Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
VOL. XXIV, No. 7 Hamilton, September 15th, 1943 Price 20 Cents
OUTLIERS AND PIONEERS
In sending out our magazine the Post Office authortiies require that when two or more copies go to the same post office they have to be tied together, which saves a lot of extra handling. But there are a considerable number which go out alone, to solitary students on the prairies, among the mountains, in little towns and villages or in isolated farms. They are just as important, perhaps sometimes more important, than those who range the city streets and gather in weekly council with their brethren. To these solitary ones we do not think it necessary to send sympathy, and certainly not anything like pity. They have their place in the Theosophical Movement and they are as near to the Masters as they would be domiciled in Madras or Bombay, or London or Jerusalem or Chicago. And they have one tremendous advantage - they are outside the domination of temporal authority and sinister organizational influences. They can choose to whom they will lend their ears and to whom they will open their hearts. The practice of Brotherhood is never denied them. They can pursue the study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies, and sciences in less or greater measure at their discretion. The investigation of the powers latent in man is for all an elementary exercize. Hatred or anger, pride, lust, jealousy, stupidity, envy,
vanity and fear are always available for examination, and if the corresponding virtues are not more familiar it is not difficult to summon up their fair visages. Our effort is to outgrow the ancient errors and to be prepared to fit ourselves into the new time. It is described as an evolution, but relatively to things as they are it is a revolution. Many so-called leaders have been unable to see this. When I remarked to Mrs. Besant the last time I saw her, "It is a pity that Krishnamurti had not studied the Secret Doctrine," all she replied was, apologetically, "Well, you know he is a 'Mystic.' " Another is styled an "occultist" as though these men had been provided with some heavenly manna superior to the plain, everyday bread and butter of the Secret Doctrine. The "occultist" found nothing better to do than to endeavor to put the new wine into the old bottles, a point on which Jesus had specially warned us. The old wineskins are full of corrupt ferments, and the new wine is wasted on effete ritual. Our outlying students escape these crude temptations to return, in the coarse but honest language of Jesus, like the dogs and the swine to their garbage, but are free to lift up their eyes to the Sun in his glory and know that the Lord of Light is always in his Temple.
KING ARTHUR'S TABLE SIGNS AND SECRETS - IV.
The Earth Sign TAURUS
Taliesin, the famous and very early Welsh bard, wrote a poem entitled `A View of the Bardic Sanctuary' which unmistakably describes King Arthur's Round Table of the Zodiac in Somerset and consequently is of the highest archaeological value, I quote: -
"A holy sanctuary there is, on the wide lake; a city not protected with walls; the sea surrounds it. Demandest thou; O Britain, to what this can be meetly applied! Before the lake of the son of Erbin, let thy ox be stationed". "The sacred ox of the patriarch is stationed before the lake, ready to draw the Shrine to land out of the watery repository. It is the lake of the vessel of the lofty chiefs. The eagle, or symbol of the sun, was placed aloft in the sky, that is, in the open aethereal temple, which is often so called. There was the representation of the path of Apollo - an image of the ecliptic, in which the pomp was conducted, preceded by the waving eagle. And this was done in the presence of the great sovereign, or the sun himself."
The foregoing is copied from page 508 of `The Mythology and Rites of the British Druids' by Edward Davies, printed in London (for J. Booth) 1809. He says - "The prison of Gowair is here called Caer Sidi, the circle of the zodiac, in which their luminous emblems, the sun, moon and planets, revolve, the sanctuary of the British Ceries, which represented both the ark and the zodiac."
Edward Davies did not know of the Temple of the Stars in the neighborhood of Glastonbury but it is quite apparent that the Welsh Bards, especially Taliesin, had detailed records of it. Before the sea walls were built the sea used to come up to the effigy ship of the giant Orion, and there stationed beside this "vessel" lies the sacred ox, Taurus.
"The great sovereign" is aptly described by Lewis Spence in his `Mystery of Britain' as follows, "If we turn now to the higher philosophy of British mysticism as expressed in Barddas, we find the Supreme Power described as inconceivable and incomprehensible. The allusion seems to be to Hu, who is further identified with the Heus of the Gauls, alluded to as the supreme proprietor of the Isle of Britain in Welsh myth, and who appears to have been symbolized by the ox, much as the Apis bull represented Osiris. That Heus was also represented in ox form is practically certain, and a number of Keltic place-names suggest that they were sites of a bull cult."
"The eagle" or Phoenix, the symbol of the sun, has already been described (in II. of this series) set high on Glastonbury Tor.
As regards "the vessel of the lofty chief" Dudley Wright in his Druidism says - "In common with most nations the Druids had their Deluge traditions, but represented the event as occurring in a lake called Llyn Llion, the waters of which burst forth and overwhelmed the face of the whole world. One vessel only escaped the catastrophe, and in this were a man and woman and certain of the animal species. By these Britain was re-peopled with human beings and animals. The name given to the man thus miraculously preserved was Hu, the Mighty. He is frequently represented as the diluvial god, and as such is generally attended by a spotted cow. The woman was "the goddess of the various seeds."
Here we have mentioned the effigy goddess Virgo who flings her great bunch of "various seeds" across the whole width of the "path of Apollo"; and again the Mighty Hu with his ark, and spotted star cow, (Gemini and Taurus) and Leo's "lion lake" caused by the river Cary which outlines the effigy
lion, and bursting its banks every year floods the whole of King Sedge Moor like a vast lake.
I have often seen Sedge Moor completely submerged, a few isolated farm houses marooned and dependent on boats for weeks at a time. These local boats have a dangerous time in the swirling waters which sweep them into the branches of trees.
As for this "spotted cow" or "sacred ox" or Bull, though on the Somerset zodiac and also on star maps, only its head and right fore leg are represented, nevertheless it is, in one respect, the most important of all the `signs', because it led the year when this earthly or "mundane circle" was conceived. Taurus and Argo are connected with the moon, possibly that is the reason why it lays its hoof on the top of the main mast of the Giant Twin's ship, the "vessel" mentioned above.
Thus only by legend and tradition preserved in Barddas, the Arthurian Cycle, Keltic folklore and the like, can we hope to recover the history of the prehistoric Temple of our ancestors that has been so laboriously reconstructed from standard maps, air photographs of the earthwork effigies, and star charts. But it is remarkable, with so many different indications pointing to the "nether sky", as Homer calls the heaven of the heroes of Troy, that the Somerset zodiac should not have been localized long ago in what he names the lonely northern land of the "nation of Cimmeria", for the Cymri living in Wales came from the Euphrates valley. In Homer's Odssey we read that Ulysses arrived at this "nether sky" thus -
"The ship we moor on these obscure abodes;
Disbark the sheep, an offering to the gods;
And, hellward bending, o'er the beach descry
The doleful passage to the infernal sky".
A nether and an infernal sky could mean only the star constellations laid out on earth like those near Glastonbury, which are now divided from Wales by the Severn river, for Ulysses and his companions were alive and made no actual descent into hell but landed on the sea beach and at once encountered beings -
"More fierce than giants, more than giants strong;
The earth o'erburden'd groaned beneath their weight,
None but Orion e'er surpassed their height, . . .
His shafts Apollo aim'd; at once they sound,
And stretch the giant monsters o'er the ground."
Translated by Pope. Book XI.
Brutus of Troy, when he came to Britain, was told that it had been inhabited by giants, doubtless those described by Homer - "Stern Minos, high on a throne, tremendous to behold", and "Hercules, a towering spectre of gigantic mould", for of such were these "giant monsters o'er the ground" in Somerset.
Plutarch tells us that the principal object of adoration among the Cimbri, in the time of Marius, was a brazen bull by which they were accustomed to swear on solemn occasions; and that to the west of Britain a festival was held at the end of every thirty years which was connected with Taurus. To show how a belief will persist for four or five thousand years, the Highlanders of Scotland still believe that in the twilight on New Year's Eve the figure of a gigantic bull is to be seen crossing the heavens called "the Candlemas Bull".
In like manner of perpetuity the Virgin Mary is seen seated upon the crescent moon or with the moon and stars in her hair as Queen of Heaven; thousands of agriculturists still regulate their sowing of seeds by the waxing or
waning of the moon. Christ seated in the sun surrounded by rays, with the earth and moon at His feet is equally familiar in symbolic art, and on the arms of His cross are shown the star constellation creatures, called rather humorously the Evangelistic symbols i.e. the Bull, the Lion, the Man, and the Eagle, which respectively marked the vernal equinox, summer solstice, autumnal equinox and winter solstice from about 4000 to 2000 B.C. and will outlast all other religious symbols, for the sun will continue to revolve against the background of the fixed stars time without end.
What more profound and beautiful symbology could be found anywhere else than in the stars!
- K.E. Maltwood.
Oak Bay, Victoria
INTRODUCTION TO "SERAPHITA"
By George Federic Parsons
(Continued from Page 188)
It is also to be observed that though Balzac has modernized the conception of this marvellous and beautiful process, he is in no way to be regarded as the inventor of that conception. As to its origin we shall perhaps seek it in vain, for the deeper we explore the occult and religious literature of antiquity the more evidence we find of the archaism of the central belief. The doctrine of metempsychosis is correlated with that of perfectibility, while the means by which the latter end may be attained have been so constantly and minutely discussed, tested, and analyzed by Eastern philosophers and psychologists as to furnish forth a complete code, the very terminology of which has bewildered and baffled Western philogists, men of scnence, and above all, theologians. Nevertheless, a belief in the possibility of realizing in the flesh a much higher knowledge and perception than materialist methods of education are capable of attaining to, has in various ways descended and persisted through all ages to the present time; and in support of this belief there has been preserved and recorded a certain amount of what, in almost any other case, would generally be accepted as substantive evidence, but in this case is accepted or rejected with little regard to its true evidential value, and for the most part according as the individual to whom it is submitted is dominated by Spiritual or Materialist prepossessions. It is true that in the West the credibility of all such phenomena has been weakened by the fading out of the doctrine of reincarnation; for apart from that doctrine every approximation to the higher life recorded must savor so much of miracle as to repel philosophic minds and cause consideration of the alleged facts to be refused or abandoned. In Oriental countries, where metempsychosis has never ceased to be accepted, it obviously supplies plausible explanations for many appearances which under other conditions would strongly suggest the supernatural. Among Asiatics, reincarnation is considered the normal, nay, the inevitable, career, and in connection with the Law of Karma it affords a faith which is held by a large proportion of the earth's inhabitants. Thus it is clear that the idea of Seraphita would be at once understood by a Hindu, who would see nothing fanciful or extravagant in the personification, which he would probably classify in his own mind as that of a female Rishi. Swedenborg, whether consciously or unconsciously, derived many of his beliefs as to other states of existence, it is not necessary to say from the Eastern sages, but at all events from the same sources, which were open to those sages. He altered some of these Oriental ideas strangely, beyond a question, and clothed them with material garments such as would have bewildered the In-
dian philosophers, whose theories were of the soul, without the alloy of earth which modern civilization has, naturally perhaps, given to them. In some respects Seraphita is more Oriental than Swedenborgian; but in truth Balzac has put many occult principles together in fashioning this unique creature, and in the end he has, perhaps wisely, borrowed freely the imagery and the color as well as the general conceptions which characterize what are called the ecstatic visions of the Christian saints, especially the mystics of comparatively modern times.
