Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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VOL. XXIII., No. 4 HAMILTON, JUNE 15th, 1942 Price 20 cents
EDUCATION AND CULTURE
Our note on The Secret Doctrine last month was not intended to suggest that this great book was of the nature of a Bible. Rather is it to the practical working student like a standard dictionary which he cannot be without, or an encyclopaedia to which he refers when at a loss for necessary information. It used to be said that a reading of The Secret Doctrine would give a man more real knowledge than a college course of two years. This is an understatement. Very few college graduates have the mental grasp or the intellectual variety of knowledge of a student of The Secret Doctrine. But for real education the student must begin with Isis Unveiled. It is a profound and radical book which does for the student what the axe and the stumper, the plough and the cultivator do for the settler when he first clears his land for agriculture. Modern minds are jungle patches of wilderness. They have a few beaten paths through which they pad up and down in constant fear of the Reds and the Radicals, the Agnostics and the Infidels, the Communists and the Anarchists, all of whom are men like themselves, but who travel on different trails. Isis Unveiled clears away the thorns and thistles; the weeds and underbrush of the mind, and lets in the light of day. That is education. But culture is something beyond. When a man gets out of his jungle wilderness he is ready for The Secret Doctrine, a study of which makes him a man of culture, who knows life, life at its sanest and noblest, to be lived for mankind and not for self and selfishness. Then he is on the threshold of religion, not the religion of rites and ceremonies, of creeds and dogmas, of temples and priestcraft, but the religion of Life itself. He can learn of this religion from The Key to Theosophy which instructs him in the laws of Life, of which he has already made such broad acquaintance in its historical and social aspects in his previous studies. He must train himself in the knowledge of his own nature, its principles, their operation. The time comes when for the serious and earnest student knowledge about religion must give way to religion itself, the sense of unity with all things living and with the source of Life itself. This leads to Sanctity which bears the same relation to religion that culture bears to education. The Voice of the Silence is the little manual which treats of Sanctity as a real quality of Life and Action, not as a cloak or a profession of unknown virtues.
ON THE THRESHOLD BY THE DREAMER
(Continued from Page 78)
As regards the question, as to how the true Chela is chosen out from the false, it is the law never to deny anyone. Of course, H.P.B. had insight in her, and always knew those who were worthy from those who were merely drawn by selfish motives or still more reprehensible objects. She, however, seldom brought this faculty of hers to bear upon the question. Everything was left to the honor and conscience of the applicant: and no one who professed to be actuated by the proper motives was refused a chance. (Contrast with this the mise en scene, the stage paraphenalia, the duplicates of bodies, etc., believed in by some of the latter-day theosophists - D.) Our duty is to make things clear for the aspirant; so that he may enter with his eyes open and may not afterwards complain of being hoodwinked. We tell him very plainly that the utmost sacrifice is demanded of him, and that his own progress should be a matter of secondary importance, while work for humanity should be his chief aim in life. We tell him that if he looks for Siddhis, (Psychic powers which are very often antagonistic to true spiritual life. D.) or for the speedy introduction to the Master, or for any rewards of a similar personal character, he had better stand aloof. We do not take upon ourselves to judge at the very outset, that the candidate is wanting in frankness or veracity, and in earnestness or sincerity; but we leave him to prove his worth by his own conduct.
You have heard of initiates (Those who have passed through the various initiations: the term including Rishis and Munis of the Hindus - D.) falling from very high states of development. Now this is not due to want of knowledge or discernment in the Guru who initiated them. The Master knows well how the Chela would turn out; but the Chela could never be persuaded to think that he was unfit, or that he would fall. Hence all the difficulties are made known to him; and when he still persists in coming in, and fancies that he has the necessary qualifications (As to these - Vide Supra - D.) he is taken on probation. The trial is not for the Guru to ascertain the merits of the Chela, but for the Chela to prove to himself his worthiness or otherwise. Rewards are best relished, when the person actually feels that he has merited them. Gratuities only degrade and mortify every man of sense and honor.
I have heard from our dear Brother U. of your zeal and devotion, of your increasing control over your lower nature: and - what greater pleasure can there be than to hear of a soul that is making its way through the snares of Maya and seeing the dawning of the Light.
You will be able, with the Blessed Ones and by the blessing of Sri Krishna to conquer all the difficulties and obstacles in your way; and so become as time goes on, one of Their strong servants for the helping of the world. For that is the great prize that all may win who conquer the personal self and seek union with the Higher.
This alternation of light and darkness must continue so long as we live in this world of illusions. Change is the very condition of manifested existence; and so long as we do not merge into the Unmanifest, (The . . . or the Transcendence of Being as distinguished from the self of Immanence which wells up as the `I'. - D.) we must pass from sunshine into rain and back again from rain to sunshine.
Do not therefore, break your heart over the inevitable, especially as this
keen struggle has been evoked by your own conscious action, with eyes wide open to the difficulties of the Path. The reason why your trial is more severe than that of others is simply because you have taken a more earnest and determined stand against the Asuras than many. Of course, every one of us has
imperfections in his nature; and these assert themselves far more forcibly when battle is waged against them, than under ordinary circumstances. (For with the accentuation of Ahamkara prompting the young aspirant, these lower elements of separation are polarized into being - D.) And in the case of the disciple, they are all brought to the surface and laid bare to his eyes in all their hideousness: so that he may know them fully at the very threshold of his journey, and disarm them one by one as he proceeds onward. It is but fit and proper that he should not be allowed to desecrate the inner temple by carrying impurities in his heart. (Due to the knot of Ahamkara in the heart, - the . . . . of the Shastras - D.) The sooner the work of purification is made the better; for very serious are the consequences, if these are not left behind ere we set foot on higher regions. (Cf. The Voice of the Silence. - D. )
As to what your particular weakness is at the present moment, the best thing is to leave you to discover that for yourself. Of course, you will have necessary help in making the discovery. But that help will come from inside: so that you may have no doubts and mistakes about the real enemy, and know for certain his nature and strength, and the means to disenthrone him from your heart.
The best thing we could do during storms of this nature, is to hold fast to the Lotus Feet of Iswara, to wish for nothing save what He wills, and have perfect faith and devotion. (This is the . . . . of the Gita - xiii - 20 - D.) Of course, metaphysical knowledge, too, may sometimes come to our aid. But the real strength lies in the higher virtue of Bhakti, devotion of the genuine type - Bhakti, which means the realization (in life, of the highest truths of philosophy, which reduces self-knowledge to self-feeling, Cf. Gita xviii-55. - D.) as it were, and thus completes the work of evolution. For, knowledge is not needed for its own sake, but in order that life may be sweetened, elevated, and brought into conformity with the Divine Laws. (Cf. . . . . of the Bhagabat xi, 19i, 40.-D.) Therefore my dear boy, despair not whatever may happen: let not failures dishearten you: but with firm faith in the mercy as in the justice of the Supreme Lord, close again and again with the hostile forces that carry on the work of evolution as reactionary agents, until you finally gain the victory, reunited with the Lord - the true and glorious Father of yourself and the universe. (This is consummated when the One is seen in . . . the `I' as well as in . . . the All - D.)
So long as there are individuals, (The Jiva, the `I' in us, which is there to indicate the Beyondness . . . . of Consciousness, Existence and Bliss - D.) there must be individual action; for the Absolute and Universal Spirit did not individualize for nothing. The Universal and Divine Power is always there operating as the Great Law. What then is the individual for? Certainly not to remain idle and inactive, but to give play to its energies. Now the question is as to the way in which this energy ought to be best utilized. Necessarily, the answer to this depends upon the character of the individual, (. . . and the . . . of the Ego - D.) and the stage of evolution he has reached. Our duty varies with the progress of our soul, with the advance of our knowledge, with the increase of our power.
(The power which makes us appear as nothing (separate) in the eyes of all. Cf. Light on the Path - D.) In your case, when you do not exactly know what the Law of Karma demands, what the Divine Justice requires for its satisfaction, the proper thing is to obey your highest impulse. Of course, before you give in to any impulse, you ought to analyze yourself carefully, and see that the impulse has not proceeded from the lower personality which ever seeks to establish the separated `I', and is purely benevolent and universal in its trend. Then, the light of reason (Viveka) is not to be neglected. For there may be impulses that are magnanimous and philanthropic, but which, at the same time, are exceedingly foolish; and it is sheer madness to follow them up.
Deep down in the bottom of our hearts are desires (The . . . . of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad - D.) which lie hidden and dormant generally, but which seek satisfaction in a subtle and mysterious way. And not unfrequently could we trace many an apparently benevolent wish to one or other of these separative desires. It is, therefore, a mistake to think, that every impulse putting on a humane appearance is the one that comes from the Divine. The best way to harmonize one's nature with the Divine Will is to begin by killing out all desires, by maintaining constantly an attitude of devotion and submission, by controlling the effusions of the lower self as often as they seek any vent. Self-scrutiny (Technically called the Chela's Diary - D.) also is an ever efficient and indispensable means of discovering one's tendencies and one's latent and subconscious motives. (If done with an eye to the Universal and the Transcendent Stratum which underlies, runs through and ever expresses itself in and through every concrete mode of our life - D.) So that, if you are always watchful and always put down your passions and your appetites on one hand, and be ever eager to open your soul to the Divine, (Cf. Light on the Path - D.) ever willing to serve the Master, and sacrifice the lower and impermanent elements of your constitution for the nurture of the higher and permanent principles on the other hand, your involuntary impulses will gradually be mere reflections of the Logoic Thought; (The Divine Consciousness, the . . . of the Hindus and the . . .. of the Buddhist - D.) and an error in Action would be as impossible as an error in motive and knowledge.
So long, however, as this stage is not reached, our only course is to make the endeavor to bring it about by utilizing the nobler and relatively less reparative instincts of our nature in the subdual of the animal passions, by constantly striving to be less and less personal in our motives and judgments; and evaluations of things around, - and more and more benevolent, philanthropic, and universal in our trend of life. So will the habit grow up which will shape our judgment and mould our conduct according to the universal verities and principles and cosmic laws, instead of personal advantages and mercantile rules, (Prompted by the desire to establish the separated `I' at the cost of the Universal - D.) and will finally merge ourselves in to the Supreme Self. This endeavor will no doubt be chequered with blunders for which we shall have to suffer. But such suffering will be only physical and mental, and not spiritual: that is, it will not put back the progress of the Soul, but only remove the ignorance, (As to the true nature of the Self in us, as being indicative of the One and the Secondless - D.) which led to the mistakes; and as such we ought to welcome it.
As for the difficulties with which your profession is beset, I know fully all about these. But everything has its
bright as well as its dark side; and while the Bar is the most corrupt perhaps of all places, it is, for that very reason, the field which offers the best opportunity for the speediest progress. The severer the trial, the struggle, the quicker the evolution. When there is nothing to combat, there is no exercise for the higher spiritual virtues, and consequently no real spiritual development. Therefore, fear not failures; but fight on. Failures avail not, so long as the soul is intent on victory.
