Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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VOL. XX, No. 6 HAMILTON, AUGUST 15th, 1939 Price 10 Cents.
THEOSOPHY AND ETHICS
By the Late Charles Lazenby, B. A.
The physicist and physiologist in many cases view matter as the basis of consciousness. Not content with elaborating and demonstrating by many beautiful experiments that matter is composed of molecules, they step out of their legitimate sphere of scientific analysis of the facts given, into the metaphysical realm. They state the theory that consciousness is the result of activity of these molecular particles; nay, some of them go further and say that consciousness is the motion of these molecules in the brain. This is perfectly legitimate if the physicist wishes to be a metaphysician, but if he steps into the philosophical world he must be prepared to use his scientific capacity upon a great many facts which do not pertain to the specialized sciences of physiology, chemistry or physics. These sciences are abstracted parts of human experience taken out of the total, and, for purposes of specialization, necessarily made to ignore all other fields of knowledge for the time being. Philosophy, however, which may be defined as the love of the right use of knowledge, has the whole of knowledge as its field and no philosophical theory at the present age can be adequate which ignores or refuses to consider any group of facts, or beliefs, or theories which have been in the past, or are at present instrumental in moving human thought and conduct.
If we say that consciousness is the result of the activity of molecules in the brain, we have at once destroyed the whole basis of religion and ethics except a very limited hedonistic theory the motive of which is expediency within some seventy years of experience, all that can be given for the particular molecular activity within the physical brain. Even if we postulate that the reaction of the molecules may continue after the physical brain is taken from them we are in a realm of double theory - a theory built upon a theory - and we have no guarantee that the molecular relationship will continue permanently even though it should for a time. Immortality on this basis would be a miracle and the larger problems of life which fill so important a place in the thinking of civilized man, cease to have any reason for their existence.
If, on the other hand, we realize that consciousness or awareness is always present in every scientific thought, experiment or fact, and that the various sciences are fields for the awareness to work upon, we may realize the immediately given facts of experience, without introducing any auxiliary and secondary elements to account for that which is primarily given.
For consciousness the ultimate unanalyzable factors which are immediately given - that is, given without any process of abstraction from the total con-
tent of experiences - are as follows: sensations, emotions, imagination and memory factors, time, space, and continuity. These exhaust the total possibility of analysis and the whole world of experience is contained within this group.
Note that continuity is immediately given. Time and space are aspects of this element, and we cannot conceive time and space as finite except when we view them as abstracted parts from this continuity, which is the ultimate base of both. The characteristic of continuity is infinity and in viewing continuity infinity is immediately given. It is quite impossible to conceive either end or beginning, temporal or spatial, of continuity. The instant we bring in the thought of end or beginning we are in the realm of finite and abstracted conceptions, and have wilfully set limits to the field under consideration. For this analysis I am indebted to Dr. August Kirschmann, Head of the Psychological Dept. of the University of Toronto, and carried to its logical conclusion it presents some curious results in the discussion of immortality and kindred problems.
Not only does Dr. Kirschmann hold that continuity is an ultimate element of consciousness but that continuity is consciousness itself, and that life is a third word for the same unitary experience, in which time, space, memory, imagination, emotions and sensations are factors.
Let us for a moment discuss spatial continuity. We speak of finite and infinite lines. As a matter of fact all directions are infinite and there are an infinite number of directions. We speak of an abstracted part of any direction as a finite line. There are no ends in direction, except those we voluntarily make by abstraction from the immediately given face - that is, the direction characteristic itself. Consider a line
A ------ B
On this surface we have drawn an ink stroke. What we have done here is to take a part of the infinite direction.
The direction in our mind is as an infinite line, but this part of it is finite by abstraction - that is, the mind says: "I will stop at the point A and B, and consider this limit in and for itself." To aid our imagination still further we have drawn an ink mark which is not a line but a surface and by it have symbolized the line. Certainly this stroke of ink is not a line, because we might easily symbolize the width of it by the letters C and D, and under a powerful microscope A.B. would appear a broad surface, nor will the senses ever reveal to us a line without at the same time revealing an infinity of direction, the line quality of which we ignore.
The edge of this paper is a line against the background but we only consider this line by abstracting it and thinking of it as a separated factor in the whole vision field in which it is a part, and which field is a surface consisting of an infinity of directions.
The sense qualities never give us space nor time, and certainly not continuity. The discrete parts and events in time and space exist only by a process of partition from their surroundings. This process of taking one thing or a group of things out of the total experience, we call abstraction. Finite or limited things only have existence as abstracted parts of the one continuity in which they are and in which they do not cease to be, although our apperception is directed upon them as though they had an independent existence.
A --- B, no matter how narrow it may be, can never give us a line but can only stand as a symbol of a line which in its turn is a part of the infinite direction. Likewise the sense world which exists in space is not the reality of the continuity from which it is ab-
stracted. This is the position of the great idealists and noumenalists from Plato onwards.
The same analysis holds of duration. We always consider duration under the analogy of space. The individual unit of time does not exist except by abstraction. Duration is a phase of consciousness. It is continuity and is infinite; hence it is folly to speak of an end to duration. The calendar and the clock are both devices to aid in the economy of language, and to give definiteness, concreteness and stability to our abstraction from duration's infinite character. We have as yet found no way to picture time except in terms of space.
Again the "simple idea" in philosophy as discussed by Locke and others does not exist and can never exist except as a part of the infinite experience in which it is a factor; which experience in its infinity is the immediately given fact. Consciousness in its very foundation is associated with duration and space, and these are infinite. How then can consciousness be otherwise than infinite? Consciousness is certainly immortal.
You may say that this abstract immortality is not what we are seeking. Consciousness as a whole may be immortal, but what of one's individual awareness, one's personal immortality? You may ask some guarantee that the self identity we recognize as John Smith and Mary Brown shall continue to exist after the symbol - the personality - is rubbed off the scroll of time. If you identify yourself with the physical body, made up of molecules, and with its relation to the objective physical world about your body, then at death one is compelled to believe that you as a personality are wiped off utterly. In rare cases this may perhaps happen and self identity may for a time be lost; the life, however, which expressed itself in and through that personality will not have perished and will sooner or later build limits for itself and enter a new field of personal activity. Very few men, however, at the present age really believe that their consciousness is merely their body and its molecular activity, even though theoretically they may state the problem of consciousness in terms of molecules.
The sensational factors are only one group of elements in the complex of consciousness. The continuity is in them and through them but they are only symbols of the reality which abides. I am not saying that they are illusions in the sense of unreality as true factors in the problem; they are just as real for the time as anything in the objective universe, but they are outer expressions, finite and destructible, of the reality which is indestructible.
A set of relationships between certain factors appears in consciousness seen through time and space, and as they appear we think of them as imagination working upon the sensational elements. If they are held in this relationship they tend to become parts of the physical environment and activity of man. This is the process as it is immediately given: the outer sensational experience follows the inner sensational imagination. For instance, I picture an arm in a certain position in space - say, perpendicular to my body - and to aid the mind in its picturing, my physical arm appears in that place; the motion of the physical arm being the expression of the imagination, and so with other motions of the body. Here we take a viewpoint differing in some essentials from the average physical evolutionist. He argues that the chance arrangement of physical conditions proves advantageous to the production and preservation of a certain form of life, and that as the physical conditions change, the form adapts itself to the changed environment or else dies off; the surviving forms are those best
adapted to the surroundings. This gives the "survival of the fittest" theories, and is the basis of much biological speculation on the evolutionary process.
Taking the immediately given facts as revealed by psychological analysis, we may approach the problem of evolution from an entirely different angle. We say consciousness - that is, life - is eternal and desires ever new expressions. It pictures itself limited by and in certain conditions, and these conditions clothe round and become stable parts of its outer experience. A crab reaches out for seaweed and pictures a longer claw than it has to obtain that which it desires. It needs a longer claw to sustain its form and the claw grows longer under this guiding purposive process. So also, in the mimicry of insects: consciousness finds that a certain expression of itself, a form which it desires to preserve, is in danger of being destroyed. It is aware also that another expression of itself, owing to a certain colorings of wings, is safety from destruction. Consciousness wills to modify its coloring in order to preserve its form. We are told that three hundred generations of insects may pass in the process before the mimicry is complete, and we have two species, similar in appearance but differing in other characteristics. This then, is the modification of the physical world under the continuous purposive guidance of consciousness. A certain physical result is purposed in imagination and the physical result follows.
When we come to analyze the philosophies of Kant and Hegel we see that the purposive element underlies all conscious processes. Kant stated it in the beginning of his critique but abstracted it in the development of this theme; and his later system mystifies because he does not apparently grasp the significance of the infinite purposive element in consciousness. Hegel gives a truer and more adequate account of the logical thought activities of analysis and synthesis, yet he fails to lay the solid foundation for an evolutionary theory relating to the individual, in his seventh act of thought where he discusses causality, because he does emphasize the infinity of purpose behind all physical expression; or, at least, he does not make it explicit in the formation of his system. His statement of the process of the Becoming of the physical world is perhaps the most perfect given by any modern philosopher. In his discussion of the "inner" and "outer" "identity" and "appearance" he gives a splendidly scientific account of psychological process; but in his analysis of ultimate causality, he does not appear to arrive at the fullness of the purposive conception we might have expected from his introduction to the theory of Becoming. The evolution of consciousness as revealed in the complexity of physical organism demands this purposive element to account for the complexity, and any true examination of the problem of evolution from a psychological standpoint will reveal it behind and in physical movement.
Do I say, then, that all imaginations survive, and that every form of imagination becomes permanent if the individual consciousness so desires? No, I do not say this. A survey of the material forms from mineral to man, shows that there is a larger and fuller purposive element than that manifesting to us in any single species; and that the evolution of consciousness on this planet must proceed along certain lines, viz: from the mineral into the plant, the plant into the animal and from the animal into man. Any side line or freak development dies off sooner or later, and the purposive direction of the total evolution is maintained. The Law seems to be that the imagination is free to picture any condition in time and space on this planet, and that the expression of the thought will follow on
the physical plane. If the picture be very abnormal, it will be expressed physically as insane hallucination which, however, will satisfy the mind of the creator by its apparent physical reality.
If the imagination be in the so-called normal way of thinking, physical actions will conform to custom and will fulfill themselves without comment. Suppose a group think alike, thus constituting normality for those within the group, but at the same time differ in their thinking from the larger human family; that which they produce as physical type will perish very quickly if it be not in accord with the deeper plan of human evolution; or if it follow this plan will increase and become an ideal for an ever growing number of thinkers. Whatever is pictured in the imagination and filled with desire will express itself according to its own nature - if in terms of intellectual activity through increased mental capacity. As St. Paul puts it: "Whatsoever a man soweth that also shall he reap." Or as a greater than St. Paul says "There is nothing from without man that entering into him can defile him, but the things that come out of him, those are they that defile the man. For from within out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts and these defile the man." (Mark vii:20) This is true of defilement and is equally true of exaltation for from within out of the heart proceed noble thoughts and these exalt a man. Speaking scientifically, we must say that defilement is the devolution of type - that is, the turning away from the true lines of human development into some side line contrary to the purposive ideal underlying evolution.
