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VOL. XVI., No. 9. HAMILTON, NOVEMBER 15th, 1935 Price 10 Cents
FIFTY YEARS - PLUS TEN
Ten years ago, that is, at the celebration of our Fiftieth year, the Jubilee of the Theosophical Society, the preceding fifty years were broadly explored, and various summings-up of progress made in the meantime were rehearsed. The period was reviewed in its relation to religion, philosophy and science, and the influence or effect of Theosophy on the thought and achievements of the time was estimated. It is scarcely necessary to repeat those surveys at the present time. More to our purpose is it to review the last ten years and to glean from them what has been the success or otherwise of the Theosophical Movement during that time. At the same time, it would do no harm to read the November and December, 1925 issues of our Magazine.
Our faces should ordinarily be set forward, but we cannot estimate our advance except by a backward glance. We may take the last ten years as a contrast with those ideals with which we have been supposed to be guiding ourselves for the last sixty years. It is no slur to say that we have failed, but it is a distinct reproach to find that we have deliberately failed, that we haves neglected the lessons that have been administered to us, and that we are setting out to repeat the mistakes we have already made.
We summed up the greater of the errors, in October, 1933. There was the Liberal Catholic Church, to which we were all expected to belong as an organization purporting to be the project of the Mahatmas. It was read out of the Society after repeated protests, and now President Arundale says in his last book, Freedom anal Friendship, - "Definite organizations such as we have had in the Liberal Catholic Church, or in the Order of the Star in the East, cannot be permitted to function within The Society. They are best outside it, for their own sake and for the sake of The Society." That is an excellent and logical conclusion. Then we had Man: Whence, How, and Whither, with its bogus calculations and prophecies, and the Lives of Alcyone, shown to be altogether a fraudulent composition. Yet these books are still commended and listed as authoritative utterances, misleading thousands of readers as to the true aims of Theosophy and its direction. Then we had the World Teacher and Seven Arhats, the first of whom has repudiated his office and functions, and the Arhats have been deserted by some and no longer assert their identity. In August, 1925, Mrs. Besant announced at Ommen in Holland, by command of the King of they World. Mr. C.W. Leadbeater being undoubtedly the channel of the proclamation that Mr. Krishnamurti was the vehicle of our Lord and Saviour,
whoever he might be, and that Mrs. Besant, Mr. Leadbeater, Mr. Jinarajadasa, Dr. Arundale, Mr. Oscar Kellerstrom, Mrs. Arundale, and Mr. Wedgwood, were Arhats, and according to the Theosophical Glossary, "deserving divine honours." Mr. Krishnamurti repudiated all this subsequently. Mr. Kellerstrom also withdrew from such ambitious claims. Three others are dead. We still await the decision of the survivors. Then we had the great Arena built at Sydney, Australia, were the World Saviour was first to appear. That dream has also faded, and the Arena has been sold. All these things have been repudiated or shown to be untrustworthy and false, but their author, now dead, "the mighty and revered St. Charles Leadbeater," to quote Ubique of last August, from whom all these things emanated, has not yet been repudiated, and his worlds are still commended by the surviving "Arhats." Not only that, but in a plan to preach what Mr. Arundale calls "Straight Theosophy," these books are set forth in the forefront of lists of books supposed to present "straight Theosophy" to those who buy and read them. And this is the record of The Theosophical Society, Adyar, in the last ten years.
We may be asked to explain how such errancies arose in a Society like that which Madame Blavatsky brought into being. We believe there is but one explanation, and that is that Mr. Leadbeater, like many others in the early Movement, and many even now, did not believe in the Masters who were, as H.P.B. stated, the real source of the Wisdom which she indited in The Secret Doctrine.
That is to say that in the years following the death of Madame Blavatsky, there had grown up among the leaders of thought in The Theosophical Society, a disbelief in the Mahatmas, in the verity of Madame Blavatsky's writings, and in the actuality of the Law of Karma.
George R.S. Mead was one who professed such skepticism. Mr. A.P. Sinnett, chosen vice-president of the Society, followed after strange gods, and broke away altogether from Madame Blavatsky's teachings, as may be seen in his later books, and his posthumous volume in which he claimed to be the real founder of the Theosophical Society. Various phases of psychic phantasmagoria were substituted from the time of the death of Col. Olcott, and in the last ten years the "revelations" that were handed out at Adyar became absurd in their frequency and contradictory and inconsistent character. We had hoped that when Dr. Arundale found himself free and independent of this sordid past he would have cut himself loose from the distressful burden, have reasserted his loyalty to the original principles of the Society, and his recognition of the ethical standards which characterize Madame Blavatsky's writings. To do him justice, he does make some attempts in this direction in his late books, You and Freedom and Friendship. Perhaps he thinks that the parable of the tare's is sufficient guidance at this juncture; and that the tares and the wheat may be left to grow together till the harvest, when the tares will be gathered together in bundles to be burned. But he forgets that the householder did not neglect to recognize the tares for what they were. It is scarcely ethical to say that we are unable to judge what is tares, and what is wheat.
Thus we, may come to see from the record of the last ten years that in this sixtieth Jubilee Year of the Theosophical Society, we stand in the judgment of the outer world as having been unfaithful to our trust. We have still to learn that Theosophy is more important than The Theosophical Society, or than any Theosophical Society. We have still to learn that Madame Blavatsky can have and could not have any "successor," any more than the Ocean or the Sky or Space itself can have a successor. She mirrored for us the Eternity of Truth, and we must find the Sea of Glass in our own consciousness before we can duplicate her vision. Those who would replace The Secret Doctrine with their lucubrations may be well-inten-
tioned, but usually merely obumbrate the more enduring records.
Nor need we hesitate to admit our mistakes. The best of us are prone to make grievous mis-steps. Madame Blavatsky sets an example of humility in this respect. And she made no claim to infallibility. Let us all take heed from this attitude of one of the Wise Ones that we are not expected to be infallible except in our desire to be desireless, to be impersonal, to submit ourselves to the rule of our own highest ideals, and to forget ambition, "which o'erleaps itself, and falls on the other."
As far as the public are concerned, we have been noted for our eccentricities; we should now try and become famous for our normalities. It is unfortunate that with the finest message the world has received in historical times, a message inclusive and embodying all that has ever been voiced of True, or Good, or Beautiful, we should be identified with almost every folly that psychic imagination could suggest, or admiring fanaticism perpetrate. We have even been false to our own record, and all that is worthwhile in comrades past and gone is to be left officially to oblivion. In Dr. Arundale's summing up of those to be remembered in this jubilee, he can only remember Blavatsky, Olcott, Besant, Subba Row, Sinnett and Leadbeater. Blessed be all these for any good they may have done or sought to do, but let us not exalt them over the ever-present Masters and their faithful servants and soldiers, like Judge, Hartmann, Tookeram Tatya, Mrs. Patience Sinnett, G.R.S. Mead, James M. Pryse, Charles Johnston, George W. Russell, Dr. J.D. Buck, Dr. Alexander Wilder, Herbert Burrows, Damodar, Bhagavan Das, Archibald and Bertram Keightley, Mabel Collins, Julia Campbell Verplanck Keightley, Countess Wachtmeister, William Kingsland, Dr. Wynne Westcott and dozens of others in India, Europe and America, self-devoted and loyal to the Movement as they understood it, who sought no distinction, but in remembering whom we do honor to ourselves.
Nor should we perpetuate "the heresy of separateness" by alleging that our organization is the only channel of true Theosophy. H.P.B. told us that there were six other schools of occultism and that ours was as near to the White Lodge as any of the others. But being near to the Ideal is a place of danger, if we do not seek to embody it in ourselves. And to assert that we are the only people who approach it is to develop a phase of personality and egotism that is and always has been fatal to spiritual growth. We still have to learn the lesson that Jesus so pointedly taught - that he who would seek to save his psyche (soul or personality) will lose it; but he that would lose the psyche for the sake of the Self, the Christos, would have aeonian life. Later developments in The Theosophical Society have ally been in the direction of accentuating the personality, the psyche, and we have sought and followed psychic powers, and psychic acquisitions to the detriment of all our work.
As we look out on the world of today we can see too sorrowful reasons for the revelation of that Dream of Brotherhood which was the message of the Theosophical Movement to the world of 1875. War and rumors of war are still the prevailing features of our international and social life after sixty years. If we could only get the world of men to understand it is in their own hands to alter the whole prospect of the future and to give peace to the nations by the simple process of changing their minds from fear and competition and hate and strife, to love, joy, peace, patience, consideration, cooperation, intuition, modesty, self-control. This is a true Theosophical code.
Or we might adopt a modern paraphrase of St. Paul's suggestion to the Ephesians -"Drop all bitter feeling and passion and anger and clamoring and insults, together with all malice; be kind to each other, be tender-hearted, be generous to each other as God has been generous to you in Christ." And this is to be applied by each
of the Theosophical Societies to the others, by Adyar to Point Loma, and vice versa; by the New York group to the U.L.T., and by that body to New York; by all Theosophists to all other Theosophists; and let it be in such a spirit that our attitude should inevitably become the mark and standard of those who find in The Secret Doctrine, in the leadership of Madame Blavatsky, and the inspiration of the Mahatma Letters, the only reasons for having a Theosophical Movement at all.
The world cries out for reform in national and international, in commercial and social relations; for a more humane spirit in the application of science and of learning generally; for more kindness towards the poor and ignorant, the weak and unhealthy and immature, for more consideration for mankind as a whole. Perhaps indeed, we might more easily lose our own self-conceits in seeking the welfare of the race.
We need not be ashamed to confess that we have done what we ought not to have done, and left undone what we ought to have done, and that wet have only a little health in us. "Shall we," asks the Maha Chohan in the most memorable communication we have had from the White Lodge in our Christian era, "shall we leave the teeming millions of the ignorant, of the poor and despised, the lowly and the oppressed to take care of themselves and their hereafter as best they know how? Never! Rather perish the T.S. with both its hapless founders than that we should permit it to become no better than an academy of magic, a hall of occultism."
Against this plain warning we have forgotten "the small old path stretching far away." But it is not too late in the forty years of our century yet left to us, through toil and strife, through battle and murder and sudden death, through all the chances and changes of our distracted lives, still to hold high the banner of Brotherhood, still to treasure in our hearts the knowledge that the Master Soul is one, though of Teachers there are many, still to dedicate ourselves to the Life that triumphs most nobly on the Path of Sacrifice.
Therefore we say "Rejoice in the Master always. And again we say, Rejoice."
- A. E. S. S.
INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY AND WRITINGS OF PLATO
By Thomas Taylor
(Continued from Page 231.)
In the beginning of this Introduction, I observed that, in drawing these outlines I should conduct the reader through novel and solitary paths, solitary indeed they must be, since they have been unfrequented from the reign of the emperor Justinian to the present time; and novel they will doubtless appear to readers of every description, and particularly to those who halve been nursed as it were in the bosom of matter, the pupils of experiment, the darlings of sense, and the legitimate descendants of the earth-born race that warred on the Olympian gods. To such as these, who have gazed on the dark and deformed face of their nurse, till they are incapable of beholding the light of truth, and who are become so drowsy from drinking immoderately of the cup of oblivion, that their whole life is nothing more than a transmigration from sleep to sleep, and from dream to dream, like men passing from one bed to another, - to such as these, the road through which we have been traveling will appear to be a delusive passage, and the objects which we have surveyed to be nothing more than fantastic visions, seen only by the eye of imagination, and when seen, idle and vain as the dreams of a shadow.
The following arguments, however, may perhaps awaken some few of these who are less lethargic than the rest, from the sleep of sense, and enable them to elevate their mental eye from the dark mire in which they are plunged, and gain a glimpse of
this most weighty truth, that there is another world, of which this is nothing more than a most obscure resemblance, and another life, of which this is but the flying mockery. My present discourse therefore is addressed to those who consider experiment as the only solid criterion of truth. In the first place then, these men appear to be ignorant of the invariable laws of demonstration properly so called, and that the necessary requisites of all demonstrative propositions are these; that they exist as causes, are primary, more excellent, peculiar, true, and known than the conclusions. For every demonstration not only consists of principles prior to others, but of such as are eminently first; since if the assumed propositions may be demonstrated by other assumptions, such propositions may indeed appear prior too the conclusions, but are by no means entitled to the appellation of first. Others, on the contrary, which require no demonstration, but are of themselves manifest, are deservedly esteemed the first, the truest, and the best. Such indemonstrable truths were called by the ancients axioms from their majesty and authority, as the assumptions which constitute demonstrative syllogisms derive all their force and efficacy from these.
In the next place, they seem not to be sufficiently aware, that universal is better than partial demonstration. For that demonstration is the more excellent which is derived from the better cause; but a universal is more extended and excellent than a partial cause; since the arduous investigation of the why in any subject is only stopped by the arrival at universals. Thus if we desire to know why the outward angles of a triangle are equal to four right angles, and it is answered, Because the triangle is isosceles; we again ask, but why Because isosceles? And if it be replied, Because it is a triangle; we may again inquire, But why because a triangle? To which we finally answer, because a triangle is a right-lined figure. And here our inquiry rests at that universal idea, which embraces every preceding particular one, and is contained in no other more general and comprehensive than itself. Add too, that the demonstration of particulars is almost the demonstration of infinites; of universals the demonstration of finites; and of infinites there can be no science. That demonstration likewise is the best which furnishes the mind with the most ample knowledge; and this is, alone, the province of universals. We may also add, that he who knows universals knows particulars likewise in capacity; but we can not infer that he who has the best knowledge of particulars, knows any thing of universals. And lastly, that which is universal is the object of intellect and reason; but particulars are coordinated to the perceptions of sense.
But here perhaps the experimentalist will say, admitting all this to be true, yet we no otherwise obtain a perception of these universals than by an induction of particulars, and abstraction from sensibles. To this, I answer that the universal which is the proper object of science, is not by any means the offspring of abstraction; and induction is no otherwise subservient to its existence than an exciting cause. For if scientific conclusions are indubitable, if the truth of demonstration is necessary and eternal, this universal is truly all, and not like that gained by abstraction, limited to a certain number of particulars. Thus, the proposition that the angles of every triangle are equal to two right, if it is indubitably true, that is, if the term every in it really includes all triangles, cannot be the result of any abstraction; for this, however extended it may be, is limited, and falls far short of universal comprehension. Whence is it then that the dianoetic power concludes thus confidently that the Proposition is true of all triangles? For if it be said that the mind, after having abstracted triangle from a certain number of particulars, adds from itself what is wanting to complete the all; in the
first place, no man, I believe, will say that any such operation as this took place in his mind when he first learnt this proposition; and in the next place, if this should be granted, it would follow that such proposition is a mere fiction, since it is uncertain whether that which is added to complete the all is truly added; and thus the conclusion will no longer be indubitably necessary.
