Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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VOL. XX, No. 5 HAMILTON, JULY 15th, 1939 Price 10 Cents.
THEOSOPHY AS ETHICS
By Das P. Pandia, M.A. (Oxon ) PH.D. (London)
[[photo Dr. Pandia]]
Dear Friend and Brother, or Sister:
I conclude today my six weeks' tour of Western Canada. During this period I addressed over 105 meetings and talked to nearly 20.000 people belonging to the various clubs, associations, churches, leagues, political bodies, etc., etc., about the great principles of Theosophy. My approach may be different from the other official lecturers of the Society, but I believe that to preach Theosophy to the Theosophists alone, is not enough. It is high time we link our activities with all the forward movements that stand for freedom, peace and brotherhood in the world. In all my lectures in various places, I endeavored to emphasize those fundamental things that unite humanity instead of dwelling on the trifles that divide man from man.
The Theosophical Society is a fellowship of the spirit, a society of seekers of Truth, who believe that there are things in life of vastly greater importance than wealth and comfort, necessary as they are. It affirms that the pursuit of ideas and inspiration is greater than the race for power and glory. Its members are not so much concerned with the salvation of the soul as with the improvement of the world. To belong to the Society is to share this spiritual vision and to acquire this largeness of view which can assuage the asperities of life.
This is a self-conscious age in which we live. Philosophers and professors of Philosophy are speaking to us of what is wrong with us in the heavy tones of a Keyserling or a Spengler, or in the lighter pamphlets of "Today and Tomorrow" series. Never was man's need to come to an understanding of life more urgent. Notwithstanding the march of science, the transformation of life, the shifting of moral values and the preoccupations of the time, the principle craving for the
eternal and the abiding remains unextinguishable. Along with a deep discontent with the standard forms of religion, there is a growing seriousness about it. The forms are dissolving but the needs persist.
If, in spite of our ethical culture and rationalistic, criticism, we feel that our lives have lost the sense of direction it is because we have secularized ourselves. Human nature is measured in terms of intellection. We have not found our true selves. We may be busy seeking for wealth, power and excitement but we are no longer sure that it is all worth doing. We have no certain aims and no definite goals. Life is fragmentary and futile. Nothing means much or matters much. Anxious and enquiring minds are doubting and discussing, groping and seeking for the more precious meaning of life, its profounder reality, for the synthetic view which will comprehend the skepticism and the certainties, the doubts and the realities of contemporary life. Our division is profound and no organized religion is able to restore the lost unity. We are waiting for a vital religion, a live philosophy, a set of dynamic principles, which will reconstruct the basis of conviction and devise a scheme of life which men can follow with self respect and creative joy. I believe that Theosophy supplies this great need and offers a stable anchorage which helps us to face the gravest crises. It provides us with a spiritual rallying centre, a synoptic vision, as Plato loved to call it, a Samanvaya, as the Hindu thinkers put it, a philosophy, which will serve as a spiritual concordat, which will free the spirit of religion from the disintegrations of doubt and make the warfare of creeds and sects a thing of the past.
Theosophy insists upon the fundamental unity of all great living religions. Behind all the varied expressions, Brahman, Yahveh, Ahuramazda, Allah, Christ, Buddha and Mahavira, there is the same intention, the same striving, the same faith. All religions spring from the sacred soil of the human mind and are quickened by the spirit. The different religions are like partners in a quest for the same objective. The universality of religion is due to the indwelling Logos and the religions are the products of "the seed of the Logos implanted in every race of men." All religions are vehicles of the moral energy of the different races, with the common aim to raise the people to a higher tempo of consciousness through spiritual education. The future of religion consists in free fellowship of faiths, where by contact and exchange, each faith will acquire a new spirit, and a new life. The keynote of the new attitude is expressed by the word `sharing.' The different religious men of the east and west are to share their visions and insight, hopes and fears, plans and purposes. Theosophy helps us to further the idea of free sharing among religions and cultures and thus create a free and creative civilization, based on broader visions and deeper insight. As sharers of Ancient Wisdom, it is our sacred duty to recognize and rejoice in truth and goodness wherever we find them in the assurance that all that is fine and good is from God.
The most impressive phenomenon of our time is the growing unification of the world. Science is forcing us into ever closer proximity and is weaving mankind into new patterns. We know every inch of the plane from pole to pole and our means of communication exceed the wildest dreams of our forebears.
The unity of the modern world requires a new cultural basis and the real issue is whether it is to be guided by the economic and the pragmatic mind, which is the most dominant at the moment, or the spiritual. A mechanical world in which humanity is welded into a machine of soulless efficiency is not
the proper goal for human endeavor. We need a spiritual outlook which will include in its intention, not only the vast surging of economics and politics but the profound needs of the soul. The real character of a civilization is to be gathered, not so much from its forms and institutions as from the values of the spirit, the furniture of the mind. Religion is the inside of a civilization, the unseen foundation on which the structure of a civilization rests, the soul, as it were, of the body of its social organization. Scientific applications, economic alliances, political institutions may bring the world together outwardly; but for a strong and stable unity, the invisible but deeper bonds of ideas and ideals require to be strengthened. In the work of rebuilding the human household, the role of religion is no less important than that of Science. The human individual consists of body, mind and spirit. Each requires its proper nutriment. The body is kept trim by food and exercise, the mind is informed by science and criticism, and the spirit is illumined by art and literature, philosophy and religion. If the spirit of humanity is to grow, it can only be by the exercise of its lovelier energies and the perception of the oneness of man, with the spirit of truth, love and beauty in the universe. We must make religion the light and law of our life. The application of the principles of all religions (i.e., Theosophy) will mean a society of all mankind, a society in which we bear one another's burdens and sympathize with each other in joy and sorrow. Such a society will be free from national rivalries and industrial competitions.
Religion is not only life-transcending but life-transforming. True worship is in the service of suffering humanity. Every religion affirms the startling doctrine of the immeasurable value of every human soul. The ecstasy of a conscious equality of all souls melts the barriers between man and man. True
religion with its intuition of the unity of the human race works for a spiritual commonwealth. It dare not stop at nations and continents but must embrace the whole human race. This very love of man requires us to appreciate people's beliefs and ideals.
The wise men of all times, have always said the same, and the fools, that is the immense majority, of all times have always done the same; that is to say, the opposite of what the wise have said. That is why Voltaire tells us that we shall leave this world just as stupid and bad as we found it when we came here. The world does not suffer so much from an insufficient knowledge of the truth, as from an imperfect control of the mind which makes the pursuit of truth difficult. Human actions proceed on belief and conviction, and not ideas and thoughts. Not mere knowledge is power but faith. It is no use mistaking man for a merely intellectual being. His intellect is not his whole being. We must allow the idea framed by reason to sink into the subsoil of man's life and leaven the whole of his nature, conscious and unconscious. The word, the thought must become flesh. Only such an alteration of the whole psychology of man, such a transformation of his whole being, such integral understanding, is creative in character. Creation is man's lonely attempt to know his own strange and secret soul and its real vocation in the cosmic plan.
Life is not knowing but being. The discordant elements of mind and heart can be harmonized only in the solitude of the soul. There is all the difference in the world between those who believe in God with their intellects repeating the first article of the creed and those who believe in it with their whole being. The difference between us ordinary men and the saints is just here. That we can become pious without effort, by listening to a sermon, by repeating a prayer, by reading a book. This is a soothing
dream, but it is only a dream. We must let the belief ripen and take possession of us by means of steady contemplation. It is an intimate and compelling process but a natural process by which the mind that holds an idea, becomes held by it.
Again, universal brotherhood is with many of us an article of belief but with the saints it is part of their being. It is easier to repeat all that is said about love than to love one's fellows and to have satisfactory relations with them. But real love is that imaginary consciousness which one has to develop in the loneliness of the soul, a consciousness which suffers and finds intolerable the suffering of another. If we are destitute of that mode of consciousness, we are not really human. True love regards the whole world as one's country and all mankind as one's countrymen. Love means renunciation of one's own self. It is seeing with the other man's eyes, feeling with the other man's heart, and understanding with the other man's mind.
The attainment of peace and universal brotherhood requires first, honest thinking. We must realize the horrors of war; that it is essentially a bestial thing, a surrender of all humanity, culture and value. War under modern conditions is not only wrong but criminal. Now that bayonets and rifles have yielded to chemicals, the destruction will be universal and no distinction can be made between combatant and non-combatants, men, women and children.
There is a Hindu saying that words are the daughters of earth but deeds are the sons of heaven. Words are born of intellect, deeds of spirit. It is faith, living faith, that can move mountains. Faith is an attribute of will, the energy of the soul, the response of the entire self. In faith we believe not only with our brains, but with our whole soul and body. The idea is not merely thought out but grows from the deepest layers of life and mind. Not without reason do the Hindus identify Jnana (Knowledge), with inward realization. The ideas we play with are simple affectations, rootless and sapless, but if they are to become creative they must become rooted in life. We must allow the ideals, the plans, and the suggestions that flit before us to possess us, dominate us, transform us, recreate us. We must allow ourselves to be gripped and shaped by them until we become living images of them. We can recreate the world only by self-creation, by profound personal transformation. That is why Krishnaji always emphasizes the great truth, that the problem of the world is really the problem of the individual. This means not only changing our view but reorganizing our emotions.
Theosophy is not a mode of thought but a way of life. By changing all wrong nature, we rebuild the entire world. Heaven is lost or found in the inner self. The aim and end of Theosophy is the creation of a spiritual World-Commonwealth, based on universal brotherhood and good will. The assumption of the sorrows of humanity and the dedication of our lives to the service of humanity is imposed on every Theosophist. Happy is he who recognizes and fulfills his duty, though it exacts a price in toil, suffering and blood.
Au revoir, my friends. I wish you good luck and every success in life. I enjoyed every moment of my tour of Canada. I shall always remember with gratitude and love all those wonderful friends with whom it was my privilege to come in contact during my visit to the various cities.
I shall never forget you all. You have been a source of encouragement and inspiration to me in all my humble work to bring about a better understanding between the East and the West.
Thanking you again for all your kind hospitality and help.
- D. P. Pandia.
Winnipeg, June 18, 1939.
THE PEDIGREE OF MAN
By Annie Besant
(Continued from, Page 109)
THE PHYSICAL PEDIGREE
Friends : In dealing this morning with the physical side of man's evolution, we shall have the difficulty that is always found when we come to deal with the Physical; and that is, that we have a mass of details, details most complicated in their character; as all of you know, even Modern Science, dealing with a fraction of the whole is fairly difficult to study, when you desire to understand thoroughly the story that it tells. How much more difficult, then, is it when you have to deal with things as they are, in all their various planes, in all their various states; and when, instead of confining yourselves to the differentiation of the physical tattva, you have also to take into consideration the differentiations of those tattvas that belong to the higher planes as well. I say this, because I am aware that I shall have a little to tax your attention, if you desire really to follow the stages of man's physical evolution, and if you desire to grasp the part he plays in the world in which he is the highest example of life, the one from which are drawn all seeds of life, so far as the present evolution is concerned, the one who stands at the head of the evolution of the globe, and on whom depend for their life and guidance the various kingdoms below him in nature. We shall want to discover how it comes to be that in the very body of man there exist the germs of life which populate all the great kingdoms of the globe. The only theory which seems to afford a glimpse of the truth, though then only of a fragment, is that theory of Weissman which, in its wonderful complication, is fairly difficult to fully grasp, but which shows us how, even from the standpoint of modern Science, you may have complications so varied, so numerous, so interlacing within the limits of a germ, that you can find there the traces of thousands of generations, and the possibility of any one of those traces evolving and a ppearing in the man of today.
