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VOL. XVI., No. 8. HAMILTON, OCTOBER 15th, 1935 Price 10 Cents
THEOSOPHY AND MENTAL HYGIENE
By Evelyn G. Mitchell, A.B., M.S., M.D.
A Paper read at the Fraternization Convention.
What, to begin with, is mental Hygiene? Many have an idea that it is psychoanalysis; that it deals mainly with sex problems; that it is some method of curing insanity or preventing it by suggestion nor other psychological technique. It is all these but it also includes much more and sex problems are by no means the preponderant factor. To the Theosophist mental hygiene includes the study of the planes of consciousness above, as well as on the physical and the relation of the upper planes to the expression of the ego through the physical vehicle.
From the scientific aspect it includes the study of both body and mind. Body and mind inevitably interact. The human being must be considered as both body and mind, or as Theosophists would put it, as all ego using both a body and a brain-mind which should be treated simultaneously in either physical or mental illness. This view includes, also, the very important emotional aspect. No physically ill person is at a normal mental or emotional level; no mentally ill person is altogether well physically. The emotionally sick person produces most violent and often misleading symptoms in both physical and mental realms. .
To the Theosophist, viewing man in the physical, emotional and mental aspects, each a vehicle for the consciousness of the ego on its respective plane, it will be easy to grasp the interaction and interlocking of the three aspects. If all are not co-ordinating and co-functioning, any one of the three may block or misdirect the action of either or both the others, or run amok on its own line. Many, nay, most physicians do not realize the full extent of this. Few of them get much psychiatry, let alone practical psychology, in medical school. When doctors find it difficult to understand how a man with a fine intellect may still be classed as insane or irresponsible, what can we expect from the general public in the matter of comprehension of such states and their social bearings?
Yet it is possible for an individual with a high intelligence quota to be absolutely unadjusted emotionally and quite devoid of judgment. Such individuals, reckless of their own safety and of that of others, driven by unbridled desire, with no power of discrimination, no inner feeling of the rights of others, to who right, wrong and justice are mere words carrying with them no psychic response; form the most dangerous type of criminal. Property rights, community responsibility are just so many meaningless phrases to this type of offender. Let me stress this point, he does not
wilfully disregard them, they simply do not, cannot, touch him for he has nothing wherewith to respond.
But these persons are not born this way (outside the defectives, of whom we are not speaking); they develop this way, and society is permitting them to do it until they become too violent in demeanor. Then they are sent to jail or slain that society may take vengeance on her own breeding. The seriousness of this question is shown in the fact that about one in every 200 school children is potentially a criminal of this type. Think about that and then ask where our crime waves start. And the pity of it is that most of it need not be.
Suppose such had about them from babyhood the example, not of wordy precepts, but of true Theosophical living; personal demonstration of brotherhood, of the responsibility of each to all and all to each, of discrimination and impersonal unselfishness. Suppose they had held forth to them the reality and the possibilities of their inner god; that they had by example been taught desirelessness, had been convinced of the eternal and sure justice of Karma and that they themselves are their own Karma, their glory or their doom; suppose they had been afforded opportunity for the development of any creative talent they might possess (and all possess some); had been helped to useful lives suited to their capacity as well as their tastes - what think you these would be? Would children so reared, think you, develop fears and insufficiency, complexes, urges to selfish power, lust to kill and desire for revenge, hatred of and intolerance toward those who differed from themselves in race or creed or thought? None save those so mentally defective as to be unable to learn at all.
Moral and spiritual teaching to be effective, must be primarily by sustained example of living. Children are keen critics, quick to discern inconsistencies in precept and performance.
Children of nervously unstable stock, rightly trained and properly environed from the start have less chance of nervous or mental twists than stronger individuals wrongly started and who later, perhaps, see truth and try to impose it on themselves from the slant of intellectual knowledge instead of having assimilated wisdom of life through right action from babyhood. Behavior patterns are formed by ACTION.
The function of mental hygiene is not merely to cure and prevent mental disease. It is to develop well-rounded lives, filled with joy, in work and with vigorous play, with opportunity for the emotional development and outlet in creative art and science.
In everyone lies the creative urge. The Freudians have stepped that down to libido and the sex instinct, assuming that these are the be-all and an end in themselves, rather than seeing that they are the divine creative force in its manifestation on the physical plane, with potentiality of sublimation to the upper levels. The function of the Third Logos is to create, not only animate beings but expressions of beauty in many forms. The divine being within each microcosm called a man has the same urge which seeks outlet, perhaps in its children, always in some activity which will externalize in the physical world the Ray on which it is working. By that manifestation the natural love of power will be normally satisfied and will not turn to channels of destruction.
Many parents who wish the child to have creative opportunity make the grave error of insisting on choosing his vocation. They want him on a higher level than their own, socially or financially, or they do not want him on a lower, or they wish in him vicariously to enjoy the fame that might, perhaps, have been theirs, had they been able to pursue some talent, real or fancied, that was their own. Perchance the child has no such talent, perhaps his wish is quite different. Were parents acquainted with the teaching of Swabhava, the knowledge that every living being, human and non-human, has an inner individuality quite different from all others, which must ex-
press itself through its own chosen channels and not through goals set by others, we would have far fewer frustrated talents, unhappy, warped lives and minds.
Did parents realize that fame and power are, far from being sources of happiness, that they are but transient things at best; that success is not a matter of money, position or possession, but of doing well the thing one loves to do and filling some useful niche in the world thereby; that there is more true greatness in planting a straight row and raising beautiful lima beans, or in doing a good, clean job of plumbing and in loving to do these things, than in being a powerful dictator who may chop off heads which displease him, or being an harassed millionaire; did parents realize these things, there would be few failures. There wound not be the stress and strain, the rush to acquire, to emulate and surpass the neighbours; the personality-plus drives, leaving in their wakes men exhausted, inadequate, rebellious, heading toward crime, suicide, the mad-house.
The knowledge brought by Theosophy of the true spiritual values in life, of the eternal justice in which all great and good desire is some day fulfilled; of man's own power over his future and of the vast duration of that future and of that power; of the real importance of every living entity in his spot in the structure of the cosmos, and of his integral unity with all life; these glorious truths would empower many a limping mind and social failure to build character and secure happiness instead of taking refuge in hysteria, hypochondria or delusions and through these dolorous paths to win the spotlight and the consideration and care of others or satisfaction in a world of thought-forms.
That is what mental illnesses are - ways of escape from otherwise intolerable situations. One must be noticed, though one makes oneself and others most uncomfortable. One must have a refuge, though it be a palace of clouds in a phantom world of one's own making. If one creates a phantom world, is he not to that extent a creator - and thus important?
Many physical symptoms of the most painful and startling varieties are often produced by unadjusted emotions and mental problems. They often deceive not only the anxious family but also the family general practitioner, and the surgeon unacquainted with psychiatry. All obscure and apparently surgical ailments in neurotics should be examined by a psychiatrist as well as by a surgeon. Such patients have alarming attacks, multiple operations without results. The family becomes impoverished, perhaps some member of the family leaves or dies; the situation changes and lo, the dying patient is on his feet (if the surgeon has left enough to stand on) directing, important, cock-of-the-walk, well pleased with himself.
His emotional field has changed, that is all. He was not consciously faking, he was really ill, but the physical symptoms were a substitute for mental and emotional maladjustments which had, or seemed to have, no solution, or which the patient had not the inner temerity to face. For example, many supposed cases of gastric ulcer crises, constant vomiting, apparent extreme weakness, are caused by situations involving emotions of extreme disgust, either toward the patient's own acts and desires or for some other person or situation. When the cause of disgust is removed or mentally banished by discovering and facing it, the manifestations vanish.
The mental attitude of the patient and his will to live are often the deciding factor of recovery in many purely physical diseases. I have seen at least one case who died simply because she wanted to. She had lost domination over her favorite daughter, who had dared marry very happily and go west to live. The mother showed no grief - she was one of these iron characters - she set her jaw and said, "If I can't have my daughter, I just won't live." She had two others, and a fine husband, but that did not matter. "I always said, Mary and I should be together as long as I lived". She had no physical disease
which could be found by three specialists, including a psychiatrist of high standing. She set that iron jaw, got weaker and weaker and simply died, and nobody knew what to put down as the cause of death because autopsy showed none. The psychiatrist said, "mental suicide".
Had this woman been a Theosophist she would have realized that no human being belong to any other human being or has the right to dominate the life of another. She would have known that children are not the possessions, or the creation of their parents, except in-so-far as the parent gives the material for the physical body, the vehicle, in which the independent ego comes to earth for experience. It is drawn to the parent, perhaps by personal karmic ties from the past, perhaps only because that parent can best supply the body or environment needed for that ego to work out the karma which is the occasion of the reincarnation, and to acquire the experience needed for further spiritual development. Truly, we have a great responsibility toward our immortal guests.
The Theosophical parent will not seek to realize his personal ambitions or comfort through the child, but will endeavor to find avenues through which the incoming ego may seek free expression and psychic independence. The mother who overprotects through mistaken affection is destroying the child as an individual, is feeding her own self-love on its emotions; satisfying her love of power by shielding it from necessary struggle, and weakening it by making its decisions for it, draining its personality like a psychic vampire. She makes it a mere parasite, unfit for independent life.
Frequently these develop split personalities. Such unfortunate mother-fixed children frequently remain single, attached to the parent catering to that parent's selfish whims until late middle life. The parent dies. The child remains grown in body, with infantile emotions, derelict, psychically insufficient, fearful, homeless, frequently winding up with a mental breakdown and commitment to an institution. Some of these unfortunates are highly intellectual, but that seldom saves them.
Children are deeply influenced by the mother. The aura of the mother conditions that of the child. Her emotions determine its emotional habits in its early years. Until the 7th year the child's own ego scarcely affects its emotions. In the second 7 years it is taking control - or should be. In the third 7 it should obtain control of the brain-mind, so that manhood, human physical-plane completeness, should be reached at that age. That is the occult truth of being of age at 21.
Suppose the mother continually flies into emotional storms. Children gain emotional control by example, feeling and practice. It is not a matter for mental direction by exhortation at that age. What sense in a furious or hysterical parent telling a child to control itself? The child cannot but must, whether he will or no, respond to the inharmonic vibration of the parent's emotions.
Many baffling cases of apparent physical illness, especially dizziness, nausea, strange pains, palpitation, etc., in children, as well as obsessive fears, can be traced to symptoms described frequently and vividly by a mother or relative. The writer has seen a physically sound girl with every symptom of her dead aunt's heart disease, except the murmur. Symptoms of a distressing pregnancy and difficult, or supposedly difficult and agonizing birth, retailed in morbid detail by a mother have so alarmed many a young girl that she has refused to marry. Or, if she did marry, there came serious results from attempts at abortion, fear, unhappiness, mental and physical disturbances, hysterical convulsions; even attempts at suicide, as a less evil than giving birth. The Theosophical mother will realize that she has no right to impose on others, least of all a child, images of suffering and fear. She knows that thoughts are entities, possessed of real creative or destructive force and that it behooves us to beware of what thoughts we
send forth. Furthermore she knows the karmic law that evil thoughts are bad birds which come home to roost.
What mother and father are, not what they say, forms the child's ideas of divinity. Home determines personality traits. It forms the behavior patterns; gives the basic ideals of sympathy, social responsibility and racial justice. Environment is far more than heredity. Heredity holds many possibilities, environment fosters or restricts them. Many parents, not only by severity but by mistaken indulgence, by allowing the child free emotional rein, thinking thereby to develop him in self-expression, (forgetting SELF expression) and by omitting to be a guiding example of action and discrimination, forge fetters instead of unfolding wings.
Behavior patterns once formed are hard to alter. The tendencies are never wholly eradicated. The early years and the months before birth are important. They affect the whole life of the child. A wise psychiatrist has said that most insanity finds its basis in too much mother. He might well have added, too little father. The Theosophist knows that as our Cosmos expresses through the double aspect of spirit and matter, so the child should express most perfectly through the harmonious co-operation of father and mother. It is the father's dharma to share in the emotional education of the child, the leading out of the first instincts and abilities, the giving of a foundation in stability.
Selfish mental attitudes and warped emotional relationships between parents frequently develop in children the basis for many forms of mental and nervous disease, for future failures and delinquencies. Over 80% of delinquents come from broken homes. The jealousies, suspicions, hatreds and fears of parents condition their emotions toward the children, and the sentiment of the children toward each other. The mother or father whose marital love is unsatisfied often smothers some one child in a flood of diverted sex love, with the child as a psychic substitute. Parents conflict, a child is overindulged or its personality repressed and crushed to satisfy a spite. No child having warring parents, together or separated, feels secure. Its instability and bewilderment shows in antisocial action, lying, stealing, running away. Scolding, punishment and criticism at home and in school bring forth more confusion. Hatreds are formed toward persons and authority which appears tyrannical. These hatreds carry into adult life as antisocial trends, frequently resulting in crime or mental disease. A Theosophical parent, finding marriage unhappy, will not only make extreme effort to preserve the family integrity but try to see impersonally where the trouble lies, to view the affair from the point of dharma, and be willing to sacrifice some personal pride, if necessary, to meet the other party half way. Any judge can tell that most rifts are from slighted self-love and offended pride.
Regarding the child as an independent individual, the parents should be keen to see faulty behavior as a warning against future snares. They, as Theosophists, will avoid the all-too-prevalent and fatal view that they must, because the child is "theirs", resent all suggestions that its personality is not what it should be and resent opportunities offered for its improvement. Theosophists will take this impersonally, as so many snags in the river of life, placed there by karma, to which dangers, all are subject and which it is the dharma of the parents to aid in avoiding. They will, therefore, not hesitate to use the behavior clinic when indications point that way.
Theosophical parents will realize the need for complete physical and mental development in education. Mind and hand should work together. Vocations should be chosen, not only according to talent, but with due consideration of the emotional makeup of the child and the stress under which the chosen vocation may place him. He may go farther in second speed, developing a lesser ability leading to quieter
environment, and less competition than would his more pronounced talent; Children learn and grow best from doing rather than cramming.
Education should be adapted to the need and interests of the individual; it should no, be a standardizing machine too turn out robots. It should be highly individualized. Teachers should be guides of pilgrims, not stuffers of Strasbourg geese. Creativeness should result naturally from inner urge; education should be a release of that drive. The emotional elements should be quite as much considered as the mental.
We are a nation of clever individuals, with emotions greatly repressed until the last generation. Then they were suddenly allowed to run riot on the plea of "free self-expression", rather than trained to Self-directed expression. "Free expression" - yet mental disease is rapidly increasing under the modern stress of forever running nowhere after nothing. One person in every 22 has a nervous breakdown; one in 72 remains broken. Most of this can be traced to the faulty foundation laid by the parent and neglected in the school system, to the lack of character building in the school. Most of these breaks, alas, are unnecessary.
