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VOL. XIV., No. I HAMILTON, MARCH 15th, 1933 Price 10 cents
ROOSEVELT'S ATTITUDE AND CANADA.
By Fred B. Housser
The inaugural address of President Roosevelt stands a good chance of going down in history side by side with the famous utterance of Abraham Lincoln in which he pled for a government of the people, by the people, for the people. In his own way Roosevelt made the same appeal and when, seen in the perspective of history, the occasion of it may appear to have been as grave a crisis as that which was faced by Lincoln.
If Mr. Roosevelt's words mean what they appear to mean, and if his administration cleaves steadfastly to the policies and attitude of his inauguration address, the North America continent truly stands at the threshold of a new era. What his speech implied was that he proposes to solve the economic problems of the United States by a reorganization and reorientation of society itself. What else could he have meant when he said "we must frankly recognize the over-balance of population in our industrial centres, and by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution, endeavour to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land?" - or when he said, "there must be an end to speculation with other people's money?" - or again when be said - "Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand, with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit?"
In order to fully appreciate several of the references in the president's speech, it is necessary to recall the events which immediately preceded it. The banking crisis which padlocked every bank in the United States was caused by a panic in which depositors from one end of the country to the other withdrew their money, many of them demanding gold. Within one week approximately $735 million dollars was withdrawn from the banks of the United States by her own people. The cause of this panic was the scandalous revelations of the behaviour of certain officers of the National City Bank - one of the largest in the United States - before the Senate investigation committee at Washington. The unethical, not to mention the unsound banking practices which this investigation revealed was the last straw. The American people had remained calm before the Insull scandal and a score of others but with the National City Bank disclosures, the worm turned. Hence Mr. Roosevelt's words - "Practices of the unscrupulous money-changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men."
It may be said, without prejudice, that the major cause of the economic disaster which has overtaken the western world was the corruptness of financial cliques and stock market manipulators. If Canadians look with pious smugness at the revelations of corruption in the United States, and thank God we are not as they are, we on this side of the line have much to learn. It may be that we too will have to be taught by experience before we are prepared to accept leadership which proposes to reorientate and reorganize our society on a basis where the standard of success will not be linked with the idea that public office and high political position are only to be
valued for their pride of place and personal profit.
Theosophists, of all people, should not give themselves up to despair or panic when a crisis appears such as the United States is now facing. President Roosevelt's speech was the most heartening utterance that any statesman has made in the last three years. There is hope for moral and economic recovery when the head of a great nation can receive national support in a programme which aims at applying "social values more noble than mere monetary profit", and when it is recognized and stated, as Mr. Roosevelt did, that the corrupt financiers and their satellites "know only the rules of a generation of self
- seekers" and have no vision.
"If I read the temper of our people correctly," said Mr. Roosevelt, "we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we cannot merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline."
If that is the temper of the American people it means that when better times return new values will rule the actions of government and business and, that what the president called "a creative attitude" will dominate the National life instead of what he described as an attitude "cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition."
Do Canadians intend to cling to the pattern of an outworn tradition or to go forward with the States? If so prosperity, so far as Canada is concerned, will only mean another play for those who helped most to bring us to where we have landed, and we shall be served again the same old deal.
CYCLES OF CIVILIZATION.
By R. A. V. Morris
Civilization is one of those words which we all think we understand, but when asked to define it, we are apt to discover that our notions on the subject are not as clear as we fancied. According to Annandale's dictionary, it means "the state of being refined in manners from the rudeness of savage life, and improved in arts and learning". Lewis Morgan used the word to describe the state of society after the invention of writing. For the purpose of this paper, however, a very precise definition is unnecessary. Broadly speaking, I take civilization to mean a complex state of society, with highly organized political arrangements, with considerable differentiation of economic functions, with advanced mechanical skill in fashioning to human ends the raw materials provided by nature, with organized religion, characteristic art and literature. In fact I am going to use the word civilization in its ordinary every-day sense. In contrast to civilization, we have barbarism; and by that I do not mean a savage and degraded condition, but merely one that is simple and little organized. Civilization, being complex, is relatively unstable, while barbarism is relative-
ly stable. Civilizations are the periods of humanity's active growth and harvesting, barbarisms are humanity's fallow seasons. Savagery, the very low cultural state, in which the Tasmanians, Tierra del Fuegians, Veddahs, and other such peoples were found, I regard, not as a primitive condition of rising peoples, but as a late stage in the decadence of dying races.
A glance back through the comparatively brief period of time for which we have historical records, shows that civilization is not a continuous phenomenon, but that it has always been subject to a cyclic movement of rise, culmination, and then decline and fall, to be followed, after an interval, by renaissance in the same or another place. This kind. of cyclic sequence seems to be a general rule both in nature and in human affairs. Day, night, and the dawn of another day; the birth of vegetation in the spring of the year, its death as autumn merges into winter, and then its rebirth when spring comes round again. In our own lives we have the daily round of waking, sleeping and re
- waking; and the very much greater round of birth, death, and as some of us think, rebirth. Precisely the same order prevails in the affairs of collective humanity. Nations and races rise and fall; civilizations die only to be reborn.
Belief in the cyclic character of civilization was very widely spread in ancient times. The Brahmins had and have an elaborate chronology showing a regular succession of yugas, or ages, - golden, silver, copper and iron. According to them we are now going through Kali Yuga, the iron, or black age, which is destined to be succeeded in course of time by another age of gold. Plato tells us that the Egyptians believed in periodical deluges. He says also, in his dialogue on the State: "A state cannot be everlasting, but must find its dissolution. However far a divine production, there is always a certain cycle of life. . ." Plutarch in his Life of Sulla, describes the Etruscans as dividing the Great Year, or lifetime of the earth, into eight lesser cycles. They believed that each successive race of men had one of these as its allotted period, in which it sprouted, flourished, decayed and died. Virgil, in Eclogue IV., speaks of a grand series of ages which began afresh in the renewal of the Great Year. "There shall be", he says, "another ark, steered by another pilot, bearing the chosen heroes, there shall be other wars, and great Achilles shall be sent once more to Troy." Inasmuch as the famous archeologist, Schliemann, found the super-imposed ruins of nine distinct cities on the traditional site of Troy, it does not seem impossible that Virgil's prophecy may yet be fulfilled, and a tenth city be built and overthrown there.
In America, the Aztecs, who preserved the traditions of still older races,"believed that four "suns" had existed before the present one, and that each of them had in turn been destroyed together with the human race belonging to it. The word "sun" here clearly symbolizes a period of time.
During recent years, this doctrine of cycles in history has been reasserted by H. P. Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical movement, and it has also found advocates in such distinguished scholars as Professor Zasse of Berlin, Spengler, the philosophic historian, and Sir W. M. Flinders Petrie, the Egyptologist. In his book, "The Revolutions of Civilization", the, last named describes in some detail the successive cultures that have left their traces in Egypt and in Europe during the last ten thousand years. He tells us that during that time, no less than eight distinct periods of civilization can be traced in Egypt, each separated from its successor by an interval of decline and barbarism. Civilizations I and II, Petrie allocates to the so-called pre-historic age. They are distinguished by the rise, perfection and decadence of pottery decoration and flint work. Civilization III includes the first two historic dynasties; IV, dynasties 3-6; V, dynasties 7-14; VI, dynasties 15-20; VII, dynasties 21-33;
of which the last was the Ptolemaic; while VIII was founded by the Arabs who conquered Egypt under Amru in the seventh century of the Christian era.
Owing to the nature of the materials used, sculpture is the most durable of the arts, and typical specimens of the sculpture of very ancient civilizations have survived, when their literature and more perishable products have for the most part disappeared under the disintegrating influences of time and climate. Sir Flinders has been able to collect data as regards the sculpture of his civilizations III to VIII for the purpose of making an extremely interesting and fruitful comparison. He places the culminating point of perfection in sculpture at roughly the following dates: civilization III, B.C. 5400; IV, B.C. 4700; V, B.C. 3400; VI, B.C. 1550; VII, B.C. 450; VIII, A.D. 1240. In every case it is possible to trace the art through a parallel process of development from an archaic stage to a stage of perfect freedom and vigour, and then to degeneration and decay. He points: out further that in every case, as far as our knowledge goes, sculpture was the first of the arts to reach perfection. Painting always seems to have come into its own later; and, where we have sufficient information to place them, we find that literature developed later than painting; then mechanics; thence science; and, finally, material wealth. The greatest expansion of wealth has invariably preluded the fall of the curtain.
In Europe, Sir Flinders discovers a series of five distinct cultures corresponding to the Egyptian nos. IV
- VIII. For the three earliest of these our principal source of knowledge is the brilliant excavation work conducted by Sir Arthur Evans and others in Crete, where the so-called Early-Minoan culture synchronizes with Egyptian IV; Middle-Minoan with Egyptian V; and; Late-Minoan with Egyptian VI. The Classical civilization of Greece and Rome corresponds with VII; and the Mediaeval-Modern with VIII. Our information about the last two of these periods is sufficient to enable us to compare in some detail the parallel evolution of the arts and sciences in classical and modern times: the dates, given are the approximate dates of the, highest point of development in each case as worked out by Petrie:
Sculpture B.C. 450 A.D. 1240
Painting 350 1400
Literature 200 1600
Music ? 1790
Mechanics 0 1890
Science A.D. 150 after 1910
Wealth 200 after 1910
Some of these figures are doubtless open to criticism. In particular that given as the culminating point in modern mechanical development, which should probably be fixed much later. It is indeed difficult to say whether we have even now reached the peak in mechanics, science, or wealth.
In addition to the civilization cycle described by Petrie which appears to vary in length from 700 to 2,000 years, it is easy to trace minor cycles within the greater ones - wheels within wheels, as it were. Thus in classical times, there was a Greek period and a Roman period, the first of which itself exhibits the rise and fall of several states in succession, each of them for a while standing in the fore-front of the culture or the politics of the time. Sybaris and Croton in Magna Graecia, Athens in Greece proper, and Alexandria were in turn the chief centres of Greek literature, philosophy and art; while the political supremacy passed in succession from one state to another. Argos, Sparta, Athens, Thebes, all had their turns of power and decline. With the eclipse of the Greek city states came the rise of Macedon as a world power; and the successors of Alexander ruled from the Adriatic to the borders of India until in the course of time their kingdoms were absorbed by Rome on the one side and a renaissant Persia on the other.
In her turn Rome experienced a number of rises and falls of prosperity. Between the golden age of Augustus and the silver age of the Antonines were disastrous decades of mad or bad emperors, and incessant civil wars. Even when the great decline began after about A.D. 200, the long agony of the Empire's dissolution was not by any means continuous; for at intervals the appearance of a strong and able man on the throne brought about the temporary defeat of the invading barbarians and the restoration of something like prosperity for a while.
In recent times, each of the great European nations has had its own ups and downs while sharing in the general cyclic development of Western civilization as a whole. The golden age of English literature culminated towards the end of the reign of Elizabeth; then gradually fell off into the corruption or formalism of the restoration and eighteenth century; until with the advent of Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth, and Scott, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, was ushered in a very brilliant silver age. This in its turn has gone; and we are now once more in the trough between the waves.
The difficulty is not to find examples of cyclic movements in history, but to avoid making this paper intolerably long by quoting too many of them. There are, however, one or two other phases of the subject to which I would like to refer before passing on to consider why nations and civilizations invariably fall after reaching the apex of their power and culture.
