, the first man who was sent for by the British Admiralty at the beginning of the war? We must have a Society where the biggest men of science would be glad to come before us. I think in the future we will grow up to have such a Society. Where are the men who used to adorn our magazine pages? Look over the old Theosophists. Why did Edward Carpenter, who died a few weeks ago, stop writing for us? Why are many men all over the world now rather repelled than attracted to the Theosophical Society? If we are to have a future we must make it into a Society as will attract the wise and intelligent, not a little narrow sect, but a Society that is occupied with the eternal things. Let us get back to our platform all religion, philosophy and science. Not more religion than science and philosophy; not more science than religion and philosophy, and not more philosophy than the other two. Let us see that we have all-rounded minds, that we can look in every direction and that we can see as the Masters see. See, as Mr. Warrington suggests, as a Society founded by the Masters ought to see.
These are important things and we have to consider them for the future. We talk about the objects and the teachings of the Theosophical Society. We have brotherhood, karma, reincarnation, Masters, the law of cycles, the omnipotence of the will, various other matters. I do not think, though, that there is anything so important as that statement of Madame Blavatsky, "Every man is an incarnation of his own God." When we can walk about as gods and realize that is our responsibility as well as our privilege, when we can let our light so shine that men may see our good works, not to glorify ourselves, but to glorify the Master, then we shall become a Society which the world will respect and recognize.
Time, Money and Work.
How long will it take enough of us to devote ourselves and pledge ourselves to these things to make the Society worth while in the world? I do not know whether it is legitimate to speak of the Esoteric Section here or not. Some of us in the old days were pledged, as I was, under the joint headship of Mr. Judge and Mrs. Besant, to a solemn promise that we would devote time, money and work to support Theosophy before the world, and that pledge was taken to the God within us and to none other. That pledge we were told would follow us however we might neglect it, down through the ages, incarnation after incarnation. We must realize that and stand by that. The matter of joining this Society or that body is nothing. We must take those pledges in earnest and they mast never be deserted. Some one said to me yesterday that he was sick of the Society and would have to leave it as so many mistakes had been made. We each make our own mistakes and must not blame others for what we have done ourselves.
We shall not be judged by the mistakes of others. When we have made mistakes let us confess it. I think all of us who make mistakes are surely courageous enough to put ourselves on record as our revered President has done. There is always forgiveness for the sincerely mistaken. Forgiveness, as I understand it, is time to pay. The word is taken from the old tax-collecting jargon of the Greeks. You will have time to pay. But you must pay to the uttermost farthing. If we get time then we shall go on trying to realize this godhood within us. We shall launch out into the ocean of Theosophy.
"It may be that the gulfs will wash us down,
"It may be we shall touch the happy isles,
"And see the great Achilles, whom we knew."
Let us feel that there is a future for us. Let us understand that he, "that highest person who is awake within us when we are asleep, shaping one lovely sight after another, He is the light, He is the Brahman, He alone is worthy to be called immortal. All worlds are contained in That and nothing goeth beyond." This is our Theosophy, deep in our hearts, where is seated the Lord, as Krishna told us. There we shall find our Theosophy and if we are true to it with the strength, the power, the wisdom and the love that comes from the Master, - "Alas, alas, that all men should possess Alaya - be one with the World-Soul, and yet possessing it that Alaya should so little avail them. Of teachers there are many, the Master-Soul is one the Universal Soul. Live in that Master as its ray in thee. Live in thy fellows as they live It." If you do, the future of the Society will be as glorious and as permanent as the most enthusiastic of us could wish it.
Irving Cooper Speaks.
Mr. Irving Cooper spoke next in a frank and critical review of the position of the Society. "We are out of date," he declared. We were twenty years behind in science. We were standing still while the world was carrying on all kinds of social movements. Books written by people who had never heard of Theosophy outstripped us on our own point of view. Not withstanding the number of members we draw in the less influence we have on thought and civilization. We were opposing old standards of Christian thought that had been practically abandoned. The danger had been pointed out by H.P.B. In ten or twenty years from now we shall be crying "Back to Besant" or "Back to Leadbeater". We did not need to go back to anyone but forward of the Truth. There was no sense in changing the objects of the Society. When things went wrong a lot of people thought the thing to do was to change the Constitution. The thing to do was to change ourselves. Some were following one leader and some were following another. What we needed was not leaders but genuine brotherly kindness. There was too much gossip and talk and petty bitterness, too much jealousy of one or another. If orthodoxy captured this Society then the world was hopeless. We needed to devote ourselves more to the betterment of mankind and to seek to grasp human problems.
Challenging the L. C C.
Mr. Rogers had only a few minutes left for his address and plunged directly into his main thought. There was, he said, in the American Society a wide-spread and settled hostility towards the Liberal Catholic Church. This arose, he believed wholly and solely from the too close association of the Society with the Church. Precisely to them as friends of the Church these complaints were brought. For what reason was this hostility felt? Was it not because
as an institution it threatened the neutrality of the Society? There was no objection to the Unitarian Church nor to the Universalist Church nor to any other Church. They might be sure it was the broadest church and the closest to us, but there could be no other reason than this for the fear that was felt about it. If they could not dispel this fear they had trouble ahead. What should be the relation between the Church and the Society? Precisely the same as between the Theosophical Society and the other Churches. Unless a Lodge room was commonly used by other bodies the Lodges should not associate themselves with the L.C.C. Church people are accustomed to see the L.C.C. in the Lodge rooms and they form their conclusions. Prominent members take part in the services and we should not marvel if we constantly hear of the Theosophical Church. Mr. Rogers referred to several letters he had selected from a number. One stated that the member had been in the Society for 32 years, and he preferred to have his Theosophy unmixed. He was glad to have Theosophy taken into the Churches but he strongly objected to any Church being brought into the T.S. Another letter strongly reproached Mr. Rogers for having the annual convention of the American Society on Sunday, when he must have known that the Liberal Catholic Church held its services on that day. When did the Theosophical Society, he asked, have to consult a Church as to when its annual meeting should he held? The annual meeting had always been held on a Sunday, and he saw no reason to change it. They owed a debt of deathless gratitude to one who told them that Theosophists must learn to stand on their own feet. He confessed he did not understand the new Theosophy, as they explained it to contain the truths of the old Theosophy. "I must go along the old Theosophy as best I can, and I ask you not to hurry me too much. While I wait I will stick to the job." He had been helped by the old teachings and he knew the world could be helped by them. It was their business to carry that message to those who could be helped.
