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VOL. XIV., No. 7 HAMILTON, SEPTEMBER 15th, 1933 Price 10 Cents
By R. A. Morris
It is a very common mistake to try to make a single explanation cover all the phenomena of Spiritualism. The materialist, who cannot admit their genuineness without ipso facto invalidating his own philosophy, classifies them wholesale as fraudulent, to be credited to the trickery of mediums and the gullibility of sitters; the Spiritualists believe them to be the work of the spirits of the dead; the Roman Catholic Church condemns them as the production of the devil and his angels; while the Psychical Research Society type of investigator sets down all those of them that he allows to be bona fide, to the action of the subconscious mind.
As a matter of fact, however, the Spiritualistic phenomena should be divided into a number of different classes, each with its own explanation. Setting aside the undoubtedly large number of seance room happenings, which are due to fraud or delusion, it is probable that the greater part of those which are genuinely supernormal must be put down to the operation of the extraordinary faculties which are latent in the minds of living people - in the minds, that is, of the mediums and sitters. That such faculties exist there is overwhelming evidence. In most of us they are entirely hidden except in rare and abnormal conditions; but occasionally they are manifested as part of the normal mental make-up of an exceptional individual.
For example, we all know what a laborious and roundabout process arithmetical calculation is; but now and then a mathematical prodigy turns up who seems to be able to see the answer to complicated problems without any process of calculation at all. There is the well-known case of the boy who could tell instantly on what day of the week fell any date, even a thousand or more years ago, as for instance, let us say, the 17th of September, 953; whereas the ordinary person would have to devote a. great deal of time and paper to working it out, and then probably get the answer all wrong.
Then there are the truly staggering feats of the Eberfeld horses, of which an account is given by Maeterlinck in The Unknown Guest. These horses, who had been trained by a certain Herr Krall, who must himself have been a psychological portent, had learned to spell out by hoof taps the answers to questions and to mathematical problems. On one occasion Maeterlinck was alone in the stable with the horse, Mahomet, whom he asked what was the fourth root of the number 7890481. Without hesitation Mahomet gave 53 taps, which was the correct solution. Other examples could be cited but space forbids.
Of course the explanation is not that
the horse was miraculously endowed with the intellect of a Newton, but that somehow or other he played a similar part in bringing into action the latent powers of Maeterlinck's mind, to that played by the peculiar conditions of the seance-room in parallel cases. But not only have we a mathematician hidden deep down in us; we have also a dramatist and novelist. In the ordinary way, he functions only in producing those remarkable tragedies, comedies, farces, and melodramas, which we call dreams; but sometimes, and in some individuals, he can be made to work during the waking state, when he now and then, as in the case of certain automatic writers, pens coherent narratives, some of them of considerable literary merit; as examples, one might mention the works of Miss Cummings and of the automatist who produces the Glastonbury writings.
Again there are the well-known phenomena of telepathy, in which the mind acts as receiver and transmitter of thought from and to other minds, without any physical medium of communication; and of clairvoyance in which one sometimes sees things invisible to the physical eye. If such marvelous faculties exist in us - as they undoubtedly do - it is not difficult to see how a very large part of the phenomena of Spiritualism may be accounted for by them.
But, after eliminating all those phenomena which may properly be attributed to the latent faculties of the living - usually loosely spoken of as the "subconscious minds" - there is a residuum still to be accounted for; and to explain them we must fall back on some outside immaterial agency. Is this agency the spirits of the dead in the sense that Spiritualists usually imagine? It would seem that the reasons against supposing so are convincing; or at any rate that the reasons for supposing so are unconvincing. An absolute proof of the identity of the communicating intelligence would be extremely difficult to obtain, having regard to the possibilities of clairvoyance and telepathy; and in those cases where an entirely waterproof test has been devised, the results have been unsatisfactory, as for example when Mr. F.W.H. Myers left a sealed envelope and undertook to try to communicate its contents to his S.P.R. colleagues, after death. What happened when he did die, was that "messages" galore came through mediums from his alleged spirit, but the descriptions they gave of the contents of the envelope were all incorrect.
Generally speaking, those "communications" which are most fluent and connected have an artificial ring about them; and it seems impossible to believe that they are not the work of the subconscious minds of the mediums or automatists through whom they were delivered. On the other hand those communications which have a ring of genuineness are as a rule fragmentary and incomplete, like the mutterings of a patient in delirium, who talks about persons and events, while he himself is clearly not consciously aware of the words that come from his mouth.
The most satisfactory explanation of these things is that given by H.P. Blavatsky, who taught that man's psychic, mental and spiritual makeup is vastly more complex than is ordinarily supposed; that the mind itself is divisible into a higher part, which pre-exists and survives from one incarnation to another, and a lower, which disintegrates gradually after the death of the body. It is this disintegrating lower mind, sometimes called a "shell", from which the indwelling Ego-Soul-Spirit has departed, which is drawn into the aura, or psychic atmosphere, of the seance-room, and derives a sort of artificial life from the vitality of the medium. Fragments of the memory of the late personality attach to it, and may be evoked through the medium. Its activities have been compared to those convulsive, automatic movements which are made by an unfortunate frog whose brain has been removed by a vivisector in the supposed interests of science.
Madame Blavatsky averred that, with certain unhappy exceptions, the real spirits
of the dead never communicate through mediums, and that they cannot be drawn back to earth from the spiritual condition known as Devachan before the time comes for them to reincarnate. The exceptions are in the case of persons who have committed suicide or been executed by the law, also of those of predominantly evil lives who have died by accident. For all these the destruction of the physical body precedes the time of natural death; and the psychic disintegration, which normally follows death, is postponed for longer or shorter periods. One other exception is that sometimes communication between the dead and living friends takes place at the moment of, or immediately after physical death. This summary does not of course pretend to be an exhaustive account of the causes behind the phenomena of Spiritualism, but those not touched on are rare and exceptional. The explanation offered are not put forward as infallible dogmas, but rather as hypotheses which are worthy of consideration, inasmuch as they do appear to account for very many at least of those very puzzling happenings, known as Spiritualistic phenomena.
One word further as to the danger inherent in all mediumistic practices. In the first place, whatever the agencies behind the phenomena, there is no doubt that those who evoke them have deliberately to assume a passive attitude of mind, and this in itself is weakening to will and character; moreover - assuming that excarnate agencies are sometimes involved - we are either making ourselves their passive instruments, or encouraging others to do so; and, to put it mildly, we have no assurance that the controls, as they are suggestively called, are goody rather than evil. To be controlled by an outside influence is bad; to be controlled by an evil influence may result in mental and moral disaster.
Dr. Alvin B. Kuhn, Ph.D., author of the popular treatise on "Theosophy," will give a course of ten lectures in Toronto commencing Sunday, October 15.
THE THEOSOPHY OF THE UPANISHADS.
(Continued from Page 170)
THE WAY OF LIBERATION
Knowest thou the gaining of the path of the gods, and of the path of the fathers? or having down what they gain the path of the gods or the path of the fathers?
As the word of the Seer has been heard by us:
Two paths for mortals were heard by me: the path of the fathers and the path of the gods;
By these two, all that moves here proceeds, whatever lives between father and mother.
The life-cycle is a lord of beings; it has two paths, the southern and the northern; they who worship by sacrifices and gifts; they, verily, win the lunar world, - they, verily, return again. Therefore the seers who are desirous of offspring gain the southern path; this is the body, this is the way of the fathers.
So by the northern path, - by fervour, service of the eternal, faith, wisdom, - seeking the Self, they gain the sun. This; verily, is the home of lives, this is the immortal, the fearless, the better way; from thence they return not again, for this is the end of the way.
In the chain of birth and rebirth, the Self, deluded and fallen from divinity, is enmeshed by appetite in the outward stream of sensuous things, and, by desire in the inward stream of lusts ands fears. For each stream, it makes itself an illusory venture, a lower representative self who is to play the part of the true Self, and, for a while, simulate the life of the true Self.
In the outward stream of sensuous things that make up the physical world, the representative of the Self is the physical self, the body. In the inwards stream of sensu-
ous things that make up the emotional world of day dreams and dreams by night, the representative of the Self is the personal self, the self of desires and fears, lusts and hates.
Each of these lower selves is absolutely involved and captivated by the sensuous world to which it belongs; the physical self, by sensuous appetites; the personal self, by sensuous desires. As these worlds are under the perpetual law of mutation, the lower selves are not only not enjoyers of perpetual happiness, - they are rather endurers of unceasing misery and affliction, hardly lightened by the expectation that is the shadow of appetite, and the hope that is the shadow of desire.
Thus the life of the Self, embodied in its representatives and ministers, is incessantly tossed from one stream of circumstance to the other; from waking to dreaming, from dreaming to waking; from life to death, from death to life.
And as both these lives are essentially unreal, as they are both based on a fictitious life of the self built up in the mutable streams of things, and not on the real life of the Self-subsistent, so the teachers of the Upanishads draw very little distinction between the worth or worthlessness of these two forms of life, life in a sensuous world, and life in a sensuous paradise; both, they declare, are inherently futile.
So much is this so, that the great school of Indian thought that best preserves the ideals of the Upanishads, the Vedanta, lays down at the very beginning, as an indispensable condition of any right progress at all, an indifference to, even a revulsion from, the feasts of this world and paradise alike.
The eternal mutations of the streams of things that make up the feasts of both worlds culminate in the supreme mutation, the supreme affliction, of death, the greatest privation in a mode of life that is everywhere privation. Death is an inevitable outcome of these modes of life, and quite indispensable, for it is simply the clear and definite cutting off of one stream of circumstance, and the tossing of the life of the Self into another stream of circumstance, - a quite necessary result of the combined laws of mutation and alternation everywhere penetrating outward things.
This breaking off by death is attended by another evil, the loss of memory; for this outward memory, as we have seen, is no real or sterling thing, but depends absolutely on the continuity of the streams of circumstance and thought, on the furniture of the rooms of our minds. Every time this furniture is changed, memory breaks down and is interrupted; the total loss of physical memory must follow, as far as we can see, the dissolution of the physical self - the body; and a not less total lass of the personal memory must follow the not less inevitable dissolution of the personal self; for the personal self, being but a web of desires and lusts and hates, can have no more permanence than any other woof of time's weaving.
The relentless laws that thus dog the footsteps of the physical and personal selves, perpetually overwhelming them with misery and affliction, are really kindly counselors, pointing with friendliest insistence to the real path, the true destiny, the better way.
For what is the basis of all this affliction and the real root of all this misery? Simply this: the whole evil arises from our habit of mirroring the Self in the stream of circumstance, and then grieving over every distortion of the image that the breaking of the waves perpetually brings. What we are grieving over is not a real thing at all; it is insubstantial as the mirage in the desert, the silver imagined in a pearl-shell, the serpent, imagined in a rope. It is not nothing, for it is even less than nothing.
