Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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Vol. XXIV, No. 11 Hamilton, January 15th, 1944 Price 20 Cents
HOW A SOLDIER FOUND TRUTH
By Lt.-Col. E. L. Thomson, D.S.O.
I am going to talk of something as old as the hills, namely, the quest for Truth. And when I say Truth I of course mean spiritual truth.
Knowing what we know in these so-called enlightened days, it is pretty well understood that God is in everything. Yet most of us cannot perceive Him. There is an old saying that we cannot see the wood for the trees. That is often true, and I think our chief difficulty is that we have to bring Him down to a level of our understanding. Most people cannot believe that anything can be made, much less the universe, unless a being something like ourselves made it. Therefore the average person envisages an anthropomorphic god. And so it has been down the ages and we find most religions extant before the Christian era peopled with many gods, endowed with virtues and vices much like ourselves. In Christianity in which we are supposed to be so enlightened, we demand but one god added to a blind faith. In this faith many have been so devout and so sure of their belief that they have suffered and died by the thousand and willingly become martyrs for the cause. They had found god and were prepared to die for their faith.
It seems strange that in spite of all this suffering for something which must have had well-founded reason, we are still questioning what it is, and what it is all about. We are far from accepting at its face value all that they lived and died for. One would think that it would have been proved long ago without any equivocation, and be all settled and undeniable by this time. But in spite of it all, we are still bickering and wrangling as to what it is all about. But many still have a blind faith even as of yore and I think that without a doubt our fundamentalists would put to death with a certain amount of pleasure those who disagree with the orthodox views as held by their pastors and masters. But there are some who like ourselves question our faith and are for ever seeking something that will prove without doubt the alpha and omega of that spiritual urge that besets every human being.
For myself I am for ever wondering how it is that some of the most intelligent men of today still have that unquestioned faith in the religion that was taught them at their mothers' knees. I remember how in my quest I read about Stonewall Jackson, that great general of the American Civil War who, in his efforts to find the true religion studied the merits of all the then known creeds, and finally decided to become a Presby-
terian; and how I looked up the tenets of that faith and was appalled at fundamentalism and the horrors of the penalties for those who deviated from the straight and narrow path. Later on I read Roma Landau's books on his quest for god. It is astonishing to read of the personal credos, the divergences of opinion and the general makeup of the illustrious persons with whom he talked on this subject.
It seems to me that most of the great men of today are as children when it comes to religion. They seem afraid to question the belief of their fathers. But some have a strange quirk, if I may use the expression, in that they seem to have a glimmering of the Light, but for some reason or other adhere strongly to the orthodox religion. I wonder if it is for the sake of appearances? I call to mind a statement made by Winston Churchill who, when asked what he thought of a certain affirmation of faith, replied, "If I am sent a letter which contains words of great comfort and relief when I am in dire need of comfort, I am not going to question the postmark or the methods by which the message came to me". A very sensible answer, one that one would expect from a great intellect such as his. All the same he is a staunch advocate of the State Religion.
But to resume. A large number of us are not satisfied to rely on faith alone. Many of us are like scientists, we must have facts, absolute facts. And many of these facts are so divergent from the accepted canons of the church that we come to a point which might be likened to a parting of the ways. And if we are sincere we must make up our minds as to which road we are going to traverse. To break away from tradition is usually a grave step to take. And in religion it means so much especially if you happen to live in a well defined niche in society. Once you begin to question the validity of your belief and that of your neighbors you are treading on dangerous ground. There is such a thing as ostracism. Few people dare to risk it. After all it is but natural. Think of what it means if your associates think you are "strange"! Horrifying thought. We are gregarious. We hunt in packs. There is safety in numbers, especially for those thinking and acting along the same lines. There are many stout hearts all the same, and many lone hunters. I have known quite a few in my time. And now I am going to be personal. I am going to talk of my own quest for this elusive thing called truth.
I do not pretend to have anything new to tell you. I am quite a common-or-garden person who has spent a number of years in searching for that something that will intuitively tell me that it is what I am searching for. In that purpose I have gone after many will-o-the-wisps and many times been almost bogged in the process. I think it helps one to know some of the difficulties that one's fellowmen have met with when they are on a quest similar to one's own.
The religion of my forebears was unquestioned by me in my early years. But all the same I often wondered at the things that I was taught in my scripture lessons, especially things like Jonah and the whale. As I grew older I wondered still more for I had an enquiring mind. But I did not let them worry me, I said to myself "There must be something in them that I am too young to understand", and let it go at that.
Through it all I was sincerely religious. There was a great deal of emotionalism in it I have no doubt. I remember that the Communion Service was a veritable torture to me. I was worked up over the whole thing and it was with the greatest difficulty I could swallow the wafer or drink the wine, and always went back to my seat in a choking state. I never took Holy Communion unless I thought I was in a fit state of sanctity to take it.
I first came across real religion as I perceived it outwardly when I was in the army. There were several officers in my regiment who were deeply religious, and had they lived in Cromwell's time I could imagine them chanting psalms as they rode to combat. I have no doubt but that outwardly and inwardly they lived the life. I have seen and heard them in camp, on the battlefield, both in peace and war, pray aloud when they had the opportunity, not ostentatiously, but in the silence of the night before sleeping pray to their god earnestly and devoutly. It takes some doing to do this, especially in the army. My Commanding Officer in the South African War when we were on trek would come - just before the Column was ready to move off - to my commando and ask the men to repeat after him the Lord's Prayer. It affected me very much - the intoning of the men standing silently in the desert immediately before the dawn.
When I was in command of a line of blockhouses in the Transvaal later on, every Sunday I made it my business to go to as many as I could in order to hold some sort of religious service for the men. I was always in the good graces of the padres. I read the Lessons for them at their services both in peace and in war. I often played the organ when the organist was away. With all this you will understand that I was spiritually inclined and looked after the spiritual welfare of my men. I am telling you all this because I want you to understand the kind of background I had before I came to a crisis in my life.
For some years the spiritual side of my nature was uneventful, then the First World War plunged us all into its vortex. Most of the time I was in the front line. I never received a wound in spite of the fact that I prayed for one. I was a young married man with a very young family. I had everything to live for. I prayed often. When on the way to the Somme battlefields in that dreadful year of 1916 where men were slaughtered by the thousand, I had a few hours in Rouen. I did a thing I had never done before. I went to the big cathedral there and bought a candle and burned it before the shrine of Joan of Arc. I wasn't taking any chances, I was going to a Division that I knew was going into action in what was called "The blood bath" of the Somme. How I escaped death during those terrible weeks I do not know. I have often asked myself "Why was I spared, when all around me lay the dead and the dying?" The question has never been answered. I attribute it to some unpaid Karma. However one Sunday morning, I knew it was Sunday because I kept a diary, I was walking along Caterpillar Valley not far from the battle line. It was a very hot day in August. Not a cloud in the sky, a bumble bee droned past, a bird was singing on the wing. A white chalky dust pervaded everything. Bodies of men and horses in stark rigidity lay to right and left; an acrid smell of explosives cut the nostrils, but above all was the unutterable stench of corruption. A sudden reaction set in, I gulped and looked up into the sky. I said to myself: "At home they are probably at church." "Is it possible," I continued, "that there is a god up there, the god whom I think is the god of Love, of Mercy and of Justice?" I had a thorough revulsion of feeling. I said "No", unequivocally and irrevocably. Then my religion slipped off me just as if I had shed a cloak.
This happening rocked my very being to its depths. I felt terribly lonely. But the old religion as I knew it ended there. I have never felt any real desire to return to it. But you must not think that I went to the dogs, as the saying is, because I had lost my faith. Far from it. I realized the situation intensely. I knew a deal of hard thinking had to be done. A void had been created and
nature abhors a vaccuum and my mind was in a turmoil for something to take its place. I thought about it all very carefully. I realized my responsibilities and my duties. I especially realized that religion was a very real necessity for my men, even if I did not have any faith in it. I felt that they must have something to cling to and so encouraged them in their belief and went through the outward forms by encouraging church attendance, communion services, and so on.
My mind was analagous to being on board a ship. Something had happened to the skipper and it was left to me to steer the vessel home.
I seized upon anything and everything that would throw some light on the difficult job of steering. For years afterwards I was a wanderer in the wilderness. I became a fatalist. Kismet, I murmured, after the manner of the followers of Allah. But it gave me very little comfort. In a desultory way I read everything I came across in my search to find out if there was anything in the many faiths and creeds that men professed. Later on I became a subscriber to "The Freethinker," and thought I had found something there. Eventually owing to their belief in total annihilation which made me pause, I finally rejected that.
In the course of my reading I was impressed with one fact, and that was that every man born into the world seemed to have an innate feeling that there was some omnipotent being who was responsible for the creation of the universe, and to whom they were in some sort of way intimately connected. All without exception had a desire to worship this something, even the Aborigines of Australia, the lowest type of man. I had this desire very strongly implanted in me. I felt that after all I may have been hasty in throwing overboard the Christianity that I had been born and bred to. So I decided to make a study
of it, and I found it to be a big job.
I am not going to enumerate what I found, chapter and verse, but what I am going to tell you is what I found to be utterly compelling to me. It wasn't that it answered all the questions and answers that I was seeking, but it seemed to lead somewhere. Only those groping in Stygian darkness know what a glimmer of light means.
Briefly, I found that Christianity was not a miraculous intervention into and dislocation of the old order of the world, when pagan gods fled in dismay before the sign of the cross and at the name of Jesus. I found that it was a man-made religion in that the early church fathers had made it up from many sources and had embodied ideas and what-have-you from almost all the known pagan and other beliefs of the time. At the epoch when Jesus is supposed to have come on the scene, the then known world was crowded with a vast number of assorted creeds and rituals. There were temples without number dedicated to gods such as Apollo, Dionysus, Hermes, Osiris, Baal, Astarte and so on. All of these had been drawn upon for festivals, ritual and other things, and thus a new religion was made, catering to all tastes.
In regard to the deities I have mentioned, and there are many more, I found that there is a remarkable resemblance in their life histories. So much so that one is compelled to recognize the fact that there is something universal behind it all. Most of them were born on or near Christmas Day. They were born of a virgin mother. They were born in a cave or manger. They were called the Lightbearer, the Mediator, the Savior, the Deliverer. They were vanquished by the power of darkness. They descended into Hell. They arose from the dead. They ascended into Heaven. They were commemorated by Eucharistic meals. Any of you who have studied comparative religion at all must have been struck by the simi-
larity of the events that I have enumerated, with the story of Jesus. You would not be the only one it struck, for the Christian Fathers themselves were amazed and furious when these things were brought to their notice. Not knowing how to explain it away they gave out that the devil himself in order to confound the Christians had many hundreds of years before caused the pagans to adopt certain beliefs and practices in order to lead them astray.
