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Vol. XXVII, No. 1 Hamilton, March 15th, 1946 Price 20 Cents
ULTIMATES IN EVOLUTION
Inability to trace the source of a fine quotation on the spiritual quality of the atom attributed to H.P. Blavatsky, as given by the Editor in the September Canadian Theosophist, has led me to find in Basil Crump's "Evolution" some remarkable pages (42-49) on the Atom, Radiation and Relativity, giving Secret Doctrine interpretations of the electro-spiritual source, or `inwardness', of the findings of science. In quoting, re Einstein's flashes of insight, Mr. Crump suggests that "Such inspiration can come either from the person's own higher Ego, or from the mind of a more advanced being who knows how to transmit his knowledge by a telepathic process." All of which awakens intuitional understanding of "Fohat . . the Electrical Power of affinity and sympathy", as well as to bring to our thought those advanced Beings who at the right time of development allow transcendantal knowledge to inspire the minds of seekers after truth, taken to be ideas evolved by themselves alone!
These thoughts on Basil Crump's "Evolution" bring up some lack that one feels on rereading Miss K. Hillard's two lectures on Evolution (condensed from her "Abridgment of the Secret Doctrine"). In her many references to the acquirement of Mind by mankind there is little or no suggestion of obligation toward Those who bestowed it. There are interesting pages on the traditions in every nation of divine Instructors in the arts and sciences, astronomy, architecture, the gift of wheat, etc., but the primary sacrifice of the Lords of Wisdom, who by the infusion of their Manasic Essence gave to man the power of choice; that which opens the door to his Divinity and ultimate Immortality (or to extinction); this is something not sufficiently covered by a few lines on the sacrifice by divine Messengers of consenting to be reborn at various critical periods for the good of mankind, yet that is the only mention of sacrifice in these lectures.
The logical issue of that primary sacrifice is the Bodhisattva, and His renunciation, in its turn, is the very foundation of the Great Lodge of Initiates who remain `earthbound', and to whom we owes the Message of Divine Wisdom called Theosophy. A Sloka in the Secret Doctrine (II 19), on the Kriyasaktic ancestry of the Arhats is of the utmost importance to support continuity in consciousness of spiritual Unity - our great need today. The S.D. tells us that it produced in man a sense of solidarity with his spiritual creators:
"DEVOTION arose out of that feeling and became the first and foremost motor in his nature; for it is the only one which is natural in our heart, which is innate in us." (I 210). Above all, surely no exposition can include all the essential features of the Secret Doctrine's evolu-
tionary theories which makes no mention of the supreme prototype on the Path of Compassion - the Being called the "Great Sacrifice", the "Initiator", - the Maha Guru of all other less divine Teachers and instructors of mankind? (I 207-8).
I have no thought of depreciating the value of Miss Hillard's work in my effort to point out that recent startling discoveries open up, in Secret Doctrine interpretation of them, a realization, here and now, of our Source of Life - and that unity with It (or Them) in spirit is the alternative to compliance with total destruction. If the whole trend of Nature leads eventually to the evolution of sublimated MAN, surely it is wise sometimes to recall and consider the steps of chelaship which lie ahead of us, however remote in time and development, since under the Good Law a race of Buddhas will be the only survivors of our human evolutionary pilgrimage. (II. 483).
- H. Henderson.
The H.P.B. Library,
348 Foul Bay Rd.,
No man and no body of men can live a normal and progressive life with some ghastly fear hanging over them, modifying all their decisions, abstracting their attention from their natural pursuits and duties, and monopolizing all their efforts in futile attempts to escape nameless but terrifying dangers. That is the condition in which the world finds itself today.
The chief of these fears is religious. It is true that Farrar's preaching of the Gospel of Eternal Hope in the 'sixties relieved a large section of English-speaking peoples of the fear of hell. But the fear still persists for millions, obstructing free thought, barring the way to science for many, and casting a cloud over the freedom and joy of life.
Even the religious leaders themselves suffer from the deadly and unmentionable fear that their own foundations are built on sand and do not bear investigation. A well-known university recently refused an endowment in the subject of comparative religion. Danger lies that way! New truths might be disclosed. Silence is now maintained on the fearsome subject of the Zodiac in Somersetshire in England, established 2700 B.C. by Master Mathematicians and engineers whose work cannot be outrivalled by any moderns. The horrid thought for the churchmen lies hidden behind the ignorance of the masses, that perhaps the fact will creep out and become accepted that the whole theological structure is based on the Twleve Signs of the Zodiac, the wheel of Life, as it is called by St. James, (iii. 6), though this is buried in the A.V. translation. And the twelves, tribes, disciples, foundations, pearly gates and other 3 x 4 combinations are means of perpetuating cosmic truths which no theologian wishes to have anything to do with. Many a house of cards has crashed down in the limitless past, to be replaced with others more truly representative of what the priestly authorities conceived the cosmic order to be.
Another harassing dread in many minds, public as well as private, is that of another world war. A great many critics regarded the great speech at Fulton, Mo., by Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill as a direct incitement to another conflict. Very few critics noted one of the most important portions of the speech - that detailing why it was made. As late as 1933, he said, even in 1935 if the proper steps had been taken the war might have been averted and Germany remained an honest and prosperous nation. He had made speech after speech, he said, but no one would listen to his warnings. He was taking a similar course now, he stated, for he believed Russia no more wanted war
than any one else, but if nothing were done and matters allowed to drift as in the case of Germany, anything might happen. This is only the sense of what was said; but in justice to Mr. Churchill the passage should be carefully noted. Canada is not without her tremors and the Musk Ox Exercize, as it has been called, has its reason for being in the probability that a war between Russia and the United States would be largely fought on Canadian territory. Prime Minister Atlee recently said that the cut and slash of public debate was the true and proper foundation for democracy. This is true for theosophical students as well as for politicians or others. The tangible objects of warfare are rarely worthy of the spilling of the blood of one Chinese or one European or Western. But the intangible motives, as in the last war, cannot be reckoned in lives, nor even in empires. They concern Life itself and freedom to live to the utmost and the highest. The fears engendered by threats to such liberties sink even deeper than the fears entertained by religious people. War is an unreasonable method of settling disputes, tangible or intangible, and peace must be sought by education and the development of intelligence and reason. That is work for Theosophists.
The great fear of Science is the suppression, the obscuring, or the adulteration of knowledge. It has occurred in the past, usually as the result of religious bigotry. Superficial Science has been stirred by the explosion of the two "atomic" bombs in Japan. But real Science experienced a deeper thrill in 1873 from the announcement of the discovery that light and electric force or energy had the same rate of velocity in transmission at 186,000 miles per second. Last month the sending of a radar vibration to the moon with an answering echo in 2 1/2 seconds also stirred the scientific mind. The simple religious mind stands in dubious awe of such results, unable to decide whether to attribute them to the Devil or to Deity. Clever intelligent people are unable to appreciate the painful mental struggles which sincere believers undergo when their simple beliefs are confronted with such facts. Science has nothing to fear except from its own ranks. The open mind is a rare gift, whether in science or religion. Some scientific men can be as dogmatic as any theologian. I once sent a statement of the Law of Breath to a score of University professors, noting the oscillation of the breath from nostril to nostril every I hour 56 minutes and 8 seconds, requesting reply. Only two answered. One said he did not believe it. The other said that even if it were true it was of no importance. This was not the attitude of Watt with his kettle or of Franklin with his kite. Science has the reputation of experimenting in vivisection in such horrible ways that the experiments have to be pursued in private or public opinion would end them. It is for science itself to curb such atrocities before some religious power arises to return us all to renewed Dark Ages. That is a real fear in many minds.
Let us assure ourselves that the ruling principle of the Universe is Love and that if we love normally and restrain our passions and desires we will enjoy health and good will. "Perfect Love casteth out Fear."
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THE SOMERSET GIANTS
By Harwood Steele
I have recently examined from the air what I believe to be one of the most remarkable, and least known, discoveries of our time - the so-called Somerset Giants in what is known as The Temple of the Stars. The Giants consist of the Signs of the Zodiac, in outline and partly in relief, laid out in a circle ten miles in diameter near Glastonbury, in the country associated with King Arthur, the centre of the circle being at Butleigh. They somewhat resemble other ancient giants - Uffington's White Horse, Wisconsin's effigy mounds and Ohio's Great Serpent.
With minor variations, all the familiar Signs are accounted for, and ten are actually outlined in the familiar sequence. If a modern planisphere of the correct scale be placed back-to-back with a map of the Giants and the stars of the Signs be pricked through, these stars, in almost every instance, fall into the corresponding figures on the map. The exceptions fall in their vicinity. Also present are the Ship, Whale, Dove, Little Dog, and other symbols. The Great Dog stands near by, but does not synchronize with the appropriate stars. The Giants are formed by natural and artificial waterways, ancient tracks and hills which, with occasional old earthworks, model some of the figures in partial relief.
It is not necessary to fly over the Giants to distinguish them. Mrs. K.E. Maltwood, F.R.S.A., an Englishwoman now living in Canada, discovered them before the war by studying Ordnance maps and observing from high points while trying to identify on the ground scenes and episodes of the Arthurian cycle. Laymen with the map alone can trace them too. At least, like children with a picture puzzle, they can revel in separating most of the figures from the maze of irrelevant roads; streams and other features wherein (presumably by the accident of haphazard construction by men not in the secret and the design of men who were) they lie coyly and charmingly concealed yet in plain view. Air observation and air photographs like those of the discoverer, some of which are reproduced here, amplify the map, revealing several Giants with such dramatic clarity that, when I showed them to aviators who knew the King Arthur country perfectly, they expressed the greatest surprise.
The theory of the origin, age and significance of the Giants is this: the priests of ancient times were the custodians of scientific knowledge - including astronomy - shrouded in symbolism the meaning of which they revealed only to their initiates. The knowledge symbolized in the Zodiac was brought to Britain by Sumer-Chaldean priests who, to preserve it for ever in a manner readily visible to initiates but not to others, laid out the Zodaic as a great Nature Temple of the Stars. The Zodiacal myths are an allegory of the Sun's annual wanderings among the Signs. In these myths, the (Sun) God escapes death in a sacred ship. The ancient British priesthood, incorporating the Sumer-Chaldeans, called this ship - and eventually, the associated Zodiac - the Caer Sidi. Still later, the whole cult, with the priesthood's confined circle of arts and sciences, became the Cup of Wisdom, the transposition from ship or vessel to cup being simple.
