Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
VOL. XXIII., No. 10 Hamilton, December 15th, 1942 Price 20 Cents
RIGHT VIEWS VERSUS WRONG VIEWS
A Confutative Critique of The Tibetan Book of the Dead,
By Dr. W.Y. Evans-Wentz
"Act so as to know thyself by means of symbols in thine own mind." -The Guru Tilopa.
PART I - LAMA KAZI DAWA-SAMDU THE TRANSLATOR
The publication, in The Canadian Theosophist (August 15th, 1942), of "The Threat of Psychism", by Mr. Basil Crump, affords me opportunity, of which I gladly avail myself, to correct errors in statement, interpretation, and inference therein contained. The article is dated March 30th, 1928, or more than fourteen years ago. It was, I assume, intended to serve as a review of the first volume of my Tibetan Series, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, the first edition of which issued from the Oxford University Press in August, 1927.
(1) The late Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup, who was my Tibetan guru, being no longer incarnate, it is my duty to be his defender, and to nullify the effort, obviously inspired by sectarian bias, made by Mr. Crump, at the beginning and throughout the article, to belittle his character. Before presenting my own testimony, I shall preset that of the late Sir John Woodroffe, a member of the University of Oxford, and formerly a High Court Justice in Calcutta, India, who knew the Lama intimately, and who, unlike Mr. Crump, was a Tantric initiate and, therefore, better fitted to estimate the Lama's qualifications: -
"The Text [of the Bardo Thodol] has been fortunate in finding as its editor Dr. Evans-Wentz, whose knowledge of, and sympathy with, his subject has enabled him to give us a very comprehensible account of it. He, in his turn, was fortunate in his teacher, the translator, the late Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup (Tib. Zla-va-bsam hgrub), who, when I first met him, was Chief Interpreter on the staff of His Excellency Lonchen Satra, the Tibetan Plenipotentiary to the Government of India. He was also attached to the Political Staff of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the latter's visit to India. At the time of his premature and greatly regretted death, Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup was Lecturer in Tibetan to the University of Calcutta. These, and the other appointments
which the translator held, and to which Dr. Evans-Wentz has referred, sufficiently establish his high competency both in Tibetan and English. He had also, I may add, some knowledge of Sanskrit, which I found of much use in discussing with him the meaning of terms used in Tibetan-Buddhist doctrine and ritual. I can, then, speak personally of his attainments, for I saw a good deal of him when he was preparing for me a translation of the Tibetan Shrichakrasambhara Tantra, which I have published as the seventh volume of the series of Tantrik Texts (Luzac & Co.) I can, likewise, from my own knowledge, associate myself with what Dr. Evans-Wentz has said as to this remarkable man." * [* Quoted from Sir John's Foreword to The Tibetan Book of the Dead, pages xliii to xliv. What I have said of Dawa-Samdup is set forth on pages 78 to 81 of the same volume. ]
(2) I do, and so did Sir John, consider the late Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup to have been a Tibetan sage; and what I have stated concerning Dawa-Samdup's knowledge of the Occult Sciences and of the Yoga Philosophy is substantiated not only by The Tibetan Book of the Dead, but more abundantly, by the two subsequent volumes of the Tibetan Series, particularly by Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines (Oxford University Press, 1935).
Whereas Mr. Crump employs terms such as Sage, Initiate, and Occult Sciences in the strictly Theosophical sense, we employ them in the more universal and philological sense, especially in relation to Dawa-Samdup. Therefore; it is not necessary for readers of The Tibetan Book of the Dead to assume that Dawa-Samdup was a Sage, or an Initiate, or a Master of the Occult Sciences in the technical Theosophical sense. He was, nevertheless, one of the greatest initiated Tibetan sages and scholars of the twentieth century. Like all non-perfected mortals, he was, however, far from faultless. I and Sir John and the late Sardar Bahadur S.W. Laden La, and others who also knew Dawa-Samdup intimately, preferred to think of him, at his highest and best, as a most faithful disciple of the Great Tibetan Gurus and a trustworthy transmitter of Their teachings.
Koot' Hoomi Lal Singh, whom Mr. Crump revers as a Sage, an Initiate, and a Master of the Occult Sciences in the Theosophical sense, and whom the Theosophical Society as a whole accepts as a Mahatma, has written what for us here are words of the utmost significance, the italics being his own: "An adept - the highest as the lowest - is one only during the exercise of his occult powers..... When the inner man rests, the adept becomes an ordinary man, limited to his physical senses and the functions of his physical brain." * [* Cf. The Mahatma Letters (A.T. Barker, London edition of 1933), page 180. ]
This pronouncement is quite as fundamental and nowadays necessary in its own field as is Mr. Crump's with respect to psychism. Theosophists, Mr. Crump included, are too apt to think of a Mahatma as being superhuman and thus altogether immune to every human limitation. Neither H.P.B., nor any of the Mahatmas of whom she teaches, ever claimed infallibility or complete transcendence over their human nature such as Theosophists fifty years afterward, and rather unknowingly, are fond of accrediting to them. "We are not," wrote K.H., the italics being his own, "infallible, all-foreseeing 'Mahatmas' at every hour of the day, good friend; none of you have even learned to re-member so much." * [* Cf. The Mahatma Letters, page 364. ]
Mr. Crump should realize that The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a treatise concerned chiefly with Tibetan Buddhism as illustrated by the Bardo Thodol text and is not a treatise on Theosophy; and, furthermore, that Theosophy makes no claim of monopoly in
the employment of such terms as Sage, Initiate, and Occult Sciences, although he seems, to think that it does.
(3) Mr. Crump erroneously states that Dawa-Samdup "belonged to the Red or Dugpa School". When I was at work with Dawa-Samdup, and until his decease, his religious preference was for the Kargyutpa School, whose greatest apostle was the saintly Milarepa; and Milarepa's Biography, as translated by Dawa-Samdup, Milarepa's devout follower, is contained in the second volume of the Tibetan Series, Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa (Oxford University Press, 1928). Dawa-Samdup's initiation into the Kargyutpa Brotherhood is referred to on page 79 of The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
The Kargyutpa is a semi-reformed School. Following a Path neither of the Red-Cap School of Padma-Sambhava nor of the Yellow-Cap School of Tsong-Kha-pa, it avoids the two extremes; and, in this respect, it occupies a position in Tibetan Buddhism analogous to that of the Church of England in European Christianity, which follows neither Roman Catholicism nor Protestantism, but its own specific middle doctrine.
Dawa-Samdup was an eclectic, constantly researching into the teachings of all Schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and assimilating whatever he believed to be true teaching, whether of the Red Caps or Yellow Caps or of the Kargyutpas, as his translations, recorded in the Tibetan Series, from texts appertaining to each of these sects, indicate. Famous Indian and Tibetan Gurus such as Tilopa, Naropa, Gampopa, Padma-Sam-bhava, Marpa, Atisha and many others had each been initiated into a number of Yanas ("Vehicles," or "Paths"), and Dawa-Samdup also had been. Although thus well versed in the doctrines of various Tibetan Schools, including those of the Ningmapas, or Red Caps, and those of the Dugpas, Dawa-Samdup held Milarepa to be, as set forth in Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa on page 27, "the Ideal Ascetic, or Yogi", - second only to the Buddha.
(4) Equally erroneous is Mr. Crump's assumption that Dawa-Samdup was not a Lama "in the religious Tibetan sense" and was not "an 'Initiate' deeply versed in 'the higher yogic teaching' and the `Occult Sciences' ". On pages 105 and 107 of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, Dawa-Samdup tells of his guru, the Hermit Guru Norbu, and of his initiation by Norbu, who was one of a hierarchical succession of Great Lamas through whom the secret initiatory teachings of the Yoga of The Great Symbol were handed on orally to Dawa-Samdup, as explained on pages 110 to 113 of the same book under the sub-heading "The Line of the Gurus". The Frontispiece, showing the Great Kargyutpa Gurus, in Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa, a reproduction of a water-color painted by Dawa-Samdup and described in detail on pages xv to xviii following it, is suggestive of other of the esoteric teachings into which Dawa-Samdup -had deep insight.
In this connection, it is important to state (a) that Norbu was entitled by right of spiritual succession to assume the abbotship of the State Monastery of Bhutan upon the death of his uncle-guru who held the abbotship, which right Norbu, having gone into hermitage, in imitation of Milarepa, whom he regarded as his chief human guru, relinquished; (b) that Norbu unquestionably was entitled to be, as he was, called a Lama, a title which, originally, was applicable to an abbot only; (c) that Dawa-Samdup, when a young man, having renounced the world, at the time of his initiation by Norbu, and lived with Norbu in the hermitage near Buxaduar practising Yoga and attaining knowledge of the Occult Sciences under the Great Lama's personal guidance,
was Norbu's "spiritual son" and "spiritual heir" and thus, in keeping with Tibetan religious usage, was rightly entitled to be called a Lama, as both Sir John and myself have called him, more especially when he had become, in his own turn, a guru and transmitter of the initiatory teachings.
(5) As though very certain of having scored a point, Mr. Crump italicizes the charge that Dawa-Samdup was "a layman and a married man". Here, again, lack of correct understanding has misled Mr. Crump. The facts are that Dawa-Samdup, having gone to live with his guru in the hermitage, intent upon following a religious career, had vowed to be a life-long brahmacharin (one who keeps inviolate the monastic vow of chastity); but, upon being requested by his aged father to return to the household state and marry and perpetuate the family, Dawa-Samdup, being an eldest son, felt obliged, by reason of binding oriental custom, to obey the parental command. He married and had three children, two sons and one daughter. This has been reported on page 80 of The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
In the Gelugpa School, marriage is considered incompatible with one's being a Lama. In the Ringmapa School, a Lama may or may not marry, marriage being for him, as for a priest in the Church of England, optional, as it is in the Kargyutpa School to which Dawa-Samdup belonged. Marpa, for instance, the guru of Milarepa (who was a life-long brahmacharin), although married and, like the Buddha, the father of a son, was recognized and highly honored as being one of the very greatest Lamas of Tibet; and, like Dawa-Samdup, Marpa won fame as a translator of religious texts.
(6) Dawa-Samdup was born in Sikkim, where he was accepted as a Kazi, that is, as belonging to a land-holding aristocracy whose ancestors came from the trans-Himalayan provinces of Tibet. He had travelled and lived in Bhutan proper and maintained a country home in British Bhutan near Kalimpong. Until the end of the eighteenth century, Sikkim was politically, as it still is religiously and by cultural heredity, a part of Tibet; and not until 1890 did China (of which Tibet is a dependency) recognize the British protectorate over Sikkim. Despite the political circumstances which have caused Sikkim to be no longer a southern province of Tibet, Dawa-Sam-dup is, contrary to Mr. Crump's contention, rightly to be regarded a Tibetan. A native of Texas is a Texan, but he is also an American. Similarly, although the analogy is not quite the same, a Sikkimese, if of trans-Himalayan Tibet origin, is ethnologically and culturally a Tibetan.
As to the ancestors of the dominant racial stock of Bhutan, they, too, were trans-Himalayan Tibetans, who conquered and colonized Bhutan, probably during the ninth century A.D. The name Bhutan (or Bhotan) is itself, in this relation, significant; for it means the "End of Bhod", Bhod being the primitive appellation of Tibet, Bhutan's cultural history is similar to that of Tibet proper. The original Buddhism of Bhutan was of the Red-Cap School of Padma-Sambhava. In the seventeenth century, or two centuries after Tsong-Kha-pa's renovation of Buddhism in trans-Himalayan Tibet, Padma-Karpo, or "The Omniscient White Lotus", renovated the Buddhism of Bhutan and became the first of the White Lotus Gurus of the Apostolic Succession, which still continues through the Established Dugpa Church of Bhutan, as that of Tsong-Kha-pa does through the Established Gelugpa Church of Tibet. The Bhutanese, like their Buddhist brethren in Sikkim, Nepal, and Ladak, irrespective of sect, revere the two Great incarnations of the Yellow-Cap
Church, the Tashi and the Dalai Lama. H.P.B. herself declares that the Bhutanese "have been from the beginning the tributaries and vassals of the Dalai Lamas." * [* Cf. The Theosophist (Bombay, March, 1882), page 147.]
Thus, a Bhutanese, as well as a Sikkimese, of Tibetan ancestry, is as truly Tibetan as a New Englander of "Mayflower" origin is Anglo-Saxon; and Mr. Crump's contrary presumption being scientifically unsound, his wordy campaign against Dawa-Samdup with respect to racial origin fails.
(7) The claim that Dawa-Samdup knew little or nothing of H.P.B. and her writings also merits attention. I, being his disciple, spent with him the mornings of most days during a period of some months when he was the Headmaster of the Sikkim Maharaja's school for boys near Gangtok. Afterward, I was with him in Darjeeling, and in Calcutta, where he had been appointed by the Government of India as a Lecturer in Tibetan to the University of Calcutta. Frequently, as a natural outcome of our work on the Tibetan texts we were translating, discussion arose concerning Occultism, Initiates, Mahatmas, Theosophy, and, sometimes, H.P.B. and her writings. Invariably I found the Lama to be very competent to take part in these discussions. Once, at a dinner party, Dawa-Samdup and myself being the chief guests, in the Gangtok Residency, given by Major W.L. Campbell, then the Political Officer for Tibet, Bhutan, and Sikkim, Madame Blavatsky and her writings were discussed in connection with the question of whether or not she had been, as claimed, resident in Tibet, probably at Tashi-lhunpo, the Seat of the Tashi Lama, undetected by the British authorities. I would not, of course, have published the implication that Dawa-Samdup was acquainted with and appreciative of H.P.B.'s writings had I not known that he was.
Mr. Crump reports that he knew Dawa-Samdup "for at least a year before Dr. Evans-Wentz came to Darjeeling [early in 1919]" and found his knowledge of the writings and teachings of H.P.B. to be very deficient. Apparently, then, it was afterward, during the period that I was intimately associated with Dawa-Samdup, from early in the year 1919 to March, 1922, when he passed away, that Dawa-Samdup acquired his fuller knowledge concerning H.P.B. and her writings and teachings, probably as an outcome of the work of research which he and I carried on together.
The high appointments of trust and honor which Dawa-Samdup was given under the British Government and the Government of Tibet and in the very select entourage of the Dalai Lama, no less than those in the scholarly world of the University of Calcutta and in his own native state of Sikkim under the Maharaja, show us in what unusual esteem Dawa-Samdup was held by his own contemporaries. Mr. Cruriip's belittling opinion of Dawa-Samdup having been found to be, when psychologically examined, born of that lack of right understanding which sectarian prejudice creates, must, therefore, be regarded as being erroneous.
