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Vol. XXVI, No. 5 Hamilton, July 5th, 1945 Price 20 Cents
THE SOMERSET ZODIAC - A NEW STUDY
By K.E. Maltwood
THE PATH OF THE SUN LAID OUT IN SOMERSET IN RELATION TO THE ZODIAC ON A STAR GLOBE
Hitherto we have traced the wanderings of the knights of King Arthur's Round Table during their Quest of the Holy Grail in "the forbidden land of Logres"; but to understand fully the import of their wanderings we must realize that the Tree growing in this Paradise Garden bore stars for fruit, often called stones or jewels. The High History of the Holy Grail is written in the form of a tree with 35 "branches".
It will be remembered that in the Apocalypse the tree of life is represented as growing in the street, and as bearing twelve fruits, one of which it yielded every month! an allusion is here made to the Solar path, where are found the 12 signs of the Zodiac. Again in the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh, when he went in search of the Western Paradise he beheld the tree laden with precious stones. Also Hercules saw apples of gold in -
Those Hesperian gardens found of old,
Fortunate fields, and groves and flowery vales.
So now let us transfer the map of the earthwork effigies that represent the constellations, and constitute the Path of the Sun in Somerset, to the zodiac on a stellar globe. At once we see that, though covering, in respect to each constellation, a larger area of the sky than do the modern figures, still in position and sequence they correspond. An important point to be remembered is that the constellation creatures on a stellar globe face in the opposite direction from those on star maps. The Somerset creatures follow the direction of those on a star globe, and it was thus that "the stars fell from heaven", as the great astronomer of 5000 years ago designed that they should.
This gives the first interesting insight into how it was done; we are amazed at the skill of those learned men who lived so long ago, not only in thus transferring the figures on to the earth with all that it involved of geometrical measurement, but in designing the creatures to utilize the most conspicuous single stars at salient points and groups of stars to fit certain shapes, as will be pointed out later.
It is now obvious that "the lost book of the Grail", from which the mediaeval romancers took their highly colored and amusing adventures, was none
other than this chart of the heavens, hence the ever recurring Lion, Giants, Bull, King Fisherman with his great fish, and innumerable other symbols and secrets connected with the Path of the Sun the world over.
Owing to the last two great wars, the discovery of this original zodiac has not received the attention and publicity that it deserves, but that is all to the good: for instance, to show how slow the going of necessity must be, in undertaking an archaeological survey of such magnitude and antiquity, we will take an instance, amongst many others, in the constellation of the Bull.
The Pleiades fall on the neck of the Bull at Collard Hill - is that the reason why those born under this sign are stiff-necked according to astrology? The "V" shaped Hyades fit the angle formed by the foreleg flexed on the shoulder, the ruddy Royal Star Aldebaran falling on the foreleg by Redlands. The star Nath, with its interesting Nova close by, forms the nostril, a third magnitude star glows in the eye, whilst the enormous earthwork horn of the effigy Bull points to Menkalinan on its tip, yellow in color.
Now comes the puzzle - why does not that gigantic horn point to Capella? called on the old tablet in Akkadian "the Star of Stars". It lies nearer the Pole than any other first magnitude star and in consequence is visible at some time every clear night throughout the year. It is said to be "Icu of Babylon", Marduk's star. Whereas the star Mankalinan is of the second magnitude.
At last, after twenty-five years of studying the whole question of King Arthur's Round Table of the Stars, I have found the outline of a left horn buried in the earth of Butleigh Wood, pointing to a star-shaped space to which six ancient paths converge on its five points. The buried horn is the same
length and width as the artificial horn alongside. Now exactly on this five-pointed space at the tip of the left horn, falls Capella! Undoubtedly there was once a "chapel" on this spot, for the constellation Taurus marked the Vernal Equinox when the effigy creatures of the Zodiac were laid out, consequently this yearly occurrence was the reason for great festivals. The air view shows nothing but the trees which hide the horn, but for the benefit of those who are fortunate enough to be able to visit Somerset let me quote, before pursuing our way clockwise in the direction of Glastonbury, from my Guide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars, published by J.M. Watkins, London, in 1935.
"Continuing along the hill towards Wickham's Cross, one of the horns can be seen on the right; the tip of the earthwork that outlines it points to the gateway on the left of the road through which the Processional Way supposedly passed from Butt Moor Bridge on the Brue, to Compton Dundon. Not far from this bridge a very narrow road leads to a majestic avenue of cedar trees which enters Butleigh Wood; the path through the wood climbs the hill to the gate by the tip of the horn of Taurus, where it suddenly emerges on to the top of a natural amphitheatre looking down upon the Giant Orion." The 6 inches to the mile map of Butleigh Wood (note this name, which has lost the t of Butt Moor) not only shows this footpath from the Cedar Avenue, but the star-shaped meeting place of the paths and the outline of the left horn that butts on to it, almost parallel with Reynald's Way.
Capella falls on this "Processional Way" and though I noticed the starshaped clearing in the wood years ago and wondered what it could imply, I then had no idea I was standing on "the star of stars".
The central figure which forms the
background of Mithraism is always the tauroctonous Mithra, the god bestriding the bull and in the act of slaying it. This ancient Iranian god of light was identified with Shamash, the Babylonian sun-god, and Mithraism adopted and assimilated many of the beliefs, legends and traditions which had held sway on the plains of Babylonia. As god of light, ruler of the upper air, Mithra was mediator or intermediary between the gods who inhabited the upper world and the lower world. He was a child of Chronos or Time. From the dying bull issued the seed of life to the world, and thus the act of Mithra became the sign or symbol of regeneration from death to life. (see "Select passages illustrating Mithraism" by Geden).
- K.E. Maltwood.
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.
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RITES AND CEREMONIES
In his editorial in the August, 1944, issue of The Theosophist, Dr. Arundale wrote, "Never must we remain content with the old, however much we may rightly and gratefully reverence it. All authority must more and more become dynamic instead of being static in forms and ceremonies. In every department of life there must be this challenge to authority." And, with warm approval, he quoted Dean Inge as saying that modern tendencies are away from authority and into experience.
That this is the modern tendency is undoubtedly true; and yet at the same time there seems to be little doubt that we are seeing an increasing emphasis on ceremonies. Quite apart from an increasing emphasis on ritual in the churches and other organizations, sometimes in churches and organizations formerly noted for their disregard of ritual, ceremony has entered deeply into public life and social life. It penetrates into all sorts of little things. One cannot resume playing tennis in the spring without an opening ceremony and a sacramental serving of the first ball over the net; and a more sacramental note has crept into the little ceremonies of morning coffee and afternoon tea.
Ceremonies are a method of controlling the relationship between the individual and his environment. That relationship between myself and my surroundings can be altered in two ways. It can be altered by a change in my own consciousness; or it can be altered by a change in my surroundings. At the present time, we are coming increasingly to use the second method and to concern ourselves, in our art, our sociology and all other respects, with the effect of environment upon the individual. We are coming to realize that all the things that surround us are daily and hourly casting their harmonies and disharmonies into our natures, just as
our surroundings in turn reflect the harmonies and disharmonies which we project out into them. Look, for example, at the articles on house decoration in the many journals that are published for women. We find rooms and articles of furniture described more and more, not merely in terms of physical utility, but in terms of the emotional influence which they exert - cheerful rooms, hospitable-looking fireplaces, happy blends of color, shades of tapestry which give a sense of cosiness and intimacy.
The relationship between ourselves and our environment is not merely physical. If we thought it was, we should not have linked ourselves to such an organization as the Theosophical Society. The relationship is emotional, intellectual, moral, metaphysical, mystical. And these elements are inseparable. Every relationship contains them all; yet our individual consciousness may often be awake to only a few of them. And when we encounter the idea of a relationship extending beyond the physical world, right into the immortal part of ourselves, we tend to distort its higher and finer modes and aspects into terms of the lower and physically more familiar ones.
When relationship is conducted according to a ritual of a particular pattern, a very special and characteristic influence is brought to bear upon us, and our consciousness is modified in a very special way. I have no doubt that in time we shall secure a better means of testing the effects of particular ceremonies upon individuals and that we shall be able to build up a science of ceremonies, designing rituals which will heal and soothe or which will arouse and incite. Already much has been attempted in this direction; and the results have, in some cases, been very sinister. One of the largest experiments in influencing people's consciousnesses through ceremonies in recent times was that carried out by the leaders of the Nazi party in Germany. Up to the present our ideas about ceremonies as a means of tuning and modifying human consciousness have been based on tradition or on trial and effort and personal impressions. Some information has been volunteered by clairvoyants. Most people, however, want a physical proof of what occurs, and it is possible that the recent great advance in the means of testing and recording small physical reactions will make this possible; for every change in thought and emotion does have its physical counterpart, and such an instrument as the electro-encephalograph may presently have a tale to tell about the influence of sacraments and ceremonies.
There is, however, another way of examining these things which is open to most people. They can study the influence of ceremonies upon themselves. That, of course, requires great detachment. Ceremonies at their best clearly exert their greatest influence upon the moral and spiritual nature. It is therefore not enough to examine the possibilities of ceremony with the concrete intellect alone. If we are to find out whether or how a particular ceremony or experience affects the whole of ourselves, we must be sensitive and awake with the whole of ourselves and not merely with a part of ourselves, which is all that the analytical intellect is. There is also the obvious need for a complete abandonment of conditioning prejudices. Judgement must be in the light of direct experience and not in the light of previously accepted standards. If a particular ceremony is devised to help us to become more awake in the higher triad, the immortal part of ourselves, whose laws and nature are beyond the comprehension and speculation of the lower quaternary, the personality, then nothing can be gained by approaching it with negative assertions or reservations made in terms of the
understanding of the personality.
This is a hard matter to see clearly, for the attitude which I describe seems to savour of the acceptance of authority. But I am trying to express reasons for the suspension of judgement and not for accepting anything. If we are to experiment with the deeper implications of certain ceremonies, particularly those of a distinctively sacramental nature, we must have rendered our personalities very peaceful indeed. We require calm and indeed a reverence which will not be broken up into ripples, by many possible adverse external circumstances - for example, by reaction to the pride, vanity and narrowness that is often found in priesthood, the fussiness or pomposity of hierophants, the frequent association of ceremonial with dishonest purposes and reactionary movements. Only when we have reached that wise tranquillity can we surely know if there is some element in the sacrament or ceremony that can lead us on to the discovery of an inner light. There is an atitude of mind which is at once balanced, cooperative and appreciative and yet involves no inhibition of judgement. Until we have achieved that attitude of mind we have not yet acquired the right to reject or to throw stones, and our impressions about ceremonies can only be interim ones, liable to revision.
