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VOL. XIV., No. 8 HAMILTON, OCTOBER. 15th, 1933 Price 10 Cents
In the death of Annie Besant the Theosophical Society has lost the exponent that for the world at large was the typical representative of the Movement. Madame Blavatsky certainly regarded her as a possible messenger of the Secret Doctrine
to the world; but she had also noted her weaknesses, and had warned her about going to India, and on other points.
With her loyal friends all rallying to her memory and her praise it is difficult to say anything that does not reflect the
pleasantest associations that one may have had with her, but in justice to Madame Blavatsky, and even more to the Theosophical Movement, it is not possible to remain silent on those things which are pertinent to Theosophy and essential to the truth.
In subsequent articles will be found some of those matters dealt with that do not concern the superficial thinker among the general public, but do affect seriously the attitude of the earnest student who believes that "There is no Religion Higher than Truth." We need not put these things on the front page, but neither have we the right to suppress them.
For the general reader we will make some remarks regarding Mrs. Besant and Canada; then quote the news article wirelessed from India on her death, and afterwards append the articles which touch on the divergences from Theosophy upon which she ventured from time to time, and those other incidents which caused her real and independent friends so many misgivings.
Her first contact with Canada was in 1893 when on the invitation of the late Samuel Beckett and the present General Secretary, she lectured two nights in Toronto. The scorn with which the invitation was received by Mr. Alexander Fullerton when, as he phrased it, she was asked to visit the "Backwoods of Canada," was characteristic of the general attitude to Canada in those days. She came, however, accompanied by Mr. Gyanendra Nath Chakravarti, a Brahmin delegate to the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Two crowded houses heard her and were charmed as her audiences, up till recent years, always were.
On her last visit, under business management, only a handful of people came to hear her in Massey Hall. That was in 1924, when she visited the Theosophical Hall and the Toronto Lodge, and in those premises kept strictly to Theosophy. She was trying to serve two masters and He of the Liberal Catholic Church could not be reconciled to the Master who founded the Theosophical Society.
In her relations with the Theosophical Society in Canada, she was correct in every particular, except perhaps that it took the greater part of a year to issue the Charter to the Canadian National Society, while the Welsh one, petitioned for about the same time, was issued in a few weeks. The story of that hesitation has not been told. But once recognized, Mrs. Besant observed a cordial relationship with the Canadian Society, and when her immediate supporters in Vancouver asked for a decision contrary to the Constitution, she ruled against them.
Thus it is doubly difficult to find fault, and were it not for the great cause that has been left us to defend, all that she had anything to do with of an indefensible character might very well be left with the ashes of the sandalwood pyre which consumed her abandoned body on the sea shore at Adyar.
We would rather think of her in her proudest moments of eloquence and triumphant declaration of the great truths
she had received from her teacher and friend, H. P. Blavatsky, in 1889. And the better part of Mrs. Besant was and will be loyal to those truths and to the Masters who live them. - A.E.S.S.
DR. ANNIE BESANT, CRUSADER, IS DEAD.
Wireless to The New York Times
Madras, India, Sept. 20. - Dr. Annie Besant, world-famed theosophist, died at Adyar near Madras at 4 o'clock this afternoon. She would have been 86 years old on October l.
Although her health had been failing since 1931, when she was injured in a fall, Dr. Besant's death was attributed mainly to her advanced age and the effects of her long-continued activities. The seriousness of her condition became apparent last month when her strength was much dimin-
ished, and she was obliged to remain in bed, taking nourishment only with difficulty. The last days of the noted crusader were peaceful, in marked contrast with her
Madras newspapers deplore the passing of a "loyal friends of India" and a "great champion of freedom."
(By The Associated Press.)
Madras, India, Sept. 20. - Dr. Annie Besant, world leader of the Theosophists who died peacefully here today, had proclaimed that she had been reincarnated many times and had lived many lives beginning 12,000 years ago. Disappointment over the attitude of a Hindu, Jeddu Krishnamurti, whom Dr. Besant once described as the potential "reincarnation of Christ," was believed by many of her followers to have saddened her last drays.
Krishnamurti renounced these claims of "mastership" and expressed disbelief with the tenets of the religion, but other Theosophists said this had no effect on the personal regard between the two. In substantiation of this they pointed to the fact the Hindu later spent two months with Mrs. Besant at Adyar. For days, they sat in silence hours at a stretch. Funeral services will be held tomorrow morning at Adyar, the location of the Theosophist foundation. Cremation will follow. Jinarajadasa, the vice-president of the Society has been mentioned as the possible leader of the Theosophists.
Praised by Gandhi
Many Indian leaders paid tribute to Dr. Besant's work in India, including the Mahatma Gandhi.
Before leaving Bombay tonight, the Mahatma said "While the people will thank the Almighty for relieving Dr. Besant from a lingering illness by sending her the Angel of Death, thousands will at the same time mourn the event. "As long as India lives, the memory of the magnificent services rendered by Mrs. Besant also will live. She endeared herself to India by making it her country of adoption and dedicating her all to it."
Battled Long for Principles
Deprived of her two children by the decree of a divorce court, Annie Besant became a crusader, and during the remainder of her life battled for principles. She had divorced the Rev. Frank Besant, Vicar of Sibsey, Lincolnshire, England, for cruelty, which had shaken her faith and driven her from the church, but the court ruled that her espousal of the cause of agnosticism, then championed by Charles Bradlaugh, the English Robert Ingersoll, made her an unfit person to bring up her children.
She was born on Oct. 1, 1847 the daughter of William Page ands Emily Morris Wood, a family of excellent lineage but in humble circumstances. She was married at 20 to the Rev. Mr. Besant, after attending private schools in England and on the Continent. Six years later they separated because her active mind questioned some of the doctrines of the church.
Idol of Slum Girls
Mrs. Besant became an extremist in fighting to right the wrongs of others. Her battles for the London slum girls made her their idol. Social and political reform occupied her time, and she was co-leader with Herbert Burrows in the great match strike, a landmark in English trade unionism.
She wrote political and free-thought booklets, was active in the Fabian Society, the Social Democratic Federation and the National Secular Society, and found time to take honours in botany at the University of London. In 1888 she was elected a member of the London School Board and a year later conducted with brilliance a libel action against the Rev. Edwyn Hoskyns, rector of Stepney, who had circulated handbills attacking her character during the school campaign.
Failing to find full satisfaction in the Secular Society, composed of agnostics and atheists, Mrs. Besant deserted them in
1893. Mme. Helena Blavatsky had awakened her interest in theosophy, and Mrs. Besant, her friend and confidante, became her successor. From her bungalow in India where they headquarters of the cult had been established, Mrs. Besant issued a score or more of books on philosophy.
[[[photo: Mrs. Besant in 1907 ]]]
Her reputation, through her writings and lectures, became world-wide. In later years many people of Western nations were inclined to smile indulgently and regard her as a harmless eccentric. The British Government, however, had no misgivings about her influence over the Indian people.
During the World War she helped to bring many soldiers into the army from her adherents, but reasoned that a war for democracy was inconsistent with a subjugated India and started agitation for home rule. She was promptly interned, but later released by orders of the British authorities. Some observers said this action was taken because the officials feared the temper of her followers would bring a crisis difficult to handle at that time in India.
Since 1907 Mrs. Besant had been president of the Theosophical Society, and as such controlled the thought of more than 100,000 people. In 1926 she presented Krishnamurti to the world as the "vehicle" of a "world teacher." She steadfastly denied that she ever had proclaimed him the Messiah. But a world uninformed on Theosophist doctrines was unable to make the distinction and her prestige suffered accordingly. Krishnamurti had been adopted by her when he was a child in 1909.
Believed in Reincarnation
A firm believer in reincarnation, Mrs. Besant always tried to make clear that her philosophy and spiritualism had nothing in common with the belief of communication after death.
"By our theosophic belief in reincarnation," she said on one occasion, "we hold that the spirit is soul evolved in various stages of human progress. There is no finality of a soul coming into a body at birth and departing at death. The soul may leave its human tabernacle temporarily to seek wisdom in the higher spheres, which is better than bringing the spirits down to earth.
"Life becomes constantly more understandable to me. Death appears to me more and more as a trifle in the midst of eternal life growing ever broader. Theosophy means to me increasing strength, gladness and peace."
Though wearing a double triangle signet ring, the symbol of one of the oldest philosophies, Mrs. Besant was in some respects strangely modern, and even at the age of 80 used airplanes for travel whenever possible.
Founded Central Hindu College
Mrs. Besant founded the Central Hindu College at Benares, and in 1907 she was elected president of the Theosophical Society. Some years later she established the Indian Home Rule League and was its president in 1916. She was president of the Indian National Congress in 1917, but she later disassociated herself from the extremists of the National party.
While Mahatma Gandhi was a law student in London he had met and had be-
come greatly influenced by Mrs. Besant's views. Many years later, when the Montagu reforms were being prepared, Mrs. Besant played an important role in Indian politics. At first she supported the government, but later she returned to her views on extreme nationalism and she preached that doctrine with great energy.
Besides many pamphlets and newspaper articles, Mrs. Besant published an autobiography in 1893 and "The Religious Problem in India" in 1902.
In addition to those two better known works, however, Mrs. Besant wrote several hundred other volumes. These include a "History of the Great French Revolution," "England, India and' Afghanistan," "Reincarnation," "Seven Principles of Man," "Death and After," "Building of the Kosmos," "In the Outer Court," "Karma," "The Self and Its Sheaths," "The Birth and Evolution of a Soul," "Path of Discipleship," "Man and His Bodies," "Four Great Religions," "The Ancient Wisdom," "Evolution of Life and' Form," "Ancient Ideals in Modern Life," "Esoteric Christianity," "Thought-Power, Its, Control and Culture," "A Study in Consciousness," "Theosophy and the New Psychology," "The Wisdom of the Upanishads," "Buddhist Popular Lectures," "Occult Chemistry," "The Changing World," "The Immediate Future" "The Universal Textbook of Religion ands Morals," "Initiation, the Perfection of Man," and "The New Civilization."
Several biographies have been written of Mrs. Besant. Among them was "The Passionate Pilgrim: A Life of Annie Besant," by Gertrude Marvin Williams.
DR. ANNIE BESANT DIES IN INDIA
(By C.P. to The Brantford Expositor.)
Madras, India, Sept. 21. - (CP) - Dr. Annie Besant, who was known throughout the world for her leadership in theosophical activities, died here Wednesday. On October 1 she would have been 86 years old.
The peacefulness of her last few days was in vivid contrast to the storm of her life. She was in a state of half-consciousness for some time, never speaking at length even to her most intimate friends.
Dr. Besant had no malady except old age. She was mentally and physically worn out.
In 1931 she suffered a fall from which she never recovered. On that occasion she was unconscious 30 hours, and according to a theosophist friend, an inner group of the elect got in a circle about her and restored her to consciousness by concentrated transference of power from themselves to her.
