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Vol. XXVI, No. 9 Hamilton, November 15th, 1945 Price 20 Cents
THE ORIGINAL PROGRAMME
By John Roger
For 2,500 years Buddhists have given allegiance to their Founder, Gautama Buddha, adhered to His instructions given the Sangha, and studied and disseminated His teaching, the Dharma. This can also be said of the adherents of Lao-tze, Confucius, Zoroaster, Shankara, Mohammed, Jesus of Nazareth and others. The names of these Founders have been revered, their instructions followed, and their teachings preserved through the centuries. Can this also be said of the adherents of the Adepts who founded the Theosophical Movement? The facts answer - No.
Though there is difference of opinion in the Society it is generally agreed that Adepts of the Brotherhood of Compassion founded the Movement through their agent H.P. Blavatsky. Therefore allegiance should belong to Them only. After fifty years all members should know Theosophy to be Their Teaching, but Their Original Instructions are known to very few.
The Masters of Wisdom would not originate a movement without a specific purpose and a course to be followed, and we find the Original Instructions, known as THE ORIGINAL PROGRAMME, were set forth a few years after the Founding. That the Original Programme was given in the early years is proven by the fact that H.P. Blavatsky (or her Adept-Master) formed the Eastern School of Philosophy, or Esoteric Section, in 1888, because - as she stated in THE PRELIMINARY MEMORANDUM OF THE ESOTERIC SECTION: "The Theosophical Society . . . has proved a dead failure on all those points which rank foremost among the objects of its original establishment." and: "It is only by a select group of brave souls, a handful of determined men and women hungry for genuine spiritual development and the acquirement of soul-wisdom, that the Theosophical Society at large can be brought back to its original lines."
She made a similar statement in her magazine LUCIFER: "Owing to the fact that a large number of Fellows of the Society have felt the necessity for the formation of a body of Esoteric students, to be organized on the ORIGINAL LINES devised by the REAL FOUNDERS . . . "
Therefore the Society had strayed, or been diverted, from the Original Programme prior to 1888. We must look to earlier years to rediscover it.
The "Rules", as they are called, had their preliminary stages or evolution: September 7th, 1875. The idea to form
a society of an Esoteric nature was expressed. September 8th 1875. Col. Olcott, as Chairman, apponted a committee to draft By-Laws. September 18th, 1875. The name -The Theosophical Society - was selected. October 30th, 1875. The By-Laws were read and adopted, officers elected and the Society became an organization. It is curious that the "Preamble and By-Laws" of the Founding were never revised.
May 3rd, 1878. The Founders issued a Circular "For the Information of Correspondents" with a new set of Rules under the title: "The Theosophical Society, its Origin, Plans and Aims".
March and December 1879. The Circular was revised by informal Councils in India. February 26th and 28th, 1880. The Rules were finally revised, ratified and legally adopted by the Theosophical Society at Bombay.
After that date the decline of the Rules is observable. Hence the Rules of 1880 are the Original Programme which, within seven years, had been departed from by the Society, and the departure caused H.P.B. to form the Eastern School to bring it back to its "original lines". H.P.B., as Editor, published the Original Programme in the THEOSOPHIST Vol. I. page 179, and, since the Society was then under the direct guidance of the Adept-Founders, she would not publish the Official Original Programme to members and the world without Their guidance and approval.
In examining the Original Programme we are not concerned with Articles, dealing with elections, finances, functions of officers, etc., which may be altered to suit circumstances. But we are vitally interested in those Articles which state the nature, principles and purposes of the Society. These, if changed, change the nature of the Society and should, therefore, involve a change of title.
The Original Programme and the two previous revisions were entitled - "Principles, Rules and By-Laws of the Theosophical Society as founded in New York, October 30th, 1875." Thus October 30th, 1875 is the correct Founding Date.
The term "Parent Society" appears in the Original Programme, but it is no longer used. What is the Parent Society? H.P.B. gives part of the answer in her book THE ORIGINAL FROGRAMME, written 1886. See page 21:
"But the Parent body does exist, and will, so long as the last man or woman of the primitive group of Theosophists Founders is alive. This - as a body; as for its moral characteristics, the Parent-Society means that small nucleus of Theosophists who hold sacredly through storms and blows to the ORIGINAL PRO-GRAMME of the T.S., as established under the direction and orders of those, whom they recognize - and will, to their last breath - as the real originators of the Movement, their LIVING, HOLY MASTERS AND TEACHERS."
The Parent Society is further described in the Original Programme:
Article XI. "The Society consists of three sections: The Highest or First Section is composed exclusively of proficients or Initiates in Esoteric Science and Philosophy, who take a deep interest in the Society's affairs and instruct the President-Founder how best to regulate them, but whom, none but such as they voluntarily communicate with have the right to know.
"The Second Section embraces such Theosophists as have proven by their fidelity, zeal and courage, and their devotion to the Society, that they have become able to regard all men as equally their brothers, irrespective of caste, color, race or creed; and who are ready to defend the life or honor of a brother
Theosophist even at the risk of their own lives.
"The Third is the Section of Probationers. All new Fellows are on Probation, until their purpose to remain in the Society has become fixed, their usefulness shown, and their ability to conquer evil habits and unwarrantable prejudices demonstrated."
H.P.B. commented on this Article XI in a letter to LA REVUE SPIRITE (see THE COMPLETE WORKS OF H.P. BLAVATSKY, Vol. 2, page 209)
"It is true that a WHOLLY ESOTERIC Section exists in our Society, but it is not only the trunk of the Theosophical tree or its seed - because it is to that Section that our whole Society owes its origin - but the vivifying sap that makes it live and flourish. Without this Section, composed solely of Oriental Adepts, the Theosophical Society . . . . would be nothing but a dead and sterile body, a corpse without a soul."
Article XI indicates the Parent Society was a Hierarchical structure, a School of Esoteric Instruction and Probationary Training, and an attempt to re-establish the Ancient Mystery Schools. The Parent Society was destroyed when this Article XI was removed from the Rules. The removal can only mean the official repudiation of the Adept Brothers by the member-probationers who compose the Society. This official rejection of the Adept-Brotherhood still stands.
Thus the Theosophical tree cut off its roots "that makes it live and flourish," and so can only be "a dead and sterile body, a corpse without a soul." The Theosophical Society is that movement which ousted and rejected its Adept-Founders, and so it has recorded in its own documents. And yet - only those who adhere to the Original Programme (The Adept-Founders, Their Instructions and Teachings) have the right to call themselves members of the Original Parent Society.
From this one example it should be apparent that the changes, alterations, and modernizations, have not made the Society more effective, so that it is perhaps time to note where we started from and where we arrived. Rules of Membership Today, membership in the Society is open to those who subscribe to the ideal of Brotherhood, and nothing more is required. In the Original Programme there are Rules befitting a School of Esoteric Philosophy
Article XIV: "Persons of either sex, or any race, color, country or creed are eligible."
THE ORIGINAL PROGRAMME, by H.P.B., gives the Second Object as: "No distinction is to be made by the member between races, creeds, and social positions, but every member had to be judged and dealt by on his personal merits."
Article XIV. (cont.): "An application is to be made in writing by the one who wishes to enter, declaring his sympathy with the Society's Objects, and promising to obey its Rules." Also:
"Two Fellows must endorse the new candidate's application and transmit it, together with the prescribed initiation fee to the proper authorities."
Article XIV. shows that the candidate was initiated into a Fraternity and due recognition given him on assuming Probation to the High Adepts. The Initiation included a welcome, a charge and an obligation. The Pledge or Obligation was similar to that used by H.P.B. in her Eastern School.
Article XIV. (cont.): "A solemn obligation upon honor having first been taken from him in writing and subsequently repeated by him orally before witnesses that he shall never reveal them to any improper persons nor divulge any other matter or things relating to the Society, especially its experiments in occult sciences, which it is forbidden to disclose."
Article VII (g): "But no Fellow
shall put to his selfish use any knowledge communicated to him by any member of the First Section; violation of this Rule being punished by expulsion. And before any such knowledge can be imparted, the person shall bind himself by a solemn oath not to use it to selfish purposes, nor to reveal it, except with the permission of the teacher."
That these Rules were altered or discarded means they were of little moment to the law-makers of the Society. They were, however, of primary importance in the minds of the Founders. In THE ORIGINAL PROGRAMME, page 30, H.P.B. wrote"
" `Initiation' on admission, has been made away with already in Europe and has LEAD TO THAT which will very soon become known."
And in the LETTERS FROM THE MASTERS OF WISDOM, Vol. I. page 21, the Master wrote:
"There is a strong disposition to slur over the ceremony of initiation in such a way as to make no serious impression upon the candidate . . . Your ways of initiation are a standing insult to every regular Chela, and have provoked the displeasure of their Masters. It is a sacred thing with us; why should it be otherwise with you?"
Again we observe the Esoteric nature of the Parent Society and its connection with the Adept Brotherhood. The Initiation has been altered or discarded Why?
The "Objects" in the early Rules and Original Programme give the purposes for which the Adepts founded the Society.
The First Object
The First Object, however worded, was and is "Brotherhood."
1875 Foundipg Rules: Have "Fraternal Cooperation". Brotherhood in action.
1878 Circular: " . . to aid in the institution of a Brotherhood of Humanity."
1879 Preamble: ". . . establish an Universal Brotherhood."
1880 Original Programme, Article I: "The Theosophical Society is formed upon the basis of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity."
THE MAHATMA LETTERS, page 24: "The CHIEFS want a `Brotherhood of Humanity', a real Universal Fraternity started; an institution which would make itself known throughout the world and arrest the attention of the highest minds." and page 17: "The term `Universal Brotherhood' is no idle phrase .. . It is the only secure foundation for universal morality. If it be a dream, it is at least a noble one for mankind: and it is the aspiration of the TRUE adept."
Can it be said that the "Universal Brotherhood" has conducted itself in such a fashion as to fulfill the hope of the Mahatma? The Adept-Master is the ideal of the Probationary Chela and Universal Brotherhood should also be his goal. The other Objects are secondary and the means to that end - To establish a Universal Brotherhood through Fraternal Cooperation.
The Second Object
This deals with what members, as probationary pupils, should study, teach and disseminate. It provides the philosophic basis for the First Object - the Unity of Life and Brotherhood of Humanity. From the title The Theosophical Society - it would be assumed that this Second Object is - to study, teach and disseminate Theosophy. Yet there is no individual statement of Theosophy (the Secret Doctrine, Ancient Wisdom, or Gupta Vidya) that agrees with any other individual statement. Nor is there an official statement. Thus everything and anything is studied and taught under the name -Theosophy.
The Society, an Hierarchial structure, with closed Lodges, Initiations and Rules in line with the Great Brotherhood, had teachings for the members. Extracts from the early Rules and
Original Programme will indicate that teaching:
1875 Founding Rules: " . . by going deeper . . . into the Esoteric Philosophies of ancient times."
1878 Circular: " . . . to make known . . facts about Oriental Philosophies . . . to disseminate a knowledge of the sublime teachings of that pure esoteric system of the archaic period."