In short, if the words all and every, with which every page of theoretic mathematics is full, mean what they are conceived by all men to mean, and if the universals which they signify are the proper objects of science, such universals must subsist in the soul prior to the energies of sense. Hence it will follow that induction is no otherwise subservient to science, than as it produces credibility in axioms and petitions; and this by exciting the universal conception of these latent in the soul. The particulars, therefore, of which an induction is made in order to produce science, must be so simple, that they may be immediately apprehended, and that the universal may be predicated of them without hesitation. The particulars of the experimentalists are not of this kind, and therefore never can be sources of science truly so called.
Of this, however, the man of experiment appears to be totally ignorant, and in consequence of this, he is likewise ignorant that parts can only be truly known through wholes, and that this is particularly the case with parts when they belong to a whole, which, as we have already observed, from comprehending in itself the parts which it produces, is called a whole prior to parts. As he, therefore, would by no means merit the appellation of a physician who should attempt to cure any part of the human body, without a previous knowledge of the whole; so neither can he know any thing truly of the vegetable life of plants, who has not a previous knowledge of that vegetable life which subsists in the earth as a whole prior to, because the principle and cause of all partial vegetable life, and who still prior to this has not a knowledge of that greater whole of this kind which subsists in nature herself; nor, as Hippocrates justly observes, can he know any thing truly of the nature of the human body who is ignorant what nature is considered as a great comprehending whole. And if this be true, and it is so most indubitably, with all physiological inquiries, how much more must it be the case with respect to a knowledge of those incorporeal forms to which we ascended in the first part of this Introduction, and which in consequence of proceeding from wholes entirely exempt from body are participated by it, with much greater obscurity and imperfection? Here then is the great difference, and a mighty one it is, between the knowledge gained by the most elaborate experiments, and that acquired by scientific reasoning, founded on the spontaneous, unperverted, and self-luminous conceptions of the soul. The former does not even lead its votary up to that one nature of the earth from which the natures of all the animals and plants on its surface, and of all the minerals and metals in its interior parts, blossom as from a perennial root. The latter conducts its votary through all the several mundane wholes up to that great whole the world itself, and thence leads him through the luminous order of incorporeal wholes to that vast whole of wholes, in which all other wholes are centred and rooted, and which is no other than the principle of all principles, and the fountain of deity itself. No less remarkable likewise, is the difference between the tendencies of the two pursuits, for the one elevates the soul to the most luminous heights, and to that great ineffable which is beyond all altitude; but the other is the cause of a mighty calamity to the soul, since, according to the elegant expression of Plutarch, it extinguishes her principal and brightest eye, the knowledge of divinity. In short, the one leads to all that is grand, sublime and splendid in the universe; the other to all that is little,
groveling** and dark. The one is the parent of the most pure and ardent piety; the genuine progeny of the other are impiety and atheism. And, in fine, the one confers on its votary the most sincere, permanent, and exalted delight; the other continual disappointment, and unceasing molestation.
**That this must be the tendency of experiment, when prosecuted as the criterion of truth, is evident from what Bacon, the prince of modern philosophy, says in the 104th Aphorism of his Novum Organum, that "baseless fabric of a vision." For he there sagely observes that wings are not to be added to the human intellect, but rather lead and weights; that all its leaps and flights may be restrained. That this is not yet done, but that when it is we may entertain better hopes respecting the sciences. "Itaque hominum intellectui non plumae addendae, sed plumbum potius, et pondera; ut cohibeant omnem saltum et volatum. Atque hoc adhuc factum non est; quum vero factum fuerit, melius de scientiis sperare licebit." A considerable portion of lead must certainly have been added to the intellect of Bacon when he wrote this Aphorism.
If such then are the consequences, such the tendencies of experimental inquiries, when prosecuted as the criterion of truth, and daily experience* unhappily shows that they are, there can be no other remedy for this enormous evil than the intellectual philosophy of Plato. [ * I never yet knew a man who made experiment the test of truth, and I have known many such, that was not atheistically inclined. ] So obviously excellent indeed is the tendency of this philosophy, that its author, for a period of more than two thousand years, has been universally celebrated by the epithet of divine. Such too is its preeminence, that it may be shown, without much difficulty, that the greatest men of antiquity, from the time in which its salutary light first blessed the human race, have been more or less imbued with its sacred principles, have been more or less the votaries of its divine truths. Thus, to mention a few from among a countless multitude. In the catalogue of those endued with sovereign power, it had for its votaries Dion of Siracusian, Julian the Roman, and Chosroes the Persian, emperor; among the leaders of armies, it had Chabrias and Phocion, those brave generals of the Athenians; among mathematicians, those leading stars of science, Eudoxus, Archimedes** and Euclid; among biographers, the inimitable Plutarch; among physicians, the admirable Galen; among rhetoricians, those unrivaled orators Demosthenes and Cicero; among critics, that prince of philologists, Longinus; and among poets, the most learned and majestic Virgil. Instances, though not equally illustrious, yet approximating to these in splendour, may doubtless be adduced after the fall of the Roman empire; but then they have been formed on these great ancients as models, and are, consequently, only rivulets from Platonic streams. And instances of excellence in philosophic attainments, similar to those among the Greeks, might have been enumerated among the moderns, if the hand of barbaric despotism had not compelled philosophy to retire into the deepest solitude, by demolishing her schools, and involving the human intellect in Cimmerian darkness. In our own country, however, though no one appears to have wholly devoted himself to the study of this philosophy, and he who does not will never penetrate its depths, yet we have a few bright examples of no common proficiency in its more accessible
** I have ranked Archimedes among the Platonists, because he cultivated the mathematical sciences Platonically, as is evident from the testimony of Plutarch in his Life of Marcellus, p. 307. For he there informs us that Archimedes considered the being busied about mechanics, and in short, every art which is connected with the common purposes of life, as ignoble and illiberal; and that those things alone were objects of his ambition with which the beautiful and the excellent were present, unmingled with the necessary. The great accuracy and elegance in the demonstrations of Euclid and Archimedes, which have not been equaled by any of our greatest modern mathematicians, were derived from a deep conviction of this important truth. On the other hand modern mathematicians, through a profound ignorance of this divine truth, and looking to nothing but the wants and conveniences of the animal life of man, as if the gratification of his senses was his only end, have corrupted pure geometry, by mingling with it algebraical calculations, and through eagerness to reduce it as much as possible to practical purposes, have more anxiously sought after conciseness than accuracy, facility than elegance of geometrical demonstration.
parts. The instances I allude to are Shaftesbury, Akenside, Harris, Petwin, and Sydenham. So splendid is the specimen of philosophic abilities displayed by these writers, like the fair dawning of same unclouded morning, that we have only deeply to regret that the sun of their genius sat before we were gladdened with its effulgence. Had it shone with its full strength, the writer of this Introduction would not have attempted either to translate the works, or elucidate the doctrines of Plato; but though it rose with vigor, it dispersed not the clouds in which its light was gradually involved, and the eye in vain anxiously waited for it's meridian beam.
In short, the principles of the philosophy of Plato are of all others the most friendly to true piety, pure morality, solid learning, and sound government. For as it is scientific in all its parts, and in these parts comprehends all that can be known by man in theology and ethics, and all that is necessary for him to know in physics, it must consequently contain in itself the source of all that is great and good both to individuals and communities, must necessarily exalt while it benefits, and deify while it exalts.
We have said that this philosophy at first shone forth through Plato with an occult and venerable splendor; and it is owing to the hidden manner in which it is delivered by him, that its depth was not fathomed till many ages after it's promulgation, and when fathomed, was treated by superficial readers with ridicule and contempt. Plato indeed, is not singular in delivering his philosophy occultly: for this was the custom of all the great ancients; a custom not originating from a wish to become tyrants in knowledge, and keep the multitude in ignorance, but from a profound conviction that the sublimest truths are profaned when clearly unfolded to the vulgar. This indeed must necessarily follow; since, as Socrates in Plato justly observes, "it is not lawful for the pure to be touched by the impure;" and the multitude are neither purified from the defilements of vice, nor the darkness of two-fold ignorance. Hence, while they are thus doubly impure, it is as impossible for them to perceive the splendors of truth, as for an eye buried in mire to survey the light of day.
The depth of this philosophy then does not appear to have been perfectly penetrated except by they immediate disciples of Plato, for more than five hundred years after its first propagation. For though Crantor, Atticus, Albinus, Galen and Plutarch, were men of great genius, and made no common proficiency in Philosophic attainments, yet they appear not to have developed the profundity of Plato's conceptions; they withdrew not the veil which covers his secret meaning, like the curtains which guarded the adytum of temples from the profane eye; and they saw not that all behind the veil is luminous, and that there divine spectacles* every where present themselves to the view. [ * See my Dissertation on the Mysteries. ] This task was reserved for men who were born indeed in a baser age, but, who being allotted a nature similar to their leader, were the true interpreters of his mystic speculations. The most conspicuous of these are the great Plotinus, the most learned Porphyry, the divine Jamblichus, the most acute Syrianus, Proclus the consummation of philosophic excellence, the magnificent Hierocles, the concisely elegant Sallust, and the most inquisitive Damascius. By these men, who were truly links of the golden chain of deity, all that is sublime, all that is mystic in the doctrines of Plato (and they are replete with both these in a transcendent degree), was freed from its obscurity and unfolded into the most pleasing and admirable light. Their labors, however, have been ungratefully received. The beautiful light which they benevolently disclosed has hitherto unnoticed illumined philosophy in her desolate retreats, like a lamp shining on some venerable statue amidst dark and solitary ruins. The prediction of the master has been unhappily fulfilled in these his most excellent disciples. "For an attempt of this kind,"
says he**, "will only be beneficial to a few, who from small vestiges, previously demonstrated, are themselves able to discover these abstruse particulars. [ ** See the 7th Epistle of Plato. ] But with respect to the rest of mankind, some it will fill with a contempt by no means elegant, and others with a lofty and arrogant hope, that they shall now learn certain excellent things." Thus with respect to these admirable men, the last and the most legitimate of the followers of Plato, some from being entirely ignorant of the abstruse dogmas of Plato, and finding these interpreters full of conceptions which are by no means obvious to every one in the writings of that philosopher, have immediately concluded that such conceptions are mere jargon and revery, that they are not truly Platonic, and that they are nothing more than streams, which, though, originally derived from a pure fountain, have become polluted by distance from their source. Others, who pay attention to nothing but the most exquisite purity of language, look down with contempt upon every writer who lived after the fall of the Macedonian empire; as if dignity and weight of sentiment were inseparable from splendid and accurate diction; or as if it were impossible for elegant writers to exist in a degenerate age. So far is this from being the case, that though the style of Plotinus** and Jamblichus*** is by no means to be compared with that of Plato, yet this inferiority is lost in the depth and sublimity of their conceptions, and is as little regarded by the intelligent reader, as motes in a sunbeam by the eye that gladly turns itself to the solar light.
** It would seem that those intemperate critics who have thought proper to revile Plotinus, the leader of the latter Platonists, have paid no attention to the testimony of Longinus concerning this most wonderful man, as preserved by Porphyry in his life of him. For Longinus there says, "that though he does not entirely accede to many of his hypotheses, yet he exceedingly admires and loves the form of his writing, the density of his conceptions, and the philosophic manner in which his questions are disposed." And in another place he says, "Plotinus, as it seems, has explained the Pythagoric and Platonic principles more clearly than those that were prior to him; for neither are the writings of Numenius, Cronius, Moderatus, and Thrasyllus, to be compared with those of Plotinus on this subject." After such a testimony as this from such a consummate critic as Longinus, the writings of Plotinus have nothing to fear from the imbecile censure of modern critics. I shall only further observe, that Longinus, in the above testimony, does not give the least hint of his having found any polluted streams, or corruption of the doctrines of Plato, in the works of Plotinus. There is not indeed the least vestige of his entertaining any such opinion in any part of what he has said about this most extraordinary man. This discovery was reserved for the more acute critic of modern times, who, by a happiness of conjecture unknown to the ancients, and the assistance of a good index, can in a few days penetrate the meaning of the profoundest writer of antiquity, and bid defiance even to the decision of Longinus.
***Of this most divine man, who is justly said by the emperor Julian to have been posterior indeed in time, but not in genius even to Plato himself, see the life which I have given in the History of the Restoration of the Platonic Theology, in the second vol. of my Proclus on Euclid.
As to the style of Porphyry, when we consider that he was the disciple of Longinus, whom Eunapius elegantly calls "a certain living library, and walking museum," it is but reasonable to suppose that he imbibed some portion of his master's excellence in writing. That he did so is abundantly evident from the testimony of Eunapius, who particularly commends his style for its clearness, purity, and grace. "Hence," he says, "Porphyry being let down to men like a mercurial chain, through his various erudition, unfolded every thing into perspicuity, and purity." And in another place he speaks of him as abounding with all the graces of diction, and as the only one that exhibited and proclaimed the praise of his master. With respect to the style of Proclus, it is pure, clear and elegant, like that of Dionysius Halicarnassus; but is much more copious and magnificent; that of Hierocles is venerable and majestic, and nearly equals the style of the greatest ancients; that of Sallust possesses an accuracy and a pregnant brevity, which cannot easily be distinguished from the composition of the Stagirite; and lastly, that of Damascius is
clear and accurate, and highly worthy a most investigating mind.
Others again have filled themselves with a vain confidence, from reading of commentaries of these admirable interpreters, and have in a short time considered themselves superior to their masters. This was the case with Ficinus, Picus, Dr. Henry Moore, and other pseudo Platonists, their contemporaries, who, in order to combine Christianity with the doctrines of Plato, rejected some of his most important tenets, and perverted others, and thus corrupted one of these systems, and afforded no real benefit to the other.
But who are the men by whom these latter interpreters of Plato are reviled? When and whence did this defamation originate? Was it when the fierce champions for the trinity fled from Galilee to the groves of Academus, and invoked, but in vain, the assistance of Philosophy? When
The trembling grove confessed its fright,
The wood-nymphs started at the sight;
Ilissus backward urg'd his course,
And rush'd indignant to his source.
