Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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VOL. XXIII., No. 7 HAMILTON, SEPTEMBER 15th, 1942 Price 20 Cents
THE WIDOWS OF LE HAVRE
Dedicated to General de Gaulle
Sheep and lambs and goats are all one flock,
The innocent and guilty herd together.
They stand together for the earthquake's shock,
The sun and rain allow them all one weather -
The Lord is the Maker of them all.
So gathered on the slave-bound fields of France,
The enemy, the patriot, the child,
Endured the cruel agonies of Chance,
Come storm, come shine, come ruthless Hate, defiled
With years of blood-lust, slaughter, Love reviled,
Murder and lies exalted - Nay, slow Justice smiled,
The Day will come to end this Devil's dance.
The widow and the fatherless are ever good men's care;
The wicked man would leave the world a desert place and bare.
Across the narrow strait, above the old white bounds,
The war-birds soared, elate, to the ancient battle-grounds;
St. Michael and St. George have sped them to the fray,
The Bird of Life of John has piloted the Way,
Apocalyptic Angels when the cry for Justice sounds,
Their seals are opened, flash, and dash, and crash, the huge bombs fall,
The factories flame, the gas tanks blaze, destruction reigns supreme,
The conflagration roaring drowns the shout and scream
Of desperate men and stricken women robbed of all.
The growling airplanes swoop and wheel aloft
And dodge the wicked spitting guns below,
Till one unfortunate, while its engine coughed,
Fell, hurtling, battling down, its crew three mothers' woe.
For War is Death, and seven widows wailed
For seven factory toilers bombed and slain,
Brave men as any, dying at their posts -
True grief, brave tears, all honor to heart's pain;
But none who died for Freedom ever failed;
The fallen rise to fight again the cruel loveless hosts.
St. Denys knew their perfidy, the craven tyrant crew,
The comrades of the Seven Dead, right well they also knew; Nor when they spread false honors and made a mock display With pomp of arms and martial bands high stepping to the tomb No son of France was tricked to think that Britain wrought their doom,
And undeceived the Widows toiled along their lonely way.
War has its courtesies as well as Peace;
A foe's heroic dead must have their due.
The Hun may scant his honors as he will,
Or lavish glory on the workmen slain;
True Frenchmen cherish their alliance still.
These gallant young lives ended
With faith and courage blended -
Their wild war tempest calmed -
Were there honors, they have won them,
What more honor could be done them
By the cohorts of the damned?
The Seven Widows led the airmen's funeral train -
They fought for France, the British pledge was plain -
And thronging thousands vowed their faith would never wane
Till France were free, and Germany no more be Europe's bane.
Now glory to our war-birds, and glory to St. John,
Glory to the Phoenix France that rises from its pyre,
And glory to Britannia's sons who ride on air and fire,
And glory to the nations all who fight to set men free.
High glory to the Inner Power on which strong men rely
When vengeance calls on them to strike, or duty bids them die.
All glory to the Prince of Peace, the Brother of us all,
The Prince of all stout fellows, who descended into Hell
To save poor souls in prison, to set the captives free,
To heal the broken-hearted, to make the blinded see!
This Hell - we must redeem it; for Heaven, let us dare!
The Prince of Peace is Lord of all, on earth, and sea, and air!
"THEOSOPHY: WHAT IT IS"
A pamphlet with this title has been issued by the Methodist Church, the author being Rev. H.W. Crews, M.A., D.D. He might have consulted one of the local Theosophists before rushing into print, but we admit that this might have appeared to him to be a dangerous proceeding. And safety first is the general attitude of both Church and State in all circumstances. He begins modestly enough as his first paragraph will indicate.
"The writer," he says, "realizes that he is up against a big proposition in dealing with a subject like this. If he does not succeed in making it understood he will not be altogether to blame, for the advocates of Theosophy (Divine Wisdom) themselves are not any too well agreed as to its essential features. If some words are used, the meaning of which is unknown to the reader, the responsibility for this must rest with the mysterious cult which makes frequent use of such terms and apparently take advantage of them in order to veil its vagaries."
None of these words are beyond the power of an M.A. or a D.D. to look up in the dictionary and explain to his readers, and for the mysterious cultists, they have to do this for themselves till they become familiar with them as they have to do with chromosomes, protons, ergs, ions, genes and other terms frequently and familiarly used in the mysterious cults of physics, chemistry and biology. Religious prejudice does not prevent the D.D.'s from looking up the meaning of these words, and if people are really in earnest in the search for truth they will not hesitate about consulting a dictionary.
The use of "strange" words is largely due to the failure of the translators to supply synonyms for the Greek words in the New Testament, which they fail to present in their true meaning, so that often the same English word is used to represent several Greek words, thus veiling the sense. Mind, for example, is used to stand for Greek words as varied and different in meaning as gnose, dianoia, ennoia, noema, phronema, psyche. No wonder the preachers ignorant of Greek fight over their theologies and split up into sects. Theosophists have tried to clear up this confusion and to show that psyche and nous and phronema are very different things and not all to be called "mind."
To abuse us for using "strange" words, is like a theologian. Theosophy itself is not a strange word nor should it be. St. Paul uses it to explain his idea of Christ in I Corinthians i. 24, where he says that Christ is Theosophy, theou sophia, divine wisdom, and the power of God, theou dunamis. But Wisdom and Power cannot be said to be
persons, since they are principles, and the theologians prefer to "veil" the meaning.
Dr. Crews next declares that Theosophy came from the East. The Theosophical Society began its career in New York in 1875. Christianity began in the East, but Methodism began in England. It is nothing the worse for that. In India Theosophy has been known through the ages as Brahma Vidya, just the same as the Greek and the English, Divine Wisdom. The Theosophical Society commends the study of ancient and modern religions to its members, hence they became familiar with the terms used in various religions to denote ideas which they all hold in common. These ideas are primeval. They began when the consciousness of man was able to understand what the Gods or Higher Powers sought to communicate to them. This idea of a primal revelation is also common to the various religions. Some think it came by one God, others by many Gods or Angels or other powers for which there are many names. The name in Hebrew is plural, Elohim, but Christians always make the Seven Elohim into One, and El, Adonai, Sabaoth, Shaddai and others corresponding to the seven days of the week and the corresponding deities of the Norsemen, of Greece and of Rome, were made subservient to Jehovah or Saturn to whom Saturday was made sacred, the seventh day. For the Theosophist as for St. Paul, there may be Lords many and Gods many but only one God and one Lord supreme above all the rest; but that one was not Jehovah nor any of the Seven Elohim.
Dr. Crews affects to think that Madame Blavatsky invented all this. All she did was to gather into her books the Wisdom of the Ages so that her own and later generations might know the truth of it. Dr. Crews should have known all this and been glad to spread such information, but he prefers to pretend that Madame Blavatsky was a spiritualistic medium, which she certainly was not, as any spiritualist could have told him, as she won the enmity of all spiritualists by explaining the means by which genuine phenomena were produced. Nor was she ever shown to be concerned with fraudulent proceedings as Dr. Crews alleges. People who spend their lives in the investigation of spiritual and religious truth and in writing books about such things are not capable of fraudulence as Dr. Crews asserts. He should have a higher opinion of the effect of religious study. But he transfers his attention to Mrs. Besant and admits the influence she exerted in India.
He is led to state that Theosophy disparages Christianity. In this he is mistaken. Christianity as at present understood is not the system taught by Jesus or Paul or John or James in the New Testament. Our "Churchianity" as Laurence Oliphant termed it, is vastly different from the Sermon on the Mount or the First Epistle of St. John. Theosophy, he says, repudiates the Personality of God. That is a matter of opinion. Personality implies limitation. We do not think that the Divine can be limited. Deity is Absolute, if anything. Even Athanasius believes in One Incomprehensible. That is not, as some ignorant people think, something that cannot be understood, but something that cannot be enclosed or confined. Personality both encloses and confines.
Perhaps a better word could be devised to represent the Absolute. The God of Jesus was impartial, insusceptible to favorites or enmities. He sends his rain on the evil and the good, his sun to shine on the just and the unjust alike. Perhaps Dr. Crews does not like that sort of God, but prefers one who would be moved by prayers and offerings, who sometimes got furious and was subsequently sorry for it and
repented. But this does not consort with the idea of Absolute Justice, Absolute Truth and Absolute Love. God cannot favor one at the expense of another. Dr. Crews will find it difficult to reconcile Absoluteness with Personality.
It is not a Theosophic problem but distinctly a Christian one, or I should say a Church one. It is true that this problem involves the consideration of prayer. Jesus gave us a model prayer which was not for one but for all; for all in its petitions as well as for all who used it. It does not ask anything for one person alone. Even in asking forgiveness it bargains that the other party to the offence should not be left out of account. "As we forgive our Debtors!" We think it inadvisable to instruct the Divine as to what it should do according to our ignorance and considering its Omniscience. We are so confident of its Justice and its Love that we rely upon that and choose rather to try to measure up to our responsibilities than to waste our time in asking favors from the All-Knowing.
"Your heavenly Father knoweth what things you need;" was the intelligent way in which Jesus dealt with the matter. We are not afraid to credit the All-Knowing with Intelligence. But the priests have had an ancient yearning to act as go-betweens and gain authority from the official position. Dr. Crews got into deep water when he took up the question of the Seven Planets, one of which he calls Devachan. That term corresponds to some extent with the idea of heaven as modern Christians understand it, heaven being a word to represent the Greek word ouranos, the Over-World, as opposed to this earth, the Underworld, or what we usually call Hell. It opens up a wonderful number of explanations to know that the Earth is Hell, the place of outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. You can ask the Germans, or the Poles, or most anybody.
Dr. Crews finds a characteristic feature of this "strange system" to be a belief in reincarnation, which he says comes from India. He might as well have said it came from Judea. The Greek word palingenesis, being born again, is used by Jesus, but the translators were afraid to use such a strange word in the New Testament. So when Jesus said the disciples would be born again and sit on thrones (Matthew xix. 23) it was the word "regeneration" that was used instead of reincarnation which was not supposed to be an orthodox word, although the Christian Church taught the doctrine for over 500 years till a small council, the Second of Constantinople, decided to bar the teaching. The world has been in a sad mess ever since.
Palingenesis is used by St. Paul in his epistle to Titus (iii. 5) which is translated in "The New Testament in Basic English" as "he gave us salvation through the washing of the new birth," which is as direct a meaning of the original as one might desire. A more frequent word than palingenesia is anastasis which is usually translated "resurrection" but really means "standing up again from the dead." Every birth of a new baby is the resurrection from a former life of an old soul coming again once more to seek its perfection or salvation, by renewed efforts in a new body, having, as St. Peter reminds us (II Peter i. 9), "forgotten our old sins."