(8) Under "(2)" on the third page of his article, Mr. Crump contradicts himself in the space of one short sentence. He says: "H.P.B.'s works are completely ignored, although the S. D. is referred to once in a brief and distinctly patronizing note." Thus, although I completely ignore H.P.B.'s works, nevertheless I refer to The Secret Doctrine! My reference to The Secret Doctrine in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, page 7, in relation to Dawa-Samdup, is not, as Mr. Crump assumes, patronizing; it is in recognition of H.P.B.'s knowledge of esotericism and the Higher Lamaist Teachings, as any unprejudiced reader of it will, I think,
grant. Similarly, in appreciation of H.P.B.'s writings, and also to help in comparative study of "Elegant Sayings" from the Tibetan, thirteen aphorisms from The Voice of the Silence have been placed at the end of the Introduction to Book I of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines.
PART II: YOGA; MAGIC; TANTRICISM AND TSONG-KHA-PA; SEX-SYMBOLISM
(9) In refutation of the assertion that Dawa-Samdup "knew little or nothing of Raja Yoga and the true Occult Sciences," one need but examine, as has already been suggested, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, a work of which Mr. Crump had no knowledge at the time he wrote his article, seven years prior to the book's appearance. Mr. Crump has fallen into the fallacy, common in Europe and America, that Hatha-Yoga and Raja-Yoga are antagonistic, or at least alien, to each other. The Yoga Philosophy is a unified whole, as Patanjali, its codifier, intended it to be, of which there are many techniques and paths, as has been set forth in detail in Section VII, "The Yoga Philosophy," on pages 21 to 35 of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, in correction of such misunderstanding as Mr Crump displays. He should comprehend that Yoga is not associable with sectarianism, Yellow, Red, White, or Black; that a Tantric yogin is no more limited to Hatha-Yoga than a Hindu or Christian yogin is.
Mr. Crump says that at page 213 of The Tibetan Book of the Dead "Yoga is definitely identified with Tantra." The passage, like the treatise as a whole, is misunderstood by him; his intense sectarian dislike of Padma-Sambhava and Red Caps and Tantricism inhibit him from right understanding. All strictly Tantric treatises with which I am acquainted are based upon the Yoga Philosophy, and for this reason, as stated in the passage, "some general acquaintance with Tantricism, as with Yoga, is desirable for all readers of this book." This is not equivalent to saying that Tantricism and Yoga are identical.
(10) Mr. Crump's assertion that "nowhere [in The Tibetan Book of the Dead] is there any distinction between White and Black Magic" is not true. I need only to quote from the book to prove that the assertion is not true: -
"White' as opposed to 'black' (as in black magic or sorcery)" - page 172, note 1.
On pages 187-8, magic, as practised in Tibet in spirit evocations, is discussed at length and distinction is made between white and black magic by implication, but not by name, in a note consisting of 57 small-type lines. Magic is again discussed on pages 221-2 and differentiation made between "white" and "black". I quote here only the last paragraph: -
"The occult ability to employ a mantra properly confers supernormal powers called Siddhi, and these can be used, according to the character of the adept, either as white magic for good ends or as black magic for evil ends: the right and left-hand paths being the same up to this point of practical application of the fruits obtained through psychic development. One path leads upward to Emancipation, the other downward to Enslavement."
In this instance, as elsewhere, Mr. Crump has so greatly misrepresented the book he ostensibly reviews that his review, judged by any standard of impartiality, is unjust. I, no less than Mr. Crump, have warned against psychism, as the passages quoted or referred to above show, and as impartial readers of all three volumes of the Tibetan Series will discover.
(11) Mr. Crump is, as I am well aware, a Theosophist, and I have ever respected his sincerity, although disagreeing with him in many things, he
having wandered on life's pilgrimage, as I have, for many years in East and West seeking the highest guidance. Unfortunately, however, sincerity does not always prevent falling into error. Five centuries ago there were very few, if any, Europeans, not excepting the very learned College of Cardinals in Rome and the infallible Papa at their head, who did not sincerely believe the Earth to be flat and non-revolving. Moreover, they were prepared to prove it so by appeal to the Holy Bible. Nevertheless, the Earth was quite as spherical and revolving then as it is now.
Mr. Crump's knowledge of H.P.B.'s writings, where if anywhere, we should expect expertness on his part, shows surprising deficiency. He wishes to imply that she and her Teachers see, as he does, nothing save black magic in Tantricism, whereas, on the contrary, she very clearly recognized that the Tantric School, in Tibet and elsewhere, has its "white" as well as its "black" side. I quote from her Theosophical Glossary (London, 1892), page 319, under Tantrika: "Sakti [or Shakti] having a two-fold nature, white and black, good and bad, the Saktas [or Shaktas] are divided into two classes, the Dakshinacharis and Vamacharis, or the right-hand and the left-hand Saktas, i.e., 'white' and 'black' magicians".
(12) Again, in direct refutation of Mr. Crump's supposition that Tantricism is devilish and that Tantrics do not possess correct notions about Raja-Yoga, H.P.B. writes, in The Theosophist (Bombay, November, 1880), page 31, * [* Or in The Complete Works of H. P. Blavatsky (London, 1933), Vol. II, page 188. ] concerning "the most learned among the Sankara's Dandis of Northern India, especially those who are settled in Rajputana, who would be able - if they would - to give some correct notions about the Raja Yogins; for these men, who have adopted the philosophical tenets of Sankara's Vedanta, are, moreover, profoundly versed in the doctrines of the Tantras termed devilish by those who either do not understand them or reject their tenets with some preconceived object".
Mr. Crump is specifically shown, here as elsewhere, to be quite misinformed about the very subjects which he himself chose to discuss. His review of The Tibetan Book of the Dead is characterized by sectarian antipathies such as occidentals usually and orientals rarely exhibit when criticizing religious beliefs not in keeping with their own. Readers can, therefore, readily comprehend why I, as Mr. Crump states, "paid no attention" to his opinions concerning what he disparagingly and misunderstandingly calls "the Red Doctrine," when he, no doubt sincerely, sought to dissuade me from carrying on my anthropological research under the scholarly guidance of the late Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup. Had I accepted Mr. Crump's wrong views, the valuable contributions to the advancement of learning contained in the three published volumes of the Tibetan Series would never have been made.
I did not believe then that "the Red Doctrine, like the Hindu Tantrika, is based on sex"; and I know now that this assertion by Mr. Crump is untrue, as a careful study of the Great Guru's teachings proves. Tantricism, whether of the Red-Cap School or of the Hindus, is based on Yoga, not on sex. Wherever sex appears in Tantricism, as in the various Shakta and Shakti Cults, or in Kundalini-Yoga, it does so symbolically and ritualistically; and, thus, is of secondary, not, as Mr. Crump's exotericism leads him to believe, of primary importance.* [* General references: Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe), The Six Centres and the Serpent Power (London, 1919); Sir John Woodroffe, Shakti and Shakta (London, 1920). ] Mr. Crump's understanding of these teachings, especially those of Padma-Sambhava's School of the Great Perfection, being essentially exoteric, is
no more trustworthy than would be the description of an elephant by a man blind from birth.
(13) Mr. Crump states that "all the Tantra doctrines, and especially everything connected with sex, or sex symbolism, are rigidly excluded" from "the pure Esoteric School founded by Tsong-Kha-pa within the Gelugpa Order".
We may readily assume, or, if proof be given, grant, that within the Gelugpa Order there are Lamas, constituting an extra secret society, who have transcended the need of sex-symbolism, and of all symbolism, symbolism being but one, and not the highest, method of imparting occult teachings, whether Tantric or non-Tantric. Nevertheless, the existence of such superior minds is not necessarily limited, as Mr. Crump thinks, to the Gelugpa Order; there are also Superior Lamas among the Ningmapas and Kargyutpas and other Orders who, likewise, have seen beyond Tantric symbology.
Applying psychoanalysis here, we ascertain, on the part of Mr. Crump, a very subtle effort to confuse the issue and make it appear that merely because a small minority of its Lamas may have "rigidly excluded" sex-symbolism, the Gelugpa Order, to which he gives sectarian adherence, does not teach or sanction Tantricism. No matter how immaculate or hidden such an Esoteric School may be, it cannot repudiate the Canonical Scriptures and the employment of Tantric sex-symbolism appertaining to the Gelugpa Order, within which it exists, and still remain Gelugpa. Hence, in a discussion of this character, concerning Tantricism in general and the use of "sex, or sex symbolism," it is necessary, to the attaining of right and balanced views, to know just what the position of the Yellow-Cap Church as a whole is herein, not only esoterically, but exoterically as well. The facts are as follows :-
(A) In the Kah-gyur, or canon of the Gelugpa Order which Tsong-Kha-pa founded, there are twenty-two volumes of Tantra (Rgyud) arranged in four recognized divisions, the Kriya Tantra and the Charya Tantra, comprising the Lower Tantra, and the Yoga Tantra and the Anuttara Tantra, comprising the Higher Tantra.* [* Cf. L. A. Waddell, The Buddhism of Tibet (Cambridge, 1934), pages 152, 163-4. ] In the Tan-gyur, the canonical commentary on the Kah-gyur, there are eighty-seven volumes "mostly on tantrika rituals and ceremonies." * [* Cf. ibid., page 164. ] The Higher Tantra contains, in symbolic language, of which only the highest initiates know the correct meaning, teachings of the Esoteric School; and therein, in the Anuttara Yoga Tan-tras, descriptions are given, in occult phraseology, of Tantric Shaktas and Shaktis,* [* Cf. ibid., page 164 ] representing, in one aspect, the creative and sustaining cosmic spiritual forces that guide and protect the initiate.
(B) The chief tutelary deity of the Gelugpa Order, Vajra-Bhairava, a Tantric personification of these cosmic spiritual forces, is imaged in Gelugpa temples as a Shakta in sex-union with a Shakti, that is to say, in the Yab-Yum (Father-Mother) attitude (or mudra). * [* Cf. ibid., page 363, whereon there is an illustration of Vajra-Bhairava in the Yab-Yum mudra. Vajra-Bhairava is a Tantric and very esoteric aspect of Avalokiteshvara, of whom the Dalai Lama, Head of the Gelugpa Order, is the incarnate manifestation on Earth. ] In all Schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the Yab-Yum imagery symbolizes the Universal Whole, the Ultimate Atonement, and indicates that the Sangsara (or Manifested) and Nirvana (or the Unmanifested) are, in the last analysis of the all-enlightened mind of a Buddha, one and inseparable. There is neither evil per se nor good per se, neither male nor female per se (or sex per se), neither any duality per se; and by this symbolism all dualities are represented,
as being in primordial unity in the True State. More exoterically, it indicates male anal female, positive and negative; and, thus, dualism in its Universe-wide manifestation.
(C) The Gelugpa Esoteric School is known as the Vajrayana, or the "Thunderbolt (Vajra) Path (Yana)"; and those who belong to it are called Vajracharya, or "Followers of the Thunderbolt Path," and, as Dr. L.A. Waddell, the outstanding authority on Tibetan Buddhism tells us, in The Buddhist of Tibet (Cambridge, 1934), page 152, the rules of this Esoteric School were detailed by Tsong-Kha-pa himself.
Mr. Theos Bernard, in his Penthouse of the Gods (New York, 1939), pages 8 and 9, making report of his initiation as a Lama in Tsong-Kha-pa's own monastery, Ganden, about thirty miles east of Lhasa, describes a vast chamber, through which he was led, containing Shaktas and Shaktis in sex embrace, wearing necklaces of human skulls. He emphasizes that this holy of holies of the Tantric Mysteries of the Yellow-Cap School is kept under lock and key in order that noninitiates may not see the images and interpret them, after Mr. Crump's exoteric manner, literally rather than - symbolically.
Usually it is only the uninitiated occidental, obsessed with hallucinatory phantoms, evoked by his own peculiar social psychology, that is unable to view lingams in Hindu temples, or Osiris as the God of Fertility in Egyptian temples, or yab-yum images in Tibetan temples without explosive manifestation of shame and prudery and disgust. The non-Europeanized oriental, on the other hand, though uninitiated, is immune to the strange sex-complexes exhibited by the occidental mind. In what Mr. Crump refers to as my, "cleverly worded footnote," which he quotes as the fourth paragraph of his article and to which I refer readers, this employment of sex-symbology is briefly elucidated anthropologically.
Clearly, then, Tsong-Kha-pa's Order has not broken with Tantricism or the use of Tantric sex-symbols; nor has the only Gelugpa Esoteric School of which we have knowledge done so. Even though the contrary were true, as, no doubt, Mr. Crump would make it to be if he could, such circumstance would not affect the primitive esotericism upon which Tantricism is based and in relation to which sex-symbolism is, as the Great Tantric Gurus teach, no more than one among many means to the end of leading the initiate beyond all symbolism to that True State wherein male and female, or sex, and every duality are non-existent, wherein, as the Buddha proclaimed, there is only "the Unbecome, Unborn, Unmade, Unformed".
Unhappily, Mr. Crump fails to in-form his readers of facts with which he should be familiar, namely, that every School of Tantricism, Buddhist or Hindu, emphasizes the mayavi character of all objective and sensuous things constituting the Universe, and interprets them as being symbolic of an underlying reality, which, in Tibetan Buddhism, is called Stong-pa-nyid, the Voidness, and, in Sanskrit, Shunyata. It is in the True State that the mind when yogically clarified, whether by Tantric .=or non-Tantric Yoga, ecstatically perceives behind the Mists of Maya, behind the Mirage of Existence, behind the Veil of Isis, the Thatness, the Voidness, the Source of Phenomena, the Totality of Knowledge, which is the Dharma-Kaya, or "Divine Body of Truth," of the indescribable Atonement of the Buddhas.
