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VOL. XVI., No. 2 HAMILTON, APRIL 15th, 1935 Price 10 Cents
SOME ESOTERIC INSTRUCTIONS OF PARACELSUS
By James Morgan Pryse
Here is presented a translation of the first portion of a treatise by Paracelsus entitled Azoth; sive de Ligno et Linea Vitae, to which is added a commentary. Paracelsus used not only Alchemical terms but also peculiar words of his own coinage. In the translation and commentary the Theosophical equivalents of these are given. All quotations in the commentary are from the published writings of H.P.B.
The Life-Principle or Concerning the Tree and Cord of Life by Paracelsus
Whosoever desires to learn and comprehend all kinds of mysteries should search for them only through God the Father, who is the sole creator and knower oaf all mysteries; for the simple reason that no one can better reveal them and teach the earnest seeker than he who is the sole cause of all arts and mysteries, be they celestial or terrestrial.
Primarily it is necessary to tell you of the book in which the letters of the mysteries are visibly, clearly and comprehensively written. For everything that one desires to know is recorded by the hand of God in this book. All other books are but lifeless literature as compared to this book, when it is rightly understood. The entire mystery-wisdom must not be searched for or studied in any other book. And this book is MAN HIMSELF. For he is the book wherein all mysteries are recorded; yet the interpreter is God himself.
Azoth is Jiva-Prana; Jiva (Akasha) is the celestial life-principle, and Prana is its terrestrial manifestation. The Cord of Life is the spinal cord, up which pass the three vital airs which constitute Kundalini. "When these vital airs are active a circulation is set up which passes through the whole body, originating in and returning to the central canal. This is why man has been represented by a tree, with its circulation rising up the inner, and descending along the outer parts of the wood." By awakening the "third eye", the pineal gland, the Kundalini confers Seership, by which only can true occult knowledge be obtained.
As H.P.B. said, "Paracelsus was cautious, and wanted the Bible to agree with what he said, and therefore did not say all." Though he speaks of "God the Father" it is perfectly clear from his writings that he, like all other true Occultists, did not believe in a personal God; for his Mysterium Magnum, "Great Mystery," and Yliaster, "Star-substance," are identical with the Parabrahm and Mula-
prakriti of the Vedanta. The true teacher of man is his own Higher Self, the God within.
- three radiating lines from (D) I at the bottom to the three letters C - A - B at the top.]
- C represents the right side of the skull.
- B represents the left side of the skull.
- A represents the suture of the skull. The spiral
D. Man is marked with this character, I, by the hand of God; for this reason we shall take this character, I, as the means by which to learn all the mysteries of nature created by God. Through this we shall also learn to know the Master, who is God, who has created everything good. By the fruit ye may know the tree.
Lignum Vitae (the Tree of Life)
[diagram here - three overlapping semicircles at bottom, a large downward-pointing triangle above, an "arced" triangle within this to the same apexes, a smaller upward pointing triangle within this, marked (E) at its apex and with its apexes touching the midpoints of the of the sides of the large triangle. The large triangle is marked (D) I at its bottom apex. It two upper apexes are marked "Right ear" on the left apex and "Left ear" on the right apex.]
Right ear - Music also belongs to this, that is, tone and sound, as by them the measure may be deduced.
Left ear - D, as the apex will be called, is the measurer or the measure.
Fire cannot burn without air; hence we shall discourse about the element Fire, which in itself is nothing less than a body of the Soul, or the house in which the Soul of man dwells. And this Fire (Ignis) is the permanent man about whom we shall speak in this whole philosophy. As said above, Fire, cannot burn without Air. It must be understood, then, that in this treatise burning is equivalent to life; therefore when I say that it cannot burn it is equivalent to saying that it cannot live.
Where the Cord of Life terminates at the upper line the letter E indicates an air-aperture or breathing-hole, a kind of windpipe of life (quasi respiraculum vitae), which draws in Air and lives in the Air as does a fish in the water.
In the first of these two diagrams A is the Brahmarandhra, the line AD Sushumna, C Pingala, and B Ida; these three constitute Kundalini, the Spiral Force or Fire, which is represented by I, the initial letter of Ignis, Fire. Verily the fruit of the tree is wisdom.
In the second diagram additional details are given. The Brahmarandhra, "Door of Brahma," is represented by E, the initial letter of Egressus, the place of Exit, as it is the "door" through which the sidereal body passes out and in. The triple Kundalini, which has its source in the Auric Egg, is represented by three semicircles. The inverted triangle may be taken to represent the physical body, the curved lines within it indicating the Linga Sharira, and the enclosed triangle the sidereal body. The side currents, Ida and, Pingala, are referred to the ears; for "unless, thou hearest thou canst not see," and the occult property of sound is referred to. The central line represents Sushumna. "The pure Akasha passes up Sushumna; its two aspects pass up Ida and Pingala. These play along the curved walls of the Cord in which is Sushumna. They are semi-material, one positive and the other negative, one solar and the other lunar, and these two start into action the free and spiritual current of Sushumna."
Sushumna is referred to as "the measurer." Compare Apocalypse, xxi. 15: "He who was talking with me had for a measure a golden reed, to measure the city, its gateways and its wall."
By "Air' the atmospheric air is not meant, of course, but Ether, the Kabalistic Astral Light. Without the two Ethers the Sushumna cannot live, that is, cannot act. "By concentration on Ida and Pingala is generated the `sacred Fire'." The Brahmarandhra gives entrance to psychic forces and influences.
Everybody knows that a thing without life cannot be killed, since it is already dead. As this is so, you must understand that such Life or Fire, that is, the body of the Soul, is created out of a threefold Fire, namely the Fire of Sulphur, the Fire of Salt, and the Fire of Mercury; for such Fire must have a threefold body out of the Yliaster. Yliaster (Akasha) is the Primordial Substance from which are created Sulphur, Salt and Mercury; by this we can understand how the Creative Word (Verbum Fiat) has become a body, materially tangible, wherein lie hidden all things predesigned, which become manifest from the Yliaster through the Cagaster (Astral Light) noetically, spiritually and psychically.
In their symbolism the alchemists often portray the head of a man with the signs of the Sun and the Moon at the right and left, and the sign of Mercury above the Brahmarandhra, thus indicating the three
-fold Kundalini. In the text above are given the alchemical symbols of Sulphur, Salt and Mercury, not here reproduced. Sulphur has for its symbol an equilateral triangle, with a cross pendant at the base, that of Salt a square with the cross, and that of Mercury the usual combination of the symbols of Sun, Moon and Cross.
Yliaster is Mulaprakriti manifested as Daiviprakriti, the universal Hiranyagarbha, through which the Creative Word, the Logos, becomes manifested or embodied. Every being has a Hiranyagarbha, in which verily lie hidden all the forms and forces of that being's evolution through the ages. In Buddhism it is termed Tathagata-garbha, "the Germ of Buddhahood."
It must be noted that Cagaster is also called by us, Salt Nitri, and in its relation to the Yliaster must be taken as the false appearance of the Yliaster, as if for instance, we said that the Yliaster is pure gold and the Cagaster is mica (fool's gold), or that in the Yliaster is true Seership, and in the Cagaster is illusive Seership, or the presage (monstrum) of true Seership.
Thus the flesh or external form (limbus) of the primordial Adam after his fall from the Yliaster, by the Creative Word, became Cagastiric (astral). Hence the life of man is dual: as animal life, which is astral, and God-life (vita Dealis), which is Iliastric (Buddhic). Now, we shall philosophize about the Cord of Life.
The Astral Light is an aspect of Akasha on a lower plane, as Prana is of Jiva. Sal nitri, potassium nitrate, crystallizes in six-sided prisms, and may therefore be taken as a symbol of the Astral Light with its six planes synthesized by the seventh. In combination with phosphorus it makes a complete plant-food, thus makin the transition from the mineral to the vegetable kingdom.
Psychic vision, clairvoyance, extends only to the Astral planes, whereas true Seership embraces the higher worlds. The psycho-physical man is but a superior kind of animal; his Higher Self is a God.
The human heart is a dwelling of the soul of the animal man, that is, the soul within which is enclosed the Soul given by God to Adam. Understand this by a simile: as if the earth of the great world were the heart, the waters the life of the animal man, and the air the true soul; the air thus floats as a gentle wind upon the water. In like manner floats the life or spirit of the animal man upon the waters, namely the waters of the capsula cortis. The, capsula cortis is besides this surrounded by other entities. Using another simile: a man who walks in the water sees birds flying in the air above him, while surrounding him in the water swim fishes, the man being surrounded by all kinds of animals and living things. The animal life or spirit which gives man his form is formed like a man, but is much smaller than the heart itself, and floats upon the
water of the capsula cortis; and, furthermore, the lives that surround this soul are the lives of the many muscles, limbs, back an, abdomen, but all clothed in flesh and blood. But the spirit and soul, the king of the animal man, is not clothed in flesh or blood, but floats and moves free upon the water of the capsule. But the last-mentioned spirit is not the living breath of God, but is the elemental soul, and the life of the animal man, who lives in and upon the water surrounding the heart. Therefore this spirit lives in the water between the heart proper and the thin bag which envelopes the heart, the capsula cortis. But the true Soul of the man, which is the breath of God, and cannot be killed either by fire, air, water, or earth, nor by any other means except by the imagination of the man himself, lives day and night in the centre of the heart; and its functions are so great, that the theosophic philosopher must not philosophize about it.
The soul of the animal man is Kama; the Soul which is "the breath of God" is Buddhi. As the organ of the circulatory system the heart is a centre of Kama, for Kama is the essence of the blood; but the real centre of Kama is the navel, while "the Heart is the organ of the Spiritual Consciousness; it corresponds indeed to Prana, but only because Prana and the Auric Envelope are essentially the same, and because again as Jiva it is the same as the Universal Deity. The Heart represents the Higher Triad." "The Heart is the abode of the Spiritual Man, whereas the Psycho-Intellectual Man dwells in the Head with its seven gateways." "In the Heart is a spot which is the last to die, a spot marked by a tiny violet light; that is the seat of Life, the centre of all."
"The aura of the Pineal Gland vibrates during the activity of the Consciousness in the Brain, and shows the play of the seven colours. This septenary disturbance and play of light around the Pineal Gland are reflected in the Heart, or rather in the aura of the Heart, which is negative to the Brain in the ordinary man. This aura then vibrates and illumines the seven brains of the Heart, as that of the Pineal Gland illumines the seven centres in the Brain. If the Heart could, in its turn, become positive and impress the Brain, the Spiritual Consciousness would reach the lower Consciousness. The Spiritual consciousness is active during deep sleep, and if the `dreams' that occur in so-called dreamless sleep could be impressed by the Heart on the Brain, your Consciousness would no longer be restricted within the bounds of your personal life. If you could remember your dreams in deep sleep, you would be able to remember all your past incarnations. This is the `memory of the Heart'; and the capacity to impress it on the Brain, so that it becomes part of its Consciousness, is the `opening of the Third eye'."
INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY AND WRITINGS OF PLATO
By Thomas Taylor
(Continued from Page 12)
But if some one, on seeing that brutes exert rational energies, should apprehend that these also participate of the first self-moved, and on this account possess a soul converted to itself, it may perhaps be granted to him that these also are rational natures, except that they are not so essentially, but according to participation, and this most obscure, just as the rational soul may be said to be intellectual according to participation, as always projecting common conceptions without distortion. It must however be observed, that the extreme are that which is capable of being perfectly separated, such as the rational form, and that which is perfectly inseparable, such as corporeal quality, and that in the middle of these nature subsists, which verges to the inseparable, having a
small representation of the separable and the irrational soul, which verges to the separable; or it appears in a certain respect to subsist by itself, separate from a subject; so that it becomes doubtful whether it is self -motive, or alter-motive. For it contains an abundant vestige of self-motion, but not that which is true and converted to itself, and on this account perfectly separated from a subject. And the vegetable soul has in a certain respect a middle subsistence. On this account to some of the ancients it appeared to be a certain soul, but to others, nature.
Again, therefore, that we may return to the proposed object of investigation, how can a self-motive nature of this kind, which is mingled with the alter-motive, be the first principle of things? For it neither subsists from itself, nor does it in reality perfect itself; but it requires a certain other nature, both for its subsistence and perfection: and prior to it is that which is truly self-moved. Is therefore that which is properly self-moved the principle, and is it indigent of no form more excellent than itself? Or is not that which moves always naturally prior to that which is moved; and in short does not every form which is pure from its contrary subsist by itself prior to that which is mingled with it? And is not the pure the cause of the commingled? For that which is coessentialized with another has also an energy mingled with that other. So that a self-moved nature will indeed, make itself; but thus subsisting it will be at the same time moving and moved, but will not be made a moving nature only. For neither is it this alone. Every form however is always alone according to its first subsistence; so that there will be that which moves only without being moved. And indeed it would be absurd that there should be that which is moved only such as body, but that prior both to that which is self-moved and that which is moved only, there should not be that which moves only. For it is evident that there must be, since this will be a more excellent nature, and that which is self-moved, so far as it moves itself, is more excellent than so far as it is moved. It is necessary therefore that the essence which moves unmoved, should be first, as that which is moved, not being motive, is the third, in the middle of which is the self-moved, which we say requires that which moves in order to its becoming motive. In short, if it is moved, it will not abide, so far as it is moved; and if it moves, it is necessary it should remain moving so far as it moves. Whence then does it derive the power of abiding? For from itself it derives the power either of being moved only, or of at the same time abiding and being moved wholly according to the same. Whence then does it simply obtain the power of abiding? Certainly from that which simply abides. But, this is an immovable cause. We must therefore admit that the immovable is prior to the self moved. Let us consider then if the immovable is the most proper principle? But how is this possible? For the immovable contains as numerous a multitude immovably; as the self-moved self-moveably. Besides an immovable separation must necessarily subsist prior to a self-moveable separation. The unmoved therefore is at the same time one and many, and is at the same time united and separated, and a nature of this kind is denominated intellect. But it is evident that the united in this is naturally prior to and more honorable than the separated. For separation is always indigent of union; but not, on the contrary, union of separation. Intellect, however, has not the united pure from its opposite. For intellectual form is coessentialized with the separated, through the whale of itself. Hence that which is in a certain respect united requires that which is simply united; and that which subsists with another is indigent of that which subsists by itself; and that which subsists according to participation, of that which subsists according to essence. For intellect being self-subsistent produces itself as united, and at the same time separated. Hence it sub-
sists according to both these. It is produced therefore from that which is simply united and alone united. Prior therefore to that which is formal is the uncircumscribed, and undistributed into forms. And this is that which we call the united, and which the wise men of antiquity denominated being, possessing in one contraction multitude, subsisting prior to the many.
Having therefore arrived thus far, let us here rest for a while, and consider with ourselves, whether being is the investigated principle of all things. For what will there be which does not participate of being? May we not sa, that this, if it is the united, will be secondary to the one, and that by participating of the one it becomes the united? But in short; if we conceive the one to be something different from being, if being is prior to the one, it will not participate of the one. It will therefore be many only, and these will be infinitely infinite. But if the one is with being, and being with the one, and they are either coordinate or divided from each other, there will be two principles, and the above-mentioned absurdity will happen. Or they will mutually participate of each other, and there will be two elements. Or they are parts of something else, consisting from both. And, if this be the case, what will that be which leads them to union with each other? For if the one unites being to itself (for this may be said), the one also will energize prior to being, that it may call forth and convert being to itself. The one, therefore, will subsist from itself self-perfect prior to being. Further still, the more simple is always prior to the more composite. If therefore they are similarly simple, there will either be two principles, or one from the two, and this will be a composite. Hence the simple and perfectly incomposite is prior to this, which must be either one, or not one; and if not one, it must either be many, or nothing. But with respect to nothing, if it signifies that which is perfectly void, it will signify something vain. But if it signifies the arcane, this will not even be that which is simple. In short, we cannot conceive any principle more simple than the one. The one therefore is in every respect prior to being. Hence this is the principle of all things, and Plato recurring to this, did not require any other principle in his reasonings. For the arcane in which this our ascent terminates is not the principle of reasoning, nor of knowledge, nor of animals, nor of beings, nor of unities, but simply of all things, being arranged above every conception and suspicion that we can frame. Hence Plato indicates nothing concerning it, but makes his negations of all other things except the one, from the one. For that the one is he denies in the last place, but he does not make a negation of the one. He also, besides this, even denies this negation, but not the one. He denies, too, name and conception, and all knowledge, and what can be said more, whole itself and every being. But let there be the united and the unical, and, if you will, the two principles bound and the infinite. Plato, however, never in any respect makes a negation of the one which is beyond all these. Hence in the Sophista he considers it as the one prior to being, and in the Republic as the good beyond every essence; but at the same time the one alone is left. Whether however is it known and effable, or unknown and ineffable? Or is it in a certain respect these, and in a certain respect not? For by a negation of this it may be said the ineffable is affirmed. And again, by the simplicity of knowledge it will be known or suspected, but by composition perfectly unknown. Hence neither will it be apprehended by negation. And in short, so far as it is admitted to be one, so far it will be coarranged with other things, which are the subject of position. For it is the summit of things, which subsist according to position. At the same time there is much in it of the ineffable and unknown, the uncoordinated, and that which is deprived of position, but these are accompanied with a representation of the Contraries: and the
former are more excellent, than the latter. But every where things pure subsist prior to their contraries, and such as are unmingled to the commingled. For either things more excellent subsist in the one essentially, and in a certain respect the contraries of these also will be there at the same time; or they subsist according to participation, and are derived from that which is first a thing of this kind. Prior to the one, therefore, is that which is simply and perfectly ineffable, without position, uncoordinated, and incapable of being apprehended, to which also the ascent of the present discourse hastens through the clearest indications, omitting none of those natures between the first and the last of things.
Such then is the ascent to the highest God, according to the theology of Plato, venerably preserving his ineffable exemption from all things, and his transcendency, which cannot be circumscribed by any gnostic energy, and at the same time, unfolding the paths which lead upwards to him, and enkindling that luminous summit of the soul, by which she is conjoined with the incomprehensible one.
From this truly ineffable principle, exempt from all essence, power, and energy, a multitude of divine natures, according to Plato, immediately proceeds. That this must necessarily be the case, will be admitted by the reader who understands what has been already discussed, and is fully demonstrated by Plato in the Parmenides, as will be evident to the intelligent from the notes on that Dialogue. In addition therefore to what I have staid on this subject, I shall further observe at present that this doctrine, which is founded in the sublimest and most scientific conceptions of the human mind, may be clearly shown to be a legitimate dogma of Plato from what is asserted by him in the sixth book of his Republic. For he there affirms, in the most clear and unequivocal terms, that the good, or the ineffable principle of things i. superessential, and shows by the analogy of the sun to the good, that what light and sight are in the visible, that truth and intelligence are in the intelligible world. As light therefore, immediately proceeds from the sun, and wholly subsists according to a solar idiom or property, so truth or the immediate progeny of the good, must subsist according to a super-essential idiom. And as the good, according to Plato, is the same with the one, as is evident from the Parmenides, the immediate progeny of the one will be the same as that of the good. But, the immediate offspring of the one cannot be any thing else than unities. And, hence we necessarily infer that according to Plato, the immediate offspring of the ineffable principle of things are superessential unities. They differ however from their immense principle in this, that he is superessential and ineffable, without any addition; but this divine multitude is participated by the several orders of being, which are suspended from and produced by it. Hence, in consequence of being connected with multitude through this participation, they are necessarily subordinate to the one.
No less admirably, therefore, than Platonically does Simplicius, in his Commentary of Epictetus, observe on this subject as follows: "The fountain and principle of all things is the good: for that which all things desire, and to which all things are extended, is the principle and the end of all things. The good also produces from itself all things, first, middle, and last. But it produces such as are first and proximate to itself, similar to itself; one goodness, many goodnesses, one simplicity and unity which transcends all others, many, unities, and one principle many principles. For the one, the principle, the good, and deity, are the same: for deity is the first and the cause of all things. But it is necessary that the first should also be most simple; since whatever is a composite and has multitude is posterior to the one. And multitude and things, which are not good desire the good as being above them: and in short, that which is not itself the principle is from the principle.
But it is also necessary that the principle of all things should possess the highest, and all, power. For the amplitude of power consists in producing all things from itself, and in giving subsistence to similars, prior to things which are dissimilar. Hence the one principle produces many principles, many simplicities, and many goodnesses, proximately from itself. For since all things differ from each other, and are multiplied with their proper differences, each of these multitudes is suspended from its one proper principle. Thus, for instance, all beautiful things, whatever and wherever they may be, whether in souls or in bodies, are suspended from one fountain of beauty. Thus too, whatever possesses symmetry, and whatever is true, and all principles, are in a certain respect, connate with the first principle, so far as they are principles and fountains and goodnesses, with an appropriate subjection and analogy. For what the one principle is to all beings, that each of the other principles is to the multitude comprehended under the idiom of its principle. For it is impossible, since each multitude is characterized by a certain difference, that it should not be extended to its proper principle, which illuminates one and the same form to all the individuals of that multitude. For the one is the leader of every multitude; and every peculiarity or idiom in the many is derived to the many from the one. All partial principles therefore are established in that principle which ranks as a whole, and are comprehended in it, not with interval and multitude, but as parts in the whole, as multitude in the one, and number in the monad. For this first principle is all things prior to all: and many principles are multiplied about the one principle, and in the one goodness, many goodnesses are established. This too, is not a certain principle like each of the rest: for of these, one is the principle of beauty, another of symmetry, another of truth, and another of something else, but it is simply principle. Nor is it simply the principles of beings, but it is the principle of principles. For it is necessary that the idiom of principle, after the same manner as other things, should not begin from multitude, but should be collected into one monad as a summit, and which is the principle of principles.
Such things therefore as are first produced by the first good, in consequence of being connascent with it, do not recede from essential goodness, since they are immovable and unchanged, and are eternally established in the same blessedness. They are likewise not indigent of the good, because they are goodnesses themselves. All other natures however, being produced by the one good, and many goodnesses, since they fall off from essential goodness, and are not immovably established in the hyparxis of divine goodness, on this account they possess the good according to participation."
