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VOL. X., No. 9 HAMILTON, NOVEMBER 15th, 1929 Price 10 Cents
H. P. B.' S EDITORIAL POLICY
....Elsewhere we have clearly explained the nature of Theosophy; it remains for us to say a few words as to the policy of our paper.
It has been shown that the individual members of our Society have their own private opinions upon all matters of a religious, as of every other, nature. They are protected in the enjoyment and expression of the same; and, as individuals, have an equal right to state them in the Theosophist, over their own signatures. Some of us prefer to be known as Arya Samajists, some as Buddhists, some as idolaters, some as something else. What each is, will appear from his or her signed communications. But neither Aryan, Buddhist, nor any other representative of a particular religion, whether an editor or a contributor, can, under the Society's rules, be allowed to use these editorial columns exclusively in the interest of the same, or unreservedly commit the paper to its propaganda. It is designed that a strict impartiality shall be observed in the editorial utterances; the paper representing the whole Theosophical Society, or Universal Brotherhood, and not any single section. The Society being neither a church nor a sect in any sense, we mean to give the same cordial welcome to communications from one class of religionists as to those from another; insisting only that courtesy of language shall be used towards opponents. And the policy of the Society is also a full pledge and guarantee that there will be no suppression of fact nor tampering with writings, to serve the ends of any established or dissenting church, of any country. - (H.P.B. in The Theosophist, I, p. 2.)
Anyone who, like the Theosophists, knows how infinite is that ocean of eternal wisdom, to be fathomed by no one man, class, or party, and realizes how little the largest vessel made by man contains in comparison to what lies dormant and still unperceived in its dark, bottomless depths, cannot help but be tolerant. For he sees that others have filled their little water-jugs at the same great reservoir at which he has dipped his own, and if the water in the various pitchers seems different to the eye, it can only be because it is discolored by impurities that were in the vessel before the pure crystalline element - a portion of the one eternal and immutable truth - entered into it . . . . . .
. . . . We know. . . that a portion of truth, great or small, is found in every religious and philosophical system, and that if we would find it, we have to search for it at the very origin and source of every such system, at its roots and first growth, not in its later overgrowth of sects and dogmatism. Our object is not to destroy any religion but rather to help to filter
each, thus ridding them of their respective impurities. In this we are opposed by all who maintain, against evidence, that their particular pitcher alone contains the whole ocean . . . .
. . . .Free discussion, temperate, candid, undefiled by personalities and animosity, is, we think, the most efficacious means of getting rid of error and bringing out the underlying truth . . . . Readers . . . should remember that precisely because Lucifer is a theosophical magazine, it opens its columns to writers whose views of life and things may not only slightly differ from its own, but even be diametrically opposed to the opinion of the editors. The object of the latter is to elicit truth, not to advance the interest of any particular ism . . . .
. . . .Justice demands that when the reader comes across an article in this magazine which does not immediately approve itself to his mind by chiming in with his own peculiar ideas, he should regard it as a problem to solve rather than as a mere subject of criticism. Let him endeavour to learn the lesson which only opinions differing from his own can teach him. Let him be tolerant, if not actually charitable, and postpone his judgment till he extracts from the article the truth it must contain, adding this new acquisition to his store. One ever learns more from one's enemies than from one's friends . . . .
-(H.P.B., Lucifer, I, pp. 341/343).)
. . . . Moreover, we have given good proofs of our impartiality. We published articles and letters criticizing not alone our personal theosophical and philosophical views, but discussing upon subjects directly connected with our personal honour and reputation; reviving the infamous calumnies in which, not simple doubts, but distinctly formulated charges of dishonesty were cast into our teeth and our private character was torn to shreds (Vide "A Glance at Theosophy from the Outside", Lucifer for October, 1888). And if the editor will never shrink from what she considers her duty to her readers, and that she is prepared to throw every possible light upon mooted questions in order that truth should shine bright and hideous lies and superstitions be shown under their true colors - why should our contributors prove themselves so thin-skinned? Magna est veritas et prevalebit. Every hitherto far-hidden truth, whether concealed out of sight by Nature's secretiveness or human craft, must and shall be unveiled some day or other. Meanwhile, we do our best to help poor, shivering, naked Truth in her arduous progress, by cutting paths for her through the inextricable jungle of theological and social shams and lies. The best means of doing it is to open the pages of our magazine to free controversy and discussion, regardless of personalities or prejudices - though some of our friends may object to such modes of excavating far hidden truths. They are wrong, evidently. It is by this means alone that he who holds correct views has a chance of proving them, hence of seeing them accepted and firmly established; and he who is mistaken of being benefitted by having his better sense awakened and directed to the other side of the question he sees but in one of its aspects. Logic, Milton says to us, teaches us "that contraries laid together more evidently appear; it follows, then, that all controversy being permitted, falsehood will appear more false, and truth the more true; which must needs conduce much to the general confirmation of an implicit truth." Again, "if it (controversy) be profitable for one man to read, why should it not at least be tolerable and free for his adversary to write?"
. . . . Lucifer has a settled and plainly outlined policy of its own, and those who write for it have either to accept it, or - turn their backs on our magazine. No discourteous epithets or vulgar abuse of personalities shall ever be allowed in our Monthly. . . No individual - friend or foe - risks being called in our journal "adventurer", "hallucinated lunatic". "im-
postor and free lover", "charlatan", or "credulous fool" . . . .
But, on the other hand, no one of whatever rank or influence - as nothing however "time-honoured", shall ever be pandered to or propitiated in our magazine. Nor shall any error, sham or superstition be daubed with the whitewash of propriety, or passed over in prudent silence. As our journal was not established for a money-making enterprise, but verily as a champion for every fact and truth, however tabooed and unpopular, - it need pander to no lie or absurd superstition. For this policy the Theosophical Publishing Co. is, already, several hundred pounds out of pocket. The editor invites free criticism upon everything that is said in Lucifer; and while protecting every contributor from direct personalities is quite willing to accept any amount of such against herself, and promises to answer each and all to the best of her ability. Fas est ab hoste doceri. . . "Fais que dois, advienne que pourra." -(H.P.B. in Lucifer, III, pp. 3445.)
THE STUDY OF " THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE."
By James Morgan Pryse.
(Continued from Page 238.)
The list of sounds in the Voice omits three that are given in the Upanishad; the second, which is practically the same as the first; the sixth, "the sound of the tal" (an Indian musical instrument made of bell-metal and played with a stick); and the eighth, the sound of the pahaoujd - the Sanskrit words in the sixth and the eighth descriptions having been left untranslated. "Viva," used to describe the fifth sound, is now a recognized English word. It is also spelled bina, dialectically. The phrase "chant of the Vina" is copied by H.P.B., though here the word "chant" is used in a sense that has become obsolete.
It is clearly evident and undeniable that the passages here quoted from the Voice were taken from the quotation from the Upanishad which was given in the article published in the Theosophist. That fact, however, does not involve even a suggestion of plagiarism. No direct credit is given for the quotation; but in the Preface H.P.B. frankly makes the inclusive statement that the text of the Voice is made up of "a judicious selection" from various Eastern treatises. She does not designate the particular source of any of the quotations included in the collection, nor even distinguish from the rest those taken from the Book of the Golden Precepts; but she gives due credit for quotations made in the footnotes. That blanket acknowledgment in the Preface amply covers all borrowed matter in the text.
In the Theosophist, May, 1889, an English translation is given of the Nada-Bindu Upanishad, one of the many spurious works that have been foisted in Hindu religious literature. This bogus Scripture professes to set forth the experiences of the yogi who sounds and meditates on the Omnific Word, Aum. Nada, it explains, is "the sound which proceeds from Brahma-Pranava" (Om), and adds that "beyond this is the soundless (asabdha) Brahma," i.e., "the Silence." Bindu (dialectically vindu) is the "point" of the Cosmic Word, and is, according to Hindu mysticism, "the star of initiation." The Nada-Bindu gives the following absurd instructions:
"The yogee being in the Siddhasana posture practicing the Vaishnavi mudra, should always hear the internal sound through the right ear.
"The sound which he thus practice makes him deaf to all external sounds. Having overcome all obstacles, he enters the Thurya state within 15 days.
"In the beginning of his practice he hears many loud sounds. They gradually increase in pitch and are heard more and more subtly.
"At first the sounds are like those proceeding from ocean, clouds, kettle-drum (beri) and cataracts; in the middle
(stage), those proceeding from maddhala (a musical instrument), bell, and horn.
"At the last stage those proceeding from tinkling bells, flute, Vina (a musical instrument) and bees. Thus he hears many such sounds more and more subtle.
"When he comes to that stage when the sound of kettle-drum is being heard, he should try to distinguish only sounds more and more subtle."
After more charlatanic nonsense of that sort, it goes on to say:
"The mind exists so long as there is sound; but with its (sound's) cessation he attains the state called Unmani of manas (the state of annihilation of mind)."
The puerility of this so-called Upanishad leads to the inference that its author had made noteworthy progress toward the beatific state of "annihilation of the mind." Singularly, H.P.B., deigns to quote approvingly in the Voice one of his preposterous apothegms, which reads:
"An adept in yoga who bestrides the Hamsa (bird) thus (viz., contemplates on Om) is not affected by karmic influences or by 10 crores of sins."
Here is pointed out an easy way to hoodwink Karma and elude the consequences of one hundred million sins.. Always in exoteric religions the sinner is cajoled with some priest-devised scheme whereby he may cheat the Law and escape the penalties of his sins. Thus in Isaiah (i. 13): "Come now, let us reason together," said Jehovah; "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." By becoming a convert to Christianity the sinner goes into moral bankruptcy, casts his sins, howsoever scarlet they may be, upon a sinless Substitute, and may then sing the doggerel hymn:
"Free from the Law, O happy condition! Jesus has died, and there is remission,"
It is to be regretted that the Voice lends countenance to such theological fictions by quoting, seemingly with approval, the fantastic statement in the Nada-Bindu, and by calling the Arhan who renounces Nirvana "a Saviour of the World," thus endorsing the vicious dogma of Vicarious Atonement. Granted that this world, with its Astral environs, is Myalba, Orcus, plain Hell, that does not alter the fact that every man in it must answer for his own transgressions and work out his own salvation. No matter how much a man may be helped by guidance and instructions received from others, he must, in the last analysis, be his own savior. If the Divine Law, instead of being impartial, admits of partiality, then the fabric of Universal Justice falls in ruins. The true doctrine is eloquently declared in the Idyl of the White Lotus: "Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment."
Only when the psychic senses have been awakened and are blended, in the fourth stage of Dhyana, can the sacred Triangle, the geometrical symbol imaging the Monadic Triad, be seen; and since at this stage the senses of sight and hearing are unified, the light radiating from the Triangle is likewise sound, and it conveys teachings in spoken language: the Triangle becomes veritably a Voice. But the Triangle disappears when the Dhyana stage is reached; for then the consciousness is on the plane of the NOUS, and the lower mind is for the time being one with the Higher Mind. Untrammeled by the senses, it has the power of Direct Cognition, which in the Voice is termed "faultless vision," though it is not clairvoyance or any sort of sense-perception, but is the purely Noetic faculty. Samadhi is the steady continuance in this state; as Shankaracharya says, it is Gnana, Knowledge. In the Voice it is set forth metaphorically in this eloquent apostrophe:
"And now rest 'neath the Bodhi tree, which is perfection of all knowledge; for, know, thou art the Master of Samadhi - the state of faultless vision.
