Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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Vol. XXIV, No. 10 Hamilton, December 15th, 1943 Price 20 Cents
KING ARTHUR'S ROUND TABLE
SIGNS AND SECRETS - VI.
The Earth Sign VIRGO
"Queen of the Earth who there appears, inclining graciously to all."
Virgo of the Round Table of the Stars in Somerset holds a long kept secret; she stands for the month of September and the date of the Blessed Virgin Mary's birthday falls in September.
This fact explains the origin of the dogma of the immaculate conception, the Virgin birth and other such tenets held for thousands of years by her devotees and still taken on trust by devout Catholics for, as applied to this Mother Earth, always she is being fecundated, conceives and brings forth without being defiled.
She has perhaps the most interesting history of any of these archaic constellation effigies, the old Greek describes her thus -
"Divine Mother of the ALL,
Chaste nourisher of men.
Bounteous giver, Demeter!
Nourisher of corn, giver of all,
Delighted by the works of peace
And of diligent labor.
Queen of the Earth who there appears,
Inclining graciously to all,
Prolific, friend of children,
Chaste Virgin, nourisher of men!
Goddess sublime of mortal men,
Many forms hast thou,
Resplendent, glorious, holy!
Come, thou blessed One, ever-pure,
Laden with summer's fruits
Bring us the peace and order of love,
Richness, abundance of blessing,
And health, O Thou Queen!
Virgo's fertile lands in the Kingdom of Logres are guarded by the famous castle of Arthurian romance, Camelot. On modern maps the fort is called Cadbury Castle, but the river flowing from it still retains the name of Cam, with Queen Camel on its banks, and many maps name `King Arthur's Hunting Causeway', that leads from the castle towards Virgo's effigy and Glastonbury. Castle Cary used also to guard it from the East. Tennyson sang -
"Arthur's ancient seat which made the Briton's name
thro' all the world so great.
Like Camelot, what place was ever yet renowned?
Where as at Caerleon oft, he kept the Table Round".
Camulos was a sky god and the mountain in Palestine called Carmel was itself a god and known as "the garden
of God". Godfrey Higgins says in his `Anacalypsis', "The Carmelites are in a very peculiar manner attached to the worship of the Virgin Mary, more particularly than any of the other monastic orders . . . In the book of the office of the Carmelites, Mary is called Maris Stella, Mother of our Maker; and the glorious Virgin of Mount Carmel. She has forty-three names." We will return to Maris Stella presently, but first let us look at Virgo's effigy, reclining on her side amongst her wheat fields, as Queen of heaven and earth.
Perhaps the best view of the Virgin's outline is to be obtained from Castle Cary's castle hill, whence the Cary river can be seen, when lighted by the sun or moon, meandering around the folds of her flowing robes to her breast, called Wimble Toot, meaning `augur's teat'(1) (This so called `tumulus' is now fortunately preserved as a National Monument.) Then from her breast the river continues its course round her sleeve to outline, in profile, her beautiful throat and face decked in a high bonnet.
Traced on the map one can see where the old fairy tale got its idea of the witch riding on a broomstick, for she holds outstretched a sheaf of wheat, her 'kern-baby', in order that the sun can bless it in his course round the ecliptic circle, it being the exact width of his imaginary path. Virgo's star that marks the 20th of September on the planisphere, falls on the centre of this wheat sheaf.
It was pointed out in "A Guide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars" that the male characters of Arthurian Romance impersonate the star constellations, whilst the women represent the rivers and springs of this "Paradise Garden". Consequently Parzival's mother is the Cary river which outlines the effigy Virgo. She is the famous "widow lady", and her husband, according to Wolfram von Eschenbach, was a Moor: the hero of Arthurian literature is therefore the offspring of a "heathen" of Berber stock, and a Welsh Queen of "two lands" (see Herzeleide), the brother being spoken of as "black and white". The English term "Black-a-Moor" means black as a Moor.
The Spaniards always had a strong strain of Arab blood, and in the 7th century North Africa and the peninsula were again overrun by the Moors, thus we are told the first cousin of Parzival's father was "king of Spain", as well he might be. King Sedge Moor, through which the Cary river finds its way to the Severn, is termed a Sea Moor.
The Saracens and Moors are often referred to in the Arthurian legends; "ethnically they are a hybrid race with more Arab than Berber blood", but it is a very interesting fact that the skulls dug up, of the inhabitants of the Glas-tonbury Lake Villages, "all belong to the oval-headed Mesaticephalic" type, according to Sir William Boyd Dawkin's findings, "they are physically identical with the small dark inhabitants of the Basque Provinces of Spain and the Berber. The same race occurs in Asia Minor". This again bears out the theory that the makers of the Somerset Zodiac came from that region.
Before we leave Castlecaryland, let us gaze at the enchanted bay to the West, 500 feet below, where lies the Vessel of the Holy Grail. It may be lapped by waves of mist beating in from the Severn Sea, called the White Lady of Sedge Moor, if so the hills that form the Phoenix, the Archer's horse, the Lion, the Giant Twin, the Ram and the Fish, will float like islands half concealed in her embrace, but often the whole sacred area is bathed in the blood of a tremendous sunset, and then the old gods appear to seethe in their mystic "cauldron".
And now to return to the Virgin's secret. The Journal of Calendar Reform for December 1936, published an interesting article by the Abbe Chauve-Bertrand entitled `Origins of Christ-
mas', concerning the conception, birth and death of Christ. As the Abbe is such an authority on the subject of the Calendar one quotes him as one would an encyclopoedia. When about the fourth century, we are told, "the Feast of the Nativity" took root in Rome, "nobody was in a position to prove that the event had taken place on the 25th of December", for "there is no tradition concerning the date of the birth of Christ". So March 25th was chosen symbolically for His death, and March 27th for His Resurrection, His conception at the spring equinox and consequently December 25th for his birth.
I might suggest that the clue to the dilemma was the spring equinox in March, for the sun had moved out of the stars of the Lamb, Aries, marking April, into the stars of the Fish, Pisces, and for a new calendar the vernal equinox needed to be adjusted: in like manner the sun at the autumnal equinox now lay in the stars of Virgo.
The Abbe favors the winter solstice as the real reason for the choice of Dec. 25th for the birthday of the Savior; (2) he remarks upon the opposition of "Christ, the spiritual Sun, to the pagan sun god", and says - hence "the practice of counteracting the pagan ceremony with a Christian solemnity in which was celebrated the birth of the One who was presented as the true Sun". He adds that the Arabs and others "had the custom of taking from a sanctuary, at the time of the winter solstice, an idol of the sun, represented as a new born child, whilst the priest went along and chanted the following: `Korah, the Virgin, has given birth to Aion'. Aion was the new sun" . . . . "To get to the bottom of this explanation (the Abbe continues) it remains to be said who this celestial virgin was. She was simply the one whose name figures in the signs of the Zodiac . . . Now, after the harvest season, the stars of the Virgo Constellation descend slowly.
When they disappeared on the horizon, the sun, at the winter solstice, was placed as though in the bosom and was born, so to say, in the arms of the celestial virgin at the heliacal rising on the eastern horizon; it was he who, in this guise was represented as a child nursed by a chaste virgin, in the astrological picture of the wise men of Persia." and again, "Let no one be frightened by all this . . . We do not realize fully how much the liturgies owe to astronomy."
Since "truth will out", even though kept secret for nearly two thousand years! need I say more except to cap this with another from the 12th century, which will bring it down to earth. Wolfram von Eschenbach in his `Parzival', Book IX, relates, concerning "a wonder God wrought from the earth and clay".
"Quoth Parzival, `Now I think me that never such thing might be,
And 'twere better thou shouldst keep silent, than tell such a tale to me!
For who should have borne the father, whose son, as thou sayest, reft,
Maidenhood from his father's mother? Such riddle were better left!"
But the hermit again made answer, `Now thy doubt will I put away,
O'er my falsehood thou canst bemoan thee if the thing be not truth I say,
For the EARTH was Adam's mother, of the EARTH was Adam fed,
And I ween, tho' a man she bare here, yet still was the Earth a maid.'
`Nor on earth shall aught be purer than a maiden undefiled,
Think how pure must be a maiden, since God was a Maiden's Child!
Two men have been born of maidens, and God hath the likeness ta'en
Of the son of the first Earth-Maiden, since to help us He aye was fain.'
`From the lips of the whole world's Lover came a message of love, and peace,
For He is a Light all-lightening, and never His faith doth cease.' "
Religions, the world over, have worshipped the Sun Father-god and the Earth Virgin-mother at some time during their history, with the natural corollary that the father had to be born from the pure virgin first!
To observe that the Sun was apparently born in the bosom of the constellation Virgo, at the winter solstice, necessitated hundreds of years of stellar observation: so in order to perpetuate and fix for all-time their vision of the constellations, "the first men of the East, who brought it to the West", drew the starry Mother of the Harvest, that they had envisaged, upon the earth in Somerset, England; or rather they found her there already outlined by the Cary river, and all they had to do was to add her breast and her bouquet of wheat. This we know for certain, because when the modern planisphere is traced on the map of the Sacred Area, the stars of Virgo fall upon her wheat-sheaf at the same time that the stars of the other Zodiacal creatures fall on their corresponding counterparts in their correct order.
- K. E. Maltwood.
1101 Beach Drive,
Oak Bay, Victoria, B.C.
(1) 'Herzeleide' - the mother of the hero of the Grail Quest - dreamed she was "borne away towards the clouds, and sparks sprang from her floating tresses mid the fire of the circling spheres" thus she nursed a dragon "that at her breast hung." The reference to her breast is very marked, for again it says "her breasts she tended with the wisdom of mother lore" and "the queen of Heaven high gave her breast to the dear Lord Jesu". page 58, wolfram's ' Perzival'.
(2) see my article "The Golden Coffin of the Sun-God", in the Canadian Theosophist, Jan. 1942.
From the point of view of the modern man the sixteenth century, in spite of its vitality and aspiration, was committed to the practice of weird experiments. Stranger than fiction, too, were its current beliefs. Marlowe's Faust, a typical Renaissance figure, struts his little hour against a background of devils and magic.
The science of Alchemy, which anticipated modern chemistry, flourished during this period. Its vogue reflected the Elizabethan's interest in arcane knowledge as well as his unbounded faith in man's capacity to know all things. Even those who sat in the seats of the mighty condescended to support, and sometimes dabble in, the art that smacked so frequently at Charlatanry.
For, if there was the serious alchemist, there was also the pretender who mystified the public with his unintelligible jargon. Just such an impostor Ben Jonson ridiculed in his rollicking comedy The Alchemist.
How men loved the word Alchemy, significant as it was of all that was mysterious and desirable! An aura of witchery enveloped the phrase elixir vitae. Many an alchemist asserted that he had discovered this secret virtue that conferred on man the blessing of eternal youth. The same nostrum was called lapis philosophorum when it effected a chemical miracle and inferior metals shone with the lustre of pure gold. In this final state all the elements were supposed to exist in perfect proportion.
Fantastic, you say. Only a romantic dream. Has it ever occurred to you that the mediaeval alchemist was attempting on the physical plane what is a possibility on the mental plane, where thought is the magical philosopher's stone? And of what can be predicated immortality if not thought? It alone is untouched by age even as the figures traced by art on a Grecian urn.
To be sure, man's restless intelligence, reacting to the constant flow of sense-impressions, by taking thought cannot add one cubit to his spiritual stature. Such a mind, mirroring forth but fleeting dreams, has drunk deep of the waters of forgetfulness and knows not Reality. Eastern philosophers have proclaimed this truth. The belief that the Self or Real man is a participant in the earthly drama, they say, arises because illusion binds fast, in numerous obscuring veils, man's spiritual perception.
In meditation, however, man separates himself from the time-flow and all perishable things. Without the assistance of immediate sensory stimuli he spontaneously creates. Guided by the intuitive mind, the consciousness plumbs the inner depths of Being whose length and breadth and height is blissful Joy. Then are abstract ideas like Love and Peace realized in all their power and magnetic quality, flooding the heart with light. The soul may be wrapped in the roseate hues of Love though the beloved form has long since fallen softly into the oblivion of dust.