Now with regard to the physical evolution, there is one great class of beings who guide it, who control it, who, in fact, give the patterns on which the whole of that evolution is moulded. This is the class known to you in Hindu literature under the general name of Pitris, or ancestors. Now there is much confusion about these Pitris, and that for a very simple reason. First of all, the original Pitris - those to whom I would like, if possible, to confine the name, for the sake of clearness - reappear over and over again, in different characters. They appear in every Round. And when we come down to the evolution of our own Globe, they appear in the different cycles of growth upon that Globe. Then we find them almost, as it were, merging in man; then we find them again reborn in fresh characters; so that they are somewhat like the players on the stage of a theatre, who, clothing themselves in different garments, appear in different characters though the same men are under the changed clothes. This change of characters has naturally confused the student who was not able to follow the beings by whom the characters were assumed, and part of our work today will be to trace these beings, and see how the Pitris reappear cycle after cycle, but always with the characteristic that they are the Lords of the physical kingdom, that they are the guides, the moulders, and the architects of mortal man.
That same name of Pitris is also used for those who are spoken of as Agnishvattas, who have nothing to do with the physical body of man. Those we shall for a moment put aside entirely. They are the three higher classes of the seven
classes of Pitris, more or less familiar to you in the Hindu Shastras, but they are distinguished as being Arupa, without form, and they belong to a different evolution. They have to do with the Devas and are sometimes called Pitris of the Devas. Again, they have to do with the intellectual evolution of man, and we shall have to meet them under another title, the title of Manasaputras, which includes these and many others.
The Pitris who have to do with the physical ancestry of man, who are literally his physical ancestors, the ancestors of his body, are grouped into the remaining four great classes and in the occult teachings these four classes are given a single name, Barhishad. Now that name appears again as the name of one class out of the four, which makes part of our confusion. The general name of Barhishad Pitris, or those possessing the creative fire. Although you find that name specially given to the sons of one of the mind-born Sons of Brahma, it is none the less true that it is also used for the whole of the four classes of the Rupa Pitris who have to do with physical evolution. So that when I speak of the Barhishad Pitris, if I use the term without further explanation, I shall mean all the four classes of Rupa Pitris.
Now these four classes, the Barhishad Pitris, come from the Moon. You know how you read of the Moon as the gateway of Svarga, as being one of the Lokas, as being the home of the Pitris. This is indeed true as regards human beings, for they pass out of Pretaloka into Pitriloka, and thence into Svarga. In a cosmic sense the Moon serves as a gateway, through which its inhabitants pour into the earth. These Pitris come to the Earth Chain from the Moon Chain, and therefore we speak of them as Lunar Pitris, as Pitris who have come from the Moon.
Now if we want to understand their nature, the first question that we naturally ask is: What did they do on the Moon, and what was the result of their living there? We already know that the lunar Chain is the Chain that preceded our own, and that we are bound by the closest ties with the evolution that was carried on the Moon, or on the lunar Chain. You will best estimate the achievements of the Lunar Pitris on the lunar Chain, if, for a moment, you think of Those whom we generally speak of as the Masters of our earth. They are Masters, who, having come through human evolution here, have transcended humanity. They are the flower of humanity, as They have been called - Those who have triumphed over all the difficulties of matter and have become here the Lords of matter, the Guardians, the Protectors of Humanity. Just such a function was played by the Lunar Pitris in the evolution on the lunar Chain. They passed through all that, through the equivalent human stage; they were the successes of that evolution; they rose higher and higher until they had utterly conquered all the matter of the lunar Chain, and could use it for their own purposes. Therefore, they are sometimes called the Cubes, because on the lunar Chain they conquered matter in its quarternary, or four-fold form, and they brought that matter with them for its further evolution in the Earth Chain. Think of them then as the Lords of the Moon, a title which is very often given to them in the occult writings.
They are also called the "Sons of Twilight," for a reason we shall see in a moment, again connecting them with the Moon; or, again, celestial Men, Sons of the Moon, Progenitors. Do not confuse them - for here one of the difficulties of the student comes in - with those classes of Pitris, the ex-Monads of the lunar Chain, who come from the Moon to pass into human evolution on our Globe. These have nothing to do with those great Lunar Pitris, save that they
evolved under their protecting care on the Moon, as we evolve here under the care of the Masters of Wisdom and Compassion. These ordinary Pitris, so often confused with these others, are the ex-monads from the Moon who make the bulk of our humanity at the present time, and who also are imprisoned in the animal, the vegetable and the mineral kingdoms of our Globe, the whole, indeed, of the forms of our Chain being occupied by these Monads from the Moon. These are indeed called Pitris, but they are not the great Lunar Pitris.
You may notice that this identity of name appears also in Hindu literature, in the shraddhas and in ordinary talk, in speaking of the Pitris; for every deceased man at a certain stage, after the Preta stage, passes into Pitriloka, and is numbered among the Pitris; and yet you know very well that those human beings who are numbered or classed with the Pitris are rather under their roof, under their protection, are kept, guarded and shielded by them, than share their nature; and you do not really confuse those of our humanity who pass on into Pitriloka at a certain time after death with the great and mighty Pitris who are constantly invoked in the shraddha, and who are children of the mind-born Sons of Brahma. The confusion is thus very general and it has persisted in our own nomenclature. Let us then, for the purposes of these lectures, keep the name of Pitris only for the Lords of the Moon, and not confuse them with our ordinary humanity, which they are going to guide as regards the physical evolution.
Now these Pitris at the end of their evolution on the Moon Chain merged into the planetary Logos, the Ruler of the Chain. As we might say now, they reached Nirvana; they entered the consciousness of the great Lord under whose rule they had been evolving; they passed into His being; they became, as it were, the germs of life within His body.
When the Earth Chain is to begin, the new body of the Planetary Logos - now called, because of His functions, Brahma, the Creator, the reflection of the great Brahma of the system - these Pitris are born from His "Body of Twilight." These four Bodies of Brahma are the four planetary Chains; the first is His Body of Darkness; the second, His Body of Day; the third, the lunar, His Body of Twilight; the fourth, the terrene, the turning-point, His Body of Dawn. Born thus from Him, they are called the Sons of the Twilight, the Will-born, and the Lords of Yoga; they are even spoken of sometimes as Svayam-bhuva, since they have no birth, save this coming forth from the Body of the Lord. They were born, it is written in the Vishnu Purana, from His Body of Twilight, when HE was meditating on Himself as the Father of the world, and the coming forth of the world of men; and the Varaha Purana speaks similarly, saying that they came forth, the color of smoke, as He meditated on the bringing forth of all classes of beings. When He thus thought of Himself as the Father, then it was that these issued forth from His Body of Twilight, these will-born Pitris, the Lords of the lunar Chain.
Possessing the four-fold matter, and also the creative fire, they were able to give to man his etheric double, prana, animal kama, and animal germ of mind. Beyond this they could not go, but this sufficed for the shaping of physical evolution, for the building of animal man and all lower forms.
These Pitris are spoken of as under the rule of Yama, the Lord of Death; he is called "Pitripati," the Lord of the Pitris; hence the bodies they give to man are mortal, born under the domination of the Lord of Change and of Death. They cannot give the immortal; they can only give the mortal, under the dominance of the Lord of Death. Men
are their progeny and must therefore form part of Death's kingdom; and thus the children of Earth differ from the children of Buddha, the planet Mercury, for his men are immortal, whereas the children of Earth are mortal. Moreover, these Pitris themselves will evolve by their work on the terrene Chain, and they will escape from the domination of the Lord of Death by this evolution, and in the next planetary Chain, the fifth, they will play the part of Manasaputras, Sons of Mind and Lords of Death.
Such then is our first glance of the Lunar Pitris. We shall find them, as I said, re-emerging over and over and over again: first they appear before us in their character as Rulers of matter, when living forms are to appear on this Chain, when the Globes are formed, but are still devoid of living inhabitants, only the matter of the Globe being moulded into globular form. We meet them at the beginning of the first Round. How shall I give to you some picture of what might be seen by the "Divine Eye," if it were turned by some Yogi to that first Round? I would fain give you a picture which, however imperfect, would convey some kind of definite thought to the mind. Behold a vast mass of heaving, tossing, whirling, fiery, matter, flashing, rolling, changing, in billowing masses, slowly aggregating itself according to three varying densities, into seven filmy forms. Scarce forms indeed can we call them, for even when we descend to the fourth, the most material of the forms, we can only catch a dim glimpse of Earth's first rupa, a mere film of akasha, tenuous, radiant, luminous, fiery. There is nothing visible save embodied fire in this Round. Seven of these forms we dimly see, of which this fourth, that is to be our Earth, is the most perceptible. Above it, on the descending arc, vague and vaguer shadows loom through the fiery mists. Above it, on the ascending arc, three other shadows, fiery, scarce perceptible. A vast panorama of flames, that take and lose again the form of globes, huge, wondrous, awe-inspiring, in resistless force and overwhelming energy.
(To Be Continued)
The questionnaire from the Executive Committee is very timely and herewith is a frank opinion, which you asked for, with the hope that you will take it in the impersonal manner I am endeavoring to give it.
1. Do you think Theosophy must, of its very nature, be for the few?
This, I believe is the testing ground of the Society. The form side of the Society IS for the majority and to this end the public lectures and public literature (magazine, etc.) SHOULD BE AIMED. Remembering that in Canada such lectures and literature reach adherents and young (not in the sense of personal age) members, the tone of the outgoing messages should be clearly and easily digestible. The twin doctrine of KARMA and REINCARNATION cannot be stressed too much. On this axis swings the pendulum of change and growth. Also, high-sounding Sanskrit terms, and torturous mental calisthenics should be taboo. The eye must first assimilate these before the ears are ready.
For the few there should be means for growth. Remembering that this is largely a personal matter, it shouldn't be hard. If SERVICE is the main outlet for personal accumulation, the Gods can descend and make themselves at home among the majority. Of course the matter of reaching the higher and more advanced members would be a delicate matter and one to handle warily lest it mar the outgoing undercurrent.
2. Admitting that we are not primarily interested in the mere number of members, do you think the Society should endeavor to increase its membership?
Admitting that only so much of the Ancient Wisdom has been made available for the serious student, doesn't this give a clue? What we have and know MUST BE SPREAD. The strength and area of our attempt at this lies primarily IN MEMBERSHIP. The Society should do all in its power, with due regard to dignity and common sense, to increase Membership.