Any ideal too high for the majority has to fight for its life against the inertia of the mass and is very often, for the time, apparently killed out. On the other hand any ideal beyond which the majority of mankind has passed is killed out because it is out of its time. The laggards in ideality or the lower criminal classes are spurred on by the law to think as the majority, and the advanced idealists are pulled back and hindered in the expression of their ideals in order that this majority may gradually assimilate and make their own the ideals of this advanced guard project. Between these extremes lies the middle path, the true normal of the time, in terms of racial out thinking and the plan in the mind of the Architect.
Taking the Aristotelian conception of the "Golden Mean," or, in other words, "Everything enough, nothing too much," as the basis for ethical development, we must say that the perfect man is the balanced individual, strong and complete in body, powerful and controlled in emotion, concentrated and clear seeing in thought, and quick and loving to the One Life under all forms in his wider intellectual apperception. This apperception is the relating to himself of individual responsibility in the carrying out of the perceived larger plan.
This perfect individual cannot be evolved without allowing a much larger time area for experience than the average ethical theory grants. If, however, we admit reincarnation to have its place in the argument we can at once account for the differences in the human family by the use of the words "developed" and "underdeveloped;" "evolved" and "unevolved." We must also in the use of these words grant the continuance of the individual through the process of unfoldment. There is not the slightest psychological objection to this theory. Continuity is immediately given, individuality is a fact of experience, and the two combined with the law of sowing and reaping give that psychological theory associated in the West with the work of the Theosophical Society.
By reincarnation we mean the recur-
rence in time and in the world of sensational factors, as we know them in our waking state. Each day is a reincarnation of these factors into consciousness - each day is the result of the imaginations and desires of the days before. Note, we do not say the soul incarnates into a body - that is a very naive statement of the facts - but we say that the individual consciousness takes on and abandons the sensational elements over and over again. The individual consciousness of man wears the physical universe as a garment through his incarnate life.
Man becomes perfect by becoming master of the worlds of experience in which he acts, by becoming self-responsible and self-directive in the sensational, emotional and imaginative realms of his being. Self mastery does not mean playing truant from school and causing to atrophy the sensational and emotional natures, but in the use of the whole nature; each part enough but none too much. Every power of a man is developed by use, and no part of a man should have control to the limitation and weakening of his other parts. Only repeated incarnations can reveal to man this perfect harmony within himself and his whole being in perfect harmony with the larger plan.
Definitions of spirituality as the opposite of sensational experience are futile and inefficient conceptions arising from failure to recognize the larger plan behind the world in which we find ourselves. They are really insults to the Divine Architect and certainly infer, if they do not actually state, that he made a great mistake in giving sensations to man as a part of his experience. These theories have such a hold on both Eastern and Western religious thought that the enjoyment of the senses is looked upon as evil and as unpleasing to that Architect whose plan the world is. Which conception, of course, is pure nonsense.
We may sum up by repeating "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap" and by calling attention to the word "that" in the quotation. It is not something different. If one sows sensational desires one reaps sensational activities, but in the sowing and reaping of these there is no evil, unless there is an excess of these sensational energies over the mental and intellectual power and through their use a selfish blinding of the inner vision to the larger plan and the place of the individual therein. The ethical problem does not lie in enjoyment of sensation - or in non-enjoyment, but in its use for the well-being of mankind to which all the powers of the man are directed.
THE BHAGAVAD GITA
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This version of the Gita has been widely approved and is intended for readers who have not hitherto been able to understand the academic and philosophic versions of recent years, or the older ones that failed to understand the esoteric teaching.
- The Esoteric Character of the Gospels, By. H. P. Blavatsky.
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THE PEDIGREE OF MAN
BY ANNIE BESANT
(Continued from Page 136)
SECOND LECTURE THE PHYSICAL PEDIGREE
The four classes of Barishad, or Lunar, Pitris, the Rupa Pitris, preside respectively over the four successive Rounds of our terrene Chain, those with the most subtle bodies guiding the first Round, the next the second, the denser the third, and those with the densest bodies of all the fourth, the Round in which the densest matter is formed. Each of these four classes presents its own seven grades, or sub-classes, so that in any given Round or Globe we meet with what are called "seven classes of Pitris," and many a student, noting this, has been puzzled, since he remembers another statement about seven classes of Pitris, among whom the Agnishvatta Pitris were named, whereas these are all Barhishad Pitris. The puzzle is solved when he understands that in each of the first seven classes, divided into Arupa and Rupa, there are seven sub-classes, marked out from each other by differences in evolution: in the four great classes of Rupa Pitris we have thus twenty-eight sub-classes, seven in each class, and it is these sub-classes alone with which we have to do in each successive Round. Only one of the great classes is concerned with each Round, and it is the sub-classes of these which we meet in "the seven classes of Lunar Pitris."
The four great classes are distinguished by the differences in their upadhis; the first has no lower upadhi than the karana sharira; the second has for its acting vehicle the mental body; the third uses the astral body; and the fourth is clothed in the etheric double. Thus, as the Globes grow denser in successive Rounds, the Pitris who successively guide physical evolution bring to their work these successively denser vehicles of activity, suitable for the task entrusted to them. The more we study the plan of evolution, the more are we struck with the exquisite adaptations of part to part.
These Barhishad Pitris belong - as stated in the first lecture - to the last of the Creative Hierarchies, or Orders, called by us the seventh, though in reality the twelfth. They have under them vast hosts of nature-spirits, who are the actual builders of the forms, the masons, while the Pitris themselves may be compared to the architects, a name which is indeed very often given to them. They give the forms, the models, the plans, which are followed, actually worked out, by their subordinates, the innumerable beings who select the material particles and put each in its proper place. I may remark, in passing, that since, in Hindu literature, the word "Deva" is applied to the whole of these, the need of the familiar thirty-three crores of Devas to carry on the workings of nature becomes very obvious, and should cause no surprise.
The Puranas, when they speak of the earth and its six Globes, draw you that strange picture at which I am afraid many an Indian graduate has often laughed - the seven zones, or the seven dvipas, as they are called, and the curious oceans of milk and curds, etc., dividing the one from the other. "What foolish tales these old men write," our modern critics say. Yet they wrote much more wisely than the scientists of the 19th century, for they give you, through a graphic picture, an idea of the appearance of the planetary Chain, and every dvipa, or world, is a Globe of the planetary Chain, and that which is called the ocean is the matter which is between each Globe and the next, dividing them by a sea that none can cross, save those who have built their higher upadhis and are therein able to navigate those wondrous seas of matter. And if
you could stand on some higher plane and look down on the Chain from above, you would see exactly what is figured in the Puranas - the seven dvipas and the seven oceans that surround them, billowy masses of matter of varying densities, heaving between the Globes, and named according to the earthly liquids they most resemble in their general appearance. The mistake has been that men have tried to identify these with things on the physical globe, whereas they are seven worlds of the Chain, differing utterly from each other, and the Jambudvipa of that Chain is our earth, our own world. These descriptions may not be according to modern ideas of precise and accurate scientific nomenclature, but they convey vivid and graphic ideas to the ordinary mind, for which they were intended; and the modern seer easily recognizes the objects described when, from the standpoint at which the pauranic writer surveyed the scene, he also lets his gaze wander over the wondrous panorama, and sees the seven Globes amid their encircling oceans of unorganized matter.
Let us return to our picture of fire, with the filmy globes rolling amid the billowing flames.
On to the first of these, vaguest, most fiery of all, the first class of Lunar Pitris descend. Theirs to give the first models of forms which all who follow after them will use as tabernacle; these are based upon ideas in the mind of the Planetary Logos, but theirs to shape the forms, theirs to give the first molding to the fiery matter which is to serve as the dwelling of the incoming Monads from the lunar Chain. They must assimilate the matter of the Chain, else how shall they be able to build there - with the forms? They cannot work with matter which is not theirs. Hence the first thing to do is themselves to pass through every kind of matter, and, gathering it round their airy bodies, shape it by their creative fire into germinal forms, which will slowly develop and mature, and become in the course of ages the forms that we know in the fourth Round on our fourth Globe. Seven typical forms must each sub-class mold in each kingdom on each Globe, for in every kingdom of nature there are seven types existing side by side, and these are the seven types in each of the seven sub-classes of the Pitris of each Round. These are mere films of fiery matter, in this first Round.
Now the characteristic of the first Globe, Globe A, is that nothing there is form as we know it; so unlike is all to the forms we know that it is even called Arupa, formless; and yet there is form, though not form as known to mortal man. Archetypal forms they are called, i.e., ideal forms made out of the stuff of abstract thinking, vague, changing, and indefinite, inconceivable and ungraspable by the concrete mind, only to be known in this way, that when such a form passes to a lower plane, it bursts into innumerable concrete forms, all of which bear a likeness to itself, in that they present its essential characteristics, have in them something after its image. Perhaps this will be more readily intelligible if I remind you of a curious device, resorted to in the early days of biological science, to show the type of an order. Professor Owen, dealing with the great complexity of the mammalian order, sought to find out and combine what was common to all. He found certain things existing in every mammal-backbone, four limbs, and so on. He connected together, from his study of many mammalian forms, all the things that were common to every one of them, and he put these together into a form that was like nothing in heaven or earth or in the waters of the sea, and he called it the archetypal mammal. That was the exercise of scientific fancy, in order to guide and aid scientific investigation. He "builded truer than he knew." Such
archetypal forms exist in the mind of the Logos as the ideas of every kingdom - the archetypal minerals, the archetypal vegetables, the archetypal animals, and the archetypal men. They existed as ideas - Platonic ideas they are sometimes called, because Plato laid so much stress upon them in his philosophy. These ideas are in the mind of the Logos, and the Architects, who are the Barhishad Pitris, reproduce these ideas from the mind of the Logos in the highest Globe of the planetary Chain; this is Globe A, hence it is spoken of as the archetypal Globe, for it contains in every Round the archetypes that underlie the evolution of forms in that Round.
These forms are sometimes described, or hinted at, in the Puranas, and the descriptions seem to you strange, grotesque and unintelligible. Many of our learned men, who know a little of modern science, laugh at the ancient Rishis who tried to describe these extraordinary forms, unlike anything that the human mind can conceive. But the Rishis knew something more than modern science knows; they knew archetypal forms, the basis of all forms, and those strange creatures that you read of in the early pauranic histories are archetypes, and not forms as they exist on the lower planes. I know of no language, of no description, which conveys an idea of this wondrous building, better than you can find in the pauranic accounts, dim, strange and grotesque as they may seem. They are at least the best description that human language is able to give.
