Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
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Vol. XXV., No. 2 Hamilton, April 15th, 1944 Price 20 Cents
DOWSING IN SOUTH AFRICA
By Thomas B. Lawrie, C. E.
I have just been reading once more the "Canadian Theosophist," March issue, and was much interested in Mr. Cyrus F. Willard's article on "Water Divining". Might I offer some of my own experiences in connection with this matter?
While in Southern Rhodesia I had to depend greatly on water diviners (native, Asiatic and European), an art considered by the natives as a sacred one - placing the diviner on a par with the tribal priest. As you know, my profession is civil engineering, and while I have specialized in water supply, irrigation and sewage (the last named is indirectly connected with water supply) I have no hesitation in saying that the African native diviner knows more about contacting sources of water, rough geological formations and mineral strikes than ever I crammed in four years' grind at Edinburgh.
I had a native, completely illiterate, a devout Moslem, who on learning that I was employed as a Water Engineer, determined to show me how to strike water. He never confined himself to any particular type of tree for his Y shaped twig, he simply took that which was nearest. He assured me that natives in the veldt, and driving cattle from water hole to water hole, could not always find twigs or trees and so they used their knives or old razors. I must say that I have not seen this done, but believe it to be possible. This native told me he had developed his power from the age of seven to the age of fourteen (puberty),  under the guidance of his father - who was employed for many years by the Southern Rhodesian Government as a diviner. During his training he was not allowed to smoke, take snuff, or associate with his blood sisters or mother; his food was prepared by a native who was appointed by the tribe for a period not exceeding one year; he was made to wash and cleanse himself in the river twice daily, and was compelled to taste water with the idea of determining its salinity, hence, determine the nature of its source. I made copious notes, being hopeful of developing the art, for the water problem in Africa (as in Western Canada) is the problem of problems, meaning to an engineer who is a diviner, professional security as well as the inherent satisfaction of knowing that one is contributing usefully to community welfare.
The native took me out miles in the veldt, then with a twig cut from a nearby tree, told me that water would be
in a certain spot  - this before using the twig. This was because the tree roots ran longer on one side than the other. Later he struck the site with his twig which was torn out of his hands, then decided we would strike water 90 feet down. He arrived at his figure this way: his height was 5 feet 9 inches (which I measured) yet he claimed to feel each level as bored or sunk in his body. For example, his ankles would grow numb and would show in this case - "very hard rock, master" (later proved at 9 feet solid rock): his knees - "very soft, some `manzi' " (water) but little for pointing drills" (later proved at 19 feet, loamy soil); his hips to lower part of abdomen - "becomes very hard, master, break drills, boys (natives) go tired and want rest" (later proved to run solid from 20 feet to 80 feet, natives were put on shifts and blasting carried out); his stomach to the heart - "ground not so hard for a while, then cracks, then plenty water, much pain here" (points to his heart, this when over the spot; away from the spot he becomes normal), proved this and struck water at 92' 6" level which gushed in steadily and has done so ever since.  He gave his depth as ten and five times (15) greater than himself.
He gave me a twig  then held my elbows and paced with me to try out, sure enough I felt the surges of heat through my heavy field boots (remember the native was barefoot) rising slowly then with a sudden rush go right to my head, this was followed by different degrees of temperature from extreme heat to bitterly cold until it reached almost to the heart - I gave up, couldn't stand it. It must be noted that the veldt temperature was well in the 110̊-115̊ in the open, cloudless sky, and boiling sun - yet I felt frozen. What must that barefooted native have felt? Yet he was quite calm and unconcerned. I tried many, many times alone but never felt water by twig, only when the native took my elbows and paced behind me that I felt like a bubbling volcano.  This is the nearest metaphor possible to describe that fearful feeling. The native told me that he could teach any white man, who was willing to understand natives, his art. Hardened drinkers and heavy smokers were immune from the effects of water. In my particular case, he told me that since I studied "water" from books it must be true that in time my divining powers would be stronger than his, but warned me to keep my brain quiet when divining. I gathered from that that one must not think but become passive; I felt at the time and do now that it is dangerous for some unknown external influence obtaining an obsessing power over an individual. It savours of mediumship to me; again I find that although my mind is receptive to ideas (I obtained many from natives, and still correspond with them on all kinds of native folk-lore) yet a strong streak, skeptically critical, will persist in analyzing phenomena particularly when it relates to scientific study.
Yet this native made me unlearn many things I learned at college. He was modest, humble, transparently honest, was a walking encyclopaedia on habits of animals, insects, herbs, and tribal lore. He helped a prospecting friend of mine to develop a splendid little mine with his strange power. Only when prospecting for gold the twig turned the reverse way from that when he "divined" water. His depths were never far out - never above 6 feet excess or less than the actual depth.
In a treeless plain he claimed that he could strike water by noting the action of the insects - in flight and on the ground; he judged by his dog (every native on trek has his dog as part of the household) when he pointed, his coat if brittle in texture, and the way he lay down - forepaws planted crossed or open - if the water ran in any specific direction. The birds by their wheeling
and cries also had a message to him. He noted the obvious things about footprints and the tracks of game, these told him how the weather would hold in the futures.
Before leaving the colony I assisted the native to obtain a position as a diviner with a Mining Corporation and understand his gift has been the subject of correspondence between a geologist and the Royal Society. For my own part I have long considered contributing my notes to my own professional societies, but feel diffident since they are personal. I trust that they may be of some use to place on record my appreciation of your article.
1 A native boy at the age of 7 years is much more developed in mind and body as compared with his European brother of that age. The native is a creature of instinct, wise in all matters of nature, his environment is perfect to foster growth and make him vital. The first seven years of life to a native boy I term the birth and growth of his vitality. From 7 years to 14 years is the most formative years of a native's life; a new birth and awakening goes on within him, he is trained to become, as in this case, a diviner, something of lasting benefit to his community. His untutored forces or desires are subjugated and developed (or transmuted) to an occult force, tuned as it were to contact water the great solvent. Puberty; the age of difficulty for youth, has no terror for the diviner, his desires are made to function for general welfare.
2 In the constitution of the earth I have a note from an old notebook which might be of interest. By stratums: 1 - mineral, 2 - fluidic, 3 - vapour, 4 - water, 5 - seed, 6 - Freiy (from here, which is the seat of all volcanic activity, the mighty surging of volcanoes rush to the mineral stratum at top), 7 - Reflecting, 8 - atomistic, 9 - material, 10 - heart (Expression of Earth Lha).
3 H.P.B. gives the Esoteric interpretation of Principles, Forces and their correspondences with the Human Body, States of Matter and color on pages 501, vol. III, Secret Doctrine.
4 "Tree growth . . . more or less faithfully records living conditions in particular for a single locality or in general for an entire region . . . The mutual interaction of factors in near optimum amounts is necessary to the constant well-being of a tree. Any essential variation will leave a mark." From "The Annual Rings of Trees" Supplementary Publication No. 9, pages 23 and 24, by Professor A.E. Douglass and Doctor Waldo S. Glock, Carnegie Institution of Washington, which should
be studied for the valuable information it contains.
5 See Note 2. Modern investigation is worth reading, particularly the results of research as embodied in "The Nature of Cosmic Radiation" by Doctor Thomas H. Johnson, Supple-mentary Publication No. 13, page 5, etc., Carnegie Institution of Washington.
6 See Note 4. Particularly on page 12 of pamphlet as previously quoted. Deals with Tree Growth and Climatic Cycles. Cyclic Law a native knows instinctively, since he traces droughts and floods from the tree bark and from the soil. It is illuminating further to note Master K.H.'s remarks in Letter xv on Geological Evolution - particularly at top of page 93 in reference to . . . "sedimentary and igneous rocks are composed," etc . . . . . (Mahatma Letters.)
I believe that water divining is a branch of Alchemy and a study of H.P.B.''s Glossary, pp. 14, 15, 16, would seem to hold that Alchemy in Africa was derived from the Hermetic Tradition.
Strange things happened to many of those who fought in the first great war. Not that they are not happening today - they probably are, I do not know - I am writing from my own personal experiences. And I believe that if a collection were made of these events it would form a volume of weird and extraordinary happenings.
So-called ghosts were seen aplenty - sudden appearances of friends and relatives who had in some cases long since "passed over" giving warning of imminent peril were numerous - many lives were spared by unaccountable action on the part of phantoms of another world. Clairvoyance, telepathy and even levitation were experienced by many wondering and astounded participants.
In times of stress and bloody turmoil is it possible we live closer to the borderland between the material and the astral world?
The most outstanding experience I had in that war was not of a spectacular, but rather of this eerie kind. Eerie from the point of view of being unexplainable except from what might be described as a supernatural standpoint. But I will
recount briefly the gist of the story and you can judge for yourself.
We had had a bad time on the Somme in 1916 and after six weeks of that "Blood Bath" as it was known in those days there wasn't much left of us and we were ordered out for a rest and went to a quiet bit of Line near Hulluch. With the exception of intermittent artillery fire we were not bothered by the Hun, and No Man's Land being very wide at this point were able to move about more or less freely.
New territorial regiments were coming out from England and one of these units was detailed to relieve us and the usual business of officers coming up to look over the ground took place. Their Commanding Officer said a new O.P. (Observation Post) should be built and this they proceeded to do. To my annoyance it was done openly and in full daylight for all and sundry to see, men on the "top" carrying huge baulks of timber and what-have-you in full view of the Hun. I protested but without result and seeing I was leaving the place for good the next day I said grimly, "Well, it's up to you, you're going to live here and if you draw fire it's your look out".
The next day was a beautiful one - a hot August sun poured down from a cloudless sky. A Sunday, I noted when posting my diary for the day.
The battalion headquarters was a deep dug-out captured from the enemy some time previously. I seldom used it. I had a lean-to shelter in the trench with plenty of light and air which was decidedly preferable to the dank and fetid atmosphere of the dug-out. Here I sat on this particular morning writing orders for the "Relief". I had sent the Adjutant to the "Orderly Room" dug-out to get another map as we would in our "move" march off the one I had with me.
I was seated in the centre of the hut at a small table facing the door which was to my left front and a window to my
right; by standing up and stretching my arm in any direction I could have touched any of the walls. The shelter was reinforced with heavy timber covered with corrugated iron and camouflaged with earth and sods of grass. My helmet and gas mask were hanging on the wall near the door.
Intent on my work I was suddenly galvanized by the crash of a terrific explosion seemingly close by. I had been jerked violently toward the door by the force of the concussion. "That was a big one" I muttered to myself "and too close to be pleasant". Getting up I went to the door and looked out. "Gor Blimy" I heard a man say, "Look at the Cook-'ouse !" Glancing to the left I saw the sentry looking excitedly up the trench. Following his gaze I saw that the cook-house, about twenty yards away, had been demolished and its debris was straddling the trench. Hearing suffocating cries I at once shouted for stretcher-bearers and hurried to the scene. Men were quickly at work. The cook had been killed, my servant was pulled out wounded and another man had to be dug for but was soon found unhurt.
Retracing my steps I thought "They're after the O.P. just as I said they would. Well, anyway! I'm going back to the shelter and carry on with my work". And this is the eerie part of the business. Having this thought in my mind I walked into my hut, but strangely enough took my steel helmet off the peg on the wall and putting it on walked out again.