3. If Theosophy should attract the highest and most positive type of minds in the West, do you think it has done so? If not, why has it failed?
May I be forgiven for the length of this reply! First, in my personal opinion, the sad history of PERSONALISM has almost swamped the endeavors of the pioneers. What is going on in politics today and which certain highly awakened members of society are trying to fight, is a replica of our own Society's history. To fight this menace we should first KILL BY COMPLETE AND FINAL ACCEPTANCE OF SILENCE the past history of certain unmistakeable mistakes. May I say that this is the strength of the Christian Science movement, from which Theosophy could study with repayment its highly skilled and smoothly running machinery. THIS IS WHAT WE WANT. The past must be buried and each Member must make themselves aware that any mention, written or spoken of personalities, events and histories connected with past mistakes must necessarily hit a blow below the belt for the work of the Society. The sneering attitude adopted in literature, journalism and public conversation towards "Theosophy" should be taken to task every time. The grand verities of the teaching are being completely swamped by the indifference of the Society itself. There should be a Publicity Committee serving in the capacity of sentinel towards public opinion. The other day our leading daily "The Toronto Daily Star" carried a long article written by their leading European correspondent regarding the theory of transmigration. Misleading and erroneous it spelled certain death to those eagerly reading it for promise. There are Members skilled and learned enough to form a body, making themselves personally responsible for the checking of such statements in leading periodicals and papers (this is the great watchtower of the Christian Science Movement). If Editors find these matters interesting enough for their public's assimilation, surely the correct version of such matters is worthy of consideration. This is a ground Theosophy must study. This is one outlet of service that could MAKE history for the Society. It would also train Members in executive ability towards the tenets of the Ancient Wisdom and help to balance the scales in the cause of Justice.
4. Do you think the Society has furnished sufficient facilities to encourage new members to carry on their study work after they have grasped the fundamentals and after the first enthusiasm has waned? Or, have you any further suggestions?
There are always those whose karma does not allow of attending the public functions of the Society, such as the Classes. I have noticed this in my own life and can speak with certain truth. Take the study of the Secret Doctrine as an example. Unable to take in classes for years I have gone along without an example or idea as to how to really make the teaching a step by step process. Thanks to another connection which has tended to make my responsibility towards Theosophy greater and has not lessened my regard for the Society one whit, I am now in a position to study the S.D. via the written method, which makes it a completely personal growth, fostered only by the signposts this connection has made possible for me. This, I feel is a great need in the Society. Remember there are
many who take in a class for the mere social feeling (please take this in a completely impersonal way) whereas, serious growth must be a PERSONAL MATTER. Perhaps this is a difficulty of the Society, though, that this "connection" was sent out to rectify; if so, then the Society, of course, will never feel the need of guiding the student. I feel that a correspondence department (not the teaching of lessons, as this would mean a terrible outlay of time and expense) given over simply to the answering of queries from serious Members, such as "How would a student profitably go about studying the S.D. at home," or similar questions. This Department could be advertised continuously in the magazine, the lectures, the signboard in the Hall, etc., and here, again, SERVICE is possible for Members who could give of their learning and time. Questions, of course, could always be accompanied by return postage. This could be worked out.
5. Do you receive the Canadian Theosophist? Yes.
6. Do you find the Magazine attracts new members? I am not aware of the effect on others, but, personally, I think highly of the magazine.
7. Do you pass it around among your friends who are not members?
The difficulty here is that I, personally, am not surrounded by friends who feel the pull or appeal such a magazine would have. These are the very people, though, who listen eagerly to the doctrines of karma and reincarnation! You see, this is where the magazine could be a little closer to the common ear, or maybe I am wrong. We are not all surrounded by friends such as one meets at the T.S. In fact to try and get these friends NEAR the T.S. one starts very low, I am afraid, in the process of disseminating the ancient wisdom. But, the material is there to work on.
8. Do you think the Magazine helps to keep members interested and active?
Decidedly so. My only suggestion is that it needs a little more advertising. Why isn't it on sale DAILY in the library with, say, a little upstanding sign near it "THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST ON SALE HERE 10c PER COPY" (or similar). I tried to purchase a copy recently and not one to be had. I thought at the time that if only five a week were sold it would help. I know it is sold on Sunday in the Hall, but everyone doesn't attend on Sundays. Then a little more sales talk could be given from the platform in an appealing manner as to the articles and wide area of interest the magazine covers, etc. There are plenty of other outlets this magazine could reach. Is there a donated copy at the Public Library? Why are old copies not given to the Magazine distributors of hospitals, hostels, jails, etc? Surely there is a fecund field here for an awakening of the senses. These may not be sources of immediate subscribers but the spreading of theosophical teaching is a good basis to base future subscriptions upon. This may sound like a Methodist Revival but there are worse measures.
9. Do you consider the Magazine should support social and economical movements?
I wonder if PERSONALISM isn't the nigger in the woodpile! Frankly, I was about to withdraw from the T.S., on the issue of politics. I do not approve of Theosophy touching them and frankly stated my views in the C.T., although at the time I was a little troubled because while deprecating the blowing of the Socialistic horn I was stating that the same state of affairs could be subscribed to Totalitarian measures. Now, with Mr. Arundale tripping over Italian feelings and ONLY SUCCEEDING IN RUINING THE MOST NEEDFUL FIELD OF DISSEMINATION OF THE ANCIENT WISDOM, I am sure I felt justified. I conquered my personal feelings and came back to the T.S., without stating why. Mr. Smythe's circular letter brought me
back, but I feel strongly on this matter. We must protect Theosophy from even the suggestion of political feeling during these intense times, otherwise, our great trust will be sacrificed and PERHAPS THE VERY CHANGEFUL MEASURES WE HOPED WOULD COME ABOUT BE RETARDED IN OUR OWN CAMPS.
10. In your experience have you found that the present economic situation with its widespread unemployment and decreased earnings, has caused members to drop out?
Yes, I have. With the unprecedented economic pressure on members from the outside, surely elastic measures should pertain from the inside. Could there not be a canvassing of dropped Memberships? I know that Mr. Smythe has written a circular letter (because I found it hit the spot in my own case) but there must be those who simply cannot rake up the money and hide behind sensitive feelings. I feel that a little more personal attention in the way of soliciting the confidence of such members could be tried and perhaps a sliding scale of allowance of one year (a sort of suspended membership) allowed. Oh! the terrible scourge of money! This is something we have got to beat. Couldn't one pay as one goes, or in instalments instead of the full amount? I am sorry I can't offer any more definite suggestion, but I realize the pressure and futility this economic crisis is causing. Perhaps, though, this very pressure will create a turning to Spiritual matters.
11. Have you found that the underlying uncertainty and insecurity of the age has the effect of attracting or driving away from a spiritual philosophy?
My personal opinion is that we are now seeing the crisis of mass hypnotism which has held a certain amount of hope for the finite individual, but the very thing it denies is fermenting -THE SOUL! Within my own small area of awareness all shades of opinion, communism, socialism, hedonism, and sheer
unthinkingness ARE WAKING UP! If we can get through this year there is going to be a definite upswing for the Ancient Wisdom, but, as we work with the finite on this plane, we must catch them in the raw as these inferior doctrines have done.
13. Have you found that members leave the T.S. in order to join some other "Idealistic" school - Unity, New Thought, Rosicrucianism? If so, what do you think is their object?
We must remember that only the few can tread the lonely path of esoteric Theosophy; that is where these members fall down. There is a definite feeling of "gap" between the form side of Theosophy and the interior teaching. By this I mean, very few know how to bridge the chasm of STUDY. They perhaps attend classes BUT WITH THE FINITE FORM PREDOMINATE IN THEIR CONSCIOUS MINDS. Those that attend the Sunday lectures are usually attracted by THEIR UNCONSCIOUS SOCIAL FEELING TINGED WITH AWAKENING AWARENESS. This is where the lecture should appeal to eye, ear and feeling. Music should be made more of a necessity; surely by a promise of advertised names musicians could be persuaded to give of their time and talent. Advertising is very important for the musician and surely a one-line addition to the Sunday advertisement is worth using as a bait for newcomers? The continual stress on the doctrines of karma and reincarnation, backed up by the splendid library creates the next void; HOW TO STUDY FROM THEN ON. Here is where the finite can swing the pendulum towards the tributary teachings UNLESS THERE IS A DEFINITE PROGRAMME TO TEACH THIS NEXT STEP - and this must be a personal matter to make it permanent, but the Society can be the big factor in keeping that personal study within the Society. This is where the magazine, lantern slides, typographed
notices handed out at the Sunday meetings could all help. These people are very EYE CONSCIOUS.
15. What activity of the Society are you most interested in; lectures, study classes, social activity, welfare work?
To me, although I cannot take part in any of these splendid endeavors, the LECTURES ON SUNDAY EVENINGS SEEM THE MOST IMPORTANT. Remember, they catch the newcomer, they reach the member and adherent - the other issues grow out of these. This is the Alpha and Omega of the future Theosophist - the others are the training ground of the awakened person.
16. What aspect of Theosophy attracted you to the Society, and have you any suggestions to make for the maintaining of interest of the members?
The very doctrines I think should be stressed. They opened a new world, and while it is true that the old world crashed more than I would have it, nevertheless, despite personal karma and intense loneliness created by that karma, my mind has held to the great possibilities these doctrines create. During hospital internment of long months, talking these two doctrines to others made me aware how the common garden variety of human being IS READY FOR THEM. And nothing succeeds like success. The more the Society flourishes on a basis of common sense and dignity every Member will feel proud and conscious of their great debt and responsibility to Theosophy. It becomes a heart-interest. But if the past is going to be allowed to ruin it by an inferiority complex, Members in their human personality make-up gravitate where their egos are satisfied. I DON'T KNOW WHY THEOSOPHY IN THEIR LITERATURE CONTINUALLY HARPS ON FAILURE AND DETERIORATION: LIKE BREEDS LIKE. CAN'T WE TRY A LITTLE OPTIMISM
This is a very long reply, but it is the only contribution I can make to my great debt to Theosophy. I am proud of it and eternally grateful, and until that becomes the awareness of us all we will allow the great Teaching to bow before the little flag-wavings, ego-inflations, finite-depressions. We know where it has come from, we know where it Will go to. WHY CAN'T WE FIGHT?
- Elsa Whittaker.
115 Queensdale Avenue,
THE VISIT OF DR. PANDIA
It is not often that Canada has the opportunity of hearing such a man as Dr. Pandia. It is true that many of those in Hamilton and Toronto, actuated, apparently by race or color prejudice, had no open mind for his message. But those who heard with the heart as well as the ears, men like Rev. Barclay of Hamilton, who preached on what he had heard from him, and Bishop Rennison in Toronto who paid him a noble, a beautiful and understanding tribute at the East End Kiwanis luncheon, with other clergymen and University men who met him privately, were impressed with his sincerity and simplicity. His addresses were expositions of the "heart doctrine," a neglected phase among the intellectuals, and personally I must say that I have never in recent years heard such a clearly sounded note recalling the old ethical teaching of Blavatsky and Judge of fifty years ago. It may well be that India will revive the Theosophy which was brought to the West in The Secret Doctrine but smothered with psychic and metaphysical grandiloquence uttered largely in the effort to build up official reputations for wisdom and the possession of "powers." The heart doctrine is referred to slightingly as of the lower planes, and its exponents as "preachers."
