Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
The Theosophical Society In not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
Vol. XXV, No. 12 Hamilton, February 15th, 1945 Price 20 Cents
By Olive Harcourt
The Secret Doctrine of Israel, otherwise the Kabalah, teaches the existence of Pure Spirit, the Unknown, Unknowable, Almighty God, Who dwells in the Ain-Soph, the No End, the Limitless. He emanates two Great Forces, positive -and negative, active and passive, Fire and Water, masculine and feminine. These two Forces appear on diagrams of the Tree of Life as Wisdom arid Love (or Intelligence), the two Supreme Qualities of the Deity Who controls the Universe, and Who is the Beam of the Balance between these two Great Complementary Opposites, initiating and governing their infinitely manifold and unendlingly complex manifestations in the Worlds of both Spirit and Matter. The masculine Fire Principle put forward by the Deity, or Pure Spirit, moved on the face of the Water (Waters in Hebrew, because Water in that Ianguage is a plural noun) to create the Universe.
These are the Father-God and the Mother-God, who, as G.R.S. Mead says, "together weave the web of the Universe."
The Father-God . . Causative Essence. The Mother-God . . Formative Essence.
There are complementary opposites in everything, and always there is a reconciling force between them. Sir Oliver
Lodge tells us the Universe is composed of two opposing forces and a third uniting them.
The reconciliation of the Elements was part of the secret work of the Alchemists of old, being a hidden allusion to the reconciling power of God, and of the balance which must be struck between the opposing forces within ourselves. How wonderful was the extent of the knowledge possessed by the adepts in ancient times! Knowledge gained, so far as we can tell, by intuition alone. Present day science ratifies all they put forward of great and important truths forgotten through long ages, and when at last dimly foreseen by our immediate ancestors, rejected with scorn and laughter!
For instance, in the manufacture of plastics up to the present, progress has been greatly hindered by the difficulty of finding a reconciling force between the various chemical elements, although it was known that such forces must exist. The goal in mind was the production of useful and beautiful articles, but the composition was either too hard and brittle, breaking up under manipulation, or else too soft for practical purposes.
In the London "Daily Telegraph" a week or so ago there appeared the fol-lowing paragraph: -
"The production of a sheet of plastic film, described as the thinnest thing ever made by man, was announced yesterday by the General Electricity Co. The film, which is two-millionths of an inch thick and so elusive in the finished form that it cannot even be felt, will be used in the manufacture of electron microscope pictures."
This miracle has been made possible by means of a catalyst, or reconciling force. The difficulty in this case was that no substance could be found fine enough to use in a microscope beneath any minute object which it was desired to magnify a million times or more - the finest tissue so far discovered looked like a corduroy road and completely ruined the picture. I am told by a scientist that now it will be possible to see the atom.
In the days after the war we shall find plastic material, by means of catalysts, as the basis of articles, not only of daily use, but of beautiful and delicate products, such as exquisite glass and lovely dress materials, and also for those requiring unyielding strength in a concentrated mass, as, for example, aeroplanes.
The catalyst, or reconciling force, exists everywhere in Nature, and in the Spiritual World too. Our Lord Himself could be called a catalyst, for He is the Mediator or Reconciler between man, and his God, for which reason He was attributed by the early Christians to the Element of Air, the reconciling Element, without which no other of the Great Creative Elements could continue to exist, so far as their connection with humanity, at least, is concerned.
The Israelites postulated Four Worlds of Being - Emanation, Creation, Formation and Action. The Worlds of Emanation and Creation exist above the Abyss dividing the Three Supernal Planes from the Lower Spheres, and there God the Father and His Shekinah, the Mother-God, are One, but in the worlds of Formation and Action the distinction begins.
But when the Shekinah manifests in a lower plane aspect she is still the co-worker with God the Father in Nature and in Man. She is the indwelling Spirit within the bosom of the Universe, for in everything which has any form of Life there is Spirit hidden in Matter.
This feminine manifestation on the material plane is sometimes called "the Daughter". The glorious harmony produced by the plunging of the stars and planets through space, spoken of by Plato, is called in Hebrew Bas Qol, "the Voice of the Daughter." That is, of the reflection of the Mother Force of the Deity on the Matter of this earth. It is also the "eidolon", or representation of anything higher than itself.
There are, therefore, two Shekinahs, or rather, two aspects of the Mother, the Higher and the Lower. The Higher is the Divine Love of the Mother-God, and her powers are brought down to earth by Angels, Angelic Hierarchies and Elementals, to be revealed by the "Daughter" in Nature and in Man.
"Each sin," says the Kabalah, "which a man commits brings a demon to life and these demons stand between the man and his Shekinah (i.e., his Highest Self). Why does God not exterminate the demons? Because His plan, after man had gained knowledge of Good and Evil, was to allow him Free Will, so that he might little by little raise himself to the status of the Higher Worlds. Free Will would be impossible without the urge to evil."
This is quoted from the Kabalistic MSS. and is said by some to be the best exposition of free will ever put before man. According to the Zohar, one of the most important Books of the Secret Doctrine of the Israelites, man was sent into the world to learn the lesson that "Jehovah is Elohim", meaning that the two Great Opposing Forces are dual
aspects of the Divine Power of the Deity. When humanity, it continues, has learned that men and women are equal on the spiritual and mental planes, the world will be rightly governed; when the balance has been restored, and positive and negative are equilibrated, poverty, war, oppression and strife will be no more.
As regards the human race, the Lower Shekinah is the Holy Spirit within each one of us - "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Kabalah lays great stress upon the feminine side of Deity, but the early translators almost entirely eliminated it. In the past men have always been fearful lest women might gain the ascendency, so they put an end to any expression of opinion which might further it. The union of the two opposing Forces has always been tucked away under the cover of love between the sexes, which is merely the material version of the union made between Energy, the masculine Force, and Love, the feminine Force, the result being Matter - the catalyst, represented by the child.
The Great Spiritual Power projecting itself into matter is imperceptible to the senses and cannot be detected by scientific research, being attainable by intuition alone. The Kabalah teaches that this Power pervades the whole of the Universe, but is not part of it.
All the great symbols have reference to the balanced forces, sometimes as their main teaching and sometimes taking a secondary part. Very often in times gone by these forces were represented by sex symbols often thought to be degenerate and even improper. It must be remembered that the ancients were nearer to Nature than we, natural objects did not cause alarm or disquiet to the same extent as they do today, and were not hidden away. The Cross itself, as we all know, is or was a phallic symbol. The Chinese still have the phallic symbols of the staff and the girdle. And it is simply amazing how modern science is justifying, in matters both great and small, the Ancient Wisdom, even in such a relatively unimportant discovery that a needle or other little metal implement suspended by a string will perform a circle over the head of a woman and swing back and forth in a straight line over that of a man. And still more amazing is it to find Sir James Jeans coming out with exactly the same idea in connection with the very basis of the Creation of the Universe of matter. In his own words:
"We come fairly near to the truth when we think of matter as composed of two kinds of waves - one kind which goes round and round in circles and a kind which travels on straight lines."
So - here we are at The Beginning again, the Beginning of the first Chapter of Genesis, which can be examined in the light of modern science and not found wanting. Claude Bragdon points out that if we throw a stone into fire we get sparks - the little flame portrayed in the first Letter of the Great Unpronounced Name of God, representing Fire - and if we throw a stone into Water we get circles - the girdle of the Chinese symbology.
In Egyptian religious philosophy we find the same teaching, Thoth, the Father, has a Spouse to help him rule, whose name is Maat, Mother. Under the guidance of the Great Spirit, these two work together in harmony to initiate law and order in the Universe - the two Opposing Forces balanced by a catalyst.
When the complementary opposites are perfectly balanced by the Christ Spirit the Heaven World will be realized on earth. The syzygy, or feminine aspect is becoming increasingly strong, probably guided by the Great Spirit towards that end, for the comparatively new element in the world, called by a few writers "the Delphic Sisterhood," or women who are spiritually and
mentally well developed, is growing steadily stronger. Their development could be speeded up if men would give their love to the best type of women. Balzac said that every man has in his life the chance to choose between Lilith and Eve, which choice has enormous influence upon his own life and the life of the community.
Other prominent symbols of balance are: -
I. The Hexagram, or the six-pointed Star, emblem of Israel, the interlaced triangles of Fire and Water, familiar to all.
II. The Vesica Piscis, which would make an article in itself. It is the same as the Hexagram, the same triangles differently arranged.
III. The most perfect example of balance is the Sphere - it has no complementary opposite because it needs none, therefore it is the symbol of Pure Spirit. Our Universe is said by some modern astronomers to be a sphere, alone in something of which we have no knowledge - the AIN - SOPH. And any other form but the globe for the stars and planets would result in disaster, for balance would have been impossible.
To sum up - The Causative Essence and the Formative Essence combine to create, form and govern the Universe in all its aspects, the Beam of the Balance being the Supreme Spirit of God on the Supernal Planes, reflected on the World of Man in the Love-Spirit or the Christ.
J. M. PRYSE'S BOOKS
may be had, including: The Magical Message of Oannes; The Apocalypse Unsealed; Prometheus Bound; Adorers of Dionysus; and The Restored New Testament; from John Pryse,
919 South Bernal Ave., Los Angeles, Calif.
AN EPITOME OF THEOSOPHICAL TEACHINGS
(As circulated in New York in 1890)
Theosophy, the Wisdom-Religion, has existed from immemorial time. It offers us a theory of nature and of life which is founded upon knowledge acquired by the Sages of the past, more especially those of the East; and its higher students claim that this knowledge is not imagined or inferred, but that it is a knowledge of facts seen and known by those who are willing to comply with the conditions requisite for seeing and knowing.
Theosophy, meaning knowledge of or about God,* [* Not in the sense of a personal anthropomorphic God, but in that of divine "godly" wisdom.] and the term "God" being universally accepted as including the whole of both the known and the unknown, it follows that "Theosophy" must imply wisdom respecting the absolute; and, since the absolute is without beginning and eternal, this wisdom must have existed always. Hence Theosophy is sometimes called the Wisdom-Religion, because from immemorial time it has had knowledge of all the laws governing the spiritual, the moral, and the material.
The theory of nature and of life which it offers is not one that was at first speculatively laid down and then proved by adjusting facts or conclusions to fit it; but is an explanation of existence, cosmic and individual, derived from knowledge reached by those who have acquired the power to see behind the curtain that hides the operations of nature from the ordinary mind. Such Beings are called Sages, using the term in its highest sense. Of late they have been called Mahatmas and Adepts. In ancient times they were known as the Rishees and Maharishis, the last being a word that means Great Rishees.
It is not claimed that these exalted beings, or Sages, have existed only in the East. They are known to have lived in all parts of the globe, in obedience to the cyclic laws referred to below. But as far as concerns the present development of the human race on this planet, they now are to be found in the East, although the fact may be that some of them had, in remote times, retreated from even the American shores.
