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Vol. XXVI, No. 11 Hamilton, January 15th, 1946 Price 20 Cents
"THE DAYSPRING FROM ON HIGH"
I have come a long way through lovely scenes,
Now-the chill dark road;
I have learned a little of what life means
And how to bear my load.
Maybe the road is not so dark nor so chill
But for my stupid mind
Which, knowing not the secret of the Will,
Fears Justice is unkind.
The Star of Love and Mercy shines for all,
Few choose it for their guide;
The happy hearts on whom its treasures fall
In peace and joy abide.
27th December, 1945.
The Christian Church does itself an injustice and its members a disservice in its endeavor by false translation or misleading interpretation to conceal every hint or scrap of occult lore that may happen to survive in their original Scriptures. This is not accidental but a settled policy, as Dr. Moffatt's version of Colossians ii. 8, testifies. The absolute silence of the Church on the subject of the Somerset Zodiac is another symptom of this fear of facts which is shared by the leaders of the Theosophical Society at Adyar. All ecclesiastical dogmas shrivel into shreds before a Zodiac dated 2700 B.C. Yet there are evidences in the Bible itself that important doctrines are traceable back to far more ancient myths and traditions. Such is the descent, not from heaven, but from on high, of the first Saviours of earthly human kind. They came from the planet Venus which is as far ahead of the Earth in evolution as a man of education and culture at seventy is ahead of the average child of seven. Venus, having no satellite, it is said, adopted the Earth as a ward, and when the human race became capable of absorbing spiritual truths, the Lords of the Flame, as they have been called, decided to send some of their number to Earth to teach the people Wisdom and to bring them some precious gifts to aid their evolution. These gifts included wheat, the banana, bees and ants. All this is described in the Secret Doctrine. The planet Venus thus became Guardian Angel of the Earth, and the origin of all the most ancient traditions revelations of primeval truth to humanity. In the course of the ages these ideas have become materialized, personified and transformed until it is at times difficult to recognize them in their new
setting. But we have two statements in the New Testament which directly refer to the descent of the Divine Teachers from Venus. One of these is in Luke i. 78, familiar in the Anglican Church Liturgy: "Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us." The word translated "Dayspring" is in Greek, Anatole, a well known name in the French language. Another passage linked with the same tradition is II Peter i. 19, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shineth in dark places, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." The Greek word translated "day star" is Phosphor, the Hesper-Venus of Tennyson, familiar as the Star of Eve. Thus Jesus is identified with the Initiate Teachers who descended from Venus to instruct mankind in spiritual things.
THE SOMERSET ZODIAC
THE PATH OF THE SUN LAID OUT IN SOMERSET IN RELATION TO THE ZODIAC ON A STAR GLOBE
(Continued from December)
"But the Moon never swerves from its track in the sky
And the Sun never stops on a siding
To wait while a comet goes thundering by,
Or a couple of stars are colliding.
So a solar eclipse is a comforting sight
To see at six minutes past seven;
It shows that the Sun and the Moon are all right,
And running on schedule, thank heaven!"
- Don Rose, July 9th, 1945
After working so hard at star gazing let's go into the nursery and listen to the story of Tom Thumb, one of Orion's counterparts in fairy tale; it is reminiscent of other characters who are recognizable under changing guise as sun heroes.
Merlin, the famous magician told the Queen of the fairies, that a ploughman and his wife wanted a little son, so she granted them Tom Thumb.
This tiny boy liked to play with cherry stones but they bruised his little thighs and legs; an oak leaf covered the whole of his head. He fell by mistake into a bowl of batter and when it was set to boil he kicked so furiously, his mother thought the batter was bewitched and threw it away; a cow picked him up in its mouth but dropped him when he cried out. Then a raven swallowed him with a grain of corn and set him down at a giant's castle by the sea, into which he fell and was swallowed by a great fish. King Arthur found him in the fish and made him his dwarf, in which role he amused the Knights of the Round Table.
He was then sent back to his mother with a silver three-penny-bit in his pocket, and he lived on a hazel nut for three days. The Queen of the fairies blew him back to King Arthur but he fell into a waterpot of the king's ferment. After that he jumped down the throat of a Miller, and thence he sprang into the river and was swallowed by a salmon. The cook who found him inside the salmon took him to the King; a great cat at the court nearly killed him but he defended himself with his sword and the Knights of the Round Table came to his rescue.
In this ancient but still well known fairy story, we find Merlin, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table with the usual paraphernalia of stones, seething bowl and water pot, a cow, corn, giant, whale, salmon, dwarf, the number three, hazel nut, and sword, all of which point to a Welsh sun and star myth of the earliest type.
If we carefully follow these sign posts we find that Tom Thumb stands for the giant child Orion of the Somerset Zodiac, who is wounded in "the thigh"
by stones or stars. The Bowl of boiling batter is the seething "cauldron" of regeneration, the first conception of the Grail. The Cow is Taurus, the effigy of which looks as if it would take Orion in its mouth. The Raven is the Phoenix eagle, who pecked the grain of Corn from Virgo's "Kern Baby Wheat Sheaf." The Giant's Castle was by the sea (before Sedgemoor was drained). Sun gods are traditionally swallowed by Whales. The giant child effigy in Somerset resembles a Dwarf with a big head, and the three-penny-bit is the sacred name formed by the three rays of the sun above Orion's head, where "The Flame of the Holy Spirit descended each day for the most Holy Grail." The Hazel nut grew on the Tree of Life in this Paradise Garden. Tom Thumb fell into a water pot, which was the Urn of Aquarius. The Miller whose throat he gets into, is the effigy Hercules whose throat is outlined by the river Brue, on the banks of which stands the place name King-a-Mill, up stream. The Salmon (Pisces), that caught him, lies on this river with its mouth waiting for small fry. The Cat is "Par Lug's cat," Leo; and the Sword is Orion's famous sword, a hallow of the Grail. The Spider that eventually makes an end of him is the many legged Scorpion. King Arthur and his Knights bury him under a rose bush, for "the rose has a heart of gold."
Truly the mystery of the Round Table of the Holy Grail has been hid from the wise and prudent and revealed unto babes.
Man-Mountain Giant Antaeus
The difficulty most people find in grasping the reality of the constellations laid out in Somerset, is on account of their great size; for it is a peculiar trait with some people that they are unable to visualize things on a colossal scale; they even picture God in the image of man. The Greeks realizing this difficulty made up a story about the star giants in contrast to little people or pigmies. They tell us these pigmies grew wheat and other kinds of grain, so they were really human beings like ourselves, and the Giant Antaeus was a perfect mountain of a man who derived all his strength from his Mother Earth. The pigmies' history books and traditions said that he had been their friend for innumerable generations and ages. Stretched out on the ground he looked like the long ridge of a hill washing its face in a cloud. He flourished his arm over his head like Orion, and the little people ran in and out of his great ear and mouth and raced round his one eye.
But, to the astonishment of these dwarfs, another giant appeared, even larger. This was Hercules, who said he was going to gather three golden apples in the Garden of the Hesperides. On modern star pictures Hercules holds these golden apples, so by that we know that this giant is the star constellation, as well as being an earth giant. After a fiery battle with the first giant, whom he flung where he could never pick himself up again, Hercules fell fast asleep on the ground. Now, the mediaeval chronicler, Richard of Cirencester, tells us that Hercules "was one of the gods of the Britons" and "writers are not wanting who assert that he came hither and established a sovereignty."
The enormous size of the effigy giants is the very reason why they still exist after thousands of years, for they would long ago have been destroyed had they not been unrecognizable on that acccount, but now we know where they lie and what to look for, they are easily discernable from the air, and on the six inches to the mile maps.
"Cold, calm, unsmiling before our laughter and curses,
The gods wait, immortal."
"Enduring thou art! For not the slow frost of the ages
Shall dim from thy past thy glory immortally graven!"
"A new dawn wakes and laughs on the breast of the darkness;
Earth has her sunshine still, the grave her Spring."
(To be Concluded.)
- K. E. Maltwood.
NOTES FROM ORPHEUS LODGE MEETING, SEPTEMBER, 1922
SUBJECT - A Survey of the Theosophical Society:
Impersonal, hence impartial, self-examination is as essential to the wholesome growth of an organization such as the Theosophical Society as it is to the individual who is intent on regeneration. Without this impartial survey an organization or an individual is almost certain to get side-tracked on some alluring bypath with obvious and, dire consequences.
The T.S. absolutely fails to attract to its membership the finest types of the race, those individuals the most spiritually and intellectually evolved. They are recognized by their deep sincerity, their strong realization of their unity with mankind, ands their responsibility toward it; they have intellectual ability and discrimination above the average.
The T.S. does attract in large numbers individuals in whom curiosity and credulity take the place of ardent sincerity, and open-minded skepticism, - qualities essential to the real searcher for Truth. So that today we find the T.S. filled with a crowd of good-natured folk, desiring nothing more than to swallow open-mouthed the crumbs of truth or untruth, given them by those they have accepted as their Spiritual Leaders. This has continued until now we see the extraordinary spectacle of a body of people whose motto is "Truth," who are banded together in a common search for and dissemination of Truth, forming a sect whose beliefs are the veriest superstition. For what can the entirely unconfirmed, and oftentimes fantastic pronouncements of one individual be called, other than superstition; pronouncements many of which are at variance with what is best founded in Modern Science, and contrary to what has been taught by Esoteric philosophy in all ages, and in the modern revelation - Theosophy.
In attempting a survey of the T.S. it will perhaps be best to formulate a mental picture of the Society as it is thought it should be, the ideal Theosophical Society; and in comparing the present structure with this, to see in what way it fails to reach this ideal.
The T.S. was formed to present to the race all that can be taught publicly in this age of the Ancient Wisdom, which has been studied and taught by the Sages and Seers of all time, and which can be found in a half-hidden form in their writings and in the writings of their pupils throughout the ages.
At the time of the birth of the T.S. western thought was cramped and misled, on the one hand by modern Science in the full flush of its newly found powers and knowledge, which taught that all that can could know was to be found in the study of the potencies of Matter. On the other hand thought was wilfully limited by the dogmatic statements of a manmade religion, as materialistic in reality as its opponent, Science. At the same time there was growing up a new Superstition, - Spiritualism, whose devotees, casting aside all exercise of rationalistic critical faculty, gave blind acceptance to messages purporting to come from the dead.
It was under these circumstances that H.P.B., trained and taught in the Ancient Wisdom and a trusted Messenger of its Guardians, came with her message which was a reiteration of ancient truths, embodying the basic
principles underlying both the Spiritual and the Material aspects of the Universe.