From this sublime theory the meaning of that ancient Egyptian dogma, that God is all things, is at once apparent. For the first principle, * as Simplicius in the above passage justly observes, is all things prior to all; ie. he comprehends all things causally, this being the most transcendent mode of comprehension. As all things therefore, considered as subsisting causally in deity, are transcendently more excellent than they are when considered as effects preceding from him, hence that mighty and all-comprehending whole, the first principle, is said to be all things prior to all; priority here denoting exempt transcendency. As the monad and the centre of a circle are images from their simplicity of this greatest of principles, so likewise do they perspicuously shadow forth to us its causal comprehension of all things. For all number may be considered as subsisting occultly in the monad, and the circle in the centre; this occult being the same in each with causal subsistence.
* By the first principle here, the one is to be understood for that arcane nature which is beyond the one, since all language is subverted about it, can only, as we have already observed, be conceived and venerated in the most profound silence.
That this conception of causal subsistence is not an hypothesis devised by the latter Platonists, but a genuine dogma of Plato, is evident from what he says in the Philebus: for in that Dialogue he expressly asserts that in Jupiter a royal intellect, and a royal soul subsist according to cause. Pherecydes Syrus, too, in his Hymn to Jupiter, as cited by Kercher (in Oedip. Egyptiac.), has the following lines:
O theos esti kuklos, tetragonos ede trigonos,
Keinos de gramme, kentron, kai panta pro panton.
i.e. Jove is a circle, triangle and square, Centre and line, and all things before all. From which testimonies the antiquity of this sublime doctrine is sufficiently apparent.
And here it is necessary to observe that nearly all philosophers: prior to Jamblichus (as we are informed by Damascius) asserted indeed, that there is one super-essential God, but that the other gods had an essential subsistence, and were deified by illuminations from the one. They likewise said that there is a multitude of super-essential unities, who are not self-perfect subsistences, but illuminated unions with deity, imparted to essences by the highest Gods. That this hypothesis, however, is not conformable to the doctrine of Plato is evident from his Parmenides, in which he shows that the one does not subsist in itself. (See vol. iii, p. 133). For as we have observed from Proclus, in the notes on that Dialogue, every thing which is the cause of itself and is self-subsistent, is said to be in itself. Hence as producing power always comprehends, according to cause that which it produces, it is necessary that whatever produces itself should comprehend itself so far as it is a cause, and should be comprehended by itself so far as it is caused; and that it should be at once both cause and the thing caused, that which comprehends, and that which is comprehended. If therefore a subsistence in another signifies, according to Plato, the being produced by another more excellent cause (as we have shown in the note to p. 133, vol. iii), a subsistence in itself must signify that which is self-begotten, and produced by itself. If the one therefore is not self-subsistent as even transcending this mode of subsistence, and if it be necessary that there should be something self-subsistent, it follows that this must be the characteristic property of that which immediately proceeds from the ineffable. But that there must be something self-subsistent is evident, since unless this is admitted there will not be a true sufficiency in any thing.
Besides, as Damascius well observes, if that which is subordinate by nature is self-perfect, such as the human soul, much more will this be the case with a divine soul. But if with soul, this also will be true of intellect. And if it be true of intellect, it will also be true of life: if of life, of being likewise; and if of being, of the unities above being. For the self-perfect, the self-sufficient, and that which is established in itself, will much more subsist in superior than in subordinate natures. If therefore, these are in the latter, they will also be in the former. I mean the subsistence of a thing by itself, and essentialized in itself; and such are essence and life, intellect, soul, and body. For body, though it does not subsist from, yet subsists by itself; and through this belongs to the genus of substance, and is contra-distinguished from accident, which cannot exist independent of a subject.
Self-subsistent superessential natures therefore are the immediate progeny of the one, if it be lawful thus to denominate things, which ought rather to be called ineffable unfoldings into light from the ineffable; for progeny implies a producing cause, and the one must be conceived as something even more excellent than this. From this divine self-perfect and self-producing multitude, a series of self-perfect natures, viz. of beings, lives, intellects, and souls proceeds, according to Plato, in
the last link of which luminous series he also classes the human soul; proximately suspended from the daemoniacal order: for this order, as he clearly asserts in the Banquet, "stands in the middle rank between the divine and human, fills up the vacant space, and links together all intelligent nature." And here to the reader, who has not penetrated the depths of Plato's philosophy, it will doubtless appear paradoxical in the extreme, that any being should be said to produce itself, and yet at the same time proceed from a superior cause. The solution of this difficulty is as follows: - Essential production, or that energy through which any nature produces something else by its very being, is the most perfect mode of production, because vestiges of it are seen in the last of things; thus fire imparts heat, by its very essence, and snow coldness. And in short, this is a producing of that kind, in which the effect is that secondarily which the cause is primarily. As this mode of production therefore, from its being the most perfect of all others, originates from the highest natures, it will consequently first belong to those self-subsistent powers, who immediately proceed from the ineffable, and will from them be derived to all the following orders of beings. But this energy, as being characterized by the essential, will necessarily be different in different producing causes. Hence, from that which subsists, at the summit of self subsistent natures, a series of self subsisting beings will indeed proceed, but then this series will be secondarily that which its cause is primarily, and the energy by which it produces itself will be secondary to that by which it is produced by its cause. Thus, for instance, the rational soul both produces itself (in consequence of being a self-motive nature), and is produced by intellect; but it is produced by intellect immutably, and by itself transitively; for all its energies subsist in time, and are accompanied with motion. So far therefore as soul contains intellect by participation, so far it is produced by intellect, but so far as it is self-motive it is produced by itself. In short, with respect to every thing self-subsistent, the summit of its nature is produced by a superior cause, but the evolution of that summit is its own spontaneous energy; and, through this it becomes self-subsistent, and self-perfect.
That the rational soul, indeed, so far as it is rational, produces itself, may be clearly demonstrated as follows: - That which is able to impart any thing superior and more excellent in any genus of things, can easily impart that which is subordinate and less excellent in the same genus; but well being confessedly ranks higher and is more excellent than mere being. The rational soul imparts well being to itself, when it cultivates and perfects itself, and recalls and withdraws itself from the contagion of the body. It will therefore also impart being to itself. And this with great propriety; for all divine natures, and such things as possess the ability of imparting any thing primarily to others, necessarily begin this energy from themselves. Of this mighty truth the sun himself is an illustrious example; for he illuminates all things with his light, and is himself light, and the fountain and origin of all splendour. Hence, since the souls imparts life and motion to other things, on which account Aristotle calls an animal antokincton, self-moved, it will much more, and by a much greater priority, impart life and motion to itself.
(To Be Continued.)
Unveil for us, O Glory of Love and Life,
That Wisdom of the Eternal
By which, we many walk in the ways of
Truth and the Peace and Fellowship of Understanding;
And may the Power and Blessing of Service
Bind us and all men in the unity of heart and purpose,
And bring the Light of the Overworld to shine upon us
Till we pass into its radiance at our life's end.
THROUGH THE GATES OF GOLD
A FRAGMENT OF THOUGHT
By Mabel Collins
(Continued from Page 15.)
This question, born of sadness and weariness, which seems to us essentially part of the spirit of the nineteenth century, is in fact a question which must have been asked all through the ages. Could we go back throughout the history intelligently, no doubt we should find that it came always with the hour when the flower of civilization had blown do its full, and when its petals were but slackly held together. The natural part of man has reached then its utmost height; he has rolled the stone up the Hill of Difficulty only to watch it roll back again when the summit is reached, - as in Egypt, in Rome, in Greece. Why this useless labour? Is it not enough to produce a weariness and sickness unutterable, to be forever accomplishing a task only to see it undone again? Yet that is what man has done throughout history, so far as our limited knowledge reaches. There is one summit to which by immense and united efforts he attains, where there is a great and brilliant efflorescence of all the intellectual, mental and material part of his nature. The climax of sensuous perfection is reached, and then his hold weakens, his power grows less, and he falls back, through despondency and satiety, to barbarism. Why does he not stay on this hilltop and look away to the mountains beyond, and resolve to scale those greater heights? Because he is ignorant, and seeing a great glittering in the distance, drops his eyes, bewildered and dazzled, and goes back for rest to the shadowy side of his familiar hill. Yet there is now and then one brave enough to gaze fixedly on this glittering, and to decipher something of the shape within it. Poets and philosophers, thinkers, and teachers, - all those who are the "older brothers of the race," - have beheld this sight from time to time, and some among them have recognized in the bewildering glitter the outlines of the Gates of Gold.
Those gates admit us to the standard of man's own nature, to the place whence his life-power comes, and where he is priest of the shrine of life. That it is possible to enter here, to pass through those Gates, some one or two have shown us. Plato, Shakspere, and a few other strong ones have gone through and spoken to us in veiled language on the near side of the Gates. When the strong man has crossed the threshold he speaks no more to those on the other slide. And even the words he utters when he is outside are so full of mystery, so veiled and profound, that only those who follow in his steps can see the light within them.
What men desire is to ascertain how to exchange pain for pleasure; that is, to find out in what way consciousness may be regulated in order that the sensation which is most agreeable is the one that is experienced. Whether this can be discovered by dint of human thought is at least a question worth considering.
If the mind of man is turned upon any given subject with a sufficient concentration, he obtains illumination with regard to it sooner or later. The particular individual in whom the final illumination appears is called a genius, an inventor, one inspired; but he is only the crown of a great mental work created by unknown men about him, and receding back from him through long vistas of distance. Without them he would not have had his material to deal with. Even the poet requires innumerable poetasters to feed upon. He is the essence of the poetic power of his time, and of the times before him. It is impossible to separate an individual of any species from his kin.
If, therefore, instead of accepting the unknown as unknowable, men were with
one accord to turn their thoughts towards it, those Golden Gates would not remain so inexorably shut. It does but need a strong hand to push them open. The courage to enter them is the courage to search the recesses of one's own nature without fear and without shame. In the fine part, the essence, the flavor of the man, is found the key which unlocks those great Gates. And when they open, what is it that is found?
Voices here and there in the long silence of the ages speak to answer that question. Those who have passed through have left words behind them as legacies to others of their kin. In these words we can find definite indications of what is to be looked for beyond the Gates. But only those who desire to go that way read the meaning hidden within the words. Scholars, or rather scholiasts, read the sacred books of different nations, the poetry and the philosophy left by enlightened minds, and find in it all the merest materiality. Imagination glorifying legends of nature, or exaggerating the psychic possibilities of man, explains to them all that they find in the Bibles of humanity.
What is to be found within the words of those books is to be found in each one of us; and it is impossible to find in literature or through any channel of thought that which does not exist in the man who studies. This is of course an evident fact known to all real students. But it has to be especially remembered in reference to this profound and obscure subject, as men so readily believe that nothing can exist for others, where they themselves find emptiness.