Mr. Crump's non-discriminating condemnation of sex-symbolism is astonishingly faulty, even Theosophically considered; M., whose teachings Mr. Crump accepts, shows that even the Great Nag (or Naga), the Serpent with
tail to mouth, as used in the Seal of the Theosophical Society, is a sex-symbol. I should add that it may also be regarded as being a Tantric sex-symbol. M.'s important testimony is as follows: -
"In cosmogony and the work of nature the positive and the negative or the active and passive forces correspond to the male and female principles. Your spiritual efflux comes not from 'behind the veil' but is the male seed falling into the veil of cosmic matter. The active is attracted by the passive principle and the Great Nag, the serpent emblem of the eternity, attracts its tail to its mouth forming thereby a circle (cycles in the eternity) in that incessant pursuit of the negative by the positive. Hence the emblem of the lingam the phallus and the eteis [kteis, meaning yoni]. * [* Cf. The Mahatma Letters, page 71. "Eteis", an error in transcription or typography, should be either cteis or, more correctly, kteis, a Greek-derived term, meaning yoni, the female organ. ]
PART III: BARDO; PADMA-SAMBHAVA; DUGPAS; MILAREPA'S MESSAGE
(14) When Mr. Crump claims that the Bardo Thodol "has nothing to do with Northern Buddhism (i.e. Mahayana, exoteric or esoteric), except in a very expurgated form," he is, anthropologically, on somewhat more debatable ground than any upon which he has been standing heretofore. Nevertheless, we must not overlook the fact that all Schools of Northern Buddhism sanction by usage the Bardo Thodol, the Yellow Sect having six versions of it, the Red Sect seven, and the Kargyupas five.* [* For further elucidation, more particularly with respect to the origin of the Bardo Thodol, see The Tibetan Book of the Dead, pages 72 to 78. ] Having recognized the profound importance of its esotericism, the Lamas have, by adaptation, made the Bardo Thodol teaching an operative part of Lamaism. To what extent, if any, the Bardo Thodol teaching has been adopted by Northern Buddhism beyond the direct influence of Lamaism I am unaware. Buddhism, however, need not be limited to what the Buddha Shakya Muni taught, for He Himself advised His disciples, in His pronouncement concerning the application of rationalism to belief, to test all teachings and to hold fast to whatever teaching may thereby be found to be good and true. The word Buddhism implies a System of Wisdom Teachings; and Buddhism, unlike the three Semitic Faiths, is not circumscribed by any creed or dogma or by unamendable canonical scriptures; Buddhism comprises all true doctrine everywhere throughout the limitless realm of Universal Truth.
It should interest Mr. Crump to learn that in the Ghoom Monastery, near Darjeeling, in my presence, the late Sardar Bahadur S.W. Laden La, the most scholarly layman among the Buddhists of the Darjeeling District, discussed the BardoThodol with the learned Lama of the Yellow-Cap School who, at Budh-Gaya, inducted. Mr. Crump and the late Mrs. Alice Leighton Cleather and her son into Buddhism; and the Lama declared the Bardo Thodol to be Buddhistic.
(15) Untrustworthy in like manner is Mr. Crump's exoterically-limited understanding of The Tibetan Book of the Dead as a whole, more particularly of the book's corpus, the Bardo Thodol ("Liberation by Hearing on the After-Death Plane"). "It is impossible," he writes of it, "to point out all the objectionable details of a work of this character in the space of this note." The late Sir John Woodroffe, who, unlike Mr. Crump, possessed the requisite insight into its esotericism, views The Tibetan Book of the Dead quite dif-ferently: -
"This Book, which is of extraordinary interest, both as regards Text [the Bardo Thodol] and Introduction, deals with the period (longer or shorter according to the circumstances) which,
commencing immediately after death, ends with 'rebirth.' In the Buddhist's view, Life consists of a series of successive states of consciousness. The first state is the Birth-Consciousness; the last is the consciousness existing at the moment of death, or the Death-Consciousness. The interval between the two states of consciousness, during which the transformation from the 'old' to a 'new' being is effected, is called the Bardo or intermediate state (Antarabhava), divided into three stages, called the Chikhai, Chonyid, and Sidpa Bardo respectively. .....
"Both the original text and Dr. Evans-Wentz's Introduction form a very valuable contribution to the Science of Death from the standpoint of the Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism of the so-called `Tantrik' type. The book is welcome not merely in virtue of its particular subject-matter, but because the ritual works of any religion enable us more fully to comprehend the philosophy and psychology of the system to which they belong." * [* Cf. Sir John's Foreword to The Tibetan Book of the Dead, page xxvi. ]
"The Mahatma Koot' Hoomi Lal Singh, usually referred to by Theosophists as "K.H.", who was one of H.P.B.'s Masters, points out that H.P.B. spoke of the Bardo, but did not explain it. The Mahatma himself then proceeds to explain the Bardo, in language fundamentally the same as that used by Sir John; and, in so doing, presents a unique commentary to the Bardo Thodol, which, in its various versions, is for Lamas of all Schools the recognized scriptural authority concerning the Bardo: -
"She [H.P.B.] talks of 'Bardo' and does not even say to her readers what it means! .... 'Bardo' is the period between death and rebirth - and may last from a few years to a kalpa. It is divided into three sub-periods (1) when the Ego delivered of its mortal coil enters Kama-Loka (the abode of Elementaries); (2) when it enters into its 'Gestation State'; (3) when it is reborn in the Rupa-Loka of Deva-Chan." * [* Cf. The Mahatma Letters, page 105. It is interesting to note that the third sub-period mentioned by K.H. is limited to the state of rebirth into the Rupa-Loka of Devachan, and that the third sub-period, i.e. the Sidpa (or "Rebirth") Bardo, of the Bardo Thodol, represents the state of rebirth into the human world. Despite technical differences of this character, the Mahatma's exposition of the Bardo doctrine accords, in essentials, with that set forth in the Bardo Thodol text of The Tibetan Book o f the Dead. ]
K.H.'s exposition concerning Bardo, * [* Bar-do, a Tibetan word, literally means "between (Bar) two (do)," i.e. "between two [states]," the state of death and the state of rebirth - usually of rebirth on Earth. ] and after-death states, continues over much of the space of more than eight pages; and nearly the whole of the Letter, of more than seventeen pages, is devoted to the same theme. It was in manner similar to K.H.'s that the learned Lama who inducted Mr. Crump into the Yellow-Cap Order also expositorily supported, as Mr. Crump does not, the Bardo Thodol teachings, and thus, correlatively, The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The Paneh'en (or Tashi) Lama himself, the greatest of all the Yellow-Cap Lamas, is reported to have made meditative prayer from a text of the Bardo ritual (or Bardo Thodol), the Tibetans' Book of the Dead, for from fifteen to sixteen hours per day during three weeks at the time of the decease, and on behalf, of the late Dalai Lama.* [* Cf. Gordon Enders, Foreign Devil (New York, 1942), page 279. ]
On the basis of the evidence presented, we must assume that Mr. Crump's unfavorable opinion of the Bardo teachings is no more than his own misinformed private opinion as a European; for it cannot claim the support of any Tibetan School of Buddhism, Yellow or Red, not even of H.P.B. or of K.H.
It is unfortunate for the Cause of
Truth, which Mr. Crump champions, as I do, that he should have permitted, unconsciously I believe, sectarian antipathies for Padma-Sambhava and the Ningmapas, or Red Caps, to beguile him, and, like will-o'-the-wisps, to lead him astray into the quagmires of exotericism. Had he gone to the Gelugpa, or Yellow-Cap, version of the Bardo Thodol, wherein Padma-Sambhava and Red Caps, and also Dugpas, have been revised out of existence, and applied the esoteric key, he could readily have discovered the same sublime teachings which Sir John and myself found in the more primitive Ningmapa version. Sectarianism is, like a veil, capable of being removed so that truth in its primordialness becomes self-evident.
(16) Mr. Crump quotes a number of opinions concerning padma-Sambhava. All of them, like his own, are non-Tibetan and misleadingly exoteric. They merely tend to justify the Tibetans in their contention that the uninitiated are deluded by Ignorance, as The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, hereinafter referred to, teaches; and that the national policy of the Lhasa Government making for the exclusion of meddlesome foreigners, especially inimical noninitiates, should be maintained, as it is being, unmodified.
(17) It would be unwise to argue that because there is counterfeit money there is no money which is not counterfeit. Because there are charlatans does not preclude the existence of those who are not charlatans. Likewise, merely because Mr. Crump sees only the exoteric is no proof that there is not also the esoteric. By the uninitiated, Tantric Doctrines undoubtedly have been misunderstood and perverted, not only in the Orient, but in the Occident as well. The late Sir John Woodroffe once expressed to me his deep regret that this should be so, and said that it justified the Gurus in their stern refusal to divulge the inner teachings to any save one who in virtue of long probationary testing had been found worthy.* [* For correct information concerning Tantricism, recourse should be had to Sir John's works thereon, published mostly under his pseudonym Arthur Avalon. ] As the ancient Egyptian and Greek Mystagogues declared, "Many are the wand-bearers, few the chosen."
The fact that the Red-Cap Church founded by Padma-Sambhava in the eighth century A.D. had grown corrupt by the fifteenth century and gave birth to the present Established Gelugpa, the Yellow-Cap Reformed Church, does not condone the utter condemnation of Padma-Sambhava and his present-day Red-Cap followers, better known as "the Old Style Ones," the Ningmapas. It would be equally wrong to condemn St. Peter or St. Paul because, likewise, the Western Christian Church grew corrupt and Martin Luther found good cause to bring about the Protestant Reformation. Faithful Catholics of the Unreformed Roman Catholic Church are as worthy of respect as are members of the various Protestant Churches.
(18) The interesting problems raised by Mr. Crump's article concerning Padma-Sambhava and Tantricism are, to some extent, touched upon in the second and third volumes of the Tibetan Series. Detailed consideration of them is given in the fourth volume, now ready for publication, wherein appear an epitome, in English translation, of the Tibetan Biography of Padma-Sambhava and a rendering in full of a most remarkable treatise on Jnana-Yoga attributed to the Great Guru, as Padma-Sambhava is ordinarily called by his devotees, who regard him as being a Buddha. This fourth volume will be known as The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, and to it I direct all who desire Right Views of the Great Guru and his Tantric Doctrines, subjects too complex and vast to be given adequate examination here. I must not
omit, however, to direct attention to the far-reaching significance of the episode reported by Mr. Crump, of how the late Dalai Lama, the Head of the Yellow-Cap School, exhibited "intense dislike" of Kawaguchi, a Japanese, because of Kawaguchi's "criticism of the character of Padma-Sambhava." All Schools of Tibetan Buddhism, unlike Mr. Crump, honor, as they should, the Great Guru, who in the course of one generation raised the people of Tibet from a state of barbarism to a state of Buddhistic culture, which still vigourously persists, and, like a mighty beacon, illuminates the darkness of a planet in which almost all other cultural heritages are threatened with destruction.
(19) Throughout the article, in very unscholarly manner, Mr. Crump fails to distinguish between the Red-Cap School and the Dugpa School, as in the first paragraph where he refers to "the Red or Dugpa school." In other words, he employs the Tibetan technical designation Dugpa as though it were synonymous with Ningmapa. Dugpa (from Dug, meaning "Thunder Dragon")* [* Cf. L.A. Waddell, op. cit., page 68. ] is applicable only to those who are of the Thunder Dragon School, which, being predominant in Bhutan, is chiefly represented by the Established Church of Bhutan. Mr. Crump's assumption that all Red Caps, or Ningmapas, are Dugpas is, therefore, unsound. The Ningmapa school was founded by Padma-Sambhava in the eighth century A.D.; the Dugpa School was founded in the twelfth century A.D., by Pag-Sam-Wang-po.* [* Cf. L. A. Waddell, op. cit., pages 24, 68.] Thus, even by foundation these two Schools are distinguishable, as they also are by their own respective traditions and doctrines. Furthermore, Mr. Crump's implication that the word Dugpa is synonymous with the term black magician has no justification philologically or religiously. Only in a narrow anti-sectarian manner is the word Dugpa sometimes so employed, by those who, like. Mr. Crump, favor the Gelugpa Established Church of Tibet and seek to deprecate all other Lamaist Churches, especially the non-conforming Dugpa Church of Bhutan. In like manner, Protestants employ in a hostile or opprobrious manner the word papist to designate one who is a member of the unreformed Church of Rome. For fuller information hereon, the student is referred to Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa, pages 13 to 14, and to Dr. L.A. Waddell's The Buddhism of Tibet, pages 24 onward, and page 68.
As in most, if not all, religious fraternities the world over, so in the Ningmapa School, and in the Dugpa School, there are, doubtless, black sheep; nor are black sheep rare among the Gelugpas, or Yellow Caps, for whom Mr. Crump reserves all his eulogies. There are today; as there have been in past generations, many altruistically-minded among the Ningmapas and the Dugpas. Mr. Crump's attempt to defame the character of the members of these two Orders of Northern Buddhism by implying that they are, individually and collectively, black magicians and Tantrics given to sex orgies and wine-bibbing, lacks support, and is, of itself, indefensible.
(20) The final, like the initial, paragraph of Mr. Crump's review is conspicuously illustrative of his sectarian bias and inability to see beyond the exoteric. "There is," he says at the end, "no need to quote from the text of the Bardol [apparently a misspelling intended for BardoThodol], which is full of the usual disgusting paraphernalia pf Tibetan Dugpaism, the skull bowls of blood, thigh bone trumpets, human bone ornaments, etc., etc." Those who desire Right Views, in preference to Mr. Crump's Wrong Views, are directed to Book V, "The Path of the
Mystic Sacrifice: the Yoga of Subduing the Lower Self," of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, pages 277 to 334, wherein are contained the keys to the esotericism of what Mr. Crump calls "disgusting paraphernalia." Here, where he feels only disgust, as he does when face to face with the Yab-Yum symbolism, I feel reverence. With his outlook limited to exotericism only, Mr. Crump might also feel disgust, no less pronounced, at the symbolic drinking of blood and eating of flesh in the Mystery of the Christian Eucharist.
The employment of the ritual objects for which Mr. Crump expresses his disgust is not, as he assumes, limited to dugpas. Yogins of other Schools employ them, as even a Christian, if an initiate, might, when treading the very specialized Path of the Mystic Sacrifice of the Lower Self; and the profound esoteric significance of these symbolic objects is understood and respected by all Lamas, inclusive of those of the Yellow-Cap School. In Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines (Book V), the usage of these ritual objects and much of the Yoga associated with their usage are shown to have had origin in, or to have been transmitted through, the Bonpa School of pre-Buddhist Tibet. The Dugpa School was not founded until the twelfth century A.D., whereas the Bonpa School long antedates the rise of Tibetan Buddhism and probably existed in Tibet long before the beginning of the Christian era. Thus, in conveying the impression that these ritual objects appertain wholly to "Ti-betan Dugpaism," Mr. Crump shows, once more, astonishing lack of scholarly acumen; he ignores facts established by history and anthropology. The disgust he feels would not have arisen had his views been right.
(21) Quite apart from, the many errors to which, of necessity, have called attention and applied refutation, the substratum of Mr. Crump's article conveys a very timely and justifiable warning with respect to abuse, through exoteric misunderstanding as I maintain, of sex-symbolism and Tantric
teachings related thereto; and herein I am in agreement with him, just as I am in respect to the subtle dangers of psychism. From the writings of H.P.B. and her Masters, particularly from the K.H. letter which not being contained in The Mahatma Letters is but little known, Mr. Crump presents valuable
matter worthy of most careful consideration.