There is a similar need for caution about the rejection of symbols. I have heard people say that they have no use for symbols because they want the reality. If a symbol is used as a substitute for reality, as I am afraid it often is, that is a very reasonable and proper point of view. But a symbol ought not to be a substitute. We are accustomed to think of symbols being interpreted in terms of words. Often, I am sure, in theosophical and other books and magazines, we have seen descriptions of what certain symbols mean; and we may very properly ask why, if all this can be said in words, it should be tied up in a not very obvious symbol which tells very much less to the reader than the words do. The truth is, however, that real symbols relating to cosmic and metaphysical realities are not meant to be interpreted. The person who interprets or translates them into terms of concepts and intellectualities, into words, is committing a crudity. True symbols are not to be regarded as a sort of form of shorthand, nor are they aids to memory. They have the same purpose as ceremonies, to change and illumine consciousness. There is no use talking about them or discussing them. To limit them to that tiny area which is covered by human speech is to cut ourselves off from nearly all their significance and vitality. It is necessary to enter into them and through them to a world in which our present limitations and relativities are without significance.
We generally divide our modes of thought into two, as concrete and abstract, the former dealing with things and the latter with generalizations and relationships. In my own thinking from time to time, I have been clearly aware that there is a further mode of thought which, in character and comprehensiveness, is just as distinct from the abstract and beyond the abstract as the abstract is distinct from and beyond the concrete. But I could not explain that mode of thought to another person. I could not speak of it in words. But I might be able to express something about it in symbols, to those who understood.
I, who write these words, am not by temperament a ceremonialist. I am not a member of any ceremonial organization, and I have often found ceremonies irksome and frustrating, a long-circuiting of meaning for a person of my way of thinking and experiencing. But I can see that, for good or ill, the use
of ceremonies, like the use of dynamite, is becoming known through the world, and the time is coming when we must decide how it is to be used rather than whether it is to be used.
Its dangers are tremendous. The increasing emphasis on the uniqueness of each of us, the recognition that the most precious things we have in common are our differences, the heightened appreciation of our value as individuals - these are the marks of civilization. And ceremonies have put a great power into the hands of the enemies of civilization, those movements which seek to achieve unity, not through the cooperative impulses of individual minds and hearts, but through a uniformity imposed from outside. All these great modern systems for indoctrinating whole nations, for molding the outlook of young children to evil and ungenerous purposes, for putting people into uniforms, have gained great momentum from ceremonial impulses and ceremonial methods. For ceremonies, if they are to be performed at all, do inevitably require a temporary uniformity for their effective carrying out. We have to adhere to the rubrics. I have heard of a place of worship where individualism was so much respected that the service took the form of allowing everybody present to indulge in extempore prayer out loud all at the one time; but the arrangement did not endure for obvious reasons. This necessary uniformity in ceremonial, this necessary and purposive sinking of individualities in the performance of a rite for the helping of all, can be used as a pretext for interfering with the liberty of those who desire to remain outside the ceremonial and for setting a dogmatic top limit to intelligent interpretation, beyond which one is not allowed to advance.
Yet though I see these things and am not myself a ceremonialist as that word is normally understood, I think that the ceremonial view of life represents a great reality. In The Secret Doctrine we have the idea expressed that all the great suns throughout the cosmic system are special centres of the one Universal Life, each sun giving or being capable of giving life to a system of worlds; and they are spoken of as personified solar deities, reference, for example, being made to the Lord of Sirius and to the Seven Rishis of the constellation of the Great Bear; and we have the idea, certainly poetical if it appeals on no other grounds, of all the suns throughout the depths of space, each a great viceroy to a system of worlds, all taking part in one solemn and mysterious ceremony in the court of the One King. And everything, all down the scale of power and magnitude and significance, to the very tiniest particle of matter on the smallest asteroid of the remotest system, is taking part in that ceremony; and the capacities and qualities which each contributes to the ceremony are gifts which each has received from the King.
In this great dance or ceremony, one can think of an infinite scale of correspondences stretching above and below, ceremonies and symbols at one level making pale reflections and representations of realities at another level. And, by seizing the true nature of the correspondence and learning the true meaning of the aphorism "As above so below", the great mystics, the great saviours and teachers, have attempted to serve as pathways by which others can ascend to the higher levels or have striven like Prometheus to bring down fire for the helping of others.
The true ceremonialist, I believe, is not necessarily one who takes part in ceremonies, who performs rites or assists at celebrations of sacraments, though he may well do these things if such be his temperament. The true ceremonialist is esentially one who lives in the present. He is taking part
consciously in that great ceremony which all life is performing, and his intention is to play that part expertly and elegantly. As it has been written, "yoga is skill in action." Unlike the set ceremonies of churches and other bodies, the ceremony of life cannot be learned in advance from a book. It can be read only from moment to moment, by the active and purified intelligence and intuition of the individual. There is in any set of circumstances an appropriate action, perfectly right and quite unique. The true ceremonialist performs that action. We cannot foretell what that action will be; but when an individual has performed that perfectly appropriate action, he knows the happiness of a ceremony gracefully and elegantly performed.
And the true sacramentalist is not necessarily the regular attender at mass, one who seeks a real presence in the special eucharistic sense, though he may do that if he chooses. There is an old saying that Ultimate Reality is a circle, with its circumference nowhere and its centre everywhere. The true sacrament is to know at any moment that we stand at that centre, that each of us is that centre.
It is only by their capacity for awakening us to the performance of a true act in the ceremony of life and to participation in that universal sacrament of present reality that the symbols and rites and ceremonies of this world acquire, for each of us, their efficacy and validity.
- Hugh Shearman.
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THEIR MUSICAL TRIUMPH
Basil Woodward Crump, who died suddenly and peacefully in Calcutta on May 30th was a barrister-at-law of the Middle Temple, and for some years Editor of the English "Law Times". But it is as co-protagonist with Mrs. Leighton Cleather for H.P. Blavatsky and all she stood for, that readers of this paper will remember him. As a youth he was absorbed in athletics winning his College sculls, rowing in the Jesus first boat at Cambridge, and winning trophies here and abroad in bicycle and tricycle racing.
Then one day his inner mystical self was aroused in its manhood's vigor when reading Forence Marryat's book "There is no Death". He then became keenly interested in spiritualism his balanced judgment on careful investigations afterwards proving valuable when confronted with the claims of mediums of various degrees. This was after Karma had brought him to knowledge of Madame Blavatsky and her true interpretation of the phenomena then stirring the Western world.
When he was about twenty-five; he met Mrs. Cleather who was able to put this teaching before him by which the path his inner self had been instinctively seeking opened before him. A year later Colonel Cleather, a staunch believer in H.P.B's. integrity invited him to go and live with them and thus his joint work with Mrs. Cleather was easily continued. They were both accomplished musicians, and during the time before they left the Tingley Theosophical Society they toured the U.S.A. lecturing on Theosophy and the esoteric philosophy underlying the Wagner dramas, material which they later published with Methuen in a series of handbooks still in demand.
Owing to disruptive elements in Theosophical circles, when they left the U.S.A., they found themselves unable to
work on true H.P.B. lines with any of branches claiming to represent the original "Brotherhood of Humanity" society founded by the Masters in India. This led Mr. Crump for some years to develop his voice on highly scientific principles with the idea of using his talents, partly through the correct presentation of the Parsifal drama for the furtherance of his life work. Mr. Cleather also having a fine voice "The Trio" as their students liked to call them, studied in Paris and Italy under the finest voice production masters then available. The great war put a period to these activities, and they realized that their intended musical careers were merely a means to focus their studies in Italy. Their experiences in many towns there and remarkable contacts with the dormant Sibyl showed, that by keeping personalities in abeyance they were definitely directed in their movements as an occult centre. The whole wonderful story will, we hope, some day be told when the occult diaries of Mrs. Cleather are given to the public.
Before the war was over, on the first part of their journey to India which was now their goal, they were torpedoed in the Mediterranean and lost everything they possessed. After a stay in Egypt they sailed for India arriving in 1918. The contacts they made at Darjeeling led eventually to their taking pansil at Buddha Gaya under the sacred Bo Tree, as H.P.B. had done in Ceylon thus proclaiming themselves professed Buddhists. After journeys to Kashmir and two summers at Leb in Little Tibet work centred for a time on writing and publishing the famous trilogy on H.P.B. and the Theasophical Society, with strictures on some developments after H. P. B's death which were never countered by its leaders.
On a journey to Australia Mr. Crump gave courage and help to loyal followers of H.P.B. there by his understanding of their situation. In 1925 the Trio went to China, Peiping being for twelve years the centre of their activities.
There Mr. Crump wrote his invaluable book "Evolution" setting forth succinctly the tenets of the Wisdom Religion as found in the "Secret Doctrine". He also collaborated with Mrs. Cleather in the book "Buddhism, the Science of Life" providing its useful glossary, a book which met with much approval from Chinese Buddhists. There also, the Trio had private audiences with the Tashi Lama which eventuated, at his suggestion, in a journey by car, river and aeroplane to the borders of Tibet in which Mr. Crump's motoring experiences were invaluable. He had been urged to write a book about that very wonderful trek, when Mrs. Cleather was eighty years of age, but never found time to do so. They returned to Peiping, but soon after decided to return to India and went to Darjeeling where Mrs. Cleather died in 1938. Mr. Crump was writing the Memoirs of Mrs. Cleather compiled from her occult diaries. But a second attack of Typhoid following a nearly fatal illness at Sining on the borders of Tibet, when, in delirium, he spoke a language unknown to his listeners, resulted in other troubles, and in spite of a gallant struggle aaginst increasing debility his heart gave out in a peaceful passing. The gentlest of men he was much appreciated in Calcutta by his Indian students and many army units who found a sympathetic listener to their ideas. Our sympathy goes out to Mr. Cleather who is thus left to carry on by himself. It should be mentioned that in the edition of "The Voice of the Silence" sponsored by the Tashi Lama, the notes of this Peking facsimile of the original edition were the result of intensive research on Mr. Crump's part.
- A. A. Morton.
We would indeed be lacking in discrimination if we overlooked the notable article under the above head which appears in the March issue of The Theosophical Worker, by Dr. Arundale as President. It is a declaration for which we have long looked but scarcely dared to hope. We have been frank and free in our comments on the Adyar policies, but our object has been solely in the interests of what we and others have called "straight Theosophy." To have the President at long last take up this position means more to the world and much more to the Theosophical world than any of us can dream. We shall not attempt to emphasize one sentence of Dr. Arundale's article more than another; it is all right and proper. It means in Euclid's phrase that the whole is greater than the part, and humanity is greater than any nation, clan, tribe or party. The motto of the Society sums it all up - There is no religion higher than Truth.