There being of necessity various grades among the students of this wisdom-religion, it stands to reason that those belonging to the lower degrees are able to give out only so much of the knowledge as is the appanage of the grade they have reached, and depend, to some extent, for further information upon students who are higher yet. It is these higher students for whom the claim is asserted that their knowledge is not mere inference, but that it concerns realities seen and known by them. While some of them are connected with the Theosophical Society, they are yet above it. The I power to see and absolutely know such laws is surrounded by natural inherent regulations which must be complied with as conditions precedent; and it is, therefore, not possible to respond to the demand of the worldly man for an immediate statement of this wisdom, insomuch as he could not comprehend it until those conditions are fulfilled. As this knowledge deals with laws and states of matter, and of consciousness undreamed of by the "practical" western world, it can only be grasped, piece by piece, as the student pushes forward the demolition of his preconceived notions, that are due either to inadequate or to erroneous theories. It is claimed by these higher students that, in the occident especially, a false method of reasoning has for many centuries prevailed, resulting in a universal habit of mind which causes men to look upon many effects as causes, and to regard that which is real as the unreal, putting meanwhile the unreal in the place of the real. As a minor example, the phenonena of mesmerism and clairvoyance, have, until lately, been denied by western science, yet there have always been numerous persons who know for themselves, by incontrovertible introspective evidence, the truth of these phenomena, and, in some instances, understand their cause and rationale.
The following are some of the fundamental propositious of Theosophy:-
The spirit in man is the only real and permanent part of his being; the rest of his nature being variously compounded. And since decay is incident to all composite things, everything in man but his spirit is impermanent.
Further, the universe being one thing and not diverse, and everything within it being connected with the whole and with every other thing therein, of which upon the upper plane (below referred to) there is a perfect knowledge, no act or thought occurs without each portion of the great whole perceiving and noting it. Hence all are inseparably bound together by the tie of Brotherhood.
This first fundamental proposition of Theosophy postulates that the universe is not an aggregation of diverse unities but that it is one whole. This whole is what is denominated "Deity" by Western Philosophers, and "Para-Brahm" by the Hindu Vedantins. It may be called the Unmanifested, containing within itself the potency of every form of manifestation, together with the laws governing those manifestations. Further, it is taught that there is no creation of worlds in the theological sense; but that their appearance is due strictly to evolution. When the time comes for the Unmanifested to manifest as an objective Universe, which it does periodically, it emanates a Power or "The First Cause," so called because it itself is the rootless root of that Cause, and called in the
East the "Causeless Cause." The First Cause, we may call Brahma, or Ormazd, or Osiris, or by any name we please. The projection into time of the influence or so-called "breath of Brahma" causes all the worlds and the beings upon them to gradually appear. They remain in manifestation just as long as that influence continues to proceed forth in evolution. After long aeons the out-breathing, evolutionary influence slackens, and the universe begins to go into obscuration, or pralaya, until, the "breath" being fully indrawn, no objects remain, because nothing is but Brahma. Care must be taken by the student to make a distinction between Brahma (the impersonal Parabrahma) and Brahma the manifested Logos. A discussion of the means used by this power in acting would be out of place in this Epitome, but of those means Theosophy also treats.
This breathing forth is known as a Manvantara, or the Manifestation of the world between two Manus (from Manu, and Autara "between,") and the completion of the inspiration brings with it Pralaya, or destruction. It is from these truths that the erroneous doctrines of "creation" and the "last judgment" have sprung. Such Manvantaras and Pralayas have eternally occurred, and will continue to take place periodically, and forever.
For the purpose of a manvantara two so-called eternal principles are postulated, that is, Purusha and Prakriti (or spirit and matter), because both are ever present and conjoined in each manifestation. Those terms are used here because no equivalent for them exists in English. Purusha is called "spirit," and Prakriti "matter," but this Purusha is not the unmanifested, nor is Prakriti matter as known to science; the Aryan Sages therefore declare that there is a higher spirit still, called Purushottama. The reason for this is that at the night of Brahma, or the so-called indrawing of his breath, both Purusha and Prakriti are absorbed in the Unmanifested; a conception which is the same as the idea underlying the Biblical expression - "remaining in the bosom of the Father."
This brings us to the doctrine of Universal Evolution as expounded by the Sages of the Wisdom-Religion.
The Spirit, or Purusha, they say, proceeds from Brahma through the various forms of matter evolved at the same time, beginning in the world of the spiritual from the highest and in the material world from the lowest form. This lowest form is one unknown as yet to modern science. Thus, therefore, the mineral, vegetable, and animal forms each imprison a spark of the Divine, a portion of the indivisible Purusha. These sparks struggle to "return to the Father," or, in other words, to secure self-consciousness, and at last come into the highest form, on Earth, that of man, where alone self-consciousness is possible to them. The period, calculated in human time, during which this evolution goes on, embraces millions of ages. Each spark of divinity has, therefore, millions of ages in which to accomplish its mission - that of obtaining complete self-consciousness while in the form of man. But by this is not meant that the mere act of coming into human forms of itself confers self-consciousness upon this divine spark. That great work may be accomplished during the Manvantara in which a Divine spark reaches the human form, or it may not; all depends upon the individual's own will and efforts. Each particular spirit thus goes through the Manwantara, or enters into manifestation, for its own enrichment and for that of the Whole. Mahatmas and Rishees are thus gradually evolved during a Manwantara, and become, after its expiration, planetary spirits, who guide the evolutions of other future planets. The planetary spirits of our globe are those who in
previous Manwantaras - or days of Brahma - made the efforts, and became, in the course of that long period, Mahatmas.
Each Manwantara is for the same end and purpose, so that the Mahatmas who have now attained those heights, or those who may become such in the succeeding years of the present Manwantara, will probably be the planetary spirits of the next Manwantara for this or other planets. This system is thus seen to be based upon the identity of Spiritual Being, and, under the name of "Universal Brotherhood," constitutes the basic idea of the Theosophical Society, whose object is the realization of that Brotherhood among men.
The Sages say that this Purusha is the basis of all manifested objects. Without it nothing could exist or cohere. It interpenetrates everything everywhere. It is the reality of which, or upon which, those things called real by us are mere images. As Purusha reaches to and embraces all beings, they are all connected together; and in or on the plane where that Purusha is, there is a perfect consciousness of every act, thought, object, and circumstance, whether supposed to occur there, or on this plane, or on any other. For below the spirit and above the intellect is a plane of consciousness in which experiences are noted, commonly called man's "spiritual nature;" this is frequently said to be as susceptible of culture as his body or his intellect.
This upper plane is the real register of all sensations and experiences, although there are other registering planes. It is sometimes called the "sub-conscious mind." Theosophy, however, holds that it is a misuse of terms to say that the spiritual nature can be cultivated. The real object to be kept in view is to so open up or make porous the lower nature that the spiritual nature may shine through it and become the guide and ruler. It is only "cultivated" in the sense of having a vehicle prepared for its use, into which it may descend. In other words, it is held that the real man, who is the higher self - being the spark of the Divine before alluded to - overshadows the visible being, which has the possibility of becoming united to that spark. Thus it is said that the higher Spirit is not in the man, but above him. It is always peaceful, unconcerned, blissful, and full of absolute knowledge. It continually partakes of the Divine state, being continually that state itself, "conjoined with the Gods, it feeds upon Ambrosia." The object of a student is to let the light of that spirit shine through the lower coverings.
This "spiritual culture" is only attainable as the grosser interests, passions, and demands of the flesh are subordinated to the interests, aspirations, and needs of the higher nature; and this is a matter of both system and established law.
This spirit can only become the ruler when the firm intellectual acknowledgment or admission is first made that IT alone is. And, as stated above it being not only the person concerned but also the whole, all selfishness must be eliminated from the lower nature before its divine state can be reached. So long as the smallest personal or selfish desire - even for spiritual attainment for our own sake - remains, so long is the end desired put off. Hence the above term "demands of the flesh" really covers also demands that are not of the flesh, and its proper rendering would be "desires of the personal nature, including those of the individual soul."
When systematically trained in accordance with the aforesaid system and law, men attain to clear insight into the immaterial, spiritual world, and their interior faculties apprehend truth as immediately and readily as physical faculties grasp the things of sense, or mental faculties those of reason. Or, in the words used by some of them, "They
are able to look directly upon ideas"; and hence their testimony to such truth is as trustworthy as is that of scientists or philosophers to truth in their respective fields.
In the course of this spiritual training such men acquire perception of, and control over, various forces in Nature unknown to other men, and thus are able to perform works usually called "miraculous," though really but the result of larger knowledge of natural law. What these powers are may be found in Patanjali's "Yoga Philosophy."
Their testimony as to super-sensuous truth, verified by their possession of such powers, challenges candid examination from every religious mind.
Turning now to the system expounded by these sages we find, in the first place, an account of cosmogony, the past and future of this earth and other planets, the evolution of life through elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal, and human forms, as they are called.
The succession of waves of manifestation or evolution is endless. The grand period, including within it all the minor evolutions, consists of 311,040,000,000,000 human years. The process of evolution under one single influence - or Manu - comprises 71 great Yugas or 306,720,000 human years; and the lesser Yugas, with which man is concerned, are four in number, with 4,320,000 human years. These are the Satya-yug (or age of truth), the Tretya-yug, the Dvapara-yug, and our present Kali-yug (or age of darkness), which began five thousands of years back. The word "darkness" here refers to spiritual and not material darkness. In this age, however, all causes bring about their effects much more rapidly than in any other age, a fact due to the intensified momentum of "evil", as the course of its cycle is about rounding towards that of a new cycle of truth. Thus a sincere lover of the race can accomplish more in three incarnations during Kali-Yuga, than he could in a much greater number in any other age. The darkness of this age is not absolute, but is greater than that of other ages; its main tendency being towards materiality, while having some mitigation in occasional ethical or scientific advance conducive to the well-being of the race, by the removal of immediate causes of crime or disease.
Our earth is one of a chain of seven planets, it alone being on the visible plane, while the six others are on different planes, and therefore invisible. (The other planets of our solar system belong each to a chain of seven.) And the life-wave passes from the higher to the lower in the chain until it reaches our earth, and then ascends and passes to the three others on the opposite arc, and thus seven times. The evolution of forms is coincident with this progress, the tide of life bearing with it the mineral and vegetable forms, until each globe in turn is ready to receive the human life wave. Of these globes our earth is the fourth.
Humanity passes from globe to globe in a series of Rounds, first circling about each globe, and reincarnating upon it a fixed number of times. Concerning the human evolution on the concealed planets or globes little is permitted to be said. We have to concern ourselves with our Earth alone. The latter, when the wave of humanity has reached it for the last time (in this, our Fourth Round), began to evolute man, subdividing him into races. Each of these races when it has, through evolution, reached the period known as "the moment of choice" and decided its future destiny as an individual race, begins to disappear. The races are separated, more-over, from each other by catastrophes of nature, such as the subsidence of continents and great natural convulsions. Coincidently with the development of races the development of specialized senses takes place; thus our fifth race
has so far developed five senses.