The occult doctrine of Number is touched upon in Seraphita's discourse. As the subject has already been considered at some length in the Introduction to "Louis Lambert," and as Balzac makes his meaning comparatively clear, perhaps it is not necessary to reopen that question; to a full understanding of which, moreover, some knowledge of the Kabbala is requisite. It may, however, be as well to point out that Balzac does not follow Pythagoras in materializing Number; the entities to which he refers are purely spiritual and mystical. But there is, in this remarkable discourse of Seraphita a view of the straight line and the circle which it is necessary to examine carefully, for at first sight it appears to be in hopeless contradiction with all occult teaching. Having shown that the circle and the curve govern created forms, Seraphita proceeds thus: "Who shall decide between rectilinear and curvilinear geometry? between the theory of the straight line and that of the curve? If in His vast work, the mysterious Artificer, who knows how to reach his ends miraculously fast, never employs a straight line except to cut off an angle and so obtain a curve, neither does man himself always rely upon it. The bullet which he aims direct proceeds by a curve, and when you wish to strike a certain point in space, you impel your bombshell along its cruel parabola. None of your men of science have drawn from this fact the simple deduction that the Curve is the law of the material worlds, and the Straight line that of the spiritual worlds; one is the theory of finite creations, the other the theory of the infinite. Man, who alone in this world has a knowledge of the Infinite, can alone know the straight line; he alone has the sense of verticality placed in a special organ. A fondness for the creations of the curve would seem to be in certain men an indication of the impurity of their nature still conjoined to the material substances which engender us; and the love of great souls for the straight line seems to show in them an intuition of heaven."
This doctrine is clearly not derived from Swedenborg, whose central theory of Correspondences is fundamentally in conflict with it. According to the Swedish seer everything material is a type and representation of something spiritual. Swedenborg's philosophical hypothesis of vortices, moreover, has nothing in common with this intimation of the superior spirituality of the line. That the circle is the most perfect of all figures is never doubted by the author of the vortical theory. Professor Winchell has condensed this theory conveniently, and from him a few sentences may be quoted: "The first cause is the infinite or unlimited. This gives existence to the first finite or limited. That which produces a limit is analogous to motion. The limit produced is a point, the essence of which is motion; but being without parts, this essence is not actual motion but only a conatus to it. From this first proceed extension, space, figure, and succession, or time. As in geometry a point generates a line, a line a surface, and a surface a solid, so here the conatus of the point tends towards lines, surfaces, and solids. In other words, the universe is contained in ovo in the first natural point. The
motion toward which the conatus tends is circular, since the circle is the most perfect of all figures, and tendency to motion impressed by the Infinite must be tendency to the most perfect figure." And again: "The most perfect figure of the motion above described must be the perpetually circular . . . It must necessarily be of a spiral figure, which is the most perfect of all figures," - and much more reasoning to the same effect. And in this view of the circle Swedenborg does but follow the most ancient of occult doctrines, as may readily be perceived. The most venerable cosmogonic symbol is the point in the circle, - the point representing the creating Logos, the Breath of the Absolute imparting Motion to Matter; the circle typifying the unlimited, the Infinite, which includes and controls all created things. Again, the Spirit of Life and Immortality have from the earliest times been symbolized by the circle. The whole Kabbala proceeds upon the theory of circles, which is the formulating principle of the doctrine of Emanations. In all hermetic scriptures the same teaching will be found. The circle was the symbol of the most spiritual views. Thus Proclus says: "Before producing the material worlds which move in a circle, the Creative Power produced the invisible Circles." The Golden Egg of Brahma is another illustration of the universality of this doctrine. In fact, as is observed in "The Secret Doctrine," "In the secret doctrine the concealed unity - whether representing Parabrahman, or the `Great Extreme' of Confucius, or the Deity concealed by Phta, the Eternal Light, or again, the Jewish En-Soph - is always found to be symbolized by a circle, or the `nought' (absolute No-Thing and Nothing, because it is infinite and the All); while the God-manifested (by its works) is referred to as the diameter of that circle. The symbolism of the underlying idea is thus made evident; the right line passing through the centre of a circle has, in the geometrical sense, length, but neither breadth nor thickness; it is an imaginary and feminine symbol, crossing eternity and made to rest on the plane of existence of the phenomenal world. It is dimensional, whereas its circle is dimensionless, or, to use an algebraical term, it is the dimension of an equation."
The doctrine of Correspondences, which requires that everything material must be patterned upon something spiritual is indeed not original with Swedenborg. We find it already formulated in the Timaeus of Plato. Timaeus there says: "Which of the patterns had the artificer in view when he made the world, the pattern which is unchangeable - or that which is created? If the world be indeed fair and the artificer good, then, as is plain, he must have looked to that which is eternal . . . . Every one will see that he must have looked to the eternal, for the world is the fairest of creations and he is the best of causes." And again Timaeus says: "And he gave to the world figure which was suitable and also natural. But to the animal which was to comprehend all animals, that figure was suitable which comprehends within itself all other figures. Whereupon also he made the world in the form of a globe, round as from a lathe, in every direction equally distant from the centre to the extremes, the most perfect and the Most like itself of all figures; for he considered that the like is infinitely fairer than the unlike." To the same effect may be cited Schopenhauer, who observes: "Throughout and everywhere the true symbol of nature is the circle, because it is the scheme or type of recurrence. This is, in fact, the most universal form in nature, which it carries out in everything, from the course of the stars down to the death and the genesis of organized beings, and by which alone, in the ceaseless stream
of time, and its contents, a permanent existence, i.e., a nature, becomes possible." Is not the curve too emblematic of all that to the human mind appears pure and beautiful and spiritual? What is it that appeals to the eye as beauty in regarding a landscape? A level plain upon which the sole relief of form occurs in straight trees, produces not only a passing impression of dreary monotony but affects the temperaments of all who inhabit it, as the character of the steppe-dweller everywhere demonstrates. So too in architecture. Its primitive forms, ere the arch was discovered, were harsh and almost repulsive. This may be seen in the earliest Egyptian architecture. The whole system was elevated by the introduction of the arch, and by the adoption of the curves of Nature in the lotus capital and the bulb-form pillar. Mentally eliminate the curves from the noblest architectural monuments, such as the Taj Mahal, and their charm is destroyed. Compare Shah Jehan's superb construction with the Parthenon, and it will be seen at once that while in the latter it is mainly the sense of symmetry which is impressed, the former awakens emotions of a far higher character, for it suggests a beauty scarcely of earth; it is in the perfect grace and exquisite harmony of its lines, in unity with Nature's noblest mood, and might well be the creation of these Devas with which the mythology of Hindustan peoples the unseen universe. No poet can fail to perceive and take delight in the beauties of the curve as exhibited in Nature; and the poetical vision has never been more subtly or sweety expressed than by Emerson: -
"For Nature beats in perfect tune,
And rounds with rhyme her every rune,
Whether she work in land or sea,
Or hide underground her alchemy.
Thou canst not wave thy staff in air,
Or dip thy paddle in the lake,
But it carves the bow of beauty there,
And the ripples in rhymes the oar forsake."
So fond is Nature of the curve that it underlies all her work and gives to it the deepest charm and attraction. The straight line she does not greatly affect, nay, she takes a mischievous pleasure, apparently, in baffling man's efforts to establish it. Even her blindest forces resist its manifestations as by some law. "Thou canst not wave thy staff in air," but it "carves the bow of beauty there." The resistance of the tenuous atmosphere thwarts the downright, rectilinear impulse, and forces the staff into the curves which symbolize the perfection of form.
But Seraphita affirms that the curve is really the inferior symbol; that it belongs to and expresses the Finite; whereas the straight line pertains to the Infinite. How shall this paradox be explained? To the merely mortal understanding, nay, to that understanding when raised to its highest power, the circle and the curve are and have ever been the symbols of the loftiest conceptions, the keys to the profoundest systems of thought. No doubt the line may be regarded mathematically as the sign of infinite extension, but it surely has little connection with Idealism, with Poetry, with Imagination, or Beauty, or Religion. With Duty it assuredly has clear and close affiliations, however, and that fact may well give us pause; for to comprehend Duty thoroughly is indeed to penetrate into arcana which, if such vision be possible to the finite, extend to the very threshold of infinity. There is nothing which so synthesizes and embraces Matter and Spirit as this same apprehension of Duty; and keeping fast hold of that idea we may perhaps be able to throw a little light upon Seraphita's meaning in the difficult Passage under consideration. The ideal here concerned is indeed too little
reverenced in these days. Yet it is as true as ever that "the path of duty is the way to glory," and that
"He that, ever following her commands,
On with toil of heart and knees and hands,
Thro' the long gorge to the far light has won
His path upward, and prevail'd,
Shall find the toppling crags of Duty scaled
Are close upon the shining table-lands
To which our God himself is moon and sun."
For "Duty, lov'd of Love" is the highest test of human aspiration, the surest measure of human progress, and it may well be that the straight line which is associated with and symbolizes it is in the final analysis an intimation and a belonging of that supreme existence whose remoteness and majesty transcend conditioned thought, and on this plane can only be dimly perceived as the Something which metaphysical analysis feels compelled to postulate in partial explanation of the Knowable.
The Logos, the Point within the Circle, was not, as often mistakenly supposed, held by the students of the archaic doctrine to be the Supreme or Absolute. It was really but the symbol of the Manifested, that of which the human mind can in, some way take cognizance. The old theogonies avoid the perplexities and contradictions so strongly presented by Seraphita when examining the doubts which assail the skeptical Pastor, by postulating a First Cause beyond the actual Artificer of the Universe. So Porphyry (cited by Taylor) says: "To that God who is above all things, neither external speech ought to be addressed, nor yet that which is inward." Thus Proclus speaks of the highest principle as "more ineffable than all silence, and more occult than all essence," and as being "concealed amidst the intelligible gods."
This is the Ain-Soph of the Kabbala, - the name given it there being almost synonymous in meaning with the Unknowable of modern Agnosticism, though the latter professes to find the Logos equally inscrutable. Now it is conceivable that while the circle is, as Seraphita says, the symbol of the Created, the line may be that of the Uncreated, that is to say, the Infinite. The fact that to us who exist on this earthly plane the circle presents the most perfect figure does not appear a really serious obstacle to the reception of this view; for the circle might very well be the most perfect figure as related to Matter in all its modifications, or even as related to the lower spiritual spheres into which alone it may be supposed that incarnated spirit is capable of penetrating; and yet it might not be adapted to that highest form of existence which is altogether above and beyond human apprehension. Either this is the interpretation to be put upon Seraphita's statement concerning the relations and symbolism of the line and the circle, or it must be concluded that Balzac has fallen into an error so gross that it is incredible it should have been committed by a student of occultism in every other particular so firmly grounded.