1879 Revision: ". . . to disseminate over all the world the hidden lore of the mighty sages of the past."
1880 Original Programme, Article VIII (e): "To gather . . . correct information upon the various ancient philosophies." also Article XI: "The Highest or First Section is composed exclusively of proficients or Initiates in Esoteric Science and Philosophy."
1886 THE ORIGINAL PROGRAMME, by H.P.B. gives the Third Object as: "To study the Philosophies of the East - those of India chiefly, presenting them gradually to the public in various works that would interpret exoteric religions in the light of esoteric teachings."
1888 Object of the Original Esoteric Section: "To promote the Esoteric interests of the Theosophical Society by the deeper study of Esoteric philosophy."
THE ORIGINAL PROGRAMME by H.P.B. gives words of an Adept-Brother, see page 5; "It is ESOTERIC PHILOSOPHY ALONE . . . that . . can . . . finally lead to the alleviation of human suffering."
THE SECRET DOCTRINE, XX: "Esoteric philosophy reconciles all religions, strips every one of its outward, human garments, and shows the root of each to be identical with that of every other great religion."
These extracts point to Philosophy, particularly the Eastern, as the study indicated by the Adept-Founders for the member-probationers. Further, that the One Esoteric Philosophy, as the source of all great teachings, is the final objective. Hence the significance of the Second Object is - To seek the One Esoteric Philosophy behind the Philosophies of the East. The Founders, H.P. Blavatsky and Colonel H.S. Olcott, were Buddhists and exponents of the Philosophies of the East as their writings demonstrate.
The Esoteric Philosophy has many names such as: the Ancient Wisdom, the Secret Doctrine, the Gupta Vidya and, in modern times, Theosophy. The Adept Founders of the Society gave a precise statement of what Theosophy is in THE SECRET DOCTRINE, Vol. 1., page 272 (of the Original Edition). See Paragraph (1) of the "Summing Up": (1) The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, . . . . the fact which have actually occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, . . . The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there, where an ordinary profane, however learned, would have perceived but the external work of form . . . How did they do so? It is answered: by checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organizations to the utmost possible degree. No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions - so obtained as to stand as independent evidence - of other adepts, and by centuries of experience."
This statement has to do with the Secret Knowledge of Initiates and therefore nothing more should be expected. Whereas the Original Programme was discarded, and even reversed in some instances, the Adept definition of Theosophy has been
ignored, since printed in 1888, and no Branch adopted it. Would there be the present Theosophical chaos if it had been adopted?
The Adepts imparted a fragment of their Secret Doctrine to the Society for study and dissemination. For, since H.P.B. was Their agent-amanuensis, who can tell which Adept-Brother contributed this or that article, over her name, anonymously, or over a nom-de-plume, to the magazines she edited? It is strange indeed that a large portion of these writings, the Theosophy of the Adepts, is allowed to remain in the oblivion of old magazines whilst matter by less important writers is continually published. Stranger still is the fact, proven by various writers, that unauthorized have taken liberties with Their published writings. It is the privilege of anyone to disagree or reject, but who has the right to tamper with the words of the Masters after the death of Their amanuensis?
Esoteric Philosophy, which from the above statement, is the exact science of the Initiates, is in the custody of the Adept Brotherhood and hence the Adepts only, can impart it. For this reason, all books published by non-adepts - "the ordinary profane, however learned," are merely the opinions, interpretations, or perversions of the Theosophy of the Initiates. Surely students would prefer the original teaching in the words of the Adepts. The Adepts who founded the Society gave it a teaching as in preceding world movements. Note the opening words in the Maha-Chohan's letter: "The doctrines we promulgate being the only true ones, must, supported by such evidence as we are preparing to give . . . become ultimately triumphant." Theosophy is the Divine Wisdom of Divine, Perfected men - Adepts - and of no lesser beings.
The Third Object
This is a sequence to the Second Objective and a result of that study:
Original Programme, Article VIII (e): "To gather for the Society's library and put into written forms, correct information upon the various ancient philosophies, traditions, and legends, and, as the Council shall decide it permissable, to disseminate the same in such practical ways as the translation and publication of original works of value, and extracts from and commentaries upon the same, or the oral instructions of persons learned in their respective departments."
Since the Society has discarded this Object it naturally failed to carry it out. The learned members left the Society because of the splits and the departure from the Original Programme so that the world is indebted to independent scholars for the translation and publication of the sacred treasures of the East and not to the Theosophical Society.
The Fourth Object
This was vigorously carried out by H.P.B. and is part of the Fourth Object in her book THE ORIGINAL PROGRAMME: "To oppose materialism and theological dogmatism in every possible way . . . superstition had to be exposed and avoided."
1875 Founding Rules: ". . . the Society has no dogmas to enforce, no creed to disseminate."
1878 Circular: "The Society teaches and expects its Fellows to . . . oppose the materialism of science and every form of dogmatic theology, especially the Christian, which the Chiefs of the Society regard as particularly pernicious."
1880 Original Programme, Article VIII (b): "To oppose and counteract - after due investigation and proof of its irrational nature - bigotry in every form, whether as an intolerant religious sectarianism or belief in miracles or anything super-
This Article has been discarded also and this may be a reason why the Society presents such an impotent figure in the progress of the world today. Indeed this Article and Object has been reversed in practice, for the Theosophical Movement has created a Church with questionable legitimacy, Roman Mass, Apostolic Succession, Robes, Rituals and a priestcraft which at one time recognized the Pope as Patriarch. Since these are contrary to the Rules, Instructions and Teachings of the Adept-Brothers and Their Agent, can this church be described otherwise than as an ANTI-Theosophical Movement?
Psychic powers are a popular study and have been claimed by prominent members of the Movement yet do not receive much space in the early Rules.
1878 Circular: "Man should aim to solve the mystery of his being . . He should, therefore, study to develop his latent powers."
1886 THE ORIGINAL PROGRAMME, by H.P.B., gives part of the Fourth Object: "By demonstrating the existence of occult forces . . . to the best of his ability."
On this one point we are compelled to reject H.P.B. for the very obvious reason, in spite of all claims, no member is able to demonstrate occult power as she did. However, the `Study' portion of the Circular is safe ground for students.
Another Object, natural and important to a Society professing Universal Brotherhood through Fraternal Cooperation, is:
Article VIII (g): "Finally, and chiefly, to encourage and assist individual Fellows in self-improvement, intellectual, moral, and Spiritual."
Was there some harm in this Final and Chief Object to the minds of the law-makers that it, too, should be discarded? In observing the destruction of the Original Programme of the Founders it is difficult to avoid comment.
There are other Rules dealing with "politics in lodges," "enforcing dogmas and disseminating creeds," "involving expulsion," yet sufficient extracts have been quoted to give an outline of the Structure, Rules, Objects and Teachings of the Original Parent Society for one to compare with the Rules, or Objects, of today.
The results of departing from the Original Programme are discernible in the chaos and disunity in the Movement. The several divisions have the same features. Each has set up leaders with unproven claims of successorship to H.P.B. the agent of the Adepts. The writings of these leaders are given precedence over the Theosophy of the Adepts. Indeed, the words of the Adepts in THE MAHATMA LETTERS are rejected in certain quarters. Each division has diluted or discarded the Original Programme of the Founders. Thus they have discarded or minimized the elements essential to make them truly Theosophical.
The Esoteric Section, formed by H.P.B. to bring the Society back to its original lines through the deeper study of Esoteric Philosophy, has produced no results. Since the Original Esoteric teachings have been published, and the E.S. has no inner connection, then there is nothing Esoteric about it. As there is little evidence of Eastern teachings about the E.S., it can hardly be called an Eastern School. The E.S. has failed to fulfill its Original Programme.
We have seen that the Society deserted the Original Programme and substituted other Objects and other Programmes. It is no longer the Parent Society, for no Branch acknowledged
the Original Programme, which is now a historical curiosity. The Theosophical Society, as a body, or dissenting bodies, has split into a variety of divergent and disagreeing sections because of the abandonment of the Original Programme, so that there is no definite statement or set of Rules to which to refer. Because of this, each and any one of them, and any individual in the world, feels justified in substituting his own interpretation.
There is a sense of tragedy in the recognition of the facts and the long detours they have cost the Movement as a whole, and it is enlightening to consider the thousands who have rejected the errors, thus becoming lost to the Movement. Yet it is encouraging to remember that, through the fifty-odd years since H.P.B.'s death, there have been small nuclei of students here and there who protested the injection of extraneous ideas and the departure from the Original Programme and that these small nuclei continue to speak for the Original Programme.
It may be that the Movement was fated to experiment, to find the way by trial and error, instead of by loyal adherence to plan. It seems to be conclusive that this long period of trial and error must have its limits, and that a new era of adherence to the Objects of the Adept Founders must begin. It is to be hoped there will be such a period of seasoned wisdom resulting from, past divergencies, for if not, the cause of Theosophy must be considered a failure, and the Movement must evaporate its message in small, futile sects of diverging opinions and enmities.
Because of the foregoing and the obvious disunity, it is not to be concluded that the cause of the Adept Founders is hopeless. While there is little hope for unity between the various leaders, varied objects, and the "theosophies" dispensed, yet the foundations of unity - The Adepts, Their Original Programme and Theosophy - were the origin of each of them. Furthermore, if it is seen that Chelaship to a Master of the Wisdom is the goal of membership (probation) in the Theosophical Society - there being no other way to acquire the Gupta Vidya of the Initiates - then adherence to the Original Programme should be the primary objective of all members.
The Original Programme applies to the Movement as a whole, but there is another set of Rules for individual members, as probationers, which supplement and uphold the Original Programme. These Probationary Rules are known as -
"The Golden Stairs"
Behold the Truth before you: a clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for one's co-disciple, a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a loyal sense of duty to the Teacher, a willing obedience to the behests of Truth, once we have placed our confidence in, and believe that Teacher to be in possession of it, a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principles, a valiant defense of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the secret science (Gupta Vidya) depicts - these are the Golden Stairs up the steps of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom."
These Rules are invaluable for guidance and were given by the Great One, M., through H.P. Blavatsky, to those who volunteered to be instructed by her. They give the answer to the inquirer of today, as they did in the past. These, and the Original Programme, should be the measure, exact and unequivocal, of
what is and is not Theosophy in the New Era.
It is the opinion of the writer that there should be, and probably will be, a movement towards beginnings, and a Movement towards the original teachings, which are still unsurpassed, and that The Theosophical Movement will become more philosophical, less credulously religious. There is no reason to believe that the Adept Founders will be defeated, or that Their followers, the nuclei who uphold the Original Programme and its Objects, will not triumph in the end.
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Philadelphia, 38, Pa.
THE SOMERSET ZODIAC
THE PATH OF THE SUN LAID OUT IN SOMERSET IN RELATION TO THE ZODIAC ON A STAR GLOBE
(Continued from October)
In regard to the locality of this Path of the Sun in England, it is situated near the mouth of the river Severn and was at one time Welsh, Wales lying on the opposite bank. Scholars are agreed that the name Somerset implies "The Seat of the Somers, Sumers or Cymyrs".