St. Peter uses the old Greek term "drank of Lethe," but that too is unorthodox in flavor and would not appeal to Dr. Crews. The Cosmological scheme outlined by Theosophy is no more confusing than the various sevenfold presentations in the Book of Revelation. They all have to do with states of consciousness, of which three at least are not strange to
ordinary people. They are the waking, the sleeping and the dreaming states. One cannot have a state of consciousness without a body or vehicle of sensation corresponding to that state. St. Paul tells of these when he says there is a body of flesh and blood, a psychic body, which Dr. Crews and his fellow theologians insist upon calling a "natural" body, so that people think it means the flesh and blood body, which it does not, for when Paul means flesh and blood he says so. (See I Corinthi-ans xv. 50) .
There is also a pneumatic body translated "Spiritual" body. It ought to be Breath body being the body of the Holy Breath or Holy Ghost as it is usually spoken of. The strange words that Dr. Crews speaks of as having been found in Theosophical literature are the equivalents of these Greek terms used by Jesus and Paul, for which our theologians have failed to furnish us with English substitutes, apparently because they did not know what they meant. Did Dr. Crews know that he had a psychic body as well as one of flesh and blood? If he did he differs from most ministers.
Dr. Crews concluded his pamphlet with a reference to an Indian author who points out that the East pays attention to the Inner, the West to the Outer life. The Theosophist would have people pay attention to both as required. bTo spend all one's life in meditation will attain due results, as due results are attained by those who pay attention altogether to business or work on the physical plane. bJesus was very practical and taught us to do whatever our hands found to do, and to do it with all our might. The same applies to meditation, which is really a form of prayer in the true sense, communion with the Higher Self, one's own Godlike nature.
Intensification is the one word we need in both cases. The Kingdom of Heaven is taken by violence, or as Patanjali says, with ardent impetuosity. This cannot be achieved without the cooperation of all our powers, physical, psychic and spiritual, and their consecration to the one great service of Man. We are here because we are Sons of God. Our Mission is the redemption of the Human Race. "God so loved the world."
Those who would care to familiarize themselves with theosophical views of the Christian Scriptures might consult the following books:
The Esoteric Basis of Christianity
GEORGE R. S. MEAD
Fragments of a Faith Forgotten.
The Gospel and the Gospels.
The Esoteric Character of the Gospels.
JAMES M. PRYSE
The Apocalypse Unsealed.
The Magical Message of Oannes.
The Perfect Way.
F.G. MONTAGU POWELL:
The Lesser Mysteries.
One of the privileges of living in the Twentieth century is the opportunity of allying oneself with the Theosophical Movement originated by the Elder Brothers of the Race, and of making a conscious link, however slender, with them. Join any Theosophical Society which maintains the tradition of the Masters of Wisdom and study their Secret Doctrine. You can strengthen the link you make by doing service, by strong search, by questions, and by humility. We should be able to build the future on foundations of Wisdom, Love and Justice.
In early days young humanity had not lost hold of the central Reality like decrepit and petrified peoples of this age, living in the Illusion of the circumference. These say, "I believe in reality," and mean the outer appearance. The present day man must regain the lost faith and not only say, "I believe," but actually by doing exemplify his belief. How is faith convincingly demon-strated? By and in action; for there is no other way.
In early days young humanity still clung to spiritual parents, Superior Men, Rulers and Teachers and considered the body as an apparatus not only for passive observation but for taking up helpful work. Many men now living have no faith in spiritual parentage, believing only in physical procreation which is a production of vehicles, not of souls. What they do not see or sense does not exist for them; hence to them there is no past, no future and nothing imperishable; therefore all is perishable because it gradually vanishes. These people think: "I exist only a short time; then I am no more." They mean their body, which they can see and feel, not their very Self which is unthought of. What they do not sense they have no faith in. Reader, have you faith in the Unseen or not?
In early days young humanity observed how easy it was, and still is, to reach Superior Men, Rulers and Teachers, to get orders and advice, and how necessary to obey and test the given teachings in practice. Many men now living have heard about Higher and Lower Worlds, how the Lower is visible, divided into Space and Time, and the Higher invisible, all over and at all times, it being Divine, Eternal. Some have heard how easy it is to contact the Divine World at any time, anywhere, and how gladly Superior Men greet younger brothers and help them, when by action they acclaim their faith and offer their cooperation.
In early days young humanity used what is now called thinking but by the Wise called rambling imagining. Their thoughts were made up entirely of words and phrases in order to create the shortest expressions for facts of all kinds. Many men in this age take pleasure in creating new words and phrases for everything, multiplying, where the Wise ones subtract, thereby making understanding more and more difficult. With the Masters thinking is the beginning of action, the less intricate, the better except for testing purposes. The apparent opposites, like thought and action, do always cooperate; they are the complements of each other.
In early days young humanity observed how simple life is when not unnecessarily complicated by lack of cooperation. In the Heavenly World there is no sense of separateness to split Thinking (Mahat) from Will (Atma), Wise Loving Kindness (Buddhi), and Action (Karma and the Quaternary in the Objective World but not in the Heavenly one). Many men now living know little of kindness, are less willing to act and prefer profitless thinking in circles. Divine Will has become reparative desire (Kama) and action reparative and selfish. Through this general attitude the Dragon of Darkness is very near us to drag his prey to Doom and Destruction.
In early days young humanity had faith in the Invisible and in Superior Men. Thinking was then easy because never separate from action. Nowadays when old and decrepit humanity begins to lose faith even in the visible world, to dislike unnecessary separative thinking and to abhor cooperative, unselfish action, listen to this call from the past: Come back, carrying valuable experience of the vanity of the outer world
with you as reward for the work done. YOU know the Path; you have trodden it in the opposite direction all the time.
In the early days young humanity started out to teach by action, after having been ruled and instructed by Superior Men. In our days, tired, old and experienced humanity turns back with reports of what it has learned by doing.
Try to understand this: WILL, UNITED TO KIND THOUGHT AND COOPERATIVE ACTION, IS THE PATH THROUGH SEVERAL INITIATORY PORTALS INTO THE FATHER'S HOUSE; nTHE KINGDOM OF T A O.
The Symbol of the Yellow River
Think of Hwang Ho. It is like the map of the great river of Life, never resting. It indicates the direction from ignorance to knowledge, from inferior man to Superior Man. Keep up your work as this river does. Ever proceed, being firm and correct. Inaction brings loss; action gain. The Great Plan of the ancient Chinese was drawn for action alone, through Samsara to Nirvana. Without action there can be no progress; without work no promotion. Hwang Ho passes through the land to the sea. The land is symbolical of Samsara, the sea of Nirvana. Idlers look at, or take example from this river - and start to move. Or else the river of Life will inundate the useless who do not understand the clear indication. Do you want to work? If not, what is your aim? Getting something for nothing? This is not possible. The map of the Great Plan gives the true technique, for work only, not for rest. Inactive, sleeping man in the material world, here called Samsara, is awakened by ill success, as sleeping nations are made awake by war, after falling asleep through inaction. Beware! No one still living in this world and being inactive will go unpunished. A cause produces an effect equal to itself.
Samsara is a state, place and period of Activity, the purpose for which Karma sent us here. The Great Plan of the River of Life is mapped out through nine divisions. In the Middle Kingdom the number nine is called Yang: the source of all activity. Number ten symbolizes Hai, the Sea, perfection, the fulness of success, or the perfect union of Yang and Yin. Another name for this, mostly used by Superior Men today, is Nirvana. The great Plan indicated in the map of Hwang Ho, is indelibly imprinted on every particle everywhere. It is the key to every secret in Samsara. But the key opens only for those who use it. It does not open for inactive individuals and nations. For they see no plan, they have no map. Plans are to be carried out; maps are guides for action pointing out directions to real travellers. Maps mean nothing to those who do not travel.
Yang and Yin, Active and Passive, cooperating as one, symbolize human life, from inferior man, the scholar, to Superior Man, the teacher and guide. They also symbolize Atma and Buddhi as superhuman principles. The seven human principles (means of action), including these two superior ones, signify seven of the nine divisions of the River Map. Yang and Yin, the remaining two, always signify Activity. Ten, the Perfection, concludes the enumeration, being Nirvana, the individual and universal goal. AWAKE AND ACT!
To conquer Mind through Raja Yoga is the aim of meditation. Patanjali speaks of it as "hindering the modifications of the thinking principle." In conquering the Mind the disciple must forget all apparent separateness. He must not identify himself with anything whatsoever except Unity, otherwise you hinder the quieting of the restless Mind.
To defend what we call our property - the "talent" we have been loaned to cultivate and multiply during an incarnation - is part of our duty to the Husbandman Who lent us the talent for
such a purpose. Warfare is robbery; fighting robbers is defence, not warfare.
"The laborer is worthy of his hire." This is true in every activity. The Golden Rule is true law in all honest business. The reasonable gain of an honest businessman is his just and legal hire. He who cheats is a thief and a robber, and illgotten gain will cause his destruction in the end. Reasonable gain is no robbery. Vaisyas in the East and merchants in the West are not excluded from initiation, if they are good and honest.
No teacher ever published occult truth Himself. This was always done through the interpretation of His followers to avoid making it infallible dogmas. These are chains put on humanity by the enemies of Truth - to counteract intuition and initiative. Only by intuition and action founded thereon is human progress possible. Sacred Scriptures of all religions present Truth in a symbolical language. They are therefore all exoteric and samsaric; but there is eternal Truth behind the dark cloak and heavy veil. The Gospels - produced by different disciples of the Christ and concealing the esoteric Truth, which was more fully revealed to the few - were written to emphasize the necessity of loving kindness to unify all the faithful with the Master. The earliest Gospels were written in the language of the common people, so as to be better understood and easier to obey. The Gospel according to St. John and the Revelation were issued later for more advanced disciples and soon became misunderstood and doubted by the multitude. So they are yet.
Out of what you call the White Light the seven prismatic colors appear. What is the White Light? It is simply Light undivided, not a color. White paint is a paint, only supposed to be a color. There is black paint also - the absence of light, but not a color. Keep this for ever in mind. Will and Action have an expression through the prismatic colors, which call for action, all of them, and not for thinking without action.
