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VOL. XVI, No. 12. HAMILTON, FEBRUARY 15th, 1936 Price 10 Cents
CHANGES ON THE THRONE
The death of King George V. on January 21, so soon after the passing of Rudyard Kipling on the 18th, left the nation and the Empire in a state of mingled sorrow and confusion. Both deaths were quite unexpected, though the King has been in delicate health for years, and according to astrological forecasts might have died five years ago but for the surgical and medical skill brought to bear on his condition. It was a matter of vast importance that he survived to celebrate his Silver Jubilee and to send that message around the world at Christmas which revealed to humanity at large what was possible for a King nurtured in democracy to become to his people. O si sic omnes! we might well exclaim, but there is no class of people so shut in, so impervious to outside influences, so wise in their own conceits, as the rulers of the earth. And because the British monarchy has been a success, an outstanding success, they hate to think of it and would scorn to imitate it. So they must go.
Revolution is on the cards and in the stars. The Karma of the nations is what they have created for themselves, and not one of them is exempt from the reaping of that harvest which is now ready for the sickle. To those silent watchers who dwell with the Stars and wonder what sort of creatures mankind have made of themselves, we must look like a mad, mad, pack.
Our eager selfishness, that dares not let another prosper less he should have as much as we, and dare not encourage the bounty of Nature lest we should not get all of it for ourselves, is perhaps the greatest spectacle of folly the universe has ever produced. There is more than enough for every one, but we refuse to share the abundance, and our fate will be to go down to the bottomless pit of deprivation, and face the force of the Four Horsemen of War and Pestilence and famine and Death. This is the Kali Yuga, an age black with horrors, we have been warned, and we have been given a hint from the Skies and a Voice from the Ocean and a Word from the hearts of Men. But it is all of no avail.
King David has ascended the Throne, and it is not to be forgotten that his grandfather, Seventh of the name, pointed him out as a little toddler, and declared, "there goes the last King of England!" That, too, is a warning, if it be taken aright, and not put down to some echo of disloyalty. If it is not to be a true prophecy, the nation must mend its ways, rend its heart, seek out the Lord where He may be found, and change the currents of the cycle with an exhibition of Spiritual Will which will carry us forward into the burgeoning of a new Messianic cycle.
When will humanity learn that the
Word was made flesh and dwells in Man, and that as Swinburne sings - "Glory to Man in the highest! for Man is the master of things." He might be Master, truly, if he would, but his accursed selfishness prevents him reaching that pinnacle of Life where he could enter into the heart of Life and know all Wisdom and rein with all power. That heritage still stands and will stand for a little while, and then no more for ever. The hour will strike, and the cycle will move on, and there will be a new time and a new humanity, as there has been in ages past. We might quote Swinburne once more, as he appealed in the '60's -
O known and unknown fountain-heads that fill
Our dear life-springs of England! O bright race
Of streams and waters that bear witness still
To the earth her sons were made of! O fair face
Of England, watched of eyes death cannot kill,
How should the soul that lit you for a space
Fall through sick weakness of a broken will
To the dead cold damnation of disgrace?
Such wind of memory stirs
On all green hills of hers,
Such breath of record from so high a place,
From years whose tongue of flame
Prophesied in her name
Her feet should keep truth's bright and burning trace,
We needs must have her heart with us,
Whose hearts are one with man's, she must be dead or thus.
When Mrs. Besant made her futile attempt at the instigation of a foolish mind, to impose a Savior on the world, we wrote of one far more likely to be the Messenger of hope and recovery and repentance - with the works of repentance. That article appeared in The Canadian Theosophist for February, 1926 - "A More Probable Messiah" and we are not ashamed of it today. The Prophetic cycles are short, and the Messengers soon burn themselves out. Henry V. had but a scant nine years for his work, but much may be done in nine years, or even less. The Karma that brings a Prophet, A Priest, or a King to his duties, is the ordinary Karma which we all enjoy. It is the Karma of Work and Will and Wisdom. It is a great gateway of experience, and those who pass it may learn, or may miss the lesson, but they cannot make men different unless men wish to grow. For Theosophists, their duty is to support the right, to fight for principle, to sacrifice for humanity, and above all "to spread a knowledge of true Theosophy as The Secret Doctrine has endowed us, throughout the world, by our deeds as well as by our words and our thoughts."
- A. E. S. S.
THE LIFE OF PLATO
By Olympiodorus and Thomas Taylor
Let us now speak of the race of the philosopher, not for the sake of relating many particulars concerning him, but rather with a view to the advantage and instruction of his readers, since he was by no means an obscure man, but one who attracted the attention of many. For it is said that the father of Plato was Aristo, the son of Aristocles, from whom he refers his origin to Solon the legislator. Hence with primitive zeal he wrote twelve books of Laws, and eleven books on a Republic. But his mother was Perictione, who descended from Neleus, the son of Codrus.
They say that an Apolloniacal spectre had connexion with his mother Perictione, and that, appearing in the night to Aristo, it commanded him not to sleep with Perictione during the time of her pregnancy, - which mandate Aristo obeyed.
While he was yet an infant, his parents are said to have placed him in Hymettus, being desirous, on his account, to sacrifice
to the Gods of that mountain, viz., Pan, and the Nymphs, and the pastoral Apollo. In the meantime the bees, approaching as he lay, filled his mouth with honeycombs, as an omen that in future it might be truly said of him,
Words from his tongue than honey sweeter flowed.
(Iliad, I. 249).
But Plato calls himself a fellow-servant with swans, as deriving his origin from Apollo, for according to the Greeks that bird is Apolloniacal.
When he was a young man he first betook himself to Dionysius the grammarian for the purpose of acquiring common literature. Of this Dionysius, he makes mention in his dialogue called, The Lovers - that even Dionysius the school-master might not be passed over in silence by Plato. After him he employed the argive Aristo, as his instructor in gymnastic**, from whom he is said to have derived the name of Plato; for prior to this he was called Aristocles, from his grandfather; but he was so called from having those parts of the body, the breast and forehead broad in the extreme, as his statues every where evince. According to others, however, he was called Plato from the ample and expanded character of his style; just as they say Theophrastus was so called, from his divine eloquence, his first name being Tyrtamus.
Note. ** The like account of the divine origin of Plato is also given by Hesychius, Apuleius on the dogmas of Plato, and Plutarch in the eighth book of his Symposiacs. But however extraordinary this circumstance may appear, it is nothing more than one of those mythological relations in which heroes are said to have Gods for their fathers, or Goddesses for their mothers; and the true meaning of it is as follows: - According to the ancient theology, between those perpetual attendants of a divine nature called essential heroes, who are impassive and pure, and the bulk of human souls who descend to earth with passivity and impurity, it is necessary there should be an order of human souls who descend with impassivity, and purity. For, as there is no vacuum either in incorporeal or corporeal natures, it is necessary that the last link of a superior order should coalesce with the summit of one approximately inferior. These souls were called by the ancients terrestrial heroes, on account of their high degree of proximity and alliance to such as are essentially heroes. Hercules, Theseus, Pythagoras, Plato, &c., were souls of this kind, who descended into mortality, both to benefit other souls, and in compliance with that necessity by which all natures inferior to the perpetual attendants of the Gods are at times obliged to descend. But as according to the arcana of ancient theology, every God beginning from on high produces his proper series as far as to the last of things, and this series comprehends many essences different from each other, such as Daemoniacal, Heroical, Nymphical, and the like; the lowest powers of these orders have a great communion and physical sympathy with the human race, and contribute to the perfection of all their natural operations, and particularly to their natural operations, and particularly to their procreations. "Hence (says Proclus in Cratylum) it often appears that heroes are generated from the mixture of these powers with mankind; for those that possess a certain prerogative above human nature are properly denominated heroes." He adds: "Not only a daemonical genus of this kind sympathizes physically with men, but other kinds sympathize with other natures, as nymphs with trees, others with fountains, and others with stags or serpents." See more on this interesting subject in the Notes to my translation of Pausanias, vol. iii., p. 229, & c. Erwall, the editor of this Life, not being acquainted with the philosophical explanation of the MIRACULOUS CONCEPTION of Plato, pretends that the story originated from Plato being said to be born in the month Thargelion (with us, June), and on the very day in which Latona is reported to have
brought forth Apollo ands Diana.
For his preceptor in music Plato had Draco, the son of Damon; and of this master he makes mention in his Republic. For the Athenians instructed their children in these three arts, viz., grammar, music, and gymnastic - and this, as it seems, with great propriety. They taught them grammar, for the purpose of adorning their reason; music, that they might tame their anger; and gymnastic, that they might strengthen the weak tone of desire. Alcibiades also, in Plato, appears to have been instructed in these three disciplines; and hence Socrates says to him, "But you were unwilling to play on the pipes," &c. He was also conversant with painters, from whom he learned the mixture of colors, of which he makes mention in the Timeaus.
After this he was instructed by the Tragedians, who at that time were celebrated as the preceptors of Greece; but he betook himself to these writers on account of the sententious and venerable nature of tragic composition, and the heroic sublimity of the subjects. He was likewise conversant with Dithyrambic writers; with a view to the honour of Bacchus, who was called by the Greeks the inspective guardian of generation; for the Dithyrambic measure is sacred to Bacchus, from whom also it derives its name; Bacchus being Dithyrambus, as proceeding into light from two avenues - the womb of Semele, ands the thigh of Jupiter. For the ancients were accustomed to call effects by the names of their causes, as in the name Dithyrambus given to Bacchus. Hence Proclus observes:
With their late offspring parents seem to mix.
But that Plato applied himself to Dithyrambics is evident from his Phaedrus, which plainly breathes the Dithyrambic character, and is said to have been the first dialogue which Plato composed.
He was also much delighted with the comic Aristophanes and Sophron, from whom he learned the limitations of persons in his dialogues. (This Sophron was a Syracusan, and contemporary with Euripides. He was an obscure writer; and his works, none of which are now extant, were in the Doric dialect.) He is said to have been so much pleased with the writings of these men, that, on his death, they were found in his bed. Plato himself likewise composed the following epigram on Aristophanes:
The Graces, once intent to find
A temple which might ne'er decay,
The soul of Aristophanes
At length discovered in their way.
He reproves him, however, in a comic manner in his dialogue called The Banquet, in which he gives a specimen of his proficiency in comedy; for here Plato introduces him celebrating Love, and in the midst of his oration seized with a hiccup, so as to be unable to finish it. Plato also composed Tragic and Dithyrambic poems, and some other poetical pieces, all which he burned as soon as he began to associate with Socrates, at the same time repeating this verse:
Vulcan! draw near; 'tis Plato asks your aid.
Iliad, xviii. 392
Anatolius, the grammarian, once reciting this verse, very much pleased Vulcan, at that time the governor of the city. But he thus addressed him:
Vulcan! draw near; 'tis Pharos asks your aid.
(Pharos, as is well known, was a large tower near Alexandria, affording light to navigators in the night. Anatolius, therefore, in calling himself Pharos must have alluded to the etymology of his name. For Anatolius may be considered as being derived from anatole, the east, whence the light of the two great luminaries of heaven emerges, and pharos may be said to be quasi pharos, because the light of torches appeared from it.)
It is said, that when Socrates first intended to receive Plato as his disciple, he saw in a dream a swan without wings sitting on his bosom, which soon after obtaining wings flew into the air, and with the sweetness of its shrill voice allured all
those that heard it. This was the manifest token of Plato's future renown.
After the death of Socrates he had another preceptor, the Heraclitean Cratylus, upon whom he also composed a dialogue, which is inscribed Cratylus, or Concerning the rectitude of names. After he had been sufficiently instructed by this master, he again went into Italy, where finding Archytas restoring a Pythagoric school, he again had a Pythagoric preceptor of this name; and hence it is that he makes mention of Archytas. But since it is requisite that a philosopher should desire to behold the works of nature, he also went into Sicily for the purpose of viewing the eruptions of fire in mount Etna, and not for the sake of the Sicilian table, as you, O noble Aristides, assert.