The only portion of the county that concerns us in this study of the Zodiacal effigies, is the small district through which the rivers Red-and-White-Lake, Brue, and Cary flow; and outside the circle, the Parrett (Parutti), for the Great Dog that guards it lies on that river of Sumerian name.
If this mysterious region is named after the Sumers or Somers, including the ancient county town called Somer-ton - lying on the Lion's paw -, we must look for the habitations of that people in the neighborhood of their occupation and their food supply. They must have adjoined the area of the effigy Zodiac, which probably employed many thousands of laborers in its construction. Its little hills skirt low lying Sedgemoor.
This country around Glastonbury is famous for its Lake Villages, which were built on piles where the alder and willow grew, the trees were felled and used to construct the foundations, etc. of the dwellings. Those villages in the British Isles that have been discovered are not considered older than the prehistoric iron age, but similar Swiss settlements belong to the stone and bronze ages, so possibly earlier ones may yet be found in this neighborhood of King Sedgemoor. Formerly Lake Dwellings existed from Asia Minor in the east, to the British Isles; in the latter several hundred have been recorded.
The Sumers living on the Euphrates (Puru-su) being river valley folk, made mud bricks to build with, so it is only natural that their dwellings in Somerset should have been submerged long since by the floods of Sedgemoor; those Lake Villages of the later iron age near Glastonbury that Mr. Bulleid excavated, had been pillaged and burnt by the Romans.
Speaking of the Romans, they have left several fine tessellated pavements in the vicinity of Somerton, the subjects of which tesserae suggest Mythraic influence; their creators, not yet Christianized, would in that case owe allegiance to the Lion, and other zodiacal constellations such as the Bull and Scorpion. So let us try to find out more about this woodland monster whose chest and hind quarters are clearly outlined by the Cary river for every one to see.
The name Regulus borne by Leo's famous Royal Star, means the little King, and in Somerset the effigy lion is very royal, for he gazes over King Sedgemoor, he carries King-Western on his back and below his body is the village of Kingsdon, with Kingsdon Hill and Kingsdon Wood. Here is another sign that the natives of this district, up to fairly recent years, knew of his
presence amongst them. He also "reigned over" Bristol, Bath and Taunton, all close at hand.
Regulus, which falls on the lion's hind quarters; when the map of the effigies is placed on a stellar globe, was one of the four "Guardian stars of Heaven" when the Zodiac was designed. Four thousand years ago the longitude of this star was measured in Babylon, and two thousand years later it was measured by Hipparchus, who found from his observations of Regulus and Spica a discrepancy in their position from the former measurement, which led to his famous discovery of the Precession of the Equinoxes.
Included in the effigy lion's neck is the constellation of the Crab, made up of fourth and fifth magnitude stars, and in consequence there is no crab on this earthly Path of the Sun. Also included in this enormous lion are the much more important stars from the present Gemini, Pollux of the first magnitude, falling in the lion's mouth and Castor of the second magnitude, falling on his nose; hence the veiled jokes in the early romance about a certain knight killing twin brothers
The head of the Water Snake, Hydra, lies very near the lion's heart, another source of amusement to the story tellers who knew the star legend, for snakes and rivers are feminine, thus Queen Guinevere was Hydra and Lancelot impersonates Leo.
In the time of William of Malmesbury it was still said that "miracles should not cease till the Great Lion had come", surely it is a miracle that his actual photograph should have been taken from the air as he lies prone upon the earth today, and that Leo's "sickle", clearly visible in the night sky for eight months in the year, should be found exactly to fit his tail turned up over his back; which convention has been retained in heraldry for hundreds of years. It was also prophecied that King Arthur should come again at his country's greatest need!
With a little practice it is easy to fit sun hero legends into their own "houses" or constellations; for instance a "great cat" that does not behave in a normal manner is as a rule Leo. Take the story of Thor in the Land of the Giants. Despite his tremendous god-like strength he is quite unable to lift the cat from the ground, the cat only "bent its back and lifted one paw". Hence we know the reason for the steep hill in the effigy lion's back and the raised right paw called Castley Hill.
Again, as regards the constellation of the Twins (taken by the Giant Orion and his Argo on this zodiac), because they represent the sun and moon something fatal is bound to happen to one of them, as in the story of Balin and Balan. Balin proves himself the best knight in King Arthur's court for he alone could draw the wonderful sword out of its sheath (Orion's sword); that is how we can recognize him in fairy tale, because he is possessed of two swords and in consequence of its enchantment he unwittingly kills his brother with it, after crossing over to his island in a boat.
The story of Lohengrin is another legend connected with this effigy of Orion by reason that the constellation Gemini holds the secret of "the writing on the Grail", or the "name" that must not be enquired of, and at the same time is associated with the holy "dove". The story runs in part thus: - "On distant shores untrodden by your feet there rises a mountain called Mount Monsalvat. And on it stands a temple fairer than any other on earth, in which is kept a treasure of wondrous virtue and great holiness, brought as a blessing to men by an angelic host. Once every year, to renew its divine might, a dove descends from heaven and alights upon it. It is called the Grail, and lends to those who guard it pure faith and holy calm". But should "the name" become
known the power of its servant is at an end.
We get a curious side light on the actual inscription of the effigy "name" on the hill behind Orion's head, in the following legend: - Thor, in the Land of the Giants, wishing to kill the Giant Skrymir, threw his hammer three times at his head, but the Giant thrust a hill between them, on which the marks of the hammer can be seen to this day, for there are "three glens, one of them very deep, which were cleft by Thor's weapon." *Gilling Down, just above the Giant's head, might well be Thor's handywork, for its cliffs are red as blood. Strangely enough our present Summer Solstice, June 21st, falls on this place in the effigy ecliptic circle.
"Every door is barr'd with gold,
And opens but to golden keys".
* The sacred name of God.
- K. E. Maltwood.
Royal Oak, B.C.
By Ernest Crutcher, M.D., 32̊ ; F.P.S., Los Angeles
I know not where His islands lift their fronded palms in air, I only know I cannot drift beyond His love and care.
Every man is his own ancestor. Each is his own heir. When by death we are reborn, for that is what death actually is, - we exhibit ourselves as that we have made of our precedent earthly existence. We reap as we sow. Is it not rational?
Voltaire sagely remarked "It is no more wonderful to be born twice than to have been born once." We are on a small globe, hardly mindful of the trillions of other huge worlds that rush through space. In our conceit and primitive theology, we assume our earth alone inhabited. Yet we know nothing in creation is without use and purpose. Diversity is nature's rule.
"We take up life about where we leave off, and go on from there," said wise Henry Ford. My studies during many years corroborate. The next world is closer to us than we imagine. It is here and interpenetrates our earth world. Our spirit friends and enemies are alive and alert to our daily pursuits. Intuition is spiritual knowledge and may be cultivated and utilized.
It is noteworthy that such individuals as seek to subvert nature's course and manifest purpose, - endeavorings not in conformity with Nature's design, and portends, will reap degrading deformities, ugliness, depravity and degeneration.
To return with enhanced beauty, talent, excellence, we must endeavor such at this time. What you are today is precisely what you have earned and taken on as just accretions, either in intellectual or physical attributes, seemly or unseemly. We get what we earn, whether it be bodily beauty, ugliness, mental graces or stupidity. The hideous, repulsive persons met, are types that sought to go contrary to Nature's laws, manifest from precedent life and lives. Each succeeding career means added repulsiveness and unfitness, or advance in intelligence and facilities. Whatsoever we sow, that shall we also reap.
What object would nature have in creating uncouthness, or disfigurings and deformities? Such appearances are not what some allege, - curses, or heritages from parents. True, we are sent into some circles where we rightly belong, but we do not inherit the defects of that family.
"Birds of a feather flock together," more: you are there to be helped, and teach the family sympathy and understanding of life and its duties. They reap Karma in having your care, and your fate is linked with theirs as mutually punitive and likewise helpful and educative. These are occult facts. Spiritual evolution is as strong on the other plane as physical unfoldment on the earth. This is scientific psychology.
Science has gotten far ahead of the
average intelligence; it is the simple and the orthodox who jeer and scoff. The wise consider; hear and reflect. Absurd theologies of the past are rapidly fading in the sunlight of knowledge. People demand to know rather than believe. Which is better, to believe what some one else tells you, or KNOW by inquiry what your own faculties declare true? Why is it sinful to think or meditate ideas presented as truths?
Evolution was once a wicked idea, inciting sermonic rage as fiercely as a red rag a bull, and with as little sense. Not a scientist of today doubts evolution, pertaining to every department of life. Your own body avows it in its many decadent tissues and outgrown organs. We constantly unfold, and constantly become more complex. Some ailments are due to premature developments. The man of today is not the same type as he of 15,000 years ago. There were men on earth before the story of Adam. Bishop Ussher declared earth 6,000 years old. The primitive Hebrews of Palestine thought Eden the beginning of earth life. It is proven that there have been several types and races of men inhabiting earth before Adam and mostly destroyed by fierce nature because they failed to conform to her wishes, or stupidly went down and out. Nature is never discouraged. She finds a way or makes a way. Constant unfoldment is her law, whether insects, fish, animals, man, stars, suns, - everything we know must become changed and remolded into something better. Theology and religious notions and imaginings must unfold, too. For centuries, theology and absurd conceptions of God, have led thought, and handicapped science. Henceforth it must accept wider intelligent thought or be cast aside.
Reincarnation is a proven fact. Death is rebirth, and not an evil. You do not leave earth at death unless promoted. After each life you are demoted or promoted. It depends on you. Life is endless unfoldment; birth and death synonymous; neither to be feared; both edicts of God; purposeful, therefore beneficent.
It is not years alone that mature an individual. Sorne are "old souls" when they arrive on earth. These matured ones often have greater difficulties than the immature. The vestment of the spirit may wear out prematurely, but the soul goes marching on. Life and death are but incidents in its history. Death is merely a phase of rebirth, and let us hope ecclesiastical horrors of death, - an event of divine purpose, - may be reduced and less grief be caused by pulpit fears and insults to our Father who does all things well, even giving that benevolence we call death to His creatures of every sort, including suns, stars, comets, etc.
The body is not you but yours. Your present appearance and fitness were modelled on your precedent goings, experiences and thoughts. Your next body will be fashioned by your acts and indulgences, follies or wisdom. It is the soul that forms the encasing body. How are you instructing your soul about your next housing?
The thinking world recognizes that evolution applies to everything within our ken. Earth went through aeons of development before even the first life came. Earth is yet immature, and man, himself, is here because he is unfit and unready for a more highly developed sphere and habitation. The theological preachment that the trivial incident, death, completes the upward striving and unfolding is not good common sense. If you are going to a party, you prepare for it and dress accordingly. A static heaven is absurd. "Singing and praising forever" is nonsensical. Life ever is, and even BECOMES something beyond its present. Going out the gate of death works no miracles. You are about the same after you put aside your body, as you are in laying aside your day clothes.
It is incomprehensible how senseless the reasoning of many creeds in considering death. God never made a mistake and had to correct by instituting death as a corrective or for a trivial apple episode, involving everything in creation. Each must pay his debts, and not vicariously. "Whatever a man soweth that shall he also reap." It is unfair, inequitable, dishonest, fatuous, that obligations are paid because we "believe" a faith of some sort. What of trillions who never heard of the need for belief ?