In the beginning of this new year there are rather weighty matters to envisage as we proceed onwards into the climax of this World War, and we ourselves must be very much affected by the opportunities that lie before us.
As we change more and more from the old world to the new, so must The Theosophical Society have its own modicum of change, at least of presentation, and Theosophy must begin to show forth a new facet of its eternal diamond. Speaking as President of The Theosophical Society, I must go forward. It is for every member of The Society to go forward or to remain where he is, just as he likes. It will not make very much difference, because there he is and he is probably already taking advantage as best he can of the situations in Theosophy and in The Society as they present themselves.
But I must lead. I must not be concerned with my own conventions and my own particular truths in which I may revel. I must be concerned with the best way in which to give Theosophy and our membership of The Society to the changing world. What I believe in does not matter very much, but what will be of service to the changing world matters immensely.
I therefore feel constrained - although the constraint has not yet materialized - to abandon my close relationships with various movements with which I have been associated for many years, and to try to disentangle Theosophy and The Society from all these movements and present The Society and Theosophy as freely, as impersonally, as generally, as I possibly can. I feel that I should have little concern with the Liberal Catholic Church, or the Esoteric School of Theosophy, or Co-Freemasonry or any other of these movements, much as they may have meant and still mean to me and tremendously true as they may be in their aspects of the presentation of Theosophy. But I want to approach the public unlabelled as far as I possibly can, to make the public feel there is no question of entering through a postern gate but rather through the great wide open doors of Universal Brotherhood. And I brush aside any statement to the effect, for example, that the Liberal Catholic Church represents the truest Christian presentation of our Lord's teaching. I also brush aside the statement to the effect that the Esoteric School must be regarded as the heart of The Theosophical Society, and I brush aside any other insistence upon the worth of any particular activity or presentation of Theosophy, whatever the presentation may be. I feel perfectly convinced that in the setting forth untrammeled and free of the vital truths of Theosophy and of The Theosophical Society I shall be doing the most good.
This is not to say that other people should not continue their membership
of any activity of which they think it right to be a member, nor that they should cease from extolling some particular movement in any way in which they think it should be extolled. But I hope there will slowly be an increasing number of people who will be free from all coloring, and each of these activities is a coloring of Theosophy and is in danger of becoming a coloring of the whole membership of The Theosophical Society.
I am therefore groping my way to see what I ought to do and how I should relate myself to the various activities with which I have been associated. It does not necessarily mean one resigns from them, but one keeps aloof from them in order to be as uncolored a Theosophist as one possibly can.
I am anxious that there should be no hint to any prospective member of The Society that the time will come when he will be able to join the Esoteric School, perceive the truths of Christianity through the Liberal Catholic Church, or the truths of Hinduism through the Bharata Samai, and so on. I do not want that the individual should become clogged at the outset of his Theosophical career. If he naturally finds his way into one of these activities, well and good. It may be a special interpretation which meets his expanding needs. But I do long and long increasingly that membership of The Theosophical Society should in truth be free - from dogmas, doctrines, orthodoxies and interpretations. Because, after all, the more one looks at the world, the more one realizes that it is the spirit of kindness, brotherhood, comradeship, friendship, understanding which matter, and they alone matter. It matters far less as to whether I should believe in the Masters, in karma, in reincarnation or in any other of our teachings.
I think many of our Lodges would be better employed if they work more upon the fundamental realities than upon the various interpretations of the realities, which, of course, may be profoundly true. I would say in any case: Who really knows much about these fundamental teachings or their real interpretations? I do not think there are many. Therefore, it is a case of the blind leading the blind, even though there are some who have some kind of semi-vision which gives them advantage over those whose eyes are still quite closed.
It is a very severe and serious problem to know what is right to do. Am I to follow and support the conventional traditions, or am I, so far as I am personally concerned, more or less to break them for myself so that I will say to people: Yes, there are all these activities, but I do not find any of them necessary to me. I can find all the solace, encouragement, truth I need in the fundamental exposition of Theosophy as laid down in its simplest forms.
All honor to those who alike in sunshine and in storm support with a great loyalty this, that or the other fact of Theosophy. We need such members and we need them to remain stalwartly at their posts. It may well be that neither Theosophy nor The Society can do without their expressions through the Esoteric School of Theosophy and any other subsidiary activity, let the iconoclasts say what they may. I stand for them and for their great service to our worldwide cause. But they all are subsidiary activities, and must ever be subordinate and tributary to the great stream which was when they were not.
I feel that now my allegiance is supremely due to the great stream itself, and I want in my own way to concentrate on it exclusively. I kick away no rung of the ladder by which I am ascending from darkness into Light, but must I not at present, I say, concentrate on the ladder itself without reference to its rungs? The two great lines of the ladder can be joined by any rungs, but where would be ladder be without its lines?
NATURE FROM AN OCCULT ANGLE
(Concluded from Page 127)
To obey the injunction is to enter again that reality of union where we may "live and move and have our (thought) being." It is there only we can achieve essential control of
". . . our angry ape
The mind - the Monster in the stream,
The mind - the Ignorance supreme,
That holds the Doubter in the dream."
- James Stephens
It would seem here as if the poet knew the opening lines of The Voice of the Silence which tell us that "the mind is the great Slayer of the Real."
Elsewhere we have been told of " . . . the great life of Nature, the force that keeps the world in motion and one's pulses beating, and which has within it, in its heart, a supreme and awful power." But, of this "life" and "force" though shared by, but dormant in the inner man, the nature is only revealed to that inner man when he is ready to receive it.
Has man lost sight of his heritage, and mistaken his true place in the economy of the universe in an arrogant emphasis of his own individual importance, exchanging a kingdom for an allotment. If he begins to suspect this, he will wonder how he can find his way back into that whole from which his immersion in terrestrial life has separated him. His birth into the physical world started him on the outward journey into this school of "life", where and where only he has the opportunity to choose between sterile separation and unification on a higher plane. Now and again, when not preoccupied with attention to his daily routine, a sense of being lost, a bewilderment, an astrayness may come over him with a question of the purpose of it all. He looks into what seems at first to be a void, an emptiness, even an abyss of nothingness, and he is afraid to cross where his dim vision sees no bridge. There is his opportunity to go bravely on in that "faith which is unlearned Knowledge" nature has in store for him, or turn back. Fear of the apparent darkness, fright at the shadow of himself on the void may blind him to the path of progress and send him hastening back to his old pleasures which have hitherto contented him. So, he loses another opportunity to cross the bridge that divides him from the heart of great Nature. And each time he reaches this point and turns back, decreases his power to push through to a knowledge of his own identity. ["In each individual is born the inherent power to grasp the knowledge of his own identity and destiny, and yet nations and races come and go, as in a dream, never once between the cradle and the grave obtaining the least glimmer of the truths awaiting their acceptance."]
Yet, with courage and conviction that there are faculties lying dormant in his soul for his own especial use, man may see a glimmer pulsating in the abyss which will reveal to his concentrated attention that "fullness of the seeming void" where is the true home of the soul. Then his backward gaze will show him to his amazement "the voidness of the seeming full" when he looks "deep within the well of his own heart." For there he will find his place with Nature, and realize the "great dire heresy of separateness that weans him from the rest." [The Voice of the Silence.]
The Eastern Sages recognize but one element in Nature (whether spiritual or physical) outside which there can be no Nature, since it is Nature itself, and which as the Akasa pervades our whole Solar system every atom being part of itself pervades through space and is space in fact, which pulsates as in pro-
found sleep during the Pralayas, and is the universal Proteus, the ever active Nature during the manvantara . . . . spirit and matter are one, being but a differentiation of states not essences." [Letters of the Mahatmas, p. 63. Manvantara: a period of manifestation as opposed to Pralaya dissolution or rest, applied to various cycles, especially to a Day of Brahma, 4,320,000,000 Solar years.] When at last fully alive to the fact that man is the one free agent in Nature, man may stand shivering on the brink of the discovery of his responsibility. He may then feel an urge to find his right place in that matrix if he would help to make the harmony necessary for a right perception and prevent him being a hindrance to his neighbor atoms also in search of union.
The vista opened up to the questing soul giving some little realization of his innate power to influence his surroundings, invisibly, and even visibly by reason of vibrations started, - need not daunt his spirit with this awakened sense of responsibility. We are told that his business is not to imagine the effects of his newborn attitude to his neighbor atoms or individuals, but to strengthen his will to BE what Nature intended "a heart centre of pure impersonal force" a light in the void. He will concentrate on trimming his lamp so that the light may be steady and increasing with the MOTIVE which is all important aligned to Altruism. From self-consciousness the aspirant may move to the greater consciousness which is his goal. For: "Nature taken in its abstract sense cannot be unconscious, as it is the emanation from, and thus an aspect (on the manifested plane) of the ABSOLUTE consciousness. Where is that daring
man who would presume to deny vegetation, and even minerals a consciousness of their own, all he can say is that the consciousness is beyond his apprehension [S.D. I, 277 footnote] Has not Sir Jagadish Chander Bose demonstrated a form of consciousness in plants, even showing their rhythmic sensitivity in visible script, to stimulants or narcotics applied in his laboratory? To hear the Professor lecture and see his slides is to be convinced of his thesis so tardily recognized by the pundits of the materialistic West.
It may be asked in what relation does this conception of Nature stand to the idea of "God" taught in the Christian church. "Having commenced by being synonymous with Nature, `God' the creator ended by being made its author." [Ibid. 412.] Thus man, on the descending arc of the present cycle where intellect predominates veered towards that anthropomorphism which has dried up the fountain of pure religion and landed him in the materialistic age which has produced the present conflict.
Again it has been said, "in our Solar world the One Existence is Heaven and Earth, the Root and the flower, the Action and the Thought. It is in the sun and is as present in the glow-worm. Not an atom can escape it. Therefore the ancient sages have wisely called it the manifested God in Nature." [S.D. I. 292.]
Nature has her own laws and to understand and obey these is to bring man into an harmonious universe. When he perceives the need for his harmony he has begun to trek towards the realization of his destiny, to start the right form of inquiry that will lead to KNOWLEDGE. It is "The Law which, shunning learning, teaches WISDOM," [Voice of the Silence.] that Wisdom which alone can illuminate the way he must pursue to reach Divine "COMPASSION which is the Law of Laws." [Voice of the Silence.]
