Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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VOL. XXIV, No. 6 Hamilton, August 15th, 1943 Price 20 Cents
In these early days of August the War, now at its height, is actually beginning to wane. Evidences of this waning war spirit are to be found on the various battle fields where the fighting is more desperate, more fierce and deadly, more ruthlessly set on extermination than ever. The Germans and Japanese have set a standard of cold-blooded butchery, not only of their military opponents, but of the civilian populations whenever the whim or calculation of the invading generals counted it advantageous. The old chivalry that led Sir Philip Sidney to give the cup of water to the wounded soldier near him when the thirst of death burned his own body has had to be abandoned when kindly attentions of the Allied forces to wounded men have been met by treacherous hand grenades or hidden pistols. Desperate and unflinching defiance has been shown by both Germans and Japanese in the face of certain death, perhaps under the impression that this "Never say Die" attitude on the part of the English-speaking armies have given them their supremacy. From one point of view this is purely a matter of will. But there are important differences in the reason behind the exercize of will. When it is merely the will to power, it is a tangible objective, and the spiritual will only responds to intangible ideals. The British soldier understands "fair play"; similarly the American knows the meaning of the "square deal." Neither German nor Jap are moved by such considerations. They have no place in war for ethics. Neither, eventually, will they find that success can follow the swords of the merciless. God, said Napoleon, was on the side of the army that had the heaviest guns, and the Germans and the Japs have believed him. But then, you see, they forgot that Napoleon did not know God. The disciplined soldier, whether German or Japanese, will stand and fight till he dies, but he dies in a lost cause. He gains a personal success in will-power. But he loses caste with Nature who returns him to the kindergarten of ethics. He must learn Truth, Justice, Brotherhood. He hates his brother-enemy so bitterly that he would rather die at his hands than surrender to him. He is guilty of moral suicide. All these things must be explained to the new generations in the enemy-countries or the old shameless vendettas will be perpetuated by degenerate Germans and Japs of centuries to be. Both in Sicily and in the South Pacific it has been necessary to kill the enemy or be killed by him. Individual fighting, hand to hand conflict, gunshot and bayonet thrust have been compulsory. The German ordered to die to the last man, the
Japanese to kill till he is killed, leave no alternative, and so these late battles have been stubborn, bloody, ferocious. But the enemy is losing. Sicily is itself a way-mark of victory. Munda, token of Japanese defeat, has been a hand-to-hand struggle for weeks. The Mikado must turn to the setting sun with broken faith, for the Rising Sun is no longer his. In Russia the wonderful full-fledged nation of Muscovy, has won two gigantic battles in one day after weeks of slaughter; Orel has fallen like another Stalingrad, and Belgorod, of almost equal importance, also succumbed to Russian prowess and military skill. Joseph Stalin, who knew the value of such capitulations, had a one-hundred and twenty-gun salute fired in Moscow, so that the people might lift up their hearts and their voices. The neutrals have at last ceased to listen to the tales of German diplomats and are facing the facts. There are and have been plenty of these, but neutrals have been slow to learn, else there would not be neutrals. Sweden has notified Germany that no longer can armed soldiers cross through Swedish territory. Mr. de Valera might offer the Allies, now that they can be done without, the use of his Irish ports, in return for a promise not to bomb the Holy City. Spain is beginning to think that it would be safer to have a buffer monarch than go into an uncertain state of peace with a naked Dictator. Everybody, except Hitler perhaps, knows that the Germans will never face another winter. Frost and ice and snow, praise ye the Name of the Lord and glorify Him forever. China can join in this also, for though their aged President has died, they still have their Generalissimo, one of the outstanding figures of contemporary history, a man to swear by. The war has done much to open people's eyes, and to make them think, mark, learn and investigate. Consequently the politicians are all in a dither, not knowing what may happen next, and by no means sure that they will not be held guilty of all that Hitler has brought to pass. The Ontario election shook Canada like an earthquake. The soldiers voted in a majority for a party platform which had never had a good word said for it by an old line politician. It was worse than Churchill's blood and sweat and tears, for it was right here at home, and the blood and sweat and tears were away off in Europe among the fighting men. They asked for it, and now they are asking for something else. That was not in the contemplation of the politicians at all. Among the multitude of papers, magazines, letters, articles, documents and proposals of one sort and another I have read nothing so sane, so reasonable, so sensible, so humane and so inspiring as a supplement to the magazine Fortune, The United States in a New World: a series of reports on potential courses for democratic action. Prepared under the auspices of the Editors of Fortune. My remarks are concerned with No. IV. of these Reports, Relations with Europe. I have no space to do justice to the material as a whole, but if the post-war reconstruction be approached in the tone and temper of this survey, then the war, far from being a tragedy, might be a real triumph for humanity, for everybody. I have only space for a paragraph: speaking of German reception as a member of a proposed European Council: "Europe will be ready for this the sooner if the Allied members of the Council set no new examples of chauvinistic irresponsibility to strike sparks of restlessness in the clouded German memory. Heine said, `Christianity - and this is its great merit - has occasionally calmed the brutal German lust for battle.' To be sure, the kind of Christianity they know best is a docile Lutheranism whose founder said, `It is God who wages war, and a diplomatic Catholicism whose
Pope blessed Nazi officers on their way to Greece. It is not a church that will bring the nations of Europe together; it is their own diverse yet common cultural heritage. Only a few days ago this heritage was described as Europe's 'one civilization; derived from Hellas, from the Bible, from Christianity, from the Renaissance, from Shakespeare, from the France of the Encyclopedists, from Pushkin, from the romanticists, from Tolstoy.' These words were spoken in godless Moscow by Ilya Ekrenberg, a Russian. As a civilizing ideal, Christianity is not a creed. It is a common belief in the value of human personality, and in the ultimate brotherhood of man." Friends and neighbors, the Elder Brothers are abroad. Be ye also ready.
KING ARTHUR'S TABLE SIGNS AND SECRETS - III.
(Continued from Page 132.)
The Fire Sign ARIES March 21st - April 19th
"The Golden Fleece was placed in the Sacred Grove of Aries* under the protection of the sleepless Dragon"; in Somerset the lamb `Aries' has a golden fleece when its well tilled acres ripple with golden corn before harvest, and it is guarded by Draco's head, at the centre of the circle of zodiacal effigies. [* See Argonauts in The Encyclopedia Britannica.]
It lies on high ground in full sight of Glastonbury Tor, and is depicted with traditionally reverted head looking west to the early British port on Bridgwater Bay. So important is the turn of the head over the right shoulder that it has been perpetuated on star maps and in the Agnus Dei till the present day, combined with the bent back foot and heavy tail. On Egypt's circular planisphere from Dendera - now in Paris - Aries is shown with these characteristics. The tail of this Somerset ram lamb, like the Dendera one, suggests the broad-tailed species common to Asia and Egypt which often weighs 70 to 80 lbs.
The Ram is reckoned the first of the zodiacal signs. Josephus declares it was when the sun was in Aries that the Jewish people were delivered from the bondage of Egypt. "And the Lord spake unto Moses* and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you . . . . Then Moses called for the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hissop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with blood that is in the basin . . . the Lord will pass over the door, and will riot suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you." See Exodus xii. [* Moses is often portrayed with rams' horns on his head for this reason.]
The first symptom of the worship of the Lamb among the Israelites is to be found in the substitution of the Ram in the place of Isaac, by Abraham, for a sacrifice, and in the New Testament we read - "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world", "The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world".
Godfrey Higgins says "The symbolical type of the sun, the redeemer, or of the first Sign in which the sun had his exaltation and completed his victory over the powers of darkness, has been carefully preserved in the religion of the Christians, so that to name Christ or the Lamb is the same thing as to name the Redeemer . . . . The mysteries of the Lamb are mysteries of the same nature as those of the Mythraitic Bull, to which they succeeded by the
effect of the precession of the equinoxes, which substituted the slain Lamb for the slain Bull. The Christian mysteries of the lamb are proved to be taken from the mysteries of Mithra, of the Persians, by the circumstance that the Persians alone have the lamb for the symbol of the equinoctial sign: the other nations have the full grown Ram."
M. Dupuis observes, that "the lamb was a symbol or mark of intiation into the Christian mysteries, a sort of proof of admission into the societies of the initiated of the lamb, like the private sign of the freemasons." The Templars, who were the keepers of the Holy Grail, held this `sign' in great reverence, for the celestial vault was their Templum.
It is remarkable, with the strong Zodiacal tradition running through Rosicrucian, Templar, and Masonic records, that students of the Arthurian Cycle should never, so far as I know, connect it with the Round Table and the Grail My discovery of the actual prehistoric zodiac on which the legends are founded, laid out upon the Holy Land of Glastonbury, definitely revealed this connection.
According to Hargrave Jennings in The Rosicrucians, their Rites and Mysteries, the Round Table of the Knights of King Arthur is typical of the San Greal, in imitation of the Holy Supper, which was partaken of at a Round Table with the Twelve Disciples: and the Round Table instituted by Joseph in imitation of the Holy Supper was called "Graal" in the Romance of Merlin. Jennings says also - "The Round Table of King Arthur is a Grand Mythological Synthesis. It is a whole Mythology in itself. It is perennial. It is Christian. By tradition it devolves from the very earliest period. It is the English "Palladium." He shows an excellent illustration of the Round Table preserved in the Court-House of the Castle of Winchester, which was repainted in the time of Henry VIII, it has twelve light and twelve dark divisions radiating from the central rose,* and he calls it "The Round Table of King Arthur, Sangreal or Holy Grail". Further, speaking of the Rose window in Laon Cathedral, Jennings affirms: "The twelve pillars or `radii', are the signs of the Zodiac, and are issuant out of the glorified centre, or opening "rose", - the sun or "beginning of all things", which is crucified in the heavens at the Vernal Equinox". [* The day that the Lord Mayor of London is elected to office, the City sword is laid in a bed of roses, to show that the Proceedingsi are "sub rosa" at the Alderman's Court.]
The fact that Freemasons are specifically charged to study geometry and astronomy is proof in itself that Masonry has the same scientific foundation as that upon which the Arthurian traditions stand. But; as pointed out in the Guide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars, the High History of the Holy Grail declares King Arthur saw five changes in the Grail "the last whereof was the change into a Chalice."
To quote Hargrave Jennings again, he says that the Zodiac "yet remains the key to all the mythologies and all religions" and again "It is no inconsistent thing to say that, in the Rosicrucian sense, every stone, flower, and tree has its horoscope, and that they are produced and flourish in the mechanical resources of the mysterious necessities of astrology".
The doctrine of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm in all ages has been set forth under a variety of symbolic statements, for example:
"Heaven above, heaven below;
Stars above, Stars below;
All that is over, under shall show.
Happy thou who the riddle readest."
Apply the above to the heavens laid out on earth in Somerset and at once we realize what a dynamic reality this
Grail countryside must have been to the astrologers who made the garden of the stars.
