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Vol. XXVI, No. 3 Hamilton, May 15th, 1945 Price 20 Cents
Krishna: Many times have I been born, and many times have you been also. I remember mine, but yours you have forgotten. Birthless am I, the everlasting SELF, Lord of all creatures, yet I preside over Nature and I manifest through my inscrutable power of illusion. O son of Bharata, when there is a failure of justice and virtue, and vice and impiety reign, I body myself forth from age to age, for the protection of good men and the removal of wickedness - Bhagavad Gita, iv. 6-8.
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall one come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel: whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting - Micah, v. 2.
No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven. - John iii. 13.
Some months ago I expressed the view that the three great leaders among the Allies had incarnated specially for the work they have so capably done. I met some severe criticism at the time, but having been used to that I took the hint and meditated on the idea, and have found it practical and in accord with reason and sense. We can hardly suppose that when the nations are set in order for one of the greatest ordeals in the history of the human race that amateurs would be selected to meet the Adversary. We are too much in the habit of taking the exoteric or outside view of things; and this is all right for those unfamiliar with the great laws of Life and its unfoldment. We have chosen an exoteric Appreciation to follow these observations which may give more satisfaction to those to whom The Way is still undiscovered. But to those who have learned that all life is a great Initiation and revelation of the Infinite Mind, a deeper understanding of the events of the last six years must be sought. It is significant to the wary that as soon as the war had reached its climax the greatest of the three was called to higher spheres.
I am not concerned as to what part these three men played in earlier incarnations. It might allay some curiosity but otherwise would only add to the abundant material for gossip already existing. If some high authority of any of the Seven Schools of Occultism announced that Edward the Third of England, Edward I, and Oliver Cromwell had been the previous personalities of the three leaders it would not be knowledge but only unconfirmed information, and no better than the rumors that have filled the newspapers for years past. The thing to be assured
of is that the Seen and the Unseen Worlds are not divided but work together in harmony and for mutual benefit.
Christian theologians have a doctrine which, as in other instances, they apply to Jesus only in the endeavor to represent him as unique. It is called the kenosis or the renunciation of his divine nature in part so that he could mingle with ordinary men and women. This "emptying" himself of transcendent powers is equally applicable in degree to men of lesser attainment who have missions on earth to fulfil, and who would be embarrassed if met with honors worthy of their real natures and who could not have their due influence over their fellows if suspected of divine power. In fact such a conception would entail a wrong attitude of mind toward such a leader. It should not be forgotten that all the supreme titles which we now apply to Jesus were originally given to Augustus Caesar, after whom we name the month of August.
Men are deprived of their ordinary standards of judgment when confronted by one regarded as divine. This has the effect of paralyzing the ordinary man's mentality. He would fail to exercize his own faculties, the only means by which he can advance. So Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin dwell among men as men and inspire them to action. In the first World War the only man of similar calibre was Lloyd George, and he too has been gathered to his Fathers near the climax of the great conflict in which he was fated only to play the part of a spectator.
It is unfortunate that the Christian Church fell into the error of treating the Christos as a person instead of a state of consciousness. This state is open to all who live the life and act in accord with the Golden Rule. Some Theosophists seem to think that their society has a monopoly of it. Thus little sects are established which limit the outlook of their members. The Christos consciousness is open to all who comply with the conditions, and this is true of Christian Scientists, Bahaists, and Seventh Day Adventists as well as all sorts of Protestants and Catholics, Jews, Turks and heretics, Hindus, Buddhists and all others who love their fellow men better than themselves. The Theosophical Society has fallen into the fallacy of having its members serve it instead of training them to serve the world of men and forget themselves altogether.
The unseen worlds are important beyond our understanding, but the world we see and know is not to be neglected; nor is it forgotten by the great ones who have won their stature by the trials and training they endured in the flesh. They "endured as seeing him who is invisible." Now, whether by the service of men of genius, or by "obscured adepts," or by the promptings of Nirmanakayas, we may feel assured that while avoiding any interference with the sanctity of free will, such aid will be rendered to the orphan humanity, as may be possible, and in the best interests of our development in Love and Wisdom.
Franklin Roosevelt was a great politician. He understood political organization, the use of patronage, how to confound his opponents. He understood the material he had to work with. He appreciated that his people had high principles and could rise to great occasions. He also knew that people had a jealous and mean streak; that colored Americans had a great many enemies in his own land.
Mr. Roosevelt rarely fooled himself about realities of a given situation, though he was a top expert in politics, for he did not confuse his beliefs with what the actual conditions were. But on none of those things was his great-
ness built. Other Americans have been great politicians; knew the angles. They also knew who would be offended by a particular course. They, too, knew all the negatives of American politics, where votes would be lost because of opposition to isolationism, because of friendliness to the colored, because of cooperation with the British and the Russians. Mr. Roosevelt knew when he was offending at home by preparing his nation for the war in which he saw it must inevitably participate.
Every top ranking party machine official knew all that. And every public man who expects to serve a nation where opinion is free, must understand such forces. But Mr. Roosevelt's place in history will rest on none of those things which all American politicians understand instinctively. His mark in history will rest on the steps forward he took in leading his nation along the paths of decency and right, with a full knowledge and appreciation of the powerful forces he was offending by doing so.
Mr. Roosevelt never lived in an ivory tower nor considered himself holier than others. He knew why his opponents fought him so hard and with such varied and such sharp weapons. He too used sharp and varied weapons. He too knew what the Hague machine was like; what the Kelly-Nash machine lived on, how the Prendergast outfit worked. But his greatness lay in using those weapons to lead his nation forward, not simply to stay in office, which is often the sole aim of politicians.
The tools of democracy Mr. Roosevelt knew how to use. He had a strong, or rather powerful, opposition press. His friends amongst publishers were few. But he knew the inherent decency in the good newspapers would neither pervert the news reports of his speeches nor black out his activities. He knew the evil a powerful political machine could do. But he also knew that no man could be elected president of the United States of America without such a machine. But what he never did was forget the purpose for which he was elected President. Nor did he forget the goal towards which he aimed.
Sometimes the force of the groups and mass emotions opposed to his course would spin him sideways, deflect him. But they would never stop him. Mr. Roosevelt, for instance, knew the deep set isolationism in his country. He also knew the peril that faced his nation if Britain fell. It was not his love of Britain that led him to send help to that land that had withstood so strongly the devastating shocks of an amoral enemy. It was his love of his own people and the freedom of man that led him to send aid to the country that was not only defending itself, but protecting the United States and all mankind in doing so.
Mr. Roosevelt had something which few public men have in any country where the votes of every person over 21, no matter how ill-informed, count with those who have a sense of public responsibility. He had political courage as well as sagacity. He had a fighting heart, not just a warm one. Nor did he permit his warm heart to prevent him from seeing just how big the first step would be. And then, whether the second step would come next week, or month from next week. But always, always, would he move forward towards his objective and that objective and the steps he took towards attaining it are what will give Mr. Roosevelt his high mark in the history of world humanitarians.
Mr. Roosevelt liked the fight. He loved political battles. He had a great deal of fun in matching his political skill, his daring, his ideas against those of his opponents in an election scrap.
But he never forgot why he scrapped and battled, and stood toe to toe and slugged it out with those on the other side. And all his ingenuity, his very genius in party warfare, in getting out the vote, in explaining an issue to the voters in clear, simple language which always stripped the fat off a problem, was never done for that purpose alone, or for the purpose of staying in office alone. He knew that he had to get into office before he could do anything. But getting or staying in office in themselves had no merit for him. He wanted to be elected, he wanted to remain president of the United States to serve his objective which was freedom, freedom to live and breathe and work as free men, as the most recent powerful heirs of the best democratic tradition.
He understood the frustration of a hale, keen, American who was out of work. He had no empty belly himself but he knew the hunger pangs. He knew what it was not to be able to get work, to have to live on relief, though he never suffered want. And he understood fully the opposition, its power, and where it would be, if he had to make drastic economic reforms to see that the unemployed man could get work, could live as a free person should.
It took great political courage in a country such as the United States, with its distrust of European nations, and its inclinations to live off by itself, to prepare for the war the Americans did not want any part of. It took the courage few public men have to introduce the draft for the forces when the United States was not at war, at a time when isolationism was so strong, when the smart boys talked about "pulling England's chestnuts out of the fire."
But in all his actions, in all his political sidetrips, Mr. Roosevelt never went beyond a certain point. He would trim, of course. But he would never, for the sake of cheers, of votes, of office, confuse trimming sails with the purpose of sailing. Political morality he had, which is something professionals in politics often lose. He knew the tricks, and would use them, but only so far would he go, or permit his followers to go, and no further. There was an active conscience that would sometimes stretch. But that conscience was always there, ever reminding him that certain means could never be justified no matter how important the end.
Physical courage is not as rare as moral courage. And moral courage in a public man, moral courage of the highest order, is the rarest thing of all. Mr. Roosevelt had physical courage, he had political courage, but beyond all else he had immense moral courage. And it was the combination of the many things, the keen politician, the expert in public trends, in mob passion, in its loves and hates plus the highest measure of moral courage, that made Franklin Roosevelt the great American, the outstanding citizen of the world he was.
Mr. Roosevelt, when he was 39 years old, in August, 1921, was hit with poliomyelitis. The muscles of his legs and lower abdomen were paralyzed. Smacked as hard as that, and with enough money to live for the rest of their lives and just take care of themselves, most other men would find enough. Mr. Roosevelt couldn't lick the disease. He could overcome, as much as any person possibly could, its handicaps. No one seeing Mr. Roosevelt lift himself out of his car, as he did at Ottawa, with his powerful arms, then stand at the lectern to speak for the world to hear, and criticize, can ever forget the sight. There was a man who could overcome a terrible disability. After that, with the sense of balance, of perspective which comes to one who has fought and conquered an illness such as his, other things, the petty things of life, fall into their proper niches.
Not the United States alone has lost a
man. The future of every child who will be old enough to go to war in the next twenty-five years is affected by the death of one who was never so important as to lose his love for little children.
- L.L.L. Golden, - in Judith Robinson's NEWS, April 21.
WHITE LOTUS DAY
(from Mr. Dudley Barr)
I am enclosing herewith a copy of the proposed program for White Lotus Day, which was prepared by Mr. W.J. Sutton.
I think he has done an excellent job and his selection of extracts from modern writings relating to the three objects of the Society is very good. It occurred to me that you might like to put it in the Canadian Theosophist if you have the space.