Some years ago, a well known German scholar, E. Zasse, published the results of his investigations into the available data concerning all the wars recorded in history. He claimed to have traced a series of rhythmical, or wave
- like movements of activity which had passed across the old world from East to West during the last three thousand years. His earliest examples of this process are necessarily incomplete for he wrote before the unearthing - literally unearthing - of the long forgotten Cretan and Hittite empires. But, from about B.C. 500 onwards his facts are impressive. About that date, a period of great activity in Western Asia - a period that included the empires of the Babylonians, Assyrians and Medes - reached its climax in the rise of the Persian power, which began slowly to decline after the defeat of the attempted, invasion of Greece by Xerxes. Its end came with the decisive overthrow of Darius by Alexander at Arbela in B.C. 351, when the hegemony of the world passed to the Macedonian and his successors. About two hundred years later the centre of power passed westward to Rome. At the beginning of the Christian era, when the might of Rome was at its zenith, a second great East to West movement commenced. China began to recover from a long period, of decline, and became once more a powerful state with flourishing arts and sciences. 250 years afterwards, Central Asia began to wake up, and the Huns swept westward from the Chinese borders, destroying and conquering over thousands of miles until they were finally defeated at Chalons in 451. In the third century also came the rise of the new and powerful Empire of the Sassanides in Persia. Then - we are still moving westward, - the Arabs, whose scattered tribes had been welded into unity by the preaching of Mahomet, became world conquerors. Later still in the far West arose the Empire of the Franks, who defeated the Arab invaders at Tours in 732, and, thrust their armies back over the Pyrenees. About A.D. 1000 the beginnings of a third East to West movement can be discerned. China was again flourishing; then came the rise of the Mongols to power and conquest under Zinghiz and Timour, who swept all before them from Pekin to Moscow before the wave receded. With their decline came the rise of the Ottoman Turks in West Asia and East Europe; and, finally, during the last few centuries, the sceptre of poli-
tical power has passed into the hands of the Western peoples. Whether it is destined to move further West across the Atlantic ocean, or whether the present unrest in the far East is symptomatic of the gathering of a new wave there that will move westward during the coming centuries, who shall dare to say?
Another very significant cycle refers to the foundation and growth of religions. In the sixth century B.C., there appeared almost simultaneously the Buddha, Pythagoras, Confucius and Lao-tse. Roughly six hundred years later came Jesus; still another six hundred and Mahomet began to preach at Africa. Then, after about the same interval, we have St. Francis of Assisi, who revitalized Christianity in Europe, and Tsong-ka-pa, the great Tibetan reformer of Northern Buddhism. illustrating these historical facts, we have the very wide spread belief in the periodical appearance of religious teachers,. The Brahmins hold that there have been a series of avatars, or divine incarnations, of Vishnu the Preserver. Thus Krishna, himself reputed one of those avatars, is made to say in the Bhagavad Gita:
". . When Righteousness Declines, O 'Bharata! When Wickedness Is strong, I rise, from age to age, and take visible shape, and move a man with men, Succouring the good, thrusting the evil back, And setting Virtue on her seat again."
Buddha taught that he was one of a long line of Buddhas; and Mahomet averred that he was the latest of the prophets, among his predecessors being Abraham, Noah and Jesus.
In economic matters there is said to be a cyclic occurrence of commercial crises - an encouraging thought at the present time, for when we reach the bottom of a cycle, then necessarily we once more begin to ascend.
So much for the facts of the case. The question why do civilizations, after rising to greater or less heights of power and splendour, invariably decay and pass into oblivion, is a very complex one, and in a short paper one can but offer a few suggestions. I am tempted to begin by quoting Edward Carpenter's statement, of the problem:
"We find ourselves", he says, "in the midst of a somewhat peculiar state of society, which we call Civilization, but which even to the most optimistic among us, indeed, are inclined to think that it is a kind of disease which the various races of man have to pass through - as children pass through measles or whooping cough; but, if it is a disease, there is this serious consideration to be made, that while History tells us of many nations that have been attacked by it, of many that have succumbed to it, and, of some that are still in the throes of it, we know of no single case in which a nation has fairly recovered from and passed through it to, a more normal and healthy condition. In other words the development of human society has never yet (that we know of) passed beyond a certain definite and apparently final stage in the process we call Civilization; at that stage it has always succumbed or been arrested."
These words, even if we do not wholly endorse them, are at least provocative of thought. For my part, I do not regard civilization as a disease. On the contrary it is a very important phase of human life; but a phase that is peculiarly apt to become diseased. We might, I think, have a civilization that would be perfectly healthy: it would be relatively durable, and its end, when it came at last, would be as normal as the coming of sleep after a long day's activity. Moderation and simplicity would be its keynotes, and man's mastery over nature would be used not abused. Such a state of things, however, will remain out of our reach so long as the unbridled desire for personal advantage, personal security, wealth, pleasure, luxury, continue to goad us into abusing and carrying to excess those material improvements which accompany
civilization, and which, properly used, might afford the necessary physical basis for sane and wholesome living. But as the most nutritious food turns to poison in the system when we eat too much of it, so the very conditions on which civilization is built up are apt to become the chief causes of its destruction when we hag
- ridden by the desires and fears of the personal self, push them beyond the norm which makes for health and sanity. When this happens, the body corporate becomes diseased in much the same way as the individual body. Some cells, or individuals are gorged, others starved; and in both cases, death comes painfully and before it need.
(To Be Concluded.)
THE THEOSOPHY OF THE UPANISHADS
PART I. - SELF AND NOT SELF.
"A Man's religion," says Tolstoi, is the relation which he believes himself to bear to the endless universe around him, and to the source of that endless universe; and, as every man believes himself to bear some relation to the universe, every man must have a religion."
Tolstoi further thinks that the relations which men believe themselves to bear to the universe may be divided into three great types, and only three: the first of these three he calls the primitive or savage, the relation that a man bears, to the universe when he looks on it solely as the source from which he, as an isolated individual, may draw the largest amount of gratification possible; the second relation he calls the social or pagan, that wherein a man no longer regards the universe as the great treasure-house of good things for his own enjoyment, but looks on it rather as something to be used and profited by, not by himself personally, but by the tribe, or clan, or community to which he belongs, or even by the whole human race; the third relation is that which a man stands in to the universe when he believes that universe to be the expression of a divine Will, "the Will that sent him," and therefore makes the whole of his life an obedience to "the Will that sent him," the divine Will that has given birth to the worlds. As every man must believe either that the universe exists for his enjoyment and profit, or for the profit of the race to which he belongs, or, lastly, for the purposes of the divine "Will that sent him into the world," so every man must hold one of the three religions, whether knowingly or not.
These great types of religion are very ably developed and illustrated by the thinker from whom this quotation is taken; and it cannot be denied that the whole study of religion and morality, of which it forms a part, is of the highest interest and value; yet it may be held that the most valuable thought is the initial one, - that a man's religion is the relation he believes himself to hold to the endless universe around him, - and that the further development of this thought, and the analysis of this relation under three great types, is of subsidiary worth.
A man's religion is the relation he believes himself to bear to the endless, universe around him, or to its cause and source; one objection may, perhaps, be taken to this thought, an objection that will naturally occur to every one: that this use of the word "religion" is too wide and universal; that it would be better to keep the word "religion" for one special relation of man to the universe, the nature of which will presently be considered; that it would be better to find other less universal terms for other types of man's relation to the universe, if these relations lack the special character which
is inevitably suggested by the word "religion".
Let us consider the initial idea somewhat further, the idea that every man must believe himself, and does believe himself, to stand in some relation to the endless universe around him. We shall find it subject to a very important qualification. Every man does, it is true, believe himself to stand in some relation to the universe; but this he may believe either consciously or unconsciously, either by original observation or by imitation. And it will hardly be denied that the vast majority of mankind, when they recognize that they stand in a relation to the world, to the endless universe around them, and to its cause, do so without any clear and vivid consciousness, in a rather instinctive and dumb way; and that they are very strongly influenced, by imitation; very prone to accept as their true relation to the universe whatever view they may find nearest to hand; that tradition has far more to do with confirming them in their belief as to their relation to the universe than any clearly conscious thought or will or observation of their own.
So that, if we speak of men's religion, of their belief as to the relation they bear to the endless universe around them and to it; source, we must recognize that for the vast majority this belief is unconscious or largely unconscious; drawn from tradition, or lightly adopted from whatever source was nearest to hand; and held all their lives long without any very clear or vivid thought or feeling at all. We must recognize that only very few men, a very small part of the whole human race, have any conscious and consciously held belief as to their relation to the universe; that only this very small number have entered into first
- hand relations with the universe, have dealt with the universe and life face to face.
Setting aside, for a while, all beliefs as to man's relation to the universe and life which are held unconsciously, by imitation or adoption, let us turn to those beliefs that may be held with full consciousness and original intent, the beliefs of those who have entered into first-hand relations with the universe and life, and have dealt with life originally and face to face.
If we consider these original and conscious beliefs as to man's relation to the universe and life, we shall find that they may very fitly be divided into three types, though these three types will not quite coincide with the three types of relation described by the thinker who has already been quoted from.
We shall find that the first type of belief as to man's relation with the universe is this: the universe is primarily presented to us, life primarily affects us, as a series of pictures and impressions, sounds and tastes and contacts, that build themselves up into a great unity which we call the world; the mountains and forests, and rivers and seas, the sun and moon and stars, the blue arch of heaven and the coloured clouds that make up the splendid scenery of our life. By this pictorially presented world we may be so entirely engrossed that it holds our thought and observation altogether; that our thought and observation have no energy to disengage themselves from the pictorial world and pass beyond it; that the pictorial world seems to us all in all, the whole of life, the endless universe in its completeness. If our thought is thus enthralled by the pictorial world, we inevitably regard ourselves as a part of the picture, as subject to the destinies and powers that make themselves felt in the mountains and rivers, the forests and clouds; we inevitably regard ourselves as a part of this, of the nature of this, limited, to this. To this first belief it is difficult to give a suitable name. We might, with the thinker whom we have referred to, call it the savage or primitive belief as to man's relation to the world; or, seeing that it is at the present day, largely the belief of those who consider themselves the teachers and up-
holders of science, we might call it the scientific belief; or, again, as one particular hypothesis has been largely identified with this view of the pictorial world
- the hypothesis of "matter" and the continuity of matter - we might very well speak of this belief as materialist - so that we may choose between these three names - savage, scientific, materialist - to describe this belief as to man's relation to the universe and life. The result of our choice matters little, for names are but the servants of thoughts; the important thing is only that we should clearly keep in mind that by this first belief - savage, scientific, or materialist - we mean the belief that man is altogether a part of the pictorial universe, altogether subject to its destinies and laws.