I do not know how answer your question in regard to concentration (Cf. Patanjali 3-4-D.) in the heart. The answer will come, and had better come, from within: for I doubt if any epistolary or oral reply will be sufficiently efficacious and intelligible. The image of the Upasya (The Object of worship as realized in the lower consciousness - D.) has to be formed in the heart; because the heart is the seat of all desires, and here it is that the forbidden tree fructifies luxuriantly. (Kathopanishad 23-14 - D.) And as in gardening, you exterminate noxious weeds by the planting of shrubs that are stronger and healthier, so the most effective means of rooting out vicious desires is by enthroning in the heart, the image that is the holiest, the noblest and the most blessed. (Patanjali ii-44-D.)
Fewer the questions you ask, the better and speedier your progress will be. For if you ask for the solution inside yourself, you call into exercise all those faculties, (Buddhi or Apperception of Reality - D.) by the development of which alone growth becomes possible.
The way to kill out desire is not by setting your face against the loftier instincts of the heart at the outset, but rather by utilizing the dynamic power of these instincts against the brute force of the mere animal passions. (Patanjali ii-33 - D.) Then when these animal passions have been subdued, the nobler emotions and higher virtues of the heart, - such as love, piety, mercy, generosity and the like, - naturally harmonize themselves with the Supreme Reason and the Divine Will. For they, in reality, are the reflections from That on the human heart; (The . . . . of the Gita - which are based on the Unity and Universality of the Self - D.) and the tinge of personality they bear, is only by reason of the medium through which they are reflected.
I am very sorry indeed for poor D-. He is a capital fellow at heart; but is passing through a crisis: so you must not judge him altogether by what he says or does these days. Of course, he has his weaknesses, holes in his pocket; and the Other Side are now making an exhibition of these latter, and magnifying them too, as much as they can. What spiteful devils they are! And yet, were it not for them, there could be no progress in the manifested universe. So, the wise man does not deprecate Satan and his hosts: but knowing the part they play in the evolution of the universe, pays them the respect they deserve. And so you know the story of the Puranas, where Maha-deva states the reason for His evolving Asuras, and where He declares them to be His, part and parcel.
Pride, though not absolutely a good thing, is very desirable at certain stages: and I am not sure, if in you it may not work good results. It may stimulate you to activity of a kind, which, in a Grihastha (house-holder) is virtue; and the absence of which, in one burdened with a family is a sin. Indifference to external circumstances is all very good; but this difference should be internal only; (Maitropanishad ii-19) and if it interferes with the proper discharge of duty, it turns into
a vice. Therefore, it is said, `Kill out ambition, but work as those who work for ambition.' (Light on the Path, and Gita iii-25 - D.) You have to conform your self in practice to the spirit of this teaching. The Law, my boy, is very inexorable, and to the limited understanding, it often appears merciless. But the wise man knows it to be the very embodiment of the most absolute mercy and so grumbles not.
I see no reason why you should be upset by what `Tarak Babu' said to you. What he told you about the dangers from the Dark Powers and Their putting on, at times, the masks of our Teachers, in order to delude us, is quite true. And it is well they are allowed to masquerade in this fashion. Otherwise the neophyte's faculty of discernment (Right feeling and right judgment - D.) would not be developed. What would you think of a man who would mistake a professional buffoon, togged, painted and moustached after his father's fashion, for the author of his being? It is only when we are still engrossed in mere forms and outside appearances, that we may be deluded, but never when the inner eye is opened (Due to the Inversion of Patanjali which is based on the unessential elements in our notions. - D.) So there is no cause for any disturbance if such is the fact. Nay, one who has faith in the absolute goodness, greatness, purity and omniscience of the Supreme Principle, should not be unsettled by anything that is true, nor by anything that is only an illusion. (For the Brahman is present in the illusory as well as the true - D.)
I have been trying to bring you light and peace, - the Light which alone can illumine the darkness of your heart, and the Peace which alone can stand all outside and even inside storms that may rage in obedience to the great law of evolution. I come to you daily (This is not in the so-called occult way of acting in a subtler body. There is another way of helping, in which the Divinity within acts directly on the Buddhic of the disciple - D.) and sometimes more than once in the day, though you may not feel my presence. You will see me only when it is really good for you to do so, and not otherwise. It is not therefore prudent to wish to see me when you ought not to see, and thus disturb the equilibrium both within and about you. Remember that those (The Rishis - the Muktas - D.) Who have the guidance of your life, know better than you do what you actually need. Therefore, wish only for harmony with those Mighty Beings, Who out of boundless mercy of Their Soul, ever look after the good of man.
(To Be Continued.)
Look at snowflakes and observe the formation of matter and its return into the Void. Matter is formed of four bipolar elements, manifesting in double ways. This illustrates Life (first) and Death (last), rebecoming Life. Death leaves behind what is used, becomes Birth again, starting a new journey in the world of forms.
Your mind must be made up. It is usually called Attention, Meditation and Concentration, three distinctions in appearance but in fact one process. The mind must be made up by the person whose vehicle it is. Mind made up is one, for then it is the union of the three highest principles in man's make-up. All man's principles except Atma, the highest, are really vehicles. Atma is not a vehicle, for, it is of Nirvana.
Initiations are mostly misunderstood by later nations. It is leaving the Past (Death) and entering the Future
through the Present (Birth.). Initiation is kept secret for a very good reason: to protect the New Born at re-entering the outside world from being torn by jackals swarming outside the Shrine. Jackals do not seek Life (Truths recently imparted) but corpses. (Mistakes abandoned on learning the Truths). Initiations are not for the howling and tearing profane, but for the seekers who dare and persevere, willing to pass from Ignorance to Knowledge, from Death to Life.
Without the proper attitude there is no realization of any ideal. For Initiation this is requisite: "Act Brotherliness always; in search of Union maintain that ideal." Faith in the teacher is a most excellent promise of success; without Faith the pupil considers the teaching of little value and never fully acts upon it.
Original Chinese Music Occultly Organized
As long as everybody saw colors, heard sounds and observed actions of colors and sounds in nature; no classification was made because not needed when anybody could see for himself. All saw the septenary activity and the five-fold action, consummated in 10 and 20. This five-fold relation refers to five ways of using Sound; also to the five notes oftenest mentioned. Ten is the double of five, giving perfection, consummation. Four times five are twenty, referring to the most powerful higher sounds, inaudible to present day man.
The historical part and the names of different notes are here mentioned (omitting the Chinese ones) to make a complete historical picture of the creation of the musical scale more than 4,600 years ago; all this copied from the records of that tithe. Those interested in evolution will be attentive; and occultists will notice that the knowledge was obtained from above, the only source and the identical technique everywhere in practical Occultism. Everybody must meet the Deva-Raja, the Great Teacher, to get his or her individual scale to work out.
The Middle Kingdom had no musical scale of its own until Hoang Ti conquered the aboriginal Miao tribe (by benevolent assimilation) in 2697 B.C. and founded the empire on the northern bank of the Yellow River. Earlier overlords were teachers and leaders who guided the people by means of telepathy and clairaudience, the radio of those days.
A great period of organization began after the consolidation of the empire. Hoang Ti made Ling Lim, the greatest musician of the period, Minister of Music, ordering him to end confusion in music and establish this art on the basis of sound principle and fixed laws. Ling Lun left the capital and travelled toward the high mountains where the Yellow River takes its rise. He followed the stream to its sources, but in ascending a lofty peak his feet refused him support. He sat down and soon fell into deep dreaming, the trance of Samadhi. Then appeared to him Fung-Hwang, the wonderful double-bird called Gandharva Raja in India. This bird appears to man only on rare occasions and for the particular purpose of harmonizing mankind. Fung, the male part of the bird, sang six tones; the female part, Hwang, also sang six tones. The deepest tone produced by Fung was KUNG (middle F), the great tone. The waters of the river rushing by also intoned the note Kung and Ling Lun's voice when he was speaking gave the same note. Kung also represents Earth among the elements and the Emperor in the state. Ling Lim at once recognized it as the root tone whence all other tones had sprung. Ling Lim then returned to the capital and worked out the musical system.
Kung was the deepest note sung by Fung, the male part; those sung by the female part Hwang, were still deeper,
hence could be used for materialization, i.e., realization in the world of time and space.
Ling Lun found that the fundamental tone Kung, generator of others, could not produce the whole musical scale alone. Kung needed helpmates. These were F-sharp, the great helper, and E, the second helper. The two chief supporters of Kung were B-flat and C, for by their aid he effected the circle of the fifth and the fourth. The double-bird Fung-Hwang had sung twelve tones: Fung, the male, six and Hwang, the female, six. These twelve tones formed the twelve semi-tones of the octave. Those intoned by Fung were called perfect (Yang), while the others were called imperfect (Yin). The twelve semi-tones also symbolized the twelve months of the year. In the circle of fifths, A begets E, E begets B, etc., as first month begets second, the second the third, etc. Ling Lun worked out the system, gave notes names which partly still remain in the Middle Kingdom. He said that the combination of 1 and 6 produces the element Water and the note D; the combination of 2 and 7 produces the element Fire and the note C; the combination 3 and 8 produces the element Wood and the note A; the combination of 4 and 9 produces the element Metal and the note G and that combination of 5 and 10 produces the element Earth and the note F.
This is the system worked out by Ling Lun, Minister of Music under Hwang Ti.
The short history above of the beginnings of musical classification in the Middle Kingdom shows how this old nation used information from higher sources to conquer Nature by Sound. This ancient scale has remained in the Middle Kingdom up to this time, but has been more and more simplified during the centuries. Musicians comparing the music scale of China with our own can find inconsistencies and those who try to see inside of the formula in working out the comparison will learn real harmony. Music must be studied as an integral and necessary part of occult training. Among our rootrace Pythagoras had to insist upon it, and the rule still holds. The effect of harmonious sound - and this we call music and song - is immense. It is the source of every mantric effect. Occult students who have neglected the study of music must take it up in earnest from now on. Sound opens up the Akasic paths, but never alone. The sense of hearing makes us hear a path; the sense of seeing makes one also see it. The root of all senses is only one, and the One Sense, the organ of which is the Third Eye, had to branch out into a septenary in Space and Time, as everything else. Those who have been trained along the line of vision, of color and form, now should add Hearing, Sound, Music, Song to their curriculum.
Earnest occultists do well to remember this: Every one who approaches the Masters will be helped in many ways in his work, provided it is constructive and timely. Everything has its own time; when that is due, much more will be accomplished than otherwise. But nothing is done in vain, nothing is without effect. Masters as a rule do not give full information, for students must have something to work on. But They give hints to help students along. Such are to be watched for eagerly. The Masters ask no one to stand alone, but to trust in his own Self. No one stands alone; all who help others are helped by Them. Giving full information about occult things is forbidden, but Masters can give helpful suggestions, by which those who are doing and not only listening will be able to solve problems and reach the goal. What can those expect who only listen, those who are "hearing the Word and not doing it," as one Master put it?
