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VOL. XVI., No. 4 HAMILTON, JUNE 15th, 1935 Price 10 Cents
A prominent writer on Theosophy recently remarked that he did not know a real Theosophist in any of the various Societies and only a handful outside them. One of the handful has been visiting Canada and was in Hamilton the week of May 25. His name is Alexander Irvine, and he wrote a little book about his mother which is a classic on account of its literary excellence, notably for its thrift of words, but chiefly for the life it chronicles. Anna Irvine was a saint, beatified by all who knew her and now canonized by multitudes who read of her beautiful life.
In her little dwelling in the town of Antrim she bore twelve children, of whom Alexander was the last, dedicated before his birth as Samuel was to the service of the Eternal. She loved with a great love, and knew God in the holiness of her heart. She was no respecter of persons; rich and poor were alike to her, the poorest of all who came to share her meagre but open-handed hospitality. Tramps, market, and fair followers, beggars of every description, flocked to her home, and she chastened them with her purity and they honored her for their share in her life. She did not seek to know what they were. They were human and in need. God is Love, was her creed, and "Love is enough" was her motto.
Her son has not failed in the knowledge she imparted to him. He has won his own wisdom, gone from strength to strength, and borne his message far and wide in great churches and in little chapels, on the field of battle and in the tenser fields of the battle of life. He spent years in the Royal Navy, and though he could not read nor write at eighteen he has mastered the great art of expression, and when Jack London found him he recognized a literary genius and set him to work with his pen.
"The Lady of the Chimney Corner" is not his only book. There are a number of others, but that which was first called "A Keltic Pilgrimage" and now "A Fighting Parson" is an autobiography of engrossing interest. Like another Paul he has run the gamut of missionary adventure, even to fighting beasts, not in Ephesus, but in California, where vigilantes in the service of a great corporations drove him into the desert, 35 miles from any help, and left him to die. Some will say God, some his angel mother, sent the strange messenger who saved him. He had and has still noble work to do, and there are few men in the world who know better what demons gnaw at the roots of our civilization.
But he is not a denouncer of men, capitalist or communist. They are the product of the system, and for the most part cannot help themselves. He spoke of Andy Mellon, the little manipulator "under
whom three United States Presidents served". He tells of August Belmont, in extremis, on his deathbed, sending for him and revealing his great act of repentance, which was, when he should recover, to offer a prize for the best back yard in New York. But before he could give the prize the hearse came and took him to where he belonged. "I do not know where that is," was Irvine's sole comment.
He assisted Stickney Grant for three years in the Church of the Ascension, which had then more millionaires and more wealth than any other church in New York. He made a tremendous impression there as a lay preacher, licensed by Bishop Potter, but the wealthy people led it is said, by the little group of professing Theosophists among whom the Griscoms and Charles Johnston were chief, succeeded in creating such difficulties that in order not to embarrass Dr. Grant, Irvine resigned. This is the group that advertises that they have no connection with any other Theosophists, which in this case is just as well. (p. 84 of "A Fighting Parson"). During the war he acted for the British Government, and he is familiar with all the men whose names are great in contemporary history.
Dr. Irvine believes that the Sermon on the Mount is the Marching Orders for every Christian. Those who evade its standards and refuse its ethics are disloyal to the Master who taught them. When Jesus says, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth" he meant exactly that, but we all save and take out insurance and do what we can to make ourselves solid with Mammon. Dr. Irvine argues that Jesus was not talking bunk, as so many declare. He contemplated such an economic and social structure that it would be unnecessary to save, where every man would sit under his own vine and fig-tree; where the ingenuity of mankind would not be devoted to inventing things to destroy the race, but to make it possible for every city to be a new Jerusalem, with nothing to hurt or destroy in all God's holy Mount.
They grave him a gold key at the dedication of the little home in which his mother had spent a life of penury, and his sister asked "What does it open?" "I'm goin to buy a door for it," he answered. And with bitter sarcasm he reproached those who had presented the gold key, and reminded them that for a hundred years there had never been any sanitation in the little Pogue's Entry where the house with its earthen floor sheltered his family. He tells of a meeting of the S.I.C.P., a body of the millionaire ladies of New York with the richest one at its head, who had under consideration the problem of how long a factory worker should work before the birth of her child, and how soon she might return. They decided that she could work till her labour pains began, and they gave her a week to recover. The Society for the Improvement of the Condition of the Poor was not a success. Marie Antoinette wondered when the people had no bread why they did not eat cake. There is still a great deal of this kind of ignorance in the world.
Irvine wants the Church and its preachers to take an interest in humanity, and not merely in the few with whom they come in contact. He speaks strongly and warningly to preachers who are satisfied with being comfortable in their charges and who lose their consciences, in comfort. He is afraid that the Church of Christ is not taking its place in the world as a leading influence in the revolution which he sees coming in the next five years. If it does not show interest and ability to direct, it will be swept aside in the new society that he proclaims.
He says that the one great and vital spiritual force in the world today as far as he knows is Mr. Krishnamurti. He heard him in the meeting in which he repudiated the bogus Liberal Catholic Church and all the Leadbeaterism that would have made him a new Messiah and deluded the world with false teaching. He admires intensely
Krishnamurti's attitude in refusing to have disciples or to be called a leader, and he pays him a notable tribute on pp. 254-5 of his book, "A Fighting Parson." In his closing chapter he makes a useful remark and one characteristic of his work and experience: "Of all the perils that beset my pathway, the dread of becoming respectable has for me the greatest horror. That is the paralysis of all effort. It is the eclipse of the liberal mind."
It would be unfortunate if any quotation or any criticism gave the reader an erroneous impression of Irvine's writings. They are hot with the fires of life, and of love for humanity, and any part of his writings can only suggest the devotion, the sacrifice and renunciation of a life consecrated to service. That such a life is lighted constantly with the graces of an unusual humor is something to be thankful for in a world that is sometimes dull enough.
INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY AND WRITINGS OF PLATO
By Thomas Taylor
(Continued from Page 71.)
"Further still, it, may be said', where will be the venerableness of your boasted science about divine natures? For it is absurd to call these dogmas, which are collected from many places, Platonic, and which, as you acknowledge, are reduced from foreign names to the philosophy of Plato; nor are you able to evince the whole entire truth about divine natures. Perhaps, indeed, they will say that certain persons, junior to Plato, have delivered in their writings, and left to their disciples, one perfect form of philosophy. You, therefore, are able to produce one entire theory about nature from the Timaeus; but from the Republic, or Laws, the most beautiful dogmas about morals, and which tend to one form of philosophy. Alone, therefore, neglecting the treatise of Plato, which contains all the good of the first philosophy, and which may be called the summit of the whole theory, you will be deprived of the most perfect knowledge of beings, unless you are so much infatuated as to boast on account of fabulous fictions, though an analysis of things of this kind abounds with much of the probable, but not of the demonstrative. Besides, things of this kind are only delivered adventitiously in the Platonic dialogues; as the fable in the Protagoras, which is inserted for the sake of the political science, and the demonstrations respecting it. In like manner the fable in the Republic is inserted for the sake of justice; and in the Gorgias for the sake of temperance. For Plato combines fabulous narrations with investigations of ethical dogmas, not for the sake of the fables, but for the sake of the leading design, that we may not only exercise the intellectual part of the soul, through contending reasons, but that the divine part of the soul may more perfectly receive the knowledge of beings, through its sympathy with more mystic concerns. For from other discourses we resemble those who are compelled to the reception of truth; but from fables we are affected in an ineffable manner, and call forth our unperverted conceptions, venerating the mystic information which they contain.
"Hence, as it appears to me, Timaeus with great propriety thinks it fit that we should produce the divine genera, following the inventors of fables as sons of the gods, and subscribe to their always generating secondary natures from such as are first, though they should speak without demonstration. For this kind of discourse is not demonstrative, but entheastic, or the progeny of divine inspiration; and was invented by the ancients, not through necessity, but for the sake of persuasion, not regarding naked discipline, but sympathy with things themselves. But if you are willing to speculate not only the causes of fables, but of other theological dogmas, you will find that some of them are scattered in the Platonic dialogues for the sake
of ethical, and others for the sake of physical considerations. For in the Philebus, Plato discourses concerning bound and infinity, for the sake of pleasure, and a life according to intellect. For I think the latter are species of the former. In the Timaeus the discourse about the intelligible gods is assumed for the sake of the proposed physiology. On which account, it is every where necessary that images should be known from paradigms, but that the paradigms of material things should be immaterial, of sensibles, intelligible, and of physical forms, separate from nature. But in the Phaedrus, Plato celebrates the supercelestial place, the subcelestial profundity, and every genus under this for the sake of amatory mania; the manner in which the reminiscence of souls takes place; and the passage to these from hence. Every where, however, the leading end, as I may say, is either physical or political, while the conceptions about divine natures are introduced either for the sake of invention or perfection. How, therefore, can such a theory as yours be any longer venerable and supernatural, and worthy to be studied beyond every thing, when it is neither able to evince the whole in itself, nor the perfect, nor that which is precedaneous in the writings of Plato, but is destitute of all these, is violent and not spontaneous, and does not possess a genuine, but an adventitious order, as in a drama? And such are the particulars which may be urged against our design.
"To this objection I shall make a just and perspicuous reply. I say then that Plato every where discourses about the gods agreeably to ancient opinions and the nature of things. And sometimes indeed, for the sake of the cause of the things proposed, he reduces them to the principles of the dogmas, and thence, as from an exalted place of survey, contemplates the nature of the thing proposed. But some times he establishes the theological science as the leading end. For in the Phaedrus, his subject respects intelligible beauty, and the participation of beauty pervading thence through all things; and in the Banquet it respects the amatory order.
"But if it be necessary to consider, in one Platonic dialogue, the all-perfect, whole and connected, extending as far as to the complete number of theology, I shall perhaps assert a paradox, and which will alone be apparent to our familiars. We ought however to dare, since we have begun the assertion, and affirm against our opponents, that the Parmenides, and the mystic conceptions of this dialogue, will accomplish all you desire. For in this dialogue, all the divine genera proceed in order from the first cause, and evince their mutual suspension from each other. And those indeed which are highest, connate with the one, and of a primary nature, are allotted a form of subsistence, characterized by unity, occult and simple; but such as are last are multiplied, are distributed into many parts, and excel in number, but are inferior in power to such as are of a higher order; and such as are middle, according to a convenient proportion, are more composite than their causes, but mere simple than their proper progeny. And, in short, all the axioms of the theological science appear in perfection in this dialogue; and all the divine orders are exhibited subsisting in connection. So that this is nothing else than the celebrated generation of the gods, and the procession of every kind of being from the ineffable and unknown cause of wholes. * The Parmenides therefore, enkindles in the lovers of Plato the whole and perfect light of the theological science. But after this, the aforementioned dialogues distribute parts of the mystic discipline about the gods, and all of them, as I may say, participate of divine wisdom, and excite our spontaneous
* The principle of all things is celebrated by Platonic philosophy as the cause of wholes, because through transcendency of power he first produces those powers in the universe which rank as wholes, and afterward those which rank as parts through these. Agreeably to this Jupiter, the artificer of the universe, is almost always called demiourgos ton olon, the demiurgus of wholes. See the Timaeus, and the Introduction to it.
conceptions respecting a divine nature. And it is necessary to refer all the parts of this mystic discipline to these dialogues, and these again to the one and all perfect theory of the Parmenides. For thus, as it appears to me, we shall suspend the more imperfect from the perfect, and parts from wholes, and shall exhibit reasons assimilated to things of which, according to the Platonic Timaeus, they are interpreters. Such then is our answer to the objection which may be urged against us; and thus we refer the Platonic theory to the Parmenides; just as the Timaeus is acknowledged by all who have the least degree of intelligence to contain the whole science about nature."