Let us come to the next point. Every Round, as I told you yesterday, produces an evolution of a particular kind, elemental. mineral, vegetable, animal, human. The other forms, that are not yet born on to a Globe of the Chain, none the less exist in the mind of the creative Logos. They surround these Globes as embryos, so that in the atmosphere of the Globe you might read its history. That is one of the things meant by the phrase "reading in the astral light." Thus on the first Globe, in the first Round of our Chain, the Pitris form the archetypes of the three elemental kingdoms and of the mineral; only the types of the highest elemental kingdom are mature and complete; those of the middle and lower elemental kingdoms are embryonic types, and those of the mineral kingdom are mere germs, though representing all that will be contained in the perfected mineral kingdom of the fourth Round. The first class of the Barhishad Pitris produce these archetypes in filmy matter, populating with them the fiery Globe. In the atmosphere of the Globe, surrounding it, the other three classes of Barhishad Pitris are busy with the embryos of the future vegetable kingdom for the second Round, with the embryos of the animal kingdom for the third Round, and with the embryos of the human kingdom for the fourth Round; these have no resemblance to the future vegetable, animal, and human forms, but are mere crystallizations - if the word may be used of matter so tenuous - aggregations of material; these embryos are in the womb of nature as embryos in the womb of the mother, and truly has it been written that when we come to understand the mystery of human growth, the whole chart of creative activity will lie open before our eyes.
On that first Globe A our Pitris are busy; they form the archetypes as aforesaid, they clothe themselves in the forms they have made, and then pass rapidly through the embryonic forms in the atmosphere around, touching them with the first thrill of nascent fetal life; they pass to the second Globe, Globe B, where they shape the multi-plied concrete forms which spring out from the archetypal original. Little change is perceptible in the forms in the atmosphere; the whole stress is on the
elemental and the mineral, in which much progress is made. Then to the third Globe of the Chain, Globe C, where they shape for denser forms; but still it is but the densification of the fire, as you might see in a fire the layers of the whiter and the yellower flame, and then a redder glow; only such differences are there in the fire of the successive Globes.
At last they come to the Earth, whereon the mineral touches the physical, the other forms remaining still in the atmosphere around. The germinal forms of minerals dimly appear on our glowing fiery earth as tenuous, luminous films, and so on until the seventh Globe is reached and the whole germinal mineral kingdom is formed, although formed only in filmy shapes, not minerals as you know them - solid, crystalline, or in many other forms - but always as glowing gaseous masses; everything that now exists in the mineral kingdom is found on the last Globe of that first Round, in filmy, tenuous germs, to be enriched, densified, strengthened, and made complicated, in the succeeding Rounds. We may sum up their task by saying that on Globe A they give the seven archetypal forms for each kingdom; on Globe B they multiply forms containing the essentials of each archetype; on Globe C they densify these forms; on Globe D they shape them in yet denser matter; on Globe E they make them more complex and slightly refine them; on Globe F they build them of finer matter; on Globe G they finally perfect them. This is the method on every Round, and thus the Pitris work, though on the first Round only do they gather the matter round themselves and dwell within it for awhile to assimilate it. They only use in their building the four upper sub-planes of the matter of each plane.
(To Be Continued)
"BROTHER XII "
I have in my possession a little book called The Three Truths. It contains an inscription with my name "with kind regards and best wishes from - `Brother XII,' Christmas, 1926." It was accompanied by a letter which says: "My dear Brother, herewith a personal copy which I hope you will find of interest. Will you give me some space in your magazine (advt. section) I do not know what the rates are as I have no copy on hand, but do the best you can for, say $5, two or three consecutive insertions, not $5 each but $5 altogether. Will remit on receipt of your advice. E. A. W." This was really by way of a postscript, for he had written a foregoing note asking for a review "of this little work" and signed himself "E. A. Wilson."
I had already printed his first communication which impressed a great many people as a worthy utterance, and a second was nearly equally welcome. But when Mr. Wilson came to Toronto and refused to meet me, and scarcely consented to speak a few words on the telephone, I felt that the danger signals were up. The little book was obviously - too obviously - an imitation of the Hilarion style. This was also the model which "The Temple" adopted, with which Dr. J.D. Buck allied himself for a short term, bestowing the fullest confidence in it, but later admitting that something had gone wrong. Dr. Buck also became a disciple of "T.K.," the title used by one T. Richardson. Richardson was also the hero of a book called The High Romance, in which a similar but not identical story of "T.K." is given by the author who afterwards joined the Roman Catholic Church.
One thing recognizable about Hilarion is his literary style, and his imitators generally gave themselves away in this matter by weak grammar, as in the case
of Blue Star, or in Wilson's case on page 62 of The Three Truths where he writes "showed" where Hilarion would undoubtedly have written "shown." It takes a very clever man to conceal his falsity or his impersonation of another if his students are sufficiently alert or informed.
But Mr. Wilson made a deep impression on many who were first of all deceived by their own desire for favor, or occult advancement, or the approval of some high authority, although they should have known if they had reflected a little on what they had read, that no advance is possible except through one's own exertions. Perhaps something should be allowed for the simpler folk, carried away by enthusiasm and misled by the example set by some who should have known better. They, too, were misled by their own conceits and refused to listen. Granted that their intentions were the best, if not the highest, Karma will make a note of the good intentions, but in other respects Karma exacts its measure of discipline for every error. That is how we learn.
It is said that "T.K." defaulted for at least a quarter of a million. Dr. Buck was utterly ruined in his old age. Brother XII got away with twice as much, if the stories are to be believed. This, however, is nothing to what is being raked in by the A.M.O.R.C., by the Spalding writer of Masters of The East, and by the egregious I AMs with their outrageous caricature of occult teachings. "Our little systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be," sings Tennyson. If it be true of the great religious systems, it is true a thousandfold more of these bogus organizations which prey on the credulity and ignorance of the flotsam and jetsom of the religious world. We can hardly blame any of these victims when the Theosophical Society has harbored and nourished such a flagrant pretender as Charles W. Leadbeater.
Vast sums of money are absorbed by all these ogres of the occult, and this alone serves to differentiate them from those who are vowed to poverty. Most of these men had considerable literary gifts, some even remarkably so as in the case of Thomas Lake Harris and Aleister Crowley. Leadbeater had a polished and plausible style. But they followed the Left Hand Path and little is known of the eventual fate of such men. There is a hint in The Mahatma Letters that the Brothers of the Right Hand Path sometimes use the Brothers of the Shadow to test their chelas. Something of the kind may occur for those who still dwell in the outer darkness of the exoteric world to delay those who are still unready and more interested in mighty works, in phenomenal disclosures, in personal gain and growth, than in the Great Life itself and the welfare of its creatures. If we do not live for the Whole, we become like cancerous growths in the body, and the happiest thing that can befall us is to die out. Every normal cell must live for the All, in all its stages. It is the heresy of Separateness that distinguishes all these false teachers. Each of them warns his followers not to have anything to do with any other body.
The story of Edward Wilson may well carry a moral for all who come to hear of it. Unfortunately, for many, it will serve to frighten them away from every form of legitimate study of the Secret Science: These should remember that the teaching is without money and without price; and that the Master is in every man's own heart. Each is the Master of his own destiny. No pretender can lead astray those who keep these facts in mind. They are simple facts of the Law of Brotherhood.
And now the whole morbid, sordid story of Edward Wilson has come out in the Vancouver law courts. A voluminous account is given in the Vancouver Province for a copy of which I am in-
debted to Mrs. Curtis. Since April, 1933, search had been instituted and carried on but not until recently was it discovered that Wilson had gone to Switzerland, and there had died at Neuchatel on November 7, 1934.
Edward Arthur Wilson had been as a young man a clerk in the Dominion Express office at Victoria. Thus he became intimate with Vancouver Island and used his knowledge in after years. Being refused an increase in pay for which he had asked, he went to sea and for over twenty years nothing was heard of him. But on his long voyages he had spent his leisure in studying all kinds of occult books and philosophies and when he turned up in Nanaimo in 1924 he was well equipped for the plans he had in mind.
He was low in funds at the time and explained to his boarding house mistress that he could not pay her then but would soon be back at the head of a great religion. But next year he was in Genoa, sick and still without funds. It was when in Italy that he said he had been translated in spirit to the highest realms, meeting there the Eleven Masters of the Wisdom - the great religious Masters of the Ages. They welcomed him and he became Brother Twelve, thus completing the circle. Under the guidance of a Guru, as he alleged, he produced the little book, The Three Truths, and also contributed to The Occult Review certain articles which sounded much better than the average matter of this kind. One article about the Tolling Bell impressed a great many people. The old saying still stands, however, and fine words butter no parsnips.
As no one knew anything of his past, when he issued a small pamphlet stating that the Masters had selected a location in Southern British Columbia, many felt there was magic in it, and when they went out there and found that the place coincided exactly with the description given by the Masters, what more evidence was required? He had been out there in 1898 and one wonders if he had been down at Point Loma and met Mrs. Tingley, for his technique closely resembled her in many respects.
A fine old couple accompanied Wilson from Southampton, a Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Barley, and they realized on their savings and gave him everything they had. A young man with considerable money also joined him, and they arrived at Boat Harbour, four or five miles south of Nanaimo. Money started to pour in. A Kansas Lawyer too eager to wait for the mail, wired him $10,000. By 1928 the movement had reached proportions beyond anything the serious-minded Theosophists had ever dreamed of, some 8000 being then in membership. Several hundred acres were purchased and the "House of Mystery" was built where only Wilson, as a sanctified member of the Great White Lodge was fit to enter, all others being kept away by a wire barricade.
Bob England, for eight years a United States Service man, was secretary of the order at this time, and also Mrs. Connolly joined the ranks. She had been living at Ashville, N.C., and was traveling in the west when she first heard of Wilson through reading some of his books and his magazine, The Chalice, in which a distinguished literary man had written. Mrs. Connally sent in $2500 as a token of good will. Wilson came to Toronto to interview her. That seems to have been about the time he warned her and others of the horrible wretch in Toronto whose wolf's fangs dripped with the gore of his victims, or words to that effect. At any rate Mrs. Connolly was not permitted to seek advice anywhere and she gave him a cheque for $23,000.
On the way to Toronto Wilson met on the train the wife of a New York physician and persuaded her she was a reincarnation of Isis and that he himself
was Osiris. She got off the train at Chicago to wait his return from Toronto, and then accompanied him to Vancouver Island and the House of Mystery. But Isis was a little too much for some of the converts. Wilson bought 400 acres to still the strife and erected a large house for the faithful. But it was not enough. Bob England headed a revolution and charged Wilson with misapplication of funds. Whereupon Wilson retaliated by charging England with being short in his accounts as secretary. Both were committed to the assizes to stand trial, but before the hearing came off England disappeared and has never been heard of since. Meanwhile Isis lost her reason, or what she had for it.