Many theosophists expressed the opinion that her last days were marred by a disappointment in Jeddu Krishnamurti, a Hindu in whom Dr. Besant said at one time the "reincarnation of Christ" would be manifest. Subsequently Krishnamurti announced that he no longer held with the tenets of Dr. Besant's religion. Numerous of her followers said, however, that she had felt no great disappointment, and that the personal regard between Krishnamurti and herself never waned.
In the latter part of 1932, after Krishnamurti had renounced the special claims of "Mastership" which Dr. Besant had made for him, he spent two months with her at Adyar. They sat for hours, day after day, in silence.
At Madras, India, in 1925, Mrs. Besant who had come to be known as "The Grand Old Lady of India," again predicted that a second Messiah would appear soon. Her prediction was made during the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Theosophical Society and on her behalf it was revealed that the person in whom "the reincarnation of Christ" would be made manifest was Jeddu Krishnamurti. The latter a Hindu and graduate of Oxford, was 30 years old at the time. It was said that Mrs. Besant planned to select the 12 new "apostles of Christ,"
among whom would be several women including herself.
With the proclamation revealing Krishnamurti there came the organization of the Order of the Star of the East, which was to be the basis of a new religion for the second coming of the Messiah. This move resulted in a storm of protests from many who had been followers of Mrs. Besant since her prediction in 1911 that the reincarnation was near.
Mrs. Besant somewhat calmed the storm by declaring that she never had any idea of proclaiming Krishnamurti as the Messiah, but stated her belief that the young Hindu was the. "vehicle" for a World Teacher. The bringing of Krishnamurti to the front in this manner gained world-wide notice for Mrs. Besant and her young Hindu protegee and they attracted much attention on a world tour, which included the United States, in 1926.
Upon their arrival in New York Krishnamurti was asked: "Do you believe that you are the second Christ?"
He replied: "No, but I believe that I am the new vehicle for the World Teacher."
During her residence in India, Mrs. Besant became a leader in national movements in behalf of the people of that country, especially the one seeking to free India from British rule.
In her eightieth year Mrs, Besant made several airplane trips to Europe to keep speaking engagements. On October 1, 1927, when she reached the age of 80 she was asked if she would attend a public celebration in honour of the occasion. Her reply indicated her belief that she would live to round out a century.
"There will be time enough for that when I am 100 years old," she said. "I am marvelously well, but then I am a vegetarian, a non-smoker and a teetotaler. I shall go on working until my body is used up. What is the use of it unless it works?"
EXTRACTS FROM A SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF DR. ANNIE BESANT
President of the Theosophical Society
By C. Jinarajadasa (Former Vice-President of the Theosophical Society, 1921-1928)
Dr. Besant's father was an Englishman, but half Irish. Her mother was fully Irish. Though technically an Englishwoman, ands though herself born in London, Dr. Besant has always refused to call herself an Englishwoman, and always has said she is an Irishwoman. The Irish strain in her ancestry is seen in certain aspects of her character - in her intuitive nature, and also in a very subtle wit and instant retort. In private life particularly one of her charms is this extremely witty Irish element. She was a devout Christian, and was married to an English clergyman at the age of twenty; the awakening of her character made her challenge several of the Christian dogmas. It was not the challenge of unfaith, but rather of a highly spiritual nature that desired intensely not only to believe but also to understand. The impossibility of making logic out of Christian traditions made her leave the Church and become a Freethinker.
She was already profoundly unhappy in her married life. Two children, a boy and a girl, had been born. She has said very little about what she suffered as a wife. In the course of the case which her husband brought against her to deprive her of her daughter, she was forced at last in defense to state how he had physically ill-treated her, and turned her out of the house. So terrible was her matrimonial tragedy that once, taking some poison in her hand, she thought of drinking it and so ending the horror of it all. As she was preparing to drink it, she heard a clear voice of stern reproval which said to her, "O Coward, coward, who used to dream of martyrdom and cannot stands a few years
of woe," The voice was so impressive that she did not feel it as unkind. It was like a whip applied to her, who from the days of girlhood had read lives of martyred saints and dreamed of the glory of martyrdom. She instantly threw the bottle out of the window, and never forgot the voice.
In many ways Dr. Besant will perhaps be most famous in India for her political work. She has said again and again that she entered politics to save the youth of India. She knew from contact with high-spirited lads burning with a zeal of patriotism how they were slowly being captivated by the gospel of extremism of the Bengal anarchist revolutionaries. She saw how the Government merely suppressed but did nothing to remove grievances. Precious time was being lost, and more and more young men were being attracted to the gospel of violence. She entered the political arena in 1913. She started a weekly newspaper called The Commonweal in January, 1914, ands a few months later purchased the Madras Standard, a daily paper. In August of that year she changed its name to New India.
Some day a great historian will have to write her life in this aspect of her, as a politician. It is scarcely possible here to say more than a few words on the matter. Her first action was to use all her force to draw together the two sections of the Indian National Congress which had been divided at Surat in 1907. These two sections were represented by Mr. B.G. Tilak and Mr. G.K. Gokhale. There were certain radical points of difference between them which seemed insuperable, but Dr. Besant brought the two groups together on a common platform of the "All India Home Rule League". Its creed as formulated by her in 1915 was as follows:
WHAT DOES INDIA WANT?
To be free in India, as the Englishman is free in England;
To be governed by her own men, freely elected by herself;
To make and break ministries at her will;
To carry arms, to have her own army, her own navy, her own volunteers;
To levy her own taxes, to make her own budgets;
To educate her own people;
To irrigate her own lands, to mine her own ores, to mint her own coins;
To be a Sovereign Nation within her own borders owning the Paramount Power of the Imperial Crown, and sending her sons to the Imperial Council.
Britain and India hand in hand, but an India free as is her Right.
Ten months after she began her political work, the Great War broke out. It was then that British statesmen committed a radical blunder which made matters difficult for Indians as the War developed. Mr. Lloyd George turned to the Dominions and said in brief: "Help us, to win the war; after it is over there shall be a 'new deal' between us and yourselves." He said openly that in all Imperial affairs after the War there should be close consultation with the Dominions. But turning to India, he said "Help us to win the War," - and completely left out any word regarding what India's future should be after the War. India was called upon to make great sacrifices, which she gladly made, but not a single word was said by any British statesman as to India's position after the War was won. It was this vital blunder of British statesmen that convinced Dr. Besant that the political work in India had to continue, and not be modified, or slackened because the Empire was at war. Had England said one word to the effect that there would be a "new deal" between Britain and India after the War, there is little doubt that Dr. Besant would have not gone on at the tune with her political agitation. Not only British statesmen in Britain, but more particularly every Briton in India, official or merchant, scoffed at the idea of Indians being fit for Home Rule or Dominion Status for generations to come - if ever at all. So the
denseness of British statesmen had to be counteracted by driving harder than ever the movement for India's freedom. It will be seen from the ideals which she proclaimed, that not only was there never any dream of the Independence of India, but there was a clear enunciation that India was to remain a member of the British Empire under the headship of its Sovereign.
Dr. Besant was a brilliant organizer, and brought about a great change because she always insisted and hammered. She took as her motto not only "Strike the iron while it is hot," but also "Make it hot by striking". She taught Indian journalists what they did not know before, and that was to write strong leading articles denouncing the action of the Government, yet to keep all such denunciations completely within the letter of the law. In other words, she brought to Indian journalism the method of criticism which is characteristic of the London Times - strong, forcible, based upon fact, yet not criticizing petulantly.
In 1916 she was "externed" by the Government of Bombay so that she could not enter Bombay Presidency. The Central Provinces also externed her, and in 1917 the Government of Madras "interned" her. But so powerful was the reaction in India following upon her internment that within three months British policy had to be changed. No statesman in Britain nor the British officials in India seemed to realize that Dr. Besant was not an agitator working up an agitation, but rather a far-sighted leader who saw the need to open up a festering wound whose poison would otherwise permeate the whole organism. As soon as she was released the popular wave of enthusiasm was such that she was elected the President of the National Congress which met in December.
But once again she started another precedent. Hitherto the President of the Congress had merely presided during four days' meetings, and then retired into inactivity. Dr. Besant made the President's office one of executive importance for the whole year. As President of the Congress she went on organizing activities and presiding at meetings of Congress Committees and so on.
Scarcely three years had passed when the great position which she had won among Indians was practically lost by her, so far as the general public was concerned. This was when Mr. M.K. Gandhi launched his campaign of "Non-Co-operation" against the British Government, calling upon lawyers, school-boys and others to "non-cooperate," because of the injustices committed by the Government. One part of his campaign was the breaking of certain laws, which would be announced to the people, and such infraction was to be a political demonstration to bring pressure to bear on the Government. To break a bad law because it was bad and to suffer for it individually with a view to changing it into a good law - that Dr. Besant could support; but to break a bad law, not because it was bad but because it was law - that she could not suffer, because that made for anarchy and lawlessness. Dr. Besant thoroughly believed in "Passive Resistance," where the individual pits his conscience against an evil law, dares to break that law and suffer the law's penalties, but only in order that the evil law might later be changed. But she refused to countenance the breaking of any general laws not selected by the individual, but thrust upon him at the dictation of someone else's policy, and particularly as a way of bringing pressure to bear on Government policy.
This divergence between her and Gandhiji has persisted steadily, because she has held that any movement for "mass action" or "direct action" released forces which must degenerate into violence and will in the long run be to the detriment of Indian national life. She has stood by the Constitutional method for political reforms, and has openly challenged the policies of Gandhiji on this matter, while having a profound regard for him as one who lives a most saintly life.
Though she became unpopular and lost her position as a leader, she still went on with her work for India. Hardly had the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms been initiated in 1921, and the new Councils met in Delhi and in the Provinces, when Dr. Besant immediately organized a movement for the next and final step towards India's freedom. This movement crystallized as the "National Convention," and its aim was to draft a Bill which would represent India's conception of her place in the British Empire as The Dominion of India. Several gatherings of many of the leading politicians in India took place and they met at several sessions of this National Convention, and finally the "Commonwealth of India Bill" was drafted and agreed upon in 1925. This Bill was to be presented to Parliament to be passed by it. By it India was to be made a full Dominion, but with the reservation of the two departments of Army and Law and Order. The Bill however was to enact that without any further action of Parliament, the Indian National Government could itself declare when it was ready to take over these two Departments. The Bill was accepted officially by the British Labour Party, and one of its members presented it to Parliament, where it was read for the first time. It was, however, not read a second time, and so lapsed.
