Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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Vol. XXV, No. 10 Hamilton, December 15th, 1944 Price 20 Cents
OUR CYCLE AND ITS FATE
By Alberta Jean Rowell
Individualism in Renaissance Italy
The Renaissance period so fascinating in its fluidity and complexity was defined by Burkhardt* as "the emergence of the individual". [* Jacob Burkhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (translation by S.G.C. Middlemore, 1878).] For a long time the Burkardtian phrase explained satisfactorily the varied texture of the intellectual renewal. It did until effectively challenged by the medievalists who discerned individualistic trends in the Middle Ages as well.
Although Burkhardt's broad characterization has fallen into disrepute his description of conditions that favored the classical rebirth on Italian soil, has been repeated, with variations, in other scholarly commentaries on that period * [ *Also see Symonds, Renaissance in Italy.] In the first place the Italian language was closely related to the Latin in which many of the classics were preserved. The Roman monuments that dotted the countryside were constant reminders of former greatness. Nor had Cicero and Vergil been banished from the monasteries. Most important of all, the political disorders and turmoil of the
city-states providing a seething chaos of mental excitement in which all restraints were melted away.
The importance of the democratic nature of Italian society as a contributory factor, has not been ignored by analysts of the Renaissance. In it snobbery was unknown. Thus the meanest and most obscure was stimulated to develop his talents and aspire to fame. The despots provided a vivid example to all men of what the "will" unhampered by moral scruples might achieve. The tyrant exercized his wits in an atmosphere of peril and insecurity. Hourly, he lived in fear of a treacherous stab from an envious rival, or open attack by a foreign foe. So he lived dangerously, as many a modern Fascist had hoped to do. Yet he patronized scholarship, though his hands were ever so bloody, and built in feverish haste memorials that would testify to posterity his interest in antiquity.
The Renaissance was a time of revelling in the wealth of intellectual phenomena revealed by the humanists. Italians passionately yielded themselves to the rich baptism of mental energy that had descended upon them. * [* The entire Renaissance, which might be described as the transitional period between the Mediaeval and the Modern world, was really a baptism of mental and spiritual energy. Humanistic studies merely helped man to create the new humanistic value - the dignity and worth of man as a child of God and Nature.] In a
spiritual birthtide of freshness and expectancy never again to be repeated the Renaissance man fell avidly upon the world of sensuous beauty to pluck its most exotic flowers. The new vibrant awareness of outer form and color made him turn in weary boredom from the arid theories of speculative philosophy and the dogmatic postulates of religion. Sense experience, as well as Greek and Roman literature, became the new love.
However, intellectual curiosity and naturalism were just two aspects of the individualism that marked those scintillating times. The exhilarating sense of self-conscious freedom that attended the cracking up of the old ecclesiastical and feudal framework, resulted in something more than moral anarchy, in something more than the canzone of Petrarch with their gently diffused melancholy or the Decameron of Boccaccio with its robust and comic spirit. There were practical offshoots of the renaissance movement as well. There was the stimulus to invent scientific instruments, the urge to explore uncharted seas, the willingness to adopt the Copernican theory, the growth of national states, and the beginnings of a science of statecraft as outlined by Machiavelli. In other words, man had reached out in all directions for that Infinite that philosophers, like Cusanus* had envisaged. [* Nicolaus Cusanus, the Neo-Platonist, is interesting as an intermediate figure, bridging the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Unlike Aristotle he believed the universe to be composed of one matter and for him the centre was everywhere. He also declared that God, or Unity, in which the pairs of opposites are reconciled, could only be known by mystical intuition. Philisophers yet more radical than Cusanus arose in the universities and academies of Italy and helped the cause of individualism in the realm of the intellect. They did not hesitate to arraign Aristotle in the face of the most recalcitrant defenders of tradition. They hoped to laugh out of court the "logical entities" which paraded with such a pompous air in the scholastic treatises.]
We are also told that astrologers as well as literati frequented the courts of the despots. No longer deterred by papal displeasure they read the will of the skies. The predictions of a horoscope, however, did not deter from action the tyrant bubbling over with explosive energy. It had the effect of relieving him of all moral responsibility for his crimes. Though the voice of conscience no longer chided men insensible to spiritual degradation, self-reliance was clearly felt. Machiavelli had declared that A man's fate could only be partly attributed to his stars. Shakespeare, a Renaissance figure at opposite poles to the Florentine, put into the mouth of Cassius in Julius Caesar the phrase that proclaimed the age's faith in man's own will: "The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings." How far removed was this daring individualism from the apathy that has gripped many of us; though obviously the typical Italian individualist had no spiritual roots.
Yet not all Italians typified the individualism of Caesar Borgia, whose very name has become a synonym for infamy. Mr. Burkhardt refers to the all-sided Renaissance man, who developed harmoniously his "material and spiritual Existence". A balanced humanist like Leon Battista Alberti was blessed neither with singularity of tem-
perament nor power mania. His sensibilities were stirred, Burkhardt tells us, at the sight of noble trees and waving cornfields. Indeed, if there were those who wallowed gleefully in the mire of pagan licence, there were others who were distinguished for their exalted sentiment and sense control. While the masses reflected religious indifference* the Platonic Academy in Florence, we are told, kept alive, in the minds of men not yet hardened against virtue, a belief in God. A wide gulf separated the man of self-culture from the unbridled individualist - a chasm as unbridgeable as that which divided Lazarus and Dives. [* The empty facade of religion was kept though the soul of it had fled. People received the sacrament and kissed the relics according to long-established custom. Naturally the Reformation movement, instigated by papal corruption, could not gather strength among Italians who had shed every vestige of moral earnestness.]
Though some individualists yielded to every erratic impulse without sense of direction there were others, dissolute in morals it is true, who yet had an end in view because they incarnated the spirit of Machiavellianism. The one-time secretary to the republic of Florence, prior to the coming of the Medici, proffered his countrymen something other than naturalism and culture. To fill the void created by the death of the old gods he offered to the despot power* as an end in itself and to the citizen nationalistic fervour. [* The fallacy contained in the phrase "The end justifies the means", has been shown by Aldous Huxley in "Ways and Means."] In other words Machiavelli was a realist. He therefore felt that a man's dedication to imaginative concepts, in religion or art, was beside the mark. Inured to factional strife, to the wiles and treachery of political intrigue, these were justified if success was their outcome.
How acutely had he gauged the practical policies of modern states! On the authority of Rauschning Hitler read and reread The Prince avowing that in its pages he at least learned a science of politics. And, as is well known, Mussolini obtained his doctorate for writing a thesis on Machiavelli.
In the latter's elevation of nationalism to the importance of religion, and championship of a realistic attitude that resolves itself into pure opportunism, we discern the signs of modern times and the seeds of a near world tragedy.
Nevertheless it cannot be said that Machiavelli created Machiavellianism. As Macaulay rightly observes in his essay on Machiavelli the much maligned statesman merely developed a science of politics based on practices long the policy of successful princes and despots. The nimble-minded Italian who made his fortune by his wits feared the accusation of stupidity more than he did the charge of moral turpitude. All that mattered was success. Therefore Caesar Borgia, whose passion for violence and cruelty knew no bounds, possessed virtue according to the standards of Machiavelli. That he was a wise legislator was incidental. What mattered was his energy of will, that lion-like surmounted every obstacle to his dream of power by fair means or foul. The stubborn resolve to achieve his design, (in the Machiavellian science) place him beyond good and evil, for the prosecution of statecraft is divorced from all moral considerations.
Did Machiavelli have men like Ezzelino da Romano in mind when he declared in The Prince that most men lacked the gumption to sin colossally, though the enormity of it might blot out the guilt.* [* It would seem that some Nazis learned their lessons of cruelty from Machiavelli.] That soldier of fortune perpetrated a deed long to be remem-
bered in the annals of crime, along with modern Lidice. When he captured Fuiola he brutally mutilated the inhabitants down to every man, woman and child by having their eyes gouged, their noses, ears and limbs cut off. Such an act was calculated to inspire fear. And fear, said Machiavelli, was a legitimate instrument of power.
There are those critics who gloss over the poison of The Prince while seeking to do justice to Machiavelli's political objectivity. De Sanctis,* for example, while deprecating Machiavellian method, is inclined to view Machiavelli as a molder, in various ways, of the modern outlook. [* De Sanetis, History of Italian Literature.] From his point of view Machiavelli was an iconoclast who destroyed the transcendent mediaeval reverence for the ideal, and who accepted instead "things as they are". And the intellect may understand the forces underlying the social and political realty and utilize them for definite ends. Finally, De Sanctis contends that the core of Machiavellianism was its recognition of man as an autonomous and responsible being, bearing within himself the means of his own development or decadence.
To conclude - the thought-content of the word "individualism" is as many-faceted as a diamond. In a spiritual philosophy it means recognition of man as an ultimate value, capable of self-transcendence because of the possession of a spiritual principle. Like the all-sided Renaissance man such an individualist brings natural impulse under the control of reason. Like the medievalist he worships the unseen - things as they ought to be. He does not do that which is expedient but that which is lawful for a child of both earth and heaven to do.
NORMAN WILKS DIES
Norman Wilks, principal of the Toronto Conservatory of Music, died Monday night, Nov. 20, at Toronto General hospital. He had been ill three weeks. A distinguished pianist, he made six appearances with the Boston Symphony orchestra and travelled, played and lectured in Holland, Germany, Belgium, Australia, the West Indies and Canada.
Mr. Wilks joined the conservatory staff in 1928. In 1936 he was appointed an executive officer. As a climax to his long and noted musical career, he was appointed principal in 1941, succeeding Sir Ernest MacMillan.
In the first great war Mr. Wilks won the Military Cross. He joined the 7th Division as an interpreter, but later transferred to the "Buffs". He was a staff lieutenant and liaison officer with the French police during the late King George's stay with the 1st Army. Mr. Wilks was wounded at Arras in 1917 and was in hospital a year. Later he was named assistant to Provost Marshal General James, and later assistant provost marshal at Salisbury.
Mr. Willis was Liberal candidate in Beaches riding in the 1934 provincial election and contested the Danforth federal seat in 1935, both unsuccessfully.
He was born at Birchington, Kent, England, and as a boy he won a singing scholarship for the Duke of Newcastle choir. He studied piano in England, Belgium and Germany and later appeared in these countries with the Queen's Hall orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic and Continental orchestras.
In a tribute to the late principal, Sir Ernest MacMillan said today: "He was a very notable concert pianist and appeared with many orchestras, including the Toronto Symphony. In addition he was a very fine administrator, and I very much admired the work he was
doing at the Conservatory. It is most unfortunate that death should have terminated his work as principal after so short a time."
Mr. Wilks was active in the Toronto committee for troops in training and served as chairman of the entertainment committee. He is survived by his widow and a son, Jocelyn, overseas with the R.C.A.F.