It is not how long we live but how well. Jamie Dean was an honest Scotchman. His simple prayer was: "God help us to live weel, for if we live weel, we'll die weel - at least it helps weel." Some of us imagine living luxuriously and expensively is the acme of living. It is not sinful to enjoy the fruits of labor and industry; it is the selfishness involved, unless there is active interest in others who lack. The most exemplary act is that of service; help of another, sharing in some part of our own good fortune.
We owe it to ourselves to live our very best; enjoying everything TODAY that may be ours. The exigencies of fate cause many changes and the fullness of today may be dissipated tomorrow. "Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth," is Solomonic sagacity. Today is ours, and to postpone enjoyment until we have accumulated riches is to leave them, untimely, for inheritors who dissipate them without rational enjoyment themselves. The zest of enjoyment of energies is the relish such thoughts yield. They are ours because we earned them. The fatuity of accumulation is the deferring of enjoyment until taste and appetite have gone. True, there is a joy in effort. Many work because they like their work, nor reck of what they may gather. For such as do this, life really has merit and happiness.
Once a Gentile came to Hillel, and said: "I'll become a proselyte on one condition that thou teach me the whole law while I stand on one leg." Hillel instantly converted him with this: "That which is hateful to thyself, do not do to thy neighbor. This is the whole law, and the rest of it is but commentary." Tobit.
What is conscience but instinctive remembrance of the errors which have been committed in past lives and the sufferings that have ensued. Experience is the teacher, and renewed life through rebirth gives fresh opportunity. "As for you, life, you are the leavings of many deaths." - Whitman. "There is a Divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we may."
WHAT IS IT THAT REINCARNATES?
Theosophical subjects may be approached from the religious, the philosophical or the scientific angle, or more generally, synthetically, for all truth must agree with all other truth.
On matters that touch religion or religious questions it is natural in Christendom, to talk in the language of Christianity, just as in India one would talk in the language of Hinduism, or if in Burmah in the language of Buddhism. So we will consider what the New Testament has to suggest about the doctrine of Reincarnation.
It is not very long since it was almost universally believed that the world was created in six days of 24 hours each. That was a primitive explanation of how the Universe came into being. In modern times we have come to recognize, and largely to accept, the idea of evolution, and the gradual, instead of the instantaneous growth, of the earth and the Universe to which it belongs.
In a similar manner the great mystery of the Incarnation has been misunderstood, and the teaching that the Word became flesh and dwelt with men has not been applied to men in general, but
to the One Perfect and Exemplary Man who has been accepted by Christendom as the first-fruits of that spiritual evolution upon which the race depends for its advance.
The name of Jesus, we are told in the Gospel of St. Matthew, was to be Immanuel, which means God is within us, just as later, the Master Himself told us, The Kingdom of Heaven is Within you. And this does not mean among, or amidst, as some interpreters would have it, for the Greek word is entos - and only occurs in one other place in the New Testament, where it is translated as the "inside" of the platter.
God, and the Kingdom of God, is therefore inside us, and that is the mystery of the Incarnation. God is becoming incarnate in Man. It is a long slow process because man is more interested, in the present stage of his development, with things of the earth, than he is with spiritual or heavenly things.
Hence it is that it is necessary for him to be born many times on earth before he can attain to a knowledge of the worthlessness of the things that change and perish, and the true value of the things that endure and are unchangeable. "The things that are seen are temporal, the things that are unseen are Eternal." Theosophy has to do with these permanent things, and it is necessary to understand something of the make-up of man himself, to be able to follow what is taught of his growth.
Usually we think of a man as his body, but then he has a mind, and he has desires, and also most people believe he has a soul, and many others, a spirit. In the Greek, and in Hebrew, and in Sanscrit, and in many other languages, thee different aspects of man are given definite names, so that, when we use these words, we know exactly what is meant. In English, "mind" has many meanings, and so also has soul, and spirit, and desire. There is also the "life" of the body, but the Greek words which mean one thing, are often given many different meanings in English, so that it is not to be wondered at that people are confused and fail to attach any importance to the distinctions that must be made.
An example of this is to be found in the passage in which Jesus, as the Christ, declares; "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of the Father with His angels: and then He shall reward every man according to his works."
The word translated "Life" in the first part of this passage is the same word which is translated "soul" in the latter part, the Greek word being "psyche." This illustrates one of the difficulties which readers of the Bible meet. If we read, as we should: "Whosoever will save his soul shall lose it and whosoever will lose his soul, for My sake, shall find it," we can better understand what is meant, though our previous training may make explanations necessary.
For what is the "soul" that is here spoken of? The soul or psyche is the personality, and the personality is not the real man but the mask, the Latin word persona meaning a mask, and it effectually conceals, in most cases, the real or spiritual man who is the true individual. The personality changes constantly. It is made up merely of the impressions, the opinions, the hopes and fears, the tendencies and inclinations, of the daily and hourly changing person that we fail to recognize at the time, but identify after some years as being one of the phases of experience through which we have passed.
John Smith, at one year old, is quite a different person from John Smith at seven, or ten, or fifteen, or twenty, and
John Smith at thirty or at forty is hardly willing, in many cases, to acknowledge that he was the same person of those earlier years. Yet he knows that his true Self has been the same throughout, and that it remains unmoved and changeless through all the changes, and that its ideals, which he more or less dimly perceived in his youth, continue to be ideals that call upon him to follow. If he attempts to preserve that old and changing self he will lose it, for it constantly changes and is always becoming something else and different.
But if he be willing for the sake of that Higher Self and its ideals, to let the old self go, he will not only capture the treasure of the Christ nature within him, but he will retain all that is best and highest of the lower life that he must live in the body. There is no alternative. The self of the flesh must die, that the self of the spirit must live. Very few people will admit that this is possible, and many will agree that they have tried, and tried, and find the old self and its fleshly habits are too much for them.
They do not see how in one short life they can conquer all those lower tendencies. Nor can they. It takes many lives for us to perfect ourselves, and it is not the lower self that comes back in the new incarnation, but the Higher Self, which St. Paul speaks of in I Cor-inthians, ii. 16, when he says: "We have the mind (nous) of Christ." It is true that we have this mind of Christ, the nous of the Greeks. But we have it only to the extent that we lay hold of it and live it and make it part of ourselves. All prayer and meditation is an effort to assimilate this higher nature, the nous and Christ principle, into our lower human nature.
In this same passage we have quoted, we have an example of confusing translation when we read that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God," where the word "natural" in the Greek is "psychic". To put it in another way, it is the spiritual man who survives, the psychic man who dies, but the Spiritual man carries away with him everything that is worth preserving in the life that is ended, and it is this aspect of the real or true man, the nous, and not the psyche, that comes back to enrich the character of the new man in his new incarnation. Truly, he is rewarded according to his works.
Out of the old desires, ambitions, resolves and attachments, both of love and hate, he builds a new psyche and becomes a new personality over which the nous continues to watch and guide.
Why do we not remember all this? Mercifully we are permitted to forget, as St. Peter reminds us in his Second Epistle 1. 9, where there is a reference to the water of Lethe in the Greek, of which we are supposed to drink metaphorically, and, as it says, "our old sins are blotted out of remembrance." But we have to pay the price. In the heaven world to which the nous or Spiritual man goes after death, there is no sorrow nor pain, and the things of weeping are left till we return to earth, and there we find them turned into methods of discipline and experience by which we can rise still higher, on "stepping stones of our dead selves."
Earth is the place of sorrow and toil, but also of progress and learning.
Heaven is the place of assimilation and joy and rest. Earth enables us to lift ourselves up and all creation along with us to diviner heights. On earth we take our part in the redemption of the world.
The study of comparative religion will reveal the same conceptions as fundamental in all the great faiths of the world. Reincarnation is the Gospel of another chance for every one, and as Tennyson wrote, it shows us "the glory of going on," and pays us the "wages of going on, and not to die."
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
The American Theosophist announces the marriage, on September 8, of Miss Etha Snodgrass to Mr. Sidney A. Cook.
Mr. and Mrs. T.W. McConnell Davis have been located at Cranford Crest, Queenswood Drive, Cadboro Bay, Victoria, B.C.
We learn from the Mexican Bulletin that Dr. Arundale's death ensued from an operation after a long illness complicated with diabetes.
A felicitous Christmas gift is a year's subscription to The Canadian Theosophist. Try it on some of your thoughtful friends.
The cardinal teaching of Jesus in human affairs was the Golden Rule, Do as you would be done by, or Love your neighbor as yourself. Did President Truman, or Prime Minister Attlee, or Prime Minister King, take note of this point in their discussion of the atomic bomb?
Argentina, undoubtedly in league with Franco of Spain, is tormented by a junto which perpetuates the barbarian traditions of the Hitler system. Under the Dictator Peron the police smashed into the University of Buenos Aires and carried 1600 striking students off to jail. Girl students were lodged in the filthy and ill-famed Asilo San Miguel which houses prostitutes and degenerates.
Will readers please note that the editor has nothing to do with subscriptions, changes of address or other matters
connected with the business affairs of the magazine. These are attended to in Toronto, and when they come to Hamilton must be sent on to the General Secretary. The Editor receives literary contributions, letters to be printed, reports of meetings, etc., and other matters of interest to readers generally and the public.
A Conscientious Objector has received the highest military decoration the United States confers, the Congressional Medal of Honor. Desmond T. Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist, following the Sixth Commandment, refused to fight but joined the Medical Corps. In his service he showed extraordinary bravery and absolutely fearless courage. He believed he had Divine protection and declares: "Everybody has got to get back to believing in God and the other fellow and his rights."
The General Secretary is acting on right lines in refusing to hold an election for a candidate who is already elected by acclamation. It is further
confirmation of the statement we have made before that Adyar has no sense of the value of money. With more than half the world on the brink of starvation, it is like them to squander their own and the money of the National Societies in this childish and senseless fashion. The little group that did not hesitate to kill all the resolutions adopted by the great Convention of Chicago in 1939 might surely have the nerve to exercize discretion in abating this folly.
Low, the cartoonist, pictures a cave-man demonstrating to his cave-wife, his invention of a bow and arrow, with the declaration: "This new weapon will put an end to all war." So it was thought with the adoption of armour, the invention of gunpowder, the building of iron-clads, even the construction of tanks. Man begins at the wrong end of the problem of ending war. Man himself is the cause of war. Even higher powers may be guilty. "The Lord is a man of war," asserts the Christian Bible. . . The real religion of Jesus is not compatible with war, but who wants the real religion of Jesus? It is almost amusing to listen to ecclesiastical authorities explaining why the religion of Jesus is not practicable. The atomic bomb, however, is a practical fact. The Churchmen will not admit their own fallacies.