One of the first things of which he will become aware is that spirit and matter are one in the embrace of
Nature. There is no conflict between spirit and matter any more than there can be between a shadow and the substance by which it is cast. He will ultimately come to the realization of " . . . . matter as visible nature, and matter in its invisibility as the invisible, omnipresent, omnipotent Proteus with its unceasing motion which is its life, and which nature draws from herself, since she is the great whole outside which nothing can exist."
In the idea of ceaseless action and interaction between matter and spirit we come near the secret of life, and the void becomes vibrant. Even our greatest scientists are beginning to discover the form this "Motion" takes. In their language it is covered by the concepts "radiation" and "magnetism", names for processes of Nature little understood, yet of the greatest importance to would-be healers of human ills whether physical or spiritual. It becomes apparent from this interdependence of spirit and matter that they are merely the dual aspects of NATURE. That is where the mystic finds authority for the statement "All is One", and the student of occultism for his further belief that "All is in man." [". . . to become a Self- Conscious Spirit the latter (mortal man) must pass through every cycle of being, culminating in the highest point on earth in Man." S.D. I. 192.] They are confirmed in their new understanding by the Adept who says, "Nature has linked up all parts of her Empire together by subtle threads of magnetic sympathy, and there is a mutual correlation even between a star and a man; thought runs swifter than the electric fluid." [Letters of the Mahatmas. 267.]
To explain the great mystery with which our mental processes are here confronted we have to admit ". . . seven creative forces of nature radiating from the root essence" [S.D. I. 635] and feel the thrill of the Creative Breath in Nature"; in other words, "that universal motion", the "only philosophical aspect under which the unrevealed Deity was recognized and considered from the beginning of man's inheritance." Finally, "In order to obtain a clear perception of it (i.e. the great mystery) one has first of all to admit the postulate of a universally diffused, omnipresent eternal Deity in Nature; secondly to have fathomed the mystery of electricity in its true essence, and thirdly to credit man with being the septenary symbol on the terrestrial plane, of the one Great UNIT (the Logos) which is Itself the Seven-Vowelled Sign, the Breath crystallized into the WORD." [S.D. I. 79.] before which awe-inspiring conception the mind retires in reverence to a silence of contemplation where words cannot follow.
- A.A. Morton.
The President's Office,
Adyar, Madras, India,
23 March, 1945
My dear Colleague:
I think I ought to acquaint you with the situation at our Adyar Headquarters so that members desiring to come may first be sure they can be received.
For six months after peace has been declared, our best bungalows will remain in the occupation of the army authorities. Our accommodation is, therefore, greatly restricted and we are already overcrowded.
There are still rooms available in Leadbeater Chambers but there are no cooks or other servants, and the few residents living in Leadbeater Chambers have to find for themselves with great difficulty. Nobody coming from abroad could possibly manage.
Then our financial situation at present absolutely precludes us from offering even subsistence allowances to prospective workers, apart altogether from the fact that visitors are by the
rules required to deposit in advance with the Honorary Treasurer their return fares from Adyar to their actual homes. We can positively make no exceptions to this, the more so as we must have available all possible resources for the helping of Sections and members in great distress as the result of the war.
Hence, if prospective workers need payment for their services they should be informed that no allowances are at present available. Even if such workers are prepared entirely to finance themselves, the question of accommodation still remains.
No one should come who is not invited in writing by myself.
Of course, good health is essential, for we only have facilities for treating quite minor ailments, and any intending visitor should make sure he can stand the heat of Adyar with all the inevitable lack of amenities to lessen it.
It is not recommended that old people should apply to visit Adyar, especially if they come to India for the first time. If they become ill they will have to go to the General Hospital in Madras with all its inevitable inconvenience.
It should also be understood that residence at Adyar is for a period normally not exceeding one year, a period which can only be extended by special permission of the President, and if of definite benefit to Adyar.
Of course, I hope that in due course Adyar may become much more accessible, and that we may be able to invite visitors and workers to stay at Headquarters awhile.
But at present our restrictions are severe and varied, and members must be warned against coming unless definitely invited with all conditions set forth.
George S. Arundale, President.
THE GENERAL SECRETARY'S NOTES AND COMMENTS
The Supplement issued last October displayed my feelings regarding Mr. Albert E.S. Smythe the outgoing General Secretary, and I feel there is little more I can say beyond the fact that I am happy to be in his stead if it affords him the time and opportunity to carry on as editor of the magazine.
To those who are old enough to remember the passing of Queen Victoria when it seemed that an epoch had closed and the bottom had dropped out of everything; much the same seems to have taken place today in our circles now that Mr. Smythe has relinquished the duties of General Secretary, a post which he has held so efficiently for so long a period of time; the occasion is without precedent in the annals of the Canadian Section, but we are fortified in the fact that he will carry on the duties of editor as heretofore and further, will, as a mumber of the General Executive, continue to give us the benefit of his mature judgement and wisdom.
In this column your new General Secretary will give voice, as it were, to the principle events concerning his office from month to month.
At the meeting of the General Executive held in Toronto on the 24th June, the Chairman paid tribute to the out-going General Secretary and welcomed him as a member of the new Executive. It was moved and carried that Mr. Smythe be appointed Honorary General Secretary for Life. The matter will be brought up at the next meeting when we hope he will accept.
Tribute was also paid to Miss Maud Crafter for her unselfish devotion to duty and her untiring efforts on behalf of her work as treasurer. It was unanimously decided that a special letter of
thanks be sent her from the Committee and that she be made an Honorary Member for Life in the Theosophical Society in Canada. This honor is thoroughly deserved. Miss Crafter has done her work conscientiously and with unswerving loyalty for many years. Few realize the amount of work that is involved in her office. On taking over from her three months ago I marvelled at the accuracy and acumen she displayed in all branches of her work and feel that the honor now bestowed is small meed for all she has done for theosophy. As editor of the Supplement I was anxious that some if not all of the surplus funds of that enterprise be given her as a small token of thanks for her services but she was adamant in her refusal to accept a cent, feeling, as she said "that it was all for theosophy". We should be grateful we have such loyal and faithful servants.
The recent election has given a representative showing of the lodges on our Council and we feel that the dawn of a new era having arisen in the proclaiming of VE Day in the West, and everything pointing to a collapse of the enemy in the East. We can now get on with mapping out a program for an interesting and successful future for Theosophy in our Dominion.
In the "Standing of the Lodges" printed elsewhere in this issue, a gratifying increase in the number of new members will be noted. Toronto Lodge heads the list with twenty-eight, and fourteen reinstated, and shows a grand total of two hundred and ten, an overall increase of thirty since June of last year. Edmonton and Hamilton tie for second place with five new members each. As regards the list of "Inactive" members it is hoped that the secretaries will get after these and do their best to bring them back to the fold. On studying the list it seems that there is an increasing activity and interest in the Theosophical Movement in Canada.
The Financial Statement, also printed elsewhere, is an interesting document. The cash in hand shows an increase. Lodge Dues naturally are up, but Magazine subscriptions are down by quite an appreciable amount, partly attributed to war conditions, for instance, our English subscribers' inability to get funds out of that country. On the other hand "Donations" have increased some $260 but this is tempered by the fact that $140 of this was the surplus fund from the Supplement that was eventually decided should be given to the magazine. The expenses in connection with the printing of the magazine and the various items of general overhead are all slightly less than for the same period last year.
As G.S. I was requested to make enquiries as to the prospects of more active propaganda by means of the distribution of pamphlets by the Lodges. Would Secretaries let me know their views on this subject? I would like to know what subjects would be most interesting to attract strangers and the number of these pamphlets required.
"All is quiet on the Fraternization Front." We discussed the matter and all agreed that owing to war exigencies nothing of note could be done at least until next April.
The next meeting of the General Executive takes place on Sunday, September 9th. Those interested please note.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert E.S. Smythe.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
- Subscription: Two Dollars a Year
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
Albert Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton. Ont.
Dudley W. Barr, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
Washington E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver, B.C.
Felix A. Belcher, 250 Lisgar St., Toronto, Ont.
David B. Thomas, 64 Strathearn Ave., Montreal West, Que.
George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Emory P. Wood, 12207 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, Alta.
Lt.-Col E.L. Thomson, D.S.O., 54 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
To whom all payments should be made, and all official communications addressed
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist
Albert E.S. Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton, Ont., To whom all letters to the Editor, articles and reports for publication should be sent.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
No member is now in good standing till he has paid his yearly dues of $2.50 which should be sent to the General Secretary, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, by July 1st. Members may remit direct or through the Lodge Secretary.
The Toronto Theosophical News announces the publication in booklet form of 54 of the essayettes from the front page of the Toronto serial under the title Theosophy an Attitude toward Life. The price is 35c. Order from 52 Isabella Street, Toronto.
Mr. A.L. Crampton Chalk, formerly of the Vancouver Lodge, is now a member of the Buddhist Society in England. The Middle Way reports an address by him in "Buddhism and Modern Thought" given at a special meeting of the Buddhist Society in February.
Elizabeth Jenkins wrote an article on Madame Blavatsky for the London, England, Leader, of January 6, exhibiting her ignorance of the subject, and Peter Stoddart, president of the Manchester (Covina) Lodge wrote a reply to the "Inaccurate and Cowardly" statement.
A long-time newspaper colleague sends the following note for which we are indebted: "I want to thank you for the too short article in the C.T. - The Communion of the Saints. This had always puzzled me and I gave up thinking about it but you do make it so beautifully clear. I hope you are feeling well and not too worn out by the warm weather. Take care of yourself. I just wanted to say thank you, by way of appreciation. My hat is off! E.J.R."
I am in receipt of a charming letter from the new Irish General Secretary, Mrs. Alice Law, who appreciates our tribute to the late General Secretary, Thomas Kennedy. "Now that hostilities in Europe have ceased, it is to be hoped," she writes, "that more intercourse and cooperation will prevail among the Sections of the Theosophical Society. I enclose a Convention program of the Irish Section." The Convention was held on June 24 at the headquarters in Dublin and we hope to hear of its success. Meanwhile our kindest regards to Connrad Seancais de in Erinn and its members.
The Peace Lodge in its frequently inspired articles should be better known among the Theosophical multitude. "Exploring the Noble Way" is the title of a paper read to a gathering of Rosicrucians being No. 4 of the Lodge Papers. Here is a charming paragraph: "God is Love" - Love is God. Love is spiritual sunlight, which disperses emo- [[to 146]]
[[This table cannot be reproduced in its entirety - dig. ed.]]