It is abundantly evident, since the discovery of this actual "garden of the god" that the Arthurian legends were originally based on an agricultural cult as well as that of the sun and stars; possibly this is the reason why "the Quest" has always proved so bewildering, not only to the Knights who sought the Holy Grail, but to innumerable scholars, such as John Rhys who admits "We have here ventured to treat Arthur as a Culture Hero; it is quite possible that this is mythologically wrong, and that he should in fact rather be treated, let us say, as a Keltic Zeus."
James Breasted said "Like the Egyptians, the earliest Babylonians had beheld their gods in the forces of nature, and their earliest divinities were nature gods. In a remarkable hymn which must have been employed in the worship of Sin, the Moon-god, in his temple at Ur, we find the priestly author clearly disclosing the background of nature in which he involuntarily beheld the Moon-god functioning":
"When thy word resoundeth in heaven, the gods of the upper world throw themselves down on their faces;
"When thy word resoundeth on earth, the gods of the lower world kiss the ground," etc.
But to pedestrians like Mr. Mais whilst `Walking in Somerset,' such gods are still `invisible,' he would find "greater pleasure in the glorious avenue of beeches through which I could see Glastonbury Tor neatly framed over the fields and woodlands . . . . and yet another avenue, the loveliest of all, a wide cedar avenue going off at right angles on both sides of the road, with a well-marked green track down the middle." The first skirts the ridge along the neck of Taurus and the second leads to Leo's ear, and this is what he says of the road leading from the tip of the tail of Aries to the front leg: "At Piper's Road House, I crossed the Taunton-Glastonbury road and climbed a lovely open down. This was Walton Hill and soon I was on the smooth, open upland of Ivythorn Hill, a fine National Trust property, with a glorious view of all the marshes of Somerton Moor. Except for a farm at the foot of the hill, which fell steeply on my right, I could see no house in all the marshes. It was just one vast estuary with the tide a long time out."
And so it was on these Polden Hills where lie the Ram, the Bull and the Lion, that the `Guide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars' was written, there in the high `Tower' above Chilton Polden, where `the White Lady of Sedge Moor' beats up against its grey stone walls, the discovery of the Zodiac was made.
"The land of the dead where the shadowy phantoms of the heros of old time sat crowned; each upon his throne." ["Assyria" by Sayce. p. 76.]
- K.E. Maltwood.
Oak Bay, Victoria
WHY ARE WE HERE? or The Object of Physical Existence
This age-old problem satisfyingly answered on the basis of the Secret Doctrine. Price $1.50. Send for descriptive circular.
"The student is left to draw his own conclusions in the most undogmatic fashion." - Canadian Theosophist
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5130-C Connecticut Ave., Washington 8, D.C.
INTRODUCTION TO "SERAPHITA"
By George Frederic Parsons
(Continued from Page 135)
Belief, then, or Faith, is the key which alone opens the door of the Infinite, and it does so by lifting the soul above the material plane, and endowing it with perceptive powers which cannot be acquired through any material educational methods. The Understanding can be cultivated to such an extent that it may explain and realize the meaning of the purely phenomenal; but there the limit of its capacity is reached. It is the agent of material apprehension, perfectly fitted to that end, and supreme judge in its own court. But its jurisdiction ceases where the domain of Faith begins, and the latter must be the guide and interpreter throughout the spiritual regions. The Understanding refuses to believe what it cannot grasp, and the position is perfectly natural and perfectly just. But the Understanding is, after all, only one element in the constitution of Man, and it is the lower power of the two which are given him for guidance. According to the philosophy of Louis Lambert (of which "Seraphita" is the final fruition) the civilization of the world is supported and carried forward in the main, and altogether so far as its material aspects are concerned, by what he terms the Abstractive, - that is, by those who confine themselves to the development of their intellectual faculties, and virtually ignore their spiritual side. There is no height or splendor or glory of material civilization which cannot be thus attained; but a purely material civilization, however brilliant and outwardly prosperous and flourishing it may appear, must contain the seeds of its own decay and overthrow, as all history teaches by the most pregnant and impressive examples. Unassisted Reason shows the existence of many mysteries beyond the power of Reason to solve; yet Reason persists in rejecting the agencies whereby if at all these mysteries may be explained, and in so acting renounces the hope of ever penetrating beyond secondary causes and phenomenal appearances. This, according to Seraphita, is the explanation of what is now called Agnosticism.
It may be of interest to see what Swedenborg teaches in this connection. Faith, according to the Swedish sage is "an internal acknowledgment of truth." Faith and truth, he declares, are one, and the angels know nothing of faith, but what men call faith they call truth. But he affirms that "by things known to explore the mysteries of faith is as impossible as for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, or for a rib to govern the purest fibrils of the chest and heart - so gross, yea, much more gross, is the sensual and knowing relatively to the spiritual and celestial." And concerning the belief in and acceptance of things not comprehended by the intellect, he says: "Every one may see that a man is governed by the principles he adopts, be they ever so false, and that all his knowledge and reasoning favor his principles; for innumerable considerations tending to support them readily present themselves to his mind, and thus he is confirmed in falsities. He, therefore, who assumes as a principle that nothing is to be believed until it is seen and understood can never believe; for spiritual and celestial things are neither seen with the eyes nor grasped by the imagination." And again, he says: "There are two principles, one of which leads to all folly and madness, the other to all intelligence and wisdom. The former principle is to deny all things, or to say in one's heart that he cannot believe them until he is convinced by what he can comprehend or be sensible of; this principle is what leads to all folly and madness, and may be called the negative principle . . . Those who think
from the negative principle, the more they take counsel of matters of reason, of knowledge, and of philosophy, the more they plunge themselves into darkness, until at length they come to deny all things. The reason is that from things inferior no one comprehends things superior, that is, things spiritual and celestial, - still less things divine, because they transcend all understanding; and besides, everything is then involved in negatives from the beginning."
The argument of Seraphita is to the same effect. Finite Reason, she contends, cannot comprehend Infinite purposes and orderings. The measuring instrument which man seeks to apply to the divine is inadequate. He might be more modest if he could be made to see how frequently he fails to comprehend, not solely the Infinite, but phenomena which lie, so to speak, at his own door, and upon his own plane of existence. Again, this skeptical being ventures to deny God because of His intangibility and invisibility, while at the same time he gives name and form to abstractions, - as for instance, Number. It is true that Number is a reality, but the average man does not comprehend its significance, and the Number which he figures to himself, and wherewith he amuses himself, is very different from the real Number. The same considerations apply to the abstractive Time and Space, neither of which is more than a name, representing no noumenon, answering to no actual entity, being in fact no more than an invention for the convenience of measuring those human relations which cannot be more truly and exactly estimated, because - and only because - the human mind is so inadequate to the work which it desires and attempts to perform. The human mind, as confined and restricted by skepticism, that is; for when opened by spiritual illumination it is capable of rising to great altitudes, and of apprehending many things in their true and ultimate significance.
The staple objection to the form of argument employed here by Seraphita is the futility of all modes of inquiry which transcend the Reason; it being assumed that the human mind is incapable of receiving demonstration of truth otherwise than through the operation of the reasoning faculty, which proceeds entirely upon experience, and, where experience ends, ceases to have any point d'appui. A very fair example of this line of argument is to be found in Lotze's "Microcosmos." "If," that author observes, "reason is not of itself capable of finding the highest truth, but on the contrary stands in need of a revelation which is either contained in some divine act of historic occurrence, or is continually repeated in men's hearts, still reason must be able to understand the revealed truth at least so far as to recognize in it the satisfying and convincing conclusion of those upward-soaring trains of thought which reason itself began, led by its own needs, but was not able to bring to an end. For all religious truth is a moral good, not a mere object of curiosity. It may therefore include some mysteries inaccessible to reason, but will only do so in as far as these are indispensable in order to combine satisfactorily other and obvious points of great importance; the secrecy of any mystery is in itself no reason for venerating it; a secrecy that was permanent and in its nature eternal would only be a reason for indifference towards anything which should thus refuse to be brought into connection with mental needs; and finally, above all things, to revel in secrets which are destined to remain secrets is necessarily not in accord with the notion of a revelation." The philosopher then proceeds to put these questions: "But must that which is a secret for cognition be always really a secret? Does not the nature of faith consist in this, that it affords a
certainty of that which no cognition can grasp, as well of what it is, as that it is? And does not all science itself, when it has finished its investigations of particulars, come back to grasp, in a faith of which the certainty is indemonstrable and yet irrefragable, those highest truths on which the evidence of other knowledge depends? There is certainly a germ of truth in this rejoinder; but not the less clear is the essential difference that separates such scientific faith from religious faith." It is unnecessary to follow Lotze's argument further. Enough has been quoted to illustrate the common error of what Louis Lambert would have called the abstractive method of ratiocination.
Seraphita tells Pastor Becker that he and she speak different languages in discussing these high questions, and the same may be said of all who take opposite sides on the question of psychologic capacities and potentialities. The position of Seraphita, who is a Specialist, should, however, be made clear. All knowledge is relative. There are mysteries which no created being can ever comprehend. As Seraphita puts it, "To understand God would be to be God." Thus also the Asiatic occultists, who profess to derive their knowledge of the origin and destiny of the universe from higher intelligences, corresponding in many respects to the angels of the Christian Church, affirm that neither their exalted correspondents and revelators nor the still higher beings with whom the latter are in relations, possess any knowledge of the Supreme Being Science pretends no farther than to the origination of the universe by Motion; the genesis of that Motion lies beyond its utmost reach of apprehension. But the contention of Balzac is that a much higher knowledge than is attainable by the Reason is within the grasp of a duly trained and disciplined Humanity, developed in one direction through many incarnations, as Seraphita is supposed to have been and so purified from the materialism which in the race at large obstructs perception that to her strengthened and clarified vision mysteries cease to be obscure, and the sphere of cognition is indefinitely enlarged. Of course it is apparent that such a being cannot argue on anything like equal terms with such a gross skeptic as Pastor Becker. In her, intellection has already come to operate angelically rather than humanly, and what to her opponent appears paradox and incomprehensibility is to her demonstrated and familiar truth. Nowhere is the tension of Balzac's thought and the resolute maintenance of his imagination upon this elevated plane of imaginative creation more strikingly exhibited than in this long and subtle discourse of Seraphita. An inferior artist could not have borne so severe a test, but would have lapsed into commonplace before the end was reached. Seraphita, however; supports her high arguments with perfectly natural ease throughout. The philosophy of Louis Lambert wlil be recognized repeatedly in it. This is in accordance with the author's general scheme. Sera-phita herself is the culmination of the noble body of thought outlined in "Louis Lambert." In her we see the consummation of the long process of transformation and evolution through and by which the mortal puts on immortality, the merely Human blossoms into the celestial.
(To Be Continued)
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
THE PROFIT SYSTEM vs. SOCIALISM
By George E Creed, M. SC.
President, The League for Economic Democracy
There are three different principles upon which the distribution of goods and services might be based:
1. To each as he is able to take.
2. To each according to services rendered.
3. To each according to his needs.
These three conditions might be summed up, in three words, as Injustice, Justice, Brotherhood.
The first is the cut-throat, dog-eat-dog condition which so widely prevails today, under the name of "free enterprise." Combines and monopolies have largely stifled fair competition and have given rise to all sorts of abuses and unfair distribution of wealth.