The sages further tell us that the affairs of this world and its people are subject to cyclic laws, and during any one cycle the rate or quality of progress appertaining to a different cycle is not possible. These cyclic laws operate in each age. As the ages grow darker the same laws prevail, only the cycles are shorter; that is, they are the same length in the absolute sense, but go over the given limit in a shorter period of time. These laws impose restrictions on the progress of the race. In a cycle where all is descending, the adepts must wait until the right time comes before they can aid the race to ascend. They cannot, and must not, interfere with Karmic law. Therefore they begin to work actively again in the spiritual sense, when the cycle is known by them to be approaching its turning point.
At the same time these cycles have no hard lines or points of departure or inception, inasmuch as one may be ending or drawing to a close for some time after another has already begun. They thus overlap and shade into one another, as day does into night; and it is only when the one has completely ended and the other has really begun by bringing out its blossoms, that we can say we are in a new cycle. It may be illustrated by comparing two adjacent cycles to two interlaced circles, where the circumference of one touches the centre of the other, so that the moment where one ended and the other began would be at the point where the circumferences intersected each other. Or by imagining a man as representing, in the act of walking, the progress of the cycles; his rate of advancement can only be obtained by taking the distance covered by his paces, the points at the middle of each pace, between the feet, being the beginning of cycles and their ending.
The cyclic progress is assisted, or the deterioration further permitted, in this way; at a time when the cycle is ascending, developed and progressed Beings, known in Sanscrit by the term Gnanis, descend to this earth from other spheres where the cycle is going down, in order that they may also help the spiritual progress of this globe. In like manner they leave this sphere when our cycle approaches darkness. These Gnanis must not, however, be confounded with the Mahatmas and Adepts mentioned above. The right aim of true theosophists should therefore be so to live that their influence may be conducive for the dispelling of darkness to the end that such Gnanis may turn again towards this sphere.
Theosophy also teaches the existence of a universally diffused and highly ethereal medium, which has been called the "Astral Light" and "Akasa." It is the repository of all past, present, and future events, and in it are recorded the effects of spiritual causes, and of all acts and thoughts from the direction of either spirit or matter. It may be called the Book of the Recording Angel.
Akasa, however, is a misnomer when it is confused with Ether or the Astral light of the Kabalists. Akasa is the noumenon of the phenomenal Ether or Astral light proper, for Akasa is infinite, impartite, intangible, its only production being Sound.* [* Akasa in the mysticism of the esoteric philosophy is properly speaking the female "Holy Ghost"; "Sound" or speech being the logos, the manifested verbum of the unmanifested Mother. See Sankhyasara Preface, p. 33, et seq.]
And this Astral light is material and not spirit. It is, in fact, the lower principle of that cosmic body of which Akasa is the highest. It has the power of retaining all images. This includes a statement that each thought as well as word and act makes an image there. These images may be said to have two lives. 1st, Their own as an image. 2nd,
The impress left by them in the matrix of the Astral light. In the upper realm of this light there is no such thing as space, or time in the human sense. All future events are the thoughts and acts of men; these are producers in advance of the picture of the event which is to occur. Ordinary men continually, recklessly, and wickedly, are making these events sure to come to pass, but the Sages, Mahatmas, and the Adepts of the good law, make only such pictures as are in accordance with Divine law, because they control the production of their thought. In the Astral light are all the differentiated sounds as well. The elementals are energic centres in it. The shades of departed human beings and animals are also there. Hence, any seer or entranced person can see in it all that anyone had done or said, as well as that which had happened to any one with whom he is connected. Hence, also, the identity of deceased persons - who are supposed to report specially out of this plane - is not to be concluded from the giving of forgotten or unknown words, facts or ideas. Out of this plane of matter can be taken the pictures of all who have ever lived, and then reflected on a suitable magneto-electrical surface, so as to seem like the apparition of the deceased, producing all the sensations of weight, hardness, and extension.
Through the means of the Astral Light and the help of Elementals, the various material elements may be drawn down and precipitated from the atmosphere upon either a plane surface or in the form of a solid object; this precipitation may be made permanent, or it may be of such a light cohesive power as to soon fade away. But the help of the elementals can only be obtained by a strong will added to a complete knowledge of the laws which govern the being of the elementals. It is useless to give further details on this point; first, because the untrained student cannot understand; and second, the complete explanation is not permitted, were it even possible in this space.
The world of the elementals is an important factor in our world and in the course of the student. Each thought as it is evolved by us coalesces instantly with an Elemental, and is then beyond our power.
It can easily be seen that this process is going on every instant. Therefore each thought exists as an entity. Its length of life depends on two things: (a) The original force of the person's will and thought; (b) The power of the Elemental which coalesced with it, the latter being determined by the class to which the elemental belongs. This is the case with good and bad thoughts alike, and as the will beneath the generality of wicked thoughts is usually powerful, we can see that the result is very important, because the elemental has no conscience and obtains its constitution and direction from the thought it may from time to time carry.
Each human being has his own elementals that partake of his nature and his thoughts. If you fix your thoughts upon a person in anger, or in critical, uncharitable judgment, you attract to yourself a number of those elementals that belong to, generate, and are generated by this particular fault or failing, and they precipitate themselves upon you. Hence, through the injustice of your merely human condemnation, which cannot know the source and causes of the action of another, you at once become a sharer of his fault or failing by your own act, and the spirit expelled returns "with seven devils worse than himself." This is the origin of the popular saying that "curses, like chickens, come home to roost," and has its root in the laws governing magnetic affinity.
In the Kali-Yuga we are hypnotized by the effect of the immense body of images in the Astral Light, compounded
of all the deeds, thoughts, and actions of our ancestors, whose lives tended in a material direction. These images influence the inner man - who is conscious of them - by suggestion. In a brighter age the influence of such images would be towards Truth. The effect of the Astral Light, as thus molded and painted by us, will remain so long as we continue to place those images there, and it thus becomes our judge and our executioner. Every universal law thus contains within itself the means for its own accomplishment and the punishment for its violation, and requires no further authority to postulate it or to carry out its decrees.
The Astral Light by its inherent action both evolves and destroys forms. It is the universal register. Its chief office is that of a vehicle for the operation of the laws of Karma, or the progress of the principle of life, and it is thus in a deep spiritual sense a medium or "mediator" between man and his Deity - his higher spirit.
Theosophy also tells of the origin, history, development, and destiny of mankind.
Upon the subject of Man it teaches:-
1. That each spirit is a manifestation of the One Spirit, and thus a part of all. It passes through a series of experiences in incarnation, and is destined to ultimate reunion with the Divine.
2. That this incarnation is not single but repeated, each individuality becoming re-embodied during numerous existences in successive races and planets of our chain, and accumulating the experiences of each incarnation towards its perfection.
3. That between adjacent incarnations, after grosser elements are first purged away, comes a period of comparative rest and refreshment, called Devachan, the soul being therein prepared for its next advent into material life; that there is a state called Avitchi where annihilation is completed; and
hell also, which is this earth-life.
The constitution of man is subdivided in a septenary manner, the three main divisions being those of body, soul and spirit. These divisions and their relative development govern his subjective condition after death. The real classification cannot be understood, and must for a time remain esoteric, because for its understanding certain senses not usually developed are required.
In Mr. Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism the septenary division is given as follows:
1. The Body ........Rupa.
2. Vitality ........... Prana or Jiva.
3. Astral Body ........ Linga Sharira.
4. Animal Soul ............. Kama Rupa.
5. Human Soul ........... Manas.
6. Spiritual Soul ......... Buddhi.
7. Spirit ......... Atma.
While as a working scheme, this is correct, it was error to call these different parts by the name "principles." The better way is to call each one, except Spirit "a vehicle," and then we will have six vehicles for Atma to work through.
If the present sevenfold division, as given by him and other writers, is adhered to strictly and without any conditional statement, it will give rise to controversy or error. For instance, Spirit is not a seventh principle. It is the synthesis of the whole, and is equally present in the other six. The present various divisions can only be used as a general working hypothesis, to be developed and corrected as students advance and themselves develop from within.
The state of spiritual but comparative rest known as Devachan is not an eternal one, and so is not the same as the eternal heaven of Christianity: we return from it to earth-life when "the reward is complete." Nor does "hell" correspond to the state known to theosophical writers as Avitchi. Avitchi is the same as the "second death," as it is
in fact annihilation that only comes to the "black Magician" or spiritually wicked, as will be seen further on.
The nature of each incarnation depends upon the balance as struck of the merit and demerit of the previous life or lives - upon the way in which the man has lived and thought; and this law is inflexible and wholly just.
"Karma" - a term signifying two things, the law of ethical causation (Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap); and the balance or excess of merit or demerit in any individual, determines also the main experiences of joy and sorrow in each incarnation, so that what we call "luck" is in reality "desert" - desert acquired in past existence.
Karma is not all exhausted in a single life, nor is a person necessarily in this life experiencing the effect of all his previous Karma; for some may be held back by various causes. The principal cause is the failure of the Ego to acquire a body which will furnish the instrument or apparatus in and by which the meditation or thoughts of previous lives can have their effect and be ripened. Hence it is held that there is a mysterious power in the man's thoughts during a life sure to bring about its results in either an immediately succeeding life or in one many lives distant; that is, in whatever life the Ego obtains a body capable of being the focus, apparatus, or instrument for the ripening of past Karma. There is also a swaying or diverging power in Karma in its effect upon the soul, for a certain course of life - or thought - will influence the soul in that direction for sometimes three lives, before the beneficial, or bad, effect of any other sort of Karma must be felt. Nor does it follow that every minute portion of Karma must be felt in the same detail as when produced, for several sorts of Karma may come to a head together at one point in the life, and, by their combined effect, produce a result which, while, as a whole, accurately representing all the elements in it, still is a different Karma from each single component part. This may be known as the nullification of the postulated effect of the classes of Karma involved.
The process of evolution up to reunion with the Divine is and includes successive elevations from rank to rank of power and usefulness. The most exalted beings still in the flesh are known as Sages, Rishees, Brothers, Masters. Their great function being the preservation at all times, and when cyclic laws permit, the extension, of spiritual knowledge and influence. When union with the Divine is effected, all the events and experiences of each incarnation are known.
As to the process of spiritual development, Theosophy teaches: -
1. That the essence of the process lies in the securing of supremacy, to the highest, the spiritual, element of man's nature.
2. That this is attained along four lines, among others, -
(a) The entire eradication of selfishness in all forms, and the cultivation of broad generous sympathy in, and effort for the good of others.
(b) The absolute cultivation of the inner, spiritual man by meditation, by reaching to and communion with the Divine, and by exercize of the kind described by Patanjali, i.e., incessant striving to an ideal end.
(c) The control of fleshly appetites and desires, all lower, material interests being deliberately subordinated to the behests of the spirit.
(d) The careful performance of every duty belonging to one's station in life, without desire for reward, leaving results to Divine law.
3. That while the above is incumbent on and practicable by all religiously disposed men, a yet higher plane of spiritual attainment is conditioned upon
a specific course of training, physical, intellectual, and spiritual, by which the internal faculties are first aroused and then developed.
4. That an extension of this process is reached in Adeptship, Mahatmaship, or the states of Rishees, Sages, and Dhyan Chohans, which are all exalted stages, attained by laborious self-discipline and hardship, protracted through possibly many incarnations, and with many degrees of initiation and preferment, beyond which are yet other stages ever approaching the Divine.