Was it because that mitred sophist, Warburton, thought fit to talk of the polluted streams of the Alexandrian school, without knowing any thing of the source whence those streams are derived? Or was it because some heavy German critic, who knew nothing beyond a verb in mi, presumed to grunt at these venerable heroes? Whatever was its source, and whenever it originated, for I have not been able to discover either, this however is certain, that it owes its being to the most profound Ignorance, or the most artful Sophistry, and that its origin is no less contemptible than obscure. For let us but for a moment consider the advantages which these latter Platonists possessed beyond any of their modern revilers. In the first place, they had the felicity of having the Greek for their native language, and must therefore, as they were confessedly, learned men, have understood that language incomparably better than any man since the time in which the ancient Greek was a living tongue. In the next place, they had books to consult, written by the immediate disciples of Plato, which have been lost for upwards of a thousand years, besides many Pythagoric writings from which Plato himself derived most of his more sublime dogmas. Hence we find the works of Parmenides, Empedocles, the Electic Zeno, Speusippus, Xenocrates, and many other illustrious philosophers of the highest antiquity, who were either genuine Platonists or the sources of Platonism, are continually cited by these most excellent interpreters, and in the third place they united the greatest purity of life to the most piercing vigor of intellect. Now when it is considered that the philosophy to the study of which these great men devoted their lives, was professedly delivered by its author in obscurity; that Aristotle himself studied it for twenty years; and that it was no uncommon thing, as Plato informs us in one of his Epistles, to find students unable to comprehend its sublimest tenets even in a longer period than this, - when all these circumstances are considered, what must we think of the arrogance, not to say impudence, of men in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, who have dared to calumniate these great masters of wisdom? Of men, with whom the Greek is no native language; who have no such books to consult as those had whom they revile; who have never thought, even in a dream, of making the acquisition of wisdom the great object of their life; and who in short have committed that most baneful error of mistaking philology for philosophy, and words for things? When such as these dare to defame men who may be justly ranked among the greatest and wisest of the ancients, what else can be said than that they are the legitimate descendants of the suitors of Penelope, whom, in the animated language of Ulysses,
Laws or divine or human fail'd to move,
Or shame of men, or dread of gods above:
Heedless alike of infamy or praise,
Or Fame's eternal voice in future days, *
* Pope's Odyssey, book xxii, v. 47, &c.
(To be continued.)
A SAGE'S PREDICTION
By Cecil Williams
In general, authentic predictions of the future are conditional. The prophets declare an "either-or." They recognize that man is bound by neither astrology nor the yugas, that more potent than stars and cycles is the spirit within his heart.
"If ye will not have faith, ye shall not have staith," was the burden of Isaiah's message (vii, 9), but the Jews did not heed; and the prophet lived to see four Assyrian invasions of Palestine that would have been averted if the people had changed their lives.
[[photo of Tuan Szetsun here]]
A terrible "either-or" is that of Blavatsky's: Either Theosophy and the Golden Age or the sinking of our civilization in a sea of horror, without parallel in history. The warning, written in 1889, has an appalling significance for us today.
This year China is being aroused by the prophet of an imminent world war. His prediction, also, is conditional. Either Confucian Cosmopolitanism - another name for Theosophy - or a conflict more horrible than the last.
To his campaign for peace, organized as the World Peace Prayer Conference, with headquarters in Shanghai (862 Boone road), there have rallied national government ministers, chairmen of provincial governments, army commanders, mayors, chambers of commerce, leaders in finance and education and many other influential Chinese. The names of this prophet is Tuan Szetsun.
Szetsun means "the great teacher," and Tuan is hailed in China as "the only sage after Confucius and Mencius." In his boyhood he was "gifted' with a spirit of great compassion." When he was fifteen (in the third year of the Theosophical movement) he heard a prophecy of the approaching world catastrophe, which could be prevented if men followed the "Great Truth." He resolved to devote his life to the task of trying to avert this terror.
He studied the "peace principles" of the "Great Truth" (basic tenet of Theosophy). At the Omei Mountain, by study and meditation, he thoroughly mastered Buddhism. When eighteen, in Tsing C'heng Mountain, "a vision came to him whereby the complexion of the universe, the secrets of civilization were revealed. The past and future trends of humanity became as clear as the wrinkles in the palm of his hand."
He left the mountain, and "traveled widely so that he could verify all his spiritual understandings and also looked for comrades." At the age of forty he wrote his first book, The Origin of the Universe:
As he went about China he founded ethical societies and the titles of works based on his teachings number 300. His ability to predict events amazed the people. He was a Chinese Isaiah!
To illustrate: The, authorities of Nanking asked him to form a branch of his moral society there. When at its inauguration he declared the organization would do more to preserve peace in that province than a million well-trained soldiers, they believed him.
For seven years the society flourished, and the province enjoyed peace and prosperity. Then the branch was neglected. As a test of the influence morality exerts upon human affairs, it was wound up. In the autumn war broke out, and Nanking narrowly escaped devastation.
On April 1 of this year, his 71st birthday, he made an address which dismayed his hearers.
In the fall of 1935, he said, "a crisis will be reached in the form of a decisive struggle between two forces representing the Way of Heaven on the one hand and man's deeds on the other; at this juncture the influence of predestination (karma) will manifest itself. In other words, it will mark the climax of generations of evil influences caused by several thousand years of cruelties and massacre among men.
"This climax may give way to another turn of a totally different nature in the form of a sudden visitation of the augustness of the Great Way, which will cut asunder the effects arising from causes good or bad coupled with the fruits of transmigration. It will mean a general liberation, and will give birth to a new day of peace and supreme happiness.
"These two opposing forces are engaged in a duel and the outcome cannot yet be predicted. If before decisive end comes, responsible statesmen in China and abroad will enter into a thorough understanding of the situation, the evil forces will disappear and the influence of the Way will remain, the heretical doctrines (of selfishness) being swept away and the right principles being upheld which will mean a new era of world peace.
"The world outlook today is such that the sources of international friction leading to warfare are very numerous, and the perils thus occasioned are imminent. It is a pain to witness this ordeal or even to hear of it. As I am powerless to avert so great a calamity I am very much afflicted in spirit ......
"I am convinced that after a certain degree of decimation of the human, the Way that I have been preaching will still be in demand for the world's rehabilitation and the Way will at last prevail.
"But it is awful to see the human race suffer these dreadful misfortunes without amelioration, and when I think of the matter in the light of the teachings of the ancient sages that the burden of the sins of the people was on their shoulders, I am ready to confess that I am a sinner of the world, unworthy of the doctrines of the Way."
The last sentence reminds us of Paul's cry, "I am the chief of sinners!"
We fail utterly to comprehend its meaning if we regard it as hyperbole. The truth is that each one of us is responsible in part for the miseries of the world. To blame evil upon plutocrats, politicians, or dictators is a subterfuge, of which no Theosophist should be guilty. These act with the assent of the majority, often including ourselves.
Thoughts are more potent than actions, and knowing no geography, can act at any distance. How many of the thoughts of hatred, pride, malice and envy, created by Canadians (to say nothing of Theosophists) have influenced events in Italy and Ethiopia, and must, sooner or later, return to their creators with a progeny of evil?
Those who imagine that pain, sickness, poverty, vice and war are the outcome only of past karma, have failed to understand the Law. One-half to two-thirds of the evils that beset us could be ended in the twinkling of an eye if we had the honesty and courage to recognize our responsibilities and the will to act rightly.
And they also err who think that by doing no ill they have not sinned. The unfaithful servant in the parable of the talents was thrown into outer darkness because he did nothing. Right. thinking does not mean thinking negative thoughts, nor is the mind "stilled" when it becomes a blank.
The responsibility for war or peace, for poverty or plenty, for joy or sorrow rests upon us all as individuals. We are warned
that the world is teetering at the verge of the precipice of doom, and our individual thoughts, feelings and acts will either aid in bringing it to rest, or help to send it crashing into the gulf.
49 East 7th S.,
THE WORLD AROUND US
We have had an epochal general election in Canada recently, October 14, with the result that a new Government has been formed. It may be of interest to the outside world, not closely in touch with our national life, to hear what the new Prime Minister of Canada had to say on the night of his election. We have not space for his whole statement, but the closing paragraphs will indicate the tone and temper and tendencies he presents. After this we turn to a sermon by one of the prominent preachers in a leading Hamilton Church and give his introduction to a series of sermons on the social conditions of the country and as they might be were the teachings of Jesus to be loyally followed. Mr. William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, closed his Statement with these paragraphs: -
"It is a verdict in favor of personal liberty, electoral reform and of measures which will, among other things, prevent the national radio being surreptitiously used by any political party for the defamation of character.
"It is a verdict in favor of the reduction of the burden of public debt and of taxation, and in favor of the attainment of a balanced budget.
"It is a verdict in favor of the courses in international relations which will make for peace and good-will.
"It is a verdict in favor of a more equitable distribution of wealth, with increasing regard to human need, to the furtherance of social justice, and to the promotion of the common good.
"These are all principles and policies which the Liberal party has consistently and continuously espoused, and for which it has steadily fought. We began the fight for these policies and principles in the parliaments of Canada; we carried our advocacy of them to the people in by-elections, and in provincial elections. The voice of the people, though clear and decisive, remained unheeded, and their will and wish ignored. We have now submitted our policies to the people in a general election. We have received their endorsation. We shall now proceed to put these policies into effect.
"A century ago Liberalism had its birth in Canada in the struggle for political liberty and responsible government. The existence of both has been threatened in the period of time that Mr. Bennett has been at the head of affairs in Canada. They have been maintained in the measure they have, only by continuous and strenuous effort on the part of Liberals in and out of parliament. They will now be fully restored by a Liberal government.
Banish Poverty and Adversity
"In the new era which dawns today the struggle for the rights of the people will, in the realm of economic liberty and security, be carried on as never before. Poverty and adversity, want and misery are the enemies which Liberalism will seek to banish from our land.
"They have lain in wait at the gate of every Canadian home during the past five years, and their menacing mien has served to destroy the souls, as well as the minds and bodies, of an ever increasing number of men, women and children in our land. We take up at once, as our supreme task, the endeavor to end poverty in the midst of plenty; starvation and unnecessary suffering in a land of abundance; discontent and distress in a country more blessed by Providence than any other on the face of the globe, and to gain for individual lives, and for the nation as a whole, that health and peace and sweet content which is the rightful heritage of all.
"The people of Canada have made clear that, in their opinion, present material in-
terests, and a course of action which does not distinguish between materialistic and spiritual values, must make way for something nobler in the conduct of a nation's affairs, and that self-seeking and selfishness, however much they may appear to lead to worldly success, are not the paths of true greatness, either for an individual or a nation.
"The people of Canada today have reaffirmed their faith in the ancient and beneficent precepts that it is only by sharing each others burden, and doing unto others as we would have others do unto us, that men and nations can serve their own interests and the common good."
THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH
Preaching from the text Mark i. 14, "Jesus came into Galilee preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God," in Melrose United Church, Hamilton, on Sunday evening, October 20, Rev. George. G.D. Kilpatrick, B.A., P.D., Minister of the Church, announced a series of sermons intended to consider what Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God, and to what extent the Church had contributed to its establishment here on earth. The introductory portion of the sermon follows.
Dr. Kilpatrick's Exordium
It was an eye witness who wrote this account - Jesus came preaching the King-dom of God. His first impression of Jesus is of one who came with a message about the Kingdom of God. That is of deep significance to an age eager to find out what Christ has to say to its needs. According to Mark, Jesus first emphasis rested on the idea of the Kingdom of God. Has the Christian Church retained that emphasis? Certainly not consistently. There have been periods of history in which the conception of the Kingdom was lost sight of altogether. Personal salvation, for example, has again and again been the sole concern of the Church. There have been other periods, when the mind of the Church was taken up with stating its doctrines, and the strange thing is that the Kingdom is hardly mentioned in the articles agreed upon as the substance of Christian faith.
"Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God" - but the Church which exists to interpret His life and message to men has repeatedly moved away from that centre and substituted for the Gospel of the Kingdom some other truth. In view of the circumstances of life today, I am persuaded the Christian Church, if it is to speak with authority and give clear guidance to the world, must face, as it has not for years, the question of what Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God. Here is an age groping for light on its crucial problem - "How can we achieve an order of life in which men of all races can live together in friendship?" And beneath all our controversy about internal pacts and economic questions, isn't that what we are trying to find? - a way out of war, military or economic, into peace and goodwill?
Well, Jesus Christ came preaching the Kingdom of God, which is nothing less than the vision of a unified world, a world of Brotherhood. Here is a pattern of all we seek; here is given us the constitution, the principles, the secret of the very thing universally admitted as the deepest need of the world. Therefore I say the Church owes it to men to know the mind of Christ on the Kingdom. The world is asking - What must we do to be saved? And the Christian religion has an answer. I say "an" answer, for while we Christians believe it is "the" answer, it is not the only one before men today.
The Religion of Communism
If anything intensifies the need of the Church to study and to declare the Gospel of the Kingdom it is the fact that there is now before men a religion that claims to have another way to the same end of full and free life. It is the religion of Communism. And it is a religion. It is far more than an economic theory. I think we may fairly call any way of living a religion which captures the devotion of a people, so that they will be content to die for its prin-
ciples, even if that system declares it has no God. Men may argue for an intellectual position, but they die for a faith. That measure of devotion Communism has evoked among its followers. In the chaos of these days scores of economic doctrines are being discussed, but ultimately only two religions are competing for the allegiance of the world, therefore these two alone are concerned with the creation of a world order. The issue is joined - materialistic, godless, Communism, versus the Kingdom of God on earth.
When the Russian revolution broke in a bloody tide upon that great Empire all the world was horrified at its merciless passion. Communism became accursed in the mind of men. But in the eighteen years which have elapsed since that day amazing things have happened to modify that judgment. Hate Communistic methods as you well may, the thing itself has its achievements - one above all others - it has succeeded in ordering the thought and labor of any entire nation on a higher principle than that of ruthless competition - the principle of cooperation.
What the true conditions are in Russia it is difficult to learn, but of the fact that that nation is engaged in the experiment of abolishing the exclusive personal profit motive in life and replacing it by the ideal of cooperative service of the State, there is no doubt. When Stalin said to the Russian people, "In the Soviet Union we have deposited the word `riches' in the archives of the nation," he did not mean "collective" riches, for Russia is feverishly s trying to increase them, and is so succeeding that in five years she has risen from eighth place in industrial production to second, but he did mean the end of selfishly striving to be rich, when to be rich means that other people become poor.
The Higher Principle
I am not prepared to say that competition, with its spur to personal initiative and its urge for personal achievement, is incompatible with the ideal life, but I do say that cooperation - the enlistment of men's gifts for the common good, is a higher principle of life than competition as we now know it in our economic system. Once again, we may hate Communistic methods, but the avowed ends of Communism, fuller, richer, juster life, for all men, is judging our present order of life; and it seems to me inescapable that if the Christian religion cannot produce on its own principles a kind of life qualitatively better - as rich in material things and richer in spiritual realities than Communism, then in the end Communism will win. The disinherited millions of the world will understand and heed the argument of actual achievement on their behalf.