It is in this Bill that there was enunciated an unique system of graded franchise, which Dr. Besant and others considered was the only system suited to India with her millions of uneducated villagers. The franchise was arranged by gradations, with first a universal franchise for men and women for village administration. There was a more restricted franchise with higher qualifications for the Taluk, more restricted still for the District, and so on for the Province and for all India. There was to be a complete equality as between women and men in all matters of political representation. Dr. Besant has never believed in merely counting heads, without examining what is inside the heads, as is the principle of universal suffrage. She has been utterly against any system which would put upon the villagers responsibility for decisions concerning All-India legislation.
There is little need to speak further concerning Dr. Besant's political activities. She is undoubtedly no longer recognized as a leader, but on the other hand she has made practicable many a change which has made success easier for the present leaders. Her policy has been misunderstood both by the Government and by the Indian public. She has been blamed by the Government for denouncing it, and blamed by Indians for supporting it; for her policy has been "For India," and she has supported the Government in whatever was rightly done, even if it made her unpopular with Indians. The Earl of Willingdon, the Viceroy of India today, when he relinquished office in 1924 as Governor of Madras, wrote to her what is the truth of the matter
"I shall never forget our first meeting here when you referred to this incident and said, 'We bear no ill-feeling for that!' Well you certainly haven't and I am sincerely grateful for it. You have criticized me when you have thought me wrong; you have generously supported me when you thought me right. If I could get all editors to deal equally honestly with this humble individual I should feel life to be much easier."
No one will really understand Annie Besant unless due value is given to an unusual factor in her character, which is her intense devotion to India as her Motherland, and to the Indian people as her people. She has said that the moment she lands in Bombay and sees the brown faces at Bollard Pier she feels she is at home among her own people. From the first year of her coming to India she not only lived with Indians, but she lived as one of them. She wore the sari, the Indian woman's robe; she sat cross-legged on the ground or on a chowki (a kind of divan)
at work; she ate seated on the ground in Hindu fashion and not at a table, using the right hand and not spoon or fork. Of course in Europe she reverted to European ways, but in her own mind the Indian ways were her natural ways. She has herself explained one reason for this instinctive feeling, that she has had of late several Indian incarnations, and that her last one, before the birth as Annie Wood, was in India, and that from the close of that Indian life to the beginning of the present one there was only a gap of three years. She recollected incidents of that life, and particularly haw she was then the granddaughter of the Adept who is now her Guru.
No wonder then that almost from the day of her arrival she idealized Indian ways. She seemed to know intuitively the old and original reason for many a custom which appears today meaningless and outworn. She illuminated the dim corners of Hindu traditions, and seemed to many like some sage of old living today surrounded by the atmosphere of the noblest age of India. Many a Hindu woman thought of her as semi-divine, a channel of divine blessing to men and a worthy recipient of whatever men had to offer to a divine cause. I have known Hindu women - widows particularly - bring her jewels, saying, "Mother, use them," knowing that the Mother would distribute in charity with a fuller discrimination than was theirs. I have seen a man at a railway station platform as the train was leaving put in her hands, without saying what was in it, an envelope with notes for ten thousand rupees; the reason was the same. That is why, when the Government of Madras "interned" her in 1917, she became for a while the living symbol of "Mother India," and why when the crowd's shouted the patriotic cry "Bharat Mata-kijai" - Victory to Mother India - there was a fervour and immediacy of realization such as had not been possible before with any leader of the National Cause.
- C. Jinarajadasa.
Annie Besant, dead in Madras, India, in her eighty-sixth year, was in many ways the most extraordinary woman of her time. Married and divorced before she was 26, she was a disciple and co-worker of the famous BRADLAUGH before she was 30, a woman suffragist while VICTORIA was still in the morning of her reign. While NEWMAN and the Oxford Movement were shaking England, while GLADSTONE and DISRAELI were dominating Westminster, and the great Victorians of literature were in their heyday Mrs. BESANT became a figure. Daughter of an Irish mother and an English father, ex-wife of an English vicar, she went on to startle the women of her generation by her radicalism, preached birth control before MARIE STOPES and MAGARET SANGER were born.
A born orator, she used her gifts of eloquence to forward all sorts of movements, was successively a Freethinker, a Freemason, a Fabian Socialist and a Theosophist. Without much of early education, she succeeded in matriculating in science at London University, took honors in art and botany. Before she was 40, and after ten years of tempestuous life in London, during which she was frequently before the courts, she was journeying all over Europe, regarded as something of a prophetess.
In the early '80's, when Socialism in England was being born, and a few intellectuals, later to become famous, were at its cradle, not the least remarkable figure among them was ANNIE BESANT. BERNARD SHAW, SIDNEY WEBB and SIDNEY OLIVER were among her friends and coworkers, and all of them were tremendously attracted by the strange and in some ways wayward woman who was the soul of the movement. They called her Socialism's "Joan of Arc".
In 1889, after a visit to the famous PETROVNA BLAVATSKY, MRS. BESANT abandoned Socialism, was converted to Theosophy. She had been a labour organizer, a Secretary of the matchmakers' union, a
strike leader, a laborite member of the London school Board, a militant suffragist and an anti-vivisectionist, but she abandoned everything for her new creed.
Going to India in 1893, she organized what became a world cult, founded a famous college at Benares, became a champion of freedom for India. Living among Indians and as an Indian, immersed in Hindu philosophy, she went to prison for her activities, was released to be elected president of the India National Congress. Not even GANDHI, at that juncture, was more influential.
In 1927 MRS. BESANT visited England. She was an old woman, in her 80th year, but she thrilled an audience in the Queen's Hall, flew to twelve countries in Europe to
(Continued on Page 245.)
THE THEOSOPHY OF THE UPANISHADS.
(Continued from Page 199)
This Self is then, verily, of all beings the overlord, of all beings the king; as in the nave and felloe all the spokes are held firm, so verily in this Self all beings, all gods, all worlds, all lives, all selves are held firm.
This soul that is the Self of all that is, this is the real, this the Self; THAT THOU ART.
A PRIME object of the teaching of the Upanishads is to establish a clear intuition and perception of the difference between Self and not-self; the root distinction between the self-shining, self-subsistent, self-balanced One and the myriad circumstances and chains of coarser and finer objects that present themselves as the material for the will and perception of that One.
To the end of establishing this intuition, we have spoken for the most part as if the not-self, the chains of outward circumstance, the objective worlds, were quite apart from, even hostile to, the true life of the Self; as if the entanglement of the Self in these things were so much clear misfortune and loss.
This attitude was necessary, because until that primary distinction is clearly recognized, no firm and sane return to the inward life of the Self is possible; and until this self-subsistent life of the Self is in some degree reached, no clear understanding of the real meaning and significance of the many colored life of outward things can be formed.
But as soon as this self-balanced, self-shining life of the Self within us begins to take the place of the old storm-tossed life of physical and personal self, a deeper and truer understanding of the meaning of these outward things begins to arise; a more penetrating insight into the purpose of the whole long world-drama that we have been spectators of, or rather, unhappy actors in for so many ages.
As there seems to be a radical tendency in the wide life we share to form itself into a threefold division, whether of the three worlds, the three fires - vital, emotional, intuitional - the three modes, of perceiving - waking, dreaming, dreamlessness - so we may very well follow this tendency, and divide the long world drama into three acts.
In the first act, the long ages of unconscious, or rather unreflecting physical life unfold themselves; the Self, through the primeval delusion of separateness, falling into the illusion of an endless number of selves, meets with the pure simplicity of physical things, the mountains and rivers, forests and seas, the broad sunlight, the far-away background of the quiet stars. The great incidents of this simple physical life are a vigorous and continuous contest with the physical world, under the guise of a search for sustenance and shelter, and a first rude acquaintanceship between the estranged selves, under the guise of the multiplying and the continuing of
the race. The real purpose is that the outwardly manifest selves should be set face to face with the eternal laws of their being, presented to them visibly in outward nature, which mirrors the eternal laws of the Self; and that the first foundation for the final reuniting of the estranged selves in the one Self should be laid by the rude acquaintanceships, whether of contest or attraction, that make up the drama of animal physical life.
For a long time this physical animal life continues, broken into a rhythmical series of alterations by the illusion of ever-present death; an illusion, because the reality is the ever-presence of life, perpetually present in all its plenitude throughout every instant of time. As far as we can see, as far as we can guess, this drama of physical life is nearly or perfectly painless and free from sorrow, full of a young animal vigour and exultation, without regret for a speedily forgotten past, without misgiving for a yet undreamed of future, in radiant, self-renewing vitality.
Then the second act begins; the mirror world, the "world between earth and heaven," begins to bear in upon life; to appetite it adds reflection, forming in the mirror of past gratification a desire of gratification to come; to present enjoyment it adds regret by setting up beside the present an image of all that has gone before; to satisfaction it adds a picture of all possible satisfactions to come, with all the possibilities of losing them. Thus come longing and regret, desire and fear, memory and hope; the drama of human life has begun.
And as we saw that the character of animal physical life was twofold, the objective presentment of the eternal laws to be instinctively apprehended through outward things, and the first rude, wild acquaintanceship with the other selves, as a primary foundation for futures reunion; so the purpose of human life is likewise twofold, and in both cases this twofold purpose is fulfilled by the new life of the mirror world, the world between earth and heaven.
For once the eternal laws of things, the eternal necessities of things, have been outwardly presented; and instinctively apprehended in the outward physical world, it is necessary that the perceiving self should be disengaged from these outward things; that it should be driven back on itself, and transfer within the knowledge gained of the eternal laws. This purpose the mirror world serves in two ways.
First, it forms a material for the better holding and apprehending of the eternal laws, by building up a new, inner, subjective double of the outer, physical world; a mental world formed of images of physical things; a world, which lends itself far more easily to the formation of general concepts, broad nations of things, collective judgments, abstract deductions, because while presenting a perfect picture of outward things in a subjective mental form, it is free from the impediments of gross materiality and the tyranny of space that in the physical world dim and blur the images of the eternal laws. So that it is only after the life of the mirror world is fully formed and entered on, or in other words, after the mental, reflective life of humanity has begun, that such a thing as conscious knowledge of the eternal laws becomes possible. Up to this, in pure physical life, the most that could be reached was an instinctive knowledge of law, formed under the impulse of appetite and the disappointment of appetite, such a knowledge as the burnt child has of fire, but in no sense a conscious reflective knowledge at all.
Then the mirror world does its work in another way. We have already seen how by its operation sheer physical appetite was superseded and relegated to a second place, by the birth of desire, of fear and hope, of expectation and disappointment. Now in this way the selves are in one degree disengaged from outward things, the things of appetite and, as desire, under the sanative laws of things, invariably carries with it sorrow and suffering, this sorrow and suffering strongly farther the
work of disengaging the selves; from outward things, the work of their disenchantment, and disillusioning that must precede awakening to reality.
Thus the mirror world, the world between earth and heaven, the mental, subjective world we should call it, not only gives the perceiving selves a better material for laying hold on the eternal laws, but gives them a strong impulse towards this material, by disengaging them from outward things. Hereby it subserves the work of knowledge, which is to become wisdom, when the next step upward toward the divine is taken.