Mr. Augustus Bridle, secretary of the Arts and Letters Club, contributed an appreciation of his friend to the Toronto Star of November 23 from which we take the liberty of copying the latter portion:
Shortly after coming here, he gave me a brief rhapsody he'd written for an Old-London paper about the art of Heifetz when he heard that genius play his London debut. Always that broad-gauge music interest. Wilks liked the orchestras, great singers, Fricker's colossal choric climaxes with the Mendelssohn Choir and MacMillan's mastery of the St. Matthew Passion. Intensely fond of young folk, he spent years in settlement work among young foreigners whose only language in common with his was music. In those days, organizing music for young nationals abroad, he had no dream of becoming even vice-principal of Toronto Conservatory. His sincere interest in those yearning youngsters was the music they loved. In a little while they came to love the artist-man who made much of it so humanly simple.
Like many other eminent musicians, Wilks had a keen interest in social welfare. He was absorbed in all the handicrafts that express people's love of life. When he entered politics in Toronto, as a candidate for the Ontario legislature, he was not so much concerned with either of the old parliamentary parties, as with what he conceived to be the rights of all people to enjoy the beauties of living. Not being a professional politician, he was never elected. But he was attracted to the social-political faith of other people, especially those of constructive humanitarian ideas.
On a platform helping to re-elect W.H. Moore, M.P., the candidate had placed a concert-grand piano. Moore liked the bizarre and the unusual. He wanted the electors to appreciate the personality of Norman Wilks whom he had heard play the piano, with such intense interest in things that people loved. Before he made his speech to
[[Photo here of Norman Wilks]]
the electors on behalf of the Liberal candidate, Wilks played a brief, simple piano recital; just things that anybody might know. Never before had a speaker given a piano recital at a political meeting.
Norman Wilks had a fine sense of dramatic humor. No wonder that a few years ago Sir Ernest MacMillan chose him as Conservatory vice-principal. Wilks worked like a Trojan at this unpianistic job, always seeing visions and dreaming dreams that music might help make come true. When MacMillan
retired to focus on orchestra and choir, Wilks logically stepped in his full work as director; long hours every day; back four evenings a week to students' concerts; busy for months on Citizens' Committee for programs to troops in training. Everything he did, like his piano recitals here, was of such a sincere intensity. One of his highest dreams of humanizing the conservatory, whose slave of routine and generative ideas he was, began to climax just this season in the chamber-music 5 o'clocks. The Parlow quartette program was the last one that he heard of the series that he had visionized as one way of expressing the grand talents of Toronto folk for great salon-style music.
If he could have heard Kolessa play her salon-program last week! Maybe in imagination he did. Many pianistic folk would have liked to talk to him about the last concerto that he ever heard, the Rachmaninoff No. 2, played by Brailowsky, with "Mac", as Wilks called his old chief, at the baton. Memories of the passion, energy and beauty in that would have made him smile, would have invoked that irresistible laugh of his when not too tired.
So many of his later days, this brave soldier of music was a weary man - now and then glad news of his boy, Billy, in England . . . letters from him . . . . into warage now! In the inspiring grad-grind of the conservatory, he loved Billy's letters; like some of those blithe scherzos in symphonies, or Mozart concertos; or those humoresque Enigma Variations of Elgar. I remember with what glowing enthusiasm Norman spoke to me about No. 9 in that Enigma Suite of personal comments on folk that Elgar knew, as conducted by Monteux with the Montreal Philharmonic in Massey Hall a month ago.
Wilks went to many things in our music halls. It was a particular joy to him hearing Kirfusny play at Eaton's. One of his last thrills was hearing the Toronto Symphony play Shostakovich's No. I Symphony; not least because the Conservatory Orchestra, conducted by Mazzoleni, first played that work in Canada five years ago. One thing about Norman Wilks as clear as the joy-tunes of Schubert, was that he judged music not by its professional glamor, or artist-distinction, or by the money that musicians put into investments, but by the simple, art-evangelic good it might do for as many millions now living as possible. For this Wilks in his national parish worked, and by this he will be remembered as one of those who, because of devotion to the art he loved, left us many years too soon.
TRIBUTE FROM A FRIEND
In this transitory world with the souls of so many passing to the Great Beyond even as the leaves fall before the autumn winds one scarcely pauses even to regard them. But here and there before the winter has come one is plucked or broken off in its prime to wither before it has fulfilled its purpose. And in the realm of human life it is much the same and such an one was
We who knew him more or less intimately were shocked to learn of his sudden demise.
Inscrutable as are the Lords of the Flame and the Karmic Law it seems to us who stand without the pale, inexplicable that a person so full of life, the energizer of so much vitality in his own particular sphere, with so many interests and such a brilliant future could have been so suddenly called away.
But "No man knoweth when the hour cometh!" We must accept these things and further, we must not be parochial, but must cultivate the larger outlook and the greater vision. There are many realms besides this of ours, and the surmise is that he was summoned to take up a greater and more important work.
Nevertheless to those who knew him it was a sad blow. But the other day we were discussing mundane things such as his work, theosophy and the many things he loved so well. He had the adaptability of entering into conversation with all and sundry with avidity and supreme interest which was wholly delightful. In that last talk we spoke of the Temple of the Stars in Somerset which he had not heard about but at once took the greatest interest in and expressed his wish to get all that had been published concerning it.
He was a true theosophist. By that I mean it was in his nature. It was deep in his inner being and all his actions proclaimed it. He was very sensitive at "atmosphere" and innately sensed the pseudo, the mean and the paltry. His sensitive nature avoided these unless it were necessary to meet them when he stood up like the doughty warrior he was. By nature he was one who sought the quietude and the locale where he could develop his innate love of humanity and help its efforts to rise above limitations.
To deal with his life's history would be but repetition of what has already appeared in the press. But none the less I would note here a few outstanding features.
Born of English parents he was brilliant as a boy and showed decided talents as a singer and a musician. He studied the piano in England and abroad and it was not long before he was touring the world as a Virtuoso of that instrument and also as a lecturer on music.
When the First Great War paralyzed the efforts of mankind in everything except that of homicide he felt the urge of patriotism and began what turned out to be a distinguished military career. He served his country in many capacities. Was severely wounded at Arras and was awarded the Military Cross. And later being a gifted linguist he acted as interpreter in both German and French.
After the war he returned to music and coming to Canada entered with zest into the life of the New World. He was again on the concert platform and played as guest artist with the Columbia and the Toronto Symphony Concerts. Eventually he was appointed Principal of the Toronto Conservatory of Music where he was doing work of great importance infusing new life and ideas of a kind that promised the greatest fulfillment. But to our sorrow he was suddenly called away and departed this life in the amplitude of his powers. He was loved and respected by all who knew him and many have testified as to his ability and virtuosity. As Sir Ernest MacMillan said on learning of his decease "He was a very fine administrator"; this was furthered by Dr. Cody, Chancellor of the University of Toronto at the obsequies held in Convocation Hall when he said "He was a man of great capabilities", and amongst all the eulogies voiced on the many occasions I would like to add, he was a man of infinite charm, a great friend, and a person steeped in the milk of human kindness. The world is the poorer in his passing but the richer in the memory of his presence, and will benefit still further by the impetus given to the finer quailties of life initiated by the vigor and amplitude of his vision.
- E.L. Thomson.
Nov. 29th, 1944.
To All Interested in The New Interpretation of Christianity
THE CHRISTIAN THEOSOPHIST
offers valuable hints for the study of the Gospels in the light of ancient tradition and modern science
For specimen copy apply to the Editor, Mon Abri, Chorley Wood, Herts, England.
KILLED IN ACTION
Pte. Daniel Shantz, 39, son of Mrs. Melinda Shantz, 146 Lancaster Street East, Kitchener, Ont.
Pte. Shantz was killed in action on October 26. He was serving with the Essex Scottish Regiment, having been transferred from the Service Corps on arriving overseas. A former Public Utilities Commission employee, Pte. Shantz enlisted in October, 1943, and was stationed in England before being posted to France, then Belgium. He trained at Camp Borden while in this country. Born in Alberta, he was educated in Kitchener schools. Surviving, in addition to his mother, are a brother, Stanley, in Oshawa, and two sisters, Mrs. Norman (Viola) McLeod of Galt, and Mrs. George H. (Clam) Reinhart of Breslau.
Mr. Alexander Watt writes: "You will doubtless recall Mr. Shantz as having been the secretary-treasurer of the Kitchener Lodge, and we feel sure that you will regret exceedingly the fact that he has passed beyond at the age of 39 years."
Mr. Watt, who is president of the Kitchener Lodge, states his opinion, "that Brother Shantz was never intended to be a competent combatant, and had very little training as far as infantry warfare was concerned. He was the sole support of a widowed invalid mother, and we might say that he gave his life so that those in Quebec might live."
The Kitchener Lodge inserted in the Kitchener Record the following memorial notice:
Khabs cam Pekht!
Konx om Pax!
Light in Extension!
- Bro. Daniel Shantz -
Killed in action in Belgium, Oct. 26, 1944.
"Blessed is the man who dies in righteousness and goodness,
Concerning whom there is no book of unrighteousness written,
And against whom no day of judgment shall be found."
- ENOCH LXXX - 4.
Joy! shipmate - joy!
(Pleas'd to my Soul at death I cry;)
Our life is closed - our life begins;
The long, long anchorage we leave,
The ship is clear at last - she leaps
She swiftly courses from the shore;
Joy ! shipmate - joy!
Sib umbra alarum tuarum
THE WAR EFFORT A UNITY
We hear so much of the sacrifices and the courage of the men in the ranks, that we are not likely to overlook the fighting men of all services. The general and his aides, however, are remote figures. But they can be strengthened and supported by a wave of public sympathy pouring out from their homelands towards them. In these days when they decide the advance, hold the fate of men dear to them within their hands, the burden is more hard to bear. Think of them, and send support - even as you support the ranks of fighters, known and unknown. Then spare a little time to send goodwill to men who back the attack in governmental and industrial circles. It is the fashion to criticize both, and to resent them, but we are helpless without them. - From The Golden Lotus for November.
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The name `Mahatma' means literally `Great Soul,' and is used as a title of respect to certain Adepts or Sages belonging to the Eastern Brotherhood of Occult hierarchies. The equivalent of this name in the Vedas is Rishi, a word primarily used to designate seven ancient sages who founded the seven occult Orders in the school of Raj-yoga. The word is very often compounded with others to signify the different orders, such as Devarshi, a divine sage; Rajarshi, a kingly sage; Maharshi, a great sage, etc. Although for the Western world they must remain under their Eastern names by which they are now commonly known as an Order, yet it is not claimed that they are all of oriental birth, or that they have only lived and taught in Eastern countries. On the contrary, they are known to have existed in all parts of the world and to have carried out their special work after methods in accord with those of the country and period in which they successively moved. As workers for and with humanity, they have been guided by their exact knowledge of the cyclic laws to extend their observations and teachings into all parts of the earth; and nowhere is a great centre of psychic, mental, or spiritual activity to be found where they are not, by one means or another, represented.