L. C. C. Withdraws.
At the opening of the afternoon session on Tuesday, Mr. Irving Cooper came forward and read the following statement:
"We the undersigned Bishop and Clergy of the Liberal Catholic Church in America, who are present at the World Congress of the Theosophical Society, are absolutely in agreement with the policy of keeping separate the activities, places of meeting and publicity of the Theosophical Society and Liberal Catholic Church."
(Signed) Irving S. Cooper, Regionary Bishop; Arthur M. Cooy, John Roine, Hugo Bjuhr, J. T. Eklund, A. Holstead, A. Rex Barnett, P. S. Temple, G. C. Huckaby, Win. J. Fordyce, E. A. Sheehan, Albert F. Hardcastle, John B. Steams, Milo Perkins, J. David Houser, Newton A. Dahl, E. Norman Pearson. "I was under the impression," he said, "that only half a dozen Lodges at the present time were granting the use of their rooms to hold services. We shall take steps at once to relieve our most gracious hosts of our presence there. Three of our missions have been entertaining three Theosophical Lodges who are too poor to have their own place and are given the hall free of rent or for only a nominal rent. Now we shall have to throw them out."
Mrs. Besant and Krishnaji.
Answering question on Tuesday afternoon, Mrs. Besant said she did not know whether Krishnaji's body was aware of the teaching of Christ regarding the Liberal Catholic Church or the new sub-race. Organization was not necessary to spiritual progress, he taught. He wanted people to judge for themselves. Make up your own minds, he said. His constant effort was to shake you out of your beliefs which were
not real, which was shown by your not practicing them. Krishnaji's present work is to destroy all outworn forms, so that people may not adopt them as a form or creed, but only as they put life into these forms. She recalled Henry Ford's interview with a newspaper reporter, whom he told, "I have never made a mistake in my life, nor have you." A mistake was due to absence of experience. It is an experience we have not had before. Spirituality, she said, in answer to another question, commonly comes from the unfoldment of the God within you. Organization has nothing to do with that. The quality of the sixth sub-race was intuition, a development of Buddhi. Religion was a life of joy and happiness, not a system of outside forms and phrases. There should be teaching of the essential truths in perfect forms. The Christian world had not yet learned to practice the Christianity of Christ. Mrs. Besant spoke of her own attitude. "I do not hold things as belonging to a Teacher. I was once told by a holy man that I could not call myself perfect unless I walked about naked. I told him I would leave that to another incarnation." There was not enough service, not enough silence, she said, speaking of the Masters. Only as we become like them can we draw near to them. Krishnaji's disciples, she said, would form a religion out of his teachings. "I cannot pour out life as Krishnaji pours it out. I thankfully take the life that he pours out, but I do not put it into new forms. Krishnaji is not omniscient. The body that has to stand the rough and tumble of the world is not omniscient. She announced herself as in favour of Prohibition.
Order of Service.
Wednesday was wholly devoted to the work of the Order of Service. Max Wardall reported on the progress of the work. Addresses were given by Dr. Cousins on "Art as Service", and by hiss C.W. Dygraaf, John Nimick and Peter Freeman, M.P. Robert Logan spoke on "Humanifur."
Peter Freeman, M.P.
Peter Freeman, General Secretary for Wales, spoke briefly. He preferred to speak on applied rather than academic Theosophy. They were all seeking to find God. They would happen on the truth whatever reason they had applied to those ideals for which they were all striving.
A little boy had asked his mother where God was. . . She replied, Everywhere. Was God in the room? Y es, my child. Was he on the table? Yes, my child. Was he on that spot? Was he just there? Yes. "Got him," exclaimed this practical theologian, bringing his tiny fist down on the spot.
We were finding God in all sorts of ways, but we could not find him that way. We could find God in the gymnasium in his attributes of strength, and also in his love and Truth, but we had to find that in ourselves which gave us a passage way to God himself.
He told of having met a little girl carrying a little brother almost bigger than herself, with a handkerchief tied around his leg. "Is he not too heavy for you?" he asked her. "Why," she replied in astonishment, "He's my brother." It did not take the Secret Doctrine to teach that lesson. There were two kinds of workers, he said, those who were willing to work, and those who were willing to let them. Perfect freedom was only found in perfect service.
Robert Logan followed this with the story of a little girl who had been deeply impressed with the idea that God was everywhere and keeping an eye on her wherever she went and whatever she did. One day she was going out, and the pet puppy followed her. "Go back!" she cried; "go back; it's bad enough to have
God everywhere without having you tagging round after me."
John Nimick said we told people that Brotherhood was the foundation of the Theosophical Movement, but what was the use of telling them that unless we told them how to put it into practice. He spoke of an international press bureau to supply articles to newspapers and magazines.
Robert Logan then introduced the subject of "humanifur" which is a patent imitation fur woven from vegetable products. A company of volunteer manikins displayed a large number of winter garments made of these materials, imitating every kind of fur, and also many fine fabrics for winter wear which did not suggest fur at all. The artificial fur wraps were much admired and many sales of the material were made. Three yards were estimated as sufficient for a coat, and the makeup brought the cost to about $50 according to the quality, creating a garment in all respects equal in appearance to fur, and giving material which in some garments in use for several years showed splendid wearing quality. Mr. Logan reminded those present that 180 millions of rabbits and twelve millions of muskrats were slaughtered to clothe the women of the land with fur garments yearly. The exhibition was under the work of the Order of Service.
An Open Forum.
At an Open Forum which followed, presided over by Chester Green, Miss Dygraaf of Holland, spoke briefly. She noted the difference between labour and skilled labour. Theosophy was for the world, but it was a task to get it before the world. Class work was an enormous hindrance if the classes were not inspiring. There was a great deal of rushing out to do everything in the world that Society cannot do. We must know the needs, the suffering in the world, and learn from others working in the world what is to be done and how to do it. Skill was required in Theosophy as in other labour.