The final question we have to answer is just this - for the creation of a world order in which peace is a fact and mutual good will a fact, a life in which fear no longer leads every man to have his hand on a sword, a life in which barriers of mistrust and envy and hatred are all down - for that kind of a world, which is the higher principle, which is more likely to attain that end, cooperation, the pooling of resources, brains, loyalty to the end that all may benefit; or competition which puts a first emphasis on personal gain? To that question there is only one answer. Somehow we have to shift the emphasis in life to cooperation. That does not mean abolishing that fine and true element in competition - the stimulus for a man to make the most of life and to excel; but it does mean that in a new order of life there will be recognition among men, as there is not now, that they have responsibilities to society, to their fellow men - that the other man has an equal right, even if he hasn't equal ability, to share in the things that enrich life.
Change of Emphasis
I give it as my judgment that that change in emphasis must somehow be achieved if civilization is to rise from a welter of national strife to racial understanding and security. The question we face is - Will it come under materialistic, atheistic, Communism, or under the direc-
tion of the Kingdom of God on earth?
Do you see how this thrusts on Christians a new scrutiny of the Mind and Message of Christ? If the Church cannot first make out an unanswerable case for the claims of the Kingdom, and then demonstrate in life that it works by actually producing a Christian order, she must drop out of the reckoning of men. Christianity can only vindicate its claim for human allegiance as it produces something better than the old order, or Communism has been able to produce. The Russian experiment is now actually thrusting on the Christian religion the necessity of rediscovering the meaning of the Kingdom of God on earth. It is a strange thing to consider that the Soviet Union, which has abolished religion, may provide the stimulus for a revival of such Christian thinking and living as may transform the earth.
I do not think anyone who has really studied the teaching of Jesus can deny that that Gospel will fit better into a cooperative order than into a competitive order. It cannot be at home in a world where the weaker go to the wall, and the strong rise over and upon other men's defeat. Its genius will only truly flower in an order where men are working together for the common good."
Dr. Kilpatrick then outlined the course he intended to pursue in the following five or six Sunday evenings, in his studies of the New Testament teachings, reminding his hearers that it would involve economic questions which were inevitably controversial, but predicating that he would not advocate anything which did not belong to the teaching of Christ. Dr. Kilpatrick acknowledges his indebtedness to the writings of Dr. Stanley Jones, particularly to his recent book, Jesus's Substitute for Communism. But still earlier comes the Statement issued by the Board of Evangelism and Social Service (Five Cents from the Board, 299 Queen St. West, Toronto), of The United Church of Canada, which it may be said for those outside the Dominion, is composed of the former members of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregationalist Churches. The Statement is called, Christianizing The Social Order, and is quite the most radical document promulgated by any modern Church. It is, naturally, not more radical than Jesus and his apostles, as represented in the New Testament, but the Church of today is far from adopting the whole ethic and spirit of the New Testament.
"The identification of wealth with the acquisition of possessions has led to an unspiritual view of property .... The United Church of Canada is only loyal to an unbroken Church tradition in denying any right to absolute private ownership, and in affirming with other Churches the right of the community, acting through the State, to revise its definition of property, together with the rights and duties which possession invokes. We affirm that every man holds all he has as a steward of God, not for private aggrandizement of indulgence, but in order that the largest measure of common welfare may be achieved."
Unregulated competition for monetary gain, diverting effort in the quest for the common good to the enrichment of one at the expense of the other, is condemned. The Statement asserts: "We associate ourselves with the Anglican Bishops gathered from all parts of the world at Lambeth, in calling for a new spirit in Industry which will place cooperation for the general good above competition for private advantage." If the laymen will follow the clergymen in practicing these principles, we may yet outrival Russia in a New Order.
THE WORLD CONFRONTING WAR
Canada is in the happy position of being at peace with her neighbors, although she presents a tempting arena to such over-crowded nations as Japan, Italy, Germany. How long in the history of the world, she may remain sheltered by the British Navy and The United States Army it would take a prophet to make out. Much depends upon the moods and resolutions of
the nations in general. If they resolve on peace, and adopt measures of commerce and intercourse on an amicable basis, as brother men and not savage enemies, all will be well, and gradually the nations of the world might come to be on visiting terms, and get on as pleasantly together as the colonies and Dominions of the British Empire. We are all of one blood, and the Brotherhood of Man should not depend on the ambitions of any upstart militarist who believes himself to be more deific than others. The following address by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin indicates in some measure the perplexity to which events have driven even the most peaceably disposed of statesmen. How truly has it been said that the failure of the world to accept the Message of Theosophy, has plunged us all into the worst possibilities of the Kali Yuga, "an age black with horrors."
League of Nations Baffled
Worcester, Eng., Oct. 19. - Both the Briand-Kellogg peace pact and the League of Nations, have failed to preserve peace, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin declared in a political address, in his home town of Bewdley today.
Nevertheless, Baldwin said, Great Britain will not act alone in the Italo-Ethiopian conflict, even though "it has become our duty to circumscribe it and bring about peace."
The premier linked reference to the failure of the Kellogg pact, with what some of his hearers interpreted as a direct bid to the United States to join the League of Nations to insure the peace of the world.
He declared he would not accept the failure of peace efforts as marking the end of the league.
"I would say rather," he said, "that if this first attempt by the world to secure peace fails, let us see whether our machinery or whether our work may have been at fault, let us try again and let us see once more whether we cannot get those still outside the league to join the league.
"There could have been no alternative to the steps taken by the League of Nations in the Italo-Abyssinian dispute," Baldwin declared. "This conflict is not British-Italian conflict. It is a conflict between Italy and the League of Nations. No isolated action has been taken by Britain, and no isolated action will be taken.
"The object of the league is peace - not war. War is the last thing in the mind of the British government. There has been too much talk about war in many quarters. Such talk is evil. We are always ready to avail ourselves of any opportunity for conciliation.
"No country today can be independent of another," Baldwin declared after pointing out how trade and modern communications brought nations closer together. "It arises from that that no country if war once breaks out, can regard itself as secure from war until the war is ended.
"It is interesting to see how many of the clearest sighted men in the United States of America realize that even in that country, however they may talk of isolation, danger exists for them under modern conditions just as it exists for other countries.
"It seems perfectly obvious, that the only way - the only safe way for any nation to be kept out of war is to see that war never comes."
"Our path, we think, is peace. We are treading a new path. We cannot tell what that path will turn out to be."
He said that since the league, and the Briand-Kellogg pact had failed to prevent war, "it became the duty of the British government if possible, to circumvent and try and stop the war and bring about peace."
"We seek peace with nations composing the league. We take no step except in full unison with those working with us. It is a dangerous lie to say that the object of the British government is to overthrow Fascist Italy."
Baldwin said he hoped, "with some prospect of success," that an agreement would be reached "for the purpose of ensuring that there would be no naval com-
petition for the next 10 years or so."
Great Britain must have a general election "very quickly", Baldwin declared, saying he had made up his mind to this during the past 24 hours.
We had intended rounding out our survey of "The World Around Us" with a note on Japan, and her open assertion that she intends to achieve world dominance, now that Europe has gone decadent and the British Empire appears to be on the point of dissolution, or so they think; on the Vatican appeal to its Church adherents everywhere to support Italy in its great moral campaign to carry the true Church into th. savage lands of Abyssinia; and on some other facts that present problems to those interested in the destiny of the human race. But space does not permit and we must carry over till next month our regrets that superstition makes more appeal and has more interest for most people than the probable fate of the world.
AMONG THE LODGES
The visit of Mr. Felix A. Belcher to the Montreal Lodge may well prove to be an important milestone in the history of our Lodge. On Oct. 12th, at the Mount Royal Hotel he addressed a much interested audience on "The Three Objects of the Society". On Oct. 13th. (Sunday), also at the Mount Royal Hotel, to a larger audience, Mr. Belcher gave an excellent address, on "Occultism and Science, 1885-1935". On Monday, Oct. 14th being the day of the Federal Election, the meeting was held at the Lodge Room in the Coronation Bldg. Mr. Belcher gave a most comprehensive and appealing lecture on "How to study the Secret Doctrine". The earnestness of his appeal, the altogether new methods of how to study, inspired a new hope and even enthusiasm to tackle, at the earliest possible moment, what many of us had heretofore considered to be too difficult. As a result of Mr. Belcher's visit six copies of The Secret Doctrine have been sold to Montreal members. Oct. 15th, being Lodge night, Mr. Belcher took advantage of the opportunity to drive home to the members the great importance of getting a thorough understanding of the Secret Doctrine. Indeed, the appeal was so compelling that the Lodge resolved to proceed with the Study of the Secret Doctrine, commencing on Oct. 22nd and on Tuesday nights thereafter. Mrs. W.A. Griffiths kindly undertook to conduct the Study Class along the lines suggested by Mr. Belcher and an attendance of 13 at the first class held promised well. Thus the genial personality of Mr. Belcher has set in motion a force, the influence of which may be yet far reaching. The Montreal Lodge feels greatly indebted to Mr. Belcher for his visit. Mr. H. Lorimer is again conducting the Thursday evening class, studying "Ancient Wisdom". This is a popular class, and is always well attended.
The Speakers at the Sunday evening public lectures in October given by the Toronto Lodge, were Mr. A.E.S. Smythe, who spoke on "How God became man"; Mr. D.W. Bare spoke on "The Unfinished Symphony" which was illustrated by excellent gramophone records; Mr. L. Floyd spoke on "Reincarnation or the Law of Rebirth"; and Mr. F. Belcher spoke on "Dharma and Karma". Mr. L.W. Rogers visited us again this year giving three lectures on Oct. 9th, 10th and 11th, his subjects being, "New view on reincarnation and Karma", "Thought power and Fate", and Self Development". The attendance was not as large as on former occasions due to his visit falling in the last week prior to Election day, there being many political meetings held in the City. On Oct. 17th A. Leon Hatzau, M.D., well known traveler, gave an interesting lecture on "Lost continents and civilizations of the Ancient world", which was illustrated by some eighty excellent colored slides. During the past two winters the Lodge gave a series of Broadcast talks on theosophy on Sunday afternoons, consisting of fifteen and twenty talks respectively, it was
estimated that each season from eight to ten thousand listened, and last season about two thousand copies of these talks were sent out free of charge to those asking for them. These series were naturally a heavy drain on the lodge funds; this year the lodge will have to discontinue the broad-casts unless financial assistance be obtained from other sources. This propaganda work is the most important that has, as yet, been carried out in Canada, and should make a strong appeal and be a matter of vital interest to all members of the Canadian-Section. Using a powerful station in Toronto last year, an area was covered containing several million people. The interest should not be limited to the fact that these broadcasts do not reach some particular district in which some members may be living, it is a question of sending out the Beam of Theosophy, far and wide, and to "Give light and comfort to the toiling pilgrim, and seek out him who knows still less than thou." All members of the T.S. in Canada or any others, who may be interested in this work, can if they wish to assist, send their donation, large or small, to the treasurer, Mrs. J.K. Bailey, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont., who will gratefully acknowledge the same.
FROM OUTSIDE THE FLESH
The following letter, which has been received from a subscriber, explains itself. We have given only our friends initials, for we know how many disagreeable communications often arrive after such a statement: - Editor Canadian Theosophist: - I am sending subscription for the Magazine. Farming here on the prairie don't amount to anything. Since 1930 I was living a life in solitude and meditation. I am sorry I have to write with the pencil. Well, we as Theosophical students try to reach into the great mystery of life through study and meditation. I have had the privilege to know and see something of the resurrection while still in the physical body, leaving the same in the subtile vehicle. As a great heaviness came over me one fine Sunday afternoon about 3 o'clock, I lay down as one who is going to die, but the next moment I found myself standing outside the house in full consciousness; also the sun was shining, but everything was in darkness. Then I commanded Light, (it was a command) and everything was lighted up so that I saw the whole prairie in front of me. Then there was a swift movement and the next moment I was in the house, trying to walk, but oh! my legs were weak! I was conscious that my body was lying right behind me, which I had left. So I thought I will have a look at it, and as I turned my head and shoulders, there was a great fog, so I could not see plain.
The first thing which it is necessary for the soul of man to do in order to engage in this great endeavor of discovering true life, is the same thing that a child first does in its desire for activity in the body - he must be able to stand. (Through the Gates of Gold, p. 231) Yes, and then I know I was still connected to the physical body, and now comes the interesting part: The taking possession of the physical body again; There was another swift movement and I was conscious I was together with the vital body in the physical. Now I tried to move my arm and then the shoulders, and then I succeeded, which took me quite awhile, to open my eyes again. There is resurrection for you while still in the physical body. The strong man goes forth from his body exultant. That release from the chains of ordinary life can be obtained as easily during life as by death. Read Through the Gates of Gold, in your last Magazine, pages 255-256.
- E. R.
The Diamond) Jubilee Commemoration Number of The Theosophist has just been received from Adyar, and its varied contents should attract the attention and interest of all who value the Theosophical organization.
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.
Mrs. Albert E. S. Smythe, wife of the General Secretary, leaves for Ireland from Montreal on the "Antonia" on the 22nd inst., on a visit to her mother who has been in poor health for some years. She expects to return in February.
At 1.06 a.m. on Friday morning, November 1, Hamilton had an earthquake lasting a minute and a half, and at 9.33 on Saturday morning a very slight shock reminded all who felt it, as a naval captain remarked, of our "joyful sense of insecurity."
The Theosophical Path for October gives a final blow to the ridiculous story of a colony of mysterious Lemurians, alleged to be the Mount Shasta Brotherhood in northern California. Any one who knows anything of occultism at once denounces the yarn as fictitious, but people who swallow Spalding's monstrous concoctions and The Lives of Alcyone will believe anything.
We have been notified that the Theosophical Quarterly, the organ of the New York Theosophical Society, which claims to be the one and only real T.S., has been compelled by circumstances to suspend publication till next year. We understand that Mr. Ernest Temple Hargrove has been very seriously ill and that this is the reason for the suspension. He is now said to be improving in health, and we trust he will find his way to that joy and peace which begins with love of our fellow men.
The Quarterly Bulletin of the Hamilton T.S. completes its first year of publication. An article on Theosophical Idealism occupies the first page and regrets "the terrible superstitions and fears that plague and torment millions, which religious exploiters have carefully kept alive," but which vanish in the light of Theosophy. The passages dealing with the three fundamental postulates of The Secret Doctrine are usefully reproduced in the middle pages and the last is devoted to local and official Lodge information.
We have received very hearty greetings and timely messages from several of our colleagues of the General Council, among them Signor A.J. Plard, San Juan, Porto Rico; Miss Flora Selever, Budapest, Hungary; Erik Cronvall, Stockholm, Sweden. Madame C.W. Dyghraaf, writing from Geneva, requests that the National Societies vote one per cent. of their annual dues each year to the World Congress, Fund. We are inclined to think that those who attend Congresses get the benefit of them and should bear the costs. The less fortunate members, who have to stay at home and cannot afford to travel should hardly be expected to pay for those who can.