It is undoubtedly true that combines and industrial monopolies, which are too often described as causes of our social and economic difficulties, are not in themselves causes; they are instead results of an economic system which causes involuntary unemployment and economic insecurity.
It is the difficulty people have in obtaining the security which comes from profitable work, that forces them to form, with their friends, associations, cartels, combines and monopolies to squeeze out from the rest of society, with whom they are not so friendly, the largest possible amount of the world's goods. It is not a natural thing for man to do such things; he is forced into doing them because of economic pressure.
Dissatisfaction with this condition has caused many persons to advocate scrapping the profit system entirely and going directly to some form of complete socialism which would embody the third system of distribution, namely, "from each according to his ability; to each according to his needs."
Undoubtedly, that is the ideal form of society, wherein each of us would be concerned in giving of his best efforts and unselfishly sharing what he had produced, with those who needed it most.
It is quite possible to point to numerous outstanding individuals who do have that attitude toward life and whose greatest satisfaction seems to be in benefitting their fellow men.
However, we must take account of the fact that the present system has been, and still is, a strong influence in breeding selfishness and greed; and such sentiments cannot be eradicated overnight.
Any practical solution for our economic difficulties must take account of people as they are now and not just as we would like them to be, or as we think they might become some time in the future. In other words, it must make due allowance for prevailing human selfishness.
Therefore, it would seem to be evident that, as a nation, we cannot jump directly from the first stage (to each as he is able to take) to the third stage (to each according to his needs). We must pass through a transitional stage wherein unfair privilege would be abolished and wherein it would be to each person's selfish advantage to give his best efforts to society, knowing that he would be rewarded in proportion to services rendered.
As long as the "desire to accumulate" is a driving force in spurring people on to give their best efforts, then that force must be recognized and harnessed, by retaining a field for private enterprise, wherein people can compete with each other and earn profits as a reward for rendering services.
But, in order to ensure free and fair competition, so that none may have undue advantage, unfair combines and monopolies must be abolished - and the greatest of these is the private money
Of course, even under the present economic system, distribution on the basis of need is made to certain classes of society such as the aged, the blind and others who are not able to support themselves. Such contributions are, in general, on a wretched and niggardly scale, however. It must be our objective to see that such unfortunate and needy ones are supported adequately and generously.
In the course of time, we learn to work cooperatively instead of competitively, then the principle, "from each according to his ability; to each according to his needs" can be extended to all classes of society.
It may take twenty years, it may take one hundred years or a thousand. Possibly we shall never quite reach that degree of complete unselfishness and that we shall always want to retain some field for private enterprise.
To mark our present stage of economic progress, there should be a clear dividing line between the fields of public enterprise and private enterprise.
Within the field of public enterprise should be placed such projects as schools, hospitals, highways and other such basic necessities which, as the public has already decided, should be operated for the benefit of all, on a non-profit basis.
Such projects could be, and should be, financed with money nationally created by the Bank of Canada and made available at no interest, except a small service charge. Public enterprise could then be used to take up any slack in employment, without piling up huge interest-bearing debt.
The production of luxury goods, and other such enterprises, could be left as a field for private enterprise and private ownership, by continuing to allow them to be financed with private funds, that is, the savings of the public.
Any practical solution to our economic problems must be flexible enough to take care of whatever condition may prevail at any given stage of our economic development.
That requirement could be met by arranging for the line between public ownership and private ownership to be drawn wherever the majority of the people decide that it should be. The line could then be changed, from time to time, as and when the majority of the people decided that it was in their best interests to do so. That is the democratic way.
The Theosophical Society was started in the last quarter of the previous century. It was the century of materialistic viewpoints promulgated by the scientific aspect then appearing, and the much more insidiously dangerous doctrines of Spiritualism, which preached a reliance on communication with dead people. Between these two new viewpoints, and the failing belief in Christian dogma, the civilization of the West was in danger of reverting into the superstitious era of the Dark Ages.
The time was critical. Should new information come forth to combat the current superstitions, the new information was in danger of being rejected, because of the lack of understanding of the Eastern philosophy and secret doctrine. And yet, without it, chaos! So the chance was taken, and into the Western consciousness was projected the fragmentary clues and teaching given through Helena P. Blavatsky. This is the meaning of that effort - a beginning, or entering wedge, of the great secret doctrine which still remains hidden by Those Who gave the fragments in 1875.
History shows that the fragments have been perverted to many uses, some of them contrary to the avowed purpose of Those Who gave the fragments.
Doctrines undreamed of by Helena P. Blavatsky have been attributed to her, and upon it all a sacerdotal caste it should be apparent to any who read the original fragments, but these have been minimized deliberately and obscured under an avalanche of books written by "occultists" whose egotism hid under the cloak of "simplifying" the Secret Doctrine and the Mahatma Letters.
The West, however, has absorbed the knowledge in diluted form, some of it inaccurately translated, some imperfectly understood, some deliberately counterfeited by impostors who seek self-glory or riches. In the miasma, with no true leadership, no outstanding Occult Society whose voice is acknowledged true to the original teachings, no organization which men respect for the integrity of mind and character of its "beloved leaders", the West has turned again to Spiritualism in many different guises, but in still the same old form, communication with the dead.
What is the future responsibility of those Theosophical leaders, in whose division over teachings and anxiety over leaders' personal place and renown, the duty to the multitude has been forgotten? Are they to go on inventing new heresies, new nomenclatures, new Messiahs and Prophets, new books of clairvoyant wonders, and tales of personal achievement, while the West calls for a Light in darkness?
Is there to be no end to this confusion? Is there no sense in all the high and mighty leaders, who have pushed to one side the Secret Doctrine, and ventured forth upon their own authority? Is it not time to remove the dust from the original message of 1875, and seek the original directions given for the century we live in? Are we to go onward, after the war, when reconstruction will be needed, mumbling of old disagreements and old quarrels, while there is work to do?
Is it not possible for all to realize that the new century approaches (speaking in the hundred-year cycle of the Hierarchy) and begin to seek ways to unite and to make a new start together? Is it not time to seek the broken fragments of last century's effort, to sweep aside the fancies and the rubbish under which the Secret Doctrine has been buried, and to make a united platform upon which to meet the incoming tide of the new Hierarchal effort?
Is it not well to think that "1975", so long cherished by the Theosophical ranks as a new effort, is only just around the corner; and that even a Hierarchal custom may not be rigid, that it may be there will be Light appearing when the war is over. Will it not be needed? And will we be ready? Or shall we be supinely waiting for 1975 in calm indifference to duty?
Anne Leslie Roger
(President, Lotus Lodge, The Theosophical Society in Philadelphia)
Rev. Robert Dickey, D.D. (Ralph Connor's "The Sky Pilot") has been writing some brief articles throwing light on many obscure passages in the Bible and explaining with much simplicity what has sometimes been regarded as having transcendent meaning. An example is found in the story of the turning of the water into wine at the marriage at Cana of Galilee. When his mother, as related, told Jesus the feasters had no wine, he replied in the ordinary translation, "My time has not come." It was the custom at these marriage feasts for the guests in order of their social precedence to supply the wine. What Jesus said was simply, "My turn has not come." He did not wish to speak out of turn. He was humble enough as the carpenter's son to take his place according to custom. On the general subject of Bible trans-
lation Dr. Dickey writes: -
"In no case did I give my own translation of any passage of Scripture. I quoted from Moffatt, Weymbuth, Goodspeed, the Douay Bible, marginal translations from the King James version and Lamsa's translation from the Aramaic version - chiefly from the latter. My reasons for giving so many translations from the Aramaic version are as follows: -
"1. Few people, if any, now question the fact that Jesus and His Dsiciples spoke Aramaic, the language of the people of Galilee.
"2. The men who wrote the Gospels, being Galileans, would almost certainly write in their native language. This can be definitely proved because, so far as we know, none of the original writings are extant. One of the proofs of this assumption is that in both the Greek and Latin texts Aramaic words occur. These Aramaic words were carried over into our English translations. Some fo them may be mentioned; - Amen, (which occurs often and is sometimes translated verily although the Douay version consistently carries over the Aramaic word) Raca, Matthew v. 22. Talitha cumi, Mark v 4-1. Ephphatha, Mark vii. 34. Mammon, Luke xvi. 9. Eloi Eloi lama scabacthani, Mark xv. 41.
"3. There were a number of translations from the Greek and Latin into English before the King James version, which was really a revision of earlier translations. There have been many revisions and translations since. But the Protestant Church has never claimed that any of these translations are infallible. Dr. Neil Leckie in The Observer of 1st April tells of a Pope, who, having read the proof sheets himself, declared the version to be infallible. He adds that it was `swarming with errors' and withdrawn from circulation. The English translation from the Latin used by Roman Catholics was first made in 1582. It has been revised by authority of the Bishops in 1847, 1888 and again in 1942. But infallibility was not claimed for any of these versions.
"4. Mr. Lamsa is an Assyrian whose native tongue is Aramaic. He is a graduate of both the Archbishop of Canterbury's Mission College in Urumiah, Persia and the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia, U.S.A. He is the author of several books and has been employed by the American Government and other institutions to translate documents from Eastern languages. His purpose and outlook may be summed in two quotations from his prefaces. In the preface to his translation of the Gospels he declares that his purpose has been `to further the glory of Jesus Christ our blessed Lord arid Saviour'; and in his preface to his book entitled Gospel Light he says `I pray God that this work will prove helpful to all lovers of the teaching of our beloved Lord and Master'.
The foreword is written by Dr. John P. Harrington, Ethnologist of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington."
Many of the renderings which Dr. Dickey adduces from the Aramaic indicate that Jesus spoke in terms of our most modern psychology. In Matthew vi. 25, "for this reason, I say unto you, Do not worry." Similarly in verse 31; and in verse 32, "For worldly people seek after these things." The old saying about the camel going through the eye of a needle is explained by the Aramaic word meaning according to the context either camel or cable. So, "it is easier for a rope to go through the eye of an needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Luke vii. 30, has a startling application when so many of us are still Pharisees "But the Pharisees and Scribes suppressed the will of God in themselves." This should be read with II Corinthians xiii. 5. John
i. 5, is clarified - "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it." John iv. 9: "For the Jews have no social intercourse with the Samaritans." Thomas Huxley would have had no justification for his "Gadarene pig affair" had he known the Aramaic version which describes the demoniacs as lunatics who asked permission of Jesus to attack the herd of swine, which they did and drove them all into the lake where they were drowned.
We need not be too sanguine about these true readings being accepted by the churches and their clergy generally. They are not so eager for the truth as for support of their own dogmas and creeds. It is more than fifty years since the Revised version of the Scriptures was published, but only a few comparatively ever dream of reading it. "All we like sheep have gone astray." The shepherds unfortunately are now as bad as the sheep. All the same any minister like Dr. Dickey who makes an effort to call attention to needed improvements does something to remove the deadly stumbling block of an imagined infallibility from human custom.
WHAT ARE WE FIGHTING AGAINST . . .
