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Vol. XXVII, No. 12 Hamilton, February 15th, 1947 Price 20 Cents
LIVING IN FOUR WORLDS AT ONCE
This may seem to be a ridiculous idea to a person hearing it for the first time, yet all human mortals are doing so with differing degress of success. What we call evolution is the gradual upfolding of faculties from within which will enable us to understand and interpret directly as with sight and hearing, the innumerable vibrations which fill space as we have discovered by our radio sets and other electric and optical instruments. There are different grades of matter or ethers in which these vibrations occur, the sound ether differing from the light ether, or that in which electric or magnetic phenomena are observed. Thought is supposed by some to stir vibrations in what might be called the thought ether, while others take the view that the language in which the thought is expressed makes a permanent impression on the ether, hence the respect given to ancient languages in religious ritual. All this has to do with the creation of form as may be shown in a simple experiment by scattering fine sand on a drumhead or other responsive and sensitive surface, when the sand shapes itself into figures under the impetus of musical or other vibrations.
How far, it may be asked, will such sympathetic vibrations carry us. We do not know the limits but by analogy, in the seven or eight octaves of a piano each note in each octave will respond to every similarly related note in all the other octaves. In an organ, from the shrillest pipe of the piccolo down to the huge 64-foot diapason the tuning must be perfect or the result is intolerable to the musical ear. Ears differ in sensitivity and must be trained or developed. The other senses are similar in their variation, taste, smell and sight. Some eyes are quite blind to color. Some can detect shades of color indistinguishable to others. Electric vibrations are caught by radio sets and other devices to which no human faculty can respond. In the long process of evolution we must develop faculties so delicate that no vibration can escape us not even the microwaves of thought. All this means the acquisition of new bodies of such texture and delicacy that their faculties will correspond with the subtle substances in which they are organized. Besides the body of flesh and blood, St. Paul speaks of two such bodies, the psychic and the pneumatic. He also makes the statement, either ignored or contradictd by church people and some theologues. Their dilemma includes the statement of Jesus to Nicodemus that he must be born again. Not the ordinary birth of reincarnation, for as Jesus explained, what is born of flesh is flesh. The new birth is from above, of water and the Spirit. Art thou a master in Israel and know not these things? Jesus asked. Water is the symbol of the psychic world, and man's psychic body, purified and cleansed of all earthly
desires and longings, is ready to become the Bride in the world of the Pneuma of the Holy Breath. The fourth world is that of the Sun whose solar fires consume all evil.
By Marion O. French
For centuries, the mystical concept of gentleman has guided the destinies of England like a beacon light. It has consisted in an ethical ideal that determined a code of conduct. Essentially, the code is synonymous with noblesse oblige; which is defined as "the obligation of honorable and generous behaviour associated with high rank or birth." To be born in or to achieve an influential or an authoritative position renders such conduct incumbent in accordance with the code of the gentleman. He has risen above the plebeian class and must assume the dignity and benignity of a patrician. There is no equality in Nature, or in the celestial hierarchies, until one comes to the incognizable totality of Deity. Gentle Men constitute a distinctive caste in character, in intellect, or in both. They have attained a moral magnitude that is incommensurable with that of less advanced strata of society. At a time when a leveling process produced by mass pressure threatens us with the bureaucratic tyranny of "the dictatorship of the proletariat," it behooves us to hold fast to this fact.
We may well do so if we consider what the concept has meant in the life of the world at large. Customs regarding recognition of social status have changed, but gentlemen were governing Britain before the Age of Chivalry. They antedated knighthood and cast a benediction of prescriptive behavior on that institution. The chnit, thegn and ealdorman of Old English were gentry before their tradition permeated and glorified the great religious orders of Knights. Their unwritten rules of deportment embraced the kingly virtues of the ancient monarchs of the British Isles. Example and precept had served to pass them from Britain into Brittany before Rome conquered Europe and not vice versa. The Celts knew the code when the Greek term Keltoi described a fair haired race of immense stature. It was Druidic until that esoteric school of the mysteries patterned on those of Greece became an exoteric church concerned with politics and mundane affairs. Ever renewed as from an inexhaustible fount, this incalculably powerful ideal of nobility has continued to spread abroad. It built the British Empire by causing subject peoples incapable of self-government to accept a rule more equitably just and gentle than any that they had ever known. Implanted in America, it determined the character of the United States during the phase of colonial infancy. It persists today by binding the English speaking peoples together in bonds of trust to confront chaotic conditions. This is because their leaders can depend upon the word of honor of an English or an American gentleman, even unto death.
This aspiration for gentility is far more than a mere ambition for rank, prestige, power or profit. It seeks a better and a more beautiful way of life than is accorded by a crass materialism satisfied with creature comforts. Its manners must be gracious, graceful and courteous even when courtliness verges upon affectation. It is and ever has been a patron of learning and of the arts. If pretentious palaces and architectural montrosities stand here and there as monuments to an overweening conceit, they are far outnumbered by homes that please the eye and invite the soul. Harmonious proportions distinguish the manor houses of England, the town and village streets of New England and the plantation mansions of Virginia. Even the unhappy ghosts that haunt some of them retain the habit of courtesy and
appear in fashionable raiment. Grace, charm and a generous hospitality reigned in these domiciles. Somewhat more than book learning and technical skills was gleaned by students in the cloistered halls of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Harvard, Yale, Princeton and elsewhere around the globe. Also, let us not forget at the end of World War II that "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman" entails disgrace under the King's Regulations and in the Articles of War of the U.S.A. Sandhurst, Portsmouth, Annapolis and West Point have imbued their graduates with the code for more than a century of almost constant warfare. Whence came the inspiration for this ideal of gentlemen as the leaven in the loaf? They have stood between the princes and the paupers to resist tyranny from either source. That force we know as public opinion was formulated by them. Always, as an expresion of the communal conscience, it has contained ethical concepts that sought amelioration of the miseries of the masses. Usually, the perceptual content was above the actual practice of the period. Nevertheless, it embodied some measure of unselfish generosity on the part of the fortunate toward those less happily situated. This impulse did not bubble up from the depths of degradation. It percolated down, despite all the animal proclivities of mankind, from a center that radiated the ideation of Divinity. Where, for the western world through the dark age, was this center and when was it established?
We speak of the Dark Ages in Europe as, generally, between the eclipse of Roman civilization and the Renaissance. In Hindu chronology, the Dark or Iron Age pertains to the solar cycles and lasts for 432,000 years. In The Secret Doctrine H.P. Blavatsky states that Kali-yuga commenced at the moment of a syzygy or conjunction of all the planets at midnight 17th-18th February 3,102 B.C. We may be sure from the accuracy of the existing Hindn astronomical records that ages with trained intellectual faculties competent for the task foresaw this event. Likewise, we may assume that they were capable of predicting the general cyclic influences that would affect humanity when Dwapara-yuga, the bipartite age of balanced good and evil, was succeded by Kali with three parts evil to one part good. Incidentally, the three evil factors are ignorance, malice and lust symbolized by the hog, snake and dove conjoined. They stem from ignorance as the reverse of wisdom and the darkness of the age is due to a lack of enlightenment in the midst of immersion in matter. It would, indeed, be a state of stygian gloom had there not been an aggregation, of gentlemen who refused to accept he anthropoidal ape as an ancestor.
With reference to 3,102 B.C., the Mayan Calendar is reckoned backward or forward from 3,632 B.C. or 530 years before Kali-yuga. This date lies within the generic scope of the Chaldean Neros or connected Greek Phoenix Cycle of 600 years. It suggests recognition in Yucatan of an approaching molting or change in the plumage of the Phoenix to a more sombre hue. Thus, coming events cast their shadows before and the sages who guard human destiny sought for some means to keep alight a source of wisdom for the western world. There have been such centers always on the face of the globe. One, that served as a model for those of our Fifth or Aryan Race, stood in what is now the Gobi Desert of Central Asia. It is asserted in The Secret Doctrine that "an inland sea was consecrated and called `the Abyss of Learning,' `twelve centers on it in the shape of twelve small islands representing the Zodiacal signs' - two of which remained for ages the `mystery signs' and were the abodes of twelve Hierophants and Masters of Wisdom."
The mathematical proportions and cyclic astronomical significance of this "Zodiacal Ring" was known to the subsidary Schools of the Mysteries throughout the world. Two of them, in particular, would be within the shadow of spiritual obscuration when the descending curtain of Kali-yuga fell upon Europe. There, and in the Near East of Asia Minor, the effects would be felt first. Those centers were in Sumeria between the Tigris and Euphrates and on the Nile in Egypt. The adepts or initiates of the former were called Chaldees or Chaldean Magi and the Encyclopedia Britannica gives 3,500 B.C. as the approximate date for the origin of Sumerian pictorial script that became the cuneiform signs of Assyria. The pyramids and temples of the Egyptians tell us much more of the latter African center. Both, however, appear to have known the location of the cyclopean astronomical monuments that marked the Mystery Schools of a far more remote antiquity; notably those at Morbihan in Brittany and at Avebury and Stonehenge in Britain. One legend relates that the magician Merlin helped to transport the great monoliths of Stonehenge from Kildare, Ireland, where they had been placed by giants who brought them from Africa.
Now, Stonehenge in Wiltshire lies about forty miles east of Glastonbury in Somerset. There, where the little Parrett River enters the wide estuary of the Severn, stand the Polden Hills and Glastonbury Tor, emerging as islands from the tidal marshes of the Sea Moors. This Vale of Avalon, isolated on the edge of the western ocean and shrouded in its gray fogs, possessed all the natural features for a replica of the ancient inland sea of the Gobi Desert. In this southwest peninsula of the Brittanic Isles lived the Celtic giants of Cornwall. To them from Sumeria via Egypt came the adept astronomers and
mathematicians of the Chaldees. Under their guidance, giant workmen re-fashioned the hills and little rivers into the Glastonbury Zodiac. Read the story of its marvels of construction in the words of its discoverer and inspired chronicler, Mrs. K.E. Maltwood. Her Enchantments of Britain, Guide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars and Air View Supplement will tell you of the antiquity and beauty of British traditions, that, by inheritance, are American.
That great monument and fountainhead of wisdom was Druidic in its day. Then, the old pagan worship of the Sun and Stellar Deities became degenerate. The advent of the Avatar, Jesus of Nazareth, brought a new dispensation and a renewal of inspiration in the pristine purity of the Christian faith. Joseph of Arimathea landed at Glastonbury and its Abbey became "The Mother of Saints." A list of them is given in Glastonbury, Her Saints, by Rev. Lionel S. Lewis. Included is the uncanonized King Arthur. Lewis states that "The idylls that surround Arthur's name are such that he and his Court are a synonym for purity and chivalry." Thus, in Arthur, we have a source for all that the ideal of gentleman has come to represent. Read of him and his Quest of the Holy Grail to renew your inspiration. Look at the Finger of the Law pointing into the eye of Taurus from the intersection of the Solar Cross between the four Royal Stars at Glastonbury. Then, wonder at the fact that, after more than three centuries of Roman rule, minute scrutiny of the Anglo-Saxon legal texts shows no least trace of Roman law outside the church. Let the sweet savour and mystical magic of Arthur's story refresh in you the determination to be a Gentle Man, sans pear et sans reproche, for the doors are never closed to him who seeks the "Graal" in purity of heart. - From The Theosophical Forum for February.