All this while the lower reactionary mind is smoothly placid as a stilled lake of glass on whose surface no winds play or waves wimple. Creation of perfect God-ideas, in such an atmosphere of calm, and the deep realization of their essence, enables one to walk with Beauty though no external picture impresses us with lovely intimations of the divine.
It is true that, by the rich pageantry of the outer, heavenly remembrance is stirred and awakened. All of us have been made exquisitely aware, from time to time, of the beauty lodged within. An unwonted charm has seemed to radiate from the tremulous grace of a tree, wind-shaken, or the wonder of a Night strangely wakeful and bright with a thousand silver eyes, or the peace-drenched silences beside shy inland waters. The same indescribable glamor is present during meditation, as the mystic avers. Only the outer symbols are absent. None the less, in that pregnant solitude, a higher level of Aesthetic rapture is reached.
Love, then, dwells in the lover and Beauty in the beholder. He, therefore, who is skilled in the art of spiritual transmutation can realize abstract and perfect concepts only on the inner plane.
Shakespeare, immortal bard, whose soul was attuned to universal rhythms, and the hem of whose garment Jonson was not worthy to touch, had caught the vision of spiritual alchemy, the transmuting of the base into the sublime. In one of his sonnets he describes the alchemy that Love had taught his eyes -
To make of monsters and things indigest
Such cherubims as your sweet self resemble,
Creating every bad a perfect best,
As far as objects to his beam assemble
Is not the "creating of - every bad a perfect best" man's highest duty since it is the destiny of the individual to bear witness to the Eternal or Perfection. Christ admonished his disciples to be perfect even as the Father in Heaven was perfect. I used to think that this meant observance of an ethical standard of some sort. But how hollow is outward conformity if, for all our works, within we are whited sepulchres.
Now I understand that thought is the only true substance being the invisible cause and underlying reality of all that exists. Perfection, therefore, can only relate to pure and exalted concepts that a man thinketh in his heart. It is this thinking of God's thoughts after Him, to borrow the phrase coined by Dr. Carver, the negro scientist-saint, that should be the individual's special practice, it seems to me. For most of us, the path leading to the status of the sage,
whose end is equanimity in pleasure and pain, is a thorny one and the goal lost in a haze of purple distance. Many of us, it is true, have found in moments of crisis that He who is within us is greater than He who is in the world. Nevertheless, we are in the intermediate stage of the green plum that requires many sun-warmings and rain-washings before attaining ripeness. We can begin, however, to use our power of creative idealization in a purposive way. We can become acquainted with our Diyinity in the secret place of the Most High that is our inner retreat.
Simple response to environment is in accordance with the amoeba's highest possibilities. This cannot be said of an intellectual and spiritual being. When a man, made in the image and likeness of God, is the plaything of external stimuli we have a falsification of his true nature. It must be so if conscious creation of the Good, the Beautiful and the True is man's birthright as a son of God. And have not the great spiritual teachers of the world, our guides and exemplars, ever warned mankind against being dominated by appearance, which is to mistake the shadows for Reality.
By means of spiritual intuition, we are told, man recognizes the spiritually perfect and may reject the wisdom of appearance for the wisdom of Divinity if he so desires.
The realist, not trained in the spiritual viewpoint, may condemn thinking the perfect thoughts of Divinity as a species of escapism. He will declare that truly "light and darkness are the world's eternal ways" and that the universe would disintegrate without the opposed principle of evil. Nor can it be denied that the spectacle of evolving Life, or stream of becoming, is shot through with this principle of duality. Yet there is one sublime truth that banishes pessimism; and it is our single point of fixity in a world of instability, where illusions based on the deceptive promise of the outer are shed one by one. It is that God is "perfect righteousness" as Socrates stated it a long time ago out of the insight born of his own godliness and "he of us who is the most righteous is most like Him".
The existence of evil has always been more or less of a puzzle to philosophers. A world seer like Zoroaster affirmed the comparative unreality of evil while acknowledging the underlying duality of all manifestation. Plato in that marvellous allegory of creation, the Timaeus, distinguishes between two kinds of causes, the necessary and the divine, asserting that without the former, which is the element of chance or disorder in the world, the perfect or divine could not be apprehended or perceived. Both Plato and Zoroaster are supported by the ancient Kabbalists whose fundamental belief it was that "Daemon est Deus inversus".
How may I practically avail myself of the truth that evil is but the shadow cast by the good, its inverted image as it were, and the product of limited mortal vision? The evil or imperfect exists, I believe, that we might be eternally reminded to create the "perfect best". This we can do by flooding our pathway, blotched with the shadows, with the Light of eternal verities. Only the Light is from everlasting and knows neither taint nor tarnish and is the heavenly palliative which alone can wipe away all tears from our eyes. Thus the Not-Self deepens our awareness of the Self, which lotus-like is unpolluted by the grime and slime of the sensuous pool on which surface it floats.
If I would know divine wisdom and function as an immortal soul it behooves me to create the perfect quality or substance suggested by the shadow-evil in my environment.
It may be that many evidences of frustration on the outer have saddened my day. A sense of futility overtakes
me. I know full well that acceptance of the apparent is not exercizing my God-given dominion, that I am not rendering "righteous judgment". I understand, too, that the feeling-realization of dejection will have repercussions on outward circumstance unless transmuted by a perfect and positive ideal opposite. After earnest solicitation of the omniscient Self within me the idea occurs to me that will completely objectify or embody the perfection of which I stand in need. The word Joy may signify my Kingdom of Heaven. I seek to understand the essence of the Joy idea and therefore proceed to analyze its mental and emotional content. I recall past feelings of happiness when horizons ever beckoned, when just to walk in the sun called forth my love and gratitude for this beautiful world. For a long time I bask in these revived sensations of delight. I persistently shut out all inimical thoughts, which flutter and beat against the portals of my mental kingdom like clamorous and distracted birds. Many times I repeat to myself with unfaltering faith in the power of creative thought to fulfil unerringly after its kind - "But Joy is." Then as the ascension in consciousness is made, and soul-substance has yielded up her "good and perfect gift", the heart is made lighter than blown thistledown in summer.
So while the shadow-evil, the base metal of the personal life is not ignored, its seeming reality is rejected in favor of the original Light of which it is a partial or suggestive expression.
Ben Jonson's trenchant wit may have immortalized for all time the perversions of the alchemist. But was not the latter but an inverted image or symbol of him who consecrates his energies to the holy task of spiritual transmutation? Is not Alchemy itself another shadow-evil typifying 'the wonder-working power of spiritual thinking? Alchemy is immortal truth!
- Alberta Jean Rowell.
There have been innumerable crises in The Theosophical Society. Its history is open to the search of any one who cares to trace the cause, the actors, and the results upon the present day. A careful analysis of them by any one who tries to preserve an open mind and checks his facts with a divergent viewpoint, so that he hears impartially the defence and the accusation, indicates beyond any doubt that there is but one cause.
The downfall of the Society's prestige and the loss of integrity of purpose is due only to one thing - the thirst for phenomenal experiences. This begins with the first pupils who attempted to approach the Adepts through H.P.B. Time after time, the seeker, disappointed or suffering from frustrated ambition, falls backward into oblivion, as evidenced in "The Mahatma Letters" and the later history. Those who pierced the miasma of the craving for miracles, marvels and personal development, basing their deductions upon the worth and truth of teachings, are conspicuous by their protests, and one can see their mark of intellectual superiority in every word they write. Yet, they are also denounced as "not ready", if nothing worse, the favorite stigma being "working for the dark forces".
Where can we find this craving for phenomena today? Everywhere! Every small cult which boasts a "master" for its leader speaks in hushed tones of mysterious powers, which no one ever proves. Some of them talk openly of them on the lecture platform. One of them likes to display his ability to be "buried alive". Another one makes trips to all the planets, which are very
suspiciously like ours. Another speaks of the "living light which makes a jewel", and even more mysterious processes. And the credulous follow the followers of these false prophets into secret groups and inner circles, sometimes at fabulous prices. This is the new method in phenomena. Not, the crude and revolting resort to mediums, which appeals to the weak and ignorant, but the mysterious and unattainable and exclusive. It is represented in every nook and corner of our land by countless impostors - who are, of course, accepted as members of, or representatives of, that Band of Brothers, the outer name of which is different in many lands.
But to the source of the wrong teachings, resulting in the many who make false claims, and this unquenchable thirst for miracles, turn to the history of The Theosophical Society, and observe that never, since H.P.B. left us, is its voice raised, partially or unitedly, to lead the people to the Light. No - new claims pour out from it, and new wonders are revealed, until very recent years. It is no wonder that the West has caught the fever, and accepts very ordinary people as Adepts.
The Theosophical Society, led by those who dreamed the most fantastic dream of all - a World Messiah and a World Church to match - is the proud holder of the title "Supreme Dispenser of Initiations, Personal Development, and Contact with the Adepts" - by means no one has ever proven. Is it any wonder that the little cults follow its official lead and create minor absurdities which disgrace the name of Gupta Vidya?
Nay more, The Theosophical Society itself is honeycombed with members who seek phenomena, even resorting to mediums, and these members are in good standing, supported by headquarters, and in some instances hold office.
At least once a year, in every Theosophical magazine worthy of the name, for the information of those who come in as members, and old members who have lost their judgment, the following words of the President-Founder should be printed, so that there is no excuse for any leader or official who pretends to be in touch with H.P.B. through mediums. Of all the Theosophical Society absurdities, this is perhaps the one with the least foundation of fact, except the desire of the deluded members to be important.
This is from the "Supplement" to "The Theosophist" for April, 1892:
"One has but to refer back to an old volume of 'The Theosophist' to find that she and I, anticipating some such nonsense, published our joint declaration that under no circumstances should we visit after death a medium or a circle, and authorizing our friends to declare false any story to the contrary. H.S O."
What can one say - except that the Temple of the Veiled Isis is not found by methods such as these.
- Anne Leslie Roger
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MOKSHA AND BEYOND
In the September Canadian Theosophist the editor accentuates the theme of Liberation from Sansara, the circle of birth and death, and gives interesting reflections of Mr. Mark Dewey and his own, upon it.
As I went on in the article to the introduction of Dr. Evans-Wentz's Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines I could but marvel at the diverse aspects that can be culled in quotation from the same book, for in this tome, besides some of its fine quoted passages on truths, the root of which are more profoundly and correctly expressed in The Secret Doctrine, there is much that deals with Black Magic without discriminating between it and Raja Yoga; just as I have found it done in Evans-Wentz's The Tibetan Book of the Dead. I have neither of these books by me at present, our Library having rejected them, but when A.E.S.S. recommends Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines as "a companion authority in all ethical and occult respects to The Voice of the Silence and H.P.B.'s other devotional writings", it is time to call him down on the score of his own quotations which diverge completely, on the vital question of motive in the renunciation of Nirvana, from The Voice of the Silence. Compassion is the keynote throughout The Voice - a word not mentioned in these copious extracts nor is it there implied as the Law with which all spiritual advancement must, at long, long last comply.
"Compassion is no attribute. It is the Law of LAWS - eternal Harmony, Alaya's SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of love eternal."
"Compassion speaks and saith: `Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?
(The Voice of the Silence)
Hear also The Secret Doctrine on the life-motive of the Initiator "who holds spiritual sway over the initiated Adepts throughout the whole world . . . He is the `Initiator', called the `GREAT SACRIFICE.' For, sitting at the threshold of LIGHT, he looks into it from within the circle of Darkness, which he will not cross; nor will he quit his post till the last day of this life-cycle. Why does the solitary Watcher remain at his self-chosen post? Why does he sit by the fountain of primeval Wisdom, of which he drinks no longer, as he has naught to learn which he does not know - aye, neither on this Earth, nor in its heaven? Because the lonely, sore-footed pilgrims on their way back to their home are never sure to the last moment of not losing their way in this limitless desert of illusion and matter called Earth-Life. Because he would fain show the way to that region of freedom and light, from which he is a voluntary exile himself, to every prisoner who has succeeded in liberating himself from the bonds of flesh and illusion." (V. I, p. 208).