Dr. Pandia is able to capture his audiences off the street by his simplicity, his good humor, his insight and
his obvious sincerity. He is perhaps the first lecturer in Canada for many years who did not want anything but his traveling expenses. Mr. Thorn, the Secretary of the Canadian Federation of Theosophical Lodges, who accompanied him throughout his western tour to Winnipeg, bears testimony to his popularity and the enthusiasm of his audiences everywhere. He was undoubtedly different in his methods and style from most Theosophical speakers. But the foundation principle of Brotherhood he never failed to emphasize and illumine. His experience with Mahatma Gandhi dominated his thought, and after hearing his accounts of the Indian sage, one ceased to wonder at his influence. Who but Gandhi could, in the middle of a Council meeting with King George V, break off in the discussions and take his place on the floor in the recognized attitude of a Hindu Yogi in meditation, remaining there for several minutes. The problem that had baffled solution before he took this unconventional step, was taken up from a new angle and settled. "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of."
While our members of the T.S. are running after swamis and yoga systems and puzzling their five wits over breathing exercises and the comparative value of one teacher over another, the humble followers of the heart doctrine are moving mountains by their union with the Self. I have never heard a finer statement of the power of the teaching of Jesus, the force of his example as a life to be lived, and the appeal to the west to send to India, not professors of theology, but men who bring the spirit and life of Jesus in their message. Gandhi carries two books, the Gita, and The New Testament. With these he can transform humanity.
I was listening to Cesar Franck's Symphony in D. minor recently, and it called up in my mind visions of flaming Godheads exploring the vastnesses and profundities of Chaos, threading a way for the little Universes that rise up out of the darkness, leading them as they awake to consciousness to intelligent action and goodwill. Dr. Pandia's article in pamphlet form on Mahatma Gandhi has much of this inspiration, lifting the mind to those levels where old worlds are made over into the image of the Over-Soul. This pamphlet is a splendid exposition of the ethics of Jesus, and perhaps it is this interpretation of Jesus to the West that adds so much to the success of Dr. Pandia's visit.
At any rate, everywhere he had a better reception from the outside public than from members of the T.S., though it was only a minority who were indifferent. In Hamilton he spoke to the Kiwanis Club, and gave a broadcast address to the 710 patients in the Mountain Sanitarium, a request which pleased him greatly. He received a sheaf of letters from grateful patients and Mrs. James said she never had such interest developed in a speaker before. He gave three lectures also in the Unitarian Church which had been kindly lent for these meetings, which were highly appreciated, the last crowding the available space. Mayor Morrison, among others who entertained him, took him up in an airplane and showed him the wonderful Hamilton terrain, and also drove him around the city and vicinity, thus paralleling what has been done in all the leading western cities from Victoria to Winnipeg. Mr. Christianson gave a special dinner for prominent ministers and professional men to meet Dr. Pandia, and with notable results.
In Toronto the chief public function was the garden party at the residence of Mrs. Somers, described elsewhere. At the Arts and Letters Club luncheon he met a great many of the members and so delighted them that they insisted on having him stay to tea in the Club
Room, so that he had to break an engagement with a broadcast operator who wished to arrange the questions to be asked next morning. This was enlarged by some into a statement that he had broken faith with the public, which of course was not the case, and the operator was not disturbed about it, as Dr. Pandia has had many broadcasts, and was rushed by the Mayor in Hamilton, who had kept him too long, at the last minute, breathless, into the operating room, for his public interview there. The Toronto broadcast was given in regular order.
There were two things that Dr. Pandia spoke much about both in Hamilton and Toronto. One was Niagara, and the other was work among the young people. He was so enchanted with Niagara on his visit there on Friday, June 23rd, he determined to return if possible. Accordingly he begged off on Saturday, July 1st, from the garden party at Richmond Hill, and Mr. Barr kindly acquiesced in this. With respect to the young people he invited them to see him whenever possible, and as a result discussions were kept up as late as four in the morning by eager young men. About fifteen young people in Hamilton are associated themselves for work in this fashion for Theosophy. In Toronto the Young People's group was greatly increased by the visit and 37 young people met on Wednesday afternoon, June 28.
Dr. Pandia had luncheon at Hart House with members of the League of International Politics and with the ladies of the League of Peace and Reform. He was also taken off into the country 60 miles by the president of the Rotary Club to meet the international president and a host of others. The evening lectures from Sunday June 25 till Sunday July 2nd were held as announced, none having been scheduled for the National Holiday on July 1st. On the way to Niagara on that day at luncheon Dr. Pandia with his friends toasted Canada, as a Canadian band in New York broadcasted "The Maple Leaf." On June 26th Dr. Pandia's own 33rd birthday was toasted at a gathering in Toronto. With many mutual regrets Dr. Pandia left for Montreal on 3rd July, and next month we hope to have a report from our Montreal friends.
In what books are these to be found?
1. The Lord Buddha, revered as the greatest among adepts of the Occult science, when asked by the Kalama people how they might know which religion was the truest, answered that they should believe nothing written or spoken, by any teacher of any epoch, upon mere authority, but only when the teaching harmonized with reason, and would stand the test of examination. That is the attitude which we likewise adopt. If the Theosophical Society had come forward with a claim of infallibility for its ideas or its teachers, discouraging criticism and shirking enquiry, it would have been turned out of court on its first appearance.
2. We must bear constantly in mind the facts that our consciousness is a unit, and that this unit of consciousness works through various sheaths, which impose upon it a false appearance of multiplicity.
3. Animals cannot have any high thoughts; nor can the angels, or Devas, attain to direct freedom without human birth. In human society, in the same way, too much wealth, or too much poverty, is a great impediment to the higher development of the soul. It is from the middle classes that the great ones of the world come. Here the forces are very equally adjusted and balanced.
4. The third service that Christ renders to morality is the extension of its inward scope. The morality that comes from within is governed by living prin-
ciples. The morality that comes from without is under the despotism of isolated rules. In passing from rules to principles, Christ makes the sphere of moral activity commensurate with the sphere of human life.
5. Every work of true art is an invitation to a spiritual marriage - not as a mere guest; and very sacred and blissful is the meeting-place of souls. But the perfect marriage needs perfect affinity; and the time for that is not yet, for both art and art-appreciation are careful and troubled about many things, and neither has become as yet the perfect listener to the divine Voice.
References to Questions in June Quiz.
1. The Path of Discipleship, Besant. page 19.
2. Light on the Path, II. 8.
3. Lodges of Magic, Lucifer, February, 1888.
4. Theosophy, Alvin Boyd Kuhn, p. 204.
5. The Secret Doctrine, III. p. 263.
THEOSOPHY UP TO DATE!
EVOLUTION: As Outlined in The Archaic Eastern Records Compiled and Annotated by Basil Crump.
H.P. BLAVATSKY: A GREAT BETRAYAL
A protest against the policy and teachings of The Theosophical Society introduced since the death of Madame Blavatsky.
H.P. BLAVATSKY: HER LIFE AND WORK FOR HUMANITY
A vindication, and a brief exposition of her mission and teachings.
H.P. BLAVATSKY AS I KNEW HER
Consisting of personal experiences with that great Soul.
The above may be had from The H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Road, Victoria, MO., or The O.E. Library, 1207 Q Street N.W., Washington, D.C., or from The Blavatsky Association, 28 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W. 8, England.
- CALGARY LODGE: President, E. H. Lloyd Knechtel; Secretary, Mrs. Lilian Glover, 418, 10th Ave. N.W., Calgary, Alta. Meetings at 231 Examiner Bldg.
- EDMONTON LODGE: Secretary, Miss Nellie Brown, 9217 99th St., Edmonton, Alta.
- HAMILTON LODGE: President, Miss Amy E.V. Putnam; Secretary, Miss A. Mills, 31 Fairleigh Avenue North, Hamilton, Ont.
- KITCHENER LODGE: President, Alex. Watt; Secretary W.J. Schroder, 14 Ontario St. South, Kitchener.
- LONDON LODGE: Secretary, Mrs. Helen M. Shaw, R. R. 2, London, Ont.
- MONTREAL LODGE: President, D.B. Thomas; Secretary, Mrs. Henry Lorimer, Apt. 25, 376 Redfern Avenue, Westmount, P.Q. Lodge Rooms, Room 15, 1501 St. Catherine Street West.
- OTTAWA LODGE: Secretary. David Chambers, 531 Bay Street, Ottawa, Ont.
- ST. THOMAS LODGE: President, Benj. T. Garside; Secretary, Mrs. Hazel B. Garside, General Delivery, St. Thomas, Ont.
- TORONTO LODGE: President, Albert E.S. Smythe; Secretary, A.C. Fellows. Lodge Rooms 52 Isabella Street, Toronto.
- TORONTO WEST END LODGE: President, Mr. Felix A. Belcher; Secretary, Mrs. Elizabeth Belcher, 250 N. Lisgar Street, Toronto.
- VANCOUVER LODGE: President, Mr. James Young; Secretary, M. D. Buchanan. The Lodge rooms are at 416 Ven-der Street West.
- VULCAN LODGE: President, Guy Denbigh, Vulcan, Alta.
- ORPHEUS LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, D. McKinnon; Secretary, R. Hedley. Lodge room, Room 15, 163 Hastings St. W., Vancouver.
- VICTORIA LODGE: President, Mrs. Minnie S. Carr; Secretary, George Sydney Carr, 33 Government St., Victoria, B.C.
- WINNIPEG LODGE: Secretary, P.H. Stokes, Suite 7, 149 Langside Street, Winnipeg, Man.
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.
"Do good and Rejoice!"
A correspondent writes me that a sister of hers in one of the over-sea Dominions has a small boy, her youngest, three years old next September, who refuses to wear anything else than a red jumper which he has and which he calls his "soldier jumper." He always says: "I am not Charles and I'm not a naughty boy. I'm just a soldier." My correspondent observes: "Seems like a memory, doesn't it?"
After ten years at the present address the General Secretary is about to move from 33 Forest Avenue to 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and letters should be addressed to him there intended to reach him on or after August 1. Notices will be sent to our exchanges, but we hope that attention will be paid to this advice. As the same postman is on the route that includes both addresses we do not expect any trouble with mail.
Some young Theosophists have asked me what they might select for steady and constant reading and study and meditation. I think these six books are small and easily available and might constitute the sole library of any student of limited means in either time or money. The Bhagavad Gita; Light on the Path; The Voice of the Silence; The Light of Asia; Through the Gates of Gold; Raja Yoga by Vivekananda. If another is desired we suggest Concentration and Meditation by the Buddhist Lodge in London, England.