(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 204)
GREAT MEN WHO HAVE EXPRESSED BELIEF IN REINCARNATION
To say that one believes is a small and easy matter, and I set little store by it; because a man may say he believes, and yet live a life that shows a disbelief. He may say he believes in the perfect love and wisdom of Providence, and yet grumble at circumstances as unkind and badly suited to his case. By his expressions and actions he can cancel his words of belief, and show them to be on the surface, not in the heart, as if these were the rouge and powder on an actress's face.
But it may be well to satisfy the public mind somewhat by a display of authoritative names, though I insist that the appeal is eventually to the individual's own reason; and to the all-round effects of the theory when applied to the whole of daily life and conduct.
First of all, the doctrine of Reincarnation is a very ancient one. As Soame Jenyngs says, "It was held by the Gymnosophists of Egypt, the Brachmans of India, the Magi of Persia, and the greatest philosophers of Greece and Rome; it was likewise adopted by the Fathers of the Christian Church, and frequently enforced by her primitive writers".
Of the Hindus, and the early Christian Fathers of the Church, Mr. Walker says, in his work on Reincarnation* (to which I owe the following extracts): -
"The Hindu conception of Reincarnation embraces all existence - gods, men, animals, plants, minerals. It is believed that everything migrates, from Buddha down to inert matter. Hardy tells us that Buddha himself was born an ascetic eighty-three times, a monarch fifty-eight times, as the soul of a tree forty-three times, and many other times as ape, deer, lion, snipe, chicken, eagle, serpent, pig, frog, etc., amounting to four hundred times in all. A Chinese authority represents Buddha as saying, 'The number of my births and deaths can only be compared to those of all the plants in the universe'. Birth is the gate which opens into every state, and merit determines into which it shall open. Earth and human life are an intermediary stage, resulting from many previous places and forms, and introducing many more. There are multitudes of inhabited worlds upon which the same person is successively born according to his attractions. To the earthly life he may return again and again, dropping the memory of past experiences, and carrying, like an embryonic germ, the concisest summary of former lives into each coming one. Every act bears upon the resultant which shall steer the soul into its next habitation, not only on earth, but in the more exalted or debased regions of 'Heaven' and 'Hell.' Thus 'the chain of the law' binds all existences, and the only escape is by the final
* This work is a convenient (if rather inaccurate) epitome of the arguments for reincarnation, and should be read by those who are interested in the subject.
absorption into Brahm.
"We have seen that Origen refers to pre-existence as the general opinion. Clemens Alexandrinus (Origen's master) taught it as a divine tradition authorized by St. Paul himself in Romans v. 12, 14, 19. Ruffinus in his letter to Anastasius says that 'This opinion was common among the primitive Fathers.' Later, Jerome relates that the doctrine of transmigration was taught as an esoteric one communicated to only a select few. But Nemesius emphatically declared that all the Greeks who believed in immortality believed also in metempsychosis. Delitzsch says, 'It had its advocates as well in the synagogues as in the church.' "The Gnostics and Manichaeans received it, with much else, from Zoroastrian predecessors. The Neo-Platonists derived it chiefly from a blending of Plato and the Orient. The Church Fathers drew it not only from these sources, but from the Jews and the pioneers of Christianity. Several of them condemn the Persian and Platonic philosophies and yet hold to Reincarnation in other guises. Aside from all authority, the doctrine seems to have been rooted among the inaugurators of our era in its adaptation to their mental needs, as the best explanation of the ways of God and the natures of men. "Many of the orthodox Church Fathers welcomed Reincarnation as a ready explanation of the fall of man and the mystery of life, and distinctly preached it as the only means of reconciling the existence of suffering with a merciful God. It was an essential part of the Church philosophy for many centuries in the rank and file of Christian thought, being stamped with the authority of the leading thinkers of Christendom, and then gradually was frowned upon as the Western influence predominated, until it became heresy, and at length survived only in a few scattered sects."
"Although Origen's* teaching was condemned by the Council of Constantinople in 551, it permanently colored the stream of Christian theology, not only in many scholastic and mediaeval heterodoxies, but through all the later course of religious thought, in many isolated individuals and groups."
(To Be Continued.)
* Mr. Mead has proved that Origen did not express belief in the theory of Reincarnation.
AS IN A LOOKING GLASS.
By Mrs. Walter Tibbits
(Continued from Page 207)
Beatrice Cenci has the face of one who has known the bitterest of all sorrows, a youth denied, a curse of unworthy parentage. There are no sorrows like a child's sorrows. Those of later years may be assuaged by the happy memories of childhood. An unhappy youth has only the unknown horrors of the future.
The memory of this terrible time has not ceased to haunt me. It fills me with indignation for such cowardly bullying of a defenseless child in the name of One who said, "Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven". That is to say Christ took children as a type of what people should try to become. He held them up as examples to their elders. But, in my childhood to be a child was apparently to be a criminal. Rousseau said that the most important years of development were from one to twelve. Oh Christ of Calvary! How many Christian children in Calvinist England hated Thee then? Would have called Thee, could their childish lips frame the phrase,
The carrion crucified.
because of the unmentionable horrors perpetuated by Christian parents in Thy name?
When my father died, the streets were almost impassable for the crowds who awaited his funeral procession. Multitudes thronged the gun carriage. The cemetery was packed to its utmost limits with a dense mass of people and the police estimated that out of a population of 17,000, 11,000 were present. In the words of the
reporters, "The poor women and children stood at the entrance of the narrow courts weeping bitterly as the procession moved along, and all along the route the public houses were closed, the doors were shut, and the blinds drawn down."
It is something to have been the daughter of a man whose own city delighted to honour, and whose funeral received such respect as had newer been shown to any Bishop. But earthly happier were my life if he had not been such an "earnest Christian". He left his first born child just half of what he left to his favorite Salvationist maid-servant.
At the age of 16 the Karmic debt was paid for a rich aunt adopted me. One might think the Karmic bill was too heavy for the apparently venial sin. That the, perhaps, natural hatred of a woman for the alien conquerors of her country did not deserve such severe punishment. But hatred in Raj Yog is not a venial, but a mortal sin. I know of a holy lingam fully charged with Mahadev Himself. It must be worshiped every day, or apparitions appear in the shrine. When its woman guardian is indisposed the puja is done by someone else. The one qualification required is that the officiating priest must be free from hate.
I have written these mems under a miniature Salisbury spire. The Erinys circle round it here as Dean Boyle watched them there. The church's green sward and lilacs are a miniature Close. Oh heart's pain that so much that was bad and mad was mixed with the sweet influences of Salisbury!
Much of my girlhood was spent with the Robertsons at Callander Lodge. My uncle formerly told me that I was never to allow myself to be "bullied by the Booths", but to consider his house my home. It was a lovely place the key to the Highlands and Trossachs. In summer our drawing room windows looked across a blaze of flowers on to Ben Ledi. In winter the sunrise turned his snows rose as in an Alpine chain. I saw this every morning from my window. A burn flowed down from the craigs behind us. It bickered down to the Valley of the Teith. It fell through our grounds into a cave foaming a waterfall, passed three lawns, one above another, to the river.
Follows a picture of Scotch early Victorian life when Evangelical was a la mode. On Sunday the Robertson pew alone remained seated, when the whole church rose at the entry of the clergy. The undergardsner wheeled down our harmonium for open air on the village green. My aunt had been, as a bride, the belle of the balls and the winner of the hunt brushes at then aristocratic Aldershot. But she, too, followed her family trend for "conversion". So she, too, built her own Mission Hall. She sold her stud to pay for it and the missionary. My uncle retained his grouse moor, salmon river, and annual trip to Norway. Up to within a few years of his death he was a keen sportsman both with his rod and gun. Annually, till long past 80, he spent a fishing and sketching holiday in Norway. At the age of 85 he could take a 25-mile spin on his bicycle without undue fatigue. He put it all down to total abstinence. The Scotch are supposed to be the Spartans come back. Certainly Uncle Jim was Spartan in endurance and Greek in his love of beauty.
(To Be Continued.)
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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.
On account of the death of Mrs. Besant and the consequent pressure on space many articles have had to be held over till later issues.
The reports of Mrs. Besant's death in the newspapers are fairly free from errors, the only one of note being the reference to Mr. Krishnamurti as a graduate of Oxford. This was one of the prophecies of twenty years ago which has not yet been fulfilled.
Attention is called to the visit of Dr. Alvin B. Kuhn to the Hamilton and Toronto Lodges as announced elsewhere. Those who have not heard him should take this opportunity of doing so if they are within reach of either city. Members from London might be able to hear him in Hamilton, and those within range of Toronto would find it worth their while to drive in and hear him during his visit.
Friends of Dr. Lionel Stevenson at both ends of the Dominion will be interested to hear that he has gone to Oxford with his mother to remain for two years and take out post-graduate work in the ancient city. His address will be 31 Norham Road, Oxford, England. He has been attending the Dickens Fellowship meeting in London, Alfred Noyes in the chair, and the P.E.N. club, with H. G. Wells presiding, and expects to make many interesting connections.
Members who have not paid their dues since July 1st please note that this is the last copy of the Magazine they will receive till they have placed themselves in good standing again. In case they are unable to pay the full dues at once, they may send One Dollar for the Magazine, and the balance later. It should be noted that the General Executive decided to accept the current dues for the year in full payment of all arrears, this offer being available till Christmas.
On Wednesday, September 20, the General Secretary received a message from Mr. A.P. Warrington at Adyar: "President passed today." The following cable was sent after consultation with officials present in the evening: "The Theosophical Society in Canada in conjunction with Toronto ands other Lodges wishes to unite with Headquarters in deepest regret over the passing of Mrs. Besant - great orator, great reformer, great woman, and great Theosophist".
Our portraits of Mrs. Besant show her at four different stages of her career. The earliest gives her as she appeared when she first met Madame Blavatsky in 1889 (page 245). The second shows her when she became President of the T.S. in 1907 (page 228). The third shows her as she was in 1910 (page 225). The last shows her with a group at the residence of the General Secretary in Toronto in October, 1926, with Mr. A.P. Warrington on her right hand and Mr. Max Wardall on her left.
The ladies from left to right are Mrs. Boush, Miss Crafter and Miss Poutz, and the child is Moira Smythe (page 247).
Mr. Fred Housser, in quoting from The Secret Doctrine in "Theosophy and the Modern World", prefers to use the Third London edition rather than the First, with Madame Blavatsky's original text which is reproduced in the single volume edition published by the "Theosophy" Company of Los Angeles and also in the Point Loma edition. Students can use the key in the Index to the London edition or re-page their volumes, to admit of easy reference. It is stated by Dr. Stokes that there are 32,000 changes made in Madame Blavatsky's text in the Third edition, made, of course, after her death. As an example, in the paragraph quoted last month on page 204, there are six changes from the original text.