The Book Steward of the Toronto Lodge reports that usually the following books are on hand at 52 Isabella St., Toronto: The Voice of the Silence, 75c and 85c; Light on the Path, 85c; The Song Celestial, 85c; The Light of Asia, 85c; The Ocean of Theosophy, 65c; Concentration and Meditation (The Buddhist Society, London) paper covers $1.20; also the following Blavatsky Institute publications: Modern Theosophy, Claude Falls Wright, 75c; The Evidence of Immortality, Dr. Jerome A. Anderson, 75c; The Esoteric Character of the Gospels, H.P. Blavatsky, 75c; Ancient and Modern Physics, Thomas E. Wilson, 60c; The Bhagavad-Gita, a Conflation by Albert E.S. Smythe, 75c. If books are to be sent by mail, 10% should be added to the prices quoted, to cover postage.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY, THE GENERAL SECRETARY
We thank our Theosophical friends in England for their felicitations on our election and earnestly reciprocate their wishes that we should work together for the Cause, and can assure them that knowing full well the time is ripe for a strenuous effort to forward the Movement. We will do everything possible to bring about that happy cooperatoin. The letter reads in part: "Dear Colleague, May I write to offer you every congratulation on taking over the office of General Secretary of the National Society in Canada. I earnestly hope that under your direction the work of bringing Theosophy to people everywhere will proceed as strongly, and even more so, as it has done under Mr. Smythe's able direction. I well realize how glad you may be to have him still at hand. For myself I should like to offer any assistance of which we are capable here in England and hope ardently that we may work closely together for the furthering of the work. With all warmest good wishes to you and the Theosophical Society in Canada, Yours sincerbly, John Coats, General Secretary, Theosophical Society in England."
The election of a successor to the late Dr. Arundale brings to the front the necessity of forestalling events by the grooming of a prospective candidate for any important post if and when it falls vacant. Owing to the sudden demise of the President we are cast upon a sea of doubt and indecision owing to lack of such foresight and are
in a dilemma not only as to who will stand for election but as to who could fill the bill, thus doubts beset the mind and harass action. In view of the comparatively short space of time that would have elapsed before the late president's period of office would have expired it seems to me that the logical thing for the General Council to do would have been to appoint the Vice-President, Mr. N. Sri Ram to act for the unexpired portion of the term, thus giving our worldwide membership an opportunity of dealing with the matter in a thoroughly democratic manner. I was drafting a letter to this effect when I received notification that the machinery for an election had already been set in motion. I therefore refrained from taking further action along this line.
As reported in the September issue we have been waiting a reply from Mr. Hamilton-Jones. This has now been received stating that he does not wish to accept nomination and that the English Section has no name to offer. We have therefore decided, knowing Mr. Jinarajadasa is in the field and his election a foregone conclusion, that it would be a needless expense to force an election by nominating somebody of lesser magnitude, but to carry on a propaganda movement for the public as well as our members, in the original aims of the Society. If Mr. Jinarajadasa were to come out now with an assertion that he intends to uphold theosophy as given to the world by Madame Blavatsky and for which we have striven these many years, and which Dr. Arundale in his last statements seemed to be favoring, then we shall be glad to give him the full support of the National Society in Canada.
It was a painful shock to all who knew Mr. James E. Schell, an old member of the Toronto Lodge, to learn that he had passed away suddenly in the General Hospital on Monday, October 29th. Less than 48 hours before his demise he told me when discussing the sudden death of an artist friend how he thought that was the best way to go. His wish was granted, for up to the end he was happy and confident and looked upon his visit to the hospital as but a passing phase, as it turned out it was, in more senses than one. Mr. Schell joined the T.S. in 1921, and was a devoted adherent of Madame Blavatsky's teachings. An artist of repute, painting was his life's work and he practised here and in the United States, especially Chicago where he was an active worker in the fine arts and was a member of the Hoosier Salon. After some years in that city he returned to Canada for family reasons and became again a regular attendant at the Lodge and was active in many ways up to the last. By nature of a retiring and unobstrusive disposition he was a dear friend to many who will miss his quiet congenial presence. His study of theosophy was deep and sincere and many were the talks we had together. He was a member of the Arts Club and being its President, I valued his keen interest in its work and his help in its activities. May he continue to do good work in his new sphere of existence and find subjects aplenty for his brush in the unfolding Elysian Fields.
I have just received the following cablegram from Adyar: "Jinarajadasa only candidate nominated and willing to stand for election presidentship. However voting necessary. Writing Mr. Gokhale Recording Secretary". The first part is what we expected but the second seems to be to be utterly unnecessary. If the Adyar Constitution calls for an election under the circumstances then the sooner it is changed and brought within reason the better. Exercising my prerogative as General Secretary I have decided not to put the NationalSociety to the needless expense
of printing ballots, postage, etc., for a one man election. Can anyone imagine the United States, for instance, going to the expense of an election if there were but one candidate for President! It seems to me that our candidate would have far greater prestige if he were elected by acclamation than by having a number of negative votes chalked up against him. I am sure my colleagues and the membership generally will approve of my stand on this matter.
It was with a certain degree of dismay we learned of the sudden passing of Mr. Frank Carmichael on Oct. 24th. Seemingly in the best of health and spirits he entered his car to return home from the Grange where he had been teaching when he passed away. The ways of Karma are inscrutable and the Bible says truly "Watch and Pray, for ye know not when the hour cometh". In the prime of life, at the summit of his creative abilities he was as it were snatched away, probably according to our teachings, for greater services in another sphere where his presence is more needed than here. But these sudden wrenchings are hard to bear especially for those near and dear. One of the members of the famous Group of Seven he made his mark and forwarded the advancement of art in Canada by giant strides. Personally I thought him the better artist of the notorious group that has done so much for Canadian Art. The students who have passed through his hands, and there are many, will long remember his cheery smile and his especial aptitude as a teacher. Our deepest condolences and sympathy are extended to his widow and family in their sad and sudden bereavement. Mrs. Carmichael has long been a member of our Society and I am sure the teachings will be a comfort to her in this difficult and sorrowful experience.
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
The General Executive met on Sunday afternoon, November 4. Present, Messrs. Barr, Belcher, Kinman, Smythe, Thomas and the General Secretary. The Financial Report of the Society indicated a necessity for donations to carry on the work to the 1st July. Whilst there is sufficient for the next few months, we have to look well ahead and would suggest that magazine subscribers especially check up on their yearly payments as quite a number are in arrears and without this source of revenue it is impossible to finance the undertaking. Verb. Sap. The meeting was disappointed in that Mr. Smythe was adamant in refusing to accept the honor of being appointed Hon. General Secretary for Life. He maintained that it would be creating a precedent and was adverse to doing this. The discussion of the Presidency followed a reading of the many cablegrams on the subject and the decision not to name a candidate was maintained. Col. Thomson's stand that it was not necessary under the circumstances to hold an election was endorsed. The General Secretary then made a report on the Organization and Constitution recommending certain changes which he maintained were necessary not only in the general set-up but to facilitate the carrying out of the duties expected of the Executive and to give scope for greater vision and more efficient leadership. It was decided that copies of this report be distributed to all members of the Executive for their careful perusal, suggestions and recommendations and that the result be formulated and brought before the next meeting. The Chairman intimated that he was in process of forming various sub-committees to deal with subjects such as Finance, Fraternization and Propaganda, etc., and asked for approval of same which was granted. A Book Centre was advocated by Mr.
Smythe and it was agreed that the chairman of the Book Concern of the Toronto Lodge take this in hand. The Travelling Library was requested to renew the practice of sending a copy of the Magazine with all books sent out. Pamphlets are now available to all who wish to have quantities of these for distribution. The General Secretary will be glad to send parcels out on application. The next meeting of the Executive will be held on the first Sunday in February in the next year.
DOES KARMA WORK THIS WAY?
Truth is stranger than fiction. Even the lurid type of popular fiction so prevalent these days would be hard put to find a more shocking story than that reported recently in our daily papers. In effect imagine yourself seated at a desk in an office high up in an enormous skyscraper, the time a Saturday morning, peaceful surroundings, city noises obliterated by height when without warning out of the sky zooms a bomber plane making straight for you and you are smitten into eternity. A good plot for a wonder tale, but read the facts as reported in the press:
"New York, July 28 - An army B-25 Mitchell bomber crashed into the fog-shrouded Empire State Building today, killing at least 15 persons, and setting fire to the tower of the world's tallest building, 102 storeys high. Such was the first terse account. Later more information came through. Stories of eye-witnesses, etc. Here is some of it 'By noon 14 bodies had been recovered, Eleven burned beyond recognition. A twelfth, that of Paul Dearing of Buffalo, N.Y., was on the offset of the 72nd floor.' "
A witness said Dearing was seated at a desk only a few feet from where the plane struck and was blown seven storeys down. Another reported: "I shouted, climb, you fool, climb! A second later I saw the plane crash into the Empire State Building with a force that drove the engine and the cockpit into the skyscraper and sent out a tower of flame 100 feet wide and a 100 feet high." A radio announcer describes the fatal crash: "I was driving to work when I heard the roar of the plane's engines. I looked up, and then I knew it would crash. It was obviously in trouble. Its course was straight down Fifth Avenue, and the pilot must have known he would hit the building. He pulled up a little, but not enough and the plane crashed." A newspaperman reported: "I saw the plane coming head-on not more than 400 feet away directed almost at the windows of my private office. It was descending a few degrees, but the engines were full on, I waited not an instant. I sailed out of my office through my reception room into the main hallway and just as I emerged, the plane struck a few floors directly above me. Had it not been a summer Saturday, there would have been literally hundreds working in offices on these floors, and the casualty list would have reached the proportions of a catastrophe." A typist on the 38th Floor said she could see two members of the crew. "I almost waved to them. Then I realized they were in trouble. The pilots was obviously trying to climb, but so slowly it almost drove you mad watching his completely futile efforts." An Air Force Officer said: "I knew what was going to happen when I saw that B-25 come down out of the clouds and the fog. The pilot was a minute away from the Empire State Building then. He had a minute to see how he was going to die. I prayed for the guy. He was lost. I've flown a lot of planes, and I know. He had no beam. He came down to find out where he was. He found out alright."
Such are the facts. We may well ask ourselves does Karma work this way? One is reminded of the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey. How five people whose lives so strangely different yet somehow coordinated by Karmic ties were drawn together to meet the doom evidently prearranged for them. Is this another San Luis Rey? Were these some fifteen persons who lost their lives so suddenly, brought together by some strange fate, on a peaceful Saturday morning almost alone when on any other day of the week perhaps thousands would have been killed, for the culmination of inexorable law! Were these particular ones specially brought together in order to share and redeem a karmic account? It would seem that it was so. There is a hymn: "God moves in a mysterious way . . . " Is this one of His methods for the carrying out of the Law? The apparent inability of the pilot to avert the catastrophe he plainly saw coming and the total unconsciousness of the victims about to be destroyed, make one pause and wonder. Perhaps it is the culmination of one of the causes started in the far off days of Atlantis. We know they had airships, maybe they had deadlier planes than we have today. We also know their materiality far outstripped their spiritual attainments and this coupled with the black magic which they practised brought them to utter destruction in one of the greatest cataclysms this planet has ever known. It may be that in these hideous times we are reaping the whirlwind sown then. We are given to understand the Atlanteans are incarnating here in large numbers, and certainly everything points to that being so. Maybe the ills we have been through with perhaps more to come is but the workings of this law with its natural consequences for evils committed in those far off days. God help us if that is so, for there is much to answer for. But it will not be in vain if we but realize how imperative it is that we so guard ourselves in refusing to countenance not only in ourselves but in anyone else the setting up of causes that must inevitably bring dire destruction. I cannot help but feel that the Biblical warning "As ye sow so shall ye also reap" is exemplified here with stunning effect.