Those who forget their own progress and eagerly help others will inevitably progress as a result of their helpfulness. Those who gladly offer assistance to every "Son of the Widow" in their path have their reward with the Hierarchy in a way they do not expect, namely the full opening of the door, the entrance to the Great White Lodge. All who are seeking the Masters They gladly accept now and forever.
Masters have repeatedly told Their students to become intent on the plane of action only, and to relax on the plane of inaction. The great majority of them have misunderstood the instruction and tried to enter Their world with closed fists, gritted teeth and tense muscles, as if their will had been concentrated on the physical world only, not on the one beyond. A wrong method can never bring success, only a temporary failure, which should set students thinking. Physical relaxation is not so easy in early Spring and Fall, when many new vibrations start in nature and among men. Full moon time in May is good, and after that relaxation becomes gradually easier. On the waves of some happy emotion it is easiest to become wafted from the outer world into the inner one for an unforgettable moment. For such emotions mollify and soften the nerves and the muscles, and the Great Event is not far off. Calmly accept whatever happens. Very few do so, though most people ought to know that nothing happens without some good reason. Under all circumstances physical excitement must be avoided as detrimental. Internal peace and happiness alone are helpful for an occultist. From all that happens try to extract that in it which is beneficial; for it is always there and it will be found if you look for it. See how the bee works. It extracts the ingredients of honey which it needs and refuses that which it does not need. Some students neglect this and can blame themselves and not Theosophy if they do so.
Faith, as has been told, brings always ample results if all outer doubts are eradicated. Faith in material things brings material results, as it did mostly in Lemuria and Atlantis. Faith in the spiritual - and this is our aim - brings spiritual results. Trust and Faith, both one, is the greatest of all Magicians. It brings about that which is so deeply desired that it unites with Eternal Will, our greatest aim.
The Scholar and the Master
Scholar: How may I come to the supernal life, that I may see God and hear Him speak?
Master: When thou canst throw thyself for a moment into that where no creature dwelleth, then thou hearest what God speaketh.
Scholar: Is that near at hand or far off?
Master: It is in thee; if thou canst for a while cease from all thinking and willing, thou shalt hear the unspeakable words of God.
Scholar: How can I hear when I stand still from thinking and willing?
Master: When thou standest still from the thinking and willing of self, then the eternal hearing, seeing and speaking will be revealed to thee.
- Jacob Boehme, the "Way to Christ".
This was written four centuries ago by the German Theosophist and Initiate, whom you have heard of. He describes how to enter the world of the Masters. By the word "God" he means the Divine which is not of Time and Space, but works through vehicles in the world of form and can project form and sound from the formless realm of Will and Action. By "self" he means the physical self.
- R.F H.
May 15, 1942.
SOME STRIKING IMAGES IN ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA
By Alberta Jean Rowell
The senses, moving toward their appropriate objects, are producers of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, which come and go and are brief and changeable; these do thou endure, O son of Bharata! For the wise man, whom these disturb not and to whom pain and pleasure are the same, is fitted for immortality. -The Bhagavad-Gita, ii. 14-15 (from the Sanscrit by W.Q. Judge).
A popular trend in Shakespearean criticism at the present time is an analysis of the images with which the poet elaborates his ideas - the vivid word-pictures which polish to a scintillating brightness the rich, rare jewels of his thoughts. From Shakespeare's pen these similes and metaphors spill in copious clusters. Their amazing fertility resembles a subconscious overflow. Articulate to the point of radiant lucidity his dramatic personages, under stress of heightened emotion, exhibit a penchant for analogies that is unique.
The comparisons or analogies with which any poetic work is adorned may be a cryptic transcript of the author's inner life: his aversions, predilections or unconscious fears and beliefs. They parallel the symbology of dreams. As the material and concrete shards of those winged mysteries of the interior self these images do not simply reveal autobiographical secrets. They introduce us to a world of luminous reality, intuitively grasped truths at which the reason dimly guesses, thereby giving to abstract principles and ideas a local habitation and a name.
Without doubt the essence of the poetic character inheres in this ability to distinguish the threads of similitude with which the World-sprite weaves his interlacing patterns on the loom of Time. Shakespeare, pre-eminent in the choir of inspired singers, likewise swathes his message in the suggestive folds of pictorial allegory. His images repeat, in varying hue and shape to the accompaniment of sonorous cadences that border on witchery, the identical mood, emotion or concept that dominates the play.
The cumulative effect of the imagic strands in Anthony and Cleopatra, that poetic tour de force, is an exaggerated awareness of the law of duality. It is a drama primarily of contrast and vacillation. There exists in it no tangled skein of circumstance for the skillful dramatist's unravelling, although it conforms to the Aristotelian standard in that it is certainly an imitation of Life.
Shakespeare was first and foremost a poet and playwright who, to borrow the Sophoclean phrase popularized by Matthew Arnold, saw life steadily and saw it whole. It is therefore not remarkable that Anthony and Cleopatra should present a dramatization of the principle of contrast as well as that flux and reflux of events which constitute the stream of becoming in time. He gives us a clear intimation that evil's raison d'etre in the world is to render "the spots of heaven more fiery by night's blackness." In man, too, its presence is justified because "the gods must give us faults to make us men."
Duality forever in motion, repeating itself ad infinitum, which wise men have explained as the doctrine of eternal recurrence or law of periodicity, is enshrined in many a Shakespearean symbol. There are examples, familiar to all of us, of this law of alternating rhythms: tidal ebb and flow, the waning and waxing of the moon, bird flight, the glancing light of stars and a woman's sobbing when her heart is filled with grief. Who but Shakespeare could have immortalized the operation of this well-known law in an imaginative form of imperishable beauty?
Original and arresting is the image of
. . . a vagabond flag upon the stream,
Goes to and back, lackeying the varying tide,
To rot itself with motion.
This picture and its related figures concretely embody the law of attraction and repulsion which governs mortal man and his visible world. In other words, it picturizes the pendulum swing of human emotion. The passion-tossed man wearies of his ceaseless gravitation between opposite experiences of pleasure and pain. But like the flag that lackeys the varying tide he is powerless to withstand the magnetic influence exerted by a universe dual in its makeup. He is not less an automaton than the common bell-buoy which rocks and reels subject to the sway of the watery surge. Even as the flag on the stream finally rots itself in motion so man buffeted to and from by the intensity of his desires dissipates his energies. The jaded appetite moves irresistibly toward the rot of extinction.
If the `vagabond flag' is a figurative presentment of the fluctuations of passion, its affirmations and denials, as it follows blindly its own internal impulse between extremes of hot and cold, Anthony is a perfect example of the passion-enthralled man. He vacillates between loyalty and disloyalty to Cleopatra. Between practical considerations and his emotional urge he also wavers. In one mood when he is romantically inclined `kingdoms are clay,' but later he is constrained under the impulsion of a Roman thought which strikes him to break his `Egyptian fetters'.
Other images scattered throughout the play supplement the force of the `vagabond flag'. For instance Philo calls Anthony 'a bellows and a fan' suggestive again of the pendulum swing. There is also Anthony's reference to the swelling and ebbing of the Nile and the reaping and sowing of the grain in its slime-ooze.
Moreover, the many allusions to the moon are significant. Perhaps it is the most conspicuous sign and symbol in nature of periodicity, and the pairs of opposites which are the basic warp and woof of the Life-pattern. Pompey remarks that his `powers are crescent' and that the lips of the Egyptian queen are `waned'. Caesar, moralizing on the capriciousness of the mob, dubbs him who is bereft of popular esteem `as ebbed man'. . Anthony bids Cleopatra not to sorrow for his `miserable change'.
The reference to the wheel of Fortune and the diurnal course of the sun are repetitions in picture form again of the oscillating movement which marks the first part of the play. On learning of Fulvia's death Anthony philosophizes that "the present pleasure, by revolution lowering, does become the opposite of itself". This harmonizes with the observation that `pleasure sours and may be the opposite of itself'. When Anthony is brought dying to the monument, Cleopatra in addressing the sun refers to "the varying shore of the world" and commands the false housewife Fortune to break her wheel.
The cluster of word-pictures typified by the `vagabond flag' metaphor is balanced by another imagic group which exemplifies the contrasting idea of equipoise. The lovely poetic equivlent of desirelessness is the figure of -
. . . the swan's down-feather,
That stands upon the swell at full of tide,
And neither way inclines.
But this word-picture may be interpreted as more than a poetic delineation of an abstract quality. It also depicts man, the flesh and blood likeness of "the swan's down-feather", emancipated from the bondage of sense and carried with the lightness of a dream down those waters of living peace,
hidden deep in the interior realm. No longer subjecting himself to the pairs of opposites, no longer clinging to Fortune's wheel of ceaseless change, but secure on the unrevolving hub of the wheel of Life, man attains divinity.
This transcendent state, a cessation of desire and a sweetness of taste which "never palates more the dung", is realized by the lovers. The fever and tumult of the sensuous, particularized in the expression, "the juice of Egypt's grape", is replaced by a rock-like calm against which the waves of sensation lash in vain. The phrases "heavenly mingle" and "like to the time o' the year between extremes of hot and cold" are restatements of the "swan's down-feather" image. There are repeated allusions to "peace" and "death" and comparisons of death to "the beggar's nurse and Caesar's," as well as other objective expressions like "where souls do couch on flowers," all of which intensify the idea of desirelessness or equanimity.
Even as Divinity they become of purer eyes than to behold evil. For instance, when Anthony learns that Cleopatra had deceived him once again after her royal serpentine fashion, he registers neither resentment nor condemnation. He had ceased to be "Fortune's knave." The shifting phantasmagoria of the phenomenal world were perceived to be as fleeting as a passing thought. Anthony's significant comment on the fantastic shapes of promontory and citadel limned by cloud vapor in the sky is: "They are black vesper's pageants." The related phrase "and mock our eyes with air" is likewise meaningful. Also, Cleopatra introduces the words "fancy," "imagine" and "shadow," expressions invariably associated with unreality, when narrating her dream of Anthony extended to cosmic proportions.
Such suggestions, veiled as they may be, of the illusoriness of appearance, can be regarded as a poetizing of the Kantian belief that all sensuous images float before man's knowing faculty like dreams for the soul dwells everlastingly in a spiritual universe, undisturbed by birth or death. The wand of Prospero, then, is the mind whose creations only death drowns deeper than ever plummet sounds.