I had a vague sort of wondering why I should do this when I wanted to carry on with my work. But volition was other than my own. I walked out and retraced my steps to the cook-house or rather what was left of it. I had gone about half way when suddenly something happened and there was a blank. Apparently stunned, I found myself lying at the bottom of the trench.
Scrambling to my feet I gazed around confusedly. I heard men running. Someone said "Are you hurt, Sir?" I was trembling so I couldn't speak. Then my mind clearing I looked down the trench toward my but and was amazed to see it had gone. I rubbed my eyes, for where it had been there was now a large crater. The second shell had gone plumb through the centre of my hut. I had to be supported. "But there, in there" I heard myself saying, "are my maps, my papers . . . " and I pointed a trembling finger as my knees seemed to be crumpling up under me like those of a broken down cab horse.
Solicitously, the men probed into the crater whilst I looked on, but there was nothing left of my belongings or of the hut, any larger than the size of my little finger nail. Of all the baulks of timber, corrugated iron and sand bags nothing remained. Everything had been blown to smithereens. What was it that caused me to act as I had done? What strange uncanny force had impelled me to leave that ill-fated place when I had made up my mind to sit down in it and carry on with my work?
- Lt.-Col. E.L. Thomson, D.S.O.
163 Crescent Road,
The processes of Nature are frequently duplicated, even tripled and quadrupled, according to the stage of evolution and the plane upon which any process is taking place. We have physical birth and then the "birth from above" of which Nicodemus was unaware. We have the baptism of water, also that of the Holy Breath, of blood, and of Fire. We have physical death and the "second death," one of the mysteries of the Apocalypse. And we have physical resurrection and spiritual or pneumatic resurrection, these two processes having been badly confused by the clergy and consequently misunderstood by the laity.
The physical resurrection is the familiar process of birth, so that every little child that is born to happy fathers and mothers is the resurrection of some dear friend of earlier lives rendering the reunion inexpressibly felicitous. There are exceptions, naturally, as of all general rules, when for some good reason a discordant visitor arrives. But the mother understands.
The festival of the New Life is celebrated at Christmas, and is associated with the new Life of the year, when the Sun turns northward and begins his conquering march over winter and death and the ushering in of spring. For spring is the resurrection of another life, an inner life, which floods the forests with life-giving sap, and inspires the whole leafy world to break into blossom and prepare to carry on the long task of achieving perfection.
So we have the great festival of Easter, named after the old goddess Eostre, who reigned over Spring and the new birth of the world, for that is a resurrection from the dead also. But the priests changed the idea from a dead world to a dead man, having forgotten the mystery of the new Life in Man himself.
The story is told by St. Paul, but the translators in their ignorance transferred the idea from the birth of the new life of Spring and of the inner man, to the old life, passed away and gone, and celebrated, or tried to celebrate its irrevocable return. That strange enchantment which Love brings about in the nature of men and women, when carried deeper into men's hearts and lives, brings about another nativity, the birth of the spiritual or pneumatic body.
St. Paul tells us that there is a psychic body and a pneumatic body as well as a body of flesh and blood, and that at the birth of the infant the psychic body is sown like a seed in the body of flesh, from which it must be raised a spiritual
(pneumatic) body, not on the physical plane at all, but on a plane of consciousness altogether different. As St. Paul says, we bury Christ in the flesh, yes, and crucify him daily.
By just and merciful living we can raise the dead Christ in us to living power and wisdom. "It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a psychic body; it is raised a spiritual (pneumatic) body." The translation of psychic as natural misleads all who cannot read the Greek Testament, and so we are kept in ignorance of the resurrection of the spiritual body out of flesh and blood, a mystery with which Free Masons of the third degree ought to be familiar.
Jesus taught that many are called, but few are chosen. Men and women choose themselves, whether they will strive to live the Christ life or not. No one judges them in their efforts. Under the Great Law they achieve all that they attempt. If they make mistakes the Law sees they are treated with justice; only their own errors can mar their work. It takes, it is said, seven incarnations for a man to work out his perfection, to be "perfect, even as his Father in heaven is perfect." But many men have gone a long way on the Path and they may have come nearer to the goal than they imagine. Easter should be a joyful time for them, for they must feel the Breath of the Great Life pouring down upon them, stirring their latent faculties, lifting their hearts towards the glory of the Master's presence, and filling their minds with the Peace that passeth understanding.
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TIBETAN SECRET DOCTRINES
In our December issue Mrs. Henderson of Victoria wrote on "Moksha and Beyond", referring to an article on "Moksha" in our September issue in which I quoted from one of Dr. Evans-Wentz's translations of Tibetan Scriptures. She calls me down, to use her own expression, for recommending students to read Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines.
I have not myself been able to agree with her that the Law of Compassion is ignored in these books and that ambition alone is the motive behind the renunciation of Nirvana as taught in these scriptures. Compassion, as I understand it, is the Law of Laws, and no progress can be made in the development of the higher principles without it. No one, for instance, can become a Nirmanakaya, who is not inspired with Compassion.
The desire to be a Nirmanakaya would itself be an ambition were it not based on Compassion-altruism, the abandonment of personality. This is fully appreciated and set forth by Dr. Evans-Wentz, who has no axe to grind, and who states his aims frankly on page 48 of the volume in question: "As an anthropologist who has dedicated his life to the study of man, the editor, after more than twenty-five years of research, has come to believe that a serious scientific effort to investigate the whence, the why, and the whither of man is of all human endeavors by far the most important. It is herein that East and West, in the fulness of time, shall at last meet in mutual recognition."
Wherein does this differ from the aims of Madame Blavatsky? Probably a hundred will read these books from the Oxford Press for one who will take up The Secret Doctrine, with the smears of the Adyar apostles over it.
The fear that students may be led into the black side of Tantric teaching is less
reasonable than the fear that students may be led into the mysteries of Theosophy, "as he sees it," over which Dr. Arundale presides. I can see no contradictions to the Blavatsky teaching in Dr. Evans-Wentz's books, though there is much additional material over which the student will have to exercize his intuition. But over what volume will he not have to do this, The Secret Doctrine not excepted ?
In the Yoga of non-Ego, in the instructions to the yogin, we read: "Having recognized the Elementals, Hatred or Wrath, Pride, Lust, Jealousy and Stupidity, of which Egoism is composed, now thou must recognize the sacrificial gift of thy body." It is explained also (page 94) that he who has reached the third step after "entering the stream," and "attained to the state of the Arhant, normally would pass on to Nirvana. If, however, he takes the vow not to accept Nirvana, till every sentient being is safely set upon the same Supreme Path that he has trodden and thus becomes a Bodhisattva, he will consciously reassume fleshly embodiment as a Divine Incarnation, a Nirmanakaya." This is the exoteric teaching.
The occult teaching of The Voice of the Silence, which it is often forgotten is "dedicated to The Few", states that the Nirmanakaya remains on the astral plane, using an astral form, with such exceptions as when the Nirmanakaya incarnates in the Tashi Lama. These are matters of occult training and discipline, and we do not consider our magazine - nor any magazine, for that matter - to be an organ of occult training; we can but serve to introduce the elements of Theosophy to those who sit in darkness. "Rather perish the T.S. with both its hapless founders," wrote the Maha Chohan in his famous letter, "than that we should permit it to become no better than an academy of magic, a hall of occultism." And he continues: "That we - the devoted followers of the spirit incarnate of absolute self-sacrifice, of philanthropy, divine kindness, as of all the highest virtues attainable on this earth of sorrow, the man of men, Gautama Buddha - should ever allow the T.S. to represent the embodiment of selfishness, the refuge of the few with no thought in them for the many, is a strange idea, my brothers."
The more the literature of the East is brought to the attention of students in the West the more effectively will the message of Brotherhood, Karma and Reincarnation be spread abroad in the world. For this reason I have been much impressed with these books which Dr. Evans-Wentz has made available. I cannot see why others as well as myself should not be able to single out the golden passages and ignore those which a mind bent on distortion might use to its own danger. We know what Adyar students have done with The Secret Doctrine. Could they have done worse with Evans-Wentz's Tibetan Yoga?
It is a mistake to think that the supreme law of selflessness is not presented to the student by Dr. Evans-Wentz. It is fully taught in the "path of the Five Wisdoms as well as elsewhere. Page 336 - "the Aggregate of Matter may be looked upon as being Nature, or the Sangsara, characterized by interminable change, or transitoriness, wherein, as a result of karmic actions, man is enslaved by the incessant round of birth and death. When, in virtue of Right Knowledge, the fruit of Yoga, man breaks his bondage to the Sangsara, there shines forth in his inner consciousness the symbolic blue divine radiance of the Dharma-Dhatu Wisdom. Then, having conquered life itself, the yogin rejoices in utter Freedom, for he is nevermore to return to the Kingdom of Ignorance and Illusion save as a Bodhisattva, vowed to selflessness, to guide those who still dwell in the Darkness of the Cave to the Light of Day."
It would be doing Dr. Evans-Wentz an
ill turn if the reader were left with the impression that the main interest of the book depended on its definition of a Nirmanakaya. That is important, but not all-important. The Gita says nothing about it, nor does The Light of Asia, nor Light on the Path. Outside The Secret Doctrine and The Voice of the Silence in what books outside this volume of Tibetan Yoga, is the subject dealt with?
For two generations Theosophical students have been asking for Asiatic confirmation of the Blavatsky teaching. Now when Tibetan manuscripts are shown to be in agreement with the Blavatsky teaching one is called down for drawing attention to the fact. In truth, H.P.B. was denounced for having suggested that there was an occult or esoteric teaching, of any kind, and was declared to have invented the idea herself. Students would like to hear what Dr. Evans-Wentz has to say on this point, and without entering on a debate, he might very well put himself on record as to the value of H.P.B.'s contribution. It is not a matter of competition, of earlier or later, but simply the value to serious truth-seekers and the reliability of the material presented. The corroborative value is of importance, but considering the sensitiveness of some of the students, this might well be left to individual judgment.
Books like those of Dr. Evans-Wentz cannot be ignored unless we wish to class ourselves with the ultra-church people or with the groups which only read or review books published by themselves. We can imagine what a wonderful review H.P.B. would have written of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. When she first wrote, the scholastic world all asserted that there were no secret doctrines. The very title marks the passage of two generations. The Blavatsky tradition presents a standard by which these or any similar books may be judged. Of what, then, are we afraid? Why should we not place them beside The Secret Doctrine or The Voice of the Silence? If we do not, others are certain to do so.
This book of Tibetan Yoga is actually a collection of seven books in one. The shortened titles of these are given in the Preface.
(1) Gampopa's Supreme Path, called `The Precious Rosary', consisting of twenty-eight categories of yogic precepts for the guidance of the disciple.
(2) The Epitome of the Great Symbol, a treatise on the practical yogic method of realizing Nirvana.
(3) The Epitome of the Six Doctrines, which are the Psychic-Heat, the Illusory Body, the Dream-State, the Clear Light, the After-Death State, and the Transfer of the Consciousness.