Duty, Brotherhood, Self-directed Evolution, these three principles applied to education, to the pre-school and the later years, would revolutionize our next generation and deplete our punitive institutions and mental hospitals.
The behavior problem child and the child who fails in school are often made miserable at home by nagging and punishment or threats, from ignorant parents whose pride is hurt and whose emotions rush to the fore. They do not understand that the entry into school is a major emotional crisis in the life of a child. Those children who have been taught self-direction and guided to become independent individuals at home, adapt themselves to the new environment.
The spoiled child is confused, sulks, cries, complains to its mother and can neither do its own work or follow directions. It upsets the class and often the teacher. Constant inefficiency draws reprimand and punishment. The child may be further humiliated by comparison with a smarter younger brother or sister, or by being placed in a special class and being told that this is because it is stupid instead of being tactfully led to regard such a class as a very special privilege to help him catch up, or to do things for which he has aptitude.
Under the lack of tact, self-confidence and self-respect fail; the child in desperation becomes inattentive, truant, deceitful, lies or steals in attempt to snatch its share from life. These social failures fill our juvenile courts and reform schools, all from lack of recognition that the individual must be helped from his standpoint to go his way, not forced into the ideas and ideals of others. Such forcing often results in suicide, especially of students.
Reincarnation, Dharma, Karma, Self-directed Evolution. In these principles and their application lies the solution of the present educational problems, and the salvation for the breaking minds of today. It is the duty of every Theosophist to spread this knowledge as far and fast as he can, for the danger is grave and we cannot act too rapidly. The liberation of the god within will solve the individual and through this the whole social problem.
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THE PURPOSE OF THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
By Robert A. Hughes
A Paper Read at the Fraternization Convention
The modern Theosophical Movement began in 1875 with the foundation of the Theosophical Society in New York city. It was the second attempt to launch the Movement; the first being the "Societe Spirite," founded in Cairo in 1873 but which proved abortive. The Theosophical Movement should not be confused with the various societies interested in the study of Theosophy. It is a great mental or spiritual impulse of which Theosophical societies are only the visible expression. This movement marks a new epoch in the spiritual history of mankind; a renascence of the human spirit freed from mental, spiritual and economic bondage, through the power of truth.
The heavy pall of materialism covered human thought during the period in which the movement was born. Armed by dogma and fear religion fought a losing battle with the new physical sciences that threatened her supremacy over human reason. Between these two exponents of supernaturalism and materialism came the spiritualist movement, with its worship of the dead. A long succession of brilliant minds floundered in a morass of materiality and skepticism. Had the consequences of mid-Victorian materialism, skepticism, intolerance, and psychism been carried to their logical conclusion untold harm would have been caused humanity.
The world of 1875 was in many respects different from the world of 1935. It was a "safe" world, for society then enjoyed a security which it has not known since The magical agents of science: steam, electricity, chemistry and mysterious rays, had ushered into being in the short space of two centuries, a new conception of the world, banishing the boundaries of space and time, and giving to man the possibilities of the new age of abundance. Tools of production multiplied in amazing numbers and became more and more complicated. New sources of energy placed in the hands of man untold of powers of construction and destruction. Western scientific ingenuity was able to measure the vast distances of space, to weigh and analyze the myriad bodies of the universe, to increase the production of commodities and to build up fabulous wealth; yet it failed completely to utilize its new knowledge for the common benefit of all mankind. In this rapidly shifting scene of scientific progress man himself stood still. Ethical conceptions of life being undermined by scientific and philosophical materialism were unable, or at least, were too feeble to check or turn to the proper use the practical developments of applied science. Man was rapidly becoming the victim of his own material progress, he had gained the whole world but had lost his soul!
Into this arena appeared the heralds of the Theosophical Movement! A new note was uttered and before its vibrations were to die out a now conception of religion, science and philosophy were to be born. Since the days when the rising power of Christianity had scattered the last of the Neo-Platonic scholars and philosophers and had closed their schools, there had been no successful public attempt to restate Theosophic principles. The Neo-Platonic school of Alexandria was the prototype upon which the modern Theosophical school was based.
By reason of their close cooperation with Nature, the Mahatmic teachers of H.P.B. were endowed with a keener vision and a loftier understanding than we can readily conceive. They understood the trend of civilization and realized the ultimate consequences of scientific learning upon an unethical generation. They knew that western civilization had reached the culmination of its career and that with the close of the cycle in 1899 it would decline. Theirs was no isolated and self-centred interest in metaphysics, as a study of their
letters will reveal, but a keen and vital interest in the world and its peoples. By their exact knowledge of human behavior and progress in past cycles of the world's history they were able to determine the trend of civilization in the future. Their duty to mankind was not to interfere directly in the course of events, but to work through agents and to guide isolated individuals who were capable of intuitive response. The need for a moral revolution had presented itself and the original inspirers of the Theosophical Movement did not hesitate to respond.
The publication of The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in 1923 is the greatest contribution to Theosophical literature since that of The Secret Doctrine, as they reveal the underlying forces behind the Movement. According to the Letters their desire was to build a society of high quality that would attract the higher intelligentsia of all lands into its fold. To quote their own words: `The Chiefs want a "Brotherhood of Humanity", a real Universal Fraternity started; an institution which would make itself known throughout the world and arrest the attention of the highest minds." (M.L., page 24). Such thinkers as moulders of opinion would inculcate the high ethical idealism presented by Theosophy upon the lay mind. In this respect the Society was at first successful having as members some distinguished men of letters, politics, science and philosophy.
Yet the purpose of the Theosophical Movement is not to be found in the mere literal interpretation of its philosophy, but rather in the subtle effects of such teachings over the world. It is the most serious movement of this age, as its mission is to keep alive the spiritual intuitions of the race in one of the most critical transitional periods of history.
Every civilization is given an opportunity to redeem itself and thus ensure its future. With maturity society becomes somewhat more liberal. It relaxes for a time its eternal vigilance and the spread of progressive and philosophical thought is accentuated. During this short period there appear upon the horizon of civilization new and more vitalizing systems of thought. These are the great Philosophies or Theosophies that influence the world during the liberal periods of society when creeds and intolerance are for a time impotent. The Neo-Platonic school was of this ancient and ever-recurring ideology which had gathered together the highest minds of Greco-Roman civilization for the pursuance of the same duty undertaken by its modern prototype. This eternal ideology is the philosophy of rational optimism, of belief in humanity and faith in Nature. It encourages the spread of high moral idealism seeking to revive humanitarianism, to save the race from the fruits of its own folly through the awakening of man to spiritual perception and responsibility.
Unfortunately man distorts the truths that would free him and we find arising from this perennial revelation new cults and sponge-like growths which feed upon the parent sapping its strength. It degenerates from a high pinnacle of practical idealism and love of truth, to a mere association with the sum total of past opinions, and especially with opinions held in regard to other opinions. What was primarily intended to solve the great mysteries of life and to free man from the curse of ignorance which binds him to the Wheel of Life, fails in opinion rather than in truth. It advances theories around which debates and contention arise, but through which no one is convinced. Thus have the Theosophies of the past been destroyed and with them perishes the hope of civilization's survival.
Civilization is an inheritance from our mighty past and is not to be lightly regarded, as the purpose of co-operative life is the fulfillment of spiritual law. The redeeming power of true philosophy over civilization can be traced in the influence of Confucius over China; for in his philosophical idealism and practical laws lay the salvation of China. In her message to the
American Theosophical convention of
1890, H.P.B. wrote: "the ethics of Theosophy are more important than any divulgement of psychic laws and facts. The latter relate wholly to the material and evanescent part of the septenary man, but the Ethics sink into and take hold of the real man - the reincarnating Ego. We are outwardly creatures of but a day; within we are eternal. Learn, then, well the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation, and teach, practice, promulgate that system of life and thought which alone can save the coming races. Do not work merely for the Theosophical Society, but through it for Humanity." The recent death of George W. Russell removes from the contemporary scene one of the greatest workers in the modern ethical revival, who put into practical application this teaching of H.P.B.
Civilization stands in peril today because of the following mighty factors: the growth of science, the rise of technology and, the resultant mechanization and complexity of life, the ever increasing insecurity of life, the imminence of war, the paradox of want in the midst of plenty and especially because of the loss of religious perception and hope, all of which are productive of fear. The great struggle between science and religion in the past century destroyed the ethical conceptions, such as they were held by thinking people or people influenced by thought. Thus science grew up in an unethical world unrestrained by moral idealism.
The inability of man to adjust himself to an unnatural, mechanistic system of society and a commercially corrupted world has added as psychiatry reveals, through nervous tension and the intense struggle for existence, to the psychic and mental unbalance of the race. We have now learned that our progress has not improved us, but rather accentuated our evils. The skepticism induced by science has undermined the psychological prop and moral justification that man found in religion. Religion has formed a tremendous outlet for the psychic or surplus emotional energy of mankind. The loss of spiritual or religious conceptions has taken meaning out of life for many and reveals man as a mere animal fighting tooth and nail in a competitive society for survival.
Hand in hand with the decay of morals arose the scientific teachings that denied God and took from man the feeling of safety in a safe world. The mad pursuit of pleasure to find personal happiness and forgetfulness that has so characterized the post-war years proves the existence of a world-neurosis due to the perversion of emotional life. The strain and struggle of modern life has tended to suppress the psychic energy that heretofore found release in religious emotionalism. This perversion has given rise to the psychic or nervous diseases so common today. The universality of this astral or psychic condition is shown by the innumerable crises that sweep across the world's political horizon to loom into frightful proportions, to disappear and then reappear elsewhere. In the racial subconscious lurk hideous forms and terrors of which only the occultist has true conception. These elemental forces of hate, lust, greed, selfishness and fear, hiding in the human subconscious today, and which have been released somewhat in Germany, are the direct result of the loss of spiritual perception and understanding. The pressure of these psychic forces over humanity may result in the lapse of society into riot or war; and in the face of modern war, man has little chance of survival.
Perhaps these psychological facts will reveal why the Theosophical Movement was launched upon the stormy sea of thought just sixty years ago. Man hungers and thirsts for peace, for a new understanding of life which will bridge the difficulties of the time and give him hope for the future. To Save civilization if possible and to bring health and hope to the human soul, a new sense of spiritual values and a sound philosophy based upon natural law had to be taught. Through the moral power of the deeper phases of Theosophy, and especially its basic or fundamental truths, it hoped to inculcate the ethical
attitude toward life that would allow the future passage of even more sweeping reforms in all the great areas of life. The chief hope of the Movement therefore rests on its basic teachings because of their powerful psychological effect: "Universal Unity and Causation; Human Solidarity; the Law of Karma; Reincarnation . . . . . . the four links of the golden chain which should bind humanity into one family, one Universal Brotherhood." (Key to Theosophy, p. 157).
Thus, modern Theosophy teaches that the foundation of duty lies in the divine nature and origin of man. It demands altruistic behavior because of the common origin, training, interests, destiny, solidarity and unity, shared by all mankind. The fact that man shares a continuous life, broken only by periods of rest and consolidation, with Nature and is chastened by the natural law of causation, balance, justice and reward, which works in the very fibre of his being, should bring home to the thoughtful person the necessity of personal reform. The, power of the ancient truths over the individual would result in the enforcement of right ethics with consequent right behavior, thought, and aspiration, resulting in personal regeneration. Thus Theosophy as the spearhead of the Theosophical Movement, aims at the very root of social troubles - the individual.
Social evils have their root in mental or psychic faults, for mind gives to things their quality, foundation and being, thus hand in hand with economic, educational and social reform, the theosophic truths and laws of being must be taught if society is to be truly regenerated, and such powerful ideas as karma and reincarnation must be made the basis of this effort, as they are the root of the moral code. The ethics offered by Theosophy are not new, as right ethics do not vary in any age, for they are based upon eternal law and that spiritual force seated in the very consciousness of man which gives him the conception of beauty, justice, honor, love, and of right and wrong, which have no material basis.
Man does not live by bread alone and in this day of the great retreat from ethics Theosophy stands alone as the source of spiritual enlightenment. The problem of the age is a spiritual problem; for the great ferment behind world unrest is the loss of spiritual perception and understanding, which Theosophy can restore. Let us emphasize more the ethical and cultural values of Theosophy and we will fulfill the purpose of the Movement which is "to keep alive in man his spiritual intuitions". The ethical law is summed up in the practice of brotherhood, and in mutual, helpfulness.
Let us not forget that the Theosophical Movement is not "a" society, and therefore includes all Theosophical societies and even individuals outside their influence, but is rather a mysterious urge, aided and abetted by Theosophists, for the spiritual, mental and social regeneration of all mankind.
THEOSOPHY HERE AND NOW
A Paper Read at the Fraternization Convention.
Real Theosophists do not stop to think about differences of organization in the face of an inquiring public; their Inter-Theosophical disagreements melt away and they are united in the glorious opportunity of presenting the Wisdom of the Ages to their fellow men. Each individual student, each Lodge or Club, recognizes in a Theosophical existence this purpose, - to be a worthy instrument of response to the hunger in every human heart for the REAL TRUTH. Isn't this our most cherished aspiration?
We have learned that we can give our convictions to no one, that the first step on the path is to realize that all comes from within. This deepens our responsibility, but at the same time widens the vista of opportunity before us. It brings us face to face with the great truth that as individuals we can help most of all with our thoughts; that the more profoundly these noble truths have cut into the fabric of our
natures, the more we have succeeded in becoming them in every hour of our lives, may we hope to bring about a time when Theosophy shall be sought by all men and women who can no longer endure superficial living.
Those we reach personally are few indeed compared to the number who may read a published article or book; but who can limit the number of hearts we may touch with our thoughts, as we go about our work trying to express in the smallest detail of life, a little of the hope and joy that Theosophy has brought to us, carrying in the background of our minds some great fundamental teaching?
The inquirers who come to Theosophical Lodges are seldom what we might term "the worldly minded", but weary pilgrims, troubled souls, who have suffered deeply in the search for spiritual food; men and women who appeal to our sympathy and compassion.
"My peace I give unto you" are the words of a great teacher, suggesting the joy of passing on truth. But, even in our small way of serving, we must find that peace within ourselves before we may hope to do very much to help humanity. We must become better acquainted with our own higher selves, and in this way do our part to preserve a perfect harmony in our lodges, for if we fail in adherence to this basic rule of the universe, we have little opportunity to impress an inquirer. We have all realized that it is two-thirds what we are and one-third what we say when we attempt to give out the teachings that have been given to us.