Jelisava Vavra. General Secretary of Jugoslavia, sends fraternal greetings to the Canadian National Society, and its members on the occasion of the Jugoslav annual
convention, lasting, with the Armistice celebration days from November 10 till the 18th, and a cordial invitation to any Canadian members who may wish to visit there. "Celebrating our dear Society's birthday we send you our loving greetings, praying you to remember us kindly with a message from your country," it is written. Also, "there is much good will and frankly sincere readiness for the realization of Peace. The historical fact indicating religious worship originated by the Ancient Wisdom known under the name "Bogumilli," which means "Dear to God," left the atmosphere which perhaps attracted H.P.B. to stay awhile, walking on this spot of the globe, now Jugoslavia." So Love, Joy, Peace, we heartily desire for these our Brethren.
"The Link (Incorporating The Seeker), has come to hand with Greetings from the T.S. in South Africa, being the September issue, and No. 1 of Vol. II. of the periodical. The General Secretary narrates a curious instance of karma which befell a number of members of the Blavatsky Lodge, Lourenco Marques, when after a meeting of the Lodge, they were standing chatting on a street corner prior to separating for their homes. As they stood a motorbicycle crashed into the gathering, injuring seriously in some cases, all but one. After a long struggle for existence that Blavatsky Lodge has now dissolved itself, "feeling that this accident was the final blow to any effort to be active. Our hope," adds the General Secretary, Lily M. Membrey, "now lies in one or two enthusiastic members who are bravely trying to keep from extinction the feeble flicker of the torch of Theosophy." We can only say it is always in the hands of the "one or two" that the torch of Theosophy has any chance of being borne into the darkness which it is hoped to lighten. We have Great hopes of the "one or two" and we hope Lily Alembrey will convey our sympathy and our good wishes to those who undeterred by accidents or ill-success, carry on with courage and good cheer, knowing that Life is full of strength and accomplishment, for those who know that "There is no room for sorrow in the heart of him who knows, and realizes the Unity of all spiritual beings. While people, monuments and governments disappear, the Self remains and returns again. The wise are not disturbed; they remain silent; they depend on the Self and seek their refuge in It."
The centenary of Mark Twain, Samuel Langhorne Clemens to his family, is being celebrated this month, he having been born on November 30, 1835. It is difficult to think of Mark Twain as having been a hundred years in the world, but then we only discovered him in the seventies, so that he is young in the world in the real sense yet. And he still has much work to do, for his works do follow him. Stephen Leacock in his new book about Charles Dickens tells how "among the audience at one of his New York lectures at Christmas time (December 23, 1867) sat a robust, vigorous young man of thirty-two, with a shock of reddish hair and a blue eye with something of the arresting power of Dicken's own glance. This was Mr. Samuel L. Clemens who had just had a sudden rise to literary success, as `Mark Twain' almost as phenomenal as that of Boz." The world owes much to Mark Twain and Theosophists not less than the rest. There is no greater lesson on Concentration than is to be found in his "Life on the Mississippi" and there are lessons in The Prince and the Pauper and in Joan of Arc and in A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court which no beginner can afford to miss. The one thing that the Theosophical Society has lacked since the death of Madame Blavatsky is a sense of humor, and it is practically impossible for people to get over dogmatism and theological bigotry and the bitter prejudices of religion without a sense of this sterling virtue. Brander Matthews places Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Pudd'nhead Wilson at the head
of all his writings, but no lover of Twain will miss any of his works.
A heavy loss has been sustained in the world of science in the death of Sir John C. McLennan on October 9, when he passed away suddenly during a railway journey in France. His career was almost entirely associated with the University of Toronto in which he took a vivid interest and was the means through the Alumni Association of erecting the splendid Convocation Building, the Physics Building; one of the best, equipped in the world, and in many other ways, adding to the lustre of his alma mater. He began life as an errand boy on a grocery wagon, but his genius urged him on and he became one of the most brilliant men of science in research work in the world. When the Great War broke out, he was one of the first men the British Admiralty sent for. More recently, one year he went over with half a dozen papers in his pocket to be submitted to the Royal Society, of which he was a Fellow. He expected them to be read by title. The Society demanded to hear them, and then resolved to publish them all in a special Transaction, an honour it is said never paid before to any Fellow. His researches in helium gas are well known. He was born at Ingersoll in 1867. After graduation at Toronto he took a course at Cambridge, was appointed on the staff at Toronto and rose step by step till he was professor of physics in 1907. The writer, as editor of the Toronto World, had many opportunities of meeting him, and he consented to address the Theosophical Society on several occasions. He was interested in The Secret Doctrine views of the atom and in the septenary law illustrated in Mendeleef's table of the chemical elements, and the relation of these which had magnetic or electric properties either separately or in alloys. The debate will be remembered on the origin of life which took place privately at the University between Dr. A.B. McCallum, professor of biology, and Dr. McLennan. It was notable that the biologist had the more material view of life than the physicist, and that the latter had the better of the argument.
The Magazine Theosophy announces that in the year beginning with November it will print a series of articles dealing with Robert Browning, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Walt Whitman, representing respectively the third, second and first objects of the T.S.. Theosophy concludes its "Aftermath" articles with a study of Dr. de Purucker who is dissected in the same spirit in which other notable members of the Theosophical Movement have been served. It may not be so intended, but Messrs. Garrigue, Clough and those associated with them certainly leave the impression that they honestly believe that no one else in the Universe is capable of understanding or expounding the works of Madame Blavatsky and William Q. Judge but themselves. One wonders if they really agree among themselves, or if they do not sometimes doubt the orthodoxy of each other. A little should be allowed for the good intentions of other people, and their intellectual weaknesses not too heavily emphasized. Their own calibre is rendered questionable when they try to assail the theosophical loyalty of Mrs. Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump, sincere, devoted, intelligent and most faithful followers of H.P.B. and The Secret Doctrine. We do not know Mr. Manly Hall personally but a friend who knows him endorses his character for integrity and unselfishness, and as "a true worker in the Theosophical Movement, although not belonging to any T.S." No doubt if he joined the U.L.T. he would rise spectacularly in the esteem of our Los Angeles contemporaries. We are not finding fault with them for having their own opinions which give a healthy fillip to all critical considerations, but there are other principles than Lower Manas to be considered. There is very little tenderness in Theosophy, and we doubt whether its editors will admit the existence of a kamic subplane on the Bud-
dhic plane. We are all servants of the One Master.
We are glad to get Dr. Stokes' lively periodical The O.E. Library Critic, Vol. xxiii, No. 9 for August-September having come to hand with the usual variety of subjects and sparkling treatment. The valuable article by A. Trevor Barker, editor of The Mahatma Letters, is reprinted from the February issue of The English Theosophical Forum and if there were nothing else in the Critic this article would repay the annual subscription of 50c. Mr Barker thinks that the organization methods of the Theosophical Societies are exhausting their energies without adequate results. The quiet influence of individuals and their moral power in their own communities he regards as more important than the building up of huge organizations. He quotes the Master K.H.: "Far be it from us to create a new hierarchy for the future oppression of a priest-ridden world." But that is exactly what the larger societies appear to aim at. The original intention was to have all the Societies local and autonomous. We have aimed at that in Canada, but we fear our local members have not always felt that the success of the Society as a whole depended upon them, and governed themselves accordingly. Every Fellow of the T.S. of whatever society should feel that the salvation of his age depended upon him and him alone. With that spirit we could really do something in the world and get rid of ambitious Leaders. A man is doing mighty well when he can lead himself. Dr. Stokes goes after the anonymous Magazine Theosophy in his usual two-fisted manner. He renews the charge that W.Q. Judge suppressed H.P.B.'s, letter of March 27, 1891 at the E.S. Council meeting immediately after H.P.B.'s death of May 8 of that year, in which H.P.B. wrote: "Unselfishness and Altruism is Annie Besant's name, but with me and for me she is Heliodore, a name given her by a Master, and that I use with her; it has a deep meaning. It is only a few months she studies occultism with me in the innermost group of the E.S., and yet she has passed far beyond all others. She is not psychic nor spiritual in the least -all intellect, and yet she hears Master's voice when alone, sees His Light, and recognizes his voice from that of D--. Judge, she is a most wonderful woman, my right hand, my successor, when I will be forced to leave you, my sole hope in England, as you are my sole hope in America." Other articles deal with A.M.O.R.C. and with Kingsland's Great Pyramid in Fact and Theory, and in The Periscope among other things he touches on the Wheaton Convention and our Article, "The Fly in the Ointment."
DUBLIN T.S. IN THE '90s
Editor Canadian Theosophist: - Your very interesting article about AE has awakened long dormant memories of the old Dublin Lodge of the T.S. in Ely Place. I, too, was a "clerk at a pound a week in Pim Bros.," and my earliest recollection of George Russell is of seeing him at the breakfast table in our common dining-room with a copy of the Bhagavad Gita propped up before him. He was extremely thin in those days, (about 1891), and devoted much effort to the disciplining of his physical body. The Bhagavad-Gita was the piece-de-resistance at most of his meals.
Agnes Varian, who passed away last month here at Halcyon, was also at that time a clerk at Pim Bros., and so was Arthur Dwyer.
Another memory is of walking in the rain with George to Kingsbridge Station to meet W.Q. Judge on his arrival from over the sea. The train was several hours late and we paced back and forth, soaked to the skin, while George recited and perfected some of the poems which were published in the Irish Theosophist.
And then, the original Print-shop of the I.T.! It was in the attic of the home of
the Coates Bros. Dan Dunlop was editor and one of the Coates boys was publisher, and we printed laboriously on a very small hand-press, one page at a time and that very badly. George would sit and smoke and recite and talk while we got out the magazine, somehow, after working into the small hours of the morning. At that time the residents of the Ely Place house were Fred and Annie Dick, Geo. Russell, Edmund King, Malcolm Magee, and myself, and frequent visitors were W.B. Yeats, Chas. Weekes, and John and Agnes Varian. Less frequently Maude Gonne, Katharine Tynan, and Dora Sigerson would drop in - and Russell was always the centre of it all. He would talk incessantly, and smoke all the time, often becoming so engrossed in his expositions that he would neglect his pipe and it would go out. Once, to test the extent of his absorption, someone, (Weekes I think), handed him a toy chocolate cigar, and he struck eight matches at intervals in an effort to light it. His matches flickered and died, but the lights he kindled in the hearts of everyone who knew him have never died, and who can say how many dormant souls have been awakened by George and those he brought to life. He was a flaming soul and to look into his eyes was to gaze into the eternal.
- Ernest Harrison,
Halcyon, California, Oct. 28.
AE'S EXPECTED RETURN TO IRELAND
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - Mrs. Nicholls is certainly wholly correct in saying that AE fully intended his absence from Ireland to be but a temporary one. I have many letters from him in which he speaks of this hope to return, and that he and I should work together for Theosophy in Ireland. What puzzles me, however, is what "inaccuracy" Mrs. Nicholls finds in my statement that "AE finally handed over charge" of the Hermetic Society to myself. I state a fact: it was his final act in connection with the Hermetic Society. Perhaps I do not understand English, but I fail to see how my words can be read to imply anything whatsoever concerning AE's intentions. In actual fact he shad no definite intentions at all when he left: he hoped to return to Ireland but whether to settle in Dublin was a question concerning which he was entirely undecided. Mrs. Nicholls is herself inaccurate when she suggests (unintentionally.) that AE's "published correspondence" declared his definite intention of resuming his leadership of the Hermetic Society. Mrs. Nicholls can inspect the relevant letters which I hold, at any time.
-(Capt.) P. G. Bowen.
11 Grantham Street, Dublin, Sept. 28.
THROUGH THE GATES OF GOLD
A FRAGMENT OF THOUGHT
By Mabel Collins
(Concluded from Page 257.)
The man who is strong, who has resolved to find the unknown path, takes with the utmost care every step. He utters no idle word, he does no unconsidered action, he neglects no duty or office however homely or however difficult. But while his eyes and hands and feet are thus fulfilling their tasks, new eyes and hands and feet are being born within him. For his, passionate and unceasing desire is to go that way on which the subtile organs only can guide him. The physical world he has learned, and knows how to use; gradually his power is passing on, and he recognizes the psychic world. But he has to learn this world and know how to use it, and he dare not lose hold of the life he is familiar with till he has taken hold of that with which he is unfamiliar. When he has acquired such power with his psychic organs as the infant has with its physical organs, when it first opens its lungs, then is the hour for
the great adventure. How little is needed - yet how much that is. The man does not need the psychic body to be formed in all parts, as is an infant's; he does but need the profound and unshakable conviction which impels the infant, that the new life is desirable. Once those conditions gained and he may let himself live in the new atmosphere and look up to the new sun. But then he must remember to check his new experience by the old. He is breathing still, though differently; he draws air into his lungs, and takes life from the sun. He has been born into the psychic world, and depends now on the psychic air and light. His goal is not here: this is but a subtile repetition of physical life; he has to pass through it according to similar laws. He must study, learn, grow, and conquer; never forgetting the while that his goal is that place where there is no air nor any sun or moon.
Do not imagine that in this line of progress the man himself is being moved or changing his place. Not so. The truest illustration of the process is that of cutting through layers of crust or skin. The man, having learned his lesson fully, casts off the physical life; having learned his lesson fully, casts off the psychic life; having learned his lesson fully, casts off the contemplative life, or life of adoration.
All are cast aside at last, and he enters the great temple; where any memory of self or sensation is left outside as the shoes are cast from the feet of the worshiper. That temple is the place of his own pure divinity, the central flame which, however obscured, has animated him through all these struggles. And having found this sublime home he is sure as the heavens themselves. He remains still, filled with all knowledge and power. The outer man, the adoring, the acting, the living personification, goes its own way hand in hand with Nature, and shows all the superb strength of the savage growth of the earth, lit by that instinct which contains knowledge. For in that inmost sanctuary, in the actual temple, the man has found the subtile essence of Nature herself. No longer can there be any difference between them or any half-measures. And now comes the hour of action and power. In that inmost sanctuary all is to be found: God and his creatures, the fiends who prey on them, those among men who have been loved, those who have been hated. Difference between them exists no longer. Then the soul of man laughs in its strength and fearlessness, and goes forth into the world in which its actions are needed, and causes these actions to take place without apprehension, alarm, fear, regret, or joy.
This state is possible to man while yet he lives in the physical; for men have attained it while living. It alone can make actions in the physical divine and true.
Life among objects of sense must forever be an outer shape to the sublime soul, - it can only become powerful life, the life of accomplishment, when it is animated by the crowned and indifferent god that sits in the sanctuary.
