Divine Wisdom Brotherhood Occult Science
The Theosophical Society is not responsible for any statement in this Magazine, unless made in an official document
Vol. XXV., No. 3 Hamilton, May 15th, 1944 Price 20 Cents
WHITE LOTUS DAY
By THE EDITOR
When Madame Blavatsky left her physical body on May 8, 1891, she already had had a vision of what a disaster was to overtake the Society for which she had given all she could give, her life, her faculties, her reputation. None of these things mattered greatly. All her thought was for the Truth that was enshrined in the Theosophical Society. Its debasement and subservience to ecclesiastic and sacerdotal authority when shown to her in that recorded vision smote her with horror, and reconciled her without doubt to the abandonment of her task in that direction.
Various false messengers are trying to impress the world with what they deem are likely causes and probable labors for her now to be engaged in. These make no impression, for they have never fathomed her secret nor the Magic of her Masters. Very few, even among the more devoted workers, understand the closeness, the intimacy, the self-identification to be sought and found with such a teacher, such a Mentor. It springs from and is rooted in the Unity of all Life. Certainly it is not complete even in the most devoted of probationary disciples, but it grows with the years and with the fusion of service. And if one has read Letters That Have Helped Me, he will understand that such beginnings of grace link one also in the degree of his advance to the "Chain of influence" called the Guruparampara chain. A few sentences may be quoted here for the benefit of the new students who are always coming forward to take the places of those who have retired or left their bodies or failed in their service.
"Each man who determines in himself that he will enter the Path has a Guru. But the time between that determination and the hour when he will really know the Master may be long indeed; in some cases it is very short."
"We must have an abiding, settled faith that nothing may shake. For it is to mighty Karma we have appealed, and as the Guru is Karma, in the sense that he never acts against Karma, we must not lose faith for an instant. For it is this faith that clears up the air there, and that enables us to get help from all quarters."
"None of this is meant for those minds which do not regard these matters as sacred."
"Since she sacrificed - not so calling it herself - all that mankind holds dear to bring the glad tidings of Theosophy to the West, that West, and especially the Theosophical Society, thereby stands
to her as a chela to his Guru, in so far as it accepts Theosophy. Her relation to these Theosophists has its being in the highest Law, and cannot be expunged nor ignored. So those who regard her personality, and, finding it discordant from theirs, try to reach the Masters by other means while disregarding or underrating scornfully her high services, violate a rule which, because it is not made of man, cannot be broken with impunity."
"Madame Blavatsky is for us the next higher link in that great chain, of which no link can be passed over or missed."
All western workers in the field of Theosophical Truth, whether they are conscious of it or not, are thus indirectly linked with H. P. Blavatsky. This, it must be remembered, is true of Science as well as of Religion or Philosophy. The whole Electric World was reconstituted by the discoveries of Sir William Crookes, who had been set on the road of radioactivity by Madame Blavatsky. Thomas Edison was a member of the Theosophical Society.
Max Muller might have extended his fame had he accepted the suggestions made to him by her work. The present generation is following her lead and men like Paul Brunton, and Marco Pallis in one direction, and Nicholas Roerich and W. Y. Evans-Wentz in others, are reaping harvests which H. P. Blavatsky had pointed the way to, while others who ought to know better are sowing weeds and tares in fields nearer home. The evolutionary future of all students is affected by their loyalty to the ideals they have created, so it should be clear that the loyalty is not personal to the teacher but to the pupils' own ideals.
There can be no decline of loyalty to Madame Blavatsky herself for those who owe to her their spiritual birth and growth. Hence I am surprised, as appears in another column, on being charved with setting some books ahead of The Secret Doctrine, The Voice of the Silence and other works by H. P. B. Real scholars are impersonal and the letter from Dr. Evans-Wentz, which arrived after other letters and my comment thereon had gone to the printer, possesses this impersonal quality, as all great literature does to the sterling advantage of the student. It might be said that impersonality is the mark of classical literature. The Secret Doctrine is no exception in this respect. Like all great literature it calls for the development of intuition, if the student has not already attained that stage of consciousness. The Blavatsky literature practically nurses this faculty in the student, for without it, he is at a dead loss. Hence the wasteful use of energy by those afflicted with eacoethes scribendi is deplorable. H. P. B. rarely wrote a superfluous word. Literary critics should note this, and so also should theosophical writers. If I have erred in brevity, so that my meaning was obscured, I am sorry. Perhaps I erred in thinking that my loyalty to H. P. B. was beyond question, and that anything I might say or write could only be interpreted in terms of that loyalty.
H. P. B. was in herself symbolic of that "pure heart, open mind, and eager intellect", and the other virtues that belong to the earnest and serious disciple, so that as she is their symbol, so also the symbol of her perfections, THE WHITE LOTUS, becomes for us the symbol of these virtues. Achieving these, the disciple might well wear the white lotus as emblematic of the blameless life. But it must remain, without a rival, as the noble emblem of the great teacher and messenger, representative of the Masters she served, of a new cycle and a new Life.
BOOKS ON THEOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS which have passed the tests of time and use Supplied on request. Forty years' experience at your service. Let me know your wishes. N. W. J. HAYDON, 564 PAPE APE., TORONTO
LORD RAYLEIGH DEALS WITH PSYCHICAL RESEARCH
Lord Rayleigh, O.M., delivered his presidential address recently at the meeting of the Society for Psychical Research at Steinway Hall, Wigmore Street, London, and prefaced it by paying tribute to the late Sir W. Crookes, O.M., a former president of the society:
Having always taken an interest in questions such as those considered by the society, the president said he might perhaps as well give a short account of what he had seen, for it would at any rate help to explain his attitude and serve as a foundation for comment. Beginning with what is now called hypnotism, he recalled an exhibition of the powers of Mme. Card in a friend's room at Cambridge in the 'sixties of the last century. I think, he said, eight or ten of us were tried, including myself. We were made to gaze for a time at a "magnetic" disc; afterwards she made passes over our closed eyes, and finally defied us to open them. I and some others experienced no difficulty, and naturally she discarded us and developed her powers over those - about half the sitters - who had failed or found difficulty. Among the latter were personal friends of my own and two well-known university athletes. One was told that he could not give his name, another that he would have to cross the room towards her when she beckoned, and so on. In spite of obvious efforts to resist her influence, they had to obey. In conversation afterwards they assured me that they could not help it, and indeed they made such fools of themselves that I had no difficulty in believing them. From that evening I have never felt any doubt as to the possibility of influencing unwilling minds by suggestion, and I have often wished that on other occasions, where dubious phenomena were in question, conviction one way or the other had followed this precedent.
Sir W. Crookes's Inquiries
After this experience, Lord Rayleigh was not disinclined to believe that what was, or at any rate, had recently been, orthodox opinion might be quite wrong, and accordingly became interested in what he heard from friends of the doings of Home and other so-called mediums. The interest that he felt was greatly stimulated by the appearance of Sir W. Crookes's "Notes of an Enquiry Into the Phenomena Called Spiritual During the Years 1870-'73," published in the Quarterly Journal of Science, January, 1874.
I am tempted, continued Lord Rayleigh, to quote one or two passages against which I find my old pencil marks. Under the heading - The Appearance of Hands Either Self-luminous or Visible by Ordinary Light: "I have retained one of these hands in my own, firmly resolved not to let it escape. There was no struggle or effort made to get loose, but it gradually seemed to resolve itself into vapor and faded in that manner from my grasp." I believe that the rationalistic explanation is that the hand was an inflated glove, like a rubber balloon, from which the air gradually leaked away, but I gave Sir W. Crookes credit for being able to retain the rubber.
Another incident of an entirely different character is thus described: "A lady was writing automatically by means of the planchette. I was trying to devise a means of proving that what she wrote was not due to `unconscious cerebration.' The planchette, as it always does, insisted that, although it was moved by the hand and arm of the lady, the intelligence was that of an invisible being who was playing on her brain as on a musical instrument, and thus moving her muscles. I therefore said to this intelligence: `Can you see the contents of this room?' `Yes,' wrote the planchette. `Can you see to read
this newspaper?' said I, putting my finger on a copy of The Times, which was on the table behind me, but without looking at it. `Yes,' was the reply of the planchette. `Well,' I said, `if you can see that, write the word which is now covered by my finger and I will believe you.' Slowly and with great difficulty the word `however' was written. I turned around and saw the word `however' was covered by the tip of my finger. I had purposely avoided looking at the newspaper when I tried this experiment, and it was impossible for the lady, had she tried, to have seen any of the printed words, for she was sitting at one table, and the paper was on another table behind, my body intervening.' "
Home and Mrs. Jencken
The two mediums, said Lord Rayleigh, whose names were mentioned in the article, and with whom most of the observations were made, were Home and Miss Fox, afterwards Mrs. Jencken. A highly desirable characteristic of Home's mediumship was the unusual opportunity allowed to the sense of sight. Home always objected to the darkness at his seances. "Indeed, except on two occasions . . . everything that I have witnessed with him has taken place in the light." I found (and, indeed, still find) it difficult to accept what one may call the "knave and fort theory" of these occurrences, but, failing that, it would seem to follow that one must admit the possibility of much that contrasts strongly with ordinary experience, and I was naturally anxious to obtain first-hand information on which I could form an independent judgment. Home was no longer available, but I was able to obtain the cooperation of Mrs. Jencken, who stayed in my country house as guest during two or three visits extending altogether, I suppose, over fourteen days or so.
The results were upon the whole disappointing, and certainly far short of those described by Sir W. Crookes. Nevertheless, there was a good deal not easy to explain away. Before commencing, the room was searched and the doors locked. Besides Mrs. Jencken, the sitters were usually only Lady Rayleigh and myself. Sometimes a brother or a friend came. We sat close together at a small, but rather heavy, pedestal table, and when anything appeared to be doing we held Mrs. Jencken's hands, with a good attempt to control her feet also with ours, but it was impracticable to maintain this full control during all the long time occupied by the seances. In contrast to some other mediums, Mrs. Jencken was not observed to fidget or to try to release her limbs.
As I have said, the results were disappointing, but I do not mean that very little happened or that what did happen was always easy to explain. But most of the happenings were trifling, and not such as to preclude the idea of trickery. One's coat-tails would be pulled, paper cutters, etc., would fly about, knocks would shake our chairs, and so on. I do not count messages, usually of no interest, which were spelt out alphabetically by raps that seemed to come from the neighborhood of the medium's feet. Perhaps what struck us most were lights which on one or two occasions floated about. They were real enough, but rather difficult to locate, though I do not think they were ever more than six or eight feet away from us. Like some of those described by Sir W. Crookes, they might be imitated by phosphorus enclosed in cotton wool, but how Mrs. Jencken could manipulate them with her hands and feet held, and it would seem with only her mouth at liberty, is a difficulty.