As to the rationale of spiritual development it asserts: -
1. That the process takes place entirely within the individual himself, the motive, the effort, and the result proceeding from his own inner nature, along the lines of self-evolution.
2. That, however personal and interior, this process is not unaided, being possible, in fact, only through close communion with the supreme source of all strength and that that source is the "atma" or higher self of the individual.
As to the degree of advancement in incarnations it holds: -
1. That even a mere intellectual acquaintance with Theosophic truth has great value in fitting the individual for a step upwards in his next earth-life, as it gives an impulse in that direction.
2. That still more is gained by a career of duty, piety, and beneficence.
3. That a still greater advance is attained by the attentive and devoted use of the means to spiritual culture heretofore stated.
4. That every race and individual of it reaches in evolution a period known as "the moment of choice," when they decide for themselves their future destiny by a deliberate and conscious choice between eternal life and death, and that this right of choice is the peculiar appanage of the free soul. It cannot be exercized until the man has realized the soul within him, and until that soul has attained some measure of self-consciousness in the body. The moment of choice is not a fixed period of time; it is made up of all moments. It cannot come unless all the previous lives have led up to it. For the race as a whole it has not yet come. Any individual can hasten the advent of this period for himself under the previously stated law of the ripening of Karma. Should he then fail to choose right he is not wholly condemned, for the economy of nature provides that he shall again and again have the opportunity of choice when the moment arrives for the whole race. After this period the race, having blossomed, tends towards its dissolution. A few individuals of it will have outstripped its progress and attained Adeptship or Mahatmaship. The main body, who have chosen aright, but who have not attained salvation, pass into the subjective condition, there to await the influx of the human life wave into the next globe, which they are the first souls to people; but the deliberate choosers of evil, whose lives are passed in great spiritual wickedness (for evil done for the sheer love of evil per se), sever the connection with the Divine Spirit, or the monad, which forever abandons the human Ego. Such Egos pass into the misery of the eighth sphere, as far as we understand, there to remain until the separation between what they had thus cultivated and the personal Ishwar or divine spark is complete. But this tenet has never been explained to us by the Masters, who have always refused to answer and to explain it conclusively. At the next Manwantara that Divine Spark will probably begin again the long evolutionary journey, being cast into the stream of life at the source and passing upward again through all the lower forms.
So long as the connection with the Divine Monad is not severed, this annihilation of personality cannot take place. Something of that personality
will always remain attached to the immortal Ego. Even after such severance the human being may live on, a man among men - a soulless being. This disappointment, so to call it, of the Divine Spark by depriving it of its chosen vehicle constitutes the "sin against the Holy Ghost," which its very nature forbade it to pardon, because it cannot continue an association with vehicles which have become degraded and vitiated in the absolute sense, so that they no longer respond to cyclic or evolutionary impulses, but, weighted by their own nature, sink to the lowest depths of matter. The connection, once wholly broken, cannot in the nature of Being be resumed. But innumerable opportunities for return offer themselves throughout the dissolving process, which lasts thousands of years.
There is also a fate that comes to even adepts of the Good Law which is somewhat similar to a loss of "heaven" after the enjoyment for incalculable periods of time. When the adept has reached a certain very high point in his evolution he may, by a mere wish, become what the Hindus call, a "Deva" - or lesser god. If he does this, then, although he will enjoy the bliss and power of that state for a vast length of time, he will not at the next Pralaya partake of the conscious life "in the bosom of the Father," but has to pass down into matter at the next new "creation," performing certain functions that could not be now made clear, and has to come up again through the elemental world; but this fate is not like that of the Black Magician who falls into Avitchi. And again between the two he can choose the middle state and become a Nirmanakaya - one who gives up the Bliss of Nirvana and remains in conscious existence outside of his body after its death: in order to help Humanity. This is the greatest sacrifice he can make for mankind. By advancement from one degree of interest and comparative attainment to another as above stated, the student hastens the advent of the moment of choice, after which his rate of progress is greatly intensified.
It may be added that Theosophy is the only system of religion and philosophy which gives satisfactory explanation of such problems as these: -
1. The object, use, and inhabitation of other planets than this earth, which planets serve to complete and to prolong the evolutionary course, and to fill the required measure of the universal experience of souls.
2. The geological cataclysms of earth; the frequent absence of intermediate types in its fauna; the occurrence of architectural and other relics of races now lost, and as to which ordinary science has nothing but vain conjecture; the nature of extinct civilizations and the causes of their extinction; the persistence of savagery and the unequal development of existing civilization; the differences, physical and internal, between the various races of men; the line of future development.
3. The contrasts and unisons of the world's faiths, and the common foundation underlying them all.
4. The existence of evil, of suffering, and of sorrow, - a hopeless puzzle to the mere philanthropist or theologian.
5. The inequalities in social condition and privilege; the sharp contrasts between wealth and poverty, intelligence and stupidity, culture and ignorance, virtue and vileness; the appearance of men of genius in families destitute of it, as well as other facts in conflict with the law of heredity, the frequent cases of unfitness of environment around individuals, so sore as to embitter disposition, hamper aspiration, and paralyze endeavor; the violent antithesis between character and condition; the occurrence of accident, misfortune, and untimely death; - all of them problems solvable only by either the conventional
theory of Divine caprice or the Theosophic doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation.
6. The possession by individuals of psychic powers - clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc., as well as the phenomena of psychometry and of thought-transference and the like.
7. The true nature of genuine phenomena in spiritualism, and the proper antidote to superstition and to exaggerated expectation.
8. The failure of conventional religions to greatly extend their areas, reform abuses, reorganize society, expand the idea of brotherhood, abate discontent, diminish crime, and elevate humanity; and an apparent inadequacy to realize in individual lives the ideal they professedly uphold.
THEOSOPHY UP TO DATE!
- EVOLUTION: As Outlined In The Archaic Eastern Records
Compiled and Annotated by Basil Crump.
- H. P. BLAVATSAY: A GREAT BETRAYAL A protest against the policy and teachings of The Theosophical Society introduced since the death of Madame Blavatsky.
- H. P. BLAVATSKY: HER LIFE AND WORK FOR HUMANITY
A vindication, and a brief exposition of her mission and teachings.
- H. P. RLAVATSHY AS 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.
When I lie down the last time
Breathless, sightless, dumb,
My life-work all in past time,
No more of earth to come;
I shall arise in wonder
To leave the flesh behind,
Beyond the clouds and thunder
To mix with angel-kind -
With starry gods and lowly
Serenely just and true,
To pace the highways holy
Among the chosen few.
How then shall life sustain me
Amid those lofty airs
And lift and hold and gain me
The ease that Wisdom shares?
Shall then no longing seize me
For this poor world below -
No future that decrees me
To stay their mortal woe -
To give them light and gladness,
Partake their human birth
And banish all the sadness
With charity on earth?
Oh, give me will to perish
From out those utmost spheres,
Swift to descend and cherish
The heritors of tears,
The multitudes of sorrow
Who suffer in the dark
All joyless of tomorrow,
Unfriended, cheerless, stark,
By ignorance demented,
By hatred set apart,
By error, unrepented,
Chained with a sullen heart;
Oh, may I leave the Throned Ones
And join the fallen race,
The darkened and disowned ones,
To lead them to the place -
Freed from the lures of Circe -
To earth, celestial fair,
Transformed by love and mercy,
Man's pledge to Nature's prayer!
17th May, 1940.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert E.S. Smythe.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
- Subscription: Two Dollars a Year
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
Wash. E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver.
Maud E. Crafter, 57 Sherwood Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Felix A. Belcher, 250 N. Lisgar St., Toronto, Ont.
Edw. L. Thomson, 163 Crescent Road, Toronto, Ont.
William A. Griffiths, 37 Stayner Street, Weatmount, P.Q. George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
N.W.J. Haydon, 564 Pape Avenue, Toronto, 6
Albert E.S. Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton. Ontario, Canada.
To whom all communications should be addressed.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
"You never miss the water till the well runs dry."
The September Theosophist, in spite of its diminished size is even more interesting than usual. Dr. Arundale who loves to work in the superlative degree, passes from Greatness to Kingship and will no doubt, attain the Imperial viewpoint in due course. J.W. Hamilton-Jones contributes what the Editor describes as "a very brilliant presentation of the ancient but ever-new subject of pure Theosophy" - "MAGIC - What is it?"
Mr. J. Krishnamurti closes an article on "Non-Essentials" in Theosophy in Ireland for October with these wprds - "Truth is a danger to all Societies, because Truth cannot submit to any falsification of thought, or perversion of feeling. It is a constant element of revolt where there is the unessential, the unreal. So you, who are seekers after truth, must be a danger to everything that is futile, childish, fleeting and unreal. That is what I mean when I say that the majority of people are not in earnest. They are still supporting the unessential, consciously or unconsciously."
A brief radio talk recently described a new invention by which the deep places of the ocean may be photographed. The camera is let down by wire and when it comes within twenty feet of the bottom of the sea it automatically begins to take pictures. Huge monster octopi, marvellous fish and other creatures have been recorded, but one strange picture from a depth of five miles in the deep off Porto Rico showed what looked like the arched door of a great cathedral. We may thus get testimony of the existence of the lost Atlantis or Lemuria. There is said to be a seven-mile depth off the Philippines, and a similar deep off Japan. We hope to get more details of this new art of marine photography.
This is the month of February, but nine out of ten Canadians call it Feb-u-ary, with a Chinese reluctance to sound the R. Perhaps if it had been spelled Febluary it would have received proper attention, but what is the difficulty about Feb-Ru-ary? Or is there a total abstinence objection to brewing in-any connection? Our Broadcasters should assist the public in pronunciation, but unfortunately they err frequently enough themselves to call for remedy. One announced the other evening that Parliament had been "prorogged!" Another, reporting the Prime Minister's remark that if we did not mind, we would find ourselves facing anarchy; but the broadcaster got it "we would find ourselves facing arnica." If I had
not heard this myself I would not have believed it.
Enquiries as to the health of Major Conn Smythe, M.C., may be satisfied by the news that he was able to make a trip to Montreal without any harmful results. He is "making a slow recovery" and has to rest after such an exertion as the Montreal trip. He celebrated his 50th birthday on the 1st inst.
Stories of marvellous discoveries are beginning to come in from some of the island groups in the Pacific Ocean now being invaded by the American armies. One vast city, spread over many islands, with elaborate buildings, bridges, engineering structures, architebtural triumphs, all overgrown with tropical vegetation, creepers, baffling description. One house is nine storeys high. Scientific experts have been called in but can give no explanation. They have not read The Secret Doctrine with its account of Lemuria and its early races.