There is indeed no theory advanced in either of the philosophical romances of Balzac which cannot be traced to authorities and coordinated with some accepted doctrine. He never delivers himself over recklessly to his fancy in these works, and the smallest suggestion has a significance of its own. In the present instance he certainly appears to traverse even widely adopted esoteric teachings, but the more reasonable assumption must be that this contradiction is only apparent and not fundamental. It moreover evidently encloses a bold conception, and one which is calculated to exalt the character and convey a lofty idea of the
powers and perceptions of Seraphita. Never does she tower more majestically over her interlocutors and companions than when she is delivering herself of this magnificent thought; and nowhere are the capabilities and potentialities of humanity more strikingly and comprehensively suggested than in the intimation that man contains within himself an element which links him not alone with the highest heavens, but with that inscrutable, eternal power which transcends our conception of the celestial as much as that surpasses our material experience. The thought involved is indeed most noble. It is that the destiny of man connects him with an existence independent of and superior to all the changes which Matter can undergo; with an existence indissoluble by the termination either of Material or Spiritual universes; with an existence unaffected by pralayas and manvantaras, and which will bear him scatheless through every catastrophe and cataclysm to which the formed and the formless worlds are said by Eastern occultism to be alike subject. The vista thus opened to the imagination is stupendous beyond question, but it may be explored boldly or timidly as the reader's inclinations and mental and spiritual tendencies determine.
(To Be Continued)
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.
Mr. Mark W. Dewey, who is one of our octogenarians, has recently written me of his interest in Moksha, which is practically the Salvation of the Evangelical Christian. This should moderate their fierce conviction that nothing of the kind was ever heard of before Christianity. The Glossary defines Moksha as Liberation, that is, from the hell, the Sangsara, the unending circle of birth and death. The Christian usually cannot tell what he is to be liberated or saved from. He will tell you, from hell, not knowing that this earth is hell and that he is already there, in spite of the statement that Jesus descended into hell. The Glossary further defines Moksha as Nirvana; a post-mortem state of rest and bliss of the "Soul-Pilgrim."
The reason so little is said about reincarnation in the New Testament really is that Jesus taught Moksha or deliverance from the "Wheel of Birth" as St. James calls it, though the translators disguise it as "the course of nature", and the Revisers give it correctly in the margin of their version.
It is very difficult for orthodox scholars to reveal the truth. When Jesus mentioned palingenesis they translated it regeneration, and restoration or anything but reincarnation which it definitely means. Jesus was sure that his teaching would deliver men from reincarnation and he emphasized his method repeatedly.
It was a difficult thing to do and though "many are called, few are chosen." Literally it is the abandonment of the soul, the psyche, or personality. If you seek to save it, he says, you will lose it. This paradox depends on the instability of the personality, which constantly changes, from hour to hour, from day to day, from year to year. How different the youth of twenty from the man of sixty! Yet
some theologians think this personality is to remain unchanged or "saved" through the eternities. Jesus had common sense pre-eminently but the theologians had not wisdom enough to make common sense a dogma.
Mr. Dewey has found much about Moksha in the "wonderful writings" of the late Charles Johnston, a son of that eminent Protestant and Orangeman, Johnston of Ballykilbeg. Mr. Johnston was married to a niece of Madame Blavatsky and had learned much from H.P.B. herself. His translation of the Gita with his comments thereon show this.
Mr. Dewey refers to "the best and perhaps the most concise matter on the subject" as disclosed in the old Oriental Department Papers, January, 1891 to June, 1892. The best paper, he says, is No. 3, April, 1891, called "Discernment of the Knowledge of Self", an extract from the Maha Nirvana Tantra, pages 1-5, "a very valuable paper." "There are lots of points," he continues, "to be picked up in the old Lucifers.
Here is one, Lucifer, xi, 197: The firm conviction that " 'I am Brahma' is known to be the only cause of Moksha." "This is the same thing that Jesus meant when he said: "I and the Father are One." Judge, says Mr. Dewey, gives some good points in his old "Aids and Suggestions," to disentangle "from the net of birth and death in which we all are caught." Let me call your attention, he also adds, to The Mahatma Letters, pages 78, 130 and top of 265, to study carefully and closely. Students will find these notes of Mr Dewey useful.
On August 31 I completed the reading of the monumental book, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, by Dr. Evans-Wentz. No student can afford to miss this volume which is a companion authority in all ethical and occult respects to The Voice of the Silence and H.P.B. 's other devotional writings. It throws
much light on this problem of Moksha, designated Liberation or Emancipation. Here is a paragraph from page 351:
"This supreme doctrine of Emancipation may be summarized by saying that all things are eternally immersed in Nirvana, but that man, held in bondage by the hypnotic glamor of appearances, is wrapt in an unbroken Sleep of Ignorance, dreaming dreams which he thinks real. Not until man awakens from the illusion of self and the world can he realize that Nirvana is here and now and everywhere, inherent in all things - as Perfect Quiescence, the Qualityless, the Unborn, the Uncreated. In the ecstatic trance state of the highest samadhi the Great Yogin attains this Undifferentiated Knowledge, the Transcendent Wisdom."
On page 85, among "The Ten Best Things" we read: "For one of ordinary intellect, the best meditation is unbroken concentration of mind upon the two dualistic concepts of phenomena and noumena, and consciousness and mind.
"For one of superior intellect, the best meditation is to remain in mental quiescence, the mind devoid of all thought-processes, knowing that the meditator, the object of meditation, and the act of meditating constitute an inseparable unity.
"For one of little intellect, the best religious practice is to live in strict conformity with the law of cause and effect."
In describing the Chod rite, it is stated on page 281:
"As in all yoga, so in this, the yogin seeks to outstrip the normal, and to him, over-slow and tedious process of spiritual unfoldment; and, karma permitting, win Freedom, as Tibet's Great Yogin Milarepa did, in one lifetime. The Chod is thus one of the many Tibetan rites pertaining to the `Secret Path', also called the `Short (or Direct) Path', of attaining Nirvana, or deliver-
ance from all karmic necessity of further rebirth. In virtue of the mystic sacrifice of his own body, the successful yogin breaks asunder the fetters of personality, of passion, of separateness, and of all maya, or illusion; and, transcending Ignorance, of which these are the sources, attains to yogic insight into the true nature of human existence. Once having realized the illusory character of all phenomenal appearances, which the unenlightened hold to be real and external and separate, and classify as animate and inanimate, including the innumerable kinds of creatures of the six realms of sensuous being, visible and invisible, throughout the Cosmos, the yogin, sees the many as the One, and the One as all, and knows that the sole reality is Mind."
Another important point in connection with this attainment of salvation Liberation, Deliverance, Emancipation, Freedom or Moksha, must not be overlooked, especially as Mrs. Besant, Mr. Leadbeater, Mr. Jinarajadasa, Dr. Arundale and others have taken pains to mislead their students upon it, even altering the teaching given by Madame Blavatsky in The Voice of the Silence, to insist upon their ignorance. On page 94 there is this passage:
"The fact that there has arisen in the world those who have entered the Stream, those who will return to birth but once more, those who have passed beyond the need of further birth, and Arhants, and Self-Enlightened Buddhas and Omniscient Buddhas, showeth the virtue of the Holy Dharma." Two notes give explanations of these stages of progress, the second note as follows:
"Self-Enlightened (Skt. Pratyeka) Buddhas do not teach the Doctrine publicly, but merely do good to those who come into personal contact with Them, whereas Omniscient Buddhas, of Whom was the Buddha Gautama, preach the Doctrine widely, both to gods and men." On page 360 we find a further note which states: "The Mahayanist regards the goal of the Sravakas, with whom he classes the Theravadins of the Southern School, to be self-perfection like that of the Pratyeka Buddhas, and not the greater goal of those who tread the Path of Selfless Altruism of the Bodhisattvas . . . . . There are thus two stages, or degrees, of Nirvanic Enlightenment. The first arises in virtue of having transcended the Sangsara and overcome all karmic need of further sangsaric being. The second is dependent upon realizing that the mighty accomplishment is but the stepping-stone to a higher evolution; the conqueror must realize, once the conquest is made, that the conquest is not of itself enough, that it must be utilized as a means to a still mightier end and not merely enjoyed as by the Pratyeka Buddha. The Sravaka Buddhist mistakenly regards the first degree, as realized by him, to be the full realization of Nirvana. He therefore makes no effort to progress beyond it, with the result that he becomes fettered to it." It is on page 66 of this volume that Dr. Evans-Wentz quotes The Voice of the Silence which led the Columbia College professors to give Dr. Evans-Wentz credit as its author. After reading his book I do not know anyone with a better right to quote The Voice.
HIS MAJESTY'S OPPOSITION
A little late, but not too late for comment, I find the following words of Dr. Arundale in the June "Theosophist", 1941, which brings forth certain reflections:
"There are a number of members of The Theosophical Society who by no means approve of the general trend of present Theosophical ideas, and there are a number who are profoundly dissatisfied with what they are pleased to call 'The Adyar Policy' or some such similar term. They disapprove of most
of my own utterances, and of many books which have appeared from the pens of Dr. Besant, and Bishop Leadbeater. But nobly and rightly they do not resign. Be the task short or long it is their sincere desire to purge The Society of the dominance of the ideas of which they disapprove. They remain members of The Society and carry on as they deem best their own Theosophical work. They form for the movement, perhaps, if there are any ideas dominant in The Society, which we will for the time being assume to be true, His Majesty's Opposition, if I may use the term, and there is just as much need for the 'No' attitude as for the `Yes' attitude, provided both `No' and `Yes' are uttered in a spirit of Brotherhood and understanding."
It would be better if these rather ambiguous suggestions of Dr. Arundale were classified. They are misleading, as indeed they were intended to be when written. However, the clarification is not likely to come from Adyar.
The point at issue seems to me to be the term "Opposition". That there is conflict in principles is well known to every student-member, but members who read widely and do not depend upon the Adyar-controlled propaganda for Adyar are few and far between.
The phrase "His Majesty's Opposition" is used to suggest or imply Adyar's connection with the INNER GOVERNMENT. Copying the expression used by the British Empire's Government for the opposing party not in power, Dr. Arundale attempts to draw an analogy identifying Adyar with the FIRST SECTION of the Society, the ADEPT BROTHERHOOD. A rather weak attempt, of course, but much better than the ludicrous attempts made by his predecessors in the responsible offices. It is clearly intended to convey the thought of supreme authority - whatever the interpretation may be to individual readers, or the original intention hidden in the writer's mind.
To loyal followers of the "Original Programme", however, "HIS MAJESTY" has but one meaning, referring to the ADEPT FOUNDER Who assumed responsibility for the release of Knowledge and Who directed the work and policy. In other words, THE MAHATMA MORYA, Who is the INNER HEAD of The Theosophical Movement including all Societies, Groups and people who profess allegiance to Theosophy, none other than Whom we acknowledge as our Authority and Ruler.
The impossibility of reconciling the two viewpoints should interest even the casual reader. No one with any knowledge of the MAHATMA MORYA'S words in HIS "Letters", or HIS words anonymously printed in articles, or HIS words often written above H.P.B.'s signature, could ever conceive of George S. Arundale being under His direction. No "prime minister" of any Government is in direct opposition to the written directions of his Superior.' There is some chance of understanding an usurping power which is at variance, but not a loyal "prime minister".
The Government for the MAHATMAS does not reside at Adyar, Dr. Arundale to the contrary notwithstanding. The Government of the ADEPTS has been in exile since H.P.B.'s departure from Adyar. THEIR Government in exile is where loyal hearts still beat for THEM, where people still cherish THEIR words, where people still treasure THEIR pictures, where people still seek Knowledge ,and Enlightenment instead of the Liberal Catholic Church and the Virgin Mary, advocated by the Bishop who leads Adyar for Roman Catholicism.