The real life of the Self is self-existent, self-subsistent, self-poised, self-based; it is above time, free from space, absolutely independent of mutation, in its own essence it is perfect being, perfect consciousness,
perfect bliss; it is the fulness of things, the water of life, the all. And we deliberately or through mere folly, set ourselves outside this splendid reality, and conjure up for ourselves a self of appetites and a self of dreams, and straightway fall aggrieving over their mishaps, wrapped in contemplation of their misery, full of sentimental sorrow for their misfortunes. The clear part of wisdom is to have done with all this; to take neither part nor lot in the foolish self of appetite, or the fatuous self of dream; to turn back from these to the real Self behind and above them, whose immemorial divine life, by its very constitution, is eternally free from their miseries and afflictions. It would hardly be exaggeration to say that the Upanishads subordinate every other consideration to this one, the turning back from the false selves of appetite and dream to the real Self of eternity; that they hold this to be the purpose of habitual life - the thorough demonstration of its purposelessness; that they esteem the unhappiest life the happiest, as it the sooner cures us of the conceit of false life.
Yet the Upanishads, though they recognize these things, the necessity and fitness of these things, do not unduly weigh on them, or drag themselves on in an insistent and lamentable pessimism. They rather reach this initial conclusion briefly and incisively, and then pass on to the real business of life; the life of the real Self, the Self of all beings.
It is part of the beneficent law of things that, to those who have not yet entered the life of the real Self, its divine nature cannot be made intelligible and clear; for thus they would be robbed of the great delight of discovery in this new dominion; a delight which is to be theirs as soon as they make up their minds to taste it.
But many of the circumstances of the life of the Self may be made clear enough, even to those to whom the Self is still unknown. There is, first, an end of sorrow, of affliction, of misery, of death. For these sad companions are the children of mutation, born from the perpetual flowing of the waves of the stream of time. While we are sunk in the river, while the waves ever and ever sweep over our heads and crush us down into the depths, we shall see no end or cessation to these children of the ever-breaking waves.
But after a while, though the waves still break upon us, they will cease to overwhelm us, no longer blinding our eyes and stifling our breath of life. Presently, though still direly beaten and driven by the waves, we shall raise our heads permanently above the water; then, after a while, we shall reach the bank, and stand firmly on the shore, wondering, like prisoners in an open prison, why we never thought of finding obvious liberation before.
The conditions of liberation are two; we had best face them unflinchingly, and recognize them. The false children of the Self were also two, and the dethronement of each of them is the fulfilment of one condition of liberation. The first usurping self was the self of appetite, spinning for itself the vesture of the physical body. The second usurper was the self of desire, spinning as its vesture the body of dreams, the personal self. To restore order in the kingdom of man, the two usurpers must disappear. The self of appetite must come to an end, through the ripe experience that there is no lasting satisfaction in gratifying appetite, no real joy in the satisfaction of lust. The personal self, far the stronger and more dangerous usurper of the two, must likewise come to an end; first, by the clear intuition of the higher Self above and behinds the habitual, personal self; then by the clear perception of this personal self's worthlessness and weariness and inferiority; and, lastly, by the quiet determination to make real and living the relation thus perceived between the higher self and the lower self, to throw all the force of our lives on the side of the higher Self, relentlessly subordinating the lower self in every particular and degree.
This subjugation of the personal self, of
the vicious centre of selfishness and vanity, must be set about with the grave care to avoid all error or false residuum that a good chemist takes in a difficult experiment. The guide is the voice ands light of the higher Self, revealing itself in conscience and intuition; the circumstances of the experiment are the ordinary conditions of daily life, which make constant calls on vanity and selfishness, and draw them into prominent notice.
If an individual were sole king of the universe, fallen solitary from the divinity of the higher Self into the degradation of selfishness and sensuality, then this gradual subordination of the usurping lower selves to the rightful lord, the higher Self, would be the whole of life, a thing solely for the individual, a lonely triumph in the midst of the solitudes of eternity.
But it is no lonely struggle, nor lonely, empty triumph; for we have seen that the supreme Self is not only our true Self, but the true Self of all beings as well; and, in our great training ground of daily life, we are constantly admonished of this deepest truth, for the intervention of the guide, the voice and light of the higher Self, is most constantly made in this very matter of our other selves, the fellow beings who,
equally with ourselves, are the broken rays of the supreme and everlasting One.
And we learn that, above the two false selves, - the physical ands personal, - there is yet another Self, so great and mighty that we can hardly call it unreal, even though it stops one degree short of perfect reality. And of this, the casual Self, with its light of intuition, the supreme function seems to be the constant establishing of right relations between us and our other selves; so that our mutual needs shall in every particular be satisfied, our mutual defects supplied by each other's qualities.
And this great work of harmonizing goes perpetually forward, - has been going perpetually forward for many a long age of birth and rebirth, death and entering into the paradise of rewards, and again death and re-entering into life. The great unison has been steadfastly sought out and followed, with a strength above all sentimental considerations; a might that brings together those who are to be together, even if only to hate each other; a might that separates those who should be separated, even if only that the sense of bitterest loss shall cast them back upon the selfless consolation of the deeper Self within them.
This divine harmonizer, the inner ruler, that stands above the world of waking and above the world of dream, above the world of life and above the world of death, is of such lasting power and might that we cannot call it unreal, or class it together with the lower unreal and usurping selves of appetite and desire. Yet, we are told, it falls one degree short of the perfect reality of the Eternal; the consciousness of its perfect oneness with the Eternal, of its perfect oneness with all other selves through the Eternal, is veiled from it by the thin web of ineffable illusion and error, the sense of separation that made the first possibility of individual life with all its train of individual sorrow, of isolation and enmity. The cause of this ineffable error it is useless to seek; it is enough for us that it exists, and that we daily and hourly pay the penalty for its existence. Its final removal will mark the hour of our perfect liberation, of the plenary possession, by each individual self, of the whole infinite and eternal might of the supreme Self, with all its lasting joy.
This causal Self, so lasting and mighty that it is meaningless for us to call it unreal, we gradually learn to recognize as the ruler and guide ands motive power in all the long tragedy of life that led us through the weariness of ages to the beginning of the way. To the direct design and interposition of this causal Self we shall ascribe that sad, wise law of mutability that made it for ever impossible for us to find rest and satisfaction in outward things, driving us perpetually inward and homeward, and using all these grinding and tearing contacts with outward things to kindle us to a vivid consciousness that is to be one of
the treasures of the Eternal.
To this wise ruler and guide, whose wisdom and mind are drawn from its nearness to, and veiled, identity with the Eternal, we shall learn also to ascribe all those contacts of ours with other personalities, our other selves, whether in love, or hate, in craft or generosity, in bitterness or beneficence. Only by these attractions and repulsions, concussions and separations, can the thorough mutual, knowledge and understanding be reached that is one day to leads to perfect harmony, to the perfect union, far higher than passionate love, that is needed for dissipating the old illusion of separation, for re-establishing the perfect unity of the One.
There are therefore these three chief aids and means for progressing along the path of liberation: a perfect dissipation of sensuality, whereby the smirching tenacity and defilement of appetite shall give place to a clearness like the fresh brightness of a summer morning; the perfect conquest of all vanity and predilection for our personal selves with their wailing sentimentality, to be replaced by the strong, vigorous life of the free Self; and, last of all, the crown and end of all, the establishing of the finest harmony between the self of each and all other selves, without any exception or reservation at all, by which harmony we shall gradually prepare the way to perfect reunion in the One, where each shall be freed from every bond and limitation, by plenary possession of the All.
"By realness is to be gained that Self, by fervour, by knowledge of oneness, by service of the Eternal for ever.
"In the inner vesture is this shining being of light, whom the pure ser, whose stains are worn away.
"Realness verily conquers, not unrighteousness; the path of the gods stretches onward through realness.
"The path of the gods whereon the seers walk, who have gained their hearts desire, where is that supreme treasure-house of the real......
"Gone are all differences, the bright ones sink back in the bright powers behind them.
"All deeds and the perceiving self itself become one in the unchanging supreme.
"As rolling rivers in the ocean reach their setting laying name and form aside; so he who has reached illumination, rid of name ands form, enters the divine Spirit, more supreme than the supreme."
(To Be Continued.)
LIFE AFTER LIFE
or The Theory of Reincarnation
By Eustace Miles, M.A., Formerly Scholar of King's College, Cambridge
(Continued from Page 173)
QUESTIONS OFTEN ASKED ABOUT REINCARNATION
In this chapter I wish to touch briefly on many points of interest, of which the majority will be dealt with in detail in subsequent chapters. I will put the topics in the form of questions asked by readers who have begun to study the theory.
1. What proofs have you of Reincarnation?
It appears to be, as we shall see later on, in harmony with and supplementary to scientific laws: for instance, continuous and orderly Evolution; and to have analogies in daily life - in the life of plants, in sleep, and so forth.
It can explain a great deal that Science, Religion, and Philosophy have left unexplained - for example, the birth of a genius from commonplace parents, and the (otherwise undeserved) misery of so many human beings.
It is useful as a theory by which to decide one's choices. This utility is not a proof in the ordinary sense of the word "proof," but from the point of view of education, it is the best proof of all, in the same sense that the proof of the pudding
is in the eating - and in the results afterwards!
The occasional memories of incidents in plant lives, which are recorded in books about the East (see, for example, Fielding's The Soul of a People), will be reckoned by some as proofs.
2. If we have lived before, how is it that we do not remember our former lives
There are some, in India and elsewhere, who claim to remember parts of their former lives. But these are isolated cases. It might be a fair explanation to suggest that few people live the sort of life which would naturally encourage the revival of such a memory. Wrapped up in present circumstances, clogged with wrong food and drink, seldom giving up time to calm communion with the higher Self, no wonder that people do not remember.
From another point of view, it might be defended as "a merciful dispensation of Providence" that people do not remember. The memory would not help people much, as they now are, ands it might hinder them much.
Again, we forget the first year of our life, though we do not on that account deny that we lived it, and that it tended to mould us. We do not possess detailed recollections of that year; but we involve the results in our personality. Somewhat similarly, we do not necessarily remember all the names of all the books we have ever read - and all the contents, all the words of all these books, and all the letters, and all the conversations. Most of the externals we have discarded; it is the results that we have kept. Somewhat similarly, we do not remember all the foods we have ever eaten, still less do we retain all the materials; it is the nourishment and other elements that we have extracted.
So, instead of having the memories of past lives, it maybe said that we are the memories of past lives: we have not the myriads of circumstances and items - rather, we are ourselves the sum-total. As one who receives his pass book from a bank finds that he has a certain balance or a certain deficit, and begins with this taken for granted as his starting-point, so do we in each new life. Some day we may discover the key of the safe that holds our old pass-books.
The memories of details may be locked up within us, within our inner self, buried deep, latent till the exact conditions arise which will evolve and evoke these memories; as the wheat-seed lay hidden thousands of years in an Egyptian sarcophagus, and then came to life as wheat because at last it was planted in soil. The memories of details of our present life may be thus locked up within us, to be called forth by some such influence as calls them forth when a man is drowning: he may then see circumstances which he thought he had absolutely forgotten.
That the memories of details in our past lives are not as ready to hand as are the memories of much of our present life, need not surprise us. Science tells us that memories are registered on and in the grey matter of the brain, by the cells and fibres. Under the "brain" we must include also the spinal cord. I, for one, do not believe that this is the only register. But at least it is one register. After death and the dissolution of the body, this grey matter is broken up and distributed afresh. The ego, in its next incarnation, will have a different brain and spinal cord, and different grey matter. It will not have the old register.