Be that as it may, let us now have a glimpse as to the authenticity of the greatest character in the Christian religion, Jesus himself. What do we know of this great personality? Have we any facts that we can rely upon? I venture to say that there is not one that can be verified. The Gospels, supposed to be the most authentic sources, were all written some time after the events they are supposed to chronicle. In any case they do not write the history in any biographical sense. They are simply a mass of legend and tradition passed from hand to mouth during the first century and the first half of the second, when they gathered miraculous elements on the way. As regards his birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection they are palpably derived from the allegories I have mentioned. Let us take just one of these, the Egyptian Trinity, and compare it with the Christian one. In the Egyptian story we have Atum, the Father, Horus the Son, and Ra the Holy Spirit. Equivalent to our Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Horus is the child of a virgin. He is the Father seen in the Son. He is the Light of the world. He is described as the Way, the Truth and the Life. Horus said, I am the Bread of Life, I am the Good Shepherd, I am the Resurrection and the Life. Jesus claimed to be the Son in whom the Father is revealed. He declared that he was the Light of the World, that he was the Way, the Truth and the Life. He was the Good Shepherd, he was the Resurrection and the Life, and so on.
Horus is carried off by Set to the summit of a mountain. Jesus meets Satan on an exceeding high mountain Horus is a child teacher in the Temple, and so is Jesus. We have Horus walking on the water, Jesus is said to have done the same. Horus makes a mummy regain his sight, Jesus makes the blind man to see. Both have twelve disciples, both are the firstborn of the dead. There is no need to carry the comparison any further. You will find the same thing in the story of Krishna, of Orpheus, of Buddha and practically all the chief characters of the great religions.
So we ask ourselves the question, "What is behind all this?" There must be something cosmic in the same story being reiterated down the ages. We are compelled to come to the conclusion that there is some great truth enveloped in mystery.
We sense that those great souls were sent for the purpose of conveying to humanity spiritual portents of consummate importance. And they came in various guises suitable to the various races in the different lands to try to awaken in mankind the spiritual attainments that are the heritage of all the human race. And furthermore they seem to come at periodic intervals to make restatements of Truths that have got muddied the further they have got away from their sources.
If we were to continue our investigations we would find that the religions of the world are like unto the branches of a large tree; all sprout, or rather go back to a common trunk; and down to a common root. Then we may ask ourselves "What is this root?" I think that you will find that it is the ancient Gnosis that seems to permeate all religions. It is the mystic knowledge which effects regeneration, rebirth, into the full consciousness of one's divine nature and powers as a Son of God. It is the super-knowledge which can be
traced back to the remotest ages and the oldest scriptures of which we have any literary records, and which was taught by Initiates, Adepts, and Masters of the Ancient Wisdom in the inner circles of those Mysteries and Mystery Cults which are known to have existed in Egypt and elsewhere, every in remotest times. I suppose most of you have read Kingsland's "Christos, or the Religion of the Future"? It embodies most of what I have said here, and it summarizes pretty well, to my satisfaction anyway, what I think of this great question.
This talk is meant to be a personal account of my quest for Truth. I have attempted to give you an outline of my background, of what led to the discarding of my faith, my investigations of that faith and some of the things I found. Now I should tell you something of what has filled the void left by the loss of faith.
Briefly and broadly speaking, I have found that Gnosis of which I have just spoken. And when I say found, I mean I believe it explicitly and know it to be true intuitively. There is no question in my mind but that by studying that subject I am on the right track. It satisfies me both mentally and morally. By studying it one realizes that religions are the product of Religion. We begin to realize that Religion itself is neither a belief nor ritual, nor worship. These are but the expressions of the religious instincts in man, but are not Religion itself. And when Religion has been found, all these things are transcended. Finally it dawns on us that Religion is a Life, the inherent life of the spirit.
And now a word for Theosophy. Theosophy puts it to us concisely, for is not Theosophy the condensation of this Gnosis that underlies all religions? Theosophy is the Wisdom Religion. Furthermore it is the ancient Gnosis. By its aid the great doors of the Hall of Learning have been thrown open. We are enabled to study the great books of the world, which have for so long been sealed to the ordinary person. We can now peruse and extract the honey as it were from those divinely inspired books such as the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita, the Books of the Dead and so on, for each one of them contains truths of the most supreme importance. Never was there such a wealth of learning as there is today, thanks to Theosophy.
But make no mistake. Out of all this we have to make our own credo. To take this learning and all that we get out of it, is not enough. It is only by intuition and experience can we hope to get anywhere. And finally, above all, we must live the Life. Head learning without the innate spiritual understanding of the heart is useless.
Each one of us is a pilgrim, lantern in hand, traversing the dark and difficult path. It is only by persevering with a steady purpose and with an open and contrite heart, can we hope ever to see the Light.
163 Crescent Rd.,
Toronto, (5) ,
9th November, 1943
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus
KING ARTHUR'S TABLE SIGNS AND SECRETS - VII.
Scorpio and the Air Sign LIBRA
"Hail to the Dove!
the Restorer of Light"
The Isle of Avalon rims the northern side of Somerset's Stellar Circle; Glastonbury Tor forming a partly natural pyramid above it; and there, according to historical records, King Arthur's grave was marked in the Abbey graveyard, by a Pyramid. But before he "passed" into this famous Isle where the Sun was thought to hibernate, he met Mordred.
The Persians called the month of November "Mordad", meaning "the angel of death", and that month marked the festival of death in many other lands, as it still does amongst Free-masons. So the 17th day of Athyr was no doubt the day that Mordred chose to mortally wound King Arthur "on the side of his head", for Malory recounts, in his Morte D'Arthur - "There was a day assigned betwixed King Arthur and Sir Mordred that they should meet upon a down beside Salisbury, and not far from the seaside". This "down" is on the direct high road to Scorpio's effigy lying in the Vale of Avalon, to which the weeping Queens took Arthur after he was wounded.
As the stars of both Scorpio and Serpens fall on this giant effigy, marking the month of November, the text continues - "right soon came an adder (venomous snake) out of a little heath bush" . . . and "then was King Arthur ware where Sir Mordred leaned upon his sword among a great heap of dead men". However though wounded, the King kills his arch enemy for as we shall see he vanquished death, his spirit - according to the Druids - escaping in the form of a bird, from his head.
Now Plutarch stated of Osiris, that he was disposed of "the 17th day of the month Athor, when the sun was in Scorpio", and that "the first who knew of the accident which had befallen their king, were the Pans and Satyrs". As the next month December, is ruled over by the goat sign Capricornus, it explains why Pans and Satyrs were the first to bemoan the fate of nature's king.
All sun-gods rise again, hence the saying "King Arthur will return", and in celebrating the mystic rites of Adonis (which rites were much the same as those of Hercules) "after the attendants had for a long time bewailed the death of this just person, he was at length understood to be restored to life, to have experienced a resurrection, signified by the readmission of light. On this the priest addressed the company, saying `Comfort yourselves, all ye who have been partakers of "the mysteries of Deity, thus preserved'." The people answered by the invocation `Hail to the Dove! the Restorer of Light!' ".
The Egyptians as well as the Druids, believed that the soul escaped after death in the form of a bird, so let us turn from the Scorpion of death to the Air Sign Libra, which he indicates by pointing with his great claw on which the stars of Libra fall, to the Dove; for it is remarkable that hovering over the head of the Archer sun-god (Arthur), in this Somerset Zodiac, is the Dove with outstretched wing pointing to the "Secret Sanctuary that gives upon the Earthly Paradise".
This bird is designed to fit the effigy body from which it has escaped, for one wing is half closed like the bent arm of the Archer, the other extended, and the tail is at the same angle as the hips; thus the Dove has slipped out of the body of the Sun-god, like a snake out of its skin.
From the spiritual standpoint of Arthurian drama, the Dove has the most important part to play. Mr. A.E. Waite says in his Holy Grail - "In the prose Lancelot, which prefaces the great
and glorious Quest, the Pageant has this characteristic that it is preceded invariably by a Dove, bearing a golden censer in its beak, and the Palace fills thereupon with the eternal sweetness of Paradise which is above. The bird passes through the Hall and out of sight into a Chamber beyond. From that Chamber - as if at a concerted signal - or almost as if the Dove had suffered transformation - there issues the Maiden of the Grail, carrying the Precious Vessel".
This Dove can be traced with the aid
[[Diagram here: EQUINOX E and W. 4700 B.C. SOLSTICE N and S - ZODIACAL EFFIGIES OF THE TEMPLE OF THE STARS TRACED FROM THE MAP OF SOMERSET ENGLAND]]
of the map (1), on the still unspoiled fields around Barton St. David; that it forms part of the ancient landmarks of the Temple area, there can be no doubt, because as in the case of the other effigies, the the Grail legends confirm the Archaeological findings.
Dr. S.A. Ionides states that in Wales "according to the chroniclers, the Great Bear of the sky, who describes a Circle round the Pole and never sets, is the true originator of Sir Arthur Pendragon's famous Round Table". His book `Stars and Men', was published in 1939, but he had no idea that the connection lay in this effigy Dove, upon which the stars of the Great Bear do fall, and which was called King Arthur's Chariot by the Druids and Irish, meaning the vehicle of his spirit "the Restorer of Light".
So here is proof that our ancestors, 5000 years ago, believed that the spirit left the body at death and flew up to Heaven in the semblance of a dove, still the symbol of the Holy Ghost in the Church today. If circumstantial evidence is needed for the survival of this prehistoric tradition it will be found on page 460 of Dr. Alex. Munthe's book `The Story of San Michele'. He tells of the custom in Capri (that island in the bay of Naples), of trapping birds in order to let them loose in the Church at Easter, which he says is - "their way of celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, consecrated by the tradition of nearly two thousand years and still encouraged by their priests. From the first day of Holy Week the traps had been set in every vineyard, under every olive tree . . . . symbols of the Holy Dove, they were to be set free in the church to play their role in the jubilant commemoration of Christ's return to Heaven".
Wolfram von Eschenbach (2) tells us that every Good Friday the white dove came from "the height of the highest Heaven" to bring to earth "all good that on earth may be", "as the fullness of Paradise"; in token of which the Grail Knights and their horses wore the white dove given to them by the King of the Grail, Anfortas. It is a well known Templar symbol.
None can doubt that here in Somerset is indeed "the First Church of Britain" as has so often been stated but never properly understood, and at the same time "A Heavenly Sanctuary on Earth". In Welsh mythology this Vale of Avalon (according to the Encyclopaedia) was looked upon as "the kingdom of the dead, afterwards an earthly paradise in the western seas, and finally, in the Arthurian romances, the abode of heroes to which King Arthur was conveyed after his last battle."
- K.E. Maltwood,
1101 Beach Drive,
Oak Bay, Victoria, B.C
(1) See Plate 11 in 'A Guide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars' pub. by John Watkins. 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London. W.C. 2.