STANDING OF THE LODGES
FOR THE YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1945
Edmonton ..................... 21
Hamilton ....................... 21
Kitchener .................... 1
London ......................... 4
St. Thomas ..........2
Toronto ......................... 210
Toronto West End ..... 5
Vancouver ................... 20
Vancouver Orpheus ..... 20
Victoria ......................... 2
Vulcan ........................... 3
Members at Large ....... 4
STATEMENT OF FUNDS - YEAR ENDING JUNE 30th 1945
Balance from last year ...... $ 86.54
Lodge Fees and Dues ........ 920.35
Magazine Subscriptions ......350.97
Donations to Magazine ....... 211.50
Premium on U. S. Bills .......12.03
Bank Interest .................... 4.15
Per Capita - Adyar 1943-4 ........... $ 84.00
Postage ...................... 55.24
Magazine Envelopes ... 61.49
Membership Cards ........ 17.42
Ballots and Postage ........ 15.81
Petty Cash and Postage ........ 31.84
Cash in hand ......................... 117.24
THE ANNUAL REPORTS
We have every reason to be thankful at the end of the war to find the T.S. in Canada to be in better case than at its beginning. There have been more new members than for years past, and the lapses for non-payment of dues have been fewer than usual. Our total membership has risen to 357 and we might reasonably hope with a similar expenditure of effort, reach the 400 mark. While there has been a widely spread increase in the interest taken among the Lodges the Toronto Lodge has excelled itself with 28 new members which shows what an earnest and energetic Secretary like Mr. Barr can do. Edmonton and Hamilton are next in the new membership column. With the prospects of peace in the world there should be a reawakening of activity in those studies of life and conduct which makes peace-time a period of soul-growth and widening consciousness of man's place in the Universe.
tional fogs, but not if we keep making more and shutting it out. Who can see clearly in a fog? We are all fogmakers, obscuring by our own emotional smoke the very things we want and need to see. Therefore, is it not of first importance to observe one's own fog factory, learn how it works, what switches on the machinery, and how to switch it off ? Then we shall give ourselves a chance to see more clearly. To do this desires must be controlled by reason.
"I also want to thank you and express my Appreciation of your publishing articles of mine, etc., despite the rather harsh comments which I made once or twice on your own contributions and attitude. This is very good of you, and I think it reflects great credit on you as a Theosophist." Thus writes Capt. L. Furze Morrish who has already done more to make amends in the excellent articles he has sent us and which we were very glad to print. I liked the way he said what he had to say against me directly and not behind my back as is usually the case. If he can do anything to persuade the Adyar group to take their courage in their hands and print what those who disagree with them have to say, then nobody will need to use "harsh language" in order to call attention to the manifold evils that masquerade as Theosophy. He sends his regards to myself and the Executive in Canada and this we fraternally reciprocate.
It would be a very wonderful thing if Dr. Arundale in taking thought of his duties came to the conclusion that the program which the Elder Brethren, the Mahatmas and Madame Blavatsky had decided was the best they could provide and what the world needed most, was the real line of duty for him to adopt. If for the last seventy years the many tens of thousands of the Society members had stood solidly before the world with these simple yet all-embracing principles, what a miracle of peace and transmutation might have been the result in a world in which there is a never ending yearning for Liberty and Wisdom. Two terribe wars might have been averted - certainly would have been averted if the advice of the Maha-Chohan had been followed. We have a new generation before us. Let us hope that Rukmini Devi may help to lead the President of the T.S. to a vision of the truth as the Founders saw it seventy years ago.
The May Theosophical Forum (Covina) has an interesting review by Helen Savage of the new biography of Thomas Treherne, whose two volumes, The Poetical Works and Centuries of Meditations were first edited and pubished by Bertram Dobell in 1903. A new edition of the Poetical Works has apparently been edited by Gladys I. Wade in 1932 and she has followed this with a critical biography, which is the book now reviewed by Miss Savage. His short life of 37 years belonged to the 17th century, 1636-1674. "For him and others faith was not enough. What claimed to be truth must be capable of subjection to the searchlight of reason. The rites of Christian worship were meaningless to him. He was not willing to accept the Bible merely as traditional authority. Yet he saw revealed through the wealth of scientific fact of his day a Divine Power at work, a Designer." After two centuries one does not ask why back to Treherne? All truth belongs to one age, the Eternal.
Those who read Dr. Arundale's musings under the title "Unlabelled Theosophy" must be struck with the obvious deduction that he has never accepted the ideals of the Masters, nor admitted their judgment as worthy of attention when they placed before the world the views of Life and its Laws
which they deemed the world and its misguided people needed to guide them out of the darkness into which they had strayed. Dr. Arundale appears to be as much at a loss to know what to do or where to look as any enquirer amongst us in the first maze of his early dubitations. Are the Three Truths not enough for him, or is he so bewildered by the mollycoddling of sacerdotalism that he has lost the power to discriminate? Can he not find Wisdom in The Mahatma Letters? He ought to know however that he cannot fill his mind with fables and at the same time possess a clear spiritual vision of Truth.
A good deal of wonder has been felt over the resignation of Mr. Sidney A. Cook as National President of the American Theosophical Society, or as Dr. Arundale loves to regard it, the American Section of his Adyar Society. Mr. Cook has written a letter to Dr. Arundale in which he explains his action. "During the years of my National Presidency I have been compelled to neglect my own affairs. Apart from my business responsibility the work here has been my sole interest. However, I hope within a period not too long from relinquishing office that I can adjust my personal affairs and offer my services in the field to the administration that will follow me in office, that I may for a time contact the members and the workers with whom I have so long and so happily been associated. And to offer such services to you also for use anywhere and in any capacity that you may need them. For relinquishment of office cannot mean forsaking the work to which I am pledged for the incarnation and to the end of humanity's groping search." We shall all wish Mr. Cook a happy realization of his wishes.
"I think it is very interesting to be old, do you not?" writes a septuagist correspondent in England. It depends a
good deal, I should say, on the state of one's health. One certainly becomes more impersonal as the friends we have had and their affection tried, precede us into the next stage of experience. I have just lost one of my three oldest friends, dating from 1872 and he would have been 84 had he lived till August 4, five months older than myself. We were school mates and close and intimate friends ever since. He was a man of great attainments, achieved by persistent study and natural ability. First articled to a solicitor and then in the legal department of the Belfast City Hall, he decided to take a medical degree and having done so set up practice in England. This did not satisfy him so he enrolled at the Middle Temple and was called to the Bar. He continued his medical practice however, and founded the Medical Jurisprudence Society in England, of which he became first secretary. He had an extensive practice in Southampton and in the great war was in charge of one of the big military hospitals in the south of England. He married late in life and was sorely tried by the death of his wife after the few happy years of their union. They had retired to a garden home in Devon where he died. As an avocation he wrote sketches of Ulster life, using the vernacular language of Derry and Antrim with an ease and freedom and an accuracy which apart altogether from the interest of his narratives, constitute a valuable record. He published three volumes of these sketches, Ulster Fireside Tales, Cracks from Old Fashioned Ulster Plenishing, and The Braes of Killywhapple. I owe much to the kindness of his father and mother who permitted me to share the happiness of as sweetly ordered a home life as one could imagine, where simplicity and satisfaction, affection and discipline were felicitously poised. It shaped my ideas of home and set a standard for future judgments. His parents and brothers spelled their name
M'Allen, but in the course of his investigations, when I used to address him at Ballymaguigan, Derrygarve, Magherafelt, he discovered in the old graveyards that his ancestors had spelled it McCallin, to which he reverted and was Dr. William McCallin for the rest of his life, professionally, as an author and in
his private life.
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
The Annual Meeting of the General Executive of the T.S. in Canada was held at 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, on Sunday afternoon, June 24, 1945. Those present were the retiring General Secretary and his successor, Messrs. Barr, Belcher, Kinman and Haydon. It had previously been decided that this should be a joint meeting of the Executives of 1945 and 1946 owing to the fact that it was to be held on June 24th instead of July 1st, the latter being a holiday weekend; and also that there would be matters brought before it which concerned the outgoing Executive. Mr. Kinman therefore under instructions had written all past and present members to this effect. Mr. Haydon was the only member of the outgoing Executive who took advantage of the invitation. Mr. Smythe as chairman opened the meeting and after a few felicitous remarks requested the new General Secretary to take over.
Col. Thomson on complying, expressed regret that Mr. Smythe had, owing to exigencies over which he had no control, relinquished the office of General Secretary, a position he had held with distinction for 26 years. They were glad, however, that by dropping some of his responsibilities he would be able to devote himself entirely to the duties of editor of the magazine. As to himself, added the Colonel, he thoroughly realized the importance of the job he had undertaken, and he asked for the support and cooperation of his colleagues.
The Recording Secretary being requested to read the minutes of the last meeting, Mr. Belcher announced that he regretted extremely that he was unable to find the minute book, that it had been mislaid but he hoped it might be found. The Committee commiserated with Mr. Belcher and various members having recounted their recollections of the last meeting, on motion of Messrs. Kinman and Haydon it was decided if the minute book were not found, all the members who had attended the last meeting were to write out their recollections of matters of importance that had occurred from which minutes would be compiled and presented to the next meeting.
The Chairman suggested that some concrete expression of regret and appreciation on the retirement of Mr. Smythe from the position of General Secretary be recorded in the minutes. On the motion of Messrs Kinman and Haydon it was agreed that the General Secretary write a letter of appreciation to Mr. Smythe, expressing the regret of the Committee on his retirement, the letter to be signed by all the members of the Executive. Mr. Kinman added that he wished to include in the motion the suggestion as expressed by everybody that Mr. Smythe be appointed Honorary General Secretary for life. A discussion ensued in which it was pointed out that there was nothing in the constitution providing for such an eventuality, but Mr. Haydon trenchantly remarked, "This is an autonomous organization and we can do as we please." This was concurred in and Mr. Kinman then read returns from every Lodge in the Dominion giving unanimous approval of the idea. However, Mr. Smythe in thanking the members, moved that the motion be given the six months' hoist, signifying that he was adverse to accepting the honor.
Eventually on the recommendation of the Chair that the motion be held over and Mr. Smythe be urged to reconsider his decision, the matter was postponed till next meeting.