There are seven primary classes of Adepts comprehended in the great occult Order to which I have referred, and this number is consonant with the nature of every perfect body or organization, since Nature works by septenates and completes all her series by sevens, as will have appeared conspicuously in the preceding chapters without special reference to the latest concepts of physical science. Every Manvantara of the seven included in the universal cycle of Evolution has its creative presiding and informing Logos or Spiritual Sun, which in its initial manifestation evolves or sends out Seven Rays, and these again and again sub-divide into septenates. Every human Ego belongs to one or another of these Rays, and thus comes under a specific spiritual hierarchy. The Seven Rishis referred to above as the heads of the Seven Orders of Sages, are the highest embodied manifestations of these Logoi. Beneath them come successive orders or classes of Adepts. Of the seven grades, however, only five are commonly spoken of, and their heads are known in Thibet as the Chutuktu; the other two orders are known to the highest Initiates only; and have a special significance in reference to the sixth and seventh Races of humanity yet to manifest on this globe in the present Fourth Round. These five Chutuktu are not confined to any particular Lodge of Adepts, we are told, but visit the different Lodges from time to time in succession; their operations, however, are centralized in Thibet. All grades of Adepts owe allegiance to one of these five great Teachers, although the different Lodges have their separate and distinctive methods of carrying out the work induced upon them by the study of the same general system of teachings. The Adepts themselves owe no allegiance, however, to any exoteric order of religion, nor to any religious movement, whether in the East or West; for on reaching a certain stage in their initiation they forego all distinction of nationality, caste, and creed, and are sworn only to the Brotherhood of Humanity and to the whole of their own Occult Fraternity. There are several orders of Initiation previous to the attaining of the adeptship, and below these Initiates are different grades of Chelas, or pupils, belonging to one of two classes, viz.: probationary and accepted Chelas. The latter class are under the teaching and training of Adepts, and are candidates for Initiation into the Brotherhood. The
Adepts are of all nationalities, and have attained their states from different grades of society. Neither are they all of one sex. In an article by Madame Blavatsky, which appeared in the "Theosophist" for March, 1882, it is said that the pious Chinese Princess who introduced Buddhism into Thibet in the seventh century is an adept who has reincarnated in a succession of female Lamas and was known to Bogle as the "Superior of the Piate-Lake Nunnery." In Nepaul there is a high female Adept, and in Southern India also there was recently another female Initiate named Ouvaiyar whose Tamil work, "Kural," on Occultism, is still to be obtained. There is also another Adept in Benares whose photograph I have myself seen, and who is credited with a marvellous knowledge of the Eastern Shastras in addition to occult powers. Indeed there is no reason why women should not attain Adeptship providing their individual Karma affords the necessary opportunities, for sex in itself is no disqualification. Adeptship is but the crown of spiritual progress and development, of mental and moral evolution, and this ideal of human perfectibility can be attained by women as well as by men. What the whole human race will eventually attain to in the ordinary course of evolution, the Mahatmas (Adepts of the higher orders) have already attained by special training and spiritual education. A Mahatma does not consist of the mere body through and in which he temporarily functions any more than in the garments he wears on one or another occasion, hence the oft-repeated wish to "see" a Mahatma would result in but poor satisfaction to one who looks to external appearances for indications of internal perfection. A true recognition of all that is implied in the words, `there is a natural body and a spiritual body,' would lead the thoughtful to understand that the Mahatma cannot be seen with the physical eyes any more than a man's character can be known by the clothes he wears; how he wears them is entirely another matter. Mahatmaship consists in the Spiritual Enlightenment of the Manasic principle and its consequent freedom from all illusions common to the natural mind, the whole consciousness being centred in the Higher Manas, which absorbs the light of the Divine Monad. A Mahatma can therefore be seen only by those who have attained the same plane of consciousness. From that plane the whole human family is simultaneously apparent to the consciousness of the Mahatma, but as one viewing the whole vault of midnight heaven does not take special notice of one star more than another except its peculiar brilliancy attracts the attention, so, he cannot be expected to concern himself specially with each individual Ego, until such time as its evolution brings it to that stage where its distinctive qualities render it a subject worthy of particular attention. Thus. while they are absolutely impartial in their work for humanity, they are not indifferent to the special claims to their attention which individuals may create for themselves; but the strain must be set up on our side before any response can be hoped for, and when we are ready they will be found waiting.
But the existence of the Mahatmas is yet a matter of question in the minds of many, especially in the West. It is taken for granted that the scientific knowledge of Western attainment is the highest output of human evolution up to date. I see no reason for accepting this; and in view of the doctrine of Reincarnation, the existence of the Mahatmas would be a logical necessity, even if direct evidence on the subject had not been forthcoming. I should need to know what had become of the exalted spiritual teachers of ancient philosophy, who are nowhere represented in our modern intellectual aristocracy whose
great achievements have their foundations in premises already established by the philosophy of those whom they are at pains to deny. Who will stand for a modern Pythagoras, a Socrates, a Plato, a Euclides, among our many Professors of science and philosophy? Or shall we accept that they have gone back upon the law of Evolution, the law of Progress, and have found a habitat in the bodies of some well-fed Oxford Dons? As Reincarnation is a logical necessity to me, because Progress is a logical necessity, so the existence of the Mahatmas becomes to me equally necessitous of acceptance. Moreover, as there is a difference of type between an ape and a Hottentot, between a Hottentot and a European scholar, why need the scale end here, may there not be an equally wide distinction of type between the highest European and - shall I say a Mahatma? Why not? Who among our great of intellect and soul would undertake to say, our Western egotism even considered, that the Evolution of the Race had found its consummation in this or that modern expression?
But the existence of the Mahatmas is asserted as a fact by those who have seen and conversed with them; not by Fellows of the Theosophical Society alone, but by other persons who give their independent testimony, and who have reassured the thoughtful of the truth of Swedenborg's remark, "Search for the Lost Word among the Hierophants of Tartary and Thibet." The statements made in "Five Years of Theosophy" will stand upon their own merits as independent testimony from several individuals which is mutually corroborative. Damodar K. Mavalankar relates his own experience with the Mahatmas, to whom he has now gone over. Sundook, the pedlar from Thibet, who visited the house of some Theosophists staying at Darjiling, gives his testimony as to the existence in Thibet of certain persons beside the great Lamas who are possessed of extraordinary powers. On being shown a photograph of Mahatma Kuthumi, "he looked at it for a few seconds and then, as though suddenly recognizing it, he made a profound reverence to the portrait, and said it was the likeness of a Chohan (Mahatma) whom he had seen accompanied by a numerous body of Gylungs about the beginning of October, 1881, at Giansi." The name of the Mahatma being asked, he said that "They are called Koothoom-pa," of whom there were many, but there was only one chief over them. "On being shown a peculiar rosary of beads belonging to Madame Blavatsky, the pedlar said that such things could only be got by those to whom the Tde-shu Lama presented them, as they could be got for no amount of money elsewhere." One of the Chelas of Mahatma Kuthumi, who was staying at the house in Darjiling, put on the sleeveless coat belonging to his order, and the pedlar, recognizing him as a Gylung, bowed down to him and "took the whole thing as a matter of course." Rajani Kant Brahmachari, a young Bengali, tells how, not being a Fellow of the Theosophical Society, and ignorant of the existence of such a body, he made his way into the Himalayas, and there came in contact with some Thibetans, called Koothoompas, with their Teacher, or Guru, who was reading from the Rig Veda. Brahmachari had been without food for some time and was hungry, which fact the Guru discovered soon after saluting him. Some ground grain and tea was therefore ordered for him by the Guru, but as there was no fire in the place Brahmachari was at a loss how to prepare his food. The Mahatma therefore asked for a rake of dry cow-dung, which is used for fuel at Thibet, and ignited it by simply blowing upon it. This phenomenon had been often performed in the presence of Brahmachari by another Chohan at Gauri, who also instantly cured a case of rheumatic
fever by giving the patient to eat a few grains of rice which he had crushed out of paddy with his own hands.
Now this, as disinterested evidence from a devotee of one of the most truth-loving religious bodies in the world, far outweighs all the uninformed assumptions of Western skeptics to the contrary. The evidence as to the existence of men endowed with such powers as described above and with others yet more wonderful to the European mind, is still further supplied from the independent witness of such men as Jacolliot, Abbe Huc, and Ser Marco Polo.
The former says: "Let it suffice to say, in regard to magnetism and spiritism, Europe has yet to stammer over the first letters of the alphabet, and that the Brahmins have reached, in these two departments of learning, results in the way of phenomena that are truly stupefying." This latter fact is readily understood when it is known that for untold generations the natives of Northern India and Thibet have been specialists in this direction. They have studied Nature's secret methods, and have discovered many of her laws; indeed, it may be said in a word, the Hindus are nothing if not psychologists and metaphysicians. Sir J. Fayrer, Sir Claude Wade, and many others of unquestioned integrity and clearness of intellect, have testified to the marvellous powers possessed by some of their yogis. But to return.
The following evidence of Mr. Eglinton on the subject of the astral appearance of the Mahatma Kuthumi under eminently satisfactory conditions is given as a test case for those who are clever at explaining things they do not understand. Mr. Eglinton affirms that while on board the steamship Vega, and a long distance from land, the Mahatma suddenly appeared to him in his cabin, and after conversing with him, as suddenly disappeared, taking with him a letter which Mr. Eglinton had written, the contents of which were as follows:
"S.S. Vega, Friday, 24th March, 1882.
"My Dear Mrs. Gordon, - At last your hour of triumph has come. After the many battles we have had at the breakfast-table regarding K.H.'s existence, my stubborn skepticism as to the wonderful powers possessed by the `Brothers,' I have been forced to a complete belief in their being living, distinct persons, and just in proportion to my skepticism will be my firm, unalterable opinion respecting them. K.H. appeared to me in person, and what he told me dumbfounded me."
Up to the time of this event, Mr. Eglinton had been an entire skeptic as to the existence of the Mahatmas. This letter of his was received the same day, Friday, 24th March, 1882, under the following conditions, as related by Mrs. Gordon, the wife of Colonel (now General) Gordon: -
"At nine o'clock on Friday, 24th, Colonel Olcott, Colonel Gordon, and myself, sat in the room which had been occupied by Mr. Eglinton. We had a good light, and sat with our chairs placed to form a triangle. In a few minutes Colonel Olcott saw outside the open window the two `Brothers' whose names are best known to us, and told us so. He saw one of them point his hand towards the air over my head, and I felt something at the same moment fall straight down from above on to my shoulders and saw it fall at my feet in the direction towards the two gentlemen. Colonel Olcott and Colonel Gordon both saw and heard the letter fall. Colonel Olcott had turned his head from the window for a moment, to see what the Brother was pointing at, and so noticed the letter falling from a point about two feet from the ceiling. When he looked again, the two `Brothers' had vanished. There is no verandah outside, and the window is several feet from the ground."