Another incident hard to explain occurred at the close of a seance after we had all stood up. The table at which we had been sitting gradually tipped over until the circular top nearly touched the floor and then slowly rose
again into the normal position. Mrs. Jencken, as well as ourselves, were apparently standing quite clear of it. I have often tried since to make the table perform a similar evolution. Holding the top with both hands, I can make some, though a bad, approximation, but it was impossible that Mrs. Jencken could have worked it thus. Possibly something better could be done with the aid of an apparatus of hooks and wires, but Mrs. Jencken was a small woman, without much apparent muscular development, and the table for its size is heavy. It must be admitted that the light was poor, but our eyes were then young, and we had been for a long time in the semi-darkness. In common, I suppose, with most witnesses of such things, I repudiate altogether the idea of hallucination as an explanation. The incidents were almost always unexpected, and our impressions of them agreed.
The Devil's Part
One of the difficulties which beset the society's inquiry, said Lord Rayleigh, is the provoking attitude of many people who might render assistance. Some see nothing out of the way in the most marvellous occurrences, and accordingly take no pains over the details of evidence on which everything depends. Others attribute all these things to the devil and refuse to have anything to say to them. He had sometimes pointed out that if during the long hours of seances they could keep the devil occupied in so comparatively harmless a manner they deserved well of their neighbors. A real obstacle to a decision arose from the sporadic character of the phenomena, which cannot be reproduced at pleasure and submitted to systematic experimental control.
The questions before the society differed from most of those dealt with by scientific men, and might often need a different kind of criticism. Such criticism it had been the constant aim of the society to exercise, as must be admitted
by all who had carefully studied its published matter. If his words could reach them he would appeal to serious inquirers to give their attention to the work of the society, conducted by experienced men and women, including several of a skeptical turn of mind, and not to indulge in hasty conclusions on the basis of reports in the less responsible newspaper press, or on the careless gossip of ill-informed acquaintance.
Of late years the published work of the society had dealt with questions of another sort, involving telepathy, whether from living or other intelligences, and some of the most experienced and cautious investigators were of the opinion that a case had been made out. To his mind, telepathy with the dead would present comparatively little difficulty when it was admitted as regarded the living. If the apparatus of the senses was not used in one case, why should it be needed in the other?
Walt Whitman was born exactly a week later than Queen Victoria, and perhaps two more diverse persons could scarcely be chosen for contrast. Each filled his place according to his character and the conditions in which he found himself, and no doubt each would have yielded a just appreciation of the other had they been intimate. But they lived in as different worlds as this planet provides for experience.
There is nothing especially remarkable about this except that nearly all of us are in similar case. We live in different worlds and do not understand each other. Such contrasts are thrusting themselves upon us at every turn. One turned up in an essay by Lord Charnwood, whose biography of Lincoln set us all admiring the author and his subject more than ever. Yet this essay read February 20, 1918, presents a's insular a view of America and its people as one could anticipate.
He speaks of having begun to count the poets in an American Anthology, unspecified, and after counting up to 500 his brain grew dizzy and he quit. He compared this book with "our own best-known anthology" containing 77, and concluded of the American book that "such vast inclusiveness goes far to prove a certain inferiority of standard." The few writers who can be counted as classics on this side of the Atlantic, he says, "have been recognized as gladly and prized as highly in this country as their own, they take the same place in the estimation of critics in both countries, it is a place which is assured, but certainly it is not a place in the front rank." "And if one turns from imaginative literature in the narrower sense to the closely cognate domain of science, I understand that something similar may be said. Applied science has been there in plenty from Benjamin Franklin's day to our own, and scientific instruction abounds in the schools, but I gather quite definitely that the greater master of science has not yet risen in America."
With such a point of view it could hardly be expected that Walt Whitman would appeal very deeply to Lord Charnwood. His strictures in the first part of his essay may be summed up in one of his sentences - "Yet for all his gifts, I repeat, he not merely stops short of being a poet - he turns the other way. I do not know any definition of poetry, except the famous and slightly cryptic phrase of Milton, `poetry which is simple, sensuous, passionate.' I am not sure what to say, but of this I am sure: Walt Whitman is not passionate."
Lord Charnwood, however, was moved to add a Postscript to his essay, which was read before the Royal Society of Literature and is included in a volume of its transactions. "This paper," he says, "was written, as I have said, under a revulsion of feeling. On reading it again to myself I find nothing to retract or to qualify; but there is one thing which I wish to add: Walt Whitman was endowed with the gift of a noble charity, ranging wide and cutting deep. This illuminated his life, whatever his aberrations may have been, and it was no small part of his equipment as a poet. I have not handled my subject wtih the least interest in scaring young persons from orchards where some of the fruit may be rotten. I should be very sorry if such poems as `Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,' or `When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed,' ceased to find fit and numerous audience."
We feel sure that the more Lord Charnwood read Whitman and the more intimate he became with him the more he would esteem him and respond to his inspiration. Those who will read "Salut au Monde!," "Song of the Open Road," "Song of the Universal," "On the Beach at Night, Stands a Child," "By Blue Ontario's Shore," and "Passage to India," and fail to find poetry in these compositions are not likely to find it elsewhere.
The Inclusive Edition published by Doubleday, Page & Co. contains the great Preface to the 1855 edition of Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" and also the 1872 Preface, and these should be read by those who wish to understand the man. He may be regarded by some as more of a prophet than a poet, but the true prophet has always been a poet.
Fortune, good or bad, has several synonyms, the chief of which with definite sense, are fate, destiny, chance and luck. All of them are aspects of karma, the word introduced by the founders of the Theosophical Society in 1875 to teach the world that there was no such thing in the world as chance or accident in the ordinary sense. Karma means essentially cause and effect, but it also implies the result of the effect,
and not merely the intrinsic result but also the extrinsic result; not merely the action, but the result of the action on the object and also the result on the actor. The whole chain of cause and effect is included in karma, hence it involves the remotest origin of causes and the ultimate sequel of causes in their results and consequences. Hence to understand it properly the student of life must pierce his heart with the truth that there is no effect without a cause.
Destiny then becomes the summation for each man, the balance of all the causes for which he has been responsible massed in their effects on his future. Fate is the present precipitation of these effects upon his life. Destiny might represent his whole estate; fate, the state of his bank account at the moment, solvent, or overdrawn. Chance is the unsuspected appearance of results whose causes are buried in oblivion. Luck, good or ill, is similarly, the unexpected development of effects latent in a man's destiny due to the quality of his character and present disposition in action. The word luck is derived from the name of the Norse God Loki, who is by blood, "the brother of Odin, the good and valiant God; but in nature he is his opposite . . . As Odin is, in one sense, vital heat, so is Loki the symbol of the passions produced by the intensity of the former." Hence luck is usually bad. Fortune is good or bad according to the character of the person who experiences it, possibly expiating in bad fortune the unwise conduct of earlier incarnations.
It is difficult for the Church-instructed Christian to accept the idea of Karma. He thinks everything happens by the will of God. If he can understand the inevitability of cause and effect, which is the law of karma, and think out for himself the great fact that the cosmic mind is behind this law of cause and effect, he may come to see that karma is simply what he calls the
will of God in operation. He may insist that God can change the operation of the law. This may be by superimposing a new cause to nullify or alter the force of another latent cause, but even God Almighty cannot stop the effect of an act whose train of consequences have been set in motion.
He who has set that train of circumstances in motion may have the privilege of setting a new train to follow the first. But he may be too late to do so, however anxious he may be, after realizing his error. Irrevocable events may have followed his act, and the Universe itself cannot call back yesterday. There is no more solemn fact than this to confront a sinner. The best he can do is to start a new life whose values and conditions may in some degree parallel his old one and remedy as far as may be, the violations of which he was guilty in the first place. Yet he may not in millions of years find himself catching up with the situation through which he may become a remedial agent. Miraculous, then exclaim the bystanders, who know nothing of the occult background of the circumstances. Yet it was only the repayment of an old karmic debt.
Destiny is a word that some writers are beginning to use instead of karma, lest they might be thought by some to be associated with Theosophy. Karma will repay the injury done by those who try by mutilating the message in any degree to hide the origin of their thought. Karma is a particularly sacred word used by the Masters, familiarized by Madame Blavatsky, now for two generations built into the common use of the English tongue. If destiny can be invested with all the meanings and implications of karma and come eventually to mean all that karma means in its presentation of the great Law of ethical causation, of unerring cause and effect, of definite responsibility for the consequences flow-
ing from all intentional acts, and the preservation of the moral balance of the Universe, then no harm will be done except the loss of a word taken out of its place where it supplied a useful purpose of its own and could add nothing to the effectiveness of karma.
Fortune then may stand for good karma; fate for bad karma, though all karma must be good when its absolute justice is understood. Chance may indicate unexpected karma; luck a similar unanticipated stroke of good karma.
Above all, karma helps us to realize there is no such thing as accident. This was borne home to me recently by the death of a splendid young man in the aviation service, whose family lived across the road from our apartment house. He was in one of the service huts on the training grounds. Outside some planes were engaged in practice, aiming bombs at ground marks. One of these round weighty missiles dropped from a great height and fell on a plank which formed an inclined plane leaning against a pile of lumber. The heavy ball rolled down the plank with vast velocity and, as though aimed with skill, made for the hut 500 feet away, smashed through it, and killed its occupant.
Those who attribute such things to the will of God, the God who, as they believe said, "Thou shalt not Kill" may waive aside the inconsistency. But those who understand the unerring accuracy of the Law of Karma, know that this young man was being taken out of the war for his own best interests, yet without dishonor, and that some act of his in a far-away time had set the train of circumstances which we call accidental.
In II Peter i. 9: O gar mee parestin tauta tuphlos estin muoopazoon leetheen laboon tou katharismou toon palai autou harmartizoon. The church-men are afraid to translate this and only give a paraphrase, but it means that we are blind, having taken the draught of lethe and forgotten our ancient failures. The young man has had a needed experience and will soon be back in incarnation again, with as strong a will to labor for peace as he bad for service in the War. Karma, of course, is a law of life and justice, of immortality and endless Love. It embraces all that is high and noble and true.
Mr. Krishnamurti has made this word so much his own that a book with the title Awareness is likely to arouse false expectations, and this book by Eileen J. Garrett has certainly little or nothing in common with the man of Ojai. One might think she had never heard of Theosophy to judge from her early chapters which confine the reader to the conscious, the subconscious and the superconscious, which seems a poverty of terms after the clear definitions given of the many planes of consciousness in Theosophical textbooks. When we read that she worked under Conan Doyle, Sir Oliver Lodge and Hewat McKenzie it is easy to understand the taboo on Theosophy. There is no narrowness however in Mrs. Garrett's work or her treatment of the various phases of the subject to which she restricted herself. We are facing a new world, she holds, and "the seeds of this new amplitude are not planted anywhere in the world outside ourselves, but deep in the nature and the consciousness of mankind." "In this book," she says, "I invite your attention beyond the field of the `given'."