(4) The Transference of the Consciousness, a yogic treatise complementary to the last of the Six Doctrines.
(5) The Method of Eradicating the Lower Self, a treatise on the Yoga of Non-Ego.
(6) The Five-Fold Wisdom Attribute of the Long Hum, a treatise on the Yoga of the Five Wisdoms.
(7) The Essence of the Transcendental Wisdom, a short Sutra belonging to the Prajna-Paramita of the Tibetan canon.
In his General Introduction Dr. Evans-Wentz points out that "the one supreme aim of the whole of the Dharma (or Doctrine) is, as the Buddha Himself emphasized, to attain `Deliverance of the Mind.' "And therefore, ye disciples, the gain of the Holy Life is neither alms, nor honor, nor fame, neither the virtues of the Order, nor the bliss of samadhi, nor clearness of insight, but the fixed, unalterable Deliverance of the Mind. This, ye disciples, is the purpose of the Holy Life; this is its central core; this is the goal."
This is the basic teaching of the New Testament, thoroughly hidden by the translators, as has frequently been noted in our pages: (see Matthew xvi.
23-25, and St. Paul's exhortation: "Let that Mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus".)
Buddhism, he remarks, "is fundamentally a system of practically applied yoga, . . .through which, in the words of the sages of the Mahayana, the Conqueror can, if he so wills, `wander free, as wanders an unbridled lion among mountain ranges' all the while possessed of unbroken consciousness. And this figurative language implies that there is no conceivable state of finality like that of an eternal paradise; that there is no conceivable end of evolution; that the Cosmos itself is eternally subject to rebirths and redyings, of which the One Mind is the Dreamer, the Source, and the Sustainer."
Then he defines Nirvana. "Rightly understood, Nirvana implies the `going out', or `cooling', of the Three Fires of Desire; which are Lust, Ill-Will, and stupidity." "When man is no longer man; when man has blown out the flame of animal desires and transcended personality and the belief in the permanent existence of an ego or soul, has evolved beyond the lowly state of humanity, has conquered himself and the World, has dissipated Ignorance, then will Nirvana be realized and understood."
Another aspect of this problem is dealt with on page 12. "Many men there are who imagine that they would be happy for ever were the Heavenly Kingdom realized on Earth, as it will be in the course of evolutionary progress. To the Enlightened One, however, no condition of sangsaric existence, even if entirely free of illness, old age, and death, can be a final or a completely satisfactory state. For this reason, Buddhism tells man not to fix his hopes on a worldly Utopia, but first to free himself from the Karmic Law of Necessity, and then, having attained the right to enter Nirvana, to make the Greater Renunciation of the Bodhisattva, not to pass out of the Sangsara until all its inhabitants, in all states, high and low, and in all kingdoms of existence, are Emancipated, even as the Buddha has been."
What then, are we to look for? "All beauty, all goodness, all that makes for the eradication of sorrow and ignorance on Earth, must be devoted to the one Great Consummation. Then, when the Lords of Compassion shall have spiritually civilized the Earth and made of it a Heaven, there will be revealed to the Pilgrims the Endless Path, which reaches to the Heart of the Universe. Man, then no longer man, will transcend Nature, and impersonally, yet consciously, in at-one-ment with all the Enlightened Ones, help to fulfil the Law of the Higher Evolution, of which Nirvana is but the beginning."
The Doctrine of Maya is expounded similarly and its application to physical science is with a note, linking it with Sir James Jeans' Backgrounds of Science, that Western science "has now reached, at least tentatively, substantially the same view concerning reality which the Mahayanic and other, even earlier sages of India reached many centuries ago."
Dr. Evans-Wentz acknowledges his indebtedness to Patanjali, and students of that sage will not find themselves on unfamiliar ground in this Introduction, which includes a summary of a dozen varieties of Yoga. The ordinary Christian may find it harder going, as the only Yoga he knows of is Prayer and Fasting. But the ultimates of such Christian Yoga are identical with those of the Orientalists though the theologians may be loth to admit it. In a section of his Introduction dealing with Exoteric and Esoteric teaching he calls attention to two precepts of the Gurus. "For a religious devotee to preach the Doctrine to the multitude [ere having realized it to be true] instead of meditating upon it [and testing its truth] in solitude is a grievous mistake. For a religious devotee to try to reform others instead of reforming himself is a griev-
These Precepts of the Gurus constitute Book I of the volume; there are 28 Categories. To say that these three hundred or so Precepts are vastly superior to the Proverbs of Solomon is putting it mildly. Book II is The Nirvanic Path: the Yoga of the Great Symbol. "It contains the quintessence of some of the most profound doctrines of Oriental Occultism," states the introduction. According to Tibetan tradition it is believed that the "saintly Buddhist philosopher Saraha enunciated the teachings about the first century B.C. Atisha, born in Bengal in 980 A.D., who arrived in Tibet in 1038 A.D. was the first teacher in Tibet to emphasize the importance of the Great Symbol philosophy. It is the "written guide to the method of attaining, by means of yoga, such mental concentration, or one-pointedness of mind as brings about mystical insight into the real nature of existence." It is also called "The Middle Path." The yoga postures are described, including a method of pranayama; none of these practices should be attempted except under the guidance of a holy man or Guru.
Book III, The Path of Knowledge; the YOGA of the Six Doctrines, "is in large measure Tantric." There are four chief classes of yogic tantras; Tantras expository of the Thatness, or Ultimate Truth, and of the Occult, or Mystic, Sciences; the Yogini, or Shakti, Tantras; and the Kalachakra Tantras. Only experts are capable of judging the merits of these systems. Students are advised to shun Tantra altogether, as too dangerous.
Book IV, The Path of Transference the YOGA of Consciousness-Transference, is "suggestive, rather than detailed or complete." The second part, chiefly intended for the use of Lamas who perform death-bed or funeral rites, is, however, sufficiently complete to be comprehended and applied, on behalf of a dying person, when no Lama is available, by any yogin or layman who has had sound instruction from a guru in the manner of its practical application."
The introduction to this treatise is of vast interest, but of course quite outside the experience of Western readers. Of a different character is Book V. The Path of the Mystic Sacrifice: the YOGA of subduing the Lower Self. This ought to be the most important of all oriental teachings for western psychologists, not to mention religious authorities, theologians, preachers, pastors, priests and presbyters. This includes the Eucharist of Lamaism, "what is perhaps the highest and most sublime aspect of the doctrine yet evolved by mankind." So, "all things that the Bodhisattva possesses, even his own body, he vows to renounce `without regret and without grudging, without waiting for merit to mature', and `out of compassion and pity', in order that others; `as by one who hath attained wisdom, may learn to know the Law'." There is in this ceremony the Yogic Dance of the Five Directions in which one movement presents the Transfixing of the Elementals of Self by the Divine Dakini with the Spear of All-embracing Love, by the Precious Dakini with the Spear of Great Compassion, by the Lotus Dakini with the Spear of Great Affection, by the Karma Dakini with the Spear of Great Impartiality, by the Buddha Spear of Bodhisattvic Mind, thus standing on the heads of the elementals of Egotism and on their four limbs, in them they implant their Spears, Transfixing them immovably, and remain there motionless [at peace]." This, however, is only a small part of a most impressive ceremony.
Book VI, is the smallest of the seven, yet though so brief, remarks the editor, should convey to the well-instructed yogin the very essence of the Esoteric Lore. These condensed shlokas, however, would require voluminous commentary for the ordinary mind to un-
Book VII, The Path of the Transcendental Wisdom, the YOGA of the Voidness, is a very short treatise also and epitomizes the great yogic doctrine of the Voidness, upon which the vast literature of the Prajna-Paramita, or `Transcendental Wisdom', is chiefly based. There are abridgements of the 125,000 shlokas of which it consists. The Doctrine of the Voidness is a restatement of the Doctrine of Maya by the illustrious founders of the Mahayana School, beginning with Ashvaghosha, of the first century, A.D., and followed by Nagarjuna, who gave it definite Buddhistic shape.
Modern scholars have noted, observes the editor, that these great thinkers, as Kant did seventeen centuries later, taught that the world is will and representation, for the Doctrine implies that True Knowledge is attainable only by the All-Enlightened Mind, freed of all Ignorance, of all Illusion, and transcendent over representation, or phenomenal appearances, born of the will-power of Mind. Otherwise stated, the Universe is merely the materialization of thought-forms - the Idea which illusorily appears as objects of Nature. Another paragraph may be quoted: "This supreme doctrine of Emancipation may be summarized by saying that all things are eternally immersed in Nirvana, but that man, held in bondage by the hypnotic glamor of appearances, is wrapt in an unbroken Sleep of Ignorance, dreaming dreams which he thinks real. Not until man awakens from the illusion of self and the world can he realize Nirvana is here and now and everywhere, inherent in all things - as Perfect Quiescence, the Qualityless, the Unborn, the Uncreated. In the ecstatic trance state of the highest samadhi the Great Yogin attains this Undifferentiated Knowledge, the Transcendent Wisdom."
He adds, however, that this Emancipation is to be obtained only for the purpose of treading the Higher Path, the sublime Path of the Bodhisattva. This cannot be described as ambitious, since it involves the renunciation of everything until all others have reached the same Terrace of Enlightenment. St. Paul's philosophy is based on the same principle, the things that are seen are temporal, the things that are unseen are, eternal. But this means less than nothing to the average Christian, who, like the foolish Galatians, are bewitched with ceremonial and other dogmatic follies. To rid oneself of these is not less difficult than to banish the illusion of self and the world. Nor does The Voice of the Silence differ greatly from the systems of discipline and development of these Books.
It is important to remember that the object of all of them is to lead the student to the same goal. There is only one goal, though there may be many directions from which it is to be approached. Once having clearly envisaged the goal, each student may choose his own course, and feel certain that with sincerity and perseverance he will reach the consummation of his heart's travail.
THE BHAGAVAD GITA
A Conflation prepared from available English translations by the General Secretary
- The Esoteric Character of the Gospels By H. P. Blavatsky.
- The Evidence of Immortality By Dr. Jerome A. Anderson.
- Ancient and Modern Physics By Thomas E. Willson.
- Modern Theosophy By Claude Falls Wright.
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WILLIAM QUAN JUDGE
The Theosophical Forum for April has an article on Mr. Judge, the only man who was ever elected unanimously as President of The Theosophical Society but who is never mentioned by the Adyar Grandees in their list of Presidents. I am inclined to think that one reason that H.P.B. is not so popular as her record might be expected to make her, is, that those who accept H.P.B must accept Judge also. The Forum article by Marjorie M. Tyberg, quotes from Theosophy for March the following tribute paid to Judge by H.P.B.: - "If W.Q.J. get riled under any provocation - for more than five minutes by the city clock, then he is flapdoodle. H P. B. would give 7 dozens of Bridges, 77 dozen of Noyeses; the whole esoteric brood in the U.S.A. for one W.Q.J. who is part of herself for several aeons. Those having ears will hear, those who are deaf and blind let them provide themselves with false ears and glass eyes, or - vanish away. The esoteric Section and its life in the U.S.A. depends on W.Q.J. remaining its agent and what he is now. The day W.Q.J. resigns, H.P.B. will be virtually dead for the Americans. W.Q.J. is the Antaskarana between the two Manas(es) the - American thought and the Indian - or rather the trans-Himalayan Esoteric Knowledge. DIXI. H.P.B."