But yet we are informed, on the
authority of certain Western Sages, that even the name of Kuthumi is "gibberish"! It would have been better for their reputation, however, had they first of all consulted the "Vishnu Purana," Book III., ch. 6., though the name of the Rishi Kuthumi is mentioned in more than one Purana, and his Code is still preserved, among eighteen written by various Rishis, in the library of the Asiatic Society at Calcutta. The name of another Mahatma, known to many members of the Theosophical Society, is mentioned in Book IV., chap. 4 of the "Vishnu Purana," who is said to be still living in the village of Katapa in the Himalayas, and who, in the future, will restore the Kshetrya Race (Book IV., ch. 24). Now it is well known that the Mahatma referred to as now living belongs to the tribe of Rajputs, the proudest warrior race of ancient Aryavarta, and is, therefore, a Kshetriya as well as a Brahmin by natural descent.
But it is objected by some, `If the Mahatmas exist why then do they not come out among us and give us some evidence of their powers? We might then believe all that has been said of them, and who knows if we might not thereafter become Theosophists!' As to their appearance in the work-a-day world we can confidently say with Madame Blavatsky, "The world is neither ready to recognize them, nor to profit by their teaching." Let the experience of those who have come forth, and essayed to raise the world by their teachings and example, stand in witness of the truth of this statement! First let us justify Socrates, Bruno, Vanini, and the rest of their teachings; and then we may be within hearing of the Mahatmas. At the present day and as the world now stands in point of spiritual development, the attempt to preach their doctrines broadcast would be like sowing corn-seed in mid-ocean, while an exhibition of their powers would constrain the simple-minded to slavish worship, and even the intellectual skeptic to muttering wonderment.
In "Isis Unveiled," Madame Blavatsky says, "Travellers have met Adepts on the shores of the sacred Ganges, brushed against them in the silent ruins of Thebes, and in the mysterious deserted chambers of Luxor. Within the halls upon whose blue and golden vaults the weird signs attract attention, but whose secret meaning is never penetrated by the idle gazers, they have been seen but seldom recognized. They have been encountered again on the arid and desolate plains of Great Sahara, as in the caves of Elephanta. They may be found everywhere, but make themselves known only to those who have devoted their lives to unselfish study and are not likely to turn back."
Plotinus, whom I have already cited as a pupil of Ammonius Saccas, the Alexandrian Theosophist, says that knowledge of Theosophy consists of three degrees - "opinion, science, and illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense, or perception; of the second, dialectics; of the third, intuition. To the last, reason is subordinate; it is absolute knowledge founded on the identification of the mind with the object known." It is this latter knowledge that leads to, and in its highest aspect constitutes, adeptship. But this degree of spiritual insight is only attained by discipline, which, although practised in certain details by every spiritually-minded man, is capable of an indefinite extension when referred to planes of existence other and higher than this. And with what result? "His insight refines him," says Emerson. "The beauty of nature shines in his own breast. Man is greater that he can see this, and the universe less, because Time and Space relations vanish as laws are known." And on the subject of Discipline the same gifted writer says: - "The exercize of the will or the lesson of power is taught in every event. From
the child's successive possession of his several senses up to the hour when he saith, "Thy will be done"! he is learning the secret, that he can reduce under his will, not only particular events, but great classes, nay the whole series of events, and so conform all facts to his character. Nature is thoroughly mediate. It is made to serve. It receives the dominion of man as meekly as the ass on which the Saviour rode. It offers all its kingdoms to man as the raw material which he may mold into what is useful. Man is never weary of working it up. He forges the subtile and delicate air into wise and melodious words, and gives them wings as angels of persuasion and command. More and more, with every thought, does his kingdom stretch over things, until the world becomes at last only a realized will - the double of the man." It is thus, by means of discipline, that one after another the steps in the long ladder of life are surmounted; thus that the eager feet of the dauntless warrior devour the path - which is himself - by which he goes to victory. By motive, effort, and result, enduring, he attains. And to what end? "Shall he not use the gifts which it confers for his own rest and bliss, his well-earned weal and glory he, the subduer of the great Delusion? Nay, O thou candidate for Nature's hidden lore! If one would follow in the steps of holy Tathagata, those gifts and powers are not for Self." The Voice of the Silence speaks to him, and says: "Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?" To what end, then, is this attainment? What is known as the "moment of choice" happens for him who has come to the seventh and last portal as for him who essays the first step on the Occult Path. To the Bodhisattva (Enlightened Excellency) at this point there is a choice of three "vestures" or states, called Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya.
In the first of these the Adept goes into Nirvana and is said to have "crossed the stream" which finally separates him from all association, however remotely, with embodied humanity and prevents all thought for human welfare. The second is of the same nature as regards its relation to humanity as a whole, but instead of the Adept going into Nirvana, he becomes a Deva or lesser god, endowed with the "three perfections." The third vesture is assumed by the `Master of Compassion' renounces the bliss of that great ocean who, having won the right to Nirvana, of peace and "remains on earth as an Adept and when he dies, instead of going into Nirvana, he remains in that glorious body he has woven for himself, invisible to Uninitiated Mankind, to watch over and protect it." His state thereafter is described in "The Seven Portals": "Self-doomed to live through future Kalpas, unthanked and unperceived by man; wedged as a stone with countless other stones which form the `Guardian Wall.' . . .Built by the hands of many Masters of Compassion, raised by their tortures, by their blood cemented, it shields mankind, since man is man, protecting it from further and far greater misery and sorrow." This superlative sacrifice is called the Great Renunciation, and is and must ever remain the most godlike ideal possible of conception in the human mind. But in view of the fact that with the choice before them, the Masters of Compassion can only take that which appears the best and therefore the only one possible to their natures, it may not conspicuously appear in what the choice or special sacrifice consists.
From the moment the aspirant sets his foot upon the path that leads to final liberation, the "vesture" he will adopt at the end of his journey is in process of weaving. The thread of motive is caught up by the shuttle of effort, and
the loom of life runs rapidly on. The Great Renunciation is but the final outcome of many sacrifices made in numberless existences, and, therefore, the direct expression of that principle of selflessness which They have confirmed themselves in by much suffering, and a ceaseless effort towards the attainment of that divine life which lives for all, except itself. Self-sacrifice is a virtue, difficult to attain to even in the small things of this transient existence, and how much greater, then, must be the virtue of entire renunciation of self for the sake of an ideal? "For this thou hast to live and breathe in all, as all that thou perceivest breathes in thee; to feel thyself abiding in all things, all things in Self." The distinction lies in the nature of self referred to. It is evident that if we trace things to their origin, we shall find a certain self-centred germ of consciousness lying at the root of all phenomenal existence, which exists because it cannot help existing, and which acts in such and such a way because that particular way is the only one possible to its nature under given conditions. Therefore, the man who sacrifices himself to an ideal is in reality only satisfying his own nature, to which the aimlessness of common life is not even a satisfactory cause for mere existence, much less for effort. The human mind conceives of such a life as would afford the means of satisfying the undefined aspirations of the upward yearning for something that alone would make life worth the living; and knowing as it does that Nature does not exert herself in any direction without a purpose, the mind of man learns to think that the ideal life is within a possible grasp of the practical; for it is not plausible that Nature would evolve a soul-function which could not be used, nor a desire which could not be satisfied. And from desiring to thinking, and from thinking to striving, he passes into more and more of possession, sacrificing much, enduring much, hoping ever, "till hope creates from its own wreck the thing it contemplates." - Being chapter viii of What is Theosophy? by Walter R. Old, 1892.
The heart shall drain love's vintage as a dower,
And fold Time's yellow volume page on page,
And sublimate the sorrows of each hour
Till grief itself has earned a royal wage.
The supple mind so like a rapier wrought
Of burnished metal flashing like the sun,
Shall strike the sparks upon the flesh-bound thoughts
Till all ideas are still and Truth is won.
Laughter and tears and yearning now are ended,
The various devices are forsworn,
For heart and mind are ONE by Truth attended;
The sun has set, another SUN is born.
- H. L. Huxtable.
THE THREE TRUTHS
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 CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert E.S. Smythe.
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OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
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Albert E.S. Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton. Ontario, Canada.
To whom all communications should be addressed.
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Christmas is again darkened by the shadows of war. It is a festival of the Sun, our Lord of Light and Life. His Message is of Joy and Gladness, but one must absorb it to understand it. It is not one of good will to men but of Peace to men of Good Will. Perhaps this makes it necessary to consider our friends, and whether the Sun shines on them. I would like to think that all my friends were travelling Sunwards. If I have spoken strong words to any of them, it was not about themselves, but about the clouds that shadowed them - clouds I would have them dispel. It may be their clouds have a silver lining. But if the Sun be hidden it cannot be altogether well with them. Dear hearts; we shall all be friends at last. Let us begin soon, so that wars may yield to good will, and the blessed Light shine in all our lives, and more and more till the perfect day.
The Toronto Theosophical News announces the Annual At Home of the Toronto Lodge on New Year's Day. Refreshments will be served from 4 till 6 in the afternoon. Members and friends of the Lodge are cordially invited to attend. The General Secretary hopes to be able to be present.
The Mexican National T.S. celebrated the 25th year of their foundation on November 12 with an elaborate program organized by the metropolitan Lodges. It is to be regretted that the Canadian National T.S. which is also celebrating its 25th anniversary could not have been represented at the Mexican gathering to which a cordial invitation had been received. We must be satisfied for the present with an exchange of the most cordial greetings and warmest good wishes for the progress and increasing influence of the respective Societies.
I deeply regret to have to record the death of Sir Herbert Couzens, formerly head of the Toronto Hydro-Electric system. As editor of The Toronto World was the time I came to know him intimately, and to admire him, not merely for his ability and mastery of his duties, but especially for his sterling integrity, an astonishing command of detail, always ready at a moment's notice, and with unfailing good humor. He said he would have liked to remain in Canada but felt that having to provide for his family, Brazil offered a wider field. How he succeeded there is known to all the world.
I am often asked: "Did Roy Mitchell continue to teach Theosophy in New York?" A note from one entitled to speak may not only satisfy such enquiries, but may indicate what a wide influence has been exerted on many groups
of young people who came under his instructions for years past. The note reads: "Tell anyone who asks that Roy continued to teach Theosophy till the last, though he was not lecturing for any of the Societies. All contacts with the students, apart from his courses, had to do with passing on the teaching. He had stopped trying to proselytize - just told them the basic truths, and if they wanted to know where he got it, then he told them about Theosophy and H.P.B. New York University is very broad guage, so Roy was able in his `History of the Arts of Utterance' course, to lay before them his whole pattern of man and his relation to the earth - the `fallen angel' idea, and the youngsters used to sit starry-eyed listening to him."
Devenir, in its second month, the September issue having lately reached us, should be a pride and joy to the whole Theosophical assembly. Its noble front, full foolscap size, with bold artistic lettering, is the handsomest presentation of our Ancient Wisdom that has ever been made. Evidently expense has not entered into the problem of planning something worthy of the greatest campaign for Truth in 2000 years. Our southern brethren have shown what can be done with some sacrifice combined with good taste and exercized judgment. If we had a parallel publication in English the effect on readers would be startling. As it is one is tempted to learn Spanish to enjoy such luxury in presentation. The contents include an article by H.P.B. on Hypnotism and Suggestion; a Definition of Theospphy based on The Secret Doctrine; and a translation of the Mahatma Letters, beginning with letters 1 and 2 by K.H.; a discussion by Mr. Krishnarnurti of about a dozen live topics, with other articles filling 44 pages. Price $5. for ten issues; address Elba R. Cattaneo, Casilla de Correo 147, Montevideo, Uruguay.