All that is here asserted by Proclus will be immediately admitted by the reader who understands the outlines which we have here given of the theology of Plato, and who is besides this a complete master of the mystic meaning of the Parmenides; which I trust he will find sufficiently unfolded, through the assistance of Proclus, in the introduction and notes to that dialogue.
The next important Platonic dogma in order, is that doctrine concerning ideas, about which the reader will find so much said in the notes on the Parmenides, that but little remains to be added here. That little however is as follows: The divine Pythagoras, and all those who have legitimately received his doctrines, among whom Plato holds the most distinguished rank, asserted that there are many orders of beings, viz. intelligible, intellectual, dianoetic, physical, or in short, vital and corporeal essences. For the progression of things, the subjection which naturally subsists together with such progression, and the power of diversity in coordinate genera give subsistence to all the multitude of corporeal and incorporeal natures. They said, therefore, that there are three orders in the whole extent of beings; viz. the intelligible, the dianoetic, and the sensible; and that in each of these ideas subsist, characterized by the respective essential properties of the natures by which they are contained. And with respect to intelligible ideas, these they placed among divine natures, together with the producing, paradigmatic, and final causes of things in a consequent order. For if these three causes sometimes concur, and are united among themselves, (which Aristotle says is the case), without doubt this will not happen in the lowest works of nature, but in the first and most excellent causes of all things, which on account of their exuberant fecundity have a power generative of all things, and from their converting and rendering similar to themselves the natures which they have generated, are the paradigms, or exemplars of all things. But as these divine causes act for their own sake, and on account of their own goodness, do they not exhibit the final cause? Since therefore intelligible forms are of this kind, and are the leaders of so much good to wholes, they give completion to the divine orders, though they largely subsist about the intelligible order contained in the artificer of the universe. But dianoetic forms or ideas imitate the intellectual, which have a prior subsistence, render the order of soul similar to the intellectual order, and comprehend all things in a secondary degree.
These forms beheld in divine natures possess a fabricative power, but with us they are only gnostic, and no loner demiurgic, through the defluxion of our wings, or degradation of our intellectual powers. For, as Plato says in the Phaedrus, when the winged powers of the soul are perfect and plumed for flight, she dwells on high, and in conjunction with divine natures governs the world. In the Timaeus, he manifestly asserts that the demiurgus implanted these dianoetic forms in souls, in geometric, arithmetic, and harmonic proportions: but in his Republic (in the section of a line in the 6th book) he calls them images of intelligibles; and on this account does not for the most part disdain to denominate them intellectual, as being the exemplars of sensible natures.
In the Phaedo he says that these are the causes to us of reminiscence; because disciplines are nothing else than reminiscences of middle dianoetic forms, from which the productive powers of nature being derived and inspired, give birth to all the mundane phenomena.
Plato however did not consider things definable, or in modern language abstract ideas, as the only universals, but prior to these he established those principles productive of science which essentially reside in the soul, as is evident from his Phaedrus and Phaedo. In the 10th book of the Republic too, he venerates those separate forms which subsist in a divine intellect. In the Phaedrus, he asserts that souls elevated to the supercelestial place, behold Justice herself, temperance herself, and science herself; and lastly in the Phaedo he evinces the immortality of the soul from the hypothesis of separate forms.
Syrianus*, in his commentary on the 13th book of Aristotle's Metaphysics, shows in defense of Socrates, Plato, the Parmenideans, and Pythagoreans, that ideas were not introduced by these divine men according to the usual meaning of names, as was the opinion of Chrysippus, Archedemus, and many of the junior Stoics; for ideas are distinguished by many differences from things which are denominated from custom.
[ * See my translation of Aristotle's Metaphysics, p. 347. If the reader conjoins what is said concerning ideas in the notes on that work, with the introduction and notes to the Parmenides in this, he will be in possession of nearly all that is to be found in the writings of the ancients on this subject.] Nor do they subsist, says he, together with intellect, in the same manner as those slender conceptions which are denominated universals abstracted from sensibles, according to the hypothesis of Longinus: * for if that which subsists is unsubstantial, it cannot be consubsistent with intellect. Nor are ideas
* It appears from this passage of Syrianus that Longinus was the original inventor of the theory of abstract ideas; and that Mr. Locke was merely the restorer of it.
according to these men notions, as Cleanthes afterwards asserted them to be. Nor is idea definite reason, nor material form; for these subsist in composition and division, and verge to matter. But ideas are perfect, simple, immaterial, and impartible natures. And what wonder is there, says Syrianus, if we should separate things which are so much distant from each other? Since neither do we imitate in this particular Plutarch, Atticus, and Democritus, who, because universal reasons perpetually subsist in the essence of the soul, were of opinion that these reasons are ideas: for though they separate them from the universal in sensible natures, yet it is not proper to conjoin in one and the same the reason of soul, and an intellect such as ours, with paradigmatic and immaterial forms, and demiurgic intellections. But as the divine Plato says, it is the province of our soul to collect things into one by a reasoning process, and to possess a reminiscence of those transcendent spectacles, which we once beheld when governing the universe in conjunction with divinity. Boethus*, the peripatetic too, with whom it is proper to join Cornutus; thought that ideas are the same with universals in sensible natures. However, whether these universals are prior to particulars, they are not prior in such a manner as to be denudated from the habitude which they possess with respect to them, nor do they subsist as the causes of particulars; both which are the prerogatives of ideas; or whether they are posterior to particulars, as many are accustomed to call them, how can things of posterior origin, which have no essential subsistence, but are nothing more than slender conceptions, sustain the dignity of fabricative ideas?
In what manner then, says Syrianus, do ideas subsist according to the contemplative lovers of truth? We reply, intelligibly
* This was a Greek philosopher, who is often cited by Simplicius in his Commentary on the Predicaments, and must not therefore be confounded with Boetius, the roman senator and philosopher.
and tetradacally (noeros kai tetradikos), in animal itself (en to antozoo), or the extremity of the intelligible order; but intellectually and decadically (noeros kai dekadikos), in the intellect of the artificer of the universe; for, according to the Pythagoric Hymn, "Divine number proceeds from the retreats of the undecaying monad, till it arrives at the divine tetrad which produced the mother of all things, the universal recipient, venerable, circularly investing all things with bound, immovable and unwearied, and which is denominated the sacred decad, both by the immortal gods and earth
Proeisi gar o Theios arithmos, os phesin o Pythagoreios eis auton umnos,
Monados ek keuthmonos akeralou esti'an iketai
Tetrada epi zatheen, he de teke metera panton,
Pandechea, presbeiran, oron peri pasi titheiran,
Atropon, akamatou, dekada kleiousi min agnen,
Athanatoi to theoi kai gegeneeis anthropoi.
And such is the mode of their subsistence according to Orpheus, Pythagoras and Plato. Or if it be requisite to speak in more familiar language, an intellect sufficient to itself, and which is a most perfect cause, presides over the wholes of the universe, and through these governs all its parts; but at the same time that it fabricates all mundane natures, and benefits them by its providential energies, it preserves its own most divine and immaculate purity; and while it illuminates all things, is not mingled with the natures which it illuminates. This intellect, therefore, comprehending in the depths of its essence an ideal world, replete with all various forms, excludes privation of cause and casual subsistence, from its energy. But as it imparts every good and all possible beauty to its fabrications, it converts the universe to itself, and renders it similar to its own omniform nature. Its energy, too, is such as its intellection; but it understands all things, since it is most perfect. Hence there is not any thing which ranks among true beings, that is not comprehended in the essence of intellect; but it always establishes in itself ideas, which are not different from itself and its essence, but give completion to it, and introduce to the whole of things, a cause which is at the same time productive, paradigmatic, and final. For it energizes as intellect, and the ideas which it contains are paradigmatic, as being forms; and they energize from themselves, and according to their own exuberant goodness. And such are the Platonic dogmas concerning ideas, which sophistry and ignorance may indeed oppose, but will never be able to confute.
From this intelligible world, replete with omniform ideas, this sensible world, according to Plato, perpetually flows, depending on its artificer intellect, in the same manner as shadow on its forming substance. For as a deity of an intellectual characteristic is its fabricator, and both the essence and energy of intellect are established in eternity the sensible universe, which is the effect or production of such an energy, must be consubsistent with its cause, or in other words, must be a perpetual emanation from it. This will be evident from considering that every thing which is generated, is either generated by art or by nature, or according to power. It is necessary, therefore, that every thing operating according to nature or art should be prior to the things produced; but that things operating according to power should have their productions coexistent with themselves; just as the sun produces light coexistent with itself; fire, heat; and snow, coldness. If therefore the artificer of the universe produced it by art, he would not cause it simply to be, but to be in some particular manner; for all art produces form. Whence therefore does the world derive its being? If he produced it from nature, since that which makes by nature imparts something of itself to its produc-
tions, and the maker of the world is incorporeal, it would be necessary that the world, the offspring of such an energy, should. be incorporeal. It remains there-fore, that the demiurgus produced the universe by power alone; but every thing generated by power subsists together with the cause containing this power: and hence production of this kind cannot be destroyed unless the producing cause is deprived of power. The divine intellect therefore that produced the sensible universe caused it to be coexistent with himself.
This world thus depending on its divine artificer, who is himself an intelligible world replete with the archetypal ideas of all things, considered according to its corporeal nature, is perpetually flowing, and perpetually advancing to being (en to gignesthai), and compared with its paradigm, has no stability or reality of being. However, considered as animated by a divine soul, and as receiving the illuminations of all the supermundane gods, and being itself the receptacle of divinities from whom bodies are suspended, it is said by Plato in the Timaeus to be a blessed god. The great body of this world too, which subsists in a perpetual dispersion of temporal extension, may be properly called a whole with a total subsistence, on account of the perpetuity of its duration, though this is nothing more than a flowing eternity. And hence Plato calls it a whole of wholes; by the other wholes which are comprehended in its meaning, the celestial spheres, the sphere of fire, the whole of air considered as one great orb; the whole earth, and the whole sea. These spheres, which are called by Platonic writers parts with a total subsistence, are considered by Plato as aggoregately perpetual. For if the body of this world is perpetual, this also must be the case with its larger parts, on account of their exquisite alliance to it, and in order that wholes with a partial subsistence, such as all individuals, may rank in the last gradation of things.
As the world too, considered as one great comprehending whole, is called by Plato a divine animal, so likewise every whole which it contains is a world, possessing in the first place, a self-perfect unity; proceeding from the ineffable, by which it becomes a god; in the second place, a divine intellect; in the third place, a divine soul; and in the last place, a deified body. Hence each of these wholes is the producing cause of all the multitude which it contains, and on this account is said to be a whole prior to parts; because, considered as possessing an eternal form which holds all its parts together, and gives to the whole perpetuity of subsistence, it is not indigent of such parts to the perfection of its being. That these wholes which rank thus high in the universe are animated, must follow by a geometrical necessity. For, as Theophrastus well observes, wholes would possess less authority than parts, and things eternal than such as are corruptible, if deprived of the possession of soul.
(To Be Continued.)