"DISCIPLES ARE LAW-ABIDING"
By L. Furze-Morrish
It is always emphasized that Initiates or Disciples always conform to the just laws of whatever country they inhabit at any time. This must be true, and the Pupil should do likewise.
There is, however, a Greater Law, that of the Universal Mind, the Holy Spirit in nature, and it is to this Law that the Disciple must always owe allegiance. It has many manifestations, but one source, the Universal Consciousness.
Just how far the Universal Consciousness is really "conscious", and how far It represents a subjective and unconscious Potentiality in process of being manifested by conscious entities, is a question which needs analysis to clarify. In the Ancient Wisdom, as well as that part of the Wisdom manifested in oriental religions and philosophies, there is primarily an Absolute, which represents a Universal Potentiality, out of which emerge successive forms and representations, themselves partial manifestations of the Universe. What is a Potentiality? It is first of all Power, but it is not power in operation. It is the power of a latent energy. Second, it is latent "capacity". Third, it is the source of a future "Process", by which the latent power will awaken the latent capacity and reach certain conclusions which are logical, that is to say logical necessities according to the latent laws of cause and effect contained in It. Thus we have a latent "Trinity" which as manifested in the case of such a Divine Being as the Solar Logos under the aspects: "Purpose" or "Will", "Love-Wisdom" or "all-embracing capacity" (so far as the system and its boundaries are concerned), and the Active Process of Evolution.
It is evidently this Absolute which is meant when the great Teachers of all ages speak of the Source of Life under any of its many names and titles, such as Jesus apparently meant when He spoke of the "loving Father of all", the "Father in heaven". So far as ordinary humanity is concerned, any distinction between the Solar Logos and the Absolute would be impossible, because the ordinary individual's Absolute begins not far beyond the limits of his waking consciousness. The main characteristic of what we term "evolution" is the gradual "pushing back" of our respective "Absolutes" and the rendering of them relative. With each new illumination or "rise of consciousness" we achieve two things: -
1. The "pushing back" of our Absolute Horizon and the capacity to rationalize and objectify our concepts of some part of what was previously the "Great Mystery".
2. A liberation from the sense of "compulsion" or "awe" associated with that which has become rationalized. That seems to be one more of many interpretations of the profound saying, "In His service is perfect freedom". It is evidently only when one reaches a certain state of consciousness that the freedom becomes "perfect". "Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect" means that, among other things. It means achieving the sense of the Absolute, the complete happiness in which state nothing which occurs in any mundane sphere can affect the individual who "rests in the Eternal", or remains "poised above the Wheel of Birth and Death". There are many terms to describe this state, and Christianity calls it "Eternal Life".
T. Troward, author of the "Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science" and many other foundational writings along similar lines early in the present century, spoke of this Absolute as the "subconscious mind" in the case of individuals, and the Universal Subjective Mind in the case of the whole scheme. Psychology has advanced quite a long
way since then, or, as we might put it, a great deal of the Universal Mind has passed from the subjective to the objective, from the sphere of the Absolute into that of the Relative. Troward mentions the importance of dealing with the subconscious mind, which, as he points out, is both the spring of all that we call the automatic working of mind and body, as well as the "silent power of evolution". He says that "by our conscious recognition of it we make it, relative to ourselves, all that we believe it to be".
This is important, because it shows that we become exactly what we think. If we habitually think destructively, we eventually evolve into destructive entities. If we constantly think constructively, we build into our being the capacity and functioning of constructive forces. In other words we manifest the Purpose, Capacity and Process of the Divine. M. Coue said much the same thing in his Nancy School. He advised his pupils to affirm certain things without consciously reasoning on them, and this would allow the subconscious mind to work out the suggestion put into it. M. Henri Bergson, the French psychologist, says the same thing in different words when he refers to a "Creative Evolution" going on. Dr. Jung of Zurich, another of the leading psychologists of the century, refers to the same idea in his "reservoir of psychic energy" on which all creatures draw for their specialized manifestations of form, Jung mentions the "Collective Unconscious" and shows how racial origins and ancestral patterns are contained in this. It would indeed appear that the early part of this century, the twentieth, gave rise to a great number of separate points of the same emanation from the Universal Mind, in which a large area of the previous religious Absolute became objectivized in the western world. No doubt the main stream of Theosophical thought, which began to affect the West in 1875, stirred those impulses which have resulted in the different schools of "higher" thought now altering western behavior.
How does this affect what we term Discipleship? It shows that the goal of Discipleship, and the goal of Mental Science and all other goals of new thought, are much the same. The ultimate goal is the sense of "rapport" with Universal Mind, although there may be other subsidiary stages in which individuals make very close contact with other human beings more developed than themselves, some of whom may even have made a very close contact with the Universal, and who are called "Adepts". The personal contact with the "Master" is one suited to a certain type of mind, the devotional type, in which all that is done is given as an act of love to the ideal Person. A similar process takes place in psychoanalytical terms when the young child unconsciously does certain things as a kind of donation to the parents in return for their affection and protection. However, the ultimate goal transcends any such personal relationships and must give way to a sense of universality, in which the disciple reaches full rapport with the Divine, and is able himself to give his wise realizations to those less advanced. Dependence on other persons can be transcended.
How is one to use this Law to achieve whatever it is the individual desires? The individual must work according to the laws of this Universal Mind. That Mind is impersonal, that is to say, it is not limited to any objective forms which have previously emerged from an imperfect realization of It. It is amenable to suggestion, in fact, It is infinitely suggestible. It is also creative because it contains in Itself the whole potentialities of everything which could ever be. It is thus the Source of Genius, meaning the ability to create "something out of nothing", or something which
did not exist before. Objective mind cannot do this. Objective mind can only redesign certain existing patterns, but Subjective Mind can create anew. It is the "power that maketh all things new".
Therefore, if we will only give a clear and unambiguous suggestion to the "Higher Mind" and leave it to work out its laws of response, we shall inevitably obtain the thing we have formulated, whether it may be a state of enlarged consciousness, or an increase of decrease in personal possessions. If we formulate forceful suggestions of negation and loss, then the subjective mind will do just what we have ordered it to do, namely, deprive us of whatever it is we have worried about losing. If we formulate clear suggestions of increase, then the subjective mind will produce that state, unless we halt the process by introducing contra-suggestions and doubt. It is possible by doubting to defer the enlargement desired. All that must be done, therefore, is to make a clear intent of whatever it is we desire, taking care that we do not picture anything destructive to ourselves or others, because, if we do, we shall have to pay the price later in karmic reactions.
Presuming that our desire is legitimate "under the Great Law", we need only formulate it in the widest terms, that is without setting a limit on the mode by which it will be effected, because the subjective cannot operate under such restrictions. We should hold a clear thought of the definite goal, and the general line along which we feel it best to work, then mentally relegate the whole affair to the subjective mind, and say in effect: "Now it is up to you. I have set the cause in motion, the effect will be automatic". Then dismiss the subject immediately without arguing about it objectively, because otherwise all sorts of pros and cons will start appearing in the mind and upset the force set in motion.
There is a karmic factor in operation here. In the past we have all of us set certain trends in motion and are reaping the results now. To set other forces in motion may be begun at once, but the effect or realization of the result in material form will depend on how much of the old karmic forces remain to be dissipated. If there is none left, the effect of mental suggestion may be instantaneous, but usually it "takes time" as the saying is. Also, another reason for delay is that in the unconscious mind of the individual, there may be a time-table unconsciously visualized. For instance the person may formulate the picture of some opportunity which is desired to give him the ability to complete a certain work, and perhaps he will unconsciously hold in mind the thought that this cannot work out until he passes out of the influence of whatever opposition now troubles him. It may be that this very fact represents part of the obstructive karma which he has first to work through, so that it may be impossible for the suggestion to work at once. There are many complications in individual lives which cannot be allowed for any single rule. Each individual has to formulate his suggestion according to his own individual technique and temperament. Some may visualize a Personal God; some a bevy of angels ministering to man; some a pure mathematical abstraction motivating laws of cause and effect according to immutable ratios; others may think in terms of time-cycles of astrological correspondences. But all will receive the exact result which they have themselves visualized. "In whatsoever measure ye meet, it shall be measured unto you".
There is a lesson for the whole human race in this Law. Human peace and prosperity is delayed constantly by mass doubts, fears, and negative thoughts. No one can blame anyone else for this, because we are practically
all guilty to some extent, and anyway we all know how almost impossible it is to avoid some negative thinking at times. In a world of destructive doubt it is almost an impossibility for the Disciple to "hold his consciousness poised", but in such measure as he can do this, he will "receive his reward". When this wisdom eventually does seep far enough into the racial unconscious, then suddenly, almost like a flash, the world will be changed. Much destructive karma will have been dissipated, and there will be little to prevent the "Kingdom of Heaven" manifesting itself. Truly, it is said that the "Son of Man cometh like a thief in the night".
"No man knoweth when," because presumably no one knows just how much negative karma remains to be dissipated at any time, and in any case the human race could manifest Christ at any time if it wanted to. - From Theosophy in Australia, December-February.
"The Master does not help most in the outer world those whom He most trusts in the Inner." - A. BESANT
By R. F. Rattray, PH.D.
Deussen was quite short and he was round; he had a round body, a round head, round cheeks, a round nose, a florid complexion, a very short neck, a stoop, and a remarkable resemblance to the traditional bust of Socrates. He was obviously a peasant, but was much shrewder than he looked. He was nearly blind when I knew him and wore blue spectacles. He had a short beard and moustache and wore a blue serge morning coat suit, with a white turned-down collar and bow-tie under it and was always well groomed.
I had a letter of introduction from Carpenter. Deussen was hospitable and asked me to supper at his home. Although he was sixty-six he had a son of about nine or ten, as well as a hefty but very pleasant daughter of about seventeen. She was just home from school. We had supper on an upper veranda al fresco, and the daughter, who was full of joie de vivre, suddenly threw her table-napkin over her head into the garden below. "What was that?" asked Deussen. He was told, and the daughter said she had done it out of pure joy.
Deussen's lectures were very well attended. A large lecture-room was always full. The reason was that he had a great gift of pouring out the history of thought (including Biblical thought *) in a wonderfully simple form. He gave several courses of lectures each term - one of them began at 7 a.m. and all were delivered without a note, although he constantly gave dates and wrote schemata on the blackboard. It was characteristic of him that one of his courses was on Goethe's Faust, which he knew by heart. [* He told his class with a chuckle of the "pia fraus" whereby Deuteronomy was "found". ]
I remember the thrill I got when he casually referred to "my friend Nietzsche". To me Nietzsche was among the immortals, and it seemed incredible that here was a man who had seen one of them plain.
When alone with me Deussen spoke English and perfect English it was, far bettor than that of any other German I have met, and than that of the professor of English at Kiel, the famous philologist, Holthausen.