But if our thought and observation, after laying hold of the pictorial world around us, have energy to pass beyond it; if our consciousness has power to return upon itself, to flow back again from observing the pictorial world, we shall find that the door is opened to a new and higher belief as to man's relation to the world, to the endless universe that surrounds him. When our consciousness thus flows back upon itself, we shall find that our first belief as to our being entirely one with the pictorial world, as to our being entirely of the same nature as the pictorial world, was false; we shall find that between our own being and the being of the pictorial world, there are such complete differences that to believe any longer in our entire oneness with the pictorial world, becomes impossible. We shall find within us a quality that we shall find nowhere in the pictorial world; a quality so important as to overshadow all others, the quality of self-conscious being. We shall find that the first and chief element of our consciousness is the consciousness that we really are; while only as a second and subsidiary element comes the consciousness that we perceive; and as an outcome of this second, inferior element, we perceive the pictorial world, the world of mountains and rivers, of sky and stars and sea. So that our evidence for our own real being is of a far stronger and more intimate kind that our evidence for the real being of the pictorial world which at first enthralled our thought and observation altogether. If we call our self-consciousness, our consciousness of our own real being, the primary reality, we can only call our consciousness of the pictorial world a secondary reality, dependent on the first reality, on our self-consciousness. If on the other hand, we deny to our self-consciousness the claim to be a primary reality, if we call our self-consciousness unreal, we must then call our consciousness of the pictorial world doubly unreal, we must call the pictorial world itself a double unreality - the shadow of a shadow, a dream within a dream. We must say that there is no reality anywhere; that nothing really is. But we at once recognize that this is mere futility and meaningless; we do not and cannot doubt for a moment - once our consciousness has found the energy to return upon itself - that our self-consciousness really is, that we really are; we perceive at once that we have no other standard of reality than this; that when we speak of reality, we can mean nothing else than our own self-conscious being, on which our consciousness of the pictorial universe depends as a secondary, subordinate reality; as relatively an unreality. If we called the first attitude toward the world scientific, savage, or materialist, we may call the second relation the attitude of metaphysics, of philosophy or idealism. And to this point all the men of science who have any real power of thought as distinguished from mere skill in observation, have naturally and inevitably come. The facts of our consciousness are primary realities; all other facts are secondary realities, or as one great man of science said, more or less probable hypotheses.
But there is another relation of man
to the universe; a relation that one cannot touch on without reverence; a relation that rises above metaphysics and philosophy, as metaphysics and philosophy rise above materialism; a relation which carries with it so much of unutterable divinity that one hesitates greatly to give it a name, through fear that any name may prove inadequate, may narrow and limit and crystallize the free and flowing power of its original, transcendent life.
When our thought and consciousness, gathering energy to return upon themselves, discover the great truth that self
- conscious, being is primary reality, the universe becomes thereby divided into two: the outer pictorial world, and the inner conscious world to which the outer pictorial world is subordinate, before which the outer pictorial world is unrolled in ever-changing and flowing abundance of beauty. There were danger here that our self-conscious being might linger for ever a passive beholder of this endlessly developed picture, that we might be enthralled anew by the lust of the eyes. But just as the returning energy of thought inevitably brings us to a knowledge of the realities of self-conscious being, so the great quietness and disengagement that follow the knowledge of the unassailable reality and the isolation and independence of our self-conscious being bring with them, in the silence, the latent power to take a new step onward.
In the knowledge of our self-conscious isolation, the pictorial world and the tyranny of the pictorial world begin to stand aloof from us, to withdraw from us, and leave us in silence and loneliness; and, in this loneliness of our hearts and minds, we may become conscious of a new power and reality, presenting itself directly to our consciousness, to our hearts and minds, and in some sense, setting itself in opposition to the pictorial world and the tyranny of the pictorial world, appealing to us and approaching us, as it were, from above, while the pictorial world appeals to us and approaches us from below. And this new power that appeals directly to our consciousness, to our hearts and minds from above, carries with it a strength of new and flowing life, holding out new promises of largeness and perfection to our self-conscious being, and strongly leading us away from our attitude of mere beholders of the world, as our returning self-consciousness had before led us away from our enthralment and subjection to the world. The new power of life appeals to our consciousness from above; it carries with it a commanding majesty, a winning imperiousness, whereby our consciousness is impelled to recognize this new power as a higher and deeper and stronger, approaching us directly and intimately in the inner chamber of our hearts and minds, very close to us, and with none of the aloofness and apartness that have been taken on by the pictorial world.
This power above us, with its commanding majesty and winning imperiousness appealing to and approaching our hearts and minds from within, has ever drawn forth the profoundest life and feeling that our humanity possesses. Towards this imperious power the highest and best that is in us goes forth, as to a still greater highest and best. All the wealth of flowing imagination, all the best and purest parts of our wills are readily offered to show in some degree the profound and over-mastering impulse and enkindling that this new reality brings into life. It brings with it something better than metaphysics and philosophy; it brings with it a high and divine mood that viewed from one side is righteousness, viewed from another side is wisdom and light, a divine mood to which goodness and truth and beauty are a familiar and constant presence.
To the present enkindling of this divine power, approaching our hearts and minds from above, and appealing to them with commanding majesty and
gracious imperiousness, it were better to give no name. This richest experience that our life is capable of is, in itself, something too high and deep for any words. But to the visible results of this power, enkindling in us righteousness and wisdom, names may well and profitably be given. If there be a preponderant tendency towards righteousness, an enkindling of the will rather than the thought, we may well call this visible result religion; if there be a preponderance of wisdom, an enkindling of thought, an illumination of mind, then, perhaps, we may call the visible result theosophy.
It will readily be perceived that, in thus grouping the relations which man may bear to the universe into these three great types, we have followed chiefly the form they take in thought, in understanding; while, in reality, they are rather conditions or moods of the will than of the understanding, which is the helper and explainer of the will. For our real life is closer to will than to understanding; our real life, though it is neither pure will nor pure understanding, is yet more nearly akin to will than to understanding; will is a larger, deeper, more embracing part of our lives than understanding. If we were to convert into terms of the will the types of relation to the universe which we have expressed in terms of understanding, we should come much more nearly to the three types traced by the thinker whose words we referred to at the outset.
But, for our present purpose, it seems more fit and profitable to speak rather of the understanding than of the will; and for these reasons. We have tried to indicate the nature of religion as a tendency to righteousness, the visible outcome of a certain high and divine power approaching our consciousness from above, appealing with winning majesty to our hearts and minds. As we saw at the outset, any such primary and first-hand dealing with life, especially in the high and divine degree this deepest experience implies, is a very rare thing, a thing possessed consciously and vividly by very few. And, outside these few, the same experience is either dull and dumb, or it is reached rather by imitation and adoption than by original and vivid possession. This is exactly what has happened to our age and epoch. For the great majority, religion, the tendency towards righteousness, is based on an experience either dully and dumbly possessed, or possessed solely by imitation and adoption from others. And, through this cause, through this dull and dumb attitude of the mind towards the power that enkindles religion, there is great darkness and confusion in our understandings; for our understandings are still halting at the second relation to the world - the philosophical - or are in bondage altogether to the first, the materialist and sensualist relation, subjection to the tyranny of outward things. Therefore our understandings have fallen far behind our wills, and our wills themselves receive their stimulus darkly and blindly, by imitation and tradition, rather than by first-hand dealing with the universe, and that best power in the universe that approaches us imperiously from above.
Therefore, by the conditions of our time and age, with its religion so largely a matter of tradition and imitation, with its understanding so completely enthralled and given over to the tyranny of the outer world, an enlightening of the understanding is more imperatively necessary than an enkindling of the will. We would follow righteousness willingly, were we not so totally in the dark , if we could really understand what righteousness should be and may be, if we knew where to find rightness of life, we would be only too glad to obey; but we demand light first; light is indispensable before we can move at all.
Therefore our needs are rather for the understanding than for the will; for wisdom than for righteousness; for a theo-
sophy than for a religion. And nowhere, it is certain, shall we find these needs better supplied, or nearly as well supplied, as in the theosophy of the great Indian Upanishads.
For this work of enkindling our understandings, the great Indian Upanishads are specially and strikingly endowed, and this for three chief reasons.
In the first place, by a happy accident of language, by the happy union of the highest poetic suggestiveness and beauty, the highest degree of natural magic, with the highest degree of pure idealism, of light, they give a clear and vivid stimulus to mind and will that no other work can rival. Every true student of them has paid a tribute to this enkindling power of the Upanishads in virtue of their equally balanced beauty and light. Then, again, the Upanishads consist rather of a series of vivid intuitions of life than of a system of thought woven into philosophic completeness and continuity; and each of these intuitions of life, these perceptions of our high and divine relation to the endless universe, has a lasting and enduring truth that no completed system could have; has the lasting and enduring truth of high poetic inspiration, and not the conditional and limited truth of philosophic systems, which, though based on high inspiration, are yet elaborated and finished by the mind in a mood far below inspiration. And, as these intuitions of life, with their high degree of inspiration, are woven into no completed and elaborated system, they have none of that terrible burden of tradition, of superstition, of half science and half truth that so fatally overweighted the intuition of righteousness in the religion we are most familiar with. In the Upanishads, every intuition of life stands out full of vivid power and freedom, full of light; nothing can compare with them for stimulating and kindling that high side of our nature that is the home and birthplace of righteousness and Wisdom; the Upanishads bring us into the mood in which their intuitions were first luminously apprehended, and lead us to the point where we may ourselves open our doors to the sunlight and become receptive to that wonderful power, appealing to our hearts and minds from above, whose visible workings are wisdom and righteousness.
Lastly, the Upanishads have found for this power an expression so happy, so admirable, that this alone gives them an incomparable value. The great religion we are most familiar with found for this high and majestic power, that appeals with such winning imperiousness to our hearts and minds, two chief expressions that characterize two of the greatest religious movements in the world. In the first epoch, the supreme expression for this power was "the Eternal that makes for righteousness," an expression that with a narrow and formal idea of righteousness, led to the stunting and withering of human life; to the formation of ceremonial and intolerant religions. The other expression, and a far higher one, marking a singularly happy inspiration, but an inspiration rather poetical than religious, described this power as "the Father in heaven". Yet, wonderful as this expression is, in its warmth and colour, it tends, when the full inspiration that gave it birth has flowed back, to dwarf human life into insignificance, to limit it to a position perpetually secondary and inferior.
Not so the expression of the Upanishads for the same high power: "the supreme Self, the real Self of all beings". Here is an expression for the greatest power in life, that draws our hearts toward it as no other could, that gives us, so to say, a permanent stake and interest in the high purposes of the divinity, which we recognize as our own truest Self.
The Upanishads, therefore, tend to enkindle in us a true and admirable relation to the endless universe around us, and above all to make us enter this relation, not blindly, but in steadily growing light.
(To Be Continued.)
THE CREST JEWEL OF WISDOM
By Robert A. Hughes
The light that is Vedic wisdom shone with its greatest brilliance during the brief life of Shri Shankaracharya, the last of the avatars of Shiva. He is said to have been born in 510 B.C., in southern India, some fifty-one years after the Buddha's nirvana - and is looked upon as the greatest and wisest of the historical Brahmin sages. The Brahmins, as a caste ignored the ministry of the Buddha, and, so there arose the necessity of a reformer who would restate the precepts of the Law within the Brahmanical fold. "Buddha's grand successor, Shankaracharya was born for this purpose: the re-establishment of Vedic knowledge, and the preservation of that knowledge among a caste trained to preserve it.
Vedic philosophy, considered historically, is divided into three great periods, the first being the primeval Vedic philosophy of the ancient Rishis, which flourished during India's Golden Age, and, was the last inheritance bequeathed to the Aryans of the once Universal Wisdom-Religion, and so consequently the mother-source of all later religious and philosophical systems, called by H.P.B. the BIBLE of HUMANITY; and secondly the commentaries on the Vedas - the Upanishads; and lastly the writings, of the last light of Vedic India - Shankaracharya. Shankara was the popularizer of the Vedantic system of thought, and, the founder of the Adwaita school of the Vedanta.