Members of the Theosophical Society who are looking around for Christmas presents could do not better than to think of the first volume of the complete works of Madame H. P. Blavatsky which was published name months ago. This is a treasure for any student of Theosophy, and besides is the first volume of a series which every student of Theosophy will be proud to possess. The second volume is in the press, and it is much easier to buy them as they come out than to wait till a number have been issued. To give the first volume to a friend is pretty sure to make him a subscriber for all the succeeding ones. At the same time, of course, the first volume is complete in itself and forms a compendium of occult information, dealing very fully with spiritualism and other phases of occult experience.
The procedure for the election of a President is provided for in the Constitution, section 10. The Recording Secretary shall call for nominations "whenever the office becomes vacant," or "nine months before the expiration of a President's term of office." The nominations are to come "from the members of the General Council." "Nominations of any member or members in good standing, who have consented to accept nomination for the office may be sent in to the Recording Secretary, so as to reach him within three months of the date of the call for nominations. At the expiry of this period the Recording Secretary shall communicate the nominations to the General Secretaries, and to the Lodges and Fellows-at-Large attached to Headquarters. Each General Secretary shall take the votes of the individual members of his National Society who were on the rolls at the time of forwarding his last annual report to the President of the Society, and shall communicate the result to the Recording Secretary, who shall himself take the votes of the Lodges and Fellows at-Large attached to the Headquarters. At the expiry of six months from the issue of the nominations by the Recording Secretary, the votes shall be counted by him. The Executive Committee shall appoint two of its members as scrutineers. The candidate receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected to the office of President." It will be seen that as soon as the Recording Secretary calls for nominations, a period of three months must elapse. The
the nominations are sent to the General Secretaries, who are expected to poll their members and send the results to Headquarters within another three months. At the end of six months from his first call for nominations the votes are to be counted by the Recording Secretary. We shall hardly hear the result before the first of April or maybe May. Meanwhile Mr. A. P. Warrington is Acting-President, and will perform all the functions of the office.
Mr. Sidney A. Cook, National President of the American Theosophical Society, writes that "It was recently suggested to me that in the interests of a spirit of worldwide brotherhood such as must exist between the various Sections of the T.S., and in demonstration of the existence of that
spirit and for the purpose of drawing the far flung Sections of the Society still closer in this bond of fellowship, a month be selected in which the edition of the magazine of every Section would be given an international character. I am writing first to all of the English speaking Sections and suggest that our representative magazines for the month of November next shall be the first of such international issues devoted to international topics in recognition of the world-wide unity of our Society and with a view to broadening the vision of the members of every Section. I suggest further that the edition for that month be increased so that a supply may be furnished to every Section for distribution to each one of its lodges for its library or reading room, thus to reach every member with this message of international good fellowship and understanding." It will give us much pleasure to fall in with this suggestion as far as it is possible. Mrs. Josephine Ransom, General Secretary of the National Society in England, has a similar idea for the British national societies, but no doubt she will be glad to accept Mr. Cook's more inclusive idea.
In our September issue, page 216, second column, line 9 should read; "more respect for those who, like the - ".
In the same issue, page 217, second column, the word "Mythical" in the title of the article should be "Mystical."
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
A meeting of the General Executive, T.S. in Canada, was held on October 1, at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto. Only Messrs. Belcher, Barr and Williams, and the General Secretary were present. The date coincided with the 86th anniversary of the birth of Mrs. Besant, and as her death occurred on the date of the annual meeting of the Toronto T.S., it was thought that the cable sent to Adyar on that occasion was sufficient recognition of the event, and no further official action will be taken. With regards to her successor, it appears that the Recording Secretary will call for nominations, the election to be held within nine months. Some doubt was expressed as to whether this applied to interim elections, or to the regular septenary elections. However, the official notice from the Recording Secretary will make this clear. The status of the membership was shown to be about 50 less than at the corresponding period last year, and the funds have fallen considerably in comparison with the previous year. A discussion regarding delinquent members resulted in a decision to write to them offering reinstatement in full on payment of the current year's dues, - this not to be understood as a precedent, and only to hold good until Christmas. The magazine will be cut off from delinquent members in November. It was also suggested that a fund be established from which the dues of needy members may be paid on endorsement by their Lodge officials, and also that members might be requested, who were in a position to do so, to pay the dues of such members as might be recommended to their notice. The meeting adjourned until December 3rd.
AMONG THE LODGES
The members of the Toronto Theosophical Society held their Annual Meeting on September 20th, the President Mr. A. E. S. Smythe, in the chair. The Chairman in his opening address paid a feeling tribute to the late President, Dr. Annie Besant, the news of her death having just reached Toronto; in giving a brief sketch of her public career he referred to her as a great Orator, a great Reformer and a great Theosophist. The members by a standing vote signified their desire that they be associated with the cable that Mr Smythe, as General Secretary, was sending to Adyar. The reports of Committees, and Officers were read and adopted, the Vice-President, Mr. D. W. Barr, having given his official
[[[photos: Mr. Huxtable, Miss Stuart ]]]
report, then gave an informal one on a matter of far-reaching importance to the members respecting the property of the Lodge and stated that through the generosity of a friend, who desires that his name be not disclosed, it would now be possible to relieve the Lodge of the first mortgage indebtedness. He mentioned the formation of a new organization named the Theosophical Association of Toronto, and suggested that in order to avoid future difficulties respecting the property, it would be desirable to transfer the property of the Lodge to this new organization which would assume all indebtedness against the property an, would lease the same to the Lodge for a nominal consideration for a period of 21 years, renewable for a further period of 21 years. The President, the Vice-President ands other members expressed with much feeling their appreciation of this generosity and of the fine theosophical spirit in which the offer was made. It was prompted solely by the desire to aid in the work of the Lodge in Toronto and throughout Canada. Heretofore a great deal of the energy of the Lodge has had to be expended each year in many schemes to raise funds for the ever-pressing mortgage indebtedness, and with this energy released for other purposes, the future of the Lodge as one of the most active Theosophical centres in Canada looked very bright indeed. This report of the Vice-President was accepted, and Mr. Barr was appointed a committee of one to take the necessary initial proceedings with regard to the transfer of the property and report to the incoming Board of Directors. The By-laws were revised and amended, following which was the election of the Board of Directors for the ensuing year, the result being as follows: President, Mr. A.E.S. Smythe; 1st Vice-President, Mr. H. Huxtable; 2nd Vice-President, Miss M. Stuart; Secretary Mr. A.C. Fellows, and the remaining eleven were, Mesdames. H. J. Bailey, O. Cable, M. Crafter, A. Wood, Messrs. Kinman, Ames, Hale, Hayden, Norman, Anderton and, Marks. - A.C.F.
Some notes from an Orpheus Lodge meeting on, "An Analysis of the Human Constitution". Last week we dealt with the make-up of the human constitution as a whole, examining somewhat briefly the teaching of this philosophy that it is sevenfold in nature, i.e. divisible into seven principles. The three lowest of these, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd, form the biological basis upon which we are absolutely dependent as our only means of contacting the external Universe. Without this biological basis, consciousness on this physical plane would not be possible. The three highest - the 5th, 6th and 7th form the component parts of man's spiritual nature. It is the 4th- the link between the spiritual and the terrestrial - that we propose to deal with chiefly this evening. It is here that normal human consciousness is always centered. It can rightly be called the battle-ground of human life, for as it can be acted upon from above or from below, it is in this sphere that all our conflicting tendencies arise. The most momentous decision an individual can ever make concerns his conscious choice between allowing his life to continue to be governed wholly by the desires of his terrestrial nature, or the extent to which he is willing and able to establish the government of his spiritual nature. If he decides upon the latter his greatest difficulty is that of making his resolutions effective. The vitality which we have poured into the 4th principle for long aeons
of time, has resulted in its actually becoming an entity - an entity with an extraordinarily cunning ability of diverting everything which comes its way to its own self-seeking ends. The purely biological nature is an efficient responsive instrument offering no resistance, and if the decisions and aspirations emanating from the 5th and 6th principles could be conveyed to it directly, all would be plain sailing - the complexities and perplexities of human life would never arise - but unfortunately conditions are such that they must pass through this 4th principle. Consequently, the important thing is to see to it that they are not deflected en route - that the energy behind their projection is not captured for the purposes of the Kamic nature. As best he can by self-discipline and training, the individual must gain or compel the cooperation of the 4th principles in his self-chosen task - that is his chief function. To shrink from doing this, means that he is evading his responsibility. There is one type of individual who is not quite normally constituted - the psychic or mediumistic and they have to approach their central problem in a slightly different way. Their principles are not so closely integrated, and for that reason they can receive impressions through the 4th principle from other sources than their own intelligence. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage, for in the wider field open to them they may come under the influence of very undesirable forces, as well as beneficent ones. Here we find the explanation of the achievement of the mystic but also the unreliability and moral instability of the medium. The problem of those who would consciously take their destiny in hand and spiritualize their being is to cultivate the sensitiveness of the psychic, on the one hand, but to have absolute control of the mind on the other. Every impression if not originating in their own minds must yet pass the bar of their own judgment. They are then making a responsible decision - accepting or rejecting. Awakening to the knowledge that they are responsible for every influence they emanate, they must bend every effort towards achieving that discrimination which will enable them to recognize the level from which the impressions they receive, came. They learn to accept or reject on their own experienced judgment. From time to time, they are certain to make some bad mistakes but mistakes made after using the utmost wisdom of which one is capable, are well worth the making. Nothing but good can ultimately arise out of a situation on which intelligence has been brought to bear. Though by no means easy, the process is simple - it is nothing more mysterious than becoming an incarnation of one's own greater nature.
DR. ALVIN B. KUHN'S VISIT.
Dr. Alvin Kuhn has undertaken a visit to Hamilton and Toronto for ten days beginning October 12 and opening in Hamilton at the Royal Templars Hall, corner of Walnut and Main Streets. On this Thursday night at 8 p.m. he will speak on "Esotericism and Christianity: A Survey"; on Friday evening at the same time and place, his subject will be "What is Back of Religion?"; and on the Saturday night he will speak on "Lost Keys to Theosophy: The Four Elements." On Sunday evening and the rest of the week he will be in Toronto but will return to Hamilton on Saturday evening, the 21st, when he will speak on "Significance of Halloween, Christmas and Easter." The Toronto lectures will begin on Sunday evening, October 15 at 1.15 and the subject will be "The Opening Door" (Introductory). On Monday evening at eight o'clock, and each week evening till Friday at the same hour, he will speak on "Platonic Theosophy in the Bible", part I.; Tuesday evening, ditto, Part II.; Wednesday evening, "The Myth of the Sun God, Part I.; Thursday evening, ditto, Part II.; Friday evening, "The Lost Meaning of Death; Sunday evening, October 22, at 1.15, "Spiritual Symbolism of the Sun and Moon; Mon-
day evening, at eight, "Horizon and Equinox Symbolism"; Tuesday, "The Jonah Story and other Bible Allegories; Wednesday, "Amazing Significance of Natural Phenomena."