A Theosophical Lodge is a fabric woven of the most impersonal growth of each of its members, patterned alone with the jewels of wisdom. This tapestry, if all the threads are strong and each in its place, serves as a mighty reflector into the reservoir of thoughts to which ever human being has access; but the strength of this instrument of all that is most dear to us, is weakened by a single absence from a Lodge meeting; by each ill feeling or critical thought, towards another member, personal ambition or any failure in loyal adherence to the hierarchical structure of ourselves, the Lodge, the Theosophical Society and the Universe.
It is a remarkable thing that a perfect stranger to Theosophy visiting a Lodge or Theosophical Club, is intuitively aware of this sensitive structure and will invariably detect inharmony if it exists even in the thoughts of the members, - this is equally true whether it be a small or a large group, and is too often the reason that Lodges never grow large and strong in the precious opportunity that is theirs.
We have reason to rejoice upon the occasion of this International, Inter-Theosophical Fraternization Jubilee Convention, in a new epoch when we see in perfect perspective, in spite of the darkly unhappy aspect of human affairs in the world, that the veils are thinning, that the human family is moving out of a dark cycle into a time that promises to be a potent season of spiritual growth. Every vestige of a sense of separateness should fall away from each Theosophist in the realization of the grandeur of our responsibility, in the sacredness of all that depends upon loyalty to the Masters' heroic efforts to make ready for such a time. What is a more wonderful challenge to us than the Theosophical pioneers? Isn't it the grandest thing that we, as human beings, can hope for, to serve with all our hearts at such a critical time!
Let us glance for a moment at the progress of the world in its approach to the way of liberation. We see the personal God discarded to a very great extent; and while the First Fundamental Proposition of the Secret Doctrine is not generally accepted in it's place, the trend of modern scientific thought has led men to some suggestion of The ONE REALITY, - to recognition of consciousness as the fundamental concept of the Universe and the conception that consciousness can not be separated from anything in the Universe. Also that there is a divine spark flickering within
The law of periodicity is very generally accepted; we hear the most materially minded men talking glibly about the cyclic movement of many things; the advocates of the expanding and contracting universe have touched intuitively the teaching of the rhythmic ebb and flux of Universal Life, but their brain minds have not so interpreted it. The wide study of astronomy has compelled those who are intuitive to grasp a better sense of proportion in their thought about their personal lives and their relation to the Universe, which very often has made the teaching of re-birth acceptable; evolution, - if not self-directed evolution, now has a place with the general conception of cause and effect, if not in any sense a full understanding of Karma, in modern co-ordinated knowledge.
But Theosophy is not yet understood to be the doorway to the Mystery School, nor is it in the least popular, because real intellectual conception of the majestic teachings really comes only from accepting them as ethical standards.
Yet what can be more wonderful work than keeping open the doorways of Theosophical Lodges, Clubs and Lotus Circles with a royal welcome to each pilgrim that comes home!
- Hazel Boyer Braun.
Mrs. Braun is just launching her sixth year as President of Katherine Tingley Lodge No. 1, in San Diego, the largest Lodge in the American Section of The T.S. She is also on the Advisory Council of The American Section.
BOOKS BY THE LATE GEORGE R. S. MEAD
Fragments of a Faith Forgotten; The Gospels and the Gospel; Thrice-Greatest Hermes, 3 vols.; Apollonius of Tyana; Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.?; The World-Mystery; The Upanishads, 2 vols.; Plotinus; Echoes from the Gnosis, II vols.; Some Mystical Adventures; Quests Old and New; Orpheus; Simon Magus; The Pistis Sophia.
May be had from JOHN WATKINS, 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W.C., 2, England.
HOW TO REACH A WIDER PUBLIC
A Paper read at the Fraternization Convention.
The Theosophist who realizes that in his present incarnation he is building for his next incarnation a more brotherly state of society by disseminating the Theosophical teachings of Brotherhood as widely as possible - who does not recline back comfortably by saying "Well I have all eternity to do that" - the question of how to reach a wider public is a very serious matter to him.
Sincere and devoted members of Theosophic Lodges are often discouraged at the small public attendance at their meetings, - but if they were a little more on the alert and put forth a more honest effort, they would find they could increase their audience to hundreds of thousands each week, - especially in cities of 300,000 or more. Such cities as a rule have three daily papers, a morning and two evening. Such papers have a daily column devoted to local news, social events, club notices, etc., etc., which can be utilized by making the proper explanation to the editors by stating that the purpose of such notices is to advance the cause of Universal Brotherhood - that the Theosophical Society is altruistic, that no one connected with same receives a salary, etc., etc.
Toledo Lodge No. 22, of the Point Loma Society, enjoys just such a working arrangement. It holds its Club meetings, which are open to the public, every Wednesday evening. On Tuesday, the editors of these papers are furnished a type written notice for the Wednesday evening meeting, reading as follows: -
The, Theosophical Club will hold its regular public meeting at 8 p.m. today, in room 221 Gardner Bldg. Subject for discussion: "Karman" - the Law of Consequence".
Each week some topic for discussion is announced, as for instance: "We have lived many lives on earth"; "Do we make
our own destiny"; "Things move in Cycles; "Unbrotherliness: the insanity of the age; "Man - a sevenfold being".
These notices, week after week, - are bound to soak into the consciousness of the public and will bear fruit. Nearly every week the Club has one or two visitors. Besides the above notices some editors will gladly run short articles of some 300 words long when ever they have space for same.
The editors of small town weeklies are often glad to get good copy on Theosophical subjects or topics, which sometimes take one or two columns of space.
Each Theosophical Society should have a Theosophical Press Service, like the one in operation at Point Loma of which Clifton Meek is the head. His Department is always ready to furnish copy on almost any desired Theosophic subject varying from 300 words to one or two columns in length, and written in a style free from Theosophic technicalities as possible.
Often in large cities, individuals are kept from attending the meetings because they lack street car fare. In such places the Lodges should establish study groups in different parts of the city. At different times a regular meeting can be arranged with such a group, - and so a wider public is reached in this manner.
But one of the most pleasant and the most satisfactory field of work is the establishing of Lotus Circle Groups for children, in connection with a Lodge. Those who are working in that field will testify to that truth. Earnest workers find themselves often discouraged in imparting the Theosophic teachings to grown ups, but with children the case is different, - you do not have to contend with preconceived ideas and notions, and hence the Teachings are easily gasped and embraced. Each member of a Lodge can start a Lotus Circle Group in his own family for that matter, or with children living in his immediate neighborhood, whether their parents are members of the T.S. or not. Often for various reasons, it is not convenient to have a Lotus Circle Group connected or to meet at the Lodge room. That is especially true in large cities. Hence the advisability of establishing Groups in different parts of the city.
The Children's Department of the Point Loma Theosophical Society is growing rapidly. Under the able direction of Mrs. Grace Knoche, International Supt. and Mrs. Laura Arteche, Supt. of the American Section, Lotus Circles are being established in America and many foreign countries augmenting those already established. Visitors to Point Loma should be sure to go through this Department, and see the marvelous pictorial representation of the Teachings by children, - all reaching a wider public. Fraternally,
- E. L. T. Schaub,
Regional Vice-Pres. Central District.
American Section T.S.,
Point Loma, California.
THE FELLOWSHIP OF FAITHS
The World Congress of Faiths, of which H.H. The Maharaja Gaekwar of Baroda is the International President, and Sir Francis Younghusband, K.C.I.S., K.C.I. E., is British National Chairman, has arranged to meet at London and Oxford., July 3-18, next year.
Every man of religion desires a firmer Fellowship of Nations, and it is to promote this object that representative spokesmen of the leading religions of the world are being invited to address the "Second International Congress of the World Fellowship of Faiths" next July, and we have been requested to make the following announcements:
Ten sessions will be held in London, and ten in Oxford, at which addresses (to be followed by discussion) will be given by representative spokesmen on: "World Fellowship Through Religion". In addition, three public meetings will be held in Queen's Hall, where persons of International repute will speak on: "The Supreme Spiritual Ideal".
The Dean of St. Paul's has expressed his
willingness to welcome the members of the Congress to the afternoon service in St. Paul's Cathedral, on Sunday, July 5th, 1936.
Under the chairmanship of Sir Francis Younghusband, a British National Council and Executive Committee have been formed, and have been meeting regularly for ten months past. Hitherto, the whole of the preliminary work has been done voluntarily; but with the nearer approach of the Congress, funds are necessary for the early reservation of suitable Halls for the Congress, office organization, as well as other incidental expenses.
At a meeting of the International Council held on July 1st last, when H.H. The Maharaja Gaekwar of Baroda presided and several countries were represented, it was decided to make a public appeal for the sum of L5,000 to meet the expenses of the Congress.
Later on, members will be enrolled, but meantime funds are urgently needed, and we would most earnestly solicit both your financial assistance and your personal support in making the Congress as widely known as possible among your friends.
Cheques should be made payable to "The World Congress of Faiths", and crossed "Westminster Bank Ltd.", and donations may be sent direct to Sir Francis Younghusband; or the Organizing Secretary, World Congress of Faiths, 17 Bedford Square, London, W.C.1.
Among the many Supporters in Great Britain of the Second International Congress of the World Fellowship of Faiths are: - Sir Norman Angell, The Master of Balliol, Rev. Dr. Sidney Berry,* The Very Rev. The Dean of Canterbury*, Sir Walford Davies, Rev. Dr. W.H. Dmummond*, Rev. Dr. A E. Garvie, Dr. J.S. Haldane*, Viscount. Halifax, Carl Heath*, Rt. Hon. Arthur Henderson, M.P.; Dr. L.P. Jacks,* Sir Shada Lal,* Rev. Dr. Israel Mattuck*, Claud Montefiore, Professor Gilbert Murray, Rev. Dr. F.W. Norwood*, Alfred Noyes, Sir Abdul Quadir*, Sir Arthur Quller-Couch,* Dr. Maude Royden*, Lord Rutherford, The Very Rev. The Dean, of St. Paul's, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Samuel, M.P.*, Dr. Martin Shaw*, Rev. Canon H.R.L. Sheppard*, Right Rev. The Bishop of Southwark, Damie Sybil Thorndike, Sir Francis Younghusband (chairman); Marquis of Zetland*, Professor Alfred Zirnmern*.
Those marked * are members of the British National Council.
THROUGH THE GATES OF GOLD
A FRAGMENT OF THOUGHT
By Mabel Collins
(Continued from Page 233)
CHAPTER V. - THE SECRET OF STRENGTH
Strength to step forward is the primary need of him who has chosen his path. Where is this to be found? Looking round, it is not hard to see where other men find their strength. Its source is profound conviction. Through this great moral power is brought to birth in the natural life of the man that which enables him, however frail he may be, to go on and conquer. Conquer what? Not continents, not worlds, but himself. Through that supreme victory is obtained the entrance to the whole, where all that might be conquered and obtained by effort becomes at once not his, but himself.
To put on armor and go forth to war, taking the chances of death in the hurry of the fight, is an easy thing; to stand still amid the jangle of the world, to preserve stillness within the turmoil of the body, to hold silence amid the thousand cries of the senses and desires, and then stripped of all armor and without hurry or excitement take the deathly serpent of self and kill it, is no easy thing. Yet that is what has to be done; and it can only be done in the moment of equilibrium
when the enemy is disconcerted by the silence.
But there is needed for this supreme moment a strenth such as no hero of the battlefields needs. A great soldier must be filled with the profound convictions of the justness of his cause and the rightness of his method. The man who wars against himself and wins the battle can do it only when he knows that in that war he is doing the one thing which is worth doing, and when he knows that in doing it he is winning heaven and hell as his servitors. Yes, he stands on both. He needs no heaven where pleasure comes as a long-promised reward; he fears no hell where pain waits to punish him for his sins. For he has conquered once for all that shifting serpent in himself which turns from side to side in its constant desire of contact, in its perpetual search after pleasure and pain. Never again (the victory once really won) can he tremble or grow exultant at any thought of that which the future holds. Those burning sensations which seemed to him to be the only proofs of his existence are his no longer. How then, can he know, that he lives? He knows it only by argument. And in time he does not care to argue about it. For him there is then peace; and he will find in that peace the power he has coveted. Then he will know what is that faith which can remove mountains.
Religion holds a man back from the path, prevents his stepping forward, for various very plain reasons. First, it makes the vital mistake of distinguishing between good and evil. Nature knows no such distinction; and the moral and social laws set us by our religions are as temporary, as much a thing of our own special mode and form of existence, as are the moral and social laws of the ants or the bees. We pass out of that state in which these things appear to be final, and we forget them forever. This is easily shown, because a man of broad habits of thought and of intelligence must modify his code of life when he dwells among another people. These people among whom he is an alien have their own deep-rooted religions and hereditary convictions, against which he cannot offend. Unless his is an abjectly narrow and unthinking mind, he sees that their form of law and order is as good as his own. What then can he do but reconcile his conduct gradually to their rules? And, then if he dwells among them many years the sharp edge of difference is worn away, and he forgets at last where their faith ends and his commences. Yet is it for his own people to say he has done wrong, if he has iniured no man and remained just?
I am not attacking law and order; I do not speak of these things with rash dislike. In their place they are as vital and necessary as the code which governs the life of a beehive is to its successful conduct. What I wish to point out is that law and order in themselves are quite temporary and unsatisfactory. When a man's soul passes away from its brief dwelling-place, thoughts of law and order do not accompany it. If it is strong, it is the ecstacy of true being and real life which it becomes possessed of, as all know who have watched by the dying. If the soul is weak, it faints and fads away, overcome by the first flush of the new life.
Am I speaking too positively? Only those who live in the active life of the moment, who have not watched beside the dead and dying, who have not walked the battlefield and looked in the faces of men in their last agony, will say so. The strong man goes forth from his body exultant.