The Fortean Society bids fair to become the greatest aggregation of Academic Cranks the world has known. It describes itself as "The Red Cross of the Human Mind." Those who have not become acquainted with the books of Charles Fort have adventures ahead of them. His four books are The Book of the Damned, New Lands, Lo! and Wild Talents. I picked up the first named on a bargain counter in Toronto for 25c. It is now listed at $5. The four volumes have been reprinted in one volume, price $5. The Society offers to supply books by the following authors: Upton Sinclair, Scott Nearing, Norman Thomas, George Seldes, Theodore Dreiser, Clarence Darrow, Havelock Ellis, Henry George. This is a better list than the Neo-theosophists would compile, but real Theosophists who have cast their chrysalis casings would find themselves at home with most Fordeans. Among books recommended in a list that might dazzle Furze-Morrish, are Ouspenaky's Tertium Organum, Manly Hall's Encyclopedic Outline, Winwood Reade's Martyrdom of Man, Dr. White's Story of the Human Aura, There is a River, by Edgar Cayce, and many others are listed. Membership consists of ordinary corresponding, $2. annual dues; life; Honorary Life, appointive; Accepted Fellow, Honorary Founder, who fill vacancies among the eleven Founders, five of whom still survive, Aaron Sussman, Ben Hecht, Booth Tarkington, Burton Rascoe. John Cowper Powys, and the Founding Secretary, Tiffany Thayer. Among the Named Fellows are H.G. Wells, John Dewey, and Bertrand Russell. The Secretary is to be addressed at The Fortean Society, Box 192, Grand Central Annex, New York City.
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
When the General Executive met in the Fall it was scarcely even in thought that it was to be the last of a passing order of things. In December, the Acting Treasurer, Miss Crafter, found herself unable to carry on her usual work, accepting the Funds, keeping the accounts, entering the records, addressing the magazine envelopes, correspondence et cet. This work she had been doing for over twenty years. She had been training two of the members to address the envelopes but the father of one of them fell ill in Manitoulin Island and the two girls had to leave Toronto. This precipitated the crisis. I had not been in Toronto since October, and was unaware of the situation developing. My family objected to having me travel alone in the heavy weather we have been having, with the dense crowds that fill the railway carriages. The other local members kindly offered to come to Hamilton, but the inconvenience was too much to ask of them. I had confidence that they could hold a meeting without
me. I had asked Col. Thomson, and an old mutual friend, Mr. George McMurtrie, to call and see Miss Crafter, to advise with her, and to report. Her very serious illness was made apparent, and after various suggestions had been made, such as moving the office to Hamilton and getting help there, and with due consideration of my own failing physical strength, Mr. McMurtrie advised that I resign and leave the way open for reconstruction. Miss Crafter resigned as Acting Treasurer and I nominated and appointed Col. Thomson as her successor, subject to the approval of the Executive. I prepared an agenda for the meeting of the 4th inst. and suggested that a Committee be formed of the members of the Executive and the presidents of active Lodges to choose a General Secretary and if possible to reach unanimous agreement. I also suggested that the surplus in the "Supplement" Fund be made over to Miss Crafter, who wished, if it were possible, to return to England. The meeting was held on the 4th as arranged at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, and Mr. Belcher, secretary of the Executive, sent the following letter with notes of what was done:
Dear Mr. Smythe: - At request of the Committee I submit resume of minutes of the Executive as follows:
Present: Geo. Kinman, Col. Thomson, N.W.J. Haydon and F. Belcher.
The minutes were read and confirmed.
Mr. Kinman was appointed Chairman.
In the absence of Finance and Membership report there is no comment to make.
As to "Supplement" surplus, you know about that, and the Committee is satisfied with your disposal of the amount.
Progress was reported as to Fraternization Convention and T.S. Order of Service:
Mr. Griffiths letter was read and ordered to be returned to you.
Your suggestion of Col. Thomson as Treasurer was adopted and the formal notice will be sent to the Bank.
Mr. Kinman has undertaken the necessary preliminaries of the Election.
It was agreed that Dr. Wilks be requested to accept nomination for General Secretary.
The meeting adjourned to the first Sunday in March or at special call by Chairman.
We will all do our best to meet your wishes in these matters. We would like you to feel easy in that respect; and may Karma deal gently with you, for surely you have acquired merit.
Felix A. Belcher.
250 Lisgar St, Toronto,
Feb. 4, 1945.
Miss Crafter subsequently sent a report on Funds and membership to each of the members, from which it appears the paid up membership is 327 at date, with 29 new members since July 1st.
The outstanding resolution is the invitation to Dr. Wilks to accept the nomination as General Secretary, which means a unanimous choice, I feel sure, and a most distinguished and felicitous decision on the part of the Toronto members of the Executive, representing, as they do, the great majority of the members of the National Society. His acceptance, which we take for granted, means a consolidation of the work of the Society in Canada on the basis of the Theosophy of the original Founders, and the security of the nucleus of Brotherhood in preparation for the next stage of development in the Theosophical Movement in 1975.
I desire to acknowledge gratefully the kindly and gracious message to myself with which Mr. Belcher closes his letter.
THE ANNUAL ELECTION
Nominations for the office of General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive should be made by the Lodges before or during the month of March, so that returns may all be in by the 2nd day of April. Experience has shown that it is impossible otherwise to issue voting papers, carry on the elections, get returns made, and scrutinize the ballots in time for a declaration in the June magazine. Secretaries of Lodges will kindly see that the matter is brought before their respective Lodges, and when nominations are made, have them sent at once to the General Secretary. Nominations must be made through a Lodge, and consent of parties nominated must have been previously obtained. Nominations must reach the General Secretary by April 2nd, when the nominations close. They should be mailed at least a week before, and much delay is sometimes caused by leaving things till the last minute. Ballots should be sent out as early in April as possible and voting will close on May 21st so that scrutiny of the ballots may be set for May 26th. Nominations returns should be sent in a separate letter addressed to the General Secretary at Apt. 14, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton, Ontario.
AMONG THE LODGES
The Annual Meeting of the Montreal Lodge was held on Tuesday, January ninth, and the members present elected the following Executive for the coming year: President, Mr. D.B. Thomas; Vice-President, Miss H. Burke; Secretary, Mr. C.F. Weaver, 1501 St. Catherine St. W., Montreal; Treasurer, Mr. W.A. Griffiths; Assistant Treasurer, Mrs. W.A. Griffiths; Librarian, Mrs. Mathews; Auditor, Mrs. E. Goossens. Miss C. Burroughs is still Honorary President, having been elected to that position for life. - Cedric Weaver, Sec.
A Western Lodge reports: We are doing very nicely with the classes, and by the by, we have had a very good stroke of luck, if there is such a thing. One of our members who had left for California, came up for a holiday and left me an envelope, marked "not to be opened" till a certain date. I waited and then on the evening of that date I opened it, thinking it was her section and Lodge dues. What a shock I got - a cheque for $200! By the time dated she was on the train on the way home, so we did not get time to thank her. She is a real member, both for what she thinks of Theosophy and how she has helped the Lodge.
Mr. G. Rupert Lesch, who spent the week of January 21-28 giving a course of lectures for the Toronto Lodge, stopped on his way home and lectured for Hamilton Lodge on Monday evening, January 29, on "Life and Death". To be carnally minded is death; to be spiritually minded is life, he quoted St. Paul in beginning a fervent talk on the subject so close to all thinking people in presence of the death tolls of the war. Mr. Lesch has a son buried in France, who fell in battle in a Canadian Corps. Questions, chiefly from a spiritualistic source, he replied to with assurance of a better way than communication through mediums. The development of the spiritual body was the task of those who sought to reach the levels of the spiritual life.
DEATH OF HON. MRS. DAVEY
A cable message announces the death of Hon. Mrs. Davey, head of the Blavatsky Association. Since the bombing of London she has been living in Wales. Her Daughter, Mrs. Wyllie, who is living in Victoria, is a friend of Mrs. Henderson from whom we hope to receive an account of Mrs. Davey's life and work.
Some time ago, by the kindness of the Editor, a report of a RESOLUTION adopted by my lodge (Lotus in Philadelphia, Adyar Section) was printed with comments by the Editor, requesting unofficial replies from his lodges or members. No reply has been received by the Lodge from the Canadian Section except Mr. Smythe's kind personal and editorial words.
Some very interesting replies have been received from English leaders who seem to have been born imbued with the spirit of liberty, and therefore see no objections to the spirit, intent and language of the RESOLUTION.
A few independent organizations have replied, from which cordial relations were hoped, but it would seem that membership in The Theosophical Society presents them from extending anything but courteous cooperation. We have not been able, yet, to perceive a better field of operations in the independent organizations, and there this matter rests.
The Theosophy Company, Los Angeles, writing unofficially but anonymously, declare themselves to be in complete agreement, but this does not seem to be the case because THE MAHATMA LETTERS and Eastern Philosophies are not taught except as Mr. Judge's handbook contains his version. It is hoped we may see a working agreement in this direction, but we are not interested in Christian or partisan versions of H.P. Blavatsky's great message. We stand for THE SOURCES.
The Theosophical Society in Covina have been most kind. They declare themselves open to any working agreement we may suggest, but are not able to convince us they would consider us an integral part of their organization, if we continue to stand for the Adept-Founders against a Constitution which
demands obedience to a Leader. This condition we can find in any small cult or "Occult" centre today, without reaching out toward the great philosophical centres of The Theosophical Society.
The Independent Theosophical Society of Australia sends good wishes. We are glad to hear from them, though so far away from our field of operations.
The Adyar organization in the United States, after some months' deliberation, requests us to bring our RESOLUTION "into line" with the Three Objects of The Theosophical Society in America, on pain of forfeiting the Charter. We do not acknowledge that we have been accepting a favor in maintaining a Charter, rather the other way around, for the last ten years of effort, time and money were given voluntarily to uphold the Original Principles and Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky. We think that if we are so far out of step with a Society which does not acknowledge its Founders and Original Program we would be sensible to stop wasting time, effort and energy. In closing his letter, Mr. Cook says that if we give up the Charter there would be no stigma attached to it. What does the man mean?
Is it a crime, within the Society H.P.B. started, to appeal to "the highest minds", to think independently of those who have abandoned the Original Program and the Eastern Philosophies? Is it a crime to refuse to participate in a Church and Ritual repugnant to us? Is it a crime to say so, and to say for what we stand, within the "broader platform" of the Three Objects of the Society? If there is stigma in any part of the Society, it surely must die with those who attempt to enforce rules (which were not in the original plans), and subsidiary activities, theories and titles, which cannot be considered as consistent with the democratic and broad platform outlined by H.P.B.
At any rate; it has come to the point that we think we are rather in the wrong place, in being associated with those who talk of "stigma", and demand an inquisition upon perfectly comprehensible actions of a Lodge which has not otherwise been questionable. We contemplate accepting whatever "stigma" may attach to the course Mr. Cook suggests - because the record of correspondence has proved beyond doubt or possibility of mistake that The Theosophical Society and associated independent organizations, the "parent societies", the "branches", the "true Theosophy" and the "false Theosophy", and many associated with it, are glamorized into thinking themselves the only righteous, and therefore everyone else a menace or in error.
UNION NOW is impossible because the heads of organizations are not tolerant of any other views, or big enough to forego their own prominence in the effort to overlook the differences. We think that UNION in the future is also impossible. The Fraternization Movement is not a step in the right direction, because the very necessity for its existence proves the insurmountable differences, and the strained effort to cover them. It is, in any case, boycotted in certain very prominent quarters.