The mantle of purity which falls upon Cleopatra, that "genius-courtesan," as she has been described, takes the form of an unusual clarity of vision. Her "desolation does begin to make a better life" in that success like its opposite failure ranks of little import. It is "paltry to be Caesar" and that name epitomizes the vanity of all material desires. The world is hardly worth leave-taking for life is "a knot-intrinsicate", a jumble and a chaos. Her superiority to the pairs of opposites is further exemplified in the words:
All's but naught;
Patience is sottish and impatience does
Become a dog that's mad.
No more the "vagabond flag" image suffices to symbolize them. They had passed beyond into those "marble-constant" states of consciousness, those windless silences of eternity, those higher harmonies of pure Being where good anal evil have not their abode, obliterated as they are in the incandescent light of perfection. On the plane of absolute bliss, the soul, untrammelled by the intellect which must perforce see and understand in terms of duality, hears within the heart a voice "propertied as all the tuned spheres." The sense of heavenly joy offers solacement for all tears, and beauty for the canker of passion-ridden days.
But an important group of images typified by the crocodile and related serpent images tangibilize desire as Janus-faced, just as the "vagabond flag" declares in concrete form its essential variableness. The love of ma-
turity celebrated in Anthony and Cleopatra is glorified and electrified by the magic of poetry. It is not, however, a paean to animal appetite. Their love, it is true, had its roots in the earth-darkness but it waved its blossom in the light. Similar to the mysterious crocodile nourished by both mud and sun, their love was sensuous-spiritual, comparable to a pre-Raphaelite painting with its fusion of the actual and imaginative insight. And the lyrical climacteric of the final scenes transports the sensitive reader on the wings of verbal music to the region of soul where the human and the divine kiss each other.
The food imagery emphasizes the appetite basis of their relationship. In the description of a Mark Anthony, as one who "In Egypt sits at dinner," we are furnished with a material symbol or parable simple in the extreme of a hedonist who has abandoned himself whole-heartedly to the satisfaction of his emotional cravings. Also, Cleopatra is just an "Egyptian dish," "a cold morsel" left on dead Caesar's trencher. But contrasting imagery points to the fact that neither of the lovers, though both were as unstable as water or wind, was satisfied with the "dungy earth" which "feeds beast and man." Cleopatra possessed mental attractiveness and had an Ariel-like affinity for fire and air. She might be a "filth" in whose darkness Anthony's stars were irretrievably sunk, but it is a filth gilded with the amaranthine flower of "immortal longings." For she is a "nightingale," an "Egyptian star," a "terrene moon," whose wont it was to go about caparisoned like Isis. And Anthony's ideal aspect is embodied in such expressions as "Arabian bird" and "our jewel."
Therefore the image of the crocodile is not only an allegorized version of carnal love on which the Infinite had smiled. It is a symbol of that strange woman, Cleopatra, a compound of fire and air on the one hand and baser elements on the other. Anthony romantically termed her "my serpent of old Nile."
Finally, the opposing imagery of the death scene, with each expression a lyric beat of ecstasy,
Char. O eastern star
Cleo. Peace, peace!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?
Char. O, break! O, break!
Cleo. As sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle, -
reminds us once again of those alternate phases, earth and heaven, the human and the divine. Its vibrant intensity seems to declare the immortality of the Life principle in spite of the vagaries it apparently assumes. And Life in its essence is Love which "age cannot wither" nor "custom stale" though it be "wrinkled deep in time."
From an article on the "Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore" by Dr. Durai Pal Pandia in The Observer, of Trinidad, February, 1942.
"Philosophy and religion, art and literature, serve to heighten this spirit consciousness. It is because we have ignored this aspect of life that we find today so much instability, conflict and chaos in spite of intellectual advancement and scientific progress. Three centuries of scientific inventions and discoveries have produced a new world of hardness and brutality which have prejudiced the order of love, beauty and happiness so very essential for the growth of the soul.
"Tagore tells us that physical growth and intellectual efficiency cannot satisfy us. Even if we have extensive agriculture and efficient transportation and everyone possesses his own aeroplane and radio set, if all disease is
eradicated, if workmen receive doles and pensions and everyone lives to a yellow old age, there will be unsatisfied aspirations and wistful yearnings. Man does not live by bread alone or by learning alone. He is a creature with a dual status. He partakes of the characters of both the seen and unseen worlds. While he is a part of the natural order, he has in him the seed of spirit which makes him dissatisfied with his merely natural being. He is truly `a creature of the borderland,' with animal desires and spiritual yearnings and a thirst for
"When in the sorrow of death or the suffering of despair, when trust is betrayed or love desecrated, when life becomes tasteless and unmeaning, man stretches forth his hands to heaven to know if perchance there is an answering presence behind the dark clouds; it is then that he comes into touch with the Supreme in the solitude of his consciousness, in the realm of the profound and the intense. It is the world of light and love, in which there is no language but that of silence. It is the world of joy, and hope incommensurable. The poetry of human experience. The realities of life as distinct from its mere frills, are achieved in solitude. Man is himself in his religion and in his love. Both are strictly personal and intimate, peculiar and sacred.
A man can share his possessions with others, but not his soul. Religion does not consist so much in prayers and rites as in those silent hours of self-communion which will help us to control our character and build up our personality; by it, we cleanse our thoughts, purify our emotions, and let the seed of spirit grow. So long as we lead outward lives, without being touched to our inward depths, we do not understand the meaning of life or the secrets of the soul.
"But to dwell in the realm of spirit does not mean that we should be indifferent to the realities of the world. No one who holds himself aloof from the activities of the world and who is insensitive to its woes can be really wise. To practise virtue in a vacuum is impossible. Spiritual vision normally issues in a new power for good in the world of existence. The spiritual man does not turn his back on the realities of the world, but works in it with the sole object of creating better material and spiritual conditions. For spiritual life rises in the natural. Being a poet, Tagore uses the visible world as a means of shadowing the invisible. He touches the temporal with the light of the eternal, so that we could discover that the great is to be found in the small, the infinite within the bounds of form, and the eternal freedom of the soul in love. Tagore advises us to bring heaven down to earth, put eternity into an hour and realize God in this world. Religion speaks to us in many dialects. It has diverse complexions, and yet it has one true voice, the voice of human pity and compassion, of mercy, of patient love, and to that voice, we must do all we can to listen.
"Tagore believes that the world will eventually belong to the suffering rebels, the unarmed challengers of the mighty, the meek resisters who put truth above policy, humanity above country, love above force. The sacred compassion of youth for the dispossessed, and his righteous indignation against those who neither toil nor spin and yet possess the abundance of wealth which they squander at will, are divine. Therefore the poet encourages us to put heart into those rebels who fight for a finer art, a purer life, a cleaner race, unmasking imposture, overthrowing inequalities, replacing the false by the true. All religions proclaim with one voice, though in many languages, that we are summoned not to a light-hearted saunter or even to a journey where we can walk with clasped hands, of under-
standing and friendship but to a battle where we have to fight the forces of stupidity, and selfishness. Let us become soldiers on the march, soldiers of truth, soldiers fighting with love as a weapon, overturning the universe, until the reign of God is established on the earth. His countrymen and all lovers of humanity will long remember these last words of the great philosopher Tagore, on his death-bed.
"'The clouds have blotted away the stars and we wonder when the dawn shall begin for we are humble and suffer under the burden of power and hide our faces and stifle our sobs in the dark but the morrow shall be ours.' "
PEACE LODGE AND PACIFISM
By Wayfarer in Eirenicon for March
"Peace Lodge"! What a gloriously ambitious name! I do not envy the members who have bound themselves by being members to live up to it.
At one time I called myself a pacifist; what a childish and ignorant thing to do, proof that I was very young in wisdom and spake and thought as a child with little or no understanding.
I am trying to throw away childish things and I do not know where to begin. This is why I feel such sympathy with Peace Lodge and I hope to get inspiration at this difficult time in the world's history from the equally difficult though engrossing work of the Peace Lodge as it must and should be and shall be.
Peace seems to be of three kinds: -
Peace with knowledge.
Peace with understanding.
Peace which passeth all understanding.
Peace with knowledge is an outside peace, by rule of thumb, material, exoteric, lifeless, artificial and hypocritical and false to itself, producing selfish scraps of paper signed by each for his own end.
Solomon said "get wisdom, but with all thy getting, get understanding." Let us see where Peace with understanding will help us; we find that the knowledge of peace must lead or change to the knowledge of God, that rule of thumb must change to free action, that which is material to the spiritual, exoteric to esoteric, the lifeless to fulness of Life; the artificial and hypocritical to reality - truth. This can lead only to a "watered-down" peace with understanding. But we must go a step further, and it is a big step to take, to reach the Peace which passeth all understanding, a Peace that is alive and lived. The swift rapids of a river lead from the rush and noise to the deep still pool where peace reigns. The storms of passion rage and disturb before the sweet peace of union is reached, where love dwells. In a great storm after the words "Peace, be still" had been spoken, "There was a great Calm". This Peace which passeth understanding is found through knowledge of God who reigns within each and is known to each as the Inner Ruler whom we allow to reign and rule. Then alone can Peace dwell, in proportion to our desire for this In-dweller. Let our God alone reign within, then shall we be at peace with all the world, and at peace with each other. How lovely that would be. To be able to be always one's self, not to be obliged to weigh words. What a different world! Each one giving of himself unadorned and untarnished, bright through the flash and sparkle of his own Spirit.
The Church gives this Blessing - May the Peace of God which passeth understanding keep your hearts and minds in the Knowledge and Love of God.
The practical side is: "See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil." Learn to love and be yourself, true to that Inner Ruler.
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.
As we only heard of James Morgan Pryse's death on June 2nd we regret there was no opportunity to add anything to what appears elsewhere in our columns.
Our musical readers have a special opportunity this month to take a hint in their studies from Mr. Holm's instalment in his Atlanto-Aryan series. Much has been written on Chinese music, but this link with the far past may suggest new channels of investigation.
A considerable time ago Mr. Hugh R. Gillespie, of Sydney, Australia, a member of the Toronto Lodge which he joined when resident in Canada, obtained permission for us from the publishers to print the Theosophical classic which we presented in a first instalment last month, On The Threshold. The instalments will probably run till the end of the year.
The Theosophical Society at Point Loma is moving definitely to a new property acquired at Covina some thirty miles north of Los Angeles. It is understood that the U.S. Government required the Point Loma area for an airport or other military purpose. The new site contains a complete installation of buildings suitable for a University or other similar institution and is perfectly adapted to the uses of the Society.
Point Loma announces that the work of preparing the complete edition of the works of H.P.B. is being carried on and that Volume V. is complete and volume VI. is in preparation. Messrs. Rider & Co., the publishers, are eager to carry on the work, but nothing can be done during the War. The four volumes already issued are available to those who wish them, and also Isis Unveiled in one volume which is included in the series.