"Behold! thou hast become the Light, thou halt become the Sound, thou art thy Master and thy God. Thou art Thyself,
the object of thy search: the Voice un-broken, that resounds throughout eternities, exempt from change, from sin exempt, the Seven Sounds in One."
The concluding sentence of the apostrophe is, however, liable to be misconstrued. The immortal Self, the Nous, metaphorically the "Voice," is indeed exempt from sin. But the lower self does not by attaining the temporary state of Samadhi (which if permanent would be Nirvana) become likewise exempt from sin, or from the consequences of sins that Karma has charged up against him. When he returns to the outer consciousness, after Samadhi, his karmic account still remains to be settled. A footnote, preceding the apostrophic peroration quoted above, gives the following definition of "the state of faultless vision":
"Samadhi is the state in which the ascetic loses the consciousness of every individuality, including his own. He becomes the All."
It is evident that in this footnote, probably scribbled hastily on a proof sheet, as was her wont, H.P.B. has very imperfectly expressed the meaning she intended to convey. If her statement is taken literally, it can only mean that Samadhi is a state of spiritual amnesia, utter oblivion, even annihilation of the true Self that is said to lie immortal and omniscient. Thus literally construed, the footnote flatly contradicts the apostrophic passage, in which the ascetic, having reached Samadhi, is said to have become one with his Eternal Self, the "Voice" (his NOUS, or Logos), which participates in the nature of all the Noetic Hierarchies, "the Seven Sounds in one." So the extremely hyperbolical footnote must be toned down to make it accord with the splendid apostrophe, in which the Master of "the state of faultless vision" is told to "rest 'neath the Bodhi tree, which is perfection of all knowledge."
The fallacious doctrine, held by many exoteric Buddhists and others, that the individual is ultimately absorbed into the non-individuate essence of Deity, even as "the dew-drop slips into the shining sea," is an expression of stark pessimism, the twin of crass materialism, and is contrary to the occult philosophy. For, according to the occult doctrine, the Individual Monad becomes omniscient when it completes the cycle of manifestation; it must, therefore, retain the sense of individuality and the memory of its experiences during that vast cycle. Omniscience is not conceivable as complete oblivion and obliteration of individuality. Samadhi, however, is but a temporary state experienced during meditation; and if in that state the ascetic were to lose consciousness of all individualities, including his own, and become the All, his meditation would culminate in self-destruction. In actual practice the ascetic must, from beginning to end of the period of meditation, retain consciousness of his individuality. If at any stage he loses that consciousness he simply falls asleep prosaically, and thus fails ignobly in his attempt to reach Samadhi; and if he becomes unconscious in that highest state, whether or not he "becomes the All," he can not bring back, and "write on the recording tablets of his mind," the knowledge received from the Nous. Loss of consciousness indicates that the "bridge" ( Antaskarana) has broken down, leaving a gap between the Higher Mind and the Lower Mind. That means failure; yet the disciple must expect to meet with many failures and partial successes before he can by long and sustained effort forge through the psychic and psycho-spiritual stages of meditation and ultimately attain Samadhi, the Noetic consciousness. The instructions outline the continuous, unbroken course of meditation, from the first stage to the final one, Samadhi. But that goal can be reached only after long and assiduous practice. The tyro will fall short of it again and again; but if, at any such stoppage, he retains consciousness, he then finds himself on one or another of the inner planes. In the Voice the disciple is warned not to linger in the lower Astral,
"the world of mediums," and is counseled to press on and reach the Noetic plane.
Now, while the lower Astral is indeed "the world of mediums," the Higher Astral, or Psycho-spiritual world, most certainly is not. The two psychic worlds are purposely confused in the Voice, lumped together as one, which is denominated, inconsistently, "the world of mediums" (that of the "Great Illusion") and "the Hall of Learning." The latter is qualified, in a footnote, as "the Hall of Probationary Learning"; but that afterthought hardly dims the glaring contradiction. Yet in this H.P.B. merely follows the age-long policy of silence concerning the higher psychic realm, which may be termed "the Hall of Learning," but which to a certainty is not "the world of mediums." In the early days of the T.S. this settled policy left students under the misapprehension that after death the soul passes into the Kama-loka and thence directly into the Arupa-devachan. The Rupa-devachan was barely mentioned, and thus a gap was left in the teachings, a gap that has never really been filled. Wisely the student is left to explore for himself these higher planes, and having done so to keep his discoveries to himself, for reasons which will be apparent to him.
Concurrently with progress in the practice of meditation comes increasing lucidity daring the hours of nightly repose. For when the physical frame is relaxed in sleep, the quiescence of the mental faculties and the suspension of the functions of the sense-organs make it possible for the inner Self to cross the borders of the psychic and the physical planes, and this it can do the more readily when the outer self has by the practice of meditation become more sensitive and receptive. It is incorrect to say that the spiritual Self is freed from the trammels of the body daring sleep. The spiritual Self is always free; but it can not correlate with the outer self unless the latter becomes susceptive of psychic and spiritual influences, as it does during normal sleep and also in the states induced by meditation. In slumber, the dreaming state, comes cognizance of the psychic world, the physical organ of perception being the pituitary. While falling asleep, midway between waking and sleeping, a person who is somewhat psychic may see and hear things on the lower Astral planes. In deep sleep, usually termed "dreamless," the sleeper is conscious of the spiritual world, the physical organ of perception being the pineal. On waking, however, the psychically undeveloped person retains dim memories only, or none at all, of his experiences in the higher worlds. "Hence," says H.P.B., in the Key, "although there is hardly a human being whose Ego does not hold free intercourse, during the sleep of his body, with those whom it loved and lost, yet, on account of the positiveness and non-receptivity of its physical envelope and brain, no recollection, or a very dim, dream-like remembrance, lingers in the memory of the person once awake." Likewise that is the case if at any time during meditation he becomes really "unconscious," that is, loses touch with the physical plane, for he is then merely asleep. In Yoga-meditation the consciousness must remain unbroken, so that the knowledge gained on the higher planes may be retained in the memory and impressed on the brain. Consciousness of one's immortality, the positive knowledge that the lower mind is identical in essence with the Higher Mind, is attained by attuning the former to the latter.
The Individuality of man is indestructible, eternal. It manifests itself trebly, in the Noetic, Psychic and Physical worlds, thus participating in three concurrent streams of evolution; when those streams coalesce there is no loss of individuality. When the human self re-identifies itself with the Divine Self the human is glorified and the Divine enriched with the garnered fruits of the vast evolutionary cycle. Students of the Voice should take cum grano salis such hyperbolic statements as the following:
"And now thy self is lost in Self, thyself unto Thyself, merged in that Self from which thou first didst radiate.
"Where is thy individuality, Lanoo, where the Lanoo himself? It is the spark lost in the fire, the drop within the ocean, the ever-present ray become the All and the eternal radiance."
Taken literally, this would be a doctrine of annihilation, a denial of individual immortality, a sublimated form of materialism; that it is not to be so taken, but is only a perfervid rhapsody on the almost boundless scope of Bodhi-knowledge, is shown by the sentence immediately following it, apostrophizing the disciple, now in Samadhi: "And now, Lanoo, thou art the doer and the witness, the radiator and the radiation, Light in the Sound, and the Sound in the Light" - all these terms being used metaphorically for the Logos, Manas, and the Light of the Logos, Buddhi. Having reached Samadhi, the state of pure knowledge, the Lanoo realizes his own immortal Individuality.
The disciple, once he has entered the Light, by entering the state of Samadhi, is in duty bound to diffuse that Light, as best he may, among his fellow-students. He is now a Shramana, an ascetic who practice the occult meditation; he has found the Path, and now must point it out to the Shravakas, the hearers, who "await in ignorance and darkness." To do this, as he is dramatically shown to do in this Fragment, he world only have to testify to the accuracy of the instructions given in Fragment I.; instead, he delivers a discourse on Buddhist doctrines, beginning with "the doctrine of the two Paths in one." Now, these two Paths are simply the two "Yanas" of two rival Buddhist sects, Hina-yana and Maha-yana. The word "Yana" is translated as "Vehicle" in the Voice. But the learned Hara Prasad translates Maha-yana as "the Higher Road," and Hina-yana as "the Lower Road," and says: "The word `Vehicle,' by which it is generally translated, does not convey all the ideas involved in the word 'Yana'." He thus gives the meaning as Way or Path. According to the Voice, the Lower Road, called "the open Path," which is exoteric, leads to Liberation, Nirvana; the Higher Road, which is esoteric, leads to "self-immolation." Later on, the latter is frankly identified with the Maha-yana when the candidate says, "Now thou hast rent the veil before the secret Path and taught the greater Yana." It is, however, no more "secret" than the "open Path" of the Hina-yana doctrine; yet it is stated in a footnote that "the open Path is the one taught to the layman," while the secret Path is one the nature of which "is explained at initiation." If that be so, it would seem that it is bootless for the layman to look for the Path, since initiation must precede the quest, and until then even the nature of it is unknown. The confused and irreconcilable statements on the subject are due to confounding the contradictory doctrines of conflicting exoteric sects as to the Path with the Path itself. "The Path is one," says the Voice, "yet in the end twofold"; and again, "The one becomes the two." Yet it is not really the Path that becomes two, but only the divergent doctrines of two exoteric Schools of Buddhism.
(To be Concluded.)
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SHALL WE ABANDON IT?
Thoughts suggested by the question based upon the reading from an article by Krishnamurti in which he urges humanity to free itself of all that binds and states that his action in dissolving the Star Organization is a logical move toward the attainment, by example, of that end - freedom.
The question presented, based upon this argument was: Why should not the T.S. as an organization be abandoned as well?
To answer this fully it is necessary first, to try to understand clearly what can be meant by freedom.
We must realize that freedom for a separate isolated unit is contrary to the Great Fundamental Law.
Every action made by the individual (or single unit), affects myriads not only in the physical kingdoms but throughout kosmos as it were, so that freedom can be considered only in a relative sense at best.
In the material world we are freed from certain restraints or laws when a sufficient number of humans come to the stage where they can respond to the next freer state or condition.
Take for example the change in the laws with regard to Divorce.
It is only comparatively recently that one entering the marriage state could obtain freedom from that tie if it became intolerable and a cause for friction seemingly unendurable, unjust; and at the same time be recognized as a quite moral character in society.
Some few daring souls thought themselves out of that state of bondage and recognized their ability to become a law unto themselves. For such, laws may be quite unnecessary, superfluous even, but the man-made laws exist for the mass of mankind as a protection and guide.
Always there is to be found the few forming the advance guard who are able to live superior to the regulations required by the majority. Always also, are to be found the undeveloped group who are not yet ready to measure up to the laws of the majority.
There are those in the forefront who are sufficiently self-sacrificing so that while recognizing within themselves the power of superior government (freedom) for self still see fit to adjust themselves to the standards still high for the many and so conform to these in actions in life touching or affecting the race as a whole.
How does this pertain to the question?
Just as an illustration that freedom on this plane can be gained on the form side only as fast as the majority of humans can respond. For we must ever bear in mind that we are parts only of one great whole and only those ignore that fact who are working for separate aggrandizement and power; and in developing that (reparative) idea offer resistance to the Good Law for the benefit of all by establishing a false god thus retarding the glorious unity for which the Masters of the White Lodge are always working.