During the summer term in 1911 Deussen gave a picnic to his students. As there were few women students at German universities, he got his daughter to invite her girl friends. A delightful affair it was. We went by train a little way; then walked through a beautiful wooded valley. At the end of it we arrived at a licensed cafe where supper
was laid for the large company in the open air. Towards the end of the meal, to my horror, I heard Deussen calling upon me to speak. The honor of my country was at stake and I made the kind of speech that would have been made at a corresponding function in England. In my innocence I remarked that we were glad that the relations between our two countries were good. To my astonishment there went up a guffaw from the whole audience. This was my first eye-opener and never have I had to re-orient myself so quickly whilst on my feet and speaking. After supper every guest was provided with a multi-colored paper lantern with a candle inside it, and lighting these we processed in the gathering darkness to a steamer. Needless to say, songs were sung and we arrived back in Kiel with the sense of having had a perfect day.
Deussen flattered himself that he was a cosmopolitan, but in the winter of 1911-12, when Sir Edward Grey had publicly offered to call an international conference to seek a peaceful solution of the German demand for colonies, Deussen interrupted a lecture to say, "You have noticed that Sir Edward Grey is offering us colonies as a Christmas present. No, thank you, Sir Edward: If we want colonies we will take them".
But to me personally he was very kind. He would take me for a walk, and once, when we talked of Nietzsche, and I said that he must have been difficult, Deulssen said with emphasis, "He was an angel." Once, when we crossed a road, a motor-car just missed us and Deussen, obviously in reaction against motor-cars, said, "The world is no longer beautiful."
In the winter Deussen gave a supper party to his men students at the Students' Union: cold meats, bread-and-butter and drinks. He introduced a game wherein one was suddenly called upon for one's autobiography, to be completed in three minutes. At 11 p.m. Deussen silently disappeared, and when the guests ordered their next drinks, found that their host's liability had extended only to that hour.
Deussen was a really remarkable man, of amazing capacity. It may be that he over-simplified, but he had a very rare power of simplifying vast masses of material, and his philosophy, which he may partly have read into his authorities, appears to me to be of fundamental importance. A very remarkable commentary on it is Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy. Deussen anticipated him. - From The Inquirer, Sept. 28.
ATOMIC SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
To the student of Theosophy it is very interesting to note that each new discovery in the realm of atomic science approaches nearer to the teachings of the Secret Doctrine. When that book was written about 1888 the atom was generally regarded as the ultimate particle of matter; the atoms of an element were considered to be separate, identical and indivisible. They were called the `foundation stones of the universe'. In modern books on atomic science this earlier concept of the nature of the atom is referred to as `the billiard ball atom'.
The Secret Doctrine never accepted that concept. At a time when the science of her day declared that the atom was indivisible, H.P.B. wrote "It is on the doctrine of the illusive nature of matter and the infinite divisibility of the atom that the whole science of occultism is based". Modern science has not found `infinite divisibility' but the `illusive nature of matter' is well proven. The atom has been divided into many parts and these parts are so small in comparison to the atom itself that the atom can be said to be mostly space. An electron has perhaps 1/10000th of the mass of an atom, while the mass of a
photon, a particle of light, is about 1/200000th of that of an electron. When it is remembered that about 250 millions of atoms side by side, would measure one inch, the almost infinite subdivision of matter is apparent. The central core of an atom is composed of protons and neutrons in varying combinations - uranium 238 for example contains 146 neutrons and 92 protons, around which whirl in their individual orbits and belts of orbits, 92 electrons. A British scientist, Professor P.A.M. Dirac recently suggested that these electrons, neutrons and protons might be considered as mere points, lacking in magnitude. Matter in the sense of a solid material stuff is disappearing from the realm of atomic science and is being replaced by energy, negative and positive electrical charges. H.P.B. wrote, "These elements are both electro-positive and electro-negative" at a time when the electrical nature of the atom was not discovered.
She also stated that `every atom is doomed to incessant variation'. The radioactive atoms are known to be varying continually. Uranium breaks down through other elements, casting off particles with each change until it reaches the relatively stable form of lead. Science suggests that uranium which is the heaviest and most complex element (with the exception of the four heavier ones produced recently) is, in its turn, the result of a similar breaking down of much earlier and far more complex elements of which there is now no trace on earth. It is from the disintegration of these unknown `mother elements' that all the known chemical elements have been formed. This again is in line with Secret Doctrine teachings.
There are many other suggestions in the Doctrine relating to atoms which modern research has not yet proved. One for example is that the atoms, `are the source of all life and consciousness'. That the atoms are minute life centres and that all `lives' however small are pervaded by the one universal consciousness, is basic in the Doctrine. The whole approach of that book is from universals to particulars, from the One to the myriads of the Many. The tiny systems of the atoms reflect the form and energy of the solar system; the Doctrine adds that the atoms also reflect the One life and consciousness which permeates the entire universe.
H.P.B. wrote, "If the student bears in mind that there is but One Universal Element, which is infinite, unborn and undying, and that all the rest . . . are but so many various differentiated aspects and transformations of the One, from macrocosmical down to micro-cosmical . . . then the first and chief difficulty will disappear. - From Toronto Theosophical News for February, 1947
THE ANNUAL ELECTIONS
Nominations for the office of General Secretary and seven members of the General Executive should be made by the Lodges during the month of March so that returns may all be in by the 1st day of April. Experience has shown that it is impossible otherwise to issue voting papers, carry on the elections, get returns made, and scrutinize the ballots in time for a declaration in the June Magazine. Secretaries of Lodges will kindly see that the matter is brought before their respective Lodges, and when nominations are made, have them sent at once to the General Secretary. Nominations must be made through a Lodge, and consent of parties nominated must have been previously obtained. Nominations must reach the General Secretary by April 1st., when the nominations close. They should be mailed at least a week before. This will enable ballots to be sent out, should an election be necessary, on or before May 2nd, and voting to close on June 1st. Nominations returns must be sent in a separate letter addressed to the General Secretary, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
PRESIDENTIAL QUARTERLY LETTER
Adyar, November 21, 1946.
I have to express my grateful thanks to many members in several countries for the generous aid which they are giving the Society with donations to help to lessen our deficit. Because one Lodge in the Society has formally represented to me that there appears to be "a very great and apparently unjustifiable expenditure involved in the operations of Headquarters", I am sending to every individual Lodge a statement on "The Administration of the Theosophical Headquarters at Adyar, Madras", describing concisely the work that is being done and what are the Society's responsibilities and its income and expenditure. The welfare and efficiency of a great International Society like the Theosophical Society depends upon an understanding by each Lodge and member of what is the work being done for the world by our Society, which I think we can well claim to be the first "United Nations Organization" of the world. I hope every Lodge will devote at least one meeting to reading my statement, which is in the form of a pamphlet. It will be despatched to each Lodge from the General Secretary of the Section in which it works.
A very sudden change has been necessitated in our arrangements for the Annual Convention. This was fixed to take place at Benares. The Indian Section of the Society covers a vast territory, and as large numbers of our principal workers in Lodges are lawyers, school teachers, or in Government service, the only time possible for them to attend Conventions is during Christmas holidays. As Adyar is from 3 to 4 days' railway journey from some of the cities in North India, many of our most devoted workers would never get a chance of taking part in the work of Conventions if they were at Adyar each year. For this reason the General Council of the Society arranged from 1900 for Conventions to take place alternate years at Adyar and Benares, thus giving an opportunity for hundreds of members from the northern Lodges to attend Conventions. In such years as Conventions are at Benares, not many go from South India, particularly as during Convention time Benares is cold, dropping at night to 40̊ F. (4.5 C.), and sometimes actually to freezing point.
After everything had been arranged for Convention at Benares this year, communal riots began in that city. The authorities imposed a curfew, at times for all the twenty-four hours (which means that no passenger or vehicular traffic is allowed except under permit), and on November 14th the Government declared Benares a "disturbed area" for a period of six months. This has necessitated the transference of Convention to Adyar. Usually at least four months' preparation is required at Adyar for all Convention arrangements to house and feed delegates, who may vary in number from 700 to 1,210, as in 1945. We are hurriedly appointing committees to undertake this sudden change in our plans.
An interesting item of news is that the Department of Social Affairs of the United Nations informed us that there is a department in the section of Non-Government Organizations which is willing to admit certain societies for "consultative status". We have applied for this status and have sent them all the information they ask for concerning the Society, its organization and administration. They propose to issue in 1947 a Handbook of the organizations who have received "consultative status".
The Vice-President of the Society, Mr. Sidney A. Cook, and Mrs. Etha S. Cook, after many difficulties have at last obtained passages to India. They will, however, not be present at Convention, but are expected about the
middle of January. Mr. N. Sri Ram, our late Vice-President, is flying to New Zealand to represent me at the 50th Anniversary Convention of the Theophical Society in New Zealand. Srimati Rukmini Devi has been most active delivering lectures in Holland, London, Dublin, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Brussels. She is expected back in Adyar by the middle of December.
- C. Jinarajadasa.
71st ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
The 71st Convention was first announced to be held at the Headquarters of the Indian Section at Benares, following the usual custom of alternating between Benares and Adyar for Conventions. This alternation was decided upon in 1901 by the General Council of the Society owing to the fact that India is a land of vast distances. The Headquarters at Adyar are one day's journey, from the southernmost towns of India, but three to four days' journey from the cities of North India. Many of our principal workers in the northern cities and in Bengal are in Government service or lawyers or school teachers, and the only period when they can get a clear seven days' leave is during the Christmas holidays. To go to Adyar and attend Convention and to return within the time is impossible and hence the plan of alternating between Adyar and Benares, which has worked most successfully to help the work of the Indian Section, as well as to commemorate the Society's progress at each annual Convention.
After all the arrangements had begun at Benares, communal disturbances created a situation which made the Government declare Benares a "disturbed area". Convention therefore was transferred to Adyar, but this meant depriving most of the members of the North, who had registered to go to Benares, of
the inspiration of Convention. Headquarters at Adyar very hurriedly organized the necessary arrangements for the accommodation and catering of 900 delegates. Application had to be made to the Government for rations for this number for rice, wheat, grain, and sugar and special arrangements were made for vegetable oil, and milk. The number of delegates present was 756, though 150 more had registered and sent their fees from the northern cities.
As usual with Conventions, there were four public lectures under the Banyan Tree with a loud speaker. A platform was erected for the speakers, and most of the members sat on the ground on mats, and some at the edge on chairs. The general theme for the Convention lectures was "The Cultural Unity of the Nations", and four subjects under this topic were taken up by: (1) Mr. C. Jinarajadasa, "The New Mental Framework Necessary for Man"; (2) Mr. Rohit Behta, General Secretary of the Indian Section, "The Making of a New Humanity"; (3) Srimati Rukmini Devi, "Coming Together of the East and West"; (4) Mr. T. Lilliefelt, late General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in Sweden, "Is Cultural Unity Possible in Europe?"