Now turn to Evans-Wentz's version of the goal that inspires the "Selfless Altruism of the Bodhisattva." Does the shortening of his road lead to ever greater and greater sacrifice for the sake of humanity, culminating in the halt, just quoted from the S.D.? No, in the Bodhisattva's renunciation of Nirvana: "the mighty accomplishment is but the stepping-stone to a higher evolution; the conqueror must realize, once the conquest is made, that the conquest is not of itself enough, that it must be utilized as a means to a still mightier end." Might and conquest occupy the whole stage, and, if it is well understood by the devotional student that these are dedicated to the service of humanity in obedience to the Law (Alaya), this would not be inferred by a reader interested in evolution but as yet unversed in the doctrine of the Nirmanakaya. To him these extracts spell
ambition on a sublimated plane. He gathers that the Pratyeka Buddha mistakenly thinks he has reached the full realization of Nirvana but has fooled himself; whereas the Bodhisattva renounces the enjoyment of that stage of Nirvana in order to reach a more exalted state. The object of renunciation then is primarily to "get on"; fully in line as it is with the spirit of the age, I protest it is not in line with the motive of renunciation given in The Voice of the Silence, and that it is a desecration to mention that book in connection with the ideas of ambition of a spiritual order, as set forth on p. 203, second column, September C.T.
I can imagine the high-brow smile with which this may be received by the Oxford Orientalist of today. But I refer Theosophists to the very first book published for them on the path of discipleship. The first Rule on the first page of that book is: "Kill out Ambition:" and a following Note says: "Ambition is the first curse; the great tempter of the man who is rising above his fellows." Light on the Path was highly endorsed by H.P. Blavatsky and was inspired by an Adept of the Right-hand Path, a friend with whom she often worked.
Let students who may be caught by the idea of a continued individual progress, presumably to that of Planetary Spirits, turn to the S.D. and take note that in such a state: "Individuality is the characteristic of their respective hierarchies, not of their units" (under-scoring mine, H.H.), and further note that the "collective aggregate" of "High Planetary Spirits (Dhyan Chohans) . . constitutes at one and the same time the MIND of the Universe and its immutable LAW." (V. I, pp. 275-78) If, as we know it to be, the LAW is Compassion, then continuance, unless in conformity with that law, is ultimately impossible. Hence the deduction made by many students from the Stanzas themselves that those Lhas who were backward in submitting to human incarnation yet were too spiritually advanced for annihilation must, in the end, incarnate and suffer. Moreover we may be the spiritual progeny of returning Nirvanees from other Manvantaras, as suggested in the S.D.; to be raised and `saved' by descendents of the Sons of Will and Yoga, who `made peace' with our humanity for that purpose. Otherwise such selfish entities, however spiritual, must disappear - perhaps to go down with the Manvantara to whose failure they (or we) contributed? For the Great Choice, made possible by the Agnishvatta's bestowal of the manasic principle, implies possible failure of the whole scheme of outer-plane manifestation.
H.P.B. having been permitted to give out so much from an unimpeachable source, far more than the Western mind is able to assimilate, it is curious that many Theosophists try to get it from other, and generally questionable, sources. Certainly one would have little confidence in the integrity of an author who embodies in his book twelve verses from The Voice of the Silence not only without acknowledgment to H.P.B., but in such an ambiguous way as to cause Columbia College professors to give him, Evans-Wentz, credit as the author. Yet A.E.S.S. apparently finds this to be quite in order, and knows of no one with a better right to quote The Voice! [in such a way?].
Basil Crump's true strictures, published in the C.T. of August 1942, upon Evans-Wentz's `great guru', Dawasamdup, are more than borne out by Mdme. David - Neel who knew Dawasamdup well. In her Mystics and Magicians in Tibet, she says that he was a Bhutanese who "sought secret intercourse with the Dakinis, hoping to gain supernormal powers . . . Drink, a failing among his countrymen, had been the curse of his life. This increased his natural tend-
ency to anger and led him one day within an act of murder."
Fine phrasing and learned self-assertion go a long way to create glamor.
- H. Henderson.
The H.P.B. Library,
348 Foul Bay Rd.,
November 17th, 1943
"THE IMPERISHABLE SACRED LAND"
One of the mysterious things spoken of in The Secret Doctrine is the North Pole. A great deal of speculation has been expended upon this subject. The definite statement is made: "The first continent, or island, if so preferred, `the cap of the North Pole,' has never perished, nor will it to the end of the Seven Races." (S.D. I. 372, note). Again we read, and the first phrase is to be noted:
"If then, the teaching is understood correctly, the first continent which came into existence capped over the whole North Pole like one unbroken crust, and remains so to this day, 'beyond that inland sea which seemed like an unreachable mirage to the few Arctic travellers who perceived it" (S.D. II. 401) It is said elsewhere (II. 274) "The Lemurians gravitated toward the North Pole, or the Heaven of their Progenitors (the Hyperborean Continent): the Atlanteans toward the Southern Pole, the, pit, cosmically and terrestrially - whence breathe the hot passions blown into hurricanes by the cosmic Elementals, whose abode it is." There is a long passage, too long to quote (II. 402-404) dealing with "Western Speculations" in which it is said that "one half of the surface of the earth is on the south of Meru and the other half on the north of Meru," Meru being the north pole. (II. 357) All this seems to imply that the North Geographical Pole is meant.
We are told, however, (II. page 353) that "Occult data show that even since the regular establishment of the Zodiacal have been in Egypt, the poles have been thrice inverted." (See also page 456) This would imply that the original North Pole must now be the South Pole. At the first inversion it would become the South; at the second the North again; and at the third, the
South once more. If the original North Pole of the earth be now the South Pole it would dispose of many difficulties. Several visits have been made to the present geographical North Pole, and it is certain as anything that there is no continent or island there, nothing but the frozen Arctic Ocean. On the other hand at the present geographical South Pole we have a real continent of many thousand square miles in extent, and one that is practically inaccessible to humanity. Names are, of course, merely relative when they denominate electricity. North polar magnetism of the magnet is that which is opposite to the
magnetism of the North Pole, and if we call the magnetism of a magnet according to the direction in which it points we know it is of an opposite character to that of the pole it indicates. Like magnetisms repel; unlike attract. The matter is not of any immediate importance to us, for the North Pole shall continue to be our North Pole for another 16,000 years at any rate, if we are to accept the statements of the Secret Doctrine at all.
It is of greatest interest to students to hear the descriptions of the present explorations of the south polar continent by the Byrd expedition. Captain Scott was the first to make explorations of any extent in that region and he named some of the territory then explored. Commander Byrd has named a great deal of it and taken possession of it in the name of the United States. Effective occupation, however, is required to make good a title according to the law of nations. Two mountain
ranges have been noted in the new regions, one named Rockefeller range, lying inside the territory visited by Scott, the other with peaks from eight to ten thousand feet high, apparently outside the limit of the British claims. The Rockefeller range has been mapped by an airplane camera, and 40,000 square miles have thus been explored. This new land has been named after the Commander's wife, Marie Byrd land. It is the Imperishable Sacred Land, if that region is on the terrestrial globe at all. There is an interesting passage in The Mahatma Letters, page 169, dealing with the character of magnetic polarity, in which the statement is made that Jenkins theory is the true one that the poles were not on the globe at all, but above the surface of the earth. Halley and Handsteen, beside Jenkins "were the only scientific men that ever suspected it." On all these matters we must "wait and see" as Mr. Asquith, following the Mahatma Letters, suggested.
- A.E.S.S. in Toronto Theosophical News, March, 1929
WHY ARE WE HERE?
or The Object of Physical Existence
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THE QUARTERLY BOOK DEPARTMENT
P.O. Box 64, Station O. New York City
SIR CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS
The death of Sir Charles Roberts on Friday, November 28, marks the close of a distinct era in Canadian literature. It is true that many highbrow professors profess that Canada possesses no literature of its own, but after all the critics die in every age posterity has a casting vote and a great deal to say on the matter. Literature grows out of the soil and the atmosphere and the hearts and minds of the people of a country. When the poet writes in the language of the people and records for them the sights of their eyes and the thoughts of their hearts in such fashion as to stir their immortal memories it matters little what the critics say. "O Child of Nations, giant-limbed," is an apostrophe to Canada which will be remembered in generations to come, and he had many similar appeals to the national consciousness, but with that peculiar diffidence of ethical wisdom which afflicts critic-ridden poets, lest they be thought didactic, he rarely gives voice to such thought as in "Immanence" -
Not only in the cataract and the thunder,
Or in the deeps of man's uncharted soul,
But in the dew-star dwells alike the wonder,
And in the whirling dust-mote the Control.
It is in lyric verse that the poet most truly reveals himself, and it is on this account one is inclined to place Bliss Carman above his cousin Charles Roberts. But Roberts has his lyric moments also. His "Grey Rocks" is not unworthy to place beside the elegiacs of Tennyson and Landon
Gray rocks, and greyer sea,
And surf along the shores -
And in my heart a name
My lips shall speak no more.
The high and lonely hills
Endure the darkening year -
And in my heart endure
A memory and a tear.
Across the tide a sail
That tosses, and is gone
And in my heart the kiss
That longing dreams upon.
Grey rocks, and greyer sea,
And surf along the shore -
And in my heart the face
That I shall see no more.
In notes for a talk on his work I have the names of these poems - The Sower, The Potato Harvest, Tantramar Revisited, The Solitary Woodsman, On the Creek, Collect for Dominion Day, Canada, O Little Rose, A Nocturne of Confederation, and Birch and Paddle. His prose works however may well carry his name farther than his poetry. He wrote much of nature and its teeming life which he knew intimately and described truly, giving animals the consciousness of their kind and not of human imagination. He had been editor of The Week just before I came to Toronto in 1889 or probably I would have met him earlier.
His poem, The Frosted Pane, caught my attention and I copied it in The Lamp, in February, 1905, and this led to some correspondence, and I chose for a motto on the title page of the volume his lines -
O mystic Nile! Thy secret yields
Before me; thy most ancient dreams
Are mixed with far Canadian fields
And murmur of Canadian streams.
We met on many occasions but one specially remains in my mind. It was the evening of May 11, 1927, when I was in his rooms with himself, his cousin Bliss Carman, and Wilson MacDonald, the three leading poets of Canada. In the course of the charming converstion in such a group there was material for much writing, but as a newspaperman news alone was my booty. It was real news to have the three poets together, but when they talked and each gave an item of real news, there was a nice little story for any editor's columns. Roberts - he was not Sir Charles till 1935 - told me he had just been appointed to give a course of lectures on literature in the University of British Columbia. What was my astonishment when the paper appeared to find that the "Universal" system which had been adopted by the paper had carved the story of some 200 words into fragments, leaving out Wilson MacDonald altogether, announcing that Bliss Carman had been appointed to the B.C. lectureship and making some inane remark about the Canada goose. By a "Universal" goose undoubtedly. It was the last time the three poets met together. Roberts wrote to me next day naturally supposing I had mixed up his information. I had another letter from him on the occasion of his 82nd birthday last January when I sent him congratulations. What he wrote carried the same warmth and kindly feeling that he expressed in 1927 - "I was ever so glad to see you here the other day; I hope we may foregather more often." Alas! No more in the flesh.
SALUTATION OF THE DAWN
From the Sanscrit
Look to this Day, for it is Life,
The very Life of Life.
Within its brief span lie all the Verities
And Realities of your Existence
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty.
Yesterday is but a Dream,
Tomorrow is but a Vision,
But Today well lived makes every
Yesterday a Dream of Happiness
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well, therefore, to this Day -
This is the Salutation of the Dawn.
AN OUTSIDE EXPERT VIEW
Recently I came into possession of My Rosicrucian Adventure by Israel Regardie and after reading it and discovering that the Order of the Golden Dawn had suffered the same kind of corruption and disintegration which has beset the Theosophical Society it seemed that the copy fell into my hands at the moment when its recitals and warnings might be of benefit to those who wish to restore the T.S. to its original purpose and work. No one can read Mr. Regardie's book without being impressed with his lofty aims and personal good faith. He has been assailed, it appears, as we are all assailed when we strive to do what we believe is the right and just and true thing to do. The quotations which are now made from his book should prove his integrity, as well as supply correctives for our own weaknesses.