With all good wishes, yours very truly,
MAY 6, 1945
MUSIC: 7 :00 to 7 :30 - Wagner's Goetterdaemmerung.
Entry of the Gods into Valhalla.
PRESIDENT: Opening remarks.
CHAIRMAN announces reading
Reading - Bhagavad Gita, Mrs. Ruth Somers.
I. CHAIRMAN - The Purpose of the Movement
FIRST OBJECT is outlined and reading introduced.
(1) H.P.B.on Brotherhood.
(2) Manifesto of British Labor Leaders.
(3) President Roosevelt's Speech.
(4) Prime Minister's Speech.
(5) Aldous Huxley on Unity.
2. CHAIRMAN - Comment and introduction of SECOND OBJECT and related readings.
(1) William James.
(2) Albert Einstein.
(3) Sir James Jeans.
(4) Sir A. S. Eddington.
3. CHAIRMAN - Comment and introduction of Musical Selection
4. CHAIRMAN - Comment and introduction of THIRD OBJECT and related readings
(1) Review of Reiser's book "Scientific Humanism".
CHAIRMAN - Summing up and comment on the future, closing with quotation from Walt Whitman.
6. CHAIRMAN - closes meeting.
(suggestion only subject to personal presentation)
Today is White lotus Day when once each year we pay tribute to the founder of the Theosophical Society - H.P. Blavatsky. Since 1875 when the Society was founded a great variety of minds have been attracted by the many aspects of the Ancient Wisdom revived by Madame Blavatsky - scientific, philosophical, ethical and spiritual. These teachings have made and are making with increased insistence their claims to the attention of thoughtful minds and have exercized a definite, if subtle influence, upon the spheres of modern research and discovery.
The shifting boundaries of the physical sciences, with their tendency towards interrelation and unification; the constantly changing angles from which `specialists' are compelled to regard their work; the resultant dismay and uncertainty of theologians, no longer able to dogmatize: these are all signs of the indubitable fact that Man's outlook on Nature and on his own life
and destiny is broadening and deepening. Students of the Ancient Wisdom recognize that here, in reality, is the beginning of a return to the principles of the primeval philosophy of which Madame Blavatsky was the interpreter in this era.
Pre-eminent for Madame Blavatsky's avowed followers is the knowledge that her philosophy offers a rational explanation of the existence and destiny of Man. It demonstrates to men and women - in line with all spiritual instruction of the past - how, by the practice of a voluntary self-discipline, they may learn to control and gradually to live beyond the passional and personal elements of their ordinary nature, and, in so doing, acquire the unselfish, impersonal qualities which are the heritage of the real Human Being.
The inspiration given by Madame Blavatsky has indeed been incalculable in regard to this inborn desire and determination to find the Path, and to attain, at whatever cost, to the realization of the true Self. For she showed, as has been shown from time immemorial, that the Way lies within; that each man has the power to work out his own highest Self. In the doctrines of Reincarnation and Karma with which Madame Blavatsky familiarized the West, are to be found the arbiters of Man's fate - wholly just, yet, when rightly understood, wholly merciful, and the ultimate appeasers of mortal sorrow.
During her lifetime Madame Blavatsky was greatly beloved and as greatly hated. She was lauded and vilified, hailed as a prophetess and repudiated as a charlatan. The voice of abuse is by no means stilled, but "H.P.B." waits, with august companions, the verdict of the centuries.
Our program tonight is dedicated to the memory of a great soul who has passed the bounds of mortality. A life consecrated to the cause of humanity. Our faith but flickers praise to her that lit the lamp, but the river of our life can hearken to the source that sped it. Faith fails not - deludes not. Her Spirit speaks from realms of light and all is well.
(From Chapter ii; translated by Max Muller)
The Deity said: - You have grieved for those who deserve no grief, and you talk words of wisdom. Learned men grieve not for the living nor the dead. Never did I not exist, nor you, nor these rulers of men; nor will any one of us ever hereafter cease to be. As in this body, infancy and youth and old age (come) to the embodied (self) so does the acquisition of another body; a sensible man is not deceived about that. The contacts of the senses, O son of Kunti! which produce cold and heat, pleasure and pain, are not permanent, they are ever coming and going. Bear them, O descendant of Bharata! For, O chief of men! that sensible man whom they (pain and pleasure being alike to him) afflict not, he merits immortality. There is no existence for that which is unreal, there is no non-existence for that which is real. And the (correct) conclusion about both is perceived by those who perceive the truth. Know that to be indestructible which pervades all this; the destruction of that inexhaustible (principle) none can bring about. These bodies appertaining to the embodied (self) which is eternal, indestructible, and indefinable, are said to be perishable; therefore, do engage in battle, O descendant of Bharata! He who thinks it to be the killer and he who thinks it to be killed, both know nothing. It kills not, is not killed. It is not born, nor does it ever die, nor having existed; does it exist no more. Unborn, ever-lasting, unchangeable, and primeval, it is not killed when the body is killed. O son of Pritha! how can that man who
knows it thus to be indestructible, ever-lasting, unborn, and inexhaustible, how and whom can he kill, whom can he cause to be killed? As a man, casting off old clothes, puts on others and new ones, so the embodied (self) casting off old bodies, goes to others and new ones. Weapons do not divide it (into pieces); fire does not burn it; waters do not moisten it; the wind does not dry it up. It is not divisible; it is not combustible. It is not to be moistened; it is not to be dried up. It is everlasting, all-pervading, stable, firm and eternal. It is said to be unperceived, to be unthinkable, to be unchangeable.
Therefore knowing it to be such, you ought not to grieve. But even if you think that it is constantly born, and constantly dies, still, O you of mighty arms! you ought not to grieve thus. For to one that is born, death is certain; and to one that dies, birth is certain.
Chairman's Comment on First Object
The Purpose of the Theosophical Movement
The three objects of the Theosophical Society establish the direction projected for the Society by its founders. First, there is the acceptance of the principle of Universal Brotherhood and the formation of a nucleus of that Brotherhood. This primary object is followed by the second, the study of comparative religion, philosophy and science. Such study is largely intellectual and is concerned in analysis, comparison, relationships, etc. But behind the form side of religions and beyond the logic of philosophy and science, there is the mystical content which leads to a unification of knowledge. The third object is the investigation of the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man. This investigation may be intellectual, psychic, or spiritual. If the study is objective only, the mental powers alone are involved. If the psychic powers are aroused and used, the fascination of the psychic realm may be difficult to overcome.
Our purpose tonight is to indicate in this our tribute to H.P.B. that some advance has been made since the formation of the Society - by taking in turn the three objects and supplementing them with representative readings and some modern correlations.
The first object is the pledge of Brotherhood. It is not a sentimental consideration for the student of Theosophy; it is a stern and uncompromising fact, the Occult Law and must be embodied in the daily life of the student. Denial of Brotherhood in thought or act checks the vital currents in the body at once, insistence in denial renders true occultism impossible.
Mr. Sutton will now read representative expositions of our FIRST OBJECT.
The first statement is the voice of Madame H. P. Blavatsky Herself:
"He who does not practise altruism, he who is not prepared to share his last morsel with a weaker and poorer than himself, he who neglects to help his brother man, of whatever race, nation or creed, wherever or whenever he meets suffering and who turns a deaf ear to the cry of human misery and does not undertake his defence as he would undertake his own IS NO THEOSOPHIST."
From the "Manifesto of British Labor Leaders October 24, 1938"
- A World-Wide Fellowship -
The time has come for an attempt to be made to form a worldwide fellowship based on mutual recognition of every living person's human and spiritual value, irrespective of class or creed or party or nationality. From that would inevitably in time develop everything we hope and pray for - international understanding, sympathy, cooperation in common problems, friendship, freedom from fear, brotherhood;
in fact, the real moral rearmament which is the only lasting security against war.
But it would be useless to embark upon such a great crusade without clearly recognizing the essential conditions of success. Those who undertake it, must be prepared to be sincere and honest exponents in practice of the doctrine of unselfishness and charity which they preach.
Our immediate and urgent object, should be to strive earnestly to foster international understanding. If contact were established between groups or persons in different countries, a fellowship of friendship could, we are confident, be created with ever-widening circles of comprehensiveness.
Is there any one who would venture to set bounds to what in time might grow out of establishing between the peoples of the world personal touch and mutual confidence, the sharing of aspirations, the frank exchange of views?
(From Message to Congress of Franklin D. Roosevelt January 6, 1941)
"In the future days that we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded on four essential freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression - everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom for every person to worship God in his own way - everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nature a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants - everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear which, translated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor - anywhere in the world.
This is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb."
From the "House of Commons Debates" Official Report - Daily Edition, Tuesday, March 20, 1945
The Premier of Canada - Mr. Mackenzie King said:
"At the approaching San Francisco conference, the United Nations will be laying the foundation of a new world order. I know that the people of Canada, regardless of party or other affiliations, welcome the opportunity thus afforded our country to make its contribution to this vast undertaking. I am equally sure that this parliament will approach the question of world security and reach its conclusions with a full sense of its responsibility to our own and to future generations of Canadians and, in indeed, to all the peoples of the world.
In any charter to establish a general international organization for the maintenance of international peace and security, the spirit in which the approach is made, and in which effect is given to its provisions will be vastly more important than the letter. As long ago as March 24, 1941, I spoke, in Toronto, of a new world order to take the place of the old order when the war was at an end. On that occasion I said:
If that new world order is not already on its way before the war is over, we may look for it in vain. A new world order cannot be worked out at some given moment and reduced to writing at a conference table. It is not a matter of parchments and of seals. That was a part of the mistaken belief at the end of the last war.
A new world order will be born, not made. It will be something that lives
and breathes, something much closer to the soul of man than a mere mechanical or legalistic advice. A new world order needs to be worked out and have its place in the minds and the hearts of men. It should express itself in brotherhood and goodwill. It will be the application, in all human relations, of the principle of service and of mutual aid.
These words, I believe, express the spirit underlying the Atlantic charter and the united nations' declaration of 1942. This spirit has found concrete expression in lend-lease, in mutual aid and in the United Nations' relief and rehabilitation administration. The same spirit will, I believe, guide the United Nations in their deliberations at San Francisco. It is important that the machinery of the new world organization should be realistically devised and wisely planned. But no constitutional machinery, however ingenious, will be effective unless the Nations of the world profit by the lessons they have learned in these five and a half years of war. The supreme lesson is that humanity should no longer be made to serve selfish national ends, whether those ends be world domination or merely isolated self-defence. Nations everywhere must unite to save and serve humanity."