Miss Kamensky, Geneva, general secretary for Russians outside of Russia, the Soviet government not permitting a Theosophical Society in that country, spoke of the work of the League of Nations at Geneva. There were 73 international associations there, and the peace work of the Theosophical Society was centred there.
Another lady spoke in favour of encouraging vegetarianism and the value of food combinations. She advised getting away from complex dishes. Nothing was important but the higher life. The importance of plain food for the vehicle of the higher self was emphasized.
Dr. Arundale spoke on Wednesday evening. He differentiated between the science of mechanics and the science of movement. "I am personally more concerned with the science of mechanism," he said, "than with the science of movement." Some were concerned with the inner government of the world. He was concerned with its mechanistic science. "You must be fanatical," he insisted; "you must be balanced. I who speak to you here am a fanatic, and I am not ashamed of it." Yet he was self-possessed. A man need not know what he is thinking of, but he must think that he thinks that he knows what he is thinking about. This amused the audience.
The following resolution, prepared by the General Secretary for Canada, was read and adopted at the closing session Resolved: That this Theosophical World Congress hereby express its ample satisfaction with the arrangements made by the local committee for its general organization and comfort; that we especially recognize the courage and spirit with which they faced the heavy financial and other responsibilities; that we regard the selection of the Stevens Hotel with its efficient service, its its unexcelled elevator equipment,
its cooperation, and its general spacious modernity as most felicitous; that we tender our best thanks to Mr. L.W. Rogers, president of the American Theosophical Society and to Miss Dygraaf of the Netherlands, joint secretaries of the Congress; to Mr. Ray Harden, secretary-treasurer; to Mrs. H. Kay Campbell, secretary to the president; to Mr. Robert Logan of the Announcement Committee; to Miss Mavis Parker, registration secretary; as well as to the long list of volunteer helpers in all departments who by their diligence and devotion contributed to the success of the meetings, and the ease and convenience of delegates; and that to all these we express our indebtedness and our gratitude for the part they have played in the material phases of what has become a memorable historic event in the history of the Theosophical Movement, an occasion of frankness and freedom, of fraternal and cordial feeling, and of enduring recognition of the spirit of loving service.
Last Word for Peace.
In closing the Congress, Mrs. Besant made her announcement regarding the change of the seat of publication of her magazine, and the suggestion of a resolution in favour of Peace. "We are now as a Society," she said, "standing for Brotherhood and therefore for Peace. You have placed as the Ruler over your great Republic one who alone among the desolation of the world war in Europe carried on a work which gave relief to the suffering, courage to the wounded. Let us send him a telegram telling him that we look to him more than to any one among all the rulers of the world to stand as champion of Peace as he can mightily do; to proclaim to the world that America will not again permit a fratricidal war to break out among the nations." The nations must learn to settle their disputes by peace and not by the brutal arbitrament of war, and this must be by the declaration that war shall be outlawed among us, she said. Mr. Hoover was the fitting president of the Republic, she thought, and the world might rejoice that it had spoken the word that made peace inevitable. If they signified approval the message would be sent and with good will for he had done so much for peace and showed the way to peace, and so they might join in their farewell to war, their welcome to the Brotherhood of Man.
Canadian members of the Society at the Congress included Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Jackson, Toronto; Miss Simkins, Toronto; Miss Norah Jackson, Los Angeles; Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, and Mr. Peter Swanson, Calgary, Alta; and the General Secretary and Mrs. Smythe. A lady from London, Ontario, who wrote saying she would come, did not appear.
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
And in Thy love may we abide,
Estranged from none by wrath or pride;
Among ourselves at unity,
And with all else in charity.
- Old Bohemian Hymn.
THE SONG OF THE SEEKERS
We are the seekers who long have sought
The message of spheres unseen,
We are the minds that the years have wrought
To wisdom and hearts serene;
We are the thinkers of worlds of thought,
The dreamers of endless dreams,
We are the souls that at times have caught
The vision of higher themes.
We are the voice of the wind and sea
That sings of a Law supreme,
We are the prophets of worlds to be,
We have our dreams to dream;
We are the keepers who guard the key
That leads to Eternal Truth,
We are the eyes that forever see
The purpose of Age and Youth.
We are the seekers
- we seek to know,
And in the knowing to find
The truest way that the Soul must go
For Beauty and Peace of Mind.
We are the music of stars at night,
A pulse in the changeless scheme,
We are the seekers who seek the light,
We have our dreams to dream.
- Vernal Bronson House.
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N. W. J. HAYDON
564 Pape Ave., Toronto (6)
Forget your various gurus, your various paths, your various types, your various temperaments. There is only one Master in the world, only one Teacher, only one Source, and if you touch that Source, if you drink at that Source, then you will help humanity. The Beloved whom we follow, is everything. When you think of him, when you are part of him, when he is yourself, you forget your temperaments and types. All of us are one, all want happiness, all want Truth, all want to be free. - J. Krishnamurti in March Star Bulletin.
A man must invest himself near at hand and in common things, and be content with a steady and moderate return, if he would know the blessedness of a cheerful heart. - Burroughs.
BOOKS WORTH WHILE FOR THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS
- ANCIENT AND MODERN PHYSICS, Thos. A. Willson $1.00
Invaluable for the beginner in the knowledge of Theosophy.
- THE EVIDENCE OF IMMORTALITY, Dr. Jerome A. Anderson, $1.00 Unexcelled in the clearness of its statements.
- ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS, H.P. Blavatsky $1.00
- COURSE IN PUBLIC SPEAKING, Roy Mitchell, $3.00 Written specially for Theosophical Students.
- HINTS ON THE STUDY OF THE S D, Roy Mitchell 10c
ONLY A FEW OF THE ABOVE NOW LEFT.
THE BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE
52 ISABELLA STREET TORONTO
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.
