The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
VOL. XIV., No. 10 HAMILTON, DECEMBER 15th, 1933 Price 10 Cents
By Cecil Williams
"Man is, born free, and everywhere he is in chains." With these words Rousseau, "sower of whirlwinds," opened the first chapter of his gospel of democracy. The Social Contract, a gospel which gave us the modern conception of the state and created democracies on five continents. Yet his words are as true today as when they were written. Man, born free, is still in chains.
And so democracy is charged with failure. But it is not Rousseau's concept of democracy that is challenged. That has been forgotten, partly because it was temporal. The imperishable concept of democracy either eluded him or he could not state it, and it was left for Blavatsky to indicate it as it rests with Theosophists to proclaim it to the world.
In the Multitude Sir Thomas Browne saw the great enemy of reason, virtue and religion; the Mob, to Edgar Allan Poe, had the gall of a bullock, the heart of a hyena and the brains of a peacock. Today criticism is not so sweeping, but in novels and war books, in reviews and the press, on the platform and in the pulpit, and wherever men gather to discuss the problems of the hour, doubts about democracy are expressed, and upon the image of a despot the gaze is fixed questioningly and half-wistfully. Many today would agree with Rep. G. Stanley Russell: "The achievements of democracy as far as history records them, give little cause for confidence that it is worth while making the world safe for it, or that it is by any means safe for the world." In Europe they have passed from doubt to decision; there is a drift towards fascism in the United States; in Canada - a dictatorship may be nearer than we think.
Democracy has become associated, and even synonymous, with the proletariat in the minds of its modern accusers. It was the proletariat that Sir Thomas Browne and Edgar Allan Poe denounced, and it is the proletariat which Rev. G. Stanley Russell doubts is safe for the world. Once that becomes clear we perceive the unreasonableness of Browne's and Poe's condemnation, and remember that it was the proletariat, the common people, whom the minister of Toronto's Deer Park Church is inclined to fear, that two thousand years ago heard Jesus gladly.
The modern idea of democracy as the proletariat is born of the "class war" concept of Marx, and as such is challenged by fascism, a middle-class movement, a movement of the bourgeoisie. Fascism was the inevitable reaction to Marxism, whose concept of democracy is far removed from that of Rousseau.
The state, according to Rousseau, should be based upon a convention, "a coming
together," a social pact, the essence of which he stated in the following words: "Each of us puts in common his person and his whole power under the supreme direction of the general will; and in return we receive every member as an indivisible part of the whole." This is the true democratic idea: one for all and all for one.
In this formula of Rousseau's, in addition to the principle of unity, which is in marked contrast with the separatism of Marxism and fascism, there is to be noted a most significant rule. Marxism and fascism insist first on rights; Rousseau places duty first. According to Rousseau's formula, each does not receive first and give after; each gives and in return, receives.
And let it not be objected that some have nothing to give and so must receive first. Rousseau, it is evident, saw and tacitly replied to this objection in the formula itself. Each gives, not money or labour, but "himself and his whole power." The power of each is varied, may, it is conceivable, even be nil, but he can still give himself, that is to say, his consent.
Rousseau recognized so strongly that his democratic concept was an ideal that he wrote, "If there were a nation of gods it would be governed democratically. So perfect a government is unsuited to men." He did not know, as Theosophists know, that men are incarnate gods and to them democracy should be most suited. If men have failed to see that democracy is practicable it is because they have failed to recognize their divinity. But there is an inherent weakness in Rousseau's formula, itself.
The social contract should not be a convention but a reconvention, not a "coming together" but a "coming together again." Man is already spiritually a unity and what is necessary, in political thought, is that this unity should be recognized. One of the postulates of the Secret Doctrine is, "the fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul." This is the imperishable basis of democracy.
Unable to soar above the rationalistic ideas of his age, perhaps, Rousseau yet caught a glimpse of the need for a spiritual foundation for democracy. "There is," he wrote, "a purely civil profession of faith, the articles of which it is the duty of the sovereign, (i.e., the people) to determine, not exactly as dogmas of religion, but as a sentiment of sociability, without which it is impossible to be a good citizen or a faithful subject."
"The dogma [as Henry J. Tozer translates the word; doctrines, according to Hilaire Belloc] of civil religion ought to be simple, few in number, stated with precision and without explanation of commentaries. The existence of the Deity, powerful, wise, beneficent, prescient and bountiful, the life to come, the happiness of the just, the punishment of the wicked, the sanctity of the social contract and of the laws; these are the positive dogmas. As for the negative dogmas I limit them to one only, that is, intolerance."
How Theosophical are Rousseau's four tenets of civil religion, allowing for the restricted thought of his age, may be seen by placing them beside the four links of the golden chain which should bind, as Blavatsky says, humanity into one family, one universal brotherhood - namely, "universal unity and causation; human solidarity; the law of karma; reincarnation."
Universal unity and causation corresponds to the existence of the deity; human solidarity, to the sanctity of the social contract; karma, to the happiness of the just, the punishment of the wicked; reincarnation, to the life to come. The similarity is very striking and suggests that Rousseau was one of the Theosophical voices of the eighteenth century.
Democracy should have a spiritual basis. It must be remembered that the Great Heresy of The Voice of the Silence is the "heresy of the separateness of the soul or self from the one universal, infinite SELF." Upon not only the brotherhood of man but the fatherhood of God (to use a graphic poetic phrase) must democracy be founded.
The philosophical Theosophist conceives of the Deity as "universal unity and causation," a phrase which avoids anthropomorphism, but for the man in the street a less abstract phrase is necessary. The basis of democracy might be stated in this adaptation of Rousseau's formula:
"Each, recognizing the origin of all from the One Ineffable Deity, and that all are children of One Divine Father, puts in common his person and his whole power under the supreme direction of the general will; and in return we receive every member as an indivisible part of the whole."
We have here a formula which avoids the materialism of Marx and the sectarianism of the term Christian socialism. It is world wide as true democracy should be. It should appeal to the spiritual intuitions of men of all religions, of all races.
Because we are only gods incarnate, true democracy cannot immediately be ours; yet, when I consider how in less than two centuries Rousseau's democratic ideal swept the world, I cannot but wonder if an improved restatement of it might not in a shorter time sweep back a resurgent despotism, and set men free who are now in chains.
An ideal world-state must in practice be organized into nations, states and cities. Subject to non-interference with the rights of other units, each may have its own system, providing it is democratic.
The ideal system, fundamentally democratic, though through abuse the democratic basis has been denied and submerged, is the caste system of India, the division of man into four classes, each designed to forward the interests of the whole, but, with the wisest men at the top. Among ancient peoples, it was the intent to place government in the hands of the wise. So Egypt had her seven castes. So in China they made scholars their rulers. So among the Anglo-Saxons, the Witanagemot by its very name, "meeting of the wise", testifies to the original conception of the national council.
A true democracy is a cosmos, but we have made ours a chaos, placed not the wise, but the financier and the demagogue (bamboozler of the people) at the top. It is not repudiation but reform of democracy that is needed. We have stressed the second part of Rousseau's formula and ignored the first. With exceptions, each now takes all (he can) and only rarely or reluctantly gives.
The practical question at the moment is, Which is strongest among the people, conscience or kama? We need to ask them, Are you prepared to give according to your ability, receive then, and then only according to your needs? That is the issue. It should be clarified, insisted upon, driven home. The initial question is not, Shall we abolish profit? That has no obvious moral force. The first question is, Are you on the side of the Heavenly Father? That is the tremendous question facing man.
To despair of the people or to despise their moral sense, is folly. Great reforms have been achieved. It is possible to change the minds of men. Else we would never have had Protestantism. Slavery would have persisted. These reforms were brought about not by selfishness but by the power of conscience. Today conscience is stirring in men's hearts. Are the sons and daughters of men who sacrificed much, even life, in the Great War, less noble, sunk entirely in selfish brooding? Have the survivors of the war lost all their idealism? Pondered upon, such questions, like a pool, reveal the shallowness of pessimism, reflect the hopes of a great reform.
We need to organize our democracy. Does profit injure our brothers? Then we must control or abolish it. Does any neglect the duties of citizenship? Then according to his responsibilities he must be deprived of his rights. Is power in the hands of the wrong people? Then we must take it from them and put it in the hand's of the right people. Do our laws place property before human rights? Then they must be made to square with humanity.
Does education neglect ethics? Then we must reform education. Have patronage and nepotism preferment in any part of the social organization over worth? Then they must go. Does our system deny, in practice, opportunity to talent? Then we must change it.
To propagate such political ideals an organization is needed. The work lies outside the province of the Theosophical society, but it is the immediate concern of members whose interest lies in political effort. In the early days of the Movement fellows of the Theosophical society were alive to the need for the application of Theosophy to politics. This is manifest in The Key to Theosophy. Then there existed Nationalist clubs, in which members of the society took a leading part, organizations designed to spread the ideals of Bellamy. Some of these clubs exist still, I believe, in India. Today there are groups of earnest Theosophists, particularly in Toronto, hammering out a workable plan for the reform of our democracy. Their efforts have called forth this article, designed, as it is, to aid in clarifying their thoughts and aims.
I would respectfully suggest to these groups that they organize themselves as a society, a club, and formulate objects, the first of which might run something like this: "Recognizing that all men are sons of the Heavenly Father, we aim to create a true democratic organization in which the spiritual brotherhood of man shall be reflected."
This proposed first object is all-important. H.P.B. would have agreed to that. She declared the first object of the Nationalist clubs of her day was not deep enough. It was not a society to effect a spiritual reform, and the organization of democracy is a spiritual reform, must have a spiritual basis, have its moral urge strongly emphasized.
Properly organized, its secondary objects draw up with care to link the practical with the ideal, its officers and members enthusiastic and devoted, such a society
could move the world. The Theosophical society now circles the globe and it is conceivable that through particular T.S. members the suggested organization might in a remarkably short time, begin to saw the seeds of a reformed democracy in every land.
Such a proposed society should be only in its spirit Theosophical. Members should be sought outside not within the movement. The secondary objects could be flexible, adaptable to time and place, but the first object in its meaning, should be unalterable.
Given enthusiasm and devotion, membership should grow rapidly if there were used the correct psychological approach, namely, first, attention; second, interest; third, understanding; fourth and last, strong moral appeal.
Man, born free, can be freed of his chains, if those who have ears to hear, hear.
THE THEOSOPHY OF THE UPANISHADS.
(Continued from Page 259.)
LIFE AND FORM
He gains royal power over himself, he gains lordship of mind, he is lord of voice, he is lord of the eye, he is lord of hearing, lord of knowledge; he becomes the eternal, bodied in shining ether, the real Self who delights in life, who is mind, who is bliss, whose wealth is immortal peace.
- Taittiriya Upanishad.
Before beginning to speak of the theosophy of the Upanishads, we had occasion to see that, in this age and epoch of ours, religion and religious life are chiefly characterized by two things: a lack of originality and a lack of light. For the vast majority, the overwhelming majority even, there is no first hand dealing with the universe, no meeting of the universe face to face, no openness to the strong and flowing powers of inexhaustible life; on the contrary,
there is everywhere a heavy burden of tradition - of tradition full of half science and half truth, that lies like a leaden weight on our minds, or wills, and the whole of our lives; tradition and formalism not merely as to the documents of religion and the teachers of religion, but a crystallized formality, penetrating and shackling the whole of life for us; and deciding for all of us, in every direction and circumstance, the relation we shall bear to the endless universe. This absolute crystallization of life into hard, rigid forms is what we have called the lack of originality in our religious life.