The central God subsequently became Arthur, perpetuating the real or imaginary chief who defended the Britons from the heathen and who, like the sun after his epic annual decline, would come again. When Joseph of Arimathea brought Christianity and the Holy Grail to Britain, the Grail inevitably absorbed the Cup of Wisdom - hence its association with Glastonbury. Similarly, the astronomical myths became the adventures of a great Christian King
Arthur and his knights (the sun and constellations), the round Zodiac merged into, the Round Table and the country of the Giants into the Kingdom of Logres, Arthur's Kingdom; while the Quest of the initiates for the Cup of Wisdom (i.e. knowledge) became the Quest of the Holy Grail.
Five thousand years, by the discover's estimate, have passed since the Giants were outlined. The component parts of the puzzle were preserved. Yet its existence was forgotten until Mrs. Maltwood realized that the Arthurian adventures could be connected with the ground of the Kingdom and therefore that, being part of the transformed Zodiacal myths, they must connect with the Zodiac on that ground. Her discovery is supported, directly or indirectly in many quarters.
Hogben, in his Science for the Citizen for example, sets out most clearly the association of ancient priesthoods with science wrapped in symbolism.
That the Sumer-Chaldeans made the Giants is indirectly supported by Dr. Waddell, whose British Edda proves their kinship with the original British, and by Lenormant, Jensen and Epping. The mysterious Biblical declaration: "There were giants in the earth in those days," and the belief that the Sumer-Chaldeans constructed giant effigies may also bear on the matter.
The Temple was probably laid out 5,000 years ago, because at that time the Sumer-Chaldeans were astronomically active, the sun at the Spring equinox stood in the Sign of the Bull - to the effigy of which the Archer (Sun God), here combined with Hercules, and other Somerset symbols point - and the stars of the Great Dog, when the planisphere is fitted to the Temple map, fall on the Somerset Griffin, here a substitute for one of the Twins but the Great Dog's substitute in the ancient Egyptian Zodiac.
Malory places the Kingdom of Logres in Somerset. Edward Davies established the links between the Zodiacal myths; the ancient British priesthood and the Arthurian cycle.
Morte D'Arthur states that, "there was a day assigned betwixt King Arthur and Sir Mordred that they should meet upon a down beside Salisbury and not far from the seaside," where they fought "the last Great Battle of the West" - Arthur, wounded but escaping death, then retiring 'to nearby Avalon. The Persians called November Mordad, meaning the Angel of Death. The Scorpion marks November, when the approaching Winter solstice threatens the sun with extinction; Archer and Scorpion stand side-by-side in the heavens and the Somerset Giants representing them meet near Salisbury; while over the Somerset Archer flies the Dove, a reminder that, according to Druidism, the Sun God's spirit escaped as a bird from his head, vanquishing death!
Wearyall Hill, forming one of the Fishes, is described locally as the burial-place of a gigantic salmon. Lions' claws have been unearthed from the ancient burial-ground in the Somerset Lion's tail. It is recorded that Saint Patrick visited, in an area suggesting Somerset, "an idol, covered with gold and silver, and twelve other idols about it . . . " which ". . . can be seen to this day half engulfed in the earth."
Even more remarkable are the place-names attached to the Giants: Collard Hill, on the Bull's collar; Chalice Blood Spring, in the beak of the Phoenix (here the Water-carrier); Wallyer's Bridge at the Whale's jaws; Catsham, on the Archer's cap (Catti being the title of ancient British kings and Ham meaning Sun); Ham Street, Lottisham and Tilham, all in the same Sun God effigy; Lug and Hu, other ancient names for the Sun God, preserved in Lugshorn and Huish, near the effigy; Earlake Moor and Head Drove by the
east Dog's head; and Wagg beneath is tail!
Skeptics may object that no ancient writings refer directly to a Somerset Zodiac; that 5,000-year-old tracks no longer exist; that the place-names quoted may be new or corrupted; that Britain's complicated landscapes readily suggest such outlines; that some of the Giants are irregularly shaped and difficult to trace, the rest pure coincidence. To these objections there are, I think, effective answers. Ancient indirect allusions to the Somerset Zodiac are many, as already shown, but are purposely allegorical. Owing to humanity's love for the easy, beaten track, many very ancient paths are now great, winding streets. Even if some of the place-names are new or corrupted, tenacious tradition makes many suggested associations probable. Here is an interesting Western Canadian parallel: the Plains Indian was originally a sun-worshipper. Near Macleod, my birthplace, lie the Bow, Elbow, Belly - and Old Man's River; suggesting a gigantic, recumbent Old Man (Sun God).
Time and Nature may have caused the irregularities in certain Somerset Giants, or they may be unfinished. The others, wonderfully clear and symmetrical, support the discoverer's case - notably the Twin, Bull, Ram, Fishes, Archer, Dove and Great Dog.
Coincidence? By the law of chance the twelve truly Zodiacal figures, outlining ten Signs, in the Somerset design could take their proper sequence in the circle by accident only through one chance in 479 million. The possibility that accident formed the figures seems, on similar grounds, remote.
Whatever its origin, age and significance; the preservation of this wonderful curiosity should no longer be left to chance. Now that the war is over the opportunity should be taken to submit Mrs. Maltwood's claims to expert examination. If they are substantiated, as I believe they would be, these links with the distant past should be safeguarded for all time. - From Country Life, January 11, eminent British periodical.
CONFIDENCE AND PEACE AND SECURITY
Dr. W. Y. Evans-Wentz
"I have lit the Lamp of Wisdom; its rays alone can drive away the gloom that shrouds the world." - The Buddha.
Today, very much as in the last days of the Roman Empire, occidental man has lost faith in his ancestral religion, in his social organization, in his fellowmen, and in himself. Wherever he looks round about him, over the continents, he beholds national confusion, national hypocrisy, national dishonesty. None of his long-cherished moral codes shape the policies of governments or the character of the soceity of which he is a member. His former complacency as a citizen is dissipated. Life's values themselves have been revolutionized by a science fettered to utilitarianism. The chief theme of the press, of the radio, of the legislators, and of his over-vocal environment as a whole, is how to attain security - security against unemployment, against illness, against old age. There are Five Year Plans, Ten Year Plans, New Deals, Beveridge Plans. The few who still believe that there is an Otherworld beyond the ken of telescopes and microscopes fix their hopes, precisely as did the folk inhabiting the shores of the Mediterranean in the first centuries of the Christian era, in a miraculous intervention in the affairs of men by some all-powerful extraterrestrial intelligence.
One of the direct effects of these socially unhealthy conditions, which have resulted from lack of self-reliance, manifests itself in the widespread tendency, especially marked in Europe prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, to worship human leaders, none of
whom may be spiritually superior as men, and meekly to submit to their dictation in matters relating to thought and action. The self-reliant man, unlike a bee in a hive or an ant in a colony, is his own leader, as the Sages declare that he should be; he is his own censor, his own judge as to what is right or wrong conduct, his own priest and intercessor, and his own saviour. When man delegates to others, who are spiritually no wiser than himself, the solving of his own most intimate and all-determining life-problems, he becomes as one mentally incompetent; like a submissive ox, deprived of its sexual virility, he humbly lowers his head and allows himself, without the least protest, to be harnessed to the chafing and heavy yoke of totalitarianism.
In every age, as history testifies, wherever man has failed to safeguard and foster his spiritual manliness, totalitarian priesthoods have arisen and dictatorially decreed holy wars and inquisitions, and totalitarian governments have arisen and dictatorially decreed international warfare and its accompanying reversion to savagery and brutishness. Thus it is that cultural progress ceases, utilitarian ends displace humanitarian ends in education, hatred overwhelms love, greed neutralizes charity, selfishness destroys cooperation, standards of morality are set aside, and the divine in man being no longer permitted to exercise its saving guidance, civilization declines.
Because of this decadence of courage, and this vanishing of idealism and social responsibility, the occidental man of today lacks the indomitable pioneer initiative of his forefathers, and is filled with dark forebodings as to the future. Illusion has cast over him its hypnotic glamour; it has bespelled into inactivity the all-conquering powers of his higher self. He has lost the noble status of a fearless freeman and become a craven slave. He knows, at last, that neither his machines, nor his quotas and tariffs; nor his statistically-based systems of
economics, neither his hydroelectric plants, nor his streamlined vehicles and super highways, can restore justice, or brotherhood, or freedom; or guarantee social security. In like manner will disillusionment and frustration overwhelm the coming generations in the now hopefully awaited age of atomic power.
The aim of every Great Teacher ever has been to help a disillusioned generation to regain their lost vision of guidance, their lost horizon, their own self-reliance, their own self-dependence, and to give to them assurance of the innate goodness of mankind and of the sublime purpose of incarnate existence. Since the life-wave first reached this planet, aeons ago, and man became man, humanity has never been without such Teachers; and these Clear-Seeing Ones make known to us, not in virtue of mere belief; but in virtue of direct perception of the Real, that there are Those greater than themselves, who direct the Earth's life-wave to its superhuman consummation. They tell us, likewise, that the world's sorrows are of man's own making, that what man has sown in past ages he is reaping in this age, that not until man transcends the Shadows in the deep Valley of Ignorance and gains the Sun-lit heights of Right Understanding can he enjoy Confidence and Peace and Security. And only then will mankind realize that their wondrous machines and myriad products of a utilitarian science have been as fetters to bind them to this lowly realm of transitory existence.
The Master Confucius advises us that, the rule of Right Living is summed up in the one word `Reciprocity', that only when men practice reciprocity, "not doing to others what they do not desire done to themselves," will they possess Confidence and Peace and Security. Chuang Tze, another of China's Sages;
has said: "Full comprehension of the scheme of the Universal Whole is known as the mighty secret of being in at-one-ment with the All Good, whereby human society is so administered, that there resulteth at-one-ment amongst men."
The Christ-Initiate, the Anointed One, has promised men that once they have sought and found the Heavenly Kingdom, the inner source of all power and wealth, within themselves, every thing of which they have need shall be added unto them. He bade men behold the lilies of the field, that neither toil nor spin; for in them, during a brief evanescent moment in time, the Hidden Glory, surpassing that of the mightiest of mundane kings, is made manifest. When man, too, shall be in tune with the Infinite Heart-Life, he, like the lilies, shall attain transcendency over the world's vicissitudes; no longer will he be a prodigal son, wandering bewildered and in rags through the world.
The Buddha, the Fully-Enlightened, in a farewell address, ere He entered into Nirvana, bade His disciples to be lamps unto themselves, to depend upon no other light for illuminating the Pilgrim Way than that Light which is within man. He bade them to be their own refuge, and to work out their own salvation with diligence. It is because of the loss of this self-reliance, because of dependence upon objects and powers external to himself, that occidental man has become a bondsman of the transitory, of the unreal, of the evanescency of appearances. Man, as the Buddha teaches, must make for himself, by his own self-directed efforts, an island in the midst of this world's Sea of Instability if he would possess the manly strength and confidence born of self-dependence, the blessings born of peace, the happiness born of security. "By strenuous effort, by self-control, by temperance, let the wise man make for himself an island which the flood cannot overwhelm."