In reproducing the Theosophy article the Forum gives an example of brotherly recognition which might be multiplied to great advantage. The Masters promised that as long as three observed the principles of the Movement it could not be deserted. This note must serve to represent Adyar, but the day may come when Adyar shall be glad to represent THEOSOPHY and not waste its energies on what are not THE FIRST THINGS. Judge was born on April 13, 1851, the year of the first Great Exhibition, the year in which Madame Blavatsky met
the Master M. in London. A hundred years, save seven, have passed since that time and a world of history has been recorded in those years. But nothing more wonderful has happened than the revelation which put the simple truths of Life - Brotherhood, Karma, Reincarnation, in the mind and thought of ordinary men and women.
One of the privileges of living in the Twentieth century is the opportunity of allying oneself with the Theosophical Movement originated by the Elder Brothers of the Race, and of making a conscious link, however slender, with them. Join any Theosophical Society which maintains the tradition of the Masters of Wisdom and study their Secret Doctrine. You can strengthen the link you make by doing service, by strong search, by questions, and by humility. We should be able to build the future on foundations of Wisdom, Love and Justice.
THEOSOPHY UP TO DATE!
- EVOLUTION: As Outlined in The Archaic Eastern Records
Compiled and Annotated by Basil Crump.
- H.P. BLAVATSKY: A GREAT BETRAYAL
A protest against the policy and teachings of The Theosophical Society introduced since the death of Madame Blavatsky.
- H. P. BLAVATSkY: HER LIFE AND WORK FOR HUMANITY
A vindication and a brief exposition of her mission and teachings.
- 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.
A SCRIPTURE CLASS
Perhaps the chief difficulty in identifying the occult teachings in the English translations of the New Testament is the arbitrary manner in which the Greek mystery words are treated by the translators. Besides this certain words have come to have a conventional meaning utterly misleadnig and obscuring the real meaning of the text. Resurrection is such a word, representing the Greek anastasis, which nine times out of ten should be rendered reincarnation. Every time a babe is born it is a resurrection from the dead, a perpetual process, Nature's way of renewing our lives, while resurrection in the church sense is impossible and non-existent.
Heaven is an entirely deceptive word and through Sunday School and other popular channels of instruction church people have come to think of God and his angels being located in the sky, although in school their astronomy lessons teach them that what is up at noon is down at midnight, and that the whole idea of heaven being situated in the sky is fallacious. The Greek word ouranus, translated heaven, really means the Over-World, not "over" in location, but in superiority. The Over-World is really Inner-World, which is revealed to mankind, not by telescope, but by an inner or more subtle vision than that of the two eyes, which belongs to the third eye, or conarium or pineal gland, referred to in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew vi. 22, 23. If this single eye be active the whole body, it is stated, will be full of light; in which case everything about the Inner World or kingdom of the Over-World is revealed to the Seer.
Apparently, under certain conditions, this third eye may become sensitive in groups of people, as in the case of the shepherds, who did not look up into the sky to see the angels, as our imaginative artists picture them, but "lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them." And then, "suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the Over-World host," who had merely to be revealed to the shepherds all around them, as the Over-World always is around about us if we could perceive it. It is suggested by some commentators, when it is stated that at the crucifixion many of the saints who had died, arose and came out of their graves and appeared to many in the holy city, this was the report of some whose third Eye becoming sensitive enable them to see those who acquired the use of their inner bodies as described by St. Paul, an account mangled by the translators, who represent the psychic body as the "natural" body which the unfortunate reader takes to mean the flesh and blood when he means these. The psychic body and the pneumatic body are other vehicles of consciousness now being evolved for entrance into the Over-World.
He speaks of being in the third Over-World, and the phrase "seventh heaven" or Over-World, is familiar. These Over-Worlds are all about us but we have not developed the refined and sensitive faculties that would place us in communion with them.
Another source of misunderstanding and error is in the word "World". There are two distinct words with different meanings, both translated by the same English word. One Greek word is cosmos, the other aion. Cosmos is the world geological and astronomical. Aion is the time-world, the period historic, social or racial. Cosmos is the "world without end." Aion is the world or period the end of which is so often the subject of prediction. But the translators make no distinction between them, and this leads to all kinds of confusion, and to very absurd conclusions. An example is to be found in Luke xx. 27-44 where a later evolutionary period on earth is invariably interpreted by
preachers to apply to the "heaven-world", that is, the aion is confused with the ouranus.
Another trick of the translators is to use different English words to translate the same Greek word. This is possibly done to support some favorite dogma or tenet. This, to say the least, is unethical. Still worse is the use of one English word to represent two or more entirely different Greek words, as when "mind" is made to represent such different Greek words as dianoia, ennoia, noema, phronema, psyche, and others. What must one think of the scholarship or the "inspiration" that would render nous, phronema and psyche by the same word? No wonder the Church is split up into sects. No wonder the curates and lesser clergy are puzzled over some doctrines. No wonder the laity are growing skeptical. Yet many devout church people believe that the English translation is directly inspired by God.
Another word over which there is much dispute is sin. There are two words in Greek which are rendered alike as sin. One is hamartias, which means "missing the mark" or failure. The other is poneros, which is generally rendered evil or wicked. The Greek word has the sense of what is worthless and wasteful. Special sins and vices are named but the only one denounced by Jesus is hypocrisy. Sin, as a definite factor in conduct, is anything that separates one from the divine, the word being derived from the same root as sunder. Even our virtues, if they make us vain-glorious or conceited, may sunder us from the divine and become sin, for pride is a deadly corruption in the personality.
This brings us to the most radical of all the mistranslations to be noted since it subverts the fundamental teaching of Jesus. This involves the recognition that a man's "salvation," to use the professional term, depends on himself. In order to conceal this, the translators juggle with the word psyche, sometimes rendering it as soul, sometimes as life. Thus they make Jesus utter the silly statement that if a man seeks to save his life he will lose it. We become so accustomed to hearing this that we fail to perceive the folly of it. What Jesus said in Greek was that if any man tried to save his soul or psyche, he would lose it. The whole passage in Matthew's Gospel, xvi. 23-27 (also corresponding passages in Mark and Luke) contains his creed and rule of life: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his soul will lose it: and whosoever will lose his soul for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."
The Church does not preach this gospel. Perhaps that is why it has failed to redeem the world. There is nothing here about believing, or anything but action and service. It is not the Cross of Jesus that is important, but every man must bear his own cross. The soul, which the church is so eager to save, is the personality, the psyche, the ephemeral, transient, superficial self, to which no sensible man can wish to be bound, so that he should be the personality of a year or five or twenty years previously. That personal man dies at the end of the day and is reborn every morning, a new and different man when he awakes to the new day. So it is at death and the subsequent rebirth or reincarnation.
In the endeavor to emulate the perfect man, Jesus or any ideal, we gladly abandon the faulty efforts of the past, seeking to achieve a nearer likeness to the Christ within, the Light that light-
ens every man coming into the world. We conquer through conduct, according to our deeds.
A great deal is said about righteousness in the English New Testament. It might have been better for its readers if the Greek word dikaiosunee had been rendered justice; then the real meaning would have gained honour and not be-come a pulpit tag. Dikaiosunee means the perfect performance of duty, and that means the discharge of all karmic obligations.
The Greek language is scientific in its clarity, and a literal translation of the new Testament would have served as an elementary textbook of occultism. Perhaps that is why the Bishops and others of the translators have so completely hidden the true teachings of Jesus as recorded in the Greek. Dr. Moffatt has thickened the veil, if anything. Dr. Goodspeed is no improvement. The new Aramaic Testament, while making a few emendations on unimportant matters, has done nothing to better the translation of such passages as we have mentioned. So potent is the influence of "orthodoxy."
Scarcely any of the clergy use the Greek Testament, and to find one in possession of a Greek Lexicon would be as rare an event as a lunar rainbow. But there is enough in this article to revolutionize the churches if they were willing to listen to the words of Jesus.
Another problem which puzzles some students is how to deal with the parables and miracles. One step may be taken at once. There are no parables in the Gospel of John, but plenty of miracles. The case is reversed in the synoptic gospels. As "without parables spake he nothing unto them," a happy solution is to treat the miracles as parables. For example, take the calming of the storm when the disciples feared they would perish. The boat is a natural symbol of the human body, the same as Noah's ark. The disciples are the principles
and faculties which, left to run the boat, are panic-stricken. Jesus, who represents the Higher Self, is asleep. How gladly we make Jesus comfortable and let him sleep while we attend to our business. Then a storm arises and instead of relying on our own skill, we awaken the sleeping Master. Which is the more impressive, the parable or the miracle?
THE THREE TRUTHS
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
THE PATTERN LIFE
THE SYMBOLIC LIFE OF CHRIST
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THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
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A service man writing from Camp Borden, generously sends $5. for the magazine fund with "thanks for all the help it has given me in the past and is continuing to give."
The U.L.T. magazine, The Theosophical Movement, in the November and December issues, has begun what may be the beginning of a collection of Mr. Judge's writings. This is the reprinting of his answers to questions in The Theosophical Forum in 1889 until his last year. These answers to everyday questions are distinguished by their common sense, their simple but clear statements, and the avoidance of any dogmatic tone, by their appeal in an adroit manner to ordinary experience. Judge was a great teacher. He had a faculty of drawing out of a man his profoundest thought in order to reply to his own question. One never knew how much he knew till Judge had plumbed the depths of his consciousness with a piercing counter-question. He was too frank and down-right to be popular with the Political Occultists.
It is with mingled feelings that one reads on the conclusion of such a laudable effort as that by Mrs. Oltcher with the Pro & Con Vox which made the full round of a year and must have rendered much delight and instruction to its readers. It takes an enormous amount of toil and patience, and an exceedingly determined will to carry on an activity of this description. There is a fine subjective reward for the one who undertakes it, as well as the objective reward in the admiring and sympathetic supporters. There is much wisdom in confining the effort to a twelvemonth for the weariness is escaped and the fresh pleasure of achievement has not had time to pall. The memory of what has been done continues for many a long day keeping a sunny corner in the lengthening tale of life always bright and in-spiring.
The American Theosophist is becoming magaziny, and has several articles outside news in its April issue. W. Scott Lewis writes on the Mystery of the Monarch butterfly which hatch out in Alaska and then migrate southward down to Washington and Oregon. By the time California is reached the swarms of butterflies have divided into two distinct flocks. One of these flocks heads for the town of Pacific Grove on Monterey Bay. The other continues southward to a group of eucalyptus trees north of Santa Barbara and there they stop. Neither flock ever fails in its routine. Mr. Lewis thinks a group soul is the explanation. Other observers think the beaten paths of the Astral Light guide the insects. Either concep-
tion fails to satisfy "Science." We have Monarchs in millions in Ontario. I have watched them coming out of the chrysalis near Lake Simcoe. Their autumn flight carries myriads of them into Lake Ontario where they drown. Group souls do not explain this. Astral pathways do.