Why? Because he is no longer held back and made to quiver by hesitation. In the strange moment of death he has had release given him; and with a sudden passion of delight he recognizes that it is release. Had he been sure of this before, he would have been a great sage, a man to rule the world, for he would have had the power to rule himself and his own body. That release from the chains of
ordinary life can be obtained as easily during life as by death. It only needs a sufficiently profound conviction to enable the man to look on his body with the same emotions as he would look on the body of another man, or on the bodies of a thousand men. In contemplating a battlefield it is impossible to realize the agony of every sufferer; why, then, realize your own pain more keenly than another's? Mass the whole together and look at it all from a wider standpoint than that of the individual life. That you actually feel your own physical wound is a weakness of your limitation. The man who is developed psychically feels the wound of another as keenly as,his own, and does not feel his own at all if he is strong enough to will it so. Every one who has examined at all seriously into psychic conditions knows this to be a fact, more or less marked according to the psychic development. In many instances the psychic is more keenly and selfishly aware of his own pain than of any other person's; but that is when the development, marked perhaps so far as it has gone, only reaches a certain point. It is the power which carries the man to the margin of that consciousness, which is profound peace and vital activity. It can carry him no further. But if he has reached its margin he is freed from the paltry dominion of his own self. That is the first great release. Look at the sufferings which come upon us from our narrow and limited experience and sympathy. We each stand quite alone, a solitary unit, a pygmy in the world. What good fortune can we expect? The great life of the world rushes by and we are in danger each instant that it will overwhelm us or even utterly destroy us. There is no defence to be offered to it; no opposition army can be set up, because in this life every man fights his own battle against every other man, and no two can be united under the same banner. There is only one way of escape from this terrible danger which we battle against every hour. Turn round and instead of standing against the forces, join them; become one with Nature, and go easily upon her path. Do not resist or resent the circumstances of life any more than the plants resent the rain and the wind. Then suddenly, to your own amazement, you find you have time and strength to spare, to use in the great battle which it is inevitable every man must fight, - that in himself, that which leads to his own conquest.
Some might say to his own destruction. And why? Because from the hour when he first tastes the splendid reality of living he forgets more and more his individual self. No longer does he fight for it, or pit its strength against the strength of others. No loner does he care to defend or to feed it. Yet when he is thus indifferent to its welfare, the individual self grows more stalwart and robust, like the prairie grasses and the trees of untrodden forests. It is a matter of indifference to him whether this is so or not. Only, if it is so, he has a fine instrument ready to his hand; and in due proportion to the completeness of his indifference to it is the strength and beauty of his personal self. This is readily seen; a garden flower becomes a mere degenerate copy of itself if it is simply neglected; a plant must be cultivated to the highest pitch, and benefit by the whole of the gardener's skill, or else it must be a pure savage, wild, and fed only by the earth and sky. Who cares for any intermediate state? What value or strength is there in the neglected garden rose which has the canker in every bud? For diseased or dwarfed, blossoms are sure to result from an arbitrary change of condition, resulting from the neglect of the man who has hitherto been the providence of the plant in its unnatural life. But there are wind-blown plains where the daisies grow tall, with moon faces such as no cultivation can produce in them. Cultivate, then, to the very utmost; forget no inch of your garden ground, no smallest plant that grows in it; make no foolish pretence nor fond mistake in the fancy that you are ready to forget it, and so subject it to the frightful consequences of half-measures. The plant that
is watered today and forgotten tomorrow must dwindle or decay. The plant that looks for no help but from Nature itself measures its strength at once, and either dies and is recreated, or grows into a great tree whose boughs fill the sky. But make no mistake like the religionists and some philosophers; leave no part of yourself neglected while you know it to be yourself. While the ground is the gardener's it is his business to tend it; but some day a call may come to him from another country or from death itself, and in a moment he is no longer the gardener, his business is at an end, he has no more duty of that kind at all. Then his favorite plants suffer and die, and the delicate ones become one with the earth. But soon fierce Nature claims the place for her own, and covers it with thick grass or giant weeds, or nurses some sapling in it till its branches shade the ground. Be warned, and tend your garden to the utmost, till you can pass away utterly and let it return to Nature and become the wind-blown plain where the wildflowers grow. Then, if you pass that way and look at it, whatever has happened will neither grieve nor elate you. For you will be able to say, "I am the rocky ground, I am the great tree, I am the strong daisies," indifferent which it is that flourishes where once your rose-tree grew. But you must have learned to study the stars to some purpose before you dare to neglect your roses, and omit to fill the air with their cultivated fragrance. You must know your way through the trackless air, and from thence to the pure ether; you must be ready to lift the bar of the Golden Gate.
Cultivate, I say, and neglect nothing. Only remember, all the while you tend and water, that you are impudently usurping the tasks of Nature herself. Having usurped her work, you must carry it through until you have reached a point when she has no power to punish you, when you are not afraid of her, but can with a bold front return her her own. She laughs in her sleeve, the mighty mother watching you with covert laughing eye, ready relentlessly, to cast the whole of your work into the dust if you do but give her the chance; if you turn idler and grow careless. The idler is father of the madman in the sense that the child is the father of the man. Nature has put her vast hands on him and crushed the whole edifice. The gardener and his rose-trees are alike broken and stricken by the great storm which her movement has created; they lie helpless till the sand is swept over them and they are buried in a weary wilderness. From this desert spot Nature herself will recreate, and will use the ashes of the man who dared to face her as indifferently as the withered leaves of his plants. His body, soul, and spirit are all alike claimed by her.
(To Be Concluded.)
SOME REACTIONS TO "THE KEY"
During the past two and a half seasons (October to May) the East End Class in Toronto, conducted by N.W.J. Haydon, has been studying The Key to Theosophy, and it is hoped that an account of some of the members' reactions to their reading may be of some interest. When the book was finished, it was suggested that each member should write a short summary, and the five best were voted to be offered the editor of the Canadian Theosophist for this purpose. Somewhat condensed to meet space limits, the first now follows:
After explaining at great length the meaning of "Theosophy" and the differences between its exoteric and its esoteric associations, H.P.B. makes these a basis for demanding qualities in the members that experience proves are still largely embryotic at best. Whatever the American, European and Hindu members may have been in the eighties, the history of the T.S. shows that her standards and precepts were councils of perfection then and are no less so now.
Her panacea for the ills born of human selfishness seems to me quite opposite to the facts - no man needs my charity because he is my brother, because he has a spiritual identity with me. Rather is he my brother because he needs my charity! We have no need to love those qualities common to us that unite us, but rather those that are dissimilar and separate us. Thus only can these barriers be dissolved.
H.P.B.'s claim that "an axiomatic truth" exists in the idea that "by wronging one man we wrong not only ourselves but ultimately the whole of humanity" seems to me rubbish and not the Truth. - E.T. (This student does not appear to have read the dedication of "The Key to Theosophy." Ed.)
These three seasons study of the Key to Theosophy have taught me many things, even the first section dealing with early philosophers of whom I knew nothing save that they lived. But, when certain problems arise, I can now refer to what they said and strengthen my mind to a solution.
This Key is something that can be used for my benefit, it will open a door to something personal, if I am capable of using it. Without its use how can I play pauper, saint or king and keep the Gods in mind.
The Key has taught me that Knowledge is not Wisdom, that our use of Knowledge brings us to that Wisdom whereof H.P.B. speaks. Details of Rounds and Races, of the seven planes, are but peeps into the mechanism of the Universe; that Knowledge will not open the door. But H.P.B. has convinced, me that Wisdom, the experience of the soul, will guide me through this period of evolution by handing down the yeas and nays that must be made.
She warns us against seeking psychic sight out of mere curiosity and tells us that our eyes will be opened when we are ready, that the Master will stand by us when our proper work brings danger.
If the Key had not showed me than my present environment and struggles are the result of my past; if I still thought of myself as treated unjustly, so that I could not look within and see myself in the mirror of the universe, then would these three seasons have been wasted.
But, while I cannot grasp intellectually the discussions of rays, cycles, etc., yet I feel inwardly that there is a door, that this Key is denied to none, that its use depends on myself alone, and that when I can say `I will be' then this Key will give me mastery over Life and Death and consciousness of union with the ever-present divinity.
- E. S.
The stimulus of association with other students of varying mentality, and the experience of feeling free to air one's ignorance without fear of ridicule, has been of great value to me. It has opened a door to wider knowledge and broadened my sympathies with the other fellow's view. It has partly satisfied an unquenchable thirst for fuller acquaintance with the Great Unknown, and brought an appreciation of the mighty forces of Nature, the inexorable Law of Cause and Effect, and of the existence of the Divine Spark in all forms.
I enjoy a considerably extended knowledge of words, phrases, ancient writers, and an interpretation of the Bible, free from old limitations.
The doctrine of Reincarnation is no longer a nebulous dream but has become perfectly logical; but that of Karma still
puzzles me a good deal, for I do not wish to become a fatalist, still piling up debts, instead of preparing better rebirths.
I regret the controversial nature of some matters included in The Key, but am aware that H.P.B. was subjected to much
unjust criticism and perhaps her readers should participate so as to know the efforts made by a devoted few in a great cause at such a price. But my chief regret is my inability to
remember all I have learned, as I am not yet master of my mental equipment.
- W. I. G.
After two years' study of this work, my reactions are very mixed. There is regret that it is finished, that I have said goodbye to a friend with whom I had lived on intimate terms for a long period. A friend who made long street-car journeys all too short; one whose good counsel and sound judgment covered most of the problems of life here and supplied very definite answers concerning life hereafter.
Another reaction is to admit that "the Old Lady" knew what she was doing when she made her students think for themselves; now I know the principles of Theosophy better, have more appreciation of her forthright character, and deeper gratitude to Those who sent her. I am also grateful that Karma brought opportunity to study the Key with congenial companions, in pleasant surroundings.
I must admit that looking over my copy of The Key, with its evidence of much use and the marginal notes gathered at our meetings, shows me how my vocabulary has been increased. Having studied Theosophy for many years, heard many lectures and read many books, in a constant search for more Light, I would have felt free to believe that I was well informed on this subject. Yet the additional material gathered at this class shows me that I knew but little, even of my own mother tongue, and its capacities of philosophy and its history of religion and its mysteries, until this Russian lady opened my
mind to them and in a language originally foreign to her own life and thought.
- W. K.
To write all I have gained from study of The Key is not practicable, but two teachings, at least, stand above all others.
First, Reincarnation has become a reasonable and efficient mode of steady progress in evolution, and life on earth is no longer an arbitrary imprisonment of an ambitious Ego in a mere prison of body and emotions. I see that the flesh is our school wherein we learn all those lessons that make use good citizens, and that these are taught in many terms or lives.
Second, Karma is more than mere Cause and Effect in any automatic sense, but is a Law of Justice, whether it brings me to the gallows or the throne. Its awards are not affected by partiality but show the unerring functioning of Mind over Matter in the relations of the Higher and the Lower Self.
When the time comes for me to fold my tent like the Arabs and steal away to my unknown home, I hope and expect to return refreshed to run a new course, with more power and better equipment.
- A. M.
THE PHOENIX LODGE
The Orpheus Lodge has, for the last few years watched with keen interest the brave fight of the Phoenix Lodge, London, England, in its work of holding high the flag of real Theosophy in the Theosophical Society in England. We were therefore deeply interested to meet Mr. J. W. Hamilton-Jones, the President of the Phoenix Lodge when he snatched ten days from his business in Chicago, to visit us in Vancouver at our earnest request. We were very glad to learn at first hand of the work and aims of the Phoenix Lodge and the four lodges which combined to form it, and greatly interested to find that upon all essentials and important things we were in complete agreement. We ask nothing better than that we shall have an opportunity of renewing our friendship with Mr. Hamilton-Jones at some not too-distant date, and hope that he will convey to his fellow students of the Phoenix Lodge our best wishes for success in the work they are doing for Theosophy. - Communicated.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
THE ORGAN OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN CANADA
Published on the 15th of every month.
Editor - Albert E. S. Smythe.
Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
Subscription, One Dollar a Year.
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
- Felix A. Belcher, 250 N. Liagar St., Toronto.
- Maud E. Crafter, 345 Church Street, Toronto.
- William A. Griffiths, 37 Stayner Street, Westmount, P.Q.
- Nath. W. J. Haydon, 564 Pape Avenue, Toronto.
- Frederick B. Housser, 10 Glen Gowan Ave., Toronto.
- Kartar Singh, 1720 Fourth Ave. W., Vancouver, B.C.
- Was. E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver
- Albert E. S. Smythe, 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
A friend writes from the West: "The Magazine is always enlightening and inspiring and is surely doing much to make a unified but not standardized Society. Indeed it is well that the Magazine does present a healthy divergence of views."
Due to an unfortunate error on the part of the printer, Mr. Deacon's review of Richard Ince's book about Francis Bacon, "England's High Chancellor," copied from The Toronto Mail & Empire, was 'by mistake inserted in Mr. Housser's department of Theosophy and the Modern World, instead of the two articles, "An Open Letter to God'," and "Emotional Energy Cycles," which were thus delayed till the present issue.
Mr. R.C. Bingham left Toronto for his tour of the West on September 25th, and bears with him a letter of introduction from the General Secretary to members and Lodges of our Society. Mr. Bingham is a Buddhist, not a bogus one like Mr. Rub, but a real devotee of many years' acquaintance with Buddhist life and teaching, and his talks are of impressive interest to those who wish to understand the inner values of this great religion of the Eastern world.
The Boston Theosophical Society, Lodge No. 2, Point Loma, which was organized in 1886 and has been active continuously since that date, sent "fraternal greetings to the Third Fraternization Convention, meeting in Toronto and to all Theosophists. It is our heartfelt wish that the proceedings of the Convention shall be such as to inspire Theosophists everywhere, together with other men and women of like ideals, to spread an understanding of the Theosophical concept of Brotherhood, which will awaken in all men a desire to bring about its realization in human life." This was signed by G. Donne Millett, chairman, Resolutions Committee, and is a fine tribute from one of the earliest bodies formed in the Movement in America.
When Mr. F.B. Housser went to England some time ago and rented his house he placed all his household furniture, etc., including his books, in storage. He forgot about Taylor's Plato being required for further instalments for our Magazine as he had promised, and as he cannot now obtain access until he moves into his new abode, we find ourselves without copy for this month's instalment of Taylor's Introduction to Plato's writings. We hope to renew this reprinting of this valuable essay when Mr. Housser gets settled once more. It is believed that he has the only copy of the book in Canada.
Signor Mussolini has committed the destiny of his country to the arbitrament of the sword, or rather in these days of modern diabolism, to the arbitrament of high explosives, poison gas and mechanical firearms. The sword was the symbolism
of chivalry, of justice, of individual valor and skill, of face to face conflict and the exhibition of personal skill and courage. Today we fight behind Space, behind distance, behind protective devices of every description. Our idea of chivalry is to shoot the naked savage from the clouds. The lightnings of Jove are no longer flashed at the instance of Divine wrath, but at the dictation of earthly greed and aggrandizement, and with total disregard of the rights of other human beings. It is the Kali Yuga, and those who sow "fire and sword, red ruin and the breaking up of laws," can hardly expect to meet with the gracious clemency of Divine Love and Mercy.
We have had a number of letters from the West regarding Mr. Belcher's visit, all expressing the greatest gratification over his helpful interviews and constructive talks on The Secret Doctrine. Here is a sample tribute. "I must just write a note to tell you that Mr. Belcher's visit was a delight and a stimulus to all who met him. It may not be until later in the year that any meetings will materialize, but the seed has been sown, and a renewed interest is shown in Theosophy by those who had read and studied it before . . . . . Speaking personally, Mr. Belcher has done a very great deal for me, and has brought again to me the value and wealth of straight Theosophy, which was clouded by the difference of teaching and the troubles of the recent years. Without speaking a word against leaders, etc., he made one feel how quite unnecessary they are in one's contact with the Ancient Wisdom."