THE GREAT CRISIS IN RELIGION
A notable lecture was that given by Dr. Alvin B. Kuhn, Theosophical scholar and author, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, in Hamilton on the evening of Saturday, September 29 and given again the following night to a large audience in the hall of the Toronto Theosophical Society, Toronto. Dr. Kuhn has been coming to Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Hamilton early each autumn to inaugurate the work of the Lodges and his vigorous presentations of the Theosophical philosophy carry not only weight of his fine scholarship but as well the light of profound intuitive insight into the basic meanings, of both philosophy and life.
The lecturer began by citing utterances from Freud, the late President Roosevelt and leading churchmen to the effect that religion had come close to total obliteration from human culture in the early stages of the late war. We do not realize, he said, how close a call religion had from complete extinction. Already two of the great nations most deeply steeped in Christian tradition had risen up to repudiate Christianity, - Germany and Russia, and other nations were set to follow their example.
The speaker then quoted the well-known prophecy written in the 1880's, by H.P. Blavatsky, in which it was predicted that "belief in the Bible literally and in a carnalized Christ will not last a quarter of a century longer. The churches will have to part with their cherished dogmas, or the twentieth
century will witness the downfall and ruin of all Christendom, and with it belief even in a Christos as pure spirit . . . theological Christianity must die out, never to be resurrected again in its present form."
This forecast, the lecturer averred, while not matched by outward result, has to all intents been completely fulfilled. Theology is virtually an outcast from its own sanctum, the Church, and nearly every doctrine, along with the literally-accepted Bible, has been understressed nearly to the point of desuetude and oblivion.
"Madame Blavatsky's fear, however; expressed to the effect that the dire consequence of this decay of religious pietism and dogmatic faith would be an upsurge of "crass materialism" as rebound from sixteen centuries of "blind faith," Dr. Kuhn asserted, stood no chance of being realized, as modern physical science itself has since the day of the prophecy killed forever the possibility of menace from the side of materialism of the old school, by its discovery that the atom of matter is not "matter" at all, but sheer energy, if indeed not the pure energy of a Divine Intellect, as Proclus, elucidating Plato's theology, expressly had said it was. (Modern science is rapidly approaching this declaration at this moment.)
The lecturer cited widespread evidences of the decay of ecclesiastical reigionism in the world. Thinking people everywhere have dismissed the Bible material, as alleged history, from serious regard. The Scriptural narrative was found unintelligible and meaningless or inconsequential. This, he said, was due to the loss, away back in the fatal third century, of the true keys to the proper interpretation of the Bible on the basis of an understanding of its real nature as not being a book of objective history, but instead a collection of spiritual and evolutionary allegories, dramatizations, meaningful number graphs and above all astrological "pictographs." Had the ability to read the Bible properly as dramatized spiritual truth been retained through the centuries, there would not have ensued the obliteration of esoteric philosophy and the consequent darkening of the Christian mind that entailed sixteen centuries of the Dark Ages of Medieval Europe. From this benighted condition we have not yet emerged, the speaker alleged, in spite of the modern age's spectacular advance into the secrets of nature. Spiritually the world yet lingers in the murk of the Dark Ages. Only the restoration of the light of ancient esoteric wisdom will avail to lift the world out of its dark mental obfuscation.
The true light of the world had shone long before the time of Christianity. To buttress this strong statement Dr. Kuhn quoted the testimony of no less a personage in Christian history than the very founder of Christian theology, St. Augustine, writing in the early fourth century. People, he said, would have a vastly changed and truer estimate of Christianity if they remembered this statement made by the first formulator of Christian doctrine: "That which is called the Christian religion existed among the ancients and never did not exist . . from the very beginning of the human race, until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion, which already existed, began to be called Christianity."
This long-existent, indeed never non-existent, primeval religion, declared Dr. Kuhn, is precisely that religion which Theosophy is pledged to republish to the modern world. That primordial faith-wisdom was just Theosophy itself. Augustine's statement is the express vindication of all the claims and principles on which the great modern movement toward revival of esotericism is based. Theosophy is just that body of religious, philosophical, psychological, anthropological and scientific truth
which was given to the race in its early childhood that it might have in its hands the basic archai or principia on which any system of faith or worship or cultus of the spirit of man would have to rest if it was not to go awry and cause psychic disaster. And this body of universal knowledge-wisdom is Theosophy.
This might not have become known if it had not been for the promulgation of the movement of Theosophy in 1875 by H.P. Blavatsky and her Mahatmic mentors, along with the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1796, the latter seemingly trifling incident being destined, the speaker believed, to shine as the most significant single event in modern times. Neither the Renaissance of the fourteenth century nor the Reformation of the sixteenth, were able to proceed more than a meagre portion of the whole way in the restoration of Europe to ancient cultural heights, because both movements lacked the fundamental knowledge-data which had lain hidden in the unreadable hieroglyphs of old Egypt's mighty literature. Now that the Egyptian scripts have been translated, and it is seen that the Christian religion is nothing but garbled and tattered Egyptian scripture, twisted and mangled out of all semblance to its original sense and grandeur, there will be the possibility of the world's returning to the high mount of clear knowledge and a true spiritual culture, as it reconstructs the ancient Science of the Soul.
The great crisis in the world is precipitated by the involvements of this situation. If world intelligence can be steered in time into the groove of recaptured esoteric science, based on a knowledge of the existence of the human soul as an independent entity that alternately takes incarnation in a physical body and retires therefrom in a long series of such cycles, then there is a chance for the redemption of mankind from the scourge of mechanistic and dead formalistic ideologies. We are at this age witnessing the rebound from sixteen centuries of blind faith and ecclesiastical pietism over to the other extreme of rationalism and scientific realism. Only a philosophy that teaches the basic relation between spirit and matter, soul and sense, which is the nub and gist of the life effort, can align the world mind with the true cosmic forces carrying it forward in its evolution. Mankind stands at the crossroad with such issues depending on the choice as never before confronted it in all its history, and the signboard marked Theosophy points the only road to salvation.
During the month of October we have received the following magazines: Theosophy in Ireland, July-September; U.L.T., London, England, Bulletin, No 203, September; The Canadian Author & Bookman, September; The Dickensian, Autumn issue; The Golden Lotus, September and October; The American Theosophist, October; The Aryan Path, September; Carta Semanal, 34, etc., T.S. in Mexico, Tampico; Circulaire d'Informations, T.S. in France; Theosophical News, Toronto Lodge, October; The Theosophical Movement, Bombay, August; Theosophy, Los Angeles, October; The Theosophical Worker, Adyar, September; Theosophia, Denmark, September; The Theosophist, Adyar, September; The Pilgrim Way, Michaelmas, Josephine and Sidney Ransom, 53 Knightwood Crescent, New Malden, Surrey, England, 4/- a year; Eirenicon, Peace Lodge T.S. in England, Hyde, Cheshire, October; Ancient Wisdom, St. Louis, October; Canadian Poetry Magazine, Ottawa, September; Bulletin of the T.S. in Mexico, July-August; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, November.
TALK ON BLOOD TYPES
The question is: Have Blood types any relation to the Races from a Theosophical point of view?
According to the extent of my information and to carry the theory I've formed, at present I would say, no, it has no relation to the Races. There are four types of blood, the O, A, B, AB. They range in the following percentages in comparison with the Western people to the Eastern people. O is 46% in the west and 3%, in the east; A is 41% in the west and 10% in the east; B is 10% in the west and 41% in the east; and AB is 3% in the west and 46% in the east. The four types are mixed throughout each race and the types are opposite in Western and Eastern peoples, as the figures show.
Blood is life. It is probably the physical manifestation of the life force. All is vibration at one rate or another and I'm inclined to think that the vibration of the corpuscles may be one of the main reasons why the blood of two persons of the same type will mix, and why the blood of two persons of different types will not mix. Their action in the circumstances speak strongly of vibration. The corpuscles of two bloods of one type seem to coalesce and are quite harmonious while the corpuscles of two bloods of two different types scatter from each other and are quite inharmonious. From that I would conclude that there are four vibrations of life on earth, each vivbration only slightly different than the other.
I have noticed the number "four" so often pertaining to Earth and earthly things, that I've wondered about it. According to Numerology, four is the number of the Earth. In Theosophy we have it as the Fourth Globe. We have four main seasons and there are the four elements, earth, air, fire, and water. The Secret Doctrine mentions the four-faced Brahma as the lord and master of the four elements. Elsewhere in the Secret Doctrine, on page 213, where they speak of the Builders, I quote: "three-fold and four-fold downward". In the Commentary I find "The Chief Hierarchies among these are hinted at in the great Quaternary, or the 'four bodies and three faculties' " of Brahma. I remember also on the first page of the Light of Asia where it tells of the reincarnation of the Buddha, Four Regents are mentioned. I quote:
"Then came he to be born again for men.
Below the highest sphere four Regents sit
Who rule our world and under them are zones
Nearer, but high, where saintliest spirits dead
Wait thrice ten thousand years, then live again."
From that I gather that there are four distinct original forces of life. Suppose there were, these forces would subdivide and sub-divide until there were four great groups or types of Monads ready to proceed with their series of physical reincarnations. Each one would be of one of the original four types of life force. When it entered physical incarnation, the blood being the physical counterpart of the original life force would be one of the four types. That would account for our four blood types. That's rather putting the cart before the horse but supposing that were the case, then each reincarnating ego would carry the same type through every physical reincarnation. That would account for the four types of blood appearing in every race of man. All of this, of course, is pure theory but it may give us something to work on regarding the blood types. It may be the reason why there are four types and it may be the reason why the four types are found in all races of people.
- V.J. and E. R. Thrupp.
GLAD TO OBLIGE
12th June, 1945.
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist:-
Dear Brother, I am the Secretary of the Vasantha Lodge, T.S., Adyar and of the Social Service League under whose auspices we are running the Vasantha Free Reading Room and Library for the benefit of the residents of Adyar, in memory of that great servant and lover of Humanity, the late Dr. Annie Besant. I am a Naturopath and give free treatment to all those who come to me for cure. As a Social Worker, I work for the promotion of Vegetarianism, natural foods and nutrition, prevention of cruelty to animals, antivaccination and antivivisection. As our funds are poor, may I request you to kindly send me a copy of your journal - The Canadian Theosophist free for the use of our Vasantha Free Reading Room and put my name on your free mailing list.
Thanking you and with fraternal greetings and regards,
Ever yours in service,
Dr. P. Govindarajulu.
Adyar, Madras, India.
CONFUSION OF TERMS
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - Thanks for finding space in your Magazine for the letter of the September month.