Seeing that everything is in man himself she is deeply impressed by the present moment in evolution. "It is a time of man's return to himself." "There are countless evidences which indicate that the human race now stands at the threshold of a new and
universalistic illumination. But to be adequately effective in human life, this fresh light must be freely accepted by the consciousness of mankind. We must become aware of it as true and real, though it shines in regions that lie beyond the reach of the senses. "The primal energy that operates throughout the universe is a single unified power, and all of our concentrations upon the countless different forms in which we perceive it are, in fact, attempts to penetrate to the realization of its unity." So "the human consciousness is forever a pioneer; religion and science are both phases of its endless search."
This is a somewhat different beginning than we are accustomed to in spiritualistic books, but Mrs. Garrett is different as a medium as well as a writer. She welcomes Einstein's "Macroscopic atom" which transformed the metaphysical idea into a formula which science could understand and accept, and which was a unique, free and independent act of the human mind.
A chapter on Sleep and Dreams serves to awaken the interest of everybody and reveals the author as a medium, a telepathist and clairvoyant, arts, she says, that begin for her "with a breath that descends to the region of the solar plexus." We realize then that her powers are psychic and though she believes "that the subconscious is our most alert, loyal, and willing servant, able and ready to obey and cooperate in both our sleeping and waking activities."
The chapter on hypnosis and suggestion deals with "escape mechanisms." She discovered for herself the basic value of such escapes when she was at the British College of Psychic Science, where she often went into trance three times a day to oblige people whose maudlin sentimentality, she says made her glad to escape into the trance state. She regards the solar plexus as a vital centre of first importance. She also stresses the value of the breath, and concludes an account of her cure of lung trouble with her estimate of the breath as "our most natural, unconscious participation in the universal existence; it is our prayer of unity with life, an act of faith, a magic potion by which we are allied with the will to live . . . . The breath is our eternal love-life with Omnipotence."
Mrs. Garrett has been a successful healer, and the chapter under that heading supplies many instances of her methods. "One must love enough to be pure, in the sense of being quite selfless, and ready for service."
The chapter on death and survival brings us closer to her chief interest. "More than once I have seen this human life-essence release itself from the physical body, so that without it, the body was dead. In each case I knew - I was aware - that it was the synthetic essence that had withdrawn, leaving each cell in the corpus alive and active at its own level, but bereft of its universe, its god, shorn of the supreme creative power that had controlled its destiny." She tells how G.R.S. Mead, whom she knew very well, when he died, she saw after his cremation, and her daughter told her he was calling for her, so that on the strength of her daughter's quite clear impression, she went into trance. "I was permitted to see the form of G.R.S. Mead. He was not aware that the circumstances of his life had changed. The figure was recognizably he, but it was all drawn together, the back bent far forward, the head drooped low, with the chin resting on the chest and the forehead almost touching the knees; the eyes were completely closed, and the arms, folded across the diaphragm, rested on the thighs. The unconsciousness into which he had entered before dying was not over. Like a person in a delirium, he was still calling for Babs. He was sleeping - not as a human being sleeps, but
as an embryo sleeps - a being in process of development from one state of existence into another. It was a form in which vital energies were mysteriously working to some fresh fulfillment. Beside him there were two or three rather wonderful old men belonging to the church. All his life he had been seeking communication with the Gnostic fathers, and they had evidently been waiting to receive him."
"A large part of the criticism of Spiritism has been due to the inconsequential and trite nature of much of the material which has been received in psychic work. To me, a great deal of such criticism seems valid; but it should not be used in an endeavor to cancel the reality of humanity's survival of death . . . . . Stating the case at its simplest, I believe the dead should be allowed their peace. They have not died in order to continue to live as they have lived here."
A chapter on Symbolism has some interesting suggestions and is followed by one on Perception and Communication with many personal notes including some account of her two years' friendship with Edward Carpenter to whom she attributes "a profound mental and spiritual expansion of my life".
Chapter Ten is perhaps the most interesting in the book. It is headed The Way Inward. One does not wish to disparage such palpably sincere and honest work but one's studies incline him to make it The VVay Backward. So much of this earnest exploration appears to be in the dark backward and abysm of Time. Our Path is forward and Onward, and while it must also be inward through the Heart and not the Solar Plexus. She says she had pondered deeply in several lines of interest arid revelation, mentioning Theosophy, Christian Science, Spiritism, physiology, insearch of a meaning, "and in each of them I had caught glimpses of a clear light which lay behind them all . . . "
She realized that she did not know her fundamental Self at all. So she washed her consciousness clean of all the past. Then she waited to see what would emerge. She had a sense of herself, yet no hint of reincarnation. But what came out of the depths was naturally the rudimentary and elementary forms we have left behind in the millions of years of development. Back to the A, B and C Globes, back even to the later stages of lunar life, what she calls the subconscious. These experiences were not without cost. "At times," she says, "I suffered agonized realizations of exclusion, limitation, and loneliness too deep for explanation; at other times I seethed with the power that was within me - I was a master, a creator, a conqueror in my own field, and that field was extensive." A token of the wrong direction of her survey she notes in the relation of the bodily organs to symbols, "the liver always taking its place as the sun, while the heart appeared in the placid character of the moon."
She, like most Spiritualists, does not seem to be aware of the Astral Light, though she evidently had many adventures in its lower levels. Hewat McKenzie had repeatedly warned her how she must live - no smoking, no alcohol, a general abstemious control of all possible appetites. The abstemiousness developed naturally and without strain. Mrs. Garrett is the author of another book which I have not seen, My Life as a Search for the Meaning of Mediumship. (Awareness, Creative Age Press, Inc., New York; $3.25. )
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, Won Abri, Chorley Wood, Herts, England.
CAN RELIGION BE TAUGHT?
By Charles Herbert Huestis
in The Toronto Star, April 12, 1944
There is considerable discussion going on all over Canada on the question of religious teaching in the public schools. Dismayed at the rapid decline in juvenile morality, churches and other social agencies have urged upon civic and educational authorities more specific attention to religion in the public schools. In some provinces special courses in religious instruction have been introduced, to be given either by the teacher or some resident minister of religion. Letters have appeared in the press both approving and opposing the movement. But none of these, so far as my observation goes, has discussed the question at the head of this article. Is religion something that can be taught in school? Everyone knows that theology can be taught, or at least children can be made to learn the catechism "by heart" whether or not they understand its meaning! But to require the learning of Christian theology in public schools would be an impertinence, since the scholars come from homes of varied religious faith or none at all. Learning the catechism is not likely to affect the curve of juvenile delinquency to an appreciable extent. Some very good people know nothing about theology, and some theologians . . . Well . . .
My first contact with the question was in 1906 or 7, shortly after the inauguration of Alberta as a province. In answer to an inquiry by the churches, the Rutherford government said it would favor religious instruction in the schools and asked the churches just what they wanted. Representatives, consisting of a lay and a clerical member, were named by the Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches, to form a joint committee to consider the matter. I happened to represent the Methodists. Only one meeting was held, which got nowhere. The Anglicans, who were represented by the late Bishop Pinkham, insisted on the use of a catechism which had been in use in the schools of Jamaica. The Baptists, on the other hand, whose clerical representative was the Rev. F.W. Patterson, now president of Acadia University, Wolfville, N.S., would stand for no more intrusion of the state into religion than the display of the texts of the Decalogue and the Lord's Prayer on the wall of the schoolroom.
I sided with the Baptists, first because I agreed with them that theology has no rightful place in the curriculum of the public schools. The display of the Decalogue and the Lord's Prayer on the wall of the schoolroom was a recognition of a code of religious and civic conduct which was the basis of civilized life, while the Lord's Prayer voiced universal human need and aspiration. The other reason was that religion is not something that can be taught, it belongs not to the intellectual but to the mystical side of man's nature, and appeals not to the mind but to the heart. It cannot be taught from a book, but must be absorbed from one's environment. That is what John Ruskin meant when he said he always replied to parents who consulted him on the religious training of their children with the formula: "Only let the surroundings be heavenly." The English physicist, Dr. Eddington, in one of his books writes: "I could no more ram religious conviction into an atheist than I could ram a joke into a Scotsman. The only hope of converting the latter is that through contact with merry-minded companions, he may begin to realize that he is missing something in life that is worth attaining." That is the way people "get" religion. They do not learn it, they absorb it from their environment. The same is true of music and art in their appreciation. You can't "explain" a Beethoven symphony so as to make another appreciate
it. "I can't see any difference between her and any other woman;" said a man looking at the Sistine Madonna, to another standing by his side. The other, relating the incident, said: "I did not attempt to explain the difference, for why should I make the attempt when the Sistine Madonna had failed?"
In the Protagoras of Plato Socrates tells a story of a young man called Hippocrates, who had heard that the Sophist philosopher, Protagoras, had come to town and was giving lectures. He was not able to sleep, so he got up very early in the morning, "before I was awake," says Socrates, and "gave a tremendous thump at my door, and rushing in bawled: `Socrates, are you awake or asleep?' " He ran into Socrates' room, feeling his way in the dark, and sat down on the "truckle bed." Breathlessly he told Socrates of the arrival of the philosopher, which Socrates had known for three days. He wanted to get right off to the philosopher's lodging. Socrates reminded him that Protagoras would likely be still in bed and suggested that they have a walk in the court. As they walked about Socrates asked whether he really thought "virtue" was something that could be taught. Was not the desire to be good put into the heart of mankind by Zeus and could only be learned by living with good people? The whole dialogue which follows is a discussion between Socrates and Protagoras, in which Socrates sustains his position that goodness is something that cannot be taught.
To return to our Alberta committee, I made a suggestion which received no support. I said that an immense and important inheritance of truth - the fruit of the spirit of man - had been handed down from the past which every child should know. Some part of that they learned in Sunday School - the part which was contained in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. But there were other great peoples of antiquity, the Greeks and the Romans and the wise men of the Far East, whose lessons of life were well worth knowing. My suggestion was that the churches, in cooperation with the educational authorities, should draw up a series of graded memory studies, consisting of quotations from the Scriptures and also from the nobler passages from the classics of Greece and Rome and the writings of Zoroaster, the analects of Confucius and the works of sages like Mencius and Lao-Tse and others. There should also be a course in comparative religion for the higher grades, and that they might learn the truth Lowell ex-presses in his poem, "Bibliolatres"; that "the shepherd who from outer cold leads all his shivering lambs to one sure fold," is not "careful for the fashion of his crook." These great teachers of other races and times were not theologians, but - like Amos and Hosea and Jeremiah and Jesus - observers of human conduct and what they said were snapshots at the passing show, excerpts from their experience, which they gave to men. Their teachings became the raw material out of which their followers constructed theological systems. What they said is timeless in its application, and has lived, not because they said it, but because it has met with the approval of mankind.
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.
Bowing thyself in dust before a Book,
And thinking the great God is thine alone,
O rash iconoclast, thou wilt not brook
What gods the heathen carves in wood and stone,
As if the shepherd who from outer cold
Leads all the shivering lambs to one sure fold
Were careful of the fashion of his crook.