When he was in Syracuse with Dionysius the Great, who was a tyrant, he endeavored to change the tyranny into an aristocracy; and it was for this purpose he visited the tyrant. But Dionysius, asking him whom among men he considered happy? (for he thought that the philosopher, employing flattery, would speak of him). Plato answered, Socrates. Again the tyrant asked him, What do you think is the business of a politician? Plato answered, To make the citizens better. He again asked him the third time, What, then, does it appear to you to be a small matter to decide rightly in judicial affairs? (for Dionysius was celebrated for deciding in such affairs with rectitude.) Plato answered boldly, It is a small matter, and the last part of good conduct; for those who judge rightly resemble such as repair lacerated garments. Again Dionysius asked him the fourth time, Must not he who is a tyrant be brave? Plato replied, He is of all men the most timid; for he even dreads the razor of his barbers, lest he should be destroyed by them. With these answers Dionysius was so indignant, that he ordered him to depart at sunrise.
The following was the cause of his second journey to Sicily. When, after the death of Dionysius the tyrant, his son succeeded to the throne, who by his mother's side was the brother of Dion, with whom Plato became acquainted in his first journey. Plato again sailed to Sicily, at the solicitations of Dion, who told him it might now be hoped that through his exertions the tyranny might be changed into an aristocracy. However, as Dionysius had been told by some of his attendants that Plato designed to destroy him, and transfer the government to Dion, he ordered him to be taken into custody, and delivered to one Pollidis of AEgina, a Sicilian merchant, to be sold as a slave. But Pollidis taking Plato to AEgina found there the Libyan Anniceris, who was then on the point of sailing to Elis, for the purpose of contending with the four-yoked car. Anniceris gladly bought Plato of Pollidis, conceiving that he would thence procure for himself greater glory by conquering in the race. Hence Aristides observes, that no one would have known Anniceris, if he had not bought Plato.
The following circumstance was the occasion of Plato's third journey to Sicily. Dion, being proscribed by Dionysius, and deprived of his possessions, was at length cast into prison. He therefore wrote to Plato, that Dionysius had promised to liberate him, if Plato would visit him. But Plato, that he might afford assistance to his associate, readily undertook this third voyage. And thus much for the journeys of the philosopher into Sicily.
Plato likewise went into Egypt for the purpose of conversing with the priests of that country, and from them learned what ever pertains to sacred rites. Hence in his Gorgias he says, "Not by the dog, who is considered as a God by the Egyptians." For animals among Egyptians effect the same thing as statues among the Greeks, as being symbols of the several deities to which they are dedicated. However, as he wished to converse with the Magi, but was prevented by the war which at that time broke out in Persia, he went to Phoenicia, and meeting with the Magi of that country, was instructed by them in Magic.
Hence, from his Timaeus, he appears to have been skilled in divination; for he there speaks of the signs of the liver, of the viscera, and the like. These things, however, ought to have been mentioned prior to his journeys to Sicily.
When he returned to Athens he established a school in the Academy, separating a part of the Gymnasium into a temple to the Muses. Here Timon the misanthrope associated with Plato alone. But Plato allured very many to philosophical discipline, preparing men and also women in a virile habit to be his auditors, and evincing that his philosophy deserved the greatest voluntary labor; for he avoided the Socratic irony, nor did he converse in the Forum and in workshops, nor endeavor to captivate young men by his discourses. (Two women particularly in a virile habit are said to have been his auditors, Lathsbenia the Mantinensian, and Axiothia the Phliasensian.) Add too, that he did not adopt the venerable oath of the Pythgoreans, their custom of keeping their gates shut, and their ipse dixit, as he wished to conduct himself in a more political manner towards all men.
When he was near his death, he appeared to himself in a dream to be changed into a swan, who, by passing from tree to tree, caused much labour to the fowlers. According to the Socratic Simmias, this dream signified that his meaning would be apprehended with difficulty by those who would be desirous to unfold it after his death. For interpreters resemble fowlers, in their endeavors to explain the conceptions of the ancients. But his meaning cannot be apprehended without great difficulty, because his writings, like those of Homer, are to be considered physically, ethically, theologically, and, in short, multifarious; for those two souls are said to have been generated all-harmonic: and hence the writings of both Homer and Plato demand an all-various consideration. Plato was sumptuously buried by the Athenians; and on his sepulchre they inscribed the following epitaph:
From great Apollo Paeon sprung,
And Plato too we find;
The saviour of the body one,
The other of the mind.
And thus much concerning the race of the philosopher.
Plato was born six years after Isocrates, in the 87th Olympiad, and 430 years before Christ. He also died on his birthday, after having lived exactly 81 years. Hence, says Seneca, the MAGI, who then happened to be at Athens, sacrificed to him on his decease as a being more than human, because he had consummated a most perfect number, which nine, nine times multiplied, produces.
INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY AND WRITINGS OF PLATO
By Thomas Taylor
(Continued from Page 362.)
EXPLANATIONS OF CERTAIN PLATONIC TERMS
As some apology may be thought necessary for having introduced certain unusual words of Greek origin, I shall only observe, that, as all arts and sciences have certain appropriate terms peculiar to themselves, philosophy, which is the art of arts, and science of sciences, as being the mistress of both, has certainly a prior and a far superior claim to this privilege. I have not, however, introduced, I believe, any of these terms without at the same time sufficiently explaining them; but, lest the contrary should have taken place, the following explanation of all such terms as I have been able to recollect, and also of common words used by Platonists in a peculiar sense, is subjoined for the information of the reader.
Anagogic, anagogikos. Leading on high.
Demiurgus, demiourgos. Jupiter, the artificer of the universe.
Dianoetia. This word is derived from dianoia, or that power of the soul which
reasons scientifically, deriving the principles of its reasoning from intellect. Plato is so uncommonly accurate in his diction, that this word is very seldom used by him in any other than its primary sense.
The Divine, to Theion, is being subsisting in conjunction with the one. For all things, except the one, viz. essence, life, and intellect, are considered by Plato as suspended from and secondary to the gods. For the gods do not subsist in, but prior to, these, which they also produce and connect,
but are not characterized by these. In many places, however, Plato calls the participants of the gods by the names of the gods. For not only the Athenian Guest in the Laws, but also Socrates in the Phdedrus, calls a divine soul a god. "For," says he, " all the horses and charioteers of the gods are good," &c. And afterwards, still more clearly, he adds, "And this is the life of the gods." And not only this, but he also denominates those nature gods that are always united to the gods, and which, in conjunction with them, give completion to one series. He also frequently calls deamons gods, though, according to essence, they are secondary to and subsist about the gods. For in the Phaedrus, Timaeus, and other dialogues, he extends the appellation of gods as far as the daemons. And what is still more paradoxical than all this, he does not refuse to call some men gods; as, for instance, the Elean Guest in the Sophista. From all this, therefore, we must infer that with respect to the word god, one thing which is thus denominated is simply deity; another is so according to union; a third, according to participation; a fourth, according to contact; and a fifth, according ito similitude. Thus every super-essential nature is primarily a god; but every intellectual nature is so according to union. And again, every divine soul is a god according to participation; but divine daemons are gods according to contact with the gods; and the souls of men obtain this appellation through similitude. Each of these, however, except the first, is as we have said, rather divine than a god; for the Athenian Guest in the Laws, calls intellect itself divine. But that which is divine is secondary to the first deity, in the same manner as the united is to the one; that which is intellectual to intellect; and that which is animated to soul. Indeed, things more uniform and simple always precede, and the series of beings ends in the one itself.
Doxastic. This word is derived from doxa, opinion, and signifies that which is apprehended by opinion, or that power which is the extremity of the rational soul. This power knows the universal in particulars, as that every man is a rational animal; but it knows not the dioti, or why a thing is, but only the oti, or that it is.
The Eternal, To aionion, that which has a never-ending subsistence, without any connection with time; or, as Plotinus profoundly defines it, infinite life at once total and full.
That which is generated, to geneton. That which has not the whole of its essence or energy subsisting at once without temporal dispersion.
Generation, genesis. An essence composite and multiform, and conjoined with time. This-is the proper signification of the word; but it is used symbolically by Plato, and also by theologists more ancient than Plato, for the sake of indication. For as Proclus beautifully observes (in MS. Comment in Parmenidem), "Fables call the ineffable unfolding into light through causes, generation." "Hence," he adds in the Orphic writings, the first cause is denominated time; for where there is generation, according to its proper signification, there also there is time."
A Guest, Xenos. This word, in its more ample signification in the Greek, denotes a stranger, but properly implies one who receives another, or is himself received at an entertainment. In the following dialogues, therefore, wherever one of the speakers is introduced as a Xenos, I have translated this word guest, as being more conformable to the genius of Plato's dialogues, which may be justly called rich
mental banquets, and consequently the speakers in them may be considered as so many guests. Hence in the Timaeus, the persons of that dialogue are expressly spoken of as guests.
Hyparxis, uparxis. The first principle or foundation, as it were, of the essence of a thing. Hence also, it is the summit of essence.
Idiom, Idioma. The characteristic peculiarity of a thing.
The Immortal, To athanaton. According to Plato, there are many orders of immortality, pervading from on high to the last of things; and the ultimate echo, as it were, of immorality is seen in the perpetuity of the mundane wholes, which according to the doctrine of the Elean Guest in the Politicus, they participate from the Father of the universe. For both the being and the life of every body depend on another cause; since body is not itself naturally adapted to connect, or adorn, or preserve itself. But the immortality of partial souls, such as ours, is more manifest and more perfect than this of the perpetual bodies in the universe; as is evident from the many demonstrations which are given of it in the Phaedo, and in the 10th book of the Republic. For the immortality of partial souls has a more principal subsistence, as possessing in itself the cause of eternal permanency. But prior to both these is the immortality of daemons; for these neither verge to mortality, nor are they filled with the nature of things which are generated and corrupted. More venerable, however, than these, and essentially transcending them, is the immortality of divine souls, which are primarily self-motive, and contain the fountains and principles of the life which is attributed about bodies, and through which bodies participate of renewed immortality. And prior to all these is the immortality of the gods: for Diotima in the Banquet does not ascribe an immortality of this kind to demons. Hence such an immortality as this is separate and exempt from wholes. For, together with the immortality of the gods, eternity subsists, which is the fountain of all immortality and life, as well that life which is perpetual, as that which is dissipated into nonentity. In short, therefore, the divine immortal is that which is generative and connective of perpetual life. For it is not immortal, as participating of life, but as supplying divine life, and deifying life itself.
Imparticipable, To amethekton. That which is not consubsistent with an inferior nature. Thus imparticipable intellect is an intellect which is not consubsistent with soul.
Intellectual Projection, noera epibole. As the perception of intellect is immediate, being a darting forth, as it were, directly to its proper objects, this direct intuition is expressed by the term projection.
The Intelligible, To noeton. This word in Plato and Platonic writers has a various signification: for, in the first place, whatever is exempt from sensibles, and has its essence separate from them, is said to be intelligible, and in this sense soul is intelligible. In the second place, intellect, which is prior to soul, is intelligible. In the third place, that which is more ancient than intellect, which replenishes intelligence and is essentially perfective of it, is called intelligible; and this is the intelligible which Timaeus in Plato places in the order of a paradigm, prior to the demiurgic intellect and intellectual energy. But beyond these is the divine intelligible, which is defined according to divine union and hyparxis. For this is intelligible as the object of desire to intellect, as giving perfection to and containing it, and as the completion of being. The highest intelligible, therefore, is that which is the hyparxis of the gods; the second, that which is true being, and the first essence; the third, intellect, and all intellectual life; and the fourth, the order belonging to soul.
