Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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VOL. XX., No. 10 HAMILTON, DECEMBER 15th, 1939 Price 10 Cents.
BEATRICE HASTINGS ON THE F. M. B.
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - Dear Sir, Mr. Ranicar's letter concerning the F.M.B. and the Defense of Madame Blavatsky certainly touches the financial spot, but, in any case, I do not feel inclined at present to issue any more books. I have repeatedly said that books without a big crusade will be of little force. They can be quietly ignored. Recently I have received various laments about Mr. Harry Price's references "Fifty Years of Psychical Research" to Hodgson's Report and Madame Coulomb's ridiculous pamphlet. He has the brazen impudence to ignore my books, although he wrote to me that he thought them very important and wondered how the S.P.R. would react. But why should he worry to do justice to H.P.B.? If the F.M.B. had gone forward as I was leading it, things would have been very different. No one would dare to ignore us by this time. The little cabal of four Theosophists, with a person whom I call my Coulomb, who have temporarily smashed the power of the F.M.B., have something to answer for! This "Coulomb" wanted me to lease (letting off flats) a large house where (main consideration) he would have free quarters in return for doing as little as he could. When he understood that I hoped that the F.M.B. would never go in for any kind of speculation and that I would never allow headquarters anyway to become a rich affair, I got an enemy; and he found very easy friends among those who were annoyed at the way I ran things and who wanted control. Control! Never have I had from any one of them a single constructive idea! They have not a glimmer of the way to run a public campaign of this sort - a real war against bitter and unscrupulous enemies who have all to lose. They could not even comprehend that the last thing we should do would be to let the adversary know our strength, especially financially. They know it now - next to nothing. Of course the thing was only possible because I gave all my labor for nothing. They pretended to suspect me! But, however foolish their minds, they must have known that any society would have paid me large sums to do such work for them as I have done for the cause of H.P.B. In truth, even any expert hack would have wanted a minimum guarantee of at least a thousand pounds for such years of labor. I must say that I feel a kind of shame to reflect that my work must benefit the whole Theosophical Movement present and future, this movement, which seems to me so abjectly below Madame Blavatsky. However, my object was to clear her name, and that I have done so far, with every stroke of my pen. This is a reward in itself.
I must not take up too much of your space so will proceed about the F.M.B. All the loyals will be glad to hear that it has stood absolutely firm. Not one resignation. For the last time, I give an inside detail, saying that we have over a hundred new members since the "row." Money has been offered me for Vol. 3, but Vol. 3 will not come out until the F.M.B. is once again a power. Here are a few of my ideas about it.
The F.M.B. shall never own so much as a but of its own or more goods than can be removed in a cart. It may hire rooms or accept the loan of a place - with no notion of this being any favor and prepared to be turned out at the whim or necessity of the lender.
No money donated shall ever be invested. It shall all be spent right away on the world-wide propaganda necessary to change the current in favor of H.P. Blavatsky. When a hundred million people have at least heard that there is another side to her case, we shall have got on the way. That is about the number who have now heard nothing but abuse of her, the majority of the world's reading population.
The finance and expenditure is not at all a complicated affair. So long as I live, or until we win, all money will be spent to produce some effect on the public, for I should never agree to any hole and corner action with the S.P.R. H.P.B. has to be as publicly vindicated as she was publicly dishonored.
"New Universe" must be kept going. It does not pay. I have paid the deficit out of the sales of my books. That cannot go on. If necessary, I shall have to introduce other matter than the "Defense" and maybe that would be a good thing, as certainly a wider public could be thus bamboozled into listening to what I have to say about H.P.B.
At present, I am doing nothing but hold on and wait. Time and tide wait for no man but, as someone said, man has to wait for time and tide. There is plenty of money among the professing followers of H.P.B. I see it wasted on all sorts of rubbish. Let some of it flow our way! Mr. Ranicar has taken over the job of distributing to public libraries as fast as the funds come in. I myself have given over a hundred sets, but of course I cannot keep that up. In fact, that value should be returned to me as I should certainly not be asked or allowed to do more than I can without causing my own small income to shrink. And while I am being thus frank, let me say that not a soul has ever considered that, by squeezing myself as I have done, instead of that helping the work it actually decreases my efficiency. One needs more, not less, comfort and service when doing a heavy labor of this kind! However, let that go, as H.P.B. used to say. She never got much consideration either of that sort until she began to break up under the strain.
The first work for the F.M.B. is to get the books I have written distributed so that people can read them, then we can talk about more.
War does not diminish people's interest in other things except at first. On the contrary, as time goes on, they will flock to meetings. If we hold another lecture in London we shall be soon in our first stride again. I am getting well, in fact, am well now, except for an occasional sudden vision of tomahawks when I think of the foolish persons who so nearly pulled down our house about our heads - and who have neither resigned nor apologized.
It seems a most amazing thing that so many Theosophists should be either hostile or apathetic to this campaign! I can only conclude that they do not want H.P. Blavatsky. Certainly she would be rather a big weight for some of their little applecarts, tremendously got up and gilded though some of these are. As for the F.M.B., although started by me, an outsider who does not share many of their notions of The-
osophy and whose life and personality would not suit them at all perhaps - the F.M.B., although a public affair, is an effort to redress an injustice to their FOUNDER, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves for sticking in their holes and doing nothing to help.
A last word on politics. I suppose by this time people have begun to understand that "politics" ceased long since and that the real term is Defense of Liberty. With Holland under water this morning, our numerous Friends in that country must be desperately realizing that no-one is safe today. And, make no mistake, the defense of Liberty is the affair of everywhere in the world now. Live you on a coral island or at the Poles, you will not escape the general destiny, to fight or be slaves. Those in the Theosophical Movement who talk puff about "politics" forget that H.P.B. fought at Mentana for Liberty and, also, that the Master K.H. himself sponsored the "Phoenix" venture, a purely political effort to create a better feeling between English and Indians. It was only dropped when Sinnett, under a terrible test, showed that he would be willing to do a dirty piece of work, and the Chohan had no more use for him.
Please excuse the length of this letter. To close, if the Masters want this F.M.B. to go on - it will go on, no matter what anyone does or does not do.
4 Bedford Row, Worthing,
Sussex, England, November 11.
[[F.M.B. - "Friends of Madame Blavatsky" - dig. ed.]]
Mr. Frank Ranicar, Springfield House, Wigan, Lancashire, England, mentioned in Mrs. Hastings' letter, is a naval reserve officer, ready to be called up if needs be. We are fortunate to have enlisted his enthusiasm, which we trust will stir many hearts among those who feel themselves loyal, but are slow to move in definite expression.
ACCORDING TO THEOSOPHY
By Katharine Hilliard, F.T.S.
(Continued from Page 270.)
The Third Continent it is proposed to call Lemuria, after Mr. P.L. Sclater's idea, who asserted, (between 1850 and 1860), upon zoological grounds, the actual existence in prehistoric times, of a continent which extended from Madagascar to Ceylon and Sumatra, and included some portions of what is now Africa. (II, 7.) According to occult teaching this continent covered the whole area of space from the foot of the Himalayas, which separated it from the inland sea rolling its waves over what is now Thibet, Mongolia, and the great desert of Gobi; from Chittagong westward to Hardwar and eastward to Assam. From thence it stretched south across what is known to us as Southern India, Ceylon, and Sumatra; then embracing on its way as we go South, Madagascar on its right hand, and Australia and Tasmania on its left, it ran down to within a few degrees of the Antarctic Circle; and from Australia, an inland region in those ages, it extended into the Pacific Ocean far beyond Easter Island. (II, 324.)
Easter Island belongs to the earliest civilization of the Third Race. Submerged with the rest, a volcanic and sudden uplifting of the ocean floor raised this small relic of the Archaic ages untouched, with its volcano and statues, during the Champlain epoch of northern polar submersion, as a standing witness to the existence of Lemuria. It is said that some of the Australian tribes are the last remnants of the last descendants of the Third Race. (II, 327.) This theory is corroborated by Haeckel, who, when speaking of Blumenbach's brown or Malay race and the Australians and Papuans, remarks: "There is much like-
ness between these last and the aborigines of Polynesia, that Australian island-world, that seems to have been once on a time a gigantic and continuous continent."
And it must be remembered that this continent not only embraced a vast area in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but extended in the shape of a horseshoe round South Africa (then a mere fragment in process of formation) through the Atlantic up to Norway. (II, 333. ) The Atlantic portion of Lemuria was the Geological basis of the Fourth Continent, generally known as Atlantis, which was, indeed, rather a prolongation of the older continent, than an entirely new mass of land, for the unbroken continuity in natural processes is universal, and continents as well as races, merge gradually into the new order. Violent minor cataclysms and colossal earthquakes are recorded in the annals of most nations, if not of all. Elevation and subsidence of continents is always in progress. Huxley has shown that the British islands have been four times depressed beneath the ocean and subsequently raised again and peopled. The north of Europe is still rising from the sea, and on the other hand, the coast of Greenland is sinking fast. Why may not a gradual change have given place to a violent cataclysm in remote epochs? - such cataclysms occurring on a minor scale even now. (II, 787. )
The cataclysm which destroyed Lemuria was due to a series of subterranean convulsions, and the breaking asunder of the ocean-floors, caused by the "inner fires." It is said to have occurred about 700,000 years before the commencement of what is now called the Tertiary Age, the Eocene. (II, 313. )
For in the same way that the evolution of the First Race took place on seven distinctly separated regions at the arctic pole - the only land there was at that time - so the ultimate transformation of the Third began about Behring's Straits and what then existed of dry land in Central Asia, while the climate was semi-tropical even in the Arctic regions, and most adapted to the primitive wants of nascent physical man. The Commentary tells us that the Third Race had reached only about the middle point of its development when: -
"The axle of the Wheel tilted. The Sun and Moon shone no longer over the heads of that portion of the SWEAT BORN; people knew snow, ice and frost, and men, plants and animals were dwarfed in their growth . . . . This was the third pralaya of the races."
"Which means that our globe is subject to seven periodical entire changes which go pari passu with the races; seven terrestrial pralayas, or periods of dissolution during this Round (or cycle of evolution), of which three are occasioned by the change in the inclination of the earth's axis. In Occultism this inexorable law is referred to as `the great ADJUSTER'."