3. What would be the use of knowing about our past lives?
The knowledge of our past lives might be to us no less useful than the knowledge of History. Thucydides claimed that an account of the past was valuable as a clue to the future, which would probably resemble the past. On this principle, if we studied our past lives, we could be forewarned and forearmed against our weaknesses.
Not only this - we could find out how we acquired skill in anything in which we now are "naturally" skillful, and so be able
to acquire skill, by a similar process, in other things.
We should, see the causes of what we otherwise would look upon as misfortunes or hardships: we should recognize, these as results of our past choices, and as training-grounds for better character.
There would come to us a greater sympathy with others, a greater desire to help, a greater power to help.
Then we should view qualities and aims in truer perspective. We should realize beyond doubt what are first things and what are second-rate things.
We should have many pleasant memories to recall; though the unpleasant ones - since forgetfulness is often much harder than recollection - would be within us as well.
4. How does the theory help? Cui bono?
To this question a partial answer has already been given in Chapter II. He who believes in Reincarnation believes in a just Power - he believes that his circumstances are those that he has earned; in a kind Power - he believes that, his circumstances are most helpful for him and for everyone else; in a wise Power - he believes that the world is managed in an economical and scientific and foresighted fashion.
5. Would not the theory apply, then, to animals and plants, and even minerals?
Yes, It applies equally to them, suggesting for the mind an evolution like that which Wallace and Darwin suggested for the body.
6. Where does free choice begin? How can minerals, or plants, or certain animals, be responsible?
We cannot say where choice begins. It seems as if minerals were the absolute slaves of certain attractions and repulsions which they could not resist; and plants also. But we can hardly study dogs without thinking that they have consciences that they know when they have done wrong - that they have some power of choice.
7. Will any of us become animals again?
This is a question which the theory does not answer. Although some authorities on the subject say that when once the ego has been incarnated in a human being, it cannot ever again be incarnated in an animal, we feel that some animals are on a plane above some human beings. Without dogmatizing, we simply note the possibility that when an ego needed certain physical or mental qualities - say litheness and quickness, or the sense of smell, or patience - that ego might be reincarnated as an animal, if that were the quickest and best way of getting these qualities.
Again, the particles of the body, after dissolution, may come to be particles of animals: naturally, like would be attracted to like. This is one of the meanings of the theory that we - namely, our bodies - may become reincarnated in animals.
8. Do friends meet again? Is it not terrible that we should not recognize our dearest ones?
It is agreed by all who believe in Reincarnation that friends do meet again - and enemies too. It is agreed that the ego meets other egos. But the names, appearances, places, social positions, and so on, may be changed. It is rather the characters that meet.
This may sound cold and comfortless. But we must never forget that on the other hand, in proportion as it would be unpleasant to go on living with our enemies - especially with those whom we have injured. The clinging to old clothes and other familiar things is very human; but there are arguments against old clothes as well as for them!
Though our eyes may not recognize our dearest ones, our hearts do. And the new intercourse, perhaps in a different and much-needed relationship, may eventually help both parties more than a continuance of the old one.
So long as we regard the body as being the whole self and ego, we cannot grasp the theory. Once let us regard the body as to some extent a clothing and a set of instruments, and -suppose we had a
friend who was a carpenter - we shall compare his reincarnation in a different body with his visit to us in a different suit of clothes or with a different set of tools.
9. How do you account for hereditary traits and tendencies?
The theory most commonly held by believers in Reincarnation is that the ego, when it is to be born again, to be reincarnated, is attracted to the most appropriate infant-body, while that body is still unborn.
But anyhow the outward form of the body will depend chiefly upon the physical parents. The theory of Reincarnation supposes this.
And we should expect that, for example, the ego that had been a dipsomaniac would be attracted to the infant-body whose parents - or one of whose parents - had a tendency in that direction. So of the money-grubbing, the sensual, the inventive, the athletic, etc.
The theory of Reincarnation supposes the ego ready to live again in this world, and needing a certain probation in view of its past choices, and a certain character training in view of its future excellence. The theory supposes an infant-body not yet possessed by any ego, but having certain traits and tendencies belonging to the parents. The ego is given this body as its house, its clothes, its instruments. The ego's duty is to make the best of them.
10. Why is a person reincarnated into a certain body? Is there any principle to decide?
The answer to Question 9 will be to some extent the answer to Question 10 also.
Naturally, the ego will be attracted into the most appropriate - or least inappropriate - infant-body, all conditions (physical and hygienic and aesthetic, intellectual, economical, moral, and social) being taken into account. The ego will be attracted to the body which is nearest to the one earned by previous lives; and required by present and future needs of character, etc. One influence will be strict justice, another the strongest desires of the ego.
We should expect, then, that often an ego would be reincarnated in an environment to which past friends and enemies belonged. The ego would be attracted to those whom he had injured or by whom he had been injured, so that justice might be done. The ego would be attracted to those whom he had loved or by whom he had been loved, through desire. The ego would be attracted also by the power of the environment, to develop his character and physique, etc., in view of real progress.
For real progress is the aim of Reincarnation, not the petty spite or vengeance of an unforgiving pagan deity.
The Power forgives us our sins not merely by blotting them out, but by giving us the opportunities of blotting them out for ourselves by "doing better next time."
11. What are the intervals between death and re-birth?
The theory does not say. The intervals are likely to vary enormously.
The Hindus have legends of immediate re-births - a father, for example, being incarnated in the newly born babe the moment after the father's death on the scaffold.
Possibly the intervals may become shorter as time goes on. Thus, suppose that Charlemagne was reincarnated as Napoleon, the interval was a long one. Suppose Benjamin Franklin was reincarnated as Cobbett, the interval was a short one. When an infant dies, it is likely that the interval is shorter still.
12. Is the same ego reincarnated sometimes as a male, sometimes as a female?
We look upon the typical man as forming his opinions by logic rather than by intuition, and the typical woman as forming her opinions by intuition rather than by logic. A man and a woman discuss a course of action: the man observes, remembers, and reasons from evidence; the woman decides - she cannot tell how or why - she simply "feels or sees". To this there are many exceptions.
Those who hold that the ego is reincarnated, either as a male or as a female, but not as now one, now the other, might plead
that, in order to get the ideal nature, it is necessary for the reason of man to have so much practice that eventually it becomes intuition; somewhat as Epimetheus, studying the past, became able to predict the future as Prometheus could; that, conversely, it is necessary for the intuition of woman to have so much practice - so much testing of prophecies by facts, and corrections, accordingly - that eventually it is equivalent to and includes logic also; that the best way of arriving at the double faculty - reason and intuitions - is the development of each by specialization.
Those who hold that the ego is reincarnated now as a male, now as a female, point to the people with male bodies who have female minds, and vice versa.
We might apply the same principle to other general differences, between man and woman - for example, the masterful independence of man (largely due to artificial conditions of education) and the slave-like ministry of woman. Eventually man finds that his highest and most real mastery is to serve; woman finds that the best ministry makes her most masterful.
The theory of Reincarnation leaves the question unanswered. It seems as if many must need life in the opposite sex-form to make them well-balanced beings, even if they may have a series of successive lives in the same sex-form first.
13. Will Reincarnation be an unavoidable process for all forever?
In the human being and in the animals many tiny beings - not only bodies but also minds - are fused; as in a nation. It is quite possible, then, that there may be two evolutions.
First of all, one ego - already like a nation made up of groups of individual egos - may give rise to two or more egos, by a process analogous to fission of cells. We cannot help wishing now and then, as we watch some great man or woman, that he or she could be duplicated, and be here as well as there!
The very idea of this is repulsive to many. "I" want to be "I," and only "I" - that is their apparent desire. Yet what energetic person has not longed for two or three bodies with which to work? - there seems so much to be done in so short a time.
You write a letter with your right hand. It seems to demand your full attention. Soon, however, after practice, you can simultaneously write another letter with your left hand. You have two hemispheres to your brain. Is the development of one person into two so entirely absurd? If some day the two fused into one again, would not the experience that each had gained separately be more valuable than the two would have gained by being always yoked together?
Almost equally unpleasant - if not more unpleasant - to most people would be the idea of becoming one with some other ego.* Yet there are married people who are almost as truly one rather than two; as the man himself is when he is playing and when he is working.
A third possibility is that the ego may be annihilated, perhaps somewhat as a nation can when it is split up into widely separated groups. Where is the Assyrian nation now? Once it was a nation - an ego. A Hindu philosopher has tried to prove that the individual is not a separate entity, apart from the lives of which he is composed, but merely the sum-total of those lives, so that when you take away these lives - as if you took away 1, 3, 4, 7, and 9 - you took away the total, 24, also.
A fourth possibility is the exact reverse - namely, a prolonged life without a break. At present we die. But we make a thousand mistakes daily - in our food and drink and ways of eating and drinking, in our air and breathing, in our positions and movements or sedentariness, in our ways of thinking, and so on. Remedy these mistakes, assert and imagine increasing health, let more vigorous new cells take the place of less vigorous old cells continually, and why not live for centuries? Why not rebuild the body?
A fifth possibility is that of living with-
* The grafting-process suggests a possibility.
out the heavy physical body.
So Reincarnation is not a law for all for ever without exception.
14. Why did not Jesus Christ believe in it?
We do not find the immortality of the soul set forth as an essential doctrine of Jesus Christ. We do not find the physical evolution - which Spencer, Wallace, and Darwin have gone so far towards proving - thus set forth. We do not find even the most obvious rules of physical health insisted on. Silence or a passing mention is no proof that Jesus Christ disbelieved in this or that view.
When he* was asked whether a certain man or his parents had sinned that he should be born blind, he said that in this case neither cause was the true one. He did not deny heredity, nor did he deny Reincarnation (a man could not have sinned before being born, unless he had sinned in a previous life). Indeed, he said of John the Baptist, "If you will receive it, this is Elias that was to come," and again, when they asked him how it was that the Scribes said Elias must first come (before the Messiah came), he answered, "Elias has come, and they have done to him what they pleased." clearly alluding to the murder of John the Baptist.
We might say that the idea of Reincarnation underlies many of the teachings of the New Testament, as we shall see in the chapter called "New Light on Old Texts." How, for instance, can one accept the idea of original sin by a man who has never had conscious choice before? The idea of sin without choice is, to me at least, inconceivable.
And is not Reincarnation one - not the only - explanation of that phrase, "Ye must be born again"?
* To illustrate how little we observe, it will astonish most readers to be told that in the New Testament, "he," alluding to Jesus, is spelt with a small h, not a capital H.
15. Why does not the orthodox Church of England believe in it?
It might be answered that there are many truths not incorporated in the Thirty-nine Articles.
It is very hard to say why the orthodox Church of England does not believe - or does not express its belief - in this or that idea. There are not wanting great men, like Canon Wilberforce, who believe in the theory. But the whole church may be said to believe in Reincarnation as much or as little as it believes in such an unmistakable doctrine of Jesus Christ as that a test of Christianity (or discipleship) was the power to heal the physically as well as the mentally ill.
16. Why do not scientists believe in it?
We have seen above that "Science" demands material proofs, especially of sight and touch. It is not by such proofs that a theory like Reincarnation can be tested.
At the same time many individual scientists have believed in it, as the list in the following chapter will prove. We need only mention Sir Humphry Davy, and such scientists in mental affairs as Schopenhauer, Fichte, Hegel, and Hume.
As to the rest, few of them have studied the theory and weighed the evidences. One might almost as well ask why so many learned Japanese express no approval of the binomial theorem.