Scarcely a day passes but what someone, publicly and in high places, calls for a definition of our war aims. Of course the most frequent answer to the question - "What are we fighting for?" is that we are fighting for freedom, for democracy, for the American way of life, for the rights of man, for security, for peace. These are good words, it is true, and they have deep meaning for each of us; but certainly they don't mean the same thing to all people. And they have been so carelessly used that sometimes, and in some places, they may have stood in danger of becoming mere words. And so, suppose for a moment we try to simplify the answer - the answer to the question - What are we fighting against and what are we fighting for? To reduce it to its simplest terms, there is only one enemy in the world that any man has, and that enemy is evil. Evil plays many roles and assumes many disguises and makes its way sometimes into the most unexpected places. It isn't always an easy thing to put your finger on it, because sometimes evil appears to be so utterly respectable. Perhaps this isn't simplifying the question at all. Perhaps it is complicating it - but the fact remains that what we are fighting against is evil, and what we are fighting for is a world and a way of life that will be free from evil - the evil that opposes truth; the evil that causes a man or a nation to covet what another has; the evil that gives one man an insufferable conceit in his own superiority and an intolerable assurance of the inferiority of his fellows; the evil that beckons to indulgence in forbidden things; the evil that causes a nation or a people to forget its principles and ideals, and to disregard the commandments of God. The fact of the matter is that this global war is even more global than we suspect. While there are objectives to be won in well-defined geographic areas - evil is no respector of geography. If it is driven to cover by frontal attack, it moves in from the flank and from the rear, and is a past master at infiltration. It is the same evil that the world has always had to fight - since the beginning of time, and before - the evil that has written on the pages of history of nations that could win a war on a distant front and lose it in their own hearts, in their own lives, in their own homes. It doesn't matter who or what would destroy us or our freedom, if it would destroy us it represents evil, and is, therefore, our enemy. And so, in answer to the question: what are we fighting for? - we are fighting for the
destruction of evil wherever we find it, and must no more tolerate it among ourselves than we do among our enemies. - By Richard L. Evans, spoken from the Tabernacle, Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Sunday, June 27, 1943, over Radio Station KSL and the nationwide Columbia Broadcasting System. Copyright - 1943
FINE ART AND VILE ART
By Dr. Bhagavan Das
Many classifications of Art have been put forward. They have been distinguished as Static and Dynamic, Fine and Useful, Realist and Impressionist, Natural and Conventional, Imitationist or Reproductionist, Symbolic or Suggestionist, and so on: but so far as I am aware, the most vitally important dis-tinction has not been stated and stressed by any one, viz., the distinction between FINE ART and VILE ART. The Motifs, Subjects or Themes, i.e., the Rasas that motivate the Artist and are expressed in works of Art are classified in Natya-shastra, under nine heads - the variants of Love and Hate. The Pantheons and Angelologies of all Religions personalize these as good and evil gods and angels. In God's Scheme working by the inexorable Law of Duality, Light and darkness, Shine and shadow, are inseparably connected, and both indispensably needed to give existence to each other, by contrast. The weak human soul only too easily and too often slips across the very thin line between the two poles of the magnet which is the human body, and instead of appreciating, sympathizing with and worshipping the higher, it becomes a devotee fo the lower. The world has been flooded in the last few decades with literature of the Lewd and lustful, Monstrous, the Disgusting horrible and bizzare, the Abnormal and fantastic, the Sadistic, the Criminal, the Cunning and Deceitful, the Insane, the Psychopathic and Psychiatric. The horrible world-war, now raging all over the world on land and sea and air, is the natural consequence of the excessive fostering of the passions and emotions connected with Literature and other Arts.
Religious Art expressed in Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, has also in all ages represented both heaven and hell, the noblest emotions as well as the baser passions. All houses of God in all Religions aspire upwards into the Sunshine, by Shikhara and Gopura, spire and steeple, Ghumbaz and minaret. But there is also the dark shadow at the foot. Black magic dogs the feet of White magic. The worship of the Spirit imperceptibly becomes in an unguarded moment worship of the flesh. Dakshina marga, the Right-hand and Right Path becomes the Left-hand or the wrong way, through the subtle temptations of the representatives of the obscene. Deva Dasis, Virgin sybils, dedicated to God for uplifting the soul of the worshipper by the beauty of rhythic motion become enslaved for the service of the devil which is hiding in the hearts of the Priests and the worshippers.
We have therefore to bear in mind always the distinction between Fine Arts and Vile Arts, and in the valuation or new creation of works, of Religious or other Art, to see that the unavoidable representation of both the good and evil are only such as to lead the beholder, listener, strongly towards the good . . . the Rasas of the Compassionate, the Heroic, the Sublime and not tempt towards the evil. What emotions does a work of art arouse in the mind of the average person who sees it? Is it uplifting or degrading? That is the important criterion which distinguishes Fine Art from Vile Art. - The Indian Theosophist for May
MORE ABOUT DICKENS
Sir, - There was one at least who welcomed Mr. Mark Perugini's letter. Unlike him, I heard his aunt - Katie Dickens - speak about her father many times; I had many letters from her, too. She was once President of the Dickens Fellowship, and in that capacity spoke much, while she also contributed to the Dickensian. I was astounded when I read in Miss Storey's book that she had described her father as a wicked man. In all my knowledge of her she never referred to her father save in terms of deepest affection. If, as Mr. Perugini puts it, Miss Storey heard aright, I cannot but think that it must have been in her friend's querulous old age. Or - again as the nephew puts it - that twinkle of the eye was missed - for Katie was the only one of the family who inherited to any degree her father's keen sense of humor.
I am glad to read what Mr. Perugini says about Ellen Ternan. Miss Storey makes a positive statement that Ellen had a child by Charles Dickens, and she says that she was told this by Mrs. Perugini. There the statement stands and none can contradict it, but some may yet remain incredulous. Apart from the fact that it is strange that in all her long life Mrs. Perugini had only this one confidante, we cannot but remember that at the time of his separation from his wife Dickens was 46 years old, while Ellen Ternan was a girl of 18, exactly of an age with his own daughters, whose intimate she was. Seduction of such a girl is certainly not in keeping with all else that is known of the man. Then we have his categorical denial of such an intrigue, and his declaration that this girl was as chaste and pure as his own dear daughters.
I may add this: that a careful search at Somerset House has failed to discover the registration of any child during the years that matter in the name either of Ternan or Dickens. I think registration was compulsory in those days. There are some, no doubt, who will retort that the child was probably regis-tered in a false name - but there are some who will say anything where Charles Dickens is concerned. And, further, Ellen Ternan's daughter had it from her mother's old nurse and companion: "Your dear mother never was the mistress of Charles Dickens."
Marcus Stone was brought up almost a member of the Dickens household. It is safe to say that if anybody knew the truth he did. He told me, "Charles Dickens was the best man that ever lived." The most eloquent tribute to Dickens's memory was written by the man who married one of Ellen Ternan's sisters, He wrote, "I loved him better than any other man," adding that a mean or unworthy act was impossible to him. After Dickens's death both Mrs. Perugini and her sister Mamie, as well as their aunt, Georgina Hogarth, remained friends of Ellen Ternan.
In face of all these things, is it surprising that some at any rate remain incredulous of Miss Storey's story?
- J.W.T. Ley
- John O'London's Weekly, July 17, 1942
One of the privileges of living in the Twentieth century is the opportunity of allying oneself with the Theosophical Movement originated by the Elder Brothers of the Race, and of making a conscious link, however slender, with them. Join any Theosophical Society which maintains the tradition of the Masters of Wisdom and study their Secret Doctrine. You can strengthen the link you make by doing service, by strong search, by questions, and by humility. We should be able to build the future on foundations of Wisdom, Love and Justice.
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.
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To whom all communications should be addressed.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
To our English friends who find it difficult to send their subscriptions for this magazine to Canada we may say that we receive a number through the post office, but they must be money orders, not postal notes which are not negotiable here. Ask for a money order for Ten Shillings and we believe little difficulty will be found.
Our good friends of the U.L.T. emphasize the basis for union among Theosophists as "similarity of aim, purpose and teaching." This ought to be acceptable to everybody but chronic cranks. However, in practice, we find in many cases that similarity of aim is not regarded as sufficient. Their insistence is on Identity, not merely similarity. Identity means dogmatism, the letter of the law, and not the spirit. The Truth makes us free. The dogmatic spirit leads to mechanical thinking, slavish discipline, and finally materialistic interpretations of life.
Mr. N.W.J. Haydon writes: "It seems to me that the word `impossible' as applied to speculation about the Absolute, quoted on line 13 of your front page for July, should have been translated as futile, or some synonym. While mankind has a mind it will speculate on origins, and all forms of religion are attempts to satisfy such speculations. What else justifies their existence?" Mr. Haydon should have written to the Maha Chohan about this. Our own feeling is that if it were possible to speculate about the Absolute, it would not be the Absolute.
The death of Mr. A.H. Winter Joyner occurred on June 25th at his home 2422 University Ave., New York City. He was a member of the Toronto Lodge and left it to become a charter member of the Toronto West End Lodge in 1911. He will be remembered by some as an ardent friend of the Canada-India Movement with which Mr. Kartar Singh and Mr. Sundar Singh were associated. His wife died a few years ago, and he married Miss Kathleen Mullen who survives him. There are three sons by his first wife, Kenneth, Cyril and Leslie, all now of New York.
Alfred Tennyson is the subject of an excellent article in the series of "Theosophist Unaware" in Theosophy for July. The more people who can be induced to read and study Tennyson the more Theosophists there will be in the world. The anonymous writer - the U.L.T makes a dogma of anonymity - lists a large numlber of poems which are distinctly Theosophical, but it must not be forgotten that beauty and purity, for both of which qualities Tennyson is remarkable, are fundamentally spiritual and life-giving. No man in English
literature more faithfully invoked his readers to "Follow the Gleam!"
Questioned the other evening if I would call Sir Edwin Arnold, author of The Light of Asia, a Theosophist, I replied I did not believe in calling people names. It might deter some people from reading his books if they got the impression that he was a Theosophist. Besides this, the Buddhists might more properly call him a Buddhist on the evidence, those who read his Light of the World might call him a Christian; or those who read his Pearls of the Faith, claim him as a Mohammedan; and those who read his Song Celestial might equally allege that he was a Brahmin. He was a great poet and philosopher. Theosophists are those who follow or are guided by God-Wisdom and there are but few of us able to reach that standard. As Robert Browning says: "Other heights in other lives, God willing."
Dr. Arundale's "On the Watch-Tower" notes for April are directed to Young Theosophists and we would like to call attention to his remarks on the importance of Theosophy to the Young and of the Young to Theosophy. Dr. Arundale however is afflicted with cacoethes scribendi to such an extent that literal quotation is difficult. He says that "too many of our older members have entirely forgotten their youth, have forgotten the sparkle of their young lives, if they had any, and, imprisoning themselves in all the narrowness of middle life and beyond, are completely shut off from young people and from all power to attract them to the splendid Truths of Theosophy . . . . " And so on for eleven pages. There is a great deal in this, but also there must be some maturity of soul-personality in the young if there is to be any real appreciation of Truth. Often some great sorrow is needed to waken the young soul to the wisdom of the ages and the aged.