W. Angus Jones writes from Bristol, England: "I have distributed a dozen copies of Act Now and am glad you are in agreement with the Dean. Perhaps you are a member of the L.B.C., like me. I should like however to say that Righteousness equals Justice and Equity plus a sense of the Living God." Mr. Jones' message came on a picture postcard with a delightful view of the River Usk showing the Sugar Loaf Mountain near Abergavenny in Wales.
The annual reports which appear on the opposite page show an almost static condition. There are two members less on the list of those in good standing, but even as the report was passed one of the lapsed members paid up and other laggards will undoubtedly do so. The funds are about as usual, the economic condition preventing any surplus beyond the bare support necessary to keep the Society's affairs moving. The suggestion that a paid organizer should be appointed comes as a rather impractical idea, especially as all Theosophical work is understood to be voluntary, and great sacrifices have been made by many members during the last fifty years to make it so.
[[The following table is too complex to reproduce in its entirety.]]
STANDING OF THE LODGES FOR THE YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1939
Calgary ............ 6
Edmonton ............ 2
Hamilton ........... 24
Kitchener ........... 4
London ............. 7
Montreal ............ 32
St. Thomas ......... 2
Summerland ........ 1
Toronto ............ 172
Toronto, West End ............ 15
Vancouver .......... 20
Vancouver, Orpheus ............ 20
Victoria ............ 2
Vulcan ............. 5
Winnipeg ........... 1
Winnipeg, Blavatsky ............ 0
Members at Large ............ 2
STATEMENT OF FUNDS
- YEAR ENDING JUNE 30th, 1939
Balance from last year ........ $ 129.94
Lodge Fees and Dues ......... 799.20
Magazine receipts .................. 319.72
Donations to Magazine ..........437.06
Sale of Pamphlets .......... 8.00
Bank interest ........... 2.11
Per capita - Adyar ............... $ 78.00
envelopes .......... 50.76
postage ............ 68.44
Stationery and stencils ......... 16.68
Membership cards ............... 5.11
Questionnaire: envelopes ......... 5.18
postage ............. 3.25
Ballots and envelopes ......... 7.18
Repairing typewriter ........... 7.50
Railroad fare Winnipeg to
Toronto, Dr. Pandia ........... 50.00
Petty Cash and postage ......... 43.44
Cash in hand .............126.55
The organization of the meetings in Toronto for Dr. Pandia were in charge of Miss Mary Stuart, who arranged the evening lectures; and Mrs. Mary Kinman who arranged the afternoon series of meetings with various public bodies. Great credit is due to these ladies for their work in this connection.
We hope to have a further article from Dr. Pandia covering the balance of his tour in Canada, to follow the remarkable and inspiring communication which he has given us in the present pages. We have not yet received any official report from the West, but Mr. Thorn in his private letters confirms all the reports of the enthusiasm and vital interest with which Dr. Pandia's lectures were attended.
A course of lectures on Reincarnation was begun in Hamilton by the General Secretary to continue on Sunday evenings during July and August (except on August 6), these being specially addressed to young people, with the idea of giving them a starting point for their own reading and study. Independence of thought alone leads to action and thought without action is of little effect either outwardly on the world or inwardly on character
Miss Clara M. Codd has been appointed General Secretary of South Africa, and her letter, which appears elsewhere, indicates her enthusiasm for the promotion of such Theosophy as she understands, largely allied with the autoeroticism, as it is euphemistically designated by The American Theosophist, introduced into the movement by "Bishop" Leadbeater. She regards such teaching and its acceptance as an indication of "freedom and tolerance" and its rejection as the reverse. We shall be glad to hear that The Canadian Theosophist continues to be circulated in South Africa. The new official address for South Africa is Box 863, Johannesburg.
Mrs. Beatrice Hastings writes that she is laboring with the refutation of Solovioff as with an Old-Man-of-the-Mountain, but sees that in time he will be thrown into the sea and definitely disposed of. Those who have read and been deceived by this plausible but rascally book will be glad of the analysis from Mrs. Hasting's incisive pen, which has been already seen at work in the issues of New Universe, and volumes One and Two of The Defense of Madame Blavatsky. The Solovioff inquest will constitute the Third volume of the series, but there may be another issue of New Universe before Solovioff is finally disposed of in Tophet where he properly belongs.
We have received a Book List from The C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd., 40 Great Russell Street, London, W.C. 1, England, and commend this firm's books to enquiring students. Among volumes listed are Claude Houghton's The Kingdoms of the Spirit; Purify Your Hearts, by S. Kierkegaard, the Danish mystic; Selected Mystical Writings of William Law, edited by Stephen Hobhouse; The Absolute Collective by Erich Gutkind; The Key to Theosophy (abridged) omitting the question form; The Gospel of Peace of Jesus Christ, by the Disciple John, being a translation by Edmond Szekely and Purcell Weaver from the original Aramaic and Slav texts; as well as many volumes on diet, medicine, therapeutics and other matters of progressive thought and life.
Members of the T.S. in Canada please note that until their annual dues, $2.50 each, have been paid, they are not in good standing. We continue to send their magazine till the September issue, but unless they send their dues, or at least $1. on account, before October 1st, the magazine must then be cut off under the post office regulations. We trust all the members now on the roll
will gird up their loins for the winter season and resolve to make the coming winter a great season of renewal and revival of latent energies. We could easily double our members if every member was as eager to help his neighbor to the Truth as he himself was to receive it when he joined the Society.
We sometimes hear the reproach that the members of the Theosophical Society are lacking in culture. True culture is not of the mind altogether, but begins and ends in the heart. Reading does much to assist the development of both the head and heart, but when both combine we become susceptible to greater depths of wisdom than when we keep to the Path of Learning alone. We suggest that our members who do not know what to read outside official Theosophical literature should procure and read, mark, learn and inwardly digest Quiller Couch's little book on The Art of Reading. It is the most Theosophical manual of the kind we have come across, amazingly and unexpectedly permeated with the "heart doctrine," and it will enrich any mind that is humble enough not to boast, but low to confess - "thus have I heard."
We are fortunate on having been able to obtain from Mr. E.T. Sturdy, the sole survivor of Madame Blavatsky's Inner Council in London, the letter which appears elsewhere on the problem raised by an anonymous gentleman in London regarding the printing of extra volumes of The Secret Doctrine after H.P.B.'s death. Some correspondents have written to know why Mr. Pryse's testimony is accepted now when he wrote apparently in contradiction of what he said in September -1897. It is obvious that when he wrote then it was inspired by the garbling of the private instructions printed by Mrs. Besant, a sample of which appeared in our issue of March, 1938. I have been going over the new Adyar edition of The Secret Doctrine, a task which cannot be hurried, and hope to be able to say something on this head before winter falls upon us. Those who are now relying on hearsay evidence at present should not be too arrogant about the recollections of those who were present and alert in 1891.
The report of the General Secretary for the T.S. in England shows a slight decrease in membership in spite of 288 new members having joined. There is a loss of nearly ten per cent. And this in presence of visits and lectures from Dr. Arundale and Mr. Jinarajadasa. I am inclined to think that the public, including the Churches, is taking Theosophy to heart, and ignoring the organized Theosophy of the various Societies. What did the Master say about "organized religion" anyway? In the same News and Notes for May, the Eirish General Secretary fulminates on the necessity of creating a democracy to be saved before fighting for the illusion that we have one now. "It is not by the wishes of the great majority that over 13 million individuals in Great Britain suffer from slow starvation in the midst of plenty; that a stranglehold of national, local and individual debt is undermining our whole economic structure and robbing us of individual initiative whilst over two million citizens rapidly degenerate through being deprived of any means for justifying their existence."
I cannot forbear a word of farewell for an old friend and fellow worker in the Dickens Fellowship and in various newspaper relationships during the eighteen years in which he was Chief Police Magistrate of Toronto. I speak of James Edmund Jones, good sportsman, author, musician and churchman. He was in his 73rd year and lived a happy wholesome life and though not a
theosophist in a technical sense he was a good Christian and consistent in his faith in the Brotherhood of man. He edited two editions of the hymnal for the Church of England in Canada and his little books on the Wild Flowers and on the Mushrooms of Canada are popular contributions to a knowledge which should be more general among all classes of people. Mr. Jones founded the Aura Lee Athletic Club and was a powerful influence in the lives of hundreds of young men in their manly sports and their manly ethics. Testimony is borne in many quarters to this influence and its effects on the many young men, some in the toils of criminal courses as well as the Bible Class students he kept under his instruction, all of whom he led into wiser ways of living.
There is a time for speech and a time for silence, says Koheleth, and last month, though the urgence was desperate, it did not seem just right to interrupt the enthusiasms of the moment with the contemplation of the terrible picture of that Hamburg steamer lying in the port of Havana with 907 refugee Jews from Germany refused the hospitality of even a concentration camp, though sufficient funds were guaranteed to cover the expense. Canada also refused them shelter. So did the United States. British West Indian islands hack no welcome, nor had British Guiana, nor any port in Central America, British or Spanish. Why all this inhumanity? Why are we sowing for the fearful harvest that must some day surely be reaped? Those who have studied the occult forces associated with the action of Lower Manas will soon begin to understand why W.Q. Judge declared that nothing will take one to hell faster than mere intellectuality. That is what is the matter with the world today. We Laodiceans, because we are neither hot nor cold, will be spewed out of evolution. It is a hard saying this, but worthy of acceptation, and meditation, also, if we really wish to understand the present age. It is so sure of itself; so proud of its achievements, of its character, of its ideals, of its heredity, and of its destiny, all of which it knows little about, that it cannot see any development ahead of it that is unpleasant to contemplate. If it could only contemplate that shipload of outraged Jews, men, women and children, it might understand the terrible indictment penned by Judith Robinson in the Globe and Mail of June 8 in the midst of all the glamor of the Royal visit. She narrated how a telegram was sent to Prime Minister King on board the Royal train just before it left Canada. It was a reminder, signed by forty-one Canadian citizens, of a responsibility even more pressing than that of attendance on Their Majesties. The telegram suggested that as a mark of gratitude to God for the happiness which had been vouchsafed to the Canadian people in the visit of their King and Queen, and as evidence of the Christian charity of the people of this most fortunate country; the Prime Minister under the power vested in him, might forthwith offer to those homeless exiles on the Hamburg-American steamship a sanctuary in Canada. We are sure that had the King and Queen any power or authority to order such an act it would have been done, but we live under a limited monarchy and such charity is one of its limitations. Eminent names were signed to the telegram, but, as Judith Robinson wrote, there was one invisible signature which, like Abou Ben Adhem's, led all the rest, the name of Him who said in his parable that it would be spoken to those who stood on the left hand: "Depart from me, ye cursed..... for I was a hungered and ye gave me no meat; I was a stranger and ye took me not in; naked and ye clothed me not; in prison and ye visited me
not." And they shall ask: "When saw we ye thus?" and as Judith writes: "Kings, Kings' ministers and all, know the answer." "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me!" That invisible signature must have shone out on the message when it was opened and read - the signature of the Jew - Jesus Christ.