This explanation, seems to pertain to the physical world.
In the emotional world we find a separateness of consciousness expressing in what is called the Dream (Swapna) state; for here the dream experiences of necessity exist for the dreamer alone as the image conceived in this state is not shared by others simultaneously as are the objects on the physical plane in the Waking (Jagrat) state of consciousness.
From this very fact, we must realize the Dream State, peculiar to the emotional (astral) plane, is one of temporary illusion and cannot be depended upon.
The next higher state for which no single term exists in the English language is called by the Orientalist Sushupti and implies a sort of Samadhi or conscious oneness, deeper than that of either Waking or Dream Consciousness, a state back of these which is experienced by the average man in deep dreamless sleep only, but can be reached through concentrated meditation.
There are still deeper states to be at-
twined by the Yogi attempting to raise the consciousness to higher and higher planes.
We have here enough evidence to prove that freedom for the individual exists in his conscious being only in the relative sense of focalizing his consciousness in the realization more and more of the ultimate Unity or Oneness.
When we realize that the ultimate Goal is the merging of the separate expression in Absolute Unity we must appreciate the falsity of working for a separate freedom which a priori becomes a maya.
It may be urged that there must be something wrong here for surely a Great Teacher would not encourage a false move by dissolving his own Order if it were contrary to the Law.
Let us see what the dissolution of the Star Order amounts to, actually.
It was an Order established by our T.S. leaders while Krishnamurti was very young in body, to emphasize the promise of the coming of a Great One and to prepare reception in the minds of men for him.
Later it was announced that Krishnaji's was the body chosen and the Order became dedicated to him during his growing years.
Now that he has attained to his power and assumed the leadership he finds no longer need of this organization as such and deems the machinery of its operating unnecessary, even undesirable and no doubt an economic waste in that by the absence of dues, its existence had to be maintained at the expense of other and probably more useful agencies.
When the object and usefulness of an institution is exhausted it is reprehensible to continue it.
Does this reasoning apply to the T.S.?
In no respect.
Let us glance back upon the history of this organization.
We find that the Theosophical Society was brought into expression by the will of the Masters who, at that period (1875), had undertaken this means through H.P.B., as their physical agent to hasten the awakening of mankind.
In studying the plan we learn that the Masters themselves comprised the first (or inner) of the three sections then established in the Order.
The second section was for those members who were eager and ready to dedicate themselves for Their work and who sought training along that line.
The third or outer section or Society was comprised of those members of humanity who responded to the idea of searching for Truth and Brotherhood; and in joining, definitely called the Masters' attention to them as prospective probationers.
Has the time come when this need has ceased ?
Most assuredly not.
Surely there has never been a time when humanity was in greater need of help and light for guidance for so many are ready and eager to serve but know not the wise way.
It is inconceivable that the Great Teacher would be unaware of this effort on the part of His Brothers to aid in His Plan. For remember, each one of the Brotherhood is aware of the work of the others and would be the last to discount any effort to aid that had once been accepted as had this.
Remember every member of the Hierarchy holds his post, not by popular vote but by his actual irreplaceability.
Let us think well over this and realize that the only reason for dissolving such an organization would be on account of the inability of the members to respond to the Cause of its inception which is identical with that of the Great Teacher.
The New Era is truly upon us. Surely the Great Teacher welcomes all means to spread the Light.
It will be only our own indifference to the opportunities offered through the channel of the T.S. that would or could cause its abolition or dissolution.
And have we not the promise in the Master's own letter "that so long as there are three men worthy of our Lord's blessing
in the T. S., it can never be destroyed."
In other words, so long as there are three that remain true to Them in the T.S. ranks They will continue it.
Let us Beware! for the time is growing short for the great testing.
From this it is inconceivable that the Great Teacher would suggest freedom through destroying the T.S.
If these facts be unfamiliar to any let us look at the recognized Law of Karma and see whether freedom could be obtained by precipitating such a breaking up of the T. S.
One can of course withdraw from the T. S. body as such (although we have been told that in this organization, "once a member always a member") and so free himself from its activities on this plane at least.
But the question had to do with the advisability of dissolving same.
Were some of the members powerful enough to bring about the destruction of an organization that meant very life to some, would freedom be attained?
Rather would those by such an act be likely to bind themselves for ages to come.
No, the Lord cannot have intended us to seek freedom by that means.
What then can Krishnamurti have meant by his article which on the face of it seems definite enough?
Should we infer that He is treading in the steps of the Bolshevist?
Perhaps - but let us look deeper and consider all that he has taught so far.
First: we are urged to think for ourselves, to free ourselves from thought bondage - especially to exercise "resourcefulness, observation and steadfastness and keep free of doubt and prejudices" to put the advice in the words given by another teacher.
Again we have been told to destroy by "flame the ulcers of thought, cowardice (or fear) and treason" (to our higher self) if we have "courage".
We are told this can be accomplished by the "flaming sword of shock".
Are not Krishnamurti's suggestions of the very nature of "shock" and so calculated to act as this very "flaming sword"?
Have we considered that, after telling us to free ourselves and think for ourselves that he may have presented a method of freedom for our consideration so obviously wrought with binding entanglements we, who have studied the consequences of "cause and effect", should perceive at once, as given us for a test of our powers and courage, rather than as a corroboration of the existence of the weaknesses he has frankly stated exist in us.
Oh, my brothers, the Way is narrow and fraught with danger!
Beware! lest in an unguarded moment we fall from the very obstacles placed in our way for stepping stones to Light.
- A Student Messenger.
If you are a believer in the Brotherhood of Humanity you should belong to the only Society that makes this the sole basis of membership. The dues are $2.50 a year, including subscription to the official Magazine. Will you not join?
THE 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.
The neglect of, and indifference to, the name and writings of H.P. Blavatsky is the greatest tragedy in the history of the Theosophical Society. The cruel apathy to her and to her teachings has been continually conspicuous since the time that Annie Besant succeeded in obtaining pontifical powers in a society where equality and democracy should be constantly preached and practiced. The flagrant violation of the principles of brotherhood, which H.P. Blavatsky insisted on as being the paramount reason for the existence of the society; and the introduction of vacuous vagaries and psychic dementia have almost ruined and devitalized the society.
H.P.B. sounded the warning for A.B. and other would-be leaders and reminded them that self watchfulness was never more necessary than when a personal desire to lead and wounded vanity dressed themselves in the peacock feathers of altruism and devotion. The warning was wasted and for thirty-three years the Theosophical ark has been piloted by self hallucinated megalomaniacs who have had for a crew a band of dupes depending on false teachings, specious interpretations, and sacerdotal paraphernalia which have no place in real theosophy.
The neglect of Blavatsky teachings was recently pointed out by a writer who had made a careful check and found in a directory issued in 1927 by the British section for the information of lodges, that of the books recommended for study, 48 were by Mrs. Besant, 21 by C.W. Leadbeater, 17 by other writers, and not one by H.P.B. or her masters.
It is comforting, therefore, occasionally to find references recognizing at her true worth, the founder of the Theosophical Society. These references appear in journals having no connection with the movement in any way.
In the September number of Asia for
1927, is a very interesting article by the Anagarika Dharmapala. It is a simple and convincing presentation of the experiences and purposes of an interpreter of Buddhism. Dharmapala is a world-wide figure. He comes from a Sinhalese family which has been Buddhist without a break for 2200 years. For forty years he has worn the yellow robe of an anagarika, which means a homeless pilgrim and student of no domestic ties. He has preached the doctrine of Buddha in many quarters of the earth. He has established the first Buddhist institute in London, where Englishmen can hear the true doctrine of the Lord Buddha explained. He is also building at Benares a vihara at Deer Park, and has also founded an international Buddhist seminary at Kandy, Ceylon. An interesting statement made by Dharmapala in his article relates to a visit he paid to the class of Professor William James, lecturer in psychology at Harvard University, in December 1903. He observes:
"I tried unobtrusively to reach the back of the lecture-hall to hear the great teacher of psychology, but it is difficult for a man in a yellow robe to be inconspicuous in America. Professor James saw me and motioned for me to come to the front of the hall. He said; `Take my chair, and I shall sit with my students. You are better equipped to lecture on psychology than I am.' After I had outlined to his advanced class some elements of Buddhist doctrine, he turned to his students and said, `This is the psychology everybody will be studying twenty-five years from now.' "
Dharmapala first met Madame Blavatsky and Col. Olcott in Colombo, when he was 16. He says: "The moment I touched their hands I was overjoyed. The desire for universal brotherhood, for all the things they wanted for humanity, struck a responsive chord in me." Continuing his narrative relative to his meeting with the founders of the T.S., Dharmapala writes as follows:
"In December 1884 Madame Blavatsky and Col. Olcott again visited Colombo on their way to Madras. I went to my father and told him I wanted to go to Madras and work with them. At first he consented. But, on the day set for my departure, he announced solemnly that he had a bad dream and could not allow me to go. The high priest, the other priests I had known from childhood, and grand parents, all opposed me. Though I did not know what to do, my heart was determined on this journey, which I felt would lead to a new life for me. Madame Blavatsky faced the priests and my united family. She was a wonderful woman, with energy and will power that pushed aside all obstacles. She said; `that boy will die if you do not let him go. I will take him with me, anyway.' So the family were won over. My mother blessed me and sent me off with the parting words `Go and work for humanity.' My father said; `Go, then, and aspire to be a Bodhisattva' and he gave me money to help me in my work.
"In Colombo I had already joined the Theosophical Society. I worked six years for the Society. Madame Blavatsky was a profound student of occult science as well as a strong Buddhist, and in my youth many elderly persons testified to the remarkable things that she had done. At one time she had told me that, since I was physically and mentally pure, I could come in contact with the Himalayan adepts. So in my nineteenth year I had decided to spend a lifetime in the study of occult science. But in Madras Madame Blavatsky opposed my plan. `It will be much wiser for you to dedicate your life to the service of humanity,' she said. `And first of all learn Pali, the sacred language of the Buddha.'
"At that time the Pali writings which contain the most authoritative account of the Buddha and his doctrines, were little known in comparison with the Sanskrit Buddhist sources. The oldest Pali literature was written on palm-leaves in the
Sinhalese alphabet. In 1884, when Madame Blavatsky urged me to study this literature, it was not printed but was accessible only in the original palm-leaf writings. Thanks to her advice I devoted my spare time in Colombo to the study of those beautiful old manuscripts, so difficult to decipher, and thus became familiar with the Buddhist canonical scriptures. Since then the excellent pioneer work of the Pali Text Society of London, and of the late Henry Clarke Warren of Harvard University, has made Pali literature accessible in translation to English readers."
Here is the spontaneous and unsolicited testimony of a great and good man, who has the courage of his convictions, and lives the life as he sees and understands; a tribute to a noble soul, neglected and forgotten by those who should know better.
It is comforting that such recognition has been made and in this way, after so long a lapse of years. Let us be reminded - "Nil desperandum."
B. - It is very puzzling. Am I mind or is mind something I possess? At one time I say, "I think" and at another time I say, "The thought came into my mind" as though both the thought and the mind were not myself. You say the understanding of self-consciousness would elucidate this problem?