For the third month, for which we are indebted to the generosity of a friend, we have enlarged the magazine to 40 pages. In August it would have been impossible otherwise to pay the tribute to the memory of George W. Russell (AE) which has been widely appreciated; while last month the report of the Fraternization Convention demanded greater space than our normal 32 pages afford. This month several addresses made at the Convention we felt should not be too long delayed and therefore are now given while interest is still keen. Besides this we are keeping our promise to reprint Dr. de Purucker's White Lotus Day address, which in spirit, perhaps more completely illustrates the fraternization conception than anything not immediately designed for that purpose, has done. We trust our friends will not complain next month when we return to our ordinary modest dimensions. Even then we present more reading matter than most of the similar magazines for which the subscriptions are $2.
We regret that any members have had to be dropped from our mailing lists on account of non-payment of dues, and would remind Lodge officials that under our Constitution it is the duty of the Lodge to meet the payments of all members who are unable to carry their own burden. We feel that great efforts have been made by many members to remain in good standing, and under the heavy economic pressure on the country at the present time, which it is hoped that a new political setup may relieve, members have done the best. Under these circumstances it gives us pleasure to announce that up till the end of the year, December 31st. and not later, the kindness of a friend has enabled us to renew the offer of the last two years to pay half the dues of any member who will remit either directly or through a Lodge official the other $1.25. We would gladly abolish dues altogether but apart from the Constitutional difficulty there are obvious reasons why this cannot be done, at any rate for the present.
We have had many warnings from various quarters that the Society of Jesus, otherwise known as the Jesuits, is taking a hand in much of the so-called Theosophical and mystical literature now being published and falling into the hands of the public through channels, sometimes alleged
to be Theosophical and otherwise. Such books as Jean, Delaire's, "The Mystery Teaching in the West," for example, is suspect by some, but no really earnest Theosophical student need fear any book however produced, if he will keep in mind the caution that real Theosophy makes no claim for any leader or teacher, nor for any church, ecclesia, or society above another, but recognizes only one Master, the Alaya or World Soul on which we all rely for inspiration, the One Life that flows through us all. In honor preferring one another we can regard all claims of priority as mistaken, and bring all literature to the final test of impersonality, selflessness, and the recognition of the four links in the golden chain, universal unity and causation, human solidarity, karma and reincarnation.
The death occurred on September 30 of Mr. John Joseph Kelso in his 72nd year. He was a brother of the late Harry Kelso, a member of the Toronto Lodge for many years. Mr. J.J. Kelso was founder of the Toronto Humane Society in 1887 and organizer of the Children's Aid Society Movement in Canada. For 40 years he was Provincial Superintendent of Neglected and Dependent Children, and he was one of the greatest of Canadian social reformers. Behind him was half a century of active endeavor in behalf of under-privileged children, and thousands of distressed persons sought his advice and assistance during the term of his official duties. Born in Dundalk, Ireland, in 1874, and coming, to Toronto in his tenth year, he eventually entered newspaper work, and this brought him into touch with poverty, drunkenness, neglect of children and criminal association of children. In 1888 he created the first Children's Fresh Air Fund in Toronto, which later became such an important activity under the Toronto Daily Star. He organized the Toronto Children's Aid Society in 1890, and appealed for better school accommodation for the poor, a refuge for children taken by the police, separate trials for juvenile offenders, probation officers to act as children's friends, enforcement of newsboys' licensing regulations, formation of boys' clubs, playgrounds in poorer districts, and a Provincial officer to supervise this work. All these proposals, at first thought visionary, have been given effect. To his work as superintendent of neglected and dependent children was added in 1921 the direction of all work done under the Adoption Act and the Children of Unmarried Parents Act. Children's Aid Societies all over the country have come into existence as a result of his example. Mr. Kelso was an early advocate of compulsory school attendance, children's shelters for temporary care, free dental clinics, old age pensions, mothers' allowances and workmen's compensation. He had a hand in the organization of the University Settlement, the Central Neighborhood House, the Neighborhood Workers' Association, the Toronto Playgrounds Association and the Social Service course at the University of Toronto. He held many offices such as treasurer and vice-president of the American Humane Society, and represented Ontario at the White House Conference on Child Welfare, in 1908. There has rarely been a life more completely devoted to social welfare and kindness to little children.
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
A meeting of the General Executive of the T.S. in Canada was held on Sunday afternoon, October 6, present: Miss Crafter, Messrs. Belcher, Haydon and the General Secretary. Mr. Belcher reported on his western tour and his visit to Montreal Lodge on October 12-25 was approved. Funds were reported as about the same as last year, the membership with fewer in good standing to date, and fewer new members admitted.
AMONG THE LODGES
The Speakers at the Toronto Lodge for the five Sunday evening lectures, and their subjects were, Mr. A.E.S. Smythe, Concentration and Meditation; Mr. L. Floyd, The Law of Cause and Effect; Mr. R.C. Bingham, Gautama, Gandhi and Peace; Mr. D.W. Barr, Theosophy, the Restatement of Ancient Wisdom; Mr. L.K. Redman, Theosophy, and Masonry. On the evening of Sept. 20th, Mr. R.C. Bingham gave a travelogue in the Hall, entitled, "Monsoon Island" (Ceylon), which was well attended; after the Lecture the Executive Committee gave a reception to Mr. Bingham who is leaving shortly for the West; he represents the Ceylon Government and is their official lecturer. During his stay here of about 18 months he has been kind enough to give Radio talks, Sunday lectures and two travelogues, and the members highly appreciate his generous services, which he so willingly gave. On Sept. 18th the Lodge held the Annual meeting, at which the Officers and members of the Executive Committee were elected for the ensuing year, the results were as follows:
President, Mr. A.E.S. Smythe; 1st Vice-Pres., Lt.-Col. E.L. Thomson, D.S.O. ; 2nd Vice-Pres., Miss M. E. Crafter; Secretary, Mr. A.C. Fellows; the remaining members being, Mrs. J.K. Bailey, Mrs. O. Cable, Mr. G.I. Kinman, Mr. E.B. Dustan, Mr. R. Marks, Mrs. L. Anderton, Mr. W. King, Mr. N.W.J. Haydon, Mrs. E.B. Dustan, Miss M. Henderson and Mr. J.R. Catterall. At the meeting of the Executive Committee the following appointments were made. Mrs. J.K. Bailey, Treasurer; Miss, A. Wood, Librarian; Mr. D.W. Barr, Editor of T.S. News. The Chairmen of Committees are, Finance, Mr. G.I. Kinman; Property, Mr. R. Marks; Programme, Mr. E.B. Dustan; Class, Mrs. E.B. Dustan; Publicity, Mrs. E.B. Dustan; Reception, Mrs. O. Cable; House, Mrs. L. Anderton; Radio, Lt.-Col. E.L. Thomson, D.S.O. Arrangements are being made to have monthly illustrated lectures during the Fall and Winter months, under the management of Mr. R. Marks. Mr. N.W.J. Haydon has been appointed to make the necessary arrangements for Commemoration day, which falls on Sunday Nov. 17. A Committee for making arrangements for the holding of a bazaar has been appointed, under the chairmanship of Mr. G.I. Kinman, the date fixed for holding it is Nov. 29th and 30th. Gifts suitable for Bookstall, Home Cooking, Gift Shop, White Elephant Stall, Cafeteria, Etc., will be most acceptable, and can he sent to 52 Isabella St., Toronto, addressed to Mr. G.I. Kinman.
Mr. Belcher arrived in Salmon Arm on the evening of July 7th and we had the pleasure of having him with us until the 10th. On Monday afternoon we had two enquirers, and in the evening a group of nineteen interested students met to hear him; he told us of the lines of study of the "Secret Doctrine" that he is following in his Toronto classes; bringing out their method of finding the same Truth from many angles. This largely involved the development of the faculties of intuition. These may be directly spontaneous or sometimes be awakened by the perception of some fresh point of contact or of scientific discovery; and may often become dynamic without the will or knowledge of the personality. He emphasized the point that all students should endeavor to develop these powers which are more or less latent, and thus broaden their perceptions to things behind the veil of Maya. A period of questions followed, showing the keen interest that had been taken. Tuesday afternoon was spent at the home of Mrs. C.J.R. Stirling, who had previously met Mr. Belcher and heard him speak at Toronto. On Tuesday evening he intensely interested some of our younger friends by bringing out the prophecies in the Secret Doctrine on Science and Astronomy and their fulfillment. Of the group who met Mr. Belcher four years ago,
very few remained, many having left the district or passed the Great Divide; amongst the latter was Mrs. Coates-Coleman, at the age of eighty-two; at whose home in Winnipeg some of the earliest T.S. meetings were held. We hope to form a study group on Mr. Belcher's lines during the coming winter, and shall look forward to a return visit from him.
- Ray and Joe Gardner.
DEATH OF J. H. STANFORD
Joseph Hunt Stanford, Toronto architect and authority on Charles Dickens, died on Thursday, October 3, at his home, 17 Westmoreland Ave., Toronto, after a long illness, in his 64th year.
Mr. Stanford was the author of several books of poems, including "Miriam and Other Poems", as well as a number of dramatizations of the works of Dickens. He was formerly president of the Toronto Dickens Fellowship and vice-president of the Toronto Theosophical Society.
Head of the firm of architects, J. Hunt Stanford and Son, he was born in Tipton, Staffs, England, in 1871 and educated at Wesleyan Commercial schools, Onslow College of Art and South Kensington School of Art. He came to Canada in 1902. In 1911 he was elected a licentiate of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Mr. Stanford went overseas with the 170th Battalion, C.E.F., served two years in France as a quarter-master-sergeant, and was mentioned in dispatches for distinguished service.
He is survived by his wife, two sons, Leo Hunt Stanford, and Geoffrey Hunt Stanford, and one daughter, Mrs. Phyllis Treloar.
Mr. Stanford was a member for a quarter of a century or more of the Theosophical Society, and filled many offices in the Toronto Lodge. He was the architect of the Toronto Theosophical Hall, and with Alfred Cornwell and H. Tweedie was one of the three trustees who bought the property in 1918. He was also an important member of the Dickens Fellowship, Toronto Branch, and had filled the offices of President and Vice-President and acted on the Executive for many years. The funeral was held on Saturday, 5th inst., at Miles' Mortuary Chapel and the Necropolis Crematory, the service being conducted by request of the deceased, by Albert Smythe, General Secretary of the T.S. in Canada and President of the Toronto T.S. Mr. Stanford desired to be known as a Buddhist and left written directions that the Buddhist formula should be repeated at the service, with extracts from other Eastern, Scriptures. Mr. S.J. Manchester paid a tribute to Mr. Stanford's work in the Dickens Fellowship. A very large number of friends and members of the T.S. and the Dickens Fellowship were in attendance.
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
BOOKS on THEOSOPHICAL and ALLIED SECTS
kept in stock and procured to order. My list sent on request.
N. W. J. HAYDON
564 PAPE APE., TORONTO (8)
HIGHER SPIRITUALITY IN JUNG
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - I have read with much interest and some dismay, be it confessed, the letter appearing in the August 15th issue of The Canadian Theosophist from the pen of Maude Bernard of London, in comment on my article on the "Psychology of the New Age", which appeared in the May 15th issue. I hasten to disavow any possible lack of recognition of the value of Jung's work in the newer psychology, particularly as regards his recognition of spiritual values. As it stands, the paragraph referred to might, on casual reading,,give this impression and one can only say that while "brevity may be the soul of wit", it may also be the cause of misunderstandings.
Since the matter appears to be of some importance, further discussion and amplification seems advisable. In the article referred to it was stated that "Jung made an advance on the Freudian psychology for he recognized a realm of thought common to the whole race of mankind. This, he called the `unconscious'." From it, it was said, emerged the sex-life of Freud, and from it also came those racial images and memories which are given to us in myth and legend, in poetry and drama, and in the creative works of the true artist. Yet the existence of higher spiritual and mental realms seems never to have occurred to Jung. (The italics have been inserted to emphasize the points at issue in the present discussion). The reader will note that two almost diametrically opposed, sometimes even antagonistic, manifestations of the creative urge are recognized by Jung. On the one hand there is the Freudian continuum of the sex life. On the other there is the higher creative. There is no wish on my part to deny to Jung the recognition of spiritual values, yet there exists in my mind a very definite feeling that his unconscious realm suffers from absence of a recognition of the necessity for the keeping of what we may here term the
spiritual and psychic realms apart. In Theosophical parlance it is tantamount to a confusion of Buddhi-manas and Kama-manas, and to a fusion of the two planes into one. This feeling persists even in spite of the Jung's magnificent commentary to The Secret of the Golden Flower; and, in spite of his invaluable references to the works of the Eastern Teachers.
It is true, as Miss Bernard points out, that Jung's "unconscious" may be considered to parallel H.P.B.'s anima mundi, and in an abstract philosophical sense it is true that "The Astral Light sands in the same relation to Akasa and Anima Mundi as Satan stands to the Deity - they are one and the same thing seen from two aspects." (S.D. I., 197, quoted by Maude Bernard). And it is likewise reasonable as she also says: "Alaya is literally the 'soul of the world' or Anima Mundi, the `Over Soul' of Emerson... (S.D. I., 48, also quoted by Maud)2 Bernard). From this point of view Jung's unconscious would contain both Satanic and god-like elements. Yet, for the purposes of reason it seems necessary to make a sharp and clear-cut distinction between the "unconscious" content which arises from the psychic or vital realm below mind and that which enters it from above, no matter how much the one may be the reflection of the other.
It has become the fashion of late in the West to divide the mind into several levels; first the thinking conscious mind, which reasons, observes, reflects, and exercises its judgments on the things of the day; next the sub-conscious, that which in some peculiar fashion has control over the body, which stores up emotional remembrances, and which becomes more of a nuisance than a help if the Freudian psychologist is right; and lastly, in some few quarters, the unconscious is postulated. This latter is a realm, apparently, in which racial memories are stored up, a realm of mind from which the primordial symbols of our thinking and beliefs emerge. According to Jung it is from this realm that we derive our symbol patterns which form the identical
bases of all myth and legend. This realm with Jung, as anyone can readily see for himself if he but reads Jung's Psychological Types, has a curious erotic cast, as if some reflection from the lower animal man were caught to form the image pattern for something higher.