It is therefore our conclusion that UNION NOW is a dead issue, slain by the very hands which should have held it sacred, in the Name of the Brotherhood all branches profess piously, but which they slay daily in their actions toward fellow Theosophists and Theosophical organizations. If this can be considered the "stigma" it would be comprehensible to us, but, otherwise, we see no "stigma" in our actions, which uphold the ADEPT-FOUNDERS against a very assorted and miscellaneous field of followers of lay-chelas of the ADEPT-FOUNDERS of the MOVEMENT.
- Anne Leslie Roger.
I have had letters recently from two young men, one a landsman the other a seaman, and they both raise questions relating to editorial policy. To the outsider it seems a very complicated and difficult task to please everybody, and it certainly is. But the honest editor does not attempt to please everybody, and seldom anybody, but is satisfied if he attracts, amuses and instructs them. His chief business is to be honest, by which he will at least gain the respect of his readers. He must play no personal favorites or he may arouse that fiercest of passions-jealousy, even among intelligent readers, who fail to recognize what emotion has disturbed them.
Yet his task is comparatively simple. He must, as a theosophical journal, base himself on reality. Things of temporary nature, whatever they are, churches, politics, physical science, are matters of' opinion, liable to alter their terms at any moment, and therefore not to be treated as though the world depended upon them, but as ephemeral, dangerous as supposed foundations for the soul or SELF which is eternal. Hence the first thing the editor ought to do is to distinguish between the real and the unreal, or in terms of personality, between principles and opinions. With an open mind this is not so difficult as it might seem. Unfortunately the majority of people are glamored with opinions more or less brilliantly set forth by some popular speaker, or some fancied authority ready to guarantee eternal safety to the believer. The real authorities always insist that safety, salvation or life eternal, depends on one's own effort. It will be remembered how one glamorous leader assured her followers how they might skip one or more incarnations by adopting her advice. Opinions frequently change under such conditions.
It is very difficult to convince some people that they are governed by opinion, rather than by truth. Truth never changes. Opinions are as variable as the wind. Sometimes the wind blows for a long time in one direction, but eventually it changes. This is particularly true of religious winds or airs (pneumata). They may hold for centuries, even milleniums, but a new eon -changes everything. This may be very painful for believers, but belief is merely opinion, and though some editors cater to such opinion, theosophists should remember that knowledge alone carries one to the end of the voyage.
It does not follow that one should abandon his opinions merely because they are opinions. But he should make himself sure that his opinons are in harmony with the principles he has adopted as a basis for action. "The 'Three Truths" which we quote so often, are such lofty principles for action, and constitute a test for any opinions we may hold. Things that come and go in history, that are modified and are liable to be modified by world events, are not to be given the veneration or attention that are claimed by things eternal. If we form our opinions on such transient matters, however respectable, we must expect to perish as they perish.
Beliefs, it will thus be seen, are merely ingrowing opinions. We are not trying to change the beliefs people hold, but to get them to think for themselves rather than to rely on what priests, professors, leaders, and various self-appointed authorities tell them to believe without investigation or analysis. We have no threats, no penalties, no retribution but what Nature visits on the unwary, the slothful, the unintelligent, the ignorant. These all remain in the condition in which they find themselves till they make the effort necessary to bring about a change. The first necessity towards this is to have a pure heart, an open mind, an eager intellect.
One who changed his opinions by thinking, reading and observation, records his experience briefly: "You must remember that I once dropped my T.S. membership because The Canadian Theosophist, far more violent than it is today, was my main contact with Theosophy at a time when I was but recently a member of the Liberal Catholic Church, and still under the influence of certain teachings. I was as you will understand, for some years prejudiced against many Canadian T.S. points of view - and the fact that I have come to accept the correctness of those viewpoints despite my prejudice is due almost entirely to my own reading of the very books that so many people now condemn." This is the fact that it is so difficult to get our opponents to recognize. We have no embargo on any books, but we ask that books be read on their merits, and not as inspired documents handed out by divine geniuses as the various Society leaders would have us believe.
What is chiefly involved in our policy is one of our four freedoms - freedom of speech. None of the Societies grants this freedom. They and their journals close their pages to opposite points of view than they or their leaders endorse. Our pages are open to our critics, even when it is to abuse us, and we give them the right to reply. Do they follow that policy? Certainly not. They will abuse us, but never quote the passage which they say calls for such abuse. Capt. Furze-Morrish was apparently afraid to mention the paragraph in which he detected rigor mortis, but left his charge without the evidence. That is the Adyar method, also the Vatican practice, and works well with timid souls unable to read and think for themselves.
This correspondent wants to know why the Editor plays with his letter-writers, as for example, the champion of the penecillon mice. Why introduce cats and why, after several diversions,
give a reasonable statement regarding vivisection? Well, perhaps our correspondent forgets that we have no dogmas to champion or defend. We are only trying to make people think. The Editor must be neutral, not stupidly neutral, but so as to suggest that there are many sides to most questions, and that sometimes a decision is come to that lacks perspective. Suggestions of other points of view enlarge some readers' outlook. To others, hidebound in one way or another, it irritates or disgusts, which indicates a lack of tolerance. When an issue is even obvious, as in such a case as finding a dog and a child drowning with means of saving only one of the lives, can there be any doubt as to the decision? The vivisectionist is in something like that quandary. Especially if he knows nothing of occultism.
My sailor correspondent writes from another point of view. "I have been digesting your magazine with interest," he writes; "as you know; - I am a fundamental Theosophist like my father and a staunch believer in the doctrines of reincarnation and `as you sow so shall ye reap.' However, when I read the bitterness and the controversy that exist among the members, from anything to mice, to too much space being devoted to Conn Smythe, who indirectly made the magazine possible, and probably the firmest believer in truth of any of them, I wonder wherein the weakness lies." The weakness undoubtedly lies in
personality, the psyche which changes from year to year, from month to month, even from day to day.
I have often wondered over the sudden change in Romeo, who is madly in love with Rosaline, who, he vows, the all-seeing Sun has never matched, yet in a few hours he forgets all about her when he encounters Juliet. That is the way of the psyche. One must understand the difference between Higher and Lower Manas, the carnal mind and the spiritual mind, to perceive how jealous the carnal lower mind may become of the spiritual or higher mind; and this is true of the jealousy aroused against the superior mind whether it be in another or in oneself.
A great deal of talk is being let loose in some theosophical circles nowadays about happiness. It is all bunkum. St. Paul says: "I am resolved in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content." "O sweet content!" sang one of our classic poets. Contentment is as far beyond what is called happiness as maturity is beyond adolescence. Contentment comes with control. In occultism control is everything. The controlled lower mind becomes a useful servant, not a playground of the senses or emotions. The higher mind reigns and governs. The personality is used and controlled by the real Self. Where there is malice or bitterness one may be certain that control has not been won. And where there is fear the lower mind is dominant, for all courage is a gift of the Higher Self, the buddhi, or christos or mind of Christ.
There is no reaction against Content.
GOD SPEED THE PLOUGH
Along the lanes and highroads, past the bare beech forests and the smooth slopes of the Downs, came the farmers of Sussex. Afoot and in wagons, they converged on Chichester Cathedral, whose distant spire was a grey needle against the sea. They filed into the famed early Norman church, packed it to the doors, and waited self-consciously. For the first time in 300 years, the British festival of Plough Monday was being celebrated.
Eight farmers in white milking coats carried a red, blue and silver plough down the nave, laid it at the chancel steps and knelt around it. Then another farmer gave thanks for God's gifts while the congregation joined him in re-
peating the last three words of each sentence: "The rich soil, the smell of the fresh-turned earth - come from God . . . The beauty of a clean-cut furrow, the sweep of a well-ploughed field - come from God."
At the end of the service, a Sussex ploughman asked Dr. George K.A. Bell, Bishop of Chichester, to bless the plough, "the sign of all our labor in the countryside." The Bishop, wearing a gleaming cape of green and gold, raised his hand over the plough and the kneeling farmers: "God speed the plough: the beam and the mouldboard, the slade and the sidecap, the share and the coulters . . . in fair weather and foul, in success and disappointment, in rain and wind, or in frost and sunshine. God speed the plough."
Plough Monday is the first Monday after Twelfth-night (Epiphany). Traditionally, this is the first day of the farmer's year, when the ground has thawed enough for a share to cut cleanly through the turf. The event, the origin of which is obscure, gradually came to be celebrated as a British religious festival. By the 17th Century, observance of the day had ended: instead of going to church the ploughmen celebrated by getting drunk on sack.
AN M.D. ON VIVISECTION
Dear Friend Smythe: - Has the C.T gone out of publication? Or was I supposed to look at a date on the wrapper and renew my sub.? Whichever it was I have not received a copy in a coon's age. Perhaps you would have your typist look up the matter. I am quite willing to pay the sub. But don't know when to do it. Since my accident two years ago I have not the strength to do much writing and do not do more of that than I can help as I need my odd time for rest. I remember that I was going to write to you anent a letter of Pease's which you answered in the wrong. This was when you tried to bolster vivisection. I feel that that is partially my fault. I should have taken your education in hand years ago but neglected it like I did poor old Dr. Stone. Well it's too late now. I can't help it if you run with the stupid crowd.
The thing that I can't understand is why good Theosophists don't realize the damnable rot being put over the people by a group of rascals who call themselves Doctors and for the sake of a sort of notoriety fill our bloodstreams with diseased matter while yelling themselves hoarse if a surgeon's apron so much as touches the edge of the operating table when he is operating.
But there is another wonder and the greatest and that is how a good Theosophist can believe in the Allopathic school of medicine when Homeopathy stands by with the Great Truth of the Law of Healing held out for those who would read it. For what Theosophy is to religion so is Homeopathy to medicine. It is rock founded on pure science and not on wild cat speculation by a bunch who not only don't test their `verifications' but deny all scientific proof to the contrary. In your letter you mentioned Pasteur's fake treatment for Hydrophobia. Our school has treated these cases for years with very marked success. Personally I have never had a mad-bite case to deal with, in fact I have still to be convinced that such really exists. It may? During over forty years' practice I have not met one. But and here's the rub, I have known of six cases reputed mad-dog bites, two of which were sent to the Pasteur Institute for treatment, the rest were given the Pasteur treatment on this continent, of these, three died within two years, one developed epilepsy and died in about the same time, the other died of paralysis.
Last Spring a woman was sent to me from Calgary, wheeled into my office by her husband. She had been bitten by
a so-called mad-dog in Calgary or near there. Her husband was away at the time. Her history was a hearty and quite robust woman before the mad-dog Pasteur treatment. As I saw her she was paralyzed from head to foot even her tongue. Both she and her husband blame the treatments. Her cry translated by her husband from tongue tip motion was "Why didn't they let me die of the dogbite. At least I had a fighting chance."
The woods are full of these cases but the doctors keep it dark, or more often resort to their old dodge of denying it in toto. Like smalllpox vaccination failures.
In your next incarnation try studying Homeopathy along with Theosophy. You will gain in both, for they are reciprocal; Interactive and interexplanatory and above all interexplanitory.