"The old adage `United we stand, divided we fall' is no idle phrase, especially since the elimination of the `heresy of separateness' is one of the cardinal injunctions of the Great Work. The separate Temples decided to fall independently of how or why or where the other groups fell. Each was smug, complacent and fully confident that it alone continued the magical tradition." (page 21)
Readers will remember the reception given our Fraternization Conventions.
Regarding the formation of a new body for the dissemination of the knowledge gained from the original body, we read (page 37) "It seems a pity to me that these veiled and guarded references to the Order system should continually be made in public as though to offer a tempting sugar-plum to prospective members, as a bait to join another fraternity, without producing a definite exposition of that system. It is too simple a matter, alas, for misconceptions to arise and tenaciously be held. If any writer issued a book which promulgated misinformation about the mission of Madame Blavatsky and the teaching she recorded, one would imagine that no time would be lost by the Theosophical bodies in responding to the challenge by publishing verifiable facts which, while not widely known, were already accessible to those who wished to know them . . . . There has been entirely too much complacency within the Order and not sufficient anxiety to keep unsullied the name and character of its traditions." Readers will remember how Mrs. Hastings' Defence of Madame Blavatsky was received.
"It is this ancient Wisdom-Religion which is of the utmost value and importance to the welfare of mankind, and it is this traditional science of the soul which should be preserved and protected from every sort of corruption, and from every possibility of misconception . . . . Its Chiefs have developed the tyranny of sacerdotalism. They have a perverse inclination towards priestcraft, and secrecy has ever been the forcing-ground in which such corruption may prosper." (pp. 38-9) This was written of the Order of the Golden Dawn but applies equally to The Theosophical Societies as Dr. Arundale might very well note.
"Magic is more important than the Order in exactly the same way as the original Theosophy is infinitely of greater value than any Theosophical organization which has espoused its cause." (p. 41)
"Again, referring to this corruption and the unhappy history of the Order, it must be realized that so long as any disease is unrealized, its scourge cannot be checked, nor can any adequate course of treatment be prescribed . . . Therefore I here disclose this tainted history to the healing light of day, that the tradition of the divine Theurgy may be cleansed from the foul psychic associa-
tions of the past twenty or thirty years that once more it may take its rightful place as an integral and inspiring part of modern life and culture - which in the right hands undeniably it may be." (p. 45)
To the view that it might have been better to let the Order perish Mr. Regardie rejoins: "If it be assumed that those from whom this viewpoint may emanate will be, let us say, devout Christians or Theosophists of an orthodox leaning, these I can only remind of the numberless ghosts asleep under their own roofs. . . For the Theosophy taught by Madame Blavatsky I have the greatest admiration, considering myself a staunch adherent to the general terms of the philosophy which she so ably expounded. But the events which coincided with her high office in the Theosophical Society, to make but little mention of the unhappy incidents which occurred immediately following her death, might lead the outsider to suppose that because the Theosophical Society failed, so did Theosophy fail. With the logic of this statement I cannot agree, for nothing could be further from what is true. Theosophists will perhaps agree with my attitude in this connection, arguing that the Society failed because of its refusal to apply practically the lofty precepts of Theosophy . . . . To lower the standard or the ideal of attainment in order that a greater number of small-minded people might not feel their vanity wounded would be a crime than which few could be greater." (pp. 45-6)
On page 51 he repudiates the idea of "the search for a Master, either astral or physical, as the keynote of the Great Work . . . On the contrary . . . the exaltation of the candidate's consciousness to the divine." He continues (pp. 54-5), "In addition, let me register another disagreement with some of those who have written publicly on magical matters. With them, I also disbelieve the descriptions of Masters provided by Leadbeater and others of that ilk, and the claim of MacGregor Mathers that he met three Adepts in the Bois de Boulogne. These are old wives' tales . . . . . Most of those who have experientially claimed some such astral contact have either come to psychic or spiritual grief, or else through their own words have confounded the truth of such statements. Certainly that extraordinary collection of erudition, wisdom and wide sympathy, The Mahatma Letters, makes no such claim. For if one thing ever was insisted upon by the Mahatmas of any age and period, it was that they were men and not astral beings."
The unquestionably high ideals of the original Golden Dawn, derived from "the secret school for the teaching of magick, founded under the name of a club, by a dozen enthusiasts under the leadership of Lord Lytton's father" (The Mahatma Letters, p. 210) in 1861, were lost sight of, probably through the same lapses mentioned by the Mahatma K.H. in the Letter quoted. Mr. Regardie recalls and emphasizes these ideals. "Thus, and unmistakably is the true object of the Great Work set before us, and we shall do well ever to keep eye and aspiration firmly fixed thereto. For while the road to the spiritual Zion demands great exertion, and because it is a way that at times proceeds by devious routes, there is great temptation to linger by the roadside, to stroll down pleasant side-lanes, or to play absent-mindedly with toys or staves cut but to assist our forward march. But if we forget not to what noble city the winding path leads us, little danger can overtake any who pursue it steadfast to the end. It is only when the promise of the abiding city is forgotten that the road becomes hard, and the way beset by unseen danger and difficulty."
"The road to Adeptship is not a parlour game. It is a serious, tremend- (Continued on Page 316)
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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To whom all communications should be addressed.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
Those who celebrate the ancient festival of Yule or the more recent one of Christmas, should never forget the real mystery they celebrate - the birth of Mankind, the real Redeemer of the world when he has learned his mission, not merely as an individual, but in the mass, as the Sons of God; translated "children of God" in the New Testament of the Churches. The typical Son of God rates perfection, a perfection we must all seek to equal and finally achieve and surpass, even as the Father in Heaven, the Overworld, is perfect. So Yuletide is a season of joy, and always was, ages before the lachcrymose saints of Rome began to weep over the imaginary idol they had created. A Universe of Love is not a place of tears unless Man forgets the Law of his Being, "unless you are reprobate" as St. Paul reminds us. "Be of good cheer," said the Master of Life. "I have overcome the kosmos."
We deeply regret to announce the death on October 30 of Mrs. Beatrice Hastings, author of the "Solovyoff Fraud" critique, the Defence of Blavatsky books, etc. We only received this information as we go to press in a letter from Doris L. Green, Mrs. Hastings' executor. The letter is dated November 11 and says she passed peacefully away, but no other details are given.
Many interesting letters of congratulation, commentary and commendation have come in since the publication of our last issue with the Hodson correspondence. We desire to acknowledge these and to thank the writers for their encouragement and support.
Will our United States correspondents never learn that their domestic postage rates do not apply to foreign countries? We have referred to this frequently but still have to keep paying out double the amount of deficient postage, for it is not the offender who is punished but the innocent victim.
I have received the following note from the Secretary of the Montreal Lodge, Miss Rose Ovenden: - I am writing to inform you of the death of bur late Vice-President, Mr. Jeffrey LeMarquand. He was loved by all who knew him and the courage and fortitude shown by him through his long suffering was an inspiration to all the members of this lodge. He will be sadly missed by all his friends. The funeral service was conducted by Canon Naylor of Montreal with readings by Mr. Lorimer from ancient Scriptures. The floral offerings were very beautiful.
Theosophy for November opened with some wise remarks for the benefit of students. "The lead of self-interest must be thick indeed in the arteries of the student who does not at some time wrestle mightily with the Law, who does not long to split with one great revolutionary stroke the thick-skulled ignorance of the world, to startle, shock and amaze mankind into a vision of the electric truth. And though the infinite patience of the Teachers must finally conquer these turbulent demands for action, it is natural that there remains a sympathy for the sudden optimisms of others, and pity for the forced growths of physical philanthropy, which looms in early splendor, only to wither and die before the high noon of Kali Yug's moral desolation. Nor will this sympathy, or something like it, ever pass away. Letters That Have Helped Me bears witness to the large-hearted humanity which wisdom brings, and to the unyielding hope which springs forever in the breast of those who know the Law."
The Montreal Lodge Bulletin reports a visit from Dr. Kuhn and lectures of "practical value in everyday life." The Tuesday class has been discussing The Three Truths and found that they cover "a vast amount of ground." Mr. Wilks, brother of Dr. Wilks of Vancouver, was dated for a talk on "the Essential Elements for the Smooth Functioning of a Lodge." This should be written out and printed in our magazine. The Friday class is occupied with a course on Evolution led by Mr. Lorimer. The death of Jeffrey LeMarquand on October 12 after an illness of several years is a loss to the Lodge of one of its most devoted members. "His later years were a model, not of courage, for there is no need of courage where there is no fear, but of that calmness of spirit which some people are able to gain from adversity, and it was this calmness, with an ability to see the best in all things, and a broadness of outlook that many of us would do well to emulate, which endeared him so much to all his friends."
THE ANNUAL AUDIT
20th November, 1943.
The Theosophical Society in Canada.
Dear Sirs and Madam:
I have examined the Books and Accounts of The Theosophical Society in Canada for the fiscal year ended 30th June, 1943 and find that the "Statement of Funds" appearing on page 145 of The Canadian Theosophist, dated 15th July, 1943, is in accordance therewith. Faithfully yours,
Jno. K. Bailey, Honorary Auditor
We have received the following magazines during the month of November: Theosophy in New Zealand, Oct.-Dec.; Ancient Wisdom, November; Bulletin 180, United Lodge of Theosophists, London, England, October; Theosophy, Los Angeles, November; Theosophy in Ireland, July-September; Bulletin of the Montreal Lodge, November; The Pro & Con Vox, December; Toronto Theosophical News, November; The American Theosophist, November; The Theosophical Worker, September; O Teosofisia, Rio de Janeiro, March-April; The Federation Quarterly, October; The Aryan Path, Bombay, August; Lucifer, December; Canada at War, November; The Indian Theosophist, September; Theosophy in Australia, Sept.-November; The Link, Oct.-November.
BOOKS ON THEOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS
which have passed the tests of time and use Supplied on request. Forty years' experience at your service. Let me know your wishes.
N. W. J. HAYDON, 564 PAPE AVE., TORONTO
The Germans appear to have a keener sense of time in their military operations than the Allies, and he who strikes first has an undoubted advantage. German armies are already gathering in Bulgaria with the obvious aim of blitzing Turkey if that would appeal to the intuitive Fuehrer as a profitable move. It has been made clear from the Russian despatches that their armies have two fighting seasons, one when the ground is hard in summer, and one when it is frozen in winter. No one knows outside the Big Three and their central staff which of these seasons has been selected for the attack promised from the east, from the west, and from the south. But if little Joe has been dictating the war policy we may conclude that the attack will be in winter and that season begins on the 21st. We may not have long to wait. On the other hand, if the careful and meticulous Allied staffs are to call the tune, we may sit back and wait till the in-between mud and glar season has hardened into good roads for tanks and waggon traffic. The success of the triple attack would depend on its concerted unity in time. Successive attacks would give the Germans the opportunity, working on interior lines to switch their armies to face each attack in turn. We are sure Mr. Stalin knows better than that, so that he might even be persuaded to wait till simultaneity could be assured. But what an advantage that would be to the Germans. We have the word of Premier King in his pre-election speech, as many deem it to be, that he hoped the War would be over by spring. That would mean a winter campaign, triple-twisted, and as Mr. King is not intuitive, like Shickelgruber, we may take it that he bases his hope on information received. The world has been witnessing many miracles of late, but the last and greatest has just passed into history. When the Three Wise Men of legend; the Three Kings as they became when they were buried at Cologne, came and paid their homage to the Prince of Peace, as the ancient legend assures us, it was a beautiful anticipation of the homage paid by twice three kings to the Principle of Peace when Chiang-Kaishek, Roosevelt and Churchill first met at Cairo, and then again when Mr. Stalin took the place of the great Chinese leader, and the second trio met in Persia, now Iran, at Teheran. Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, or however they may be named, ever symbolize with their gold and frankincense and myrrh nothing other than the sweat and blood and tears that have been offered up by humanity to the divine trinity of Liberty, Truth and Brotherhood. When I was writing two years ago my articles were condemned as having "too much Russia" in them. It is one of the miracles that Russia is being regarded in its true light, the virtual savior of the world. Without this terrific warfare on the Russian front where would Europe be today, and where indeed, America? In a favorite church hymn the congregations sing -
We are not divided,
All one body we,
One in hope and doctrine,
One in charity.