Some rationalization of these various categories seems to be needed, doubly so to the Theosophist. It were better, it would seem, to reserve the word unconscious for that portion of the mind which is concerned purely and simply with the organic processes of life as they proceed within the human body. (It were better still to discard the word mind entirely in this use). Of these processes we as conscious beings are utterly ignorant. The term subconscious then would be reserved for that borderland between the unconscious and the conscious where the emotions have their play, and certain types of memory are made manifest. It would then become very largely only the garbage-heap of the emotions. To provide for spiritual values and the higher manifestations of the creative urge we would next be forced to draw these out from Jung's unconscious, which now pertains only to the animal within, and to set them apart on some super-conscious level not ordinarily accessible to consciousness. On this level the purer forms of creative fancy, given to artist, poet, scientist, and philosopher, would have their being. It must be from some such realm that our intuitions arise, the ethical teachings of a Buddha, of a Christ.
Plato recognized such a plane of being as did most of the older teachers. Hermes, who was one of the Neo-Platonic writers said: "From the beginning, therefore, and at first, the soul was united to the gods and its unity to their one. But afterwards the soul departing from this divine union descended into intellect, and no longer possessed real beings unitedly, and in one, but apprehended and surveyed them by simple projections, and as it were, contacts of its intellect. In the next place, departing from intellect and descending into reasoning and dianoia, it no loner apprehended real beings by intuition, but syllogisticallly and transitively, proceeding from one thing to another, from propositions to conclusions. Afterwards, abandoning true reasoning and the dissolving peculiarity, it descended into generation and became filled with much irrationality and perturbation. (Hermes: Scholia in Plato's Phaedrus in Thomas Taylor's translation of lamblichus on the Mysteries o f the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Assyrians. The italics are mine).
Some such division into planes of existence seems to be called for in modern psychology and it would seem to me that it would add much of clarity to Jung's work if his "unconscious" were explicitly divided into one portion having to do with "intellect" and another having to do with "generation".
One should carefully distinguish between the plane on which consciousness functions and consciousness itself. In a way, indeed, it is possible for us to be conscious on or of a certain range of perceptions on four planes. We can be conscious of the data concerning the physical world conveyed to us by our senses, we can be conscious of the surging flow of the emotions, we can be conscious of the cool and reasoned things of the mind, and lastly of the intuitive things which come to us from the realm of intellect, and which are exceedingly difficult to phrase in ordinary language.
The path of Yoga, and Jung's middle way, would apparently do more for us than merely make us aware of the things we already recognize, if that were all there would be little efficacy in them. They must bring us to a much enhanced consciousness of the nature and being of the several planes not only as they function within ourselves but in their totality. If this be so then it would seem to be somewhat futile to gain a more intimate knowledge of the unconscious, if it should pertain to a realm lower than that of mind. Not that a clairvoyant apperception of it
might not be useful. Indeed we are told that we shall have to pass through that which for want of a better term we can somewhat loosely call the astral.
Furthermore the postulation of a plane of being above mind, to which we can refer a portion, the spiritual portion, of Jung's unconscious gives us a place for the mystical experience, an experience which must in its essence be identical to that gained through occultism even though the path be different.
Mysticism is more than an attitude; it in some way seems to be intimately associated with a higher level of being than that on which our consciousness normally functions, a higher level to which it can be raised at times. So that to say that a person is a mystic should be to say that he is conscious of or in those realms above mind in contradistinction of those below. The quantitative measurement of the mystical approach would then require an estimation of the degree in which the mystic's consciousness is raised from the sensory data of the world of experience through mind, and into the realm of the archetypal or intellectual, or even beyond to the realm where the "soul was united to the gods and its unity to their one."
We should remember that when we discuss mysticism or the mystical experience we are only discussing that which the mystics have said about it. And, it would seem that the true essence of the mystical experience is essentially incommunicable to those who have never had it. One could hardly tell a fish much about the clouds and trees and sunshine he had never seen. So that the literature of the subject is largely symbolic, as indeed most of our language is, and being symbolic it has largely drawn its symbolism from the plane which is its lower projection - the generative. This accounts for the at times, somewhat erotic cast found in the mystical literatures. The Sufi poems have it, the Tarot cards also, and Dante beatified his Beatrice, to mention only three instances. This characteristic Jung recognizes but, I think, hardly gives it its true interpretation.
While it is true, of course, that ultimately we shall have to postulate an Absolute, a fundamental unity in the Universe, and while, in consequence, we shall have to recognize a unity amongst the various categories of mind, yet to make progress in our thinking about such things we would do well to also recognize a discreteness, if only for the time being. One can not do much with or about the Absolute.
The division here advocated corresponds to that of the four elements and for the sake of such interest as it may have, the following very incomplete table is appended: -
1. The Element of Earth: The physical world, that which science studies, matter in space and time; The Indian Sthula.
2. The Element of Water: The psychic plane; the passional or emotional; some say the animal soul has its home on this plane; the Indian Kama; apparently the plane from whence the living physical form derives its life energies; the lower part of Jung's unconscious pertains to this plane, as likewise does the group soul of the animal; this is the realm of generation of Hermes.
3. The Element of Air: The mental realm, the home of the reasoning mind which uses the data derived from the senses of living form as a ground for its reasoning; The Indian Manas; the home ordinarily of consciousness; the realm of reason according to Hermes.
4. The Element of Fire: The so-called spiritual world, the Platonic Archetypal; the realm of intellect according to Hermes; the realm from which we draw our notions of Goodness, Truth and Beauty. Both this realm and that of water are essential for the exercise of reason: from this we gain the general, from that of water, the particular; Reason works between the two, from sensory data to general law. This is the Indian Buddhi.
The sub-conscious will fit into the above classification since it can be considered as
the meeting place between air and water or in the Indian classification it is Kama Manas.
-W. F. Sutherland.
171 Dawlish Ave.,
THE SUPREMACY OF ETHICS
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - It appears that your correspondent on "Silent Revolution" appearing in your last issue takes a rather one-sided view on the points mooted, and at the same time being tolerably cock-sure that many Theosophists will be of similar opinion as himself. Perhaps he is right in his opinion about Theosophists and perhaps not; anyway two of them - the writer of "Silent Rev." and he of "God Save the King" - do not share his opinions, and neither does the present writer, but as it is impossible to arrive at any unbiased conclusion on the two-factor basis the better plan for the theosophical statement to follow would be to ascertain what Theosophy itself says on the subject. Specifically, there does not appear to be much wrong with the dicta of the "Times", for to "ensure the supremacy of ethics over economics" appears to be precisely the orientation of the Movement, though of course applicable to other fields than that of the purely economic. In the Mahatma Letters published in the "Occult World" it is stated that the idea is to raise energies to a plane of higher intellection. This - or words to that effect, - was published in 1881. And as far as can be seen there seem no reason to disregard them in 1935.
As for the points raised against the "immense advantages" of the Capitalistic regime, it does not appear just or even sensible to pick out a few excrescences of the last decade or so as being the main contributions of a system which has now been in vogue for several hundred of years.
It would appear that in the two ages mentioned by the "Times" - the Feudal and Commercial, not necessarily Fascist - the initial period of each witnessed an efflorescence of talent. True that of the Feudal disappears into the mythological, though for the matter of that the Renaissance in architecture requires some explanation, but that of the Commercial is amply testified to by history boiled down, it may be said, that its early stages were characterized by a common tendency to take risks in commercial ventures which do not obtain today in its more or less degenerate form, inclining one to the view, that considered as a whole, this regime has developed `immense advantages', and that the more correct attitude would be to enquire into the causes which brought about the mismanagement that resulted in the isolated effects quoted by Mr. Middleton. Moreover, students of Theosophy need not be reminded that it is now several thousands of years ago, since Manu spoke specifically anent these groupings. As a matter of fact he included a third - the fourth being a synthesis of the three, in Embryo. This to one side for the time, it seems to be fairly patent that if such inherent qualifications existed in homo sapiens so many thousands of years ago, it seems extremely unlikely that they will disappear at the mere waving of the wand of 20th century savoir faire. With impunity of course - with impunity. Thus we may infer that the true course of Theosophical enquiry would appear to be into the debauchment of any particular grouping which seems to be fairly covered by the "Times" tacit suggestion.
As for the introduction of Fascism into the question we do not think this is quite correct. There appears to be only two ways: Progression, and Retrogression. Fascism may be a temporary halting place, but will swing toward one of these poles. It is in fact an indeterminate stage. The characteristics of Advance seems to be the possession of some ideal in which effort is implicit, and the characteristics of its opposite is lack of ideal, being simply gravitation - one falls to it, not having the energy to advance.
Specifically the former is represented by
Democracy; the latter by Revolution.
The Fascist is also characterized by the presence of an ideal - a very palpable one. In the Anglo-Saxon democracies the ideal is much less apparent, but it is not imposed thus allowing the individual freedom of choice within certain limits. Freedom of choice implies growth, for whichever way the choice is made it can not be made without the exercise of some responsibility. In the Fascist regime the ideal is imposed, thus precluding the power of choice; so we may infer that its answer is not a final, but will as intimated, swing to one of the polarities of Democracy or Revolution. Probably the latter as may be seen in one instance in a matter of months. Mr. Middleton has evidently not understood the writer of "God Save the King" as the latter is most explicit in his 2nd and 3rd paragraphs. Before entering into any discussions of King and People however, it would be well to familiarize onself with the Constitution. This is unwritten therefore fluidic, adapting itself to the need of the people as they arise. Since Magna Carta and before, if the gestation period is reckoned - the people of these isles have been engaged in a struggle for constitutional liberty, which has become embodied in the Constitution and in the lives of the People and their King. This is most important as it indicates a grasp - intuitive if not intellectual, on the part of the people - of the realities of life, inclining them to view askance mushroom growths of reform. Anyone who has witnessed the spontaneous ebulution of feeling evidenced at the Jubilee celebrations could not be entirely satisfied with the explanation that such was merely an emotional response to the personalities of the King and Queen. It is this in truth, but very much more, a fact - though a metaphysical one - which Geo. Lansbury no doubt recognized.
And suppose we should transpose the message as Mr. Middleton suggests - What of it? Why should not Theosophists of all people recognize merit wherever it be found regardless of the shape and material of the vessel containing it? In other words does the fact of being Pope nullify all merit?
Such a conclusion appears too one-sided and merits a further consideration of `Render unto Ceasar' et seq. The writer of `God Save the King' appears to us to clinch the matter. He says: "No person in the Empire has fulfilled his job more dutifully than King George."
Discerning Theosophists needn't be reminded that duties aren't all beer and skittles and that their performance requires sustained effort. Knowing such to be the case they will spontaneously salute one who so does; for whether such be King, Pope or Peasant outwardly, inwardly he is a man - a rare avis, indeed!
- T. B. Clayton.
247 Bradford Road,
Brighouse, Yorkshire, July 29.
DEMOCRACY vs. REVOLUTION
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - Enclosed herewith are some personal reactions to change of environment brought to a head by your correspondent on Silent Revolution. Perhaps they are merely ipso dixits; perhaps, adumbrating some knowledge of principle involved. I send it - to use or not use as you please.
I don't quite "get" the political orientation. The "die-hard" - if there be any considering that we have moved in space in the past decade - is stable: one foot at any rate being on the ground. Labour under Lansbury - who never misses a chance of introducing brotherhood - is O.K., but its rank and file - aren't; at least samples, which I've contacted. The Government may be trading too much on the past. As one fellow said the other night: "If the Government want a no party basis - it should listen, and the character of the Opposition should be changed from opposition to Proposition." Likely enough Lloyd George's New Deal will be taken up by Labour and the coming election might see changes.
Personally, I do not see much in this welter of opinion. Democracy v. Revolu-
tion is the issue. The Constitutions of the two A. S. democracies are worthy of note and study by every Theosophist. The British seems to me to be analogous to Samsara. Revolution is simply mob blindness which may be precipitated by those too blind or indifferent to see. Personally, this gold braid which seems to go down here, has little appeal coming as I do from the West. All the same it has its point, like the American worship of the Golden Calf it tends to keep down charlatanism, but it might go too far and inhibit real initiative. I dislike kow-towing to voters, both as regards myself and others. People admire and then promptly - flop. This is N. G. Brotherhood isn't draping oneself around another's neck. I can't say that I get it correct as I'm probably too much in alignment with the contempt side; 35 years ago I decided that if evolution meant climbing over some one else's body to advance, I wouldn't advance. I won't in 1935, mainly I surmise, because there is naught in this old tin-pot, grandiloquently called civilization, that is worth the effort. Yours sincerely,
- Thos. B. Clayton.
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF H. P. B.
It is a good deal of a success in the task undertaken to reprint all the writings identifiable of Madame Blavatsky that the work has reached its fourth volume, and that the third is now printed and in circulation. Even if only the fugitive articles can be gathered together in this form it will be a real triumph in paying tribute to the memory and the work of one who is sure to be regarded in the course of time as the shining star of the late nineteenth century. This may sound extravagant to those who have not been delivered out of the bondage of theological and scientific iniquity by her message, but it only needs to compare the thought of a hundred years ago with that of today to realize how great a rift has been made in that darkness, and it is not difficult to find the window through which the glorious light first beamed out.
In what has been done we must recognize the unselfish and public-spirited part played in the work by the H.P.B. Centennial Committee of the Point Loma Theosophical Society, who have undertaken the Herculean task of collecting, typing and otherwise preparing the copy, and who, in order that there should not be the slightest suggestion of particularism or sectarianism about the work, have been perfectly willing that these labors should receive no acknowledgment in the book itself. "As an unattached Theosophist," writes this correspondent, "who is fully cognizant of all the circumstances connected with the publication of the Complete H.P.B., I am in a position to say of the Point Loma friends that they deserve the appreciative thanks of H.P.B. Students everywhere for the years of ungrudging labor which has made the publication possible."
In this, we heartily concur, and it is a signal fact that should not be ignored that this service of impersonal cooperation and devotion has been called forth by H.P. Blavatsky, and that probably no other influence could inspire such service nor effect such results. At any rate here we have the third volume, covering the years, 1881-82, and it is difficult to enumerate even the variety of the subjects dealt with. The drift of opinion through the pages, indicates the explorations of mind and thought she had in order to touch the consciousness of her time, and her efforts from the beginning to influence and alter the tendencies of spiritualistic investigation are of major importance up till this period. Gradually she found that it was useless to pursue this line, and it was abandoned for the more congenial adventure of current religion and science.
One of the first articles that holds us in this volume is that on Lamas and Druses; in which she suggests that the religious system of the Druses is one of the last survivals of the archaic Wisdom Religion.
Of course she follows with many evidences to confirm this opinion. On page 24 there is an interesting figure of the races of men, 1332 millions, presumably passing through incarnating evolution in this stage. Of these, 666 millions will be annihilated in the wink of an eye. One has to refer to the Pythagorean Table of Numbers for these figures which are based also on 70x1x2x3x4 plus 70x4x3x2 equal to 1330, which, as a cycle of years, may indicate the return to physical incarnation.