A. - It would, at any rate, throw some light upon it. Let us consider the word "self-conscious" carefully. Annandale gives three definitions of it, and you would not find better in the Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology. The first definition is, I think, the one we are chiefly concerned with: "Conscious of one's states or acts as belonging to one's self." According to this, when you say, or rather, think "I think" you are not self-conscious, for the act of thinking in that expression does not belong to you, but is yourself in action. But when you think, "The thought came into my mind," you are self-conscious for you are conscious of your mind belonging to you.
B. - But why am I not self-conscious when "I think"?
A. - There is a distinction between consciousness and self-consciousness. Let me repeat the story of an incident told me by a friend in which this distinction is strikingly exhibited. My friend was one day walking down the street with an acquaintance, discussing consciousness. A dog crossed their path. "John," asked the acquaintance, "does that dog know?" "He does," was the unhesitating answer. "Does he know that he knows?" persisted the other. "No," was the reply. The dog, you see, possesses consciousness but not self-consciousness. If we can put a finer upon the reason for the difference between the consciousness of the dog who knows, and the consciousness of the man who knows that he knows, we may arrive at a clearer understanding of self-consciousness.
B. - Certainly we would.
A. - An illustration given by the Mahatma K.H. indicates how man's mind differs from that of an animal. A dog, he says, (Mahatma Letters, page 173), would not remember that its master had struck it until it saw the cane raised again. Now if someone struck you would be able to recall it without seeing even anything associated with the person who struck you.
B. - That is so.
A. - The Greek philosophers distinguished between the instinctive memory (mnama) possessed by man in common with animals and which is evidently awakened, as in the case of the dog, by external association, and reminiscence (anamnasis) which they said was "an act of mind and will proper to man." (Liddell and Scott's lexicon). In anamnasis you remember by an effort of will irrespective of external association.
B. - But how is the will aroused?
A. - Let us consider how ideas are recalled. First, by physical impressions; second, by emotions. (A feeling of joy
might make us think of someone with whom we would share it.
B. - And fear makes a child think immediately of its mother or nurse.
A. - Third, by association with a previous mental idea, the thought arising without conscious effort. Fourth, by deliberately willing to recall an idea or mental image.
B. - Let me get that clearly. You mean, for instance, that if I am multiplying seven by seven and think immediately of the answer, forty-nine, that it arises by an association of ideas, but that if the answer does not come to mind immediately, and I make an effort to recall it and succeed, that memory comes under the fourth class.
A. - I do. And the first three classes may be defined as mnama (memory possessed by man and animals alike) and the fourth as anamnasis (memory peculiar to man).
B. - But animals do not know the multiplication table.
A. - We are not referring to a particular thought but to the kind of memory. Undoubtedly the range of man's mnama is greater than that of the dog. An animal's memory will be aroused by the first three classes. For consider, a dog has emotions, and it also dreams, and it cannot dream unless there is a train of thought - associated ideas - passing through its mind.
B. - But a dog is capable of willing.
A. - Obviously, if we use the word will in a general sense. A dog straining at its leash to get after a cat is an instance of concentrated will.
B. - Then how can will be absent in mnama?
A. - The difference lies in the object to which the will is directed. In the case of the dog and the cat the dog's will is turned towards an exterior object. In anamnasis will is directed towards an internal mental idea.
B. - And a dog does not will to recall its ideas. But how can a dog have associated ideas when its memory depends upon exterior objects?
A. - The mental ideas are external to it. You cannot say "the thought came into my mind," if the thought was already there.
B. - I see. That is why you said that the Mahatma's expression "a current in space" is more suggestive than James' phrase, "the stream of consciousness."
A. - Exactly. The reference to "space" suggests that thought forms are exterior to the mind.
B. - You cite the instance of the dog and its master given by the Mahatma. Why should not the dog remember being struck by its master when it sees him without the stick, or when it sees the stick itself. Would not association recall the memory of being struck ?
A. - Let us consider the facts. The dog does not display any evidence of fear of its master until he again takes up the cane to strike it. But a dog which has been struck by a stranger will show animosity towards him ever after. The sight of its master without the cane and the threatening gesture recalls the general impression of past favors; the sight of the stranger the impression of pain. Evidently the dog is unable to select its mental images.
B. - It would seem so. This power of selection is an aspect of self-consciousness. But I would like to understand self-consciousness more thoroughly.
A. - To do so you will have to define consciousness more accurately. Hitherto we have spoken of consciousness loosely, as though it was synonymous with mind. Now, consciousness H.P.B., tells us (Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, page 29), is not a thing, per se, and from the very structure of the word it is evident she is right. Consciousness, I would say, is a relation between two things, this relation giving one an awareness of the other. You see this pencil. You are conscious of it. I put it in my pocket. You are conscious of it, itself, (not the thought or memory of it) no longer. To be conscious of that pencil you must have sensual contact with
it. There must be a relation between you and the pencil and that relation is your consciousness of it.
B. - Quite. There must be this relation between myself and an idea or thought image or I shall not be conscious of it.
A. - Exactly.
B. - But what is mind.
A. - Etymologically, the word mind is associated with the words "'man" "to think", "to mean" (i.e. to purpose), and
"memory". Mind, says H.P.B. (Transactions, page 29), is an entity, that is to say, a being, a thing, something which exists. Would yon not say you exist?
B. - I would.
A. - Now if consciousness is a relation and you are mind, an entity, with what are You related when you are self-conscious?
B. - Let me see. When I am conscious there is a relation between myself and the object of my thought. But I also know
that I think. How do I know that? I have it ! I am conscious not only of the thought but of the relation. I am not only aware
but I am aware of my awareness. Self consciousness is consciousness of my consciousness. That may seem obscure to you Hamilton, but it is quite clear to me, now.
A. - Perhaps we can make it clearer still. If I were to deny that I put a pencil in my pocket a few minutes ago, you would
know I was wrong?
B. - I would. I remember it too well. I remember not only the pencil but that I saw it.
A. - You are conscious of the relation that existed between you and the pencil?
B. - Yes.
A. - Then you are conscious of a memory. But I show you the pencil again. Now, you are not only conscious of the pencil, but conscious of yourself seeing the pencil.
B. - Exactly.
A. - Self-consciousness is then a relation between yourself on the one hand and, on the other hand, yourself in relation to some other object.
B. - Yes.
A. - So that when you say, "I think" you may mean that you are conscious as when you are idly observing the stream of thoughts that pass before you unbidden, or that you are self-conscious as when you "know that you know" and deliberately select your thoughts?
B. - That is so.
A. - In the one case you are exercising the consciousness you possess in common with the animals and in the other case you are exercising human consciousness properly so called.
B. - Yes. There seems to be a duality in mind: the conscious mind and the self-conscious mind. But yet, while the subject has been clarified there is still much that is obscure.
A. - I agree, but before delving deeper into the nature of mind or Manas, before considering the question of how ideas are aroused or recalled in self-consciousness, a question we have evaded, let us see if the curious duality we have found in memory, exists also in anticipation, imagination and dreaming.
- Cecil Williams.
I know how easy it is to men of the world to look grave and sneer at your sanguine youth, and its glittering dreams. But I find the gayest castles in the air that were ever piled for better, for comfort and for use, than the dungeons in the air that are daily dug and caverned out by grumbling discontented people. I know those miserable fellows, and I hate them, who see a black star always riding through the light and colored clouds in the sky overhead; waves of light pass over and hide it for a moment, but the black star keeps fast in the zenith. But power dwells with cheerfulness; hope puts us in a working mood, whilst despair is no muse, and untunes the active powers. A man should make life and nature happier to us, or he had better never been born. - Emerson.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- THE ORGAN OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN CANADA
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert E. S. Smythe.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
- Subscription, One Dollar a Year.
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
- GENERAL EXECUTIVE
- Felix A. Belcher, 250 North Lisgar St., Toronto.
- Walter R. Hick, 27 Balsam Ave. South, Hamilton, Ont.
- Fletcher Ruark, P.O. Box 518, Walkerville, Ont.
- Fredk. B. Housser, 10 Glen Gowan Ave., Toronto.
- George C. McIntyre, 20 Shannon Street, Toronto.
- Kartar Singh, 1664 Fourth Ave., Vancouver, B.C.
- Dr. Wash. Wilke, 805 Medical-Dental Bldg., Vancouver, B.C.
- Albert E. S, Smythe, 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
We again request our United States subscribers and others living at a distance not to send cheques for one dollar unless the exchange is included. Exchange up to 25 cents is charged by the banks on such cheques and we cannot afford it. Why not enclose a dollar bill? Or a post office order?
"Buddhism in England" represents a great deal of activity as going on there in Buddhist propaganda. An excellent lecture on The Buddha and the Spread of Buddhism was given in Essex Hall in June and is reported in the October issue. And in Essex Hall of all places. We trust the old earnest-minded and warm hearted evangelicals who used to occupy the platform will all incarnate as they deserve to do in the light of the Buddhist faith where they can give free rein to their devotion without outraging their reason.
We regret once again to have to make our annual plea to members of the Theosophical Society in Canada regarding their subscriptions. It is a small affair - five cents a week. It was due on July 1st last and in many cases is not yet paid. It ought to have been paid by the Lodges but our Lodges ignore the Constitution in this respect and so we must appeal to the membership. Moreover we cannot send the magazine through the mails to unpaid subscribers. Please let us hear from you on receipt of this the last magazine you will receive until your subscription has been sent in. This only applies to members. Subscribers are notified when their subscription lapses.
The article, "Shall We Abandon It? appearing in the present issue, was submitted for publication by Mr. August Trath, president of one of the New York Lodges, as the work of a friend of his who wished to remain anonymous. The point discussed in this article is one of great importance, and there is unquestionably a doubt in many minds as to whether there is a possibility of the General Council taking such action as has been suggested. Even if it should be the case, all Theosophical Lodges and National Societies are autonomous, and certainly many of the Canadian Lodges would carry on independently of any such action.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hotchener, 6137 Temple Hill Drive, Hollywood, California, have issued a circular letter announcing the transfer of "The Theosophist" from Adyar to Hollywood. Mrs. Hotchener is to act as assistant editor to Mrs. Besant, and Mr. Hotchener as business manager. The letter states that "the special features of the magazine which have made it for fifty years the leading Theosophical publication of the world will be retained. Dr. Besant has promised that the articles of our well-known leaders, those who have contributed in the past, will be continued.
A series of articles are being written by her which will continue and complete her Autobiography. The former series was called "From Storm to Peace"; the new one will be "From Peace to Power." In addition the departments of science, philosophy, religion, education, art, health, civics, and social service will be greatly enlarged. Particular attention will be given to the scientific researches of psychologists in our leading Universities. They are advocating methods of, study in behavioristic phenomena and character-building, and are demonstrating the practical application of the science of psychology to daily life. Special articles will show the harmony between modern psychology and Theosophy. It is hoped that this also will prove of interest and helpfulness to readers of "The Theosophist." The letter invites subscriptions from "charter subscribers" at the rate of $3.00 a year in the United States, and $4 in other countries, beginning with the January number.