Although "The Threat of Psychism," as a thesis, is of itself praiseworthy, the attempt to fasten it like a saddle on to the back of The Tibetan Book of the Dead has, as I have now made clear, most signally failed. No such saddle can be made to fit the back or any other part of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. If Mr. Crump wishes to ride on his thesis, he must seek a more suitable steed.
Inasmuch as Mr. Crump's Wrong Views are, in large measure, typically representative of those so exoterically prevalent in Europe and the Americas, not infrequently among Theosophists, with respect to Tantricism, Yoga, Tibetan Buddhism and the Great Guru Padma-Sambhava (or "The Lotus-Born One"), the refuting of them, though necessarily somewhat lengthy, has been well worth while. There are none of us who do not respect the golden words of the motto of the Theosophical Society "There is no religion higher than Truth." And it is my fervent desire that this confutative critique will, to some degree, assist all truth-seekers, among whom I gladly include my severe critic, Mr. Basil Crump, to arrive at what the Enlightened One calls Right Views.
It was the hope of the late Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup, when making available in English translation the Biography of Milarepa, that the cultured occidental
"may come to pass a kindlier judgment upon Tibetan life and religion and custom than his reading of books by foreigners about our country may have led him to form.* [* Cf. Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa, page 28; and, for the verses quoted below, page 273. The late Lama, true Tibetan as he was, saw the need of defending Tibet ("our country" he significantly calls it) against foreigners' misconceptions, and, by means of the outstanding example of Milarepa, to show to the Western World that the Path of the Tantras is one of the paths leading to the omniscience of Buddhahood.] In keeping with these words of the illustrious translator, I, who was his disciple, have the high privilege to present, in conclusion, a summary, for practical application by all who read it, of the fundamental teachings of the Mahayana, or "Great Path," free of symbolism, as poetically formulated by Milarepa himself, the fully-enlightened Tantric Saint of Tibet, revered as a Buddha by every Tibetan Buddhist irrespective of sectarian affiliation. Thereby will each one to whom this refutatory paper comes, be enabled, at first hand, to discover the unsurpassed grandeur of teachings transmitted by a triumphant Master of the Yoga of the Tantras. As Milarepa was about to relinquish his physical body, he sang in a melodious and clear voice: -
"If ye tread the Secret Path, ye shall find the shortest way;
If ye realize the Voidness, Compassion will arise within your hearts;
If ye lose all differentiation between yourselves and others, fit to serve others ye shall be;
And when in serving others ye shall win success, then shall ye meet with me;
And finding me, ye shall attain to Buddhahood."
THE LIVING CHRIST
During Gipsy Smith's recent campaign in Hamilton I called upon him to pay my respects as an old friend of 35 years before. When on one of his campaigns in Toronto at that time I reported his addresses for The Toronto World, and he was so pleased with the result that he asked me to write a summary of them for an English paper. This I did for friendship's sake and wanted no other reward than his autographed photograph which I still preserve. He told me then that I was not a Theosophist but a Christian.
Well, things that are equal to the same thing are equal to one another. It is a pity that all Christians do not grasp this Euclidean axiom. I told him I had been reading his address to young people, and wondered had he seen my brief article to Young Theosophists in the October magazine. No, he had not read it, he said. "I shall never give up my belief in the Living Christ." "Why should you?" I naturally challenged him, but he did not reply.
There is no reply. We all believe in the Living Christ. But we call it by different names and we define it differently. Some describe the Christ as a Man. Some as a Principle. The man who is Christed becomes a Christ. His consciousness has become one with the Father. The word Christ means "anointed." How any man reaches this stage of development is due to his own efforts to harmonize himself with the law of evolution. Man is threefold in this respect. His physical or animal body was developed in the moon and came to earth in etheric form for further development and adjustment to earth conditions. The etheric form became the mold on which the physical body was built up.
To this came also the incarnating
egoes who by their karma, the consequences of their previous actions, unfulfilled desires and incompleted endeavors, renew their efforts towards perfection. This addition develops the brain of the animal, and its consciousness becomes self-consciousness. Besides this, the god-consciousness of the solar pitri or agnishwatta pitri, brings to the evolving being the "spiritual" urge that leads to the divine. Man is therefore a triple being, a trinity, or as the hymn phrases it, "God in three persons, blessed trinity."
The word person is from the Latin and means a mask. God in three masks, therefore, or in three aspects, is what is meant, and these are defined as Cosmic Substance, Cosmic Ideation and Cosmic Energy. Popularly they are recognized as Will or Power, Wisdom and Love. All religions teach this mystery in one way or another, and with names derived from the languages of the time.
The three aspects mentioned, in combination give a seven fold character to man, and one or another of these sevenfold principles are predominant according to the will and choice of the person in question.
A curious statement is made by a man said to have been given sight by Jesus. He saw men as trees walking. This tree symbol is a common one in various scriptures to represent man. In his physical make-up man resembles a tree in his nervous system, in his venous and arterial system, and to a certain degree in his skeleton. So physical man becomes the "tree" or cross on which the Christ, according to Paul, is crucified daily. This is more directly understood from what Jesus said of Himself as representing the god Bacchus, "I am the true vine; ye are the branches." In the Gita, chapter xv, it is written: "The world-tree with its roots above and its branches below is said to be imperishable." We have also the metaphor of the Ever-Living Banyan tree, whose branches send out roots to the ground and thus become a great grove of trees all centring in the original trunk. The Unity of the One Life is thus illustrated in all religions.
"Cedars of Lebanon" was a name applied to some of the Hebrew prophets. From such traditions as these came the Norse custom of burning the Yule-log, and the still more popular custom of the Saxon Christmas tree. Man himself is the true Christmas tree, lighted with the light that lightens every man coming into the world. He should bear gifts in his branches for all who are in need, to all who are weary and heavy laden. Paul distinguishes between the children of the Promise and those of the gentiles who are branches of the wild olive tree but may be grafted in among the natural branches and partake of the root and fatness of the Tree. So we may all have our share in the Tree of Heaven, and become, as we ought, each of us a Christmas Tree in very deed, spreading happiness and peace to all within reach. For these are the Trees that grow on the banks of the River of Life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.
Do you know what Light is? It is One, but by action it seems to be refracted into many; for it acts in many ways. It is in this way Life, which is action; it is Love, which is action; it is Labor, the opposite of inaction: that which brings results. The Light phenomena connected with thinking and speaking and acting you have heard of. The Light of day stirs all the kingdoms into activity; the darkness of night invites to temporal passivity and rest, gathering added strength for renewed activity. A lesson for all.
You divide Light, or so you call your segregating mental action. This will recall to you several legends of creation. For instance how Marduk cut Tiamaat into two; how the sons of Bur cleft Ymir, and how Elohim produced visible Light out of emptiness and invisibility by word and action. But Light is only
One despite of all your refractions. Who is the Refractor? Mahat through Chitta for the sake of thinking, say the Hindus. Fohat is the energy used. Without Fohat and its activity nothing could be done. All energy is active, or else useless.
No Vacuum. No Separation
The first misunderstanding Superior Men had to correct on Earth was the belief in separateness, founded on apparent separations in Samsara, arranged as a labyrinth for the training of the Mind. Superior Men trained as many as came of free will to seek advice, obeying the secret call of Supreme Will. Inquirers were told: No real separation exists anywhere. All is a great Unit, in the seen as in the unseen. Humanity was to be trained to understand this, at first mentally and then to give evidence by action that it perceived the truth of the teaching. This is actual understanding. Superior Men told inquirers Space does not divide, Space unites, as oceans join and do not separate continents. Humanity is One: a compact Brotherhood. Have faith in this. Encourage and help the personal body by proper eating and drinking; encourage and help Brothers in every way. In days of old new members on entering an organized Brotherhood were told and accepted it as true doctrine and rule that their talents and belongings were part of the Brotherhood, to be used when needed for the benefit of those who needed assistance the most.
Samsaric optic illusions of separateness are always the first thing to overcome. Invisible links of Space between seemingly separated objects are nothing more nor less than a Mental Labyrinth; difficult to understand, easy to misunderstand. If not understood and accepted as a fact there is no entering into Unity and no escape from the labyrinthine prison. Supreme Men are those who understand and by their action give evidence that they do so. Supreme Men are those who are satisfied with little and are willing to give up what they have for the sake of others who have need, or think that they need.
The Ancient Scheme
Money, the valuation of Time and Work in Space, according to the Ancient Scheme delivered by Planetary Spirits in the beginning, goes first to those who work in cooperation with others. In the darkness, of the mental labyrinth many are robbed by those who have no faith in Brotherhood and Cooperation, but have faith in playing at brotherliness for spoils. Their enjoyment of ill-gotten gain is short and difficult. Sometimes clever thieves begin to wonder whether stealing is really a legitimate and profitable profession. Stolen goods cannot be retained forever. But few care to give up what they grasp. Occult societies for revenue only tell the story. All work in Time and Space is a cooperation, either properly understood and admitted and no advantage of others taken - or robbery, trying to make others work for own benefit as slaves. In Pravritti we rob, in Nivritti we share as brothers. Money, being the valuation of work in Time and Space, is in this way important. Stealing money and thereby stealing work - either directly or indirectly by borrowing without repayment - incurs great karmic punishment. Borrowing valuables of any kind without returning them, and taking up valuable time of others, is also robbery. Superior Men have always been trying to teach pupils and inquirers the true status of money with hitherto insignificant success. Even fairly intelligent people want what they
do not need, not realizing that none needs much of valueless, perishable things, but very much of valuable imperishable jewels. Superior Men tell pupils and inquirers to give, not to grasp. The hearers rejoice and say: "That is right. It is for others to give, for us to receive." This is only one side of the truth. Passively receiving gifts is not wrong, but soliciting such is unwarrantable. Greedy retaining of gifts is always fatal. The acceptance of food necessary for alimentation is always right. Retaining it all without evacuation foreshadows the fate of a Shylock. By liberal giving invaluable treasures are gained, not otherwise possible to acquire. What you get in return for loving gifts is always more valuable than what you gave, for spiritual value is invariably added in return for any and all loving tokens. All that we are and own belongs to Brotherhood, the
glorious symbol of blessed Nirvana. Mutuality and loving cooperation testify to Spiritual Progress. The blessings of true and loving generosity are neither known nor understood until habitually practiced. There are those who try to bribe their way into Heaven by gifts, expecting to gain Wisdom, but they will not succeed with such tricks, for deceptions are easily detected. Kill gloomy stinginess and rejoice together as true Sons of Eternal Light!
Charity Begins at Home
Former evil actions and unwillingness to help have brought us into evil times. No effect comes without its cause. Our attitude towards the upheavals should be as nature plainly indicates. How do the myriads of Lives in our own body act? Those closest to each other cooperate quietly and incessantly, thereby directly helping first all the molecules nearest to themselves, thereby also helping indirectly all the other molecules all over the body - not by running to the diseased spot, which they could not do, but remaining where they were and keeping up the helpful cooperation just there. A Fellow Theosophist consulted another Fellow, who was looked upon as wise, and told that he wanted to do some helpful work, but in favor of someone who needed help more than anyone else. He did not want to help anyone nearer home, because someone abroad somewhere might be more in need of help. The wise Brother's answer was: "Read the fable of Menenius Agrippa and let that guide you. Start with helping those that you can reach. Truly, charity begins at home. It may finally reach indirectly the flood sufferers in China in ways that you are not aware of, but only if you first and directly do your duty where you are. 'The duty of another is difficult and full of danger,' said Krishna." Yes, the words were inspired and true. Let us never attempt to play the part of Almighty Justice and the Four Lords of Karma, not even in our imagination. Let us instead humbly carry out our own part in the contemporary drama within the Great Unity. In this way the humblest role partakes mightily in the evolution of the whole drama, and we have, as individuals, indirectly played also the glorious roles of heroship, for we have done our own part as agents of omnipotent Karma. Bad actions have forever bad reactions or effects until good and helpful actions are started and bad actions thereby blotted out and the debts are paid.
(Written in July 1938. )
THE SEVENTH OF THE EIGHT NOBLE TRUTHS OF OUR LORD GAUTAMA BUDDHA, THE BLESSED, THE ONE CALLED
Beside and beyond the ALL, what can you find? What can you imagine? Where is the ALL? Where is Nothing? Nowhere. Illusion - the Something, not Nothing - exists as the inconstant, which is tested in the Hall of Learning by every separate Life until the solution is found and the Multitude is reduced to
ALL is ONE. ALL is Reality. Reality is Constant. The Beginning and the End; which are also One and All, are Real and Constant. Many is an illusion, created by mental and sensual refraction. It is not All-Reality as the ALL, it is part-reality, being inconstant and illusory.
ALL is hidden by Many in Samsara.
ALL as an article of Faith and a philosophical axiom satisfies the solitary Self as Unity. Not-All, Part-of-All, bewilders the scattered samsaric multitudes as countless Multiplicity. The multitudes believe in the Heresy of Separateness; the few verify the axiom of Unity.
Solitary Sense recognizes ONE, the all-inclusive constant, in only one way: BY ACTIVITY. Those who know, call this Wisdom. The senses, when separate, perceive in many ways the Many, the inconstant illusions: by non-action, BY PASSIVITY. This the Initiates call NON-SENSE.
The All-inclusive, the ALL, the Real and Constant, "One without a second", we call Nirvana. The Not-All, the Part-of-All, the illusory and inconstant Many, we call Samsara.
Nirvana is the original and final Reality, the One, Truth conquering Illusion. Active cooperative initiation, not passive solitary mediumship, is the method of conquering samsaric illusions, reaching freedom and nirvanic Wisdom.
Samsara is the playing ground by the Hall of Learning, the experimental field where the problems must be solved and the Many reduced to Unity through Brotherhood by united effort and action. The Sublime Initiator points out the Path to all those Travellers who reach Him. Their own united efforts bring them ultimately to the Goal, for they have by Cooperation verified that Universal Unity which we call the ALL.
The audible Path starts with DO, the initial note which bids you try and act. The visible Path begins with the stirring color vibration of RED, of universal Urge. There is only ONE PATH in reality, though seven in appearance, a seeming contradiction which will disappear as such and be grasped by realization. The Many become the One in loving Cooperation which unites. It cannot be done in jealous competition, which splits up and stops progress. By loving Cooperation the Goal is reached and in no other way.