Of all the Fifth Wheels that have been hung on the Theosophical chariot that which had any appeal for me was the Order of Service. A debate upon it is reported in The Theosophist for April, and while some valid arguments are submitted in its favor, Mr. Gokhale, the General Secretary for India, with his usual sound good sense points out that at first "the idea was that we might be able to attract non-Theosophists who were not interested in Theosophy but were interested in social welfare work . . . We did try to associate ourselves with outsiders, but these people have their dogmas and it was very difficult for them, we found, to work with our Theosophical dogma of having no dogmas. To them universality is no principle at all, from their point of view . . . As an Order I do not think the T.O.S. has done anything in India or is likely to do anything." Those who want to do social work can join the Red Cross, Rotary, Kiwanis, the Lions, Optimists or other clubs. In Toronto and Hamilton we found the Dickens Fellowship supplied a splendid outlet for social work especially among children.
By request we reprint a letter addressed to the editor of John O'London's Weekly of July 17, 1942, by Mr. J.W.T. Ley, one of the foremost living authorities on Charles Dickens, his repudiation of the scandalous lie invented by a Miss Storey, a woman of advanced years who like too many of her kind vent their spite and ill will on some "shining mark" in order to gratify their corroded personalities. Unfortunately many stupid people are swift to accept such statements no matter how clear it may be that the persons attacked were utterly incapable of the conduct attributed to them. W.Q. Judge points out
in his article on "Culture of Concentration" that anger, envy, vanity and fear are the weaknesses of the personality chiefly to be avoided. The Tibetan philosophers, according to Dr. Evans-Wentz, classify hatred or wrath, pride, lust, jealousy, and stupidity or ignorance, as the vices to be conquered. It is not difficult to identify the combination among these which lead to the writing of mendacious letters, scandalmongering articles and muck-raking books. The most innocent acts are perverted, twisted and distorted to suit the malign fancies of such low-grade personalities, and decent people must suffer in silence knowing that protests only give further currency to the lies in circulation. To the honored dead like Charles Dickens it is a duty to preserve his fame unspotted by such unbrotherly accusations as Miss Storey has invented. Her declining years are not to be envied.
RE "THE BLESSED VIRGIN"
The Theosophical Society
International Headquarters, Adyar, Madras, India,
10 May, 1943
I have received your letter enclosing a copy of the Resolution of the Executive Council of the Canadian Section and an article thereon. I am sure you will give all the publicity you think necessary both to the Resolution and to the article. I shall, of course, publish the Resolution in The Theosophical Worker but I am afraid I shall not be able to publish the article as our space is so seriously diminished with the severe paper shortage. I do not want to enter into any controversy as this might become most undesirably prolonged and end as futilely as most controversies end. Despite the fact that several lengthy replies to your article my colleagues here have hastened to write, nevertheless, I have not inserted them. Fraternally,
- George S. Arundale.
President The Theosophical Society.
It may be remarked that Dr. Arundale is at least prudent in not permitting his friends to defend his indiscretion. But suppression of discussion is somewhat of a lowering of the standard set up by the Founders of The Society. We may note that The Theosophical Society in Canada is only The Canadian Section to The President.
CATHOLICS BUY "MESSIAH" FANE
Formerly Theosophical temple, vaudeville theatre and miniature golf course, the amphitheatre at Balmoral has been acquired by Catholic United Services Auxiliary (CUSA).
The property, with an adjoining block of land, has been purchased by the Roman Catholic Church.
The site, which is one of the most picturesque on Sydney Harbour foreshores, will be used for training Catholic VA's.
Director of Special Catholic Diocesan Works, Monsignor Clark, said "the property eventually will be the site of a community service to perpetuate the contribution of the Catholic community through CUSA."
The amphitheatre was built in 1924, "for the second Coming of Christ."
It was erected by direction of the late Dr. Mary Rocke, aided by private subscriptions. - Sydney Sunday Paper, 9th May
BOOKS BY CHARLES JOHNSTON
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KARMA FROM A BUDDHIST STANDPOINT
By A. Beresford Holmes
There are many kinds of Karma according to the Buddhist scriptures.
That which bears fruit in the present existence.
That which bears fruit in rebirth.
That which bears fruit at no fixed time.
By-gone karma, weighty, abundant, clost-at-hand, productive, supportive, counteractive and destructive.
Karma may be likened to a seed which produces fruit of its own kind, as for instance the acorn which can only produce an oak tree; so each kind of Karma bears fruit of its own kind, good or bad, immediate or delayed, weak or powerful.
I do not think it is possible to understand the Buddhist idea of Karma from the exoteric scriptures alone. It would appear from those available to us in the West, that there is no ego after death. Therefore what is it that reincarnates, and of what avail is Karma? It is often stated that only Karma remains, but if there were no relatively permanent reincarnating unit, how did Buddha achieve Buddahood as the result of innumerable lives of effort, or be able to look back upon his past lives? A continuing entity is a logical necessity.
In the writer's opinion, the Buddhist scriptures are not to be taken too literally. Like all sacred scriptures, they were written for the profane, while the inner teaching was reserved for the elect, those who were capable of understanding the deeper meaning behind the facade of apparent contradiction. One must remember, too, that innumerable commentaries have been written in interpretation of Buddha's teaching, and not all by wise men.
We must, therefore, in interpreting the Buddhist scriptures, put them before the bar of reason, and avoid the mistake common to so many adherents of Buddhism, of becoming confused about the theory of non-ego. The fact that Buddha is said to have maintained silence on both questions, ego or non-ego, obviously implies that the ego was not denied.
Karma is one of the basic teachings of Buddhism, and must logically rest upon the necessity of a reincarnating unit. A great deal of Buddhist thought deals with the law of cause and effect, and why there should have arisen confusion of thought about the permanence of the Self or Ego, it is difficult to understand, except as a result of corrupt teaching.
The higher ego is called, by the Hindus, the thread-soul, the sutratma. It is this which reincarnates and inherits its own karma, and only the lower personality which perishes at death, as each of its lower principles disintegrate. It is upon the thread-soul that rests the karmc responsibility of all its lower lives, and even though it dwells upon its own higher plane and only sends down a Ray to dwell in denser layers of matter, it yet assimilates the experience of all these lower lives.
Theosophy explains a great deal that is obscure in the Buddhist scriptures and particularly so in regard to Karma and the nature of the Self. While the lower self has no permanency, changing from life to life, the real Self never dies, because it has always been; it has no beginning and no end. For vast, and to us incalculable periods of time, the reincarnating units exist as separate entities, to be ultimately absorbed into the parent source. (This is a great cosmic mystery which can only be fully understood when we reach the threshold of Nirvana).
With a continuing spiritual entity carrying responsibility from life to life, one can understand the theory of Karma, the reason for existence, the struggle between good and evil, the striving
to reach the goal of perfect knowledge, the successes and failures of evolution.
To return to the Buddhist scriptures. Some of them enumerate twelve kinds of Karma which I append for the reader's reflection.
KARMA WHICH BEARS FRUIT IN THE PRESENT INCARNATION. This results from actions in the present life. (If we burn our fingers, we have not to wait until another life before we feel the pain). Accidents in this life may be the result of present carelessness irrespective of the past. We can set fresh causes in motion at any moment. On the other hand it may be the result of our immediate past life or of one much earlier. It is said that the Karma of humanity is so heavy from Atlantean times that a great deal of it is held back by the Elder Brothers of the race until there is strength to bear it. Those who have entered the Path find their lives full of trouble and pain, because before they can become perfect, they must exhaust their bad Karma. Therefore, Karma that would in the ordinary way be spread over a number of lives is concentrated into one. No one is immune from this law. One can realize the accumulation of weighty Karma that is being liquidated by greatly suffering egos during this war, and indeed during the period preceding it. Unfortunately a fresh set of weighty Karma is being engendered by those who are the instruments of Karma. "Needs must that evil comes, but woe unto him by whom it cometh." Bad karma generating bad karma is a vicious circle which can only be broken by knowledge and forgiveness.
KARMA WHICH BEARS FRUIT IN REBIRTH. This is the Karma which we are making at every moment of our present lives and which may have to wait for circumstances of future births before it can be worked out.
KARMA WHICH BEARS FRUIT AT NO FIXED TIME. This is often called fluidic karma, i.e., our thoughts and actions may bring upon us karma that would not otherwise have fallen upon us. (It bears fruit whenever it can find an opportunity). We can modify past karma by our reactions to life. We can neutralize it by setting other forces in motion.
By-gone Karma is dealt with above.
WEIGHTY KARMA WHETHER GOOD OR BAD such as cruelty, murder, suicide, or lofty deeds, bears fruit before lighter karma. H.P.B. stated in the Secret Doctrine that Patriotism and great actions in national service are not altogether good from the point of view of the highest. To benefit a portion of humanity is good, but to do so at the expense of others is bad. Therefore, in patriotism, the venom is present with the good. In this war, therefore, however patriotic the instincts of the fighting men may be, they are inevitably creating bad karma by the violent deeds they have to perform. War brings out all the worst in human nature, and few are pure and passionless enough to act without attachment to their deeds.
ABUNDANT KARMA bears fruit before that which is not abundant. This presumably means that continuous acts will produce abundant karma, isolated acts "not abundant".
CLOSE AT HAND. Karma remembered at point of death. The karma which a man remembers at death springs up with him in rebirth.
HABITUAL KARMA. That which has become habitual through much repetition. This will produce endless rebirths.
PRODUCTIVE OR SUPPORTIVE KARMA either good or bad. Supportive karma is not supposed to produce fruit, but when rebirth is the result of other karma, it supports the ensuing happiness or misery.
COUNTERACTIVE KARMA. Often counteracts fruit of other karma, suppresses it or does not suffer it to continue.
DESTRUCTIVE KARMA. Destroys weak
karma, preventing it from bearing fruit and makes room for its own fruition.
The insight into Karma and the fruit of karma possessed by the Buddhas was not shared by their disciples.
There is individual karma, sex karma, or race karma. Egoes are magnetically attracted to those races and countries where their special characteristics can find an outlet.
With regard to sex karma, egos are born into both sexes according to the needs of their karma. Some students say three lives in a man and three in a woman, but I question a fixed number of lives in each sex, everything depending upon individual karmic obligations. It is certain that the wrongs inflicted by one sex upon the other will be expiated. Experience in both sexes is necessary for complete evolution.
There are also distinct differences between physical, emotional, mental and spiritual karma. Each works out in its own plane. It is possible to suffer physical pain as a result of past physical karma, yet to inherit good emotional and mental karma, so that despite physical handicaps, a good deal of happiness is enjoyed. The emotional and mental states of past lives govern our emotional and mental opportunities in this one, and our reactions to these opportunities will govern our future lives. There is a never ceasing play of cause and effect.
The only karma that frees the ego from rebirth is PASSIONLESS KARMA, deeds without attachment. The ideal conduct is to be "In sorrow not dejected, in joy not overjoyed, dwelling outside the stress of passion, fear and anger." To be without attachment breaks the round of births and deaths. Therefore, it is enjoined upon us to act without thought of merit. Good karma is as binding as bad, and a good man far removed from a Wise one.