The death of Joseph Fussell at Point Loma, secretary-general of The Theosophical Society there, removes one of the oldest members of that organization. He had joined the general Society in 1890 and was appointed assistant secretary to Mr. Judge with whom he served till Mr. Judge's death. Subsequently he served with Mrs. Tingley and since her death with Dr. de Purucker. He had retired last year for some months but returned to the Point and after a period of declining strength, passed away.
In connection with the article on W.Q. Judge last month some people still insist that he "seceded" from the Adyar Society when he endeavored to follow the example of H.P.B. in establishing an autonomous European Section, in
America. Col. Olcott knew very well there was no "secession" and wrote his view on May 10, 1906 during the C.W.L. investigations. He stated: "I wrote the notice which wiped out the American Section when I was in Spain. I am never afraid of taking bold action." But the big bold man liked to say also that "Judge seceded."
Col. Thomson, D.S.O., was missed at the Fraternization Convention, but he had an excellent alibi. He was a delegate to the Winnipeg Great Convention in Winnipeg of the Legionaires. Last year he wrote the report of that one, which was widely circulated and he may repeat his success this year. There were about 2000 present at the meetings, and their deliberations tended to make action in Canada in the war less deliberate than it appears to be in the minds of many. There is likely to be action enough to change the feeling about this before long. Col. Thomson was interested in the Toronto Convention and was glad to hear of its successes.
The General Secretary had a surprise visit from Mrs. Maltwood, who has been staying for some weeks at the Guild of All Arts at Scarboro, Ontario. While there she completed a design she had in mind, to carve the figures of the Somerset Zodiac in wood on a scale to fit the ordnance survey map, the six inches to the mile size. These beautiful figures she spread on the great map giving a wonderful picture in miniature of what is to be seen from an airplane over these sacred fields of King Arthur's Round Table. The more this astounding discovery is studied the still more astounding it is that such an archaeological treasure should go almost without notice. Once it is realized as to its true value and import the real estate men will be after the territory, even though it covers a ten-mile diameter. Some Church perhaps, seeing its value as a Holy Land, will try to secure it for perpeuity. The Government should put it under the Ancient Monuments Act protection and make certain that this national heirloom be preserved for the purposes of science, philosophy and religion.
All our members should note that unless they have paid their dues, amounting to $2.50 each, or about Five cents a week, by July 1st they will become inactive members automatically. This is not so much a matter of money as of attention, punctuality, promptitude, reliability, orderliness, and other occult habits which become virtues when practised with the quality of Brotherhood. It is well to dwell on this side of it, for innately selfish people often take the position that it is unbrotherly to disfranchise a person merely for the non-payment of such a trifling amount. Such arguments overlook the fact that the absence of the sense of responsibility in even such little things is sufficient to warrant suspension. But we do give time for any reasonable person to scrape together, and it may even be paid in instalments, the $2.50 in question.
A valued correspondent writes: "It is surely the duty and privilege of Theosophists to apply what we know of the occult point of view to this swiftly moving era of destruction - else we profit not at all by the efforts of H.P.B. and the Masters to lighten, if ever so little, the understanding of `the remnant.' For instance: to keep in mind that the most highly evolved Beings, the Planetary Spirits, have utterly merged their sense of individuality into that of Their Hierarchies, with their Units; and that They are finite in all other respects, has been of late associated in my mind with the Russians. They, like all of us, are in the dark shades of Kali Yuga, yet they,
unlike us, have attained to this one thing - the subordination of individual identity to the good of the whole, with steadfast sacrifice of life and all it holds for the welfare of all other brothers. It would seem to be a spark of Divine Fire which the Lodge may be able to fan and help, because it is in line with and a reflection of what has to be ultimately reached in spiritual evolution, if: `as above so below."'
AMONG THE LODGES
On Saturday afternoon, June 20th, from 3 to 6 p.m. Toronto Lodge will hold their June Garden Party in the beautiful garden of Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Somers, 36 Servington Crescent, Toronto. The admission is 35 cents which includes refreshments.
White Lotus Day was celebrated by Toronto Lodge on Sunday, May 10th, with a special programme. No addresses were given, but instead there were readings from the works of Madame Blavatsky, The Bhagavad Gita, and The Light of Asia. The Chairman, Mr. G.I. Kinman, in opening the meeting stated the objects of the Theosophical Society, the significance of White Lotus Day and the symbolism of the White Lotus. Mrs. C.C. Bothwell accompanied by Mrs. E.M. Gladney sang several groups of songs and Mr. Harry Somers, composer and pianist, played a number of musical selections including Madame Blavatsky's favorite, Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." Mr. Somers also played several of his own compositions including one dedicated to Madame Blavatsky. The readings, which were interspersed by music, were given by Mr. Horace Huxtable, Mr. Harold Anderson, Mrs. E.B. Dustan and Mrs. Frank Thompson. The Chairman thanked all those who had taken part and then the audience rose for a few moment of silence to the memory of Madame Blavatsky, followed by music and the recitation by all of The Gayatri. - M.K.
DEATH OF JAMES M. PRYSE
The following letters convey the sad intelligence of the passing of one who would have scorned to be described as the greatest living occultist of the group that met after Mr. Judge's death to arrange the affairs of the Theosophical Movement. Scarcely one of that group is left and with him departs from earth a great thinker and worker and a writer whose books are the joy of the intelligent student.
Dear Mr. Smythe:
We are hereby enclosing letter of April 25th, returned to us due to wrong address, in which we have notified you of Mr. James Morgan Pryse's passing on April 22nd, 1942 at 8.45 p.m. We are extremely sorry that due to a mistake of ours, you have not received the letter at an earlier date. With kindest regards.
Therese and Ernest E. Lanz.
May 25th, 1306 Quintero Str., Los Angeles, Calif.
April 25th, 1942,
Los Angeles, Cal.
Dear Mr. Smythe:
It is with deepest sorrow, that we are notifying you of the passing of our beloved friend Mr. James Morgan Pryse on April 22nd, 1942 at 8.45 p.m.
Mr. John Pryse has asked us to write an article for possible publication in your magazine. If this arrangement is satisfactory to you, we shall be glad and honored to do so at once, upon receipt of a letter from you.
Mr. Pryse has had a peaceful passing and was rather anxious to go, but we who are left behind, shall miss him greatly, personally, as a dear and lovable friend, and also as a symbol of a cycle now almost closing, of which there are only a handful of representatives,
including yourself, left.
We feel as if we knew you, from Mr. Pryse's many conversations. We were with him almost to the end, and to his very last breath he was true to his beliefs and to the Teachings of his Masters.
We feel honored and proud in having had him as our friend.
With deepest respect and personal regards, we are,
Most cordially yours,
Therese and Ernest E. Lanz.
People who laugh at savages for their faith in talismans and charms should be interested in the account of the deposit of a reliquary in the high altar at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York last month. In this sealed package were bone fragments of each of the twelve apostles (not counting Judas, of course), also of St. Patrick, St. Francis of Asissi, St. Rose of Lima (the first American saint) and three Jesuit saints martyred by the Iroquois in 1649. The Iroquois kept the scalps. These relics came straight from Rome, it is stated, where a special department of the Vatican authenticates relics of the saints and sends them with proper attestation wherever new altars are needed. There are three classes of relics. First class relics are parts of the saint's body; second class, clothing the saint wore; third class, anything he used or touched. This is a suggestion for a new department of activity at Adyar.
Considering the War and other adverse elements and all the obstacles in transportation and unusual expense, the Frat. Convention was most successful. The Toronto Committee had evidently spared no pains and their selection of the Royal York was a splendid piece of policy which delighted all the guests and unquestionably added to the general success. The luncheon was better than any of the previous nine, and the final meeting could not have been held anywhere else to such advantage. Mr. Isidore Lewis has kindly sent me some notes which advert to these matters. I will add that the reception at The Theosophical Hall on Isabella Street was a triumph of organization on the part of Chairman Williams and his committee, and added a real charm to the general programme. The lady who sang, a friend of Mrs. Sutherland, was a very fine vocalist and it is regrettable her name was not on the programme. As to the Convention proceedings there is little to be said. The outstanding successes were the addresses given in the Youth Section by Mr. George Hosler, Detroit, as chairman, on "Man in Evolution;" Mr. Laurence J. Smith, Toronto, on "Clear Seeing;" Mr. Dwight Bedell, Detroit, on "Modern Science and Theosophy;" and Mr. Cyril Toren, Toronto, on "Theosophy and the New Earth." Mr. Cardinal Le Gros' fine address on "The Path to Discipleship" must be included with the Young People's cycle, for they were the feature of the Convention. Most of the rest of the programme lacked the note of originality and burning enthusiasm which sets people on fire. There had been some misunderstandings with the management committee which had sat till three in the morning of the opening day, and this led to a flurry which was referred to the Committee on Resolutions for further consideration. A compromise was reached by which the vext question of deciding who was eligible to take part in A Fraternization Convention, and what literature was proper to be displayed there, was left to a Committee. The Committee on Resolutions was composed of Mr. Clapp, Boston, chairman; Mr. Fellows, Toronto, secretary; Professor Beller, New
York; Mrs. Bailey, Mr. Le Gros, and Mrs. Ruth Somers.
Mr. Lewis's notes are as follows:
The Nominating Committee appointed by the Chairman for the purpose of making recommendations for nominees for Chairman of the next convention reported in favor of Mr. Oliver J. Schoonmaker, of Boston. The Convention voted to instruct the Secretary to cast a unanimous ballot in favor of the Committee's nominee, Mr. Schoonmaker. The Secretary then cast such ballot.
A resolution was also adopted that a committee of three be appointed by the newly elected Chairman of the next Convention to consider and report recommendations to that Convention as to the Theosophical policy of the Fraternization Conventions.
Musical programmes of a high order were a most enjoyable feature of a number of the sessions for which appreciative thanks were extended to Messrs. Harry Somers and Albert Johnston, pianists, and Mrs. C.C. Bothwell, vocalist and her accompanist Mrs. E. Gladney.
Probably one of the largest audiences of any assembled at the Conventions came to hear the closing session on Sunday night, well over 300 being present; 208 registered at the various sessions; 22 from the United States, 158 from Toronto, and 32 from parts of Canada outside of Toronto. $104.33 was contributed to the work of the Conventions in collections from those present at various sessions.
Always with best wishes to you,
Isidor H. Lewis.
Mrs. Myrtie John, of Cleveland, Ohio, conveyed the greetings of her friend, Mrs. Miriam Salanave, San Francisco, to the Convention on behalf of the Buddhist propaganda organization over which she presides, and the followers in America of him described by the Mahatma K.H., as "the greatest as the holiest man that ever lived, our Lord Buddha." In a letter accompanying her greetings, too long for the Convention programme, as it would have taken nearly an hour to read, Mrs. Salanave reviewed the work done for Buddhism through the Theosophical Societies, and recalling that the Convention was sitting at Wesak time, the season among Buddhists which corresponds with Christmas in the West. Referring to various problems of the War, she concluded that "there is no doubt there is a rising tide of Brotherhood which one day will reach full tide and `cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.' People are being brought closer together; they are being fairly forced into brotherhood whether they like it or not; we are fast finding out that what is needed is greater understanding, and tolerance, a sincere tolerance, not a sort of superior condescension, nor a feigned tolerance."