(2) `Parzival' translated by Jessie L. Weston. pub. by David Nutt 1894. London
THE NOBILITY OF WOMEN
On Sunday morning of December 12, the National Broadcasting Company of New York had on their program an account by Mrs. Ernesta Barlow, announced as Commando Mary, of the work of women in support of the War in Britain, Russia and China, with its lesson for the women of this continent. The story was so impressive that we wrote to the National Broadcasting Company requesting permission to reprint it. The Company very courteously and kindly arranged with Mrs. Barlow who supplied us with the script and leave to print any or all of it. The occasion was the second anniversary of Pearl Harbour. Mrs. Barlow wished to pick out a few of the more significant things the civilian women of the three
principal Allies of the United States were doing. So she began: -
Let's take first of all the nation which stood alone in Europe, as China stood alone in Asia, before Russia and the United States became full partners in the fight. In the first place all women in Britain between the ages of eighteen and forty-five are registered for some form of national service. These women may choose as their job either the auxiliary forces, the land army, nursing, civil defence or certain wartime industries. While the government has power to order women into one of these jobs, there has been no need to enforce the measure. British women with children of their own under fourteen living with them are not directed to undertake other duties. Women students are exempt and admitted to the universities only if they intend to take up work of national importance upon receiving a degree. Single women, or those without domestic ties may be ordered to leave their homes and go where labor is needed. Single women in Britain between the ages of nineteen and thirty-one are liable for conscription for the Women's Auxiliary Forces, but they may elect to go into certain specified jobs in industry instead. . . for instance they may choose the Land Army. With the help of her young women . . . mostly city girls . . Great Britain has advanced from a nation dependent upon importing two-thirds of her food supply to a nation which now raises those two-thirds herself. The Land Girls who didn't know a parsnip from a turnip when they started in have not only farmed old acres but they have re-claimed 1,250,000 acres of grassland. Many a city lass has put on her green Land Army uniform, climbed aboard her trusty tractor and cleared out forests of rushes, dragged centuries-old trunks of mighty bog oaks from beneath ooze. She has tackled country below river level and made good land of it.
Four miles of ditching, one girl said, is necessary for every hundred acres where she worked. Farmers were skeptical at first. A girl who ducked for cover when she met a cow in a lane last month risked her life helping her farmer separate two infuriated bulls. A Yorkshire farmer I know of broke down and admitted his land girl was worth ten of any lad her age. "She can be trusted," he said, "to take my team and a load of manure and spread it on my land and not on my neighbour's as my last boy did."
Some farms are run entirely by woman power. Here's a typical example. The owner's husband is in the R.A.F. She has four children, has adopted two refugee children and taken in eight children from bombed out homes . . . taking in foreign refugees and evacuees is a universal practice . . . Helping her do all the work are two Land Girls. They have reclaimed land, raised their own fodder, taken care of stock, sold certified milk, worked from six a.m. till 9:30 p.m. seven days a week. Now while many of our farm women may work just as hard as this, there is usually a man of some kind around the place.
The British have been very successful with their part-time work setup. . . Something many women would like to have here. Great Britain realized that the greatest industrial reserve in the country was among those women not able to take full-time jobs. She is systematically using this reserve. Two part-time workers have been found to produce more than one full-time worker, often as much as fifty percent more. The part-time system has been put into practice in some labor shortage areas here, generally where the citizens have themselves insisted upon it and formulated plans. Another thing in universal practice in Britain is the middle aged woman whose war work it is to do the chores for her full-time working neigh-
bor. She gets her neighbor's children up, fed, and off to school . . . She markets, mends, washes, gets supper . . . anything at all, and she does this as volunteer work.
The care of children of women war workers in Britain is looked upon as the responsibility of the government. The nursery system has taken four years of war to build up but they are now undoubtedly ahead of us in the provisions made for the feeding and care of children of working mothers . . . particularly in the matter of nursery infirmaries. Unless children can be looked after through the many minor ailments or childhood, the simple day nursery system does not solve the problem.
In Britain the milkman, the postman, the man who reads the gas meter, the truck driver and the porter in the railway station has been replaced by women. Seven thousand women are bus conductors in London alone. There are thousands of auxiliary policewomen, while fire watching duty for women the ages of 20-45 is compulsory for those working less than 55 hours a week. Another thing whcih concerns British women very deeply is Post-War Reconstruction work. To meet the needs of the liberated populations the British government considers "that the cooperation of women is not only desirable but essential" and has been training volunteers for some time for the work. They expect to use detachments of the Women's Services for foreign service also. Administrative tasks will be carried on by the officers and positions of clerks, cooks, drivers, orderlies will be filled by the enlisted women.
In China, where the heroism of the whole people in war is something which is taken for granted, a mighty task is being performed by the women. This is the Woman's Movement in the rural communities. This movement began in the Kiangsi Province where there are thirty million people. Its purpose and
endeavor is to organize the wives of the fighting men of this enormous agricultural state. The public spirited women who began this movement had to start right at the bottom by tackling the illiteracy problem among rural women, then giving vocational training and holding classes in citizenship.
My Chinese informant said they found a terrible situation so little had been done. This great Women's Movement is led by college women and is spreading all over China. They are setting up clinics and nurseries, trying to give the rural Chinese woman a place in the war. Thousands of school students are helping, all serving in the work as volunteers. My Chinese friend said, "Terrible as this war has been for China, it has been a great teacher and a great liberator of women's energies." Chinese women are serving in the National Peoples Political Council, a body whose members are much like our Senators. The women members travel ceaselessly from place to place in their Province, investigating, observing, and reporting back to the Central Government. "They travel as much as Mrs. Roosevelt," my Chinese friend said.
And now to speak for the Russian women I have Nila Ivanovna, a true daughter of modern Russia, a college graduate who has worked as a deck hand on one of Russia's merchant ships, because she wanted to see the world, she said. Since coming to America as the wife of Robert Magidoff, our NBC correspondent in Moscow, Nila Ivanovna has done a magnificent job touring the country speaking for Russian War Relief. . .Nila Ivanovna, you know we have heard so much of the prowess of your Russian women, how they drag the wounded from the battle field and join guerrillas and run locomotives and even work in coal mines . . we feel they must be superwomen . . .
NILA: No, they are not superwomen . . . they do these things now, but they
only do them because it is war . . They are not really so strong . . . they say, "What if I work like this and maybe die just a little sooner . . what does it matter? The soldier, he must do so much more." We do not want women should do such hard things after the war.
BARLOW: We only hear of your more heroic side . . I think we would be very happy to hear that your women have some of the more ordinary human weaknesses that we have . . . it would make us feel closer to them.
NILA: You mean you think we do not like to play and sing and dance like other women? We love it! And we love pretty clothes and hats. Mrs. Miniver, when she buy the hat in the movie, and come home to show her husband, that could be in Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, . . . anywhere in Russia. Now more than ever it is important that women should look feminine. Do you think a man like to come home from the war to a pair of overalls? Why, I never saw such a thing as in American women's college . . . girls in these terrible trousers . . . all of them . . . and rolled up to the knee. I ask them why they dress in that ugly way and they say, "This is war time," and I say, "That is very poor reason to look as you are looking in those man's trousers." When I land in America . . . that night I speak at Madison Square Garden . . . twenty-five thousand people . . . I had on pretty silk dress, long . . . I get it in Moscow atelier. I hear an American lady say, "I did not know Russian women wear evening dress." I was very mad with her. Then she say, "I am not afraid of Communists if they wear like these dresses!"
BARLOW: Comrade, you make me feel a lot better! Go right on . . .
NILA: Russian women work but I have seen American women who never worked before working for their country. I have been in many American factories. Now the women begin to understand and take their part in this war. I spoke to ten thousand men and women on great air field in California. I was so happy when they tell me they repair two big bombers that day working over their time . . just for nothing. They wrote in big letters on planes, "For the Army, Fight well." Same thing happen all over Russia.
BARLOW: Do your workers feel friendly towards our workers, Nila Ivanovna?
NILA: They love Americans. You see so often in our factories, in such big letters, "Work as an American!" We think that is highest example to follow.
BARLOW: What a slogan for us to live up to!
NILA: Please, I want to say one thing.
BARLOW: Yes, say it.
NILA: Many people here think home is not centre of life in Russia. Soviet government knows that happy family life means happy and responsible people. Everything is done to raise status of women. Women must know all what is going on in the world. If they are ignorant and husband and children are educated, then woman does not have proper place. Before the revolution four percent of Russian people were illiterate, now ninety-eight percent can read and write. Home is centre of life, for everybody, for farmers, for intelligensa, for factory workers . . . all alike. And I think it is on the women that depends a happy family life and a happy marriage . . . Maybe you do not agree with me Mrs. Barlow?
BARLOW: Well, it's a pretty big question to settle today, Nila Ivanovna. Won't you tell us something about your family . . . your father and mother?
NILA: My father was a peasant. He could not read or write. My mother was ambitious, she learn to read after the revolution. One sister is graduate chemical engineer in factory. . . another sister is chief engineer in bread factors . . . she help to build factory. My brother also engineer in Soviet factory. I only do not study engineering in col
lege. I study literature.
BARLOW: It's splendid the way your people, the women in particular, have taken engineering courses in your universities. They are so badly needed now. Most of our women took the liberal arts course, we have almost no women who are graduate engineers.
NILA: We have very many. You see, we must have huge army of technical engineers to rebuild Russia. So much is destroyed, but you will see how we will build it again. We did it before, we can do it again. Do you know that on collective farms we train the young people and the girls to become pilots for commercial flying? Collective farms have had own planes to teach the youth. Two hundred thousand women pilots have been trained. After the war there will be much commercial flying and our women will be ready.
BARLOW: So many Russian women are studying medicine too. Far more women than men. 80% are women, isn't that it?
NILA: Yes, that is right.
BARLOW: What percentage of your doctors with the Red Armies are women?
NILA: Sixty-five percent.
BARLOW: Your women . . . all of you . . . seem to have a terrific endurance.
NILA: Well you see, it begins when we are children. All Soviet children spend summers in open air doing things to make them strong. The government send them to country and to the sea for holiday and while they are there they do all sort of sport and exercize to make them very healthy. We know what is to be done . . . we must be strong or we cannot do all what we must do. You have emergency for two or three years . . . we have emergency for twenty-five years. We do not just love to work . . . we do this for Russia. We believe Amercian women are just the same . . . they will do everything now to win the war.
BARLOW: Thank you Nila Ivanovna. We're very proud to have you as an American by marriage . . . and I hope you will go right on talking and right on believing in us . . . And now our time is up so we must sign off for this morning. Next Sunday Hercules powder plant in the mountains of Virginia.
TWO PATHS OF KNOWLEDGE
(Continued from Page 286)
For a striking example of this topic we may return to the Great Pyramid. In The Secret Doctrine, vol. 3, p. 95, there has been made a statement that has received ample justification for the claim of a higher path to knowledge. Piazzi Smyth, the first popular exponent of the Great Pyramid and its message for man, had an intuition that it was planned and built on the basis of a cubit different to the cubit used in Egypt for general use in measurements. The use of this sacred cubit - also called the Pyramid cubit - resulted in many meteorological, geometrical and mathematical relationships which he described in his book. Flinders Petrie challenged Smyth's theory, claiming that the ordinary cubit was the only one used. He backed this up with such an avalanche of facts that the "sacred cubit" became discredited. In 1926 Davidson published the first edition of his great work on the Pyramid and in it shows by arguments, supported by numerous diagrams, that Smyth's intuition was sound, as also Petrie's, because the two cubits are inseparably linked by geometrical facts. Space does not permit the details by which this is arrived at, but it may be said that the seemingly discrepant theories are based on the difference between the length of the four sides of a square and the same area expressed in circular form. See p. 109, 3rd ed. for details of reconciliation of this battle of the standards. But, please note that the intuition came first, not
the logical arguments. Davidson calls this idea the Law of equal areas, and seems to be unanswerable.