(To Be Continued.)
In human nature, evil denotes only the polarity of matter and Spirit, a "struggle for life" between the two manifested Principles in Space and Time, which Principles are one per se, inasmuch they are rooted in the Absolute. In Kosmos, the equilibrium must be preserved. The operations of the two contraries produce harmony, like the centripetal and centrifugal forces, which are necessary to each other - mutually inter-dependent - "in order that both should live." If one is arrested, the action of the other will become immediately self-destructive. - The Secret Doctrine, I., 410.
AS IN A LOOKING GLASS.
By Mrs. Walter Tibbits
(Continued from Page 175)
But there was one cloud in this brilliant career. His wife became a melancholiac after the birth of twins. This cloud, was to overshadow my destiny and to cause the working out of my karma.
My grandfather's father had been a dissenting minister so that dissent and religious extremes appeared in all his children. They all built their own mission halls "to get the truth". The youngest married that beau sabreur, Colonel Robertson of Callander, who published Adventures of an Old Officer at the age of 84. He died in 1916 at 95. The Free Church minister preached on this "extraordinary link with the past." His uncle, also a minister in Callander, was born in 1739, six years before Culloden, and 177 years before Uncle Jim's death. He was a Mutiny and Crimean veteran. Queen Victoria personally pinned on his C.B. The Colonel of the 31st, (now East Surrey Regiment), said recently that he was one of their most distinguished men.
On return from the Mutiny he married my aunt, a girl of 18. "The first natural girl he had ever seen". Also in the 31st Regiment was an officer, a Captain Pepper of Lisaniskea. Ours is the younger branch of the Peppers of Ballygarth Castle whose legend has been immortalized by the Irish national poet, Thomas Moore, in "The White Horse of the Peppers." This drama was an early Victorian success which played all over all our islands and was witnessed by Queen Victoria herself.
My father had been given a commission in the 31st because of his father's valour in the Peninsular War under the Iron Duke. He had captured a Spanish eagle. A cousin still living as High Sheriff of Tipperary, heard him speak of Torres Vedras, another long link with the past.
Gordon of Khartoum used to mess with the 31st in the Crimea whither Papa proceeded as a young officer on joining. He had been converted by a Bible sent out by his mother, Margaret Willington of Castle Willington, on the eve of Sevastopol. Next day he was wounded by a shell at the battle. The Bible and the wound made him a religious fanatic also.
My mother had been "converted" as a child. So when she went to visit her sister, the bride, at Aldershot, the Robertsons introduced the two "earliest Chris-
Photo here captioned: Mrs. Walter Tibbetts - Whose books, "The Voice of the Orient", " Cities Seen", "Pages from the Life of a Pagan", and "Veiled Mysteries of India" give such graphic pictures of Aryavarta, its scenery, its religion, its mysticism and occultism.
tians" to each other. Result, they married) and I, as their first born, got the concentrated, essence of "conversion".
At first, however, all was silver spoon. The regiment still being at Aldershot in huts, mother left me in charge of those at Pembridge Square. My earliest recollections are of being carried downstairs by the butler. This squirming at heights and flights has never left me. A friendly stranger once prevented me from tumbling
down interminable stairs into Niagara.
I have memories of memories antedating this. Of soft, dark bosoms, of strange shibboleths, of noiseless forms passing, draped in saris. How my heart leapt later for joy at Mr. Liberty's art colours and stayless forms! But then my frocks were magenta and Reckitt's blue, the furniture crude and comfortable. Landeer prevailed in painting, to be superseded by Leighton; Mendelssohn in music. Literature was nil, because all novels were anathema. A secret purchase, later, of Scott brought severe punishment. "The Messiah" was barred because the singers were "worldlings". A tiny tot, daily I lived in terror that the Pope would come over and burn us all. In nightly horror of the last trump, the heavens like a scroll, the moon of blood. The Rev. Hay Aitken was a heretic because he doubted eternal fires. Professor Drummond the same for denying the bloody atonement. They were the days of Bishop Hannington, killed in Africa, Lord Mount Temple's gorgeous evangelicals at Broadlands. Of butlers and bible readings, of a cross, gouty old autocrat who turned all out of the house who did not implicitly obey him. For my grandfather had the defect of his qualities and these reacted on his children and on my Karma. They were the days of carriages and pairs, of driving round to palatial establishments to be asked on arrival in sepulchral tones, "are you a converted little girl?" Of being sent out to distribute tracts on Sunday indiscriminately to the passers-by; we were told that Prince Leopold was also a tract distributor
I may here remark that the firm of Churchill is still going strong in the third generation. Its head still lives in his Wimbledon mansion as a Plymouth Brother! They still believe in hell fire, the bloody sacrifice, and the harpist's heaven. But it was also a family of strict rectitude, of fear of God, and of amazing generosity to its own flesh and blood. Ca va sans dire they, all had large families.
Contraceptives and the Bishop's Conference were alike unknown to them. With it all, my one regret is that I was not more dutiful. These "earliest Christians" loved me as one of their own flesh and blood. If one is born in any set one should I think stay there. Eventually I kicked down the barriers into "worldly' society but, though Queens and Royal Princesses were pleased to know me, it was always quid pro quo and cutlet for cutlet.
But the dies irae did not dawn until I was nine when my father retired from the army and settled at Salisbury. This was due to the influence of that firebrand of the evangelicals, the Rev. Edgar Thwaites, who induced them to go there as his aide-de-camps. They instantly paid off the debt on his mission hall of John Maundrell, martyr of Salisbury. His triumph was, however, short lived. Another fire eater arrived, in the person of Mrs.. Catherine Booth who came to visit the then Christian Mission, lately established in Salisbury. My mother was asked to take her in. This fiery soul applied the electric spark to the nervous taint of my mother. She joined the Salvation Army. This has been a life giving movement to the world. It was the destroying angel in our lovely home between the spire and the Wiltshire dawns, for one year my parents attended separate places of worship. Then the vis a tergo became too strong for my father and he too joined the ranks. Then it became hell for me. All the blood of the Peppers of Ballygarth boiled in me at this domination of a pawnbroker's assistant.
The Road to the Front says: - The street marching in Salisbury soon became difficult, for physical reasons as well as sentimental ones. The mob was frequently very rough in its behaviour - and, indeed, there was no small danger at times to limb, if not life, in going down dark streets, where savage blows and kicks were added to the showers of filth of all kinds that were bestowed as liberally on women as on men.
The ruffianism at last reached such a
pitch, that several friends in the city felt that they must take up the cudgels for us, and seeing that the Lord Chief Justice had in the Court of Queen's Bench, affirmed the Army's legal right to march the streets, and that the Home Secretary had warned the Mayor that, if he could not keep order in the city a company of the military would be sent to do it, these gentlemen went to the Mayor. As he put difficulties in the way of receiving them, a public meeting was convened in the Council Chamber, the result of which was that about seventy special constables were enrolled. A few evenings later, by arrangement, the Salvationists processioned the city, when thousands of persons, friends and foes, accompanied them. "We had the whole police force and the special constables on all sides of us; still, with all this, one man made a desperate attack on Colonel Pepper, which was of course foiled by the police. My father had to be taken to Salisbury Infirmary with mud filled eyes. My mother was pelted with rotten eggs. She only remarked, "That will only give me a better place in heaven." This formed the climax of a period of riots and rough treatment, extending over four years, but which now happily subsided.
"For a long time we were nightly guarded to our residence outside the city by a bodyguard of gentlemen, who formed themselves into a Vigilance Committee. It may not be out of place here to observe, that during this period heavy judgments felt upon several well-known men, who took a leading part secretly, or openly, in the persecution of this time, resulting in their premature death."
Mrs.. Booth openly avowed she would "rather see her children dead than not believers in God as God existed in her own mind." She said to me, "If you are going to obstruct the army in your family, I shall pray to God to save your poor soul and then kill you." She sent a Salvationist governess to our house. At the age of 21 I was stripped nude and brutally flogged by this fiend while the Salvationist housemaid held me down. My mother was praying at her Holiness Meeting, having left me to their mercies. Eventually I was turned out of the house.
This is a side of life in the Salvation Army which has never yet been touched on. The havoc in the home in the early days of the movement. Like Mahommedanism, it was for the lower orders and I believe General William Booth, with his beak nose, to be Mahommed come back. Filled with fanatical zeal people used to stand on their heads. When the S.A. got into a home it was an admitted thing that converts or others had to turn out.
(To Be Continued.)
The wet west wind blows over
The woods and the uplands, bare,
Sheep and the fields of clover,
The plougher and his share,
And the straining, patient horses
Breasting the rolling ridges
In straight and ordered courses t
Far to the dark woods edges.
And the ploughman's share turns under
Thistle and dock and the grasses;
Dividing the roots asunder
Relentlessly as it passes;
As Destiny sundereth lovers
Lovers and children and friends,
Covers and again uncovers,
Working His ultimate ends.
- G. P. Williamson.
London, Ont., Oct., 1932.
The annual meeting of The Toronto Theosophical Society, which would ordinarily be held on the third Wednesday of next February, but which has been altered to the third Wednesday in September, will be held on the 20th inst., at eight o'clock at 52 Isabella Street. The election of the president and other officers and the adoption of new bylaws should attract a large attendance.
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.
One of our Hollywood, subscribers writes: "I wish to take this opportunity of expressing my appreciation of your magazine, which is excellent from every point of view, and which should be read by every Theosophist, no matter to what organization be belongs."
Title page and Index to Volume xiii of The Canadian Theosophist may now be had by those who wish to bind their copies, by enclosing a stamp. Bound volumes may be had for Two Dollars each. A few sets of the Thirteen volumes may be had and separate volumes of the later issues at the same rate.
We are advised under date May 15 that a copy of "Shanti" has been sent us from 3 bis, Rue Jean-Sicard, Paris xv, France, and the price is said to be 5 francs, but as the publication has not reached us and we have had no information as to its contents, this is all we can say about it.
We have been advised that Esther de Mezerville has been officially installed as General Secretary of the T. S. in Costa Rica. She is delighted to have the opportunity to work for the ideals and aims of the Society and will do so with enthusiasm as the necessities of this actual epoch require. We reciprocate her fraternal expressions of sympathy and wish her the greatest success in her great work.
During the month of July, says Mr. Jinarajadasa in "On the Watchtower" in The Theosophist for August, "Dr. Besant's strength has considerably diminished, though matters have not come to a state to be called a 'crisis.' Her heart functions well, and the amount of strength in her - seeing that for four weeks she has lived only on milk - is remarkable. There is little doubt that she would long ere this have discarded a worn-out body which serves her so little, had only the problem of India not been so long delayed in its solution."
"The Aryan Path" for August, volume iv. No. 8 may be classed with the Theosophical Quarterly as in the forefront of the intellectual exponents of Theosophy. There is a wider range in The Path than in the Quarterly and less prejudice. It has always been the desire of leaders of the Movement to reach the intellectuals, but they are shy of any blandishments which involve a recognition of Theosophy. Intellectuality, after all, is a form of psychism, the Lower Manas, and there will always be the difficulty of transmitting the Heart Doctrine through the Channels of the Eye. The first half of an article by Edmond Holmes, the English mystic, on "The Limitations of Speculative Thought" indicates this weakness of intellectualism in dealing with the intuitive.