But by your immediate comments am afraid that they might suggest to some of the readers that the critic, had fallen into the same ditch as those who may have been commented upon.
Because of this, I hasten to say that I used the words (or terms) `Ego and Soul' - not `loosely', but consciously and carefully.
For instance, your own quotation in The Canadian Theosophist, of September, only one month previous, "That it is the `Ego' that reincarnates in each successive life." And it was placed between the quotation-mark. And also, in quoting the words of the Brahman, as told in The Gospel of Buddha, in his conversation with the Tathagata. The Brahman insisted on the existence of the ego, saying, "The ego is the doer of our deeds, how can there be Karma, without a Self as its performer? The transmigration of the soul is subject to its Karma. (Then) The Tathagata meditated deeply on the problems of Transmigration and Karma."
The Tathagata replied, "The doctrine of Karma is undeniable, but the theory of the `ego' has no foundation."
I have repeated all this, to emphasize that the words - "Ego and soul" are the words by yourself, and the Brahman, in his question, and also, by Buddha, in his reply to the question, - "that the theory of the ego has no foundation."
The Gospel of Buddha, is a translation by Paul Carlos, who is accepted as a reliable translator and lexicon.
- Janet Inman.
10 Arthur St. North,
Mrs. Inman does not appear to have adopted my suggestion to read chapter vi. of The Key to Theosophy. Any use of the word soul is loose without definition. It is the word used to translate the Greek word psyche, the personality, and Mrs. Inman ought to know by this time that the personality does not reincarnate. Paul Carus (not Carlos) may be acceptable to those of the Hinayana, but not to students of the Mahayana. The Buddha hesitated to answer the questions - Is there a soul? and Is there not a soul? Any answer to questions of this kind for a beginner or loose thinker would have been misunderstood. When I said the Ego incarnates, it was obviously the Higher Ego was meant as the context indicates. -Editor.
KAMA-LOKA OR PURGATORY
The Key to Theosophy, chapter ix., has this to say of Kama-Loka: "When the man dies, his lower three principles leave him for ever; i.e., body, life, and the vehicle of the latter, the astral body or the double of the living man. And then, his four principles - the central or middle principle, the animal soul or Kama-rupa, with what it has assimilated from the lower Manas, and the higher triad find themselves in Kaman loka. The latter is an astral locality, the limbus of scholastic theology, the Hades of the ancients, and, strictly speaking, a locality only in a relative sense. It has neither a definite area nor boundary, but exists within subjective space; i.e., is beyond our sensuous perceptions. Still it exists, and it is there that the astral eidolons of all the beings that have lived, animals included, await their second death. For the animals it comes with the disintegration and the entire fading out of their astral particles to the last. For the human eidolon it begins when the Atma-Buddhi-Manasic triad is said to `separate' itself from the lower principles, or the reflection of the ex-personality, by falling into the Devachanic state."
The Phenomenal advances of spiritualism in Great Britain and the number of books being published on the subject, render it necessary in dealing with these to emphasize the statements made by Madame Blavatsky in the foregoing passage. Several books have reached me for review and with two of them, J.S. M. Ward's Gone West, and Lord Dowding's Lychgate, there is material enough to interest any theosophical student. These volumes are issued under war conditions, inferior paper, small though clear type, and every device of condensation except price, Gone West with 188 pages, 9/6 ; Lychgate with 128 pages, price 7/6. Hitherto Spiritualism has been vague, nebulous and incoherent. The new Spiritualism is definite, systematic and integrated as a result of adopting some of the Theosophical ideas formerly ignored or denounced. One of these is reincarnation; another is the recognition of planes or spheres in the afterlife; still more important is the adoption of the classification of the four lower principles, as Theosophists term them. There is a greater amount of agreement among the new writers than was formerly the case, and a general and gracious spirit of tolerance. A few quotations from Mr. Ward's book will illustrate these points before we take up Lord Dowding.
Here is a comment on belief and believing, page 36. "Had you really believed you would not be here. Like many others you thought you believed, but belief does not consist of merely saying `I believe.' You must truly grasp it. Had you really believed, you could not have lived the life you did. Plenty of people who thought they believed found themselves in Hell. A man's belief must be shown forth in his life, or it is not real. This does not mean that a man who believes may not commit many grievous sins. He may. Nor yet does it mean that he will not suffer for them. We are responsible for every thought and act; but still, belief must be real before it counts. There is no deceiving anyone, not even one's own self, here. You half believed, and are, therefore, in this part. Had you not believed at all, you would be in Hell. Now go and make progress."
"Suppose a complete materialist, one who neither believes in God nor in a future life, and one who does his best to dissuade others from believing in these essentials. This man may be a real philanthropist, actuated by a noble desire to promote the well-being of his fellowmen. This man dies. How can he come even to the realm of half-belief? His spiritual body has never been developed. He could not bear the
light. He must develop this spiritual body and lose the materialistic ideas before he can possibly come to us. No hard judge dooms him to Hell. He goes there naturally of his own accord. Like attracts like. His lack of faith bars him out from all realms in which faith is an essential element of existence. He goes therefore to division five of Hell; but though there was no love of God, there was of his fellowmen, and this will save him from sinking lower and help him to desire to rise." (page 51)
Concessions to orthodox Christianity are frequent. For instance: "Even I cannot tell you the precise moment when the soul enters the fleshly home which clothes it, but it is extraordinarily early. As soon as the germ has definitely ceased to be a germ and has begun to grow into a human body, a soul enters it. But we do not know how God performs this wonder. That is hid, even from us to whom much is plain." (page 59) A perusal of The Key to Theosophy would enlighten this guide.
It may relieve some readers to know that there is no after-death Hell. Even the most depraved fall asleep or lapse into unconsciousness, and so remain till rebirth on earth, which is the actual Hell, brings them face to face with the harvest of their own sowings, and the opportunity to overcome their baser nature.
Mr. Ward appears to have gone into one of the Presbyterian sections of this Mayavic territory. Speaking of children, he was told: "You cannot, of course, fix any exact age limit. Things work much more reasonably than that (!). Thus, if an infant dies who as yet knows nothing of God, it oges to the infant schools in Hell, as you know. If it has acquired a vague idea of God and a future life, it will come to our secondary schools in the realm of half-belief." Nothing but earth experience could prompt a brain to think up such a scheme as this. A final note in this series of revelations may be given. (page 95) "Hell, the astral plane, the realms of half belief, of real but narrow belief, and of belief shown forth in a life of good deeds, have all been revealed. Beyond these planes I as yet know nothing, but I do not despair of gaining some knowledge of life in the fifth plane." Testimonies of this kind vary so widely that it is easier to refer them to different speakers, than to suppose that no travellers ever observe the same scenery in a permanent territory.
Lord Dowding's record is altogether more coherent, more up to date as regards contemporary church opinion, science and other matters. His reputation as Air Chief Marshal, and as Chief of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, gives his book a vogue quite independent of its contents. These are of a character to satisfy the general reader, and the more fastidious, except for differences of opinion, will find little to find fault with. However, one finds the same difficulty that attends all similar books, that they do not agree with each other, so that it is impossible to check one with another. I have marked a score or more of passages in Lychgate and as far as possible will permit these to illustrate the style and substance of the book. It is a most readable volume.
We shall commence (page 7) with a statement which is fundamental to all true religion and occultism, and vital in the teaching of Jesus (see Matthew xvi. 25-26, etc., etc.) which by mistranslation the Church turns into the exact opposite of what he taught. Lychgate, pages 6-7: "As will be seen from the chapter which deals with Reincarnation, scenes and incidents from former lives of myself and some of my friends have been disclosed. These revelations would constitute some of the most interesting reading matter in the book, if it were permissible to relate them; but that was not the object of the disclosures. They
were intended, as I shall explain, to impress upon us the fleeting and transitory nature of our present Personalities, in comparison with the great and enduring Individuality which absorbs and accumulates the lessons of our successive earthly lives, and progresses ever towards ultimate unity and perfection." Referring in this connection to his former book, Many Mansions, he remarks: "I did not attribute to Theosophy the importance which is its due in a general search for the truth, and I completely ignored what I may call the constructive and altruistic side of Spiritualism."
The Group under which and through which he obtained his information, he alleges, is a section of the Great White Brotherhood. He was introduced to one of the heads of his Group, and gives extracts from the charges he received:
"Have faith in your innermost convictions: accept the words of no man: let your heart be your guide in truth and sincerity. Seek to understand in humility: offer your service: and in Love shall The Master accept." Later, Z spoke as follows: "When on earth I was a mighty prince and warrior, and learned responsibility and how to obey. To accept responsibility and to obey are two lessons you have already learned. That is our mutual meeting ground. Your ingenuity will be taxed to the uttermost. I should warn you my brother that you will be tested in the fire to be a worthy member of this band. You must be proved and you must endure. I come not to be kind; I come with a Flail in my hand, and as it descends I shall hold you to my bosom for such is the Way. I obey commands also." (page 11)
"There is one very important activity which I have not mentioned. I refer to the work which we do during sleep. You may object that this has nothing to do with the work of the circle. Hundreds of thousands of us work in the Astral Sphere during sleep, and probably not one in a thousand has any recollection of his or her activities on regaining waking consciousness." So it is in Kama-loka that some of our members got their inspirations. (page 13)
"No thinking man or woman should accept the beliefs of another uncritically and without examining to the best of his ability, the evidence on which such beliefs are based. I don't want a single one of my readers to say `I believe this because Lord Dowding believes it,' but I shall be proud and happy if, when you have finished this book, you can say `Lord Dowding has convinced me that, upon the evidence, this state of affairs is more likely to be correct than are other theories and speculations. I will therefore accept his account for the time being: but I will keep an open mind and shall not hesitate to modify or amend my views in the light of better evidence which may or may not come to me in this life, but will most certainly be available to me at some stage in my future life.' "
Lord Dowding then goes on to explain "that little part of the Universe corresponding to the Solar System is divided into seven Spheres, only the lowest three of which concern us at present. They are the Physical, the Astral, and the Mental.... You and I and every human inhabitant of the earth consist of at least five bodies - perhaps more, but certainly not less." He designates these as the Physical body, the Etheric Double, the Astral or Emotional, the Mental or Intellectual Body, the vehicle of the lower mind, the reasoning as opposed to the instinctive mind; the Causal Body, or Ego, or Higher Self, "which is as high as I propose to go in the present summary." (pages 15-16)
"The lowest plane of the Astral is Hell-Black, seething, raging, tormented Hell. But here gravitate, only those who in Hatred and Cruelty have actively and deliberately opposed the
Light." (page 17) "The next two planes correspond with the Roman Catholic Purgatory . . . . The three upper planes of the Astral Sphere are Planes of Light." It is found that the illusory joys of the Astral "bring no permanent satisfaction, and that true happiness can only be found in the immolation of Self and in loving service for others." Those who have learned the lessons of the Astral pass to the Mental plane in what is called the Second Death. The Mental body is discarded at the Third Death on entry "into the Fourth Plane of the Mental Sphere." (page 18) "A very important point is that at the Third Death the `Personality' of that particular incarnation ceases to exist, and there remains only the `Individuality', which consists of the Ego with its Aura containing all the good and none of the evil brought to it by its various bygone Personalities."