A pleasing incident of the Fraternization Convention was the introduction of Miss Irena Togarzewska who had been brought by Mrs. Thomas, wife of the president of the Montreal Lodge. She was called to the platform and in excellent English considering her year's acquaintance with the language, expressed her pleasure in being present. She was an exile from Poland from which she escaped three years ago by the aid of some Theosophists who aided her in getting into Rumania, thence into Italy, and finally through France to England. Mrs. Gardner, the English General Secretary, decided to send her to Canada as she spoke French, and it was arranged that the Montreal Lodge should assist her. The entrance of Russia into the war resulted very happily for Miss Togarzewska, as her father, Col. Togarzewska, had been taken prisoner and was in Russia without any tidings of his safety. Now he is at liberty and serving in the Polish Allied Army.
Mr. E.L.T. Schaub of Toledo, who through illness was unable to attend the Fraternization Convention, sent written greetings, and some inspiring comments. "The age-old voice of Theosophy," he wrote, warning "Man Know Thyself, was only heard by a limited few in such busy centres as Detroit, Cleveland, etc., where we held conventions. How to reach the masses that an increasing number of our fellow men, regardless of race, creed or color, could hear this voice, `that man is dual in nature and holds within himself divine qualities on the one hand and the lower passions and weaknesses on the other,' was and still is uppermost in my mind."
The Chairman, Mr. Cecil Williams, recalled that four years ago, at the Boston Convention, he had said there were forces in the world which might cause Point Loma to be blasted out of existence, and the Adyar library to go up in flames. Today, they had seen shells fall on the California coast not far from Point Loma and hostile aircraft, with incendiaries, lurked across the bay from Adyar. His judgment of four years ago having been in a measure confirmed, they might now perhaps heed his warning that the Theosophical Movement inaugurated by Blavatsky, was on the way out. Though it was often possible for a sick man to recover, they were allowing Theosophy to die.
The present was almost certainly the last of the Fraternization Conventions for the duration of the war and possibly the last that ever would be held. In the coming years the Theosophical movement would receive more blows and disintegrate still further, until only a few fragments of individuals and groups would be left, who might, if they started to prepare now, yet save the Blavatskyian movement.
He went on to discuss the causes for the present helplessness of the societies and the corresponding remedies which he said were essential. Theosophists should abandon their isolationism and seek to understand other people; they should scrap their present idea of karma, and forget their medieval method of teaching Theosophy. Unless they did these things, the Movement was doomed. Headquarters would not inaugurate them, and so it was left to individuals and groups to reform themselves, with a view to preparing the way for the new effort of the masters at the end of the Century.
He traced the development of the present so-called world revolution in relation to the periodic efforts of the Masters, and said that the Blavatskyian movement was a special effort for in other ways the Masters had been active, and still were, in influencing the development of events. The world was being brought step by step to an understanding of Theosophy. Organized Theosophy might today have been a tremendous force for the salvation of the world, but now it is we who feel we require saving.
As an eternal force, Theosophy could not perish, but its manifestations might quickly die. Such a manifestation was the Blavatskyian effort now threatened with extinction and if it did not recover, the Masters would use new vehicles for the new effort. They were not so foolish as to give a task fitted for warriors to a dying man.
Other speakers on the programme were Major Turner on "The Occultism of Numbers," Mr. Dudley Barr on "Theosophy, an Attitude Towards Life," Mr. F.St.G. Spendilove, on "The Message of Bahai," Miss Mary Stuart on "The Message of Buddhism," and Major Turner on "The Message of Theosophy." Mr. Oliver Schoonmaker and Miss Charlotte Braun who were an-
nounced on the programme were not in attendance.
The Toronto Lodge of the Theosophical Society held a reception on Saturday evening, May 30th, in their hall on Isabella street for the visitors to the Fraternization Convention. Mrs. Dudley W. Barr, Mrs. R. Somers and Miss Mary Stuart received the many guests. Those present included Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Williams (Hamilton), Mr. and Mrs. G. Cardinal LeGros, Mrs. N.A. Noble, Mr. George Hosler, Mr. Dwight Bedell (Detroit), Mr. J. Emory Clapp (Boston), Mrs. Thomas and Miss I. Tagarzewska (Montreal), Major H.S. Turner (Brooklyn), Mr. W. Beller (New York City), Miss Ida Lewis (Cincinnati) and Miss Leah Lewis (Brooklyn) and many others from the United States, including the cities of Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit, Brooklyn, Boston and Cincinnati. Canadian points represented were Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, London, Simcoe, Bracebridge, South Porcupine, Stratford, Thorold, St. Catharines, and Niagara Falls. Mr. Dudley W. Barr, President of Toronto Lodge, welcomed the visitors, and Mr. Cecil Williams, Chairman of the Convention, replied on their behalf. Mrs. C.C. Bothwell sang a group of songs accompanied at the piano by Mrs. E.M. Gladney. Hostesses during the supper hour were Mrs. E.B. Dustan, Mrs. G.I. Kinman, Mrs. L. Anderton, Mrs. H.J. Cable, Mrs. R. Illingworth, Mrs. H. Anderson, Mrs. J. Cunningham, Mrs. F. Thompson, Mrs. F. Doyle, Mrs. I. Bassanesi, Misses K. Lazier, B. Rogers, M. Stark, E. Webley, Rae Hawkins of Cleveland, Mary Dustan, Helen Cunningham, Margaret Law. Also helping in looking after the guests were Cyril Toren, Gerry Shultis, Laurence Smith, Jack Thorn, Vern Anthony, Roy Emsley and the men on the executive of Toronto Lodge. - M.K.
THE CHOSEN PEOPLE
Talk given by George Hosler of Detroit, Chairman of the Youth Session, at the 1942 Theosophical Fraternization
The aims and purposes of the Theosophical Society are wholly philosophical, religious, scientific and humanitarian. I sincerely believe the Masters of Wisdom had as their aims, when setting the movement into motion, humanitarianism, humanitarianism, and humanitarianism.
We must first become less than the dust before the road to wisdom is shown to us. Compassion must radiate from every atom of our bodies and then we are ready to learn things. We have only as much truth as we can demonstrate. Brain-mind knowledge is of little use to us, unless it grows into intuition or the thing that we do instinctively.
The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche compared the universe to a huge estate without a landlord. The Theosophist tells us that we are the landlords and have complete dominion over this estate. However, in this estate there arises a sense of separateness among the landlords, they each are seeking self-glorification and proclaim themselves as the Chosen people or the Master Race. Theosophy tells us that however unique the individual units may be intrinsically they are still a part of the whole and should work for it rather than for itself.
Humanity is the Superior Race, it is the history of the human soul that is important. No people shall be the Chosen people except when its turn arrives. Palestine is not the Holy Land; but Europe, Asia, Africa and America.
All races boast of their heroes. Germany has her Goethes, Leibnitzs, Bachs, Beethovens and Brahms, Haeckels, Kants and Nietzsches while England
has her Newtons, Huxleys, Shakespeares, Miltons and Keats and France has its Napoleons, Voltaires, Pascals, Curies, Pasteurs, Hugos. Thus we see that this group of egos journeys from one race to the other in order to gain the experiences each has to offer and that no one race has a monopoly of
them. We'll say an inspirer arises; such as Zoroaster, immediately that race becomes sensitive to these lofty souls and they incarnate frequently there. Approximately 600 B.C. many great leaders and teachers appeared on the scene
because the time was ripe and sensitive. Among these advanced souls were Buddha, Pythagoras, Nolagh, Lao-Tzu, Confucius, Quetzo-Coatle and certainly it is no mere coincidence that all these men arrived around the same time.
The Light of Reincarnation destroys all racial discrimination and as soon as we all recognize this fact we won't sing Vive La France, Deutsche Land uber Alles, Hail Britannia, and God Bless America. Instead we will begin to think Internationally and shed our Maginot-Line mentally to really see that the Brotherhood of Man is an inherent fact in nature.
1255 Newport Ave.
THEOSOPHY AND MODERN SCIENCE
Theosophy's principal idea is truth. But what, might I ask, is truth? We cannot rightfully say that science alone is truth, or religion alone is truth, or that philosophy alone is truth. Of course we all see that each is but an aspect of that one reality, and that each aspect of truth is dependent upon every other aspect of the same.
Now one might ask what all this has to do with the discussion of modern science and theosophy. It's simply this. Modern science cannot present truth to the world unless it realizes the philosophic and religious values of their works.
If some one were to ask Professor Einstein for a definition of science he would probably say, "Science is the century old endeavor to bring together by means of systematic thought the perceptible phenomena of this world into as thoroughgoing an association as possible."
But religion and philosophy are more spiritual subjects and Dr. Einstein defines them as an endeavor to become clearly and completely conscious of super-personal objects and goals and constantly to strengthen and extend them.
From this we see that science is a tangible, practical, material, and factual subject while religion and philosophy are idealistic, intangible, and non-material.
Science can ascertain only what is and not what should be. Religion and philosophy deal only with the evaluation of principles, thoughts, and actions and cannot justifiably speak of facts and the relations of facts. Even though these fields of physical and metaphysical thought are entirely different, they are necessarily dependent upon one another. The metaphysical school determines the ideals and goals, and the physical, scientific school decides as to what means to attain that goal. Science without religion is blind; Religion without science is lame.
Therefore we realize that any true, creative scientist must have spiritual inspiration. If we look back through the pages of history we will find that practically all men of scientific importance have been of an intuitional and spiritual type of mind. Newton, Leibnitz, Pascal, Davy, Pythagoras, Hermes and hundreds of others are examples of true intuitional scientists, and are indeed true Theosophists. It is only the materialistic, factual, dogmatic, scholastic, and so-called "modern" scientists who overstep their own prescribed limits, violate their own method of
reasoning, and attempt to base an entire philosophy of life upon physical data and theories, so that the Theosophist feels he needs to stop for the sake of Truth.
Today more than ever the scientist is in the public eye. Whatever modern science puts forth as truth the public takes as positive and absolute. To make matters worse there are now more so-called scientists than ever before, and in the future I see an even greater increase of so-called scientists. In view of this fact it is necessary for every man, woman, and child who has a scientific tendency and an inspirational and intuitional type of mind to go into the battle against materialism. I am appealing especially to the youths in the Theosophical Movement to do this because tomorrow science will reign more powerfully than ever, and unless it consists of true, creative, idealistic, intuitional, and spiritually minded persons it will become one of the greatest curses in man's history.