Thus have the Sages of the past sought and thus do the Sages of the present seek to dissipate Ignorance. Each of these Clear-Seeing Ones, those who have crossed over to the Other Shore, and those who are still embodied on Earth, has discovered and trodden the Secret Path. Some, like the Buddhas and the Christs, have traversed it to its very end; some, like the Bodhisattvas and the Saints, have traversed it far enough to be no longer in doubt of its sure direction and to have seen thereon, through the distant vistas of future incarnations, the attainment of its ineffable goal.
May all who aspire to Right Guidance enter upon that age-old Secret Path. May they thereby pass beyond Ignorance and win Wisdom. May they transcend fear and insecurity. May they, at last, like the Buddha and the Christ, triumph over all the sorrows of the world, even over death itself, and attain Freedom.
- Reprinted from THE THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, November, 1945.
Permission to republish, if desired, giving credit for first publisher, is hereby granted by W. Y. Evans-Wentz.
One of the privileges of living in the Twentieth century is the opportunity of allying oneself with the Theosophical Movement originated by the Elder Brothers of the Race, and of making a conscious link, however slender, with them. Join any Theosophical Society which maintains the traditions of the Masters of Wisdom and study their Secret Doctrine. You can strengthen the link you make by doing service, by strong search, by questions, and by humility. We should be able to build the future on foundations of Wisdom, Love and Justice.
THE ART OF LIVING
"I am not what I have, nor what I do
But what I was I am, I am even I."
We cannot live our lives to any degree of fullness unless we know and understand some of life's great realities and truths. Within ourselves lies the cause bf whatever enters into our life. To come into the full realization of our own awakened interior powers is to be able to condition our life in exact accord as we would have it.
As Theosophists we study the science of being and the immutable laws that governs all life. Many of us have asked these questions - What am I, from where did I come - and where do I go from here? To answer these questions we must ask what has been asked by humanity for countless ages - Is there a God? From the point of view of religions it is accepted on faith that there is a God, a Divinity who is called the Father of Man and the Universe. Theosophy does not ask us to accept anything on faith, but to investigate and find an answer to these questions - an answer that will satisfy the searching of a rational mind.
Through scientific investigation it was discovered that there is a Universal Force which may be termed "Eternal Energy" pervading the whole Universe filling infinite space. This Universal Force or Eternal Energy expresses itself in laws of profoundest intelligence and logic. The names given this Eternal Energy in the teachings of Theosophy are First Cause, The Absolute, or Great Principle.
Quotation - Isis Unveiled
"Beyond all finite existences and secondary causes, all laws, ideas and principles, there is an Intelligence of Mind, the first principle of all principles, the Supreme Idea on which all other ideas are grounded - The Monarch and Law-given of the Universe, the ultimate substance from which all things derive their being and essence - The first and efficient Cause of all the order, harmony, beauty, excellency and goodness which pervades the universe."
The scientific definition of the word Principle is that which creates, constitutes, governs, sustains and contains all.
"From Eternity out of itself the Great Principle created the universe, including Man and everything else in the universe. From eternity it assigned to each created thing its proper place. Every blade of grass has its place, every star knows its course, and as long as all keep their places and perform their duties, the law of order in the universe, continues to operate. But if they should slip their places or fail in their duties, then there is chaos."
One of the Aspects of the Great Principle or Absolute, is Unity - The Unity of all life with the One Great Life - The unity of all laws with the great universal laws. The central fact in all human life is to come into the consciousness of the Unity with the One Great Life and its universal laws.
What are some of these laws that are so immutable in principle:
I. The Great Law
The Absolute, the Great Principle, is all Life, all Mind, all Truth, all Love, all Spirit. This one great law underlies all other laws and operates on all planes; expresses itself through everything always in the same way. The formation of the electron, atom, this planet, our world, the universe, are all based on the One Great Law. Everywhere is seen the operation of this law, which can also be called the law of analogy, as it operates on the highest plane, so does it operate on the lowest plane. One great pattern is expressed through millions of aspects yet it is always One. This Great Law is so infinite, so universal, that in our present mental state of development, we can only begin to perceive its numberless
Quotation - Bhagavad Gita:
"All things exist in me but I do not exist in them - all things are in me even as the mighty air which passes every where is in space."
II: The Law of Vibration:
The law of vibration is one of these immutable laws. The whole universe is but vibration - everything is done through vibration; sound, light, emanations of radium, wireless telegraphy, are all agents of vibration. There are different rates of vibrations, infinite varieties of them; some so high, so subtle that we cannot as yet have any concept of them. Vibration is life itself and life is one of the fundamental aspects of the Great Principle or Absolute.
III. The Laws of Relativity
1. The law of Polarity or Duality.
2. The law of Rhythm.
3. The law of Gender.
4. The law of Cause and Effect.
1. The law of Polarity
Everything in the world in our present state of human consciousness appears to have two poles, the positive and negative poles, good and evil, life and death, light and darkness. No matter where we turn there is this law of Polarity or Duality. It is a law of the pairs of opposites and we all function under this law. In ancient religions this law is manifested in Manvantaras, Pralayas, periods of activity and periods of rest. This law operating in our lives as well as in universal life gives us the choice of two ways of life - the false and the true.
2. The law of Rhythm
"This law is also called the law of the Pendulum, because its operations are in a way similar to the swinging of the pendulum. The pendulum goes up one side, down again, up again and so on."
This law operates in our life on two planes, the mental and the physical, in many different ways. It is like the waves on the ocean, and the forward and upward trend of evolution which reaches the highest point then declines into a backward movement.
3. The law of Gender:
The law of Gender expresses itself most forcibly throughout the whole round of creation in so called opposite sexes, the male and female. It is manifested not only through human beings but also through animals, plants, minerals, electrons, electrical and magnetic currents. Like attracts like, the law of Gender operates in conjunction with the universal law of attraction.
4. The law of Cause and Effect:
The operation of this law is one of our most discussed subjects in Theosophical studies. Every cause has its effect. This law pervades the three planes, physical, mental, spiritual. It is a law that has its root in the spiritual plane, because there is a First Cause; there is also the effect - the Universe. Due to the human concept in our present state of consciousness of time and space, between the cause and effect there is a period of time. This law operates in this way; every time we start anything, be it thought, word or action, we create a certain cause which will some day materialize in a corresponding effect. Just when the effect will take place no one can tell. It depends on circumstances, but it is unavoidably due. To live this law constructively, we must start the cause in the ever present Now. Now is the appointed time. In so doing, we stand on a line of demarcation; on one side of us is the Past; on the other side is the Future and in front of us the Present. In the Past we have experience, in the Future all possibilities, so Now is the time to act, to plant good seeds, to start positive causes. It is Now that holds the key to our destiny.
Quotation - Bhagavad Gita:
"Do not think about the fruit of your action, but perform action."
There are two roads that lie before us all on this physical plane. Let each pause and ponder well, which path is best to take - the human road - the spiritual road - happiness is the goal of both.
The past cannot be changed but the future is completely in our hands. If we start right causes Now, the law of cause and effect will inevitably bring right effects. Do not waste energy remembering past unpleasant experiences. Use these instead as an impulse to new and greater things.
It is through this law we work out our Karma whether good or bad. The degrees of fate are neither more or less than the law of Karma in action. We are masters or slaves of our own fate.
Life is a continual succession of opportunities to be taken advantage of, or lost. "With all thy getting, get understanding", says the proverb. So with this talisman of understanding, let us all try and find the real Art of Living.
- Winifred Tiplin.
Jan. 30, 1946.
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, 62 ISABELLA STREET, TORONTO, 6, Ontario
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
The Holding Committee of the Fraternization Convention which was appointed at the last Convention held at Toronto in 1942 came to life on Sunday, February 24th, when, being favored with a visit from Mr. Cardinal Le Gros of Detroit, it was decided to hold a meeting and discuss fraternization matters. Four members viz. Mr. George Kinman, Treasurer; Mrs. Kathleen Marks; Mr. Le Gros and myself were present. Two other members, Mr. Isidor H. Lewis and Mr. Emory Clapp had been notified but, being unable to attend wrote stating they would agree to whatever might be decided upon. The principal business was a letter of resignation from Major O.J. Schoonmaker, who had written Mr. Clapp to the effect that owing to having taken over the Presidency of the American-Canadian Section of the T.S. (Covina) he was unable to carry on as Chairman of the Fraternization Committee. His resignation was regretfully accepted. After much discussion and in view that the next Chairman should be a citizen of the United States as the next Convention would be held there, it was unanimously decided that Mr. Le Gros should be appointed to the position, which he accepted. It was then suggested that Mr. Clapp, if he would accept the responsibility, be appointed editor of the Fraternization News. The Treasurer reported that funds in hand amounted to some $92.00. The pros and cons of the next convention were then thoroughly gone over and the consensus was that owing to many reasons there was little likelihood that one could be held this year, but that there was a good possibility of one being held in 1947. I append herewith Mr. Cardinal Le Gros' address: - 1111 Birlingame Road, Apt. 305, Detroit, Mich., where all communications regarding conventions should be sent.
I read with a certain amount of surprise and regret the correspondence which emanated from the General Secretary, The Theosophical Society in Europe on the subject of our Editor's dealing with an apparently taboo subject viz., the personality of our late President. It seems strange to me that a public character such as he was cannot be criticized in a public journal without bringing such protests about the untouchability of what might be described practically as an idol. Over here, we have protested strongly and consistently against things practised at Adyar that we disapproved of; and now that the cause of them has passed on, it seems that we should not have freedom of expressing certain things in relation to that personality that originated them. However, we are grateful to our Swedish General Secretary, who has written stating his approval of our right to maintain free speech and our attitude in regard to these things. This correspondence I have forwarded on to our Edtior knowing that he will deal more fully with them elsewhere in this issue.
Some time ago I stated in these Notes that we had a quantity of pamphlets which we would be glad to distribute gratis to the Lodges, and requested the Secretaries to notify me of the number they could do with; but with the exception of Edmonton there have been no applications. I would point out that these pamphlets are really excellent material for the purpose of propaganda and are especially suitable for distribution at meetings and to send to friends who are theosophically minded.