Writes a correspondent from California: I thank you for your letter of Nov. 25, 1943, and for the enclosed pamphlet, "The Pearl of Great Price", which I appreciate very much indeed. I think Mr. Wilks' letter is a masterpiece, and am glad to have it for reference. I was so impressed by the article "How A Soldier Found The Truth", by Lt.-Col. E.L. Thomson, D.S.O., in the January Canadian Theosophist, that I am wondering if it too could not be published in pamphlet form. If sold at a small price I don't know of any other pamphlet that would be so helpful to hand to some one newly interested in theosophy. And its concise and illuminating statements would appeal to any old student as well. It is really a remarkable document. I especially admire its brevity into which has been so admirably condensed a whole volume of personal experience. I know another soldier, an American General in the European theatre at the present time, who is a Theoosphist. Can we some time have another letter from young Mr. Ramsparger, whose very fine letter was so vitriolically answered by an unbrotherly sister?
We can scarcely speak of The Golden Lotus, now in its third month, as an amateur publication, though its typed pages and stitching does not suggest professional handiwork, but the matter of its contents has nothing that might be styled amateur, with many articles of a high order of writing and thinking. Here is a paragraph which will indicate the school of thought of the editors: "There are confusing theories of the founding of the Buddhist Schools, but it is safe to say the Mahayana has come down in direct descent, verbally, and transmitted by manuscripts, since the Buddha taught his close circle. It has been driven from India by the persecutions of the Brahmin sect, and has found a refuge in the forbidding Tibetan mountains. The dark and alarming practices of Tantra and sorcery found also in Tibet need alarm no one. In extremity, one does not disdain a refuge, and Buddhism was driven to remote, uncivilized lands for a refuge. The uncivilized and unenlightened are no fault of those who find the necessary peace and solitude within Tibetan mountains. However, distinction should be made between the true Mahayana and other schools of thought and practice." This is from the second number. The third issue indicates its mission as Buddhist propaganda. All enquiries, subscriptions, $1.50 a year, and donations are to be addressed to the publishing agent, William J. Leslie, 7009 Woolston Road, Philadelphia, 38, Pa.
Major General Wingate whose death in a plane crash in Burmah occurred recently appears to be another example of an Asiatic ego born in a white body in India. We have noted already a number like Lord Macaulay, Rudyard Kipling and others who in white bodies exhibited alien talents. Time gives some biographical details of his eccentricities, and remarks "Wingate was one of those talented originals that some alchemy of British culture occasionally produces. . . He ate raw onions between meals, frequently carried an alarm clock dangling from his hand in place of a watch, scrubbed his hide regularly with a stiff tooth brush. He followed Yoga, was a physical fitness fanatic, refused to smoke but enjoyed good food and wine. He read widely - from Plato to comic strips - and remembered everything. He loved music and the Bible, was a serious student of philosophy, strategy,
religious history. He knew the army manuals and the lives of the great generals by heart. He spoke fluent Arabic and Hebrew. He was a formidable and logical argufier and he loved to bait brass hats. He never suffered fools gladly . . . This strange character was born in the Himalayas - not far from where he died - son of a puritanical Indian Army general." Strikingly beautiful Mrs. Wingate first saw her husband at the rail of a liner when she was 15 and he 30. She introduced herself by saying, "You're the man I'm going to marry." Answered Wingate "You are right. When?" Two years later she wrote to him: "Now."
AMONG THE LODGES
On Sunday, February 6th, the Montreal Lodge held its monthly tea, as is the custom. One of the highlights of this tea was a visiting Theosophist, Flight Officer L.O. Waugh, who gave us a short talk on Theosophy in New Zealand. We were indeed amazed at the large membership of such a comparatively small country. In four of the larger cities, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, the membership is over 800, and of course, there are smaller groups scattered in various other cities and towns. At Auckland, the Visanta school is situated, where children are given the very best in progressive education. So popular has the school become, that many parents, who do not belong to the Theosophical Society are sending their children whenever possible. Flight Officer Waugh has attended this school since the age of 7. A point stressed by him, was the number of young people in New Zealand who are Theosophists, in Auckland alone, there are over 100 of them. For the very young children, they have the Knights of the Round Table, which is a source of excellent inspiration. Flight Officer Waugh expressed his keen enjoyment in having the opportunity to meet various members of the Theosophical Society in Canada. He has been training out west and just arrived in Montreal shortly, prior to overseas operations. - L.A.
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
A meeting of all the local members of the General Executive was held on Sunday afternoon, April 2, at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto. The usual routine business was transacted and the finance and membership reports were adopted. The paid up membership was practically equal to the total of July 1 of last year, with three months to add to that total. Fifteen new members were reported to date. The General Secretary reported having received from three Lodges, Hamilton, Orpheus, Vancouver, and Edmonton, nominations of the present Executive, and from Toronto Lodge a nomination of all but Mr. Barr, for whose name was substituted that of Mr. N. W. J. Haydon. It was claimed by Mr. Barr that the Lodge had the right to substitute a name, as the names thus submitted did not exceed the number on the Executive. The General Secretary pointed out that this view arose from a misconception of the basis of representation. It is not the Lodge that elects a representative; the Lodge only nominates, and the person chosen does not represent the Lodge but the whole national membership. In nominating a member to take the place of Mr. Barr on his retirement, to be accepted without an election, the Lodge was encroaching on the rights of the whole membership. Had Mr. Barr's retirement been announced in time an election would have been constitutionally necessary and would have been called. Under the circumstances the General Secretary considered that the Executive would have to act for the membership in general and drew up a resolution which he submitted. Mr. Barr objected to the resolution as unnecessary and there was a pro-
Ionged debate with several amendments offered. 'None' of these however fitted the main issue that a member of the Executive represented, not the Lodge to which he belonged, as in a political constituency, but the whole membership. The resolution as submitted by the General Secretary was finally adopted, on motions of Mr. Kinman, seconded by Col. Thomson, as follows, Mr. Barr vot-ing against it: "Resolved that in consideration of the evident desire of the T.S. Lodges in Canada to dispense with an election for the General Executive for the year 1944-1945, the conditions created by the war rendering this expedient; and Mr. Dudley W. Barr having accepted the position of Secretary of the Toronto Lodge and desiring to withdraw from the General Executive; and the Toronto Lodge having nominated Mr. N.W.J. Haydon, who has served on the Executive in former years, we hereby accept Mr. Haydon as a substitute for Mr. Barr, so that no election need be called, stipulating, however, that this action must not be taken as a precedent to govern any similar situation occurring in future." Mr. Barr will continue to act till the end of June. Mr. Haydon will take office as the junior member of the Executive on July 1. The next meeting of the Executive will be held on Sunday afternoon, July 9.
WHY ARE WE HERE? or
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5130-C Connecticut Ave., Washington 8, D.C.
BACON AND THE WHITE LODGE
We quote from a review of Mr. Alfred Dodd's book, The Immortal Master, a passage that may interest some students. It appears in the March issue of the Co-Masonic quarterly Bulletin: - "Fate wus surely humorous when it brought Bro. Dodd as a client to the mediumist daughter of one of the most eminent and most orthodox Shaksperean scholars, there to receive Baconian information at her hand, and to her not small annoyance since it was counter to all her father's criticism. "There are those to whom the phrase 'Head of all Freemasons' means much, though let us remember it is meaningless or unacceptable to others. It has been asserted that the one whom some regard as the holder of that title was formerly Francis Bacon, a servant of the greatest of all Brotherhoods of the world. Bro. Dodd's theory is that Bacon was the founder of speculative Masonry and therefore actually Head of all the Freemasons of his day. Do the messages received through mediums and recorded in this book concerning `Francis' picture him as dwelling still in the higher levels of a vague `Summerland,' or as having retained definite and active touch with earth's affairs? In one message it is said `He is of the White Brotherhood.' And I have Bro. Dodd's permission to add a remark, not given in the book, received by him through a medium: `I am known by other names, but I am Francis to you.' And again, in discussing reincarnation, this interesting statement: `It is not always necessary for the entire Ego to reincarnate. You can say that in many cases portions of the personality reincarnate for a specific purpose, and where this has been done many times the Ego can be compared to an old tree surrounded by saplings - shoots of personality - and they all constitute a whole. They all grow and merge once more into one'."
DR. KUHN TAKES ON CAPT. MORRISH
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - Your March issue is brimful of matter of interest and importance. It seemed particularly desirable that some one should answer the letter you published in this number from Capt. L. Furze Morrish, of Melbourne, Australia. He suggested that some one of your readers might answer him. May I elect to do the honors?
His first question brings up the old charge of "papal infallibility," this time directed at the upholders of the sovereign leadership of Madame Blavatsky in the Theosophical movement. He says, rightly of course, that she claimed no infallibility for herself, and therefore would have wished no one else to postulate it for her - much less for themselves, in their views and interpretations. There is no question or debate as to this. What this present writing questions and controverts is the unreasonableness in charging Blavatsky's defenders with any assumption of infallibility either for her or for themselves. The first obligation both to truth and to brotherhood in a debate among Theosophists is to name things correctly, and not essay to damn a thing by giving it a false and opprobrious name. The most ardent defenders of H.P.B. never claimed infalIibility for her. The solid position they rested upon was that her work was so extraordinary that it carried the weight of superior authority with it, was in a broad general sense incomparably grand and of obviously priceless value. The assumption of its general soundness has grown more stable after some 65 years of critical examination, with few if any outright errors discovered in thousands of pages of recondite material. This foundation of tested correctness in the greatest problems in science, religion, philosophy, ethics, anthropology, mythology, philology and symbolism, surely gives her admirers the right to posit for her (or the Masters behind her) a status of high credibility or authority. It does not impose upon them, however, any slavish acceptance of her every dictum. No man, least of all a Theosophist, should sell out his mind to any teacher or oracle, no matter how highly accredited. To name this estimate of her work a "claim of papal infallibility" for her is just mental dishonesty, a failure to play straight with the facts as they patently stand.
The Captain's second query, allied to this, brings up again the old asseveration of the Neo-Theosophists that truth must have room to grow. They ask whether no more may ever permissibly be added to the quantum of truth and knowledge Blavatsky brought. The answer is, of course more is to be added. But - and this, it should be noted, is the critical point in the whole debate between Neo-Theosophists and Blavatskians - if her basic outline of the structure of the ancient wisdom is essentially correct, nothing is to be added that contravenes its principles. If her system exhibits truth, then nothing is to be added that does not exhibit the same or other aspects of truth. There is endless room for elaboration of detail, exposition, amplification, elucidation. But one must look askance at the inclusion under the name of Theosophy of quantities of material which either run directly counter to the elements of her system or are so far out on the edge of it that they properly belong to some other interest. Things of relatively extraneous or remote pertinence to the central strains of Theosophy should not be shoved into a place of undue prominence or receive disproportionate emphasis.
His next query relates to the alleged use of "gutter press" terms in controversy. I think "quisling," "hood-winked" and "superstitious" are very mild. One should not call names unless
there is patent evidence that they fit. I see no reason why some of the ideas I have found held by Theosophists here and there should not be labelled "superstition." Blavatsky in a grand statement in Lucifer of December, 1888, says we must fight whatever is hurting the Society and that to call an evil thing by its right name is not evil-speaking, but simple justice. I have always believed in "fighting fair" and holding one's expression in line with truth. Brotherhood never calls for the sacrifice of candor.