November 15, 1942.
THE ANNUAL AUDIT
5th December, 1942.
General Executive, The Theosophical Society in Canada, Toronto, Ontario.
Dear Sirs and Madam:
I have examined the books and accounts of The Theosophical Society in Canada for the year ended 30th June, 1942 and certify that the Statement of Funds appearing on page 153 of the July 1942 issue of The Canadian Theosophist, is in accordance therewith.
Jno. K. Bailey,
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 law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
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: Two Dollars a Year
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
Wash. E, Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver.
Wash. E. Crafter, 57 Sherwood Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
D.W. Barr, 8 High Park Gardens, Toronto, Ont.
Felix A. Belcher, 250 N. Lisgar St., Toronto, Ont.
Edw. L. Thomson, 24 Crescent Road, Toronto, Ont.
William A. Griffiths, 37 Stayner Street, Weatmount, P.Q. George I, Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Albert E.S. Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton. Ontario, Canada.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
Christmas Gifts - well now, what better gift than a subscription to THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST? A treasure gift for a whole year!
The fruits of the true Christmas spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindliness, generosity, self-reliance, modesty, self-control. With these around your, table you can have a Merry Christmas.
On behalf of the General Executive I must express our thanks to Mr. John K. Bailey who, out of an exceptionally busy life, has taken the trouble to go through our accounts of the year and give them his endorsement as appears elsewhere. His tribute as to their correctness goes to Miss. Crafter whose labors for many years past can never be fully appreciated, even by myself who has been the chief beneficiary.
The Reader's Digest says that "clocks have recently been built so delicately adjusted that they are wound by changes in temperature. A change of one degree Fahrenheit stores up enough power to drive the clock for four days. Since the temperature changes constantly, there is little likelihood that the clocks will run down." Can it be possible that the perpetual motion of our hot air orators is the result of such changes of' temperature? If so, the obvious remedy is to lock them up in guaranteed refrigerators.
As we sat and talked in our Gospel Class in the darkness of the Black-out of November 18, I recalled to those who had been with us in the previous season of a young Australian airman who had been given my address and wanted to know something of our Canadian Theosophy. Several remembered him very well and spoke of his charm, his moderty, his earnestness and of his expressed interest in our class work. He had not known anything of the scientific side of Theosophy he told them, and our class then engaged with Basil Crump's book, Evolution, a resume of The Secret Doctrine on this subject, had a keen appeal for him. He talked with me personally and wanted to know why in Canada we had taken the attitude we had. I frankly told him but assured him that our devotion to the principle of brotherhood was the main interest, and our opposition to those who brought dissension by raising new issues, antagonistic to the original programme of the Society, thus manifesting in effect their hostility to Brotherhood, were responsible for our opposition to the Adyar policies. Ours is the only National Society which maintains unaltered the benevolent neutrality of its work in the Comparative study of
ancient religions, philosophies and sciences. Adyar makes an exception in favor of one and thus antagonizes all the others. Hence its lack of success in appealing to the world. He proceeded afterwards to Montreal and won from the members there the same good opinions that he gained from us. Then I told the class that a few days before I had received the October issue of Theosophy in Australia, containing this notice: "Pte. Rupert Theodore Bannister, R.A.A.F., was recently killed in a `plane crash in Wales.' Rupert was the second son of Mrs. M. M. Bannister. Rupert joined Kuring-gai Lodge, Chatswood, in 1926, at the age of 14 years, of which Lodge Mrs. Bannister is still a leading member." We present our sympathetic remembrances to his family in Australia, and desire to assure them that the sterling qualities of their lost champion will long be cherished in our memories here.
It is well-known that our columns are open to all sincere writers and thinkers, whatever their views. It does not follow that we sympathize or agree with them all but we think it helps everybody to think when they find that other people have attractive and even plausible ideas which differ from their own. It is true that in allowing such ideas to be presented some may be led astray, and in the past we have lost a number of readers and members because they elected to follow some of those to whom we gave the hospitality of our pages. It is unfortunate in such cases that when they discover their mistake they have not had the courage to come back. Last month Mr. Sutherland presented in his department the first of two articles on Humanism, a system which is attracting some attention and is obviously presented as a substitute for Theosophy. Those who look for something just as good and much cheaper are welcome. One gets what one pays for, what one thinks for, what one works for. In the old words we reap what we sow. Theosophy needs no defence to those who know what it means whether they know IT or not. The whole is greater than any of its parts and Theosophy is All-Truth. When a writer asks Theosohy to make concessions to Humanism it is equivalent to asking Mathematics to make concessions to Political Economy. Those who drink the pure water of life are never enamoured of bottled goods. The attempt by some to dogmatize Theosophy or codify it, or to imprison it in any fashion in a Church or a Creed or a Society with the idea that one Society is better than another, when any Society can only excel in the freedom it affords its members to attain to Truth in Thought and Action, all indicate that they have never understood Theosophy, nor perhaps even read and digested The Key to Theosophy. One more point calls for comment. We read in last month's instalment, page 290, column one; - "Theosophy teaches that the unhappy or oppressed individual who seeks a new way of life, can never find that new way by the application of external changes . . . . " I would like to know where Theosophy teaches anything of the kind. Theosophy teaches perfect freedom, whether in relation to environment or apart from it. Some react to change and some against it. Some find a discouraging environment inspiring; some find it depressing. But there is no fatalistic teaching in Theosophy. If our contributor thinks that more people can be induced to accept Theosophy under the name of Humanism, well and good. But what is true in Humanism as set forth in these articles is Theosophy, and there is nothing to be gained by saying that Theosophy teaches anything that is obviously not the case.
AMONG THE LODGES
Hamilton Lodge had another treat in the address given by Mr. Gerauld Shultis of the Toronto Young Theosophist Group on November 22. He came down with Mr. Cyril Toren who is in the Air Force and Mr. Charles Crane who drove the party. Mr. Shultis's address was on "Our Consciousness Today" and was remarkable for its optimistic outlook and its buoyant reaction from the tragic situation in which the nations find themselves at the moment. It is to be regretted that the members of the Hamilton Lodge do not make a point of attending the meetings when such young members as Mr. Lawrence Smith and Mr. Shultis take the trouble to come from Toronto to speak.
An enjoyable and successful Saturday Afternoon Tea and Sale of Work was held by the T.S. Red Cross Group in the Theosophical Hall on Isabella St. in Toronto on November 28th, with about seventy-five persons attending. Due to the demand for hospital supplies the need for a new sewing-machine was felt, and the splendid support given by those attending this event has enabled the group to obtain one. Conveners were Mrs. D.W. Barr and Miss M. Stark assisted by the members of the group. A variety of articles was sold, and in addition home-cooking, fortunes, lucky draws, and afternoon tea for the guests, added to the enjoyment. The thanks of the group are hereby extended to all who assisted in making the event such a success. - M.K.
Toronto Lodge was happy to welcome Dr. Alvin Kuhn for a series of lectures from November 1st to 8th inclusive under the titles of "The Great New Light in Philosophy"; "A Perfect Guide to Right Conduct"; "NOW is the Accepted Time"; "Philosophy or Hypnotism"; "The Answer to Life's Riddle"; and "Keeping Step with the Cosmos". All of Dr. Kuhn's talks were along philosophical lines, a field in which he excels, and as a result of the interest aroused in this course the Lodge started a beginners' class immediately following his visit. On Monday evening, November 2nd, at the conclusion of Dr. Kuhn's talk, the Lodge held an informal reception for him at which there were about fifty present, and everyone was able to meet Dr. Kuhn personally and chat with him. Assisting in looking after the refreshments were Mrs. G.I. Kinman, Mrs. E.B. Dustan, Mrs. R. Somers, Mrs. I. Illingworth, Misses M. Stuart, M. Stark, E. Webley and E. Tolton. Dr. Kuhn always presents a fresh angle of approach to theosophical studies, and Toronto Lodge looks forward to having him visit them again in the future. - M.K.
The article in our June issue, "Deeds, not Dollars," was copied by The American Theosophist, but no Canadian member appears to have paid any attention to it, except one, that we have heard of. Mrs. Brunton, of Nelson, B.C., a member of the Toronto West End Lodge, writes an account of her own activities where there is no Lodge and only one or two other members. "I loan my books and at the present time I have four books loaned and I also loan out my magazines, and mark out special articles I think my friends will be interested in. I also hold a study class occasionally; sometimes we have three, and sometimes just myself and another friend. I spread the teaching whenever and wherever I get the chance. I also work it into my correspondence with my relatives and friends. I might also add that Theosophy fills my whole life, and I am truly thankful that I was led into this beautiful and wonderful Divine Ancient Wisdom." This is an example of the useful and encouraging work a solitary member may do.
Edmonton Lodge received a gift of many back issues of our magazine from Mr. Cronyn of London, and having received missing issues, from our stock has resolved to have them bound for the Lodge library. The Secretary reports the purchase by the members of 51 volumes of Theosophical works, among them being 5 copies of The Glossary, 7 of the Key, 7 of The Secret Doctrine, 10 of the Ocean, etc. Activity of this kind indicates real and enduring interest.
In reply to my suggestion that a simple statement regarding the transfer of membership from the West End Lodge to the Toronto Lodge would probably head off the crop of rumors that usually accompanies such an incident, Mr. Belcher has written as follows: "Dear Mr. Smythe, I have been asked to explain why nine members of the Toronto West End Lodge - including myself - have transferred their membership to Toronto Lodge. The West End Lodge was formed in 1911. During the war of 1914-1918 the Lodge suspended public meetings so as to concentrate attendance at the Toronto Lodge which was feeling the pinch of the war. Now another war has come and a number of us felt that we could be more useful to the cause of Theosophy by transferring our membership to Toronto Lodge. Mrs. Shone of the West End Lodge was a Charter member and the charter has been handed over to her and she with others elected to remain. I may say there has been no friction over the matter. It was purely a question of individual judgment and preference. Yours fraternally, Felix A. Belcher."
J. M. PRYSE'S BOOKS
may be had, including: The Magical Message of Oannes; The Apocalypse Unsealed; Prometheus Bound; Adorers of Dionysus; and The Restored New Testament; from John Pryse, 919 South Bernal Ave., Los Angeles, Calif.
DR. H. N. STOKES
The celebrated (to his enemies, notorious) Editor of the O. E. Critic departed this life on September 30. It seems rather late to be announcing this sad fact, but I was not notified by anyone till I received a note on November 16 after our magazine for that month had been mailed, six weeks after he had died, telling me of it. I have had no particulars so far, and have been unable to get a photograph of him. Whether he was cremated or where he was buried remain like the details of the funeral of Moses. Perhaps he wanted it that way, for he was a curious soul, perverse, as it seemed, to many, but true as the needle to the pole to what he regarded as truth. He had been greatly deceived in Theosophical leaders, and was suspicious of all who appealed to the public on that behalf. He regarded me with a cold and dubious eye for years and would have it that I conspired with Mrs. Besant over her election, when, to save money and trouble, I suggested that those who were opposed to her could send in their negative vote and save the expense of a general poll, when there was no opposition candidate to vote for, this being one of the nonsensical regulations devised by Adyar. But he finally became convinced of our good faith in Canada, and to show his appreciation he left the American Theosophical Society and, with the consent of Mr. Cook, transferred his membership to our National Society. Hence it becomes our duty and privilege, not to apologize for him, but to explain why and how he viewed his duty to Theosophy. Mr. Cook has saved me some trouble in this respect by printing a portion of an address by Colonel Olcott, first president of The Theosophical Society, a few sentences of which sum up the causes for which Mr. Stokes fought long and ardently and unquestionably with bitterness, tempered with
a sardonic humor which grated sorely on the taste of the Pharisees. "God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are . . . even as this publican" - Stokes! Dr. Stokes believed in Brotherhood but he believed in Truth and Honesty first. Colonel Olcott's address referred to above, contained these sentences:
"I know what many others only suspect - that Theosophy is the informing life of all religions throughout the world. The one thing absolutely necessary, then, is to cast out as a loathsome thing every idea, every teaching which tends to sectarianize The Theosophical Society. We want no new sect, no new church, no infallible leader, no attack upon the private intellectual rights of our members . . " If Dr. Stokes had dictated this it could not more effectively have expressed his views. Mr. Cook has been very courageous to print it. (American Theosophist, November, p. 2.41.)
Dr. Stokes was moved still more deeply by another issue. He had been sadly disillusionized, as I have written elsewhere, "and the enquiry of 1906, presided over by Colonel Olcott, was ever before his mind. The letter sent out by that Committee of Enquiry has been seen by but few of the present membership. Dr. Stokes made it his business to let those entitled to read it to do so. As a doctor and a student of occultism he understood the gross wickedness of the teaching still defended and glorified by the head of the E.S., so signally condemned by that Committee of Enquiry. Though abused and vilified himself, Dr. Stokes felt he was doing a duty in trying to clean the soiled skirts of his beloved Theosophy."
The Critic was used for many years to carry consolation and instruction to prisoners in the jails and penitentiaries of the Republic and many a poor soul has been cheered and lifted out of the downward path by those ministrations. The Critic also served the public by facilitating the circulation of good Theosophic literature.
Dr. Stokes met with an accident the details of which I never learned. Whether a slight stroke led to the accident or the accident brought on a stroke is immaterial, but he had been laid up for many weary months. On March 29, 1941, when he was concerned about changing his membership to Canada, he wrote: "Some years ago during the time that the Critic was so active in the Leadbeater matter, I was made an honorary member of the Orpheus Lodge. I think this still holds. Besides that, I am a member of the U.L.T. in Los Angeles and the Point Loma T.S. You may put it down as a matter of record that I was born in October, 1859." He was therefore almost 83 when he died.
We may mourn the loss of a gallant colleague, but we may feel sure, as John Bunyan has it, that all the trumpets sounded when he crossed the border.
THEOSOPHY IN AUSTRALIA
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - In June, 1941 I came from U.S.A. to Melbourne, and there found unusual facilities for investigating the early history of Theosophy in Australia. Having myself, on previous visits here, urged Australian Theosophists to prepare a history of their movement, it dawned on me now that this task was falling to my lot. Given access to the library of the first Australian Theosophist - William H. Terry of Melbourne, then editor of The Harbinger of Light, a Spiritualistic journal - I joyously availed myself of this opportunity, and wrote an article for The Theosophist, entitled "How Theosophy Came to Australia," telling how Editor Blavatsky sent her first issue of The Theosophist to Editor Terry (among many other editors of
occult journals), in October, 1879; how he not only opened correspondence with her but also opened his columns to Theosophy, and ended by joining the Society, in 1880.