Consequently the highest ideal of any branch of the Theosophical Society should be to preserve the integrity of
those principles taught by the Founders of the Society and to transmit them unchanged to the future; and its chief function should be the dissemination of these principles and teachings, pure and free from the accretions and distortions which are almost certain to result from contact with the human personality. The Theosophical lodge must be forever on its guard against this human equation, which always acts to make spiritual truths conform to personal inclination and prejudice, and in trying to assure itself that no alteration has taken place, it must again and again return to First Principles. It behooves the individual also to keep a strict watch; his self-love will lay snares for him at every turn.
Such a responsibility should only fall on the shoulders of the pioneers of the race, those people who have a desperately sincere desire to know the truth above all personal considerations, however unpleasant it may seem, and who have the courage and other qualifications necessary to the attainment of Spirituality.
It is necessary therefore that members of the T.S., the most powerfully organized part of the Theosophical Movement, and therefore a most potent force for good or ill, should be spiritually developed and thus impersonal if these truths are to be passed on in their purity, without personal taint. Self-knowledge is the first great essential in the winning of this spiritual impersonality. Any and every criticism from without will spur the student to look within if he is wholly sincere, and until he finds himself immune from personal feeling with regard to criticism, he will have made very little progress.
It was suggested by a member that much looking within might lead to morbid introspection. It was pointed out that only half-hearted, and not wholly sincere introspection would lead to this result. The realization by the aspirant to self-knowledge, that he is at last getting down to the bedrock of his nature and will know the worst, and so will have a sure and unshifting foundation upon which to build, coupled with a realization of the true nature of the human Spirit, will act as an effective counterpoise to morbid introspection.
Theosophy teaches that the Silent Watcher lies apparently asleep at the centre of our being, but he is ever ready to step in and take command as soon as the way is made ready for him. The realization that in himself lies the power to overcome will give sure courage to the student however desperate his condition. He knows that in time he will attain.
It was remarked by another member that the Theosophical aspirant is apt to find himself at a stage where he is bewildered, and loses touch with practical life. He no longer allows his desires and ambitions full sway as they are counterbalanced by a realization of their essential worthlessness, bringing only temporary material advantages; yet he is not strong enough to act for the sake of doing that which has to be done, without desire for the fruits of action. It was pointed out that this attitude marks an essential step on the way where there is a shifting of the poles. The student being partially cut off from his accustomed source of action, viz. his emotions, and not yet being able to act as the real man within. Symbolically it is spoken of as the burning sands which must be crossed before he can reach the oasis, that point at which he begins to build a new centre. The crossing of the desert is said to be a desolating ordeal and is only made possible to us by a kind of Spiritual perception which lies
beyond the gamut of normal human life. The Theosophical Society soon lost, (if it ever possessed) the vision of its high and difficult mission, which was nothing less than to quicken spiritual perception in the race. To fulfill this function, centres must be formed capable of functioning in two ways; first, as foci of Spiritual energy capable, where possible, of awakening in some degree the sleeping divinity, latent in all men; and second, as guardians of a Spiritual philosophy which must be held in all its purity, nobility and vigor free from distortion or dilution, available for all seekers for Truth. It is useless to form groups content merely to read and absorb and propagate teachings; it inevitably leads to materialization and watering down of noble truths, which are thus passed on lacking spiritual vitality, and incapable of fulfilling their high mission. What is essential is to have one or more in the Theosophical lodge who have clarified their minds as regards the basic principles of Theosophy. As the result of sincere and courageous endeavor, they hove put aside prejudice and preconceived ideas at whatever cost in discomfort to themselves. Also they must have gained some knowledge for themselves.
It is the chief characteristic of organized religion that it insists upon an external source of power and redemption, netting persons in the place of principles. From this doctrine proceeds priestcraft and the blind following of leaders. The essence of Theosophy is found in the doctrine of the Internal Redeemer. Much is now taught as Theosophy which rightly belongs to the province of religion. Religion has its uses in dealing with undeveloped people, but to formulate its teaching under the name of Theosophy is to lead astray many who have both the desire and the capacity for the Spiritual life. "Theosophy is for pioneers," says H.P.B.
A clear conception of such basic abstract ideals as Brotherhood and Tolerance is exceedingly hard to obtain. The emotional imitation of these Spiritual values on the other hand, which passes for the real thing, is very common; it appeals to the senses and is eagerly accepted by almost everyone at sight as self-evident truth. This gaudy and attractive superficial view acts both as a snare and a veil hiding the reality behind from all, except those determined to probe deeply, in their search for truth. So the ordinary seeker for truth remains content with an easy round of kindly feelings and good intentions towards his fellows as his ideal of Brotherhood. At the same time Toleration becomes a spineless determination to agree with his fellows upon all controversial subjects. Where this is impossible he maintains a comfortable protective silence, so that the tender feelings of his brother shall remain undisturbed by criticism, - taking no account of the possible injury the promulgation of such erroneous beliefs may have on others. In this way an agreeable emotional state miscalled "Harmony" is maintained in many lodges, at the expense of truth. Failure to challenge these denatured emotional imitations of Theosophical values has been mainly responsible for the collapse of the T.S. as a Spiritual organization.
Real Brotherhood, may best be sought by a fearless expression of opinion, holding oneself ready at any instant to discard or alter one's beliefs should the evidence put forward require it, realizing always that any thought holds but a partial truth. Tolerance, far from being an easy superficial acquiescence and let live policy, is the recognition of the right of another to the view he holds despite your strenuous opposition to it. Toleration, thus cannot be said to exist where a free and open discussion is withheld. Further, a tolerant individual must always hold his convictions open to criticism and examination, at all
The perversion of the Theosophical Society, sooner or later, was an almost certain foregone conclusion. No Spiritual force can be let loose in the world without evoking a corresponding reaction from the Dark Forces. But why have we failed so easily? Mankind is still in its Spiritual infancy. The promulgation of Theosophy is too heavy a task for the rank and file of humanity; it is a task for the ranks of the race. Spiritual truths are not only valueless to the unevolved but may be positively harmful. Spiritual forces must elevate, or degrade, they cannot remain inactive, and as history shows clearly the immature and unevolved have aways perverted Spiritual truths too high for them to understand. The only way in which the mass of humanity may be helped Spiritually is through the pioneers of the race. If Theosophy were accepted by the most Spiritually developed, the masses would automatically obtain all that they could assimilate from the result of their efforts. Light must always come from above, not from below.
The ordeal of discriminating Truth from untruth devolves upon those who accept Theosophy, whether as individuals or as a body. It is this ordeal which the T.S. as a body has failed in, together with most of its members as individuals. In order to sustain successfully this ordeal two things are essential. A deep and exacting Sincerity, - an inner honesty so drastic and of such long life that it has become second nature, - and Intelligence. This power of Intelligence implies the ability to bring the impartial critical rationalistic faculty to bear coupled with Intuition, a Spiritual faculty existing as more than a germ in only the very few. It is through the passing of this ordeal that this Spiritual faculty of divining Truth is born.
Theosophical teachings are chiefly of value to the sincere Seeker for Truth, for whom the main objective is Spiritual regeneration. From the application of its principles he may evolve a science of wise living which each individual can apply in his own life at the place in the scale of being at which he finds himself. A wide knowledge of the basic principles of Theosophy and of their practical application in the life of the individual is by far the greatest need in the world today.
Orpheus Lodge, T.S.
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
Books by Wm. Kingsland
The Mystic Quest; The Esoteric Basis of Christianity; Scientific Idealism; The Physics of the Secret Doctrine; Our Infinite Life; Rational Mysticism; An Anthology of Mysticism; The Real H.P. Blavatsky; Christos: The Religion of the Future; The Art of Life; The Great Pyramid, 2 vols.; The Gnosis.
May be had from JOHN M. WATKINS, 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W.C. 2, England.
THE ETERNAL GOODNESS
O friends! with whom my feet have trod
The quiet aisles of prayer,
Glad witness to your zeal for God
And love of man I bear.
I trace your lines of argument;
Your logic linked and strong
I weigh as one who dreads dissent,
And fears a doubt as wrong.
But still my human hands are weak
To hold your iron creeds
Against the words ye bid me speak
My heart within me pleads.
Who fathoms the Eternal Thought?
Who talks of scheme and plan?
The Lord is God! He needeth not
The poor device of man.
I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground
Ye tread with boldness shod ;
I dare not fix with mete and bound
The love and power of God.
Ye praise His justice; even such
His pitying love I deem
Ye seek a king; I fain would touch
The robe that hath no seam.
Ye see the curse which overbroods
A world of pain and loss;
I hear our Lord's beatitudes
And prayer upon the cross.
More than your schoolmen teach, within
Myself, alas! I know;
Too dark ye cannot paint the sin,
Too small the merit show.
I bow my forehead to the dust,
I veil mine eyes for shame,
And urge, in trembling self-distrust,
A prayer without a claim,
I see the wrong that round me lies,
I feel the guilt within;
I hear with groan and travail-cries,
The world confess its sin.
Yet, in the maddening maze of things,
And tossed by storm and flood,
To one fixed trust my spirit clings;
I know that God is good!
Not mine to look where cherubim
And seraphs may not see,
But nothing can be good in Him
Which evil is in me.
The wrong that pains my soul below
I dare not throne above,
I know not of His hate, - I know
His goodness and His love.
I dimly guess from blessings known
Of greater out of sight,
And, with the chastened Psalmist, own
His judgments too are right.
I long for household voices gone,
For vanished smiles I long,
But God hath led my dear ones on,
And He can do no wrong.
I know not what the future hath
Of marvel or surprise,
Assured alone that life and death
His mercy underlies.
And if my heart and flesh are weak
To bear an untried pain,
The bruised reed He will not break,
But strengthen and sustain.
No offering of my own I have,
Nor works my faith to prove;
I can but give the gifts He gave,
And plead His love for love.
And so beside the Silent Sea
I wait the muffled oar;
No harm from Him can come to me
On ocean or on shore.
I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.
O brothers! if my faith is vain,
If hopes like these betray,
Pray for me that my feet may gain
The sure and safer way.
And Thou, O Lord! by whom are seen
Thy creatures as they be,
Forgive me if too close I lean
My human heart on Thee!
KARMA AS A CURE FOR TROUBLE
The greatest problem in human life is its sorrow. From some form of trouble not one of us is free. The happiest and envied of men knows the meaning of bodily pain, of mental unrest, of sadness from disappointment, fear, or loss. How much more, then, those who are continually ill; those who are anxious over tomorrow's bread; those who, perhaps, have not bread enough for today. And to such as are suffering from cold and hunger and sharp discomfort in every form, there is added the bitterness of seeing wealth and luxury and ease in the hands of others whose characters and lives show no greater merit, perhaps less manly strength.