"Thus during the present Round, there have already been four such axial disturbances; when the old continents - save the first one - were sucked in by the oceans - other lands appeared, and huge mountain chains arose where there had been none before. The face of the globe was completely changed each time; the survival of the fittest nations and races was secured through timely help, and the unfit ones - the failures - were swept off the earth . . . . . Every sidereal year, (25,858 solar years) the tropics recede from the pole four degrees in each revolution from the equinoctial points, as the equator rounds through the zodiacal constellations. Now, as every astronomer knows, at present the tropic is only twenty-three degrees (and a fraction less than half a degree) from the equator. Hence it has still 2 ½ degrees to run before the end of the Sidereal year; which gives humanity in general,
and our civilized races in particular, a reprieve of about 16,000 years." (II, 330. )
The fourth continent, which it has been agreed to call Atlantis, was formed by the coalescence of many islands and peninsulas which were upheaved in the ordinary course of time, and became ultimately the true home of the great Race known as the Atlanteans, "a race developed from a nucleus of Northern Lemurians, centred, roughly speaking, towards a point of land in what is now the mid-Atlantic ocean." (II, 334. )
In connection with the continent of Atlantis, we should bear in mind that the accounts which have come down to us from the old Greek writers contain a confusion of statements, some of them referring to the great continent, and others to the last small island of Poseidonis. (II, 767.) Plato, for instance, merged the history of Atlantis, which covered several million years, into an event he located upon this island of Poseidonis, (which was about as large as Ireland) whereas the priests spoke of Atlantis as a continent vast as all Asia and Lybia put together. (II, 761.) Homer speaks of the Atlantes and their island, and the Atlantes and Atlantides of mythology are based upon the Atlantes and Atlantides of history. The story of Atlas gives us the clue. "Atlas is the old continents of Lemuria and Atlantis, combined and personified in one symbol. The poets attribute to Atlas, as to Proteus, a superior wisdom and a universal knowledge, - and especially a thorough acquaintance with the depths of the ocean; because both continents bore races instructed by divine masters, and because both were transferred to the bottom of the seas, where they now slumber till their time comes to reappear above the waters . . . . And as both Lemuria, destroyed by submarine fires, and Atlantis submerged by the waves, perished in the ocean depths, Atlas is said to Have been compelled to leave the surface of the earth, and join his brother Iapetos in the depths of Tartarus." (II, 762.) Atlas then, personifies a continent in the west said to support heaven and earth at once; that is, the feet of the giant tread the earth while his shoulders support the sky, an allusion to the gigantic peaks of the ancient continents. "Mount Atlas and the Teneriffe Peak, two of the dwarfed relics of the two lost continents, were thrice as lofty during the day of Lemuria, and twice as high in that of Atlantis . . . . Atlas was an inaccessible island peak in the days of Lemuria, when the African continent had not yet been raised." Poseidonis, or the last island of Atlantis, lasted till about 12,000 years ago.
"In the Eocene age," quotes Mr. Sinnett from a Master's letter, "even in its very first part, the great cycle of the Fourth Race men, the Atlanteans, had already reached its highest point, and the great continent, the father of nearly all the present continents, showed the first symptoms of sinking, - a process that occupied it down to 11,446 years ago, when its last island, (that translating its vernacular name we may call with propriety, Poseidonis) went down with a crash." (Esoteric Buddhism, p. 106. )
"Lemuria should no more be confounded with the Atlantis continent than Europe with America. Both sunk and were drowned with their high civilizations and "gods," yet between the two catastrophes a period of about 700,000 years elapsed . . . . Why should not your geologists" (continues the Teacher) "bear in mind that under the continents explored and fathomed by them, in the bowels of which they have found the Eocene age, there may be hidden deep in the unfathomed ocean beds, other and far older continents whose strata have never been geologically explored, and that they may some day upset entirely their present
As to former civilizations, we are told by the same authority, that "Greek and Roman and even Egyptian civilizations are nothing compared to the civilizations that began with the Third Race . . . . We affirm that a series of civilizations existed before as well as after the glacial period."
"The group of islands discovered in the arctic ocean by Nordenskiold of the Vega, were found strewn with fossils of horses, sheep, and oxen, etc., among gigantic bones of animals belonging to periods when man, says your science, had not yet made his appearance on earth. How came those horses and sheep there? (II, 773.) The secret books inform us that the climate has changed in those regions more than once since the first men inhabited those now almost inaccessible latitudes. "In the myth of Phaeton it is said that at his death his sisters dropped hot tears which fell into Eridan and were changed into amber! Now amber is found only in the Northern seas, in the Baltic (therefore the Eridan cannot be identical with the Po.) Phaeton meeting with his death while carrying heat to the frozen stars of the boreal regions, awakening at the pole the Dragon made rigid by cold, and being hurled into the Eridan, is an allegory referring directly to the changes of climate in those distant times when, from a frigid zone, the polar lands had become a country with a moderate and warm climate. The usurper of the functions of the sun, Phaeton, being hurled into Eridan by Jupiter's thunderbolt, is an allusion to the second change that took place in those regions, when again the land where once the magnolia blossomed became a desolate region of eternal ice. This allegory covers the events of two pralayas (or cycles of dissolution) and if well understood, ought to be a demonstration of the enormous antiquity of the human races." (II, 770. )
And in the story of the three giants imprisoned by Kronos in a dark country, the esoteric commentary sees "three polar lands which have changed form several times, at each new cataclysm, or disappearance of one continent to make room for another . . . . Yet though the whole face of the earth was transformed thereby each time, the conformation of the arctic and antarctic poles has but little altered . . . . The continents perish in turns by fire and water; either through earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, or by sinking, and the great displacement of waters. Our continents have to perish by the former cataclysmal process." (II, 776.) So St. Peter, (ii, 3. 7.) speaks of the earth, "which being overflowed, perished, but is now reserved unto fire."
Such are the teachings of the Secret Doctrine, (briefly and roughly summed up,) as to the growth and preparation of this earth, the field of man's evolution. I have not tried to quote the scientific authorities on the subject, that you may see wherein they differ from these teachings, because there is no time for such comparison, which you can make at your leisure. But remember "that it is now the conviction of more than one Greek scholar that Hesiod's theogony was based upon historical facts, . . . and that such symbolisms as are found in all the exoteric creeds, are so many landmarks of prehistoric truths." (II, 777. )
II. THE EVOLUTION OF THE RACES
In the last lecture, we traced the growth and preparation of the Earth as the field of man's evolution; we are now about to sum up the teachings of the Secret Doctrine on the subject of the different Races which have occupied and will occupy that field during the present Manvantara, or cycle of evolution.
The estimates of science as to the age
of the Earth since it became a possible home for man, we have seen to be so extremely divergent that they are practically useless, covering (as Prof. Winchell shows in his Comparative Geology, a variation of some twenty-seven millions of years.) The Secret Doctrine maintains that physical humanity has existed upon this globe for the last 18,000,000 years, and that this period was preceded by 300,000,000 years of the mineral and vegetable development. That the present Round or cycle of evolution is the Fourth, the middle point of the life allotted to our globe, the period of its greatest development, and therefore of the greatest cataclysmic disturbances, which have been far more intense and terrible during this Round, (when matter is less fluidic and therefore more resistant) than during any of the three preceding Rounds, the cycle of the Earth's earlier psychic and spiritual life, and of its semi-ethereal conditions. Now the whole issue of the quarrel between the profane and the esoteric sciences, depends upon the belief in, and demonstration of, the existence of an astral body within the physical, the former independent of the latter. But why the scientists should accept the theory of a once ethereal earth and reject that of a once ethereal man, it is hard to realize. As H.P.B. has said, "Analogy is the guiding law in Nature, the only true Ariadne's thread that can lead us through the inextricable paths of her domain, towards her primal and final mysteries . . . . If we can conceive of a ball of Fire-mist becoming gradually - as it rolls through aeons of time in the interstellar spaces - a planet, a self-luminous globe, to settle into a man-bearing world or Earth, thus having passed from a soft plastic body into a rock-bound globe;" (II, 153.) and if we see everything on it evolving from a moneron, a single homogeneous particle of albumen, into the animal form, to grow into "the gigantic reptiles of the Mesozoic times, and then dwindle again into the comparatively dwarfish crocodile of the tropics and the still smaller universal lizard, - how can man alone escape the common law?"
There was a time when all the so-called "antediluvian" monsters appeared as filamentoid infusoria without shell or crust, with neither nerves, muscles. organs, nor sex, and reproduced their kind by gemmation: why not man also? (II, 151.)
The figures 18,000,000 of years, which embrace the duration of sexual, physical man have to be enormously increased if the whole process of spiritual, astral and physical development is taken into account. (II, 157.) Nor would the early conditions of the globe militate against this theory, as its carbonic vapors and steaming soil could have no effect on such human life and organism as is assigned by the Occultists to the early mankind (II, 150) , "such terrestrial conditions as were then operative, having no touch with the plane on which the evolution of the ethereal astral races proceeded. Only in relatively recent geological periods, has the spiral course of cyclic law swept mankind into the lowest grade of physical evolution - the plane of gross material causation. In those early ages, astral evolution was alone in progress, and the two planes, the astral and the physical, though developing on parallel lines, had no direct point of contact with one another. It is obvious that a shadow-like ethereal man is related by virtue of his organization - if such it can be called - only to that plane from which the substance of that organization (his 'Upadhi') is derived." And it must be noted that though the astral and physical planes of matter ran parallel with one another even in the earliest geological ages, yet they were not in the same phases of manifestation in which they are now. (II, 157.) The Earth did not reach its present grade of density till
18,000,000 years ago. Since then both the physical and astral planes have become more dense.
"It is shown in every ancient scripture and cosmogony," says the Secret Doctrine, "that man evolved primarily as a luminous incorporeal form," over which, like the plastic clay around the iron framework of the sculptor, the physical frame of his body was built by, through, and from, the lower forms and types of animal terrestrial life. "When Adam dwelt in the Garden of Eden, he was clothed in the celestial garment, which is the garment of heavenly light," says the Zohar. (II, 112. )
In Lucifer, for March, 1892, there is a very fine article by Dr. Herbert Coryn, called The Eternal Cell, which makes many of these teachings very clear, and shows too, how our newest science draws ever nearer to the teachings of Occultism. In this article, Dr. Coryn explains Weismann's theory of the immortal cell, that original speck of protoplasm which does not die, but simply divides and re-divides, moving continually down the stream of life, entering ever into new combinations, but never perishing. "Darwin studies the form," he says, "the obvious body of the animal, thinking that what it acquires, it transmits to its offspring. Weismann studies the thread of plasm, assuming that the plasm-cells, growing, cast off from themselves again the material they have taken up and vitalized, and that they have cast it outside them to remain as a bodily organism about them, impressing on the cells of this organism a type which was an inherent potentiality and antetype in itself." The physical line of evolution then, "is this germ-plasm, passing in man and animal from parent to offspring. The very same physical atoms passing steadily along the line; those which are now the germ-cells in us being the germ-cells of an immeasurable past, cells which have threaded upon themselves, or thrown out around themselves, and therefore learned experience through, every form of life-organization in Nature."
Dr. Coryn traces the ascending scale of the animal kingdom, from the Protozoa up to the Catarrhine monkey, and then bids us imagine the great Tree of Life with its innumerable branches and twigs. The twigs and outer branches we see and can study, but the main trunk and its first great boughs are lost in the mists of the past, and only remain as astral fossils. "For if we press back far enough," says Dr. Coryn, "we get behind science to a type of which to science there are no traces, because all matter was then in a very 'unscientific,' plastic, astral, state." (II, 68, note.)
Therefore the fossils of these primitive types remain on the astral plane, for the study of the astral clairvoyant only. But it cannot be too often repeated that even the esoteric teaching, much more the exoteric, is, to a great extent, allegorical. (II, 81.) To make either comprehensible to the average intelligence, requires the use of symbols cast in an intelligible form. Hence many of those expressions and formulae, which are to the Jews a stumbling-block and to the Greeks foolishness. But to those who are capable of treating the symbol as a symbol, and not as a hard-and-fast statement of a fact, it becomes instinct with life.