The Indian Section Annual Convention was combined with the program of the International Convention. On each day of Convention the work began with the Prayers of the Religions by members of the Society belonging to Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. The prayers were repeated in the sacred languages and all stood in reverence. At the end the President repeated, followed by the members in unison
O Hidden Life! vibrant in every atom;
O Hidden Light! shining in every creature;
O Hidden Love! embracing all in oneness,
May each who feels himself as one with Thee,
Know he is also one with every other.
The Convention was formally opened by the President at 10 a.m. on December 26th. The Indian Section Convention was opened by the President next day, and all its meetings were under the direction of the General Secretary of the Section, Mr. Rohit Mehta.
One innovation at this Convention was "Sectional Conferences" dealing with: I. "Religion for the New Age" -Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism; II. "Economic Reconstruction"; III. "Art and Education". The Conferences took place at the same hour in different buildings. Members selected which Conference to take part in, it being understood that at the Conferences on Religion, whose theme was "Religion for the New Age: What are the credal changes necessary and the modifications in the forms of worship to suit men and women in the modern world?" Only members of the Religion concerned took part. Each Conference was presided over by a chairman.
Two lantern lectures were delivered by the President: I. "The Scripts of the Mahatma Letters" and II. "Hindu Culture in Indonesia and Cambodia - Borobudur, Prambanan, Mendut and Angkor". The students of Kalakshetra, under the direction of Srimati Rukmini Devi, arranged for two entertainments, one, a concert of Indian music in Headquarters. Hall by a famous singer, and the other of dances by the students, presented in the Adyar Open Air Theatre.
As the Theosophical Headquarters has temples of various religions, members of the faiths held their religious ceremonies, the Bharata Samaj conducting its Puja each morning at 6:30 a.m., and the Liberal Catholic Church holding Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and a Mass ons Christmas Day, the Rt. Rev. C.D. Shores celebrating.
Those who belong to the Order of the Mystic Star performed its ritual once. The regular annual meeting was held of the League of Parents and Teachers which deals with the dissemination of the new ideas and ideals of education. There was also a meeting of the Theosophical Islamic Association, which specially surveyed the need of Theosophists to do their utmost to make a bridge between Hindus and Muslims. Theosophists are the only body who are recognized as having an open mind to the highest ideals of both religions. There was the usual Questions and Answers meeting presided over by the President and Mr. Rohit Mehta. One unusual meting was a Round Table Conference for all members to express themselves freely on the theme, "How can we improve our Work?" The General Council of the Society, according to the Constitution, held its meeting for the transaction of official business.
During the first five days of Convention the weather was perfect, but during the last two days intermittent rain made open air meetings impossible, as the ground under the Banyan Tree was wet. But the large Headquarters Hall served all needs. One large meeting of the Co-Freemasonic fraternity had to be cancelled as, owing to the heavy rain, the Masonic Temple (which is not a part of the Theosophical Headquarters Estate) was leaking in several places from the roof.
There were two symposiums by Young Theosophists presided over by Srimati Rukmini Devi, under the general theme, "Young Theosophists' Contribution to the Theosophical Society". A private meeting of the members of the Round Table was also held.
Special meetings were held under the chairmanship of Srimati Rukmini Devi concerning the Besant Centenary which falls on October 1st this year. A large committee of public men and women in
India, under the chairmanship of Sir C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar, Prime Minister of the State of Travancore, is making arrangements for the celebration, combined with which is the starting of the Arundale-Montessori Training College.
The President closed the Convention on December 31 with a valedictory address.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
In a letter just received from the President he informs me that the United Organization, Department of Social Affairs, has invited the Theosophical Society to apply for "Consultative Status" for Non-Governmental Organizations. The fact that the Theosophical Society has thus been recognized as a force in the world conducive to cultural ideals is something we may justifiably be proud of. The U.N.O. stands for Peace and Brotherhood and it is a proud moment for us that the effort we have ever striven for has been recognized, by what should be the mightiest organization of its kind in the world today. That its efforts will be crowned with success is the fervent hope of every one of us. Mr. Jinarajadasa's reply to the request is both comprehensive and illuminating and I thoroughly agree with the concluding paragraph in his letter to me in which he writes: "Our Lodges seem to be unaware of the international character of the Society, except very vaguely, I should like my printed statement to be distributed to every lodge in your Section." I may add that when the necessary number of these arrive they will be disposed of as he suggests.
In another letter the President in a reminiscent mood recalls he wrote Mr. Smythe way back in 1931 acknowledging with thanks the statement that he (Mr. S.) would support him in his candidature for the presidency. Much water has passed under the bridge since that letter was written. Mr. Jinarajadasa is now president and has our sincere support in that he has proven an ideal holder of the office, displaying leadership with the most exacting impartiality on all controversial subjects and has avoided stressing in any way the things that we objected to when he took office.
Arrangements are practically completed regarding Professor Wood's tour of the lodges in Eastern Canada. Roughly speaking he will spend a week in Hamilton and environment beginning on March 16; then a week in Toronto followed by a week in Montreal with a break off for Ottawa. This is subject to Mr. Wood's approval.
Karmic happenings are trying and difficult to reconcile even if we would, happily the wherewithall is not given us to reason the why and wherefore of some of the heart-rending calamtiies that assail so many of us. Recently I had occasion to note the remarkable case of Mrs. Cordingly who, walking along the sidewalk was suddenly swept into the Beyond by a motor truck swerving off the road and annihilating her. Now I record the case of Mrs. Feldstein, another Toronto member who lost her little boy a few hours after a happy children's party in which he had been participating. His loss caused Mrs. Feldstein a very serious illness from which she is now happily recovering. Our sympathies and condolences are extended to the family in their irreparable loss under especially sad circumstances.
The Veil of Gold, a play in three acts by Jean Delaire, published by the Theosophical Publishing House, 68 Great Russell St., London, W.C. 1. I have read this play with much pleasure. The subject matter is Theosophical and
treats of the emergence of a soul from the Inner Worlds who proceeds to spend a short but tempestuous life striving to produce beauty and culture, but is brought to an abrupt end in a tragic manner at an early age. The final scene a repetition of the opening but depicting the return of the victorious ego and the happy reunion with the girl who loved and lost him in his early life. A play of somewhat violent opposites both in character and emotion which would require expert acting and most up-to-date stage technique and lighting. These things adequately taken care of the play should prove a success.
Members interested and concerned about the welfare of the Society in Canada cannot but be perturbed on reading the report of the last meeting of the General Executive published in this issue in which Mr. Dudley W. Barr brought forward a motion that the General Secretary bring the matter of lack of funds before the membership generally. We live a more or less hand to mouth existence caused principally by the lack of accredited members and the smallness of the annual dues, accentuated by the cost of a magazine which is a severe drain upon our attenuated resources. The cost of the magazine, it will be noted, runs away with most of the money but this same magazine is our principal asset, without it we would indeed be a small voice crying in the wilderness. As will be seen by perusal of the Financial Statement, also appearing in this isue, we have but some $300.00 to meet all expenses till the end of the financial year when the dues will be coming in again. Till then there is very little in sight. Donations have been very sparse even by admirers of the magazine who in the past have been very generous. If this Society means anything at all to us then we should not have to pare and cut as we have to do in order to make both ends meet. I would, therefore, urge those who have our interests at heart to give this matter their serious attention and consider whether it would not be possible to send along some contribution, however small, to help the cause that means so much to those who have Theosophy at heart.
THE GENERAL EXECUTIVE
A meeting of the General Executive was held on Sunday, February 2nd, the following members being present: Messrs. D.W. Barr, E.B. Dustan, G.I. Kinman, D.B. Thomas (Montreal), and the General Secretary. The Financial Statement showed that there was little more than $300.00 in the Bank. In the discussion that followed it was thought that the probable expenses for printing, postage and extras by the end of the financial year would amount to about $600.00. Therefore, unless financial aid was forthcoming there would be a serious deficit to meet. Mr. Barr moved that the General Secretary bring the matter before the Membership. The Election, which under the Constitution takes place annually, was discussed. The Meeting decided that it did not think there was any necessity for any change, but that the usual notifications be sent out and the Lodges notified that it was in order to send in nominations if they so wished. A letter from the President stating that the United Nations Organization Department of Social Affairs had invited the Theosophical Society to participate in its deliberations was read and afforded much satisfaction. Two letters from the Secretary of the Free French were also read expressing much pleasure and thanks for the splendid efforts of the Toronto Lodge in sending material, clothing and other necessities for the stricken people of France. The next Meeting was arranged for the first Sunday in May.
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.
E.B. Dustan, 218 Albertus Avenue, Toronto
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
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.
Rev. Dr. Katsunoff, of the Church of All Nations, Montreal, has been celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of his church and has issued some interesting literature in connection with the celebration. For example: as illustration of the work done by the Deeper Meaning Bible Class he has provided a survey and brief synopsis of James Pryse's book The Apocalypse Unsealed. Dr. Katsunoff is working on the right lines, supplying to those who are ready, the material they want and at the same time establishing the pure ethics of the Christian tradition.
Miss Catharine Burroughs, of the Montreal Lodge, is celebrating her ninety-fifth birthday at her residence, 3674 St. Famille Street, Montreal. Miss Burroughs is not only the oldest member of the Montreal Lodge but is also the oldest member in the Dominion of Canada. She has been a member for many years and has always been a devoted and energetic worker. For many years she was librarian of the Montreal Lodge and selected books and literature for distribution. She has made innumerable friends and these are all cordially and affectionately wishing her such health and strength as may enable her to enjoy the advantages of her long life. Such devotion and single-minded work for the cause to which she is attached should ensure a rich harvest when she turns homeward and brings her sheaves with her.
Elsewhere in our magazine will be found a biographical notice of Paul Deussen, the eminent German scholar, whose appreciation of the philosophies of India was one of the earliest recognitions of that storehouse of Ancient Widsom. His book The Elements of Metaphysics, should be in the hands of every Theosophical student. It will charm the reader however little progress he may have made in the subject. The late Samuel L. Beckett, of the Toronto Lodge, once told me that Deussen's treatment of esthetics was the finest thing he had ever read on this profound subject. My own connection with Deussen was casual. Before leaving Ireland, in 1884, I had been introduced to Miss Anna Glass by my friend, John McDowell. She was the eldest of a large
family whose parents were both dead. Some years afterward my friend wrote me that Miss Glass had married a missionary and gone to India where she was very lonely and would take it as a kindness if I would correspond with her. I did so and found that she, with an open mind, made friends of some of the Sanyasis, or Holy Men of India and that for doing so she was boycotted by the other members of the white community. Under these circumstances she met Professor Deussen who was in India at the time, studying Indian thought. Before he left India he wrote a pamphlet dilating on the value of the Indian systems and concluding his pamphlet with a laudation of the Vedanta, advising "Indians, stick to it." He sent me a copy of it.