Logismos, reasoning. When applied to divinity as by Plato in the Timaeus, signifies a distributive cause of things.
On account of which; with reference to
which; through which; according to which, from which; or in which; viz. di o, uph' ou, di ou, kath' o, ex ou. By the first of these terms, Plato is accustomed to denominate the final cause; by the second the paradigmatic; by the third, the demiurgic; by the fourth, the instrumental; by the fifth, form; and by the sixth, matter.
Orectic. This word is derived from orexis, appetite.
Paradigm, paradeigma. A pattern, or that with reference to which a thing is made.
The perpetual, to aidion. That which subsists forever, but through a connection with time.
A Politician, politikos. This word, as Mr. Sydehham justly observes in his notes in the Rivals, is of a very large and extensive import as used by Plato, and the other ancient writers on politics: for it includes all those statesmen or politicians in aristocracies and democracies, who were, either for life, or for a certain time, invested with the whole or a part of kingly authority, and the power thereto belonging. See the Politicus.
Prudence, Phronesis. This word frequently means in Plato and Platonic writers, the habit of discerning what is good in all moral actions, and frequently signifies intelligence, or intellectual Perception. The following admirable explanation of this word is given by Jamblichus
Prudence having a precedaneous subsistence, receives its generation from a pure and perfect intellect. Hence it looks to intellect itself, is perfected by it, and has this as the measure and most beautiful paradigm of all its energies. If also we have any communion with the gods, it is especially effected by this virtue; and through this we are in the highest degree assimilated to them. The knowledge too of such things as are good, profitable, and beautiful, and of the contraries to these, is obtained by this virtue; and the judgment and correction of works proper to be done are by this directed. And in short it is a certain governing leader of men, and of the whole arrangement of their nature; and referring cities and houses, and the particular life, of every one to a divine paradigm, it forms them according to the best similitude; obliterating some things and purifying others. So that prudence renders its possessors similar to divinity. Jamblic. apud. Stob. p. 141.
Psychical, psychikos. Pertaining to soul.
Science. This word is sometimes defined by Plato to be that which assigns the causes of things; sometimes to be that the subjects of which have a perfectly stable essence; and together with this, he conjoins the assignation of cause from reasoning. Sometimes again he defines it to be that the principles of which are not hypotheses; and, according to this definition, he asserts that there is one science which ascends as far as to the principle of things. For this science considers that which is truly the principle as unhypothetic, has for its subject true being, and produces its reasonings from cause. According to the second definition, he calls dianoetic knowledge science; but according to the first alone, he assigns to physiology the appellation of science.
The telestic art. The art pertaining to mystic ceremonies.
Theurgic. This word is derived from Theourgia, or that religious operation which deifies him by whom it is performed as much as is possible to man.
Truth, aletheia. Plato, following ancient theologists, considers truth multifariously. Hence, according to his doctrine, the highest truth is characterized by unity, ands is the light proceeding from the good, which imparts purity, as he says in the Philebus, and union, as he says in the Republic, to intelligibles. The truth which is next to this in dignity is that which proceeds from intelligibles, and illuminates the intellectual orders, and which an essence unfigured, uncolored, and without contact, first receives, where also the plain of truth is situated, as it is written in the Phadrus. The third kind of truth is, that
which is connascent with souls, and which through intelligence comes into contact with true being. For the psychical light is the third, from the intelligible; intellectual deriving its plenitude from intelligible light, and the psychical from the intellectual. And the last kind of truth is that which is full of error and inaccuracy through sense, and the instability of its object. For a material nature is perpetually flowing, and is not naturally adapted to abide even for a moment.
The following beautiful description of the third kind of truth, or that which subsists in souls, is given by Jamblichus: "Truth, as the name implies, makest a conversion about the gods and their incorporeal energy; but, doxastic imitation, which, as Plato says, is fabricative of images, wanders about that which is deprived of divinity and is dark. And the former indeed receives its perfection in intelligible and divine forms, and real beings which have a perpetual sameness of subsistence; but the latter looks to that which is formless, and non-being, and which has a various subsistence; and, about this it's visive power is blunted. The former contemplates that which is, but the latter assumes such a form as appears to the many. Hence the former associates with intellect, and increases the intellectual nature which we contain; but the latter, from looking to that which always seems to be, hunts after folly and deceives." Jamblic. apud Stob. p. 136.
The unical, to niaion. That which is characterized by unity.
With our next issue which begins our Volume xvii. we intend to continue the disquisitions on Plato by Thomas Taylor which are so highly regarded by all students of Occultism and Mysticism. The next to be presented is the Introduction to the Timaeus, in which Taylor gives us a version of The Secret Doctrine which will be found most interesting. Our friends and readers can oblige us greatly by calling the attention of their friends to these reprints.
When the last royal honors were distributed, I wrote a note of disappointment that no distinction had been awarded the man who was as a literary artist head and shoulders above any other living writer. The note was crowded out month after month and is now of little importance, but one regrets that it was not published before protests and applause were alike unavailing. It was supposed that some annoyance at the reference to "the Widow of Windsor" on the part of the Royal family had prevented a proper recognition of Kipling's great services to literature and the national spirit, but this suggestion falls before the letter which Her Majesty Queen Mary wrote, even in the midst of her grievous anxiety over the health of King George.
Sandringham, Jan. 19. - (AP) - Queen Mary found time yesterday to despatch this telegram to Mrs. Rudyard Kipling: "The King and I were grieved to hear of the death this morning of Mr. Kipling. We shall mourn him not only as a great national poet but as a personal friend of many years. Please accept our heart-felt sympathy.
- "MARY R."
And then came the solemn and supreme national tribute to Kipling's genius which makes such poor amends as was possible for all slights, and slurs, and leaves his dust mingling with that of his peers in the ancient shrine of St. Peter at Westminster. The newspaper despatch tells the story.
Buried in "Poets' Corner"
London, Jan. 23. - (CP) - Rudyard Kipling was laid to rest today in the company of the immortals of English literature.
In the dim and quiet by-way of Westminster Abbey's south transept, known for centuries as "the poets' corner," they placed the ashes of the bard of Empire.
His dust in the shallow depth of earth below the pavement scored with inscriptions to many a great name, will mingle
with the dust of Chaucer, Spenser, Samuel Johnson, Macaulay, Tennyson, Browning, Dickens and lesser lights in England's long line of poets.
In a crowded abbey, the dean of Westminster, Dr. Foxley Norris, conducted the funeral service, assisted by Rev. C.M. Armitage.
The pallbearers were Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, cousin of the dead poet, Admiral Sir Roger Keyes, Field Marshal Sir Archibald Montgomery-Massingberd, Sir. Jas. Barrie, the famous playwright; Major-General Sir Fabian Ware; H.A. Gwynne, editor of the Morning Post; A.B. Ramsay and A.S. Watt, Kipling's literary agent.
Old Originals There
While the body of Kipling's late king-emperor was being brought to London from Sandringham, the abbey congregation sang hymns in memory of the poet whose songs of India and of Empire were read the world over.
In the abbey were Major-General Lionel Dunsterville, the original of "Stalky," and G.C. Beresford, the original of "Macturk" in the same book.
Kipling should be well known to Theosophical students. He was born in India like Lord Macaulay and Thackeray and a number of others who found in western bodies vehicles for their oriental outlook. There are stories and sketches of the rarest beauty and inspiration among the marvelously various moods and tempers of his writings. Who can resist the charm of "An Habitation Enforced" or the rapture of "The Brushwood Boy" or the delicate pathos of "They?" The tawdry critics as is usual, for they took the same course with Tennyson and Browning and all the great ones in their age, and could not see that the ripe fruit was as rich and fine at the early harvest - found fault with even the magnificent Jubilee Ode, "The King and the Sea," and they had no eyes and no ears for his last book, "Limits and Renewals" published less than four years ago, with its picture of St. Paul. Kipling's secret was his communion with the Anima Mundi, and it is an education for the ordinary man to be familiar with his writings. With such familiarity he can scarcely miss a hint of The Way.
MORE LIGHT FROM THE EAST.
Some years ago, the then president of the British Anthropological Society asked me how I could explain the fact that so highly intellectual a people as the Chinese had produced no science. I replied that this must really be an "optical illusion," because the Chinese did have a science whose "standard work" was the I Ching, but that the principle of this science, like so much else in China, was altogether different from our scientific principle.
The science of the I Ching is not based on the causality principle, but on a principle (hitherto unnamed because not met with among us) which I have tentatively called the synchronistic principle. My occupation with the science of the unconscious processes long ago necessitated my looking about for another principle of explanation, because the causality principle seemed to me inadequate to explain certain remarkable phenomena of the psychology of the unconscious. Thus I found that there are psychic parallelisms which cannot be related to each other equally, but which must be connected through another sequence of events. This connection seemed to me to be essentially provided in the fact of the relative simultaneity, therefore the expression "synchronistic". It seems indeed as though time, far from being an abstraction, is a concrete continuum which contains qualities or basic conditions manifesting themselves simultaneously in various places in a way not to be explained by causal parallelisms, as, for example, in cases of the coincident appearance of identical thoughts, symbols, or psychic conditions. Another example would be the simultaneity of Chinese and European periods of style, a fact pointed
out by Wilhelm. They could never have been causally related to one another. Astrology would be a large scale example of synchronism, if it had at its disposal thoroughly tested findings. But at least there are some facts adequately tested and fortified by a wealth of statistics which make the astrological problem seem worthy of philosophical investigation. (It is assured of recognition from psychology, without further restrictions, because astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.)
The fact that it is possible to construct, in adequate fashion, a person's character from the date of his nativity, shows the relative validity of astrology. But the birth never depends on the actual astronomical constellations, but upon an arbitrary, purely conceptual time-system, because by reason of the precession of the equinoxes, the spring point has long ago passed on beyond zero degree Aries. In so far as there are any really correct astrological deductions, they are not due to the effects of the constellations, but to our hypothetical time-characters. In other words, whatever is born or done at this moment of time, has the qualities of this moment of time.
This is also the fundamental formula for the use of the I Ching. As is known, one gains knowledge of the hexagram characterizing the moment by a method of manipulating sticks of yarrow, or coins, a method depending on purest chance. As the moment is, so do the runic sticks fall. The only question is: Did the old King Wen, and the Duke of Chon, in the year 1000 B.C., interpret the accidental picture made by the fallen runic sticks correctly or not? As to this, experience alone can decide.
The type of thought built on the synchronistic principle, which reaches its big point in the I Ching, is the purest expression of Chinese thinking in general. With us, this thinking has been absent from the history of philosophy since the time of Heraclitus, and only reappears as a faint echo in Leibnitz. However, in the time between, it was not extinguished, but continued to live in the twilight of astrological speculation, and remains today at this level.
At this point the I Ching touches the need of further development in us. Occultism has enjoyed in our times a renaissance which is really without a parallel. The light of the Western mind is nearly darkened by it. I am not thinking now of our seats of learning and their representatives. I am a physician and deal with ordinary people, and therefore I know that the universities have ceased to act as disseminators of light. People have become weary of scientific specialization and rationalistic intellectualism. They want to hear truths which do not make them narrower but broader, which do not obscure, but enlighten, which do not run off them like water, but pierce them to the marrow. This search threatens to lead a large, if anonymous, public into wrong paths . . . . . . . . Spiritual Europe is not helped by what is merely a new sensation or a new titillation of the nerves. What it has taken China thousands of years to build cannot be stolen by us. We must learn to acquire it in order to possess it. What the East has to give us should be merely a help in a work which we still have to do. Of what use to us is the Wisdom of the Upanishads or the insight of the Chinese yoga, if we desert the foundations of our own culture as though they were outlived errors, and like homeless pirates, settle with thievish intent on foreign shores? The insight of the East, above all, the wisdom of the I Ching, has no meaning when we close our minds to our own problems, when we lead artificially arranged lives on the basis of conventional prejudices, when we veil from ourselves our real human nature with all its dangerous, subterranean elements, and its darkness? The light of this wisdom only shines in the dark, not in the electric searchlight of the European theatre of consciousness and will. The wisdom of the I Ching has originated from
a background, whose horror we can faintly suspect if we read of Chinese massacres, of the sinister power of Chinese secret societies, of the nameless poverty, the hopeless filth and vices, of the Chinese masses.