Then the Captain asks if other Masters than M. and K.H. are not aiming "to bring about the liberalization of the Roman Church by means of the L.C.C." Morrish himself states "it would be well to be quite sure before answering this question." I am not sure; in fact I do not know. And I much doubt if any one else knows - actually. But if mere opinion is of any value, I do feel sure such Masters would know better than to try a thing so utterly hqpeless as to convert the Roman Church.
Morrish's fourth question is amazing. It asks whether the task of "theosophising the world" would not better proceed (in the West among Christians) by "explaining Christianity like Bishop Leadbeater," than "by abusing like Madame Blavatsky." If ever a textbook on rhetoric or logic needed a good example of "begging the question" (petitio principi), or putting in the premises the conclusions to be proven by them, it could find it right here. It is a common trick of low argument to "prove" a false assertion by slipping the falsity into the premises. Premises are worthless unless they state truth, knowledge, fact. Leadbeater, be it granted, did some explaining of Christianity, for he was for years surrounded by fine students who were delving into Christian esotericism. But for the greater part he threw his own peculiar cast of meaning over most that he "explained" in this field. In a flat quantity and quality comparison of what he explained of occult Christianity and its symbols and ritual with what H.P.B. herself elucidated clearly and luminously in the same field, one must conservatively say that his explanation is as twilight beside the sunlight of interpretation she gave. Later research and scholarship have shown that Leadbeater's work dealing with the true inner meanings in Christianity is groping and amateurish.
Then, in charging H.P.B. with "abusing" Christianity, the accuser only shows up glaringly his own total failure to comprehend the least iota of her motive in founding the T.S. and in presenting its philosophy amid the mental paralysis caused by some 1600 years of the worst corruption of religion ever known to history. Theosophists themselves have not well enough known that the very existence of a Theosophical Society in the modern world was made necessary by the total elimination and suppression of the esoteric truth of ancient days by the Christian system. Had Christianity held on to its primitive occultism and arcane philosophy no distinctively Theosophical Society would have been needed. Christianity had early cast out the Gnosis and subjected its millions of blind devotees through the centuries to the belief in the grossest of doctrinal falsities. Madame Blavatsky had to present the true original system of philosophical religion in the milieu and against the background of the most frightful mass of superstition in all history, and she could not do so effectively without now and again telling the plain blunt truth about the egregious falsity and hypocrisy, bigotry and foul conspiracy (to keep the masses in darkest ignorance), of the Christian ecclesiasticism. There was practically no other course open to her. So, when Morrish says she "abused" Christianity it simply is not true. She most justifiably told (some little of) the truth about
it. Her treatment of it was on the whole fairly mild, when one knows what it deserved. Its history is the most appalling story of horrors, mingled with much innocent unsuspecting piety and simple goodness, ever written. Capt. Morrish might refresh his mind on some of the story by reading a history of the Spanish Inquisition. Has he forgotten the rack and the iron maiden? He might indeed profit by reading your March article on Russia and the Vatican.
His question No. 5 deals with Leadbeater's possibly making a more objective approach to the ancient wisdom along modern lines, while H.P.B., he ventures, made a more distinctly subjective or Hindu approach, the inference being that Leadbeater's methodology might reach the West more effectively. I haven't space to go into this deeply. But if you call Leadbeater's clairvoyance and poured-out force streams over churches objective, and H.P.B.'s sound philosophy and spiritual ethics subjective, it would seem as if this could be questioned, decidedly. Truth is always subjective until it is made objective, in the life. If a pragmatic criterion might be found to test the two, it can be said that the greatest minds of the west some fifty years ago accepted Blavatsky's philosophical system, whereas none of that calibre has taken up with the Leadbeater phantasmagoria. And it can further be said that no minds of the rank and standing of Edison, Lodge, Crookes, Flammarion, Wallace (Alfred Russel), Norwood and other leaders of world thought have deigned to touch the Theosophical Society since it has been tinctured with Leadbeater's visionings.
As to his seventh question much needs to be said and said straight. Morrish flings his critique at the slogan "Back to Blavatsky." One will search far and long before one will find so outrageous a perversion of simple logic and doltish inaccuracy of "thinking" as is seen in his query why those who cry "Back to Blavatsky" "persist in wanting to go backwards." What, one must ask, can have happened to a mind which here confuses going back (to a thing of supreme value) with going backwards? A traveler wanders off his right road, discovers his mistake, and then goes back to regain the path along which true progress can be made. Morrish intimates that this is going backwards. A laborer comes back home each evening - does this say that he is retrograding? It would, in Morrish's logic. He must indeed regard Blavatsky's work as of low order if he by inference (as he clearly does) asserts that for the T.S. to return to her splendid presentment is the same as to go backwards. Who, forsooth, has carried her work beyond and ahead of her? From whose more exalted teachings and findings are we to go backwards to her inferior production? The imputation of just this is hidden in Morrish's words: will he come forward with a direct answer?
He childishly and illegitimately confuses back with backwards. We refuse to confuse them. We need, sorely, to get back to Blavatsky and the eternally sound systemology she laid down - or the Masters through her. But we refuse to go backwards either to her or with her. We would go back - from inanities and absurdities - to Blavatsky, in order to continue going forward with her. This should be the end of this infantile scurrility, which I have heard often from Theosophists who should know better.
At the Boston Fraternization Convention some six years ago I proposed an amended shibboleth to cover the real need in the Theosophic situation today, and I venture to propose it again - here. The "Back to Blavatsky" slogan is good, and good enough - as far as it goes. It does not, however, go far enough - back. Myself, I do not want to go back to Blavatsky - and stop there. I want to
go back and back to that fount of the ageless wisdom which, we are assured, flowed forth from the near-divine minds of the Sages in remote ancient times, and was given for the spiritual and intellectual sustenance of the race through its history. Blavatsky herself did not stop - or even begin - with herself. She went back, back, to the primal high sources. In the Preface to The Secret Doctrine she says that she gave nothing new or of her own production. She offered that nosegay of beautiful flowers of truth and knowledge from the garden of ancient sagacity, and all she added was the string that tied them together - the three great fundamental principles.
Why, then, do we not amend the slogan to make it convey what we really mean?
Back With Blavatsky to Plato and the Sages!
There, we have asserted, is the mine of the deepest wisdom ever vouchsafed to mankind. Col. Olcott's minutes of the founding meetings in 1875 state the one purpose of the T.S. at its inception as being "to disseminate the ancient knowledge." Largely, instead of doing that, the modern Society is practicing psychic maundering. It makes much ado over the first and third of the three Objects, almost totally ignoring the second, - Comparative Religion, Philsophy and Science - which it does not know was almost the sole purpose of the Society's formation. Brotherhood in the religious domain can never be established until the study of Comparative Religion has gone for enough to demonstrate the primal unity of all faiths. The Society was founded to promote Object One by working hard on Object Two.
As to the shibboleth, lest some kindergarten mind should still cry that going back to fundamentals is going backwards, let it be once and for all understood to mean -
BACK TO THE ANCIENT WISDOM !
FORWARD WITH THE ANCIENT WISDOM !
Demonstrably you can't go forward with it until you go back (not backwards) and get it.
- Alvin Boyd Kuhn.
Elizabeth, N. J.,
THE EARTHQUAKE BELT
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - A newspaper clipping from the "Seattle Star" of 1923 recently came to my notice. It deals with a remarkable prediction of a "world cataclysm" to take place in ten years from the date of the prediction: 1922. In that year an American scientist, Dr. Milton A. Nobles, predicted a shifting of the earth's axis, and a subsequent worldwide upheaval which would change the map so radically that we would to all intents and purposes be living (if lucky enough to remain alive!) in a world re-made.
Dr. Noble founded his theory on the recurrence of violent earthquakes in certain world areas which he called "danger zones". Incidentally remarking that "Science in 1922 laughed at my theories." Dr. Noble was sufficiently convinced of their reliability to draw an actual chart in black and white of the danger zones and those which would remain immune during the global upheaval.
Glancing at the chart merely as a curiosity I was amazed to find that the black danger zone actually covers the precise path of fascist aggression in the global war today, and the fact that Hitler's rise to power came just ten years after the date of the prediction is almost equally astonishing. The chart might indeed be that of Hitler's war-path, as well as that of Japan, and the boundaries beyond which neither have succeeded in going.
For example, in Africa the danger
zone is so accurately forecast that it cuts the continent in two precisely from Dakar in the West to former Italian Somaliland, giving the northern portion to the "black" danger zone and giving immunity or "white" to the southern portion as far as Cape Town.
The black zone covers all Europe, including the British Isles, as far as the eastern border of Finland; from there it moves south over Leningrad to cover Moscow, then south again to cover Iran, Irak, Syria, India, Burmah, Malay States, the Dutch East Indies to the tip of Australia, where the safety zone appears again, covering that country and New Zealand.
Including Indo-China, the black belt turns northward again to cover a large portion of Eastern China apparently to the precise border of Japanese occupation today. From there it travels up the coast of Eastern Siberia (leaving all western Siberia immune) to cover Japan itself and on across the Aleutians and Alaska, across Greenland and Iceland where it joins the complete black-out of Europe.
The safety zones remaining include South Africa, North and S. America, Australia, New Zealand, and the larger part of Russia and Siberia.
Dr. Nobles' premise,seems to have been founded entirely on scientific study of volcanic and seismic upheavals in the earthquake "belts" within the globe and he anticipated such an upheaval within these areas within a certain specified time. The connection between such a cataclysm and the present man-made war must prove of additional interest to theosophists, and the extraordinary accuracy of these scientifically deduced premises as compared with the inaccuracy of the average "soothsayer" should be a lesson for all so-called mystics.
- E. K. Middleton.
2873 Inlet Ave., Victoria, B.C.
February 25th, 1944.
Sometimes the spell of Theosophy, new and fresh, is like a veil. Temporarily the new knowledge engrosses one, and the mind disregards all warning signals in its pursuit of the desired and needed information. Eyes firmly fixed upon the rows of entrancing books, containing who knows what new theories, the new reader-member hardly pauses to evaluate the Society itself, pays little attention to past history or the personalities which comprise it. He is in no position to discriminate - yet.
This is the time the wise leadership of honest and informed officers should be evident. It is not very easy to do, of course, but honesty is able to solve all problems even if it seems the harder way, at first - to tell the complete truth, without hero worship, gilding of the lily, concealment of scandals, whitewashing of reputations, or denial of errors and fallibility in leadership. To do this, naturally, we must suppose that the officers themselves have lifted the glamor and selfish seeking from their eyes, informed themselves, know the facts, the arguments pro and con, and are in some measure impartial, not themselves blinded by prejudice or partisanship to any great names of the Society. There are such, I do not doubt; there should be many more, and this quality of impartiality of mind should be a requisite for office.
Those who enter the Society likewise have a duty to themselves and fellow members. They have a right to guard themselves from delusion, and an obligation to undeceive their fellow members if only by a quiet word of disagreement to indicate that certain facts are known to them. Most intelligent people follow such clues.