And the lack of light has the same form and character, or nearly the same. Half truths, or truths touching only a part of life, the outward and inferior division of life, have become so completely accepted, so readily adopted, in most cases through mere imitation, mere dullness and sluggishness of mind, that it becomes of the last difficulty for the understanding even to make preparations for entering into a true and higher relation to the universe so cramped, dulled and deadened are all its powers, by the contracting, crystallizing, formalizing powers that are the great moral and mental characteristics of our age.
A recent school of philosophy, considering the ultimate reality of things as Will, has suggested that all the scenery of the outward world - the pitiless rock., the drooping acacias, tiger and ape and peacock - are but modes and forms of Will; but - Will appearing and made manifest in conventional shapes, according to a series of great ideal types.
Well, there is much of the character of this, much of the nature of Will frozen into pitiless rocks, sharp flint, unyielding adamant, in the moral and spiritual life of our age; form everywhere, and formalism; hard, merciless convention that tyrannizes over Pharisee and Sadducee alike; convention of belief, convention of unbelief, convention of hypocrisy; form everywhere, and formalism, binding will and understanding alike; making inspired will or righteousness, and inspired understanding, or wisdom, equally impossible.
Who will tell these Pharisees, and Sadducees; with their conventional beliefs and unbeliefs, that all this so real-seeming world of theirs is but crystallized Will; that their beliefs, their unbeliefs, their strong refuges in the outer material world, their assured shelters in the inner mental world, are mere formalizings of formless Life, mere bubbles and froth resting for a moment on the bosom of the infinite ocean?
Perhaps no age was ever so cowed by the tyranny of form as this age of ours; perhaps no period of thought, if thought it can be called, was so deadened and crushed and shrunk together by these tendencies of formalizing and crystallizing. If any one would be convinced of it, let him see how much in his own life, in the life of his own will, his own understanding, ordained and governed by forms not flowing freely, from the abundant life within him, but rather imposed on his life from without, as a power of restraint, checking, thwarting, laying down impassable barriers that cling closer and closer round will and understanding, crushing out their original life and bringing nearer anal nearer the time when, if recent philosophy be right, heart and minds will be only less crystallized, if less at all, than pitiless rock, sharp flint and adamant.
Who will come to us with a free and flowing inspiration, telling us that this life of ours may be set free, may be made sweet and potent as the ocean, lucent as the sunlit air of mountaintops? Who will tell us than this so solid-seeming world, our so real-seeming sciences of belief and unbelief, the whole fabric of our outward life - aye, even the startling tragedy of our outward life, grim-eyed death himself, are but forms and moods an' humors of the infinite free and flowing Will, the manifest life of the Self? Who will tell us that these chains and fetters binding our spirits and wills, binding them so incessantly, perhaps, that our number souls have almost ceased to feel them, and are sinking into
the unresisting lethargy of death - who will tell us that these chains and fetters may one by one be loosed, that the loosing of them depends wholly upon ourselves, or rather upon the real and omnipotent Self within us?
The fetters seem to be imposed on us from without, but the possibility of imposing them on us is made only and entirely by ourselves. We are crushed by the tyranny of the outwards world, subjected to merciless necessity, ever busily devouring us with red tooth and claw. Yes; but the essence of our subjection lies not in the outward world, but in ourselves, in our lust for the feasts of the outward world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the lust of possession. Would you then bid a poor mortal be rid of these things, be rid of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the lust of possession, bid him declare a moral bankruptcy to escape from moral poverty and deprivation, counsel him remedies of despair? If the poor mortal were not an immortal in disguise, perhaps this were a remedy of despair; perhaps the counsel to set himself free from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the lust of possession were really a counsel to declare moral bankruptcy and mere impotence. But the mortal is really an immortal, the bankrupt is really heir to infinite possessions; and the only obstacle that hinders him from entering into his kingdom is this limiting and crystallizing of all his powers that shuts him out from the free and flowing life that is truly an energy of the immortals. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the lust of possession, what are these but crystallized demands on life for a part, when it is the law of life to give not a part but the whole? What are they but strained and painful attempts to limit the whole energy of the Self to a narrow and weed-grown field, when the Self is heir to the pastures of the infinite? Destiny is kinder to us than we are to ourselves - for destiny is but the will of the supreme Self in us, safeguarding our lesser selves, and destiny forbids us to rest secure in the satisfaction of lust, of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the lust of possession; destiny ordains that these lusts shall bring to us, not satisfaction, but rather a sense of enduring misery, a sense of perpetual subjection to the tyranny of the world; these stern ways of destiny, are no flatterers but counselors, that feelingly persuade us what we are. The tyranny of the world will press on us, the forms we have made, the forms of lust even, will grow in upon us and crush us, until we meet the world's tyranny by a tyranny more tyrannical, treating these passions and lusts as masters treat their slaves. The tyranny of the world is but the gaunt outward shadow cast by our own lust of the flesh, our own lust of possession.
As the grinding tyranny of the world's material forces is but the result of our own material lusts, our own craving for a warped and stunted part rather than the magnificent all, so the tyranny of the mental farces of life, the wounds of our self-esteem, the perpetually thwarted complacency of our personalities, are but the expressions of the same limiting and crystallizing powers at work.
For what is this personality that we set up for our own worship, and for the worship of others, so far as we can compel it; what is this personal self but an arbitrarily limited and crystallized expression of the infinite Self? an image of this body of us in the minds; the body itself being but an image of our lusts, crystallized into form. The body, an image of our lust; the personality, an image of the body in the minds; and this personality the source of all our misery, our meanness, and our sin.
Is this again a counsel of despair, a recommending of moral bankruptcy, to say that the only cure for the misery and meanness of personality is a renouncing of personality, a having done with personality, once and for ever? Again, counsel of despair it might be, were personality the whole of life, were not personality, vanity, selfishness, but a harsh and arbi-
trary limit, a crystallized form, imposed upon the free and flowing abundance of life in the Self above personality.
Then again, besides the tyranny of the material world, denying satisfaction to our lusts, and the tyranny of the mental world, denying complacency to our personalities, there is a tyranny of the moral world, denying freedom to our spirits. Here also we are met with crushing limitation of crystallized form, bidding us to accept this or the other conventional belief or unbelief, shutting us into narrow, hard, and stony pastures where our spirits can find no nourishment or refreshment. And here again, if we rightly understand it, the liability to tyranny is of our own making; we are limited to narrow and crystallized beliefs, to narrow and crystallized unbeliefs, by the cowardice of our own minds and hearts, that dare not open their own doors to the sunlight, dare not go out to the universe and deal with the universe at first hand, face to face. For there is no limit to the richness of belief to which this abundant universe of ours can give legitimate food; there is a wealth of shining and luminous inspiration ready to pour into our minds and hearts from above, from the endless treasure-house of the real Self; inspiration of which the greatest and fullest belief is but the low tide mark, while the high tide mark is self-conscious, exultant divinity.
From this high and luminous mood we are shut out only by the cowardice of our spirits; and if we rightly understand it we shall find that cowardice is the very essence and personal manifestation of that tendency to crystallization that we have seen to be such a potent parent of evil in every age, and in this our age almost beyond all other ages. For that first crystallization of bodily lust that makes us the helpless slaves of the material world's tyranny is but cowardice - a cowardly fear that the heart of all good will be less satisfying, that the water of life will be less potent to quench our thirst, than these our bodily appetites. Then all the woes of our personal selves, all the wounds of vanity, the pangs of thwarted selfishness, what are these but the fruits of another cowardice; a cowardly clinging to personal self as against the higher Self; a poltroon fear that the higher Self will be less self than the lower self; that in finding the Self of all beings we shall in same strange way lose our precious selves.
Thus the meannesses and miseries of our lives are the children of our cowardice; of our fearful clinging to a single form, a single crystallized mode of life, instead of launching our barks upon the waves, and setting bravely forward on the wide, living ocean, whose warm waves will melt these sharp ice-crystals and frozen fetters, and give us once more the free and flowing life to which we are immortal heirs.
Being is of two things: life and form; form is the limitation of life, and the limitation of life is - death. This is a moral that the Upanishads, and the whole of India's best wisdom after them, are never tired of pointing out. In one of them, the Upanishad of the Questions, this thought is very lucidly put forward, very clearly developed and applied. And we can see the real kernel and germ of the thought, its real meaning to the teachers who put it forward, better than anywhere else in one chief application of it that the Upanishads are never weary of making. This is the application to formal religion of they doctrine that limitation of life is death; and the protest against formal religion, against the formal religion of the ancient Indian priesthood, resounds all through the Upanishads as a grave undertone, everywhere present, though subordinated to the shining intuitions of the Self that are the main purpose of the Upanishads.
What the forms of that religion were we need not ask now, for the strong protest and very often fiery denunciation that go all through the Upanishads have as much applicability to our own formal religion, to our formal religion of unbelief as well as of belief, as to the conventions and
ceremonies that the priesthood of ancient India called their faith. It is they principle of limitation, of that limitation that is the shadow of death, that is protested against and denounced, not this particular formality or that; it is crystallization wherever and whenever its contracting and sterilizing power inflicts itself on life, and not one or another rite of the "sixteen sharer's of the sacrifice".
And this alter of ours, with its idea of a material universe, a great world of necessary death, with its idea of the impotence of will and the futility of human life, with its formal religions of belief and its formal religions of unbelief, is more given over to the sway of this evil tendency to shrinkage and crystallization than any other age perhaps, that the world has known.
For what is the idea of the material universe itself but a gigantic crystallization of life, of the free and flowing impressions and impulses of life? What is the idea of the futility and weakness of human life but a gigantic crystallization of our own futility and weakness in the face of our lusts and passions? What are these beliefs, and unbeliefs of ours but crystallized moods and humors of other
men sluggishly adopted and imitated by us for lack of the courage and energy to deal with the universe for ourselves?
The shining intuitions of the Upanishads, as we have said, have an unequaled power of establishing within us a high and excellent attitude to the universe around us; of strengthening in us the powers that make for a high and excellent attitude towards the universe; and this power they have more than all, because they so potently combat this tendency to crystallization, this tendency to narrowness and sourness of heart and mind, of will and understanding. Instead of systems of belief, or forms of philosophy, they give us shining inspirations of life that tend to kindle in us the same high mood in which they were first apprehended. Instead of the tyranny of the outward world, and theories of the tyranny of the outward world, they give us intuitions of an inward worlds of unequaled beauty and majesty, a world not tyrannous to us, but altogether on our side, of the essence of our own truest selves. Instead of the weakness of our wills and the futility of our lives, they point to us an abundant ocean of life, an omnipotence of will, not foreign to us at all, but our proper birthright.
In the whole of this study of the Upanishads, we have tried to let their free and flowing force, the free and flowing force of their inspirations have full play; we have tried to exhibit life in harmony with their spirit, in a free and flowing form; to seize rather the spirit than the mould, the crystallized limitation, of spirit; to deal with ideas and ideals rather than with systems and words.