This may be a devout aspiration but is far from the facts. Russia presents an amazing example of national unity, and of its voluntary character the military effort of its people is the sincerest token. His Majesty King George finely recognized this in the Sword of Honor which he had prepared to present to the people of Stalingrad, and which was accepted on their behalf by Mr. Stalin at an impressive ceremony in Teheran. He kissed the glittering blade with its inscription - "To the steel-hearted city of Stalingrad, the gift of King George VI in token of the homage of the British people." That word "homage" was not
chosen without deep appreciation of its meaning. The concord of the three great and active nations in Europe and America, and the cooperation and adherence to the same pact by China has been expressed in a statement which should be framed and hung on the wall of every household and public building until we have written its terms in our hearts.
"We express our determination that our nations shall work together in the war and in the peace that shall follow." Then the statement regarding the triple invasion of Europe.
"And as to the peace, we are sure that our concord will make it an enduring peace. We recognize fully the supreme responsibility resting upon us and all the nations to make a peace which will command goodwill from the overwhelming masses of the peoples of the world and banish the scourge and terror of war for many generations."
"We came here with hope and determination. We leave here friends in fact, in spirit, and in purpose."
We still have a great war to fight, unless the German people recover their sanity and lay down their tarnished arms.
Adyar, having choice of gems,
Turned aside and chose gewgaws.
Seeking New Jerusalems
Adyar, having choice of gems,
Hoped to set on fire the Thames,
Learns, effects must have a Cause.
Adyar, having choice of gems,
Turned aside and chose gewgaws.
THEOSOPHY UP TO DATE !
- EVOLUTION: As Outlined in The Archaic Eastern Records Compiled and Annotited by Basil Crump.
- H. P. BLAVATSKY: A GREAT BETRAYAL
A protest against the policy and teachings of The Theosophical Society introduced since the death of Madame Blavatsky.
- H. P. BLAVATSKY: HER LIFE AND WORK FOR HUMANITY
A vindication and a brief exposition of her mission and teachings.
- BUDDHISM: TheScience of Life.
By Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump.
This book shows that the Esoteric philosophy of H.P. Blavatsky is identical with the Esoteric Mahayana Buddhism of China, Japan and Tibet.
- THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE
Translated and Annotated by H. P. Blavataky.
A faithful reprint of the original edition with an autograph foreword by H.S.H. The Tashi Lama of Tibet. Notes and Comments by Alice L. Cleather and Basil Crump. - H.P.B. Centenary Edition, Peking, 1931. Third Impression.
The above may be had from The H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Road, Victoria, B.C., or from The Blavatsky Association, 26 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W. 8, England
THE PILGRIM'S PATH
There is a road, steep and thorny, beset with perils of every kind - but yet a road and it leads to the Heart of the Universe. I can tell you how to find those who will show you the secret gateway that leads inward only, and closes fast behind the neophyte for evermore. There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer. There is no trial that spotless purity cannot pass through. There is no difficulty that strong intellect cannot surmount. For those who win onwards, there is reward past all telling; the power to bless and save humanity. For those who fail, there are other lives in which success may come.
- H. P. Blavatsky
AN OUTSIDE EXPERT VIEW
(Continued from Page 311)
ously difficult and arduous journey, of life-long duration." Mr. Regardie affirms on page 118. We should all know this from our experience, and another witness is quoted on page 116. "The lifting of the veil of life and penetrating to the spiritual aspects underlying it, demands not the petty attitude described above, but, as Jung puts it, `the most thoroughgoing and wearisome preparation, consisting in the right payment of all debts to life. For as long as one is in any way held by the domination of cupidatis, the veil is not lifted, and the heights of a consciousness empty of content and free of illusion are not reached, nor can any trick nor any deceit bring it about."'
On page 123 Mr. Regardie makes a statement which may be commended particularly to all members of THE Theosophical Society from the President down.
"This statement of the Golden Dawn secret knowledge may perhaps be comparable to the appearance, in another fold, of The Mahatma Letters edited by Mr. A. Trevor Barker. I mention this that condemnation of my apparent treachery, justifiable at first sight, may be silenced and my action seen in its true light. In these letters was the injunction that they should not be published. But the state of the Theosophical movement induced Mr. Barker to edit these letters and produce a volume which since has been welcomed by many hundreds of people. At the time, however, he was roundly abused for his brave gesture. I have heard such abuse issuing from an association whose Theosophical orthodoxy cannot be questioned. In my estimation, true magical teaching is no whit less important than Theosophy, and that the foundation of the Golden Dawn though less spectacular was certainly as significant in the history of spiritual progress as the Theosophical Society.
"The fate of the one was the same fate that befell the other. The corruption that threatened Theosophy also occurred to the divine Theurgy taught in the Golden Dawn. And the letters of the Mahatmas in which the true Theosophy can be found must be considered as a definite statement of what Theosophy is, just as the veridic teachings of the age-old Theurgy may be found in the original unexpurgated documents circulated in the Golden Dawn. This teaching was true Theurgy, not the inane burblings and private opinions of those who perpetually prate of the sanctity of Order obligations."
I have quoted freely from Mr. Regardie's valuable book and in common gratitude am glad to mention that it and his other books, which I have not seen, are to be had from The Aries Press, 36 South State Street, Chicago, Illinois. His other books are listed as The Golden Dawn, The Tree of Life, A Garden of Pomegranates, and The Middle Pillar.
I may add that according to The Secret Doctrine, (vol. I. p. 222, Adyar edition) there are four Vidyas, or forms of Knowledge: Yajna Vidya, the performance of religious rites in order to produce certain results; Maha Vidya, the great (Magic) knowledge, now degenerated into Tantrika worship; Guhya Vidya, the science of Mantras and their true rhythm or chanting of mystical incantations, etc.; Atma Vidya, or the true spiritual and divine Wisdom - it is only the last which can throw final and absolute light upon the teaching's of the three first named."
Students should govern themselves accordingly.
"The cornerstone of MAGIC is an intimate practical knowledge of magnetism and electricity, their qualities, correlations and potencies."
Being a critical analysis of the book "A Modern Priestess of Isis" translated from the Russian of Vsevolod S. Solovyoff by Walter Leaf.
By Beatrice Hastings
(Continued from Page 296)
Imagine a woman who could write like that being pestered to death about a faux pas de jeunesse! The world gets what it deserves, it gets lying novelettes by the Solovyoffs and is stuck deeper in the mire it is so willing to inhabit, but - alas! we others lose all those books that an H.P. Blavatsky might have written had she found the encouragement such an art and an artist demands.
The horrible comedy of the thing is that the faux pas was a next to nothing! A romantic flight of a sixteen-year old at worst. And then, to be married off to an elderly general and sent all wrong in everyone's eyes through doing the only thing she could do, namely, run away after the marriage. And how she came to exaggerate the sin and wickedness of this youthful escapade! The chance is, though, that she was probably not in the least repentent on the side of Society, but she was certainly terrified on the side of the Theosophical Society, her "forest", that the mad pack of dogs was trying to burn down, using the pot of old scandal as paraffin. Already, for several months, Hodgson of the Society for Psychical Research and Madame Coulomb had been spreading rumors and lies about her sex past, only stopping at a bunch of three illegitimate children. All this, however, merely annoyed and did not terrify H.P.B., for she knew there was nothing in it; but now, this Russian affair - she knew that there was some truth in that, knew also, how the truth had been mauled and exaggerated in Russia. She knew, too, that people there commonly believed her to be the mother of Baron Myendorf's crippled son whom she had adopted . . .
I should judge that, in her somewhat blind anger and indignation, in the fury she felt at being chased and bitten by so many supposed friends all around, she could believe anything of anyone, and actually imagined that Meyendorf had, at least, not contradicted Solovyoff's gossip about the child; actually, it is doubtful whether Solovyoff had seen the Baron, for in a letter to Sinnett she writes: "Then he mixed Baron M.'s names with his lies - and the Baron swore he would cut his nose off, whenever he met him, for he has never told S. anything about me as Solovyoff avers, and I wrote to the Baron. So do not be anxious." The Baron seems to have been a feeble creature enough who would cut nobody's nose off; but he knew a great deal about H.P.B. It is likely that she had some occult experiences with him in Paris in 1858 and that he confided in the medium, Dunglas Home, who, like many another medium, hated the occultism that left his own psychic phenomena in the shade, as being entirely outside his own control, and who seems to have warned the Baron that she was a dangerous person. It is possible, of course, that the Baron's child was not born until after his confidences to Home and that at that moment, he was under no obligation to Madame Blavatsky for saving him and the mother from a scandal that would have ruined them both. I think that it would not be difficult to trace the mother as a member of the Blavatsky family, the which relationship would account for General Blavatsky's subsequent indulgence in 1862 towards his runaway wife, to the length, indeed, of associating himself with the wardship of the child; and this relationship would account for Madame Blavatsky's own sacrifice in the matter, sacrifice she pushed to the enthusiastic limit of trying to smooth the future path of the infant by giving it a public appearance of legitimacy and saying that it was her own! Women do these things.
But what the Baron also knew, probably from H.P.B. herself in a moment of self-deprecation - a confession to set the sinners more at their ease - was the provincial gossip about her own young adventure. Home is said to have hinted that he knew a lot about Madame Blavatsky's youth; and there was nothing but that to know and the fact that she ran away from Mr. Blavatsky. The circumstance that Home heard all this in 1858 when he and the Baron were intimate in Paris indicates Myendorf as his confidant.
In her fit of frenzied disgust, H.P.B. theratens to settle the whole world of traitors once and for all by telling the whole story, everyone's and her own. But she never went further than the threat. To carry out the threat she would have needed to name people, and that she would not have done; also, she had the "Secret Doc-
trine" to write. These rumours soon passed into the back of her mind and we hear little more concerning them. However, her letter to Solovyoff has fortunately become public and we get a glimpse of her in a real rage - she was not often in a real rage, only in a half-comic temper with tepid coffee and fools or with one of her phenomenally diseased organs her opinions about which she passed on without proper explanation to the nearest handy person. I cannot resist the impression, however, that she rather enjoyed this confession a la russe, examples of which we lately saw in the Soviet trials, where you say everything - and something more, where the role of sinner once assigned and accepted is played to bring the house to its feet.
"Believe me I have fallen because I have made up my mind to fall, or else to bring about a reaction by telling all God's truth about myself, but without mercy on my enemies. On this I am firmly resolved, and from this day I shall begin to prepare myself in order to be ready. I will fly no more. Together with this letter or a few hours later, I shall myself be in Paris, and then on to London. A Frenchman is ready, and a well-known journalist too, delighted to set about the work and to write at my dictation something short, but strong, and what is most important, a true history of my life. I shall not even attempt to defend, to justify myself. In this book I shall simply say: In 1848, I, hating my husband, N.V. Blavatsky (it may have been wrong, but still such was the nature God gave me), left him, abandoned him - a virgin (I shall produce documents and letters proving this, although he himself is not such a swine as to deny it). I loved one man deeply, but still more I loved occult science, believing in magic, wizards, etc. I wandered with him here and there, in Asia, in America, and in Europe. I met with So-and-so (You may call him a wizard, what does it matter to him?) In 1858 I was in London; there came out some story about a child, not mine (there will follow medical evidence, from the faculty of Paris, and it is for this that I am going to Paris)."
She never bothered, the certificate given by the gynecological specialist, Professor Oppenheimer of Wurzburg being archi-sufficient for the friends who knew the surgeon and the witness, Dr. Roeder, Medical Officer of the District.