Unfortunately, there is a cult of "brotherhood" which pretends that anything disturbing to the administration is "unbrotherly". Since when has Truth
- for which men have fought, died, suffered in every age, the shining Light for which all strive - been anything but Truth, desirable, and the one true Light to follow? Since when have facts become unmentionable in the Society?
This cult of the voluntarily blind, who wear a bandage across the mental eye of discernment, which they cherish in the delusion it is "brotherly", has nearly wrecked the Society. Convenient as it is for those who seek unlimited power to pursue their own whims and fancies, worship their own human idols, it works untold misery and damage to the new member. He must himself discover the liabilities against which the Society works today. He must take up the burden of resentment because he finds them, is not told of them, is not allowed to choose if he will accept them and stay in, or withdraw. He finds all kinds of cults and extraneous activities grafted on what he supposed was a philosophy, a study, a science of living. He reacts in various ways, of course. He never fails to make the Society and offending "brotherly" officials pay, if it is only by his quiet resignation of membership, and his comments to others during his remaining lifetime, which unceasingly spreads the very scandals which were hidden with brotherly care.
Some members voice their opinions from within the Society, attempting to better conditions. The "brotherly" ones vent their resentment in their own fashion, stripping off the mask of "brotherhood" for the moment. For it is a cult, a mask, a false pretence - they assume it. Their true motive is - concealment.
Yet Brotherhood itself is Truth and is an ideal to be cherished. Some of us think true Brotherhood is to be found in speaking Truth, in warning others, in pointing to our Source and Original Teaching, in standing for the Gupta Vidya and not for Modern Nonsense.
This is what I write about - the blindfold which obscures the vision, skilfully labelled, and designed to blind completely, which is prevalent in the Adyar Society. H.P.B. would pluck the bandage from the Society's eyes, if she were here to do it, in words which would not miss the mark; and she would not appeal to "brotherhood" and silent burial of errors - she would speak Truth and point the way to better understanding of the Original Message.
- Anne Leslie Roger.
7011 Woolston Road,
Philadelphia, 38, Pa.
What is the greatest danger to the world of men at the present moment? There can be little doubt that the potential weakness of the United States as an international factor in the settlement of human affairs after the war is ended is the one main source of fear on the part of those responsible for the peace of the world.
Peace depends on the friendly trust and agreement of Russia, the United States, Britain and China. The utter overthrow of the hopes of Mr. Willkie in the Wisconsin primaries indicates that domestic affairs are more important to a vast number of Americans than are any other affairs in the rest of the world. A similar condition 25 years ago prepared the way for the present war; the United States may prepare similarly for another war for the next generation. Can our culture and its nascent civilization survive such a struggle?
The need for a Universal Brotherhood conception of human relations never was more apparent, but one can find nothing of the kind in practice outside Russia. It is not only the negro that is at a discount in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Canada is little better, as the campaign to welcome European refugees and its comparative failure intimate.
Britain theoretically is all for freedom and equality, but her business interests operate on principles which take no note of blood or birth, and are ruthless in regard to citizenship, social security and the rights of alien labor. The men who dominate oil, coal, iron and steel, the commercial metals, and raw material in general, do not look on war as hell, but as a business opportunity. The politicians do not differ greatly from this view though they act in other channels. Both these classes of citizens regard the Russians and Chinese as moved by sentiments like their own, and have no objection to the challenge of dog eat dog, always satisfied with the grip of their own teeth. There is magnificent statesmanship in all these nations, but the men who rule the masses have as little regard for statesmanship as they have for art or poetry when their material interests are involved. That is the danger, especially in the United States. It is the problem in Europe above all others. Russia is more nearly emancipated from this view than any living nation. China has not had the chance to consider it yet. Britain has had centuries of outland experience and knows that what is good for them is good for everybody. The persuaders in the United States are trying to get the masses to choose a Business Man rather than a Statesman.
All this comes of thinking in terms of One Life rather than in a succession of lives in which there is no bankruptcy court, and one has to pay till the last cent. In this respect Asia is nearer the Kingdom of God than the Western world will ever be under its Business Delusions.
There was a good deal of disappointment felt over Winston Churchill's speech on Sunday afternoon, March 26. It had nothing new, the critics objected. But it was not meant for the critics. The day had been set and the men who were getting ready to fight, could have had no greater comfort and encouragement than the precise and definite account of what was being prepared for them or for their families after the war had been fought and won.
We are all quite sure about its being won. But when? One cynical observer asked if Russia would be in Berlin before the Second Front got under weigh. According to all the signs and regulations that have been imposed recently, the great move is not far away. The ill-considered strikes in the English coal mines, and the shipyard strikes on the Lagan and the Clyde may have seriously delayed the invasion.
On the other hand the long-delayed attack may have fostered the discontent that led to the strikes. There have been no strikes in Russia, which, though most westerners are reluctant to admit it, is due to the greater intelligence and better instruction of the Russian people.
These Russian campaigns will be models for all future wars if ever there be any more. Everything is prepared for. Nothing is left to chance. Fifty-seven different varieties of weather are no doubt all docketed, and the proper method of utilizing the conditions duly described. One wonders how Russia would have handled the Italian beach-head. The Anglo-American tacticians need something besides glory to cover them.
The unpromising situation revealed by the tug of war between General Geraud and General de Gaulle is too reminiscent of the France of the last 25 years to give one confidence in France's future. One can hope that the determination of de Gaulle to suppress Vichyism is behind his policy.
The United States Navy appears to have adopted all the best traditions of Britannia in dealing with the Japanese in the Pacific. The Japanese policy of making a nuisance of themselves is not going to enable them to inherit the earth. But they are very persistent, like
all the crawling creation. Admiral Nimitz evdiently believes in fine-combing the Pacific.
- A. E. S. S.
By a Canadian Soldier
Yesterday I looked at a Champion. We were inspected by Monty. Dressed in slacks, old hat, air man's jacket and gloves. His inspection was informal as soon as he arrived. Up till that time we had been on parade 11 hours waiting. Drawn up in a hollow square around the field we were so placed that every one had to see Monty and he had to walk in front of all of us so he could have a look-see too. A small man, about Clancy's size, I tried to think of some one to describe him to you, all no good till I realized no Champion ever looks like anybody but himself. So Monty has an air all his own. He looks at you, through you and around you with blue gimlet eyes, blue as the sky at Lake Simcoe on a summer day (wouldn't I like to see one!). When you think he's going to say something to you he moves on and you can almost feel him say, Boy, you've looked at Montgomery, when all the time you thought he was giving you his attention. He gave a speech after, short and to the point; he repeats any good point as often as it will stand. Some he repeats three or four times, especially the ones about Monty. He gives equal prominence as well to the ones about the troops he's looking over and generally makes you feel that your team is the winner all right, because you're good yourself and you've got the best for a leader. I can't understand any Canadians not respecting him and going to the limit for him as he talks the sportsman's language. He's good and he admits it, but you're in on the deal too. So maybe at last Canadians are to fight together under a great leader and be champions too. Up to date of all the men I have met in the active army you would be more honored to be fired by Monty than promoted by the others.
"THE PATTERN LIFE"
Dr. R. Homer Curtiss has written a whole library of books for his organization, The Order of Christian Mystics, and the latest, while naturally following on the lines of his previous books, may very well serve as an introduction to the new thought-life of the last 70 years for those who have become sated with what they know as orthodoxy, yet fear to take the fearsome step into the heterodoxy which is still roundly denounced from innumerable pulpits. Dr. Curtiss will break the fall of such timid ones, and will gradually lead them through the mazes of ecclesiastical distortion by which Christian teaching has ceased to be a simple life to be lived, till it has become a puzzle of creeds and dogmas entailing an amount of mental juggling which cools off the spiritual ardour of the pew-holders. If they are still afraid of the strong meat of The Secret Doctrine, they will find in The Pattern Life a revelation suitable to their growing dubieties.
The book, which is a compact volume of 271 pages with an excellent Index, has 22 chapters, the titles of which indicate at least as many pious difficulties for the ordinary church-goer who has begun to question himself as to the reasonableness of what he is expected to believe. If he still fears to trust his own conclusions this book will lead him along till he finds, perhaps, that his own inner light is as trustworthy as that under any bushel-basket he may stumble across.
After a Preface and Introduction the names of the chapters are like a peal of church bells calling to worship: Interpretation of the Gospels; The Annunciation; The Immaculate Conception; The Birth of the Christ; The Wise Men and the Star; The Shepherds and the Sheep; The Manger and the Swaddling Clothes;
The Gifts of the Wise Men; Herod and the Wise Men; The Flight and the Massacre; Twelve Years of Age; The Baptism, John; The Baptism, Christ; The Baptism, the Jordan; The Temptation; the Fast; The Temptation, the Tempter; The Marriage Feast in Cana; The Betrayal; The Crucifixion; The Three Days in the Tomb; The Resurrection; The Ascension; and four Appendices, Astronomical Events, Symbolical Interpretation, Birth Dates, Inaccuracies and Contradictions.
Some of these chapters will no doubt startle the wandering pew-holder on his first reading, but he cannot be more startled than one of the early disciples would be if in his innocence he wandered into a modern church and listened to the proceedings. The universality of spiritual teaching in ancient times is not yet recognized by the Church, which claims a monopoly of mystic wisdom.
The reader will gain a considerable knowledge of comparative religion who makes a study of this book. Here is a paragraph appropriate to the present season, which also illustrates the simple style of the author. "Your personal Easter Egg is your oval aura which has been laid in the nest of earth conditions that out of it might hatch the ideal Christ Man of perfect humanity. The realization of this Spiritual Self within may be latent or unrecognized at present. But some day the warmth of the Divine Mother-love will bring forth that Christ Seed so long buried in the tomb of your material consciousness, and your resurrection will take place."
The astronomical appendix will afford the reader a goodly number of examples of how first magnitude stars have been incorporated in Christian ritual and doctrine. The Zodiac is indeed the wheel of Life. "All this was recognized and understood for countless ages before the Christian era." A star map with the Zodiacal signs properly marked is included as a supplement.
There are many novel suggestions in these chapters, but of course each prudent reader will consult his own inner convictions before accepting any theory or suggestion that demands his assent. (The Pattern Life, by F. Homer Curtiss, The Curtiss Philosophic Book Co., 5130 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, 8, D.C. $1.50)
HOW THEOSOPHY GOT "DOWN UNDER"
Miss Mary A. Neff, who was described by Beatrice Hastings as the best archivist in the T.S., has compiled an excellent chronicle of the introduction of Theosophy to Australia. It is a paper covered book of pp. xi.-99, packed full of interesting material. It confirms the almost forgotten fact that a strong appeal was made in the beginning to the Spiritualists, just as the Gospel was first preached to the Chosen People and turned down by them. In Australia the appeal was made by the Master Morya to Professor John Smith of Sydney University who then wrote to "The Harbinger of Light", the Spirtiualistic journal of Melbourne in 1882 and 1883.