It is with the deepest regret I record that Mr. Felix Belcher passed away on Wednesday, February the 27th. At the General Executive Meeting held on February 3rd, he was not present but had telephoned to me to say that owing
to an indisposition he could not attend, intimating that at his age one had to be careful; to this I acquiesced and added that I hoped he would be quite himself again in a few days. It was therefore with much concern that I learned less than a week later that he was seriously ill with no hope of recovery. He passed away very peacefully on Wednesday afternoon. Besides the loss of a great friend the Society has lost an outstanding adherent. Known throughout Canada in the Theosophical World. Felix Belcher was recognized as one of our most erudite exponents of the Secret Doctrine. Not only that but he was a brilliant lecturer and gifted teacher, and a staunch advocate of the Blavatsky tradition. I will not expatiate on his Life for I feel sure the Editor will have a deal to say respecting that and I wish to avoid repetition. But as a personal friend I wish to pay my tribute here, for as such he was one of the staunchest and truest. As a colleague serving on the General Executive Committee we worked together for many years in the greatest harmony and the closest cooperation. I always admired his erudition as an exponent of things theosophical as well as his profound knowledge of the deeper and more spiritual aspects of the Pyramids, a subject to which he devoted much time and thought. He knew well that an occasion such as this does not call for tears. And we, realizing the long and useful life he has devoted to the Cause, are very grateful to him for all that he has done, give him our heartfelt thanks and wish him Godspeed on his journey to the Elysian Fields for that well deserved rest that het has so richly earned, and where I know he was looking forward to going. To Mrs. Belcher and family I proffer my deepest condolences on an irreparable loss with the hope that what Theosophy teaches will be their mainstay at a time like this.
The Theosophical Hall on Isabella Street was the setting for the funeral service of the late Felix A. Belcher. Flowers having been "gratefully declined" the body lay in state in unostentatious simplicity as behooved one who lived and died a true theosophist. Several hundred persons paid their last respects, many coming from distant places such as Kitchener, Hamilton, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines. The service conducted by Mr. Dudley W. Barr was of a touching and beautiful nature, comforting yet exhilarating in its quiet and firm faith in the beauty and immortality of the soul. The deceased's own arrangement for the service requested Mrs. Newcombe to recite a poem "The All Consuming Fire". This was done most impressively and with dramatic feeling, especially the closing of each verse with the words "For I must travel light." Mr. Barr quoted many of the world's great scriptures all appertaining to the glory of the soul on its onward march. The concourse then recited the Gayatri and the service in the Hall terminated. The scene changes to the little chapel at the Necropolis which was filled to capacity. Here also by special request Mrs. Ruth Somers recited an extract from the Bhagavad Gita of an especially appealing nature which was rendered with an exaltation that could only emanate from an earnest and devoted student who felt that the words especially fitted the one who had lived the life. Mr. Barr finally committed the body to the Fire, "The All Consuming Flame" that cleanses the soul of all earthly dross and leaves it free to wing its way to its real home. With a Benediction and a Blessing this most impressive service came to a close.
March 3, 1946.
TRIBUTES TO THE . LATE MR. BELCHER
FELIX A. BELCHER - A TRIBUTE
On February 27th, 1946, Mr. Felix A. Belcher quietly laid his worn-out robes away after fifty years of wholehearted service to the Theosophical cause.
Shortly before his death he requested that at the funeral service Mrs. R. Somers read a passage from the Bhaga-
[[Photo here: FELIX ARTHUR BELCHER, 1861-1946]]
vad Gita and that Mrs. P. Newcombe read a poem which he had clipped many years ago, a poem descriptive of the lighting of a last fire "to burn the dross of many a year".
The passage selected by Mrs. Somers for the reading at the Crematorium was the opening portion of the 16th Chapter of the Gita. This beautiful passage, so descriptive of his life and character, is the most appropriate tribute which could be rendered to his memory. No one who was present at the committal service will forget the profound impression created by its recital over the casket lying on the platform ready for final disposition.
"Fearlessness, singleness of soul, the will
Always to strive for wisdom; opened hand
And governed appetites; and piety,
And love of lonely study; humbleness,
Uprightness, heed to injure nought which lives,
Truthfulness, slowness unto wrath, a mind
That lightly letteth go what others prize;
And equanimity, and charity
Which spieth no man's faults; and tenderness
Towards all that suffer; a contented heart,
Fluttered by no desires; a bearing mild,
Modest, and grave, with manhood nobly mixed,
With patience, fortitude, and purity;
An unrevengeful spirit, never given
To rate itself too high; such be the signs,
O Indian Prince! of him whose feet are set
On that fair path which leads to heavenly birth."
THANKFULNESS TO FELIX BELCHER
"Seek and ye shall find" is a true saying and an occult law. We can all testify to incidents of its working out in our lives. The following is such a testimony.
A group of us, seeking, found Felix Belcher. Some one said lightly: "What is theosophy? I should like to know something about it" - and lo and behold that was the password, for it was no sooner asked than the answer was forthcoming! We were sent to a house on Craighurst Avenue where Felix Belcher was conducting a class on the "Gita". We went in, as ignorant of the Gita as if it had been the Koran. We listened to the readings from several different translations, and words, words, new, strange words flowed past our empty minds.
After the class was over some one asked me if I knew anything about theosophy and I forget my answer - (and it is just as well that I forget!) but the reply to my stammered ignorance I do remember for it was a surprised ejaculation: "Why, don't you believe in reincarnation?" and I said: "pouf -when you die you go out like a candle and that is all." That was the answer of the materialist who in this case had revolted against the church of England mumbojumbo, where a bishop in the family assured one of entrance into heaven, but real interest in, and hunger for religion was "not nice."
I can still see the expression on Felix Belcher's face to this day. Only then did he really register as a separate individual in that group. This little soul was being born at that moment, and he was there to assist at the birth. There was no derision at my ignorance, no superior laughter or spiritual pride of knowledge. He gave me the most compassionate glance. At the same time there was that quiet enjoyment of a situation in his glance and smile, which we all know so well. He must have been thinking so much!
The dogmatism of the ignorant is fearful and wonderful!
That same evening Felix renewed his acquaintance with an old friend, Ruth Somers. It was her mother who sent us to Felix, and Ruth had known him as a small child in her own home. Because of that contact, and because of our very apparent searching and hunger for light, he offered to help us. From that day on, (fourteen years ago) life became joy. What patience he possessed, what wisdom he showed in his treatment of us. Each week we met with him and he took us into his beloved Gita, and Key to Theosophy; then into the Mahatma Letters and finally the Secret Doctrine where we stayed with him for many years.
Felix Belcher held up his light to us with all his generous mind and heart. As one of many pupils I can say with love and gratitude that into my blundering darkness that light came and has been with me always. Felix made no attempt to subdue other lights or put out our own flickering candles of faint knowledge, nor did he ever attempt to guide us on to any particular path. He was going along the open road and we were welcome to walk along with him as long as we cared to. He taught me the "difference between sentiment and compassion, he taught the joy of real study; and the meaning of detachment and duty. Felix Belcher lived his theosophy. May we emulate him!
- M. E. Dustan.
PRESIDENT DUSTAN'S TRIBUTE
Many of you here this evening attended the funeral services held in this Hall and at the Necropolis yesterday for our friend Felix Arthur Belcher.
No words of mine can add to the beauty and fitness of the tributes paid him then by Mr. Barr, Mrs. Newcombe and Mrs. Somers, but on behalf of the Toronto Theosophical Society, of which he was so well loved and so highly valued a member, it is my privilege to pay him a further tribute of love and respect at this, our first public meeting since his death.
Felix Belcher joined the Theosophical Society in 1896, fifty years ago, and during all that time his life was dedicated to the cause of Theosophy and the service of others, for he realized, more truly than most of us, that "Theosophy is Altruism".
He contributed to the progress of Toronto Lodge, and to that of the Theosophical Society and Movement at large, as student, teacher, lecturer and material benefactor, and he was the personal friend and kindly advisor of all who sought his friendship and advice.
He had many friends, in many walks of life both within and without the Theosophical Society, and all who knew him will carry with them memories of his kindliness and wisdom, and beauty and simplicity of character.
He faced death with perfect equanimity, as one who has the inner assurance that death is but an incident in the progress of the soul. The manner of his passing was like a benediction to a life well spent, and the best memorial we can raise is to redouble our efforts in the cause of Theosophy, which was so close to his heart.
The last time Mr. Belcher spoke from this platform, on Sunday, January 6th, last, you will remember he made a stirring appeal for Universal Brotherhood as the only basis for a lasting peace, and based his remarks on passages read from Madame Blavatsky's The Key to Theosophy.
After we have observed a brief silence, there will be a reading by Mr. George Griffiths, from this same book, linking up with both the life of Mr. Belcher and with the address that Mr. Kinman is to give us this evening.
Will you please rise, now, and we will observe a few moments of silence to the memory of Felix Arthur Belcher.
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.
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.
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 Editor is greatly indebted to Mrs. Ruth Townsend and Miss Edith Wilkinson of the Hamilton Lodge, for valuable assistance rendered in getting out last month's magazine.
Isolated students and those unable to have access to Theosophical literature should avail themselves of the Travelling Library conducted by the Toronto Theosophical Society. There are no charges except for postage on the volumes loaned. For particulars write to the Librarian, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, Ont.
Friends of Mr. Thomas B. Lawrie, formerly of Winnipeg and Toronto, will be interested to hear that he has left Cape Colony where he has been stationed for some years, and as the result of an appointment is now to be addressed at P.O. Box 59, Windhoek, Southwest Africa. He writes: "This is a wonderful country rich in natural resources, and settling down now the war is over."
I greatly regret that a slight accident on Friday so upset me that I found it too difficult to attempt the railway journey on Saturday, the 2nd, to attend Mr. Belcher's funeral. I had known him since about the time Mrs. Besant gave two lectures in Toronto in 1893. In a long conversation one day in front of his restaurant I introduced him to the Bhagavad Gita of which he had never before heard. I think Mr. F.E. Titus had a good deal to do with bringing him into the Theosophical Society. We hope next month to have an intimate account of his inner life and his association with the Hicksite Quakers, the Adult Schools, and other movements, from Mrs. Ruth Somers, who knew him from her childhood. He was a strong admirer of Mrs. Besant, but several times remarked to me; "I must admit you found her out before I did." He was born within sound of Bow Bells in London, December 7, 1861 and came to Canada in 1883. Besides his widow he leaves two daughters, Mrs. Jackson and Miss Irene, and a son, Hugh.