As to numbers: Except Zero, all of them belong to Samsara and signify different activities of the One, not inactive dreaming of something, you don't know what. There are no numbers portending evil, not even 13. And what is evil? And why? Thirteen symbolizes the Zodiac, now divided into twelve signs, with Sun and Moon united and One. The earlier Zodiac had ten houses with the Sun symbolizing Life (secondary Will) and the Moon and planets symbolizing Motion and Action. The twelve sons of the patriarch and the twelve apostles, with Israel and the Messiah as No. 13, have been made to signify many things besides the Zodiac and its centre in our solar system. But originally it signified the One Eternal Will and the twelve temporary ways of carrying it out. The division into twelve is not difficult to understand if you look upon twelve as the twelve great achievements of Hercules, the twelve ways of carrying out in Samsara the nirvanic Eternal Will. Seven is the Cosmic Scheme, observable everywhere. Three, the Triad, represents the three Gunas. Three and seven make ten, the perfect number. Add here the Trimurti - Three in Samsara, One in Nirvana - and you have thirteen.
These are built up on the symbol of Existence in Samsara, by which the scheme of Space and Time are worked
out. Cards can be used for predicting the future because their symbolism fits the divisions of Time as well as that of Space. Nirvana is closed for it because undivided, hence wholly incomprehensible to samsaric mind.
Only a hint regarding cards will here be given so as to spur further study and research. The four suits correspond to the quaternary, the four kingdoms of nature, the four active elements and the four seasons, referring to both the Egyptian and modern divisions. The thirteen cards in each suit represent: The first three: the Trimurti as Active, Passive and Neutral, or Father, Mother and Child. The second three: the Triguna: Sattva, Rajas, Tamas, which are closely connected with the Septenary: our principles and everything in Samsara, where separation is the general rule (by the mind). Look upon this as a hint, not as a full solution; a problem you can work out in detail when you are ready to do so.
August 15, 1942.
DR. THOMAS COURTENAY, M.D., M.R.C.S. LONDON
Dr. Courtenay was my godfather. He presided at my birth, and was intimate with our family from before that time till in 1876 we moved to Belfast. He was dispensary doctor for the district of Galgorm and a large part of central County Antrim, and names like Slaght, Ballee, Teeshan, and other distant townships were constantly in our ears, for he walked all over the country attending his patients, no distance too great, and no patient too insignificant to escape his attention. He was supposed to be gruff and surly, but that was on the outside. There never was a kinder heart, nor a more discriminating one.
He lived, as I knew him first, across the road from our Cottage, as it was called, a house of the villa type now common. He used to come over in the mornings, at other time also, to sing, when my grandmother who played both the piano and harp, accompanied him. He usually sang the same songs and I became familiar with "Nil Desperan-dum," "Excelsior," "Pulaski's Banner," "The Heart Bowed Down" and others of a like nature, nearly always ending with "Never sit down Wieh a tear or a frown, But Paddle your own Canoe," or "Up with the Lark in the Morning." These expressed his philosophy in life.
He had had heavy trials, particularly when two hysterical females, relatives of my own, started a gossipping story about the deaths of two young girls, also relatives of my own. It led to an inquest and legal enquiry, which the Dublin authorities finally quashed for lack of evidence, but the sting of the waspish gossip stuck with many and he was under that burden for many years. The last time I saw him was in 1889 and he told me then that he had only recently been able to throw aside all the memories of those sad days. When will people learn not to pay attention to the gossip of hysterical females? He spoke of the three girls who died, all of tuberculosis, which at that time was an Irish scourge. The youngest of the three died a few years later than the other two. He told me of seeing them looking out from an upper window one day. "It was like seeing three angels." I have heard similar accounts from other contemporaries. It was sufficient to account for the jealousy and bitterness that animated the ill-natured gossip.
Dr. Courtenay had a specific which he used widely in his practice, by which he never, it was stated, in all his practice lost a case of fever or febrile disease. I had intended to give his formula which my father gave me, but am advised that it might not be wise
to have it fall into unprofessional hands. It was the administration of homeopathic doses of what was called by his patients, "the white bottle," and indeed it tasted like plain aqua pura, but had a grain or two in each eight ounce bottle of a drug which started with a few spoonful doses, administered every hour or half-hour, according to the severity of the fever, until profuse perspiration began, when the dose was reduced. After some hours of this treatment the patient cooled down, and in 48 hours a typhoid case which might run for six weeks, often with fatal results, would be cured and the patient up in perfect health again. "Quack!" was the verdict of most of the faculty, but medical science has recently discovered that the rise in temperature in febrile disease is the effort of nature to destroy the germs whose noxious action create disease. Dr. Courtenay's specific merely assisted nature to increase the temperature of the blood so as to kill the germ, doing so before the patient was worn out or burnt out with the malady. He had been given his knowledge under secrecy by some authority in the West Indies.
I have been treated by him for croup when a child on three occasions and was always well in a few days. A case in my father's experience in County Armagh may illustrate the treatment. The man in this case was the patient of a regular doctor and as the patient grew worse and worse the standard remedies were exhibited; it was insisted upon particularly that he should be given nothing to drink. The crisis arrived and the practitioner came that last evening and told the patient's relatives that he had done all that was possible and that he would return in the morning and sign the death certificate. . . This prospect set the relatives thinking, and having heard of certain cures effected by my father, they called him in with his "white bottle." He gave them a bottle with instructions to give a table-spoonful to the sick man every hour till he broke into sweat, and to set a bucket of water beside him and let him drink all he wanted. The Doctor called in the morning to sign the death certificate
[[Photo here: "Dr. Thomas Courtenay, M.D., M.R.C.S.]]
and found the man sitting up in bed and apparently quite well. He could not understand it, and of course the relatives, pledged to absolute secrecy, did not enlighten him. He probably put it down in his case-book as one of his unintelligible triumphs.
Dr. Courtenay was skilful in the use of old-fashioned remedies, simple things that are usually despised by professional men. One instance brought him much credit throughout the countryside. The things of which I write occurred mostly between my seventh and tenth year. Rev. James Lang, of the Moravian Church, Gracehill, had suffered
for months from a sore in his leg, probably some kind of ulcer. All the regular physicians had tried their hands at it without avail. Finally Mr. Lang was persuaded to call in Dr. Courtenay. He told them to make poultice of bog-moss (sphagnum) and buttermilk and apply it to the sore, renewing it from time to time. The cure was complete in about three weeks.
Dr. Courtenay had many such triumphs and his reputation surely lingers still. A visit to his office on dispensary day was as interesting as a play. The patients came from far and wide. The gossip of the district was retailed and every one went home with his or her budget. "A hear Jane Megaw is to be merrit." "Wha's she goin' to be married on?" "Jimmie McIldowie" "0 ay!" "A hear she has a fortune?" "She has that." "Did you hear how much?" "Ten pounds." The names are fictitious, but the conversation is verbatim. His office wall was covered over with pledges, signed by erring sons of toil, promising to abstain from all spirituous liquors for periods varying from one month to a year. Most of these pledges were for three or six months, but they were generally renewed at the end of the period. A great deal of good was done in this way and many a young wife had reason to thank Dr. Courtenay for bringing sobriety into her humble home.
He was a welcome visitor and his presence brought confidence where sickness called him. He required implicit obedience to his instructions and refused to attend further if these were not followed. His popularity was attested by many rural gifts, but annually on the Twelfth of July, when the Orangemen marched, they did him special honor by marching through the gate and around the little path in front of his dispensary, flags flying, drums beating and, usually, guns firing, while The Masters of the Lodges in the Parks district to the north, paraded in brilliant orange cloaks, and the bearers of the Warrant, the Sword, the open Bible, and all the brethren in brilliant regalia followed. The rowdle-dum-dowdle-dum of the drums can only be heard in their noisy perfection in those country districts of Antrim. It is to be doubted if any honor could have touched his heart as this annual salute from "the Brethren" certainly did. A lifelike portrait of him hangs in the Lodgeroom of the Galgorm Orange Lodge, painted by the late Mr. Robert Raphael.
Dr. Courtenay used to start out at four o'clock in the morning to visit a distant patient. As far as I can judge he maintained a four-mile-an-hour pace, but trudged along steadily with a balmoral shawl braced over his chest, back over his shoulders and down in front again with the ends hanging from below the chest protection. Thus, with a short oak stick or truncheon he would cover eight or ten miles before breakfast at eight o'clock when he would be back to his work.
He was a great fisherman and gave all the time he could spare to Isaac Walton's sport. He tied his own flies but did not disdain some bait fishing when the Main was a-flood. His basket rarely came home empty, though the "sours" from the bleach-greens sadly depleted the once celebrated fishing waters of the Main river.
He lived alone, having when I was first conscious of his existence, a house-keeper, named Nancy McAtamney. She was succeeded with a very dear old country woman, Mrs. Elizabeth Ogilby, who was universally known as Betty. He changed his residence twice after we left the neighborhood, winding up in a house which had once been occupied by the land-steward of the Castle estate. Here was a fairly extensive garden where Betty worked marvels of horticulture. She took special delight in her "Extortions" as she called her nas-
turtiums. But she had all the garden flowers common to the country side. Mignonette, pansies, orange lilies, purple rockets, London pride, house leek, primroses, polyanthus, wallflowers, pinks and carnations, and always some spikes of garlic.
"There's nothing better nur a clove or two of garlic for the water brash or the heartburn," she would say, using the Saxon nur for than as is customary in Antrim. She was an excellent type of a shrewd and kindly hearted country woman, pious in her way, keeping her place and fully conscious of her own democratic rights but as truly yielding to the rights of others. I have heard her declare "There are only three gentlemen in this part of the country. There's Mr. Rowan of Mount Davys, and Dr. Courtenay" and the third was an elderly lady who need not be more particularly designated. She was devoted to Dr. Courtenay but surviving him by some years had little to depend upon. I saw her in 1897 or '98. Like many another man of means Dr. Courtenay forgot or neglected to make a will. He left behind him L42,000 which he probably made in American railway stock. He used to ask me about these railways on occasion when I had returned on a visit. Relatives turned up and claimed the estate, and squandered it, I am told, in less than five years.
Old Betty told me the last time I saw her: "They cleaned out everything and did not leave me a single thing. I says to Mr. Raphael, What did they say I was to get? A pound of tea an two pounds of sugar, says he. And what did I get! Half a pound of tea and one pound of sugar." Her contempt for this violation of a pitiful agreement was supreme.
From her, as a boy, I learned much of the natural courtesy and consideration for others which this old house-keeper represented in her own person. After fifty years her memory still is green.
Dr. Courtenay was born October 12, 1814. He died, aged 79, on November 19, 1893. He is buried in Grange
[[Photo here: "Mrs. Elizabeth Ogilby"]]
Churchyard. I owe this information to Miss Alice M. Chestnutt of Gracehill. To Dr. Courtenay I owe much in regard to truth and fact, for honesty, good humor and kindness, and for scorn of convention.
THE BHAGAVAD GITA
A Conflation prepared from available English translations by the General Secretary
- The Esoteric Character of the Gospels By H. P. Blavatsky.
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- Modern Theosophy By Claude Falls Wright.