A United States correspondent writes to ask "Can anyone suggest a suitable rejoinder to the letter of L. Furze-Morrish in your November number?" I scarcely think it requires a rejoinder. It represents a designed policy of flinging mud without giving reasons in the hope that some of the mud will stick. A campaign of charging the use of "bad language" which had been carried on for months, reached a climax in a letter from Mr. Hodson, in which he, like all his predecessors, neglected to give any examples of the bad language. Similarly when denunciations of written articles or teaching is heard, these are never accompanied by quotations. The reader is left to use his imagination about the awful things that are being denounced. A South African adept in this style roundly abused a copy of our magazine of September last year which we charitably suppose he never opened or he could not have lied about it as he did. A United States editor, however, did not hesitate to reprint the false statements although having seen the magazine he could not help but know their falsity. Our readers wonder why such things happen. They have been happening for half a century and will continue to happen as long as the cult of believing in leaders without investigating on one's own account is allowed to exist. I was once led by an English Colonel to print statements about Mr. Jinaraiadasa which turned out to be without foundation. The English Colonel never explained nor apologized. I had to do that. It was an experience. So I do not mind when Australian Captains blaspheme. A correspondent in Western Canada, sending in a subscription, writes "most sincere thanks" and hopes the editor "will be able to continue for some time his educating and enlightening articles." "The note this week from Australia is most unjust. Some months ago - I can't find the magazine - it was asking for natural Spiri-
tual things we in our readings enjoyed. From Australia came to me a book, The Lore of the Lyre Bird, by Ambrose Pratt. I have never had a more spiritual thrill out of any book on natural history. It is simply beautiful and I know it to be all true. My second spiritual find was Rickenbacher's radio speech after his return from the near grave in the Pacific. That was pure simple truth, philosophy and religion I think would stand re-broadcasting many times".
Nicholas Roerich contributes some interesting studies to the October-December issue of East-West, under the heading "On a Himalayan Harp." The first is somewhat pessimistic. "The more one comes in contact with the most varied peoples, the more shocked he is by the universality of misfortune. The small groups of those who lived on incomes which veiled this world with an illusory guaranty have become absolutely insignificant. Any of them who do not suffer as yet, already speak of impending ill. There is coming forth a destructive invocation of coming evil, as if invisible sowers of doom were passing through all countries and throwing into space formulas of incapacitating alarm." As against this he says: "Creative thought is an accumulator of high energies which feed all saps of life; it is the great elixir of strength eternally sought by men. This elixir of life restores man, and he turns from a destructive invocation of misfortunes to an insistent call of benevolent cultural constructiveness. Our plea for the necessity of unlagging development of knowledge, of all ennobling activities, shall in itself be the first stone in the new mansion of the future." The second stave is "Glory to Russia, Land of Toilers!" "Verily, do not outrage Russia. Every one who attempts to overthrow the high ideals of Russia will perish in disgrace." The third stave deals with our third object, "Unexplored Laws of Nature." It relates an incident in the Hollywood life of Warner Baxter. During the making of a picture he was representing a man mourning ever the death of his wife. When the film was developed there appeared behind Baxter "the perceptible lineaments of a woman's figure." Nothing could account for this and the film was spoiled. Next day the scene had to be retaken, but when the new film was developed the mysterious apparition was there again. No explanation has been forthcoming, and Mr. Roerich remarks - "Obviously there exist in nature conditions, complicated as viewed by present human thinking, which do not as yet yield to formulation." The fourth stave is on "Ancient Treasure" and tells of the belief that there are underground dwellers who have extensive vaults where are gathered treasures from the beginning of the world. "These subterranean folk do no evil. They even help wayfarers."
EDDINGTON IS DEAD
Cambridge. Nov. 22. - (CP) - Sir Arthur Eddington, 61, professor of astronomy at Cambridge University and director of the Cambridge observatory, died in a nursing home here last night.
Sir Arthur, a native of Kendal, Westmorland, was one of the greatest of astronomers, yet he was known also as one of the most human of scientists.
He was an expert golfer, a good swimmer, rode a bicycle about the picturesque streets of this town, and was fond of defective stories.
Sir Arthur, a bachelor, with typical humor, once declared that "falling in love is an activity forbidden to that tiresome person, the consistently reasonable man."
Like other famed mathematicians of his day, Sir Arthur was a profound philosopher. One appraiser described
his thinking as the "high water mark of philosophy."
He was a leading authority on the interpretation of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.
He had written many books, some of which became best sellers. Two of his best-known works were The Expanding Universe and The Nature of the Physical World, which did much to extend scientific knowledge among persons unversed in scientific jargon.
It seems like another world, and it is another world in the Greek Time-World sense of another aeon in which Darwin and Wallace, Tyndall and Huxley ruled the scientific Hierarchy. They are all dead and gone, honored names, but their work at the best only useful as stepping-stones, or as rubble to fill in the foundations of the new time. Yet they had gleams and glimpses and they were not as bigoted as the German generation of materialists who swore by Haeckel. Huxley recognized consciousness as a third term in a trinity where energy and matter were the other factors. Wallace was a Spiritualist and searched behind the veil. Tyndall had a glimpse of elemental figures in one of his experiments which he described in an essay. Darwin was on the side of the angels, like Disraeli, and got Christian burial in Westminster Abbey. But Jeans and Eddington have overturned their Empire and talk science in a language which would be unintelligible to the cleverest of them. For one thing, however, we owe them everlasting gratitude. They did their utmost to make science popular. That tradition remains and men of science today are loyal to the principle of sharing their knowledge with the common man. He has an open mind and learns, while the better class man is laced up in creeds and dogmas and to preserve these fossil remains he closes his senses to the abounding life of the Universe with which the new Science is coming into touch. Unfortunately the men who dominate wealth and religion are so selfish in their aims and ends that they devote such knowledge of science they have or can purchase to the development of death-dealing agencies and their adaptation to war and the destruction of the means of existence. But in spite of this lapse on the part of humanity itself, unable to recognize the unity of interests as well as the identity of being, the new science has taken a great step forward in acknowledging that Mind is the real source of all the phenomena of Nature. This marks a distinct advance on the part of Western science, but in detail there is an almost endless march ahead even to overtake the knowledge of eastern philosophers. He was among the first of the ten or twelve men who are said to have been able to understand the Einstein theory of relativity. His books, The Nature of the Physical World and The Expanding Universe need not puzzle any ordinarily intelligent mind, but he did not solve all the problems that interested him. One of these was the heat of the sun. He did not compare it with the heat of an electric cable carrying thousands of horsepower, nor of the dynamos generating this power from cold water. He was a devout Quaker and a life-long teetotaller, and had never married.
FOR CHRISTMAS KEEPSAKES
The following books have just been received from the binders, and owing to the advanced prices of material due to the war, prices have had to be raised from the moderate rates. - ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS by H. P. Blavatsky. 60 and 75 cents.
- ANCIENT AND MODERN PHYSICS by Thomas W. Willson. 60 cents.
- THE EVIDENCE OF IMMORTALITY by Dr. Jerome A: Anderson. 75 cents.
- MODERN THEOSOPHY by Claude Falls Wright. 75 cents.
- THE BHAGAVAD GITA A Conflation by Albert E. S. Smythe. 75 cents.
Order from THE BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE 52 ISABELLA STREET, TORONTO, 5, Ontario
Vancouver, Oct. 28 - Vancouver's earthquake predictor, Edgar C. Thrupp, is a man of radical scientific beliefs. Scorn has been heaped on him, by recognized scientific authority for his claims of predicting earthquakes since he first came into the public eye in 1939, but he persists in expounding his theories and in making predictions. His forecasts have proved astoundingly correct.
"Newton was wrong," calmly states the civil engineer, who retired in 1932 to devote his time to the study of the ether and gravitation. "If he was right, there wouldn't be any earthquakes."
Thrupp says there is no such thing as "pull", as Newton expressed in his law of gravitation. There is, however, a pressure on the earth from the outside ether, he says. Sometimes, he states, a solid mass, such as a planet, shades part of the earth so that the "ether pressure" is lessened on that side. When this occurs, normal pressure on the remote side pushes on the crust. If the difference in pressure is great enough, its effect will be shown in disturbances on the earth's crust.
"I'm not going to explain my laws to you," says the forecaster. "In the first place, you wouldn't understand them. In the second place, why should I? I've written a book on them. You can read them when it's published. But anybody can understand the facts."
And the facts are these: Thrupp has predicted earthquakes and they have occurred; he had forecast auroral displays and they have taken place, and he has prophesied sunspots, and sure enough, sunspots have been seen.
For instance, in 1940, newspapers in Vancouver kept close tab of his predictions. In six months reporters checked 12 prophesies and found he made 12 hits and no misses, including the disastrous Turkish 'quake when 300 persons were killed. Scientists claim that earthquakes, auroras and sunspots are unpredictable, but Mr. Thrupp, according to the records, is able to predict them.
The world at large, Thrupp says, has little to fear from earthquakes during 1945, only one major 'quake being forecast - sometime between 4 p.m. and midnight between Dec. 10 and Dec. 20.
Thrupp claims that every householder can construct an "earthquake predictor" to warn him of approaching 'quakes. His invention, can be built cheaply by anyone with the aid of several hundred feet of water pipe and a clockwork recording drum to rotate graph paper under a recording pen.
The instrument will warn of approaching 'quakes by recording slow movement in the earth's crust, altering the slope of the surface imperceptibly. The instrument operates exactly like a carpenter's level, he says.
Here are his instruction for its construction:
"Two lengths of 100-foot water pipe, half an inch in diameter, are buried end to end near the surface. The ends are turned upwards through the surface and filled with water. Any change in the slope of the pipes because of earth movements will produce a change in the water level, in extreme cases, a tenth of an inch in 100 feet. By comparing the water levels of the two inner ends of the pipes, you can get a record of the degree of the slope.
"The recording apparatus consists of a float in each chamber, connected by a rocker arm. A tilt in the earth's crust would cause one float to rise and the other to fall. An indicator on the connecting arm records the degrees of a slope on a graph.
"An electric circuit is closed by the rocker arm during a violent change in the slope of the earth's crust and an electric bell begins to ring, warning of the risk of an earthquake." - From The Toronto Star.
GLIMPSING THE FUTURE
London, Dec. 4. (CP) - The age-old belief that human beings can, at times and in certain circumstances, obtain fleeting glimpses of future events is supported by the results of experiments conducted for three years by S.G. Soal, of the mathematics department, Queen Mary College, London University, it was announced today.
Tested by Cards
Prof. Ivor Evans, principal of Queen Mary College, said the strange faculty which the tests are alleged to affirm is known as precognitive-telepathy.
Soal experiments with a professional photographer and a pack of cards. Placed in a room, apart the subject guessed, not the card chosen for him, but the one to follow, and he did this often enough, Soal said, that "the odds against the whole series of tests being due to chance are stupendous and are represented by a figure consisting of 10 followed by 34 noughts."