There is no broken reed so poor and base,
No rush, the bending tilt of swamp-fly blue,
But he therewith the ravening wolf can chase,
And guide his flock to springs and pastures new,
Through ways unlooked for, and through many lands
Far from the rich folds built with human hands,
The gracious footprints of his love I trace.
And what art thou, own brother of the clod,
That from his hand the crook would snatch away
And shake instead thy dry and sapless rod,
To scare the sheep out of the wholesome day?
Yes, what art thou, blind, unconverted Jew,
That with thy idol-volumes' covers two
Would make a jail to coop the living God?
Thou hear'st not well the mountain organ-tones
By prophet ears from Hor and Sinai caught,
Thinking the cisterns of those Hebrew brains
Drew dry the springs of the All-knower's thought.
Nor shall thy lips be touched with living fire,
Who blow'st old altar-coals with sole desire
To weld anew the spirit's broken chains.
God is not dumb, that he should speak no more;
If thou hast wanderings in the wilderness
And find'st not Sinai, 'tis thy soul is poor;
There towers the mountain of the Voice no less,
Which whoso seeks shall find, but he who bends,
Intent on manna still and mortal ends,
Sees it not, neither hears its thundering lore.
Slowly the Bible of the race is writ,
And not on paper leaves nor leaves of stone;
Each age, each kindred, adds a verse to it,
Texts of despair or hope, of joy, or moan,
While swings the sea, while mists the mountains shroud,
While thunder's surges burst on cliffs of cloud,
Still at the prophets' feet the nations sit.
- James Russell Lowell.
IMMEDIATE CALL TO PRAYER
Shades of Blavatsky and Olcott! Adyar has issued an immediate call to prayer. Dr. Arundale may be taking General Booth as his model in this extremity. Among six "general orders" we note a few which will indicate the straits to which Adyar has been reduced. No. 2 reads: "Reach everyone we know, in the Churches, out of the Churches, and get them to pledge themselves to pray when word of the invasion goes forth." No. 4 reads: "Go and visit the clergy in your town or community. Get their cooperation in preparing for a day or period of prayer immediately the word goes forth - that the invasion has begun. Let the Church bells ring out, summoning the people to pray." No. 6 is equally imperative: "Write a letter to everyone you know and get your personal friends also working to Arouse America to prayer. It should be a spontaneous coming together of all men of Good Will, of all races and creeds and points of view in one united effort to strengthen our arms, achieve victory and open the door to a lasting peace." The order closes with peremptory warning. "Remember, now is the time - don't wait for Goodwill Day - May 18th - Start NOW." "The time is now," echoes the Chesterfield Tobacco Choir.
Do not let anyone for a moment think that we do not sympathize with the more or less humble and unquestionably devout Christians who put all their faith in long prayers and who expect their God to down the God of the Germans much more decisively than he did twenty-five years ago. "Make it a knock-out", they petition, though perhaps not exactly in this technical language. But they feel that they will be understood. Mr. Jinarajadasa cannot be involved in this prayer movement, because as a Buddhist he knows there is no God to pray to, and he can only regard Dr. Arundale as in the Sunday school or Salvation Army stage of religion. Otherwise he would seem to be adopting the sheep-fleece hypocritical guise of a religion he does not believe. He gives no instruction as to which God the appeal may be made. There are many more ancient and more respectable Gods than the Jewish Jehovah, God of War, or Sabaoth, Lord of Hosts. The Greek Zeus, or Ares, might attract some, the Roman Jupiter or Mars, others. Egypt, India, the ancient North, and the lost continents of Atlantis and Lemuria all had Gods to whom the people prayed as arbiters of War and Peace. Prayers to these will prove as effective as to the more modern Gods of Europe and America.
In chapter Five of The Key to Theosophy will be found an exposition of the Theosophical attitude towards the Divine Principle, and the use of the spiritual force on which prayer is based, generally in complete ignorance of what is being done. We have not space to quote the whole chapter, but one question and answer may help.
"Do you mean to say that prayer is an occult process bringing about physical results?
"I do. Will-power becomes a living power. But woe unto those Occultists and Theospohists, who, instead of crushing out the desires of the lower personal ego or physical man, and saying, addressing their Higher Spiritual EGO immersed in Atma-Buddhic light, "Thy will be done, not mine," etc., send up waves of will-power for selfish or unholy purposes! For this is black magic, abomination, and spiritual sorcery. Unfortunately, all this is the favorite occupation of our Christian statesmen and generals, especially when the latter are sending two armies to murder each other. Both indulge before action in a bit of such sorcery, by offering respectively prayers to the same God of Hosts, each entreating his help
to cut its enemies' throats."
The Anglican Church Prayer-Book is better than those who use it, when reasonably understood. The noble Collect for Peace should be familiar to everyone. "O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom; Defend us thy humble servants in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in thy defence, may not fear the power of our adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord."
The Prayer, anciently appearing in the Prayer Book for us "in Time of War and Tumults," is also nobly framed, tinged with the cosmic sense of the Infinite, and instinct with the justice of karmic Law: "O Almighty God, King of all kings, and Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful to them that truly repent; Save and deliver us, we humbly beseech thee, from the hands of our enemies; abate their pride, assuage their malice, and confound their devices; that we, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore from all perils, to glorify thee, who are the only giver of all victory; through the merits of thy only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
Theosophists may commune, through their own Christos, or Atma-Buddhi-Manas, with the Eternal, Infinite cosmic Mind, whose speech is not in words, but in the language of deeds. We cannot instruct it, but it may inspire us with its Truth.
To our southern white folk, and those who share their contempt for our colored brothers and sisters, clearly understand that in their next incarnation they will enter negro bodies? Shun not the soiled ground.
Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in which the illusion can be produced; but "lies asleep." The present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of eternal duration which we call the future, from that part which we call the past. Nothing on earth has real duration, for nothing remains without change - or the same for the billionth part of a second; and the sensation we have of the actuality of the division of "time" known as the present, comes from the blurring of the momentary glimpse, or succession of glimpses, of things that our senses give us, as those things pass from the region of ideals which we call the future, to the region of memories which we name the past. (The Secret Doctrine, I. 37; Adyar Ed. I. 110. )
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Mr. Joseph Clinton of Beamsville has sent us the following version of The Lord's Prayer as translated "from the original Aramaic Greek:
Life-Giver in the Light Realms.'
Invoking Thy name Thy realms appear
And Thy Will is performed on the Earth
As it is done in the Light-Realms.
Give us of the food of the coming day
And forgive our trangressions
Even as we forgive the transgressions of others.
Bring us not to the test,
But deliver us from the opposing powers;
For of Thee are the realms
And the energies and the radiances
Throughout the Life cycles Eternally; forever.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert E.S. Smythe.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
- Subscription: Two Dollars a Year
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
Wash. E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver.
Maud E. Crafter, 57 Sherwood Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Dudley W. Barr, 18 Rowandwood Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Felix A. Belcher, 250 N. Lisgar St., Toronto, Ont.
Edw. L. Thomson, 163 Crescent Road, Toronto, Ont.
William A. Griffiths, 37 Stayner Street, Weatmount, P.Q. George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Albert E.S. Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton. Ontario, Canada.
To whom all communications should be addressed.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
The Curtiss Philosophic Book Co. calls attention to the error made in giving the price of The Pattern Life in our review of that book last month, which should nave been $2.50 not $1.50. The correct price was given in the advertisement of the book.
The London News & Notes for March-April announces the death of A. F. Knudsen at the age of 74. He was the Presidential Agent for East Asia. He made five extensive world tours and had worked in 22 National fields. His work in China was most valuable, but was interrupted by the Japanese.
Vancouver Lodge reports the death of Mrs. Hattie Preston about the beginning of March. She had been suffering for some time and her friends were glad to know that she was released from her severe and painful affliction. After the cremation, and according to her request, the ashes were taken to Stanley Park and scattered at the roots of some tall firs. She loved the Park and desired this link with it. At the little ceremony passages were read from the Gita and from Tagore. "We all loved our dear Hattie Preston," is the Lodge tribute; "she was a great follower of H.P.B."
An Alberta subscriber encloses money order for renewal subscription to The Canadian Theosophist, and writes: "I consider it an inestimable privilege to read your magazine, and consider myself lucky indeed to have stumbled across Theosophy in my journey through life, and only regret that so few seem to have even a rudimentary knowledge of the Wisdom Religion. Please accept my heartfelt wishes for the success of your magazine at all times."
We deeply regret to hear that Mr. Frank Knothe passed away on the 4th inst. after an operation, at his residence Winter Park, Florida. He was one of the highly esteemed elders of the Society, and took a prominent part in the affairs around 1906-8, serving on tile main Committee. He repudiated the changes in the policy and practice in the Society and some years ago took up membership in the T.S. in Canada. He is survived by his widow and daughter Helen who is also a member of the Canadian National Society.
Elsie L. Rutledge writes to ask if we know Chan Das; if we are familiar with the Order of Mitalka; if we know the meaning of "The Book of the Brother"; if we think these Americans south of our border are pests; to all of which we answer, No, sir. Elsie says she prefers Theosophy of all the philosophies she got hold of, and she wishes us great success with our work, but advises us
with all our getting to get not only Understanding but Love. The intention, as with many correspondents, seems to be good, but we are simple folk and fully satisfied with what has been provided for us.
"I am going to help celebrate the 25th year of the birth of your Magazine by sending in my subscription for it for one year. Mrs. Anne Roger of Philadelphia, Pa., has kindly introduced me to the magazine and I like it. Its articles are straight forward and right to the point. Nothing wishey-washey about them. That is what I like. I have learned more about real theosophy during the time I have been reading The Canadian Theosophist - about six months - than I ever knew before although I have been a member of the Society for about 8 years." So writes a new subscriber in California.
Mr. Peter Freeman, General Secretary for Wales, supplies to News & Notes some information about St. David whose Day is March 1st. Dewi Sant, as he is known to Welsh men and women, was born during the brightest and most favored period educationally in the history of ancient Wales, 495 A.D., at Minevia in Pembrokeshire. His father was a Prince of Cardigan and he was thus of royal blood but sacrificed his regal honors to the service of his country by giving up his wealth and position to teaching and preaching. He became a man of great learning. His knowledge was not, however, merely theoretical or philosophical, but eminent-practical and realistic - putting his ideas into deeds and translating his visions into actual realization. He died also on March 1st in 601, thus living to the patriarchal age of 106.
Another death is announced in England which removes one of the old time workers, James Bernard Old, on December 31, in Birmingham, at the age of 78. He was a brother of Walter Gorn Old who was one of the prominent figures in the T.S. of the '80s and '90s. Bernard Old joined the Society in 1890, and as a traveller his business took him all over England and he prepared the way in many places for the establishment of Theosophical Lodges. "He was a living example of brotherhood, and possessed not an atom of self-conscious reserve." My late wife, Janie Smythe, testified to this, and said that when she attended one of the Conventions that he was the only person who showed any good nature or fellowship. He was a minister of the L.C.C. News & Notes gives two accounts of visits he paid to H.P.B. in 1889, with interesting details.