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THE BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE
52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ontario
Cancer has become such a scourge among the diseases that afflict mankind, whether good, bad or indifferent, that it has come to be dreaded even more than consumption or tuberculosis as it is now known, or even smallpox. How can it be escaped? Those who talk about the impossibility of escaping Karma forget that Karma means action, and there is no means of escaping action except by counter-action. If we break the law as we do in our diet we must suffer in our health. If we wish to remedy the results of the violated law, we must change our course of action, and observe proper principles of diet.
But can cancer be cured? No disease can be cured if it has been allowed to proceed beyond a certain point, but as the old Latin proverb says, while there is life there is hope, and it is not possible to say that the critical point has been passed before vital centres have been disabled. Two friends of mine in the last few years have died from this disease. Both were glamored by the reputation of a great clinic whose head they knew and whose reputation as a surgeon had been established. They both advised me to seek his advice and procure an operation. They laughed at my "fad" of vegetarianism. I watched one of them slowly dying, poisoned daily by the food he was given, knowing that anything I could say would be scorned as from a layman's ignorance. It is an extraordinary fact that many people would rather die than change their dietetic habits.
In a remarkable book by Cyril Scott, author of The Initiate and The Adept of Galilee, and of An Outline of Modern Occultism, as well as of several books on music, this subject of cancer is given a chapter entitled "The Cause of Cancer Discovered, but Ignored." The book is Doctors, Disease, and Health, and my copy was published by The Sherwood Press, Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Scott is a well-known Englishman. He has also written a volume, Victory Over Cancer.
I wish to quote a few sentences from the chapter mentioned with no more hope of accomplishing anything more than sending seriously interested people to the book itself.
"A permanent cure of any disease or disease in general can only be effected by continuously removing its cause."
"Not long ago a doctor said to me: `Every man must face the possibility of developing cancer after a certain age.' This good doctor, being of the orthodox school, was unaware of the true cause of cancer and consequently knew not how to prevent it. Obviously he was either not conversant with the convictions of Drs. Lane, Bell, and Forbes Ross, or he was content to dismiss them on hearsay without having read their books. Had he used his reasoning powers he might have thought it highly significant that cancer does not develop until after a certain age. Why? Because cancer is the final result in certain types of persons of long-continued self-poisoning plus cell-starvation. Hence young people have not become sufficiently poisoned or their cells sufficiently starved to develop this disease; that is, unless their organism has been vitiated by injections, as we have implied before."
The injection of serums, vaccines and other animal poisons into the blood stream is a major cause of all the new diseases that afflict children and their elders, when what is necessary is to keep the blood stream pure by adopting natural food.
"Five men, who stand out among others, have proved what is the cause of cancer, two of them unqualified men and three of them doctors. The names of these men are Louis Kuhne . . ., Dr. Robert Bell, Dr. Forbes Ross, Sir William Arbuthnot Lane, and finally
Mr. J. Ellis Barker . . . ."
"Granted then that its prime cause is to be found in an auto-intoxicative and denaturalized diet, there is a secondary cause which plays a most important part in its development. Of the mineral salts that the human organism requires for the maintenance of perfect health, one of the most important is potash, for it is the latter which keeps the cells in a healthy state, and without which a morbid condition wilt eventuate. For this discovery we must largely thank Dr. Forbes Ross."
"It is more especially potash which is lacking to a dangerous extent in the usual English diet, and Dr. Forbes Ross pointed out in his book on cancer that whenever he was consulted by a patient suffering from tumours, malignancies, or any form of morbid growths, he found it was precisely on this customary English diet that he or she subsisted. When asked: `Do you ever eat raw fruit, salads, wholemeal bread?' the answer was always in the negative. The patient had lived entirely on meats, white bread, tea, and a few boiled vegetables, of which the water containing all the valuable salts had been thrown away."
"Another significant point mentioned in Dr. Forbes Ross's book was this: during fourteen years of his practice, not one of his regular patients developed cancer. And he attributed that immunity to the following reason: in place of the sodium which other doctors are apt to include in some of their prescriptions he always prescribed potassium. But this is not all; for he found in the case of those patients outside his regular practice that by administering potassium salts, cancerous growths would disappear and in many instances the patients would be restored to health."
Mr. Scott states in the course of the chapter: "People who eat meat in moderation are not likely to develop serious diseases, of which the most dreaded is cancer; provided at the same time they consume plenty of raw fruits, especially apples, raw salads, and wholemeal products."
People addicted to the liberal use of salt in their food make themselves liable to many diseases, among them cancer. "Nevertheless," remarks Mr. Scott, "it would be safer to say that an excessive consumption of salt is one of the causes of cancer but not the root cause." Those who follow a vegetarian diet in whole or in part, rarely contract the salt habit. If families who begin to adopt a vegetarian diet remember that potatoes and cabbage are not and should not be the chief articles in a vegetarian diet; that potatoes should be baked or boiled in their skins; that a soup pot should be kept into which all vegetable scraps should be chopped up and thrown, and that all vegetable waters used in the cooking, that hold all the salts boiled out of the vegetables, are to be poured into the soup pot, which should be supplied with barley as a base and every variety of vegetable available, these families would soon be surprised in the improvement in their health, in their complexions, in their tempers, and in their religion.
But how are people to be persuaded to change their conventional diet? Experience shows that they would rather die.
BOOKS By THE LATE GEORGE R.S. MEAD
Fragments of a Faith Forgotten; The Gospels and the Gospel; Thrice-Greatest Hermes, 3 vols.; Apollonius of Tyana; Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.?; The World-Mystery; The Upanishads, 2 vols.; Plotinus; Echoes from the Gnosis, 11 vols.; Some Mystical Adventures; Quests Old and New; Orpheus; Simon Magus; The Pistis Sophia.
May be had from JOHN WATKINS 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W.C., 2, England.
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.
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OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
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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.
Members of the Society who have not paid their dues, payable on July 1, will please note that this is the last issue of the magazine they will receive unless their dues, $2.50, are paid. If inconvenient to pay the whole of the $2.50 at once One Dollar on account will be accepted if paid before October 1. Post Office regulations do not permit us to mail the magazine to unpaid subscribers.
The Duke of Windsor, finding the tourist business in the Bahamas which is the main support of the population, knocked out by the war, planned personally and succeeded in arranging with the General Foods Corporation to lease from the Colony the modern Grand Bahama fish-packing plant, giving work to hundreds of the islands' unemployed. It was the Duke's own idea and he spent months of hard work in bringing it about.
"The Widows of Le Havre" which appears on the front pages thin month, was submitted to General de Gaulle by a mutual friend, and was acknowledged by him in a letter (April 15) in which he said he "was much touched by this mark of sympathy" on the part of a Canadian. The poem, he said, "symbolized faith in the cause for which we have suffered, and the ideal lines which unite our two countries."
A lady correspondent writes approving the letter on Dr. Evans-Wentz last month by Basil Crump. She says she met Dr. Evans-Wentz when in India, "and he had no ear for the esoteric doctrine. His reply to everything was 'Well, I am an anthropologist, don't you know.' Investigation was all he cared for, and the only natural ground for him to investigate was the Dugpa teachings all ready at hand!"
A correspondent enquires if there is any difficulty about sending our magazine to Great Britain. Under the new regulations private correspondents are forbidden to send papers and magazines but to cut out the passages they wish to transmit and send them in letters or open envelopes with cheap postage. The idea is to save bulk space. Publishers are allowed to send their publications from their offices as usual.
The Theosophical Movement (Bombay) reports a story told by the late Pandit Bhavani Shankar. "On a certain auspicious occasion, feeling heart-satisfaction and mind-uplift due to the teachings which H.P.B. had imparted, a Hindu student, earnest and sincere, fell at her feet and addressed her as Guru. H.P.B. vehemently protested at his giving such a sacred appellation to her who was but a fallible
mortal; and it was no mock modesty, for she added, 'No, no, I am no Guru; I am only the window through which the light comes.' " Spiritualists try to interpret this to mean that she was a medium. She was something very different, what Anna Kingsford termed a Mediator. Mediumship is retrogressive. The true Mediator never loses consciousness. He is always fully alive to what he is saying or doing. He never surrenders his judgment.
Brazil was celebrating the 120th year of her independence on the 6th inst., and Mr. Edgington who has travelled in northern South America and possesses a fund of curious and out of the way information, stated in a group of Theosophists in the Toronto Hall, that Brazil had solved one problem as no other western country had - the color problem. When names were given in the newspapers they were followed by the words brown, black or white, not in any invidious sense, but simply as information to which no stigma was attached. It was possible also to see in Brazil a sight which he doubted could be seen in Canada - a colored foreman over a gang of white men. . . Brazil-ians have ceased to consider the color of a man's skin.
Mr. J.T.S. Morris, Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Federation of Theosophical Lodges, is spending his vacation period in a tour of all the Lodges whether in the Federation or in the National Society. He is undertaking this entirely at his own expense and has invited the Lodges to hold meetings for the public or for members. Mr. Morris has no wish to accentuate differences of opinion, but rather to cultivate the spirit of good fellowship between the two bodies, which are largely east and west in location. Mr. Morris is to lecture for the Toronto Lodge on Sunday evening, September 27, and he will address members and friends on the previous Saturday evening. His subject on Sunday evening will be "The Individual and the Pathway to Perfection." He will lecture in Hamilton in the Unitarian Church on Monday evening, September 28, and it is purposed to entertain him to dinner on the Tuesday evening, as he will leave on the 9:20 train. Those who wish to attend the dinner should apply to Miss Carr.
The Theosophist, Adyar, for June, arrived in Hamilton on August 17, one of the fastest deliveries since the outbreak of war. Dr. Arundale supplies a radio talk on "The Wisdom of China"; Mr. Sidney A. Cook writes on "The Inner Significance of Co-Freemasonry", Miss Clara M. Codd on "The Message of Plato"; Jean Delaire furnishes a delightful fairytale in "The Story of the Soul"; J.L. Davidge begins a series on Great Theosophists, Edison, Wallace, Crookes and Flammarion being the first fruits; H.E. Staddon gives chapter v. on "Man, Moon and Plant." D. Jeffrey Williams quotes from C.W. Leadbeater we presume to suggest that he is indispensable, explanations of the Secret Doctrine which any student can find in the pages of the book itself. A. Ranga-swami Aiyer has an article on "Free-dom of Thought in the Theosophical Society." It is supposed to be a reply to Mr. Kirk's recent article on this subject. He asserts that "it is well-known that no member is called upon to accept any creed or doctrine of belief beyond what is implied in the Three Objects of The Society, and no member can be disqualified from membership on account of the belief or no belief in such creed or doctrine." Balony, as they say in New York. On page 171 of the same issue we read: "We must give to the world, says our President, Dr. G.S. Arundale, the Theosophical plan of peace established in The Plan as revealed to us through Theosophy." On
page 228 we read: "Dr. Besant and C.W. Leadbeater, who represented the succeeding line of Leadership in The Society . . . " I have a letter from Dr. Arundale in the same mail as the magazine quoted in which he speaks of "the Elder Brethren whose Home in the outer world Adyar surely is." Would any one who refused to accept these statements ever get appointed to the General Council? Or would any one outside Canada, where we have real free thought, get elected General Secretary who did not subscribe to these beliefs? This is why the highly meritorious people who used to join the Society now avoid it. Of course there are meritorious people who accept the dogmas mentioned. But there is no real freedom of thought in the T.S.