Wilson kicked out the malcontents and sought new allies. Roger Painter was brought from Florida. As a poultry king he had an annual turnover of a million, and he brought $90,000 to the House of Mystery. At the same time came Mabel Shottowe who was to become the first lieutenant of Brother XII, or thirteen to the dozen. According to the witnesses who told their story to the Chief Justice, this woman was a termagant, abusing the women about the place, lashing and cursing them with her tongue, and beating them with sticks. Wilson bought the five islands in the De Courcy archipelago and invited Mrs. Connolly to come, which she did, bringing more money.
At this time Wilson changed his name from Wilson to Amiel de Valdes and Mabel became Zura de Valdes. Following the Tingley technique he warned the faithful that they could not trust each other but must rely on him alone. He was the only one that could be thoroughly trusted. When a man and wife came to the islands in happy harmony the man was placed on one island and the wife on another. This method comes from Thomas Lake Harris. Each member was trained to suspect his fellows.
Amiel and Zura decided to go to England and gather in the gleanings there. He instructed Painter to kill two members of the B.C. government before he returned, and when he did return and found them still alive he was furious. He had been disobeyed!
Various mysterious movements were then made on the fine yacht constructed from a fishing smack. They changed crews at Panama and it was supposed landed whatever treasure they had accumulated. Wilson always changed all his money into gold, and this was put into quart jars and paraffin wax poured into them to prevent movement. Bruce Crawford assisted at this and made a cedar box for each jar. They were said to be buried somewhere.
The discontents finally went to Mayor V.B. Harrison of Nanaimo who conducted the proceedings against Wilson and the search to find him. Chief Justice Aulay M. Morrison gave judgment in favor of Mrs. Connolly, return of $52,000 cash and $10,000 special damages, and in favor of Alfred Barley for approximately $10,000. Mrs. Connolly was given title to the Valdes island and to the De Courcy group. The big powerful ocean-going yacht, diesel-engined, vanished from sight with Amiel and Zura and the forty jam pots of gold. Saddest of all perhaps is the gullibility of human nature. Loss of discrimination is loss of all!
- A. E. S. S.
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.
THE GERMAN REFUGEES THEOSOPHICAL ORDER OF SERVICE
President: Dr. Ca. S. Arundale, M.A., LL.B.
1 Crediton Hill,
London, N. W. 6,
19 July, 1939.
Miss Maud E. Crafter,
321, Tweedsmuir Ave.,
Toronto, Ont., Canada.
Dear Miss Crafter,
Please accept our most sincere and warm thanks for your kind letter and cheque for L100.00, which you enclosed for the helping of the emigration of Mr. and Mrs. Mondschein from Germany, and also to provide for their landing
-fee at Shanghai. With the same post came a letter from the Mondscheins to say that they had in the meantime heard "from the shipline that, if all our papers were together, we could get the tickets for the 14th of September for an Italian steamer. This shipline demands 100 dollars in addition to the German currency each for the third class. Therefore we beg you to send us the letter from the Bank in two parts. One letter showing that 200 dollars are for the emigration and the other 300 dollars for landing-fee after our departure from Germany."
I paid in the cheque to our account in the Bank, and arranged with the Bank for the two letters to be sent, and for the two sums to be held for the Mondscheins for the purposes mentioned, and also arranged that the moneys shall be sent to Mr. and Mrs. Mondschein to any place outside Germany that will be convenient to them. I have written to the Mondscheins to this effect and told them to expect the letters from our Bank (the Westminster Bank, Ltd.) in a day or two. Copies of the letters will be sent to me as well.
Your letter of July 10th came quickly, and came as if sent by Providence.
It has made it possible if all goes well for Mr. and Mrs. Mondschein to make their escape from Germany, and I am sure they will be eternally grateful to you. They say they do not know how to thank you. I can only add that I hope the members in Canada will help generously in response to your appeal. May I ask that you publish this letter in the "Canadian Theosophist"?
Jeffrey Williams, International Secretary.
The above letter explains itself, but the incidents leading up to the action taken so generously by Miss Crafter are of interest as illustrating the methods pursued in despoiling and torturing the Jewish people who have contributed so much to the German nation. As long ago as October last Mr. Mondschein wrote to the General Secretary stating that he and his wife, aged respectively 46 and 40 had been obliged to sell their business and house, and asking for information as to immigration to Canada, their finances at that time being "all right." I welcomed them and could see no difficulty at the time for their entrance to Canada as they had sufficient funds. They wished to work and were anxious to get employment. The matter was then taken up with Mr. Cohen, representing the Canadian Jewish Congress, and as he was in Toronto, Miss Crafter undertook the task of seeing him, so as to save correspondence. Time was passing however as enquiries and correspondence went on, and by January the Canadian Government decided to impose restrictions on refugees from Europe. Mr. Jeffrey Williams of the Order of Service was then appealed to in London and correspondence was initiated with Australia, Central America and elsewhere in an effort to find a haven for these unfortunate people. The months dragged on and during this time the German authorities turned the
screws still more tightly, taking away the money that had made these people somewhat independent, and refusing to allow them to leave without payments that reduced them to beggary. In addition, the so-called civilized nations refused to admit these unfortunates and finally it was found that in China alone, torn and wounded as China was with a war of invasion and fighting for its existence, that any haven could be found for them. Even to get to China however it was necessary to subsidize the steamship with an extra payment, and also to provide a "landing fee" for the travelers. Now after almost a year of suffering and destitution, through the generosity as recorded it seems that these two wretched persons may escape the horrors of Germany to enter the kindlier but calamitous land of Confucius and Lao Tse. But this is only one among thousands. To read the letters that have been written during these long months would soften the hearts surely of the most miserly and the least sympathetic. The gratitude of these poor people in finding any helpful or considerate thought for their condition is most touching and their wholehearted desire to acknowledge and be worthy of anything that has been done for them is of the most obvious and sincere character. Mr. Jeffrey Williams has hundreds of cases that need attention and assistance of a similar kind, but without money nothing can be done. Now is the time when Theosophists who wish to test their own charity, their own liberality, their own brotherliness for those in distress and sore straits, may imbibe the spirit of the Master and show that their professions are not merely the vacuity of lip-service, but the sincere word of the doctrine of the heart. I suggest that a Fund be opened and that Miss Crafter be constituted its warden, to receive and remit to Mr. Williams whatever the readers of this statement may feel moved to give.
Up to the time of going to press we have had to depend upon the press for information about Dr. Pandia's movements. From Montreal he went to Ottawa where he had several interviews with the Prime Minister, and then flew to Vancouver where he remained till the first week of this month, flying back to Ottawa.
When in Victoria on July 22 he called on Premier Patullo in connection with his efforts to obtain permission for 40 Hindus, who have been twenty years in the country, to remain in Canada. Dr. Pandia said he had a fine and sympathetic reception from the Federal Government. Many of the men for whom he pleaded had shed their blood in the Great War.
"We are in the same Commonwealth," said Dr. Pandia, "and at this critical juncture in world affairs I think the component parts of the Empire should stand together. I know these men entered Canada illegally. The immigration department is simply observing the law and I have no criticism of them. But I think I can ask a member of the Commonwealth of the Empire that your Government observe the spirit of the law rather than the letter. After all you allow 150 Japanese a year into the country and no Hindus are allowed."
Dr. Pandia cited the case of one Vancouver Hindu, recently deported, who had lived there 30 years, was wounded several times overseas, and owned a house and property which he had to sacrifice. An air mail letter written on the eve of his return to Ottawa promised a full account of his work in this connection. The illegality was a minor infringement of the law of twenty years ago and is as much a matter of red tape, as anything else. The Sikhs are all well-employed with important interests in the country.
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.
It is urgent upon members to remember that their dues of $2.50 a year are payable on July 1st or as soon after as possible. We have extended three month's grace in mailing the magazine, but after the September issue if dues are not paid, the magazine will not be sent, unless at least One Dollar be sent to cover its cost. Members not in good standing are not entitled to vote in meetings of the Lodge or to hold office. When members are utterly unable to pay by reason of age or disability their Lodges usually make provision for such cases.
We desire to call attention to the article by Mr. G. Cardinal Le Gros on "The Incarnation of an Ideal" in which he gives a good account of the Fraternization Convention in Detroit on September 2nd and 3rd. This originated in the General Executive of the T.S. in Canada and we therefore take a special interest in its success and hope all who can possibly do so will attend. It is unique in dealing in its proceedings with what may be termed Secret Doctrine Theosophy on which platform all theosophists should surely be able to meet, though strangely enough some appear to shun it on this account.
The editor of the O. E. Critic of Washington, a man whose opinion weighs heavily among the wise, writes: "I did not pay much attention to the various notes about Dr. Pandia in The Canadian Theosophist, but after reading his article "Theosophy and Ethics" in the July issue I think it is one of the best things you have published and just what is needed. I hope you will have further material by him no matter what anybody may object."
We regret to record that Mrs. Coyne, whose serious illness we reported last month, expired on July 7. She was one of the older members of the Toronto Society, and had for many years provided the musical programme for the Sunday evening meetings, her choice of soloists and instrumentalists including with many of the finest musicians several young people of brilliant promise who made their debut under her auspices. Her daughter, Mrs. Virginia Knight, and her grandson, are all musical. Mrs. Coyne was a frank critic and her good sense was often displayed in her expressed opinions.
Charles H. Dower, brother of Dr. Dower of The Temple who died a year or so ago, followed his brother on June 20 last. Mr. Dower was an optometrist and had been in business in Syracuse, N. Y., for 50 years. He was 77 years of age. He was a member of the T.S. and a subscriber to The Canadian Theosophist. Since 1896 when I first lectured in Syracuse I have known the Dower family and desire to express the general sympathy for Mrs. Dower in
her bereavement which all who knew them will feel.
Dr. Arundale purposes to write a Life of Annie Besant, and asks that the cooperation of members of the Society or others be given him in order to make it worth while. As there are half a dozen biographies of Mrs. Besant on the market at present, including her own autobiography it is difficult to know what can be added to the many accounts of the life of The Passionate Pilgrim. I could add a few details of a personal character. Dr. Arundale would not want them, I have no doubt, as for example, my last interview with her in Chicago. Most of these personal matters are not intended for publication and I have no wish to increase the morbid interest which modern biographies too often seek to stimulate.
The second issue of The Malayan Theosophist has reached us from Singapore. It is a quarterly and is excellently printed. It is published under the auspices of the Singapore Lodge at 8 Cairnhill Road, Singapore, S. S. Mrs. Leoline Wright has an excellent article on "Buddhi-Magic" in The Theosophical Forum (Point Loma) for July. C.J. Ryan in a review of James Bramwell's Lost Atlantis, summarizes the latest knowledge on this fascinating subject. The Schliemann story published in 1912 is now relegated to the realm of fable. We have not seen the Bramwell book but it appears to be a comprehensive study of the literature of the subject, the bibliography of which comprises up till 1926, 1700 items.