Due recognition, said the Chairman, should be made of the outstanding work for more than twenty years by Miss Crafter as Acting Treasurer. On taking over from her, he observed, he was astounded at the amount of work her post entailed, and he was amazed at the acumen and accuracy of her command of detail. He had urged with the compliance of his colleagues when he was editor of The Supplement that the surplus funds of that effort be given her as a small recompense for the work she had done through the years. But she had refused to accept anything for those services. He thought some official recognition should appear in the records. On motion of Messrs. Kinman and Belcher it was unanimously agreed that a letter be sent to Miss Crafter, expressing appreciation of her services, and further, that she be made an honorary member for Life in the T.S. in Canada. On motion of Mesrs. Kinman and Haydon, Mr. Smythe was appointed editor of The Canadian Theosophist for the ensuing year.
In view of the fact that there was nothing in the constitution calling for an Acting Treasurer, the Chairman said he did not think such an appointment was necesary. As regards the signing of cheques he thought the best thing to do was to appoint a blanket authority. On motion of Messrs. Barr and Belcher it was agreed that all cheques be signed by the General Secretary and countersigned by any one of the three members of the Executive, Mr. Dudley Barr, Mr. Felix Belcher or Mr. G.I. Kinman, and that the Bank be so advised.
Mr. Belcher requested that he be relieved of the duties of Recording Secretary, a post he had held for many years. The Chairman said he felt these duties naturally fell within his sphere of work and he would be glad to do them if the meeting concurred. On motion of Messrs. Belcher and Kinman this was agreed to.
The Chairman distributed the annual financial statement and the table showing the standing of the Lodge membership. These, which appear elsewhere, were read and discussed, and on motion were adopted.
Mr. Barr reported on the excellent work done by the Toronto Lodge Travelling Library. He mentioned several letters of appreciation that had been received. He felt the services rendered Theosophy by this medium were such that he would like to submit a report for an article in the magazine.
The Chairman suggested that full use was not being made of pamphlets and urged that more suitable ones be at the disposal of the Lodges for distribution. On motion of Messrs. Kinman and Haydon it was agreed that the General Secretary report back to the next meeting the pamphlets now on hand with titles and quantity, and the possible demand for others if they should have to be printed.
For the Order of Service Committee Mr. Haydon reported progress. In the discussion that followed it appeared that very little was officially known as to what this committee had really done. The Chairman stated that he would get a line-up on this subject for the next meeting.
In the discussion on Fraternization Conventions the consensus was that in view of war conditions very little could be done before next April.
The Executive adjourned till Sunday, September 9.
ADYAR GENERAL REPORT
A paper covered copy of the General Adyar Report for 1943 has reached us, the first unbound copy that we remember in 25 years. As it is a year late and all its news was in print in the magazines two years ago there is nothing sensational to report. The report of the Adyar Librarian is perhaps the most interesting feature as it is the most valuable of the Adyar activities. Freedom of Speech is no longer permitted by Dr. Arundale if we are to judge by the censorship of the report of the General Secretary for Canada. The president himself makes a report filling 44 pages which reminds us of that sterling journalist, Don Sheppard of Saturday Night. He used to dictate every day and all day to his stenographer and when press day came, he went over the voluminous sheets and picked out enough of the best to fill his space. Dr. Arundale discards nothing. Nothing of his own, that is. Well, we will pick out an interesting bit about Krishnamurti on page 24. "J. Krishnamurti may no longer be a member of The Theosophical Society, but I call him a Theosophist. His own individual greatness is indeed unique and is such as The Society had not before known. While still a member he sought to cast down among our membership those images - mental, emotional, or otherwise - which he regarded as superstitious idols. He thus caused a shattering which did very much good to The Society in a variety of ways. Whether or not The Society has settled down after this shaking, I do not know. It may be that with his emergence from his present retirement Krishnamurti will become the cause of further unsettlement. If so, so much the better. If not, so much the better, too. Whether a member of The Society or not, he is ever a great and beneficent power in the Masters' work and in the great Theosophical Movement. Almost in a spirit of fierceness he hurls at us his truth - that there is no orthodox or exclusive highroad to the Goal of Life, as some of us may have thought our respective highroads to be. He insists that no road is a highroad which is not a road of perfect honesty, absence of delusion, and fearlessness. Never must we allow ourselves to become blinded by our conceits, nor on any account must we be afraid to incur the disapprobation of our fellows through daring to be our real, uncamouflaged selves."
During the month of June we received the following magazines: Toronto Theosophical News, June; The Golden Lotus, May and June; Dharma, Mexico, June; Mexico, Carta Semanal, 18 and 19; The Christian Theosophist, June to September; U.L.T. Bulletin, No. 199 and 200, London, May and June; Peace Lodge Papers, No. 4; The American Theosophist, June; Baconiana, April; The Middle Way, May-June; London, Eirenicon, April-May; The Theosophical Worker (12 pp.) Adyar, April and May; The Theosophist (40 pp.) Adyar, April and May; The Kalpaka, Coimbatore, Jan.-March; Theosophical News and Notes, England, May-June; T.S. in Mexico, Bulletin, March-April; Ancient Wisdom, June; The Indian Theosophist, Benares (8 pp.) February; The Theosophical Movement, Bombay, March and April; The Bombay Theosophical Bulletin, April; The Aryan Path, Bombay, April; Theosophy, Los Angeles, June; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, June; Theosophy in New Zealand, April-June (This magazine came to us in an Australian wrapper, from Bligh Street, Sydney, addressed to 33 Forest Avenue, which we left about seven years ago); The Toronto Theosophical News, July; The Theosophical Forum (Covina), July.
Half the War is over and estimates vary as to how long it will take to end the fighting with the Japanese. Some are sanguine enough to think the surrender of the Mikado may be looked for before the Fall, while other military experts predict as much as two years' hard fighting. Undoubtedly the Nipponese warrior is a tough antagonist and Hirohito's anxiety to "save face" may prolong the struggle. The conquest of Okinawa was admittedly the bloodiest battle on any front in the five years of slaughter. It is not surprising that the mediocre world turned to politics with relief when the German tension relaxed. President Truman has justified his predecessor's good opinion of him and is winning applause from all sides for his wise appointments and sensible personal attitude on the problems of the day. Winston Churchill remembering the result of previous khaki elections decided to go to the polls and the world awaits the verdict to be revealed on the 26th. IF he be defeated, the world may prepare for a new deal in practical economics. Prime Minister King lost his seat in the Canadian election but his party was sustained. France has not yet been able to arrange an election but one is in prospect and most of the other European countries are in a similar situation. The occupation of Germany by the Allied forces is proceeding, and Russia is gaining favor by her open-handed treatment of Germany, while the British and American policy has been to refuse courtesies and enforce repression measures. The joint occupation of Berlin has not yet been satisfactorily arranged with the Russian troops in their allotted portion of the city. Various cases of friction have cropped up in nearly every nation in Europe. Spain is practically outcaste. Serious trouble exists in Greece. Belgium objects to the King returning to his throne. Italy wants more privileges. But these matters are but the aftermath of the war that is ended. Canada cannot point any finger of scorn after the disgraceful rioting of some of her soldiers in Halifax and later in England at Aldershot. But two great achievements appear to be admitted, one without question in the World Charter signed by fifty nations at San Francisco, the most important event in history since the signing of the Magna Carta in the thirteenth century at Runnymede. That document has been concurred in by the intelligence of succeeding generations. About two billions of human souls incarnate every thirty-three years. If the coming masses of humanity accept with approval this new World Charter we may look for an upward turn in the affairs of humanity, but who can speculate on the temper of our posterity? The other important event is the apparent success of General Wavell in bringing the Hindus and Moslems of India into amicable negotiation. May success crown his efforts.
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
THE "ELIXIR OF LIFE"
(From a Chela's* Diary.)
* A chela is the pupil and disciple of an initiation Guru or Master. - Ed.
By George Mitford
"And Enoch walked with that Elohim, and the Elohim took him." - Genisis
[The curious information - for whatsoever else the world may think of it, it will doubtless be acknowledged to be that - contained in the article that follows, merits a few words of introduction. The details given in it on the subject of what has always been considered as one of the darkest and most strictly guarded of the mysteries of the initiation into occultism - from the days of the Rishis until those of the Theosophical Society - came to the knowledge of the author in a way that would seem to the ordinary run of Europeans a strange and supernatural manner. He himself, however, we may assure the reader, is a most thorough disbeliever in the Supernatural, though he has learned too much to limit the capabilities of the natural as some do. Further on, he has to make the following confession of his own belief regarding it. It will be apparent from a careful perusal of the facts, that if the matter be really as stated therein, the author cannot himself be an adept of high grade, as the article in such a case would never have been written. Nor does he pretend to be one. He is, or rather was, for a few years an humble Chela. Hence, the converse must consequently be also true, that as regards the higher stage of the mystery he can have no personal experience, but speaks of it only as a close observer left to his own surmises - and no more. He may, therefore, boldly state that during, and notwithstanding his unfortunately rather too short stay with some adepts, he has by actual experiment and observation verified some of the less transcendental or incipient parts of the "course." And though it will be impossible for him to give positive testimony as to what lies beyond, he may yet mention that all his own course of study, training and experience, long, severe, and dangerous as it has often been, leads him to the conviction that everything is really, as stated, save some details purposely veiled. For causes which cannot be explained to the public, he himself may be unable or unwilling to use the secret he has gained access to. For all that, he is permitted by one to whom all his reverential affection and gratitude are due - his last guru - to divulge for the benefit of Science and Man, and specially for the good of those who are courageous enough to personally make the experiment the following astounding particulars of the occult methods for prolonged life to a period far beyond the common one. - G. M.]
Probably one of the first considerations which move the worldly minded at present, to solicit initiation into Theosophy is the belief, I hope, that immediately on joining, some extraordinary advantages over the rest of mankind is to be conferred upon the candidate. Some even think that the ultimate result of their initiation will perhaps be exemption from that dissolution which is called the common lot of mankind. The traditions of the "Elixir of Life," said to be in the possession of the Kabalists and Alchemists, are still cherished by students of Medieval Occultism in Europe. The allegory of the Ab-e Hyat, or Water of Life, is still credited as a fact by the degraded remnants of the Asiatic esoteric sects ignorant of the real GREAT SECRET. The "pungent and fiery Essence," by which Zanoni renewed his existence, still fires the imagination of modern idealists as a possible scientific discovery of the Future.