Prof. Evans said the experiments were witnessed by several eminent scientists who asserted the outcome would have important implications for philosophy.
The work developed from earlier experiments by Soal who tested 160 persons and accumulated more than 128,000 guesses of cards bearing different geometrical symbols. He found that two of the 160 had registered a number of "hits" far above chance coincidence on both the preceding and the following card.
In each instance the cards were exposed for a few seconds to an agent who was with Soal behind an opaque screen.
More elaborate experiments were made. Cards were inscribed with animal pictures and the guesser was in a separate room from Soal, the agent and the cards.
It was soon apparent that the subject was registering significant scores in the card one place ahead," he continued. "We soon discovered that the experiment succeeded only when the agent looked at the faces of the cards one by one, and this fact suggested the subject was obtaining his knowledge of the card one ahead, not from the card itself, but from a reading of a future state of mind of the persons who gazed at the symbol on its face. That is, he was foreseeing what would be in the agent's mind 21 seconds later.
"One day the interval between the successive card presentations was reduced from 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 seconds, and the subject ceased to guess correctly the next card, but began to score `hits' on the next but one.
"This redoubtable discovery made it more certain than ever that the displacement of the guess was truly a displacement into future time and not merely a spatial shift. The subject's choice was being decided by a future event in the agent's mind.
"A mental event still in the future was apparently affecting a present mental event, and seemingly the normal law of causation was being reversed."
DR. CURELLY IN HAMILTON
Dr. Curelly is one of the great archaeologists of the academic world, and one of the greatest authorities on Egyptian, Chinese, and Central American antiquities. He has enriched the collections under these heads in the Royal Ontario Museum in an almost incredible degree, and if he leans towards conservative interpretations of past history in his judgments it must be admitted that he has many authorities who agree with him. We are glad to reproduce a report of his visit to Hamilton from The Spectator of November 20:
That is the opinion of Dr. Charles T. Currelly, director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology, about supposed
mysterious "curses" on those who excavate the tombs of the ancients, including Egypt's famous "King Tut."
Also professor of archaeology at the University of Toronto, he spoke before several hundred people who attended his address to the Christian Culture Lecture Association, at the Royal Connaught Hotel last night.
"Rubbish," Dr. Currelly repeated in answer to a question about the curse. "My old chief opened more tombs than any man alive, and he died at the age of 96."
Lantern slides illustrated his lecture about people in the time of Christ, and showed many articles of homely origin and interest, such as shoes, lamps, children's rag dolls and carpenters' tools.
The ancient Egyptians had their packaging and transportation difficulties, and Dr. Currelly pointed to a picture of a tall, earthen container.
"Grain was shipped from Egypt to Rome in these jars," he said. Millions of them were used. They took the place of Crates and sacks."
Modern counterpart of this primitive means of packaging was told by the speaker in an anecdote which concerned a party of educators who were returning from a trip to Northern Ontario in midwinter.
Their train was to leave at 4 in the morning. They had overslept, it was bitter cold, and their was no time to lose. One of the party was seen carrying an hotel's water pitcher during the rush to the station. Asked the reason, the man replied, "The pitcher's frozen up solid, and my teeth are at the bottom."
This was the only modern parallel to the Egyptian's cumbersome grain-carrying vessels that he could recall, the professor said, after a wave of laughter.
Many interesting articles had been found in mounds because the ancient Egyptians just tossed the rubbish out
their doors, Dr. Currelly said. Too many people buried their valuables.
Children's playthings in Egypt about the time of Christ included balls of papyrus and glass marbles. Writing was inscribed on the shoulder blades of animals, or on bits of white limestone.
"It is said that the Koran was written on the shoulder blades of sheep, and that the short sentences are at the end, because the big bones, with more writing on them, were transcribed to paper first. The small bones were used last, as was natural," he said.
Dr. Currelly was introduced by C. H. Higgins.
YOUTH, KARMA AND CRUELTY
Extracts from Recent Writings
By Shrimati Rukmini Devi
At no time in the history of the world could there have been so much room for action and such possibilities to ascend into heights as there are today. Yet one sees young people who carry on from morning till night with their usual occupations of work and leisure. Leisure for them results in futile talking. No matter which individual one may talk to, one gets the feeling that each one believes that the world could be saved if only either God or Government would listen to him. There is much talk about Education, and I cannot help feeling that there should be a body of idealists and workers who teach the young what to do when they are out of schools and colleges.
Karma for the Future
There are one or two ideas that I feel particularly the young people of the world can and should put into practice.
First of all, those of us who believe in a world that includes the past, the present and the future, in a world which cannot discard responsibility either for the past or the future, see what is happening today as the result of the karma of the past of every nation. What is
happening today is also creating karma for the future of the world. What we have to realize is that we must try to create right karma for the future, so that the future shall have no war, but rather that the future will have a lasting peace.
You may ask, `How are we to create such karma?' I quite agree with what every reformer has said, that there should be a very high and wonderful culture, true refinement, true principles of life, great spirituality. But how are we to change the whole of the world? Is a lecture given one afternoon to an audience going to affect China? Is it going to affect Europe? It may not, but let it at least affect us in this one respect - that we shall be inspired to remove all unhappiness which we in any way contact.
Culture and Cruelty
I feel that the fundamental cause of all war is cruelty. Culture is a very important and marvellous thing, but what is the highest attribute of culture? The highest attribute of culture, of refinement, is kindness, is graciousness to life, is reverence for life, is chivalry in life, is tenderness to all who are young, whether young in age or young in development. Such tenderness is the most precious and the most wonderful aspect of culture.
There is cruelty going on everywhere in the world today. If we try to remove the cruelty I believe we are really building a new world. We do not need to try to see what organizations we can join in order to help. There is cruelty in our homes. How are the children treated? Do they grow in happiness? Are they brought up with courage?
What is the attitude between man and woman? Are the women happy? Is there true chivalry to womanhood? What are the conditions of life in every home? Is there respect for age? Is there respect for wisdom and learning?
These, I consider, are very practical points, because we should try to remove those unhappinesses in our everyday lives if we are to bring peace to the world. What is the world composed of but nations? What are nations composed of but cities and homes? So if we change our homes, we change the whole world.
Cruelty to Animals
What about cruelty to animals? That is a very important point, not enough thought of and not enough mentioned. In the streets every day we see horses and bullocks ill-treated. There is still a certain amount of savagery in the form of killing animals for all sorts of purposes. There is animal sacrifice for the sake of worship and sport, of health and food. Unless we stop all these forms of sacrifice we can never bring peace to the world.
You may say, `How can we change it? What does this selfishness, this killing and hunting of animals really mean?' It means that every human being has a very strong knowledge that he can very easily overcome and command animals, because he has mastery over them. What is the difference between those who overwhelm and master the animals, because they are the stronger, and people like Hitler or the Rakshasas in the Puranas who tried to overcome people and held them in their power? It is the same thing, and we must change it.
We must try to abolish animal sacrifice, in the temples by teaching the people that the gracious and compassionate Being whom they worship is Mother and Father, and who never really look but with eyes of compassion on those young animals brought before the altar for sacrifice. We must teach that these great Deities will accept any offering, even the humblest, that is offered in devotion and reverence.
We must show that the sacrifice that is being made in the name of sport, the form of sacrifice of which the western world is so particularly proud, is not
true sportsmanship, and that their belief that character is built by it is a mistaken one.
Civilization and Animal Sacrifice
Then there is the sacrifice that is made of animals for the sake of health. Western science could have easily spent some of the millions it has spent otherwise in attempting to find ways of healing through plants and minerals. The western world could have come to India to have learnt something about the Ayurvedic system of medicine, or to China, where there is a wonderful system of medicine, but they have not taken this trouble, because inherently they have not realized that the east has something to give to the west. We have something to give that will prevent cruelty, though even in eastern medicine there is much killing of animals.
How can real health come by cruelty, by suffering? How can we inflict suffering on one part of the world in order to bring health to another part of the world? We are all one and the animal kingdom belongs also to civilization. Animals are also citizens of our world.
Very often those who are vegetarians are so through habit. Some people are habitual vegetarians. Some people are vegetarians because of conviction. The habitual vegetarian can be very easily converted to meat-eating, as he usually is when he goes to Europe. He does not realize that it is a matter of principle.
These are some of the principles that Theosophy can teach. These are the practical ways in which youth can show an example.
Youth has at least one very great advantage. Youth loves to disobey the elders. Let them disobey their elders at least in this respect. Not only will they then show great courage, but they will save humanity. There will come lasting peace and true reconstruction only when we have realized our responsibility to those younger than ourselves, and among those younger I particularly emphasize the animal kingdom, because this kingdom we human beings tend to forget. - From English Theosophical News & Notes.
NOT LIDICE NOR LUBLIN?
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - Re "Mice & Men". I don't think your conclusions that your correspondents are more interested in mice than in the war victims are correct. Remember that the "Mice" correspondence was the result of some statements in your paper, and would not have been forthcoming if there had been no cause for them. I expect we could all write reams about the criminals who allowed Germany to reach the point where she was able to wage war on the helpless victims you mention, but there has been nothing to call forth such an outburst in your paper.
You seem a little confused when you think your correspondents are concentrating upon mice in regard to vivisection - what they condemn is the whole principle of vivisection, which is the sacrifice of the weaker for the stronger, of the helpless for the powerful, and of the voiceless creation for the vociferous creation. Theosophy includes the study of different teachings and religions, and some of these religions believe in the Brotherhood of all life; therefore Theosophists feel more responsibility for the treatment of all forms of life than non-Theosophists. I do not think that, as a rule, their judgment is "founded on" their feelings operating according to their limited experience." I think their judgment is the result of thinking and reasoning and studying, and trying to find the "law of life" in the middle of the seemingly hopeless material tangle. Yours truly,
- Nona E. Webster.
1262 Duchess Ave.,
November 24, 1944.
RETIRES FROM BANQUET
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - Two or three matters occasion this line. I want to thank you a lot for the information and stimulation I got from your "All Life Is A Unity", in the very nice supplement. It is all very satisfying to me, and I hope to you and all the crowd. It is a grand closing to my file of our Canadian Theosophist that I wrote you I am dropping my subscription to, as part of a gesture to assimilate my life time's accumulation of the precious gifts I've taken in as I've dasht thru the fast flying days. It is a heroic action, this shutting down on the acquisition, in order to drain my cup more thoroughly. But I'm like to burst with what I've already taken from the banquet. And though I know well I will miss much from the succeeding issues of our magazine, my integrity will carry me further on the Old Path through this obstention than I'd get with the glad gabbling of ever more. I've sensed for years a feverish desire to learn all the things I can before emerging into Taoism, which I know is ahead for me - I'm slithering off into it right along. Life is coming so fast as to almost swamp me, as it is. You likely know what I'm trying to indicate with inadequate words. Please feel, with me, that I still belong, and am with you, all the way in spirit and you have closed my sub-cription on your books? Thanks a million and all good wishes,
- (Mrs.) Marion R. Gould.