One thing is soon perceived by the man who reads: those who have gone before have not found that the Gates of Gold lead to oblivion. On the contrary, sensation becomes real for the first time when that threshold is crossed. But it is of a new order, an order unknown to us now, and by us impossible to appreciate without at least some clew as to its character. This clew can be obtained undoubtedly by any student who cares to go through all the literature accessible to us. That mystic books and manuscript, exist, but remain inaccessible simply because there is no man ready to read the first page of any one of them, becomes the conviction of all who have studied the subject sufficiently. For there must be the continuous line all through: we see it go from dense ignorance up to intelligence and wisdom; it is only natural that it should go on to intuitive knowledge and to inspiration. Some scant fragments we have of these great gifts of man; where then is the whole of which they must be a part? Hidden behind the thin yet seemingly impassable veil which hides it from us, as it hid all science, all art, all powers of man till he had the courage to tear away the screen. That courage comes only of conviction. When once man believes that the thing exists which he desires, he will obtain it at any cost. The difficulty in this case lies in man's incredulity. It requires a great tide of thought and attention to set in towards the unknown region of man's nature in order that its gates may be unlocked and its glorious vistas explored.
That it its worth while to do this whatever the hazard may be, all must allow who have asked the sad question of the nineteenth century, - Is. life worth living? Surely it is sufficient to spur man to new effort, - the suspicion that beyond civilization, beyond mental culture, beyond art and mechanical perfection, there is a new, another gateway, admitting to the realities of life.
When it seems as if the end was reached, the goal attained, and that man has no more to do; just then, when he appears to have no choice but between eating and drinking and living in his comfort as the beasts do in theirs, and skepticism which is death, - then it is that in fact, if he will but look, the Golden Gates are before him. With the culture of the age within him and assimilated perfectly, so that he is himself an incarnation of it, then he is fit
to attempt the great step which is absolutely possible, yet is attempted by so few even of those who are fitted for it. It is so seldom attempted partly because of the profound difficulties which surround it, but much more because man does not realize that this is actually the direction in which pleasure and satisfaction are to be obtained.
There are certain pleasures which appeal to each individual; every man knows that in one layer or another of sensation he finds his chief delight. Naturally he turns to this systematically through life, just as the sunflower turns to the sun and the water-lily leans on the water. But he struggles throughout with an awful fact which oppresses him to the soul, - that no sooner has he obtained his pleasure than he loses it again and has once more to go in search of it. More than that; he never actually reaches it, for it eludes him at the final moment. This is because he endeavors to seize that which is untouchable and satisfy his soul's hun-ger for sensation by contact with external objects. How can that which is external satisfy or even please the inner man, - the thing which reigns within and' has no eyes for matter, no hands for touch of objects, no senses with which too apprehend that which is outside its magic walls? Those charmed barriers which surround it are limitless, for it is everywhere; it is to be discovered in all living things, and no part of the universe can be conceived of without it, if that universe is regarded as a coherent whole. And unless that point is granted at the outset it is useless too consider the subject of life at all. Life is indeed meaningless unless it is universal and coherent, and unless we maintain our existence by reason of the fact that we are part of that which is not by reason of our own being.
This is one of the most important factors in the development of man, the recognition - profound and complete recognition - of the law of universal unity - and coherence. The separation which exists between individuals, between worlds, between the different poles of the universe and of life, the mental and physical fantasy called space, is a nightmare of the human imagination. That nightmares exist, and exist only to torment, every child knows; and what we need is the power of discrimination between the phantasmagoria of the brain, which concern ourselves only, and the phantasmagoria of daily life, in which others also are concerned. This rule applies also to the larger case. It concerns no one but ourselves, that we live in a nightmare of unreal horror, and fancy ourselves alone in the universe, and capable of independent action, so long as our associates are those only who are a part of the dream; but when we desire to speak with those who have tried the Golden Gates, and pushed them open, then it is very necessary - in fact it is essential - to discriminate, and not bring into our life the confusions of our sleep. If we do, we are reckoned as madmen, and fall lack into the darkness where there is no friend but chaos. This chaos has followed every effort of man that is written in history; after civilization has flowered, the flower falls and dies, and winter and darkness destroy it. While man refuses to make the effort of discrimination which would enable him to distinguish between the shapes of night and the active figures of day, this must inevitably happen.
But if man has the courage to resist this reactionary tendency to stand steadily on the height he has reached and put out his foot in search of yet another step, why should he not find it? There is nothing to make one suppose the pathway to end at a certain point, except that tradition which has declared it is so, and which men have accepted and hug to themselves as a justification for their indolence.
(To Be Continued.)
THEOSOPHY AS A BASIS FOR ETHICS
Theosophy propounds no system of Ethics, as such, but it points to basic principles existing in Man and the Universe by means of which anyone can formulate a code for himself. This code while it may go far beyond, it will probably have much in common with that Ethic universally appreciated by all races in all ages which is included in the words decency an) courtesy.
Ethical systems in the past have been founded upon religious dogmas and supported by religious sanctions. When the dogmas of our Western religions became discredited in the light of scientific knowledge, the foundation of our Ethical system collapsed. The folly of basing an Ethical system upon things which time will change, can never be more evident than it is today. Nothing but the changeless laws of Nature, nothing but the innate nature of Man and the Universe, nothing but these imperishable things which are not affected by time and change of opinion, are good enough to form a basis of a system of Ethics for civilized people.
Theosophy offers the hypothesis that Life in spite of appearances is One, and that consequently no human being can really benefit at the expense of another. We are all, as it were, in the same boat, what is good fortune for one is, in some measure, good fortune for all. We are all isolated fragments of the One Life, and this Life can be poisoned or enriched at any point.
Hand in hand with this hypothesis is another; that this is a Universe of Law where every thought and every action is accounted for; there is constant adjustment and every force tends to be equilibrated. Every energy which man projects is colored by his personality and, sooner or later, comes back to him for adjustment for good or ill. There is no reward or punishment about it, but simply effects inexorably following upon causes. We get out of this Universe the exact equivalent of what we put into it, nothing is added, nothing is taken away. Harmonious thinking and acting that is living in accord with the innate nature of things, brings as its effect a fuller sense of Life and a deeper contentment; discordant separative energies are adjusted at the centre from which they were projected with a shattering effect; this is the explanation of practically all suffering.
These two hypotheses which can be proved to be true by anyone who will watch and observe and test them out in his own life, and in the lives of others, form a basis for Ethics which will stand the closest examination from any angle and which neither time nor change of belief nor any scientific disclosures can alter. If this were taught as part of our elementary educational system what a marvelous improvement in human life would be observed. It would be seen to be sheer madness to try to beat the game and get ahead by riding rough shod over our fellows.
The obvious evils which everybody recognizes as such are not the real evil's today; the real evils are the imitation goods, refined selfishness masquerading in altruistic and noble sentiments, which often deludes us into giving it our allegiance and support.
The question was asked: What happens Karmically as a result of those rare actions which are really impersonal, where no shadow of a thought of Self enters? Here we have to make a clear distinction between selfless actions on the one hand, and unselfish actions on the other. In the latter class of action though often self-sacrificing and altruistic and performed in the best cases without any conscious thought of self benefit in the way of gratitude, or future return, there is yet deep at the back of the mind the expectation, perhaps of good Karma and the stimulus and warm glow of self-approval. There is nothing wrong about this, indeed it is Nature's reward and method of encouraging such actions, but it indicates that the
action is still personal ands ego-centric, however refined. Such energies when they come to adjustment bring to the personal self an increased well-being, but because they were projected from a personal centre, the final result is still to build up and strengthen the personal Self, - that which contains the sense of Me and Thee. This is all necessary and inevitable in the growth of the individual toward impersonality, but it is no place at which to stop, and it is important to realize this for it is fatally easy to come too live upon the satisfaction obtained from unselfish actions, - a form of spiritual dram drinking which builds up a refined egoism and disintegrates spiritually.
If we watch our reactions and detect the secret expectation of a future return and the present glow of self-approval, and realize that this is not good enough, that we are not yet capable of doing an action for the sake of its own inherent beauty, but still demand a reward, then we are at least on the right track and have but gradually to insure ourselves to cease from wanting even a shadow of a return and to condemn as unworthy any trace of self-approval, and then the impersonal element in our best actions will grow.
What then happens as a result of a truly impersonal action? The energy projected although not bound back by any wish for a return, yet is still energy and has to be accounted for. It returns to the centre from which it came and to which it is magnetically linked, awakening there a deepened perception, a finer spiritual insight, and makes it easier for the student to reach that impersonal level again. Consequently it is extremely important for the Theosophical student to true up his perceptions and to know what constitutes a really fine and just action. He should sense it; cultivate the taste, as one would cultivate the taste for fine Art Or Music; study it until he knows it more and more; brood over it; think over it, and try to discriminate at all times the truly fine from the imitation. - Orpheus Lodge Discussion.
THE DRUID LODGE
11 and 12 Merrion Row, Dublin
The OBJECT of the Druid Lodge is (a) to cultivate the ideal of a Universal Spiritual Brotherhood of Humanity, and (b) to demonstrate by teaching and example that this ideal is an attainable reality.
THE TRUE DRUID is a man of: - COMPASSION; HARMONY OF SOUL; SKILL IN ACTION; SPIRITUAL VISION.
Three signs of COMPASSION are: - Understanding which turns a man aside rather than disturb a tired animal lying in the way. Understanding which weeps for the sorrows of children. Understanding which meets every stranger with a brotherly hand.
Three signs of Harmony of soul are: - An eye to see nature. A heart to comprehend nature. A courage to live with nature.
Three signs of Skill in Action are: - To love one's work. To understands one's work. To work with will for no reward.
Three signs of Spiritual Vision are: - Love for all things. Justice for all beings. Joyful obedience to Universal Law.
UNIVERSAL WISDOM is that Divine Vision which sees all things in just relative proportion as inseparable parts of an indivisible whole which is infinite and perfect.
THE DISCIPLE is one who seeks to know the Universal LAW, to live according to the LAW, and at last to become a perfect instrument of the LAW.
OCCULTISM is the pursuit of arcane knowledge.
TRUE OCCULTISM is the Path of the Disciple, and leads to Divine Wisdom.
If you are a believer in the Brotherhood of Humanity you should belong to the only Society that makes this the sole basis of membership. The dues are $2.50 a year, including subscription to the official Magazine. Will you not join?
THE 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
- Dudley W. Barr, 14 Huntley St., Toronto.
- 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, 584 Pape Avenue, Toronto.
- Frederick B. Housser, 10 Glen Gowan Ave., Toronto.
- Kartar Singh, 1720 Fourth Ave. W., Vancouver, B.C.
- Albert E. S. Smythe, 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
The Radio addresses delivered in Toronto have been a marked success in their results, although the funds were lacking $50 of the cost, and this deficit must be made good. About a hundred enquiries were mailed to the Committee, requesting copies of the talks, and about 2000 of these were distributed.
An application for a Charter for a Lodge of the Society has been signed in Kitchener and as soon as the usual formalities have been complied with the Charter will he issued and the Lodge established. Mr. Alexander Watt, a former member of the London Lodge, has been responsible for initiating this activity.