Every man asks why there is suffering in the world; but the poor man particularly asks why he is made so to suffer. He revolts at the seeming injustice of human lot, clenches his fist at the sight of finery and extravagance, possibly curses the earth whereon he lives in misery while his brother man has everything he can desire. None of the explanations given him satisfy either his reason or his feelings. The political economist states that inequalities in social life are the necessary effect of high civilization; that you cannot have workmen without business, nor business without capital, nor capital without luxury; and that strength of mind has as much right to its gains as has strength of body. The candidate for office urges that this is all the consequence of evil laws, and that, when laws are made better, comfort will be more general. The parish clergyman tells him that it is the will of God, and that we are not to question its wisdom, but submit to its authority. He has been pleased to make a few rich and many poor, some healthy and others weak, all to have trouble but most to have much of it, and that we must accept the fact with devout resignation, not eye it with doubt or bitterness.
But these arguments do not seem wholly to meet the case. Much sorrow of mind and much suffering of body exist for which they do not account; and it is not clear that the inequaiities of life arise only from higher civilization or from unjust laws. Still less is one satisfied with the explanation of partiality in God, of a Fatherhood which is sympathetic only to a few of its children and wholly indifferent to the rest. And the hungry, shivering pauper does not look up with reverence to the skies if he thinks that thence come his misery and his pain.
There must be some better solution of the problem of human suffering if the mind is to be satisfied, the moral sense content, the inner spirit braced. And it is just here that Theosophy, the great teacher and inspirer of humanity, comes in with its doctrine of Karma as explaining and justifying the facts of life as we know them. This doctrine holds that men are what they have made themselves, that their lot has been fashioned by their own acts, that they suffer or enjoy because they have earned either suffering or enjoyment. The condition in life is not an accident; it is an effect. But most men will say, "How is this possible? My condition began with my infancy; how can it have been determined by my conduct since? Your doctrine implies that I am as I am because I so prepared myself in a previous state!" To which Theosophy replies, "Precisely so. This is not your first earthlife, nor perhaps your hundredth. In the slow process by which Nature led you up from infancy to manhood, your life was composed of distinct days, separated from each other by nights of sleep. So in that slower process by which she is educating you from the lowest stage of human littleness to the highest plane of godlike wisdom, your existence is composed of distinct lives,
separated from each other by periods of withdrawal. In these lives you act and learn and form your character; as is that character, so are the lives which follow and express it. Rebirth, reincarnation, is the law of human development; you come again and again into the world that you may improve and advance and struggle upwards to perfection. Karma expresses the extent to which you have done so; you are now what you have made yourself; your condition is that for which you are fit."
"Yet how can this be?" it is honestly asked. "Do poverty or riches, feebleness or power, obscurity or rank, indicate the merit or demerit I have gained?" "Not at all," answers Theosophy; but your degree of happiness does. Happiness does not depend on wealth or station; sorrow does not heedfully follow small means or small influence. Joy and sadness are conditions of the mind, influenced, no doubt, by bodily surroundings, but not determined by them. The rich are not always happy, hence not the standards of past good; the poor are not always wretched, hence not the standards of past wrong-doing. It is the state of the mind, not the state of the purse, which shows what Karma implies in any case."
If any man once clearly sees that his present condition is but the result of his conduct in prior lives; that it means and expresses, not merely what he has done, but what he is; that it is not an accident or a freak or a miscarriage, but a necessary effect through invariable law, he has taken the greatest step towards contentment, harmony, and a better future. For note what clouds this conception clears away, and what impulses towards improvement it at once begets. The sense of injustice disappears. He may not, cannot, know the past careers of which he feels the now effects, but he knows what their quality must have been from the quality of those effects. He reaps as he has sown. It may be sad or pitiable or distracting, but at least it is just. Envy disappears also. Why should he envy the greater happiness of those who, after all, have a right to it, and which might have been his too if he had earned it? Bitterness is assuaged. There is no room for such when it is seen that the causes for it do not exist, and that the only person meriting condemnation is oneself. Best of all, there dies out resentment at Divine favoritism, that peculiarly galling belief that the Supreme Being is wilful or capricious, dealing out joys and sorrows for mere whim, petting one child and chastising another without regard to moral worth or life's deserts. In such a being confidence is impossible, and the only theory which can restore it is the theory of Karmic Law, a law which is no respecter of persons, regards each man precisely as any other man, notes the very smallest acts in its complete account book, enters their value in the precisest terms, and when the time of settlement arrives - be it in the same incarnation or in one far off on the great chain - pays it with scrupulous fidelity. Centering thus responsibility for each man's lot in himself alone, Karma acquits Providence, calms resentment, abates discontent, and vindicates justice.
But it does even more than this; it stimulates endeavor. If we are now what we have made ourselves, we shall be what we make ourselves. The mold of the futue is in our hands today. The quality of later incarnations does not arise from chance, or from a Superior Will, but is simply such as we impart to them through our present. Responsibility, power, are ours alone. It is just as certain that rebirth will be upon the lines we trace in this life, as that the later part of this life will be upon the lines traced in the former part. Rebirth is, in fact, an expression of character, and character expresses what we are and do. He, then, who desires a better
reincarnation must better his present incarnation. Let him perceive the faults which mar his life - the sloth, the repining, the rashness, the thoughtlessness, the covetous spirit, the evil of hatred or uncharity - and let him master them. Above other faults, and embacing all, is that of selfishness, the sad love of personal desire as against the rights, the privileges, the happiness of brother men, a love which inflames every lower element in the human constitution, and kills all higher and richer sentiment. He who would prepare for himself a happier rebirth, may begin by making happier the lives of others. He may respect their rights, consult their feelings, extend their pleasures, generously sacrificing himself that they may profit. As he so does, his own higher nature is manifested, and finer satisfaction greet him with an unalloyed delight. By a blessed law of being, he who thus loses his life shall save it; for he not only tastes richer pleasure than any possible through selfish effort, but he molds his character in the grace and beauty of true manliness, and he molds, too, that new incarnation which is to fit the nature formed in this.
Certainly a principle which quickens the highest motives in human nature may well be the regenerator of human life. He who sees his present as the product of his past self, who foresees that his future will be the product of his present, who finds in Karma the unfailing treasury for every effort and every toil, who desires that rebirth shall have less of pain and more of gladness than he knows of here, will seek in generous service to fellowmen the highest happiness of his highest faculties, and trust for brighter incarnation to that law which cannot break, that force which cannot fail. - By the Late Rev. Alex. Fullerton, Wilkesbarre, Pa.
A TRIBUTE TO MY FELLOWMEN
As I sit this Christmas morning at my desk before the display of cheer and goodwill spread out before me I feel I must express in some measure a tribute of my feelings to those who have helped to make this culminating period of the year such a happy one for me. In the eventide of life with my progeny flown the nest, I feel perhaps rather like "One who treads alone some banquet hall deserted" as Thomas Moore wrote in his pathetic "Oft in the Stilly Night," but I am not despondent, rather am I elated with the memories that crowd in upon me of past joys, of achievements gained, and the ripening of experiences that have made all this possible. Here in front of me is the accumulation of my efforts brought to a flowering that is wondeful in the exteme. The Past has gone, the Future is not yet, but the everlasting NOW is here and that is all that matters. In the calm of my room which is an expression of my personality are the tangible efforts of the struggle to express myself; for in me as in all of us, is that inherent desire to create even as the Good God created the world, but with this difference, that whereas He found it good, we can but aspire to such perfection in our own small way. On the walls hang the pictures of my creation; on the shelves are the literary efforts such as they are; and round about are the products of my by no means idle hands. Framed are my past services to King and Country denoting as they gleam in the light, those services appreciated; on the table and on the mantlepiece are the tangible expressions of my loved ones interspersed with those of friends who thusly prove in a concrete way their appreciations of my small efforts. As I write I hear the faint sounds of carols and far away a distant bell calling the devout to worship. Everything proclaims an exuberance of joy for the great event.
The world is celebrating the birth of Christ which took place in far-off Bethlehem two thousand years ago, little recking that they are really celebrating the potential birth of the Christ Spirit in each and every one of us. But that is a Mystery, and is not known to all men, but will be in due course. So with a mighty host I am celebrating as custom calls. Spread before me are the decorations and the colored lights, a small tree with bells and holly. A profusion of cards and a stack of gifts still unopened. Propped in front is the magazine of my employers with its beautiful cover of a church window depicting the scene of the Nativity with a grow of surpliced choir boys underneath lustily singing some joyous carol. My heart wells in sympathy to all those who have made this possible for me. One may well ask who is responsible for bringing all this joy into the world, and in a couple of words I answer, my Fellowmen. Those among whom I live and have my being. It is the response to the efforts of all to live in cooperation, friendship and love. It is the effects of action and reaction, of the individual efforts to fit into the pattern of life. It is the innate urge of humanity after God's design that we realize that mankind here on earth is a unity, and that man cannot live to himself alone. Thus I pay tribute to those who for love or friendship or both have sent these expressions of their sentiments to me. I pay tribute to the Thinkers, the Employers and the Workers who by their efforts and their toil have made it possible to make these tangible expressions of goodwill. I pay tribute to the dear ones whose parcels lie before me, not for the intrinsic value therein, but for the love and devotion that prompted them. I pay tribute to the unexpected parcels from little known individuals who out of gratitude for work done in the various activities that I am responsible for, thus show their appreciation. I express my gratitude for the many kind letters and messages that intersperse the cards, from those who have been so thoughtful in sending felicitations on my work as an official in various organizations. It makes me feel very humble for I know that the services given are small compared to the value of the sentiments expensed. I am thankful to the gods that be for this good world in which we live in order that we may have these experiences, and I give thanks for the story of the Nativity which symbolizes to man his power to rise to the heights and be, as has been written, the Captain of his Fate. I thank the powers that be for my health and strength that I can partake of the pleasures of the world more especially those of the cultural kind. In the seclusion of my room I listen to the Radio and I span the world; the books beside me of favorite authors open to me the wisdom of the ages; the typing machine stands ready to delineate my thoughts; my brushes ready to do my bidding upon the canvas; the glorious music written by Bach and Beethoven lie handy to transform into sound upon the piano; and so on. All these things are to stand by the brain-power and the ingenuity of my fellowmen. They are my servants, as I am theirs. It is only when we cannot get these things as was proved during those years of terrible war do we appreciate to the full the value of such and realize how helpless we are without them. It shows how very interdependent we are one upon the other. And again I ask myself what have I done to deserve all this! Beyond my efforts to share in these activities of my fellowmen and my contribution in a small measure to their fructification, I feel that at best my share has been small. I know I should do more and with God's help I will continue to strive and prove my worthiness. My thoughts go to the poor and needy, alas that such should be, but there is hunger and poverty in
this rich and fair land of ours and on such an occasion as this nobody could enjoy the day without doing his utmost to assuage such wants to the limit of his ability. This I have done and my conscience is clear that I have made at least some of these less favored ones of God's children participants in the general joyfulness. I thank my employers for having given me a stable living; they have played their part in the scheme of things, and among many others have made my existence smoother. I thank all those who by their thoughtfulness and inspiring sympathy have helped me over many a stile and by their understanding have made my efforts lighter. Finally of the loved ones near and far my heart goes out in overwhelming gratitude for their love and never failing devotion; my heart overflows with thankfulness at the prospects of those whom I have brought into the world and been responsible for; in that they have made good, and proved themselves worthy citizens of this great country. Nor must I forget those who have been unkind to me in word or deed. I attribute their attitude as being due to my past Karma and take the result as a just retribution for past disservices. Their contumely has been chastening and I am the better for it, and what is more I feel that I have thereby paid in some measure a part of the debts that I must have incurred in some past life; and there is satisfaction in that. And so, on this wonderful Christmas morning ensconced in the aura of this room where I have withdrawn as though in the sanctuary of my heart, to mull over the thoughts that are inevitable on such an occasion, I pray to gather strength and determination to carry on the work with my fellowmen that we may make greater efforts to stride forward another step towards the goal of our desires, fortified with that grand glorious message - that this Yule-Tide brings "On earth Peace to men of Goodwill." - E.L.T.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
It is with sincere regret I record the passing of an old member of the Society in the person of Mrs. E. Morton who, as unobtrusively as she had lived shed this mortal coil and went to a well deserved rest on the 28th of November last. She was a member of the Toronto Lodge and had been for years a regular attendant at its meetings being an earnest student and a staunch theosophist. Her brother the late Sir William Otter, so well known in Canadian miltiary circles, was the head of a branch of the English family of the same name some of whom I knew in the hey-day of my soldiering.