COL. H. S. OLCOTT
"She hath reason to mistrust the future", was a warning given by the Master Serapis in a letter to Col. Henry Steel Olcott in 1875. It is difficult to realize the change in Olcott from his early life in the United States Army, in which he attained a high reputation and was placed in charge of the Commissariat Department, then thoroughly corrupted, but which he restored to honest and upright management when given the opportunity.
He took up newspaper work after the war, and in the course of these experiences, was sent to the Eddy farm by the New York Sun and the New York Graphic to report upon the spiritualistic manifestations which had created a sensation there. It was here he met Madame Blavatsky and first came into contact with genuine occultism. He had sufficient intuition to recognize in her a great teacher, and through her he came into communication
with several Masters. He stated later that he had met fourteen of the Elder Brothers.
There is a strange law in occultism, Madame Blavatsky warned her pupils, that brings out the worst as well as the best in pledged students. It arises from the fact that we have a lower as well as a higher nature, and each manifests itself under the pressure of the spiritual will. In Col. Olcott's case the lower man showed itself to be, as H.P.B. called him, a "flapdoodle", while the higher man in Olcott achieved wonderful things in his time. He allowed the lower man free play in his later life, and particularly in his relations with W.Q. Judge, gave way to envy, jealousy and bitterness for which there was no excuse.
Those who read the Old Diary Leaves and compare his statements there with his own contemporary records, will realize how far he permitted his later impulses to overlie his earlier sentiments. He never forgave Judge for replacing the $17,000 which his Treasurer at Adyar had embezzled, though gratitude should have made him sensible of his obligation to the American General Secretary. Nor did he recognize the service Judge did him after his resignation, when Judge automatically became President, and had he been ambitious as Olcott charged, only needed to sit tight in the Presidential chair to have satisfied the ambition he was charged with entertaining. Judge, however, moved heaven and earth to get the various sections to change their attitude and petition Olcott to withdraw his resignation, which he eventually did. But from that moment he did all he could to defeat Judge's policies, and supplant him in the Society.
It was Mrs. Besant who first brought about Olcott's resignation, but he overlooked this and as Mrs. Besant has written, "knitting hands with me," he gave her all his loyalty. For the best and noblest in Olcott we have the deepest regard, and the early portrait of him which we reproduce is more in the character of "that highest person," than, the patriarchal Casby-like appearance of his senility.
His work for Buddhism was most notable. His stand regarding the Esoteric School after the death of H.P.B. was one that must appeal to all truly sensible people. It is set forth in a letter to Judge in 1893 and, is printed on page 608 of The Theosophist for August, 1932. He did not believe that either Judge or Mrs. Besant could "add appreciably to the teachings received through H.P.B." In that letter he lays claim to "one redeeming virtue: I fill the position of Prest, of a non-sectarian, all tolerating, thoroughly eclectic Society, as the Constitution requires, and as was promised to the Public at the beginning".
His toleration and eclectism did not extend as far as would permit him to affiliate the American Section of 125 Lodges in 1895 as he might have done under the Constitution of that day, and he proceeded in the following year to change the Constitution so that such affiliation would be impossible.
Col. Olcott's chief published works began with a book on "Sorgho and Imphee" in 1857 on which subject he was the authority of the day. "People of the Other world" was printed in 1875, his Buddhist Catechism in 1881, an epochal work; "Theosophy, Religion and. Occult Science" in 1885; "Posthumous Humanity" translated from the French of Adolphe d'Assier, in 1887; and five volumes of Old Diary Leaves between 1895 and 1932.
He was born August 2, 1832, and died February 17, 1907. The Theosophist records that "the family motto is the Latin word Vigilate (Be Watchful) and the crest of the family is a cock, in some cases crowing, in others silent, standing on a crown, a globe or a single bar." The symbol is significant for the St. Peters of the race.
LETTER OF A MASTER TO W.Q.J.
You say you are a "sad case" and yet you have in your heart so great a love for humanity and for the individual members of the race that you are haunted night and day by thoughts of their suffering, ignorance and pain. It is such as you who hold the human race from falling into that bottomless pit of emptiness where despair is forgotten and where effort is unknown.
My dear friend, for that you are being truly the friend of all who are looking for the light, do not forget that you are living in a very dark and sad Maya of intensely physical life. The whole busy continent of America is eaten up by materialism, and when an effort is made towards psychic life it results only in dragging that psychic life into matter where it dies as a volatile gas escapes in the hands of one who is not expert. The sadness of this fact colors your letter. You know that any school founded amongst you would at once become a school of practical magic working in order to produce results in matter. This is quite true. The reason is that even those who are most in earnest among you have no true psychic aspirations. Remedy this in yourself and endeavor to remedy it in others by word and example.
Desire no results which are forms of power. Desire only in your efforts to reach nearer to the centre of life (which is the same in the Universe and in yourself ) which makes you careless whether you are strong or weak, learned or unlearned. It is your divinity; it is the divinity we all share. But its existence is not credited by those who look only for money or power or success in material effort. (I include intellect in matter.)
Lean I pray you in thought and feeling away from these external problems which you have written down in your letter; draw on the breath of the great life throbbing in us all and let faith (which is unlearned knowledge) carry you through your life as a bird flies in the air - undoubtingly. Only remember one thing - when once you fling yourself on the great life of Nature, the forces that keeps the world in motion and our pulses beating and which has within it, in its heart, a supreme and awful power - once having done that, you can never again claim back your life! You must let yourself swing with the motions of the spheres. You must live for other men and with them; not for or with yourself. You will do this, I am sure.
[signed with a triangle]
THE INTERNATIONAL FRATERNIZATION
The International Inter-Theosophical Fraternization Jubilee Convention to be held in Toronto on August 23, 24, and, 25 is beginning to take some form. The tendency to fight shy of it on the part of leading members of some if not all of the Theosophical Societies is a significant fact which only emphasizes the necessity of such a gathering. Of course we cannot impose Brotherhood on any one who does not feel it and live it, just as one can bring a horse to the water but he cannot be compelled to drink. But at least when people gather together they begin to see that others are not greatly different from themselves, and when they exchange views and
realize that these are based on the same identical principles, the disposition to be amicable if not amiable, and to be reasonable if not concordant, will develop, and at least the public will see that the study of Theosophy does not incite the students to enmity.
It is to be borne in mind that the Convention is international and therefore involves the supervision and cooperation of the heads of the international bodies in the management. The first motion came from the General Executive of the T.S. in Canada and was supported by other Societies. At Niagara in 1933 and at Rochester in 1934 members of the Adyar, the Point Loma and the U.L.T. bodies met and the meetings were regarded as successful and interesting. This year the Toronto Theosophical Society invited the Convention to meet in the Theosophical Hall, and a joint committee of the Toronto Society and the General Executive was formed. Nothing definite has been done yet beyond fixing the date which is intended to give visitors the advantage of the cheap railway and other transportation rates in force during the Canadian National Exhibition.
At the General Executive meeting in June, the General Secretary submitted as a tentative suggestion a programme for the three days and this is open for consideration by the Committees of all the Theosophical bodies which may contemplate taking part in the Convention. Suggestions are invited from all and sundry and any new proposals or amendments will be welcomed. Also the names of possible speakers should be sent in to the General Secretary at 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ont.
The suggestions made are that the first day, Friday, be given over to Science in the light of Karma and with special reference to Sociology. Saturday should be devoted to Philosophy in the light of Reincarnation and History. Sunday would be taken up with Religion, with its main topic Brotherhood, and Philanthropy. The sessions should be held from 2 till 5 in the afternoon, leaving the mornings free for visitors to go to the Exhibition or otherwise enjoy themselves; and in the evenings at 8, Sunday at 7.15. There should be one main address at each session to take not more than one hour, with time in addition for questions and discussion. This would involve six main speakers. Short addresses of from ten to twenty minutes could be arranged for, and in discussion three to five minutes ought to be the limit for speakers.
In order that those not able to attend may take part to some extent in the Convention it is suggested that papers of from 1000 to 1500 words be invited from students on the topics listed, to be considered by the Committee of Management and read at the Convention in the absence of other material.
In a general way, although all meetings would be open to the public, it is suggested that the afternoon meetings be designed for students of Theosophy and the addresses in the evening meetings be prepared with a view to general public interest.
The following list of subjects is suggested as an indication of the range of interest likely to attract attention. Theosophical - Fraternization; How to reach a wider Public (Propaganda, Lectures, radio, etc.); Training of Speakers; Our Weak Lodges; The Future of the. Movement; "Straight" Theosophy; Class Work; The Theosophical Jubilee. For Public Interest - Theosophy and Philanthropy; Theosophy and Health (Medicine, Diet, Healing, etc.); Theosophy and Literature; Theosophy and Politics; Theosophy and Economics; Theosophy and the Churches; The Student and the Theosophical Life; The Value of Synthesis; Reincarnation and History; Theosophy and Nation-Building; A Religion for Youth.
It is hoped that Committees of Societies in the United States will meet and consider these proposals and send in their reports and suggestions regarding them as soon as possible. Any information required may be had from the General Secretary, as noted above.
THROUGH THE GATES OF GOLD
A FRAGMENT OF THOUGHT
By Mabel Collins
(Continued from Page 77.)
There is no doubt that a man must educate himself to perceive that which is beyond matter, just as he must educate himself to perceive that which is in matter. Every one knows that the early life of a child is one long process of adjustment, of learning to understand the use of the senses with regard to their special provinces, and of practice in the exercise of difficult, complex, yet imperfect organs entirely in reference to the perception of the world of matter. The child is in earnest and works on without hesitation if he means to live. Some infants born into the light of earth shrink from it, and refuse to attack the immense task which is before them, and which must be accomplished, in order to make life in matter possible. These go back to the ranks of the unborn; we see them lay down their manifold instrument, the body, and fade into sleep. So it is with the great crowd of humanity when it has triumphed and conquered and enjoyed in the world of matter. The individuals in that crowd, which seems so powerful and confident in its familiar demesne, are infants in the presence of the immaterial universe. And we see them on all sides, daily and hourly, refusing to enter it, sinking back into the ranks of the dwellers in physical life, clinging to the consciousnesses they have experienced and understand. The intellectual rejection of all purely spiritual knowledge is the most marked indication of this indolence, of which thinkers of every standing are certainly guilty.
That the initial effort is a heavy one is evident, and it is clearly a question of strength, as well as of willing activity. But there is no way of acquiring this strength, or of using it when acquired, except by the exercise of the will. It is vain to expect to be born into great possessions. In the kingdom of life there is no heredity except from the man's own past. He has to accumulate that which is his. This is evident to any observer of life who uses his eyes without blinding them by prejudice; and even when prejudice is present, it is impossible for a man of sense not to perceive the fact. It is from this that we get the doctrine of punishment and salvation, either lasting through great ages after death, or eternal. This doctrine is a narrow and unintelligent mode of stating the fact in Nature that what a man sows that shall he reap. Swedenborg's great mind saw the fact so clearly that he hardened it into a finality in reference to this particular existence, his prejudices making it impossible for him to perceive the possibility of new action when there is no longer the sensuous world to act in. He was too dogmatic for scientific observation, and would not see that as the spring follows the autumn, and the day the night, so birth must follow death. He went very near the threshold of the Gates of Gold, and passed beyond mere intellectualism, only to pause at a point but one step farther. The glimpse of the life beyond, which he had obtained appeared to him to contain the universe; and on his fragment of experience, he built up a theory to include all life, and refused progress beyond that state or any possibility outside it. This is only another form of the weary treadmill. But Swedenborg stands foremost in the crowd of witnesses to the fact that the Golden Gates exist and can be seen from the heights of thought, and he has cast us a faint surge of sensation from their threshold.