A Pennsylvania subscriber suggests that we offer our magazine at $2. as at present; lay membership (of what?) to individuals; charters to local community groups of seven or more; these to have no vote on the Board of Directors which would have sole power to formulate the general policies of the "Canadian North American T.S." Nothing of this kind appeals to me. We are over-organized now. Subscribers to The Canadian Theosophist are related directly to the Movement in Canada which was chartered by H.P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge in 1891. The divagations of subsequent officials and their sycophantic followers do not alter our relations with the original Founders and the Masters. Brotherhood is the blest tie that binds. Every one of us knows how much Brotherhood means to him or her, and whether opinions or doctrines mean more than humanity and truth.
An Ontario gentleman has sent me a pamphlet telling me "Why he is not a Socialist. Funny part of this is that he uses our socialist post office to carry his message. He also uses the socialist Hydro-Electric system to get his light
and power. Probably also he drinks water from a socialist waterworks and occasionally rides in a socialist National Railway train. If he visits Toronto he can scarcely escape using the socialist street car system. Socialism, he confesses, is one of those things that frighten him. Had he been born a woman he would undoubtedly have screamed at a mouse, and a snake would have given him (her) hysterics. When a man cultivates fear he is in a dangerous mental condition. Socialism to sensible people means the ownership of natural monopolies by the nation for the benefit of all its individuals. Fear of his fellow citizens is a dastardly state in which to live and tends to create situations which lead to war. He should cast out fear. Perfect love, says the Good Book, casteth out fear.
Mr. J.B. Chamberlain writes from Toronto asking us to organize a prayer movement for victory when the invasion begins. We suggest that if there be any powers worth praying to, they must be so much better informed than anyone in or on this footstool could possibly be, that it would only be an impertinence of the grossest kind to venture to advise them on their transcendent affairs. If we really wish to help, the avenues of assistance opened by the Federal Government are the recognized channels to adopt. It does not cost anything to pray, and this appears to be its chief recommendation. A far more effective process than praying is to be found in the New Testament - Love your enemies. This is equally economical and its effect on those who adopt it is magical.
Lord Rayleigh's address which appears elsewhere, was sent to me by the late William Houston, one of the editorial writers on The Globe on May 26, 1919. He wrote that he could find no use for it, which was natural, he being on The Globe, and he thought as I was interested in such subjects I might care to have it. I think it is worth preservation, if only as a landmark, to indicate the distance that has been traversed in 25 years. Mr. Houston belonged to a generation impervious to new ideas. We often had confidential chats about the world we were both being paid to advise and direct. When I was on The Globe (1905-7) we used to walk up Yonge Street any time between midnight and two or three in the morning. He always walked in the middle of Yonge Street, so that no bandit could dart out from a dark corner and take him by surprise. When I was editor of The World we resumed these walks occasionally (1908-20) and he was still in the middle of the road. But it was not the Middle Path of the Buddhists.
The study class of the Hamilton Lodge which has been carried on for many years since the General Secretary came to Hamilton, was by request during the last season devoted to The Secret Doctrine. Warning was given that only the most cursory attention could be given to the book as a whole, but that a few of the highlights might be taken up with advantage. These included the Introduction and Proem, the sections in volume One on Chaos-Theos-Cosmos, Demon est Deus Inversus, Is Gravitation a Law?, Gods, Monads and Atoms; the early pages of volume Two, and the sections on The Fallen Angels, The Sons of God and the Sacred Island, and The Civilization of the Fourth and Fifth Races. There were 24 class nights altogether the last being on May 4. There were 18 on the roll but with sickness, war work and the movement of service men about half of these were only able to attend a few times. Others were Mrs. Heppler, secrtary, 22; Miss Cooper, Miss Wilkinson, Miss Goertz, 21 each; Mrs. Redfearne, 19; Mrs. Mathers, Mrs. Lakin, 18 each; Mrs. Ormerod, 17; Miss Mortimer, 13. Mrs.
Davis served coffee and sandwiches at the final meeting.
Members write to me asking why Mr. Jinarajadasa talks so much about God, in whom as a Buddhist, he is not supposed to believe. They should ask Mr. Jinarajadasa himself. But he may be imitating the Christians who, like Dr. Aruridale, are equally free in revealing God's will and God's plans. If they do not quote God, they have to rely on their own authority, which is apt to become shopworn and at a discount. God, as the Bible records, frequently changes his mind, so that errors can be put down to that cause, whereas when mere mortals like Dr. Arundale or Mr. Jinarajadasa make a mistake they would lose face if they reported a change of mind. You can say anything about God that you please and he never contradicts or talks back, for the most excellent reason. Mr. Jinarajadasa will tell you as a Buddhist that there is no God, intimating that he is one up on Dr. Arundale who asserts that there is a God and that he is on most intimate terms with him. All then that Mr. Jinarajadasa can do, is to use his imagination.
The death was announced on Valentine's Day of Lady Arthur Hill, at East Hampstead Park, Wokingham, Berkshire, England at the age of 95. She was the composer of the song, "In the Gloaming" which was published in 1877 and it is said that by 1889 there were 140,000 copies sold. It is as popular as ever and probably comes next to "Annie Laurie" as an expression of true love. The words were understood to represent the condition of her own marriage romance, which destiny subsequently brought to a happy conclusion. Her eventual husband was the second son of the fourth Marquis of Downshire. The song has been used as a hymn tune, and also as a march for the 2nd Middlesex Artillery Volunteers of which Lord Arthur was commanding officer. He died 1931. Lady Arthur wrote an anthem setting of "O Perfect Love" for her daughter's wedding. What might be called the psychology of the song, and what accounts for its popularity, is the note of renunciation and sacrifice which makes its appeal, generally quite unconsciously, to the loftiest sentiments of the human heart. It involves the Great Patience of true love.
Mr. Fred Henry of Coleraine, in Ulster, has been investigating the origin of the words and tune of "The Star-spangled Banner", and has corrected the conclusion that the tune was written, by William Brown who was an officer in the 6th battalion of The Inniskillings. Brown had been a trumpeter in the regiment having enlisted in April, 1798. Edward David Kerr, O.B.E. of Carrickreagh, Enniskillen, attributes the tune to William McKeag, of Tully, bandmaster of the 6th Inniskillings about 1750, and states that the words had been written by another Inniskillinger, David Fowler of Drumenaghbeg, in the parish of Innishmacsaint, Co. Fermanagh. "Clearly the 6th Battalion adopted McKeag's tune as their march when the regiment was at Romford and elsewhere in the neighborhood of London, and it must have been played in public and caught the fancy of John Stafford Smith who wed it to the words by Tomlinson. This battalion defected to go and meet a French invasion at Killala, and were dismissed and emigrated to Boston and took their march with them, with the words from Crom near Newnbutler, "Oh, say, do you see it? The flag of ould England, and long may it wave O'er the champions of freedom and the homes of the brave." These words were spoken by a horseman with Col. Wolseley's cavalry when he came in sight of Crom with its flag still flying. The General Secretary's great-grandfather, Lenox Stafford, was a major in the Inniskilling's when he was killed at Gibraltar in 1819.
WHERE DISAGREEMENT MATTERS
The Editor seems to have forgotten that my article in the December Canadian Theosophist criticized his on "Moksha" on the score of quotations given by himself from Dr. Evans-Wentz's Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, as examples of their likeness to The Voice of the Silence, The Secret Doctrine and other writings of H.P. Blavatsky. Any `calling down' on my part related to editorial selection for quotation, and the extracts given in September differed very considerably, in the direction to which they pointed, from the Heart Doctrine, as we have it in original Theosophy.
Further extracts are given in the April issue at great length with editorial commendation of their agreement with H.P. Blavatsky's writings. I could (by recovering Dr. Evans-Wentz's book), give still longer passages that the Magazine would be unable to print alongside anything from her pen because of their dangerous Tantric character and descriptions of Yoga practices, warned against but never given in detail by H.P.B. or in the Mahatma Letters. Tantra is not conducive to "Deliverance of the Mind" but rather to its imprisonment in Maya. There is nothing in The Secret Doctrine or in anything else from H.P.B. contradictory to the pure spiritual development of aspirants to the Wisdom of the East, and there is in Evans-Wentz's books. There lies the difference between H.P.B.'s writings and those of Dr. Evans-Wentz. It is not fair to quote only from one side of writing the other side of which can be very misleading.
But the Editor's enthusiasm carries him much too far when he speaks of The Secret Doctrine `with the smear of Adyar apostles over it' giving no alternative rendering of the book. Published on this continent we have had for many years a photographic replica of the original Secret Doctrine at a moderate price; why, then, should the Adyar edition be mentioned even! As the phrase stands the impression is given to an uninformed person that the only available Secret Doctrine is a corrupt production, whilst Dr. Evans-Wentz's books, not forgetting their Oxford Press prestige, are a substitute to be highly recommended. This is unforgivable by adherents to real Theosophy.
The Editor is impressed with Dr. Evans-Wentz's books as fostering `the message of Brotherhood, Karma and Reincarnation'. One wonders what `golden passages' could be singled out from his The Tibetan Book of the Dead to that end? With no preconceptions whatever I picked up this book when it arrived with other books as a gift to the H.P.B. Library. Throughout, it is a nightmare of distortions and horrors on the after-death state, so flagrant that it could have come only from the Bhon or Dugpa side of Tibetan beliefs. The aura of a book (or of anything), is explained by H.P.B. to be a reflection of the `color' of its source, high or low in the vibratory sense, carried via psychic currents to become true mental impressions. Imponderable factors, the swift recognition from within that must confirm or reject any acclamation of authority from without, seems to have been repudiated by the Editor when he asks for and values Evans-Wentz's `confirmation of Blavatsky teaching'.
Although he quotes the Letter of the Maha Chohan, chief of the Hierarchy that selected, trained and initiated H.P.B. to become the fulcrum of Their teaching in the outer world, the Editor obviously places no value upon such a source, since he puts special sentences, without hint of their context, on one side of the scales, and the words of the Masters of Wisdom as put out through the pen of H.P.B., on the other, and finds they weigh about the same! This strange departure in an organ calling itself
Theosophical is borne out in the March issue by the necessity for the Editor's denial of what is now called `Blavatsky Worship', expressed with amusement at `the bitterness with which any reference to Madame Blavatsky is met'. The Editor backs his assurance of detachment from anything except the compass view of H.P.B. (well put and true, as one view of her), by relating that he had chosen not to meet her when he had the opportunity.
One understands very well that in an open and independent Magazine such as The Canadian Theosophist a great variety of articles from various angles are called for (we always enjoy the War Review), leaving deeper study to private circles (I had almost said E.S.), in the Lodges; but if the name of Theosophy is retained it rests upon original tenets that should make a tie of unity in diversity. Yet there seems to be a certain aversion to touch upon some of these tenets as if the standard, or even the mention of the Heart Doctrine, were something slightly improper!