Another of his intuitions is that there is an entirely different value from the historical one of the Egyptian dynasties; they really give not periods of time but measures that express many salient features of the Pyramid. For this see pp. 77, 81, 93. Davidson's idea of a Standard rather than an actual Pyramid is very suggestive. For this does not depend on unanimous agreement of the different measures, for this has not yet been achieved. This can be any size so long as the angle of rise, the pi angle as it is called, is adopted. Then all the geometrical and mathematical factors will be the same and tell the same story.
There is a very remarkable instance along this line that is of great interest for humanity today. In a small book "Esoteric Character Of the Gospels" on page three we read: "When the equinox enters the sign Aquarius in the year 1900, psychologists will have some extra work to do." Certainly this has come true. It is also stated in the same book, p. 41, "We are in 1887 and the 19th century is close to its death. The 20th century has strange developments in store for humanity and may even be the last of its name." Did the writer foresee what the world is going through with its prospects of a New Order, of so pronounced a character that we shall start at Year One again? Consider the following and judge if the writer did not know the cataclysm we are passing through. In Secret Doctrine, p. 706, vol. 1, published 1887, we read "Man need not accuse Heaven and the Gods, Fates and Providence, of the apparent injustice that reigns in the midst of humanity . . . . Every nation and tribe of the Western Aryans, like their Eastern brethren of the Fifth Race has had its Golden and its Iron age, its period of comparative irresponsibility; or its Satya Age of purity, and now, several of them have reached their Iron Age, the Kali Yuga, an age black with horrors". How realistic this is; but read on.
"Yet in the prognostication of such future events, at any rate, all foretold on the authority of cyclic recurrences, no psychic phenomenon is involved. It is neither prevision, nor prophecy; any more than is signalling of a comet or star, several years before its appearance. It is simply knowledge and mathematically correct computations, which enables the Wise Men of the East to foretell, for instance, that England is on the eve of such or another catastrophe; that France is nearing such a point of her cycle, and that Europe in general is threatened with, or rather is on the eve of a cataclysm, to which her own cycle of racial Karma has led her."
And now, from an article "Our Cycle and the Next," 1888:
"But what has the new cycle in store for humanity? . . . For real Theosophy is Altruism, and we cannot repeat it too often. It is brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth. If once men do but realize that in these alone can true happiness be found, and never in wealth, possessions, or any selfish gratification, then the dark clouds will roll away, and a new humanity will be born upon earth. Then the Golden Age will be there indeed. But if not, then the storm will burst, and our boasted western civilization and enlightenment will sink in such a sea of horror that its parallel History has never yet recorded."
Now consider a few predictions and claims given in The Secret Doctrine and what modern research has done to them. First, it may be said, that so far as the writer of this is concerned while many of these claims have been verified by the various sciences, none have been disproved. This is mentioned because it will explain the confidence that so many
have in The Secret Doctrine, for it is not blind faith but a reasoned one. When the book was written neither divisibility of the atom nor the quantum was known; yet the author was able to say: "It is on the doctrine of the illusive nature of Matter, and the infinite divisibility of the Atom, that the whole Science of Occultism is built."
Sir Arthur Eddington has cleverly said that the electron is part of the A. B. C. of physics; which may be expanded to, The electron is A, the proton is B, and the quantum is C. They are the A B C today. It remained for the Wilson cloud-chamber to make possible the photographing of collisions of electrons, neutrons, etc., to show how they were subject to ejection from their atoms. It was soon discovered that electrons were very easily stripped from their nuclei but the latter were much more resistant. Alpha rays emitted spontaneously from radium were used as projectiles to bombard them but with scanty success. Eventually it was discovered that there were particles called neutrons being dislodged. These were used as projectiles, and because of their velocity were much more effective. Now, enormous cyclotrons are made for the production of neutrons in enormous quantities and marvellous results are being achieved. But all this shows the reasonableness of The Secret Doctrine statement that atoms were not indivisible units as then supposed, but were "infinitely divisible".
Electricity was declared by Theosophy to be atomic rather than a stream of energy, as was believed by Science, and which later was demonstrated to be atomic, its units being called quanta, which in turn were found to be divisible into something equivalent to wave lengths and frequencies as in our radios.
Our atmosphere was then regarded as thinning out with every increase in height, but the idea that now holds is that it has many zones or strata such as
stratospheres, ionospheres, and ozone layers. This was anticipated by The Secret Doctrine that "our globe has its own special laboratory on the faraway outskirts of our atmosphere, crossing which, every Atom and molecule changes and differentiates from its primordial nature."
Chemistry is another example of a way of knowing what Science has not discovered when The Secret Doctrine asserted that "Chemistry and Physiology are the two great magicians of the future, which are destined to open the eyes of mankind to great physical truths." The alchemists were laughed at for saying that one element could be changed into another, but this is being done, not on a commercial scale it is true, but it is actually being done. Catalysis is a bit of magic in modern days; much more widely practised than most people know. It is based on the fact that there are certain substances that can bring together substances that do not readily unite, and marvellously are not used up in the process, but can be used again and again. A curious feature of this is that there are certain people who have a catalytic power and use it unconsciously. They are the human "trouble shooters".
And, what of Physiology? Is it not the magician that The Secret Doctrine said it would be? What a bewildering mass of discoveries have been made. We have had calories, enzymes, vitamins revealed to us. Many diseases have been brought under control, such as typhoid, small pox, diphtheria. Take the ceaseless development of wonder substances such as insulin, the various sulfas and penicillin; the progress in blood transfusion from the four types to plasma which sidesteps that limitation. And now we are hearing of a form of isinglass which if successful will be a better substitute for blood and available in unlimited quantities. It is being ex-
(Continued on Page 350)
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert E.S. Smythe.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-` class matter.
- Subscription: Two Dollars a Year
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
Wash. E, Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver.
Maud E. Crafter, 57 Sherwood Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Dudley W. Barr, 18 Rowandwood Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Felix A. Belcher, 250 N. Lisgar St., Toronto, Ont.
Edw. L. Thomson, 163 Crescent Road, Toronto, Ont.
William A. Griffiths, 37 Stayner Street, Weatmount, P.Q. George I, Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Albert E.S. Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton. Ontario, Canada.
To whom all communications should be addressed.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
The death of Mrs. Miriam Salanave, the energetic and devoted Buddhist propagandist, has been announced. We hope to give a sketch of her work next month.
Pressure on our space has unfortun-ately led to the exclusion this month of correspondence. We particularly regret the omission of a letter from Mr. Cook describing a Course of Study in The Secret Doctrine issued by the American Theosophical Society. This will be described next month.
The General Secretary has been overwhelmed with Christmas and holiday greetings and letters. These have been or will be acknowledged if possible, but if there be any omissions it is hoped that the single-handed and palsied fingers of the writer will be remembered and his grateful salutations be taken for granted. To all others of good will and brotherly inclination he wishes that the Light shall shine upon them more and more until the perfect day.
Among the strongest features of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy is its democracy. But it tempers the weakness of democracy by not permitting the masses to choose demagogues to lead them. The Soviets have a more democratic method of overcoming the same weakness, for which read the Russian Constitution. Pope Pius XII. has appointed 44-year old Monsignor Bernard Griffin to succeed Cardinal Hinsley as Archbishop of Westminster. The new prelate is the son of a Birmingham carpenter.
Pasteur, the great French vivisectionist who has driven hydrophobia into the backwoods, was born on December 27, 1922. On December 27, 1861, Mr. W.B. Pease of Victoria, came into the world to wage war against all vivisectionists and their policies, so birthdays do not guarantee anything at all. In fact the General Secretary was born on the same day and year as Mr. Pease, but Mr. Pease withdrew from the T.S. in Canada in spite of his birthday, though annually he sends a bunch of holly, red berries and all, to grace the headquarters table.
"Hypnotized people, who have proved themselves ready to swallow any nonsense their beloved fuehrer chooses to proclaim," observes a contemporary, "accept Hitler's intuitions as they have accepted his own very much tarnished leadership." But this is equally-true of all hypnotic leadership. What the world needs to learn is to think for itself, and by reason, investigation, research and experiment, discover its own ideals, recover its own guidance and recognize that universal experience always leads
to similar conclusions. Hypnotic experience leads to fantastic groups of deluded nonentities.
So-called Christians and the Christian Church are still misquoting the Gospels they are supposed to revere, and in spite of this wicked war for which we are all abjured to buy bonds, no doubt to show our good will towards the Germans who massacre civilians and the Japanese who shoot our airmen when they take them prisoners. Is it not time that we give the angels credit for a little common sense especially as the Church published 63 years ago a revised and correct version of what they were alleged to have sung in Greek - "Peace on earth to men of good will." As our actions are in harmony with this sentiment, our language should be consistent also.
Our friends at Covina are deeply grieved over the death of Dr. Lorin Wood on November 15. A letter from his daughter, Mrs. Ethel Wood Lambert arrived too late for notice in our December issue. Dr. Wood was a native of Medway, Mass., a 32nd degree Mason, and graduated in 1879 from the New York Homeopathic College and Hospital. He joined the T.S. in 1891 and at the height of his career as a physician joined the Point Loma Society and after arranging his large practice at Westerly, R.I., he moved with his family to the Lomaland settlement. On June 4, 1929 his alma mater granted him a "gold diploma" in recognition of fifty years of active service in the practice of medicine. He served on Dr. de Purucker's cabinet and latterly on the Council of Elders. His son, Dr. Lorin Francis Wood is clinical director at the Veterans Administration, Downey, Ill. Two grandsons are in active army service. It is with very profound and sincere regret that we record the death on December 7 of Charles Jones, long known in Toronto as an unrivalled bone-setter and healer of innumerable complaints due to maladjustments of the bony structure of the human body. Rhys of Youngstown, Ohio, and Barker, the great London operator were the only rivals I have heard of to compare with him. I met him first about the start of the World War I in 1914 and tried hard to persuade him to keep a case book, but he demurred, I believe, because he feared it would be used as evidence against him to put him in jail. He was constantly badgered by the sleuths of the medical Council, and had to call himself a masseur in order to do the real work for which he was extraordinarily gifted. Thousands of people who have been cured of innumerable ailments, and many incredible recoveries among them, could testify to his genius. In more recent years many open-minded physicians cooperated with him, sending their patients to him when baffled themselves. Some even sent patients for diagnosis, at which he was adept. At a first glance he could tell what was wrong with a person. Usually patients came to him after being abandoned by successive doctors. Nothing but a case-book would convince the skeptical about such things, and our civilization and our highly cultured medical profession was not equal to that strain. Mr. Jones was the most generous of men and treated all who needed his help, fee or no fee. He was not a learned or bookish man. In his younger days he was employed in railway locomotive work and developed phenomenal physical strength. In the case of an accident he discovered his healing faculty and following it up, joined the St. John's Ambulance Association with which he worked for 25 years. Coming to Canada at the outbreak of the War, and finding himself out of employment, he decided to turn his gifts to account. He lived simply and abstemiously, attended church regularly, singing in the choir at times. He was fond of gardening and had a cottage at Long Branch near Toronto.