The obtaining of this condition is so supremely desirable because from the moment it is entered there is no more trouble, no more anxiety, no more doubt or hesitation. As a great artist paints his picture fearlessly and never committing any error which causes him regret, so the man who has formed his inner self deals with his life.
But that is when the condition is entered. That which we who look towards the mountains hunger to know is the mode of entrance and the way to the Gate. The Gate is that Gate of Gold barred by a heavy bar of iron. The way to the threshold of it turns a man giddy and sick. It seems no path, it seems to end perpetually, its way lies along hideous precipices, it loses itself in deep waters.
Once crossed and the way found, it appears wonderful that the difficulty should have looked so great. For the path where it disappears does but turn abruptly, its line upon the precipice edge is wide enough for the feet, and across the deep waters that look so treacherous there is al-
ways a ford and a ferry. So it happens in all profound experiences of human nature. When the first grief tears the heart asunder it seems that the path has ended and a blank darkness taken the place of the sky. And yet by groping, the soul passes on, and that difficult and seemingly hopeless turn in the road is passed.
So with many another form of human torture. Sometimes throughout a long period, or a whole lifetime the path of existence is perpetually checked by what seem like insurmountable obstacles. Grief, pain, suffering, the loss of all that is beloved or valued, rise up before the terrified soul and check it at every turn. Who places those obstacles there? The reason shrinks at the childish dramatic picture which the religionists place before it, - God, permitting the Devil to torment His creatures for their ultimate good! When will that ultimate good be attained? The idea involved in this picture supposes an end, a goal. There is none. We can any one of us safely assent to that for as far as human observation, reason, thought, intellect, or instinct can reach towards grasping the mystery of life, all data obtained show that the path is endless and that eternity cannot be blinked and converted by the idling soul into a million years.
In man, taken individually or as a whole, there clearly exists a double constitution. I am speaking roughly now, being well aware that the various schools of philosophy cut him up and subdivide him according to their several theories. What I mean is this: that two great tides of emotion sweep through his nature, two great forces guide his life; the one makes him an animal, and the other makes him a god. No brute of the earth is so brutal as the man who subjects his godly power to his animal power. This is a matter of course, because the whole force of the double nature is then used in one direction. The animal pure and simple obeys his instincts only and desires no more than to gratify his love of pleasure; he pays but little regard to the existence of other beings except in so far as they offer him pleasure or pain; he knows nothing of the abstract love of cruelty or of any of those vicious tendencies of the human being which have in themselves their own gratification. Thus the man who becomes a beast, has a million times the grasp of life over the natural beast, and that which in the pure animal is sufficiently innocent enjoyment, uninterrupted by an arbitrary moral standard, becomes in him vice, because it is gratified on principle. Moreover he turns all the divine powers of his being into this channel, and degrades his soul by making it the slave of his senses. The god, deformed and disguised, waits on the animal and feeds it.
Consider then whether it is not possible to change the situation. The man himself is kin of the country in which this strange spectacle is seen. He allows the beast to usurp the place of the god, because for the moment the beast pleases his capricious royal fancy the most. This cannot last always, why let it last any longer? So long as the animal rules there will be the keenest sufferings in consequence of change, of the vibration between pleasure and pain, of the desire for prolonged and pleasant physical life. And the god in his capacity of
servant adds a thousandfold to all this, by making physical life so much more filled with keenness of pleasure, - rare, voluptuous, aesthetic pleasure, - and by intensity of pain so passionate that one knows not where it ends and where pleasure commences. So long as the god serves, so long the life of the animal will be enriched and increasingly valuable. But let the king resolve to change the face of his court, and forcibly evict the animal from the chair of state, restoring the god to the place of divinity.
Ah, the profound peace that falls upon the palace! All is indeed changed. No longer is there the fever of personal longings or desires, no longer is there any rebellion or distress, no longer any hunger for pleasure or dread of pain. It is like a great calm descending on a stormy ocean; it is like the soft rain of summer falling on
parched ground; it is like the deep pool found amidst the weary, thirsty labyrinths of the unfriendly forest.
But there is much more than this. Not only is man more than an animal because there is the god in him, but he is more than a god because there is the animal in him.
Once force the animal into his rightful place, that of the inferior, and you find yourself in possession of a great force hitherto unsuspected and unknown. The god as servant adds a thousand-fold to the pleasures of the animal; the animal as servant adds a thousandfold to the powers of the god. And it is upon the union, the right relation of these two forces in himself, that man stands as a strong king, and is enabled to raise his hand and lift the bar of the Golden Gate. When these forces are unfitly related, then the king is but a crowned voluptuary, without power and whose dignity does but mock him; for the animals, undivine, at least know peace and are not torn by vice and despair.
That is the whole secret. That is what makes man strong, powerful, able to grasp heaven and earth in his hands. Do not fancy it is easily done. Do not be deluded into the idea that the religious or the virtuous man does it! Not so. They do no more than fix a standard, a routine, a law, by which they hold the animal in check. The god is compelled to serve him in a certain way, and does so, pleasing him with the beliefs and cherished fantasies of the religious, with the lofty sense of personal pride which makes the joy of the virtuous. These special and canonized vices are things too low and base to be possible to the pure animal, whose only inspirer is Nature herself, always fresh as the dawn. The god in man, degraded, is a thing unspeakable in its infamous power of production.
The animal in man, elevated, is a thing unimaginable in its great powers of service and of strength.
You forget, you who let your animal self live on, merely checked and held within certain bounds, that it is a great force, an integral portion of the animal life of the world you live in. With it, you can sway men, and influence the very world itself, more or less perceptibly according to your strength. The god, given his right place, will so inspire, and guide this extraordinary creature, to educate and develop it, so force it into action and recognition of its kind, that it will make you tremble when you recognize the power that has awakened within you. The animal in yourself will then be a king among the animal of the world.
This is the secret of the old-world magicians, who made Nature serve them and work miracles every day for their convenience. This is the secret of the coming race which Lord Lytton foreshadowed for us.
But this power can only be attained by giving the god the sovereignty. Make your animal ruler over yourself, and he will never rule others.
Secreted and hidden in the heart of the world and in the heart of man is the light which can illumine all life, the future and the past. Shall we not search for it? Surely some must do so. And then perhaps those will add what is needed to this poor fragment of thought.
NEW METHODS NEEDED
By Cyrus Field Willard
It was a great pleasure to read the names of some of my old friends in the Theosophical Movement, when I read of the Fraternization convention, which will have, I believe, a great influence on the future of that movement. I am reminded of the time that Bertram Keightley, sent to America by H.P.B., came to my office in the editorial rooms of the Boston Globe, and asked me to join the Boston Branch of the Theosophical Society. This was in 1887 and I remember I cried in some heat;
"What! join a Society formed to pro-
mote a nucleus of universal Brotherhood, whose members are fighting like cats and dogs all the time? Not on your life," was my reply.
"But you say you are a Theosophist?" he persisted. I had written in 1884 when H.P.B. was in the midst of the Coulomb trouble at Madras and told her that I was a Theosophist instead of saying I was trying to be one.
"Yes I believe in Theosophy."
"Then don't you think it is your duty to join?"
"My duty?" I said in wonder. "How is it my duty?"
He said, "You are connected with this big paper and can be of great help to this poor little struggling society." He was accompanied by Arthur Griggs, then the President of the Boston branch, to whom I said, "Take that Application blank out of your pocket, Griggs." He did, and I signed it and have been in all the rows ever since until I left the Society, a short time before Mrs. Tingley was killed in an automobile accident in Europe.
New methods are necessary and the quarrels over personalities must cease. The fraternization movement where persons with fraternal love in their hearts come together, as in that recent convention, brings together a united spiritual force that is of greater occult potency than many of the participants perhaps realize. I can look back over 50 years of the Theosophical Movement, and see where we have made many mistakes in our method of presenting the wonderful truths of Theosophy to the people of the world, at least in the western part thereof. Our duty is to those incarnating with us. It was necessary for H.P.B. to attack the materialistic Christianity of her day. But, we are not all H.P.B. Although there are some who think they know better than she, and call Karma, "Karman", although Karma was good enough for her.
We live in a civilization dominated by so-called Christianity. We attack Christianity and fail to make converts. The teachings of Jesus the Christ are our beliefs, and if we bring out these facts we will make more believers in Theosophy, and more members.
Jesus told Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again," and all the glosses and commentaries cannot change those words. He told his disciples in the 11th verse of the 11th chapter of Matthew, speaking of John the Baptist, "If ye will receive it, this is Elijah that is to come," or "who was to come," and is its meaning, no matter how the translators have mixed the tenses, for often the present tense is used for the future or past. In another place St. Paul said, "God is not mocked, for as a man soweth so shall he also reap." That does away with vicarious atonement! Jesus said that the Son of Man would reward every man according to his works. Matt. xvi., 27. - Here are the twin doctrines of Theosophy, Karma and reincarnation as taught by Jesus, saying in the matter of John being the reincarnation of Elijah, "He that hath ears, to hear let him hear." This should be our injunction to all professing Christians.
For if these doctrines taught by Jesus are not now in the Christian religion, whose fault is it? We have no antagonism against these teachings of Jesus. They are what we believe. The fact that these doctrines are omitted from the various branches of the present Christian religion is one of the greatest indictments against the system, rightly called Churchianity, and we need say no more. All we as Theosophists need to urge is the fact that Jesus taught reincarnation and Karma. If we emphasize this we will not have any lack of converts; we but restore the lost chord of Christianity.
It seems to me that a new spirit is abroad, and if we but follow these methods we will see an ever increasing number of members of our Theosophical societies, if guided by the wise counsel of the editor of this paper, who has held aloft the banner of pure Theosophy lo! these many years.
A RELIGION FOR THE YOUNG
There is no system of thought that offers so much to Youth as does Theosophy, embracing as it does the All-Inclusive Wisdom of the Ages. For there is no subject however recondite, none so abstract, none so sacred, that cannot be studied in this Science-Philosophy-Religion. To Youth it offers the discovery of All Nature and suggests adventure at every step of investigation. Filled with hints of what has transpired, through the fathomless depths of Time and of prophecies of what is to come long ages hence, fraught with the mysteries of both past and present, Theosophy provides not only intellectual stimuli but promises the development of faculties which lie latent in man awaiting proper and careful rediscovery and training under trustworthy tutelage.
Having been given to the world by the Highest Initiates whose Holy Purpose in Life is to live to benefit mankind, by raising the spiritual levels of humanity, Theosophy offers to the earnest student who is indefatigable in the application of its precepts a moral security and a spiritual peace not to be completely found elsewhere.
Youth in its tireless quest to find its place in the scheme of things often unwisely turns to paths that lead to disappointment, and seemingly unjust suffering. In a world of beings the youth finds himself companion to other humans and to the animal creatures. He find himself an observer of the stars above him, the plants and flowers about him, and the mineral kingdom below him. Alert to the psychical changes of the times he no longer believes that God created him to be lord over all creation or that He put the stars in the heavens just to please man's fancy with their twinkle. Being awake mentally he is acquainted with the latest scientific developments which teach a Universe made of mind-stuff and a cosmic infiltration of energy centres. Being ambitious for what he calls a "success" in life, he often decides that the environment be is born into is a barrier to the realization of his dreams; that his people from whom he thinks he has inherited disease or evil tendencies, peculiar ways or a grotesque body, are the wrong kind of people; that there is no such condition as equal opportunity and that even his government is rotten to the core. In this trend of thought he usually does one of three things: acquiesces to conditions as he finds them and beds down in the mire of his own inhibitions; attempts to flee from the surroundings so distasteful to him; or revolting tries to upset the applecart by his bitterness. In any event he has not found his place in the scheme of things for he has looked outside himself to find this place. For however close relatives, for instance, may be or however inhibiting environment and governments may seem, they remain uninterpretable so long as he does not seek within to understand himself.
In Theosophy, Youth may learn that environmental conditions are never a mistake - nor an accident. He is taught that they are a clear testimony of that which he has drawn unto himself by love or hate. He learns that kicking over the traces does no good; that it is simply abortive to any attempt to improve affairs; that rising above things as he finds them, that looking to his Inmost Being and setting out in positive loyalty to his Inner Self is the only way out, for that is looking the situation in the face and understanding conditions as he meets them. Without understanding he can hope to accomplish nothing but blunders.
He learns that physical proximity is not always indicative of that which is nearest one's heart. He learns that though a continent, an ocean, a world, or a universe may appear to separate him from that which he most loves, there is an Essence within him that binds him to the thing he holds so dear; for he and it are one. This is a great lesson that he learns, for from it he also learns the fundamental unity of All Nature. It is not long before he realizes that the crux of the whole matter
is finding out that which is most truly nearest his heart, the centre of his being - that which enjoys the pure sweet light springing from the Inner Flame at the heart of him.
Once Youth understands the truth of the Theosophical teaching that he is the result of himself and that he is where and how he is by his own actions, he leaves off being resentful and discontented. He hesitates to "pass the buck" and begins to accept his own responsibilities. He attempts to stand on his own feet and in attempting, gradually gains a poise that withstands the temptations that are so likely to come his way.
Youth in the composite is expressive of so manny different aspects of himself: beauty, freedom, pleasure, adventure, excitement, ambition, and dreams. And in the exuberance of his nature, he often plunges himself into experiences that result in serious consequences. But Youth does not need to be restrained, he needs to learn that he can bridle his own nature and direct his own course. He needs to learn that he is the rider of his own steed which he himself has broken to the bit of self-discipline. Theosophy teaches that everyone can direct his own course, can make his own Karma.
Theosophy also teaches that everyone is evolving and that evolution means the bringing out of that which is within. Therefore, if Youth understands that in the core of him there is an indwelling god he will seek more readily the noble things of life, and scorn the cheap and tawdry. He will realize that alliance with the Wisdom of the Ages is to reap the benefit derived from the bringing forth of his own god from within.
Youth seeking Life often finds Death - Death that is sometimes merely physical annihilation, at other times a destruction of precious faculties, or in the horrible extreme a breaking down of the moral fibre that supports his very soul. In any of these cases, teaching of Theosophy will be like a beacon light to the Youth who in the intensity of his too full life has lost himself in the fog of doubt and bewilderment and misunderstanding and fear, all of which has caused him to lose hope too soon. Theosophy gives hope to such Youth for Theosophy teaches that man returns again and again to take up his life and his work where he has left off; to unravel the entanglements his lower nature has been the cause of; to learn the lessons his stupidity and lack of self-control have made him neglect. The knowledge of reincarnation makes life an adventure. Meeting "new" faces, being attracted to "new" people or repelled by others indicate most clearly adventures begun in other lives with these same people - adventures to be continued until they are brought to harmonious fruition. The knowledge of this teaching indissolubly linked as it is with the Law of Consequences or Cause and Effect is a challenge to Youth to change the discords of his life into the beautiful harmonies developed by impersonal love and service to others.