Theosophically, though the fact is authoritatively declared to be true, the above-named conceptions of the mode of procedure leading to the realization of
the fact, are known to be false. The reader may or may not believe it; but as a matter of fact, Theosophical Occultists claim to have communication with (living) Intelligences of an infinitely wider range of observation than is contemplated by the utmost aspirations of Modern Science, all the present "Adepts" of Europe and America, - dabblers in the Kabala - notwithstanding. But far even as those superior Intelligences have investigated (or, if preferred, are alleged to have investigated), and remotely as they may have searched by the help of implication and analogy, even They have failed to discover in the Infinity anything permanent but SPACE. ALL IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Reflection, therefore, will easily suggest to the reader the further logical inference that in a Universe which is essentially unpermanent in its conditions, nothing can confer permanency. Therefore, no possible substance, even if drawn from the depths of Infinity; no imaginable combination of drugs, whether of our earth or any other, though compounded by even the Highest Intelligence; no system of life or discipline, though directed by the sternest determination and skill, could possibly produce Immutability. For in the universe of the solar system, wherever and however investigated, Immutability necessitates "Non Being" in the physical sense given it by the Theists - Non Being being nothing, in the narrow conceptions of Western Religionists - a reductio ad absurdum. This is a gratuitous insult even when applied to the pseudo-Christian or ecclesiastical Jehovite idea of God.
Consequently, it will be seen that the common ideal conception of "Immortality" is not only essentially wrong, but a physical and metaphysical impossibility. The idea, whether cherished by Theosophists or non Theosophists, by Christians or Spiritualists, by Materialists or Idealists, is a chimerical illusion. But the actual prolongation of human life is possible for a time so long as to appear miraculous and incredible to those who regard our span of existence as necessarily limited to at most a couple of hundred years. We may break, as it were, the shock of Death, and instead of dying, change a sudden plunge into darkness to a transition into a brighter light. And this may be made so gradual that the passage from one state of existence to another shall have its friction minimized so as to be practically imperceptible. This is a very different matter, and quite within the reach of Occult Science. In this, as in all other cases, means properly directed will gain their ends, and causes produce effects. Of course, and the only question is, what are these causes, and how in their turn, are they to be produced. To lift, as far as may be allowed, the veil of this department of Occutism, is the object of the present article.
We must premise by reminding the reader of two Theosophic doctrines, often inculcated in "Isis" as well as in various "articles" in The Theosophist and other magazines. They are (a) that ultimately the Kosmos is one - one under infinite variations and manifestations, and (b) the so-called MAN is a "compound being" - composite not only in the exoteric scientific sense of being a congeries of living so-called material Units, but also in the esoteric sense of being a succession of seven forms or parts of itself, interblended with each other. To put it more clearly we might say that the more ethereal forms are but duplicates of the same aspect, each finer one lying within the inter-atomic spaces of the next grosser. We would have the reader understand that these are no subtleties, no "spiritualities" at all in the Christo-Spiritualistic sense. In the actual man reflected in your mirror are really several men, or several parts of one composite man; each the exact counterpart of the other, but the "atomic conditions" (for want of a
better word) of each of which are so arranged that its atoms interpenetrate those of the next "grosser" form. It does not, for our present purpose, matter how the Theosophists, Spiritualists, Buddhists, Kabalists, or Vedantists, count, separate, classify, arrange or name these, as that war of terms may be postponed to another occasion. Neither does it matter what relation each of these men has to various "elements" of the Kosmos of which he forms a part. This knowledge, though of vital importance otherwise, need not be explained or discussed now. Nor does it much more concern us that the Scientists deny the existence of such an arrangement, because their instruments are inadequate to make their senses perceive it. We will simply reply - "get better instruments and keener senses, and eventually you will."
All we have to say is that if you are anxious to drink of the Elixir of Life, and live a thousand years or so, you must take our word for the matter at present, and proceed on the assumption. For esoteric science does not give the faintest possible hope that the desired end will ever be attained by any other way: while modern, or the so-called exact science - laughs at it.
So then, we have arrived at the point where we have determined - literally, not metaphorically - to crack the outer shell known as the mortal coil or body, and hatch out of it clothed in our next. This "next" is not spiritual, but only a more ethereal form. Having by a long training and preparation adapted it for a life in this atmosphere, during which time we have gradually made the outward shell to die off through a certain process (hints of which will be found further on) we have to prepare for this physiological transformation.
How do we do it? In the first place we have the actual visible material body - MAN, so called; though, in fact, but his outer shell - to deal with. Let us bear in mind that science teaches us that in about every seven years we change skin as effectually as any serpent; and this so gradually and imperceptibly that, had not science after years of unremitting study and observation assured us of it, no one would have had the slightest suspicion of the fact.
We see, moreover, that in process of time any cut or lesion upon skin, however flesh-deep, has a tendency to replace the lost, and reunite the several parts together. A piece of lost cuticle will be very soon replaced with another skin, mixing flesh with other flesh. Hence, if a man partially flayed alive, may sometimes survive and be covered with new skin, - so our astral, vital body - the fourth of the seven (having attracted and assimilated to itself the second) and which is so much more ethereal than the physical one - may be made to harden its particles to the atmospheric changes. The whole secret is to succeed in evolving it out, and separating it from the visible; and while its generally invisible atoms proceed to concrete themselves into a compact mass, to gradually get rid of the old particles of our visible frame so as to make them die and disappear before the new set has had time to evolve and replace them . . . We can say no more. The Magdalene is not the only one who could be accused of having "seven spirits" in her, though the men who have a lesser number of spirits (what a misnomer that word!) in them, are not few or exceptional. These are the frequent failures of nature - the incomplete men and women.* [* This is not to be taken as meaning that such persons are thoroughly destitute of some one or several of the seven principles: a man born without an arm has still its ethereal counterpart; but that they are so latent that they cannot be developed, and consequently are to be considered as non-existing. - Ed.] Each of these has in turn to
survive the preceding and more dense one, and then die. The exception is the sixth when absorbed into and blended with the seventh. The "Dhatu" * of the old Hindu physiologist had a dual meaning, the esoteric side of which corresponds with the Tibetan "Zung" (seven principles of the body). [* Dhatu-the seven principal substances of the human body - chyle, flesh, blood, fat, bones, marrow, semen.]
We, Asiatics, have a proverb, probably handed down to us, and by the Hindus repeated ignorantly, as to its esoteric meaning. It has been known ever since the old Rishis mingled familiarly with the simple and noble people they taught and led on. The Devas had whispered into every man's ear - Thou only - if thou wilt - art "immortal." Combine with this the saying of a Western author that if any man could just realize for an instant that he had to die some day, he would die that instant. The Illuminated will perceive that between these two sayings, rightly understood, stands revealed the whole secret of the Longevity. We only die when our will ceases to be strong enough to make us live. In the majority of cases, death comes when the torture and vital exhaustion accompanying a rapid change in our physical conditions becomes so intense as to weaken, for one single instant, our "clutch on life," or the tenacity of the Will to exist. Till then, however severe may be the disease, however sharp the pang, we are only sick or wounded, as the case may be. This explains the cases of sudden deaths from joy, fright, pain, grief or such other causes. The sense of a life-task consummated, of the worthlessness of one's existence, if sufficiently realized, is sufficient to kill a person as surely as poison or rifle-bullet. On the other hand, a stern determination to continue to live, has, in fact, carried many past the crisis of the most mortal disease, in full safety.
First, then, must be the determination - the WILL - the conviction of certainty, to survive and continue. * Without that, all else is useless. And, to be efficient for the purpose, it must be, not only a passing resolution of tha moment, a single fierce desire of short duration, but a settled and continued strain, as nearly as can be continued and concentrated without one single moment's relaxation. [* Col. Olcott has epigrammatically explained the creative or rather the recreative power of the Will, in his Buddhist Catechism. He there shows - of course, speaking on behalf of the Southern Buddhists - that this Will to live, if not extinguished in the present life, leaps over the chasm of bodily death, and recombines the Skandhas, or groups or qualities that made up the individual into a new personality. Man is, therefore, reborn as the result of his own unsatisfied yearning for objective yearning for objective existence. Col. Olcott puts it in this way:
Q. 123. What is that, in man, which gives him the impression of having a permanent individuality?
A. "Tanha, or the unsatisfied desire for existence. The being having done that for which he must be rewarded or punished in future, and having Tanha, will have a rebirth through the influence of Karma.
Q. 124. What is it that is reborn?
A. A new aggregation of Skandhas, or individuality, caused by the last yearnings of the dying person.
Q. 128. To what cause must we attribute the differences in the combination of the Five Skandhas which make every individual differ from every other individual?
A. To the Karma of the individual in the next preceding birth.
Q. 129. What is the force or energy that is at work, under the guidance of Karma, to produce the new being?
A. Tanha - the "Will to Live."] In a word, the would be "Im-
mortal" must be on his watch night and day, guarding Self against - Himself. To live, to LIVE - to LIVE - must be his unswerving resolve. He must as little possible allow himself to be turned aside from it. It may be said that this is the most concentrated form of selfishness, - that it is utterly opposed to our theosophic professions of benevolence, and disinterestedness, and regard for the good of humanity. Well - viewed in a short-sighted way, it is so. But to do good, as in every thing else, a man must have time and materials to work with, and this is a necessary means to the acquirements of powers by which infinitely more good can be done than without them. When these are once mastered, the opportunities to use them will arrive, for there comes a moment when the turning point is safely passed. For, the present, as we deal with aspirants and not with advanced chelas, in the first stage a determined, dogged resolution, and an enlightened concentration of Self on Self, are all that is absolutely necessary. It must not, however, be considered that the candidate is required to be unhuman or brutal in his negligence of others. Such a recklessly selfish course would be as injurious to him as the contrary one of expending his vital energy on the gratification of his physical desires. All that is required from him is a purely negative attitude. Until the Point is reached, he must not "lay out" his energy in lavish or fiery devotion to any cause, however noble, however "good", however elevated. * [* On page 151 of Mr. Sinnett's Occult World, the author's much abused, and still more doubted correspondent assures him that none yet of his "degree are like the stern hero of Bulwer's Zanoni . . . "The heartless morally dried up mummies some would fancy us to be" . . .and adds that few of them "would care to play the part in life of a dessicated pansy between the leaves of a volume... of solemn poetry." But our adept omits saying that one or two degrees higher, and he will have to submit for a period of years to such a mummifying process unless, indeed, he would voluntarily give up a lifelong labor and - DIE. - Ed.] Such, we can solemnly assure the reader, would bring its reward in many ways - perhaps in another life, perhaps in this world, but it would tend to shorten the existence it is desired to preserve, as surely as self-indulgence and profligacy. That is why very few of the truly great men of the world (of course, the, unprincipled adventurers who have applied great powers to bad uses are out of the question,) - the martyrs, the heroes, the founders of religions, the liberators of nations, the leaders of reforms - ever became members of the long-lived "Brotherhood of Adepts" who were by some and for long years accused of selfishness. (And that is also why the Yogis and the Fakirs of the modern India - most of whom are acting now but on the dead-letter tradition, are required if they woud be considered living up to the principles of their profession - to appear entirely dead to every inward feeling or emotion). Notwithstanding the purity of their hearts, the greatness of their aspirations, the interestedness of their self-sacrifice, they could not live for they had missed the hour. They may at times have exercised powers which the world called miraculous; they may have electrified man and compelled Nature by fiery and self-devoted Will; they may have been possessed of a so-called superhuman intelligence; they may have even had knowledge of, and communion with, members of our own occult Brotherhood; but, having deliberately resolved to devote their vital energy to the welfare of others, rather than to themselves they have surrendered life; and, when perish-
ing on the cross or the scaffold, or falling sword in hand, upon the battlefield, or sinking exhausted after a successful consummation of the life-object, on deathbeds in their chambers, they have all alike had to cry out at last: "Eloh Eloh-Lama Sabachthani!