Dwight Warren BeDell.
976 Navahoe Ave.,
Detroit, Michigan, U. S. A.
THE BIBLE OF THE WORLD
This massive volume of 1415 pages has been a great disappointment to me, but as I can only speak for myself every student must judge for himself. It may be a surprise to church-goers to hear that other Bibles exist, but they will not find as much as they might have, to lower their pre-estimate of their own Scriptures. There is little clue to the basis on which the selections were made, or whether there was a general agreement among the editors, or whether each man chose what appealed to him and all were then packed in together. This appears to have been the more likely method.
The selections from the Gita are evidence of lack of sympathy if nothing else. One can hardly suppose that a student familiar with the Gita would have made the scant selections that appear. The same may be said of the Upanishads generally, and Max Muller's What India Can Teach Us seems to have taught the present editors very little.
We will leave criticism of the treatment of the New Testament to the ecclesiastics. All the parables are collected in one section and all the miracles in another. The life of Jesus is given without the accompanying text, and sayings occupy another group. This perhaps avoids the problems of a "harmony" of the gospels which is named on the lucus non lucendo principle. Paul is cut to pieces and his arguments are left in the air. So is John's Revelation. Snippets are given of the Epistles to the Galatians, the Ephesians, and the Philippians, but the Colossians are passed by altogether. Yet Thessalonians, obviously meant for the credulous, receives most favored nations' treatment. The Apocrypha is generously dealt with and the young will enjoy these lively narratives. They are almost on a par with the Old Testament apocryphal books.
I am inclined to give the palm to the Mohammedan Scripture section, but perhaps because I am least familiar with these. The Zoroastrian section is also fairly treated. So also is the Chinese section. The Buddhist selections are quite inadequate. Even Paul Carus's Gospel of Buddha would give the reader a better general idea of the inspired predecessor of Jesus of Nazareth.
There are twelve sentences from The Voice of the Silence. Is the author mentioned? No; certainly not. Madame Blavatsky's name could not be permitted to soil the pages of a book under the editorship of orthodox professors of Columbia University. What did they do then? They attribute The Voice of
the Silence to W.Y. Evans-Wentz's edition of the late Lama Kazi Diwa-Samdup's English translations from the Tibetan. Don't tell me this was an accident. See Notes, page 1356.
I have marked many passages to quote. But there is room for only a few. On page 405 Confucius, Book ix. we read: "There were four things from which the Master was entirely free. He had no foregone conclusions, no arbitrary predeterminations, no obstinancy, and no egotism." On pp. 427-8 there is a passage, too long to quote, which is a fair charter for discipleship. The essence of the Parsi faith is given on pp. 617-8, in five dispositions and ten admonitions. The fifth disposition "is to struggle manfully, day and night, with your own fiend, and all life long not to depart from steadfastness, nor allow your proper duty to go out of your hands."
At page 260 there is an error either of printing or binding by which this page is left without its sequel. With whatever weakness it may possess, the book is well worth study, and we commend it to those who are designated "Peachers" on page 930. If they do not care for the text they may learn much from the Notes, Bibliography and Glossary. The book is published by the Macmillans of New York.
BACON AND SHAKESPEARE
Extracts from two letters by Henry J. Atkinson.
"Pope in his preface to his magnificent efition of Shakespeare after all his praise and fine criticism expresses his astonishment in these words: "This is perfectly amazing from a man of no education or experience of those great and public scenes of life, which are usually the subject of his thoughts; so that he seems to have known the world by intuition, to have looked through human nature at one glance, and to be the only author that gives ground for a very new opinion - that the philosopher and even the man of the world, may be born as well as the poet." The same astonishment is expressed by all the great writers on Shakespeare for 300 years. But a short while ago, to and behold, in a publication of Bacon - "Promus, or Collection of fine Thoughts and Sayings - 1680 entries", and these in one form or a other, are 4,400 times introduced into the plays, a proof positive that the laborious genius Bacon was the real author of the plays, and all the supernatural wonder and mystery is at an end! Poor ignorant Shakespeare never had a book in his possession, never wrote a line in his life!" (pp. 261.)
"Now here is "Bacon's Promus" published for the first time by a Mrs. Pott, a collection from all nations of bright and beautiful and true and terse sayings, gems cut and polished, some as are sought to be handled at discussion in the form requisite, all found in the Plays of Shakespeare - a proof that Bacon was the real author. Was there a grander psychological fact ever revealed? - that Shakespeare and Bacon [were] one and the same brain. I have gone into the matter fully; and find not a shade of doubt of it . . . . But this Promus is making a great sensation mostly in America and Germany." (p. 284. )
The Theosophist, Vol. 4. 1883, Pp. 261 and 284.
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - The reference to these formations by Elsa Whittaker, on page 94, is apt to be misleading and is partly incorrect. I have some of them - and they are not wooden but stone, the components being a hydrated silicate of iron and aluminum with magnesium; their geological name is "Staurolites".
They are not "all found in Virginia", but are plentiful in parts of Georgia as
well, and specimens varying from 1/2" to 1" can be bought in quantities.
The former, however, will take a better polish than the latter as they are somewhat softer material and more easily removed from their matrix.
As to "crucifying cockroaches on them," well - quite apart from the crosses being natural crystals, which will not hold a nail - the Virginian insects must be very much smaller than the Canadian variety; besides how would the "little people" make hammers and nails to penetrate their body armour?
N. W. J. Haydon.
DEEDS, NOT DOLLARS
We are often asked why the Theosophical Movement is not more successful. It is because the members of the Society do not put their will into it. They are not really trying to MOVE the world with it. They sometimes put in some money, but so little it is scarcely worth mentioning. It is always what they can spare. You never hear of them putting in what they can't spare. That would be putting their will into it. But the Masters do not want their money so much as their work. They want deeds rather than dollars. What did you DO for Theosophy yesterday, or last week, or last month, or last year? Are you prepared to list your deeds for Theosophy. Did you lend a book on Theosophy to anyone? Did you speak to any friend about it? Did you invite anyone to come to the meetings? Did you send any pamphlets out during the year? Did you subscribe for the magazine for any person you knew might be interested, or for any Library? Or did you lend your magazine to any friends and ask them to read a special article? Did you send the address of any one you heard might be interested to the General Secretary asking him to send pamphlets or samples of the magazine to that address? Did you attend the meetings of the Society regularly? Did you make it a point to attend a class during the season and make yourself familiar with some important Theosophical book or subject? Did you ask your nearest minister or clergyman to read a theosophical magazine that you asked the General Secretary to send him? When you read an article on any Theosophical subject that might interest a doctor or a chemist or a professor of a special subject or a preacher, did you ask the General Secretary to send the article to such persons? What did you actually do to spread the knowledge of Theosophy among other people, knowledge which you feel has been of utmost value to yourself? None of these things mentioned in the foregoing would cost you any money beyond perhaps a postage stamp, only your time, your interest, your will, your work. If you did not put your will and your deed into the work of the Theosophical Movement do you not realize that you are an unprofitable servant, and must be written down in the records of the Masters as such? What are these records? They are karmic records, written in your own skandas, a permanent record made over against your profession of being a follower of Theosophy, a hearer of the Word, but not a doer. The record is automatic. It is not kept by the General Secretary or any other official. It is none of their business. But it is the Master's business and when you call the attention of the Master by professing your interest in Theosophy, your record belies your profession unless you can point in your heart to the active Will that led you to do some of these little things for the Master's sake. This is not bunk. This is the Master's business. Prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? II Corinthians xiii. 5.
There has been more serious fighting during the last month than for some time past. The Russians took the offensive and gave the Germans in occupation of Kharkov an engagement which thoroughly disorganized their anticipated Spring offensive and postponed it till the Summer. General Rommell moved his forces eastward in Libyia with disastrous results and a further demonstration that Hitler, at whose instance the movement was made, is no Seer. In desperation he has imprisoned all his leading generals, instead of the real guilty party. The Japanese continue to spread out their forces as thinly as the butter on an Old Maid's wafer slices of bread at afternoon tea. Unable to invade Australia which they promised last year never to disturb, they have directed their main attention to China where they used poison gas, no doubt by advice of Hirohito, Son of the Sun, who has discarded the Samurai code. The most sensational results have been gained by the titanic attacks of the British Air Force, in which Canadians have had an important place, fleets of air planes numbering over 1000, destroying cities where munitions are being manufactured. The inhabitants are warned to get out; if they remain it is at their own risk. Cologne has been smashed flat and it is said 20,000 people were killed. Germany has been told that if the nation does not wish thirty or more of the chief cities to be wiped out, Hitler should be dethroned. It has been stated at Washington that as soon as a sufficient army can be organized the invasion of Europe will be undertaken. Many thousands of U.S. troops have been assembled in Northern Ireland. Southern Ireland might have reaped the benefit of their presence had not Mr. DeValera not been so snooty. The great lesson of the war so far is that the air plane has displaced the army and the navy both as a weapon of offence and defence and also as a transportation agency. Germany has run short on planes and oil. The Allies have an increasing number. The moral is clear.
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 splendour 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.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
BOOKS ON THEOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS which have passed the tests of time and use Supplied on request. Forty years' experience at your service. Let me know your wishes. N.W.J. HAYDON, 564 PAPE AVE., TORONTO
THE BHAGAVAD GITA
A Conflation prepared from available English translations by the General Secretary
- The Esoteric Character of the Gospels By H.P. Blavatsky.
- The Evidence of Immortality By Dr. Jerome A. Anderson.
- Ancient and Modern Physics By Thomas E. Willson.
- Modern Theosophy By Claude Falls Wright.
The Four Books at 50c Each. Postage on Books Extra.
THE BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE
52 ISABELLA ST., Toronto, Ontario
THEOSOPHY AND THE MODERN WORLD
Conducted by W. Frank Sutherland
WEALTH AND ITS MEASURE
Prayer of Socrates: "O beloved Pan and all ye other gods of this place, ,grant to me that 1 may be made beautiful in my soul within, and that . all my external possessions be in harmony with my inner man. May I consider the wise man rich, and may 1 have such wealth as only the self-restrained man can bear to endure." The Phaedrus
The word "wealth" comes to us from an old Anglo-Saxon word "weal" which had two meanings. The first of these was "a sound or healthy state of either individuals or things," the second was "the body politic, the state or nation," a meaning now obsolete except for the use of the word in phrases such as "commonweal." From commonweal we derive our word commonwealth. There is then, a significant association between the words wealth and commonwealth, one now pertaining largely to the state of well-being of the individual, the other to that organized society in which this well-being is achieved.