White Lotus Day should not be forgotten by any of our Lodges or members. The 8th of May falls on a Wednesday this year, an excellent evening for special celebrations. On its first celebration at Adyar in 1892 the 12th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita was read, and the passage in Arnold’s Light of Asia, beginning "Lo! the Dawn," to the end of Book the Sixth. Each Lodge can prepare its own programme.
Copies of Capt. P.G. Bowen's notable article, "The Way Towards Discipleship", may be had for Ten Cents each. For free distribution these will be sold at twenty for a dollar. For sale, at fifteen for a dollar. Mr. James Morgan Pryse's article, "Memorabilia of H.P. Blavatsky," are to be had at Five Cents each, size to fit a No. 8 envelope. These will be sold also at twenty for fifty cents for those who wish to distribute them free. Apply to this Office.
Mrs. Alice, A. Bailey of New York and Mr. Foster Bailey paid a visit to Toronto on April 5, 6 and 7. Mrs. Bailey spoke in The Theosophical Hall to large audiences, that on Sunday evening taxing the capacity of the Hall, which seats 500. Mrs. Bailey spoke of the surprising number of men at the meetings, as she thought. She had just returned from a long visit to England and the European Continent. It was only in Holland, she said, that she found any parallel to the work being done in Toronto.
We are glad to see Miss Charlotte E. Woods name once more in The Theosophist, Adyar. She writes on the present value of Theosophy and the T.S. to the world, and holds that Theosophy has changed the old Victorian world into the New. In this she says, "we have to give to the Theosophical Movement the widest possible interpretation." That is just the point, and we should have this view expounded at the Fraternization Convention. Mr. Ernest Wood concludes his notes on the First Stanza of the Book of Dzyan.
William Quan Judge, the third most important Founder of the Theosophical
Society was born April 13, 1851 and died March 21, 1896. He was 20 years junior to Madame Blavatsky. He was a great organizer and left 125 Lodges in the American field at his death. He built entirely on The Secret Doctrine, The Key to Theosophy ands other works of H.P.B. His own contribution consisted of Letters That Have Helped Me, Echoes from the Orient, The Ocean of Theosophy, and editions of the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali. His epitaph might consist of the quaint New England saying, "Most sticks are found under the best apple tree."
Mrs. Miriam Salanave, whose articles in our magazine will be remembered, has been in India, Japan and China since she left America in 1929 and has become a Buddhist nun. She has made pilgrimages to all the leading shrines in Asia and has now planned a Western Women's Buddhist Bureau, through which it is hoped to establish a Buddhist Women's Home Journal and undertake other activities including a Buddhist Library. She has issued an interesting pamphlet summarizing these plans and activities, illustrated with pictures of Buddhist monks and nuns she has met. Correspondence is invited at the Bureau, Apt. 4, 715 McAllister Street, San Francisco, California.
The death is announced of Mrs. L. Saxe-Holmes in her 82nd year, a member of the Montreal Lodge, and a woman well known in that city for her devoted work in penal reform and in prisoners' welfare work. She was keenly interested in the establishment of a Domestic Relations Court and succeeded in having a Juvenile Court brought into existence in Montreal. She was a daughter of the late Hon. James Saxe of Vermont. The death is als. announced on February 25 of Mrs. Knowles, a staunch Theosophist, and one who radiated love and goodwill to all. She had been a member of the Montreal Lodge for over twenty years and prior to that was a member in Boston.
Dr. Arundale has sent every Lodge in the Society a special set of literature dealing with. the campaign for "Straight Theosophy" which he intimated he would inaugurate. Pamphlets and circulars accompany a large chart for the months of October, November and December next, in which a programme of meetings to be held is scheduled, with books to be studied, and other suggestions do attract the public and buildup the interest of existing members. We commend these suggestions to our membership as they may serve as the basis of organization for such activity, and may be modified and added to as may be deemed best. What is really needed is for each member to be so interested that he or she would feel it to be a duty and a privilege to interest others in what was so important to themselves! Until our membership realizes that they have the most wonderful gift that life can give or the world supply in the truths of Theosophy, the Society will be as dead as the Church of Laodicea.
The Point Loma Quarterly, The Theosophical Path for April, has an unusually interesting bill of contents. First is an article by Dr. de Purucker on "Death and Afterwards." This is one of the most simple, logical and intelligible articles on this subject we have read, and will be hailed with satisfaction by many who have never been able to get the facts clear in their minds before. It incidentally deals with the four states of consciousness, and clears away most of the confusion with which so many writers surround the subject. Arthur A. Beale, M.D., writes on "The Cosmos of the Blood" an elucidation which students should not neglect. There are a dozen other articles in this issue all of importance and of outstanding literary quality. In the Book Reviews Mr. Jinarajadasa is given high praise for his book "Did Madame Blavatsky Forge the Mahatma Letters?"
The Theosophical Quarterly for April is an excellent number. The Editorial section deals with the problem of genius, contrasting the occult view with that of the modern neurologist, and leaving the latter much to apologize for. The well-known antagonism of the Quarterly to Democracy is manifested in the next section. Perhaps our friends lack patience with the stupidity and ignorance of the democratic governments everywhere. The affinity between mechanism and communistic states of mind is noted, though it seems to us rather a result than an affinity. Machinery has mastered our civilization and will kill it if a change is not made. We must quote the last paragraph of Cave's Fragments. "Two Ancient Records" give accounts from Egyptian records, of 1430 B.C., and 1288 B.C. The latter is especially interesting giving an account of the great battle of Kadesh between Rameses II and the Hittites. In both narratives the appearance of a God is described, and should be read by students.
ELECTION OF THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
- Mrs. Lilian Currie, Hamilton.
- N. W. J. Haydon, Toronto.
- F. B. Housser, Toronto.
- Miss, M. E. Crafter, Toronto.
- Lt. Col. E. L. Thomson, Toronto.
- Kartar Singh, Toronto.
- Felix A. Belcher, West End, Toronto.
- Dr. Washington E. Wilks, Orpheus, Vancouver.
- William A. Griffiths, Montreal.
The above are the names nominated by the Lodges indicated. Ballots will be sent out immediately to each member in good standing, as only those whose dues are paid up to June 30 are entitled to vote. They are requested to number their voting slips without delay and return them at once to the General Secretary in the envelopes supplied. The Election will close on May 25 and the scrutiny will be conducted on that day, if possible. Secretaries who receive ballots from their members should forward them not later than May 20.
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
The General Executive met on April 5, with all members present, except Messrs. Kartar Singh and Griffiths. An objection to the length of the Taylor's Introduction to Plato in the magazine was discussed and the matter left to the Editor. It was reported that an application from Kitchener for a Charter had been received from the new members and this was approved. Dr. Arundale's suggestion that new forms be used for diplomas, applications, etc., was tabled and also the sending out of a letter transmitted for presentation to new members. A long discussion ensued on the copy of a letter sent to members of the General Council originally directed to the Recording Secretary at Adyar, regarding the formation of two national societies in Canada. Should such action be taken the Canadian Lodges would have no choice but would have to join up under the jurisdiction in which they found themselves. It was finally decided to write to the Recording Secretary to ask for a suspension of action until Mr. Belcher, who was going out west, had the opportunity of considering the situation, interview the various parties concerned, and report fully on the matter. The next meeting will be held on June 2.
THE FRATERNIZATION CONVENTION
The dates chosen for the Fraternization Convention are August 23, 24 and 25, Friday to Sunday. The intention was to have afternoon meetings, leaving the mornings free for visitors to see the great Canadian National Exhibition. Special railway rates are to be had from all points on both sides of the border. The meetings will be held in the Theosophical Hall, 52
Isabella, Street, which is central and near to many hotels and boarding houses. It is announced that neither Dr. Arundale nor Dr. de Purucker can be present. No definite arrangements have yet been made for speakers, but it is hoped that Dr. Alvin B. Kuhn, Mr. G. Rupert Lesch, Mr. Roy Mitchell, and others who have spoken at previous Conventions as well as various local speakers may be depended upon to assist. There are many others who may be present and we should feel much obliged if the names of those likely to attend and who wish to speak were sent to us at the earliest opportunity. A tentative programme may be expected for next month.
FRATERNIZATION IN THE T. S.
Editor Canadian Theosophist: - Very flattering are "Iota's" remarks upon my arguments for fraternization in the Theosophical movement, and 'his question about A.M.O.R.C. is a shrewd one.
I am not aware of having expressed any opinion publicly on A.M.O.R.C., favorable or otherwise, and the word I used in the December article was "conflict", not "dislike."
I reproduce the passage: "There is no Theosophical virtue in joining only with people who accept your beliefs and loyalties, but it does require the exercise of Theosophy to associate with people whose views conflict with yours for the purpose of conlvincing the world that universal brotherhood is practicable."
This passage should be read in connection with the context. In the previous paragraph I had said that the association referred to was based upon the practice of brotherhood, and in the succeeding paragraph wrote, "Theosophy is altruism."
In fact, my concern throughout the whole article was for fraternization within the Theosophical Movement. Therefore the phrase I have italicized above, namely, "to associate with people whose views conflict with yours," is qualified by what goes before and after, and may be thus extended: "To associate with people who, accepting the principle of universal brotherhood (altruism), and endeavouring to practice it, yet have views on other subjects which conflict with yours, this association to be for a certain specific purpose, the convincing of the world that universal brotherhood is practicable."
I am not aware that A.M.O.R.C. teaches universal brotherhood, with its implication of self-sacrifice, therefore this Fraternity cannot be said to be inside the Theosophical Movement.
Altruism is not possible without self-sacrifice and what I pleaded for was that we should sacrifice our fondness for our personal predilections in the interests of Humanity.
Association with A.M.O.R.C. seems to me to be on a par with association with the Ford Motor company, the chamber of commerce, or the Roman Catholic church. None of these three is absolutely evil and each may do good to some. Whether the Theosophical Movement can associate with these organizations to further universal brotherhood is a remote question. Let us solve our immediate problem first.
Fraternization within the Theosophical Movement resembles those efforts one a wider scale known as the National Conference of Jews and Christians and The World Fellowship of Faiths, whose aim is to bring about better relationships between men of various creeds.
Shall we acknowledge that our efforts are less effective than theirs, that the spirit of Theosophy is stronger outside the Movement than within it?
49 East 7th St., Hamilton, Ont.
SUPPRESSION OF FACTS
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - Captain P.G. Bowen's letter in your March issue, evidently solicited by the United Lodge of Theosophists, calls for
my assurance in reply to his admonition that I "should honorably acquit the Editors of the Bulletin of any intention to suppress passages which she conceives may not be to their liking," that any misgiving I had on the subject of the U.L.T. suppression of a part of Commdr. Bowen's Notes was not due to the uncharitable suspicion assigned to it, but to well founded evidence of U.L.T. procedure in their own printed page.
"The Theosophical Movement" (1925) does not hesitate to suppress actual facts "not to their liking" where such facts affect the status of one whom they represent as above the sphere of delusion; and as a foil to this picture other Theosophists of early days are misrepresented and their aims twisted and distorted, with a venom for which unbrotherliness is too light a word. Moreover the upholding of H.P.B.'s teaching is not at stake, their strictures are directed solely at those who holding firmly to unadulterated H.P.B., are unable to accept U.L.T. dictatorial findings with regard to her "Successors".