"Theosophy", the organ of the United Lodge of Theosophy, opens its November number with a eulogy and legend of the late Robert Crosbie. The worship of the dead is an old attitude, and arises naturally enough from the objectivation of our own ideals. "Ye dinna see her with my een," said Robert Burns when some one rejected that his lady-love was not all he described her to be. Robert Crosbie is fortunate in his biographer who sees so much more than the dull and stupid world was able to see. It would not be surprising if in a thousand years or more from now Robert Crosbie had become the magic name of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the man who taught William Q. Judge and inspired Madam Blavatsky to write the books that went by her name; the man who founded the great Theosophical Society, and converted Mrs. Tingley from an abandoned life and set her feet on the path of philanthropy and occult wisdom. "Theosophy" has not got as far as this - yet. But we are getting along. Theosophy, we are told, for our emulation "points to the glorious example of Masters' Messengers to the world, the Transmitters of the Wisdom-Religion. Among These, and in our own time and country: H. P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, and Robert Crosbie - all three - have shown in Their devoted lives the natural, and only, way and means for true self-expression." There can be no possible harm in all this, capital letters included, except to Those (let us have capitals here also) Who might take it in earnest at first and then find out afterwards the exact facts of the foundation on which the legend is erected. "Alas! Alas ! that all men should possess Alaya, be one with the World-Soul, and yet, that possessing it, Alaya should so little avail them!"
A report comes from Vancouver that Professor Duckering, secretary of the Canadian Federation, has resigned that position. Nothing definite has come to hand as to the possible effect. The discussion of union with the National Society appears to have fallen through, but Mr. Titus, who first proposed the plan, has drawn up a series of suggestions looking towards cooperation. Mrs Besant at the recent congress in Chicago was strong in her expressions of opposition to federations. "Why do the members not stay in their Lodges and thrash out their problems with each other?" she asked. There are no problems that real Brotherhood and tolerance, which is the desire to understand, cannot solve. But personal antipathies or downright defiance of all the conventions are not expressions of Brotherhood in any sense. There is no reason why with broader views and a more democratic recognition of majority rule all Canadian Theosophists should not work together in the one organization. Perhaps the proceedings at Adyar in December will indicate some way to bring about the former status. The real difficulty in getting the several scattered bodies of the Theosophical organizations in Canada together is the failure of the members to understand the
pledge of Brotherhood they took in joining the Society. Universal Brotherhood means exactly what it says, and the effort to form bodies in the Society which shall limit this Universal Brotherhood in some way is somewhat naive, to say the least. Every Lodge is perfectly independent and autonomous under the Constitution, but this is not enough, apparently. It is also expected that all majorities will submit to any minority that may be formed or discover itself.
ORDER OF SERVICE
"No working member should set too great value on his personal progress or proficiency in Theosophical studies; but must be prepared rather to do as much altruistic work as lies in his power." - Key to Theosophy, p. 169
With a view to giving effect to this teaching of H.P.B., a group - which includes members of each of the four Theosophical Lodges in Toronto - invites cooperation of all like minded members or non-members of the Society.
It is proposed that work shall be undertaken in Social Service, Animal Welfare, World Peace and Healing.
The Order will conduct its work entirely apart from the Theosophical Society, asking no favours or privileges except that of rendering such service as may be in its power. Its organization will be of the filmiest kind; there are no membership fees; no meetings except of the heads of the departments and such gatherings as the members themselves care to arrange for.
It will not compete with or supplant the regular Theosophical activities; on the contrary it is hoped that many will be induced to study the philosophy from which it draws its inspiration.
For further information apply to Miss Elaine Simkin, 51 Grosvenor Street; or Felix A. Belcher, 250 Lisgar Street, both of Toronto.
AMONG THE LODGES
The Montreal Lodge has passed a strong resolution supporting the resolutions brought before the General Council by the General Secretary, with the object of supporting their presentation to the General Council at Adyar in December.
The group of members formed in St. Catharines has been exceedingly active under the lead of Mr H.H. McKinney, and meetings have been held there and at Niagara Falls, and considerable propaganda work has been done. There may be a Lodge established here in the future but it is wiser to prepare the way and attract some earnest seekers before trying to found a Lodge. Hamilton and Toronto have assisted these efforts which are the most progressive in Ontario.
The Toronto Lodge held a bazaar on October 25-6, in the Hall at 52 Isabella Street, which had been specially fitted up and decorated in oriental style for the occasion. The proceeds amounted to about $1200. The object was the reduction of the mortgage and interest on the building. "The annual bazaar," it is stated in the appeal made in The Theosophical News, "is the only occasion of a general appeal for funds, and those who contribute' may be assured that all the proceeds will be used to further the work. The lectures, classes, special meetings, and the libraries, lending and traveling, are free for all persons, and in carrying out this work the Lodge is performing a unique work in the city." Col. Thompson once more had charge of the decorations, and the result was most attractive.
Certainly the great multiplication of virtues upon human nature resteth upon societies well ordained and disciplined. - Bacon.
FELLOWS AND FRIENDS
In a report of a lecture by the Spiritualist, Arthur Ford, the statement was made that Rev. Robert Norwood had said that he did not prepare his sermons but depended upon various entities inspiring him when he went into the pulpit. This seemed so utterly foreign to the facts that the matter was referred to Dr. Norwood himself. He wired back that "Statement published in Hamilton Spectator has not my authority; regret that it was attributed to me."
A fourth edition of Mrs. Alice A. Bailey's hook, "Initiation, Human and Solar" is announced. No writer working in the ranks of the Theosophical Society commands a larger audience for her writings than Mrs. Bailey. She makes no claim to authority, but quotes the famous statement of the Buddha that "we are to believe when the writing, doctrine or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness."
Mr. Kartar Singh arrived in Toronto at the end of October to meet Dr. C.F. Andrews, the great friend of Gandhi and other prominent Indian reformers, himself a great authority on Indian affairs. The General Secretary met these two friends at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Boush on Sunday, November 2. They were on their way to Ottawa and Montreal. Mr. Kartar Singh reports excellent success in his self-appointed mission among his own people in Vancouver and expects that it will eventually take an educational turn.
Mr. J. Hunt Stanford, a member and formerly vice-president of the Toronto Lodge has been elected president of the Toronto branch of the Dickens Fellowship, a position formerly held by Mr. Albert Smythe. Mr. Stanford, in his inaugural address, made the following comment: "Charles Dickens recognized, and world have us recognize, that Brotherhood was not some Utopian ideal toward the approximate realization of which we should continually be striving, but was an actual fact in nature here and now; that in the last analysis the Pauper was equally as Royal as the Prince; that wherever the spark of life flickered in the human breast - no matter how faintly - there God is; and that wherever men and women had lived and loved, had sorrowed or rejoiced, had experienced blessing or bereavement, and wherever the feet of little children had trod, that place is Holy Ground."
The Toronto Theosophical News for October contains the following account: " An event of great interest to our members took place on September 16th, when Mr. Dudley W. Barr, our Lodge Secretary, was married to Miss Ivy Tribe. The wedding was solemnized at the home of the bride's sister, Mrs. John R. Meggeson, Isleworth Avenue, Toronto; the service being conducted by the Rev. Stuart Parker, Presbyterian Minister of Old St. Andrew's Church. A gorgeous day of Fall sunshine seemed to combine with every other happy circumstance for the auspicious occasion and the great esteem in which the bride and bridegroom are held was indicated by the conspicuous warmth of feeling expressed by the large number of friends and well-wishers who were present, including a large number of our Society members. Our Secretary's bride, while not a member of the Theosophical Society, is a frequent attender at our meetings and is well beloved by all who know her. To refer to the great esteem in which our own "Dudley" is held would be superfluous, and if the sincere good wishes of their host of friends avails anything, the success of the future joint life of Mr. and Mrs. Dudley W. Barr is assured. Before the happy pair departed for their honeymoon in the Adirondacks, a moving picture was taken in the gardens of a procession of the guests, headed by the wedding party."
Mrs. W. Wilson Leisenring, formerly of Toronto, has an able article on "Philosophical Science: Modern and Ancient" in The Occult Review for October and November. The two parts of the essay are "Modern Anthropomorphism" and "Ancient Pantheism". The first is an indictment of modern science as represented at the meeting of the British Association in South Africa for its geocentric and physically materialistic attitude. Sir Ernest Rutherford and Lord Raleigh are taken to task for their statements regarding the elements and the atom. Sir Ernest regarded the table of elements as "now practically complete up to Uranium" and he asserted that "we moderns have surpassed the ancients in some respects . . . . We are now satisfied that the atom is a fundamental electric structure. . . The particles are nothing more than the units of electricity." And Mrs. Leisenring observes that physical electricity is meant . She adds: "Behind the official scientific bodies there are, however, workers who are working quietly, and thinkers who are thinking silently; and some profoundly significant discoveries are being made that are verifying the statements of the ancient scientists, in biology as well as physics." She recalls the principle: "That all movement is vortical and derived from absolute motion, is an ancient axiom; and absolute motion is the absolute rotation postulated by the great Newton." The modern mind can dispense with the Absolute, she comments, but Professor J. Stark, of Munchen, has observed phenomena on which he bases the conclusion "that atoms of the chemical elements have an axial structure and that the emission of light from a single atom is vortical in structure." She deals with the AEther and Man in relation to it in terms which render these articles of high importance to students of The Secret Doctrine. The Occult Review is justifying its claim to be the best Theosophical magazine published.
By Claude Falls Weight
(Continued from Page 255.)
It is well to put this clearly. Mankind in the present age being, according to the eastern belief, on the ascending arc of its cycle, it is easy to see that the gradual return to unity (Nirvana) must be the indication of progress. Advancement therefore depends entirely on the striving after unity. This is logical; and the study of Occultism is nothing else from beginning to end than the practical realization of it. So also the powers with which the students of the lore are endowed, result as a natural consequence of their recognition of unity in nature as opposed to the sense of separateness which inheres in the ordinary mortal.
The Brotherhood, or Lodge, as it is sometimes called - the hierarchy of the Masters of Wisdom, together with those whose endeavour is toward becoming such - must therefore be looked upon as embodying the true pioneers, the advance-guard of the race; and the profound knowledge of the laws of nature with which ages of research have invested them - a research probably carried on through innumerable incarnations, causes them to believe that a working for the benefit of their brethren, and, indeed, of all nature, is the truest aim of life. Of such were Gautama Buddha, Sri Sankaracharya, Jesus, Pythagoras, Plato and many others, the beauty of whose lives must well testify to their inherent divinity, and to the soul-light which in-spired their labors.
It is such as these who were referred to in Chapter iii as the exceptions to the rule concerning the present pioneers of the Globe; for some of them have, as the result of their great endeavour, gone so far ahead of ordinary humanity as to have arrived at a development equal to that of the fifth Round. These are the true "Sons of God."
But all nature is made up of opposites; the existence of "Brothers of the Light" argues that also of "Brothers of the Shadow." The control over the elements which comes of an elevated perception, could scarcely be observed by the evil-minded and selfish without being coveted for personal benefit; it is natural to suppose that the world holds also those who are leaders of its people to spiritual wickedness. The supposition is well grounded. Oriental occult philosophy speaks not a little of Black Magicians, Sorcerers, Pratyeka Buddhas,* Dugpas, and others, whose labours in occult study are wholly with the object of gaining personal benefit. The powers attained are used solely for the glory and advantage of the possessor, and consequent detriment of his fellow-men. This statement does not militate against the previous one that these powers are only to be obtained through unity and harmony. Notwithstanding that the Black Adept works on an exceedingly low plane of spirituality, to evil and disharmony in relation to the planet on which he lives, and the race to which he belongs, but even he has to labour harmoniously with his co-workers. It is not therefore surprising to find sorcerers adopting many methods of producing their results, identical to those followed by the White Brotherhood. This will be rendered clear if the reader remembers that almost every soul-production can be imitated by mathematical ingenuity. It requires talent, rather than genius, to transfer the landscape to our canvas. The most inartistic may, by practice among lines and curves, in time produce what looks like a human face. By a legitimate course of figuring we may even construct a piece of music. But the true inspiration, the divine creative faculty, is absent in every case, they are but base imitations of
* "Pratyeka Buddhas are those Bodhisattvas who . . . caring nothing for the woes of mankind or to help it, but only for their own bliss, enter Nirvana and - disappear from the sight and the hearts of men. In Northern Buddhism a `Pratyeka Buddha' is a synonym of spiritual selfishness. - Voice of the Silence.
the genuine article. And, just as the man of genius lives only for his art, while his brother perhaps produces only for the sake of whatever advantage may accrue to him thereby, so also we find some to whom the soul-science comes naturally, others whose labours in the occult fields are wholly with the object of gaining whatever personal benefit is possible therefrom. White and black magic differ from one another, primarily, in the end each seeks to accomplish; secondarily, in the means employed to reach that end.