Granted that the ADEPT FOUNDER are not the Authority which has been referred to by the Doctor-Bishop, or Bishop-Doctor, who is "His Majesty," behind this Government at Adyar?
Not one of the ADEPTS who disavowed priesthood, ritual, superstition, glam-
or, dependence on human beings for unchecked and unproved theories, and dogma of any kind, written plainly for all to read in "The Mahatma Letters" and the "Secret Doctrine".
Let Dr. Arundale explain his divergence from the AUTHORITY acknowledged as "HIS MAJESTY", by those who question Adyar and Besant followers, if he can find explanation.
Where beats one loyal heart which laughs at Bishops, there is the MAHATMA MORYA'S Government in Exile. Let these take courage.
- Annie Leslie Roger.
August 16, 1943
A DISTINGUISHED VISITOR
J.L.D. writes under the above head in the Adyar Theosophical Worker, as follows: The President and Shrimati Devi have been very happy to welcome to Adyar as their guest Lieut.-General Michael Tokarzewski, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army in the East, and a stalwart of the Polish Section of The Theosophical Society of nearly twenty years' standing. The General arrived on April 2 and stayed a fortnight. "I have been longing for years to come here," he said; just before leaving; "Adyar is a charming and beautiful place, and powerful." The General went on to Pondicherry to inspect a camp of French refugees, and later was to visit the Jam Saheb's camp of 1000 Polish refugee children in Nawanagar, finally flying back to his post.
Mr. D.B. Thomas, president of the Montreal Lodge invited the General Secretary to meet General Tokarzenski on his visit to Montreal towards the end of July. A cousin of the General's daughter with another member of the Polish flying forces called on the General Secretary on their way to New York and delivered a letter from Miss Tokarzenski. It will be remembered that with Mrs. Thomas she visited the Fraternization Convention in Toronto last year. She enclosed a letter from her father in which he expressed his deepest gratitude and sincere friendship on account of all that had been done for his daughter. They visited New York in mid-August and from there Miss Irena wrote again about her pleasure in seeing her father again after four years of war. They had called on Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. Lorimer and
[[Photo here: Lieut.-General Tokarzenski Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army]]
Miss Burrows, and the General added a note of regret that they had been unable to come, but hoped at some future date to make our acquaintance. "May you be healthy and live long - long in the service of brotherhood and for humanity," he wrote, a sentiment we may happily reciprocate and share with everybody.
"Facts are chiels that winna ding And daurna be disputed."
We are reprinting by request this fine poem by Horace Huxtable of the Toronto Lodge, which first appeared in The Theosophist, Adyar, in January, 1942:
Ishvara was a man of race
Owning estate, and by God's grace
He flourished, and his lands stretched far
Beyond the hills where valleys are
To a swamp land where sour earth
Refused the fruitage of its birth;
Where vapors foul and fevers lay,
Vile waters sapped the soil away
Into the poison of a death
That knew no Spring, or any breath
Of running water; only bog
And mud, and moss, and rotting log -
Such was this land.
Ishvara's eyes Grew moist, and then in sweet surprise
He smiled and gazed beyond the sea,
Lost in unconscious reverie -
His young son filled his mind, the lad
Whom all admired, such grace he had
And power, muscled like Apollo
Yet as fleet as any swallow,
So slender, graceful and upright.
He was Ishvara's chief delight
For all the hills he knew, he loved
To be where the free spirit moved,
Where running waters sang to touch
The fingers of the sun, for such
Bring zest to life, where the air blew
Pure, unsullied, and where the dew
Was manna to the soul - for there
Ishvara's son knew God was near.
And God within the Father's voice
Left him no other mind, no choice
But that his son should be his gift,
His sacrifice to go and lift
This land to usefulness; and so
He called to him, asked him to go
Into that land which lay beyond,
And then in words which seemed a bond
Of love, he said: "This task shall be
The measure of my love for thee,
Sweeten this valley and redeem
Entire, and let a running stream
Come from the hills to clean the air
That Love may also flourish there."
The young man journeyed far and saw
The sick earth with her wounds all raw
And sweating; and the impure air
Caught in his throat - made him aware
That here a life's work called to him,
And with expression bold yet grim,
"My Father must have loved me much,"
He thought; and then stooped down to touch
With aching tenderness. But dumb
Was his distress - no words would come,
Only the insistent urge to act.
Action became with thought the fact,
And so across the wailing waste
He went, and willing in his haste
Past all foul shapes - the nameless things
That stir the mind with hidden wings.
One-pointed he became, each sense
United was, and difference
Was not. His Will became a force
Like a great tide upon its course
Towards a distant shore, and he
Knew labor and the energy
That makes a task a rhythm. Time
Was music and each hour a chime,
A promise of a dream to be
Made manifest that he could see.
'Twas thus Ishvara's son forgot
His place of birth and it was not
Because he loved his Father less
But that he loved this wilderness
And gave himself to it complete;
Became immune to fevers, heat,
And footless things that creep and pass
Like evil thoughts through the swamp grass;
He knew them as they wandered by
To be but ghosts, illusory,
Reality to him became
Only his task, and so his name
In myth and legend is not known,
Man can but claim it for his own.
At last Time in her rhythmic way
Brought nearer the desired day,
As all that poisoned pool so vast
Sank slowly, and thus slowly passed
On through the ditches to the sea
To lie reborn as purity.
Then came a song down from the hill
Making Ishvara's son stand still,
A haunting music in the air
Seemed spreading, spreading everywhere,
And running water soon went by
Singing "ISHVARA" to the sky,
It echoed to the valley's core
As if to live for evermore,
And in a distant new-made rill
He heard "ISHVARA" softer still;
And then again like whir of wings
It touched his heart, and nearer things -
Stirred memory itself and gave
A sense of victory o'er the grave
That he had known. He kissed the earth -
O Love, O mystery, O birth
Of beauty, O Eternal Spring,
Flowers and grass and birds that sing.
He kissed the earth and it became
The symbol of his Father's Name.
- Horace L. Huxtable
Young Theosophist-Poet of Canada
WHAT IS A MEDIUM?
The term medium, when not applied simply to things and objects, is supposed to be a person through whom the action of another person or being is either manifested or transmitted. Spiritualists believing in communications with, disembodied spirits, and that these can manifest through, or impress sensitives to transmit "messages" from them, regard mediumship as a blessing and a great privilege. We Theosophists, on the other hand, who do not believe in the "communion of spirits" as Spiritualists do, regard the gift as one of the most dangerous of abnormal nervous diseases. A medium is simply one in whose personal Ego, or terrestrial mind, (psuche), the percentage of "astral" light so preponderates as to impregnate with it their whole physical constitution. Every organ and cell thereby is attuned, so to speak, and subjected to an enormous and abnormal tension. The mind is ever on the plane of, and quite immersed in, that deceptive light whose soul is divine, but whose body - the light waves on the lower planes, infernal; for they are but the black and disfigured reflections of the earth's memories. The untrained eye of the poor sensitive cannot pierce the dark mist, the dense fog of the terrestrial emanations, to see beyond in the radiant field of the eternal truths. His vision is out of focus. His senses, accustomed from his birth, like those of a native of the London slums, to stench and filth, to the unnatural distortions of sights and images tossed on the kaleidoscopic waves of the astral plane - are unable to discern the true from the false. And thus, the pale soulless corpses moving in the trackless fields of "Kama loka," appear to him the living images of the "dear departed" ones; the broken echoes of once human voices, passing through his mind, suggest to him well coordinated phrases, which he repeats, in ignorance that their final form and polish were received in the innermost depths of his own brain-factory. And hence the sight and the hearing of that which if seen in its true nature would have struck the medium's heart cold with horror, now fills him with a sense of beatitude and confidence. He really believes that the immeasurable vistas displayed before him are the real spiritual world, the abode of the blessed disembodied angels.
We describe the broad main features and facts of mediumship, there being no room in this article for exceptional - H.P. Blavatsky, Raja-Yoga, p. 72-3
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert E.S. Smythe.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-` class matter.
- Subscription: Two Dollars a Year
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
Wash. E, Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver.
Maud E. Crafter, 57 Sherwood Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Dudley W. Barr, 18 Rowandwood Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Felix A. Belcher, 250 N. Lisgar St., Toronto, Ont.
Edw. L. Thomson, 163 Crescent Road, Toronto, Ont.
William A. Griffiths, 37 Stayner Street, Weatmount, P.Q. George I, Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Albert E.S. Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton. Ontario, Canada.
To whom all communications should be addressed.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
Members of the Society in arrears for their dues' payable on July 1st, will please note that the magazine will not be sent to them after this issue until they have paid at least $1 on account of the $2.60.
When members or subscribers change their address and neglect to notify this office they write in too often and think we should supply the magazines they miss. They should go to their post office and ask for the missing issues which are usually kept for some weeks for those who apply.
South Africa has taken charge of the Clara Codd Pension Fund, which has been assured of L38 in annual payments and cash donations of L67. Payments to Miss Codd will commence on January 1. Contributions may be sent to the General Treasurer of The Theosophical Society in S. Africa, Box 863, Johannesburg.
At the last convention of the Mexican National T.S. held at Orizaba last December preliminary steps were authorized towards the foundation of a Pan-American Federation of all the Theosophical Sections and Lodges on the Continent. Personally I think, we are over-organized already, but if this really means a truly Pan-Theosophical Convention, such as our Fraternization Conventions have been then we must all wish it green lights all the way. But we must wait till we hear what the General Executive has to say about it on October 3.
The Aryan Path for June contains the third and last of three articles by D.G. Londhe on "The Path of Patanjali." This is a subject rarely discussed in our magazines and these articles should be available in pamphlet form. Speaking of the supernormal powers of the Yogis the writer says: "In our opinion the subject of supernormal powers has only a historical importance, inasmuch as this topic seems to be an importation from Buddhistic literature. It is significant that it is slurred over by Patanjali who warns aspirants that these powers are only obstacles, temptations to be avoided rather than indulged in." In this he agrees with Jesus, and Paul. W.Q. Judge also stressed ethics as more important than psychic development.
A recent issue of Fellowship, the bulletin of the Canadian. Conference of Christians and Jews contains an account by Miss Flora MacDonald Steels of a Service of Intercession for Nazi victims held in Montreal. No one can at all fully comprehend the horror of the massacres carried on by the Hitlerite armies upon the Jews of Europe.
Hitler is said to have Jewish blood himself but his madness is the essential insanity of selfish personality replete with hate and anger, vanity, lust, stupidity and fear. Rev. Angus Camiron, a Unitarian minister said: "We must end this intolerance we find everywhere round about and fight prejudice with all our might. Brotherhood is the basis of democracy and all intolerance and separatism must be swept aside. Until good will is in the very fibre of our world there will be no peace on earth."
Mrs. Edith Holton, of Ottawa, with a lady friend from Edmonton, called on the General Secretary while attending the United Christian Adult Conference held in McMaster University, during the week of August 23. She brought greetings from the Ottawa group who have been interested in Theosophy. Dr. Sherwood Eddy was the featured speaker of the Conference and his enthralling topic was "Conviction of Sin." Sin means separation from the Divine, the opposite of Theosophy which emphasizes the presence of the Divine Life in all beings and the need for its cultivation. You cannot banish darkness by beating it with a stick, but by striking a light. Our idea of Brotherhood includes all such Conferences as that in McMaster University, and we look forward to the time when Theosophists will be welcomed to such gatherings.