The two potent causes of rebirth are Love and Hate. We are drawn life after life into incarnation with those we have either loved or hated. It may be that the hatred is only on one side. Personal love has to be transmuted into universal compassion, for it is as binding as hate and will create rebirth. The great battle ground for the spirit is Mother Earth. Spirit is deeply encased in matter while on earth and has to free itself by knowledge and lack of attachment.
The Buddhist ideal of conduct is lofty indeed, and has shone like a jewel throughout the centuries. It is difficult to achieve a passionless state, yet it is the only way to freedom from rebirth and suffering. To begin even in a small way to destroy the fruits of action, is to achieve a peace that is not easily shaken. It is a test that everyone can apply to himself.
It is certain that in every present moment lies the Karma of the distant future, as well as the karma of the past. H.P.B. stated that every one of our egos has the karma of past Manvantaras behind.
Editor The Canadian Theosophist: - Your review of the pamphlet by Dr. Curtiss on the subject of vitamins contains some very useful advice with regard to their use in balancing diet, but an aspect of the subject of greater importance than physical health is involved: Is it right or wrong to profit in any way by cruelty? The scientific research that resulted in the discovery and tabulation of vitamins was conducted with great cruelty to a large number of animals. To be assured of this fact one has only to refer to the accounts given in medical journals where one may read of animals slowly dying from lack of this or that vitamin in its food while the experimenter callously records the sequence and increasing acuteness of symptoms suffered by
his victims in their cages. Sometimes they are restored to health before death releases them from their tormentors, but only to suffer from more experiments.
Dr. Beddow Bayly; M.R.C.S.; L.R.C.P., in his pamphlet "Vivisection in the Light of Philosophy and Modern Science" quotes from the Lancet as follows: The real defence of vivisection is not that it is useful, not that it has played a considerable share in ameliorating man's material state, but that it is a means of finding out things that could not be discovered by any other method."
Compare this with what Mme. Blavatsky wrote in 1886 in The Theosophist in concluding her article: "Have Animals Souls?" (Vol. vii. p. 249): -
"For verily when the world feels convinced - and it cannot avoid coming one day to such a conviction - that animals are creatures as eternal as we ourselves; vivisection and other permanent tortures, daily inflicted on the poor brutes, will after calling forth an outburst of maledictions and threats from society generally, force all Governments to put an end to those barbarous and shameful practices."
Curiously enough, the public mind soon becomes apathetic towards any evil thing that is kept out of sight and which is but rarely mentioned.
In the course of a contribution to "Theosophical Siftings", Vol. iii, made by Eleanor M. James, she informs us that before vivisection had penetrated into Britain from France, the British public "shuddered at the whispered rumors of Majendie's atrocities in France, and we, alas, perhaps plumed ourselves upon our superiority to our neighbours." A speech in the House of Commons of Mr. Martin, M.P. for Galway, Feb. 24th, 1825, describing one of Majendie's experiments . . . was received with cries of "Shame" and manifestations of great disgust. About the same time Dr. John Reid of Edinburgh and St. Andrews, pursued a similar course of long protracted unmitigated tortures, but mark this, it was done secretly, shyly, conscience did not speak, but he knew that the best men in Scotland, and also the general public voice, would condemn the practices and shun the perpetrator. How changed is Scotland now, yet still there are in it hearts and voices which protest unceasingly against what is now unblushingly avowed, and protected by licence, done with full impunity.
Since that was written the practice of vivisection the term including an immense variety of abominable feeding and inoculation experiments - has yearly increased by leaps and bounds so that now many thousands of animals are daily tortured in the name of "scientific research" and sometimes even children in hospitals. Indifference and the inertia of habit are among the greatest obstacles encountered by those who are trying to hasten the day foretold by H.P.B. when Governments will be forced by public opinion "to put an end to those barbarous and shameful practices". Ought we not then, as followers of H.P.B., to do all in our power to remove those obstacles and exchange apathy in ourselves for active compassion for "creatures as eternal as ourselves"? We may well be encouraged to do so by what the Master K.H. writes to A.P. Sinnett in Letter lxxxvi in which the question of Mrs. Kingsford's presidency is discussed; he says: "Suffice that you should know that her anti-vivisection struggle and her strict vegetarian diet have won entirely over to her side our stern Master", the Maha Chohan.
- W.B. Pease.
26 July, 1943
P.S. It may interest your readers to know that the Dr. Reid above men-
tioned died repentant. "The warning came through long-continued agonies in the same tongue-nerves upon which he had specially operated, and this, he owned was not expected relief of human suffering; the motive always being scientific fame. His full and sorrowful confession must lead us to deep pity and thankfulness for such a change of heart, would that it might prove a salutary warning."
PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS OF THEOSOPHISTS
More than anything, I think, I should like to be a good Theosophist. I am yearning, I am trying, so may be in time I shall reach my goal.
Theosophy, of course, stems from a Greek root; Theo (God); Sophia (Wisdom); God Wisdom, a pinnacle worthy of any one's climb.
The average Theosophical gathering of say thirty-five persons, will have pro rata, more really intellectual persons than almost any other religoius or ethical group, as a rule, but, in turn, there will be a larger number of odd ones, too; queer dressing; odd mannerisms, maybe; seven perhaps in a Theosophical group, whereas an orthodox gathering might have but one in thirty-five, whose attire was outstandingly strange.
Since I have been studying Theosophy for a long time, I am writing this with the idea of sounding a warning, as it were, for the sect that I wish to see purified.
Upon occasion one finds a "holier than thou" attitude among Theosophists. Only recently I heard a member say that: "We of our group are living our religion". A daring and braggadocio statement; If we live nobly, of course, the observation should come from others; not ourselves.
Theosophy is so full of the beautiful eternal verities that it is hard to see how one can mistake the husks for the kernels. Sometimes one wonders if cold impersonality is not a kind of hallmark of today's Theosophist, with many mantrams, some chants, triangular prayers, and a sad want of concrete deeds. Prayers, yes; mantrams, too, and chants if one likes, but "words without deeds are dead".
I heard a Theosophical member tell a fairly opulent group of Theosophists that one of their number was recently widowed, penniless, and in such dire need that she was a relief recipient. Alas and many alases! The group was not touched. There was a long, painful silence; one minute; two minutes - three - then this one comment: "We shall hold the idea of the prosperity for Mrs. -- ." The same Theosophist, a Gentile, promptly told of the widow's misery, the next day, to a Jewish group, and the reactoin was a generous purse presented to the woman for shoes, food, and a doctor. Just a different conception of brotherhood, that's all.
If Theosophists (some of them) would but stop to realize that the proof of our studies is our conduct, maybe they would realize the full significance of brotherhood, for that is the keynote of Theosophy. No amount of occult studies will ever take the place of service, and we do owe kindness and love to each passerby. Service enriches the server more than the served.
- Wilmer Alice Adams.
3615 Woodland Ave.,
BRITISH MINERS AND J. L. LEWIS
Will Lowther, President of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, takes John L. Lewis to pieces in Picture Post, London illustrated journal:
"The British aristocracy is not worth fighting for." These words were spoken to me by John L. Lewis, Presi-
dent of the American United Mineworkers, when I last went to see him in Washington. As I recall them, and the large gesture he made when he uttered them, it helps me to understand the new crisis into which John L. Lewis has threatened to plunge America - and not only America but the whole cause of the United Nations.
Useless to explain to this man that the British miners - who ought to know considerably more about the subject than he does - aren't worried about the British aristocracy. Useless to point out that all the miners of the world associated with the miners' international, take up the simple attitude that class struggles at home must be subordinated to the greater danger from abroad - the menace of Hitlerism - and that they realize they will forfeit all their past gains if Fascism is triumphant. Useless to recall that it was not the British aristocracy which wished to join the struggle against Fascism - the struggle which involved the miners of Spain and Czechoslovakia - long before Hitler attacked Poland. John L. Lewis brushes aside all argument. He has found a catchphrase - "the British aristocracy" - and that is enough for him. If a union leader can persuade himself and his followers that the war is being fought solely on behalf of the ruling class, then the way is clear to hold that class up to ransom . . . . one of my discoveries while talking to John L. Lewis was his ignorance of and indifference to labor as an international force.
This answers one of the questions which occur to workers in every country fighting Hitler when they read of John L. Lewis' antics. There's not a miner in this country who wouldn't think that a new world had been born if he was to get a rise of 10s. a day, but the miner here knows that to go on strike today wouldn't get an increase of 10s. a day; it would mean that Hitler might win the war and that the miners of all the world - including America - would be ground down into the dust. Why don't these considerations occur to John L. Lewis? Because his whole life is given up to power politics.
We have received the following magazines during the month of July: Theosophy in Australia, June-August; Bulletin of Montreal Lodge, July; Pro & Con Vox, August; Lucifer, Boston, August; Peace Lodge Papers, No. 2; Espiritualidad, Mendoza, Argentina, Feb.-March; Boletin de la Mexicana, April; Evolucion, Buenos Aires, March; O Teosofista, Rio de Janeiro, Jan.-Feb.; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, August; Theosophy, July; The Theosophical Worker, March; The Theosophist, April; U.L.T. Bulletin, No. 176, June; Revista Teosofica Cubana, March-April; Toronto Theosophical News, July; The Indian Theosophist, March; The Bombay Theosophical Bulletin, May; The Indian Theosophist, May; Boletin de la Seccion Mexicana de la S.T., June; Y Fforwm Theosoffaidd, July; Ancient Wisdom, June.
IN THE DAY OF BATTLE
In the day of Battle,
In the night of dread,
Let one hymn be lifted,
Let one prayer be said.
Not for pride of conquest,
Not for vengeance wrought,
Not for peace and safety,
With dishonor bought;
Praise for faith in freedom,
Our fighting father's stay,
Born of dreams and daring,
Bred above dismay.
Prayer for cloudless vision,
And the valiant hand,
That the right may triumph
To the last demand.
- Bliss Carman
Being a critical analysis of the book "A Modern Priestess of Isis" translated from the Russian of Vsevolod S. Solovyoff by Walter Leaf.
By Beatric Hastings
(Continued from Page 160)
"Thus challenged, Madame Blavatsky at once took up the closed letter, held it against her forehead, and read aloud what she professed to be its contents. These alleged contents she further wrote down on a blank page of an old letter that lay on the table. Then she said that she would give those present, since her sister still laughed at and challenged her power, even a clearer proof that she was able to exercize her psychic power within the closed envelope. Remarking that her own name occurred in the course of the letter, she said that she would underline this through the envelope in red crayon. In order to effect this (she wrote her name on the old letter in which the alleged copy of the contents of the sealed letter had been written), together with an interlaced double triangle or `Solomon's Seal', below the signature which she had copied as well as the body of the letter. This was done in spite of her sister remarking that the correspondent hardly ever signed her name in full when writing to relatives, and that in in this at least Madame Blavatsky would find herself mistaken. `Nevertheless', she replied, `I will cause these two red marks to appear in the corresponding places within the letter.'