"He who pours water into the muddy well, does but disturb the mud." - Iamb. de Vit. Pythag.
It is not to be imagined because the Adepts do not feel constrained to give out the bright truths to the world to be dragged in the mud by the masses, that they refrain also from helping individuals. Such would be entirely against the work of the Brotherhood. Anyone who aims at the improvement of himself and of his race will, most certainly, be assisted by those whose only desire is the regeneration of mankind.
But it is only after one has advanced some distance along the path of knowledge, by his own unaided efforts either in this or former lives, and achieved a certain degree of spiritual perception, that he may become the direct pupil of an adept in occult lore. Such pupils - chelas or lanoos as they are called, are almost as little heard of by the profane as are the Adepts themselves, since they are not, for good reasons, allowed to reveal themselves as such. Yet it is said that there are far more of them in existence than might be at first supposed. Mr. Sinnett, for instance, came across many, after he had joined the Theosophical Society, before unsuspected as such.
"Till now," he writes "in accordance with the law of those schools, the neophyte no sooner forced his way into the region of mystery, than he was bound over to the most inviolable secrecy as to everything connected with his entrance and further progress there. In Asia, in the same way,
the chela, or pupil of Occultism, no sooner became a chela than he ceased to be a witness on behalf of the reality of occult knowledge. I have been astonished to find, since my own connection with the subject, how numerous such chelas are. But it is impossible to imagine any act more improbable than the unauthorized revelation by any such chela, to persons in the outer world, that he is one; and so the great esoteric school of philosophy successfully guards its seclusion." * [* Esoteric Buddhism. p. 58-59 Amer. sixth edition.]
As in every properly organized school of instruction there are many degrees of pupilage, corresponding to the varying degrees of advancement of the scholars, so in the occult colleges, there are many degrees of discipleship, only those pupils coming under the individual tuition of a master being chelas proper. All the rest are but "probationers," of whatever rank.
Although chelas in the east are many, yet we have it on excellent authority that those in the west are exceedingly rare, mainly because the conditions and requirements of discipleship are so entirely opposed to those bred by our civilization. Unity, the sine qua non of spiritual progression and enlightenment, is too far removed from western thought. Emulation and strife, ambition, push, the resolve to surpass, outdo, and conquer our fellow-men, is educated into us from our earliest childhood. What schoolboy is there who does not hasten to learn, not in order that he may eventually acquire wisdom, but that he may outstrip his companions and carry off the prize? And, instinct with such principles of envy and uncharitableness - however much masked under the cloak of social courtesies and well-bred manners - how is it possible to find persons willing and able to fulfill such conditions as the following, which have been quoted as directions to the eastern instructor?:
"The disciples when studying must take care to be united as the fingers on one hand. Thou shalt impress upon their minds that whatever hurts one should hurt the others, and if the rejoicing of one finds no echo in the breasts of the others, then the required conditions are absent, and it is useless to proceed.
"The co-disciples must be tuned by the guru as the strings of a lute, each different from the others, yet emitting sounds in harmony with all. Collectively they must form a key-board answering in all its parts to thy lightest touch (the touch of the Master). Thus their minds shall open for the harmonies of Wisdom, to vibrate as knowledge through each and all, resulting in effects pleasing to the presiding Gods and useful to the Lanoo. So shall Wisdom be impressed for ever on their hearts and the harmony of the law shall never be broken."
During the first years of his development the eastern pupil is forced to study in company with a select body of other disciples; it is only toward the end of the cycle of his training that he can receive individual instruction. The chela has to fulfill the conditions of harmony, before he can proceed consciously and individually along the lines of spiritual development, and study "face to face" with his guru or his own Higher Ego.
It will readily be seen how difficult it would be for any of us in the west to fulfill such conditions when all our training has been along exactly opposite lines; although it is not wholly impossible. But we learn from the ancient books that in order to be born into a family and circumstances suitable to occult study and development, one must have consciously struggled towards the light in a previous birth; therefore we must only consider it as the Karma of our race which makes the practical realization of the God within us so difficult, attempted; as it must be, in the rush and roar of our civilization.
The Theosophical Society
Nature's first and imperishable, and most lovely, and most noble Law
- the Inequality Between Man and Man. -Bulwer.
In a work devoted to an account of the Wisdom-Religion as it is at present known, the reader will expect to find some sketch of the organization through which, directly or indirectly, it has come. A chapter under this head will therefore not be out of place.
The Theosophical Society is only one of many; it is not the first, nor will it be the last of its kind. There have been many bodies in the past under this name, organized with the same object in view as had the Founders of the present one - that of forming an association which should act as an efficient channel for the scattering of the few seeds of true knowledge among the masses that the degree of their development entitled them to. But there have been still more bodies of the same nature formed under other names. Of these, some are not yet fully dead. They remain; but most of their utility has long ago departed. Like the husk without the seed, the house without its inhabitant, the shell bereft of the vital organism its only use, is to encase, their glory has departed; no longer has the world any need of their services, no longer have they any "good tidings" to impart, for a new race has been born since they strove to fulfill their mission in the world; a new race, with fresh vitality and fresh ideas of the fitness of things, to which Truth must present another facet of her brilliant gem. The Rosicrucian fraternity, the Freemasons, Foresters, are all remnants of former endeavors to inculcate and implant the Wisdom-Religion in the hearts of men. But the great mystics who formerly sat at their heads have long ago departed, the vehicles are left to run without their drivers, and the weary descendants of the once great schools will strive in vain to hold together the fast crumbling remains. Yet their history records the efforts of the past; they are "footprints on the sands of time," and as such are yet, perhaps, not without their value.
The word Theosophy literally means "God-Wisdom" (theo-sophia); however much dictionary editors may inform us to the contrary, this is all we can claim for the word. But this does not signify revelation. The signification or term "divine-wisdom" does not necessarily contain any implication as to how that wisdom is acquired. Theosophy is wisdom concerning God, or the divinity of things, not wisdom from God. In this view therefore the writer accepts the definition of Vaughan: "A Theosophist," he says, "is one who gives you a theory of God, or of the works of God, which has . . . . . an inspiration of his own for its basis." Therefore all great philosophers and thinkers who have offered any explanation of life, the founders of every great religion, have been Theosophists, and, we affirm, have all taught, consciously or unconsciously to themselves, some aspect or other of the vast system which has been so roughly outlined in this volume.
Christian writers ascribe the development of the ancient Eclectic Theosophical System to the third century of their era; but there were Theosophists before that time. Diogenes Laertius speaks of the philosophy as antedating the dynasty of the Ptolemies, disclosing its founder in the Egyptian Hierophant, Pot Amun - a Coptic name, signifying a priest consecrated to Amun, the god of wisdom. History shows its revival in the Eclectic System of Ammonius Saccas, in whose time certainly the word Theosophy originated. The object of this philosopher was almost identical with our own - to reconcile all sects, peoples and nations under one common faith, and to establish a belief in one Supreme, Eternal, Unknown and Unnamed Power or Principle, through which the Universe came into being, and by which it was governed with immutable and eternal laws.
Again, we find Theosophists in Ger-
many in the 12th century, holding identical views of life and working to the same end, and also in the 15th century. There was a society formed in London in or about the year 1665, which strove after a like purpose. All these, not to speak of the host of seers who have appeared from time to time, of the Swedenborg and Boehme type, whose explanation of nature differed but in minor detail from that offered by the modern Theosophist.
Theosophy is the Wisdom-Religion, the archaic philosophy which was the fount of knowledge in every ancient country having claims to civilization, and from which have descended in less mystic garb the sciences of the present day known to the professors of our colleges as Chemistry, Astronomy, etc.-however much said professors may object to the statement.
But whether known as Theosophy or by any other name, the same Wisdom-Religion has existed always and will show itself on earth and among men for all eternity: the sequence of martyrs to the great universal truths has never once been broken; known or unknown they will appear and suffer again and again, ever adding to their ranks however, until some day, at the birth of the purified seventh race, mankind will reawaken to find the chair of materialistic philosophy vacant and decayed.
It was said in another part of this work that about once every hundred years special efforts to regenerate mankind are made by those in whose guardianship is the philosophy, and a retrospective glance would show where many of these have been undertaken and under whose management. But to trace them all completely would now be a difficult task, for the simple reason that all have not been made in the shape of public movements. They have been in a manner suitable to the exigencies of the times. It is only in our cycle that an open attempt has been made, and this for the reason that the age demands it. Formerly work was often done through kings and rulers, instead of through public movements, because people had then less independence and the king held more the position of dictator than he does in this age. We constantly hear of wise men, alchemists, soothsayers, appearing at various courts and working marvels sufficient to attract the attention and wonder of the monarch. These, however, were but their outward signs; in truth they worked to other ends than miracles. They often influenced the prince's mind, so that he altered his method of ruling his kingdom, thereby perhaps bringing about results which not only affected his own subjects, but, by reaction, the peoples of other countries, and afterwards the world as a whole.
But although it is for these reasons hard to trace the uprising of all such efforts, yet with some we have no difficulty. Toward the end of the 14th century we may place the founding of the later Rosicrucian * fraternity, one of the brightest and most successful of bodies of philosophers, although a secret one. The labours of Jacob Boehme and of his teacher, John George Gichtel, had their effect at the close of the 17th century. ** The one however which comes nearest to our own time is that which directly preceded the Theosophical Society, at the close of the 18th century of the Christian era. This was the famous "Societe de l'Harmonie," founded by Mesmer in Paris in 1783.
The success of these efforts is not, it should be remembered, any more absolutely certain than is anything else in nature. The Adepts are not infallible. Their ex-
* "Do you imagine that there were no mystic solemn unions of men, seeking the same end through the same means, before the Arabians of Damus, in 1378, taught to a wandering Jew the secrets which founded the institution of the Rosicrucians?" - Bulwer, Zanoni.