My childish heart was taught what Christmas meant
First, in Gracehill, that God and Man were blent;
The preachers added, only of one Man
Could this be told, according to God's plan.
My childish heart revolted - how unkind
To make one See, and leave the others Blind!
But soon the Truth broke clear, 'twas not one Slave,
But Man - Mankind, to whom Dame Nature gave
The Power omnipotent the World to save.
The Infant Jesus sleeps in every breast
Among the stabled Passions of the blood
Whose taint and fury give the mind no rest
Until the heart's Rose opens from the bud.
We are Redeemers all when we would give
Our own poor lives that so the World might live.
The blessed Truth the simple secret shows;
Turned upside down, it brings us all our woes.
We came to save, our Universe redeemed
To be the Land of Promise prophets dreamed.
Then listen to the Voice of Wisdom call
That moved the saintly lips of good St. Paul;
"Know ye not Jesus Christ is in you?" - Truth
Most magical for manhood, age, or youth.
Yet some are wandering sheep, some lambs, and some
Have entered in the fold - dear Comrade, come
And tell the world of Love and Joy and Peace
For these - Christ quick in you - shall bring increase.
THE BHAGAVAD GITA
A Conflation prepared from available English translations by the General Secretary
- The Esoteric Character of the Gospels By H.P. Blavatsky.
- The Evidence of Immortality By Dr. Jerome A. Anderson.
- Ancient and Modern Physics By Thomas E. Willson.
- Modern Theosophy By Claude Falls Wright.
The Four Books at 50c Each. Postage on Books Extra.
THE BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE
52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ontario
MRS. HASTINGS DEATH
So far we have received no explanation from Miss Green, executrix of the Hastings Estate, why she sent the letter, certainly misleading, in which she stated that Mrs. Hastings had passed peacefully away on October 30. The letter, dated November 11, arrived just in time to get the paragraph which appeared inserted before the magazine was printed on Saturday, December 11; it was in the hands of the binders on Monday and was mailed on the following Wednesday.
On that Monday evening, the 13th, (we have only one mail delivery each day, and that in the afternoon during the war) I had a letter dated 11th, from Mr. Hugh Williamson of Boston, enclosing a clipping from a Worthing paper, which he had received from that place. It gave an account of the inquest which had been held on Mrs. Hastings' body which had been found dead in her own kitchen with the gas turned on. Miss Green gave evidence that she was nurse-secretary to Mrs. Hastings, who lived alone at 4 Bedford Row. Medical evidence was to the effect that deceased must have suffered "considerable pain" for a long period from the condition of her internal organs. Those who have witnessed the agonizing sufferings of cancer patients can perhaps understand how the tormented body desires to end its torture. "The coroner returned a verdict of suicide while the deceased was mentally unhinged."
This appeared in the Worthing Gazette of October 31. Miss Green's letter which we quoted in our December issue, was dated November 11.
Mrs. Hastings' last letter to me was dated October 26 and was dictated from her sickbed to Miss Green. "As I am extremely ill," she said, "I am sending the Solovyoff book over at once."
This book is covered with marginal notations and cross references, about which she said: "a good many of the
marginal remarks were made bfeore I had any idea of writing about Madame Blavatsky, just expressions of my indignation. I think I will send the box of books to a Deposit Store where you can claim it any time . . . If I can find the Adyar Saucer that also will be sent off." A cable from Miss Green of December 19 stated "Books left you personally."
Writing on October 9 when for the first time she spoke of the serious nature of her illness, she dictated to Miss Green: "This is one of my bad days, but I never know when I am going to have a good one, and the secretary is here, so, here goes, but I shall have to be brief . . These books are of no use except to a historian of Blavatsky. By the way, the India Office wrote and asked me if I had published any more on the defence of Madame Blavatsky . . . I do not suppose for a moment they have got as complete a library as I have. Most of the books have been packed for 2 years in a good stout wooden packing case with leaden edges. I couldn't think of unpacking so I'll leave it to you to suggest what to do, send it straight out to you. You must send me the route. Alas! it will be opened in the Customs . . . . There, dear Mr. Smythe," she concludes, "I think that's all I can say. If you will make a list of all books when you get them, send me a copy. I will star mark the most valuable, the which will include some very insignificant pamphlets. I won't say I hope you're getting on and all that. I get so weary when people say it to me, but I look to you as a staunch friend. Of course your disease is not so horrible as mine: You may have several years yet."
This was on October 9, and she evidently looked forward weeks or months ahead when she might check the list of books. The last years of Mrs. Hastings' life were devoted to the Defence of Madame Blavatsky, to whom she had been attracted first by the brilliance of her literary style and the sterling quality of her writings. Mrs. Hastings was herself a literary writer and critic of a high order and spoke with authority on literary matters. She felt keenly the failure of Theosophcial officialdom to recognize or support the work she was doing. She estimated their devotion to Theosophy by the interest they showed in establishing the reputation of its
[[photo here: Mrs. Beatrice Hastings]]
foremost modern messenger. We can best serve her memory by doing what we can to show our own genuine interest in the work she undertook by giving it enduring and complete success by upholding it in the world of letters and carrying it to the minds and hearts of men. Its worth and truth call for our best efforts.
"What is called unconscious Nature is in reality an aggregate of forces manipulated by semi-intelligent beings (elementals) guided by high Planetary Spirits."
The article "Conflict - What Conflict?" by Anne Leslie Roger, printed in the October issue of "The Canadian Theosophist" has reached Australia, but will the Australian section place it on its tables for the members to read? Surely not the local in the city which borders the Army Camp in which this article is being written, for the woman in charge told me personally that she had been shocked by some of the articles which appear in "The Canadian Theosophist" and that she carefully censors each issue before adding it to the library to make certain that disgraceful attacks on the "Leaders" do not slip by. And as to the Sydney Lodge, one can well imagine that the powerful aura of C.W. Leadbeater, comparable no doubt in strength to that of the Buddha, will exert a benevolent (?) protection down the years against the adverse thought current represented by such articles.
As an American soldier recently arrived in Australia I attended some of these local meetings to see how effectively Theosophy had spread in this country. A pitifully small group of human beings was all there was to show for one of the largest cities in Australia. Thus have the intelligent members of the community been moved by that version of Theosophy which calls the ABSOLUTE, "He".
The priesthood that H.P.B. hated, the clergy denounced by the Masters, certainly wrote their most effective treatises, certainly were most repaid for their literary efforts when they were permitted to write the textbooks for the Theosophical Society. Well might have the members of the Jesuit Society contested for the honor of writing precisely those textbooks. But whether or not actual members of their order, or representatives of the dark forces behind that order, wrote those books, the Jesuits have certainly had their revenge for the exposure of their moral vileness by the Master K.H., who wrote "They - the Jesuits sacrifice the inner principle, the Spiritual brain of the ego, to feed and develop the better the physical brain of the personal evanescent man, sacrificing the whole humanity to offer it as a holocaust to their Society - the insatiable monster feeding on the brain and marrow of humanity, and developing an incurable cancer on every spot of healthy flesh it touches."
Their revenge was in the creation of the Liberal Catholic Church, the abandonment of the works of H.P.B., the publishing of palpably absurd statements which have well nigh driven out, and persuaded from joining, most of the intelligent humans whose intuitions would naturally attract to the true Theosophical teachings.
Judging by the results, it seems justifiable to state that the Theosophical Jesuits, whether or not they secretly belonged to that named order, have developed an incurable cancer on every spot of healthy Theosophical flesh they have touched, unless the persons touched immediately recoiled in natural revulsion and utterly renounced such teachings. What other conclusion can one draw for the eagerness of so many Theosophists to accept such a legion of irrational claims as have been put forward by the post-H.P.B. theorizers and interpreters?
It is not the purpose of this article to attempt to place the responsibility upon any one person for the lamentable results which have attended the mistake of trusting the wrong leaders. Perhaps the Master himself has already elucidated this very point in one of his letters:
"Suby Ram - a truly good man - yet a devotee of another error. Not his guru's voice - his own. The voice of a pure, unselfish, earnest soul, absorbed in misguided, misdirected mysticism. Add to it a chronic disorder in that portion of
the brain which responds to clear vision and the secret is soon told: that disorder was developed by forced visions: by hatha yog and prolonged asceticism. S. Ram is the chief medium and at same time the principal magnetic factor, who spreads his disease by infection - unconsciously to himself; who inoculates with his vision all the other disciples."
Yet without attempting to blame, and thereby perhaps make another error, it is obvious that there is a disease in the Theosophical Society, and if this chronic disease is not to result in death, the Society must, like a human being, change its ways of living. It must entirely cease psychic pursuits and revert for study and inspiration to the works of H.P.B. and the Mahatma Letters. It is of course not necessary to go at length into discussion of the personal feelings of various leaders on the matter, as the Theosophical ideal is to sink all personal desires into the general good of all. And naturally true Theosophists will not mind giving up their pretty picture books of thought forms for those phases of Theosophy which are of practical value in convincing and teaching others. Theosophists should contemplate the magnificent and unparalleled opportunity they have had of obtaining their Theosophy direct from the fountains of truth and rue their weakness in having attempted to slake their thirst for knowledge by drinking from the muddy water down stream because they were attracted by the charming flowers in the vicinity.
And in conclusion, the Mahatma Letters are again quoted, for it is believed that all Theosophists will eventually agree on the truth as presented by the Masters, although individuals may from time to time stray into bypaths which begin lined with lovely foliage and tempting perfumes but which end in a blind alley of noxious weeds
"It is not physical phenomena that will ever bring conviction to the hearts of the unbelievers in the `Brotherhood' but rather phenomena of intellectuality, philosophy and logic."
- Sgt. Alex. Wayman
As idle clacking of an empty mill
Go by the days and weeks, the months and years
Fulfilled of idle hopes, yet idler fears
And still - and still -
There's nothing done! A clamor in the street
Of shouts, of shrieking fifes and snarling drums,
And life's vain, mad, flamboyant circus comes
And draws our willing feet.
And still there's nothing done! No grain of gold
Redeemed from this immalleable dross,
No shining weapon forged wherewith to meet
The onslaught of the enemy whose cold
Relentless march is overtaking us!
No gourd to shield us! No secure retreat!
- G.P. Williamson
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TWO PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE
(Continued from Page 343)
perimented with in Toronto, and has been tested on 61 subjects in the General Hospital as it promises to be more reliable in controlling the temperature of the patient. But with all these remedies for sickness He was a wise teacher who told one whom he had healed: "Go, and sin no more less a worse thing befall thee."
A Final Thought
Today there is something stirring in the minds and hearts of men generally that is not amenable to laboratory experiments with test tubes and reports, and yet is perhaps the most vivid experience in all human history. What does it signify? The Secret Doctrine gave the answer long ago. It is that while there is a supreme omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent Being known as God, Brahma, Tao, etc., there is also a host of beings of very varying powers who can and do interest themselves in human affairs. They are too wise to impose their will on humanity, but they can and may, and do radiate thought that can and does impress men in a general way, when the need is very great. And that is The Secret Doctrine account which explains the tremendous will of all classes of men to win the Peace in a spirit of good will for all. How else can be explained the marvellous executive capacity, good will, and cooperation manifested by the "big four", Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill and Chiang Kai Shek - and not forgetting Madame Chiang!