At a special meeting of the Toronto T.S. held to give notice of motion of a new set of bylaws for the Lodge, it was sug-
gested in a discussion regarding the payment of dues when a proposal to allow six months to elapse for payment was made, implying that the National Society could exist for six months on air, that the custom of the Montreal Lodge be adopted, and the Lodge dues be held to be due on January 1st, thus giving the Lodge six months to collect the dues for July 1st. The Toronto Lodge will meet on September 20th to adopt the new bylaws, and receive the annual reports, the annual meeting having been transferred from the third Wednesday in February to the third Wednesday in September. This will therefore be the 43rd annual meeting of the Society.
The Theosophist for August continues the publication of the original draft Manuscript of 1885 of The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky. The present five pages indicate as before that the study of Comparative Religion was the main theme of her work at that time. The suggestions, however, in the comments she adds regarding occult knowledge will as ever prove invaluable to students. The present instalment shows how the Church under St. Thomas, the "angelic doctor," got rid of the idea that the sun and planet and other luminaries were living beings, "declaring the absence of any sidereal souls" among them. Mary N. Heff's third article on "The Childhood of Helena Petrovna von Hahn (Blavatsky)" concludes an interesting account which in this issue fills ten pages with an illustration added. Two more pages by Anna Kamensky deal with H.P.B. as a journalist.
We have been favoured with a copy of the remarkable book "Anthropos: a Mystery Play," by H. Y. Romayne, and hope to be able to review it in the next month's magazine. It is beautifully printed in a limited edition and may be had from the Librarian, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, or in the United States from the J.F. Rowny Press, Santa Barbara, California. It does not profess to be an acting play but is for students, but it is only when the players are equal to their parts that the greatest plays are for the stage. This book is a dramatic version or presentation of The Secret Doctrine, and many who may not be able to grasp the occult teachings in any other form may be able to assimilate them in this, the oldest form of teaching that humanity has had. Students may be assured that they are receiving a correct version of the Mysteries.
The Executive Committee have appointed Mr. A.J. Hamerster, as Treasurer of the T. S. in place of Mr. Albert Schwarz, deceased. Mr. Hamerster has been Acting Treasurer since Mr. Schwarz's resignation. Mr. Jinarajadasa writes regarding Mr. Schwarz that "to us all (at Adyar) he was very dear, as he was in touch with each of us as Treasurer. He collected all our rents and was the paymaster each month of all the employees. He has given a system of administration for the Treasurer's office which makes possible the instant finding of any record in his department, and in many ways was the historian of the Society during all the years he lived here. In the Golden Book, the Diary of the T.S. was his compilation, by carefully reading the Diaries of Col. Olcott. He was manager of a big firm when he retired to come to us, and was an expert accountant. His gifts to the Society and Theosophical Schools amounted to nearly 200,000 rupees." His 25 years' record was indeed a splendid one.
We have examined the monthly programmes of the Blavatsky Lodge of the T.S., holding their meetings at the Hollywood Hotel, corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. Though suspended for the summer, the months of April, May and June indicate what a treat for their audiences may be expected in the returning season. Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Orme and Mrs. E. M. Geiger were the principal speakers. We quote the titles of the subjects, as they may be suggestive for other Lodges. G. B. Shaw and the Gods of the
Bible, based on The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God; The Mystery of the Holy Grail; The Origin of the Easter Festival; Simon the Magician; Cyclic Law and the Destiny of Nations; The Great Message of H.P. Blavatsky; The Recovered Memories of an Illuminated Seeress; The Wandering Jew; Mysterious Stonehenge; Dreams and Divination; Reincarnation and the Recovery of Latent Memories as Demonstrated by Sir Edwin Arnold; The Sage of Crotona; Conquest and Dominion: A Study of Daniel's Prophecy.
AMONG THE LODGES
Notes of an Orpheus Lodge meeting on The Basis of Ethics: - The Ethics of the past were based upon theological assumptions. When these assumptions became discredited in the light of modern scientific knowledge the sanctions for our ethical system disappeared. Nothing could show more clearly than this the folly of basing an ethical system upon things which time may change. We should not be contented with any basis which is not as unchangeable and universal as Nature's laws.
Rhythm was suggested as such a basis for Ethics. We have seen in previous discussions how Rhythm, Periodicity, Harmony, involving continual adjustment, is the essential law of Nature - Karma. Let us examine some of the rhythms, the balance and proportion, and the lack of these to be found in ourselves. Everybody knows the penalty for excessive high spirits. The periodical swing from exaltation to depression is most marked in the fiery, intense, artistic type, but it can be observed in everyone. Apply this to other less obvious and spectacular states. For example, take any quality however good, and too much of it becomes a bad thing. "You can have too much of a good thing", as the saying is. Patience, courage, truthfulness, etc., can all lead to folly if uncontrolled by discrimination. What is it which blinds us to the perception of the harmonious in human behaviour? It is lack of balance. Take the not uncommon type of individual whose attitude is: - "I don't matter; anything is good enough for me". His attitude is out of balance. There is a place for everyone; the thing is to know it, and to live in it. To make oneself a doormat for people is not good for them or for oneself. This is a form of inverted Egoism. It is Egoism, obsession with oneself, which in the last analysis is the root cause of all unbalance, lack of rhythm, proportion, and inharmonious living. So, we say - disinterestedly, dispassionately, selflessly, all meaning the same thing, the ability to see things unclouded by the hypnosis of self; here is the greatest point of clear vision. A man who has given way to resentment toward another, can hardly avoid blackening that other's motives in his own mind and whitening his own. The unbalanced resentment clouds and distorts his vision. The pairs of opposites, hope and fear, love and hate, etc., are the raw material of our conscious states, and whenever one pole of these dual forces dominates the consciousness Rhythm is lost. Balance, proportion, rhythmical living is, only possible when the discriminating intelligence exercises control over these forces. Excessive amiability equally with resentment clouds the vision, uncontrolled altruism equally with egoism, - detachment alone can give rise to harmonious living. If the energies we project are harmonious they are caught up and reinforced in the greater rhythms of the Universe; if discordant, they are shattered by these same rhythms, with consequent suffering at the centre from which they came.
It is not generally known that Canadian students of Theosophy can borrow books on the subject from the Toronto Theosophical Library, free, except for the payment of postage on the volumes. Information may be had from The Librarian, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto. Books have been lent to readers in all the Provinces, and those who cannot easily obtain books should try this plan.
S. O. S. CALL
By M. M. Salanave
One of the many sorry sights seen in India that so sadden the heart is the women ands girls, even the tiny ones, unendingly patting out cow-dung cakes: You have no doubt heard of it. They first pick up a handful of fresh dung, throw it down again in the deep dust, pick it up and work in the dust, throw it down again and so on until the thick sticky mass is stiff enough to mould into round flat cakes. These are then plastered all aver the mud houses. When thoroughly dried by sun and air they are used as fuel cakes to cook the frugal meals of rice and pulse.
Thus do millions of India's daughters, old and young, spend their days. Of course the little girls sometimes play childish games, some of them may even have dolls of a sort to play with, but generally they are either tending babies only a little younger perhaps than themselves or else patting out the cow-dung cakes just as their mothers also do when other duties are finished. Not pleasant reading is it? But alas! too true.
It really is deplorable that almost no attention is given to these little Hindu girls. Especially when one stops to think that so early in life they will become the mothers of the next generation. And it is the mothers - the Queens of India - who really hold the reins over their lordly males, from highest to lowest castes - whatever is said to the contrary. A son imbibes his mother's ideas along with her milk whiles he is yet a babe.
The thought of these neglected little daughters of India pulls at my heartstrings just as I am sure it pulls at yours. And because I do feel so deeply for them I am soon returning to India to do my small bit among them. Already some of the Hindu women await my arrival. You see I love India quite dearly just as you yourselves do. Poor feeble, poverty-stricken old Mother India, home of the Lord Buddha, home of the Masters, and beloved of H.P.B.
In "The Light on the Path" you recall it says "Kill out desire of comfort," one of the most difficult of all desires to kill especially in the West, interwoven as it is into our very being. In India in the face of such misery ands poverty everywhere, desire of personal comforts seems horribly selfish; one feels intense scorn of one's self to even think of comforts with longings.
It will be no novelty and much less of a hardship, when I get back there once again to sleep on stone floors strewn with a bit of straw for softness (?), or to sleep on benches about three times too narrow for my ample proportions. It may shock same of the fastidious but I confess to having gone (of necessity) for eight days at a stretch without undressing while the daily bath consisted of a few splashes of water dashed over my hands and face but I was lucky at that - the water was fresh! Also I learned to eat whatever was put before me on a plantain leaf, often closing my eyes as I did so for it is not true in all cases that "looking makes longing". But when one is very, very hungry one forgets to be choosy. Please do not think that I relate these details to gain either sympathy or admiration(?), or because I feel sorry for myself and my prospects. Not in the least. The truth is I count the days until I can get away. I consider myself indeed fortunate to have learned the priceless lesson that knives and forks, flivvers, radios and a thousand other things that seem so essential to our "high standard of living" in the West are entirely nonessential, and have nothing whatsoever to do with the highest standard of life.
The first thing an my tentative programme after getting settled is to establish a tiny free infirmary where first aid can be given women and girls: males are not included in my plans as they always manage somehow - this is first, last and all time to be "for women only." Then I hope to start a little school for girls where they
can learn how to make the most out of what little they have, where they can learn the importance of cleanliness and sanitation to ward off diseases and pestilences. This is only a part of my plans of course. A big undertaking? How well I know it, and single-handed, for so far as Western friend or companion is concerned, I shall be quite alone. But I intend to do my best and, the results can take care of themselves.
As has already flashed into your mind, it will require a good many pennies to carry out even in part a few of my plans. (In order to save every cent possible, because it is cheaper, I shall travel on a freight steamer to India. It will be two months en route stopping as it does at many tropical ports alive with pestiferous insects and quivering with heat!)
Knowing how all of you love India and that you too feel deeply touched over the condition of these neglected little girls and women I am inviting you to help a mite believing that you will rejoice at the opportunity. Western hearts are always big and generous even though we grow a bit self-centred sometimes and thoughtless of suffering especially when the suffering ones are so far away and out of sight.
On behalf then of India's little daughters would you like to give as you can? Just whatever your hearts prompt you to give will be gratefully received. And should you care to hear how my work progresses later, it will be a real pleasure to keep you informed. As I hope to get away not later than six weeks hence, may I suggest that you do not delay your good intentions but "DO IT NOW." And, not to add to the already over-burdened editor you probably better send your - shall I say tithes? direct to my address. On behalf then of India's little neglected daughters let me thank you from the bottom of my heart in anticipation of your generosity: M. M. Salanave, 2004 - 46th Ave., Oakland, California.
"No man does right who gives up the unmistakable duties of life."
At the edges
Of the, world,
Clutch at ledges
Ere being hurled
Into darkness, into night -
Samson blind and shorn of might.
From their bases
Plinth and column,
Till, like boulders
Falls the solemn
Temple of the Philistinian Night,
Crushing sable worshippers in flight.
- G. P. Williamson.