Captain Bowen's excellent article on "Teachers and)Disciples" applies quite as much to the well disguised and anonymously expressed "claims" of the U.L.T. as to other more blatant claimants.
Dr Stokes in his "O. E. Critic" for November-December 1934 (issued within the past two months) publishes two letters which definitely prove the suppression I have been obliged to allude to in reply to Captain Bowen and also to the U.L.T. letter, which urges a plea to me for a charity of thought which they imply animates themselves.
- H. Henderson.
The "H.P.B." Library,
March 24th, 1935.
"LET THEM ALL COME"
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - I have read with much interest the numerous letters on the Fraternization Movement that have been appearing recently in the Canadian Theosophist, but there is one aspect of the question that I have not seen mentioned which, I think, should be considered. I refer to the fact that the Brotherhood of which we are enjoined to form a nucleus is UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD, and therefore, any expression of it cannot be confined to members of Theosophical Societies. If, then, a convention is to be held as an exhibition of Universal Brotherhood, invitations should be extended to as many sorts of people as possible to religious sectarians of all kinds and to representatives of every variety of degenerated and unevolved personalities. It is hardly likely that many, if any, of these invitations would be accepted, but all the same the gesture should be made for if it is not the Convention will represent an effort towards a limited fraternity rather than a demonstration of an universal Principle in action. However, if the Convention be regarded as merely a friendly gathering of people who hold certain beliefs in common, I, for one, wish it every success.
- W. B. Pease.
2840 Cadboro Bay Road,
"The Great Pyramid"
Mr. William Kingsland's second volume of "The Great Pyramid: in Fact and in Theory" (Rider & Co. 15/-) completes a work which is not only timely but at the present moment is essential to all who wish to escape the many fallacies and delusions that are holding the attention of multitudes of people through representations made and based on allegations concerning the Great Pyramid.
Mr. Kingsland, in fact, has joined the "debunkers" - though in a very different spirit from the majority of these gentlemen, and he has "debunked" - not the Pyramid - but several of the theories and organizations which have been associated
with it. He had already shown the measurements usually relied upon ins past years to be quite unreliable, and now he attacks such authorities as J. Ralston Skinner and proves that his calculations are no more worthy of credence than others, while those of Piazzi Smyth and other observers are shown to be affected by the prejudices of the authors, and the Pyramid inch and cubit are viewed as inventions to suit the theories requiring such support. The British Israelites will find themselves at a loose end as far as the Pyramid is concerned and their prophetic estimates and those of other vaticinators are proven to have no basis in Pyramidal measurements.
Mr. Kingsland has shown already and is struck with the remarkable "coincidence", if it be no more, that the thousandth part of 20612, which is the number discovered by John A. Parker of New York to be the perfect value of the relation of a circumference to a diameter of 6561, is the value in British inches of the Egyptian cubit used in building the Pyramid. "Is this a mere coincidence, or is there some deeply occult fact underlying it?" asks our author. He accuses the prophetic and other commentators with juggling with figures in their measurements. He points out that Ralston Skinner is no less than over five feet out in the base side measurements of the Pyramid, and remarks that "his, errors are due for the most part to his relying for his base measurement, on the false measurements of the French Expedition and of Vyse, which were made from the Socket's on the north base, and were supposed to be the correct measurement of each of the base sidles all round."
Mr. Kingsland pays no attention to the question of Madame Blavatsky that the Pyramids may have been built 75,000 years ago, and accepts the view that "there are no known facts to support any theory as to the builder of the Pyramid and his date other than those which attribute it to Khufu, the second king of the IVth Dynasty of Egyptian Kings." Nor has he any explanations to give of the means by which the engineering difficulties of the structure were overcome. He doubts the use of the banked-up incline as feasible, and remarks that "it is difficult to resist the conclusion that they must not merely have had tools and appliances of which we are now totally ignorant, but may also have employed methods which nowadays would be termed occult."
He is impressed by the accuracy of the orientation of the Pyramid and its astronomical implications, which indicate "a very considerable amount of accurate astronomical knowledge and observation." The great problem, he says, "of constructional ability is thrown back to the time of King Zoser; the great problem being as to how there could be such an apparently sudden development of stone architecture in the IIIrd Dynasty when just previously nothing apparently was used for complete structures but mud bricks, with perhaps a few examples of the use of stones for linings or floors."
His chapter on the Egyptian Book of the Dead is of great interest. He discusses the theory that the Pyramid was connected with the Egyptian Mysteries. "The ancient Adepts and Initiates", he observes, knowing that it would be highly dangerous to communicate occult secrets and ideas, "concealed their knowledge in myth and fable, but partially historical. And the danger is even more real today, when every advance in physical science is used to construct more and still more deadly weapons of destruction. Atlantis perished because of the misuse of natural forces which today would perhaps be called occult; and our modern 'civilization' is fast hastening to a similar catastrophic end: so close is the connection between Man's moral nature and the Globe he inhabits."
Mr. Kingland favors the theory that the building of the several Pyramids was a. matter of evolution, and that the builders gradually acquired skill and went on from the smaller to the greater ones. Might it not be argued, that the finest of all was first built and that the others were
degenerate imitations, gradually declining in merit? We know that nations decline from the highest perfection, and that savages are not the beginning but the end of great nations.
With regard to the age of the world and of the Pyramid, one Biblical theorist sets the date of creation at 2472 B.C. and the date of the Pyramid, at 2140, giving only 332 years in which to populate the world and develop all the arts and sciences of the date of the Pyramid. Both these chapters on the Book of the Dead and on the Kabala are informative to a marked degree and will repay the student even apart from the Pyramid itself.
Mr. Kingsland provides much evidence of his own knowledge of occult matters and his sympathy with such views of life. He recognizes the fact of evolution in the development of men of a type far superior to those ordinarily met with, or at least known to the public, and such men, termed Adepts and Masters, do not confess their status to all and sundry, and would never be recognized by ordinary men as differing from the common herd.
"The Adept is not made, he becomes", says Mr. Kingsland, echoing an ancient view. "Nothing but experience, practice, and a certain innate gift
- a faculty or facility acquired in previous lives - will enable the individual to achieve the work of a Master, an Adept." Such men have attained to heights of wisdom and knowledge - science, if you will, that the execution of earthly plans are simple to them when, if ever, they deem it necessary to carry out such designs. Whether these are theoretical as in the case of Solomon's Temple, or actual, as in the Pyramid, it is scarcely possible for laymen to say: In any case they are symbolical.
A system of symbolical record appears to have engaged the Sages of all antiquity as a means of perpetuating the truths thus at once preserved and concealed. To unravel such symbols, and to interpret the truths thus presented is the task of the student. It is a process of Initiation because the key is in each man himself. What is presented "as the path of the aspiring individual after death," as in the case of the Book of the Dead, or the symbology of the Pyramid, "is really the path of the aspiring Initiate; for the ultimate goal of initiation is the full realization of they essential divine nature of man; . . . . The attainment of this supreme knowledge is therefore represented as the `resurrection from the dead', or as, being `born again'." The average man does not achieve this till after many incarnations, or lives on earth, "so little does the average man learn of his real nature, so little spiritual progress does he make - progress in real spiritual knowledge and power, not in `goodness' only - in any one incarnation."
The Great Pyramid, it is suggested, embodies in symbol and otherwise, knowledge of these mysteries. "That its secret is known to the Hierarchy of Initiates who have never lost `the Wisdom of the Egyptians,' which is linked up with the Book of the Dead, and with our own Christian and other Scriptures; and that it may be learned now by those who, knowing how to knock at the door of the Temple of Initiation, receive admittance therein, is the firm conviction of the present writer."
This statement prefaces Mr. Kingsland's Appendix dealing with The Ancient Mysteries. The student will find here in short space all that is essential to him as a beginning.
The man on the street who may object that these things are concealed from him and therefore probably humbug, must remember that nothing worth having is easily obtained, and that the Christian teaching is true that to gain this knowledge one must balance the whole world against his own soul. The objection that the Masters do not bother with the average man is met by the fact that the average man does not bother about himself. Why then should the Masters do so, especially when such men demand as a right the exercise of their own free will and the freedom of their own judgment?
A Master wrote to Mr. A.P. Sinnett (page 341, Mahatma Letters)
- "Once separated from the common influences of Society, nothing draws us to any outsider save his evolving spirituality. He may be a Bacon or an Aristotle in knowledge, and still not make his current felt a feather's weight by us, if his power is confined to the Manas (intellectual mind) . . . . Manas, pure and simple, is of a lower degree, and of the earth earthly: and so your greatest men count but as nonentities in the area where greatness is measured by the standard of spiritual development."
We may add to this the testimony of Subba Row, in a letter just reprinted by The Point Loma Theosophical Forum, that he knew of "many chelas, high chelas too, very near initiation, who are ignorant of the art of reading and writing."
"You must be up and doing if you want to secure your immortality," he adds, and "this is impressed in the mind of every Occult student by his Guru. Mere goody-goodness, and irreproachable life will not help us. We must swim against the current and by dint of perseverance mount higher. If not, we will be left where we are to vegetate and rot in the scale to which we may have come. The Kingdom of Heaven ought to be taken by force. Will, irresistible, indomitable will alone carry upward an Occult student. If he has not got that, he has no chance whatever. Only one who toils hard can ascend a mountain peak."
Which is only another way of saying, "Many are called, but few are chosen," and "Strait is the gate and few there be that enter in thereat."
Evangelical Christianity seeks to convince people that it is all as easy as getting entered on a voting list, but the difficulties have never been minimized by the real Teachers.
Mr. Kingsland is a faithful messenger, and his book on the Pyramids will impress the student with the importance of teachings over which such Titanic pains have been taken to leave their Mysteries on record. Mr. Kingsland's work has been chiefly to show that current solutions of its problems are valueless, and that the Truth lies elsewhere.
- A. E. S. S.
In the new history of the Theosophical Movement which the magazine "Theosophy" is presenting to its readers, the instalment for April devotes about ten pages to the Toronto Lodge and the General Secretary of the T.S. in Canada. It would have been easy to obtain correct information on the subject by submitting the "copy" to those concerned before printing it. However, as "corrections, rejections, criticism, questions, and comments are invited from all readers on any facts or conclusions stated in this series", we venture to comment - not on the facts, but on statements made purporting to be facts. Perhaps they are not important, but inaccuracy in such matters disturbs one's confidence in the rest of the narrative, especially when it would have been so easy to get things straight.
"The original `Canadian Section' of the Adyar T.S., now designated as the Theosophical Society in America" is the first mistake. When the Canadian Lodges were organized in 1919, the Charter was issued to The Theosophical Society in Canada by Mrs. Besant, so that there never was a Canadian Section, though some members, following the custom of years before, still persist in the use of the term made familiar in the "American Section".