An arrangement has been made by which Mr. Ernest Wood will broadcast from WEAF, the well-known New York Station, for five Friday afternoons at 4.30 beginning on September 20. This is an opportunity for Theosophists to tune in and to get their friends to listen.
Mrs. Charles Lazenby has written to say that she is bringing out a collected edition of her late husband's writings, including an ordinary edition and a special deluxe edition of "The Servant" with Epilogue. Copies should be ordered from William McLellan & Co., printers and publishers, 240 Hope Street, Glasgow, Scotland. We feel sure that many of the late Mr. Lazenby's friends will hasten to place their orders for this memorial to the life of an earnest Theosophical worker.
Tributes in one day's mail include "Your Canadian Theosophist was superb." - "Among Theosophic and similar publications coming regularly into this household, your magazine is quite the most warmly human." - "Sorry to have been so late in renewing; surely enjoy your magazine."-"One dollar for renewal of my subscription to your magazine which I read with great pleasure and appreciation of its adherence to the original teachings."
We are sorry to say that subscribers continue to send in cheques from the United States that cost us anywhere from 15 to 25 cents to cash. Why can they not enclose a dollar bill which costs them nothing in excess and gives us our due? Some subscribers write in about the tenth or the week around the 15th complaining that they have not received the Magazine yet. As we only send it out on the 15th, and it does not go by air mail - yet, it would be well to postpone complaints till the 20th at least.
Mrs. J.A. Crampton Chalk has issued a pamphlet entitled "Why the Secret Doctrine should Not be called Buddhism." The object of the pamphlet is not wholly indicated in the title, an object which nobody who knows anything of Theosophy will find fault with. But it is allied with the idea of discrediting two of the most faithful disciples that Madam Blavatsky has in the world today, and this is one of the difficulties of the Theosophical Movement. Hardly one of the disciples can be found to admit that any other disciple is in any respect worthy. Mrs. Cleather and Mr. Crump, whom Mrs. Chalk attacks, are living in Buddhist lands, and quite naturally point out to Buddhists that Theosophy and the Secret Doctrine are the basis of Buddhism. Living in Christian lands we similarly point out that Theosophy is Christianity. Mrs. Chalk should consider what is the matter with her.
Mr. N.W.J. Haydon, formerly president of one of the Boston Lodges and vice-president at one time of the Toronto Lodge, has prepared a little leaflet, giving the aims and objects of the Theosophical society, with a list of books under the headings Introductory, Fundamentals, Development, Devotional, Mysticism, Nature of Man, Occultism, Religious Problems, Reincarnation and Reference. The list is certainly eclectic, and might be criticized rather for its inclusiveness rather than for its omissions. We would certainly prefer C.E. Woods' "The Gospel of Rightness," fur example, to Leadbeater's "The Christian Creed." But readers must learn to develop their own intuition, and rely on their common sense so as not to be led a way by psychic "revelations" and vagaries of that description. Mr. Haydon's list will be of value to students and we would recommend them to the two sections, Fundamentals and Reference. Mr. Hayden supplies all kinds of books, old and new, out of print and second-hand, and will advise correspondents regarding their purchases. His address is 564 Pape Avenue, Toronto, 6, Ontario.
A great deal has been written about Katherine Mayo's book "Mother India," and undue prominence has been given it, as was indeed intended. Antidotes have abounded, and Mr. Ernest Wood has spent an immense amount of time and labor on a new book showing up Miss Mayo's animus. Mrs. Cousins - Margaret E. Cousins, B. Mus., has done enough in an eight-page pamphlet to upset all Miss Mayo's contentions. A paragraph will illustrate. "I have lived in India for twelve years in intimate friendship with the women of India, with its students and with its political and social reformers. I am neither a government servant, nor connected with official nor missionary circles. I am a lover of humanity, and work for it through seeking the advancement of womanhood to an equality of honor and opportunity, with manhood. My work along these lines was viewed so favorably that I was the first woman Honorary Magistrate appointed in India. These facts give me the power to pass judgment on Miss Mayo's book, and, while my experience corroborates a large number of her facts and illustrations regarding sex, health, untouchability, and the treatment of animals, I aver that the total impression that she conveys to any reader, either inside or outside India, is cruelly and wickedly untrue."
Dear Brother Stokes, who never knows his friends from his enemies, accounts for the falling off in the Canadian Section, as he calls it, as attributable to the "policy of inviting lecturers who belong to other societies or movements, or who have private societies of their own and who are simply looking for fresh cows to milk." We have no doubt that "Great Sifter is the name of the Heart Doctrine," and that many members find themselves attracted elsewhere after having had a glimpse of the teachings of Theosophy. It is no loss to a Society to lose those who prefer to follow a leader or teacher rather than puzzle out the "Small old path stretching far away" for themselves. But the breadth and liberality of the real Theosophical platform does not debar anyone from standing upon it who professes to teach the philosophy and practice of Brotherhood. If some members do not fully recognize the superiority of the Theosophical platform in this respect to others, the loss is theirs and not the Society's. But Mr. Stokes overlooked the fact that 42 of the 56 losses were in the Toronto Lodge. It has been generally felt that the absence of Mr. Kartar Singh during the whole of last winter since he went to Vancouver, and gave up the Treasurership, has been responsible for the lapse, as he was a most efficient collector of the dues. It is unfortunate that the sole test
of membership is the payment of five cents a week and as long as there is no one to collect it the members fall into neglect of payment. We believe the majority of them have already paid up. If they have not, their devotion to the cause is not so ardent as to be of any deep loss to the energies of the Lodge. All the same their membership is welcome, and they have their place and their duty just as much as the oldest and the most sacrificing. Another cause given for the lapse is the fact that since the president has been living in another city the Lodge decided to abandon its monthly meetings, so that no opportunity has been given for the members to meet together. The Sunday evening meeting is an open meeting for the public as well as the members and does not offer the opportunity for free discussion and social reunion that a Lodge meeting should.