One of the Finest Expositions of the More Mystical Phases of Brotherhood is contained in: -
"The Summing up by Anthony, the Chief Character in the Novel 'Eyeless in Gaza' by Aldous Huxley"
Unity of mankind, Unity of all life, all being even. Physical unity, first of all. Unity in diversity, even in separation. Everywhere the same constellations of the ultimate units of energy. Separate patterns, but everywhere alike. The same on the surface of the Sun as in the living flesh warmed by the Sun's radiance; in the scented cluster of flowers, as in the blue sea and the clouds on the horizon.
Identical patterns, identical patternings of patterns. Life incessantly moving among the patterns, selecting and rejecting for its own purposes. Life building up simpler into more complex patterns - identically complex through vast ranges of animate being. Between one form of life and another, patterns are interchangeable. Interchangeable also between animal and plant, plant and the inanimate world. Patterns in seed and leaf and root, patterns built up from simpler patterns, existent in the air and soil - these can be assimilated and transformed by insect, reptile, mammal, fish.
The Unity of life. Unity demonstrated even in the destruction of one life by another. Life and all being are one. Otherwise no living thing could ever derive sustenance from another, or from unliving substances around it. One even in destruction, one in spite of separation. Each organism is unique. Unique and yet united with all other organisms in the sameness of its ultimate parts; unique above a substratum of physical identity.
And minds - minds are also unique, but unique above a substratum of mental identity. Identity and interchange - ableness of love, trust, courage. Fearless affection restores the lunatic to sanity, transforms the hostile savage into a friend, tames the wild animal. The mental pattern of love can be transferred from one mind to another and still retain its virtue, just as the physical pattern of a hormone can be transferred, with all its effectiveness, from one body to another.
And not only love, but hate as well; not only trust, but suspicion, not only kindness, generosity, courage; but also malevolence and greed and fear.
The fact that they can be interchanged, can be transferred from mind to mind and retain all their original in-
tensity of passion, is a demonstration of the fundamental Unity of minds.
Reality of Unity, but equal reality of division - greater reality indeed of division. No need to meditate the fact of division. One is constantly aware of it, constantly aware of being unique and separate; only sometimes and then most often only intellectually, only as the result of a process of discursive reasoning, aware of being one with other minds, other lives and all being. Occasionally an intuition of Unity, an intuition coming at random, or sought for, step by step in meditation. One in division, United yet separate.
Evil is the accentuation of division; good, whatever makes for Unity with other lives and other beings. Pride, hatred, anger - the essentially evil sentiments; and essentially evil because they are all intensifications of the given reality of separateness, because they insist upon division and uniqueness, because they reject and deny other lives and other beings. Lust and greed are also insistences upon uniqueness, but insistences that do not entail any negative awareness of the others from whom the unique being is divided. Lust only says `I must have pleasure' not `You must have pain'. Greed in its pure state is merely a demand for my satisfaction, not for your exclusion from satisfaction. They are wrong in emphasizing the separate self; but less wrong than pride or hatred or anger, because their self-emphasis is not accompanied by denial of others.
But why division at all? Why, unavoidably even in the completest love, and, at the other end of the scale of being, even in that which seems to be below right or wrong, why must the evil of separation persist? Separation even of saint from saint, and separation even of mere physical pattern from mere physical pattern. One man cannot eat another. The best must think, must enjoy and suffer, must see, touch, smell, hear, taste in isolation. The good man is merely a less completely closed universe than the bad; but still closed, even as the atom is closed.
And of course, if there is to be existence - existence as we know it - being MUST be organized in closed universes. Minds like ours can only perceive undifferentiated unity as nothing. Unescapable paradox that we should desire that one should be equal to one, but that, in fact, we should always find that one is equal to nought.
Separation, diversity are conditions of our existence; Conditions upon which we possess life and consciousness, know right and wrong and have the power to choose between them, recognize truth, have experience of beauty. But separation is evil. Evil, then, is the condition of life, the condition of being aware, of knowing what is good and beautiful.
That which is demanded, that which men come finally to demand of themselves, is the realization of union between beings who would be nothing if they were not separate. It is the actualization of goodness by creatures who, if they were not evil, would not exist. Impossibility - but none the less demanded.
The point is that, even with the best will in the world, the separate, evil universe of a person or a physical pattern can never unite itself completely with other lives and beings, or the totality of life and being. For never in the nature of things can the shut become wholly open; goodness can never free itself completely from evil. It is a test, a searching; difficult, drawn out through a lifetime, perhaps through long series of lifetimes. Lifetimes passed in the attempt to open up further and a little further the closed universe that perpetually springs shut the moment the effort is relaxed.
Meanwhile there are love and compassion, constantly obstructed. But, oh, let them be made indefatigable, implac-
able to surmount all obstacles, the inner sloth, the distaste, the intellectual scorn, and, from without, the other's aversions and suspicions. Affection, compassion - and also, meanwhile, this contemplative approach, this effort to realize the unity of lives with the intellect, and at last perhaps, intuitively in an act of complete understanding. Step by Step, toward a consummation where there is no more discourse, only experience, only, unmediated knowledge as of a color, a perfume, a musical sound.
United in peace. In the depth of every mind - peace.
Chairman's Comment on the Second Object
The SECOND OBJECT is study in the field outside us. The field designated in the phase "comparative religion, philosophy and science," is so comprehensive as to include all the symbolic, written and oral traditions of human learning. The Theosophical requirement is that we shall study and that our study shall be comparative, not what is modernly known as comparative religion merely, but comparative philosophy, comparative science, the comparisons of religions with philosophies, of religions with sciences, of philosophies with sciences. It is in comparison that we get fertility. There can be no exoteric religion, philosophy or science in the world complete. Human handling will defile it within the first hour. But by comparisons we can arrive at the completeness of which each is a part. Remember that study by comparison is not optional with the Theosophist. It is an obligation put upon him because it is his source of supply of the elements needed to round out his knowledge of the God within as well as the God without. Living in the world as Theosophists are required to do (because Theosophy exists for the world and not for its devotees), comparative study is the means whereby he elicits intuitions.
Mr. Huxtable will now read related comments on the Second Object of the Society.
(From "The Varieties of Religious Experience of William James the Philosopher")
The Common Content of All Religions
First, is there, under all the discrepancies of the creeds, a common nucleus to which they bear their testimony unanimously?
And second, ought we to consider the testimony true?
I will take up the first question first, and answer it immediately in the affirmative. The warring gods and formulas of the various religions do indeed cancel each other, but there is a certain uniform deliverance in which religions all appear to meet. It consists of two parts:
1. An uneasiness;
and 2. Its solution.
1. The uneasiness, reduced to its simplest terms, is a sense that there is SOMETHING WRONG ABOUT US as we naturally stand.
2. The solution is a sense that WE ARE SAVED FROM THE WRONGNESS by making proper connection with the higher powers.
The individual, so far as he suffers from his wrongness and criticizes it, is to that extent consciously beyond it, and in at least possible touch with something higher, if anything higher exist. Along with the wrong part there is thus a better part of him, even though it may be but a most helpless germ.
With which part he should identify his real being is by no means obvious at this stage; but when the stage of solution or salvation arrives, the man identifies his real being with the germinal higher part of himself; and does so in the following way: He becomes conscious that this higher part is conterminous and continuous with a MORE of the
same quality, which is operative in the diverse outside of him, and which he can keep in working touch with, and in a fashion get on board of and save himself when all his lower being has gone to pieces in the wreck. The Poet says it better perhaps -
The Gods of Egypt, Greece and Rome
Though dead, perchance shall rise again
Contending with the Gods of Home
To rule the lives and hopes of men.
And stranger Gods may yet arise
And Earth acclaim new Avatars
The messengers of future skies
That burn yet with unlighted stars.
For Gods have been and Gods shall be
Altar and Temple hold their sway
Till man in his own soul is free
And knows himself the End and Way.
(From "The Mysterious Universe" by Sir James Jeans, the eminent Physicist)
Many (scientists) would hold that, from the broad philosophical standpoint, the outstanding achievement of 20th Century physics . . . is the general recognition that we are not yet in contact with ultimate reality. To speak in terms of Plato's well-known simile, we are still imprisoned in our cave, with our backs to the light, and can only watch the shadows on the wall. At present the only task immediately before science is to study these shadows, to classify them and explain them in the simplest possible way . . . .
The shadows which reality throws onto the wall of our cave might a priori have been of many kinds. They might conceivably have been perfectly meaningless to us, as meaningless as a cinematograph film showing the growth of microscopic tissues would be to a dog who had strayed into a lecture room by mistake. Indeed, our earth is so infinitesimal in comparison with the whole universe, we, the only thinking beings, so far as we know in the whole of space, are to all appearances so accidental, so far removed from the main scheme of the universe, that it is a priori all too probably that any meaning that the universe as a whole may have, would entirely transcend our terrestrial experience, and so be totally unintelligible to us.
Although this is the most likely event, it is not impossible that some of the shadows thrown onto the walls of our cave might suggest objects and operations with which cave-dwellers were already familiar in our caves.
Thirty years ago, we thought or assumed, that we were heading towards an ultimate reality of a mechanical kind. It seemed to consist of a fortuitous jumble of atoms, which was destined to perform meaningless dances for a time under the action of blind purposeless forces, and then fall back to form a dead world. Into this wholly mechanical world, through the play of the same blind forces, life had stumbled by accident. One tiny corner at least, and possibly several tiny corners of this universe of atoms had chanced to become conscious for a time, but was destined in the end, still under the action of blind mechanical forces, to be frozen out and again leave a lifeless world.
Today there is a wide measure of agreement, which on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a nonmechanical reailty; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter - not of course our individual minds, but the mind in which the atoms out of which our individual minds have grown exist as thoughts.
The new knowledge compels us to revise our hasty first impressions that we
had stumbled into a universe which either did not concern itself with life or was actively hostile to life . . . .
We discover that the universe shows evidence of a designing or controlling power that has something in common with our own individual minds . . . . and while much in it may be hostile to the material appendages of life, much also is akin to the fundamental activities of life; we are not so much strangers or intruders in the universe as we at first thought.