Having ordered a copy of Mrs. Williams' Blavatsky Concoction over a month ago, I have been somewhat surprised that it has not yet appeared. I have, therefore, drawn considerably on the comments of my contemporaries on this singularly inept book. To do the New York Times justice I reprinted from their columns a letter by Mrs. Firth, of the U.L.T., upholding the Blavatsky cult, with Mr. Haynes' pro-priestess rejoinder. We can well afford to be fair on a subject which concerns so closely the integrity of the religious world and the honesty of all who concern themselves with it. I commend a brief article by Mr. Van Mater as sufficiently covering the real issues of the case. But apparently defenders of H.P.B. in their enthusiasm are determined to seize the occaison to let the world know what her friends think. Truth is mighty and must prevail, and the question may be well put to Mrs. Williams as was put to the astonished Saul on the road to Damascus.
In a recent broadcast a description was given of a discovery of a huge cave in France by two schoolboys and their dog during the War in 1940. With a makeshift lantern they invaded the cave and were appalled to find themselves surrounded by what appeared to be a collection of wild beasts. On recovering their self-possession, they found that the ferocious animals were painted on the walls of the cave, the artist having taken advantage of its rough proturberances to give a lifelike vitality to his drawings. They reported the matter to their school teacher who communicated with a celebrated Parisian archaeologist who immediately came down to investigate. He decided that the paintings were the work of early men belonging, he thought, to the Aurignacian race of not less than 20,000 years ago. The broadcast was based upon a lecture delivered at the Sorbonne University in Paris in December given by the Abbe Breuil, noted French anthropologist, on the discovery of prehistoric cave painting at Lascaux in Central France in 1940. This discovery has only become known to the western world since last fall, and is of the highest importance in the history of art and culture. So far as I am aware no accounts of the discovery have yet been published in the American or Canadian press, although reports have appeared in "The New Statesmen" and "Observer' 'in England.
AMONG THE LODGES
At the Annual Meeting of the Montreal Lodge held on Tuesday, January 21st, the following members were elected to the Executive for the coming year: President, Mr. D.B. Thomas; Vice-President, Miss H. Burke; Treasurer, Mrs. Thomas; Assistant-Treasurer, Miss M. Pickup, Secretary, C. Weaver; Librarian, Mrs. Matthews. This year also the Lodge elected a Membership Secretary, Miss Beaulieu accepting that position in addition to being the new Auditor. It is our intention to appoint an assistant to the Librarian in the near
future. Two of our previous members have resigned and we lost one through death. To offset this, seven new members have joined during the past few months, bringing our membership to forty-four - the highest it has been for some time. Enthusiasm runs high; the Lodge room has been renovated and the library has been reorganized, with many of the books being rebound and all given tidy covers. New books are being added. The President in addition to his work around our Lodge has been active in the organization of a theosophical group in Ottawa, which bids fair to become a flourishing new center. During the Annual Meeting Mr. Thomas read the minutes of the first meeting this Lodge ever held - in 1905. We take some pride in our long history. One of the charter members, Miss Burroughs, will be ninety-five in February and is our Honorary President. The thanks of the Lodge were extended to Mr. Griffiths, who retired as Treasurer after holding that position for twenty-three years. Mr. Thomas presented Mr. Griffiths with a book, `The Wisdom of China and India,' as a memento of the occasion and a token of our esteem. During the past year we have had visits from Col. Thomson, Dr. Kuhn and Mr. N.W.J. Haydon, as well as others. All were welcome, and appreciated. - Cedric Weaver, secretary.
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.
MRS. WILLIAMS' BLAVATSKY CONCOCTION
- N.Y. Times, Nov. 24th
Editor New York Times Book Review:
"Priestess of the Occult: Madame Blavatsky," by Gertrude Marvin Williams, reviewed by Thomas Haynes in THE NEW YORK TIMES Book Review, Oct. 27, attempts to depict a "Gargantuan Ego, Clumsily Purusing Truth." Whether or not Madame Blavatsky is all her supporters know her to be, this biographer is shown to have set forth so many nasty lies that there appears to be no room in the diatribe for even a ray of common decency, let alone facts and truths. What is more, every charge is without any foundation, support or testimony, unless it be the repetition of the lies of some previous slanderers. But what can one expect from a biographer, shown to have assumed the "position of a belligerent"?
It is not Madame Blavatsky's supporters who will be deceived, as they have before them her monumental works testified to most nobly in the days of their publication by readers and reviewers alike the world around. It is only the unknowing public who may be misled. On this account, for the sake of truth versus slander, and for simple justice, it may be said that such writers as the biographer of the above-named work will become sooner or later completely dishonored if not also subject to suit for libel. The New York Sun once published an infamous account of Madame Blavatsky. When it was satisfactorily proved false, The Sun retracted publicly and followed with the printing of an expose of the false charges. This is a matter of recorded history.
Unfortunately, the reviewer is not free from the deception of much of the biographer's cowardly abuse of one passed on. Neither H.P. Blavatsky's great works nor the verifiable record of her hard-working life for Theosophy
and the Theosophical Movement indicate anything "clumsy" in "the pursuit of Truth." These should be impartially studied before abuse is thrown or believed. As for contracting "bigamous marriages" and "having at least one child," it is well to note that this is "according to Mrs. Williams," and the reviewer, not according to fact.
These disreputable stories are not only without foundation, but are positively refuted by verifiable records. Madame Blavatsky never had a marriage in fact, and when similar slanders were given currency by enemies in her day, the certificate of a well-known examining physician in good standing was produced testifying over his own signature to the fact that she never could have a child at all. This also is a matter of recorded history, and the records are available.
Madame Blavatsky was never "exposed beyond defense," nor did she ever admit any "charlatanry" since she had none to admit. Least of all did she "create" the Mahatmas who were her Teachers. If the British Society for Psychical Research "summed her up" as an "imposter," the reason lay in their believing the lying report of one single young Mr. Hodgson who became an untrustworthy enemy. His report could not be substantiated and was disproved by numbers of witnesses as well as the work of H.P. Blavatsky herself. The record of this, as well as an answer to all other charges, can be found in "The Theosophical Movement, 1875-1925. A History and a Survey" (705 pages), published in New York by E.P. Dutton & Co. (1925) , and obtainable now at the United Lodge of Theosophists. This work, as its title implies, sets forth the true nature of the Theosophical Movement, its founders and supporters, together with the teaching, life and work of H.P. Blavatsky. Questioners will find its record verifiable.
- Newark, N.J. - B.G. FIRTH.
Mr. Haynes' Rejoinder Dear Mr. Firth:
In the first paragraph of your letter you employ the phrases "this biographer is shown" and "there appears to be." It is obvious that you have not read Mrs. Williams' book. How, then, can you attack it? By what tangent to reason am I included in your indictment? Is it not part of the wisdom of the East, popularized by Madame Blavatsky, to "send the maximum amount of energy through the smallest possible opening"? Should you not read the book and then address yourself to Mrs. Williams?
My report was an exceedingly brief summary. It was not my job either to agree or disagree with Mrs. Williams; my task was to inform readers of the Book Review of what Mrs. Williams had written and to comment on its adequacy, excellency and attitude. This I did. Personally, I think Madame is much more admirable because of the things Mrs. Williams says she did do. You had better read the book, then take it up with her.
It is twenty years since I first looked into Madame Blavatsky's books and into her life. The theosophical literature about her is uncritical. Mrs. Williams spent many years in research; she was at headquarters in India. Her 315 page book, with a chronological table and appendices, is admirably documented. It is a work of scholarship, and it gives Madame credit for many things she accomplished. For instance In "Isis Unveiled" Madame did valuable spade work in attacking the complacence of the West....... "Isis Unveiled" was ahead of its time in the field of science....... Several generations of psychologists have devoted their lives to patient experimentation, hoping to establish principles that Madame glimpsed, approved, and swallowed in a hasty gulp. Perhaps her sensitiveness to unseen forces, her groping for an applied science to control such forces is
the nearest we can come to a definition of her mysterious, but by all accounts overpowering, psychic quality. (p. 115. ) '"`-~ That is what Mrs. Williams thinks of Madame's work. Is Mrs. Williams misleading the "unknowing public" when he says that?
As to The Sun's retraction of its attack on Madame, Mrs. Williams gives the full story in her book. Dr. Elliott Coues of Washington, D.C., wrote the piece. He cited Prince Wittgenstein (instead of Baron' Meyendorf) as Madame's lover. That was libelous, and Madame - after a reply in which, as Mrs. Williams points out, she ignored "numerous disagreeable charges that could not be answered" - ordered a suit for libel filed. A retraction was printed four months later, but Madame was dead. "It was the nearest to a vindication that Madame ever attained," Mrs. Williams says.
And there you are, sir. Both you and Mrs. Williams believe that the founder of Theosophy should be without stain. You think she was; Mrs. Williams thinks she wasn't.
May I press you once again, sir, on this most important point. Read the book.
- Thomas Haynes
New York City.
A NEW "H.P.B." IN N.Y. TIMES
Theosophists who read the Book Review section of the New York Times for Oct. 27 were surprised to find there a disagreeable article reviewing the latest book "about" Madame Blavatsky. The Editors of this Magazine immediately sent to the Times a letter, most of which appears below.
"To your reviewer, Thomas Haynes, and to Gertrude Marvin Williams, author of Priestess of the Occult: Madame Blavatsky, must be awarded the distinction of having created a portrait of Madame Blavatsky in which any resemblance to the actual character and purpose of her life is sheer accident. (This book was reviewed in the issue of Oct. 27.) The fact that the New York Times, often a synonym of editorial responsibility, has opened its columns to a reviewer who quips and frolics on the mangled reputation of an honorable woman - one without legal recourse against slander because she died fifty-five years ago - may be set down as a minor mystery of literary criticism.
For anyone knowing the work of this extraordinary figure of the nineteenth century, it is difficult to understand how a biographer like Mrs. Williams plainly familiar with most if not all of the source-materials, could so consistently misunderstand, ignore or deliberately disregard the real dynamics of that great career - which she is content to describe in terms of the trivial, the dubiously uncertain and the demonstrably false, filling out her picture with the glib conceits of an amateur psychologist. Mr. Haynes accepts without question the caricature of H.P. Blavatsky offered by Mrs. Williams, adding ingenuous evidence of his own incapacity to see through even the flimsy pretense of "scholarship" which appears in this book in the form of numerous footnotes and several appendices.
Attacks on H.P. Blavatsky, of course, are nothing new. But this book has not even the dignity of an honest attack. It is a motiveless mosaic of petty slanders. What is surprising in Mrs. Williams is the termitic industry of her labors, and the monumental irrelevance of the result. If everything she says of Madame Blaavtsky were true, - to the invention or plagiarism of every last sentence in the texts of the Theosophical Movement, the necessity of accounting for the immensity of her achievements on any hypothesis would still remain. If H.P. Blavatsky "magnetized" her followers and deluded great men into believing her, then her stature as the
supreme Svengali of all history defies the imagination. If she practiced deceit in the scale claimed by Mrs. Williams, then her capacity to gull the public reveals a knowledge of human nature far exceeding any estimate by her smug detractors, whose psychic satisfactions, if not theeir incomes, are derived from "literary" belittling of others rather than any genuine creative activity.