The Toronto Star of August 30 carried an article by Charles Herbert Huestis on "Canada and the Refugees," which should arouse the sympathies of all good theosophists as well, or more than other people. The facts are dreadful, tragic, heart-rending. We pass by on the other side like the priest and Levite of the parable. Canada; with abundance of oil and wine has not emulated the Good Smaritan to any great extent. We hope to print Mr. Huetis's appeal next month, but to show how little we have appreciated the need for help the figures of Jewish refugees from 1933 till the beginning of the war in 1939 were Great Britain, 48,000; Palestine, 60,000; Shanghai, 15,000; U.S.A., 90,000; Canada, 321. We are spending billions to kill Hitlerites, but only a few dimes to save those who escape from the Hitler slaughter. The Jews in Europe when Hitler went to war were 8,300,000. Today there are only 3,300,000.
The September issue of The Theosophical Forum opens with a 12-page article on "The Rise and Fall of Nations" by the late Kenneth Morris, D.Litt. He quotes one of the great Chinese Emperors to the effect that in the mirror of history we can foretell or foresee the fate of nations. Dr. Morris was always a fascinating writer and the student or the casual reader will alike enjoy what he has to tell them. He tells, for instance, of the Moslem University in Cairo in the year 1100 where anybody, of any nation or religion, would be taken in, taught, fed, clothed, and no questions asked but whether you wanted to be educated. And still we think we are civilized. Dr. Morris points out that it was not till Victorian times that domestic sanitation regained the efficiency it possessed in England under the Roman rule of the second century. Yes; you will enjoy the article. G. de P. is represented by a helpful article on the development of the Principles through the Rounds. C.J. Ryan reviews the book by J.E. Weckler, Jr., Polynesia - Explorers of the Pacific. The conclusion is that the present inhabitants are all the descendants of migration from Indonesia. A new book, consisting of letters and addresses by the late Dr. G. de Purucker, is announced.
Moksha, the Christian Salvation (soterias), is a problem for many people
now who have begun to understand their relation to the Universe as a voluntary one, and their position in it as the result of their own will arid deeds. The Kalpaka, of Coimbatore, for the April quarter has an article on the subject. To attain Moksha one has to beat down Satan under one's feet. "You may ask here," says the Kalpaka article, "when I should consider I have conquered the Devil. I will tell that. When you suffer no more dejection, when you are incapable of telling a lie, when whatever is uttered by you knowingly or unknowingly is correct, when whatever you do even without thinking is right, when you have got no fear, when you are not afraid of Death, when the eyes are incapable of deceit, when all this happens think that you have conquered your Mind. When you have reached this point you are worthy of Yoga or communion with God."
President Arundale reorients himself in his Watch-Tower comments in the June Theosophist. He advises that every Lodge become a planning committee. "Busy delving into Theosophy and delving into all the benefits which have accrued to us from our membership of The Theosophical Society, to see what comfort we can positively give to a world athirst for the waters of comfort. Every Lodge should be active in this direction. You will notice that practically speaking most Lodges are concerned just with lectures on the Science of Theosophy, more or less dull according to the nature of the lecturer, whereas a Lodge in these days ought to be a Planning Committee, it ought to be a kind of workshop in which the members plan how they can satisfy the needs of their surroundings, which reflect the great need of the world, that is, the need of comfort, the need for peace, the need for understanding, the need for confidence." And eight or more pages to Similar effect.
WHITE LOTUS DAY IN DUBLIN
The Dublin meeting in honour of White Lotus Day was particularly successful. The tribute of flowers was most beautiful and our members augmented for the occasion by other friends who share our veneration for the work of H.P. Blavatsky - greatly enjoyed the various readings. We were privileged to have with us the oldest Theosophist in Dublin, in the person of Mr. H. Norman, to give the address. His recollections go back to the '80's, when W.Q. Judge, A.E.D. Dunlop, Mr. and Mrs. Dick, W.B. Yeats, James M. Pryse, Charles Johnston - strange child from an ultra-Orangeman's home, who married a niece of Madame Blavatsky's and published a very readable translation of the Bhagavad Gita - Mr. and Mrs. Powis Hoult, John Quigley, Susan Mitchell, etc., - all combined to make Dublin an outstanding centre of the then-new philosophy. With that felicity of phrase, earnestness and wide knowledge of H.P.B.'s writings - for which `Harry' Norman has been outstanding for half a life-time - our lecturer delighted his audience. The discomforts of a particularly harsh afternoon were forgotten in the joy of hearing delightful speech, honoring a noble subject.
AMONG THE LODGES
Sergt. Tuplin, one of the young men of the Hamilton Lodge, who has been away for two years in Newfoundland, paid a furlough visit to the Lodge on Sunday evening, August 29. He is a splendid type of young manhood and freely testified to the benefit drill, discipline, regular hours and meals, had been to him. He is head of a construction gang with 300 men under him, and fairly glows with good health and good humor.
Mrs. Bowles, a California lady who has been staying in Hamilton since the spring, has attended very regularly the
meetings of the Hamilton Lodge, and in taking her leave on returning to California on Sunday evening, August 22, she expressed her pleasure in finding so broad-minded and tolerant a body as the Hamilton members appeared to her to be. She regretted leaving and hoped to return on some future occasion. Mrs. Bowles made herself very friendly and her charm of manner and intelligent comment rendered her very popular.
The world needs me, otherwise I would not be here. I am a part of the whole and each part is necessary to the welfare of the whole. I wilt live, think, and work in the conviction that I am not only wanted, but needed. That great truth shall be my constant inspiration.
The welfare of the whole grows greater and greater, the better each part plays its part. Therefore I must be nothing less than all that I possibly can be. I am here for a great purpose; Life is too important to send me here for any other purpose; and whatever may come or go, to that purpose I shall ever be true.
Life to me means the being of my best and the doing of my best, that all the world may be better. I shall not live for things, but for that greater life that reigns in the spirit of all things; nor shall the coming or going of things cause me to depart from the lofty position that I have taken.
To me, there can be no defeat, no failure, no loss. He is never defeated who wins the life he has elected to live. He knows no failure who gains the richer life from every experience, circumstance or event that may come to pass. He knows no loss who ascends to the greater whenever the lesser seems to pass away, and this, I propose to do. This I must do to be true to the life I am here to live.
My first thought shall be to love much; my second, to do much, but I shall do nothing that will not add to the happiness and welfare of someone.
My aim shall be to reach the heights, not that I alone may enjoy the splendor of the heights, but that others may find the way.
My face shall ever be turned to the light of the great Eternal Sun; and to become a living revelation of that light, shall be the dearest wish of my heart.
- Christian Larsen
We have received the following magazines during the month of August: Toronto Theosophical News, August; Ancient Wisdom, July; Theosophical News & Notes, London, July-August; Theosophy, Los Angeles, August; The Middle Way, July-August; The American Theosophist, August; Eirenicon, June-July; Revista Teosofica Cubana, May-June; Revista Teosofica Argentina, May-June; U.L.T. London Bulletin, No. 177, July; Theosophy in New Zealand, July-Sept.; National Money News, August; The Pro & Con Vox, Sept; The Aryan Path, Bombay, April; The Theosophical Movement, Bombay, April; The Theosophical Worker, Adyar, May; (Aug. 20) The Theosophical Worker, June; The Kalpaka, April-June; The Theosophical Movement, May; The Aryan Path, May and June together; The Link, Johannesburg, South Africa, June-July; Lucifer, Boston, September; Ancient Wisdom, St. Louis, August; The Path, Sydney, N.S.W., April-June; Theosophy in Ireland, April-June; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, September; Espiritualidad, Mendoza, Argentina, April-May.
BOOKS ON THEOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS which have passed the tests of time and use Supplied on request. Forty years' experience at your service. Let me know your wishes.
N. W. J. HAYDON, 564 PAPE AVE., TORONTO
"SERVICE FOR A LIVING SOUL"
This address was delivered by Richard Heinemann on June 29, 1942, at a small and rather informal gathering of his friends and students, on the occasion of the passing of his mother from the life of this material world. This meeting was held on the same day as the services for the burial of her body in another city. The address itself was entirely unprepared, and flowed simply from the inspiration of the moment.
"I have called you together this morning for the purpose of having a little service for my mother.
"There are many who have questioned, and a few have condemned me, because I did not go to Pennsylvania to attend the services for the burial of her body. To me it seems that it would be most inappropriate, and out of harmony with nature - perhaps even disrespectful to my mother as a being of soul and spirit - if I should try to pay respect to her by going about the country, following an empty body where my mother is not, and thus taking my attention from the awareness of her continuing life, and of her immediate and very real presence here (wherever consciousness may be).
"It is fitting that those who believe in the body should meet together to do Honor to her body. It is equally fitting that we, who believe in the soul and in the spirit, should thus meet to do honor to the soul and spirit. This meeting, then; is not a service for a dead body, but for a living soul.
"When Jesus advised one of His disciples to let others take care of the burial of his father, He explained: `Let the dead bury the dead, our place is among the living.' In this; "the dead" means those who are not alive to the worlds of soul and spirit. "The living" does not mean, only those who now are functioning in bodies of dense matter, but includes all life, in whatever state of being. "The living", among whom is our place, includes the souls of those who no longer wear the garments of this world of matter - and if we be truly alive ourselves, we shall not only believe, but be constantly and immediately aware of their existence.
"I can say that in my own case there is no sense of loss or separation from my mother. Rather she is more vitally a part of my life, and more intimately present or available than at any time before. There is a better understanding, a finer companionship, a deeper comradeship than ever was possible while thoughts and feelings and emotions needed to be strained through resisting layers of material flesh.
"Yesterday my contact with my mother was objective; today it is subjective. Yesterday there were barriers, limitations and misunderstandings; today these no longer exist. As in the poet's words describing the presence of God, I find that my mother today is even `nearer than breathing'.
"Perhaps it is for this reason that I feel so little sympathy - hardly more than mere tolerance - for the commonly accepted conduct of people with regard to death. As I sat in the funeral parlour Saturday afternoon, it seemed to me that the flowers were the only appropriate things in the whole procedure. The flowers stood there, surrounding the empty body - beautiful and breathless in their silence, their fingers or stalks pointing upward, and their very being aglow with a divine gladness. They seemed to realize that there was no occasion here for mourning - that a most beautiful event had happened: the release of a soul from its material prison, from the tomb of earth in which it had lain buried in a world of empty promises and suffering. The flowers seemed even to catch the note of the soul's triumph - of its victory in snatching priceless lessons, and forging its own strength of character, and cour-
age-thus fulfilling, in at least some measure, the purposes for which it gave up, for the moment, its freedom as a soul, to take a body in this world of darkness. The flowers spoke of this, with gladness and exultation - but the people who came there missed this inner meaning. They came with sad faces, some with tear-filled eyes, and most of them with words of sympathy that burned like acid - and none saw anything more than the dead body.