When once one has considered the meaning of those Gates, it is evident that there is no other way out of this form of life except through them. They only can admit man to the place where he becomes
the fruit of which manhood is the blossom. Nature is the kindest of mothers to those who need her; she never wearies of her children or desires them to lessen in multitude. Her friendly arms open wide to the vast throng who desire birth and to dwell in forms; and while they continue to desire it, she continues to smile a welcome. Why, then, should she shut her doors on any? When one life in her heart has not worn out a hundredth part of the soul's longing for sensation such as it finds there, what reason can there be for its departure to any other place? Surely the seeds of desire spring up where the sower has sown them. This seems but reasonable; and on this apparently self-evident fact, the Indian mind has based its theory of reincarnation, of birth and rebirth in matter, which has become so familiar a part of Eastern thought, as no longer to need demonstration. The Indian knows it as the Western knows that the day he is living through is but one of many days which make up the span of a man's life. This certainty which is possessed by the Eastern with regard to natural laws that control the great sweep of the soul's existence is simply acquired by habits of thought. The mind of many is fixed on subjects which in the West are considered unthinkable. Thus it is that the East has produced the great flowers of the spiritual growth of humanity. On the mental steps of a million men Buddha passed through the Gates of Gold; and because a great crowd pressed about the threshold he was able to leave behind him words which prove that those Gates will open.
CHAPTER III. - THE INITIAL EFFORT
It is very easily seen that there is no one point in a man's life or experience where he is nearer the soul of things than at any other. That soil, the sublime essence, which fills the air with a burnished glow, is there behind the Gates it colors with itself. But that there is no one pathway to it is immediately perceived from the fact that this soul must from its very nature be universal. The Gates of Gold do not admit to any special place; what they do is to open for egress from a special place. Man passes through them when he casts off his limitation. He may burst the shell that holds him in darkness, tear the veil that hides him from the eternal, at any point where it is easiest for him to do so; and most often this point will be where he least expects to find it. Men go in search of escape with the help of their minds, and lay down arbitrary and limited laws as to how to attain the, to them, unattainable. Many, indeed, have hoped to pass through by the way of religion, and instead they have formed a place of thought and feeling so marked and fixed that it seems as though long ages would be insufficient to enable then to get out of the rut. Some have believed that by the aide of pure intellect a way was to be found; and to such men we owe the philosophy and metaphysics which have prevented the race from sinking into utter sensuousness. But the end of the man who endeavors to live by thought alone is that he dwells in fantasies, and insists on giving them to other men as substantial food. Great is our debt to the metaphysicians and transcendentalists; but he who follows them to the bitter end, forgetting that the brain is only one organ of use, will find himself dwelling in a place where a dull wheel of argument seems to turn forever on its axis, yet goes nowhither and carries no burden.
Virtue (or what seems to each man to be virtue, his own special standard of morality anal purity) is held by those who practice it to be a way to heaven. Perhaps it is to the heaven of the modern sybarite, the ethical voluptuary. It is as easy to become a gourmand in pure living and high thinking, as in the pleasures of taste or sight or sound. Gratification is the aim of the virtuous man as well as of the drunkard; even if his life be a miracle of abstin-
ence and self-sacrifice, a moment's thought shows that in pursuing this apparently heroic path he does but pursue pleasure. With him pleasure takes on a lovely form because his gratifications are those of a sweet savor, and it pleases him to give gladness to others rather than to enjoy himself at their expense. But the pure life and high thoughts are no more finalities in themselves than any other mode of enjoyment; and the man who endeavors to find contentment in them must intensify his effort and continually repeat it, - all in vain. He is a green plant indeed, and the leaves are beautiful; but more is wanted than leaves. If he persists in his endeavor blindly, believing that he has reached his goal when he has not even perceived it, then he finds himself in that dreary place where good is done perforce, and the deed of virtue is without the love that should shine through it. It is well for a man to lead a pure life, as it is well for him to have clean hands, - else he becomes repugnant. But virtue as we understand it now can no more have any special relation to the state beyond that to which we are limited than any other part of our constitution. Spirit is not a gas created by matter, and we cannot create our future by forcibly using one material agent and leaving out the rest. Spirit is the great life on which matter rests, as does the rocky world on the free and fluid ether; whenever we can break our limitations we find ourselves on that marvelous shore were Wordsworth once saw the gleam of the gold. When we enter there all the present must disappear alike, - virtue and vice, thought and sense. That a man reaps what he has sown must of course be true also; he has no power to carry virtue which is of the material life with him; yet the aroma of his good deeds is a far sweeter sacrifice than the odor of crime and cruelty. Yet it may be, however, that by the practice of virtue he will fetter himself into one groove, one changeless fashion of life in matter, so firmly that it is impossible for the mind to conceive that death is a sufficient power to free him, and cast him upon the broad and glorious ocean, - a sufficient power to undo for him the inexorable and heavy latch of the Golden Gate. And sometimes the man who has sinned so deeply that his whole nature is scarred and blackened by the fierce fire of selfish gratification is at last so utterly burned out and charred that from the very vigour of the passion light leaps forth. It would seem more possible for such a man at least to reach the threshold of the Gates than for the mere ascetic or philosopher.
But it is little use to reach the threshold of the Gates without the power to pass through. And that is all that the sinner can hope to do by the dissolution of himself which comes from seeing his own soul. At least this appears to be so inevitably because his condition is negative. The man who lifts the latch of the Golden Gate must do so with his own strong hand, must be absolutely positive. This we can see by analogy. In everything else in life, in every new step or development, it is necessary for a man to exercise his most dominant will in order to obtain it fully. Indeed in many cases, though he has every advantage and though he use his will to some extent, he will fail utterly of obtaining what he desires from lack of the final and unconquerable resolution. No education in the world will make a man an intellectual glory to his age, even if his powers are great; for unless he positively desires to seize the flower of perfection, he will be but a dry scholar, a dealer in words, a proficient in mechanical thought, and a mere wheel of memory. And the man who has this positive quality in him will rise in spite of adverse circumstances, will recognize and seize upon the tide of thought which is his natural food, and will stand as a giant at last in the place he willed to reach. We see this practically every day in all walks of life. Wherefore it does not seem possible that the man who has simply succeeded through the passions in wrecking the dogmatic and narrow part of his nature should pass through those great Gates. But
as he is not blinded by prejudice, nor has fastened himself to any treadmill of thought, nor caught the wheel of his soul in any deep rut of life, it would seem that if once the positive will might he born within him, he could at some time not hopelessly far distant lift his hand to the latch.
Undoubtedly it is the hardest task we have yet seen set us in life, that which we are now talking of, to free a man of all prejudice, of all crystallized thought, or feeling, of all limitations, yet develop within him the positive will. It seems too much of a miracle; for in ordinary life positive will is always associated with crystallized ideas. But many things which have appeared to be too much of a miracle for accomplishment have yet been done, even in the narrow experience of life given to our present humanity. All the past shows us that difficulty is no excuse for dejection, much less for despair; else the world would have been without the many wonders of civilization. Let us consider the thing more seriously, therefore, having once used our minds to the idea that it is not impossible.
The great initial difficulty is that of fastening the interest on that which is unseen. Yet this is done every day, and we have only to observe how it is done in order to guide out own conduct. Every inventor fastens his interest firmly on the unseen; and it entirely depends on the firmness of that attachment whether he is successful or whether he fails. The poet who looks on to his moment of creation as that for which he lives, sees that which is invisible and hears that which is soundless.
Probably in this last analogy there is a clew as to the mode by which success in this voyage to the unknown bourn ("whence," indeed, "no traveler returns") is attained. It applies also to the inventor and' to all who reached out beyond the ordinary mental and psychical level of humanity. The clew lies in that word 'creation."
(To Be Continued.)
MR. BELCHER'S WESTERN TOUR
As at present arranged, Mr. F. A. Belcher will leave Toronto for the west on the 20th inst. He will arrive in Winnipeg June 22, at 8.45 a.m. He will not touch at Regina on the outward journey but if desirable will do so on his return. He will be in Vulcan, June 27 at 11.17 a.m. Then he goes to Calgary, arriving June 29 at 10.30 p.m. He leaves Calgary for Banff on July 4 arriving at the latter point at 11 a.m. He will be at Salmon Arm July 7 at 9 p.m., and at Vancouver July 10 at 10.30 p.m. He expects to arrive in Victoria by the C.P.R. steamer on July 17 at 3.30 p.m. He will spend some time also at Nanaimo. He also expects to pay a visit to Penticton, Summerland, and Nelson on his return journey and may visit Regina and also Winnipeg once more on his way back. He does not intend to make any hard and fast plans beyond the above dates, but any changes that are made will be notified at once to those concerned. While Mr. Belcher desires to concentrate on class meetings and meetings for members of the T.S., he will acquiesce in local arrangements if public meetings with addresses are wanted.
J. M. PRYSE'S BOOKS
may be had including: The Magical Message of Oannes; The Apocalypse Unsealed; Prometheus Bound; Adorers of Dionysus; and The Restored New Testament; from John Pryse,
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- Bhagavad Gita ..... cloth $1.25 leather $1.75
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May Be Had Direct From THE QUARTERLY BOOK DEPARTMENT
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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.
From Wales comes this greeting: "Congratulations to Wilson MacDonald on poem on Jubilee, Great!" This is from Professor Kenneth Morris, D. Litt., a poet himself of sterling reputation. Deep calleth to Deep, as the Psalmist says.
Dr. de Purucker's very fine and impressive letter which appears in the Point Loma and the English Theosophical Forum for May is too long to include in our present issue but we hope to present it to our readers in due course having received permission from Dr. de Purucker to do so. If it appears to come from one Society more than another the reader can perhaps elevate himself to the level of a Society that is above all organizations and peruse it in that spirit and with that intent. We are glad to be able to present the letter from a Master which appears in the same issue of the Point Loma Theosophical Forum. This letter was included in the same cover as a letter from H.P.B. addressed to W.Q.J., and was read at a meeting in New York in 1896.
The strangest stories have grown up around the life and actions of Thomas E. Lawrence, "the uncrowned king of Arabia," and his sudden death, or rather the suddenness with which he was rendered unconscious, while his life lingered for days, impressed the whole civilized world. It was thought in the East that he was one of the great ones, returned from antiquity to play the part he did in the Great War, and various theories have been invented to account for his strange power and military genius. The name of his great book, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom," indicates a mystical turn of mind, and he was regarded as a profound Greek scholar, as his translation of the Odyssey certifies. It is certainly strange that as it now appears this man, a mere lad of twenty at the opening of the War, is likely to be the best remembered figure in the British roll call.
The whole world of philanthropy must have been moved over the death of Jane Addams whose work at Hull House in Chicago has been as monumental as that of Elizabeth Fry or John Howard or Florence Nightingale or any other of the martyrs of humanity that have sacrificed their lives for the sake of their fellows. She entered Hull House on September 18, 1889 and now the chapter is closed. No one who loves humanity should fail to read her book, "Twenty Years at Hull House" or its sequel "The Second Twenty Years" for this record will surely stir the heart that has any feeling. One sometimes wonders that Theosophy has not moved any of its disciples to such humanitarian labors. Jane Addams was not moved by ordinary religious feeling, though she read the Greek Testament in her early days. But it was Plato and his Crito that seems to have impressed her with "the permanence of the excellent."