In Editorial upholding of Dr. Evans-Wentz the Nirmanakaya Path is taken as something specialized and beyond present considerations, although admittedly a choice that must eventually be made. But how can there be eventual right choice unless it be founded on motive and held in mind and heart from the moment that awakened responsibility sees a door opening beyond the little self leading, under Karma, to the greater Self ? This issue is sadly mixed when the Editor, describing Nirmanakayic incarnation, says: "These are matters of occult training and discipline" not suitable for Magazine treatment; implying that ambition for personal advancement in chelaship here and now, must be involved in Nirmanakayic aspiration; whereas the better understanding of the goal is a growing revelation of chasms to be crossed in aeons of Soul evolution - yet the links may be kept as a background of life, a spur to better realization of the only thing that matters.
- H. Henderson.
The H.P.B. Library,
348 Foul Bay Rd.,
MISSES THE POINT ALSO
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - Referring to your Article in the April issue entitled "Tibetan Secret Doctrines" in which you again review Dr. Evans-Wentz's book "Tibetan Yoga" and in connection with Mrs. Henderson's able article, I would like to draw attention to what, I believe, is an injustice and inaccuracy. At the bottom of the first column you say: - "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." Since when is the Canadian Theosophist discouraging students from reading the Secret Doctrine because of the Adyar taint? And why? There is always available the splendid photostatic edition of the original, printed by the U.L.T. in one volume. All H.P.B.'s works can be obtained by those who want them, without any asisstance from Adyar, thanks to loyal and faithful work by many students.
If, as you say, a hundred people will read these books by Evans-Wentz for one who will read the Secret Doctrine, then, one is forced to conclude that they are not seeking the "Heart Doctrine", but, are attracted by the titles of the books in their search for Yoga practices - a common form of enquiry in these days and greatly to be discouraged. What does surprise one, is that the Editor of this Magazine, a real student, should encourage the study of the Evans-Wentz books in preference to the works of H.P.B. Her books, being inspired by the Great Lodge, give no in-
formation on Magic other than that arrived at by real Occultism.
- H. Wyllie.
1082 Richmond Ave.,
Victoria, B.C., April 26/44.
FROM THE EDITOR
Our critics are apt to forget the New Testament aphorism, He that is not against us is with us. We are not going to make a success of any movement or school of teaching if we forget this practical statement. All the various sections into which the Theosophical Movement has divided itself have adopted the other converse statement from the New Testament, He that is not with us is against us. This would not work out so badly if all these sections did not take such pains to demonstrate that the others are against them. The Heart Doctrine follows the first of these statements, and needs no professions nor protestations of loyalty. Its actions testify to its eminent appeal. Theosophical propagandists, and I may have said this before, are too apt to think that their approach to any subject is the only one. The scholastic or academic mind takes an entirely different view. The Oxford Press is not conscious of lending any corroboration to Madame Blavatsky's revelations, when it publishes Dr. Evans-Wentz's volumes, and some of her theosophical friends seem to be alarmed at it. If theosophy is anything, it is eclectic and many of our students seem to forget this. Krishna has a noble saying in the Gita - By whatever road the disciple approaches me, by that way I receive him, for all Paths are mine. Those who enter the Path through the teachings given in such secret doctrines as Dr. Evans-Wentz has presented in his Oxford Press volume will not be disappointed with the reception of the Master. "Of Teachers there are many; the Master Soul is One." That truth is emphasized again in The Voice of the Silence, in a passage that I quote perhaps too often: "Alas, alas, that all men should possess Alaya, be one with the great Soul, and that possessing it, Alaya should so little avail them!" Perhaps even this, which appears to be so elemental and simple, is too high for those who with difficulty have emancipated themselves from sectarian theology. H.P.B. was conscious of the gulf that existed between the learners and the Disciples who had ventured into her E. S., a very different School from that of the present day. So she wrote The Key to Theosophy for those who were not ready for The Voice of the Silence and the E.S: Most of the criticisms are due to misapprehensions. Of this we have an example in the two cases of criticism levelled against my very inadequate review of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. I remarked that "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." I could not imagine any one misunderstanding that sentence. Yet both critics thought that I meant the Adyar edition of the printed book and advised other printed editions. This comes of living the sheltered life, I presume. The smears of Adyar are all over the whole Theosophical Movement, Secret Doctrine and all, including the H.P. Library and The Canadian Theosophist. So we should be grateful to those like Dr. Evans-Wentz and the Oxford Press who open up new approaches to the blessed truth, even if the Secret Doctrines there are not the originals of the Blavatsky teachings, but only echo some of its essentials indicating the path of advance towards the highest spiritual progress. Renunciation and Compassion clear the way of the three fires of Desire, Lust, Ill-Will and Stupidity. Perhaps H.P.B. did not sufficiently reckon on the power of the last of these three enemies of spiritual living. The smouldering fires of stupidity with its
dead ashes and choking fumes is rarely mentioned but is nescience, maya, ignorance in its most dangerous form. It stifles the Church, paralyzes politics and the legislative bodies, stupifies the educational systems, and dulls the normal alertness of business and finance. It even threatens to make dunces of the devotees of theosophy who sink their discrimination in sectarian prejudices, and forget the unity of Life in contemplating its aeonian developments. Love, Brotherhood, Wisdom, Compassion, not even Patience can do anything in the presence of Stupidity, and Death turns away unwilling to waste his arrows. Lower Manas in its most aggravated form, H.P.B. singled it out for her earliest ban - "The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real. Let the Disciple slay the Slayer."
"LIMITLESS BODHISATTVIC ALTRUISM "
San Diego, April 27 (Air Mail)
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - The Canadian Theosophist for this month has been received. Very many thanks for your defence of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines and the honour you do to me, merely the collector and transmitter of the Lore of the Gurus upon which the volume is based.
I believe as you do that H.P.B. herself would have written a wonderful review of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines and gladly have acknowledged the strong support which the book gives to her own transmissions. You wisely suggest the importance of the book's teachings because of their being based upon original documents, all of which, in Tibetan manuscript and blockprint form, are available in Oxford. Scholars as well as ordinary critics have been, as you know, inclined to look unfavorably upon modern Theosophy largely on account of its foundation writings lacking similar documentary support. Accordingly, your position with respect to Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines is, without any doubt, scientifically sound. I, as a humble disciple of the Sages who first gave literary shape to the matter which has made the three volumes of the Tibetan Series possible, cannot but rejoice that in you has been found rightful recognition of these Sages' limitless Bodhisattvic Altruism. Surely their unselfish labors have contributed in some degree at least to the betterment of man's life on Earth; and failure to recognize this can be correctly attributed to that perversity which is born of Ignorance.
Destructive criticism always is easy, - constructive criticism is ever to be welcomed; and insight, such as yours, is encouraging, especially to one whose many years of wisdom-seeking effort, in the East and in the West, have never been directed towards worldly ends, but solely to the advancement of learning for its own sake. Research, when unbiassed, is unperturbed by erroneously-founded objections to its findings. Science seeks to know things as they really are, and not as the misinformed and sectarian think that things should be.
There are, affiliated with the Theosophical Movement, men and women who, although sincere in their endeavors to promote Right Understanding, fail to rise above their own self-created limitations, as is made manifest by their dogmatically crystallized interpretations of Theosophical teachings and their doctrinal taboos associated therewith. So long as mankind are enmeshed in the subtle web of dualism, Truth in its all-embracing and all-transcendent at-one-ment remains, for the unenlightened, obscured. Until the disciple can look upon all doctrines, as upon good and evil and every other duality, without loss of mental equilibrium, he cannot attain spiritual stability; he must realize as Plotinus did that "with-
out evil [or differentiation] the world would be imperfect." Many the paths are, unique is the goal.
From those who fear or hesitate to face this severe testing, society recruits its fundamentalists - Theosophists and non-Theosophists; and it is by them that Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines is misinterpreted. A member of their communion stated in The Canadian Theosophist of December 15th, 1943, that the book has been rejected by her Canadian Fundamentalist Theosophical Library. Seeing that thus there is already a Theosophical Index Expurgatorius functioning in Canada, how soon can we expect a Theosophical Inquisition and Theosophical autos-da-fe? At all events, it appears that I should think twice ere setting foot on Canadian soil.
Quite obviously, karmic limitations can be outgrown, only gradually. In future incarnations, assuredly, there will dawn for these Fundamentalists greater and greater comprehension of the true nature of existence and, correlatively, greater and greater freedom from the circumscriptions which misdirected thinking and sectarian zeal ever impose; and then eventually, God and Devil, and orthodoxy and heresy, will be seen by them as being, like all dualities, rooted in unity, and they will transcend them in virtue of the awakening in themselves of the consciousness of Nirvana.
Conveying to you, herewith the Good Wishes enunciated by the Gurus, I am, Sincerely yours,
- W. Y. Evans-Wentz.
BOOKS BY CHARLES JOHNSTON
- Bhagavad Gita cloth ........ $1.25 leather $1.75
- Crest Jewel of Wisdom ..........cloth $1.25
- Great Upanishads, vol. I. .......... cloth $1.50
- Parables of the,Kingdom .......... paper .50
- Patanjali's Yoga Sutras ..........cloth $1.25
- Song of Life ......... paper .75
THE QUARTERLY BOOK DEPARTMENT
P.O. Box 64, Station O. New York City
Very many people in The Theosophical Society are seeking for the cause of its decline, and its lack of popularity and vitality. They are of different minds, these people, naturally. The lodge president who is faithfully serving is often broken-hearted at lack of results, while believing in the integrity and truth of the system to which he adheres. The lodge member who watches the population streaming to the lecture rooms of other movements and the pseudo-occult leaders, wonders why. The innocent bystander, the citizen seeking information, judges quietly and on observation, often departing in search of more attractive theories. All kinds of minds ponder the question - why is Theosophy declining?
The answer is not easily found. It requires research and keen study, and some strength of mind to break a few beloved idols during the process. Obviously, some people cannot do this. They fling themselves in a passion of protest upon the idols, at the first question, and are content thereafter to blind themselves, spending their time in defence of the idols.
Have we been standing still, while the world surged forward all around us? We who like to pride ourselves on being the crest of the advancing wave of civilization should surely stop to appraise ourselves once in a while, to see if after all we are the crest. For instance, most of the lodges are built upon a program of lectures, lectures, and yet more lectures. Has any responsible Section Leader stopped to consider that the world has moved past the point where lectures are a modern method? Has any one devised a new method suited to the times? Has any one seen that there are available trained teachers and speakers with a vital message and of a high repute in the world of mind, to take the public platform on behalf of
Theosophy? Has any one considered that the radio has cut the attendance in public lecture rooms to zero? Has anyone been aware of the fact that the spell of oratory is almost a broken weapon nowadays? And that the quasi-occult organizations have brought disrepute upon the occult principles and theories in late years?