During the month of November we have received the following: Toronto Theosophical News, November; The Theosophical Worker, July and September, Nos. 7 and 9 of volume 9; The Kalpaka, Coimbatore, July-Sept.; The Theosophical Movement, Bombay, Aug.; The Indian Theosophist, July-August; Lucifer, Boston, November; Baconiana, October quarter; Theosophy, Los Angeles, November; The Path, Sydney, N.S.W., July-September; The American Theosophist, November; The Theosophist, Adyar, September; Evolucion, Argentina, August and September; Y Fforwm Theosoffaidd, Cardiff, July-August; Theosophy in New Zealand, Oct.-December; The Ancient Wisdom, November; The Canadian Author & Bookman, September; The Federation Quarterly, October; Dharma, Mexico City, September; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, December; Devenir, II. Montevideo, September; Canada at War, October; The Golden Lotus, November.
THEOSOPHY UP TO DATE!
- EVOLUTION: As Outlined in The Archaic Eastern Records Compiled and Annotated by Basil Crump.
- H. P. BLAVATSKY: A GREAT BETRAYAL A protest against the policy and teachings of The Theosophical Society introduced since the death of Madame Blavataky.
- H. P. BLAVATSKY: HER LIFE AND WORK FOR HUMANITY
A vindication. and a brief exposition of her mission and teachings.
- H. P. BLAVATSKY AS. I KNEW HER Consisting of personal experiences with that great Soul.
- BUDDHISM: The Science of Life. By Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump. This book shows that the Esoteric philosophy of H.P. Blavatsky is identical with the Esoteric Mahayana Buddhism of China, Japan and Tibet.
- THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE. Translated and Annotated by H. P. Blavatsky. A faithful reprint of the original edition with an autograph foreword by H.S.H. The Tashi Lama of Tibet. Notes and Comments by Alice L. Cleather and Basil Crump. H.P.B. Centenary Edition, Peking, 1931. Third Impression.
The above may be had from The H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Road, Victoria, B.C., or from The Blavatsky Association, 26 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W. 8, England.
Prolongation of the war now depends wholly on the Germans. They are thoroughly beaten, and are practically "out on their feet," but with stubborn tenacity, or magnificent determination, if you are Teutonic, they refuse to surrender. No doubt the Generals in command would do so, if they had any choice, but the Gestapo sees to it that such an idea cannot be entertained, because Hitler, the Fuehrer will not consent. It is the strongest argument that can be produced that Hitler is still in control, dominating the country and the army through his spy system, and ruling out all measures that might seem reasonable to the military authorities. In this he follows Frederick the Great, if one cares to read Carlyle's ten volumes on that subject. But Frederick had very different conditions to deal with, different armies, different foes, very different armaments, and altogether different lines of communications. Air force alone introduces a new factor which would have complicated Frederick's comparatively simple tactics beyond calculation. If in chess the knights were given the powers of the bishops and castles as well as their own, one can imagine how briskly the board could be swept.
Having accomplished one miracle Hitler evidently thinks another might occur. Miracles require Time and Space and Hitler would at least supply these facilities. Whatever his plans the war is progressing slowly but favorably for the Allies. The immediate objective is the coal-rich Saar River Valley, where nine billion tons of coal account to some extent for the fierce German defence. But the Allied advance, headed by General Patton's Third Army, is irresistible.
Advance in land-miles is not so important to the Allies as the losses to the enemy in soldiery. The Allied attacks are eating up German troops at the rate of many divisions a week. Yet the Allied authorities continue to warn the nations that the war must continue well into next year. There may be good reasons for this precaution. The armies are running short of ammunition and the strikes which constantly break out do not improve matters. The home forces can hardly comprehend the danger their slacking involves.
Another element of delay to the Allies is the weather. Jupiter Pluvius is distinctly on the side of Germany. All this is on the western front. On the east and south, Russia has been awaiting the fine winter weather with its excellent fighting conditions, clear air and iron hard ground. The Russian armies too have been reducing the masses of the German armies at a terrific rate. Fighting has been going on upon the borders of East Prussia, but on a larger scale on the borders of Hungary and the Danube in assailing Buda-Pesth, with a view to opening up the Austrian route to Berlin.
A joint east-west attack may be looked for as soon as land and air conditions prove suitable. In Italy the pace has been quickened somewhat, and Ravenna has fallen after a prolonged campaign. An immense number of German troops have been used up in the Italian defence. It is supposed that the idea is to defend the Brenner Pass.
Meanwhile political unrest in Italy, Belgium and Greece has led to much anxiety and more criticism of the British Government for trying to suppress the manifestations in force of the underground armies which now wish to assert themselves as true liberators of their respective countries, with a right to proceed immediately to participate in the government. "Fair and softly", John he cried, but John Bull's heavy hand has not proved welcome to these patriots, who are asked to lay down their arms and await the general elections to be
held when the country has been pacified. The patriots fear that temporary governments may entrench themselves with policies dangerous to the Four Freedoms, and they point to Italy, Belgium and Greece where the Governments supported by Britain if anything are favorable to Facism and are led by Facist representatives.
In Belgium it was General Eisenhower himself who ordered the troops out against the Belgian patriots, and these measures should be regarded, not as political, but as military. As long as war is going on, no General can afford to have irresponsible armed troops in his rear, and as a possible comfort to his enemy. Britain has guaranteed free general elections to all the nations after the war, and the people then can choose any government they have a mind to, right or left, soviet, socialist, liberal or conservative, republic or monarchy. But ignorant and prejudiced men are hard to convince. And men who have fought the underground fight for years against the cruellest foe earth has spawned, may be pardoned if they are a little dubious when told to go away back and sit down. The war with Japan is not confined to human arms. A violent earthquake shock early this month severely injured some of the Nipponese war plants. The tremendous losses inflicted on the Japanese navy it is said has convinced the Tokyo war lords that the best thing they can do is to confine themselves to China, Hindo-China and the mainland generally, and withdraw from their oceanic depredations. Vast preparation is being made by Britain as well as the United States for the conquest of Japan when the German task has been finished.
A peculiar incident followed the announcement recently that General Voroshilov had been withdrawn from the German battle zone. At once several newspapers gave evidence of the lurking suspicion that still haunts many western minds about Russia. In so many words their suggestion was that he had been "liquidated." It was not long, however, till the news came out that he had been appointed commander-in-chief in the Far East. If this means anything, it means that Russia expects to be at war with some great power in the far east. Certainly it will not be with China. That country may have to endure the proverbial condition of having to be worse before she is better. Japan has been very active in Chinese territory and has succeeded in cutting the Flowery Kingdom in two or nearly so. Chiang Kai-Shek has proved very obstinate about the reconstruction which the Allies have recommended. Even his wife seems to have abandoned the argument with him. He has steadily refused to negotiate with the Chinese Communist armies, which are greater than his own and are in favor with their Russian neighbors. The Allies wish him to sink all differences in the meantime till the Japanese are expelled from China. Some progress has been made and his Cabinet has been remodelled while new generals have been chosen, and overtures have been made to the communist forces. The United armies with proper supervision and the elimination of corrupt officials could soon convince the Japanese that a new situation had to be faced.
Canada has played a great part in all this warfare. Proportionately to population the Dominion has contributed a greater force than her next neighbor. The Canadian forces have so far all been voluntary, but the length of the war and the bitterness of the struggle has cut deeper into the ranks than had been anticipated. Reinforcements in such numbers had not been prepared for, and as a result recently enlisted and inadequately trained men were supplied to fighting reigments with due results in casualties. Ignorant or maliciously
minded persons have twisted this into statements that the charges are that the Canadian armies are improperly trained which of course is stupid nonsense. The matter took a political turn when it was recommended to the Prime Minister that the Home Guards, a body of some 80,000 highly trained men, should be sent as reinforcements instead of green rookies. As this was a volunteer body, not enlisted for overseas service, objection was raised by some, and the Prime Minister, who had refused to send them on foreign service, had to make a quick turn and consent to sending 16,000 of them. The army was to continue to depend on volunteer enlistments to keep up its strength. On this, the Prime Minister appealed to the Commons for a vote of confidence and was sustained with a two to one majority, 143 to 70. Parliament then adjourned till the end of January, but the issue has by no means been settled.
Volunteer enlistment is really a discriminatory measure by which all the best and bravest and noblest are sent to the front, while the dullards, the laggards and sluggards are left behind to weaken the national character with their offspring, while the heroes die unrepresented in the next generation. This is not fair to the national character, but suits Doukhobors, C.O.s and other slackers who do not want to take their share of the national responsibilities, and are willing to live at the cost of their neighbors' lives. But the duffer has a vote as well as the hero and that is all the politician cares about. The remedy would be to disfranchise all who are eligible for military service but who refuse to volunteer.
Theosophists, whose sole interest is in spreading the Gospel of Brotherhood, may wonder in how far they are succeeding by force of arms. It is well to keep definitely in mind that the one thing Germany - the enemy - detests and denounces is Brotherhood. Had Germany triumphed in this war, Brotherhood, whether as fact or ideal, would have been banished from the face of the earth.
Even as it is the situation is pretty bad. England, from being the great creditor nation of the world, has become a debtor nation with few assets but the good will of the sister nations of the Commonwealth. The recognition by Winston Churchill that the United States of America is the greatest power on land, on sea, and in the air that the world has ever seen, must have struck a chill to many patriotic hearts who have rejoiced in the strains of Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" with its ambitious "God who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet." It would be wiser to remember that all the good gifts of Empire attributed to God were won by the Sons of the Empire, through their enterprise, their courage, their honor and honesty, and their other commercial talents that are not always included in the virtues of the saints. If the bounds of Empire are to be set wider still and wider, it will be by similar efforts to those of the past, possibly assisted by the complacency of friendly neighbors, though this cannot be counted upon. If there are better, wiser, more honorable men in other nations, it is not to be expected that God would defeat their purposes. Theosophists can look calmly upon a competition of the virtuous of mankind. Out of such a contest only good could come. The nation in whom such virtuous men incarnate, whether British, American or Russian, will carry the banner of Truth, Justice and Brotherhood to the eternal glory of an ever evolving humanity.
Each soul has received the greatest gift of Life, freedom of the will, the power to reason, and to act accordingly.
"WHO IS THIS KING OF GLORY?"
No review can do this book justice. If Adyar were a reasonable unprejudiced place I would suggest that the book be awarded the Blavatsky prize which has found no worthy subject for some years. But Dr. Alvin Boyd Kuhn does not kow-tow to the Adyar Tycoons so that such a suggestion would be wasted, though the volume would come under the second of the Society's objects. In fact the book may be regarded as an appendix to Isis Unveiled though that book or its author is never mentioned. Nor is Theosophy mentioned either except in two places (p. 279 and 314) having no reference to modern theosophy. He says (279) that "Paul's Christianity is Hellenic theosophy" but the word does not appear in the Index.