From "Cosmic Religion" by Albert Einstein
I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research. No one who does not appreciate the terrific exertions and above all, the devotion without which pioneer creations in scientific thought cannot come into being, can judge the strength of the feeling out of which alone such work, turned away as it is from immediate practical life, can grow. What a deep faith in the rationality of the structure of the world and what a longing to understand even a small glimpse of the reason revealed in the world there must have been in Kepler and Newton to enable them to unravel the mechanism of the heavens, in long years of lonely work!
Anyone who only knows scientific research in its practical applications may easily come to a wrong interpretation of the state of mind of the men who, surrounded by skeptical contemporaries, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered over all countries in all centuries. Only those who have dedicated their lives to similar ends can have a living conception of the inspiration which gave these men the power to remain loyal to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is the cosmic religious sense which grants this power.
A contemporary has rightly said that the only deeply religious people of our largely materialistic age are the earnest men of research.
The basis of all scientific work is the conviction that the world is an ordered and comprehensive entity, which is a religious sentiment. My religious feeling is a humble amazement at the order revealed in the small patch of reality to which our feeble intelligence is equal.
By furthering logical thought and a logical attitude, science can diminish the amount of superstition in the world. There is no doubt that all but the crudest scientific work is based on a firm belief - akin to religious feeling - in the rationality and comprehensibility of the world.
From The Nature of the Physical World by A. S. Eddington
If I were to try to put into words the essential truth revealed in the mystic experiences, it would be that our minds are not apart from the world; and the feelings that we have of gladness and melancholy and our yet deeper feelings are not of ourselves alone, but are glimpses of a reality transcending the narrow limits of our particular consciousness - that the harmony and beauty of the fact of Nature is at root one with the gladness that transfigures the face of man.
It is the aim of physical science, so far as its scope extends, to lay bare the fundamental structure underlying the world; but science has also to explain if it can, or else humbly to accept, the fact that from this world have arisen minds capable of transmuting the bare structure into the richness of our experience. It is not misrepresentation but rather achievement - the result perhaps of long ages of biological evolution - that we should have fashioned a familiar world out of the crude basis. It is a fulfilment of the purpose of man's nature. If likewise the spiritual world has been transmuted by a religious
colour beyond anything implied in its bare external qualities, it may be allowable to assert with equal conviction that this is not misrepresentation but the achievement of a divine element in man's nature.
My conclusion is that although for the most part our enquiry into the problem of experience ends in a veil of symbols, there is an immediate knowledge in the mind of conscious beings which lifts the veil in places, and what we discern through these openings is of mental and spiritual nature.
Chairman's Comment and Introduction of the Musical Selection: "The Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven
Chairman's Comment on Third Object:
The THIRD OBJECT is the least understood of all, we have looked on it so often as providing for psychic research, the more phenomenal forms of yoga and recondite science. As a matter of fact, it is a covering phrase for the third essential in Theosophical work - the process of testing for verity. It is the means whereby we discriminate between true and false in what we gather by our second means. Without this constant testing in ourselves and by examination of our own latent powers our study goes for naught. What is written in religion, philosophy and science can only have one value for us, its application to our problem of consciousness and only by our own experience can we know if anything is true. No fact in the universe possesses the slightest value for us unless it is a statement for us in terms of a great cycle, of a fact which is true in our smaller cycle. Theosophy which will not test within the cosmos of a man is no Theosophy at all and by every warrant in the ancient tradition we are authorized to cast it out.
Mrs. Newcombe will now read a related commentary on the THIRD OBJECT.
This selection is taken from a review of Dr. Reiser's Book "Scientific Humanism" under Theosophy and the Modern World in a recent issue of The Canadian Theosophist. It explains in part our third object -
The Unexplained Laws of Nature and Powers Latent in Man
Our best characteristics are only slightly developed. We are, for the most part, only partially awakened. None of us has achieved anything like the possibilities latent within our present structural form or psychic nature. One of the great discoveries of today is the persistent teachability of the human being. There is not a moment between birth and death in which the human being cannot acquire new skills. But none of us has developed to the full our imagination, our reason, our spiritual will, our life purpose, our powers of observation, of evaluation, our power to love, our power to heal, or our power to create. None of us has gone "all out" in the living of this lifetime; none of us knows "total living" as we might know it. Very few have developed fifty percent of their natural capacity for experience or assimilation. It is the unlived portion of each individual's life that is his real tragedy.
To Theosophy this is a commonplace. We all know that, in each person are deep stores which are untapped, while there are available to us disciplines by which those stores could be made available. Theosophy teaches that the unhappy or oppressed individual who seeks a new way of life, can never find that new way by the application of external changes; but that on the other hand, without a single change in external conditions a man may indeed be born again, may reach out into new levels of being, new levels of consciousness, and become so changed that the old inhibiting circumstances can no longer contain him and his world changes through the
power of his own inner growth. The soul of a man or of a nation is the container of the energies which bring great and vital developments to the outer being. Those who can reach and tap the soul of a nation, or of a race, are those able ultimately to bring about profound changes in society. And every sincere researcher, as a scientist, an artist, an economist, a statesman, a poet, or any other creative worker, is seeking to tap the soul of the world, to draw from it the archetypes of tomorrow.
Are we agreed that we have been only partly awakened to date and that great human potentialities are yet untapped? Are we agreed that man has the power to recreate his society by means of his intuitive faculty and his rational mind?
The life of the future will not be an easy one. An easy life is a dull life and a corroding one. Man is always happiest when his powers and capacities are extended to their utmost. The men completely employed, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, is the happiest man, the dynamic man. He then begins to feel like a "total man".
The future society will make great demands on individuals, it will demand effort, self-discipline, cooperativeness, in labor and recreation and in the building of the new world structure. The years that lie just ahead will constitute the most absorbing drama of all time, in which ALL THE WORLD Will indeed become a stage, and all the men and women really players.
Chairman's Summing Up and Comment on the Future
Thus we have in Theosophy three obligations - three because we are threefold, compounded of spirit, soul and lower self - and no Theosophist can be complete without using all three, the field, the aim and the test. It is a question of integration, balance and even development which alone can give us steadiness. Are we going then to make a Theosophical Society out of individuals who are, each of them, less than Theosophists? People try quite gravely to do this. They say, "I will devote myself to Brotherhood and to development of powers and leave comparative study to intellectual people"; or "I will devote myself to Brotherhood and comparative religion and leave tests to those more daring than I"; or some, mostly foolhardy of all, who say, "my interest is in study and latent powers. I shall leave sentimental consideration of Brotherhood to those who like them."
The means to Theosophical progress cannot be so delegated. Lacking Brotherhood the student cannot go beyond the Eye Doctrine. Lacking comparative study he will starve for the fragments of truth needed to evoke the powers of his soul. Lacking the third means of personal test he will have to rely upon the reputed vision of some other. He will read of hierarchies and logoi and great time cycles as if they mattered in themselves, or as if salvation lay through them instead of through his Divine Self. To such a one, "As above, so below" might as well never have been written.
The health of the Theosophical Society and its efficiency in the tremendous task that it has essayed will be the measure of its even development along these three lines, not development in the aggregate, but development in each individual. Neither the altitude of its thought nor the magnitude of its operations will matter so much. The Lords of Life can endow us with high thought if that would serve and we only need to cheapen our method to get magnitude. Neither will serve. Adherence to the long-tested balance of our three objects has served before and will again.
"This is what you shall do. Love the earth, and sun, and the animals; despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
(Continued on Page 96)
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert E.S. Smythe.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
- Subscription: Two Dollars a Year
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
Wash. E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver.
Maud E. Crafter, 57 Sherwood Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Felix A. Belcher, 250 N. Lisgar St., Toronto, Ont.
Edw. L. Thomson, 163 Crescent Road, Toronto, Ont.
William A. Griffiths, 37 Stayner Street, Weatmount, P.Q. George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
N.W.J. Haydon, 564 Pape Avenue, Toronto, 6
Albert E.S. Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton. Ontario, Canada.
To whom all communications should be addressed.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
A man who made a great contribution to World War I died on March 25, in a nursing home at Blackpool, England, aged 70. He was the song writer, Bert Feldman, born in Hull, and he wrote "Tipperary" for the marching millions of the British armies.
Died. Sir Ambrose Fleming, 95, one of Britain's foremost electrical scientists and pioneer in radio's development, inventor of the diode valve (predecessor of the radio tube), designer of the wireless signal apparatus for Marconi's first transatlantic message in 1901; in Sidmouth, England. In 1933, when he was 83, stately Sir Ambrose took a 34-year-old bride, six years later emerged from retirement to attack scientific theories of evolution, affirmed his belief in the miracles and prophecies of the Bible.
One who did not know the breed of political argufiers, might have thought that after reading Dr. Kuhn's lucid, exhaustive and irrefutable statement in The Canadian Theosophist in April last year, shame alone would have prevented a repetition of the distortion of the "back to Blavatsky" suggestion. But those who are too stupid to understand Dr. Kuhn's statement would naturally be too stupid to be ashamed of exposing their ignorance.
Mr. Buchanan, secretary of the Vancouver Lodge, in transmitting an Application from a new member, reports an active session with an average of 21 in attendance at the Thursday evening class which is engaged in a study of the Secret Doctrine. There is also a class on Wednesday afternoon. He announces the death on the 6th of Mrs. Teeple, an old member of the Lodge, and at one time very active. He also reports that Mrs. Wisdom, once a well-known member in Toronto, is now in a nursing home and in feeble health. Mr. Harrop, a Toronto member, now employed in the West, is an enthusiastic visitor at all the Vancouver Lodge meetings.
The calm and moderate advice which one expects from William Quan Judge is well exemplified in a letter to a correspondent quoted in the Covina Theosophical Forum for April, page 160: "I have no power," he says, "To put you into communication with any adept to guide you in a course of Occult study, nor would it be of service to you if the thing was possible. The Theosophical Society was not established for any such purpose, nor could anyone receive instruction from an adept until he was ripe for it. In other words, he must undergo a long preliminary training in knowledge, self-control, and the subjugation of the lower nature before he would be in any way fit for instruction on the higher plane. What I recommend
you to do is to study the elementary principles of Theosophy, and gain some idea of your own nature as a human being and as an individual, but drop entirely all ambition for knowledge of powers which would be inappropriate to your present stage, and to correct your whole conception of Theosophy and Occultism."