"As I sat there, meditating on these things, I began to write a poem. Let me read it to you:
She had not "died", but merely thrown off chains
That bound her here to suffering and pains -
And what presumption that you dare to speak
Of this mere prison as her "last remains"!
Would you ignore the butterfly and say
"Only this cast-off shell is left today
To speak to us, with dull, unmoving lips
Of the bright, carefree worm of yesterday"?
Then why shed tears for this mere frame of earth
That only blinded us to the true worth
Of the courageous soul its clouds enwrapped,
Choking the very life it brought to birth!
Live only for the living, and forget
The cast-off shell that Life does not regret;
For those who see beyond the swirling dust
Know that whatever lived is living yet.
"It is said in our metaphysical studies that the birth of the body and its personality into this world is the `death' - at least temporary `death' of the soul to the life on its plane. The death of the physical body is the rebirth or reawakening of the soul. Indeed, the ancient teaching called this world of matter and material things `the world of the dead', and there is a great deal of truth and logic in this saying.
"The soul dies on its own plane, they said, and is buried in the earth - in a tomb of earth, which is the earth or matter that makes up the physical body it inhabits. Dead to its own world, with its own channels of expression stopped with dust, the soul remains in this prison tomb of earth until the time of its reawakening - which comes with the so-called `death' of the physical body. Then the doors of the tomb fly wide apart, the tomb itself is shattered in a thousand bits, and the soul presents itself for `judgment' - another mystery which I have not time just now to explain.
"Do you begin to see why `death' is no occasion for sadness or mourning? It should indeed be looked upon as a time of joy, when we should celebrate the soul's release from its tomb of matter. Still, at a modern funeral, only the flowers think naturally enough to grasp this thought.
"One member of this group suggested to me that we should mourn when a soul enters this world, as well as rejoice when the soul leaves it. With this idea I cannot agree entirely. Our higher teaching is: `The truly wise weep neither for the dead nor for the living'.
"The truth is that life in this world and `death' in this world are both necessary parts of the soul's experience. Both are needed, and if they were not needed, this world would not exist. This world is a school, to which the soul comes to learn its lessons, and strengthen its qualities, and test and temper its character against the resistance of unwilling matter and the desires and attractions that arise from it - for it is not possible for anything to grow except by meeting and overcoming some form of resist-
ance. As Emerson said, `We acquire the strength we overcome'.
"With this thought in mind, I must regard my mother's life as a successful one - as a long step forward in the development of inner strength. It is true that she suffered, and yet, it was by reason of that very suffering that she developed tremendous stores of courage, and strength of will, and the ability to meet death willingly - and even gladly. Besides these achievements, the mistakes and failures of her life seem small indeed - for a person of powerful will is not bound by any made-to-order destiny, but in one single act may set aside the whole pattern of life to which the entire course of past thoughts and actions may have brought it. These qualities, developed in the soul, are (within the limits of the soul's continuing free-will) eternal and imperishable.
"I have spoken already of the difference between form and substance: the world of form, in which things today exist and tomorrow pass away, and the world of substance, in which all living things subsist forever. The growth or evolution of the world of form proceeds by reaching out, and grasping, and drawing things to oneself, but the evolution of substance or reality or life proceeds by the giving of oneself. The world of form we may know through our outward senses; the world of substance we may know only by looking within ourselves - by introspection. In this sense, then, and for at least the present moment, I should like for all of you to become introspective.
"Sir James Jeans, as a modern scientist, tells us that no matter how far away we may get from an electron - (the tiniest particle of matter) - even if we should be separated from it by the whole width of cosmic space, we could never get outside the sphere of its influence. `In a certain sense,' he states, an electron must `occupy the whole of space'. How much more true this would be of a living soul! More than that, a soul is present everywhere in at least one other sense - in the same sense that a drop of water that has joined the ocean becomes one with the ocean, and its atoms and influences reach out to fill or permeate the ocean. If this is true, then my mother's soul is present here among us.
"In a still deeper and more active sense, I know that my mother is present at this meeting. Just as radio waves, that fill the whole of the air, are brought to focus by a receiving set that is attuned to them - just as like attracts like, and thought attracts the thing thought of - so any idea, or anything meditated upon, attracts the needed conditions for its fulfillment. By reason of the very nature of soul, every thought or emotion - particularly if it be concentrated, or held by a group of people, must form a focal point or avenue of attraction that makes possible an interchange of sympathy - not between the living and the dead, but between the living and the living - between those living in the realm of matter, and those still-living souls who have passed outside it. In this sense it must be said of every soul as Jesus said of His soul: `Wherever two or three are met together in My name, there am I also'.
"There are some to whom it might seem strange to have a service for the departed without the presence of the body. To these we state `our place is among the living', and we have our service in the presence of the living soul.
"I have brought you together to share, for at least the moment, in this soul's joy in its release from the bonds of matter - its awakening from the world of the dead, in which it had been buried - its joy in throwing off its grave-clothes (which is the soul's name for this physical body). So share this joy, and remember that my mother Is not dead - that there are no dead - and that the only persons who believe that
`death' ends everything are the ones who are themselves insensible to the realities of the world of life and substance."
Toledo, 19, Ohio
The spectacular incident of the recent war developments for the West was undoubtedly the unconditional surrender of Italy to the Allied arms, announced five days after the armistice had been signed in Sicily on Friday, September 3, after negotiations that had been going on with equal secrecy since the fall of Mussolini. The secrecy quite deceived the Hitlerites and gave the Allies time to get matters in train for the occupation of Italy. Much more important in the defeat of Germany has been the extraordinary progress made by the Russian armies in driving the Germans out of the Ukraine, and completely clearing the Donetz basin, with the probable effect of causing the retirement of the Germans from their whole southern conquest including the Crimea. The statement of General Marshall, United States Army Chief of Staff, that preparations for the invasion of northwest Europe are complete is a hint of further important movements in the next month or so. Equally prepared would appear to be the arrangements for the attack on the Balkans in conjunction with the hundreds of thousands of guerilla troops in that region, coupled with the 300,000 Italians there as part of the Hitlerite forces, but now ordered by General Wilson of the middle East command to obey him and the Germans no longer. Simultaneous attacks on France and the Balkans are not unlikely. The German armies in Russian territory are defeated in the most dexterous manner, routed and fleeing. They are in no condition to face a winter campaign. The authorities still assure us that the Germans are tough and that they are stubborn fighters. But it has never been shown that they are stark stubborn in presence of certain defeat and all is lost. The President and the Prime Minister indicate by their speeches that it is time to be thinking of what is to be done after the war is over. Mr. Churchill in two recent speeches showed that he had the future fully as much in mind as the immediate future. He paid generous tribute to Russia and her great leader, Marshal Stalin, with whom and President Roosevelt he hoped soon to meet in council. Will it be at San Francisco? "The entire British Empire," said Mr. Churchill, "sends him our salute on his brilliant summer campaign and on the victories of Orel, Kharkov and Taganrog, by which so much Russian soil has been relieved and so many hundreds of thousands of its invaders wiped out." The historic meeting at Quebec paid proper attention to the Asiatic front and China is to be given full protection from its foes. With an eye to the future Mr. Churchill made adroit use of his Harvard opportunity to tie the two federations in the bow-knot of the English language. He pointed out that through their common language the generals met and thrashed things out with great candour and blunt plain speech. "This is a wonderful system. There was nothing like it in the last war. There never has been anything like it between two allies." Then he added: "Now in my opinion it would be a most foolish and improvident act on the part of our two governments, or either of them, to break up this smooth-running and immensely powerful machinery, the moment the war is over." Which will be Q.E.D. to most wise people.
Miss Morton writes that Mr. Basil Crump's state of health for the past few months has held up his correspondence and other work, this report coming from a Calcutta hospital.
Being a critical analysis of the book "A Modern Priestess of Isis" translated from the Russian of Vsevolod S. Solovyoff by Walter Leaf.
By Beatrice Hastings
(Continued from Page 192)
[Miss A. had nearly the same experience as Solovyoff now tells.]
But this is what happened to me:
Tired by the journey, I lay peacefully sleeping when suddenly I was awakened by the sensation of a warm penetrating breath. I open my eyes and in the feeble light that entered the room through the three windows, I see before me a tall figure of a man, dressed in a long white floating garment. At the same time I heard or felt a voice that told me, in I know not what language, although I understood perfectly, to light the candle. I should explain that, far from being afraid, I remained quite tranquil, only I felt my heart beat rapidly. I lit the candle, and in lighting it, saw by my watch that it was two o'clock. The vision did not disappear. There was a living man in front of me. And I recognized instantly the beautiful original of the portrait we had seen during the evening before. He sat down near me on a chair and began to s peak. He talked for a long time, about things of great interest to me, but the greater part of this interview cannot be reported here as it dealt with matters personal to me. I can say, however, that among other things, he told me that in order to be fit to see him in his astral body I had had to undergo much preparation, and that the last lesson had been given me that morning when I saw, with closed eyes, the landscapes that I was to see in reality the same day. Then he said that I possess great magnetic power, now being developed. I asked him what I ought to do with this force. But without answering, he vanished.
I was alone, the door of my room locked. I thought I had had an hallucination and even told myself with fright that I was beginning to lose my mind. Hardly had this idea arisen when once again I saw the superb man in white robes. He shook his head and smiling, said to me: "Be sure that I am no hallucination and that your reason is not quitting you. Blavatsky will prove to you tomorrow before everyone that my visit is real." Then he disappeared. I saw by my watch that it was three o'clock. I put out the candle and immediately went into a deep sleep.
Next morning, on going with Miss A. to Madame Blavatsky, the first thing she said to us with an enigmatical smile was: "Well! How have you passed the night?" "Very well," I replied and I added, "Haven't you anything to tell me?" "No," she replied, "I only know that the Master was with you with one of his pupils."
That same evening, Mr. Olcott found in his pocket a little note, that all the theosophists said was in the handwriting of M.: "Certainly I was there, but who can open the eyes of him who will not see?"
This was the reply to my doubts, because all the day I had been trying to persuade myself that it was only an hallucination, and this made Madame Blavatsky angry.
I should say that on my return to Paris, where I am now, my hallucinations and the strange happening that surrounded me, have completely stopped.
1 October, 84, Paris
[In his book, Solovyoff tells what happened to Miss A. that same night.]
"I woke at ten o'clock and remembered everything quite clearly. The door was locked . . . . In the coffee-room of the hotel I found Miss A. at breakfast.
" `Have you had a good night?' I asked her.
" `Not very. I have seen the Mahatma Morya.'
" `Really? And I have seen him too.
" `How did you see him?'
". . . I described to her . . . and learned from her that while she was thinking whether she should formally turn theosophist, or if there was not something `dark' in it, Mahatma Morya had appeared to her and said: `We have great need of a "little beetle" like you.'
" `That is exactly what he said, a "little beetle", and he said it in Russian:
"We set off to the Gebhard's . . . . Miss A. began to narrate our visions. Madame Blavatsky could not conceal the delight that came over her. She forgot all her sufferings, and her eyes flashed sparks. (pp. 81-2)
[Next day, Madame Blavatsky was terribly ill, "all swollen, on a great bed, and groaning . . . . Her hand was no more a hand; it was but an inflexible thick log." Solovyoff promised to stay and correct her manuscript, The Blue Mountains.]