In fact, as far as the general reader is concerned, modern theosophy, without which this book would never have been written, finds no place in it. For many readers, to whom theosophy is anathema, this is an advantage which we may suppose the author had in mind. Nor does he give us any evidence of original investigation, relying on a host of authors, skimming the cream off their churning, thus saving the busy student the labor of perusing many volumes. He depends chiefly on Gerald Massey, on whose five volumes of Egyptian studies he bases most of his theories. Godfrey Higgins perhaps is second favorite, with George R.S Mead, Benjamin Bacon, Klausner, Lundy, Mosheim, Joseph Wheless and the leading Church Fathers among many lesser lights.
The aim of the book appears to be to support the thesis that there is nothing historic about the Christian mythos, but that ancient and practically universal myths and traditions have been taken by the Church and historicized, and these historifications have been erected into objects of belief and worship. The classic example is the crucifix which was unknown before the sixth century, but is now regarded as indispensable by many devout but deluded Christians. The image makers of Diana of the Ephesians had good grounds for their clamor, and no doubt our modern image manufacturers would be similarly clamorous with like provocation.
There are 22 Chapters in this book of 485 pages, closely printed, so that it constitutes a study of considerable importance for any student who takes it seriously. While there is nothing new in it for students of Isis Unveiled, it should prove to be valuable vade mecum for those who wish a compact summary of the arguments that bear on his sub-title, "A Critical Study of the Christos-Messiah Tradition."
Some of the chapter headings indicate the general drift of the study - Myth Truer than History, Wisdom Haunts the Countryside, Fancy's Fabric Turns into History, Sublime Myth makes Grotesque History, Staggering Truth on Egypt's Walls, The Shout of Paul's Silence, The Anointing of Man. Not a nice program for an orthodox minister's Monday reading.
He quotes Massey that "it is admitted by Eusebius that the canonical Christian Gospels and epistles were the ancient writings of the Essenes or Therapeutae reproduced in the name of Jesus." "Eusebis did not admit things he should have admitted, and he was certainly the last historian to admit anything hostile to the Christian movement. If he has admitted this point it was because he could not avoid it. It must therefore be true. And if true, there are no words at immediate command to acclaim the significance of this amazing admission." Of course the Church authorities have known all about this right along, and swallowed it as they have swallowed much else; all in defence and for the sake of the blessed truth. That is the
advantage of being a priest and not a conscientious layman.
Again; Dr. Kuhn quotes "a Dr. Anderson" that "the stories of the trial, arrest and crucifixion are quite understandable as scenes in a mystery play, but are quite inexplicable as facts of history." Edward Carpenter makes the same point in his Pagan and Christian Creeds and argues that the events narrated could not be compressed into the time allotted. Any one can figure this for himself but the modern priest can swallow that also.
How was it possible for such obvious errors to become established as historic truths? This problem is taken up in chapter vi. How with honesty and integrity can intelligent people accept such errors. If we did not have intelligent people accepting fraudulent book and documents in the present day the difficulty of explanation would be greater. Those who seek power of any kind have no scruples about the means by which they expect to gain it. Dr. Kuhn does not adduce modern examples but argues from the pseudo documents that abound in early Christian history. Dr. Kuhn makes a necessary explanation at page 179 which is worth reproducing.
"As this work is not an attack on Christianity," he writes; "it must be emphasized that the data here presented reflecting adversely on the name and record of that religion have been given purely for the sake of buttressing the leading argument with the support it gains from its setting in a true, instead of a warped view of past history. The argument would lose some of its legitimate force if permitted to stand in the poorer light of a history that has been, at any rate, to common intelligence, grossly distorted by pious misinterpretation, suppression of honest facts, vandalism and juggling of every sort. The aim has been a purely academic or dialectic one, to show that the loss of high knowledge, the historization of myths and dramas, the literalization of the Gospels, the conversion of the personae of the great universal ritual into living persons, the lethal sweep of ignorance and the ensuing degradation and debasement of the whole movement from the interior heart of theological doctrine clear out to the periphery of moral social conduct, were all wholly necessary and consistent elements of the one completed picture. If history can not be brought into court to support a thesis, point a moral, or furnish evidence in straightforward truth-seeking, it is studied to little good purpose. We therefore cite the portions of history that bear with very direct cogency upon the great question under investigation."
The person of Jesus as a living man or a symbolic figure, is a problem raised by Paul in II Corinthians, xiii. 5. Certainly it is difficult to see why the Evangelists should "invent" the Jesus character and personalize him, if one does not know that the Jesus character was already "invented" and had trod the stage boards in the Mystery dramas for centuries B.C. is Dr. Kuhn's comment. Christianity, he adds, will not be understood until it is seen as a popularization and consequent fatal vitiation of exclusive secret religious philosophy and ritualism, instead of being considered a new creation and a new advance on previous ignorance. True early Christianity so far from being the outcome of a definite historical event, he asserts, was instinct with the spirit of ancient pagan symbolic and mythical religion from its very start. The great Temples of religion were Temples of the Sun.
"It may shock orthodox modernism to hear the blunt statement that Christianity will not reach its highest purity and nobility, and hence its highest serviceability, until with realistic grasp of its meaning, it restores the sun-symbol to the central place in its doctrinism. For the divine in man is of the identical
essence of the light of the sun." (p. 272) "Our Lord the Sun" was used in prayer by Christians up till the fifth and even sixth century of our era, and embodied in the Liturgy until altered into "Our Lord the God." When we are asked to imagine the abyss of difference between being filled with the mind of Christ and the mind of Dionysus, Dr. Kuhn answers that the "frank reply must be that we see no difference at all." It is only because modern theological professors do not seem to know that in Dionysus, Atys, Bacchus, Adonis, Zagreus, Sabazius and others the Greeks had already expressed everything that a Christian can possibly think of as embodied in his Jesus .. . . "
None of these pagan sun-god figures were historical persons, but were typal characters prefiguring Christly nobility of perfected humanity. All these represented the great aeonial Messiah, "ever-coming from the beginning of man, that by no possibility could ever `come' at any one moment, since it must come to all men as they slowly grow in grace, or in any one personality, since it must dwell in all alike, in that genius in which all Christified men will give body and instrumentality as humanity is redeemed and glorified." It is in this sense that Paul asserts "so in Christ shall all be made alive."
With this may be quoted "the final consideration in all religious experience, that no Saviour external to man's own mind and heart can avail to help any mortal win his immortal crown unless and until that mortal has incorporated into his own nature the mind and self of the Christ spirit. No Christ outside can transfigure a mortal until that mortal feeds on that body of divine essence, transubstantiates his own being with it, becomes transfigured by the ineffable infusion of a higher consciousness and ends by being changed in a moment into the likeness of a divine soul."
Dr. Kuhn insists that "the ancients knew the ultimate value of the myth and were willing to let go all history for it, basing their solid foundation on the truth behind the myth, which was in the finale the gist of all history, the Christian scholar has never yet seen. All final true grounding of his studies yet awaits his coming to this perception." And again: "Nothing in religion has ever driven sensible humans to such folly as the objective expectation of the coming of Messiah."
Among the latter chapters, "The anointing of man" is a fine one. "The first of all principles in the knowledge of life is that it eternally renews itself in periodic cycles of birth, growth, decay and death (of its forms), building its construction anew out of the debris of the old, and unfolding a segment of its predetermined pattern in each renewal . . . . The understanding that life endlessly renews itself, dying to be reborn again, turning the very wrack of death into the sustenance of new life, and so advancing in its purpose through the series, is the first fundament of knowledge, the ground of all wisdom. And that which `Comes', which manifests itself in increasing revelation at each successive wave of ongoing, is just the archetypal design, the ultimate as it was the primary goal, of the whole movement. This structural and organic whole is Logos, the `logical' form that the creation is to take."
This ancient teaching of Egypt is akin to all religious teaching in any land or time. The great Mystery is of course the whole import and the reality of life in the cycles, the secret wisdom that the soul picks up throughout its whole perigrination through the kingdoms of organic existence.
The Twelve Lamps of Deity is a chapter devoted to the Zodiac. Dr. Kuhn makes no reference to the Somerset Temple of the Stars. But he notes in the chapter on Orion and the Three
Kings that "some thousands of years ago, when on Christmas Eve the Dog-Star stood at the height of the sky, on the horizon of the east rose in its turn the constellation of the Virgin, bearing in her one arm the Christ-Child himself, and in the other hand gripping the great star Spica, the head of wheat, for that divine bread which cometh down from heaven, the eating of which will cure man's everlasting hunger for God."
We have quoted enough to show that the book is not merely critical, but carries in various forms and manners of speech enough of that constructive wisdom which will lead any man who desires it to the way of peace and the kingdom of life eternal, than which there is nothing better.
The book is well printed and with few errors. The price appears to be $3. It is to be had from The Academy Press, 218 West Jersey Street, Elizabeth, N.J.
EARTH AGAIN, BIRTH AGAIN
We cannot have too many introductory or elementary statements of the truths of Theosophy. One point of view can never be enough. However sincere and earnest it is but one testimony among millions and it may miss some aspect which is essential to the mind of many, although giving conviction and satisfaction to others. Generally these introductions are too long, but frequently they are too short, and in the happy medium there is rarely sufficient detail to allay the objections of minds scored and rescored with the drilled-in doctrines that have reached us from the Dark Ages. People still turn away in horror from any suggestion that there may be salvation for humanity in any way except through the literal "blood of Jesus." There is little use talking Theosophy to such people before their minds have been ripped into fragments by the problems of evil and selfishness, or their hearts broken with personal bereavement,
sorrow and the over-whelming tragedies of life. "Other heights in other lives," as Robert Browning puts it. One of the difficulties which might be avoided by a little consideration is the variation, generally with the best intention, from original terms and simplicities of definition or expression, which can only serve to puzzle the beginner, or even worse, to set up marks of difference and separation, when the conception of the Theosophical movement is to remove barriers and assist fraternization. The pamphlet before me errs in this respect and furnishes an example of the torturing of the English language, merely for the sake of being different. Reincarnation is understood by every student in the west who reads newspapers or magazines or modern fiction. It is the word used by the Masters, but the author, "a disciple of the way," thinks to improve upon it by an inversion. "We shall pass once more through the doors of Againbirth," he writes. "Does Againbirth actually mean that I, this I, shall be born again on the earth after I have died?" he pursues. Would not the statement that we come to birth again, not be simpler and clearer to any reader? Protest however I know to be useless among those who undertake to improve on the diction of the Master. They give one a certain uneasiness lest they undertake also to improve on the matter of the Masters as well. This 28-page essay is finely printed and may be had from The Theosophical Society, 30 Huntington Avenue, Boston, 16, Mass. (Introducing Theosophy, by A. R. B.) Price not stated.
BOOKS BY CHARLES JOHNSTON
- Bhagavad Gita ..... cloth $1.25 leather $1.75
- Crest Jewel of Wisdom ......... cloth $1.25
- Great Upanishads, vol. I. .......... cloth $1.50
- Parables of the Kingdom ............ paper .50
- Patanjali's Yoga Sutras ............. cloth 1.25
- Song of Life ........... paper .75
May be had from JOHN WATKINS 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W.C. 2, England.