The General Secretary conducted a Secret Doctrine class during the past winter, but under the weather conditions that prevailed up till near the first of April it cannot have been regarded much beyond a test of will power against zero temperature and blizzards. Buses and street cars were quite off schedule and it was impossible to stand and freeze on windy corners on the chance of getting a ride. On one occasion two persons turned up at the class, and several times the numbers were reduced to three or four. In practicable weather the attendance was normally a dozen or more. The gratitude of those attending was lavishly expressed in gifts of flowers, potted plants, and one group presented a copy of The Note Book of Elbert Hubbard to Mr. Smythe, who as an old friend of the sage of East Aurora, was highly appreciative of the gift. To all who were enrolled in the class he desires to express thanks for the attention they gave and the many expressions of satisfaction with the study carried on.
Life, for January, a periodical edited in India by Ernest Kirk, has been printing a series of articles, "The Secret Doctrine Examined," in its 21st study has reached the Mars and Mercury problem. In such a discussion we have a right to expect accuracy. On page 135 of this issue of Life, we read: "As a matter of fact it was first stated (Vol. I p. 217) that `besides the Earth . . . . there are only two other worlds of our chain which are visible . . . Mars and Mercury.' Afterwards this was said to be a `mistake'." The reader might very well suppose this was all a mistake in The Secret Doctrine, and quoted from the original edition - "first stated". As a matter of fact, Mr. Kirk quotes from the six-volume Adyar edition. The passage referred to is on page 163 of the original Volume I. Moreover the "Mistake" is not in The Secret Doctrine but in A.P. Sinnett's Esoteric Buddhism, a fact which Mr. Kirk's readers do not learn. This does not beget confidence in Mr. Kirk's criticism.
The miscalculations of Hitler and his followers were due to ignorance, doubtless, accentuated by the conceit that there were no people on earth equal to the Herren folk. Otherwise they would never have stirred up the Japanese to attack the United States. This led to the idea that even though the Seigfried line were broken, the Allies could never cross the Rhine, the Great German Rhine. Hitler should have remembered how the Canadian loggers were called upon two generations ago to show their skill on the historic Nile. This time General Eisenhower had a similar resource, and he called upon expert Mr. Hathaway from the Mississippi to apply his experience to the Rhine. Compared with "The Fathers of Waters" the Rhine is only a piddling little creek and the Americans stepped across it in no time at all. That broke the German heart. Mr. Hathaway had established "a flood prediction service which was found to be accurate to the last degree. With all the data at their disposal the engineers it consultation with the army commanders chose what they believed to be the best place to cross."
Blood and sweat and tears have triumphed. As we go to press, May 7, it is announced that the war with Germany is over, their armies having surrendered unconditionally.
"THE OTHER MARY "
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
"Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee ?"
"She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more".
John viii 7, 10, 11.
Of all the tales told of the Lord Buddha's ministry, the tale of Amra appeals most to the human heart: He had left Benares with His disciples, and was teaching and preaching the Great Law in all the towns and villages He passed through.
Crowds flocked to hear Him, and many became His followers. In due course of time He arrived at the town of Vaisali; in this town lived Amra, the Courtesan. She was young and beautiful, and had everything that a woman of her type most desires.
She had heard of this new Teacher, that He was the son of a king, and of His beauty of form and face. How He left wife and all that He held most dear, and putting on the saffron robe gone in search of the Truth, so as to benefit mankind.
Hearing that the Holy One had arrived at Vaisali, Amra offered Him the use of her Pavilion and Mango Grove, situated outside the city; but she, herself, was taken up with her pleasures and had no desire to see Him.
One day, however, something one of her servants told her excited her curiosity, and she determined to see this Man and conquer Him, as she had done many others before.
So, donning all her finery she went to the gates of her Park, and demanded admittance. A Bhikkhu in his yellow robes was standing there, and seeing the type of woman she was, refused to allow her in, deeming her too unworthy to enter the Presence of his Lord. Ananda, the beloved disciple, happened to come up just then, rebuked him, saying that the Master might wish to see her.
So Amra came and stood before the Lord Buddha.
She, who had come so arrogantly to flout and to conquer, stood abashed before so much purity and holiness, the divine in her recognized the Divinity of Him, and she fell at His feet weeping and ashamed.
He spoke words of hope and comfort to her, and she bowed low at His feet and asked of Him a favor - Would He honor her house by taking His meal there next day? By His silence the Exalted One gave His consent. Then she circled three times round Him in reverence, and went her way rejoicing.
Great was the consternation among the people of the town when they heard the news! For each had wanted Him to sup at his house, but the Lord of Compassion, knowing her greater need, supped with His disciples at the house of Amra the courtesan, in the Street of Flowers.
She gave them rice boiled in milk, and cakes to eat, and served them herself. Then came the great renunciation.
She offered herself and all that she had in His service. Her house to be used as a dwelling place for the newly-founded Brotherhood, and she, renouncing her evil ways, became His devoted follower.
For this act, and her many deeds of virtue and charity, she became an Arhat in that selfsame life, so gaining Nirvana and peace.
There is another story I would tell you, similar to the one just told. It happened hundreds of years later in Palestine.
She also was a courtesan, very lovely, and wealthy too - for the ointment with which she anointed the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ, as He sat at meat at the Pharisee's table, was Spikenard, most costly.
She also must have heard of Him, and
either gone out of curiosity to hear Him preach, or come across Him accidently in the city streets. There can be no doubt that she was much touched by His words, she might have heard Him say: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance".
She became His follower, and loved Him much.
He was crucified and buried.
How desolated she must have been at His loss! She, who needed His guidance and Presence more than most. How she must have haunted the place where His body lay, just to be near Him!
On that first Easter morning, she was in the Garden quite early, and seeing the stone rolled away from the mouth of the sepulchre, she looked in, and found the Body gone! In great fear and agitation she was hurrying away to tell the disciples, when, seeing a man walking in the Garden, and taking him to be one of the gardeners, she said: "Sir, if thou hast borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away".
He turning round called her by name, and she answered, "Rabboni" ! Master!
This woman is now a saint on the Calendar of the Christian Church. Saint Mary Magdalene.
He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at the Amras and Magdalenes of this world.
The strange part of it is, They never cast a stone to destroy them, rather, do They stoop down and lift them up, and with infinite love and compassion offer them LIFE ETERNAL!
By such deeds are the Great Ones of the Earth to be recognized!
Ellen Margaret Nash.
Taken from "The Maha Bodhi Journal,"
Calcutta, India, April, 1928.
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.
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WHY I JOINED THE BACON SOCIETY
By Joseph Holbrooke
A friend asked me, "Why don't you join the Bacon Society?" A very good and pertinent question, I think, as I personally belong to no other society - not even any musical society! I have found the latter a fearful bore - so many axes to grind. But The Bacon society is a very different matter. Firstly, it challenged me on my doubts of years ago about Shaksper, that any villager in those times could "arrive," with a massive intellect, on every possible subject, in London without ever having produced something in his own village before he arrived in London. We can find no evidence whatever that this yokel ever had any such education to arm him for, say, Love's Labour Lost or Measure for Measure. That output of grand literature he would have received at the school at Stratford, if, indeed, he attended it. No cry of "Genius!" will explain that vast accumulated knowledge. In those days no such knowledge was ever seen in print at Stratford. The "law" knowledge alone could only have been gained by special study in that subject. Many years ago I listened to heated arguments on the fact that no author of note (leaving out our mysterious "Shakespeare") had ever left this world without trace of some writing somewhere - a sheet or two of proof of his great gifts - Leonardo, Angelo, Titian, Dante, Chaucer, etc., have all left some data. Even the earliest musicians can be found in print at that period, and in manuscript. Of our "Shakespeare," we find not a sheet of any play or poem, not even a single letter written by him. That is, or should be, too much for any student.
There was a giant in being in those days named Francis Bacon. He was armed in every direction of knowledge, and was a great reader and student. He
alone fits the many qualifications for the writing of Shakespeare. In so many directions it is quite clear that he, and he only, could have written the plays. As to why he allowed the names of others, and of lesser light, to appear on his writings, we may never know. But it is obvious, as in these days, that a great fellow is soon smelt by the lesser fry and we know too that Bacon would have risked a lot if he had acknowledged stage plays, or such a licentious poem as Venus and Adonis. Those must have been dreadful and dangerous days for brave writers, when one had to pay others for the use of their names, invent names, or publish anonymously, if there was the slightest risk of the authorities twisting a quite innocent remark or situation into heresy or treason. We do not know, for instance, which is genuine, or the reverse, in Spenser, Marlowe, Nashe, Greene and others.
Miracles do not happen, and it behooves the Bacon enthusiast to hold fast to his beliefs. When he reads the wise Essays, or The Advancement of Learning, he knows it is the same giant brain as is behind the Shakespeare mask. In so many directions we have tantalizing hints of Bacon's suggestions scattered throughout the printed text - little clues which may not seem important in themselves, but most significant in their accumulated numbers and strength.
That America took up with gusto the Stratford legend is really in tune. Tourists from across the Atlantic provided most of the income of Stratford. True, America collects books and manuscripts; but for what purpose? To hoard as museum pieces, and there they remain on shelves and in cases in the libraries of millionaires, few of whom have the slightest appreciation of old books or literature. There we have music never heard, and literature never read.
I was much impressed by what Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence wrote over thirty years ago:
"We must never forget that Bacon started with the avowed intention of creating an English language capable of fitly expressing the noblest thoughts, and that he succeeded in accomplishing this mighty task by means of the great Folio of the Plays, which contains about 15,000 different words, nearly half of which he invented and coined, and also by means of the King James I Authorized Version of the Bible, in which, in the Introduction, we are told by the translators (who worked under Bacon) that they had endeavored to preserve every word in the English language, in order that no word might be deemed merely secular."
In mentioning the American ventures in Stratford, there is also to be deplored the ghastly building in brick in that town for the performance of the Plays.
The land all around is of a generous grey stone, this should have been used for the theatre to keep it "in tune" with the town of Stratford and its surroundings. - From the Baconiana, January, 1945.
April 22, 1945.
Dear Friend Smythe,
I think that it was in your Feb. issue that you printed a synopsis of an article on Theosophy published in New York some years ago. It was most excellent and I should like to get two more copies of it, unless, you have it printed in separate form, so that I could get several. My copy with it in, is going the rounds, but I need more. That article has already done more for Theosophy than years of my crude endeavor. For the teaching of Theosophy is far more difficult than many people think.