Physical death to Youth is so often frightening and revolting. Frequently he is shaken to the very depths of his being in what appears to him eternal destruction. Were Youth to understand thoroughly the Theosophical teaching he would know that Death is a gateway to Life itself. Then he would understand something of the phenomena of Nature in regard to this tearing-down-building-up process. For he would learn that man is not body alone, that indeed his body is the least important portion of him. He would learn how man's higher principles seek their own realms and how the myriad of evolving entities composing the lower principles go on peregrinations of their own in the after-death state.
And learning something about Death; Youth would paradoxically learn much about Life and of his part in it. He would learn that he is composed of innumerable Life Atoms that through him are getting their experiences on this evolutionary journey. He would learn that he is an in-
separable part of the Universe which is also evolving. He would learn that his fellowmen have lived just as he has, lived for aeons of time; that they like him have had their cyclic periods of activity and rest; that the people with whom he works and plays, and those whom he loves and hates, are people he has known before. Human relations would take on an added value. More care would be exercised as to duties to be performed and daily life in general. For Youth would see for himself that the Law of Karma or Cause and Effect, or Action and Re-Action simply means that there can be no thought sent out, no word spoken, no deed done, without attending reaction on the one responsible. Knowing this Law, Youth would become more thoughtful, kindlier is his attitude toward others, more considerate of his fellows, more understanding of the aches of the human heart, more eager to alleviate the pain, and less willing to risk adding to the suffering of the world by indulgences through the dictates of his lower nature.
Theosophy teaches one to know himself, for knowing one's self he would know all things. Youth becoming acquainted with this thought would learn that at the heart of him is the core of the Core of All Being. He would feel himself a very Universe. Before him would be the discovery of All Nature, there being no branch of any Knowledge that is not an integral part of Theosophy.
Theosophy is not so much an anchor which Youth can throw into a turbulent sea to stop his forward progress, as it is a directory of how to use the compass he finds within his own nature by which he can set his course to destinations that only Youth dares dream about.
- Jalie Neville, Shore Headquarters, Staff,
Point Loma, California.
The above was read before the Fraternization Convention, last August in Toronto, and should appeal to those interested in the Youth Movement.
"SAYINGS OF THE ANCIENT ONE"
The Ancient One is not to be confused with the Old Boy though the impulse is irresistible to associate one with the other. And perhaps there may be a link between the African Sage, with the Chinese Mage, for their Wisdom seems to belong to those earlier races whose descendants sought refuge in Asia and Africa. Capt. P.G. Bowen, who has presented this book to the world, has reaped richly from the fields of Africa, and his statement that the original of his translations are written in Isinzu, an archaic form of Bantu, indicates an antiquity that might lead us into Atlantean lore, at least. Capt. Bowen points out himself the resemblance between his scripts and the well known phrases of "Light on the Path" and indeed ventures on some remarks about the origin of that remarkable work. He has told us also in an article on "Africa's White Race" (Theosophical Path, Point Loma, October, 1932) of his intercourse with the Berbers of North Africa, and that again, so fleet and flitting is the mind, recalls Wilson MacDonald's "Hosts of Barbary." Government service kept Capt. Bowen for 25 years among the African natives, and his aptitude for native languages brought him into contact with "the real rulers of all tribes, namely, the people miscalled `witch-doctors'," Thus he met a chief of a white race in the Zulu region. "He was an Atlas Berber, but had traveled not only over all Africa, but over most of the world. He spoke English and several European languages perfectly, and exhibited an erudition far superior to my own. And yet he was living in this remote spot, the life of an ordinary Bantu headman!" The position of this man was that of a teacher to whom little groups came, attending daily at his hut to get knowledge. In one group was seen an Arab, in another two Rajput Indians. Capt. Bowen became one of a group of seven, and in his studies with this Wise Man the learned what he now embodies in this priceless little
volume. His teacher and those associated with him say they are members of a great Brotherhood which was termed by his teacher "Brothers of Secret Wisdom." An Egyptian friend whom he had met from the northern half of Africa, spoke of it as "Elders of Ethiopia." The higher grades of attainment among them are spoken of as "Those Who Know," and above these is said to be "The Ancient One." This new book contains in addition to the section "The Path to Manhood," included in the article of three years ago, and now revised, and the Introductory section, one entitled "The Wilderness of the Mind of Man," another called "The Temple and the Pool," and then the invaluable article which we had the honor of publishing last February, "Th Way Towards Discipleship." After this comes a chapter on "The Universe, The Planet, The World, and Man." The last section provides "Hints and Explanations for the Student." To say that this is an epoch-making book is nothing more nor less than the truth for those who are seeking what they have hitherto failed to find. Here is a gateway to the Path, and there need be no straying in strange by-paths under this instruction. There is nothing of the psychic world about it, the Hall of Learning, under whose every flower lies a serpent coiled. A book like this needs no puffing. It will make its way as Light on the Path made its way, in spite of opposition and ridicule and abuse. It is, of course, a novelty in these days to find a book which is thoroughly Theosophical, which makes no appeal to authority, which is satisfied to state its message and to leave it without any effort to arouse wonder, the first step to superstition, or belief, the first step to credulity. It speaks to students and would have them use their reason and their intuition for the benefit of their fellows. When they have gained Wisdom and put it into action in their lives, they will find that they have gained more than they imagined. For in the Secret Path "One becomes a member by virtue of a certain development of mind and in no other way. There are many members they say, who are unaware that they are such." And no claims are made.
"CONCENTRATION AND MEDITATION"
Among the many good works of the Buddhist Lodge in London, England, and remembering that "Buddhism in England," the bimonthly organ of the Lodge is the source of many of these, we must praise this little book on "Concentration and Meditation" as one of the most useful compendiums that has ever been issued on the subject. There are many books written to guide the student, but this one appears to sum them all up, and yet leaves one free to choose his own course. In fact we are not inclined to follow any of the usual systems which partake more or less of Hatha Yoga, but do adapt as much of the Patanjali system as suits our western heredity, and training and experience seems to indicate that with such knowledge and the intensive application that comes from western business methods, a habit of concentration will be formed which will be quite sufficiently effective for all ordinary students. Concentration without interest does not appear to lead to any important results. In the Epistle to the Colossians St. Paul speaks of certain phases of such practice. Dr. Moffatt translates, ii. 23: "These rules are determined by human precepts and tenets; they get the name of wisdom with their self imposed devotions, with their fasting, with their rigorous discipline of the body, but they are of no value, they simply pamper the flesh!" It is of interest to compare Ferrar Fenton's translation of the same passage, for Dr. Moffatt allows his prejudices to color his renderings in the most questionable way, as instance Colossians ii. 8. Here is the Fenton rendering of ii. 23: "In which there is certainly a show of prudence is the repression of appetite, and meekness, and disregard of the body, yielding it no consideration by sensual gratification."
Dr. Richard Francis Weymouth gives a much better rendering than either of these. "These rules," he translates, "have indeed an appearance of wisdom where self-imposed worship exists, and an affectation of humility and an ascetic severity. But not once of them is of any value in combating the indulgence of our lower natures." The fact is that all these practices savor more or less of hatha yoga, and in following it the true method of raj yoga are forgotten. The Old Testament injunction: "What soever thy hands find to do, do it with all thy might," is wholly and completely satisfactory as a method of concentration. On a higher plane of action we have the New Testament formula: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and mind and soul and strength." One who can do this is needless of other methods. But these outright applications are impossible to any student unless he has aroused an emphatic interest in what he is doing. The lack of this interest is what is behind all so-called irreligion and all worldliness. If a man be more interested in this world and the things of this plane, his concentration will be on them. If he can be interested to the same or greater extent on higher things he will find it easy to concentrate on the higher things. It is of slight use trying to get people to concentrate on Theosophy or Divine Wisdom or anything of a subjective nature until he is inspired with a real living interest in what he seeks, his concentration will never gain any important success. He may by mere sticking at it develop a habit of will, or "will-worship" as St. Paul's word has been translated, but the will without other elements of buddhi and manas is ineffective. One may gain more skill from simple business concentration or professional application, than from any practice of the hatha yogic systems. The present volume will supply the student with everything that he possibly requires in following up the study of this branch of occultism. There are four main divisions in the book. These are Concentration, Lower Meditation, with an interlude on the laws of health, Higher Meditation and Contemplation, fifteen chapters in all, with two appendices. It is full of the best advice and can be recommended as a perfectly safe guide to any intelligent person who wishes to understand the psychology of religion. But apart from religion altogether any person who wishes to become more efficient, more intelligent, more alert, and of more use to himself and to the world in general, will find in the book everything that is necessary to aid him in bringing all his powers into play, and in developing many latent faculties that he probably had not dreamed of possessing. A new edition is being called for and may be had for One Dollar from The Buddhist Lodge, 37 South Eaton Place, Westminster, S.W. 1, London, England.
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.
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by F. B. Housser
TIBETAN YOGA AND SECRET DOCTRINES
The above is the title of W.Y. Evans
-Wentz' latest book published by the Oxford University Press. The book is not actually by him, he is only the arranger, editor, annotator and commentator of "Seven Books of Wisdom of the Great Path, According to the Late Lama Kaza Dawa-Samdup's English Rendering."
It is only once in a long time one comes across a new book that he feels is important. This book conveys that impression. It can be re commended to all students of psychology in the west, both masters and pupils. To read it is to recognize the infant estate of our so-called psychological sciences. To Theosophical students its philosophy will be familiar although there is much new material never before translated into English. Among the quotations from the seven books of wisdom is one from "The Voice of the Silence" of which Madame Blavatsky made a translation.
This is the third book of a trilogy which Dr. Evans Wentz has been instrumental in giving to western readers, all translated by his master, the Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup. The first was "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" or the after death experiences on the so-called Bardo plane. The second was the life of "Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa" who lived in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
Dr. Evans-Wentz' history is told in the foreword to his latest work by R.R. Marett, Rector of Exeter College, Oxford, and Reader in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. Dr. Wentz is also an Oxford professor and a post graduate of Stanford University, California. For many years he was a student and collector of primitive folk lore of Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall anal Brittany, in the hope of tracking down and interviewing an authentic fairy seer. He eventually took as his field of study the entire folk lore of Europe and became what Marett calls "a scholar gypsy." In 1911 he published "The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries." Degrees were conferred upon him by Oxford University and the University of Rennes. In 1917, - with the help of the famous Lawrence of Arabia his fellow-student at Oxford, - he received permission to carry on his investigations in India. A year later he joined a pilgrimage over the Himalayas to the Cave of Amar-Nath and soon he was living as a Sadhu in a grass hut in the jungles of the Upper Ganges. Later he went to Sikkim where he met the learned Lama Kazi Dawa Samdup whose chela he became. The Lama died in 1922 and ever since Dr. Evans-Wentz has devoted his time to preparing for publication his guru's English translations of the works already mentioned.
Seven Esoteric Treatises
The volume "Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines" contains seven distinct but related treatises translated from the Tibetan, belonging for the most part, says Dr. Evans-Wentz, to the esoteric lore of the Mahayana or great path. Orientalists have translated Mahayana as "the great vehicle" translating Yana as "vehicle" but "Path" according to Dr. Evans-Wentz is preferable. (Yana, that by which one goes)
The first four treatises given, present an account of the yogis practices which Milarepa successfully put to the test personally in the hermitages of the Himalayas. "For Milarepa's followers today they are still the Light on the Path leading to liberation," Evans-Wentz tells us.
The fifth treatise antedates Buddhism coming down through the school of "The Old Style Ones." The sixth is a mantra
yoga common to all schools of Mahayana in Tibet. The seventh is an epitome of the doctrines known as "Transcendental Wisdom" and is representative of the orthodox metaphysics underlying the whole of Lamaism in Tibet.
A lengthy and exhaustive commentary is supplied by Dr. Evans-Wentz, the chief source of which is the explanatory teachings privately transmitted from the translator to the editor or from guru to chela. These have been supplemented "in some measure" by later research on the part of the editor, Dr. Evans-Wentz, into the Tibetan and Indian aspects of yoga.
The editor's commentary is one of the best short treatises on Buddhism and yogi that this reviewer has come across in much reading along these lines. The ground for study is cleared by a section on "Some Misconceptions Concerning Buddhism" which the editor points out are current among European peoples. "Unfortunately, too" he adds "there has been on the part of opposing religions much misrepresentation, some deliberate, some arising from ignorance, of the subtle transcendentalism which makes Buddhism more a philosophy than a religion, although it is both . . . . . As a philosophy, and also as a science of life, Buddhism is more comprehensive than any philosophical or scientific system yet developed in the occident, for it embraces life in all its multitudinous manifestations throughout innumerable states of existence, from the lowest of sub-human creatures to beings far in evolutionary advance of man."
H. P. B. on Buddhism
Madame Blavatsky, herself a Buddhist, states in Isis Unveiled (123) that Kabalism, Judaism and our present Christianity all sprang originally from prehistoric Buddhism, "the once universal religion," which later merged into Brahmanism, and finally degenerated into Lamaism.
"The Roman Catholic Church has never had so good a chance to Christianize all China, Tibet and Tartary as in the thirteenth century during the reign of Kublai-Khan," says Madame Blavatsky (Isis 581). "It seems strange that they did not embrace the opportunity when Kublai was hesitating at one time between the four religions of the world and, perhaps through the eloquence of Marco Polo, favored Christianity more than either Mahometanism, Judaism, or Buddhism... It seems that unfortunately for Rome, the embassy of Marco Polo's father and uncle failed, because Clement IV. happened to die just at that very time. There was no pope for several months to receive the friendly overtures of Kublai-Khan, and thus the 100 Christian missionaries invited by him could not be sent to Tibet and Tartary. . . Perhaps, - who knows? - Pope Clement fell sick so as to save the Buddhists from sinking into the idolitary of Roman Catholicism."
Even Buddhism in its present degenerate form of Lamaism, H.P.B. says, "is far above Catholicism."
Section VII. of Evans-Wentz' commentary deals with the Yoga philosophy. Yoga, he recognizes as having two Sanskrit roots, one meaning "to meditate" or "go into a trance" as in Samadhi Yoga, the other meaning "to join," as in the English word "yoke," which is said to have the same root. Less generally, Evans-Wentz states yoga is taken to mean a harnessing or disciplining of the mind by means of mental concentration.
The various schools of yoga are then reviewed - Hatha, Laya, Bhakti, Mantra, Yantra, Dhyani, Raja, Jnana, Karma, Kundalini, Samadhi. There is a special section on Buddhistic Yoga as distinguished from Hindu Yoga. The differences, Evans-Wentz says, are largely in terms and technique not in essentials. There are other sections on the psychology of yoga visualizations, Karma and Rebirth, and the exoteric and esoteric teachings.