The Baptist World Alliance which has been meeting at Atlanta, Georgia, in its sixth Congress, has made a fine declaration of Religious liberty. The newly elected Alliance president, Dr. James Henry Rushbrooke of London,
approved the resolution which said "In continuance of our consistent Baptist practice we are imperatively constrained again to insist upon the full maintenance of absolute religious liberty for every man of every faith and of no faith .... This Congress deplores and condemns as a violation of the law of God. . . , . all racial animosity, and every form of oppression or unfair discrimination toward Jews, toward colored people, or toward subject races in any part of the world." This is surely Brotherhood without any discrimination.
The August issue of Theosophy has a remarkably interesting article on Plato in its Ancient Landmarks series. This is an unusually instructive article both as regards Plato and also on Theosophy. Plato's philosophy is ethical above all else, based upon the idea of man's free will and choice. He claims that it is this power of choice which determines a man's parentage, his hereditary tendencies, his physical constitution and his early education, since all of these things are merely the effects of choices made in former lives . . . . The whole problem of evolution, according to Plato, is one of ethics." Another valuable item is H.P.B.'s article on "Life and Death" reprinted from Lucifer of September, 1892. This is the third of three articles written by H.P.B. on this subject, two of which appeared in December, 1888 and January, 1889.
Several correspondents have called my attention to the Dean of Canterbury's little book, Act Now! I had already read it several times and sent a number of copies to friends I thought would appreciate it. Mr. Pease of Victoria not only recommends it but suggests that I make an article out of it for our magazine. This I have been trying to do for three months, but so many other matters have engaged attention
this one has been delayed. Mr. Pease also calls attention to the article copied from H.P.B.'s Lucifer, which appears in The Theosophical Movement for June. Mr. Pease observes: "It is the fullest and most conclusive refutation of the contention that H.P.B. disapproved of theosophical students concerning themselves with the material conditions of the masses that I have ever read. H.P.B. not only says that we ought to help our `poorer brethren' - `Paupers physical,' but gives specific advice as to how this should be done - sanitary improvements, public baths, free concerts, etc., - `healthy surroundings would favor healthy thought'."
Mr. E. T. Sturdy observes in a note - "Without a doubt the appearance of H.P.B. 60 years ago was the initiation of a new impulse from the centre of things and that ideas and references that before that date were lying unknown or dormant have since become familiar, one might almost say to `the man in the street.' At the same time members of the T.S. must not ignore that there are several, if not many sources through which the Secret Wisdom is being set forth besides their own movement. This will prevent them becoming sectarian and exclusive - the danger of all movements. The establishing of a Chair at Oxford for the setting forth of Asiatic thought and the appointment to it of a learned Hindu as its first occupant is indeed a sign of the times. His work Eastern Religions and Western Thought, S. Radhakrishnan, Oxford University Press, is a fine book, full of research and information."
Mr. Belcher writes of his recent trip West: "There is little to report concerning my visit to the West. But that little is cheering. Everyone will be glad to learn that our Friends, Kartar Singh, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Hobart and Mr. and Mrs. Tom Williams are all well and prospering - relatively, at least. All were kind and helpful. The Point Loma Group in Victoria conduct and advertise a public Study Class and they gave me opportunity to address them. We found ourselves on common ground in refusing any substitution of Leaders - however much as individuals we may admire them - for Madame H.P. Blavatsky as the mouthpiece of the Masters in their message to the world. Hermes Lodge, Vancouver, also accepted that attitude as a practical basis for more cooperation among the various Theosophical Groups. At Calgary I met their ever kindly appreciation of our effort to maintain the primitive direction that H.P.B. gave to the Parent Society. - Felix A. Belcher."
Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Holledge, who is one of our energetic members in the North Country, Kapnskasing, to wit, and she represents not only the Movement in that part of the world, but takes a special interest in the work among young people. The type-written magazine got out by this group is really a wonderful little sheet considering the frontier conditions in which it is produced. Too far away from the widely inclusive route taken by the King and Queen, the people of that community were no less impressed with the gracious behavior of their Majesties, and Mrs. Holledge expressed their loyalty and good wishes in a set of verses which so pleased her neighbors they urged her to send it to their Majesties as a token of their good will. Mrs. Holledge did so and in due course has received a letter from Buckingham Palace, from Queen Elizabeth herself, thanking Mrs. Holledge for her good wishes. Ed. Stephenson, another of our workers and editor of The Northern Tribune, wrote an article about it and reprinted the verses. We are very glad to hear of this signal compliment, and happy to know that we have in our
ranks one whom the Queen has delighted to honor.
Dr. Arundale is using his position as president to do all the things that Theosophists are supposed to leave undone, and to leave undone all the things that Theosophists, according to the Secret Doctrine, should do. His latest "Appeal" is to re-establish the conception of a Personal God, and with this intent he appeals to us all to get busy and "impress upon priests and people, by all means in their power, the necessity of asking the Blessing of God upon the world in its present distress, and to set apart regular occasions for prayers with its attendant powers of Peace and Prosperity, may abide in the hearts and actions of all." Dr. Arundale is continually carried away by his own wordiness. What have Theosophists to do with Prosperity any more than with Poverty? It is rather a farce to have the President of the Theosophical Society starting a campaign of Prayer to a God in whom he does not believe, if he is not false to his professions as a Theosophist. And these loud petitions for Brotherhood do not come very well from the lips of one who will have nothing to do with any Theosophist who does not belong to the organization which he calls THE Theosophical Society: Pious people who really believe in what Dr. Arundale is making merchandise of, will regard all this as blasphemy, and I for one would not blame them. Not satisfied with trying to run the Theosophical Society, and into the ground at that, he now proposes to instruct the priests and ministers of the Churches how to carry on their work, particularly in their dealing with God. If he emphasized the message of Jesus about prayer it might do some good, but he ignores Jesus and recommends the public prayer that Jesus condemned. But we suppose Dr. Arundale does not know any better or he would not commit these follies.
AMONG THE LODGES
Vancouver Lodge starts the new season with a new member and all the old members but four paid up. Election of officers resulted in Mrs. Buchanan as president; Miss J. Myles, vice-president; Mr. M.D. Buchanan, secretary-treasurer.
In the garden of Mr. and Mrs. E.W. Hermon, 45 St. Clair Ave. East, Toronto, on Saturday afternoon, July 22nd, the July Garden Tea was held under the auspices of the "Central Zone" of the Toronto Theosophical Society. The beautiful green lawn, big shady apple trees, climbing roses, and a border of perennial flowers and shrubs made a perfect setting in which the host and hostess received the many guests, assisted by Mrs. R. Illingworth and Mrs. G.I. Kinman. Dr. Stella Cunningham and Miss Mary Stuart presided at the tea-table which was decorated with a basket of summer flowers and placed in a shady portion of the garden. Assistants during the tea-hour were Mrs. E.J. Norman, Miss M. Stark, Miss A. Donnelly, Miss Evelyn Webley, Miss Joan Anderton, Miss Mercedes Heal, Miss Muriel Norman, Miss Alice Carver, Miss Sheila Gough. Miss F.B. Kelsey was in charge of the Fortunes, Miss M. Hindsley reading cards; Mr. W.C. Chalk, teacups; and in the rustic summer-house Dr. Sinclair read the Tarot Cards. Lieut.-Col. E.L. Thomson and Mr. G.I. Kinman looked after the game of target practice, with many of the guests trying their skill. Mr. C.M. Hale, in charge of the entrance, requested Mrs. A.M. Wright to draw the lucky numbers for the winners of the "gate" prizes, and these were won by Mrs. M. Raine, Miss F.B. Kelsey, Miss A.E. Brough, Mr. Tweedie, and Mr. R. Sin-
clair. Many old friendships were renewed and new ones formed at the Garden Party. Mr. Felix Belcher received a hearty welcome from everybody and many inquiries regarding his recent western trip. Among those present were Mrs. Felix Belcher, Mr. Hugh Belcher, Mrs. A. Cornwell, Mrs. Cunningham, Miss Eva Budd, Mrs. M.C. Hubel, Miss M. Crafter, Miss I. McArthur, Miss M. Butchart, Miss S. Pedlar, Mrs. S. Murray, Mrs. H. Munther, Mrs. H. Lawlor, Mrs. L. Haines, Mrs. N. Gough, Mrs. Wm. Daly, Miss Powers, Mrs. A.B. Cranston, Miss K. Lazier, Mrs. F. Balson, Mrs. J. Govan, Mrs. Graham, Mrs. E. Brazier, Mr. N.W.J. Haydon, Dr. E.J. Norman, Mr. W. King, Mr. R. Marks, Mr. W. Pryde. Notwithstanding July being a holiday month, there was a goodly attendance of members and friends at this Garden Party, and Toronto Lodge hopes that when the next "Zone" activity is announced for some time in September it will receive the same generous and enthusiastic support as those which have already taken place. - M. K.
THE INCARNATION OF AN IDEAL
On Saturday, September the second, of this year, the Fraternization Convention will reincarnate in the city of Detroit, Michigan. This is the seventh embodiment of the Ideal of Theosophical Fraternization in North America, and the joyous event will take place in the Hotel Fort Shelby, to which all good fairy god-mothers are invited, which means, all good Theosophists.
An interesting programme has been prepared by Mrs. Kathleen Marks, of Toronto, and her coworkers, for the two days of the Convention, Saturday and Sunday, September the second and third. The Convention will open on the Saturday at 10 a.m., with a business meeting for the appointment of the
Convention's chairman, officials and resolution committee, the hearing and consideration of reports and the address of the incoming chairman. At 17 a.m. the first of the open forums, which are a feature of the Convention this year, will be held. The subject on this occasion will be The Fraternization Movement.
After lunch, at 1:30 o'clock an address will be given by Mr. Samuel Wylie, of Detroit, on The Conquest of Illusion. The writer has heard Mr. Wylie, and considers him a fine speaker. Students from outside will be anxious to hear him. After Mr. Wylie's address, there will be a talk on Astrology by Miss M. Hindsley, of Toronto. She is an authority on this subject, with an Eastern background, and should not be missed.
In the evening a public symposium will be given: The World of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Two of the speakers will be Mr. J.W. Vaughan-Corrie, of Detroit, and Mr. R.C. Bingham, of Toronto. Mr. Vaughan-Corrie lived for many years in India and we anticipate interesting comments from him. Mr. Bingham, formerly of India also, created a marked impression at the Buffalo Convention. A Buddhist, Mr. Bingham has had one of those lives of adventure that one reads about in books but whose heroes are seldom met with in real life. This promises to be a colorful and inspiring evening.