We need to have a correctly three dimensional life if we wish to experience Chinese wisdom as a living thing. Therefore, we first have need of European truths about ourselves. Our way begins as European reality and not in yoga practices which would only serve to lead us astray as to our own reality. We must continue Wilhelm's work of translation to a wider sense if we wish to show ourselves worthy pupils of the master. Just as he translated the spiritual treasure of the East into European meaning, we should translate this meaning into life . . .. . . . . .
Let us look toward the East: there an overwhelming fate is fulfilling itself. European cannon have burst open the gates of Asia; European science and technique, European worldly-mindedness and cupidity, flood China. We have conquered the East politically. Do you know what happened when Rome overthrew the near-East politically? The spirit of the East entered Rome. Mithra became the Roman military god, and out of the most unlikely corners of Asia Minor, came a new spiritual Rome. Would it be unthinkable that the same thing might happen today and find us just as blind as were the cultured Romans who marveled at the superstitions of the Christoi? It is to be noted that England and Holland, the two main colonizing powers in Asia, are also the two most infected by theosophy. I know that our unconscious is full of Eastern symbolism. The spirit of the East is really before our gates. Therefore it seems to me that the realization of the Meaning, the search for Tao, has already become a collective phenomenon among us, and that to a far greater extent than we generally think . . . . The Babylonian confusion of tongues in the Western world has created such a disorientation that everyone longs for simpler truths, or at least for general ideas which speak, not to the head alone, but to the heart as well, which give clarity to the spirit, and peace to the restless pressure of the feelings. Like the ancient Romans, we again today are importing every form of exotic superstition in the hope of discovering therein the right cure for our disease.
Human instinct knows that all great truth is simple, and therefore the man who is weak in instinct, assumes great truth to exist in all cheap simplifications and platitudes. Or, as a result of his disappointment, he falls into the opposite error of thinking that great truth must be as obscure and complicated as possible. We have today, a gnostic movement in the anonymous masses, which exactly corresponds psychologically with the movement 1900 years ago. Then, as today, lonely wanderers, like the great Appollonius, spun the spiritual threads from Europe back to Asia, perhaps to remotest India.
The foregoing paragraphs care taken from the Appendix by the famous C.G. Jung to his remarkable and invaluable book, The Secret of the Golden Flower, which should be in the hands of every student of The Secret Doctrine.
"THE FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER"
It is a splendid tribute to the memory of Robert Crosbie, that has been paid by his friends of the United Lode of Theosophy, Los Angeles, in collecting a series of his articles and letters into the handsome volume that bears the above title. It is a tribute that will endure, for readers of this book will feel they have something worth preserving, something to pass along, something to recommend, for no honest-minded man can read it without being impressed, enlightened, comforted and better fitted to deal with his life's problems. There is no pretension about the material. It is a book in which a man of high intelligence, who has studied The Secret Doctrine and the other writings of Madame Blavatsky, of William Q. Judge and the Mahatma Letters, and digested these, has
recorded the ideas he has acquired in his own clear language for the guidance and assimilation of others. He is not foolish enough to think that he can add to or improve upon these writers, but he usefully applies their wisdom to the passages of daily life which are problems for so many, but which only need to be understood to be seen to be the ways we have chosen for our learning.
It is a loveable book, a bedside book, a book for odd moments through the day, in the office, after dinner, any time. The writer inspires confidence in himself by his calmness, his control, the result of all his experiences. One sees reflected in it the daily wisdom of the occultist. One attributes this to the fact that he is soaked through and through with the spirit of William, Q. Judge. His terms of speech, his phrases, his well-known practical point of view, his common sense, are evident on every page, and there is no better commentary on the fact that Judge was the best interpreter to his time of what Madame Blavatsky had to teach. In rejecting Judge, Adyar rejected the spirit and power of The Secret Doctrine.
It has always struck me as curious that the U.L.T. people appear to desire to keep silence over Mr. Crosbie's long alliance with Point Loma. He was there in 1899 when I left it, and joined the rest in regarding me as a traitor. He continued to believe, unsuspecting, it seems, giving with all his ardor, his support to the Purple Mother, till he escaped, as he wrote me, ten years later, regretting that he had failed to heed my warnings, but devoted as ever to Theosophy. He, like so many others, had been guileless, finding it impossible to imagine that the Theosophical Society could have become an organized deception. He felt no responsibility for those who remained in it, but any who have lured hundreds into its ranks may feel constrained to exert themselves to point to the true Path and to teach the true Doctrine.
Mr. Crosbie is all the stronger and all the sweeter for having come up through great tribulation. It has not embittered him, and in this respect he sets a sterling example to those who profess to follow him. As a consequence of his experience, we imagine the book is a manual of personal theosophy, a summary of thought-facts which should be read by all those people who are continually asking the same questions and never finding out the answers in themselves where alone they are to be found.
Those who can recall the symposia and conferences and bedroom discussions in New York and Boston in the '90's will recognize many things, then current which crop up as reminiscent echoes. On page 4 he says, "Theosophy was once happily stated to be `sanctified common sense'," and the present writer once thought himself rather smart to have invented this sentence. Years afterwards I found the phrase in a book by Rev. A.B. Grosart, published in 1874, before The Theosophical Society was formed. "Sanctified common sense" is still well applied to Theosophy, at least the Blavatsky and Judge brand, and that is what Crosbie is represented by in his book.
At the same time Crosbie is careful to warn us - "It is not the best thing to rely upon any living person, I mean to the ex-tent of idealizing him." And surely Theosophists should have learned this lesson with all the examples they have had before them.
Space does not permit much quotation but a few specimen sentences will certify to the quality of the book.
"Neither Jesus nor H.P.B. lived and died that a book or books should be swallowed wholesale, nor even that men should become disciples, but that all men should become brothers."
"The common sense of Theosophy must appeal to any man of the world; the great thing is to have it. W.Q.J. had it par excellence; his lead is a safe and a good one to follow."
"'That we should have been brought into
direct communication with error while naming it truth, has its meaning: it must be a step in the great cause."
"That, which was founded by H.P.B. was not the diversified aggregation now existing, but something else which bore that name."
"There are many of these poor unfortunates who are caught in the mazes of the psychic realm: as long as they look for their `guru', he will not be found."
"I think the main obstacle in the way of some is an attitude of criticism, such as, for instance, is taken in saying, `His interpretation does not agree with mine,' or anything, in fact, that considers the person, rather than the meaning."
"There could be no greater work than that in which we are engaged. When our lives are ended, what will count? Our defects? Not at all. It will be the efforts we have made to destroy the causes of all defects among our fellow men."
"Think of the Master as a living Man within you: let Him speak through the mouth and from the heart. The strength shown is not that of the personality, for like an organization, the personality is only a machine for conserving energy and putting it to use."
"We sometimes forget that we ourselves desired to be tried and tested, and that these trials and tests come in the ordinary events of everyday life."
These sentences are selected from only the first 100 pages of a book of over 400 pages. It is a book that will bear the test of H.P.B.'s, definition in The Key to Theosophy, chapter xii: "We hold that a good book which gives people food for thought, which strengthens and clears their minds, and enables them to grasp truths which they have dimly felt but could not formulate - we hold that such a book does a real substantial good."
Like Oliver Twist, we are not ashamed to ask for more. On page 20 of the present volume we read: "We consider the writings of W.Q.J. to be particularly designed for the needs of the Western people. We know their value. We also know that neither the world, in general nor theosophists in general, are aware of their existence, and it is our desire and purpose that they shall know, as far as our power and opportunity permit."
We trust the reception accorded the present volume will encourage the Theosophy Company, its publishers, to take immediate steps towards the collection of Mr. Judge's miscellaneous articles, and their presentation to the public in a companion volume to "The Friendly Philosopher."
- A. E. S. S.
THE NEW DAY
Victoria, Edward, George - our four score years
Recall the long pageant of the Empire throne
Firm founded as a myriad storms have blown
Its banners round the world, and pioneers
Of Science whispered secrets in the ears
Of Privilege, whose decrees sweep every zone
Austerely gathering where they have not strown -
Unloved, while angels weep, and Satan sneers.
David, anointed of the Lord, arise!
Call forth a new day in this desolate age;
Men should be brethren, not blinds fools, but wise!
Turn war to tillage; let the heathen rage;
See nations equal ranked, with homes men prize -
The victory of the heart, the soul's just wage.
- A. E. S. S.
The Fraternization Convention Committee have decided to hold the Convention at the Lafayette Hotel, Buffalo, on June 27-28, as announced in the "Fraternization News," 49 East 7th St., Hamilton, Ont.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
THE ORGAN OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN CANADA
Published on the 15th of every month.
Editor - Albert E. S. Smythe.
Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
Subscription, One Dollar a Year.
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
- Felix A. Belcher, 250 N. Liagar St., Toronto.
- Maud E. Crafter, 345 Church Street, Toronto.
- William A. Griffiths, 37 Stayner Street, Westmount, P.Q.
- Nath. W. J. Haydon, 564 Pape Avenue, Toronto.
- Frederick B. Housser, 10 Glen Gowan Ave., Toronto.
- Kartar Singh, 1720 Fourth Ave. W., Vancouver, B.C.
- Was. E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver
- Albert E. S. Smythe, 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
A meeting of the Fraternization Committee, we are informed by Mr. F.A. Belcher, was held on Sunday evening, 2nd inst., and among other matters discussed, the most important was a suggestion that there should be two sets of lectures, catering to two different types of listeners. This was agreed to, provided the attendance promised to be sufficient to warrant it.
We print this month the usual official notice of the General Elections held annually, but at the same time call attention to the resolution adopted at the meeting of the General Executive. There has been no hint of any desire this year to change any of those in office in the General Executive, and a letter has been sent to the Lodges asking them if it be not their intention to nominate new members of the Executive or a new General Secretary, to notify the General Secretary to this effect not later than March 2nd so that no further steps will be taken this year, and much expense saved.
We have taken the liberty of copying some paragraphs from the Appendix to Professor Jung's remarkable book, The Secret of the Golden Flower, one of the most valuable volumes that have come to light in the renaissance of occult literature. The Chinese classic, of which the book is mainly a translation, presents remarkable confirmations of occult truths otherwise brought before the West in the last generation or so, but with the difference that might be expected from those who belonged to a different and earlier race of men. It has a beauty all its own, and its appeal is to the innermost instincts of the spiritual consciousness, where "the Breath breatheth where it listeth, and one knoweth not whence it cometh nor whither it goeth." Professor Jung's essay should be read as a whole, as our extracts merely indicate the drift of the investigation which his friend Wilhelm had undertaken.
We have heard a great deal about the "permanent atom" since Mrs. Besant ventilated the idea. It was in her "Study of Consciousness," it first came out after she had been "instructed" by Mr. Chakravarti for some time. In the "Ancient Wisdom" for January, Charles E. Luntz, writing on Astrology, remarks, "accepting the existence of the permanent atom, on authority of H.P. Blavatsky, Annie Besant, C.W. Leadbeater and others of high repute" - and we should surely be obliged if he would give us his reference where H.P. Blavatsky became an authority with these others on this statement. She states quite plainly that "Matter is eternal; the atom is periodic and not eternal," on page 545 (596) vol. I. of The Secret Doctrine. Where does she contradict this? Modern and exact science, she says, laughs it to scorn. "Mrs. Besant, C.W. Leadbeater and other high authorities" apparently take sides with the scientific modernists.