In Stars and Numbers (page 30) she quotes Porphyry, - "The numerals of Pythagoras were hieroglyphical symbols, by means whereof he explained all ideas concerning the nature of all things." On page 40 we have a suggestive remark about Eliphas Levy, which may be transferred to other clerics. "Though personally we are far from agreeing with all his opinions - for having been a priest, Eliphas Levi could never rid himself to his last day of a certain theological bias - we are yet prepared to always lend a respectful ear to the teachings of so learned a Kabalist."
On page 47 she lays down a policy for Theosophical editors which we should be proud to follow - "Believing no mortal man is infallible, nor claiming that privilege for ourselves, we open our columns to the discussion of every view and opinion, provided it is not proved absolutely supernatural." And therefore, - "As every other person blessed with brains instead of calves'-feet jelly in his head, we certainly have our opinions upon things in general, and things occult especially, to some of which we hold very firmly. But these being our personal views, and though we have as good a right to them as any, we have none whatever to force them for recognition upon others."
On page, 58 she pays tribute to "the admirable moral qualities and intellectual endowments of our lamented friend, the late Epes Sargent." A brief but significant article on The Five-Pointed Star bristles with occult knowledge. Another valuable article filling six pages deals with the "Himalayan Brothers." Fifty pages following are filled with Stray Thoughts on Death and Satan, Fragments of Occult Truth, and a short but pregnant article on Karma. An article on Superstition denounces the belief in and fear of Satan. "Trance Mediums" are dealt with on page 184 et seq. There are several passages relating to the Elementals throughout the volume. A reply to Gerald Massey at page 200 raises the question. "The Sevenfold Principle in Man" fills 18 pages at page 213. "Reincarnations in Tibet" will answer many queries put by the public. A good specimen of H.P.B.'s fine slashing critical style is met on page 282 in "Doomed!" but this is far from being a solitary instance.
Altogether the volume is a collegiate course in Theosophical training. It is well printed and issued in good style by The House of Rider, price 15/- nett. We observe typographical errors on pages; 18, 32, 39, 54, 140, 141 (two), 155, 178, 217 (where the sign equal to is substituted for the sign minus in a formula), 225, 313 and 321. An excellent Index concludes then 345 pages of the volume.
"THE MYSTERY TEACHING IN THE WEST"
Here is one of the most important books that we have had since 1891. Of course there is little that is actually new, but the whole presentation of the material is so concise, so lucid, and so apt that every reader, whether orthodox, heterodox or out of the police docks, will appreciate its importance and its appeal. It does not take the place of earlier books like Kingsland's Esoteric Basis of Christianity, or Rev. A. Henderson's, The Wheel of Life, nor F.G. Montagu Powell's Studies in the Lesser Mysteries, and other similar manuals, but this little book summarizes and supplements them, and will help to knot together the conclusions of students of larger treatises.
It is valuable as dealing with the Christian mythos and in helping the reader to get away from the delusion of a personal
God, while problems of initiation and other developments of consciousness are dealt with in a sensible manner. It should help to start many readers on as systematic study of comparative religion, and this is a great and vital need among Theosophic students who are tempted to leave this valuable field for the maunderings of psychics and pseudo-psychics who are merely impostors.
The spirit of the book may be understood by a quotation from page 26 where, speaking of the lack of understanding of the disciples of Christ, it is said: "Those who came after understood still less. They had not in the words of Bishop Papias, themselves seen the Lord, nor heard the abiding voice; and while for many years to come, the Mysteries of Jesus kept alive the inner core of his doctrine, the multitude soon came to forget the Mystery within the mysteries, and materialized the doctrine of the Heart into the rigid formalism of Church dogmas."
Later we read: "Organized religion, all the world over, is face to face with this situation and dimly aware of its peril: and this applies as much to Christianity as to any other of the great religions, for by its repudiation of Gnosticism it has partly cut itself off from the wisdom aspect of its creeds, that Brahma-vidya or Science of the Eternal which alone can carry it unscathed into the Thought-world of the future."
The identification of the Gnosis in the teachings of the New Testament therefore becomes the duty of the student. It is not an easy path for the devout Christian who has taken his stand by the letter of the Word rather than by the Spirit. "To the devout Christian who, for the first time in his life, hears it stated that the narrative of the Passion is among the least historical of the Gospel records, it may well seem as if the foundations of his faith were crumbling before his eyes . . . . . Yet this attitude is simply due to the mental habit of our modern Western world which tends always to place the emphasis on the objective, the concrete, the unmistakably material aspects of life, and in consequence to consider nothing real which cannot be apprehended by our physical senses." (page 141).
The symbolism of the ages of which such a striking example has recently been discovered in Somersetshire, is gradually being interpreted to the world, and the parables of the past will surely become the science of the future. Jean Delaire, the French author of this book has certainly done well in bringing so much of the truth into so charming a presentation. (Rider & Co., London, 5/-).
" YOU "
Dr. Arundale has produced in his new volume entitled "You" a book which may well become one of the most popular expositions of Theosophy that has reached the great outer world. It is couched in familiar language and deals with the basic social and ethical elements of Theosophy in a way that creates no difficulty for "the wayfaring men, though fools." It is so simple one can imagine some people thinking it too simple, but this is one of the secrets of Theosophy that it always was simple till sophisticated persons mixed it up with their conceit and made it opaque.
Dr. Arundale cannot refrain from being rhetorical but his is not too academic in this effort, and he adds the right touch of Solomonic wisdom to appeal to the masses. He arouses curiosity by such statements as: "Theosophy is the eternal answer to those questions about life which sooner or later must be asked, and must be answered." Nor does he fail to give a good presentation of the answers. It is but rarely we are inclined to question his answers, as when he asserts that in reincarnation, "each individual moves within a comparatively limited circle of other individuals throughout the whole of his evolutionary process." This prospect of being left to stew in our own juice for ever and ever is of course derived from the absurd "Life of Alcyone." Nor are we convinced that there is "no such stage of consciousness
as that expressed, in the term `wickedness'."
There is much useful content on the subjects of Education, the larger human "family", your circumstances, ("you are born poor because you have invested, in one way or in another, in poverty. But your very poverty contains that wherewith you shall overcame poverty"), your Leisure, your world in Peace and War, (only as hate and ignorance disappear will war disappear), (Peace is the outward and visible sign of Wisdom), on Decision-making.
"You and Love" is an engaging chapter. Dr. Arundale evidently believes it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. "While it lasts it is eternal, and that is enough," he remarks. The chapters after this open more ground for differences of view, but we can honestly recommend the book as a thought-provoker, and one that should lead the student to seek further and deeper for the treasures of the Divine Wisdom. (Theosophical Publishing House, $2.50).
We wear no black; we are not sad
When dear ones enter into rest;
When Heaven rejoices, saints are glad,
We wear no black, we are not sad,
We dream of all the joys we had,
We know the bliss that crowns the blest
We wear no black; we are not sad
When dear ones enter into rest.
- A. E. S. S.
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, 919 SOUTH BERNAL AVENUE, Los Angeles, California
THEOSOPHY UP TO DATE!
EVOLUTION: As Outlined in The Archaic Eastern Records
Compiled and Annotated by Basil Crump.
S. Morgan Powell says in Montreal Star: "It is a great pity that there are not available more books such as this one by the Oriental scholar, Basil Crump .... Man is shown to be (and scientifically, not merely through philosophical dissertation) the highly complex product of three streams of evolution - spiritual, mental and physical.
BUDDHISM: The Science of Life.
By Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump.
This book shows that the Esoteric philosophy of H.P. Blavatsky is identical with the Esoteric Mahayana Buddhism of China, Japan and Tibet.
THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE.
Translated and Annotated by H. P. Blavatsky.
A faithful reprint of the original edition with an autograph foreword by H.S.H. The Tashi Lama of Tibet. Notes and Comments by Alice L. Cleather and Basil Crump. H.P.B. Centenary Edition, Peking, 1931. Third Impression.
THE BLAVATSKY PAMPHLETS.
There are ten of these already published and they deal with various aspects of The Secret Doctrine, several of them being reprints of articles by H. P. Blavatsky.
The above may be had from The H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Road, Victoria, B.C., or The O. E. Library, 1207 Q Street N.W., Washington, D.C., or from The Blavatsky Association, 26 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W. 8, England.
Books by Wm. Kingsland
The Mystic Quest.
The Esoteric Basis of Christianity.
The Physics of the Secret Doctrine.
Our Infinite Life.
An Anthology of Mysticism.
The Real H. P. Blavatsky.
Christos: The Religion of the Future.
The Art of Life.
The Great Pyramid.
May be had from JOHN M. WATKINS, 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W.C. 2, England.
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by F. B. Housser
GNOSTICISM - A LINK
A recent international Theosophical lecturer has spoken of the fallacy of considering Christianity "a bolt from the blue", a striking new message to an ignorant world.
In how many of us raised with the background of Christian orthodox tradition has the fallacy taken deep rooting. Practically from our infancy upward, from the teachings of the home, school, Sunday school and Church, we have been taught that the man, Jesus of Nazareth came, a direct messenger from the Hebrew Jehovah, to show a degraded mankind how to live. Of the high ideals and practices of the many religio-philosophic communities which were scattered over most of the then known civilized world, we are told nothing - whether through ignorance, prejudice or lack of understanding is difficult to state. In fact so terribly little is ever said of contemporary religious life of that time, and that little almost exclusively condemnatory, that it is small wonder that the name `Gnostic' means nothing to the majority of us.
Gnosticism and Christianity
But even a superficial study of translations of the few original Gnostic documents reveals the identity of many of their beliefs with those set out in the New Testament. It cannot but incline the student to the belief, seeing that these Gnostic works date both before and after the time Jesus is believed to have taught, that the sect which grew up around this figure was very similar to many other sects existing at that time, with ideals as high. (Pre-Mosaic Gnostic doctrines mentioned by H.P.B., S.D., II., 101 - Footnote). In fact many of the Gnostic writers were plainly of greater education than those responsible for the Gospels and an examination of their work throws great light for the student of Theosophy on the relationship between the Ancient Wisdom and Christian teachings as we know them. The authority of the Gnostic teachings is assured us by H.P.B. (II, 407).
It is not the fault of the teachings of Jesus that they have been interpreted so literally and with such an exclusive tendency down the centuries, but of the persons in whose hands the teachings fell.
"It is His Disciple
(Ere Those Bones are dust)
Who shall change the Charter
Who shall split the Trust -
Rationalize the claim,
Preaching that the Master
Would have done the same."
The great number of Gnostic sects and their wide variety of tenets makes any classification of them a task far beyond the writer's ability, but George R.S. Mead's book, `Fragments of a Faith Forgotten' is an extremely interesting and complete standard on the subject. This essay is limited to an examination of a few of the simple Gnostic views on Creation, the Ineffable, the Christ, and Salvation.
From the Carpocratian sect comes the teaching on Creation that the "sensible world was made by the fabricating powers, or builders, far inferior to the ineffable power of the unknown, ingenerable Father." From the Sethians, "All genera and species and individuals, nay, the heaven and earth itself, are images of 'seals'; they are produced according to certain preexistent types."
The resemblance between this teaching and that of the Secret Doctrine on "archetypes" is very apparent. As H.P.B. says (II. 65) "These Gnostics were nearer in time to the records of the Archaic Secret
Doctrine, and therefore ought to be allowed to have known what it contained better than non-initiated Christians, who took upon themselves, hundreds of years later, to remodel and correct what was said."
The Sethians taught further, and this should be of interest to those of the scientific turn of mind, that "It was from the first concourse of the three original principles or powers (their trinity of Light, Spirit and Darkness) that the first great form was produced, the impression of the great seal, namely, heaven and earth. This is symbolized by the world-egg in the womb of the universe, and the rest of creation is worked out on the analogy. The egg is in the waters which are thrown into waves by the creative power and it depends upon the nature of the waves as to what the various creatures will be". (G.R.S. Mead here draws attention to the similarity of the above to the theory of vibrations and the germ-cell idea).
Gnostic ideas on the Ineffable, the Absolute, were much higher than those known to us in the Old and New Testaments. As H.P.B. says (Isis Unveiled, II., 157) - "Neither in the oriental Kabala nor in Gnosticism was the `God of All' even anthropomorphized".
To the sect of the Docetae the Primal Being was symbolized as the mathematical point which is everywhere, containing in itself infinite potentialities. To an early `Ophite' system of Gnosticism there were three principles of the Universe: (1) the Good, or all-wise Deity; (2) the Father or Spirit, the creative power, called Elohim; and (3) the World-Soul, symbolized as a woman above the middle and a serpent below, called Eden, meaning Pleasure or Desire. This trinity resembles the esoteric Mahat, Fohat and Primordial Matter or Prakriti of the Secret Doctrine.
To the Asiatic Gnostics, the Jehovah of the Jews was considered to be one of the seven creative angels, planetary spirits, far down in the scale from the Ineffable. (S.D III., 115) The Cainites also taught that the Creator of the world was not the God over all, but a much inferior power.
It is on the subject of Christology that we approach the Gnostic tenet perhaps most delicate of explanation. It is true to say that to Gnosticism generally the Christ was thought of as the spirit within which struggles to raise man to a realization of the divinity of his true Self which is incarnated in the physical body; and, that the man Jesus was of such pure character that his Christ Principle could speak through him to help his fellows on the path of realization. H.P.B. says quite definitely that "Christos" with the Gnostics meant the Impersonal Principle, the Atman of the Universe, and the Atma within every man's soul - and not Jesus". (S.D., I, 157).
To the early Christian Initiate Paul, Christ is not a person but an embodied idea. "If any man is in Christ he is a new creation", he is reborn, as after initiation, for the Lord is spirit - the spirit of man. Paul was the only one of the apostles who understood the secret ideas underlying the teachings of Jesus". (S.D., III, 123)
A Gnostic Gem
Closely interwoven with the Christ teachings are those on the idea of salvation. A gem from the Gnostic system of Monoimus echoes the keynote of Theosophical teaching.
"Cease to seek after God as being without thee, and the universe, and things similar to these, seek Him from out of thyself, and learn who it is who once and for all appropriateth all in Thee unto Himself, and sayeth: `My god, my mind, my reason, my soul, my body...' and if thou should'st closely investigate these things, thou wilt find Him in thyself, one and many, just as the atom; thus finding from thyself a way out of thyself."