Yes. I have neglected your education. I've never known a Homeo. doctor who was not a Theosophist or a spiritualist, many were Swedenborgans. Lionel writes they are well. I think that he is the head of the English department now. I enclose the usual thank offering.
You're too old to know better. I'm 76 myself, but I love you just the same.
- Ernest Feaster.
2590 West Fifth Ave.,
January 2, 1945.
(Ed. Note: Post card notices are sent out on expiry of every subscription.)
Books by Wm. Kingsland
The Mystic Quest; The Esoteric Basis of Christianity; Scientific Idealism; The Physics of the Secret Doctrine; Our Infinite Life; Rational Mysticism; An Anthology of Mysticism; The Real H.P. Blavatsky; Christos: The Religion of the Future; The Art of Life; The Great Pyramid, 2 vols.; The Gnosis.
May be had from JOHN M. WATKINS, 21 Cecil Court; Charing Cross Road, London, W.C. 2, England
Dear Mr. Smythe: - In his letter in your March issue Mr. Hamilton-Jones says in effect that we need a new President with a different outlook. Writing in The Theosophist (Dec. 1943) Dr. Arundale says that (1) he is doing his best as President; (2) he recognizes those who differ radically from him are no less honest and, "are as true as they know how" to Theosophy and the T.S.; and (3) they are certainly entitled to try to save the T.S. from the evils which they think endanger it.
Dr. Arundale's second term as President expires in 1948. If a candidate is to be put forward then to lead the Society on Blavatskian lines, and make it capable of appealing to the world's finest minds, it is time now to put the preparations in hand; otherwise Mr. Ernest Wood's handicaps and frustrations of 1934 will be repeated.
A long-term policy is advisable, having in view the consolidating of the theosophical movement in preparation for 1975. The sooner the T.S. returns to the Original Program the more power it will have in the world. It may already be too late to develop a successful campaign for the 1948 election, but it would be good to work for the best possible showing then with a declared intention, failing success then, of building up to a stronger effort in 1955. If possible two alternative candidates should be selected for 1948 - a first choice and a reserve - but that need not be done until nearer the time.
First we have to convince the Society of, (1) the invigorating inspiration of Theosophy as presented to the world by H.P.B.; (2) the enfeebling divergences from the Original Program which have occurred; and (3) the advisability of returning to that program.
An educational campaign of this kind, addressed not only to the T.S. but also through the T.S. to the public, can be
rich in its benefits, leading forward towards a culmination of Theosophical solidarity by 1975. Whether it results in a Blavatskian President in 1948 or 1955 is of secondary importance - let us sow truly and devotedly, not troubling about the harvest-fruit, for if the campaign is well conducted it will inevitably have a leavening effect whoever is President; and it can be left to the Adept Brotherhood to make use of our endeavors as they can and think best.
We shall meet opposition - we may be told that we are "under the influence of the Dark Powers!" The Dark Powers must find that thought a wonderfully useful tool! Let us take care that we do not fall under its spell or theirs, either in reverse or by reaction.
The things which are wrong in the T.S. may need rectifying in balance rather than by obliterating any forms. To merit the Brotherhood's blessing our case must be truthful; if it needs to be blunt it must not lack charity.
38 Chapel Street,
Hyde - Cheshire
(Note by Editor: This important letter was held over by me for a more suitable occasion than last Fall. Events are moving rapidly, and the present time appears to be one when earnest members should have all the elements of the situation within their vision. My retirement removes any suggestion that there can be anything personal in the discussion.)
A new biography of the fifteenth century explorer has been written by Frederick J. Pohl, with the title Amerigo Vespucci, Pilot Major. It comes from Columbia University Press, and has been reviewed by Time, January 1, in a most interesting summary which we take the liberty to reproduce.
Amerigo Vespucci first sighted the coast of Brazil late in June 1499. Vegetation grew so thickly at the water's edge that his ships could not land. The air was scented with flowers, gums, resins, wet wood, rotting leaves, redolent barks and fruits. Because it smelled good (and with a playful passing bow to Saint Ambrose), Ainerigo Vespucci named the land "Ambrosia," and sailed southwart to find the passage to India.
As all the world knows, Vespucci's christening did not stick. A Viennese writer sensationally garbled his dry, precise accounts of his discoveries, making boasts and claims that Vespucci himself never made. They were widely read, and in 1507 a German cartographer applied Amerigo's name to the whole New World.
For centuries Vespucci has been considered the undeserving recipient of an honor which rightfully belonged to Columbus. Emerson called Vespucci a thief. Now Biographer Pohl rises to point out that Amerigo Vespucci was actually a man of whom Americans can be proud: one of the greatest in an age of great seamen.
A successful Florentine businessman, and a famed astronomer and geographer, Vespucci did not become a sailor until he was 45. Then he proved himself a Lindbergh of the caravels, sailing to his destinations with cool calculations and almost without excitement. Where Columbus was visionary, gifted, brilliant and brave, Vespucci was industrious, modest, thorough. Readers of this scholarly new biography may feel that it was one of history's tragedies that Columbus and Vespucci did not sail together. Columbus was the great discoverer, but Vespucci sighted more new territory. He traversed 3,000 miles of the South American coastline on his first voyage in 1499, and 4,000 miles on his second in 1501.
In 1501 Amerigo Vespucci calculated
the circumference of the earth at the equator at 24,852 miles. Modern science has, found it to be 24,902. (Columbus' estimate was 6,125 miles short.) On his voyages Amerigo remained awake, night after sleepless night, to study the stars and try to reason out what changes the New World's discovery forced in the science of navigation. "In the endeavor to ascertain longitude I have lost much sleep," said Amerigo, "and have shortened my life ten years, but I hold it well worth the cost . . . ." Columbus, the intuitive, estimated the speed of his ships by his heartbeats. Amerigo, the practical, calculated how far he had sailed by astronomy.
Vespucci anchored in a Brazilian harbor on Aug. 17, 1499, after a fight with natives that left his men "grievously wounded and weary." He remained in harbor until Sept. 5, 1499. There, by a brilliant calculation based on the distance between the moon and Mars ("lunar distance"), he evolved a way of learning where he was and how far he had travelled.
Said Captain James Cook two centures later: "The method of lunar distance from the sun or stars is the most priceless discovery which the navigator ever could have made, and must render the memory of the first discoverer of this method immortal."
Amerigo Vespucci, Pilot Major is a careful, deliberate, warmly worshipful book that never quite makes the man for whom America was named a living human being, but does convincingly show him as one of the world's great pioneers.
BOOKS ON THEOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS
which have passed the tests of time and use Supplied on request. Forty years' experience at your service. Let me know your wishes.
N. W. J. HAYDON, 564 PAPE AVE., TORONTO
MEMBERSHIP IN THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Newcomers and adherents will have noticed that very little is said in our public meetings respecting membership in the Society; no one is asked to join and the Society does not engage in any "campaigns for members". This is not because we are not interested in new members - on the contrary we are deeply interested in every one who desires to join - but the Society's policy not to proselytize for members is based on the conviction that each person must take the step for himself or herself without any urging from others. Every one who is in sympathy with the objects of the Society is eligible for membership and a cordial invitation is extended to all such persons to become members and to ally themselves actively with the work which is being carried on by the Lodge. Application forms may be obtained from the Secretary; these forms simply recite that the applicant being in sympathy with the objects of the Society is desirous of becoming a member. There are no initiation ceremonies to be undergone nor are there any examinations to be passed in Theosophical teachings. The yearly dues are $2.50 which are paid over to the Theosophical Society in Canada. There are no local Lodge dues; the activities of the Lodge are supported by voluntary contributions.
Some persons remain adherents of the Society for years without becoming members - they are deeply interested in the teachings but for one reason or another they do not desire to join. These reasons are sacred to the individual and no one has any right to enquire into them or to question them in any way. We are delighted to welcome adherents even if they never become members because such persons usually discuss the teachings with others, pass on the literature and recommend the Library and
the lectures. Because of the very fact that they are not actually members, adherents can talk to others without any suggestion of "selling Theosophy" to them; they can discuss the Society and Theosophy critically and impartially.
To those who join, membership in the Society affords the opportunity of becoming asociated, actively and intimately, with a body of persons concerned in the brotherhood of man and the unfoldment of man's spiritual nature. By associating oneself with the Society, one outwardly affirms the inner acceptance of the ideal and thereby establishes subtle bonds with all those who labor in the same cause.
All shades of opinion are represented among the members and the Society does not attempt to establish uniformity of belief or opinion. It is noticeable, however, in members' meetings that whenever any question arises which involves the principle of Brotherhood, smaller differences of opinion are quickly dropped and the spiritual ideal is maintained. To work in such a group, maintaining one's own independence of thought, respecting the varying opinions of others, while at the same time uniting with all in the acceptance of the spiritual ideal, is an initiation in cooperative action. It may not be a major intiation but nevertheless it does lead to a deeper understanding of human nature and develops the ability to express that understanding in action. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Mr. Judge said of the Society, "It is a child's school, but it takes a man to go through it."
To all who desire to become associated with the Society a cordial invitation is extended. We will be delighted to welcome you as a member and will look forward to your taking an active part in the Lodge affairs. Please remember that this is the constant attitude of the society. You, however, must take the first step of accepting the invitation and expressing your desire to join the Lodge. - The foregoing was prepared by the Secretary of the Toronto Lodge for the benefit of possible new members.
WE GET WHAT WE ASK FOR
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - In Aldous Huxley's latest book Time Must Have A Stop, there are several excellent passages. I think you will be especially interested in reading the following - (if you have not already read the book):
"For those of us who are not congenitally the members of any organized church, who have found that humanism and blue-domeism are not enough, who are not content to remain in the darkness of spiritual ignorance, the squalour of vice, or that other squalour of mere respectability, the minimum working hypothesis would seem to be about as follows
"That there is a Godhead or Ground, which is the unmanifested principle of all manifestation.
"That the Ground is transcendent and immanent.
"That it is possible for human beings to love, know and, from virtually, to become actually identified with the Ground.
"That to achieve this unitive knowledge, to realize this supreme identity, is the final end and purpose of human existence.
"That there is a Law or Dharma, which must be obeyed, a Tao or Way, which must be followed, if men are to achieve their final end.
"That the more there is of I, me, mine, the less there is of the Ground; and that consequently the Tao is a Way of humility and compassion, the Dharma a Law of mortification and self-transcending awareness. Which accounts, of course, for the facts of human history. People love their egos and don't wish to mortify them, don't wish to see why they shouldn't `express
their personalities' and `have a good time.' They get their good times; but also and inevitably they get wars and syphilis and revolution and alcoholism, tyranny and, in default of an adequate religious hypothesis, the choice between some lunatic idolatry, like nationalism, and a sense of complete futility and despair. Unutterable miseries! But throughout recorded history most men and women have preferred the risks, the positive certainty, of such disasters to the laborious whole-time job of trying to get to know the divine Ground of all being. In the long run we get exactly what we ask for."