A correspondent writes: "We cannot do without The Canadian Theosophist in our home. The children are all growing up and interested in Theosophy. They find the different religious types a puzzle, especially the sort who pursue them to save their souls from hell. We had a Mennonite in our home last winter who tried to save us all. He was kindly, unselfish, entirely temperate (except in food), and sensitive to our opinion, but when he tried to make us think as he did, the children had an eye-opener in intolerance and evangelical Christianity. They were much more logical, and it was a problem not to hurt his feelings and maintain our own independence. Margaret was much drawn to Theosophy when she saw how it answered the problems her neighbors present especially the girls at school who want to make her attend their special church."
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
SIR F. E. YOUNGHUSBAND
The death of Sir Francis Edward Younghusband which was announced last month removed one of the most valuable influences for religious unity from our earthly activities. He was born May 31, 1863 so had just entered his 80th year, but in the last few years he had been fervently active in the proceedings of the Fellowship of Faiths, of which he had been chairman in recent Conventions. This movement which has taken the place of the Theosophical Society in one of its most important departments was directed at bringing together all those earnest minded religious leaders and thinkers who perceive that all true religious devotion has one source and one aim and like life itself, depends on one mind. The cooperation of all true religious thinkers would soon bring about the harmonious cooperation of tolerantly minded men in general and hasten the acceptance of the key of charity and love immortal. By introducing a new and questionable religious body to a perplexed religious world the Adyar Theosophical Society created antagonism where harmony was needed. The Fellowship of Faiths has taken up the task in which Adyar failed and Sir Francis did splendid service for it while his strength permitted. Born in India he had long been associated with army service there. In 1902 he accompanied the British mission to Tibet, sent out to counteract the Russian influence on the Dalai Lama. The mission was ended by the treaty of September 7, 1904 and he was made K.C.L.E. the same year. His work during the same period resulted in an extension of the Indian system of triangulation which finally determined the geographical position of Lhassa. He also proved that the Muztagh is the true water divide west of the Tibetan plateau.
AMONG THE LODGES
Mrs. Evans of the Hamilton Lodge, has taken up work in Toronto with the Children's Aid Society of North York, with headquarters on St. Clair Avenue.
The 53rd Annual Meeting of the Toronto Theosophical Society will be held on Wednesday evening, September 16. There is a proposal to change the annual meeting date from September to May.
Harry A. Potter has signed up with the forces and presented his Theosophical books, a valuable selection including all H.P.B.'s works and other standard Theosophical books to the Lodge Library. He is the third to enter the war services from the Lodge, Messrs. Richmond and Tuplin having preceded him. Will the Secretaries of other Lodges report to us in this connection?
A member of long standing in the Toronto Lodge passed away in the person of Miss Geraldine Knechtel about the end of July. We were not informed in time to note the sad event in our August issue. Miss Knechtel was a sister of Mr. E.H. Knechtel, president of the Calgary Lodge. She had attended the Lodge classes for many years and was a regular patron of the other Lodge activities.
The Hamilton Lodge has been carrying on a discussion group on Sunday mornings with desirable results. One member is selected each week to lead the next week's discussion and the choice of subject is left to this leader. On Sunday, August 30, Miss Alice Cooper read portions from the fifth chapter of Paul Brunton's latest book, The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga, marking seven stages of philosophic discipline: The Truth Above All; Hold on and Hope on; Think; Inner Detachment; Concentration, Calmness and
Reverie; Reason must Master Emotion; Give up the Ego. A serious discussion followed in which the Seven Portals of The Voice of The Silence were placed in parallel - Dana, Shila, Kshanti, Viraga, Virya, Dhyana, Prajna. It was noted that Mr. Brunton had transcended in this book the Hatha Yoga practices which he had previously been investigating, the present book leading to "philosophic discernment" but a further volume is promised in which he will approach "uncontradictableness." It was suggested that if he studied The Secret Doctrine he might be inclined to revise some of his statements in his chapter on "The Secret of Space and Time."
ON THE THRESHOLD
BY THE DREAMER
(Continued from Page 175. )
I am grieved to hear of your depression and other troubles. But, my dearest, these are all we bargained for; and so when we come face to face with them we must not lose heart. They are our common belongings and everyone who is on the Path is subject to them. These are the things that test our faith and ultimately help our growth. To stand firm, when everything seems dark and dreary, - to hold on, even when the Master Himself appears to have deserted us, nay, when all that is Real seems false and hallucinating, and the Divinity feels like an empty dream - that shows real devotion! And everyone who does so is ushered into higher regions. (The sufferings are the common property of all - and tend ever to demolish the false sense of the separated 'I'. These are (1) - due to manifested lower life, - which can be transcended by - Love and sympathy. (2) - due to causes beyond man, such as Devas and their workings, - this to be transcended by (Samahdi). (3) - due to the separated Self - which can be transcended by the Divine Unity
of Life resulting from Yoga; the personal sufferings are due to sorrow and identification with upadhis - which should be overcome by the realization of the true Self. Bhagavat vii, 15-24. - D.)
. . . . Know that suffering purifies the soul, and lightens it, and that it comes only so long as there is need for it, for the elevation and the purification of the 'I' in us. . . While the world suffers, it is narrow selfishness to endeavor to escape from pain, and the true disciple should not think of Mukti while tears
still flow from the eyes of his fellow creatures . . . . Do you think, my dear boy, that we have transcended the ebb and flow of life, and are ever in the Sunshine of Divine Grace? Far from it: I have to suffer as intensely if not more, than you, and I have to suffer not only for myself but for all those who have knit themselves to me on the higher planes. When the Life runs low within me, I know there is sure to be a reflection upon my dear ones; (Just as the foetus within the womb is affected by the joys and sorrows of the mother - so does the disciple feel the ebb and flow of life in the Guru - who is the Divine Womb of the One Consciousness. - D.) and this knowledge and feeling bring me more pain, than the dullness of personal life. Whenever I hear or know of pain and misery of any among you, I cannot but suffer with you . . . . , Therefore, my boy, take your karma as mildly, as kindly as you can, and know that when it is best for you to see me in person you shall see. All wish to the contrary only stands in the way of growth, and hinders the workings of the good Law. We must have no personal wish, must dedicate ourselves wholly and solely to the Lord, and be content with whatever comes to us at His bidding.
We must not be at the same time dead to the feelings of others; and it is but right that you should feel for those with whom you are karmically joined. Feel as keenly as they do themselves, so that your sympathy may be complete and you may be better able to console them. Do you know that no one who is not in full sympathy, can give complete and perfect relief. (For sympathy shows really that this 'I' in us all is really one and is an expression of the Universality of the True Self. (Cf. Gita VI-32. - D.) We are no followers of the cold philosophy of the present-day Vedantins who teach people to be blocks of icicles, useless to the world, useless to himself, and useless to his Maker. The greater, deeper and purer our Love and the more we feel for all, the higher is our station in the spiritual regions and the nearer are we to the Supreme. Love is only the positive and the active aspect - the fruition of Gnana, of Wisdom.
What more shall I say to you my dear? You know that I do all I can and if I am permitted, nothing will give me greater pleasure than to chase away your sufferings for the time. What duty can be more welcome and more ennobling than that of removing the darkness, even though for a brief space of time, from the heart of a devoted disciple. So never for a moment fancy that I lack the inclination to come, in the truly occult way. But in us, dearie, inclinations must be kept under subjugation, and the Lord's will must find full play. Do you see now? Or will you still cry 'Come' 'Come,' and thus make my heart bleed with your wailings?
My dear boy, never give way to despair. It is the most dangerous weapon which the Evil One wields. All this dullness, deadness and emptiness which you feel, is a mere illusion, and will pass away in time. There is no reason for you to be despondent.
Why, dearest, have you not had some taste of real Life, one glimpse at least,
for however brief a moment, of the Truth - the sight that comes from the Supreme? And are you not humble and devoted in your heart's core in spite of the mist and cloud of worldliness and desires of the body? Why then should you doubt that your end would not be brighter than the brightest you have yet seen? 'Even a little of this Dharma saves us from great fears' and 'My devotee never perishes' says the Gita.-ii 40, ix-31.
Remember the Divine teaching of Shri Krishna, and hold on to the Path you have chosen. Everything will come on well. Do not let anxiety for the future take possession of your soul; for thus you give fresh opportunities to the Dark Powers to breed fresh illusions and to torment you still further.
The cry of misery reaches me from all sides and is piercing like a sharp arrow the very core of my heart. We are all passing through a very dark and dull period, and every one belonging to our group is suffering intensely. (The group of disciples of the White Path. - D.) But you know, my dear boy, that there is no other way of growth, and that through suffering and in gloom we develop more rapidly than by means of beatific visions and while basking in the sunshine of Their Love. The capacity to see and bear that glorious Effulgence, the power to assimilate the teachings - all these are evolved in the struggle we have to maintain, while in 'outer' darkness and assailed by the opposing forces. (In darkness - we reach through unconsciously the stratum of non-separate 'I' - the real Self. In the Light we attain to universality - Cf. Brahmopanishad, 38: 'The Larger Life is like the oil in the sesamum, the fat in the curd, the water in the river and the fire in the wood,' - ever present but requiring the grinding, churning and friction, which we call pain, to manifest. - D.) Therefore, not only must we bear all patiently, but even welcome that keen anguish, and even the icy deadness, which now and again seem to palsy all life and extinguish all light, as it were, for ever. I have said this for the hundredth time, and yet it would seem that the need for saying it over again has not ceased. For so strange and curious is the binding power of Maya, that truths seen and experienced in the clearest and most vivid fashion imaginable are made to appear as hallucinations and idle dreams; and we cannot too frequently be reminded that this 'deadness' and blighting of all spiritual energy are themselves illusions, - all conjured up to test our faith and strength, and intended by the Evil One to make the heart despond and thus to induce us to give up this dire path.
What shall I say to you. What can I say? I am inclined to say with Buddha; 'Ask not of the helpless gods . . . Within yourselves deliverance must be sought. Each man his prison makes.'