Vedic philosophy is, like Theosophy, the accumulated wisdom of the Ages, and so is ancient and immemorial, and like the Secret Doctrine "is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences, were made to test and verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity". (S.D. I, 273). Buddha drank deep from this fountain of primeval wisdom; and it was to confute, Buddhism that the Brahmanical jesuits abridged the Vedic commentaries - the Upanishads. According to H.P.B. the teachings of both the Prince of India and the Brahmanical sage are identical: "The, Esoteric Philosophy of both. . ... Gautama Buddha and Shankaracharya are most closely connected, if one believes tradition and certain Esoteric Teachings". (S.D., II, 674). Buddha was, however, content not to stress the pivotal concept of all Aryan or Vedic philosophy, in his public discourses, for his mission as the LIGIIT OF ASIA was to cast that light into the mind's of all human-kind, and not to confuse the lay mind with metaphysics. Shankara, on the other hand, sat among the elect, the learned, thinking classes, and so he dealt with the great issues of Vedantic thought.
The idea of the Immortal Self of man has long been taught in India; for since ancient Vedic times the ATMAN has been the ultimate goal of the great systems of philosophy. The ancient Vedic Seers invoked the great God of (spiritual) Fire to give them knowledge of the Atman. "Agni, lead us, along the right path unto the sovereignty of the Self. Thou of deathless lustre knowest all the ways of progress. Kill out of us the forces of sin which would propel us along the winding ways of the world. So may we surrender ourselves unto thy guidance for evermore!" - Rig-Veda. The Upanishads carried the idea to perfection, states the Katha Upanishad: "He, the highest Person, who is awake in us while we are asleep, shaping one lovely sight after another, that indeed is the Bright, that is Brahman, that alone is called the Immortal." All true religions and philosophies have taught this truth, though it is not always apparent on the surface. The Nazarene was only re-echoing the Vedic philosophers when he taught that "Ye are Gods", and, "the Kingdom of God, is within (inside) you."
Throughout his greatest work the Vi-
-Chudamani, the Crest-Jewel of Wisdom, the idea of the Immortal Self, or Atman, is carried to a logical conclusion. We are reminded as we open this book that "He only is considered worthy to enquire into Spirit who is without attachment, without desire, having Sama (control of mind and body), and the other qualifications and is desirous of obtaining emancipation." (17). Those who would dabble or trifle with the truths of Spirit are warned in no uncertain terms of the Great Work that must he done: "the practical realization of the merging of oneself in Brahmatman and final emancipation from the bonds of matter are unattainable except by the good karma of hundreds of crores of incarnations." (2). To the blind religionist he speaks: "We may study the Scriptures, (the Vedas), propitiate the gods (by sacrifices), perform religious ceremonies, or offer devotion to the gods, yet he will not attain salvation even during the succession of a hundred Brahma-yugas except by the knowledge of union with the spirit." (6).
Shankara, in order that his readers might intuitively understand what the Self is, proceeds to define the Not-Self. The body, with its combination of marrow, bone, fat, flesh, blood, its senses and limbs and head is not the Self; and it is this body which gives rise to ignorance, the delusion of "I" and "me". "The hidden treasure of supreme bliss is guarded by the very powerful and terrible snake ahankara, which envelopes the self with its three heads, the gunas. The wise man is able to enjoy this hidden treasure of bliss after cutting off these three heads and destroying this serpent with the great sword of spiritual knowledge. (303). Ahankara is the conception of "I", personal self-consciousness or self-identity, the egotistical and illusion-producing principle in man which separates him from the Atman. One must learn to discriminate between the Not-Self and the true Self; the former with its transitory cravings and desires, and, the latter with its freedom from all craving produced by desire and its consequent bliss. We are exhorted to "conquer the great death" - embodied life and its desires, and seek liberation. Like Buddha he teaches that ignorance is the chain that binds us to the wheel of embodied existence, and that by freeing ourselves from avidya (ignorance) we achieve liberation.
Shankara enlarges on his subject to prove that mind alone is the cause of bondage; for as long as ignorance causes us to allow manas to be enslaved to the perceptions, from without we will not find freedom. The mind enslaved by desire is the cause of bondage and the creator of illusion (The Mind is the great slaver of the real. - H.P.B.), and at the same time is the means whereby we can achieve liberation. "Cloud collects by the wind - (i.e. the atmosphere) and is again dispersed by the wind, bond-age is created by the manas, and emancipation is also produced by it." (174). And again: "The chief cause of liberation is said to be complete detachment of the mind from transitory objects." (71). Thus, the book deals with the principles of Union or Yoga, as it was expounded by the Vedanta, that only by the control or concentration of the mental powers within to the contemplation of our inner life can we know the Atman. "In proportion as the mind becomes firm by devotion to Atman, it renounces all desires for external things; when all desires are completely exhausted, the realization of Atman is unobstructed." (277).
The Adwaita School of the Vedanta postulate but one reality in the Universe - Brahman, the impersonal, supreme, unknowable and unthinkable ABSOLUTE, from which all emanates, and into which all must return, "which is incorporeal, immaterial, unborn, eternal, beginningless and endless", and all-pervading; and the material world is a maya - an illusion, and exists only because of Atman. Shankara teaches "that Brahman (the supreme
spirit) and atman are one and the same is true knowledge and according to the Vedas". (204). Brahman is the infinite, eternal, all- pervading light, it can be neither taken hold of nor abandoned, inconceivable by the mind, and inexpressible by speech, immeasurable, without beginning, without end. (242). Realize that thou art 'That' - Brahman which is supreme, beyond the range of all speech, but which may be known through the eye of pure wisdom. It is pure, absolute consciousness, the eternal substance. (256). On the removal (by Yoga) of all phenomenal attributes imposed upon the self, the true self is, (found to be) the supreme, nondual, and actionless, Brahman." (389).
The Adwaita Vedantist dethrones all gods that the mind of man has peopled the starry spaces of the Universe with, and places on that throne the true Self of man - the Atman. Writes Shankara: "The Atman is that which this universe is pervaded, which nothing pervades, which causes all things to shine, but which all things cannot make to shine." (130). "The atman is Brahma, the atman is Vishnu, the atman is Indra, the atman is Shiva, the atman is the whole of this universe; besides Atman there is nothing." (389). The goal of life is to manifest this divinity within, and the means is by controlling Nature, for thus we achieve liberation. While the body is subject to the law of cause and effect, the Atman is beyond its touch, and is only "to be known by worthy men, with very pure buddhi through the samadhi (cosmic consciousness of the spiritually awakened seer) and supremely subtile (spiritual) faculties." (361).
In this treatise of Shankaracharya's we have a compendium of Aryan Philosophy, and the origins of religions in the form of a dialogue between a teacher and his disciple, and in which is "revealed" the nature of the Atman, so that those who aspire after liberation may gain knowledge easily". (579). It is a book that should be in the library of every earnest theosophist, along with the Voice of the Silence and the Bhagavad Gita. In its study one feels that one is sitting at the table of the Gods instead of begging for spiritual bread from those self-styled "religions," that have given man a stone in place of the bread of life. All who study the Crest-Jewel of Wisdom will, I believe, lay it aside with the firm conviction that the true Self of man is an undying reality - and that, after Buddha, Shankara was the last light of Vedic India!
(Quotations from Mohini's translation).
We have been having many letters from various people accusing us of misrepresenting the Rosicrucians and opposing their teachings. It all depends upon what is meant by Rosicrucianism. There are a number of Societies claiming to be the true representatives of Rosicrucianism, these claims in themselves canceling their authority. The true Rosicrucians never sell their knowledge and make no gain from it in any way. Nor do they make any claims nor seek to impose upon the public by assertions of their great importance and high distinction. The name was first given to the disciples of a learned Adept named Christian Rosenkreuz, who flourished in Germany, circa 1460. He founded an Order of mystical students whose early history is to be found in the German work Fama Fraternitatis (1614), which has been published in several languages. The members of the Order maintained their secrecy, but traces of them have been found in various places, every half century since these dates. The Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia is a Masonic Order, which has adopted membership in the "outer"; the Chabrath Zoreh Aur Bokber, or Order of the G. D., which has a very complete scheme of initiation into the Kabbalah and the Higher Magic of the Western or Hermetic type, and admits both sexes, is a direct descendant from medieval sodalities of Rosicrucian, themselves descended from the Christian Egyptian Mysteries." So writes W. W. Westcott in The Theosophical Glossary.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert A. S. Smythe.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
- Subscription, One Dollar a Year.
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
- Dudley W. Barr, Apt. 34, 42 Hubbard Blvd., Toronto.
- Felix A. Belcher, 250 N. Lisgar St., Toronto.
- James E. Dobbs, Apt 14, 1251 St. Mark St., Montreal.
- Frederick B. Housser, 10 Glen Gowan Ave., Toronto.
- Wash. E. Wilks, F.R.C.S., 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver.
- Cecil Williams, 49 East 7th Street, Hamilton. Ont.
- Miss Agnes Wood, 135 Yorkville Ave., Toronto.
- Albert E. S. Smythe, 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Those who wish to take advantage of the Special Offer of Dr. Kuhn's book "Theosophy" must do so at once as the notice appears this month for the last time.
Nominations have not yet been received from all the Lodges for the members of the General Executive for the year 1933-34. The Toronto Vancouver and Hamilton Lodges have sent in their nominations and so far there appears to be an inclination to permit the representation of last year to continue. Nominations must be in by April lst.
"The President's condition seems to be very much the same as before", is the latest news from Adyar. Mrs. Besant's strong physique stands her in good stead in her long and trying illness. Mr. Schwarz is also in somewhat delicate health, suffering from a heart affection. He has returned from the Nursing Home to his own rooms, but is unable to attend his office and the Recording Secretary is doing double duty for the time being.
We are glad to hear from Mr. H. Lorimer, formerly of the Winnipeg Wayfarers' Lodge in the Canadian Federation, that he has rejoined the Canadian National Society through the Montreal Lodge. "The members extended a very kindly welcome to me here," he writes, and "I look forward to happy association with the members of the Society in Montreal!'. We feel sure that a similar sentiment exists throughout the National Society and we gladly endorse it on behalf of the General Executive.
The falling off in members this year appears to be wholly among the members of the Toronto Lodge. Naturally a large city suffers more in the Depression than elsewhere, and it is the Depression that is accountable for the losses. An effort will be made, however, to reinstate many of those who have dropped out. If people only knew, however, they could get more help from Theosophy to carry them through their trials than from any other source. It is not money, but that inspiration which quickens the faculties, stirs the imagination, enlivens the spirits, and gives renewed strength to face the difficulties and complications of the times.
A majority of the members of the General Executive have signified their dissent with the motion to reduce the size of The Canadian Theosophist, so that as long as funds permit it will remain at its present size. Friends will kindly accept this intimation, and understand that some extra help is required to carry on the work, as our limited number of members are unable to pay for the publication of a magazine that circulates all over the world. In these hard times it is especially difficult to maintain a sufficient revenue and any help, large or small, will be very welcome.
"We are at the end of a cycle - geological and other - and at of the beginning another. Cataclysm is to follow cataclysm. The pent-up forces are bursting out in many quarters; and not only will men be swallowed up or slain by thousands, "new" land appear and "old" subside, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves appal; but secrets of an unsuspected past will be uncovered to the dismay of Western theorists and the humiliation of an imperious science. This drifting ship, (i.e. the metaphorical ship of Western Sanskrit Scholars), if watched, may be seen to ground upon the up heaved vestiges of ancient civilizations, and fall to pieces. We are not emulous of the prophet's honours; but still, let this stand as a prophecy."
H.P.B. in the Theosophist, (1883)
A series of articles by Mrs. M. M. Salanave is begun in this issue and, will be continued till June. Mrs. Salanave has made a study of life in India and has written many interesting articles on phases of her experiences there. In her booklet, "A Tryst with the Gods" (which may be obtained from her for 50c) she says "an overweening American woman on tour in India told me she 'did' Benares in one day!" She remarks, "My sensations and impressions of India were gained by staying there long enough - would that it had been longer - to perceive occasional streaks of sunlight 'mid the darkness and, better yet, not to mistake the streaks of sunlight for the sun itself." She gives an account of the great festal day at ancient Prayag, now Allahabad, the Kumbh Mela, held every twelve years. Mrs. Salanave's address is 2004 46th Ave., Oakland, California.