But there was more to the story: how William Terry, F.T.S., made his magazine the mouthpiece of Theosophy in Australia, by publishing the 1880 Rules of the T.S., advertising The Theosophist in his Harbinger, quoting articles from it, encouraging discussion on the relative merits of Spiritualism and the new movement Theosophy and on Reincarnation, etc.* [* reviewing Mr. Sinnett's Occult World.] In short, I found that I could not stop with one article - there must be a series. Then the problem arose of how Theosophy took root in other Colonies of Australasia besides Victoria; how Col. Olcott paid them a visit in 1891, and Mrs. Besant in 1894; how the Australasian Section was founded in 1895, and became the Australian Section in 1896, when New Zealand became an independent Section of the T.S. So the article grew into a series of articles; in fact, into a book.
About this time (it was July 26, 1941), Dr. Arundale wrote me: "I notice in Theosophy in Australia that you are preparing some new books on H.P.B. Are you committed to any particular publisher, or shall the T.P.H. have the privilege of publishing the series mentioned in the magazine?" Now, Rider & Co., London, publishers of my Personal Memoirs of H. P. Blavatsky, had inserted in their contract with me a clause to the effect that I give they first option on my next book of 40,000 words or more. I could not therefore accede to Dr. Arundale's proposition, but offered him instead the story of How Theosophy Came to Australia.
November 22, 1941, Mr. J.L. Davidge, manager of the Press Department, wrote suggesting that the story run through The Theosophist as a serial in (possibly) twelve months; that a certain number of proofs be struck off of each chapter and assembled into book-form at the end of that period, to be sold in Australia and New Zealand, possibly in Canada, because of its special interest in anything pertaining to H.P.B. He wished me to ascertain, if possible, how many copies could thus be disposed of.
In August, 1942, he wrote: "The manuscript is ready to print, but after talking it over with the authorities here I find (1) that it is hardly suitable for The Theosophist because of its length; the policy appears to be to keep the journal free from serials; (2) that it is difficult in the present war situation to put the book on the market . . . If it is to be financed from here, we must have a certain number of copies guaranteed in Australia and New Zealand. .
Kindly let me know what you think about it."
I concluded that the best way to meet this difficulty is to put the matter directly to Australasian Theosophists, and English-speaking Theosophists generally, in their journals; hence this letter. Would each Lodge kindly inform the secretary how many copies they can absorb of a small book, about the size of my little book, The "Brothers" of Madame Blavatsky, and therefore not expensive and the Lodge secretaries inform the General Secretary, who in turn can inform me at the address of The Manor, Mosman, New South Wales, Australia? In order that members may decide whether they wish to own this little history of Theosophy in Australia, I append a list of its chapters:
I. Master Morya Writes to Wm. Terry of Melbourne, 1881.
II. Master Morya Writes to Prof. Smith of Sydney, 1882.
III. Prof. Smith Visits the Founders at Bombay, 1882.
IV. Prof. Smith Writes to Master Morya.
V. Master Morya's Phenomena for Prof. Smith, 1882-3.
VI. First Theosophical Branches in Australasia, 1881-1890.
VII. Col. Olcott Visits Australia, 1891.
VIII. Mrs. Besant Visits Australasia, 1894.
IX. The Australasian Section, 1895.
X. "Lest We Forget."
Personally, I believe that the book will be of interest to English, American and Canadian, as well as to Australasian Theosophists, since the phenomena recorded in the first five chapters are thrillingly interesting but very little known, and the historical data in the next four chapters are of common interest to the whole Theosophical world. On the other hand, if the book is to be sold locally only, it might be wise to secure prices from Australian printers, as local printing will facilitate distribution and lower costs of transportation.
Thanking you for the favor of submitting this letter to your readers, and with hearty greetings to all members, I am,
Mary K. Neff.
118 Musgrave Rd., Red Hill,
Brisbane, Qd., Australia,
October 21, 1942.
THE GITA ON THE RADIO
It was an unexpected pleasure to hear, a few weeks ago, that the "Invitation to Learning" programme on C.F.R.B. for that Sunday evening, would be a discussion of The Bhagavad Gita by Professors Taraknath Das, A.M., Ph.D., of the Department of History in the College of New York, and Franklin Edgerton, of the Department of Oriental Studies in Yale University. The discussion was led by Mr. Mark Van Doren, who has recently published a volume of Radio Talks, through Messrs. Macmillan.
Remembering the complete and disappointing absence of any replies to my enquiries about "An Obscure Passage in the Gita", in the pages of The Canadian Theosophist for June and October of last year, this seemed a good opportunity for obtaining the desired information from Sanskrit scholars. Through the kindness of Messrs. Macmillan, I was able to contact Mr. Van Doren and secure the addresses of the two professors to whom I wrote for their opinions on the meaning and use of Apohanam, in Chapter 15, verse 15
Their replies being now received, I venture to offer them to other students of the Gita, and trust they will prove helpful. Professor Edgerton wrote: - "The word apohanam, Gita 15, 15, has always given trouble to interpreters. My own guess is that it means `(argumentative) refutation' - simply as a form of intellectual activity, roughly the counterpart of the preceding word Jnanam, which here means `knowledge' as the derivation of a logical argument. Jnanam is the positive, apohanam the negative aspect of what is essentially one and the same kind of intellectual operation. In other words, it is not negation of 'knowledge' but a negative result of the same ratiocination from which, as a positive result, 'knowledge' (jnanam) may arise. This too, like all mental processes, is spoken of as coming 'from Me'.
"I should not wish to claim certainty for this interpretation, but it seems to me supportable by philological evidence."
Professor Taraknath Das wrote: - "Before giving you my considered answer to the question, I wished to consult Swami Nikhilananda and Swami Joyti-swaranada (both belong to the order of Sri Ramakrishna).
"It is their opinion as well as mine that the verse 15 of the Chapter 15 of the Bhagabat Gita is not an interpolation. The word apohanam is, as you
suggest, clearly negative. (This reference to 'interpolation' was due to my quoting Sir Edwin Arnold's statement thereon. N.W.J.H.)
"The simple translation of the verse may be as follows: - I am in the hearts of all men, and from Me come memory, knowledge, and also the lack of both; or, the gain and loss of knowledge and memory comes from Me alone.
"After consulting opinion of Sankara and other authorities, the Swamis agreed that the word 'ME' is not a Personal God, but cosmic consciousness which is also the Inner Consciousness of all being. The text refers to world of manifestation which is based upon 'pairs of opposites'.
"Possibly sometimes difficulty arises with the idea that God cannot be associated with the loss of knowledge and memory. But the God is not limited by any condition, while all conditions - positive and negative - are within the Cosmic Consciousness, which is only a phase of the Supreme."
The Professor concludes by saying he does not claim to be an authority, as he is neither an Indologist nor a philologist, though he has studied Hindu philosophy; his specia. field being Oriental History and International Relations.
- N. W. J. Haydon.
PRE-GENESIS STORY OF THE FLOOD
A paraphrase of the Epic of Gilgamesh is given in the Encyclopedia Biblica by H. Zimmern. Of all the parallel traditions of a deluge the Babylonian is undeniably the most important, because the points of contact between it and the Hebrew story are so striking that the view of the dependence of one of the two on the other is directly suggested even to the most cautious of students.
The genuine Babylonian character of the Berossian story has, since 1872, been raised above all doubt by George Smith's discovery in the remains of the library of Asur-bani-pal, of a copy of a very ancient cuneiform Deluge story derived, it would seem, from the city of Surippak in Babylonia, and by a more recent discovery by Scheil. The former story fills the first four columns of the eleventh tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh.
The gods, more especially Bel, wroth at the sins of men, determine to bring upon them a judgment consisting in a great all-destroying flood.
One of the gods, however, named Ea, selects a favored man, named Parnapisti, of the City of Surippak, for deliverance. This is the Xisuthrus of Berossus, and be it observed that the name Xisuthrus is found, in all probability, by transposing the two component parts of Atra-basis - i.e., "the very wise," or still better, perhaps, (so Haupt) "the very pious" - one designation of the hero of the cuneiform account. Parnapisti is in a dream acquainted by Ea with the purpose of the gods, and commanded to build a ship, the form of which is prescribed, as a means of saving his life, and to take with him into it "seeds of life of all kinds". Accordingly, the ship is built; its dimensions are given with great precision by the poet, who mentions that it was coated within and without with bitumen and that cells were made in it. Into this vessel Parnapisti brings gold and silver and "seeds of life of all kinds," besides his family and servants, beasts of the field and wild beasts of the field. Shortly before the Flood, the beginning of which is made known to him by a special sign, Parnapisti himself enters into the ship and bars the door, while his steersman, named Puzur-Bel, takes over the direction of the vessel. Upon this the Deluge begins: it is thought of as an unloosing of all the elemental powers, torrents of rain, storm arid tempest, together with thick
darkness. The waters rise higher and higher, till the whole land becomes a sea; all men and animals, except those in the ship, perish. Six days and nights the flood rages; on the seventh day a calm sets in. Then Par-napisti opens the air-hole, and sees the wide-spread ruin. At the same time land emerges, and the ship grounds on the mountains of Nisir. After seven days more Par-napisti sends out successively a dove, a swallow, and a raven. The dove and the swallow, finding no place of rest, return to the ship; but the raven is seen no more. Upon this, Parnapisti clears the ship and offers a sacrifice on the summit of the mountain. "The gods smelt the savour, the gods smelt the sweet savour. The gods gathered like flies about the sacrifice." As for Bel, however, he is at first displeased at the deliverance of Par-napisti and his household; but on the representations of Ea, who points out the rashness of his act in causing a universal deluge, and recommends the sending of wild animals, famine and pestilence, as a more fitting mode of punishing human sins, Bel becomes reconciled to the escape of Par-napisti, and even gives him and his wife a share of the divine nature, and causes then to dwell "afar off, at the mouth of the rivers."
Where Was Ararat?
Ferrar Fenton says: "I translate the compound Hebrew word 'Ararat' - 'the Mountain of the Peaks' - as by leaving it in the Hebrew as the current versions do, it misleads the reader to fancy Ararat in Armenia is meant, but the real resting place of the Ark, as the Sacred Record clearly proves, was upon the Peaks of the Himalayan Mountains in the Hindoo Koosh in the region of Kashgar, or Northern Afghanistan. - page 7, vol. I. Bible in Modern English."
Nature alone can incarnate the Spirit of limitless contemplation. - Mahatma Letters, p. 241.
TO HELP THE COMMON MAN
Tributes were generally paid to Russia on November 8 by her Allies for the magnificent resistance with which she met the tremendous German attack. Among these was the speech of the Vice-President of the United States, Mr. Henry Wallace, who stated that Russia had lost so far in the common cause at least fifty percent more men killed, wounded and missing than all the rest of the European Allies put together. He spoke at the Soviet Friendship Rally in Madison Square Gardens in New York City. After pointing out many parallels between Russia and the United States, and their retreat into isolationism to preserve their peace in which they both failed, but learned the necessary lesson, he proceeded to review the relations of the nations of the world towards each other, and the steps required for future progress, as follows: -
Must Be Woven Into Whole
Russia and the United States have had a profound effect upon each other. Both are striving for the education, the productivity and the enduring happiness of the common man. The new democracy, the democracy of the common man, includes not only the Bill of Rights, but also economic democracy, ethnic democracy, educational democracy and democracy in the treatment of the sexes.
The ferment in the world today is such that these various types of democracy must be woven together into a harmonious whole. Millions of Americans are now coming to see that if Pan America and the British commonwealth are the warp of the new democracy, then the peoples of Russia and Asia may well become its woof.
Some in the United States believe that we have over-emphasized what might be called political or Bill-of-Rights democracy. Carried to its extreme form, it leads to rugged individu-
alism, exploitation, impractical emphasis on state's rights, and even to anarchy.
Russia, perceiving some of the abuses of excessive political democracy, has placed strong emphasis on economic democracy. This, carried to an extreme, demands that all power be centred in one man and his bureaucratic helpers.
Somewhere there is a practical balance between economic and political democracy. Russia and the United States both have been working toward this practical middle ground. In present-day Russia, for example, differences in wage income are almost but not quite as great as in the United States. The manager of a factory may be paid 10 times as much as the average worker. Artists, scientists and outstanding writers are usually paid even more than factory managers or political commissars.
The chief difference between the economic organization of Russia and that of the United States is that in Russia it is almost impossible to live on income-producing property. The Russian form of state socialism is designed not to get equality of income but to give a maximum incentive on each individual to produce his utmost.
A third kind of democracy, which I call ethnic, is in my opinion vital to the new democracy, the democracy of the common man. Ethnic democracy means merely that the different races and minority groups must be given equality of economic opportunity. President Roosevelt was guided by principles of ethnic democracy when he issued an executive order, prohibiting racial discrimination in the employing of workers by national defence industries.
Russia has probably gone farther than any other nation in the world in practising ethnic democracy. From the Russians we can learn much, for unfortunately the Anglo-Saxons have had an attitude toward other races which has made them exceedingly unpopular in many parts of the world.
We have not sunk to the lunatic level of the Nazi myth of racial superiority, but we have sinned enough to cost us already the blood of tens of thousands of precious lives. Ethnic democracy built from the heart is perhaps the greatest need of the Anglo-Saxon tradition.
The forth democracy, which has to do with education, is based fundamentally on belief in ethnic democracy. It is because Stalin pushed educational democracy with all the power that he could command that Russia today is able to resist Germany. The Russian people for generations have had a great hunger to learn to read and write, and when Lenine and Stalin gave them the opportunity, they changed in 29 years from a nation which was 90 percent illiterate to a nation of which nearly 90 percent are able to read and write.
May Surpass U. S.
Russia has had a great admiration for the American system of technical education and public libraries. If she can continue during the next 20 years the progress made in the past 20, she will surpass the United States. If, in the future, Russia comes whole-heartedly into the family of nations, we may expect Russian scientists to make contributions to human welfare which equal those of any nation in the world. In any event, the Russian scientists will most assuredly be doing their best to place the results of science more definitely at the service of the average man and woman. Patents based on Russian scientific work will not be held out of use to benefit international cartels.
With regard to the fifth democracy, the treatment of the sexes, most of us in the United States have felt complacent. It has taken the war experience of Russia to demonstrate the completeness of our failure. Those who have visited Russia recently say that about
40 per cent. of the work in the factories is being done by women. The average woman does about as much work as the average man, and is paid as much. Thousands of Russian women are in uniform, either actively fighting or standing guard. We in the United States have not yet, in the same way as the Russians, called on the tremendous reserve power which is in our women, but before this war is over, we may be forced to give women their opportunity to demonstrate that with proper training they are equal to man in most kinds of work.