THE JUDGE DIARY LEAVES
The following letter appears in The Theosophical Quarterly over the signature of Mr. Ernest Temple Hargrove. It is the final word in the long series of revelations that we have had during the last few years, and should end all further controversies. The facts appear to be as stated and are confirmed by the corroborative evidence of Mr. Fussell and Mr. Hargrove, and the later admissions of Mr. Neresheimer. We can now all agree to leave the judgment of all concerned to The Great Law. Those who are out of incarnation cannot be affected now. Those who come into the Society have all the facts available now before them, and those who unwittingly have been misled or have unwittingly misled others need have no fear of the consequences of innocent and unknowing action. They walked according to their light. Greater light shall dawn on their devotion.
To the Editors of the Theosophical Quarterly: - May I be permitted, through your columns, to reply to letters in which I am requested to say what I know about
various papers referring to Mrs. Tingley, marked Private, issued after Judge's death?
The request in itself is strange. Papers marked Private, sent out and received on the clearest understanding that their contents would be preserved with inviolable secrecy, are what I am urged to discuss. If others choose to do such a thing, on their heads be it. I will not. There are those who excuse themselves for such conduct on the ground that they believed certain things at the time these papers were issued, which they do not believe today. On that basis anyone would be free to release himself from any sort of promise whenever he felt like doing so. Such persons are outside the pale of human intercourse.
This much, however, I can say:
(1) The papers in question gave exactly what they purported to give, namely, extracts from Judge's diaries and occult records referring to Mrs. Tingley, in his handwriting, accurately copied, nothing being omitted which would have discredited or nullified the passages quoted. The originals were seen at the time by several persons who certified they had seen them.
(2) Mrs. Tingley was Judge's successor so far as his non-public position was concerned. She was intended to serve as a stop-gap.
(3) Mrs. Tingley failed, and then intrenched herself in her failure. Her new position had fostered her ambition and other very serious weaknesses. Consequently she was deposed, by the order of those whom, from the beginning, Judge recognized as his Superiors and as the true Founders of the Theosophical Society.
(4) As Mrs. Tingley refused to accept her deposition and was able to persuade many that it was invalid - not even the formation by her at Chicago of the so-called Universal Brotherhood with herself as Official Leader with autocratic powers, serving to open their eyes - the task of carrying on the Work of Judge and of H.P.B. and their Masters, fell to those who have been identified with The Theosophical Society and with the: THEOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY from that time to this.
(5) The Point Loma Society represents those who followed Mrs. Tingley out of the Movement, in spite of her obvious failure and her open violation of Theosophical principles.
(6) The United Lodge represents those who, like Robert Crosbie, followed Mrs. Tingley to Point Loma out of the Movement, and who, when they did finally wake up to the fact of her failure, lacked the moral courage to seek re-admission to the real Society, preferring instead to claim they had been deceived, and that Mrs. Tingley never had been Judge's occult legatee.
(7) The Adyar Society represents those who attacked, slandered, and did their utmost to destroy Judge as part of the Brahmin campaign to destroy the reputation of H.P.B.
Allow me to add that those who have questioned me on this subject (none of them members of The Theosophical Society) are of two kinds: those who are looking for controversy, and those who are looking for light. As to the first group, they can be of interest only to themselves. As to the second, they are looking for light as it never can be found; they are attempting, by analogy, to determine whether John the Divine was "genuine" by an analysis and comparison of texts, authorities and other material details which are not only unilluminating and lifeless, but childish and deadening; they are trying to decide, again by analogy, whether H.P.B. was really a Lodge Messenger, by counting the number of misquotations in Isis Unveiled. If they would know Judge, they must seek him in what he wrote, in what he did; in the pages of the old Path, in Letters that Have Helped Me, in The Ocean of Theosophy, in his letters now appearing in the QUARTERLY; they must seek his spirit and purpose in all these things, and should then look for his "fruits" as in the thirty published volumes of this magazine. If they will do
this honestly, they will find him in all his simplicity, integrity, unswerving devotion, and great attainment; they may discover even why it was that H.P.B.'s Master called him friend; why Mrs. Besant betrayed him; why he died prematurely and was obliged to name Mrs. Tingley his "successor"; finally, why and how it was that Mrs. Tingley so lamentably turned her back on the Lodge to follow her own will and desires.
- E. T. Hargrove.
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
The first translation of this invaluable Scripture in modern times, following the Theosophical teachings of Madame Blavatsky, was by James Morgan Pryse in The Irish Theosophist forty-odd years ago; this was republished in Toronto, the first Theosophical publication in Canada. Now we have a version with commentary by that very excellent Theosophical scholar, Mr. Pekka Ervast of Finland, whose English with certain exceptions of the second personal singular in his verbs, in exceptional.
There was a time when the Christian mythos was shunned in the Theosophical Movement, but in late years it has run to the other extreme and plagiarized and burlesqued it in its sacerdotal elements, till decent Theosophists are almost ashamed to look a real Christian in the face. However one can take Mr. Ervast's book in hand with perfect confidence and commend it to all and sundry of the Christian Churches, real or imitation.
Mr. Ervast has gone into the Greek text and satisfied himself of the intention of the author, which is not difficult, considering that logic and consistency are usual guides where other interpretations are vague and untenable. There is not much that is new to those familiar with Pryse's translations, but these are a small minority compared with the scholars who ought to be reading the New Testament as it was written.
It is a useful book, however, to introduce to people unacquainted with early Christianity the teachings which are fundamental, in the proper sense to its understanding. "Had not the mediaeval clergy in their councils anathematized the doctrine of reincarnation, our Christians today would know that the spirit of man will be reborn upon earth; it returns to this vale of sorrow time after time, until man chooses the life of the kingdom of heaven or spirit, thus educating himself to become a spiritual being, who no longer will be the slave of mammon and death."
The kingdom of heaven, however, is not a state to be entered only after death, but one to be enjoyed here and now when men are prepared to enter it. "It is not to be wondered at that the Christians have confused the conception of the kingdom of heaven with the idea of the after-death life, and it behooves us to understand perfectly that the kingdom of the spirit is open to all 'living' men as well as to those among the deceased who have tasted it during their lifetime. On the other hand as all dead men lead a very happy life in their 'heavens' before rebirth, it was necessary to emphasize that the life of the kingdom of heaven or spirit did not only surpass the highest possible bliss from an earthly point of view, but also the highest 'heavenly' happiness that men after death were able to enjoy."
Mr. Ervast distinguishes here that "the Buddhist teaching of nirvana lays stress on the extinction of pain and suffering and is rather of a negative character, but Jesus, speaking distinctly of a blissful happiness, is forcefully positive in his teaching." He translates righteousness correctly as justice, and explains the "poor in spirit" as beggars for the spirit, yearning for what they cannot sufficiently attain.
He disclaims any artificial attempt at construing the text. "I do not put into the words anything that is not there already." Anyone can understand the teaching "who has not got a wrong conception of God, i.e., who does not worship
idols in his mind." and he adds, "I do not speak of people who don't believe they can 'stand the truth,' who prefer living in a 'fool's paradise' rather than look truth in the face. They get their reward. They are fascinated by falsehoods. But now we are speaking of reason."
Mr. Ervast classifies the injunctions of the Sermon on the Mount as Commandments and contrasts them with the Ten Commandments of Moses. He does not appear to have made an independent translation of the Second Commandment, which reveals in the original Hebrew text an interesting confirmation of the teaching of permutation. The book is scholarly and will interest any intuitive reader. He collates the translations in Finnish, Swedish, French, German, Spanish and Italian where they confirm or throw light on the renderings he gives of the Greek text. We are glad to see the Theosophical Publishing House turning to a more valuable class of literature than has been the rule far years past.
"THE DAYSPRING OF YOUTH"
Those who have read "The White Brother" by Michael Juste, and the edition of the "Comte de Gabalis" with a Commentary, published by The Brothers, with both a London and a New York imprint, will be glad to have another volume from the same authority. The present book is "The Dayspring, of Youth", Yoga practice adapted for Western bodies, and is said to be by M. We do not think this is intended to convey the impression that it was written by the Master M. Indeed the style ands other internal evidence indicates that it is of United States origin, though it is published in London by Putnam's, 24 Bedford Street, W.C. 2. It purports to be a record of instruction received during different states of Yoga practice; that sealed book opened by the aspiring student during his development into his own inner states of being. "We have been permitted to reveal this in order that others, by similar practice, may develop and unfold their inner powers; for the body is a storehouse of past, present and - strange though it seems - future records." The late W.Q. Judge, in one of his marvelously comprehensive essays, concluded one on Occult Powers with the sentence: "There are the powers of all Nature before you; take what you can." And H.P.B. herself, in her private instructions, stated that it is by "self-devised and self-directed" efforts that the student can alone progress. Such a book as this cannot but be helpful to those who embark on the mysterious and unguided quest of the Self. It is sufficiently fearsome to some. A careful student many years ago told the writer that when he got to a certain point he took the prudent course of making his will. He realized some at least of the dangers that beset the path of the western student. However, it is not by fearfulness or over-caution that progress is made. We cannot possibly go over these 357 pages in detail, but there is sufficient here to set any student on his way, and if he observes the precautions and advice tendered he cannot go far wrong. He must be utterly unselfish. He must devote himself to the interests of the race. He must have nothing personal in the back of his mind as he sets out, and his aim must be the knowledge that enables one to be helpful, not the power that gives authority to enslave. The secret of this form of Yoga, it is said, is the breathing in of atoms of a developed nature; for their higher rate of vibration develops our atomic structures. This is done by inhaling into the nasal passages, a certain type of atom called "Aspiring atoms." How wrong the removal of the tonsils must be will be apparent to those who study the breathing processes. "As we inhale, a door seems to slowly open within us, and we feel drawn into another sphere. In time this breathing will be controlled by the Innermost." The exchange of less desirable for more advanced types of atoms is not merely confined to the physical body but to all the inner vehicles. There is a
Master Atom who assembles the right kind around him, and there is the Secret Enemy, situated in the lower regions of the body, who does all he can to assemble the destructive and destroying atoms around him, and is ever on the alert to thwart the efforts of the Higher Self. "The Secret Enemy works in every way to deny us any intelligence that would illuminate our minds, and would seek to stamp man into a machine cursed with similarity and a mind lacking all creative power." We are sorry we cannot give more space to a review of this volume, but suffice it to say its philosophy is broad and makes no distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour. It can safely be left to students who are not after phenomena that token of puerility in occultism, and it is synthetic in its treatment of philosophy, science and religion. As readers become familiar with this volume it is certain to have a large sale, but we expect that the reputed Arhats of the west will be heard denouncing it as it takes away the humbug from most of the ideas that they have surrounded the occult tradition with. When these claimants for reverence and worship can be shown to be utterly false to all the realities of occult life the public will have more respect for those who live, the Masters themselves make no pretense and no profession of being better or greater than other people. It is the difference between being and pretending largely, and this volume is all on the side of reality.
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?
THEOSOPHY OF THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by Fred B. Housser
A GEOLOGICAL PROBLEM
At the International Geological Congress in Washington recently the noted Swiss geologist, Dr. Arnold Heim, described his theory of a cosmic force which periodically gave the earth a "push" to keep it spinning, and was the cause of earthquakes, mountain building and other phenomena. He believed also that it had resulted in the changing of the axis of the earth in the distant past, so that what had once been the south was now the north pole.