The June Theosophist (Adyar) opens with a well-considered statement from Dr. Arundale on the international situation, with special attention to Herr Hitler and The Coming World State. I fully agree with all the president has to say on these heads and wish all our members and the outside world as well could be as reasonable and able to take as sane views of affairs as they stand. It is to be doubted however whether the Avatar of Evil under whom Germany and the totalitarian powers are operating can be checkmated without the sanguinary war towards which these dark forces are impelling the world. "Practically every nation in the world, without exception," says Dr. Arundale, "so far as I know, is still blind to the fact, not perhaps that a World State is slowly beginning to emerge, but that growth from now onwards cannot be in isolation, not yet in independence." This is not very clear but the intended meaning is clear enough. There is a passage which will offend the "unco patriots" in which Dr. Arundale points out that Great Britain has yet to set her house in order and "must set her Indian house in order, for until India is at least an equal partner among the nations of the Great Commonwealth to which she at present belongs, there can be no leadership in world affairs for Britain and her comrade nations . . . . The British Empire is not yet ready for leadership, and it is partly because of this fact that we are so close to the precipice of war. Our statesmen are failing their Empire day after day." Jean Delaire concludes the valuable article on The Mystery-Tradition of Our Race. The whole article including the May instalment, would make an admirable booklet for students. An article on Theosophy for Children, by a Young Non-Theosophist, is of real interest, in spite of the fact that he came to Theosophy first through Mr. Leadbeater's fictions. But he concludes "Theosophy is ultimately a doctrine of the sword and not a fairy tale."
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
The General Executive of the T.S. in Canada met on Sunday afternoon at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, all the members present except Mr. Belcher, who is still on tour in the West, and Dr. Wilks and Mr. Griffiths. Mr. Walter Hick as the new member was greeted on his return to the Executive. Mr. Belcher was re-appointed Secretary and Miss Crafter, Treasurer; Mr. Barr acting as temporary secretary in the meantime. Mr. Smythe was appointed editor of The Canadian Theosophist nem con. on the motion of Mr. Hick. On the presentation of the annual reports, Mr. Barr thought it would be desirable to have details of the financial report at each Executive meeting and this will be acceded to, although as the books are always open to the local members when desired this seems merely like loading unnecessary work on voluntary labor. Considerable discussion occurred over the Questionnaire, but as all members have not yet read the papers, further discussion was postponed till the October meeting when Dr. Wilks, Mr. Griffiths and Mr. Hick have seen them. The meeting adjourned till October 1.
"We have a God who is infinitely gracious, and knows all our wants. He will come in His own time, and when you least expect it. Hope in Him more than ever."
AMONG THE LODGES
After a lapse of two years, several members and friends of the T.S. were glad to welcome Mr. Felix Belcher for a visit to Winnipeg. Mr. Bruce-Hill acted as host to our visitor with whom he stayed from May 29 to June 6. In that time Mr. Belcher put on 5 lbs. in weight which speaks well for the good treatment he received from his host and hostess. Several public meetings were held in the Wayfarers' Lodge Rooms and also meetings for members in Mr. Hill's office. Mr. Belcher stressed the value of The Secret Doctrine as a reference book as it had been checked by the "Masters." This great work in conjunction with Isis Unveiled, The Key to Theosophy and The Mahatma Letters had been proved by our visitor to be of greater value than other books for purposes of study. It was pointed out that every member was entitled to his own opinions and that while we should invite discussion we should avoid controversy. We should be patient and tolerant to those who had not advanced as far as ourselves along certain lines. If lamps giving the light of the 3 primary colors are placed so that their light converges, their light unites to form white light but if the same colors are superimposed on paper black appears. If therefore we want the light of truth we must be prepared to blend our views with others and not superimpose them or we may end up in Terror. A small party saw Mr. Belcher off last night on his way to Nelson, B.C. Hoping we shall be able to welcome him to Winnipeg again. - P.H. Stokes. June 7.
The death of William Alfred Younger, aged 77, on June 6, has removed a long familiar figure from the audiences of the Toronto Theosophical Society. He has rarely missed a meeting in the last forty years. At one time he conducted a wicker basket, chair and other furniture in wickerwork on Yonge Street and was well known for the sterling quality of his wares. He died after a brief illness, and had been joking with the General Secretary about his age in May. The Lodge also reports the serious illness of Mrs. Coyne and of Mrs. Thornton, both members of long standing.
Hamilton T.S. had golden opportunities of enjoyment in two picnics on Saturday, June 17 and Sunday June 18. The first was at the residence of Mr. Cecil Williams and was for the benefit of publicity funds for the Fraternization Convention in Detroit. The second was at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Berry, on the highway to Simcoe, where the pleasant grounds and fertile strawberry beds present a sterling attraction. Both picnics were well attended, and the weather, though cool, was fortunately quite enjoyable.
Dr. D.P. Pandia was guest of honor at a reception and garden tea given by the members and friends of the Toronto Theosophical Society on Saturday afternoon, June 24th, at the home of Mrs. R. Somers, 36 Servington Crescent, Toronto. About 125 members and friends were present, many of them going on down later to the Theosophical Hall for Dr. Pandia's first lecture that evening of his week's engagement. Mr. Albert E.S. Smythe, General Secretary of the Canadian Theosophical Society, and Mrs. Smythe received the guests on the upper terrace assisted by the hostess and Mrs. G.I. Kinman. Miss Mary Stuart introduced the guests to Dr. Pandia on the lower terrace where tea was served. Mrs. John Grieve, Mrs. D.W. Barr, Mrs. W. Frank Sutherland, and Miss Maud Crafter presided at the tea tables, centred with bowls of summer flowers. Miss Helen Beatty, Miss Margaret Barton, Miss Oba Garside, Miss Mary Henderson, Miss A. Donnelly, Miss Mary Beatty, Harry Somers
and Hugh Jackson assisted in looking after the many guests. A Committee from the "Northern Zone" were in charge of this event, the second in a series, and comprised Mrs. R. Somers, Mr. and Mrs. D.W. Barr, Mr. and Mrs. G.I. Kinman, Mr. Harold Anderson. In July a Garden Tea will take place under the auspices of the "Central Zone" of the Toronto Theosophical Society, full particulars of which will be contained in a letter to members and friends. - M. K.
SUMMER READING FOR THEOSOPHISTS
By Miriam Salanave
Many readers lay aside heavy reading for lighter when summer comes as they do their heavy clothing. The following lighter and brighter books are therefore suggested for vacation reading, each different, each fascinating:
Nightmare Tales by H.P.B., is a book of thrills and chills. There is much more to these weird tales than mere entertainment as you will find by reading, in conjunction with them, an article in The Aryan Path, May, 1939, which lucidly explains "the scientific significance" of each one.
In A Bewitched Life, first of the group, reference is made to the Yamabooshee of Japan, "allies of every Buddhist sect in the land." When I was living in Japan some years ago I set out to obtain first-hand information about this mysterious sect which you will find described in the T.S. Glossary. It was surprising to discover that few Japanese Buddhists, apparently, knew anything about them; that even the learned Buddhist scholar Professor D.T. Suzuki had to refer to the Japanese Encyclopedia when questioned. But I patiently persisted and found a small Yamabooshee temple right in the very heart of Kyoto. I visited it several times and made the pleasant acquaintance of some of their priests who extended to me a number of courtesies and privileges. My experiences were most unique.
The Caves and Jungles of Hindustan by H.P.B. is an absorbing book if you enjoy armchair travel. And, if it happens you are planning a first trip to India, use it as a guidebook as this writer did on her first trip there. Unfortunately, the book is out of print and scarce but some T.S. libraries have copies. It really should be reprinted.
Read Tod's Annals of Rajasthan if you like ancient history. This 3 vol. book, written a century ago, was also scarce until an excellent abridgement came out a few years ago and is now easily available. H.P.B. says in Caves and Jungles, that Colonel Tod "has written the only true history of India . . . ."
The genealogies of the royal race of the Chohans and their connection with Gautama Buddha, King of Asoka and the Mauryas particularly interested this writer. ". . . .how poor and insignificant are the genealogies of the oldest European families compared with those of some Rajputs," says H.P.B. "In the opinion of Colonel Tod, who for over twenty years studied these genealogies on the spot, they are the completest and most trustworthy of records of the peoples of antiquity. They date from 1,000 to 2,000 years B.C., and their authenticity may often be proved by references to Greek authors . . . ."
Colonel Tod, born in England of American-born parents, went to India as a cadet in the military service of the East India Company when only 17 or 18 years old. Later he was sent as a surveyor to Rajputana and later still became political agent. During his many years among them he grew to love the Rajputs as they did him. In the poems of the Rajput Chund which he insists are plain historical fact, he found a great goldmine of information.
Old Diary Leaves (second series) by Colonel Olcott contains a wealth of interesting detail of daily life in the East, including details of his remarkable healing experiences. He and H.P.B. arrived in Ceylon for the first time May 17, 1880. He writes: "On 25th May, H.P.B. and I `took pansil' . . . .and were formally acknowledged as Buddhists . . . .We had previously declared ourselves Buddhists long before, in America, both privately and publicly, so that this was but a formal confirmation of our previous confessions . . . .I believe that attempts have been made by some of my leading colleagues of Europe and America to suppress this incident as much as possible, and to cover up the fact that H.P.B. was as completely accepted as a Buddhist as any Singhalese in the Island. This mystification is both dishonest and useless, for, not only did several thousand persons, including many bhikkus, see and hear her taking pansil, but she herself boldly proclaimed it in all quarters . . . ."
"It has ever been a cause of deep regret to me, personally, that I could not have devoted my whole time and energies to the Buddhist cause from my early manhood," writes Colonel Olcott in O.D.L. "However, let that pass as a `might have been'; my time has not been wasted." Keenly observant, he quickly noted the painful lack of Buddhist education among the Sinhalese children. "Our work was clearly cut out for us, and at it we went con amore," he wrote, and immediately set to work to raise a fund especially for this purpose. "I ask no better epitaph when I am dead and gone than to be called the `Friend of Children'." Small wonder that on Olcott Day in Ceylon so many Buddhist schools close and children march to temples to offer flowers in memory of the "Friend of Children," and in particular, Buddhist children.
Next Colonel Olcott started on this now famous Buddhist Catechism for use as a textbook. "To fit myself for it, I had read 10,000 pages of Buddhist books, . . . .It was such a novelty, this, to condense the essence of the whole body of Buddhist Dharma into a little handbook that one might read through in a couple of hours . . . ." Incidentally, the "little handbook" so modestly described has run into nearly 50 editions and is still "going strong." No T.S. student should be without a copy.
Here then friends you have an outline of four books, each one different, each one fascinating. Happy vacation days, then, and pleasant, profitable reading.
THE "THIRD VOLUME"
Editor, Canadian Theosophist: - My attention has been called to the letter of Mr. Crump in your issue of April 15th, 1939, concerning the long drawn out controversy concerning a third volume of The Secret Doctrine. Also to your issue of May 15th, 1939, in which Mr. J.M. Pryse completely refutes the possibility of there ever having been any third volume.