No Peace Guarantee
The old democracy did not serve as a guarantee of peace. The new democracy, in which the people of the United States and Russia are so deeply interested, must give us such a guarantee. This new democracy will be neither communism of the old-fashioned internationalist type nor democracy of the old-fashioned isolationist sort. Willingness to support world organization to maintain world peace by justice implemented by force is fundamental to the democracy of the common man in these days of airplanes. Fortunately, the airplanes, which make it necessary to organize the world for peace, also furnish the means of maintaining peace. When this war comes to an end, the United Nations will have such an overwhelming superiority in air power that we shall be able speedily to enforce any mandate whenever the United Nations may have arrived at a judgment based on international law.
The first article in the international law of the future is undoubtedly the United Nations' Charter. The United Nations' Charter includes the Atlantic Charter, and there is little reason why it should longer be called the "Atlantic Charter" in view of the fact that the broader instrument has been validated by 30 nations.
This United Nations' Charter has in it an international bill of rights and certain economic guarantees of international peace. These must and will be made more specific. There must be an international bank and an international TVA, include say an international Dnieperstroy dam for that matter, based on projects which are self-liquidating at low rates of interest.
Talk With Molotoff
In this connection, I would like to refer to a conversation with Molotoff, when he was here last spring. Thinking of the unemployment and misery which might so easily follow this war, I spoke of the need for productive public-works programmes which would stir the imagination of all the peoples of the world, and suggested as a charter a combined highway and airway from southern South America aross the United States feeder highways and airways from China, India and Canada and Alaska into Siberia, and on to Europe with the Middle East. Molotoff's first reaction was, "No one nation can do it by itself." Then he said, "You and I will live to see the day."
The new democracy by definition abhors imperialism. But by definition also it is internationally minded and supremely interested in raising the productivity, and therefore the standard of living, of all the peoples of the world. First comes transportation, and this is followed by improved agriculture, industrialization and rural electrification: The big planes and skilled pilots which will be ours when the war comes to an end will lead us into a most remarkable future as surely as day follows night. We can make it a future of new democracy based on peace. As Molotoff so clearly indicated, this brave, free world of the future cannot be created by the United States and Russia alone.
Undoubtedly China will have a strong influence on the world which will come out of this war and in exerting this influence it is quite possible that the prin-
ciples of Sun Yat-Sen will prove to be as significant as those of any other modern statesman. The British commonwealth, England herself, the democracies of northwest Europe, Latin America, and in fact all of the United Nations, have a very important role to play. But in order that the United Nations may effectively serve the world it is vital that the United States and Russia be in accord as to the fundamentals of an enduring peace based on the aspirations of the common man. I am here this afternoon to say that it is my belief that the American and Russian people can and will throw their influence on the side of building a new democracy which will be the hope of all the world.
The tragic monotony of bombing and slaughter, the colossal destruction wrought in Germany and Italy, the hundreds and thousands daily doomed to death in the Russian struggle with their invaders; the horrible murders and massacres carried on by the Germans in the countries they profess to have conquered with the hideous delusion that a new order can thus be commended to an agonized humanity - these things day after day eat into the heart of our sympathies until it grows numb with the stark horror of war. Yet we must face it as we face death, the betrayal of friends, the deceit of those trusted, the meanness of politics, and other evils which we can measure. This immeasureable evil of War is beyond our consciousness. There is a promise of the Master recorded under similar circumstances that for the elect's sake the days would be shortened. We may hope that with the devastating blows delivered by Russia, the highly successful invasion of northern Africa by the Allies, and the unquestionable embarrassment of the Nazi forces, that the tide of war has begun to turn. Speculation, is needless, for the plain duty of everyone is to push every effort to the utmost to secure the victory and peace that depends upon it.
A false sense of coming security has led in many cases to the distraction of lesser minds to issues which are of comparatively slight importance in a juncture of this kind. When the house is on fire it is not worth while to stop to put the clock right. The politicians are in that mood both in America and in Britain and very much so in India. One was surprised to hear such a speaker as Wendell Willkie taking an opportunity to twist the Lion's Tail. That was the politician, not the statesman. He came to Toronto and made some amends, after election day was past, but it lowered his average.
The novel incident of the last month was the invasion of Unoccupied France by the Promise-breaking and Unreliable Hitler, the destruction of the French Fleet at Toulon, and the assumption of authority by Admiral Darlan, with repercussions in various parts of the Allied territories. Darlan has consorted with traitors so long that he cannot complain if he is regarded with suspicion. He must prove his nobility if he expects to be taken again into the councils of the worthy.
A year has shown Japan that no man can spit in Uncle Sam's face with impunity. We have held from the first that Hirohito with his limited means had undertaken too extensive a contract. He now knows that Germany is a broken reed; that the Pacific Ocean is very deep and wide; that there is room in it for a much bigger navy than he will ever possess. Australia and New Zealand are people of the Blood and he did not count on that, nor on Uncle Samuel. The Son of the Sun might well study an eclipse of the Moon. That is his size.
Another great reconstruction scheme has been devised in England and it has been received with plaudits. It is based
on the perpetuation of the capitalist system, and the survival of the poor and dependent classes. It had been hoped that any British scheme of reconstruction woud provide for the abolition of these classes and not merely for their relief. We must make up our minds that any scheme of reconstruction, to be successful, must be a better scheme than Russia has adopted, or at least one that is as good and as practical in attaining the end in view. The speech of Henry Wallace, which we reproduce elsewhere, seems to sense this need.
ON THE THRESHOLD
By The Dreamer
(Continued from Page 296.)
I am so grieved to hear of your distress, but do not give way to despair, nor be alarmed by phantoms: and other sufferings. What matters it where we are thrown, provided we forget not our aim and fail not in our duties.
If we have debts to pay, the sooner they are squared the better. Why fret against the manner in which the Law exacts it. There is nothing wrong in it. If on the other hand, it is best for you that somebody else should atone for your sins, then for the time being at least, that shall be so arranged. Have confidence in the wisdom of the Divine Rule, and keep yourself calm in that
sacred faith, and all will surely come off well. On the other hand if you are disturbed in your mind and shaken in your trust, you create false miseries for yourself and one cannot really help you. Even when you seek for help, you have to furnish the necessary conditions; otherwise, no help is possible. (The conditions are included in the prerequisite of a purified Buddhi, universal in its lower trend and ever aspiring to indicate the One Self. - D.) Therefore be of good cheer and learn to find pleasure in nothing save in doing the Will of the Lord and sacrificing everything to His service. That is the great lesson you must strive continually to assimilate, and the regions of Light and Bliss are your heritage.
It is not our rule to answer questions in detail, giving all arguments and the like. Only a few broad hints are thrown out and the rest is left to the intuition, the buddhi, of the pupil. Now, all I may say in answer to your queries about meditation is that success in it does not depend really or much, upon this or the other mechanical act or method. It is a process of regular, slow, but steady growth, that is brought about by the purification or the universalization of the upadhis and the cultivation of sattva guna. As this is done, the personality or the Ahamkara is attenuated; the whole nature is more and more harmonized with the Divine: and so concentration becomes easier (When the upadhis are attuned to the Unity of the Self which is the same in all beings and things, the ingoing currents of Life-consciousness technically called - are not deflected towards objects. This object-consciousness is colored by separateness; and the purification of the vehicles is effected if the Universal Being is accepted as the goal and not separative objects. When this is done, the modes of consciousness returning to the Self become one in nature. This is the -- of Patanjali iii-2. This is called the flow self-wards of a similar nature, something like the roseate tinge with which the lover sees the world around clothed when Love first dawns on the soul. This is not the artificial repetition of an identical process of image-making. The personality is then in the stage of Yoga-Vasista - the stage where Kama-manas loses its separative nature. - D.) and easier. I may also add that self-surrender to one's Ishta or Gurudeva is not altogether a state of passivity until it is complete, and hence
there may be activity in this that accentuates the personality.
My poor boy! What a lot of karma you are exhausting! It is rather too hard work for your strength, but there is hardly any help now unless you want it to be extended over years.
I fear this long suffering, coupled with the little relief or light you have found from me has begun to show you how little I am worth . . . (A devotee should rather see from this that his Gurudeva, in order not to accentuate the personality which the sense of relief implies, is permitting the outer suffering. For, is not his Gurudeva in everything equally? - D.) Yet, if you have understood the Law, you should have peace in the midst of storm and stress, and neither lose patience nor courage. Remember there are others who suffer as keenly as yourself, if not more. Remember also that we are but tiny sparks in a boundless universe, and lose the sense of pain in the wider memory, in the broad survey of creation. Do you not see every day before your eyes, myriads of flies and insects devoured and tormented by creatures a little bigger than they? How many tears do you shed for them? What pangs ache your heart at the sight of this astounding pain? And what are we, but flies and insects crawling on the surface of an insignificant little globe, floating like a chip in the vast ocean of Space? Let these thoughts allay your passions and their consequent bruises. Live in the Eternal, and therein breathe the air of peace. There is no rest outside that region. In the shell of Ahamkara no one can expect bliss.
I am sorry to hear about N. He has yielded to the reaction from the little influence that was shed on him. He was not quite in the fit condition to receive it; and I hesitated before passing it on. But he demanded and a chance was given him; and since he has thrown thus away his chance it means more suffering for the dear lad. But come back he must, and it is only a question of time.
My dear boy, just a word of loving sympathy with you in your grief. These sad wrenches are indeed painful; yet we know that we do not lose our loved ones when they (merely) cast aside a worn-out body and pass into higher realms of life. And it is good to think of them as at peace while we are sad. May she pass swiftly to the Shining Land.
Do not be anxious for the dear departed soul. That will be well cared for. But you must also do your duty in this connection.... Be then comforted, and know always that you are watched, cared for with parental affection; and neither Time nor Space can in any way affect this love.
I know the trials and troubles you have been facing. But you know as well as I do, that these are of our own making, and further, that without these, progress and growth is impossible. (These trials are not deliberately permitted by the Great Ones. They are the result of recrudescence of impulses opposite in nature to the universality of being, and are revived into life and strength by the dawning life of unity. They prove that the I in us is the ALL. - D.) Would you rather have an easy time and be stagnant? What are the sufferings? And however gloomy the outward prospect, if you are not inwardly shaken in your faith in the Supreme Mercy and Justice, and if you give yourself heart and soul to Him, you may be sure all that is best for you will be done and the end will be glorious. Remember always the sublime saying 'Whom the Lord loveth, He chastiseth,' and that the Great Ones have passed through the same road that you are now treading, and are ever watch-
ing those that follow Them in Their steep, narrow and slippery path. And as for my humble self being with you, I am there in spirit whenever I am wanted. The physical body however, cannot do much by its presence anyway. So be content.
The ONLY approval that a would-be disciple should care for is his Lord's and that of his own conscience. What matters it then, if men judge you amiss or even slander you maliciously. Have not all Those Great Ones in Whose footsteps we are all treading, passed through similar villifications? Have I not been maligned over and over again and in the most heartless and groundless fashion? Why then should you seek to escape the common destiny of all pilgrims on the Path of true Life? Has not SHRI KRISHNA said that we must be equipoised in praise and blame alike? Therefore, if your conscience is clear and you are able to present to the Lord a pure heart, you ought to rejoice rather than fret at the aspersions that have been falsely thrown on your character. (The aspirant should realize the admirable teaching of the Lord in the Bhagabat xi-23-25 et seq. which says that no one is the giver of pleasure or pain, and that these are due to false realization of the Self in us, - and that 'friends' and 'enemies' are appearances due to the result of the darkness of sansara making us see falsely the One Universal Self. The mind should be regulated by the sense of the Universal Self. - D.) This is one of the most primary lessons which the aspirant has to master; and surely you must not stumble over that.
How is your wife? I know she has had to suffer much. But suffering is the badge of all of us, and the Supreme cannot be attained in any other way. So let her bear it bravely, knowing that it leads to final liberation and that there are Those Who would not permit it to crush you out altogether, provided you are faithful.
Such is life on these planes, and unless one finds disappointment, he can never turn to the Real. Then again, one who seeks the Lord must learn cheerfully to give everything to Him, and thus show that his love of Him is supreme. Therefore be calm and resigned, and above all, offer your heart to Him, and you will have peace amidst all earthly miseries. Do not add vainly to your sufferings by the thought that anything could have averted the loss. Nothing can carry a man away before his time, (Death is very beautifully described in the Bhagabat x-I-38 et seq. It is the result of karma, and is by itself as painless as the acceptance of Ideal forms in dreams. It is the loss of memory as to the body falling off. The mind playing with its contents gets engrossed in the grooves habitually sought for in physical life and thus forgets the gross body. The exact moment of the acceptance of the mental form, and the forgetfulness of the disentegrating body is a pleasant one and is the moment of Death. We need no glowing pictures of this Astral world to cheer us but may rest assured that as the leech lets go its hold of a straw or plant only when it grasps another support, - so also the 'I' in us is first satisfied with the ideal body composed of the psychic states revived before it in a panorama, ere it quietly forgets the physical and passes from it. - D.) and the ways of the Lord, though mysterious, are supremely wise and just, and therefore perfectly regulated. Be of good cheer, my boy, and by learning to be truly resigned you will put an end to your pains.
(To Be Continued)
Begin the New Year by reading the two thirteenth chapters of I and II Corinthians.
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by W. Frank Sutherland
HUMANISM AND THE MAKING OF THE FUTURE - I
By Blodwen Davies
(Concluded from Page 291.)
If we had fully developed our reason, our imagination, our spiritual will, we would not be in this planetary war today. It was unnecessary. We deliberately brought it on ourselves by our lack of reason, lack of imagination, and lack of spiritual will. I believe, however, that, hopeless as the world situation looks, that today we are a wiser people than we were a decade ago. I think this because at least we are aware of, we are acknowledging, our stupidity, our irresponsibility and our collective shame. Better than that, we are also at work creating plans for future circumstances which will make a repetition of our mistakes unlikely.
In 1934, 2,400,000 people died of starvation and 1,200,000 people committed suicide, according to the reports of the World Committee on Relief.
In that same year, 1934, Denmark, - just little Denmark, - slaughtered cattle at the rate of five thousand a week because there was no market for their dairy products. English milk was poured down the drains because there was not enough demand for it to maintain the price levels. A fine of five pounds an acre was fixed for every new acre of potatoes sowed, to discourage English farmers from increasing the potato crop. In the same year one million carloads of wheat were destroyed; 267,000 carloads of coffee were destroyed; five hundred thousand tons of meat were destroyed. In Argentina alone the carcasses of 60,000 sheep, were burned. In that same year Canada had more than a million unemployed. The United States had twelve million unemployed.