The world is witnessing a most astounding drama unfolding to a climax of a neighborly, friendly world, a golden age. And all of us may and should cooperate to bring this about, not for ourselves, but for the generations that are coming, our children and theirs. This will require that we stop trying to get an easy time, an affluent time for ourselves. No, there must continue the spirit of sacrifice that will win the peace as well as the war.
- Felix A. Belcher
There is very little that can be said about the war that may not be superseded by definite new action by the Allies. This may occur in Greece, in the Balkans, in southern or northern France, in Holland or in Norway, in any or all of these places, a diversity of strategical possibility which is quite displeasing to Herr Hitler. The Russian armies are going ahead at such a head-long rate that some sanguine observers are calculating whether they may not reach Berlin before the other Allies. Despondent Germans are hoping it won't be the Russians first. The Junkers are figuring on their chances in the next world war, feeling quite sure that the economic and banking interests will never change their policy and that it will not take many years for the banking interests to buy up all the war bonds and hold the people and the politicians in thrall. The Canadian national anthem has something about it - "Forefend the nation's thrall."
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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 328)
[Leaf remarks regarding all this: "Mr. Solovyoff's own evidence, far from condemning Mr. Hodgson, will probably be regarded as strong testimony to the acumen of his general view of Madame Blavatsky; and will remove the feeling, entertained by many at the time, that he had on this one point done her an injustice. For on her own statement, as given in chap. xx, she had some years before actually offered her services as a secret agent to the Russian Government. Mr. Hodgson thus came very near the truth."
I have remarked several times in various books during this "Defence of Madame Blavatsky" that people who attack her seem to lose their mental balance. Of course, as they are all lying and juggling and conspiring, there is no wonder. Hodgson's view was not a "general view" of his, it was his particular view that Madame Biavatsky invented the Mahatmas to conceal her machinations with confederates as a Russian spy. He rejected every other motive. It is not "her own statement" in chap. xx, that Madame Blavatsky had offered her services - but the statement of Solovyoff that she had said so to him. To pass on a "she said" as "evidence" is the venomous method of poison-gossips. Leaf exhibits this kind of cunning frequently, the unintelligence that must immediately be found out under cross-examination. There is a bad day coming for the S.P.R. when some lawyer will make a world-reputation and a fortune by an exposure en regle of the Blavatsky case.]
This chapter is given in the Plain Tale plus the letters Solovyoff suppressed. He feigns to have suggested to Madame de Morsier that "our poor 'madame' has been found out" by Hodgson, but that Mme. de M. was not yet quite ready to admit Madame Blavatsky's guilt. Actually, at the moment, he was busy making the acquaintance of Crookes and Sinnett and writing to her: "All is arranged and prepared to overwhelm, here at least - that is in the Paris press - all this rabble of Coulombs and all the asses, to what learned society they may belong, who could for a moment pay attention to her (Mme. Coulomb's) abominable pamphlet".
[The asses were the S.P.R., of course, but it is a great libel on the quadruped who never yet conspired to destroy a human being.]
[Solovyoff goes to Switzerland, meets Madame de Morsier, and H.P.B. comes there with Mary Flynn and Babaji.]
This is the first of the three chapters that Professor Sidgwick noted as so important as a supplement to the S.P.R. inquiry.
The time is important. Madame Blavatsky arrived in Wurzburg on the 17th of August. Dr. Hartmann, who had found her rooms, was there to settle her in; how long he stayed is not known. Solovyoff omits to mention Hartmann. Solovyoff himself was there by the 29th. He says: "The time had now come for me to set about my investigation in earnest. I settled myself in Rugmer's Hotel . . . . and all the time that I did not spend in sleeping, eating and walking about the town, I passed with Madame Blavatsky."
He omits to say that his lady companion, whom he now introduced as his wife, had joined him, bringing a child of the union.
At this time, the Sinnett's were on their way to a visit to the Gebhards in Elberfeld and intended to visit Madame Blavatsky. On April 19th, H.P.B. wrote to Sinnett: "Solovyoff is so indignant that he has sent in his resignation to the S.P.R. He wrote a long letter to Myers and now the latter answers him . . . begs him not to resign and asks him whether he still maintains that what he saw at Elberfeld was not a hallucination or a fraud; and finally begs him to come and meet him at Nancy - where he will prove to him my guilt! Solovyoff says that since he is placed by their Report, as so many others, between choosing to confess himself either a lunatic or a confederate - he considers it a slap on the face, a direct insult to him and answers Myers demanding that his letter should be published and resignation made known. He intends stopping here at Wurzburg with me for a month or so, with his wife and child".
The "Report" mentioned is not what is known as the First Report but was a provisional kind
of report by Hodgson that had been read out to a meeting of the S.P.R. on May 24th, 1885; it was received with contempt and disgust not only by all the Theosophists but many others. When Solovyoff met Sinnett and Crookes in Paris., this was the subject of discussion, the great magnus opus of the "asses". The Theosophists decided to ignore this report as beneath notice; but between May and December, Hodgson worked on it and, as Sinnett wrote in his brilliant "The Occult World Phenomena" (a work treacherously neglected by the majority of the leading Theosophists to this day): "Mr. Hodgson has employed the time during which his Report has been improperly witheld in endeavoring to amend and strengthen it so as to render it better able to bear out the Committee's endorsement of the conclusions he reached before he obtained the evidence he now puts forward." The time was not lost, however, it was employed also in every kind of propaganda to prepare the public to swallow anything that might be said of Madame Blavatsky.
Madame Blavatsky fell very ill. This must have been after 20th, for that day she was not ill. Suppose she were only ill three days, this brings us to the 23rd at least. The next day she wrote for hours, "gnashing her teeth". Solovyoff, all this time, with this woman in agony, was spying and trying to trap her. So he says. It is a lie - but that is what he says about himself. "For the next couple of days I had a feeling as I looked at her that she was on the point of producing some sort of phenomenon. And so it turned out."
This couple of days would bring us to the 26th. On the 27th at latest, Madame Fadeev arrived from Russia. Yet, the whole of the events of these three chapters is alleged to have happened after Madame Blavatsky's recovery and before the arrival of her aunt! From Solovyoff's book one would imagine that many many days were at his disposal for his trapwork. He says, "One morning I called", etc. Again: Madame Blavatsky was still suffering severely, but she was now able to walk about a little in her room. In spite of her illness, she was working double tides; she was finishing an article for the Russky Vyestnik, writing some fanciful stories translating something for her Theosophist and preparing to begin her Secret Doctrine". Another point I have noticed in all the enemies of H.P.B. They all, at moments, write as if compelled; automatically they tell the truth, although the truth defeats them, destroys their case. We see clearly what the genius of Madame Blavatsky was employed with; she was not thinking of Solovyoff! Yet he says of this double-tide writer: "Meanwhile in her complete isolation, she was depressed, and could not do without me . . . Every day when I came to see her she used to try to do me a favor in the shape of some trifling phenomenon, but she never succeeded".
[I leave it to writers, for the moment.]
But these one days and nows and everydays won't do at all. There could not possibly have been more than two days on which, for a short time, between her writings, Madame Blavatsky entertained Solovyoff. According to him, these interludes sufficed to produce all the evidence he needed to convict her!
[Let us begin from where he "called one morning".]
"Helena Petrovna sat behind her great writing-table in an armchair of unusual dimensions, sent her as a present by Gebhard from Elberfeld."
[Helena Petrovna had had no communication with Gebhard since Novmeber, 1884. There had been a coolness. It was Sinnett who reconciled them when he went to Gebhards at the end of August, 1885. As late as Sept. 2nd, they were still unreconciled, for on that day she writes to Mrs. Sinnett about her sadness at the estrangement, says that Solovyoff himself assured her that the Gebhards had given her up. The dog was never happy unless making mischief that would leave her all to himself, to teach him the "powers"; from Olcott to Babula, he jealoused everyone around her. But - that armchair was not there then! It was not sent until the Sinnetts had made up the friendship again between Madame Blavatsky and the Gebhards, and most probably after the Sinnetts came to Wurzburg about Sept. 7th.]
"At the opposite end of the table stood the dwarfish Babaji with a confused look in his dulled eyes. He was evidently incapable of meeting my gaze, and the fact certainly did not escape me. In front of Babaji on the table were scattered several clean sheets of paper. Nothing of the sort had occurred before, so my attention was the more aroused. In his hand was a great thick pencil. I began to have ideas."
[Why, one asks? What ideas? Because Babaji had paper and pencil?]
" . . . I was walking about the room and did not take my eyes off Babaji. I saw that he was keeping his eyes wide open, with a sort of contortion of his whole body, while his hand, armed with the great pencil, was carefully tracing some letters on a sheet of paper.
" 'Look; what is the matter with him? exclaimed Madame Blavatsky.
" `Nothing particular', I answered; `he is writing in Russian'.
"I saw her whole face grow purple. She began to stir in her chair, with an obvious desire to get up and take the paper from him. But with her swollen and inflexible limbs, she could not do so with any speed. I made haste to seize the paper and saw on it a beautifully drawn Russian phrase.
"Babaji was to have written, in the Russian language with which he was not acquainted: `Blessed are they that believe, as said the Great Adept'. He had learned his task well, and remembered correctly the form of all the letters, but he had omitted two in the word `believe' (The effect was precisely the same as if in English he had omitted the first two and the last two letters of the word.)
" `Blessed are they that lie,' I read aloud, unable to control the laughter that shook me. `That is the best thing I ever saw. Oh, Babaji! you should have got your lesson up better for examination!"
"The tiny Hindu hid his face in his hands and rushed out of the room; I heard his hysterical sobs in the distance. Madame Blavatsky sat with distorted features.
" `So you think I taught him this!' she exclaimed at last; `you think me capable of such arrant folly! It is the spirit "elementals" who are making fun of him, poor fellow! And what a vexation for me! My God! as though I could not have thought of something cleverer than that if I had wanted to deceive
you! This is really too silly.' "
Why, if Madame Blavatsky had planned the trick, should she have grown "purple" and struggled in her chair (which wasn't there) to take the paper from Babaji just when the trick was succeeding? Just when Solovyoff announced that he was writing in Russian?
In what language did Solovyoff talk to Babaji, who knew scarcely two words of French? The phrase was in Russian. How could Babaji know that he had made a mistake? Why should he rush out and sob before the thing could possibly be explained to him? Why should he sob at all?
It looks as if something not quite of the sort took place. Perhaps Babaji was being taught Russian by H.P.B. and had written the phrase with a mistake. And Solovyoff invented the rest. The non-existent armchair and the purple face, and Solovyoff's speech, he who could not speak English, to Babaji, who could not speak French, are all my eye and Betty Martin.