The most notable article in The Theosophist for January is one by A.J. Hamerster, reviewing the books published by Madame Alexandra David-Neel and by Dr. W.Y . Evans-Wentz. Those of Madame David-Neel are My Journey to Lhasa, With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet, Initiations and Initiates in Tibet, The Super-human Life of Cesar o f Ling, Au Pays des Brigands-Gentilhommes du Grand Tibet, Le Lama aux Cinq Sagesses. The last mentioned is written in conjunction with the Lama Yongden. These volumes constitute a complete endorsement of Madame Blavatsky's work ands writings and corroboration of her statements as to the origin of her information and teaching. It ought to be obvious to our Adyar friends that the more Madame Blavatsky is corroborated, the more completely the Adyar literature of the last thirty years or so is discredited and proven valueless. Man: Whence, How and Whither, and The Lives of Alcyone are poles asunder from The Secret Doctrine.
People are so accustomed to dogmatic statements that it is not to be wondered at, perhaps, that they are unable to take statements appearing in a Theosophical magazine undogmatically, and to use their judgment upon them. Our contributors are anxious to be correct no doubt, and take pains to attain accuracy, but in spite of this, human faculty is fallible, and we are always lacking essential factors in nearly every problem we propose to solve. Consequently when one reads a statement, by an astrologer, for example, no mutter how careful he may be, in the very nature of things we must recognize that elements of error may exist, and unknown factors or agencies not calculated upon, may upset every conclusion. Why then, it may be asked, should such statements be published? Well, we can only say that this is the methods of science. Had scientific men refused to hear or note the theories of a hundred years ago about the atom, or about electricity, or other matters of physics or chemistry we should now be greatly behind. No doubt the theories were incorrect, but they awakened interest, they served as stepping-stones to more correct conclusions; and they in turn gave way to observations that led to further investigation and to discoveries that have placed us far ahead of what we must have been had we put aside the tentative theories first formed. Astrology is one of the most vulnerable of the sciences, not worthy to be called a science in the view of many, but no progress can be made if a hush-up attitude be adopted towards it, and every attempt to solve its problems be smothered. The best of the astrologers have made mistakes or miscalculations. It is probably better to recognize that they had not all the elements of their problems in their knowledge. For example, Mrs. Besant's death was confidently predicted for 1911 or 1912 by a celebrated astrologer in the early years of the century. She survived till 1933. King George's death has been foretold by astrologers for several past dates, but something stronger has defeated the predictions. We know little about the vast range of facts outside our immediate experience, and facts in that unknown territory must have their value and must be reckoned with. Beside this, the will of man is an incalculable element. "The Wise man rules his stars; the fool obeys them."
Arthur Machen, reviewing John Beevers' book, "World Without Faith," quotes a paragraph about T.S. Eliot, the accepted poet. "In essence Fascism means that the individual must surrender himself to something political. Fascism says the State, religious Fascism says Christianity." Machen remarks - "Eliot he dismisses, since he has surrendered to the Church; he finds in this a sign of intellectual Fascism." Beevers proceeds: "The artist becomes the servant of the ruling power. I do not believe that Christianity holds anything more of importance for the world. It is finished, played out. The
only trouble lies in how to get rid of the body before it begins to smell too much. But my disagreement on this point is trivial. When Eliot talks of the necessity of an artist surrendering his personality to tradition and orthodoxy I'd like to put him - only a harmless metaphor - against the wall as Public Enemy Number One." "Every line of his poetry proves that he has found himself incapable of living happily in the contemporary world. He simply could not live happily as a natural man." Poor Mr. Eliot is too delicately constructed for a world out of joint.
One of the inescapable things that falls to the lot of anyone who enters the sacred ground of the American Continent is the difficulty he finds in conveying a cosmopolitan view to the native-born. America is all the world to them, and though they may look over the borders, they are inclined to do so as we usually do in the Zoo at the animals in cages. They don't belong. One says this is no deprecatory spirit. It is the same in Europe. All these nations, English, French, Germans, Italians, have a National complex which is part of their Karma, and they must use it, transcend it, subdue it as they may. Richard Aldington, writing of A.G. Macdonell's A Visit to America, quotes his author, "if you make comparisons, you must not compare the United States with a little country like England, but with Europe. Let me risk a generalization;" proceeds Mr. Aldington, "and say that the country might be called the United States of New Europe (plus a good chunk of Africa) held together by something called Americanism which Americans define in many different ways." Canadianism is no more readily defined, nor is cosmopolitanism any more popular here than south of the border. It appears that to think any other nation as good as one's own is regarded as unpatriotic, apart altogether from the facts. This is one of the barriers to Universal Brotherhood, and the difficulty is carried in principle and spirit into other divisions of race, creed, sex, caste and color. In short the ideal of our first object is by no means so easy, nor so popular as might be imagined.
AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS
Toronto, Ontario, 26th Jan., 1936 General Executive, The Theosophical Society in Canada.
Dear Sirs: I have audited the books and accounts of the Theosophical Society in Canada, for the fiscal year ended 30th June, 1935 and certify that the Statement of Funds appearing on page 145 of the July issue of The Canadian Theosophist is in accordance therewith. Faithfully yours,
-John K. Bailey,
The above is the report, from Mr. J.K. Bailey, C.A., of his audit of the accounts of the Society for the term indicated. A resolution was adopted by the General Executive thanking him for his kind and generous assistance in the midst of an exceedingly busy season which had unavoidably delayed the audit.
THE ANNUAL ELECTIONS
Nominations for the office of General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive should be made by the Lodges during the month of March, so that returns may all be in by the 1st day of April. Experience has shown that
it is impossible otherwise to issue voting papers, carry on the elections, get returns made, and scrutinize the ballots in time for a declaration in the June Magazine. Secretaries of Lodges will kindly see that the matter is brought before their respective Lodges, and when nominations are made, have them sent at once to the General Secretary. Nominations must be made through a Lodge, and consent of parties nominated must have been previously obtained. Nominations must reach the General Secretary by April Ist when the
nominations close. They should be mailed at least a week before. This will enable ballots to be sen: out, should an election be necessary, on or before May 1, and voting to close on June 1st. Nomination returns must be sent in a separate letter addressed to the General Secretary at 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario.
(See also the report of the meeting of the General Executive, and the Official Note dealing with the possible waiver of an election for the present year.)
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
The General Executive met on Sunday afternoon, February 2, all the local members being present.
The membership was reported as four in advance of last year, with 20 new members this year as against 17 last. All things considered, the situation may be regarded as favorable, but of course special attention and activity is required by elected officers and representatives of the Society everywhere, to maintain the efficiency and membership of the Society and its work. The field of the Society's operations was carefully gone over in a discussion which involved all present. It does not appear that further lecture campaigning can be carried on at present, and local activity has been concentrated on a broadcasting campaign. If the membership could organize work of this kind in the middle west and Pacific Coast, we believe a great deal of interest could be excited among the public in Theosophy, which is so generally misunderstood, but might be placed in a reasonable and appealing light by simple and common sense presentation.
Attention was directed to the new book by Mr. Ernest Wood, "Is This Theosophy ?" (Rider), in which he relates the conditions under which the late Mr. Leadbeater's books were produced. Mr. Wood states his conviction that there is no substantial basis for these volumes, and his lack of confidence in the reliability of Mr Leadbeater's alleged clairvoyance. The book in fact fully justifies the position adopted by the Canadian Society generally during the last twenty years.
A resolution moved by Mr. Housser and seconded by Mr. Haydon, was adopted, that overtures be made to the lodges with a view to avoiding an election this year and saving the consequent expense for the Society. The General Executive has no desire to influence any lodge against its convictions, but if there is no actual wish for a change in the membership of the Executive, it would be undesirable to undertake the expense and work of an election.
On the motion of Messrs. Housser and Haydon, it was unanimously resolved to carry on The Canadian Theosophist as at present. This will depend on the donations which have supported it hitherto being continued, or paralleled.
It was once more suggested that an effort be made to obtain reports through the Lodge secretaries or otherwise of local activities for publication in the magazine. This is continually overlooked by the local lodges.
BROTHERHOOD OF THE NOBLER SELF
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - The following sentence taken from an address given by H.S. Olcott is to be found on page 45 of his "Theosophy, Religion and Occult Science" and seems to bear out what Capt. Bowen writes in his admirable Letter on Brotherhood in the last issue of your Canadian Theosophist. "We then saw that while it is impossible, save in Utopia, to hope for a real brotherly union between nations or communities upon the external side of human nature, yet this may be effected quite easily upon the plane of the inner and nobler self." The "We" at the beginning of the sentence doubtless refers to H.P.B. with whom Olcott was at the date of this Lecture (1884) in close touch. Surely as Capt. Bowen writes, "If we have evolved the spirit of brotherhood within
ourselves we cannot prevent it from manifesting", and this I believe to be the only way to achieve that true Brotherhood which we all wish to become the rule of the Universe. Yours faithfully,
- Iona Davey.
Hon. Sec. Blavatsky Association.
"AE" AS MYSTIC PAINTER
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - With the exception of Mrs. Katharine Tynan Hinkson (C.T. Aug., 1935, pp. 175-6) I observe only the briefest of references (Dean DeLury and a New York writer A.P.) to a very important facet of AE's genius, that of mystic painter. Everyone who read The Irish Theosophist in the old days was familiar with his beautiful and inspiring pictures of the Gods and Heroes of Ireland which usually formed the frontispiece and were often accompanied by a short poem or article. Mrs. Cleather had all these volumes in her valuable library which has long since gone to the foundation of the H.P.B. Library at Victoria, B.C. I am sending this letter first to Mrs. Henderson, who has charge of it, and asking her to add any information she can concerning these pictures, as our party has been unable to keep a library since we became homeless wanderers more than twenty years ago. I confess to a feeling of astonishment that Theosophists have almost completely neglected these lovely visions of Ireland''s forgotten glories - "Our Lost Others" as AE called them. Even Mr. Bowen who, I presume, uses or knows of the old Dublin Lodge rooms whose walls AE covered with his paintings (as described by Mrs. Hinkson), has not a single word to say about them. I shall never forget the profound impression they made on me when, as a young member soon after H.P.B.'s death, I went over to a Convention at Dublin. Since then it has often struck me that Theosophists, with few exceptions, are apt to be neglectful of the arts and other methods of expression. H.P.B. once wrote a leader in Lucifer entitled "Civilization the Death of Art and Beauty" which might be studied again today with advantage. In a later communication I hope to deal with a very important suggestion which she made to the Esoteric School shortly before her death as to means of reaching the masses - means now so greatly extended by modern methods of propaganda. The purpose of this letter, however, is to suggest that an effort should be made to collect and publish AE's unique artistic heritage, including the pictures on the walls of the Dublin Lodge, and if possible also the poems and articles relating to them in the I.T. Now that color photography is so easy and inexpensive, there should be no difficulty in obtaining authentic copies for reproduction. Lately, in China, I have been doing some work of this nature with encouraging results. Buddhist religious art is extremely rich in color and symbolism, and a Jesuit Father whom I met up country told me that he, as a painter himself, fully recognized its superiority to that of Western religious art, and always made a point of depicting Christ as an Oriental type.
- Basil Crump.
Peking, December 12, 1935.
"EXPLAINS SOVIET PEACE"
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - I had to read this paragraph twice before I could credit the fact that a paper calling itself Theosophical could apparently give its approval to a regime which is responsible for the known horrors of the lumber camps, for its definite legislation against any approach to spirituality, and for countless murders and cruelties of which there is ample well authenticated evidence.