Before this, however, Mrs. Emma Harding Britten, author of Art Magic and "one of the seventeen Founding Members of the Theosophical Society at New York in 1875," came to Australia on a lecture tour in 1878 and remained for 15 months till April, 1879. Her lectures were reported in The Harbinger of Light, whose editor, William H. Terry became very sympathetic towards Theosophy, an attitude he always maintained. Miss Neff reproduces his first editorial on the subject from the front page of the Harbinger of December, 1879. The "Fragments of Occult Truth" published in The Theosophist were called forth by Mr. Terry. He became a member of the T.S. in 1880 and Prof. Smith was the 16th Australian to join in 1882.
One of the striking things in Miss Neff's pages is the revival of interest in the Mahatmas. In recent years there has been a tendency among even the propagandists to leave them out of account as "old stuff" and it is part of the failure of the T.S. that in each branch of the Movement one hears ninety percent about the special pet or pets of the Society in question and ten percent about the Mahatmas. I would be glad to be corrected on this point, but it is the impression I get from reading the Theosophical journals that come to hand. People who read The Mahatma Letters regularly and studiously make the best Theosophists. After so many years many people appear to think that the Mahatmas are dead or "gone to higher spheres" but no one need suppose that they are anything but as alive and active as ever.
Chapter vi. gives an account of the first Branches in Australia, there being 13 when the Section was officially chartered in 1895. Mr. Terry's photograph appears at page 2 and is now followed at page 38 with those of George Smith, co-founder of the first Branch in Queensland, and Carl H. Hartmann, president of the first Branch in Brisbane. There is a reproduction of Mr. Smith's diploma, much the same as our Canadian one, but signed by H.S. Olcott, Alexander Wilder, J. A. Weisse, William Q. Judge, and H. P. Blavatsky. Miss Neff found these documents framed together hanging on a wall of Brisbane Lodge during her visit there in 1942. The Diploma was dated New York. George Smith kept a bookshop and presented the composite picture to the Lodge as late as 1935.
There is a sketch of the life of Carl Hartmann, founder and first president of the first Theosophical Society in the Southern Hemisphere. A list is furnished also of the first Australian Theosophists up till 1883, and of the first five New Zealand recruits up till 1885, the last of these being Edward Toronto Sturdy. Surely there must be a story in that Toronto! Mrs. Margaret Woolley was the first Australian woman member, and Mrs. Charlotte Cox the first New Zealand woman to join. Both these ladies came in in 1883.
Mr. Sturdy founded the first New Zealand Lodge at Wellington. He testifies: "What I have I owe largely to H. P. B., to some extent to Anna Kingsford and Edward Maitland, and perhaps most of all to the Vedanta and Buddhist teachings." He adds as his experience:
"The danger of all great liberal movements, and H. P. B. did all she could to widen the base on which she built, is that they rapidly narrow down and become sectarian. Strangely enough, this has happened more quickly than usual with the T.S., which is now divided into several divisions, if hardly yet sects."
Chapter vii. is devoted to Col. Olcott's visit to Australia in 1891. It was on this visit that he renounced his rights to a $25,000 legacy in favor of the injured natural heirs, an illustration of altruism which is not too closely imitated at present. The interesting work of Dr. Carroll is put on record by Miss Neff, and then comes the shock to Col. Olcott of H. P. B.'s death, upon which he had to leave Australia at once for London.
Several of the Colonel's press interviews and articles are given by Miss. Neff.
Chapter vii. deals with Mrs. Besant's visit to the antipodes in 1894, preceded by Mrs. Cooper-Oakley in the previous year. From this point onward Miss Neff confines herself to the Adyar official record. She corrects Col. Olcott and Mr. Jinarajadasa on some points, and gives a letter alleged by "the recipient of the message, Charles W. Leadbeater" to have been received from H. P. Blavatsky on White Lotus Day, 1917. Apart from the solemn undertaking by both Col. Olcott and H. P. B. that they would
never under any circumstances communicate with any one after their deaths, the letter on page 86 swims in unctuosity, a characteristic of Mr. Leadbeater's literary style. If there was anything that H. P. B. detested it was unctuosity. The reader can judge for himself.
On the whole Miss Neff has done a useful and interesting piece of work, and we are grateful to her for what she has done while regretting the limitations that exclude a great deal of Theosophic history in Australia.
- A. E. S. S.
POST SCRIPT TO "DREAMS"
Since my article went to Press, some further light has come to me concerning one of my visions - "I will arise and go to my Father". It is with regard to the design on the domed ceiling of the chapel, and you will notice that I said "painted in designs"; I did this purposely, for from the very beginning, I have been puzzled over 'the nature of these designs, as they were not the Signs as we know them.
While deep in thought over this, I received the following explanation:
It was the Zodiac all right, but in place of the Signs - Leo, Taurus, etc., it was their equivalent in Geometrical figures, in fact, one of the 7 Keys to the esoteric meaning of the Zodiac.
Also, that this Geometrical design would be a clue to the rank in the Hierarchal Order, of the One lying "asleep" below.
I feel, that with the Zodiac above and below Him, that He was a great Astronomer-Adept, and in connection with Him came the idea of the Temple of Nebo in ancient Babylon.
I give some quotations from the "Secret Doctrine": - "Nebo, the oldest God of Wisdom of Babylonia and Mesopotamia, was identical with the Hindu Buddha and Hermes-Mercury of the Greeks". "Nebo is the deity of the planet Mercury . . . ".
"As Mercury the planet, Nebo was the `overseer' among the seven gods of the planets; as the personification of the Secret Wisdom he was Nabin, a seer and a prophet."
"The planetary temple of Babylon had its `holy of holies' within the shrine of Nebo, the prophet god of Wisdom". - Secret Doctrine II., 455, 456. Original version.
I was not allowed to see the design in detail, and this also applies to the "Circle Dance of the Priests", for fear that the personality might innocently give away a secret of Initiation, but now that I know what it implies, if shown the design, I would keep silent.
- Ellen Margaret Nash.
GRATITUDE A VIRTUE
I have read with interest Col., Thomson's "apologia," in the Journal for January, and one is grateful for such a succinct account of the truth about Christianity. In so long an article, in which the work of W. Kingsland is quoted, it would surely have been in place to mention her of whom Mr. Kingsland himself was a devoted follower. When saying that "By its [Theosophy's] aid the great doors of the Hall of Learning have been thrown open", has the Colonel forgotten the meaning of this phrase as set forth in note 18 (p. 15) of the "Voice of the Silence" where it is interpreted as "the astral region"?
He explains his meaning as he proceeds, but fails to acknowledge our debt to her who was the Messenger sent by the Custodians of the Wisdom Religion to give the keys to some only of the mysteries of the ages. Mere human courtesy and literary integrity apart from any deeper feeling might have added the name of H. P. BLAVATSKY. Even one of these Custodians records a sense of gratitude for service rendered. How can we then ignore our great debt to one
who suffered as no mere human of our times has done in the cause from which we have benefitted? Finally, - Well done. Sgt. Alex Wayman.
- A. A. Morton.
Vann Water, Ockley, Surrey,
27th February, 1944
[Col. Thomson's article was an address delivered by a Blavatsky student to the Hamilton Lodge of Blavatsky students. He did not need to tell them the source of his inspiration. -Ed.]
During the month of March we have received the following: - Lucifer, Boston, March; Theosophy in New Zealand, Jan.-March; National Money News, Feb.; The Indian Theosophist, Benares, October; The Theosophical Movement, Bombay, October; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, March; Toronto Theosophical News, March; The Theosophical Movement, Bombay, November and December; Theosophy, U.L.T., Los Angeles, March; The American Theosophist, March; The Pro & Con Vox, April; Montreal Lodge Bulletin, March; Bulletin, Mexican T.S., Jan.-February; The Theosophical Worker, Adyar, January; The Kalpaka, Coimbatore, Oct.-December; Evolucion, Buenos Aires, December; The Golden Lotus, No. 3, March; Lucifer, Boston, April; Eirenicon, Hyde, Cheshire, Feb.-March; The Christian Theosophist, March-June.
BOOKS BY CHARLES JOHNSTON
- Bhagavad Gita . cloth $1.25 leather $1.75
- Crest Jewel of Wisdom cloth $1.25
- Great UpanishadŽ, vol. I. cloth $1.50
- Parables of the Kingdom paper .50
- Patanjali's Yoga Sutras cloth $1.25
- Song of Life paper .75
THE QUARTERLY BOOK DEPARTMENT
P.O. Box 64, Station O. New York City
- 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.
WHAT THE WORLD WILL RESPECT
We have already called attention to one marked similarity in the various letters charging us with abuse, vilification, calumniation, etc., etc., of the several exponents of "Theosophy as they see it" contradicting and subverting the teachings of Theosophy as expounded by Madame Blavatsky and the Masters of Wisdom. Mr. Hodson may be taken as typical of the rest. He is shocked and horrified by the violence of our language, he alleges, but he never gives any examples of this language, leaving it to the imagination of our deluded brethren who never see or read any of these horrifying statements, and he and his fellow critics are also very careful never even to hint at the actual charges we make. Mr. Hodson is so careful; indeed, that he never even accuses us of error in our teaching, nor dares to quote our actual charges, but is satisfied with magnifying the grossness of our language.
The fact is that none of our critics dare state the facts, and Dr. Arundale even makes a boast of not replying to the letters and representations made to him. He poses as magnanimously permitting us to exercize our natural rights, which, like all autocratic tyrants, he would have us accept as privileges. With a following which Longfellow described as "dumb, driven cattle," (this is what Mr. Hodson regards as abuse) he herds them into Lodges which are the substitutes of concentration camps, and there they molder without any idea of what the rest of the world is about. Like the church people, they are intent on saving themselves, and have no more interest in the rest of the world than the Christian Scientists or Jehovah's Witnesses. These are interested in extending their own organization, but beyond that they have no object.
Most societies yearn for numbers, and work hard in proselyting. The real Theosophical Movement has no desire for multitudes. It has a heart-felt pity for the multitude. It longs to give service. But it wearies of the woes of those who only want to know how they can be saved themselves, and how their own petty personalities may be preserved. They do not want to be crucified.
There is nothing new about this Canadian view. It has been spread abroad ever since 1875. Personally, I have been talking about it to the public ever since I came to Canada in 1889. From 1908 till 1920 I wrote about 2000 words a week under the heading Crusts and Crumbs. In 1912 in London I said the same things in England that I have been writing recently. Since 1920, except in one year when I felt so ashamed of the Society I refrained from sending in an annual report, but every other year I sent in a report to Adyar, and always said what I thought. No one took any notice. Perhaps I was too polite. In 1929 I spoke at the Congress in Chicago, and a report of what I said or was supposed to have said, appeared in the Official Report, and this I append. From 1920 The Canadian Theosophist has been carrying the same messages of Truth and Brotherhood. I would like to know, if Brother Hodson has no objection to the message, but only to the language in which it is couched, why does he not repeat this most valuable message in elegant language of his own?
- A. E. S. S.
To All Interested in The New Interpretation of Christianity
THE CHRISTIAN THEOSOPHIST
offers valuable hints for the study of the Gospels in the light of ancient tradition and modern science. For specimen copy apply to the Editor, Mon Abri, Chorley Wood, Herts, England.