". . The same day there arrived from Cambridge, F. Myers, one of the founders and most active members of the London Society for Psychical Research, and his brother, Dr. Myers, who had undertaken to express an opinion on Madame Blavatsky's illnesses. The two stayed, like myself, at the Hotel Victoria. In the evening, I had a long conversation with F. Myer . . . . He begged me in the first place to tell him how I had seen Mahatma Morya, and when I had done so, he began to urge me to communicate the fact to the London society in writing." (p. 91).
[Solovyoff proceeds to put words into the mouth of Myers the which the latter was obliged to correct. Solovyoff states that Myers told him that "by the rules of our society, your communication must consist only of a simple detailed account of facts without any commentaries or criticisms of your own." No such rule existed. Walter Leaf says in a parenthesis: "What Mr. Myers believes himself to have said is that the committee would regard as evidence only the mere statement of facts, and could not be bound by any views or comments of Mr. Solovyoff's own". Solovyoff's account sufficiently indicates that he needed no more urging to write this than to write for the Rebus in June before even the signed account could be in print elsewhere; his "own comments" would be unlikely to diminish his own importance as the positive recipient of the Mahatma's favor and as a bright particular star among the theosophists. In forthcoming letters, he will be seen insisting on his necessity to the Theosophical Society and no doubt he believed himself to be already possessed of "powers", instead of an intermediary for the power. The note through Olcott seems to indicate that Solovyoff would not be accepted by whoever had come to have a look at him during the night, and the character he finally displayed makes this of no surprise.]
[Solovyoff omits to mention that he was at this period in correspondence with Madame Jelihovsky at St. Petersburg. The relations between her and Helena Petrovna were at their worst, possibly owing a good deal to Mme. J.'s efforts to detach Solovyoff from the Theosophical Society. Madame Blavataky seems to have passed the most indiscreet comments on her sister to their Russian compatriot. Mme. J. says (p. 314): "He took notes of what I told him about my sister and sent it on to her, as he sent on to me what was said about me at Elberfeld".
[While at Elberfeld however, and for long after, in fact until late in the following year, 1885, Solovyoff remained sufficiently hopeful of favors and confident of his own value as a Theosophical witness. To Vera he shows some reserve, but there is no mistaking his general tone.]
September 9, 1884
Dear Vera Petrovna,
I have just received your letter and hasten to communicate with you . . .
I got back a few days ago from Elberfeld, where I passed a week at poor Helena Petrovna's bedside. I must tell you that in the eyes of European doctors she is in a very, very bad way; yet she, like those about her, believes more than ever in the power of her Mahatmas, and that her sickness is not unto death. In any case, she will have to keep her bed at Elberfeld for a long time. The doctors have diagnosed fatty heart, diabetes and acute rheumatism, from which her left hand is swollen, and which is not far from the heart. She suffers terribly but is wonderfully brave-spirited. As for wonders, there is no end of them. So after all, she may recover and with my whole heart, I hope she may, for I love her. (p. 297)
[On September 26th, he wrote to Madame Blavatsky concerning some troubles among the Theosophists at Paris and also about some rows that had taken place at Elberfeld. He seems to have fancied he himself could put everything right if only Madame Blavatsky would have trusted him. The "rows" were, however most complicated and Solovyoff would have been of no use whatever.]
September 26th, 1884
Dear Helena Petrovna,
As I am not in possession of magic powers, I cannot know how you are getting on if I receive no news, and if my letters remain unanswered. But why do you not see and know what is going on here? As you have heard, the Duchess de Pomar has resigned the presidency. She is deeply offended with the colonel. The defender of the American negroes has actually shown want of tact when dealing with a European grande dame.
Of the various gossip, rumors and scandals it is unpleasant and not worth while to talk. Dramar and Baissac might have been useful, but they have lost heart now. Madame de Morsier is fretting and fuming, and is only held in by her love for Koot Hoomi, and partly by myself. What I can do, I am doing. I care nothing for the Theosophical Society, the significance of which escapes me, thanks to your distrust of me; but I care a great deal for your reputation. If I cannot do anything for it here, I can in Russia. So it is essential that I should meet --- [Sinnett.] I might, with his help clip ---'s wings; I might encourage him, for after the Elberfeld visit everyone wants encouragement, for there were many blunders at Elberfeld - not of your making, but for some reason perhaps you do not know of them. I have nothing to do with the rest, but I must bring you out clear. I cannot write in full detail. If you wish - it will be clear to you. Do speak out.
Yours with all my heart,
[Meanwhile, the scandal that culminated in the Report of the Society for Psychical Research and the judgment - most impertinent on the part of this body which, presumably, constituted itself for research in psychical phenomena and not for police service - of Madame Blavatsky as an impostor. In "Defence of Madame Blavatsky", Vol. 2, I have dealt with a large part of the "evidence" as produced by Madame Coulomb, and later I shall deal with the outrageous "report".
[The CHRISTIAN COLLEGE MAGAZINE of Madras had published certain letters allegedly written to Madame Coulomb by H.P.B. On September 20th, the TIMES published a cabled account of the affair, and all London was set talking. The news must have reached Paris the same day, but apparently, the French papers preferred to wait for rather more evidence against Madame Blavatsky than the allegations of a dismissed housekeeper. I can find no data to show that any of the Paris Theosophists knew of the TIMES sensation; it is almost certain that Solovyoff did not learn about the scandal until some time later. The letter below seems
to have taken him quite by surprise. The letter (a translation from the Russian, of course) comes from Madame Blavatsky, still at Elberfeid.]
Dear V. S., Tout est perdu - meme l'honneur. What am I to do? If you too have confessed to me that you suspect me to be sometimes capable of substituting fraudulent in the place of real manifestations, you, my good and dear friend, what can I expect from my enemies? Madame Coulomb has got her way. She has written letters which she says are from me, and publishes them (I have not even seen them yet) in a Madras missionary paper. And these letters are said to reveal a whole organized system of fraud. But I have never written two lines to her! It turns out that our Mahatmas are made of bladders, muslin and masks! You saw bladders that night, so now you know. Olcott has several times seen the Master, and has twice spoken to K.H. face to face - both of them in the form of bladders, etc. Mohini will go to you in two days, that is to Paris, on Thursday; so you will tell him and he will explain matters. But how you can help me in spite of all your goodwill, I do not know. You say that you
[This rather suggests that Solovyoff now knew of the scandal, had written to her on the subject. If he had done so, the letter may have been burned by Madame Jelihovsky after H.P.B.'s death, as alas were many others. The letters she did produce later, and that are all given here and there in due place in the present book, are a few that were found at Adyar and were sent to her. Happily, by that time, she had got over her incendiary folly and realized that Madame Blavatsky's defence required the production of all letters. Solovyoff reproduces no letters from himself to H.P.B. except a few lines that do not prejudice his own narrative.]
will have nothing more to do with the Society; but I am ready for
[This may be merely H.P.B.'s exaggeration of his remark, "I care nothing for the Theosophical Society, the significance of which escapes me, thanks to your distrust of me". It may be, also, that she thought to soothe his wounded vanity by her phrasing. It was not the moment to be rough with her possible allies.]
the sake of the society, for an abstract idea, to give up not only my life but my honor. I have sent in my resignation, and shall retire from the scene of action. I will go to China, to Tibet, to the devil, if I must, where nobody will see me or know where I am; I will be dead to everyone but two or three devoted friends like you, and I wish it to be thought that I am dead; and then, in a couple of years, if death spares me, I will reappear with strength renewed. This has been decided and signed by the "general" himself.
[Solovyoff called Mahatma M. thus.]
"First of all, you can say to each and all in Paris that since, in spite of all my efforts, in spite of my having sacrificed to the society life and health and my whole future, I am suspected not only by my enemies, but even by my own theosophists, I shall cut off the infected limb from the sound body; that is, I shall cut myself off from the society. They have all clutched at the idea with such delight, Olcott and Madame Gebhard and the rest, that I have not even met with any pity. I leave the moral to you. Of course, I shall not depart into the "wilderness" till Olcott, who starts for India by the first steamer, has arranged matters at Adyar, and exposed and proved the conspiracy - they gave the Coulomb woman 10,000 rupees, as is now proved, in order to destroy the society; but when all this has settled down, then I shall go off - where, I do not know yet; it is all the same, besides, so long as it is somewhere that nobody knows. I can address my letters to Katkoff through you. Of course, Olcott will know where I am, but the rest may think what they like. The more absurd such ideas the better. Now, here you can give me real help. I shall trust you entirely, and I can, and will, direct the
society better from a distance than on the spot.
There, my dear friend, that is all. The rest I will tell you face to face; for I want to come and see you for a few days without anyone knowing it if you will have me. Answer at once and don't try to dissuade me, for this is the only hope both for me and for the society. The effect of my resignation publicly announced by myself will be immense. You will see. And do you make haste to let it be known in Petersburg, say in the Rebus there, that our society is not founded for the production but for the investigation of phenomena; not for the deification of Mahatmas, but for a worldwide cause, and to show that faith in the supernatural is superstition, folly; but that faith, i.e. science, the knowledge of the forces of nature of which our scientific men are ignorant, is the duty of every civilized man; and that, as half the theosophists and all the spiritists consider me, some of them a powerful medium and some a charlatan, I am tired of it all; and since I love the society better than life, I am leaving it for a time of my own free will in order to save the scandal. For God's sake do this, and it will not be too late. Mohini will explain to you all the conspiracy in Madras against Adyar and the society. Discredit these vile Calvinistic missionaries; be a friend to me. And meanwhile answer. I want to start for London at the end of this week. Do me a service. Ask at Rue Byron II bis, if there is a "chromophotographic" artist, Madame Tchang, living there; and if she has left, where she has gone. But she must neither see you nor know where you are. Oh, if I could only see you and talk it over, and arrange and get your advice. Now it is war, for life or death.
We put our trust in the Mahatmas, and shall not be confounded for ever.
Yours to the grave,
P.S. Et les `Mahatmas' ne 1'abandonneront pas, mais, la situation est furieusement serieuse. O. est bete, mais il n'y en a pas d'autre. K.H.
[A sufficiently distraught epistle! (Be it remembered that we have only Solovyoff's documents and Leaf's versions.) Yet, in her place, many might have written worse and have had no thought for philosophy! All through the Elberfeld visit, H.P.B. had been tumbling from one quarrel to another. A volume would be needed to explain these rows where conflicting ambitions of theosophical aspirants and treachery all around had exasperated H.P.B. When the Coulomb scandal broke, Madame Blavatsky found her "best friends" and even Olcott, ready to believe that there might be grounds for Madame Coulomb's accusations, and they accepted the resignation offered by Madame Blavatsky with a haste that can only be called - indecent. It is not only possible, but certain, that several of her "theosophists" fancied that they could run the society quite well themselves; run it by lecturing and publishing - all they had learned from or through HER! I think; myself, that it was a pity that she did not abide finally by Mahatma M's decision and disappear and leave them to it! In a very few months, they would all have been at desperate logger-heads, have learned that their mere half-intelligent echoings of what she had taught them could not get them very far with the world in general, and they would have begun to plan expeditions to find her, who could answer all their questions, and implore her to return - Coulomb or no Coulomb.