I have received from Mr. G.N. Gokhale, Recording Secretary at Adyar, a souvenir of the recent 70th International Convention which opened at Adyar on December 27, and which was "Dedicated to the Memory of George S. Arundale, President, 1934-1945." The folded card was decorated with the Society's Seal, and contained this note: "Dear Friend, I am desired by the Vice-President and the Seventieth International Convention at Adyar, held last week, to convey to you their very brotherly greetings and congratulations on all you are doing for Theosophy and
the Theosophical Society. Fraternally yours, G.N. Gokhale, Recording Secretary. Adyar, 5th January. 1946." There is also a photograph attached on the second page, of the late President, robed in canonicals, holding a document before a radio microphone, looking very ill and emaciated. The members generally should have been advised earlier of the precarious nature of Dr. Arundale's health. There are whisperings at present that Mr. Jinarajadasa's health is not all that his friends would like.
It is reported that Mr. Sidney A. Cook and his bride (Etha Snodgrass) are now at Adyar. For some time past it has been evident that Mr. Cook has been in the line of succession to the Presidency and it is entirely right and proper that he should take up a more or less prolonged residence there, and make himself familiar with the conditions of the place and its methods. Mr. Cook is an experienced business man with the equipment and the knowledge required in the handling of extensive affairs. Among other things these are qualities badly needed at Adyar. Incidentally with this visit Mr. Cook has issued a collection of his editorial articles and notes with the title, Leaving Me with You, a sequel to the similar collection Bringing Me to You, issued four years ago. There is nothing sloppy or effusive in Mr. Cook's writing which is couched in nervous English, simple and plain to read, and convincing and clear to think about. In his introduction he writes: "There are crucial years yet ahead. The United States in very large measure holds in her hand the destiny of the world. Not by the atomic bomb but by broad concepts and generous understanding can our country move forward in her appointed role of creating among all the races and nations the realization that they are one brotherhood." Here is a business brain with a theosophical mind and heart behind it.
LODGES, ATTENTION PLEASE!
When the General Executive met on February 3rd, it was agreed that the expense and trouble of another election when no important issues were calling for settlement, would be inadvisable. Mr. Belcher was not present but he had written the General Secretary that illness prevented his attendance. But the very serious nature of his illness was not made known to the members till some time afterwards, too late for action through the magazine. The needlessness of an election remains, except for the vacancy on the Executive. It has been suggested that if one or more Lodges act at once and nominate the present members, substituting the name of Mrs. Elizabeth. Belcher for that of her late husband, and no other new name be introduced, and the nominations reach the General Executive by April 1st, all the constitutional requirements for an election will have been fulfilled and the General Secretary may declare the nominees elected. Mrs. Belcher if elected out of compliment to her late husband, is entirely worthy of the distinction on her own account, as she is a member of many years' standing and has always been a faithful and devoted worker.
Sparrows chirping in the snow
Certify their faith in Life;
Universes come and go,
Sparrows chirping in the snow
Take their stand with Those Who Know -
Parable for man and wife!
Sparrows chirping in the snow
Certify their faith in Life.
Among my Valentine's Day correspondence came the following letters, addressed to The Editor of The Canadian Theosophist, 163 Crescent Road, Toronto, which is the address of our General Secretary, as though I had no address of my own, and although they both appear together in our bannerhead. Col. Thomson re-addressed the envelope to me. The situation reminds me of the consternation of the Ephesian idol-makers when Paul told the people some home truths and the idol-makers gathered together shouting "Our craft is in danger." Idolatry is one of the weaknesses centred at Adyar, and this is strange because some of us are charged with making an idol of Madame Blavatsky. If we had half the devotion to her that is bestowed on the Adyar idols the world would be saturated with the Secret Doctrine in a very short time. However, here is the correspondence, and my comments follow.
The Theosophical Society in Europe
Federation of National Societies
General Secretary, J.E. van Dissel,
50 Gloucester Place, London, W. 1.
Assistant General Secretary,
Mrs. Adelaide Gardner.
29th January, 1946.
To the Editor of the Canadian Theosophist,
163 Crescent Road, Toronto, Canada.
Dear Editor: I enclose a letter which has been sent me by Lt. Col. van Dissel the General Secretary of our Federation. He has unfortunately signed the carbon copy so I have added my signature to this. He is in Holland and I am carrying on a good deal of the work from London so that communication is a little delayed.
The matter came up before a group of our workers who agreed to draw it to the attention of the general secretaries of the Federation. I have received by cable and letter expressions of whole-hearted support for this protest from the list of general secretaries which is attached.
We all want it clearly understood that it is not your freedom of opinion which we are questioning. You have a complete right to that. It is the propriety of using Theosophical magazines for derogatory material about a member who is dead, which we chiefly challenge.
Believe me, Yours sincerely and fraternally,
Assistant General Secretary.
For the General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in Europe.
The Theosophical Society in Europe
(Federation of National Societies)
St. Michael's Huizen (N.H.) . Netherlands
50 Gloucester Place, London, W. 1, England.
January 15, 1946.
In your September issue in an article headed "Dr. Arundale is Dead" you publish a statement that, in the opinion of of the writer "speaking quite impersonally it would be difficult to find a man of equal attainments and similarly gifted, less fitted for the office he was called upon to fill".
However impersonally such a statement may be made, it seems an infringement of all principles not only of brotherhood, but of elementary courtesy and decency to air hostile opinions about the dead, who are by their death deprived of the ability of reply.
Dr. Arundale's achievements as President of The Theosophical Society give direct negative to such comments, and might be allowed to speak for themselves, were he still living. Since he is not able to put to paper, we - the undersigned General Secretaries of Sections of the Society in EUROPE - wish to state:
FIRST: Our keen disapproval of the
printing of such comments about an absent brother, especially about one who gave his life with such complete and utter devotion to the cause of Theosophy.
SECOND: That we wish to refute the imputations of the remark quoted above. Dr. Arundale's devotion and enthusiasm have brought life and stimulus to thousands, including our members throughout the world; in particular the value of his work in India was recognized by all who contacted it; the Society under his direction has grown and prospered, and is ready to enter on a new phase of expansion and increasing influence. The record of increasing membership in most Sections, and the growing demand for Theosophical literature show that the Society has prospered under his leadership.
We trust that you will take this protest in the spirit in which it is dispatched, that of an interest both in truth and in fair play.
(Signed) J. E. van Dissel, General Secretary,
The Theosophical Society in EUROPE.
Adelaide Gardner, Assistant General Secretary,
The Theosophical Society in EUROPE.
The Theosophical Society in Europe (Federation of National Societies)
The following General Secretaries wish to join in sending this protest.
BELGIUM - Mlle. Brisy, 50 Rue du Commerce, Bruxelles.
DENMARK - Herr Ch. Bonde Jensen, Libravej 12, Fredensvang pr. Aarhus.
ENGLAND - Mr. J.B.S. Coats, 50 Gloucester Place, London, W. 1.
FINLAND - Herr A. Rankka, Vironkata 7c, Helsinki.
IRELAND - Mrs. Alice Law, 14 South Frederick Street, Dublin
NETHERLANDS - Prof. Lt. E.L. Selleger, Amsteldyk 76, Amsterdam.
SCOTLAND - Edward Gall, Esq., 28 Great King Street, Edinburgh 3.
WALES - Miss Thomas, 10 Park Place, Cardiff.
The following members of the Executive Committee of the European Federation also wish to have their names added:
Mr. Theo Lilliefelt - Sweden.
Mr. Peter Freeman - Wales.
Mrs. Trudi Kern - Switzerland.
This correspondence from "The Theosophical Society in Europe" reminds me as it is the first time I have seen its letterheads, that it was originated by Madame Blavatsky in spite of and in defiance of the violent protests of Col. Olcott and all Adyar at the time.
The third paragraph of the letter of 29th January touches the real trouble which I may put in street language as "You may think as you please but you must keep your mouth shut." And all the dutiful members who fear to think at all, say Amen. That is where we need the Four Freedoms most. The propriety of saying what you think in a family circle and in a worldwide movement calls for different standards. Dr. Arundale was the public head of body appealing to the public and subject to the same judgment and the same criticism as any other public man alive or dead. I have been a newspaper man for most of my life, accustomed to write obituary notices and to anticipate the verdicts of history. The Canadian Theosophist is a public journal; sold to the public with the guarantee "There is no Religion Higher than Truth". Am I to tell the public that a more or less amiable egotist like Dr. Arundale is one of the elect saints, or shall I describe him as I found him? That is the problem of propriety for a newspaper man. If I told his faults in detail fault might be found with me, but I generalized and
evidently I have said enough not to require support. But I will add what I've said before. The great problem r the T.S. has in India is the reconciliation of the Hindus and the Moslems. Dr. Arundale thought that the promotion of a small Christian sect was a suitable method of treating the situation. What do the Hindus and Moslems think? Dr. Arundale died before he could make up his mind whether the Masters were wiser than he, and whether he should preach Their straight Theosophy or not. Was he a suitable exponent to India or the rest of the world of Their message? Propriety may be rested on the answer to that. We must consider Brotherhood to the human race before brotherhood to our bosom friends.
I suppose I should be satisfied with the right of reply in our own pages; but the suppression of the other side of an argument is a sign of weakness which Adyar should consider seriously. My voice may not be heard much longer and I cannot expect better treatment afterwards than when I am alive. But I am quite sure that the real Brotherhood in my heart and behind the written word will not urge in vain.
LETTER TO THE FEDERATION
I got your letter of January 13th through Miss Franzen and was both sorry and astonished when I read it. Is it not rather childish, at a time when there is so much suffering in the world and so much constructive work to be done to waste time and energy on protest actions against a statement in an article, that Mr. Arundale was not much fitted for his office?
This statement is not libellous and if Mr. Arundale was such a great man as you say in your letter to the Canadian Theosophist and if he were still alive, I am sure he himself would never have allowed himself to be touched by such an utterance. For if his deeds speak for themselves, it is not necessary for anybody else to do it.
Everybody is allowed to have his own opinions and also, according to the laws of his country, to give expression to them. You certainly have the right to protest against the opinion expressed by the writer in the Canadian Theosophist; but not against the fact that such an opinion was printed.
Finally I only want to remind you of the fact, that the most serious decline of the Roman Church began at the time when they had proclaimed the infallibility of the Pope. Do you wish for Theosophical Popes?
Per-Erik Lunden, Vice-General Secretary, Sweden.
P.S. We cabled to Mrs. Gardner as follows: "Article Dissel refers to unknown here cannot judge from short quotation stop According to theosophical tradition opinion free."
The Publishers The Canadian Theosophist, Canada.
I only want to inform you, that the Swedish General Secretary, when getting the circular letter from Mr. van Dissel about your article of September 1945, answered with a telegram and a letter as per enclosed copy.
With my best greetings and wishes for a successful new year in the work for Theosophy, I am,
FROM THE PRESIDENT
February 8, 1946.