** "In 1672, when Louis XIV. laid siege to Amsterdam, Gichtel, by the power of his will, is reported by his disciples to have exercised influence enough to cause the raising of the siege, and afterwards the names of the very regiments and squadrons he had seen in his vision were found in the papers. Princes of Germany and even sovereigns consulted him."
tended insight into the workings of natural law enables them to place the cause farther back, the effect further forward, than our more limited vision permits us to. But this is all they claim. The mistakes of one century are corrected in the efforts of the next, so that in course of time they may lessen enormously with respect, at least, to that race whose development is being forwarded; but so long as there is a limitation of vision, finity - and work on the material plane of necessity implies such, there must be error. The effort of last century was a failure because of the too socialistic aspect of the mystical doctrine put forward. There was a definite teaching - albeit a secret one - similar to Theosophy as now known, given to the members of Mesmer's society. But the true philosophy did not come to the front. "Fraternite, Liberte, Egalite," constituted the only philosophy the people of the period would listen to. Hence the Reign of Terror of 1794. Even such as Count St. Germain and the wonder-working Cagliostro, the successor of Mesmer, could not stay the torrent of materialism; they were laughed at, and accounted charlatans and falsifiers. *
* In her "Theosophical Glossary" (art. Mesmer), Madame Blavatsky says: "Of these three men (St. Germain, Mesmer, Cagliostro), who were at first regarded as quacks, Mesmer is already vindicated. The justification of the two others will follow in the next century." (1892).
Although such attempts are made at every cycle of 100 years, yet all are not equally powerful in effect; the more efficient efforts themselves also run in cycles. The result of work done in such epochs lasts much longer. Consequently, while it would require much acquaintance with European and other history, both told and untold, to trace each endeavour, yet the greater ones can always be observed.
Of course each movement makes use as far as possible of the work of its predecessor; so that, for instance, the "revival of Freemasonry" has become almost a byword, nobody being able to tell exactly when or where the craft had its origin or founding. The same thing may be said of Rosicrucianism, and indeed of Theosophy itself. It is therefore not surprising, in view of the fact that Cagliostro and others worked to re-establish lodges of Freemasonry, to find H.P. Blavatsky, the nineteenth century messenger, offering herself at the outset of her career as the new leader of the Freemasons. This she did before 1875 to some of the heads of the craft in America, naming herself as the messenger from the eastern Brotherhood. It was but the Karma of Freemasonry, which was the movement that had been carried over from the last century to the present one. But even if the Freemasons had wished to accept her as their head, they could not have done so, since the traditions of that Fraternity militate against the admission of women. This was probably a later introduction than the days of Cagliostro, who is said to have organized more than one "lodge" composed entirely of women.
Madame Blavatsky's services being declined, she set to work to form the nucleus of a new body. Gathering together some of those on earth who had previously worked with her, she started the Theosophical Society, with Col. H.S. Olcott, William Q. Judge and others; and from the date of its founding men's interests have been drawn more and more to spiritual things.
It is advisable, perhaps, here to make clear to the reader that the reason that the wave of spirituality which marks the revival of occult knowledge among the masses, is manifested for twenty-five years only of each century, is not because the Adepts are unable to work at other times, but because they have found that any attempt carried forward longer than such period has been productive of evil rather than of good results. The time chosen, also, it is well to point out, is that period when the forces for evil are strongest, so that while combating the reawakened tendency of humanity toward wickedness and sorcery, they can at the same time work
to the establishment of a higher ideal among the masses. Every thing has its twilight or period of awakening. The advent of Theosophy was marked by a number of phenomena of the spiritualistic character, which served as indications of the existence of subtler forces in nature. The manifestation of these was in part the direct work of certain Nirmanakayas, who thus, behind the scenes, forwarded the work of the T.S. by giving it an actual basis on which to commence work. And for this reason H.P. Blavatsky, during her life-work, in her first labours worked among the spiritualists, supporting their assertions even to the extent of at first declaring herself one, although always maintaining that they attributed their effects to wrong causes.
The Theosophical Society, as at present constituted, has three objects, which three, if properly carried out and fully understood, must result in the recognition of the mystical system known as Theosophy. Thus the Society is bound by no beliefs, no dogmas, throws its doors wide open to all, and has only one endeavour, that of uniting all sects and peoples into one harmonious whole - producing a humanity of philo-sophers, or true lovers of wisdom. Indeed, so evident is it that without a knowledge of the laws of Nature and of Being, the first object, "to form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood," would be a mere high-sounding mockery, and could not be accomplished, that restriction over the other two has been withdrawn, and the candidate for entrance into the T.S. need now only subscribe to the first object.
The three are as follows
First. - To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour;
Second. - To promote the study of Aryan and other Eastern literatures, religions and sciences;
Third. - To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the psychical powers latent in man.
No person's religious opinions are asked upon his joining, nor is interference with them permitted, but every one is expected to show towards his fellow-members the same tolerance in this respect as he claims for himself.
(To be Concluded.)
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - References have occurred lately in many articles and letters printed in the Canadian Theosophist to tolerance which should lead one to ponder over the virtues of that quality, and also over the dangers that may lurk in misconceptions of its true nature and meaning and of its proper application. Tolerance, like "Inaction in a deed of mercy" may become "a deadly sin". It therefore behooves us to think conscientiously on the subject so that we may arrive at clear-cut conclusions, and the following is an attempt to clarify some aspects of it with regard to which there is apparently some confusion.
That spirit of tolerance that encourages the free expression of thought and free discussion, and that acknowledges the right of every man and woman to speak and act according to his or her choice and convictions - provided that such freedom does not interfere unfairly with the rights of others is obviously the natural protection against tyranny and a necessary condition to the mental development and material welfare of races and individuals and therefore it is universally prized and esteemed. On the other hand, that spirit of intolerance which manifests as a narrow, bigoted, truculent attitude towards opponents, if given free rein, leads to forcible suppression of opinion and persecution and had caused the mental enslavement and degeneration of nations in every part of the world and it is therefore universally condemned and hated.
"Tolerance" has therefore become a good label and "intolerance" a bad label with all the confusion that results from labels carelessly or intentionally misapplied. Thus the "intolerance" label is often tacked on to views, opinions and arguments that conflict with the teaching of a popular leader in order to create prejudice against their author and all his works or to act as a warning to all faithful followers against paying any heed to the voice of an enemy to peace and brotherhood, and therefore to truth and righteousness. This device, however, though it often succeeds among weaklings is recognized by others as the last or only defense of an untenable position - a signal of desperation and fear.
Tolerance is a passive quality that may easily degenerate into acquiescence where there ought to be positive opposition, and from over-anxiety to be agreeable or to seem broad-minded into disloyalty to principles or beliefs.
The "tolerance" label often hides a determination, born of prejudice of one sort or another, not to see contradiction, absurdity, error or any other sort of evil when it has been rightly exposed and attacked. Then, too, many good people whose amiability is more in evidence than their powers of discrimination seem to think that unity and brotherhood can be reached only by trying to agree with everything that anybody says. But brotherly love is by no means incompatible with differences of opinion, however vigorously expressed and tenaciously held to; nor is friendliness and good-will impossible to maintain towards those whose opinions, actions or teaching we may feel bound to condemn. Love that can be endangered by heat or argument or through having one's faults and mistakes revealed to oneself and others is but a poor sham - a worthless attribute of shallow personality.
Honest outspoken criticism goes hand-in-hand with tolerance and is essential to progress in any direction and he who never disputes, argues or opposes may well be suspected of being brainless, apathetic, or timorous. For even those who, mistaking outward tranquility for inner harmony, most ardently advocate peace-at-any-price cannot refrain from criticism when deeply stirred - if they have any sort of grit. Thus we frequently find severe criticism directed against critics for criticizing. For an example see an article on page 222 of the Canadian Theosophist issued September, 1928 the writer of which lays herself and her article open to almost every stricture and accusation she levels against the "drastic, merciless, cruel and ignorant" criticism she has met with during "years of association with Theosophical students." . . . . And now perhaps I shall be criticized for criticizing this criticism of critics - and so it goes on!
The fact is we cannot get away from adverse criticism - and never shall on this Kama-manasic plane; but however painful or humiliating it may be it can hurt or harm us only according to the way in which we react to it. It should, indeed, be distinctly beneficial, even when unfair, for if we wish to become leaders in advanced thought, or exponents and defenders of unpopular doctrine the sooner we get used to criticism, indifferent to being dubbed "intolerant," heedless of unmerited blame and abuse the better; and we should welcome opportunities for training ourselves to become impersonal in this as in other matters.
Calling names and the use of provocative phrases should, of course, be avoided, as a general rule. Such modes of attack carrying no weight of argument or evidence and as likely as not result in the production of prejudice against all that he who uses them has to say. And yet even they, in special circumstances, may have their uses. Doubtless the scathing phrases with which Jesus whipped the religious jurists and the fanatic dogmatists of his day served as nothing else could have done to draw attention to the evils he was attacking. But, note well, his invective oratory
was not directed against the Scribes and Pharisees on any grounds connected with himself personally but on account of their abuse of power against the common people, and their sanctimonious hypocrisy. (See Matt., ch. 23).
We shall, no doubt, all agree that criticism directed against the personal character or supposed motives of writers or speakers is often impertinent and unjustifiable, but it must be admitted that enquiry into character and motive is sometimes absolutely necessary in order to estimate the value of evidence or opinion. We must also remember that it is very often impossible to dissociate the teacher from his teaching, the author from his statements; and if in the exposure of untruthfulness reputations suffer it can't be helped. When one publishes his views he must expect criticism and he has no right to complain if it is not always complimentary. In spite of the burning light with which H.P.B. exposed the evils of formal religions, with their priestcraft and frauds, criticism ever alert, and active intolerance are as much needed today - and that even in quarters where profession of reverence for her name and belief in the truth of her message is outwardly made - as when, more than fifty years ago, she wrote in her preface to Isis Unveiled: "The book is written in all sincerity. It is meant to do even justice, and to speak the truth alike without malice or prejudice. But it shows neither mercy for enthroned error, nor reverence for usurped authority . . . . "
- W. B. Pease.
2840 Cadboro Bay Rd.,
15th August, 1929.
Editor Canadian Theosophist: - I was following up Zadok's articles on the Psychical line of investigation, and was sorry when he switched off, as I thought. What I was disappointed in was not that he held a certain point of view, but that he handled another point of view unsympathetically, which is considered an uncanonical method among both Biblical and literary critics. A religious Jew reading that article would say, "You do not know my Jehovah nor appreciate my Bible." My view of Theosophy is this: If it is not a religion it is at least the science of all religions. It has a grasp of the fundamental principles on which all religions are founded. Theosophy brought me back to faith when I had lost my faith. Theosophy showed me that this material world was not the only universe; and that so-called natural laws were not final; they were not so much causes as effects of higher laws. Theosophy has solved for me the problems of Christianity. Therefore Theosophy, if it has any mission in the world, it is not to destroy her own offspring, but to interpret in a maternal way the different systems, and so work for harmony. Why should not Theosophists meet religious Hebrews, and in a sympathetic manner begin to converse with him upon the beauties of his Scriptures, the magnanimity of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Isaiah, until the sacred fire begins to kindle in his swarthy features, and sparkle in his eyes, and his body begins to move, and his hands to gesticulate. Then he is under the inspiration of his God, and you can see Jehovah in his whole being. Then you become knit to his soul; he is your brother, I could not say a word to hurt him. Again, if you approach a Moslem, and seek the line on which you can enter into communion with him, you will meet and commune with his Allah. And so with the Brahman, and all other truly devoted people.
I follow up your writings closely, and I think you hold the same principles that I do. I know also that an editor is in much the same position as a pastor. We have some strong men, men of vigorous intellects, whom we would gladly control; but in order to use them we have to give them rope.