Dr. Kuhn comes well recommended by his previous career as a Theosophic student and worker; he has been connected with the movement for some 25 years. In 1927 he began his study of Philosophy at Columbia University, where he received his Doctorate in 1930. Theosophists will be interested to know that he won this degree by a lengthy dissertation on the subject of Theosophy, being the first and only student ever permitted to write on this Occult subject under academic auspices.
His work was published in 1931 and has won high praise from Theosophists and others. It is perhaps the only serious attempt to present both the History and the Philosophy of Theosophy in one volume. Written in a spirit free from bias, it aims to make clear the principles of Occult Knowledge.
Dr. Kuhn has continued his studies in the ancient sources of Philosophy and Religion, and announces the discovery of a mass of material of the most sensational nature having to do with the clear exposition of the Bible and other ancient scriptures, especially the Egyptian Book of the Dead. From this material he has been able to interpret the hidden meaning of Religion and Theology.
It is the opinion of a great many Theosophists that the Occult Movement in general will receive a great impetus from both the writings and lectures of Dr. Kuhn.
ANNIE BESANT (Continued from Page 235.)
deliver lectures, was still the vibrant, tremendous personality of the old Socialist days.
Such a woman, no matter what one may think of her philosophy, must challenge the world's admiration. ANNIE BESANT was extreme, iconoclastic, wayward, what the world calls a "crank," but she was nevertheless gifted with extraordinary intellectual and physical powers, possessed courage of the highest degree, was one of the great world figures of her time. - Ottawa Journal, 22 Sept.
[[[photo: Mrs. Besant in 1889 ]]]
END OF A CHEQUERED LIFE.
The death of Mrs. Annie Besant removes a figure of world-wide interest from the gallery of Anglo-Keltic notables. She carried her personal activity on till two years ago when a fall so injured her that she never recovered from the shock and gradually her strength faded and old age asserted its mastery. She would have been 86 on October 1st.
Her matchless oratory gained her a hearing from many who otherwise would have shunned her reforming and iconoclastic views, but her personal integrity and spot-
less personal character gave her many close and intimate supporters in spite of errors of judgment and her fidelity to lost causes. She was married very young to an Anglican clergyman, from whose dictatorial attitude she revolted. He insisted on absolute orthodoxy of thought, on her part, and after many misgivings and consulting Mr. Pusey, she abandoned Church and family and plunged into the maze of secularism.
Her mind was of a practical turn, however, and she found in socialism and social reform with Herbert Burrows and Charles Bradlaugh an outlet for those activities which were ever directed to the assistance of the under dog. Her campaign for the match girls of London in their strike against frightful conditions of oppression and unsanitary conditions won her fame among all those who were enlisted in such philanthropy.
In 1889 William T. Stead, the celebrated editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, asked her to review "The Secret Doctrine," a book written by Madame Blavatsky, a synthesis of religion, philosophy and science, and the result of her study of this work was that she sought out the author, and became her pupil. She had less than two years of her acquaintance before the death of this friend, and always unable to rely entirely on her own judgment in 1893 she came under the influence of Professor Chakravarti, a representative of Brahmanism at the World's Fair Congress of Religions in Chicago in 1893, and for eleven years accepted his leadership.
She was courageous enough to admit at the end of that time that she had not been satisfied with it. In 1907 she became president of Madame Blavatsky's society, but again relying an the judgment of others rather than her own, fell under the influence of a Mr. Leadbeater, a former clergyman of the Church of England. With a vivid imagination and an alluring literary gift, he invented a new church, and not satisfied with this, provided for it a Messiah in the form of a boy of tender years of whom he prophesied everything he could imagine. Mrs. Besant fell for this humbug, thus largely discrediting the Society over which she presided and diverting it from its original aims; and having handed over its work to Leadbeater and his assistants, she took up the cause of Indian self-government.
She became president of the National Congress, but gradually lost her influence, partly on account of her association with the alleged Messiah, who when he grew up repudiated the whole absurd fiction, and partly because she adhered to the determination to support the British Raj against the extremists in Indian politics. She had faith in the British promise to give India Dominion status, and was honoured by successive Governors-General on this account.
Personally she possessed great charm of manner and her frequent passage from one phase of activity to another left saddened friends rather than enemies. Had she relied on herself and not on those who were always anxious to have her assistance in their own designs, she would probably have exerted an abiding influence on her time. As it is, her books are negligible, being largely reports of her lectures and only the echo of other people's thoughts. Her work in India is probably her most enduring monument. - Hamilton Herald, Sept. 21.
"THE GREAT ILLUSION"
Mr. Krishnamurti's declaration that he no longer acknowledges any allegiance to Mrs. Besant or the Theosophical Society should surely give occasion for reflection to the many who for years have been denouncing the Canadian Theosophist for its alleged disloyalty to the Society and its President. Loyalty to Truth and Right is a greater need than personal loyalty of any kind, and we must remember that Mrs. Besant always insisted on this.
We have cooperated with Mrs. Besant in friendship and good will, and we have not claimed any infallibility. But we had to follow the Light as we saw it, and
[[[photo: Mrs. Besant in 1926 (see Official Notes) ]]]
we continued to point out that the courses taken by her under the guidance and even compulsion of Mr. Leadbeater were entirely out of harmony with the professed principles of that Theosophy which had been outlined to us by Madame Blavatsky and which we had verified by comparison with the ancient teachings of all religions and the records left by all the sages of the past. We could not think that Mr. Leadbeater alone was right and all these wrong.
When Mrs. Besant assumed the Presidency of the Theosophical Society in 1907 she had a clear path ahead of her. She made overtures to the other Societies and the former members by offering to receive them once more in the T.S. without further formality. She had broken with Mr. Chakravarti after eleven years in which she said she had not found the satisfaction she had hoped. She had declared that she would never permit Mr. Leadbeater to enter the Society again. It seemed that Madame Blavatsky was about to get her due and that the Society was to be developed on the lines she had laid down.
It was not long, however, before Mr. Leadbeater asserted his influence over Mrs. Besant, Svengalized her, so to speak, and persuaded her to restore him to membership. The Great Illusion once more held sway in the Society. One after another came a series of the most extraordinary ingannations that a gullible public ever swallowed. And thousands of the supposedly intelligent members of the Theosophical Society swallowed them too, and not content with that, denounced their clearer sighted brethren as traitors for not doing likewise. There was the Liberal Catholic Church with its spurious orders. There was "Man: Whence, How and Whither" with its bogus calculations, and descriptions of future races. There were the Seven Arhats, one of whom quickly defected, and the others remained as notorious warnings. Then there came the World Teacher, the Messiah, with law suits, and prophecies. The law courts denounced Leadbeater; the police had him under surveillance. The prophecies all proved false. Then the World Religion was formulated, and finally Mrs. Besant had the grace to withdraw it.
Then we had Alcyone's past incarnations, the baldest drivel that man ever excogitated, and utterly baseless. A great diagram was concocted at Adyar on which the "elect" were inscribed in each incarnation, all the "faithful" being related to the central figures in each incarnation for 30,000 years more or less, and in more or less intimate or remote degree. When an important visitor arrived at Adyar and was found to be omitted in the roll of the "faithful" the Vaticinator had a
revelation that night and came down in the morning, obliterated some minor name and stuck in the name of the new-comer. There was always room for the well-to-do.
Then we had the great Arena at Sydney in Australia, built, like Mrs. Tingley's World Tour, out of the offerings of the poor and needy as well as of the wealthy and deluded. Mrs. Besant's check for $500 for a seat in this arena for the Great Occasion when the Christ would appear there and declare himself, was facsimiled and printed in the magazines to lure the doubtful. But the Messiah never ap-
peared and the Arena was let to Motion Picture shows and other amusements until it had to be sold.
Wild educational schemes were inaugurated until the Australian Section was bankrupt. Mr. Martyn, the backbone of the Section, discovered terrible things about Mr. Leadbeater and wrote a heartbreaking letter to Mrs. Besant asking for an explanation and was promptly expelled. The Sydney Lodge was cut off and its property demanded, but the fraud could go no farther and the Lodge continued on Independent lines. Then we were offered the opportunity of accepting a World Mother who was to preside over all accouchments, and as a counterpoise the restoration by Mrs. Besant of the doctrines of birth-control which she had abandoned by command of the Master in 1888, and resumed no doubt under the inspiration of Mr. Leadbeater.
The abomination of desolation was never more truly set up in a shrine than when the Theosophical Society had its sanctities defiled and violated in the quarter century of Mrs. Besant's Presidency. She had been Svengalized and for the most part was unaware of the wreck she was contributing to. Always the most plausible reasons were supplied her, and the most pleasing flatteries administered until she acquiesced in things that must have seemed in her calmer and saner moments most monstrous. It seemed as though she lived another life after 1907, and that a divided life, in which she left the affairs of the Theosophical Society to others and devoted herself to the problems of India.
What now are we to expect? Are these others to whom she left authority and guidance to continue to degrade the Theosophical Society with false and discredited teachings, and bogus legends? Or will the members, at last awakened and alive to the downward course the Society has been taking and its desertion of the Secret Doctrine principles and the course marked out for it by Madame Blavatsky, assert themselves and restore it to its first ideals and its proper service? It is not a difficult thing to do. For fourteen years, we have protested and pointed out the errors into which so many have been led.
The demonstration of the correctness of this course has been made clear by Mr. Krishnamurti's declarations. He himself does not appear to know what the real objects of The Theosophical Society have been. He has adopted the role of a mystic himself, based largely on his parents' teachings and the fundamentals of Vedanta. We have no doubt of his sincerity and earnestness. He will follow truth as he sees it. But he does not realize that he is as welcome in the real Theosophical Society as anywhere, and that there is nothing to prevent him accepting membership in it. Its broad inclusiveness indeed, is understood but by a very few, and the tolerance, the desire to understand, which such tolerance implies, is a bigger and better thing than any exclusive practice which ignores all but one's own cult.
Doe's it seem inconsistent to suggest that Mr. Leadbeater and his followers, who have been the authors and promoters of all these illusions, should withdraw from the Society they have so disastrously misguided and leave its members to follow its original design? If Mr. Leadbeater was so devoted to the memory of Madame Blavatsky as he proclaims himself, he world surely allow those who desire to carry out her wishes to do so without interference or further attempt to destroy the work she founded. Mr. Krishnamurti did not hesitate to destroy The Order of the Star when be realized what it meant. It is too much to expect its founder to eliminate the Liberal Catholic Church from the path of the Theosophical Society which it has so greatly obstructed. But Karma in any case works its perfect work, and while we point out errors it is not for us to condemn any who fall victims to the Great Illusion. They will learn from their sorrows and they are still our brethren however we may view the circumstances that have brought us into relationship with the Theosophical Move-
ment. That will go on in spite of everything, and with clearer sight ands purer hearts we shall all unite in due time to render honour, laud and reverence to those who gave us of their wisdom and the opportunity to serve with intelligence and devotion the Great Orphan Humanity.