Now the reason these people died of starvation and suicide was not lack of food. We had to destroy many millions of dollars' worth of food to keep it from falling into the hands of those who needed it. We had the need and we had the food. The reason millions of our fellow human beings died was because they lacked work and so lacked money. There was, so the economists said, a "human demand" but there was no "effective demand". An effective demand, is, of course a demand with money to pay. The human demand a decade ago, was not an effective demand. Hunger, fear, hopelessness, disease, pain, despair and death were not as important to us as our bookkeeping. That was because we were only slightly human.
In 1941 we had enough money to spend on armaments to kill two and a half millions of people. And we must remember that we were not fighting as seriously in 1941 as we fought in 1942. We'll have a better tally for 1942, - more money to spend, more deaths to report.
With our modern scientific methods, our marvellously contrived inventions in armaments, it costs more to kill people than to feed them. The price of a single one-thousand-plane-raid over Europe, in money, is fifty millions of dollars. The price of one such raid would have provided each one of those people who died of starvation in 1934 with twenty dollars' worth of food. And we are asking for nightly raids, not merely of one thousand planes, but of two thousand or three thousand planes. The "death demand" is an effective demand.
Money is A Tool
What is money, that it can do these queer things? Money is basically an idea. As we change our ideas about
money, money will change, its influence will change, its effects will change. Our present idea of money has hypnotizes us all for the last three centuries. Dr F. Cyril James, of McGill University, Chairman of Canada's Committee on Post-War Reconstruction, in his book "The Economics of Money, Credit and Banking," says "we are still confronted with the problem of finding out just what money is". Then he goes on that "money is important only as a facilitating medium for the exchange of . . . . goods . . . In itself, it is nothing but a tool". Money is intended to be the instrument of freedom, the symbol of the individual's contribution to the common tasks of his society, a symbol which should enable him to exchange his labor for whatever he chooses to expend it upon. A moneyless society could have a high standard of physical living, but the matter of choice would be limited and the individual's freedom curtailed. But money, in our social system, for the average person, depends upon the opportunity to labor. Since society does not control the opportunities to labor it does not control the circumstances in which a man may exchange his labor for the symbol, money. And without the symbol, money, man may be deprived of food and so deprived of life, as those millions in 1934 were deprived of life. "Any tool has its uses," says Dr. James, "and to use a tool in the wrong way may be extraordinarily dangerous. Probably there is no single economic institution of greater use to mankind than money; certainly no other institution has caused greater human misery when it was misused."
So Humanists must be engaged in thinking about this problem of labor, money, and freedom. Freedom from want. That can be achieved in a slave society. But freedom from fear can only be achieved in a free society which knows no want.
In 1942, thirty nations had pledged themselves to abolish want and fear. That pledge implies a new social order for the world. The older order of society did not abolish want and fear. It didn't even try. That ideal was born in the Atlantic Charter. Here are some paragraphs from an editorial in the Toronto Star. This is evidence that we have changed since 1934. Terrible as is the suffering in this war, it is undisguised suffering. It is brutal, but it is frank. The same suffering in the years before the war was disguised. Two and a half million people died in a year slowly and terribly, and for every two who died slowly, one died quickly by his own hand. There were as many terrible deaths each year in the "thirties", among defenceless civilians, due to social and economic causes, as there are per year in the "forties" due to military and political causes. The Star's editorial is headed "Modern State's Responsibility for the Economic Health of All." It reads:
"In its final report, The Temporary National Economic Committee, set up by President Roosevelt to investigate the concentration of economic power in the United States made this thoughtful and profound statement:
Governments Serve Men
" 'In the life of a community, the whole is greater than any of its parts. Whatever power may be exercized for a time by any part of the community is a power delegated from the whole community for the good of the whole community. Governments are instituted among men to serve men. Men were not created to serve government. Business organization, like government organization, is a creation of man, a tool by which mankind endeavors to advance its material prospects. Business organization has no right or function to control the activities and lives of men.'
"Commenting on this text, the Econ-
omist of London says there is a growing realization that the government must assume the responsibility for creating the social and economic conditions in which these propositions can be attained. Economic security, steady employment, greater equality of opportunity and distribution of goods, cannot be secured if the state plays exclusively the part of spectator. 'Intervention,' says the Economist, 'is not only inevitable, it will have to be far-reaching.' "
So perhaps the many millions we sacrificed on the altar of the golden calf have not died in vain. Perhaps the many more millions we are killing with our exquisite precision instruments, will not die in vain. These things are a terrible price to pay for our spiritual astigmatism. But they are not the whole price. We must be alert and vigilant to see that whatever changes we make in the near future are the best and wisest changes we can humanly make. We must not tire in the work of sifting, testing and trying in order to save from out of all our experiments and theories and visions, that which is nearest to the archetypal, the most functional and organic, in our own days. We must make our Idea of money a wise Idea.
Dr. Oliver Reiser in "A New Earth and a New Humanity", tells the story of another Idea. He tells the story of the Greek system of logic, on which the whole of European thought rested since the days of Aristotle. That system of logic was incapable of creating the thing we call an imaginary number. It needed the western mind in revolt to conceive of the square root of minus one. But this imaginary number was the seed which produced, in due time, the theory of electromagnetism. The invention in mathematics and the resultant experiments in physics created the civilization of today. Every motor car, every airplane, every tank and truck, every machine that depends on a magneto, also depends on imaginary numbers. As Reiser says, "When electricity comes in, the tyranny of classical physics goes out . . . You cannot run a motor car by Euclid or Newton."
An idea in logic dominated Europe for twenty-five hundred years. When men freed themselves from its traditions, civilization changed, communication speeded up so that time and space both seemed to be in bondage. There is now no corner of our world that cannot be reached by the human voice in a matter of seconds, and by the human being himself in the matter of hours.
When we have the courage to face the problem of what constitutes an "effective demand" we will again change the face of our civilization.
Are we agreed that we have been only partly human to date, and that great human potentialities are yet untapped? Are we agreed that man has the power to recreate his society by means of his intuitive faculty and his rational mind?
The life of the future will not be an easy one. An easy life is a dull life and a corroding one. This is not the aim of the Humanists. Man is always happiest when his powers and capacities are extended to their utmost. The man completely employed, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, is the happiest man, the dynamic man. He then begins to feel like a "total man". The future society will make great demands on individuals, it will demand ,effort, self-discipline, cooperativeness, in labor and recreation and in the building of the new world structure. In the imagination of Humanism, the years that lie just ahead will constitute the most absorbing drama of all time, in which all the world will indeed become a stage, and all the men and women really players.
Philosophy is a word to represent what man thinks and reasons about things. Every one has a philosophy of
some kind. Each age has its own philosophy. What we think about the world today and about the Atlantic Charter and what it stands for is our contemporary philosophy. Humanism is a bridge between the Atlantic Charter and the little prairie town where a dynamic democracy and the four freedoms go into action.
This is a global war; the peace that follows is global and the society that will be built for that peace, will be a global society. That statement is true, whether we win the war or lose it. The future is global, - global slavery or global freedom. When this war ends we do not face a compromise with Russian communism, British imperialism, American industrialism, Chinese socialism or Indian nationalism. What we must have for the future is a vision so wide and compelling that it envelops all of these and offers something greater than any of them. The future is not a matter of this or that. It is an age of synthesis, a federation of peoples; it will be a world in which planetary good manners will be basic in public affairs, - what the French called "the courtesy of the heart". For assurance of this we need only read the public statements of United Nations spokesmen who speak as they do because they know that the peoples of the United Nations want such ideals expressed; or read the Atlantic Charter; or the reports of the International Labour Organization.
Reiser says that Planetism is the religion of Humanism. It is the only religion powerful enough to displace the regional and class religion of fascism, or the regional and class religion of communism, and these two are the most powerful religious forces of the recent decades. Man and his destiny constitute the only thing in the world today big enough to dominate the total human imagination, to become a collective ideal. In the united effort to understand man, his source and his goal, we may discover the Brotherhood of Man and his divine Origin. Man has made many gods and all of them regional, racial and class conscious. Yet back of his intelligence was always the Idea that there was one God; but how difficult it was for each man to overcome the belief that God was made in his image. So we have had black gods and white gods, brown gods and yellow gods, because human imagination was incapable of overleaping all its traditions and limitations and conceiving of a God-consciousness great enough for all. But the energy of the evolution of human consciousness thunders at all our senses in these heroic days, and as we grow through suffering and tension arid trial, so also our conception of the God-consciousness grows with us, and as we reach out towards a planetary society, so too, we make room in our imagination for a God of all men, revealing himself in many ways, reflecting in his vastness, all men who seek him in goodness, in beauty or in truth.
Planetism involves the federal principle, under which units will maintain their identity within a cooperative whole. The great experiments in federation up to this time have all been carried out by the great nation's on our side of the war. The British Commonwealth of Nations, the United States, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics are all federations. Each has experience in the collective living of people of many creeds, tongues, races and classes. None of the Axis nations are exponents of the federal principle. They are worshippers of tribal deities, Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito are tribal gods. But Reiser says that "global thinking is the language of the future." Axis global rule would not be thinking, it would be tribal consciousness on a planetary scale.
Why do I believe that after the war we shall have a planetary society, a fed-
eration of friendly cultures? Because I believe that unless we have the courage and the vision now to imagine and will this new society, we shall go down to a defeat and a slavery such as world has never known. We must create a society in which those things which made for national and racial resentments are removed. Unless we begin to plan now for the world of which all free men of the past and present have sketched the plans with their life's blood, then the spiritual light embodied in humanity will flicker out and leave the world in darkness and dispair.
But I think we have the courage, I think we have the endurancce, I think we have, at last, the spiritual will and imagination, first to win the war, and then to build a new world through the goodwill and genius of mankind. And let us always remember that goodwill is the will-to-good, or spiritual will. It is before this evidence that Hitler is beginning to falter. He complains of our imagination. He says we are not realists; that all the great victories have been his, but that in spite of facts we believe we are going to win the war. The blazing imagination of free men, - even when they suffer and die in conquered countries, is something the gestapo cannot quench. No panzer division can roll over it. Hitler has destroyed the imagination of his own people. For imagination dies in fetters.
Our greatest weapon today is imagination.
If we hope for a society that embodies freedom and security, a society that will control the material things of life and yet not lay sinister hands upon the imagination of free men, but leave a place within society in which each man may think his own thoughts and develop his own peculiar genius for personal living, we must begin now by allowing to each other that small area in each life which is unique. The best safeguard against standardization in a planned society, is a universal appreciation of the richness and variety that arises out of the uniqueness of human personality. We must let each individual nurse his idiosyncrasies, eccentricities or egotisms, while at the same time we realize how small an area of his total life is occupied by them. We must determine to cooperate with each other in that larger area which is the common life, and tolerate each other in the little area of uniqueness.
Some of the things we have in common are these:
(1) The social structure of the nation. None of us can escape that whether it be conservative, socialistic or dictatorial.
(2) The laws of the nation. None of us can escape them.
(3) The economic system of the nation.
(4) The educational system of the nation; its schools, libraries and press.
(5) The basic nature of the country, its fertility or its non-fertility, its psychic atmosphere and its history. None of us can escape these things.
So no matter how much we pride ourselves on our individualism, our uniqueness, we must admit that there is a large part of us that is collective, and by no means unique.
Belief in man
It is merely that the small part which is unique is supremely important to us. That is why, in the new society, while our collective needs must be protected, our need for the integrating factor of our personal uniqueness must also be protected. Here Humanism will play its part because of its basic belief in the individual man.
Humanism conceives a dynamic democracy concerned with the detailed working out of a way of life in which education, training for labor, the right to expression of normal human
emotions, are provided for, where marriage and the right to home and family will be based on the "human demand" not on the "effective demand" of the ability to pay in cash; where health will be provided for by a sound agriculture and normal living, with recreation, cultural activities and social security.
While these are all part of Humanism as a philosophy, they are already embodied in manifestos and have come to life in practical politics. In Canada, Prime Minister King has declared that post-war reconstruction must provide total employment, better housing, and the social insurances as part of our program to eliminate want and fear. "Freedom," he says, "is absence of fear."
Dr. Reiser makes a strong point of the lag which exists between our ideas and our practices. He urges upon us time-binding: that is, aligning our ideas and our times in one coherent whole. When the lag between ideas and practice becomes too great, revolutions occur and balance is achieved by violence. We can prevent revolutions by preventing the lag.
The Atlantic Charter is such an Idea. We could begin our time-binding by bringing into alignment, into realistic action, our Charter and our society. A step in that direction was taken in the abolition of extraterritorial rights in China. That was an example of time-binding. Not a voice has been raised among us to repudiate the Atlantic Charter. We are committed by our national signatures and our approval to this global idea of a better way of life. We have endorsed such things as renunciation of any profit from the war; we provide against territorial changes except by the consent of those concerned; we pledge a fair distribution of wealth and raw materials; we are committed to better labor standards, to social security, to world peace, to free travel, to abandonment of force
and to world disarmament "for realistic as well as spiritual reasons". We have undertaken to cooperate in a federation of neighborly peoples, a global democracy; we have sworn to cooperate in a great, unified conscious change in human society.
We must believe in this thing. The truth will make us free only if we apply it in our own times; if truth becomes the party-in-power rather than expediency and privilege, then we shall indeed set out upon the new way of life which leads to a truly human society.
We have received the following magazines: The Indian Theosophist, August; Theosophy in Australia, October; The Ancient Wisdom, October; The Theosophist, September; Theosophy in Ireland, July-September; Toronto Theosophical News, November; The Link, South Africa, October; Theosophical News and Notes, Great Britain, October; Eirenicon, October; The American Theosophist, November; 0 Theosofisia, Brazil, March-April; Lucifer, Boston, November; U.L.T. Bulletin, London, October; The Theosophical Movement, August; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, November; Theosophy, (U.L.T.) , November; Theosophy in New Zealand, Oct.-December; Lucifer, Boston, December.
The Indian Theosophist records the membership in the T.S. for sixty years of Rao Saheb G. Soobiah Chetty, of Adyar on 27th April last. He was a friend of H.P.B. and remains faithful and enthusiastic to date. He was born in March, 1858 at Salem, India. He was instrumental in the purchase of Adyar. He was decorated by the Government in 1913 for thirty years' flawless honesty and integrity in Government service.
The sun of Theosophy must shine for all, not for a part. - Mahatma Letters, p. 271