In studying the evolution of man as a thinking being, the first step, according to the Secret Doctrine is to realize the difference between the MONAD, the Universal Unit, and the Monads, or the manifested Unity; the word Monas signifying unity in its primary sense. The Monads are not discrete principles, limited or conditioned, but rays from that one universal absolute Principle, the "Universal Unit" just mentioned. They are, in other words, part of the Universal Consciousness, individualized by combination with a physical form, just as a soap-bubble incloses a certain
quantity of air, which nevertheless is in nowise different from the air around it, into which it is presently absorbed. Personality depends on limitation, and the less limitation the more spiritual freedom. In the Occult Catechism the Master asks the pupil: "Lift thy head, my scholar; dost thou see one, or countless lights above thee burning in the dark midnight sky?"
"I sense one Flame, my Master; I see countless undetached sparks shining in it."
"Thou sayest well. And now look around and into thyself. That light that burns inside thee, dost thou feel it different in any wise from the light that shines in thy brother-men?"
"It is in no way different, though the prisoner is held in bondage by Karma, and though its outer garments delude the ignorant into saying 'Thy Soul and My Soul'." (I, 120. )
That ray, then, of the Divine Mind, which is to become a human soul, and complete its pilgrimage by returning to the Source from which it sprang, follows of necessity the same cycle of evolution as the rest of the manifested Universe. But while studying this process of evolution. we are warned not to think that it is this Monad, (or nucleole) itself which develops from animal into man, for it stands to reason that a Ray of the Divine can neither progress nor develop, nor can it be affected by the changes through which its "vehicle" passes. Like the thread that a chemist suspends in a solution of alum, the beautiful crystals form around it, but the thread remains unchanged.
Therefore we are cautioned not to think of a Monad as a separate entity, passing through all the Kingdoms of Nature to blossom into man at last, an atom of hornblende, for instance, finally becoming a Humboldt. Instead of speaking of "a mineral Monad," we should speak of the Monad, or the Universal Energy, manifesting in that form of cosmic Matter called the mineral kingdom. (I, 178.)
"Between man and the animal - whose Monads (or Jivas) are fundamentally identical - there is the impassable abyss of Mentality and Self-Consciousness . . . . Can man - god in the animal form - be the product of Material Nature by evolution alone, even as is the animal? And what is it that creates such difference between the two, unless man is an animal plus a living god within his physical shell?" (II, 81.)
(To Be Continued)
YOUTH AND THEOSOPHY
By Albert Emsley
An Address delivered at the Fraternization Convention of Theosophists in Detroit, Michigan, September 3, 1939.
Before breaking into a tirade of words about youth and its relationship to Theosophy, I should like to extend to all present the greetings and good wishes of the Canadian Young Theosophist group. Canada is a young country, a youth among nations and one whose future has yet to be forged and fashioned.
With Canada's growth there has arisen a school of philosophical thought which, in its ideal of brotherhood is allied with other progressive schools throughout the world. I refer, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the Theosophical Society in whose joint interest we are gathered together today at this Fraternization Convention. As youth we now stand on the threshold of life gazing into a vast panorama of growth and movement and every minute changes, and what do we observe?
We perceive a conglomeration of economic and political doctrines and systems, formed, I presume, to establish some semblance of economic order. The reaction of the average intelligent
young person to these is, to say the least, one of disgust. Then again in the field and sphere of religion we see a medley of sects and creeds, each with its individual rituals and dogmas; each professing and proclaiming to the world that it is right, and thereby implying that the rest are wrong. What is youth to believe; what is he to accept and what to reject?
Young people in every country of the world are today united by a common bond. They have been willed a legacy of confusion, a paradoxical heritage; there is want amidst plenty and war in so-called peace time. We have inherited a world where the criterion of a man's standing in a community is measured by the quantity of materialistic luxuriousness with which he surrounds himself. Formal theology has endorsed this mode, as witness the various sanctums and the sermons that emanate therefrom. Greed and avarice with their root of selfishness seem to be the main incentives and stimuli behind most of today's effort and is one of the main problems to be faced.
In the realm of education, the ulterior motive seems to be to adapt the student to this materialistic world, to learn a trade, become a commercial man or more highly specialized in one of the many and diverse professions. The idea of helping humanity, the utilitarian theory of the greatest good to the greatest number is somehow overlooked or becomes merely incidental. True, we should do our share of toil but the young person should also be trained to think for himself, to develop his own individuality and to create in terms of himself. Too much stress is placed on academic standards and the relationship between degree of education and monetary income. Thus, as he looks about him, both at home and abroad, the searching youth is forced to ask himself what is it all about?
He is unable to reconcile his religious teachings with ethics and his science analyses with his philosophical theses. But conditions were never so productive and conducive to making young people think as those of the present day - the unemployment of each year's graduating crop, huge national deficits, billions spent on war preparations, chauvinism, propaganda, uncertainty, hypocrisy and fear. He begins to flounder around amidst a morass of doubt and speculation with none of his previous teaching and experience giving him the necessary groundwork upon which to build a permanent structure of hope and security.
This is where Theosophy and its advocate the Theosophical Society comes in. It is not a panacea, nor does it offer an escape or an easy way out. It faces facts and deals with causes and not solely with effects. Theosophy with its twin postulates of Karma and Reincarnation can give the only answers to some of those seemingly unanswerable, yet fundamental, queries of youth. By the simple expedient of trial and error we find it gives the only reasonable and logical solution.
How then may it be presented in order that the average young person can see and grasp it? The only object of the Society that any member is asked to subscribe to is universal brotherhood. Brotherhood with its vast array of implications and its universality is surely the basic principle upon which we should base our appeal. If we could but instil in others, perhaps even in ourselves, that brotherhood is a fact and not a sentimental theory, then would we be a credit both to ourselves and to Theosophy.
Too long has the East predominated in our presentation. Admittedly, the East is the cradle of religion, but we were born and brought up in the Western Hemisphere. Let us appeal to Western youth in a Western manner and terminology. Theosophy is not, as some would have us believe, a mystic
and occult organization that appeals only to the intelligentsia, to the chosen few. It now has a name for attracting odd people, those who are primarily interested in certain phases of occult phenomena, who specialize in mental calisthenics, black magic, yoga and such. This is part of the third object of the Society "To study the powers latent in man," but may I add, that if this study is not subsidiary and does not contribute to the ideal of universal brotherhood, then I for one misunderstand the reasons for the founding of this Society.
To the advanced student certain Sanskrit terms are second nature, but to the beginner and the novice they tend to make him a little wary, a little fearful lest he be not quite capable of understanding them. Practically the only young people I know who are interested came in via their parents who were adherents. Ladies and Gentlemen, we scare our youth away. The fundamentals of Theosophy are simple, logical and lucid, and if presented with reason and common sense could be accepted by almost anyone. Why wrap them up in long terms, why the air of secrecy and mysticism? The psychologist, the salesman and the priest all use the same tactics; they study their prospect. Let us take a lesson and adapt our presentation so that it will appeal. Theosophy in essence cannot be changed, but its presentation can, and must be, if youth is to become interested.
Another item that does not seem compatible with real Theosophy is the time and energy misspent in discussion and controversies over the Society's history and past. The youth of today are not interested in this kind of history. The past is a closed chapter and youth played no part in it. They are enthusiastic about what may be accomplished in the future. Some of our older members who are more conversant with the Society's past should forget it and replace the energy thus expended in a more progressive and creative manner. This would surely eradicate any ill feeling that others may now feel towards the Society.
So if this organization is to hold a more prominent place in world affairs and is to have a definite bearing on what is to come, it must make a stronger appeal to youth. Older people have formed their opinions and have become set in their ways. Youth is virile, youth is enthusiastic, their minds are both malleable and plastic, and they are able to accept what others cannot. But today youth, in their bewilderment and perplexity are chasing shadows and are following false leaders. Life to them is an illusion, and they are more and more adopting an attitude of defeatism.
Thus, the Theosophical Society with its branches throughout the world has a wonderful opportunity - nay a duty and a pressing demand - to form a nucleus or a magnetic core to which will be attracted both young and old in the fuller realization of the oneness that is man.
AN ENGLISH VIEW
This letter from an English physician has been sent to us by a Western correspondent. It has all the frankness of a private letter but it also has the widespread interest of a genuine Theosophist, who is not more interested in the parish pump than in the Cosmic cycles. There are too many people who think that they cannot do anything for the Cause, because they are not in office, or are not prominent in society, or cannot afford the time to attend meetings - this last being usually a pretext or excuse to enable them to loaf at home - or have not the ability to talk to people. This letter will enable them to understand that they can THINK Theosophy just as well as anybody, and if they really spend a little time thinking about it, they will soon find it desirable to mix
with other thinkers of similar views and thus strengthen themselves and find a renewed interest in any Society to which they may belong.
I enjoy the Canadian Theosophist you send to me but I think you had better let me bear the expense by becoming a payer to you of whatever is involved. Or, would you like me to send you something in exchange?
There is much in all of the C.Ts. which is good to read and of course some of the articles are particularly interesting.
The T.S. has a wonderful opportunity at the present moment of getting on to right lines. If they choose a good Leader, throw off the priestcraft shackles by which they are slowly strangling the movement, and get on to lines of effort as laid down by H.P.B.
Unfortunately there is a worldwide movement of reaction going on, and it is a doubtful question as to whether the T.S. can escape the baneful influence.
This reaction that is going on is what I think H.P.B. feared when she referred to the wonderful progress Mankind could make if the Great War could be avoided. The war came and this setback is one of the aftermaths. I suppose if we could step back far enough from the picture to see Human events as a whole during the last 25 years, we should understand how consistent and according to schedule everything is, and would contradict the conclusions of old Ecclesiastes, the Pessimist Preacher, who came to the conclusion that human efforts were vain and futile, and that he had better not bother his head but just eat, drink, get as much happiness as he could in such a rotten world, and then die and be done with it.
There are many today who are thinking, feeling and living like that - poor souls. Things are in such a muddle and so confusing, and the old comfortable foundations of belief are so shaken, and different authorities hitherto accepted as sure guides give such contradictory advice that folk with simple minds are bewildered. That is one of the reasons why churches are empty. Youth finds little to draw them there that is satisfying, and so in some cases join movements outside or accept Ecclesiastes' attitude.
What a chance for a well organized Theosophical effort! To prepare for such a chance ought to have been the aim of the T.S. during the last 40 years. Were the members of the various Theosophical organizations united at the present time under the right kind of leader, trained for the job - both leader and led - Can you visualize what might have been done with the three objects of the originally planned Society?
Instead of which we have a group of Societies more or less opposed to each other for the acquisition of power, a repetition in fact of what History gives us samples of over and over again, when "personalities" have swamped "principles."
It looks as though a sweep forward of the human race must not be looked for. Here and there individuals, or small groups of individuals may advance a little but only a little for the Law is, as you know, that as soon as any feeling of "Advance" is realized, such Power as is the outcome of the Advance must be used for those who still lag. The Pilgrim must turn his back on any further individual progress himself and offer his hands to those behind. That is the Law!!
The Canadian Theosophist in its articles reflects this attitude. In a way there are two outlooks. There are those who are inclined to devote themselves to the 3rd object of the T.S. (develop latent powers) while others are more especially interested in the 1st (form a nucleus of U.B.). Both groups are more or less concerned in the 2nd object, but somewhat half-heartedly.