There are answers to these problems, surely, as there are answers to all problems. However, it is to the Section Leaders one looks for the unified directions and the forward vision. It would seem that here is a weak spot in our American Section.
The way to success may be very hard, but - certainly it will not be made easier by the old, outworn methods of presenting amateur lecturers, mysterious references to mysterious Masters not explained, a hodge-podge of quasi-occult subjects, a catering to the tastes of one group in control, a willingness to admit anything to the Lodge platform, a lack of plan and purpose in the lectures presented, and an idea in the members' minds that all who turn away from such a presentation "are not ready".
The times call for new methods and a new presentation. The Truth has many facets. So if the Light shines dully from the facet Theosophists have presented for fifty years, if human hands have left finger marks and grime upon the facet, is there any reason to let the Truth continue to shine dimly? The grime can be removed.
Or, more sensibly, a different, unblemished facet can be turned, from the clear surface of which the Light will be reflected in many rainbow colors. That facet we might use - at last! - would be the Original Message.
- Anne Leslie Roger.
7011 Woolston Road,
Philadelphia, 38, Pa.
England is rather fortunate at present in her choice of Archbishops. Both Canterbury and York have what it takes and they are more closely in touch with the popular will than their predecessors have been for centuries. Whether they admit to themselves or not that the Voice of the People is the Voice of God, that is how it is working out in their present attitude and policies. There is no question of their orthodoxy, of course, but what passes muster for orthodoxy today is not to be compared with the orthodoxy of the seventeenth century. The dogmas that are less popular retire into a prudent seclusion till they have time to ripen into something different and they can come out in a new dress with up-to-date agreements with science and common sense.
Meanwhile, action can take precedence of speech, and the Archbishop of York by his visits to Russia and the United States indicates that he is conscious of being alive in the Twentieth Century. All the churches have made the mistake of trying to perpetuate the age in which they came into being, instead of living all out in the age in which they were breathing. The Holy Breath is new every morning and they who take deep draughts of it ensure themselves of a revival of those lively oracles which come to birth, not in the head but in the heart, where is enthroned the Master.
The Archbishop has been receiving well merited laudations for his visit to Russia, and Mr. Stalin received him so kindly that Christian Britain began to be sanguine about a union of the Churches. They were premature in their speculations, for the Vatican also sent a priest and Mr. Stalin was equally courteous. Rome is not likely to take any more comfort out of this than any hard-baked politician will or could.
Mr. Stalin is perfectly honest in his friendliness, as he was with Mr. Hitler. But his honesty relieves him of any more worry over Rome than he had over Berchtesgaden, which was just enough to be ready when Mr. Hitler pulled off his mask. It never pays to wear a mask with an honest man like Mr. Stalin. He would be kinder to an honest enemy than to a false friend. That is the kind of diplomacy people ought to expect from Russia.
Britain is perfectly honest inasmuch as her delegates represent her people. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the United States. Not even Mr. Willkie represented the whole of the 48 states, only those who agreed with him. A large number of our United States friends like to show their independence by disagreeing with their best men. So it comes about that in Foreign Policy the United States is a Duality. In Britain it is a Unity. Canada is no better than her southern neighbor. Quebec is like a blistered heel to the Dominion; always has to be consulted, but is never willing to march.
It is scarcely worth while mentioning these things, except that it emphasizes what many people forget - that Joseph Stalin knows all these flaws and weaknesses as well as anybody, makes allowances for them, and has his own opinion of the value of the soreheads and dissenters. Joseph Stalin can respect the British prelates because they don't pretend to represent anybody but themselves and their church. With Rome it is different. They claim, like Dr. Arundale, to represent heaven and earth, hell and death, and the brashest of the Apostles. Mr. Stalin is aware of the value of such pretensions. They get ledgered under Politics.
But what will count with Mr. Stalin in his estimates of the value of the British Church will be the extent to which the Malvern theories of the Archbishops are put into practice for the benefit of the common people. It is just possible that the Dean of Canterbury in his book, The Soviet Power, made the best preparation for a friendly welcome in Moscow for Archbishop Garbett. Apart from all the creeds and dogmas, the religion of Jesus has only two commandments, and Joseph Stalin accepts the second. The Russian Republic of Soviets is organized on that basis.
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - Enclosed please find renewal of my subscription to The Canadian Theosophist. Permit me to take advantage of this opportunity to make a few observations on some statements that have recently appeared in the C.T.
Starting with the December number, I noticed your conjectures about the poles. (p 307) However, on page 399 vol. II of the S.D. the last footnote speaks of Norway and other lands in the neighborhood of the Arctic Circle as being the "severed parts" of the hidden continent. This would imply that the Imperishable Sacred Land is within the Arctic Circle rather than at the Antarctic Continent. The statement that "the poles have been thrice inverted" refers, I believe, to the fact of the passage of three sidereal years as recorded on the Dendera Zodiac (cf. SD. II. 432).
On page 350 of the January number Mr. Felix A. Belcher makes the following startling statement: " . . . . while there is a supreme omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent Being known as God, Brahma, Tao, etc., . . . " and this is supposed to be an answer given long ago by the Secret Doctrine! Where in the S.D. is such an anthropomorphic Deity postulated? On page 14 vol. I. the Absolute is described as: "An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE . . . ." Please contrast these adjectives with the anthropomorphic ones used by Mr. Belcher. As
well he might speak of Space and Time as "benevolent" Beings.
Finally on page 377 you consider Chiang Kai-Shek to represent one of the highest sub-races of the Fourth race. Was that a slip? You certainly must remember the statement of the S.D. II. 304: "The Chinese, one of the oldest nations of our Fifth Race . . . ", while in the Mah. Letters only the inland Chinese, called the degenerated Chinamen, are considered to belong to the 7th sub-race of the 4th Root Race. (p. 154) Furthermore, we should not base our judgment upon the outward bodily appearance but rather upon the "auric shades and gradations of color in the inner man" (Five Years of Theosophy, 207) The same article gives further information about the "inland Chinamen" (see also S.D. II. 280 footnote, about the Lolos).
- Willem B. Roos.
Mexico, March 30
WOULD ALTER CANADIAN PRACTICE
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - During the past few months a member of the New Zealand Theosophical Society has been taking Air Force training near a certain city in Canada. From this fact arises a suggestion for all lodges - for this member told me that he looked through both the telephone and street directories of that city, under every possible listing that he could think of, in a vain search for a theosophical centre. Yet there is in that city a very active Lodge. In our own case, the New Zealander found our address in the street directory, was unable to come to the Lodge room his first Sunday here, but made it the next week - and was fortunate in that he chose the only Sunday in the month when we hold a meeting.
It would be a very good thing for all Lodges to be able to meet members from other countries; that we have opportunities for such meetings is one of the compensating factors of our times. I have long maintained, for instance, that the Canadian Section has a strong misunderstanding of the attitude of the English Section towards certain matters; I find now that the New Zealand attitude is very similar to that of the English - a fact which was the cause of considerable embarrassment to our friend when he innocently set out to tell us of what they do in his home Lodge, for the local reaction was unfortunately plain. When I explained the situation to him, and added that this reaction was not by any means universal, he decided to try and make clear the New Zealand viewpoint at the talk he was scheduled to give our Lodge. He was transferred to another locality before he could give this talk, but has promised to send me his notes.
If we are ever to attain full understanding between the national Sections such an exchange of opinions is essential. This New Zealander had not heard the Canadian attitude explained before - all he knew was that we `were different.' When I explained it to him he agreed that from our point of view we were right - but maintained, as I do, that the Canadian Section had nevertheless completely missed the New Zealand (and English) idea, and that something better than an attitude of superior, and too often sneering, condemnation is necessary. He agreed also, of course, that these other Sections have not fully understood the Canadian attitude, and that there is a happy medium which, with a more brotherly approach, could be arrived at all around.
It would repay our Lodges, I think, to list their address so that these members from other parts of the world can get in touch with us as they pass through our country. The suggestion is that each Lodge list, under `Theosophy,' the phone number of some member of its Executive, so that future inquirers would be
able to get proper information.
- Cedric Weaver.
Montreal, 12th February.
Mr. Weaver has made more than one attempt to get our Lodges to accept what he calls the English or the New Zealand practice of subservience to the Adyar policies which place Theosophy before the members as just one of those things, not to be despised but not equal to several new movements which have been taking its place since 1908. Mr. Weaver betrays his sympathies in speaking of the Canadian Section, and other Sections, apparently unaware that under the Constitution these Sections are autonomous national societies. We know what New Zealand would have us do from Mr. Geoffrey Hodson's letter from Auckland, and the Canadian "reaction" was indicated by letters from our General Executive, and these have been warmly endorsed by English Lodges like the Peace Lodge, the Phoenix and other Lodges, which do not favour subserviency. The complaint that Canadian Lodges do not pay for telephones, directory publicity, etc., is made probably in ignorance of the heavy expense attending such publicity. Any traveller intending to visit foreign Lodges could provide himself with addresses before he starts, or after he has visited one centre he can there obtain information about others. Most Lodges advertise their Sunday meetings on the Church page of city newspapers. Copp, Clark & Co.'s Dominion Almanac has the addresses of the National Society and the more important Lodges. Mr. Weaver and his friend at least arrived at the conclusion that we in Canada are different - that is to say, we are trying to stick to and to promulgate Theosophy. It Mr. Weaver thinks this involves a superior or sneering attitude the decision is his.
WHAT THE WORLD WILL RESPECT
Last month it had been intended to include the remarks of the General Secretary at the Convention held in Chicago in 1939, but it had to be left out to make room for other matter. A French writer, commenting on the Convention, remarked of this talk that it was a voice crying in the wilderness. The wilderness still exists; here is the Voice:
I am glad we had that passage from the Key to Theosophy read to us. It sums up all we can hope to know of the future of the Society. The future grows from the present, however, and whatever it means it is because we are what we are. If it has defects it is because we have defects. If it develops perfection it is because we will develop perfection in ourselves.
Theosophy is not of a Society or of a body of men. Every man has to make his own Theosophy. Every man has to discover his own truth. We have forgotten that too much in recent years, I believe. We may accumulate great numbers of members and yet miss the one important thing, and unless we have the realization that that pearl of great price is to be found and where it is to be found, and unless we make diligent search for it and give up everything for it, we shall not have or know Theosophy.
Mr. Warrington also spoke of the necessity of maintaining the records intact. I do not know whether we value them all as we ought to do. When people in my generation began to study Theosophy they didn't have kindergarten literature about it. We sharpened our teeth on Isis Unveiled, and I do not know anybody who reads Isis Unveiled today. It would be an excellent thing for the whole Theosophical Society if every member started in to read it. If we would do this and make a serious study
of these things we would begin to realize there are regions in our own consciousness that we know nothing about.