It is the pre-eminent property of these old theosophic treatises to establish in us a true and excellent relation to the endless universe around us; and, for the present age and time, this property can be set at best advantage by a treatment of life as free and flowing as must have been the first, radiant inspiration from which the Upanishads took their birth.
To carry out this aim, we have tried all through to disengage the spirit of the Upanishads from all forms and crystallized limits, to reproduce the inspirations in them that stimulate heart and mind, to draw forth from them that essence that tends to put us in a true and excellent relation to the universe, to make the universe an open sea of life, warm and beneficent, where nothing shall impede or check the splendid reality of the Self that we truly are, that Self whose wealth is immortal peace,.
"As an eagle or falcon, soaring in the sky, folds his wings and sinks to his nest, so proceeds the spirit to the world where, sinking to rest, he desires no desire, and dreams no dream.
"This is his true nature, when all desires are satisfied; when desire is only for the Self; when there is no longing any more, or any sorrow.
"There the father is father no more; nor the mother, mother; nor the worlds, worlds nor the gods, gods, there the Vedas are no Vedas, nor the thief a thief nor the murderer, a murderer; nor the outcast, an outcast; nor the saint, a saint; this is the highest aim, the highest home, the highest wealth, the highest bliss."
(To Be Concluded.)
LIFE AFTER LIFE
or The Theory of Reincarnation
By Eustace Miles, M.A., Formerly Scholar of King's College, Cambridge
(Continued from Page 261.)
Herder: "Do you know great and rare men who cannot have become what they are at once, in a single human existence? who must have often existed before in order to have attained that purity of feeling, that instinctive impulse for all that is true, beautiful, and good; in short, that elevation and natural supremacy over all around them?
"Do not these great characters appear, for the most part, all at once? Like a cloud of celestial spirits, descended from on high; like men risen from the dead born again, who brought back the old time?
"You know the law of economy which rules throughout nature. Is it not probable that the Deity is guided by it in the propagation and progress of human souls? He who has not become ripe in one form of humanity is put into the experience again, and some time or other, must be perfected.
"I am not ashamed of my half-brothers the brutes; on the contrary, as far as they are concerned, I am a great advocate of metempsychosis. I believe, for a certainty, that they will ascend to a higher grade of being, and am unable to understand how anyone can object to this hypothesis, which seems to have the analogy of the whole creation in its favor."
Lessing: "But why should not every individual man have existed more than once upon thin world?
"Is this hypothesis so laughable merely because it is the oldest? Because the human understanding, before the sophistries of the Schools had dissipated and debilitated it, lighted upon it at once?
"Why may not even I have already performed those steps of my perfecting which bring to men only temporal punishments and rewards? And once more, why not another time all those steps to perform which the views of eternal rewards so powerfully assist us?
"Why should I not come back as often as I am capable of acquiring fresh knowledge, fresh experience? Do I bring away so much from once that there is nothing to repay the trouble of coming back?
"Is this a reason against it? Or, because I forgot that I have been here already? Happy is it for me that I do forget. The recollection of my former condition would permit me to make only a bad use of the present. And that which even I must forget now, is that necessarily forgotten for ever?
"Or is it a reason against the hypothesis that so much time would have been lost to me? Lost? And how much then should I miss? Is not a whole eternity mine?"
Dr. Henry More: "And as this hypothesis is rational in itself, so has it also gained the suffrage of all philosophers of all ages of any note, that have held the soul of men incorporeal and immortal. I shall add, for the better countenance of the business, some few instances herein, as a pledge of the truth of my general conclusion. Let us cast our eye, therefore, into what corner of the world we will that has been famous for wisdom and literature, and the wisest of those nations you shall find the asserters of this opinion.
"In Egypt, that ancient nurse of all hidden sciences, that this opinion was in vogue amongst the wisest men there, the fragments of Trismegist do sufficiently witness: of which opinion, not only the Gymnosophists, and other wise men of
Egypt, were, but also the Brachmans of India, and the Magi of Babylon and Persia. To these you may add the abstruse philosophy of the Jews, which they call their Cabbala, of which the soul's pre-existence makes a considerable part, as all the learned of the Jews do confess.
"And if I should particularize in persons of this opinion, truly they are such of so great fame for depths of understanding and abstrusest science, that their testimony alone might seem sufficient to bear drown any ordinary modest man into an assent to their doctrine. And, in the first place, if we believe the Cabbala of the Jews, we must assign it to Moses, the greatest philosopher certainly that ever was in the world, to whom we may add Zoroaster, Pythagoras, Epicharmus, Cebes, Euripides, Plato, Euclid, Philo, Virgil, Marcus Cicero, Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus, Boethuis, Pfellus, and several others, which it would be too long to recite. And if it were fit to add fathers to philosophers, we might enter into the same list Synesius and Origen; the latter of whom was surely the greatest light and bulwark that ancient Christianity had. But I have not yet ended my catalogue; that admirable physician Johannes Fernelius is also of this persuasion, and is not to be so himself only, but discovers those two grandmasters of medicine Hippocrates, and Galen, to be so too. Carden, also, that famous philosopher of his age, expressly concludes that the rational soul is both a distinct being from the soul of the world, and that it does pre-exist before it comes into the body; and lastly, Pomponatius, no friend of the soul's immortality, yet cannot but confess that the safest way to hold it is also therewith to acknowledge her pre-existence."
(To Be Continued.)
Mrs. Alice A. Bailey announces a new book, "A Treatise on White Magic, or The Way of a Disciple." The volume is to be ready for Christmas, 650 pages, flexible fabricoid, $3.50. Lucis Publishing Company, 11 West 42nd St., New York City.
AS IN A LOOKING GLASS.
By Mrs. Walter Tibbits
(Continued from Page 263.)
Soon after this the rich aunt died, leaving me sparsely provided for. The doors at Salisbury were still closed to me. I ought, as Sarah advised me, to have made a career of my voice. Here my fatal constitutional weakness was my undoing. Occultists say I am three or four lives behind Annie Besant on this account. Well, if in three or four lives I can be the foremost woman of the age, taut mieux.
In the meantime, I took the coward's way out. Sick of schools, and hearing always the East calling, calling, calling, I married, without attraction, to get there.
As I stood in my bride's dress, wreathed with orange flowers, I saw in the looking glass my mother's stern Roman features writhing in agony behind me. Was it because she had driven me at 25 into this?
For when I went to the altar I went like a nun to take her renunciation vows. A nun who had no vocation. Some will ask, "did you meet the right man too late?" No never. Once indeed I thought so, even in old Delhi. Before the Raisina horror was born or thought of. Delhi of the peacock's chorus. Delhi of the scented neams. Delhi of the gem mosques. Where the muezzin cries across the seven Cities of the Plain. Delhi of Dreams. He who passed the transient dream of all.
This weak step led eventually to litigation. That hardened old Jew lawyer, Sir George Lewis, muttered to himself, "a very hard case". The judge gave me what I asked without even a comment. But I was obliged afterwards to retract what I had won. For that legal action was inspired by the Dark Forces, who used my clairvoyant power to make me see visions and dream dreams of delusion. In past lives a Shivite, a Yogini of Mahadev, who gives the Third Eye, I have both seeing and hearing beyond the normal. The Dark Powers used these to deceive me. They
even made me see, seated on his verandah in a "peg-chair", the man I hoped to marry. It was all a glamour. Because, though legally I had a good case, spiritually it was a violation of a sacrament. And of the one sacrament essential in Hinduism to a woman. Which in itself is sufficient for her salvation.
But somewhere roaming the concert platforms of Europe, is the man who should have been my mate and filled my life. Somewhere, roaming the Summer Land, are the children who should have filled my womb. Across the void to rebirth I stretch my hands to you in au revoir.
Mr. Stead has told us that any faculty we have neglected here can be cultivated on The Blue Island. Walter says he "was glad to find music and singing in the spirit world". We are also told the New Race is to incarnate in the U.S.A. We know that the California coast is preparing for it with all its occult bodies.
So look out for me amongst the singers of the Golden Gate of Heliodore.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that I have a personality compounded of Irish sentiment and humour and aristocratic insouciance. Of English bourgeois business capacity and, I hope, sound sense. This sheathes an ego of spiritual aspirations and also capacities earned in past lives. When these failed, through weakness, having reached the stage of vairagya, or boredom, of ordinary experiences I plunged into the lowest depths in search of other sensations. This exceptional karma has produced an unusual life. I venture to hope it may interest those who have known me, my widely diffused public as well as personally, in my life of flits.
(To Be Continued.)
It matters very little what you believe; it matters enormously what you are. What you are will improve what you say. There is no good talking unless you live better than you speak. Give the God in you a chance. - Mrs. Besant in 1931 at Adyar.
TWO LETTERS OF DR. BESANT.
Adyar, October 3, 1933
For many years past, Bishop Arundale has periodically handed over to me, to be kept among the archives of the E.S., various personal papers of his. Thus I have all the letters. which he received from Dr. Besant, from the first reply of hers to his offer to come out to India to work for her. He also handed over to me the letters which his aunt, the late Miss F. Arundale, had received from Colonel Olcott, and I have published them in The Theosophist, since they make a most valuable record in the history of our Society. Last April, when Bishop Arundale left Adyar, he handed over to me another packet of letters.
I was too fully occupied with the care of Dr. Besant, editing The Theosophist, and administering the affairs of our Adyar Community to have any time even to examine what the packet contained. I thrust it into one of the two special drawers in my desk where I put my private papers.
Three days after her passing, I sent for printing my statement "Why I do not stand for President," on September 23rd. As soon as the pressure of work in connection with receiving cables, telegrams, letters, etc., began to lessen, I had necessarily to get busy at once in putting a great mass of correspondence into order for answering. There was one particular paper which I was seeking, as it was a memorandum of certain wishes of Dr. Besant concerning the disposal of some of her belongings, and it had been entrusted to my care. I had taken charge of it, and had put it away among my private papers. A hurried examination of them showed that the paper was not there, so last night I sat down to examine every thing carefully, for the memorandum was in a small envelope and it might easily be hidden among the mass of papers. Thus it happened that for the first time, last night, I looked into the papers handed over to me
by Bishop Arundale last April. I found that they consisted of letters received by him from Dr. Besant and Bishop Leadbeater.
Among them I found, to my utter surprise, the two letters of Dr. Besant to Bishop Arundale which I reproduce. Since thousands of members desire eagerly to know what she thought concerning the future of the Society, I feel I shall be remiss in my duty to them if I do not publish these two letters.
- C. Jinarajadasa.
I leave Adyar on October 15th for work, first in South America, and then later in Europe. I shall be away about a year.
Copies of this can be had by applying to my friend: Mr. N. Sri Ram, Adyar, Madras.
6. 9. 26.
My dearest George,
We had your broadcasting telegram, and it was much applauded at the convention. The convention was a huge affair, some 2000 delegates. It was all very successful from beginning to end, and also rather tiring!
How splendidly you are working, and in so many different directions. It must be very tiring to spend the night in Nirvana and the day in Australia.
As you are to succeed me as President, I think you should come over here next year. This is our most numerous section, and you must win its affection before the election of 1928.
I don't believe that you and my Rukku want to see me any more than I want to see you.