THE GREAT DISASTER.
The great disaster in Annie Besant's life was her election to the presidency of the Theosophical Society. Only a god can be at once an administrator and a prophet - and she was human. In the wilderness, free from the cares of organization, away from fawning words or adoring, loyal eyes, you can come face to face with truth. In the courts, truth eludes you.
All her life Annie Besant had sought the fountain of Truth. Heroically she had pressed on through jungles of doubt, met and vanquished surrounding enemies, to reach at last the living waters of Theosophy. Here she drank and thought she had found peace.
But at the well of Truth you must drink long and deep, and kneeling at the pool you may, if you gaze long enough, see not your reflection but yourself as you are.
Too soon to her came the call of duty and with it the confusing images that attend upon temporal leadership. She sacrificed herself and Theosophy for her followers, and neither knew it.
I remember hearing Annie Besant speak. She was seventy. She stood alone on the platform attired in white. Read aloud any one of her lectures, and you will catch the rhythm of her eloquence, for I do not believe the stenographic report ever needed to be altered by a comma. But you will miss the melodious voice which charmed the senses, miss the restrained emphasis as she leaned forward occasionally, and raised slightly one of her arms reposing at her side.
And now the voice is silent and the pen laid down. They brought many to the society, myself among them, and some there were who seeking penetrated into the deeper reaches of Theosophy. If she did not lead them there, she bade them go forward. She was generous to the last. Pity that she should have been called too soon from the Solitude.
The great soul will return and we who love her - though we love truth more - will some day follow her again in a new and triumphant crusade for Theosophy.
- Cecil Williams.
Of Annie Besant, my friend, whose soul has left its worn-out body, I have only kind words to say. I first met her when, in 1889, I was transferred from working with Mr. Judge in New York to H.P.B.'s London Headquarters, at 19 Avenue Road. There H.P.B., presided spiritually, while Mrs. Besant presided over us, the working staff as a household. On the staff were Mr. Mead, Mrs. Cooper-Oakley, Laura Cooper, the Countess Wachtmeister, Walter Olds and others. For about five years I was with them and as we were like a family of brothers and sisters Annie Besant was as dear to me as if she were indeed an older sister. In those bright years, and in the darker one's that followed, I regarded her always as my sister. And now in her memory I express my brotherly affection for her and my admiration of her splendid qualities, her lofty purpose, her devotion to the cause of humanity.
Some of the readers, of the C.T. have taken offence because I have through the medium of this magazine given strongly worded warnings against the wretched fakers who have done almost incalculable injury to the T.S.; but it will be noticed that I have never included Mrs. Besant in the list of those perverters of Theosophy. She, like hundreds of other Theosophists, was misled by the arch-faker who has so greatly injured the cause of Theosophy. He made use of her established reputation,
brilliant intellect and splendid eloquence to further his own Jesuitical designs. That is his frightful karma, not hers. I say this lest any one might think that in praising Mrs. Besant I am condoning the frightful offences of those whom I have unsparingly stigmatized as fakers and false teachers. Mrs. Besant was an "heroic enthusiast" in her work for humanity; and, if because of her too brief period of tutoring in Theosophy by H.P.B., she was victimized by that arch-charlatan, she should not be judged severely. In future incarnations, it is not to be doubted, she will be a faithful worker for the Masters and the true Theosophy which they offer to the world. Few of the old-time Theosophists - those who belonged to the T.S. before its disruption on the issue of bogus messages - are now living. Soon, there will be none of us left. But it is undoubtedly our karma to get together again in future lives; and we may be sure that prominent among the reassembled workers will be our good comrade, Annie Besant.
- James Morgan Pryse.
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD.
Conducted by Fred. B. Housser
If modern scientists wish to laugh with impunity at the methods of the witches of the middle ages, they had better change their own ways. In Readers' Digest for July we read of the attempts that some of them are making to produce life. They sound no less ghoulish and no more respectable than mediaeval alchemy and witchcraft.
Dr. George Crile of Cleveland has produced in his laboratory "near-living cells." Dr. Crile took the brain tissues of a freshly killed animal and reduced them to ashes electrically, then added protein and other chemicals from which he got "jelly-like" cells that consume oxygen, exhale carbon dioxide, move, feed, reproduce, etc. Another doctor kept an extracted human heart beating for thirty hours. Another keeps tissues of the cells of rats, mice, guinea pigs and human bodies growing in his laboratory in specially prepared cultures.
Electricity and Life
Dr. Crile has discovered that life is closely allied to electricity - "if indeed it is not electricity as we know it." But what is electricity as we know it? "The eastern occultists insist that electricity is an entity", says Madame Blavatsky: (S.D. i: 105 T.P.H. Ed.) Electricity as we know it is said to be a physical plane manifestation of what the Secret Doctrine calls "Fohat." - "It is through Fohat" says H.P.B. "that the ideas of the universal mind are impressed on matter. Some faint idea of the nature of Fohat may be gathered from the appellation 'cosmic electricity' sometimes applied to it; but in this case, to the commonly known properties of electricity, must be added others, including intelligence." (S.D. i: 113 T.P.H. Ed.) Fohat is spoken of as the messenger of the will of the gods. The gods are, esoterically, the lords of the seven sacred planets, the planets as we know them being only the physical bodies of their lords as our bodies are of our divine ego. The planetary spirits are called Builders, Lipika, Sons of Light, etc.
Take Your Choice
"Do the occultists believe in all these 'Builders', 'Lipika', and 'Sons of Light', as Entities, or are they merely imaginary? To this the answer is given as plainly: after due allowance for the imagery, of personified powers, we must admit the existence of these entities, if we would not reject the existence of spiritual humanity within physical mankind. For the hosts of these Sons of Light, the Mind-born Sons of the first manifested Ray of the Unknown All, are the very root of spiritual man. Unless we want to believe the unphilosophical dogma of a specially created soul for every human birth - a fresh supply of these pouring in daily since Adam - we have to admit the occult teachings." (S.D. i : 131 T.P.H. Ed.).
The Origin of Matter
Science may as well abandon hope that life will someday be produced in a test tube, according to Dr. James Gray of Cambridge University, England as reported in the Mail and Empire of September 8th. Dr. Gray expressed this opinion before the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science which met at Leicester, England, last month. He was, it seems, refuting the old idea of inanimate matter, attacked by Madame Blavatsky in 1885, which still exists in the minds of some scientists.
Professor Grays views, as reported in the press, begin to approximate those of the Secret Doctrine as expounded by Madame Blavatsky. He challenges the view of mechanistic biologists who hold that life can be explained in terms of chemistry and physics, and that it originated by pure chance. The New York Times quotes him as saying that such a chance "must be regarded as a highly improbable event and as such can be assumed not to have occurred. Biology itself", he claimed "provides not one shred of observational evidence to support the spontaneous origin of living matter in the world today."
The Occult Point of View
According to the Mail and Empire Dr. Gray contends that life must be regarded as something that existed "from the beginning" rather than as having evolved from inanimate materials. Would any serious credence be given, he asks, to the suggestion that a motor car, or even a footprint on the sands came spontaneously into existence without the intervention of directive forces?
This suggests the occult viewpoint. "Matter" says H.P.B. "is eternal. It is the Upadhi, or Physical Basis, for the One Infinite Universal Mind to build thereon its ideations. Therefore the Esotericists maintain that there is no inorganic or 'dead' matter in Nature, the distinction between the two made by Science being as unfounded as it is arbitrary and devoid of reason." (S.D. i: :301 T.P.H. Ed.). Apropos of directive forces she asserts that "the whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of sentient beings" who are the agents of karmic or cosmic law. (i: 295 T.P.H. Ed.).
How long will it be before science comes around to this latter view. Must it not eventually be forced into some such hypothesis with its germs, microbes and bacteria by the thousands? It already grants the existence of a multitude of sentient beings below man in their evolution. When will it go a step farther and admit the probability of other beings as superior to man in their state of evolution as man is superior to the ape? When it does scientists will cease trying to study life in a test tube and turn their attention to the understanding of life in the realms of man's destiny.
ART AND ARTISTS
C.E. Jung, who a few years ago made an English translation of a Chinese work on Yoga, has just published "Modern Man in Search of a Soul" in which he tries to explain creativeness in art and eccentricities in artists.
"The creative force", he is quoted as saying by the New York Times, "can drain the human impulses to such a degree that the personal ego must develop all sorts of bad qualities - ruthlessness, selfishness and vanity, and even every kind of vice, in order to maintain the spark of life and keep itself from being wholly bereft." Jung argues that from this means of protecting themselves many artists become egocentric, self-pitying, infantile, helpless and "actively offending against the moral code or the law." Hence he says it is his art that explains the artist and not the insufficiencies and conflicts of his personal life. "This" he declares "is also why the personal life of the poet cannot be held essential to his art but is, at most, a help or hindrance to his creative task."
Here we find a curious mixture of truth, half truth and fiction. It is not true that the creative life drains the humanitarian
impulses. It is true that the artist, if he wishes to keep alive the creative spark, must develop ruthlessness and self-sufficiency, though not necessarily selfishness and vanity. It is true, as was shown by Lawren Harris in the July and August issues of The Canadian Theosophist, that the artist is not concerned with the moral codes and fixed values of a conforming society but it is not true that in his unconcern he is necessarily immoral and vicious. It is true that his art, more than his personal life, explains the artist because - to quote Mr. Harris, - the artist creates 'at the summit of his soul' which is beyond the petty routine of the personal life.
Jung vs. Whitman
In his apology for the eccentricities of artists and poets Mr. Jung is expressing the old European attitude which was imported into America along with Judaic Christianity, Malthusian economics, and many other things that America has to get rid of. It has its roots in the idea that the creative life is something peculiarly for artists and poets, and not for everybody. It is on a par with another European conception (which America rejected) - the divine right of kings to steal, murder, rape, oppress and exploit, and the divine duty of subjects to approve and obey.
The modern presentation of the Theosophical conception of the creative poet and artist will be found in Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. One of Whitman's avowed intentions for writing that book was, he says, - "to answer the challenge of old world poetry to Democracy." One of the things Whitman cried out against the loudest in the poets and artists of the old world was that tendency, which Mr. Jung apologizes for and condones, their egocentricity and self-pity. The mewling in public of many English poets over the coldness of a lady's heart, the whining over their lot in life, were, to Whitman, unworthy of the poet-artist. Of all men he thought the poet should be self-sufficient. "The great poet hardly knows pettiness and triviality" he says. "If he breathes into anything that was before thought small it dilates with the grandeur and life of the universe." (see Preface to Leave of Grass, 1855).