Be strong. Remember that 'the heart of things is good, the soul of the Universe is pure bliss: and from this memory draw your inspiration and fortitude. And as for me, if I am of any help to you, my services are always at your command, and you can make any use of them. But I am afraid I am no good, and like the "gods" of Buddha, (Cf. Light on the Path. 'Nothing that is embodied - nothing that is conscious of separation, can help you.' Hence the Guru must be realized as the Manifested Iswara. Bhagabat xii 15-25 supra. - D.) am, myself in need of help. Yet such as I am, I am yours in weal and woe.
Do not lose courage or patience at the hour of trial. It is at such times that you need call up all that is holy and elevating and the strength that is born of true faith. Call up these and you will yet conquer your enemy, and be once more bright and peaceful.
One word, dearest. You need the working out of what you call 'the zest in life.' (The 'desire for sensation' of Light on the Path and Gita ii-59 - D.) The true spiritual life does not come by fits and starts; it consists of ecstacy. The soul cannot be perpetually sustained by the emotions, as you have sought to do more or less. You have therefore to learn to find other food for the Self, - the true nourishment which never fails, though sometimes apparently withheld. This nourishment comes from a pure and steady love of all humanity, an unfaltering devotion to the laws of compassion and an unswerving wish to serve the God above and the world below. (In short, the true quality of the Gayatri - which comes from the union of the universality of the Self in manifestation with the spirit of Transcendent uniqueness of the One I - the Lord. This is summed up by Shri Chaitanya Deva when saying that one should love Jivas - seeing in them the field of manifestation of Shri Krishna. - D.) One who has these cares not for any 'zest.' He takes all suffering in exactly the same calm spirit as all blissful experiences. For both pleasure and pain belong to the personality, while his life is in the Universal. These are temporary, but he lives in the Eternal. True, sometimes the heart seems barren, void of all love, all faith and all higher aspirations. The pangs which this brings on are poignant indeed, but they are healthy and need not cause any anxiety. (The effects of these pangs are well described in Bhagabat 29-10. - D.)
I am firm and steady as a rock and am not, in the least degree, daunted by these storms . . . . On some future occasion, I will tell you about the utility of the White and Black Lodges in the shaping of the course of a disciple's life. So whatever has taken place is in strict accordance with the rules of the Lodge, (Of the Lords of Compassion. - D.) and you have nothing to complain of.
Do not be carried away by your emotions however noble they may be. It is a noble thing, no doubt, to love and sympathize with others, but no one who is on the Path should allow this love and sympathy to cloud his reason and overthrow the balance of his mind. To maintain a steady calm amidst all sufferings, that is the sign of a truly spiritual life. Remember your Gita and be patient, tranquil and devoted.
In truth, there are many difficulties to be faced and suffering to be borne here. But you know how our Merciful Lords, the Rishis, always strengthen and support their servants, and never leave them alone . . . . And you too, must not be cast down or discouraged, my son, however dark the way may appear; but must faithfully do Their work and bide Their time. Remember how great is your responsibility, and how much depends on your faith, devotion and service.
I think you know the Law that governs the conferring and acceptance of favors; and I need not dilate upon the same. All such acts are ordinarily either loans advanced and taken, or debts repaid and recovered. To distinguish between two is sometimes difficult . . . True charity is always a loan advanced, and the object thereof becomes a debtor, even though the donor has no desire for fruit either here or hereafter, - unless there is unity of life between the donor and the donee. (The unity which results from the love of the Self, of Iswara, as indwelling in both of them. - D.)
Do not mind the failures so long as the effort is sincere and well-sustained, and the aspiration true and high. Failures do not mean acquisition of sin, but only the manifestation of latent weakness in nature. And in all true
aspirants, these only stir up and stimulate to fresher and stronger efforts and to regulate actions with greater care and prudence.
The Dark Powers (The Daityas) have been very busy lately, and are still doing Their best to cause trouble and mischief. But don't you make yourself miserable over it. I am not weak; and I like to suffer, when by pain I can do good to the world. And there is no suffering that can come to a devoted servant of the Holy Ones which does not lift the world to some extent. (The pain of these Disciples of the Rishis is referred to in Bhagabat II-2-27, the pain of chitya due to compassion for the Jivas who are ignorant of the Lord, - the Iswara, and whose ignorance of this One Source of all Bliss leads to the womb of pain. Hence the Adepts who know that the 'I' is one, suffer in order that by suffering voluntarily through compassion, the weight of the world's suffering may be lifted. - D.) Therefore we welcome pain, and are glad to give our life to help the work of Nature. But do not lose heart on any account, for despair is one of our greatest enemies. Stick to the Path you have chosen, cling in faith to the Lord and all will yet be well.
Needless to say that my whole heart goes to you in love and sympathy and my arms stretch out to protect you in every possible way. But the Law (Universal) must have its course, and each one shall pay with the blood of his own heart the debt of his karma. True, Christ offered His blood to redeem the sin of all humanity; and we, humble devotees of that Great One would fain do the same. But we are so small, that our blood would not be acceptable to the Supreme for such atonement. Hence all we may do is to lighten your burden a little, and so guide your steps that the future may be brighter and smoother.
It grieves me very much indeed to see how keenly and uninterruptedly you have been suffering. Oh! how I wish I could soothe and console my devoted child. But perhaps it is not the will of our Lords; and so we must humbly submit. The period is a critical one for all pilgrims on the Path of Real Life; and we are, all of us, suffering. In fact, poignant as your anguish is, you still have no conception of the agonies which some others of our beloved ones have been undergoing; and my own heart is so sore on account of all this that I am afraid nothing I can say or do will go far to soften your pain. May the Lords of Compassion help you to gain a proper balance!
Poor N - has had a most severe blow that has fearfully shaken all his sheaths, and it will be some time ere he regains his balance. Poor dear boy! he does not understand yet the nature of the ordeal he has just come out of, maimed and heart-broken. But I hope he will be made to see things in their true light, and utilize the terrible experience in the proper way.
The entering of the Path not only gives signal of war to the Dark Powers but appeals also to the Lipikas (Devas regulating working of Karma) to settle accounts quickly: that explains the troubles of everyone who is really sincere in his wish to serve the Lord, the Iswara.
There is always some reason why one feels more dull and gloomy at certain times than at others. But so long as this cannot be traced to any conscious dereliction of duty on our part, we need not bother ourselves with an inquiry into the cause of the same. Whether the brain-consciousness does or does not reflect the Light of the soul is of little consequence, when that Light shines upon others, and through our speech and actions people are helped and ourselves are on the Right Path. The joy
to the personality which the knowledge of the Divine brings, we may safely dispense with, when our hearts are set truly on devotion and Service, and not on anything else.
Do not break your heart over the inevitable. It is only when we may fail in duty that we may justly feel compunction. But when sickness or some other cause over which we have no control, in the present life, disables us, we must not be distressed. Only knowing such misfortunes to be due to past remissness, learn to behave better in the present.
It is curious, that although I knew that all these troubles would be yours, and that it was well for you to have done with them from the standpoint of real growth, yet I cannot help feeling keenly for you. Suffering for strugglers in the dark especially, and for human blindness and misery in general, takes the place of suffering for one's own self, as the disciple's soul expands wider and wider until it embraces the whole consciousness of Iswara. And then all suffering drops away, and Peace ineffable, succeeds for an eternity to come. That is the good Law of being and progressing, and we have to be co-workers with it. That is the thought which we should permanently keep in our minds, and that is the consolation, endless and infinite, in the midst of all anguish.
I knew you would be sorry not to have been allowed to say good-bye to me. But it is a matter of small consideration; and you know, whether the thought is expressed or not, it is always there. You have always our good wishes, and such help as may come from these you are sure to have, wherever our bodies may be. Therefore, be of good cheer and go on with your duties, never allowing sentiment to overcome you, one way or the other, but wisely utilizing every condition for the uplifting of the soul and the purification of the lower nature. (Light on the Path) Do not think any more of your worldly concerns than is necessary to determine your duty in respect of them. When you have done that, discharge your duty and leave the rest in the hands of Iswara -
(To Be Continued.)
The Kamala Lectures
From the Calcutta University comes a modest volume which will reward the reader with one of the finest resumes of the salient features of Indian Culture which has reached us. The lectures have been delivered as one of a series under a Foundation established by Asutosh Moorkerjee in memory of his daughter, Kamala Devi, a distinguished young lady who died in 1923 at the age of 28. The lecturer is Hirendranath Datta, M.A., B.L., P.R.S., Vedantaratna, a solicitor of the Calcutta High Court and a well-known authority on Indian literature. His subject, Indian Culture, its strands and trends, a Study on Contrasts.
Regarding a nation as an organism, and not a mere congeries of individuals, thus constituting a distinct State, surely in accord with what Sir Ray Lankester calls "Nature's predestined Plan," and unique in itself, it is "designed to sound out a distinctive note on its own in the chord of the universal symphony." The first thing about Indian Culture is its hoary antiquity. With the possible exception of ancient Egypt (before it was Aryanized) and China (before its contact with Indian Buddhism and Maha-Yana Tantricism) Indian Culture is of the greatest antiquity." Yet it is still alive and active.
The lecturer makes a diversion to quote Gandhi's description of the British Government as "Satanic" and the
statement he inspired the National Congress to issue "the British Government in India has not only deprived the Indian people of their freedom, but has ruined India economically, politically, culturally, and spiritually" - which Mr. Datta describes as "clap-trap" and asserts that in spite of this, or of Lord Macaulay's hope that India would become "English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect", India, "while not rejecting the new culture, transmuted it, and in less than fifty Years, dominated it and thus saved its soul."
India had been in danger of being Hellenized, of being Islamized, and of other cultures, but "the resurgent tide of Indian Culture swept away the destructive weeds which had threatened to choke the national life." Naming a list of eminent Indians from Ram Mohun Roy and more than a score of others down to Tagore, he reflects "it seems strange that this fact which is patent in Bengal and in many other parts of India, should have escaped Gandhi's notice." And he confesses he has no faith in Gandhi's non-violence, and that Gandhi "has for the time being, lost his usual clarity of vision and was indulging in exaggeration and mystification." These are too frequently the result of psychic development.
The first lecture concludes with the assertion that in India "Live, and let live" is the rule. "That is why, I may point out, Indian Culture has tolerance for every opinion and practice, whether it be the fetishism of the savage, the idolatry of the semi-civilized, the church-going of the civilized, or the contemplation of the 'uncovered light' by the highly civilized. Thus, unity in variety, oneness in manifoldness, is the keynote of Indian Culture."