I can entirely endorse what Mr. Pryse has written and I was living at Avenue Road at all the material times and present when H.P.B. died.
Mr. Bertram Keightley with whom I am in constant correspondence in India, has written me in terms which confirm what Mr. Pryse has written.
Incidentally Mr. J.M. Watkins, who lived in the closest mutual regard with Mr. Green has remarked to me that he considers it as the height of improbability that his close friend of so many years should have made any statement to another person (anonymous!) upon so weighty a subject and not have mentioned it through long years of intimacy to him. Yours in SAT.
-E. T. Sturdy.
Dorset, England, 26th June.
DOES NOT FAVOUR BOYCOTT
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist:
- My attention has been drawn to a statement about myself which appeared in the "Office Notes" in the February number of The Canadian Theosophist. You say that I have been lecturing in Tasmania. It is nearly five years ago since I was in Tasmania, and the events you mention, the burning of books, and the prohibition of The Canadian Theosophist, I hear of for the first time in your pages.
The Hobart Lodge had been left for many years without a visiting lecturer, and I went there in my capacity as General Secretary of the Australian Section. I found that the Lodge would not have upon its shelves any book by the late Bishop Leadbeater, and the only photographs hung upon its walls were those of H.P.B., W.Q. Judge, and Mr. Prentice, who is now the Leader of the Point Loma Theosophists in Australia. Would you consider that an example of freedom and tolerance?
I was put up by a young couple who had never in all their Theosophic lives even heard of Bishop Leadbeater and his books. I told them about him and they were exceedingly interested. Whether they were responsible for working a revolution after I had gone I do not know, as no-one has ever told me anything of the kind since I left.
I know of no Lodge who boycotts your magazine, and I shall be obliged if you will print this letter of mine in your next issue.
Clara M. Codd.
Theosophical Society in S. Africa.
P. S.-Please note what is now the Official address here.
Box 863 Johannesburg, S. Africa,
THE WORKING OF THE LAW
1 - The Law of the ONE.
There are a myriad worlds. There is but one Thought out of which we grew. Its Law is Order which cannot swerve. Its Creatures are free to choose. Only they can create Disorder, which in its self is Pain and Woe and Hate and Fear. These they alone can bring forth. The Great One cannot. It is a Golden Light. It is not remote, but near. Hold thyself within its glow, and thou wilt behold all things clearly. First, with all thy breathing being, know one thing; That thine own thought - when so thou standest - is one with That which thought the worlds.
2 - The Law of Earthly Living, or That which Creates.
Let pass through thy mind, my son, only the image thou wouldst desire to see become a truth. Meditate only upon the wish of the heart-seeing first, that it is such that can wrong no man and is not ignoble. Then will it take earthly form and draw near to thee.
Result of harmful thought.
Let him who stretches forth his hand to draw the lightning to his brother, recall that through his own soul and body must pass the bolt.
From The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
One of the privileges of living in the Twentieth century is the opportunity of allying oneself with the Theosophical Movement originated by the Elder Brothers of the Race, and of making a conscious link, however slender, with them. Join any Theosophical Society which maintains the traditions of the Masters of Wisdom and study their Secret Doctrine. You can strengthen the link you make by doing service, by strong search, by questions, and by humility. We should be able to build the future on foundations of Wisdom, Love and Justice.
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by W. Frank Sutherland
THE LIFE OF CHRIST
A Review of Hall Caine's Posthumous Work.
This book, published by Doubleday, Doran & Company, is not just another of the many apologies for the orthodox view. It is like some of them in its sincerity, earnestness, and of course, its endeavor to hold on to a parti pris. And this is so in spite of the appalling, devastating acumen that the author brings to bear on the discrepancies, inconsistencies and confusion that he frankly admits are so conspicuous in Gospel accounts of the Life of Christ.
We are indebted to the two sons of Hall Caine for the book; they labored hard, with much secretarial help, to consolidate a mass of material (some three million words) that we are told accumulated as the result of thirty
-nine years of research. Hall Caine himself refused to publish his work because he felt that his task was not completed. He had not satisfied himself. And this is significant of much, for us, as for him.
It is pathetic to notice the relentless insistence of some undefined intuition that there was, and is, something vital, real, about the Great Unknown, whom the world knows as Jesus; but which the outer man cannot bring himself to acknowledge. Frustration marks the whole book to the last page. For here is the conclusion of the whole matter:
"What, then, have we now to do if we would get back to the historical Jesus? We have to strip away the layers of supernaturalism and anti-supernaturalism and try to see what lies beneath - what the solid foundation of facts was on which this composite picture was painted. Shall we thereby get back to a hard, matter-of-fact unspiritual personality - at best a teacher of morals? I think not. I am sure not. We shall get
back to the true spiritual Being - the son of God."
It seems that he has the right key in the lock but cannot bring himself to turn the key. For it involves the surrender of just that which he cannot bring himself to abandon - a Savior external to himself. He cannot content himself with an inner Savior for Whom History has no meaning. For that involves letting go the shadow for the substance - the form aspect for the life that the form enshrines. True that life is intangible, paradoxical, protean in its appearances. The problem is epitomized in the Bhagavad Gita. ch. xii. "Yet hard the travail is for such as bend their minds to reach the Unmanifest. That viewless path shall scarce be trod by man bearing the flesh." (verse 5.)
The reply to Mary at the sepulchre might have made this clear to our author. "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" can only mean the folly of identifying things of an eternal, deathless nature with the forms - however beautiful and cherished - that are transitory, that must die, disintegrate, so as to release the indwelling life when they become fetters.
No, he must have a historical figure, an embodiment, to satisfy him. For he says: "Is it not reasonable to think that in order to make a portrait of Jesus such as the twentieth century wants, we should not add anything but should strip away all the accretions of the earlier centuries, the Middle Ages, and even the apostolic times and get back, if possible, to the naked historical Jesus?"
Don't read this book if you prefer comfort to truth. And if you do love Truth - as blind men long for light - perhaps you will not need to. But for hosts of people between these extremes it will prove to be an intellectual tonic, and possibly much more than that.
- F. A. B.
Until the Last Man Shall Have Passed Through the Portals of His Own Divinity.
There is a tendency to look upon the truth of Theosophy as something one may "get" for himself in much the same way that the revivalists of old times "got" religion, and the assurance that their own eternal welfare was secured. In this comfortable isolation the "saved" sometimes found it possible to endure the trials of life with equanimity and indifference. One became a hermit, living in the world but not of it.
Some will consider this attitude to be proper. At least they will so argue. Others will feel that whereas this might be said of certain types of Christianity it is not at all what Theosophy can mean. Both of these replies may be honestly made and yet, the Secret Science is full of paradox. While in one sense we feel ourselves to be individual we are taught, and many now feel, that we are in reality One. In the light of this any powers or knowledge acquired by the individual can only be properly used when applied for the advantage of all.
To those who feel that Theosophy is something to be used as a means of escape let me quote, "Be fruitful and multiply. Subdue the earth and have dominion over it."
Were I a better student of the letter it might be possible to offer many more quotations from theosophical literature in support of the same idea. Nothing more apt occurs to me now. The teaching of the rounds and races shows man as the eternal spirit pilgriming outward, or downward, into denser planes of matter until humanity is said to be now about the nadir of involution. Why this pilgrimage?
Did the spirit of man err in leaving "home?" Is there no purpose to be served, nothing to be gained from all this effort and experience except to prove that life is evil, something from which to seek escape? This appears to be the belief of many. All thought and study devoted to avoiding the experience of life, to escape as quickly as possible into the bliss of "unconscious being." This life, this world, temporary evils from which to run away.
Here many will offer plenty of "authority" for this as the correct attitude. I assert that such have wrongly understood. It is the essential Spirit of the Pilgrim which must remain serene and unattached, not allowing itself to be dragged down into a complete submergence in the things of Time.
Without attempting to quote specific "authority" for my opinion, it is most definitely not my belief that this present phase of experience is one from which we either can or ought to try to run away, except in the sense of remaining "unattached," working tirelessly without seeking, the sense of remaining without seeking reward. In other words, not "Laying up treasure for ourselves on earth," and thus avoiding the danger of finding "there also our hearts."
It is probable that this experience must be met in fullest measure. Were it possible to avoid it I fancy the result would be final extinction. I believe there is a purpose in this pilgrimage. I believe that purpose is to learn "Mastery." Troubles are to be met and mastered, not avoided. Life must be faced, in every phase, on every plane, and mastered. The term master is applied to one who having faced life and the world has mastered them.
If then we accept the Teaching, and the bulk of humanity is at the bottom of the evolutionary arc, in the densest state of matter, our business today is to master matter. The task at hand is to subdue matter to the will of spirit and to manifest here the deepest spiritual truths, to subdue the world, and have
dominion over it. Instead of allowing the world to cumber and deaden the efforts of the spiritual side of man, he is to compel it to obedience.
Without wishing to foist dogma on anyone let me ask that we agree on some simple things as fundamentally true ..... to be used as guides of conduct and requiring no further discussion. Let us accept love as the binding force of the universe. The eternal oneness of life. The brotherhood of humanity in all its finest implications. As a consequence "Love thy neighbor as thyself," becomes the soundest common sense advice, not a command to be blindly obeyed. From this it must follow that no individual can obtain true bliss and happiness while a single brother remains "lost."
Let us then seek to "Do unto others, etc." unreservedly, and on the plane of existence on which we can at the moment actually meet and prove our brotherhood to those others.
Is, not "bread and butter" (food, clothing and shelter) the first business of any of us not already provided for? Admitted if you please that it should not be, still, it is. If we are going to do unto others as we would have them do for us we must then seek to show our faith in brotherhood by showing it on the same plane of immediate necessities as we accept for ourselves, and make it our most immediate business to provide food, clothing, and shelter, and peace and security too, for our brothers.
"Impossible!" some say. "There is not enough to go around, already the country is taxed beyond the safety point to provide for the needy, and private charity cannot begin to cope with the problem."
"It is his karma," says another, "I dare not interfere."
Impossible is too big a word for any student of theosophy to use honestly. I dare not, is a cowardly hypocritical lie!
How many would refuse help for their own need, if another dared to offer it. If humanity is indeed one then even your brother's karma becomes in a sense yours, and you might as well bear it one way as another. Why bear it the selfish way, leaving him alone at the same time.
Impossible is too big a word, or too small and foolish. It can be done, but only when honestly, fearlessly, prepared to give up self, and selfish interest, we attack the problem thoughtfully, studiously. The answer is here for those who will seek it. Our burdens will never be too great, that we cannot find a way.
Evolution will not be completed, final perfection attained at once, but we must struggle honestly, together, applying our knowledge and our abilities not to finding a way out for self, but putting our services at the command of all, step by step and side by side with our brothers, conquering one obstacle at a time.
-T. S. H.
A NEW APPROACH TO SCIENCE
Those who have read Eddington, Jeans and other like authors with interest and some understanding will welcome this latest volume from the pen of J.B.S. Haldane: The Marxist Philosophy and the Sciences. It possesses a greater universality than most other worthwhile books on the implications of science; it ranges over the fields of mathematics and cosmology, the quantum theory and chemistry, biology, psychology, and sociology; and, moreover, in spite of this range, it is extremely lucid.