The following letter has been received: "Perhaps you or some of the readers of your magazine will be kind enough to cast some light on the following. It is believed that at the time of death the whole life just finished, passes before the mind of the dying person. In a case of great shock the same thing appears to happen, and the question arises why this should be. One wonders if it is when the life has been spent in the interest of self only, that this awakening occurs. Enquirer." It does not appear to be an exceptional thing, but occurs to everyone at death. That it should occur to those who approach a state of death, or who nearly risk detachment from the physical body, does not seem unnatural. If the records of the Astral Light are always available then when the consciousness is sufficiently exalted to come into touch with those records it is not remarkable that an impression should be left by them on the brain. It is like a moving picture and the story is complete. To dwell continually in the presence of that record would be a heavy punishment. "Enquirer" should read the Ninth Chapter of "The Key to Theosophy".
Dr. A Kamensky, president of the International Theosophical Centre, writing from 2, rue Cherbuliez, Geneva, Switzerland, makes this appeal: "There are now 5 years that the International Theosophical Center, founded by the Council of the Federation of the Theosophical Societies in Europe, is working in Geneva, and, it has already a good report of active work as you may have seen. It is very important indeed, that such a centre should exist in Geneva, the seat of the League of Nations, and the headquarters of more than 60 international Societies and Associations. The I. Th. Centre is arranging lectures, talks, and receptions, taking in hand problems of an international interest and building bridges in many directions, so that the waters of Theosophy may be running into many channels. All these years, the Centre has been helped by gifts coming from different countries; but this year, with the exception of America's gift, ($100.) we have received nearly nothing. We have just enough to go on till the end of the season (this summer, June). If the other
countries could send us also some support, we should be very happy. We hope you will answer our call and with the help of our Friends, the Centre will be able to go forwards, ever increasing and intensifying its useful activities."
Miss Blanche Krause, Secretary of the Olcott Lodge at Wheaton, Ills., writes us as follows: - "We, the people who work at the National Headquarters of the American Section of the Theosophical Society, have organized a theosophical lodge which we have named 'Olcott Lodge'. We hope not only to study theosophical teachings but to apply them in such a way that we shall be able to see the Great Plan at work in all the happenings that are going on around us in the world. In fact, we have many plans. And, already quite a number of them have been put into practice with good results. We would enjoy corresponding with some member living at your centre, telling him of the ideas which we have and learning from him what your centre is doing. If there be someone who would like to correspond with us, we shall be most happy to hear from him. It is our thought that we may be able to find at least one person in each of the principal Theosophical Centres in the world, who will be glad to correspond with one of our members. In this way a very definite link will be formed between all of us. We believe the idea is worth while. Is there someone at your centre who would like to take part in what we are trying to do? If there be such a person, and he will write to me, I shall be very glad to see that he gets in touch with some member of 'Olcott Lodge'."
A valued correspondent writes: "I regret exceedingly all this correspondence 'for and against' Judge. The whole question is a difficult one and I believe cannot be understood from an ordinary standpoint. For my own part, I think he was a weak man; that, possibly, was the vulnerable part in his armour - and especially towards women - hence the power K.A.T. exercised over him. His nature must have been a very beautiful one, and in most ways a very fine one, but he undoubtedly had a sentimental strain in it which could go with the above-mentioned weakness. There seems to be little doubt that he did make most serious mistakes after H.P.B.'s death, and my own explanation for this is that H.P.B.'s 'mission' having failed when she was withdrawn in 1891, nine years before the end of the cycle, the great entity that was behind W.Q.J. was withdrawn also. He whom H.P.B. calls, 'My Brother', leaving the lower personality to its own devices to which his individuality (a weak one possibly), became a prey. I have always 'loved' Judge and his writings,. His 'Letters That Have Helped Me' helped me in times of trouble and difficulties as few other writings have done. Therefore the apparent failure and mistakes of his last years are sad to me. But I think we are often inclined to attach too much importance to these failures of the personality which often seem proportionately great to the immense efforts made by these great souls. I fancy it's difficult to judge some of these Great Souls that came in contact with H.P.B. during her lifetime as we should judge the pygmies which appear to surround us now." I feel like endorsing every word of this estimate.
I drifted to a sacred land,
Where soul met soul
And proffered hand
Combined two spirits into one;
And o'er each heart
A light was spun;
The silent bridge of secret thought
Was silvered there
Port Dover, Ont.
THE JUNE 10 CONVENTION
The international and inter-Theosophical conference at Niagara Falls now begins to take definite form. The dates have been fixed tentatively at Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11, and it is proposed to begin the sessions at 10 o'clock on the Saturday morning, to have a luncheon at noon, followed by sessions in the afternoon and evening. On Sunday morning there will be a sightseeing trip, and the final session will be held in the afternoon of that day.
The place where the conference will be held has not yet been determined, but it will be announced in the next issue of the Canadian Theosophist.
There has been a gratifying response from the lodges in the United States, and it is the expressed intention of Theosophists in Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, and Ohio to attend the conference. Suggestions about speakers, and topics have been received from the other side.
Owing to the absence of Dr. G. de Purucker, who is in England, no reply has been received to the invitation extended to the Theosophical society of Point Loma, but the T.S. representative there, Mrs. E. W. Lambert, has sent best wishes for the success of the undertaking. In view of this society's interest in fraternization, co-operation in the conference may be confidently expected.
Replying to the invitation sent to the United Lodge of Theosophists, the General Registrar says that owing to the peculiar nature of its constitution, which prevents any associate from committing any other associate or any lodge to any course of action, it is "not possible either to accept or decline" the invitation.
But the General Registrar, however, adds these important words: "Any associate or associates who choose to do so are wholly free to participate in your 'convention' in his capacity as an individual student of Theosophy."
Any U.L.T. associate who reads these words is cordially invited to the conference, and his cooperation in informing his fellow associates of the purpose and aims of the gathering, and in conveying to them the invitation of the Canadian section, is earnestly requested.
- Cecil Williams.
THE ANNUAL ELECTIONS
Nominations for the office of General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive should be made by the Lodges during the month of March, so that returns may all be in by the 1st day of April. Experience has shown that it is impossible otherwise to issue voting papers, carry on the elections, get returns made, and scrutinize the ballots in time for a declaration in the June Magazine. Secretaries of Lodges will kindly see that the matter is brought before their respective Lodges and when nominations are made, have them sent at once to the General Secretary. Nominations must be made through a Lodge and consent of parties nominated must have been previously obtained. Nominations must reach the General Secretary by April 1st when the nominations close. They should be mailed at least a week before. This will enable ballots to be sent out, should an election be necessary on or before May 1, and voting to close on June Ist. Nomination returns must be sent in a separate letter addressed to the Geiaeral Secretary at 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario.
MEANING OF THE WORD KARMA
1. Act, action, or activity.
2. The Law of Action, or of Cause and Effect, or of Retribution.
4. One's stock of merits and demerits; One's, deserts.
5. Character; which is the result of past sowing and experiences.
- Exposition of the doctrine of Karma.
AMONG THE LODGES
On 15th February the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Toronto Theosophical Society was held, at the Lodge Headquarters, 52 Isabella Street. The Leaders of the various Lodge activities presented very satisfactory reports. Extremely generous financial assistance has made possible a reduction in the first mortgage on the Society's property, with a corresponding reduction in interest charges. It is expected that this will release funds for the support of the Local and Traveling Libraries to increase publicity and advertising and permit the Society to secure well known lecturers from other cities. The Librarian's report shows that 5,622 books were loaned locally and a further 500 books, loaned by the Traveling Library to readers spread across Canada. The report of the Ladies Auxiliary and the laudatory remarks of various officers proves the Auxiliary to be a very active and popular sub- organization. Mrs. H. J. (Olga), Cable, is President. Election results show the following to be the choice of the Members: - President, Albert E. S. Smythe; Vice-President, Dudley W. Barr; Secretary, John K. Bailey; Property and Finance Committee: Messrs. Dudley W. Barr, John K. Bailey, R. Anderson, George I, Kinman, A. C. Fellows, Chas. Boush and N. W. J. Haydon; in addition to these were chosen for the Executive Committee, Miss Agnes Wood, Lt.-Col. E. L. Thomson, D.S.0; Mrs. H. J. Cable, Mrs. J. K. Bailey, Dr. E. J. Norman, Mr. Robert Marks, and Mr. Horace Huxtable. Albert E. S. Smythe was nominated for the office of General Secretary and Dudley W. Barr, Fred, B. Housser and Reginal Thornton as candidates for the General Executive: -John K. Bailey, Secretary.
Technocracy is a research organization composed of scientists, technologists, engineers and workers in other technical fields, organized 12 years ago for the purpose of
collecting and analyzing data on the physical functioning of the social mechanism of the North American Continent. They are working in association with the industrial engineering department of Columbia University, and the Architects' Emergency Committee on Technology which has been conducting an energy survey of North America. This was how C. G. Cline, Water-ways engineer, Niagara Falls, described in detail to the St. Catharines' group of the Toronto Theosophical Society at 443 Huron Street, Niagara Falls, recently, the meaning of the term now on everybody's tongue. He said the technocrats merely aimed, after years of intensive research, to present a set of facts based on scientific economics, the basis of which was the fundamental principle that machinery and automatism predominated in industrialism in Canada and the United States today. While not offering any solution of social economic troubles, now rampant through this continent, Mr. Cline, referred to the movement now in progress in the United States Congress to bring about a five-day week of six hours a day as one step in the right direction. There was no doubt that the fabric of civilization would remain sound in the opinion of technologists, Mr. Cline told the meeting, but, if conditions were to improve, some system would have to be evolved whereby plants would work a much larger number of employees than were engaged prior to the depression, and on a much reduced time schedule. It was possible, technologists suggested, Mr. Cline pointed out, that in the not distant future the average work day would not be eight, not six, not five, but likely three or four hours duration. He quoted a recent statement of the Prince of Wales to the effect that if all the employable men and women were employed, a reasonable number of hours per week, the world would have at its disposal a volume of commodities and services which would enable the entire population to live on a higher level of comfort and well being than had previously
been contemplated even in the rosiest terms of the social reformer. Industrial revolution began early in the nineteenth century, according to the technocrats. Mr. Cline stated, and it was his opinion that the industrial world had reached a point where it would be necessary to decrease production instead of increasing it. What was needed was more equitable distribution of leisure and commodities among people. The major defect of the present world economic fabric, Mr. Cline stressed, was the general outlook on wealth. "We spend our time either trying to get ahead of our neighbour or trying to prevent him getting ahead, of us". Mrs. G. Knapp, DeCew Falls, the president of the group, occupied the chair.