"One thing and another was said of me; that I was depraved, possessed with a devil, etc. I shall tell everything as I think fit, everything I did, for the twenty years and more that I laughed at the qu'en dira-t-on and covered up all traces of what I was realty occupied in, i.e., the sciences occultes, for the sake of my family and relations who would at that time have cursed me. I will tell how from my eighteenth year I tried to get people to talk about me, and say about me that this man and that was my lover, and hundreds of them. I will tell too a great deal of which no one ever dreamed, and I will prove it. Then I will inform the world how suddenly my eyes were opened to all the horror of my moral suicide; how I was sent to America to try my psychological capabilities.
[Footnote: Moral, nowadays, means, of course, something to do with sex; but to H.P. Blavatsky, moral suicide meant among other things, that she was not using, or was misusing, for salon phenomena, the knowledge she had been taught during her first sojourn in Tibet. Her letters and Vera's accounts show that she had a serious psychological lapse about 1862, was extremely ill, and came under bad occult influences. She fought her way through it, disappeared in 1864 and no doubt worked her "salvation", for she went again to Tibet in 1867 or early 68 with her Master; it is significant that only then was she introduced to the Mahatma K.H.]
How I collected a society there and began to expiate my faults, and attempted to make men better and to sacrifice myself for their regeneration. I will name all the theosophists who were brought into the right way, drunkards and rakes, who became almost saints, especially in India, and those who enlisted as theosophists, and continued their
former life, as though they were doing the work (and there are many of them) and yet were the first to join the pack of hounds that were hunting me down and to bite me. I will describe many Russians, great and small - Madame S - among them, her slander and how it turned out to be a lie and a calumny. I shall not spare myself, I swear I will not spare; I myself will set fire to the four quarters of my native wood, the society to wit, and I will perish, but I will perish with a huge following. God grant I shall die, shall perish at once on publication; but if not, if the master would not allow it, how should I fear anything? Am I a criminal before the law? Have I killed anyone, destroyed, defamed? I am an American foreigner, and I must not go back to Russia. From Blavatsky, if he is alive, what have I to fear? It is thirty-eight years since I parted from him, after that I passed three days and a half with him in Tiflis in 1863, and then we parted again. Or M--- ? I do not care a straw about that egoist and hypocrite! He betrayed me, destroyed me by telling lies to the medium Home, who has been disgracing me for ten years already, so much the worse for him.
[She imagines so; actually, Home said nothing much, although he probably said it very often, mainly sneers at her occultism.]
You understand, it is for the sake of the society I have valued my reputation these ten years. I trembled lest rumors founded on my own efforts
[a splendid case for the psychologists, for Richet and Co.]
and magnified a hundred times, might throw discredit on the society while blackening me. I was ready to go on my knees to those who might help me to cast a veil over my past; to give my life and powers to those who helped me. But now? Will you, or Home the medium, or M---, or anyone in the world, frighten me with threats when I have myself resolved on a full confession? Absurd! I tortured and killed myself with fear and terror that I should damage the society - kill it. But now I torture myself no more. I have thought it all out, coolly and sanely, I have risked all on a single card - all! I will snatch the weapon from my enemies' hands and write a book that will make a noise all through Europe and Asia, and bring in immense sums of money to support my orphan niece, an innocent child, my brother's orphan. Even if all the filth and scandal and lies against me had been the holy truth, still I should have been no worse than hundreds of princesses, countesses, court ladies and royalties, than Queen Isabella herself, who have given themselves, even sold themselves to the entire male sex, from nobles to coachmen and waiters inclusive; what can they say of me worse than that? And all this I myself will say and sign." (Sic.)
[I confess that I transcribe this tirade with some amusement! Madame Blavatsky's annoyance has entirely run away with her. But immediately she is on a level to which her feet are accustomed, and her anger becomes real again.]
"No, The devils will save me in this last great hour. You did not calculate on the cool determination of despair, which was and has passed over. To you I have never done any harm whatever, I never dreamed of it. If I am lost, I am lost with everyone. I will even take to lies, to the greatest of lies, which, for that reason, is the most likely to be believed. I will say and publish it in the Times and all the papers, that the `master' and `Mahatma K.H.' are only the product of my own imagination: that I invented them, that the phenomena were all more or less spiritualistic apparitions, and I shall have twenty million spiritists in a body at my back. I will say that in certain instances I fooled people; I will expose dozens of fools, des hallucines; I will say that I was making trial for my own satisfac-
tion, for the sake of experiment. And to this I have been brought by you. You have been the last straw that has broken the camel's back under its intolerably heavy burden.
"Now you are at liberty to conceal nothing. Repeat to all Paris what you have ever heard or know about me. I have already written to Sinnett forbidding him to publish my memoirs at his own discretion. I myself will publish them with all the truth. So there will be the `truth about H.P. Blavatsky', in which psychology and all her own and others' immorality and Rome and politics and all her own and others' filth once more will be set out to God's world. I shall conceal nothing. It will be a Saturnalia of the moral depravity of mankind, this confession of mine, - a worthy epilogue of my stormy life. And it will be a treasure for science as well as for scandal: and it is all me, me; I will show myself with a reality that will break many, and will resound through the world. Let the psychist gentlemen [S.P.R.] and whosoever will set on foot a new enquiry. Mohini and all the rest, even India, are dead for me. I thirst for one thing only, that the world may know the reality, all the truth, and learn the lesson. And then death, kindest of all.
"You may print this letter if you will, even in Russia. It is all the same to me now."
Solovyoff did not print this letter, at least not until she was dead. Unfortunately, we cannot be sure that his version of it is even correct. In an Appendix, I show that he juggled with one portion to suit his own evil purposes and it is more than probable that he suppressed references to himself and inserted little phrases that give a coloring to suit himself. In fact, the whole of the passage before the last, that contains the portion that we know he faked must be taken with many suspicions. As he changed the grammar and sense in one absolutely important instance, so he may have changed the grammar and sense more than once. Allowing for all possible incoherence owing to the rage of a woman already hunted and wounded, and now faced with the "thundering, sickening, threatening" attitude of one from whom she had parted as a real Russian friend - one feels that there are gaps in the letter. However, the thing being mainly a tirade and actually saying nothing much, it sounds not very important today. If she had had anything to confess, she would have let slip some news of it in that state of fury and not have burbled Solovyoff with those Balzacian hundreds of princesses and coachmen! I rather wish that she had written the novel!]
[Solovyoff, however, was terribly scared and replied with the following letter, produced by Madame Jelihovsky (p. 316):
"Helena Petrovna, You are too wise a woman to yield to the furious madness in which you wrote the letter of yesterday, headed `Confession'. If I were really your personal enemy, I should now have awaited with triumph your appearance in Paris and London, and should coolly have looked on at your fall, which can in no way do me any harm; for ever since I have known you I have acted with knowledge. Every step of mine with regard to you, every word that I have spoken or written to you, points straight to my goal, in which there is no discredit to me, as a Russian or a Christian.
"This goal as you know I have reached; it was not for nothing that I passed six weeks in fetid Wurzburg. Can you really imagine that it is possible to scare me by impudent slanders and falsehood, and that I have not ready for you in any event - for I have always expected anything of you - a tolerable collection of surprises of all sorts? It is you yourself who are your worst enemy, and you do not know what you are doing, and on what your are rushing; I know perfectly well what I am doing, and what will happen, though I have none of your Mahatmas to incite me . . . You see I have a cool head, as you yourself said; while yours is hot beyond belief, and
when it is once fired, you simply see nothing . . .
"Do you want a scandal? You have had little enough already? Very well, if you please, you are welcome. And so we will set to work . . .
"I have nothing more to say to you. I am far, very far, from being your enemy, and I give you my best wishes, especially for your tranquillity, far from all these agitations.
"If you compare yourself with a wild boar, and want to bite - very well; the traps are ready. Pardon this tone. It is yours, not mine.
Madame Blavatsky read only one way. Solovyoff was not her enemy, he was far from wishing anything but her tranquillity. He said so; and why should one say so if one did not mean it? Before the day was out, she probably told herself that she was to blame for a misunderstanding; that Solovyoff was sore about being neglected by the Masters and was anxious not to get embroiled in the Mohini affair; a complication of different feelings had made him dash off his letter telling her he knew a lot of scandal about her. She was used to scandalous reports, was in the thick of them, the S.P.R. Report above all. One more or less . . . one friend more or less biting . . . this one, evidently, only barked but had no desire to bite . . . . he was not her enemy, he wished her tranquillity . . .
The very word must have been balm to her at that period when the hounds and the wild beasts who had been friends were doing their best to kill her! Countess Wachtmeister writes to Sinnett:
"Do you know that ever since the 1st January (issue of the S.P.R. report), my first thought on waking in the morning has been `what impertinence or annoyance will the post bring today', and a feeling of thankfulness on going to bed if there has been nothing, which is very rare. Just imagine what a life to lead, particularly for one in bad health, constantly suffering, and has to write the Secret Doctrine. I tell you the book does not progress and cannot progress with such constant persecutions."
But the book did progress. There was behind it a will-power such as even genius rarely creates. Before a month was out, she was writing to Sinnett:
"There's a new development and scenery every morning. I live two lives again. Master finds that it is too difficult for me to be looking consciously into the astral light for my S.D. and so, it is now about a fortnight, I am made to see all as I have to as though in my dream. I see large and long rolls of paper on which things are written and I recollect them. Thus all the Patriarchs from Adam to Noah were given me to see parallel with the Rishis; and in the middle between them the meaning of their symbols - or personifications. Seth standing with Brighu for first sub-race of the Root race for inst: meaning anthropologically - first speaking human sub-race of the 3rd Race . . . ."
What a distance from Solovyoff! from Coulombs and Hodgsons and the whole pack! But we must get back to Solovyoff. She wrote to him, asking in her way what she had done to him to account for his letter of threats and treacheries.
"And what have I done to you? I am ready to forget all tomorrow and to love you as of old, because I have no spite in me, and because you are a Russian - a sacred thing for an exile like me."
And the incredible truth is that she meant it! She would have received him again . . no doubt, this astounding genius, who baffles all the ordinary science of psychology, had an unfathomable contempt for folk in general, too deep for her own consciousness, and short perhaps of the devil in person, her door would never have been quite shut.
But Solovyoff was busy with his friend Myers restoring himself to the company of the respectable: those who know that occultism is all a fraud and are so uncertain of their own position that they count no time wasted in "exposing" psychic persons whose phenomenal performances escape explanation except on the basis of fraud! In fifty years, these so-called psychical researches have compiled vast volumes,
but they have added nothing to the world's knowledge of phenomena. The veriest little medium who does a few lines of genuine automatic writing is of more practical use than they.
Solovyoff retired to Dinant to nurse a sick head and there Myers came to receive information. How the "psychists" must have urged the prodigal son to publish something, a something to correct the profound impression that had been made by his Elberfeld vision. All they could get him to say was that he did not now believe that the vision was anything but an hallucination. He must, just in time, have withdrawn his resignation from the S.P.R., as this was not published in the next proceedings, and he resigned certainly from the Theosophical Society, but this only in Feb. 1886, having joined in May, 1884. But he published, against or for, not a word about Madame Blavatsky. He went off to Russia, and we know little more of him. It was only in 1892, after her death, that the Russian public was treated to what he made of The Plain Tale.
HOW SOLOVYOFF PERVERTED THE PLAIN TALE - I.
[He prepares the Russian reader to accept him as an apostle of Christianity.]
"Since my return to Russia to this day, I have not written a word about Madame Blavatsky and her Theosophical Society. I have held it worse than useless to allude to this anti-Christian movement, so long as it remained a matter that was little known in Russia. I kept to myself all I knew, and the documentary evidence I possessed, against the time when a panegyric of Madame Blavatsky might appear in the Russian press, and with it, in one form or another, the propaganda of her name and her newest theosophy. One thing only I desired: that such a time might never come, and that I might be absolved from the moral duty of again alluding to the question.