The Lamp, which is mentioned, was begun in 1894 and suspended after some years. Before Mr. Judge's death in 1896 there had been much squabbling and disagreement following the! Boston Convention of 1895. At that Convention in which Robert Crosbie and Louis Wade of Boston took a leading part, the autonomy of the American Lodges was asserted. Originally every Lodge was autonomous, but Col. Olcott was always opposed to autonomy and suppressed the principle
when he could. Judge anticipated that the American autonomous Society would be affiliated to Adyar. He told me so himself. When Olcott refused to affiliate the Society and affirmed the separation from Adyar as a "Secession", two delegates at the Convention, Alex Fullerton and, Dr. J.W.B. LaPierre of Wisconsin dissented from the rest of the delegates, and formed "the little rift within the lute that by and by will make the music mute."
The Toronto delegate voted with the majority for the Wade and Crosbie plan, though there were obvious errors made in the legal brief prepared by Mr. Wade for the case. The principle of the thing however was unimpeachable, whatever may be thought of the arguments in support. The Toronto Lodge after the Convention debated the policy for six weeks and finally on a vote of 35 to ten endorsed the vote of the delegate. The ten immediately assumed control of the Lodge and claimed all its property, Charter, furniture, library, etc., although all these had been procured at the expense of two members of the majority. However, it was decided not to fight the minority but to give them what they asked, believing in the Law of Karma.
A new Lodge, the Beaver, was formed by the majority and carried on work in the usual way, making progress as before. The minority also carried on, but in a less successful way and gradually dwindled away until in 1903 the Beaver Lodge offered its rooms and opportunities to the Toronto Lodge which accepted the conditions, and the membership of both Lodges amalgamated under the original Charter. Since then there has been uninterrupted progress, the only flaw being that a few of the ten who protested at first again withdrew from the majority and formed a small Lodge which is now directly attached to Adyar. The Separationist sentiment has always proceeded from members of the E.S.
The Canadian Theosophist was started in 1920 and has now begun its 16th volume. It has represented the Adyar Society for two reasons. One is the promise of the Masters that they will watch over it and protect it, though they will not guide it. "The Society will never perish as an institution, although branches and individuals in it may," is written by K.H. (Mahatma Letters, 245); ands also: "You have still to learn that so long as there are three men worthy of the Lord's blessing in the Theosophical Society - it can never be destroyed."
The other reason is the Golden Rule of doing to others as one would be done by. Many of us have been the means of bringing hundreds of people into the Theosophical Society, and to turn round and desert them, leaving them open to all kinds of misapprehensions, and to the tender mercies of those who have made and been accessory to the making of such egregious errors as Adyar has been guilty of in the last thirty years, would be as cruel as anything one could do. We at least can stand by our posts and hold up the light as we see it and know it.
Those who have never been in the T.S. nor taken the pledges H.P.B. proposed to us, may perhaps be unable to appreciate this situation, but at least they might refrain from judging others. There is another consideration which probably weighs with few. It is the Karmic obligation which cannot be shirked. We are all one Brotherhood, and those who "run out" on their obligations, will not be exempted from the responsibilities that rest upon those who have been "instructed".
There is no compromise, as the, anonymous editors of "Theosophy" suggest, in such a course. "To steer a consistent course in such conditions was a manifest impossibility," we are told. Why should it be impossible? The Constitution of the T.S. guarantees the widest and freest liberty of opinion, thought, word, and action. Why then should one hesitate to think as one sees right and act as one believes one should? In this connection note the articles by Mr. J.W. Hamilton-Jones
in the February and March issues of The Theosophist.
It is not necessary to conceal anything, as "Theosophy" endeavors, for example to conceal the fact that Mr. Crosbie was attached to the Point Loma Society from 1896 till 1909 or thereabouts, and that he was on Mrs. Tingley's Inner Council for the greater part of that time. I warned him and Dr. Jerome Anderson of their danger and they both subsequently wrote me acknowledging my correctness, but long after my warning had gone unheeded. All the same Theosophy and its backers have done splendid work just as the present Point Loma Society has, and need not be afraid of the effect of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about anyone and anything. There is a reward of confidence, even in spite of mistakes, that follows from frankness and open handed dealing with all and every one. It was on account of secrecy, falsehood and chicanery that the writer left the Point Loma, or rather was expelled from that Society. The present officials deny now that either Mr. Dunlop or I was expelled, but that was the story in 1899 when The Lamp was revived for a while.
Where there is no freedom of opinion, no permission for frank speech and warrantable criticism, there is no room for those who wish to walk the straight path. When the T.S. refuses these privileges to us, we shall know what to do. Our Toronto Charter was issued to the Toronto Theosophical Society by Madame Blavatsky in 1891, and we are determined to be loyal to our great patron and her ideals.
All the same, we are grateful for the recognition accorded the T.S. in Canada by our contemporary. The quotations which have been liberally made from our pages ought to have convinced the editors that we are not "bound hand and foot" as they allege.
As far as we can judge, the article in this month's Theosophy is intended to prove that there is no other course open to the honest Theosophist but to join the Los Angeles U.L.T. The suggestio falsi in the statement that "Mrs. Besant un
dertook a lecture tour and in due course arrived at Toronto where she met Mr. Smythe and other Canadian members, who were apparently `reconciled'," is sufficiently obvious. We are also accused of "lukewarmness". Dr. Arundale and Mr. Jinarajadasa will be amused at this verdict from Los Angeles. But it is impossible to expect sympathy from any body that still holds to the "competitive system" as the proper policy on which the Theosophical Movement should be conducted.
No matter. All who work for Theosophy and the Cause of the Masters will share in the victory that will come along at last however they may regard their fellow workers in the field. It is for us who have seen something of the glory of the reality and know what Theosophy means to the world and the races of humanity, to look with kindly eyes on all who strive in the work and as W. Q. Judge said, "Cast no one out of your heart."
- A. E. S. S.
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.
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by F. B. Housser
MARRIAGE, DIVORCE AND SEX
Judge Ben Lindsey, who made a stir a few years ago when he set up his lawyerless divorce court, and Court of Social Relations in Denver, and who wrote a book advocating companionate marriages, recently made the prediction in an interview with the New York Times that "unless we open our eyes to reality and change our whole concept of the relation of the sexes, free-love, domestic chaos, and sexual anarchy are at hand."
The judge predicted seven years ago that in ten years the number of divorces granted in the United States would equal the number of marriage licenses issued in any one year. "We have three years to go", he said, "yet that has almost happened already."
Marriage, he asserted has been unyielding to the facts of a new social and economic situation of which he thinks the rising tide of divorce and common law is evidence.
He professes to believe in what he calls "the good, old fashioned marriage until death do us part", but admits that the problem of bringing it back is too much for him.
He sees three main reasons for the conditions he deplores, first, the economic conditions of modern life; under which it is difficult, if not impossible for men to marry much before thirty years of age; second, - the failure of religion; and third; - the inadequacy of modern education.
Facing The Facts
The problems raised by Judge Lindsey have many angles of approach, according to whether they are discussed by the wholly licentious; by the high-minded person, who sincerely desires to see the whole question of sex, marriage and divorce put upon a higher plane; or by the orthodox Christian, Protestant or Catholic.
The truly theosophical-minded person comes under the second category.
There is no doubt that a lot of spade work needs doing - particularly in Canada - if we do as Judge Lindsey suggests and "open our eyes to reality."
There is no doubt in the mind of any fair-minded person that our marriage and divorce laws need revising. Most of them are based on the old Roman Catholic assumption that marriage is a sacrament more than a civil contract. It is, in fact, not possible to get a civil marriage in Ontario even, though the parties concerned have no belief or faith in the church to join them.
The obedience clause in the marriage ceremony has long been protested against by modern-minded women and even when ostensibly assented to, is rarely, if ever, taken seriously by either the man or the woman.
There is almost universal agreement that divorce should be obtainable on many other grounds than that of adultery, the only one which the law in Canada recognizes.
Adultery itself has come to have a new meaning. For a couple to continue to live together as man and wife when there is no love between them is considered by most high-minded young people these days as more adulterous than living out of wedlock with a person one loves.
Under English and Canadian law the mutual desire for separation by persons who have done nothing morally objectionable is no grounds for a divorce. Under such circumstances the man cannot give his wife a divorce unless he deliberately goes and has relations with some other woman even, though it may be utterly repulsive to him.
A recently published book "Holy Deadlock" showing the effect of this with scathing satire, was banned, it is understood, in England.
The Theosophical Attitude
These, supposedly, are some of the realities Judge Lindsey believes have got to be faced and dealt with if, in his opinion, we are to avoid domestic chaos and sexual anarchy.
We are obviously, as he says, "unyielding to the facts of a new social and economic situation with changed concepts and changing values.
Sex, which is usually
- though not always, justly associated with the marriage-divorce problem is still considered by most people - men and women - as either funny, dirty or unmentionable, an uncomplimentary comment on our state of mind.
Students of the Secret Doctrine will not find anything there sanctioning this attitude. The Doctrine and all scriptural writings - includiing the Bible - mention and discuss sex naturally and openly.
The student is left free to make up his own mind on the question of marriage, divorce and sex in general. Every one's views will reflect their owner's own particular state of development. What is right for one many not be right for another.
In the Key to Theosophy we find marriage-responsibilities classed as one of the Theosophist's first duties because "destiny has arranged them," but the duty of the Theosophist to himself is "never to do a thing by halves. If he thinks it is the right thing to do, let him do it openly and boldly, and if wrong, never to touch it." (see page 177)
This makes it a matter between each man and woman and their own higher self and is definitely against secret indulgences and what Whitman called "the sly settee and the adulterous couple."
It is a rebuke to married couples who, while making it appear to the world that they are mutually content to be together, long in their hearts to be with some one else and sneak there secretly when opportunity permits.
To passively accept one's circumstances in life as "Karma" and not likewise to accept any breaking up of those circumstances as karma, is to be inconsistent, especially as Karma alters circumstances life after life in the life of the soul.
This is one side of the story, yet "save in a few exceptional cases of practical occultism, marriage is the only remedy against immorality", says Madame Blavatsky. (Key to Theos, 177).
"Practical occultism", she has previously defined as "being done forever with what men call life"; desiring "one thing and one thing only, to know the truth and to be able to help others." This seems to be a recognition of the fact that few individuals at the present stage of they race's development are prepared for any enlightened teaching concerning marriage and sex.
Whitman said one of his reasons for writing "Leaves of Grass" was to prepare for and necessitate moral's.
All this being so the "curse" spoken of in the Secret Doctrine (II:226) will continue to pursue mankind.
Although the early church fathers said "the curse on man came with the formation of woman," the curse, as the Doctrine explains it, did not begin with the formation of either man or woman but was "a natural sequence of evolution."
The curse, it says, "is the natural longing to recover a lost state, forever cheated."
The lost state is the state of union which, according to the Doctrine, the race knew in its androgyne days, before the division into sexes, when there was neither male nor female.
In his past physiological evolution man has passed from ethereal to physiological procreation and is now moving toward the second phase of his primitive state when "woman knew no man," says the Doctrine (II:433). Human progeny was then "created, not begotten".
That state, according to the Doctrine, will return though it may still be millions of years away.
No matter how far away it may be, it suggests a period ahead in which all present ideas of marriage, divorce and sex will be destroyed and women and men both find emancipation through a recovery of man's lost state of consciousness, a sense of unity with themselves, and with others.