There is nothing hid that shall not be revealed; there is nothing done in the secret chamber that shall not be proclaimed on the house-top. So said an old sage. It often takes a long time for the truth to come out, but sooner or later it comes, if we are like those described in the Bhagavad Gita as "not peering about." It has long been my rule not to ask questions. I have had some problems that puzzled me considerably, but implicitly trusting Great Karma, I have always been satisfied that the answer would come when the time was ripe. This day, September 7, I had a pamphlet placed in my hands which explains a whole lot of things of which I had been ignorant. I had been ordered for my health after a breakdown early in 1897 to resort to a sea voyage. Accordingly I sailed for Ireland in the summer of that year, on a trading steamer, through the kindness of the late James Carruthers, whose wife was a member of the Toronto T.S. I remained in Ireland till December, 1898, and during that time all sorts of things happened to the Theosophical Society in America. I heard nothing of these except in a letter I received from a friend who had attended the Chicago Congress of the T.S. in America, a long letter, which impressed itself upon me by the fact that I had to pay 48 cents surplus postage for it. This letter was written from one who had sided with Mrs. Tingley at the Convention and naturally all the arguments were from that point of view. It sounded all right, and I accepted my friend's judgment on the matter. When I returned at the end of the year I was commissioned by Mrs. Tingley to make a lecture tour of the United States and Canada, preparatory to the big Convention to be held in May, 1899 at Point Loma. All that is another and a long story. What amazed me was the cold shoulder that my friends of the opposition turned to me. I thought as much of them as ever. I held the same doctrines. I followed the same policy. I had not changed in any way. But I was ignorant of all that had happened on the inside. I am still ignorant on many matters. One of my dearest friends was the late Mrs. Archibald Keightley, formerly Mrs. Julia Campbell Ver Planck. She was much the finest writer on Theosophy in America. She was the editor and part author of that invaluable book, "Letters That Have Helped Ale." She contributed valuable articles to my little magazine, The Lamp. One signed with her pen name, Jasper Niemand, appeared in February, 1900, "Lest We Forget," which I have intended several times to reproduce. This, however, by the way. There grew up an astonishing coldness towards me on the part of these friends, and this pamphlet, perhaps affords an explanation. It reveals a depth of obliquity on the part of Mr. August Neresheimer that I could not have suspected without these documents. But here they are, after the woman who drove him to such perfidy has died as the result of a motor accident. Mr. Neresheimer had acted towards Mrs.
Keightley as he acted towards me in May, 1899, but I never knew anything about the part he played in his role of fellow trustee with Mrs. Keightley of Mr. Judge's Magazine and publishing property until I saw this pamphlet today. I suppose my friends thought I knew of all this. Where ignorance is bliss it is certainly folly to be wise. Mrs. Keightley's pamphlet is a 36-page document, and is a revelation of the immoral control Mrs. Tingley exercised over her followers. I have only had the loan of this pamphlet, which is entitled "The Future of the Theosophical Publishing Company" and would be glad if anyone could supply me with a copy to add to the other archives which I have been accumulating.
AMONG THE LODGES.
REPORT OF VISIT OF MR. AND MRS. GEOFFREY HODSON.
On August 18th and 19th, the Montreal Lodge had the great pleasure of having Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey Hodson of London, England, with them, as they passed through the City on their way to the Chicago Contention. On Sunday afternoon (the 18th) Mr. Hodson gave the members a most illuminating talk, showing the way to true Seership. On Monday evening he addressed a public meeting, the subject being "Clairvoyance and the Hidden Power of Man". This meeting was specially called, as the Lodge is closed during the months of July and August, but it brought a capacity audience to the Lodge Room. Mr. Hodson cleared his subject of the popular misconceptions which surround "Clairvoyance", and placed it upon a sound, logical basis as an extension of existing faculties, which must in the ordinary course of human development be awakened, and laid particular stress on the absolute necessity for proper preparation, life discipline and impersonal motive in the unfoldment of the possibilities before us. A writer of note, Mr. Hodson has published a number of works, amongst which "The Science of Seership" is just off the press. The speaker in his lectures presented angles of thought, so seldom dealt with in our Lodges, and they should be of inestimable benefit to the serious student, especially to those who understand the deep purposes of life, and are trying to live the middle path, the hardest of all to follow. One of the most gratifying incidents in the public attendance was the presence of young people, friends of members, for it is not always we gather the young with us. The Montreal Lodge has been most fortunate in the past few months to have had such speakers as Mr. Hodson and Mr. Clark, both of whom dealing with the subject of true Seership, though following different lines of thought. These speakers should bring a new era and real brotherhood to our Lodge. Mr. and Mrs. Hodson endeared themselves to all they came in contact with and we hope to have them with us again. During their stay in the City they were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Griffiths.
FELLOWS AND FRIENDS
Mr. Peter Freeman is one of six Theosophists who are members of the present British Parliament, the others being George Lansbury, D. Graham Pole, John Scurr, H.C. Charleton and Ben Tillett. Lord de la Warr is a Theosophist in the House of Lords.
Mr. Harry R. Tallman, so long the energetic and able secretary of the Toronto Lodge, had the misfortune to lose his mother, who died on September 4. Mr. and Mrs. Tallman had celebrated their Golden Wedding last Christmas, and this was the first bereavement in the family.
Miss Kamensky, Miss Clara Codd, and Mr. Peter Freeman passed through Montreal on their way to Chicago and were met by Mrs. Griffiths. Mr. Freeman had time to call between trains at Headquarters in Toronto on the Monday evening before the Congress, and as the Lodge Executive was in session he had an opportunity of meeting a number of the members at the Theosophical Hall.
Editor, Canadian Theosophist. - When Mr. Clark, recent lecturer for the Canadian Section T.S. finishes his report on the condition of the various lodges, it is to be hoped that he comments on those two not previously mentioned, and presumably best known by him, viz., Orpheus and Vancouver. Without his opinion on these two, the picture is incomplete.
- Member of Can. Section.
August 25th, 1929.