What is the "equality" of which Stalin speaks? It is the reduction to a drab level of materialism of the people. What was the old "domination by Russians over other peoples" under the Tsars compared with the ruthless terrorism anal destruction meted out to small tribes in Asia by the brutal emissaries of the Soviet? What
kind of "peace" but the silence of fear can there be in a country where there is no freedom, freedom of speech, freedom to travel at will, freedom to read what one wishes. I have had returned to me, "forbidden by the censor" on the packet the "Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett," a book by Mrs. Cleather and another less definitely "religious" book sent a Russian friend in Leningrad. She has never been able to write freely to me nor I to her since the Soviet regime commenced, because of the strict censorship of letters. But she did once make a note in small writing saying "if you hear that things are better here, do not believe it."
A "Godless" country means one given over to materialism and materialism means the destruction of civilization. I hold no brief for civilization as it exists today, but at least up till now it has not taken away from the people the chance to learn of the spiritual heritage of mankind. Even the Index expurgatorious has not withheld the evidence of Christian mystics to something beyond ordinary mundane perception, leaving a light which may lead the inquiring mind to greater discoveries, as I personally know.
May I say how I have appreciated the letter of Mr. Pease re the authenticity of the 3rd Vol. S.D.
- Miss A.A. Morton.
ANDREW CARNEGIE'S CRITICISM
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - The Canadian Theosophist, Jan. 15th, contains a short article on The Carnegie Trust, embodying statements which sound somewhat strange to theosophical ears. In it Andrew Carnegie appears to be held up as an example of altruism because at the age of 33 be resolved to be satisfied with an income of $50,000 - "beyond this I will never earn - make no effort to increase fortune", he wrote; yet the article goes on to say that before he died he had accumulated a fortune of 360 million dollars.
His philanthropic intentions did not prevent his inclusion in the book "Robber Barons" published recently in the U.S.A. in which it pointed out that although Carnegie did make this resolve, he broke it almost immediately and became as keen a money grubber as any other millionaire. All this is quite natural, for money makes money, and it would be difficult for anyone in his position to put a limit on his earnings.
However, what Theosophists should chiefly object to in the article is the comparison of the merchant Carnegie with the initiate Jesus on the grounds that at the same age they both came to a momentous decision in their lives - Carnegie to be content with an income of $50,000 for his personal use, and Jesus to sacrifice his life in the interests of suffering humanity. In this instance comparisons appear to be rather more than odious.
Great wealth can only he accumulated through the suffering and deprivation of others, and to spend a surplus in alleviating such suffering would be a negative gesture of no possible karmic valve. It is doubtful if it would even have a neutralizing effect on the bad karma incurred in the making of a vast fortune, as no personal sacrifice would be involved in the spending - it would be merely giving away something one did not want.
- E. K. Middleton.
THEOSOPHY AND POLITICS
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - In the interest of straight Theosophy may I point out two serious flaws of reasoning in E. K. Middleton's letter in Your January issue. First: Miss Middleton ignores, or overlooks, the fact that the difference pointed out in "The Key" between the Society never taking part in political activity, and the right of the individual to make his own choice in politics, does not imply that the individual has the smallest justification for tacking his own views in that line on to Theosophy, as Miss Middleton proceeds to do in her letter. Secondly: Miss Mid-
dleton speaks of "those who concentrate entirely on changing hearts are doing the work for which they feel they are best fitted . . . . . . ." as if Mrs. Fielding's letter on this subject in your August issue, had advocated putting on one's hat to go out and "change lives," in the Oxford Group manner; whereas in reality, it is Miss Middleton who seems to consider that some such magical process can be accomplished by a change of "the system". If, as she rightly says, the change of heart comes by slow degrees, how can any outer change of system eliminate greed, selfishness and dishonesty in the nature of the men who run the system? " . . . the urge to change the system" may be an impulse born of realization of how wrong everything is with us, but it can hardly be a logical outcome of realization that the slow process of a change of consciousness in the direction of the Heart Doctrine is a prerequisite to any adequate change of motive in conduct.
- H. Henderson.
January 20th, 1936.
AMONG THE LODGES
At the annual meeting of the Montreal Theosophical Society the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: -Honorary President, Miss C. Burroughs; President, Mr. D.B. Thomas; Vice-President, Mr. H. Lorrimer; secretary, Mrs. D.B. Thomas, 64 Strathearn Avenue; Treasurer, Mr. W.A. Griffiths; Assistant Treasurer, Mrs. W.A. Griffiths; Librarian, Mrs. C. Erbert. As a mark of respect and in appreciation of the faithful and loyal work to the Lodge since its inception in 1905 the Society appointed Miss Caroline Burroughs (Retiring Librarian) to be its first Honorary President. Miss Burroughs is the only charter member still retaining membership in our Lodge. Mrs. Paskins was appointed Director of Publicity and Miss LeBel Convener of Teas. - R.M. Thomas, Secretary.
The Toronto Lodge, for the third consecutive winter, commenced a series of thirteen broadcast talks on Theosophy, these being given every Sunday afternoon at 1.45 p.m. E.S.T., from Station C.R.C.T., in Toronto. The first was given on Dec. 1st by Mr. A.E.S. Smythe, the subject being "Unity of Life"; on Dec. 8th and 15th, the speaker was Alvin B. Kuhn, Ph.D., his subjects were "How the Soul is immortal" and "The tree teaches reincarnation", Mr. F. Belcher spoke on Dec. 22nd on. "New Years resolutions and Karma", and Mr. D.W. Barr on Dec. 29th, on, "Memory of previous lives". The five Sunday evening lectures were given by Mr. A.E.S. Smythe who spoke on "How the Mahatmas came to Toronto"; on the second and third Sundays Alvin B. Kuhn, Ph.D. was the lecturer, his subjects being, "The true location of Judgment" and "The Egyptian mummy speaks at last"; on the fourth Sunday Mr. G.I. Kinman spoke on "The Christ born in us,"; and the last Sunday Mr. N.W.J. Haydon spoke on the recent book "Occultism and Christianity". On Dec. 9th, 10th and 11th Dr. Kuhn gave a series of lectures on "The Truth about the Bible". On Dec. 5th Mr. A.E.S. Smythe gave an illustrated lecture on the book recently published, "Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars", concerning the recent discovery of a Zodiac laid out in Somersetshire in England, the circle being about ten miles in diameter, its existence was brought to light by aerial photographs, the Zodiac being apparently laid out about 2700 B.C., and would appear to be the symbolical Round Table of King Arthur. The series of thirteen Broadcasts, sponsored by the Toronto Lodge commenced on Sunday December 1st, at 1.45 p.m., E.S.T., over Station C.R.C.T., and will continue until Sunday February 23rd. The response to these talks on Theosophical subjects has already exceeded that of the two previous years. Those who have contributed, papers up to the present time are, Mr. A.E.S. Smythe, Mr. Alvin B. Kuhn. Ph.D., Mr. F. Belcher,
Mr. D.W. Barr, Mr. F.B. Housser and Mr. R.G. Lesch. The four Sunday lectures during January were given by, Jan. 5th, Mr. A.E.S. Smythe who took for his subject "2700 B.C."; Jan. 12th, Sadhu Singh Dhami, who spoke on "The Vedanta philosophy as a way of Life"; Jan. 10th, Capt. R.G. Cavell (late Indian Army) who spoke on "Some Social consequences of Indian Religions"; Jan. 26th, Mr. R.G. Lesch of Buffalo, the title of his lecture being "Creation and Evolution". In opening this meeting, the Chairman, Lt.-Col. Thomson, D.S.O., referred in feeling terms to the great loss the Empire had sustained in the death of King George V., he asked the large audience to stand for two minutes in silence, after which 'the National Anthem was sung. Mr. Lesch, before commencing his lecture, said he wished to associate himself with all that the Chairman had said about the late King; speaking for his fellow citizens of the United States as well as for himself, he assured the audience of the deep sympathy that was felt in his Country, and which was extended to the people of the Empire. Mr. Lesch also lectured on Jan. 27 th, "Peace and War in the light of Theosophy"; Jan. 29th, "Health and Healing," and Jan. 31st, "The trend of the New Psychology." The following classes are being held; Sunday morning, Secret Doctrine Class; Sunday afternoon, Lotus Circle. Tuesday evenings class on Astrology; Friday evenings, Secret Doctrine Class, and on Saturday evenings the Literary group meet to discuss some book of recent publication.
HOW NEW RACE TYPES SPRING- UP
White, negro and Indian blood - that is the combination in the veins of Joe Louis, the greatest piece of boxing machinery developed in a long time. He's Joe Louis of Detroit now, but he was born Joseph Louis Barrow in the Buckalew Mountain country of Alabama, where he spent the first ten years of his life, that is to say nearly half of his existence.
The Barrow part of the family name goes back to James Barrow, a wealthy land-owner and it is said, owner of hundreds of slaves before the United States Civil War. He was great-grandfather of the lad who today, is termed the uncrowned heavy-weight champion of the world.
The Indian blood is Cherokee from "away back when." Victoria Harp Barrow, grandmother of the currant boxing sensation, was a descendant of Charles Hunkerfoot, a Cherokee chieftain of whom many tales are included in Indians lore.
Louis, who made his reputation while a Detroit resident, and is about to became one of Chicago's citizens, still has first cousins in the South, the land of his ancestors.
It takes all kinds of people to make a world, and it took the intermingling of three races to produce a man who appears destined to lift boxing out of the doldrums. At least Louis will help the sport to come back if opposition to extend him can be found. - Toronto Globe, Oct. 1.
On Sunday, September 29, Louis returned to his church and his people in Detroit. More than 2000 crammed into Calgary Baptist Church to see him, and 5000 waited outside. "Clean living and a good boy," was the theme of the celebration. Pastor Martin shouted, "He's doing more to help our race than any man since Abraham Lincoln. He don't smoke. He don't pour red-hot-liquor down his throat. He fights clean and he shall stand before kings. That's what the Bible says." And all the people said Amen. That Amen may well echo down the ages, till the new sixth race, about which we hear so much, has arisen.
The Kitchener Lodge responded immediately to the letter of the General Executive, stating "that it is the pleasure of the Kitchener Lodge to refrain from nominations for the election of officers to the General Executive at the next forthcoming election."
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by F. B. Housser.
Through press reports and numerous articles from England, we are informed that the members of the University of London Council for Psychical Investigation were astonished by the Fire-Walking experiment which took place on a lawn at Carshalton, Surrey, on the afternoon of September 17.
Students of Theosophy will appreciate the fact that the distinguished scientists who witnessed the performance are satisfied that there was absolutely no element of fraud in the entire procedure.
No Doubt About Heat
Mr. Harry Price, who for many years has been investigating psychic phenomena, gives a full account of the Fire-Walk. This appears in the September 18 copy of The Listener, published by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The combustible material used, for what is considered to be the first Fire-Walk ever performed in Great Britain, included two tons of oak-logs; one ton of firewood; half a load of charcoal; ten gallons of paraffin; twenty-five copies of The Times - and a box of matches.
The trench into which the material was placed measured 25 feet long, 3 feet wide and 12 inches deep. At 11.20 a.m. a match was applied and in five minutes the trench was a blazing inferno of flames and oily smoke. At 12.45 Kuda Bux, the Kashmiri Indian proceeded to test the fire by walking bare foot across the trench. He found it unsatisfactory - "too much unburnt wood and not enough fire". Ten minutes later he stepped across and pronounced it "fine".
At 2.45 the spectators had arrived; they included well known Physicians, Editors, Physicists, Professors and others. The company felt uncomfortably hot at a distance of three yards from the fire.