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: -
The long communication of Mr. John Roger in your November issue, has many points which can be challenged, but it would need a reply that would fill at least two of your issues to take up point by point. But I should like to mention one fact which perhaps he has not noted. Mr. Roger again and again insists that the Society should always remember that it was founded by the Adept-Founders and is under Their direct guidance. In the year 1893 certain charges were made against the then Vice-President, Mr. W.Q. Judge, that he had with his own hand written certain messages of the Masters in the scripts that had been recognized as characteristic of Them. The agitation, particularly in India, was very strong, and was strong too in Britain where I was living at the time. Finally certain charges were drawn up against Mr. Judge and he was asked to be present at a Judicial Committee in London on July 5, 1894, presided over by the President Colonel Olcott. As the Committee met, Mr. Judge made the claim that the Committee could not inquire into any of the charges whatsoever, because such an inquiry involved the question of the existence of the Masters as an integral belief of Theosophical philosophy. This claim of Mr. Judge, that the Committee had no locus standi on such a matter, was upheld by Colonel Olcott and the Committee, who held that it was impossible for the Theosophical Society to make any pronouncement whether the Masters exist or not.
Let it be noted, therefore, that the claim of Mr. Judge - upheld by the officials appointed for the judicial inquiry - makes clear that the Society is in no way bound to the idea of the Masters of the Wisdom as in any way directing the affairs of the Society. This does not, however, prevent any individual from the President to the newest member asserting his or her belief in Their existence, so long as such a belief is not made binding upon any member and is not made a necessary qualification for his membership. It was always the custom of Dr. Besant to begin her Presidential addresses to the Society with the following words:
"May Those, who are the embodiment of Love Immortal, bless with Their Protection the Society established to do Their Will on earth; may They ever guard it by Their Power, inspire it with Their Wisdom, and energize it by Their Activity."
I should like to mention that it was the custom here in India till lately to give to new members, after a brief address of welcome, the signs and passwords. They were useful in the old days when the Society was practically a secret body and members did not desire the public or their friends to know that they belonged to it. But as members joined by correspondence it was found impossible to carry out this part of what is called "the initiation ceremony." In the application form here in India this receiving of signs and passwords was not made obligatory, but those who desired them had to sign a special obligation for secrecy. As the Society grew and members were glad to express openly their membership in the Society, the old ceremony fell into disuse. It was never used in Europe, except in England up to 1884. As a matter of fact, the initiated would soon forget the words and most of the signs given only once, and I who have had to do a good deal of this part of the initiation in the past, though I remember the signs, am not quite sure now without asking some of the other members what is the proper sequence of the words. Every Society as it grows rapidly has to retain the "life" while changing the "form" to suit the needs of its international work.
At the outbreak of the war we had 49 National Societies.
Similarly, the original rule as to two members vouching as sponsors for a new member was changed by the General Council, as any two members were only too glad to sign an application without knowing much of the applicant and without in the least assuming any responsibility towards him. Such signing became purely a form.
Mr. Roger states, "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." This is a pontifical statement ex cathedra which a few thousands in the Society will challenge.
I may mention that in eight days' time when I shall be inaugurated President, the Vice-President will put on my hand the ring which H.P.B. wore as Outer Head of the Esoteric Section, which ring she passed on to Dr. Besant, who wore it always from 1891, and who in her will deeded it for the use of future Presidents of the Society. As this letter is written in the room where H.P.B. lived from December 19, 1882 till March 31, 1885 and next to it is the "Shrine," surely one may say the Parent Society continues.
We heartily agree with The President on the non-dogmatic character of the teaching regarding the Masters of Wisdom. They are like the Multiplication Table, about which we have no dogma but find we cannot get along without it. The existence of the Masters is deducible from the Laws of Evolution, and is at least reasonable and convenient in explaining The Mahatma Letters. We have had repeated assertions of late that Adyar was "the home of the Masters," and Mr. Judge's point was aptly raised in view of such statements. I do not think there is any authority for saying that the Masters guide the Theosophical Society, but they did promise to protect it. Such protection, I think, would only come through its own membership, earned by their devotion to its real aims. The pledge which I took in 1892 and much of the E.S. teaching has been greatly changed since that date, but the original was expected to be sufficient till 1975. The temperate tone of Mr. Jinarajadasa's letter is a welcome omen for future discussions.
ALSO FROM THE PRESIDENT
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist: - I am utterly astonished to read in The Canadain Theosophist for December that the words "The King" in the ideals placed before the Round Table have ever been used for Dr. Arundale or any other human being.
The youngest Page admitted into the Round Table at the age of seven knows better than the Editor of The Canadian Theosophist, that when he takes the pledge "Follow the King", the King refers only to a superhuman, invisible being, like the Lord Christ or Shri Krishna.
I have some authority to speak on the matter, as I have been a Knight of the Round Table for thirty years, and have done much in connection with it and through it to uphold great ideals of service when addressing young people. Yours in amazement,
Mr. Jinarajadasa appears to have deliberately perverted the meaning of the paragraph with which he take exception. He says he has been a "Knight of the Round Table" for thirty years. I have been a disciple of Tennyson since
1876, which is seventy years, and I have never thought of giving Tennyson's celebrated pledge any other than a transcendent interpretation. Unfortunately Adyar's practice is different from its theories. No King, no Emperor, no Mahatma has ever had such laudations, such gushing reverential homage lavished upon him as Adyar has poured forth on Mrs. Besant, Mr. Leadbeater, and more recently on Dr. Arundale. Mr. Jinarajadasa will be lucky if he escapes the same fulsome flattery. "The King" is displaced in all drdinary consideration by such inordinate flummery which only repels sensible people.
During the month of February we received the following magazines: The Golden Lotus, Philadelphia, January; Revista "O Pensamento" S Paulo, Brazil, December; Toronto Theosophical News, February; The Theosophical Forum, Covina, February; The American Theosophist, Wheaton, February; Theosophy, Los Angeles, February; Bulletin T.S. in Mexico, Nov.-December; Lotus Circle Lessons, Covina; Teosofia, Santaiago de Cuba, January; Carta Semanal Nos. 44, 45 and 46, Tampico, Mexico; Theosophical Headquarters Bulletin, No. 5, Covina; Theosophia, Aarhus, Denmark, January; Ruusu-Risti, Helsinki, Finland, Jouluna; Teosofia, Cuba, February; The Aryan Path, Bombay, January; Theosophy in New Zealand, Auckland, Jan.-March; The Path, Sydney, Australia, July-Septem-ber.
J. M. PRYSE'S BOOKS
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LIFE IN EUROPE TODAY
By Peter Freeman, M.P.
(Mr. Freeman has recently returned from a brief tour of Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary arid Rumania, where facilities had been afforded him by the Foreign Office, to see at first hand the political, economic and social conditions operating in these countries.)
Having made a similar tour round Europe at the conclusion of the last War (1914-1918), and having visited all these countries on many occasions in the meantime, I was able to make some comparison with previous conditions.
Of Europe's 500 million population, I estimate that anything up to 25 millions will die of starvation and cold during the coming winter unless more is done than is contemplated by the Allied Governments so far. Nearly everyone looks old, with haggard, pasty faces; most children are thin and undernourished and look like ghosts.
Few can realize the indescribable conditions that are seen in every large town. In the country areas, though the hardship will be severe, most of the population will possibly be able to survive; firstly, because they were not subjected to such severe bombardment; secondly, because they are more used to harsher conditions and to fend for themselves, and thirdly, because they will probably be able to grow or obtain a minimum of necessities to avoid actual starvation. But little or no livestock is seen, horses are rare, a dog or a cat is an unusual sight. The earth is not prepared and agriculture is almost at a standstill, with few farm implements, seeds, fertilizers or other necessities. In populated areas death by freezing or starvation will only be avoided by the most fortunate or most hardy during the harsh continental winter.
The break-up of all central and local authority and government in Germany, which Hitler's regime left as inevitable, means chaotic conditions everywhere, with lack of every description of transport, bombed and shattered homes, with little means of repair or renovation, the removal by repeated armies of invasion of most things such as cattle, horses, machines, food, furniture, agricultural implements, and the ordinary necessities of life. There is a pronounced stench from badly buried corpses in every large town. Little medical or hospital treatment, insufficient food, absence of local transport facilities with every bridge smashed, add to their incredible difficulties after six years of total War.
Conditions in other countries are not so severe - Czechoslovakia will be better than most, as they had little actual warfare, and a centralized Government is functioning efficiently under Prime Minister Fierlinger, with whom I flew from Frankfort to Prague, and therefore had an opportunity of discussing the affairs of this great country in some detail. A centre of culture and knowledge for many centuries, Czechoslovakia is already making rapid progress and, given adequate freedom to organize its own affairs, will soon take an honored and a prominent part in Europe's resurrection.
Austria has suffered more than most countries. Disarmed by the Allies after the last War, unprotected from Hitler's subtle and powerful approaches, it fell as his first victim, and was as ruthlessly exploited, plundered and denuded of all its means of existence as the ingenuity of its persecutors could effect. Vienna, once the gayest city in all Europe, is now a mass of ruins - not a bridge over the "Blue Danube" exists, not a house has its windows intact, over a third of its dwellings are uninhabitable. It has no coal, no gas, whilst electricity (where the wiring is left) works for an hour a day. The telephone system was stripped out by the Russians who have removed everything removable that the Germans had overlooked. Not a shop is open; only half the roads are cleared of debris and rubble. Rations - if and when obtained - are about one-third of those in Great Britain. In spite of these, apparently insurmountable hardships, Vienna is still cheerful. The people are working hard, they are confident and hopeful and will rebuild their beautiful country with an even greater beauty, if only opportunity is provided for them to live and to manage their own affairs as honorable members of the United Nations.
Hungary, where I was the first civilian except war correspondents to arrive since the liberation, was even more Heavily hit than Austria. On a journey by car from Vienna to Budapesth, I passed a convoy (four months after the war was over) which took me twenty minutes to pass, including many hundreds of wagons, lorries and carts, all obviously laden with farm implements, furniture, cattle and other livestock, food, and household utensils - all bore a red flag and all were driven by Russian soldiers - organized `loot' from somewhere - and travelling eastwards to Russia! One hesitates to blame the Russians, knowing how they suffered in the War, but they have deprived many thousands of homes of even the opportunity of producing the food necessary to avoid starvation. I was told this was an almost daily occurrence! Budapesth was more blown to bits than Vienna, with even greater and more widespread destruction. Looting, brigandage and rape are carried on with almost wholesale ruthlessness. The night I arrived a doctor had visited a patient in the evening. On his way
home, he was attacked, stripped completely of all his clothing and boots, his bag was stolen and he was left naked on the streets! I was informed such things, for both men and women, are of regular occurrence.