"Hitherto it has been possible for me to keep silence. But the lengthy articles of Madame Jelihovsky, in which she proclaims her sister, not without grounds, a universal celebrity, and speaks of the `new religion' preached and created by her as a `pure and lofty' doctrine, are in fact the propaganda in Russia of this `pure and lofty' doctrine and of the name of its apostle. These articles . . . cannot but interest our public, credulous as it is, and prone to every sort of `new doctrine' . . . In these circumstances to keep silence and to hide the truth, if one knows it, becomes a crime. I therefore find myself compelled to break silence about my intimate knowledge of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and her society."
He refers to Colonel Olcott contemptuously as "Colonel" Olcott. The President of the United States autographed a letter recommending Colonel Olcott to American officials abroad. He refers to Madame Blavatsky contemptously as "Madame". Miss E. Holt tells us that so early as 1873, Madame Blavatsky was called simply Madame by her American friends who seem to have hesitated at her Russian name; the Indians later took the same way out of a difficulty, and everyone came to call her Madame, even the Parisians. She preferred to be called "H.P.B." and thus she was usually spoken of by intimates.
[With the way thus prepared for himself as a moral man doing a most painful duty to Christian Russia and for Olcott and Madame Blavatsky as doubtful characters, Solovyoff proceeds.]
[Prudently, like Madame Coulomb, he gives few dates. He says that he was living in Paris in May, 1884 and saw in the Matin among the news of the day a misleading announcement that H.P. Blavatsky had arrived a day or two before. Such a notice may exist, but I have not found it. It would be absurdly wrong, however, for she had arrived in Paris long since on March 29th, and on April 1st, Le Rappel had an article about the Theosophical Society, not the arrival of Madame B., but the meetings. Le Temps followed next day. Le Matin had about half a column article on the 21st announcing arrival of Theosophists from all parts to meet in Paris. Solovyoff mentions none of these papers but affects to have been shocked by this "short paid-for puff" in the Matin (naturally he does not quote it in full) a vulgar reclame "inserted if not by herself, then in all probability by the efforts of one of her nearest friends and associates, with the obvious intention of attracting the absent visitors, and
spreading her notoriety in Paris". (p. 21) As seen, he was so shocked that he immediately wrote off to his friend in Russia to procure him a letter of introduction to Madame Blavatsky, not venturing even to call on his famous compatriote "till he had first received her consent". (p. 2) He apparently knew nobody in Paris; but the truth was that he was not only financially on his beam ends but had eloped from Russia with his wife's sister and was thus doubly barred from knocking at the doors of official Russian circles.
[The papers had been, and continued, full of the Theosophists and their doings and no paid reclame was at all necessary. On May 10th, the Duchesse de Pomar gave a conversazione. The Paris correspondent of the London World wrote on May 11th: "Embarras de choix. Last night, Anbemon, who used to be called la precieuse radicale when Papa Thiers was the chief ornament of her salon, offered a grand amateur theatrical performance, with half the French academy and all elegant and literary Paris in the audience; the Countess of Caithness, Duchesse de Pomar, President of the "Societe Theosophique d'Orient et d'Occident", offered something far more novel, namely, a Theosophical conversazione, at which were present that amiable arch-sorceress and profound metaphysician, Madame Blavatsky . . . Hesitation was out of the question, the attraction of high magic and occult science was irresistible, the more so as the Brocken, in this case, was one of the most sumptuous and luxurious mansions of the Faubourg St Germain."
[This was not the first of the grand Faubourg events. The Duchess had presided at a meeting at her house on May 4th and Gil Blas writes of an introduction to Madame Blavatsky on May 6th: "When I heard of Theosophy I smiled, expecting later to have a good laugh at it . . . The Duchesse de Pomar invited me to her splendid hotel . . . Madame Blavatsky was there. She has an aristocratic look in spite of an air de bon garcon. Her dress is peculiar, a black and loose gown, something like a child's sarran or a priest's robe . . . Mdme Blavatsky in this aris-tocratic hotel and with that easiness . . . of a grand lady from Russia, was smoking light cigarettes and trying to present Theosophy to me as an attractive theory. All religions are alike, she said, one is copied on the other. 'The essence is the same: Dogma has killed the gospel. The priest has killed religion. This is the reason why we accept members of all sects. But we refuse neither materialists nor atheists. Why? because we believe that everything, even the supernatural, may be explained by science. Those who lean on pure and abstract science are with us. Our Masters would reason with them on miracle as with a theorem of geometry'." Gil Blas writes: "I have laughed at Theosophy, but I laugh no more."
The surest way to get among this society was to present oneself as an earnest seeker with a deep spiritual problem to solve; and this was the way Solovyoff took. Soon, we hear no more of his spiritual problem, only of his financial and domestic problems. Yet, he had a psychical, if not a spiritual problem. He soon proved to be a medium, both clairvoyant and clairaudient; he had long been dipping into spiritualism and was now dipping into mysticism and occultism, looking for materials for a novel. Perhaps he even fancied that all this was really a spiritual problem of a high order, the person concerned being named Solovyoff? He was soon to exhibit the conceit of imagining that if only he, he himself, were to be furnished with the means of convincing the world, that world would be convinced. It was a not uncommon notion among the followers of Madame Blavatsky.
He was rudely disappointed to find H.P.B. in a mere flat in the Rue Notre Dame des Champs; "an unsightly house", with a "very very" dark staircase, and not a single carriage at the door. And "a slovenly figure in an oriental turban admitted me to a tiny dark lobby". Whether or no the house were dark and unsightly - Babula was the pink of Hindu servants, whom 'the Duchesse delighted to parade on her carriage next to the coachman and who was just home from a visit, as attendant on H.P.B., to the country-house of the comtesse d'Adhemar where, as in other houses, he waited in the drawing-room. But Solovyoff means to make him ungodly as well as uncleanly: "A most consummate rascal; a glance at his face was enough to convince one of this". Several thousand persons must have glanced at his face since he became attached to Madame Blavatsky - and no-one else, even Sinnett and Hume in Simla, and accustomed to Hindu faces, ever discovered the arch-villain in his features. Poor Babula! he was considered fair game by both Mme. Coulomb and Hodgson of the S.P.R., who conveniently introduce him as the confederate of Madame Blavatsky on any occasion when neither of the Coulombs could possibly have been present to help her with the
[The person whom Solovyoff omits to mention is the American lawyer, W.Q. Judge. Judge is not even named. This falsifies immediately the story, for Judge was a guest in the house and was revising "Isis Unveiled" under Madame Blavatsky's direction. But Judge would have defended himself; and he was still alive when Solovyoff wrote. Incidentally, Hodgson also was very careful not even to name Judge; Babula was the man, poor low caste Indian!
Solovyoff omits also to mention the companion of his domestic troubles and this falsifies enormously; throughout, he represents himself as a free lance with all his time to himself; but, as we have seen (p. 309), the lady was such a " karma" that he admits to H.P.B. the necessity of meeting her somewhere in Italy "accidentally so to speak". And this brings us to the general question of time.
[Solovyoff says that he first called on H.P.B. four days before Olcott arrived in Paris. He continues the narrative as though Olcott were there all the time, up to H.P.B.'s departure on June 17th or 18th at latest, and portraits of the Masters having been begun in London on June 19th and finished July 9th, as Olcott notes in Old Diary Leaves, Vol. 3. p. 156. Madame Blavatsky was present at the first "sitting", and Mrs. Holloway has left a vivid account of 'Schmiechen's first strokes on the canvas. (In the S.P.R. First Report, p. 601 the testimony to 'the "letter phenomenon" of June 11th is dated June 21st, clearly a misprint. The document was drawn up immediately after the phenomenon took place; moreover, Olcott and Judge who signed, left Paris on June 13th.)
[Now, Olcott made a trip from London to Paris on May 18th and was back by the 20th. H.P.B.'s aunt and sister were already there, for Vera mentions a conversation that took place with Olcott on the 18th (Incidents in the life of Madame Blavatsky, (p. 265). Olcott returned to Paris on June 1st and left again with Judge on the 13th. As all the real (confirmed) events mentioned by Solovyoff took place while Olcott was in the house, it looks as if Solovyoff's first acquaintance with Madame Blavatsky only dated from May 30th to June 17th. He has so vaguely woven his narrative that his events cannot be made to fit the dates at all, the which is very convenient for himself. He speaks of Mohini as being there when he first called. Mohini was in London at an S.P.R. meeting on
May 28th and went to Paris with Keightley next day. Olcott followed on June 1st; so this gives only two days, not four, before Solovyoff, as he says, first met Olcott. The whole aim of Solovyoff is to make out that he spent two whole months in Madame Blavatsky's company, seeing her intimately almost every day and thus had ample opportunity to find her out. As, however, the events simply will not fit his chronology, but do fit the known dates, I take it that his visits were between May 30th and June 17th; during which period, Madame Blavatsky was engaged with her Theosophical Society lectures, visits to and from the Duchesse de Pomar, Comtesse d'Adhemar, Mme. de Morsier, Mme. de Barrau and the rest of the members; with her relatives; with Olcott, Mohini, Keightley, Cooper-Oakley; with Parisian visitors including Professor Richet two or three times, Flammarion and others; with Mrs. Holloway from America; with people from London and Germany - and above all with Judge and the revision of Isis Unveiled, as well as the translation into French of this book of two big volumes. What time had she for Solovyoff? There is not one single scrap of evidence that he ever had a private interview with her after his first call. It is clear that he could not have been shown the Matin of April 21st, "with the news of the day" about Madame Blavatsky, for he was not in Paris until some time in May, and it is probable that the newspaper accounts of the conversazione held on May 10th at the Duchesse de Pomar's were his first incitement to write to St. Petersburg for a good introduction to Madame Blavatsky.]
[Solovyoff joins the Theosophical Society. I give a sample of him at his most novelistic; one sample will do for the whole book, and is indeed sufficient to advise anyone familiar with Madame Biavatsky's style that he was not even a good novelist, for he cannot invent a likely speech. He says that when he announced his intention of joining, she "brightened up. Ah, how kind you are, indeed! I, as you know, am never importunate, and if you yourself had not expressed the desire, I should never have proposed it." Broad comedy only should use that sort of simpleton patter! This "as you know" to a stranger, is clumsy invention indeed! To whom, ever, did H.P.B. speak in this fashion?
"But there was Worse to come," Solovyoff writes; "Mohini, now ac-
knowledging me as his brother, began to tell me about his `guru', Mahatma Koot Hoomi, and how he had that morning had the honor of receiving a letter from, containing replies to question put by himself alone."
[In what language was this conversation. Solovyoff did not speak English and Mohini did not know enough French to be able to make his way home from a railway-station (p. 98)
"The Hindu spoke of this phenomeno with the greatest reverence; but far from believing it, I only felt a longing to get out at once into a purer atmosphere."
[This chapter is concocted to convince the Russian reader that Madame Blavatsky was almost ignored by Paris, left alone in her little dark house with the slovenly servant. We need not waste space on that, but it is curious that Solovyoff was never invited to the Pomar house or to Comtesse d'Adhemar's where H.P.B. often drove out to dine. Perhaps the awkward situation of his lady companion obliged him to refuse invitations? After all, he would have met Russian officials in the Faubourg and risked being cut dead. Or perhaps, being of no particular interest to Madame Blavatsky, and having become an impertinent bit of a bore with his pesterings for occult instruction, as the letters indicate, she never put him on the list of guests to be invited.]
[Olcott arrives. Solovyoff adds to his description a detail that nobody else ever noted. Sinnett says that Olcott had a slight cast in one eye, so slight as to be almost unnoticeable. Solovyoff writes: "The fact is that one of his eyes was extremely disobedient, and from time to time used to turn in all directions . . . suddenly something twitched, the eye got loose and began to stray suspiciously and knavishly, and confidence vanished in a moment." Like Babula's villainy that was to be seen at a glance - by Solovyoff alone! It does not say much for the scores of American and English officials with whom Olcott had dealings that they retained their confidence in him when this eye alone should have been enough to show them a knave. Lord Derby had several interviews with him just at this very time regarding the successful Buddhist Mission . . .