I am going out in an hour to lecture, and then go to the train for Omaha, where I speak tomorrow.
With much love to you both,
Herakles, hard at work. What has become of Kollerstrom's action for libel, and what of Marzel's?
Krishnaji has done very well with the reporters. They all like him! I enclose one of the endless interviews.
October 12. 26.
My dearest George,
Master said that you were to become President, and I took it for granted that it would be in 1928. You know I always "jump" to do anything he even hints at. Besides, I think you would make a splendid President.
I am perfectly well and strong. My glasses have had to be changed to weaker ones, so I am really growing younger! and I am full of vitality and energy. The work is absurdly heavy, but does not seem to tire me.
Krishnaji is changing all the time. But it does not seem as though he stepped out and the Lord stepped in; more like a blending of consciousness. His lectures at Ommen are to be published, and he sent me the copy the other day to revise for publication. It is a perfectly wonderful book, so profound and wide sweeping. I have read nothing like it before.
I think of you Rukku and C.W.L. coming to Benares with a, bubble of delight. We must take full advantage of it this time.
Ojai is wonderful. The valley has an Indian atmosphere. We have made the little house into a shrine, and the Egyptian Rite is being worked there every day.
Things are being much helped. The new sub-race is recognized and needs no argument. The leading anthropologist of America. Dr. Hrdlicka, has written a book on "the American Race," a new human type or sub-race. He is wrong in many of his ideas, but right in his fact. He is regarded in England as the highest authority over here, has been given the Huxley medal, and is to deliver the Huxley lecture this year.
We leave for New Orleans tonight, the southernmost point in our journey.
With ever so much love to you and my Rukku,
otherwise Annie Besant.
The foregoing circular letter from Mr. Jinarajadasa and the letters from the late Mrs. Besant are part of the system pursued by Adyar in its political methods of electing an official. We regarded the election of 1907 as possibly the last in which such methods would be employed. But we were mistaken. These letters of Mrs. Besant's, written seven years ago, have been kept privately from the general rank and file of the members, though no doubt the E.S., which is supposed to be unconnected with the T.S. and to have no official relation with it, was well informed of their contents. But it really does not matter. The result would have been the same in any case.
Mrs. Besant's letter does not lend any evidence that the Masters wish Dr. Arundale to be President any more than her assertion was reliable that they had appointed him and Oscar Kollerstrom and five others, to be Arhats and apostles of Mr. Krishnamurti, who was announced as a Messiah. Mr. Krishnamurti and Mr. Kollerstrom appear to be the only two of the five who had sense enough to see that this was all wrong. And now it is Mr. Arundale, who also professes to have been in Nirvana and got back again, who is nominated by Mr. Jinarajadasa, another of the Arhats, who evidently stick together, though it may be supposed that Mr. Jinarajadasa only wished to point out the way for the General Secretaries to follow.
If all the statements made in the name of the Masters by the five Arhats had turned out to be correct we might have given some credence to the present one, but as the predictions made in this way have all been notoriously false, we may be excused from accepting the view conveyed in Mrs. Besant's letters, that the Masters wish to have Mr. Arundale as the next president of the Society.
Madame Blavatsky knew better than anyone what the Masters wished, and she made it clear that the Society, like its members, was to proceed by "self-devised and self-directed efforts". As she wrote in The Key to Theosophy, "The Masters do not guide the Society, not even the Founders and no one has ever asserted they did; they only watch over and protect it."
It may be objected that this was before the seven Arhats were named, but we rather think this adds to and strengthens the view that the Masters do not guide the Society. They could not wish the Society to do worse than it could do for itself if permitted to follow its own commonsense.
The relation of the E.S. to the T.S. as it has been for a number of years is an impossible one. It leads to deceit and double-dealing to begin with and initiates its members into what must revolt them at first, so that they have to keep asserting that the E.S. has no official connection with the T.S., while all the time they know that they are expected to dominate the T.S., and influence its members until the T. S. is a mere tool of the E.S. and its officials.
It has in fact become a political machine to carry out the orders of its head, not of the Masters, but what he chooses to pretend the Masters wish. It is his wishes and not those of the Masters, that have to be observed, and his orders, not those of the Masters, that have to be obeyed. To train oneself into this underhand way of doing business is distorting to the moral nature, and if persisted in, soon undermines the moral sense, and the power of discrimination between good and evil.
Any student who is conscientious can tell this after a very short time of persistence in such practices.
Now that the head of the E.S. has been set up in the room of the late President, to dominate the Adyar Head-quarters, we may know what to expect. It means the ruin of the T.S., the subversion of all its activities to the interests of the Liberal Catholic Church.
This organization, we were told, was also to be independent of the T.S. and there was to be no connection between them officially. Just another piece of deception.
The President is to be a Bishop, and the Founder of the Church is to be chief influence behind the scenes in the T.S., and manipulate all the officials. What can the end of this be but one thing - the saturation of the T.S. with the spirit of sacerdotalism, of blind obedience to an irresponsible psychic whose previous revelations have been shown to be utterly unreliable, but who persists in his vaticinations as though he were the Maha Chohan himself, for whom he supplied a bogus letter some years ago. The members must abandon all independence, lose their spiritual heritage, and exchange The Secret Doctrine for the fabulous fallacies of "Man: Whence, How and Whither."
Will some one not tell the story of the volumes which Mrs. Besant banned, and which were relegated to the cellar as unreliable but, discovered by one of the Arhats, were brought out and merchandised throughout the Theosophical world as in the line of new revelations? Our colleague, who is so concerned in seeing that a correct account of what takes place is disseminated through the Theosophical world, should try and get the correct version of this incident.
What is most needed is that all members should open their eyes, use their common sense, compare what they are told now, with what they have read of the early ideals of the Society, and then exercise their judgment. If they do not practice discrimination they quickly lose the power, and it becomes more and more difficult to regain it.
They have a chance at present to bring about a new orientation at Adyar, so that with a new President, the members may be permitted to think for themselves. They would be surprised at the result if they did so. It is only along that Path, a path steep and narrow, that they can ever expect to make progress. To do as they are doing, submitting blindly to the dictation of an egotistic psychic, who cannot be shown to be correct in any prediction he ever made, means ruin for themselves and disaster to the Theosophical Society.
DR. BESANT AND THE PRESIDENTSHIP OF T. S.
Mr. C. Jinarajadasa recently published two letters written, by Dr. Besant to Bishop Arundale in 1926, in which the assumption was made that he would succeed her to the Presidentship of the Theosophical Society. I feel strongly that it does not seem right that these letters should have been published at this time, since they are bound to influence the judgment of the members to such an extent as to obscure the issues on which the election of the President should be conducted. It is futile to conceal the fact that many members of the Society are seriously disturbed by recent developments, especially since the happenings at Huizen in Holland in 1925. The only point which should guide members in regard to the presidential election is the future welfare of the Society; and the vital needs of today is the maintenance of a free platform fur the expression of opinions, whether they accord with those of some of the leaders of the movement or not.
Since Mr. Jinarajadasa has published these letters, I feel free to say what I know to have been her view in 1931 on the subject of the next President. One afternoon, in the summer of that year (it may have been June or July), she said to me on the verandah of her room in Adyar that she was no longer young, and the Society would shortly have to choose her successor. But she was definite and clear on one point: she was not going to leave behind any indication as to the person on whom the choice should fall. If the Society made a mistake, she thought it would have to learn a lesson from it. She asked me what I thought about it. I said there were only two likely candidates - Mr. Jinarajadasa and Bishop Arundale. "Raja", she said, "has a fine literary judgment". I then said: "Do you think it, is good for the Society to have a Bishop at its head'?" She answered at once, "You are quite right". Her final comment on the point again was
that she would not indicate to the members whom they should elect as President.
- B. Shiva Rao.
Adyar, 5th Nov., 1933.
REPLY TO A COLLEAGUE'S LETTER
I have received the following letter from a colleague on the General Council, General Secretary, of a much larger National Society than that in Canada. It speaks for itself. It certainly calls for answer and it appears to me that the matter is of such general importance that I may best answer it in print where the impersonality of the whole problem will be apparent.
Dear General Secretary.,
Thank you far your letter of October 1st, which I regret I have not been able to answer earlier.
I am not actually concerned with denouncing anyone nor in raising contention about matters that happen, but I am deeply concerned with seeing that a correct account of what takes place is disseminated through the Theosophical world. I welcome and encourage all efforts to disseminate Theosophy and something of the marvel of the light it brings to the world, but I cannot understand that this should be accompanied on the part of some with the belittlement of the leaders of other groups - a line of action carried out so persistently over so many years. I regret to observe the tone of your article in the "Canadian Theosophist" for October.
I have been in far closer contact with both Bishop Leadbeater and Dr. Besant than you have and have never observed distasteful relationships, such as you describe, between them.
Might I suggest with all courtesy that such a great person as Dr. Besant is given more gracious place in your memory, considering all that she has done for the Theosophical Movement.
Yours sincerely and fraternally,
The points with which there is misconception are as follows. "I am not actually concerned with denouncing anyone."
Nor am I. But the safety and welfare of the whole Theosophical Society is concerned, and if it be necessary to call attention to something wrong and everybody else stands aside and says nothing, who is going too do it? Nor are we denouncing anyone. We are pointing out errors of policy and mistakes that have been made. Well, says some one, forget then. I would be delighted to do so, did the mistakes and errors not continue, and be about to be entrenched in a new authority. It is incumbent on us, now that a new election is before us, to see that the members are not misled nor misinformed. My correspondent, it will be observed, does not point out any misstatement in the article in the October Canadian Theosophist, the one on The Great Illusion I believe is referred to, but speaks generally as if the whole thing were a deplorable gaucherie.
"I am deeply concerned with seeing that a correct account of what takes place is disseminated through the Theosophical world." I am delighted also to hear this. I am aware of the great difficulty of getting such facts as were enumerated in The Great Illusion before the Theosophical world. The same leader and inspirer of those errors and mistakes is about to be given still more authority than ever before, and when a period of at least a quarter of a century of error has afforded us opportunity to judge, is it not timely to sum up the results and endeavour to save the Society from further disaster?
It will be observed that no reference is made to the articles in the Canadian Theosophist which speak favorably of Mrs. Besant. This is characteristic of much criticism which has been directed against us. We may hold Mrs. Besant ever so highly, but if we point out one speck on her white gown we are anathema. Fortunately this was not her own attitude. Of course she liked approval, but she never turned aside from criticism. Moreover, the (Continued on Page 309.)
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.
- Reginal Thornton, 83 Isabella Street, Toronto
- Wash. E. Wilks, F.R.C.S., 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver.
- Cecil Williams, 49 East 7th Street, Hamilton. Ont.
- Albert E. S. Smythe, 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Any volume of our thirteen complete and bound may be had for $2. post free. As a sporting offer for Christmas, we will offer the 13 volumes complete for $25. post free. There are only a few sets left.
We know that most people are embarrassed this year, but not with riches, and even Christmas cards are a burden when postage is considered. Some time ago we made a set of cards for the week, with quotations from The Voice of the Silence. The package is to be had for ten cents from Miss Crafter, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto.
We regret that "The Election Manifesto of Ernest Wood" has come to hand, too late to be included in this month's magazine, but we shall present it to our readers next month. We are giving the Biographical Notes that have been prepared by name of his friends in India, and these will assist our members with his Manifesto to understand why we have chosen him as our candidate for the Presidency.