Fortunately, the greatness of H.P. Blavatsky does not depend upon winning the approval of Mrs. Williams, who, by any serious comparison, may be likened to a mouse who hopes to undermine the Great Pyramid by scraping its incisors on the bottom tier. The Secret Doctrine, Isis Unveiled, The Key to Theosophy, The Voice of the Silence and a host of other writings are sufficient to dispose of Mrs. Williams' major charges of insincerity and lack of moral principles in H.P. Blavatsky. Further, point-by-point refutations of all the ancient libels revived by this book have long been in print, in such volumes as The Theosophical Movement, published by Dutton in 1925, and The Real H. P. Blavatsky, by William Kingsland, issued in England. A reading of the article on Madame Blavatsky in the Encyclopedia Britannica (14th ed.) and the supporting references disclose the barren superficiality of this latest "biography" of H.P. Blavatsky."
A SIGN OF "TIME"
The next review to come to the attention of the Editors appeared in Time Magazine, Nov. 11, and the reply is here given entire, as the facts included may prove useful to other students answering similar charges
"Time's review (Nov. 11) of Priestess of the Occult by Gertrude Williams is self-convicted of myopic and careless criticism. The reviewer simply echoes Mrs. Williams' revival of ancient libels against Madame Blavatsky without checking her "facts." To pick a few, Time says: "Madame Blavatsky "was
caught red-handed in chicaneries"; that she claimed Isis Unveiled "was dictated to her by the Masters of Wisdom"; that she left India in 1885, "repudiated by her own followers"; and concludes with a quotation from the London Society for Psychical Research, calling her "one of the most accomplished, ingenious and interesting impostors in history." All these charges are unequivocally false.
It is easy to compile an encyclopedia of the vindictive attacks on a woman who labored to expose the conventional hypocrisies of her time. It is easy to smear with borrowed epithets the reputation of a writer who dared to challenge the hoary canons of religious dogma and who looked too closely for comfort at Idols of the Tribe. But it is easiest of all to hold up to superficial ridicule a person who, unwilling to stop at mere iconoclasm, invited salvos from all the Big Battalions by offering a dynamic moral philosophy that would, if widely accepted, transform the modern world.
What was this "teaching" which Time consistently ignores? The same Society for Psychical Research that provided Time with its final punch-line, said of H.P. Blavatsky's doctrines:
"The teaching . . . . comprises a cosmogony, a philosophy, a religion. With the value of this teaching per se we are not at present concerned. But it is obvious that were it widely accepted a great change would be induced in human thought in almost every department. To take one point only, the spiritual and intellectual relationship of East to West would be for the time in great measure reversed. `Ex oriente lux' would be more than a metaphor and a memory; it would be the expression of actual contemporary fact."
No wonder Christian missionaries in India tried to prove Madame Blavatsky a fraud by hiring confederates to plant evidence of "chicanery" in her home! As to her being caught "red-handed,"
she was not even questioned at the time of the "investigation" pursued by the London Society for Psychical Research; and the evidence adduced against her has been clearly shown to be both circumstantial and fabricated. (See The Theosophical Movement, Dutton, 1925, for the facts.) Time, obviously, is completely unaware that present members of that Society have all but repudiated the youthful investigator's glib conclusions of sixty years ago, now being somewhat ashamed of the ex parte nature of the proceeding.
Far from claiming that Isis Unveiled was "dictated" to her, Madame Blavatsky ridiculed this idea, as simple reference to her published articles will show. The charge that she was "repudiated" by Indian theosophists is sufficiently disposed of by noticing the Report of the Convention of the Theosophical Society in 1884, which contains a unanimous resolution of solid support by the Indian members.
Last but not least, Time would have us believe that such figures as Alfred Russel Wallace, William Cropkes, Thomas Edison and Lord Tennyson were gullible fools in their serious interest in Theosophy and Madame Blavatsky. If this be the accolade of "chicanery," what sort of evidence will Time accept of the quality of Theosophical Doctrines and the character of its nineteenth century teacher - short, that is, of turning to her books? The latter, we suppose, is too much to ask of a busy department editor who cannot be expected to verify anything for himself.
With the more recent Theosophical history noted by Time in a footnote, the present writers have here no special concern. Our interest is in the curious contrast between Time's eager repetition of every slander directed at Madame Blavatsky, and its ostentatious ignorance of her serious thought and work. As editors of an independent Theosophical magazine, we argue for no "society" and shield the prestige of no organized group. We do speak on behalf of a dead and defenseless woman - defenseless, that is, against gross defamations of character which she is no longer here to refute. (While she lived, legal action against the New York Sun for printing the identical slanders repeated by Mrs. Williams brought a candid retraction by that newspaper and the admission that they should never have appeared.)
In the arena of her chosen lifework, the world of religion, science, and moral philosophy, she needs no advocate.
- Editors, THEOSOPHY
As we go to press, other reviews of the Williams' book are being received, together with copies of letters sent to newspapers and magazines by individual students who protest unjust representation,of Madame Blavatsky's character and motives. Further treatment of the issues involved will appear in our January issue. Meantime, the specific needs of the moment are served by briefly pointing out the disqualifications of Mrs. Williams and her reviewers, and setting their travesty in its proper aura of absurdity - which absurdity can be mastered only if one is possessed of a sense of humor and a proper suspicion of the motives of modern "debunkers". - From Theosophy for December.
THE ENDURING H.P.B.
By John Van Mater
What first intrigues the beginner in the works of H.P. Blavatsky is the vast number of authorities and topics marshalled by her. She draws from the literature, archaeology and folklore of almost every land. Facts of curious interest are adduced and profound subjects culled from the religions, sciences and philosophies of the world.
As we read, however, we become conscious of what is the most important of all, and that is the golden thread of
wisdom-teaching linking these many seemingly diverse subjects into a cosmic philosophy which in spite of the heterogeneity of its parts presents in broad stroke and outline the largest installment of the Gupta-Vidya to be found in modern history.
To be sure, there are those who never go beyond the letter of her words, carping critics who would discredit the Shakespeare because his Hamlet presents an older theme. Too busy counting quotations and the punctuation marks therein, these panegyrists of the brain mind fail to see the forest because of the trees.
Then there are those who concentrate their destructive energies upon H.P.B. herself. No Theosophical magazine would fill its pages arguing the pros and cons of H.P.B.'s personal life except that the so-called facts brought forward about her personally are distortions of truth and often downright slander.
Then too these energetic persecutors endeavor to associate their unjust and unproved findings about H.P. Blavatsky the person with the grand work she achieved and the majestic and spiritualizing philosophy inaugurated by her.
What about the teaching of H.P.B.? Does one ever find a fair analysis of them in the books seeking to discredit her? The absence of their treatment leads us to infer that they have been disregarded with deliberate foresight, because the writer or transmitter of The Secret Doctrine and The Voice of the Silence cannot be charlatanized!
The Theosophical Society will not suffer permanent injury from this type of sensation-mongering. Long after H.P.B. has become a myth, the teachings she brought will continue to leaven the thought-life of the world. The best defense of H.P. Blavatsky is to hold aloft and by unceasing endeavor to keep untarnished the golden shield of truth.
Put yourself in the place of the average fair-minded and unprejudiced reader. You will find your interest piqued rather than discouraged by such caricatured and wholly one-sided presentations as Gertrude Williams' latest book. You will wonder: "There must be something to this woman who has evoked love and reverence from so many thousands, and brought down upon her head the criticisms of materialistic science and dogmatic religion; and who has been the subject of so many books seeking either to debunk or to dramatize the occult". Concerning the many books of the latter type, the discerning and well-bred individual will be disgusted after the first twenty pages, for invariably they make shallow and sensational reading. - From The Theosophical Forum for February.
THE MEETING OF EAST AND WEST
A Review by News-Magazine TIME
Professor Northrop, Master of Yale's Silliman College, is a man who has something important to say. What he has to say embraces so many facts with such assurance, and is so radical and so constructive, that his book may well influence history, as he seriously proposes that it should.
Written by a philosopher, it is readable by any layman who likes to see a tough problem figured out step by step without shirking - a method which the author uses to create a good deal of intellectual suspense. The book arrives at a philosophical basis for world culture. If the world wants one, as down to earth as Marxism but with more than just economic satisfactions, Professor Northrop suggests that the world can have it.
SCIENTIFIC SUCCESSION. Every culture in the past, says Northrop, has had a philosophical basis (a theory of the nature of man and what is good for him). Setting out to prove it in 435 pages of closely reasoned analyses of
the histories of Mexico, the U.S., Britain, Germany, Russia and the Orient, Professor Northrop concentrates on science, religion and art, but ranges all over the cultural map. One of his basic theses is that the present forms of all Western cultures belong to the past because the assumptions behind them no longer square with scientific and hence philosophical truth. Indeed, they never did; Northrop says that the last system of thought that accounted coherently for all the facts of science known at the time was the Aristotelian system of St. Thomas Aquinas (circa 1300 A.D.). . . Since the discoveries of Galileo and Newton, Western societies have been based on a succession of scientific philosophies, each of which added its own mistakes in correcting its predecessors. Finally science itself took a turn, with the physics of Einstein, that knocked the props from under even the inadequate philosophies of Locke, Kant and Hegel. Says Northrop: "The traditional modern world is as outmoded as the medieval world."
It is worse than that, he adds. With no philosophical coherence at the top, faulty and contradictory Western ideologies have been at war, like the societies that cling to them. Professor Northrop wants to find a worldwide philosophical formula that will synthesize the best of East and West. He does not believe the answer lies in the West going off the deep end into the mysticism of the East (as Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood and other Anglo-American intellectuals seem to have done). Nor does he believe that the East should drop its own culture for Westernisms.
METHOD & ERROR. Professor Northrop, who teaches the philosophy of science at Yale, will not abide condemnation of science - as such. "Nothing," he says, "can do more harm to democracy than the thesis, so popular with many contemporary moral and religious leaders, that sciencce is neutral, if not positively evil, with respect to human values . . . "
Scientific method is all right, the glory of the West; but the "modern" views of the world constructed on it were flawed by a basic error. Northrop is not alone in finding this error in John Locke, whose 17th Century philosophy contained the premises of Jeffersonian democracy, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The error consisted in the theory that "physical substances" (space, planets, flowers) are definable only in Newtonian terms (extension, mass, volume), thus have no sensuous qualities (depth, heat, fragrance) but are supplied with them by the "mental substance" of the observer.
With this "three-termed relation" as the villain of the piece, philosophy has been in trouble for nearly 300 years.
For anyone who thinks this metaphysical formula has nothing to do with the price of eggs, Professor Northrop cites chapter and verse. As a consequence of it, he argues, Locke saw no purpose in government except the protection of private property; and in consequence of that, the U.S. Government has failed to this day to understand the Mexican and other foreign governments. As another consequence, Protestant Christianity conceived the human soul differently from Catholic Christianity, in consequence of which protestantism shared the poverty and confusion of "modern" cultures as Catholicism did not. As a further consequence, Western eggs and everything else have been priced on the hypothesis of the "free market" except when the hypothesis became unbearable.