Part of a Movement
This is a book recommended to the modern world by a western scholar of the
highest rank, and therefore likely to be read with respect by men of science who too frequently judge books from the east as many people judge paintings, by the signature on the cover. It adds one more valuable contribution to the growing number of works on psychology and yoga now flooding America. "As the Renaissance of the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries overwhelmed the scholastic philosophy and restored to Europe the great literature and art of ancient Greece and prepared the way for the reformation, and the new age of untrammeled scientific development, so today there are deeply influential ideas, likewise born of the east, which give promise of a reformation far more sweeping and thorough than that which was set in motion by Martin Luther."
So writes Evans-Wentz. "It was the feebly reflected light from the east transmitted by means of the Platonic and Arab philosophers which initiated the rebirth of the Mediaeval occident. Today it is the strong, direct light of the orient which is now reshaping the religious life of Europe and of both Americas, and affecting in some not unimportant manner, even the thought of men of science in all occidental centres of research."
THE CONQUEST OF DEATH
Two of the Digest Magazines "world Digest" and "Current Thought" for October carried contrasting articles on the problem of death.
The Current Thought article was written by H.W. Chapin, M.D., who points out that an apparently growing number of persons refuse to believe that there is any continuing entity which survives the death of the body. "The most they can believe is that a sort of immortality of influence is all that humanity can expect or desire."
"This," Dr. Chapin says, "seeMs to me a sort of defense reaction on the part, of those Unwilling to face the futility of annihilation . . .. . To me it seems that the eons of time that made possible the evolution of a Personality render it difficult to believe that the Personality itself can be snuffed out forever."
While the writer does believe in immortality and recognizes that "those who delight in loudly proclaiming their unbelief in any future state are doing a disservice to humanity," and that "belief in immortality has a great individual and social value," he fails to suggest in his sympathetic article anything more than there is something in man that survives the death of the body.
The article in the World Digest is a "modern" one; that is it assumes that modern intellectual development is on the mountain-top or at least well up on the mountain-side and that the earlier races of humanity stumbled about in the fog-filled valleys.
Some of the curious mis-statements in this article are - "The idea of individual immortality for everybody is only about two thousand years old. Before that time it was reserved for heroes and rulers, who were deified to save them from the common lot.
"Some sort of survival after death was imagined at times, but it was either vague and shadowy, as among the Greeks, or as in the old Norse mind, it lasted only with the lifetime of the gods that had decreed it . . . . . gods that themselves had to perish in a world-consuming Ragnarok.
"Mostly, as with the Jews, the only immortality contemplated as possible was tribal or racial.
"With the crop of religions out of Asia Minor that ultimately crystallized into Christianity, modern individualism appeared on the scene . . . . . a recognition of the single human being as having existence, past, present, and future, apart from the group or state to which he belonged."
Immortality Not New Idea
With each of these statements the Theosophical Student will disagree. The idea of individual immortality for every human being was not first pronounced in the year 1 A.D. The philosophy of the Bhagavad
Gita, which is at least five thousand years old, is based upon the immortality of the human soul and its unity with the ever-continuing life of the universe.
Nor was Greek philosophy "vague and shadowy" about immortality (we are assuming that speaking of the Greeks, Norse and Jews, the writer means the Philosophers and Teachers among these races and not the great masses who always follow some exoteric faith). Reincarnation was well-known among Jews, and the Kabbala takes Reincarnation for granted and traces the Reincarnations of various characters that appear in Old Testament literature.
To any student of comparative religion it is obvious that "a recognition of the single human being as having existence past, present and future, apart from the group or state to which it belonged" is not a "radically new idea."
"There are two ways of conquering death, one is material and direct, the other is spiritual and indirect."
The material and direct way is, according to this article, the prolongation of physical life which "modern science has begun to dream of making it come true in some measure at least." But even if it were prolonged indefinitely it would not be immortality as immortality cannot begin with the birth of a physical body.
The article dismisses the "spiritual and indirect" way in a short paragraph and then speaks of Reincarnation - "Reincarnation, which the Buddhist cherishes in company with the Brahmanist, and the Theosophist must be held a punishment rather than a promise . . . . . . a series of, in all respects but one, isolated, stations on the road to Nirvana and not a form of immortality in our sense."
But, the whole point in Reincarnation is not isolation and separateness - the human soul is a continuing entity and its Reincarnations are not fortuitous but rather the direct results of unbroken ties with the past.
The two articles it seems to us, are typical of two great groups in the world today, one, the religious, to whom immortality is some vague form of continuous life after death; the other group, the materialists, who consider that modern science will eventually, if it has not done so already, find a solution to all the problems about life which the human mind can ask.
BUDDHISM AND CHRISTIANITY
There is evidence that Buddhism is attracting an increasing number of men and women who have been brought up in the Christian Church. Students of comparative religion especially, will be interested in seeking an explanation.
Some reasons given by J.F. McKechnie for trying to be a Buddhist may throw light upon the subject. These appear in an article called "A Scotch Buddhist", in the October copy of Current Thought, abridged from the Aryan Path.
In the first place, the author claims to have an adult mind, which discovered its limitations some thirty years ago - Since then his cry has been that of Laurence Stein's skylark; "I want to get out, I want to get out."
After searching through philosophies and religions he at last heard of one of his fellows who had "got out". This one told how he did and assured others that they might do so the same way.
The advice given by the Lord Buddha not to kill, steal, lust, and not to use intoxicants seemed sound but not very different from what good men all the world over have given their fellowmen to follow. The difference, however, was that Buddhism gave a reason for refraining from these acts which fully satisfied his intellect.
Mr. McKechnie goes on to explain that in the light of Buddhism these acts at bottom are more or less emphatic modes of self-assertion and that they keep one a prisoner of the personal ego-consciousness for a period exactly in keeping with the extent and intensity of one's practice of them.
After following the advice concerning actions toward his fellowmen, the author
felt that he was a more welcome companion to them. Consequently he found himself happy and free from care.
The recommendation to observe a certain way of behaving toward himself, namely to look for and avoid certain ways of thinking and feeling, proved much more difficult. These too, if indulged in, would keep him prisoner for just that much longer.
Has Found A Way
After thirty years of constant practice, Mr. MeKechnie still finds the latter advice very difficult to follow, yet he will continue trying, he says, for he knows it is the way to "get out." Just once he had the experience of at least getting his head between the bars so that there was a clear, unobstructed view of liberty. It was something so inspiring that he will continue practicing the outward conduct prescribed, and the thought control recommended by Buddha - for the next thirty years - for the next thirty thousand years if need be - until the bars of the cage are left behind forever. "For," concludes the Scotch Buddhist, "I am perfectly sure that they will be, if only I go on as I am doing, giving heed to the teachings of the Teacher."
And this, from a Theosophical viewpoint is a wise decision. In the Secret, Doctrine, III, 401, we find the following - "If anyone holds to Buddha's philosophy, let him do and say as Buddha did and said; if a man calls himself a Christian, let him follow the commandments of Christ, not the interpretations of His many dissenting priests and sects."
Appeal of Buddhism
Evidently there are no dogmas in Buddhism which one is required to accept on faith. "I taught you not to believe," said Lord Buddha, "merely because you have heard, but when you believed of your consciousness, then to act accordingly and abundantly."
Gautama's philosophy is obviously based upon the Laws of Reincarnation and Karma. These Laws are being recognized by an ever increasing number of people, who find in them the nearest approach to a scientific and reasonable explanation for life.
Jesus Was Handicapped
Quoting from the Secret Doctrine III, 382: "Six centuries after the translation of the human Buddha (Gautama) another reformer as noble and as loving, though less favored by opportunity, arose in another part of the world, among another and less spiritual race."
The Doctrine maintains that with the exception of Paul, who was an initiate (and the real founder of Christianity (see Vol. III, section xv) the few faithful followers of Jesus were men - only half-way to knowledge, who after the death of their Teacher had to struggle with a world to which they could impart only what they but half-knew themselves - and no more.
On the other hand, although Gautama prudently left the Esoteric and most dangerous portions of the Secret Knowledge untold, "yet he died with the certainty of having taught its essential truths, and of having sown the seeds for the conversion of one-third of the world . . . . .In later ages the exoteric followers of both mangled the truths given out, often out of recognition." (S.D. III, 382-3).
Esotericism in Christianity
According to Occultism, there is an "Esoteric Doctrine - enshrined like a pearl within the shell of every religion." And although the shell of Christianity may perhaps be more difficult to pry open - yet the pearl is there.
Students of Theosophy are of the opinion that Jesus too taught Reincarnation and Karma. The moot suggestive of his parables is the explanation given by him to his apostles about the blind man. John ix, 2,3. What else but Re-birth was implied when the Jewish priests and Levites asked John the Baptist - "Art thou Elias?" With reference to so-called Christians, H.P. Blavatsky says (S.D., III., 65) - "Their Savior taught his disciples this grand truth of the esoteric philosophy, but verily, if his apostles comprehended it,
no one else seems to have realized its true meaning."
Proof of the fact that the apostles received a "secret teaching" from Jesus, and that the Divinity of Christ was not established until sometime later than the fourth century will be found in the Secret Doctrine, (III., 149 note) - It is there stated that the primitive Christians believed that Jesus was but a man "of the seed of a man."
It is also suggested in the Doctrine that one should read the little of original that is left of Paul in the writings attributed to him, and see whether there is a word therein to show that Paul meant by the word "Christ" anything more than the abstract ideal of the personal divinity indwelling in man.
Esoterically, the Buddha and the Christ are the Way - never the Goal. Did the way of Gautama and the way of Jesus differ? - Occultism answers, "No." - Both trod the great Raj-Yoga Path, which, it is maintained, is the synthesis of Hatha-Yoga, Karma-Yoga, Gnana-Yoga and Bhakti-Yoga.
The method of giving out the Teachings differed of necessity, as has been shown in a previously quoted passage. Gautama stressed the Gnana-Yoga (science of wisdom) whilst Jesus laid emphasis upon the Bhakti-Yoga (science of devotion).
Unquestionably, many a Christian Mystic has like the "Scotch Buddhist", been able to get his head between the bars and has been inspired by that clear and unobstructed view of liberty. It is maintained by Theosophists, however, that each Path of Yoga must be trod in turn, until finally they merge and culminate in the One Great Path. Only at the end of this will the bars, of the cage, be left behind - forever.
- R. S.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF JUNG
A recent interview of C.G. Jung, the I noted Swedish psychologist, by M.H. Halton of the Toronto Daily Star (Oct. 18, 1935), throws an interesting sidelight on his beliefs, and on his psychology as colored by these beliefs. If we are to believe what Halton says, Jung has no hope of immortality for himself or anyone else; nor is mind anything but another form of matter. Such conclusions do not seem to jibe with his latest book recently reviewed in these columns.
Halton began by asking Jung if mind was really something different from body. Jung in reply asked if Halton had ever seen a mind without a body and on receiving a negative reply continued: "And you never will. Mind is part of the body, and mind is matter. We are just animals, you know, even though we think. If the body doesn’t get its food, what happens to the poor old mind?"
"Many people maintain they can think better if they fast for a few days," Halton suggested. "Many people are mad," retorted the great Jung. "If you fast for a few days, you get a wonderful feeling of mental exhilaration. You feel that you could conquer the stars or conquer the moon. You think you are thinking much more clearly and brilliantly than ever before. But try to do some work in that state! Try to create something! You can't do it. You can't concentrate. You are no good.
Man Only An Animal
"Man is just an animal who is having his innings now. One era of geological time belonged to the fish, another to the reptiles, another to mammoths, and this to man. We will probably develop mind and body together to heights of power and civilization that today we can only dream of. But one day, we will pass away - perhaps through changes in the earth's climate, perhaps through killing ourselves off. But when the time comes when there will be mind without body for it to live on, and of which it is part, then I hope somebody will call my attention to it.
"There are two minds," said the great psychologist, "the conscious and the un-
conscious mind is the most wonderful thing in the world; for it knows everything that has ever happened to the race of man. [sic]
"Here I am, sitting in this room. My vision and hearing and all my senses are bounded by these four walls; but actually I am far more than that. I have the whole history of the world in my subconscious mind, just as I have traces in my body of the whole physical development of mankind."
"You mean the vestiges of gills we have in our neck, the vestiges of webs we have in our toes, the vestiges of tails - " "Exactly," said Prof. Jung. "It is the same with our unconscious minds."
He believes there is a parallel all through history between man's unconscious mind and the stream of events. "There is no word in English to express it, but the Americans have a word for it, - they call it a `hunch'. I am a practical psychologist not a mystic. When you feel right, how many things go right with you? When you feel wrong, how many things go wrong?"
One read the above words with a feeling akin to regret, for of all present-day psychologists Jung comes nearest to the Theosophical position in regard to the nature of man. Yet, if he be correctly quoted, he is still far from being completely in sympathy or agreement with that position as regards either the constitution of man or the, after-death state. Reincarnation on the basis of his beliefs, as here expressed, becomes an impossibility.
The October 15th issue of The Canadian Theosophist carried a reply by the present writer to prior correspondence relating to Jung and his unconscious realm. The present quotations appear to reinforce the view there expressed, i.e. that Jung, while having made an immense advance in recognizing the realm of the "Unconscious," has failed to differentiate between the higher and lower Unconscious. With only one broad division he is forced to relegate all creative activities, including those of sex, but including higher forms as well, and all memories of whatsoever kind, to one continuum which by inference seems to be somewhat superior to the conscious plane of thought. There would seem to be a merging of Akashic and Astral planes into one with Jung.
One can find little cause for criticism in the belief that mind is material. The expression thought forms, if nothing else, brings the material substantive aspect of Manas to mind. Yet there is a difference, since with Jung mind would seem to be dependent on the more physical plane of matter for its existence, and one comes to the conclusion that with him, mind is only another and relatively infrequent form which physical matter assumes, whenever conditions are right and organisms are available. This, of course is putting the physical cart of matter before the mental horse of mind.
- F. S.
MULLISS LIBRARY FOR SALE
The library of the late William Mulliss of Hamilton, is for sale. It comprises about four hundred volumes, with many additional pamphlets. Among these books are complete Refs of The Theosophist (47 vols.), Lucifer (20 vols.), The Path (10 vols.), Theosophy (19 vols.), along with odd volumes of these magazines, all well bound; also a few rare items and first editions. Information may be had by applying to Miss E.J. Reynolds, 19 Reginald Avenue, Hamilton, Canada, after which prices can be a discussed, or offers may be made.
BOOKS on THEOSOPHICAL and ALLIED SUBJECTS
kept in stock and procured to order. My list sent on request.
N. W. J. HAYDON
564 PAPE AVE., TORONTO (8)