The Toronto Lodge has been broadcasting Theosophy for two months past and will continue till January 21st if not longer. The time is 6 p.m. on Sunday evenings. Messrs. Bars, Belches, Harris and Housser have been giving the addresses which are adapted to strangers who have not previously heard of Theosophy, but which are also listened to with pleasure by members of the Society. This is the best way of spreading Theosophy yet adopted. It has to be sensible talk, however, and these short talks have been exceedingly sensible. As a result the attendance at the Toronto meetings, has been considerably increased. The Toronto station is CKNC.
It will be a great delight to students to get another new book from the pen of AE, the Irish poet, George W. Russell. It is entitled, "The Avatars: A Futurist Phantasy." (Macmillan).
It is really a sequel to "The Candle of Vision," "The Interpreters," "Song and its Fountains" and other similar writings of the author, but will appeal to any mystic or student of the occult by its familiarity with experiences which are more common than generally recognized. How different these, however, from those which would dominate one, and change one's life to suit the whim of another. Here we have self-development, and the constant struggle of the Soul towards its goal.
We have been sent a diet book which we gladly commend to our readers. It is called "Kitchen Adventures" and is by Christian Macphail, certificated teacher of domestic science, (Atholl Crescent Diploma), Edinburgh. It is published by The Moray Press, Edinburgh and London. It excels most of the vegetarian cook books we possess in its variety, and its ten demonstrations convey diet science as well as culinary art. Attention is given to unfired
diet, to soups and savouries, to beverages and salads, to baking, to children and snacks, to the unexpected guest who isn't with us, to milk, and to sunlight meals. Acidity and alkalinity mean everything in diet, and these things are fully discussed. A good and handy book.
An effort is being made to turn the Theosophical Society in some quarters into a School of Political Economy or into a School of Advanced Views on Government, or something of than kind. This is a mistaken view of our work. Individual students are expected to make themselves as expert as possible on all subjects that interest them, and to impart their knowledge and conclusions as far as they have became convictions, to others. But all this can only be done by students who have made Theosophy their first consideration, and who appeal to the world, not as students of Political Economy or what ever subject they have taken up, but as first-rate citizens who have made good in the ways of daily life, who are reliable in ordinary affairs, whose experience commands respect, and whose advice will be accepted, not, because anyone is a Theosophist, but because he is an outstanding citizen or business man or professional or whatever hey may be, in the first class. To do this he must be a genuine Theosophist first of all, not a perfect Theosophist, but one who does his best and never forgets his standing.
The sun is at the solstice an December 22 and turns northward thereafter, according to the apparent movements of our earth in the solar system. We depend for our life on the Great Life that is manifested in these orderly and magnificent processions. We should not fail to appreciate our inheritance in this life, the Heart of which beats physically in our Sun, and spiritually in our hearts when we are near enough to its fires too be lighted and warmed with their purity and power. Christmas bears to us this angel message, that the Christ fires may be born in our hearts as we walk through the winter of this world, to make an eternal spring in our lives, and to bring all our fellows with rejoicing into the joy of understanding and the felicity of knowledge. The Sun shines not alone on the Theosophical Movement, but on all men whose minds are turned to the light, and in all hearts which mean brotherhood and service. Let us see the Light in each other and let it so shine in each of us that men may see the good works we have to do, and glorify the Sun Father of us all.
As we go to press, the Second Volume of "The Complete Works of H. P. Blavatsky" has arrived and looks even more attractive than the first, both as to contents and typography. There is a great deal in becoming accustomed to the appearance of a book. The list of contents covers three full pages, and promises exciting and engrossing reading. Here is a paragraph which strikes the eye as we glance through: "It is just because we have devoted our whole life to the research of truth - for which complimentary admission we thank our critic - that we never accept on faith any authority upon any question whatever; nor, pursuing as we do, Truth and progress through a full and fearless enquiry, untrammeled by any consideration, would we advise any of our friends to do otherwise." There is an article, "What is Theosophy?" both in the original French and in translation, by H.P.B. which we hope to reproduce some time if we get permission. The dates covered by the contents are from December, 1879 to May, 1881. A fuller notice will appear later. The price is 15/-. ($4.)
We wish to call special attention to the series of articles under the heading "The Presidential Election." These are of great importance to all who are interested in the Theosophical Society. Canada has nominated Professor Ernest Wood as a candidate for the office, and other countries are
doing the same thing. It is an international matter, and means a revolt against the deadly hand of psychism which has been in control of Adyar for many years. Lest any may think that we are intolerant or dogmatic or unbrotherly or anything of that kind, let us say that we are quite willing to discuss any aspect of the questions at issue, and that we hold that every member has a right to his opinion, and every official also, but in a democratic Society like the T.S. no one has the right to pre-judge the situation, or dictate to the members what they should do, as Dr. Arundale and Mr. Leadbeater have done and are doing. Mr. Leadbeater has entered into possession of the President's quarters at Adyar without a By-your-leave to anyone. Any other member had just as good a right to do that as he, but considering his age and mental condition he is allowed to "get away with it," as they say on this side of the Atlantic. What has the T.S. become, that individuals can lay down courses of conduct and policies for the members whether they desire it or not? Mrs. Besant had decided to nominate no one, and she has nominated no one as her candidate. Mr. B. Shiva Rao's letter makes this clear, and the facts substantiate it. Dr. Arundale stands on Mr. Jinarajadasa's nomination and on no other ground. If the members desire to build up Democracy they must see that it is practiced in the Society that should present the finest ideals of it to the world.
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
A meeting of the General Executive was held at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, on Sunday afternoon, December 3. D.W. Barr, F. A. Belcher, F. B. Housser and the General Secretary were present. It was decided that an appeal for support of the Magazine might be made, as without donations it will have to be suspended in February. The annual report of the General Secretary to Adyar was read. Proposals for the purpose of maintaining the membership of inactive members were discussed. More new members were reported than in the same time last year. The radio broadcasts of the Toronto members were also discussed, the results in increased attendance having been very satisfactory. The nomination of Ernest Wood as a candidate for the Presidency was approved, as made by the General Secretary.
CAN WE CARRY ON?
A special appeal was sent out by The Theosophist, Adyar, for support, without which it could not continue publication. This was in the September number, which did not reach us till other matters crowded out this notice. In 1930 it was paying slightly with a list of 2200 subscribers. Then the publication was changed to the United States, a disastrous move. It was taken back to Adyar they next year, but never recovered more than 1450 subscriptions, including all free and exchange copies. Hence it has been losing money, especially since the cost of postage was increased. Since this notice, it is announced that the magazine "World Theosophy" has ceased publication with this month. "The Australian Theosophist" has also ceased.
Under these circumstances no one need be surprised, if The Canadian Theosophist has to suspend. It is not read by "orthodox" Theosophists, though it sticks to the primary teachings of Madame Blavatsky and the Masters. Comparatively few people are now aware of the breadth and eclecticism of her writings. Societies tend to the creation of sects in these days, and we have several successful magazines each of which profess that it is dangerous to read any other. We have taken the open road policy and advise our readers to read everything, and use their discretion. All is not gold that glitters, and all is not Theosophy that flaunts the Theosophical mottos, and emblems. Well, if we are not welcome, we must retire. If any of our wealthy friends wish to help us to continue, our accounts are always open to inspection
and whatever comes to use goes into print. Our work is our best gratitude. It is all for the Masters.
THE BLAVATSKY ASSOCIATION
The Council of the Blavatsky Association are desirous at the present time of making their position and objects more widely known and more clearly understood; and they would call the attention of all students of H.P. Blavatsky's works to the following statement; and more particularly those students who do not belong to any "Theosophical" Organization.
The primary reason for the formation of the Blavatsky Association in 1923 was the fact that the Theosophical Movement as a whole had been split up into a number of independent "Theosophical" Societies, each claiming more or less specifically to be the legitimate continuation of the original Parent Society; and in certain cases to have occult and authoritative sources of teaching through some particular individual or individuals. Much of this authoritative teaching is directly opposed to the teaching contained in H.P. Blavatsky's works; while some of it claims - on mere authority - to be an extension of her teachings, notwithstanding that in this case also much can be shown to the contrary. Further, many mutilated and incorrect editions of H.P. Blavatsky's works were being issued under such authority. All this has been responsible for untold mischief, and for such a degradation of the term Theosophy as to bring it into extreme disrepute: so much so that many students originally associated with the Movement do not care to use the word, or to associate themselves with any of the "Theosophical" organizations, lest they should be credited with belief in these spurious teachings. Such was the position of the original Founders of the Blavatsky Association and such is the position which has been and is being maintained by it.
The Association, therefore, is an Organization which concerns itself solely with the promulgation of the works and teachings of Madame Blavatsky, ands the defense of her name and reputation. It does not concern itself in any way with the claims, methods or teachings of any of the "Theosophical" Societies nor does it take any notice of they self-appointed "occult" claimants who are posing therein. Individual members of the Association may, on their own responsibility, criticize, attack or otherwise deal with such claims, claimants, and perverted teachings; but they must not thereby compromise or involve the Association.
In the first few years of the Association a good, deal of defense work was done in connection with various published attacks an Madame Blavatsky's work and character, but very little of this has been necessary for the past two or three years. Such attacks are gradually dying out.
The Association has also brought about a revision of the garbled and adverse notices of Madame Blavatsky's life which appeared in the Encyclopedia Britannica and other Encyclopedias.
Much good has also been done by the Association in calling attention to the spurious, altered and mutilated editions of Madame. Blavatsky's works which have been issued from time to time by certain "Theosophical" Societies; and the Association is advertising and selling guaranteed correct editions.
The Association is now issuing annually a Bibliography of Madame Blavatsky's works, and of biographical and other notices which have appeared, or are appearing from time to time. Copies of this Bibliography are being supplied gratis to the principal Libraries in the Kingdom.
When the Association was founded, it was very clearly realized by the small body of thirty-five students who formed its original members, that if members of the "Theosophical" Societies were admitted to membership promiscuously, the Association could easily be swamped by members of one or other of those Societies, and that such members would doubtless introduce
their own particular claims, and those dissentious elements which have wrought so much mischief in the Movement as a whole. Notwithstanding, therefore, that many desirable members could be gathered from these Societies, the Association was compelled to make it a part of their Constitution that such were not eligible for membership in the Association. The wisdom of this rule has since been amply demonstrated. Apart from the above it is also considered that members of a Theosophical Society must be supposed to have found all that they require in the way of teaching in their own Society, and moreover that they should give all their time and energy to that Society.
It has been urged against this exclusion that it is a departure from the theosophical principle of Brotherhood; but it should be clearly understood that the Association, as a corporate body, does not profess any principles. It does not claim to be anything beyond an Association, for the purpose of perpetuating the Memory ands work of H.P. Blavatsky; to promulgate her Teachings and to defend her name and reputation. It therefore does not claim to be a "Theosophical Society" as that term is generally understood; and above and beyond all, it makes no claim to be a select body of super theosophists.
The work of the Association, as stated in its Constitution, is as follows
(1) To have a working centre in London with suitable premises.
(2) To hold meetings for lectures, and discussions, and classes far the study of the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky.