Space will not allow for a detailed account of the scientific tests made. Every precaution was taken to ensure that neither the fire nor the feet of Kuda Bux were doctored. Professor Pannett, director of the surgical unit at St. Mary's Hospital, examined the latter. In an article appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, October 19, he writes "There was no question of fake about what he did. The circumstances of the performance rendered this impossible."
The timings, as recorded by the University of London Council for Psychical Investigation are as follows - Kuda Bux took four steps in each of his two walks. The duration of the first (at 3.14 p.m.) was 4.5 seconds; and of the second (at 3.17 p.m.) was 4.43 seconds. The two young Englishmen who made an attempt to emulate Kuda Bux were on the fire 2.2 and 2.1 seconds respectively - The feet of these young men were badly burned.
Immediately following Kuda Bux's walk the surface temperature of the fire was found to be 800 degrees Fahrenheit (the result of this test and the timing were published in The Listener, September 25.) His feet were again photographed and examined; they were not affected in any way.
Mr. Harry Price claims that the experiment has been the means of acquiring valuable data. It was definitely proved that ash plays no part in forming an insulation layer between the feet and the fire - Kuda Bux will not Walk on ash: he prefers red embers. It was also proved that fasting is not necessary and that one does not have to be worked up into an ecstatic condition - Kuda Bux was so unconcerned that he might have been walking across a room. Absolutely no preparation of the feet was necessary.
For anyone who might suppose that the
callosity of his skin would be responsible for the absence of burning, it is pointed but that he always wears shoes. The physician and professor who took swabs, pronounced his feet normal.
The Council, according to Mr. Harry Price, feel that although the riddle of Fire-Walking has not been completely solved, at least the experiment has narrowed the inquiry. It is hoped that another test will soon be made when Kuda Bux will demonstrate that he can transfer his immunity to other persons. It may be of interest to note here, that the recent bonfire cost the Council forty pounds sterling.
The article in the Journal of the American Medical Association previously referred to is thus concluded - "But it is unsatisfactory that we are left with no explanation of the phenomenon within the sphere of physics, or of physiology. Only that of "faith" given by Kuda Bux himself, is forthcoming.
From a Theosophical viewpoint it is hardly likely that an explanation of the phenomenon within the sphere of physics and physiology will be forthcoming. Without allowing for an "extra sense" it is doubtful if it can ever be explained quite satisfactorily. This is beginning to be suspected by a number of scientific men.
Kuda Bux Explains
Kuda Bux has written a most interesting article which appears in the October 23 copy of The Listener. This Kashmiri Mystic, who can walk on fire, read books and messages with his eyes so covered that there is no possibility of seeing, (this was also demonstrated to the utter satisfaction of the Council), claims that he can perform still more wonderful feats.
Before leaving England shortly, he expects to demonstrate that he can swallow poison, be bitten by poisonous snakes, put his arm in a pot of boiling oil and be buried under the ground for three hours. He is now waiting for permission to do so from his Guru in India.
He maintains that by Yoga practice - concentration and meditation, he has developed a "sixth sense". His reason for coming to England is to show what a Kashmiri Mystic can do. He does the blindfold reading professionally - but nothing else. "The day I took money for walking on fire, for instance," he writes, "I should be badly burned." - And this is significant.
What Theosophy Says
For a Theosophist, the word Magic means "Wisdom" and a phenomenon is but the effect of applied knowledge. The student will recognize in the "faith" of Kuda Bux - a faith based on knowledge.
H.P. Blavatsky says - (Secret Doctrine III., 19) - "One can never repeat it too often - Magic is as old as man . . . . .Magic is indissolubly blended with the Religion of every country and is inseparable from its origin. It is as impossible for History to name the time when it was not, as that of the epoch when it sprang into existence, unless the doctrines preserved by the Initiates are taken into consideration." And again on p. 29 - "Enough has been given, it is believed, to show that the existence of a Secret Universal Doctrine, besides its practical methodic of Magic, is no wild romance or fiction. The fact was known to the whole ancient world, and the knowledge of it has survived in the East, in India especially."
Isis Unveiled, also written by H.P.B., contains much interesting information concerning phenomena. In volume I., p. 444, Leonard de Vair of the sixteenth century is quoted. It is with reference to Brahmins that he writes: "There are persons, who upon pronouncing a certain sentence - a charm, walk bare-footed on red burning coals, and on the points of sharp knives stuck in the ground . . . . . They will tame wild ''horses likewise, and the most furious bulls, with a single word."
H.P.B. adds that this Word is to be found in the Mantras of the Sanscrit Vedas - "In the East Indies the native sorcerers use it with success to the present day, and it is from them that the father Jesuits derived their wisdom."
The account of Father Mark follows on p. 445. Briefly, - The general of the Jesuits ordered Mark to bring burning coals in his hands from the kitchen fire to warm some companion Austin Friars. He instantly obeyed and held the burning embers until the company present had warmed themselves.
It is contended by H.P.B. that American and English mediums must be entranced before they are rendered fire-proof. Quoting from Isis I, 445 - " . . . We defy any medium in his or her normal physical state to bury the arms to the elbows in glowing coals. Bunt in the East, whether a performer be a holy lama or a mercenary sorcerer (the latter class generally termed `jugglers'), he needs no preparation or abnormal state to be able to handle fire, red-hot pieces of iron, or melted lead."
The entire p. 446 is intensely interesting and well worth reading. It concerns the religious ceremony of Siva-Ratri; also the wonderful powers possessed by certain Brahmins.
With reference to Spiritualism and the Roman Catholic Church, H.P.B. says - (Secret Doctrine III, 23) - "The vindication of the Occultists and their Archaic Science is working itself slowly but steadily into the very heart of society, hourly, daily and yearly, in the shape of two monster branches, two, stray off-shoots of the trunk of Magic. Fact works its way very often through fiction . . . . . And whether by phenomenon or miracle, by spirit-hook or bishop's crook, Occultism must win the day before the present era reaches "Shani's" (Saturn's) triple septenary of the Western Cycle in Europe, in other words - before the end of the twenty-first century, 'A.D.'."
And we venture to add that the recent straight-forward demonstration of Fire-Walking by Kuda Bux will probably help considerably toward hastening the day when the Occultists and their Archaic Science will be vindicated. - R. S.
SOMETHING GOOD OUT OF GERMANY
Startlingly at variance with what we should expect as a product of Nazi-ridden German thought, and strangely reminiscent of the doctrines of Theosophy, is "Revolt Against the Intellect", an article by a noted philosopher of that country. Walther yon Hollander, translated from Vosiche Zeitung (Berlin) and published in the February World Digest.
"The revolt against the intellect," says Herr von Hollander, "means simply a revolt against the predominance of the intellect, or, at present, against its sole dominance. This revolt against intellectual materialism is not a struggle for the idealism of yesterday but for the realism of tomorrow, for the tremendous kingdom of unmeasured, and immeasurable reality." It "is a revolt in behalf of the creative forces of life against the merely regulating forces, against the political and economic systems which are trying to exercise absolute dominion over man", - and "is as much a struggle against the supremacy of orders and organizations as it is a struggle against the supremacy of science. The life of man is not limited to what can be proved, or expressed, or arranged or apprehended."
The One Life
This surely is a declaration with which students of Theosophy can readily agree; no doubt Madame Blavatsky had somewhat the same idea in mind when she said: "Real life is in the spiritual consciousness of that life, in a conscious existence in Spirit, not Matter; and real death is the limited perception of life, the impossibility of sensing conscious or individual existence outside of form, or at least, of some form of matter." (Secret Doctrine III, 512).
The writer states that his "chief objection to the intellect and materialism is that they have made man's life unhappy." "So long as the intellect rules, other human powers must remain rudimentary", and, "Unhappiness is an illness that occurs
when vital forces remain blocked, repressed, unused, and undeveloped."
He maintains that "in its heart of hearts the people has always been anti-intellectual." "They have a basic religious feeling of the unity of all organic life", and this "sense of the unity of all creation" "recognizes that the happiness of man depends on the happiness of his fellow man (though this can be neither demonstrated nor proved)."
This idea of the basic unity of all life is inherent in the fundamental propositions of Theosophy, the first of which postulates: (S.D. 1, 42-45), "An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless and Immutable PRINCIPLE, on which all speculation is impossible," - "the Rootless Root of all that was, is, or ever shall be;" and its corollary, the third: "'The fundamental
identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root".
Divisions of Intellect
"The people," the article continues, "have maintained unaltered two non-intellectual aims; that man shall be complete, and that man shall be happy. And distinguished representatives of the people have always said that completeness and happiness are identical."
What follows reads like an introduction, in Western terminology, to Raj Yoga, the "Kingly Science", the synthesis of the three paths by which man approaches perfection: "Whoever wishes to be happy can become so only through self-conquest and self-completion. That has already been said many times. What has not been said is that we can not describe the physical and spiritual path of self-completion except that it exists and that it must be sought and can be found by every one of us. What has not been said is that the physical, spiritual, and intellectual paths do not exist separately except as empty intellectual abstractions, that all three basic forces of human nature must co-exist and operate together in every act, every organic life process. When we speak of a function as being intellectual, spiritual or physical, that is simply a way of indicating the predominance of one of the basic forces."
The three-fold nature of man is another of the fundamental concepts of which Madame Blavatsky endeavored to remind the modern world. In The Secret Doctrine, I, 203, she says: "There exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme, - or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point. These are the Monadic (or Spiritual), the Intellectual, and the Physical Evolutions. These three are the finite aspects or the reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion of . . . the One Reality."
Her von Hollander concludes his article by pointing out that: "This revolt will touch, seize, and disturb every man alive today. No one can escape it. When it is recognized that this revolt means the awakening of basic forces and a striving for happiness and strength through completeness man will not fight it (that would be senseless), or compromise with it (that would be aimless), but will entrust himself to it."
In one sense the modern Theosophical Movement may also be termed a "Revolt Against The Intellect", for as Madame Blavatsky says: (S.D. III, 331) "By reason of the extraordinary growth of human intellect and the development in our age of the fifth principle (Manas) in man, its rapid progress has paralyzed spiritual perceptions. It is at the expense of wisdom that intellect generally lives..."
It is complete development, mental, physical and spiritual toward which the individual and the race must strive, rather than an unbalanced growth of any one phase at the inevitable expense of the others.
- E. B. D.
WHEAT AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
A profound mystery surrounds the very beginnings of civilization - the discovery of fire, the taming of our now thoroughly domesticated and artificial breeds of animals, and the creation of cereals and other products of the soil fit for human consumption. Two alternatives are open, science in general says that these things came about more or less by accident or through countless centuries of experiment and trial. The Theosophist on the other hand believes, generally, speaking, that they were contributions, made to man's welfare, by great teachers or adepts, who guided humanity through its childhood stage. One runs across the idea also that wheat for instance, did not originate in this world at all but was brought over from other spheres.
Madame Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine (II, 390) quotes the Commentaries as follows: "Fruits and grain, unknown to earth to that day, were brought by the `Lords of Wisdom,' for the benefit of those they ruled from other Lokas (Spheres)."
Continuing, she says: "Wheat has never been found in the wild state; it is not a product of the earth. All the other cereals have been traced to their primogenital forms in various species of wild grasses, but wheat has hitherto defied the efforts of Botanists to trace it to its origin. And let us bear in mind, in this connection, how sacred was this cereal with the Egyptian priests; wheat was placed even in their mummies, and has been found thousands of years later in their coffins. Remember how the servants of Horus glean wheat in the field of Aanroo, wheat seven cubits high .. ... The Egyptians had the same Esoteric Philosophy which is now taught by the Cis-Himalayan Adepts, and the latter, when buried, have corn and wheat placed over them."
Waldemar Kampfeert in the New York Times of Jan. 19, 1936, tells of the work of a Russian scientist tracing down the origin of wheat; and, while the origin is not attributed to the "Lords of Wisdom", it is at least traced to two localities closely associated with centres from which the Wisdom teachings have spread. Ethiopia and Afghanistan are adjacent to Egypt and Tibet, respectively.