On Sunday morning, at 10 o'clock, the sessions will again open with business. This time the report of the resolutions committee will be heard, the new committee appointed, and unfinished matters disposed of. At 11:15 a.m. Mr. Leslie Floyd, of Toronto, a forceful speaker, will give an address on Practical Theosophy. After lunch another open forum will be held, at which anyone who has something to say which will advance the Cause of Theosophy will be expected to speak. Then,
at 2:45 p.m. will come one of the highlights of the Convention: The "World of Tomorrow" will be built by youth, so youth is given a special place on the program at this time. The Convenor is Miss Margaret Kirshman of Brooklyn, New York, and an inspiring session is assured. At 4 p.m. Mr. G. Rupert Lesch, of Erie, Pa., will speak on "The Inner Life." Mr. Lesch is a profound and spiritual philosophic thinker who is able to convey his thoughts in simple and illuminating language. He was and is one of the most popular of the earlier Convention speakers. At 6 p.m. will come the formal dinner, and at 8 p.m a public symposium on Religion, Philosophy and Science. One of the speakers will be Mr. Richard Heinemann, of Toledo, Ohio, who is noted for his interesting presentations of scientific subjects.
Some details of the programme are still to be finally settled, and there may be some changes in the order of the addresses, to suit the convenience of lecturers, but the foregoing will give readers a preview of the Convention's programme.
Indications are that there will be sizable delegations from nearby cities in the United States and Canada, and many visitors from more distant points, and it is confidently anticipated that the Seventh Convention will set a new high mark ill the progress of this Fraternization effort.
As the Hotel Fort Shelby is placing its convention rooms at the disposal of the Convention free of charge, students are urged to reserve rooms in the hotel. The charges are: single rooms, $2.50; double, $3.50; three or four persons in a room, $1.75 and $1.50 each. Cars may be garaged in the Hotel Fort Shelby garage.
The commingling of Theosophists from various parts of the United States and Canada will be encouraged by a Reception Committee, whose chairman is Mrs. Ruth Somers, of Toronto. We want to make this a Convention which will stand out for Fraternization of students, and under Mrs. Somers' guidance it is bound to be a success in this direction. In fact, to let readers into a secret, Mrs. Somers is planning some pleasant surprises.
Theosophical work is an effort to bring the sunlight of understanding and happiness into this troubled world. Theosophical Fraternization is a vital part of this effort. It is sincerely hoped that every one who loves the teachings of Theosophy and profits by them will in turn aid this work: - by attending the Convention, by helping in some way, so that a little more of that sunlight may be spread.
- G. Cardinal Le Gros.
1702 Delaware Ave., Apt. 4,
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 BLAVATSKY PAMPHLETS.
There are ten of these, already published and they deal with various aspects of The Secret Doctrine, several of them being reprints of articles by H.P. Blavatsky.
The above may be had from The H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Road, Victoria, B.C., or The O. E. Library, 1207 Q Street N.W., Washington, D.C., or from The Blavatsky Association, 26 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W. 8, England.
By James Morgan Pryse
TWO REVIEWS. - When the Secret Doctrine first came out I wrote a long review of it, which was given a prominent place on the editorial page of a Los Angeles daily. I sent a copy of it to H.P.B., and in return she sent me a page from Stead's newspaper containing a lengthy review of the work by Annie Besant. If I remember rightly, writing that review led to Mrs. Besant's becoming the personal pupil of H.P.B. None of H.P.B.'s other followers in London could justly be called a "personal" pupil.
Two PRAYERS. - On large sheets of white paper I copied the Lord's Prayer in Greek and the Gayatri in Sanskrit, marking the scansion in red ink. These I pasted on the wall in my bedroom, to radiate a good influence in the room. It occurred to me that H.P.B. might be pleased with them; so I enclosed copies of them in a letter to her. When I arrived at the London Headquarters on Avenue Road, years afterwards, I was surprised and delighted to see those two copies pasted on the wall facing H.P.B. as she sat at her writing-desk.
MRS. CLEATHER AND ERYSIPELAS. - While on a lecturing tour around the U.S. and Canada I visited the Branch in San Francisco and lectured in the Hall of Science. The party of Theosophists whom Mrs. Tingley had taken on a tour of the world reached San Francisco, and I met them as they disembarked. Among them was Mrs. Alice Cleather, a member of the I.G., who had lived at Harrow and frequently visited the London Headquarters. I noticed immediately that her nose was badly swollen and dark red, almost purple. She told me that there was a small boil in one nostril and that it pained her frightfully. An incompetent ship's doctor had told her it would be all right in a few days. The pretended "clairvoyant," self-styled "the Purple Mother," whose praises Mrs. Cleather and the others had been singing, had paid no attention to her condition, which was really serious. I hurried her over to Dr. Anderson's office and introduced her to him. A number of patients were in his waiting-room, but at sight of Mrs. Cleather's nose he took her immediately into his operating room, where he worked at the nose for more than an hour. Then he took me aside and told me that erysipelas was setting in, and that only prompt treatment had saved her life. He said he had brought it under control, and gave me a prescription to have filled at a drug store. We said nothing to Mrs. Cleather, and she never knew of her narrow escape.
MRS. BESANT'S PRINTING OFFICE. - Pursuant to a cabled request by H.P.B. I left New York, where my brother John and I, working with Mr. Judge, had established the Aryan Press and printed the E.S.T. Instructions, and went to London to reprint them at the Headquarters there. As soon as I got settled in the Headquarters Mrs. Besant informed me that she had ready for me a printing office which she had bought off an old gentleman who had no further use for it. She said she did not expect that I could print Lucifer that month: she evidently supposed that by my unaided efforts I could print that magazine - 88 pages and pictorial cover - in a small job-printing office. The printing plant she had thus provided for me proved to consist of a small font of type and a little rickety amateur job-press, a useless toy, which I later disposed of as junk. As soon as possible I procured a new outfit, Dr. Archibald Keightley contributing the necessary funds, and established the H.P.B. Press.
LUCIFER'S FINANCIAL DISTRESS. - As soon as I met H.P.B. she asked my advice about her magazine, Lucifer, which
was being published at a loss. Mr. Bertram Keightley had said that 250 new subscribers were needed to put it on a paying basis. But although H.P.B. had inserted in Lucifer an appeal for new subscribers they did not come in. She told me that every month a relatively large amount had to be raised to pay the printers, but the Theosophists who had been supplying the money could no longer do so, and consequently the publication of the magazine would have to be discontinued. I have forgotten the exact amount, but for the purpose of this narrative it may be set at fifty pounds. With tears in her eyes H.P.B. almost frantically besought me, "O Pryse, can't you find some way to stop our having to pay that dreadful fifty pounds every month and not give up publishing Lucifer?" Her distress over the imminent discontinuance of her beloved magazine affected me deeply. I asked to see the bills for the printing, and Mrs. Besant brought them to me. After going over them carefully I announced to H.P.B. that the printers' charges were exorbitant, and advised her to change printers. Mrs. Besant then turned the work over to another printing company, with the result that the next issue of Lucifer, typographically somewhat improved, showed a small profit instead of a loss, to the joy of H.P.B. and Mr. Mead.
In what books are these to be found?
1. The world as will and the world as idea were considered distinct long before the origin of Buddhism, and the inability of the mind to pass beyond the outward manifestation was clearly understood, "That which lives knows only of its appearance; its true being it has quite forgotten, and cannot know it till it returns, losing its individuality, into Brahm, the source of all being."
2. Obsessed with the idea that early man was a savage, modern savants will not believe that any lofty beliefs were possible to him. When, as in the Vedas, profound metaphysical problems are discussed, it is at once taken as proof that these scriptures cannot possibly be as ancient as tradition declares them to be; or else it is argued, with curious disingenuousness, that these passages only seem profound because we read in them our own philosophic conceptions.
3. He who believes the "made-up stories" which form the bulk of exoteric religious doctrines does so because he is too immature, unintellectual, indolent or timid to investigate the realities of life. He usually desires to follow an easy way of salvation, not an arduous up-hill path; so he ignores the plain truth that "narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto Life, and few are they who find it."
4. In the coming from the former planet there are always brought with the first and highest class of beings some forms of animal life, some fruits and other products, as models or types for use here. . . But the general forms of the various kingdoms, being so brought over, we have next to consider how the differentiation of animal and other lower species began and was carried on. This is the point where intelligent aid and interference from a mind or mass of minds is absolutely necessary. Such aid and interference was and is the fact, for Nature unaided cannot do the work right. But I do not mean that God or angel interferes and aids. It is Man who does this. Not the man of the day, weak and ignorant as he is, but great souls, high and holy men of immense power, knowledge and wisdom. Just such as every man would now know he could become, if it were not that religion on one hand and science on the other have painted such a picture of our weakness, inherent evil and purely material origin that nearly all men think they are the puppets of
God or cruel fate, without hope, or remain with a degrading and selfish aim in view both here and after. Various names have been given to these beings now removed from our plane. They are the Dhyanis, the Creators, the Guides, the Great Spirits, and so on by many titles. In theosophical literature they are called the Dhyanis.
5. The multitude. . . suppose that the truly sacred and holy Osiris lives on earth and under earth, where the bodies of those who seem to have [reached their] end are hidden [away]. But He Himself is far, far from the earth, unspotted and unstained, and pure of every essence that is susceptible of death and of decay. Nor, can the souls of men here [on the earth], swathed as they are with bodies and enwrapped in passions, commune with God, except so far as they can reach some dim sort of a dream [of Him], with the perception of a mind trained in philosophy. But when [their souls] freed [from these bonds] pass to the Formless and Invisible and Passionless and Pure, this God becomes their guide and kind, as though they hung on Him, and gazed insatiate upon His Beauty, and longed after it - [Beauty] that no man can declare or speak about.
References to Quotations in July Quiz
1. Theosophy, Religion and Occult Science, Col. Olcott, p. 40.
2. A Study in Consciousness, Besant, p. 264.
3. Raja Yoga, Vivekananda, p. 24.
4. The Creed of Christ, Edmond Holmes, p. 131.
5. Work and Worship, James H Cousins, p. 101.
BOOKS ON THEOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS
which have passed the tests of time and use
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This hatred poured out like a poison from the vials of wrath is threatening to engulf the world, inasmuch that many of the leaders of nations are seemingly its victims, and thus, being themselves at one with those among their people who are already infected with the virus - they do all to spread it among others. For this hatred is organized which is what makes it so dangerous.
The Jews are blamed for all the plagues of this earth - I hear that even the war in China is their fault! The Chinese Jews (if there be any left!) and the Jews in Russia and China are the culprits - how and why?
The Japanese say they wish to stamp out Communism in China and they declare their aim can be achieved by their invasion of the country. They announce it as one of their chief objects . . . .yet surely the Japanese have had no quarrel with Jewry but the haters in Europe would have it so.