We must know ourselves. To do that in every respect we must make ourselves familiar with the principles of our Theosophy. These have been touched upon - autonomy, freedom, liberty of conscience, liberty of speech, no fences in any direction. I would have liked to have spoken to the resolution that was before the house a little while ago. The Executive Council of my national society deputed me to bring this question up. I want to say we feel the necessity of that freedom. We have had even some of our members withdrawing from us because we insisted upon that freedom. A great many people don't like to hear something they don't agree with. Our President has reminded us that we learn from the disagreements of others.
We learn from our mistakes. We have all been mistaken. I made a mistake in 1899 but I didn't leave the Society on that account. I happened to be in London in 1907 when our revered President was there and I begged for an interview. I said to her, we disagree in some things but can we not agree to work for Theosophy? And she said, yes, and we shook hands on it. I think I may disagree with her in some things, but she has been constitutional. She has protected the freedom of the Society. So we are loyal to her in Canada. That loyalty and fealty to freedom and truth is something we must protect within ourselves if there is to be a future to the Theosophical Society.
Theosophy has three things in view - the study of ancient and modern religions, philosophy and sciences. We sit, so to speak, on a three-legged stool. Some of us for a long time have been trying to sit on one leg - a rather uncomfortable and precarious situation. There has been too much religion in the Society, and too much mushy religion at that, and too little philosophy and too little science. We have to get back to these supports of independent thinking and clear seeing before we have a real Theosophy that will appeal to the public.
Where are the Crookes and the Wilders and the Edisons that used to belong to the Society? Why don't we have Sir Oliver Lodge in the Society, Prof. Millikan, McLennan, the first man who was sent for by the British Admiralty when the war broke out, and Eddington? We must have a Society where the biggest men of science would be glad to come before us. I think in the future we will grow up to have such a Society. Where are the men who used to adorn our magazine pages? Look over the old Theosophists. Why did Edward Carpenter (he died a few weeks, ago) stop writing for us? Why are many men all over the world now rather repelled than attracted to the Theosophical Society? If we are to have a future we must make it such as broadminded men may enter, not a little narrow sect but a Society that is occupied with the eternal things. Let us get into our platform all religion, philosophy and science. Not more religion than science and philosophy; not more science than religion and philosophy and not more philosophy than religion and science. Let us see that we have all-rounded minds, that we can look in every direction and that we can see as the Masters see. See, as Mr. Warrington suggests, as a Society founded by the Masters ought to see.
These are important things and we have to consider them for the future. We talk about the objects and the teachings of the Theosophical Society. We have brotherhood, karma, reincarnation, Masters, the law of cycles, the omnipotence of the Will, various other matters. I do not think though that there is anything so important as that statement of Madame Blavatsky, "Every man is an incarnation of his own God," and when we can walk about as gods and realize
that that is our responsibility as well as our privilege, when we can let our light so shine that men may see our good works, not to glorify ourselves, but to glorify the Master, then we shall become a Society which the world will respect and recognize.
How long will it take enough of us to devote ourselves and pledge ourselves to these things to make the Society worth while in the world? I do not know whether it is legitimate to speak of the Esoteric Section here or not. Some of us in the old days were pledged, as I was, under the joint headship of Mr. Judge and Mrs. Besant to a solemn promise that we would devote time, money and work to support Theosophy before the world and that pledge was taken to the God within us and to none other. That pledge we were told would follow us down the ages, incarnation after incarnation, however we might fail, wherever we might be. We must realize that and stand by that. The matter of joining a Society or esoteric body is nothing. We must take those pledges in earnest and they must never be deserted. Some one said to me yesterday that he was sick of the Society and would have to leave it as so many mistakes had been made. We each make our own mistakes and must not be judged by the mistakes of others. When we have made mistakes, let us confess it. I think all of us who make mistakes are surely courageous enough to put ourselves on record as our revered President has done. Forgiveness, as I understand it, is time to pay. The word is taken from the old tax-collecting jargon of the Greeks. They gave time to pay. That was the extent of forgiveness. But you must pay to the uttermost farthing. If we get time then we shall go on trying to realize this godhood within us. We launch out into the ocean of Theosophy.
"It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the happy isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew."
Let us feel that there is a future for us. Let us understand that "He, that highest person, who is awake within us when we are asleep, shaping one lovely sight after another, He is the Light, He is the Brahman, He alone is worthy to be called immortal. All worlds are contained in that and nothing goeth beyond."
We must find our Theosophy in our hearts where is seated the Lord, as Krishna told us. There we shall find our real Theosophy, if we are true to it with the strength, the power, the wisdom and the love that come from the Master.
"Alas, alas, that all men should possess Alaya, be one with the World Soul, and yet possessing it, that Alaya should so little avail them! Of teachers there are many, the Master Soul is one, the Universal Soul. Live in that Master as its ray in thee. Live in thy fellows as they live in it."
If you do, the future of the Society will be as glorious and as permanent as the most enthusiastic of us could wish it.
During the month of April we have received the following: Toronto Theosophical News; Fraternidad, Santiago, Chile, Nov.-Dec.; Evolucion, Buenos Aires, Jan.-Feb. and March; The Theosophical Forum, April; The Aryan Path, Bombay, January and February; The Middle Way, March-April; Theosophy, Los Angeles, April; Montreal Lodge Bulletin, April; Inner Culture, April-June; The American Theosophist, April; United Lodge Bulletin, No. 185, March; Theosophy in Action, March; Bulletin, T.S. of Mexico, December; The Theosophical Worker, February; Y Fforwm Theosoffaidd, Cardiff, Jan.-February; The Theosophical Movement, Bombay,
January; The Theosophist, February and March (in same mail); Revista Teosofica Cubana, Jan.-February; The Golden Lotus, Philadelphia, No. 4, April; The Bombay Theosophical Bulletin, December, January and February; Theosophy in Australia, March-May; Canada at War, Pictorial edition; The Maha-Bodhi Journal, 4 issues; March, May, July, September, 1943; Revista Teosofica, Argentina, March-April; The Link, South Africa, Feb.-March; Ancient Wisdom, St. Louis, April; Lucifer, Boston, May; Theosophical News & Notes, London, March-April.
Whatever the Germans will do to meet the Allied invasion troops we may feel confident that they will not forget Frederick the Great in planning their campaign. One of Frederick's favorite plans was to split his foes' armies, defeat one of the sections and then defeat the other. The greater number of the German divisions are said to be aligned against Russia, something like 195 divisions being mentioned. A large number are said to be stationed in the west, that is in France, and lesser bodies in the Balkans, in Italy, and in Norway. If this be the case, the plan would be to defeat the Russians while holding the other invading armies in check until Russia is smashed. Then the other sections of the Allied armies can be taken in turn and beaten. This is all very neat and plausible, except that the armies Germany will have to meet are of a different quality than those which succumbed to Frederick, and they will be differently armed. Frederick himself might have to take some time off while he decided what to do about airplanes. Nor are the German armies of today the German armies of four years ago. It is true that those who survived the last four years will have the advantage of veteran's experience. And they will meet young and perhaps green troops, but the war weariness of the Germans, so soundly beaten in the Russian campaigns, is a heavier handicap than youth with its traditional sense of invincibility. The Germans have lost that tradition, and even the generals are thinking more in terms of defence and the stratagems of retreat than of aggressive action. They have no surety that the Russians cannot defeat their 195 divisions as they have defeated all they have met for months past. Rommell cannot have forgotten what happened to him in Africa, yet Rommell is the man in whom, apparently, most trust is placed at present. One thing must haunt the minds of the German Generals is their weakness in the air. Nothing can compensate for this. It has been demonstrated to them in such terrible exhibitions of number and power, 2000 planes with their annihilating cargoes in daily forays over the Fatherland, in amazing reversal of all that the Fuehrer had imagined for himself, takes the heart out of even a General.
The German head scaremonger, Herr Goebbels, tells the world, that the Germans have new and secret weapons to sweep their enemies off the earth. If the Germans had not proved to be so dirty players we might believe him, but the only dangerous weapon he has not used so far is poison gas. The Germans may use this as a last resort, being, as we know, dirty players. But gas masks have been provided, and for the matter of that, gas also, so that if the Hitler forces attempt to use it, they must be prepared to be smothered themselves. But even the suggestion of poison gas is a sign of incapacity. And it must not be overlooked that it is the incapacity of a bully and a coward. In a little Dupont play recently the innate dignity of a brave man was shown to consist of noble ideals, self-sacrifice, lofty aims for the lives of all men. Germany has refused such nobility of the spirit, rely-
ing on goose-stepping, uniforms, medals, titles, banners and trumpets, the outward decoration of empty souls. Such men could take little Russian children and drain their blood for transfusion into their own murderous hearts, till the por infants died to make the cowards live. No nobility there!
It is idle to speculate on what may happen tomorrow or any day now, for everybody seems to be agreed that the time is measured by minutes. We are under the great LAW, and there can be no prayer so potent, so necessary, so divine, as the cry of the nations - Let Justice be done.
THIS SHAVING BUSINESS
The African native loves shaving, and cares little whether the razor be blunt or sharp. He prefers using the blade only. No soap is lathered on the face, for brushes are considered expensive, and if no razor blade is handy, why a sliver of glass does just as well.
Natives have hairless faces, and in their primitive villages do not shave. It is only when they contact the European that they start shaving. This is because a native is very imitative, copying the habits of the white man, for he considers the "boss" is always right.
"Jimfish," as he is nicknamed, scorns the personal use of soap. For clothes only is it good. He prefers using fat, which costs nothing, to using soap which costs money, and such saving can be used for cheap blades. Using fat makes a smell and the least said about the native smell the better, for like the poor it is always with the native. When "Jim" dresses in his best and goes visiting he takes his scraped face, of course, and the smell, too!
The white man always shaves, washes, and dresses before he goes out at night, therefore, "Jimfish" does likewise - but neglects to wash! On any Sunday, in any native village, one may see "Jim" shave. He will scrape, scrape, and scrape so lovingly over his face, squinting and peering, usually surrounded by admiring native urchins. One will hold the mirror, others offer shrill comment and jabber excitedly, admiring - yet envious.
For young native boys long for the day when they may shave, which means to them adulthood and courtship. And such a man is an elder, for the bearded growth means maturity and dignity.
- Thomas B. Lawrie.
Mr. R. Mehta, the Adyar Recording Secretary, writes:
"Dear Colleague: I am sending you a few copies of the World Appeal issued by the President for the Rehabilitation Fund started for the relief of War-stricken Sections and individuals. I am sure you realize the importance of this Fund. Our post-war Theosophical work very largely depends upon the assistance we give to the numerous stricken Sections to stand once again on their feet. As the matter of this Appeal is so important and urgent, may I request you to give a wide publicity to it through your Section journal and other means at your command so that all the members and sympathizers of The Theosophical Society in your country may know about it. May I also request you to send copies of this Appeal separately to a few of your well-to-do members? I feel sure you will do all you can to make a suitable "drive" for this Appeal so that all the members of non-stricken Sections may contribute their mite towards the building up of the war-ruined Theosophical Sections both in Europe and in the East." We shall feel obliged if the well-to-do send in their addresses.