As ever, am thoroughly enjoying The Canadian Theosophist and the divergencies of opinion. It all helps to sharpen our Thinking Sword with which we may rend the Veil. Hope the best for your son, of whom all Canada must be proud. Regards,
163 Washington Ave.,
Bellevue 2, Pa., U.S.A.
LIGHT AND DARK FORCES
Tibet, for instance, considers its religious life to be highly advanced, especially among the Buddhists. Most Tibetan Buddhists observe and to some extent practise the high benign directions of the Lord Buddha. The Buddha paced His swift way to the control of natural forces and brought them into obedience to His Will. The Christ did the same, and His demonstrations of His powers are called `miracles' - which is a misleading word. Both these World teachers did more - They could change men. Which means They could so attune the few and the many near enough to Their own exalted states of consciousness that for the time being and often permanently the few or the multitudes were changed in their powers of response to all about them, inwardly and outwardly. In a measure they became `pure,' therefore the quality of matter associated with them became more pure. This is the raison d'etre of all right ritual and ceremonial. The quality of matter is improved, little or much, according to the potency of the performance. Yet in both Buddhist Tibet and in many Christian lands there are deep-seated fears of `blind forces' threatening the security of human life and needing propitiations to keep them at bay. `Nature' is not regarded as being always kind or mild, but as a subtle menace operating in strange ways. It is not thought well to disturb Nature by thoughtless and disregarding attitudes; she knows her own way to retaliation.
As distinguished from these `blind forces' which can be invested in objects or directed against creatures, since such forces are obedient to strong wills, we should be clear that `dark forces' are evilly intentioned humans. The mind of such humans is concerned with dominating or destroying the good in other human beings. They direct their dire and evil will towards either exploiting the good in others to their own bad ends or destroying the good in them by forcing upon them degrading ideas. They range in capacity from the simple desire to `boss' at all costs to the terrible thirst for blind obedience to their dark wills. They corrupt youth, and fasten helpless dread upon the aged. They paralyze the will in others and bind them to nefarious ends clothed in the semblance of fairness. They deride spiritual values as being absurd, and give reign to naked selfishness. They forego `matter' by all these and other means. They imbue it with gross feelings to match their own, they stain it with injurious thoughts to sustain their ugly designs and they act in accordance with the laws of the crudest ranges of matter.
The Scriptures of the world reveal that those who gave them were well aware of all these things and warned humanity to arm itself with `righteous-
ness' if it was to be competent to deal with the situation. A 'right thinking' person is a centre of `light,' feeble or brilliant. Large enough numbers of right thinkers create a luminous quality in the mental atmosphere of a country, which in its measure automatically dispels some at least of the dark, murky quality of the sordid minds that exist in every country. If there is a preponderance of such in any nation, then that nation is a `dark force,' a menace to the world. It attracts to itself the unevolved types of men and matter and eventually exercises all this combination to conquer and tyrannize over others. - Josephine Ransom in Theosophical News & Notes for January.
"THE MASTER KEY TO HAPPINESS"
One is inclined to place Longfellow's "Psalm of Life" as a philosophic foil beside all these recent attempts to suggest that mere happiness was a crowning achievement in human progress. A pamphlet with the above title has just reached me with a request for a review, but it is in its second edition of date April, 1943. It quotes Mrs. Besant's idea that "We learn most in the periods of sorrow and grow most in the periods of happiness." Her lecture on "The Necessity of Pain" will be remembered. The present pamphlet has been compiled from radio talks given in Australia by Joseph Pang Way, who is described by Mr. Jinarajadasa in a Foreword as a Chinese gentleman born in Australia of Chinese parents; and he is a Christian who has not turned his back on Confucius, as Mr. Jinarajadasa aptly puts it. Theosophy as Australia interprets it has acquired various adhesions which are duly represented in this pamphlet, but the reader has only to bear in mind that in Theosophy personalities are negligible and principles alone are to be considered, to be able with the use of his common sense to arrive at a fair estimate of what Theosophy means. Happiness is a matter of personality and the Master Key is described on page 31 - "To create harmony control of our actions, emotions and thoughts, is the sole necessity. So Control, then, becomes the Master Key to Happiness and Perfection. Why? Because is exact proportion as we control our causes so will be meted to us the precise percentage of corresponding effects." As you sow, so will you reap. The pamphlet itself suggests the tremendous value of the radio or wireless as a propaganda agency. If we had some wealthy supporters who could afford to pay for regular theosophical talks on the air the world would easily learn the "point of view" of the genuine theosophist. Such talks would have to deal with life in general and in no sectarian or one-sided manner. Theosophy is universal, and is not confined to what has been written or said by anyone. The great books of Theosophy always insist on this. The "little" Theosophists are always somebody's disciples. Principles - the Three Truths, for instance - are alone essential.
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.
While we are waiting to hear of the fall of Berlin, which cannot be long delayed, and according to some optimistic observers may be preceded or accompanied by a mutinous surrender of the nation, and for the report from the great Allied Triumvirate now in conference in the Crimea or thereabouts, it might be well to consider some of the points that this war is supposed to settle, but which may not get settled and will provide foundations for World War III. How can you think of another war? exclaims some disgusted home-keeper. That is what the disgusted home-keepers said at the close of the War started by a shot fired in Sarajevo. It takes almost nothing to start a war. The Prince of Peace, as he is called, the meek and lowly Jesus, said there would be war and rumors of wars, and he did not place any term to them. Time, in its issue dated Feb. 5, led a discussion on the character of Stalin, calculated to crystallize all the latent and nebulous enmity towards Russia of the last ninety years into malevolent and virulent action. Those who are in danger of falling into such a frame of mind should read English history from the beginning of the reign of Edward I, Long-shanks, till the close of the Cromwell period. It will teach them something about killing. John Richard Green, who is a peaceable and fair-minded man, says nothing about Cromwell's campaign in Ireland, which left the "Irish question" no better, if not a little worse than before. The American Civil war cost many lives, but it has not yet solved the negro question. Even Brazil has done better in this respect. Stalin judges by results. How many were killed in the last World War? he asked, and was told over 7,500,000. "Your war ended in chaos, while we are engaged in a work which will benefit the whole of humanity," he answered. Our war is not yet over, but its problems seem to multiply daily. Italy wants her colonies back. So, no doubt, will Germany and Japan. France wants the Lebanon and Syria and wishes to rank with the Great Powers. Argentina wishes to become the Germany of South America and have Spain and Portugal paying court to her. Uncle Sam himself is reluctant to become stepfather to these "lesser breeds without the Law" but must come to see that they cannot be handed over to slave-driving nations like Spain or Italy. Africa is the answer to that. Germany appears to have been preparing for possible defeat from the first. Compare Berchtesgaden with any British or United States holiday resort for their eminent ones. The suggested design of Hitler to retire to the Bavarian mountains and fight it out there would account for the stubborn defence of Northern Italy by the Germans. Japan has lost eighty admirals more or less. Admirals all, let us say. But surely the Mikado would like to sell out as a going concern.
During the month of January we have received the following magazines: East-West, Jan.-March; The Pilgrim Way, Christmas issue; Evolucion, Buenos Aires, October; Eirenicon, December-January; Toronto Theosophical News, January; The Golden Lotus, Index et cet. Vol. 1, 1944; Y Fforwm Theosoffaidd, Cardiff, Wales, Nov.-December; The American Theosophist, January; Revista Teosofica Argentina, Oct.-December; Theosophical News & Notes, Great Britain, January-February; The Path, Sydney, N.S.W., Oct.-December; Theosophy, Los Angeles, January; Theosophy in Australia, Dec.-February; O Teosofista, Rio de Janeiro, June-August; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, February; The Golden Lotus, vol. ii, no. 1, January; Evolucion,
Buenos Aires, Argentina, November; Theosophy in Ireland, Dublin, Oct-December.
One of the privileges of living in the Twentieth century is the opportunity of allying oneself with the Theosophical Movement originated by the Elder Brothers of the Race, and of making a conscious link, however slender, with them. Join any Theosophical Society which maintains the tradition of the Masters of Wisdom and study their Secret Doctrine. You can strengthen the link you make by doing service, by strong search, by questions, and by humility. We shod be able to build the future on foundations of Wisdom, Love and Justice.
WORTH WHILE BOOKS
- Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine by Madame Blavatsky;
- The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence by H. P. B.
- Magic White and Black by Franc Hartmann;
- The Perfect Way, by Anna B. Kingsford;
- The Ocean of Theosophy and Notes on the Bhagavad Gita by Wm. Q. Judge;
- Reincarnation by E.D. Walker;
- The Light of Asia, by Edwin Arnold;
- Light on the Path and Through the Gates of Gold, by Mabel Collins;
- Letters that Have Helped Me, by Wm. Q. Judge;
- Raja Yoga, a collection of articles by H. P. B.;
- The Mahatma Letters, by Two Masters.
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 Autias ............. 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
- CALGARY LODGE: President, E.H. Lloyd Knechtel; Secretary, Mrs. Lilian Glover, 418, 10th Ave. N.W., Calgary, Alta. Meetings at 231 Examiner Bldg.
- EDMONTON LODGE: President, Mrs. F. Colbourne, St., Secretary, Mrs. Mabel Morrison, Suit 1, Mission Court, Edmonton 8, Alta.
- HAMILTON LODGE: President, Mrs. E.M. Mathers; Secretary, Miss Mablel Carr, 108 Balsam Avenue South, Hamilton, Ont.
- KITCHENER LODGE: President, Alex. Watt; Secretary, Daniel Shantz, 14 Ontario St. S., Kitchener, Ont.
- LONDON LODGE: Secretary, Mrs. Helen M. Shaw, R.R. 2, London, Ont.
- MONTREAL LODGE: President, D.B. Thomas; Secretary, Mrs.Lea Andre, Apt. 4, 3436 Durocher St., Montreal, Que. Lodge Rooms, Room 15, 1501 St. Catherine Street West.
- OTTAWA LODGE: Secretary, David Chambers, 531 Bay Street, Ottawa, Ont.
- ST. THOMAS LODGE: President Benj. T. Garside, Secretary, Mrs. Hazel B, Garside, General Delivery, St. Thomas, Ont.
- TORONTO LODGE: President, E.B. Dustan, Secretary, Dudley W. Barr; Lodge Rooms 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, Ont.
- TORONTO WEST END LODGE: President, Mrs. A. Carmichael; Secretary, Mrs. E.L. Goss, 20 Strathearn Boulevard, Toronto, 12, Ont.
- VANCOUVER LODGE: President, Mrs. Buchanan; Secretary, M.D. Buchanan. The Lodge rooms are at 416 Pender Street West.
- VULCAN LODGE: President, Guy Denbigh, Vulcan, Alta.
- ORPHEUS LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, Ernest Wilks; Secretary, E. Harper, 1952 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver. Lodge room, Room 15, 163 Hastings St. W., Vancouver.
- VICTORIA LODGE: President, Mrs. Minnie S. Carr; Secretary, George Sydney Carr, 33 Government St., Victoria, B.C.
- WINNIPEG LODGE: Secretary, P.H. Stokes, Suite 7, 149 Langside Street, Winnipeg, Man.