Lucidity seems to come about not only by reason of the scope of Haldane's own experience but by reason also of his approach. Haldane is now an avowed Marxist and in this volume he applies Marxist principles to the interpretation
of science, with on the whole quite happy results. Significantly enough, he avoids the pitfalls of a purely mechanistic interpretation on the one hand, and the deistic, idealistic interpretation of Eddington and Jeans on the other. He has felt it worthwhile "to demonstrate the kind of speculations into which Marxism leads a scientist."
The introductory chapter on the philosophy of Marxism not only establishes the author's own point of view, it serves excellently to give the reader unacquainted with this philosophy some notion of what it is all about. It serves particularly to distinguish this philosophy from the mechanistic materialism of nineteenth century science, against which H.P. Blavatsky also fought most valiantly. As for dialectical materialism, Haldane quotes Lenin who said:
"For the sole `property' of matter with the recognition of which materialism (dialectical) is vitally concerned - is the property of being objective reality, of existing outside of our cognition . . . . . The recognition of immutable elements, of the immutable substance of things, is not materialism, but is metaphysical, anti-dialectical materialism."
This definition would appear to allow much scope to the Marxist philosopher.
Dialectical materialism says Haldane, "insists on the reality of change. It claims to go back beyond Plato and Socrates to Heraclitus, and in particular it welcomed the new developments of physics which seem to some to spell the end of materialism, and which undoubtedly were the end of the very narrow forms of materialism current in many scientific circles at the end of the nineteenth century and still current in some of them."
The Theosophist need not be reminded as to how welcome these same developments have been to him also, and for much the same reasons.
Haldane believes relativity to be quite intelligible once we regard the world as consisting not of things but of processes or events. The classical theory of space and time had to be rejected as "being metaphysical, that is to say, as postulating something beyond matter, namely an abstract space and time which had properties apart from those of any events going on in them. Such a postulate could only be justified if we knew of the existence of something more fundamental than matter using the word to cover processes as well as things." Haldane believes that matter, space and time form an inseparable trinity, one which, I think, we can compare with the various trinities of the eastern philosophies, Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, etc.
Theories current in the universe a few years ago, resulted in the conclusion that there had been some sort of a beginning to the universe, even as there would ultimately be an end. Current theories as to the expanding nature of the universe point to such a beginning. Some scientists, as Haldane notes, placed this beginning at a time some two thousand million years ago, a number of different theories leading to much the same period. (Silberstein, after Jeans, places the time at which the stars of our galaxy nucleated themselves out of the primordial nebulae at between a million million and ten million million years ago.) More recently, however, theories due mainly to Milne have negated the idea of a creation and instead of the coming into manifestation of the universe as a going concern at some definite time in the remote past, it and time have always existed. Time, however, in these new theories is in itself subject to change, and its intervals are spaced much as is the chromatic scale in music.
"The most remarkable feature of Milne's cosmology is that which ever set of scales we adopt (speaking here of our ordinary time and of his special time) it is clear that the laws of nature are changing . . . .if we go far enough
back, we find that matter, though many of its physical properties were as they are now, was chemically inert."
Furthermore, "Life is at present possible because matter has its present properties. We have to take an historical view of the properties of matter and the so-called laws of nature. In the future we should expect to find the development of new properties in matter, properties which at the moment could only be determined by the most refined methods, but which matter will exhibit in a developed form a few thousand million years hence."
Readers of this magazine will realize the importance of this new viewpoint in science when it is pointed out that in it is to be found a scientific statement in a very rudimentary form of, a portion of the cosmology concealed within the Theosophical exposition of rounds and chains of worlds, and the theory of emanations, (involution and evolution) which lies at the root of the gnostic and Kabalistic teachings as well as those of more eastern origin.
There are some who say that man is merely a complex machine. Haldane is the last to deny that he is one. It seems to him, however, that in practice the physiologist, although he may be and should be mechanistic in his details, is never mechanistic about the organism as a whole. "And the basic principles of physics are not of such a nature as to force him to the view that because an organism in its details observes physical and chemical laws, therefore it must be a machine in the sense defined above. (i.e. as a whole.) On the contrary it is possible without denying the validity of physical laws, to adapt biological theory to biological practice by saying that the organism is something more than a machine, in the sense that it has a unity of a type which the machine lacks."
As for heredity, biologists now rightly see natural selection as a merely negative process. It cannot create novelty directly, though it gives the conditions for its appearance. Hence there has been a considerable measure of reaction against Darwin, (survival of the fittest) and a tendency to explain evolution by Lamarckism (inheritance of acquired characters), by mere influence of the environment, by creative interference, and so on." Lamarckism seems to be popular at the moment in the Soviet Union though in rather a mechanical way.
"Marx and Engels criticized Darwin for taking contemporary economic conditions as a model for competition in the animal world, and still more did they criticize contemporary economic competition for not rising above the animal level." Darwin "did not realize the necessity for occasional leaps in evolution. He thought that it was a continuous process, but we now know that such cannot possibly be the case."
Readers will find it interesting to compare what Haldane says of evolution, with Blavatsky on the same subject (especially S.D. I, 679 and following pages.)
Mind and Soul
Haldane deals speculatively with psychology, notes that "Man, and presumably other higher animals, has a mind," and finds, generally speaking, "that historical theories of mind involve a soul separable from the body. Further, the soul could be either wholly or partly separable. Some parts are, or might be, mortal, others immortal. The soul has been regarded sometimes as a unity, sometimes as a plurality." He remarks on the confusion which results from the identification of mind "with that aspect or portion of the individual which is believed to survive death." "This is," he thinks, "more or less accidental. Actually there is plenty of evidence that the mind often dies before the body and remarkably little that the body ever dies before the mind." In
this statement Haldane comes close to the occult position, in which the re-incarnating ego, whatever it may be in essence, is not to be identified with the Lower Manasic or mental world. Haldane, however, does not hold to survival after death.
After discussing various theories of the soul as influenced by the academic, religious, and Freudian standpoints, Haldane discards both the mechanistic and the purely idealistic attitudes toward mind. There is an immense gulf between dialectical materialism and the "vulgar" materialism of the nineteenth century. He does not believe that mental events are determined solely by physical events; mind is not a powerless spectator of the play of matter. Nor on the other hand is mind logically prior to matter; real progress would then become illusory and the visible world would partake of the nature of mind rather than of matter.
On the other hand Alexander's philosophy has certain affinities with Marxism. "He tries to trace the evolution of being from space-time, through matter to life and mind, and beyond mind to a hitherto non-existent quality which he perhaps unfortunately calls deity, and which will be related to mind as mind is to mere life." Parenthetically we would remark that Alexander in his philosophy comes nearest of all in the west, with the possible exception of McTaggart who allows for reincarnation, to the Theosophical position.
Those who are interested in following up the philosophy of S. Alexander will find his book, Space, Time and Deity, well worth reading. Alexander belongs to that group of English philosophers who had discarded mechanistic materialism in favor of what is usually called Emergent Evolution.
Summing up Haldane says: "For Marxists the mind is not something whose natural powers are blunted by association with matter. It is a part of nature still evolving, and still very imperfect. But some at least of its imperfections are the symptoms of contradictions both within society and within itself which are the conditions for further progress. It has risen from the mind, not fallen from heaven, and it is destined to rise still farther. It enables Marxists to carry on through defeat, terror, and persecution. Although it offers no future life for the individual, the belief in better future lives for the human race does, as a matter of observation, give to many Marxists the same energy and confidence that the hope of personal immortality gave to the early Christians."
Two omissions should be noticed. Although Haldane gives an excellent criticism of the Freudian psychology, that of C.G. Jung is omitted from consideration. Jung's psychology, to this reviewer at any rate, seems to hold much more promise for the future than that of Freud and so is at least worthy of consideration. Then again, it would have been interesting to have read a discussion of the age-old idea of reincarnation, the idea that a portion or an aspect of the entity which is man survives death and returns again and again to the world of effects, there acting as a creative agency furthering evolution and in itself approaching that which Alexander "rather unfortunately calls deity."
We close this somewhat lengthy review by mention of Haldane's attitude toward telepathy. He says: "We must realize that the mind, considered as a physical object, is a very strange one. We need not be surprised if it exhibits properties which seemed impossible to the physicists and chemists of former centuries. I do not see why a dialectical materialist should reject a priori the possibility of such alleged phenomena as telepathy and clairvoyance. I do not doubt that most of the reported cases
rest on conscious or unconscious deception. But I can see no reason for regarding a certain lack of privacy in mental images on the one hand as impossible, or on the other miraculous in the sense of involving a breach of natural laws of very general validity. We should expect that such phenomena would be rare; for if they were common they would interfere with our normal perception and thought, and hence natural selection may be expected to have safeguarded us against them to a large extent." (We recall here what is said in the eastern teachings as to the prevalence of psychic powers in the earlier races and the loss of these in large measure with the development of mind in our own race and time.) "And when they occur, we should expect them to occur like quantum phenomena, rather spasmodically, and not with the certainty which characterizes the exactly predictable behavior of large-scale material aggregates. I do not of course affirm that such phenomena occur. But if their occurrence should be proved, I do not think that this would disprove materialism, or even revolutionize science; though it would open up an important new field, and very probably facilitate the study of the human mind as a natural phenomenon."
The Marxist Philosophy and the Sciences is published by George Allen and Unwin, London, and in Canada by Thos. Nelson and Sons, Toronto.
- W. F. S.
"THE ROAD TO IMMORTALITY"
By GERALDINE CUMMINS with a foreword of ten pages By Sir Oliver Lodge.
- 8vo., blue cloth, 194 pages $2.00
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THE FRATERNIZATION CONVENTION
The Seventh Theosophical Fraternization Convention is to take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, 1939, at the Fort Shelby Hotel, Detroit, Mich. Those who have attended these Conventions in previous years, look forward to renewing old friendships, and exchanging ideas with fellow theosophists belonging to other Sections than their own. Efforts this year have been to make the programme as different from other years as possible by getting new speakers, having a greater time for fraternization and discussion. Recognizing the fact that everyone wants to hear themselves talk, the Committee has endeavored as far as possible to give them time to do so. Recognition has also been given to the fact that the young people of today are the officials of tomorrow, and so they have been given place on the programme. Rates at the Fort Shelby Hotel are: - Single rooms $2.50; double rooms $3.50 three or four persons in a room $1.75 and $1.50. All rooms are fitted with private bath and shower and also with Servidor Service which does away with any tipping. The Fort Shelby Garage will take care of any cars, also there is ample parking space close to the hotel available at all times. For transportation information it is suggested that contact be made with the local Publicity Agent appointed by the Committee or with any of the Convention Committee. - K. M.
J. M. PRYSE'S BOOKS
may be had, including: The Magical Message of Oannes; The Apocalypse Unsealed; Prometheus Bound; Adorers of Dionysus; and The Restored New Testament; from John Pryse,
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