Some notes from an Orpheus Lodge meeting: Orientation is, to, fix one's position, in relation to the true East, - the source of Light. To orientate himself, to discover the direction in which the Light is to be found, is the first problem of the student who seeks some certain knowledge regarding the mystery of human existence. Amid the widely conflicting beliefs of Science, Religion and Philosophy he seeks the answers to his questions. Discarding what is obviously irrational as untrue the problem quickly narrows down to a few questions of vital importance and the conflicting opinions centering upon them. It is at this point that he may discover that to go further he must take himself in hand. He makes the rather startling discovery that where certain important questions are concerned his secret aim has been not to arrive at the truth, but merely to obtain confirmation for his existing beliefs and prejudgments; that his mind far from being a clean slate upon which anything can be written is filled with prejudices, and preconceptions which bias and distort his mental processes. We are all naively convinced that we want the truth, and it is a real step forward to realize that the truth concerning ourselves and our cherished opinions is often a thing we would go a long way around to avoid. Here is where the first test of our sincerity comes in. Is it Truth, or comfort we want! Unless, we are prepared to do our utmost to follow Truth wherever it may lead we had better drop back into the rank and file where we belong and not bother our heads with these things. If it is the truth we want we shall welcome criticism; we shall be ready at any time to throw our ideas into the "Melting Pot" and be willing to take what comes out. Truth has nothing to fear from criticism, prejudice and falsehood, everything. The problem is to deal with our prejudices, first those we are aware of, then those whose existence we do not yet suspect, except that we know they must be there secretly influencing our judgment. How are we to do this? By inuring ourselves to the constant practice of finding out the best that can be said against our convictions; the individual who is really after the truth will go to endless trouble to hear or read the ideas of someone who champions a view which conflicts with his own. As a result of this discipline the mind grows both in clarity and insight, and above all an inherent love of truth emerges. The next step is to discover and deal with one's unconscious prejudices which are all the more important because completely unsuspected. Many of these will be brought to the surface by the endeavour to clarify our mind where known prejudice exists, and others may be discovered by watching our emotional reactions, such for instance as resentment or apprehension when certain opinions are upheld. To have grown into this attitude of really wanting the truth at any price, is a rare thing. We all think we want the truth, but how much of it do we want? Until we have gone through this discipline and have become in reality, "Lovers of Truth" it does not matter much what we do, for this is the inescapable foundation for all spiritual work. So long as we can be deceived by our prejudice and bias, how can we hope to discriminate between the "Real and the Unreal? The
cultivation of this high, austere love of Truth is the one lode stone amid the maze of conflicting opinions which will enable the student to turn his gaze toward the true East.
THE MURMUR OF TIBETAN DRUMS."
By M. M. Salanave.
"And down the loaded air there comes
The murmur of Tibetan drums
And droned 'Om mani padme oms'."
The name Darjeeling - a picturesque town in northern Bengal, India - is one to conjure with by theosophists who associate it in their minds with Madame Blavatsky and her two famous trans-Himalayan teachers. The name means literally, "land of the thunderbolt," - dorje, Tibetan word for thunderbolt, and ling, for land, or sometimes temple.
It is only a night's ride on the broad gauge railroad from Calcutta to Siliguri where in the grey of the early dawn one changes for Darjeeling. A traveler acquainted with early theosophical history is apt when taking this journey to recall to mind the incident of H.P.B.'s mysterious disappearance from a train en route to Darjeeling, to meet one of her teachers and thus avoid being followed by too inquisitive traveling companions. And one wonders if perhaps it might not have been at Siliguri where she dropped from sight since at this junction one entrains either for Darjeeling or for Kalimpong, the last frontier station at the borderland of the mysterious forbidden country in which theosophists were once keenly interested. She could have taken a train for Kalimpong quite easily while her companions were hurrying to the train for Darjeeling, her supposed destination.
The ride from Siliguri to Darjeeling over the narrow gauge railroad, said to be the tiniest in the world, takes a good half day or better. The sturdy little train pants and puffs its way up the steep climb to the wondertown perched eerily in the foothills of the Snowy Range, winding its way through jungles of undergrowth and mighty trees whose immense trunks are fairly smothered with exotic orchids in season. Up and up, in and around the gigantic hills, bravely climbs the lilliputian engine until the highest point is reached at Ghooni, two miles distant from Darjeeling. From then on there is a gradual descent until the train arrives blowing and steaming into the land of the thunderbolt city.
So many hymns of praise have been sung by its legions of visitors that no words of mine are needed to describe Darjeeling itself. But I think it likely that this is the first narrative written of an American woman visiting as his house guest its most distinguished native citizen, the then Chief of Police, Sardar Bahadur S. W. Laden La, a cultured educated Tibetan gentleman. He has now retired from that post. Almost every book written of Sikkim, Tibet, or thereabouts contains references to its author's indebtedness to Mr. Laden La. For any traveler who intends to tour further into the country, desires special information of any sort concerning Tibet, seeks letters of introduction, or favours of any kind, finds his way to this man who in truth is the only person invested with authority or power to render him real assistance. Sven Hedin, Evans-Wentz, McGovern and others whose names are equally familiar have mentioned him by name in their books, acknowledging their indebtedness to him. Indeed in one book he is referred to as 'Tibet's uncrowned king'. British officials stationed at Gyanste who are required to learn the colloquial Tibetan language must also go before him for their examinations. A few years ago at the command of the Dalai Lama Mr. Laden La went to Lhasa for two years to organize a police force there. During the last six months of his stay his family journeyed from Darjeeling to be
with him and to pilgrimage to famous surrounding Buddhist temples in and around the city.
(If the details emphasizing this man's importance have seemed tedious and unnecessary to some readers, the writer hastens to explain that the reason for thus establishing Mr. Laden La's respected position will be forthcoming before the conclusion of this short series of articles.)
It was to this well-known gentleman then that my Nepalese friend in Calcutta had written of my proposed visit to Darjeeling so that my arrival there was not unexpected. When in Asia I tried hard to do, not as Occidentals generally do, but as Asians do, so following my usual custom during my pilgrimage, immediately upon arriving I set about securing lodgings in the native quarters of the picturesque town. But just as soon as Mr. Laden La heard of my plans, he interposed insisting that I remain as his guest during my stay there. It happens that Mr. Laden La is a devoted and devout Buddhist which every foreigner who approaches him is soon given to understand. He reasoned that since I had come so far from a strange land, that it was his duty as my Buddhist brother to open his home to me and that it was my right to expect it of him and to avail myself of his invitation. Thus during my eight happy days spent in Darjeeling he and his charming family, not to mention a large retinue of servants numbering no fewer than eighteen, were at my service day and night. His two elder daughters ad-dressed me, and still write to me so as their American mother.
My visit at that particular time was auspicious in more ways than one. Most Eastern people, and Tibetans in particular, place great faith in auspicious and inauspicious days. Two days after my arrival - one full moon day - a Tibetan festival called 'Wong', meaning long life, health and happiness, was to be held at Yi-ga-choo-ling, a Buddhist temple near Ghoom. A great image of the Buddha there was to be rededicated and thousands from all over the country were expected to be present. Also the Abbot of the Ghoom monastery whose own private temple Dong-kr is in the Chumbi Valley was visiting Yi-ga-choo-ling at this particular time on his annual pilgrimage to holy Bodh-Gaya, place of Lord Buddha's enlightenment.
The Laden La family were much elated that my arrival was so timely - so auspicious they said - and felt it highly desirable that I should meet the saintly Lama without further delay. Accordingly, on the day of "Wong" we set off in the early morning to reach the place before the crowd had assembled, and before the Abbot became too busy to receive visitors.
Yi-ga-choo-ling monastery is off the main highway from Ghoom to Darjeeling, standing on an eerie peak enshrined in the midst of surrounding snow-capped hills of the Himalayas, an austere spot swept by winds which, like the wind's of Karma, never set. Entering the courtyard we proceeded to the building where the priests and monks live and only a few yards distant from the temple itself. Climbing up the flight of steep steps. - O, how steep Eastern steps seemed to this Occidental, unused to Alpine climbing - we passed through a small entry into the common waiting room there to wait while the announcement of our arrival was conveyed to His Holiness. The memory of that unforgettable event is as vivid now as though it took place only yesterday.
(To Be Continued.)
The search after man's diviner "self", so often and erroneously interpreted as individual communion with a personal God, was the object of every mystic, and belief in its possibility seems to have been coeval with the genesis of humanity, each people giving it a different name. H.P.B. in The Modern Panarion.
[[[ The Following is printed in two comparative columns, side by side, which can't be reproduced here. I have reproduced the Theosophical quotes first, to be followed by the Neo
-theosophical quotes. - Digital transcriber]]]
THEOSOPHY OR NEO-THEOSOPHY
(Continued from Page 383, vol. 13)
Hiranyagarbha, Hari, and Sankara - the three hypostases of the manifesting "Spirit of the Supreme Spirit" (by which title Prithivi - the earth - greets Vishnu in his first Avatar) - are the purely metaphysical abstract qualities of formation, preservation and, destruction, and are the three divine Avasthas (lit. hypostases) of that which "does not perish with created things" (or Achyuta, a name of Vishnu); whereas, the orthodox Christian separates his personal creative Deity into the three personages of the Trinity, and admits of no higher Deity. - Secret Doctrine, Vol. I., Pp. 18-19.
In the Sepher Jezirah, the Kabalistic Book of Creation, the author has evidently repeated the words of Manu. In it the Divine Substance is represented as having alone existed from the eternity, boundless and absolute; and as having emitted from itself the Spirit. "One is the Spirit of the living God, blessed be his Name, who liveth for ever! Voice, Spirit, and Word, this is the Holy Spirit". (Sepher Jezirah, Chapt. I., Mishna lx). And this is the Kabalistic abstract Trinity, so unceremoniously anthropomorphized by the Fathers. From this triple ONE emanated the whole Kosmos. First from ONE emanated number Two, or AIR, the creative element - and then number THREE, Water, proceeded from the air; Ether or Fire complete the mystic four, the Arba-il. - Secret Doctrine, Vol. I., P. 447.
Thus, if we take in account all that is puzzling and incomprehensible in the four Gospels, revised and corrected as they now stand, we shall easily see for ourselves that the true, original Christianity, such as was preached by Jesus, is to be found only in the so-called Syrian heresies. Only from them can we extract any clear notions about what was primitive Christianity. Such was the faith of Paul, when Tertullus the orator accused the apostle before the governor Felix. What he complained of was that they had found "that man a mover of sedition. . . a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes; Acts xxiv, 5.) and, while Paul denies every other accusation, he confesses that "after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers" (Ibid, 14). This confession is a whole revelation. It shows 1, that Paul admitted belonging to the sect of the Nazarenes; 2, that he worshiped the God of his fathers, not the trinitarian Christian God of whom he knows nothing, and who was not invented until after his death and, 3, that this unlucky confession satisfactorily explains why the treatise, Acts of the Apostles, together with John's Revelation, which at one period was utterly rejected, were kept out of the canon of the New Testament for such a length of time. - H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol. II., Pp. 137-8.
The following summary will afford, a clearer idea to the reader.
(1.) The ABSOLUTE; the Parabrahm of the Vedantins, or the one Reality, SAT, which is, as Hegel says, both Absolute Being and Non-Being.
(2.) The first manifestation, the impersonal, and, in philosophy, unmanifested Logos, the precursor of the "manifested". This is the "First Cause," the "Unconscious" of European Pantheists.
. (3.) Spirit-matter, LIFE; the "Spirit of the Universe," the Purusha and, Prakriti, or the second Logos.
(4.) Cosmic Ideation, MAHAT or Intelligence, the Universal World-Soul; the Cosmic Noumenon of Matter, the basis of the intelligent operations in and of Nature, also called, MAHA-BUDDHI.
The ONE REALITY; its dual aspects in the conditioned Universe. - H. P. Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine, Vol. I., P. 16.