If, in seeing that history repeats itself, we are inclined to adopt the attitude of Ecclesiastes, and conclude that all human effort to better things is futile, we shall be wrong. Astronomers tell us that in the movements of the planets and stars there is no such thing as a closed circle. No part of a path is ever traveled twice. So, though the human family or a part of it seems in its actions to take a line which has already been taken before, it is only seeming, though by ever so little a bit the path is over new ground.
So I take it, if the T.S. seems to have failed, it is only seeming. Both the workers concerned in the two outlooks I have mentioned have accomplished and are still accomplishing much that is good, though much energy is wasted by each, in cursing and deriding each other, each deeming the other wrong in his methods. And the Masters have patiently and lovingly to use the tools to their hands and build and build ever so slowly the Heaven that is to be.
Some there are who become so impatient of the slowness of progress that they long for the power to "do" things to be placed in one pair of hands. Hence this present movement towards Dictatorship. Of course this is the reaction towards rule by a majority, i.e. Democracy. At one time in your life you were a strong opponent to the latter - you were instinctively an aristocrat! I gather by your sending me the Socialistic papers that you have done, that your views have been somewhat modified.
There is much to be said for the old Greek idea of government by the aristocracy just as there is much to be said for its obverse. There is no such thing as a perfect form of government per se. Different forms are suitable according to the state of social development of a given community. Maeterlinck in his book on the bee gives a wonderful picture of the hive. In this all thought of the welfare of the individual is subordinated to the welfare of the hive. It is a perfect Dictatorship in which instinct (Nature) is the Dictator. The obverse of this would be that of a community in which there was absolute freedom for each unit. Somewhere between these two extremes various sections - nations - of the human race stand. Each in working out its own evolution by educating its units towards the ideal of using its freedom, by sheer choice, for the good of the whole - the so-called At-One-ment!
Now it seems to me that is what lies before the T.S. It must either do that or it will keep breaking up into smaller and smaller pieces, until all gain which should come in power from combination is dissipated and there is only the force available of each unit.
SOME OLD BOSTON BONES
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - I have read with interest your article, "Digging up Old Bones" and while I think it is wiser to let the "dead Past bury its dead" and not dig up its bones, yet I wish to clear up some misapprehensions in your mind, that you have placed in the printed page. You say "Crosbie, who with George Ayers and Louis Wade were the big figures in the Boston convention of 1895," etc. Ayers and Wade, "yes," but Crosbie decidedly not. Now I happen to have been at that Boston Convention, as you will remember. I was there in the capacity of a member of the Boston Branch and as a friend and pupil of Wm. Q. Judge since 1886, as well as a representative of the Boston Globe on which I held an editorial position whose duties then precluded my being a delegate as I had been before, and later in several conventions.
Coming As you did from Toronto to that convention, you could not know the inside facts of what took place in the
Boston Branch of which I had been a Fellow for six or seven years. It was myself who nominated Crosbie for Secretary of the Branch when Griggs was elected its President in 1889 and when Griggs "kicked out" in 1892 and Judge came over from New York to settle that trouble he blowed me up for not stopping it; he asked me who we wanted as President, and I said "Crosbie is as good as anyone." He said then, "anyone you people here want is satisfactory to me." So at the next meeting of the Branch I nominated and had Crosbie elected as President of the Boston Branch.
All through the excitement caused by the ridiculous charges against Judge, Crosbie was "wobbly" and I had to pump sand into him. Judge knew this and the printed report of the Convention prepared by him shows this. It was George Ayers who suggested the historical sketch of the Theosophical Society from data he turned up in preparing his legal opinion and it was Louis Wade who read it and was put on the Committee on Resolutions in place of Crosbie, who as President of the branch where convention was held, was by custom entitled to the position. It was Ayers on whom Judge depended in that convention. It was Ayers, after Judge called the convention to order, who nominated Buchman as temporary chairman. It was Ayers "of Boston" who was put on Committee on credentials. It was Louis Wade of Malden branch of which Ayers had been President who was put on the important Committee on resolutions, whose report with legal opinion of George Ayers, was the all-important business of that convention, that caused the convention to declare its autonomy and the election of Judge as President for life, that unhappily was only to be for one year more. At that convention Mrs. Tingley was present and you no doubt rubbed shoulders with her. Brother Fussell started to introduce her to me but was cut short by Judge sternly reminding him he had instructed him not to introduce her to anybody.
If you have a copy of the proceedings of that convention and I have one before me as I write, you will see that Crosbie is not nominated on any committee. I remember your eloquent defense of Judge. But you will look in vain in that report which contains your speech for any remarks in defense of Judge from Brother Crosbie. From that long list of prominent Theosophists like yourself who paid a deserved and eloquent tribute to the devotion, honor, and successful building up of the American Theosophical movement by Wm. Q. Judge, the name of Robert Crosbie is conspicuous by its absence, as it was from the list of those appointed on committees. It was on George Ayers who was faithful to Mrs. Tingley till his death, that Judge depended. It was Ayers who knew more about Mrs. Tingley than I or anyone in Boston who spoke of her to me in a manner that showed me later he knew her relation to Judge as his successor. It was Ayers who brought me to her at the private meeting in 1896, before the New York convention of that date, to which I went with him and other delegates from Boston and New England, as the printed proceedings of that convention will show. While Crosbie was present among the other delegates in the Boston Convention of 1895, he might as well have been in Alaska for all the effect it had on the results of that convention. I knew Crosbie better than anyone else, also his wife, whose father gave Crosbie his much-needed job when he first came to Boston, and his wife got a divorce from him for good reasons.
I also know why Mrs. Tingley was obliged to break up the Theosophical headquarters at 24 Mt. Vernon St., Boston and bring Crosbie to Point Loma where his young wife had her baby. I was with him in Point Loma, from 1900 to 1903, and when he came to me in
1909 to get me to go with him, I told him, "If you wish to leave the Society, that is your privilege, but I do not and I have no ambition to be a guru, if you have." I also know that he did not "escape from Point Loma" but was ordered off the grounds. As a Boston Theosophist and newspaper man, I knew what went on behind the scenes in 1895 better than any outside Theosophist could. You were present and as a trusted delegate you would know many of the facts here stated, but the memory is treacherous and a reference to printed records will refresh your memory.
The only reason why I say anything now about that poor man Crosbie is because he left a society which is called "the United Lodge of Theosophists" whose name is a puzzle since it obstinately refuses to unite in fraternal relations with any other Theosophical Society. I can only suppose it is so named on the principle of "Lucas a non Zucendo." I simply ask now as a friend of many years' standing in spite of all; - that you print this so that any wrong impressions that may have been left by him may be corrected and this discordant element of the ULT may know the facts, as they seem to respect Judge, and thus be more fraternal. After 50 years a Theosophist I trust my statements may be believed.
- Cyrus Field Willard, F.T.S.
P.S. As you have expressed desire for historical Statements I have taken the time from writing my autobiography to give you some - C.F.W.
San Diego, October 28.
CHAMPIONS MR. JINARAJADASA
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - In the interests of fair play you will no doubt be so good as to publish this comment upon the remarks of "Some Students of Orpheus Lodge" on page 239 of your issue of October, concerning Mr. Jinarajadasa. It opens with a false statement of fact, and the rest is about as important. The opening sentence should read: "Mr. Jinarajadasa has given his whole life to our cause, and has never sought office, although for a brief period he was its Vice-President." It would then be true to brotherhood (which means love and trust and good will), and to events.
"Some Students" talk about loyalty to Truth, saying that Mr. Jinarajadasa has chosen loyalty to persons before loyalty to Truth. How about a little loyalty to Truth in simple factual form for our Orphic friends?
As for loyalty to persons, what precisely does Brotherhood mean? The spleen, ingratitude and condescension which saturates this letter from "Some Students" is certainly not Brotherhood. It is not even ordinary milk of human kindness. The writers of this letter brand themselves for what they are. They have not even the grace to be thankful personally to Mr. Jinarajadasa for his publication of invaluable letters and documents. They say "outside the Adyar Society, Mr. Jinarajadasa is gratefully known." Our Orphic friends have no gratitude to express, it seems.
My letter will sound impatient. I am impatient! The years pass so fruitlessly for many people who have no idea of the complexity of life and who, out of their large virtue and their little knowledge, then are given space to display their pettiness in the national journal of one of our Sections.
Port Chester, New York,
BOOKS ON THEOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS
which have passed the tests of time and use Supplied on request. Forty years' experience at your service. Let me know your wishes.
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THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
THE ORGAN OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN CANADA
Published on the 15th of every month.
Editor - Albert E. S. Smythe.
Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
Subscription, One Dollar a Year.
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
- Dudley W. Barr, 23 Trench Street, Richmond Hill, Ont.
- Felix A. Belcher, 250 N. Lisgar St., Toronto.
- Maud E. Crafter, 330 Avenue Road (Apt. 16), Toronto.
- William A. Griffiths, 37 Stayner Street, Westmount, P.Q.
- Walter R. Hick, 4 Prospect St. 8, Hamilton, Ont.
- George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlingson Ave, Toronto, Ont.
- Wash. E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver
- Albert E. S. Smythe, 33 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
We have been glad to print some of the articles sent us from the Detroit Convention. We have been asked why we did not print more - Mr. Wylie's for instance. For the very good reason that we did not get them. Last year nearly all the addresses were sent us and all that we received appeared in our columns.
It is getting late in the year to remind Lodge officials that half the annual term has passed and many members still have not paid their dues. It is more difficult to get them paid after Christmas than before. If members in arrears would make a Christmas Box of their dues to the Society it would be greatly appreciated.
We have been favored with a copy of the prospectus of the Yoga Institute with headquarters at Chowpatty, Bombay, of which Sri Yogendra, a pupil of Yogisvara Paramahamsa Madhavada-saji of Mulsar, is the head. Theoretical and practical training in Yoga is imparted at this Institute either individually or in a class as required. Students are scientifically trained in accordance with traditions, in the various aspects of Yoga relating either to physical, mental, moral or spiritual culture, and a Health Clinic is reserved for the earnest students and deserving patients. During the past twenty years thousands of students and patients are said to have come under observation and treatment at this Institute.
Some time ago we printed an account of the "underground" University in China where thousands of young Chinese, girls and boys, are taking a six-months course in the new learning, and managing to cover as much in the time as Western students do in their usual College terms of several years. It was Dr. Norman Bethune of Montreal who wrote the account. He had done wonderful work during the Spanish civil war, in blood transfusion for wounded men, saving scores of lives. Worn out in Spain, he went to China where he has died in carrying on similar work among the stricken Chinese. Falling a victim to blood poisoning which he contracted when performing an operation, his life is closed in his 49th year. Canada has at least one hero to honor. We print elsewhere the tribute of the Ottawa Journal.