The type of poet demanded by Whitman for his democracy was identical with the type demanded by Plato for his republic. The Whitmanic poet is to lead America to its Self - the "Deific Identity" of democracy. In order to do this he must first find his own Self or deific identity. He is to show the way for the rest to follow. He is to hold up Perfections for the people to respond to. The genius of the common people, to Whitman, is their capacity to respond to perfection.
Art as a Way of Life
It is true, as we have said, that the poet-artist has jealously to guard his creative life and develop the means of protecting it, but Mr. Jung is wrong when he says that the creative force "can drain the human impulses." Every true artist knows that it does exactly the opposite for without love the creative force is dammed and the creative life ceases. Genius is the capacity for being exploited by the divinity within oneself. To the real artist his art is a way of life, not a mere occupation.
It is of inestimable importance to the modern world in general, and to the race in America in particular, that it should come to an understanding of what is meant by the phrase "art as a way of life." From a spiritual point of view the creative artist, not the business man, typifies America. The creative life which the real artist represents is the Theosophical life as it was understood and expounded by the founders of the Theosophical Society. The true artist is an occultist. The creative life is the search for one's integrity, - one's whole being. This, according to Whitman, should be the search of the true artist.
"Until final emancipation reabsorbs the Ego it must be conscious of the purest sympathies called out by the aesthetic effects of high art." (Mahatma Letters. Page 32).
SECRETS FROM SYRIAN HILLS
Under the above title Mr. C.F.A. Schaeffer describes in The National Geo-
graphical Magazine for July some of his discoveries while excavating the ruins of Ras Shamra in northern Syria. Chief amongst these discoveries were "some written slates of clay on which was used a new kind of cuneiform alphabet never before encountered".
These slates have been found to date about the 14th or 15th century B.C. according to translations made by three different scholars in Paris, Jerusalem and Halle. The alphabet is "very finished" and "the language is closely related to Phoenician" but contains words in an unknown language.
Amongst the varied contents of the slates, evidence has been found for believing that Ras Shamra was the once important and famous port of Ugarit, which was a strategic point in the reign of Rameses II and previously under Egyptian sovereignty over Syria. In the remains of its temple library tablets have been found in no less than eight languages, the context of which prove that Ugarit was also a centre of the Sumerian civilization, not alone in trade and politics but in literature and philosophy. Art, too, is well represented by relics of jewelry in gold, glass beads, carved ivory, alabaster and vases decorated with designs in colours and other methods, of which many photographs are shown.
A Historical Adam
The final paragraph of this narrative contains for our readers matter of special interest because of its parallels with H.P.B.'s. statement in the Secret Doctrine, for Adam and Eve are mentioned as living in a splendid garden, "somewhere in the East", though their Ugarit names are not given. Adam is mentioned as having been the founder of a nation, very much as Abraham is referred to in the Bible as the source of the Israelitish peoples. Eve is shown as the queen of a foreign race who conquered the Ugarit of her day, so that both of these shadowy figures become invested with an historical personality.
Doubtless, when the mass of texts have been deciphered and published, we shall be able to clothe with some dignity of reasonable truth the distorted traditions which are forced upon our youthful years as actual facts, because of the exaggerated value set upon their Hebrew associations by our Gentile clergy.
Apropos of Adam
"The Kabalists teach the existence of four distinct Adams, or the transformation of four consecutive Adams, the emanations from the Dyooknah (Divine Phantom) of the Heavenly Man, an ethereal combination of Neschamah, the highest Soul or Spirit; this Adam having of course, neither a gross human body, nor a body of desire. This Adam is the prototype (tzure) of the second Adam. That they represent our five races is certain, as every one can see by their description in the Kabalah." (S.D. ii: 478 T.P.H. Ed.).
The Secret Doctrine, on the same page from which the above paragraph is a quotation gives the four Adams of the Kabala as follows: - First, Adam, - Adam Kadrnon, the divine Phantom, the perfect holy Adam produced from the divine image (Whitman's Eidolon). Second Adam, - The protoplasmic, androgyne, male-female Adam of the future terrestrial separated Adam. Third Adam, - The man of dust, the first innocent Adam (of the third root race). Fourth Adam, - The fallen Adam whom the Syrians say had only the breath of life but no living soul until after his fall. This last fallen Adam, now male and female, is the Adam referred to in the third chapter of Genesis who "knew good and evil." An exposition of the occult symbolic mysticism of Adam would fill volumes. Adam is not a man, but Man, and Hesiod says - "From the same seed sprang gods and mortal men." (see his Theogony).
The four Adams present allegorically the cyclic fall of spirit into matter. - The man divine to the man human. This cyclic fall is one of the keys to the understanding of human life and the two ancient sciences of mythology and astrology without which the fables of the ancients are, as we are
told, mere superstitions. Myths are history as well as allegory. For those who wish to study other books on the subject besides the Secret Doctrine, we recommend "Prometheus Bound', by James Pryse.
CAPITAL OR CORPORATIONS?
The report of the committee on Social Service appointed by the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada has condemned the capitalistic system of economics (which means simply, management of public affairs, the word being the Greek word for household management), on five grounds: it is hostile to the ethics of Jesus; it destroys the initiative, freedom and security of vast multitudes; it falsifies the Christian scale of values, placing the money-interest above the human interest; it is unjust and inhuman in its distribution of the burdens and benefits of economic effort; and it continually frustrates the will of individuals to practice and put into effect what Jesus taught.
Few can deny these contentions though many will endeavour to argue that it is not the fault of the system but of human nature itself, and there is much truth in that view also. But the system encourages the antisocial attitude and places a premium on anti-social effort and that is what is most objected to. It frustrates the will of individuals. Yet strangely enough it boasts of its individualism.
We believe that it is not in capitalism, as such, that the evil lies, but in corporations, by which masses of capital are leagued together to oppose the interests of society as a whole. Every corporation fights for itself with inhuman, cold-blooded and intensely selfish purpose. As it has been said, the corporation has no conscience. It is dehumanized.
This is not the fault of capitalism, for capital in the hands of a man with human sympathies and human ideas, is a fine and useful instrument. But in the hands of a corporation it becomes a greater tyrant than any of the robber barons of old, or any of those absolute monarchs that have led to the establishment of republics and other forms of government which aim to set the people free from tyranny.
The tyranny of wealth in wrong and unscrupulous hands is the greatest tyranny humanity has to bear. That tyranny is concentrated in the power of the corporations, and the Church is barking up the wrong tree in denouncing capitalism as such. If the Church will turn its heavy guns on the corporations it will be delivering an assault on the strongest stronghold of Mammon. - Hamilton Herald, June 13, 1933.
Walt Whitman called that man or woman a Kosmos "Who out of the theory of the earth and his or her body understands all other theories, the theory of a city, a poem, and the large politics of these states."
It may or may not have been these words of Whitman's which suggested to Professor Walter B. Cannon of Harvard University the idea of what he calls "Biocracy", a new political and economic theory which he expounded to the alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last February and which was the subject of an article by William L. Lawrence in the New York Times of August 20th.
The Body a Model
In our bodies, Professor Cannon points out, we have an organism which has solved the problem of keeping stable by means of self-regulating devices. The body for instance maintains a fairly uniform temperature of 98.6 degrees. If the temperature falls the outward passage of heat is automatically checked by excluding the warm blood from they skin. Should the body temperature tend to rise, perspiration and dilation of the surface vessels occur, so that the process of heat-loss is speeded up. Likewise, the professor states, the fluids of the body are kept in a remarkably steady
state as a result of what he calls "the fluid matrix." This fluid matrix he likens to the system of distribution in the body-politic which includes our canals, rivers, roads, railroads, distributing organizations, money and credit.
By analogy, Professor Cannon thinks he sees in the physical body a model for the ordering of the body politic or the State, and were our medical men and biologists true initiates into the mysteries of the body it would undoubtedly prove the very best model obtainable. Perhaps it is because we are not initiates into these mysteries that the human body, the body-politic and the body economic present the many apparently unsolvable problems which have brought doctors, statesmen and economists to their wits' end.
An Old Idea
Professor Cannon's idea is not altogether a new one. Plato attempted to work it out in his Republic. In the fourth book he makes Socrates assert that "the same species of principles that are in a city are in every individual and in the same number" and that "in what manner a city is wise, and in what respect, after the same manner and in the same respect, is the individual wise also." The same idea is found in the Hindu and other sacred writings including the Hebrew bible. It is likewise at the very heart of Walt Whitman's conception of democracy. His Democratic Man was one in whom the so-called evil and so-called good were governed, and kept in their right place. His Democracy or Brotherhood of Man duplicated these conditions.
The self-regulated stability or equilibrium which Professor Cannon observes in the physical body is as liable to upset as the equilibrium of the body-economic or the body-politic, and, for the same reason; that reason being that the ignorance, greed and desires of man are continually upsetting and making readjustment necessary. Theosophy teaches that the moral laws of health are identical. The moral laws are not a codified system of commandments based on mere human expediency. They are specific aspects of the one general, universal law of Equilibrium, Beauty, Brotherhood, Karma, call it what you will.
One Universal Law
"We recognize but one law in the universe, the law of harmony or perfect equilibrium", says the Mahatma K.H. (Mahatma Letters, Page 141) . . . ."It is the particular faculty of the involuntary power of the infinite mind - which no one would ever think of calling God, to be eternally evolving subjective matter into objective atoms (you will please remember that the two adjectives are used in a relative sense) or cosmic matter to be later on developed into form. And it is likewise that same involuntary mechanical power that we see so intensely active in all the fixed laws of Nature - which governs and controls what is called the Universe or the Cosmos." (Mahatma Letters, Page 129). He might also have added that this same "involuntary mechanical power" likewise governs and controls the physical body of man in which the infinite mind of Nature is represented by the divine ego or soul, an occupant of the body which Professor Cannon seems, to overlook.
Body Not a Machine
From a Theosophical point of view Professor Cannon's Biocracy is all right as far as it goes. But where does it go from there? He assumes like most other modern biologists that the human body is nothing more than an automatically self-regulated machine. He doe not take into consideration that the body's temperature, moisture and blood circulation cease to be regulated after what is called death, when the so-called soul has left the form. He ignores the fact that the equilibrium he admires is continually being upset by other than physical causes, - ignorance, greed and desires. He assumes like most social economists that the body economic and the body politic are purely mechanical organisms like his machine body. Did he. perceive that this is not so, he would perceive that the problems of society go deeper than
economics and politics and can only be solved by an application of the law of brotherhood which maintains unity and equilibrium. The control of society's body, like the control of the physical body, lies not in its material composition by itself, but in its spiritual partner, the soul.
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