Science in modern times has perforce had to adopt what have been the traditions and doctrines of ancient times as one testimony after another of the ancient life of the earth itself in its rocks and fossils have come to light. There is ample testimony that tropical flora and fauna once had their habitat at the North Pole. We are not yet sufficiently acquainted with the continental mass at the South Pole to say much about it, but a direct assault is being made on the Antarctic Continent by modern science and no doubt evidence will be forthcoming to establish its ancient history.
All antiquity knew or had accounts of the reversal of the earth's poles, and as science in those ancient times was linked with religion or regarded as religious knowledge and kept sacred by the various priest hoods, it has thus been preserved. Herodotus describes how King Cambyses, son of Cyrus the Great, entered the Temple of the Kabirim and went into fits of inestinguishable laughter over the two figures in black and white stone which he saw there of the two Kabiri, symbolizing the opposite poles of the earth, but as he thought a man erect and a woman standing on the top of her head before him.
These figures were intended to represent the passing of the original North Pole
to the South Pole of the Heaven. In consequence of this inversion of the Poles there resulted the displacement of the oceans, the submersion of polar lands, and the consequent upheaval of new continents in the equatorial regions. So there is nothing really new in Dr. Heim's suggestion.
Indeed, nearly half a century ago, Dr. Henry Woodward, F.R.S., F.G.S., wrote in an article of "Evidences of the Age of Ice," "If it be necessary to call in extramundane causes to explain the great increase of ice at this glacial period; I would prefer the theory propounded by Dr. Robert Hooke in 1688; since, by Sir Richard Phillips and others; and, lastly by Mr. Thames Belt, C.E., F.G.S., namely, a slight increase in the present obliquity of the ecliptic, a proposal in perfect accord with other known astronomical facts, and the introduction of which is essential to our cosmical condition as a unit of the great polar system."
The Secret Doctrine
The Secret Doctrine of the East holds that there is a secular change in the inclination of the earth's axis, and this is governed by the Cyclic Law which follows the cosmic seasons, corresponding with the solar cycle of 25,868 years observed by the ancients.
Hesiod's Theogony speaks of three giants, called Briareus, Kottos and Gyges, living in a dark country where they were imprisoned by Kronos for their rebellion against him. These three giants were the symbols of three polar lands which have changed form several times, at each new cataclysm or disappearance of one continent to make room for another.
The whole globe has thus been convulsed four times, and four glacial periods have been marked by many geologists. The conformation of the Arctic and Antarctic poles has been but little altered. The polar lands unite and break off from each other into islands and peninsulas, but remain ever the same. Therefore northern Asia is called the "eternal or perpetual land," and the Antarctic the "ever living" and "the concealed."
Those familiar with the Book of Enoch, so liberally quoted in the New Testament, especially in the Book of Revelation, can find in chapter lxiv a reference to these cataclysms, where "Noah cried with a bitter voice 'Hear me, hear me, hear me,' three times. And he said 'The earth labours and is violently inclined; surely, I shall perish with it'."
It is generally held among geologists that the last ice age began to disappear about 12,000 years ago, so that if the 25,000 year cycle is reliable, humanity has a good while yet before it is once more wiped off the face of the globe. - Reprinted from The Hamilton Herald, Aug. 3, 1933.
THE MYTHICAL TRADITION IN SCIENCE
Modern Science has a habit of going to extremes. It is said of it that it is extremely materialistic in outlook. It has no place within its bounds for the mind or soul of man. Likewise, also the science of our day would almost seem to prefer to contemplate nature in her almost infinitely great or infinitely small aspects rather than in those things of intermediate magnitude. It had its rise as a matter of fact through the advances made in astronomy, a branch of science admittedly dealing with large magnitudes, during the Renaissance. Likewise about the same time the beginnings of atomic theories were laid down. From both of these the major developments of science have arisen. Astronomy gave us the laws of mechanics, atomism, chemistry and physics, and on these practically the whole of science rests.
Early Scientists Mystics
The pioneers of science were a stalwart race of men. They appear to have had a vision almost completely lacking in their successors until just recently. Many of them were mystics. Many of them pur-
sued the occult arts and so have been held in contemptuous regard by later scientists. This is regrettable for while historical data concerning the beginnings of our science has been carefully collected, the more valuable occult origins have been sadly neglected. One cannot hope for much sympathy from an author who says: "Tycho's (Tycho Brahe 1546-1601) nature exhibited a strange mixture of discrimination and folly. From his fifteenth year he was a devotee of astrology and throughout the major portion of his life he was active as an alchemist . . . . So intrigued was Tycho with the mysteries of Alchemy that it is not improbable that he might have spent his life making fruitless experiments had not a new star appeared in 1572. Nevertheless his interest in astrology lasted until a few years of his death."
Tycho Brahe Astrologer
There are none so blind as those who will not see and the same author, in spite of the quotation which follows, seems never to have realized that Tycho Brahe might have possessed far more wisdom than the commentator, for he goes on to say:
"He (Tycho Brahe) seems to have had considerable success in making astrological predictions. At any rate, they increased his reputation. For example, after a careful study of the comet of 1577. . . . he announced that the comet signified a prince who should come out of the North, overrun Germany, and disappear in 1632. This prophesy foretold accurately the career of Gustavus Adolphus who was born in Finland, and after his campaign in Germany died in 1632" (E. H. Johnson in Johann Kepler, Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore).
The same author has a great deal more to say to the same effect.
It is much more pleasant to turn to an introduction to the same work and read what A. S. Eddington has to say relative to Kepler himself.
Kepler's Aesthetic Instinct
"I think it not too fanciful to regard Kepler as in a particular degree the forerunner of the modern theoretical physicist, who is now trying to reduce the atom to order as Kepler reduced the solar system to order. It is not merely similarity of subject matter but a similarity of outlook. We are apt to forget that in the discovery of the laws of the solar system, as well as of the laws of the atom, an essential step was the emancipation from mechanical models. Kepler did not proceed by thinking out possible devices by which the planets might be moved across the sky - the wheels upon wheels of Ptolemy, or the whirling vortices of later speculation . . . Kepler was guided by a sense of mathematical form, an aesthetic instinct for the fitness of things .. . . Kepler was attracted by the thought of a planet moving, so as to keep the, growth of area steady - a suggestion which more orthodox minds would have rejected as too fanciful. I wonder how this abandonment of mechanical conceptions struck his contemporaries? . . . . . After Kepler came Newton, and gradually mechanism came into prominence again. It is only in these latest years that we have gone back to something like Kepler's outlook so that the music of the spheres is no longer drowned by the roar of machinery."
When we examine the life of Kepler we find his interests were about 90 per cent mystical and 10 per cent scientific in the modern sense. His whole outlook was mystical. He counted it one of the highest achievements of his life to arrive at a means of fitting the planetary orbits to the Platonic Solids. His three laws of planetary motion which completed the work of Galileo and formed the basis for the work of Newton were arrived at through speculations which were frankly mystical. Indeed, they are contained in his writings as merely incidentals to the major purpose in view, the solving of the mysteries of existence.
One should not consider him as solely a visionary. He was emphatically a great astronomer, an unrivaled mathematician, and had an immense capacity for work. His astronomical tables worked up from data bequeathed by Tycho Brahe remained for years as standard.
And also he was intensely practical in some respects in his astrology. For he was an astrologer of no mean order, like his teacher Tycho Brahe. He made numerous predictions, published an almanac, and had he been so minded, might have amassed a great fortune. Most of his revenues obtained through astrology went however to defray they cost of his scientific publications. It might be mentioned that Kepler's astrological predictions were very successful.
Most of his writings have to be studied in the original. The text above referred to contains a most complete bibliography and the Encyclopedia Britannia may also be consulted. See also T. E. Wilson's "Ancient and Modern Physics."
An Epitome of Europe
It seems strange that a book like "Four Handsome Negresses" published nearly three years ago escaped practically everybody's notice. It preceded Bernard Shaw's "The Black Girl in Search of God" by a year or more and presents in the form of a novel a more complete picture, a mare powerful case, against the degrading influence of Europe on primitive peoples than Mr. Shaw's book and at the same time it seems both more just and more true and therefore more illuminating.
The writer is one Herbert Baptist. He can write briefly and beautifully and with a finely balanced sympathy. Moreover, he writes with the gloves off, with vision unbeclouded by the insistent fever, the debauched romance of self-seeking, the glamour of national lust for power, that was and evidently still is a predominant factor in the European scene.
The book should be timely in almost any age, certainly with any people that has the itch to exploit its more ignorant and helpless fellows to its own aggrandizement and its own inevitable degradation, and the ruin, alas, of those they exploit. Such in the main is the history of Europe, whether of church or of state, and Mr. Baptist presents in his allegory and its implications, the beginnings of the heaped up retribution that will eventually overwhelm that continent.
The Rum and Bibles Spirit
Here we have the beginnings of the slave trade and of what Storm Jameson calls "the rum-and-bibles spirit toward the exploitable world"; the unspeakable violation of hosts of innocent and utterly helpless black women; cruelty, degradation and a vast oppressive lust. It is not a pretty picture but it is beautifully done, and the beauty of the writing and sympathy, the design and presentation only accentuates the obscene horror of most of it.
Here we have also the almost fantastic ineffectuality of the priests of Rome to touch the souls of the guileless blacks; the vague dreams of a Prior of the church for a selfish and futile martyrdom, inspired by the grandiose tradition of Rome, and this, at the expense of those selfsame defenseless and completely misunderstood blacks. Indeed, the cross of Christ becomes to the black peoples a symbol of all that is cruel and degrading and terrorizing, the very apotheosis of pain exported to their pagan shores. Such indeed is what Europe has made of it.
We are also presented with the shrewd hypocrisy of the avaricious merchant, making genuflection to the cross of Christ, mouthing pious, humble phrases to the priests ands all the time concentrated on the business of exploitive barter; the business of profiting hugely from the ignorant natives, obsessed by his dreams of fabulous wealth. A few paltry gestures to Christ to allay his almost dead conscience,
reassure the priests of Christ and then, - on with the real business in hand. After all, that is not an exaggerated picture of the avaricious merchant in any day or place.
Then we have the soldiers and sailors, husky animals craving a crude release from pent up lusts, and the governor, also a soldier, whose habit has always been to satisfy the temptations of the flesh though his somewhat particular, and on one occasion the vestigial remains of his heart is touched into sympathy, but the habit of his life conquers it.
Also the poet, representative of the arts, bright and fearless, untouched by church or commerce, soldier or government, and motivated by beauty; self glamoured at times but in the main on the side of the angels.
And lastly, we have the captain, the mariner representative of the sane, practical, just man, out to do a fine job, nauseated by debauchery but powerless to stop it. He is of the type of the modern engineer who loathes the profiteering racket yet does his job to the best of his ability despite that racket.
Europe in Petto
Here in this book, we have Europe "in petto"; its attitude at work before our eyes and in a compass sufficiently small to be readily envisioned. It is true that it epitomizes that part of the European process that contains her downfall and doom. That obviously was the author's purpose. But we should remember that the real glories of Europe, her contributions to the unfolding spirit of man, her great achievements in the arts, where they rise above flag waving and the aggrandizement of a class or a nation; her selfless saints; her great heretics, particularly her great heretics, occultists every one of them: all were made and lived and worked despite the galloping European disease of conquest and exploitation, that has affected in one way or another all the peoples on this globe, and which disease contains within itself the virus of Europe's death throes.