The painful subject of the Five Cents a week of our annual dues is once more before us. Those who have carefully put away their Five Cents every week will have no difficulty now in transmitting it to their Lodge Treasurer and thus enriching the Headquarter funds which are at the lowest ebb of the year. The present month's account for the magazine exhausts the Treasury, and if the members do not come forward with their Five Cents we must rely on the help of friends and sympathizers. We really require $50 a month or $600 a year beyond the dues of the present membership to keep our magazine going. It is always a question with the Executive whether further publication can be authorized. The problem will come up again in July, and if we have no guarantees and no donations to warrant continuance, we must cease. The General Secretary has been unemployed since last September and is therefore unable to contribute more than his work. No salaries, nor honorariums are paid to anyone in the National Society, so that they who make donations may be sure their gifts go directly into the work.
There has been some correspondence with Adyar over the proposal that two National Societies be formed in Canada. The idea seems to have arisen out of a misapprehension, but was taken seriously and referred to the General Council. The General Secretary, seeing a vote adverse to the interests of Theosophy in Canada as possible, wrote the Recording Secretary and subsequently sent a copy of the letter to all members of the General Council. The President has written saying that owing to a possible ambiguity of the Recording Secretary's letter he would overlook the statement of the Canadian Secretary. Also that the matter is now dropped. So all is well, and we shall be permitted to work out our own salvation in the Dominion, we trust, without any interference. We believe the members in Canada both of the Federation and the National Society, are well-disposed towards cooperation. It is not our wish to force any solution of a problem which might well be settled by reunion, but that must wait the healing influence of time, and the kindly flow of the living spirit of Brotherhood.
"Theosophy" the U.L.T. organ of Los Angeles, continues its "Aftermath" articles, and in spite of data and records insists that the present Canadian General Secretary led the independent Toronto Society into the Adyar jurisdiction in 1907. "Had it continued as an independent association" a Ia U.L.T. no doubt, "the Toronto Lodge would have been free to promulgate, study, apply, unhampered by questionable alliance or allegiance, the original teachings of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge." That is to say, the present General Secretary was the Devil's advocate and should be suspect. Well, the facts are different. There was no independent lodge in Toronto at any time. The Beaver Lodge was formed in 1895 as a branch of the T.S. in America when ten members of the 45 of the original Lodge claimed the Charter and property and the 35 who voted for the T.S. in America were excluded from the Adyar Society. Mr. Fullerton refused to permit Mr. Smythe ever to enter the Society as long as he - Fullerton - lived. The Lodge of the Ten carried on, growing to some extent, but afterwards gradually dwindling away, and in 1903 accepted the hospitality of the Beaver Lodge and moved into their Lodge room and the two Societies united in 1903. At this time Mr. Smythe was living out in the country, and under the ban placed upon him by Mr. Fullerton could not become a member. It was not till four years later, after Mrs. Besant removed the interdict, that he came back and joined the Adyar Lodge once more. Since that time it has gone on from strength to strength. This is not to be attributed to Adyar or Judge or anybody else, but the spirit of Theosophy - straight Theosophy - which, if allowed to permeate the work and study of the
members will always achieve success. Theosophy can be studied under any Society if the members are independent enough to think for themselves and go back to the original sources. The work of the Societies generally is vitiated by the endeavor of partisan advocates to prove that one is better than another. Let us have fraternization and real brotherhood, "in honor preferring one another," not crying our own wares as if they belonged to us alone. The work and spirit of the Masters, belong to the world and all true men and women.
"THE THEOSOPHIST" FOR MAY AND JUNE
The May and June issues of The Theosophist have come in since the publication of the May number of this magazine. We must say that the contents are more varied and lively than they have been for some time. There is nothing like an argument to stir up interest and Mr. Hamilton-Jones of London has been permitted to talk freely in several articles about subjects on which there is difference of opinion. The discussion is well worth reading, and those who have been objecting to controversial matter in The Canadian Theosophist may discover that there is virtue in the method if the readers are able to exert the judicial spirit. A. J. Hamester has two articles on St. Germain and helps to debunk some of Isabel Cooper Oakley's statements. The problem is a knotty one and with men like Lawrence of Arabia going about any speculation may be expected. Dr. Arundale's "Four Theosophies" and Mr. Hamilton-Jones' "What a Theosophist Ought to Know" are both informative and readable. A valuable and timely article by Dr. C. Kunhan Raja, "A Second Alexandria," describes the Adyar Library, now a celebrated collection, and "occupying a position of eminence in the intellectual life of the advanced nations of the world, Universities and other learned bodies, and well known and appreciated by all those for whom the Library was intended." This also should be known: "To recognized
scholars and to approved institutions any work in the Library will be lent. Scholars coming to the Library are afforded every facility needed for comfortable work; those who wish to make use of the Library have always been allowed to reside within the estates of the Society in Adyar." A few of our members who object to paying 25 cents a year to Adyar ought to be proud to contribute even this mite to such an institution, which, whatever else the Society may do, is distinguished for this possession. Of the controversial articles Peter Sedick has four pages, headed "Where Do We Stand?" anent the relation of Mr. Krishnamurti to they Society. We have not heard of Mr. Sedgick before. He is 26 years of age, he says and has served as His Britannic Majesty's Vice-Consul in several South American countries. He is disturbed because Krishnamurti dismisses Karma, Reincarnation and the Masters as valueless ideas. But this is because prominent members of the Adyar Society made them valueless to him, by failing to live up to the standards they set. Mr. Krishnamurti never has understood Karma, Reincarnation and the Masters, or he would not say they are valueless. He is a mystic, as Mrs. Besant described him to the writer, and as such speaks of a world beyond Good and Evil. He has much in common with Nietzsche. Mr. Geoffrey Hodson insists that The Secret Doctrine is being treated as a Bible by those who cry "Back to Blavatsky," but this only indicates that he does not understand the situation. He might as well describe any college textbook as a Bible. But, when it is suggested to substitute The Arabian Nights for some College textbook, the professors ought to look sharp. Mr. E.L. Gardner is perturbed over the publication of the Mahatma Letters. He says: "That which Dr. Besant did on hearing of their publication was to send an expression of her indignant disapproval. I received the letter myself . . . . ." Did he receive any letter (Continued on Page 116.)
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN CANADA
ANNUAL ELECTION - SESSION 1935-1936
[Not included here is a complex table of the results of the 1st thru 6th Counts in the annual election.]
ELECTION OF THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
The counting of the ballots was accomplished on Saturday afternoon of May 25, after the last post had delivered its final contribution. Mr. A.S. Winchester, barrister-at-law, kindly undertaking the supervision of the election. Mr. Winchester has assisted in this way during all our previous elections and deserves the sincere thanks of the Society for his generous help and knowledge of proportional representation routine. About a hundred members failed to vote, but the number of ballots was slightly larger than in the previous election, numbering 225 valid ballots. In spite of the plain instructions one member placed crosses opposite seven names thus nullifying his or her vote. Next year we trust all members will observe the rule to number the names in order of preference
from first to last. The quota necessary to elect was 29. Mr. Belcher had 103 Number One votes, and his surplus was distributed according to the second choice of his supporters, giving 18 to Mr. Housser in addition to his 26 Number One votes making 44; 27 to Miss Crafter's 14 making 41; 14 to Mr. Haydon, making 26; 6 to Mr. Griffiths, making 26 also; a surplus of 3 was taken from Dr. Wilks and transferred to Kartar Singh. Mr. Housser's surplus of 15 was distributed among Mrs. Currie, Mr. Griffiths, Mr. Haydon, Kartar Singh and Col. Thomson. Miss Crafter's surplus of 12 was distributed among Mrs. Currie, Mr. Griffiths, Kartar Singh, and Col. Thomson. Col. Thomson being then at the foot of the poll his 9 votes were given Mrs. Currie and Kartar Singh, according to the successive choices of the voters. This left Mrs. Currie with 20 votes, Mr. Haydon with 32, Mr. Griffiths
with 31 and Kartar Singh with 26. The surplus votes of Mr. Griffiths and Mr. Haydon, amounting to five, even had they all gone to Mrs. Currie would only have given her 25, so that Kartar Singh with 26 was elected. The order being Belcher, Wilks, Housser, Crafter, Hayden, Griffiths, Kartar Singh. The only change this year is that Dr. Wilks resumes his membership in place of Mr. Barr.
It is notable that 79 Toronto members did not vote and other omissions noted were Calgary, 2; Hamilton, 3; Kitchener, 2; London, 6; Montreal, 7; Vancouver, 6.
"THE THEOSOPHIST" FOR MAY AND JUNE
(Continued from Page 114.)
of indignant disapproval from anybody when Mrs. Besant published the private E.S. Instructions which she and others of the E.S. had solemnly promised to preserve in inviolable secrecy?
- A. E. S. S.
SUPPRESSION OF FACTS
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: I note a letter from Mrs. H. Henderson, under the above heading in your issue of April 15th. In this she associates my name with the U.L.T. in a way which may lead many to think that I am connected with that society. That is not so. I am connected with no society calling itself any variant of the word "Theosophical".
I know next to nothing of the U.L.T. and nothing at all of what they may be capable of in the way of "SUPPRESSIONS" of facts unpleasing to them. I know that certain other Theosophical societies are frequently guilty of this offence - I know it from direct personal experience, which is one of the reasons why I prefer to remain outside them all.
Mrs. Henderson is, doubtless, quite justified in her own consciousness at least, in her opinion of the U.L.T., but she is not justified in coupling by name with them as she does. My letter to which she refers expressed simply my own entire satisfaction with what the editors of the U.L.T. Bulletin had done in the matter of my father's Notes, and that should have been enough for any doubter, as I am the person most intimately concerned in the matter.
What a pity it is that individuals and bodies which profess Theosophy cannot let slip a chance to sling stones at others. We all live in the glasshouse of the personal life, and are therefore as vulnerable as our fellows. Does the fact that others may possibly fail in charity excuse us from exercising it ourselves? We all need the "benefit of the doubt", and by according it to others we show the spirit of brotherhood in the readiest way.
- P. G. Bowen.
BROTHERHOOD AND FRATERNIZATION
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - The correspondence on the above subject suggests that it is thought that the terms "Brotherhood" and "Fraternization" are synonymous. In the dictionary sense they may be something of the kind, but in essence they are very different.
Fraternization as understood by the followers of Dr. de Purucker who popularized, if he did not coin the word, and I think also by Mr. Williams means that members of one Theosophical organization agree to associate on humanly, friendly terms with those of others, attend their meetings, perhaps hold meetings in common, and generally present an outwardly united front to the non-Theosophical world.
That is well and good as far as it goes, but at least it goes only a step. Frequently, as I know very well from direct experience, it is a goody deal less than a step, and may be one backward. It is not the practice or manifestation of Universal Brotherhood by a very long way. Universal Brotherhood is a thing of the spirit, or
if preferred a condition of consciousness achieved or to be achieved. Wholly achieved it would mean the attainment of Universal Vision - "seeing all things in just proportion as inseparable parts of an indivisible whole." Such a vision would instantly reveal past doubt that practically all men are working for the light as well as they can, subject to the limitations of their consciousness in the state to which they have evolved. Whatever line they follow and deem right is the best for them because it provides the experience necessary at the moment. To establish Universal Brotherhood, one begins at home. It is only when one has really got a little of the vision oneself that one can "fraternize" with others, for to do so in any real sense means being abler to understand them and enter into their minds and see with their eyes.