The officers of the Fraternization Convention for 1940 are as follows: Chairman, G. Cardinal Le Gros; Treasurer, Miss Ida Lewis, 3652 Reading Road, Cincinnati, Ohio; Publicity, Miss Oba Garside, 32 Lonsdale Road, Toronto, Ontario; and Mr. N.W.J. Haydon, Toronto; Mr. E.L.T. Schaub, Toledo, Ohio; Mr. S. Wylie, Detroit, Michigan; Miss A.G. Mills, 31 Fairleigh Avenue North, Hamilton, Ontario. There is
some doubt whether the Convention will be held at Niagara Falls as suggested at the last Convention. Niagara Falls, New York, was suggested as an alternative failing the Ontario city. We believe, especially if the War continues, that either of the Niagara Falls cities would be preferable to a less central situation. Cleveland has been mentioned, and according to the resolution of the Convention, the Committee has authority to decide the location.
We refer elsewhere to Mr. Wickham Steed's book The Press, and it is so good that we take this other opportunity to recommend it, particularly to our younger readers, as a compendium of modern common sense, yet with a fine setting forth of the highest standards of ethics and high-minded living for all of us who seek to create a really civilized commonwealth. In it are all the ideals of journalistic experience followed by the most eminent men of the press, and we would like to think that those who read the book would better understand the conceptions of Theosophical life that have animated Madame Blavatsky and those who would follow in her footsteps. Mr. Steed is an un-enrolled Theosophist but is nothing the worse of that, and those who read him will get a better idea of what Theosophy in action may be in everyday life. The Press is to be had in Canada in the Penguin series for 18 cents.
Theosophy (Los Angeles) for October concludes, we presume, the interesting series of studies under the general title of "Ancient Landmarks" with an essay on The Greek Drama. As a vehicle of the Mysteries these classical works will always be preserved until the actual mysteries become a part of the general knowledge of mankind. We quote, for instance: "The story of Prometheus, who gave the fire of mind to man, is the tale of humanity itself. The Greeks declared that Prometheus came of a divine race. Compared with the body he occupied, Prometheus, the reincarnating Ego, is a God. By arousing the thinking faculty in those hitherto mindless forms, Prometheus also aroused the memory of the knowledge they had possessed on the moon-chain, thus giving them the `boon' of which the Chorus sings." This series of articles would make a fine introductory volume of Theosophy for the public.
The Indian magazines are arriving late, probably due to the War. The November Theosophist has an article entitled "The Next Step in Science" by V. Wallace Slater, B.Sc., the next step being Theosophy, but the article is but brief. More interesting is W.E. Marsh's Story of Sindbad the Sailor, with his occult interpretation. The Aryan Path for November continues to enlist many of the greater names in English literature of today. The Theosophical Forum maintains the high standard adopted at Point Loma, articles by A. Trevor Barker, Leoline L. Wright, C.J. Ryan being of special note. Dr. de Purucker has a note on "Rules of Conduct." Theosophy is always highly informative and the December issue has excellent articles on "Times of the Cycles," "Ancient Landmarks from the Neoplatonists to H.P.B.," and a reprint, to be concluded, of H.P.B.'s great article on "Kosmic Mind." It amazes one to think that any reader of this article could have associated the author with imposture or deception or any kind of fraud.
Mahatma Gandhi speaks for the greatest single body of people in the British Empire, and he asks that they be given the privilege of other British men and women, so that they may be conscious of self-respect and assume the obligations and responsibilities of British citizenship, like other people of the
British Empire. He is anxious that Britain should win the war now being waged for Liberty and Freedom, and he would like to have all India fighting in that cause, voluntarily and as free men and women, examples of the principles for which the war is professedly being fought. No one doubts his honesty, his integrity, his utter faithfulness to the British Raj, but he deplores the hesitation with which Downing Street has acted in implementing the promises made in the fifties of the last century and often renewed since. That is a repetition of the laggard policy pursued in Ireland till the Great War brought the change in part that has complicated the problem more than ever.
Opening with three reprint articles celebrating H.P.B. as Founder of the T.S., The American Theosophist for November has a large assortment of miscellanea among which Mr. Jinarajadasa's radio address on Education and Mr. Rajagopalachariar on "Mysticism and Bhakti" are the more notable. Mr. Jinarajadasa is impressed with the failure of the United States with "the most expensive and developed educational system in the world. "I have praised that system in many countries," he says, "but I received a shock during my last visit four years ago. Statistics then published concerning the prison population in this country showed that about 18 per cent. of the prisoners were under 25 years of age . . . . Surely there was something wrong with the system." He attributes the failure to the forcing of intellectual processes with the neglect of the emotional nature in education. The Universe consists of life although the intelligence fails to grasp the significance of this life, he quotes from Bergson. For this the intuition is required, and until the intuition enters into the problem of understanding there is no real knowledge of the movements of life. Surround the child with beauty, he advises, and this mysterious faculty of intuition grows in the child.
This month's magazine goes to all our intimate friends and it carries a very cordial and deeply affectionate greeting to all of them who wish to be included in that intimate circle. It extends in far lands, and around the United States and across Canada. In Ireland, whether under de Valera or Avonmore, there are more of those old friends under the sod than above it, but they are all remembered. The other British Isles have also many valued friends. In Canada there is a happy band who are not worried about differences of opinion or details of service nor by any of the things that pass away. It is these who, abroad and at home, make up the heart of visible life, and link us all together in the invisible, where dwell the Shining Ones, where the Master speaks the language of Love to all peoples and kindreds and races and nations, the unnumbered multitude. And to some he says, "I am the Shelter and the Friend; I am the abiding place from age to age," And to others he says, "If you are my disciples you will love one another." So Christmas joy be to you all, and let nothing you dismay.
As deep calls to deep so, Washington calls to Hamilton, if we may say so, and whatever other pilgrims may think, I esteem it a great privilege to be working in a cause that attracts the brains and experience of a man like Dr. H.N. Stokes. I can understand how the Philistines regard him, as Conservatives in England do Lloyd George - one told me once he would not allow his wife in the same room with him - or as Republicans regard Roosevelt. Nothwithstanding such biased opinions Dr. Stokes remains a wonder and a credit to Theosophy. Those who have not read The O.E. Critic for several years would not understand this, but few are pos-
sessed of the mental power to read The Critic for any great length of time. It takes character, and humor, and science, and humanity to be able to appreciate its pages, and these acquirements are rare in the Theosophical Society. They come with cosmopolitanism and the urbanity of age, and with the wide reading of the philosopher who loves people for their own sake. The O. E. Critic, consequently, is only for the very elect who do not judge the song of birds or the beauty of orchard blossoms - by their price. People pay 25 cents a month for magazines which never touch either their heads nor their hearts, and The O. E. Critic only costs fifty cents a year. If it were $50. for twelve months it would be collected by bibliophiles and treasured like The Equinox or The Squire. It is astonishing how modern folks value printed stuff. Dr. Stokes is to be addressed at 1207 Q Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. If you read The Critic you will come to understand why you do not know a Master when you meet one. This is worth more than fifty cents by several thousand rupees. The word rupees is used to put you off the scent.
The Indian Theosophist for September has an unusually attractive cover, on which are quoted two verses from the Gita, "Better than the sacrifice of any objects is the sacrifice of wisdom, O Parantapa. All actions in their entirety, O Partha, culminate in wisdom. Learn thou this by discipleship (literal-y, falling at the feet, (that is, the feet of the teacher), by investigation, and by service. The wise, the seers of the essence of things, will instruct thee in wisdom. (iv. 33, 34). Attention is called to the 64th International Convention of the T.S. and the convention of the Indian National Society to be held at Adyar on and from December 24 next. "As Mussalmans go to Mecca, as Hindus go to Kashi, so should Theosophists add Adyar to their places of pilgrimage. . . I ask you to realize that a visit to Adyar is worth a considerable sacrifice, apart from the duty such a visit is." For Canadians the "considerable sacrifice" would be at least $750, which is as much as very many families live on for their yearly income. These suggestions to visit Adyar come from Dr. Arundale and increase our conviction, which has been questioned, that he has no proper sense of the value of money. Mr. Gokhale's messages under "Benares Calling" are much more practical and enlivening than Dr. Arundale's "Adyar Calling," as he discusses the problem of the fighting man, the superior man in a spirit of wisdom. Here is a paragraph to meditate upon - "Whereas the heartless superior man evokes only a wish to resist, the tiny tot on which women practice their Great Vocation of Motherhood, raises her from a mere sentimental being into higher realms of feeling - from the Astral, where she is already superior, to the Buddhic, while poor man mostly remains at his Lower mental level, wrapped up in his sense of `superiority'." Mr. Gokhale gives the St. Mira College at Hyderabad with its magazine, East and West, good wishes for their success. Dr Arundale wants the National Societies to submit a questionnaire to their members asking if they want a change in the objects of the Society; if they wish the Adyar President to be mentally neutral on public and international questions; whether, the Society itself should likewise be neutral; should the statement on page 2 of the Adyar Theosophist cover regarding the principles of Theosophy be extended or modified; and what are the essential truths of Theosophy? Certainly if we follow this direction we shall soon have a creed and a Church equal to anything of the past. There are 12 pages of The Indian Theosophist filled with Dr. Arundale's discussion of these points and his desire to alter the
Society's objects. He has an uncontrollable urge to tinker with the Society of which he has had a term as head and he won't be happy till he rips it. If he could persuade himself to get out of the spotlight and devote himself to helping the National societies to do the work their local heads know is best in their various jurisdictions he would distinguish himself mightily even in the remainder of his term. And if he did that he could have another one. As it is he is like a bear in a smoke-house. Or does he know what a smoke-house is? Pages 348 to 355 contain a valuable paper on Zoroastrianism by K.J.B. Wadia which, considering the rarity of information on this ancient faith, should be widely circulated. Then follows half a dozen pages commending action to our young Theosophists, the action being of a practical nature, in this instance, the reforesting of waste land. Buy a few acres and plant it and have a permanent heritage. Any group of young people could do this. Every Lodge could do it, only in Canada it would raise a laugh to propose it.
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
Report by the General Secretary
The General Executive met on Sunday afternoon, 3rd inst. the five Ontario members being present, with myself. The funds were reported with a balance of $257 and discussion occurred over the request of some of the members for a detailed financial statement. This request was made at the last meeting to Miss Crafter, the Acting Treasurer, and for the first time in July. As the books are always open for examination the request seemed superfluous and Miss Crafter treated it as one of those things that come up from time to time when somebody wants to look official. After some talk Mr. Belcher suggested that it might be necessary to appoint a new Treasurer. I then pointed out that Miss Crafter was the Acting Treasurer, appointed at my request, as under the Constitution I was the Treasurer as well as the General Secretary.
This did not appear to have been remembered by anybody, and perhaps it will be as well to recall the fact that the Constitution was adopted under the threat of the Western members to withdraw altogether if it were not accepted verbatim et literatim. Several clauses seemed to me objectionable, but to prevent further discussion at that time the Constitution was accepted. Then came the surprise when I was requested to act as General Secretary. The result need not be gone into fully. But one thing I objected to was the giving into the hands of one man the complete control of the affairs of the Society. Especially was this true of the financial affairs and I suggested that an Acting Treasurer be appointed, not necessarily to spy on the General Secretary as the chief duty of the position, but to secure the existence of at least one other who would be familiar with the affairs of the Society. I had asked for the power to be given the General Secretary to appoint two of the Executive, so that there might be some one on hand as well as himself at headquarters to look after the business of the Society. This was strenuously objected to in the West, being regarded as a measure of dictatorship. When there are annual elections it did not seem to me that any dictatorship could be prolonged in a Theosophical Society where members were taught to think and act for themselves.