I saw all the chief officials in Hungary - the Head of the State, the Prime Minister, the Lord Mayor of Budapesth, and Chiefs of all the political parties. I discussed ways and means of helping and improving local and national conditions; but the difficulties are incredible and the problems seem insurmountable. The pengo, once worth about 60 to the L1, now obtains officially 2,500! - and, unofficially, anything from 6,000 to 40,004 - viz., less than 1 percent of its pre-War value, which is sufficient indication of how people suffer. It is as if L1 in Great Britain would only buy 2d. worth of goods, say, a pair of bootlaces. Even the most wealthy find it difficult to exist and the poor die in silent helplessness.
What Can 8e Done?
A long detailed report has been sent to our own Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, several all-party debates have taken place in the House of Commons, representation has been made to the United Nations; U.N.R.R.A. is beginning to operate. The war is now over, and there is no more daily bombing. Once this winter is over, more normal conditions will soon be restored; but the suffering, starvation, and misery during this winter will be the worst known in civilized history.
As regards other countries of Europe, though I was not able to visit them all personally, I met many friends who had just come from one or the other and they all report similar conditions elsewhere. Though varying in detail, nearly all report the most critical and cruel situation for the great majority. Vast areas of Russia were burnt to the ground, Poland was devastated, and whether in Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria or Rumania, in France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, or in Holland and Belgium, all tell a tale of abject woe and fears for the coming winter.
I saw many friends wherever I went, brought them greetings and messages from this and other countries, and gave them the fullest information at my disposal of conditions elsewhere. All are hopeful and optimistic, and let us pray that they may pull through these next few terrible months and soon may be able to re-establish the ties of brotherhood that have been broken for so long. - From Theosophical News & Notes, January-February, 1946.
"THE IMMORTAL BELOVED"
Those who were not present at Mr. J.W. Sutton's presentation of Claude Bragdon's playlet "The Immortal Beloved", an episode in the life of Beethoven, missed an evening of great beauty. Mr. Sutton's paper was excellent and was read before closed curtains. When the curtains opened Beethoven was discovered composing the "Moonlight Sonata". To the beautiful music of the first movement, the Immortal Beloved, born of Beethoven's aspirations, comes to life and dances in the moonlight. At the end of the third movement, the Beloved, symbol of the Higher Self, returns bringing peace to his troubled soul.
In Miss Merle Nichols' exquisite adagio dance, loveliness and grace combined in a comprehensive interpretation. The masks by Mr. Bryant Schwartz were very effective.
Mr. Sutton is to be congratulated on the success of his effort - the first of its kind in our hall. - From the Toronto Theosophical News for March.
BOOKS ON THEOSOPHICAL SUBJECTS
which have passed the tests of time and use Supplied on request. Forty years' experience at your service. Let me know your wish.
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THE WORKS OF CLAUDE BRAGDON
1. The Golden Person of the Heart (1898). (O.O.P.)
2. Theosophy and the Theosophical Society (1909) (Manas Press)
3. The Beautiful Necessity (1910) (4th A.D. 1939) (Knopf) Seven Essays on Theosophy and Architecture.
4. Episodes from an Unwritten History (1912) (Manas Press) (O.O.P.)
5. A Primer of Higher Space (1913) (Manas Press) An Introduction to the Fourth Dimension.
6. Projective Ornament (1913). New ornamental motifs from mathematical sources.
7. Four Dimensional Vistas (1916) (Knopf) Philosophical implications of theory of Relativity.
8. Architecture and Democracy (1918) (Knopf) American Architecture, Art, Mathematics and Mobile Colour.
9. Oracle (1921) (Manas Press) (O.O.P.)
10. Old Lamps for New (1923, 1925) (Knopf) (O.O.P.) Ancient Wisdom in the Modern World. "Time is a dream," "Gift of Asia," "Reincarnation".
11. The New Image (1928) (Knopf) (O.O.P.) Women, Delphic Sisterhood, Court of Veiled Queens.
12. Merely Players (1929) People known and things seen.
13. The Eternal Poles (1931) (Knopf) Love in various forms and phases.
14. The Frozen Fountain (1932) (Knopf) Essays on Architecture and the Art of Design in Space.
15. An Introduction to Yoga (1933 ) (Kegan Paul Trench & Trubner) London. Yoga for the West.
16. Delphic Women (1936) (1925) (Knopf) Women in the modern world.
17. More Loves than One (1938) (Knopf) Secret Springs (1938) (A. Dackers )
18. The Arch Lectures 1942 (Creative Age Press Inc.)
19. Yoga for You (1943) (Knopf) Contains The Golden Person of the Heart.
"Be full of pity for the ignorance of men, for ignorance is the punishment of sin; only they who have loved much may see beauty."
Among outstanding men of this age, those who are most loved belong to the so-called class of non-producers. "They toil not, neither do they spin." No cities rise at their magic touch; no flying instruments of destruction materialize about the fly-speck on their draughting-board, no atom bomb . . . . Higher in the estimation of the man on the street are the poets (who are the mystics). Thoughts, feeding the multitudes, flow from the pen and decorate the hopes and dreams of the economic slaves with dazzling vistas. Away from the toil and sweat a man may voyage on the wings of lyric verse, and the meannesses of the moment vanish, if only for a lunch hour. The philosopher too reaches out his subtle claw to maze the layman, and with perhaps the most honest intent, begs a following. Perplexity, demanding reason, hoping for sanity, impatient because of the instinct that there must be a higher "something" to be discovered, is the lot of man. No book, no poem, no song, no parthenon can answer the "why" and "whither," but all the while some avatar (unrecognized) broadcasts hints how man may raise himself by his own efforts high in the third dimensional plane. When ready and trained, some humble person may be the chosen one to pierce the space-time veil and take a further step up the ladder of evolution.
The climb is difficult and terrors lurk
to pounce upon the inexperienced explorer. Religious history abounds with trances of saints, beatitudes and solitary flights. William James, amongst others, may be consulted, or one may recall the experiences of Saint Paul, Swedenborg, and John Bunyan.
When gates are barred and silence broods
Beneath a sombre veil
Of mystery - wide webbed to lure the lazy soul towards
Its Karmic pole, inherited:
And wafts that "Thing" from Being's core to reach Infinity.
Abstract are terminals which form periphery of points
Upon a curve unknown, occult:
The monogram of God.
We will now deal with a highly advanced method of invoking the "Unknowable." By deliberate scientific process, the state once thought of as "salvation" may be induced. By eliminating the fear of ancient initiations, "moderns" are freed to press forward to a higher plane of vibration. Unblinded, they may view its possibilities.
Bound by fear and awe were the neophytes of early civilizations. Not so today. With a jest and a laugh, or a frown and a curse, the mysteries of life are approached. And who may judge? Bergsen claims humor to be the "great corrective" force in Nature. By its psychological machinations, evils, the soul fetters are struck off to allow human activity to be intensified.
From the dark red gleam of Saturn's baleful rule, through the joyful glare of Reason's renaissance, we have come to welcome a Light which, though it will blind some, it will at last permeate flesh, so that each atom may see with a new understanding.
In our present day of disgrace appears Claude Fayette Bragdon, born in Oberlin, Ohio, in 1866, on the first day of August. This man, though well-marked as a visionary to his friends, no doubt leads a much more real life than most of us. Walter Dorwin Teague, in "Design this Day" says: "Mr. Bragdon is a very talented architect who forsook architecture for mysticism." But this is not the only word portrait. Convincing proof is available in Bragdon's books written between 1898 and 1943 that he, Bragdon, is a teacher, a leader in thought and of action - at heart. His mysticism is his method, and his draughting-board and pen are tools with which, in a life-long search for beauty, he has demonstrated.
No arid intellectualism or narrow pietism marks him, but a wide tolerance embracing human affairs with knowledge and wisdom. Making the "Brown Brother's" teaching his own religion, he would have us know that "piety is outmoded." In its place men should face the world with arms outstretched, feet braced, and all faculties honed. Universal love is a pure, living, scientific law to be adopted not because it is pious, good, religious, sentimental or even (that red herring across the trail) good policy.
By analogy of fine mesh one's mind and senses are arrested, and, if not convinced, at least are given a chance in "time" to consider his haunting suggestions.
A photograph of him with crayon in hand before an easel reminds one of the mythical griffon of the Somerset zodiac. With beak deep in the fourth sign, he stands on guard watching the "ship" from which Sir Perceval, the Good Knight, issues forth "toward the castle, and therein were the fairest halls and fairest mansions that any might ever see."
Some abiding purpose seems to lie in the guarding of the esoteric "South Gate," which is the Sumerton Gate geomantically.
The name Bragdon could be the
modern form of Brach-don (the soft "g" taking over from the hard "ch") to give the reading, "The Highly Privileged Questing Hound." "Don" is the Spanish for nobility or gentry, and "brach" is a hunting hound.
The value of these speculations lies only in that they project our considerations through myth, romance, and Zodiacal science to that state from which our higher faculties may "take off" on the eternal quest, following the examples of heroes, saints and scientists.
A fourth class of leaders looms on the horizon. Nameless and unrecognized, they come from the artist fraternity. William Blake prophesied and pleaded, and Bragdon tries to confirm and prove, that the Imagination and Consciousness alone are real; gas, liquid, solid, being composed of vast spaces about a nuclei, which may be in the last analysis a ganglia of "immaterial" waves activated by spiritual Will force. When, as and if this is accepted, the Artist Priests will "take over" and the "diggers in the boneyard of dead civilizations relegated to join their own specimens and theories."
This small "dip" into the Quantum Theory may prepare you for Bragdon's deeper "immersion" into Relativity. He does not confuse his readers with scientific nomenclature lest we "shy off," but uses terms which produce a better understanding: showing that the material universe is a uniform and interrelated whole, and is a special aspect of a rational Cosmos. This, of course, is the Theory of Relativity as well as being a doctrine of the Ancient Wisdom.
Little need be said of Bragdon's childhood spent in northern New York State. His father, coming of good stock, was a newspaper man of shifting fortune. His mother appears to be of some social importance. The two being as "oak is to ivy" in their domestic relationship. Summertime found Bragdon helping on his grandfather's farm and enjoying life as a normal boy should. At seventeen he found a paying job doing lettering for a firm in Oswego, where his father had a post on the local paper. At twenty Bragdon had crashed into architecture. Later he sought his fortune in New York City with a grubstake of $30.00. From then on his advance was steady. Within a few years he had saved $600.00 which financed his voyage to Italy and France. There, finding himself growing soft, and lacking funds, he packed his telescope valise and returned to America.