Now how many Theosophists or societies have achieved even a glimmer of the state I have roughly outlined? Remarkably few individuals, so few that I have never met one within any of the societies, and only a handful without. None of the societies as bodies have any particle of it at all. What then is likely to result from organized efforts at "fraternization" such as those of Dr. de Purucker and Mr. Williams? Certainly not real brotherhood.
I have seen Dr. de Purucker's campaign in active operation, as carried out by his National Presidents and lodge officers, and I saw something in manifestation which had little resemblance to the Spirit of Brotherhood. I saw "fraternization" used as a lever to "score off" other societies's who would not join in the scheme, and show them all as "unbrotherly". I saw it used as a means of getting a footing within other lodges and societies and conducting propaganda for Point Loma within them; and many like things. I do not accuse Dr. de Purucker of being a part to such things, but I think he might have foreseen them as inevitable.
Mr. Williams' idea seems to be something as good deal short of Universal Brotherhood, namely, merely association between bodies which subscribe in theory to the principle. It is of course a wandering gleam through the clouds, as Dr. de Purucker's is, but it isn't the real thing. The first OBJECT of H.P.B.'s T.S. was "TO FORM THE NUCLEUS OF A UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD..." That clearly means to bring to life the essential spirit of brotherhood in a small body which when this is done will slowly but surely "leaven the lump". Or otherwise to remove the beam from its own eye before bothering about the mote in a brother's.
The truth is that the real beginnings of Universal Brotherhood will be reached only when men begin, in appreciable bodies such as the Theosophical societies to concentrate upon evolving the spirit of unity in themselves, troubling nothing about the methods by which others approach the task. That is preaching indifference to the needs of the world, some will accuse. By no means. I do not say turn away from mankind and seek your own salvation. We should teach the Way as loudly as possible, but not preach OUR way at others, and be quite content to be voices crying in the wilderness, looking for no results.
As an experiment, for any Theosophist with a glimmer of vision who can afford the time, I would suggest trying out the Druid Lodge system. Stand immovably on those "Objects", etc. published in the C.T. for April. Don't talk about Theosophy. Try to cultivate those "marks of the True Druid," in members. Indulge in no propaganda. Hold a weekly or fort-nightly public meeting, but do no advertising, and never urge anyone to become a member. Work thus, for six months and see what happens. There is a vastly wider field in Canada than in Ireland.
Yours sincerely and fraternally,
P. G. Bowen.
11 Grantham St., Dublin
"The Evolution of Man" is an excellent little manual by J.E. Marcault and I.A. Hawliczek, published by T.S. in England.
"THE SUBSTANCE OF ADAM"
"The Substance of Adam" by Sergius Gortan Ancona, with the sub-title, of "A Complete System of Cosmogony founded on the Kaballah" is represented as the fruit of many years of study and research. The author is said to be a Christian Kabbalist, and he bases his writings on the teachings of Fabre d'Olivet (1767-1820.) He places such implicit faith in d'Olivet that one might imagine this French writer was a "seer and a prophet" as Ancona himself claims to be. The "Cosmogony" which he accepts is an extraordinary hotch-potch of Old and New Testament Christianity, and is a mixture of faith and fantasy, of fond recollection and vain imagination, with not a little poetic feeling and nervous piety. Without a close familiarity with the symbology adopted little can be gained by the reader, and even with the trouble of acquiring the symbology, it is little more than a game of enigmas to arrive at any definite conception of what is intended. In Part II., for example, "the differentiations among the humans and their social status," we ready of the "Distillation of Noah," we read of four Noahs and of mental men under Shem, of astral men under Japheth and of instinctive men under Ham, and of men not yet Adamic, who, receiving their light from Shem and Japheth, through Ham, or not receiving any light at all, are still in a state of slumber to human life. Then there are four forces, the force of the Father, the force of the Son, the force of the Holy Spirit, and the force of Maria, Virgin and Mother. All these have to do with the World of Man of Flesh in Action. History is written to suit the theories of the book. The origin of Man is not according to any previous system we have heard of. Just at present the world is in a bad way, being "in the power of this etheric class which, beginning from the fourteenth century A.D., gained access to the Earth and since then furiously, almost madly, has been rushing down in rage, amidst appalling ruins and continuous revolutions, toward the final battle that will mark the end of the whirlpool of passion and hatred, created by the meeting of the two currents of Ham, descending, and of Japheth, ascending. The bottom of this whirlpool has perhaps been now reached, because over a great portion of the Earth, (Russia) the power, slipping out of the hands of Ham himself, has already fallen into the hands of the human-animals perverted by the men of the Enemy:" and so forth, since this is a fair idea of the style and the conception. We read also of the Fiend, and of the Beast, and the four blasphemers against the green Angel, the white Angel, the red Angel, and the inviolable virginity of the Celestial Isis! These four blasphemers are "the false scholar, who wants to make accessible to everybody what is for the few or for the very few. Second, the psychologic fiends who want to find out mechanical rules and controls for what, being living, is above the mental sphere, above the comprehension of our human souls. Third, the paternalistic dunce who, full of hypocrisy, wants to substitute laws created by his infant mind, for the inconceivable harmony of the whole. Fourth, the ignoramus, half learned in the profane sciences, who, full of pride, wants to detach himself from the community of his kind and wrest power over it." Of course there is a good deal of method in the apparent madness, ands a good deal of common sense in the unaccountable balderdash, and if a man had never read anything else and could convince himself that he had a book of revelation, he might learn to exercise his mental faculties as well with these as with the counters of any other arbitrary system. As to history, we read that schism broke out in the social order of the Empire of the Lamb about the year 3100 B.C. A man, Irsus, of the warriors' class discussed openly in public places which was the more important God or principle, Iswara or Prakriti? Irsus was called to explain his deeds, and when he refused the second great revolution of the social status
of the white race began. This appears to be the first record of this remarkable event. But the volume which runs to 350 pages, large octavo, has much more to match it. We can hardly agree however that it will "prove a new `Secret Doc-trine'." (Rider & Co., London, 15/-). Yet for all its quaintness and novelty of epithet and imagery, the earnest seeker unacquainted with ancient lore, may gain much of the utmost value, if he can use his intuition, from reading it.
THE UNITY OF LIFE
The function of Theosophy is to provide a true sense of direction for human life. The student of Theosophy therefore must realize the extreme need for becoming clear regarding this doctrine of Unity for it is the only unshakable basis for wise human living.
Expressed in the life of the individual it has two aspects - the positive or stern side and the negative or tender sympathetic side. Until an individual fully grasps both phases of the Law of Unity he will not be able to communicate the spirit of the teaching to another.
True self-abnegation is of itself exactly half of what is required. Alone, it makes a man a sort of saint but not by any means a Master of Life; the power of self-assertion is equally necessary. This is a hard thing for Western minds, nurtured in a Christian atmosphere, to realize. Meekness, humbleness, pityfulness, and self-abasement are regarded as the spiritual virtues. They are, but so are their opposites, and impersonality demands the balanced ability to assert positively and to endure unresistingly, to be diamond hard as well as to be tenderly sympathetic.
Individuals are not rare who have developed one aspect of this dual power, but when we find a man who is equally at home in both phases, we shall have discovered someone who has conquered the instinctive nature, and in whom the love of self can be completely set aside at will. Nothing less than this is Spiritual power, is Selflessness. Some of us find it only too easy to be over tolerant of the faults of others, minimizing mistakes and weaknesses and, "Looking always for the best in people". And we often take credit for this not realizing that we are giving way to an instinct of self-protection by seeking to disarm possible criticism of ourselves. Others, just as instinctively, bolster up their sense of superiority by being hyper-critical at all times, making a point of telling people what they think of them.
Everyone in his early life unconsciously builds up the attitude, through which he or she most easily faces life and maintains his sense of self-importance - the deepest, most far-reaching of all human instincts, often stronger even than the desire for life itself. This attitude he wears as a cloak, behind which he hides and protects himself, and without consideration and almost without thought it reacts instinctively in all life's circumstances, and the individual does and says what it dictates unless he checks this instinctive reaction and considers and acts as his intelligence directs. In all such uncontrolled instinctive actions whether the instinct be good or bad, fine or ignoble, we are not really living at all; Nature is living in us.
The Unity of Life can never be more than an intellectual idea, and Brotherhood nothing more than a sentimental ideal, until we become Self-possessed, until we incarnate our Real Self into this centre of instinctive life we think of as ourself, and control and rule it.
Selflessness is the power of the spiritually enlightened mind to hold up, control and direct Nature's energies within us. No matter what our type, or temperament may be, the fundamental practical problem of all students is to bring the individual's own life under the rule of intelligence. If we neglect this it will not much matter what we do. - Notes from an Orpheus Lodge Discussion.
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by F. B. Housser
CHRISTIANITY AND MATERIALISM
"The special feature of Christianity has been, it seems to me, its teaching that God is no mere perfect self-existent being, but present in and not separated from the evil of our world. The conception of a perfect world and an all-embracing perfect God, might seem at first sight possible; but the actual world is anything but perfect, and the existence of an imperfect world would be a standing contradiction to the idea of a perfect God."
This is a passage taken from J.S. Haldane's new book "The Philosophy of a Biologist" published by the Clarendon Press. "Christianity must rid itself of materialism and be ready to cope with materialism and any other form of anti-
religious ideas, if it is to survive and win again the adherence of a large part of the educated class," says Haldane.
Here, it seems to us, Professor Haldane has placed his finger on the heart of the post-war attitude of the western world which is wrecking the orthodox Christian church and denuding it of the best minds in the community. One of the chief causes of the remarkable spread of Christian Science is that it has given many people an answer to the problem of a perfect God and an imperfect world. Mrs. Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science movement cut "the knot of contrariety" simply by insisting that everything is perfect and that all imperfection is an illusion created by mortal mind which itself, she contended, is an illusion. This receives the approval of those who have sufficient faith to believe it in spite of what they see around them in the world but the great majority of people find themselves unable to accept it as a full and complete explanation.
Theosophy meets the apparent contradiction of an apparently imperfect God and an imperfect world by the elaborate system of cosmology outlined in the first volume of the Secret Doctrine, where it is shown (p. 33) that the unknown Essence - misnamed God - did not create an-thing. As the Buddhists maintain "there is no creator but an infinitude of creative powers which collectively form the eternal substance, the essence of which is inscrutable - hence not a subject of speculation for any true philosopher."
"Upon the inauguration of an active period," says the Secret Doctrine, "an expansion of this Divine Essence from without inward and from within outward, occurs in obedience to eternal and immutable law, and the phenomenal or visible
universe is the ultimate result of a long chain of cosmical forces thus progressively set in motion."
"Go on saying our planet and man were created," says a passage in the Mahatma Letters (p. 75) "and you will be fighting against hard facts forever, analyzing and losing time over trifling details - unable to even grasp the whole. But once admit that our planet and ourselves are no more creations than the iceberg now before me, but that both planets and man are states for a given time; and that their present appearance geological and anthropological is transitory and but a condition concomitant of that stage of evolution at which they have arrived in a descending cycle - and all will be well."
These are startling ideas to one trained to think in terms of the church's idea of God and creation. To deny a creator and an initial creation is to be classed as an atheist, a term usually applied in ignorance by those bent on discrediting the one charged. "It is in those illusions that man looks upon as sacred that he has to search out the source of that multitude of evils
which is the great curse of humanity and that almost overwhelms mankind." (Mahatma Letters, p. 57).