(3) To gather information from literary and scientific sources bearing upon the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky.
(4) To form a Lending Library of suitable works in connection with the objects of the Association.
(5) To publish from time to time suitable editions of H.P. Blavatsky's works, or of works bearing upon her teachings, or in exposition thereof.
(6) To give help, by correspondence, to students of H.P. Blavatsky's works in all parts of the world.
(7) To elucidate and endeavour to realize individually and collectively the great IDEALS which H.P. Blavatsky set forth in her life and teachings, especially the hope expressed by her that: "When the time comes for the effort of the XXth century [due according to her in the last quarter of the century] besides a large and accessible literature ready to men's hands, the next impulse will find a numerous and united body of people ready to welcome the new torch-bearer of Truth."
(See the Key to Theosophy, final paragraph).
The work of the Association is carried on entirely by voluntary workers and voluntary subscriptions. It has at the present time about 100 members; but the Council are desirous of obtaining a larger membership in order to extend the work and in particular would enlist the co-operation of those students of Theosophy who are holding themselves aloof from any of the "Theosophical" Societies, for reasons above stated, but who would yet desire to aid the work of the Association as above set forth.
The extent of the work that the Association can do depends largely on the financial support which it obtains, and the Council will be glad to receive support of this nature even from non-members.
Full particulars of the Constitution and Rules of the Association will be sent on application to the Hon. Secretary: -The Hon. Mrs. A. J. Davey, at Headquarters, 26, Bedfardi Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W. 8.
Mrs. Davey is also at the above address daily from 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. to receive enquirers; or at other times by appointment.
Telephone: Park 8722.
For the Council,
(Continued from Page 303.)
"belittlement" does not belong to Mrs. Besant but to some of her so-called friends and to those things she did under their influence, especially the influence of Mr. Leadbeater.
"I have been in far closer contact with both Bishop Leadbeater and Dr. Besant than you have, and have never observed distasteful relationships, such as you describe, between them."
Unless there is a suggestio falsi in, the phrase "distasteful relationships," I think it hardly describes what I have listed in The Great Illusion. Distasteful facts, perhaps, but these are not relationships. Were the facts mentioned not true? If my colleague can swallow all those things in which Bishop Leadbeater was notoriously mistaken, then nothing anyone could say would have any effect. Would Mrs. Besant even have thought of any of these things herself - she, whose mind was always turned to philanthropy and human service, is it conceivable that she would have spent vast sums on what could never benefit anyone but those immediately concerned?
There was no real inspiration in these things, nothing that represented The Secret Doctrine that first enlisted her enthusiasm. Is it conceivable that Madame Blavatsky ever would have invented or encouraged these things, a boy Messiah, a stone bowl to receive him as at Sydney, a Church professing to be based on the "apostolic succession", which she had denounced as one of the greatest frauds perpetrated on Christendom, and all those other follies that accompanied this?
Was there anything in this but the setting up of a leadership which was to be aggrandized by every possible means, when the real ideal of Theosophy was to have every member cultivate independence, and make his way forwards as an occult student by self-devised and self directed efforts?
It is easy to brag of intimacy with Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater. I might brag also, though I am not given that way feeling that the meekness and gentleness that Paul enjoins, is more befitting a General Secretary. But Mrs. Besant and I have never failed to understand each other since 1907 - we met first in 1893 - when she became president and I outlined my views to her. She agreed that we could both work for Theosophy though disagreeing on some points. The last time I met her was in Chicago at her own desire. She invited me to a tete-a-tete luncheon. The messenger took care that I did not receive the invitation. A second messenger was sent to know why I did not come. I explained I had received no invitation. Later another invitation was received for the next day. Mrs. Besant kept me over an hour and we had a long talk together. My colleague may have been very intimate with Mrs. Besant but it was Canada that persuaded her to retract the World Religion. With longer time we might have persuaded her to return more completely to the Blavatsky ideals, and abandon the psychic developments which have so diverted use (in both senses) from Theosophy.
"Might I suggest with all courtesy that such a great person as Dr. Besant is given a more gracious place in your memory, considering all that she has done for the Theosophical Movement."
This paragraph may seem necessary to my colleague, but to us suggests many things that have been better said by Mrs. Besant herself. If my colleague will turn to our seventh volume, much may be read there about Mrs. Besant and our thought of her. She was kindly disposed to us and ended the message which I asked her to write to our members, with the words: "I will say farewell, thanking the General Secretary and the Theosophists of Canada for the friendly welcome given to me and the pleasant meetings we have shared. May the blessing of our Masters rest on us all, illuminating our minds, and filling our hearts with love."
In concluding this consideration of my colleague's letter, I can only say that we in Canada are trying to keep alive the spirit of the society that was founded by the Masters and Madame Blavatsky to form a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood, and without any idea of starting a new Church or forcing a new leader upon an already over-staffed humanity. If the Master had wanted that, one of them would have come and done what was necessary. One of them did come and founded a Society and we are doing our best to keep it intact. Rudyard Kipling knows of the Theosophical Society, and I think it may have been in his mind when he wrote The Disciple. The last stanza runs -
He that hath a Gospel
Whereby Heaven is won
(Carpenter, or Cameleer,
Or Maya's dreaming son),
Many sword's shall pierce Him,
Mingling blood with gall;
But His own disciple,
Shall wound Him worst of all."
We feel that it is desirable to circulate some biographical notes on the personality of Prof. Ernest Wood. He joined the Society at the age of nineteen, and was soon made Librarian, Vice-President and then President of his Lodge (Manchester City) which was increased three-fold in size in a short time, chiefly by his lectures. In 1908 he paid a visit to Adyar, and was asked to stay there and write for The Theosophist. He has written innumerable articles, for the public press as well as the theosophical magazines, and about a dozen books which show signs of living for a long time. His Concentration has reached probably the largest circulation of any Theosophical book except At the Feet of the Master. His Memory Training, Character Building, Seven Rays, Science of Brotherhood, Natural Theosophy and, Intuition of the Will are all full of originality (for which, in fact, he was given the Subba Rao prize in 1924), the last being described by one American Professor as "The wisest book in the world." He also made a name in the educational field in India, having been the founder of two University Colleges (attached to the Government Universities of Madras and Bombay), Principal of one of them for three years, and a writer on the subject for half-a-dozen daily papers. He was Hon. Secretary of the Theosophical Educational Trust (which developed 37 schools and colleges) from its inception in 1913 until it was handed over to The Society for the Promotion of National Education several years later. In India, his Englishman Defends Mother India, Occult Training of the Hindus and Dancing Shiva show his understanding of the people and his knowledge of the philosophy and literature of the country - his first Sanskrit translation; (The Garuda Purana) having appeared in "The Sacred Books of the Hindus" Series over twenty years ago. Though an extensive writer, Prof. Wood has not accepted royalties for any of his Theosophical books, and in his lecture tours (which appeal to a thinking audience) covering nearly forty countries in all parts of the world (except South Africa) he has rarely received more than hospitality, though sometimes a part of his traveling expenses as well. In the T.S. he has occupied various posts, his last being that of Recording Secretary since 1929. He is a man of very simple life, just fifty years of age, of excellent, physical strength, though a little short of stature (classed A1 during the war, when he was Instructor to the Electrical Company of the South Indian Defense Force), of exceptional mental ability (sometimes indeed - as at the Convention of 1925 - having exhibited the famed mental powers of the now rare Indian Ashthavadhanis) and of extensive experience in matters requiring tact and organizing ability. In addition to this he says that he feels "just at the beginning of his life." Here, we think, is the man who can take up the fallen reins of our Theosophical chariot and drive it forward to great honour and triumph in the world.
- Some Supporters of Prof. Wood.
THE NATIVITY OF FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
Elected President, U.S.A., on, 8th November, 1932. Took office March, 1933. Reported Born near Poughkeepsie, N.Y., about 8 p.m.
We have here a most remarkable nativity. President Roosevelt is a man of outstanding personality and power of character, which may be well-discerned by the rising Uranus and the angular Mars.
To link up his directions, with the election to Presidency we require a slightly later time of birth than the one given, and which would then give a strong Solar direction for the event.
Note the Sun is in a strong square aspect of Neptune, conjunct Jupiter, and he takes office as the head of the Democratic party. The Sun is going to a square of Uranus and an affliction of Mars, and indicate that Roosevelt is a man of high ideals who will enact smashing reforms.
His ideals and power of vision will outstrip his times and especially in the realm of finance and international agreements will he make himself felt.
His bravery and political adventure-someness will astonish the worlds, and he bids well to become a great leader.
During his period of office great unsettlement rock the American nation and he will go to the people for a fresh vote before his four years of office is fulfilled. His Government will be faced by a powerful foreign enemy in distant waters.
He will pull to pieces many existing international treaties, disrupt the currencies of the world and cause many political sensations. His bold idealism, tenacity of purpose, and temperamental courage will arouse the most deadly hatred and the underworld and crooked politicians may link up with some foreign ambassador who may combine to organize some attempt upon his life.
His administration will be marked by the most extraordinary changes and reforms, features of which will be affairs concerning currencies, reparations, debts, and international armaments.
His enemies are a serious menace, but if he can defeat them, he will become famous and greatly-beloved of the democratic and working classes.
- Raphael's Ephemeris - 1934. (written early in 1933).
ALWAYS THE STARS
It shall not matter if the earth turns cold,
And storms tear from its root each fragile flower,
Or bend the mighty low; I will not hold
The things of earth so dear hour after hour,
These know but change and so I let them pass.
Only their rhythm shall recall to me
The trees, the flowers, the tender blades of grass,
And rocks that know the passion of the sea.
After the waste, the shouting and the laughter,
The wildness of earth, the wounds, the pain,
The light and darkness blends, and man comes after
To build a statlier mansion once again.
Always the stars the rhythm will proclaim
That man may know the pure creative flame.
- H.L. Huxtable.
THE THREE TRUTHS
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.
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by F. B. Housser
(The First of the Moderns)
Born near the beginning of the thirteenth century, Roger Bacon lived almost to its end. It was the time when Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, the most renowned of the scholastic philosophers, were engaged in assembling the whole of knowledge, especially as recorded in the encyclopedia works of Aristotle in order to show its harmony with the doctrines, of the Catholic Church. The system of philosophy which they built up is even now taught in every Catholic school of learning.
"In that age Bacon lived, but he was not of it. He belonged rather to our own time. The knowledge amassed with such toil by his contemporaries he contemptuously cast aside as little better than rubbish. It was founded he held, upon reverence for authority, and reverence for authority but too often leads to little more than repetition of ancient errors. There is but one ultimate test of knowledge, experience, and but one way of organizing such knowledge into a science, namely, by showing its conformity to the laws of mathematics."
Ball, in his History of Mathematics, says of Bacon: "He stated as the fundamental principle that the study of the natural sciences must rest solely on experiment; and in the fourth part (of the Opus Major) he explains how all sciences ultimately rest on mathematics, and progress only when their fundamental principles are expressed in mathematical form. Mathematics, he says, should be regarded as the alphabet of all philosophy." After all, that is just about all there is to modern science.