His love life during this time, colored by his Leo temperament, "haunted one chamber of his consciousness," but was in his early youth attributed to "glandular causes."
The book, "The Golden Person in the Heart," published in 1898, was Bragdon's first literary effort. This small book, now out of print, along with a number of his later works, he thought very highly of.
About this time Emerson was instrumental in Bragdon's conversion to Theosophy. Then, having devoured libraries, he became "filled with zeal." C. Howard Hinton, J.W. Dunne, and Gerard Heard provided a storehouse from which seed for thought was drawn, planted and developed. Believing himself to be a reincarnation of an Oriental, the theosophical books in his father's library he says he instinctively understood. So too with Eastern art. In fact, he believes still that his own work is tinctured with an oriental flavor. He would have the East and West blend conceptions to produce the "ideal."
Before the first World War, in an essay on Theosophy, Bragdon made the statement that "Nothing has been so prejudicial to Theosophy as its esotericism, for while many things are revealed, which once were secret, the veil is only lifted, it is not cast aside . . . save to
the clairvoyants of pure heart." The Living Form within is shielded. "Only the pure in heart may see God."
To the Occidental mind secrecy is repugnant, but the Masters of Wisdom are all knowing. Little by little only may the Virgin of the World, the Theo-Sophia, be disrobed. Men would offer violence if given the opportunity. The Light should burst into the Flame of conviciton when the significance of the atomic age now being ushered in is understood. And just what has happened? Have the evil forces of the world stolen Nature's secrets as did the Atlanteans? Or have the Masters considered the world ready for a great revelation? If the latter, only in the highest moral and spiritual teachings can be found the answer to the question. What are we as persons, groups and nations to do about it?
Hope seems to lie in the teachings of the Wisdom Religion which teaches that the unmanifested God is without attributes, but the manifested God is Love. This seems to be an appropriate peg on which to hang one's hat in the present day of quandary.
Parallel with what Bragdon called at that time "the intellectual sport" to be found in Theosophy, his architectural practice blossomed in and about Rochester, to which city he had moved. This made it possible for his marriage in 1902. For nine years until Charlotte's death, to use his own words, "I was happier than I had ever been." Henry, his first son, was born, but the birth of a second boy caused his mother's death.
Bragdon's second marriage took place in 1912, soon after his appointment as architect of the New York Central Station in Rochester. By 1917 he was "a success." Here we find Eugenie's Oracle directing both his business and his domestic life with unusual results. Pouring himself out in his writings, he enters into most minute intimate details many of us would avoid. No Oxford Group "confessions," however, color his examinations of his married life, but a warm and generous "this is what I did." Eugenie died in 1920 when Bragdon was fifty-four years of age.
Two years later we find him again in New York City. Writing, architecture, lecturing, the theatre - these occupied his days and nights. His beloved Shelton Hotel apartment provided him with a much needed seclusion.
Sensitive to his finger tips, the man of "Many Lives" describes for us massed choral singers under festoons of fairy lights. Again, the breathlessness and beauty of the flying trapeze act. He writes: "Then a revolving pinwheel in the space between the two trapezes, a dying fall . . . arrested by some incomprehensible magic at the one possible moment, in the one possible spot, by the two hands of the catcher."
"Coloured music" investigations flickered and inosculated through his life pattern during intervals between tasks more pressing and more profitable. Light organs, in which the chromatic scale and the subdivided spectrum established a correspondence, intrigued him. Time implies, succession; color-music unfolds in space; and space implies simultaneity.
"Music," he says, "is mathematics made audible." This provided the key to "form" as found in geometry, giving a wealth of beauty. Quote: "So I had all four of my golden balls to juggle - color, form, music and mobility."
He suggests that in the domain of harmony, and not in melody, may be found a workable correlation. All the colors he analyzed, noting and registering their effectiveness on the emotions.
The seasonal harmony of Nature as pertaining to complementary colors is condensed in the lines:
The green of trees, the blue of sky,
and summer's deep black shades
Pass all too soon: then, autumn reds
fade yellow - and white snow
Obscures all hollowed woodland pools
with winter's crystal spread.
While eye seeks rest in neutral gray,
Of complimentary colors mix
as seasons come and go.
To Bragdon, the New York architect, there rose ever "the evil results of a narrow, lop-sided system of education" rearing their crests and blaring "the story of the survival of the evils of feudalism without its grandeur . . . " Quoting from Louis Sullivan (spoken of as "My Master"), Bragdon agrees that "we have been betrayed by our education." He would, at the earliest, allow the young to choose - and to dream: to wander in the fields of romance where grow the faculties of creative instinct.
Going on from Sullivan: "The Great God of the Universe, this divinely-human and humanly-divine creative element" - of this the child should be constantly reminded. The fundamental educational problems comprise the reawakening of God-consciousness that salvation is not a religious work, but an active necessity to growth; that spirituality has nothing to do with conventional morality or religious emotionalism, but is an inevitable and ordained movement of the inner-self towards "the world of the wondrous," and the taking of one's evolution into one's own hands.
Ethical conduct, good works (replacing old religious fervors), are not enough. I n science - where science transcends itself - the youth may find a clue. Curved Time, Hyper Space, and biology by all means . . . Perhaps the newly ushered in "atomic age" is the Second Coming - the Judgment Day for nations. By Fohatic impulse the Second Person is demonstrated "in power and great glory."
Until he deserted architecture for theatrical design, Bragdon was successful in that profession. Among his many commissions, the Hunter Street bridge in Peterborough, Ontario, gives him special joy. Together with the late Mr. Frank Barber, of this Lodge, he solved several interesting problems in connection with the bridge. This work led to his being invited to design the parapet of the very beautiful York-Leaside bridge. The two million dollar New York Central job already mentioned was his most important commission.
Perhaps most significant is that the Station contract led to his investigation of ornamental design, and then on to the higher dimensional forms for which development he is noted. The book, "The Frozen Fountain," published in 1932, when he was sixty-six, outlines this "projective ornament." It will pay great dividends to any reader who can give it study.
Trying, as he always does, to clarify for others, Bragdon sums up his ideas on architecture, saying: "There are two kinds only - Arranged and Organic. Arranged architecture is produced by talent and is governed by taste; Organic architecture, on the other hand, is the produce of some inner necessity which is subconscious, and is related to natural growth."
To what trend must we look forward is the great thought with which he closes his architectural life. Materialism of the capitalistic overlords will develop the "arranged" type; on the other hand, a true democracy of the brotherhood of Man triumphant will have "organic" architecture, "the ponderable expression of the cosmic order, wrought out in lovingness by men who are subjects but not slaves." And yet, the dense materialism of today is not necessarily an adverse factor. From the dunghill springs the flower and fruit. On the rung of "sin" we may mount and without dread. Emerson
says that even the dread of sin is evil. Little faith should we have in the "going back" theory to a reincarnation of 1497.
The essential law is advance towards higher forms and states. Go back in thought, yea - but only in order to learn of past errors. With love and beauty the grotesque will have less chance of survival. The word "grotesque" being used here to promote the thought of unbalanced and inharmonious states.
"If this shifting psycho-physical threshold is simply the dividing line between lower and higher spaces, then the whole evolutionary process consists in the conquest, dimension by dimension, of related space-worlds."
"Dimensions are but the rungs of the ladder whereby we mount to the conception of the infinite."
"Woman - like Nature gives herself freely to the most ardent wooer, and that lover is the mystic forever seeking the spiritual content of everything."
From out the massed battery of architectural and theosophical consideration to be found in Bragdon's first book of prose, "The Beautiful Necessity," comes a well rounded observation
"When the Ancient Wisdom principles are accepted, need no longer arises to treat subjects inductively. Facts are not useful in order to establish an hypothesis; they are used rather to elucidate a well known and accepted truth."
The blast is such that many of us are shocked on realizing that collecting of statistics for the purpose of drawing conclusions with which to prove theosophy should really be for the purpose of demonstrating it.
During his theatrical life Bragdon was on tour a large part of his time. From town to town he trooped in the capacity of art designer. Happiness seems to exude from him while engaged in this free co-operative life. Contacts with persons and places, described in detail, paint a picture of the humanity of the stage.
The play "Hamlet" he interprets as an initiation of the Soul in its innermost sense, and confirmed by Eugenie's Oracle. "The play is our message . . . It is a growing child: each year must make it nearer the picture of the Soul as Hamlet saw it."
To raise the theatre to the temple class is one of the dreams of this idealist. In that temple would be gathered the arts, guided by a small dedicated group who would lift in ecstasy the creative flame nearer and ever nearer to the Divine. History shows that the Greek theatre and the Christian Mass have produced intoxication of the senses. Revival meetings, political conventions, prize-fights and football are our nearest approach at this present day. These are, however, nearly subhuman. "In the merging of many consciousnesses under emotional stress there dwells tremendous force, perilously poised between creation and destruction."
The Oracle writes, "in knowledge lies all danger and all safety, for the Soul must know."
Mob violence is prophesied if a natural channel for its sublimation is not provided. A theatre-temple swept clean of accumulated rubbish might serve the purpose.
- G. Bryant Schwartz.
(To Be Concluded.)
Books by Wm. Kingsland
The Mystic Quest; The Esoteric Basis of Christianity; Scientific Idealism; The Physics of the Secret Doctrine; Our Infinite Life; Rational Mysticism; An Anthology of Mysticism; The Real H.P. Blavatsky; Christos: The Religion of the Future; The Art of Life; The Great Pyramid, 2 vols.; The Gnosis.
May be had from JOHN M. WATKINS, 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W.C. 2, England.
THE 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 clan 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 mild of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
ORIGINAL AND UP TO DATE
Students may borrow freely by mail all the early literature of the Movement, including the first years of The Theosophist, Lucifer and The Path Magazines, from the H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Rd., Victoria, B.C., who have also to lend, or for sale post free.
- EVOLUTION: AS OUTLINED IN THE ARCHAIC EASTERN RECORDS, $1.25
- BUDDHISM: THE SCIENCE OF LIFE, This book shows that the Esoteric philosophy of H.P. Blavatsky is identical with Esoteric Mahayana Buddhism. $1.25.
- THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, Translated and Annotated by H.P. Blavatsky. A faithful reprint of the original edition with an autograph foreword by The Tashi Lama of Tibet. Peking 1931. Cloth 75c.
- H.P. BLAVATSKY: A GREAT BETRAYAL, A protest against perverted Theosophy. 50c.
- H.P. BLAVATSKY: HER LIFE AND WORK FOR HUMANITY, $1.00
- H. P. BLAVATSKY: AS I KNEW HER, $1.00
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