The idea of God as the creator of the phenomenal universe is "one of those illusions that man looks upon as sacred." The Doctrine, as the above passages indicate, declares that the physical universe, as we know it, is merely a state of being, an imperfect state compared to the states from which it has materialized, and that nothing called God, but many orders of beings - some higher and some lower than man - took part in its creation - if creation it can be called. This was the belief of Plato and other ancient philosophers, and of all initiates into the ancient mysteries.
Those who argue that a just and perfect God created the world and humanity as it is, have to meet the difficulty of explaining the presence of so much imperfection and injustice in the world around us, without debasing the God they would uphold.
SCIENCE AND THE SUPERNATURAL
Two very significant articles by Aldous Huxley, entitled "Science Views the Supernatural" were published in the April and May issues of The Forum (of New York).
The first of these articles has already been reviewed in the pages of this magazine - the second, from the standpoint of the student of Theosophy, is perhaps more striking in that it reveals some conclusions, apparently independently arrived at, that coincide closely with the views of Occultism.
Mr. Huxley comes of a long line of British scientists and men of letters, and is himself one of the most brilliant of the younger school of writers of the present day. While his best known works, such as "Point Counterpoint" and "This Brave New World", are largely cynical in outlook, those who know him personally testify that his personal life rather belies this attitude. In any case these articles are obviously the product of a penetrating mind and exhibit a refreshing willingness to treat supernormal phenomena and their inferences on their own merits, and aside from the prejudices still all too prevalent in orthodox scientific circles concerning them.
Psychical Science Still Embryonic
Mr. Huxley says: "We are justified in saying, I think, that psychical research has demonstrated the reality of at least some of the phenomena investigated. But as for generalizations, as for hypotheses satisfactory in themselves and compatible with the hypotheses of other sciences - for these we look in vain."
"Confronted with what are probably the facts, one can only throw out random reflections and speculations. Here are some of those which have occurred to me."
"Orthodox men of science object to psychical research on the ground that its phenomena cannot be produced at will by anyone, at any time and at any place. Indeed, they almost go so far as to assume that the phenomena cannot be credible because they are so rare. But this is an absurd attitude. The phenomena of musical genius cannot be investigated by anyone, anywhere, and at any time, for the good reason that Mozarts and Beethovens are no: born every day of the week. And yet, in spite of its rarity, musical genius does exist, and can, in favorable circumstances, be studied."
"The capacity to produce supernormal phenomena appears to be a special gift like the gift for mathematics or music. But it is a gift that humanity has not yet learned systematically to exploit."
Mr. Huxley argues that, for instance, had Sir Isaac Newton been born, not in A.D. 1642, but in 1642 B.C., presumably amid savage surroundings and with no organized body of mathematical knowledge at his disposal, his accomplishments in spite of his inherent abilities would probably have been limited to "the discovery, enormous in the unpropitious circumstances, of some elementary principle of
applied geometry or arithmetic".
"Today a good telepathist or psychometrist is probably in much the same position as a goody mathematician or musician would have been in such an environment. His gifts may be great, but they are untrained; he practices an art without traditions and of whose fundamental rules he is ignorant. The remarkable thing is not that there should be so few psychically gifted individuals putting up such uncertain performances but rather that there should be so many as there are and that they should achieve as much as they do."
Reasons for Non-Development
"At this point a question inevitably suggests itself. If supernormal faculties are latent in the human mind, why is it that they have never been fully developed?" Mr. Huxley suggests two possible explanations; "a biological explanation and an explanation in purely psychological terms."
"That we have not developed them is due perhaps to the fact that it would not be biologically expedient for us to do so. Our organisms being what they are, it is quite possible that a well developed power to pick up the thoughts of other minds would be not an advantage but a handicap. A society of highly trained telepathists would be a society in which no mental privacy was possible. But, without mental privacy the individual as we know him would be unable to exist."
"Foreknowledge of the future would be even more fatal; for it would probably induce an attitude of fatalistic resignation wholly incompatible with successful living. It is significant in this connection that almost all they prophetic dreams recorded in Mr. Dunne's remarkable book, An Experiment with Time, should concern events of the most trivial nature. It almost looks as though the mind were deliberately protecting itself against too much knowledge of coming events."
"There are also psychological reasons."
"Supernormal faculties seem to manifest themselves only when the conscious mind has to some extent been put out of action, when the powers of analysis are in abeyance. In other words, there is a certain incompatibility between the mental activity that makes for civilization as we know it, and the mental activity that results in extrasensory perception, prevision, and the supernormal influence of mind over matter."
"It would seem then that there are adequate biological and psychological reasons why supernormal faculties have not been developed. The exponents of Indian yoga psychology affirm that there are good ethical reasons why they ought not to be developed.
Mr. Huxley proceeds to summarize the aims and methods of Yoga in a manner which demonstrates that his intellectual grasp of the subject is by no means superficial, and says: "In the eyes of the Indian yogi psychologists the systematic cultivation, of supernormal powers is a form of self-destroying self-indulgence (since their acquirement is simply incidental on the road they set themselves to follow). This Indian judgment, based as it is on so long an experience, deserves the most respectful consideration."
The Scientific Outlook
"Science is primarily concerned' with facts and their explanation, not with ethical values."
"Hitherto psychical research has been carried out on a small scale and in the teeth of official scientific disapproval. It is greatly to be hoped that the scope of the investigations may now be extended."
"For intensive research into the supernormal may be expected to throw light on some of the more obscure and the most important of our unsolved problems on the nature of mind and its limitations; on the relations between individual minds and their bodies, the material world and other minds; on the nature of time and our knowledge of it. These are matters of the highest scientific and philosophical im-
portance; and the relevance of supernormal phenomena to all of them is manifest."
On reading Mr. Huxley's article one is strongly reminded of certain statements by Madame Blavatsky in "The Key To Theosophy"; for instance (p. 189): "We believe in nothing supernatural, as I have told you before. Had Edison invented his phonograph two hundred years ago he would most probably have been burnt alone with it, and the whole attributed to the devil. The power which they (the Initiates) exercise, are simply the development of potencies lying latent in every man and woman, and the existence of which even official science begins to recognize."
And (p. 194) on the assumption that Theosophical doctrines become generally understood by the public, "Mankind will be saved from the terrible dangers, both mental and bodily, which are inevitable when the unfolding takes place, as it threatens to do in a hotbed of selfishness and all evil passions. Man's mental and psychic growth will proceed in harmony with his moral improvement, while his material surroundings will reflect the peace and fraternal goodwill which will reign in his mind, instead of the discord and strife which is everywhere apparent around us today."
That Mr. Huxley's "random reflections and speculations" approximate so closely to the Occult doctrines on the same topics is due largely to the fact that both are the result of a natural and reasonable approach to their study.
Students of Theosophy will re-echo his hope that the scope of scientific investigation in these fields will now be extended, (this is of course also a part of the natural growth, and is already beginning to manifest itself). They will also anticipate with pleasure further essays from Mr. Huxley's pen of the same standard as the articles under review.
- E. B. D.
Students of Theosophy are watching with interest the rapid growth of modern psychology. The strides made by this science in the Twentieth Century hold much encouragement for everyone who recognizes that the true man is not the vehicle in which he functions. The function of the psychologist is to enable the individual to analyze himself and his motives in the light of his reason. Not far, this, from that axiom of the Ancient Wisdom - "Man, know thyself".
As is the fate of all sciences which have been presented rather suddenly to the public, psychology and the teaching of the great psychologists, notably those of Freud, have been widely misinterpreted and misunderstood. In the April copy of the Modern Thinker, in an article entitled "Freud versus the Libertine", Saul Rosenzweig, Psychologist at Worcester State Hospital, endeavors to correct the misconceptions which have arisen about the Freudian teachings on "repression".
The half-truth on which popular imagination has seized is that, "Repression means to inhibit the expression of an impulse, and according to Freud, this is a bad thing." But Rosenzwieg points out that the other half of the truth is that "instinctual renunciation (which is also defined as the inhibition of an impulse), is not only not bad but is the very basis of culture."
An impulse which arises in the personality and is pushed immediately into the background before its existence, is really consciously observed, is repressed. Unreasoning repression of impulses is a dangerous thing, in that by refusing to use our powers of rational and discriminating thought we are really doing the equivalent of pushing a hollow rubber ball below the surface of the water - it will bob up again in another place, unexpectedly and the performance is repeated.
On the other hand, an impulse which is brought to the conscious level and rejected
"not because one may not desire its expression, but because one recognizes its inconsistency with some more valued aims of the personality" - is said to be instinctually renounced.
This interpreter of Freud pleads for the exercise on the, part of every mature man and woman, of reason, a rational self-analysis of the desires and impulses of the personality. "Honesty and thoughtful integration, should replace self-deception and repression in the case of the individual."
It is evident from these statements that the psychologist recognizes the desirability of having the rational body control the desire or irrational body, or in other phraseology, Manas must control Kama.
"That man alone is wise who keeps the mastery of himself."
- M. B.
BROTHERHOOD AND COMMUNES
The dissension, rebellion and consequent repression which have apparently arisen in the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood (the Doukhobors) in Western Canada raises the old question as to whether Brotherhood, at this stage of human progress, can be realized by living together in communes where the will of the individual is subject to the dictates of the mass, where all labor is expropriated for the benefit of the mass, and all goods held for the wealth of the mass. It has been tried many times by groups of idealists, but not very successfully.
The Doukhobors are a peculiar people and their nonconformity to many Canadian customs and laws has brought them into frequent conflict with the civil authorities. They have protested by trekking in the nude into Western towns burning schools and refusing to pay taxes.
On the other hand, their communes have been efficiently managed, and they have during their sojourn in Canada, acquired thousands of acres of valuable farm lands, have built substantial buildings, and have equipped their farms with modern farming implements. We have not heard a great deal about internal troubles and the popular belief was that they were of one mind and presented a united front to the features of modern life of which they did not approve. Individually, they are considered to be strictly honest, kindly, industrious, and very much in earnest about their simple faith in spiritual things.
Same Old Problem
An editorial in, the Toronto Mail and Empire states that the present dissenters declare that "Veregin (their leader) and his lieutenants have instituted a reign of terror against the active members of the new group of the younger workers. They state that they have been worked like slaves to support the leaders in luxury and that conditions have become unbearable". The dissenters have been told to get out, and forfeit their rights in the community holdings. Whatever the facts are in this particular case, we must remember that human beings require leadership and someone is always dissatisfied with any leader.
The Theosophical Society is based, upon the ideal of Universal Brotherhood, but unlike the Doukhobors, there is not any orthodoxy of belief in the Society to weld the members together. The individual beliefs of each member must be respected, even though other members disagree with them. This is a much wider basis than any other society and therefore should attract persons who have achieved some degree of toleration.
But if would be folly to take a hundred or so members of the Society, put them in a community, lock all doors, and tell them to be brotherly in the hopes that a perfect economic, social, and spiritual brotherhood would result. If we are honest and not too ready to sentimentalize, we will face the fact that the only way to remain on a practical working basis with some persons is to keep out of their way as much as possible. We can retain our kindliness towards them and our respect for them - but it takes a great deal of energy to mix oil and water and:= when they are mixed all
that we have is an emulsion which is fit neither for drinking nor for lubrication.