Various groups - here, in Canada - have worked tooth and nail on behalf of Franco, of Hitler, of Mussolini - because they were afraid of Communism - so they said! And it has become the accepted thing - accuse the Jew of all the evils in China, and working on that hypothesis, he is, presumably, also the cause of the bombings there and in Spain, because he is declared to be the real Communist.
There are Communistic Jews but not all Jews are Communists by any manner of means - that is certain.
Did I speak of organized haters in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in the Americas? Let me mention the organized haters in Canada, with their nauseating writings sufficient to make one who loves humanity deadly sick on reading them. I begin to know a little history - enough to make me realize that most of what is given to many
children is a complete prevarication or a half truth or a deliberate effort to form prejudice in the malleable mind. What an appalling responsibility do the adults who lie to children take upon themselves - and I am only too well aware of the fact that the hatreds of the Old World are being deliberately implanted in the New - in regard to other matters besides the hatred for the Jew. The lying leaders of any group who trade in prejudice, who encourage hatred, are answerable for a dreadful toll of lives, for unfavorable discrimination in regard to employment for those of unwanted races or religions, for endless cruelties. These lying leaders, seeking their own ends, enthrall their followers by their black words.
At the College of Jewish Studies, Temple Emanu-El, Montreal, I have listened to the Rabbi discourse on original virtue, and my heart leaps at the sound of the Oriental teaching, known throughout the East. Then I think: how can we account for this hatred - the negative quality in the human heart? For it is also there: love, the positive - hatred, the negative. My thoughts linger on the teachers, prophets, of humanity, who may have been originally capable of dislike - but who expressed love with every fibre of their being. Was that merely the result of free-will, or had they reached such an efflorescence that they were no longer able to give vent to intolerance - that they had no limitations, no barriers, but loved all the world?
My mind goes back some few years when I had the inestimable privilege of a course in what I should call "History without Hatred" at the College - from that remarkable man, Nathan Gordon. He opened my eyes to the sufferings, the griefs of the Jew - But did I learn aught of hatred from him? No: he expressed with every breath forgiveness, because the persecutors, whatever their scholastic attainments, were still steeped in ignorance, because, no matter what, he could not hate. If you are incapable of enmity it cannot be implanted within you.
At that time I had not encountered organized hatred, and was astounded to learn of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," and other like effusions. Nathan Gordon gave me a copy of Lucien Wolf's book "The Myth of the Jewish Menace in World Affairs or The Truth about the Forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which in a few chapters gives one the history of anti-Semitism. I followed that up by reading fulminations on the same subject - I perused the horrible tirades against world Jewry - the Nazi and other propaganda - and again I measured the Jews who had taught love and goodness - the prophets, Jesus, and others of lesser stature - against those who were spreading abroad the doctrines of hatred as a means of solving the world's problems - and I took my stand beside those who returned good for evil, those who were the victims of this rank injustice.
The bombings of cities - the atrocities against non-combatants, prisoners, - Heaven forefend the warrior! - are, so we are told, a means to bring peace to Spain and China, therefore, to some people, alas, many millions, the idea of the end justifying the means is held aloft as a torch before their bewildered eyes, and cruelty and war continue, - sweep on and engulf humanity.
I quote Krishnamurti:
"Can you at any time come to peace through violence - whether you call it provincialism, nationalism or internationalism? Is peace to be achieved through slow stages? Love is not a matter of education or of time. The last war was fought for democracy, I believe, and look, we are more prepared for war than ever before, and people are less free. Please do not indulge in mere intellectual argumentations. Either you take your feelings and thoughts
seriously, and consider them deeply, or you are satisfied by superficial intellectual answers.
"If you think you are seeking truth, or creating in the world a true human relationship nationalism is not the way; nor can this human relationship of affection, of friendship, be established by means of guns. If you love deeply there is neither the one nor the many. There is only that state of being which is love - in which there may be the one, but it is not the exclusion of the many. But if you say to yourself that through the love of the one there will be the love of the many, then you are not considering love at all but merely the result of love, which is a form of fear . . . .
"How are we going to bring about this change which we all desire? Either through force, or each individual beginning to awaken to the necessity of fundamental change. Either through enforcement, revolution, domination, or through the awakening of the individual to reality.
"If we want to produce a merely mechanical world of moral systems, laws, impositions, then violence may be sufficient, force of every description; but if we want peace and brotherhood, relationship based on love, then violence in any form cannot be the way." (Italics mine) "Through violence you cannot come to peace, to love, but only to further violence. Violence is complex and subtle, and until the individual is free from its obvious and its hidden domination, there cannot be peace nor lasting brotherhood."
- Flora Macdonald Steele.
The death of Havelock Ellis on July 8 in his 81st year closes a great career of special investigation and fine literary work. He was the son of a sea captain and spent much time in Australia. He landed there as an earnest, pious, orthodox young man, says the London Times, but in the solitude of the bush he passed through many an unhappy period of spiritual storm and stress, and at length decided that a major part of his life-work should be to make clear to himself and all men obscure problems of the mind. With this object he returned to London in 1879 to qualify as a doctor and trained at St. Thomas's hospital.
He founded and, assisted by Arthur Symons, edited the Mermaid series of old dramatists, and subsequently edited the Contemporary Science Series. Among his books are The Soul of Spain, The World of Dreams, The Philosophy of Conflict, Study of British Genius, The Criminal, The Nationalization of Health, The Task of Social Hygiene, The Problem of Race-Regeneration and various books of essays.
His first book, in 1890, The New Spirit, struck a new chord in literature to usher in the thinking of the new century. His first volume of Studies in the Psychology of Sex was suppressed, and he transferred the series to an American publisher. "The work has since then achieved general recognition. It is to Ellis and his fellow-workers that we owe most of the modern freedom of discussion of sexual matters, which is of great importance in physical and mental hygiene," observes the Times obituarist.
His underlying faith in the unity of science and art appeared clearly in his book, The Dance of Life, and those who have not made his acquaintance cannot do better than seek an introduction to his philosophy through this charming volume.
- Hamilton Spectator, August 1.
Members of the Toronto Lodge should turn out in force for the annual meeting on the third Wednesday in September. Earnest members build a real Brotherhood.
"SEE AND HOLD FAST"
Some Thoughts on the Study of Comparative Religion by Bishop Beveridge (1636-1707). Quoted by Max Muller in his Introduction to his Translation of "The Sacred Books of the East."
"The general inclinations which are naturally implanted in my soul to some religion, it is impossible for me to shift off; but there being such a multiplicity of religions in the world, I desire now seriously to consider with myself which of them all to restrain these my general inclinations to. And the reason of this my inquiry is not, that I am in the least dissatisfied with that religion I have already embraced; but because 'tis natural for all men to have an overbearing opinion and esteem for that particular religion they are born and bred-up in. That, therefore, I may not seem biased by the prejudice of education, I am resolved to prove and examine them all; that I may see and hold fast to that which is best . . . .
Indeed there was never any religion so barbarous and diabolical, but it was preferred before all other religions whatsoever, by them that did profess it; otherwise they would not have professed it . . . .
And why, say they, may not you be mistaken as well as we? Especially when there is, at least, six to one against your Christian religion; all of which think they serve God aright; and expect happiness thereby as well as you . . . . And hence it is that in my looking out for the truest religion, being conscious to myself how great an ascendant Christianity holds over me beyond the rest, that which the supreme authority has enjoined and my parents educated me in; that which everyone I meet withal highly approves of, and which I myself have, by a long continued profession, made almost natural to me; I am resolved to be more jealous and suspicious of this religion, than of the rest, and be sure not to entertain it any longer without being convinced by solid and substantial arguments, of the truth and certainty of it. That, therefore, I may make diligent and impartial enquiry into all religions and so be sure to find out the best, I shall for a time, look upon myself as one not at all interested in any particular religion whatsoever, much less in the Christian religion; but only as one who desires, in general, to serve and obey Him that made me, in a right manner, and thereby be made partaker of that happiness my nature is capable of."
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendor have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute lawgiver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
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THE QUARTERLY BOOK DEPARTMENT
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by W. Frank Sutherland
MAYAN AND HINDU CHRONOLOGY COMPARED
The June 1939 issue of Sky, the magazine published by the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History contains an interesting article on the chronology of the Mayas by Clifford N. Anderson of the Bell Telephone Laboratories.
The earliest recorded Mayan date corresponds, so it is believed, to either 100 B.C. or 161 A.D. By the time of Christ, the Mayas had developed a calendar and hieroglyphic writing. It is impossible to say how long before this they rose above a mere existence. The zero of their calendar is before 3000 B.C.
The next known date is 320 A.D. and from then on the dates are numerous at such great Mayan cities as Tikal, Copan, and Palenque until they cease altogether about 889 A.D. With the dying out of the culture in these southern cities, the scene shifts to northern Yucatan. Just what caused the exodus from the south is not known - possibly soil exhaustion - but by 879 A.D., Chichen Hza was well along in its development. Other new cities sprang up, and peace and general prosperity brought about a scientific and artistic renaissance. On the resulting culture was later grafted Toltec-Aztec culture from Mexico through invasion.
The Mayan civilization came to its end with the discovery of the New World. Mexico was conquered by Cortez in 1524, and in 1542 the city of Merida fell. In a large bonfire in the city of Mani in 1562 de Landa destroyed 5000 idols, 13 large stone altars, 22 small stones, 27 rolls of signs and heiroglyphics on deerskin and 197 vases. "We found among them a great number of books in their letters and because they had nothing but superstitions and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they felt deeply and gave them pain."
The Mayan calendar was extremely complicated but exceedingly accurate and seems to have combined numbers in such a way that an integral number of units of one kind would equal an equal integral number of units of another. Anderson gives the example, 81 moons equals 2392 days, from which they derived a value of the lunar month of 29.53086 days compared with the now accepted value of 29.53059 days.
The Mayan calendar was well adapted to express great periods of time, one record exists in which mention is made of a period of 65 million years. They used a 52-year cycle in their computations.
Some slight ambiguity exists as to the starting point of their chronology. The choice now seems to have narrowed down to two dates: one originally proposed by Goodman, and revived by Martinez and Thompson, gives the zero year of the calendar as 3,113 B.C., whereas Spinden and Morley favor 3,373 B.C.
It is a striking coincidence, or perhaps more than a coincidence that these dates are close to that set by the sages of old India for the beginning of our Kali Yuga or the Iron Age.
Several pages in Volume I of The Secret Doctrine are devoted to a discussion of this epoch which H.P. Blavatsky dates, in conformity with Brahmin chronology, as having occurred in the year 3102 B.C., only eleven years later than the first of the dates given above for the beginning of the Mayan calendar.