Other words used to denote aggregations of individuals such as nation, democracy, republic, call to mind types or forms of organization, but commonwealth and commonweal, while containing within themselves the broad notion of social solidarity have also the subtler sense of the purpose behind society. The statesman who coined the phrase - "The British Commonwealth of Nations," chose a fitting title, a title which admitted relationship but did not define it; a title, moreover, which contained a declaration of purpose - the attainment of a state of well-being common to all, to be secured through willing cooperation. No subordination of the individual state to the whole was meant or implied. No rigid form was set up. Merely a recognition was given to the benefits accruing to each and all through actions conducive to the common good.
The Nature of Wealth
It is hard to come to a true understanding of the nature of wealth. One is here dealing with a fundamental concept, with something just as fundamental in its own way as are space or time or energy in the physical sciences. It is something which can be defined only relatively, with particular reference to the environment in which it is found.
Actually, there is as much chance, or as little, of our knowing the true nature of wealth as there is of the scientist knowing that of energy, using the word in its strictly scientific sense. Energy, when defined in science, will be found to be given in terms of a particular set of relations subsisting between space and time, and mass, or perhaps force. Wealth is that which is assumed in economics, and we should cease our endeavors, to understand it, or to define it, except in terms of its relations to nature as a whole and to the wants of our own good selves.
Wealth when defined relatively to ourselves, as means for the satisfaction of our wants, becomes a universal principle operating to accomplish the purpose behind society, or of the individual within society.
This does not mean that we should cease to consider those things such as natural resources, the labor of man, and energy, which are requisite to the creation of, if not all, at least most forms of wealth. Rather does it mean that these prerequisites should be put in their proper places as instruments for the creation of wealth and should cease to be considered as wealth itself, or as measures thereof.
Should someone ever be lucky enough to solve a series of equations for the expression of economic facts, he or she could use in them the letter "W" or some other symbol for wealth and could then go on to forget all else behind it. The equations would then express the relations of wealth to the world about us and to ourselves. It is the relations of wealth which are of importance and not its true essence.
Several Kinds of Wealth
Nevertheless we are permitted to categorize wealth to some extent, even as we distinguish between energies of the electrical, thermal, and kinetic forms. This is permissible since wealth is relative to ourselves. Concepts of what constitutes wealth vary with the wants of the individual and the needs of his own particular nature. Wealth to Walt Whitman would be something other than wealth to the millionaire.
That there is a spiritual wealth, none will deny for man is "incurably religious" and seemingly will always have wants in the direction of the spiritual. And there is a means to the satisfaction of these wants, for something, at times, operates on the world to transform it, ethically, mentally and morally. The wealth bequeathed the world by Lao Tsu, the Buddha, the Christ, and others of the glorious band of the Immortals, is of this nature. And then, such spiritual wealth not only works wonders on the world at large, but oftentimes works like miracles in its individual possessor.
Akin to this spiritual wealth is that other wealth which enriches those who derive joy from the contemplation of Nature or the handicraft of those who labor in the arts. Those who so labor, and create, enjoy the satisfaction in themselves of an inner want and so, likewise, become possessed of wealth - the wealth of spirit. The Great Arts are of the aesthetic, the spiritual.
Wealth in Art
There is also a mental wealth. The professional man spends several years, perhaps many, in preparation for his career. Such preparation involves a storing of the memory, a training in logical processes of thought, and a foregoing of present for future rewards. That such wealth is a source of satisfaction to the individual goes without saying; that it is productive of general good to mankind can be seen in the evidence presented to us on all sides.
There is also an aesthetic of mind. Many of the arts have at times an intellectual appeal; a work of craftsmanship well done, a brilliant and difficult passage in music well executed, an elegant mathematical demonstration, are instances. And while hard to categorize, since it pertains to all levels, education can certainly be considered as a means to the acquisition of wealth and so should be prized as wealth itself - perhaps wealth once removed, except for those who derive joy in knowing for the sake of knowing.
When we come to the emotional or desire realm, that directly connected with life, our society presents to us certain other forms of want-satisfaction, which we shall undoubtedly have to classify under the heading of wealth. Our radio and movie industries, our sporting events, the cosmetic art, all are means to the surfeiting of, in the main, animal appetites, and they are certainly an integral part of our economic system.
The Arts have their lower aesthetic: much of drama, literature, and other art forms has, at best, a purely emotional appeal, although excellent craftsmanship may be present also.
Social and mental hygiene, most of psychology, and play of all kinds - outdoor and indoor - can also be considered as coming under the categories of wealth, or means to the securing thereof as the case may be. The intangible advantages man derives from social intercourse with his fellows also come within
the meaning of wealth.
There are, of course, the physical forms of wealth with which we are more familiar, as wealth. Physical wealth includes the plant and products necessary to the accomplishment of wealth in the higher categories, even as it also includes such things as food and clothing, necessary as these are to the keeping of the body in good phyical condition.
What Price Wealth?
Our conceptions of what constitutes wealth reach their greatest clarity in the physical realm. Not only have we the tangible outward forms of material things to feast our eyes upon, to handle and to use, but we endeavor, even though the endeavor be absurd, to refer each of the other realms to the physical for evaluation.
Yet it is absurd to think that one could place a price tag on the thoughts of a Buddha, the sayings of Lao-Tzu or the social teachings of Jesus. Nor could one estimate the dollars and cents value of the contributions made to the world by Praxiteles, Leonardo da Vinci, or Shakespeare. Nor could this be done with the philosophy of Plato, the genius of Newton, or the magnificent generalizations of Einstein. And then, as an anti-climax, how could we justify the absurd remuneration of the movie star, prize fighter, or baseball player, except in terms of willingness to pay, and to pay out of all proportion, for the vicarious satisfaction of the primitive wants surrounding sex, hunger or protection, all these being non-physical although rooted in the physical.
There are other essential differences also as between the categories of wealth:
Man will always be busy directing the forces and energies of Nature to the molding of physical forms adapted to his use. These forms will ever undergo a degradation at the hands of time. The elements out of which we build the form persist, but their configurations and usefulness alter with the lapse of time. Some forms, such as food and fuel, perish with one-time use; others, such as clothing and motor cars, endure for a period; others, such as buildings and the so-called permanent works of the civil engineer, endure for a lengthy time; but all inevitably fail to satisfy our wants through intrinsic depreciation. Then again, the changing fashions of the day, the introduction of better ways of doing things, likewise destroy the usefulness of forms created. From the time any form of physical wealth is created, depreciation and obsolescence take their toll and the inevitable end is junk.
The higher categories of wealth do not suffer quite so badly at the hand of time. These things we absorb into our very natures via sensory channels, to the molding and satisfaction of desires, have their lasting effects extending over the lifetime of the individual. Man's animal nature is largely the creation of his environment and the satisfaction of animal wants transmutes the means to satisfaction into permanent effects on behavior. (Whether good or bad is of no consequence. There is no evil, no good, inherent in wealth, per se.) Mental forms of wealth persist frequently for the lifetime of a race. A theorem in calculus, a system of philosophy, suffers no diminuition in usefulness, though used by countless minds. The schoolboy of today studies a geometry molded to its present form two thousand odd years ago by Euclid. And when we come to the realm of the spiritual, it would seem as if there we attain to the eternal verities.
Perhaps it is because of this greater permanence attaching to the higher categories of wealth that we wishfully and falsely attribute the same perman-
ence to the physical form, in spite of the biblical injunction to lay not up for ourselves treasures upon earth.
No, these forms of wealth are distinct, and all are necessary to the individual and to society at large. To physical wealth correspond equivalents on other planes of being, and these equivalents have a real existence. So that any theoretical system of political economy, any society of individuals having as its reason for existence the satisfaction of wants and necessities must include all to be complete - and it must distinguish among them.
Creation of Wealth
There are some other things which can be said of wealth.
The material world is essential to the creation of all forms of wealth, or to the satisfaction of all kinds of want. The material world may be of use primarily as a field in which to operate as in the creation of spiritual, mental, or emotional forms of wealth; or it may be as a field on which to operate, as in mining, agriculture, or industry in general.
Again, the element of action enters into the creation of wealth. The greatest saint the world has ever seen would be of little value to himself, or to the world at large, if immured in a monastery cell. Indeed, there is something in those possessed of spiritual insight which ever drives them to communicate freely to others those things which they have found. This is not alone true of the founders of great religions; mystics, poets, seers, men of science, all possessed of that creative urge which is akin to though perhaps lower than the vision of the spirit, all, freely communicate their treasures to the rest of mankind. The true saint or mystic, the creative individual, is not a believer in non-action. Action enters before this form of wealth becomes of value, even to its possessor.
Nor is the bookworm, no matter how learned, useful or respected until his learning be transmitted to his fellows. And the essence of the Arts is in the free interplay and interchange of response between the painter and those who view his works, between the actor and his audience, the author and his readers. In all, action is necessary, and a field for action is also necessary, for action on all planes has its counterpart and accompaniment in the physical.
The physical means to action are all-important. No spiritual intuition, no mental flight of fancy, no emotional urge is of value unless accompanied by or followed by physical action; of value, that is, in a social sense. The thoughts of a Buddha must clothe themselves in words uttered by the physical vehicle, before they become of value. The creative act of the engineer must be reduced to lines and figures on the drafting board before the bridge or power plant can be built. The artist or movie star, in turn must utilize the physical forces with which he has been endowed before the picture is presented to the spectator. And, lastly, the world of commerce utilizes muscular effort and that now made available in coal and waterfall in the carrying on of the more prosaic affairs of men.
The Dynamical Aspect of Wealth
There is a close analogy, yet not an identity, between the concept of wealth and that of energy. One may draw parallel after parallel between the two. It is as energy directed to useful ends that physical wealth takes on a new meaning for us. When energy is available then want-satisfying means become possible. The laborer, through the effort of his muscles not only maintains himself and family, but also enriches the world at large. In those countries which are backward in the use of other forms of natural energy, progress, however, is slow. On the contrary, an industrial culture is not confined to the limits of human endurance
in the scope of its activities. Electrical energy, or in general that made available through some prime-mover, has largely emancipated industry from the use of man-power. Wherever energy is available in abundance, and ability inheres to control it, there also lies the possibility of creating great wealth.
In their dynamic aspects too, energy and wealth are somewhat comparable. We derive high grade energy from the sun via waterfall or coal-pile and put it to work. We find that some of it escapes us elusively in the form of heat before it can be used; and that eventually all of it, except perhaps such as may chance to be locked up in the form of new chemical compounds, escapes in such low-grade forms as to be useless. All we can do in our control of energy is to trap a certain portion of it for our uses, and for a time only. Indeed by so doing we hasten its final useless end-state, in most instances.
These two aspects of physical wealth of which we have been speaking - its creation and eventual dissipation - are of fundamental importance in any social order. They determine, in their balance, the rapidity with which any culture progresses to a high standard of living. Conversely, they likewise determine, if the creative process becomes the lesser, the rapidity with which any culture sinks into the twilight of decay. The history of all civilizations, all societies of man, can be written in terms of these two aspects of physical wealth.
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