The subject is as wide as Infinity and deep as Eternity and few are gifted enough to give it in such a way as to
make even a small fraction understandable or often as not to avoid frightening the enquirer at the onset. For even at its best, it involves such a radical change of thought to our Christian friends and opens up such stupendous vistas of a new world that people are often frightened at the sudden impact of light and shrink back appalled, perhaps not so much at Theosophy as it is due to the crude and often explosive way it is presented. The article in the Theosophist is one of the best I have read. I believe that you really had a celebration. I have seen no account of it, but send my sincerest congratulations. Fraternally,
During the month of April we have received the following magazines: Lucifer, Boston, March-April; Evolucion, Argentina, January; Bulletin 197, United Lodge of Theosophists, England, March; The Middle Way, March-April; The American Theosophist, April; Theosophy, Los Angeles, April; Life, Coimbatore, India, January; Y Fforwm Theosoffaidd, Cardiff, Jan.-February; Eirenicon, Peace Lodge, March-April; East-West, Los Angeles, 21, April-June; Toronto Theosophical News, April; Ancient Wisdom, April; The Golden Lotus, April; Evolucion, Buenos Aires, February; Life, Coimbatore, February; The Theosophist, Adyar, February and March (40 pp.); The Theosophical Movement, Bombay, February; O Teosofista, Brazil, Sept.-October; Bombay Theosophical Bulletin, February (4 pp.); The Theosophical Worker, Adyar (12 pp.) February; U.L.T. Bulletin 198, England, April.
"ALL LIFE IS A UNITY"
Very gratefully and with deep appreciation of all that is involved in the compliment, we reproduce the note by Dr. Arundale in The Theosophist for March introducing a five-page reprint of the greater part of the article under this head in the Supplement issued last fall:
[The Canadian Theosophist has just published a Supplement commemorating the sixty years of service by Mr. Albert E.S. Smythe in Canada in the cause of Theosophy and the Canadian Section. I have already had occasion to congratulate Mr. Smythe, both on the Canadian Section attaining its twenty-fifth anniversary on the 12th of November last, and also on his having been its founding General Secretary and having held that office continuously ever since.
No doubt there have been and are sharp differences of opinion between us, but these have nothing to do with the stalwart devotion he has given to the work, and I take this opportunity of publishing extracts from an article appearing in the Supplement and written by Mr. Smythe at the request of members of the Celebration Committee. I regret that paucity of space prevents me from reprinting the whole article at length.
From a photograph of Mr. Smythe appearing on page 25 of the Supplement it is clear that he has grown old in service. But I am sure the spirit of his work must make him feel young, whatever be his years. It is interesting to see that he has assumed the Olcott-Leadbeater beard tradition.
31 January 1945
ARCHAIC REMAINS IN ENGLAND
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - The following is copied from the January (1945) issue of The Speculative Mason, an English quarterly. I send it to you as it seems to have a bearing on the famous Somerset Zodiac, or rather a collateral interest with it.
"Driving acrosse the Bodmin moors, near Davidstone, we had a splendid surprise in finding with ease a huge, long, barrow. It is about 170 feet long and
60 feet wide, with the Chamber lying at the East end; the Capstone is immense, 18 ft. by 7 ft. and is of igneous rock, not found there. It rests upon masses of slate rock, which is found on the moor, together they form a magnificent cromlech.
"On the Capstone are eighteen Cup marks. To what rite did these belong? In Brittany on a Capstone on an island in the Morbihan there were Cup marks regularly placed and, raising my eyes to the night sky at the time, I saw they distinctly and regularly marked out Cassiopeia! Are all Cup marks tracings of the famous constellations? I hardly think so, but experts in stone markings have never touched on that point, unfortunately.
"As far as I know, they were not common to Cornwall, indeed, the only other cromlech on which I have seen them is near St. Keverne. They are on the Capstone of the `Three Brothers of Grugith'."
- N. W. J. Haydon.
THE BOAR KALPA
There is a curious piece of information in the Buddhist esoteric traditions. The esoteric or allegorical biography of Gautama Buddha shows this great sage dying of an indigestion of pork and rice, a very prosaic end indeed, having little of the solemn element in it. This is explained as an allegorical reference to his having been born in the "Boar," or Varaha-Kalpa when Brahma assumed the form of that animal to raise the Earth out of the "Waters of Space." And as the Brahmins descend direct from Brahma and are, so to speak, identified with him; and as they are at the same time mortal enemies of Buddha - and Buddhism, we have the curious allegorical hint and combination. Brahminism (of the Boar, or Varaha Kalpa) has slaughtered the religion of Buddha in India, swept it away from its face; therefore Buddha, identified with his philosophy, is said to have died from the effects of eating of the flesh of a wild hog. The idea alone of one who established the most rigorous vegetarianism and respect for animal life - even to refusing to eat eggs as vehicles of a latent future life - dying of a meat indigestion, is absurdly contradictory and has puzzled more than one Orientalist. But this explanation, unveiling the allegory, to have meant at first some antediluvian animal "delighting to sport in open water." - S.D. I. 368.
Fraternization consists in kindly feeling, similarity of interests, broad tolerance, and intelligent appreciation of other people's mental and spiritual development. The latter element is essential for those who, undeveloped either mentally or spiritually, are quite unable to understand the viewpoint of others in advance of themselves. Hence the necessity of a broad tolerance in dealing with such immature souls, just as children have to be humored, and restrained. The greatest consideration is required in all such cases, and no return in kind should or need be looked for, since the intolerance of ignorance is usually marked and often dangerous.
It has just been reported from Germany that all Christian Science, anthroposophic and theosophic centres in the Reich jurisdiction had been raided and their activities closed down, this being on account of Rudolf Hess having taken flight from Germany due to his affiliation with occultism which was supposed to have turned his head.
Leaving the German attitude to the judgment of the reader, it is of interest to observe the attitude of those included in the interdict. A letter from the Ontario Christian Science Committee on Publication may be taken as an illustration of the way in which sectarians hasten to dissociate themselves from any other sect. Christian Science is not
occultism, says this pleader, it is not anthroposophy "and there is no affiliation between Christian Science and theosophy." And this representative Christian Scientist adds "there is no mysticism in the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy." It is rumored that all Christian Scientists do not agree with all others, but this is true of all human bodies, and the old story of the orthodox old lady who was only sure of the orthodoxy of the "meenister" and her man John, but was not quite certain of the "meenister," may be recalled.
The idea of Fraternization arose necessarily in the Theosophical Society when various differences of opinion were held with such animosity that toleration and the ideal of Universal Brotherhood were ignored and several separate bodies were constituted, and have for some years carried on their work quite independently of each other. In each of these many members deplore the separation which prevents the intermingling of the general membership. In some of these bodies intercommunion is frowned upon and even prohibited. Books are black-listed or censored, and magazines banned or destroyed.
The first protest against this policy was a proclamation drawn up by Mr. A.H. Spencer of New York and issued by what was known as the "Judge Society," the first "Theosophical Society in America." This proclamation was printed for years on the cover of THE THEOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY, and proclaimed "fraternal good will and kindly feeling toward all students of Theosophy and members of Theosophical Societies wherever and however situated. It further proclaims and avers hearty sympathy and association with such persons and organizations, and invites their correspondence and cooperation." It also extended this kindly feeling to all men and women of whatever creed, caste, race or religious belief, who aim at the fostering of peace, gentleness, and unselfish regard one for another, and this extension was also stated to include "all religions and religious bodies whose efforts are directed to the purification of men's thoughts and the bettering of their ways."
This proclamation should be in the hands and hearts of all who aim at Fraternization, and it is to be regretted that the Society which kept it in print for so many years at the same time printed on another page in each issue of the magazine a notice which read in part: "We have no connection whatever with any other organization calling itself Theosophical, headed by Mrs. Besant or others."
It is in the midst of such difficulties, which it is not our desire to emphasize nor to condemn, but merely to recognize as features of the situation, that the necessity for real Fraternization, in spite of any differences of opinion, took its rise. We must understand the background, if any effort to transcend it is to be effective.
Personally, I think Mr. Spencer's proclamation contains the root of the whole matter, and any person or body of persons who or which professes Universal Brotherhood and is unwilling to practise the principle to the extent outlined in the proclamation, is either fooling himself or itself, or is too weak mentally to be able to judge the merit or otherwise of its own actions. One hesitates to say even so much, but when it is said with the determination not to permit any weakness or defect to lessen the application of this true spirit of Brotherhood, one's strictures may be pardoned. We must face facts if we are to be effective, and this, I take it, is what is meant by the motto, THERE IS NO RELIGION HIGHER THAN TRUTH.
The Seekers for Truth, then, are liable to succumb to various temptations in the course of their pilgrimage. These are all or nearly all due to the maya, the illusion of Time and Space. The things
that are seen are temporal. The basis of our Universal Brotherhood is in the Eternal, the Imperishable. Ideas do not exist on the material plane of things, but in the Timeless Over-World. Hence all personalities, organizations, worldly methods and expedients are not essential in themselves, and are not necessary for any but the temporary needs of those who seek Truth. Plato taught of Ideas as belonging to the World of Ideas, and this simple lesson in philosophy is almost unknown to the vast multitude of people who go to Churches, Societies, organizations of one kind or another which, however long they endure, perish at last, and are finally buried in oblivion.
From among the great barriers to a True Brotherhood we may select three main obstacles - idolatry, False Loyalty, and Self-Deception. All these things revolve around Personality, which is the final stumbling block for almost every young or unprogressive student in Brotherhood. Personality is the vacuum in the whirlpool of personal desires, impressions, opinions, beliefs and what-not that make up what a man or woman thinks is him or her self. A very little consideration will convince the open-minded that these changing elements
cannot constitute anything permanent, but their revolving panorama is all that there is to the Personality. Once convinced of this it is possible for the student to get back to the real Self, the Ego which stands from the first moment
of Self-Consciousness, unmoved and unmoveable, the spectator of the fleeting pictures that are thrown on the Screen of Time by the inner light falling on the impressionable brain, as the sunligh fails on the raindrops to make the rainbow. It too is an unreal vision, the result of a combination of light and falling rain, two transients that creat a maya.
Realizing this, the idolatry which worships other personalities can be understood, and once understood, can easily be escaped from. The worship of a stone or metal image is natural to those who worship personalities, that is, the impressions they form of various people, which impressions are usually no more like the actual Person than chalk is like cheese. This or that great Person may be worshipped throughout his lifetime, but after his death facts come to light showing that the public life that was known was merely a creation from hearsay of a picture that had no real original.