"If the Hindus possessed in 1491 (a date ascribed by some writers as that in which they worked out their chronology) a knowledge of the heavenly motions sufficiently accurate to enable them to calculate backwards for 4592 years, it follows that they could only have obtained this knowledge from very ancient observations. To grant them such knowledge (i.e., of astronomical events) while refusing them the observations from which it is derived is an impossibility; it would be equivalent to assuming that at the outset of their career they had already reaped the harvest of time and experience. While on the other hand, if their epoch of 3102 is assumed to be real, it would follow that the Hindus had simply kept pace with successive centuries down to the year 1492." (p. 724).
"The Hindus assert that at the first moment of Kali Yuga (2 h. 27 m. 30 s. a.m., Feb. 18, 3102 B.C.) there was a conjunction of all the planets; and their tables show this conjunction, while ours show that it might actually have occurred. Jupiter and Mercury were in exactly the same degree of the ecliptic; Mars being 8 degrees and Saturn 17 degrees distant from it . . . . Although Venus was not among them, the taste for the marvelous caused it to be called a general conjunction of all the planets. The testimony of the Brahmans here coincides with that of our tables; and this evidence, the result of tradition, must be founded on observation. (p. 725).
DARWIN VERSUS LAMARCK
The past few generations have almost forgotten the battle which waged for a time in science over the exact way in which evolution is accomplished. Broadly speaking two major schools of thought have held the floor, that which believed that environment did something to the individual, that it modified the individual in ways which could be transmitted to offspring and to their offspring in turn. This view was upheld by the naturalist Lamarck, and it generally is known as "the theory of the inheritance of acquired characters." It has had but indifferent popularity, probably for two reasons, it has been difficult to prove that acquired characters or changes brought about by environment can be transmitted, and further that no mechanism for its accomplishment has ever been discovered. The theory has in consequence gone into the discard, though a few scientists have made random attempts either to verify or disprove it.
Darwinism on the other hand explains evolution by the companion theories of "the variation of species," and "the survival of the fittest." These theories are largely justified by observation. It is known that mutations do occur and abundantly so in nearly all the orders of the living. Sports and freaks, arise and oftentimes perpetuate themselves. The mechanism by which this is done is rather well worked out; genetics, is, as a matter of fact, about the only branch of the biological sciences which employs mathematics when treating of the organism as a whole.
Likewise, that there is an incessant warfare between all living things is a matter of observation. Nature when left alone achieves a balance and as environmental conditions change, it is thought that organisms having characteristics brought about through mutation and favorable to survival, have a better chance than those less-favored. Thus evolution ensues. The fit and the plastic survive, others perish.
The old controversy between these two schools of thought has recently broken out anew in the Soviet Union, and between two scientists of high standing. Unfortunately, it has been given a political bias which may impede progress toward a strictly scientific assessment of merits. Under the
Marxian dispensation stress is laid on environment. Schools, shelter, and food are all important, heredity, in respect of humankind at any rate, not so much so. There is thus a predisposition to favor Lamarckism.
The argument has taken a decidedly practical turn, it centres around the origin of wheat, and methods of securing its adaptation to new climates. The two proponents of these contradictory theories are Lyssenko, who has been described as the Soviet Burbank and Vavilov the famous authority on genetics or the mechanism whereby we transmit our blue eyes and our tallness or shortness to our children. Lyssenko holds specifically that it is possible to change a plant or an animal in a single generation in a way that its new or acquired characters can be handed down. Vavilov on the contrary contends that is difficult if not impossible to do so.
The Origin of Wheat
During the past several years The Canadian Theosophist has carried articles descriptive of the work of Vavilov on the finding of the localities from which wheat originally came, and so his name many not be altogether unfamiliar to the readers of this magazine.
Walderrnar Kaempffert in the New York Times says Vavilov decided to follow a principle laid down by Willis in his book "Age and Area." According to Willis, the longer a group of plants has been established in an area the more species of it will be found there. Hence diversity is a clue to place of origin. Wheat, for example, is an Old World plant. More varieties of it are found in Europe than in America.
In the course of thousands of years there has been much crossing of the many species of wheat, so that pure strains are scarcely known. Vavilov decided that he would breed back to the pure strains and on the basis of these determine where wheat was first farmed. He sent expeditions all over the earth to gather samples, traveled extensively himself and cultivated about 35,000 strains.
Vavilov proceeded on the theory that primeval farmers who were forced to migrate would take their cereals with them. The farther the migration the fewer would be the varieties of wheat. In other words, varieties would be discarded that could not flourish in a new environment.
Source Traced To Ethiopia
After patiently breeding thousands of hybrids back to their original state Vavilov was reduced to two principal varieties of wheat. These two could be crossed only with difficulty. Each originated in a definite region. As that region was approached the number of varieties increased astonishingly. One of the types came from Southwestern Asia and the other from Ethiopia. Vavilov concluded that Egypt got her agriculture and civilization from Ethiopia. More varieties of wheat were found in Ethiopia than in all other countries combined.
Vavilov also studied other crops - rye, barley, potatoes, rice, beans, fruits. Most of these came after wheat had been cultivated and races of men had wandered over Asia and Europe. By plotting the regions where all these plants originated Vavilov saw at once that the first agricultural experiments must have been made not in the steaming valleys of the tropics, as so many suppose, but in the mountains.
"If Vavilov be right," says Kaempffert, "we must regard the highlands of Ethiopia and Afghanistan as the two cradles of civilization." Possibly Afghanistan might well be a secondary centre of dispersion the primary centre being in what is known as the Gobi desert, some long time ago, according to the occult records, the centre of disper-
sion for the fifth root race to which we now belong.
On The Other Hand
Lyssenko was not concerned with questions of origin or heredity but with the immediate practical need of Soviet Russia. He wanted to produce cereals that would flourish in the Arctic and others that would do well in warmer climates. Vavilov's method of sorting out strains that were suitable could have been applied. Lyssenko did not believe in it. Besides it was too slow. Like other plant growers and crossers before him he knew that two factors determine when a plant shall flower. One is the length of day; the other is the temperature. He found that both could be juggled to suit man's convenience.
Two Americans, Allard and Garner, discovered long before Lyssenko that there are "short-day" and "long-day" plants. In the tropics, for instance, plants are of the "short-day" kind, and this because the day is twelve hours long through the year. Lengthen the day of a tropical plant, and it will not flower. Soy beans and millet are examples.
Long-day plants are found in the polar regions where for months there is no night at all. Shorten the day of an Arctic plant and it remains sterile. Wheat, turnips, most of our farm plants are of this type.
Lastly, there are "ever-blooming" plants which flower regardless of the length of day. Meadow grass is one.
There are no hard and fast distinctions in these classifications. Wheat will eventually adapt itself to circumstances and flower in short days. Cosmos, on the other hand, will vegetate indefinitely in long days without flowering. A plant grown in the right day-length and then transferred to the wrong before budding will still flower.
So with temperature. Transplant full-grown cabbages to a warm greenhouse in October, and they will not flower. But transfer them to a cool greenhouse and they will flower in twenty-two weeks. Others left out until December and then transplanted to a warm greenhouse will flower in six weeks.
It has been known for many years that grains germinated at low temperatures grow rapidly. When Winter wheat is sown late and germination sets in seedlings appear in the Spring, and the plants head normally. But if for lack of sufficient moisture the seeds do not germinate until Spring, the plants do not head. It follows that Winter cold influences germinating but not sleeping seeds.
Lyssenko has coordinated these well known, scattered observations on the effect of light, temperature and moisture with the result that what is called "yarovization" or "vernalization" has been placed on something like a scientific basis. At the vernalization stage a definite temperature is required. After that temperature has no more effect on flowering. Similarly the "photo stage," or light stage, requires a particular length of day. After that has been passed the length of day is no longer of consequence.
The vernalization and photo stages can be passed at any phase of growth. So Lyssenko sees to it that they are passed before the seed is sown. The young plant is put through the two stages artificially. The seed must germinate but growth must be checked. So Lyssenlco limits the amount of water. Treatment begins just when the seed coat is about to burst. The seed can then be sown immediately or dried and kept.
According to Dr. Dmitry N. Borodin, who has worked with both Vavilov and Lyssenko and who has carried out verpalization experiments for the United States Bureau of Plant Industry of the
Department of Agriculture, it may well be that the whole character of agriculture will change when farmers learn how to juggle temperature, light and moisture.
Vavilov's plant-breeding methods, which have been followed for many years by geneticists would yield strains that would thrive in given climates. But vernalization, as practiced by Lyssenko would compel plants to meet given conditions more rapidly.
"It is evident," says Dr. Borodin, "that some drastic changes occur in the physiological constitution of the plant and that the range of this physiological change is so broad that in its significance it may be compared with `genetic' changes." The change is transmitted.
When the present shouting and tumult dies away it will very likely be found that both these scientists are right, each in his own way.
One notes in passing, that mutations have been artificially induced in plants in the General Electric laboratories by exposing germinating seeds to the X-ray. Such success has attended these experiments that patents have been taken out on the new varieties produced. The significance of these experiments would seem to lie in the fact that mutations only occur at some specific time in the life of the cell, and it may well be that Lyssenko has actually been able to produce mutant varieties by other means and under strict control as regards results.
Within limits, I suppose, the Theosophist would accept both theories as true, as being in accord with the facts as they are observed, though he would go further and would say that the characteristics of life which betray themselves in the countless varieties and qualities of living forms, are hidden more deeply still on planes of matter other than those visible to the eye. The etheric, astral, and mental worlds also play their part and insofar as man is concerned, he possesses principles and powers over which evolution as ordinarily understood has little effect. Much of Madame Blavatsky's criticism of evolutionary theory was directed to the utterly mechanistic interpretation it gave both to nature and to man, an interpretation due to Herbert Spencer more than anyone else.
Blavatsky notes the existence of the two schools of thought: "Thus, from Maillet in 1748, down to Haeckel in 1870, theories on the origin of the human race have differed as much as the personalities of the inventors themselves. Buffon, Borg de St. Vincent, Lamarck, E. Geoffrey St. Hilaire, Gaudry, Naudin, Wallace, Darwin, Owen, Haeckel, Filippi, Vogt, Huxley, Agassiz, etc., each has evolved a more or less scientific hypothesis of genesis. De Quatrefages arranges these theories in two principal groups - one based on a rapid, and the other on a very gradual transmutation; the former favoring a new type (man) produced by a being entirely different, the latter teaching the evolution of man by successive differentiations." (II, 682)
Further on she says: "It comes to this, grant to man an immortal Spirit and Soul; endow the whole animate and inanimate creation with the monadic principle gradually evolving from latent and passive into active and positive polarity - and Haeckel will not have a leg to stand upon. . . " (p. 706)
The subject of evolution is full of interest if studied topically in The Secret Doctrine.
Apropos the dual origin of wheat, it is interesting to note that H.P.B. comments on its origin as being unknown, and remarks that wheat was sacred both to the Egyptian priests and to the Cis Himalayan adepts.
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way."