Alone among the various Sections of the Theosophical Society, the Canadian Section has preserved some degree of independence of thought and action. The history of the Society for the past twenty years has been one of progressive deterioration. As one by one the ancient Theosophical landmarks were removed and the cult of personal devotion skilfully substituted, the more intelligent and independent of the Society's members withdrew in discouragement and despair, leaving the Lodges in the possession of the more dependent and immature types who had no other wish than to read what was given to them, believe what they were told and follow obediently the path laid down for them. And strange and fantastic that path was to prove. Roman Catholic theology, a new branch of the Apostolic Succession, an Adventist cult which developed into a cult of a "World Teacher," a "World Religion," a "World Mother," a "King of the World" - these are merely a few of the astonishing vagaries which were provided for the elect - and the elect obediently swallowed them all.
Canada alone among the national Societies fared better: a creditably high percentage of the Canadian members refused to associate themselves with these astonishing and deplorable developments, but looked on with feelings in which amusement and disgust were curiously blended. This was partly at least, due to the Editor of the Canadian Theosophist, the columns of which have been courageously kept open to a discussion and criticism of the strange ways in which the Society was being led. Also, the work of the late Mr. Lazenby undoubtedly helped to keep the Canadian Section free from ecclesiastical superstition; theological cobwebs could not exist in that robust presence, and priestcraft was his pet abhorrence. The vigorous work of Mr. Roy Mitchell, too, must be mentioned in the story of Canada's exemption from the general psychic debauch. These three stalwarts are largely accountable for the better conditions in Canada, and curiously enough, Toronto Lodge can lay claim to them all
We have arrived at a strange and critical juncture in the history of the Society. So much devastation has been wrought, so much confusion and superstition and psychic "Authority" has been introduced and so firmly established that I do not for a moment profess to know whether the restoration of the Society to sound Theosophical Principles is a possibility; but if it is, of one thing I am sure - that Canada has a unique opportunity to play a leading part in this great work. Think for a moment of the importance to Western civilization if the great Aryan Philosophy could again be declared in all its austere and soul-satisfying grandeur
Canada's contribution has up till now been a negative one - and I do not see how it could well have been otherwise; is it possible for us to enter upon the positive phase of the work now that the hour for action has come? It is for the members of the Canadian Section to reflect deeply on these things and become perfectly clear as to the nature of the qualities required in us if Canada is to be the vivifying centre through which spiritual life shall again flow into the Theosophical Society. And this great result is actually possible - if there can be found men and women of the requisite quality. But our gift must be a positive one; And we must not confuse the issue with vague, emotional thinking.
The varied contributions which people of different temperaments have to make to the Theosophical Movement is sometimes compared to an orchestral performance - and the simile is a most excellent one and could hardly be bettered. Every diverse gift in our complex human nature has a potential value in the great Theosophical Movement, and the more dissimilar the gifts, the richer the harmony.
But - and here is the point which is so often overlooked in our hasty and vague use of simile and metaphor - before our temperamental gifts and qualities can be of use in concerted music, they must be trained and disciplined until they conform to the strict and complicated laws of harmony. And the training is often a long and arduous process, demanding a great devotion which knows no weariness or discouragement so that the requisite skill be gained. And yet how fatally often do our Theosophical students talk and proceed as if the production of orchestrated harmony were a very simple and easy thing - as if anyone who possessed an instrument and a musical bent could quite fittingly come forward, enter the orchestra and tootle his cornet, scrape his fiddle or blow his horn according to his own untutored fancy!
When we use the splendid and extremely fitting simile of an orchestra to picture more clearly to ourselves the working of the Theosophical Movement, why do we so easily forget the long and devoted hours of toil - often weary and discouraging - necessary to master our instrument sufficiently to take a creditable part in a great orchestral performance? And shall we Theosophical members demand less of ourselves than this! Is the Harmony we think of such a poor thing that any casual group of foolish, undisciplined people can compass it? Shall we not rise to a more adequate conception of what is required of us fittingly to represent to our generation the world's greatest and most ancient Philosophy? Can we not see that this task will demand the very best that is in us - and that the best is none too good!
In a future article I hope to take up in some detail a consideration of this process of fitting ourselves for the high adventure of restoring Theosophy to the Theosophical Society.
- Wm. C. Clark.
THE STUDY OF "THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE."
By James Morgan Pryse.
Prelude, Paraphrased from Fragment I.
The small old path that upward winds from earth,
From all its misery and futile strife,
Leads to the bliss of freedom from rebirth,
To hallowed wisdom and eternal life.
That path is followed only by the few
Who seek self-knowledge, free from fear and doubt
For he who looks Within may find the True;
He vainly seeks who only looks Without.
What here is written is for those in whom
The inner life is quickening, as when
The babe stirs faintly in the mother's womb -
Disciples, few among the sons of men,
Who, seeking holy Wisdom, may discern
The path that leads to heavenly happiness,
But who, untaught, unwarned, have yet to learn
The perils of the path, the strife and stress
Which rend the soul when forces that have lain
Dormant for ages in the man of sin
Awake, and psychic faculties regain
Perception of the wondrous worlds within.
Whoe'er would journey to the inmost heaven,
Where dwells the ever-living Self of him,
Must run the hazard of the regions seven
That lie beyond the Mid-world's portal grim,
The psychic regions of Illusion, where
Pitfalls and perils passing speech abound;
But he, if pure, and strong to do and dare,
Attains the kingdom of the Solar-crowned.
The true disciple who has made his choice
To follow Wisdom's lofty, toilsome way,
And who would hear and comprehend her voice
Must learn to fix his mind, nor let it stray:
In deepest meditation holding fast
A single concept - some one sacred thing
Among subjective truths or beings classed -
His thoughts repressed, his will unwavering,
His consciousness, turned inwardly, withdrawn
From all the things objective, which pertain
To this external world - Delusion's spawn
Which fill the mind o'er which the senses reign.
Three states of consciousness, which correspond
To waking, dreaming, and undreaming sleep,
Are known through meditation; and beyond
Extends the fourth, which in its vaster sweep
Touches omniscience. He who can attune
His consciousness to these transcendent states
May enter then, at will, the Worlds triune
And reach the realm wherein the Master waits.
But ere the vision-power can be achieved
The soul must first be clarified, to find
The tranquil forces that are ne'er perceived
Until the heart has melodized the mind.