People make an idol of a book in a similar way, or by association of such a legend with some place or thing give it an unreal and utterly false value, until it becomes an idol. Thus, it is clear that the idea of infallibility attached to so many is altogether fictitious.
It is easy to see how a false loyalty may spring up in the mind of any student who has dedicated him or herself, not to an ideal, but to a Person who may have been thought to represent that ideal. "His honor rooted in dishonor stood, and faith unfaithful made him falsely true." That passage from Tennyson sums up the tragedy of false loyalty, and there is nothing more bitter than the awakening from such a spell. Ten or twelve years ago I had the experience of meeting a gentleman who had given his whole faith, his energy, his work and possessions to the support of such a Personality. His discovery that he was deceived by a Shadow, a Pretence, the Simulacrum of what he had regarded as a Great Being, was to him a real tragedy and he spoke of suicide. Fortunately we were able to convince him that the good fortune he had met was to be subject for gratitude and not for regret. He is dead now after a long enough period for him to regain his balance and to restore a right spirit within him. How many fear to relinquish the Shadow they worship and turn to the Real which is within themselves!
Next is the weakness of Self-deception. This is closely allied to the other two deceptions. It accompanies the desire for power or for distinction, or for the desire to be associated with great people or people considered to be great. These desires are all futile and serve to conceal the real greatness that may be attained by faithful service of humanity without any regard to the station, the fitness, the charm or otherwise of those to whom service may be rendered. They are all, whoever they may be, children of the Father, everyone stamped with the image of the King, and whatever their metal it is always capable of being transmuted into pure gold. This is what the student of Brotherhood keeps as precious knowledge constantly in his heart. Life is a unity.
The vehicles of Life are as various as the hours of the year. All hours are part of Eternity. All men are parts of the One Life, the One Love, the One Light. They vary in power and glory, in weakness and darkness. It is for the student to remember the ideal of him who would be a Friend to all Creatures, of him who is the Great Brother. If we strive to be a brother of such a Brother, the principle of Fraternization becomes a first and living flame in our hearts and lives and we shall mingle its enthusiasm in all our works and ways, in all our thoughts, in all our words. It is indeed good and pleasant for brethren to dwell together in Unity. May each of us be a symbol of that Unity and bear its fragrance through all the paths of the world. - Albert E.S. Smythe in Theosophical Nuggets, vol. ll. No. 1, Autumn 1941.
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 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.
The following books have just been received from the binders, and owing to the advanced prices of material due to the war, prices have had to be raised from the moderate rates.
- ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS by H. P. Blavatsky. 60 and 75 cents.
- ANCIENT AND MODERN PHYSICS by Thomas W. Willson. 60 cents.
- THE EVIDENCE OF IMMORTALITY by Dr. Jerome A. Anderson. 75 cents.
- MODERN THEOSOPHY by Claude Falls Wright. 75 cents.
- THE BHAGAVAD GITA - A Conflation by Albert E. S. Smythe. 75 cents.
Order from THE BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE
52 ISABELLA STREET, TORONTO, 5, Ontario
It is no simple thing for us to bear
this body nailed upon a cross, that speeds
twixt light and shadow, and the deep despair
with which we move, manoeuvering our deeds.
Let that which is be ours, the fullest day
a dalliance with dreams and songs to sing;
give Time its due, and leave to sodden clay
the graves beneath the grass. Let us take wing
o'er drift of dust and fame, for in the sky
we can know silence and the solitudes
of stars, and sun, and moon; go drifting by
to know the strangest of strange interludes -
so let us with this secret power prolong
the slow appreciation of our song.
Life is slow motion, slowly understood,
the whispered iteration of the sea,
when 'neath the moon in a maternal mood
it lays a spell of latent energy.
"The lilies toil not neither do they spin"
but wisdom speaks within their murmuring;
"The pure of heart can always enter in,"
they seem to echo and so softly sing.
Let us take heart and soothe the deep despair,
and slowly enter where dwells Peace on earth
and Beauty side by side, and Joy is there
for those who know the mystery of her birth.
Go slowly, yielding all that's mine or thine
then Time will stop before the sacred shrine.
- H. L. Huxtable.
President De Valera visited the German Minister in Dublin to convey to the German people his condolences with them on the death of their beloved Fuehrer.
It must be remembered that the Irish President is not an Irishman and has no sense of humor. The Irish will regard the episode as a rare joke.
And all the more so because so far the Russians have not found enough of the Hitler remains to warrant a coroner's inquest.
Hitler was an inveterate liar. Anything he said was to be interpreted contrariwise. When he declared he was going to fight it out in the Bavarian mountains we may be sure he was looking north and not south. No one need be surprised should he turn up in Norway which he has been turning into a fortress for four years past. Why are all the red-hot Nazis heading for Norway? Writing on May 4 we hardly expect an immediate answer.
The feeding of the surrendering millions of Germans is going to be a major problem. The starving civilian populations all over Europe have also to be considered. The San Francisco Conference means well and has done fairly for a start, but the half of the liabilities which have to be met have not been reckoned on.
Meanwhile there is one thing not to be forgotten. Some of our readers write as though we liked war and encouraged it, and they cannot understand why there should be a war at all. It would take Hitler himself to convince these people, but the following account is submitted from the magazine Time, of April 30, as sufficient evidence for reasonable people that such things cannot be allowed to continue, but cannot be stopped without a war.
The "Time" Article Horror
As the U.S. armies penetrated the dark heart of Germany last week, they discovered and revealed to the world some eamples of the most highly organized horror of all time - a series of concentration camps for political prisoners from most of the nations the Nazis had conquered, including the German nation. For 12 years the enemies of totalitarianism had told the world of these horrors. They were past belief. But the evidence of the camps at Buchenwald, Belsen, Erla and Nordhausen was as irrefutable as death, as monstrous as human degradation. From three camps, Time & Life correspondents described these horrors.
At the Erla Camp, the SS guards prepared to massacre the prisoners as the U.S. Army approached. The prisoners knew what was coming, but most of them were too weak to try to escape, though a Czech prisoner had short-circuited the electric fence. From Erla, "Time" Correspondent Bill Walton reported the atrocity as pieced together from the stories of the few survivors:
All day Tuesday the SS guards made their preparations. All day the prisoners moved weakly around their barracks or stretched restlessly in the hot April sunshine in the narrow gravel yard around their barracks. Among themselves they discussed all the possible fates the brutal Germans might be planning for them, talked of escape and what to do, but none of them did anything. Years of imprisonment had taken too heavy a toll of their capacity for action.
Soup for the doomed. Shortly before noon the guards herded the few remaining able-bodied prisoners into the barracks of the weak and ill, saying that a noon meal would be served there. Two hundred and ninety-five men were crowded into that barracks - 40 ft. by 120 ft. jammed in and the doors locked after big tubs of soup had been brought in.
Once the doors were locked the SS men began to work with furious speed. First they nailed army blankets over every window. Then they hauled up huge cans of highly inflammable acetate. The 13 guards were all ready, armed with every weapon in their bursting arsenals. At a signal all sprang into action.
The low murmur of worried conversation turned to cries of fright when the guards unlocked the two doors and hurled in acetate, dousing the tinder-dry buildings and splashing over the prisoners crowding close to the only routes of escape. In one split second the acetate ignited and burst into a roaring inferno. Cries of fright changed to screams of terror and of mortal agony that were soon drowned by the leaping flames and the bursting of hand grenades tossed into the open doorways.
At least 100 flaming men clawed their way through the exits, packed with crazed, dying men. Through spattering gunfire from SS machine pistols and bazookas, most of the men staggered blindly for the nearby latrine even though it too was aflame. In a last gasp of agony they threw themselves into the excrement-filled trench where SS guards shot them and clubbed them to death, their bodies sinking slowly into the filth.
Ribbons of Flesh. A few others got as far as the low, 3-ft. thick band of barbed wire beside the electric fence before they were shot or died of burns. So awful was their agony that they paid scant attention to the angry prongs of barbed wire and wiggled under even though it ripped their flesh to ribbons. A handful, protected by the mad confusion, succeeded in getting over the fence, hastily stripped off their burning clothes, and started running eastward across the flat plowed field. On the other side of the field was a tank also
retreating eastward. Hitler Youths, manning that tank, turned their guns toward the blazing barracks and mowed down the naked prisoners running and falling and rising to run again across the open field. Only four made it to safety. Only four out of 295 survived the hell carefulluy planned and executed by the Germans, in a fury because they couldn't carry their prisoners with them when Leipzig fell.
From the Belsen Camp "Life" Corre-spondent George Rodger reported:
As Winston Churchill addressed the British troops on the banks of the Rhine on March 26, I heard him say: "We are now entering the dire sink of iniquity." These seemed strange words and I did not understand the full meaning of them until today, when at Belsen I witnessed the ultimate in human degradation. There the six-square-mile, barbed-wire enclosure in the heart of a rich agricultural center has been a hell on earth for 80,000 men, women and children of a dozen different nationalities who were being gradually starved to death by SS guards under a brutish, pig-eyed leader, Captain Kramer. During the month of March, 17,000 people died of starvation, and they still die at the rate of 300 to 350 every 24 hours, far beyond the help of the British authorities, who are doing all possible to save as many as still have strength to react to treatment.
Children and Corpses. The magnitude of suffering and horror at Belsen cannot be expressed in words and even I, as an actual witness, found it impossible to comprehend fully - there was too much of it: it was too contrary to all principles of humanity - and I was coldly stunned. Under the pine trees the scattered dead were lying, not in twos or threes or dozens, but in thousands. The living tore ragged clothing from the corpses to build fires over which they boiled pine needles and roots for soup. Little children rested their heads against stinking corpses of their mothers, too nearly dead themselves to cry. A man hobbled up to me and spoke to me in German. I couldn't understand what he said and I shall never know, for he fell dead at my feet in the middle of his sentence.
The living lay side by side with the dead, their shriveled limbs and shrunken features making them almost indistinguishable. Women tore away their clothing and scratched the hordes of lice which fed on their emaciated bodies; rotten with dysentery, they relieved themselves where they lay and the stench was appalling. Naked bodies with gaping wounds in their backs and chests showed where those who still had the strength to use a knife had cut out the kidneys, livers and hearts of their fellow men and eaten them that they themselves might live.