The book stimulates many questions, such as, Has any man or nation escaped paying the full price of its exploitations, its cruelties, its lust for power? Is there in the world any country or people that has at any time truly benefitted by European conquest? Has religion, any religion, ever had a vestige of spiritual significance in the hands of those who lust for power over their fellows? And the usual one, of what would Christ think of European Christianity or Christianity in America for that matter? And why do people wonder that the powers of a greater consciousness cannot be given them by those great souls who possess them, and use them only for the good of the souls of men?
Well, Europe is no more than an interlude, a dark moment in the unwritten history of mankind. What of America? This book should help her to see the inexorable workings of great and immutable law. For here we have the cause of the downfall of every nation clearly portrayed and America already has set up causes the effects of which, while they may not verge on disaster, will give her much trouble.
- L. H.
Something is happening on the planet Saturn according to the astronomers, who have discovered a spot on the planet's surface 20,000 miles long and 12,000 miles wide, a great white spot similar to the one studied by Professor E. E. Bernard of Yerkes Observatory in June 1903. The clouds of dust, or whatever it may be, that surround the mysterious planet are making it difficult to take telescopic observations. It is not likely that the observers would learn much even if they were better able to get a view. There is an enormous red spot on Jupiter which has been studied ever since it was first seen in 1878 but the
scientific world has not been able to account for the phenomena, nor to form a theory as to what it is all about.
The Mahatma K.H. gives a hint concerning these disturbances in one of his letters to A. P. Sinnett. The whole solar system, he explains, is gradually shifting its position in space, the relative distance between the planets and stars remaining ever the same. This movement of the solar system will not be telescopically observable until Jupiter and some other planets shift sufficiently to permit our astronomers seeing a few of the Raja suns they are now hiding. - "There is such a king star right behind Jupiter that no mortal physical eye has ever seen during this Round" writes K.H. "Could it be so perceived it would appear, through the best telescope with a power of multiplying its diameter ten thousand times, - still a small dimension less point, thrown into the shadow by the brightness of any planet; nevertheless - this world is thousands of times larger than Jupiter. The violent disturbance of its atmosphere and even its red spot that so intrigues science lately, are due (1) to that shifting and (2) to the influence of that Raja Star." (Mahatma Letters, page 167).
Traditionally there is a close connection between Saturn and Jupiter. The latter - the Greek Zeus - was mythically the son of Saturn (Kronos). Plato speaks of Jupiter as the material artificer and Saturn binds all things together in Saturnian bonds. Students of astrology and the Secret Doctrine will be able to understand something of the esoteric meaning of this. At the moment we are only concerned with the close connection which the ancients said existed between Saturn and Jupiter. The spots on Saturn may probably be explained in the same way as K.H. explains the spots on Jupiter.
As Above, So Below
There is another angle to the Saturn phenomenon which some suspect, few understand, and the majority would ridicule. There is an occult saying - "As above, so below. As in heaven, so on earth." Madame Blavatsky writes - "Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury and Venus, the four exoteric planets, and the three others, which must remain unnamed, were the heavenly bodies in direct astral and psychic communication with the Earth, its Guides and Watchers - morally and physically; the visible orbs furnishing our Humanity with its outward and inward characteristics, and their 'Regents' or Rectors with our Monads and spiritual faculties." (S.D. I, 575, L.A. Edition). This being true, a disturbance on Saturn, or any other of the planets named, must have an effect on the Humanity of the earth as the astrologers claim.
In January 1934 the planet Saturn will come into conjunction with Mars in the sign Aquarius. Astrologers say that the combination of these two planets is a violent one foreshadowing violence, disruption and bitter feelings, particularly in religion and ecclesiastical matters. According to the Secret Doctrine (Vol. I : page 576, L.A. Edition) Saturn is the planet of the Jewish race so that it may be more than a coincidence that its people are undergoing such affliction in Germany at the present time. Readers may draw their own inference and form their own conclusions as to whether the disturbances recently noted on Saturn have any connection with the present plight of the world.
THE KARMA OF THE JEWS
The persecution of the Jews in Germany which has recently shocked the world is having reverberations in Toronto. Riots between Jews and Gentiles have occurred in Toronto intermittently all summer. As this is being written the Toronto police are investigating a riot which occurred in Willowdale Park between Jews and Gentiles in which 10,000 people are said to have taken part. Jewish youths have been attacked by hoodlums on the city streets and beaten. Announcement has been made of the formation of a league which is "frankly anti-Jewish" and which aims at
a nation-wide membership. The mayor of Toronto has had to forbid the flaunting of the emblem of the swastika - the ensign of German Nazi-ism - lest the peace of the city be disturbed.
There must be an occult explanation for the age old hatred toward the Jews which has blotted history with pogroms and persecutions of the most obscene kind. The roots of the trouble lie far back in a past which is only known to the sages in the East. In the days when Christian fanaticism was rampant it used to be said that the cause of the sufferings of the Jewish race was that it killed Christ but t-day, especially among Theosophists, this explanation is wholly inadequate.
Degrading the Mysteries
Madame Blavatsky states in the Secret Doctrine that early in the history of our fifth race the Jews degraded the Mysteries; a thing which neither an individual nor a race may do without creating a terrible retribution or karma. She points out (Secret Doctrine., Vol. I, The Theogony of the Creative Gods) that the basic idea underlying the philosophy of the Hebrews was that God contained all things within Himself and that man - including woman - was His image. "It is argued," she says, "that the primal cause being absolutely incognizable, 'the symbol of its first comprehensible manifestation was the conception of a circle within its diameter line, so as at once to carry the idea of geometry, phallicism, and, astronomy:' and this was finally applied to the 'signification of simply human generative organs'." (S.D. I, 444 First Edition).
This was one of the degradations to which she says the sacred symbols of the Mysteries were subjected by the ancient religious teachers of the Jewish race. In her section on the Theogony of the Creative Gods she mentions a number of others. Here, she says, lies the abyss between the Aryan and Semitic system, though both were built on the same foundation. "Eastern Esotericism" she writes, "has never degraded the One Infinite Deity, the container of all things, to such uses; and this is shown by the absence of Brahma from the Rig Veda and the modest positions occupied therein by Rudra [a title of Siva the Destroyer] and Vishnu [the second person of the Hindu Trinity] who became the powerful and great Gods, the 'Infinites' of the exoteric creeds, ages later. But even they, 'Creators' as the three may be, are not the direct creators and 'forefathers of men'. The latter are shown occupying a still lower scale, and are called Prajapatis, the Pitris (our lunar ancestors), etc., etc. - never the 'One Infinite God.' Esoteric philosophy shows only physical man as created in the image of the Deity; but the latter is but 'the minor gods.' It is the HIGHER-SELF, the real Ego who alone is divine and GOD." (S.D. I: 445 First Edition).
The effect of the profanation of the sacred symbols of the Mysteries was to inaugurate a monarchial conception of Deity which made God a Being outside of man instead of man's own inner Higher Self "who alone is divine and god." H.P.B. paints out in the Key to Theosophy that the idea of the extra-cosmic God was popularized by the Pharisees (Key. Page 45). The Jews "invented a temptation of the flesh in the garden of Eden; showed his God (esoterically, the Tempter and the Ruler of Nature) CURSING for ever an act which was in the logical programme of that nature." (S.D. I: 383 Los. Angeles Ed.) God (Jehovah) became a lunar symbol of the reproductive and generative faculty of nature - hence phallic. (S.D. I: 391 L.A. Edition).
Gentiles Not Guiltless
This then, if we are to believe the Secret Doctrine, was the generator of the karma under which as a race the Jews suffer to this day. But Christian gentiles need not feel superior. Have not they too desecrated the sacred ancient symbols? Have they not in fact adopted lock, stock and barrel the old Jewish pantheon? Is not so-called Christianity more Judaic than Christian?
Who, then, are the Christian nations to point the finger of scorn at the Jews? What about the karma of the Gentiles? For in addition to having gone most of the way with their Jewish brethren in defiling the Mysteries, they have, and are, heaping up additional karma for themselves by the persecutions they heap upon the members of the Jewish race. If the latter has become a thorn in the side of the Gentiles and makes itself objectionable by its greater intelligence and aggressiveness, have not the Gentiles compelled it to sharpen its wits and become aggressive in order to maintain its existence? The old Jewish saying "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" has been, and still is the basis of European Christian civilization, despite the fact that the Christ they profess to follow teaches to forget the old Mosaic saying and to pray "forgive us our debts as we forgive outs debtors."
Gentiles would do well to emulate Walt Whitman and acknowledge the duplicates of themselves in others including their neighbours the Jews. The Judaization of Christianity indicates that, by long persecution, the Jews have become the karma of Christian gentiles as much as the latter have become the karma of the Jews.
AN ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PHILOSOPHY
In drawing attention to the recent defense of the established order by Hon. W.H. Price, Attorney-General of the Province of Ontario, The Canadian Theosophist is not attacking or defending any economic or social system but when public men expound philosophy and attitudes, a discussion of their utterances comes within the scope of a Theosophical magazine.
Speaking at Kingston on July 12th Mr. Price gave a definition of what he was pleased to call Idealism and Materialism. To be prepared to fight for king and country, to uphold the rights of property owners and the established order, - this he defined as idealism. To be in favour of any form of revolution, even a bloodless one, - that is materialism. To be a communist or a socialist is, in Mr. Price's opinion to be an aetheist and, aetheism is materialism. "Our civilization" he declared, "is based on Christian teachings."
There are many within the Theosophical Society and without it who will disagree with these definitions. There are many who will find it hard to believe that a civilization which breeds and condones brutal penitentiaries, corrupt governments, ruthless exploitation of the ignorant and poor, great armament industries and universal ugliness, is based on Christian teachings.
The Cause of Revolutions
Mr. Price's philosophy would annul all progress since it would make the chief end of society the maintenance of "things as they are". It takes no account of the inner creative life of each individual man and woman. "America, mother of revolutions" said Whitman, "shall be the mother of interior revolutions." These interior revolutions go on in men and women forever and eventually find their expression in changed political, economic and social systems.
"Selfishness and brutality can never be the normal state of the race", says Madame Blavatsky. "To believe so would be to despair of humanity and that no Theosophist can do. . . Every Theosophist, therefore, is bound to do his utmost to help on, by all the means in his power, every wise and well-considered social effort which has for its object the amelioration of the condition of the poor. Such efforts should be made with a view to their ultimate social emancipation, or the development of the sense of duty in those who so often neglect it in every relation of life." (Key to Theosophy Page 158).
Politics and Philosophy
Mr. Price, when he made his twelfth of July speech represented the type of mind which makes revolutions bloody. If he were a little more of a philosopher he would have seen this. It was Socrates who once said: "Unless philosophers govern in
cities, or those who are at present called kings and governors philosophize really and thoroughly, and those two, the political power and philosophy, unite in one, and until the bulk of those who at present pursue each of these separately are of necessity excluded, there shall be no end to the miseries of cities, nor yet, I imagine, to those of the human race." (Plato's Republic. Book 5).
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EVOLUTION: As Outlined in The Archaic Eastern Records
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BUDDHISM: The Science of Life.
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THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE.
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THE BLAVATSKY PAMPHLETS.
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