To return to the finances. No sum of any importance is paid out except by cheque, signed by both the General Secretary and the Acting Treasurer. Every penny, every one cent stamp used, is accounted for in the petty cash book and by cheque, and all important payments are passed on by resolution of the Executive in the first place. The totals of receipts and outlays are furnished every
meeting with bank balance and vouchers and the books are always on view. No one ever dreamed until the Cabal started this year, of asking for any further financial statement, and I feel sure none of the Executive would have dreamed of asking Fred Housser for such a statement, and if they had he would have told them to go to Jericho.
I am accused of turning the other cheek too frequently, but I asked for ten minutes to copy out the figures asked for. I brought them down along with the account books. The figures were what had already been reported upon and nobody looked at the books. It was not a constructive matter. It was just something to add to the burden of the vast amount of work which Miss Crafter does and has done for seventeen years, without any remuneration or even a resolution of thanks. Since I had to move to Hamilton I simply could not have carried on the work of the Society without her assistance, and perhaps that is one reason that it might be suspected that she could be teased and badgered out of her work. This may sound uncharitable, but recent events breed suspicions of this description. I freely admit that in asking for a financial statement covering the immense sums of two or three hundred dollars a month amateurs in finance like our Executive need to have the figures made simple for them, but it was never asked for before, and I do not really think the present Executive is less intelligent than its predecessors.
After the financial difficulty had been disposed of there was further debate over The Canadian Theosophist. A letter from Mrs. Henderson of Victoria was read, representing the views of non-member subscribers, who equal in numbers or nearly so the members of the Society. Dr. Wilks, the Vancouver representative on the Executive, had also written asking space in the Magazine to express the views of the Western members. These views may be read in other columns. Once more I stated the policy of the Magazine as I understood it, and suggested that the members generally should read Mr. Wickham Steed's little book in the Penguin series, The Press, which sets forth what I consider the Theosophical conception of the service and policy a newspaper or magazine of any kind should follow. It was pointed out and accepted that we were in no worse position than in previous years and that all that was needed was noninterference.
If we are given a chance to turn the corner since the subscription list is gradually increasing, it might be that a little effort on the part of friends and members would easily make it self-supporting, so that all the revenue from members' dues could go into other propaganda. It was pointed out that much money had been contributed in Toronto for wireless broadcasting, but the increasing cost made a continuance of this work impossible. Circulate the magazine and set free the revenue from members' dues and no better propaganda can be carried on at present. If as much help were given the magazine as there has been opposition, the circulation could be very widely increased. Some people do not like it, but the intelligent class of readers represented by Mrs. Henderson have scarcely been given a chance to know of its existence.
The members of the Executive appeared to be moved by the appeals made and on the motion of Mr. Barr, seconded by Mr. Hick it was resolved "that The Canadian Theosophist be carried on as in recent previous years." This motion was put and adopted unanimously. I trust it means an effort for real peace and progress for the Magazine.
The next meeting of the Executive will be on February 4, when the chief business then will be preparation for the annual election.
DR. WILKS SPEAKS FOR THE WEST
It is rumored - and the rumor has already found public expression in Mrs. Henderson's letter in the October C.T. and in Dr. Stokes' Critic for October - that a concerted attempt is being made to change the policy and attitude of the Canadian Theosophical Society which finds its chief expression through its magazine, the C.T. In other words, it is an attempt to remove Mr. Smythe, its Editor, from the office which he has held since the birth of the Canadian T.S. in 1920. Further support is lent to this rumor by the recent action of the Toronto Lodge in removing Mr. Smythe from the post of President which he has held for twenty years.
This is a matter of extreme importance to every member who believes that the C.T. as it exists today is the one work of real significance which the Canadian T.S. is doing, and this is the opinion of practically all Western members. The thing about the C.T. which makes it of such high value to some and (it would seem) such a nuisance to others, is its uncompromising attitude with regard to the truth. It invites and encourages criticism, (so long as it is sincere) without respect for authority or position, and is not averse to controversy so long as the truth is being served.
This attitude which puts truth before comfort and makes of Sincerity the highest value, is implicit in the very core of Theosophical teaching, and in following it Mr. Smythe is but following the example set long ago by H.P.B. in her Magazines. Any member who honestly believes that this attitude as given expression in the C.T., is inimical to the Canadian T.S. and lowers its value as a centre of theosophical life and teaching, has, of course, a perfect right to his opinion, and to try to influence other members to join with him in changing
this policy. It is very important though, that no change should be attempted without first adequately informing the membership as a whole of the issues involved.
It is without doubt true, that a considerable increase in the membership of the Canadian T.S. could be brought about, as has been done in other National Sections of the T.S., by lowering our standard. Let, not truth, but belief and amiable relations be our aim, not careful examination and fearless criticism in the open, but the unspoken understanding to disguise or suppress all matters of disagreement lest someone's discomfort destroy the beautiful appearance of harmony (beneath which usually festers so much of envy, jealousy and malice) and we shall have a Society which makes no demands upon anyone except that he shall hide anything unpleasant.
So it comes down to this. What do we want? Quality, or quantity; Theosophy, or Churchianity; Brotherhood, or Rotarianism. We can cultivate the things of the Spirit, which means effort, often discomfort and disillusionment, and whose only reward is a deep inner serenity; or, the things of the personality. One, or the other. And we have a right to choose which we will; no one will reward or punish us. But, we shall inevitably get what we go after, so it is not wise to deceive ourselves.
There is this to remember, however. The members of the T.S. generally have never had a chance to learn what Theosophy is about, and if brought into a real Theosophical centre, many would be so uncomfortable they would lose no time in putting themselves at a safe distance - no one has ever maintained that the truth is a comfortable bedfellow - for them, the acceptance of these personal standards is no degradation. It is the best they have encountered. In the Canadian T.S. it is dif-
ferent. Almost entirely owing to Mr. Smythe, a standard of real Theosophical values has been raised up; and for us to go back on them, once having known them, would be disintegration.
TO ALL SUBSCRIBERS TO THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
The recent turn of events in the Toronto Lodge whereby Mr. Smythe, after many years as President, has been unseated, confirms the rumors we had heard of the machinations of a small group of the Canadian Section to change the policy of The Canadian Theosophist by displacing Mr. Smythe as Editor, and is causing uneasiness among subscribers.
Thanks to the present broad-minded Editor the circulation of the Magazine has been built up until outside subscribers are about equal in number to the members of the whole Section. We write therefore in the interest of all subscribers and to inform those who may not know what is going on behind the scenes.
(I have omitted a paragraph here from Mrs. Henderson's letter owing to the objection of Mr. Belcher to a non-member of the Society having anything to say about the affairs or policy of the Toronto Lodge. As everybody knows what occurred there need be no harm in mentioning that Mrs. Henderson merely repeated the facts of the recent election when in a packed meeting - Mr. Belcher stated at the Executive meeting that "both sides were packed" - I was deposed from the office of President. Whether any outsider has a right to make deductions from the facts may be debated, but Mr. Belcher thought the paragraph stating the facts was ultra vires of Mrs. Henderson and should not be printed. Her argument was, of course, that what concerns the Toronto Lodge and incidentally the editor of the magazine, concerns all who subscribe, and she is interested to know if any further action is to be taken in the direction already indicated.) - Editor C.T.
At present The Canadian Theosophist is the only Theosophical Magazine run on independent lines, open to discussion on all sides, and not subject to the hand of `authority,' and it is this open-minded policy which is being threatened. The issue would seem to lie between those who stand for H.P. Blavatsky as the source from which modern Theosophy derives, and those who have replaced the Blavatsky inspiration and the tradition of the open door by adherence to the dictatorship of the late Mrs. Besant.
If this adverse group should succeed in taking the Magazine out of Mr. Smythe's hands it is easy to predict its ultimate fate as a mouthpiece of Adyar. We hope that all subscribers who would deplore such a pernicious influence will register their protests in as practical a way as possible. With that element in the editorship it is certain that the Magazine would be no longer of interest to any of the undersigned British Columbia subscribers, none of whom are T.S. members.
This letter is not written at the suggestion of Mr. Smythe nor with his knowledge, nor has the information given in it come through him.
Albert W. Beckett, Edith Fielding, Alfred Fleischer, Michael S. Freeman, Hildegard Henderson, Mary Henderson, E. Kathleen Middleton, W.B. Pease, R.A. Ruffle, Maud M. Rutherfurd Shaw, Louisa Shrimpton, Mary E. Taylor, Henry Webster, Elizabeth G. Wood, Hildegarde Wyllie.
November 17th, 1939.
BOOKS BY CHARLES JOHNSTON
- Bhagavad Gita ..... cloth $1.25.......... leather $1.75
- Crest Jewel of Wisdom ......... cloth $1.26
- Parables of the Kingdom ......... paper .50
- Patanjali's Yoga Sutras ......... cloth $1.25
- Song of Life paper......... .75
THE QUARTERLY BOOK DEPARTMENT
WANTS NO CHANGE
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - Apparently there is a movement afoot to seriously curtail both the size and scope of the Canadian Theosophist, and also to oust Mr. A.E.S. Smythe as editor, a position which he has filled both ably and fearlessly for many years.
It would be well to remember that it has been the editor of the Canadian Theosophist who has so courageously defended the teachings of the Mahatmas and H.P.B. against the neo-Theosophy of Adyar for many years.
The editor's policy has always been of a high standard with a clear cut defense of basic Theosophical truths, together with a free expression of views, which has attracted subscribers from all parts of the world, many of whom are not members of the Theosophical Society. This in itself is sufficient evidence of the important work being done by the Canadian Theosophist under its present management and policy.
As a one time member of the Canadian T.S. and one who has known and watched Mr. Smythe in his work for Theosophy, I most strongly protest any change in the policy, size or scope of the Canadian Theosophist, or of any change in its editorship.
- Stanley Pratt.
3 Clement St., San Francisco,
California, November 25th, 1939.
ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - Mr. Cecil Williams' suggested alternatives of psychic methods and channels to convey the messages got by the psychic of Mr. Crump's article in the September Canadian Theosophist, show, with some unnecessary flippancy and hair-splitting, much assimilation of THE MAHATMA LETTERS and H.P.B.'s many explanations of the deceptive and unreliable nature of the psychic plane. I followed his letter with close attention and with agreement on the point that forgotten information could have been transferred from the subconscious memory of Mr. Crump to the vision of a natural clairvoyant of considerable power. This had been my own idea of the probable solution of the means used, with, however, the conviction that the information brought to the surface on the missing volumes SECRET DOCTRINE and on the Serpent of Wisdom was an end wished for, and emanating from some source connected with the work of the Great Lodge. There is internal evidence of this in the messages themselves, if the intuition is brought to bear upon them, and for me there are years of close-range experience of Mr. Crump's detachment and intuitive, unconscious psychism having been `used' for solution of problems arising in group study, or in other matters where hints of an occult nature (so often given circuitously) had led Mr. Crump to get the gist of what lay behind appearances.