In this emancipation it appears to be the function of the two sexes to help each other to find themselves, for if union cannot be realized in the relationship of one man and one woman, how can it ever be found in the relationship of one man or woman to the whole of mankind?
MAYA RUINS IN HONDURAS
At the present time there are several archeological commissions working among the ruins of ancient cities belonging to the forgotten civilizations of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. The Yucatan Peninsula is an exceedingly rich field and the discoveries made there have thrown a great deal of light on the customs, religions and learning of its former inhabitants. The innumerable buildings of its many cities, its well-planned and splendidly built systems of roads, canals, sewers, and irrigation systems, indicate that the Peninsula was at one time, the home of millions of persons. The date of this civilization has not been agreed upon by archeologists, although all will agree that it flourished at least one thousands years ago.
But the Yucatan was the `New Empire' of an earlier Mayan culture. The `Old Empire occupied a triangular region extending at the base from the city of Palenque in the provinces of Chiapas, Mexico, through Guatemala and British Honduras to the Atlantic coast. The apex of the triangle, was the ancient City of Copan, which is situated inland in Honduras, midway between the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Recent earthquakes in the vicinity of Copan exposed great stone staircases and lead to discoveries which are believed by the Carnegie Commission to indicate that Copan, the largest and most ancient of Mayan cities, was also the most important centre of ancient Mayan civilization. The newspaper accounts of these discoveries are brief but there is sufficient to show that the former inhabitants of this city possessed a high degree of engineering capacity, were skilled in metal working and pottery, had a good knowledge of astronomy and also had a highly organized religion. Mr. Stromsvik, who is in charge of the Carnegie Institution's work at Copan considers that "the discoveries, will startle the scientific world".
But all the discoveries of recent years have not thrown any light on the origin of the Mayas. That they were highly civilized is admitted, but the civilization seems to have been suddenly deposited on the American Continent. There is no evidence of the evolution of the race in America - there are no strata of earth buried relics to show a continuous progress from a barbaric state to a civilized one.
The Mayans appeared suddenly from some unknown source, constructed their immense cities, cultivated the areas around them, extended their influence over thousands of square miles - and then as suddenly disappeared. Now, only the jungle-covered ruins and artifacts remain, silent witnesses to the existence of a forgotten race.
Who Were The Mayans?
Who were the Mayans? The Secret Doctrine says that they were `coeval with Plato's Atlantis' and `belonged', to the Fifth Continent which was preceded by Atlantis and Lemuria. (footnote, page 38, vol I). `Plato's Atlantis' (Poseidonis) was the last fragment of the great continent of Atlantis which included parts of Europe, Africa, America and the vast area now covered by the Atlantic Ocean. This fragment was destroyed about eleven thousand
years ago (S.D. II., 149 and 337) and so the archaeologist may discover that the accepted dates of Mayan culture will have to be considerably altered.
Possibly these recent discoveries will eventually lead to the acceptance of the tradition that Central America was an outpost of the great Atlantean continent. It is hardly necessary in a magazine of this nature to argue the existence of Atlantis nor to draw attention to the scientific evidence supporting the theory. H.P.B. summarizes this on pages 835 to 838 of the second volume of the Secret Doctrine, and in Donnelly's "Atlantis" it is set out in detail.
The Truth Leaking Out
But while scientists are now beginning to admit that such a continent existed, the racial and human implications arising out of this are barely touched upon. The cataclysm which destroyed Poseidonis eleven thousand years ago, was but minor compared with the tremendous upheavals that broke up the main continent, hundreds of thousands of years earlier. These convulsions did not occur at a time before humanity was upon the earth. Atlantis was more than a continent, it was an empire of highly civilized people; its destruction was more than an interesting geological disturbance, it was a tremendous human tragedy, a tragedy in which the men and women who are living on earth today were involved and the effects of which they are still suffering under in these their later incarnations. The human race slipped badly in Atlantean times and we have not yet regained our former status.
The Secret Doctrine tells of these things but H.P.B. appreciated that the acceptance of them would be long delayed. She wrote: "But we write for the future. New discoveries in this direction will vindicate the claim of the Asiatic Philosophers, that sciences - Geology, Ethnology sand History included - were pursued by the antediluvian races who lived untold ages ago." (S.D. II. 349) .
- D. W. B.
"THESE MY BRETHREN"
In a despatch from Austria, March eleventh, in the Mail and Empire, a tragic story is told; "Helene Maier, 35, an unmarried housemaid, was sentenced to two months' imprisonment today because her baby froze to death in her arms while she trudged the streets, seeking a haven of refuge. Shocked by the birth of the child, Helene's employers had turned her out of their house. Her parents refused to admit her."
This account reads like a tragedy of the Middle Ages. That it can actually happens today, makes one ask if brotherhood is only a fine word and an impractical theory.
It is not enough to dismiss the circumstance like this as Karma. What sort of society breeds minds like those of her employers, and those of her parents? What does justice mean to the court which sentenced her? Her sentence probably came from one who had never known hunger and cold, not to mention the agony of childbirth. In an age of so-called civilization and intellectual enlightenment this crime falls upon the whole of humanity.
Injury To One, Injury To All
If the practical teachings of Theosophy were adhered to, such a tragedy as this one would be unheard of. Our duty to humanity is plainly set forth in The Key To Theosophy by Madame Blavatsky. "Injure a man by doing him bodily harm"; says Madame Blavatsky, "you may think that his pain and sufferings cannot spread by any means to his neighbours, least of all to men of other nations. We affirm that it will, in good time. Therefore we say, that unless every man is brought to understand, and accept as an axiomatic truth, that by wronging one man we wrong not only ourselves but the whole of humanity in the long run, no brotherly feeling such as preached by all the great reformers, preeminently by Buddha and Jesus, are possible on earth." (p. 33).
Again, on page 154 Madame Blavatsky says: "Duty is that which is due to humanity, to our fellow-men, neighbours, family and especially that which we owe to all those who are poorer and more helpless than we ourselves."
It is suggested in The Key that our duty to humanity might be given a practical turn if every man and woman would work for a social order, where all could have work and security; where all men and women would have proper education, by which they might enjoy self-respect, and understand responsibility to others; a social order where all women married or otherwise could have proper care during pregnancy, and where they and their children would be cared for by the state as long as they were unable to provide for themselves.
- M. E. D.
TESTAMENT OF YOUTH
Vera Britain, who has spoken before the Canadian Club, Toronto, has written an autobiography she calls "Testament of Youth" in which she endeavors as truthfully as she can to show her readers what the war did to her life.
She has been writing this book, she says, for the past eighteen years. It is intended as a representative testament of the war generation in England - the "lost" generation as some one has named it.
Miss Britain paints a moving picture of the sufferings of the war generation. Her book strikes the dominant note of modern post-war literature, a note of despair, resentment, and contempt of everything Victorian except the economic prosperity of the Victorian era which she rather regretfully remarks will never likely return.
The disillusionment smashed hopes and frustrated ambitions caused by the war in the private lives of persons like Miss Britain, are feelingly depicted along with the emancipation that came to women and other good things - good at any rate from her point of view - which the war brought to pass. It is the modern woman and the modern man speaking with all their shortcomings and all their virtues.
The War Generation
The light which a study of Theosophy throws on the problem of the war generation is rarely, if ever, referred to.
A little familiarity with the Theosophical doctrines of reincarnation and Karma might dissolve some of the bitterness and resentment felt by a large portion of that generation leaving in its place a deposit of accumulated wisdom.
If experience is a teacher, then the war generation ought to be a wiser generation but it shows little evidence of the kind of wisdom one might expect it to have.
War is the focused objectification of a state of being that exists actively under the surface of life in times of peace.
It is Kali Yuga the dark age - intensified and focused.
Kali Yuga is the shortest of the four yugas but it is said of it that, because of the intensity of its materialism and the difficulty of spiritual progress, it is possible to make more spiritual headway in a shorter length of time than under happier conditions. (see W. Q. Judge. - Letters, that Have Helped Me.)
Any man who went through the war experience virtually crowded into three or four years the experience of two or three incarnations. The possibility of learning was therefore multiplied accordingly.
The same is true, in a less degree, of a non-combatant who suffered through the war as Vera Britain did.
The sad fact is that having stood the tortures of the experience, few members of the war generation seem to have learned very much from it other than a bit of cynical worldly wisdom.
The karma of the war generation was a hard one and that generation is entitled to sympathy.
It was swept into a vortex in its early youth. Its life ambitions and its loves
were cruelly shattered, as Vera Britain shows.
It became the debris of an age of commercial rivalry and warfare never surpassed except in the years since the conflict.
The Christian church - which gave its blessing to the war as it always has to war in the past - has no explanation to offer for the apparently cruel fate of the war generation.
Theosophy explains it by what it calls "distributive karma." - the law of Justice or compensation applied collectively.
In "The Key to Theosophy", page 136, the question is asked whether "all the evils which seem to fall upon the masses somewhat indiscriminately are actually merited individual karma."
The answer given by Madame Blavatsky is "No", but she adds, "we must not lose sight of the fact that every atom is subject to the general laws governing the whole body to which it belongs," and 'here we come upon the wider track of the karmic law. "Do you not perceive," she asks, "that the aggregate individual karma becomes that of the nation to which those individuals belong, and further that the sum total of national karma is that of the whole world... It is held as a truth among theosophists, that the interdependence of humanity is the cause of what is called distributive karma, and it is this law which affords the solution to the great question of collective suffering and its relief."
Past and Present
If the curtain were lifted and we could see the part played by the war generation when the souls that composed it were last here on earth, the mystery of what happened to it in this incarnation might be solved.
The non-combatants were part of the society that made the war and must, in all justice, share equally its Karma with combatants.
What, for example, would be the karma of the generations that fought and sanctioned the Punic wars with a cruelty that curdles the blood to read about?
According to Theosophical ideas, wars do not settle quarrels. They only cause future quarrels, as the souls shot out of incarnation return and meet each other again in another.
A generation's karma becomes the distributive karma of the whole world.
If it be true that this is the law of life, then the war generation should not in the nature of things, be resentful toward the senior generation, for it in fulfilling its own karma, became the karmic agent to its children.
Neither should the war generation be resentful toward life. It should only be resentful toward that within itself which is at war with life and with the topsy-turvy world in which we live and which is only topsy-turvy because we are. That "thing within itself" is the thing which is the cause of war.
The war generation, as represented by veteran associations in all countries which participated in the war, has done little else in it's public utterances since the war but yelp that the world owes it a living and is ungrateful.
It has just forced through a bill in Washington asking for a bonus on its war services which it is not entitled to under the agreement for ten years.
It has done this at a time when the government is at its wits' end to find monies for the relief of millions of destitute without causing a revolution.
The war generation is now coming into power and is in a position to correct some of the economic factors which create wars and which inflame the passions that are objectified in war, yet there are no signs that it is doing anything this direction.
The war generation, having paid a slice of its karma in blood amid suffering, has an opportunity to lessen the likelihood of a future catastrophe for itself, in another incarnation if not in this one, if it has learned the lesson the war should have taught it.
Will it rise to the occasion?
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