Fat, Fleshy, Inhuman. Over all this the SS guards - both girls and men - had watched coldly and unmoved. I saw them too - fat, fleshy and inhuman. Now they have a different role in the camp. Under British guard they are made to collect the dead and drag them to a mass grave. From dawn to dusk the SS girls and men alike hold in their arms the bodies of the men, women and children whom they killed, and British Tommies, roused for once to a burning fury, allow them no respite. It is their just reward. Perhaps it can all be summed up in the few croaking words that came from a pitiful pile of rags and bones that lay at my feet: "Look, Englishman, this is German culture."
From the camp at Buchenwald "Time" Correspondent -Percy Knauth reported:
In Buchenwald today I saw death reduced to such a state of ordinariness that it just left me numb and feeling nothing, not even sickness at my stomach.
Propaganda is propaganda and in this
war we have had more than our share of atrocity stories, but Buchenwald is not a story. It is acres of bare ground on a hillside in Thuringia where woods and fields are green under warm spring sun. It is miles and miles of barbed wire once charged with electricity and guarded by machine-gun towers built of creosoted pine logs. It is barracks after barracks crowded with 21,000 living, breathing human beings who stink like nothing else on earth and many of whom have lost the power of coherent speech. It is gallows standing in desolate courtyards, ropes still swinging from the hooks, pillories standing in the great parade ground just beneath the main gate, where men were tied down and beaten until they blubbered.
It is a place where prisoners, on seeing an SS man approaching from a distance, ducked for cover anywhere they could, because the young man in the clean black uniform might shoot them if he happened to feel like pulling out his gun. Buchenwald is a fact which has existed, on a small scale at first, for eleven years, and it is a fact which will stink through the years of history as long as generations of mankind have memories:
Half-Melted Skeletons. Buchenwald is something of a showplace now, nine days after it was liberated, and there are certain things you have to see. There were two ovens there, each with six openings. It was a clean room with no smell. At one end was a wash basin with soap still in the dish and a door leading to the Buro or office. At the other was a plaque hung high on the wall, black with a symbolic flame painted on it and a quotation from some German poet: "Let not disgusting worms consume my body . . . give me the clean bright flame," etc.
The ovens were not clean. In some of them there were still charred remains, a grinning, blackened skull, a chest from which the flesh was still not fully burned away, skeletons half melted down. The ovens were cold now but in recent weeks before the Americans came their clean bright flame consumed between 150 and 200 people daily.
I went out to the little courtyard where the gallows stood, a stout wooden frame with several hooks and a stool on which men stod before an SS kick deprived them of their last grip on life.
Death in the Cellar. Down in a cellar on a clean, whitewashed wall were many hooks jutting out near the low ceiling. For the benefit of visitors a dummy had been strung up there, its stuffed toes just touching the the floor. Before we came men were strung up similarly, pulled up till they choked: It took them a long time before they gave up the instinctive fight for breath, and there are scratches on the walls where they clawed vainly for support. Before they left the SS men had tried to eradicate these marks with pain and had also pulled out several of the hooks, but they left too quickly to do a thorough job.
Bodies Like Firewood. With other G.I. sightseers we came up from the cellar and passed into another yard fenced in by a high wooden wall. There was a pile of bodies there, stacked more or less the way I stack my firewood back home, not too carefully. There were men and some of them were naked. They looked strange. Their mouths were open as though in pain and little streaks of blood flowed from their noses. "Some kind of hemorrhage," said a medical corpsman. "Hell, those guys died of starvation," said another G.I. He stared and stared and couldn't get that thought out of his mind, repeating it over and over: "Those guys just starved to death. They just starved."
It was easy to see that they were starved. There was just nothing on them, nothing but yellowish or brownish skin stretched tightly over bones and cavities - and all their members hung
down loosely, as they lie on men who throw themselves down exhausted to the ground. Some men who were not dead sat idly on a bench nearby. A Frenchman who had drifted up just smiled and smiled in that curious, almost hysterical way that you sometimes smile at overwhelming horror.
The Living Dead. We stopped in front of one barracks and looked inside while a Czech surgeon who had been there explained that 1,500 people lived and slept there.
It was a long dim room full of murmurs and movements of figures in all kinds of clothes, from the striped uniform of Buchenwald to just a sack draped over bony shoulders. The walls were lined with bunks built right up to the ceiling. The 1,500 slept four, or six or eight or any number to a bunk. When it was really crowded, men slept on top of each other and the ones on the bottom, like as not, were dead of suffocation in the morning.
Awful and Unnatural. What it all boiled down to was that human life was here as nothing. Nobody gave a damn for it. Nobody gave a damn whether an inmate in Buchenwald lived or died. The SS men, if they felt like it - if they just felt like it - would kill men as they wouldn't kill an animal, they would snuff out his life as they might that of an insect which they happened to see on the road.
Buchenwald did not have a diet, really. There was a form of soup once a day and some bread. The amount doesn't matter; it was not enough to sustain life. I saw hundreds of Buchenwald's 21,000 (there had been 48,000 but more than half had been evacuated to the interior of Germany) who were as starved as the corpses in the crematorium yard. You cannot adequately describe starved men; they just look awful and unnatural. There was nothing but their bones beneath the tightly stretched skin, none of the roundedness, the curving and the flat places, the swelling muscles which men usually have. They walk or creep or lie around and seem about as animate as the barracks and fence posts and the stones on Buchenwald's bare, hard-packed earth, and when they are dead they are corpses and then gone.
It was only as we walked through and out of this barracks that I realized it was a hospital, or rather a place where inmates themselves did what they could to keep alive those who were too far gone to live. At the far end it smelled a little of chlorine for a change, and there were white enamel bowls and a small kitchen. Since the Americans arrived, these people's chances to survive have increased slightly. On that day 200 died of malnutrition and disease. The day that I was there, 70 died.
Buchenwald is beyond all comprehension. You just can't understand it, even when you've seen it. It is terrible and beyond understanding to see human beings with brain and skillful hands and lives and destinies and thoughts reduced to a state where only blind instinct tries to keep them alive. It is beyond human anger or disgust to see in such a place the remnants of a sign put up by those who ran the place: "Honesty, Diligence, Pride, Ability . . . these are the milestones of your way through here."
The stench of Buchenwald would reek in history. But how much of it was known to German civilians even in nearby Weimar? Sick with disgust, tough General George S. Patton ordered the burghers of the town to be taken through Buchenwald and shown its obscenities. Twelve hundred men and women of Weimar walked unwillingly through the camp and wept, retched, fainted. A young Hitler Madchen sobbed: "How awful!".
General Dwight D. Eisenhower was so stirred that he forthwith invited Prime Minister Winston Churchill to
send a British Parliamentary delegation to see Buchenwald. With them came a group of American Congressmen touring Britain. The visitors froze with horror. Said Sir Henry Morris-Jones: "It beggars description." Said Representative Gordon Canfield: "This is barbarism." Others would soon be coming to see as well.
The remedial idea spread fast. In Gardelegen, where 1,100 political captives were incinerated in a straw-filled death chamber, civilians were marched in by U.S. troops and made to bury the blackened bodies. At Belsen where British forces found cadavers piled like cordwood in a ditch, SS men were compelled at rifle point to bury bodies.
Romps in the Garden. Taken alive was the Belsen commandant, powerful, thug-like Josef Kramer, expert in the methods of mass murder. To a British reporter Kramer brooded on his past, said sadly that he missed his wife and children, with whom he used to romp in the garden of his Belsen home (he loved flowers, especially roses). Mused Kramer: "I love my wife and children. I love all children. I believe in God." He became a Nazi in 1933 because he had to choose between National Socialism and Communism. His conscience, he added, was not bad. "The death rate here is quite small, only about one thousand a month." Later Krdmer was reported executed.
Like the G.I.s, the battle-hardened Tommies were numbed by their glimpse of Nazi savagery. The shattering experience was one that must be shared not only with German civilians, who must measure their own guilt, but the Allied civilians, who must measure the Nazi crime. In London, queasy movie-goers, unable to stomach atrocity newsreels, started to leave the theatre but were turned back by Allied soldiers in the audience.
Not all of the Nazi pit had yet been plumbed. Still ahead, near Munich, lay Dachau the unspeakable, on whose walls an inmate had once scribbled: "This is the camp where you enter by the door and leave by the chimney."
As details about the Nazi horror camps piled up, hatred for the German people, as well as the Nazis, swept the U.S. and Britain. Calmly the Moscow radio, quoting Pravda, pointed out that it was about time that the Western Allies realized what they were up against:
"Allied troops see not only smooth German landscapes and clean little town houses. They also see concentration camps.
"What is Buchenwald? It is Maidanek, but in miniature.
"Our Allies had not seen what we had. "Now that they too have seen, now that they share what we know, they will understand us better . . . .
"Fascism is not compatible with human dignity. The world must be freed from it. German soil, too, must be cleared of it."
For the killers the time had come to kill themselves. Nazi officials and big-wig Germans began to practice the act for which their language has an expressive word - Selbstmord, self-murder.
Near the Swiss border, Frau Gertrud Heissmeyer Scholtz-Klink, Reichsfrau-enfuhrerin of all the Nazi women's organizations, was reported to have taken her life.
In Weimar, after viewing the horrors of Buchenwald, the Mayor and his wife died by slashing their wrists.
In Nurnberg, Nazi Boss Karl Holz shot Mayor Willi Liebel and then himself.
In Leipzig Herr Dr. Bundin chose to die by a method in keeping with his professional interests (he was owner of a big Bazooka factory). To a caviar-and-champagne banquet he invited 100 of his
cronies. When the last course was eaten, the fat cigars smoked and the fine cognac gone, Herr Bundin pressed a button. He had mined the banquet hall. He and his guests were atomized into dust.
WHITE LOTUS DAY
(Continued from Page 79)
stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men.
Re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book and dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency, not only in words but in the silent lines of lips and face, between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body."
If it be true that you and I have known
Each other in successive life on life,
Facing the tests with which "to be" is rife,
We have not lived each to ourself alone;
We cannot claim in essence as our own
Reactions of the spirit or the mind;
These only grow through contact with our kind -
To give, and to receive and to atone.
We are a part of all that we have met,
Whether in love or hate, in joy or grief.
Though you are gone and I alone, I yet
Am one with you in all our rich belief.
Nor are you gone, nor I alone, my dear,
While in my very speech, your voice I hear.
- Irene H. Moody,
"Commended" by Poetry Review, London, England.
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