"She next laid the closed letter beside the open one upon the table, and placed her hand upon both, so as to make (as she said) a bridge along which a current of psychic force might pass. Then, with her features settled into an expression of intence mental concentration, she kept her hand quietly thus for a few moments, after which, tossing the closed letter across the table to her sister, she said, `Tiens ! c'est fait. The experiment is successfully finished.' Here it may be well to add, to show that the letter could not have been tampered with in transit - unless by a Government official - that the stamps were fixed on the flap of the envelope where a seal is usually placed.
"Upon the envelope being opened by the lady to whom it was addressed, it was found that Madame Blavatsky had actually written out its contents; that her name was there; that she had underlined it in red, and as she had promised; and that the double triangle was reproduced below the writer's signature, which was in full, as Madame Blavatsky had described it.
"Another fact of exceptional interest we noted. A slight defect in the formation of one of the interlaced triangles as drawn by Madame Blavatsky had been faithfully reproduced within the closed letter.
"This experiment was doubly valuable, as at once an illustration of clairvoyant perception, by which Madame Blavatsky correctly read the contents of a sealed letter, and of the phenomenon of precipitation, or the deposit of pigmentary matter in the form of figures and lines previously drawn by the operator in the presence of the observers.
Signed, Vera Jelihovsky.
Nadejda A. Fadeeff.
Emilie de Morsier.
William Q. Judge.
H. S. Olcott.
Paris, 21st June, 1884."
The Committee's remark on this is that the letter "may really have been delivered to the servant by an earlier
post, thus giving time for it to be tampered with". In view of this brilliant hypothesis, Solovyoff's own account in his book will be the more interesting. He says, p. 43: "I sat so that I could see Babula open the door, take a letter, come into the room and lay it on th a table . . . The letter was not only gummed in a stout opaque envelope, but the postage stamp was affixed in the place of the seal".
[Readers who are aware that Solovyoff's book was written to prove Madame Blavatsky an impostor, may wonder how he came to print such a complete rebuttal of the S.P.R. hypothesis. The fact is that he had been in such a hurry to announce to the world his faith in Madame Blavatsky that he had rushed off a letter to the Russian journal, 'Rebus", and his own private account had been published over his signature on July 1st, 1884, eleven days before the article appeared in "Light". He could not well deny that he had seen Babula take the letter from the postman.]
[Solovyoff describes a meeting and conversation with Madame "Y" (Jelihovsky) in the Parc Monceau, Paris. This belongs to the Perverted Tale.]
"It was at this time my lot to see more of Madame Y [Jelihovsky, the widowed sister of H.P.B.] than even of Madame Blavatsky. We used to stroll about Paris together . . . in the charming little Parc Monceau, we sat for about an hour . . . . and Madame Y showed me so much sympathy that I was deeply touched. At last she said: `But to show you that my feeling for you is more than empty words, I will speak to you on some matters about which I certainly would not open my mouth to any one who was indifferent to me. I have been thinking a great deal about you lately; I fancy you are being too much carried away by the Theosophical Society, and I am afraid that this influence may act upon you injuriously and sadly in every way.'
" `I heartily thank you for your sympathy', I said, `but do not think I am a man who is so easily carried away as you fancy. No doubt I am greatly interested in the Theosophical Society - it cannot be otherwise - you see, I have already told you that mystical and occult matters of every sort form at present the object of my studies. How can there be anything prejudicial to me in them? Or are you afraid of my turning Buddhist, under the influence of Olcott and Mohini? You may make yourself perfectly easy on that point."'
[The rest of the conversation cannot be included in this "plain tale", except one sentence where Solovyoff makes Madame J. say that she and her sister had little in common. Madame J. was then, and remained, orthodox. She performed the somersault frequently exhibited by the orthodox, even today: she could believe and disbelieve in occult phenomena, arranging with herself to say that if the phenomena were real, which she could not doubt, they must be of the Evil One. In later years, she apologized handsomely enough for ever doubting her sister, but while at Paris, she seems constantly to have challenged, and almost sneered at, the marvels - the which attitude accounts partly for Madame Blavatsky's "de haut en bas" treatment of her; a second factor was a certain curious jealousy on the part of Madame Vera Jelihovsky of H.P.B.'s beloved aunt, the "Miss X" of Solovyoff's yarn. H.P.B. and this aunt were about the same age and had been reared together and, despite profound differences of religious opinion, they remained devoted. The sister, Vera, was from infancy only a third party and a much younger party, and she resented this inferiority and, when grown up, tried to patronize H.P.B. A hopeless effort at self-assertion! The elder sister could scarcely be patronized and so Vera fell woefully into moralizing confidences with the fascinated Solovyoff. She paid heavily for this. Solovyoff resisted all admonition until it suited his purpose to USE VERA HERSELF as a weapon against H.P.B. Madame Jelihovsky repudiated most of the words that Solovyoff put in her mouth in the Parc Monceau and finally, in a reply she made to his book, drove Solovyoff into such a corner that he himself was forced to produce a letter she had written to him which is so near the wording of
the alleged conversation that it looks as if Solovyoff simply took this "conversation" from the letter. Nevertheless, it is clear that Madame J. said to Solovyoff a good deal that she would not have said except on the double supposition that she was really concerned lest he should forsake his religion and that she was speaking to a gentleman. Solovyoff states that Vera expressed severe disapproval of the indulgence of their aunt towards Helena Petrovna - and this is more than likely. In the end, the two sisters compared notes and become better friends than ever was previously possible.]
"So far as concerned this new theosophy and its literature, I had as yet learned nothing [he could neither speak nor read English and the French translation of Isis Unveiled was not yet available]; in other words, I was bound to acquaint myself with this literature and doctrine, and to make out clearly what there was in it that was new, and what was drawn from sources already known to me.
"For instance, I, like the rest of the Paris Theosophists, was much occupied with the question of Karma and Nirvana, as set out by Olcott, Mohini and Madame Blavatsky. And this was not the only thing. There was a great deal that was interesting." (p. 62.)
"Helena Petrovna declared that there would be no more phenomena, and that she felt too weak to afford the considerable expenditure of vital force required for these manifestations. From time to time she treated us, though even this very rarely, to the sounds of her silver bell. Sometimes these sounds reached us as though from a distance; they issued from the end of the passage where her room was . . . When the sound of the bell was heard at the end of the passage, Madame Blavatsky jumped up, saying, `The master is calling,' and went off to her room.
"She showed us also, more than once, another small [sic] phenomenon. At some quite considerable distance from a table or mirror she would shake her hand, as though she were sprinkling some liquid off it; and thereupon would be heard from the surface of the table or mirror sharp and perfectly distinct raps. In reply to my question what this was, she could give me no sort of explanation, except that she wished the raps to come and they came. "Try to exert your will,' she said, "and perhaps you will get them too.
"I exerted my will with all my force, but nothing happened with me. And yet, when she laid her hands on my shoulder, and I shook my hand, precisely the same raps came on the table and the mirror as with her.
"Twice in my presence there occurred another similar manifestation; more or less loud raps began to be heard all around her, such as are familiar to anyone who has been at a spiritual seance. `Listen. The "shells" are amusing themselves' she said. The raps increased and began to spread. `Hush, you rascals,' she cried, and all was instantly still." (pp. 65-7)
Notwithstanding that he is thus constrained to testify even eight years later to exhibitions of a power he could not understand - nor, to this day has all the multitude of "researchers" discovered the secret of these raps that are heard in many a seance, Solovyoff' states that he was already suspicious. Maybe he was; most people do suspect what they cannot explain by the school curriculum. But maybe he was not, and merely found, as so many did, that Madame Blavatsky could be teased by a pretence of incredulity into performing some phenomenon. Also, she could be thus teased into playing what she called "psychological tricks" on impertinent people. But these "tricks" were really feats, mesmeric operations that had demanded a long training. Olcott gives many instances of these feats, and calls them by the Indian word mayas, illusions of the senses. It is more than likely that she tried her hand on the conceit and assurance of Solovyoff. However that may be, after the conversations with Madame Jelihovsky, he seems to have pestered H.P.B. for phenomena and at the same time affected now and again, slightly to doubt her powers; it must have been very slightly or she would have rent him and sent him packing. The
whole of this plain tale proves that he believed profoundly in her powers and expected great things for himself. That she was irritated with his importunity is clear, and Madame J. states (p. 292) that her diary shows that he besieged Madame Blavatsky for private seances and with requests to be admitted to her knowledge of phenomena. He may even have written such requests for he quotes from a note from her (p. 72):
"I can do nothing in the way of phenomena, and I am so sick of them. Do not talk about them."
On the same page he quotes her as writing to him about his suspicion of Edouard the clairvoyant subject of the famous paris magnetizer, Robert:
"Dear Mr. Vsevolod Sergyeitch, You are the most incorrigible, not skeptic, but `suspecter'. Why, what has this Edouard done to you that you should imagine he simulates? But after all, - what does it matter to me? Suspect all if you think good. It is the worse for you . . . . It is horrible to pass one's life suspecting all and everyone. I am perfectly certain that you do not intend to express your suspicions of me before people. I at all events have never been a suspecter; and those whom I love, I love in earnest; but of them there are very few".
[Whether the above is a correct translation may never be known. But, as I call Solovyoff, Public Falsificator No. 1, I naturally attach no importance to any unsupported word he says or offers. The latter part of the above may have been written long after. Certainly at this period, Madame Blavatsky would not have tolerated any but the most ordinarily teasing expressions of suspicion, let alone any faintest hint of denouncing her to other people. She herself could never understand the mentality of the approver; [[sic]] the wretch who suspects everyone and is ready to denounce for the love of it; she could only conclude that the approver [[sic]] had some personal spite against his victim, had "done something" to prompt a revenge. It took her a long time even to comprehend the general mentality of that period when it was considered esprit fort to doubt every psychical experience. Solovyoff had little indeed of this mentality, quite the contrary, but he soon learned the tone of the day in Paris and no doubt occasionally posed as a "suspecter". Madame Blavatsky's haughty treatment of even her own doubting sister indicates what luck Solovyoff would have had with any but the most innocuous "suspicions". As a matter of fact, the "plain tale" proves that he had none at all, but was quite humbly sitting at the feet of the master.]
"Madame Blavatsky left for London, swearing me eternal friendship and giving me in charge to Madame de Morsier . . . I patiently read through the two bulky volumes of Madame Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled, and this in a manuscript French translation, which Helena Petrovna had left with me, that I might consider if it would be possible to publish it with considerable abbreviations.
"On reading the first part of this work, while Madame Blavatsky was still in Paris, I happened to say to Madame Y: `It seems to me that Isis Unveiled is the most interesting of Helena Petrovna's phenomena, and, perhaps, the most inexplicable'." (pp. 69-70).
[Solovyoff was also having the first of a series of psychic experiences the which he is careful not to mention in his book, and that indicate him as a powerful "subject". The letter below, unfortunately in extract only, was produced by Madame J.]
Paris, 48 Rue Pergolese. July 19, 1884.