I was delighted to visit Albert Smythe in his domicile over the festive season and am sure many of my readers will be interested to know how I found him. He was looking better and appeared more sprightly if I may use the word, than I have seen him for some time past. He seemed quite happy sitting ensconced in his sanctum with his household gods around him. This bright room littered with papers and letters, festoons of Christmas cards decorating the mantlepiece and walls from his many relatives and admirers, stacks of books and neatly arranged bundles of documents, testified to the busy man he is. On the typewriter was his latest poem and he assured me that he had sufficient of them now to make another volume. I trust it will materialize before very long. We discussed many things both grave and gay and I was struck by his keen scintillating mind which seems to have lost nothing of its acumen despite illness and the natural handicaps of advancing age. Dominating his mind was his magazine and the society which he loves so well. It is wonderful to think he can still give us of his great abilities at the advanced age of eighty four years when most
men would be glad to call it a day and rest on their laurels.
Most of our members are aware of my earnest desire to obtain closer cooperation between the numerous theosophical organizations extant. The other day through the instrumentality of the Secretary of the Toronto Lodge who without betraying any confidence allowed me to read a letter he had received from the editor of the Quarterly issued by the Federation Lodges in Canada in which he "Wished him (Mr. Barr) success in the coming year and especially good success to the General Secretary in his endeavor to promote the spirit of brotherhood among us." Through this medium I thank Mr. Burney for his goodwishes and wonder if I might construe into his words a desire to see the two factions brought closer together not only in words but in deeds! Why not at this approach of the New Year should we not make a real effort to see what prospects there are of amalgamation and thus revitalize our forces in a union where we could make our presence felt and do something really worth while for the Society which by the very act of breaking up in the past has kept us in a state of decrepitude for so many years, and thus negate that inertia and blossom out into a first class effort to show the world the true meaning of brotherhood with all its committments and bring the Light to a weary and harassed world that is yearning for something that is concrete in the way of spirituality. I appeal to all true theosophists to forget factional splits, to agree to disagree on small points, to stand firm on fundamentals and to awake to the fact that it is up to us to take action now and remember that Union is Strength.
Edmonton Lodge with its indefatigable president has been a great help to me in many ways since taking office, and it was with extreme pleasure I received just recently a letter stating that the Lodge had donated the sum of ten dollars to the Exchequer and this augmented by the generosity of the president enabled me to record the goodly sum of twenty-five dollars to our funds. This is a gesture of real gratitude not only for what we Theosophists stand for but an earnest desire to take a direct hand in the furtherance of things theosophical.
I am happy to state that four new members have joined us in the past two weeks as well as several new subscribers to the magazine. Things are looking well for the Society and I feel that we are on the verge of a big expansion. Let us be ready when the time comes and see that our lamp is filled and the wick trimmed. I take this opportunity of wishing one and all a Happy and Prosperous New Year and may our Society like the rising sun radiate to all points of the compass and give its message to all men in their endeavor to scale the heights.
- E. L. T.
OUR SISTER SOCIETIES
November 8, 1945.
38 Chapel Street,
Hyde, Cheshire, England.
The article on ADYAR AND COVINA in the October-November issue of your admirable magazine has been read with interest and with concurrence in much that you say. I thank you for your general agreement with, and appreciation of, my article on THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY: ITS NATURE AND OBJECTIVES.
However, I must challenge your right to read into my statement which you quote a supposititious claim by Covina that our Sister-Society of Adyar is a "daughter" or "stem" of Covina. I said no such thing. I know my Theo-
sophical history too well to make any such claim. I regularly refer to the Adyar T.S. as "our Sister-Society of Adyar," which it is, because it sprang from the same parentage that we sprang from. Surely no informed member of the Adyar Society would deny that your society did stem from the original Theosophical Society founded in New York.
You have raised up straw men whom you have successfully demolished; but you have also drawn several inferences from my article that are not warranted by what I actually write. I do not object to your using my article as a peg on which to hang your views on Theosophical fraternization, with which I am in general agreement. But I most certainly do object to your misleading your readers, however unintentionally, by publishing deductions not justified by my statements.
Wishing you every success in your praiseworthy efforts to bring about better understanding among various Theosophical groups, I am,
Iverson L. Harris.
I am very glad to print the reply as above by Mr. Harris to the Eirenicon letter which we printed last month. Our sole intention was to promote discussion of the important issue of Fraternization, and the cultivation of good will, which we believe is the main object of Eirenicon. - Editor C. T.
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- EVOLUTION: As Outlined in The Archaic Eastern Records
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- H.P. BLAVATSKY: A GREAT BETRAYAL, A protest against the policy and teachings of The Theosophical Society introduced since the death of Madame Blavatsky.
- H.P. BLAvATSKY: HER LIFE AND WORK FOR HUMANITY,
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- H.P. BLAVATSKY AS I KNEW HER, Consisting of personal experiences with that great Soul.
- BUDDHISM: The Science of Life, By Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump. This book shows that the Esoteric philosophy of H.P. Blavatsky is identical with the Esoteric Mahayana Buddhism of China, Japan and Tibet
- THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, Translated and Annotated by H. P. Blavatsky. A faithful reprint of the original edition with an autograph foreword by H.S.H. The Tashi Lama of Tibet. Notes and Comments by Alice L. Cleather and Basil Crump. H.P.B. Centenary Edition, Peking, 1931. Third Impression.
The above may be had from The H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Road, Victoria, B.C., or from The Blavatsky Association 28 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W. 8, England.
The following books have just been received from the binders, and owing to the advanced prices of material due to the war, prices have had to be raised from the moderate rates.
- ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS by H.P. Blavatsky. 60 and 75 cents.
- ANCIENT AND. MODERN PHYSICS by Thomas W. Willson. 60 cents.
- THE EVIDENCE OF IMMORTALITY by Dr. Jerome A. Anderson. 75 cents.
- MODERN THEOSOPHY by Claude Falls Wright. 75 cents.
- THE BHAGAVAD GITA, A Conflation by Albert E.S. Smythe. 75 cents.
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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
Albert Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton. Ont.
Dudley W. Barr, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
Washington E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver, B.C.
Felix A. Belcher, 250 Lisgar St., Toronto, Ont.
David B. Thomas, 64 Strathearn Ave., Montreal West, Que.
George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Emory P. Wood, 12207 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, Alta.
Lt.-Col E.L. Thomson, D.S.O., 54 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
To whom all payments should be made, and all official communications addressed
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist
Albert E.S. Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton, Ont., To whom all letters to the Editor, articles and reports for publication should be sent.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
Dr. Hugh Shearman, who had been lecturing to the Dublin T. S., on his return writes from Belfast: "It will be interesting to see how the general pattern of the T.S. throughout the world will prove to have been altered by war experience. I feel that at this particular phase Mr. Jinarajadasa makes a very desirable president, on account of his very wide experience and contacts throughout the world and his simple human appeal - as one finds it, say, in his South American lectures or in his very wise little book which I have just been reading, The Wonder Child, and others. Whatever specialized forms we may weave on top, it is very important, I think; to have somebody who can go down to theosophy's simplicities; and I feel that Mr. Jinarajadasa can do that and will do it for us."
Among the many beautiful prayers in the Anglican liturgy the General Thanksgiving has a special appeal for the devout mind. In it is expressed gratitude for our creation, preservation and all the blessings of this life. Our General Secretary has expanded this gratitude into a detailed analysis of his own personal feelings in the realization of one of the great anniversaries which too many of us accept with conventional indifference. Incidentally the Colonel has afforded us a valuable lesson in meditation. I am often asked how one should meditate. Colonel Thomson has opened his heart to us in a detail of gratitude and affection that may help many of us to take stock of our blessings and enter into the felicity of that unity of life which is the real foundation of all our joy.
It has been announced over the radio that Russia has an atomic bomb capable of mass production. This would account for the complacency of the Russians over the various declarations by the United States that no information on the subject would be shared with other nations. The statement about Russia was made on the authority of a doctor who claims to be in touch with Russia's scientific organizations. Be that as it may, there is nothing to prevent scientific explorers working in the interests of Argentina or Spain, or for the matter of that in Egypt, Turkey or Persia, pursuing such investigations as would lead to discoveries about the release of the cohesive forces which hold various elements together. It should not be forgotten that electricity is the key to all these forces and that gravitation, light, heat, cohesion, magnetism chemical action and electricity are all capable of transformation from one form of energy into another. The atom is not the main issue in the problem.
During the last quarter of a century the revision of our Constitution has often been talked about and discussed. Among the things prohibited and liberties granted almost anything can be done that anyone in reason wishes to do. If this be the case, then why change? Our Constitution was mulled over by the Adyar authorities for nearly a year before the charter was issued. Meanwhile the Welch application was submitted months later than ours and was granted in a matter of weeks, and months before ours was authorized. If we submitted a new Constitution, if we can judge from the Vice-President's "Querulous and Controversial" letter, no friendly hands would deal with it. Perhaps the occasion would be taken to make radical changes which we cannot afford to risk. The right of free thought and of free speech are always in jeopardy. Let us beware.