Solovyoff's dramatic ingenuity does not stop here. He introduces with a powerful absence of comment a remarkable "Declaration of Madame de Morsier":
"Lorsque Bavadjee passa a Paris au mois de Septembre il me dit ceci a peu pres: A vous on peut tout dire, je puis bien vous raconter que Madame Blavatsky, sachant qu'elle ne pouvait gagner M. Solovioff que par l'occultisme, lui promettait toujours de lui enseigner de nouveaux mysteres a Wurtzbourg et meme elle venait me demander a moi: `Mais que puis-je lui dire encore? Bavadjee, sauvez-moi, trouvez qhelque chose, etc. Je ne sais plus qu'inventer'.
"E. de Morsier."
Translation: "When Babaji passed through Paris in the month of September he said to me nearly as follows: One can say everything to you, I can tell you then that Madame Blavatsky, knowing that she could only secure M. Solovyoff through occultism, was always promising to teach him new mysteries at Wurzburg and she even came asking me: `But what more can I tell him? Babaji, save me, think of something, etc. I can't invent anything more.'
"E. de Morsier."
No date, as usual. I am half inclined to believe the thing a complete forgery, only hesitating because there is nothing much in it and Solovyoff would have made it quite incriminating. Yet, it is hard to believe that Madame de Morsier, who on Solovyoff's own testimony (p. 143) had had an "affecting parting" from Madame Blavatsky only a month before, and who continued her office in the Society for three months, allowed Babaji to talk to her in such a manner but never asked Madame Blavatsky for an explanation. However, Theosophical traitors bred one a day around the woman of genius whom they, and not the Coulombs, almost broke down, and so, this undated trap signed de Morsier must be accepted in the absence of any evidence that Solovyoff forged it, although it would not be accepted in any court.
We have to suppose, on no grounds whatever, that Mme. de M. spoke English, as Babaji knew no French; she was Swiss, the which accounts perhaps for the rather curious French and the punctuation, and her English, if she knew English, would be incomparably worse, for she seems to have lived only in Switzerland and France. So, in any case, we have a report in French of a conversation in English by a lady who was no adept in either language. (Or, was this poor French Solovyoff's? I still doubt. It is more than strange that Mme. de M. should spell Babaji's name with a v, as Solovyoff himself does whereas B. always signed with a b and was called Babaji by everyone. It is equally, and even more, curious that a woman living for long years in France and actually secretary of the Paris T.S. should write Septembre with a capital S. Had Madame Blavatsky presented such a document we know what kind of thunder the S.P.R. would have used. Nothing would surprise me less than to come across some letters of Mme. de M. spelling Babaji a la francais and writing the month as might be expected of a woman who passed so much of her time in French correspondence. And then, this "knowing that she could only secure M. Solovyoff through occultisme" . . . it is almost too good, too exactly what Solovyoff needed to buttress his own otherwise absolutely unsupported statements. What evidence there is goes to prove that Madame Blavatsky gave him very little of her company at any time and her letters treat him only as a Russian friend. There are no references to any phenomena either performed or contemplated, except the Elberfeld vision the which was known only through his own revelation. He pestered her for phenomena and she says that she is sick of phenomena, wants no talk of it. Mme. Jelihovsky states that H.P.B. said she did not know what to do with him and his importunacy:
"He used to besiege her with requests to admit him to her knowledge of particularly convincing phenomena" (p. 292).
He only became of any considerable interest to her after the Coulomb scandal when he espoused her cause against the "learned asses" and resigned from the S.P.R. Naturally enough, especially for her, there seemed all reason to make a fuss of him, and quite probably she promised him at last to try and teach him something. But I doubt whether there was anything much in her mind, for Solovyoff had already seen, in company with other people, a great deal of phenomena and needed no more for conviction if he were going to be convinced. On Solovyoff's showing, she immediately settled to "double-tide" work, at Wurzburg, and he forgets to invent even a reasonable conversation on what he calls "the promised phenomena".
And then again . . . "was always promising to teach him new mysteries at Wurzburg": this bears out Solovyoff, but where was Bavaji imagining himself to be standing on the globe when he heard about this, at Wurzburg or where. And how could he understand what the two Russians who always spoke either Russian or French were saying?
It gets fishier and fishier . . .
[But after all, the whole accusation only amounts to a cri de coeur by Madame Blavatsky. "What more can I tell him?" Babaji, save me from this importunate bore. Invent something. I'm at my wits end. The subtle (or clumsy) "etc." allows every length of speculation, but speculation only ends in a wonder why, if Solovyoff fabricated the document, he did not make it incriminating and above all did not write do instead of merely tell him. That is my personal sole reason for hesitating to denounce this otherwise suspect document as a forgery. I believe it to be a forgery.]
"Madame Blavatsky was still suffering severely, but she was now able to walk about a little in her room. In spite of her illness, she was working double
tides." "Meanwhile, in her complete isolation, she was depressed, and could not do without me. I was bound, come what might, to make the most of the time, for as soon as her `non-Russian' friends arrived she would slip out of my hands". "Every day when I came to see her she used to try to do me a favor in the shape of some trifling `phenomenon' but she never succeeded. Thus, one day her famous `silver bell' was heard, when suddenly something fell beside her on the ground. I hurried to pick it up - and found in my hands a pretty little piece of silver, delicately worked and strangely shaped. Helena Petrovna changed countenance, and snatched the object from me. I coughed significantly, smiled and turned the conversation to indifferent matters."
Still; now; every day; one day.
Solovyoff has to make the most of his time, however, for Madame Fadeev will arrive on the 27th! And he does make the most of it. Everything necessary to his end will happen. First, the silver bell. He will pick it up, and it actually is a pretty little piece of silver! But what does the S.P.R. Report say?
"Madame Coulomb asserts that they (the `astral bells') were actually produced by the use of a small musical-box, constructed on the same principle as the machine employed in connection with the trick known under the name `Is your watch a repeater?' and she produced garments which she asserted had belonged to Madame Blavatsky, and showed me stains resembling iron-mold on the right side slightly above the waist, which she affirmed had been caused by contact with the metal of the machine . . . I think the `astral bells maybe thus accounted for. . ." (Hodgson's Report, p. 263).
Pay your money and take your choice: pretty little silver piece or iron-stains on Madame Blavatsky's chemises stolen by Mme. C. and examined by Hodgson. Solovyoff will have to cough much more significantly if the patronne of the S.P.R. is to be coughed out with her musical-box.
Madame Olga Novikoff wrote to Myers in 1884: "My dear Mr. Myers, - I see no difficulty whatever in telling you what happened in my presence a few days ago at Mrs. A's house, where I had been dining with Madame Blavatsky. In the midst of conversation, referring to various subjects, Madame Blavatsky became silent, and we all distinctly heard a sound that might be compared to that produced by a small silver bell. The same phenomenonwas produced later on, in the drawing-room. I was naturally surprised at this manifestation, but still more by the following incident: I had been singing a Russian song . . . After the last chord of the accompaniment had died away, Madame Blavatsky said, `Listen,' and held up her hand, and we distinctly heard the full chord - composed of five notes - repeated in our midst."
Should the S.P.R. Report ever serve as stuff for a musical farce - and it is rich enough in situations! - this would be the moment for the entry of the Committee, preceded by Hodgson bearing - the Chemise!
We are at the last day before the arrival of Madame Fadeev, this miraculous day of Solovyoff's triumph, but he brings in another time.
"Another time I said that I should like to have some of the real essence of roses made in India.
" `I am so sorry,' she said, `I have none with me. But I will not guarantee that you may not receive some essence of roses from India, such as you speak of, and that very soon.'
"Watching her from that moment, I distinctly saw her open one of the side drawers of her table and take something out. Then some half-hour later, after having walked around me, she very gently and cautiously slipped some little object into my pocket. If I had not watched her every movement, and had not guessed why it was she kept passing around me, I should probably not have noticed anything.
"However, I immediately produced from my pocket a little flat flask, opened it, smelled, and said, `This is not essence of roses, Helena Petrovna, but oil of oranges; your "master" has made a mistake.'
" `Eh, devil take it!' she exclaimed, unable to restrain herself."
Evidently, the stiff and swollen Madame Blavatsky had acquired some agility! But what a clumsy fool to be called the most ingenious impostor of the age! She lets herself be seen taking out the flask, then she walks around and around, and lets herself be felt dropping it into the pocket. First of all, by a speech, she warns her dupe to be on guard. And she tries to pass off oil of oranges for attar of roses. I am not going to waste time and space on such rubbish. If anything of the sort ever occurred, Madame Blavatsky must have been pulling the leg of this man as she sometimes did when people bored her stiff.
"At last [italics mine] came the decisive day and hour."
H.P.B. told him that her aunt was coming "in a few days". We are at the 26th, although according to Solovyoff's chronology, we should be well into the next month, and Madame Fadeev came on the 27th at latest.
" `I am very glad to hear it,' I said, and thought to myself: `Now there is no time to be lost, while she has no accomplices, and is still in this humor!' At this very moment a lucky chance came to help me."
Astounding as it seems that Solovyoff should dare to insinuate that Madame Fadeev was an accomplice, he was sure of support from the S.P.R. at least. Hodgson had already insulted this lady in his Report. Yet, for Solovyoff to do so is almost incredible. She was widely-known and infinitely respected as a philanthropist and a profound student. Her friends saw to it that Solovyoff should get his deserts in Russia. He died miserably, ostracised by the nobility.
The "Lucky chance".
"Madame Blavatsky was talking about the Theosophist, and mentioned the name of Subba Rao, a Hindu who had attained the highest degree of knowledge.
[H.P. B. certainly never said any such thing.)
" `And then he has such a wise, wonderful face . . . I wonder if you ever cast your eyes on his face?'
" `I don't remember.'
" `Well, wait a moment; look there, in the table; open the drawer and look, - I think there must be a photograph of him, with me and Babaji.'
"I opened the drawer, found the photograph, and handed it to her - together with a packet of Chinese envelopes such as I well knew; they were the same in which the `elect' used to receive the letters of the Mahatmas Morya and Koot Hoomi by `astral post'.
" `Look at that, Helena Petrovna! I should advise you to hide this packet of the `master's' envelopes farther off. You are so terribly absent-minded and careless.'
"It is easy to imagine what this was to her. I looked at her, and was positively frightened; her face grew perfectly black. She tried in vain to speak; she could only writhe helplessly in her great armchair."
[That was not there.]
What is not easy to imagine is that the Sleuth, with the pieces of evidence in his hands, did not secure even one envelope. But then, this would have engaged him later to produce it . . . it was safer to represent himself as once more merely giving her good, if satirical, advice: this is not made of unprocurable Chinese paper. Still, look at him - on this last great day, having before his eyes and gripped in his own hands, those Chinese envelopes. Madame Blavatsky, gone from "purple" to "black', writhing helplessly in her chair . . . and what does he do? We do not hear, can only conclude that he put them back in the drawer!
And a month after this, he "convinced Richet"!
Countess Wachtmeister writes in "Reminiscences of Madame Blavatsky", p. 57: "Madame Fadeev - H.P.B.'s aunt, wrote to her that she was sending a box to Wurzburg containing what seemed to her a lot of rubbish. The box arrived and to me was deputed the task of unpacking it. As I took out one thing after another and passed them to Madame Blavatsky, I heard her give an
exclamation of delight, and she said, `Come and look at this that I wrote in the year 1851, the day I saw my blessed Master'; and there in a scrapbook in faded writing, I saw a few lines in which H.P.B. described the above interview".