The second lecture deals with the nature of Brahman. According to the Vedanta, embedded in the Indian Culture, Brahman is both a Principle and a Person, both a Transcendence and an Immanence, at once static and dynamic, all Love yet all Law, in a word, the Supreme Unity of all contradictions and thus fully at home in Indian thought. The Vedanta insists on the most rigid monotheism; at the same time it has room for any number of what are called Devas, archangels, angels, thrones, dominions, seraphim and cherubim of Christian theology, great functionaries who are in charge of the different departments of Nature, and administer them as the vicegerents of God. The contrast of the practice of religion in east and west gives this lecture illuminating value.
The third lecture is largely a study of the Greek theogony and classic literature and the latter abortions of Rome. Also he touches on the descent into Christian theology with Augustine's statement about infants just born or passing away from the world without Baptism, who "must be punished by the eternal torture of undying fire." In contrast with this he relates the story of a mission lady who gave lessons to a young Indian girl whose grandmother, seated in a corner of the room listened with interest to the moving story of Jesus' life on earth and was moved to tears.
"My good woman," said the missioner, "our Lord Christ, I am glad to find, has captured your heart? Why don't you renounce Hinduism and from darkness come out to light?" The old lady felt hurt and asked, "Why should I? Is not Hinduism good enough for me?"
"Then why do you weep at the story of our Lord?" she was asked.
"How can I help weeping?" she replied. "I never knew about the particular life of the Lord of Judea that you have been relating. Who can know all his blas at different times and in different climes?" This shows the true catholicity of Indian Culture. It includes everything, it rejects nothing,
and so is in marked contrast with what, observes the lecturer, he might call without disrespect, Western intolerance.
The fourth lecture was delivered in two parts, the first of which takes up the idea of Pantheism, that is, God is all-in-all. "Change is only a matter of words: the One abides." This means that Brahman is and always remains immutable, and in his rock-seated unity there never has been or can be the least shadow of duality. "This is pure idealism." The castes and the gunas are explained, and the humanity of the earlier nations in war is contrasted with the Old Testament practice of slaughtering an enemy, man, woman and child, adopted by Bismarck and Hitler.
The second part of this fourth lecture dwells on the massacre of 100,000 inhabitants in Rotterdam and other massacres by the mightiest military western power, with other instances of barbarity in the present war, and quotes the humane Laws of War of the great Law-giver Manu, every one of which Hitler violates. Even the Greeks lacked humanity, as, for example, Achilles in his treatment of the corpse of Hector, which has been compared also with the noble code of war observed by Cuculain, the Irish hero of 2000 years ago. The Indian Culture, according to the lecturer, would provide for a World State "wherein the constituent States, each keeping its individuality intact and developing along its own lines for the attainment of full realization, are to be united in an all-embracing unity, to serve as units in a gigantic world-organism."
The effect of Indian Culture on people he has known and its application to world conditions is dealt with in the last lecture. Of India itself he thinks "it is not only futile but foolish to work for separate sovereignty . . . thus preferring the ideal of isolation to that of integration. He concludes: "Without refinement, without the spirit of Indian Culture brooding over every citizen, of what avail will be mere political freedom? Of what avail will be mere democracy, unless it is a democracy of refinement as well as a democracy of power."
The volume is embellished with portraits of Kamala Devi, of her father, and of the lecturer. It is published by the Calcutta University.
THREE PSYCHIC BOOKS
The House of the Other World by Violet Tweedale is a story of a haunted house, written with more knowledge of actual psychic conditions than is usually the case. Those who have read Dante will remember how the two lovers were swept around in the unescapable sweep of the circle of fate. Another version of this is provided in the novel before us, and it is sought to convey the idea that things are not as bad as usually considered, but a black magician in the form of a criminal priest is introduced to heighten the horror, though we doubt that he is bad enough to be powerful enough to do what he is described as having done. There is a very charming description of the village of Crosswood, page 25-27, and chapter xiv is a pleasant piece of writing which may carry some new and useful ideas to appreciative readers. Almost anything can happen in the world of the occult and there is nothing inherently impossible in this story, but the combinations will puzzle the reader - ignorant or unfamiliar with abnormal conditions. (John Long, London, Sixpence.)
The Psychic Bridge is a study in Kamalokic experiences following the attempt of an investigator to break into the borderland. "Spiritualistic literature was bewildering. A substantial theory was evident, but a lush emotional atmosphere characterized most of these attempts to picture the life of the
blessed in their various spheres. There was more than a hint of Mr. Chadband in the oratory which accompanied the descriptions. Jostling this was the unmistakable influence of Eastern esotericism. Gleaming marble temples built in ancient symbolic form and served by Oriental priestesses were confused with the observances of a kind of glorified Church of England. Descriptions of towns had the same fairy-tale quality of gorgeous pageantry surprisingly invaded by visitations of angelic beings of higher spheres." "I felt that I was getting nowhere, and worse than nowhere, blindly groping through this fudge of irrelevant triviality," remarks the author after furnishing further details. So she sat down to develop automatic writing. The result is more intimate personal detail, but equally trivial and irrelevant to the sublime potentialities of genuine occultism.
Nothing finally definite is supplied. For nothing can be to undeveloped mortals by these personating authorities who excuse themselves by lack of language or symbol to express what they mean. Resort is had to Ouspensky who may be read without the expenditure of psychic energy. The "great and complicated problem of rebirth" is postponed for later consideration. One wonders why after half a century of The Secret Doctrine available to everybody nothing more is attained by earnest seekers than this volume reveals. Are they not ready? The plea that the Spirit of Christ is held up as the model to be followed in the last pages of the book may serve as a dangerous lure to some who would be led to seek for something outside themselves when the Spirit of Christ can only be found in a man's own heart (II Corinthians xiii. 5). By Jane Sherwood, Rider & Co., London, Six Shillings.
What Lies Beyond? is another book of exploration in psychic power, this time not occupied with the departed so much as assuming to use the powers of those who have already died to bring news of the living to one desperately interested and determined to know what was happening to her two sons in Asia. The book is really a study in clairvoyance, and to this reader it does not seem to have been necessary to import Uvani or Abdul Latif into the picture at all. A.M. Kaulback, the author, could have used her own clairvoyance and gained all she learned through her own faculty, as perhaps she actually did, objectifying her own powers in the personae of the two alleged guides. Everything in occultism that carries us outside our own selves is suspect, whether it be a Personal God or a Guide or a Leader, or an Outer Head. The Kingdom of Heaven is within us. The knowledge of the Unity of All Life preserves us from egotism and selfishness. An interesting feature of the clairvoyance described in this book were the errors in estmiating time. Sometimes the dates were anticipated by months, sometimes belated to a similar extent; rarely was the time accurately indicated. If these guides were free to move about in a world where time and space do not exist in our sense, why could they not contact the persons under observation at any moment but could only now and then report on their condition? No reason is given for this which leads to the suspicion mentioned that all the clairvoyance belonged to the author, while perhaps two elementals conveniently assumed the roles assigned to them by traditional spiritualism. (By A. M. Kaulback, Rider & Co., London, Seven Shillings and Sixpence.) We may say that these two Rider books are produced under the War conditions laid down by government authority as regards paper, type, binding, etc. The type is smaller but quite clear, the lines longer so that the page holds more, but the result is quite satisfactory; the binding adequate.
The Kalpaka records the death of its founder and editor, Dr. T.R. Sanjivi, M.A., Ph.D. He was born at Tinnevelly, October 30, 1880, and died December 6, 1941. When he was five years of age his mother died and his father cared for him with another elder brother. He was educated at the Tinnevelly Hindu College, and in October, 1905 founded the Latent Light Culture. He had married in 1900 and June 10, 1912, a son was born who succeeds him in his work. In recent issues The Kalpaka has been giving translations of the Chandogya Upanishad and the Garuda Purana.
Theosophy for September has an excellent survey article entitled "Work for the Future," and copies H.P.B.'s article on "Black Magic in Science" and "Plain Theosophical Traces" by W.Q. Judge.
The Indian Theosophist for May copies from The Malayan Theosophist two articles, one by Mr. Gokhale, the General Secretary for India, on "Do the Dead Die?" and one by G.H. Walters, "From Death to Rebirth." The two sum up all the psychic teachings on the subjects named with some admixture of Theosophical tradition.
Lucifer notes the death of Miss Emilie P. Arnold, on Friday, July 17. She was one of the four charter members of the Point Loma Lodge organized in Toledo in 1930. Miss Arnold was an old student of Theosophy and will be remembered as having attended all the Fraternization Conventions but the last two, her health having prevented her on these occasions.
The Aryan Path for May contains tributes to the memory of Rabindranath Tagore, whose life extended from May 6, 1861 till August 7, of this year. His own words are quoted - "I do not put my faith in any institution, but in the individuals all over the world who think clearly, feel nobly, and act rightly, thus becoming the channels of moral truth." Dr. Margaret Smith supplies an informative article on "The Doctrine of Reincarnation in Classical Thought." Ernest V. Hayes has been contributing a series of articles which have reached the sixth in the June issue on "Jesus Christ: Glimpses of His Life and Mission." Mr. Hayes rightly holds that the Gospel of Jesus was "not the Gospel of the ascetic, the flagellant, the religious sadist, the resigned invalid. It is the Gospel of the spiritual athlete; disciplining himself truly, but for a glad purpose." Christians as a rule seem to think that disease and pain are natural conditions, because they do not observe the laws of nature and health but eat themselves into hospitals with disease and maladies that might easily be avoided, and which they excuse as being due to the will of God. Certainly God wills that if you break the laws of life you must suffer, but he does not will that one should break these laws. That is left to our own foolish will and the ignorance imposed upon us by our parents or other pastors and masters.
IS FREEWILL A DELUSION?
The question: Is freewill a reality or a delusion? has been the subject of debate from time immemorial. All the great religions, except the Calvinist variety of Christianity, assume its reality, and teach that men are responsible for their actions; on the other hand, the opposite opinion has been held by certain philosophers and by many men of science. To deal first with the negative view, it must be admitted that, from the standpoint of mere argument, mere brain-mind reasoning, it is easy to make a show of proving that there is no such thing as freewill at all. It may be contended, as Haeckel and other men of science have done, that freewill is merely a subjective illusion which accompanies acts that are strictly determined by physical and chemical changes in the
matter of which the brain is composed; while these changes are in their turn brought about by other physical and chemical changes in the external world.
A like conclusion has been reached from a different angle of approach by some philosophers. Schopenhauer, for example, tells us that, before acting, we are confronted in our minds with an apparent choice between alternate courses, for or against which there are motives attracting or dissuading us. The most powerful of these motives must eventually win the day and decide our choice. We choose; but we cannot help choosing the course most strongly motived. Many of our modern materialists and determinists go a step farther than Schopenhauer and assert that all our actions are directed by self-interest. One particularly fatuous school of thinkers laid it down that if every individual pursued his own personal ends with all his might, the sum of the individual well-beings thus achieved would involve the general well-being of the community as a whole. The Marxian Socialist doctrine of the class-war is based on the supposed fact that economic self-interest is always the dominant factor determining action.