STARK REALISM. Locke's philosophy was elaborated and to some extent corrected by the German philosopher, Im-manuel Kant. Hegel followed Kant, and Marx followed Hegel. One secret of the "arrogance" displayed by Ger-
many and later by Communist Russia toward Britain and the U.S., Northrop observes, has been their assurance that their philosophical foundations were more modern and hence superior.
Professor Northrop's analysis of Russia faces the fact of Communist success: of the deliberate, swift and powerful application of a philosophy, Marx's, in human history. The Marxian dialetic was too rigid for the facts. But at least "it was high time that economic and political theory . . . treated man as a creature with a body, having continuous energy requirements in the form of food to maintain even his human existence.
Moreover: "The leaders of communistic Russia thoroughly understand the philosophy . . . which underlies the traditional French and Anglo-American democracies. Knowing this, they are in a position to predict roughly how, in a given set of circumstances, we will act . . . " He suggests that the "rest of us" acquire "a similar realism grounded in a philosophical, economic and political theory which defines what we stand for."
Professor Northrop finds hopeful sources of such a realism already flowing together in America. They include: (1) a search for coherence like that which has led the University of Chicago's Hutchins and other educators to the "medieval synthesis" of St. Thomas, in which the Lockean error was unknown; (2) a corrected, pragmatic view of precisely what is implied in scientific method, such as that developed by William James, John Dewey and Alfred North Whitehead; (3) a realization such as Latin American cultures have, of the profound reality of sensuous, emotional and artistic experience.
THEOLOGICAL REVOLUTION. Professor Northrop shows how Aristotle's scientific and self-consistent thought, merged with Christian teaching in the 13th Century, provided "interconnections between all departments of knowledge - something which the Humpty Dumpty modern world has desperately needed. This, he believes, is the present appeal of Thomism (philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas). But he values more the fact that in its day it was a great revolution in theology.
Plato and St. Augustine, for whom the world of sense was almost as unreal as it later was for Locke, were superseded in St. Thomas' system by Aristotle, biologist and logician, who knew it was and is real. Such a revolution, in present Western philosophy, is very near to what Professor Northrop wants. And he thinks that Roman Catholic thought, honoring reason and concrete reality, may achieve in time a new synthesis based on the new science.
LIMITATION OF THEORY. Professor Northrop believes that this periodic need for reconstructing philosophical theory is a peculiarity of Western culture. It is so because the West has concentrated on one method of knowing the world: scientific theory followed by "verification." But all verification is partial at best.
"The mere fact that [a] proposed theory is confirmed factually in every one of its deductive consequences does not establish . . . . that it is the only theory which can meet this test. Thus it may very well be the case - and history has in fact often shown it to be the case - that some other theory will also take care of all the known evidence. Furthermore, there is nothing in the method to guarantee that tomorrow some new facts may not arise, with which the proposed theory, when developed logically . . . is incompatible.
This also Western history has demonstrated again and again . . .
"These characteristics . . . have exceedingly important moral and social implications. They mean that no Westerner is ever entitled to be cocksure about that portion of his moral, re-
ligious and social ideals which refers to or derives its justification from unseen, inferred factors not given with immediacy."
REALITY OF EXPERIENCE. In what is "given with immediacy" Professor Northrop insists that mankind possesses riches and certainties to which the theorizing West has scarcely begun to wake up. But Einstein and recent philosophic thought indicate that the waking is at hand.
In all knowledge there are not three terms, as Locke thought, but two; Northrop calls them the esthetic (e.g., a book in your hand) and the theoretical (e.g., your inferences about its writer). "The nature of things, including both the observer and the observed, is composed of two factors or components, the one given immediately and purely empirically with certainty; the other having existence known with equal certainty, but known as to its specific formal . . . content only hypothetically.
What Northrop calls the esthetic component is what Western artists have sometimes called the sense of life. It is existence appreciated. It is what we know of life by seeing and feeling, by intuition, not by reasoning.
To know this, Professor Northrop says, is the wisdom of the Orient; and in the great religions of the East, most purely in Buddhism, it has been cultivated through thousands of years as the ultimate reality. In the West, even artists were rarely content to render the sensuous world - the esthetic component - for its own sake until 19th Century Impressionism. Yet if all devotees of the theoretic component - Anglo-Americans in particular - can learn the religious value of direct experience, fanaticism and confusion would cease.
This would mean, for one thing, that the arts would gain greater importance than the West has ever given them.
Professor Northrop holds that the sensuous and passionate art of Mexico's Orozco, the sensuous and tranquil art of Georgia O'Keeffe, are essential insights into the nature of things - as are Chinese paintings.
CONCLUSION & CRITICISM. Professor Northrop's concluding chapters, describing the culture of Asia, argue lucidly for the soundness of its basic values and their availability to the West. A reciprocal exchange is now possible, he claims.
Professor Northrop has a characteristically heavy-footed phrase for what is needed. He thinks East and West can get together by a "two-termed epistemic correlation" between the esthetic and theoretical components of reality.
The West, with its theoretical knowledge (of ions, electromagnetic fields, atoms that are never seen, but "verified" by flashes, explosions, etc. which are), has much to offer the East, once the error of the West's philosophic ways since Locke is corrected. The West knows, for example, the science of the soil. The East, with its intuitive, contemplative knowledge of mother earth knows a lot that has no place in the West's scientific structure, and thereby finds the West's systematizing barren of much delight and wisdom. It is Professor Northrop's ambitious aim to try to "correlate" the esthetic and the theoretical into a philosophical ideal that will do for all civilization the world over.
In a New York Times review which managed at the same time to be patronizing and effusive, Harvard's Professor Howard Mumford Jones greeted this book as "the most important intellectual event in the United States thus far in 1946." Reviewers may well babble at its scope and the incisive quality of its thinking. Serious criticism of it among professional thinkers will perhaps centre on Northrop's neglect of philosophies of history. Theologians will
scarcely admit some of his religious ideas nor the primacy he gives to philosophy as such. Laymen may well balk at the pedagogical jabberwocky. But Northrop's work is the kind of sustained and fresh effort by which many minds and imaginations may be touched. - From TIME August 12.
FROM AN OLD THEOSOPHIST
Mr. Mark W. Dewey, 6106 Mt. Angelus Drive, Los Angeles, 42, California, one of the oldest Theosophists on the continent, writes as follows: -
Dear Brother Smythe:
I want to tell you how much I enjoyed and appreciated the January No. of The Canadian Theosophist. I liked it for the first article, "Without a Parable Spoke He Not Unto 'Them." I liked it because of the poem by Tennyson "The Ancient Sage," and I enjoyed it so much, in fact was delighted, with the several articles on Buddha and Buddhism. I have been giving especial attention to the study of Buddha and his teachings for several years past. I find some in the Oriental Department Papers by Charles Johnston. I find much in the book by Paul Carus, the "Gospel of Buddha". Carus makes the great mistake in claiming that Buddha denied the Self in man and held to the annihilation and extinguishment of it. This in my opinion is all wrong, otherwise the book is pretty good. The question of the extinction of the Self is well answered and dealt with finely by Edward Holmes in his "Creed of Buddha", a book given me by J. D. Boud before he died, and carried with him in his tour around the world.
There is one point on page 332 of C.T that I particularly like and that is: "Be your own light (lamps). Be your own refuge." Or, as put in "the Gospel of Buddha," "Be ye lamps unto yourselves. Rely on yourselves, and do not rely on external help. Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp. Seek salvation alone in the Truth. Look not for assistance to anyone besides yourselves. There is no savior in the world except the Truth. Trust in the Truth for Truth alone abideth forever. There is no immortality except in Truth. Trust in the Truth. I am the Truth."
"It is through not understanding and not grasping the four noble truths, O disciples, that we have had to run so long and to wander in this weary path of transmigration, both you and I." "I have shown you the way to the lake of Ambrosia which washes away all sins."
"The very gods envy the bliss of him who has escaped from the floods of passion and climbed the shores of Nirvana. His heart is cleansed from all defilement and free from all illusion."
There is a translation of a verse in the Gita by Subba Row on page 102 of his "Study of the B. Gita" that is very illuminating and that I fail to find elsewhere. It refers to the One Reality or the Spiritual Essence. I give here but a line and a half: "Real knowledge smothered by delusion, and hence created beings are misled." Gita, chap. v., v. 15.
You sent the January number to Mr. Nielsen whose subscription had expired and he immediately sent in to renew his subscription.
You may not know it but Mr. N. has gone, stone blind with very little hope for recovery.
I am substantially a shut-in since my accident, and am living in a little four-room house given to me to reside in as long as I live, then to go to heirs, by a good comrade who died 3 months after I returned from hospital.
Mr. Nielsen and wife are my only friends near here who get my food for me and take me to bank once a month and who visit me now and then.
Many thanks for your helpful letter of Sept., 1945 with the quotation of H.P.B. "The Pilgrim's Path." My love and very best wishes to you forever. May Master bless you. We shall meet over there. Your age and mine same.
- Mark W. Dewey.
By William A. Stewart
(Of Toronto, Canada)
In reading the Rev. F. Kenworthy's impressions of the I.A.R.F. Cambridge Conference (THE INQUIRER, Aug. 10th), it was of great interest to note his reference to the discussion regarding the relevance and the suitability of the Association's title "International Association for Liberal Christianity and Religious Freedom". It would seem about this time that a kindred discussion was going on in Toronto regarding an appropriate heading under which to list the church's advertisements in the Saturday issues of the daily newspapers. The other churches are listed mostly under denominational headings, as "United Church of Canada", "Baptist", "Presbyterian", "Church of England", and other lesser religious lights.
As a lone Unitarian Church amongst a host of orthodox and sundry evangelicals, experience has taught us that the term "Unitarian" in itself is not particularly helpful in arousing people's interest. So we considered "Liberal Religion" as a heading under which to list our services. Then it became apparent that we are in somewhat of a "Conservative" city politically and the use of the word "Liberal" would not have much appeal for those conservatively inclined. As for "Liberal Christianity" - it would not denote the universality, for one thing, which we desired. "Religion" better covered the ideal in mind, than the term "Christianity", which is far from being a pure and undefiled finished product, as the assorted differences seen in a Canadian newspaper church advertising page attest.
Finally, our minister hit upon the term "Religious Moderns". It was worth a thought. Certainly it was distinctively different from all the various "Christians", miscellaneous "Nazarenes" and "Evangelicals" on the page. And why not be "Religious Moderns", without being too "modernistic"? Do we not receive New Light daily from the Source that enlighteneth every man and woman who comes into the world? * [* Thanks for your teaching in the past from T.S. platform on this point.] Are we bound by past traditions, creeds or mythologies? Are we not free men and women? Surely then, with the New Light vouchsafed daily to all who seek - and the courage and strength to follow that Light - then our religion shall be perennially "Modern". We shall always be in the vanguard of religious life. So we have launched out into the depth of the future on the advertising pages of our newspapers under the masthead of "Religious Moderns" - and, curiously, there are very many people, dissatisfied with the old ways, whom we think will now find us, and learn what Unitarians really are. They, too, will want to live the modern religious life of the new age, which gives freedom to the mind, wings to the spirit, and inspires to far greater living than much in the past. As one previously unchurched friend; now a stalwart Unitarian member, recently said: "I should have known about this church years ago!" And the moral of our story is that if "Unitarian" or "Liberal Christian" fails to supply the attractive honey in our advertising, then "Religious Moderns" may have a wider and deeper appeal and such sweetness to the discerning senses, as to create an appetite which desires at least a sample of it. Needless to say, the sample will most likely prove an agreeable surprise and whet the appetite for more than a nibble.