But as I read on it was evident that Mr. Williams' intelligent application of the teaching had been quite exhausted by his reflections on psychism. He drops to a parochial frame of mind when he goes on to assume that for a future Lodge Agent to build upon and extend the Ancient Wisdom given in our time as THE SECRET DOCTRINE, implies resuscitation of an esoterically defunct Society. His happy thought that in 1975 THE SECRET DOCTRINE would be dated is delightfully naive and wholly laughable!
Equally laughable is his reading of an ancient Asiatic proverb from which he deduces that the eternal preservation of the Serpent of Wisdom's heart which is in its head [Buddhi centred in Higher Manas] has direct reference to the preservation of the Theosophical Society! If the ambitions, animosities and venom displayed in the existing Society signifies the heart of the Serpent of Wisdom; and its head is represented by the
intellectual and moral perversions that have turned a body intended to be a nucleus for liberating the spirit of man into a sect, led by dictatorial `bishops,' then, truly the joining together of the Serpent's bits were hardly a promise of regeneration! All through THE MAHATMA LETTERS the record of Western blindness and inability grows, until failure is declared, "in India - partially, in Europe - absolutely" (p. 363), and the Master K.H. says: "I tell you with a very few exceptions we have failed in Europe . . . .the good ship is sinking . . . ." (p. 366). Let us be thankful that despite the handicap of Western birth and tradition, there remain alight some sparks true to the ray put forth, both in the decayed Society, in many other Theosophical organizations, and outside them all, and that happily the great Movement is evolutionary and the needs of the hour spread its philosophy and scientific truths wherever there is receptivity.
There is evidence in almost countless passages in THE SECRET DOCTRINE that what was given out in it of the Gupta Vidya (secret knowledge) whose "teachings antedate the Vedas" was epoch-making in its advance upon any Movement of previous centuries, and, "it will," says H.P.B., "take centuries before much more is given from it." (I, xxxviii). Yet Mr. Williams declares that this well-spring of eternal knowledge, still above our heads in 1940, will be by 1975 in the discard! He seems to have no glimmer of an idea that if such were to be the case humanity itself would be in the discard - or that the "Asiatic Proverb" refers to deathless wisdom, and not in any sense to the disused tool of a former effort that failed, almost from the first, to fulfill the hopes of the Masters, yet had been as much as the devoted and never-ending labor of its Founder had been able to accomplish in our thankless and materialistic period. H.P.B.'s ardent hope expressed at the end of THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY, though failing signally in its rosy programme for the Society, is fulfilled in the preservation, for "the new torch bearer of Truth" of "a large and accessible literature." I call upon that literature to clarify Mr. Williams' idea of its need in "the next impulse" and its usefulness to a coming Messenger.
- H. Henderson.
The H.P.B. Library,
348 Foul Bay Rd., Victoria, B.C.
November 26th, 1939.
LITERATURE AND DATES
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - Mr. Heinemann's paper on Modern Science and Theosophy has so much excellent and interesting data, that it is suprising to find him so far from accuracy as regards the dates of our publications. He states - top of page 263 - that Vivekananda's "Raja Yoga" is "one of the earliest books on Eastern philosophy issued in the western world." Lower, on the same page, he gives the year of its first edition "1897," and his next sentence refers to "The Secret Doctrine, published in 1888." thus bracketing them together geographically, as products of the press in "the western world," although H.P.B.'s work was published in England.
The facts are, however, vastly different; the first translation of the Bhagavad Gita into English, by Charles Wilkins, was published in London, in 1785. Sir Wm. Jones published his six quarto volumes on Oriental philosophy in London, in 1799; copies of these are in our library at Isabella St. The Royal Asiatic Society was formed for the study and publication of such subjects in London in 1823; and the whole 19th century has seen a steady output of such volumes, culminating on Max Muller's translation of "The Sacred Books of the East" in forty volumes, which antedated Vivekananda's work by several years. - N. W. J. Haydon.
THE EMPIRE'S WAR AIMS
1. To win the war.
2. To put to can end, with or without bloodshed, the bullying Nazi regime which has kept Europe in a continual state of turmoil.
THE EMPIRE'S PEACE AIMS
1. To establish a new spirit in Europe of mutual tolerance and freedom from fear of aggression.
2. To settle differences around the conference table rather than by force.
3. To promote a full and constant flow of trade between nations.
4. To tolerate any form of internal government a nation desires, provided it does not pursue an external policy injurious to its neighbors.
5. To bring about gradual disarmament.
6. To establish machinery capable of "conducting and guiding the development of the new Europe in the right direction."
War and the spirit of war are such contagious agents that the world is never safe when the war spirit is abroad. We had hoped, and not without warrant, that Russia would prove to be an agent of peace and the traditions of peace. Education, sanitation, legitimate commerce, agriculture, the arts and science appeared to be the goals to which the Soviets pressed on, and abhorrence of the Nazi methods were expressed and apparently with good faith. All hopes based on this have been shattered by the action of Russia in Finland. Germany at her worst has never been more faithless, more brutal.
We had pictured Russia as aiming at such a neighborly attitude as the United States has practiced beside her less powerful border State to the north, and as she has acted to her neighbor also to the South, keeping the peace and
letting her peaceful aims be known and respected through consistent policies. Russia has had a great opportunity to gain the respect and confidence of the world. In a mad moment all this has been thrown away, and none so poor as do her reverence. It is a sad contrast to the hopes that Litvinoff took such pains to erect. Whether the change of authority to Molotoff is to be held responsible, or whether Stalin has been responsible for the change, both in the man and the policy, remains to be seen. But it is obvious that Russia as a whole, kept in darkness of the Finnish crime for sixteen hours, was not consulted or asked for approval, and we may have further perplexities over the most recent rumors of aggressive action towards Iran and Turkey.
The hope that Russia would be educated fades away, and we must fear that instead of education, which makes a man free, there has been as in Germany, indoctrination, young men and women being told on authority that certain conditions exist - regardless of what they hear elsewhere, or through whatever other channels, reliable or not. No investigation, no corroboration, no appeal of any kind is permitted in these dictatorial proceedings. Believe, or die. Believe or burn was the medieval attitude and there is little difference in the alternatives. The modern one seems to the ignorant less unreasonable, and sacerdotalism has been transferred from the Church to the State. The precedent proved its value for dictatorial purposes, and Russia now appears to be as much a slave to belief as any nation ever was under any priesthood. Communism cannot logically condemn the Church for its opiate methods and use the same methods in politics.
In any case the attack on Finland clears the air for all those who thought there might be a middle way in the war and that Russia would take that middle path. As a result the future looks
blacker than at any time in the last twenty-five years. It may still be that the United States and Russia shall alone survive to decide the fate of the surviving world. Recently, one of the British spokesmen said that "terrible sacrifices" may be required before the war is over. If Russia persists upon a Westward course of Empire, such sacrifices cannot long be delayed. We have the aims of the Allies set forth both for War and for Peace. But a real World War, as this may soon become, will compel all nations to see that Liberty, Freedom, Law, must be accepted as the minimum of all national and international relations. If any combatant or any civilian should fall in this struggle he need not fear that he has died in vain.
It has been represented by Bernard Shaw that Russia had a right to protect her boundaries in view of the suspected alliance between Finland and other powers who might attack Russia through Finnish territory, Leningrad lying within artillery range of Finland. This however could have been settled by arbitration, or through the League of Nations, proposals for either course of diplomatic negotiation having been refused by Russia. It is obvious therefore that Russia has adopted the Nazi method of bad faith, broken promises, and War.
The Archangel Michael, who is represented on Earth by St. George, is the Guardian Deity of both Britain and Russia. The Order of St. Michael and St. George is one of the well-known British honors. We are told that St Michael is connected with both Sanat Sujata and the Kumara who is the God of War. The world is very evil, the times are waxing late, as St. Bernard has written. We must be prepared to see the decrees of Karma carried out, and realize that they mean the determination of Justice without which there can be no true Peace.
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
I have been presented with a copy of Emmet Fox's book on the great summary of the inner teachings of Jesus to his disciples with the questions on the dust covers "What did Jesus really Teach?" and "What is the Key to Life?" (The Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox: Harper Brothers, New York.) The student of Occultism abhors dogma, but he cannot ignore facts, and this is a distinction many students overlook. At the beginning of the Way there are many paths, many gates, before one reaches the narrow Way, the strait Gate. And we must not forget that things that are equal to the same thing are equal to one another. There are not two or more highest ideals. The man who reaches the highest ideal he is capable of has reached what other men have reached under whatever name. If this book helps any one it is sufficient reason for its existence, and we see that it must help many people, while many others would get nothing from it. Thus it is with all books. As people are ready they choose one guide or another. If Jesus be the ideal of any reader this is a book for him though he may find books that may bring him nearer to the Christ. Mr. Fox, like so many others, does not understand Karma. He declares that "man has the choice of Karma or Christ. He declares that this is the best news that has ever come to mankind. Perhaps he forgets that 28th verse of St. Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians. Karma is Christ, would be a wiser advice to his readers, for as long as Life is in manifestation, Karma, which is Christ, rules the manifested Universe and all things in it. It is the old difficulty that so many cannot grapple with the distinction between the Absolute and the Word. The average reader has a long way to go before he can even formulate
these ideas for himself. Meanwhile Mr. Fox gives us an exoteric exposition of the Sermon as he understands it, and no harm can come to any man who aspires to the Truth and has no aims in his aspirations towards the life eternal but to "know the only true God" and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. From the same source comes to me the very beautiful book with the title A Lotus Blossoms. It is copyrighted by Gwladys Price-Williams, who no, doubt is the author, and gifted with such a delicate sense of beauty that one feels that this Way of Life has opened one of its most direct paths for her. Page after page is filled with lovely pictures of the Lotus in every stage of perfection from unfolding bud to fullest bloom. There are some azaleas also, and the reflections of the author lead one persuasively to the world of the eternal beauty.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE MAHATMA LETTERS
A most useful work, far and away in value beyond any impression its few pages may appear to make, is the chronology of The Mahatma Letters and of Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett which has been prepared by Margaret Conger, wife of Col. Conger, the new president of the Point Loma Theosophical Society, United States Section. The natural division by which the Letters fall according to subjects, which was made by the editor, Mr. A. Trevor Barker, does not, of course, place them in the order in which they were written. This may give wrong impressions to the casual reader, and for the student the present work overcomes the difficulty that arises of sometimes long and difficult search for the proper sequence. This has all been obviated by Mrs. Conger, who has availed herself of the early appearance of some of the Letters in The Theosophist, and of other sources of information, as well as careful comparison and examination, all of which is described in an interesting Preface and Introduction with Explanatory Notes which occupy five pages of the 19 of the compilation. The Letters cover the period from 1880 till 1887 with seven unplaced Letters without date. A Bibliography is also given. No price or publisher is mentioned but Mrs. Conger's address is 810 Jackson Avenue, Takoma Park, D C. Students of these Letters will find Mrs. Conger's work indispensable.