Only less amazing than this early, very early, explication of his scientific procedure, "was his bold application of common-sense principles, in the fields of textual criticism and of education, especially as regards the necessity of knowing the original languages of works usually read in translations; his appreciation of the need of endowing research work; his forecasts of the development of medicine in the direction of hygiene and preventative medicine; of the applications of chemistry to physiology, medicine, agriculture, and industry; and his visions of the contributions to human comfort which applied science was to make by producing a multitude of useful inventions."
"Bacon mastered all that was then known of Aristotle, but Aristotle's method was of little assistance to him. Bacon learned Greek, and diligently sought out the existing remains of Greek and Roman science, and of the Arabic science which had recently been translated into Latin. Thus he learned the Greek arithmetic, the Hindu-Arabic system of notation and calculation, the Greek and Arabic optics; astronomy, astrology, alchemy and medicine. He acquired considerable knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic, and probably a little of Arabic. He even (so Newbold says) learned something of that strange (?) Gnostic philosophy the Kabbalah, which, after being handed down among the Jews by secret channels for a thousand years, was in Bacon's own lifetime being compiled into the Zohar".
Bacon overlooked no avenue to knowledge. He was as receptive to the crude and uncultured knowledge of the common people in respect to their own arts as he was to the learning of the ancients.
So all in all, he was a man of many parts. His writings betray a profound knowledge of the Ancient Wisdom, they betray also an intensely scientific attitude towards things and they are marked, also
by a level-headed, balanced attitude toward the whole of human life. While it is said of him that he was the forerunner of modern science, one might equally say of him that his type has yet failed to reappear in the West. Eventually we may find scientists, blending as he did, the learning which comes from the physical world, via the twin avenues of experience and sensation, with that other learning which can only come through the inner experiencing of the mystical way.
Of his actual accomplishments we know little in a concrete sense, his writings alone convey to us what little information we have. We do know, however, that he was intensely active in a scientific way for a period of about forty years. About twenty of these years were devoted especially to the study of science, and ten of the twenty to optics. During these twenty years he spent on books, experiments, languages, instruments, astronomical tables, teaching and the like, something like fifty thousand dollars of our money.
Bacon Becomes A Monk
When about forty years of age, Bacon joined the Franciscan Order and from then on his active work almost ceased. Newbold says of this retrograde step that "Whatever the reasons were, the step must have proved highly detrimental to his scientific work. Undoubtedly his interest and belief in alchemy, astrology and magic must have brought him under grave suspicion of heresy"..... We do know that they kept him occupied at the most menial tasks!
It was during this period in the comparative quiet of monastic life that most of Bacon's writings were composed. Pope Clement the fourth had been a friend of his before his elevation to the Papal throne and in the hope perhaps of gaining recognition, and surcease from the hard lot of the monk, Bacon wrote offering the aid of his vast learning in the furtherance of the papal activities. The reply being favorable, Bacon in the short space of a year wrote the three bulky volumes on which his face has chiefly rested, the Opus Majus, the Opus Minus ands the Opus Tertium, together with a fourth which has been lost. In these works he outlines the basis of his new science, the emphasis which should be placed on experiment, the necessity for research laboratories, and all the paraphernalia which goes with modern science. He had the daring to place Aristotle's logic in its proper place as subordinate to the necessity far its confirmation and rejected the so-called truths based on authority. It is hardly to be expected that such a daring revolution in thought should have been successful in that darkest period of the Scholastic era. Clement may never have reads the books, for he died shortly after they reached the Vatican.
Bacon's later writings only got him into trouble with the church, and it is believed that he was imprisoned by order of the church for heresy, the period of his imprisonment lasting for about twenty years. It was during this period that the work which will undoubtedly prove of greatest interest to Theosophists was written.
The Voynitch Manuscript
During the year 1912, Mr. Wilfred M. Voynitch, a specialist in rare books and manuscripts, purchased a manuscript of the 13th century which was afterwards found to be from the pen of Roger Bacon. A number of the leaves had been removed but the equivalent of 232 pages still remained. Many of the pages contained beautiful drawings of natural scientific character and the writing was seen to be entirely in unknown characters, showing that some form of cipher had been used. (Roger Bacon was an expert in ciphers).
Voynitch for some time failed to secure the services of anyone in the deciphering of the manuscript until he was fortunate in arousing the interest of W.R. Newbold, a professor in the University of Pennsylvania, a scholar deeply read in the classical and medieval literatures, and with some academic knowledge of the occult arts.
Newbold found that the last page of the manuscript contained the key to the cipher. - "Thou hast given me many doors, or gates". From this sentence Newbold reasoned that since Bacon was undoubtedly conversant with the twenty-two sacred letters of the Hebrews and that the Kabbalistic meaning of the word "gates" was that of all possible combinations of the letters two by two, he had used a cipher based on these facts. The cipher is much too complicated to discuss here, but it may be said that it was used in two separate and distinct ways. It was used first in connection with many of Bacon's Latin writings, in particular with those ostensibly dealing with Alchemical subjects. Many of these are meaningless even in an alchemical sense. They are frequently in very poor Latin. But the surface text only serves to conceal the true subject matter of the manuscripts, this appearing when the surface text is broken down by the key and recombined into an altogether different series of words.
The second use of the Cipher is found in the Voynitch manuscript, for the characters themselves are special and not altogether alphabetical. They in themselves do not make sense. Close scrutiny, showed them to be composed of a varying number of minute strokes and curves, these being so small that they could only have been made with the aid of a microscope - proof that Bacon did invent this optical instrument.
These same characters were found also in many of the lines forming the illustrations in the manuscript and were even hidden under what looked like blots of ink. Newbold found, after considerable research, that they were taken from a system of Greek short-hand in use in the medieval ages.
Much of the manuscript remains undeciphered, Newbold having died before the work was more than barely started. What we know of it however, is of such tremendous interest that it will form the subject of a special article. The history of the manuscript is also of great interest to the Theosophist and it also will be given in greater detail later.
Those interested in Roger Bacon may well consult the work from which this article has been prepared - The Cipher of Roger Bacon, by Newbold and Kent; the University of Pennsylvania Press. It is replete with interesting information concerning Roger Bacon and his work, and has an excellent bibliography,
- W. F. S.
Dr. Alexander L. Du Toit. of Johannesburg, South Africa, recently presented new evidence of the existence of Gondwanaland before the International Geographic Congress.
Gondwanaland is the Lemuria of the Secret Doctrine. According to Dr. Du Toit this continent existed for 400,000,000 years and flourished until about 150,000,000 years ago. The vast continent included what is now South America, Africa, Madagascar, the peninsular part of India, Tasmania and the easterly portion of the Antarctic Continent.
This agrees fairly well with the teachings in the Secret Doctrine, although H.P.B. states that Africa was later than Lemuria and later even than the earliest Atlantis. (S.D. II :385). The newspaper account of Dr. Du Toit's paper, however, goes an to say "Though Gondwanaland carried no great civilization to its doom when it disappeared" beneath the waves, as legend says was the case with Atlantis, it did carry much valuable information about the earth's past history".
This statement is not in accord with the Secret. Doctrine teachings which asserts that the vast continent of Lemuria was the home of a great civilization. (S.D. II :330-331). But to confess the existence of the continents is quite a different thing from admitting that there were men on them during the early geological periods - ay,
men and civilized nations, not Paleolithic savages only; who, under the guidance of their divine Rulers, built large cities, cultivated Arts and Sciences, and knew Astronomy, Architecture and Mathematics to perfection.
The Lemurian Civilization
The primeval civilization of the Lemurians did not, as one may think, immediately follow their physiological transformation. Between the final physiological evolution and the first city built, many hundred thousands of years had passed. Nevertheless, we find the Lemurians in their sixth sub-race, building their first rock-cities out of stone and lava. One of these great cities of primitive structures was built entirely of lava, some thirty miles west from where Easter Island now stretches its narrow strip of sterile ground, and was totally destroyed by a series of volcanic eruptions. The oldest remains of Cyclopean buildings were all the handiwork of the last sub-races of the Lemurians; and an Occultist, therefore, shows no surprise on learning that the stone relics, which were founds on the small piece of land called Easter Island by Captain Cook, are "Very much like the walls of the Temple of Pachacamac or the Ruins of Tia-Huanaco in Peru", and also that they are in the Cyclopean style. The first large cities, however, were built in that region of the Continent which is now known as the island of Madagascar. There were civilized people and savages in those days as there are now. Evolution achieved its work of perfection on the former and Karma - its work of destruction on the latter".
Recent scientific interest in the problem of Lemuria or Gondwanaland as it is now named, and research work in the few lands now remaining which formed part of that great continent, has confirmed the majority of the Secret Doctrine teachings respecting the existence of this land. The only point left unconfirmed is the presence thereon of humanity. Science does not yet place humanity as far back in time as that. The acceptance of the continent by science based upon its examination of the geological correspondences between the now isolated sections, is important and leads one to hope that the final confirmation of H.P.B.'s teaching may not be far distant. But when this confirmation comes, science must move into another epoch for the early humanity of Lemuria was gigantic and it was only "after the Great Flood of the Third Race (the Lemurian) as Commentary 33 tells us 'Men decreased in stature and the duration of their lives diminished' ". (S.D. II:345).
Inhabitants of Lemuria
H.P.B. draws attention to the prevalence of giants and titans in history and tradition. India, Ceylon, Greece, Egypt, Chaldea and Palestine, each had their tales of enormous men and the Old Testament reminds us that there were giants in the land in those days.
What will happen to the present theories of science if skeletons or the fossil remains of a humanity twenty-seven feet high are discovered? Today the idea seems like a weird story from popular journal of extravagant fiction but unless men and women were at one time gigantic why else did they build gigantic dwellings, walls and temples? Today we build to our present stature; doorways, for example, are seven feet high and three feet wide not because seven feet by three is an esthetic necessity, but because a being six feet high and two feet wide, can go through such openings easily.
Let us hope that Dr. Du Toit's further researches into the remains of Gondwanaland will throw some light on the gigantic humanity which lived upon the continent and the modes of life in their great centres of civilization. - D. B.
If you are a believer in the Brotherhood of humanity you should belong to the only Society that makes this the sole basis of membership. The dues are $2.50 a year, including subscription to the official Magazine. Will you not join?
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Hamilton, whose energy largely created the magnificent Basilica at the city's north-west entrance, recently revived the mild sensation he created a year ago by his description, three newspaper columns long, of the "miracle" of Therese Neumann, "Maid of Konnersreuth". (Hamilton Spectator, Oct. 12, 1932).
Every Friday for years this lady has gone into a trance, every Friday in it has suffered the Passion of Christ. She cries as He is struck, screams ands moans as He is crucified; blood streams from wounds in her hands, feet and side, marks as of thorns appear on her forehead. Next morning she is normal, but the marks of the wounds remain.
These phenomena, investigators, Roman Catholic and Protestant, believers, and sceptics, psychic researchers and psychoanalysts, seem to agree about. Some maintain, others deny, that the strange words Therese utters are Aramaic, vernacular of Palestine in Jesus' day, and that her only sustenance is daily communion. At all events, it is a pronounced case of stigmatization.
The Bishop of Hamilton sees in Therese "a messenger from Him, our loving Saviour." That she was able to tell the bishop "all about a certain priest in the Canadian West" (Spectator, Sept. 12, 1933), supports the claim of psychic researchers, that she is a powerful medium. Rabbi Feldman of Hamilton, disciple of Freud, says the case is "a purely pathological one; its diagnosis - hysteric conversion by identification; its cause strong but repressed sexuality." (Spectator, Oct. 14, 1932).