Kamfeert says: "Emperor Haile Selassie ought to derive considerable patriotic satisfaction from the classic studies of grains made by the distinguished Soviet geneticist, N. I. Vavilov, chief adornment of the All-Union Plant Institute of the Lenin Agricultural Academy. According to Vavilov, generally regarded as a high authority, Ethiopia must have been one cradle of civilization. For out of Ethiopia came a variety of wheat which spread over the world.
"In his book `Age and Area' Willis makes the point that the longer a group of plants has been established in a given area the more species will be found there. Hence, diversity is a clue to place of origin. Wheat, for example, is an Old World plant. More varieties are found in Europe than in America.
Finding The Pure Strains
"Adopting Willis's principle, Vavilov began to study wheat. In the course of thousands of years there ''had been much crossing. He had to separate the hybrids into pure strains and on the basis of these determine where wheat was first farmed. At Dyetskoe Syelo he has cultivated more than 31,000 strains. He has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles and sent expeditions to every country in his effort to trace wheat to the region of its origin.
"Within the cell are little bodies called chromosomes - literally `color bodies,' because they can be stained and thus made visible under a microscope . . . . . . . . The chromosomes can be seen under a microscope.
"It is definitely known that the chromosomes in a cell are always definite in number for each species of animal or plant - 8 for the fruit fly, 14 for the gar-
den and sweet pea, 42 for some varieties of wheat, 54 for the ape, 48 for man.
Man's Original Home
"It occurred to Vavilov that if he could gather enough wheats and other cereals, establish the number of chromosomes in each strain, he might be able to determine the original home of man, and this on the theory that as man spread from a cultural centre he would take his cereals with him. The farther from the place of migration the fewer would be the varieties of wheat. In other words, if a tribe emigrates it takes its cereals with it and eventually discards those that cannot thrive in the new environment.
"It turned out that there are two principal varieties of wheat. One has forty-two chromosomes and the other twenty-eight. The two can be crossed only with difficulty. Each originated in a definite region. As that region is approached the number of varieties increases astonishingly. The forty-two chromosomes type came from Southwestern Asia and the twenty-eight chromosomes type from Ethiopia. Vavilov concludes that Egypt got her agriculture and civilization from Ethiopia. More varieties of wheat are found in Ethiopia than in all other countries combined.
"Other crops have been studied, too - rye, barley, potatoes, rice, beans, fruits. Most of these came after wheat had been cultivated, and races of men had wandered over Asia and Europe. By plotting the regions of origin of all these plants, Vavilov saw at once that the first agricultural experiments must have been made not in the steaming valleys of the tropics, as so many suppose, but in the mountains. If he is right, we must regard the highlands of Ethiopia and of Afghanistan as two cradles of civilization.
- W. F. S.
PROBLEMS OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY
More general interest is being taken in philosophy than the world has ever known, according to Dr. Moritz A. Geiger of Vassar College who early in January addressed the eastern division of the American Philosophic Association in Baltimore.
In the course of his address, reported in the New York Times, Dr. Geiger cited three great problems which he said modern philosophers are attempting to solve.
(1) "To find a genuine philosophic background for the social, cultural, economic and political problems of today."
(2) "To reconcile the developments of modern natural science with philosophy."
(3) "To regain a metaphysical sphere which will be able to satisfy the inner needs of human existence."
Solutions to these things are demanded, said the speaker. He thought Einstein's theory would affect philosophy but not ethics or morals. "The changes the assimilation of the theory will bring to bear upon philosophy are outside their realm" - i.e. the realm of ethics and morals.
Philosophy and Conduct
This seems an extraordinary statement and one which suggests a prominent weakness of philosophy as now taught in our universities, namely, that it is not made to have any special relation to life or conduct. Einstein's theory, which has changed our conception of the universe, is expected by Dr. Geiger to have a profound effect upon philosophy, but no relation whatever to ethics and morals or, in other words, to conduct.
In Routledge's Philosophical dictionary philosophy is made synonymous with ontology or metaphysics and is defined as "The enquiry into the nature of being and of its relations to its manifestations or appearances." To imply that such an enquiry, plus what maybe assimilated, would have no effect on ethics, morals or conduct is to assume an untenable position. To say that any new conception of the universe, such as Einstein has given, will not affect ethics or morals, is to ignore the evidence of the past. We know that the discovery of the heliocentric nature of the universe profoundly affected ethics, morals and conduct. Theosophists know that the
new conception of the universe obtained from reading The Secret Doctrine revolutionizes one's philosophy, ethics, morals, conduct and general attitude towards every phenomenon and problem of life.
Problems of Philosophy
We would suggest to Dr. Geiger that he will find the answer to his three problems in the writings of Madame Blavatsky, only we would remind him of her warning. "Even one system of philosophy at a time, whether that of Kant, or of Herbert Spencer, or of Spinoza, or of Hartmann, requires more than a study of several years. Does it not therefore stand to reason that a work which compares several dozens of philosophies, and over half a dozen of world religions, a work which has to unveil the roots with the greatest precautions . . . . . cannot be comprehended at first reading, nor even after several, unless the reader elaborates for 'himself a system for it?" (Lucifer, June 1890. "Mistaken Notions on the Secret Doctrine.")
Theosophy offers a philosophy which is a synthesis of religion, academic philosophy and science but, said H.P.B., "the ethics of Theosophy are even more necessary to mankind than the scientific aspects of the psychic facts of the nature of man." (Message to American Section, 1889.)
The answer to the three problems of modern philosophy cited by Dr. Geiger will be found by any earnest, intelligent student who will steadfastly pursue the three aims of the Theosophical Society. A genuine philosophic background for the social, cultural, economic and political problems of today is contained in the conception of brotherhood implicit in the society's first object, brotherhood conceived as the unity of life and consciousness, not only on this planet, but throughout the cosmos. "That beautiful mode in which as we have shown the elements subsist both in the heavens and the earth," says Thomas Taylor, "has not been even suspected by modern natural philosophers to have any existence."
There is not sufficient space available here elaborately to expound the Theosophical conception of brotherhood disclosed in the revaluation and retelling of the history of man and the cosmos in H.P. Blavatsky's book The Secret Doctrine. It is a very apparent fact however that no intelligent consideration of today's social, cultural and economic problems is possible without a consideration of brotherhood. All these problems arise from our conception or mis-conception of what brotherhood, alias democracy, justice, or whatever name we give it, is. That is their background.
Science and Philosophy
The second problem cited by Dr. Geiger - the reconciliation of the developments of modern science with philosophy has been tackled to some extent by Professor A.N. Whitehead, who has broken ground, that is likely to stay broken. H.P.B. said that modern science was the ancient wisdom distorted. She did not, she says ("Mistaken Notions on the Secret Doctrine") intend the Secret Doctrine to dovetail with modern science. It was a compendium of religion, philosophy and science. "My chief and only object," she wrote (ibid) "was to bring into prominence that the basic and fundamental principles of every exoteric religion and philosophy, old or new, were from first to last but the echoes of the primeval religion. I sought to show that the Tree of Knowledge like Truth itself, was One, and that, however differing in form and color, the foliage of the twigs, the trunk, and its main branches were still those of the same tree." Because of this oneness of religion, philosophy and science, the second object of the Theosophical Society is "the study of comparative religions, philosophy and science." If one will undertake this study in the light of the old Wisdom Religion, he will not need to take H.P.B.'s word that they all sprang from a common source. Once one has become acquainted with the old religion of which she speaks, the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science will go a
long way in reconciling the developments of modern science with philosophy.
The last problem to regain a metaphysical sphere which will be able to satisfy the inner needs of human existence - has the answer implicit in the society's third object "the investigation of the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man." H.P.B. shows the way. "Is it to be wondered that so few reach the goal, that so many are called but so few are chosen? Is not the reason for this explained in three lines of the `Voice of the Silence?' These say that while `the first repeat in pride, Behold I know,' the last, they who in humbleness have garnered, low confess, `thus have I heard,' and thus become the only chosen."
- F. B. H.
Today there is much discussion in the newspapers and magazines upon the subject of Euthanasia - painless death. The December number of the American Forum contains a very interesting debate on the subject.
Abr. C. Wolbart takes the side of "The right to die," and James J. Walsh holds that "Life is sacred."
The Right to Die
Dr. Wolbart maintains that it is the mentally defective and insane who have the real case. He suggests that a period of ten years be given by law to establish the fact that the patient is incurable and that "when that limit has been passed and recovery becomes out of the question, there is no further purpose in maintaining a burdensome life any longer." He talks of the relief to their relations and friends to know that they have passed into "eternal rest and peace."
The Desire to Live
James J. Walsh holds that most people find life far too precious to let it go, even if they are in physical pain, and that their mental anguish is usually self-pity. He sees that life is a "precious treasure" and that the universe and man are guided by law - and that "to take one's own life violates that order." "To take it because of pain and suffering which one is exaggerating is the act of a coward."
He makes a very arresting and beautiful statement when he says, "Life is a mystery. It is one of the seven riddles of the universe. With matter, motion, law, sensation, consciousness and free will, it constitutes an historic septenate of mystery. Life was given to us as a precious treasure to be used to the best advantage."
An Eternity of Rest and Peace
To go back to Dr. Wolbart - he is thinking of the patient, and is perfectly sincere but he has an appalling idea about death - "eternal rest and peace." Now what self respecting person, even in agony, wants that sort of an eternity? How utterly boring it must seem to people who do not see the justice of reincarnation, and yet if one is not courageous enough to stand physical and mental pain - what a temptation is death!
The Battle Field
It would seem logical that a person who professed to be a materialist could subscribe to Euthanasia. If he imagined that suffering was too great a price to pay to prolong a life that would be annihilated the moment the man ceased to breathe, then he world be within his rights to determine to end his own life - or as a doctor, to end it for that person who demanded that he do so.
The student of Theosophy however sees the problem from a different view point. He accepts the teaching that each person has the experience in this life that in a past one he has himself determined. All that he can do is to spread the teaching, that we bring suffering upon ourselves, and that to take it with "our chin up" is a lesson we all have to learn. This is the "Battle field" which the Bhagavad Gita arid the Voice of the Silence speak of. Everything is said to be for the sake of the soul.
Madame Blavatsky continually reminds us in all her writings that we are responsible for our own suffering, and that this suffering is a result of our going against the Law. In The Secret Doctrine she writes (II, 705): "We stand bewildered before the mystery of our own making, and the riddles of life that we will not solve, and then accuse the great Sphinx of devouring us. But verily there is not an accident in our lives, not a misshapen day, or a misfortune, that could not be traced back to our own doings in this or in another life. If one breaks the laws of Harmony, or, as a theosophical writer expresses it, the `laws of life', one must be prepared to fall into the chaos oneself has produced."
- M. E. D.
A CLUE TO EASTER ISLAND?
Some ten years ago the Government of India ordered certain excavations in localities named Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro in the Indus valley, with the result that much evidence was discovered of a prehistoric "colony" having its own system of writing, seals, coins and impressed slabs of clay tablets. The ideographic script has been intensively studied by Professor Stephen Langdon, Sir John Marshall, Dr. G.R. Hunter, and Messrs Mackay, Smith and Gadd, local archeologists; Dr. Hunter submitted his findings and deductions as a thesis for his Degree at Oxford.
Comparison with known scripts used in India, proves, in his opinion, that the "Brahmi alphabet" is derived from these newly discovered scripts, and connected, through them, with those used by South Semitic and Phoenician peoples. Of special and peculiar interest is the similarity of the characters found on the seals to those used on the wooden tablets discovered on Easter Island.
- N. W. J. H.
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
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