[The postscript to the above letter was written in blue pencil and in the hand-writing of Mahatma K.H. Madame Blavatsky expressly states that she had authority to use this script, after asking permission, of course; and we need not forcibly imagine that the Mahatma himself took the trouble to write, even to impress a friend of the hunted and distracted H.P.B. Perhaps he did write it. In any case, Solovyoff was so pleased at getting a bit of this writing that he hurried off to boast of his favor to the other Theosophists.]
"That very day, at Madame de Morsier's, I met the most convinced and honest of the French theosophists; and they . . . admitted the postscript to be the authentic work not of Madame's
hand, but of Koot Hoomi's." (p. 97)
Letter from Solovyoff in reply to above.
Dear Helena Petrovna, I have just received your letter. Believe it or not as you like, neither it nor the Koot Hoomi postscript caused me the least surprise. I shall produce a sensation through Madame de Morsier. Mohini's coming, if he is well and steadily directed, is very opportune . . . What a disgrace that I should not talk English!
It is positively essential that you and I should meet; it is impossible for me to write at length; how happy I should be if you would come to see me . . . And not I alone, but we. And you would like it too, I hope. Paris is not far out of the way from Elberfeld to London.
Perhaps we could come to an understanding in Russian . . . And I would escort you to London . . .
I do not know how to beg you not to be in a hurry to resign. Let us talk it over first, and if it is inevitable, then I will leave it to you to say what must be done and where you will go.
What can one do by correspondence. I wait for further news.
Yours with all my heart.,
P.S. Do not get agitated, in the name of all the saints. (p. 300)
"In a couple of days Madame de Morsier informed me that she had received a letter from Madame, in which she begged her to meet Mohini . . `It is essential that he should be met,' Madame de Morsier explained to me; `you see, he is coming alone, and, as his French is very bad, he will be entirely lost. Can he not stay with you? Madame could not make up her mind to ask you straight out for this, as she did not know if you would think it proper, so she left it in my hand.'
" `I have a spare room quite by itself,' I replied, ` and he will not be any burden to me with his vegetarianism. To be sure, his bronze face and strange costume will make the people in our impasse talk; but that is all the same to me.'
"We went together to the railway-station, and met the young Brahmin. He handed me a letter from Madame. She wrote as follows: -
Dear V. S., I tried to do as you wish, but it is impossible. To go to Paris alone when I can hardly walk would be madness. I shall go to London on Monday. I shall remain (for I cannot help it) a couple of weeks in London, and then I shall come to you in Paris for one week or two, as you wish. No one must know where I am except Gebhard, who is entirely devoted to me and the cause. I have resigned, and now there is the strangest mess. The general ordered this strategy, and he knows. I have, of course, remained a member, but merely a member, and I am going to vanish for a year or two from the field of battle. This letter will be handed to you by Mohini. He will stay in Paris until Tuesday. Gebhard will go with me when I wish, and will take me where I wish. But where am I to go so that none but a few devoted friends may know where I am, I positively cannot tell.
Understand, my dear V.S., that it is essential for my plan to vanish without trace for a time. Then there will be a reaction and to my advantage. I should like to go to China, if the Mahatma will permit; but I have no money. If it is known where I am, all is lost. Now help me with your advice. The master commanded this, and that in a general way; but left the details and the carrying out to me, at my own risk and peril, as always. If I break down, so much the worse for me. And then there is Russia; you can help me there. Say that in consequence of the conspiracy of which Mohini will tell you, and of my health, I have been obliged to give up active work for a year or eighteen
months. And that is the truth; I have no strength left. And now I will finish the second part of the Caves, so it will be all the better. But my program, if you approve, is this; let us be heard of as mysteriously as possible, and vaguely too. Let us theosophists be surrounded now by such mystery that the devil himself won't be able to see anything, even through a pair of spectacles. But for this, we must write, and write, and write. So, till we meet again Mohini will tell you all.
Yours ever, H. Blavatsky
"Mohini told very little, and it was impossible to gather from his words exactly what was going on. One thing was clear: the theosophists with Madame, had taken fright in good earnest . . . Mohini stayed three days . . . After his departure I received the following letter from Madame Blavatsky, who was already in England: -
9 Victoria Road, Kensington.
Dear V. S., This is my new address for a fortnight, not longer. They are sending me out to Egypt and Ceylon - nearer home, but not home. It shall be done as the master has commanded - not to go back to Madras till Olcott has settled things; but to stay in Europe is equally impossible. We have thought, but thought out nothing. We have not money enough to scatter and live each separately. Some theosophists are going with me now to Ceylon (Mr. and Mrs. Cooper-Oakley, who are starting for Madras), but for me to go alone without anyone is not to be thought of. My rheumatism is again about in my shoulder, and a little all over me. If it attacks me again as it did at Elberfeld, then good-bye - it will fly to the heart.
Now how are we to meet? I cannot go to Paris when I can hardly walk. Lord, how I would like to see you once again! Is it really impossible for you to come here, even for a couple of days? I know that we ought to have a meeting; but what am I to do if fate does not permit it? If I had only been a little better, I would have come. I am dreadfully sorry now that I did not pass through Paris. But I was not alone, and it was impossible to throw over Mrs. Holloway when she had come to Elberfeld with me and for my sake alone. Write and advise me, my friend. It is dreadful if I am not to see you again before I start. There is a fearful uproar going on in India. It is a war to the death with the missionaries. They or we! 220 students of the Christian College, all Hindus, have refused to attend the courses and have left the college, after this dirty plot of the missionaries and the letters they have printed as mine, and the notes to the Coulombs; they have come over to us in a body.
Que c'est un faux, est tout a fait evident. Only a person who is entirely ignorant of India, such as this Madame Coulomb, could have written such nonsense as they have written there. For instance, I write of the conjuring tricks which I have arranged for the "Maharajah of Lahore", when there is no such person in India! and so on and so on. Forgery has already been proved in the case of two or three letters, but the scandal is frightful. You can imagine how they fear and hate me, when a week before the publication of these forged letters, on the day of the municipal elections in Calcutta, there were posted at all the corners of the streets literally in thousands, bills announcing "The Fall of Madame Blavatsky". Well, it is a dodge, and I must be indeed a terrible person to them; it is all the Scotch Calvinistic missionaries, a most vile mean sect, true Jesuits minus the wisdom and craft of the latter. But I am not fallen yet and please God I will let them see it. My "fall" shall be a triumph yet, if I do not die.
Send me an answer, dear man. Tell me if you have finished the French Isis, part II. Send it on to me if you do not
want it. Madame Novikoff would greatly like to make your acquaintance. Oh, if you'could only come here!
Yours to the Grave,
H. Blavatsky. (p. 100-2)
"Some time passed without a word from Madame Blavatsky. At last, I wrote to enquire after her. I received the following reply: -
Dear V.S., For God's sake, do not accuse me of indifference. There is a most abominable conspiracy against me; and if we do not take it in time, all my ten years' work will be lost. Later on, I will explain, or Olcott. Olcott is starting for Adyar from Marseilles on the 20th. He leaves London on Wednesday, tomorrow evening, and will be in Paris on the morning of the 14th (Oct. 84.) He stops at a hotel, you will learn where from Madame de Morsier. For God's sake come if you can. I and the devoted theosophists who are going to Adyar with me have taken a little house here together, where I shall stay for two, or at the very most, three weeks; then I am going to Egypt where I shall stay some days. It is impossible to say everything in a letter. Do write, if only a few words. If you only knew what a terrible position I am in, you would not think whether I wrote or not. O Lord, if I could see you! Please write. Olcott will explain all to you.
Your ever devoted, H. Blavatsky
"Olcott came, and had no fresh news to give, beyond what I already knew from Helena Petrovna's letters . . It must be observed, however, that in spite of his disagreeable position the colonel wore a truly martial air, and kept boldly repeating: `Oh, it is all nonsense. I will go and put it right.'
[On October 22nd, Solovyoff wrote to Madame Blavatsky a letter to which he makes no allusion in his book. It is printed on p. 294 in the Appendix: -]
Dear Helena Petrovna, On Friday, though I could hardly stand on my legs, I passed the whole day with Olcott. On Saturday, he and R. Gebhard who is back from the Contesse d'Adhemar, dined wiht me; after dinner, I went to bed, and there I have stayed ever since. I had neglected a cold, and it got very bad . . . The second part of Isis. I think you must send the first part too to Paris, for the book must be published here, without fail for the benefit of the French. Madame de Morsier is very useful and she is ready for work. It seems to me that if they keep the duchess as honorary president, then, if she is a woman of the least sense of honor and self-respect, she must do something for the society. Let her publish your Isis. Send Oakley to her; he will tell her that the Paris society greatly needs the publication of the book, and trusts that the respected duchess will do her plain duty . . .
Perhaps it would be as well for Madame de Morsier to write to her in the name of the society about the need for the publication of Isis . . . Think this over and let me know. Meanwhile au revoir.
Yours with all my heart,
[Solovyoff was clearly beginning to assume some authority in and responsibility for the Paris branch of which he was a member. He wrote again to H.P.B., a letter.]
"In a few days I wrote again to Madame Blavatsky, once more begging her to come to Paris. She replied: `Too late, dear V.S.; telegram after telegram is calling me home. There is such a hubbub there that the world is upside down. Hartmann, one of our theosophists at Adyar, has thrashed a missionary half-dead for a lampoon on the society and me.
[I can find no account of this fight, and `half-dead' is certainly more than a mild exaggeration; but the "hubbub" in India was scarcely to be exaggerated.]
Now the battle is beginning, and it is
for life and death. I shall lay down my old bones for the true cause: do not bear me ill-will, my dear friend. Do not be afraid, the master will support me.
[It looks as if she had persuaded the Master, rather, to let her go and fight out the scandal, and that he had consented with his usual warning that the consequences would be hers to take. Far better had she carried out her first instructions, stayed away and allowed Olcott to act.]
I am going with Mr. and Mrs. Cooper-Oakley, friends of Madame de Morsier. They have even sold their house, and are going with me either to conquer the foe together or to die. In the aid of Parabrahm we put our trust and we shall not be ashamed for ever.
[This phrase indicates her state of excitement, for none knew better than she that Parabrahm would scarcely take any interest in the Coulomb scandal! One laughs; but poor Helena Petrovna found it all no laughing matter.]
Think what devotion! You see they have broken up their whole career. I shall not stay more than a fortnight at most in Egypt, and then home. We start from Liverpool on Nov. 1 in the
steamer Clan MacCarthy, and we shall stop in Alexandria. I will write you from there and tell you everything. Goodbye for a long time.
Your ever devoted, H. Blavatsky
(To Be Continued)
(Copyright. All Rights Reserved.)
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward; his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus
THE SWORD IN THE SKY
A sword-blade hanging in the western sky
Shone red above the world tonight to mark
The work of ploughman Narada, the stark
And cruel husbandman of War, now nigh
The seed-time of new peopled fields whereby
Great light shall dawn upon the nations, dark
And fabulous visions fade, till all may hark
The still small voice that leads the soul on high.
Revolt us as it may to kill bad men
Dame Nature teaches we but change the form.
King Agag hewed in pieces may resolve
A better pattern for his mind, and then
Advance as kingdoms, planets, suns evolve -
One truth for all from Gilgal to Galgorm.
4th June, 1943 - A.E.S.S.