[Then comes "the phenomenon of the letter". In the First (Private and Confidential) Report of the S.P.R., p. 120, is an account of this phenomenon, taken from Light of July 12th, 1884. This account, like so much else that tells heavily in favor of Madame Blavatsky is omitted from the Second (Hodgson's) Report. Above many of the Appendices to the First Report we find remarks inserted apparently late in the day, all tending to make it appear that the S.P.R. Committee had never been taken in by Madame Blavatsky and had been quite wide-awake from the first - like Solovyoff. These remarks seem to be all by the same hand, and they frequently pass all that Madame Coulomb herself ever wrote for absurdity.]
[Solovyoff describes a phenomenon done with a locket. As his is the only version, with no confirmation, I ignore it here; it will have its place in some future article on the controversy between Solovyoff and Mme. Jelihovsky, merely remarking that she proves him once more a liar.]
[This is mainly taken up with the alleged conversation with Mme. J. in the Parc Monceau. Solovyoff writes: "As for Madame Blavatsky herself, after the conversation with Madame J., I definitely promised myself that come what might I would see through this woman". Now we have him definitely declaring himself to be henceforth a detective. The Plain Tale shows that he was nothing of the sort, but a would-be yogi.]
[He starts off his sleuthic literary career with a yarn definitely borrowed from Madame Coulomb, but adorned with his own most particular lying, foolish lying.
"Miss X and Madame Y [Madame Fadeev and Mme. Jelihovsky] said to me one day: `That Babula is most amusing . . . He has a droll way of telling us all that goes on at Adyar'. `Yes, and when I ask him', continued Madame Y., `if he has seen the Mahatmas, he laughs and says: "I have often seen them." `What are they like?' I ask and he answers: "They are fine!" he says, "Muslin!" and then he laughs again.'
"This conversation seemed to have a certain interest of its own, and I noted it down at the time; and when talking to Helena Petrovna I advised her, with a laugh, to send Babula off at once. `Mark my words', I said, `you will have some scandal with him yet; he is not at all trustworthy'. She said nothing in reply, and I do not even know if she grasped the sense of my words."
[How kind of the spy who was collecting evidence! We hardly need Madame Jelihovsky's denial of such a ridiculous story, but she writes: "I faithfully declare on my conscience that there never was a word said about `muslin Mahatmas'. Had he ever used such a phrase, I should never, in my then state of incredulity as to the existence of these Hindu sages, have left it unnoticed, but should have questioned both Babula and his mistress, with whom I never hesitated to enter on dispute."
[If this had ever happened, it would be just about the time Solovyoff was writing to the Rebus. Into such swamps of his own making falls a man who sets out on the impossible task of making a coherent tale of a mixture of truth and lies. It will be worse when we come to documents.]
Madame Blavatsky left for London. "From time to time I corresponded with her, and while expressing in my letters an involuntary liking and sympathy for herself personally, I none the less held steadily to my aim, and said to myself `I will not stop till I know what she and her phenomena really are'. Of course I did not expect that she would at once, especially in her letters, speak out and betray herself; but I already knew enough other to reckon on her constant `little slips', which when fitted together would form something great and palpable".
[Disgusting hound! But his own little slip was to forget that he had written to Vera the letter about the raps all around him and the invisible voices. And no doubt he thought that his letter to H.P.B. about the storm his article in the Rebus had raised was safely burned.
"I am not afraid of ridicule, I am indifferent to the titles of fool, madman, etc. But why do you renounce me? . . . I cannot think that any `master' (Mahatma) has told you that you have made a mistake, and that I am not necessary to you."
[This chapter includes Solovyoff's visit to Elberfeld, given at length in the Plain Tale, where the Master took a look at him, and never looked again. But it will be many long months before Solovyoff will be able to believe himself rejected.]
[This chapter on the portraits of the Masters is also given in the Plain Tale. Solovyoff continues his interweaved insults to Olcott and others; splashing on the color to suit his pretended sleuthic role. However, he has to explain away what the public knew, namely, that he had described the Mahatma's visit for the S.P.R. He says that he lost his head, his "dream and delusion had been so vivid." He lost it for some time, for we shall hear of him, more than a year later, writing angry letters to Myers and insisting on the reality of his vision.]
[Myers arrives at Elberfeld. At this time, Myers was still a member of the Theosophical Society inclined to believe, and still insistent on fairness towards Mme. Blavatsky.
"He begged me in the first place to tell him how I had seen Mahatma Morya, and when I had done so he began to urge me to communicate the fact to the London society (S.P.R.) in writing."
[Solovyoff then describes a conversation, of which Myers was obliged later to deny an important part. Solovyoff makes himself remark, that the "very existence of these Mahatmas is to me quite problematical". "I do not know if you are right," said Myers; "that will be seen from our further investigations. [!] In any case, your communication, by the rule of our society, must consist only of a simple detailed account of facts, without any commentaries or criticisms of your own."
[Solovyoff's translator, Walter Leaf, corrects, no doubt with a sigh: "Mr. Myers can certainly not have said that `by the rules' of the S.P.R. the narrative must not be accompanied by any commentaries or criticisms, as no such rule
exists". Solovyoff's version seems to be a garble of the facts that he did thoroughly believe in the vision and wished to write as enthusiastically and positively as in the Rebus. There was nothing to prevent him from being as positive as he chose, and his account is positive. For some reason, the S.P.R. omitted it from their First Report, published in Dec. 1884, but it appears in the Second Report of Dec. 1885. This is sufficiently good evidence that, up to the time this Second and final Report went to the press (that is after Solovyoff left Wurzburg, went to Paris and "convinced Richet" of Madame Blavatsky's powers) Solovyoff was sticking to his guns. Moreover, this communication about the vision was only dealt with by Mrs. Sidgwick at the very end of the Report. Things must have been run pretty close; Solovyoff from St. Petersburg must have been able to save the situation only just in time before the printer sent the last proofs, for Mrs. Sidgwick scrambles in a note: "Since writing the above I have learned that, owing to events that have since occurred, Mr. Solovyoff no longer regards his experiences as affording any evidence of occult power". No longer. Solovyoff says
"In the Report of the London Society for Psychical Research my experience is inserted; and though in obedience to the rules of the society, I do not myself analyze it, yet I do not in any way admit its reality. The society moreover, considered it to be a vivid dream, and declared that I do not regard it as affording any evidence of occult agency'."
The unhappy Mr. Leaf was obliged also to correct this version of Mrs. Sidgwick's remark. Solovyoff should have shown his shufflings to the S.P.R. before foisting them in print on his Russian readers, then these little mishaps would not have occurred. It was one thing to allow him to say whatever he pleased about Madame Blavatsky, but quite another to let him juggle with the rules and with the cold print of the S.P.R. Proceedings. Hence all these tears. What the S.P.R. failed to point out was that the juggler with Myers and Mrs. Sidgwick was at least equally likely to juggle with Blavatsky and that all his testimony should be most rigidly examined. Mr. Leaf saved this kind of observation to apply it to Mme. Jelihovsky when, in defending her sister's name, she made a slip; and I am not certain yet that it was a slip. I hope to find time and space to deal with the incident in an appendix.]
[This chapter contains the five letters from H.P.B. reproduced in full in the Plain Tale. Solovyoff, enchanted with the postscript in blue pencil, signed "K.H.", a proof that he was not cast off entirely, although the inflexible "M." had taken no more notice of him, had, as he wrote to H.P.B., "produced a sensation" among the other Theosophists.
[It is to be noted how frequently "K.H." continued to wrestle with the Josephs long after "M." had turned his back on them as mere ambitious snobs with a complex about great identities. To the end, it was "M.'s" favors that Solovyoff coveted, forgetting the "big stick" of this Master. Solovyoff has to explain away his enthusiasm witnessed by so many people in Paris.]
"I was so irritated by Koot Hoomi's `astral postscript' that at the first moment I was inclined to appeal at once to Madame Blavatsky to forget all about my existence. But I should have repented it if I had followed this first impulse; that very day at Madame de Morsier's, I met the most convinced and honest of the French theosophists; and they, in spite of all the obviousness of the deception, admitted the postscript to be the authentic work not of `Madame's' hand but of Koot Hoomi's. This absolute blindness on the part of people who were perfectly rational in everything but the question of `Madame's' impeccability, forced me finally to adhere to my original plan. Whatever came I would collect such proofs of all these deceptions as should be sufficient not only for me but for all these blind dupes."
[The truth is that at that time, he had no plan and never said or wrote one word to warn anyone. On the contrary, the note he had received from K.H. at Eiberfeld (p. 84) of which he makes no mention and now this blue-pencilled postscript gave him such a sense of importance that he began to boss the Theosophists! He replied to H.P.B. begging her not to resign, to come and talk over the troubles with him, not to get agitated in the name of all the saints, etc.
He works at the French translation of "Isis Unveiled", ropes in Madame de Morsier to correct mistakes, declares that the Duchess must pay for the publication, without fail, for the benefit of the French, her plain duty; he passes a whole day with Olcott and Grebhard, although he can hardly stand on his legs, wants Oakley over to go and tell the Duchess to pay. He resists all Madame Jelihovsky's adjurations and sends her a copy of his account of his experiences, says that he sees in the mere fact that H.P.B. is able to travel a proof of the existence of the Mahatmas, reminds her of the marvellous way he received the K.H. note at Elberfeld.
[Be it noted by all the world and the S.P.R. that Solovyoff's communication to the S.P.R. was signed on Oct. 1st and sent on or after that day. On the 26th he had written to Madame Blavatsky about the Branch troubles in Paris, reproaching her with not trusting him and offering to do goodness knows what to bring her out clear from the Elberfeld rows (of which he really could know nothing but gossip, very complicated rows they were). On Monday, Sep. 29th, he received her letter about the Coulomb scandal, the letter with the postscript. He replied the same day saying that he will make a sensation with this postscript at Mme. de Morsier's, which he did, and begging her not to resign but to come and talk over things with him. On Wednesday, Oct. 1st, he signed and presumably posted his article to the S.P.R.
[I think that at this point the jury would throw the case out and recommend the lying accuser, Solovyoff, to the Public Prosecutor. But we must continue. Although this incident alone is sufficient to prove that his book is a "fake", we must go on to those "events at Wurzburg" that Professor Sidgwick found so "entertaining".]
XIII. - XV.
[These chapters, Mr. Leaf says, contained an abridgment of Hodgson's Report against Madame Blavatsky and her phenomena. Solovyoff's account is not translated, except for one passage where he completely dishes Hodgson's "Russian spy" theory.
"H.P. Blavatsky was not a spy; and this I say, not because I believe her incapable of playing such a part, but because, in the autumn of 1885 [i.e., at the time when Hodgson's investigation was completed, and his report, with all its
contents, was being printed], she was extremely anxious to become a secret agent of the Russian Government in India. If she wished to become, it is plain that up to that time she was not. How I learned this I will relate in the proper place."
The boot was on the other foot. Solovyoff proposed to her to do secret work in India. H.P.B. immediately told Sinnett about this. Solovyoff's concern to put the blame on her may have been due to the circumstance that a gentil-homme de la chambre had no business to be meddling with the Secret Service and also to the fact that the Russian nobility held this service in abhorrence. H.P.B. wrote to Sinnett: "Solovyoff will not forgive me for rejecting his propositions - that you know". To Vera: "I am publicly accused of being a Russian spy, and this is made the motive of all the (supposed) fraudulent phenomena and of my `invention of the Mahatmas'! I, a dying woman, am turned out of India just on account of such a silly accusation, which, in spite of its silliness, might have ended in prison and exile, solely because I am a Russian; and though I have already suffered from this calumny, and do not understand the A B C of politics, I am made to offer myself as a spy! And to whom? To Solovyoff! To him whom I know for an incorrigible gossip and tale-bearer . . . . And so I want to be hanged, do I?"
Sinnett, in "Early Days of Theosophy", p. 85 (book none too friendly to H.P.B.) writes of "the loyal tone she really had always adopted in speaking to Indian natives about the British rule. She warned them of the folly of wishing to exchange this for Russian rule, which she plainly told them would be a dismal change for the worse".
(To Be Continued.)
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