H.P.B. must have had a clear conscience about that "lurid past" the slanderers ascribe to her to trust a stranger to unpack that old box of letters and documents. G.R.S. Mead writes in the "Memorial", p. 75: "According to my experience she was ever over-trustful of others and quite prodigal in her frankness. As an instance, no sooner had I arrived than she gave me the run of all her papers, and set me to work on a pile of correspondence that would otherwise have remained unanswered till doomsday".
We need not wonder that the Sleuth failed to secure one of those Chinese envelopes in that drawer: there never were any there.
There is not a scrap of confirmation of all these incidents of the three supplementary and "entertaining" chapters to the S.P.R. Report; the paper with the Russian writing is not secured and produced; the silver bell vanishes; the oil of oranges evaporates; the Chinese envelopes go back in the drawer. Anyone who had a mind to it could make up Solovyoff's story - if they were so foolish and wicked, and I do not know which comes first: or, if they felt secure of such unscrupulous protection as the S.P.R. offered to Solovyoff.
One is bound to conjecture that he had secured their protection before ever he published his Russian attack. Otherwise how, knowing that they possessed all the documentary evidence necessary to convict him of literary imposture, could he have dared to publish? They had his communication of October 1, 1884, describing the Master's astral visit at Elberfeld. They knew, therefore, that he lies in chap. xii, where he says that two days before he sent them this communication for publication, he had definitely promised himself to collect proofs of all Madame Blavatsky's deceptions. They knew that on or about, September 20th, 1885, he had sent in his resignation to the S.P.R. and a letter of protest against Hodgson's report; that he had written angry letters to Myers and was publicly taking the side of Madame Blavatsky; that, therefore, he lies in saying that he went to Wurzburg for the purpose of, trapping her and exposing her. They knew that he did not withdraw his resignation and protest until some time in November at earliest.
They knew that he went from Wurzburg to Paris towards the end of September and there sought out Richet: in Richet's own words -
"When I saw you, you said to me, `Reserve your judgment, she has shown me things that astound me, my mind is not quite made up, but I do believe that she is a most extraordinary woman, gifted with exceptional powers. Wait and I will give you more ample explanations".
When Richet wrote his "testimonial" to Solovyoff, unless he knew Russian, he could scarcely have read what Solovyoff had written about Wurzburg, as happening only a month before. It says long on the timidity of the scientist that he never, publicly anyway, denounced Solovyoff. But Richet had read the S.P.R. Report . . and he had visited Blavatsky. It looks as if, sooner than admit to having ever countenanced the "impostor" Richet was willing to rope in anyone as a paratonerre, lightning-conductor, and flatter him - for he highly flatters Solovyoff and signs, "Yours most affectionately" - and paint him white. Even the self-accusing and jet-black Coulombs became grey under the brush of the S.P.R.
Mais, ce qu'on peut affectionner en fait d'ordure . . ! Richet must have been told the gist of Solovyoff's tale, and must also, have been told that, at the very date Solovyoff allots to the silver bell and the Chinese envelopes, he was actually resigning from the S.P.R. Or, was Richet told nothing? Positively, we must conclude so, for it is one thing, for fear of ridicule and damage to one's scientific reputation, to scurry away from a publicly denounced "impostor" whom one has visited, but quite another to take part in a conspiracy to suppress documents that would exonerate the accused person and prove the accuser an impudent liar. I prefer to suppose that Richet was never told of these documents. His flattering letter to Solovyoff arouses contempt for his judgment of character; his failure to perceive in Madame Blavatsky one of the greatest psychics the world has ever seen, although, as he admits, she had shown him "some phenomena", will always disgrace his reputation as a researcher in metapsychical science: but we need not go further than that. The S.P.R. deceived the whole world and may well have deceived Richet too.
What the public may justly demand now is the
production of the S.P.R. records with Solovyoff's 1885 resignation and letter of protest. Through their sponsorship of this "entertaining narrative", and Madame Jelihovsky's public attack on it we have all the rest, all the necessary letters and "communications" and newspaper articles with their inexorable dates.
After his envelopes, all Solovyoff had to do was to fit the word to the deed, to make Madame Blavatsky "confess" to him her long vast scheme of imposture. He borrows a choice bit from the S.P.R. First Report. He makes her declaim: "How often has it happened that under my direction and revision minutes of various phenomena have been drawn up; lo, the most innocent and conscientious people . . . have signed en toutes lettres at the foot of the Minutes. Yes, my dear sir, I venture to assure you that in history, even the best attested, there is far more fancy than truth". The style is like none ever reported elsewhere of Madame Blavatsky. She never talked like that.
First Report, p. 8: "Many worthy persons . . . would be willing to sign a statement that `a small gas-burner gave a good light' when, in point of fact, they could scarcely see their hands before them". Like Madame Coulomb, Solovyoff frequently dramatizes and makes an actual happening of some suspicion, sometime, somewhere directed against Madame Blavatsky, her confederates and her dupes. Frequently, I say; but the bigger half of his book is made up from such already published materiel de roman. Where he thinks to improve matters, as with his strangely-shaped pretty piece of silver and his spy yarn, he improves only the case for Madame Blavatsky! and "dishes" two nice S.P.R theories hitherto unchallenged, or at least, undisproved.
[We hear more about that piece of silver. But first, we learn some rather astonishing things.]
" `Are you alone the author of Koot Hoomi's letters, philosophical and otherwise?'
" `No, the chelas used sometimes to help me, Damodar, Subba Rao and Mohini.'
[Probably, even today, if such an accusation against the late Subba Rao were known in Madras Presidency, there would be meetings of protest against the S.P.R. Of all the cruel insults to hundreds of good Indian families made in the Report, none equals in wicked insolence this one in the lying book the S.P.R. deliberately foisted on the British public.]
" `And Sinnett?'
" `Sinnett won't invent gunpowder; but he has a beautiful style, he is splendid at editing.'
" `And Olcott?'
" `Olcott is not bad at editing either, when he understands what he is talking about . . . He has very often helped me in phenomena, both over there and here. But he never can think of anything for himself.'
" `Please let me see the magic bell.'
"She made a peculiar movement with her hand under her shawl, then she stretched out her arm and somewhere in the air there sounded the tones of the Aeolian harp that had astonished everyone. She again made a movement beneath her shawl, and in her hand . . appeared the little piece of silver with which I was already acquainted."
[Now what could Madame Coulomb, with her musical-box and iron-stains, say to that!]
" `Yes, it is the magic bell,' she boasted in her thoughtlessness. `A cunning little thing. That is my `occult telegraph, through which I communicate with the "Master".'
It is a short step now to the end. But so dramatic a scene must have a good "curtain", and so the Madame Blavatsky of this narrative is made to burn her last boats.
"Save me, help me. Prepare the ground for me to work in Russia . . . . and `create' Koot Hoomi's Russian letters. I will give you the materials for them.'
"No doubt I was bound to expect something of the sort, and I did expect it. But I no longer had the strength to sustain my part; I seized my hat, and without a word, I almost ran out into the fresh air."
[I, the present writer, feel rather like that myself! With this, as with every other attack on Madame Blavatsky, one needs to master frequent moods of utter and furious disgust. The brain turns away from a feeling that genius may
never be safe from the conspiracy of liars, forgers and boycotters.]
"I wished to take the little thing in my hand and examine its construction. But she . . . suddenly put it into the drawer and turned the key."
Once again, Solovyoff saves himself from a challenge. The silver bell is suddenly locked in the drawer, so he cannot give even a description. However we learn something: the bell was timed. First, a "peculiar" movement had to be made, then the arm stretched out, and only then, came the bell sound! Suppose Madame Blavatsky had had no shawl on? At Simla, in 1880 and at Ooty, in 1883, the bell rang scores of times when Madame Blavatsky was at table or in evening dress; it rang in Madras when she was trying to bear life in the scantiest of muslin wrappers; it rang here, there and everywhere, shawl or no shawl. And then, we remember, it rang "with a clear and, loud sound" on Solovyoff's own table when she was in London (p. --)! By the way, as a specimen of Walter Leaf's desperate defence of Solovyoff against Mme. Jelihovsky's exposure of him:
"Mr. Solovyoff draws attention to the fact that this letter was written more than a year before the incident with the little bit of silver . . . ."
If it were a century before, the bell rang on Soovyoff's table, not Madame Blavatsky's.
[The incident of the little bit of silver never occurred.]
[Solovyoff says that he rushed home and wrote out everything word for word. Then, "in cold blood" he began to reason and decided that, after all, he had gained nothing. No! not even a Chinese envelope.]
"On the contrary, my position was worse. It is not particularly pleasant to know the. truth, to have attained it by so painful a road, and then to have to keep it to oneself, or to hear it said: `But yet, my good sir, all this is sufficiently improbable and you have no legal evidence of the possibility of what you say'."
But - Solovyoff's invention is now at an end. He has been unable to invent one single scene where legal evidence would be available, and he cannot invent one; legal evidence has to be produced, and you cannot produce pieces of silver and envelopes that never existed. Curious that this Judas should have had pieces of silver in his fabricating mind! Well, there he is at home . . .
Not alone! His companion with the child is there, sharing the room. All this time, all through these days of miracles, she has been there. She may have known all about Solovyoff's rows with Myers and the S.P.R. As a "karma" needing to be placated, she must have had a "say" in most things. Above all, she must have made demands on his time. The truth is that Solovyoff saw very little of Madame Blavatsky. She wrote to Sinnett: "The Solovyoffs are here . . . We see each other very little though for we both of us have work to do". Solovyoff himself says that he had found some unexpected business in Wurzburg (p. 161.) The lady had nothing to complain of. During these first days, Solovyoff probably never visited Madame Blavatsky except for a cup of tea and a chat over the eternal samovar. She rose at six, worked all day and went to bed at nine o'clock. For two or three days, she lay in bed, helpless. If the "declaration" of Madame de Morsier were genuine, it would only go to prove that Madame Blavatsky desired to be bothered by Solovyoff as little as possible. One may imagine so - with her "article for the Russky Vyestnik, some fanciful stories, translating something for her Theosophists and preparing to begin her Secret Doctrine"! Once again, I leave it to writers. Solovyoff would have been wiser to leave out that trifling list, but he often writes as if automatically, the truth. This psychological phenomenon is to be noted in every slanderer of H.P.B.; even, and especially, in Madame Coulomb. The S.P.R. Report is full of phrases disastrous to itself.
(To Be Concluded.)
(Copyright. All Rights Reserved.)
Books by Wm. Kingsland
The Mystic Quest; The Esoteric Basis of Christianity; Scientific Idealism; The Physics of the Secret Doctrine; Our Infinite Life; Rational Mysticism; An Anthology of Mysticism; The Real H. P. Blavatsky; Christos: The Religion of the Future; The Art of Life; The Great Pyramid, 2 vols.; The Gnosis.
May be had from JOHN M. WATKINS, 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W. C. 2, England