[[[second column, Neo-theosophy:]]]
But we saw that there was a Fourth Person, or in some religions, a second Trinity feminine, the Mother... The first interaction is between Her and the Third Person of the Trinity; by His action she becomes capable of giving birth to form. Then is revealed the Second Person, who clothes Himself in the material thus provided, and thus becomes the Mediator linking in His own Person Spirit and Matter, the Archetype of all forms. Only through Him does the First Person become revealed as the father of all Spirits.
It is now possible to see why the Second Person of the Trinity of Spirit is ever dual; He is the One who clothes Himself in Matter in whom the twin-halves of Deity appear in union, not as one. Hence also is He Wisdom; for Wisdom on the side of Spirit is the Pure Reason that knows itself not One Self and knows all things in that Self, and on the side of Matter it is Love, drawing the infinite diversity of forms together, and making each form a unit, not a mere heap of particles - the principle of attraction which holds the worlds and all in them in a perfect order and balance. - Annie Besant, Esoteric Christianity, Pp. 263-265.
This Mystery-Drama of the Christ-life symbolizes not only man's progress, but also the descent of the Second Logos, the second Person of the ever-Blessed Trinity, into matter. First came the Annunciation, when the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity sends the First Outpouring down into matter, and so hovers, over and permeates the virgin seas of matter a long time after that - the way having been slowly prepared by that Third Aspect, GOD the HOLY GHOST - the Second Aspect, GOD the SON, descends into matter and is born, as on Christmas Day. But that fructification of matter, that vivifying of it, takes time; and so in the allegory it shows its result forty days later in this Festival of the Purification of the great seas of matter, which means their vivifying and their elevation by the presence in them, the blossoming out through them of this Second great Aspect. This result appears when the new-born CHRIST is presented to the FATHER - that is to say, when the Third Outpouring, which comes from the First Aspect, the First Person of the Blessed TRINITY, comes upon it; and that perfected purification of matter is typified by the presentation of the CHRIST in His House, His Temple, to His FATHER. - C. W. Leadbeater, "A Sermon on the Transfiguration, Theosophist, April, 1919, Pp. 74-75.
THE ENGLISH OF "ISIS UNVEILED"
In an article, entitled "My Books", which appeared in Lucifer, in May, 1891, H.P.B. wrote about "Isis Unveiled" as follows':
"Some time ago, a Theosophist, Mr. R --, was traveling by rail with an American gentleman, who told him how surprised he had been by his visit to our London Headquarters. He said that he had asked Madame Blavatsky what were the best Theosophical works for him to read, and had declared his intention of procuring 'Isis Unveiled', when to his astonishment she replied, 'Don't read it, it is all trash'.
"Now I did, not say 'trash' so far as I can remember; but what I did say in sub-
stance was: 'Leave it alone; 'Isis" will not satisfy you.' Of all the books I have put my name to, this particular one is, in literary arrangement, the worst and most confused'. And I might have added with as much truth that, carefully analyzed from a strictly literary and critical standpoint, 'Isis' was full of misprints and misquotations - that it contained repetitions, most irritating digressions, and, to the casual reader unfamiliar with the various aspects of metaphysical ideas and symbols, as many apparent contradictions; that much of the matter in it ought not to be there at all and also that it had some very gross mistakes due to the many alterations in proof reading in general and word corrections in particular. Finally, that the work, for reasons that will now be explained, has no system in it; and that it looks in truth, as remarked by a friend, as if a mass of independent paragraphs having no connection with each other, had been well shaken up in a waste-basket, and then taken out at random and published.
"Such is also now my sincere opinion. The full of this sad truth dawned upon me when, for the first time after its publication in 1877, I read the work through from the first page to the last, in India in 1881. And from that date to the present, I have never ceased to say what I thought of it. This was done to the great disgust of some, who warned me that I was spoiling its sale; but as my chief object in writing it was neither personal fame nor gain, but something far higher, I cared little for such warnings. For more than ten years this unfortunate 'masterpiece', with its hideous metamorphoses of one word into another, thereby entirely transforming the meaning, with its misprints and wrong quotation marks, has given me more anxiety and trouble than anything else during a long life-time which has ever been more full of thorns than of roses.
"But in spite of these perhaps to, great admissions, I maintain that 'Isis Unveiled' contains a mass of original and never hitherto divulged information on occult subjects. That this is so is proved by the fact that the work has been fully appreciated by all those who have been intelligent enough to discern the kernel, and pay little attention to the shell, to give the preference to the idea and not to the form, regardless of its minor shortcomings. Prepared to take upon myself - vicariously as I will show - the sins of all the external, purely literary defects of the work, I defend the ideas and teachings in it, with no fear of being charged with conceit, since neither ideas nor teachings are mine, as I have always declared; and I maintain that both are of the greatest value to mystics and students of Theosophy...."
"..... the circumstances under which I wrote my first English work. I give them seratim.
"(1) When I came to America in 1873, I had not spoken English - which I had learned in my childhood colloquially - for over thirty years. I could understand when I read it, but could hardly speak the language.
"(2) I had never been at any college, and what I knew I had taught myself....
"(3) Until 1874 I had never written one word in English, nor had I published any work in any language. Therefore -
"(4) I had not the least idea of literary rules. The art of writing books, of preparing them for print and publication, reading and correcting proofs, were so many closed secrets to me.
"(5) When I started to write that which developed later into 'Isis, Unveiled', I had no more idea than the man in the moon what would come of it. I had no plan .....I knew that I had to write it, that was all ......
"........ I had written enough to fill four such volumes as 'Isis', before I submitted my work to Colonel Olcott. Of course he said that everything save the pages dictated - had to be rewritten. Then we started on our literary labours. . . Some
pages, the English of which he had corrected, I copied: others which would yield to no mortal correction, he used to read aloud from my pages, Englishing them verbally as he went on, dictating to me from my almost indecipherable MSS. It is to him that I am indebted for the English in 'Isis' ....Next to Colonel Olcott, it is Professor Wilder, who did the most for me. lt is he who made the excellent Index, who corrected the Greek, Latin and Hebrew words, suggested quotations and wrote the greater part of the Introduction ...... When ready the work went to press.
"From that moment the real difficulty began. I had no idea of correcting galley
- proofs; Colonel Olcott had little leisure to do so; and the result was that I made a mess of it from the beginning. Before we were through with the first three chapters, there was a bill for six hundred dollars for corrections and alterations, and I had to give up the proof-reading.... The result was that the proofs and pages of 'Isis' passed through a number of willing but not very careful hands, and were finally left to the tender mercies of the, publisher's proof-reader. Can any one wonder after this that 'Vaisvaswata' (Manu) became transformed into 'Viswamitra', ..... and quotation marks were placed where none were needed (as in some of my own sentences) and left out entirely in many a passage cited from various authors? If asked why these fatal mistakes have not been corrected in a subsequent edition, my answer is simple: the plates were stereotyped; and notwithstanding all my desire to do so, I could not put it into practice, as the plates were the property of the publisher; I had no money to pay for the expenses, and finally the firm were satisfied to let things be as they are........"
Later in the article, H.P.B. sums up as follows:
"The language in 'Isis,' is not mine; but (with the exception of that portion of the work which, as I claim, was dictated), may be called only a sort of translation of my facts and, ideas into English".
In The Path, for November, 1886, in an article entitled, "Theories about Reincarnation and Spirits", H.P.B. wrote:
"Then again, there are several important mistakes in 'Isis' which, as the plates of the work had been stereotyped, were not corrected in subsequent editions."
In both these articles H.P.B. specified a number of these mistakes.
Having regard to the very clear and emphatic words of H.P.B., as quoted above, the preparation of a revised edition of 'Isis Unveiled' embodying the corrections she indicated as necessary, with quotations verified and typographical errors put right, is a duty incumbent on the Theosophical Movement. It should have been done years ago; and in view of the increasing interest in H.P.B.'s works there is more need for it now than ever.
As a matter of fact two uncoordinated attempts have been made to produce such a revised edition of 'Isis': one of them by Miss Edith Ward, when manager of the Theosophical Publishing House of London, and the other by the late Mr. F. J. Dick for the Aryan Theosophical Press of Point Loma. We have not had an opportunity of examining either of these editions, and can therefore express no opinion as to their respective merits; but they should be compared and collated, and what is good in them made use of in the preparation of an edition which should embody all those emendations which H.P.B. said were needed.
-R. A. V. Morris.
" THE GREAT PYRAMID "
Mr. William Kingsland has added another sum to the debts we owe him for his additions to our Theosophical literature. At the present time a large part of the half-baked world is going daft about alleged revelations derived from fancied calculations based on the dimensions of the Great Pyramid. As an engineer of stand-
ing Mr. Kingsland has gone to Egypt and made a study of all those things involved in these allegations and has written the first part of a book devoted to their consideration. It is called, "The Great Pyramid in Fact and in Theory", and is published by the Messrs. Rider.
The first part, now issued, deals with the facts of the case, and is a book for the mathematician, the engineer, the technician. It is very fully illustrated with plates that give a better idea of the Pyramid as a whole, and in detail than the present writer has ever had before. One is impressed with Mr. Kingsland's impartiality. He does not rely on his own observations or measurements alone. He takes all that are available and compares them with each other and with his own and we get the results.
To five he makes special reference: to Professor Piazzi Smyth, whose work was first published in 1864 and revised in 1890; to Sir Flinders Petrie, whose book was issued in 1883; to Mr. Morton Edgar's books of 1910 and 1913; to Mr. D. -Davidson's book, "The Great Pyramid, Its Divine Message," 1925, and, in a fourth edition in 1927; and to J. Ralston Skinner's "Key to the Hebrew-Egyptian Mystery in the Source of Measures," published in 1875 and republished last year in America.
The first thing that strikes the reader is the general disagreement in the measurements made. Of course the greatest accuracy is required in such details and in the darkness, and in some cases, the roughnesses of the work, make meticulous accuracy difficult. But decimal fractions are involved in almost every case and in most cases the average measurements must be accepted. What Mr. Kingsland charges is that a decimal fraction is neither here nor there in the calculations of those who presume to deduce from these measurements prophetic announcements of the affairs of the world.
It will be admitted by anyone who knows the facts that the Pyramid displays unusual and super-human or super-normal knowledge in its structure. Mr. James Ferguson in his History of Architecture, says there is no record of any gradual development in Egypt itself of architectural knowledge and skill. How did the exquisite technical knowledge and skill displayed in its vast structure suddenly make its appearance? How were the great stones handled, weighing 16 tons, blocks huge enough to bother our modern machinery, and fitted together as close as 1-500th part of an inch?
Mr. Kingsland discusses the length of the Pyramid cubit at length and comes to the conclusion that it measured 20.612 British inches. This figure curiously enough approximates within one or two decimal points to the pi ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. [sic] There is, says Mr. Kingsland, "in the case of those who have some particular theory to uphold - more especially in the case of the Biblical Pyramidists - a very obvious adaptation of actual measurements to required theory." He gives many instances of this, and one submits, has proved his case in this respect.
"Where a theory which can be considered sound on other grounds demands a certain adjustment ,f the figures, this, adjustment can be conceded within the limits of error in actual measurement or calculation; but it cannot be conceded to meet the requirements of a theory which is otherwise unsound."
He upsets the theory of a connection between the Pyramid and Bethlehem in this way by an appeal to the calculations of the Naval College, Greenwich, on the actual angle between the Pyramid and Bethlehem. This is only one of many calculations which he takes up and disposes of. Chapter iii, pp. 43-98, is almost wholly concerned with these considerations.
The King's Chamber is very carefully measured and described. The great blocks of stone used here are about 27 feet long.
There are nine of these granite beams and they weigh each about 73 tons. "How did the builders raise this enormous weight to a height of 160 feet, and up the steep angle of the Pyramid?"