The mind becomes calloused with the report of wholesale massacre of men, women and babes which made lurid pages in the many years of the war. But the story of the abduction of a little child and her ruthless murder and dismemberment, or that of a Canadian schoolboy, shot through the head and heart seems to make a deeper impression and pierces through to the most sensitive and tender stratum of our feelings. Cruelty is the most inhuman characteristic of our criminal classes, but we train men in cruelty, in war, in our slaughter-houses, in our vivisectional laboratories, and eventually we all suffer as such incidents of child murder are brought home to our imagination, by these tragedies of childhood. What did the parents do to earn such sorrow? Why were these children cut off thus early in their incarnation? These are problems which the records of Karma alone can solve. But the cruelty is a problem too, and all we who partake of the social activities in which such cruelty is generated, must bear our share of whatever penalty the Great Law imposes.
In his Notes and Comments the General Secretary has touched on a subject that has profound interest for all Canadian Theosophists: - the cooperation, if not the reunion of the Federated Lodges with the National Society. When I visited the West in 1937 I was most kindly received by all the Lodges and the Hermes members made me as much at home as I am in Hamilton or in the old days in Toronto. I did not attempt any negotiations but merely paid a friendly visit, but several members assured me that the majority would favor reunion but that several of the senior members would not stand for it. It cannot be a pleasant reflection for these older members that progress awaits their decease. The Canadian National Society was formed by the desire of Vancouver and Victoria members, the Toronto Society having always voted against the change. Yet the Vancouver and Victoria members were the first to withdraw. Did they ever understand Universal Brotherhood or the Four Freedoms?
Let no one suppose that the policy of silence and suppression adopted by Adyar is applied only to the Canadian National Society. Not at all. The Adyar people have put their heads in a bag, and the bag is the Liberal Catholic Church and they can see nothing outside the bag. Canada is not in the bag. Neither is the Somerset Zodiac, which has now been before the world for twenty years since Mrs. Maltwood made the most astonishing archaeological discovery of the century. The Christian Churches have agreed not to see it. The L.C.C. joins with them and Adyar thinks the atmosphere in the bag is salubrious. There is no religion higher than truth, observes Adyar, but this
does not apply to Zodiacs and other 'things outside the bag. Why, they say, if we brought in the Zodiac there would be no bag left. And that is right for all the fables of the Churches are built up on the cosmic facts of the Zodiac, and aviators flying over the territory see that monumental Zodiac established there by initiates 2700 years B.C.
It ought to be obvious to everybody that the whole world is in a state of incipient rebellion. The alleged causes are many. There is one real cause which few will admit, least of all those who chiefly are subject to it - Ignorance. Kipling was accused of racial pride when he wrote of "lesser breeds without the Law." There is only one Law in this matter - "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." The early Christians translated this into community of interests. Russia as a nation practically adopts this policy, but is suspected of sinister aims on that account. Socialism, or public ownership of national resources and their use, which is an approximation to the Golden Rule, is on trial in Canada, Britain and a few other countries. But it is feared by those who have grown wealthy under the opposite policy. Labor, ground between the upper and the nether millstones of the bogus laws of supply and demand, has resorted to strikes, which is a method of cutting your nose off to spite your face, has established economic warfare in so-called civilized nations in order to inflate the value of labor which had an enhanced value during the war. To continue this enhanced value into times of peace is sought; should the strikers gain their object, they must prepare for a reaction in the form of a depressoin to follow which will make the depression of 1929-30 look like a period of prosperity. All this is the penalty of making money a commercial commodity instead of a means of exchange.
Hector Willoughby Charlesworth died on Sunday, December 30, quite suddenly as he had been working for his paper the previous evening. He was born in Hamilton on Sept. 28, 1872, but his family moved to Toronto where he was educated. I remember well when he came to Saturday Night office, ap-pointed by Edmund Sheppard to succeed the much loved Duncan McKellar who had gone to the United States as so many had done at that time to seek their fortunes . . . He was a youth of nineteen then, not too shy but friendly and mixed well with the artists, musicians, literary men and others who used to gather in the editorial rooms on the second floor of the old Grand Opera House building. Those were days when the death of Madame Blavatsky made Theosophy a debateable topic in such company, but it had its influence even on the wild presiding genius of Sheppard. But to be a Theosophist was to be a crank in the view of most people, so that the duty of a Theosophist was to live such a life as exhibited sanity, reason and good judgment. This duty still stands. Sheppard wrote a book called The Thinking Universe, which proved to be much less materialistic than might have been expected. Charlesworth, I believe, was impressed by it and as a newspaper man his life was one of service to the True, the Beautiful and the Good.
The Pilgrim Way should be a welcome visitor in many homes. The Christmas issue is even more attractive than usual and contains a dozen articles in its 44 pages. Among these are one on the Fundamental Causes of War, one on Love, One on Orpheus which we take the liberty of reproducing, and others on Chirst in You, Atonement, Environment, and an extended account of the Nyaya philosophy with its four sources of knowledge. From this we quote a paragraph on the Universal Christos or Buddhic principle which is plain enough
for the simplest to understand. "There is an eternal uninterrupted self-consciousness, or Self-substance, for which there is no mechanical equivalent. This cosmic all-pervading Self is in constant contact with cosmic all-pervading Mind, which is the point of interaction with cosmic material substance. This relationship is repeated in individual or historical selves. On the one side the self - the other the sense organs, with mind as the conscious coordinator between them. Behind all experiences is a synthesis - the Cosmic Self with intimate relation to and control over all selves. The essence of all selves is one. That which distinguishes individual selves is the differences in their relationships to objective media. 'The finite beings, though rooted in matter, strive to flower in spirit.' " The Pilgrim Way is conducted by those two veterans, Josephine and Sidney Ransom, at 53 Knightwood Crescent, New Malden, Surrey, England. Send them Four Shillings for a year's subscription.
BOOKS ON THEOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS
which have passed the tests of time and use Supplied on request. Forty years' experience at your service. Let me know your wishes.
N. W. J. HAYDON, 564 PAPE AVE., TORONTO
WORTH WHILE BOOKS
- Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine by Madame Blavatsky;
- The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence by H.P. B.;
- Magic White and Black by Franz Hartmann;
- The Perfect Way, by Anna B. Kingsford;
- The Ocean of Theosophy and Notes on the Bhagavad Gita by Wm. Q. Judge;
- Reincarnation by E.D. Walker;
- The Light of Asia, by Edwin Arnold;
- Light on the Path and Through the Gates of Gold, by Mabel Collins;
- Letters that Have Helped Me, by Wm. Q. Judge;
- Raja Yoga, a collection of articles by H.P.B.;
- The Mahatma Letters, by Two Masters.
"QUERRULOUS AND CONTROVERSIAL"
Adyar, Madras, India,
17 December, 1945.
Dear Sir and Brother,
In the Canadian Theosophist of August, 1945, you have written under the title "Dr. Arundale's Culpabilities," and charged him with suppressio veri in the printing of the Report from Canada for 1943 in the Annual Volume issued by the International Headquarters, containing Reports from all countries where The Society is active. Unfortunately, Dr. Arundale is not now on the physical plane to give a reply to the charge. So you will please print in your journal this explanation from me as the Vice-President of The Society, temporarily performing the Presidential functions.
Perhaps you were not aware that during the last two years India has been suffering from extreme shortage of paper, which forced the Government to introduce rationing and cut down the use of paper for certain classes of publications, especially philosophical, to one-third of the previous consumption. It was, therefore, out of the question for us to print every Section Report in full, irrespective of the length. On what principle then should the selection be made for printing?
The vast majority of the members of The Society throughout the world would at any time prefer to have details with regard to the membership, the topics discussed, books published, how Theosophy has been applied to National and individual problems, and other such factual matters, rather than the opinions of a General Secretary, which, however worthy of respect as those of a sincere worker, do not amount to a revelation of truth and are highly querulous and controversial. These opinions of the late General Secretary of the Canadian Section were not new and have been freely
ventilated in the Canadian Theosophist, which, I believe, is sent to every General Secretary, and finds, I am sure, a place on the table of most Section libraries, as it certainly does in the Adyar Library reading-room. Moreover, The Theosophist, under Dr. Arundale's editorship, has always been open to criticisms of his policy and methods, coming from any responsible source. His ideas in the matter of expounding Theosophy were his own, and he set an example to other Theosophists in freely expressing them, as he always recognized the freedom of his fellow-members to hold and express theirs. Further, every General Secretary is a member of the General Council and could raise in that forum any issue pertaining to the conduct of The Society by its President, or any alleged imposition by him of his own personal views on his fellow-members. Such being the position, there did not exist any need to burden the Annual Report of the T.S. with the ipse dixit and criticisms of the late General Secretary of the Canadian Section, which, strictly speaking, are matter for an article rather than a "report." The gentleman who was appointed by the President to summarize the Section Reports for publication decided - very rightly, as it appears to me - to leave out such portions of the Report from the Canadian General Secretary, especially as there was not going to be included in the same volume a reply by the President. As the Annual Report is not a periodical journal, such a reply to Mr. Smythe's assertions and criticisms, if appended to the full report, would admit of no further rejoinder, and would thus possess the character of the last word on the subject in that publication, which, I am sure, Mr. Smythe would have regarded as unfair to his side in a controversy opening with promise of much expansion and development.
So far in defence. May I be permitted to add that the root of Mr. Smythe's difficulties in understanding the development of The Theosophical Society, lies in his inability to appreciate freedom of thought and his reducing Theosophy, the illimitable Divine Wisdom, to a creed declared once for all in particular book, such as The Secret Doctrine, and by particular teachers, from whose authentic words, as interpreted by Mr. Smythe himself, there ought to be no departure. But he might be a little more gracious and charitable in dealing with the conduct and ideas of those from whom he sharply differs, which would result in a juster appreciation of those ideas as well as all other ideas propounded in the course of The Theosophical Movement.
N. Sri. Ram,
Vice-President in Charge.
Mr. N. Sri Ram, Adyar, Madras, India.