"THE SECRET SCIENCES"
Whoever Hans Liebstoeckl may be, his publishers and his translater have served him badly by turning out a book which is so full of errors, of flagrant falsehoods, of misrepresentations, of total misunderstandings that one wonders how the book ever came to be compiled. As one wades through it it gradually dawns on one that it is a Rudolph Steiner book, and that he is the creator of the system out of which has emerged Adolf Hitler. Then we can understand that the whole tissue of the volume is untruth; that the German nation has been infected with this system built on lies; and that Russia has also been infected with the same miasma; and that all occult learning is therefore in danger as all civilized life is in peril of being undermined by the plausible lying and pretense of impostors and deceivers. There are plenty of competent Theosophists in London who could have read this book and made at least corrections of the most stupid and glaring of the errors in it. The House of Rider has many men in its lists, Challoner, Shirley, Trevor Barker, to name but three, who could have saved its reputation by preventing such a misguided work going forth under its imprint, but we presume no pains were taken or we could not have such a book. Yet there is a vast amount of information and curious lore by which, properly sifted and given authentic setting, the grosser
mis-statements eliminated and the foolish falsifications stricken out, a reader might be led to further study and investigation on his own account. There is too much of the attitude of the idolater with Rudolf Steiner as the idol, however, to tempt any intelligent reader or well-informed man to use the book as a textbook. The author, if he has no intention of deceiving, must be a man of massive ignorance with all his appearance of wide learning for his facts do not hang together, and his conclusions cannot but make the judicious grieve. We have read it through carefully and admit much amusement but little enlightenment from its 304 pages. (London, Rider & Co. 18/-)
In what books are these to be found?
1. The "Breath" of the One Existence is used in its application only to the spiritual aspect of Cosmogony by Archaic esotericism; otherwise, it is replaced by its equivalent in the material plane Motion. The One Eternal Element, or element-containing Vehicle, is Space, dimensional in every sense; co-existent with which are endless duration, primordial (hence indestructible) matter and motion - absolute "perpetual motion" which is the "breath" of the "One" Element. This breath, as seen, can never cease, not even during the Pralayic eternities.
2. I myself should say that the nature of those who know is impersonal as a sunbeam. It flits here and there, resting alike on the fetid swamp and the purity of the flashing waterfall. It dreams in the green gloom of the forest, is radiant on the sparkling snow-peaks - the inhabitant, the spirit of the universe, everywhere glad and at home.
3. Your enjoyment of the World is never right till you so esteem it that everything in it is more your treasure than a King's exchequer full of Gold and Silver. And that exchequer yours also in its place and service. Can you take too much joy in your Father's works? He is Himself in everything. Some things are little on the outside, and rough and common, but I remember the time when the dust of the streets were as pleasing as Gold to my infant eyes, and now they are more precious to the eye of reason.
4. We make our own bodies, we make our own lives, we make our own destinies, and we are responsible for it all, spiritually, morally, intellectually, and even physically. It is a manly doctrine; there is no room in it for moral cowardice; no room in it for casting our responsibility upon the shoulders of another - God, angel, man or demon.
5. The East of the Lodge is the symbolic centre; the source of all light; the place of the throne of the Master of all life. The West, the place of the disappearing sun, is this world of imperfection and darkness from which the divine spiritual light is in large measure withdrawn and only shines by reflection. The ceremonies through which the candidate passes are symbolic of the stages of progress that every man - whether a formal member of the Craft or not - may make by way of self-purification and self-building, until he at length lies dead to his present natural self, and is raised out of a state of imperfection and brought once more into perfect union with the Lord of life and glory into whose image he has thus become shaped and conformed.
References to Quotations in October Quiz
1. Contemplations, by W.L. Wilmshurst. p.124.
2. Thrice-Greatest Hermes, I. 233, by G.R.S. Mead.
3. Buddhism the Science of Life, by A.L. Cleather and Basil Crump, pp. 144-145.
4. The Inner Reality, by Paul Brunton, p. 142.
5. The Roadmender, by Michael Fairless, p. 66.
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by W. Frank Sutherland
More light has come from Asia concerning the origins of primitive man, his geological age and his relation to the last four ice ages. In a paper read before the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia on November 17, Dr. Herbert de Terra, of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences and the American Museum of Natural History New York, described the discoveries made in the last two years in Asia by several expeditions, sponsored by the Peabody Museum of Harvard, the American Philosophical Society, and the Carnegie Institute of Washington.
Consecutive records have been found of the last four ice ages and the traces of primitive man have been dated in respect of these periods.
The area explored covers a triangle of south-eastern Asia, more than 2,000 miles on a side, from Peiping, China, to India and over to Java.
Part of this area was always warm or tropical. But the ice masses in its northern region and on the Himalayan plateau made clock-like changes in the rainfall and gravel deposits of rivers in the warm regions.
In all the areas investigated the river terraces were the same in number. These terraces are ancient deposits eroded from the highlands during periods of heavy rainfall.
At the north tip of the triangle is the recently discovered home of Pekin man, at the south that of Pithecanthropus (Java Man.) At the east are Indian relics. Formerly all were considered to have belonged to isolated groups of primitive men.
The gravel calendar shows that the Peking men were making the same kind of tools as Pithecanthropus at the same time, and that other men whose bones have not yet been found were making similar tools all over the great area at the same time.
The tools were all of stone. Most characteristic of them is the hand chopper. It is made from a river stone, worn to the shape of a miniature football and sharpened on one side by flaking. One of these, it is said, can dissect an antelope in 21 minutes.
At the same time around 300,000 or 400,000 years ago, other primitive races were making hand axes, a slightly different shaped tool in Europe and Africa.
The human relics found in Asia have been identified as belonging to the period of the second ice age.
Asia as the Home of Man
Science for some time has been veering around to the idea that it is in Asia we should seek for the original home of man. The general idea now current is well expressed by Richard Swann Lull in Evolution of Earth and Man (Chicago University Press, 1929.) Lull says:
"Europe is not supposed by most authorities to have been the original evolutionary centre of mankind; its small size seems to preclude that. Rather is it a place to which, as in historic times, migrating hordes came from time to time when force of circumstances drove them out of Asia and perhaps more rarely from Africa. That Asia is the birthplace of mankind is seemingly established, the following being some of the evidences for this belief.
"Asia possesses great size, and hence varying life conditions, together with a central location contiguous to all other land masses, even to North America. From Asia, as from no other of the continents of the world is communication
so easy and the migratory routes so clearly discernible. Asia is the home of the highest and best of the higher organic life and is with few exceptions the place whence man has derived his dependents and allies, the domestic animals and plants. Asia is the seat of the oldest civilizations, many indications of which, though visible as sand-drifted ruins, have outlived the vaguest traditions concerning their origins. Finally, the physical and climatic conditions of Asia in the Cenozoic era" (beginning roughly 80 million years ago on the uranium scale) "were such as the scientist must postulate in his imaginings of the Modus operandi of human origin from his pre-human forebears; i.e. such as would enforce descent from the trees and terrestrial adaptation." (The reader will note that this arboreal ancestry is not generally held to be the correct explanation of man's origin today.) The fact that the most primitive people today - African pigmies and Australian black fellows - are not Asiatic does not tend to controvert but rather to strengthen this belief, for as the first formed ripples of the ever-widening pool are the outermost, so the descendants of the earliest migrants should today be found farthest from the centre of origin. The fact that the most ancient human remains in point of time thus far discovered are from Java and therefore nearer the focal point is yet another bit of evidence."
The above quotation shows clearly the important role Asia is now assuming in Anthropological thought, but one can legitimately question a number of the inferences and supporting arguments, those particularly which are in conflict with Theosophical teachings.
It is generally believed that the most primitive peoples, the Bushmen of Africa and the Australian aborigine are descendants of the inhabitants of Lemuria, or Gondwanaland, as the scientists call it. Particularly is this the case with the Australian black-fellow, for should he have migrated from Asia, it is inconceivable that he should have done so unaccompanied by any Asiatic flora and fauna. Australia as is well known until recently has been singularly free from foreign biological types and its own are exceedingly primitive.
Furthermore, the southern part of India is generally believed to have been part of Lemuria, and it is here that we again encounter primitive peoples - the Dravidians.
In the above quotation Lull speaks mainly of primitive man, and one is permitted to speculate as to whether the early type to which he refers is the ancestor of modern man or whether he was a collateral offshoot from the main stem. Speculation here is somewhat hazardous, even the term primitive is somewhat misleading, for Dr. Frank N. Walker of this city, whose work on blood-groups has been mentioned recently in these columns, believes that many of these early types are to be found walking the streets of our cities today. At least this is believed to be the case with Neanderthal man traces of whom are to be found among the people of Ireland, and of Piltdown man who still persists in England.
It is more or less incontestable, however, that Mongol and Slav types originated in Asia as did also the Indo-European (the word "Aryan" is now so much besmeared with Nazi propaganda as no longer to be used without danger of misinterpretation).
Anthropologists draw maps of the dispersion of the Mongol types; the migrations of the Indo-Europeans also have been fairly well worked out and these in general follow the theories given in the Theosophical literature.
Both types may well have come from an early migration from Atlantis, a migration later than the time when the river deposits in which the remains of
primitive man were laid down, but still a time quite remote, historically speaking.
Cro-Magnon man who lived in Spain and France not more, probably, than twenty thousand years ago seems to have come from Atlantis also.
The simple hypothesis of an Asiatic origin for man hardly suffices to explain everything associated with his distribution. Supplemented, however, with Lemurian and Atlantean centres of dispersion it is of much value in explaining migrations and distributions. - W. F. S.
A NEW RAY
Experiments are now in progress for the purpose of determining the nature of the new ray observed in 1937 by Lieutenant T. Townsend Brown of the United States Naval Reserve.
With the assistance of the Naval Research Laboratory and other agencies Lieutenant Brown recently has completed the installation of a recording instrument of his own design at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. This instrument automatically records 480 separate measurements every 24 hours and to ensure accurate performance the temperature is controlled to one-tenth of a degree at all times.
The new radiation is exceedingly penetrating. Unlike heat or light or radio waves, it has the ability to pierce great thicknesses of steel without any apparent lessening of intensity. Unlike cosmic rays it appears to possess no electrical charge and is not affected by the earth's magnetic field. The "Siderial Radiation," as it is called, approaches the earth from the general direction of Taurus, in a direction opposite in which the solar system is moving, toward the constellation Hercules. In May the greatest intensity is at midnight, while in November the greatest intensity is at noon.
- W. F. S.
AMONG THE LODGES
Toronto Theosophical Society held another in its series of "Zone Teas" on Saturday afternoon, November 25th, when the "Central Zone" were in charge of the arrangements. The rooms were decorated with vases of baby mums in autumn shades and Miss Mary Stuart, convener, received the many guests, assisted by Mrs. D.W. Barr and Mrs. E.J. Norman. Mrs. E.B. Dustan and Mrs. G.I. Kinman presided at the tea-table and Mrs. Win. Daly, Miss Sheila Gough and Miss Yvonne Camm assisted during the tea hour. A delightful programme of entertainment was in charge of Mr. Charles M. Hale and Mr. A.C. Fellows who also looked after the lucky draws. Miss Pearl Carter, well-known radio artist, gave several groups of humorous and dramatic monologues, and Mr. Heber Mulock, tenor, delighted the guests with his singing, accompanied by Mr. Albert A. Punter. Mr. G.I. Kinman moved a vote of thanks to the artists. Lucky draws were won by Mrs. D.W. Barr, Mrs. M. Bogers, and Lieut-Col. E.L. Thomson. - M. K.
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