Then closed must be the doors of outer sight
To all illusions; for the fleshly eyes
But open on the world's illusive light,
Which Nature wears as her supreme disguise.
Before the devotee can be endued
With holy inner hearing, he must know
Calmness of soul, and from his ears exclude
All sounds that vibrate in the world below:
His mind in meditation so profound
Must be absorbed that he will pay no heed
To any thought-distracting sight or sound
Than he were blind and deaf in very deed.
Thus having risen above the fond desire
For objects of perception, forms evolved
From matter by the demiurgic fire,
Let the disciple, steadfast and resolved,
Seek out the covert King who rules unseen
The outer senses, and the soul deludes,
Enshapes thought-images of things terrene,
And fills with fantasies the finitudes.
This King, whose subjects ever wander through
Illusion's maze, is Mind, the overgrown
Discursive Reason, that excludes the True.
Him the disciple mast perforce dethrone:
For when this image -making mind is brought
To perfect stillness, and the mental field
Is bare of every shadowy shape of thought,
And all the senses are securely sealed;
When the disciple's body, mortal-born,
To him as wraith-like and unreal seems
As do, on his awaking in the morn,
The half-remembered forms that filled his dreams;
When, every sense external thus suppressed,
Of all objective things, the Many, none
Can reach him or detain him from his quest,
And in the Silence he perceives the One,
The inner Sound that fills the sacred Peace,
Where soul-deluding sounds are never heard -
Then only shall his soul obtain release
From earth's dark sphere, where Truth is sepulchered.
Then only, not till then, shall he attain
The kingdom of the Self, the Wisdom-sphere,
Where truths kept hidden from the world profane
Are lucid to the vision of the Seer.
But e'en when sight and hearing are unsealed,
Ere he can memorize and comprehend
The Mysteries by the inner Self revealed
He first must cause his lower mind to blend
With his own Nous, the Lord of Cosmic Day,
Uniting thus the Teacher and the Taught,
As Beauty's form, ere modeled in the clay,
Must be united with the sculptor's thought.
Thus shall the Soul attain the goal it seeks,
Shall hear, and in its memory enshrine
The truths imparted by the Voice that speaks
Out of the Silence, in the Realm Divine.
(To be continued.)
By Claude Falls Wright
(Continued from Page 191.)
The spiritual Ego of man moves in eternity like a pendulum between the hours of life and death. But if these hours marking the periods of terrestrial and spiritual life are limited in their duration, and if the very number of such stages in eternity between sleep and awakening, illusion and reality, had its beginning and its end, on the other hand the spiritual "Pilgrim" is eternal. - M - .
The essential feature of the esoteric philosophy is the conception of a principle of unity as underlying the infinite productions of nature. This has been sufficiently demonstrated already, and if appreciated, it then becomes comparatively an easy task to have some idea of the destiny of Being, as that also of every individual item in the scheme of nature.
All things have sprung from One - out of homogeneity into heterogeneity - to one they all tend; the final endeavour of each unit is to recognize its oneness with all. This state has been called Nirvana. There are many degrees of it, however; indeed in the evolution of the lowest to the highest many "Nirvanas" may be said to be realized. From a lower aspect it is simply the bringing of any entity into a state of harmony with its surroundings. Thus the Chinese say that the animals enter Nirvana when they become civilized. But from a higher point of view, it is the total merging of the consciousness of individuality of any unit into that more complete nature of which it forms a part. For example, a drop of water might be said to have attained to its highest power, its Nirvana, when it had identified itself with the larger body of fluid to which it belonged; likewise a leaf, if it merged its individual life in that of the branch of which it was born; or the branch, if it felt itself the tree; or the tree, if it cast into the earth for its essential life. Each would have extended its sphere of being, and by the consciousness of unity
thus established, attained peace, arising out of freedom from its former sense of separateness. And as a lesser unit, joining its individuality with that whole of which it forms a part, finds itself a member of a greater world, so also the latter, identifying itself with a yet more complete nature, recognizes a still more perfect harmony. This constant assertion of greater harmonies in the universe constitutes the real progress of the "Pilgrim" in its journey "home."
Each stage of perfection thus reached, each more complete individuality evoked by the monad, gives it at first the idea of finality. It is only after much association with its new condition that it discovers that such is not yet an entirely complete one; that there are still yet loftier peaks to scale, wider fields of Being to investigate. "Nothing is permanent except the one hidden absolute existence, which contains in itself the noumena of all realities.
Whatever plane our consciousness may be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that planes are, for the time being, our only realities. As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that daring the stages through which we have passed we mistook shadows for realities, and the upward progress of the ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached "reality;" but only when we shall have reached the absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by Maya." * [* The Secret Doctrine. Vol. I, pages 39, 40.]
This identification of individual life with the sum-total of consciousness - universal life - has been the goal of every religious system. The Zoroastrian is called upon to "hasten to the Light;" the Buddhist aspires to his "Nirvana;" the Hindu asks for rest in the "Bosom of Brahm ;" the Hebrew, for rest in the "Bosom of Abrahm ;" the Christian would become "one with God."
It will be seen at once that a vast distinction must exist in the degree and kind of their development between those beings that are without the element of self-consciousness and those that have it. With the first Nirvana is merely the sliding into a state of passive harmony; the second carries the power of individuality. The retaining of self-consciousness, yet evolving perfect consciousness and existing in absolute harmony with all things and on all planes, is said to be the greatest bliss known, the sum-total of strength. In part it fulfills the purpose of the Universe in manifesting itself as individual lives - to evolve self-consciousness within itself. It is possible on earth to man alone. He alone, of all beings, can reach the highest state in this solar Manvantara, for no other composite being has the manasic element in it.