Dear Vice-President and Brother:
Your foregoing letter in which you seek to minimize the value of my report as General Secretary in 1943 overlooks the facts, kindly noted by Dr. Arundale himself that I had been 25 years in office, returned in election after election by large majorities, and what you might have noted yourself had you been observant, that I resigned on account of the infirmities of years, but was returned by the largest vote as member of our General Executive and unanimously appointed Editor of our magazine. The excuse of paper being rationed is merely eyewash. Had you wished to print my report in full there was plenty of room for it. Our Government also rationed paper but made no cut in the supply to our magazine. Your suppression of my report was part of a settled policy as Dr. Arundale admitted at the time; he did not want controversy on the subject. Your policy reminds me of our Common Law practice with dogs. A dog is entitled to one bite; on a second offence he is liquidated. Your policy
scarcely permits one assault. Among the Four Freedoms for which humanity fought the stupendous conflict just closed, Freedom of Speech stands first. You in India may think otherwise, but if you continue to muzzle the T.S. you will probably find such results as were seen in the first and third decades of this century. We who have stayed with the Adyar organization in spite of rebuffs, note with pleasure that Theosophy is not confined to Adyar, but is even more fully propounded in other Theosophical organizations, and while we have remained with Adyar for the sake of demonstrating the principle of Universal Brotherhood, and are genuinely earnest and sincere in this, our Adyar brethren can gain no merit by crucifying us on that account. Make no mistake, Mr. Vice-President. "The late General Secretary," as you term him, spoke not only for the Canadian National Society, but for hundreds of members of other National Societies throughout the world. We in Canada stand for the utmost freedom of thought and speech, a freedom which since the death of H.P.B. Adyar has never permitted to exist. Fraternally yours,
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 mating a conscious link, however slender, with them. Join any Theosophical Society which maintains the traditions 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
REINCARNATION - A GRACIOUS RENEWED OPPORTUNITY
By Ernest Crutcher, M.D.,
32̊ F.P.S., Los Angeles
Reincarnation is like the process of rebirth itself: it cannot be exhausted in on article. The process of unfolding life and individuality is perennial, and belongs to unending years. Our beginnings were far behind the now, and our endings can never be; for life IS and CONTINUES forever.
Nature has no reckoning in time. She works toward an end and ultimate purpose. Each creature is destined for unfoldment and molding for some inscrutable building of God, a house not made with hands. Behind all events and the unimaginably distant future, there rules majestic Intelligence that never slumbers or sleeps.
Every mundane thing, whether insect, animal, man, sun, star or mighty world is given a physical envelope we call a body in which it manifests and pursues its unfoldment, individualizing and growing more and more complex, simple or compound, crude or refined, gross or gracious, molding character life after life, for one body is insufficient and too frail in texture to permit gaduation and completion of the ULTIMATE purposed by the Creator. Hence, new bodies and new opportunities are given each identity, time after time.
Nature never hurries. If the individual soever is indifferent, stupid, careless, inert, its progress is slow and its development imperfect. These dwarfings and ugly features must be eventually erased, however long and tedious the way and rebuilding required.
Rebirth is only another OPPORTUNITY. Nor must it be considered that the next career must be on this small earth. There are trillions of huge wolds rushing far away from us lest we be absorbed into their mass and go out in a flash. Are they made simply to give
light to earth, as was taught us not long ago? I was a bit skeptical in childhood when told this, and wondered, if they were created to give earth light, our theologies have limited the wisdom and power of God.
It is so conceited to think man alone the care of the Creator, and all else was made for his delectation and control. As a matter of fact, man is but one small item in the scheme. Dogma is shallow. It puts such absurd limitation on the love of the Creator for His subjects, and the object of such creation. With unction on belief in what he and his predecessors have conjured, with constant declaration of sin, and the absurd "conceived in sin and born in iniquity," with necessity of an intercessory power to relieve him from this unearned condemnation for whatever may have secured him this depravity, - if such ever obtained, it so confuses unsophisticated minds that they gladly accept any excuse that may relieve from the fears aroused by the furious ecclestiastic who, himself, is quite as ignorant of "the way, the truth, the life."
It is a sin to declare all are sinners and "lost." Lost from what, and why? Is not God our gracious Father? Has He any vice-gerent or articled declarant on this tiny earth? If only man has soul, why were the mighty hosts of other creatures formed? And how does man arrogate to himself the only creature possessing soul? And has he ever identified it? Has he seen or touched the soul of any other man, or discovered why none of the five hundred thousand insects and multitudinous animals have no soul or immortal spark? What made man so important in ecclesiasticism that he alone is dignified with spiritual parts subject to damnation because, forsooth, he refuses or has not heard that he must "believe" something or other, however ridiculous or incredible. The world is less superstitious, and less inclined to credulity. It asks "How do you know?" Mere presumption will not receive acceptation, nor will pomp and boasting find supine acceptance any more. With knowledge growing and science abounding, with ever new and astounding discoveries, men are coming to reason and reflect. Faith is losing out. Knowledge is desired and demanded.
Man is not a vile sinner because he is born on earth, nor does he any longer accept the frenzied declaration of fallacy and pretensious ignorance, however sanctified by clerical edict and claim.
God is good, and man but one of His creations. He is not exactly a descendant of monkey, but he is closely akin to monkeys. In fact, he justifies the suspicion that he is cousin by constantly trying to act like a monkey. Most of him in civilized life endeavor to be a fool to be in fashion, however absurd it maybe. Any habit or fashion that is vigorously propagandized, will prevail. Look at the cigarette advertising.
In discussing Reincarnation, Transmigration and Metempsychosis, various terms that refer to rebirth, it should be understood that the later two words are used mostly by such as suspect or believe that humans may come back in animal bodies, generally as punishment for abuse of life privileges. This idea is almost entirely confined to oriental countries, and is strongly connected with some religions and philosophies in those sections. Personally, I do not think men can ever retrograde to the animal status, but he can return with hideous degeneracy in human form. Look around you! It took more than one life of degradation to acquire some markings of degeneracy.
Acceptance of the doctrine of reincarnation means to reconcile with some degree of patience the evils of modern life; besides, expectation of individual return, with hallmarks of goodness or badness on the newcomer, serves to
cause reflection on the acts of life in the present. If we are to come back and make good or receive dues for precedent goodness, there is a stimulus in every day. Such hope is superior to the ecclesiastical heaven with its gaudy, glaring, golden streets and unceasing "singing forever." The early Christian teachers accepted it and taught it. Later, divided into conflicting sects with new dogmas and conditions of salvation, it became absurd to "save" one's soul in more than one incarnation. The Roman Catholic sect in particular, rejected it, about A.D. 500, and the inconsistency of repeated salvation and "beliefs" in divers doctrines, caused other church divisions to take strong grounds against the idea. Such as accept it declare it means a pre-existance rather than a return. The primitive Jews had strong assurances. Solomon, in Proverbs, declared: "The Lord possessed me from the beginning of his way before the works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was." et. seq. Proverbs viii., 22, Jeremiah 1-5 ; John ix., 34 ; John v., 14 ; John ix., 2. If this earth is to become the promised paradise, it can only come by reiterated births, with constant evolution of the moral and spiritual senses, till the whole of mankind is leavened into righteousness.
Soul is older than body, for body was created as an envelopment for soul. Ergo, if soul had pre-existence, why may it not have persistent careers and in fresh embodiments.
Our body clearly portrays residual cells, organs and parts long since in disuse, not vestigial, and even outlaw, often by weakness and decadence, inviting disorder and diseases of other parts, actually superinducing death of the whole organism. These changes and remnants prove evolution true. As the changes in living states vary, the body of the world's inhabitants change. Evolution is the obedient servant of advancement. Adaptation is the law. The fish in frigid water has harder flesh and greater vigor than the fish dwelling in warmer. Man can exist only in air; the fish requires water. In our shallow reasoning, we think the heated globes above are uninhabited and without life. Life and its envelope are never without beneficent care; and whatever material is required for the functioning of probable inhabitants of far-away suns, is duly provided. To assume that only our tiny earth is instinct with life, is to limit the power of God, and betokens impious presumption. Aristotle said: "All places are full of souls, and their necessities are provided."
Every new life seems a phase of probation. In some manner he does not suspect, the soul undergoes reincarnation as a privilege. Remembrance of its former follies and weakness alone would discourage; so each is dipped in the river of Forgetfulness as he comes again, unless, as in rare souls and cases, they are ripened and are thus ready for adding new lessons to the old.
These lessons are manifest in the intuition many possess. Intuition is spiritual wealth, a stored up knowledge derived from experience in other lives. It is the evolutionary outcome and increment of animal instinct; subconscious reasoning that affords great satisfaction and help, quite as sordid earth-wealth may afford gatification by satisfying needs without additional effort.
"In this poor life, with this mean world,
I fain complete what in me lies;
I strive to perfect this my ME, -
My sole ambition's to be wise."
J. M. PRYSE'S BOOKS
may be had, including: The Magical Message of Oannes; The Apocalypse Unsealed; Prometheus Bound; Adorers of Dionysus; and The Restored New Testament; from John Pryse, 919 SOUTH BERNAL AVE., Los Angeles, Calif.
The immortality of Orpheus is connected principally with song. He belongs to the early legendary histories of ancient Greek as poet, musician and founder of the Greek religion. His was the inspiration of a new cult of a higher order through the conception of Beauty framed in harmony and melody. He was one of the greatest of the leaders of spiritual enquiry and authority into the shadowland, the limbo of perception, that practically unexplored territory where the marauding senses range upon the silences of the soul. He was indeed one of that small and divine group of the true princes of the race, a demigod and a seer by the power and light of the intuitional faculty.
Orpheus was allege d to be the son of the Thracian river Oiagnow and the muse Kalliope, the muse of epic poetry. He became one of the famous Argonauts, and by his musical genius aided his companions considerably in times of stress and danger. It was by the charm of his song that the ship was launched; no human skill could do it. That same exquisite witchery stayed the very rocks that moved to crush the ship. His beloved wife, Eurydice, died from the bite of a serpent, and, seeking to regain her, Orpheus, as another later Master, descended into Hades. There he enchanted the terrible guardians of the realm of Pluto by his enthralling voice, and Eurydice was restored to him and to life on condition that he neither touched nor regarded her until they reached the upper air. Unhappily, at the threshold he turned to ensure that she was really there, as she glided so noiselessly behind. Immediately she was snatched away again into the gulf, and for ever denied him. Under excessive grief, Orpheus wandered afterwards into the world of men and affairs, and the earth was filled with his sorrow. He was at last, the myth tells, torn to pieces by the Thracian women, who were envious of his exclusive love for Eurydice and complete indifference to their own allure. In the woods and among the mountains wild beasts had fallen beneath the spell of his music, and it is said that inanimate things were endowed with motion by the wonder of his song. Yet his own countrywomen put him to death, jealous and lustful to possess what they could not comprehend.