Now, as Theosophy is the science of all religion, and of all religions, I do not see
why a person cannot be a devotee to a religious system and a Theosophist. In fact I maintain that no man can rightly understand truth until he has received it experimentally. I am a Christian, because I can get at these truths more readily through the system under which I was born; and therefore, to which I am best adapted. I do not blame Theosophists for being contemptuous toward nominal Christianity; the Christianity of the creed and form and prejudice, - an hereditary affair. I belong to what may be called a Jesus Cult. A Cult religion, you know, is one in which the devotees come under the inspiration of their God, meet with Him, converse with Him, are filled with His Spirit, enter into the ecstatic state, speak intuitively. Now when I speak of conversing with devotees of other faiths, I mean those in that religion who have attained to that Cult experience. The devotees of the ancient Cult religions called their Inspirer, Serapis, or Osiris, their Lord, or Master. Of course, you know all this; I only mention these things to show you my point of view. Now, in order to be able to estimate the value of a Religion or a Bible, it seems to me a person should either have a Cult experience in it, or a training in scientific criticism; that is, a person may be able to estimate the value of a system or a book if he is either a devotee or a scholar. A scholar gathers all the facts together, and then gives an unbiased verdict. This is the scientific method. No doubt there are few Theosophists who have pursued Theosophy to its depths. There we meet God.
Editor Canadian Theosophist: - The admirable article "Theosophy and America" by Mr, Housser, appearing in your July 15th, issue should be reprinted and mailed to every Theosophist the world over.
In some of your editorials you have wielded the "hammer" with a heavy hand; a number of your correspondents have indulged in, more or less bitterness, sarcasm and personal rebuke. Nevertheless, all this has aided at least one subscriber to do some hard thinking. Many of us are good "quarter horses" but for long distance running we need a pace-maker, in which guise perhaps you can help some of the residents of New York where the lodges are largely devoting themselves to "Star" and "Liberal Catholic" propaganda. Within the past few days the writer visited New York City's largest Lodge Room. Upon a reading table arranged in four orderly rows were the current and many back numbers of the following magazines: "Review of the Star", "Star", "Liberal Catholic" and "The Theosophist."
Younger members of the T.S., need to be awakened. The current literature, upon which they are fed, is responsible for keeping many fundamental truths hidden as well as for the propagation of a synthetic form of the Wisdom which would be classified by H.P.B., as "flapdoodle"; I quote a few paragraphs from the writings of a T.S. leader
". . . those of us who are earnest students of this Society have now a glorious opportunity. . . Soon the Teacher of angels and men will show Himself upon earth once more; happy are we in that we are allowed to help (even though it be ever so little) to prepare the way for His coming."
"This Society is one of the great world-movements . . . . It has this difference from all movements that have preceded it, that it is first, the herald of the coming Christ, and secondly, the first definite step toward the founding of a new root-race." etc.
"As to the approaching advent of the Christ . . . . the time of His advent is not far distant, and the very body which he will take is even already born among us."
How long must our development be retarded by this sort of teaching at the hands of blind leaders who are either ignorant of or deliberately ignore the teachings of the
Ancient Wisdom by the very Masters, themselves? That the T.S. is generally regarded by the world at large as composed of disciples of the "Hindu Christ", (I mean no disrespect to Krishnamurti) all will agree. This fact makes it most difficult to cultivate among our acquaintances a desire to learn more about Theosophy. Until the T.S. settles down again to "brass tacks", (and some day it surely must) it is with great reluctance that we even mention the word "Theosophy", fearing we will expose the great teaching to ridicule. It is our obligation to give this Wisdom to the world but it must be offered to sensible, thinking people in a sane sensible manner that will not be insulting to the intelligence or misleading. It appears to be the destiny of your worthy publication to cause the students of Theosophy to pause and consider, to think and reason for themselves, to penetrate the smoke screen thrown up by many of the so-called present leaders of the movement and get back to the ancient Wisdom, back to original editions that have not been tampered with or allowed to go out of print because they conflict with present teachings. Is it not possible to evolve some plan which will put the Canadian Theosophist into the hands of every T.S. lodge in English speaking Countries? Something must be done to stem the tide or at the end of this present hundred year cycle we will again fail to carry over even a tiny atom of leaven.
A NEW WAY FOR LODGES
Editor Canadian Theosophist: A Chiel; [sic] in the form of Mr. Clark of Vancouver, has been among us taking notes. Such a revivifying personality as Mr. Clark cannot but have set many of the members of the T.S. across the continent furiously to think; and as it is of little use to think furiously to one's self, especially in a matter where the welfare of our Society is concerned, I propose to try and persuade you to broadcast some of my conclusions through the medium of your columns.
After reading Mr. Clark's printed remarks on his journey and hearing some of his opinions in open Lodge and in private conversation, the conviction has come to me that all is not well with the T.S. movement in Canada. Not that Canada is unique in this respect; at the same time it is always better to confine one's attention to the faults of our own Bailiwick rather than to intrude on other people's without just cause. However, subject to correction by Mr. Clark, the impressions I gained from him, put as briefly as possible, amount to this: that there are few real live Lodges in Canada and that the message of Theosophy has become somewhat blurred with the passing of time, especially in the more isolated districts; though even in the larger districts conditions are not so healthy as to rouse enthusiasm. Edmonton is no exception to this general run-down condition; and though we have promised to mend our ways, only the future can show whether our pious resolutions will come to anything.
In view, then, of this general apathy of application to the principles of Theosophy, our failure to extend the influence of our Lodges to a wider circle than obtains at present, and the tendency to indefinite splitting up of Theosophical endeavour in Lodge secessions and the backwaters of individual ideas which naturally cannot carry the weight of united effort, would it not be as well if some discussion was got under way with the idea of fostering greater co-ordination of effort, and also to find the root cause of the present unsatisfactory conditions?
It is usual in the case of any sickness first to diagnose the symptoms and then proceed with a cure, the inference being that no matter how humble the sufferer may be, at least the life is worth saving. In the case of an Institution or Association, however, this inference does not follow; for the chief point is this: is the
Institution justifying its existence in the clear-cut mental conception of our object social scheme of things? If it is not, then it may as well die the death by fate as disintegrate into a useless ism of no further use to mankind. No matter how high the ideals of an Association may be, this judgment holds good if those ideals are not presented with a united front and with some grand central object in view to which all the members can subscribe and do their best to forward. The question is, then, what is the grand central idea of Theosophy, and to what end are our efforts to be applied? This may sound rather late in the day for such questions; but the law of progress demands periodical restatements of principles and also constant readjustments of methods if any institution is to survive.
Mr. Clark made the statement in Edmonton that the fate of the Theosophical Society would be decided within the next twenty years. Further, that its success or non-success would depend on whether we could capture the imaginations of the rising generation and get the evolving entities concerned to take a definite stand against the ever rising tide of materialism which threatens to overwhelm our present civilization if it is not controlled. Now with this definite object I am entirely in sympathy, as no doubt many other individuals of our organization are. But whether our present methods and strategy and intelligence are being used to the end Mr. Clark visualizes is another question. Considering the present Lodge apathy already alluded to, plus the feeling that our Society as run at present has no such object in view; and, further, the uneasy feeling that in our present unorganized condition the task is too big for us, it will be small wonder if Mr. Clark's great idea comes to naught. In any case it is not by such futile slogans as "back to Blavatsky" or "on to Adyar" that the T.S. is going to make itself felt as a force in leading thoughts along new lines of endeavor. What is wanted, and needed badly, is a employed to attain our objective.
But rightly or wrongly the impression has come to me that many members are in the T.S. with the idea of personal soul development instead of regarding that as an incidental rather than as the main object in view. That is to say, that a Lodge gathers together to pursue certain studies with that much desired object in view, and that by so doing we shall please the Masters and so fit ourselves for some higher work under their direct supervision. To me this appears to be a travesty of the Christian idea of individual salvation. Now as I am presenting an entirely personal view of the matter, it is quite in order to state that I do not agree with this point of view; also that it is in no small measure due to this narrow conception that our Society owes its present abortive position as a force in human betterment. As I take it the Masters' efforts are expended in various ways for the regeneration of humanity as a whole and not with individual aspirations. If this view is the correct one, it follows that our efforts as a body should follow along these lines, with the idea of supplementing their efforts both in the Lodge and in our daily life. The comfortable thought that when entities have reached Theosophical stature the Masters automatically direct their footsteps to our Lodge doors does not seem to work out in actual practice. It is our duty to get new members to take an interest in our Theosophical ideals, and to this end it is our duty to present the philosophy in as attractive a manner as possible. I have yet to find a soul hardy enough to stand a second dose of the Stanzas of Dzyan, or one greatly enthused with the average presentation of the history of the Globes and the long course of Involution that preceded the evolutionary process. At best these subjects are academic in the extreme, and it is not by such methods of presentation that the interest
of the rising generation is to be enlisted in the cause of replacing the present materialistic outlook with a spiritual one.
The second of the Society's objects, namely, "To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science" points in the most unequivocal way to the lines along which the studies of the Lodges should run; yet in seven years' experience of our local Lodge not a single discussion has to my knowledge been conducted in these subjects. In place of them we have had desultory and inconclusive dips into the Secret Doctrine, discursive trips into this or that book, and not a few aimless talks which have not seldom landed us either in the Absolute or the Ultimate, where naturally we became bogged so good and hard that there was nothing else to do but come back to earth by going home.
If this is the history of most of the Lodge endeavors outside the larger centres it is small wonder our membership does not grow. I have known members of many years' standing who still retained the impression that periodically a Great Messenger was sent to earth as a sacrifice to deliver mankind from sin. Need any more be said as to the style of instruction being handed out if such an idea as this can persist?
The Secret Doctrine, in my opinion, was given us to found a philosophy of life on, and not as it is generally used to be the subject of minute study in an endeavour to master all the mass of knowledge contained therein. All knowledge, no matter how erudite or by whom written, is of relative value only, and until it has been connected up with the actual conditions of life and experience it is of little use in itself. The fate of the students who learned the Chinese Classics off by heart, and those who devote their life to the Koran, not to mention the Theologians who have sacrificed all ties with life by building up a philosophy of death instead of teaching us how to live more abundantly, should have taught us that absorption in any one aspect of life cannot but lead to stagnation in any endeavor. One might well ask the question, then, whether the present condition of our Society is the result of having fallen into some such rut as the good people mentioned above; hence this letter as an appeal for a general discussion so that better lines of endeavor may be mapped out. It is by neglecting to keep in touch with the facts of life that the present tendency to drift into what might be called Psychic progression is due; and so the desire to become clairvoyant takes precedence of really useful work. But not by this route is the salvation of our Society to be found; rather is it the rock on which it will be wrecked long before the century of its intended course is run. To avoid such a catastrophe is, I am sure, the desire of all sincere Theosophists; so if it is agreed that Mr. Clark's idea is the correct one, then it is up to the Canadian Lodges to devise ways and means by which the vision may be realized.
Secretary Edmonton Lodge.
9644 103A Avenue,
Devout men, in the endeavour to express their convictions, have used different images to suggest this latent force; as, the light, the seed, the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the Demon, the still, small voice, etc. - all indicating its power and latency. It refuses to appear, it is too small to be seen, too obscure to be spoken of; but such as it is, it creates a faith which the contradiction of all mankind cannot shake, and which the consent of all mankind cannot confirm. It is serenely above all meditation. In all ages, to all men, it saith, I am; and he who hears it feels the impiety of wandering from this revelation to any record or to any rival. - Emerson