This is our experience in Toronto, Canada, with its hundreds of churches - and our lone Unitarian church where "Religious Moderns" now assemble. - From The Inquirer, Sept. 28.
OH YOU WHO POUND
Oh you who pound
Against the iron doors,
Who sit upon the ground
And defiantly demand
Your personal rights,
You have no rights
For you have no appreciation
Of the rights to mankind.
You are not heard,
Partly because ten thousand
Like you yell for rights,
And all is lost in
One huge swelling of noise.
You who pound upon
The door of Righteousness,
Beware! Be sure you know
Just what you do.
Be sure that you have earned
The Justice that you ask
Before the Judge appears.
Let me tell you this
If in your heart your motive
Is a selfish one,
You will not stand
Before the Mighty Representative
Of Law for long,
But shrivel up into a
Miserable heap upon the ground.
But if your case be just,
You need not fear
The Judge nor anyone,
But stand as straight as light
Do not call on Justice
Unless you want full Justice.
For when he balances the scales
It may not be that
Which you wish, at all.
17 S. 24th Street, Camp Hill, Penna., U.S.A.
Mrs. N. Dalzell
For many milleniums man has pursued what appears to be a Will-o-the-Wisp. He has desired freedom of thought in matters spiritual. Many times, it seems he has attained it, only to find that apparently he has forged other and stronger chains. If we look into the past, perhaps we may discover the reason.
We need not go very far back. The world is very old, but the last few thousand years hold a lot of history.
There was once a prince of Ur of the Chaldees, Abram by name. The orthodox religion of his city was not agreeable to him. His conception of God seemed to him simpler, saner than that of the priests, and so he left his city, taking with him his father, wife, servants and possessions. They went into the desert, there to worship their God in peace.
Akhnaton, Pharaoh of Egypt, left his royal city, to live in another he had built in honor of his god, Aton. Gautama left the orthodox religion of his day and became the Buddha. The followers of Christ and Mahomet did the same.
These are but a few. All through history we find records of men who left the orthodox, the conventional, to follow a light which, to them, meant truth; and attainment seems as far off as ever.
Why is this? There must be a reason! Suppose we take Abram, or Abraham, as he afterwards became. To him, God was very real, and the reality of God, as always, made priestly ritual seem unessential. Ritual was the outcome of other men's thoughts and ideas, needful, perhaps, for those to whom God was a mystery, understood only by the priests. Abraham knew his God, and so was himself a priest. He founded a family, which grew and prospered. His descendants became a multitude, and of that multitude a few only knew God as
Abraham had known Him. In consequence, the religion of Abraham became as stiffly hedged about with ritual as any other had been, and the children of Levi, his great-grandson, were made priests for the whole community. The outcome of that freedom of thought, for which Abraham had made himself an exile, was now a chain to bind his descendants.
When Akhnaton moved to his new royal city, he diverted revenues from the temples of the older gods, impoverishing the priests. Being Pharaoh, possessed of great power, he endeavored to stamp out the worship of the ancient gods, and to compel the worship of his god, Aton, whose dwelling was the sun. At his death, the inevitable happened. The priests resumed their power, re-diverted the revenues, and made of the new Pharaoh an automaton. The name, Aton, was dropped from the name of the king, and the old name Amen came into use again. Akhnaton became known as the heretic king.
Shall we look at Christianity? The first Christians, followers of Christ, were compelled to meet in secret. They were persecuted, tortured, burned, but they could not be destroyed. Finally they conquered, and Christianity became the religion. Christians could now worship their god in peace. Over all the known world, Christian missionaries travelled, teaching and converting those who knew not Christ. The adoption of the Christian religion, was sometimes compulsory. Penda, a Saxon, king over a part of England, became a convert. By royal command, his subjects were baptized and became nominal Christians.
In Europe a mighty church had come into being, only to split over a dogma, the two factions later being known as the Greek Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The early Christian church of Ireland and England owned no allegiance to the Roman or Greek churches, until the Conqueror came. He catholicized England, mostly by force.
Henry VIII, for personal reasons, reverted to the original church, and for some years England was filled with religious dissension. Today, the Catholics were in power, tomorrow, the Protestants.
Eventually the Protestant church became the Church of England, the State Church. Now there were more factions. There were Lutherans, Calvinists, Covenanters, etc., all desiring freedom for themselves. Many sailed the seas to reach foreign, unknown lands, where they might reach that freedom.
And no one of them all has truly attained, for this reason: no one has been willing to grant to his fellowmen, that freedom he has so earnestly desired, and demanded, for himself. It is as though each had said, "I claim for myself freedom of thought, and for you, my brother, I claim freedom - to think as I do."
The fruits of the Spirit, we are told, are "Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and understanding: and all are crippled for lack of tolerance, with the exception of understanding. If I love my friend, yet feel hurt if my friend admits another to friendship, my love is selfish. Tolerance will straighten the defect: I may feel joy, but if I feel joy only in those matters which concern myself and find myself bored over those things which bring joy to others, tolerance again is needed. Peace is a beautiful word, but to most of us it is a word only, and its meaning is obscured. We think of peace as a state in which no war exists, and we think of war as a matter of armies, of arms and ammunition, and of men killing and being killed.
True peace means a cessation of mental and spiritual warfare also. It means a recognition of every man's right to use his God-given power of
thought as he wishes. It means trying to understand the other man's point of view and acknowledging its place in the ever-growing mosaic of truth, knowing that each piece added to the mosaic brings the completion of the design nearer.
Tolerant parents never bring up spoiled children, for tolerance is just understanding, impartial. A tolerant employer will have happier, more contented employees than the employer who is too strict or too easy-going. The tolerant employer recognizes that his employee is a human being like himself, and he knows that all human beings do not react alike to certain impulses. The tolerant parent knows the same of his children. While individual, human rights are disregarded, there will be wars. If all practised tolerance, all would respect the rights of others. With tolerance, the fruits of the spirit will ripen and come to maturity.
In each man is a spark, or reflection of Divinity. It is that which is immortal, permanent. When we are intolerant towards others, we not only prevent, for a time, that divinity from expressing itself, we also, and perhaps for a longer time, obscure our own.
Intolerance is an evil thing. It has produced wars innumerable. It brought the Inquisition into being; it brought about the burning of witches, and other evils too numerous to mention.
Is it not time that the human race, as a whole, recognized the fact that no single member knows everything; that that which the other man believes, even though it may be diametrically opposite to one's own views, is necessary to him, and incidentally, to all of us? For the different ideas of a group or race of men, all do their part in bringing humanity nearer the ultimate goal.
Brother, you think your thoughts, and I will think mine; and if I study yours I may find that which will enrich my own, and you will perhaps find mine will do the same for yours; and of your ideas, and mine, and of all others, will be woven a fabric of most exquisite beauty. It's name is Truth.
- 10734 92nd Street, Edmonton, Alta.
"THINKING AND DESTINY"
Mr. Howard W. Percival, who has not been much in evidence since the suspension of his magazine, The Word, in 1917, has been busy in the interval preparing a book with the above accurate but not too attractive title. It is a large book of over a thousand pages and is priced at $10. Prospectuses may be had or the book ordered from The Word Publishing Co., Box 209, Section.G, New York, N.Y. The following sketch of the author is taken from his prospectus.
"Without notes or reference books at his side, Mr. Percival dictates his works. Yet he is never extemporaneous. Having been conscious of Consciousness - which he affirms is the Ultimate Reality - he grasps his subject in its entirety by thinking. He then dictates slowly, clearly, steadily. After his word's have been transcribed, he hears them read back to him. Then, by re-dictation, he edits, improves, clarifies.
In 1904 Mr. Percival founded The Word and published it monthly for thirteen years. The founder's inspired editorials appeared in the one hundred and fifty-six consecutive issues of The Word.
In 1912 this book began to take form. It was dictated at intervals between that year and 1932. Since then it has been worked over again and again. Now in 1946 the author, in his seventy-ninth year, at last allows the manuscript to be printed and published. His thirty-four years of devotion to "Thinking and Destiny" are living proof of the Percival theme that being conscious of Consciousness reveals the "unknown" to the one who has been so conscious, and that "it is the duty of that one to make
known what he can of being conscious of Consciousness." Out of this knowledge the author has poured three decades of his later life into this book. Yet, not once does the first person pronoun occur in the thousand pages of text in this most extraordinary work.
Of himself the author says: "I do not presume to preach to anyone; I do not consider myself a preacher or teacher. Were it not that I am responsible for the book, I would prefer that my personality be not named as its author. The greatness of the subjects about which I offer information relieves and frees me from self-conceit and forbids the plea of modesty.
"I dare make strange and startling statements to the conscious and immortal self that is in every human body; and I take it for granted that the individual will decide what he will or will not do with the information presented."
THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN CANADA
Statement of Funds as at 2nd February, 1947
Balance from last year:
Special Fund ........$ 78.00
Gen. Account ......... 133.00
Lodge Fees and Dues ....... 790.70
Magazine Subscriptions .......275.14
Magazine Donations ....... 24.32
Donations General Fund ......12.65
Bank Interest .......1.49
Per Capita-Adyar ...... $ 98.00
Printing ....... $700.00
Postage ........ 27.30
Zincs ....... 5.98
Office ......... 6.78
Stencils ........ 30.69
Cash in Hand ......... 382.70
- E. L. Thomson, General Secretary, Theosophical Society in Canada.
Worth While Books - Latest additions to the book list of the Golden Lotus library include the following: Dhamma-Cakka-Pavattana Sutta, the Buddha's First Sermon delivered at Sarnath, by Sister Vajirh, published by The Maha Bodhi Society, India, 15c. Karma, a Story of Buddhist Ethics, Illustrated by Paul Carus, 15c. Selected Discourses of the Lord Buddha, pamphlets Nos. 1 to vi, each containing translations of two discourses, by The Buddhist Brotherhood in America, California, each 25c. Studies in the Middle Way, essays by Christmas Humphreys, $1.50. Tao Te Ching, a new translation, with a foreword by Dr. Lionel Giles, by Ch'u Ta Kao, published by The Buddhist Society, London, $1.25. Theosophy, an Attitude Toward Life (and other Essays), by Toronto Theosophical Society, 35c. Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, stenographic report of H.P.B.'s answers to questions on The Secret Doctrine, $2.00. World's Debt to Buddha, address at the Great Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893, by the Angarika Dharmapala, Maha Bodhi Pamphlet Series No. 15, 15c. Woven Cadences of Early Buddhists (Sutta-Nipata), translation by E.M. Hare, published by Oxford University Press, $4.00.
The Golden Lotus Press, 7009 Woolston Rd., Philadelphia, 38, Pa.