"My object is not primarily to make converts to Spiritualism. Certainly I want to make newcomers think and to make them realize what facilities exist nowadays to help them in the search for Truth if they want to find it. But my message to them, as also to Spiritualists of a certain class, is that the true Spiritualism is not primarily an affair of seances and mediums and phenomena; it is a glad and happy cooperation with the saints and angels of God in their loving work of bringing His Kingdom to Earth." (page 23)
"That puzzling phrase `Except ye become as little children . . .' means, I think, that we must retain, not the child's openness to receive impressions, and that we must give them a fair examination uninhibited by preconceived ideas. (It also means, of course, that we must return to the child's attitude of trustfulness, knowing that its needs will be provided for by those to whom it looks for the necessities of life.)" (Page 66)
"Miziah . . . . took me beyond the plateau that I might see even dimly in the distance some of the real Heaven-world. I cannot describe what I saw nor the glory of the experience when a great ray of light shone out and encompassed me. I only know that in that moment I realized with a realization that can never fade that the Master knows us each and every one." (page 72)
"I accept proof of survival not from materializations and signs and wonders, but from the mental contacts which I make with friends and acquaintance and dear ones on the other side. I am completely and absolutely certain that the operators of the apparatus were not cheating, and I believe that they could not have done so; but I am not going to argue the point." (page 82)
"Remember the Law of Attraction `like goes to like.' The Lower Astral is full of loafers and idlers who are attracted by the invitational light given out by the sitters, who soon perhaps pick up some Joey or Sambo or Abdul who graciously consents to be their `Guide', and introduces them to as many Napoleons and Cleopatras and Shakespeares as they care to waste their time in listneing to. Sometimes, perhaps, some poor wandering spirit, in desperate need of help, may drift into one of these circles, and what help can they give him? It is the help of the Holy Spirit which he needs, and they do not have it to give. Is it likely that any of the Ministers engaged on the Master's work, would make contact with people actuated merely by motives of curiosity and sensationalism? Such people get what they bargain for (and sometimes more than they bargain for) and do much to discredit what is accepted as Spiritualism by rational and sensible people . . . Who would go and sit in Hyde Park and share the secrets of her heart with the first stranger who chose to come and sit down beside her? And yet the amateur medium does that and
more, for the stranger may refuse to go away when he is no longer welcome." (page 86) In this chapter xi. several points of differences with Theosophical teachings are discussed and he observes, "as I shall indicate later, I think that the Theosophists are probably as near to the Truth as any Religion or Philosophy - at any rate in the Western Hemisphere. The main point in which the teaching which I have received runs counter to theirs is in this question of mediumship." Naturally, Lord Dowding is interested in the thousands of young airmen who have given their lives for the cause of their country. And he says:
"Still, we obviously cannot expect to learn any deep truths about the hereafter from these young men, living, as they do, so largely among the creations of their own minds. If we can learn that they have set to work to help others, or that they have consented to go back to school to absorb the knowledge which is theirs for the asking, we shall know that they have escaped the danger of becoming Earth-bound idlers, and that all is well with them." (page 88)
The book as a whole is broadly tolerant and abounds in common sense. As a message of important truths it should take the place which was intended originally for the Spiritualistic movement, but which fell into the hands of well-meaning but uninstructed and unintelligent people though notable exception endeavored to overcome the effects, of the multitude of banal communications which poured forth in floods. Nothing of this kind is to be found in Lord Dowding's book, which will be welcomed by sincere Theosophists for its high ethical standards, and by general readers for its fascinating and often thrilling narratives and the abundant information it provides in clear and simple language.
Those who have not been brought up in the blessed belief in Fairies now have an excellent opportunity to repair the omission. Mr. Edward L. Gardner, after, 25 years has revived the incidents made public by himself and Sir Conan Doyle after the first World War, and with additional research material, further corroborative evidence and five fine photographs, has produced a book of 47 pages, quarto size, which must be unique as the first scientific testimony to the existence of the "good people" as the Irish call them. My education on the subject commenced early, seven or eight, when my grandmother Cary (born 1816) read aloud to me Crofton Croker's Fairy Tales. Of original research my efforts were limtied to enquiries in Donegal in 1898 and the sole result was the reply of a very old man who said, "They have no marrow in their bones and they go like the wind." Fairies are as various in their tribes as humans and in Ireland at any rate range from tiny elementals such as Mr. Gardner describes, to human size figures as painted by George Russell (AE) and other clairvoyant artists. Mr. Gardner enlisted the experience of long-time professional photographers who were unanimous in their opinion of the genuineness of the photographs, one of them being much impressed with the evidence in the negative that the figure had moved in the process of being snapped, a result which could not possibly be produced by artificial means. Why the inability of others to get photographs of fairies in the glen at Cottingley which abounds in fairies. The little girl of 13, not having reached the age of puberty, was pure and attractive to the fairies. She was also mediumistic, "Which merely means that she had loosely knit ectoplasmic material in her body," and the fairies densified their own etheric bodies in this, and so,were
capable of being photographed. Much interesting corroborative detail has been collected by Mr. Gardner, and he joins Mr. Geoffrey Hodson in a theory that the fairies represent a line of evolution differing from the human. (Fairies, by Edward L. Gardner, London, The Theosophical Publishing House, 68 Great Russell Street; 9/6.)
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.
WORTH WHILE BOOKS
- Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine by Madame Blavatsky;
- The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence by H.P. B.;
- Magic White and Black by Franz Hartmann;
- The Perfect Way, by Anna B. Kingsford;
- The Ocean of Theosophy and Notes on the Bhagavad Gita by Wm. Q. Judge;
- Reincarnation by E.D. Walker;
- The Light of Asia, by Edwin Arnold;
- Light on the Path and Through the Gates of Gold, by Mabel Collins;
- Letters that Have Helped Me, by Wm. Q. Judge;
- Raja Yoga, a collection of articles by H.P.B.;
- The Mahatma Letters, by Two Masters.
You who were scorned by the wealthy,
Accursed of the church and the priest,
The outcast and Cain of the nations
Marked with the mark of the beast.
They said that you killed all incentive
In a land full of murder and gloom
And with hammer and sickle above you
Were striking and reaping your doom.
What say the false prophets who warned you?
What atonement for those they have blamed?
As you fight to defend those who scorned you
And battle for those who defamed.
With your faults you'd a noble incentive,
The right of all men to be free,
To share all the world's wealth in common -
(The jackal opposed by the bee.)
Though lions may rage on our standards
With eagles and fierce birds of prey,
Still the sign of the hammer and sickle
Brings hope like the dawn of the day.
To build and to reap is far nobler
Than the rage to tear down and destroy,
And the symbols of home and of harvest
Tell of peace and of labor and joy.
And in Stalingrad's streets you are showing,
With spirit and muscle and bone
(Though your blood like a river is flowing),
How free men can fight for their own,
When they stand for what all hold together
And not for a money-grub's throne.
- James Morton
710 Rupert Street,
- CALGARY LODGE: President, E.H. Lloyd Knechtel; Secretary, Mrs. Lilian Glover, 418, 10th Ave. N.W., Calgary, Alta. Meetings at 231 Examiner Bldg.
- EDMONTON LODGE: President, Mr. E. Wood, Secretary, Mrs. Nellie Dalzell, 10168 104th Street, Edmonton, Alta.
- HAMILTON LODGE: President, Mrs. E.M. Mathers; Secretary, Miss Mablel Carr, 108 Balsam Avenue South, Hamilton, Ont.
- KITCHENER LODGE: President, Alex. Watt, Kitchener, Ont.
- LONDON LODGE: Secretary, Mrs. Helen M. Shaw, R.R. 2, London, Ont.
- MONTREAL LODGE: President, D.B. Thomas; Secretary, Mrs. Cedric Weaver, 6655 Jeane Mance, Montreal, 15. Lodge Rooms, 1501 St. Catherine Street West, Montreal, Que.
- OTTAWA LODGE: Secretary, David Chambers, 531 Bay Street, Ottawa, Ont.
- ST. THOMAS LODGE: President Benj. T. Garside, Secretary, Mrs. Hazel B, Garside, General Delivery, St. Thomas, Ont.
- TORONTO LODGE: President, E.B. Dustan, Secretary, Dudley W. Barr; Lodge Rooms 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, Ont.
- TORONTO WEST END LODGE: President, Mrs. A. Carmichael; Secretary, Mrs. E.L. Goss, 20 Strathearn Boulevard, Toronto, 12, Ont.
- VANCOUVER LODGE: President, Mrs. Buchanan; Secretary, M.D. Buchanan, 4621 W. 6th Ave., The Lodge rooms are at 416 Pender Street West.
- VULCAN LODGE: President, Guy Denbigh, Vulcan, Alta.
- ORPHEUS LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, Ernest Wilks; Secretary, E. Harper, 1952 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver. Lodge room, Room 15, 163 Hastings St. W., Vancouver.
- VICTORIA LODGE: President, Mrs. Minnie S. Carr; Secretary, George Sydney Carr, 33 Government St., Victoria, B.C.
- WINNIPEG LODGE: Secretary, P.H. Stokes, Suite 7, 149 Langside Street, Winnipeg, Man.
THEOSOPHY UP TO DATE!
- EVOLUTION: As Outlined in The Archaic Eastern Records
Compiled and Annotated by Basil Crump.
- H.P. BLAVATSKY: A GREAT BETRAYAL, A protest against the policy and teachings of The Theosophical Society introduced since the death of Madame Blavatsky.
- H.P. BLAvATSKY: HER LIFE AND WORK FOR HUMANITY,
A vindication and a brief exposition of her mission and teachings.
- H.P. BLAVATSKY AS I KNEW HER, Consisting of personal experiences with that great Soul.
- BUDDHISM: The Science of Life, By Alice Leighton Cleather and Basil Crump. This book shows that the Esoteric philosophy of H.P. Blavatsky is identical with the Esoteric Mahayana Buddhism of China, Japan and Tibet
- THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, Translated and Annotated by H. P. Blavatsky. A faithful reprint of the original edition with an autograph foreword by H.S.H. The Tashi Lama of Tibet. Notes and Comments by Alice L. Cleather and Basil Crump. H.P.B. Centenary Edition, Peking, 1931. Third Impression.
The above may be had from The H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Road, Victoria, B.C., or from The Blavatsky Association 28 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W. 8, England.
The following books have just been received from the binders, and owing to the advanced prices of material due to the war, prices have had to be raised from the moderate rates.
- ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS by H.P. Blavatsky. 60 and 75 cents.
- ANCIENT AND. MODERN PHYSICS by Thomas W. Willson. 60 cents.
- THE EVIDENCE OF IMMORTALITY by Dr. Jerome A. Anderson. 75 cents.
- MODERN THEOSOPHY by Claude Falls Wright. 75 cents.
- THE BHAGAVAD GITA, A Conflation by Albert E.S. Smythe. 75 cents.
Order from THE BLAVATSKY INSTITUTE, 52 ISABELLA STREET, TORONTO, 5, Ontario