Many improvements, particularly in a religious sense, in human manners and customs are attributed by fabulists, or perhaps historians, and poets to the influence of Orpheus. He is said to have founded the Greek religion and the Mysteries. The rending into pieces of his physical form by the Thracian women may be symbolic of the intuitional influences that operated in disintegrating, by revolution politically, aesthetically or even of a cosmic order, established systems of priestly opposition to the dissemination of more liberal Orphic ideals. Thus by the specific character of his devotion he would be, as it were, literally torn to shreds for the winds to carry or the earth to bury for future fertilization of transitional expansion of spiritual consciousness. Women would typify the emotional qualities that automatically would become the channel for the destructive, but pregnant, passion, that demands periodically the apparent sacrifice of good to evil, of light to darkness, of life to form, whereby the shell, or sheath, is broken by a supreme agony for the emergence of a new understanding, winged for a rarer atmosphere. Thrace was the birthplace of Orpheus, and the final sudden eclipse of his genius by contemporary local jealousies admits a sub-
Sun worship and the return of dawn after the Hadean night, as personified in the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, a persistent legend, indicate a subtler source, the ancient wisdom of the East. His unparalleled love towards her and his adventurous terrible journey to the kingdom of the dead in order to recover her for life and light and love, is the romance of spiritual consciousness when quickened to initiation. He unbarred the portal of death by the greatest magic, the melody of the heart, which alone challenges and unites all separative shadows for the release of love.
The Orphic, similarly to the Bacchic, rites were closely related, through the worship of Dionysos, the Chthonian deity, to the expression, by personification in Demeter and Kora, of the most rapturous pleasure and also the deepest sorrow for the griefs of human life. The Orphic poems and legends were largely connected with this Dionysos, who was combined, as an infernal deity, with Hades or Pluto, according to the doctrine given by the philosopher Herakleitos as the opinion of a certain sect. It was upon this Dionysos that the leaders of the cult of Orpheus founded their hope of purification and the ultimate immortality of the soul. Their mode of celebration of worship was, however, very different from the popular rites of Bacchus. There was no indulgence in unrestrained pleasure or frenzied enthusiasm. Their aim was ascetic purity of both life and manners. They tasted flesh only at the mystic and sacrificial feat. This symbolic act of union with the life and form, the Spirit and the Body, of the Divine Beloved is still administered in the sacraments and wine in the Christian Church. Their raiment was of white linen, as are the garments of Oriental and Egyptian priesthoods, from whom according to Herodotus, much in the ritual of these Mysteries may have been borrowed.
Like, practically, if not, indeed, wholly, all stereotyped forms of religious expression for many centuries, the Orphic Mysteries were exclusively aristocratic. This was based on the assumption for the favored nobility that wealth, power, beauty and fortune were the natural and righteous heritage and reward of virtuous souls. The cult of the Cross had not yet the least foreshadowing, save in Hebraic visions far remote. As in all localized forms of idealistic enterprise in the realm of religion, the emphasis on art and beauty tended rather to overlook the steps by which it must climb to triumph. These were the steps of suffering, perhaps typified and immortalized by Orpheus, and in every other sacred historical record, by his relations with the soul, as Eurydice - relations which constitute that tenuous magic silver thread by which the soul is bound to and again released from the body. This is one of the mysteries within the Mysteries, Separation from emotional beauty can only be experienced when the realization of the eternal expands upon the temporal resulting in an apparent annihilation.
Eurydice was slain by the bite of a serpent. Thus the esoteric knowledge of the power of kundalini destroyed the personality and released the soul from carnality. The realization of this to Orpheus, seeking through the gates of death and Hades what he had lost for ever, brought him eventually to a disintegration of the intellectual forms into which contemporary religion had crystallized. Love and beauty were gone into the elusive world of shadows, and he who had sustained them was shattered by an eternal desolation. It was merely the furrowing of the soil for a new seed to ripen later into the splendour of the Orphic Mysteries. - Edith A. Lawes, in The Pilgrim Way, Christmas issue.
KELTIC LADIES AND HEROES
There is no story of the far-off days so well known, and loved as that of Deirdre, whose beauty filled the mind of the Gael with a sweet and abiding wonder. The name of Deirdre has been a torch which has lit the genius of a thousand bards; she, who alone among women was the white rose of blameless purity and the deep red-rose of desire. The prophecies foretelling her birth and death are among the prophetic utterances of all time. There is the wild beauty of Graine, whom Diarmid loved and gladly died for; and the great queen Maeve who ruled the Red-Branch, Hosts of Ulla; and Fand, whose name is an exquisite poem. * [* The tear that passes o'er the fire of love's eye.]
Not in the Mabinogen, not in the Scandinavian Sagas, not even in the Arthurian romances are there women whom we can love as we love Deirdre, Maeve and Emer. How fair is Emer in girlhood and womanhood. When her lord and hero Cuchulain left her, to journey forth with Fand to Tir-nan Oge, Emer bade him farewell with smiling eyes - knowing that her husband would return again when the fairy-spell was broken. And when Cuchulain died warring with the waves, Emer bade Conal make a deep wide grave wherein to lay the body of her hero. "Then she lay down beside that form she loved and put her mouth to his mouth, while she whispered, `Love of my life, my friend, my sweetheart, my choice of the men of the earth, many are the women wed and unwed who have envied me until this day, now I will not stay living after you."' The last words of the tale are these. "Her life went out from her, she and Cuchulain were laid in one grave by Conal. And he raised the one stone over them, and wrote their names in Ogham, and he himself and all the men of Ulster keened them. But the three times fifty queens who loved Cuchulain saw him appear in his Druidic chariot and they could hear him singing the music of the Sidhe." There are also the traditions and legends which encircle Finn and his great companions; and of Conn and his hundred battles. Tales of Ossian and his wanderings in Fairyland carried thither across the alluring waters of desire, on Niam's winged steed, tales of Oscar, Brian and Fergus the Druid. I would like to tell you all these wondrous tales, but time flies, and we must follow. The Keltic bards wrote and sang of their Heroes as of immortal Gods who hid their lineage in mortal guise for purposes unknown. Time translates all passing events into immortal deeds. - Eline Dunlop in The Path, January, 1912.
During the month of December we have received the following magazines: The Toronto Theosophical News, December; Dharma, Mexico, September; United Lodge Bulletin, London, No. 230, November; The Christian Theosophist, Mon/Abri, December-March; Carta Semanal 51, T.S. in Mexico, Tampico, October; The Middle Way, Buddhist organ, London, Nov.-December; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, December; The Aryan Path, Bombay, October; Theosophy, Los Angeles, December; The Theosophical Movement, Bombay, October; Bulletin of the T.S. in Mexico, Sept.-October; Devenir, V., Montevideo, Uruguay, September; The American Theosophist, December; Eirenicon, Hyde, Cheshire, Nov.-December; East-West, Los Angeles, Jan.-March, 1946; The Bombay Theosophical Bulletin, November; Canadian Poetry Magazine, December; The Canadian Author & Bookman, Ruusu-Risti, Helsinki, Finland, Nos. 8 and 9.
MR. HODSON'S THREE PAMPHLETS
Mr. Geoffrey Hodson is the author of three pamphlets which have been recently issued, and they will be an attractive and useful addition to our stock of Theosophical propaganda literature. The Way to Perfect Health, Spiritual, Mental and Physical, has been issued, by the New Zealand Vegetarian Society. Many readers will be surprised by Mr. Hodson's theory that correct mental and moral qualities largely determine the physical health of the body, so that wholesome is that wholesome does. Mr. Hodson's argument cannot be ignored. We cannot do better to indicate the contents of these pages than by a few quotations.
"How may health be defined? I suggest that health is a condition of harmonious unity of ideal, thought, feeling and conduct. When this unity and accord are attained and maintained, two basic laws are being obeyed. One is the law of harmony upon which, as equilibrium, the whole Universe is established, and the other is the law of compensation by which the whole Universe is ruled. When no natural law is violated, there can be no personal pain. When natural law is violated, suffering is inevitable. Moreover, the nature and the extent of the pain are always exactly appropriate to the degree of violation."
"The Inner Spiritual Self of man continually transmits spiritualizing impulses. The mind receives and relays them. The man in his physical body receives and in varying degrees manifests and ratifies them. The degree of such ratification decides the degree of happiness and health. Similarly the degree in which they are ignored or violated determines the extent of unhappiness and ill-health. Where the harmonies are preserved, health is assured. Where they are not preserved, ill-health is inevitable. Discord within will in time produce disease without."
"Unity is the message which the Spiritual Self continually transmits to the lower man through the medium of the mind. In the savage, the message is scarcely heard and only ratified as an instinct of tribal and family unity. In the self-centredness of material-minded man, unity and love are still denied. 'Each for himself and the devil take the hindmost' is his guiding principle. Individuals, groups, and even nations, when not threatened by a common danger, still show themselves capable of acting as self-centred units, with little or no regard for the welfare of their fellow men, not to mention the animal kingdom of Nature. The result is clear to every eye. The large majority of human beings are prone to ill-health. The chaos, ruin and disease in the world are the direct result of man's ignorance and denial of the truth that life is one."
"In his abattoirs alone, man reaches the apex of senseless savagery. For all the brutal slaughter is totally unnecessary and animals are wholly defenceless. The inevitable result under the laws enunciated is widespread misery and disease, rampant, unpreventable disease. Those who gratify lust to kill by slaughtering, and physical appetite by consuming the carcases - of highly sensitive creatures, cannot possibly be either happy or healthy individuals. For they are in conflict with both the spiritual fact of unity and the power, purpose and impulse within all Nature. For all Creation moves towards ever-increasing fulness and freedom of manifestation."
"The Mystery of Death is a message to the bereaved from the New Zealand National T.S. Mr. Hodson of course speaks of reincarnation but he gradually raises the discussion above the personal level, until, if he does not mention the general resurrection at least he suggests it. . . The real resurrection taking place daily in the hosts of babies constantly being born, is the strongest.
ppeal, I have found, that one can make to thoughtful people. Here are Mr. Hodson's words in this connection, page 13:
"These teachings also apply to the nations of the world. As these words are written, the second World War is in its fifth year. Millions have died, towns and cities have been devastated, unbelievable cruelty has been made manifest, but whatever the immediate physical course of the war, spiritually there is naught for mankind to fear. Though the bodies of men may die - indeed will inevitably die whether in war or peace - the soul of man is immortal, being created in the image of the eternity of its Divine Creator. Though the forms and buildings of civilization, being material, may crumble, nay inevitably will crumble, whether in war or peace, the spirit which raised them up, the vision and the power of attainment which they represent cannot be destroyed; for they are achievements of man who, having thus attained, has developed within himself for evermore the power of similar attainment. For powers once developed by the soul of man are never lost. They belong to man forever more. Even should the present civilization disappear, others will be raised up, more splendid, more beautiful, by a humanity which ever becomes wiser, saner and more humane. Civilizations may conceivably be destroyed, but civilization cannot, for it is a power developed by and pertaining to the Immortal Self of man."
The third of these pamphlets is Animals and Men: the Ideal Relationship. It should be read by all those ladies who wear or covet mink coats or silver fox neck-pieces. While our women continue to be cruel, blame falls lightly on men. This pamphlet is published by the New Zealand Theosophical Order of Service. It is a compact and comprehensive review of the whole subject. Here is a point that should be placed before parents.