Roman Catholics are not the only stigmatists. Mary Anne Girling, regarded by the English Shakers in the Nineteenth century as the Incarnation of God, was said to have been one. (Nelson's Encyclopedia). On a man applying Rosicrucian yoga practices stigmata in the shape of sigils appeared. (Occult Review, LII, 223). Most famous is the Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi. Rev. H. Thurston studied accounts of sixty cases. (P.S.P.R., 83).
What is the rational, Theosophical explanation? H.P.B. says the stigmata known as birth marks are "produced by the involuntary agency of the maternal imagination under a state of excitement." (Isis Unveiled, P.L. ed., II., 384).
Kama-manas, normally affects the physical body through the astral. Grief brings tears, shame, a blush. Intensify the action of those factors of kama-manas, strong imagination plus excitement, upon an abnormal physical body and stigmatization becomes conceivable as unconscious autosuggestion. In all cases of stigmatization there is a bad medical history and previous strong and lengthy concentration upon the wounds of the Passion. The stigmatization of Therese Neumann followed a vision of Saint Therese, also a stigmatist, and, curiously, of Saint Therese, Saint Francis de Sales first propounded the idea of autosuggestion. (Occult Review, XLVI., 271),
Stigrnata have been induced by hypnotism. Dr. Bourru, professor of medicine, and Dr. Burot, both of Rochefort, by suggestion caused nosebleed and perspiration of blood in a hysterical man who was paralyzed and without feeling on his right side. One doctor wrote his name on the arms and ordered the marks to appear during sleep. On the unparalyzed side only the letters, distinguishable, appeared, dropping blood. (Report of Dr. Frederick Bjornstrom, Stockholm, cited by The American Weekly, Nov. 27, 1927).
These hypnotists were not such powerful magicians as the notorious Father Gerard who, in 1731, was "tried before the parliament of Aix, France, for seduction of his parishioner, Mlle. Catherine Cadiere of Toulon, and for certain revolting crimes in connection with the same." The evidence showed he caused the stigmata to appear on this lady and six others. (Isis Unveiled, II., 633, 634).
Within a month after the sensation caused by the Bishop of Hamilton, Therese Neumann and another stigmatist, the Italian Franciscan Padre Pio, were forbidden by Rome to receive pilgrims. Nuns in Belgium and Northern Spain who "sweat blood" during their devotions, were ordered by the Holy Office in Rome to be treated as medical cases. A large amount of mystic literature written around Padre Pio was put on the Index Expurgatorius. A community of women, called "Little Hosts" which, founded in his honour, had grown too impassioned and hysterical, was suppressed. (Time, Nov. 4, 1932). Rome evidently does not, in this matter, see eye to eye with the Bishop of Hamilton.
- C. W.
The United States is now in the tenth month of the new era inaugurated by President Roosevelt. In an article in the July Canadian Theosophist it was asserted that the new programme on which the president had embarked was not retroactive; that once started, society in the United States could newer go back to the system it had in 1929. This is daily becoming more evident, so much so that the international banners and their friends have awakened to the fact ands are now out in force to protec. their own game and if possible destroy Roosevelt and his new deal.
The Battle that is Coming
Within the next six weeks a terrific battle will be waged between Roosevelt and the forces lead by the international banking fraternity. The referee of this struggle will be the American people whom the financial powers of the United States will try to stampede with fear as the people of Britain, including the leaders of the labour party, were successfully stampeded in the British election two years ago. Everything that money can do will be done to confuse the issue, at stake and to make the people believe that Mr. Roosevelt is a misguided fanatic.
If Mr. Roosevelt succeeds with his N.R.A. and his attempt to establish a money unit with a value, which, to use his own words - "will not change during the succeeding generation", the people as a whole will benefit at some slight expense to the capitalistic classes. This the latter see and wish to prevent. They do not see that in the long run it will likewise be to their own interest; not even with the examples of Russia and Germany before them do then see it.
The real issue at stake on the American continent today, is not economic but moral and spiritual. Is man so unmoral that he is incapable of morally co-operating? Is he so unspiritual that he is unwilling to forgo even a portion of the material benefits of the old system of unlimited profits for the benefit of society as a whole? Is industry - that is to say the individuals who compose industry - incapable of self-government? If it is capable of it to any reasonable extent our economic problems are capable of solution. If not, then all the economics in the heads and books of economists cannot make a system that will save this continent from what Europe is witnessing in Germany and Austria. Perhaps that is the next stage in our cycle.
The Worst Not Hopeless
Many people today find it hard to face the possibility of a complete break-down of the economic and social machine, the possibility of what the journalists call "chaos". But even that would only be a phase in the evolutionary history of mankind. It would not, - as many seem to think - be the end of all things.
An effort is being made - and Theosophists know there may be more than appears behind it - to conduct the people of the United States, and possibly through them the western world, through a difficult period of transition from an old order to a new in a constitutional brotherly way. If the people refuse to go by this road and the inevitable happens, Theosophists may
remember the words of one of the Himalayan adepts who founded the T S. - "For countless generations hath the adept builded a fane of imperishable racks, a giant's tower of infinite thought, wherein the titan dwelt, and will yet, if need be, dwell alone, emerging from it, but at the end of every cycle, to invite the elect of mankind to co-operate with him and help in his turn to enlighten superstitious man. And we will go on in that periodic work of ours; we will not allow ourselves to be baffled in our philanthropic attempts until that day when the foundations of a new continent of thought are so firmly built that no amount of opposition and ignorant malice guided by the Brethren of the Shadow will be found to prevail". (Mahatma Letters, Page 51).
- F. B. H.
A MODERN SOCIAL PROBLEM
There has been a good deal of publicity lately on the subject of sterilization. The Roman Catholic Church has raised its voice in protest saying that we should not interfere with the plans of the Almighty and that sterilization 'smells of the barnyard'.
It is still a quaint superstition of the Church that the Almighty has either to create a new soul or to take a ready made soul out of cold storage whenever a baby is born. Perhaps the term 'plans of the Almighty' is intended to mean the course of Nature - but this is something we interfere with every hour of the day. Man's continuance on this planet is due to his exercise of some control over the forces of nature. The rivers are harnessed for power. The soil is ploughed and furrowed for grain. Fruits and vegetables have been developed through selection and crossbreeding. The more complex a civilizations the greater its use of and interference with the course of nature. The animals, perhaps, interfere least and when a defective animal is born, it is either killed immediately or soon dies or falls a prey to other animals. Even the Church would hardly carry its teaching of 'non-interference' to the logical conclusion of allowing this natural law to take care of defective children.
Dr. Bruce, the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, points out the danger of creating a race of defectives by reason of the fecundity of adult defectives: that the asylums of Ontario are so crowded that only the violently insane can now be admitted. There are thousands of subnormal persons who are not violent and who move about in society with little restraint upon them. Every social worker knows the problem of a certain type of subnormal female - it is not a moral problem at all for morals do not enter in but she does not cease from reproducing her defective kind until prevented by age, incarceration, sterilization or death.
A Many-Sided Problem
If this subject were the problem of an all-wise, all-powerful Almighty, we humans would have no responsibility; but it is not. It is a problem affecting the race as a whole including the individuals who are out of incarnation as well as those who are now incarnated.
This opens up the problem of a theosophical student's approach to the race problem. Can an Ego which is due to incarnate in a certain family be forced to take birth in another family and if so, can it fulfil its karmic duty to those who would have been its parents? What about the rush to incarnate and the readiness of certain types of egos to take incarnation in any human form so long as they can get their feet on earth again. And what about the individual who has been sterilized; has his or her problem been solved? hardly. What relationship is there between the birth control which is now widely practiced among well-to-du parents who could support and educate children and the alarming increase in the birthrate among subnormal parents? These and many other questions arise in the mind of the student when these subjects of sterilization and birth control are discussed and as both of these seem
destined to be built into the racial life scheme theosophical students should think about them and be ready to voice their Views when the occasion arises. - D.W.B.
FROM "THE AVATAR" by AE
"To the ancients," he said, "Earth was a living being. We who walk upon it know no more of the magnificence within it than a gnat lighting on the head of Dante might know of the furnace of passion and imagination beneath. Not only was Earth a living being having soul and spirit as well as body, but it was a household wherein were god folk as well as the whole tribe of elemental or fairy lives. The soul of Earth is our lost Eden. This was the Ildathach or Many-coloured Land of our ancestors, and of which Socrates too spoke, saying Earth was not at all what the geographers supposed it to be, and there was a divine earth superior to this with temples where the gods do truly dwell. Our souls put on coats of skin. That is, they were lost in our bodies here, and at last we fell together outside the divine circle and came to live on surfaces, not even dreaming that within the earth is a spirit which towers up within itself from clay and rock to the infinite glory. Only the poets and mystics have still some vision of the lost Eden. The gods are still in the divine household, and the radiance over the palaces of light appear at times to seers like yourself as dragon-crests of flame or rivers of light running out to the stars. It is time for us to be traveling inward, and if there be an Avatar to come, he may show us the way once more as did the Avatars of the past. How do I know all this? The Earth Spirit has been talking to me ever since I came here, telling me the meanings of all I have read and many things which never were written, and it confirmed that dream I told you about, that there would come a day when the immortals once more would walk among us and be visible heroes to us."
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 C. William.
President........, Secretary, Mrs. M. E. Dean, 10212 107th Street.
President, Mrs. Currie; Secrteary-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.......; 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 BayStreet, 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, A.C. Fellows. 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. Daines, 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
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.
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
The Quarterly Book Department
P.O. Box 64, Station O. New York City.
BOOKS BY MR. AND MRS. MILES
By Eustace Miles, M.A.:
"DAILY HEALTH, or Through the Day", 3/6; "'SELF-HEALTH AS A HABIT". Illustrated, 5/-; "HEALTHY BREATHING", 7/6; "HOW TO REMEMBER", 5/-; "THE POWER OF CONCENTRATION" 6/-; "LIFE AFTER LIFE"; or the 'Theory of Reincarnation, 3/6.
By Hallie Eustace Miles, M.C.A.:
"HEALTH WITHOUT MEAT", 1/9; "LIFE'S ORCHESTRA", 2/6; "LIFE'S COLOUR'S", 2/6.
The EUSTACE MILES RESTAURANT, 40 CHANDOS STREET, Trafalgar Square, London.
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.
"THE ART OF EXTEMPORE SPEAKING OR HOW TO ACQUIRE FLUENCY IN SPEECH" by H. Ford, M.A., LL.D. 160 pages of useful suggestions for all who are trying to
become effective lecturers, 14th edition $1.00
"AN INTRODUCTION TO YOGA" by Claude Bragdon. 100 pages of friendly counsel from a Western F.T.S. to whom Yoga is not a theory but a mode of life $1.00
"PSYCHIC DEFENSE" by Dion Fortune. 218 pages of practical advice based on much experience $1.00
My list of Suggested Reading sent free on request. Other books imported, or Rare titles sought and reported, to meet any order.
564 Pape Ave., Toronto (6)
N. W. J. HAYDON