On the other hand, despite all the logic chopping of all the philosophers, every one of us - philosophers included - possesses an innate intuitive conviction that in very many of the events of life, he is free to act in one way, or in another, or to refrain from action altogether; and all our judgments about ourselves and other people are based on the assumption that such free choice exists. If it did not, then Ethics would cease to be the sciences of conduct in the sense of what men ought to do, for "ought" in this connection would have no meaning. Ethics would be reduced to a mere record of the things that men cannot help doing. It may be noted in passing that intellectual belief in free-will, as distinguished from intuitive belief in it, involves belief in man as a spiritual being; and that consistent materialists must necessarily be determinists.
We are thus confronted by a seemingly irresolvable contradiction between the universal intuitive conviction that we can choose and are responsible, and the apparently watertight logical and scientific demonstration of determinism. As a matter of fact the mind invariably finds itself entangled in such contradictions when it attempts to solve ultimate problems. For example, when we ask ourselves: Is matter infinitely divisible or not? Is space bounded or limitless? In either case both affirmative and negative replies are equally unthinkable. We must therefore admit frankly that we cannot find any satisfactory, purely intellectual, solution of the problem of freewill, in which nevertheless we firmly believe intuitively. Intuitive knowledge, however, is direct and primary, while intellectual knowledge is but indirect and secondary.
Let us then try to look at our problem from the standpoint of inner experience, and see if we can thus throw any light on it. To begin with, we have got to assume the reality of our inner life, for if that be only a by-product of chemical changes in the brain cells, then this discussion must, like all our other thought activities, be as meaningless as the crackling of thorns under the pot. On the other hand, admitting the reality of the inner life, the argument of Schopenhauer, roughly outlined above, still stands, that is, that all our actions are governed by motives and the strongest motive is the finally decisive factor. This, however, is by no means the whole of the story.
The inner man is not a simple being, but is compounded of different states, or levels, of consciousness. He has several selves, of which three may be clearly distinguished. First, and most
obvious is the lower, personal, outer self, which believes itself to be a separate, unique being, and imagines its interests to be apart from, independent of, and even in opposition to those of other men. This is the "selfish" self par excellence, and it is always swayed to act by narrow and self-seeking aims and motives - in a word, by self-interest. This lowest, personal self began its career at birth and it will cease to exist at death. All our troubles arise from the fact that we identify ourselves with it, and act as though it were permanent and real, instead of being but a temporary instrument through which the soul may function and gain the wisdom born of experience.
Then there is the real, permanent, basic, Higher Self - the god within, which is One in all men. It has been called the inner Christ and by other names also.
Third and last is the middle, individual self, which is as it were, in the balance between higher and lower, anon aspiring to union with the universal, divine Self, but more often, in most of us, forgetting its true nature and destiny and identifying itself with the lower, personal man. The existence of these different levels of consciousness in us - these selves of vitally different spiritual value - will be admitted by all except the thoughtless and the hopelessly materialistic. They will be known to all reflective, spiritually minded persons whatever religious or philosophical labels these may wear.
The nature of the motive appealing to us and deciding our actions will vary according to the level of consciousness on which we are dwelling at the time. The purely personal, selfish considerations that influence us so powerfully while we identify ourselves with the lower self, will lose all their appeal when we raise ourselves above it and begin to realize our unity with the divine and the universal. On our lowest level we are ruled by self-interest in its most limited form; but as we ascend inwardly, we begin to feel the motive force of duty, compassion, and universal love. It is true that, even on the highest levels, the strongest motive will still determine our actions, but on them the strongest motives will be very unlike those that govern the lower man. Motives differ in quality and value as well as in mere force or magnitude, and the power of a particular motive over us will depend on the level of consciousness from which we consider it. Our problem therefore is so to order our inner life that the highest motive shall always be the strongest.
When the man in the street says that in certain moods some things, which normally have an irresistible attraction for him, lose their appeal, he is endorsing the conclusion just outlined; but only up to a point, for the man in the street regards his moods as dispensations of nature, inevitable and uncontrollable. If they are so, then the whole case for freewill falls, and men, toad-stools, and slugs are all alike mere automata. But are our moods uncontrollable? Certainly not! we can control them; we can regulate our minds, and raise the habitual consciousness from the level of the lower man toward that of the Higher Self - the universal divine Self - toward God, if you will. This process in its completeness is a long and arduous task, not to be perfected in a single life; but everyone who sets himself or herself to it can do very much to raise the level of his inner life, and so to weaken the attractive force of the lower motives and increase that of the higher. By thus choosing what class and quality of motives are to influence us, we are practically choosing what kind of actions we are to perform; and in this sense the will is free.
- R.A.V. Morris.
Dec. 29th, 1933.
This magazine has not concealed its confidence in Russia at any time, nor its faith that the Russian armies will be equal to the task of meeting and defeating the German aggressors. Their bravery and brilliance, as Mr. Churchill has said, in meeting and defeating the Germans is worthy of all praise, and while he admits that they have not been satisfied with the aid given by Britain and America, he has reassured them of the whole-hearted support that is resolved upon, and which is now planned, and of which the reconnaisance in force at Dieppe was an indispensable preliminary. That attack was made by a force five-sixth of which were Canadians who lost 170 killed and about 700 more in wounded. Many more such raids are to be expected. The German assaults on Stalingrad have been the sensation of the last month, but while the Germans have approached nearer they have lost to such an extent that only a madman like Hitler would pursue such a course, and the cost has to be measured by the exhaustion of the German reserves and, at the best, the prolongation of the war through another winter, with still less hope of success for Germany than at present.
Mr. Churchill admitted that the Russians were much disappointed over the failure of the second front to be developed. But he managed to reassure Mr. Stalin that everything was and had been done that could be, and full confidence was restored on the conclusion of the consultations that were held in Moscow, and the settlement of plans of the immediate future Allied invasion.
Mr. Churchill's own reliance on Russia and on Mr. Stalin must be judged by his words in describing the Russian leader. "It is an experience," he said, "of great interest to meet Mr. Stalin. The object of my visit was to establish in our relations the easy confidence, in the same way I established them with President Roosevelt, and I think in spite of the Tower of Babel which persists as a sort of barrier, we succeeded to a considerable extent.
"It is very fortunate for Russia to have this great rugged war chief at the head in her agony. Stalin is a massive and strong personality, suitable to the times in which he has lived. He is a man of inexhaustible courage and will power, a man direct and blunt in speech . . . . . Above all, Stalin is a man with that saving sense of humor which is of high importance to all men in all nations and particularly great men and great leaders. Stalin also left upon me the impression of deep cool wisdom and complete absence of illusion of any kind."
As a preliminary to the Second Front the reconnaissance in force at Dieppe awakened the hopes of our soldiery and of the suffering millions of Europe. Even in France it encouraged the suppressed legislators to address Marshal Petain and his quisling lieutenant Laval, and threaten them with revolt should they attempt to lead France into war with the Allies. What Laval expects to get as a reward for his treachery no one can guess, but it is an extraordinary spectacle to see him with all the experience before him of other silly sycophants of Hitler, still trusting that monstrous liar and deceiver. The Dieppe episode is briefly but adequately described by the Prime Minister.
"Military credit for this most gallant affair goes to the Canadian troops who formed five-sixths of the assaulting force and to the Royal Navy which carried all there and carried most of them back. The raid must be considered as a reconnaissance in force. It was a hard, savage clash as are likely to become increasingly numerous as the war deepens."
Military men appear to regard the operations in North Africa as equally
important with any other elsewhere. On the success of the Allied arms in Egypt depends the fate of the Suez Canal, the defence of Syria and Palestine, and of all the near East, besides securing the safety of Turkey and the support of Russia in the Caucusus. Mr. Churchill took pains to see that the Egyptian situation was left in good shape before he turned homewards from his well-concealed tour.
The United States Navy is making a splendid job of the rounding up of the Japanese colonizers. We have all along considered that Japan had scattered her armies "not wisely but too well," and would be unable to support them in their sprinkled situations. Japan figured unwisely that the democratic Republic would be unable to rally sufficient forces to balk the Mikado's design, but they now find that the miscalculation is about to lead them into a worse plight in the hope to better themselves - an attack on Siberia. Russia is prepared for this and so is China and so is the United States. Australia has been somewhat jittery over the Japanese attack, but General McArthur's presence should have reassured them.
Two other main phases of the war remain for comment. The great factor to ensure success and victory is the Navy. Mr. Churchill found that the Russians, an inland people, had not realized the difficulties of the Navy problems. The submarine menace, by which nearly 500 merchant vessels have been sunk in the western Atlantic, and other tonnage nearer Europe, has given more worry than the Japanese or the quislings. But the losses are being replaced at an enormous rate, which is being increased with every week's returns. The submarines are being scotched in good fashion and have sheered off the American coasts for safer hunting grounds.
The other problem is India. Little has been heard from India in the weeks following the first outburst stirred up by Gandhi's statements. As Gandhi is undoubtedly the centre of any possible disturbance, it may be well to consider what Mr. G.N. Gokhale, General Secretary of the T.S. in India, has to say about him in The Indian Theosophist for May, writing shortly after the visit of Sir Stafford Cripps. Mr. Gokhale is one of the levellest-headed men in the Adyar Society and has no prejudices one way or the other. Here is his statement: "However painful it may be, I am not surprised at the turn events have taken, when I remember how we, in India, flouted the Messenger from the Rishis who govern the destinies of the world. The Great Ones warn, but will not compel; but those that do not heed Their warning do so only at their own peril. We left Dr. Besant for Mahatma Gandhi with his very attractive "Non-violence". That great but misunderstood quality being coupled from the very beginning with another quality 'non-cooperation' should have made us think, but we swallowed both, only to find after a generation, that we are not prepared to follow his advice in dealing with the Japanese menace, and even Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has had to proclaim that he does not agree with Mahatmajee, (How I wish he had ut-tered those inevitable words a few years earlier.) Any way thank God, we are now well on our way to understand the true significance of Non-violence, from the point of view of the Immortal Jeeva within. So far so good. Now only non-cooperation peeps out now and then. I have no doubt that in God's good time, we shall realize that in all cases, officials and non-officials, Devas and Men, can get on best in perfect cooperation, as the Bhagvadgita has told us. I am only sorry that till the lesson is learnt, we have all to suffer. Let us do it with confidence that all shall be well."