So far so good. But, given the will to live however powerful, we have seen that in the ordinary course of mundane life, the throes of dissolution cannot be checked. The desperate, and again and again renewed, struggle of the Kosmic elements to proceed with a career of change despite the will that is checking them, like a pair of runaway horses struggling against the determined driver holding them in, are so cumulatively powerful, that the utmost efforts of the untrained human will acting within an unprepared body become ultimately useless. The highest intrepidity of the bravest soldier; intensest desire of the yearning lover; the hungry greed of the unsatisfied; the most undoubting faith of the sternest fanatic; the practised insensibility to pain of the hardiest red Indian brave or half-trained Hindu Yogi; the most deliberate philosophy of the calmest thinker - all alike fail at last. Indeed, sceptics will allege in opposition to the verities of this aritcle that, as a matter of experience, it is often observed that the mildest and most irresolute of minds and the weakest of physical frames are often seen to resist "Death" longer than the powerful will of the high-spirited and obstinately-egotistic man, and the iron frame of the laborer, the warrior and the athlete. In reality, however, the key to the secret of these apparently contradictory phenomena is the true conception of the very thing we have already said. If the physical development of the gross "outer shell" proceeds on parallel lines and at an equal rate with that of the will, it stands to reason that no advantage for the purpose of overcoming it, is attained by the latter. The acquisition of improved breech-loaders by one modern army confers no absolute superiority if the enemy also becomes possessed of them. Consequently it will be at once apparent, to those who think on the subject, that much of the training by which what is known as "a powerful and determined nature," perfects itself for its own purpose on the stage of the visible world, necessitating and being useless without a parallel of the "gross" and so-called animal frame, is, in short, neutralized, for the purpose at present treated of, by the fact that its own action has armed the enemy with weapons equal to its own. The violence of the impulse to dissolution is rendered equal to the will to oppose it; and being gradually cumulative, while the will-power is gradually exhausted, the former triumphs at last. On the other hand it may happen that an essentially weak and vacillating will-power, residing in a weak and undeveloped animal frame, may be so reinforced by some unsatisfied desire - the Ichcha (wish,) - as it is called by the Indian Occultists (as, for instance, a mother's heart yearning to remain and support her fatherless children) - as to keep down and vanquish, for a short time, the physical throes of a body to which it has become temporarily superior.
The whole rationale then, of the first condition of continued existence in this world, is (a) the development of a Will so powerful as to overcome the hereditary (in a Darwinian sense) tendencies of the atoms composing the "gross" and palpable animal frame, to hurry on at a particular period in a certain course of kosmic change; and (b) to so weaken the concrete action of that animal frame as to make it more amenable to the power of the Will. To defeat an army, you must demoralize and throw it into disorder.
To do this then, is the real object of all the rites, ceremonies, fasts, "prayers," meditations, initiations and procedures of self-discipline enjoined by various esoteric Eastern sects, from that course of pure and elevated aspiration which leads to the higher phases of Adeptism Real, down to the fearful and disgusting ordeals which the adherent of the "Left-hand-Road" has to pass through, all the time maintaining his equilibrium. The procedures have their merits and their demerits, their separate uses and abuses, their essential and non-essential parts, their various veils, mummeries, and labyrinths. But in all, the result aimed at is reached, if by different processes. The Will is strengthened, encouraged and directed, and the elements opposing its action are demoralized. Now, to any one who has thought out and connected the various evolution-theories, as taken, not from any occult source, but from the ordinary scientific manuals accessible to all - from the hypothesis of the latest variation in the habits of species - say the acquisition of carnivorous habits by the New Zealand parrot, for instance - to the farthest glimpses backwards into Space and Eternity afforded by the "Firemist" doctrine, it will be apparent that they all rest on one basis. That basis is that the impulse once given to a hypothetical unit has a tendency to continue itself; and consequently, that anything "done" by something at a certain time and certain place tends to be renewed at analogous other times and places.
Such is the admitted rationale of heredity and atavism. That the same things apply to our ordinary conduct is apparent from the notorious case with which "habits," - bad or good, as the case may be - are acquired, and it will not be questioned that this applies, as a rule, as much to the moral and intellectual as to the physical world.
Furthermore, History and Science teach us plainly that certain physical habits conduce to certain moral and intellectual results. There never yet was a conquering nation of vegetarians. Even in the old Aryan times, we do not learn that the very Rishees, from whose lore and practice we gain the knowledge of Occultism, ever interdicted the Kshatryas (military caste) from hunting or a carnivorous diet. Filling, as they did, a certain place in the body politic in the actual condition of the world, the Rishees would have as little thought of preventing them, as of restraining the tigers of the jungle from their habits. That did not affect what the Rishees themselves did.
The aspirant to longevity then must be on his guard against two dangers. He must beware especially of impure and animal * thoughts. [* In other words, the thought tends to provoke the deed. - G.M.] For Science shows that thought is dynamic, and the thought-force evolved by nervous action expanding itself outwardly, must affect the molecular relations of the physical man. The inner man, * however sublimated their organism may be, are still composed of actual, not hypothetical, particles and are still subject to the law that an "action" has a tendency to repeat itself; a tendency to set up analogous action in the grosser "shell" they are in contact with, and concealed within. [* We use the word in the plural, reminding the reader that, according to our doctrine, man is septenary. - G.M.] And, on the other hand, certain actions have a tendency to produce actual physical conditions unfavorable to pure thoughts, hence to the state required for developing the supremacy of the inner man.
To return to the practical process.
A normally healthy mind, in a normally healthy body, is a good starting-point. Though exceptionally powerful and self-devoted natures may sometimes recover the ground, lost by mental degradation or physical misuse, by employing proper means, under the direction of unswerving resolution, yet often things may have gone so far that there is no longer stamina enough to sustain the conflict sufficiently long to perpetuate this life; though what in Eastern parlance is called the "merit" of the effort will help to ameliorate conditions and improve matters in another.
However this may be, the prescribed course of self-discipline commences here. It may be stated briefly that its essence is a course of moral, mental, and physical development, carried on in parallel lines - one being useless without the other. The physical man must be rendered more ethereal and sensitive; the mental man more penetrating and profound; the moral man more self-denying and philosophical. And it may be mentioned that all sense of restraint - even if self-imposed - is useless. Not only is all "goodness" that results from the compulsion of physical force, threats, or bribes (whether of a physical or so-called "spiritual" nature) absolutely useless to the person who exhibits it, its hypocrisy tending to poison the moral atmosphere of the world, but the desire to be "good" or "pure" to be efficacious, must be spontaneous. It must be a self-impulse from within, a real preference for something higher, not an abstention from vice because of fear of the law: not a chastity enforced by the dread of Public Opinion; not a benevolence exercised through love of praise or dread of consequence in a hypothetical Future Life.* [* Col. Olcott clearly and succinctly explains the Buddhistic doctrine of Merit or Karma, in his Buddhist Catechism (Question 83). - G.M.]
It will be seen now in connection with the doctrine of the tendency to the renewal of action before discussed, that the course of self-discipline recommended as the only road to Longevity by Occultism is not a "visionary" theory dealing with vague "ideas," but actually a scientifically devised system of drill. It is a system by which each particle of the several men composing the septenary individual receives an impulse, and a habit of doing what is necessary for certain purposes of its own freewill and with "pleasure." Every one must be practised and perfect in a thing to do it with pleasure. This rule especially applies to the case of the development of Man. "Virtue" may be very good in its way - it may lead to the grandest results. But to become efficacious it has to be practised cheerfully not with reluctance or pain. As a consequence of the above consideration the candidate for Longevity at the commencement of his career must begin to eschew his physical desires, not from any sentimental theory of right or wrong, but for the following good reason. As, according to a well-known and now established scientific theory, his visible material frame is always renewing its particles; he will, while abstaining from the gratification of his desires, reach the end of a certain period during which those particles which composed the man of vice, and which were given a bad predisposition, will have departed. At the same time, the disuse of such functions will tend to obstruct the entry, in place of the old particles, of new particles having a tendency to repeat the said acts. And while this is the particular result as regards certain "vices," the general result of an abstention from "gross" acts will be (by a modification of the well-known Darwinian law of Atrophy by non-usage) to diminish what we call the "relative" density and coherence of the outer shell (as a result
of its less-used molecules); while the diminution in the quantity of its actual constituents will be "made up" (if tried by scales and weights) by the increased admission of more ethereal particles.
What physical desires are to be abandoned and in what order? First and foremost, he must give up alcohol in all forms; for while it supplies no nourishment, nor even any direct pleasure (beyond such sweetness or fragrance as may be gained in the taste of wine, &c., to which alcohol, in itself, is nonessential) to even the grossest elements of even the "physical" frame, it induces a violence of action, a rush so to speak, of Life, the stress of which can only be sustained by very dull gross, and dense elements, and which, by the action of the well-known law of Reaction (say, in commercial phrase, "supply and demand") tends to summon them from the surrounding universe, and therefore directly counteracts the object we have in view.
(To Be Concluded.)
One of the privileges of living in the Twentieth century is the opportunity of allying oneself with the Theosophical Movement originated by the Elder Brothers of the Race, and of making a conscious link, however slender, with them. Join any Theosophical Society which maintains the tradition of the Masters of Wisdom and study their Secret Doctrine. You can strengthen the link you make by doing service, by strong search, by questions, and by humility. We should be able to build the future on [[sic]]
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