Dear Vera Petrovna, Your letter has given me the very greatest pleasure; and besides, I thought that you would not forget your promises , . . . As my pressing work is now done, and we have time to breathe, there is now plenty of room for gloomy thoughts. I must think of some fresh work . . . Raps and voices and all sorts of `uncanny' things are getting the upper hand. For instance, an invisible voice says to A -: `See, there will be raps on the window-pane directly,' and in a moment the raps begin . . . I almost constantly perceive
breathings around me, and the presence of someone, to such a degree that it is growing loathsome . . I have read the letters of Koot Hoomi, the Mahatma, and their contents please me much. I am reading the second part of Isis, and I am quite convinced that it is a phenomenon. (Appendix. p. 293.)
Letter to H. P. Blavatsky. (App. p. 287. )
Paris, Rue Pergolese,
August 18, 1884.
. . . Alea jacta est - my letter in the Rebus has already raised a considerable storm, and I am beginning to be overwhelmed with questions: `What? How? Can it be?' . . . Ma ligne de conduite est tracee - and you must know it. I am not afraid of ridicule, I am indifferent to the titles of fool, madman, etc. But why do you renounce me? . . I cannot think that any `master' (Mahatma) has told you that you have made a mistake, and that I am not necessary to you.
Letter to H. P. Blavatsky. (App. p. 309) (Apparently first part of above letter).
Dear Helena Petrovna, I have not written to you because there has been trouble in the little house with the little garden. Now things are somewhat easier. - Cruel Karma! . . . At a certain sorrowful moment, there was a clear and loud sound of a non-existent bell on the table, and a sudden thought of you came into my head and heart.
[Solovyoff nowhere mentions his companion in his book. The truth seems to be that he was then living with the sister of his wife and later married this sister-in-law. He introduced her to H.P.B. and all company, including the Sinnetts, the next year, as his wife; by that time, there was a child of the union. It may be imagined how singularly this omission of all reference to the lady affects his narrative. He thus leaves himself perfectly free in his alleged movements!]
"From London Madame Blavatsky went at the end of the summer to Elberfeld in Germany and wrote me thence: `Here I am, dead beat, but in the company of Olcott, Mohini, and some German theosophists. This is a charming little town and a charming family of theosophists; Mr. and Mrs. Gebhard, his three sons and a daughter-in-law, and nephews and nieces, nine in all. It is a huge splendid house. She is a disciple of Eliphas Levi and is mad about occultism. Come here for a few days.' (p. 73).
"On a hot August day, the 24th, I left Paris. As I felt very unwell, I decided to rest halfway at Brussels. Besides I had at that time never been in Belgium, and had not seen Brussels. I stopped at the Grand Hotel, slept very badly, went out in the morning to see the town, and on the staircase fell in with Miss A. To my surprise she met me most affably. We were both bored, and simply delighted to see one another. I found that she was in Brussels on some business of her own, and that she was going to Cologne, and then somewhere else.
" `And why are you here?'
" `I am going to Elberfeld to see Madame Blavatsky; she is ill and has sent for me.'
" `Very well, then I will go with you.'
" `Excellent. When shall we start?'
" `At nine o'clock tomorrow morning, that is the most convenient train, or else we shall have to arrive at Elberfeld late in the evening, not before ten.'
"This point settled, we passed the rest of the day together, and in the evening, Miss A. told me so much that was startling, marvellous and mysterious that I went to my room with my head positively in a whirl, and though it was very late, I could not get to sleep. I knew very well that in spite of all the efforts of the orthodox science of yesterday to deny the supersensual, it still exists, and from time to time manifests itself in human life; but I
equally knew that these manifestations
are rare, and cannot be otherwise. Yet here was the supersensual in the most varied, and sometimes in the most grotesque forms, literally inundating the life of a healthy vigorous person, one who was moreover absorbed in material affairs and business! The whole night through I hardly slept; at seven o'clock I dressed and ordered tea. At about eight I received a note from Miss A. saying that she had not slept either; a sort of invisible struggle had been going on around her, her head was aching, and she could not possibly start as all her keys were lost. I went to her, and found her standing in the midst of her portmanteuax and travelling bags. She assured me that `all the keys were lost, every one; yet last night they were all there, under her eyes.'
" `Send for a locksmith.'
" `I have sent.'
"The locksmith appeared and opened a portmanteau: in the portmanteau was a bunch of keys, and on the bunch the key of the portmanteau itself!
" `There you see the sort of thing that happens to me', exclaimed Miss A. triumphantly.
" 'I do indeed,' I replied.
"As we had by this time missed the nine o'clock train, we agreed to take a walk in the city, and to start at one o'clock. But I suddenly began to feel an unusual weakness, and a desire to sleep came over me. I begged Miss A. to excuse me, went to my own room and threw myself on the bed. However I did not fall asleep, but lay with my eyes closed - and there before me, one after the other passed, quite clear and distinct, various landscapes which I did not know. This was so new to me, and so beautiful, that I lay without stirring, for fear of interrupting and spoiling the vision. At last, all became misty, little by little, then grew confused, and I saw no more.
"I opened my eyes. Drowsiness and weakness had passed away. I went back to Miss A., and could not refrain from telling her what had happened to me. I described in detail, with all the circumstances, the landscapes which I had seen.
"We took our seats in a coupe of the train, which carried us off, and we were talking together, when suddenly Miss A. looked out of the window, and exclaimed: `See, here is one of your landscapes!'
"The effect was almost painful. There could be no doubt about it, just as I could not doubt that this was the first time I had ever travelled by this line or been in this region. Until it grew dark, I continued to gaze in reality on all I had seen in the morning, as I lay on the bed with my eyes closed.
"We reached Elberfeld, and went to the Hotel Victoria; and finding that it was not very late, we set off to see Madame Blavatsky, in the house of the merchant Gebhard, about the best house in Elberfeld." (pp. 74-6).
"We found our poor Madame all swollen with dropsy, and almost without movement, in an enormous armchair, surrounded by Olcott, Mohini, Keightley and two Englishwomen from London, Mrs. and Miss Arundale, by Mrs. Holloway, an American, and Gebhard with his wife and son. The rest of the Gebhards, had left Elberfeld.
"Madame was extremely delighted to see us; she brightened up and began to fidget in her armchair, and to `let off steam' in Russian . . . .
"We were in a large and handsome drawing-room. It was divided into two portions by an arch, over which heavy draperies were drawn, and what there was behind them, in the other half of the room, I did not know. When we had talked long enough, Helena Petrovna called up Rudolph Gebhard, a young man with very good manners, and whispered something to him, on which
" `I am going to give you a surprise directly,' she said.
"I soon saw that the surprise had something to do with the half of the room hidden behind the draperies, as a certain bustle was to be heard from there.
"The curtains were suddenly drawn back, and two wonderful figures, illuminated with a brilliant bluish light, concentrated and strengthened by mirrors, rose before us. At the moment, I thought I was looking on living men, so skilfully was the whole thing conceived. But it turned out that they were two great draped portraits of Mahatmas Morya and Koot Hoomi, painted in oils by Schmiechen, an artist related to the Gebhards.
"Subsequently, when I had thoroughly examined these portraits, I found in them much that was unsatisfactory from an artistic point of view; but their life-likeness was remarkable, and the eyes of the two mysterious strangers gazed straight at the spectator, their lips could almost have been said to move.
"The artist, of course, had never seen the originals of these two portraits. Madame Blavatsky and Olcott assured us all that he had painted by inspiration, that `they' themselves had guided his pencil and that `the likeness was extraordinary'. However that might be, Schmiechen had painted two beautiful young men. Mahatma Koot Hoomi, clad in a graceful sort of robe, trimmed with fur, had a tender, almost feminine face and gazed sweetly with a pair of charming light eyes.
"But as soon as one looked at the `master', Koot Hoomi, for all his tender beauty, was at once forgotten. The fiery black eyes of the tall Morya fixed themselves sternly and piercingly upon one, and it was impossible to tear oneself away from them. The `master' was represented as in the miniature in
Madame Blavatsky's locket, crowned with a white turban and in a white garment. All the power of the reflectors was turned upon this sombrely beautiful face, and the whiteness of the turban and dress completed the brilliance and life-likeness of the effect.
"Madame Blavatsky asked for still more light upon her `master', so Rudolph Gebhard and Keightley altered the mirrors, arranged the drapery around the portrait, and placed Koot Hoomi aside. The effect was astonishing. One had to force oneself to remember that it was not a living man. I could not turn my eyes away.
" . . .On the way to the hotel, we could talk of nothing but the wonderful portrait of the `master', and in the darkness he seemed to stand before me. I tried to shut my eyes, but I still saw him clearly in every detail. When I reached my room, I locked the door, undressed and went to sleep." (pp. 77-9).
Account sent by Solovyoff to the S.P.R,. October 1, 1884.
(Translation from the French by B.H.)
Having received a letter from my countrywoman, Madame Helena Blavatsky, in which she informed me of her bad health and begged me to go to see her at Elberfeld, I decided to take the journey. But as the state of my own health obliged me to be careful, I preferred to stop at Brussels, which town I had never seen, to rest, the heat being unbearable.
I left Paris on the 24th of August. Next morning, at the Grand Hotel in Brussels, where I was staying, I met Mlle. A. (daughter of the late Russian ambassador at and maid of honor to the Empress of Russia). Hearing that I was going to Elberfeld to see Mme. Blavatsky, whom she knew and for whom she had much respect, she decided to come with me. We spent the day together, expecting to leave in the morning by the nine o'clock train.
At eight o'clock, being quite ready to depart, I go to Miss A.'s room and find her in a great state of perplexity. All her keys, which she always kept about her person in a little bag and that she had in this bag on going to bed, had disappeared during the night, although the door was locked. Thus, as all her baggage was locked, she could not put away the things she had just been using and wearing. We were obliged to postpone our departure to the one o'clock train and called a locksmith to open the largest trunk. When it was opened, all the keys were found in the bottom of the trunk, including the key of this trunk itself, attached as usual to the rest. Having all the morning to spare, we agreed to take a walk, but suddenly I was overcome by weakness and felt an irresistible desire to sleep. I begged Miss A. to excuse me and went to my room, and threw myself on the bed. But I could not sleep and lay with my eyes shut, but awake, when suddenly I saw before my closed eyes a series of views of unknown places that my memory took in to the finest detail. When this vision ceased, I felt no more weakness and went to Miss A., to whom I related all that had happened to me and described to her in detail the views I had seen.
We left by the one o'clock train and lo! after about half an hour's journey, Miss A., who was looking out of the window, said to me, "Look, here is one of your landscapes!" I recognized it at once, and all that day until evening, I saw, with open eyes, all that I had seen in the morning with closed eyes. I was pleased that I had described to Miss A. all my vision in detail as thus say that the route between Brussels and Elberfeld is completely unknown to me, for it was the first time in my life that I had visited Belgium and this part of Germany.
On arriving at Elberfeld in the evening, we took rooms in a hotel and then hurried off to see Madame Blavatsky at Mr. Gebhard's house. The same evening, the members of the Theosophical Society who were there with Mme. Blavatsky showed us two superb oil-paintings of the Mahatmas M. and Koot Hoomi. The portrait of M. especially produced on us an extraordinary impression, and it is not surprising that on the way back to the hotel, we talked on about him and had him before our eyes. Miss A. may be left to relate her own experience during that night.
(To Be Continued)
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