Brotherhood in the Theosophical sense does not mean that we are to consider ourselves "all brethren and sistren together in the great fraternal organization of the mystic Knights of the Sea"; nor does it mean pussyfooting whenever the inevitable differences of opinion arise in society affairs. Sometimes it is necessary to fight for the ideal of Brotherhood - and this is very disturbing to the sentimentalist - but there are occasions as the old story pointed out, to indicate forcibly that "three punches on one nose is unsocial conduct."
The Theosophical Society is composed of personalities at various states of development. Each member has a certain independence of viewpoint or he or she would not be in the movement at all. Theosophy recognizes these differences and does not claim equality for the members of the human race. Doubtless, we are all equal in the Absolute, but we are not functioning in Absolute Consciousness, and besides, we cannot do much with the Absolute, we cannot even think about it.
It is apparent from the Secret Doctrine and other writings of H.P.B. and also from the Mahatma Letters, that occult organizations are not based upon equality but upon inequality and that at every stage the less advanced souls are subject to the wiser individuals above them. In this sense the Theosophical Society is not an occult organization. Wm. Q. Judge said it was a child’s school but that it required a man to go through it. Possibly it is a preliminary training ground to develop independence, self reliance and tolerance without which Brotherhood is impossible.
The Creative Attitude
For what after all is Brotherhood but a constant creative attitude towards our fellow human beings? An attitude based on the concept that all men and women are finer and greater beings than they appear, that they do possess divine powers and attributes, that they are all on the pilgrimage of necessity, that the process of manifesting their higher natures is laying aside the inhibiting demands of the lower personality, an attitude which recognizes the curious distortions which occur when noble impulses are partially translated through the lower organism, and which in every circumstance strives within the limits of the conditions to bring out the finer qualities within others? Such an attitude requires an infinity of patience, a resiliency to rise after countless failures, a delicate sense of the critical stages in human progress, a self abnegation combined with a self respect which will never compromise with any lesser ideals.
If this attitude could be translated into economics we would have a new economic era; if it could be translated into social intercourse we would have a race of gentle men and gentle women. Common ownership of goods, means of production and wealth does not indicate Brotherhood. These things might be maintained by force and be operative under a tyrannical and intolerant dictatorship. But as an individual moves forward in the occult life, he leaves behind the more intense of the personal desires and it becomes natural and normal for him or her to give his wealth freely to others and to use his labor for their benefit.
-D. W. B.
POWERS LATENT IN MAN
While Dr. Hayes, psychologist, has been concerned with contradicting the popular belief that the blind area gifted with compensating powers to make up for their lack of sight, Ernest E. Calkins, deaf author, has busied himself collecting data to prove that many persons deprived of sight and hearing supplement their handicapped faculties with other powers of perception.
Dr. Hayes' Binet-Simon tests for measuring the sensitivity of the blind as to touch and hearing compared with normal seeing persons, show that the blind are inferior in both senses.
Is it not possible that the handicapped
sometimes develop powers which cannot be measured by laboratory tests? One would be inclined to believe so after reading Ernest E. Calkins' article called "Sixth Sense" which appears in the May issue of The Readers Digest. Many and varied are the examples given. The following one is perhaps described unscientifically in the words of a blind man "but", adds Ernest Calkins, "it is convincing." "As proceed along the streets I hear a lamp post or a tree," says a blind man, "that is the object gives off a definite sound which enables me to `sense' danger. The muscles of my face contract; as I recede from the danger zone the muscles relax."
The faculty of facial perception is well known to science as is muscle-memory, and the touch which feels the difference in a textile fabric produced by dyes. Many remarkable examples of these types are cited in the article. The following case, however, is less familiar and not so readily explained, -
A blind woman who daily fed the cows, kept the feed in a barrel and knew exactly where to find the bucket which hung overhead. One morning as she reached up for it, she became suddenly violently ill, and with difficulty dragged herself to the house. Immediately her brother went back to the barn and discovered a rattlesnake curled up in the barrel.
Ernest Calkins admits that the rank and file of the deaf and blind do not possess unusual acuteness of the senses. Even Helen Keller with her exceptional mental ability is comparatively helpless in unfamiliar surroundings.
Although he also admits that most of the cases he describes, sciences explains as facial perception, delicate hearing and sensitive touch, yet there remain the few which cannot thus be explained. For instance, the blind man who recognizes the presence of a stranger who has not spoken or made a sound, and the one who feels a premonition of lurking danger. There is his own experience of knowing that with loss of hearing came strange supplements whereby things were made manifest through other channels. Lastly, the cases of deaf persons who are able to divine the mental attitude of others; - These he attributes to a "Sixth Sense."
"Instead of exclaiming in wonder over the miraculous feats of some few intelligent deaf or blind," concludes the author, "we should learn how the proficient do what they do and see if the knowledge cannot be imparted to others."
The Third Object of the Theosophical Society is to investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man. Occultism has much to say about the subject in The Secret Doctrine, written by H.P. Blavatsky, founder of the Society. Many definite statements are made concerning the "Sixth Sense", but scattered throughout the three volumes are hints given which are of practical importance. We gather from these - that to the degree that mean limits himself to ideas and feelings aroused by the physical plane, to that same degree does he lessen the power to arouse his latent senses; sensations and emotions of the external world and weaken the forces necessary for this awakening.
Spiritual perception, Intuition, awareness, thought transference, clairaudience, clairvoyance and so on, are said to be dependent upon a "Sixth Sense." How otherwise could the above faculties be registered consciously?
H.P.B. says, - "In a man who is deprived of one or more senses, the remaining senses become the more developed .... But these are cases that belong to the world of Matter still. The spiritual senses, those that act on a higher plane of consciousness, are rejected A priori by Physiology, because the latter is ignorant of the Sacred Science." - (Secret Doctrine I, 582).
Today there is evidence generally of an increased interest in the manifestation of unusual powers, confined by no means to the blind and deaf alone. Science as yet may not have accepted the "spiritual
senses" of Occultism, but the fact that a few scientists are investigating super physical phenomena, is significant.
- R. S.
ARE WE HUMAN?
What is spoken of as "Virtually a brand new idea about the nature of man and his relation to the other forms of life" is discussed by Mr. Albert Jay Nock in an article called "The Quest of the Missing Link" in the April number of "Harpers Magazine".
The idea which was originally propounded some two years ago by the distinguished American architect Mr. Ralph Adams Cram, is, stated simply, "that most of us do not behave like human beings because most of us are not human beings; not only are not; but never were, and - which is most important - never shall be. The great, the overwhelming majority of us are merely the raw material out of which the occasional human being has been, and still is produced by an evolutionary process, the exact nature of which is undetermined, but is probably catastrophic."
The Dividing Line
"Mr. Cram synopsizes ten thousand years of history to the effect that the whole prodigious residue of Homo Sapiens, the mass-man, has never shown, and does not now show, any development worth speaking of in the direction set by the occasional evolutionary product; it has never brought itself a jot nearer the psychical character that differentiated the human species properly so-called. Hence the search for what used to be called the "missing link" (the intercalary form between Homo Sapiens and the anthropoids) is not properly in the province of zoology as has hitherto been supposed but, as Mr. Cram puts it, the just line of demarcation should be drawn, not between Neolithic Man and the anthropoid ape, but between the..... .human being and the Neolithic mass, which was, is now, and ever shall be."
Mr. Nock discussed these ideas most interestingly, and concludes, for his own part, in spite of the great weight of evidence supporting the thesis, that the "Neolithic mass is psychically improvable", though his "expectations, doubtless, run to a much more distant future than those" of most of the authorities who support, this view.
From the Theosophical standpoint this hypothesis of Mr. Cram's raises a host of debatable points, for it opens up the whole question of the origin and development of man.
To begin with, Theosophy regards man from three aspects rather than two, the physical and the psychical, as does Mr. Cram. To quote from they Secret Doctrine (vol. I, p. 203-4). "There exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme for the formation of three periodical Upadhis, or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended. These are the Monadic (or Spiritual), the Intellectual, and the Physical Evolutions. These three are the finite aspects, or the reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion, of Atma, the seventh, the One Reality".
The Monadic has to do with that Spark of the Divine Flame which the Vedantists speak of as "seated in the heart of every creature". It is the essential element in every entity from the atom to the Kosmos.
The Intellectual refers to the thinking principle in man, that which renders him capable of self consciousness, and sets him apart from the lower orders of "creation."
The Physical includes the gross body familiar to our present senses, and certain other lower principles, which we as yet know only subjectively.
Occultism considers man entirely responsible for his own development: "The pivotal doctrine of the Esoteric Philosophy admits no privileges or special gifts in man; save those won by his own Ego through personal effort and merit throughout a long series of metempsychosis and reincarnations." (S.D. p. 45) A truly self-
respecting doctrine and one that appeals to the reason and intuition in man.
On the question of the "missing link" Occult Science differs radically from orthodox anthropology.
Briefly, it postulates evolution as a cyclic process, spiral in nature, which takes place on other planes as well as the physical, and that no "missing link" will ever be discovered on this plane because the transition between the kingdoms of Nature takes place elsewhere and appears on this plane as a definite gap between the species.
Grouping of Mankind
Mr. Cram's speculation undoubtedly embodies an element of truth, for the human race as at present constituted can be divided roughly into three great groups. On the one hand there stand the Enlightened Ones - those who have "worked the purpose through of that which made them men" and yet "remain behind" voluntarily to cooperate in the development of mankind. On the other hands there is "mass-man" to whom Mr. Cram refers, those who are still almost incapable of independent thinking. Between these two extremes stand those souls who have consciously developed their intuitive faculty to the degree that they are able to contact the minds of the higher group, and use the knowledge thus gained to aid the growth of their lowlier brothers - not by doing their work for them, but by helping them to help themselves.
Whether we agree or disagree with Mr. Cram's thesis, it is a keen and thoughtful analysis of the data available on the subject, and from the Occult standpoint its of course lends itself to a much more extensive treatment than is here attempted.
- E. B. D.
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 GENERAL EXECUTIVE
The General Executive met on Sunday afternoon, June 2nd, with Mr. Belcher, Miss Crafter and Mr. Haydon and the General Secretary only attending.
Funds were reported in excess of last year, at the same date. The paid up membership is 345, two in excess of last year. Mr. Belcher gave an outline of his proposals for his western tour which commences on June 20th. He has found it necessary to formulate his own itinerary, but will accommodate as far as possible to the dates suggested by correspondents in the various centres.
A series of pamphlets issued by Adyar in connection with the "Straight Theosophy" campaign having been found to recommend such books as "Lives of Alcyone", "Man, Whence, How and Whither" and other Leadbeater literature, were regarded as unsuitable for the purpose suggested.
Proposals of a tentative character were submitted by the General Secretary as a basis for organization of the Jubilee International Convention in August 23-25, and were approved as such.
Report of the General Election was submitted, and it is hoped to have a full meeting of the members in the eastern district at an early date.
The Executive adjourned until July 7th.
THE REPRINT OF H.P.B.'s WORKS
Volume Three, covering the year 1881, is announced as "ready shortly", uniform with previous volumes, cloth, demy 8vo., pp. 342. Postpaid ................... $4.50
A CENTURY OF CREEPY STORIES
70 titles by 41 famous authors, Cloth, pp. 1178. Postpaid ....... $1.50
THE RING OF RETURN
An anthology on Reincarnation compiled by B. M. Martin.
Bds., pp. xi, 306. Postpaid ................. $2.00
Other books secured on request.
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