"Corporal punishment is neither justifiable nor beneficial. It creates psychological difficulties and encourages the development of cruelty. If children are treated and taught with unfailing kindness, they will grow up into humane citizens. If they are treated with cruelty, they will tend to exhibit cruelty in their turn. Cruelty to children is the most widespread and the most heartrending of all forms of inhumaneness. All who work for its abolition render service to the world of incalculable value.
"Children thus inspired and directed by example and instruction will learn through all their lives to walk in the way of kindness and love."
MORE FROM KAMA-LOKA
The Country Beyond
In our November issue we quoted Madame Blavatsky's brief account of Kama-Loka and referred two books on Spiritualism to this source. One of these was Lord Dowding's well written Lychgate, and we hinted that some of our neo-theosophical books had derived their material from this source. A clairvoyant may gain great fame without possessing the gift of spiritual or pneumic clairvoyance at all, his gift only covering the psychic worlds and his information belonging to the Lower Manasic levels. We have another psychic or spiritualistic example of this in The Country Beyond, by Jane Sherwood, whose clever literary ability is effectively employed in producing an attractive and very readable volume. The author might join with many others in singing the old ballad, "Oh, no, we never mention her, Her name is never heard," as far as Madame Blavatsky is concerned, for though her language and facts are often quoted, the truths she vouched for and the philosophy she propounded, are utterly ignored and might
as well never have existed.
The denizens of Kama-Loka according to these accounts are highly intelligent people who repeat the same set of views they and their like occupy themselves with during earth life and conciousness. They lack one faculty, as blind people lack sight. But in their ease the lack is not so obvious. The late celebrated Dean Stanley had an ear for music, and music to him was just a noize." The defect is not obvious until questions of music come up. . . Similarly the lack of the spiritual or pneumic consciousness is not apparent, until spiritual truths and experience are under discussion. Those who do not possess it during life, do not gain it by dying. They find themselves in Kama-Loka, astral eidolons with what has been assimilated from the Lower Manas after the higher triad, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, has separated itself and the true man has departed to higher realms. This astral entity can reveal nothing more than what it was familiar with during its lifetime unless inspired by evil powers.
The author warns us of the dangers of such investigations. We quote from page 13:
"A trained and disciplined mind and body, with emotions purified and controlled, are necessary to the psychic experimenter. He needs a high degree of courage to face the unknown, since experiences in the realm of the spirit are always unique, and none can be prepared in advance for this adventure. But courage in itself is not enough; it may well lead to catastrophe. Only a stabilized character formed upon the highest ideals can afford real protection against the hazards of such an enterprise."
On page 58 is given a table showing the fourfold "modes of being" adopted by this and similar writers - physical, etheric, astral and ego, or "higher planes," but no information is given
above the Lower Manas level. It may amuse some readers to hear that reincarnation is virtually treated as a new discovery. The novel reasons why return should be accepted are set forth in chapter xiv. pp. 77-81, with further reasons in the following chapter. Some excellent ideas are to be found in the chapter on Childhood, though the fact that the ego plans its own body never occurs to the author, whose theory appears to be that God creates the body for the soul, which is a reversal of the Church idea. - (The Country Beyond, by Jane Sherwood,. 144 pp. 12/6, Rider & Co., 68 Fleet Street, London, E.C. 4, England.)
THE GREAT MOMENT
"Sometimes when life seems beautiful
And I am strong and free,
I pause and think of captive things
That peep at life through bars.
And through my heart there sweeps a prayer
Of passion and of rage -
O God of mercy, pity things
Locked up within a cage."
A little bird sat in his cage and gazed out with longing eyes into the sunshine. He was a singing bird and lived in a civilized country, or at least in a country supposed to be civilized.
There were blue mountains in the distance.
"The South is behind those mountains," thought the little bird, "I only flew once in that direction. Never again."
The distant mountains seemed to him to be quite near. His longing for them caused them to draw near to the bars of his cage.
"They are so very near," said the little bird, "if only the bars were not there! If the door would only open once only just once! Then the great moment would come, and with one beat of my wings I should be behind those
The cranes were migrating. Their complaining call sounded through the clear autumn air, complaining and alluring at the same time. It was the call to the South.
They disappeared behind the blue mountains.
The little bird flung himself against the bars of his cage.
The winter came and the little bird was silent.
The snow fell and the blue mountains turned grey. The way to the South was buried in cold and fog.
Many winters passed and many summers. Many years passed. The mountains turned blue and grey many times over. The little bird still waited for the great moment. Then one fine autumn day the door of the cage was left open.
By mistake, of course - people never do that on purpose.
The great moment had arrived! The little bird trembled with joy and excitement. Carefully and timidly he fluttered up the nearest tree. But everything about him made him feel confused - he was no longer accustomed to freedom.
The blue mountains stood in the blue distance. But now they seemed to be very far away, much too far away for wings that had been motionless for years behind the bars of a cage. But it had to be attempted. For the great moment had arrived!
The little bird took all his courage together and all his powers, and spreading his wings wide for the flight to the South behind the blue mountains, fluttered again.
But he got no further that the nearest branch. Had his wings become crippled in the course of the long years of waiting, or was there something wrong within himself? He did not know. The blue mountains were far off, much too for for him.
He fluttered quietly back into his cage.
The cranes migrated. He could hear their cry, complaining and at the same time alluring, through the autumn air. It was the call to the South.
They disappeared behind the blue mountains.
The little bird bowed his head and buried it beneath his wing.
The Great Moment was over.
- Manfred Kyber.
SPIRIT, MATTER AND MOTION
The difficulty of explaining the fact that "unintelligent Forces can give rise to highly intelligent beings like ourselves," is covered by the eternal progression of cycles, and the process of evolution ever perfecting its work as it goes along. Not believing in cycles, it is unnecessary for you to learn that which will create but a new pretext for you, my dear Brother, to combat the theory and argue upon it ad infinitum. Nor did I ever become guilty of the heresy I am accused of - in reference to spirit and matter. The conception of matter and spirit as entirely distinct, and both eternal could certainly never have entered my head, however little I may know of them, for it is one of the elementary and fundamental doctrines of Occultism that the two are one, and are distinct but in their respective manifestations, and only in the limited perceptions of the world of senses. Far from "lacking philosophical breadth" then, our doctrines show, but one principle in nature, spirit-matter or matter-spirit, the third the ultimate Absolute or the quintessence of the two, - if I may be allowed to use an erroneous term in the present application - losing itself beyond the view and spiritual perceptions of even the "Gods" or Planetary Spirits. This third principle say the Vedantic Philosophers - is the only reality, everything else being Maya, as none of the Protean manifestations of spirit-matter or Purusha and
Prakriti have ever been regarded in any other light than that of temporary delusions of the senses. Even in the hardly outlined philosophy of Isis this idea is clearly carried out. In the book of Kiu-te, Spirit is called the ultimate sublimation of matter, and matter the crystallization of spirit. And no better illustration could be afforded than in the very simple phenomenon of ice, water, vapor and the final dispersion of the latter, the phenomenon being reversed in its consecutive manifestations and called the Spirit falling into generation or matter. This trinity resolving itself into unity, - a doctrine as old as the world of thought - was seized upon by some early Christians, who had it in the schools of Alexandria, and made up into the Father, or generative spirit; the Son or matter, - man; and into the Holy Ghost, an idea found to this day in the pyramids of Egypt. Thus once more it is proved that you misunderstand my meaning entirely, whenever for the sake of brevity I use a phraseology habitual with the Western people. But in my turn I have to remark that your idea that matter is but the temporary allotropic form of spirit differing from it as charcoal does from diamond is as unphilosophical as it is unscientific from both the Eastern and the Western points of view, charcoal being but a form of residue of matter, while matter per se is indestructible, and as I maintain coeval with spirit - that spirit which we know and can conceive of bereaved of Prakriti, Purusha (Spirit) is unable to manifest itself, hence ceases to exist - becomes nihil. Without spirit or Force, even that which Science styles as "not living" matter, the so-called mineral ingredients which feed plants, could never have been called into form. There is a moment in the existence of every molecule and atom of matter when, for one cause or another, the last spark of spirit or motion or life (call it by whatever name) is withdrawn, and in the same instant with the swiftness which surpasses that of the lightning glance of thought the, atom or molecule or an aggregation of molecules is annihilated to return to its pristine purity of intracosmic matter. It is drawn to the mother fount with the velocity of a globule of quicksilver to the central mass. Matter, force, and motion are the trinity of physical objective nature, as the trinitarian unity of spirit-matter is that of the spiritual or subjective nature. Motion is eternal because spirit is eternal. But no modes of motion can ever be conceived unless they be in connection with matter. - The Mahatma Letters, pp. 141-142
For real Theosophy is Altruism, and we cannot repeat it too often. It is brotherly love, mutual help, unswerving devotion to Truth. If once men do but realize that in these alone can true happiness be found, and never in wealth, possessions, or any selfish gratification, then the dark clouds will roll away, and
a new humanity will be born upon the earth . . . . .
But if not, then the storm will burst, and our boasted civilization and enlightenment will sink in such a sect of horror that its parallel History has never yet recorded. - H.P.B. in "Our Cycle and the Next".
Being Chapter V. of the important book "Septenary Man" by the late eminent San Francisco physician, Dr. Jerome A. Anderson.
Isolated students and those unable to have access to Theosophical literature should avail themselves of the Travelling Library conducted by the Toronto Theosophical Society. There are no charges except for postage on the volumes loaned. For particulars write to the Librarian, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, Ont.
THE COMMON QUESTION
Behind us at our evening meal
The gray bird ate his fill,
Swung downward by a single claw,
And wiped his hooked bill.
He shook his wings and crimson tail,
And set his head aslant,
And, in his sharp, impatient way,
Asked, `What does Charlie want?'
'Fie, silly bird!' I answered, `tuck
Your head beneath your wing,
And go to sleep;' - but o'er and o'er
He asked the self-same thing.
Then, smiling to myself I said
How like are men and birds
We, all are saying what he says,
In action or in words.
The boy with whip and top and drum,
The girl with hoop and doll,
And men with lands and houses, ask
The question of Poor Poll.
However full, with something more
We fain the bag would cram;
We sigh above our crowded nets
For fish that never swam.
Na bounty of indulgent Heaven
The vague desire can stay;
Self-love is still a Tartar mill
For grindnig prayers alway.
The dear God hears and pities all;
He knoweth all our wants;
And what we blindly ask of Him
His love withholds or grants.
And so I sometimes think our prayers
Might well be merged in one;
And nest and perch and hearth and church
Repeat, 'Thy will be done.'
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