The problem of the Solar Year Cycle is another of those puzzles, and Mr. Kingsland finds here a remarkable correspondence between certain dimensions. All the measurements, as checked over, are given in the last four pages of this volume. Readers will certainly await with eagerness the issue of the second part of the work dealing with Mr. Kingsland's theories. For Theosophists it may be noted that neither Madame Blavatsky's name nor any of her views on the Pyramid are mentioned in this book. This will probably not be the case in the second part.
MR. KRISHNAJI AT ADYAR
Adyar, Madras, Jan. 14, 1933.
To Members of the General Council.
Since January 6, 1931, I have been administering, under instructions from the President, the general affairs of the Headquarter Estate, when in doubt consulting the Executive Committee. I have just given a decision which may easily be wrongly reported, and which I know has already caused some bitterness of feeling among a few residents at Headquarters. I desire therefore to state the case to you as early as possible.
After Krishnaji arrived on December 7, Mr. Rajagopal stated that he was separating the Star Publishing Trust from the Rishi Valley Trust of India, and creating a separate office of his own. He inquired if he could purchase or lease any part of the Headquarters Estate. I told him that a rule of the Constitution would soon be amended at a meeting of the General Council so as to require a vote of the General Council for a sale of even any outlying part of the Estate, but that it might be possible to rent a small building for his office.
When the matter came up again a few days later for consideration, immediately after Krishnaji's first Camp address, I explained to Mr. Rajagopal a change of view on my part. I said that I was deeply impressed by Krishnaji's opening words explaining his earnest desire to give his message untrammeled by any tradition whatsoever of the past, and by his pleading to his listeners to come to his thought direct, and not through any organization or belief. It therefore seemed to me that all freedom should be given to the inquirer to come to his teachings direct, and that any obstacle created between Krishnaji and the inquirer would be a disservice both to the inquirer and to Krishnaji. To have, therefore at our Headquarters even a mere office (which in addition to collecting subscriptions to the Star Bulletin would also have to be a book shop), would not be helpful to the work which Mr. Rajapogal contemplated. Anyone coming to a bookshop within the Theosophical Estate to purchase Krishnaji's books could not but be influenced by the work of the Society's workers on all sides of him at this International Centre. Mr. Rajagopal, however, did not agree with me, and asked me to see Krishnaji. As requested, I spoke to Krishnaji and told him what I had said to Mr. Rajagopal. He listened but expressed himself in no way upon the issue. I know he is not interested in the organization side, but he gave no indication that he would like the Star Publishing Trust here even temporarily.
Then as Krishnaji's talks developed, many were the "hard sayings" about exploiters. I told Krishnaji I only smiled when he spoke in that way, as the "cap" did not fit me; I was not an exploiter, and I was not seeking power. After the Camp was over, several old and devoted workers of the Society spoke to me, and I then realized that much feeling had been roused
in them, since they construed, rightly or wrongly, that Krishnaji's remark on "exploiters," said here at Adyar, must be held to refer to the President, Bishop Leadbeater, and other "Theosophical leaders".
It seems to me, therefore, that to locate a Star Office here is merely to create a source of dispute for both organizations. Whoever is in charge of a Star Office at Adyar, even a mere clerk, would have to reply to any customer who asked him about Krishnaji's attitude to the Society, either that Krishnaji does not mean what he says, or that what he says about the valuelessness of Theosophical teachings and the wrong effects of Theosophical work is true. In the latter case - the only true reply - it seemed to me not a fair thing that any organization should have even a mere office at our Headquarters when its work could not but be at variance with the work done at Headquarters. For two years now the Star Office has been in Rishi Valley at Madanapalle. Nothing has happened to show that its removal to the Theosophical Headquarters will benefit either the Society or Krishnaji's work.
Moreover, the Star Office work could be done just as well outside this Estate. Within half a mile is the Guindy School property of the Rishi Valley Trust where Rajagopal has decided to build an office. In the meantime, a temporary building can readily be found in the neighbourhood.
Since December, 1925, when. Dr. Besant built two special rooms for Krishnaji, he has occupied them when at Adyar. So too during the Star Camp just over. The rooms are kept exclusively for his use, and Dr. Besant is particular that no one else shall use them even temporarily except at Krishnaji's request.
I have not changed my first opinion that, as Krishnaji asks seekers for Truth to approach his ideas directly, away from all other thinkers, it is better to locate the Star Office, even temporarily, now that the Camp is over, outside the Society's premises.
The Theosophical Society,
Office of the Vice-President,
Adyar, Madras, India, Jan. 22, 1933.
To Members of the General Council
Since Mr. Jinarajadasa has, by letter dated the 14th instant, sought to explain to you a certain action recently taken by him at Adyar, you will naturally wish to learn what the officers of the Society have to say in the matter.
We, therefore, feeling our responsibility as officers chosen by our President, Dr. Annie Besant, would state that we regret that we do not see our way to agree with the action taken by our Brother, nor with his letter.
But having thus briefly stated our position, we hope that the incident may now die a natural death and leave us all to our respective duties. Fraternally yours,
A. P. Warrington, Vice-Pres.; Ernest Wood, Recording Sec.; A. Schwarz, Treas.
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 VEILS OF MAYA
Mother, with whom our lives should be,
Not hatred keeps our lives apart;
Charmed by some lesser glow in thee,
Our hearts beat not within thy heart.
Beauty, the face, the touch, the eyes,
Prophets of thee, allure our sight
From that unfathomed deep where lies
Thine ancient loveliness and light.
Self-found at last, the joy that springs
Being thyself, shall once again
Start thee upon the whirling rings
And through the pilgrimage of pain.
AE in "Collected Poems."
OLD DIARY LEAVES V.
The Fifth volume of Col. Olcott's "Old Diary Leaves" has just reached us from the Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, (Rupees 5 8 annas). A longer notice will be given, but just now attention is called to the two chapters on "the Judge Affair". The result in the main is important, the Colonel says "because, we have come to the point of an official declaration that it is not lawful to affirm that belief in Mahatmas is a dogma of the Society, or communications really, or presumably, from them, authoritative and infallible. Equally clear is it, that the circulation of fictitious communications from them is not an act for which, under our rules, an officer or member can be impeached and tried. The inference then is, that testimony as to intercourse with Mahatmas, and writings alleged to come from them, must be judged upon their intrinsic merits alone; and that the witnesses are solely responsible for their statements".
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?
President, vacant; Secretary, George Harrison Paris, Banff, Alta.
President, E. R. Lloyd Knechtel; Secretary, Mrs. Lilian Glover, 418, 10th Ave. N.W., Calgary, Alta. Meetings at 231 Examiner Bldg.
Address Frederick O. William.
President, Secretary, Mrs. M. E. Dean, 10212 107th Street.
President, Cecil Williams; Secretary
- Treasurer. Miss A. Putnam, 175 Hunter W., Hamilton. Lodge rooms Royal Templars Hall, cor. Walnut and Main Sts. Meetings Sunday, 7.15 p.m.
President, E. H. Parsons; Secretary, Mrs. Helen M. Shaw, R.R. 2, London, Ont.
President, Andrew Baldwin; Secretary, Miss R. D. LeBel, Apt. 10, 1483 Atwater Ave, Meeting at Room 118 Coronation Bldg., Corner St. Catharine's St. West and Bishop Street.
President, Secretary, David Chambers, 531 Bay Street, Ottawa, Ont.
ST. THOMAS LODGE.
President, Benj. T. Garside; Secretary, Mrs. Hazel B. Garside, General Delivery, St. Thomas, Ont.
President -; Secretary, Mrs. M. E. Collas, Summerland, B.C. Lodge rooms are in the Ritchie Block, West Summerland and Library in Drug Store below.
President, Albert E. S. Smythe; Secretary, John K. Bailey. Lodge Rooms 52 Isabella Street, Toronto.
TORONTO WEST END LODGE.
President, Mrs. Margaret Shone; Secretary, Mrs. Elizabeth Belcher, 250 N. Lisgar Street, Toronto.
President, Mrs. James Young; Secretary, M.D. Buchanan. The Lodge rooms are at 416 Pender Street West.
President, Guy Denbigh; Secretary, H. Danes, Vulcan, Alta.
ORPHEUS LODGE, VANCOUVER
President, D. McKinnon; Secretary, Dr. W. Wilks, F.R.C.S., 805 Medical Dental Building. Lodge room, Room 15, 163 Hastings St. W., Vancouver.
President, Mrs. Minnie S. Carr; Secretary, George Sydney Carr, 33 Government St, Victoria, B.C.
Secretary, P. H. Stokes. Meets in Room 209 Kresge Bldg, 368 Portage Ave.
J. M. PRYSE'S BOOKS
may be had, including: The Magical Message of Oannes; The Apocalypse Unsealed; Prometheus Bound; Adorers of Dionysus; from John Pryse,
919 South Bernal Avenue,
Los Angeles, California
BOOKS BY CHARLES JOHNSTON
Bhagavad Gita ...........................cloth $1.25 leather $1.75
Crest Jewel of Wisdom ..................... cloth $1.25
Great Upanishads, vol. I ..................... cloth $1.50
Parables of the Kingdom ...................... paper .50
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras ................... cloth $1.25
Song of Life paper..................... .75
May Be Had Direct From
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THEOSOPHY UP TO DATE!
EVOLUTION: As Outlined in The Archaic Eastern Records
Compiled and Annotated by Basil Crump.
S. Morgan Powell says in Montreal Star: "It is a great pity that there are not available more books such as this one by the Oriental scholar, Basil Crump.... Man is shown to be (and scientifically, not merely through philosophical dissertation) the highly complex product of thee streams of evolution - spiritual, mental and physical."
BUDDHISM: The Science of Life.
By Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump.
This book shows that the Esoteric philosophy of H. P. Blavatsky is identical with the Esoteric Mahayana Buddhism of China, Japan and Tibet.
THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE.
Translated and Annotated by H. P. Blavatsky.
A faithful reprint of the original edition with an autograph foreword by H.S.H. The Tashi Lama of Tibet.
THE BLAVATSKY PAMPHLETS.
There are ten of these already published and they deal with various aspects of The Secret Doctrine, several of them being reprints of articles by H. P. Blavatsky.
The above may be had from The H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Road, Victoria, B.C., or The O. E. Library, 1207 Q Street N.W., Washington, D.C., or from The Blavatsky Association, 26 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W. 8, England.
A PRESENT FROM THE EDITOR
This is the kind way in which Dr. K.S. Launfal Guthrie, 1177 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, N.Y., voices his free offer of a copy of any one of his books mentioned below, on sending him the portion of the envelope covering the Magazine with its title, The Canadian Theosophist, etc. The books Dr. Guthrie suggest are most desirable for students. They are:
Apollonius of Tyana
Philosophy of Plotinus
Ten cents in stamps should be enclosed to cover postage.
Books by Wm. Kingsland
The Mystic Quest.
The Esoteric Basis of Christianity.
The Physics of the Secret Doctrine.
Our Infinite Life.
An Anthology of Mysticism.
The Real H. P. Blavatsky.
Christos: The Religion of the Future.
May be had from John M. Watkins, , 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W. C. 2, England.
FIRST VOLUME NOW READY
Complete Works of H. P. Blavatsky to be published in 14 volumes.
Cloth, demy 8vo., pp. 350, indexed.
Volume One covers years 1874-79 and contains 81 different items.
Other volumes to appear quarterly.
Price per Volume, postpaid, $4.00 (subject to exchange)
N. W. J. Haydon
564 Pape Ave., Toronto (6)