Not even a hazy sketch of some Gnostic ideas is complete without mention of the greatest of their literature, the `Pistis
Sophia.' Thought by many to be some of the secret teachings of Jesus to his disciples, it has for the theosophical student many vital hints on esoteric doctrine, and for the orthodox Christian a deeper understanding of the Gospels. There is inspiration in such passages, put in the mouth of Jesus, as the following:
"Know ye not, and do ye not understand that ye are all angels, all archangels, gods and lords, all rulers, all the great invisibles, all those of the midst, those of every region of them that are on the right, all the great ones of the emanations of the light with all their glory; that ye are all of yourselves and in yourselves in turn, from one mass and one matter, and one substance; ye are all from the same mixture." (Pistis Sophia - p. 247).
And "Grieve not, my disciples, concerning the mystery of that Ineffable, thinking that Ye will not understand it. Amen, I say unto you, that mystery is yours, and every ones who will give ear unto you, and shall renounce the whole of the world, and all the matter therein, who shall renounce all the evil thoughts that are therein, and shall renounce all the cares of this aeon."
The teachings on Karma and Reincarnation, two main tenets of the archaic doctrine are very clear:
"Amen, I say unto you, every jot that is set down in the account of every man by the fate, be it every good, or be it every evil, in a word, every jot that hath been set down, will be worked out." (Pistis Sophia, 350).
And "The virgin of light sealeth that soul and handeth it over to one of her receivers, and will have it carried into a body, which is the record of the sins which it hath committed".
"Amen, I say unto you, she will not suffer that soul to escape from transmigrations into bodies until it hath given signs of being in its last cycle according to its record of demerit."
I would like to conclude with just one more passage from this remarkable book:
"Put not off from day to day, and from cycle to cycle in the belief that ye will succeed in obtaining the mysteries when we return to the world in another cycle. Strive together that ye may receive the mysteries of light, in this time of stress, and enter into the kingdom of light."
- M. B.
IN SEARCH OF A SOUL
"After a long period of natural progress and outward expansion modern man is beginning to look within himself once more. His whole attitude toward the values of life has changed within the last two decades. It is very generally agreed that the western world stands on the verge of spiritual rebirth."
This is a quotation from the jacket of C.G. Jung's new book "Modern Man in Search of a Soul," a copy of which is now in the library of Toronto Lodge. It is a book in which will be found much valuable material for those interested in the third object of the Theosophical Society - "The investigation of the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man." Of all contemporary psychologists Jung's approach to the problem and nature of the inner man seems to the writer to come the closest to Theosophical conceptions though this is not to say that there are not important differences.
Jung and Freud
This latest book of Jung's, like his large work "Contributions to Analytical Psychology" is a series of essays which have appeared in various places on widely different subjects. This makes it difficult to review. There is a chapter contrasting the Freud and Jung psychologies which states a position that must strike a Theosophist as a definite advance in the study of psychology. Freudianism, with its tremendous emphasis on sex complexes, is in Jung's opinion a psychology of and for abnormal people. "Freud'," he says, "began by taking sexuality as the only psychic driving power and only after my break with him did he grant an equal status to
other psychic activities as well. What I seek is to set bounds to the rampant terminology of sex which threatens to vitiate all discussion of the human psyche."
"Beyond all question," he writes, "there is a marked disturbance today in the realms of sexual life. It is well known that when we have a bad toothache, we can think of nothing else. The sexuality which Freud describes is unmistakably that sexual obsession which shows itself whenever a patient has reached the point where he needs to be forced or tempted out of a wrong attitude or situation."
"The strange thing is that man will not learn that God is his father", says Jung quoting Ernst Balach's novel Der Tote Tag. "That is what Freud would never learn and what all those who share his outlook forbid themselves to learn." We moderns, he thinks, are faced with the necessity of rediscovering the life of the spirit. We must experience it anew for ourselves. It is the only way that we can break the spell that binds us to the cycle of biological events. Jung declares himself a mystic and points out that the human psyche has from time immemorial been shot through with religious feelings and ideas. "Whoever cannot see this aspect of the human psyche is blind, and whoever chooses to explain it away, or to `enlighten' it away, has no sense of reality."
Speaks of Theosophy
In an essay on the spiritual problem of the modern man, Jung shows that the problem is one of attaining and holding a creative attitude. The modern man must break with the past. He has to become "unhistorical", and thus estrange himself from the mass of men who live within the bounds of tradition. He must voluntarily declare himself bankrupt, "taking the vows of poverty and chastity in a new sense, and what is still more painful - renouncing the halo which history bestows as a mark of its sanction." Unless the modern man can atone by creative ability for his break with tradition he is merely disloyal to the past. There is danger in that consciousness of the present which believes "that we are the culmination of the history, of mankind."
The spiritual currents of the present, Jung thinks, have "a deep affinity" with Gnosticism. "The modern movement which is numerically most impressive" he thinks, "is undoubtedly Theosophy together with its continental sister Anthroposophy (Steinerism). These are pure Gnosticism in Hindu dress. What is striking about Gnostic systems is that they are based exclusively upon the manifestations of the unconscious, and that their moral teachings do not balk at the shadow side of life. Even in the form of its European revival, the Hindu Kundalini-Yoga shows this clearly and, as every person informed on the subject of occultism will testify; the statement holds true in this field as well."
This is pretty far for a psychologist of Jung's standing to go, but he goes still further in his approbation of the Theosophical approach to the problem of the ego. "We should be wrong," he says, "in seeing mere caricature or masquerade when the movements already mentioned try to give themselves scientific airs. Their doing so is rather an indication that they are actually pursuing science or knowledge instead of the faith which is the essence of western religions."
The Theosophical movement attracted some of the finest scientific minds of the nineteenth century. These statements of Jung's, show that it is attracting similar types of minds in the twentieth century. Jung is studied with respect in the great universities of Europe and America and is risking his academic standing by the expression of such views as those we have been quoting. He closes his essay saying, "I do not forget that my voice is but one voice, my experience a mere drop in the sea, my knowledge no greater than the visual field in a microscope, my mind's eye a mirror that reflects a smaller corner of the world, and my ideas - a subjective confession."
Here, too, we see the expression of a true Theosophic attitude.
- F. B. H.
AN OPEN LETTER TO GOD
A distinctly novel method of approach to the Deity, in the form of an "open letter", appears as the leading article in "The Modern Thinker" for July. The writer, A.B. Coigne, waives all formality and opens his missive as follows:
"Dear God: I am publishing this letter in the hope that it will attract your attention. I do not know where you are, else I would write you directly." - "It is the general opinion that you are everywhere. I do not take this too literally, because of the facts which I have observed."
After introducing himself to God as "a resident of earth", which he describes as "a tiny atom of cosmic dust, drowned in what appears to be limitless space", and as "a form of life" which he identifies as being "distinguished, if at all, by our being creators ourselves in a small way, of creatures who obey but do not suffer" - "automobiles, carpet-sweepers, spectographs and micrometers" for example, and stating: "I am bound to conclude that if you have the power of omniscience you do not use it"; he draws God's attention to the "kill, or be killed" law of life of the animal kingdom, submits a plea on behalf of these lowlier creatures in the hope that God "might want to look into their case in passing", and then proceeds to his "main theme".
The Indifference of Nature
"I wanted to write you particularly about my father. He is seventy years of age and a physician, and has been too busy helping his fellow creatures to take time to look to you. Now he needs your help and I've set myself the task of finding you".
Mr. Coigne goes on to recount how his father, after a life of unselfish service and of progressively increasing ability to aid humanity, began through bodily ailments to lose his efficiency at the age of sixty and now, ten years later, is, a bed-ridden physical wreck and a victim of cancer. "His condition," he writes, "is one of the most perfect examples I know of the combination of stupidity and brilliance, benignity and evil of this disorder called Nature. Nature is just indifferent about it all". "But I feel you would be bothered about it if you knew".
There follows an expression of bewilderment that men so soon after having reached the point of being "prepared for an infinite life of usefulness", should have to fail physically and die, "and those years of laborious perfecting be dumped into the ground like so much rubbish", and then the presentation of a bill of petition.
Bill of Petition to God
1. Human life at least requires lengthening, not by saving babies, but by extending its existence -
2. Revamp the entire pleasure-pain system. Eliminate pain for inevitable causes -
3. Substitute cooperation for war among living beings -
4. Cooperate with us in the search for cure and prevention of disease.
5. Abolish cancer and allow my father to live.
6. At least eliminate the heart-breaking rotting of individuals from the time of maturity to death of old age -
7. This list might well go on into thousands of paragraphs but if you could do nothing else, do you think that you could eliminate the colossal stupidity of causing women to be tortured for doing the thing Nature most primarily commands - reproduction? That would help a little".
Mr. Coigne's letter and petition raises three great questions:
1. Is there a God?
2. Is death the end of man?
3. What is the meaning of human suffering?
In The Key to Theosophy Madame Blavatsky says (page 42) "We reject the idea of a personal or extra-cosmic and anthropo-
morphic God, who is but the gigantic shadow of man, and not even man at his best. The God of Theology we say - and prove it - is a bundle of contradictions and a logical impossibility."
This, as she shows, is not atheism for she says, "we believe in a Universal Divine Principle, the root of all, from which all proceeds, and within which all shall be absorbed at the end of the great cycle of Beine." (page 43).
A little further on she writes (page 45), "Our Deity is the eternal, incessantly evolving, not creating, builder of the universe; that universe itself unfolding out of its own essence, not being made".
Man then, who, Theosophically considered, is "the image and likeness" of this Deity, is an "eternal, incessantly evolving" being in process of unfoldment and, as such, does not know death, though the forms of his temporary manifestation may, and do, die. The only God there is, and can be, is this eternal being in man of which man has lost the consciousness through nobody's fault but his own. That consciousness can only be regained by each man's own effort, which is eminently just.
If Mr. Coigne were God, he would "revamp the entire pleasure-pain system, eliminating pain." He fails to see that even the God of theology could not do this without changing what man has made himself. As things are now, eliminate pain from the scheme of things and man would become a spineless spiritual weakling as many people do who give themselves up to a life of so-called pure pleasure.
We think likewise, that Mr. Coigne as God, would find it just as impossible to make man cooperate in the elimination of war, as he would to eliminate pain, unless again, man changed what he has made himself.
In a universe run by Karmic law, ignorance of the cause is not a protection from its effects. As the Secret Doctrine makes plain, our ignorance of the cause of disease is due, not to providence, but to our law breaking in past lives. Man's discovery and realization of his divine powers - which he can only do by his own effort - will, among other things, restore the memory of his past; will reveal the true causes and prevention of disease. God - the God in man - will cooperate when man cooperates. The understanding and memory of the causes we have generated in past lives will eventually teach us the meaning and cure of suffering. Theosophy says that the invoking of that memory by self-knowledge, and prayer to the inner god is the highest work we can do for humanity.
This, it must be admitted, is small comfort for the person who is now suffering from cancer or some other dread disease. H.P.B. wrote, "Remember once for all that in all such questions we take a rational, never a fanatical view of things". (Key, 176). Her advice is, "follow the best practical advice they can get". Under immediate circumstances one can only do what the Abyssinians will do if the Italians enter their country - fight them with the best weapons available.
EMOTIONAL ENERGY CYCLES
Physical science has long recognized the law of periodicity, of ebb and flow in all departments of nature. It has recently been discovered, however, that this law applies also to the emotional and mental principles of man.
Many psychologists now believe that bodies and minds store up and spend emotional energy in regular cycles. It is maintained that all through the life of an individual, at regular intervals there is a period of gloom alternating with one of enthusiasm. Contrary to general opinion, these periods are not said to be matters of chance or circumstances. They grow within, as a result of the rise and fall of emotional energy.
Every day for two years, psychologists under the direction of Professor R.B. Hersey of the University of Pennsylvania, have kept constant records of the men employed in a large factory. The results of the experiment are described by Donald A. Laird in an article entitled, "The Secret of your Ups and Downs", in the August
issue of Readers Digest, condensed, from Review of Reviews.
The author claims that the experiment has proved conclusively the regular recurrence of "up" and "down" moods. The chart of one particularly steady and apparently unemotional worker showed that he was no exception to the cyclic law. The average cycle proved to be between four and five weeks.
By carefully watching one's own moods or those of another over a period of time, the emotional energy cycle may be ascertained. It is pointed out that progress towards the dark mood is a downward zig-zag - down a little way then back a little, sometimes slowly, sometimes sharply.
What advantages can be derived from this so-called new discovery? From the viewpoint of Psychology, man can now prepare himself for the "blues" - that period when financial, marital, social or economic problems seem too overwhelming to bear. He is assured that the good mood must return at a given time, consequently he will be inclined to cease worrying and struggling over his problems until he is in a more confident and efficient frame of mind to cope with them. Also it should tend to increase his tolerance and understanding of others.
According to the article, man cannot avoid this regular ebb and flow of emotional energy. Science as yet cannot explain the cause, but it assures us that we can be far more certain of ultimate success by making momentous decisions and important human contacts, so far as possible, only in our "up" cycle. It may be of interest here to note that knowledge of this cyclic law is being applied effectively in the field of surgery.
Students of the Secret Doctrine who are familiar with the Occult teaching of "The absolute universality of the law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow", will appreciate this rediscovery by science; not only for the immediate advantages but for the fact that it should open the way for greater revelations.
What Secret Doctrine Says
It is maintained by Occultism that the manifested universe is pervaded by duality, Spirit-matter, positive-negative, joy-sorrow, and so on. The cycle of alternating moods is one of the lessons terrestrial life teaches, that we may learn to distinguish between the Self and the not-Self, between the Real and the un-Real. Or as Krishna tells Arjuna in The Bhagavad-Gita,
"This Life within all living things, my Prince,
Hides beyond harm; scorn thou to suffer, then,
For that which cannot suffer."
The following is from The Secret Doctrine, III., 563, - "When once out of the body, and not subject to the habit of consciousness formed by others, time does not exist. Cycles and epochs depend on consciousness; we are not here for the first time; the cycles return because we come back into conscious existence. Cycles are measured by the consciousness of humanity and not by Nature. It is because we are the same people as in past epochs that these events occur to us."
The Doctrine further postulates that when the true nature of the Self is recognized; when through development it learns to know itself as one with the Totality, then the individual consciousness may merge with the One. This is the Atonement or At-One-ment of Christianity and the Union of Yoga - the pairs of opposites are balanced and the Cycle of Necessity is ended.
Science as yet may believe that man cannot avoid the regular ebb and flow of emotional energy. Nevertheless, the fact that it advises him to study his moods is from a Theosophical viewpoint, one of the first steps toward a balance of the "ups" and "downs". Students of Theosophy anticipate that more truths will be revealed through the channel of Psychology, for according to the Secret Doctrine - "There is nothing in the macrocosm that is not in the microcosm".
- R. S.