What the state of Nirvana is for the monad that has attained self-consciousness - the human monad, Atma-Buddhi-Manas has been the subject of more controversy among eastern Buddhist pandits than almost any other. And it has reflected itself among western orientalists. Some have maintained that the Nirvana of Gautama's doctrine, signifying as it does the fulness of Being, is equivalent to annihilation. This arises out of the limitations of the mental faculty to comprehend such state. "All that words can convey," writes Mr. Sinnett, * "is that Nirvana is a sublime state of conscious rest in omniscience. It would be ludicrous, after all that has gone before, to turn to the various discussions which have been carried on by students of exoteric Buddhism as to whether Nirvana does or does not mean annihilation. Worldly similes fall short of indicating the feeling with which the graduates of esoteric science regard such a question. Does the last penalty of the law mean the highest honour of the peerage? Is a wooden spoon the emblem of the most illustrious preeminence in learning? Such questions as these but faintly symbolize the extrava-
* Esoteric Buddhism, page 236.
gance of the question whether Nirvana is held by Buddhism to be equivalent to annihilation. And in some, to us inconceivable, way the state of para-Nirvana is spoken of as immeasurably higher than that of Nirvana."
Above all things it is important to recollect that Nirvana is a condition or state of the soul, or spiritual ego, not a locality. It is not a place where the destiny of man lies, but is the transfusing of his individual mind into the universal soul-essence. And the state can be reached while the physical body is alive as after its dissolution. During life it is called Samadhi. At such periods, when the ego has separated itself entirely from physical life, has entered the ineffable condition of Nirvana, the body remains in a sort of cataleptic condition, one of suspended animation, and to all intents and purposes dead. Its inner principles have fled, and resolved themselves into the more ethereal natures of the world.
This high ecstatic condition of bliss reached, the only question is if the soul will ever return from it. To pass into Nirvana means a cessation of any further possibility of individual development, or of aiding other selves to that end. The ego has run its coarse, it has attained the object of its setting forth, has reared individual life. And proportionately as success has crowned its efforts, is it entitled to blissful rest. But to accept its well-earned peace is to divorce itself from the power of rendering farther aid to nature in her great labour, that of evolving individual existences. Therefore those wise ones who have attained liberty - "freedom from rebirth" - and Nirvana, are, among the trans-Himalayan Brothers, regarded as selfish, if they accept Nirvana. They are the Buddhas of Selfishness, the Pratyeka Buddhas, as opposed to the Buddhas of Compassion, those who renounce nirvanic bliss "to help mankind."
The fact that the ego should have the power to return to earth-life after having attained the condition of Nirvana, contains a greater mystery than the writer is prepared to state his ability to explain. It is a teaching of the esoteric doctrine; but only those who have made the great journey can have any idea of its mystery. That the ego-spirit can, and frequently does return, however, is exemplified in the lives of such as Gautama and all the greater sages of the world. These are the divines of earth who are said to walk "the fourth path of holiness."
It will be apparent that death to so exalted a being as one who had attained and renounced Nirvana, could scarcely be called death at all. At best it would be but a "shuffling off this mortal coil." The death of the body would simply mean the dissolution of the lowest and most physical instrument. The adept could then live for ages in his next form, his astral counterpart, untrammeled with the desires terrestrial - which must to some extent affect all who dwell in the flesh, - and living thus, aid nature in her development of man, man in the development of himself. Such adepts are known to exist. Unseen of man, they labour to shield him from falling into deeper sin and misery than has already become his lot. They are called the Nirmanakayas of Compassion. They incarnate from age to age as the greater avatars, the saviors of the world. Of such were Gautama, Jesus, and many whose names rest unknown; who worked silently, perhaps through others, for the regeneration, the upraising of mankind. Yet even the highest of the earth's more perfected beings cannot entirely avoid the issue of life. As surely as night follows day, as the state of waking leads to the condition of rest, is it that the time will come when even the most active natures must be plunged into the nirvanic sleep, animals, men, nirmanakayas, gods, planets, universes alike. This is when the whole cosmos passes into its Pralaya, at the close of a Day of life. The monads of all must then return into their primary state of oneness, to re-emerge only when again the great thrill of activity awakes the sleeping
worlds. This universal sleep is called the state of Paranirvana. "In Paranirvana - when Pralaya will have reduced not only material and physical bodies, but even the spiritual Ego (s) to their original principle - the Past, Present, and even Future Humanities, like all things, will be one and the same. Everything will have re-entered the Great Breath. In other words, everything will be `merged in Brahma' or the divine unity.
"Is this annihilation, as some think? Or Atheism, as other critics - the worshipers of a personal deity and believers in an unphilosophical paradise - are inclined to suppose? Neither. It is worse than useless to return to the question of implied atheism in that which is spiritually of a most refined character. To see in Nirvana annihilation amounts to saying of a man plunged in a sound dreamless sleep - one that leaves no impression on the physical memory and brain, because the sleeper's Higher Self is in its original state of absolute consciousness during those hours - that he, too, is annihilated. The latter - simile answers only to one side of the question, the most material; since reabsorption is by no means such a `dreamless sleep,' but, on the contrary, absolute existence, an unconditioned unity, or a state, to describe which human language is absolutely and hopelessly inadequate. The only approach to anything like a comprehensive conception of it can be attempted solely in the panoramic visions of the soul, through spiritual ideations of the divine monad. Nor is the individuality - nor even the essence of the personality, if any be left behind - lost, because reabsorbed. For, however limitless - from a human standpoint - the paranirvanic state, it has yet a limit in Eternity. Once reached, the same monad will re-emerge therefrom, as a still higher being, on a far higher plane, to recommence its cycle of perfected activity. The human mind cannot, in its present stage of development transcend, it can scarcely reach this plane of thought. It totters here, on the brink of incomprehensible Absoluteness and Eternity." *
[* The Secret Doctrine. Vol. i, pages 265, 266.]
(To be continued.)
"Lord of the grass and hill,
Lord of the rain,
White Overlord of will,
Master of pain.
"I, who am dust and air,
Blown through the halls of death
Like a pale ghost of prayer,
I am Thy breath.
"Lord of the blade and leaf,
Lord of the bloom,
Sheer Overlord of grief,
Master of doom.
"Lonely as wind or snow,
Through the vague world and dim,
Vagrant and glad I go,
I am Thy whim:
"Lord of the frost and cold,
Lord of the North,
When the red sun grows old
And day goes forth.
"I shall put off this girth,
Go glad and free,
Earth to my mother earth,
Spirit to Thee."
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